Microphone Plays‎ > ‎

Queen of the Cats

The Sealed Book

Queen of the Cats

Aug 26 1945



CAST:

NARRATOR

CHRIS ARNOLD

JANE ELLIOTT

DOCTOR

RHANA FAROUK

SABINE, a cat (2 lines)

SERVANT (1 line)

JUDGE

plus PARTY GUESTS and the CATS




MUSIC: GONG! ... BRIEFLY EERIE ... THEN OUT FOR--


NARRATOR: The Sealed Book!


MUSIC: GONG! ... THEN EERIE TO FILL A PAUSE ... OUT WITH--


SOUND: DOOR UNLOCKS AND KNOB TURNS ... DOOR SQUEAKS OPEN 


NARRATOR: Once again, the Keeper of the Book has opened the ponderous door to the secret vault wherein is kept the Great Sealed Book, which records all the secrets and mysteries of mankind through the ages. Here are tales of every kind -- tales of murder, of madness, of dark deeds strange and terrible beyond all belief. Keeper of the Book, I would know what tale we tell this time. Open the Great Book and let us read.


MUSIC: SHIMMERING WITH EERIE EXPECTANCY, IN BG


NARRATOR: Slowly the Great Book opens.


SOUND: PAGES FLIPPED BEHIND--


NARRATOR: One by one, the Keeper of the Book turns the pages--


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


SOUND: PAGE FLIPPING ENDS 


NARRATOR: --and stops! (BEAT, PLEASED) Ah, the strange story of a woman who was born with the soul of a cat. A tale titled--


MUSIC: STING


NARRATOR: --"Queen of the Cats"!


MUSIC: GONG! ... FILLS LENGTHY PAUSE FOR COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ... OUT FOR--


NARRATOR: Here is the tale, "Queen of the Cats," as it is written in the pages of the Sealed Book.


MUSIC: STING ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: It is early evening and in a large, old-fashioned living room filled with gloomy shadows, young Chris Arnold, his face haggard, sits glowering at his fiancée Jane Elliott and the serious-faced doctor whom she has brought to see him. Chris' hand trembles as he tries to light his cigarette while he speaks.


CHRIS: I'm sorry Jane made you come all the way out here to see me, Dr. Smith. There's nothing wrong with me. Nothing, I tell you!


JANE: Oh, Chris, there is; I know it!


DOCTOR: Yes, Chris, Jane's right. I've known you all my life and I can see at a glance there's something wrong. Now, why not tell me and let me see whether I can help you or not?


CHRIS: I-- (EXHALES) All right, I'll - I'll tell you. I've got to tell someone. Jane knows part of the story already; she was in it. But I'll tell it to you from the very beginning -- which was two years ago at a party to which Jane and I were invited.


SOUND: PARTY BACKGROUND (GUESTS MURMUR, ET CETERA)


JANE: Chris, isn't this a wonderful party?


CHRIS: (LIGHTLY) The only thing wonderful about it is you. (CHUCKLES AS HE KISSES HER)


JANE: (CHUCKLES, EMBARRASSED) Chris, don't. People are watching.


CHRIS: Oh, fine thing when a man can't kiss his best girl in public. (CHUCKLES) What's this generation coming to?


JANE: At Miss Tindall's school, we were taught a young lady never kisses a man in public.


CHRIS: Mm, Miss Tindall is setting romance back fifty years. (CHUCKLES) 


JANE: (CHUCKLES) 


CHRIS: Who are you looking for, anyway?


JANE: Rhana Farouk, my roommate at Miss Tindall's.


CHRIS: Oh, she's the Egyptian girl you were telling me about.


JANE: Yes, I want you to meet her. (FRIENDLY WARNING) Only you'd better not fall in love with her as every other man does.


CHRIS: Mmmmm, sounds as though she's a second Cleopatra.


JANE: (CHUCKLES) Men don't seem to be able to resist her.


CHRIS: Really?


JANE: (YES) Mmm.


CHRIS: Well, I'm curious to see this siren of the Nile.


JANE: (CHUCKLES, SEES RHANA) There she is, Chris! Come on.


CHRIS: (STUNNED, VERY IMPRESSED) So that - that's Rhana. No wonder men can't resist her.


RHANA: (ELEGANT) Hello, Jane. I've missed you.


JANE: Rhana, this is Chris Arnold. Chris, this is Rhana Farouk.


RHANA: Hello, Chris. 


CHRIS: (ENTRANCED) Hello, Rhana.


JANE: Oh-oh, look, there's Miss Tindall waving to me. Excuse me, won't you?


RHANA: Of course, Jane.


JANE: (MOVING OFF) I'll be back in a minute.


SOUND: JANE'S STEPS AWAY


RHANA: (CHUCKLES WARMLY) You know, Chris, at Miss Tindall's, the first thing I'd see in the morning when I got up, and the last thing before I went to bed, was your picture. And I always knew that someday we would meet. (BEAT) Now we have. (NO RESPONSE) Why are you staring at me like that? Aren't you going to say anything?


CHRIS: (THOROUGHLY SMITTEN) I prefer - just to look.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


CHRIS: Even now, doctor, two years after our first meeting, I find it difficult to describe how beautiful Rhana was. I was her slave from the moment I saw her. And a month after we'd met, we were married.


DOCTOR: I see. Please go on, Chris.


CHRIS: After Rhana and I were married, we took an apartment in town. In the months that followed, I began to see Rhana not as the image I'd been infatuated with, but as she really was -- vain, selfish, and possessive.


DOCTOR: Hmm. 


CHRIS: It was a possessiveness verging on madness. She couldn't bear to have me out of her sight. And when I was, upon my return, there'd be questions -- countless questions. I began to dread seeing her. And then-- Then there were the cats.


DOCTOR: The cats?


CHRIS: Yes. The apartment was always full of - cats. She'd sit for hours, stroking them, whispering to 'em, till a fella'd go mad. And that was when I got the strange idea that Rhana wasn't really human at all, but a great cat herself, wearing human form. She and the cats seemed to talk together as if they understood each other perfectly. Life became a nightmare for me -- a nightmare full of cats and Rhana asking questions, endless questions. One day I realized I couldn't go on living with her any longer; that our marriage had been a mistake. I decided to tell her about it that very evening, without waiting any longer.


SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR


CHRIS: (CALLS) May I come in, Rhana?


RHANA: (BEHIND DOOR) Of course, dear.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS ... FIVE CATS PURR AND MEOW QUIETLY IN BACKGROUND ... CHRIS' STEPS IN ... DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


CHRIS: Rhana, there's something important I want to talk to you about.


RHANA: Please, Chris, there's so little time just now. We can talk after the party.


CHRIS: But, Rhana, this is important! I think that--


RHANA: Darling, whatever you have to say can wait. Now, please hurry.


CHRIS: But--


RHANA: (INSISTENT) Please.


CHRIS: (EXHALES) Well, all right. We'll discuss what I have to say later.


RHANA: (PAUSE) Chris?


CHRIS: Hm?


RHANA: When  I called you at the office this afternoon, why didn't you tell me that you'd had lunch with Mary Walker?


CHRIS: (STARTLED, TENSE) Huh? How did you know I had lunch with her?


RHANA: Oh, a friend told me.


CHRIS: A friend? Who was it?!


SABINE: (MEOWS, TO RHANA)


RHANA: (TO CAT) What is it, my beauty? What are you trying to tell me?


CHRIS: (IMPATIENT, SHARPLY) Rhana, put that cat down and answer me! Who is the friend that told you I had lunch with Mary Walker?


RHANA: Someone you've never met, darling.


CHRIS: How is it you always know what I've been doing, whom I've been seeing?! It's as though you have people spying on me!


RHANA: (MILDLY) Chris! What a thing to say. Now, please hurry or we'll be late.


CHRIS: (GRIM) There's something strange about the way you always know what I've been doing. Sometimes I suspect you--


SABINE: (SHRIEKS IN PAIN)


SOUND: CATS GROW SILENT


RHANA: Chris, look out! You stepped on Sabine's tail!


CHRIS: (ANGRY) Now, look, if there weren't so may cats underfoot, I wouldn't have stepped on it! Why must you keep five cats around?!


RHANA: (WITH QUIET PASSION) Because I love cats. They're beautiful. Sacred. Thousands of years ago my ancestors worshipped cats and the great cat goddess, Sekhmet. On the River Nile, close by the ancient city of Hammadi where I was born, are the graves of a hundred thousand sacred cats who have been mummified and buried with reverence.


CHRIS: (BEAT, QUIETLY) Rhana, I can't go on like this any more.


RHANA: Why, darling, what do you mean?


CHRIS: Our marriage was a mistake. I want a divorce.


RHANA: Chris, you can't be serious.


CHRIS: But I am!


RHANA: (BEAT, QUIETLY FIRM) No, Chris. I love you and I won't give you up. You're mine, darling; you always will be. Nothing shall ever separate us.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: PARTY BACKGROUND (MURMUR OF GUESTS, ET CETERA)


SERVANT: Care for a cocktail, sir?


CHRIS: (UNHAPPY) No, thank you.


JANE: (APPROACHES, LIGHTLY) Well, even if you won't have one, Mr. Arnold, I will.


CHRIS: (PLEASED) Jane!


JANE: (CHUCKLES)


CHRIS: (GENUINELY) Oh, Jane, it's good to see you again! (EAGERLY) Can't we go someplace and talk? What about the terrace?


JANE: (SURPRISED) All right, Chris.


CHRIS: Here, this door opens onto it.


SOUND: TERRACE DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS THEY STEP ONTO TERRACE ... PARTY BACKGROUND OUT FOR NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (CRICKETS, ET CETERA)


CHRIS: (SIGHS) This is much better. (POINTEDLY) It's been quite some time since we've seen each other, hasn't it?


JANE: (AWKWARDLY) Yes, the last time we saw each other was the night that--


CHRIS: (SADLY) The night that - I met Rhana.


JANE: Yes. (BEAT, POLITELY) How is Rhana, Chris?


CHRIS: Oh, she's fine. We-- (BEAT, EXHALES, MISERABLY) Oh, Jane, I've made such a mess out of everything. I was a fool to have married her.


JANE: Oh, please, Chris, you mustn't talk like that.


CHRIS: I was a fool, Jane, mistaking infatuation for love. Can you ever forgive me for the way I've behaved towards you?


JANE: There's nothing to forgive, Chris.


SOUND: RHANA'S STEPS APPROACH


RHANA: (APPROACHES) Well, Jane! This is a surprise.


CHRIS: (UNHAPPY) Rhana!


JANE: (POLITE) Hello, Rhana.


RHANA: Really, Jane, the way you've avoided calling on us, I half suspect you're still in love with Chris.


CHRIS: Rhana, you have no right to talk to her like that!


JANE: Please, Chris, I-- I'm afraid I'll have to be leaving. It's getting quite late. (MOVING OFF) Good night.


SOUND: JANE'S STEPS TO TERRACE DOOR WHICH OPENS 


CHRIS: Good night, Jane.


SOUND: TERRACE DOOR SHUTS


RHANA: (PAUSE) I hope I didn't interrupt anything by coming out here so - unexpectedly, Chris.


CHRIS: Yes, Rhana, you did! I was about to tell Jane that I love her and that I always will. Rhana, you've got to give me a divorce!


RHANA: I'll never give you a divorce. Never, do you hear? You're mine and you always will be. If I can't have you, no one else will.


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN ... GONG! ... FILLS LENGTHY PAUSE FOR COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ... OUT FOR--


NARRATOR: And now my story continues -- as it is written here in the pages of the Sealed Book.


MUSIC: STING ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: There is horror on Chris Arnold's features as he tells the doctor of his efforts to get his wife Rhana to divorce him -- and of her refusal to let him go.


CHRIS: I can still see her, doctor. She stood there glaring at me. She looked like a cat -- a great angry cat. Her green eyes were cold and murderous. Her long nails dug into my arm; her body was tense. For a moment, I thought she was gonna scratch my eyes out. Then she turned and stalked away.


DOCTOR: Hmm. What happened after that night, Chris?


CHRIS: I ceased speaking to Rhana. We lived in the same apartment, but that was all. Rhana waited for me to come around -- with all the patience of a cat playing with a mouse. But when a month had passed and I still refused to talk to her, she made an attempt to win me back. It happened one night as we were driving to this house.


SOUND: AUTO INTERIOR ... CAR SLOWS TO A STOP DURING FOLLOWING--


CHRIS: Why are you slowing down, Rhana?


RHANA: I want to talk to you, Chris, and I can't talk to you while I'm driving.


CHRIS: There's no point in your stopping. We have nothing to say to each other.


RHANA: But we do, darling. (QUIETLY IMPLORING) Chris, we could be so happy together if you wanted to. You know how much I love you. I'd do anything to make you happy. Anything.


CHRIS: Anything? Then you can give me a divorce!


RHANA: Chris, you haven't any right to treat me like this. I'm your wife.


CHRIS: Only in the eyes of the law! Not in my eyes!


RHANA: (STUNG; QUIETLY) I hate you. (SAVAGELY, WITH EFFORT) I hate you!


CHRIS: (IN PAIN) Oh! You cat! You almost took my eyes out with those claws of yours!


RHANA: I will scratch your eyes out before I let any other woman have you! You're mine and you always will be!


CHRIS: (WITH EFFORT) Perhaps this will bring you to your senses!


SOUND: CHRIS SLAPS RHANA IN THE FACE


RHANA: (GASPS IN PAIN)


CHRIS: (PAUSE, FORCEFULLY) Slide over. I'll drive.


RHANA: (BEAT, QUIETLY) Very well, Chris.


SOUND: PAUSE ... THEN CAR ENGINE REVS UP ... CAR IN GEAR, STARTS DOWN ROAD ... ENGINE CONTINUES IN BG


RHANA: (BEAT, COOLLY) You think you've beaten me, Chris. But you haven't. In the end, you'll come crawling to me. It may take a year, two years, five years. But I can wait.


CHRIS: You have everything planned perfectly, Rhana, don't you? But I have one way of escape from you that you never thought of.


RHANA: Really? And what way is that?


CHRIS: I can escape - through death.


RHANA: (BEAT) Death?


CHRIS: Yes, Rhana. If I should fail to take the curve a hundred yards ahead, we'd plunge off the side of this mountain!


RHANA: (FEARFUL) Chris, you wouldn't!


CHRIS: Why not, Rhana?! You've showed me there's nothing to live for! This, at least, is a clean way out.


SOUND: TIRES SQUEAL! ... CAR PLUNGES OFF MOUNTAIN BEHIND--


RHANA: No, Chris! Chris, don't! No! Noooooooo!


SOUND: CAR CRASH!


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHRIS--


CHRIS: When I drove the car over the side of the mountain, doctor, I thought Rhana and I were going to our deaths. But fate decreed otherwise. When I recovered consciousness forty-eight hours later in a hospital, I learned it was only Rhana who had died. I only had a few bones broken and was out of the hospital in a month. It was just a week later that I ran into Jane.


SOUND: CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND


CHRIS: (PLEASED, CALLS) Jane!


JANE: (ALSO PLEASED, APPROACHES) Chris! Oh, Chris, it's you!


CHRIS: Janie, you always seem to pop up just when I need you most.


JANE: Oh, these past weeks must have been so difficult for you.


CHRIS: Oh, I don't want to look back at the past, Jane, but only to the future -- the future I once hoped we'd share. And still do.


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


CHRIS: Two months ago, doctor, Jane and I became engaged. It was just about that time that I first began to notice that everywhere I went there always seemed to be a cat following me.


DOCTOR: Are you sure you weren't imagining it, Chris?


CHRIS: Well, at first I thought it was my imagination, but a week after Jane and I became engaged I was certain I was being followed.


DOCTOR: Tell me, Chris, was it always the same cat that followed you?


CHRIS: No. No, one day, it'd be one cat and, another day, a different one. Then one night - I saw her. It happened in this very room, six weeks ago. I had great difficulty in falling asleep that night. Suddenly the silence was broken by the faint crying of a cat.


RHANA

AS A CAT: (AN EERIE FORLORN WAIL, THEN INTERMITTENTLY BEHIND CHRIS--)


MUSIC: EERIE, IN BG


CHRIS: The crying grew louder and louder. I lay in the darkness, listening, realizing that the cat crying was real -- living -- and in my room. I could feel my heart pounding as I sat up in bed - and looked about my darkened room. Then suddenly I saw her. Two burning green eyes in the darkness.


MUSIC: STING, THEN IN BG


CHRIS: There was no mistaking those eyes! They were Rhana's! (BEAT) I stared into those eyes for what seemed like hours. Then, as though listening to a stranger's voice, I heard myself speak.


MUSIC: OUT


CHRIS: Rhana?!


RHANA: (CRIES EERILY, CONTINUES IN BG)


CHRIS: It is you, Rhana, isn't it?! 


RHANA: (SEEMS TO CRY A RESPONSE ... THEN CONTINUES CRYING IN BG)


CHRIS: Yes, I'd recognize those green eyes anywhere. So you've come back. And in the form I've always thought of you as: a cat!


RHANA: (SEEMS TO CRY A RESPONSE ... THEN CONTINUES CRYING IN BG)


CHRIS: I know why you've come back. It's because of Jane!


RHANA: (SNARLS SHARPLY, THEN CRIES IN BG)


CHRIS: You always said that if you couldn't have me, no one else would; that I was yours and always would be. Well, you're wrong, do you hear? Jane and I are gonna be married! 


RHANA: (WAILS UNHAPPILY, THEN CRIES IN BG)


CHRIS: You came between us once, but you aren't going to this time! I will marry her, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!


RHANA: (SHRIEKS ANGRILY, HISSES WITH EFFORT)


CHRIS: (GASPS, IN PAIN) You fiend! Trying to scratch my eyes out with your--! Well, we'll see about that! (GRUNTS WITH EFFORT AS--)


SOUND: THUMP! CHRIS THROWS SOMETHING AT THE CAT


RHANA: (EXCLAIMS IN PAIN, THEN CRIES UNHAPPILY IN BG)


CHRIS: Perhaps that'll show you. (HYSTERICAL) Nothing you can do will stop me from marrying her! I know that the cats that were following me and spying on me were doing so under your orders! (REALIZES) You--! You're the Queen of the Cats! Yes, I should have known! No wonder you always knew where I'd been, who I'd seen. You had cats spying on me even then!


RHANA: (MEOWS KNOWINGLY, THEN CRIES IN BG)


CHRIS: Well, even if you are the Queen of the Cats, you can't stop me from marrying Jane!


SOUND: CHRIS' HURRIED STEPS TO NEARBY GUN, WHICH HE PICKS UP


CHRIS: Perhaps a bullet between those green eyes of yours is what's needed!


SOUND: GUNSHOTS! CHRIS EMPTIES THE GUN AT THE WAILING CAT


MUSIC: SECOND ACT CURTAIN ... GONG! ... FILLS LENGTHY PAUSE FOR COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ... OUT FOR--


NARRATOR: And now to continue the story -- as it is written in the Sealed Book.


MUSIC: STING ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: His voice shaking, Chris Arnold is telling how he shot at the great black cat which came to him in the night -- and missed.


CHRIS: I emptied the gun at her, doctor -- at Rhana, in her true form of a great cat. When I turned on the light, there was no sign of her. She'd vanished. All that I found were six bullet holes in the wall opposite my bed.


DOCTOR: Chris, isn't it possible that you only dreamed all that? That actually you fired the gun in your sleep, and the shots themselves wakened you?


CHRIS: I tried to tell myself that. But during the nights that followed, I knew it hadn't been a dream -- for, night after night, the great black cat appeared in my house. I'd lie awake, waiting to hear her voice, and when she'd appear, I'd plead with her to leave me alone, but she'd only stare at me with those burning green eyes -- waiting, waiting. I knew she'd never leave me alone as long as I intended to marry Jane. (BEAT) Finally, I went to see Jane. 


SOUND: KNOCKING ON JANE'S DOOR, WHICH OPENS


JANE: (PLEASED) Chris! This is a surprise. Come in, darling.


SOUND: CHRIS' STEPS IN ... DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


CHRIS: Thank you. (SHEEPISH) Jane, there's something I want to ask you.


JANE: Yes, Chris? Of course. What is it?


CHRIS: I know we set our wedding for next week. But couldn't we put it off for a while? Just a little while.


JANE: (WORRIED) Oh, darling, what is it? There's something wrong; I know there is. Please tell me.


CHRIS: I wish I could, but I can't. Please, Jane, just have faith in me. You know I wouldn't postpone our marriage if I could possibly help it.


JANE: (TAKEN ABACK, BUT AGREEABLE) All right, Chris. I - I - I do have faith in you. We'll consider our marriage postponed -- for the time being.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


CHRIS: The night I put off my marriage to Jane, doctor, was the first night that Rhana didn't appear -- and the first night in a week that I was able to sleep. 


DOCTOR: You think, Chris, that she didn't appear again because you'd postponed your marriage to Jane?


CHRIS: I know it! Weeks went by -- weeks in which I was able to sleep soundly without being awakened by her. I came to think that perhaps it had all been part of a horrible nightmare and that I was over it at last. A week ago, I asked Jane to set the date for our wedding. She did so, and that same day we took out a marriage license. But that night Rhana appeared again -- her eyes shining in the dark, cold and murderous! And I've seen her every night since. I tell myself that I mustn't be afraid, but I keep hearing her voice, over and over: "If I can't have you, no one else will. You're mine and you always will be."


JANE: Oh, Chris darling, I wish I'd known all this before.


DOCTOR: You feel, Chris, that somehow she prevents you from marrying Jane?


CHRIS: I know I sound mad, but I do! I have a feeling something horrible will happen if I attempt to marry her.


DOCTOR: Do you still have the marriage license?


CHRIS: Yes. Why do you ask?


DOCTOR: Chris, you've reached a crisis in your life. You're faced with fears that are threatening to overwhelm your sanity. Now, the best way for you to challenge your fears is to go through with your marriage to Jane -- now, tonight.


CHRIS: Tonight?


DOCTOR: Yes. It's quite late, but I'm sure a friend of mine who's a judge will marry you.


CHRIS: (STEELS HIMSELF) All right, doctor. (BEAT) Jane, will you marry me -- tonight?


JANE: (SURPRISED, PLEASED) Oh, yes, Chris. Yes!


MUSIC: TRANSITION (WITH JUST AN EERIE HINT OF "HERE COMES THE BRIDE")


DOCTOR: Sorry to get you up in the middle of the night, judge, but for reasons I can't explain, it's important that these two be married tonight.


JUDGE: That's quite all right, doc. Always glad to oblige a friend. (TO CHRIS) Have you got the license and ring, young man?


CHRIS: Yes, sir. (FISHES IN POCKETS) Here's the license and - here's the ring.


JUDGE: Good. Now, young man, if you'll take her right hand. (BEAT) That's it. Now, shall I give the long ceremony -- (YAWNS) -- or the short one?


JANE: The short one, please.


JUDGE: Just as you say, young lady. This is the shortest one I've got. (CLEARS THROAT; QUICKLY) Do you, Jane Elliott, take this man to be your lawful wedded husband, to love, honor, and obey as long as you both shall live?


JANE: I do.


JUDGE: (QUICKLY) Do you, Christopher Arnold, take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife, to love, honor, and cherish as long as you both shall live?


CHRIS: I--


RHANA: (LOUD WAIL OF A CAT ... CONTINUES TO HOWL AND CRY IN BG)


CHRIS: (TERRIFIED) It-- It's she! It's Rhana!


JANE: Oh, Chris, please! It's only a black cat. You mustn't pay any attention to it.


DOCTOR: Of course not. Now - now--


CHRIS: It's Rhana, I tell you! Look at her eyes! I told you she'd try to prevent my marrying Jane! Well, I'll get rid of her for once and for all!


JANE: Chris, what are you doing with that gun?! Put it down!


SOUND: FOUR GUNSHOTS!


RHANA: (HOWLS AND RUNS OFF)


CHRIS: (DISAPPOINTED) Oh, she got away! (MOVING OFF) Well, wherever she's gone, I'll find her and kill her!


SOUND: CHRIS' HURRIED STEPS AWAY


JANE: Chris! Chris, come back!


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: JANE, JUDGE, AND DOCTOR'S HURRIED STEPS ON SIDEWALK ... THEN IN BG


JANE: Oh, doctor, where can he be?


DOCTOR: Well, Jane, he can't be far off. We'll find him.


SOUND: FOUR NEARBY GUNSHOTS! ... FOOTSTEPS STOP 


DOCTOR: Listen.


JANE: Doctor, that must be Chris firing that gun.


DOCTOR: Come on! Those shots came from close by!


SOUND: JANE, JUDGE, AND DOCTOR'S HURRIED STEPS RESUME BRIEFLY BEHIND--


JANE: Oh, hurry! Hurry!


JUDGE: You better take it easy now, doc. It's pretty dark out here.


DOCTOR: Wait a moment, I'll light my lighter.


JUDGE: Doc, look! A dead cat.


JANE: (INHALES SHARPLY)


DOCTOR: Yes. It was shot through the head.


JUDGE: Look, here's another one that's been shot to death.


JANE: (QUIETLY UNNERVED) Neither one of them - is the black cat.


JUDGE: Say, doc, isn't - isn't that a body over there?


JANE: (WORRIED) Chris!


DOCTOR: Wait, Jane -- you stay with the judge while I look.


JANE: All right, doctor. (SOBS, CONTINUES IN BG)


SOUND: DOCTOR'S STEPS AWAY


JUDGE: (SOOTHING) There, there, miss. You mustn't cry.


JANE: (TEARFUL) But this would never have happened if I hadn't agreed to marry him. He was afraid, so afraid!


SOUND: DOCTOR'S STEPS RETURN BEHIND--


JUDGE: Doc, is it Arnold?


DOCTOR: (APPROACHES, SADLY) Yes. It is.


JANE: (SOBERLY) He's dead, isn't he? I can see it in your face.


DOCTOR: Yes, Jane, he's dead.


JANE: (SOBS)


JUDGE: But, doc, how could such a thing have happened to him in such a short time?


DOCTOR: (BEAT) He's been clawed to bits -- as if by the claws of hundreds of cats.


JANE: (QUIET CRY OF HORROR)


DOCTOR: And most horrible of all -- his eyes have been scratched out.


MUSIC: BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NARRATOR--


NARRATOR: Two days later, at Chris Arnold's funeral, a great black cat appeared as if from nowhere, sitting close by the edge of the grave and licking its paws as it watched the coffin lowered into the earth. When they tried to catch it, it leaped away and seemed to vanish. It was never seen again. Was it truly Rhana, Chris' wife, reborn in the shape of the cat she had been at heart? The answer is not written here. The tale has been told just as it is recorded - in the Sealed Book.


MUSIC: GONG! ... FILLS LENGTHY PAUSE FOR COMMERCIAL ANNOUNCEMENT ... OUT FOR--


NARRATOR: And now, Keeper of the Book, before you close the great volume, show us the tale we tell next time. (BEAT, SURPRISED) This one? (PLEASED) Yes, an amazing tale! It's the story of a brother and sister who found themselves left out of their aunt's will, and who remedied that unfortunate situation by a clever scheme -- a scheme which proved to be just a little too clever. It's a tale titled--


MUSIC: STING


NARRATOR: --"Death Rings Down the Curtain"!


MUSIC: GONG! ... FILLS PAUSE EERILY ... OUT FOR--


NARRATOR: Be sure to be with us again next time, when the sound of the Great Gong heralds another strange and exciting tale from--


MUSIC: GONG! 


NARRATOR: --the Sealed Book!


MUSIC: GONG! 


NARRATOR: (MATTER OF FACT) "The Sealed Book," written by Bob Arthur and David Kogan, is produced and directed by Jock MacGregor.


Comments