Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Frontier Gentlemen
Show: Beljoy's Prisoner
Date: Jun 08 1958

Original Date: June 7, 1958, taping;
Broadcast June 8, 1958 2:30-2:54:30, NYT; (TC)

4:00-4:24:30 PDT (KNX)

On Saturday June 7:
10-12:30 associate/mixer/sound/music Studio B
1-3:30 cast Studio B
2-3:30 tie-in Studio 9
3:30-5:30 edit Studio 9

Cast:
John Dehner was JB Kendall and Beljoy
Vic Perrin was CB
Virginia Gregg was Mrs Willis and Mercyday
Harry Bartell was Henry Willis
Stacy Harris was Black
Jeanette Nolan was Lureen
Jack Moyles was Driver

KENDALL:

The events that took place in Shoshone, Wyoming Territory are still something of a nightmare to me. This report to readers of the London Times will explain why recent dispatches have been delayed.

MUSIC:

OPENING STATEMENT

ANNCR:

FRONTIER GENTLEMAN!

MUSIC:

THEME, UNDER

ANNCR:

Herewith an Englishman's account of life and death in the West. As a reporter for the London Times, he writes his colorful and unusual stories. But as a man with a gun, he lives and becomes a part of the violent years in the new territories. Now, starring John Dehner, this is the story of J.B. Kendall...FRONTIER GENTLEMAN!

MUSIC:

FIRST OVERTURE AND TO B.G.

KENDALL:

The story of my journey to Yellowstone National Park began with the coach of the Yellowstone Stage Line pulling into the town of Shoshone, midway point between Bear Claw and the National Park. Beside myself, the coach carried a Mr. and Mrs. Willis of Baltimore and a thin, young man of about 25, whose name was Black. As the driver pulled up in front of the Shoshone Hotel. A group of men came forward to meet us. One of them wearing the badge of deputy sheriff.

SOUND:

STOP STAGECOACH

CHARLIE:

(CALLING FROM OFF): Ho! Whoa, now. Come on, Whoaaa!

SFX:

Horse whinny

CB:

(CALLING FROM OFF): Howdy, Charlie.

Mrs W:

Well, this seems to be a nice little town.

MR WILLIS:

Yes, does. Let's stretch our legs, my dear. Getting out, Mr Kendall?

KENDALL:

(heartfelt): Yes.

MR WILLIS:

According to the schedule, seems we'll have our supper here.

SOUND:

OPEN DOOR, TAKE THEM OUT ONTO DIRT, THEN UP ONTO BOARDWALK FOOTSTEPS UNDER

CHARLIE (OFF):

You boys lookin' for somebody?

CB:

(off): That's right, Charlie. You tell your passengers to just take it easy. Have 'em go into the hotel lobby.

CHARLIE:

Right.: Folks! Mr. Kendall...Mr. Willis...

KENDALL:

Yes?

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS STOP

CHARLIE (coming on):

This here's CB Beljoy. He's Deputy Sheriff. Says for you all to go on into the hotel.

BLACK:

Suppose we don't want to?

CHARLIE:

Well, then Mr. Black, I reckon you'll have to take that up with him. That right, CB?

CB:

Mister, you wearin' a gun?

BLACK:

No.

CB:

Then you got no choice have you? Now you go on with the others...Just wait in the lobby. The sheriff'll...oh, no... here he comes right now.

SOUND:

WALK BELJOY ON WOOD BOARDWALK (HEAVY SLOW STEPS) FROM OFF

MRS WILLIS:

Oh! Oh, Henry. Look at him! He's so f...

MR WILLIS:

(AWED): Mercy on a poor sinner.

BELJOY:

(STARTS WHEEZING FROM OFF)

BLACK:

Great day!

BELJOY (COMING CLOSER):

Ugh---ugh...ugh...you Clyde boy..mine..son..did fine. Jus fine...

CB (bit off):

Thank you, Pa.

BELJOY:

Son of mine. CB....

CHARLIE:

Howdy, Sheriff.

BELJOY:

Charlie..Charlie..Charlie. Hope we ain't put you out too much.

CHARLIE:

No, sir. We can lay over here tonight if you say so.

BELJOY:

Good..goo..good. These..these the pass..en..gers, Cly..C..son a mine?

CB:

That's right, Pa.

BELJOY:

Yeah, rag tail bunch...Well, Let's get it over with.

CB:

You folks go in the lobby now. Go on.

SOUND:

START HIM WALKING AGAIN ON BOARDWALK, THEN BOARDS BREAKING

BELJOY:

(reacting to getting stuck in boardwalk)

Oguhh! Ahhgg. Boy! Ohhh.

BIZ:

ADLIBS: ( hubbub from everyone, under) Mr Beljoy! Pa! Pa! Oh my! Come on, help me get 'im out! Sheriff!

MR WILLIS:

Great day, he's busted through the boardwalk.

MRS WILLIS:

Pitiful! Pitiful!

BELJOY:

Clyde, CB...a mine...(CB: PA!) stop snivelin' and help me up...up outta here. You! Boy!

Cb:

I'm here, Pa.

BELJOY:

Son. Now..that's it...give me your hand.

CB:

Here ya are, Pa.

BELJOY:

Ain't bright, boy. Now, then, pull.

CB:

(EFFORT)

BELJOY:

Pull. Pull.

BIZ:

LOTS OF CROWD NOISE AS THEY TRY TO EXTRICATE THE SHERIFF FROM THE BROKEN BOARDWALK)

BELJOY:

Somebody get behind me. (SOUND: MOVEMENT) That's it. Now you two back there...you ah...push! Shove! Pull, son mine. Push..pull, shove! Ahh..ahh! There! Now that..that's it! (SOUND: END) That's it. There...There..

MUSIC:

IN AND UNDER

KENDALL:

He entered the hotel without further mishap and we were instructed to take seats facing him. After we had complied, the deputy, CB, told us why we were being held there.

MUSIC:

OUT

BELJOY:

(AUDIBLE wheezing, heavy breaths under)

CB:

Pa got a telegraph message a while ago from the sheriff in Bear Claw. Now, seems like somebody snuck into the Lucky Dollar Saloon Office and walked off with the payroll just about when the stage was due to pull out. The Sheriff down there...

BELJOY:

Ben, Ben Johnson. (repeats Johnson several times under CB's line)

CB:

Yes, Pa. The Sheriff...Ben Johnson...he figures the man that did it rode off on the stage.

MR WILLIS:

You mean, you think it's one of us?

CB:

Well, that's what the Sheriff in Bear Claw thinks.

BELJOY:

They look guilty. They could be in cahoots, huh, boy?:

MR WILLIS:

Now just a minute, Sheriff...

BELJOY:

Augh...Who is he?

CB:

Name's Willis, Pa. Says it's his wife travelin' with him.

BELJOY:

Woman looks like her's gotta be his wife.

MRS W (affronted):

Why! Why!

BLACK:

Sheriff, would you mind tellin' me...

BELJOY:

Don't bother me durin' court, mister.

BLACK:

Court?

BELJOY:

That's right.

BLACK:

But this ain't...I mean, it can't be no court. Where's the judge? And the jury?

BELJOY:

(WHEEZES AS HE LAUGHS)

CB:

Mister Black, this here's Pa's court.

MR WILLIS:

You mean it's kangaroo court?

BELJOY:

(reacts) Why...you...you call me a kanga...kanga...kangaroo? You dirty...Fifty dollars! Give me. Give me.

MR WILLIS:

Fifty dollars? For what?

BELJOY:

Contempt. Or fifty days. Which you decide.

MR WILLIS:

But I...you can't...Mr. Kendall...

KENDALL:

Excuse me, Sheriff. But according to law a sheriff does not have the authority to exercise a fine from anyone in court. Only the judge can do that.

CB:

A judge just did it.

KENDALL:

You mean he's the sheriff and the judge?

CB:

And the jury. * And the mayor. * And the town council*.

BELJOY:

(Echoing CB): *Jury. Mayor. Council. Executioner. Boy, you forgot executioner.

CB:

Well, that too. Executioner. Yessir.

BELJOY:

All right. Now we understand. Let's get on with it. Bring 'em to attention...tention, son.

CB:

Yessir this court's hereby in session. Judge Granger Beljoy presidin'.

BELJOY:

First case..people against thief of the Lucky Dollar in Bear Claw. Now which one of 'em you reckon did it, son? Him?

MRS W:

(reacts) Henry!

MR WILLIS:

Sheriff, I...

BELJOY:

Reckon not. She wouldn't let him loose long enough. Rob saloon. Must be you, mister.

CB:

No, Pa, that's the English fella.

BELJOY:

Ugh. Foreigner. Pussyfootin' foreigner.

CB:

That's how I figured.

BELJOY:

No guts. Wouldn't do it if he was starvin'. Lily-livered starvin'...

CB:

Well, that leaves him, Pa.

BELJOY:

Yeuhhh. How you plead? ...What's his name?

CB:

Black.

BELJOY:

How you plead, Black?

BLACK:

Plead? I ain't pleadin' no way to somethin' I didn't do.

BELJOY:

Innocent. But boy, you look guilty as sin. Might's well confess.

BLACK:

But I didn't do nothin'!

KENDALL:

Uh, Sheriff....

CB:

You keep out of this, Mr Kendall.

BELJOY:

Black...you say you're innn-o-cent.

BLACK (emphatic):

Yes!:

BELJOY:

I say you're guh...guil...guilty. You got witnesses?

BLACK (panicky):

Why no...I got no...

BELJOY:

(LAUGHS?WHEEZES)

CHARLIE (coming on):

Sheriff...Judge Beljoy, your honor...Sheriff...

BELJOY:

Well, what is it, Charlie?

CHARLIE:

Judge, sir, Sam over to the telegraph office tol' me to give you this. Just come in.

BELJOY:

Let's see. (SOUND: TEAR OPEN ENVELOPE) Ugh...from the Sheriff...Bear Claw...(READS) Man robbed saloon known to be tall. Regards, Johnso...(NORMAL) Tall?

BLACK:

That let's me out.

CB:

Yeah. It sure does. It's gotta be the Englishman then, Pa.

KENDALL (OFF BIT) Now just a minute...(SOUND: BRING HIM ON RAPIDLY)

CB:

Kendall, don't you try nothin'....

BIZ:

EXCITED AD LIBS

MRS W (YELLING):

Henry! Help him!

MR WILLIS (OFF):

How?

BELJOY:

Grab holt a that Englishman, boy!

CB:

I don't need to, Pa. He trys anything I'll ventilate him with this here shootin' iron!

BELJOY:

Good, son-a-mine, Good. Yeah. Kendall, I hereby sentence you to...a term...two years...my jail. (LAUGHS/WHEEZING)

MUSIC::

IN AND UNDER

KENDALL:

Being incarcerated in the Shoshone jail wasn't the most pleasant experience---but I did manage to sleep. And while I was oblivious to the cares of the outside world, I learned later that Sheriff Beljoy received another telegraph message from the Sheriff of Bear Claw.

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

TEAR ENVELOPE OPEN

CB:

Read it out loud, Pa.

BELJOY:

Yes, I'll read it. Says: Says: Says: Thief captured here has confessed robbing Lucky Dollar Saloon. Release your prisoner. Signed...Johnson. (NORMAL) Why, that low, down...ornery...

MERCYDAY:

Pa, that mean I ain't gonna have nobody to learn me manners and the like?

LUREEN:

Yes, you are, child. Your Pa promised you. And there ain't nobody makes as good a teacher of manners and such as a foreigner. Ain't that right, Granger?

BELJOY:

I'm gonna have to let him go.

LUREEN:

Why? Why can't you just pretend you didn't get no message?

BELJOY:

You know why, woman.

MERCYDAY (almost crying):

You let him go?what's gonna become of me? Paa?

LUREEN:

That's right. Look at her. Your own flesh and blood image. Poor thing. You think anybody's gonna pay her any mind when she don't even have good mannered learnin'?

BELJOY:

Now Lureen...sweet potato mine...you...

LUREEN:

Don't lard up to me!

BELJOY:

Woman, it ain't my fault.

MERCYDAY (bawling loudly):

You don't want me to have no learnin'. No English learnin' or nothin'.

BELJOY:

Honey...Honey...pot, I do...but...

LUREEN:

You want your daughter to have the best...you'll tear up that message. You'll make believe you never got it.

MERCYDAY:

And the Englishman'll be made a trusty like you promised and he'll learn me all he knows whether he likes it or not.

LUREEN:

Granger Beljoy, tear it up!

BELJOY:

Woman, you...you females...critters...

SOUND:

STARTS TEARING UP THE PAPER

MERCYDAY:

Ma! He's doin' it. Oh, Pa...(gurgles?laughs)

LUREEN:

Don't over excite yourself, honey pot. Best you be getting' along to bed now.

MERCYDAY:

Yes, ma. 'Night pa.

BELJOY:

'Night.

SOUND:

SHE WALKS AWAY?AS SHE DOES SHE CLUMPS?THE ROOM SHAKES

LUREEN (full beat then) You done right for her, and after a year or so...The Englishman might get used to her. Might even decide to stay here permanent.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE AND TO BACKGROUND

KENDALL:

This morning following my arrest, I was served an unusually tasty breakfast by an unusually beefy young woman named Mercyday Beljoy. Between giggles she managed to indicate that she admired foreigners. (BEAT) About an hour later I was taken, under guard, into Sheriff Beljoy's office.

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

LITTLE MOVEMENT ON WOOD

CB:

Here he is, Pa.

BELJOY (wheezing):

Kendall, I'm gonna come to point. If I can. Daughter, mine, Mercyday, 'n her mother, want you should learn her proper (WHEEZES) Boy, tell 'im. Tell 'im.

CB:

What Pa means, Mr Kendall, is that he's offering you a chance to be somebody around here. A trusty. Come and go as you like long as we have your word you won't run off.

BELJOY:

Yeah?

CB:

Now how about it? (Beat): You got somethin' to say, ain't cha?

KENDALL:

I have more than something to say. Sheriff, has it ever occurred to you that I might have friends, business associates and the like who will note my disappearance and start asking questions?

BELJOY (after Wheezing bit) Like who?

CB:

Yeah. Like who?

KENDALL:

For your information I happen to be a duly accredited correspondent of the London Times.

CB:

Now, what's that mean, Pa? Duly accre...accred...?

BELJOY:

Mean's his credit's good.

CB:

Oh, that so?

KENDALL:

That's not so. What it means is that the newspaper I work for expects to receive a journalistic report from me within the next fortnight. When they don't receive it...somebody's going to start asking questions...and when that happens they'll start looking for me.

CB:

Pa, they ain't gonna have much trouble findin' him. Why, those folks on the stage...

BELJOY:

They're long gone. (Laughs/wheeze)

C B:

But what about his writin's?

BELJOY:

They're gonna receive it same as usual. Only, Kendall...you write one word 'bout bein' in this predict...predict...mess...You won't get no food at no time. You won't get outta that cell.

CB:

That's it. Well, how about it Kendall? Now, you want to eat don't you? And that cell can get mighty small after bein' in it twenty four hours steady. Now, you gonna do what Pa wants you to...learn my little sister manners...and behave yourself? Or you gonna stay in your cell?

KENDALL:

I don't seem to have much of a choice, do I?

CB:

No, sir. You sure don't. (Laughs)

MUSIC:

UNDERSCORE

KENDALL:

The first lesson was arranged in the Beljoy backyard. I was escorted to the hourse..then turned loose in Mercyday's lair. She was eager...one can say that for her and she tried hard.

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

OUTDOOR NOISES BEHIND?STALE BIRD

MERCYDAY(giggles):

Mr Kendall, I jes love the way your lip curls up when you talk. Say it again for me.

KENDALL:

(embarrassed chuckle): How now brown cow.

MERCYDAY:

That's it. Ooooh, that's so purty. (SCREEN DOOR OPENS, SHUTS OFF) Oh, there's my ma. I want her to hear that piece. (CALLS RAUCOUSLY) Maaa! This man's learnin' me so good.

LUREEN (calls from off):

Fine, honey pot.

MERCYDAY (yells, raucously):

Hoawww noaaw browaaan coaaaw. Ain't that jes the stuff?

LUREEN (fading on) Tha's fine. She's doin' fine. Ain't she, mister?

KENDALL:

(trouble lying): Ah....well...why....quite nicely.

SOUND:

BRING LUREEN ON

LUREEN:

(coming on): What about her manners/ You ain't forgittin' her manners are ye?

MERCYDAY:

He sure ain't. He already done tol' me. A lady don' spit in front of a man. No matter how much she wants to.

LUREEN (stunned):

Well, I declare. What's she supposed to do?

MERCYDAY:

Tha's right. You didn't tell me that, Mister. What's she supposed to do?

MUSIC:

UNDERSCORE

KENDALL:

The lessons continued. And as the days passed my hope for an early rescue waned. Even if someone did some to Shoshone to inquire about me. Beljoy would deny ever having seen a journalist from England. And as for my reports to the Times...well, Mercyday was a good cook and I dislike going hungry...so the reports were sent off per contract...except for one small detail. Those mailed by Beljoy were almost verbatim copies of the first reports I sent home after arriving in this Western wilderness. Sooner or later someone would arrive to inquire about me. But when help did come---it was from an unexpected quarter.

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

BRING CB ON WOOD AND STOP HIM AS

CB:

(coming on) Kendall, you come on outta there. (SOUND: OPEN CELL BLOCK) My pa wants a talk with you.

SOUND WALK KENDALL FEW STEPS?CLOSE DO)

KENDALL:

Oh? What about?

SOUND:

WALK THEM ON WOOD UNDER

CB:

You'll see. 'N I sure pity you Why, he's sittin' in the office with a bottle of whiskey in front of him...his face so red looks like it's gonna explode. (SOUND KEEP THEM WALKING ON WOOD)

BELJOY (off):

Ornery! Consarned! Fool maker! Female stealer!

MERCYDAY (off):

No, Pa. He ain't none of them thangs.

SOUND:

OPEN DOOR AND TAKE THEM THROUGH IT; STOP THEM

BELJOY(comes on):

He ain't??? We'll see. You, Kendall. You, Kendall. Over here.

MERCYDAY:

Why, Mr Kendall, how charmin' to see you.

BELJOY:

You, Kendall...

CB:

Pa! Pa! Pa, 'fore you git started can I have a suck off that bottle?

BELJOY:

Boy...you git! Scat!

CB:

(runs off): Yes, sir.

SOUND:

OPEN AND CLOSE DOOR BEHIND HIM, OFF)

BELJOY:

Kendall, you miserable, female stealin', connivin' schemin'...

MERCYDAY:

Pa...he ain't...he ain't?isn't none of that. He loves me.

BELJOY:

He ain't in love, he's sick. Look at his face.

MERCYDAY:

But he does love me. Tell 'im, Mr Kendall.

KENDALL:

Mercyday...Sheriff...I...(pause)

MERCYDAY:

It's all right, honey. You jes speak up.

KENDALL:

Sheriff, I have no intentions honorable or otherwise toward your daughter.

MERCYDAY:

(raucous) Pa, you scared him. He can't say it to you like he did to me.

KENDALL:

I....said...what to you, Mercyday?

MERCYDAY:

How do I love thee. Let me count the ways.

KENDALL:

But that's poetry...

MERCYDAY:

Sure is. Prettiest thang I ever heard.

BELJOY:

Wait a minute! You really did say such words to my little girl, Kendall?

MERCYDAY:

He just admitted it.

KENDALL:

Well, yes. But that's part of your...

MERCYDAY:

Part of courtin' me, huh, honey pot? Pa, why don't you pronounce us man and wife right now?

MUSIC:

IN AND UNDER

KENDALL:

Later, much later, I returned to my cell. Still a bachelor, a state Mercyday seemed determined to change. Beljoy had ordered the lessons stopped. My privileges as a trusty rescinded. I was contemplating my dark future when I heard it...a scraping sound...just outside my cell.

SOUND:

SCRAPE THE PLASTER OR CEMENT OUTSIDE CELL WINDOW.

CHARLIE:

(off whispers) Kendall! You, Kendall, come over to the window.

SOUND:

WALK KENDALL

KENDALL:

Who is it?

CHARLIE:

(coming on): Me, Charlie, the driver.

KENDALL:

Thought you and everybody else had forgotten about me.

CHARLIE:

Nooo. Just waitin' for the right time. 'Sides, I couldn't do nothin' long as I was sittin' a top the stage. Had to wait for my day off which is now.

KENDALL :

Charlie, take a message to...

CHARLIE:

No, no. Don't fool with messages. I aim to get you outta there.

KENDALL:

If you do, I'll be in your debt for...

CHARLIE:

Hush all that jabber. Ain't time for it. Look, the stage leaves for Bear Claw in half an hour. And you're gonna be on it.

KENDALL:

How?

CHARLIE:

With this. You know how to use one of these don't you?

SFX:

SCRAP OF METAL AGAINST METAL, AS GUN IS PASSED THROUGH THE BARS

KENDALL:

(fervently): Oh, yes. Yes...

CHARLIE:

Good. Sheriff's gone to dinner?won't be back. Only CB's here. Uh...Just don't shoot anybody you don't have to. Oh, and remember?half an hour. You just be out front...wave. The stage'll stop?I won't be drivin' but it's all set so you can get aboard.

KENDALL:

Thanks, Charlie.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL

KENDALL:

(calls): Oh, Charlie? Charlie?

CHARLIE (off):

Yeah?

KENDALL:

Why are you doing this?

SOUND FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL (COMING BACK)

CHARLIE (comes back):

Mr Kendall, you won't believe this...but you know that little gal, that Mercyday?

KENDALL:

Ohhh.

CHARLIE:

You're ruinin' her. Teachin' her good manners and such. She thinks she's getting' too good for me. You keep on...she won't marry me ever.

MUSIC:

UNDERSCORE

KENDALL:

You know the saying...one man's meat is another's...well, you know it. (BEAT) Fifteen minutes later I walked to the door of my cell and yelled for CB. He responded...took one look at the gun in my hand and promptly agreed to surrender his gun and step into my cell; which I just as promptly locked. (BEAT) A few minutes later, the stage pulled up and I stepped aboard.

MUSIC:

UP FOR BRIDGE AND TO BACKGROUND.

KENDALL:

It wasn't until sometime after I returned to Bear Claw that I was told what had happened when Sheriff Beljoy learned of my escape. He was sitting on his back porch with Charlie, the driver.

MUSIC:

OUT

SOUND:

OUTDOOR NOISES BEHIND

CHARLIE:

So he lites out like a big saddle bird.

BELJOY:

(laughing, wheezing, guffaws): Boy...boy good. Fell for it, huh? Really thought he was escapin'...(guffaws) Oh...my... pussyfooter. (guffaws, then serious) Oh...oh, you Charlie...remember now. The women gotta think he really escaped.

CHARLIE:

Yes, sir. Don't worry, I'll remember.

BELJOY:

Good?ughhh...maybe...some day...you'll be assistant deputy...You like that, Charlie boy?

CHARLIE:

Like it? Yes, sir, Mr Beljoy. That'd be jes fine.

BELJOY:

Sticky females. Bad enough havin' 'em practise...manners...talkin' English...You know, Charlie boy...boy...I couldn't spit 'n front of 'em anymore.

CHARLIE:

No!

BELJOY:

Fact. And if you think I'd let that giggle-patch daughter mine marry up with somethin' like him...a pussyfootin' foreigner...Boy, you, driver, Charlie-boy...how you like to be my son in law, Charlie?

CHARLIE:

Why...Sheriff...Judge...

BELJOY:

Mayor...

CHARLIE:

Mayor. I'd like it jes fine..

BELJOY:

Good. Good. Yeah! (Laughs) Son-in-law...mine..Charlie boy...Good.

MUSIC:

TAG FOR SHOW

ANNCR:

FRONTIER GENTLEMAN was produced by the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound for REPS Showcase 9, and directed by Herb Ellis. The story was written by Charles B Smith. Featured in the cast were:

MUSIC:

THEME

ANNCR:

Join us again next week for another report from the FRONTIER GENTLEMAN. __________________speaking.

MUSIC:

THEME TO FILL.

(ORIGINAL: ANNCR: FRONTIER GENTLEMAN was produced and directed by Antony Ellis and stars John Dehner as JB Kendall. Mr Dehner was also heard as Sheriff Beljoy. The story was written by Charles B Smith. Featured in the cast were Richard Perkins, Virginia Gregg, Ron Meador, Jeanette Nolan, Harry Bartell and Stacy Harris)