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Brief Encounter

The Screen Guild Players

Brief Encounter

Jan 26 1948



CAST:

LAURA

FRED

ALEC

WAITRESS

ANNOUNCER, at train station

CONDUCTOR

DOLLY

and two announcers, ROY and CHANDLER




ROY: (COLD) From Hollywood, Camel Cigarettes present "The Screen Guild Players."


MUSIC: SYMPHONIC CAMEL THEME FULL.... AND FADE TO CONTINUE UNDER 


ROY: Our stars - Irene Dunne, Herbert Marshall and Tom Conway.


Our play - "Brief Encounter." 


Our sponsor - Camel Cigarettes (MUSIC OUT)


CHANDLER: Experience is the best teacher!


ROY: Try a Camel -- let your own experience tell you why more people are smoking Camels than ever before! Let your "T-Zone"... that's T for Taste and T for Throat, where you judge any cigarette...experience the pleasure of Camel's rich, full flavor... judge the smoothness of Camel's cool, cool mildness. See how your own experience agrees with that of millions of other smokers...that Camels suit your "T-Zone" to a T! 


MUSIC: (THEME) 


ROY: Tonight Camel, Cigarettes present "The Screen Guild Players" in a love story so completely real and human that it could have happened to anyone of us --- Noel Coward's deeply moving romance -- "Brief Encounter." Starring Herbert Marshall as Alec Harvey; Irene Dunne as Laura Jesson; and Tom Conway as her husband, Fred. 


The Camel Screen Guild Players in "Brief Encounter."


MUSIC: (FULL INTO PLAY THEME .... AND DOWN, TO HOLD UNDER:)


ROY: It's a picture of perfect domesticity .... The library of a pleasant English country home ... A cheerful after-dinner fire ... Two comfortable chairs and two quiet people ... Laura Jesson with her evening's mending - her husband, Fred, with his crossword puzzle ...(MUSIC CUTS) 


FRED: Laura, you're a poetry addict - see if you can help me over this. It's Keats. "When I beheld upon the night starred face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high -- something in seven letters. 


LAURA: 'Romance', I think. I'm almost sure it is. "Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance' ....


FRED: Yes, that's it Fits in with 'delirium' and 'Baluchistan' ... (WRITING IT) 'Romance' ... (GRINS) Mrs. Jesson, what would I ever do without you? 


LAURA: (LITTLE CAUGHT SOB) Oh, Fred .....! 


FRED: (SURPRISED) Laura ... What on earth's the matter?


LAURA: (LITTLE SOB) Nothing ... it's nothing....


FRED: Darling, what's wrong? ... Tell me - please.


LAURA: (SUBSIDING) Really and truly it's nothing, Fred. I'm just a little run down, that's all. In Milford today I had a sort of fainting spell in the refreshment room at the station -- isn't that idiotic? Dolly Messiter was with me and she talked and talked until I wanted to strangle her - but still she meant to be kind. Isn't it awful about people meaning to be kind? 


FRED: (QUIETLY) Yes ... would you like to go to bed? 


LAURA: No really, Fred - I'm quite all right. 


FRED: But why a fainting spell? I can't understand it. 


LAURA: Don't be silly, darling. I'd been shopping and I was tired and the Refreshment Room was very hot and suddenly I felt sick. Nothing more than that. 


FRED: Well ... If you say....


LAURA: Really nothing more than that. Now get on with your old puzzle and leave me in peace.


FRED: (SMILES) Have it your own way.


LAURA: (PAUSE) Fred...would some music throw you off your stride? (CLICK


FRED: No, dear, I'd like it. (MUSIC) Why don't you turn on the wireless? 


LAURA: (SMILING AT HIS ABSTRACTION) I have. 


FRED: Oh ... (CHUCKLES SOFTLY, AS:) 


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF, CONCERTO 2 IN C MINOR ... HOLDS UNDER:) 


LAURA: (FILTER) Fred....dear Fred.... There's, so much I want to say to you. You're the only one in the world, with enough wisdom and gentleness to understand. And you're the only one in the world I can never tell - never - because even if I waited until we were old old people and told you then, you'd look back over the years and be hurt - and oh, my dear, I don't want you to be hurt. I don't want you to be -- (MUSIC CUTS WITH:)


FRED: Darling, what's a five letter word for --- Never mind, I've got it. (MUSIC RESUMES SOFTLY)


LAURA: (FILTER) You're my husband, Fred. We're happily married - I must never forget that. You're my husband, this is my home, my children are upstairs in bed, this is my whole world. But, oh, Fred, I've been so foolish. I couldn't ask you to understand it. I don't think I understand it myself. But, Fred, you see -- I've fallen in love. 


MUSIC: (PUNCTUATES ... AND CONTINUES UNDER:) 


LAURA: (FILTER) It all started on an ordinary day. In the most ordinary place in the world - the refreshment room at Milford Junction ... My train wasn't due for ten minutes, and I was sitting there reading .. I looked up and saw him come in from the platform. A quite ordinary man in an ordinary coat. His hat was turned down, and I didn't even see his face ... He got his tea at the counter - and turned - and then I did see his face. It was rather a nice face. And he had a nice voice ...... (MUSIC CUTS)


ALEC: Is there any sugar, Miss? 


LAURA: In the bowl sir. 


ALEC: Oh -- thank you. (MUSIC RESUMES SOFTLY)


LAURA: (FILTER) That was all, Fred. Just that. I might never have seen him again - except that, just then, the express came through. (MUSIC IS TAKEN OUT BY PASSING TRAIN...IN B.G.) I went out on the platform to watch it pass, and suddenly I felt a blinding pain in my eyes. 'Oh, bother' I thought, 'I've caught a cinder' - (TRAIN FADES ... LEAVING STATION EFFECTS IN LOW B.G.) - and I groped my way inside, to the girl at the counter ... 


WAITRESS: Yes, ma'am - is it something you want? 


LAURA: Please, could you give me a glass of water? I've got something in my eye and I want to bathe it.


WAITRESS: Right you are. (GLASS DOWN) Would you like me to have look, mum? 


LAURA: Oh, don't trouble. I expect the water will do it.


WAITRESS: Bit of coal dust, no doubt. Can be very nasty. Man I knew lost the sight of one eye through getting a bit of grit in it ... Any better, mum?  


LAURA: I'm afraid not. 


ALEC: I beg your pardon - can I be of any help? 


LAURA: Oh, no please - it's only something in my eye. 


ALEC: Won't you let me have a look? I happen to be a doctor.


LAURA: Well - it's very kind of you -- 


ALEC: Not at all. If you'll just turn to the light ... That's fine ... Now then, look up ... down ... Hold still, I see it. If you'll lend me your handkerchief ...(PAUSE) There you are --- it's out.


LAURA: Oh, what a relief - it was agonizing. How lucky for me that you happened to be here. 


ALEC: Anybody could have done it. 


LAURA: Yes, but you did, and I'm most grateful. I --


ANNCR: (OFF, ECHO) The train now arriving in Platform Three is for Churley, Leigh Green and Langdon. 


ALEC: My train, I'm afraid. Good afternoon. 


LAURA: Thank you again. Good afternoon.


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME ... TO HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) A little thing like that, Fred - a cinder in my eye. Really, it meant nothing to me. So little that I simply forgot it. That is, I forgot it - until the next Thursday ... I'd gone into Milford again, as usual - and, darling, I'd bought your birthday present. A terribly expensive gift, but I knew you wanted it. And having made the plunge, I felt reckless and gay, and decided to go to the Kardomah for lunch ... (LOW CAFE EFFECTS) The place was very full, but with a bit off luck I got a table. And then, just as I sat down, I saw him come in...He looked tired, I thought. And there was nowhere for him to sit, so I smiled and said - (MUSIC CUTS) Good morning. 


ALEC: Good morning ... (RECOGNIZES HER) - Oh - how's the eye? 


LAURA: Perfectly all right - thanks to you. 


ALEC: It was nothing at all --- (HESITANT) Forgive me - are you all alone? 


LAURA: Yes, I am. 


ALEC: I - would you mind if I shared your table? There doesn't seem to be anywhere else. 


LAURA: I wouldn't mind at all. Please sit down. 


ALEC: Thank you ... I'm afraid we haven't been introduced properly. My name's Alec Harvey. 


LAURA: How do you do. Mine's Laura Jesson. 


ALEC: Mrs. or Miss? 


LAURA: Mrs. ... and you're 'Doctor', aren't you? 


ALEC: Not a very interesting doctor. Just general practice - in Churley. 


LAURA: I see ... (PAUSES, LAMELY) (MUSIC: STARTS ... PIANO, VIOLIN, CELLO) .. Oh - they've started the music. 


ALEC: Music? Strange, I hadn't recognized it. 


LAURA: (LAUGHS)


ALEC: (CHUCKLES WITH HER) 


LAURA: Really, we shouldn't laugh. They'll see us. 


ALEC: You know, there should be a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Musical Instruments .. You don't play the piano, I hope? 


LAURA: I was forced to as a child. 


ALEC: You haven't kept it up? 


LAURA: No - my husband isn't musical at all. 


ALEC: Good for him. 


LAURA: Still, for all you know, I might have a tremendous, burning professional talent. 


ALEC: Oh dear, no. 


LAURA: Why are you so sure? 


ALEC: You're too sane and uncomplicated. 


LAURA: (BIT EMBARRASSED) Thank you -- Uh..do you come here every Thursday? 


ALEC: Yes. Stephen Lynn, the Chief Physician here, graduated with me. I take over for him once a week. It gives him a chance to go up to London, and gives me a chance to study the hospital patients. 


LAURA: I see.... 


ALEC: (SLIGHT PAUSE) Do you? (MUSIC STOPS)


LAURA: Do I what? 


ALEC: Come here every Thursday? 


LAURA: Oh yes - I do the week's shopping, change my library book, have lunch, and generally go to see a picture. Not very exciting, but it makes a change. 


ALEC: Are you going to a picture this afternoon? 


LAURA: Yes. 


ALEC: How extraordinary. So am I. 


LAURA: But I thought you had to be at the hospital. 


ALEC: Well, just between ourselves, my stethoscope happens to be last year's model -- and they won't let me thru the door unless I have a new one.


LAURA: (LAUGHS) Oh, how can you be so silly. 


ALEC: Seriously, I did get all my work done this morning. Would you mind very much if I came to the pictures with you? 


LAURA: (HESITATING) Well - I - I..... 


ALEC: I could sit downstairs and you could sit upstairs. 


LAURA: Upstairs is too expensive for me. 


ALEC: Then perhaps we can......


LAURA: Still, I suppose - if we each paid our own way -- 


ALEC: (PROTESTING) Look here, you can't expect me to let you --


LAURA: Please - I'd so much rather we each paid our own - I really would. 


ALEC: Well, if you insist. 


LAURA: I do insist. 


ALEC: Too bad. I'd hoped you were going to treat me.


(BOTH LAUGH) 


MUSIC: (IN FOR BRIDGE....AND FADE OUT INTO:)


SOUND: (STEPS ON PAVEMENT....STREET SOUNDS IN B.G.) 


ALEC: Not a bad picture, at all. Though I didn't look for much with a title like that -- 'Love In A Mist'. 


LAURA: You really shouldn't have bought my ticket. It was very extravagant of you. 


ALEC: It was a famous victory....besides, you wouldn't let me buy your lunch, so you see I made a profit on the - (STOPS SHORT) I beg your pardon. Have I said the wrong thing? 


LAURA: (THOUGHTFUL) Tell me - do you feel guilty at all?


ALEC: Guilty? 


LAURA: Well - Perhaps you should have been working this afternoon. 


ALEC: I told you I finished my work this morning. And a little relaxation never did harm to anyone. Why should either of us feel guilty? 


LAURA: I don't know... (PAUSE) What is she like, your wife?


ALEC: Madeleine? Small, dark, rather delicate. 


LAURA: Funny, I should have thought she'd be fair. 


ALEC: And your husband - what's he like? 


LAURA: Medium height, brown hair, kindly, unemotional, and not delicate at all.


ALEC: You said that proudly. 


LAURA: Did I? Well perhaps I'm --- (SUDDENLY) Good heavens, here we are at the station already! 


ALEC: Already? I hadn't realized. 


LAURA: The walk went so quickly, didn't it? ... (AWKWARDLY) I - Imagine this is where we ... 


ALEC: Look here, there's a good, ten minutes before my train. Why can't we go in and have a cup of tea?


LAURA: (HESITATING) Well ...


ALEC: Believe me, you have nothing to worry about. I'll be very happy to pay for my own. (SHE LAUGHS AS:)


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME ... TO HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) That's how it happened, Fred. It was all so natural and so innocent - sitting there in the refreshment room - (LOW STATION EFFECTS, UNDER) - talking over a cup of tea ... He talked about himself, his practice, what he hoped to do. But as the minutes passed he talked faster and faster, almost at random, (TRAIN BELL) I thought - until we heard what we'd both been waiting for. 


(MUSIC CUTS WITH)


ANNOUNCER: (OFF, ECHO) The train now arriving in Platform Three is for Churley, Leigh Green and Langdon. 


LAURA: That's your train. 


ALEC: Yes. 


LAURA: You mustn't miss it.


ALEC: No.


LAURA: (TRYING TO PASS IT OFF) It's been very nice. I've enjoyed my afternoon enormously. 


ALEC: Shall I see you again? 


LAURA: The picture was the best in weeks. 


ALEC: Shall I see you again? 


LAURA: But I still wish you'd let me pay for my --


ALEC: Please - next Thursday - same time - the Kardomah ---- 


LAURA: No - I couldn't possibly - I -- 


ALEC: Please -- (TRAIN WHISTLE, OFF


LAURA: There's the whistle - you'll miss your train. 


ALEC: All right. 


LAURA: Run.


ALEC: Goodbye. 


LAURA: I'll be there - I'll look for you. 


MUSIC: (ACCENT CHORD ... AND FADE OUT INTO:)


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES 


FRED: Laura? Thank goodness you're back! 


LAURA: Fred! What's the matter? 


FRED: It's all right, old girl, but you must keep calm and not be upset. 


LAURA: What is it? What's wrong? 


FRED: It's Bobbie. He was knocked down by a car on the way from school.


LAURA: Oh, no-------!


FRED: (QUICKLY) Nothing serious -- he was just grazed by the mudguard. The doctor says he won't even miss one day of school ... But he's been asking for you, Laura. You'd better go up to him.


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME ... TO HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) Fred, I felt so awful then - as though the whole thing were my fault - a sort of punishment - a sinister warning ... But within the hour everything had calmed down again. Bobbie had gone off to sleep, delighted at being the center of attention - and we were sitting in the library, as usual --


(MUSIC CUTS)


FRED: Very difficult puzzle tonight, Laura ... (HALF TO SELF) If I could just get this five letter word for ...


LAURA: (TENTATIVELY) Fred ..


FRED: (ABSTRACTED) Hmmm? 


LAURA: Fred, I had lunch with a strange man today, and he took me to the movies. 


FRED: (ABSORBED IN PUZZLE) Good for you ... 


LAURA: He's awfully nice - he's a doctor ... 


FRED: Very noble profession ... Laura, it was Richard the Third who said 'My Kingdom for a horse', wasn't it? 


LAURA: Yes, darling. 


FRED: Well I wish he hadn't. Spoils four other words. 


LAURA: You know, I thought we might ask him to dinner one night. 


FRED: By all means ... Who? 


LAURA: Doctor Harvey. The one I was telling you about. 


FRED: Must it be dinner? 


LAURA: Well, you're never home for lunch. 


FRED: Exactly. 


LAURA: Oh, Fred! (LAUGHS SUDDENLY, ALMOST HYSTERICALLY) 


FRED: Laura! What on earth's the matter? 


LAURA: (LAUGHING) Nothing - it's nothing!...(SUBSIDING) Oh, Fred, I'm an absolute idiot - worrying myself about things that don't exist and making mountains out of molehills. 


FRED: Of course. I told you when you came in it was nothing serious....(SLIGHT PAUSE) Darling, do you know a six letter word for 'fate'?


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME ... TO HOLD UNDER:)  


LAURA: (FILTER) I felt better then. And the following Thursday, when I went to meet Alec, it was mostly out of politeness I thought .. I waited for an hour at the Kardomah. But he didn't come ... And all through the picture I kept thinking about it - wondering if I'd misunderstood ... So I left the theatre early and went back to the station. And I watched the people come and go. And at last I admitted it to myself. I was waiting for Alec. I wanted to see him.


MUSIC: (PUNCTUATES ... AND CONTINUES UNDER:)


SOUND: (STATION EFFECTS ... TRAIN PUFFING) 


LAURA: (FILTER) And so I waited on the platform. I waited until his train was ready to leave. He wasn't anywhere in sight, and suddenly a wave of panic swept over me. What if he didn't come at all! What if I never saw him again! ... I couldn't quite understand myself. I felt empty and lost. But just as I was ready to turn away -- 


(MUSIC CUTS)


ALEC: (SLIGHTLY OFF, BREATHLESS) Oh, there you are! (COMING IN) Then you did come - you did wait!


LAURA: Well I thought perhaps --


ALEC: My dear, I'm so terribly sorry. [I was kept at the hospital.] The house surgeon had to operate suddenly and --- 


LAURA: Don't bother now. You'll miss your train.


ALEC: I thought of sending a note to the Kardomah, but I thought they might embarrass you, shouting your name -- (TRAIN WHISTLE, OFF


LAURA: The whistle! You'll have to hurry! 


ALEC: I was simply frantic. I thought I might never see you again -- (TRAIN STARTS SLOWLY)


LAURA: Oh dear, the train - you'll have to run for it - quick --! 


ALEC: Next Thursday - promise?


LAURA: Next Thursday - I promise! (TRAIN GATHERS SPEED, AS:)


MUSIC: (IN TO COVER ... FOR CURTAIN)


(APPLAUSE)


(BREAK FOR COMMERCIAL)


ROY: In just a moment you will hear Irene Dunne, Herbert Marshall, and Tom Conway in ACT II of "Brief Encounter"....No flashing Broadway lights...no fanfare of opening night...heralded the opening of "Brief Encounter" in New York City. Yet this unassuming motion picture became a great hit...because it gave great entertainment. Americans know what they want when their pleasure is involved...and that's the best. So, millions of people have been smoking Camels for years.....and more people are smoking Camels than ever before! You see, folks learned about cigarettes in a big way during the wartime cigarette shortage. Yes, Sir....smoking so many different brands of cigarettes because they couldn't get any one brand regularly...why, they compared those different cigarettes...Compared them in their "T-Zones"...that's T for Taste and T for Throat, where any cigarette is judged. Yes, that is the way you find out about a cigarette, isn't it?...By your sense of taste and the sensitivity of your throat. Well, when people compared so many brands during the wartime cigarette shortage...it was Camels that thousands and thousands of them found so enjoyable for rich, full flavor...Camels so agreeable for cool, cool mildness. Camels, always popular, became more popular than ever! 


CHANDLER: More people are smoking Camels than ever before! 


ROY: Experience is the best teacher! Try a Camel yourself. 


MUSIC: (SHOW THEME


ROY: Camel Cigarettes now present ACT II of "Brief Encounter" starring Herbert Marshall. Irene Dunne and Tom Conway!


MUSIC: (FULL INTO PLAY THEME...AND FADE OUT UNDER:) 


ROY: Now we're back in the Jesson home again - by the cheerful fire in the library ... Fred Jesson still absorbed in his crossword puzzle ... (MUSIC SNEAKS IN RACHMANINOFF THEME) ... Laura still sitting with her thoughts ... 


LAURA: (FILTER) Fred, darling, if you could only understand ... If I only thought I could make you understand ... When I went to meet Alec that following Thursday, I told myself it was because I'd promised. But, it's strange, by the Thursday after that - I didn't seem to need an excuse at all. (MUSIC CUTS)


ALEC: My dear, it's good to see you again. Really, you don't know what these Thursdays mean to me. 


LAURA: (SMILING) What shall we do today? 


ALEC: Another picture? 


LAURA: There aren't any decent pictures playing. 


ALEC: Then we'll go for a walk - the Botanical Gardens. 


LAURA: (HESITANT) Do you think we should? So many people .... 


ALEC: Only children there. And it's a lovely day. 


LAURA: But -- 


ALEC: Please - we got so very little sun, I don't think we've any right to waste it. 


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME ... TO HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) It really was a lovely afternoon, Fred ... We took a boat and went rowing on the lake. Alec wasn't very good, he kept rowing around and around in circles ... I felt gay and happy and sort of released. A little frightened too - that I could feel that way - away from you with a stranger ... and then suddenly Alec grew very quiet. And stopped rowing. And looked at me ... (MUSIC CUTS) 


(SOUND: LAPPING WATERS) 


ALEC: Laura, ... you know what's happened, don't you? 


LAURA: Yes ... I think I do. 


ALEC: I've fallen in love with you. 


LAURA: Yes ... I know. 


ALEC: Tell me honestly ... please tell me honestly if what I believe is true. 


LAURA: What do you believe? 


ALEC: That it's the same with you - that you've fallen in love too. 


LAURA: It sounds so silly. 


ALEC: Why? 


LAURA: I know you so little. 


ALEC: It is true, though, isn't it? 


LAURA: (A PAUSE, THEN LOW) Yes, it's true. 


ALEC: Laura -- 


LAURA: No please -- we must be sensible. Please help me to be sensible. We must forget that we've said what we've said.


ALEC: How can we? It's too late for that now. And anyway whether we'd said it or not couldn't have mattered. We know - we've both of us known for a long time. 


LAURA: How can you say that? I've only known you for four weeks - we only talked for the first time last Thursday week. 


ALEC: Last Thursday week....Has it been a long time for you since then? Answer me truly. 


LAURA: Yes. 


ALEC: How often did you decide that you were never going to see me again? 


LAURA: Several times a day. 


ALEC: So did I. 


LAURA: Oh, Alec --


ALEC: I love you. I love your wide eyes, and the way you smile, and your shyness, and the way you laugh at my jokes --


LAURA: Please don't -- 


ALEC: I love you - I love you - you love me too. It's no use pretending it hasn't happened, because it has. 


LAURA: (DEEPLY MOVED, TROUBLED) Yes...it has...I don't want to pretend anything - either to you or to anyone else - but from now on I shall have to....That's what's wrong, don't you see? That's what spoils everything. That's why we must stop here and now talking like this. We're neither of us free to love each other. There's too much in the way....(A PAUSE, THEN QUIETLY) And now you'd better row us in. We've got to catch our trains.


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME....TO HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) So we went back to the station. And Alec caught his train, and I caught mine - like two civilized miserable human beings ....(MUSIC FADES SLOWLY INTO:) (MOVING TRAIN) But it was strange. Once on the train, I wasn't miserable any more. Suddenly I felt quite wildly happy - like a romantic school girl - like a romantic fool... I imagined him holding me in his arms - both of us a little younger - just as much in love, and nothing in the way -- I imagined being with him alone - in all sorts of glamorous places - Paris - Venice - the South Seas....Oh, I flew the world with him. Until ---


CONDUCTOR: Ketchworth!.......Coming into Ketchworth. 


(DOOR SLIDE)


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME....TO HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) That brought me rather sharply back to earth. By the time I reached home I'd quite lost my wings....But then later - just as I'd finished changing for dinner - do you remember, Fred? - you came to my room..... 


(MUSIC CUTS) 


FRED: (SMILING) Good evening, Mrs. Jesson.


LAURA: Hullo, dear. 


FRED: Have a good day? 


LAURA: Yes, lovely. 


FRED: What did you do? 


LAURA: Oh, I shopped and had lunch and went to the pictures. 


FRED: All by yourself?


LAURA: Yes ... no ... not exactly. 


FRED: What do you mean - not exactly?


LAURA: Well, I went to the pictures by myself but I had lunch with Mary Norton. She couldn't come to the pictures with me because she had to go and see her in-laws. They live just outside Milford, you know. 


FRED: Haven't seen Mary Norton for ages. How was she looking?


LAURA: Very well really - little fatter, I thought. 


FRED: (SMILING) Well, hurry and make yourself beautiful, darling. I want my dinner. 


MUSIC: (RACHMANINOFF THEME....TO HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) Oh, Fred, that was a horrible evening for me. I'd lied to you. The first time in all our life together. That entire week was a misery. I went through it in a sort of trance. Didn't you ever notice you were living with a stranger? ... But Thursday came at last -- and Alec was waiting when my train got into Milford. He'd rented a little car. He said it would be nice to drive to the country. He didn't talk very much as we drove along. And then finally we stopped at a little bridge....I remember the sun was struggling to come out. And we stood there on the bridge, looking down at the water. And I shivered. And Alec put his arm around me.....(MUSIC CUTS)


ALEC: Cold? 


LAURA: No - not really.


ALEC: Happy?


LAURA: No - not really ... Alec - 


ALEC: I know exactly what you're going to say - that it isn't worth it - that the furtiveness and lying outweigh the happiness we might have together. Isn't that it?


LAURA: Something like that. 


ALEC: (PAUSE) Laura, I want to ask you something..... 


LAURA: What? 


ALEC: It is true for you, isn't it? This overwhelming feeling we have for each other - it's as true for you as it is for me, isn't it? 


LAURA: (QUIETLY) It's true. 


ALEC: Oh, my dear - my dear....(PAUSE, THEN CONTROLLED) I love you, Laura. I shall always love you....And I can't look at you now, because I must tell you something ... Laura, I'm going away.


LAURA: (LOW) Where?


ALEC: A long way away ... Africa .... Johannesburg. 


LAURA: (ALMOST A WHISPER) When?


ALEC: Almost immediately ... They're opening a new hospital. They cabled to ask if I could leave by the tenth. 


LAURA: (CONTROLLED) Next week? So soon? 


ALEC: Do you want me to turn it down? Do you want me to stay? 


LAURA: (ALMOST SHARPLY) Don't be foolish, Alec. 


ALEC: Forgive me. 


LAURA: Forgive you for what?


ALEC: For everything. For meeting you - for taking that cinder out of your eye - for loving you - for bringing you so much misery.


LAURA: I'll forgive you - if you'll forgive me ... (PAUSE, THEN QUIETLY) Hadn't we better be getting back?


ALEC: (QUIETLY) Yes, we mustn't let you miss your train. 


MUSIC: (SHARP CHORD ... AND FADE OUT INTO:) 


SOUND: (STATION EFFECTS...TO HOLD IN B.G.)


ALEC: (TRIES TO BE LIGHT) Well - three more minutes. That confounded train of mine is always on time...(NO REACTION FROM HER) Are you all right, darling? 


LAURA: (QUIETLY) Yes, I'm all right.


ALEC: I wish I could think of something to say. 


LAURA: It doesn't matter - not saying anything, I mean.... (PAUSE) Do you think we shall ever see each other again? (TRAIN APPROACHING ... FROM DISTANCE)


ALEC: I don't know. Not for years, anyway...Could I just write to you once in a while? 


LAURA: No, Alec - please - you know we promised. 


ALEC: All right, dear - but I do love you so much. I love you with all my heart and soul. I shall always love you - until I -- (TRAIN BRAKING TO STOP, OFF)


ANNOUNCER: (OFF, ECHO) The train now arriving in Platform Three is for Churley, Leigh Green and Langdon. 


LAURA: (STRICKEN) Alec - your train - it's here - it's ----


DOLLY: (OFF) Laura Jesson! What a lovely surprise! 


LAURA: (QUICK WHISPER) Alec - go quickly -- 


ALEC: (WHISPER) Darling, goodbye .... (STEPS, FADING, AS:)


DOLLY: (COMING IN) Laura, my dear, this is a bit of luck! I haven't seen you for ages. I've been meaning to pop in, but Tony's had measles, you know, and then I had that awful fuss over Phyllis. (TRAIN WHISTLE IN B.G. .....BLENDING INTO MUSIC....RACHMANINOFF THEME) But of course you don't know - my dear, she left me! (FADING AS MUSIC BUILDS) Mind you, I never cared for her much, but still, Tony did. Tony adored her, but I've always said it doesn't pay to........ 


MUSIC: (WIPES HER OUT...AND DOWN TO CONTINUE UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) It was Dolly Messiter....garrulous, well meaning, stupid Dolly Messiter...crashing in on my last few moments with Alec...She chattered away, but I scarcely heard her. I was listening for his train to start - (TRAIN STARTS, IN B.G. ... FADES OUT SLOWLY, UNDER:) - and then it did....I said to myself: "He didn't go. He changed his mind. He'll come back in a moment. I'll see him again.".....But the moments passed. And he didn't come back. (TRAIN APPROACHING FAST, IN B.G.) And finally I heard Dolly saying -- (MUSIC CUT) 


DOLLY: Isn't that the express going through? 


(EFFECT OF TRAIN UP SLIGHTLY ... AND HOLD UNDER:)


LAURA: (FILTER) I excused myself somehow, and walked out on the platform. I stood there trembling - on the very edge, I meant to do it, Fred - but I couldn't - I just couldn't.... (TRAIN FADES OFF, UNDER:) (MUSIC RESUMES SOFTLY) I wish I could say it was the thought of you and the children that prevented me - but it wasn't. I had no thought at all. Only an overwhelming desire not to feel anything ever again - not to be unhappy any more...And then the express was gone. And I turned, and went inside again. And that's when I nearly fainted......


FRED: (SOFTLY) Laura.....(GENTLY URGENT) Laura....(MUSIC CUTS)


LAURA: (COMING TO) W-what? .... Yes, dear? 


FRED: Whatever your dream was -- it wasn't a very happy one, was it? 


LAURA: No..... 


FRED: Is there anything I can do to help? 


LAURA: Yes, Fred - you always help. 


FRED: You've been a long way away. Thanks for coming back to me. 


LAURA: (BREAKING SUDDENLY) Oh, Fred - Fred - hold me close - hold me close.....(SHE SOBS, AS:) 


MUSIC: (IN FULL, TO COVER.....FOR CURTAIN)


(APPLAUSE)


ROY: Our stars Irene Dunne and Herbert Marshall will return to the Camel Screen Guild microphone in just a moment...More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette, according to a nationwide survey. Throughout the nation ... in every state...and in big cities and small towns..doctors were questioned about their cigarette preferences. Three leading independent research organizations asked one hundred thirteen thousand, five hundred and ninety-seven doctors what cigarette they smoked. The brand the most doctors named was Camel! Try a Camel yourself. And remember -- Camels by the carton are the best buy! 


MUSIC: (TAG) 


ROY: And now before we ring the curtain down, a final word of thanks to you Herbert Marshall, Irene Dunne and Tom Conway for a really beautiful half hour.


DUNNE: It's always a pleasure to appear here Mr. Roy. All of us in Hollywood know how much this program contributes toward supporting the Motion Picture Relief Fund and its Country House, and we consider it a privilege to share in that work. Bert, isn't that the way you feel about it?


MARSHALL: It certainly is, Irene. And there's something else I'd like to mention here that makes all of us happy to appear on these programs. That's the warm-hearted habit the makers of Camels have of sending free smokes every week to men in Veterans' Hospitals. This week, among other hospitals, free Camels go to Veterans' Hospital, Fort Bayard, New Mexico..U.S. Army Valley Forge General Hospital, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania..and U.S. Marine Hospital, Detroit, Michigan. Happy smoking, fellows. Your Camels are on the way. Goodnight, everybody. 


MUSIC: (THEME)


ROY: Don't forget - Monday night is always a brilliant event in the Camel Screen Guild theater. Hollywood's greatest stars in Hollywood's greatest stories.


Next Monday night - one of the year's most gripping dramas - an absorbing study of a murder - and how it was solved ---"The Dark Mirror". It will star Loretta Young in a great dual role -- and another of your favorites - Lew Ayres! 


Be sure to listen!


"Brief Encounter" was directed by Bill Lawrence, adapted for radio by Harry Kronman, with music by Wilbur Hatch, and was presented through the courtesy of J. Arthur Rank and Universal-International Studios, now releasing "A Woman's Vengeance." 


Irene Dunne will soon be seen in the R.K.O. production, "I Remember Mama". Herbert Marshall can be heard on his own radio program, "Man Called X", every Sunday over this same network. 


Listen to Vaughn Monroe - with Colonel Stoopnagle and their guest, Sal Franzella, on the air for Camel Cigarettes every Saturday night over most of these C B S stations. This is Michael Roy in Hollywood saying good night and..."won't you have a Camel?" This is C B S ... the Columbia...Broadcasting..System!


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