Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: Bells
Date: Aug 06 1961

CAST:

The CBS Team:
ANNOUNCER
SINGER
CBS ANNCR
2ND ANNCR

Dramatis Personae:
LUCY
HENRY
STRICKLER
OPERATOR
WOMAN
BELLBOY
NEWSCASTER
plus a chorus of POLTERGEISTS

ANNOUNCER:

And now, a tale well calculated to keep you in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD ... THEN IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE! Do you believe in ghosts? No? Well, then how about, er, poltergeists? You know, those noisy mischievous spirits that rap on the walls and move the furniture, rattle the windows, generally make a scary nuisance of themselves. Do you? Believe in them, I mean. Of course not. Neither do I. And yet, now and then, we hear reports -- reports from people of honesty, integrity -- about strange, unexplainable manifestations that have sent them screaming with terror into the night. In a moment, Act One of "Bells," starring Rosemary Rice and Bill Lipton, and written especially for SUSPENSE by Jack Bundy.

MUSIC:

(ACCOMPANIES JINGLE SINGER ... TO THE TUNE OF "MAKING WHOOPEE")

SINGER:

The lively crowd today agree those who think young say, "Pepsi, please."
They pick the right one, the modern light one. Now, it's Pepsi.
For those who think young.

So go ahead and fix a drink that lets you drink young as you think.
Yes, get the right one, the modern light one. Now, it's Pepsi.
For those who think young.

MUSIC:

FOR A BRISK INTRODUCTION

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS ... LUCY'S FOOTSTEPS IN

LUCY:

(CALLS, ENTHUSIASTIC) Hi, honey! I'm home!

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR CLOSES ... BUT CITY TRAFFIC NOISE FLOATS IN FROM OUTSIDE THROUGHOUT THE SCENE ... AND A NOISY ELEVATED TRAIN APPROACHES, IN BG

HENRY:

You call this home?

LUCY:

Well, it won't be for long! Because listen. Listen, Henry.

HENRY:

Yeah, listen to what? That blasted elevated practically tearing through our living room every couple of minutes, all day, all night, all week, all year--

SOUND:

TRAIN THUNDERS BY ... VERY LOUD ... OUT BY [X]

LUCY:

Henry, listen--

HENRY:

Listen to it. Right on cue, too. So help me, Lucy-- Ah, what's the use? Oh, honey, seriously. If we have to live in this place much longer, I swear I'll go completely off my nut. [X]

LUCY:

I know exactly what you mean. I felt that way myself. But from now on, Mr. Fielding, my dear -- my darling, Mr. Fielding -- it won't be necessary!

HENRY:

Are you kidding?

LUCY:

No.

HENRY:

I never talked to so many real estate agents, plowed through so many classified ads in my life. And what's it got me?

LUCY:

Darling, it's got you me! And listen to me. I told you more than once that I'm psychic. And now I know that I am.

HENRY:

Aw, please, honey, not that again. How 'bout some dinner?

LUCY:

But it's true! And now I know it is. Now I can prove it.

HENRY:

You mean that so-called guardian angel of yours has found us a nice quiet little home in the country that we can afford?

LUCY:

That's exactly what I mean. Because listen, Henry, listen very carefully now--

HENRY:

Really, Lucy, I've told you a thousand times, you can't seriously believe all that psychic stuff, and all that junk about a guardian angel.

LUCY:

It's not junk. My guardian angel looks after me, and I'm sure of it now.

HENRY:

(SKEPTICAL) You are?

SOUND:

OPENS NEWSPAPER BEHIND--

LUCY:

Yes, I am. Look. Look at this newspaper. You see? It isn't the Herald Examiner at all; it's the Sentinel.

HENRY:

You mean, because you picked up the wrong newspaper by mistake, that makes you psychic?

SOUND:

ANOTHER TRAIN ROLLS BY, NOT AS LOUD AS THE EARLIER ONE ... BEHIND--

LUCY:

It wasn't any mistake. A few minutes ago, as I was leaving the supermarket, for some strange reason I can't explain, there was something -- something -- some strange feeling, some influence or something, that just made me reach out and grab this particular paper. Made me, Henry. I couldn't help myself.

SOUND:

RUSTLE OF NEWSPAPER DURING ABOVE AND IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

HENRY:

(DISMISSIVE) So you're psychic. How 'bout some dinner?

LUCY:

I am. I must be. Because look-- Look, here on the "Real Estate" page.

HENRY:

Honey, I've read 'em all!

LUCY:

Henry, not this one! Will you listen? (READS) "Small six-room Colonial cottage. Within easy driving distance of Bell Manor development."

HENRY:

Aw, now you know darn well we can never afford a section like that. Bell Manor, yet!

LUCY:

Will you please listen? (READS) "Excellent condition. Bank inspected. Fully insured. Two bedrooms, one bath--"

HENRY:

(SARCASTIC) And have they dared to put in the price?

LUCY:

Wait. (READS) "Large living room with stone fireplace. Built on garage. Full half-acre plot. Ideal for young couple anxious to get away from the noise and dirt of the city." (EXCITED) And if this isn't just exactly what we've been looking for--!

HENRY:

Well, sure. Sure, it is. But the rental on a place like that'd be about-- I'd say, three hundred and--

LUCY:

Henry! That's just it. The rental is one hundred and fifteen dollars a month.

HENRY:

Oh, now you are kidding.

LUCY:

Look for yourself. See? A hundred and fifteen dollars a month.

HENRY:

I can't believe it. (ASTONISHED) But that's what is says -- in black and white.

LUCY:

Oh, Henry, it's a dream come true! And all because of my guardian angel and that strange, unexplainable feeling.

HENRY:

Well, there's something wrong with it. Let's face it, Lucy, there must be. A rental like that, for a place like that, in this day and age--?

SOUND:

ANOTHER TRAIN ROLLS BY ... BEHIND--

LUCY:

Well, at least we're going to look into it, aren't we?

HENRY:

Honey--

LUCY:

But we have to! I mean, because of the way we found out about it. The way that - that something I can't explain forced me to buy this paper, to find this particular ad.

HENRY:

(DRY) By your good old guardian angel?

LUCY:

Oh, please, dear, don't kid me about it.

HENRY:

Okay. Okay, we'll look into it. What've we got to lose? Who's the agent?

SOUND:

RUSTLE OF NEWSPAPER

LUCY:

Oh, let's see. Uh, his name is-- Oh, here it is. Strickler. Orville Strickler.

HENRY:

I'll call him first thing in the morning.

LUCY:

(EXHALES WITH RELIEF) Oh, thank you, darling.

HENRY:

And if there isn't something wrong with it, well-- Well, honey, maybe I'll give in and admit that you are psychic.

MUSIC:

FOR A CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

In just a moment, the second act of--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD ... FADES OUT AFTER--

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE!

CBS ANNCR:

When Napoleon met his Waterloo, the news was slow in coming across the Atlantic. However, at that time, Americans, though interested, were little affected by what was taking place an entire ocean away. Today, that ocean has shrunk proportionately to about the size of Walden Pond, with little of the serenity about it so admired by Thoreau. Today, we want to know immediately what is going on all around the world. Our concern is vital to the Free World. The worldwide network of veteran CBS news correspondents meets this need to know, and know immediately. Every hour, on the hour, every day, Monday through Friday, this station of the CBS Radio Network brings you expanded CBS news coverage -- the most complete network news coverage in broadcasting today. Throughout the weekend, too -- timely news reports at frequent intervals. Keep up with the news as it happens by keeping tuned to this CBS Radio Network station.

MUSIC:

FOR A BREEZY INTRODUCTION

LUCY:

And these pictures, Henry! Oh, isn't it beautiful?!

STRICKLER:

Gorgeous, huh?

HENRY:

Yeah, Lucy, it looks real nice. But, uh-- When were these pictures taken, Mr. Strickler?

STRICKLER:

Only a couple of days ago, Mr. Fielding. Took 'em myself, soon as we got the place for a listing. It's no wonder we've had so many calls on it already.

SOUND:

SHUFFLE OF PAPERS BEHIND--

LUCY:

And we certainly can't argue with this bank report on it.

STRICKLER:

That's right, Miss Fielding. The bank wouldn't dare to lie about the place.

HENRY:

Well, I still don't understand this low rental. Can you explain it?

STRICKLER:

Well, of course it isn't in Bell Manor. It's two or three miles out. Real country. Farm country.

LUCY:

Mmm. That's what I like about it.

STRICKLER:

But it has gas and water and electricity, all ready to use. And, well, of course, the telephone's the old-fashioned kind. I mean, you have to call the operator--

LUCY:

(LAUGHS MERRILY) Who cares? (WHISPERS, TO HENRY) Darling, this is it.

HENRY:

(LOW, CONVINCED) Yep. Yeah, I guess it is.

LUCY:

(KISSES HIM) Thanks, darling. And now do you believe?

HENRY:

(CHUCKLES) Sure. Sure, anything you say.

STRICKLER:

Believe what, Miss Fielding?

LUCY:

Mr. Strickler, you--

HENRY:

Oh, pay no attention, Mr. Strickler. My wife's a bit superstitious. Thinks she's psychic, is all. Think nothing of it.

STRICKLER:

(WARY) Psychic, did you say?

LUCY:

What's the matter, Mr. Strickler?

STRICKLER:

Huh? (STAMMERS) Oh, nothing. (CHUCKLES) Like your husband says, nothing at all. It's just that the - the last folks in the house-- Well, you know how it is -- the noises some folks aren't quite used to out there in the country. Like the tree branches hitting on the roof when the wind blows and the-- Well, now let me tell you young ones something.

HENRY:

Yes?

STRICKLER:

I just want you to know that I stand back of every deal I make. So you take along both copies of this lease. (SHUFFLE OF PAPERS) And when you've seen the house, make sure it's right for you. Then you can mail my copy back to me.

LUCY:

Oh, I'm sure that isn't one bit necessary, Mr.--

HENRY:

Well, that's just about as fair a proposition as we could ask for, Mr. Strickler. Now, uh, if you'll let me have the keys--?

STRICKLER:

Yes, sir. Here you are.

HENRY:

Thanks.

STRICKLER:

And -- good luck.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

STORM RAGES OUTSIDE (THUNDER, WIND AND RAIN) THROUGHOUT THE SCENE ... LUCY AND HENRY UNPACK POTS AND PANS, MOVE FURNITURE, ET CETERA ... IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

LUCY:

(TIRED) Whew. Honey. Ooh, I'd never realized we had so many things in that stuffy little apartment.

HENRY:

(WITH EFFORT) The less we'll have to buy to fill up this place. Now, where do you want this chair?

LUCY:

Hm?

HENRY:

This side? Or over there near the fireplace?

LUCY:

(CAN'T DECIDE) Ohhh-- Anywhere.

SOUND:

HEAVY CHAIR DROPPED BEHIND--

HENRY:

Okay, then. I'll put it right here and put it to use. (SIGHS WEARILY)

SOUND:

THUNDER

LUCY:

(OFF) Well, we'll still have to buy things for one whole bedroom, though.

HENRY:

For guests?

LUCY:

(OFF) Mm?

HENRY:

Let 'em bring their sleeping bags.

LUCY:

(LAUGHS)

HENRY:

By the time we get all this stuff set, we'll be glad it's all we have.

SOUND:

LUCY PLAYFULLY HITS HENRY

LUCY:

Why, you lazy bum. There's still an awful lot of unpacking to do.

HENRY:

Ho hum! Just let me relax for a minute, huh? Some of this furniture was pretty hefty to push around.

SOUND:

THUNDER

LUCY:

Well, I still think the movers should have stayed to help. Say, did you hear one of them say they moved the last family in and out of here?

HENRY:

Mmm.

LUCY:

Those men were certainly anxious to get away once they'd unloaded that truck. I wonder why.

HENRY:

(YAWNS) They said they wanted to get back before the storm broke. Afraid of our back country roads, I guess.

LUCY:

Henry?

HENRY:

(SIGHS)

LUCY:

How do you think these drapes will look here on--? Henry! Come on, help me, hm?

HENRY:

Huh? Huh? Oh, oh, I'll be right with you. Soon as I finish this cigarette.

LUCY:

You'd better.

HENRY:

(PAUSE) Ah, listen to that rain out there. Isn't that soothing?

LUCY:

You know, I just knew this was going to be it for us, Henry. After buying that other newspaper that way for no reason at all, except that weird strange feeling that - that I had to.

HENRY:

Yeah. Yeah. Regular miracle.

LUCY:

You know I didn't tell you this, but I was out in this section with an agent just last week. And do you know the lowest rental we could find?

HENRY:

Two hundred and a quarter. I was out here, too.

LUCY:

(NO) Mm-mm. Two hundred and fifty. And not nearly as nice as this.

HENRY:

Yeah. That sweet old guardian angel you're always talkin' about must be workin' overtime.

LUCY:

(CHUCKLES) Henry, don't joke about it.

HENRY:

Okay, then prove it. Now here's your chance to prove it, Lucy. Call in some friendly poltergeist to help me move the rest of this furniture, huh?

LUCY:

(PLAYFUL) Oh, now, stop it, you lazy bum.

HENRY:

(CHUCKLES)

LUCY:

(CHUCKLES, LOVINGLY) But you are a nice lazy bum.

HENRY:

Yeah. Best there is. (BEAT) Ah, listen to that lovely rain out there. And the thunder. Nothing ominous, menacing, or frightening.

LUCY:

Well, I should hope not.

HENRY:

Just nice and peaceful. You know, I guess the land up this way can stand a bit of rain, too. Do the crops a lot of good.

LUCY:

(CHUCKLES) Crops, did you say?

HENRY:

Yeah.

LUCY:

Oh, now, look, little city boy, don't try to sound like a farmer -- just because there's a little plot of land around us. And will you please get up out of that chair and help? (NO ANSWER) Henry?!

SOUND:

BIG CLAP OF THUNDER

HENRY:

(STARTLED) Whoa!

SOUND:

HENRY JUMPS UP OUT OF CHAIR

HENRY:

Sure. Sure, sweetie. You don't have to hit me over the head with a thunderbolt.

LUCY:

(SHIVERS) Oooh, that was a close one. Out here, in the country, all alone, this way, it sounds scary--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS ... AND KEEPS ON RINGING DURING FOLLOWING--

HENRY:

(DRY) All alone, did you say, huh?

LUCY:

(SURPRISED) The phone!

HENRY:

How 'bout that? We barely move in here, somebody calls us up on the phone.

LUCY:

(CHUCKLES) Henry!

SOUND:

HENRY RATTLES AND MOVES BOXES, SEARCHING FOR THE PHONE

HENRY:

Come to think of it, he did tell us the phone was all hooked up. Er, where is it?

LUCY:

(OFF) Oh, I'm glad it is hooked up. Now we can call up some of our friends and have them come out and see us. I wonder who it is.

HENRY:

Here it is! (WITH EFFORT) Under this crate.

SOUND:

HENRY LIFTS THE CRATE

HENRY: Here now.

SOUND:

HENRY PICKS UP PHONE

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Hello?

LUCY:

(OFF) But don't invite anybody up here just yet! Not till we're settled, okay?

HENRY:

(CALLS) Don't worry! (INTO PHONE) Hello? (NO ANSWER) Hello?

SOUND:

WEIRD, GARBLED, HIGH-PITCHED WAILING OVER THE PHONE ... LIKE DOZENS OF CHATTERING CHIPMUNKS BUZZING AND SQUEALING AND LAUGHING ... THEN IN BG

HENRY:

(TO HIMSELF) What's going on here?

LUCY:

(OFF) Who is it, Henry?

HENRY:

I only wish I-- (INTO PHONE) Hello?!

SOUND:

WAILING STOPS ABRUPTLY ... THUNDER! STORM RESUMES, IN BG

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Hello?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Number, please?

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) What?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I said, "Number, please?"

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Well, yeah, yeah. I know you did, but-- Listen, didn't you just ring here?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) No, I did not, sir.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) You sure about that?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Of course I am, sir.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Well-- Okay. I'm sorry.

SOUND:

HENRY HANGS UP PHONE ... THUNDER

HENRY:

That's funny.

LUCY:

(OFF) Who was it, Henry?

HENRY:

Nobody. Nothing. I guess she must have rung us by mistake.

LUCY:

Oh. Now will you give me a hand with these drapes, please?

HENRY:

Yeah, sure. Be glad to.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

HENRY:

Whoop! Whoa. Hold everything.

SOUND:

HENRY'S FOOTSTEPS TO PHONE BEHIND--

HENRY:

And this time I hope there's somebody on the line.

SOUND:

HENRY PICKS UP PHONE

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Hello?

SOUND:

MORE HIGH-PITCHED WAILING ... THUNDER

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Oh, now, just a minute. What is this? Hello? Hello?

SOUND:

WAILING STOPS ... STORM RESUMES, IN BG

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Number, please?

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) "Number, please"? Listen, this phone just rang again.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) You must be mistaken, sir. I didn't ring you.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Well, somebody did, operator. My wife and I both heard it.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Well, there's no call for you on the switchboard, sir.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Well, then why'd you ring?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I did not ring, sir.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Now don't tell me-- Okay, okay.

SOUND:

HENRY HANGS UP PHONE

HENRY:

Gee.

SOUND:

THUNDER

LUCY:

(TENSE) Henry, there was nobody there again, was there?

HENRY:

Nobody but the operator, and those funny little-- She claims she didn't ring.

LUCY:

That's - very funny.

HENRY:

Yeah. Funny.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

HENRY:

(ANNOYED) Only it isn't this time.

SOUND:

HENRY SNATCHES UP PHONE

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE, SHARPLY) Hello?!

SOUND:

STILL MORE HIGH-PITCHED WAILING

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) All right, all right. Let's have it. What's the gag? (BEAT) Hello? Hello?!

SOUND:

WAILING STOPS ... STORM RESUMES, IN BG

OPERATOR:

(FILTER, SLIGHTLY ANNOYED) Number, please!

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE, VERY ANNOYED) Now look, operator, don't tell me you didn't ring the phone this time!

LUCY:

(ADMONISHES) Henry!

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I'm sorry, but I did not, sir.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Well, I'm sorry, too, but you must have. I tell you, this phone rang. It rang before, too, in spite of what you say. Now let's cut out this foolishness!

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I am very sorry, sir, but you must be mistaken.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) What do you mean? What are you talking about?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) It could only have been rung through this switchboard. I'm on duty alone here and I did not ring it.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Oh, no?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) And now, if you will excuse me, I have another call to handle.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) All I have to say is that someone around here -- and it isn't me -- is a cockeyed--

SOUND:

OPERATOR DISCONNECTS

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Hello?!

SOUND:

HENRY HANGS UP PHONE

HENRY:

Son of a gun. She can't hang up on me. Just what does she think she's up to?!

LUCY:

Now, wait a minute, Henry. Losing your temper won't help.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

HENRY:

Now wait a minute!

SOUND:

HENRY PICKS UP PHONE ... HIGH-PITCHED WAILING AGAIN (PLUS WHAT SOUNDS VAGUELY LIKE A CHANT OF "HEN-RY ... HEN-RY ... HEN-REEEE!"), IN BG

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Hello?! (NO ANSWER) Operator?!

WOMAN:

(ECHO, URGENT, THROUGH THE WAILING) Get out. Get out.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) What? What?

WOMAN:

(ECHO) Get out. Get out. Get out.

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Wait, now. Wait, will you--? What is this?

WOMAN:

(ECHO) Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out!

HENRY:

(INTO PHONE) Operator? Operator?!

WOMAN:

(ECHO) Get oooouuuut! Get oooouuuut! Get oooouuuut! Get oooouuuut! Get oooouuuut!

SOUND:

WAILING STOPS SUDDENLY ... THUNDER! STORM RESUMES, IN BG

HENRY:

(QUIETLY, TO HIMSELF) No. No, this is crazy.

SOUND:

HENRY FORCEFULLY HANGS UP PHONE

LUCY:

What is, Henry? What is it? Tell me!

HENRY:

Sure, I'll tell you. It's a crazy gag or something.

LUCY:

Gag?

HENRY:

Well, I've had enough of it. (WITH EFFORT) I'm tearing out this phone!

SOUND:

PHONE TORN OUT OF WALL

LUCY:

(SHOCKED) Henry!

HENRY:

(WITH EFFORT) We'll have no more of that nonsense!

SOUND:

PHONE THROWN DOWN HARD ON THE FLOOR

LUCY:

Darling, I've never seen you this way. What's the matter?

HENRY:

Nothin'! Not now! With the cord broken off, if won't happen again because it can't happen again.

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

LUCY:

(STARTLED GASP) No!

HENRY:

(WITH EFFORT) No --- is --- right!

SOUND:

HENRY LIFTS PHONE DURING ABOVE AND HURLS IT THROUGH WINDOW ... GLASS SHATTERS!

LUCY:

Henry! Tell me. What is it? What happened? And the telephone. How could it ring after you--?

HENRY:

(REALIZES, QUIETLY) Couldn't. It's impossible.

SOUND:

THUNDER

HENRY:

So it didn't. We - we were hearing things.

LUCY:

No, no, Henry. You know that isn't so.

HENRY:

Yes. Yes, it has to be. You know it, I know it.

LUCY:

No.

HENRY:

We just-- We only-- Now, Lucy, we only thought we heard it ring again.

LUCY:

That isn't true.

HENRY:

It has to be! Anything else simply doesn't make sense.

LUCY:

And you were hearing something on that phone before, weren't you? Weren't you, Henry?

HENRY:

(BEAT, CONCEDES) All right. Yes. Yes, I was hearing something. A lot of laughing -- chattering -- screwy-- A lot of little tiny-- And a woman's voice. Only-- Well, don't you see? It was only some practical joker. It had to be.

LUCY:

No, no, Henry. I'm afraid not.

HENRY:

Well, what else could it be? Some of your supernatural spirit friends, I suppose?

LUCY:

Yes!

HENRY:

Oh, Lucy, Lucy, don't be ridiculous.

LUCY:

Please, Henry, you must listen to me--

HENRY:

No, no, the whole thing's ridiculous! Utterly ridiculous!

LUCY:

No! No, Henry. You said a woman's voice--

HENRY:

All this work, the excitement of getting here -- that's all it is!

LUCY:

You said a woman's voice, Henry!

HENRY:

Forget it! (BEAT, TRYING TO BE REASONABLE) Just forget it, Lucy. It's just that we're - excited. We're-- Now listen. You go out. Make a pot of coffee. We'll - we'll sit down, relax and be - real calm about this. We'll sit down, and we'll calmly-- Well, don't you see? We're overwrought. We're overworked with all this moving, Lucy, and-- All the excitement, that's all it is.

LUCY:

I wish to heaven that I could believe you.

HENRY:

Oh, it has to be, I tell you.

LUCY:

No.

HENRY:

It's the only possible explanation there can be for a--

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS (SOUNDS A LOT LIKE THE PHONE BELL, BUT DIFFERENT) ... CONTINUES, OFF AND ON, IN BG

LUCY:

(TERRIFIED, WHISPERS) Henry! No!

HENRY:

Lucy, just--

SOUND:

THUNDER

HENRY:

(RELIEVED) Oh, it's all right. It's the doorbell. (CALLS, TO THE DOOR) Okay!

LUCY:

(NERVOUS) Henry, please, don't answer it!

HENRY:

Well, there's a bell that makes some sense for a change.

SOUND:

HENRY'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR

LUCY:

No. What if it--? If it's--?

HENRY:

Just take it easy now.

SOUND:

DOORBELL STOPS AS FRONT DOOR OPENS ... THUNDER

HENRY:

Yeah? (NO ANSWER) Huh?

LUCY:

(OFF) Henry! Henry, please, dear!

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR CLOSES ... HENRY'S FOOTSTEPS BACK TO LUCY

HENRY:

There was-- There was no one there.

LUCY:

Darling. Are you sure?

HENRY:

Yes. Yes, I'm sure. I'm absolutely sure. There was no one there!

LUCY:

Henry, don't you see what this means, then? It's this house!

HENRY:

Oh, no. Lucy, no. No. What you're thinkin' is just a lot of crazy superstition.

LUCY:

No. Please listen to me. You know what it means to us, this house.

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS

HENRY:

(DETERMINED) Okay, I'm gonna find out what it means!

SOUND:

HENRY'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR

LUCY:

Henry!

SOUND:

DOORBELL STOPS AS FRONT DOOR OPENS

HENRY:

(SAVAGE) Yes?! Hello?! Who are ya?! Who rang this bell?! Where are ya?! Who are ya?!

LUCY:

(OFF) Now? Now, do you believe me?

HENRY:

No!

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR SLAMS

LUCY:

(TEARFUL) Where there any - wet footprints on the porch?

HENRY:

No! There wasn't any wet footprints or any dry footprints! There wasn't anything!

LUCY:

Then it proves it, Henry. It's a warning! We've got to leave. We've got to get out of here!

HENRY:

Get out of here?

LUCY:

Yes! Now. Before it's too late.

HENRY:

Why?

LUCY:

Now!

HENRY:

Why, Lucy? Just because that telephone--? Because some crazy voice on it said we should?

LUCY:

(HORRIFIED) Is that what it said? Then we've got to -- because this house is haunted! It's full of evil spirits!

HENRY:

Oh, no, no.

LUCY:

It is, it is, it is. (STARTS TO WEEP)

HENRY:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) That's nonsense. You know it is and you've got to get over this crazy idea that anything that happens -- anything you can't explain -- is supernatural!

SOUND:

THUNDER

LUCY:

It's haunted. That's why the phone rang. And the doorbell rang. And there was nobody there. There's some evil, evil spirit!

HENRY:

No, no, Lucy, no, no.

LUCY:

Yes!

HENRY:

It's some practical joker, that's all. Now, stop this nonsense. Get hold of yourself. Come on.

LUCY:

No. That's why the rent is so low. Nobody'll stay here. That's why that agent was so - so startled when you told him that I'm psychic.

HENRY:

Lucy!

LUCY:

I am, Henry! And there is something wrong with this place. We've got to get out of here.

HENRY:

No!

LUCY:

You've got to believe it! We've got to leave here or something terrible will happen to us!

HENRY:

And I say you've let your crazy ideas go too far.

LUCY:

What else can it be?

HENRY:

I don't know, I don't know, but there has to be some logical explanation!

LUCY:

No.

HENRY:

And I'm not gonna let a lot of superstitious hogwash--

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS

LUCY:

(AGHAST) Henry--

HENRY:

Okay! Now we tear that thing off the wall!

SOUND:

HENRY'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOORBELL ... HE TEARS BELL OFF WALL BEHIND--

HENRY:

(WITH EFFORT) Right - off - the - wall!

SOUND:

DOORBELL THROWN TO FLOOR

LUCY:

(CRYING)

HENRY:

Okay. All right, here, look at it. Now, it's stopped. Now, you listen, Lucy--

LUCY:

(TEARFUL, PLEADS) Please, please, you listen. You're only losing your temper, refusing to see what this really means.

HENRY:

This is a storm; the air is full of electricity; the long wires that were hooked up to these things--

LUCY:

No! No!

HENRY:

The long telephone lines out there, and the lightning -- that's what did it. Now, be sensible. We've got to keep our heads about this!

LUCY:

And those voices you heard. Can you explain them?

HENRY:

(SLOWLY) Yes. Yes, I can. The wires got crossed up in the wind. And that's all.

LUCY:

And when it rang again? Afterward--?

HENRY:

Our fatigue, our excitement. I tell you, we were excited. We only thought we heard it.

LUCY:

No, no, you're wrong. Please, Henry, I'm begging you. Let's leave. Let's get out of here; go back into town, to some - some hotel.

HENRY:

Lucy!

LUCY:

Yes, yes. Some hotel in town that's far away from the terrible things in this house.

HENRY:

And I say, why?! Has this thing rung again? (KICKS DOORBELL) Has this doorbell rung again since I ripped it off the wall?

LUCY:

Please, Henry!

HENRY:

No! Course it hasn't!

LUCY:

Oh, Henry, let's get out of here. Oh, Henry--

HENRY:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) Don't you see, honey, what all that guardian angel stuff -- all that psychic talk -- has done to you?

LUCY:

Don't--

HENRY:

It's made you believe in all this impossible stuff and how it's frightened you because of--

LUCY:

Let's get out of--

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS, LOUD ... AND KEEPS ON RINGING WITHOUT A BREAK, IN BG

LUCY:

Henry--

HENRY:

(STUNNED) No. It can't be. It can't be. It's impossible!

MUSIC:

TOPS THE DOORBELL ... TRANSITION

BELLBOY:

(UPBEAT, EAGER TO PLEASE) Here you are, Mr. and Mrs. Fielding. Room Three Fourteen.

SOUND:

HOTEL ROOM DOOR OPENS AND FOOTSTEPS ENTER

BELLBOY:

I'll just set these bags here on the rack.

SOUND:

BAGS SET IN RACK

BELLBOY:

There you are, sir.

HENRY:

(UNENTHUSIASTIC) Fine. Fine. Here you are, son.

BELLBOY:

Thank you, sir. Anything else you'd like? Maybe from room service or something?

HENRY:

No, no, that'll be all.

BELLBOY:

Yes, sir. Oh, uh, the telephone is right there in the night table, if you want it.

HENRY:

Telephone? No, thanks.

BELLBOY:

Yes sir. Oh, if you'd like a little news and music, I'll put on this radio for you.

HENRY:

Fine.

SOUND:

RADIO CLICK ... BELLBOY'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR BEHIND--

BELLBOY:

(MOVING OFF) Take a few seconds to warm up.

HENRY:

Okay, thank you.

BELLBOY:

(OFF) I don't know how good it'll be, though, after that big storm we had.

SOUND:

BELLBOY'S FOOTSTEPS INTO HALLWAY

BELLBOY:

(OFF) Well, g'night, sir.

HENRY:

G'night.

SOUND:

HOTEL ROOM DOOR CLOSES

HENRY:

(EXHALES SLOWLY) Feel better, honey?

LUCY:

Thanks, darling. I - I feel a lot safer now.

HENRY:

Oh, Lucy. Lucy, I still can't help wondering if we weren't a little foolish, letting our imagination run away with us out there. Just because we were tired and the storm--

NEWSCASTER:

(FILTER, FADES IN, OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) --a weird accident out near Bell Manor development. A house was struck by lightning. At this moment, both local and Dorchester County police ...

HENRY:

Hey, what's this?

NEWSCASTER:

(FILTER) ... are making every effort to locate a Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fielding.

LUCY:

Henry, listen!

NEWSCASTER:

(FILTER) According to our report, they were the new tenants of a small home on the outskirts of the Bell Manor development that was struck by lightning ...

LUCY:

(WHISPERS) Lightning?!

NEWSCASTER:

(FILTER) ... during the heavy rain and thunderstorm that ended a short while ago.

HENRY:

Lucy!

NEWSCASTER:

Fortunately, there was no fire. Nor were any other homes in the area affected. But that single bolt of lightning struck the Fielding home with such force as to completely demolish the living room.

LUCY:

(UNNERVED) Henry--

NEWSCASTER:

(FILTER) A neighbor had reported seeing lights on, people moving about only a few minutes before.

LUCY:

Hold me close, darling.

NEWSCASTER:

(FILTER) However, no sign of either them, or their car, has been found at the scene. And it's barely possible that they left before the lightning struck.

HENRY:

Good Lord.

NEWSCASTER:

(FILTER) This has not been confirmed. If they did leave, whatever their reason, we can only say it was indeed providential they weren't in that house when this catastrophe occurred. If anyone has any information as to the whereabouts of a Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fielding, please notify this station or the Dorchester County police.

SOUND:

RADIO CLICKS OFF

LUCY:

(PAUSE) Henry--?

HENRY:

(SLOWLY) I know, darling. Your guardian angel.

MUSIC:

FOR A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

You've been listening to "Bells," starring Rosemary Rice and Bill Lipton and written especially for SUSPENSE by Jack Bundy. In a moment, a word about next week's story of SUSPENSE.

2ND ANNCR:

The roots of athlete's foot-- (ECHO) --grow down here. Down under the skin surface. (END ECHO) But NP-27 treatment penetrates down ...

SOUND:

SLIDE WHISTLE DOWN

2ND ANNCR:

... where other remedies can't reach. (ECHO) Roots out athlete's foot! (END ECHO) Even penetrates into toenails. NP-27 stops itch, relieves pain, promotes growth of healthy skin, guards against new infection. NP-27 treatment-- (ECHO) --roots out athlete's foot! (END ECHO) Or your druggist will refund your money. Get NP-27 treatment!

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE is produced and directed by Bruno Zirato, Jr. Musical supervision by Ethel Huber. Heard in tonight's story were Toni Darnay, Lawson Zerbe, and Larry Robinson. [X]

CBS ANNCR:

Babe Ruth was a great, but these days, with other factors, other techniques, can there be a greater-than-the-greatest? CBS Radio Network's BATTLE OF THE BATTERS will be heard instead of SUSPENSE this following weekend only. SUSPENSE will come to you here the following weekend. This is the CBS Radio Network.