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Fugue in C Minor

Suspense

Fugue in C Minor

June 01 1944



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

1ST MAN

2ND MAN

MAN IN BLACK


MISS AMANDA PEABODY, smart, warm, and poised

MRS. LIZZIE CHUMLEY, Amanda's older sister; a bit of a snob

MR. THEODORE EVANS, classy, charming, and a little intense

DAVID, age eight

DAPHNE, age eleven




MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG--


ANNOUNCER: Roma Wines present--


MAN IN BLACK: --SUSPENSE!


ANNOUNCER: Roma Wines, made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.


SOUND: GLASSES CLINK


1ST MAN: Salud!


2ND MAN: To your health, Señor!


SOUND: GLASSES CLINK


ANNOUNCER: Roma Wines toast the world. The wine for your table is Roma Wine, made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.


MUSIC: THEME ... IN BG


MAN IN BLACK: The Roma Wine Company of Fresno, California welcomes you again to this weekly half hour of - SUSPENSE. Tonight from Hollywood, Roma Wines bring you as stars Miss Ida Lupino, currently being seen in Warner Brothers' "In Our Time," and Mr. Vincent Price of Twentieth Century-Fox, soon to be seen in the Darryl F. Zanuck production, "Wilson." For the appearance of these two distinguished screen personalities, Lucille Fletcher has written a suspense play that deals with brooding anxiety and sharpening suspicion, played against the severe and forbidding background of the late Victorian era. And so, with "Fugue in C Minor," and with the performances of Ida Lupino and Vincent Price, we again hope to keep you in -- SUSPENSE!


MUSIC: THEME UP AND OUT ... THEN A HUGE PIPE ORGAN PLAYS A BROODING INTRODUCTION ... THEN A MORE CONVENTIONAL STRING-HEAVY UNDERSCORE IN BG


AMANDA: (NARRATES) April first, Nineteen Hundred. Dear Bessie, This is just to let you know that I arrived in Pilotsville. Lizzie met me at the station. She's heartbroken about Papa's bankruptcy and for some reason feels that it's up to me to remedy the family situation. I told her I'd been offered a job, but she swept away that idea in horror.


LIZZIE: A girl with your looks, Amanda Peabody, doesn't have to get a job. There're too many rich husbands floating around for that.


AMANDA: (NARRATES) Furthermore, she says, she has a rich husband already picked out for me right here in Pilotsville.


LIZZIE: Don't you remember? I told you about him at Christmastime. He's a Mr. Evans. Rich as Croesus, charming, cultured. A lonely widower with two dear little children. And besides that, he's just your type -- a real intellectual. You should hear him play the pipe organ. 


AMANDA: (NARRATES) And you know, Bessie, I've met so few interesting men lately.


LIZZIE: And all you'd have to do is lift your little finger. (FADES OUT)


MUSIC: FADES OUT


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN FADE IN DINNER PARTY BACKGROUND ... GUESTS MURMUR, UTENSILS AND GLASSES CLINK, ET CETERA


MUSIC: POLITE DINNER PARTY PIANO ... IN BG


LIZZIE: (A GREETING) Mr. Evans.


EVANS: Oh, good evening, Mrs. Chumley. How delightful to see you here.


LIZZIE: I'd like you to meet my sister. Mr. Evans; my sister, Amanda Peabody.


EVANS: Delighted, I'm sure.


AMANDA: It's a lovely party, Mr. Evans.


EVANS: Thank you, Miss Peabody. Have you just come to Pilotsville?


AMANDA: Yes.


LIZZIE: She's down from New York, visiting me, after the whirl of the hectic social season.


EVANS: Oh, indeed? (CHUCKLES) Well, I'm afraid our Pilotsville society must seem a bit dull to you, Miss Peabody.


AMANDA: Oh, no, not at all. It's charming. I've enjoyed everything so much tonight -- your beautiful house, the music. I hear you're going to play for us, Mr. Evans.


EVANS: Oh, a bit. Do you care for organ music, Miss Peabody?


AMANDA: Very much. I never miss a church recital. But what a luxury it must be to have your own pipe organ right here in the house.


EVANS: I'm afraid I couldn't do without it. It's my hobby, you know. Bach, Buxtehude, Cesar Franck -- don't you adore their work?


LIZZIE: Oh, Amanda's very musical. You should hear her render "The Burning of Rome."


MUSIC: PIANO FINISHES GENTLY, IN BG


EVANS: (CHUCKLES) Yes. And the delightful thing, of course, about having a pipe organ in the house is that it's everywhere. To sit at a keyboard and hear the walls, the ceilings, the floors vibrate. You see, Miss Peabody, I've had the pipes installed all over the house. Under this floor, for example, are all the choir stops. Up in the bedroom walls are the stops for the swell manual. And the great thirty-two foot pedal stops, the giant diapasons, are underneath this staircase. My children sleep next door to the echo chamber. (CHUCKLES) So, you see, we live like angels here, in a paradise of music.


AMANDA: How thrilling.


EVANS: Ladies, come upstairs to the second-floor landing, won't you, and I'll show you the console. (MOVING OFF) It was made for me in Vienna.


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE


MUSIC: ORGAN FADES IN ... THEN IN BG


AMANDA: (NARRATES) April seventh, Nineteen Hundred. And, Bessie dear, to tell you the truth, I really find him fascinating. I wish you could hear him play. It sweeps you off your feet. There is such wildness to it and, at the same time, such dignity. And to hear the sound all through that marvelous house, rolling through those gorgeous rooms with their beautiful tapestries and potted palms, I could sit and listen to him all night.


EVANS: (AS HE PLAYS) You have the most amazing eyes, Miss Peabody. What are you thinking about?


AMANDA: The music. Oh, please don't stop. It's so beautiful.


EVANS: Well, you seem to be as mad about music as I am. Your sister says you play, too.


AMANDA: (CHUCKLES MODESTLY) Oh, no; only a little. My appreciation of it is all inside, I'm afraid.


EVANS: That's plenty. If one can't play, it's better just to enjoy the music of others. I can't bear this sentimental drumming, can you?


AMANDA: I shouldn't think you would enjoy it.


EVANS: The idiotic tunes people play nowadays. Give me the old stern classics. They have strength and power! Give me something with life to it, something that will flood the whole house with sound!


MUSIC: DURING ABOVE, THE ORGAN GROWS INCREASINGLY STRONG AND POWERFUL ... BUILDING TO A HUGE FIFTEEN-SECOND-LONG CLIMAX ... THEN OUT


AMANDA: (BEAT, QUIETLY INTENSE) Oh, that's marvelous.


SOUND: EVANS CLIMBS DOWN FROM ORGAN TO JOIN AMANDA AT TABLE ... DURING THE NEXT DIALOGUE EXCHANGE, A TIMEPIECE GENTLY CHIMES TWO O'CLOCK, OFF ... AND WE HEAR THE CLINK OF TEAPOT, DISHES, ET CETERA, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


EVANS: (EXHALES, PLEASED WITH HER REACTION) You're a very unusual girl, Miss Peabody. Quite unlike the run of girls down here at Pilotsville.


AMANDA: Yes? In what way?


EVANS: Oh, it's rather hard to explain. Er, some more tea, Amanda?


AMANDA: No, thank you.


EVANS: A muffin?


AMANDA: No, thank you. You have an excellent cook, Mr. Evans.


EVANS: Please. Please call me Theodore. You know you promised.


AMANDA: (A LITTLE FLUSTERED) Theodore.


EVANS: (POLITELY) Amanda.


AMANDA: And your house is beautifully run, too. You must have an excellent housekeeper. Everything always looks so charming and quiet. I haven't even heard a peep out of your children.


EVANS: (AMUSED) My children? Oh, yes, the children have been away at school.


AMANDA: You have two, haven't you?


EVANS: Yes. Daphne and David.


AMANDA: What sweet names.


EVANS: Ordinarily I don't approve of schools for young children, but, you see, they were rather overwrought -- after Mrs. Evans passed on.


AMANDA: I can well understand.


EVANS: They were almost morbidly devoted to their mother and then, of course, the unfortunate circumstances of her death-- But I suppose your sister, Mrs. Chumley, has told you all about that.


AMANDA: No, not very much, except-- Your wife was killed in a street accident, wasn't she?


EVANS: Yes, in Philadelphia. A brewery wagon and four horses ran her down.


AMANDA: Oh, how terrible.


EVANS: It's something I don't like to think about very often. Poor beautiful Margaret. Well, it's like a nightmare, Amanda, and I still can't feel reconciled, but-- Well, what I was driving at was the children. They were in school when she died and by some malicious stroke of fate, there was an epidemic of scarlet fever raging out there. The authorities wouldn't lift the quarantine and let them out for her funeral.


AMANDA: Oh, poor little things.


EVANS: Yes, it upset them dreadfully. In fact, I sometimes fear it's left a mark on them which may endure all their lives.


AMANDA: Why, what do you mean?


EVANS: They suffer from delusions. Delusions about her. They think that in some way she is linked-- Her soul is imprisoned in the organ pipes.


AMANDA: How horrible.


EVANS: I wish I could do something about it. It's a frightful notion, but they don't let me play when they're at home. That echo chamber in particular, next door to their bedroom--


AMANDA: Yes?


EVANS: Do you know it's nothing but an empty sealed room with a few wires? Of course, it's all because they never saw her dead. But they have a notion that she's-- Well, somehow hidden there.


AMANDA: How ghastly. They really think that, do they? Children can think up such very strange things in their little minds, can't they?


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN DURING ABOVE ... A STATELY TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MAN IN BLACK--


MAN IN BLACK: Tonight for "Suspense," Roma Wines are bringing you as stars Miss Ida Lupino and Mr. Vincent Price, whom you've heard in the prologue to "Fugue in C Minor" -- tonight's tale of SUSPENSE!


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: Let us look in on another scene for a moment -- a smart dinner party at the internationally famous Hotel Nacional de Cuba in Havana.


MUSIC: PIANO, IN BG


ANNOUNCER: One of the guests, a world-traveled American, sets down his wine glass and remarks that a truly fine wine always carries the unmistakable flavor of the particular vineyards from which it comes. "Well, then," laughs his Cuban host, "You must be homesick for California right now -- for the wine you are enjoying so much is from America, from California. It is Roma Wine."


MUSIC: PIANO OUT


ANNOUNCER: Yes, it's true. Our own wonderful vineyard country in California produces, in Roma, wines that discriminating people in other lands esteem as an imported delicacy. Yet you here at home can enjoy these distinguished Roma Wines for mere pennies a glassful. You pay none of the expensive overseas shipping charges and duties. Daily with your meals, or when entertaining, or any time, you can delight yourself with the wonderful flavor that comes from age-old winemaking traditions perfected by modern quality controls and tests. Yes, only pennies a glassful for a treat you are certain to enjoy. For remember, Roma Wines are America's largest-selling wines. Roma -- made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.


MUSIC: THEME


MAN IN BLACK: And now it is with pleasure that we bring back to our sound stage Ida Lupino as Amanda Peabody and Vincent Price as Theodore Evans in "Fugue in C Minor," a tale well-calculated to keep you in -- SUSPENSE!


MUSIC: THEME, UP ... THEN TRANSITIONS TO ORGAN INTRODUCTION ... THEN ORGAN BEHIND AMANDA--


AMANDA: (NARRATES) April eighteenth. I met the children today, Bessie, for the first time. It was a shock. They're strange little creatures, utterly unlike their father. The girl is about eleven and the boy eight. They were both dressed in deep mourning. Their large gray eyes seemed strained with terror. They listened and trembled at every sound.


EVANS: This is Miss Peabody, children. She's a very good friend of mine. Now, I want you both to shake hands with her. (NO RESPONSE) Oh, come now, Daphne. You can at least tell Miss Peabody how old you are.


AMANDA: Oh, no. Please don't press her. I know when I was a little girl I hated people to talk about my age. I'd much rather hear about-- Well, about school.


DAVID: (DEFIANT) We're not going back there -- no matter what anybody says!


EVANS: (ADMONISHES) David!


AMANDA: That's all right. (TO DAVID) Then you didn't like school?


DAVID: No! And Mommy didn't like it either. She cried when we went away.


AMANDA: Oh. But your mama wanted you to be educated, didn't she? She wanted you to grow up and be intelligent people, didn't she? (NO ANSWER) Well, didn't she, Daphne?


DAPHNE: (LOW, NERVOUSLY SUSPICIOUS) Who are you?


AMANDA: You may call me Aunt Amanda. I'm a friend of your papa's.


DAPHNE: Do you know where my mama is?


AMANDA: Your mama? Well, your mama's in Heaven, dear.


DAPHNE: No, she's not.


AMANDA: Then where is she, dear? 


EVANS: Please. Please don't start them off, Amanda. It's too upsetting. 


SOUND: EVANS' FOOTSTEPS TO ORGAN IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


EVANS: Come along, children. Now we're going to have a little music, like old times. Do you remember when your mother was alive, we all used to play together? David, you, with your cornet and Daphne at the violin. And Mama at the piano. Well, Miss Peabody plays the piano, too, and she's promised to play "Narcissus," Mama's favorite piece. (BEAT) Well?


AMANDA: (UNEASY) Well, perhaps some other time, Theodore, when they don't feel so strange.


EVANS: (EXASPERATED) I tell you, I've humored them to death. Now come, David! There's your cornet on the mantelpiece. And Daphne--?!


DAPHNE: No!


EVANS: I insist! Look now, I'll start the melody on the organ. David, you come in with your cornet obbligato in the third measure. Daphne, you can follow me.


SOUND: CLICK OF SWITCH ... ORGAN MOTOR STARTS UP


MUSIC: ORGAN PLAYS ETHELBERT NEVINS' "NARCISSUS" ... THEN IN BG


DAVID: (HEARS SOMETHING) What's that?!


EVANS: Come along, children.


DAVID: What's that note?! That note makin' that funny noise?!


MUSIC: ORGAN STOPS PLAYING -- EXCEPT FOR ONE EERIE NOTE THAT CONTINUES STEADILY IN BG


EVANS: What note? Oh. (AMUSED, LIGHTLY) Oh, you mean that. Oh, that's just a cipher. A wire must have stuck somewhere, or one of the pipe valves.


DAPHNE: It's Mama! That's where Mama is! She's calling for us!


EVANS: Now don't be silly. I'll just hit the key a few times and it'll stop.


SOUND: TAPPING ON KEY


EVANS: You've heard these ciphers before, haven't you, Miss Peabody?


AMANDA: Well, I don't know much about pipe organs.


EVANS: It's a common technical occurrence, but very annoying of course.


DAPHNE: What is she doing in there? Why doesn't it stop?! That's where she is! She's in the pipe and she can't get out!


EVANS: Daphne, stop that nonsense.


AMANDA: (SYMPATHETIC) Oh, hush, dear. Your papa will fix it.


DAPHNE: No, he won't. He can't! She won't let him because ---- he killed her!


MUSIC: EERIE NOTE ABRUPTLY OUT


SOUND: EVANS' FOOTSTEPS TO DAPHNE BEHIND--


EVANS: Daphne? Daphne, what did you say?


DAPHNE: (WEEPS, CONTINUES IN BG)


AMANDA: Oh, she didn't mean it, I'm sure. The poor little thing's hysterical. We should never have tried to persuade them.


EVANS: (DISTRAUGHT) Oh, Amanda, just because they never looked upon her face -- because they never saw her lying there in the coffin--


AMANDA: Oh, hush, hush.


EVANS: --my own children believe that I am a murderer!


AMANDA: Theodore, you're making them both sick.


EVANS: So I -- I, who loved their mother so much, who was so devoted for twelve years--! Do I look like a murderer, Amanda? Do I?


AMANDA: No.


MUSIC: EERIE NOTE ABRUPTLY BEGINS AGAIN ... CONTINUES IN BG


DAPHNE: There it is again! It's Mama! It's Mama!


AMANDA: Ssh, dear! (TO EVANS) I'll take them upstairs for you, Theodore, while you try and fix it.


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE 


MUSIC: ORGAN FADES IN ... THEN BEHIND AMANDA--


AMANDA: (NARRATES) April twenty-fourth. Oh, Bessie, those poor little children. We took them out to the cemetery today to show them her grave. A marble angel guarded it. 'Twas planted with pure white tulips. How final it was, and peaceful. And yet they began to tremble again the moment we set foot inside the house. Poor Theodore, the man is nearly out of his mind. What can he do? I keep asking myself that question.


SOUND: TIMEPIECE CHIMES THE HOUR


AMANDA: She died in Philadelphia, you say?


EVANS: Yes, on May fifteenth -- just a little less than a year ago.


AMANDA: You weren't with her?


EVANS: No, she went there to take a piano lesson. There was a new teacher she'd heard about. She was always so self-conscious about her technique. But she never reached his studio. They notified me at midnight from the city morgue.


AMANDA: And no one in Philadelphia saw her?


EVANS: No one except the attendants at the morgue, of course, and the people who picked her up after the collision. It was such a brutal accident.


AMANDA: But there'd be no one from among them who could speak to the children, explain to them?


EVANS: Oh, no. (EXHALES) Oh, it's so horrible, so sordid.


AMANDA: Oh, I know, my dear. I hate to make you suffer. But if we could find some way-- If they could just believe. When you brought her back here to Pilotsville, there was a funeral?


EVANS: Yes.


AMANDA: And was there anybody then who saw her?


EVANS: Oh, no, I couldn't bear it. Amanda, I - I didn't think at the time-- She'd been so beautiful. Her lovely, sweet, gentle face and her eyes-- The horses had completely trampled--


AMANDA: (DISMAYED) Oh. 


EVANS: Even if the children had been able to come home, I wouldn't have let them look. The coffin was sealed when I left Philadelphia. I didn't want to see her again myself.


AMANDA: But there was a funeral. People came, there were flowers, an undertaker--


EVANS: Yes.


AMANDA: Well, if they could believe that. If there was one witness-- Perhaps my own sister Lizzie--


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE 


MUSIC: ORGAN FADES IN ... THEN BEHIND LIZZIE--


LIZZIE: Funeral, Amanda? Of course there was a funeral. The finest funeral in town. A snow-white hearse and twenty-five coaches. Everybody sent flowers. The casket wasn't open, but I've been to lots of funerals where they don't open the casket. And from what I understand, she was pretty badly mangled. But it was a beautiful funeral. Mr. Evans played the organ himself, the finest selections -- all the sweet old pieces his wife liked. There was "Narcissus" and "Mighty Lak' a Rose" and "Goodbye, Forever"-- 


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... NEXT SCENE FADES IN


AMANDA: That's the way it was. So you see, David, my sister Mrs. Chumley was there.


DAVID: Yes. But how did she know it was Mama?


AMANDA: Oh, David--


DAVID: She didn't see Mama, did she?


AMANDA: Well, nobody saw your poor mama, dear. She wouldn't have wanted anyone to see her.


DAVID: Mama wasn't there. She talks to us every night. She tells us to look for her.


AMANDA: Where, dear?


DAVID: In the pipes.


AMANDA: But, David, your mama's dead. She's been dead for nearly a year. Now, you saw her grave out in the cemetery. She's happy and at rest.


DAVID: Why doesn't Papa give us the key? If he'd only let us have it, we could look for her.


AMANDA: What key, dear?


DAVID: The keys to the pipes. There's a little door, just underneath the stairs. [That's where the big pipes are. And inside it's all dark. There are tunnels in there and little rooms that go all throughout the house and that's where Mama is.] That's where she's hiding. That's where Mommy is! That's where Mommy is!


AMANDA: Oh, David darling. Now, look, come here.


DAVID: No! I hate you!


AMANDA: But why do you hate me? Why don't you let me help you?


DAVID: Because--


AMANDA: Because what?


DAVID: Because -- you - you like him.


AMANDA: Him?


DAVID: Papa. You're going to marry him, aren't you?


AMANDA: (DOESN'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, EXHALES)


DAVID: Yes, you are! Sabrina says you are! You're going to marry him! Then he'll send us back to school -- and there'll be no one left to help Mama. Poor Mama will never be let out. (SAVAGELY) Oh, I hate you! I hate you!


SOUND: EVANS' FOOTSTEPS APPROACH BEHIND--


EVANS: (STERNLY) David! What are you doing here? David, did you strike Miss Peabody?


AMANDA: He's sick, Theodore. I'm sure he's very sick.


EVANS: (TO DAVID) Now, go to your room at once!


SOUND: DAVID'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS AWAY


EVANS: (DISCOURAGED) Oh, those dreadful children. I tell you, Amanda, they'll ruin whatever happiness we might have.


AMANDA: Theodore -- I love you very much. But I couldn't marry you. Not with that child's cry ringing in my head. We've got to help them. Give them that key. Let them go and look in the room where the pipes are. Then they'll see for themselves that there's no ghost.


EVANS: Key? Who told you about a key to that room?


AMANDA: The children.


EVANS: The children? Amanda, I'm going to tell you something. Something I've never told to a living soul. It - it may frighten you.


AMANDA: Yes?


EVANS: Margaret was going mad when she died.


AMANDA: (SURPRISED) Oh.


EVANS: No one knew it but me. It ran in her family. I discovered it long after we were married, after the children were born. Otherwise, I'd never have--


AMANDA: And now you think the children--?


EVANS: I'm afraid so. It was "peopling of sound" she had -- just like them. A fear of the dead's returning. [X] She used to play-- What's that?


MUSIC: LOW EERIE NOTE FADES IN ABOVE AT [X] ... CONTINUES IN BG


AMANDA: Sounds like the organ.


EVANS: But the motor isn't on. The console was locked when I left.


AMANDA: Someone's trying to play.


EVANS: (UPSET) No one but me can touch that instrument. It's forbidden in this house and the servants are out. Unless those children-- Come upstairs, Amanda.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS HURRY UP STAIRS BEHIND--


MUSIC: LOW EERIE NOTE GROWS LOUDER AS THEY APPROACH THE ORGAN


AMANDA: Theodore! Why, there's no one here. No one at the keyboard. The organ's playing itself.


EVANS: That's impossible. The motor's not going.


AMANDA: The motor?


EVANS: Yes, it sets the bellows going. There's no air in the pipes unless it's on. No air to make the pipes speak. It's impossible, I tell you!


AMANDA: Perhaps the children found the key and got in--


EVANS: Key? No, no, no, the key's here in my pocket.


AMANDA: There's no other way in there?


EVANS: No.


AMANDA: Theodore, open that door! Go in there and see what's happening -- please!


EVANS: No.


AMANDA: Theodore!


EVANS: (HYSTERICAL) I won't give in. I - I won't be a prey to it, do you hear?! I - I won't! I - I won't! I won't!


MUSIC: LOW EERIE NOTE OUT


EVANS: (RELIEVED, QUIETLY) There. It stopped now.


AMANDA: Yes.


EVANS: (UNCONVINCED) It was probably - nothing but the wind.


AMANDA: (DETERMINED) Theodore, give me the key. I'm not afraid.


EVANS: Are you saying that I am?


AMANDA: I don't know. But I'll be fair with you, Theodore. I couldn't marry you and live here with that any more than your children can.


EVANS: What do you mean?


AMANDA: Rip out those pipes. Rip out the whole pipe organ. Give it to a church, but don't keep it here! It's not worth it!


EVANS: (INCREDULOUS) Get rid of the pipe organ?


AMANDA: Yes!


EVANS: But I couldn't! The whole house was built around it. It's been the very soul and spirit of this home.


AMANDA: It's been the curse, you mean. Theodore, I know I'd go mad, too, if I had to listen to it night and day. It's so hollow. To think of those pipes -- so huge down there in the darkness -- I'd begin to hear things, too.


MUSIC: LOW EERIE NOTE FADES IN ... CONTINUES IN BG


AMANDA: (STARTLED SHRIEK) Oh, Theod--!


EVANS: (LOW, TENSE) Quiet. Be quiet. Come outside. We'll take a walk.


AMANDA: (OVERWROUGHT) No. No, give me the key! Give me the key!


EVANS: (CALM) You're hysterical, Amanda. I'm sorry I've overburdened you.


AMANDA: (SUSPICIOUS) Why don't you want to go in there? Is it because you know something? You did something?


EVANS: (SHARPLY) What do you mean?


AMANDA: Did you kill her?!


MUSIC: LOW EERIE NOTE OUT


EVANS: (GENTLY SURPRISED) Amanda--?


AMANDA: (GASPS, BREATHLESS, SHOCKED AT THE REALIZATION ... CONTINUES TO BREATHE NERVOUSLY IN BG)


EVANS: (OMINOUSLY GRACIOUS) Very well, Amanda. Here's the key.


SOUND: JANGLE OF KEYS ... THEIR FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


EVANS: If that's the way you trust me, we'll go down and look around together. Come now, Amanda.


AMANDA: (PAUSE, RECOVERS) I'm sorry, Theodore. It slipped out. It was a dreadful thing to say.


EVANS: It's all right, I understand. Yet it hurts a little. I've trusted you so completely, Amanda.


AMANDA: Theodore?


EVANS: Yes, Amanda?


AMANDA: Let's not go in there. I do trust you, darling. I-I-I believe everything you've told me.


EVANS: No.


SOUND: KEY UNLOCKS DOOR


EVANS: (LIGHTLY) This little key. To think it should mean so much.


SOUND: KNOB TURNS ... DOOR CREAKS OPEN ... THEIR FOOTSTEPS IN BG


AMANDA: (EXHALES QUIETLY) How black it is.


EVANS: Yes. Pitch black.


AMANDA: And cold. Where are the pipes? I can't see them.


EVANS: Come in further, Amanda. You'll see them as soon as your eyes grow accustomed to the darkness. The biggest pipes pack this well under the great staircase, like giants.


AMANDA: Oh, yes, I - I'm beginning to see them now. Shouldn't we go and get a candle?


EVANS: Oh, no, no. Go in a little further. Be careful, the floor's a maze of wires. 


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS STOP


EVANS: Now stand there for a second.


SOUND: EVANS' STEPS AWAY


AMANDA: Theodore! Don't leave me!


EVANS: (MOVING OFF) I won't be long. I thought you said you weren't afraid.


AMANDA: No, I'm not. Only--


SOUND: CREAK OF DOOR


AMANDA: Where are you going?


EVANS: Just upstairs to play for you.


AMANDA: Theodore!


EVANS: I'd like you to hear how the music sounds in the darkness. It's quite an experience being so close to the pipes -- you know, narrow, suffocating -- especially when I play the great "Passacaglia and Fugue" of Bach.


AMANDA: Oh, Theodore, please! I don't want to stay here!


EVANS: Or perhaps one of the Rheinberger symphonies or the great chorales of Cesar Franck.


AMANDA: (EXHALES)


EVANS: Margaret, of course, preferred "Narcissus."


AMANDA: Margaret?


EVANS: You're very gullible, Amanda.


AMANDA: Then you did kill her. (BEAT) You killed her in this room. (BEAT) And you're going to kill me!


EVANS: Yes. Simple, isn't it?


AMANDA: But why?! Why?!


EVANS: (INCREASINGLY DEMENTED) I don't know. One gets tired every now and then of mere music. Sometimes the classics demand competition. A scream, for example. There's something so exciting about pulling out all the stops and drowning out all human sound! Have you ever tried to match your voice, Miss Peabody, against the thunderous voice of Bach?! It's most effective! And then when the struggle gets weaker -- when the air is almost gone and you choke and gasp for breath -- to bring the music down softer, softer--


AMANDA: Theodore, you're mad, you're mad!


EVANS: Come, Amanda. Would you deny me that pleasure?


AMANDA: No. (YELLS) Help! Help!


EVANS: I promise the concert won't be too long. It takes about eight hours before the air gives out. But, you know, I could play for days! And don't worry about the children. I think you've convinced them about the ghost.


SOUND: DOOR SLAMS SHUT


EVANS: (STARTLED) What's that?


AMANDA: Theodore?


SOUND: EVANS' HURRIED STEPS TO DOOR BEHIND--


EVANS: (NERVOUS) Someone shut the door.


SOUND: DOOR KNOB RATTLES 


EVANS: (WORRIED) It's locked and the key's outside!


SOUND: DOOR KNOB RATTLES 


EVANS: (CALLS) Who's there?! (NO ANSWER, PANICS) Let me out!


SOUND: EVANS POUNDS ON DOOR


EVANS: Let me out!


SOUND: EVANS POUNDS ON DOOR AGAIN ... DOOR KNOB RATTLES 


MUSIC: ORGAN BEGINS TO PLAY ... LOW EERIE NOTES, LOUDER THAN BEFORE, GROANING STEADILY AND OMINOUSLY ... CONTINUES IN BG


AMANDA: Theodore?


EVANS: Get away from me!


SOUND: POUNDING AND RATTLING CONTINUE BEHIND--


EVANS: (HYSTERICAL) Let me out, do you hear?! Let me out! Let me out! I can't breathe! I'm suffocating! It's so dark! I can't breathe! Let me out! Please! Please! I can't breathe! I can't--! No! No, don't-- I can't-- I can't-- Let me out! I can't breathe! I - I -- (SWOONS AND FAINTS)


SOUND: EVANS' BODY COLLAPSES TO THE FLOOR ... HE APPARENTLY STUMBLES AGAINST THE ORGAN'S CHIMES


MUSIC: ORGAN OUT


SOUND: FROM OFF, DAPHNE AND DAVID LAUGH WITH DELIGHT ... DAPHNE CONTINUES TO LAUGH BEHIND--


MUSIC: FROM OFF, DAVID PLAYS HIS CORNET ... A WRY, TWISTED, MOCKING VERSION OF "NARCISSUS" ... CONTINUES IN BG


AMANDA: (UNNERVED) Theodore? Theodore!


SOUND: AMANDA'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR


AMANDA: (CALLS, DESPERATE) Let me out! Let me out! He's dead! He's dead! Daphne! David! Where are you?! Open the door! Help me!


SOUND: AMANDA POUNDS ON DOOR ... THEN BEHIND--


AMANDA: (CALLS, HYSTERICAL) Help me! Oh, no! No! Help! Oh, help--!


MUSIC: CORNET FADES OUT ... SCENE IS TOPPED BY GRIM ORGAN WASH, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN OUT ABRUPTLY


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE


MUSIC: FADES IN ... MOSTLY MELANCHOLY STRINGS, IN BG


AMANDA: (NARRATES) May first, Nineteen Hundred. I shall be coming home in a few days, Bessie. I still can't sleep at night. I still hear that laughter. Still hear that cornet playing its unearthly music. And Theodore Evans once more lies dead at my feet. 'Twas his heart, Bessie. He died of fright. In those few moments, he anticipated the hideous fate he had meted out to so many. And I might have died there if he had not gone so quickly, for the children hated me. They wanted to kill us both. 


MUSIC: CHANGES TO SOMBER ORGAN ... IN BG


AMANDA: (NARRATES) Those terrible, pathetic children. What horrors they must have sensed in that charnel house. There were other women beside his wife. Police found them all, buried and stuffed away, into unused parts of the pipe organ. Bessie, I was in that pipe room alone with him for four hours before that door creaked open.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


AMANDA: (NARRATES) There they stood. And I shall never forget their faces or the things they said.


MUSIC: ORGAN OUT


DAPHNE: All right, Miss Peabody. You can come out now if you're really sorry.


AMANDA: (BEAT) I'm sorry.


DAPHNE: Are you sure he's quite dead?


AMANDA: Yes. He's dead.


DAPHNE: We were right all the time. Weren't we, Miss Peabody?


AMANDA: Yes, you were right.


DAVID: Now will you come and help us find Mama?


MUSIC: ORGAN ... UP, MAGNIFICENTLY, FOR CURTAIN


MAN IN BLACK: And so closes "Fugue in C Minor," starring Miss Ida Lupino and Vincent Price, tonight's tale of--


MUSIC: KNIFE CHORD


MAN IN BLACK: --SUSPENSE! "Suspense" is produced and directed by William Spier.


ANNOUNCER: Of all the rich treasures man gets from the Earth and Mother Nature, none has been more highly esteemed than wine -- good, delicious wine. And if you are one who does not yet know how much and how delightfully Roma Wines add to your meals-- Well, let me urge you not to miss out any longer on such a treat as this. There's nothing complicated about it. Just get and serve Roma Wine, with any meal, or any time, in any kind of glass you wish. Serve it chilled. Try the many different kinds of Roma Wine until you find those you like best of all. Try Roma California Sherry, with its wonderful nutlike flavor, as an appetizer. Or ruby-red Roma Burgundy. Or the deliciously delicate-flavored Roma Sauterne. These superb wines cost you only pennies a glassful -- and yet they make even the simplest meal taste like a million dollars. Get some today. And if your dealer is temporarily out of Roma, please try again soon. You owe it to yourself to have and regularly enjoy R-O-M-A, Roma Wines, America's largest-selling wines, made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.


LUPINO: This is Ida Lupino. Mr. Spier has just been telling me a little about next week's "Suspense" show. The star will be Thomas Mitchell in a story about a man who had headaches, tried everything to cure them, finally went to a psychiatrist, and found out that he was a murderer. Well, that certainly sounds like a broadcast we listeners won't want to miss. One more word. Don't forget to buy that war bond this week.


MAN IN BLACK: Next Thursday, same time, you will hear Thomas Mitchell and Donald Crisp in--


MUSIC: KNIFE CHORD


MAN IN BLACK: --SUSPENSE


ANNOUNCER: Presented by Roma Wines, R-O-M-A -- made in California for enjoyment throughout the world.


MUSIC: THEME ... UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.


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