Microphone Plays‎ > ‎

Death to Play and Mate

Hot Copy

Death to Play and Mate

Mar 12 1944 



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

ANNE ROGERS, reporter

FLANNIGAN, police sergeant

DR. KING, murder victim

DR. LARSON, young doctor

DOROTHY, Larson's fiancée

HARKNESS

OFFICER (2 lines)

DR. OWENS

BISHOP




ANNOUNCER: O-Cedar, the greatest name in housekeeping, presents . . . Hot Copy!


ORGAN: OPENING THEME -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


SOUND: FAINT CLICKS (MOVEMENT OF CHESSMEN ON BOARD AT INFREQUENT INTERVALS) AD-LIB UNDER:


KING (SOTTO -- MUSING): Let's see, now . . . move the black Queen to King's rook four . . . and check. White must take his bishop . . . If more of my patients played chess, they'd . . .


SOUND: CLICK OF LATCH -- DOOR OPEN SOFTLY.


KING: What . . . ? Who . . . ? Oh, you, eh? Well, what are you doing back here? I thought you had gone . . . Wait a minute! Now . . . now, look here! Don't do . . . something you'll regret. Suppose you sit down . . . cool off a bit? See . . . I'm not afraid. I'll sit right here and do this chess problem, while we talk matters over . . . (FORCED LAUGH) . . . You see? We can solve both problems at once . . . I'm a reasonable man.


SOUND: GUNSHOTS.


KING (AFTER PAUSE -- WITH DIFFICULTY): A . . . reasonable . . . man . . .


SOUND: SLUMP OF BODY TO FLOOR -- DOOR CLOSE.


ORGAN: STINGER.


ANNOUNCER: LEAD-IN COMMERCIAL.


COMMERCIAL.


ORGAN: UP BRIDGE -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


ANNOUNCER: And now . . . a new and dramatic story of Anne Rogers's search for Hot Copy . . . "Death to Play and Mate!"


ORGAN: UP FOR BRIDGE -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


SOUND: SLAP OF PLAYING CARDS -- OUT UNDER:


FLANNIGAN (COUNT GIN-RUMMY SCORE TRIUMPHANTLY): There! That makes . . . lessee . . . forty-seven cents you owe me, Miss Rogers.


ANNE (MOCK DISMAY): Forty-seven! Sergeant Flannigan, I'm practically supporting you!


FLANNIGAN (CHUCKLES): Well, you're keepin' me in cigarette money, anyhow. Another game?


ANNE: Mmmm . . . I don't know. Maybe I should stick to bridge, or chess, or some game I understand.


FLANNIGAN (SCORNFULLY): Bridge! Chess! Sissy games, Miss Rogers! Now, you take gin-rummy . . . it takes brains to play gin-rummy!


ANNE: And, of course, a little luck?


FLANNIGAN: We-e-ell . . . a little luck . . . but mostly brains. How about it? One more game?


ANNE: Mmm . . . I really shouldn't, but . . . when do you expect Inspector Collins back?


FLANNIGAN: Hard to say. Might be minutes, or it might be hours. You know how he is.


ANNE: Yes. But I do want to see him before morning . . . Okay, Sergeant. Deal the cards. This time I'm going to take your shirt!


FLANNIGAN (CHUCKLES): That's what you think!


SOUND: SLAP OF PLAYING CARDS.


FLANNIGAN: Like the fellah says, Miss Rogers . . . "Lucky at cards, unlucky at love." I been married almost twenty years, so it stands to reason I gotta get the breaks some place . . .


SOUND: TELEPHONE RING -- REPEAT AD-LIB.


ANNE: Maybe that's the Inspector now?


FLANNIGAN: I'll see.


SOUND: PHONE OFF HOOK.


FLANNIGAN: Police Headquarters . . . Homicide Bureau. Sergeant Flannigan speakin'. Huh? Whuzzat? . . . Murdered? Doctor Warren King?


ANNE (SOTTO): Doctor Warren King!


FLANNIGAN: No, Inspector Collins ain't here. But I'll be right out. Don't let nobody touch nothin' till I get there, see? Now, what's that address? 43 Crestmont. . . Okay . . . See ya!


SOUND: PHONE ON HOOK.


FLANNIGAN: Well!


ANNE: Well?


FLANNIGAN: Guess we ain't gonna get to play that hand after all, Miss Rogers. I got to go out on a case. A guy's just been knocked off.


ANNE: Yes . . . I heard. Doctor Warren King.


FLANNIGAN: That's right. Know him?


ANNE: I know of him. Society doctor . . . a psycho-neurologist, I believe. Quite wealthy, but retired from active practice now. Famous not only in his profession, but as a former international chess champion . . . Sergeant, if you don't mind, I would like to play a hand, after all. Mind if I come along with you?


FLANNIGAN: Well, no . . . I guess not. Only . . .


ANNE: Yes?


FLANNIGAN: Well, now, I don't like to bring this up . . . but I'd like you to remember one thing if I take you along. I'm handlin' this case, an' you're only an observer . . . see?


ANNE: Oh, but of course, Sergeant . . .


FLANNIGAN: Just listen, an' watch, an' above all . . . don't get excited. There's nothin' worse than havin' an excited female squawkin' in your ears when you're tryin' to think.


ANNE: I promise. I'll be as quiet as a mouse. Now . . . lead on, Macduff!


FLANNIGAN: Mac . . . ? Now, see what I mean, Miss Rogers? You're excited. My name's Flannigan . . . not Macduff!


ORGAN: UP FOR BRIDGE -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS (2) ON WOOD -- KNOCKER ON DOOR.


FLANNIGAN (SOTTO): Well, this is the place. Now, remember what I said, Miss Rogers. I like a pretty woman as well as the next guy, but when there's a job to be done, a woman . . .


ANNE (QUIETLY AMUSED): Should be scenery . . . not heard. Very well, Sergeant. I understand.


SOUND: DOOR OPEN.


LARSON: Yes? Who . . . ?


FLANNIGAN: Sergeant Flannigan. Homicide Bureau.


LARSON: Oh, yes. Come in, Sergeant, please.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSE UNDER:


FLANNIGAN: You're the butler?


LARSON: No . . . I'm Doctor Larson, Miss Mason's fiancé. This is Miss Mason, Doctor King's daughter.


FLANNIGAN: Meetcha! This is Miss Rogers. Newspaperwoman. Writes a column . . . "Second Glance."


ALL -- AD-LIB ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.


FLANNIGAN (SUSPICIOUSLY): If you ain't the butler . . . what are you doin' in them fancy clothes?


LARSON: Fancy . . . ? Oh, you mean the white tie? Why, Miss Mason and I were at the opera when . . . when this happened. We just got home . . .


FLANNIGAN: Mmm-hmmm. Where's the body at?


DOROTHY: In . . . in Uncle Warren's study.


FLANNIGAN: Well, let's have a look . . . (SLIGHT FADE) . . . You touched anything?


DOROTHY-LARSON DENIALS.


ANNE: Er . . . Miss Mason, I noticed you called Doctor King your uncle. Doctor Larson, here, spoke of him as your father, I believe?


DOROTHY (IN MILD CONFUSION): Well, he . . . really he's neither . . . I mean, was neither. I called him uncle . . . sort of a courtesy title. A lot of people thought he was my father. Actually, he was my legal guardian . . . it's quite a long story. You see, when my parents died . . .


FLANNIGAN: Never mind. We'll go into that later. This is the room?


LARSON: Yes.


SOUND: DOOR OPEN.


ANNE: LITTLE GASP OF REPUGNANCE.


DOROTHY: TINY WHIMPER.


LARSON (HUSHED): You see, Sergeant . . . ?


FLANNIGAN: Yeah . . . I see. Quick an' messy. Looks like a thirty-eight job.


DOROTHY (HOPEFULLY): Did he . . . did he kill himself?


FLANNIGAN: If he did, he swallowed the gun afterward. There ain't none in this room.


ANNE: Sergeant . . . that chessboard. Those men. He seems to have been playing a game . . .


FLANNIGAN: Yeah?


ANNE: Yes. Let me see . . . (SLIGHT PAUSE) . . . Either a game or a chess problem. There are only a few pieces on the board. Strange! It must have been a problem, but . . .


FLANNIGAN (DISDAINFULLY): Okay, okay! It ain't important. Now . . . you say you was at the opera?


LARSON: I said we had gone to the opera. I . . . I was called out on an emergency call immediately after getting there. You know, we medical men always leave our names at the box office in case a patient calls.


ANNE (WORK ON): Doctor Larson, do you happen to. . . ?


FLANNIGAN (IMPATIENTLY): If you don't mind, Miss Rogers? Now, Larson . . . you left this house when?


LARSON: Oh . . . a little after eight, I should say.


FLANNIGAN: An' got to the the-ayter?


LARSON: About eight-thirty.


FLANNIGAN: Uh-huh. An' when did you get this call?


LARSON: Shortly after nine. It was supposed to have come from a patient of mine at the Memorial Hospital.


FLANNIGAN: I see. So far, so good . . .


ANNE: Supposed to have come, Doctor Larson?


FLANNIGAN: Now, look, Miss Rogers . . . I ast you not to . . . !


ANNE: I'm sorry, Sergeant.


FLANNIGAN: Okay. Now, where was I? Oh, yeah . . . What do you mean, "supposed" to have come, Larson?


LARSON (CONFUSED): Well, I . . . upon reaching the hospital, I learned that no one knew anything about the call. It was very strange . . .


FLANNIGAN: Yeah. Very strange! An' you, Miss Mason . . . you waited at the opera till he come back?


DOROTHY: Well . . . no. You see, it was a miserable performance. Shortly after Robert was called away, I went to the ladies' waiting-room, leaving word with an usher to let me know if he returned. Often, when he's called like that, he doesn't get back until the performance is over. So when he was not back by the end of the second act, I left the theater and went to our usual meeting place.


FLANNIGAN: And where might that be?


LARSON: The Hotel Metropole Bar. I met Dorothy there about . . . oh, ten-thirty, I should say.


FLANNIGAN: Ten-thirty! You mean you was out answerin' a fake call for an hour an' twenty minutes?


LARSON: Well, there . . . there was a lot of traffic.


FLANNIGAN: Sure! In other words, then, neither you nor Miss Mason was in each other's company when this happened?


DOROTHY: Why, no, but . . . (GASP) . . . But surely you don't think either of us would have . . . ? 


LARSON (SOOTHING): Of course not, dear. It's the officer's duty to get all the facts of the case. We must help him. Which reminds me . . . there is one other thing which may be of some importance. I don't know. But as we were driving up to the house, we saw a man walking across the lawn that separates this house from the one next door. I'm not sure, but it may have been Mr. Harkness.


FLANNIGAN: Harkness? Who's he?


DOROTHY: My . . . my guardian's friend. Our neighbor. He also handled some investments for us. He and Uncle Warren often played chess together.


ANNE: Oh . . . really? Sergeant . . . don't you think it would be a good idea to question Mr. . . . ?


FLANNIGAN (WEARILY): Miss Rogers . . . that's just what I was gonna do . . . if you'd of gimme a chance to say it first!


ORGAN: UP FOR BRIDGE -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


SOUND: DOOR CLOSE.


FLANNIGAN: Well, Mr. Harkness?


HARKNESS (STUNNED): Murdered! Doctor King murdered! I can't believe it! My best friend . . .


ANNE (DELICATELY): We . . . understand you were here earlier this evening, Mr. Harkness?


HARKNESS: Eh? Oh . . . oh, yes, I was. Doctor King called me a little before nine . . . asked me to drop over for a chess game.


ANNE: And you came?


HARKNESS: Of course. We both loved the game. We . . . we were interrupted several times . . .


FLANNIGAN: That right? Who done the interruptin'?


HARKNESS: Two visitors. One was Doctor Lincoln Owens . . . the young man who bought Doctor King's practice. The other was a Mr. Bishop . . . one of King's former patients.


FLANNIGAN (WRITING): Owens . . . and Bishop. I'll tell Headquarters to pick 'em up and bring 'em here. Well, go on. You were sayin' . . . ?


HARKNESS: Merely that they interrupted us. I don't know exactly what Bishop wanted. He came first, along about nine-twenty. King met him at the door . . . talked to him in the room across the hall. I could hear their voices only faintly. Bishop's was higher-pitched than King's.


ANNE: Angry, perhaps?


HARKNESS: I shouldn't say that. He may have been a trifle . . . pettish. At any rate, he didn't stay very long. No more than ten minutes.


FLANNIGAN: And this here Doctor Owens . . . ?


HARKNESS: Well, really, I . . . it's none of my business. I shouldn't say anything . . .


FLANNIGAN: You might as well talk now as in court.


HARKNESS: Well . . . Owens was angry . . . and I can't say I blame him very much.


ANNE: Angry? About what?


HARKNESS: It seems that when he bought out Doctor King's practice, he bought everything . . . including patients, good will, and so on. But King encouraged certain of his former patients to continue consulting him at his home.


ANNE: I see. That accounts for Bishop's visit?


HARKNESS: Exactly. By sheer chance, Owens was passing the house as Bishop left. Angered, he came in to confront Doctor King on the matter. He accused him of professional dishonesty.


ANNE: And Doctor King . . . ?


HARKNESS: Just laughed at him. Warren was . . . well . . . rather miserly at times. And Bishop was a wealthy patient.


FLANNIGAN: I see. But that still doesn't explain the chess game, Harkness. How come you didn't finish it?


HARKNESS: Finish it? But we did. I lost . . . as usual . . . and left here a little after ten o'clock.


FLANNIGAN (ELABORATELY): Oh, yeah? That's funny. These two claim they saw you walkin' across the lawn at half-past eleven!


HARKNESS: They . . . they . . . I . . . I . . .


FLANNIGAN: Well, how about it? You might as well tell us. I'll have footprint men workin' outside, anyway.


HARKNESS: Well . . . yes, it is true I came back. I came back to apologize, in fact.


ANNE: Apologize? For what, Mr. Harkness?


HARKNESS: For losing my temper. You see . . . I had been handling some of Doctor King's investments. He had had some rather annoying losses. He . . . he took the attitude that I was directly responsible. We had words. I left in a huff . . .


FLANNIGAN: An' come back with a pistol?


HARKNESS: No! I told you . . . to apologize. We were old friends. It was silly of us to argue over money . . .


LARSON (BITTERLY): Particularly when it was neither your money nor his, but Dorothy's!


DOROTHY (CRIES): Bob!


FLANNIGAN (QUICKLY): What's that?


LARSON (HOTLY): This smooth-talking old crook . . . he and King were two of a kind! Both after all of Dorothy's money they could get before she comes of age or gets married . . . and regains control of the money her parents left her in King's trust!


DOROTHY: Bob, you shouldn't . . . !


LARSON: Investigate, Sergeant, and you'll find that between them the two have almost eaten up Dorothy's inheritance. That's why King disliked me . . . refused to let me marry Dorothy. He knew if I did, he'd have to give an account of his stewardship, and . . .


DOROTHY: Bob . . . please!


FLANNIGAN: No . . . this is interesting. Let him talk. Go on, Larson.


LARSON: That's all.


FLANNIGAN: It is, eh? I wonder. So you didn't like him, huh?


LARSON: Like him? Of course not! I . . . !


FLANNIGAN: Wait a minute, Larson. Before you go on . . . maybe I ought to warn you that anything you say may be used against you. You see . . . it's been clear from the beginnin' that you was the guy who could of killed the old man easiest. All I needed was a reason for your doin' it. And now, at last . . . I understand your motive!


ORGAN: UP FOR FIRST HALF CURTAIN.


COMMERCIAL.


ORGAN: UP FOR BRIDGE -- DOWN AND HOLD UNDER:


ANNOUNCER: And now . . . back to Hot Copy! Doctor Warren King, retired neurologist and chess expert, has been murdered, and Anne Rogers is seeking a solution to a most perplexing problem . . .


ORGAN: UP FOR BRIDGE -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


ALL -- AD-LIB: EXCITED MURMUR -- DOWN UNDER:


LARSON (EMERGING): But I tell you, officer, I did not kill him! I admit I didn't like him, but that doesn't mean I'd . . .


SOUND: KNOCKER ON DOOR -- REPEAT.


ANNE: The door, Sergeant.


FLANNIGAN: Yeah. That ought to be them other two . . . (FADE) . . . I'll let 'em in.


SOUND: DOOR OPEN (OFF).


OFFICER (OFF): Sergeant Flannigan? These here are the two guys you ast us to pick up. Doctor Owens and Mr. Bishop.


FLANNIGAN: Yeah . . . good! You can wait outside, Mike.


OFFICER: Right, Sarge!


SOUND: DOOR CLOSE.


LARSON (OVER ABOVE SEQUENCE -- ON MIKE): Miss Rogers . . . surely you don't believe I . . . ?


ANNE: Doctor Larson . . . I've been reminded that I'm only a spectator here tonight. But . . . tell me one thing . . .


LARSON: Of course.


ANNE: Do you play chess?


LARSON: Chess? Why . . . as a matter of fact, yes . . .


ANNE: I see. And you, Miss Mason?


DOROTHY: Well, naturally, I know the moves. I'm not a very good player, like Uncle Warren . . .


LARSON: But, Miss Rogers . . . I don't understand . . . ?


ANNE: Neither do I . . . yet. But . . . Shh!


OWENS (FRETFULLY) (WORK ON): Really, officer . . . my sleep is too precious to be disturbed this way. I appreciate your desire to clear up a regrettable case, but I can't see how my presence can . . .


FLANNIGAN: Okay, okay . . . keep your shirt on, Doc. If I ain't mistaken, everybody can go home in a few minutes . . . except one guy. All I want is for you two to answer a few questions. You! You're John Bishop, ain't you?


BISHOP (TIMIDLY): Y-yes, sir.


FLANNIGAN: Now, I understand . . . (PAUSE) . . . Wait a minute! Ain't I seen you somewhere before?


BISHOP: Why . . . why, it's possible. You see, I'm . . .


ANNE: I'm sure you have, Sergeant. You probably know Mr. Bishop better under his stage and screen name . . . Whitey O'Malley. 


FLANNIGAN: Whitey O'. . . Why, yeah! I remember you now, Mr. Bishop . . . (CHUCKLES) . . . Golly, I used to laugh myself sick over them comedy acts of yours!


BISHOP (GRATEFULLY): Thank you, officer.


FLANNIGAN: I alluz thought that was a wig you wore, though. But your hair's really white.


BISHOP (SWIFTLY): Prematurely white, Sergeant. I'm really quite a young man still . . .


FLANNIGAN (CONSOLING): Sure, of course! Hope you'll be back in movies again soon, too, Whitey . . . I mean, Mr. Bishop . . . (BRISKLY) . . . Now, as I was sayin' . . . I understand you was here earlier tonight? About nine-twenty?


BISHOP: That . . . that's right.


FLANNIGAN: An' at that time you had some disagreement with Doctor King?


BISHOP: Disagreement? Oh, no, sir! I . . . I came for a nerve treatment, that's all. Doctor King was busy. He told me to come tomorrow . . .


FLANNIGAN: I see. An' when you left here, where did you go?


BISHOP: Why . . . home. To bed.


FLANNIGAN: Mmm-hmm. Now, you, Doctor Owens. You visited here tonight, too?


OWENS: That's true. But it was an unintentional call, I assure you. I was passing the house and saw Mr. Bishop leaving. Knowing that Doctor King was doing something of which I had several times accused him, I . . .


FLANNIGAN: Yeah, we know all about that. I believe you threatened King, didn't you?


OWENS (FLUSTERED): Threatened? Why, I . . . I don't know. I was upset. I paid Doctor King a handsome price for his practice. I considered his actions highly unethical . . .


FLANNIGAN: Mmm! Then your squawk against King was . . . based on finances?


OWENS: Well, you might say so. But there was something else . . .


FLANNIGAN: Yeah?


OWENS: I . . . er . . . if we might go into another room?


FLANNIGAN: Say it here, Owens. It'll all come out in the wash, anyhow.


OWENS: But, really, I. . .


ANNE: Suppose we do go in the other room, Sergeant?


FLANNIGAN: Now, see here . . . ! Well . . . okay. Come on . . . (FADE) . . . The rest of you wait here.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS (3) -- DOOR OPEN -- CLOSE.


FLANNIGAN: Well, now, Owens . . . what's all the secrecy?


OWENS: I . . . I hardly know how to begin. It's . . .


ANNE: It's about Bishop, isn't it, Doctor?


OWENS: Why . . . yes! How did you know?


ANNE: Your eyes. They flicked toward him nervously when you suggested coming in here. What is it? Dope? Blackmail?


FLANNIGAN: Oh, for Pete's sake, Miss Rogers . . . !


OWENS: Blackmail. That's exactly what it is! You amaze me, Miss Rogers!


FLANNIGAN (WEAKLY): Y-yeah! Me, too!


ANNE: I thought it must be something of the sort. He was a great comedy star . . . once. Then he hit the skids . . . vanished. I was shocked to see him tonight. . . to see how haggard he looks.


OWENS (DELIBERATELY): I can shock you even more. Doctor King was extorting money from Bishop.


ANNE: What! Doctor Owens, do you realize what . . . ?


FLANNIGAN: You mean King shook down his patient? Why?


OWENS: Well -- a patient often makes some unsavory confessions to his psychiatrist, in complete confidence, of course. Now, if the psychiatrist were so unscrupulous as to threaten to reveal those intimate details . . .


ANNE: But it's incredible . . . !


OWENS: Yes. It was incredible to me, too . . . until I discovered, after buying Doctor King's practice, that several of his former patients were afraid that he had already told me certain incriminating facts about their past lives.


FLANNIGAN: Then it wasn't only Bishop?


OWENS: No . . . there were more. And . . . it is true I had words with Doctor King tonight. I told him bluntly I meant to expose him to the police for his criminal malpractice. He . . . 


FLANNIGAN: Owens . . . one thing. Where did you go after you left this house tonight?


OWENS: Go? I? I . . . I don't remember. As I say . . . I was upset. So upset and angry that I just drove around . . . to quiet my nerves . . .


FLANNIGAN: For how long?


OWENS (VAGUELY): Oh . . . maybe an hour or . . . (PAUSE) . . . But, wait a minute! You're not implying that I . . . ?


FLANNIGAN: I'm just wonderin' if mebbe the shoe wasn't on the other foot, Owens. If mebbe it was Doctor King who was threatenin' you with exposure?


OWENS (SPLUTTERING): Why . . . why, you impertinent . . . !


ANNE (CALMLY): Easy . . . easy does it, Doctor. No sense in getting excited. Sergeant Flannigan's merely trying to see all the angles. You claim you left here about nine-forty-five. But you have no alibi from that time till around midnight. And according to the Coroner . . . King was killed between ten and ten-thirty.


OWENS: I . . . I see. But to think I would have . . .


FLANNIGAN: I didn't say you would have, Doc . . . I just said you could have, an' might have. Like if, for instance, you started bleedin' some of King's old patients . . . for more dough yourself.


OWENS: That's not true. Is there anything else you want to ask me?


FLANNIGAN: No, nothin' just now. We'll go back to the others. This way . . .


SOUND: DOOR OPEN.


ANNE: Wait . . . there is one thing more. Doctor Owens, do you play chess?


OWENS: Why . . . yes, I do. A fair game.


ANNE: Thank you.


FLANNIGAN (SLIGHTLY OFF): Chess! Chess! That's all she's been talkin' about all night! Look, Miss Rogers . . . are you comin', or . . . ?


ANNE: Yes, Sergeant. . . I am coming. I want another look at that chessboard!


ORGAN: UP FOR BRIDGE -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


ALL -- AD-LIB MURMUR IN BG -- SUSTAIN UNDER:


FLANNIGAN (SOTTO -- HALF ANGRILY): All right . . . so now you get another look at the chessboard. So what does it get you?


ANNE (STRAINED): I don't know . . . yet. But I know it means something . . .


FLANNIGAN: Miss Rogers! It's just like I said before I brang you out here . . . women got no place in the detecting racket! With a million other things to worry about, you keep talkin' about chess . . .


ANNE: (SOTTO -- MUSING): Obviously an end-game . . .


FLANNIGAN: Any one of these here suspects could of murdered King. Miss Mason, she wanted her dough an' her freedom. Larson wanted his girl . . . an' hated the old man. Harkness had been chiselin' money from his so-called friend. Owens hated the old Doc's innards for cheatin' him on a practice. Bishop was half cuckoo . . . from being blackmailed.


ANNE (ABSENTLY): Yes . . . and none of them have an alibi. So I still say the best clue is this chessboard . . .


FLANNIGAN: Okay, then! How?


ANNE: Well . . . a man doesn't play chess with himself, does he?


FLANNIGAN: King might have. If Harkness really went home sore, like he says he did, King might have spent an idle hour workin' a problem.


ANNE: Only the set-up men on this board don't constitute a chess problem! You see, Sergeant . . . there's an impossible situation on this board!


FLANNIGAN: Huh? An imposs . . . ?


ANNE: Yes. A situation in which Black is in danger of losing, yet is not checkmated. The White . . . (GASPS).


FLANNIGAN: Well?


ANNE: Great heavens! Of course!


FLANNIGAN: What now, Miss Sherlock?


ANNE (SWIFTLY): I see it all now! But I won't ask you to take my word for it, Sergeant. I'll let one of the others tell you . . . (CALLS) . . . Look, everyone . . . We'd like your help for a moment. If you'll come closer, please . . . Thank you. Now, Mr. Bishop . . . perhaps you can point out something to the Sergeant for me? On this chessboard . . .


BISHOP (TIMIDLY): I . . . I'm sorry, Miss Rogers. But I don't play chess.


ANNE: You don't? Oh . . . then . . . Doctor Larson? I know you do. If you'll help me, please . . . ?


LARSON (WORK ON): I'm really no expert, Miss Rogers.


ANNE (INSINUATING): You mean you'd . . . rather not help me?


LARSON: No . . . not that at all. I simply . . .


ANNE: Never mind, then. Mr. Harkness . . . I'm sure you'd be glad to help. And I know you're an excellent player.


HARKNESS (WORK ON): Why, of course, Miss Rogers. If I can do anything to help solve this dastardly crime . . . (STRESS) . . . anything . . . I'll be only too glad to . . .


ANNE: Good! . . . (SIGNIFICANTLY) . . . I knew I could count on you, Mr. Harkness. Have you seen this board before?


HARKNESS: Why . . . er . . . no. As a matter of fact . . .


FLANNIGAN: You was in the room, though?


HARKNESS: Well, yes, but I didn't look at the . . .


ANNE: You haven't . . . touched the pieces?


HARKNESS (ALARMED): No! No, I wasn't near them . . .


FLANNIGAN (GRUDGINGLY): Well . . . that much is right. Nobody touched the pieces . . . unless maybe it was Doctor Larson or Miss Mason before we got here.


LARSON -- MASON: SWIFT DENIALS.


ANNE: All right . . . all right. . . it doesn't matter. Now, Mr. Harkness . . . if you'll come look at the board carefully . . . tell us what you see?


HARKNESS (AFTER PAUSE): But this . . . doesn't make sense.


ANNE: Ah?


FLANNIGAN: Whaddya mean . . . don't make sense?


HARKNESS (HELPLESSLY): These pieces . . . the arrangement of them. It couldn't possibly be a game . . . or a problem.


ANNE: More like a . . . haphazard placement, then?


HARKNESS (DUBIOUSLY): Yes. Except that . . .


ANNE: Or a code message of some sort, perhaps?


HARKNESS: A code message . . . (PAUSE) . . . Miss Rogers!


ANNE (SWIFTLY): Wait! You've seen what I saw, I know. You agree with me, then, that King deliberately arranged the pieces like that before the eyes of his murderer . . . realizing he was doomed, but knowing the murderer was not a chess-player . . . and hoping that by his last act he could send the killer to the chair . . .


FLANNIGAN (FUMING): For gosh sakes, stop talkin' and say it! Who killed King?


ANNE (TRIUMPHANTLY): Read the code message, Mr. Harkness . . . as Doctor King left it!


HARKNESS (AWED): It's right here in these pieces . . . the way they're placed. It's an impossible setup, because the black King is in check, but it isn't a mate. One piece endangers him . . .


ANNE: And in the language of chess the situation is . . . ?


HARKNESS: The white Bishop threatens the King!


ALL -- AD-LIB EXCITEMENT.


BISHOP (SQUEALS): No! No! You won't take me! I have a gun . . . !


SOUND: SCUFFLE.


ALL -- AD-LIB -- 

D: Look out! He's got a gun!

L: Dorothy . . . down!

A: Sergeant Flannigan! Quick!

F: Cut it out, you . . .

H: He's crazy! The man's crazy!

B: You won't take me alive! Never!


SOUND: GUNSHOTS.


ANNE (AFTER PAUSE): Sergeant Flannigan, is he . . . ?


FLANNIGAN (HEAVILY): Well . . . it ain't gonna cost the State nothin' to prosecute this murderer.


ORGAN: UP FOR BRIDGE -- DOWN AND OUT UNDER:


SOUND: AUTO MOTOR -- BRAKES -- MOTOR OUT.


ANNE: Well, Sergeant . . . thanks for driving me home.


FLANNIGAN: Don't mention it, Miss Rogers. A pleasure. That is . . . if my wife don't find out.


ANNE (CONSPIRATORIALLY): I won't breathe a word!


FLANNIGAN: Thanks! And . . . thanks, too, for helpin' out with the case tonight. I'd of caught Bishop myself, o' course . . . but it was nice of you to pitch in, like you did.


ANNE: Don't mention it, Sergeant. A pleasure.


FLANNIGAN: But, look, before you go . . . I'd like to know one thing. Why all that stage-actin' there tonight? You had me thinkin' every one of them people was guilty . . . at one time or another.


ANNE: I'm afraid it was necessary, Sergeant. You see . . . like many neurotics, Bishop was very clever . . . up to a point. He hated Doctor King for what King had done to him. But after deciding to kill him, he planned to shift the crime to someone else's shoulders. That's why he planted that fake emergency call for young Larson . . . to destroy Larson's alibi and make him the logical suspect.


FLANNIGAN: Yeah . . . he did look suspicious.


ANNE: As we now know, when Bishop broke in on Doctor King, the old man knew his moments were numbered.


FLANNIGAN: Yeah, we know that.


ANNE: We can assume that King tried to argue him out of murder. . .


FLANNIGAN: Yeah, so we can.


ANNE: But meanwhile, King arranged the pieces to reveal Bishop's name and intention. Since Bishop didn't play chess, he didn't know what was being done. So . . . we got the message.


FLANNIGAN: Yeah. So we did.


ANNE: But of course the evidence was too flimsy to convict a man in court. So we had to break Bishop with a sudden accusation. And . . . we did . . . and it worked.


FLANNIGAN (SIGHS): Uh-huh! Pretty good! We done all right . . . didn't we? Well, Miss Rogers . . . now you see how us cops crack cases like this. You come around some time again . . . an' if there's ever anything you want to know . . . just call on me!

 

ANNE (LAUGHS): Oh, Sergeant Flannigan!


ORGAN: MOCKING LAUGHTER MUSIC TO CLIMAX AND OUT.


MUSIC: THEME UP AND UNDER:


ANNOUNCER: HOT COPY, starring Betty Lou Gerson as Anne Rogers, is written by Nelson Bond and produced under the direction of Albert Crews. O-Cedar, the Greatest Name in Housekeeping, invites you to tune in again next Sunday afternoon for another stirring presentation of HOT COPY.


MUSIC: THEME UP AND OUT.


ANNOUNCER: CLOSING COMMERCIAL.


MUSIC: CLOSING SIGNATURE.


ANNOUNCER: STANDARD CLOSE.

Comments