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Halloween

The Aldrich Family

Halloween

Oct 31 1940



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

GROCER (1 line)


HENRY, teen 

TOBY, teen 

FATHER

MOTHER

MR. EDWARDS

MRS. EDWARDS

OFFICER

MRS. LOCKRIDGE

NEIGHBOR, angry

HOMER, teen 

2ND NEIGHBOR, even angrier (2 lines)




MUSIC: FANFARE


ANNOUNCER: "The Aldrich Family," written by Clifford Goldsmith and starring Ezra Stone.


MOTHER: (CALLS) Hen-ryyyyyyy?! Henry Aldrich!


HENRY: Coming, mother!


SOUND: BRIEF APPLAUSE


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: You know, ladies and gentlemen, scarcely a day passes that doesn't bring us a letter from some housewife praising Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding. Many of these letters read somewhat as follows: "I've tried just about every ready-prepared pudding on the market and Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding is the one for me." Other letters, of course, speak of how easy Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding is to make, because you simply add milk, cook for a few minutes, and cool. And still other letters tell us how grateful housewives are for the many ways you can serve Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding. But the big point is its flavor -- the warm buttery brown sugar flavor of creamy golden butterscotch, just the way you like it, full of rich homemade goodness. Yes, friends, you'll like Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding a lot, so just try it, and let your own taste tell you why Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding is the pudding that thousands call the best of all.


MUSIC: FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: If your doorbell rings tonight and you answer it and find no one there, you'll remember that this is Halloween and that you, too, were a youngster yourself. And you might suspect Henry Aldrich of having something to do with the prank, because he's a real boy from your own neighborhood. Tonight we find Henry in the Aldrich living room with his friend Toby.


HENRY: (SIGHS) Gee whiz, am I bored. 


TOBY: Same here, Henry. 


HENRY: How could a thing like this happen, Toby? It's Halloween and the two of us are dead broke.


TOBY: Gee, I thought I'd never live to see a thing like this happen. 


HENRY: Wouldn't you think, Toby, that there'd be at least one thing a person could do on Halloween without it's costing money? 


TOBY: That's what you'd think. How about going over and getting even with Mr. Tarbell for what he did a year ago? 


HENRY: How? 


TOBY: Well, we could think of something. I'll tell you what! If we could get his front steps loose from the porch, we could hide them.


HENRY: No, Toby. 


TOBY: But, Henry, then when he comes out and starts to go down the steps, he'll wonder where they are. 


FATHER: (APPROACHES) Who will wonder where what is? 


HENRY: Oh, is that you, father? 


FATHER: You're not going to touch anyone's front steps. 


HENRY: How do you know about that? 


FATHER: I'm psychic. Halloween or no Halloween, you boys are not to touch any private property. 


MOTHER: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Henry, are you in the living room? 


HENRY: Yes, mother. Gee whiz, father, Toby and I don't want to just sit around and look at each other all evening. 


MOTHER: How would you like to have me make some candy?


HENRY: (WITH DISDAIN) Mother, candy. Everybody else is out doing things and we sit home and make candy. 


MOTHER: Well, if you'd planned ahead, you'd have enough money to go to a dance. 


HENRY: I did plan ahead. I told you several weeks ago that my allowance isn't adequate.


FATHER: (DRY) Yes. 


TOBY: (CAREFULLY) Henry? What do you say we get our hats and go out for a little stroll? 


HENRY: (GETS THE HINT) All right. 


FATHER: (SUSPICIOUS) You aren't going to play any practical jokes on anyone, are you? 


TOBY: Oh - oh, no, Mr. Aldrich. We're just going out for the fresh air.


HENRY: And maybe ring one or two doorbells. 


MOTHER: Henry, you're not going to ring any doorbells.


HENRY: But, mother, what harm can come from innocently ringing just one doorbell that's rung fifty million times in the year anyway? 


MOTHER: Because most people don't like it. 


FATHER: Henry, the minute you begin to trespass, you're liable to run into trouble. 


HENRY: Father, name one thing that could happen from sticking a pin into a doorbell. Aside from the fact that it's gonna rain for a while. 


FATHER: I'm not going to argue.


HENRY: (MISERABLE) Toby, I don't think I'll go out. 


TOBY: No? 


HENRY: All year, ever since way back, I've been looking forward to tonight, and now it's here and I can't even stick a pin in a doorbell. 


MOTHER: Sam, if Henry didn't actually stick a pin in it, couldn't he ring just one bell?


FATHER: (WITH DISTASTE) It's entirely up to you, Alice. 


HENRY: All we do is ring it and run, father. 


FATHER: Don't look at me, son. I'm only your father. 


MOTHER: I don't see what fun there could be in it.


HENRY: At least my whole year wouldn't be ruined.


MOTHER: Well, could you ring a bell where no one is home? 


HENRY: (DISBELIEF) Mo-ther! ...


FATHER: (EXASPERATED) All right, if it'll make you any happier, go out and ring one bell.


HENRY: (EXCITED) We can, father? We can? Toby, come on! 


TOBY: Okay. 


SOUND: WE STAY WITH HENRY AND TOBY AS THEY GO TO FRONT DOOR ... FATHER'S VOICE FADES OFF A BIT--


FATHER: I don't see what fun you'll get from it.


HENRY: (CALLS BACK TO FATHER) At least we can say we've done it!


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS AS HENRY AND TOBY LEAVE THE HOUSE ... THEN DOOR SHUTS BEHIND--


TOBY: (HUSHED) Henry, I've got an idea! 


HENRY: What? 


TOBY: My folks didn't say I couldn't ring more than one. I'll tell ya, I'll do the ringing and you do the running.


HENRY: Okay. Let's ring Mr. Edwards's bell first.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


MRS. E: John? John Edwards, are you out there on the porch without any hat on? 


EDWARDS: (AGITATED) I am. I was just out to look at the car. Someone has taken the battery out of it!


MRS. E: Who do you suppose could have done a thing like that? 


EDWARDS: Oh, some Halloween hoodlum. I tell you, Phoebe, this town has reached a nice state of affairs. 


MRS. E: Well, come in and close the door before you catch pneumonia. 


EDWARDS: Do you know what I think I'll do? I'll just wait inside the door and see whether anyone comes back. I'll get my cane, too! (MOVING OFF) The next boy that comes up on this porch is going to get the tanning of his life!


MRS. E: (MOVING OFF) Yes, dear. 


SOUND: EDWARDS' FRONT DOOR CLOSES


HENRY: (CALLS, LOW) Toby? (NO ANSWER) Toby? 


TOBY: (OFF) What? 


HENRY: He's goin' in. Come on up on the porch.


TOBY: (CLOSER) What were they talking about, Henry?


HENRY: Search me.


TOBY: Let's write a note and pin it to the door. 


HENRY: Okay. Got a pencil?


TOBY: No. Here's my fountain pen.


HENRY: Listen, Toby, let's just ring the bell and run. 


TOBY: Let me ring it.


HENRY: No, Toby, this is the only one I can ring. 


TOBY: You can ring the next one. 


HENRY: No. Besides Mr. Edwards was my idea. Here we go, Toby, I'm goin' to ring it. 


SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS


TOBY: Do you hear anyone coming? 


HENRY: (BEAT) No, I better ring it again.


SOUND: DOOR STARTS TO OPEN


EDWARDS: (OFF) Well, Phoebe, there they are! 


HENRY: Somebody's coming! Run, Toby, run! 


TOBY: I am! 


EDWARDS: (OFF) Stop there! Stop!


MRS. E: (OFF) Oh, John!


HENRY: Quick, Toby -- duck around the side of the house here. 


TOBY: I'm with ya, Henry. 


EDWARDS: (OFF) Stop, do you hear me?! 


HENRY: (TO HIMSELF) Stop nothin'.


SOUND: CLATTER OF ASHCAN KNOCKED OVER


HENRY: (IN PAIN) Oh, boy! Oh, boy! 


TOBY: What was that? 


HENRY: (A BIT OUT OF BREATH) I'm all right. Just knocked over an ashcan. Come on. 


TOBY: Duck back here through this grape arbor. 


SOUND: OFF, CLATTER OF ASHCAN KNOCKED OVER AGAIN


EDWARDS: (OFF, GROANS IN PAIN)


HENRY: There goes Mr. Edwards over it. ... Toby-- 


TOBY: That'll help.


EDWARDS: (OFF) If I catch you, I'll tan you both! 


HENRY: Come on out through these trees, Toby. 


TOBY: If he catches ya, Henry, don't give your right name.


HENRY: Whose name should I give? 


TOBY: Make one up. 


SOUND: FARTHER OFF, CLATTER OF ASHCAN KNOCKED OVER AGAIN


TOBY: What was that? 


HENRY: That - that was Mrs. Edwards. ... Look, Toby, here's a hole or something we can hide in.


TOBY: Yeah? Where? 


HENRY: Right here in the ground. (STARTLED) Oh, gee whiz, wait, Toby! 


TOBY: What's the matter? 


HENRY: It's an old well.


TOBY: Well, this is a nice time to tell me.


HENRY: What's the matter? 


TOBY: I dropped my fountain pen in it. ...


SOUND: EDWARDS' RUNNING STEPS APPROACH ... THEN IN BG


HENRY: Shh! Shh, Toby, he's coming.


TOBY: Toward us? 


HENRY: Shh! 


SOUND: EDWARDS' RUNNING STEPS GO PAST AND FADE OUT


HENRY: He went right on.


TOBY: Boy, that was close. 


HENRY: Let's beat it, Toby, and get out of here.


TOBY: But, Henry, I dropped my fountain pen.


HENRY: Is that so important?


TOBY: My mother just bought it for me. Gee whiz, I can't go home without my fountain pen, Henry. 


HENRY: How are we gonna get at it? It's way down at the bottom of the well. 


SOUND: GENTLE RATTLE OF CHAIN


TOBY: Well, there's an old chain here. It's hanging right straight down. 


HENRY: Is it fastened here at the top? 


TOBY: Sure. Right to this piece of iron. Wait a second, I'll roll up my trousers.


HENRY: You better take them off, Toby. Then you won't get them wet. ...


TOBY: Sure, and hold my coat, too.


MRS. E: (OFF) John? John?


EDWARDS: (APPROACHES) Yes? What is it?


MRS. E: Did you find them?


EDWARDS: No, not yet.


SOUND: GENTLE RATTLE OF CHAIN


HENRY: (LOW, WARNING) Ssh, Toby.


MRS. E: Did you look in the shed out beyond the well?


EDWARDS: I'm just comin' from there. 


MRS. E: Well, come back in the house, then. 


EDWARDS: (MOVING OFF) All I can say is they must have disappeared right into the ground. 


HENRY: It's okay, Toby, you can go down now. 


SOUND: GENTLE RATTLE OF CHAIN


TOBY: Look out while I go over the edge.


HENRY: Are you sure you can get up again? 


TOBY: Why not? All I have to do is hang on to this chain and climb right up the side. So long, Henry.


SOUND: TOBY STARTS TO CLIMB DOWN 


HENRY: Hang on. Hang on tight, old boy. 


SOUND: TOBY STOPS ... ECHO ON TOBY'S VOICE


TOBY: Gee whiz! 


HENRY: What's the matter? (NO ANSWER) Toby, what's the matter? 


TOBY: There's something tied partway down on the chain.


HENRY: What is it? 


TOBY: It's an automobile battery.


HENRY: A battery? What's it doing down there?


TOBY: How should I know? And the chain ends right here.


HENRY: It does? Can you jump the rest of the way? 


TOBY: What do you mean jump? It's so dark down here I wouldn't know when I got to the bottom. ...


HENRY: Oh, here's the trouble. It's up here. Some of the slack has hooked onto a bolt. 


SOUND: RATTLE OF CHAIN ... IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


HENRY: (WITH EFFORT) I'll see whether I can loosen it.


TOBY: Let it out easy, Henry. 


HENRY: (WITH EFFORT) Don't worry, Toby. You don't think I'd let you fall, do you?


SOUND: CHAIN, FREED FROM BOLT, RAPIDLY UNWINDS ... DISTANT CRASH OF TOBY AND BATTERY AT BOTTOM OF WELL


HENRY: (ALARMED) Toby? (NO ANSWER) Oh, Toby! Toby, where are you? 


TOBY: (DELIBERATELY) I thought you were my friend. ...


HENRY: I couldn't help it. Toby, can you float? 


TOBY: How can you float in four inches of water? ...


HENRY: Well, gee, get your pen and come on up. 


TOBY: You're crazy. There's nothin' to take a hold of. 


HENRY: Stand on the battery and reach. 


TOBY: I can't.


HENRY: Well, gee, Toby, I'll have to get you out somehow. I wonder whether I can find a ladder any place. 


TOBY: Ask Mr. Edwards whether he has one. ...


HENRY: Sure, do you think I'm crazy, Toby? 


TOBY: Well, hurry up and get a ladder some place


HENRY: Look, there's the lid to the well up here. 


TOBY: Well, what about it? 


HENRY: Do you want me to put it over the top so you won't get cold?


TOBY: No! Just get me a ladder! 


HENRY: Well, do you want your pants and coat? 


TOBY: Just throw down my coat.


HENRY: Okay, here it comes. I'll get the ladder that's in our garage, Toby, and if anybody speaks to you, don't answer. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE


MOTHER: Sam, has Henry come in yet? 


FATHER: Not yet. 


MOTHER: It seems as though it's taking him an awfully long time to ring one doorbell. 


FATHER: Do you realize, Alice, this is the first Halloween no one has bothered us


MOTHER: I certainly do. Did you put all the ashcans in? 


FATHER: I put them in the basement. 


SOUND: GARAGE DOOR OPENS, OFF


MOTHER: What was that? 


FATHER: Something out in back. 


SOUND: GARAGE DOOR RUMBLES AND SQUEAKS, OFF ... MOTHER AND FATHER'S VOICES HUSHED


MOTHER: Sam? Sam, it sounds like one of the garage doors. 


FATHER: Do you suppose anyone's getting in there? 


MOTHER: Listen, dear. 


SOUND: GARAGE DOOR AGAIN


FATHER: Come with me.


MOTHER: Where? 


FATHER: Let's go out to the kitchen and look through the window. 


MOTHER: Is the kitchen light on?


SOUND: KITCHEN DOOR SQUEAKS OPEN


FATHER: No. No one can see us. 


MOTHER: Sam, someone is in the garage.


FATHER: Stand back from the window. 


MOTHER: Can you see them?


FATHER: Alice! Someone is coming out of the garage with our big ladder. 


MOTHER: Sam Aldrich, I think that's the limit! 


FATHER: I'm going down the cellar stairs here and slip out through the basement door.


MOTHER: Well, why not go out the back door? 


FATHER: This way I can head him off in the driveway.


MOTHER: Shall I turn the light on? 


FATHER: No, no -- don't turn the light on. I can see quite all right.


SOUND: SAM TRIPS OVER ASHCANS


FATHER: (STARTLED EXCLAMATION) 


SOUND: HUGE CLATTER OF SAM AND ASHCANS ON THE FLOOR ... VOICES NO LONGER HUSHED


MOTHER: Sam, what have you done?!


FATHER: I forgot I put the ashcans down here. 


MOTHER: Well, my goodness, dear, are the ashes all over my cellar floor? 


FATHER: Yes, and so am I. ... Turn on the light. 


MOTHER: Sam, you better come back up here and get your hat and coat!


FATHER: Do you want whoever it is to get away? 


MOTHER: Is that ladder more important than your health? Now come back up here! 


FATHER: But, Alice, he's already gone out toward the street.


MOTHER: In a town this size, Sam, you can certainly track down someone with a ladder. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE


OFFICER: You say the battery was taken right out of your car, Mr. Edwards? 


EDWARDS: Yes, officer. 


OFFICER: But you didn't see anyone? 


EDWARDS: Not until a few minutes later. Two boys come up onto the porch and rang the bell and I chased 'em right around here through to the grape arbor. 


OFFICER: Were they carrying the battery? 


EDWARDS: That I couldn't say.


OFFICER: Well, whoever stole it is gonna be apprehended and punished. The young fellows here have got to respect private property.


EDWARDS: Oh, they don't stop at anything. I even found a pair of somebody's trousers back here. You better take 'em down to headquarters. Why, I-- (HUSHED) Hey, one minute. 


OFFICER: What's up? 


EDWARDS: Stand back here under this tree. You see out there toward the street? 


OFFICER: Somebody comin'? 


EDWARDS: Somebody with a ladder. He's comin' right this way.


OFFICER: All right now, keep quiet. Keep quiet and when he passes, I'll nab him.


SOUND: HENRY'S STEPS APPROACH ... THEN STOP WITH--


OFFICER: (STERN) Just a minute there, young man! 


HENRY: (EXTREMELY NERVOUS) Oh, gee whiz, who said that?


OFFICER: One minute, I said! 


HENRY: Yes, sir. So is there something you wanted?


OFFICER: Where did you get that ladder? 


HENRY: At home. 


OFFICER: I asked you where did you get it. 


HENRY: (RAPIDLY) I brought it from home. Sure, I did. I give you my word I did. I did. 


OFFICER: Oh, so we're gonna have trouble with you? Where's the battery? 


HENRY: The battery? What battery? 


EDWARDS: The battery that disappeared from my car! 


HENRY: I haven't even seen any battery.


OFFICER: What's your name? 


HENRY: Why, uh--


OFFICER: What is it?


HENRY: It's, uh-- Harry. 


OFFICER: Harry what? 


HENRY: Harry Ambrose.


OFFICER: Where are you takin' that ladder? 


HENRY: Well-- Not any place in particular. ... I just - just happen to be carrying it with me.


OFFICER: Just givin' it an airing, eh? Takin' it out for a walk? 


HENRY: Yes, sir. 


OFFICER: Well, Mr. Edwards, what do you think we ought to do with him? 


EDWARDS: It's, uh, ninety days for larceny, isn't it, officer? 


HENRY: Ninety days in jail for taking my own father's ladder?!


OFFICER: That's what it is. 


HENRY: But - but I've got a friend, see, and I-- 


OFFICER: I see. And he has the battery? 


HENRY: No, sir. He's in a terrible predicament.


OFFICER: Where is he? 


HENRY: Where is he? (BEAT) I don't know. ... I'm looking for him.


OFFICER: Oh, you're just goin' around with a ladder looking for a friend? 


HENRY: Oh, I know that seems hard to believe, officer, but that's what I'm doing. 


OFFICER: (HARSH) Well, suppose you leave that ladder here?!


HENRY: But I'll get the deuce if I don't take it back home.


OFFICER: And you'll get ninety days, Harry Ambrose, if you don't put it down! 


HENRY: Yes, sir. 


SOUND: LADDER PUT DOWN ON GRASS


OFFICER: Now get home with you! Should have been in bed an hour ago. 


HENRY: Yes, sir, only I don't know what my friend'll do without me.


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: And now, ladies and gentlemen, this being Halloween, I'd like to tell you a ghost story.


MUSIC: G O N G !


ANNOUNCER: (DEADLY SERIOUS) The story of Edgar the Gloomy Ghost. Edgar, it seems, was very fond of nice desserts at dinner, but his wife, Phyllis the Phantom, kept serving him just ordinary desserts. As a result, Edgar went around moaning and groaning -- like this: (TWO LENGTHY GHOSTLY MOANS) Then one day Edgar's wife bought some Jell-O Vanilla Pudding -- at the ghost-ery store. ... And now Edgar is just as cheerful as can be. No longer does he go around moaning. Now he has a warm, likable laugh -- like this: (WILD MANIACAL CACKLING) ... (LIGHTLY) So you see, just in case Edgar might drop in, ladies and gentlemen, always keep Jell-O Vanilla Pudding on hand. It's brimful of tempting flavor, as smooth as rich cream, and extra good when garnished with nuts, marshmallows, or fruit. My own favorite is Jell-O Vanilla Pudding with sliced bananas, but served any way at all, it's grand. Order this delightful ready-prepared dessert and start right away to enjoy the luscious flavor of Jell-O Vanilla Pudding.


MUSIC: JELL-O TAG ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Now, getting back to the troubles of Henry Aldrich: It being Halloween, Henry and his friend Toby set out to ring just one doorbell and come home. However, one thing leads to another until Toby was left stranded at the bottom of a well -- and Henry is attempting to rescue him.


SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS ... DOOR OPENS


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: What is it? Oh, is that you out there, Henry Aldrich? 


HENRY: Good evening, Mrs. Lockridge. Could I borrow a real strong rope from you? 


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: A real strong what, dear? 


HENRY: A rope. I need about fifteen feet of very strong rope.


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: Oh, er, would a piece of clothesline help any?


HENRY: No, ma'am. I have a friend that's in a well. 


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: (LAUGHS) Well, that's quite a Halloween joke, isn't it? 


HENRY: No, ma'am. I'm trying to get my friend out. 


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: Well, how did he get in it?


HENRY: He was looking for his fountain pen. 


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: Well, why don't you try one of the other houses in the neighborhood? 


HENRY: I have, I have -- but every doorbell I've rung so far, the people chased me.


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: You don't say so? 


HENRY: Yes, ma'am. That's how I got all wet like this. 


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: Goodness gracious, how did you get that wet? 


HENRY: They poured a bucket of water on me from the second floor window. ...


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: Well, come to think of it, Henry, we have a good long tow rope out in the car. 


HENRY: You have?


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: Yes, sir. You'll find the car right out there in front. 


HENRY: Right down the curb a ways?


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: That's right. 


HENRY: Okay. 


SOUND: WE STAY WITH HENRY AS HE MOVES OFF ... MRS. LOCKRIDGE'S VOICE RECEDES


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: If I remember, the rope's a little bit frayed in the middle. 


HENRY: (CALLS BACK TO HER) That's all right. It can certainly hold Toby. Will I find it in the front or the rear of the car? 


MRS. LOCKRIDGE: (OFF) You'll have to look, dear. 


HENRY: (BEAT, AS HENRY REACHES THE CAR; TO HIMSELF) Guess this is the car. 


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS


HENRY: (NO ROPE) My gosh. 


SOUND: CAR DOOR SHUTS ... HENRY'S STEPS TO ANOTHER CAR DOOR, WHICH OPENS


HENRY: (STILL NO ROPE) That's funny. 


NEIGHBOR: All right, young fellow! What are you trying to get away with? 


HENRY: What's that?


NEIGHBOR: Huh! Did you think I didn't see you? 


HENRY: (SQUIRMS) Gee whiz, let go of my collar. 


NEIGHBOR: What were you doing in my car? 


HENRY: I've got a friend that's in a well.


NEIGHBOR: Yeah? ...


HENRY: But you see, Mrs. Lockridge gave me permission to open this car. 


NEIGHBOR: Mrs. Lockridge did? 


HENRY: It's her husband's. 


NEIGHBOR: Well, it just happens to be my car, and I live right here in this house! 


HENRY: You do? You mean this other car here is Lockridge's?


NEIGHBOR: And I suppose you're going to tell me Mrs. Lockridge gave you permission to let all the air out of my tires?! 


HENRY: Are they flat? 


NEIGHBOR: What do you think I was watching out the window for?! 


HENRY: Well, you certainly have my sympathy. ...


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS ... PUMP TAKEN OUT ... CAR DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


NEIGHBOR: Here you are. 


HENRY: What's that? 


NEIGHBOR: It's a pump! Get to work. 


HENRY: But gee whiz, I give you my word. All I was looking for was a piece of rope so I could pull my friend out. 


NEIGHBOR: Maybe you'd like to have me turn you over to the police, my boy?!


HENRY: Oh, no. 


NEIGHBOR: Are you going to hook that pump onto the valve? 


HENRY: Yes, sir. 


NEIGHBOR: What's your name? 


HENRY: Why, it's, uh-- It's, uh-- Which tire do you want me to pump up first? 


NEIGHBOR: I asked for your name!


HENRY: It's Harry Ambrose. 


NEIGHBOR: Harry Ambrose, eh? 


HENRY: Yes, sir. 


NEIGHBOR: Well, your family ought to be ashamed of you.


HENRY: Yes, sir, they certainly ought to be. 


NEIGHBOR: I'm going in and keep an eye on you from the house and don't forget -- there's a street lamp right here and I can see every move you make! 


HENRY: Yes, sir. 


SOUND: GRUNTING WITH EFFORT, HENRY STARTS PUMPING, IN BG


NEIGHBOR: (MOVING OFF) If I hadn't been a boy once myself, I'd turn you over to the law! 


HENRY: (WITH EFFORT) Yes, sir. 


SOUND: HENRY PUMPS TWICE MORE, THEN STOPS ... THEN AIR HISSES OUT OF TIRE


HENRY: Oh, gee whiz. 


SOUND: STILL GRUNTING, HENRY PUMPS FOUR MORE TIMES, THEN STOPS ... THEN AIR HISSES OUT OF TIRE


HENRY: Well, I'll be darned.


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE ... FATHER'S CAR APPROACHES AND BRAKES TO A STOP


FATHER: (IN AUTO, SLIGHTLY OFF) Henry? Henry, is that you pumping up those tires? 


HENRY: Father, where did you come from? 


FATHER: I'm looking for our ladder. And may I first ask what you're doing? 


HENRY: Father, I wish you'd go in and tell the man that owns this car that he has no right making me do this.


FATHER: How did he happen to ask you to? 


HENRY: I was opening his car, see-- 


FATHER: Son, didn't you promise to ring just one doorbell? 


HENRY: That's all I did do!


FATHER: Then let's not have any excuses. Pump those tires up and take your punishment. 


HENRY: Where are you going? 


FATHER: To find a family by the name of Ambrose.


HENRY: Of Ambrose? ... Ambrose


FATHER: I tracked a boy by that name as far as Mr. Edwards' house. You don't happen to know him, do you? 


HENRY: (WEAKLY) Harry Ambrose?


FATHER: Do you know him? 


HENRY: Well, I think I've heard of him. ... But he's no friend of mine, father. 


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE REVS UP ... THEN CAR PULLS AWAY DURING FOLLOWING--


FATHER: (MOVING OFF) Well, hurry up and finish those tires and then get on home. 


HENRY: But listen, father--


SOUND: CAR FADES OUT ... APPROACH OF HOMER'S RUNNING STEPS TO HENRY


HOMER: Hey, there! Let me hide behind your car!


HENRY: Who's that? 


HOMER: (SURPRISED) Is that you, Henry? 


HENRY: (THE SAME) Is that you, Homer?

 

HOMER: Here, Henry, hold this. 


HENRY: What is it? 


HOMER: It's a red lantern. 


HENRY: What am I to do with it?


HOMER: Just hold it, Henry. (MOVING OFF) I'm in a hurry. 


HENRY: But I don't want this, Homer!


SOUND: APPROACH OF 2ND NEIGHBOR'S RUNNING STEPS TO HENRY


2ND NEIGHBOR: (FURIOUS) Ohhhhh, so there you are! 


HENRY: Who? 


2ND NEIGHBOR: You, with the lantern! Come along with me, my boy! 


MUSIC: BRIDGE


HENRY: (PEEVED) You wait until I get even with you, Homer. 


HOMER: Ya got away from him, didn't you, Henry? 


HENRY: I got away from him, but look at what he did to my coat. How am I going to get this sleeve back on? ... 


HOMER: Aren't I gonna help you get Toby out of the well? 


HENRY: (CONCEDES) Yes.


HOMER: And didn't I get this rope for you? 


HENRY: (WARY) Where did you get it?


HOMER: Isn't it a beauty, Henry? I found it over here on Walnut Street. 


HENRY: What I mean, Homer, is: whose was it? 


HOMER: Nobody's. It was just roping off a new sidewalk that had been laid this afternoon. ...


HENRY: Listen, Homer, I'm not going to use it.


HOMER: (INSISTS) But we aren't gonna keep it, Henry. It's just to get Toby out. 


HENRY: But, Homer, I don't think we should use it. 


HOMER: (ANNOYED) All right then! All right! 


HENRY: (LOW) Not so loud, Homer.


HOMER: Do you see somebody?


HENRY: We're right here by Mr. Edwards's house. 


HOMER: Oh.


HENRY: Come on now, Homer, and follow me back to the well.


HOMER: Why don't you want to disturb Mr. Edwards, Henry? 


HENRY: Well, if he's gone to sleep, there's no sense in waking him up, is there? Come on back through this grape arbor.


HOMER: I'm coming. Where is the well? 


HENRY: It's right ahead here. (BEAT) Someplace.


HOMER: Can't you find it?


HENRY: Now that's strange. ... Gee whiz, don't fall in with him. Oh, here it is. 


SOUND: THEIR STEPS TO WELL ... ECHO ON TOBY'S VOICE


HENRY: (CALLS GENTLY) Hey, Toby? Toby, are you all right? 


HOMER: Toby? 


TOBY: Who is that?


HENRY: It's Henry and Homer.


TOBY: Well, you're the only ones that haven't been here before. 


HENRY: Who else has been here? 


TOBY: Everybody. And they all threw something down. ... The last time it was a bushel of apples. ...


HENRY: Are you all right, Toby? 


TOBY: How could I be? Get me out of here! 


HENRY: We're letting a rope down now, Toby. 


HOMER: Oh, here, Henry, I'll help you. 


HENRY: Is it down yet, Toby? 


TOBY: No.


HENRY: It's coming. Homer, have you got the end?


HOMER: What end, Henry? 


HENRY: Of the rope.


TOBY: The end's down here. ...


HENRY: Which end?


TOBY: Both ends. ...


HENRY: Well, gee whiz, Homer, if you aren't a help!


HOMER: Toby, throw one end up here. 


TOBY: How am I gonna do that? 


HENRY: Just throw it right straight up. 


TOBY: Here it comes. (GRUNTS MIGHTILY WITH GREAT EFFORT) 


HENRY: (BEAT) Where is it?


TOBY: Around my neck. ... 


HOMER: Henry, I've got an idea. Look out. 


HENRY: What are you gonna do? 


HOMER: How about dropping this rock down and letting him tie the rope to it? ...


HENRY: And then throw it up? 


TOBY: (ANXIOUS) Now listen! Don't throw anything more down here! ... There isn't any more room. 


HOMER: Henry, do you think you could hold my hand while I go down partway?


HENRY: How would you get the rope? 


HOMER: Well, Toby could tie it to my foot--


HENRY: Sure, and then I'll pull you back up. 


HOMER: Well, take it easy now. Wait'll I get over the edge. 


HENRY: Okay. Have you got a good hold?

 

HOMER: Yeah.


TOBY: (ALARMED) What's that comin' down?! ...


HENRY: Don't worry, it's Homer. 


TOBY: Don't jump, Homer!


HOMER: What do you think I am? Are you sure you got a hold of me, Henry? 


HENRY: Sure. 


HOMER: Easy now, easy. 


HENRY: (WITH EFFORT) If I only had something to hang on to.


HOMER: It's a nice time to think of that. ...


HENRY: Don't worry, Homer. I've got ya. 


HOMER: Boy, my arm's comin' right out. 


HENRY: (WITH EFFORT) How much lower is it? 


TOBY: Wait a second and I'll tie the rope on Homer's foot. 


HOMER: You got it? 


EDWARDS: (OFF) Come on, officer! I think they're out this way!


OFFICER: (OFF) I'm comin'! 


HENRY: Oh, gee whiz! 


HOMER: Who's that? 


HENRY: Keep quiet! (NERVOUS, TO HIMSELF) Oh, boy! Oh, boy! 


MUSIC: BRIDGE


HENRY: Gee, if they had come two feet closer, they would have fallen right in with us.


TOBY: That would have been good. 


HENRY: Well, we got you out, Toby, even if we did have a hard time finding my father's ladder.


HOMER: And, Toby, we got you away from Mr. Edwards' house. 


TOBY: But I still haven't got any pants, Henry. 


HENRY: Oh, just walk along as though you were coming home from a party. ...


TOBY: Boy, is this heavy.


HENRY: Is what heavy? Listen, Toby, what are you carrying?


TOBY: This battery.


HENRY: Well, gee whiz, Toby, what did you bring that for? 


TOBY: I didn't even know I had it. ...


HENRY: Well, we've got to take that right back to Mr. Edwards.


TOBY: All the way? 


HENRY: Sure. What do you think we hauled it out for? If we get caught with it, we'll get six months in jail.


TOBY: Here, Homer, how would you like to carry it? 


HOMER: I don't want it! Let Henry carry it! 


HENRY: Toby, don't try to shirk responsibility. 


TOBY: Well, you fellas have got to go back with me. I'm not goin' alone. 


HENRY: Come on-- (STARTLED, LOW) Gee whiz, who's that coming? 


TOBY: Where? 


HENRY: Down there on the corner. He's coming right towards us. Isn't that a policeman? 


TOBY: I think it is, Henry. Let's turn around and go the other way.


HOMER: That's what I say.


HENRY: No. We'll walk right along as though we were heading for a garage. 


TOBY: Sure.


HOMER: Oh, sure. And our battery ran down and we're gonna get it recharged. 


TOBY: But I still haven't got any pants! ... 


HOMER: Listen, fellas, look ahead there. 


TOBY: Where? 


HOMER: There's another policeman and he's walkin' right toward us. 


HENRY: So long, Toby. ...


TOBY: Now wait, Henry, you can't leave me flat like this! I've got to get rid of this battery.


HOMER: Well, put it down some place. 


TOBY: Sure and supposing he sees me? 


HENRY: I've got an idea. You see that car parked there by the curb? 


TOBY: Yeah? 


HENRY: Well, put it inside. Just dump it through the window.


TOBY: (MOVING OFF) Henry, you've got a head on ya.


HENRY: Come on now, we'll hide between these two houses. Boy, if they see us--


HOMER: Okay. 


TOBY: (OFF) Wait for me! 


HOMER: Well, hurry up! 


HENRY: Quiet.


SOUND: OFFICERS' STEPS WALK BY, SLIGHTLY OFF


HENRY: The police are going by. 


TOBY: Do you think they saw us?


HOMER: No, they're not even lookin' this way.


TOBY: Hey, fellas? Do you know what I just happened to think? 


HENRY: What? 


TOBY: I left my fountain pen down in the well. ... 


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE STARTS, SLIGHTLY OFF ... CAR PULLS AWAY AND DRIVES OFF


HENRY: Say, gee whiz! 


TOBY: What's the matter?


HENRY: That car we put the battery in! 


TOBY: What about it?


HENRY: Somebody just drove off in it!


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS HENRY ENTERS HOUSE


MOTHER: (OFF) Is that you, Henry? 


HENRY: Yes, mother.


MOTHER: (OFF) Will you please tell me where you've been all evening? 


HENRY: Just out with Toby. Fooling around.


MOTHER: (OFF) Well, come into the living room. 


HENRY: I've got to make a phone call first, mother-- 


SOUND: RECEIVER UP


HENRY: (LOW, QUICKLY, INTO PHONE) Hello, operator? (CALLS, TO MOTHER) --then I'll be right there. (INTO PHONE) Operator, can you get me--? It's right here in the book. It's, um-- It's Elm Three-Six. 


MOTHER: (OFF) Henry?


HENRY: Mother, father isn't in yet, is he?


MOTHER: (OFF) No, he isn't. 


HENRY: Oh. (INTO PHONE) Hello? Hello, is this Mr. Edwards? -- Well, Mr. Edwards, this is to inform you that if you will notify the police to look for a car, number Tee-Seven-Six-Five -- I think. Or maybe it was Tee-Five something. Anyhow, in it you'll find your battery. -- What's that? -- This is just a friend, Mr. Edwards, who happened to be passing by your house a little while ago. 


MOTHER: (OFF) Henry?!


HENRY: (INTO PHONE) Goodbye. 


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN QUICKLY ... WE STAY WITH HENRY AS HE MOVES TO MOTHER


MOTHER: (OFF) Henry?!


HENRY: I'm coming, mother! 


MOTHER: (CLOSER) Why, where's your coat, dear? 


HENRY: I just hung it up in the closet.


MOTHER: Well, did you ring your doorbell? 


HENRY: (SLOWLY, WITH REGRET) Yes, mother, I rang it. ...


MOTHER: Did you find it worthwhile?


HENRY: Well, to be honest, I think I'm getting a little too old to be doing things like that. ... (CLEARS THROAT) Where's my Latin?


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS, OFF


FATHER: (OFF) Oh, Alice? Is Henry in? 


MOTHER: Yes, Sam. He's sitting here studying. 


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES 


MOTHER: Where have you been? 


FATHER: (CLOSER, GRIM) I found the ladder, but not the boy. 


MOTHER: (DISMAYED) Sam, what on earth do you have all over your shoes? 


FATHER: That is cement. They laid a new sidewalk over town and didn't even bother to rope it off. ... 


MOTHER: Well, don't get it all over the carpet.


FATHER: And what do you think I found a few minutes ago? 


HENRY: What? 


FATHER: A battery in the back seat of my car! ...


HENRY: A - a battery, father? 


FATHER: Tomorrow morning, Henry, you call up the police and find out who lost it. 


HENRY: (NERVOUS) I, father?


FATHER: And then after you've done that, you can go over to Mr. Edwards' and get our ladder.


HENRY: (RESIGNED) Yes, father. (BEAT, PLAINTIVE) I wonder why people think Halloween is a time for fun. 


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: BRISK TAG ... THEN OUT WITH--


ANNOUNCER: Henry Aldrich will be back in just a moment. When you make out the grocery list for tomorrow, friends, be sure to include several packages of Jell-O Puddings. They're easy to make, inexpensive, and really delicious. Ask your grocer for all three flavors: Jell-O Chocolate Pudding, Jell-O Vanilla Pudding, and Jell-O Butterscotch Pudding. Jell-O Puddings are made by the makers of Jell-O, so you know they're good.


MUSIC: TAG


HENRY: Good night, folks. Be seeing you next week, I hope.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: Now, listen in again next Thursday evening to "The Aldrich Family" and to the "Maxwell House Coffee Time" program, which immediately precedes it on most of these stations -- a solid hour of sparkling radio entertainment every Thursday night. "The Aldrich Family," starring Ezra Stone, is written by Clifford Goldsmith. Original music is composed and conducted by Jack Miller. Now, this is Harry Von Zell bidding you all good night. 


MUSIC: JELL-O TAG


SOUND: APPLAUSE ... THEN PHONE RINGS


GROCER: (FOLKSY) It's your grocer, folks, callin' up to let you know about our special this week on Birds Eye Quick-Frozen Haddock Fillets. Say! What really good haddock it is, too. Chock full of that fresh tastin' deep-sea flavor. And don't bother to look for any bones, because Birds Eye Haddock is all cleaned and boned for ya, ready for the pan. Buy Birds Eye Haddock Fillets tomorrow. They're specially low-priced all this week.

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