Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: Summer Night
Date: Jul 15 1948

CAST:

The Suspense Team:
ANNOUNCER
HAP
BILLY
MIKE, the fireman
VOICE OF SUSPENSE
2ND ANNOUNCER
SINGER

The Drama:
ANNA MACAULEY / IDA LUPINO
OPERATOR
HELEN
CHARLES

ANNOUNCER:

In just a moment, SUSPENSE with Ida Lupino.

SOUND:

CAR ENGINE SLOWS TO A STOP

HAP:

Whew! What a night.

BILLY:

Yeah, it's a scorcher, dad.

SOUND:

CAR DOORS OPEN AND SHUT BEHIND--

HAP:

Lucky we thought of coming to the fire house. If we'd had to sit around at that hen party your mother's giving, I-- Hello, Mike!

MIKE:

Hello, Hap!

HAP:

Say, if you fellas want to put out a fire tonight, all you've gotta do is turn the hoses on and squirt 'em anywhere.

MIKE:

Yep, it's hotter'n Hades. We're all sittin' here listenin' to the radio.

BILLY:

Dad, I wonder if they're listening to the Auto-Lite show.

HAP:

Uh, what are you hearing, Mike?

MIKE:

We're just switchin' to Auto-Lite. Besides, we like their batteries, spark plugs and ignition systems around here.

HAP:

Everyone does. And everyone likes their show, SUSPENSE.

BILLY:

Uh oh, here's the show!

MUSIC:

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

VOICE:

SUSPENSE! Auto-Lite and its sixty thousand dealers and service stations bring you Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills -- starring tonight, Miss Ida Lupino in a Tale Well-Calculated to Keep You in---

MUSIC:

ACCENT

VOICE:

SUSPENSE! [X]

ANNOUNCER:

Today, everybody's switching to Auto-Lite and, tonight, Auto-Lite takes pleasure in presenting--

VOICE:

Anton Leader's production of Ray Bradbury's remarkable story, "Summer Night," starring Miss Ida Lupino.

MUSIC:

FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT, BEHIND--

SOUND:

BUSY SIGNAL

ANNA:

(DISAPPOINTED, ON EDGE) Ohhh. Is the line still busy? I just don't see how it could still be--

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Oh, it isn't the line, Miss Macauley. It's the circuit.

ANNA:

Oh.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I've been simply swamped all afternoon. I haven't been able to get a call through to the police station for over an hour. And the mayor's office has been busy--

ANNA:

Yes, I know. I'm sorry to trouble you but it's terribly important.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Well, if you wanna hang on, Miss Macauley, I'll try again in a minute.

ANNA:

Oh, all right.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) It's been this way ever since the news got out about finding poor Lavinia. You heard about it, I suppose?

ANNA:

Yes.

SOUND:

BUZZ!

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Oh, just a minute, Miss Macauley. I've got another call.

ANNA:

(EXHALES IN FRUSTRATION)

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Ye-es? ... This is the operator. ... No, I'm sorry. That line is still busy. ... Yes, I'll call you just as soon as I can give you a connection.

SOUND:

CLICK!

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Aw, I'm sorry, Miss Macauley, but you see what I mean? Oh, dear.

ANNA:

Oh, Miss Welsh, by the way--

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) It was bad enough last week when they found that other poor girl. But this time, the whole town is on its ear, and I can't say that I blame them what with a maniac loose, and nobody knowing who it might be.

ANNA:

Yes, I meant to ask you, Miss Welsh-- Are they sure that Lavinia--? I mean, that it was the same thing as the Webb girl last week?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Why, ye-es! Why, I thought you knew!

ANNA:

I just knew she'd been found.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Oh, goodness, yes. There was never any doubt about it. Whoever it was, he used a knife -- just like on the other girl. And then there was that same crazy cross on her forehead -- you know, made with orange lipstick. That's why they're callin' him, you know, the Lipstick Killer.

ANNA:

(SHUDDERS) Oh, yes. Yes, I thought it must be that. But I wasn't sure; I didn't know.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Oh, yes, they're lookin' all over the state for him by now. But, of course, they don't have much to go on, and the chances are that he's right here in this town, anyway.

SOUND:

BUZZ!

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Oh, I'll try to get your call for you now, Miss Macauley.

ANNA:

(RELIEVED) Thank you.

SOUND:

BUSY SIGNAL

ANNA:

(UNHAPPY) Oh.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I'm sorry, Miss Macauley. That circuit is still busy.

ANNA:

But it can't--

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Well, why don't I call you back when I get through? It shouldn't be very long.

ANNA:

(EXASPERATED) All right. But please try to hurry. It - it's really important. Terribly important.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

ANNA:

(NARRATES) While I was waiting for the call, I went to the front door to start locking up. It was coming on evening -- a warm summer evening -- and, ordinarily, up and down the street, the windows would be open. All but mine. And you'd hear the sound of a piano or a radio, drifting out onto the still summer air. And people would be sitting in swings and hammocks on their front porches, enjoying the coolness at the end of the day. But not on this day. Not this evening.

I - I locked my door, too. I went around the big, gloomy old house, checking all the windows, just like the others. Not that I needed to, really. They'd been locked ever since father died, and he went away. All in that one terrible week nearly four years ago. Yes, they'd been locked and I hadn't left the house more than a half a dozen times, and nobody-- Nobody had come here. Why should they? I didn't want to see them. Nor they me. I was the town's queer one.

But all that was going to be different now. From now on, everything was going to be very, very different.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS ... ANNA'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP

ANNA:

Yes? Hello?

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) I've got your party now, Miss Macauley. Go ahead, please.

ANNA:

Oh.

HELEN:

Hello?

ANNA:

(RELIEVED) Oh, Helen, is that you?

HELEN:

(FILTER) Yes. Who's this?

ANNA:

It's Anna. Anna Macauley.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Wha--? Why, Anna! Why, what a surprise.

ANNA:

How have you been, Helen?

HELEN:

(FILTER) Oh, just fine. You know -- there's nothing ever the matter with me. But how are you, Anna?

ANNA:

Oh, I'm well. You know, I've been living rather quietly these last few years.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Yes, I - I know. I mean, I'd heard--

ANNA:

It's been a long time -- hasn't it, Helen?

HELEN:

(FILTER) Why, yes. I haven't heard your voice for-- Well, how long has it been?

ANNA:

Nearly four years.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Has it?

ANNA:

Three years and eleven months this week, to be exact.

HELEN:

(FILTER, EXHALES) That long, has it? Well, it doesn't seem possible, and we were such good friends before.

ANNA:

Helen-- Helen, I hope you don't think-- I mean, those last few times you called and I didn't answer--

HELEN:

(FILTER, REASSURING) Oh, darling. Of course not. I knew how you must be suffering; your father passing on so suddenly that way. And you'd always been so close. I wouldn't have even bothered you at such a time, only that we'd been such good friends and I thought maybe I could help. And then, of course, I heard later anyway that-- Well, that is, I-- (STOPS, EMBARRASSED CHUCKLE)

ANNA:

Yes. Yes, I suppose you must have heard some rather strange things about me, Helen.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Oh, not strange, dear, no. But we all knew you wanted to be alone in your grief and we respected that feeling, naturally.

ANNA:

I know. But sometimes I've been afraid people didn't quite understand, though.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Of course they did. Well, darling, now that you're back in the world again -- (CHUCKLES) so to speak -- you must come over and see me. I'm staying with my mother now. But you know that, anyway.

ANNA:

Yes. Helen?

HELEN:

(FILTER) Yes, dear?

ANNA:

Helen, it wasn't just an accident my calling you this way.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Well, I should hope not!

ANNA:

I want to ask you a favor. A tremendous favor.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Why, of course, darling. Anything.

ANNA:

I - I want you to come over here to the house.

HELEN:

(FILTER) I should say I would. I'll try to make it - Friday, or early next week at the latest, just as soon--

ANNA:

No, I don't mean just sometime, Helen. I mean now. Right now. Right this minute.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Now?

ANNA:

Yes.

HELEN:

(FILTER) But-- Darling, I don't see how I can. I mean, I don't know what Mother's plans are.

ANNA:

Helen? Helen, you know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't serious.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Serious? Well, what do you--?

ANNA:

Please. Please say you'll come!

HELEN:

(FILTER) Well-- I'll try.

ANNA:

No. Don't just try, Helen. Come. You've got to come.

HELEN:

(FILTER) Oh, darling, what is this? What can be so serious--?

ANNA:

Maybe I'm being silly, but-- I think it's more than serious, Helen. I - I think it may be a matter of life and death.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH ... THEN IN BG

VOICE:

For SUSPENSE, Auto-Lite is bringing you Miss Ida Lupino in "Summer Night," Auto-Lite's presentation of Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills -- SUSPENSE.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

BILLY:

You know, dad -- boy, mom would sure get a kick out of this.

HAP:

Out of what, Billy?

BILLY:

We leave home because she's got the house full of women and, so far, there aren't anything but women in tonight's Auto-Lite show.

HAP:

(CHUCKLES) Well, if she's listening, we'll certainly hear about it when we get home from the fire house. Oh, say, Mike, um -- what's that over on that workbench?

MIKE:

What? Over there?

HAP:

Mm hm.

MIKE:

Oh, them's old batteries. We're replacin' 'em with new Auto-Lite Sta-Fuls.

BILLY:

(SINGS) When your spark plug stut-stut-stutters!
When your battery putt-putt-putters--!

HAP:

(CHUCKLES) Switchin' to Auto-Lite, eh, Mike?

MIKE:

No, no. We've been usin' Auto-Lite for over ten years now. You know, when you gotta get out of here in seven seconds after the alarm sounds, you gotta have the surest, safest batteries there are. Ha! When we gotta go, we go!

ANNOUNCER:

Yes, the new Auto-Lite Sta-Ful battery is a great battery. Needs water only three times a year in normal car use. This greater liquid reserve practically eliminates one of the major causes of battery failure. Car owners tell us it's the greatest battery ever built. The greatest battery ever built! Money cannot buy a better battery for your car. (CONTINUES SPIEL IN BG, AS IF HAP AND BILLY ARE HEARING ANNOUNCER OVER RADIO)

HAP:

Yep, that's real battery know-how! Once water goes into an Auto-Lite Sta-Ful, it's like goin' into a camel. The drinks are few and far between.

BILLY:

Yeah, and even on nights as hot as this, you don't find the Auto-Lite Sta-Ful at an old oaken bucket.

ANNOUNCER:

So, friends, see your friendly neighborhood Auto-Lite battery dealer and order the new Auto-Lite Sta-Ful battery for your car. It needs water only three times a year in normal car use. Remember, folks--

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN AND PUNCTUATES FOLLOWING--

ANNOUNCER:

Auto-Lite means batteries!

2ND ANNOUNCER:

Sta-Ful batteries!

ANNOUNCER:

Auto-Lite means spark plugs!

2ND ANNOUNCER:

Ignition-engineered spark plugs!

ANNOUNCER:

Auto-Lite means ignition systems!

2ND ANNOUNCER:

The lifeline of your car!

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH ... THEN SUSPENSE THEME, IN BG

VOICE:

And now, Auto-Lite brings back to our Hollywood soundstage Miss Ida Lupino as Anna in "Summer Night," a Tale Well-Calculated to Keep You in---

MUSIC:

ACCENT

VOICE:

SUSPENSE! [X]

MUSIC:

CHANGES TO AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG

ANNA:

(NARRATES, SMUG AND CONTEMPTUOUS) A matter of life and death, I told her. I knew Helen would come to see me after that.

It would be strange seeing her again. Not that we'd ever quarreled. She never even suspected, of course. But after that day when he went away -- with her -- I'd simply put her out of my life and never thought of her again.

Well, to be strictly truthful, I thought of her a great deal -- but in a rather different way than I had before when she'd been my best friend.

And now -- she was coming to my house again -- after all these years. It should be interesting. Quite like a surprise party. For both of us.

MUSIC:

HUGE ACCENT ... ABRUPTLY OUT WITH--

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS ... HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS IN BEHIND--

HELEN:

Anna, darling!

ANNA:

(FEIGNS RELIEF) Helen! Helen, come in.

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS, BEHIND--

HELEN:

Oh, it's so nice to see you.

ANNA:

It's good to see you again, Helen.

HELEN:

Why, you haven't changed a bit. You don't look a day older. Now, tell me all about it. I can't stay but a few minutes. Ted Barton drove me over; you remember Ted.

ANNA:

Oh, yes.

HELEN:

And he's got to be back before seven, but never mind that now. Darling, what is the matter?

ANNA:

Helen -- I - I'm frightened.

HELEN:

Frightened? Of what?

ANNA:

I'm afraid I'm going to be killed.

HELEN:

Going to be--? Killed?

ANNA:

Yes. Tonight.

HELEN:

But, darling--!

ANNA:

You see, I used to know poor Lavinia. I used to know her quite well. And the other girl-- Well, I didn't know her, but it happened to her right near here -- in the little woods, just behind the track.

HELEN:

Anna, please. What on Earth makes you think anything like that could happen to you? You're perfectly safe if you don't go out. Lock the doors.

ANNA:

No. No, I'm not. I'm all alone here, Helen. And there's been someone prowling at night.

HELEN:

A man?

ANNA:

Last night, he tried to get in.

HELEN:

Are you sure?

ANNA:

I heard him -- trying the doors, the windows.

HELEN:

Well, did you call the police?

ANNA:

I was afraid to. Oh, Helen, I didn't know who to turn to but you. Everyone thinks I'm crazy anyway.

HELEN:

Oh, Anna, dear -- that's ridiculous. Well, we'll call them right now--

ANNA:

No. No, it'll be all right after tonight; I know it will. Please, I just want you to stay with me tonight.

HELEN:

Stay with you?

ANNA:

Please, Helen -- just this one night. I can't ask anyone else. I - don't have any friends any more.

HELEN:

But, darling, I don't even have any night clothes--

ANNA:

Oh, I'd already thought of that, Helen. I have everything you need for tonight.

HELEN:

Well, I don't have anything for the morning; no face cream, not even a tooth brush.

ANNA:

Why worry about that now? (NERVOUS CHUCKLE) Maybe neither of us will even be here by morning.

HELEN:

(UNEASY CHUCKLE)

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNA:

(NARRATES) So she said she'd stay. Went out and told Ted Barton.

(MILDLY CONTEMPTUOUS) Ted Barton. It was typical of Helen. Only two weeks back from Cleveland and already she had the county's most eligible bachelor squiring her around in his car.

But that was going to be different, too.

I fixed a little supper for both of us. And then we tried all the doors and windows.

And then -- there was nothing to do but sit and talk to her until it was time to go to bed. [X]

SOUND:

CLINK OF COFFEE POT AND CUPS

HELEN:

(SIGHS) No. No more, thank you.

ANNA:

(LIGHTLY) You afraid it will keep you awake, Helen?

HELEN:

(CHUCKLES) I'm afraid I won't need coffee to keep me awake. (MORE SERIOUS) Anna -- is it true? I mean, what they say about these murders.

ANNA:

Is what true?

HELEN:

Well, I mean--

ANNA:

You've been out in the world, Helen, more than I have lately. You should know more than I.

HELEN:

(DISMISSIVE CHUCKLE) Well, all I meant was-- Well, you seem so frightened. I thought you might have heard something. Something special.

ANNA:

(VEHEMENT) No.

HELEN:

Is it true about the lipstick?

ANNA:

(GRIM) Why not?

HELEN:

Oh, it sounds so crazy. I thought it might be just something the newspapers made up.

ANNA:

(SLOW, SOBER) There was a cross on their foreheads. In lipstick. Orange lipstick.

HELEN:

Anna! You do know something.

ANNA:

Don't be ridiculous, Helen. How could I?

HELEN:

(EXHALES) But lipstick, Anna-- Do you suppose perhaps it isn't a man at all; it's a woman?

SOUND:

ANNA FUMBLES COFFEE CUP AND SAUCER

HELEN:

Oh! Oh, I'm sorry, dear. Did I do that?

ANNA:

(SHAKEN) No. No, come along, Helen. It's time to go to bed.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS ... UNDER FOLLOWING--

HELEN:

Oh, yes. I suppose we might as well.

ANNA:

You don't mind sleeping in the same room with me, do you?

HELEN:

Why, of course not, dear.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF LIGHT SWITCH

HELEN:

(SURPRISED) Oh. Shouldn't you leave on a light downstairs?

ANNA:

No. Didn't do any good last night.

HELEN:

Oh.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS

HELEN:

Well, I must say, I don't blame you for being a little frightened, staying here all alone. Hm, it's rather a gloomy old place, isn't it?

ANNA:

Oh, I don't think so. It's always been like this. It's the way father liked it.

HELEN:

What about your mother?

ANNA:

(BEAT, GRIM) I hated my mother.

HELEN:

(REPROVES) Oh, Anna--

ANNA:

Well, it's true. Why not say it?

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OUT

HELEN:

But your own mother--

ANNA:

Well, what does that matter? (BEAT, POINTED) Everyone has to have someone to hate, Helen. Enough to kill them, sometimes.

HELEN:

Oh, Anna, I don't think that's true. How can you say that everyone--?

ANNA:

(INTERRUPTS) Well -- this is our room.

SOUND:

BEDROOM DOOR OPENS DURING ABOVE ... THEIR FOOTSTEPS INTO ROOM

HELEN:

(ASTONISHED) Why-- It's--

ANNA:

It's what?

HELEN:

(GENUINE) It's charming! It's so-- I mean, it's so different from the rest of the house.

ANNA:

(SOLEMN) Yes. This was to be my bridal room. If I'd ever married.

HELEN:

Darling, I didn't know-- Well, I didn't know you'd ever thought--

ANNA:

(DISMISSIVE) It was a long time ago. (PAUSE) What's the news of Charles?

HELEN:

Charles? Well, there just isn't any. (MIRTHLESS CHUCKLE) You knew we were separated, didn't you?

ANNA:

Yes. What was the trouble, Helen?

HELEN:

Oh, I don't know. After the first year, he - simply became impossible, that's all. You remember, even as a child, he was sometimes wild.

ANNA:

And strange. Oh, yes. He and I were always the queer ones.

HELEN:

Why, whatever do you mean?

ANNA:

Oh, strange. Different. A little apart from all of you somehow. "Not quite right," I think they say about me now.

HELEN:

Oh, Anna, you're imagining that. No one ever said such a thing.

ANNA:

No?

HELEN:

Of course not.

ANNA:

(BEAT) What about Charles?

HELEN:

Nothing. He just left, that's all. Haven't even heard from him in six months.

ANNA:

Are you sure it was all his fault, Helen? (CAREFULLY) Perhaps if he'd - married someone else?

HELEN:

Oh, you know, there was never anyone else for Charles. That's the funny part of it. Of course, he liked other girls. He liked you.

ANNA:

Yes.

HELEN:

Well, you're certainly lucky he didn't marry you. I don't know what happened towards the end -- just went from bad to worse. It got so I hated the very sight of him.

ANNA:

I told you - everyone had to have someone to hate.

HELEN:

(LAUGHS) Oh, I didn't really mean that.

ANNA:

Are you sure, Helen? Haven't you ever hated anyone?

HELEN:

(AMUSED) Ohhh, perhaps as a little girl, I thought I did.

ANNA:

You hated me. Didn't you?

HELEN:

Why, darling, I--

ANNA:

There were some times when I hated you, too.

HELEN:

Oh, I don't believe it. Children can't really--

ANNA:

Can't they? When an ugly little girl like me sees a pretty little girl like you getting everything she wants all through her life.

HELEN:

(CHUCKLES) Well, not exactly everything.

ANNA:

You could always twist the teachers around your finger. Later, it was the same with the boys. And, finally, Charles. Just because you were pretty.

HELEN:

Oh, maybe I was a little prettier than you, dear, but you were always the clever one.

ANNA:

Yes. Yes, I was the clever one.

HELEN:

Well, I suppose we really should go to bed.

SOUND:

DURING ABOVE, HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS TO DRESSER, PICKS UP LIPSTICK

HELEN:

Why, Anna. Look at this. I didn't know you used lipstick.

ANNA:

(NERVOUS) I - I don't. It's just one that a young cousin of mine left here several months ago.

HELEN:

(UNDERSTANDS) Ohhh. (THEN--) Well, that's funny. Do you know what color it is, Anna?

ANNA:

(BEAT, RELUCTANT) What color is it, Helen?

HELEN:

It's - orange.

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

ANNA:

(NARRATES) No. Helen wasn't very clever. It amused me to watch her trying to think. Putting two and two together, and not being able to, because she was afraid of her own conclusions. Because she was essentially a hypocrite, like everyone else. If she hadn't been, it might have saved her life.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNA:

(NARRATES) It was sometime in the middle of the night. I don't know exactly what time because it didn't matter, but Helen was sleeping as soundly as a silly child when I went over to the side of her bed and began shaking. [X]

HELEN:

(LIGHT SNORING)

ANNA:

Helen! Helen, wake up!

HELEN:

(WAKES) Wha--? What is it?

ANNA:

Ssh! Don't make a sound.

HELEN:

Anna? What's the matter?

ANNA:

He's in the house, downstairs.

HELEN:

Who?

ANNA:

I don't know; whoever it was last night. He's gotten in somehow.

HELEN:

Are you sure?

ANNA:

I heard him. I've been listening for the last ten minutes.

HELEN:

Oh, Anna -- what are we going to do?

ANNA:

We've got to get out of the house before he starts upstairs.

HELEN:

But how can we? He'll hear us; we'll be caught.

ANNA:

No, we'll go down the back stairs and out through the kitchen. We can go through the back lot, over the tracks to Judge Brown's house. It's not far, but we've got to hurry.

HELEN:

Oh, Anna, I'm frightened. What if he hears us?

ANNA:

He won't if we're careful and we hurry. The door between the kitchen and the front of the house is locked.

HELEN:

Are you sure he isn't in the kitchen?

ANNA:

He's up front; I tell you, I heard him. Now, get up, Helen. We've got to go right now.

HELEN:

All right.

SOUND:

HELEN GETS OUT OF BED, BEHIND--

ANNA:

Hold my hand--

HELEN:

Yes.

ANNA:

--while I unlock the door. The back stairs are just to the right after we get out in the hall.

HELEN:

Oh, Anna--

ANNA:

Sssshhh!

SOUND:

KEY IN LOCK ... DOOR UNLOCKED AND OPENED

ANNA:

Come along. Hold on to my hand and try not to make any noise.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO STAIRS

ANNA:

Here are the stairs. Just follow me.

HELEN:

Yes, all right.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS DOWN STAIRS

ANNA:

Watch out. That's the last step.

HELEN:

Yes, I've got it.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS QUIETLY INTO KITCHEN

ANNA:

We're in the kitchen now. Can you see anything?

HELEN:

No, it's too dark.

ANNA:

Then stand right there -- right where you are, and don't move.

HELEN:

Where are you going?

ANNA:

Something I want to get before we leave.

SOUND:

DURING ABOVE, ANNA'S FOOTSTEPS TO KITCHEN DRAWER WHICH OPENS

HELEN:

Anna, please--

ANNA:

Ssshh!

SOUND:

ANNA RUMMAGES THROUGH UTENSILS IN DRAWER

HELEN:

What are you doing?

ANNA:

I've got it now. A knife.

SOUND:

ANNA'S FOOTSTEPS TO HELEN

ANNA:

Here, take my hand again.

HELEN:

All right.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS

HELEN:

(DELAYED REACTION) A knife?

ANNA:

Ssshh! This way.

HELEN:

Oh, I don't think I can for a minute.

ANNA:

Come along, Helen. In a little while, it'll all be over.

MUSIC:

BRIEF OMINOUS BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNA:

(NARRATES) As we hurried down the path, I kept thinking about [Helen] there behind me, so frightened now -- I had to keep myself from laughing out loud. It was really funny. She'd always been so confident before -- at school and later at the parties we used to go to. She'd been the confident one and I'd been frightened -- while she slowly poisoned my life. And she quietly and deliberately stole everything I'd ever wanted -- even Charles. But it was different now. [X]

SOUND:

DURING ABOVE, ANNA AND HELEN'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS ON CRUNCHY PATH, THEN IN BG ... DISTANT TRAIN WHISTLE

HELEN:

(BREATHLESS) That must be the two o'clock local; the other side of town.

ANNA:

Yes.

HELEN:

Which way now?

ANNA:

Straight ahead. Through the grove of trees.

HELEN:

Anna, isn't it here somewhere that they found that girl?

ANNA:

Yes. Why?

SOUND:

ANNA AND HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS OUT BEHIND--

HELEN:

Oh, Anna, I can't. I can't go through there.

ANNA:

Helen, come along, don't be silly.

HELEN:

Do we have to?

ANNA:

Of course we do.

SOUND:

ANNA AND HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS INTO GROVE ... THEN OUT

HELEN:

Anna! What was that?

ANNA:

What?

HELEN:

Didn't you hear it?

ANNA:

No.

HELEN:

I was positive I heard something.

ANNA:

(SMUG) Now who's imagining things, Helen?

HELEN:

Oh, let's hurry.

SOUND:

HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS START OFF BUT STOP BEHIND--

ANNA:

No. (BEAT) We're going to stop here.

HELEN:

Stop? But why?

ANNA:

(SLOW) Can't you guess? Even now, Helen?

HELEN:

(BEAT, REALIZES) Oh, Anna. Don't.

MUSIC:

FOR A BRUTAL KNIFE MURDER ... BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

ANNA:

(NARRATES) She didn't make a sound.

I think she'd fainted even before I struck.

She died without ever realizing why I did it.

I made the cross on the forehead with the orange lipstick. It seemed such a silly thing as I was doing it. But, of course, I had to.

And then I - I dragged the body off the path, and started home.

At the railroad tracks, I turned south a few yards to where they crossed the river, and tossed the knife and the lipstick over the bridge--

SOUND:

KNIFE AND LIPSTICK TOSSED INTO WATER

ANNA:

(NARRATES) --and watched them disappear into the muddy stream below.

Not that it was really necessary.

No one would ever think of questioning me.

They would all, of course, assume that the Lipstick Killer had struck again.

SOUND:

AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNA:

(NARRATES, WORRIED) And then, suddenly, my heart was in my mouth. On the path ahead of me, cutting sharply across the moonlight, was a shadow -- the shadow of a man.

CHARLES:

(OFF) Can I help you? [X]

ANNA:

(STARTLED GASP) I-- I--

SOUND:

CHARLES' FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

CHARLES:

(APPROACHES, FRIENDLY) I didn't mean to frighten you. I just thought you must be in some kind of trouble to be out at--

SOUND:

CHARLES' FOOTSTEPS STOP

CHARLES:

(SURPRISED) Uh-- Anna!

ANNA:

(SLIGHT GASP AT BEING RECOGNIZED)

CHARLES:

Well, it's Anna Macauley.

ANNA:

(PLEASED, RELIEVED) Charles! Oh, Charles, you did frighten me.

CHARLES:

(CHUCKLES) Well, if you insist on running around town at two a. m. in your nightgown--

ANNA:

(WARMLY) Oh, Charles! Charles, this is really too much of a coincidence. Why, I didn't know you were anywhere near Boone Center.

CHARLES:

Theoretically, I'm not. Just passing through. Business trip. Missed the two a. m. local. So I thought I'd kill the time waiting for the milk train by looking the old burg over again. (CHUCKLES)

ANNA:

(CHUCKLES)

CHARLES:

What's your alibi?

ANNA:

My what? Oh. Well, that's what I meant about a coincidence. I was looking for Helen.

CHARLES:

For Helen?

ANNA:

I - don't wonder you're surprised, Charles, but it's really very simple. First, there were these-- Well, what the newspapers have been calling the Lipstick Murders. I suppose you've heard about it.

CHARLES:

I've - read - something about it, yes.

ANNA:

Well, I - I suppose I was silly, but I got terribly nervous, living alone in that big house. I asked Helen to stay with me. And then, in the middle of the night, she got frightened and said she couldn't stay another minute and rushed out to Judge Brown's house.

CHARLES:

(DARKLY) How typical of Helen.

ANNA:

Yeah, well, then, after I thought about it, I got worried about her and went to look for her. But I guess she must have gotten there all right. I didn't find her anywhere.

CHARLES:

You're not alone in that big house now, are you, Anna?

ANNA:

Why, yes, I thought you knew, Charles. My father died.

CHARLES:

Oh, I'd forgotten.

ANNA:

Well-- Silly to be standing here, isn't it?

CHARLES:

(CHUCKLES)

ANNA:

If you've got to wait for a train, why don't you come back to the house with me and - I'll fix you some coffee or something? Wouldn't that be nice?

CHARLES:

Yes, that would be nice. That would be very nice.

SOUND:

AN ACCENT ... THEN ROMANTIC IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNA:

(NARRATES, HAPPY) I could hardly believe my good luck! Charles, of all people! It was as though he'd come back to me. Almost as though he'd known, and come back to me just at the right moment. (SIGHS) So, there we were, making coffee in the kitchen, talking over old times.

SOUND:

ANNA RUMMAGES THROUGH UTENSIL DRAWER

ANNA:

Oh, dear, where is that opener for the evaporated milk? I never can find it.

CHARLES:

Oh, here, I'll open it with my knife.

SOUND:

CLICK! OF LARGE KNIFE BEING OPENED

CHARLES:

Just make a couple of holes in it.

ANNA:

My, isn't that a rather dangerous weapon to carry around just to make holes in tin cans?

SOUND:

CHARLES POKES AT MILK CONTAINER

CHARLES:

(WITH EFFORT) Oh, it has other uses.

ANNA:

(CHUCKLES)

SOUND:

OPENS MILK CONTAINER ... CLINK OF CUPS

CHARLES:

(SIGHS)

ANNA:

(SIGHS) There we are.

CHARLES:

(DRINKS, EXHALES) That tastes good.

ANNA:

Charles? I was terribly sorry to hear about you and Helen.

CHARLES:

Me and Helen?

ANNA:

That you'd separated, I mean.

CHARLES:

Is that what she called it?

ANNA:

Well, she said that you'd left her.

CHARLES:

Helen always had a quaint way of putting things.

ANNA:

Didn't you? You don't still love her, do you?

CHARLES:

Love her? Huh. Didn't she tell you where I'd been?

ANNA:

Why, no, not exactly.

CHARLES:

I've been in a home, Anna. A rest home, as they call it. It was Helen who put me there.

ANNA:

Put you there?

CHARLES:

I'm afraid "committed" is the word. You see, Helen thought I was crazy.

ANNA:

(SYMPATHETIC) Oh, Charles.

CHARLES:

I only got out a couple of weeks ago. (CHUCKLES) I imagine they're still looking for me.

ANNA:

You - you escaped?

CHARLES:

I had to.

ANNA:

Oh, Charles, how dreadful for you.

CHARLES:

As a matter of fact, I've been looking for Helen. There was something I wanted to give her.

ANNA:

But-- Couldn't you find her?

CHARLES:

No. I thought I had a couple of times. But it wasn't Helen after all.

ANNA:

(BEAT, UNEASY) What - was it you wanted to give her, Charles?

SOUND:

RATTLE OF LIPSTICK AS CHARLES PLACES IT ON TABLE

CHARLES:

This.

ANNA:

(STARTLED GASP, BEAT, TREMBLES) Lipstick?

CHARLES:

Yes. A frightful color, isn't it? Orange.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN ... UNEASY

CHARLES:

(A TOUCH OF MADNESS) Are you sure you're not Helen?

MUSIC:

UP FOR A HOMICIDAL ACCENT ... THEN POIGNANT IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNA:

(NARRATES) I heard the doctors talking a little while ago. They say I won't live through the night. But I don't care.

Oh, it's been such a glorious day. The happiest since I can remember. People have been calling on me whom I haven't seen for years. They say I saved the town.

I must have screamed; I - I don't remember.

So they caught poor Charles.

And for the first time in my life, I'm - I'm really an important person. [X]

I wonder when they'll find Helen.

MUSIC:

FOR A BIG FINISH

VOICE:

Thank you, Ida Lupino, for a splendid performance on--

MUSIC:

STING

VOICE:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

OUT

ANNOUNCER:

In just a moment, we will again hear from Miss Ida Lupino.

BILLY:

Gee, what a show. I was sweatin' and it wasn't from the heat, either. What a show--

SOUND:

FIRE ALARM BELL ... FIREFIGHTERS SCRAMBLE, IN BG

MIKE:

Clete! That's us!

BILLY:

Gee, dad! A fire!

HAP:

Get out of the way, son. (CALLS) Where's the fire, Mike?!

MIKE:

Down at Twenty-Eighth and Main!

SOUND:

SIRENS WAIL ... TRUCKS ROLL OUT

HAP:

Hey, they were out o' here in seven seconds. Almost before they stepped on the starter.

BILLY:

Mike sure wasn't foolin' about those Auto-Lite Sta-Ful batteries, was he, dad?

HAP:

No, sir!

BILLY:

Talk about pistol-packin' action! Switch to Auto-Lite Sta-Fuls and, boy, you've got it!

MUSIC:

FANFARE, THEN JINGLE, IN BG

SINGER:

(SINGS) When your spark plugs stut-stut-stutter,
Now, don't you try to putt-putt-putter!
Switch! To Auto-Lite!

When your starter's just a grinder,
Why, it's a battery reminder!
Switch! To Auto-Lite!

Keep your auto right,
Just switch to Auto-Lite
A-U-T-O-L-I-T-E,
Switch to Auto-Lite!

For spark plug life and action
For a battery whose attraction
Is ignition satisfaction,
Switch! To Auto-Lite!

MUSIC:

JINGLE, TO A FINISH

VOICE:

And now here again is Miss Ida Lupino.

IDA LUPINO:

It's always a great pleasure to appear on SUSPENSE, and, as a listener, I'm looking forward to some outstanding programs on this new SUSPENSE series, with stars like Charles Laughton, Agnes Moorehead, Van Johnson, Madeleine Carroll and Ann Sothern. And, next week, I'll be tuned in to hear Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., in a gripping SUSPENSE story entitled "Deep into Darkness." I know you'll want to hear it, too, on--

MUSIC:

STING

VOICE:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME, IN BG ... CONTINUES TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

Ida Lupino may soon be seen in Darryl F. Zanuck's Twentieth Century-Fox Production "Road House."

Tonight's SUSPENSE play was written by Robert L. Richards from an original story by Ray Bradbury. The music was composed by Lucien Moraweck and conducted by Lud Gluskin. The entire production was under the direction of Anton M. Leader.

Next Thursday, same time, you will hear Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in "Deep into Darkness."

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.