Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Life of Riley
Show: The Haunted House
Date: Oct 29 1944

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
CHESTER A. RILEY, from Brooklyn; built like Boulder Dam, but tender as a lamb
JUNIOR, Riley's 13-year-old son
PEG, Riley's wife
DIGGER, Digby O'Dell, the friendly undertaker
MRS. SHERWIN, a young war widow

MUSIC:

FANFARE

ANNOUNCER:

Here he is! In the movie "Wake Island," he was the Brooklyn Marine. In "Abroad with Two Yanks," he's Biff, the private. But tonight he's just an overgrown kid anxiously waiting for Halloween--

RILEY:

I'll never forget. When I was just a boy, every Halloween my father used to stick me in the front window. We were too poor to buy a pumpkin. (LAUGHS) ...

ANNOUNCER:

The American Meat Institute presents William Bendix in THE LIFE OF RILEY.

MUSIC:

THEME

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

The Meat People of America, providing a great food, for a great nation. If you put all of America's meat retailers together in one city, it would make another city as big as Indianapolis. There are more than four hundred thousand meat retailers in this country. Another important link in the chain that gives you good fresh meat, every day, America.

MUSIC:

FANFARE

ANNOUNCER:

And now, on behalf of all those engaged in supplying meat to the nation, the American Meat Institute presents THE LIFE OF RILEY with William Bendix as Riley.

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

By day, Riley is engaged in the serious business of war production as a riveter in a California aircraft plant. But tonight we see his less serious side. It's two nights before Halloween and Riley is full of the spirit of the thing. It's quite dark out and Riley's son, Junior, is just returning from a meeting of the Young Wildcats, his club, in a very thoughtful mood.

SOUND:

JUNIOR'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH, THEN STOP WITH--

JUNIOR:

(STARTLED GASP) Is - is that you, Pop?

RILEY:

(LOW) Sssshh! Yeah, Junior.

JUNIOR:

What are you doin' hidin' on the back porch?

RILEY:

Listen. Peek in the kitchen window and see what your mother's doin'.

JUNIOR:

She's washing the supper dishes. Say, pop, what're you doing with that false face on? You're Mickey Mouse, huh?

RILEY:

No, I'm not Mickey Mouse. I'm "The Rat Man of Bloodbucket Castle."

JUNIOR:

Oh, well, at the dime store they sell those false faces for Mickey Mouse.

RILEY:

Never mind that. Bet your mother'll think I'm "The Rat Man."

JUNIOR:

Oh, you're gonna play a trick on mom?

RILEY:

Yeah. Y'see, last night we saw a horror picture, about a nice gruesome character, "The Rat Man." He was a vampire. Has lunch on people's necks.

JUNIOR:

Oh, he ain't a rat. He's a bat.

RILEY:

Oh. Well, he's very depressing. Anyway, afterwards, your mom was so scared somethin'd pop out of a doorway at her, she walked all the way home in the middle of the street. (CHUCKLES)

JUNIOR:

Mom said you made her walk out there.

RILEY:

Naw, I-- ... I just invited her out in the street because it ain't polite to leave a lady walking on the sidewalk all alone. ... (EAGER) You watch now, when I scratch at the door, she opens it up and sees me in this thing.

JUNIOR:

Okay, pop. Go ahead.

RILEY:

Okay. All I hope is she don't faint. Watch now. (ATTEMPTS AN EERIE MOAN)

JUNIOR:

Pop?

RILEY:

What?

JUNIOR:

Bats don't growl. They squeak.

RILEY:

Oh, yeah. That's right. (ATTEMPTS A HIGH-PITCHED MOAN)

SOUND:

WINDOW SLIDES OPEN

PEG:

Who's there?

RILEY:

(LOW, TO JUNIOR) We got her guessin'! (CHUCKLES) ... (ANOTHER HIGH-PITCHED MOAN)

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

PEG:

Well, I never! It's Mickey Mouse! (LAUGHS MERRILY) ... Junior? Junior, go get your father some cheese. ...

JUNIOR:

(SARCASTIC) Ha ha! You sure fooled her, pop!

RILEY:

(DISAPPOINTED) Yeah. (BLUSTER) Well, they don't make these masks as good as they used to. Or else maybe I got a very strong personality and it leaks through.

PEG:

Well, isn't it a little early for Halloween tricks, Riley?

RILEY:

Well, it don't hurt to get a head start. Halloween's my favorite holiday. Look, Junior. Here's something else I bought at the five and dime. See this book? Ghost stories.

JUNIOR:

(HESITANT) Oh, thanks, pop, but -- I don't want to read any ghost stories tonight.

RILEY:

What's the matter? You don't believe in ghosts, do you?

JUNIOR:

Naw. I don't believe in ghosts. But I don't want to read anything that might change my mind. (MOVING OFF) Too many people think there's ghosts now.

RILEY:

(TO PEG) Say, dumplin', what's the matter with him?

PEG:

Well, I don't know. Ever since he came home from school today, he's been asking me if I believe in haunted houses.

RILEY:

Heh. What a question. With the housing shortage as sure as it is, who's gonna leave a house empty for spooks?

PEG:

Well, there's one empty house up on Chestnut Hill, Riley. You know, the old Sherwin place.

RILEY:

Oh.

PEG:

Some people say that's haunted.

RILEY:

Yeah?

PEG:

Mrs. Cornwell claims she saw a pale white face at the window, too.

RILEY:

(NERVOUS) Yeah?

PEG:

Mm hmm. Oh, but Mrs. Cornwell's a great one for ghosts. She's always holding sťances and things like that.

RILEY:

Yeah, yeah. That Cornwell kid's in Junior's club, too. I bet he's got our boy believin' in ghosts. Well, I'm gonna have a head-to-head talk with Junior.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

RILEY:

So you see, Junior, if I tell you there's no ghosts, you can take my word for it. After all, I've been your father for thirteen years, ain't I?

JUNIOR:

Oh, sure, pop.

RILEY:

Uh huh.

JUNIOR:

But if there aren't any ghosts, what haunts haunted houses?

RILEY:

Listen, Junior, nothin' haunts haunted houses!

JUNIOR:

Oh, yes, they do, pop. Johnny Cornwell's mother proved a house was haunted.

RILEY:

How did she?

JUNIOR:

She said she saw a ghost's face. In the window.

RILEY:

Bah!

JUNIOR:

In the old Sherwin house. It was a horrible face, too!

RILEY:

Go on. Mrs. Cornwell musta seen her own reflection. ... There's a dame should walk into a room backwards and break her face to you slowly. ...

JUNIOR:

Then, pop-- Then she came home and held a sťance. She asked if what she saw was the ghost of Alice Sherwin. And she got three raps on the table. That means "yes" in ghost language.

RILEY:

Fine language. All they can do is knock. They ought to be newspaper columnists. (LAUGHS AT HIS OWN JOKE)

JUNIOR:

You better not make fun of ghosts, pop.

RILEY:

Look, Junior -- would you sooner believe a ghost than your old man?

JUNIOR:

No, pop.

RILEY:

Well--?

JUNIOR:

But if the ghost said it was a ghost, it ought to know.

RILEY:

Okay, I can see you're a septic. ... Now, we'll have a see-ance right here to prove what Mrs. Cornwell saw wasn't that Sherwin girl's ghost. Come on, put your hands up on this table. Go on.

JUNIOR:

Gosh, pop. Are you gonna ask a ghost to rap?

RILEY:

I'll show ya. I'll put my hands on there, too. See? Okay, now, I'll ask somethin'. (LOUD) Are there any ghosts?! (NO ANSWER) See? No answer, no ghosts.

JUNIOR:

Naw, pop. You have to ask for raps. Two means "no," three raps means "yes."

RILEY:

Oh. Well, okay. (CALLS) Two raps for "no," three for "yes"! (TO JUNIOR) I'll ask 'em again. (CALLS) Did Mrs. Cornwell see a ghost up at Sherwin's old haunted house?

SOUND:

TWO RAPS

JUNIOR:

Gosh, pop. It said, "No."

RILEY:

See? That proves it. Mrs. Cornwell's a phony. ...

JUNIOR:

Well, ask 'em again if there are any ghosts.

RILEY:

Okay. (CALLS) Are there any ghosts? Rap two for "no."

SOUND:

TWO RAPS

RILEY:

See that? The ghosts themselves say there aren't any ghosts. That proves it! ...

JUNIOR:

Wait a minute, pop!

RILEY:

Huh?

JUNIOR:

How could a ghost rap two for "no" if there aren't any ghosts?

RILEY:

Well, that's very simple, uh, uh-- ... (LAUGHS) I was just kiddin', sonny. I did that rappin' myself. Honest.

JUNIOR:

Well, your hands were on the table.

RILEY:

Yeah, but my feet weren't. Lookit. I just kicked up under the table with my foot like this.

SOUND:

TWO RAPS

JUNIOR:

Aw, pop. I bet you wouldn't kid around like that in a gen-yoo-wine haunted house like the Sherwin place.

RILEY:

Why, sure I would. Only I can't because I ain't goin' there.

JUNIOR:

Would you be scared to go if you were goin'?

RILEY:

Me? No.

JUNIOR:

That's good, pop. Now I ain't scared to go neither.

RILEY:

How do you mean?

JUNIOR:

Well, down at my club tonight, we got to talkin' what we'd do Halloween. So we made it up we'd go find out if Sherwin's old house was haunted or if it wasn't.

RILEY:

Yeah? I pity any ghosts when them Young Wildcats get in that house.

JUNIOR:

Oh, we ain't all going inside, pop. Just one of us got elected to go inside -- the poor guy who got the short straw.

RILEY:

Heh! Who got it?

JUNIOR:

Well, er-- I did.

RILEY:

I see. Well, Junior, you show 'em you know there aren't any ghosts in there. I'm proud of you, Junior, walkin' in there all alone. I think that's a--

JUNIOR:

Well, I won't be all alone. I made up a rule -- the fella who had to go in could take in another fella. His best friend.

RILEY:

Well, that's okay, too. If the guy you picked is a real friend, he'll go like a shot. Who'd you pick?

JUNIOR:

I picked you, pop.

RILEY:

Well, I bet that-- (REALIZES) Ahhh-- ... Ahhhh-- Me?! Uh, look, Junior, I'm prob'ly gonna be very busy and, besides, I--

JUNIOR:

Pop! You ain't scared to go, are ya?

RILEY:

Well, no. But, uh--

JUNIOR:

And you are my best friend, aren't ya?

RILEY:

Huh? ... Well, yeah, I guess I am. Actually, the sayin' is that "Your mother is your best friend."

JUNIOR:

Well, I couldn't ask mom to go. And I'm sure glad you're comin' with me.

RILEY:

(UNCONVINCING, LOW) Yeah. Me, too, Junior.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

RILEY:

(READS) "Chapter Thirteen. As Lord Twitcher stood there in the dark hall of the great lonely house, he could feel something evil in the very air. A cold wind brushed his cheek and an icy hand seemed to touch his spine. Suddenly, he saw -- the Thing. And then he heard a sound -- a low wailing sound."

SOUND:

DOOR ABRUPTLY OPENS

RILEY:

(COMICAL STARTLED EXCLAMATION) ... Who's that?

PEG:

It's only me, dear. Did I startle you?

RILEY:

(SELF-CONSCIOUS CHUCKLE) Oh. No. Naw, I was - just readin' this book here.

PEG:

Ohhh. The ghost stories you bought Junior, huh?

RILEY:

Yeah. (FORCED LAUGH, UNCONVINCING) Such nonsense. ...

PEG:

(SIGHS) My, it's a quiet Halloween, isn't it?

RILEY:

Yeah.

PEG:

Wonder what all those boys in Junior's club are doing tonight.

RILEY:

I know what they're doin'. They're all sittin' over across from our house right now on the fence. Like a row of buzzards, waitin' for us to come out.

PEG:

Oh. Are they going to the house with you?

RILEY:

No, they're goin' as far as the gate of the place to make sure we go in.

PEG:

Oh, but you're not nervous about going, are you, dear? You don't believe in ghosts.

RILEY:

Well, no. You don't believe in them either. Do you, Peg?

PEG:

No. But, uh-- There is something queer about that house.

RILEY:

Huh?

PEG:

I wonder what did become of that poor Alice Sherwin.

RILEY:

Well, if nobody knows, I don't want to find out. ... What did they say happened to her?

PEG:

Oh, awfully sad story. She was a bride, you know; beautiful girl. Well, they were on their honeymoon in Manila. He was a captain in the Navy. She and her husband were going to come home and live in that old house. Then, well, he was lost in an air raid. Some say they were both killed together. Others say that she followed him because she didn't want to live without him. Well, anyhow, the house stands there empty -- waiting for the bride and bridegroom that never came to live in it.

RILEY:

People ought to leave the place alone. (BEAT) And I'm one of the people! ...

PEG:

Well, after you go there tonight, maybe people will stop talking and gossiping about the house -- because you'll prove there's nothing there.

RILEY:

Yeah. Maybe. What was all that talk about seein' lights and faces around the place?

PEG:

Oh, just talk, I suppose.

RILEY:

Yeah.

PEG:

But they do say that they saw a woman's figure at the window. In the attic.

JUNIOR:

Pop?

RILEY:

(COMICAL STARTLED EXCLAMATION) ... Junior! What's the idea o' sneaking in like that?

JUNIOR:

It's - time to go, pop.

RILEY:

I-- Huh? ... Oh. Well-- Yeah. Well-- Okay, Junior. (TO PEG) Goodbye, dumplin'.

PEG:

Goodbye, boys.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES ... RILEY AND JUNIOR'S FOOTSTEPS

JUNIOR:

It's sure dark out. Isn't it, pop?

RILEY:

Yeah.

JUNIOR:

Pop?

RILEY:

What?

JUNIOR:

That Sherwin house we're goin' to, it - it can't be really haunted, can it?

RILEY:

No. No.

JUNIOR:

But -- it's funny that people have seen a ghost in there.

RILEY:

Yeah, well, look, Junior. When we get in that house, you do just like I do and you won't see no ghosts.

JUNIOR:

Oh. What are you gonna do, pop?

RILEY:

I'm gonna keep my eyes shut! ...

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

Well, not even nervous Riley has any idea of what's in store for him as he and Junior head for the mysterious old Sherwin place. We'll rejoin them in just a moment. Right now, this is Ken Niles, speaking for meat.

The other day in a meat market, Mrs. Niles overheard a woman say, "Joe? I hear all this talk about braising meat. But just what meats do you braise?" Well, Joe, the meat man, told her, of course. And out of that comes this excellent thought. Maybe some of you would like a little review of the braising cuts of beef.

Well, in the first place, braising is an ideal way of preparing the lean point-free beef coming on the market these days, in order to bring out all its fine flavor and tenderness.

And here are the favorite braising cuts -- popular pot roast, juicy Swiss steak, tasty flank chops, easily-cooked short ribs, country fried steak-- Oh, but why go on? My mouth is watering so much, I can hardly talk now. But, remember, braising is long cooking over low heat. And that's the way to good gravy, too.

After all, whether you braise, roast or broil meat, you are getting essential highest quality proteins, (PRONOUNCED PRO-tee-yins) for which meat is nutritionally noted. Meat is a yardstick of protein foods because meat measures up to every protein need.

MUSIC:

FANFARE

ANNOUNCER:

And now back to THE LIFE OF RILEY with William Bendix as Riley.

MUSIC:

THEME

SOUND:

OMINOUS BELL TOLLS, BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

It's just midnight -- a very dark midnight. Even the moon is hiding on this Halloween. Riley and his son Junior are just approaching the rusty iron gate that guards the old Sherwin house, which is said to be haunted. Listen--

JUNIOR:

Here's the gate, pop. Let's go in.

RILEY:

(NERVOUS) Uh, maybe the gate's locked so we can't get in. Gee, wouldn't that be too bad, huh? ...

JUNIOR:

We've got to get in, pop. The gang's followed us all the way from town and they're still watchin'.

RILEY:

Ah, yeah. They trail us like sharks after a sinkin' ship.

JUNIOR:

Well, let's go in, pop.

RILEY:

Okay.

SOUND:

SQUEAKING! OF RUSTY IRON GATE

RILEY:

Wait. What's that?

JUNIOR:

The gate. The hinges are all rusty.

RILEY:

Maybe we ought to go back to town and get some oil, huh? ...

JUNIOR:

Come on in the garden, pop. Gosh, it's dark!

RILEY:

Yeah. Well, follow me, Junior.

JUNIOR:

Where are ya?

RILEY:

Right behind you. ... Here. Give me your hand.

JUNIOR:

I see the house, pop. The moon's coming out of a cloud.

RILEY:

Yeah. (BEAT) Junior?

JUNIOR:

Huh?

RILEY:

What's that over there?

JUNIOR:

Hm? I - I think that's your shadow, pop. ...

RILEY:

If that's my shadow, why is it movin' while I'm standin' still? ...

JUNIOR:

Pop! It's comin' this way!

SOUND:

DIGGER'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

RILEY:

And since when does a shadow make footsteps?

DIGGER:

Good evening, Riley.

RILEY:

(COMICAL STARTLED EXCLAMATION) Come on, Junior!

JUNIOR:

Oh, wait, pop! It's your friend, Mr. O'Dell, the undertaker.

RILEY:

I-- D'oh! ... Oh. (NERVOUS CHUCKLE) Oh, yeah. (RELIEVED) Oh, how are ya, Digger? I never thought I'd be glad to see an undertaker.

DIGGER:

You're looking fine, Riley. Very natural. ... Tell me, what are you doing here around the old Sherwin house?

RILEY:

Oh, uh-- Well, nothin', Digger. We're just having some fun on Halloween.

DIGGER:

Ah, Halloween. I adore Halloween. It's so gay! ...

RILEY:

Digger, do you hang around this old house much?

DIGGER:

Oh, yes, indeed. It's one of my favorite haunts.

RILEY:

Haunts? Listen -- you don't think there's anything in there, do you?

DIGGER:

Who knows? Sometimes as I stroll through this old garden, I feel unseen eyes follow me.

RILEY:

You do, huh?

DIGGER:

Riley, you're not going inside the house?

RILEY:

Well, we thought we might drop in a minute. I could be talked out of it. ...

DIGGER:

Take my advice, Riley. Remain outside. Enjoy the beautiful flowers. They're my favorite flowers -- lilies. ...

RILEY:

Digger, when you talk about lilies, please don't stare at my chest. ...

DIGGER:

Strange how some people have no interest in horticulture. In my profession, we have a saying. "You may not like flowers at first, but eventually they grow on you." ... By the way, Riley. How tall are you? ...

RILEY:

Well, I'm about five feet, uh-- Uh, why?

DIGGER:

I'd like to borrow your overcoat Saturday -- to wear at the football game.

RILEY:

Oh. (CHUCKLES, RELIEVED) Sure, sure.

DIGGER:

I'll pick it up at one o'clock.

RILEY:

Uh huh.

DIGGER:

I want to get to the game before they kick off. ... Farewell, Riley! (MOVES OFF, SINGING) "Oh, bury me not -- on the lone prairie--"

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

JUNIOR:

Here's the door to the house, pop. It's open.

RILEY:

Well, leave it open. Wide.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS WIDER, WITH A CREAK

RILEY:

Well, one thing, Junior, nobody'll never be able to say your old man was a coward. Let's go in.

SOUND:

THREE STEPS ON SQUEAKY WOODEN FLOORBOARDS

RILEY:

Now let's go out. ...

JUNIOR:

Wait, pop. We've only been in one room. We're supposed to go through the whole house.

RILEY:

As far as I'm concerned, this is a one-room house. Come on.

JUNIOR:

Oh, wait, pop.

RILEY:

What for? I--

JUNIOR:

I told the kids you didn't believe in ghosts. And I said we'd have another sťance, like we did at home.

RILEY:

Junior, a blood relationship can only be stretched so far! ...

JUNIOR:

Oh, pop, you said you'd do it in a haunted house, and if we didn't hear anything, it would prove there wasn't any -- you know -- around here.

RILEY:

I already proved there wasn't any -- you know -- around here.

JUNIOR:

Well, you didn't do it right.

RILEY:

Well, I--

JUNIOR:

I found out, for a sťance, the medium has to be tied in a chair, so it can't pull no tricks.

RILEY:

(CONFIDENT) Well, okay, Junior. I'd be glad to let you tie me up. Only there ain't no rope! (TRIUMPHANT) Ha ha ha! Too bad.

JUNIOR:

I brought some rope, pop. ...

RILEY:

That was swell of you, Junior. I'll remember this. Go ahead, tie me.

MUSIC:

BRIEF TRANSITION

JUNIOR:

There. Can you move your hands or feet?

RILEY:

No. You tied me so tight, gangrene is settin' in. ... Now, stand over by the window where I can see you.

JUNIOR:

Here I am, pop.

RILEY:

Ah, you'll see, Junior, there won't be any raps this time!

JUNIOR:

I hope you're right, pop.

RILEY:

Course I'm right. How can there be any raps when I'm tied up too tight to rap? And I also got my eye on you.

JUNIOR:

Go ahead, then. Ask if there's any ghosts here.

RILEY:

Okay, now. (CALLS) If there's any ghosts here, rap two times. If there ain't, don't bother! (NO ANSWER) Huh. Hm. No raps.

JUNIOR:

Now say, if there are any ghosts, to rap three times.

RILEY:

Well, okay, but there won't be any. (CALLS) If there are any ghosts, rap three times!

SOUND:

THREE RAPS

RILEY:

(NERVOUS) Uh-- Uh-- Junior, did - did you do that?

JUNIOR:

I - I didn't. Didn't you?

RILEY:

Frankly, no. ...

SOUND:

WINDOW OPENED

RILEY:

Junior? Where you goin'?

JUNIOR:

Out the window! Come on!

RILEY:

No! Come back! Untie me, Junior! I can't get this chair through that window! Junior! ...

JUNIOR:

(PAUSE) Pop!

RILEY:

What?!

JUNIOR:

Pop, I can't get the knots loose! (MOVING OFF) I better go get a knife.

RILEY:

Junior, don't go! (NO RESPONSE) Don't forget to come back. (TO HIMSELF) I had to open my big mouth for raps and I got raps. Fine thing, all alone in a house with a--

SOUND:

MRS. SHERWIN'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH ON SQUEAKY FLOORBOARDS

RILEY:

(SCARED) Huh? What's that? Who - who's that?

MRS. SHERWIN:

(QUIET, SAD) What are you doing in my house?

RILEY:

I - I must be goin' crazy.

MRS. SHERWIN:

Why did you come here?

RILEY:

I - I wouldn't stay, lady, only I - got tied up. ...

MRS. SHERWIN:

I will loosen the knots.

RILEY:

(RELIEVED) Well, thanks. Who - who are you?

MRS. SHERWIN:

I am - Alice Sherwin.

RILEY:

Now I know I'm crazy. I'm talkin' to a ghost.

JUNIOR:

(FROM OFF) Pop! I'm comin'!

RILEY:

Well, Junior--!

MRS. SHERWIN:

Please. Don't tell anyone I'm here. (MOVING OFF) I - I only want to be left alone -- here in my house.

SOUND:

JUNIOR'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS ON SQUEAKY FLOOR

JUNIOR:

I got a knife and-- Pop! You're untied!

RILEY:

Yeah. And it was a ghost that done it. Wait a minute. Her hands! They weren't no ghost's hands. Junior, you go outside and wait for me.

JUNIOR:

What are you gonna do, pop?

RILEY:

I'm - gonna have another talk with that - that lady ghost.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

MRS. SHERWIN:

Why did you want to see me, Mr. Riley?

RILEY:

(GENTLE BUT NERVOUS) Well, when I - I figured out you wasn't a ghost, I got to thinkin' how lonesome you must be in this house all alone. So I thought maybe you'd like to take a stroll over to my house and meet my family?

MRS. SHERWIN:

Oh. Thank you, but I--

RILEY:

Oh, if you'd rather not talk, I'll go away.

MRS. SHERWIN:

No. Don't go yet. I mustn't be rude to my first guest in so long.

RILEY:

Well, thanks. Must be kind of a shock when the first man you see in so long looks like I do. ...

MRS. SHERWIN:

Tell me about your family, Mr. Riley.

RILEY:

Well, my family's named Riley, after me. ... Very nice people, too. That was my son, Junior, that was with me tonight.

MRS. SHERWIN:

It must be wonderful to have a son.

RILEY:

Oh, it's great. I got a daughter, too. A girl. ... She's - she's sixteen now. The boy's thirteen, but gettin' older all the time. ... Then there's - there's Peg. That's my wife. She's older than the kids, but younger than me. ... Say, in that picture of you over the fireplace, I guess that fellow with you, that's - your husband, huh?

MRS. SHERWIN:

Yes. That's Robert.

RILEY:

He's a good lookin' fella. Maybe you'd rather not talk about him, though.

MRS. SHERWIN:

Silence won't bring him back.

RILEY:

My wife told me about what - what happened. Course she didn't know the part about your being here.

MRS. SHERWIN:

I don't want anyone to know. I want to stay here. Alone. With his memory. It's the least I can do, in loyalty to him.

RILEY:

Oh. You mean, you think that's what he'd want you to do?

MRS. SHERWIN:

Of course. Does that surprise you?

RILEY:

Well, yes, ma'am, it does. I didn't know him, but, from his picture there, I know he was a swell guy. I wouldn't think he'd want you locked up here, throwin' the rest of your life away.

MRS. SHERWIN:

Do you think any man wants the wife he loved to forget him in - in a year? Or ever?

RILEY:

Well, no, but there's - there's different ways of rememberin'.

MRS. SHERWIN:

I don't understand.

RILEY:

You - you can make his dyin' count for somethin'. By helpin' to beat the people who started this war and teachin' the world that it won't pay to ever start another.

MRS. SHERWIN:

You think that I could help end this war?

RILEY:

Sure. Everybody can do somethin'. The only thing a person can't do is - is do nothin'.

MRS. SHERWIN:

Oh, I - I guess you think I've been very selfish, Mr. Riley.

RILEY:

Oh, no. No, you've been shut up in this empty house. You just didn't know what was goin' on. The people I can't understand are the ones who do know -- and still don't care. Those people live in something worse than an empty house. They live in an empty brain.

MRS. SHERWIN:

Well, I'm not one of them, Mr. Riley. You - you've given me something to think about. And I'm very grateful.

RILEY:

Ah, well, gee, that's fine. Well-- Well, I guess I'll be goin'. I - I'm sure glad you ain't no ghost. Course, I ain't actually scared of ghosts, because I know there ain't no ghosts. (BEAT) Are there? ...

MRS. SHERWIN:

Of course not.

RILEY:

But, you know, Mrs. Sherwin, it - it is kind of dark out in that garden, isn't it? Would you - mind walkin' me to the gate?

MUSIC:

FOR A FINISH

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

The Rileys will be back in a moment. Well, I think we can all agree with Riley that none of us here at home can sit this war out. The war isn't over in Europe. The war isn't over in the South Pacific. And the war isn't over in America's kitchens. You women, who have signed up for the duration to keep health-giving meals on America's tables, just can't pick out the meats you want and be sure of getting it every time, these days. The needs of war are bound to make the varieties and quantities your meat man has vary from day to day. So let's all make good meals out of whatever meats are on hand. And remember this. All meats, regardless of cut or kind, have the same complete, highest quality, good-eating proteins that make meat a yardstick of protein foods. This statement, and all statements regarding the nutritional value of meat made on this program, are accepted by the Council on Foods and Nutrition of the American Medical Association.

MUSIC:

THEME

RILEY:

Hiya, dumplin'. Hey, I got some big news about Halloween.

PEG:

Yes?

RILEY:

Well, you know, I think I'm gonna open up a one-man recruiting outfit. I'm gonna recruit WAVES, WACS, SPARS and spooks! Heh, heh.

MUSIC:

THEME

ANNOUNCER:

Tune in to THE LIFE OF RILEY starring William Bendix next week at this time. This is Ken Niles saying "See you next week"! This is the Blue network.

LOCAL ANNCR:

Seven-Thirty, KECA, Los Angeles.