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Make Ready My Grave

Inner Sanctum Mystery

Make Ready My Grave

Apr 23 1946




CAST:

HOST, charmingly macabre

MARY, the Lipton Tea lady

ANNOUNCER (1 line)


BETTY, the wife

JOHN, the husband

CONDUCTOR (1 line)

EVERARD, John's affable uncle

HERMAN, sinister handyman 








MUSIC: EERIE INTRO ... PUNCTUATED BY STING! BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Lipton Tea and Lipton Soups present -- Inner Sanctum Mysteries.


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


SOUND: DOOR UNLATCHES AND SQUEAKS NOISILY OPEN


MUSIC: BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Good evening, friends of the Inner Sanctum. This is your host, opening the squeaking door for another session of the A.G.G.M.S., the Association of Ghouls, Ghosts, and Midnight Spirits. Oh, may I see your membership card as you enter, please? -- What's that? Oh, no, no; it's not a printed card. All you have to do is show me your wrist. If there's any blood pulsing in your arteries, then you don't belong here tonight. Better come back and try some other time -- after you've passed your mortuary tests. (CHUCKLES)


MARY: Well, Mr. Host, I'm afraid I don't qualify as a member of your A.G.G.M.S., Association of Ghouls or whatever it is. But I am a charter member of the I.L.L.B. Society.


HOST: The I.L.L.B.? What's that, Mary? It's a new one on me.


MARY: Why, those initials stand for "I Like Lipton's Best." To join this club, all you have to do is see that the tea in your teapot is always Lipton's. The club password isn't a word at all; it's that familiar sound of appreciation, "Mm-mm!" For, really, Lipton Tea is delicious -- as zestful and spirited as can be. And the reason? Very simple. It's Lipton's brisk flavor! "Brisk," you know, is the tea experts' own word for the lively, full-bodied flavor of Lipton Tea. That brisk flavor has made a lot of friends, for more folks buy and enjoy Lipton's than any other tea in the world. So try a cup of Lipton Tea yourself. I know you'll say, as so many others do, "I like Lipton's best!"


MUSIC: EERIE TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: And now, for tonight's Inner Sanctum mystery. It's an original radio play by Emile Tepperman called, "Make Ready My Grave," and stars two radio favorites, Joan Banks and Richard Widmark. It's about a boy and girl who've just been married, a piece of colored string, an open grave, and a hangman's noose.


SOUND: TRAIN WHISTLE ... RUMBLE OF APPROACHING TRAIN ... CLICK AND CLATTER OF TRAIN RACING PAST, BEHIND HOST--


HOST: That train is the Southeast Limited. See it? Long and sleek and powerful, ticking off the miles on the humming rails, a masterpiece of twentieth century mechanical perfection. Nothing about it to suggest lurking hate, or fear, or superstition, or -- death.


MUSIC: MILD STING ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: But let's take a look into Compartment A, Car Seventeen. John and Betty Loomis, just married, are going for their honeymoon to John's ancestral estate.


SOUND: TRAIN INTERIOR BACKGROUND ... OCCASIONAL WHISTLE, STEADY CLATTER OF TRAIN ON TRACKS


BETTY: (CHUCKLES WARMLY) John! John, I'm so happy! 


JOHN: (CHUCKLES)


BETTY: (CHUCKLES) How soon do we get to Loomisville?


JOHN: In about an hour, Betty.


BETTY: Just think, I married into one of the oldest families in the state.


JOHN: I hope you'll be very happy, darling.


BETTY: (CHUCKLES) I will, I will! (BEAT, SERIOUS) You do love me, don't you, John?


JOHN: Of course I do, baby, I'll always love you. Always. No matter what happens.


BETTY: What do you mean, "no matter what happens"? What could happen? (BEAT, REALIZES) John, something's bothering you.


JOHN: No. No, it's nothing at all.


BETTY: You're hiding something. There's something you haven't told me.


JOHN: It's nothing, Betty! It's nothing to worry about.


BETTY: You don't want to tell me?


JOHN: No, not now. Maybe later.


BETTY: (BEAT) Why are you playing with that piece of yellow string?


JOHN: What?


BETTY: You've been playing with it ever since we came onto the train.


JOHN: (REALIZES) Hmm. (CHUCKLES) Gosh, I - I never noticed.


BETTY: I watched you. You've been tying a knot in it.


JOHN: (TENSE) A knot? (BEAT, HORRIFIED) Good lord. I must have tied it without knowing what I was doing.


BETTY: You - you've tied it into a noose. A hangman's noose.


MUSIC: QUIET STING ... THEN IN BG


JOHN: (UNEASY) I - I don't know how I came to make it, or where I picked it up.


BETTY: Well, it - it's only a piece of string.


JOHN: (UNCONVINCING) Yes, it's only a piece of string. 


MUSIC: GENTLY OUT


JOHN: (SHARPLY) Betty--?


BETTY: What is it, John?


JOHN: Here, take this.


BETTY: A gun?


JOHN: Take it.


BETTY: But why?


JOHN: If - if I should ever try to-- If I should ever try to strangle you--


BETTY: (WHISPERS, ASTONISHED) John!


JOHN: Please listen to me! If I should ever try to strangle you, promise me to use that gun -- on me!


BETTY: What are you talking about?!


SOUND: KNOCKING ON COMPARTMENT DOOR


CONDUCTOR: (OFF, WALKING PAST) Loomisville, next stop! Next stop, Loomisville!


JOHN: (ABSENTLY) Oh, this - this is where we get off.


BETTY: (UPSET) John, what's this all about? That piece of yellow string; and now this gun.


JOHN: Put it away, Betty, and remember what I said. Don't ever forget it.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: TRAIN RUMBLES OFF INTO THE DISTANCE ... HARSH WIND BLOWS IN BG


BETTY: (EXHALES) Why is it so dark here?


JOHN: This is just a way station. The train only stops here to let us off; otherwise, it goes right through.


BETTY: Oh? I thought Loomisville was a big town.


JOHN: Well, it used to be, a hundred years ago, but now there's only the Loomis estate.


BETTY: Are - are we far from the estate?


JOHN: 'Bout two miles. Old Herman Gault should be here to pick us up in the station wagon.


BETTY: Herman Gault?


JOHN: Mm-hm. He's the handyman. There's been a Gault working for the Loomis family for the last hundred and fifty years.


BETTY: John, I don't like it here. Dark, and that wind--


JOHN: Where the devil can Gault be? I wrote them what train we were taking.


HERMAN: (IN CLOSE) I'm right here, Mr. John.


BETTY: (STARTLED GASP)


JOHN: Oh, Gault, you frightened my wife.


HERMAN: I'm sorry, ma'am, if I scared you.


BETTY: Oh, that - that's all right. It - it was just the way you spoke so suddenly out of the darkness.


HERMAN: (MOVING OFF) If you'll follow me, I've got the station wagon back here.


BETTY: (LOW) John, he doesn't like me.


JOHN: (LOW) Gault? No, that's just his way. He's very devoted to the family. Wait till you get to know him.


BETTY: (LOW) I - don't think I care to.


MUSIC: UNEASY TRANSITION


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR ... CAR ENGINE


BETTY: (WORRIED) John, he's driving too fast. It's so dark.


JOHN: Don't worry, Betty. Gault knows this road like the back of his hand. We'll be there in a few minutes.


BETTY: I'm frightened. Johnny, please -- tell me why you gave me the gun.


JOHN: No, I - I can't tell you now, Betty. Maybe after you meet Uncle Everard.


BETTY: (TENSE) John--?


JOHN: What?


BETTY: What's that in your hand?


JOHN: Where? 


BETTY: (INHALES SHARPLY)


JOHN: Oh.


BETTY: Another piece of string. A red one, this time.


JOHN: Oh, I - I - I must have picked it up in here, off the seat.


BETTY: You've knotted it into another hangman's noose.


MUSIC: STING! ... THEN IN BG


JOHN: (CALLS) Gault?


HERMAN: Yes, Mr. John?


JOHN: This piece of red string; did you put it here?


HERMAN: No, sir.


JOHN: Then how did it get here?!


MUSIC: GENTLY OUT


HERMAN: (MEANINGFUL) You ought to know.


JOHN: (WITH DREAD) Yes. Yes, I - I ought to know.


SOUND: CAR ENGINE SLOWS TO A STOP


BETTY: Gault, why are you stopping here?


HERMAN: We're home, ma'am. This is the entrance to the Loomis estate. I've got to get out and open the gate.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS ... NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (WIND BLOWS, OWLS HOOT, AND NIGHT BIRDS WARBLE) 


HERMAN: (OFF) I'll be right back.


SOUND: CAR DOOR SLAMS SHUT


JOHN: Betty, I've got to get out, too. I've got to see for myself.


BETTY: See what, John?


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS BEHIND--


JOHN: You stay here, Betty. (MOVING OFF) Stay right where you are!


BETTY: Wait a minute! I'm coming, too!


JOHN: (OFF) Go back, Betty! Get back in the car!


HERMAN: (IN CLOSE) Mr. John is right, ma'am. You shouldn't go with him.


JOHN: (OFF) Take care of her, Gault. I won't be long.


BETTY: Gault, where's he going?


HERMAN: That is the Loomis family cemetery.


BETTY: Ceme--? What does he want to see in there in the middle of the night?


HERMAN: He'll tell you himself, ma'am, in due time.


BETTY: No, I'm going to find out right now!


HERMAN: Better not, ma'am. Better come back. (FADES)


BETTY: (AS SHE RUNS TO JOHN) John! John, wait for me!


JOHN: (OFF) Betty, I told you to stay in the car!


BETTY: I'm going with you! I want to know what there is in that cemetery!


JOHN: (CLOSER) Get back in that car!


BETTY: I'm your wife now! I have a right to know what this is all about! I'm going with you.


JOHN: (BEAT) All right, if that's the way you feel about it. But hold onto that gun I gave you. Keep it in your hand all the time.


BETTY: John, why?


JOHN: You'll find out soon enough.


SOUND: GATE UNLATCHES AND CREAKS OPEN


JOHN: This is the gate of the family cemetery. All the Loomises and their wives are buried here.


BETTY: (UNEASY) Ooh, it - it's so shadowy. White tombstones look like ghosts. Hold my hand, John!


JOHN: No! Just hold onto that gun.


BETTY: John, whose grave is this, with the high tombstone?


JOHN: (SLOWLY) My great-grandfather's. Stuart Loomis. He founded the Loomis estate. This is my grandfather's grave. His wife. There's my father. My mother.


BETTY: And - and that's all.


JOHN: That should be all.


BETTY: What do you mean?


JOHN: Come over here; this is what I came to see. This is what I've been afraid of.


BETTY: (SHUDDERS, WHISPERS) John! John, it - it's an open grave. Freshly dug.


MUSIC: QUIET STING ... THEN IN BG


JOHN: Yes, Betty. It was just dug tonight.


BETTY: But --- who is it for?


JOHN: Betty, darling-- I, uh-- I'm afraid it's for you.


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Well, what's poor Betty letting herself in for -- with a fresh grave waiting for her on her honeymoon, and a husband who ties little strings into hangman's nooses? But, you know, come to think of it, Betty's a lucky girl at that. How many girls who get married nowadays can count on finding a nice, snug place all ready for them to lie down in and rest -- in peace! (CHUCKLES)


MARY: Gracious, Mr. Host, Betty doesn't seem like a lucky bride to me! Why, most brides have things much easier, because there's so many things today to help them make their marriage a success.


HOST: For example?


MARY: For example, Lipton Tea. With Lipton Tea on the pantry shelf, a young bride today has a much better chance of making her home a happy one. Just the other day, I was talking to a friend who just got married. As we sat there in her kitchen, sipping our Lipton Tea -- me occupying the only chair and she perched on the kitchen stool -- she said: "You know, Mary, it was silly of me to worry about being able to cook the things Jack liked. It's not nearly as difficult as I imagined. Take this Lipton Tea here. It answers the whole beverage problem as far as Jack is concerned. He's happy as long as he has Lipton's morning, noon, and night!" (CHUCKLES) Well, I told her I could understand that, because most husbands I know about are partial to Lipton Tea, and it's because of the extra satisfaction that's in Lipton's wonderful brisk flavor! "Satisfaction," did I say? Mmmmm, you just try Lipton Tea and see if that isn't an understatement. Try Lipton's tomorrow!


MUSIC: EERIE TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: And now let's hurry back to our date in a graveyard. Remember? With poor Betty, whose husband has just told her he's afraid the freshly dug grave is for her.


SOUND: NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND


BETTY: John, what do you mean? Who dug this grave for me? Who?


JOHN: (CHUCKLES DARKLY) If I told you, you'd think I was crazy.


BETTY: No, you've got to tell me! If I'm in danger, I have a right to know! Was it Gault? Your Uncle Everard?


JOHN: No. No, at least I don't think so.


BETTY: His wife, Christine?


JOHN: Betty, do you believe that a ghost could dig a grave?


MUSIC: QUIET STING ... THEN IN BG


BETTY: A ghost? Do you mean I'm in danger from a ghost?


JOHN: Oh, I told you you'd think I was crazy.


BETTY: John, why - why are you looking at me like that?


JOHN: I don't know. (BEAT) Betty, have you got that gun with you?


BETTY: No, I - I left it in the car. What good would a gun be against - (INHALES) - a ghost?


MUSIC: QUIET TRANSITION


SOUND: NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND


JOHN: There's the station wagon still waiting at the gate, but I don't see Gault.


BETTY: Maybe he went up to the house.


JOHN: (CALLS) Gault? Where are you?


EVERARD: (APPROACHES) Hello there, John. 


JOHN: Wha--?


EVERARD: What's up?


JOHN: Uncle Everard! What happened to Gault?


EVERARD: He came up to the house. Said you'd gone into the cemetery. So I thought I'd better come down.


JOHN: Oh.


EVERARD: Is - is it there?


JOHN: (WITH DREAD) Yes, it's there. A freshly dug grave.


EVERARD: (QUIETLY SYMPATHETIC) Oh.


JOHN: Uncle Everard, this is my wife, Betty.


EVERARD: How are you, Betty?


BETTY: Hello.


EVERARD: You saw the grave, too, Betty?


BETTY: Yes, and - and John says he thinks it's for me. I - I'm afraid I don't understand all this.


EVERARD: You haven't told her anything yet, John?


JOHN: Well, just - just a little. I - I couldn't bring myself to.


EVERARD: I think it's time you did.


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: CLATTER OF TEAPOT AND CUPS, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING ... HARSH WIND BLOWS, HEARD FROM INDOORS, IN BG


EVERARD: More tea, Betty?


BETTY: Thank you, Uncle Everard. I will have a little more.


EVERARD: You, John?


JOHN: No, thanks.


EVERARD: Too bad Christine is ill. She's upstairs in our room. But I hope she'll be better by tomorrow. You can see her then.


JOHN: Maybe.


EVERARD: What do you mean?


JOHN: That grave out there. Maybe it'll be filled tomorrow.


BETTY: John, don't you think it's time you kept your promise to tell me what this is all about?


JOHN: (EXHALES) You tell her, Uncle Everard.


EVERARD: Well, Betty, there's a ghost in the Loomis family. That's it in a nutshell.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN QUIETLY ... CONTINUES EERILY IN BG


BETTY: (CHUCKLES, SKEPTICALLY AMUSED) Oh, I see. And it was a ghost who dug that grave, hm?


EVERARD: I know it sounds mad. But after a hundred and fifty years, we Loomises have come to the conviction that it can't be anything but a ghost.


BETTY: A hundred and fifty years? You mean--?


EVERARD: John's great-grandfather, Stuart Loomis, settled this strip of seacoast under a patent from the colonial governor. There's his picture, over the fireplace.


BETTY: He - he doesn't look much like you, John.


EVERARD: Stuart Loomis was a hard man. There was a French privateer in these waters who made a lot of trouble in those days -- Gaston LeRoux, who sailed the seas with his wife Antoinette.


BETTY: But what has a French pirate and his wife to do with that grave?


EVERARD: Stuart Loomis captured LeRoux and his wife and, under the authority conferred upon him by the governor, had the power to hang them.


BETTY: You mean the woman, too?


EVERARD: Yes. He hanged them both -- on a gibbet where our family cemetery now stands.


BETTY: Oh, how terrible.


EVERARD: Before he died, Gaston LeRoux laid a curse on the Loomis family. He swore that, just as his wife was hanged, so would all the Loomis women die. He swore that he would come back and dig a grave for the wife of a Loomis in every generation, and furnish the noose by which a Loomis would strangle his own wife.


BETTY: But - but that's incredible.


EVERARD: Short while afterward, a fresh grave was found beside the gibbet where LeRoux had been hung. That night, Stuart Loomis' wife -- John's great-grandmother -- was found hanging by the neck from the eaves of this very house.


BETTY: And - Stuart Loomis?


EVERARD: I told you Stuart Loomis was a hard man, and had made many enemies. There were many who hated him deeply and bitterly. He was arrested and tried for the murder of his wife; convicted and executed.


JOHN: Now you know the secret of the Loomis family.


BETTY: But, John, that - that still doesn't prove there's a ghost!


MUSIC: GENTLY OUT BEHIND--


EVERARD: No, that one incident doesn't prove it. But it happened again when the next Loomis married, John's grandfather, and to the next Loomis, John's father. Sometimes a year after he married, sometimes five years, but the curse never fails.


BETTY: It's happened in every generation?


EVERARD: Yes. And now, John Loomis has brought a new wife home, and there's a freshly dug grave waiting in the family cemetery.


MUSIC: STING! ... THEN IN BG, GENTLY OUT BY [X]


BETTY: And - and I'm next, hm?


EVERARD: I don't know, Betty. Maybe that grave isn't for you.


JOHN: (SURPRISED) What?


EVERARD: Maybe it's for Christine. For my wife.


BETTY: (EXHALES) This - this is all ridiculous! [X] A ghost couldn't dig a grave, make John strangle me to death! Uncle Everard, you - you can't believe such a legend! It can't be true!


EVERARD: Maybe not, my dear, but the graves of the strangled Loomis women are out there to prove it.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: HARSH WIND BLOWS, HEARD FROM INDOORS, IN BG


EVERARD: There. This is your room, Betty. I'll have Gault call you at eight tomorrow morning. Good night.


BETTY: Good night, Uncle Everard.


EVERARD: Good night, John.


JOHN: Good night, Uncle Everard.


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR CLOSES


BETTY: (EXHALES) This is such a big room. It's so gloomy.


JOHN: (GRIM) The whole house is like this. It lies gloomy and sullen under the Loomis curse! (QUIETLY PASSIONATE; EMBRACES HER) Oh, Betty, I love you so much. We'll beat the curse together.


BETTY: (BEAT, EXHALES, GENTLY) Let me go, darling. I want to change my clothes and wash.


JOHN: All right. There's the bathroom over there.


BETTY: (MOVING OFF) I'll only be a minute.


JOHN: All right, darling.


SOUND: BATHROOM DOOR OPENS


BETTY: (OFF) Oh, it's a lovely bathr--! (GASPS, SHRIEKS)


JOHN: Betty, what is it?


BETTY: John, quick!


JOHN: What?


BETTY: Look! Hanging from the shower bar.


JOHN: Wha--? (HOARSELY) A hangman's noose.


MUSIC: STING! ... THEN IN BG


BETTY: (UNNERVED) It's a real one this time. Of rope.


JOHN: Ready to - hang someone.


BETTY: Who put it there?


JOHN: (SAVAGELY) It's the Loomis curse. We can't get away from it.


MUSIC: GENTLY OUT


BETTY: No ghost could have hung that rope there!


JOHN: (STAMMERS) Let's call Uncle Everard.


BETTY: All right.


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR OPENS


JOHN: Have you got the gun with you?


BETTY: No, it's in my handbag.


JOHN: Well, get it!


BETTY: But, John--!


JOHN: (URGENT) Get it, I say!


BETTY: (MOVING OFF) All right, John. (OFF) Here. (RETURNS) Here, I've got it.


JOHN: All right. Now keep it with you, all the time! And don't be afraid to use it -- on me if necessary!


BETTY: All right, let's get your uncle.


JOHN: This is his room. I wonder if I ought to wake him. It might upset Aunt Christine. She's sleeping.


BETTY: We've got to wake him!


SOUND: SIX LIGHT KNOCKS ON DOOR


BETTY: Better knock harder.


SOUND: THREE HARDER KNOCKS ON DOOR ... WHICH SQUEAKS SLIGHTLY OPEN


JOHN: (SURPRISED) Well-- It wasn't locked.


BETTY: (BEAT) Call him.


JOHN: (CALLS GENTLY) Uncle Everard? Uncle Everard? (NO ANSWER) He doesn't answer. But there's a light in their room.


BETTY: Push the door further open.


JOHN: All right.


SOUND: DOOR SQUEAKS OPEN


JOHN: (PUZZLED) Well, there's nobody in the room. The bed's empty. (CALLS) Uncle Everard?! Aunt Christine?!


BETTY: Maybe in the bathroom. (MOVING OFF) The door is open. (SCREAMS IN HORROR, FROM OFF)


JOHN: Betty!


BETTY: John, look!


JOHN: (BEAT, WHISPERS IN HORROR) Aunt Christine!


BETTY: She's - hanging by the neck.


JOHN: She - she's dead.


BETTY: It's the same kind of a noose as in our bathroom.


JOHN: Uncle Everard hanged her! It's the Loomis curse catching up with us!


MUSIC: BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG


JOHN: Well, Gault, any trace of Uncle Everard?


HERMAN: I searched the whole house, basement to attic. Not a sign of him.


JOHN: Then he must have gone out. Come along.


BETTY: But it's raining!


JOHN: We've got to find him, Betty. Come on!


MUSIC: BRIEF TRANSITION


SOUND: STORM BACKGROUND (RAIN AND THUNDER)


BETTY: So dark out here! How will we ever find him?


HERMAN: I have a flashlight, ma'am. Here, look.


JOHN: What?


HERMAN: Fresh footprints in the slush.


JOHN: Oh, they must be Uncle Everard's. They lead down toward the cemetery. Come along, Gault.


SOUND: STORM ... UP, TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG


HERMAN: Here, Mr. John, you can see for yourself. The footprints lead right to this new grave.


BETTY: But why did he come here?


JOHN: There's the answer, Betty. A cross at the head of the empty grave.


BETTY: (QUIET EXHALATION)


JOHN: Throw your flashlight on it, Gault. There's something written on it.


HERMAN: (OFF) It says, "Christine Loomis."


BETTY: (BIG HORRIFIED GASP!)


JOHN: Betty, what is it?


BETTY: Look! Over there!


JOHN: Another grave. He's dug another one.


HERMAN: (OFF) There's a cross on this one, too.


JOHN: Does it say anything?


HERMAN: (APPROACHES) Yes. Yes, it does. It says, "Betty Loomis."


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: STORM BACKGROUND ... HEARD FROM INDOORS


BETTY: John, sit close to me. That portrait of Stuart Loomis over the fireplace looks so real, it - it frightens me.


HERMAN: Now, remember Betty, whatever happens, hold onto that gun, and don't be afraid to use it tonight.


BETTY: Where is Gault?


JOHN: He ought to be here soon. He went to look for some weapons.


HERMAN: (IN CLOSE) Here I am, Mr. John.


BETTY: (STARTLED GASP) Gault, you always frighten me, coming in so quietly!


HERMAN: I'm sorry, ma'am. Here, Mr. John. These ought to be pretty good weapons.


JOHN: (QUIETLY) Scythes!


HERMAN: Yes, I had them sharpened only the other day. (WITH A HINT OF MACABRE DELIGHT) They could slice a man's head off in one stroke. Take one, Mr. John.


SOUND: CLANG! OF METAL SCYTHES


JOHN: Thanks, but I'd hate to use it on Uncle Everard.


HERMAN: If he shows up tonight, you'd better use it.


BETTY: Maybe he's come back into the house through the back way.


HERMAN: I'll go through the house again if you'd like. (MOVING OFF) This time I'll start with the attic.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, GAULT'S STEPS START OFF


JOHN: Be careful, Gault!


HERMAN: (OFF) I will, Mr. John.


SOUND: GAULT'S STEPS UP STAIRS


BETTY: (BEAT, FIRMLY) John, I don't like him.


JOHN: Gault?


BETTY: And I don't think he likes me either.


JOHN: No, that's not true--


SOUND: THUMPING! FROM ABOVE ... AS IF FROM A STRUGGLE


BETTY: Darling, what's that?


JOHN: Must be Gault in the attic.


HERMAN: (FROM OFF, SHOUTS, WITH EFFORT) Help, Mr. John! Help!


JOHN: He must have met Uncle Everard hiding up there! (MOVING OFF) Stay right here, Betty, and hold onto that gun!


BETTY: John, be careful!


SOUND: JOHN'S HURRIED STEPS UP STAIRS


JOHN: (OFF) Don't worry! Just take care of yourself!


BETTY: John! Come back! I'm frightened! I'm afraid to be alone! (BEAT, BREATHES HEAVILY, TO HERSELF) There's - there's nothing to be afraid of.


SOUND: BIG THUNDER CLAP!


BETTY: (TO HERSELF) I mean, I have this gun. And if anybody comes--


MUSIC: EERIE QUIET STING! ... THEN IN BG


BETTY: (TO HERSELF, UNNERVED) The lights--! The lights went out!


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS SLOWLY APPROACH ... THEN IN BG


BETTY: Who - who's there?! Who's in this room? Don't come any closer, I have a gun and I'll shoot! I can't see you, but I'll shoot at the sound! (CALLS FRANTICALLY) John, help--! (CUT OFF IN MID-YELL, CHOKES)


SOUND: SHUFFLE OF FOOTSTEPS AS BETTY STRUGGLES WITH THE STRANGLER


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


BETTY: (GASPING, TO HERSELF) Rope-- Around my neck-- (A HOARSE WARNING) Let go, or I'll shoot.


SOUND: CLICK-CLICK-CLICK! OF UNLOADED REVOLVER


HERMAN: (LOW) It's not loaded. I took the bullets out when you left it in the car.


BETTY: (REALIZES) Gault?


HERMAN: Yes, ma'am, it's Gault. (WITH EFFORT AS HE STRUGGLES WITH BETTY) Mr. John is busy up there in the attic with the body of Mr. Everard. 


BETTY: (GAGS)


HERMAN: I killed him, too, and when Mr. John comes downstairs he'll find you--


SOUND: THUNDER CLAP


HERMAN: --and I'll cut him down in the dark with my scythe.


BETTY: (CHOKING) But why? Why?


HERMAN: There were others besides the pirate LeRoux who hated Stuart Loomis. Like my own great-grandfather; he was in the service of Stuart Loomis, and he hated him. When LeRoux laid the curse on the Loomises, my great-grandfather decided to make it come true. It was he who strangled the wife of Stuart Loomis, and through the years the Gaults, from father to son, have handed down their hate.


SOUND: THUNDER CLAP


BETTY: You - you're mad.


HERMAN: Maybe. (WITH EFFORT) I'll tighten the noose and finish you.


BETTY: (NEAR-DEATH CROAK, DURING ABOVE)


JOHN: (APPROACHES) Betty, where are you?! Why is it dark in here? 


BETTY: (TWISTS FREE OF HERMAN) John!


JOHN: Betty!


BETTY: John! Look out! It's Gault! He has a scythe!


JOHN: (WITH EFFORT) And so have I!


SOUND: MEN'S GRUNTING, AND THE SHUFFLE OF HERMAN AND JOHN'S FOOTSTEPS AS THEY ENGAGE IN A LENGTHY SCYTHE DUEL ... CLANG-CLANG-CLANG! OF SCYTHE AGAINST SCYTHE


BETTY: (DURING ABOVE) John? John?!


HERMAN: (GRUNTS AS HE IS FINALLY SCYTHED ... DEATH GROAN)


SOUND: HERMAN'S BODY AND SCYTHE BOTH FALL TO THE FLOOR


JOHN: (HEAVY BREATHING, EXHAUSTED)


BETTY: (UNCERTAIN, FEARFUL) Who - who is it?


JOHN: (THROUGH HEAVY BREATHING) Oh, darling-- Darling, where - where are you?


BETTY: (RELIEVED) Here, John, here. Oh, darling!


JOHN: (WITH FINALITY) Betty, we've finished forever with the Loomis curse.


SOUND: BIG THUNDER CLAP! FOR PUNCTUATION


MUSIC: CURTAIN ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Well, that was a pretty rough honeymoon for Betty. But, you know, there's a lesson in her story for forgetful wives. Yes, if you keep tying little colored strings to your fingers to remind you of things and you still can't remember them, why not try a rope neatly tied around your neck? It's sure to help you -- forget. (CHUCKLES)


MARY: Oh, dear, Mr. Host! There you go, telling our listeners how to forget things when I've got something for them to remember!


HOST: Oh, I didn't realize that, Mary. What is it you want them to remember?


MARY: It's Lipton Tea, folks! And you don't need any string tied on your finger, or any such reminder. To make sure you get it when you visit your grocer's tomorrow, just remember that Lipton's is the tea with the wonderful brisk flavor; the fine-quality tea that gives you all the goodness nature meant tea to have. I wish you'd try a cup of Lipton's soon, because it's so delicious. Just ask your grocer for Lipton's. Remember, Lipton's is the tea with brisk flavor!


MUSIC: EERIE TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: (CONTENTED SIGH) And so our evening's over, with the usual quota of corpses to qualify for the Ghoul School. We're working on a special matriculation for bachelor ghouls. Oh, in case you didn't know, a "bachelor ghoul" is one who believes that two can die as cheaply as one! (LAUGHS) 


Oh, by the way, this month's Inner Sanctum mystery novel is "I Hate Blondes" by Wolfe Kaufman. And next week, the makers of Lipton Tea and Lipton Soups will bring you another Inner Sanctum story directed by Himan Brown and called -- "Dead Man's Turn."


MUSIC: STING! ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: It's, er, a little night course in murder, that's all. Yes, you have your choice of majoring in choking, shooting, drowning-- But, er, why don't you just listen in to "Inner Sanctum" next week and you'll get all the inside dope.


MUSIC: OUT


HOST: Oh, yes, next week, part of the country goes on Daylight Saving Time. If your area remains on Standard Time, tune in to "Inner Sanctum" one hour earlier. Until then, good night. Pleasant ... dreams? Hmmm? (SINISTER CHUCKLE)


SOUND: DOOR SQUEAKS NOISILY SHUT


MARY: Want a delicious dinner treat in a hurry? Then Lipton's Noodle Soup Mix is the thing for you. In just a few quick minutes, you have a grand-tasting "chicken-y" soup ready to serve. Lipton's Noodle Soup is full of tender golden noodles and seasoned to perfection. And it's economical, too. Costs less and makes lots more than ordinary canned soups. Just ask your grocer for Lipton's Noodle Soup Mix. Your family will love it. And don't forget to tune in next week for another Inner Sanctum mystery.


MUSIC: STING! ... THEN IN BG, UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.

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