Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Big Town
Show: Pittsburgh Lil
Date: Oct 19 1937

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
STEVE WILSON
LORELEI
PEABODY
MRS. RADSMITH
MISS FOSTER (1 line)
CHARLIE, in the morgue
SERVANT, of Mrs. Radsmith (1 line)
MINA, (pronounced "minna") Scandinavian housekeeper
and various VOICES, NEWSPAPER EMPLOYEES, NEWSBOYS

MUSIC:

TYMPANI ROLL AND FANFARE ... THEN IN BG

ANNCR:

From Hollywood, California, the makers of Rinso, America's biggest-selling package soap, present Edward G. Robinson with Claire Trevor in a series of powerful, dramatic half-hours entitled BIG TOWN.

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNCR:

BIG TOWN is neither New York, Chicago, Saint Louis or San Francisco. It is a fictitious city and all the characters in BIG TOWN are fictitious. Any resemblance of name or place is purely coincidental. But the people in BIG TOWN are the same as the people in every large city. They are real, live, vital human beings -- with the inevitable problems of life, health and happiness. They have their moments of--

1ST WOMAN:

Sorrow.

2ND WOMAN:

Joy.

1ST MAN:

Hate!

3RD WOMAN:

Love!

2ND MAN:

Failure.

3RD MAN:

Success!

1ST WOMAN:

Tears!

2ND WOMAN:

Laughter!

1ST MAN:

Fear!

3RD WOMAN:

Hope!

2ND MAN:

Listen! Listen!

3RD MAN:

It's BIG TOWN!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

ANNCR:

To portray the leading characters in our story BIG TOWN, we have chosen Edward G. Robinson with Claire Trevor. Edward G. Robinson plays the part of Steve Wilson, the managing editor of the Illustrated Press. Claire Trevor plays the part of the society editor who writes under the name of Lorelei. We feel that we could not have made a better choice in the selection of competent artists to play these characters.

Edward G. Robinson's talent and personality, fondly remembered by theatergoers, won for him enviable fame in numerous stage plays. And the robust characters he brought to life on the screen in "Little Caesar," "Five Star Final" and "Kid Galahad" placed him in the very first rank of motion picture stars.

Claire Trevor, because of her magnificent performances in "Maiden Lane," "To Mary - With Love" and "Dead End," is considered one of the most promising motion picture actresses of the day.

And now, for the first time, Edward G. Robinson and Claire Trevor combine their histrionic experience in a radio vehicle that is worthy of their talents.

MUSIC:

GENTLY OUT BEHIND--

ANNCR:

This dramatic serial, which we hope you will follow with keen interest and keen enjoyment is presented by the makers of the new Nineteen Thirty-Seven Rinso, America's biggest-selling package soap -- and appropriately so, because Rinso plays a dramatic part in millions of American homes. Rinso has the leading role wherever dirt is the menace. And Rinso can be depended upon to give a happy ending to the housewife's most discouraging chores -- washing dishes and washing clothes. Even when battling great odds, such as water hard as nails, Rinso never fails to triumph. And, best of all, though Rinso is cruel to dirt, it is kind to colors and gentle to your hands, never making them red or rough-looking. That is why -- for clothes, dishes and all household cleaning -- Rinso is the headliner. Now our story begins!

MUSIC:

UPTEMPO INTRODUCTION ... PORTRAIT OF A BIG BUSY NEWSPAPER OFFICE AT WORK ... IN BG

ANNCR:

The Illustrated Press is the biggest newspaper of BIG TOWN -- a hustling, bustling, scurrying, hurrying, dashing, slashing madhouse -- where everyone works at top speed, driven by the sharp tongue of its merciless managing editor, Steve Wilson. Our scene is the newspaper offices of the Illustrated Press.

MUSIC:

FADES OUT BEHIND--

SOUND:

NEWSPAPER MONTAGE ... TYPEWRITER TYPING AND MORSE CODE BEEPING ... THEN IN BG

1ST EMPLOYEE:

Finish your story, Nick?

2ND EMPLOYEE:

Just about. Hope the boss likes it.

1ST EMPLOYEE:

Don't worry. He won't.

2ND EMPLOYEE:

(LAUGHS)

SOUND:

TYPING AND BEEPING UP ... THEN IN BG

3RD EMPLOYEE:

Have you gotten through to Chicago yet?

4TH EMPLOYEE:

No, the wire's dead.

3RD EMPLOYEE:

Well, keep callin'. Keep hammerin' that bug! If you don't get through, the boss'll fire ya!

SOUND:

TYPING AND BEEPING UP ... THEN IN BG

5TH EMPLOYEE:

Hey, you plate guys! We gotta make a remake on that front page!

6TH EMPLOYEE:

Can't stop now!

5TH EMPLOYEE:

The boss wants the front page pulled back and that settles it!

SOUND:

TYPING AND BEEPING UP ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNCR:

In his office, away from the noise and clatter of the city room, we find our managing editor, Steve Wilson -- affectionately known as the Boss of the Illustrated Press. With him is Stanley Peabody, the paper's publisher and major stockholder. [X]

PEABODY:

Steve Wilson, our circulation jumped twenty-five per cent last week. My congratulations on that college suicide story.

WILSON:

Never mind the congratulations, Mr. Peabody. Getting circulation is my job.

PEABODY:

That's fine, Steve, but you do more than your job.

WILSON:

That's because I'm afraid to be idle -- my conscience might catch up with me.

PEABODY:

Conscience?

WILSON:

Yes, conscience. You know, that little something that creeps up on you in the dark. Or do you take sedatives?

PEABODY:

Hm, you ought to take a rest.

WILSON:

Sure -- from you and this newspaper. You know very well, Peabody, if I head to the North Pole, you'd have me dig up a story on Peary and some Eskimo debutante to build up circulation.

PEABODY:

You're being unfair.

WILSON:

(CHUCKLES BITTERLY) That's a laugh. How could anybody be unfair to you? You start with two strikes against you.

PEABODY:

Frankly, I don't know what ails you.

WILSON:

You ail me. You and your sanctimonious attitudes. You and your petty larceny morals. Now get out of here; I've got a dirty job to do and it's costing you money.

SOUND:

KNOCK AT OFFICE DOOR

WILSON:

(CALLS) Come in!

SOUND:

OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... CITY ROOM NOISE

WILSON:

Oh, it's you, Lorelei. I want to see you.

PEABODY:

How are you, Lorelei?

LORELEI:

Fine, thanks.

PEABODY:

All right, Steve. Let's have lunch. I'll see you at one o'clock.

WILSON:

Okay.

SOUND:

OFFICE DOOR SHUTS ... CUTS OFF CITY ROOM NOISE

WILSON:

Now, look here, Lorelei. What kind of a story is this that you brought in on Mrs. Radsmith?

LORELEI:

Well, Steve, I told our readers what I thought they'd like to know.

WILSON:

Eureka! A Daniel come to the Fourth Estate! Ring the bells in the church steeple! At last, I've found somebody who knows what the readers want to know.

LORELEI:

What decent readers want to know.

WILSON:

Curly Locks, there're no decent or indecent readers of a paper. They're all indecent. Newspaper readers want news; they want to tear down the walls around other people's lives; they want to to turn the bedroom upside-down looking for blessed events. They want the lowdown. They want the dirt. They want the news.

LORELEI:

You'll have to get yourself a new girl, Steve. Eavesdropping on the "dirt," as you call it, is not for my appetite. I'm not a scavenger; I'm a newspaper woman.

WILSON:

Why, the most important job you have is to tell Mrs. O'Grady -- not the Colonel's lady -- how the other half lives.

LORELEI:

But why should Mrs. O'Grady be interested in something--?

WILSON:

Why?! Why?! I'll tell you why! Because Mrs. O'Grady, on a Monday morning, wants to feel that virtue is its own reward -- even if it's not. She wants to feel so much better than Mrs. Van Renselaar who's nursing a headache from the night before. She wants-- (GIVES UP) Oh, why do I go on like this?

LORELEI:

Because you like it. Because it makes you feel as if you were running the universe.

WILSON:

(LAUGHS)

LORELEI:

Well, as a matter of fact, you're not. You're not even running your paper. It's running you. What's the matter with my story?

WILSON:

I'll show you what's the matter with it. Here -- listen to it. (READS) "Mrs. Leland Radsmith, of Alaska, San Francisco and New York, socialite, announces the engagement of her daughter Patricia to Richard C. Huntley, son of the president of the Huntley Bank."

LORELEI:

It's a simple announcement of an engagement.

WILSON:

Yes, but you missed a great story in that simple engagement piece. Now, wait a minute.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF INTERCOM

WILSON:

Hello? Uh, hello, Miss Foster?

MISS FOSTER:

(FILTER) Yes, Mr. Wilson?

WILSON:

Get me Charlie Blake in the morgue. (TO LORELEI) I'll show you the real story.

LORELEI:

Mmm, someone's going to get hurt.

WILSON:

Yes, but you'll find it in the News.

CHARLIE:

(FILTER) Hello, boss. You wanted me?

WILSON:

Charlie, get me all the clips you can find on Pittsburgh Lil of Nome, Alaska.

CHARLIE:

(FILTER) Yeah.

WILSON:

And Mrs. Leland Radsmith, of San Francisco and New York. Got that?

CHARLIE:

(FILTER) Yeah. I'll dig it up right away.

WILSON:

Good.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF INTERCOM

LORELEI:

Pittsburgh Lil? Mrs. Radsmith? What has Pittsburgh Lil to do with Mrs. Radsmith?

WILSON:

Lorelei, when you first came to me out of social work, you promised that you would get news. The lowdown. Society news.

LORELEI:

Yes, but I didn't promise to take innocent people and hold up their lives to ridicule, to shame, to satisfy readers whose only interest is the misfortune of others.

WILSON:

A good speech!

LORELEI:

Oh?

WILSON:

Yes, for a social worker. But a bad one for a reporter. Cut it down, you might have something there.

LORELEI:

(SARCASTIC) Okay, I'll give it to the rewrite man.

SOUND:

OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... CITY ROOM NOISE

CHARLIE:

Oh, Boss?

WILSON:

Oh, come in, Charlie.

CHARLIE:

I got those clips out of the morgue for ya.

WILSON:

Oh, good. Let's see 'em, Charlie. Bring 'em over here.

CHARLIE:

Here they are.

WILSON:

I'm going to show Lorelei the pretty pictures.

CHARLIE:

Anything else, Boss?

WILSON:

No.

CHARLIE:

Right.

SOUND:

OFFICE DOOR SHUTS ... CUTS OFF CITY ROOM NOISE

WILSON:

Now, Lorelei, we're through with Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We're down to news. Here. See this little picture of the dame in the star-spangled dress? Sweet, nice and demure?

LORELEI:

Yes.

WILSON:

Well, that's Pittsburgh Lil -- once known from Nome to the Barbary Coast as the most notorious proprietress of creep joints, Chinese fan-fan emporiums, saloons and other delicacies calculated to amuse and entertain the suckers.

LORELEI:

Why, that looks like Mrs.--!

WILSON:

You're right -- it's Mrs. Leland Radsmith -- who this day announces in your elegant column the simple engagement of her charming daughter to Mr. Huntley, son of San Francisco's wealthiest family.

LORELEI:

What else could I say?

WILSON:

What else?! (LAUGHS) What else?! Now, wait a minute. Here. Here, here, look at this picture. See what this is?

LORELEI:

It's a patrol wagon.

WILSON:

Yeah. See who's leading those girls into that wagon?

LORELEI:

Mrs. Radsmith, all right!

WILSON:

Yes. Well, I'll read you the clip. (READS) "The notorious Pittsburgh Lil this day--"

LORELEI:

You want me to write these things about Mrs. Radsmith? Do you want me to dig up the past of a woman who's long ago lived down her days in Nome? Who's a respectable, kindly woman?

WILSON:

I want the news! And that's news.

LORELEI:

Oh, that's murder! Is the daughter of Mrs. Radsmith responsible for her mother's past? Do you know what you're doing? You're taking a young, innocent girl on the threshold of her greatest happiness and breaking her heart. That's not news.

WILSON:

That's the greatest news in the whole world. That's the kind of news that'll get circulation. Plenty of circulation. And that will get advertising. Mr. Peabody will be pleased as he counts the money for paid space.

LORELEI:

Mr. Peabody?

WILSON:

Yes, Mr. Peabody -- your benefactor and mine -- your pal, who gives you his check every day for services rendered -- the little tin god of the Illustrated Press -- the big bore! You'll get a bonus. I tell you, it's the hottest story in town and you can get it, Lorelei.

LORELEI:

So this is what they call the noble profession of journalism! The Fourth Estate! Noble, my foot.

WILSON:

(CHUCKLES)

LORELEI:

Steve, you let this paper seduce you.

WILSON:

(DISMISSIVE) Oh, Lorelei--

LORELEI:

There are still signs about you of what once must have been a nice person.

WILSON:

Really?

LORELEI:

But you've buried it -- under dirt. You like to call it news--

WILSON:

Why, of course it's--

LORELEI:

--but all you do is make people unhappy! Drive them to suicide! Spread hate! But there's God's compensation. You don't escape, Steve. Slowly, it's destroying you. There'll come a time when you'll have to reach up to touch bottom. I'm ashamed of myself and I'm ashamed of you!

WILSON:

Well, I'm too old to be ashamed and too hungry to be an idealist. Lorelei, I've offered you a great opportunity -- one I would have been glad to take. I'm going to show you the news the way it should be written. Hot! Burning! Sizzling!

LORELEI:

(WEARILY) Yes.

WILSON:

The stuff that makes the readers plunk down their pennies and yell for more editions!

LORELEI:

(SIGHS)

WILSON:

"From Honky Tonk in Alaska to Penthouse in Park Avenue"!

LORELEI:

No.

WILSON:

Now, there's a headline for you that'll make 'em buy the Illustrated Press! I told you this was an opportunity. Well, it's too big for you, sister -- it's my size!

LORELEI:

(APPALLED) You're going to cover it?

WILSON:

I'm going right to Pittsburgh Lil! I haven't had my teeth in a first-class story in five years. Here comes Steve Wilson to the rescue! For God, for country, and for the Illustrated Press!

MUSIC:

BRISK BRIDGE

SERVANT:

Mrs. Radsmith? Mr. Wilson is waiting in the library to see you.

RADSMITH:

I'll be right down.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS ... DOOR OPENS

RADSMITH:

Mr. Wilson?

WILSON:

(SURPRISED, PLEASANT) Hm? Well -- an excellent memory, Lil.

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS

RADSMITH:

To what do I owe this unexpected raid?

WILSON:

Raid?

RADSMITH:

Well, what do you call it?

WILSON:

A visit. Just a visit, for auld lang syne.

RADSMITH:

What are you doing these days, Steve? Still snooping?

WILSON:

Ah ha, harsh words, Lil, harsh words.

RADSMITH:

You never deserved any orchids.

WILSON:

Ah, but you do. Tempus fugit. Time flies, but treats women very kindly.

RADSMITH:

Hmph! It's the same Steve I knew in Nome. The same technique with the ladies.

WILSON:

Now, wait a minute. Now, don't tell me that I haven't learned anything in all this time.

RADSMITH:

Oh, I wouldn't be that uncomplimentary, Steve. You've learned a great deal. You've learned how to turn garbage into print at a great profit.

WILSON:

Ho ho. Now, is that the way to treat an old friend?

RADSMITH:

You're about as friendly as a rattlesnake.

WILSON:

What?!

RADSMITH:

Yes -- or should I apologize to the rattlesnake? Least, he gives his victims warning -- he rattles.

WILSON:

Ah, now you're being very unkind. I'm just a poor newspaperman trying to get along, Mrs. Radsmith.

RADSMITH:

Pittsburgh Lil to you. And I know what you came here for.

WILSON:

Clairvoyant?!

RADSMITH:

Yes, I had a feeling you'd show up. Now, I don't want to waste any time, Steve. You're after news and I'm gonna give it to you -- straight from the shoulder.

WILSON:

I'll bet it it'll be good.

RADSMITH:

It'll be straight. (DEADLY SERIOUS) Steve -- if you print a word about my past or anything which will interfere with my girl's happiness, I'll kill you.

WILSON:

Thanks! Say, I'll spread that all over my paper!

RADSMITH:

You've been digging dirt for a long time. Why, in Nome, you were always the first to stick your nose into a garbage can.

WILSON:

You're right, but I came out with a story.

RADSMITH:

Sure. So that nobody in Alaska would talk to you. Not even your readers.

WILSON:

Yes, but they called me a great newspaperman.

RADSMITH:

They called you a sneak -- a spy -- a double-crosser! And I saved your neck more than once. And your hide, too.

WILSON:

Well, thanks, Lil.

RADSMITH:

You're welcome. But the killing still goes. (BEAT) Listen, Steve. Patricia's the only thing that I've got out of all my knocking around and being kicked around. It was for her that I turned my life inside-out. What, do you think I like sitting around at tea parties with a lot of women with fallen arches, talking about their husbands as though they were plaster saints?

WILSON:

Say, now look here, will you - will you write that story, Lil? I'll make a bargain with you--

RADSMITH:

Get out, Steve, get out! There's no bargain. You came here for news and I gave it to ya.

WILSON:

I've got it. "Managing Editor of the Illustrated Press Steve Wilson Dies Getting the News." What a head! What a head!

RADSMITH:

Yes. And here's another head -- for your tombstone. "Where There's Dirt, There's Wilson"!

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

We bring down the curtain for a brief intermission on BIG TOWN, starring Edward G. Robinson with Claire Trevor.

Quite a problem has been presented and were I asked to solve that problem I would find it very difficult. But were I asked to solve the problem of the housewife who wishes to make her task of washing smoother and happier, and who wishes to have her clothes come out cleaner and whiter, I would find it very simple.

In washtub or in washing machine, there is one soap that will give you complete satisfaction -- the new Nineteen Thirty-Seven Rinso! -- the soap that does away with scrubbing and boiling, the soap that gives fully twenty-five per cent more suds than ordinary soaps. Suds that are lively, frisky and full of fight! Suds that move like a trained army, that surround and attack grime and dirt, forcing it to surrender. Suds that never give up until they've made your clothes at least five shades whiter and brighter. And, with it all, suds that are so gentle that they won't harm the colors of your daintiest washable cotton prints.

If you want this little army of cleanliness to work for you, try Rinso. Order the big green-and-yellow box from your grocer. You'll be amazed, delighted and thrilled.

MUSIC:

BRISK, BUBBLY INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

We return now to BIG TOWN! BIG TOWN! Throbbing with life! Hordes of workers emerging from stores, factories and office buildings ... hurrying to streetcars, elevateds and subways ... eager to get home to husbands, wives and children! Yet stopping for the evening's paper, the subject of after-dinner gossip.

NEWSIE 1:

Extry! Extry! Read all about Pittsburgh Lil!

NEWSIE 2:

Mrs. Radsmith exposed as Pittsburgh Lil!

NEWSIES:

Extry! Extry!

NEWSIE 1:

Pittsburgh Lil comes to life as Mrs. Radsmith!

NEWSIES:

Extry! Extry! Read all about it! Extry! Extry! (FADES OUT)

MUSIC:

FADES WITH VOICES ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN STEVE WILSON'S PIANO PLAYING, WHICH CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]

WILSON:

(CROONS WORDLESSLY TO THE TUNE)

LORELEI:

(SARDONIC) Nero plays while Rome burns. The newsboys are shouting, Steve.

WILSON:

(KEEPS CROONING)

LORELEI:

(SOBER) Stop playing, Steve. You're in danger.

WILSON:

Now, don't tell me. Tell the readers of the Illustrated Press. Do you like music?

LORELEI:

I liked "The Lorelei" when I heard Schumann-Heink sing it. Stop playing your own funeral march.

WILSON:

Why not? [X] I ought to have something to do with my own funeral. Mrs. Radsmith wrote my epitaph; you object to my funeral march-- Say, who's supplying this corpse anyway?

LORELEI:

Okay, laugh it off. But she's coming here to kill you.

WILSON:

Well, then make the head read, uh, "Managing Editor Killed for Publishing the News."

LORELEI:

(CHUCKLES)

WILSON:

Oh, and wait. Here, Lorelei. Here's a first-class picture of the prospective corpse. With love and kisses.

LORELEI:

It looks better on the piano than it will in print.

WILSON:

Take it. It's an exclusive. The respectable housewives on Tenth Avenue will eat it up. Oh, uh, arrange with Hunter to have two photographers at my funeral. I want to be caught coming and going.

LORELEI:

Well, if your funeral is a success, I'll get you a full page in the rotogravure.

WILSON:

Will you, Lorelei?

LORELEI:

Sure. Steve Wilson at the age of two.

WILSON:

Yes, when he still was young and innocent.

LORELEI:

And Steve Wilson being confirmed.

WILSON:

When he had faith.

LORELEI:

In himself and God.

WILSON:

Steve Wilson at college. Steve Wilson at his desk in the old Herald.

LORELEI:

Steve Wilson in Nome, Alaska. Notice the look of departing innocence.

WILSON:

That look?

LORELEI:

Yes.

WILSON:

That isn't innocence departing. That's the smell of my first big story entering my nostrils.

LORELEI:

Oh, Steve, you're impossible.

WILSON:

I hate possible people.

LORELEI:

Yes, but what you don't seem to realize is that a life is more important than a front page story. Even if it is yours.

WILSON:

Thanks. But I doubt if a dull life is more important than an exciting story.

LORELEI:

I believe you really mean that. You'd rather spread pictures of a killing on your front page, get more and more morons to read the sheet, and bolster up your circulation -- than - than save a life.

WILSON:

Now, Lorelei, stop preaching, will you? The hottest story in America is on the street. And I want another lead story. Uh, tell of the great mother-love Mrs. Radsmith has for her daughter -- a love that may lead to murder. Milk it dry.

LORELEI:

That's disgusting. Goodbye, Mr. Wilson.

WILSON:

Here, now, now, now wait a minute, please. Come back here. Tell me. What makes you go on these soul-saving tours every once in a while?

LORELEI:

Oh, you can't see a man you have some respect for turn mean and cheap before your very eyes and do nothing about it.

WILSON:

Well, resigning wouldn't help me.

LORELEI:

Well, I'm afraid if I don't, something might happen to me.

WILSON:

(LAUGHS) Oh, nothing will ever happen to you, Lorelei. Girls like you don't run for the fire escape at the first alarm. You're a newspaperwoman. You love getting the news.

LORELEI:

Yes, but not dirt!

WILSON:

No, but getting it, writing it. It grips you like -- some kind of sinning.

LORELEI:

Yeah, that's a great speech, boss. With a little fixing, I could do a yarn on that.

WILSON:

Now, don't tell me you've got a hot thought.

LORELEI:

Sure, the last words of Editor Wilson. I'd like to write your obituary while you still can edit it.

WILSON:

Good! Look, you can use the typewriter in my study. (MOVING OFF) Oh, allow me to show you to the door.

LORELEI:

Thank you.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR

WILSON:

And, uh, don't forget to leave room for my picture.

LORELEI:

In my heart, kind sir. Cheerio!

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS ... WILSON'S FOOTSTEPS TO PIANO

MUSIC:

"MOONLIGHT SONATA" ... STEVE WILSON'S PIANO PLAYING, WHICH CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]

WILSON:

(CROONS WORDLESSLY TO THE TUNE)

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... PAUSE FOR SUSPENSE, THEN--

MINA:

I - I - I beg your pardon, Mr. Wilson. I always don't like to interrupt you when you play so beautiful.

WILSON:

(LAUGHS) Oh, that's all right, Mina. Beethoven minds your interruption less than my playing. [X] What is it?

MINA:

I must have tonight off, if you please.

WILSON:

Oh. Boyfriend get into town?

MINA:

(AMUSED) Humm! Nahhh. I have not boyfriend, Mr. Wilson. I have my art!

WILSON:

(HEARTY ENTHUSIASM) Oh, and great, too! Ha ha! Queen of my heart and stomach! You know, that pickled tongue was something to write about. Mmmmmmmmm! Say, that's an idea. I'll give it to the recipe department.

MINA:

Mr. Wilson, my art is not cookin'!

WILSON:

No?

MINA:

It is the theater!

WILSON:

Theater?

MINA:

I play for the Scandinavian Domestic Dramatic-Athletic Club "The Doll's House"!

WILSON:

Here now, wait a minute, Mina -- say that again.

MINA:

I say, I play for the Scandinavian Domestic Dramatic-Athletic Club "The Doll's House"!

WILSON:

And don't tell me you play--?

MINA:

Yah! I play the doll.

WILSON:

Jerusalem! I've been hiding a Duse in my kitchen!

MINA:

I would like to go right away. I must rehearse--

WILSON:

Now, now, wait a minute, wait a minute. Come back here, Mina. Look here, how would you like to try a little bit of it on me, hm?

MINA:

You like Ibsen?

WILSON:

Like Ibsen? Say, I'll accompany you on the piano with Grieg.

MUSIC:

STEVE WILSON'S PIANO PLAYING, WHICH CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]

MINA:

You know where she is going to leave her husband?

WILSON:

Sure.

MINA:

You remember where she tells him she has lived with him for fifteen years?

WILSON:

That's right.

MINA:

And she don't even know him!

WILSON:

Mm hm.

MINA:

Then she cries, (IN CHARACTER AS NORA) Tor-vald!

WILSON:

Torvald, yah.

MINA:

(FERVENT) It was then it dawned on me that for eight years I have been living here with a strange man, and have borne him three children -- ! Ohhh, I can't bear to t'ink of it! I could tear myself to little bits! [X]

WILSON:

(APPLAUDS) Bravo! Bravo! That's great, Mina! Yeah!

MINA:

(CHUCKLES, PLEASED)

WILSON:

Listen, darling, how would you like to have your picture alongside of Greta Garbo's in the Sunday paper?

MINA:

Greta Garbo?!

WILSON:

Mm hm.

SOUND:

DOOR BELL BUZZES

MINA:

I go answer the bell.

WILSON:

Oh, someone is always interrupting genius.

MINA:

And then I must go put on my costume for the play.

WILSON:

(LAUGHS)

SOUND:

DOOR BELL BUZZES

MINA:

Is somebody comin'?

WILSON:

(REMEMBERS) Oh, yes. A Mrs. Radsmith. Show her in here.

SOUND:

PHONE RECEIVER UP

WILSON:

(INTO PHONE) Hello, uh, Operator? Uh, give me Spring Six-Seven-Eight-Nine. ... This is Wilson. Give me the dramatic department. ... Hello, Dudley! Say, I - I want you to cover the Scandinavian Domestic Dramatic and Athletic Club play. ... Sure, it's an opening. ... Who's in it? Why, the Great Mina! ... What? Oh, the Seaver show? (DISMISSIVE) Aw, you can always see that. (BRIGHTLY) Say, this is the story of a lifetime -- all the Swedish servants doing Ibsen! ... Well, it's human interest with a capital U! ... Awwww, let Sammy review the Seaver show. Sure, he's an office boy; that's why he'll do the Seaver justice. ... Yeah. Well, give him a byline. Let me see, call it, uh, "Mr. Moskowitz Goes to the Show."

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

WILSON:

(INTO PHONE) Uh, goodbye. I've got company.

SOUND:

PHONE RECEIVER DOWN ... RADSMITH'S FOOTSTEPS SLOWLY APPROACH

WILSON:

Good evening, Mrs. Radsmith.

RADSMITH:

(GRIM) Pittsburgh Lil to you.

WILSON:

(CHUCKLES) Well, what's in a name?

RADSMITH:

You ought to know. That's your slogan. Names -- published names. No matter where it falls and whom it hurts. Names. Well, think of your own right name. Oh, not the one they call you. The one you were baptized with. I'm gonna kill ya.

WILSON:

Now, wait. Not with that pistol. Small and pearly and delicate. Oh, that's feminine. You know, I always thought of dying with a grand gesture. You know, Lil -- sort of rustler- or bandit-fashion; spurs and -- oh, yes, you know -- my yellow boots on? Looking into the muzzle of a forty-four. Oh, Lil, how can you do me like that? A teeny-weeny pistol. A fine end for a growing boy.

RADSMITH:

This one shoots, Wilson. You're not gonna talk me out of this.

WILSON:

Huh, don't I know it.

RADSMITH:

Then maybe you know that you deserve it.

WILSON:

I'm beginning to realize it.

RADSMITH:

It's too late -- to begin.

WILSON:

And here I believed it was never too late to end.

RADSMITH:

It's too late to recall the shouting newsboys. It's too late to mend the hurt you've done two young innocent people whose hearts you broke -- because of your dirty sheet!

WILSON:

Now, a paper lives by its circulation, Mrs. Radsmith.

RADSMITH:

And by the gentlemen of the press who gather the dirt. And how many homes it can wreck! And how many lives it can make miserable!

WILSON:

Oh, the public must have its food for thought.

RADSMITH:

It's scandal -- even if you have to kill somebody to give it to them.

WILSON:

Well, we haven't stooped that low.

RADSMITH:

Low? Why, you commit murder every day. But you never stand trial for it. The real murderer takes his chances with the electric chair. Why, he's a sport compared to you. He took the chance.

WILSON:

Oh, I've taken chances, too. Now, for instance, right now with you and that gun -- with a nervous finger toying with the trigger.

RADSMITH:

May I do the editing, Wilson?

WILSON:

Why, of course.

RADSMITH:

Pulling the trigger!

SOUND:

GUNSHOT! ... EXCITED VOICES OF MINA AND LORELEI HEARD OFF, IN BG

WILSON:

(STUNNED, WEAK) Oh-- Oh, my God. You - you've done it, Lil.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... MINA AND LORELEI'S FOOTSTEPS RUSH IN

LORELEI:

What happened?!

MINA:

Someone shot Mr. Wilson!

LORELEI:

You're bleeding, Steve! Let me see!

MINA:

You killed, Mr. Wilson! You killed, Mr. Wilson!

LORELEI:

Steve!

MINA:

Oh, he's dead! Mr. Wilson is dead!

RADSMITH:

(COOL) Not quite.

LORELEI:

Steve, are you all right?!

WILSON:

Oh -- sure. She was - she was out of practice. Let's call it all a mistake, Lil.

RADSMITH:

You could have avoided that, Steve.

WILSON:

Oh, no. I - I never avoid anything. Not even my own funeral.

RADSMITH:

Miss Lorelei, if you should want me, Mr. Wilson knows my address.

SOUND:

RADSMITH'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH SHUTS

LORELEI:

Steve? I'll call a doctor.

WILSON:

Oh, no. That's - that's the second thing to think about. First, call the City Desk.

LORELEI:

No. Mina get an ambulance.

WILSON:

No, no, no. You - you would think of that. What? Get an ambulance, with every reporter trailing on it, and lose this exclusive story for the sheet? What would Peabody say?

LORELEI:

(EXHALES EXASPERATED)

SOUND:

PHONE RECEIVER UP

LORELEI:

(INTO PHONE) Operator? Spring Six-Seven-Eight-Nine.

MINA:

I'm so sorry, Mr. Wilson.

WILSON:

And I'm sorry, too, Mina -- to make you disappoint your audience.

MINA:

(CHUCKLES) That's all right, Mr. Wilson. I'm glad she didn't kill you.

LORELEI:

(INTO PHONE) Hello, City Desk? Lorelei talking.

WILSON:

Repeat after me. Steve Wilson, managing editor of the Illustrated Press, was shot today--

LORELEI:

(INTO PHONE) Steve Wilson, managing editor of the Illustrated Press, was shot today--

WILSON:

--by a mysterious stranger who disappeared--

LORELEI:

(INTO PHONE) --by a mysterious stranger who disappeared--

WILSON:

--after the shooting.

LORELEI:

(INTO PHONE) --after the shooting. (TO WILSON) What about her name, Steve?

WILSON:

Oh, no. No names. Just a mysterious stranger.

LORELEI:

No names?

WILSON:

Hell, what's in a name -- between very good friends? Courage, Lorelei, should never go unappreciated. The lady called on personal business. My affairs are not fit reading for our circulation.

LORELEI:

(INTO PHONE) That's all, City Desk.

SOUND:

PHONE RECEIVER DOWN

MINA:

I go get the doctor!

WILSON:

Oh, no, no, no, Mina. You - you - you've got your art.

LORELEI:

Steve Wilson, you're impossible.

WILSON:

I hate possible people. They're always doing the thing you expect 'em to do.

LORELEI:

Well, that's a relief at times. You can at least find them without a bullet wound in their arm.

WILSON:

Do you think it will leave a scar?

LORELEI:

Oh, don't worry. Not where anybody can see it.

WILSON:

Just me, hm?

LORELEI:

Yes, just you.

WILSON:

Good. Then maybe it will serve to remind me that some things are better left unprinted.

LORELEI:

That's learning things the hard way.

WILSON:

Maybe.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN

WILSON:

Lorelei? I hope you will always treasure that photograph I gave you. Just in case.

LORELEI:

I will. I'll file it.

WILSON:

Oh, no. It's yours now -- with love and kisses -- for your memory book.

LORELEI:

Exclusive?

WILSON:

Exclusive.

LORELEI:

(WARMLY) Hmm.

MUSIC:

CURTAIN ... THEN IN BG TILL THE END

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

That brings down the curtain on the first episode of BIG TOWN, starring Edward G. Robinson with Claire Trevor.

Before tuning in this program this evening, a great many women, while washing the dinner dishes, wished that something could be done to make that task easier and pleasanter. To those women, we recommend Rinso. Rinso in the dishpan makes a joke out of washing dishes. Those lively Rinso suds chuckle as they tackle the job. They have a grand time and get a great kick out of removing that grease and dirt and making your china, silverware and glassware so shiny bright that you scarcely need dry them. Try Rinso and you'll always think of dishwashing with a smile, not a frown.

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

Next week at this same time, Edward G. Robinson with Claire Trevor brings us the second episode in the series of powerful dramatic half-hours entitled BIG TOWN. Listeners, please keep your dials tuned to THE AL JOLSON SHOW, to follow immediately. For the benefit of our listeners in the Mountain and Coast time zones, the Al Jolson program will be broadcast at the usual time -- nine-thirty p. m., Mountain Time, and eight-thirty p. m., Pacific Coast Time. Carleton KaDell speaking.

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.