Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Show: The Dead Laugh
Date: Sep 23 1946

CAST:
HOST
SPENSER
JUDGE THORNTON
LAURA THORNTON, his wife
MARGARET CUMMINGS, her nurse
DR. FLETCHER
POLICE OFFICER

SOUND:

THE SQUEAKING DOOR OPENS ... SLOWLY AND CREAKILY

MUSIC:

EERIE ... BEHIND HOST--

HOST:

Good evening, friends of the Inner Sanctum. This is your host to welcome you through the squeaking door. Well! Been shopping around for a nice case of murder? Of course you have. And you've come to the right place because the characters on this program simply kill themselves to keep you amused. Why, only the other day we were accused of making murder our business. But we wouldn't do that, friends. Oh, no. Because that would be mixing business with pleasure. And we consider it a pleasure to give some stiff the business! (LAUGHS)

MUSIC:

UP FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--

HOST:

And now, friends, tonight's story is a triangle tale concerning a man, a woman and a murderer. You've heard it said that those who laugh last, laugh best. But we're going to prove that it never pays to get into a laughing contest ... with a ghost. Because ghosts always get the last laugh.

SPENSER:

(HEAVILY FILTERED MANIACAL LAUGHTER, CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X])

THORNTON:

(NARRATES, UNNERVED) I know he's dead. His body's been in the grave for weeks. And yet, although I tell myself it's impossible, I can hear him laugh. That raucous, mocking sound haunts me. [X] Same laugh that I heard for the first time in the courtroom. He'd never laughed during all the weeks of the trial. Never even smiled. But this day, when he came before me for sentencing--

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

GAVEL BANGS

THORNTON:

John Spenser, you have been found guilty of murder in the first degree. Do you wish to make a statement before sentence is imposed?

SPENSER:

I killed Hicks. I'm willing to admit it now. But he was no good! He got just what he deserved! And everybody knows it! I'm not a killer; I never committed a crime before. And all I ask now is a chance.

THORNTON:

John Spenser, the jury took all that into consideration when it recommended life imprisonment. However, I have the power to ignore that recommendation. It is my firm conviction that to allow one man to take the law into his own hands is to encourage others to do likewise. I therefore override the recommendation of the jury and sentence you to be hung by the neck until dead.

SPENSER:

No! Judge, please! I've got a girl; we were going to be married. All I ask is to live so I can see her once in a while.

THORNTON:

You should have thought of that before you committed murder.

SPENSER:

It's easy for you to tell me what I should have done. But you won't always be on top. Maybe someday you'll be down here where I am. (SAVAGE) When that happens, I hope they throw the book at you just like you're doing to me!

THORNTON:

Bailiff? Remove the prisoner.

SPENSER:

Won't I be laughing when that happens! Wherever I am, I'll be laughing fit to bust! (MANIACAL LAUGHTER)

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND--

THORNTON:

(NARRATES, CONTEMPTUOUS) Same old story. Prisoner pleads innocence or guilty with good cause. Asks mercy. When clemency is refused, condemned man curses judge and hopes the judge will someday find himself in a similar plight. Spenser's outburst failed to move me in the slightest. I'd heard it many times before. I went home to forget about the Spenser case.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS ... THEN CLOSES BEHIND--

LAURA:

(OFF) Richard? Is that you Richard?

THORNTON:

(RELUCTANT TO JOIN HER) Yes, dear. I'll come in as soon as I've freshened up.

LAURA:

(OFF, NEEDY) Come right now. I've been waiting here all day. Surely it's not too much to ask--

THORNTON:

(UNHAPPY) All right, all right, Laura, I'm coming.

SOUND:

THORNTON WALKS TO LAURA

LAURA:

(UNENTHUSIASTIC) Richard, I want you to meet my new nurse, Margaret Cummings. This is Judge Thornton, Miss Cummings.

MARGARET:

How do you do?

THORNTON:

(IMPRESSED) Miss Cummings -- haven't we met before?

MARGARET:

That's hardly likely. It's probably my face. It's so - ordinary.

THORNTON:

On the contrary, Miss Cummings. I should say your face is rather unusual.

LAURA:

(SHARPLY) Richard, suppose you stop that silly chatter about faces and talk to Miss Cummings about her duties.

THORNTON:

Very well. Come into my study, Miss Cummings; we can talk better there.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

THORNTON:

Sit down, please. There's not much to say, really. In the first place, my wife's heart condition isn't really dangerous.

MARGARET:

Yes, I gathered that from Dr. Fletcher.

THORNTON:

Oh, he told you about my wife, eh?

MARGARET:

Oh, yes, yes.

THORNTON:

You're a professional person, nurse, and I believe in frankness; it makes things easier. My wife is eleven years my senior, getting on past middle age. She, uh, is a bit worried. Not that I give her any grounds for it. Jealous. You understand?

MARGARET:

Perfectly.

THORNTON:

She's not an easy person to get along with. You'll have to humor her.

MARGARET:

I'll do my best.

THORNTON:

And, uh, Miss Cummings--?

MARGARET:

Yes?

THORNTON:

I was just wondering where it was that I saw you before. It escapes me. You know, Miss Cummings, your face is rather - haunting.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN DURING FOLLOWING--

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) That was how it began. We played a game during those first few weeks. I would ask-- (GOOD-NATURED) Miss Cummings? Where was it that I first saw you?

MARGARET:

(PLAYFUL) Don't you remember yet?

THORNTON:

No, I don't.

MARGARET:

Well, I do. And someday, if you're nice, I'll tell you.

THORNTON:

(LAUGHS)

MARGARET:

(LAUGHS)

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) We would laugh together. Having the girl in the house made me feel young again. It didn't last. It ended one evening in Laura's room.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

LAURA:

(STERN) Richard.

THORNTON:

Yes, dear?

LAURA:

Put down that newspaper; I want to talk to you.

THORNTON:

I'm listening.

LAURA:

Don't you think you're going a bit too far, Richard?

THORNTON:

Too far? What do you mean?

LAURA:

I mean Miss Cummings.

THORNTON:

Oh.

LAURA:

I won't stand for it. I won't allow you to disgrace me in my own home -- with a woman who's little more than a servant.

THORNTON:

Oh, Laura, for heaven's sake.

LAURA:

I may be a bedridden invalid, but there is a limit.

THORNTON:

You're jumping to ridiculous conclusions, Laura.

LAURA:

Ridiculous, am I? I suppose you'll deny you're in love with Miss Cummings. That you've been carrying on with her right under my nose.

THORNTON:

Certainly I'll deny it.

LAURA:

I've got eyes, Richard. I've seen you two whispering together; I've watched how you look at her.

THORNTON:

Oh, you're talking utter nonsense! There's nothing between me and Miss Cummings.

LAURA:

Nothing?

THORNTON:

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

LAURA:

Well, then -- I'll give you a chance to prove what you say. I don't want Miss Cummings here. Dismiss her.

THORNTON:

You want _me_to dismiss her?

LAURA:

Yes, Richard. I do.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

THORNTON:

Miss Cummings, I-- Well, this is going to be rather unpleasant. You see, my wife--

MARGARET:

Yes, I know. She wants me to leave.

THORNTON:

Yes. How did you know?

MARGARET:

I couldn't help overhearing the conversation.

THORNTON:

Well, then you also know why she wants you to leave.

MARGARET:

Yes. But you warned me when I first came here that she was jealous.

THORNTON:

(CAREFULLY) It's been - very pleasant having you here.

MARGARET:

Thank you.

THORNTON:

I'm going to miss you. (BEAT) Uh, Miss Cummings? Could I have your home address?

MARGARET:

Of course. Why do you want it?

THORNTON:

I hope you won't think me presumptuous but-- Well, perhaps we might be able to see each other.

MARGARET:

Would that be wise?

THORNTON:

No, it wouldn't be wise. But I might as well face it. I couldn't hide it from Laura and - now I can't hide it from myself. (BEAT) I love you, Miss Cummings.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--

SPENSER:

(HEAVILY FILTERED MANIACAL LAUGHTER, CONTINUES IN BG, FADES OUT AT [X])

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) That night I heard Spenser's laugh for the first time since the day in the courtroom. I set it down as a figment of the imagination borne out of a feeling of guilt due to my disloyalty to Laura. [X] I put it out of my mind. I had other things to think about. The slip of paper with Margaret Cummings' address on it was in my pocket. A dozen times during the next week I picked up the telephone to call her, but - something held me back. It was fear, I guess. Fear that if I saw her again, I would be taking a final irrevocable step.

SOUND:

PICKS UP PHONE RECEIVER ... THEN DIALS BEHIND--

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) But then I couldn't stand it any longer without seeing her. I dialed her number.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)

MARGARET:

(FILTER) Hello?

MUSIC:

OUT

THORNTON:

Is that you, Margaret?

MARGARET:

(FILTER) Yes, who is this?

THORNTON:

This is Richard.

MARGARET:

(FILTER) Richard?

THORNTON:

Judge Thornton.

MARGARET:

(FILTER) Oh, hello. How are you? It's been so long, I thought you'd forgotten me.

THORNTON:

There's - little chance of that. Could I see you tonight, Margaret?

MARGARET:

(FILTER) Why, yes, of course. Come over as soon as you like.

MUSIC:

ACCENT .. THEN BEHIND--

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) I dressed carefully. Examining myself in the mirror, I saw a tall man, still on the right side of fifty, still trim in figure and distinguished in appearance. When I got to Margaret's apartment, my heart was beating fast -- like a boy on his first date. Somehow -- I don't know quite how it happened -- she was in my arms. I was kissing her.

MUSIC:

OUT

MARGARET:

(ENTHRALLED) Oh, Richard.

THORNTON:

My darling.

MARGARET:

Oh, no, we're being foolish.

THORNTON:

Sit down, darling. Here, beside me.

MARGARET:

Like this?

THORNTON:

That's perfect. Margaret--? Would you marry me?

MARGARET:

Marry--? You can't be serious.

THORNTON:

I was never more in earnest in my life.

MARGARET:

Aren't you forgetting a little detail?

THORNTON:

No. I'm not forgetting about Laura. She has a weak heart. She may die. And if she dies--

MARGARET:

I wouldn't count on it. Your wife takes very good care of herself. She may live to be a hundred.

THORNTON:

But if she should die, would you marry me?

MARGARET:

I don't know. It's not fair to ask me now. Not while your wife is still alive. Ask me - later.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS ... THEN CLOSES BEHIND--

LAURA:

(OFF) Oh, Richard? Did you have a pleasant evening at the club?

THORNTON:

I didn't go to the club, Laura.

SOUND:

THORNTON WALKS TO LAURA BEHIND--

LAURA:

No?

THORNTON:

No. I lied to you. I spent the evening with Margaret Cummings.

LAURA:

Richard!

THORNTON:

You were right. I'm in love with her. I never knew what love meant before. I can't live without her.

LAURA:

You're mad! You don't know what you're saying.

THORNTON:

I want a divorce, Laura.

LAURA:

Divorce? No!

THORNTON:

I want it immediately!

LAURA:

(IN PAIN) You can't do this to me. (SHALLOW BREATHS) Oh - oh, my heart.

THORNTON:

What?

LAURA:

Now see what you've done?

THORNTON:

Laura--?

LAURA:

Oh, the shock. My pills, Richard. Give them to me. Hurry! Hurry, Richard!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--

LAURA:

(GASPS, WHEEZES, MURMURS, ET CETERA, BEHIND--)

THORNTON:

(NARRATES, CONTEMPTUOUS) I knew she was pretending the heart attack, hoping to play on my sympathy. That was Laura's favorite trick. It always worked before. Not this time. This time I would pretend -- until I was ready to act. I gave her the pills, watched her take them and sink back on the pillow.

MUSIC:

OUT BEHIND--

LAURA:

(EXHALES WITH RELIEF) Ohh. Thank you, Richard.

THORNTON:

Feel better now?

LAURA:

Yes, dear, much better. I don't know what I'd have done without you here. I would have died. Oh, Richard, say you didn't mean what you said before. Don't you see? I couldn't go on living without you.

THORNTON:

You won't have to, Laura.

LAURA:

Then you won't leave me for that girl?

THORNTON:

I'll take care of you. Here. Let me make you more comfortable. Your pillow needs rearranging.

LAURA:

Yes, it does. (MUFFLED) Richard, what are you doing?

THORNTON:

(WITH EFFORT) I'm fixing the pillow.

LAURA:

(MUFFLED, RESISTS, DESPERATE STRUGGLE AS SHE IS SUFFOCATED UNDER PILLOW)

THORNTON: (LOW, TENSE) Lie still. Stop twisting around.

LAURA:

(FRENZIED MUFFLED STRUGGLING)

THORNTON:

(WITH GREAT EFFORT) This - isn't - much - different - from a heart - attack.

LAURA:

(SLOWLY STOPS MURMURING AND DIES)

THORNTON:

(EXHALES, PAUSE) Laura? (NO ANSWER) She's dead.

MUSIC:

GRIM, IN BG

SOUND:

PHONE RECEIVER UP, DIALING ... PHONE RINGS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)

DR. FLETCHER:

(FILTER) Hello?

THORNTON:

Dr. Fletcher?

DR. FLETCHER:

(FILTER) Yes?

THORNTON:

Uh, this is Judge Thornton. Please come quickly, doctor. My wife has had a - a heart attack.

MUSIC:

UP FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN OUT

DR. FLETCHER:

It happened during an argument, hm?

THORNTON:

(FEIGNS GRIEF) It was nothing important, doctor. Just - a domestic quarrel. And suddenly she had the attack. I - I gave her the pills, but by that-- Well, by that time it was too late.

DR. FLETCHER:

That's too bad.

THORNTON:

If I'd only known that her condition had become so dangerous--

DR. FLETCHER:

Oh, judge, you've nothing to reproach yourself for. These things happen.

THORNTON:

Will - you take care of the formalities, doctor?

DR. FLETCHER:

Oh, yes, of course.

THORNTON:

The - the death certificate?

DR. FLETCHER:

I'll list the cause as - failure of the heart.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) There was no need to act the part of the stricken husband after Dr. Fletcher left. I stood looking down at Laura's body. She was dead. And Dr. Fletcher's certificate would clear me of any suspicion of murder. I was free ---- free to marry Margaret.

MUSIC:

UP FOR CURTAIN

COMMERCIAL:

[OMITTED]

MUSIC:

IN BG--

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) I walked to Margaret's apartment that night.

SOUND:

THORNTON'S FOOTSTEPS ON SIDEWALK

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) The street was dark. Empty. I had the uncomfortable feeling that I was being watched. Followed. Then I heard footsteps behind me. I hurried my pace.

SOUND:

THORNTON'S FOOTSTEPS QUICKEN

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) The man behind me did likewise. Frightened as I was, I decided to stop and confront the follower.

SOUND:

THORNTON'S FOOTSTEPS STOP

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) He came toward me; his face and figure shadowy in the dark.

MUSIC:

OUT BEHIND--

SOUND:

SPENSER'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH ... THEN STOP BEHIND--

THORNTON:

What do you want? Why are you following me?

SPENSER:

(SINISTER) You ought to know, Judge Thornton.

THORNTON:

Who are you? Come closer so I can--

SOUND:

SPENSER TAKES A STEP OR TWO

THORNTON:

(HORRIFIED, HOARSE) Spenser! John Spenser! It can't be! You're dead.

SPENSER:

Dead, am I? Well, you ought to know, judge. (MANIACAL LAUGHTER)

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

OFFICER:

Now, take it easy, mister, take it easy. Just tell me what happened.

THORNTON:

I was being followed, officer. So I turned around to see who it was.

OFFICER:

And did you see who it was?

THORNTON:

Yes. And that's why I fainted. The man following me was a dead man.

OFFICER:

He was a--? What's that?

THORNTON:

The man following me is dead! I know he's dead, officer.

OFFICER:

I ought to run you in. You're crazy.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND--

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) I had intended to tell Margaret that Laura was dead. I meant to ask her to marry me. But the encounter on the street drove those thoughts out of my mind. Arriving at her apartment, I went directly to the window and looked out. And there, across the street, leaning against the wall -- I saw John Spenser!

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

MARGARET:

Richard, I'm insulted.

THORNTON:

What?

MARGARET:

You didn't kiss me; you haven't even said hello.

THORNTON:

Oh, I'm - I'm sorry, dear. But that man across the street-- He can't be real. And yet, if he isn't--

MARGARET:

What man, Richard?

THORNTON:

Don't you see him?

MARGARET:

No, there's no one across the street.

THORNTON:

He - he was there a moment ago. I turned my head to talk to you and -- now he's gone.

MARGARET:

Darling, you're trembling. You must be sick.

THORNTON:

Don't look at me like that.

MARGARET:

Richard, what's the matter?

THORNTON:

I - I guess I am sick. I'd better go and have a talk with Dr. Fletcher.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

DR. FLETCHER:

Yes, I remember the Spenser case very well, Judge Thornton. You could have spared Spenser's life, but didn't. And now you imagine that he follows you?

THORNTON:

Yes.

DR. FLETCHER:

But the man is dead.

THORNTON:

Then it was his ghost that followed me; his ghost I spoke to; his ghost that laughs!

DR. FLETCHER:

There are no ghosts, Judge Thornton -- with one exception. The ghosts we carry about inside us.

THORNTON:

What do you mean?

DR. FLETCHER:

Well, these things you hear and see; these are hallucinations, brought on by feelings of guilt. Spenser's been dead for weeks. So the question is -- why should you experience guilt feelings at this late date?

THORNTON:

I don't know.

DR. FLETCHER:

Well, psychiatry has an explanation. Quite often in such cases, one refuses to face the guilt object and transfers his guilt feelings to some other person.

THORNTON:

What are you driving at?

DR. FLETCHER:

I'm suggesting that your guilt feelings are not caused by the Spenser incident. And I'm going to ask you a blunt question. Did you murder your wife?

THORNTON:

Why, of all the idiotic--!

DR. FLETCHER:

Now, just a moment, judge; just a moment. I've been rather uneasy about the circumstances of Mrs. Thornton's death.

THORNTON:

But you yourself diagnosed it as a heart attack!

DR. FLETCHER:

I accepted what you told me that night. A superficial examination of the body did indicate such a conclusion, yes, but your wife's cardiac condition was mild. Now, your guilt feelings lead me to suspect--

THORNTON:

This murder talk is ridiculous. Were there any signs of struggle, any marks of violence? Of course not!

DR. FLETCHER:

Mrs. Thornton might have been ---- suffocated.

THORNTON:

Oh, nonsense!

DR. FLETCHER:

Perhaps. At any rate, I intend to recommend to the coroner that an autopsy be performed.

THORNTON:

An autopsy?

DR. FLETCHER:

Yes. It would determine whether or not death was due to suffocation. You should have no objection, if I am mistaken.

THORNTON:

You meddling fool!

DR. FLETCHER:

Judge Thornton! Put down that paperweight!

THORNTON:

You're so clever.

DR. FLETCHER:

Stay away from me!

SOUND:

THUNK! PAPERWEIGHT SMASHES INTO SKULL

DR. FLETCHER:

(GRUNTS)

SOUND:

THUNK! PAPERWEIGHT SMASHES INTO SKULL AGAIN

DR. FLETCHER:

(GROANS)

THORNTON:

I've gone too far now to stop at another murder!

SOUND:

THUNK! PAPERWEIGHT SMASHES INTO SKULL YET AGAIN

DR. FLETCHER:

(GRUNT, DEATH MOAN)

SOUND:

BODY COLLAPSES TO FLOOR

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG

THORNTON:

(NARRATES) I'd lost my head. I should have agreed to the autopsy. That would have given me a day or two in which to plan my escape. But now as things were, it would be only a matter of hours before Fletcher's body was discovered. My thoughts twisted and turned in panic.

SPENSER:

(HEAVY FILTER) Maybe someday you'll be down here where I am. Won't I be laughing when that happens. Wherever I am, I'll be laughing fit to bust! (MANIACAL LAUGHTER)

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

THORNTON:

(NARRATES, DESPERATE) I ran. Ran like a frightened child. I needed help. And there was no one to turn to. Margaret! She loved me. She'd help me. I went to Margaret and told her what had happened.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN OUT

MARGARET:

You killed your wife?!

THORNTON:

(AGITATED) For you. So we could be married.

MARGARET:

And then Dr. Fletcher?

THORNTON:

I had to kill him, Margaret. He was going to recommend an autopsy.

MARGARET:

Why did you come here?

THORNTON:

We've got to run away. We still have an hour or two. We could charter a plane to Canada or Mexico.

MARGARET:

What makes you think I'd run away with you?

THORNTON:

I - I thought you loved me.

MARGARET:

Don't be stupid. I'm going to turn you over to the police.

THORNTON:

Margaret, you can't mean that!

MARGARET:

Can't I? Just watch me!

THORNTON:

Margaret! Listen, before you pick up that phone. Even if you don't love me -- even if you won't go away with me -- give me a chance. Have mercy!

MARGARET:

You make me laugh. Judge Thornton, who never gave anybody else a break, pleading for mercy. Well, turn around and ask the man behind you for mercy.

THORNTON:

Behind me?

SPENSER:

(GRIM) That's right.

MUSIC:

EERIE ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

THORNTON:

(SHOCK) Spenser! John Spenser!

SPENSER:

Take another look, judge.

THORNTON:

No. No, you're not John Spenser. There's a resemblance, but you're not John Spenser.

SPENSER:

I'm his brother.

THORNTON:

You're the man that was following me.

SPENSER:

That's right.

THORNTON:

I was tricked. Led on by Margaret to kill my wife, and forced by you to betray myself to Dr. Fletcher. But why? Why, Margaret? Why did you do this?

MARGARET:

For revenge!

THORNTON:

Revenge?

MUSIC:

FADES OUT BEHIND--

MARGARET:

Yes! The first day I came to your house, you thought my face was familiar. Well, now I'll tell you where it was that you first saw me. It was in the courtroom at John Spenser's trial.

THORNTON:

(DAZED) Courtroom. Yes. Yes.

MARGARET:

Yes! Remember how he begged for mercy? He told you he had a girl -- that he was engaged to be married -- and you could have given him his life, but you sentenced him to his death?

THORNTON:

(STAMMERS) Were you the girl?

MARGARET:

Yes!

THORNTON:

Spenser-- Did - he know about this?

MARGARET:

All this was his plan. His revenge.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

SOUND:

PHONE RECEIVER UP, DIALS

MARGARET:

(INTO PHONE) Hello, Operator? Give me police headquarters. I want to report a murder. Yes, that's right -- a murder. Tell them it's very important to get here as soon as they can.

THORNTON:

(NARRATES, CALM) I'm waiting now for the police to come. For the trial. For the sentence which I know will be death. As I wait, my thoughts go back to the courtroom.

SPENSER:

(HEAVY FILTER) You won't always be on top. Maybe someday you'll be down here where I am. And when that happens, I'll be laughing! (MANIACAL LAUGHTER)

MUSIC:

UP FOR CURTAIN ... THEN IN BG

HOST:

(CHUCKLES) Well, Judge Thornton certainly mis-judged Margaret Cummings, which was a grave mistake. Why, he didn't have the ghost of a chance with her. She double-crossed him right into the graveyard. Oh, a word of caution. If you must commit a murder, be sure to select the proper weapon. I suggest a sharp-edged ax, because it provides you with a handy alibi. When the police want to know why you did it, you can claim the killing was ax-idental. (LAUGHS) Hmm? (CHUCKLES BEHIND--)

MUSIC:

OUT FOR--

SOUND:

THE SQUEAKING DOOR CLOSES ... SLOWLY AND CREAKILY ... WITH A THUMP!