Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The Whistler
Show: Urge To Kill
Date: Oct 04 1942

Announcer:

Wait a minute! Have you heard the strange tales of The Whistler?

MFX:

INTRO MUSIC & WHISTLING THEN STING

The Whistler:

I'm the Whistler!

MFX:

STING TO SHORT BRIDGE DOWN AND OUT

Henry Drake:

I.....I get a terrible feeling of depression, then this awful urge comes upon me. (pause) (emphatically) The urge to HURT someone! The urge to inflict pain! (almost demonic) THE URGE TO KILL!

MFX:

DRAMATIC BRIDGE

Announcer:

Another Sunday night, and again CBS presents, THE WHISTLER!

MFX:

SPOOKY FLUTE INTERLUDE UNDER THE FOLLOWING

The Whistler:

I, the Whistler, know many things, for I walk by night. (softer) I know many strange tales. Many secrets hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak! (pause) And so, I tell you tonight the unusual tale, THE URGE TO KILL. (pause) Henry Drake sits in his big office, staring out over the smoking stacks of his busy factory. Production is at its peak. The demands of the past year have brought untold problems to his desk, and placed heavy loads on his shoulders. Henry Drake and his partner, Philip Putnam, had started this factory five years ago, and had built it into a smooth-running, highly profitable organization. And now, the added demands of war have more than trebled the production, AND the worries as well. Phil had put up most of the money, and Henry, the brains.

MFX:

OUT

The Whistler:

It was Henry who always had to make the decisions. (pause) (more sinister) But now, something is happening to Henry. He is beginning to slip. His memory is playing tricks on him.

SFX: DOOR OPENING (pause) THEN SHUT

Ethel:

(cheerfully) Oh! Good morning, Mister Drake!

Henry:

(slightly surprised) Oh.....good morning Ethel.

Ethel:

Mister Putnam wants to know if you studied those contracts last night.

Henry:

(slowly and confused) Contracts? What contracts?

Ethel:

(amazed he didn't remember) Why, the ones he gave you last night. You said you'd take them home. (pause) They must be signed by noon.

Henry: (still slow and confused) Contracts? Why.......I don't know what you're talking about. When did Phil give me any contracts?

Ethel:

(now quite surprised) Why.....why just before you left last evening.

Henry:

Hmmmm...welllllll, that's funny....

Ethel:

(interrupting) Don't you remember?

Henry:

What? Remember? uhhh.....welll.... yes...yes I DO remember now. (slight chuckle) (assured) Yes! Yes, of course!

Ethel:

Well, may I have them?

Henry:

(slightly embarrassed) Welllll (pause) Let me see.....

SFX:

PAPERS BEING SHUFFLED

Henry:

What on Earth did I do with them? (pause) Uhhhh, tell mister Putnam to step in here.

Ethel:

Yes, Mister Drake.

SFX: DOOR OPENING

Ethel:

(off mic) Mister Drake would like to see you, Mister Putnam.

Phil:

(off mic) I'll be right in.

Henry:

I'll ring if I need you, Ethel.

Ethel:

All right.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSING

Phil:

(coming up to mic) Good morning, Henry! What's up?

Henry:

Why....errr.... about those contracts you gave me yesterday evening, just what were they about?

Phil:

What? What'dya mean? Haven't you read them?

Henry:

(slowly) No...........No I haven't.

Phil:

(slightly annoyed) Good heavens, man! They were supposed to be signed by noon today and it's ten o'clock now! Now where are they?

Henry: (fearful) I...I don't know WHERE they are, Phil....I .... I can't find them. I'm sure I didn't take them home.

Phil:

Oh, you MUST have!

Henry:

Strange.....I can't remember a thing about them.

Phil: Well (pause) What did you do after you left here? Where did you go?

Henry:

Well, I went home...that is, I THINK I did.

Phil:

THINK you did! What's the matter with you, Henry?

Henry:

(scared) I don't know, Phil. I can't seem to recall a thing I did last evening.

Phil:

Are you kidding?

Henry:

(angry) CERTAINLY NOT! Why should I kid about such a thing?

Phil:

Well, don't get sore about it. Certainly ridiculous....this is a serious situation.

Henry:

(calmly) I know, Phil. (pause) I know that better than you do.

Phil:

(urging) Well, call your home! They've gotta be there! Have Rita send them over by special messenger.

SFX:

INTERCOM SWITCH CLICK ON

Ethel:

(on phone) Yes sir?

Phil:

Get Mrs. Drake on the phone.

SFX:

INTERCOM SWITCH CLICK OFF

Phil:

(compassionate) You don't look very well, Henry, you're as pale as a ghost. Look at the perspiration! What's wrong with you, man?

Henry: I...I...I don't know! (more fearful) I really don't know! I feel terrible, and....my eyes are bothering me. (pause) Bright flashes keep passing in front of me, and my ears throb.

SFX:

TELEPHONE RINGS ONCE THEN RECEIVER PICK UP

Phil:

Hello? Oh, Rita, this is Phil. (pause) Henry brought a contract home to study last evening. Look around, and see if you can find it, OK? (pause) Yes, it's very important. (pause) It's in a blue binder, about 20 pages. (pause) What? (pause) I see. Thanks. She's in the library now. (long pause) Yes? (pause) You can't? (pause) Yes...I see! Really? (pause) Well, all right...call me back.

SFX:

PHONE BEING HUNG UP

Henry:

(fearful) Well? What about it?

Phil:

You have no idea what happened to you after you left here last evening at six?

Henry:

Did I leave at six?

Phil:

Certainly! So did I. (long pause) She said you didn't come home for dinner. She decided to go to the opera. And when she came back at twelve, you didn't come in until one. Said your shoes and trousers were all covered with mud. And you went straight to bed.

Henry: Was it raining last night?

Phil:

Of course it was.

Henry:

I don't remember that!

Phil:

Rita's going to look in the coat and suit you were wearing last night. She'll call me back.

Henry:

(fearful) What on Earth is happening to me? (getting angry) Where could I have GONE?

SFX:

TELELPHONE RINGS ONCE, THEN RECEIVER PICK UP

Phil:

Yes? (pause) Yes, Rita! (pause) Oh, you couldn't. (dejected) I see. (pause) Very well, thank you. Goodbye.

SFX:

PHONE BEING HUNG UP

Phil:

(very concerned) Not a trace of the contract! Now what?

Henry:

Phil... Phil, I've GOT to tell you this: This isn't the first time this has happened. It's been going on for weeks. About twice every week, a terrible depression comes over me, and then when I wake up, I can't for the life of me remember what happened the night before!

Phil:

(sympathetic) Well, maybe the strain has been too much. You'd better see a doctor at once, Henry.

Henry: Oh, I KNOW I should, but..... but I'm AFRAID TO!

Phil:

Why?

Henry:

(scared) I...I'm afraid of what he might tell me.

Phil:

(chuckling) NONSENSE! Go and see a doctor right now. I'll go down to your place and search it from top to bottom.

Henry:

(somewhat relieved) Very well, Phil. I'll go now. (pause) I'll be back as soon as I can.

MFX:

TRANSITION

The Whistler:

Henry stumbles in a daze from his office, walks about the city for an hour trying to make up his mind to see a doctor. He doesn't have the courage to tell his own doctor, so he finally decides to visit a psychiatrist....

MFX:

SHORT SOMBER INTERLUDE UNDER THE FOLLOWING

The Whistler:

Then he remembers the name of one of the most famous in the country: Doctor Shultz, the state psychiatrist.

MFX:

FADE INTERLUDE DURING FOLLOWING

Henry:

I know you're not a general practitioner, Doctor Shultz... ahhh... and as the state psychiatrist, I know you're a busy man. But I've read a few of your books, and I thought you'd be willing to help me.

Dr. Shultz: Well, ordinarily, I wouldn't , Mister Drake. But I know who you are, and what you've been doing. I'll do what I can.

Henry:

(relieved) Thank you, doctor!

Dr. Shultz: You say you have lapses of memory?

Henry:

Yes, I wake up in the morning and can't remember what happened the night before. In the morning I have headaches, and see strange flashes before my eyes, and hear throbbing noises.

Dr. Shultz:

How often does this occur?

Henry:

About twice a week. But I remember everything I do during the day!

Dr. Shultz:

(interested) Uh huh. Have you ever had a serious ailment?

Henry:

No.

Dr. Shultz:

Ever had an accident? Anything that might have caused a concussion?

Henry: Well, not that I remember. I...I may have had as a child.

Dr. Shultz:

Hmmmm. Have you been working under an exceptional mental strain?

Henry:

(apologetic) Yes...... (more assured) Yes I have. The pressure has been more than doubled. For the last year the problems have been so heavy that I've been unable to sleep. I've studied them until dawn, until finally I was unable to remember them!

Dr. Shultz:

Hmm You don't go to sleep easily?

Henry:

No...no, not until very late. (pause) From all appearances, I wonder about until 1 O'Clock in the morning. Where? I don't know.

Dr. Shultz: You're married?

Henry:

Why, yes.

Dr. Shultz:

And what does your wife think of your strange behavior?

Henry:

(nervous laugh) Naturally, she doesn't like it. (pause) She says I walk in and go to bed without saying a word. So now, she doesn't even ASK where I've been.

Dr. Shultz:

Are you and your wife incompatible?

Henry:

Well, somewhat....

Dr. Shultz:

Have you ever been interested in another woman?

Henry:

(emphatic) I have not!

Dr. Shultz:

Any children?

Henry:

No

Dr. Shultz:

Hmm Have you ever been caught in a predicament where you were forced to do something dishonest in order to escape a severe penalty?

Henry:

(defensive) Well, whatdya mean?

Dr. Shultz; Well...ahhhh...I'll put it another way. Do you fear anything or anybody?

Henry: (pause as if thinking) (dismissively) No.

Dr. Shultz:

Do you hate anything or anybody?

Henry:

(quietly) YES! (pause) Lately, I dislike my work, my business intensely!

Dr. Shultz: Why?

Henry:

(getting angry) I don't know why. Maybe I've had too much of it.

Dr. Shultz: Hmmm Who is closest to you in your work?

Henry:

Well, I have a partner, and we have a secretary.

Dr. Shultz:

And who are they?

Henry:

My partner is Philip Putnam, my secretary is Ethel Watson.

Dr. Shultz:

Oh, you both have the same secretary?

Henry:

Yes, that way we keep things more orderly.

Dr. Shultz:

Uh huh (pause) Could you get along without her?

Henry:

Why....I never thought of it... She's very capable, but I suppose I could get along without her.

Dr. Shultz: Does your partner have as much responsibility in the business as you?

Henry:

I do most of the mental work.

Dr. Shultz:

You resent that?

Henry:

You mean....do...do I think he should take more responsibility? (getting angry) YES, I DO! But he isn't capable. Plays golf and takes days off at a time. (pause) YES! I DO RESENT THAT! (calmer) I know nothing can be done about it.

Dr. Shultz: Is your partner married?

Henry:

No. For a while, I though he and our secretary were growing fond of each other. But in the last few months it seems to have cooled.

Dr. Shultz:

Hmmm. Are your financial affairs in order?

Henry:

(proudly) EXCEPTIONALLY so, never better!

Dr. Shultz:

Are you worried about the outcome of the war?

Henry:

Why, no---no more than anyone else. I realize it will keep every nose to the grindstone...

Dr. Shultz:

Do you drink?

Henry:

Errr....temperate (pause) Probably a little more of late.

Dr. Shultz:

Never took narcotics?

Henry:

(emphatic) No, no...I've tried sleeping tablets, but they did me no good.

Dr. Shultz:

I see. (pause) Have you anything further to add to this discussion?

Henry:

I? err....No.

Dr. Shultz:

(flatly) Well then, I must ask you to leave, and not come back.

Henry:

(surprised) What? What do you mean, doctor?

Dr. Shultz:

Just that. Leave and don't come back until you decide to tell me the truth.

Henry:

(protesting) But...but I HAVE been telling you everything I know.

Dr. Shultz:

(forcefully) NO, you haven't. (less forceful) There's something you've been withholding. Good day.

Henry:

(agitated) Wait a minute! What are you trying to say?

Dr. Shultz:

I'm not TRYING to say anything. I've told you that you're holding something back. Some fear that you don't want known. But, if you want me to help you, you'll have to divulge everything.

Henry: (LONG pause) (resigned) All right (another long pause) I thought maybe you could help me without my telling but (pause) all right...I'll tell you what it is.

Dr. Shultz:

That's better.

Henry: It happens on these mornings when I fail to remember what has occurred the night before. It happens during these spells of flashes and noises....

Dr. Shultz:

(interrupting) WHAT happens?

Henry:

(low and sinister) I get this terrible feeling of depression... then slowly, (voice raises) gradually, the URGE comes to me!

Dr. Shultz:

The urge to what?

Henry:

(meanly) The urge to HURT SOMEONE! The urge to inflict PAIN! Inflict injury on SOMEONE!

Dr. Shultz: On whom?

Henry:

ANYONE! Any person who comes into my mind. Any one I see or think about: The waitress in the café, (rapidly) my secretary, my chauffeur, my wife, my partner, a laborer, ANYONE! (exhales loudly)

Dr. Shultz:

Have you ever killed anyone, Drake?

Henry:

(still worked up) NO, NO! I SWEAR, NEVER! and I don't want to! (mood changes to real fear) And that's why I'm here! I'm afraid! Afraid of MYSELF! I don't want to harm anyone! I'd rather DIE!

Dr. Shultz: Would you?

Henry:

(near tears) Yes! (pause as gasps for breath) All right, now you know. (pause) (quietly) That's my great fear. (pause) (determined) Something's got to be done about it! (pleading) You've GOT to help me!

Dr. Shultz:

Very well, Drake, I'm glad you finally told me. Now I know what to do....know where to start.

Henry:

Do.....you don't think that I'm going completely to pieces mentally, I mean?

Dr. Shultz:

Noooo, I don't think so.

Henry:

You think it's just temporary?

Dr. Shultz:

Ahh...let's not talk about it any more.

Henry:

(pleading) But what can I do?

Dr. Shultz:

I want you to stay away from the business for a week. Don't go near it. Don't think about it. I want you to stay in bed as much as possible. Read something in a light vein. Putter about if you like in the garden, say. Anything BUT business. At the end of the week, I want to see you again. But above all, REST! Rest your mind and your body.

Henry: (hopeful) Yes. I understand...and you think you'll (voice trails off) (pause) You think THAT will bring me out of these spells?

Dr. Shultz: I think everything will turn out for the best.

Henry:

(greatfully) Oh, thank you, Doctor Shultz! I appreciate all of this, and....and I'll see you in a week!

Dr. Shultz:

Goodbye, Mister Drake.

SFX:

DOOR OPENING pause THEN CLOSE

SFX:

CLICK OF INTERCOM ON

Dr. Shultz:

Oh, Miss Burton?

Miss Burton:

(on phone) Yes, Doctor Shultz?

Dr. Shultz:

Did you take down that interview, Miss Burton?

Miss Burton:

Yes, doctor, I made a recording of it.

Dr. Shultz:

Thank you, Miss Burton.

SFX:

CLICK OF INTERCOM OFF

MFX:

TRANSITION

The Whistler:

So Henry goes home, and stays in bed for three days, according to the doctor's instructions. Then toward midnight of the third evening, his wife Rita comes home and is startled to find him gone.

Rita:

Jackson? Jackson?

Jackson:

(off mic) Yes, Mrs. Drake?

Rita:

(concerned) Jackson, where's Mister Drake?

Jackson:

(on mic) Why, mister Drake is in his room....

Rita:

(interrupting) But he ISN'T! He's gone!

Jackson:

Gone? But I didn't see him go out, ma'am.

Rita:

When did you see him last?

Jackson:

Why, it was about...uhh...nine thirty. I looked in to see if there was anything he wanted before I retired.

Rita:

(getting really concerned) What did he say? Was he dressed?

Jackson:

No, ma'am. He was in bed. He said he didn't want anything, and that I might as well turn in.

Rita:

Where on Earth could he have gone on a rainy night like this?

Jackson:

Well, should I go out and try to find him, ma'am?

Rita:

(sighs) No....No, never mind, Jackson. You can go back to bed.

Jackson: Yes, ma'am...(off mic) thank you, good night.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSING

Rita:

Hmmm

SFX: TELEPHONE RECEIVER LIFTED FROM HOOK NUMBER DIALED UNDER FOLLOWING

Rita:

I can't imagine why on Earth he'd go out when he wasn't feeling well. (long pause) Hello? Phil? This is Rita. I just came in and Henry isn't here. (pause) I don't know! The butler said he saw him at 9:30 and he was in bed. (pause) Why would he go out in a storm? (pause) What reason could he possibly have? (pause) Well, NO, I don't think so. (pause) I HOPE he doesn't. (pause) Yes, goodnight, Phil. Yes, I'll see you tomorrow evening, if possible. Goodnight.

SFX:

PHONE BEING HUNG UP

The Whistler:

As Rita hangs up the receiver, she suddenly realizes the library door is closed. But a streak of light shows beneath it. She steps quickly to the door, and opens it softly.

SFX:

DOOR OPENING

Rita:

(surprised) Henry!

Henry:

Huh?

Rita:

What are you doing here?

Henry:

Oh! Hello, Rita.

Rita:

Why aren't you in bed?

Henry:

In bed? (confused) Why, I don't know.

Rita: Who are you phoning?

Henry:

Phoning? Oh, I was just thinking about phoning the doctor, I wanted to talk to him.

Rita: At THIS hour of the night? It's twelve O'Clock.

Henry:

Twelve? (pause as if he's looking at a clock) Yes! So it is!

Rita:

Wait till morning.

Henry:

Yes, yes.....anyway, I can't remember what I wanted to say to him.

SFX: PHONE BEING HUNG UP

Rita:

Where have you been?

Henry:

Where have I been? I haven't been any place.

Rita:

But you MUST have! Look at your topcoat, it's soaking wet. And look at your shoes, they're muddy.

Henry: (softly) That's strange, I don't remember having gone out. I thought I'd been sitting here all evening.

Rita:

(annoyed) But it's obvious you HAVEN'T been here all evening, and you HAVE been out.

Henry:

Perhaps so...

Rita:

This is the second or third time you've come in with your shoes all muddy! (demanding) Where do you go this time of night

Henry:

I tell you, I DON'T remember!

Rita:

(angry) I DON'T BELIEVE YOU!

Henry:

(getting angry too) Whether you do or not, I don't remember where I've been!

Rita:

It's the silliest thing I've ever heard of! A man like you, an intelligent man! Walking around in his sleep!

Henry: (protesting) But I COULDN'T have been asleep, I know that much!

Rita:

Nonsense!

Henry:

Oh don't be so impatient, Rita. I don't like this any more than you do but I'm sure I'll be all right in a short time. Doctor Shultz will pull me out of it.

Rita:

(softening) Well, I HOPE so.

Henry: Have YOU been out, Rita?

Rita:

Why, of COURSE! I told you early in the evening I was going to play bridge with the Parkers.

Henry:

Ohhh...perhaps you did, but I don't remember that, either.

Rita:

I told you, just the same.

Henry:

I'm sorry, Rita. I know this must be very trying for you. it isn't very pleasant having a man mope about the house all the time.

Rita:

You'd better go to bed, Henry, and get off those wet clothes.

Henry:

(as if he had forgotten) Oh...Oh, yes. (pause) (forcefully) Rita, why don't you go away for a few days...take a little rest. I know you're terribly upset about all this, and...uhh... it would do you good.

Rita: It wouldn't be exactly right for me to go away at a time like this. (pause) What would people think of me?

Henry:

(annoyed) Oh, who CARES what people think? You could go up to the mountains, or down to Miami, or (voice trails off) (pause) Well... any place. (hopeful) Maybe by the time you come back, I'll be all right.

Rita: (inquisitive) Do you WANT me to go?

Henry:

Oh, I don't want you to go. But I think it would be good for you. You're becoming upset because of ME, and I think you'd worry less if you got away for a couple days.

Rita: (resigned) Very well. Perhaps you're right. (pause) We'll talk about it in the morning.

Henry:

All right (pause) Good night, Rita.

Rita:

Good night.

MFX:

TRANSITION

The Whistler:

Henry sits for a while, staring at the telephone. Then gets up slowly, and shuffles up the steps to his room. He pauses for a few moments before Rita's door, then goes on to his own room, and goes to bed.

SFX: THUNDERSTORM IN DISTANCE UNDER FOLLOWING

The Whistler:

The storm continues in its fury. And from its kennel in the back yard, Duke, Rita's Airedale, begins to howl...

SFX:

THUNDERSTORM IN BG MIXED WITH DOG HOWL HOLD FOR MOMENT, THEN FADE TO

MFX:

BRIDGE

The Whistler:

Finally, the storm subsides. Morning comes and Henry joins Rita at breakfast.

Rita: What's the matter, Henry? You haven't eaten a bite!

Henry:

(preoccupied) No...I'm not hungry. I don't feel at all well this morning.

Rita: You DO look pale. I've never seen you so haggard.

Henry:

No?

Rita:

What's the matter with your hands?

Henry:

My hands?

Rita: Why, yes. You...you keep staring at them and flexing your fingers.

Henry: (a bit surprised) Oh! (pause) Well..... I dunno. The seem to (pause) It feels like rheumatism.

Rita: Have some coffee.

Henry:

(slightly more bright) Yes! (pause) Yes, I believe I will!

Rita:

Here you are (handing Henry a cup)

SFX:

CLINK OF COFFEE CUP ON SAUCER

Henry:

Thank y.....

SFX:

SOUND OF COFFEE CUP BEING DROPPED ON TABLE

Henry:

Oh!!!

Rita:

Good heavens! (pause) (more calmly) It's all over the floor.

Henry: (remorseful) Oh! I'm so sorry! I just seem to have no grip. (pause) (feeling sorry for himself) Getting bad when I can't even hold on to a cup. (long pause) Rita! Rita what have you decided about that trip? I wish you'd take a few days' vacation.

Rita:

Hmpf. You sound as though you want to get rid of me.

Henry:

(earnestly) I'm only thinking of YOU!

Rita:

Very well, if you insist. (pause) I'll go up to the mountain place. (pause) (hopefully) Maybe it'll do us BOTH some good...

Jackson:

(starts off mic, coming towards it) (VERY upset) MRS. DRAKE! MRS. DRAKE!! (on mic) MRS. DRAKE!!!

Rita:

Jackson, what on Earth are you so excited about?

Jackson:

(still VERY upset) Oh, Mrs. Drake! Something TERRIBLE has happened...

Rita:

(interrupting and concerned) TERRIBLE? What do you mean?

Jackson:

I...I don't know how to tell you... It's.....it's AWFUL!

Rita:

What are you trying to say?

Jackson:

It's Duke, your Airedale...

Rita:

(interrupting and nearly frantic) WHAT'S HAPPENED TO HIM?

Jackson:

He's (long pause) He's....dead! (pause) I just went out to the kennel to unhook his chain, and there he was, Ma'am...

Rita:

(near tears) Oh, good heavens! Well, what happened to him?

Jackson:

He's been.... (devastated) STRANGLED! (more calm) There he was beside his house, with his tongue sticking way out. (again upset)
IT'S AWFUL, MA'AM!

Rita:

(dumbfounded) STRANGLED? (pause) BUT WHY? WHO....

Jackson:

(interrupting) Maybe he got tangled up in his chain, but it didn't appear so, Ma'am. Like somebody did it deliberately.

Rita:

(grieving) Oh, the poor fellow! I.....I can't imagine such a thing!

Henry:

Wait a minute, Rita! I wouldn't go out there!

Rita:

(protesting) Oh, but I MUST!

Henry:

PLEASE don't! It will just upset you. Please don't go.

Rita: (in tears) Very well... but (pause) I...I'm just SICK all over! (cries audibly) under Henry's next line

Henry:

(consoling) Now, now, Rita. I know how you feel, and it's a shame..... (to Jackson) Jackson, tell the maid to pack Mrs. Drake's things. She's going to the mountains for a few days.

MFX:

BRIDGE

The Whistler:

Henry Drake sits staring at his hands for a few moments. Opening them and closing them. Opening and closing them. Then, suddenly he leaves the house, and rushes to Doctor Shultz's office.

Dr. Shultz:

What is wrong with you, Drake? You weren't to come here until day after tomorrow!

Henry:

(agitated) I HAD to see you, Doctor! Something TERRIBLE has happened! (gasps for air)

Dr. Shultz:

Now, now, now, just calm down! Calm down, take it easy. (pause) Sit down, Drake.

Henry:

(still gasping) It happened in the night!

Dr. Shultz: What happened?

Henry:

Duke, my wife's dog! It was killed last night!

Dr. Shultz:

Killed? Well how did that happen?

Henry:

(fearful) He was STRANGLED! (angry) Choked to death!

Dr. Shultz:

Well, who did it?

Henry:

It... (VERY long pause) I must have done it!

Dr. Shultz: (incredulous) YOU? (slightly dismissive) Oh, come now! What makes you think that?

Henry:

(rapidly) I can't remember a thing about it! I can remember nothing of last night. But....but I must have done it! (pause) (disgusted) BECAUSE OF MY HANDS!

Dr. Shultz:

What's wrong with your hands?

Henry:

They hurt. (pause) The muscles are terribly sore as though I had been doing something strenuous.

Dr. Shultz: (thinking) I see....

Henry:

And look at this mark on my thumb. It's a long cut as though (pause) something sharp dragged across it.

Dr. Shultz:

You mean like a tooth?

Henry:

Yes! Why not a DOG'S tooth?

Dr. Shultz:

(interested) Hmmm, it certainly DOES! You really think you killed the dog?

Henry:

(pause before speaking) What do you think, Doctor?

Dr. Shultz:

Well, I suppose it's possible. But there's no proof. Could be coincidental.

Henry:

(fearful) I don't think so. I MUST have done it! He never disturbed the neighbors that I know of.

Dr. Shultz: Did you like the dog?

Henry:

Why, of COURSE! I was very fond of him. (pause) (trembling) Don't you see what this means? I been afraid of something like this! Heaven knows what ELSE I've done when I've been in these lapses. (insistent and angry) You've GOT to do something for me!

Dr. Shultz:

Drake, I'm going to have to put you through all the tests. It'll take some time. But I think we can get at the root of your trouble.

Henry:

(almost begging) I'll do ANYTHING! Anything you say....

Dr. Shultz:

We'll start right now.

SFX: CLICK OF INTERCOM ON

Dr. Shultz:

(to intercom) Miss Burton, get Doctor Fenton. I want him to assist me in a complete examination.

Miss Burton: (on phone) Yes, Doctor Shultz, right away.

MFX:

SAD INTERLUDE

Dr. Shultz:

Now, Drake, just relax, and continue staring into this little beam of light. We want you to answer these questions as quickly as possible.

Henry: Yeah, OK

MFX:

SPOOKY MUSIC IN BG UNDER THE FOLLOWING

Dr. Shultz:

You're crossing a street. An automobile suddenly bears down upon you, you see?

Henry:

Yeah.

Dr. Shultz:

In an effort to save yourself, you jump out of the way.

Henry: Yeah.

Dr. Shultz:

Do you jump forward or backward?

Henry:

Why...err...backward...

Dr. Shultz:

WHY?

MFX:

OUT

Henry:

I can jump backwards quicker than I can forward.

Dr. Shultz:

Repeat after me, as quickly as possible, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9.

Henry:

1,2,3,4...er 5, 6 (voice trails off) 9.

Dr. Shultz:

You have no children.

Henry:

No

Dr. Shultz:

But you are married.

Henry:

Yes.

Dr. Shultz:

Suppose you had a child, you come home at night, and discover your house is on fire. Your wife and child are alone. Asleep on the second floor. Would you try to rescue them first, or call the fire department?

Henry: I ahhh (getting confused) would call the fire department?

Dr. Shultz:

(quietly) I see. (pause) Get all of that for the timing, Miss Burton?

Miss Burton:

Yes, doctor.

Dr. Shultz:

Now, Drake, keep your eyes on the black dot. Follow it closely as it moves. I'm going to call out a series of words. As I call them, you will answer the word or phrase suggested by what I say.

Henry: (calmly) Yes.

Dr. Shultz:

Green.

Henry:

Grass

Dr. Shultz:

Roses

Henry:

Funeral

Dr. Shultz:

Orange

Henry:

Sunset

Dr. Shultz:

Honeysuckle

Henry:

Comb

Dr. Shultz:

Violets

Henry:

Wife

Dr. Shultz:

Red

Henry:

(pause before answering, then a bit sinister) BLOOD

Dr. Shultz:

Dog

Henry:

Hands

Dr. Shultz:

Auto

Henry:

Wreck

Dr. Shultz:

Rain

Henry:

(pause before answering) Mud

Dr. Shultz:

Love

Henry:

(meanly) Hate

Dr. Shultz:

Very well, Drake, rest for ten minutes, and we'll proceed to the next test. (pause) Ah... how do your hands feel?

Henry:

Huh? Oh! Why...err, about the same.

Dr. Shultz:

All right. (pause) Come with me, Miss Burton.

Miss Burton:

Yes, doctor.

MFX:

SOMBER BRIDGE

The Whistler:

So on through the day at various intervals the psychiatrist continued his examination. And finally, Drake goes home completely exhausted. For an hour or two, he dozes in the library. At about 9:30, Jackson, the butler steps into the room.

Jackson: Beg pardon, sir...

Henry:

(as if startled from sleep) HUH? (pause as he becomes fully awake) Oh! Where have you been, Jackson?

Jackson:

Why, no one was here, sir. So I went over to visit my brother for a few hours.

Henry:

Where's Mrs. Drake?

Jackson:

Why, she's gone to Miami for a few days, sir. Said to tell you she thought she'd better go today. Took the six o'clock train this evening.

Henry:

Oh, I see.

Jackson:

Anything you want, sir?

Henry:

No....no... you can turn in, if you like.

Jackson: Yes, thank you, sir. (off mic) Good night, sir.

Henry:

All right.

SFX:

DOOR SHUTTING

MFX:

SPOOKY BRIDGE UNDER THE FOLLOWING

The Whistler:

Henry sits staring into the dark for almost an hour, then slowly he rises. As if in a daze, puts on his hat and coat, slips out of the house, and starts to walk about in the night. (pause) Finally, he comes to an apartment house. (pause) Climbs to the top floor, and knocks on the door.

SFX:

KNOCK ON DOOR

MFX:

OUT

SFX:

DOOR OPENING

Phil:

(surprised) Henry! What are you doing here?

Henry:

(slowly, almost zombie-like) I want to talk to you, Phil.

Phil:

Well, come in.

SFX:

DOOR SHUTTING

Phil:

What's the matter with you? (pause) Sit down.

Henry:

I don't want to sit down.

Phil: Just as you like, What do you want to talk about?

Henry:

You have your bags packed. Are you going some place?

Phil:

Why....err...yes. I'm driving down to Boston for a week on business.

Henry:

(slight disbelief) On business?

Phil:

Yes, on business. I tried to reach you today, but was unable to.

Phil:

(pause) What on EARTH is wrong with you? What are you staring at?

Henry: You SURE you're going to Boston?

Phil:

Certainly, I'm sure.

Henry:

(chuckles)

Phil:

What are you laughing about?

Henry:

(accusing) You aren't going to Boston! I KNOW where you're going.

Phil:

I tell you, I'm going to Boston!

Henry:

I DON'T BELIEVE YOU!

Phil:

What are you talking about?

Henry:

Rita's gone to Miami! (pause) Why don't you go to Miami, too? (pause) Wouldn't you like that better? I think that'd be very jolly.

Phil:

Why, for heaven's sake! Stop this nonsense!

Henry:

(meanly) Is Rita here?

Phil:

(defensively) Certainly not! Why should she be here?

Henry:

I wonder! (chuckles) Couldn't you think of any reason?

Phil:

I think you're out of your mind.

Henry: Do you? REALLY?

Phil:

You certainly act like it.

Henry:

Ahhhh, but I'm NOT! (chuckles) I'm perfectly sane!

Phil:

(disgusted) ALL crazy people think they're sane.

Henry:

(forcefully) Maybe I AM crazy! But I don't feel crazy! (pause) (slowly) I'm perfectly normal. (laughs)

Phil: You'd better go home! You're in no condition to be wandering around...

Henry:

(interrupting angrily) WHERE'S RITA?

Phil:

I don't know where Rita is.

Henry:

She hasn't been here?

Phil:

NO!

Henry:

You're lying, Phil. She HAS been here!

Phil:

(getting angry) That's ridiculous!

Henry:

LOOK! Here in the ash tray, one of Rita's special-made cigarettes!

Phil:

(nervously) Why....err... I put that there...I thought I'd try them.

Henry:

Really? (pause) (slowly) When did you take to using lip stick, Phil?

Phil:

(knows he's trapped) (quietly) All right. She was here, but she left to catch a train at 6 o'clock.

Henry:

And you'll catch the next one, is that it?

Phil:

(defensively) She came here to talk about YOU! She's terribly upset about your condition...she thinks....(pause) well...(voice trail off)

Henry:

Well? What DOES she think?

Phil:

She's become afraid of you.

Henry:

Oh, HAS she? And what caused that?

Phil:

Well, she... (pause) Why wouldn't she be upset? You've been acting like a lunatic. She thinks you killed that dog. (pause) Did you?

Henry:

(spooky) I don't remember! (pause) Maybe I did! (sinister laugh)

Phil:

I've gotta hurry. My train leaves in half an hour...

Henry:

(quickly) There's NO train for Boston for three hours! (more slowly)

Henry:

But the train for Miami leaves in half an hour.

Phil:

You'd better go home, Henry.

Henry: (quickly and angrily) Why don't you admit it? Why lie about it? You're meeting her in Miami!

Phil:

(angrily) Get out of here!

Henry:

You and Rita are in love! I know it! I've known it for weeks and weeks! (pause) Last night I found out for sure.

Phil:

You're crazy!

Henry:

MAYBE I AM! (softer) But I heard you both talking on the phone. She didn't know I was listening in on the extension in the library. I heard you agree to meet at a certain time. (getting angrier) That's what I've been waiting for! Now I KNOW it!

Phil:

(interrupting) ALL RIGHT! all right, what of it? The way you've been acting is enough to make any woman dislike you.

Henry:

Ohhhhhhh! So you ADMIT IT!!

Phil: YES! Now get out of here!

Henry: (sinister laugh)

Phil:

(suddenly fearful) Henry! Put away that gun!

Henry:

(taunting) All right.... (pause) I'm gonna leave it right here when I'm through with it. (pause) (softly and matter-of-factly) I'm going to kill you...

Phil:

(interrupting) You insane fool...You can't get away with a thing like this! (rapidly) You can't prove anything about Rita and me. THEY'LL HANG YOU!

Henry:

(taunting) Oh, I don't think so. (pause) Don't you remember?
(chuckles) I'm CRAZY!

Phil: I'll fix you!

Page 28

SFX:

PHONE RECEIVER UP, DIAL OPERATOR

Phil:

(into phone) Police department!

Henry:

Go ahead! Call them, that's fine!

Phil:

Hello?

Henry: (begins sinister laugh as Phil talks on phone)

Phil:

This is Phil Putnam, Rexley Apartments, there's a mad man
in my room, and he's trying to kill me!

Henry:

(shrieks laughter as gun shots ring out)

SFX:

TWO GUNSHOTS

Phil:

ARRRRGGH!!

SFX:

THREE MORE GUNSHOTS, THEN BODY HITS FLOOR

(pause)

 

SFX:

DOOR CLOSING

Henry:

What a shame, Phil! You've missed the train!

MFX: STACCATO TRANSITION

The Whistler:

Well, it's all over, Henry. Sit down now and wait for the police.
You won't have any more mental lapses now, will you, Henry?
You won't NEED to. Fantastic job, Henry! And very beautifully
planned. Everyone knows about your mental lapses, your illness,
your desire to harm people. Rita knows about the dog. Your
secretary knows about the contracts. And most important of all,
Doctor Shultz knows that you've been suffering from a mental
disorder for weeks. Oh! There'll be a trial. Your plea will be
insanity. You'll go away for a while, then all of a sudden, you'll
be cured, and walk out a free man. (chuckles) Now, we're in the
courtroom, and Doctor Shultz, the psychiatrist is speaking...

Dr. Shultz:

Mister Drake came to me with his troubles some weeks ago. Later, Doctor Fenton and I psychoanalyzed him thoroughly. (pause) Here is a signed statement of our findings at that time, attached to our findings as of yesterday. Henry Drake was THEN (pause) and is NOW absolutely SANE. The whole thing was a plan to escape the death penalty for pre-meditated murder.

MFX: STING

The Whistler:

(chuckles) Well, there you go, Henry! The whole thing blew up in your face! A beautiful plan gone haywire! You should have spent less time thinking about your revenge, Henry, and more time studying psychology! Too bad! (chuckles)

MFX:

TYMPANI INTO END THEME