Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: The Furnished Floor
Date: Sep 13 1945

CAST:

The Suspense Team:
ANNOUNCER, Truman Bradley
NARRATOR

Dramatis Personae:
MRS. HAWKINS
MR. JENNINGS

ANNOUNCER:

The Roma Wine Company of Fresno, California presents--

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

SUSPENSE! Tonight, Roma Wines bring you Miss Mildred Natwick and Mr. Don DeFore as stars of "The Furnished Floor," a SUSPENSE play produced, edited and directed for Roma Wines by William Spier.

MUSIC:

UP FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE -- radio's outstanding theatre of thrills -- is presented for your enjoyment by Roma Wines. That's R-O-M-A -- Roma Wines -- those excellent California wines that can add so much pleasantness to the way you live, to your happiness in entertaining guests, to your enjoyment of everyday meals. Yes, right now a glassful would be very pleasant, as Roma Wines bring you a remarkable tale of -- SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

And with "The Furnished Floor" -- a new study written for SUSPENSE by Lucille Fletcher, the author of "Sorry, Wrong Number" and other distinguished radio plays; and with the performances of Don DeFore as Mr. Jennings and Mildred Natwick as Mrs. Hawkins, Roma Wines hope indeed to keep you in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

NARRATOR:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

HAWKINS:

Sit down; rest yourself a minute, Mrs. McIntyre, and take a cup of tea. I got some news for you. You'll never guess it in a hundred years. Do you remember that Mr. Jennings? You know, my nice tenant that moved away last year? A tall, thin fella; the one with the pretty little wife, Mabel, who died so sudden last October. Oh, sure, you know him. Most devoted husband I ever seen. Always bringin' her flowers, and billing and cooing.

MUSIC:

GENTLY, IN BG

HAWKINS:

He moved out upstairs about two weeks after she died. So heartbroken, he was. Sold every stick of furniture, got rid of the canary and the piano and just skidooed. I expected any day to hear they'd fished him up out of the river, but no. This morning, while I'm cleanin' down the stairs, who do you think should ring my bell?

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS ... THEN MRS. HAWKINS' FOOTSTEPS TO FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENS ... A STRONG WIND BLOWS, IN BG

JENNINGS:

(CHEERFUL) Hello, Mrs. Hawkins! Remember me?

HAWKINS:

Why, it's Mr. Jennings!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT

HAWKINS:

My, Mr. Jennings, you sure gimme a turn. I never expected to see you around this neighborhood again.

JENNINGS:

(WARM AND FRIENDLY) Well, here I am.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES, SHUTTING OUT WIND

JENNINGS:

How's the upstairs floor?

HAWKINS:

Just as you left it, Mr. Jennings. I haven't rented it to a soul.

JENNINGS:

Well, I want to rent it again.

HAWKINS:

What? You, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

That's right. I'm setting up housekeeping again.

HAWKINS:

Well, if that don't beat-- Getting married again, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

In a way. Let's run up and take a look, shall we?

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS ASCEND STAIRS DURING FOLLOWING--

HAWKINS:

Okay, if you say so. (GETS WINDED AS SHE CLIMBS STAIRS) Only, won't it make you feel kind o' blue to see the old place again?

JENNINGS:

Blue? Why should it?

HAWKINS:

Well, memories, you know.

JENNINGS:

(SERIOUS) That's just what I want to find -- memories. Everything just as it was.

HAWKINS:

Huh!

JENNINGS:

(LIGHTLY) Uh, I hope you've left it just the same, Mrs. Hawkins. No painting or new wallpaper?

HAWKINS:

Uh, not yet. Thought I'd fix it up to please a new tenant.

JENNINGS:

Well, leave it just as it was. Please. For me.

HAWKINS:

(A BIG SIGH, UPON REACHING TOP OF STAIRS) Ahhhh.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS OUT ... JANGLE OF KEYS ON RING BEHIND--

HAWKINS:

(CATCHES HER BREATH) Well, here's the keys. Maybe you'd like to go in and look around by yourself.

SOUND:

KEY INTO LOCK, UNLOCKS APARTMENT DOOR WHICH CREAKS OPEN BEHIND--

JENNINGS:

No. Do come in, Mrs. Hawkins. You were always so very kind. More a friend than a landlady.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS IN, THEN IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

JENNINGS:

Ohhhh, how beautiful it looks, even bare. The sunshine always was so warm up here. And the trees! Why, I'd almost forgotten how close the trees were. And there's the marks our sofa made against the wall. And the square shapes of our pictures, still on the wallpaper.

HAWKINS:

(SELF-CONSCIOUS CHUCKLE) Well, it could stand a good cleanin', o' course.

JENNINGS:

(A LITTLE EMOTIONAL) Do you remember how Mabel used to sit here of an evening and sing? How the upright was over there and, over it, the Maxfield Parrish? And over near the bay window, above the ferns, the canary sat in his cage and - and when she sang "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," he'd always sing with her.

HAWKINS:

Oh, come now, Mr. Jennings, you'll be getting yourself all fretted up.

JENNINGS:

Oh, no, no. I - I assure you, Mrs. Hawkins, it's very important. You see, I'm gonna have it again. Just as it was.

HAWKINS:

Is that so?

JENNINGS:

I've made a list! But in a year, so many details escape one; like those ferns, for instance. Why, I'd almost forgotten how she loved ferns. Oh, yes, and - there was something over in that corner. What was it? A rocker! Her mother's old rocker. It used to squeak over a loose board whenever anybody sat in it.

HAWKINS:

You mean, you're gonna try and find all them things again, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

Yes.

HAWKINS:

But you sold all them to junk dealers. You gave 'em away. But-- You scattered 'em every which way when you broke up your home.

JENNINGS:

I've already been looking. I've collected a lot of things. It isn't so hard. You see, our furniture wasn't very precious -- to anyone but us.

HAWKINS:

Well, 'course, you know what your doin', Mr. Jennings. It's none of my business, I suppose.

JENNINGS:

Oh, will two months rent be enough in advance, Mrs. Hawkins? I won't be moving in for another couple of weeks, but from time to time I'd like to have things delivered.

HAWKINS:

Well, two months'll be just dandy. I'll make you a special bargain price, too, seeing you don't want no redecorating. (CAREFULLY) You're sure your lady friend won't want none neither, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

I hardly think so.

HAWKINS:

Well -- I hope you'll both be very happy here. Nice to have you back in the neighborhood.

JENNINGS:

It's good to be home!

MUSIC:

AN UNEASY BRIDGE

HAWKINS:

Now, Mrs. McIntyre, what would you have done in my place? I admit it give me a funny feeling, you know. You would think a man'd have more respect for the dead -- and her dead only less than a year! -- than to bring a new wife plumb back to the same floor and the same furniture. And I say, what kind of a woman is she, too, to stand for that kinda nonsense? But, 'course, it ain't really none o' my business. Besides, two months' rent is two months' rent. (FADES OUT)

SOUND:

DOORBELL RINGS TWICE

MRS. HAWKINS:

(SIGHS WEARILY)

SOUND:

HER FOOTSTEPS TO FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENS ... CANARY TWITTERS BEHIND--

HAWKINS:

Oh, Mr. Jennings! What're you doing here this time of night?

SOUND:

HIS FOOTSTEPS IN ... FRONT DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--

JENNINGS:

(CHEERFUL) I'm moving in!

HAWKINS:

Movin' in?

JENNINGS:

I intended coming much earlier, but I had so many last minute things to do -- like picking up Dickie and--

SOUND:

CANARY TWITTERS ... OFF AND ON, IN BG

HAWKINS:

Oh, now don't tell me that's your old canary, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

Yes! It's little Dickie. I found him in a pet shop on Third Avenue, in his old cage. Ha. He looks pretty chipper, doesn't he?

HAWKINS:

Well, aren't you the one! I'd have thought he'd 'a' died of lonesomeness ages ago.

JENNINGS:

Did all my furniture and things get here, Mrs. Hawkins?

HAWKINS:

Just about. They've been deliverin' off and on for the last week. You sure got everything back, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

Well, pretty nearly everything. Couple of rugs are missing and our old kitchen table and-- Oh! Say, I got the piano! I bought the old upright back from the Sunday School. Boy, I've been more than lucky. Uh, Mrs. Hawkins, you won't mind, will you, if I start moving some of it into place tonight? I'll be very quiet.

HAWKINS:

Tonight? Oh, it's pretty near midnight, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

Yes, I know, but I have to work all day tomorrow and the next day-- You see, there's so little time.

HAWKINS:

Oh. You're expecting her soon?

JENNINGS:

Very soon.

HAWKINS:

Oh, well--

JENNINGS:

It's got to be all ready before she comes. Otherwise -- she won't come.

HAWKINS:

(PUZZLED) Well, you don't say, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

So, if you don't mind-- It'll only be for a few nights. And I won't move any of the heavy pieces after midnight. If - if you only knew what this means to me, Mrs. Hawkins. How I've waited for months--

HAWKINS:

Is that so, Mr. Jennings? Well. (CAREFULLY) I'm sure glad you found somebody to make a home for you again and I hope she's the right girl for you and is gonna make you happy--

JENNINGS:

Ohhh, she will, all right!

HAWKINS:

'Course, (CLEARS THROAT) there are some people I know say a man ought to wait a couple o' years, but-- Well, I was only sayin' yesterday, certain men are natural born husbands, and homebodies. They need a home and a woman to look after 'em--

JENNINGS:

(CHUCKLES) Yes, yes, that's true. (BRUSHING HER OFF) Well, good night, Mrs. Hawkins. (MOVING OFF) I'll try not to disturb you.

SOUND:

HIS FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS

HAWKINS:

Good night, Mr. Jennings.

MUSIC:

A MYSTERIOUS BRIDGE

SOUND:

KEY IN LOCK, UNLOCKS APARTMENT DOOR WHICH CREAKS OPENS ... FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

HAWKINS:

Come in, Mrs. McIntyre.

No, it's okay. He's at the office; he'll never know we come up.

Yeah. Take a look around. (AWED) Ain't it something?! Everything fixed up down to the last knife and fork just exactly as she had it. Don't it give you the creeps?

SOUND:

CANARY TWITTERS

HAWKINS:

Yep. That's the same canary, singin' in his cage just like it used to and-- Look, Mrs. McIntyre, come here in the bedroom. He's even got her clothes hung up in the closet. Now I'm askin' you, Mrs. McIntyre, what do you think the second Mrs. Jennings is gonna say to that? (FADES OUT)

SOUND:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... KEY IN LOCK, UNLOCKS FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES ... MR. JENNINGS' FOOTSTEPS IN ... THEN IN BG

JENNINGS:

(HAPPILY WHISTLES A BRISK "SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT")

SOUND:

MRS. HAWKINS' DOOR OPENS ... MR. JENNINGS' FOOTSTEPS STOP WITH--

HAWKINS:

Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

(STARTLED) Oh, hello, Mrs. Hawkins.

HAWKINS:

Well, I've been beside myself with worry, Mr. Jennings. Where you been all this time -- if I may ask?

JENNINGS:

Right here.

HAWKINS:

Right here?

JENNINGS:

Didn't you hear us come in? I've been to work all day, of course, but last night, a little after one-- Well, perhaps you were sleeping.

HAWKINS:

Us? You mean, you and--?

JENNINGS:

(HAPPY) Well, yes! She's come!

HAWKINS:

You mean -- she's been upstairs all day?

JENNINGS:

Certainly!

HAWKINS:

But - I haven't heard a sound.

JENNINGS:

Probably she's sleeping. She - she was very tired. The trip was more exhausting than I dreamed.

HAWKINS:

Well. You might have stopped by and told me on your way to work this morning, Mr. Jennings. 'Course, it's none of my business, but I could have at least introduced myself to my own tenant and maybe even helped her out.

JENNINGS:

Ohhh, it's all right. She doesn't want to see anybody just yet.

HAWKINS:

Oh, no? Well, of course, I wouldn't intrude on your privacy for anything, Mr. Jennings. Although, I'm sure, when the first Mrs. Jennings was alive we were all friends here.

JENNINGS:

(REASSURING) Oh, no, no, it isn't that. It's only that in these first few days, everything is so new and strange. She's not quite herself.

HAWKINS:

(ALMOST CONVINCED) Well, okay, Mr. Jennings. You know best. But if you should want me, you just call down the dumbwaiter and I'll be right up.

JENNINGS:

(WARMLY) Thanks, Mrs. Hawkins! Thank you.

MUSIC:

UNEASY, IN BG

JENNINGS:

(SUDDENLY VERY INSISTENT) But -- on no account are we to be disturbed. On no account!

SOUND:

HIS HURRIED FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS ... APARTMENT DOOR QUICKLY UNLOCKED, OPENED AND SHUT

MUSIC:

UP, DURING ABOVE EFFECTS, FOR AN UNEASY CURTAIN .. THEN IN BG

NARRATOR:

For SUSPENSE, Roma Wines are bringing you as stars Mildred Natwick and Don DeFore in "The Furnished Floor" by Lucille Fletcher, Roma Wines' presentation tonight in radio's outstanding theatre of thrills, SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR TAG ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Between the acts of SUSPENSE, this is Truman Bradley for Roma Wines. Happier days are here again. People are entertaining more and more, inviting friends over often, enjoying friendly visits in simple, sensible ways. One such way is to serve Roma California Sherry. In the words of famed hostess Elsa Maxwell, "I serve my guests Roma Sherry. There is nothing so friendly, so heartwarming, as delicious, glorious, golden amber Roma Sherry -- rich and nutty mellow taste goodness, served cool. When I invite friends in, I always serve Roma Sherry as first call for dinner."

And Miss Maxwell might have added Roma Sherry is most enjoyable later in the evening, too; in fact, any time. Roma Sherry, like all the famous Roma Wines, reflects the heritage of carefully selected grapes, freshly gathered at flavor fullness from California's choicest vineyards, quickly but gently pressed, then by a process as slow as time, brought to liquid perfection by Roma's ancient winemaking skill and bottled at Roma's famed wineries. Enjoy Roma Wines regularly. They are always unvaryingly good. Remember, because of uniformly fine quality at reasonable cost, more Americans enjoy Roma than any other wine. R-O-M-A -- Roma Wines!

MUSIC:

THEME

NARRATOR:

And now Roma Wines bring back to our Hollywood sound stage Don DeFore and Mildred Natwick in "The Furnished Floor," a play well-calculated to keep you in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

NARRATOR:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

FOR A SECOND ACT INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

HAWKINS:

Now, don't get me wrong, Mrs. McIntyre, the last thing in the world I am is a busybody, but, well, you know, I don't go out much on account of my heart and our two floors are kinda close. Downstairs in my dining room, you can hear most everything that goes on upstairs. Now, wouldn't you have thought there'd've have been somethin' last night? Some talkin' or footsteps or dishes rattlin'? Well, I'm tellin' you, I sat there till midnight and there wasn't a thing, nothing at all, except--

MUSIC:

UNEASY, IN BG

HAWKINS:

Along about half-past twelve, I hear the dumbwaiter come rumblin' down the shaft.

SOUND:

DUMBWAITER RUMBLES DOWN SHAFT

HAWKINS:

Oh, I just stole a peek, and there, goin' by with his claws stickin' up in the air, was that little yellow canary -- dead.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS ... FOOTSTEPS

JENNINGS:

(CHEERFUL) Good morning, Mrs. Hawkins!

HAWKINS:

Good morning. And how's Mrs. Jennings today?

JENNINGS:

Wonderful!

HAWKINS:

Feeling a bit better now?

JENNINGS:

Oh, yes! Of course, she's still very weak, but every day I'm sure will make her stronger. I have high hopes for her recovery.

HAWKINS:

You had a doctor in to see her yet? Dr. Rubenstein -- my doctor -- is very good.

JENNINGS:

No. I'm afraid a doctor wouldn't help her. (CHUCKLES) Nooo, no. (CHUCKLES)

MUSIC:

A SOMBER BRIDGE

SOUND:

MRS. HAWKINS' FOOTSTEPS UP STAIRS BEHIND--

HAWKINS:

(BREATHING HARD)

SOUND: HER FOOTSTEPS OUT AS SHE KNOCKS ON APARTMENT DOOR

HAWKINS:

(CALLS) Mrs. Jennings?!

SOUND:

KNOCKS AGAIN ON APARTMENT DOOR

HAWKINS:

Mrs. Jennings?! It's Mrs. Hawkins! The lady downstairs.

SOUND:

MORE KNOCKS

HAWKINS:

I heard you was sick, and so I got a little bit o' lunch for you, Mrs. Jennings! It's just a little bowl of homemade chicken broth, but it's nice and rich.

SOUND:

STILL MORE KNOCKS

HAWKINS:

You sleepin', Mrs. Jennings? (NO ANSWER) Okay, then I'll just slip in quietly with my own keys, if you don't mind, and leave it right beside your bed.

SOUND:

KEY IN LOCK ... IT RATTLES BUT WON'T UNLOCK DOOR

HAWKINS:

(TO HERSELF) Well, that's funny. (REALIZES, ANNOYED) Oh, he must have bought a new kind of lock -- and didn't say anything to me.

SOUND:

STERN KNOCKS ON DOOR

HAWKINS:

Mrs. Jennings?!

SOUND:

RATTLE! OF DOOR KNOB

HAWKINS:

Mrs. Jennings?!

SOUND:

MORE DOOR KNOB RATTLING

MUSIC:

AN OMINOUS BRIDGE

SOUND:

CLOCK CHIMES FIVE, DURING WHICH FRONT DOOR OPENS, JENNINGS' FOOTSTEPS IN AND DOOR SHUTS

HAWKINS:

Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

(STARTLED) Oh! Oh, good evening, Mrs. Hawkins.

HAWKINS:

You got a minute, Mr. Jennings? I'd like to speak to you, if you don't mind.

JENNINGS:

Well, Mrs. Jennings is waiting for me upstairs--

HAWKINS:

It's about Mrs. Jennings. She's still poorly, you say?

JENNINGS:

Well, she is confined a good deal to her bed.

HAWKINS:

Well, why don't you get someone in to look after her? I know a good woman, Mrs. McIntyre, goes out nursin' by the day--

JENNINGS:

No! Oh, no.

HAWKINS:

Well, I don't like it, Mr. Jennings. Lockin' her up like that every mornin' so not a soul can get in. Suppose somethin' happened?

JENNINGS:

What could happen?

HAWKINS:

What could happen?! Anything could happen. A fire--

JENNINGS:

(CHUCKLES) Aw, that doesn't worry me.

HAWKINS:

Or she could get worse and maybe -- even die.

JENNINGS:

(DISAGREES PLEASANTLY) Oh, no.

HAWKINS:

Everybody's got to go sometime, Mr. Jennings. I wouldn't take no chances.

JENNINGS:

Yes, I know. But -- not her.

HAWKINS:

Not her? Whatever do you mean, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

Because she's -- immune.

HAWKINS:

Immune? Against--? She ain't got no contagious disease up there, has she?

JENNINGS:

(CHUCKLES) No, no; it's nothing like that. Oh, Mrs. Hawkins, please, please don't worry or be uneasy. It's worked out so beautifully! It's nothing that can do you any harm. And we're so happy! So wonderfully happy!

HAWKINS:

Well-- Oh, Mr. Jennings, I'll be up in about one hour with the plumber.

JENNINGS:

(NERVOUS) The plumber?

HAWKINS:

I'm sorry to disturb you at suppertime, but there's something gone wrong with the pipes -- and we think it's upstairs, on your floor.

JENNINGS:

(URGENT) You can't come in! Mrs. Jennings will be sleeping.

HAWKINS:

Plumber says it's the only time he can come. (POINTEDLY) Unless he comes tomorrow afternoon while you're at the office. You want to leave me your key, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

No, no -- I can't.

HAWKINS:

Well, he'll have to get in there sooner or later, Mr. Jennings. The water downstairs is all black and discolored.

JENNINGS:

It's out of the question tonight! I'll discuss it with you in the morning.

HAWKINS:

(UNHAPPY) Okay, Mr. Jennings.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS AWAY

MUSIC:

AN UNHAPPY BRIDGE

HAWKINS:

Well, now, Mrs. McIntyre, how would you feel? Your own house goin' to wrack and ruin; you can't even do nothin' about it. I ask you, what kind of a thing has he got up there that nobody can see?

MUSIC:

GLOOMY, IN BG

HAWKINS:

I tell you, just sittin' here in this silent house night after night gives me the creeps! And with my heart what it is-- Well, anyway, his two month's rent's up tomorrow. And I got my mind made up. I got my mind made up. (FADES OUT)

MUSIC:

MUSIC OUT

SOUND:

KEY IN LOCK, UNLOCKS FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENS ... JENNINGS' FOOTSTEPS IN ... DOOR CLOSES

JENNINGS:

(STARTLED) Oh! Oh, good evening, Mrs. Hawkins. Why, I didn't know you for a minute, standing there in the dark.

HAWKINS:

Well, I didn't want to miss you this time, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

No?

HAWKINS:

I got your money this morning for next month, stuck under the door.

JENNINGS:

Oh, yes, yes. I - I had to leave early. I hope it was all right.

HAWKINS:

No. It wasn't all right. I'm sorry, but the floor's been rented, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

Rented?!

HAWKINS:

To a young serviceman and his wife from the fort. They took it sight unseen this morning.

JENNINGS:

Oh, but you can't!

HAWKINS:

They're livin' in a crowded room on Eighty-First Street. It's very crowded. I told 'em I figured you could probably get most of your stuff out in a week.

JENNINGS:

A week? (UPSET) I never told you I was going, Mrs. Hawkins.

HAWKINS:

I'm sorry, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

(STAMMERS) If it's a matter of a little more rent, I'll be glad to pay! And sign a lease! Any kind of a lease you want!

HAWKINS:

It's not a matter of rent or a lease, Mr. Jennings. It's just-- I want my floor back, that's all.

JENNINGS:

But, Mrs. Hawkins, I--!

HAWKINS:

I like neighborly people upstairs, Mr. Jennings. I'm home a lot. I like people I can trust. I don't want no mysteries in my house -- new locks on the door so no one can get in, and sneakin's in and out at night.

JENNINGS:

(DESPERATE) Oh, Mrs. Hawkins, I - I swear to you it's all right! Perfectly all right!

HAWKINS:

All this business about Mrs. Jennings -- never a face at the window, never a footstep on the floor or a dishrag hung out on the line--

JENNINGS:

Mrs. Jennings is ill. She's not like other people.

HAWKINS:

Hmph!

JENNINGS:

I tell you, I won't go! You've got to let me stay!

HAWKINS:

Here's your rent back, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

(FRANTIC) I - I haven't any place to go! This is my home! It's all I have! I staked everything on being here! Everything!

HAWKINS:

There are other floors vacant in this neighborhood.

JENNINGS:

No. No, no. It's got to be this one. This - this particular floor! (WILDLY) Mrs. Hawkins, if I could buy the house -- the whole house--!

HAWKINS:

Buy the house?!

JENNINGS:

Yes, yes, if it's for sale. Perhaps you've never thought of selling it, but I'd give you a good price! I'd scrape the money together somehow.

HAWKINS:

This house ain't for sale. It happens to be my home, too, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

Oh, I know, I know, but you're all alone now that Mr. Hawkins is-- Oh, I mean, it's a heavy responsibility -- a big house and all those stairs to keep clean and the repairs and all. Oh, Mrs. Hawkins -- if you'd only reconsider! I - I'd do anything!

HAWKINS:

No. It's too much for me. I don't understand it. Why can't she see me and talk to me? Why can't she invite me in for a cup of tea and explain?

JENNINGS:

Because she - she can't!

HAWKINS:

What's the matter with her that she can't? Is she so ugly or so beautiful or so crazy? Who - who is she, anyway?

JENNINGS:

(SIGHS) I can't tell you.

HAWKINS:

Okay, Mr. Jennings. Then that's that.

SOUND:

HER FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... HER DOOR SLAMS SHUTS

MUSIC:

A GRIM BRIDGE

SOUND:

CLOCK CHIMES MIDNIGHT ... DUMBWAITER RUMBLES SLOWLY DOWN SHAFT DURING FOLLOWING

JENNINGS:

(CALLS DOWN ECHOING SHAFT, A FRIENDLY SINGSONG) Mrs. Hawww-kins?! Mrs. Hawww-kins?!

SOUND:

HER FOOTSTEPS TO THE DUMBWAITER SHAFT

HAWKINS:

(CALLS UP) Yes?! I'm here! Mr. Jennings?! At the dumbwaiter!

JENNINGS:

(CALLS, ECHO, SINGSONG) Mrs. Hawww-kins!

SOUND:

SHE OPENS THE DOOR TO THE SHAFT

HAWKINS:

Yes, Mr. Jennings?! What is it?

JENNINGS:

(CALLS, ECHO) I'm sending you down the key on the dumbwaiter! She wants you to come up!

HAWKINS:

She?

JENNINGS:

(CALLS, ECHO) Mrs. Jennings!

SOUND:

DUMBWAITER STOPS

JENNINGS:

(CALLS, ECHO) Okay? Got it?

HAWKINS:

Yes. (PUZZLED) She wants me to come up now, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

(CALLS, ECHO) That's right!

HAWKINS:

Well, it's kinda late -- if she ain't so well.

JENNINGS:

(CALLS, ECHO) That's all right! She's feeling much better tonight! She wants to talk to you! About the floor! Before it's too late!

HAWKINS:

Okay. I'll be right up.

SOUND:

CLOSES DUMBWAITER SHAFT DOOR ... HER FOOTSTEPS TO STAIRS WHICH SHE ASCENDS ... THE ASCENT SEEMS TO TAKE A LONG TIME

HAWKINS:

(BREATHING HARDER AND HARDER AS SHE GOES UP) Whew.

SOUND:

SHE WALKS TO APARTMENT DOOR AND KNOCKS GENTLY

HAWKINS:

(CATCHES HER BREATH, WARY) Okay, Mr. Jennings. I, er-- I'm here.

JENNINGS:

(FROM BEHIND DOOR) Come in! You have the key.

HAWKINS:

Well, okay.

SOUND:

KEY IN LOCK, UNLOCKS APARTMENT DOOR WHICH CREEEEAKS OPEN ... HER FOOTSTEPS IN ... SHE STOPS

HAWKINS:

Well, where's your lights, Mr. Jennings? I can't see a thing.

JENNINGS:

(OFF, A LITTLE TOO FRIENDLY) I'll light a candle in a moment. Mrs. Jennings prefers the dark. But you know this floor so well, Mrs. Hawkins. Come in!

HAWKINS:

Where are you, Mr. Jennings?

JENNINGS:

(OFF) Right in here. In the parlor. Sitting on the sofa.

SOUND:

APARTMENT DOOR SLAMS SHUT

HAWKINS:

(STARTLED EXCLAMATION) Oooh!

JENNINGS:

(CLOSER, REASSURING) That's just the wind. There's always a little draft blowing in here. Won't you sit down, Mrs. Hawkins?

HAWKINS:

Uh, no, thanks. I'm only going to stay a minute. Just long enough to meet Mrs. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

Ohhh. But you've already met her!

HAWKINS:

(PUZZLED) Already - met her?

JENNINGS:

Don't you remember? Five years ago. A rather chilly day. The rain was falling. She rang the bell -- to ask about the upstairs floor -- and you invited her in for a cup of tea.

HAWKINS:

(QUIET, HESITANT) I'm afraid you're mistaken. That was the - the first Mrs. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

That's what I mean.

HAWKINS:

Oh. Oh, no, Mr. Jennings--

JENNINGS:

Now do you understand, Mrs. Hawkins? Now do you know why we couldn't - ever go away?

HAWKINS:

We? But that couldn't-- Well, the first Mrs. Jennings is--

JENNINGS:

I know. You saw her coffin in this very room, didn't you, Mrs. Hawkins? You saw them take her away. I think you even followed her out to that cold, dark cemetery.

HAWKINS:

Well, but that--

JENNINGS:

But she couldn't stay away. She pleaded with me in my dreams to bring her back and-- I brought her back.

HAWKINS:

(DISMAYED) Oh. Oh, no, Mr. Jennings. Don't say such things.

JENNINGS:

"If everything were the same as in the past," she said, "we could have the past." If I furnished our old floor with the same things, she'd live here, too.

HAWKINS:

(AGITATED) Excuse me, Mr. Jennings, I'm afraid I've got to--

SOUND:

DURING ABOVE, HER FOOTSTEPS BACK AWAY, THEN STOP WITH--

JENNINGS:

No, no, no, don't go yet.

HAWKINS:

(BREATHING HEAVILY, IN BG)

JENNINGS:

There's nothing frightening about it. Would you be afraid to look at a forsythia bush that had been asleep all winter? Or a tulip? Or a tree?

HAWKINS:

I - I ain't afraid, Mr. Jennings. I only--

JENNINGS:

Listen!

HAWKINS:

(PAUSE, BREATHING) What?

JENNINGS:

You don't hear it? In the bedroom? The rocking?

HAWKINS:

(PAUSE, BREATHING) No.

JENNINGS:

(CALLS SOFTLY, CHILDLIKE) Mabel! Ma-bel!

HAWKINS:

No. Don't! Don't call her. I - I - I hear it, Mr. Jennings.

JENNINGS:

Oh, but she wants to meet you. She's always loved you so much.

HAWKINS:

(BREATHING HARD) I - I really-- I'd just as soon-- Some other time, Mr. Jennings.

SOUND:

SHE STEPS BRISKLY TO THE DOOR AND RATTLES THE KNOB

HAWKINS:

(GASPS) Oh, the door is locked! (BREATHING HARD, IN BG)

JENNINGS:

It snapped shut behind you. Really, Mrs. Hawkins, don't go. She'll be in, in a moment. (QUIETLY ECSTATIC) There! There! She's coming down the hall!

SOUND:

DOOR KNOB RATTLES BEHIND--

HAWKINS:

Now let me outta this! Do ya hear? Let me out! My heart won't stand it!

JENNINGS:

(A QUIET ORGASM) Oh! Ohhh! There she is!

HAWKINS:

(TENSE PAUSE) Where?

JENNINGS:

Standing in the doorway! Mrs. Hawkins -- she's going to sing for you.

HAWKINS:

Sing? For me? (BREATHING HARD, THEN CONTINUOUSLY IN BG)

JENNINGS:

This is the first night she's been able to. Do you remember the old song she used to sing of an evening?

HAWKINS:

(GIBBERING)

JENNINGS:

"Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"?

HAWKINS:

I don't want to hear it!

JENNINGS:

Oh, please, please, Mrs. Hawkins. She's very timid. You'll frighten her.

HAWKINS:

(INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) The dead can't come back! They'd never wanna live on this Earth again and--!

JENNINGS:

(IGNORES MRS. HAWKINS, GENTLY) Go on, Mabel dearest. Don't mind. You're looking very beautiful tonight, my darling! I like that dress. Do you remember when we bought it? On our first wedding anniversary.

HAWKINS:

(HYSTERICAL) Well, why don't they all come back, then?! Why couldn't my poor old--?

JENNINGS:

Sit down, dearest. There. Now it seems like old times again. The flower in your hair. The canary singing in his cage.

HAWKINS:

(STRICKEN) No! No, it cannot-- Oh! (DESPERATE, STAMMERS) Oh, I told you! My heart! Oh, get a doctor! Quick! (HEART ATTACK DURING FOLLOWING -- GROANS, GASPS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, CRIES OF "OH!" ... ET CETERA, IN BG)

JENNINGS:

Your voice. Your voice is always like a bird's to me. I'll never forget the first time I ever heard it. On an evening, in spring. At the Calvary Baptist Church.

HAWKINS:

(WHISPERS) A doctor!

JENNINGS:

Play, dearest; play.

HAWKINS:

(HER NOISY HEART ATTACK AND THE PIANO PROCEED TOGETHER--)

MUSIC:

PIANO ... ONE SLOW, GRAND LINE OF "SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT"

HAWKINS:

(A LAST GASP, WITH--)

MUSIC:

STOPS

SOUND:

THUD! OF MRS. HAWKINS' BODY FALLING TO THE FLOOR

JENNINGS:

(BEAT, SOOTHING) Go on, dearest. It's all right. Sing.

MUSIC:

PIANO ... "SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT" ... ACCOMPANIES--

JENNINGS:

(SINGS, IN A HIGH VOICE) Swing low, sweet chariot, comin' for to carry me home--

MUSIC:

ORCHESTRA BLENDS IN WITH PIANO BEHIND--

JENNINGS:

(SINGS) Swing low, sweet chariot, comin' for to carry me home!

MUSIC:

ORCHESTRA ENDS THE SONG ... FOR A FINISH

NARRATOR:

Roma Wines have brought you Mildred Natwick and Don DeFore as stars of "The Furnished Floor," tonight's study in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

NARRATOR:

SUSPENSE!

ANNOUNCER:

This is Truman Bradley for Roma Wines, the sponsor of SUSPENSE. When planning dinner for family or friends, every woman will be interested in the suggestion of famed hostess Elsa Maxwell.

"The serving of good, tasty meals attractively is an art; but so simple. Dine by soft candlelight and serve Roma California Sauterne, that vintner's masterpiece, with as much glamour as a Hollywood star. Hale golden Roma Sauterne has not only glamour, but a delicacy of fragrance and goodness of taste that lends enchantment and fullness to the pleasure of dining. Enjoy Roma Sauterne often."

And here's a hint on how to make better cocktails. Make them with zestful, full-flavored Roma Vermouth. The vermouth of almost a hundred rare herbs, made and bottled in the heart of California's famous vineyards; yet surprisingly low-priced. Try Roma Vermouth soon, won't you?

NARRATOR:

Mildred Natwick will soon be seen in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production "Yolanda and the Thief." Don DeFore is currently being seen in the Hal Wallis production "You Came Along," a Paramount picture. Next Thursday, you will hear Miss Myrna Loy as star of--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

NARRATOR:

SUSPENSE! Radio's outstanding theatre of thrills!

ANNOUNCER:

Presented by Roma Wines -- R-O-M-A. Made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME ... TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.