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Hot Rod Accident

Defense Attorney

Client: Jimmy Leonard (a.k.a. "Hot Rod Accident")

Sep 14 1951



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

MARTHA ELLIS "MARTY" BRYANT, defense attorney

JUD BARNES, reporter

ED LEDES, police lieutenant

JIMMY LEONARD, age 16

FRANKIE, wise guy punk; Jimmy's age

MR. LEONARD, Jimmy's drunken hateful father

JOE BOSTON, nasty tough guy

MOTHER, Jimmy's worried mom




ANNOUNCER: Listen to Mercedes McCambridge as "Defense Attorney" following this important announcement. The United States is engaged in an immense program of defense mobilization. Its success depends upon the maintenance of a strong, a healthy economy. Increased sales of United States defense bonds will ensure that success. Here's a job for America in which everybody can share. In addition to helping your country, you also help yourself, because a bond bought is money saved. You can buy bonds on the Payroll Savings Plan or the Bond-a-Month Plan. Whichever method you use, make tomorrow your D-Day. Buy an extra bond for defense.


MARTY: Ladies and gentlemen, to depend upon your judgment, and to fulfill my own obligation, I submit the facts, fully aware of my responsibility to my client, and to you -- as defense attorney.


MUSIC: FANFARE ... THEN DRUM ROLL BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: The American Broadcasting Company presents Miss Mercedes McCambridge as "Defense Attorney"!


MUSIC: UP FOR THEME ... THEN BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: When Martha Ellis Bryant chose law as a career, she accepted the challenge of defending the defenseless!


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: Jimmy Leonard was one of the defenseless -- a sixteen year-old newsboy charged with hit-and-run manslaughter. He is being held at the Midtown Precinct, where Martha Ellis Bryant is summoned by Jud Barnes.


JUD: (URGENT) I want you to see him, Marty. I want you to talk to him. Lieutenant Ledes will be back any minute. He'll okay the visit.


MARTY: You're pretty upset about this boy, Jud.


JUD: I've known him since he was two feet high, and I don't think he's guilty.


MARTY: Well, the police must have had some reason for bringing him in.


JUD: He owns a hot rod. Keeps it in a public garage near the paper. When he went in this morning the fender and a headlight were smashed up; he took it to a body shop to have it straightened. The police picked him up in nothing flat.


MARTY: Because of that man who was run down on River Street last night?


JUD: Yeah. A couple of people who were waiting near the ferry slip said they saw a hot rod come zooming along and kill him. (UNHAPPY) Jimmy's hot rod isn't the only one in town. Half the kids who peddle our papers have ones just like it.


MARTY: But not with a smashed fender, is that it?


JUD: Somebody might have backed into the car in the garage. Jimmy says he didn't drive it last night and I believe him.


MARTY: Why, Jud? Usually you're the Doubting Thomas.


JUD: Marty, it takes somebody pretty cold-blooded to run a man down and then beat it without stopping to help. And this kid isn't cold-blooded.


MARTY: Jud, he's just a boy. He might have been frightened.


JUD: Not that frightened, Marty.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS AS LEDES ENTERS ... LEDES' STEPS IN


JUD: Oh, hi, Ed.


MARTY: Hello, Lieutenant.


LEDES: Hi, Jud, Miss Bryant.


JUD: Ed, Marty wants to see Jimmy Leonard. How 'bout it?


LEDES: I guess somebody'd better see him. He's gonna need help.


JUD: What do mean by that, Ed?


LEDES: I mean he killed a man on River Street last night.


JUD: You wanna make book on that?


LEDES: Save your money, I just come from the lab.


JUD: His car was in the garage all night.


LEDES: Not according to the lab report. There's a blood trace on that smashed fender that matches the blood of the man who was killed. Not only that, but glass fragments at the scene of the wreck fit perfectly into the broken headlight.


MARTY: Can there be any doubt about that, Lieutenant?


LEDES: (EXHALES) You've seen enough lab reports, Miss Bryant. Take a look at this one.


SOUND: RUSTLE OF PAPERS


JUD: The car could have been stolen!


LEDES: Use your head, Jud. If anybody did steal it and kill the man, they'd have ditched it in some side street. They wouldn't bring it back to the garage.


MARTY: Lieutenant, has the dead man been identified?


LEDES: Yeah, yeah. Name is Fred Rimling. Longshoreman. He'd just finished a job on the docks, and was crossing River Street on his way home when that young punk comes barreling along--


JUD: That kid isn't a punk, Ed!


LEDES: Look, Jud, we've been friends for a long time, but I got a job to do this morning. I gotta go over to Tenement Row and tell Fred Rimling's wife and two kids he isn't gonna come home. It's one of the lousiest things a cop has to do. How do you expect me to feel about that hot rod jockey you're so fond of?


MARTY: Lieutenant, maybe you have proof that Jimmy Leonard's hot rod killed Fred Rimling. But you haven't proved that Jimmy Leonard was driving the car.


LEDES: Maybe not! But I can prove that he lied! He claims he was home all last night. I spoke to his old man a half hour ago. The kid hasn't been home since he left to peddle his papers yesterday. (BEAT, EXHALES) Now, if you still want to see him, go ahead. Better you than his old man.


JUD: What do you mean by that?


LEDES: I mean his father doesn't think as much of him as you do. If I let the old man in to see him, he'd beat his brains out. And believe me, I'm tempted! (BEAT, CALMER, APOLOGETIC) Ah, I'm sorry I blew, Jud. I'm thinkin' about myself, I guess. Got a bad hour ahead of me.


JUD: (MATCHES HIM) It's my fault as much as yours, Ed. I didn't know about Rimling's family.


LEDES: I better go. (MOVING OFF) I'll clear your visit with the desk sergeant, Miss Bryant. He'll take you back to the cell whenever you're ready.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, LEDES' STEPS TO DOOR, WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES AS HE EXITS


MUSIC: TRANSITION


JUD: Look, Jimmy, Miss Bryant can help you, but she can't do it if you won't talk.


JIMMY: I told you everything.


MARTY: You haven't told us where you were last night.


JIMMY: I was home.


MARTY: Your father says you weren't.


JIMMY: Maybe he didn't hear me come in. He was sleepin'. I got up this morning before he did.


MARTY: I see. (BEAT) Jimmy, how big is the place you live in?


JIMMY: Not big. Kind of small.


MARTY: How many bedrooms?


JIMMY: One.


MARTY: Where do you sleep?


JIMMY: Pop and I share the room. We got twin beds.


MARTY: How about your mother, Jimmy?


JIMMY: She's dead.


MARTY: I'm sorry, I didn't know that.


JIMMY: That's all right.


MARTY: (BEAT) Jimmy, where were you last night?


JUD: (BEAT) Jimmy, I've always been a friend of yours, haven't I?


JIMMY: Sure, Mr. Barnes, you've been swell, but--


JUD: Then why should you lie to me? Where were you last night, son?


JIMMY: (BEAT) I - I was-- No! No, I can't tell you!


MARTY: Jimmy, are you refusing to protect yourself, or are you trying to protect somebody else?


JIMMY: (AGITATED) No! I can't tell ya, that's all! I just can't tell ya! So why don't you go away?! Why don't you leave me alone?!


JUD: Come on, Marty. I guess Ed was right.


MARTY: No, Jud, just a minute. Jimmy, did you ever lend your car to anybody? Was there anybody who might have had a duplicate of the ignition key?


JIMMY: No. I was the only one who ever drove it. I only made it a month ago. A bunch of us made 'em. We chipped in and bought parts so we could get 'em wholesale.


MARTY: Mm hmm. Did any of the other fellows keep their cars in the same garage?


JIMMY: Yeah. A kid by the name of Rembrandt. I don't know his real name. We call him Rembrandt 'cause he goes to an art school at night. And Frankie Cutter. (THINKS) Yeah, yeah, they're - they're the only ones. (BEAT, WORRIED) Say, lookit, lady, what - what can they do to me?


MARTY: Well, Jimmy, you're just sixteen -- and if they find you guilty, you'll be sent to the state reformatory until you're twenty-one. That's five years.


JUD: (PLEADS) Jimmy, five years. Think, son.


JIMMY: (AGITATED) Look, now! I didn't kill that man! I didn't drive last night! The car was never out of the garage!


JUD: (ANNOYED) All right, so the car wasn't. So the police lab is crazy. But where were you?


MARTY: Jud, leave him alone, darling. It's no use. Come on, I want to see those other newsboys.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


FRANKIE: Jimmy's in kind of a jam, huh?


JUD: A bad jam, Frankie.


MARTY: You know, I understand you have a car just like his, Frankie.


FRANKIE: Sure! A bunch of us got 'em. We all made 'em together.


MARTY: Uh huh. Do you keep yours in the same garage?


FRANKIE: Gotta keep it someplace. What a racket! Eight bucks a month garage rent! I could leave it in the street and save the dough, but the cops keep slappin' tickets on it. Hey, ya got a butt, Mr. Barnes? I'm out.


JUD: Er, sure, Frankie. (SOUND: A COUPLE OF STEPS TO FRANKIE) Here.


FRANKIE: Thanks. (BEAT) Guess I ain't got no matches, either.


JUD: Here, I've got a lighter.


SOUND: LIGHTER OPENS, STRIKES ... CIGARETTE LIT ... LIGHTER CLOSES


FRANKIE: (EXHALES, IMPRESSED) Hey, that's a good lighter. (QUICKLY) Look, if my old lady sticks her head in here, grab the weed fast, will ya? She screams like an eagle if I smoke in the bedroom.


MARTY: Frankie, did you happen to see Jimmy Leonard anyplace last night?


FRANKIE: No. Why? Did he say I did?


JUD: No.


MARTY: To your knowledge, has Jimmy ever gone around with a girl?


FRANKIE: (AMUSED) A girl? Jimmy? He's too square.


MARTY: Uh huh. Is your car in good working order, Frankie?


FRANKIE: (ENTHUSIASTIC, QUICKLY) A dream on wheels! I got a carburetor on that baby-- You oughta see it go! I knock off work in the mornings, about four-thirty, and head for the speedway. Lotta hot rod guys there in the morning, you know? So, uh, there's no traffic and we can race. Ain't nothin' can touch that heap o' mine!


MARTY: Do you do that every morning?


FRANKIE: Sure! It's kicks!


MARTY: Did you do that this morning?


FRANKIE: (BEAT) No-o-o. No, not this morning. (UNCONVINCING) I was - too tired. You know, beat.


MARTY: Mmm. Where was your car last night while you were working? Was it in the garage?


FRANKIE: Where else?


MARTY: Is it there now?


FRANKIE: Of course it's there now! Rembrandt's, too!


JUD: Yeah, we know. We've already spoken to Rembrandt.


MARTY: Well. Thank you very much, Frankie. Jud, we'd better go.


JUD: Sure.


FRANKIE: Stick around a few minutes! The old lady went out to get some cake. She'll fix you up some coffee or something.


JUD: No, thanks, Frankie. Thank your mother for us.


FRANKIE: I don't want to get up and see you to the door in my pajamas. I ain't got no bathrobe.


MARTY: That's all right, Frankie, we'll find our way. Goodbye, and thank you.


FRANKIE: Sure! 


SOUND: JUD AND MARTY'S FOOTSTEPS START OFF


FRANKIE: (CALLS AFTER THEM) Some classy dame ya got there, Mr. Barnes! Keep her covered so she shouldn't get cold.


JUD: (CHUCKLES) Yeah, I will. So long, Frankie.


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, JUD AND MARTY'S STEPS CONTINUE, IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


JUD: How do we get out?


MARTY: I think we came in through that door. This other one must be the kitchen or a closet or something.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


JUD: Ah, right you are, Princess.


SOUND: JUD AND MARTY'S STEPS THROUGH DOOR, WHICH CLOSES ... THEN THROUGH APARTMENT HALL AND DOWN STAIRS, IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


MARTY: (EXHALES UNHAPPILY)


JUD: Marty, what do you think of Frankie?


MARTY: I feel sorry for him.


JUD: Yeah, I know what you mean. Tenement Row isn't the ideal setting to grow up in. My folks used to live in a place just like this.


MARTY: You grew up all right.


JUD: I was lucky, Marty. I learned how to put words together until they made sentences. (BEAT) Ah, street level. There's the door.


MARTY: (SHIVERS) Oooh. Like the end of a dark tunnel.


SOUND: STREET DOOR OPENS ONTO CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... JUD AND MARTY'S STEPS TO CAR DOOR, WHICH OPENS


MARTY: Judson, I know you have to get to work, so I can take a cab to Jimmy Leonard's house.


JUD: Yeah, I'm afraid you'll have to, Marty. I'll drop you at a cab stand.


MARTY: All right.


SOUND: CAR DOORS CLOSE ... ENGINE STARTS UP 


JUD: You still want to see Jimmy's father?


MARTY: Yeah, I do. And when you get to the paper, will you check around a little? Ask some of the other boys if they saw Jimmy last night.


JUD: Yeah, sure. Maybe one of the-- Hey!


MARTY: What is it?


JUD: Lieutenant Ledes -- just coming out of that building across the street. There's his car. (CALLS) Hey, Ed! Ed!


MARTY: He sees you, Jud. He's coming across.


JUD: Ah, that must have been where Rimling lived. Ledes said Tenement Row.


MARTY: Yeah, I know.


SOUND: LEDES' STEPS APPROACH


LEDES: Hi!


MARTY: Hi!


LEDES: Hope you didn't come down here to see Mrs. Rimling.


JUD: No. Marty had to stop in the neighborhood--


MARTY: How is she, Lieutenant?


LEDES: Eh, a couple of neighbors with her now, and the minister from the church. She'll be all right, I guess, if she isn't left alone. (SHAKES HIS HEAD) Two cute kids. (BEAT) Look, Jud, I want to ask a favor.


JUD: Sure, Ed.


LEDES: Your paper makes a pitch for somebody every once in a while to get help for 'em. Fred Rimling's family can use some help.


JUD: I'll get right on it, Ed.


LEDES: No insurance, no nothin'. Killed comin' from work last night -- the first work he'd had in three months.


MARTY: In three months? Longshoremen should be busier than that. There's a lot of shipping.


LEDES: Yeah, well, for some reason he'd been on layoff till yesterday. Longshoreman's union had a meeting yesterday afternoon; he was elected delegate. I guess that helped to get him workin' again. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Uh, I'd better get back to headquarters. Where're you goin'?


JUD: I'm going to the paper. Marty's gonna see Jimmy's father.


MARTY: Lieutenant, would you mind doing something for me?


LEDES: (UPSET) To help that kid?! I--! (STOPS SHORT, BEAT, EXHALES, CALM AND RELUCTANT) Well, what d'ya want?


MARTY: I want you to check the license plates on Jimmy's car. Then check the registration. Make sure the motor number on the car is right.


JUD: What's the reason for that, Marty?


MARTY: Oh, it's just a possibility. Rembrandt and Frankie Cutter have cars exactly like Jimmy's. One of them might have switched parking stalls and license plates. I just want to make sure that Jimmy's car is Jimmy's car.


LEDES: Look, Miss Bryant, his key fit the damaged car! He drove it out to a repair shop! A fella can always tell his own car, even from others just like it.


MARTY: I know, Lieutenant, but just the same, check it for me, will you? I'll come down to see what you find -- after I see Jimmy's father.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


LEONARD: (GRUFF, DRUNK) I told him. I told him a hundred times, if I told him once, that that car'd get him in trouble. Now look at him -- behind bars!


SOUND: BOTTLE ON GLASS ... LIQUOR POURED


MARTY: Well, tomorrow morning he'll be arraigned and transferred to the county jail, and then you'll be able to see him.


LEONARD: I don't wanna see him. Not unless I can get my hands on him. I'd like to break his neck.


MARTY: Mr. Leonard, what kind of father are you?


LEONARD: The kind he should have listened to! I've been too easy with him. He's just like his mother was; blood'll tell. That's what she'd do, too -- kill a man and run. She never had the guts to face anything.


MARTY: But he's a sixteen-year-old boy. He's alone, he's frightened. And he may go to a reformatory if he's found guilty. Does that mean anything to you?


LEONARD: (DISMISSIVE) Ahhh. I never should have kept him. She wanted him; I shoulda let her have him. They're two of a kind.


MARTY: Who? Who are you talking about? Some girl?


LEONARD: I'm talkin' about his mother.


MARTY: Well, isn't your wife dead?


LEONARD: How do I know? I haven't seen her in ten years. She wanted him, but she couldn't get him! Not when I got finished with that divorce court! I showed 'em what she was.


SOUND: BOTTLE ON GLASS ... LIQUOR POURED


MARTY: You mean you divorced your wife, and you got the custody of the boy?


LEONARD: The court found she wasn't a fit mother.


MARTY: The court find that you were a fit father?


LEONARD: (DEFENSIVE) I did everything for him! Tried to make somethin' out of him.


MARTY: Almost unbelievable how far justice can miscarry.


LEONARD: What d'ya mean by that crack?


MARTY: You never wanted that boy.


LEONARD: I took him! Made a home for him!


MARTY: You took him so that you could do just what you've done. Not because you wanted him, but so that you could punish him. So that you could get revenge for whatever you think your wife did to you.


LEONARD: Say, who d'ya think you are to come in and talk to me like this in my own house? Now get out o' here! When you see that son of mine, tell him I hope they keep him in jail forever.


MARTY: I will, Mr. Leonard, I will. Because compared to the home you've given him, his life there will be paradise!


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS LEDES ENTERS ... LEDES' STEPS TO MARTY ... THEN RUSTLE OF PAPERS BEHIND--


LEDES: Well, here's the check on the serial number of the motor, Miss Bryant. It tallies with the number on the registrations.


MARTY: Then I'm sorry I bothered you, Lieutenant; it was just an off-chance.


LEDES: Oh, er, Jud called a few minutes ago. He's on his way over to meet you.


MARTY: Thank you. Has Jimmy Leonard said anything since I left?


LEDES: Naw. Naw, he's still clammed up. (WITH DISGUST) That fool kid. If he hadn't run away, the charge wouldn't be so bad; a year, maybe. But that hit-and-run! What happens to a kid's brain, Miss Bryant? It's an accident, not murder! He was speedin', sure, but why didn't he stay to face it?


MARTY: Because he was afraid to face something else. His father.


LEDES: Yeah. You'd think he hated the kid. You know the kid's guilty, don't you, Miss Bryant?


MARTY: Don't ask me that, Lieutenant. My job is to defend him.


LEDES: Yeah. Yeah, sure, I'm sorry. (BEAT) Eh, I got some work to do, but you can wait here for Jud, okay?


MARTY: Yeah, fine.


SOUND: LEDES' STEPS TO DOOR, WHICH OPENS AND LEDES COLLIDES WITH JUD--


LEDES: Ooof!


JUD: Oh, sorry, Ed.


LEDES: Oh, speak of the devil. Here's your beau now, Miss Bryant.


JUD: Got time to grab a bite with us, Ed?


LEDES: Cops never eat! -- or sleep! -- and all that; see ya.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES AS LEDES' EXITS ... JUD'S STEPS TO MARTY


JUD: Any luck, Marty?


MARTY: Yeah. All bad.


JUD: I've got some bad news, too. Jimmy was definitely lying about where he spent the night.


MARTY: Why? Do you know where he was?


JUD: At the Hotel Saverin Plaza.


MARTY: The Saverin Plaza!


JUD: Yeah, there's a newsstand in the lobby. One of the men on the delivery route was making a drop there and he saw him.


MARTY: Well, he might have been just walking through. That hotel opens on two streets.


JUD: (NO) Uh-uh. Delivery man said he saw Jimmy at the desk, registering. Said he called to him, but Jimmy turned his face away. He said he thought maybe he'd made a mistake.


MARTY: Did you check with the desk clerk?


JUD: Yeah. Jimmy was registered, all right. Not only that, but he'd been there before. For some reason or other, he stayed at that hotel about one night a month.


MARTY: Gee, it's strange -- a boy like him in a hotel like that.


JUD: Yeah, and there's something even stranger. He'd always call in advance and make a reservation. Marty, you think he was meeting somebody or something?


MARTY: (THOUGHTFUL) Yeah. Yeah, I do. And I think I know who. His mother, Jud.


JUD: His mother's dead! You heard him tell us that.


MARTY: If she's dead, Jimmy's father doesn't know about it. They were divorced ten years ago. (BEAT) Aw, Jud, that boy's not guilty. He's hiding something.


JUD: Well, he won't talk, Marty; you saw that.


MARTY: Maybe we can find something to make him talk. You go back to that hotel and go through that register. See if a woman has also registered there on the same days that Jimmy did. Get all the information you can on her. Because if we find her, I think we'll find Jimmy's mother.


JUD: (IMPRESSED) You may have something, Marty. Why don't you come with me?


MARTY: No. I've got another stop to make.


JUD: Yeah? Where?


MARTY: Down at the docks. I'd like to know why Fred Rimling only got one day's work in three months!


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: DOCK BACKGROUND (MACHINERY, BELLS, SHIP NOISES, ET CETERA) ... MARTY'S STEPS ON WOODEN DOCK


BOSTON: (OFF) Hey! Hey, you! Sister!


MARTY: Yes?


BOSTON: (OFF) 'Round these docks ain't no place for a lady. Hoists and everything; you might get hurt.


MARTY: Thank you very much. I'll be careful.


BOSTON: (CLOSER, THREATENING) Hey, wait a minute. Don't go, I ain't finished talkin' yet.


MARTY: You let go of my arm.


BOSTON: You've been nosin' around the docks all afternoon askin' the longshoremen questions. You shouldn't do that. These guys gotta work.


MARTY: I don't think what I do is any of your business.


BOSTON: It's all my business! I'm Joe Boston. You're wastin' their time, an' they all work for me.


MARTY: Oh, I see. You're Joe Boston.


BOSTON: Yeah. Heard o' me, eh?


MARTY: Yeah, this afternoon I've heard quite a lot about you. Fred Rimling worked for you, too, didn't he?


BOSTON: Yeah, yeah. Poor Fred. I just sent some flowers. Bad thing, the poor guy gettin' killed like that. Leavin' a family. I bleed for 'em.


MARTY: Bleed what? Ice water?


BOSTON: Look, you're a pretty fresh dame. What d'ya want around here?


MARTY: I want to find out why Fred Rimling worked only one day in three months.


BOSTON: Docks are slow, that's why.


MARTY: They're loaded with shipping. I've been talking to the men. And I know why he didn't work.


BOSTON: Well, all right, Sister. Tell me!


MARTY: He didn't work because you have the contracts for all the unloading done here, and you make the men kick back part of their pay.


BOSTON: Yeah? Get one of 'em to say that in front of me!


MARTY: Ho ho, you know they're frightened of you. But Rimling wasn't, was he? He was ready to fight you. That's why the men elected him delegate yesterday.


BOSTON: He was a Communist! Always makin' trouble--


MARTY: He was not a Communist! He went to church regularly and all the men around here respected him.


BOSTON: (DERISIVE SNORT)


MARTY: One day's work in three months. And a late job, too. One that brought him out on River Street at three o'clock in the morning to be killed under the wheels of a car.


BOSTON: A hot rod! Driven by a crazy kid! You blamin' me for that?


MARTY: No, I'm not blaming you -- yet. Now, you let go of my arm.


BOSTON: Sure, sure, sure, I'll let go of it. But let me tell you something. Stay away from these docks. Stay out of my business or I'm going to--!


SOUND: JUD'S STEPS QUICKLY APPROACH BEHIND--


JUD: (INTERRUPTS) Or what, Buster? What's the matter, Marty?


MARTY: Jud, he's--


BOSTON: You're Barnes, ain't you? Newspaper guy, huh?


JUD: That's right. And Miss Bryant happens to be the girl I'm gonna marry, and I don't like to see her havin' trouble! (LOW) Come on, Marty, I'll take you home.


MARTY: Okay.


SOUND: MARTY AND JUD'S STEPS AS THEY MOVE OFF ... THEN IN BG


MARTY: I'm pretty happy you came along.


JUD: I looked for you all over the docks. Lucky I found you.


MARTY: Yeah. Rimling was breaking up a racket on him, Jud. Boston looks like a man who wouldn't stop at any murder.


JUD: Are you sure?


MARTY: He shakes the men down, a pay kick back. Couple of them hinted at it, but they're afraid.


JUD: Ed Ledes suspected Boston of strong-arm stuff before, up to and including murder, but he's never been able to hang it on him. But-- Marty, what's the connection between Joe Boston and Jimmy's hot rod?


MARTY: I don't know. I keep thinking Jimmy's car was switched with another one just like it. But Ledes has proven that's wrong.


JUD: Yeah. 


SOUND: DURING ABOVE EXCHANGE, THEIR STEPS STOP, CAR DOORS OPEN AND CLOSE ... THE CONVERSATION CONTINUES WITHOUT A BREAK AS CAR STARTS AND PULLS AWAY ... CONTINUES IN BG 


JUD: Over there's where Rimling was killed, Marty. Coming out of Pier Thirty-Seven. Witnesses who saw the hot rod were in that ferry shed there. The car came speeding along from that direction.


MARTY: Yeah? (CHANGES SUBJECT) Oh, hey, Jud, what did you find out at the hotel?


JUD: Oh, oh, yeah. Yeah. The kid's mother was at the hotel on those nights, all right. Her name's Mrs. Helen Goodrich now -- remarried. Comes from Pleasanton, a hundred miles upstate. I called her, told her what's happened. She broke up, Marty, she's - she's on her way here right now.


MARTY: Oh, good. That boy sure needs her.


JUD: She loves him, Marty. I could tell by her reaction--


MARTY: Jud! Look out! Watch!


JUD: Huh? What?


SOUND: SQUEALING BRAKES AND TIRES AS SPEEDING TAXICAB APPROACHES AND ROARS PAST JUD AND MARTY ... THEN LIGHT CLICKETY-CLICKETY OF SPATTERING SAND AND GRAVEL HITTING THE METAL UNDERSIDE OF THE CAR, WHICH CONTINUES DOWN THE ROAD, IN BG


JUD: Wow. Oh, that crazy cab driver! He almost skidded right into us!


MARTY: It wasn't his fault! It's this road -- it's like glass!


JUD: An oil truck overturned here a few days ago. They tried to sand it down, but it's still slippery. Do you hear the sand and gravel kicking up under the fenders?


MARTY: (SLOW, THOUGHTFUL) Yeah. Yeah, I do hear it. 


SOUND: SPATTERING SAND AND GRAVEL OUT BEHIND--


MARTY: (EXCITED) Jud, I want to see Lieutenant Ledes! I want to see him right away!


JUD: Why? What are you so excited about?


MARTY: The car that killed Rimling must have driven through that oil slick.


JUD: Yeah?


MARTY: I've got an idea -- an idea that may prove Jimmy didn't kill Fred Rimling!


MUSIC: TRANSITION


LEDES: Now wait a minute, Miss Bryant! Wait a minute. Give me that again -- slow, huh?


MARTY: Lieutenant, the car that killed Rimling must have passed that oily spot on River Street, right?


LEDES: Yeah. So?


MARTY: Suppose it was not Jimmy's car?


LEDES: I got a short answer for you, Miss Bryant -- if it wasn't Jimmy's car, Jimmy's car wouldn't have a smashed fender and headlight.


MARTY: There are two other cars like it in the same garage. The night man admitted he was asleep. Any one of those cars would have gone in and out without his ever seeing them.


LEDES: Okay, what's your point?


JUD: Her point is that Rimling might have been killed by one of the other hot rods. How did you happen to pick Jimmy up, Ed?


LEDES: You know how, Jud. We put out a bulletin to all repair shops to report a damaged hot rod.


JUD: And you got a call on a car with a smashed fender and headlight.


LEDES: Yeah! And it's good, solid evidence!


MARTY: But would it still be solid if you could prove that an undamaged fender and headlight were removed from Jimmy's car -- right in that garage -- and the damaged ones put on in their place?


JUD: Ed, it could happen.


LEDES: (BEAT) Yeah. I never thought of it, but you're right, it could. Yeah, but how could we prove it?


MARTY: Your lab can -- by that oil slick. The death car came through it -- and that oily sand hits up under the fenders and some of it sticks.


JUD: It did on my car, Ed. I checked to see.


MARTY: That's proof, Lieutenant. You have the lab go over Jimmy's car again. If he did drive through there, there'll be traces of oily sand under all four fenders. But if you only find it under the damaged fender, then that fender does not belong on Jimmy's car.


ED: (SIGHS) Miss Bryant, if I ever kill anybody, you've got a client!


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER UP


ED: (INTO PHONE) Hello? Ledes. Call the lab. Tell them I want a crew at the police garage right away.


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER DOWN


JUD: Uh, Ed, better send somebody to look at those other cars, too -- the ones belonging to Rembrandt and Frankie Cutter. If one of them made the switch, he'll have oil and sand under three fenders.


LEDES: Yeah, that's a good idea.


MARTY: I'll bet on Frankie Cutter's car. Frankie told us he used to go racing every morning. But he admitted that he didn't the morning after Rimling was killed.


JUD: Sure! He missed the races because changing that fender and headlight took time.


LEDES: Mm hm. Where's he live, Jud?


JUD: Let's see. Well, it's almost nine P.M., he should be at the newsstand by now -- Fifth and Madison.


SOUND: RECEIVER UP


LEDES: All right. (INTO PHONE) Hello, give me Radio Division. (BEAT) Radio? Lieutenant Ledes. Put out a pickup for a kid named Frankie Cutter. He's a newsie. Fifth and Madison. Have him brought in here and held till I get back.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


FRANKIE: I - I didn't kill him, I tell ya! I was workin' the newsstand--!


LEDES: Save it, Frankie! You're cooked! The lab crew can prove that you switched fenders on Jimmy's car.


MARTY: You might as well tell the truth.


JUD: Come on, Frankie.


FRANKIE: (NERVOUS) Gimme a butt, will ya? I'm out.


MARTY: You can smoke later.


FRANKIE: Okay, okay, I changed the fender and the light -- but I didn't kill nobody! I was at the stand! Somebody else had the car!


LEDES: Who?!


FRANKIE: If I tell ya, he'll kill me! He's a big shot, this tough -- real big!


MARTY: Maybe we can tell you, Frankie. It was Joe Boston, wasn't it?


FRANKIE: Huh? How'd you know?


LEDES: Was it Boston, Frankie? Come on, talk!


FRANKIE: Yeah. He - he came by the stand that night. I had my car in the alley, by the movie, y'know? Every time he picked up a paper -- Boston, I mean -- he slipped me a buck. A big guy, y'know? So it's about two A.M. when he comes by. He wants to know, can he borrow my car? To a guy like him, ya don't say no, so I give him the keys.


MARTY: And when did he come back?


FRANKIE: About three-thirty. Tells me he had an accident. The thing is smashed up -- the fender and the headlight. (BEAT) Give me a butt, will ya, somebody?


JUD: Here.


SOUND: JUD STEPS TO FRANKIE ... CIGARETTE LIGHTER CLICKS OPEN


FRANKIE: (BEAT, EXHALES) 


SOUND: CIGARETTE LIGHTER CLICKS SHUT


FRANKIE: He give me a C-note, to keep my trap shut. I didn't know what happened! When I took the car into the garage, the night guy was asleep. So I glommed onto a fender and a light from Jimmy's car. Next morning, when I found out a guy was killed, I - I was scared stiff! I couldn't say nothin'! Boston 'ud lay me out!


MARTY: Hm. Enough, Lieutenant?


LEDES: Plenty.


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER UP


LEDES: (INTO PHONE) Radio Division. (BEAT) Radio, Ledes again. Another pickup: Joe Boston, on a Two-Two-Four. --- No, I'm not kiddin'! This time he rides!


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER DOWN


LEDES: Come on, Frankie.


FRANKIE: Where ya takin' me? I didn't do nothin'.


LEDES: You're a material witness. I want to keep you alive until Joe Boston isn't. You're lucky we picked you up.


JUD: He's right, Frankie. Boston knew we were asking questions about him. When he picked up his paper tonight, your tip might have been more than a dollar. He'd shut you up for good.


FRANKIE: (BEAT, WORRIED) When they bring him in, you ain't gonna put him in the same cell with me, are ya?


LEDES: No. But I oughta, just for kicks. Come on, move!


SOUND: LEDES AND FRANKIE'S STEPS AWAY, IN BG


LEDES: (MOVING OFF, TO MARTY) While I'm puttin' this one in, I'll let Jimmy Leonard out.


MARTY: We'll wait.


SOUND: LEDES AND FRANKIE'S STEPS THROUGH DOOR WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES AS THEY EXIT


JUD: Marty, thanks. You saved a good kid.


MARTY: Jimmy'd have to be good. If he weren't, he'd have gotten into trouble a long time ago, with that father of his. That man is a real--


SOUND: KNOCK ON DOOR, WHICH OPENS


MOTHER: (TEARFUL) Is - is Lieutenant Ledes here, or Mr. Barnes? I've gotta see one of 'em, right away, please!


JUD: I'm Mr. Barnes. You must be Jimmy Leonard's mother.


MOTHER: Yes, yes. Let me see him, please.


MARTY: It's all right, Mrs., uh--?


MOTHER: Goodrich.


MARTY: Mrs. Goodrich. Jimmy'll be here now in a just a minute. He's being released.


MOTHER: (DISBELIEF) Re--? Released? 


MARTY: (YES) Mm hm.


MOTHER: Released?! You mean he's all right? They know he didn't do anything?


MARTY: Yes, yes, they know.


MOTHER: Oh, thank Heaven. Thank Heaven.


MARTY: Mrs. Goodrich, he wouldn't tell them where he'd been that night. Do you know why?


MOTHER: (EMBARRASSED) Because of me. My husband -- not Jimmy's father, Mr. Goodrich -- he doesn't know I've been married before. I - I never expected to see Jimmy again after his father divorced me, so I - I never told Mr. Goodrich.


MARTY: Oh, I see.


MOTHER: Since the divorce, I didn't see Jimmy again until last year. I came to do some shopping; saw him selling papers and recognized him. A mother knows. (EMOTIONAL) I had to see him after that! We met once a month--!


JUD: Take it easy, Mrs. Goodrich.


MOTHER: (CALMLY) I was afraid to tell my new husband. Afraid I might lose him if I told him now, so late. I guess that's why Jimmy wouldn't say where he was. He knew I was happy. He didn't want to bring me into it.


MARTY: Yes, but you'll have to tell your husband -- now.


MOTHER: I did. Right after Mr. Barnes called. I don't know now why I was afraid to tell him before. I got a good man this time. He's out there in the car. He wants me to bring my boy home with us, but-- (EMOTIONAL) But I can't! He's still a minor. The courts gave his father custody.


MARTY: Mrs. Goodrich, you take the boy along with you. You leave the rest to me. I'll get that decision reversed if I have to spend my life in a courtroom.


MOTHER: Oh, thank you! I don't--


SOUND: DOOR OPENS 


MOTHER: (GASPS) Jimmy! My baby!


JIMMY: Mom! Mom!


SOUND: JIMMY'S STEPS AS HE RUNS TO MOTHER AND THEY EMBRACE


MOTHER: (WEEPS HAPPILY)


MARTY: (LOW, DISCREET) Come on, Jud.


SOUND: JUD AND MARTY'S STEPS AS THEY EXIT THE ROOM ... DOOR CLOSES BEHIND THEM 


JUD: You know, Marty, you worry me.


MARTY: Why?


JUD: Well, there's nothing a man dreads more than the prospect of being married to a woman smarter than he is.


MARTY: (CHUCKLES) Don't worry about it, darling.


JUD: No? Why not?


MARTY: Because if I'm really smarter than you are, I'll be smart enough to never let you know it.


JUD: Oh. All right, that's a deal. Now give me a kiss.


MARTY: (BEAT, PLAYFUL) I don't wanna.


JUD: Come on.


MARTY: (BEAT, MOCK RELUCTANT) We-e-ell-- (PAUSE FOR KISS, THEN EXHALES)


JUD: (IMPRESSED WITH THE KISS) Well!


MUSIC: CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: You have just heard "Defense Attorney," starring Mercedes McCambridge, with Howard Culver as Jud. Tonight you heard Tony Barrett as Lieutenant Ledes, Tom McKee as Boston, Joel Nessler as Jimmy, George Pirrone as Frankie, and Irene Tedrow as the mother. Music was composed and conducted by Rex Koury.


MUSIC: FOR CLOSE ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: "Defense Attorney" was written by Joel Murcott. The program is directed by Dwight Hauser. Next week, another exciting adventure with Mercedes McCambridge -- "Defense Attorney." Be sure to listen.


MUSIC: OUT


ANNOUNCER: "This Is Your FBI," the official broadcast from the files of the FBI, follows immediately. Stay tuned. This program came to you from Hollywood. America is sold on ABC, the American Broadcasting Company.

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