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Mr. Lincoln's Wife

The Cavalcade of America

Mr. Lincoln's Wife

May 31 1943



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

2ND ANNCR

3RD ANNCR

NBC ANNCR


MARY TODD LINCOLN

TAD

WILLIE

EMILIE TODD

ELIZABETH 

1ST VOICE

2ND VOICE

KATE CHASE

BEN HELM

WILLIAM STODDARD

DOCTOR

NURSE

MRS. KECKLEY

3RD VOICE

4TH VOICE

5TH VOICE

JUDGE

MOTHER, French

ROBERT, French

PIERRE, French




ANNOUNCER: THE CAVALCADE OF AMERICA, sponsored by DuPont, Maker of Better Things for Better Living Through Chemistry, presents Helen Hayes as "Mr. Lincoln's Wife."


MUSIC: DRUM ROLL ... CAVALCADE THEME ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. This is THE CAVALCADE OF AMERICA, sponsored by DuPont. On this Memorial Day, with Helen Hayes as our star, we bring you the story of an American woman -- a plain woman, a simple woman -- who lived to know the sting of slanderous gossip, the emptiness of widowhood, the loneliness of age: Abraham Lincoln's wife. Our play, "Mr. Lincoln's Wife" by Victor Wolfson, is based on a new biography of the same name by Anne Colver. Farrar & Rhinehart are the publishers.


MUSIC: THEME UP AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: Here's an interesting news item from the field of chemistry about the nylon that used to make stockings. Perhaps you already know that nylon monofilament is replacing silk in surgical sutures and many other vital war needs. Now many life rafts for flyers forced down at sea are supplied with nylon fishing lines. And now DuPont Company presents Helen Hayes as "Mr. Lincoln's Wife."


MUSIC: FOR A SIMPLE INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES) My name is Mary Todd. Do you know who I am? Mary Todd. It's a simple name, a plain name. It makes ya think of apple cider and hay rides and square dances. I married a man with a simple name, a plain name: Abe. Abe Lincoln.


On November the fifth, Eighteen Sixty, I was a housewife: Mrs. Abe Lincoln, Jackson and Eighth Streets, Springfield, Illinois. I worried about the bills, I looked after the children, I was busy with the thousand and one things a woman has to do about a house.


SOUND: MARY WASHES DISHES IN WATER ... THEN IN BG


TAD: (OFF) Ma! Ma! Look what Willie's doing!


MARY: (WEARILY, TO HERSELF) Oh--


WILLIE: (OFF) Stop biting me, you!


TAD: (OFF) Maaaaa! (CRIES)


SOUND: MARY STOPS WASHING


MARY: Tad! Willie! Stop that fighting and come in here!


TAD: (APPROACHES) Willie pushed me, ma.


WILLIE: Well, he bit me in the leg.


MARY: I'm ashamed of both of you! What ever will the neighbors think? Now, go upstairs and wash for supper. Your father'll be home any minute.


TAD &

WILLIE: (SULLEN) Yes, ma'am.


SOUND: TAD AND WILLIE'S STEPS AWAY AND UP STAIRS


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


MARY: (NARRATES) That's the way it was most days. Just a small town housewife. But suddenly -- one day -- everything changed.


ELIZABETH: Imagine! My little cousin Mary Todd, the First Lady of the Land, as they say! If Abe wins the election, that is.


EMILIE: My sister Mary, the wife of the president if he wins! Do you know what that'll make me, Lizzie? The sister-in-law of the President of the United States!


ELIZABETH: Heavens to Betsy! And I'll be the president's cousin by marriage. Oh, why in the world am I talking to you when I should be down at the hotel watching the election returns come in?


MUSIC: OUT FOR--


SOUND: HOTEL CROWD MURMURS ... CONTINUES IN BG


1ST VOICE: Look! Look, they're postin' some more figures in the Pennsylvania column!


2ND VOICE: Four hundred and twenty more for Honest Abe!


SOUND: HOTEL CROWD CHEERS ... SOME REPEAT "Four hundred and twenty" ... THEN MURMURS IN BG


EMILIE: Oh, did you ever see such a crowd in this lobby? All Springfield turned out! Please stop pushing me! Oh, ho! Good evening, Lizzie! Where's Mary?


ELIZABETH: Oh, she's home -- poor worn-out thing -- trying to get the boys to sleep.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN A GENTLY TINKLING MUSIC BOX, IN BG--


MARY: (EXHALES WITH RELIEF) Willie's asleep at last.


EMILIE: So is Tad. What a day you've had, Mary. I don't see how you can stand this waiting, waiting.


MUSIC: MUSIC BOX OUT BEHIND--


MARY: It'll all be over soon, Emilie. We'll know one way or another before long. Come, let's go downstairs.


SOUND: THEY START DOWN STAIRS


MARY: Careful not to step on that loose board.


SOUND: CREAK! OF LOOSE BOARD


EMILIE: (GASPS)


MARY: (GENTLY REPROVING) Emilie!


TAD: (OFF) Mommy?!


MARY: (CHUCKLES) Ssh! Taddy, go to sleep. You'll wake Willie.


WILLIE: (OFF) I can't sleep either, ma! Is pa president yet?


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS AS ELIZABETH RUSHES IN


ELIZABETH: (BREATHLESS) Mary!


SOUND: FRONT DOOR SHUTS


ELIZABETH: (BREATHES HARD)


MARY: (WORRIED) It's Lizzie! Lizzie, what is it?!


ELIZABETH: I've run all the way from the hotel!


MARY: It's bad news, I know it!


ELIZABETH: Let me catch my breath--


MARY: For pity's sake, tell me!


MUSIC: MARCHING BAND APPROACHES FROM OFF ... GROWS SLOWLY CLOSER DURING FOLLOWING--


MARY: What's that?


ELIZABETH: A parade! They're bringing Abe home with a brass band! Mary, he's the new president!


MARY: (DUMBSTRUCK) The new - president? (BEAT, HYSTERICAL) Emilie, I knew it would happen. The minute I set eyes on him eighteen years ago, I knew it! People whispered about me behind my back when I said it, but "Just you wait!" I used to say! And I was right, Emilie; I was right! (BREATHES HARD)


EMILIE: Yes, Mary. Come and sit down. You're worn out.


MARY: No! No, I'm all right. (BEAT) Emilie, don't stare at me like that. (INTENSE) Don't you see this makes up for all the long, bitter years?! "Poor Mary Todd," people used to say! "Married to a sad-faced failure! Why, he can't even provide a decent home for his family!" (TEARFUL, WILD) I was ashamed to ask for credit at the stores -- the clerks smirking, wondering when they'd get paid, if ever! Don't you see?! This moment wipes it all out forever! I'm Mr. Lincoln's wife! The president's wife! (SOBS, BEAT, REGAINS HER COMPOSURE, A LITTLE STIFFLY) I'll - open the door. I'll welcome the new president home.


SOUND: BY NOW, THE BAND IS RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR, WHICH OPENS ... CROWD CHEERS, THEN FALLS SILENT


MUSIC: BAND FALLS SILENT


MARY: (BEAT; SLOWLY, SIMPLY) Mr. Lincoln-- My husband-- I'm proud. Very proud. Come, I have some hot cocoa on the stove for you. You must be tired.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--


SOUND: TRAIN WHISTLE


MARY: (NARRATES) It had begun -- the new life, the new adventure. We were on our way to Washington. I should have been excited and happy, but I wasn't; I was afraid. What will people say about me? Will I know how to do things correctly? Will I--? Will my clothes be right? Will people laugh at me?


SOUND: TRAIN WHISTLE


MARY: (NARRATES) No, I don't know what made me so afraid. Perhaps it was because Mr. Lincoln looked so sad. Yes, even now in his triumph -- walking down to the speaker's stand in the capital to make his Inaugural Address -- he was the saddest man I ever saw.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


SOUND: CAPITOL CROWD MURMURS ... IN BG


TAD: Look, mommy! There's papa way down there!


MARY: Ssh, Taddy!


TAD: (QUIETER) Look, he's staring up here at us, ma.


MARY: Just nod and smile. (BEAT) That's right.


TAD: He smiled back at us, mommy!


MARY: Ssh, Tad. Listen to him.


MUSIC: A QUIETLY STIRRING TRANSITION TO EVOKE LINCOLN'S SPEECH ... THEN FORMAL DANCE ORCHESTRA IN BG--


MARY: (NARRATES) That evening, we attended the Inaugural Ball. There was laughter, music, dancing -- yes. But there was something else, too. It stood in the doorways; it moved before the great chandeliers; it was present everywhere: suspicion. I could feel it around me. Wherever I looked, I saw enemies dancing together -- laughing.


MUSIC: ORCHESTRA CUT OFF FOR AN UNEASY ACCENT (WHICH QUOTES "BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLIC") ... THEN ORCHESTRA RESUMES WITH A LIGHT WALTZ, IN BG 


NOTE: (DURING THE FOLLOWING, THE DANCE ORCHESTRA FINISHES ITS NUMBER TO POLITE APPLAUSE FROM THE GUESTS, THEN BEGINS ANOTHER, WHICH CONCLUDES PRIOR TO THE NEXT SCENE TRANSITION)


SOUND: GLASSES AND DISHES, ET CETERA


EMILIE: (HAPPILY) Oh, Mary! Isn't it the most wonderful ball?! Did you ever see so many handsome uniforms? And so much to eat and drink?


MARY: (ABSENTLY) Er, yes, Emilie. Everyone seems happy. I'm glad.


EMILIE: (LAUGHS MERRILY) Everyone except your husband. Look at him standing there in the corner. Why, he looks as if he were attending his own funeral.


MARY: (SHARPLY) Now, don't say that!


EMILIE: (TAKEN ABACK) Why, Mary, I didn't mean anything.


MARY: (CALMER) Uh, forgive me, Emilie. I don't know why I'm so nervous. Who's that he's talking to?


EMILIE: Oh, that's the Secretary of Treasury's daughter, Kate Chase.


MARY: Isn't she beautiful?


EMILIE: Yes. And she wags the most dangerous tongue in Washington. Ben Helm told me all about her.


MARY: Your new beau knows a lot about Washington. I'd like to meet him.


EMILIE: Would you, Mary? He's here. He's asked me to marry him. But he's a Southerner, Mary.


MARY: What of it? So are you and I, Emilie. So are our brothers. For heaven's sake, don't let geography stop you if you love him, Emilie. Go on, bring him here.


EMILIE: (PLEASED, MOVING OFF) I'll be back in a minute.


KATE: (APPROACHES) Mrs. Lincoln? I'm Kate Chase.


MARY: Oh. Yes.


KATE: I was just thinking how well you stood it.


MARY: Stood what?


KATE: Having us all come here just to stare at you. You seem to enjoy it. Will you have some punch?


MARY: (CHILLY) No, thank you. One gets used to being stared at, I expect, Miss Chase. Certainly you would know about that better than I.


KATE: (AMUSED EXHALATION) You have wit, Mrs. Lincoln. I can't believe you're from the middle West.


MARY: Did you expect me to wear a poke bonnet and ride around Washington in a covered wagon, Miss Chase?


KATE: (LAUGHS) No, not that. But isn't it curious, a member of a Southern family like yourself married to a man who's against slavery? I should think your being Southern might lead to family tensions.


MARY: Our family tensions, or lack of them, are of no public concern, Miss Chase.


KATE: Oh, please -- don't take offense. Will you excuse me? There's the Senator from Missouri. He's a bitter enemy of your husband's, you know.


MARY: I'm sure he'll be a worse one when you're through talking with him, Miss Chase.


KATE: (LAUGHS) Oh, I simply adore your wit, Mrs. Lincoln. (MOVING OFF) That was excellent punch.


EMILIE: (APPROACHES) Oh, Mary, here you are! We've been looking for you.


MARY: Oh.


EMILIE: This is Mr. Ben Helm, Mary.


MARY: Well! I'm glad to meet you, Mr. Helm.


BEN: Mrs. Lincoln.


MARY: I hope you'll be in Washington a good long time.


BEN: Well, ma'am, that depends on two things -- Emilie and the war.


MARY: The war?


BEN: Yes, ma'am. The war that's comin'. Coming fast.


MUSIC: TRANSITION (QUOTES "BATTLE HYMN") ... THEN BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES) It was true. The war did come. They fired on Fort Sumter. Civil war. (EXHALES, UNEASY) I sat in my room, holding back the old, unknown fears.


SOUND: KNOCKING AT DOOR


MARY: (TENSE) Yes?! Who is it?!


EMILIE: (BEHIND DOOR) It's me! Emilie!


MARY: (SURPRISED) Emilie?!


SOUND: MARY'S HURRIED STEPS TO DOOR, WHICH OPENS


MARY: Emilie! Ben! (EXHALES) When did ya get back? Come in; I'm so glad to see you.


EMILIE: We came right from the station, Mary. We cut the honeymoon short.


MARY: Ben, what are you going to do now? You've had years at West Point. You should apply for a commission. We need men like you, Ben.


BEN: I was offered a commission, Mary; I refused it. (BEAT) I'm goin' back home, Mary. I'm a Southerner; I couldn't fight my own people.


MARY: I understand, Ben. And - you, Emilie? You're going with him, of course.


EMILIE: Yes, Mary.


MARY: (BEAT, DEEPLY FELT) I shall miss you both - very much. It'll be lonely for me here in Washington.


EMILIE: Goodbye, Mary.


MARY: Goodbye, my dear. Good luck, Ben.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


MUSIC: SOMBER TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES) My sister and her husband going over to the Confederate side. What would Kate Chase say now? What would the rumors be now? I had to act quickly to head off the flood of talk that was let loose against me. I sent for my husband's secretary.


STODDARD: I don't know if I can help you, Mrs. Lincoln.


MARY: You must, Mr. Stoddard! I must do something to stop these rumors, to show people I'm not pro-slavery. (BEAT) You - you remember that letter I had from a Mrs. Orville about a Negro school she wants to organize?


STODDARD: Yes.


MARY: I'd like you to get me a list of people I might go and see about this school.


STODDARD: At a time like this, with feelings running high, there might be bad talk, Mrs. Lincoln.


MARY: Talk?! Do you think I don't know there's talk enough already? They've accused me of being a Southerner and a spy. Wouldn't my working for this Negro school prove that I'm against slavery?


STODDARD: I'm afraid that people who circulate such stories aren't likely to be convinced by any sort of proof.


MARY: Then what am I to do, pray? Just sit by and do nothing at all?


STODDARD: For the present, that might be best; in these times, one can't be too cautious.


MARY: (EXPLODES) Mr. Stoddard, I will not hear that word "cautious" again! Every fool in this city talks of nothing but being cautious!


STODDARD: Mrs. Lincoln, I--


MARY: (UPSET) I've tried your precious caution, Mr. Stoddard, and what has it got me? Nothing but hatred and lies -- spiteful, vicious lies about me!


STODDARD: (SOOTHING) Mrs. Lincoln, I realize that it's been most trying, but we can only be patient and try to understand--


MARY: Mr. Stoddard, will you please, for mercy's sake, stop trying to soothe me?! You talk as if I were ill or-- (BEAT, QUIETLY UNNERVED) --out of my mind. (INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) I - I - I daren't read the letters from my own brothers because they happen to live in the South and I'll be called a traitor. I'm spied on and talked about in my own house. But I can't discharge a servant who's insolent to me for fear of having more vile stories spread about me. And then you tell me I must be patient and try to understand! I'll go mad if it goes on this way! Mad, do you hear me?! I'll--! (STOPS SHORT, PAUSE; THEN REGAINS COMPOSURE, AWKWARDLY) Well, don't - stand there staring at me like that, Mr. Stoddard. (UNCONVINCING) There's no reason to be alarmed. I'm - quite myself. Quite. (BEAT) Good day, Mr. Stoddard.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: You are listening to Helen Hayes as "Mr. Lincoln's Wife" on THE CAVALCADE OF AMERICA, sponsored by DuPont. As our play continues, Mary Todd Lincoln finds herself in the White House alone, without friends. The Civil War is reaching its climax.


MUSIC: UP, FOR THE WAR'S CLIMAX ... THEN BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES, MOROSE) Yes, the bands stopped playing. There were no more cheers. The war was being fought -- desperately. I rarely saw Mr. Lincoln now. He was in constant session with his Cabinet, with his generals. I was alone. I turned to my children -- little Tad and Willie -- for companionship. Then suddenly, one day -- Willie came down with a fever. I sent for the doctor.


DOCTOR: I'm afraid it's quite serious, Mrs. Lincoln.


MARY: But, doctor, it can't be! Why, he's never been sick a day in his life.


DOCTOR: I advise you to have a nurse in. You'll have a chance to rest then.


MARY: (QUICKLY, FIRMLY) I don't need a rest, and I won't have a nurse. I won't have some stranger coming in; no one understands Willie as I do.


DOCTOR: Mrs. Lincoln, I feel that in the present crisis, your nerves are--


MARY: (INHALES SHARPLY, DISAGREES) Oh, no. (INHALES AGAIN, PARANOID) What are you trying to tell me about my nerves, doctor?


DOCTOR: My dear Mrs. Lincoln, I assure you I mean no criticism. I understand the strain you must be under here in the White House. It's only natural that your nerves--


MARY: (EXPLODES) For pity's sake, will you stop talking about my nerves?! Perhaps you think--! (STOPS SHORT)


DOCTOR: (BEAT, SLOWLY) Perhaps I think what, Mrs. Lincoln?


MARY: (BEAT, QUIETLY) Nothing. (BEAT, SHAKEN) Leave me alone. Send a nurse in if you want to. Do what you like. Only leave me alone.


DOCTOR: (POLITE, BUT GRAVE) There'll be one here in the morning. (MOVING OFF) Good day, Mrs. Lincoln.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: RATTLE OF GLASS BOTTLES ... OUT WITH--


NURSE: Mrs. Lincoln, if you don't stop pacing up and down, I'm afraid you'll have to leave the room.


MARY: (ON EDGE) Nurse, are you ordering me out of my own son's room?


NURSE: You know the doctor's instructions. Your son must have quiet.


MARY: And do you think that will save him?


NURSE: I don't know. We can only wait.


MARY: Wait?! You tell me to wait when my son is dying?!


NURSE: Mrs. Lincoln, please!


WILLIE: (CALLS WEAKLY, TO MARY, FROM OFF) Maaaa?


NURSE: No, you mustn't go near him, Mrs. Lincoln.


MARY: Let go of my arm, do you hear?


SOUND: RATTLE OF GLASS BOTTLES


NURSE: Mrs. Lincoln, are you mad?


WILLIE: Ma? It's so hot in here.


MARY: (SOOTHING) It's the fever, my darling. Try to lie still. Don't toss about so.


WILLIE: Ma? Will I get well soon?


MARY: Yes, of course -- very soon.


WILLIE: Maaaa? 


MARY: Yes, dear?


WILLIE: I don't think I will get well.


MARY: (FERVENTLY) Oh, don't say that, darling. You must get well. You will get well. (BEAT) Please get well, Willie, please.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES) My little son did not get well. He died. The war dragged on. My two brothers in the Confederate Army were killed by my husband's armies. And people talked again. I heard all their whispers. Then one day I received a letter from my sister Emilie. Young, handsome Ben Helm -- General Helm of the Confederate Army, decorated and brave -- was killed in action. Emilie was alone; she had no place to go. I persuaded Mr. Lincoln to allow her to stay with me. Oh, I knew there would be more talk: "The wife of a Southern general living in the White House?" But she was my sister. I sat in my room waiting for her to arrive.


SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES ... KNOCKING AT DOOR


MARY: Who is it?


EMILIE: (BEHIND DOOR) It's me! Emilie!


SOUND: MARY'S STEPS TO DOOR, WHICH UNLOCKS AND OPENS A CRACK


EMILIE: (AMUSED) Yes, it's me. You can open the door wider, Mary.


MARY: Emilie? (RELIEVED) Oh, Emilie!


SOUND: DOOR SHUTS AND LOCKS


EMILIE: (ASTONISHED, WORRIED) Mary! How you've changed. Are you ill? You look so strange.


MARY: No, no. But, Emilie, I've been dying to tell someone. Wait, I'll lock the door.


EMILIE: (UNEASY) You did lock the door -- when I came in.


MARY: (QUICKLY) Oh, yes, yes; I begin to forget things. (BEAT) Emilie, I want to tell you a secret. You're the only person I dare tell it to.


EMILIE: Tell me, Mary.


MARY: Come, move your chair closer.


EMILIE: What is it, Mary?


MARY: Emilie. Sometimes at night--


EMILIE: (BEAT) Yes? Go on.


MARY: Sometimes at night, I hear voices.


EMILIE: Mary, what are you talking about?


MARY: Yes, I hear them calling to me at night -- Willie and Ben Helm--


EMILIE: (ALARMED) Mary! 


MARY: Yes, speaking just like they were in this room with me. That's why I lock the door, Emilie. I don't want anyone else to know they're here. (BEAT) No, you mustn't look so afraid, Emilie. I was afraid at first, but after a while it's pleasant sitting here in the rocker, talking to them. [X] (GROWING HYSTERIA) You mustn't let anyone know my secret, Emilie. You won't tell anyone, Emilie, will you?!


EMILIE: No. No, Mary, I won't. (TEARFUL) Oh, Mary!


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN ABOVE AT [X], BUILDS TO A TRANSITION ... GRIM AT FIRST ... THEN CELEBRATORY, FOR PEACE BREAKING OUT ... THEN MUTED AND MIXED WITH CHURCH BELLS BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES, BLISSFUL) And one day, the bells began to ring. Peace! Peace came at last. I was almost too weary with the strain of these years to realize it had come. But I was happy. Abe was happy. We had both grown so old in these few years. But it was over now. Peace, peace. (PLEASED) On the Friday before Easter -- Good Friday -- I persuaded Abe to go to the theater. I was getting dressed.


MRS. K: Will you be wearin' this black dress, Mrs. Lincoln?


MARY: Oh, no, no. Bring the blue lace one, Mrs. Keckley. This is a real celebration. Mr. Lincoln and I haven't been out together for so long.


MRS. K: Where are you going, Mrs. Lincoln?


MARY: To the theater, Mrs. Keckley. The Ford's Theatre. 


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN INCREASINGLY EERIE, IN BG--


MARY: (NARRATES) Mr. Lincoln died that night. Died in my arms. And his voice was added to all the other voices I listened to in the dark safety of night. (PAUSE) Mary Todd. Widow of the President of the United States.


3RD VOICE: (ECHO) Mary Todd. Widow.


MARY: (NARRATES) Alone with the voices I heard in the night.


WILLIE: (ECHO) Maaaaa?


ELIZABETH: (ECHO) They're bringing him home, Mary. He's the new president!


KATE: (ECHO) You're a Southerner, aren't you?


4TH VOICE: (ECHO) You're a spy.


5TH VOICE: (ECHO) You're a Southerner.


3RD VOICE: (ECHO) You're a traitor.


5TH VOICE: (ECHO) We can't trust you.


WILLIE: (ECHO) Maaaaa?


MARY: (BEAT, NARRATES) Then one day, I was taken to a courtroom.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


SOUND: GAVEL BANGS TWICE


JUDGE: We have heard the testimony of Dr. Isham and the other witnesses. The verdict of this court is that the defendant is of unsound mind, incapable of handling her property and conducting her affairs.


3RD VOICE: (ECHO, WHISPERS) You're mad, Mary Todd. You're mad.


JUDGE: The defendant is remitted to Bellevue sanitarium at Batavia in the state of Illinois in accordance with arrangements to be made by her family. Case dismissed.


MARY: (NARRATES; SLOWLY, HELPLESSLY) Dismissed. Dismissed. Out of this life. Dismissed into an asylum. Widow of the great president.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN DURING ABOVE, BUILDS TO A TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES, IN A BETTER MOOD) After a while, they let me out of the sanitarium. I hurried away. I wanted to forget, forget. I fled to London. There, I lived in a quiet boardinghouse. (CHUCKLES) "The widow of the great president." I was an old lady by now. I rarely went out. But one day I had to mail a letter. I went down the street to the letterbox.


SOUND: CITY STREET BACKGROUND ... HORSES ON ROAD, A SIGNAL WHISTLE, ET CETERA


MARY: Excuse me, miss. I'd like to post this letter. You're standing in front of the box.


KATE: (STARTLED) Oh--!


MARY: (STARTLED) Oh! (INHALES)


KATE: Wait. Wait, don't hurry away. Don't you remember me?


MARY: Yes. Yes, I do. Miss Kate Chase. And you're still beautiful.


KATE: (SYMPATHETIC) Are you here alone, Mrs. Lincoln?


MARY: Yes. 


KATE: (GENUINELY) Mrs. Lincoln, if there's anything I can do-- I'm afraid we were all quite cruel to you in Washington.


MARY: (FORGIVING) Ohhh, it's such a long time ago, it doesn't matter. Good day, Miss Chase.


SOUND: LETTER IN BOX


MUSIC: MELLOW TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MARY--


MARY: (NARRATES) No, even meeting Kate Chase didn't matter now. (DRY) I really must be getting quite, quite old. (BEAT) There was a cablegram for me on the bureau -- from Emilie. She begged me to come back to America. (SOBS) I cried with joy. I was wanted. Emilie wanted me. I was going home. I was going home at last. No longer afraid of my memories. No longer afraid.


SOUND: SHIP'S HORN BLOWS ... SHIP BACKGROUND


ROBERT

& PIERRE: (LAUGHING AND PLAYING)


MOTHER: Pierre! Robert! Don't go so near the railing!


ROBERT

& PIERRE: (OBEDIENTLY) No, mama. (THEY KEEP LAUGHING, IN BG)


MOTHER: Oh, madame, will you watch them for a moment, please? I go to my stateroom for a sweater.


MARY: Yes, of course.


MOTHER: (MOVING OFF) Thank you.


ROBERT

& PIERRE: (STOP LAUGHING)


MARY: (BEAT) Come here, Pierre, Robert. (BEAT, CHUCKLES) I had little boys like you once. Do you know what my name is?


ROBERT: No.


MARY: My name is Mrs. Abraham Lincoln. (BEAT) You know who Abraham Lincoln was, don't you?


ROBERT: No, madame.


MARY: Don't they tell you about President Lincoln in school?


ROBERT: We don't go to school. We live in Paris. [PRONOUNCED "Paree"]


PIERRE: Our papa has a tutor for us. He teaches us in French.


MARY: When you get to America, I expect you'll go back to school and then you'll learn all about Abraham Lincoln. And you can tell your teacher Abraham Lincoln's wife talked to you -- and told you that he was very fond of little boys. Abraham Lincoln's wife -- you won't forget that now, will you? (PROUDLY) Abraham Lincoln's wife.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN DURING ABOVE, BUILDS TO CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Helen Hayes. And now, before telling you about next week's CAVALCADE, we want to tell you how DuPont engineers and chemists have saved the government of the United States, since this war began, more than six hundred million dollars in the process of manufacturing explosives. In a war that will cost the nation a hundred billion dollars during this year alone, six hundred million may be a small item. But, in a wider sense, the sum of six hundred million dollars is anything but a small item, for those saved dollars will buy just so many more tanks and guns and planes, which American production turns out better than any other. 


The saving breaks down something like this. All military explosives are based on nitric acid. When nitric acid plants had to be built to meet the greatly increased wartime needs for this chemical, they could be built at much less expenditure of critical material, time, and money, for the reason that development work carried on by DuPont since the last war for purely peacetime needs had resulted in greatly improved processes. This saving in money alone has been estimated at two hundred and fifty million dollars. Similarly, in the manufacture of smokeless powder, T.N.T., and tetryl, improvements in manufacturing processes have resulted in great increases in the capacity of the existing plants. This has made unnecessary the construction of additional units originally regarded as essential to meet military requirements. The additional plants, which now don't have to be built, would have cost some three hundred and eighty million dollars. 


These figures represent only the money saving, what we are individually and collectively in-pocket as a result of improved engineering and chemical knowledge. Of even greater importance is the saving in critical materials, man hours, and time, which are now released to speed victory in other ways. Every dollar saved is just one more dollar that can fight. We think you'll be interested to learn of this six-hundred-million-dollar saving by the men and women who are responsible in peacetime for DuPont's Better Things for Better Living Through Chemistry.


MUSIC: DRUM ROLL ... CAVALCADE THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Pinky was a good soldier, eager to be going overseas at last, and the two women on the train were friendly, interested, sincerely patriotic. None of them intended to do the thing they did, but information is like a chain, and the walls have ears. Listen next week when DuPont presents Everett Sloane in an exciting spy story by the noted mystery writer Mignon Eberhard. Be with us next week when CAVALCADE presents Everett Sloane in "The Enemy Is Listening," especially written for this program by Mignon Eberhard. The orchestra tonight was under the direction of Don Voorhees. The special musical score was by Arden Cornwell. CAVALCADE is pleased to inform its audience that Helen Hayes will soon be seen in the star-studded motion picture "Stage Door Canteen." This is Clayton Collyer sending best wishes from CAVALCADE's sponsor, the DuPont Company of Wilmington, Delaware. 


MUSIC: THEME FADES OUT WITH--


SOUND: APPLAUSE, WHICH ALSO FADES OUT


2ND ANNCR: Speed Easy, the sensational new DuPont paint, covers wallpaper in one quick coat. 


3RD ANNCR: Even the name is fast. S-P-double-E-D for speedy results. E-A-S-Y for easy application. Speed Easy.


2ND ANNCR: Just thin DuPont's Speed Easy with water and apply it right over dingy wallpaper or any interior wall surface. It's dry in an hour. Costs less than three dollars per room.


3RD ANNCR: See the soft, lovely Speed Easy colors at your DuPont paint dealer store tomorrow.


NBC ANNCR: This program came to you from New York. This is the National Broadcasting Company.


MUSIC: NBC CHIMES


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