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My True Valentine

Dr. Christian

My True Valentine 

Feb 14 1940




DR. CHRISTIAN, kindly; Danish accent



SHERIFF, friendly but no-nonsense

JUDY, the doctor's secretary


ANNOUNCER: From Hollywood, California, we present Jean Hersholt in a new Dr. Christian story called "My True Valentine," presented for your pleasure by the Chesebrough Manufacturing Company, owners of the trademark Vaseline, and producers of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, Vaseline Hair Tonic, and other famous Vaseline specialties. [X] Now, I know you're all anxious to hear the story, so we'll give our message about the products that make this program possible just as briefly as we can. In fact, I'm going to ask somebody else to give you this message -- somebody who is a daily user of Vaseline Jelly and knows whereof he speaks. 

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ANNOUNCER: There's the overture music and the curtain is about to rise on our Dr. Christian play, "My True Valentine," which stars Jean Hersholt as the popular Dr. Christian of River's End, supported by Rosemary DeCamp in the role of his secretary Judy Price; Gloria Holden as Emily Cobb; Elliott Lewis as Don Burns, the boy to whom she was engaged; and Leo Cleary as Bill Brown, the sheriff. [X] The story begins on a day in early February Nineteen Twenty-Five when Emily was the village seamstress engaged to wild Don Burns. Emily lived in the brown cottage directly back of Dr. Christian's house and her little lean-to greenhouse was a gay and colorful place even in February snows. As the scene opens, Emily is happily working among her flowers. She looks up in surprise as Don Burns enters. 

EMILY: (HUMS TO HERSELF, THEN GASPS WITH SURPRISE) Why, Don, what are you doing away from the shop at this time of day? 

DON: (UNEASY) Why, I left early. I-- 

EMILY: You're not sick, are you? 

DON: No. No, I was just sort of tired and work was pretty slack, so I quit. 

EMILY: (SENSES HIS UNEASE) Don--? What's the matter? Has something happened? 

DON: (CONCEDES) Yeah. Something's happened. 

EMILY: Something bad?

DON: Yeah, pretty bad. 

EMILY: Don, you haven't--? It's not--? You haven't been with the Hawley gang again, have you? 

DON: I promised you, didn't I? 

EMILY: Yes, but - but you're worried about something. What is it? 

DON: Emily-- Listen, honey. Bill Brown's likely to come over here in a little while.

EMILY: Bill Brown? You mean the sheriff? 

DON: Yeah. 

EMILY: What's he coming here for? 

DON: Sandy's got himself in a jam. We've got to help him out.

EMILY: (EXHALES, UNHAPPY) Sandy's always in a jam. You're his older brother, Don, and you ought to make him behave. That crowd he goes around with-- Why, he'll be in real trouble one of these days. 

DON: Yeah. I'm afraid he's in real trouble right now. 

EMILY: What has he done? 

DON: He - he was with Hawley and some of the boys when they pulled a job over at North Ridge last night. 


DON: The watchmen walked in on 'em and one of them threw a flashlight right across Sandy's face. Sandy was sure the man got a good look at him. If he did-- 

EMILY: Where is Sandy now? 

DON: I told him to hop a train West and stay there till the thing blew over; that we'd swear he'd been out of town more than a week. You gotta help me, Emily. 

EMILY: (UNHAPPY) I don't see why you--

DON: There's just one reason. 

EMILY: What?

DON: Ma. 

EMILY: (REALIZES) Oh. Yes. Yes, I suppose so. How was she today? 

DON: About the same. Dr. Christian says it won't be long now. We can tell her Sandy got a job drivin' a truck to Chicago or somethin'. Ma don't care 'bout nothin' in the world but Sandy, Emily, you know that. 

EMILY: Yes, and it's not fair, when you've always been good to her and he--

DON: It don't matter. That's the way it is. Promise me you won't ever give Sandy away, Emily. 

EMILY: (RELUCTANT) Well, all right.

DON: Swear. Swear it.

EMILY: I swear. (SUDDENLY TENSE) Somebody's coming in the gate. 

DON: Is it the sheriff? 

EMILY: I can't see; wait. (BEAT) No, it's Dr. Christian.


EMILY: Oh, hello, Dr. Christian. Come on in.


DOCTOR: (CHEERFUL) I just came to have a look at your greenhouse and maybe get a flower for my buttonhole. 



DOCTOR: Oh, hello, Don. Aren't you working? 

DON: Why, I--

EMILY: (QUICKLY INTERRUPTS) Let me see what color you should have to go with that brown suit, Dr. Christian. Ah-- Oh, I think this yellow one would be right for you. 

DOCTOR: Ah, beautiful, Emily. Your plants look fine out here. You're certainly making an attractive place out of this little house. Just when is the wedding day? 

EMILY: Next Thursday, at Valentine's Day. True Lover's Day. You're coming, aren't you, Dr. Christian? 

DOCTOR: Of course. Well, I've got to go. I've still got my calls to make.


DOCTOR: Oh, you're gonna have company, Emily. There's somebody at the gate.

EMILY: (TENSE) Who is it?

DOCTOR: It's Bill Brown and another man. (CALLS) Hello, Bill! Come on in and get a flower for your buttonhole. 

SHERIFF: (APPROACHES) Hello, Dr. Christian. Howdy, Miss Cobb. Howdy, Don.

DOCTOR: Say, what are you looking so solemn about this fine February day? 

SHERIFF: I feel solemn. 

DOCTOR: What's wrong? 

SHERIFF: This is Sam Wells, watchman at the machine works at North Ridge, and we're on a very unpleasant errand, Doc. 

DON: Looking for somebody?


DOCTOR: Who is it, Bill? 

SHERIFF: Well, there was a robbery at the machine works last night and somebody tried to crack the safe. Sam here and his partner Joe Sims surprised the gang at work. 

DOCTOR: A robbery? Did they get much? 

SHERIFF: No. Got scared off. Er, Don, where's your brother Sandy? 

DON: Sandy? Oh, he - he's out of town, sheriff. Been out of town for a week or more. Got a job in Chicago. 

SHERIFF: That story don't go, Don. 

DON: It's a fact, sheriff. Ask Emily. She said goodbye to him a week ago last Monday. 

SHERIFF: Is that so, Miss Cobb? Isn't Sandy in River's End?

EMILY: Why, yes. Yes, that's a fact, of course. Sandy's gone. 

SHERIFF: You'd swear that's true?

DON: Of course we'd swear to it. Why not? 

SHERIFF: (A WARNING) You don't want to be making any mistake. 

DOCTOR: Look here, Bill, what's this all about? 

SHERIFF: If Sandy has really been gone for a week, Dr. Christian, I reckon Don knows what it's about.

DON: What do you mean? 

SHERIFF: Joe Sims, the other watchman, got a good look at one of the men. He swore it was one of you Burns boys. Like lots of folks, he couldn't tell you apart. Where were you last night, Don? 

DON: Why, I worked late and slept at the shop. Ma's sick and I didn't want to wake her. 

DOCTOR: That's right. Don's mother's very ill. 

SHERIFF: Anybody with you last night, Don? 

DON: No.

SHERIFF: Anybody see you there? 

DON: Not that I know of. 

SHERIFF: Hmm. Well, you'll have to come along with me. 


DOCTOR: Don had nothing to do with this, sheriff. I'm positive he didn't. 

SHERIFF: What makes you so sure, Doc? Don Burns used to be a pretty tough boy. 

DOCTOR: Not since he and Emily have been engaged. You're making a mistake. 

SHERIFF: Well, if I am, it's too bad. But I got it to do just the same. 

EMILY: (DISTRESSED) Sheriff Brown! Please--! 

DON: It'll be all right, Emily. After I talk to Joe Sims, he'll know he's mistaken -- that he didn't see me, or - or Sandy either. 

SHERIFF: You can't talk to Joe Sims, Don.

DOCTOR: Oh, but, sheriff, certainly it's Don's right to talk to him. 

SHERIFF: Right hasn't anything to do with it, Doc. They plugged Joe when they knew he'd recognize them. 

DOCTOR: You mean he's dead? 

SHERIFF: Yup. Joe Sims is dead and one of the Burns boys was in the gang that fired the shot that killed him. 


SHERIFF: Don Burns, you're not only charged with robbery, you're under arrest for murder.


DON: I'll bet this is more of the county jail than you ever saw before in your life, Dr. Christian. It's been mighty decent of you to come and visit me this way; I sure appreciate it. I'm going to miss you after tomorrow. 

DOCTOR: I'll miss you, Don -- till I see you again. 

DON: By the time I get out, I won't be anybody you'll want to remember you ever knew. 

DOCTOR: That'll depend on you. (CHANGES TONE) Don, Emily insists on seeing you before you go. 

DON: Didn't you tell her what I said? That I wasn't going to see her -- ever again?

DOCTOR: Yes, yes, I told her. But she's been in every day during the trial begging me to bring her over. I think you better talk to her, Don.

DON: I haven't got anything to say. Make her see it's all over, Doc. That she's got to forget me. 

DOCTOR: Women like Emily don't forget easily.

DON: She will -- now she knows I'm no good. Why, didn't my own mother, almost the day before she died, get up in court and tell how I'd always been the bad one? How Sandy had never done a wrong thing in his life? 


DON: (BITTERLY) Well, then one of the Burns boys did it and it must have been me. You haven't seen Sandy coming back to confess, have you? Ma dies happy knowing that I always was a bad egg, but that Sandy's all right. And I get just what's coming to me -- ten years in the cooler.

DOCTOR: And Emily? 

DON: She'll get over it, Doc. She's got to get over it. I--

DOCTOR: Don, I - I want you to see Emily. Just once. 

DON: No. No, I won't.

DOCTOR: Well, she's right outside, waiting. 

DON: She can't come in. I don't want to see her.

DOCTOR: But she wants to see you. You - you owe her that much, Don. 

DON: But I have nothing-- 

DOCTOR: Only for a moment. (CALLS) Uh, ask Miss Cobb to come in, will you, officer?

DON: Doc, I - I won't be alone with her. You gotta stay with me, Dr. Christian. 

DOCTOR: (HELPLESSLY) Don, I don't know what to say to you. Are you--? Are you sure you're right in what you're doing? 

DON: (COLDLY) What do you mean? You know the truth about me. 

DOCTOR: (QUIETLY) Yes, Don, I know the truth.




EMILY: Don, I - I had to come.

DON: Well, you better go again. Jail's no place for a girl like you, Emily.

EMILY: My place is wherever you are, Don. 

DON: No, that isn't so, Emily. Not any more. I lost my chance. I'm no good. 

EMILY: Don, listen. I don't believe this, any of it. It's all crazy: not telling about Sandy, trying to make even me think you're guilty. But I know you didn't do anything wrong, and that's all I care about. I love you -- and if it's ten years, or fifty years, or forever, I'll still be waiting for you, Don. (WEEPS) 



DON: (SHAKEN) She - she's just being sentimental, Doc. She'll get over it. 

DOCTOR: Don-- 

DON: (SHARPLY) Let's not talk about it, Doc. I made up my mind. I've got to go through with it.



JUDY: (PLAYFUL ADMONISHMENT) Ah! You'd better sneak in the back way. Dr. Christian, you're late.

DOCTOR: Oh, I know, Judy. I wasn't sure I'd get back for office hours at all. Here, unpack my bag while I wash, will you? 

JUDY: All right.


DOCTOR: What do you think Mrs. Smith got for a valentine? 

JUDY: What?

DOCTOR: Twins!



JUDY: Oh, that's wonderful! (CHUCKLES)


DOCTOR: (SIGHS) Are there many people waiting? 

JUDY: Well, most of 'em said they'd come back this evening, but guess who's out there.

DOCTOR: Mmm, you'd better tell me, Judy. I'm too tired for puzzles. 

JUDY: All right. It's Emily Cobb. 

DOCTOR: Emily Cobb?

JUDY: Uh huh. She's home from Chicago for a quick visit.

DOCTOR: Well! I haven't seen her for-- Well, how long is it, Judy? 

JUDY: Uh, fifteen years. 

DOCTOR: How does she look?

JUDY: Oh, simply stunning. You'd never know her for the same girl she used to be. Wait till you see the dress she's wearing. 

DOCTOR: I hear she's been very successful in her work.

JUDY: I should say she has. All the society gals in Chicago get their things from the Misses Cobb. 

DOCTOR: What's she back for, did she say? 

JUDY: No, but she's been waiting hours to see you. Shall I bring her in?

DOCTOR: Oh, yes, yes, right away.


JUDY: Come in, Miss Cobb. Dr. Christian will see you now. 



DOCTOR: Emily! This is a surprise. I'm glad to see you.

EMILY: (CHUCKLES) I'm glad to see you, too. You haven't changed a bit. 

DOCTOR: Well, you have. You're looking splendid, Emily. Things have evidently been going well with you in Chicago. 

EMILY: Very well, indeed. The village dressmaker turned into a designer! My sister and I have a business of our own now and we've been pretty lucky. 

DOCTOR: That's fine, Emily. So you're back to show the hometown what our River's End girls can do, huh? 

EMILY: Oh, far from it. Nobody even knows I'm here except Judy. I really came back to make up my mind about something. And I need you to help me.

DOCTOR: Well, I'll help if I can. What is your problem? 

EMILY: Dr. Christian, there's a man in Chicago who wants to marry me. 

DOCTOR: He shows good sense, if you ask me. Do you like him? 

EMILY: Oh, he's a fine man, in every way -- kind and considerate--

DOCTOR: Ah, then you don't like him. What's the matter with him?

EMILY: Oh, not a thing in the world. He's successful, a suitable age, and considered a great catch. 

DOCTOR: But you're just not in love with him, is that it? 

EMILY: (LIGHTLY) That's just about it. My sister thinks I'm a perfect fool to hesitate even for a moment. 

DOCTOR: Well, does he know how you feel? I mean, does he know that you're not really in love with him?

EMILY: Yes, I've told him about Don, and he's still willing to take a chance. He thinks I'll grow to love him.

DOCTOR: Well, if he is thoroughly congenial and all that you admire in a man, you probably will. 

EMILY: (SIGHS) I suppose so. Haven't you ever heard from Don? 

DOCTOR: No. Not a word since he was discharged.

EMILY: Dr. Christian, do you really still think he loved me, in spite of everything he did?

DOCTOR: I'm sure he did, Emily, but I never had any confidence that he would come back. 

EMILY: I know you didn't.

DOCTOR: You waited faithfully for a long while, Emily. You proved your devotion over and over again. Now I think it's time you found some happiness for yourself.

EMILY: You've given up hope, haven't you?

DOCTOR: I don't like to think of the empty, wasted years for you.

EMILY: You're probably right. And that's why I came -- and you've given me my answer. 

DOCTOR: What do you mean? 

EMILY: I'm going to sell my house, Dr. Christian, and I'm going to marry the man in Chicago.

DOCTOR: And I'm sure you're wise, Emily. You'll have security and peace. 

EMILY: Yes, I will. (SADLY) It's only in books that people wait forever, isn't it? I think I'd like to go over to my house now just for a little while to say goodbye. 

DOCTOR: I'm afraid it'll be cold over there -- the house has been closed so long. 

EMILY: No matter. I'll keep my coat on. May I slip out of the back door, Dr. Christian, the way I used to? (CHUCKLES) 

DOCTOR: (CHUCKLES) Of course. Are you going to stay in town and visit your old friends, Emily? 

EMILY: No, no. I just wanted to come today -- Valentine's Day. It was to have been my wedding day -- remember? Well, now that I've made up my mind I think I'd like to go back to Chicago right away on the night train. Dr. Christian, will you sell my house for me? The furniture and everything?

DOCTOR: I'll attend to everything, Emily. Good luck and God bless you. And try not to think about--

EMILY: I shan't -- really, I promise you. I shan't think of Don ever again -- after tonight. Thank you. Goodbye.


DOCTOR: Goodbye, my dear. 




JUDY: Has Miss Cobb gone? I thought I heard somebody go out the back way. Uh, Dr. Christian, there's a man in the outer office and he won't give his name, but he says he's come a long way to see you and he's sure it'll be all right. (NO RESPONSE) What's the matter, Dr. Christian? Don't you feel well? 

DOCTOR: Oh, it's nothing, Judy. Only, life gives us problems at times that are hard to solve. I was only hoping I'd given the right answer. Er, show the man in.

JUDY: (CALLS GENTLY) Will you come in, please? 


DOCTOR: Sit over here, won't you? You wanted to see me?

DON: (OLDER, TOUGHER, AND MORE BITTER THAN BEFORE) You don't know me, do you, Dr. Christian? 

DOCTOR: No, I don't believe I do.

DON: Ten years where I've been makes a lot of difference. I didn't think it was that bad. I'm Don Burns. 

DOCTOR: (STUNNED) Don Burns? Don Burns!

DON: Yeah. 

DOCTOR: Don Burns -- here? Tonight? Why-- Why, man alive, I-- Well, I'm glad to see you. 

DON: Surprised, too, I'll bet.

DOCTOR: Yes. I am surprised. Why didn't you write or send a message--? 

DON: I told you, I wouldn't write again until I got on my feet and had something to write about. But today was - was Valentine's Day, Doc. You remember about Valentine's Day? 


DON: I got the feeling - I just had to see the house once more. Thought I could walk past, maybe get a look at Emily. But the place is all shut up. Doesn't look lived in. Is Emily--? 

DOCTOR: Emily? (CAREFULLY) Emily left here several years ago. 

DON: Oh. How is she?

DOCTOR: She's well. 

DON: Is she - married? 

DOCTOR: (SLOWLY) Well, she--

DON: Oh, don't stall. She is, I know. Couldn't have expected her to go on waiting around for me. (BEAT) Is she happy? 

DOCTOR: I think so. 

DON: That's nice. (BEAT) Well, I guess I'll be runnin' along. Glad to have seen you, Doc. Hey, you might be interested in this. (SOUND: PAPER UNFOLDED) I thought for a little bit that maybe I'd come back here and sort of start fresh, having it. Well, I guess not now. Like you to see it, though. 

DOCTOR: What is it? 

DON: It's a confession from Hawley. You know, I always believed it was Sandy and he was afraid to come back, but it was Hawley who shot Sims. Hawley got sent up for life a few months ago on another charge. I guess he thought he might as well clear me since it didn't cost him anything. Anyhow, he sent this to me by a pal. Said it had always been on his mind.

DOCTOR: Why, Don, this - this proves you had nothing to do with it at all. That you weren't even there. Don, did Sandy ever--?

DON: No. (BEAT) Well, Ma never knew he was yellow anyway. 

DOCTOR: Well, you must let me take this straight to Judge Hamlin.

DON: Doesn't matter now -- if Emily's married. 

DOCTOR: You always loved Emily, haven't you, Don? 

DON: I was never good enough for her, but-- Yeah, I loved her. Guess I always will. (BEAT) I'll move on now, Doc. 

DOCTOR: Wait. Wait a minute, will you, Don? Er-- I've got some things I - I've got to see to, but I'd like to talk to you for a little while longer.

DON: Okay, Doc, take your time. (DARK CHUCKLE) All the business I got can wait, I guess. 

DOCTOR: Just sit here and stretch your legs by the fire. You'll find plenty to read and I'll be back as quick as I can.


JUDY: What's the matter, Doctor? You look so queer. 

DOCTOR: I feel queer. Judy, I - I'm in an awful spot.

JUDY: Oh? Well, what's happened? 

DOCTOR: Don Burns -- he's back.

JUDY: Don Burns?! That man in there is Don Burns?



DOCTOR: Emily's over there in her house, saying goodbye to a memory of him, so she can marry another man. 

JUDY: She doesn't know Don's back, huh? 

DOCTOR: She'll never know it -- if I don't tell her. He'll not stay unless I--

JUDY: Dr. Christian, how awful! Their whole future depends on you. 

DOCTOR: Judy, tell me -- if you were Emily Cobb, would you want to be told?

JUDY: Yes, Dr. Christian, I - I'm sure if I were Emily, I'd - I'd want to be told. I'd want to make my own decision. 

DOCTOR: If only there was some way I could know what she'd want without actually telling her Don was here. 

JUDY: Oh, Don's suffered so much. It doesn't seem fair.

DOCTOR: I know, I know, but-- Fifteen years is a long time. I'm going over to see Emily now, Judy. 


DOCTOR: Wait. Don't let Don leave until I get back. 

JUDY: What are you going to do?

DOCTOR: Judy, I don't know. Pray for a sign, I guess.




DOCTOR: (CALLS) Emily? (NO ANSWER) Emily?! 

EMILY: (GENTLY STARTLED) Oh! Yes, Dr. Christian? 

DOCTOR: Oh, thank goodness you haven't gone. 

EMILY: (SADLY) No. No, I haven't gone. Come in.


EMILY: I'm not going, Dr. Christian. 

DOCTOR: What? 

EMILY: I've changed my mind. I'm not going back to Chicago. I'm not going to be married. I'm going to stay right here.

DOCTOR: (SURPRISED) Why, Emily--! 

EMILY: I've been thinking about it, sitting here -- the way I used to sit and wait for Don. And I know it wouldn't work. I - I couldn't be happy, or make anyone else happy. I'd always be thinking of Valentine's Day fifteen years ago. 

DOCTOR: You wanted to marry Don then, Emily. Are you sure you would want to marry him if he were here today? 

EMILY: I'd want to marry Don always. I'm going to open the house and I'm going to stay here, Dr. Christian. And if Don ever does come, I'll be waiting.

DOCTOR: I guess that's my answer.

EMILY: What do you mean? 

DOCTOR: You won't have to wait long, Emily. 

EMILY: Dr. Christian, don't--

DOCTOR: I'm going to send someone over to see you.

EMILY: Oh, I don't want to see anyone.

DOCTOR: Oh, you'll want to see him. Emily, I am a pretty old duffer to be playing Cupid, but I-- Well, I-- 

EMILY: (TENSE) Dr. Christian, what is it? Have you--? (BEAT, REALIZES) Not--? Oh, you don't mean that--?

DOCTOR: Yes, Emily. That's just what I mean. 


DOCTOR: After all, what's fifteen years? I don't see why you - you shouldn't be married on Valentine's Day -- just the way you planned.


ANNOUNCER: And the curtain comes down on our Dr. Christian play, "My True Valentine." Jean Hersholt, our star, will be here in just a moment to tell you about next week's play. Meanwhile, here is my parting message for tonight: 

Isn't it odd that many men are meticulous about their clothes, their automobiles, and their business affairs, yet unbelievably careless about their hair? They plaster it down with water, wet it with frequent showers, and then wonder why it becomes harsh and brittle; why it's flecked with unsightly dandruff scales. These are all signs of dry scalp -- signs that your hair lacks sufficient oil. There's a relief for dry scalp, however. It's Vaseline Hair Tonic. This remarkable preparation is different, for it contains absolutely no drying ingredients. Instead, it supplements the natural oils necessary to healthy, good-looking hair. In place of wetting your hair in the morning, shake on a few drops of Vaseline Hair Tonic. And rub plenty of Vaseline Hair Tonic on the scalp before every shampoo. You'll be amazed at how lustrous and healthy-looking your hair will appear, and how free from ugly dandruff scales. Vaseline Hair Tonic is economical, too -- costing only forty and seventy cents at your corner drugstore. Treat your hair to a bottle tomorrow.

Now here is Jean Hersholt as the popular Dr. Christian of River's End. 


ANNOUNCER: What kind of story have you selected for next week, Dr. Christian?

DOCTOR: Well, Art, next week's play is called "I Cannot Tell a Lie" and, as you may guess from the title, its inspiration is George Washington. But it's not the kind of story you think it is at all. It's a swell story, though, and I know you're all going to enjoy it. So until next Wednesday evening at this same hour, I'll say, "Good night." 



ANNOUNCER: If you like Jean Hersholt in his role as Dr. Christian, don't fail to see the RKO picture "Meet Dr. Christian," based on this radio series. You'll enjoy meeting the interesting people who live in River's End. Now this is Arthur Gilmore adding a goodnight for the makers of Vaseline Preparations. 

This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.