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Midnight

The Lux Radio Theatre

Midnight

May 20 1940



CAST:


The Lux Team:

ANNOUNCER, Melville Ruick

HOST, Cecil B. DeMille

SALLY

LIBBY COLLINS, fashion scout

NARRATOR

WOMAN (1 line)


Dramatis Personae:

EVE PEABODY (Claudette Colbert)

TIBOR CZERNY, pronounced "tee-bor chair-nee" (Don Ameche)

GEORGES FLAMMARION

JACQUES PICOT

HELENE FLAMMARION

MARCEL RENAUD

1ST DRIVER

2ND DRIVER

3RD DRIVER

OFFICER

CLERK

PORTER

DELIVERY

LEON, taxi driver

DOORMAN

BUTLER

COURT CLERK (1 line)

JUDGE

LEBON, lawyer

and various CROWDS




ANNOUNCER: Lux presents Hollywood!


MUSIC: LUX THEME ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: The Lux Radio Theatre brings you Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche in "Midnight." Ladies and gentlemen, your producer, Mr. Cecil B. DeMille!


MUSIC: THEME ... UP AND OUT


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: Greetings from Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen. Our play tonight is the comedy of a gay masquerade, and of a reckoning that comes -- as it must to all masquerades -- when the clock strikes twelve. It's the story of a young lady who completely hoodwinks international society, but can't deceive her own heart -- and that turns her adventure into a love story. The United States has entertained a good many counterfeit titles from Europe, so perhaps it's only squaring accounts if an American girl takes the title of "baroness" and makes the more or less polite society of Europe entertain her. And when the bogus baroness is Claudette Colbert, of course any sensible European would outdo himself to place the continent at her feet. Claudette and Don Ameche starred together in Paramount's delightful motion picture production of "Midnight" and we didn't even try to improve on that kind of casting. Claudette comes to us before going back to work at Paramount in the picture "Arise, My Love." As her relentless pursuer, Don Ameche takes the wheel of one of the most terrifying machines in the world: a French taxicab. And that's a perfect setup for a gay whirl through the boulevards and bright lights of the Paris of a few years ago. "Midnight" is a play that will banish worry from the living room tonight as efficiently as Lux Flakes always does from the kitchen. Millions of women already know that secret, but for the few who don't, Lux Flakes will be a wonderful discovery. Now, if your tickets are in order, we'll start for Paris -- a trip that will take just about as long as it takes to raise the curtain here in the Lux Radio Theatre. We begin Act One of "Midnight," starring Claudette Colbert as Eve Peabody and Don Ameche as Tibor Czerny.


MUSIC: BRIEF INTRO ... THEN IN BG


HOST: A few years ago when one spoke of Paris, it was always Paris in the spring or Paris by night, conjuring up visions of gaiety and romance. But there's another aspect of the great city rarely touched upon: Paris in the rain. Yes, it rains there, too, and, just now, it's pouring. From the railroad station comes a lovely creature in a trailing evening gown. She's young and beautiful. Certainly you'd expect her to step into a waiting limousine and be whisked off to the Ritz Hotel. But no. 


SOUND: POURING RAIN AND EVE'S STEPS ON THE SIDEWALK ... IN BG


HOST: This lovely apparition in evening clothes is walking -- walking in the rain, with a dripping newspaper on her head to ward off the stinging drops. The taxicab drivers cannot believe their eyes.


MUSIC: OUT


1ST DRIVER: Mademoiselle? You wish a taxi?


EVE: No, thank you.


2ND DRIVER: Mademoiselle, you will not walk in this rain. Taxi, mademoiselle?


EVE: No.


3RD DRIVER: Get in, mademoiselle. Anywhere in Paris.


EVE: I said, no. Will ya leave me alone?


3RD DRIVER: (TO DRIVERS, DISBELIEF) To walk on a night like this!


SOUND: THE DRIVERS CHATTER AMONGST THEMSELVES IN DISBELIEF ("Aw, she's crazy.") ... THEIR VOICES FADE OUT AS SHE WALKS OFF


TIBOR: Taxi, mademoiselle? Taxi?


EVE: No!


TIBOR: Any place in Paris, mademoiselle.


EVE: No!


TIBOR: Which way you going?


EVE: I don't know; I'm walking.


TIBOR: Oh! Mademoiselle enjoys the rain, huh?


EVE: (IRONIC) Oh, sure; I'm just mad about it. It feels so good running down my back.


TIBOR: Well, then why not ride? Mademoiselle, my taxi is yours.


SOUND: TAXI DOOR OPENS


EVE: Listen, I don't want a t-- (EXHALES) All right, mister, here's how things stand. I could have you drive me all around town, then tell you I left my purse home on the grand piano.


TIBOR: Yeah?


EVE: There's no grand piano, no home. And my purse? Twenty-five centimes with a hole in it. That's what's left of the Peabody stake.


TIBOR: Oh, you have no money, huh?


EVE: That's right. I need a taxi to find myself a job and I need a job to pay for the taxi.


TIBOR: Oh, I see.


EVE: Mm hm. No taxi, no job. No job, no dinner. 


TIBOR: Ah.


EVE: But, look, if I do promote one, I'll pay you twice what the meter says. Double or nothing.


TIBOR: You mean you'll give me the honor of driving you around while you look for a job, huh?


EVE: That's it. 


TIBOR: And for that you'll pay me double?


EVE: Oh, and a great big-daddy tip.


TIBOR: Well, that sounds like good business!


EVE: What do you say?


TIBOR: I say no. ...


EVE: (GOOD-NATURED) All right. Well, if that's the way you feel, I was going to walk anyway. (MOVING OFF) G'night.


TIBOR: Hey-hey-hey! Hey, wait.


EVE: What do you want?


TIBOR: Get in the cab.


EVE: Oh, never mind. I don't have--


TIBOR: (ANNOYED IMPATIENCE) Get in, get in!


EVE: Well, if you insist.


SOUND: TAXI DOOR SHUTS AS EVE CLIMBS IN


EVE: Only now you don't get that tip I promised ya.


TIBOR: Uh huh. What kind of work do you want?


EVE: Well, look, at this time of night and in these clothes, I'm not looking for needlework.


TIBOR: Well, look in your newspaper. They have jobs in there sometimes.


SOUND: WRESTLES WITH SOGGY NEWSPAPER


EVE: (EXHALES) Be easier to drink this than read it. (BEAT) Here we are. Nightclubs.


TIBOR: Nightclubs? What are you, a dancer?


EVE: Didn't you ever hear of Eve Peabody, the famous American blues singer?


TIBOR: No.


EVE: (CHUCKLES) Well, confidentially, she didn't get to be a blues singer till she stepped into your cab. Well, let's try the Bal Tabarin, hm?


TIBOR: Oh, you have to be pretty good to work there. Say, do you always travel in an evening dress?


EVE: No. I was wearing this in Monte Carlo when a nasty accident occurred.


TIBOR: What happened, a fire?


EVE: (NO) Mm mm. The roulette system I was playing collapsed under me. I left the casino with what I had on my back.


TIBOR: (UNDERSTANDS) Ahhh. Oh.


EVE: Well, drive on and when I get that job, I'll think about restoring your tip.


TIBOR: Oh, thank you, mademoiselle.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: RAIN AND THE TAXI ... IN BG


TIBOR: Oh, the Bal Tabarin, no job; Club Pigalle, no job; Bolero Club, no job; Moulin Rouge, no--


EVE: (INTERRUPTS, CONCEDES) No job, no job, no job. All right. I guess mine is strictly a bathtub voice. How much is on the meter?


TIBOR: Oh, it's just a little matter of eighty francs. Well, where do you want to go now?


EVE: Eighty francs? No, that's enough, Skipper. I'm sorry I got you into this mess.


TIBOR: Eh, it's all right. Where to now?


EVE: Back to the station, please.


TIBOR: What are you gonna do back there?


EVE: Sit in the waiting room.


TIBOR: Waiting for what?


EVE: For tomorrow morning.


TIBOR: No, you can't do that. You come with me; I'll buy you dinner.


EVE: Oh, now, listen, you lost a gamble. You don't have to feed it.


TIBOR: I don't like to think of a woman sitting around a station with an empty stomach!


EVE: (MERRILY SARCASTIC) Ohhhh, I know! This is the pumpkin coach and you're the Fairy Godmother! 


TIBOR: Cut it out, cut it out. I'm gonna buy you a cheap dinner; you don't even have to thank me for it.


EVE: (IMPRESSED, QUIETLY) Okay, Skipper. (WHISPERS) Thanks.


SOUND: RAIN AND THE TAXI FILL A PAUSE ... THEN SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN ... RESTAURANT BACKGROUND (A CROWD AND A PIANO)


EVE: (GENUINELY) Gee, I - I'm sorry, Skipper. I - I wouldn't have taken oysters, only I thought they were on the regular dinner, honest.


TIBOR: Forget it.


EVE: No, it was a dirty trick, Skipper. Say, what's your name anyway? I'm tired of calling you Skipper.


TIBOR: Czerny is the name. Tibor Czerny.


EVE: Tee what? 


TIBOR: Tee bore. Tibor Czerny.


EVE: (GIGGLES UNCONTROLLABLY)


TIBOR: I'm Hungarian. Where I come from, they'd think Eve Peabody is a funny name. 


EVE: Oh, yeah?


TIBOR: Yeah.


EVE: (GIGGLES) Well, anyway, Mr. Czerny, I'm sorry I ordered oysters. I'm running into money.


TIBOR: I wish you'd stop talking about money. I'm a rich man.


EVE: You? 


TIBOR: Sure. I need forty francs a day and I make forty francs.


EVE: What about that rainy day, when it comes?


TIBOR: On a rainy day, I make double. No bank account, no real estate, no possessions. Three handkerchiefs, two shirts, one tie, and no worries.


EVE: Oh, you're talking like a fool.


TIBOR: Listen, if you want peace of mind, get yourself a taxicab.


EVE: No woman ever found peace in a taxi. I'm looking for a limousine.


TIBOR: They don't ride any better. 


EVE: They ride better than the subway. I spent most of my life in a Bronx local. Squeezed, trampled, stepped on. No, sir. One day I said to myself, "That's enough, baby. You're going to get somewhere." So I came abroad. I shipped to London in a can of imported chorines. You know, most of those gals end up with a lord or somethin'.


TIBOR: Oh, is that what you call "getting somewhere"?


EVE: It's a step in the right direction. I landed a lord, almost.


TIBOR: Almost?


EVE: Well, his family got between us. His mother came to my hotel and offered me a bribe.


TIBOR: Offered a br--? Well, you threw her out, I hope.


EVE: How could I with my hands full of money?


TIBOR: You - you mean, you took the money?


EVE: Listen, I've got a few ideas about peace of mind myself. I carried that cash straight down to Monte Carlo and played it to win.


TIBOR: And lost. Serves you right for wanting something for nothing.


EVE: Okay. It took me years to realize you just don't fall into a tub of butter. You jump for it.


TIBOR: Ach! You're the one that's talkin' like a fool now.


EVE: Oh, now, no hard feelings, Mr. Czerny?


TIBOR: No. (EXHALES) It's too bad, though. (BEAT) Do you want some more wine?


EVE: (YES) Uh huh. Please.


SOUND: RESTAURANT BACKGROUND UP TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN ... RAIN AND THE TAXI AGAIN, BUT IT'S NOT RAINING AS HARD ... TAXI ENGINE SPUTTERS BADLY, THEN CONKS OUT BEHIND--


EVE: What's the matter?


TIBOR: Nothing. Think we need some gas, that's all.


EVE: (WARY, KNOWINGLY SKEPTICAL) Oh, we do? Out of gas, huh? Well, well. 


TIBOR: (REASSURING) It's all right, it's all right. I always carry an extra can in the back.


EVE: Ah. Well, that's a novelty. Say, where's that railroad station anyway?


TIBOR: Oh, we passed that. You're gonna sleep at my place tonight.


EVE: Huh? What--? What was that?


TIBOR: I said you're gonna sleep at my place.


EVE: Oh, no, I'm not.


TIBOR: Now, listen, I've got to drive this cab all night. How do you expect me to keep my mind on my business, knowing you haven't a roof over your head?


EVE: No thanks, Skipper.


TIBOR: Here. Here's the key. There's a shirt drying over the bathtub. You can sleep in that. But be out by seven in the morning.


EVE: No. Skipper, you'd better keep the key.


TIBOR: Now, don't be a fool.


EVE: (CHUCKLES) Me? I've been a fool too long. Listen, back in New York, whenever I managed to crash a party full of luscious, big-hearted millionaires, there was sure to be some snub-faced kid in the orchestra playing traps. So, around four in the morning, when the wise girls were skipping off to Connecticut to marry those millionaires, I'd be with him in some nightspot, learning tricks on the kettledrum. And he always had a nose like yours.


TIBOR: Is there anything wrong with my nose?


EVE: (YES) Mm hm. I like it. Do you mind? (CHUCKLES) Aw, no. We're no good for each other, Skipper. We're going in different directions.


TIBOR: That's what you think.


SOUND: RAIN GROWS A LITTLE NOISIER AS TAXI DOOR OPENS 


TIBOR: I'm gonna get that gas in the tank and then we're heading for my place. You just sit tight.


EVE: Okay, Skipper.


TIBOR: (MOVING OFF) Be right back. 


SOUND: GAS CAN LIFTED, OPENED, AND POURED BEHIND--


TIBOR: (SLIGHTLY OFF) You know, a girl like you shouldn't be running around Paris all alone. First thing you know, you'll be gettin' into trouble. S'pose you don't find a job; what'll you do then? Can't sleep in the railroad station all the time. And what about those clothes? Wait till you try walkin' around in the daytime with an evening dress. How far do you suppose you're gonna get dressed up like that? (NO ANSWER) Hey, what's the matter? You asleep?


SOUND: GAS CAN CLOSED AND PUT AWAY


TIBOR: (CLOSER) I said, How far do you suppose you're gonna--? (PAUSE, TO HIMSELF) Hey. Where'd she go? (CALLS) Hey, er, Peabody? (NO ANSWER) Eve? Eve, where are you? (NO ANSWER) Hey, where are you?! (NO ANSWER) Eve, where are you?!


SOUND: SCENE SLOWLY FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN ... LIGHT RAIN AND EVE'S HURRIED STEPS ON PAVEMENT, IN BG


OFFICER: Good evening, madame.


EVE: Oh, good evening, officer.


OFFICER: Madame is going the wrong way.


SOUND: EVE'S STEPS STOP


EVE: (PUZZLED) Oh, what - what did you say, officer?


OFFICER: The house you're looking for; it's just down the street. Three doors that way, madame.


EVE: The - the - the house I'm looking for?


OFFICER: You're going to the house of Madame Lebon, no?


EVE: Oh? Is that where I'm going? Oh, yes.


OFFICER: (AMUSED) Mm hm, but of course! I knew at once when I saw the evening gown. Come, madame -- I myself will show you there.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO HOUSE, IN BG


EVE: Oh, well-- Say, thanks. (CHUCKLES, FAKES AN EXPLANATION) Yeah, my car; I - I must have got out at the wrong house.


OFFICER: (GRACIOUS) One makes mistakes, madame.


EVE: Oh, yes. One does.


OFFICER: It's a musical evening at Madame Lebon's, no?


EVE: Yes; yes, that's right.


OFFICER: (CHUCKLES) Of course. Here, madame, this is the house.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS STOP


EVE: (AWKWARDLY) Oh, well, thank you. Good night, officer.


OFFICER: Oh, but go in. You're becoming wet, madame.


EVE: Yes, I know, but-- (HEMS AND HAWS, THEN AGREES) All right, officer. (MOVING OFF) Good night.


OFFICER: Good night, madame.


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


MUSIC: VIOLIN AND PIANO PLAY CHOPIN ... CONTINUES IN BG


GEORGES: (TAKING AN INTEREST IN HER, KNOWING SHE DOESN'T BELONG HERE) Good evening, madame.


EVE: (SUPPRESSING NERVOUSNESS) Oh, hello.


GEORGES: Are you looking for a seat? I don't believe this one is taken.


EVE: Thank you.


SOUND: EVE SITS IN CHAIR


GEORGES: I, er-- I saw you come in.


EVE: Er, that was observing of you.


GEORGES: My name is Georges Flammarion. (NO RESPONSE, TRIES AGAIN) Georges Flammarion? (NO RESPONSE, CLEARS THROAT) Dull evening, isn't it? 


EVE: Not up to now.


GEORGES: I don't believe I've seen you here before, Madame, er--? Madame--?


EVE: I've never been invited here before.


GEORGES: Oh, I see. Stuffy people, aren't they?


EVE: I don't think so.


GEORGES: Very. (HINT OF WARNING) Someone once tried to come in under a false name. They found out she didn't belong.


EVE: (FORCED LIGHTNESS) Not really? What did they do?


GEORGES: (POINTEDLY) Handed her over to the police. Stuffy people.


EVE: (UNCOMFORTABLY) Yeah, very.


MARCEL: (SLIGHTLY OFF, LOW) Madame? Sst! Madame? Will you come this way, please?


GEORGES: Someone's calling you, madame.


EVE: (NERVOUSLY) You mean me?


MARCEL: Please, I would like to have a word with you, outside. 


EVE: (GUILTILY) Yes, that's what I thought. All right, I'll go quietly.


MUSIC: RECEDES A BIT AS EVE AND MARCEL MOVE AWAY


MARCEL: Come here, madame.


EVE: All right, now, let's get it over with.


MARCEL: I've had my eye on you from the moment you came in.


EVE: I - I know, I should have known better, but, you see, I didn't want to come in here at all. There was an officer outside--


MARCEL: Ssh! Don't apologize. You're not the only one. There are three of us in rebellion against that music. You play bridge, don't you?


EVE: What? Yes, I do.


MARCEL: Good. Come this way.


SOUND: THEIR STEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


EVE: Well-- But why did you pick on me?


MARCEL: Well, you looked charming. You looked bored. You looked as though you wouldn't trump your partner's ace.


EVE: (CHUCKLES) Well, thanks.


MARCEL: Now, in this room our two partners await us impatiently.


SOUND: ROOM DOOR OPENS


MARCEL: Helene? Jacques? I found a fourth for-- (SURPRISED) Oh!


JACQUES: (CAUGHT IN A CLINCH WITH HELENE, A LITTLE EMBARRASSED) Oh, er, come in, Marcel. It's all right.


MARCEL: (CLEARS THROAT, AWKWARDLY) For a moment, I was not sure. Jacques, wipe the lipstick off your face.


JACQUES: Oh, thanks.


HELENE: (UNCARING) Oh, come in, Marcel, please!


SOUND: ROOM DOOR SHUTS, CUTTING OFF THE MUSIC


MARCEL: Helene, I found a fourth. Madame Flammarion, may I present Madame, er--? Er--?


EVE: How do you do? 


HELENE: How do you do, Madame, er--?


EVE: Er, Czerny.


MARCEL: Madame Czerny? 


EVE: Yes. Czerny.


MARCEL: Madame, may I also present Jacques Picot, one of the most dangerous men in the room?


JACQUES: How do you do, madame? 


EVE: (AMUSED) How do you do?


MARCEL: And I am Marcel Renard.


EVE: How do you do?


HELENE: Sit down, everybody. Shall we cut for deal?


SOUND: CARDS CUT AND SHUFFLED DURING FOLLOWING--


JACQUES: (TO EVE) Will you do me the honor of being my partner, madame?


EVE: Thank you, Monsieur Picot.


MARCEL: Well, what are we playing for?


HELENE: Our usual stakes, Marcel. Five francs a point?


EVE: Five francs?!


HELENE: Well, five francs is a bit tame. If you'd care to make them higher--


EVE: Oh, no! No. No, it makes no difference to me.


HELENE: (CHUCKLES) Your deal, Madame Czerny.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


JACQUES: Let me see. Hmmm, not a very good showing, madame. I'm afraid we're down nine hundred.


EVE: Oh, is that all, monsieur? Only nine hundred?


HELENE: (PEEVED AT JACQUES) I don't know whether you should be flattered or annoyed, madame. Jacques usually plays an excellent game.


EVE: Tennis or golf?


JACQUES: Madame, please. At times, I find it very difficult to concentrate on cards.


HELENE: (JEALOUS) You mean when you have a pretty partner, Jacques?


JACQUES: (A PLEA) Helene--


SOUND: ROOM DOOR OPENS


GEORGES: Ah, good evening.


HELENE: Oh, come in, Georges.


SOUND: ROOM DOOR CLOSES


HELENE: How's the musical evening progressing?


GEORGES: As dull as ever, my dear.


HELENE: Oh, Madame Czerny, this is Monsieur Flammarion -- my husband.


EVE: How do you do? 


GEORGES: How do you do, Madame Czerny? You're American, aren't you?


EVE: Yes, I am.


GEORGES: Hungarian descent?


EVE: Scotch, Irish, and Choctaw.


HELENE: (OFF) Figure up the score, Marcel.


GEORGES: (MUSES) Czerny, though; Czerny-- You know, that's Hungarian.


EVE: Oh, well, that's not my name. 


GEORGES: Oh, isn't it? 


EVE: No, except by marriage.


GEORGES: Ohhh! Oh, then you're the wife of Baron Czerny.


EVE: Baron Czerny! Of course. (CHUCKLES)


GEORGES: (CHUCKLES) Yes, of course. You know, the last time I saw him in St. Moritz, he talked about an American girl. Where is he now, "Baroness"?


EVE: Uh, back in Budapest. (NERVOUS CHUCKLE) He's not very well. You know, the old trouble.


GEORGES: Oh, too bad, too bad. ... Helene, you should see Budapest. It's the most enchanting city. Except, of course, for the subway. Did they ever finish that, Baroness?


EVE: (UNCERTAINLY) The - the streets are still a little torn up.


MARCEL: Uh, here's the total. Want to check up your losings, Jacques?


JACQUES: Mmmm, very bad. I'm sorry, Baroness. We had the spirit even if we didn't have the cards.


EVE: Well, how much did we lose?


JACQUES: We're down four thousand two hundred francs.


EVE: Oh. Where's my bag? (NERVOUS CHUCKLE) I - I may not have that much with me.


GEORGES: Oh, er, pardon me, Baroness. Allow me to lend you enough to cover it.


EVE: Oh. Thank you, Mr. Flammarion; that's very kind of you.


GEORGES: You can repay me tomorrow.


EVE: Oh, of course. Well, I think I'd better leave now.


JACQUES: Is your car here, Baroness?


EVE: No, no, I - I had, er-- I had some trouble with my chauffeur.


JACQUES: Then let me drop you.


EVE: Oh, no, really.


JACQUES: Please, I insist. Where do you live, Baroness?


EVE: (AWKWARDLY) Why, at my hotel.


JACQUES: And that is?


EVE: I'll give you three guesses.


JACQUES: The Ritz?


EVE: That's right; the first time! ... The Ritz.


JACQUES: Come along, then. Good night, everyone!


SOUND: THEY ALL EXCHANGE GOODNIGHTS ("Good night, Baroness," et cetera) AS SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN ... CAR PULLS UP AND STOPS ... THEN CAR DOORS OPEN AND CLOSE, JACQUES AND EVE'S STEPS TO RITZ DOOR IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


JACQUES: Well, this is it. The Ritz, wasn't it?


EVE: Yes, thank you so much. Don't bother to see me inside. It's terribly late. 


JACQUES: Oh, no. My mother taught me always to see a lady to her door.


EVE: Oh, thanks. Well, good night.


JACQUES: Oh, no, no. No, you can't get rid of me as easily as that. How do you know what dangers may lurk in the hotel lobby?


EVE: I know exactly what dangers lurk in hotel lobbies.


JACQUES: Come on.


SOUND: THEIR STEPS INTO BUSY HOTEL LOBBY ... OCCASIONAL BELL RINGS AND A SMALL CROWD MURMURS, IN BG


EVE: Look, now, I'm going to stay in the lobby for a while. I have something to do. A telegram back home. You see, my husband hasn't been well. A night letter.


JACQUES: Well, write it out, Baroness. I'll get your key.


EVE: Oh, look, don't you know when to go home?


JACQUES: No.


EVE: (KNOWS SHE'S ABOUT TO BE CAUGHT; WEAKLY) Oh--


JACQUES: Uh, clerk? Clerk? The key for Baroness Czerny, please.


CLERK: Yes, monsieur.


EVE: (NERVOUSLY) It may be in the name of Smith. You know, my maid sometimes makes a mistake--


CLERK: Ah, here you are. The Baroness Czerny, Room Two Seventeen, Two Nineteen.


EVE: (STUNNED) Wha--? What did you say?


CLERK: The Baroness Czerny, Room Two Seventeen, Two Nineteen.


JACQUES: (AMUSED) What's the matter, Baroness? Don't you know your own room number?


EVE: Well, yes, of course.


JACQUES: Now we'll send that wire.


EVE: No, no, no. You needn't bother; I'll write it upstairs. Good night.


JACQUES: No. "To her door," my mother said. That means upstairs.


EVE: Oh, Monsieur Picot, please--


JACQUES: No, no, no. (MOVING OFF) Come on, Baroness. Right to your door.


SOUND: HOTEL LOBBY BACKGROUND FILLS PAUSE ... THEN SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE


JACQUES: Well?


EVE: Well?


JACQUES: Uh, this is your door.


EVE: Well, yes, I know. Good night.


JACQUES: What? No nightcap?


EVE: Now, look, my mother taught me a few things, too. ... Good night.


JACQUES: Well, at least I don't have to ask for your telephone number.


EVE: Hm?


JACQUES: I'll be pestering you, Baroness.


EVE: Oh, won't you please go?


JACQUES: Not until you go in. Go ahead now.


EVE: (SIGHS) All right.


SOUND: KEY IN LOCK ... DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS


EVE: Well, good night.


JACQUES: Good night.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN A CAFE PIANO PLAYS A GOOD-TIME TUNE, IN BG


SOUND: CROWDED CAFE BACKGROUND ... MURMUR OF LARGE CROWD OF TAXI DRIVERS


TIBOR: (YELLS OVER CROWD) Now, listen, fellas! Here's the idea! Now, wait, wait! Hey, cut out that piano, will ya?!


MUSIC: PIANO STOPS


TIBOR: (YELLS OVER CROWD) All right now, fellas -- quiet! Quiet now!


SOUND: CROWD FALLS MOSTLY SILENT, OCCASIONALLY REACTING TO WHAT FOLLOWS--


TIBOR: (A BIG SALES PITCH) I'll explain it once more. We're all taxi drivers. That means we get around a lot. All right now. Each of us puts in five francs, and the guy that finds her gets the whole thing. Now, say - say we get a thousand of us. That's a purse of five thousand francs to the winner.


1ST DRIVER: But, Tibor, how can we find one woman out of all Paris?


TIBOR: Why not? There are only four million people here.


2ND DRIVER: (HALF MOCKING) And only half of them are women! It's easy!


TIBOR: That's right! All right now, look. Listen! She's an American girl named Eve Peabody. All she's got is a gold evening dress. She hasn't got a cent to her name, so she can't get out of town. All right now, spread the word around. Keep your eyes open. Go to the consulate, the embassy, to the hotels, the nightspots, theatrical agencies. All right now, come on, each of you, put in five francs! 


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, THE CROWD'S ENTHUSIASM SWELLS ... THEY SWARM AROUND TIBOR MURMURING AGREEMENT, IN BG


3RD DRIVER: Here's mine!


TIBOR: That's it, fellows. Put it in. Five francs. Come on, come on. Five francs. In you go.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: In just a moment, Mr. DeMille brings you Don Ameche and Claudette Colbert in Act Two of "Midnight." During our brief intermission--


SALLY: (INTERRUPTS) The time has come, the Walrus said, to speak of many things.


ANNOUNCER: Wedding dresses, for one thing.


SALLY: And particularly cotton wedding dresses. They're big news in Nineteen Forty.


ANNOUNCER: Oh, but, Sally, that's not just a Nineteen Forty fashion.


SALLY: Oh, no? Well, what is it then?


ANNOUNCER: It's an Eighteen Forty fashion. Back in Eighteen Forty-Eight, Daniel Boone's great-great-niece was married in a cotton wedding dress. A very beautiful one, too.


SALLY: Now, how in the world do you know that?


ANNOUNCER: Because the dress is on exhibition in New York at the Museum of Costume Art right now.


SALLY: Oh? What's it like?


ANNOUNCER: Well, here's our fashion scout Libby Collins to tell us about it.


LIBBY: It's tucked white organdy with an off-the-shoulder neckline, tiny waist, and very full skirt. It's trimmed with yards and yards of fine lace.


SALLY: Mmm, it sounds like a dream. You know, I should think they'd keep it all wrapped up in tissue paper.


LIBBY: (CHUCKLES) Not all the time. It's often on exhibition. And, of course, it has to be washed sometimes.


SALLY: Washed? A dress like that? Why, it's nearly a hundred years old.


LIBBY: Certainly, but the Museum of Costume Art always washes it in Lux Flakes. They're so wonderfully gentle and the dress looks simply exquisite.


ANNOUNCER: What else is in the exhibit, Libby?


LIBBY: Well, there's a bridal robe worn by the Hopi Indian women. It's made of cotton, which is grown, gathered, spun, and woven by the relatives of the bridegroom.


SALLY: What does the robe look like, Libby?


LIBBY: It's a large square white blanket, very finely woven, with elaborate tassels at each corner which represent ears of corn.


SALLY: Luxable?


LIBBY: Well, in those days, I don't suppose the Hopi Indians Luxed it, Sally. But the museum does. You know, they use Lux for so many of their lovely things. Priceless treasures like that must have gentle care.


ANNOUNCER: And New Quick Lux gives them just that. It's so mild and pure, it's safe for everything safe in water alone. That's why so many millions of women use Lux to guard the beauty of their own nice things: silks, rayons, smart cottons.


LIBBY: Speaking of cottons, Mr. Ruick, this is National Cotton Week. Paris says, "Wear cotton for everything from playsuits to evening dresses." So this is a grand time to plan an all-cotton wardrobe. The lovely new cottons are at your favorite store right now.


ANNOUNCER: And remember, these beautiful new cottons need gentle care, just like washable silks and rayons. Otherwise, you may spoil their finish and color. New Quick Lux helps colors and fabrics stay new-looking longer. It's fast, it's thrifty, and above all, it's safe. It's in the same familiar box and it costs no more. (BEAT) Now, our producer, Mr. DeMille.


HOST: Act Two of "Midnight," starring Claudette Colbert as Eve Peabody and Don Ameche as Tibor Czerny.  


MUSIC: BRIEF ELEGANT INTRO ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Eve Peabody, the American blues singer, has been suddenly and mysteriously transformed into  the Baroness Czerny. Early the following morning, the telephone rings in her luxurious apartment, awakening Eve to a bright new day.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, PHONE RINGS TWICE ... THEN RECEIVER UP


EVE: (SLEEPILY) Hello?


CLERK: (FILTER) Good morning, Baroness. This is the clerk.


EVE: Who do you want?


CLERK: (FILTER) Isn't this the Baroness Czerny's apartment?


EVE: No. No one here by that name. You've got the-- Ooh! Oh, the Baro--?! That's me! (CHUCKLES) What do you want?


CLERK: (FILTER) I just wanted to tell you, Baroness, that your luggage has arrived from Monte Carlo.


EVE: Well-- From Monte Carlo? But that's impossible. I mean-- Are you sure there isn't some mistake?


CLERK: (FILTER) It said for the Baroness Czerny. I had it sent up.


EVE: Oh, thanks.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


EVE: (TO HERSELF) I'm crazy.


SOUND: DOORBELL BUZZES


EVE: (CALLS) Come in!


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


PORTER: Oh, good morning, Baroness. Where shall we put your trunks, Madame?


EVE: Why, just put them down any place.


PORTER: (TO BELLBOY) Oh, François -- here.


SOUND: THUMP! OF LUGGAGE SET DOWN DURING FOLLOWING-- 


PORTER: Here are the keys, madame. Shall I open them?


EVE: You mean before Christmas?


PORTER: Pardon, madame? ...


EVE: Oh, no, don't mind me. I'm just a little dizzy. You just go right ahead.


SOUND: DOORBELL BUZZES


EVE: (CALLS NERVOUSLY) Who is it?!


DELIVERY: Flowers for Baroness Czerny!


EVE: Flowers?


DELIVERY: Shall I arrange them, madame?


EVE: No. No, just lay them down; I'll have them strewn in my path on the way out. ...


PORTER: The trunk is open, madame. Is there something else?


EVE: No, I think it's enough, don't you? Oh, you mean the tip! Well-- 


PORTER: Oh, no, no, no. Your chauffeur took care of that, madame.


EVE: My chauffeur?


PORTER: He's waiting downstairs. He wishes to know if madame wants the car today.


EVE: Oh, he does? Well, tell him I wouldn't be at all surprised.


PORTER: Yes, madame. (MOVING OFF) Thank you, madame. 


EVE: Thank you. I--


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


EVE: (TO HERSELF, INSPECTS THE TRUNKS) Oh, I'm crazy! I'm raving! Negligees, dresses-- I don't believe it!


SOUND: DOORBELL BUZZES


EVE: (CALLS, WHAT THE HECK) Oh, all right! Bring it in!


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


GEORGES: Good morning, Baroness.


EVE: (UNHAPPY) Oh--


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


GEORGES: Remember me? Flammarion's the name. Ah, I see you've been trying on your new coat. It's a little large, don't you think? I've arranged to have a fitter here at two o'clock.


EVE: So it was you. You made a pretty good guess at my measurements.


GEORGES: You know, I've always had a weakness for size twelve.


EVE: Did you arrange for this apartment, too?


GEORGES: (YES) Mm hm. While you were on your way here with Jacques last night. Neat, hm?


EVE: You know, the minute you looked at me, I had an idea you had an idea.


GEORGES: Mmm. ... You remember when I asked you if they were still working on the Budapest subway?


EVE: Yes?


GEORGES: Well, the Budapest subway was finished in Eighteen Hundred and Ninety Three. It's the oldest subway in the world.


EVE: Monsieur Flammarion, that is playing dirty.


GEORGES: (CHUCKLES) Well, I use my brain when it comes to something I want very badly.


EVE: Also your bank account.


GEORGES: Oh, I guarantee we'll never have any arguments about money.


EVE: That's fine. But there's just one trouble. I won't play.


GEORGES: Now - now, don't misunderstand me.


EVE: Oh, look, when Little Red Riding Hood spots the long gray whiskers, don't still insist that you're Grandma.


GEORGES: Hmm. Well, suppose you hear my proposition out.


EVE: Okay, go ahead.


GEORGES: What, er-- What was your impression of Jacques Picot?


EVE: Jacques? Well, he seems all right. Why?


GEORGES: Mmm. I'm afraid I can't agree with you. Of course, I may be a little bit prejudiced. You see, my wife and Jacques think they're in love.


EVE: Oh. Well, that's cozy. Why don't you punch him in the nose?


GEORGES: Alluring but impractical. He was top man on the boxing team of his university.


EVE: Well, where do I come in? What you need is a lawyer.


GEORGES: (INSISTENT) I'll never get a divorce. Never.


EVE: I still don't see where I come in.


GEORGES: Last night for the first time, I saw a ray of hope. While he was laughing with you, my wife was in torment. When you drove away together, she was fighting tears. Now, your job, if you'll accept it, is just beginning. My wife, er-- My wife will fight for him.


EVE: (REALIZES) Ohhhh. And you want me to fight back, hm?


GEORGES: I want to bring her back to her senses. I want you to take over his attention before it's too late. You can name your own price.


EVE: Say, you really love her, don't you? Of all the crazy plans.


GEORGES: Perhaps not so crazy from your point of view. Jacques' family makes a very superior income from a very inferior champagne. Yes, you could do much worse. We're having a weekend party at our place in Versailles. Jacques will be there. You, er-- You will arrive tomorrow in time for tea.


EVE: Now-now-now, wait a minute. I haven't said yes!


GEORGES: Oh. Oh, I'm sorry. I thought it was all settled. You would arrive tomorrow, spend as much time at the house as necessary to separate my wife and Jacques, and then depart; the richer by some-- Oh, let's say, fifty thousand francs?


EVE: Huh? 


GEORGES: But of course if you have other plans-- If you have some other offer--


EVE: Oh, I have. But I'll take yours.


MUSIC: BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN CHEERFUL CAFE PIANO, IN BG


SOUND: CROWDED CAFE BACKGROUND ... CROWD OF TAXI DRIVERS MURMURS


TIBOR: All right, come on, fellas! Anybody else wanna get in the pool?! Put up five francs and win five thousand! Who's next?!


LEON: (APPROACHES, EXCITED) Tibor! Tibor! Let me through here. Tibor! Tibor, where's the money? I found her. (TO WAITER) Give me a cognac. 


TIBOR: What--? What'd you say?


LEON: I found the girl. (TO WAITER) One cognac!


TIBOR: (EAGERLY) Come on, come on, you can talk without a cognac.


LEON: The cognac is for you, Czerny, when you hear what I've got to say.


TIBOR: Well, say it, say it!


LEON: Well, she lives at the Ritz. She's got a high-class car with a chauffeur. And would you like to know what her name is?


TIBOR: Why, her name is Eve Peabody.


LEON: No, no, it isn't. Not now! It's Czerny. 


SOUND: CROWD MURMURS IN SURPRISE ("Czerny?")


TIBOR: Czerny? My name?


LEON: The Baroness Czerny.


TIBOR: (BEAT, STUNNED) Give me that cognac!


SOUND: CROWD LAUGHS AT TIBOR


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN ... CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND


DOORMAN: Here, you! You there! Taxi driver! Where are you going?


TIBOR: Let me alone! I'm going into the hotel to talk to the Baroness Czerny.


DOORMAN: I'm sorry, my man, but I have orders to allow no taxi drivers through this door.


TIBOR: But I've got to speak to her. (LYING) She - she ordered a taxi.


DOORMAN: The Baroness Czerny has not ordered a taxi. She's out of town for the weekend.


TIBOR: Where?


DOORMAN: We do not give out information regarding our guests.


TIBOR: (INSISTS) Where?!


DOORMAN: Move along, my good man.


TIBOR: Are you gonna tell me?


DOORMAN: No.


TIBOR: (MOVING OFF) All right, then.


SOUND: TAXI HORN HONKS LOUDLY ... CONTINUES IN BG


DOORMAN: (YELLING OVER HORN) Here, here! Stop blowing that horn! Stop it, I say! 


TIBOR: (OFF, YELLS) When I get done here, you won't have a guest in your whole hotel!


DOORMAN: Stop! Stop it!


TIBOR: (OFF, YELLS) Where is the Baroness Czerny?!


DOORMAN: I don't know!


TIBOR: (OFF, YELLS) Then find out! If you don't, I'll blow this thing all day!


DOORMAN: All right, all right, I'll tell you! She is at the Chateau Flammarion at Versailles!


SOUND: HORN STOPS


TIBOR: (OFF) Where?


DOORMAN: (YELLS) At the Chateau--! (QUIETER, ANNOYED) At the Chateau Flammarion at Versailles.


TIBOR: (OFF) Thanks. That's all I wanted to know.


SOUND: SCENE CROSSFADES TO CHATEAU BACKGROUND (GUESTS MURMUR)


MUSIC: ORCHESTRA PLAYS FOR THE CHATEAU'S GUESTS, IN BG


BUTLER: (ANNOUNCES GUESTS, OFF) Monsieur Albert Augustin! Madame Pelicier-- (CONTINUES INDECIPHERABLY IN BG)


GEORGES: Eve? Eve, how is it going with Jacques? All right, my dear?


EVE: Oh, fine. In fact, a little better than that. That boy ought to have his brakes relined.


GEORGES: Yes, I know his speed.


EVE: You know, this afternoon he suggested we cruise the Mediterranean on his yacht, and this morning he appeared with an emerald as big as a gumdrop.


GEORGES: I'll take it out of your salary.


EVE: (CHUCKLES) Don't worry, I refused it.


GEORGES: Why? Get everything you can out of this deal.


EVE: That's what I'm doing. You want to know something? 


GEORGES: Mm?


EVE: I have a crazy idea Jacques may ask me to divorce my husband.


GEORGES: And marry him? Ha ha. You don't know Jacques Picot.


EVE: Ha ha! You don't know Eve Peabody. Excuse me, Georges, I'm supposed to meet him in the garden.


GEORGES: (PLEASED) Ah! My wife will be furious. Good luck, darling!


SOUND: CHATEAU BACKGROUND UP ... TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN ... NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (CRICKETS, ET CETERA)


EVE: (AMUSED) Ah, now, Jacques, please.


JACQUES: (EARNEST) All right, but listen, and don't interrupt, Eve. I know you won't do it, but let's just suppose.


EVE: (PATIENTLY) All right, I'll suppose.


JACQUES: Well, what if we ran down the path to the garage?


EVE: Mm hm.


JACQUES: And took the car and drove off just as we are?


EVE: (MERRILY MOCKING HIM) No toothbrush?


JACQUES: I said don't interrupt. The two of us roaring down through the night. (CHECKS POCKET WATCH) Let's see what time it is. It's twenty minutes of twelve. We can get there just about dawn.


EVE: Mm hm. You know, if it's that little wayside inn, let's save the gas, hm?


JACQUES: No, no, no, no. This is an old country place in the woods. 


EVE: Ooh!


JACQUES: We'll clatter the great bell beside the door. Hard. You see, the butler's deaf.


EVE: Oh.


JACQUES: And upstairs, there's a very little old lady. I'll lead you into the room and I'll say, "Mother--"


EVE: Oh, Mother's back again, huh? ...


JACQUES: "Mother," I'll say, "Here she is. I've found her." And the dawn will be pale behind the oaks.


EVE: It won't be as pale as Mother. ...


JACQUES: "Mother," I'll say, "It's this one or no one."


GEORGES: (APPROACHES, AGITATED) Baroness Czerny--?


EVE: Oh, yes, Georges?


GEORGES: Baroness, you, er, uh-- You promised me a dance.


EVE: Did I? 


GEORGES: Yes. A midnight dance.


EVE: But they're not playing.


GEORGES: Well, it's midnight. (LOW) I've got to speak to you.


EVE: Oh. (TO JACQUES) Oh, Jacques, er, will you pardon us?


JACQUES: (MILDLY ANNOYED) Well, after all--


GEORGES: I'll bring her right back, Jacques. Just wait right there.


JACQUES: (FADES A LITTLE) Don't be long. 


SOUND: GEORGES AND EVE'S HURRIED STEPS TO A SPOT OUT OF JACQUES' EARSHOT ... THEY STOP


EVE: What is it? What's all the excitement? 


GEORGES: Listen. The ground has just opened up under our feet. Your husband has arrived.


EVE: What'd you say?


GEORGES: Your husband has arrived!


EVE: I have no husband!


GEORGES: I know it, but he just arrived. ...


EVE: Well, what are you talking about?!


GEORGES: Listen, a man just came in. He was announced as the Baron Czerny. He's inside now.


EVE: Well, what did he look like?


GEORGES: I didn't stop to find out. Come on, you've got to meet him.


EVE: Oh, now wait a minute; I can't go in and meet a strange man and tell him I'm married to him! How can I?


HELENE: (OFF) I saw her out here in the garden, Baron.


TIBOR: (OFF) Thank you. Thank you, madame. I'm sure I'll find her.


GEORGES: (TO EVE) Here he comes.


EVE: (SURPRISED) It's the Skipper.


HELENE: (APPROACHES) Oh, here you are, Eve! Look who's come!


EVE: (FEIGNS JOY) Ohhhh! Why, Tibor!


TIBOR: (LOVINGLY) Eve, my darling! ...


EVE: Tibor, I'm so surprised!


TIBOR: (LAUGHS) Yes. (LAUGHS) Er, no kiss for your husband, darling?


EVE: Oh, of course, darling. (WHISPERS) What's the idea?


TIBOR: Oh, I've been so hungry to see my little wife.


HELENE: And of course, Baron, you know my husband.


TIBOR: (UNCERTAINLY) Oh, why, certainly.


GEORGES: (UNCERTAINLY) Oh, certainly.


HELENE: It's a great pleasure to have you with us, Baron. You have such a gay wife. (SUPPRESSED JEALOUSY) She simply captivated all my guests.


TIBOR: Oh, how nice. (TO EVE) I trust you've been behaving yourself, darling.


HELENE: Divinely! (CHUCKLES) Of course, you must meet Jacques Picot. (CALLS) Oh, Jacques?


JACQUES: (OFF) Yes?


HELENE: (POINTEDLY) Jacques, I know you want to meet the husband of the baroness.


TIBOR: How do you do? 


JACQUES: (CLOSER, UNHAPPY) Oh. How do you do?


HELENE: (MORE SUPPRESSED JEALOUSY) They've been inseparable, Baron -- Jacques and your wife.


JACQUES: Helene, please!


TIBOR: (STERNLY) I warn you, Monsieur Picot, we Hungarians are very jealous husbands. (LIGHTLY, TO EVE) Remember our honeymoon in Copenhagen, darling? That Danish officer?


EVE: Hm? (PLAYS ALONG) Oh! Olaf! Oh, I never even looked at him.


TIBOR: (FEIGNS SORROW) Poor fellow, he's dead now. Heaven forgive me. ...


HELENE: (PLEASED) Oh, you're that kind of a man! How wonderful. (CHUCKLES) Well, now, if you'll excuse me, I'll see about putting you up. Eve dear, we'll move you to a larger room where you can both be comfortable.


EVE: (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) Well, thank you, but if it's just as convenient--


GEORGES: Oh, of course, of course. Stay where you are. We can put Czerny on the third floor.


TIBOR: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. We prefer Madame Flammarion's plan. Er, don't we, darling?


EVE: (WEAKLY) Just as you say, Tibor.


TIBOR: (CHUCKLES)


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: QUICK EXCHANGE OF OVERLAPPING GOODNIGHTS--


HELENE: Good night, Eve.


GEORGES: Good night, Baron.


EVE: Good night.


TIBOR: See you in the morning.


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR CLOSES


TIBOR: (EXHALES CONTENTEDLY) Well, Eve?


EVE: (ANNOYED) Well what?


TIBOR: Delightful people. I'm so glad you ran into them.


EVE: What are you doing here?


TIBOR: I, er-- I just flew from Budapest. They told me at the Ritz my wife was here. You, uh-- You don't seem very pleased.


EVE: Oh, come on now. What do you want?


TIBOR: Oh! (BIG YAWN) Getting sleepy, darling. Aren't you?


EVE: Not in the least.


TIBOR: You know, your sudden disappearance upset me quite a bit. But now it's all all right.


EVE: Now, stop it, Skipper.


TIBOR: Oh, look -- they put my pajamas on the wrong side of the bed.


EVE: Listen, if you move one step toward those pajamas, I'll scream.


TIBOR: And let all the guests in on the truth? Oh, no.


EVE: Oh, Skipper, please -- won't you get out of here?


TIBOR: Now, is that a nice way to talk to the man whose name you bear?


EVE: All right, I took your name. So what?


TIBOR: I'm delighted.


EVE: It was the first name that came into my mind.


TIBOR: Yes. For a very special reason. I believe in Freud and the subconscious. You chose the name you wanted. My name.


EVE: I suppose you're Baron Czerny.


TIBOR: If you're speaking about that dribbling idiot in Budapest, I'm his eighth cousin once removed, which makes me more of a baron than you are a baroness.


EVE: Then how come you're driving a taxi?


TIBOR: I, er-- I climbed up to it by easy stages. ... (AMOROUS) Ah, there's nothing like a little wife who's interested in her husband's career. Come here.


EVE: Oh, cut it out, Skipper.


TIBOR: (LOVINGLY) Eve-- Eve darling--


EVE: Please go away.


TIBOR: (SINCERELY) You can't run away from what's started between us. I know we're right for each other. I know it deep down in my bones. Don't you?


EVE: (SINCERELY) That's why I didn't accept that room of yours.


TIBOR: There were no strings on that. I was really driving all night.


EVE: Oh, I know you were. You told me to clear out before you got back, but, don't you see, that's not the way it would have worked out. I - I'd have awakened in the morning in that extra shirt of yours, and - and then I'd have waited to thank you.


TIBOR: And I'd have asked you to marry me.


EVE: I probably would have. Oh, Skipper, don't you see? We - we'd have had a few grand weeks and - and a lot of laughs. I'd have darned your socks while you bumped around in that old taxi, scraping our forty francs together. And then all of a sudden, the walls of that one room would have started crowding in on us.


TIBOR: (BITTER) Yeah, yeah -- I know that one. When you're poor, love flies out the window.


EVE: Well, I saw it happen to my father and mother. So many worries, so many quarrels, they-- They - they just gave up. They didn't even hate each other.


TIBOR: I suppose love is safer in a place like this.


EVE: Please, Skipper, don't let's make a mess of our lives. We're - we're no good for each other.


TIBOR: (AMOROUS AGAIN) Oh, now don't be a fool, Eve. Come on, kiss me.


EVE: (EXHALES, RELUCTANTLY) No. No, no, stop it.


TIBOR: (GENTLY) Get your things together. We're starting back.


EVE: (TORMENTED, BUT RESOLUTE) No. No, I won't go! Oh, listen, Skipper, I've just had a swell break, don't you see? I got in with this crowd. Things are beginning to work out. There's a man here-- (EXHALES) Well, it's what I've been waiting for all my life. Now, please. Please. We'll make some excuse to those people downstairs and you'll leave in the morning.


TIBOR: (BEAT, BITTER) So that's what you really want, huh? An imitation of a man. A fake existence; a cheap, tawdry little life.


EVE: (STUNG) Oh, be quiet.


TIBOR: (CONCEDES, GENTLY) All right. You, er, don't mind if I sleep out on the balcony, do you? It'll look pretty silly if I go downstairs.


EVE: Do what you want.


SOUND: BALCONY WINDOW OPENS


TIBOR: Thanks. Good night. (MOVING OFF) Pleasant dreams.


SOUND: BALCONY WINDOW CLOSES


EVE: (SOBS, TO HERSELF) Oh, Skipper. (WEEPS)


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: The curtain falls on Act Two of "Midnight," with Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche. During this brief intermission before Act Three, we present a musical portrait of Mary.


MUSIC: BRIEF INTRODUCTION


NARRATOR: Mary was as busy as a bee.


MUSIC: RIMSKY-KORSAKOV'S "FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE"


NARRATOR: All day she typed.


MUSIC: MELODY ACCOMPANIED BY KLACK OF TYPEWRITER KEYS


NARRATOR: She ran errands.


MUSIC: JAUNTY ... FOR RUNNING ERRANDS


NARRATOR: And at night she went dancing.


MUSIC: STRAUSS' "THE BLUE DANUBE" WALTZ ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


NARRATOR: She was very happy, except for one thing. When she stooped or ran errands or went dancing, her stockings would often pop a run.


MUSIC: PLUCKED STRING ... FOR POPPING A RUN ... THEN BOWED STRINGS ... FOR THE RUN EXPANDING


NARRATOR: She was so mad, she just boiled.


SOUND: BUBBLING BOILING WATER ...


NARRATOR: She didn't know what to do. But one day, someone gave her a hint.


MUSIC: BEHIND WOMAN--


WOMAN: (SPOKEN JINGLE) Oh, Mary -- it's New Quick Lux for you! / It cuts down runs; saves money, too!


ANNOUNCER: Yes, New Quick Lux does cut down on runs. You see, stockings have to be elastic to stand the strain you give them every day. With gentle New Quick Lux, there's no harmful alkali, no cake soap rubbing, to weaken threads. It saves their precious elasticity, so that when you kneel or stoop, your stockings stretch instead of breaking into runs so easily. They wear longer. Now it's easy to give stockings Lux care because New Quick Lux is so fast. It's thrifty, too; goes further. Even in hard water, it gives you more suds, ounce for ounce, than any of ten other leading soaps tested. New Quick Lux comes in the same familiar box and it costs you no more. So get a big box tomorrow and Lux your stockings every night to cut down runs.


MUSIC: PLUCKED STRING ... FOR POPPING A RUN ... THEN BOWED STRINGS ... FOR THE RUN EXPANDING


ANNOUNCER: We pause now for station identification. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.


MUSIC: FILLS PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION


HOST: We continue with the third act of "Midnight." 


MUSIC: BRIEF INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: It's early the following morning. In the bright sunshine on the terrace, Jacques Picot sits at the breakfast table, a perfect picture of dejection. As Eve comes from the house, his face brightens momentarily, then darkens again as he remembers her husband.


EVE: Good morning, Jacques.


JACQUES: Good morning.


EVE: Oh, if your face was any longer, you could skip rope with it.


JACQUES: Did you expect to find me all smiles?


EVE: Well, I must admit it was very pleasant when he was in Budapest.


JACQUES: But you always-- The way you spoke of him--


EVE: What about it?


JACQUES: Eve, are you in love with your husband?


EVE: With my husband? No, Jacques.


JACQUES: (PLEASED) Oh, Eve--


MARCEL: Good morning, Baroness.


EVE: Good morning, Marcel.


MARCEL: Morning, Jacques.


JACQUES: Morning.


GEORGES: Oh, good morning, everyone.


SOUND: AD LIB GREETINGS TO GEORGES AND HELENE


HELENE: You sleep well, Baroness?


EVE: Oh, like a baby.


GEORGES: Where's the baron? Isn't he coming down?


TIBOR: (EVENLY) I am down. Good morning, everyone.


SOUND: AD LIB GREETINGS TO TIBOR


TIBOR: Eve dear, why didn't you wait for me?


EVE: Oh, I'm so sorry, darling, I was too hungry.


TIBOR: I'm afraid you'll have to hurry your breakfast. I've, er-- I've just had bad news from home.


EVE: About what?


TIBOR: Now - now, don't - don't be alarmed, darling. It's nothing serious, I hope.


EVE: Well, what is it?


TIBOR: It's about - Francie.


EVE: Francie?


GEORGES: Who's Francie?


TIBOR: Francie's our little daughter. She's, er-- She's three years old.


GEORGES: Oh.


EVE: Tibor--


TIBOR: You haven't told them anything about Francie, Eve?


EVE: Uh, no, I haven't.


TIBOR: Oh. Well, I, er-- I just had a wire from home, and she's, er-- She's very ill.


EVE: Oh, is she?


HELENE: How wretched! What is it?


TIBOR: Measles.


JACQUES: Why, that's nothing serious.


EVE: Tibor, Francie's the healthiest child in the world!


TIBOR: Yes, but the strongest are often the hardest hit. Mother is very worried, dear.


EVE: Oh, of course, your poor mother! I'd forgotten about her. Georges, where's the nearest telephone?


GEORGES: Why, in the main hall.


TIBOR: (WORRIED) Er, what are you going to do, Eve?


EVE: I'm going to telephone Budapest.


TIBOR: Well, now - now, wait! (IMPROVISES, A LITTLE AWKWARDLY) With a child dangerously ill, the telephone will be disconnected!


EVE: Tibor, please don't argue with me.


TIBOR: Eve, I forbid you to telephone!


JACQUES: My dear Baron, the day is passed when a man forbids his wife anything.


TIBOR: You keep out of this! 


JACQUES: I will not!


EVE: Oh, please, my nerves.


TIBOR: (ANGRY) What business is it of yours?


JACQUES: I'm very fond of children.


TIBOR: Oh, you are?!


EVE: Georges, will you please show me where the phone is?


GEORGES: This way, my dear.


TIBOR: Er, wait, Eve! Listen!


JACQUES: Why don't you let her alone?


TIBOR: I told you to shut up!


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


EVE: (LOW) Georges? Georges, get on another phone, somewhere in the house.


GEORGES: (LOW) What for?


EVE: I've got to talk to somebody! Go upstairs.


GEORGES: All right, all right. (MOVING OFF) The phone's there on the table.


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER UP


TIBOR: (APPROACHES) Eve! Eve, listen to me! Put down that phone.


EVE: Now, be quiet, Tibor. (INTO PHONE) Hello, operator. I want long distance to Budapest. The name is Czerny. It's the only Czerny in the book. I'll hold the wire.


TIBOR: (LOW) Why are you doing that? It won't help a bit.


EVE: (PLAY ACTING FOR THE OTHERS' BENEFIT) Oh, Tibor, it makes things easier for me.


HELENE: I'm so sorry, Baroness.


EVE: Thank you, Helene.


TIBOR: Listen, I'm taking that call when it comes through.


EVE: Oh, no! No, no, Tibor, I couldn't trust you. (TO HELENE) You know, Helene, if it's bad news, he'll try to spare me.


HELENE: (SYMPATHETIC) Of course.


EVE: Oh, darling, I know your nerves are just as strained as mine.


SOUND: PHONE PICKED UP ELSEWHERE IN HOUSE (FROM CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... GEORGES' VOICE ON FILTER


GEORGES: Hello, Eve?


EVE: (INTO PHONE) Hello, is this Budapest? 


GEORGES: (DRY) Yes, Georges Budapest. ... I'm upstairs.


EVE: (INTO PHONE) Hello? Is that you, Mama? How's Francie?


GEORGES: What do you want me to say?


EVE: (INTO PHONE) Well, what did the doctor say?


GEORGES: Er, he just left.


EVE: (INTO PHONE) Oh, good! (TO TIBOR) Tibor, the baby's temperature's gone down and the spots have practically disappeared!


TIBOR: Huh?


EVE: (INTO PHONE) What did you say, Mother? It isn't measles at all?


GEORGES: Er, no, dear, it's just a plain case of alcohol poisoning. ... Er, the baby must have had one highball too many.


EVE: (INTO PHONE, PLEASED) Oh!


GEORGES: Yes, yes. She was out all night. We picked her up in the gutter. ...


EVE: (INTO PHONE) Oh, how cute of her. Can I speak to her? Hello, Francie darling! (TO TIBOR) Tibor, it's Francie. Speak to her, dear.


TIBOR: Listen, Eve, this is--


EVE: (INSISTS) Darling, it's your little Francie! Now say hello.


TIBOR: (BEAT, INTO PHONE, UNENTHUSIASTIC) Hello, Francie. 


GEORGES: (IMITATES CHILD) Hello, Dada! ... Is that you, Dada?


TIBOR: (INTO PHONE, EMBARRASSED) Yes, yes, this is-- This is your Dada.


EVE: Send her a kiss for me.


TIBOR: (INTO PHONE) Here's a kiss, dear. (SMACK!)


GEORGES: And here's one for you, Dada! (SMACK!)


TIBOR: (INTO PHONE) Well, er, goodbye, dear. I'll - I'll see you soon.


GEORGES: Goodbye, Dada!


SOUND: PHONE DISCONNECTS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) ... RECEIVER DOWN


EVE: (TO OTHERS) Ahhhhh, isn't it wonderful?! It was just a heat rash. We don't have to leave at all.


SOUND: THE OTHERS MURMUR RELIEF


TIBOR: (LOW, TO EVE) You snake. I'll show you. ...


EVE: Tibor, where are you going?


TIBOR: (OFF, IN A BAD MOOD) I'm going upstairs.


EVE: But your breakfast, dear!


TIBOR: (OFF) I don't want any breakfast!


EVE: (TO HELENE) Oh, poor Tibor. He was so worried.


HELENE: (SYMPATHETIC) Of course. Do come and sit down, Baroness. Jacques, finish your breakfast, dear.


JACQUES: Well, I'm glad you don't have to go, Baroness.


GEORGES: (APPROACHES) Well, everything all settled?


EVE: Oh, Georges, isn't it wonderful? The baby's better.


GEORGES: Splendid.


MARCEL: Helene, where are the plover's eggs you promised me?


HELENE: Oh, I'm sorry, Marcel. I ordered them. (CALLS) Oh, Maurice?


BUTLER: Yes, madame?


HELENE: Maurice, what happened to the plover's eggs?


BUTLER: They didn't arrive, madame. We tried to get in touch with the market, but the telephone has been out of order ever since last night. ...


HELENE: What's that, Maurice?


BUTLER: The telephone, madame. It's out of order.


GEORGES: Nonsense. We - we just telephoned from the main hall.


BUTLER: The house telephone works, monsieur.


HELENE: But the baroness was just talking to Budapest.


BUTLER: There must be some mistake, madame. I wasn't able to use the telephone ten minutes ago.


HELENE: (PUZZLED, TO EVE) But, Baroness, what--?


EVE: (SIGHS) I'm afraid he's right, Madame Flammarion. I wasn't really talking to Budapest.


HELENE: You weren't?


MARCEL: But we all heard you.


JACQUES: Of course you talked to Budapest.


EVE: No, I didn't, Jacques. And I'm going to tell you something even more surprising. Tibor and I have no daughter.


HELENE: What is all this?


JACQUES: Are you feeling quite well, my dear?


EVE: Oh, perfectly. (FEIGNS DESPAIR) But I - I shouldn't trouble you with my unhappy marriage. Forget what I said.


HELENE: (SYMPATHETIC) Oh-- 


MARCEL: Oh, do tell us, please! 


EVE: No, no. It seems so disloyal to poor Tibor.


HELENE: Oh, you can't stop now.


EVE: Well, all right. (EXHALES) You see, when I married, I - I didn't realize that in the Czerny family there was a streak of-- Shall we call it "eccentricity"? And yet I had a warning. Why else should his grandfather have sent me, as an engagement present, a roller skate covered with Thousand Island dressing? ...


JACQUES: What?


GEORGES: (PLAYING ALONG) Oh, of course, of course. I'd forgotten. The - the Czernys are all like that. 


HELENE: Oh, but your husband seems quite normal.


EVE: Oh, he is, Helene, for long stretches, and then - then comes one of his attacks. Now, this morning was typical -- waking up and imagining we had a daughter. And, you know, one mustn't contradict him, of course.


GEORGES: Does he get violent if you do?


EVE: Oh! He breaks things and eats them sometimes.


MARCEL: Why - why, I used to do that.


JACQUES: And you've put up with this for years?


EVE: Yes. I - I came to Paris this time to get away, but, you see, he followed me. Once before I tried. I was hiding in Capri. He made a violent entrance into the hotel, disguised as a fisherman, and tried to have me shot as a spy.


HELENE: (GASPS)


JACQUES: (DRY) At least he has imagination.


EVE: (TEARFUL) Oh, but there are moments when he's so sweet. One can't help loving him.


JACQUES: (ADMIRING) Oh, you're wonderful! Isn't she, Georges?


GEORGES: (DRY) Mmm. Amazing. ...


SOUND: TAXI DRIVES UP ... HORN HONKS ... ENGINE IDLES, IN BG


MARCEL: What's that? 


GEORGES: Whose car is that?


HELENE: A taxi! What's a taxi doing here?


MARCEL: The driver must have made a mistake.


EVE: Oh, you don't suppose--? It's poor Tibor!


SOUND: TAXI ENGINE OUT ... TAXI DOOR OPENS


TIBOR: (OFF) Bonjour, messieurs, mesdames!


EVE: (GASPS, LOW, TO OTHERS) He's - he's having a spell.


JACQUES: (LOW, REASSURING) It's all right, Eve. We're all with you.


MARCEL: (WHISPERS) Let's call a doctor. 


EVE: (LOW) No, no, no, no, no. That would be the worst thing.


TIBOR: (CLOSER) Good morning! Well, now you see me for what I really am. What do you say to this?


HELENE: Why, Baron--!


TIBOR: Do I look like a baron?


EVE: Tibor, please--


TIBOR: Come on, come on, tell them who I am.


EVE: (FEIGNS RELUCTANCE) Georges, Helene? He's - he's not a baron, he's a taxi driver.


GEORGES: (CHUCKLES) Well, isn't that interesting?


HELENE: (STRAINED POLITENESS) Nothing keeps one out in the air so much, does it?


TIBOR: I imagine this is the first time your chateau has entertained a member of the working class.


HELENE: Well, times have changed, haven't they? Now, what would you like for breakfast?


TIBOR: Nothing! I have a few things to tell you, and then you can throw us out of here.


EVE: (PASSIONATE SYMPATHY) Tibor, look at me. Look straight into my eyes. Let me hold your hand.


TIBOR: It's too late now! We'll make a clean breast of things, whether you like it or not! In the first place, you are not my wife!


EVE: (TEARFUL) Oh, Tibor.


TIBOR: Well, are you?


EVE: (SORROWFUL) No, Tibor.


MARCEL: We know. She's a spy. 


TIBOR: A what?! ...


MARCEL: A spy.


TIBOR: She's an American gold digger I picked up in Paris less than a week ago! (TO EVE) Is that right?

 

EVE: Yes, Tibor.


TIBOR: Without a sou to her name!


EVE: No, Tibor.


TIBOR: But there was something about her nose, and the way the raindrops trickled down it from that newspaper.


JACQUES: Newspaper? 


TIBOR: Yeah, she was wearing one instead of a hat.


HELENE: (WHY NOT?) Ohhhh.


JACQUES: Oh. Oh, yes.


TIBOR: She twisted me around her finger in two minutes. I was crazy about her. She made me think she felt the same way about me -- until she remembered she had other fish to fry. Fish like you. Goldfish!


HELENE: Oh, please, Baron Czerny!


TIBOR: (SHARPLY) I am not a baron! (SENSES SOMETHING WRONG) Say-- Say, what's the matter with all of you?!


HELENE: Why, nothing at all.


TIBOR: Why, you all act as though nothing had happened!


MARCEL: Well, what has happened?


TIBOR: Well, didn't you hear what I said?! ... We're a pair of impostors! You don't want us around here!


EVE: They're terribly broad-minded people, Tibor.


TIBOR: What are you smirking about?! Now, stop it!


JACQUES: Don't talk like that to your wife!


TIBOR: She's not my wife! Are you all deaf, or - or are you all crazy?


JACQUES: You're the one who's crazy, Czerny. We all know about it.


HELENE: Your wife told us. ...


TIBOR: (REALIZES) Ohhhh, so that's it! 


SOUND: CRASH! AS TIBOR POUNDS THE BREAKFAST TABLE AND SMASHES CHINA PLATES ... THE MEN GRAB TIBOR ... SCUFFLE, IN BG


HELENE: (SCREAMS) My china!


EVE: Look out! He'll eat it!


JACQUES: I'll take care of him!


EVE: Please be careful, he's violent!


TIBOR: Take your hands off of me!


JACQUES: Help me, Georges!


GEORGES: I've got him!


EVE: Oh, don't hurt him, Jacques! Don't hurt him! 


SOUND: SCUFFLE ENDS WITH A BIG CRASH! AS TIBOR HITS HIS HEAD AGAINST TABLE AND MORE CHINA IS SMASHED 


HELENE: (SCREAMS) 


EVE: (GENUINELY HORRIFIED) Oh, get up! What have you done to him?!


JACQUES: He - he hit his head.


HELENE: He's unconscious.


EVE: Oh, Tibor! Look at me!


GEORGES: Get some water!


JACQUES: Come inside, Eve.


HELENE: But, Jacques, he's her husband.


JACQUES: Not from now on. I'm taking care of that. She's going to marry me, aren't you, darling?


EVE: (GENUINELY DISTRAUGHT) He's cut! He's bleeding! Look!


MARCEL: No, no, that's just gravy. ...


GEORGES: He'll be all right. Help me carry him upstairs.


EVE: (WORRIED) Oh--


MUSIC: TRANSITION


EVE: (OVERWROUGHT) Oh, how is he? Is he coming around, Georges?


GEORGES: Fine. Pulse like a trip-hammer.


EVE: Oh. Skipper? Skipper, look at me. Oh, poor Skipper.


GEORGES: You'd better leave the skipper to me. I'll see that he gets back to Paris all right. Oh, are you and Jacques planning an autumn wedding?


EVE: (DRY) Oh, nice kind of wedding. As we turn from the altar, I start explaining, I suppose.


GEORGES: My dear, you know it's amazing how little one has to explain to a man in love.


EVE: Mm hm. And when he stops being in love?


GEORGES: Well, that's when the alimony will begin.


EVE: Oh, listen, you've always heard how hard it is to be honest? Let me tell you, it's a cinch. What's tough is to be a good, competent crook.


TIBOR: (GROANS)


EVE: (TO GEORGES) Oh, leave me alone with him.


GEORGES: (MOVING OFF) All right. I'll be outside if you need me.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES AS GEORGES EXITS


EVE: Skipper? Skipper, are you feeling better?


TIBOR: (GROANS)


EVE: It's all right, darling. It's me. It's Eve.


TIBOR: (GROGGY) Where are we? 


EVE: In the chateau. You - you hit your head.


TIBOR: Oh. Oh, yeah, yeah. You - you told them I was crazy.


EVE: Yeah, you'll feel better on the way home.


TIBOR: Home? It'll take two men pushing and two men pulling to get me away from here.


EVE: Oh, but, darling, I'm going with you.


TIBOR: Going where?


EVE: Back to Paris. Isn't that what you came here for? To take me away?


TIBOR: (SUSPICIOUS) Er, now what's the catch?


EVE: Aw, now, Skipper, you can't back out now. You told me you wanted to marry me.


TIBOR: Say, what's come over you?


EVE: (WRY) Well, I tried to be practical, but it's no use. 


TIBOR: (REALIZES) Ohhhhh! It didn't work, huh? 


EVE: What?


TIBOR: Your little stunt downstairs.


EVE: Aw, come on, Skipper--


TIBOR: No! It's too bad you didn't land that fathead Jacques Picot!


EVE: (EXHALES) He's not a fathead.


TIBOR: Why, because he found you out? I can tell when a baroness has had a swift kick!


EVE: Listen, you big idiot, Jacques Picot just proposed to me!


TIBOR: (DISMISSIVE) Acchhh!


EVE: Are you surprised somebody else wants to marry me?


TIBOR: You said no, I suppose.


EVE: I said nothing, but if you keep on, I'll say yes!


TIBOR: That's fine! That's where I step in!


EVE: Aw, what can you do? 


TIBOR: Don't forget, you're married to me!


EVE: I'm not married to you!


TIBOR: Well, Jacques Picot thinks you are. You're in a fine mess now, you are. You've got to get a divorce from a man you aren't even married to!


EVE: (DEFIANT) All right, I'll get a divorce!


TIBOR: All right. Just try it!


EVE: Well, watch me!


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AS GEORGES ENTERS


GEORGES: Well, is it settled?


EVE: (UNHAPPY) Yeah, it's settled. Except for a small formality. All we need now is a good divorce lawyer.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: GAVEL BANGS THRICE


COURT CLERK: The next case on the calendar-- (READS) "Action for divorce, Czerny against Czerny."


SOUND: COURTROOM CROWD MURMURS, IN BG


EVE: (EXHALES) Georges, I'm scared.


GEORGES: What about?


EVE: Suppose the judge finds out we're not married.


GEORGES: Quiet. He won't find out.


EVE: (UNCONVINCED) Oh, George. How are your jails in France?


GEORGES: Now don't worry.


EVE: But suppose the skipper decides not to play ball?


GEORGES: I came up in the elevator with him. He was very friendly.


EVE: Oh, I don't like that. When he's friendly--


JACQUES: (APPROACHES) Eve darling!


EVE: Oh, hello, Jacques.


JACQUES: Now, everything will be all right, darling.


EVE: I hope so. 


JACQUES: I know it will. In half an hour you'll be free, and in a week we'll be married. 


SOUND: GAVEL BANGS THRICE ... CROWD QUIETS BEHIND--


JACQUES: (MOVING OFF) I'll be waiting.


EVE: All right.


JUDGE: Let me see. In this action, Madame Czerny is represented by--


LEBON: Maître Lebon! Here!


JUDGE: Yes. And the defendant Baron Czerny?


TIBOR: This is a Republic. I prefer to be known as Mister Czerny.


JUDGE: Good. Who's your lawyer?


TIBOR: I shall look out for my own interests.


JUDGE: Among your papers, I don't seem to find the marriage certificate.


LEBON: There is none. They were married in Shanghai.


JUDGE: Oh. Married in Shanghai.


TIBOR: I admit the marriage.


JUDGE: Well, you'd hardly be asking me to divorce you if you'd never been married, would you? (CHUCKLES) Yes. Your grounds for asking this divorce are?


LEBON: Mental cruelty.


JUDGE: (ANNOYED AND SKEPTICAL) Oh, that again, huh? Suppose you describe this mental cruelty?


LEBON: May it please the court, my client can testify under oath that, in all the time she and the defendant have been together, he has objected to every one of her actions.


JUDGE: Hmm.


LEBON: During that period, he tried to break up every friendship she formed.


JUDGE: Yes.


LEBON: He used abusive language while alone with the plaintiff, and in the presence of others.


JUDGE: What language?


LEBON: He called her a gold digger for one thing. And then--


JUDGE: Wait! I've had enough! This is a familiar picture to me, and I find it deplorable that two grown-up people are unable to iron out their own childish squabbles. There's a very healthy law in Albania, I think it is, that a husband may bring his wife back to her senses by spanking her, not more than nine blows, with any instrument not larger than a broomstick. What do you say to that, madame?


EVE: Oh. (HER BEST PERFORMANCE YET) I say it's a fine rule, Your Honor. A husband should have that privilege, and no wife would resent it -- if she knew he loved her. But, Your Honor, did he ever say, "I love you"? Not once. Not when I was ready to give up everything and - and scrub floors for him if that was necessary. Oh, now, I was wrong in the beginning, I admit that. But then I came to think he was the only thing that mattered. I didn't care what he had or who he was, a baron or a gutter sweep. Is that so incredible? Your Honor, wouldn't you believe a woman if she said it? If she stood like a beggar with a tin cup, waiting for you to drop in three little words, "I love you," or "I believe you," or anything warm and human. But no! Do you know what he said, Your Honor? He said, "Is that so?" And he said it with a smirking, cynical grin. Now, do you know what I call that? 


JUDGE: (CONVINCED) Mental cruelty!


EVE: Thank you, Your Honor.


JUDGE: As a judge who has been sitting on this bench for thirty-five years, I want to say that that is as sincere a plea as I've ever heard. Mr. Czerny, she's still your wife. Before the law grants her her freedom, you have the right to answer her accusations.


TIBOR: No answer.


JUDGE: In other words, you're not contesting this divorce?


TIBOR: I am not.


JUDGE: You mean you're letting a woman like that slip through your fingers? Don't you want to say something?


TIBOR: I just want some water.


JUDGE: What's that?


TIBOR: Water. A basin full of water.


SOUND: PUZZLED CROWD MURMURS, IN BG


JUDGE: What are you talking about?


TIBOR: It's very simple. All I want is some hot water. The hotter the better.


JUDGE: What for?


TIBOR: I want to shave myself.


JUDGE: Shave? Shave here in this court?


TIBOR: Sure. I always shave in court. I even brought my razor. (CREEPY) Seeeee?


SOUND: CROWD LAUGHS


JUDGE: Put - put that razor away!


TIBOR: Why? I've shaved in better courts than this. I've shaved in courts all over Europe.


JUDGE: Young man, are you insane?


TIBOR: (VERY CREEPY) Oooooh, I get very cross when people say that to me. I eat things. (GIGGLES)


SOUND: CROWD LAUGHS ... THEN MURMURS IN BG


JUDGE: Hold that man! He's crazy!


EVE: No, no, no! No, Your Honor, he's not crazy! That's an act!


SOUND: GAVEL RAPS REPEATEDLY ... CROWD QUIETS BEHIND--


JUDGE: Quiet! Quiet or I'll have this courtroom cleared! Quiet! Essential information has been withheld from this court. I want witnesses as to the mental condition of the defendant!


LEBON: If it please the court, it's not a violent case.


JACQUES: (HELPFULLY) It's just that he thinks he's a taxi driver or a fisherman.


SOUND: CROWD MURMURS BRIEFLY


JUDGE: Quiet! Quiet! Young woman, you almost succeeded in wheedling this court into what would have been a serious miscarriage of justice. According to the wise provisions of the French law, no divorce can be granted where either party is mentally unstable.


EVE: What?! But--!


JUDGE: Go home with your unfortunate husband, young woman--


EVE: But--!


JUDGE: --and get it out of your head that you can ever get rid of him! Divorce refused! Case dismissed!


SOUND: GAVEL BANGS ONCE ... CROWD MURMURS, IN BG


JACQUES: Don't worry, darling. We'll get you a divorce in Mexico or in Russia. Anywhere.


EVE: (HAS ACCEPTED DEFEAT, WARMLY) No, Jacques. 


JACQUES: Of course we can. It's simple.


EVE: Jacques, you've had a stroke of luck.


JACQUES: What do you mean?


EVE: You mustn't ever get married. It would be unfair to so many women.


JACQUES: You're - you're turning me down?


EVE: No, Jacques. I'm - I'm setting you free. Goodbye.


GEORGES: (APPROACHES) Eve! Eve, wait!


EVE: Well, Georges, it certainly was a flop, wasn't it?


GEORGES: Well, not entirely.


EVE: I'm sorry about your wife.


GEORGES: Oh, that's all settled. She's through with Jacques. She's waiting for me at home.


EVE: Oh! Well, it's nice somebody got a break. Goodbye, Georges. Thanks for everything.


GEORGES: If you need some money, I shall be--


EVE: No, thanks. I'll be all right. Goodbye.


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... SCENE FADES IN ... CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... TAXI PULLS UP TO CURB


TIBOR: Hello, mademoiselle. Taxi, mademoiselle?


EVE: (GOOD-NATURED) Mm hm, that was a nice act you put on, Skipper.


TIBOR: Yeah, thought it was all right myself. Taxi, mademoiselle?


EVE: No, thanks.


TIBOR: Aw, step right in. We're just goin' around the corner.


EVE: What for? 


TIBOR: To the license bureau.


EVE: Oh, listen, Skipper, you'd better think it over.


TIBOR: Oh, I have thought it over.


EVE: I won't promise to manage on forty francs a day.


TIBOR: Who said forty? With you around, I'll make as much as we want. Anything is possible. Don't argue. Now, come on.


EVE: Oh, Skipper.


JUDGE: (APPROACHES) Well, I'm glad to see you took my advice, young woman.


EVE: Oh, hello, Your Honor!


TIBOR: You have been wonderful, Your Honor. We really didn't want a divorce, did we, darling?


EVE: No, we didn't, Your Honor.


JUDGE: Well, I'm glad to hear it. And where are you going now?


EVE: To get married. 


JUDGE: Oh, yes-- (BIG DOUBLE TAKE) Whaaaat?!


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, TAXI STARTS UP ... THEN ROARS AWAY


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: We bring to a close tonight's performance of "Midnight," with Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche. In a moment, our stars return for their curtain calls, but while we're waiting, listen to this--


SOUND: SLOW TICKING OF CLOCK ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: Hear that clock?


SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES


ANNOUNCER: Morning.


SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES


ANNOUNCER: Noon.


SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES


ANNOUNCER: And night.


SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES ... TICKING OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: Three times a day, seven days a week, the dishes have to be washed. You can't get around it. But you can make it pleasanter, the way thousands of women have. That's with New Quick Lux. It helps do away with one of the things women hate most about dishwashing: the red, rough, housework look it gives your hands. Yes, New Quick Lux is kind to hands. This was recently proved by hundreds of dramatic one-hand tests made in a laboratory under conditions similar to home dishwashing. Five different soaps frequently used for dishwashing, including Lux, were tested. Three times a day for weeks, hundreds of women dipped one hand in Lux suds, the other in suds from another soap. The results were amazing. The Lux hands looked so much softer and smoother than the other hands. Lovely hands are such an important part of a woman's charm. You want yours to stay soft and smooth, of course. So why not try New Quick Lux in your dishpan tomorrow? Will you do that? It's in the same familiar box and it costs you no more. It's fast, thrifty, and so kind to your hands. (BEAT) Here's Mr. DeMille with our stars.


HOST: Paris having done its duty by the baroness and the taxi driver, they now return to this microphone, undisguised, as Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche for a well-earned curtain call.


COLBERT: Thank you, Mr. DeMille. It was really a lot of fun doing the play here in the Lux Radio Theatre with Don.


AMECHE: And the same goes for me, Claudette.


HOST: Around here, we've come to look on you two as a sign of spring.


COLBERT: Oh, really? Oh, now, I rather like the idea of Don as a crocus. (CHUCKLES)


AMECHE: Yeah? Well, I don't. What do you mean we're a sign of spring, C. B.?


HOST: Well, just about this same time every year we seem to have a play for you or Claudette. But this year, because of the severe winter in many parts of the country, we brought you here together as a kind of guarantee that spring had come.


COLBERT: (CHUCKLES) It's probably starting to snow somewhere right now.


AMECHE: You know, C. B., it isn't that we doubt your infallibility as a weather prophet, but, er, wouldn't you be on safer ground with, er-- Well, say, next week's show?


HOST: All right, Don. Next Monday night we're going to have Olivia De Havilland, Herbert Marshall, and Helen Chandler in "Vigil in the Night," the RKO picture based on the novel by A. J. Cronin. In the play we'll go behind the scenes of a hospital, with Olivia as a nurse and Herbert Marshall as a doctor, and watch drama you never see from the hospital's front door -- the fight for life itself. But doctors and nurses do fall in love, just like other people, and that's also part of our play "Vigil in the Night," which we present next Monday night with Olivia De Havilland, Herbert Marshall, and Helen Chandler.


COLBERT: It was an exciting picture, C. B. I'm anxious to hear it on the air. Good night.


AMECHE: Good night, everyone.


SOUND: APPLAUSE, IN BG


HOST: Good night. Good night. Our latchstring is out to you two, all the time.


SOUND: APPLAUSE OUT BEHIND--


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG 


HOST: Our sponsors, the makers of Lux Flakes, join me in inviting you to be with us again next Monday night, when the Lux Radio Theatre presents Olivia De Havilland and Herbert Marshall in "Vigil in the Night," with Helen Chandler. This is Cecil B. DeMille saying good night to you from Hollywood. 


SOUND: APPLAUSE 


MUSIC: THEME ... UP AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: Heard in tonight's play were Gale Gordon as Georges Flammarion, Fred MacKaye as Jacques Picot, Rosemary De Camp as Helene Flammarion, Rolfe Sedan as Marcel, Lou Merrill as Judge, Warren Ashe as Lebon, Ted Bliss as Leon, Tony Martelli as Butler, John Lake as Doorman, James Eagles as Hotel Clerk, and Victor Rodman as Porter. Claudette Colbert is now working in the M-G-M picture, "Boom Town." Don Ameche's current picture is the Twentieth Century-Fox production, "Lillian Russell." He appears tonight through the courtesy of the Old Gold program. Our music was directed by Louis Silvers.


Millions of innocent men, women, children, and old people are suffering horrible agony in Europe's war. The American Red Cross needs a minimum of ten million dollars for European war relief now. Give all you can immediately through your local Red Cross chapter.


Your announcer has been Melville Ruick.


MUSIC: THEME ... IN BG, UNTIL END


SOUND: APPLAUSE, UNTIL END 


ANNOUNCER: This is the Columbia Broadcasting System. 



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