Microphone Plays‎ > ‎

Jill's Baby

Rogers of the Gazette

Jill's Baby

Dec 23 1953




CAST:


The CBS Team:

ANNOUNCER

EVE ARDEN, Our Miss Brooks (1 line)


Dramatis Personae:

WILL ROGERS

MAGGIE BUTTON, Will's assistant

DOC CLEMENS, the town doctor

JILL, Will's daughter, aged ten

MEL, a father

FRANCIE, a mother

JOHNNY, their baby

MISS HARVEY, elderly schoolteacher; delicate sensibilities





MAGGIE: Ladies and gentlemen, the editor of the Illyria Weekly Gazette, Mr. Will Rogers, Jr.


WILL: Thank you. Sometimes I wonder if we wouldn't all have a better chance of keeping the season happy and merry if we'd bear in mind that there's a distinct difference between Christmas spirit and Christmas spirits.


MUSIC: FANFARE


ANNOUNCER: ROGERS OF THE GAZETTE -- offering you again, transcribed, another heartwarming story of a country newspaper and its friendly editor, and starring Will Rogers, Jr.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND DOC--


DOC: I'm Doc Clemens, a friend of Will's. Well, the suspense is over. We're gonna have a white Christmas in Illyria. It'd take a spring thaw to melt the snow we've got right now and we're a cinch to have more. I haven't checked with the weatherman, but Hazel Burrough's trick knee predicts snow with unfailing accuracy and she just flashed me the bulletin.


Ah, I guess there's nothing much prettier than a small town like Illyria drifted white with snow, with smoke from warm fires curlin' out of chimneys and bright Christmas lights shinin' at the windows. That's if you belong to those warm fires and Christmas lights. But if you're a stranger and you're cold and hungry and frightened-- Well, sometimes that's quite another story.


SOUND: KLACKETY-KLACK OF TYPEWRITER ... CONTINUES IN BG


MAGGIE: You sure it's all right for me to go, Will?


WILL: Sure, Maggie. You run along.


MAGGIE: I don't want to leave if you're gonna stay late and work.


WILL: I'm not gonna stay any later'n takes to finish this story.


MAGGIE: I'll wait for ya, if you'll go shopping with me. Most of the stores are open tonight, you know.


WILL: Yeah. But I'm goin' home as soon as I finish this. 


SOUND: TYPEWRITER STOPS


WILL: (YAWNS MIGHTILY) And I'm gonna eat me a big dinner and after that I'm gonna put my foot up in front of the fire and maybe read or maybe just watch the fire a while. Then I'm goin' to bed.


MAGGIE: Spoken like a man who did his Christmas shopping early.


WILL: Nope. I haven't even started.


MAGGIE: Will! That's terrible! When are you gonna do it?


WILL: Oh, sometime between now and Christmas. I've been giving it a lot of thought. I just can't seem to come up with any bright ideas.


MAGGIE: But it's getting so late. Why don't you quit waiting for bright ideas and just settle for ideas?


WILL: I may have to. The thing is, I don't like to give people things they need for Christmas.


MAGGIE: You'd rather give them things they don't need?


WILL: No, I don't mean it that way. I mean, uh-- Well, take Doc, for instance. He probably needs socks, but maybe he hankers for a pipe or something like that. I'd rather give him the pipe than the socks.


MAGGIE: I'm glad you feel that way. 'Cause I need stockings. But I hanker for a convertible. (MOVING OFF) Good night, Will.


SOUND: MAGGIE'S FOOTSTEPS TO NEWSPAPER DOOR WHICH OPENS (A LITTLE BELL ON THE DOOR RINGS WHENEVER IT OPENS OR SHUTS)


WILL: Good night, Maggie.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


WILL: (YAWNS) Ah, let's see here.


SOUND: KLACKETY-KLACK OF TYPEWRITER RESUMES ... CONTINUES IN BG ... DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES


WILL: Forget something, Maggie?


MEL: (BEAT, TENSE) We're not Maggie, mister.


SOUND: TYPEWRITER STOPS


WILL: Oh. 'Scuse me. Maggie just left-- (SENSES SOMETHING WRONG) What can I do for you folks?


FRANCIE: (HIDES DESPERATION) Could we just get warm here -- for a little while?


WILL: Well, sure. Sure you can.


SOUND: WILL RISES, STARTS SCRAPING CHAIRS ACROSS FLOOR


WILL: Here, let me pull up a couple of chairs by the heater.


MEL: Thanks.


FRANCIE: Oh, thanks. Thanks so much.


WILL: Haven't been out since about noon. It's pretty cold, huh?


MEL: It is if you slept in a snowdrift last night, and walked all day through it. That gets cold, mister.


WILL: Yeah, I'll bet it does.


FRANCIE: (LOW, TO MEL) He's still asleep, Mel. Look.


WILL: (AMAZED) You had a baby inside your coat?


FRANCIE: Just since we got into town. Mel's carried Johnny all day.


MEL: Does he seem warm, Francie?


FRANCIE: He seems so to me, but--


MEL: Maybe he shouldn't be asleep. Maybe that's bad.


FRANCIE: Oh, please, Mel. Don't talk like that.


WILL: I think he's all right. But I've got a friend who'll know right off. Let me call him.


FRANCIE: I - I wish you would. (SNIFFS, READY TO CRY) Oh, how I wish you would.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


DOC: Well, now, I think little Johnny's in good shape -- considering all he's been through.


FRANCIE: You're sure, doctor? I mean, you wouldn't just say that?


DOC: No, I wouldn't just say that.


FRANCIE: (RELIEVED SIGH, READY TO CRY AGAIN) Mel. Oh, Mel.


MEL: Go ahead, honey. You've got a cry comin'.


FRANCIE: (HESITATES) I - I -


DOC: If you don't mind some advice, I'd have a good cry if I were you, little lady. You, too, son. You're both tight as a fiddle string. By that time, Will ought to be back from the drugstore with the warm milk for the baby and everybody'll feel better.


FRANCIE: Well, it - it's just the relief. We've been afraid for the baby all day. Not so much for ourselves, but - it isn't fair for Johnny. He's so little.


JOHNNY: (GURGLES)


MEL: It's all right, Francie. Johnny's all right. The doc said so.


FRANCIE: (FINALLY WEEPS) I know. I know. (WEEPS, IN BG)


SOUND: NEWSPAPER DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES ... WILL'S FOOTSTEPS IN


WILL: Well, I got everything like you said, doc. Everything's sterilized and it's--


FRANCIE: (WEEPING, UP FOR A MOMENT, THEN IN BG)


WILL: Something wrong?


DOC: Oh, she's all in, Will. The boy's fine, though. And he'll be even better when he has some supper, won't you, young man?


JOHNNY: (GURGLES)


FRANCIE: (WEEPING SUBSIDES BEHIND--)


WILL: Now, the nipples on the bottles are backwards, Doc. You know, you gotta take 'em off first, ya see, and--


DOC: No kidding.


WILL: Oh, I guess you know all about that, huh?


DOC: Well, I've run across it a few times before. 


SOUND: DOC WORKS THE BOTTLE


DOC: Gracious. Now, then, Johnny -- we're in business.


JOHNNY: (GURGLES, DRINKS THIRSTILY)


MEL: Look, Francie. Look at your boy now.


FRANCIE: (SNIFFS) Oh, bless him. Bless his heart. He's been such a good boy.


WILL: He's sure goin' after that milk.


DOC: Nothin' wrong with this boy. But I'll tell you this. I'm a mite more concerned about you two youngsters than I am about Johnny here.


WILL: Yeah. How 'bout you folks doin' some eatin'? And some sleeping, too. We got a nice hotel here. I'll be glad to call and see about a room for ya.


MEL: (BEAT) Oh, we don't have a dime, mister.


WILL: Oh, well, that doesn't change things much. You still have to eat and get some sleep.


MEL: Oh, we'll get along, won't we, Francie?


FRANCIE: Why, sure, honey. Sure we will.


WILL: Now, look, I got some extra room at my house and there's dinner waitin' for me. You'd be mighty welcome.


FRANCIE: (EXHALES) Mel?


MEL: But you don't know anything about us, mister.


WILL: (LIGHTLY) I could find it out at dinner, couldn't I?


MEL: Why, I guess so, but--


DOC: (STERN) Now, see here, young man. You just pack your pride over to Will's house. It isn't nearly as important as your wife and son is.


WILL: (TO MEL, LIGHTLY) I wouldn't get him roused if I were you. Around here, we just do what the doctor says -- to get along with him.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


JILL: He's awful little, isn't he, daddy?


WILL: He's 'bout right -- for seven months' old, Jill.


JILL: Was I ever that little?


WILL: Sure you were. First time when I saw ya, you were about half his size.


JILL: Aw, daddy, no one was ever that little.


WILL: You were.


JILL: Gee, doesn't he do anything but sleep?


SOUND: MEL'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH


MEL: (APPROACHES, IN A BETTER MOOD) You bet he does, Jill. Sometimes he cries all night.


WILL: Oh, hello, there. We were just admiring your son. He's sure a fine-lookin' boy.


MEL: Still sleepin' away, huh?


WILL: Like a log. Guess we better get out of here and let him do a real job of it. Come along, Jill.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS 


JILL: Is he gonna sleep in here in your room, daddy?


WILL: That's right, honey. Come along now.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS THROUGH BEDROOM DOOR WHICH CLOSES GENTLY


JILL: Can I sleep in there with you, too -- when it's time to go to bed?


WILL: No, Jill. But it's your bedtime right now. So say good night to Mr. Simmons and hop off to your room, honey.


JILL: If he wakes up in the night, will you let me know?


MEL: (LIGHTLY) If he wakes up, we'll all know, Jill.


WILL: (CHUCKLES)


JILL: I've never seen him awake.


WILL: Well, you will. Now run along to bed. You gotta go to school tomorrow. And Mr. Simmons and I want to have a little talk.


JILL: Oh. Well, good night, Mr. Simmons.


WILL: Good night, Jill.


JILL: Good night, daddy. (HUGS HIM)


WILL: That's my big girl. (GIVES HER A KISS) Good night, honey. Sleep tight.


JILL: You be sure and call me if you need me, daddy.


WILL: I will, honey.


SOUND: JILL'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY


WILL: Come on over to the den, Simmons. Or would you rather turn in yourself?


MEL: Well, I still need to unwind a little. And, uh, I'd like to talk to ya, if it's okay with ya.


WILL: Why, sure. Fine. It's this way.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO THE DEN ... LIGHT SWITCH CLICKS ... DEN DOOR CLOSES GENTLY


WILL: There. Make yourself comfortable. Hm, I see my fire's down to embers. I can get it goin', though, in no time.


MEL: Oh, not on my account. I'm warmer than I ever thought I'd be again.


SOUND: THEY SIT


WILL: Guess your wife didn't have any trouble gettin' to sleep.


MEL: No. She was all played out. She just held on on account of the baby. When she found out Johnny was all right and she had dinner, she folded right up. I, er, sure hope you won't mind - havin' a baby in your room.


WILL: (CHUCKLES) No, not at all. That spare room you're in wouldn't hold Jill's baby bed. Always sort of wanted to have a boy around anyway.


MEL: I guess every man wants a son. I sure wanted Johnny. (BEAT, UNHAPPILY) Mr. Rogers, I gotta find some work tomorra.


WILL: Aw, we ought to find somethin'. Say, if the weather's right, we'd better get Charlie at the garage to try and get your car out of that snowdrift. Ya think you know where it is?


MEL: I think so. But, you see, I can't pay to get the car out. And it'll need some work done on it, and there's no money for that.


WILL: Now, just take things one at a time. While ago, you needed to get warm and have some food and a place to sleep. Maybe tomorra'll take care of the rest of your needs.


MEL: I don't know. Francie and I have been livin' a day at a time for a long while. Ah, sometimes you wish you could plan. You wish you knew about the day after tomorra, too. And next week.


WILL: Sure. But nobody does, really. Even if you got a little money and your car isn't in a snowdrift, you can't tell about tomorra -- or the day after, or next week.


MEL: Yeah. Only, pretty soon it's gonna be Christmas. I promised Francie we'd make it to Kansas City for Christmas. Her mother's there.


WILL: There's time. With a few breaks, you can still make it.


MEL: I guess I sound ungrateful, but I'm not. I don't know why we showed up at your office tonight, of all the places in town. But I'm glad we did. And I'll find some way of payin' you back, Mr. Rogers.


WILL: You know, I'm not near as worried about that as you are.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: MEL SHOVELS SNOW ... STOPS BEHIND--


WILL: What are you doin' shovelin' snow, Mel? I thought I sent you up here to school for a carpentry job.


MEL: Oh, that don't start till school's out today for the Christmas vacation. I guess they figure we can get the job done better with the kids gone.


WILL: Hm, well, you're workin' anyway.


MEL: Yeah. After the other day, I didn't think anything good could come from a big snowstorm. Now I'm makin' a few bucks because of it. Man, you never know, do ya?


WILL: No, that's what I meant the other night; you know, about tomorrow, and the day after, and next week.


MEL: Yeah. Oh, uh, if you came to pick up Jill, she's already gone home. Left about ten minutes ago. 


WILL: Say, did she seem all right? I mean, she wasn't sick or anything?


MEL: No. No, she seemed fine to me. She just stopped a minute. Said she wanted to hurry home and help Francie with Johnny.


WILL: I'll bet she's a great help. The reason I ask about her bein' sick, her teacher called. Said she had to talk to me about Jill and-- Guess I better get in there and see Miss Harvey. Well, see ya at dinner, Mel.


MEL: Yeah, you bet.


SOUND: MEL RESUMES SHOVELING SNOW .. WILL WALKS OFF ... WE FOLLOW WILL'S FOOTSTEPS THROUGH A SCHOOL DOOR, WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS, AND INTO SCHOOL ... FOOTSTEPS SLOW TO A STOP


WILL: Miss Harvey?


MISS HARVEY: (OFF, STARTLED EXCLAMATION) Oh. Oh, my! You gave me a start, Mr. Rogers.


SOUND: WILL'S FOOTSTEPS TO MISS HARVEY


WILL: Well, I didn't mean to do that. I'm sorry.


MISS HARVEY: Well, it isn't as if I weren't expecting you. After all, I did ask you to come, didn't I? Oh, uh, sit down. Do sit down.


WILL: Thanks.


SOUND: WILL SITS


MISS HARVEY: My, I - I'm glad none of my little scholars heard what I just said.


WILL: (CONFUSED) "Sit down"?


MISS HARVEY: (THINKS HE'S ASKED HER TO SIT) Thank you. (REALIZES HER MISTAKE) Oh! Oh, I see what you mean. No. I meant what I said just before I said "sit down."


WILL: (PUZZLED) 'Fraid you're goin' back a little far for me, Miss Harvey.


MISS HARVEY: I said, if you recall, that it isn't as if I weren't expecting you. "Isn't" and "weren't" -- a double negative, Mr. Rogers. Lazy speech.


WILL: Oh. Yeah. (CHUCKLES) Yeah. Well, it got by me.


MISS HARVEY: Mmmm. (CLICKS TONGUE DISAPPROVINGLY) And you a newspaperman.


WILL: (CLEARS THROAT UNCOMFORTABLY) Well, now, Miss Harvey, when you called, you said you wanted to talk to me about Jill.


MISS HARVEY: Indeed I did. And I do. Yes, I do.


SOUND: SCRAPE OF CHAIR AS MISS HARVEY RISES AND WALKS AWAY


WILL: (MYSTIFIED) Miss Harvey, where are you going?


MISS HARVEY: (OFF) Just to close the door, Mr. Rogers.


SOUND: CLASSROOM DOOR CLOSES ... THEN MISS HARVEY WALKS BACK TO WILL


MISS HARVEY: (RETURNING) My! We are in a state, aren't we?


WILL: Well, we're gonna be, Miss Harvey, if you don't sit down and talk to me straight about Jill. Now, is she sick? Is she in trouble? What did she do?


SOUND: SCRAPE OF CHAIR AS MISS HARVEY SITS


MISS HARVEY: (EXHALES, STIFFLY) Now -- one question at a time, if you please. Now, number one, I don't believe the child's ill. That is, not really ill. Number two. In trouble? It's not for me to say, Mr. Rogers. (EXHALES) As for "what did she do," I'm not at all sure. Not at all sure.


WILL: Well, it must be pretty terrible if you can't bring yourself to come right out and say it.


MISS HARVEY: Mr. Rogers, believe me, I'm trying to say it. I'm trying to say it with all my might and main. It's - rather delicate. I'll try to begin at the beginning.


WILL: (EXASPERATED) Start anywhere, Miss Harvey.


MISS HARVEY: Well, for some years now, it's been my custom to have my class write a little paragraph or so either about the Christmas season itself or on what they'd like to have for Christmas. I do this for two reasons. One, it's good training to set young thoughts down on paper. And two, quite frankly, it's my little safety valve on pre-holiday mayhem.


WILL: Hmm. Well, if it's what Jill wrote down that's botherin' ya, Miss Harvey, why don't you just pass it to me under the desk?


MISS HARVEY: Oh, how I would love to do just that. Unfortunately, in a fit of sheer shock, I stuffed the whole lot of the papers into the incinerator.


WILL: Oh. Well, where do we go from there?


MISS HARVEY: (SLIGHTLY DRAMATIC) I - memorized what Jill wrote. Believe me, I would like to strike it from my memory for all time, but I'm afraid it's etched there indelibly. (BEAT, SLOWLY) Mr. Rogers, Jill's exact words were -- (PORTENTOUS PAUSE) -- "I want a baby."


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: You are listening to ROGERS OF THE GAZETTE, starring Mr. Will Rogers, Jr. We'll return to our story in just a moment, but first--


Two disillusioned people -- Millie Bronson's boss and a little boy he befriends -- find that sharing disillusions can make them disappear, on tomorrow night's edition of CBS Radio's Thursday comedy show, MEET MILLIE. Also tomorrow night, on most of these same stations, MEET MR. McNUTLEY, starring Ray Milland. Modest Yule plans grow and grow for the McNutleys until-- Well, you'll be surprised tomorrow night.


And now we continue with the second act of ROGERS OF THE GAZETTE.


MUSIC: THEME ... FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT


MAGGIE: (LAUGHS) Well, poor Miss Harvey. She was really upset, wasn't she?


WILL: (CHUCKLES) She'll need her Christmas vacation, all right. Aw, you know, I felt kind of sorry for her, too. But she was so blamed indignant. By golly, you'd have thought that-- (CLEARS THROAT) Well, she was just too blamed outraged, that's all.


MAGGIE: You told her about Mel and Francie and little Johnny?


WILL: Yeah. Only, I had half a mind just to let her stew a while. But she was resting comfortably by the water cooler when I left the school.


MAGGIE: (CHUCKLES)


WILL: She'll make out all right.


MAGGIE: Well, at least your Christmas shopping's simplified.


WILL: How's that?


MAGGIE: You said yourself you don't like to give people things they need for Christmas. If there's one thing Jill doesn't need, it's a baby.


WILL: (LAUGHS) Hear, hear. 'Sides, I've got a feeling she'll be all out of the notion of babies by the time Mel and Francie take little Johnny off to his grandmother's.


MAGGIE: They're still planning to spend Christmas in Kansas City?


WILL: Yeah. Mel's job at the school will be over in time for them to drive there. He'll pay Charlie for the car repairs and they'll have a little money ahead, I guess.


MAGGIE: Oh, that's wonderful. Maybe things will break better for them from now on. You know how I hate to compliment you, but you've been awfully good to them, Will.


WILL: They're nice kids. Glad I had that spare room. Francie's been a great help to Mrs. Weatherwax with the house and the cooking, and Mel's done all the odd jobs I've put off for the past year. And that little Johnny's a corker. Sure get a kick out of him. It's been a fair exchange, all right.


SOUND: NEWSPAPER DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES ... DOC'S FOOTSTEPS IN--


DOC: Well, hello, Maggie.


MAGGIE: Hi, Doc.


DOC: Will.


WILL: Hello, Doc.


DOC: Glad I caught you here, Will, instead of at home--


MAGGIE: Doc, before anything else happens, you've got to see Will's imitation of Miss Harvey at the grade school.


DOC: I do?


MAGGIE: It isn't a very good imitation, but it's awfully funny.


WILL: (MODESTLY) It isn't much, Doc.


DOC: Well, I might watch it, if it wasn't for the fact that I just recently watched Miss Harvey's imitation of Miss Harvey, and I've got an idea that was a better performance.


WILL: Miss Harvey called ya?


DOC: Nope. Just came lurchin' into the office. Case of nerves. Last day of school before the Christmas vacation takes a lot out of 'em, I guess.


WILL: Is she really sick, Doc?


DOC: No. Just nerves, like I said. Ol' Harvey'll be there when the bricks fall down on her. Why, she's been teachin' fourth grade here since the first Cleveland administration.


MAGGIE: (LAUGHS)


DOC: Say, Jill's in her room, isn't she?


WILL: Yes, she is. And, believe it or not, I think Jill's responsible for Miss Harvey's bout with her nerves today.


DOC: Oh? (CHUCKLES) What did Jill do?


WILL: Oh, all the kids are supposed to write down what they wanted for Christmas and Jill wrote that she wanted a baby. And Miss Harvey decided that that was very significant.


DOC: (BEAT) Well, it is.


WILL: (INDIGNANT) Aw, now, Doc -- not you, too!


DOC: Now, I'm not nervous about it, if that's what you're raisin' your voice about. But the fact remains, Jill does want a baby for Christmas. She told me so.


MAGGIE: Just recently, Doc?


DOC: About ten minutes ago. I was goin' by and thought I'd look in on Francie and the baby -- and there was Jill, tendin' to him like he was her own.


WILL: (UPSET) Doc! For heaven's sakes!


DOC: (BEAT, LOW) Say, I'm beginnin' to see the resemblance. You're actin' more like Miss Harvey every minute.


WILL: Well, why wouldn't I? "Tendin' to him like he was her own"? Why did you have to say that?!


DOC: Because it's true.


MAGGIE: You're right, Doc. His nostrils are beginning to quiver like Miss Harvey's.


WILL: Now, listen--! This isn't so funny all of a sudden. Why, to hear you talk, you'd think I ought to get Jill a baby for Christmas.


DOC: Have I said that? I sure haven't. I've said it's significant that Jill says she wants a baby for Christmas, and heaven knows she's warmed up to that Johnny Simmons somethin' fierce.


WILL: Well, what does that prove?!


DOC: That maybe you ought to have a little talk with Jill, son!


WILL: A talk? What kind of a talk? (BEAT, REALIZES, VERY UPSET) Aw, now, Doc. You don't mean that I should--?!


DOC: (IRRITATED) Darned if I'm not gonna slap a few of those sedatives down my own throat if you don't stop quit sputterin' and explodin' around here--!


MAGGIE: (MOVING OFF) I have a feeling I'm in the way here.


DOC: Here now! You sit still, Maggie! Don't you start gettin' skitterish--!


MAGGIE: Yes, sir.


WILL: Now, you stay right here, Maggie. The way he's takin' on, I may need you to make that little talk for me!


MAGGIE: Oh, no, you don't!


DOC: All right now, everybody! At ease! (BEAT, REASONABLY) The talk I'm referring to with Jill is simply to explain to her that she doesn't really want a baby for Christmas at all. Now, this may not be easy because she's bound she wants one. She's good and bound she wants one.


WILL: (THOUGHTFUL) Oh, huh. Well, that shouldn't be so tough, then. I mean-- Well, sure, there'll be a little problem of tactics, but-- I couldn't get too involved in a talk like this. (BEAT) Could I?


MUSIC: BRIDGE


WILL: Jill honey, - (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) - I'd like to talk to ya.


JILL: All right, daddy, but try not to talk so loud. I just this minute got him to sleep.


WILL: But he's asleep now. Why don't you put him to bed?


JILL: He isn't asleep far enough yet.


WILL: Far enough?


JILL: If I put him down now, he'd probably wake up and I'd have to do it all over again.


WILL: Oh, I see. (BEAT) You know all about babies by now, I suppose.


JILL: Oh, sure. Of course, Francie still gives me a few tips now and then. But mostly I take full care of him.


WILL: Mmm. Well, that's a pretty big job for a little girl -- takin' care of a baby.


JILL: Oh, I don't think so. Francie says I do very well.


WILL: You sure she didn't say you do very well for a little girl?


JILL: No. She just says I do very well.


WILL: Oh. 


JILL: Francie says I'm a regular little mother.


WILL: (TOO QUICKLY) Now, she didn't mean that, Jill! (CATCHES HIMSELF) Er, she didn't mean that at all! That's just a--


JILL: Ssh! Daddy! You'll wake Johnny.


WILL: Oh. Well, honey, that's just a sort of a figure of speech. Francie didn't mean it the way it sounds.


JILL: Daddy, why is your nose doing that?


WILL: Doing what?


JILL: The end of it; it moves around. Shakes sort of.


WILL: I don't why it does that. Now, I've had trouble with it earlier today-- But now, look, Jill--


JILL: Miss Harvey's nose does that -- when she gets nervous or mad or something. Her nose does that.


WILL: (DRY) Miss Harvey and I seem to have a lot more in common than I thought.


JILL: Are you nervous or mad or something, daddy?


WILL: No, honey. Not - not really. Now, Jill, about little Johnny--


JILL: You like him don't you?


WILL: Yes, yes, I like him. Only, I--


JILL: I'm glad you do, daddy. Because I'm gonna have one just like him.


WILL: (QUICKLY) No, you're not, Jill. (HEMS AND HAWS) You see-- Uh-- Jill, that's what I came to talk to you about -- you and I--


JILL: Excuse me, daddy -- but your nose is doing that again.


WILL: Honey, forget about my nose, will ya? Now, you've got to understand about babies, Jill, and-- Well, what I want to say is-- Well, you just don't pick babies off trees. I mean--


JILL: Oh, I know how you get babies.


WILL: No, you don't, Jill. And anyway--


JILL: But I do know, daddy. Francie told me.


WILL: Francie -- told you?


JILL: Mm hm. You wish for them.


WILL: Yeah.


JILL: That's what Francie did. She wished and wished for little Johnny. And she prayed, too. I guess even Mel wished and prayed.


WILL: I guess he did.


JILL: That's what I'm going to do. Wish and pray for a little boy just like Johnny. Oh, daddy, won't that be nice?


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: WILL'S FOOTSTEPS PACE THE FLOOR ... THEN IN BG


FRANCIE: Now, Will, I really think you ought to sit down and drink this hot tea.


WILL: Francie, I don't think I could swallow anything more -- hot or cold. I don't know what a fella does at a time like this.


FRANCIE: Well, if a fella'd sit down and quit pacing like a caged thing, maybe a girl could help him.


WILL: Well, all right.


SOUND: SCRAPE OF CHAIR AS WILL STOPS PACING AND SITS


WILL: This thing's really got me licked.


FRANCIE: (LAUGHS) Oh, that's silly. You know, I don't understand what you're so worked up about.


WILL: Oh, I can clear that up for ya real quick. I'm worked up because Jill wants a baby for Christmas.


FRANCIE: Oh-- (LAUGHS) Oh, Will!


WILL: Go ahead and laugh. Nobody got a bigger laugh than I did out of it -- at first.


FRANCIE: But it's so silly to let that upset you.


WILL: Francie, she's ten years old.


FRANCIE: Yes, I know, and she's a very nice ten years old. Jill's a wonderful little girl; I'm delighted with her.


WILL: Well, thanks. So am I. Most of the time. I don't know what I did wrong. I swear I don't.


FRANCIE: Oh, now you're really being silly. You haven't done anything wrong. Why, you've done a wonderful job of raising a daughter.


WILL: Oh, I didn't mean that. I mean-- Doc said it'd be real simple to explain to her that she didn't want a baby for Christmas at all. And I tried. I never even got warmed up to the subject.


FRANCIE: Poor Will. Doc shouldn't have told you it'd be simple.


WILL: Yeah. And you shouldn't have told Jill she could get a baby by wishing for one.


FRANCIE: Well, I don't think that was wrong, really. But, Will, you know, sometimes just talking to a child -- or, in your case, just trying to talk to a child -- isn't enough.


WILL: Wasn't enough tonight.


FRANCIE: Sometimes you have to show them that, uh, when they're wrong about something--


WILL: You mean a picture's worth a thousand words, huh?


FRANCIE: Uh huh. Mm hm. All you need is the picture.


WILL: Well, that makes sense.


FRANCIE: I'll tell you something else that makes sense. Only, you probably won't believe it.


WILL: You caught me out on a good night. I'll believe anything.


FRANCIE: Will you believe that Jill doesn't want a baby? Because it's true, you know. She doesn't want one. Why, she wouldn't have a baby in this house for anything in the world.


WILL: (BEAT, CONFUSED) But--? Well, then what's all the fuss about? Why does she tell Doc she wants one? Why does she write it down at school and make Miss Harvey's nose quiver? Naw, I think you're wrong, Francie.


FRANCIE: Oh, I'm pretty sure I'm right, Will. I think I can prove it to you.


WILL: Never mind about me. Just prove it to Jill.


FRANCIE: All right. But you'll have to do just exactly what I tell you.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: WILL FIXES BREAKFAST IN KITCHEN ... (UTENSILS, BACON SIZZLES IN PAN, ET CETERA) ... CONTINUES IN BG


WILL: (IN A GOOD MOOD, HAPPILY AND WORDLESSLY CROONS A COUPLE OF LINES OF "ROCK-A-BYE BABY") Dee-dee-dee-dee-dee dee-dee-dee-- (ET CETERA)


SOUND: KITCHEN DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES ... JILL'S FOOTSTEPS IN


JILL: Morning, daddy.


WILL: Oh! Morning, honey. Sleep well?


JILL: Mm hm. I'll say. How come you're cooking bacon? Where's Mrs. Weatherwax?


WILL: Oh, she's out. Sit down, Jill. Drink your juice while it's nice and cold.


SOUND: SCRAPE OF CHAIR AS JILL SITS


JILL: I didn't know you could cook, daddy.


WILL: Oh, you're apt to find out I can do a lot of things.


JILL: Francie and Mel still asleep?


WILL: No, honey. They waited for you a while this morning, but, when you didn't get up, they had to go on. 


JILL: You mean they left for Kansas City this morning?


WILL: That's what they said. Said to tell you goodbye and wish you a merry Christmas.


JILL: Well, gee, they coulda waited. Wakened me up or something.


WILL: Well, they wanted to wake you up, honey, only I guess they figured you'd need to sleep. Specially this mornin'. (BEAT) Here's the rest of your breakfast, honey.


JILL: Thank you. You mean everybody's gone, daddy?


SOUND: SCRAPE OF CHAIR AS WILL, WHO HAS FINISHED FIXING BREAKFAST, SITS DOWN


WILL: Well, not quite everybody.


JILL: I mean, besides you and me. You said Mrs. Weatherwax was out.


WILL: Mm hm.


JILL: Francis and Mel are gone.


WILL: That's right.


JILL: Well, who else could there be then?


WILL: Ohhhhh, something you said you were gonna wish for and pray for.


JILL: A baby?


WILL: Mm hm. And not just an ordinary baby, either. Little Johnny's still here, up in my room.


JILL: He is?


WILL: Well, isn't that fine, honey? Isn't that just what you wanted?


JILL: (A LITTLE OVERWHELMED) Golly!


WILL: I know it's a little early for Christmas, but you just gotta take babies where you find 'em these days, Jill.


JILL: (UNCERTAINLY) I guess so.


WILL: Well, you don't seem very happy. Is it because we didn't wait till Christmas?


JILL: Oh, no, it isn't that. Are you happy, daddy?


WILL: I am if you are, Jill.


JILL: I am if you are.


WILL: (BEAT) Honey, I don't understand. You said you wanted a baby and now you've got a baby. What's wrong?


JILL: Well, I didn't wish or pray -- except for you. Daddy, I only wanted a baby for you.


WILL: For me?! 


JILL: You told Mel you always wanted to have a boy around the house. I heard you tell him -- the first night they came here.


WILL: Wha--? Oh, honey-- Well, that didn't mean anything. I don't need a boy around the house. I've got a girl here I'm sort of partial to. Besides, what have I told you about eavesdropping?


JILL: It's wrong. It's very wrong.


WILL: You bet it is.


JILL: I didn't know it was this wrong, though. (BEAT) Gee, daddy, do you think they'll take him back?


MUSIC: CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: You have just heard ROGERS OF THE GAZETTE, starring Mr. Will Rogers, Jr., with Parley Baer as Doc Clemens and Georgia Ellis as Maggie Button. Our story was written by Kathleen Hite, and produced and transcribed by Norman Macdonnell. Featured in the cast were Merry McGovern, Sam Edwards, Helen Kleeb, and Sammie Hill. The special music for ROGERS OF THE GAZETTE was composed by Rene Garriguenc and conducted by Wilbur Hatch.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG, UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: And now here is one of our CBS Radio stars.


EVE ARDEN: Hi, there. This is Eve Arden and Christmas is coming, so a happy holiday, everyone, from Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin, Walter, Harriet, the whole crew -- and Eve Arden, your Miss Brooks.


ANNOUNCER: And Christmas greetings from all our Stars' Address stars. And sincere wishes for a very happy New Year as well. Keep listening and all our stars will do their best to keep you entertained. Roy Rowan speaking. The Choraleers sing Tuesdays and Thursdays on the CBS Radio Network.

Comments