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Take a Letter, Darling

The Old Gold Comedy Theatre

Take a Letter, Darling

Dec 03 1944





CAST:

ANNOUNCER, Bob Williams

HOST, Harold Lloyd

LITTLE VOICE, high-pitched female

2ND ANNCR

NBC ANNCR


TOM VERNEY, itinerant painter (JOHN HODIAK)

A. M. MacGREGOR, driven advertising executive (SUSAN HAYWARD)

RECEPTIONIST, female

BARTON, male; officious, slightly effeminate

ATWATER, MacGregor's business partner

JONATHAN CALDWELL, smart, worldly tobacco executive

ETHEL CALDWELL, Jonathan's sister

AUNT JUDY

AUNT MINNIE







MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: From Hollywood, California, the makers of Old Gold Cigarettes present "The Comedy Theatre," the only radio program that brings you every week the greatest stars in the greatest comedies. Tonight's play, "Take a Letter, Darling," starring John Hodiak and Susan Hayward.


MUSIC: UP, FOR THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: And here is the director of "The Old Gold Comedy Theatre," Mr. Harold Lloyd!


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Our play tonight, "Take a Letter, Darling," was cast in a very psychic manner. Because when we asked ourselves -- "Now, who would be a perfectly virile young man for our lead?" -- a little voice said--


LITTLE VOICE: Johnny Hodiak.


HOST: And when we asked ourselves -- "Now, who would combine charm and humor and rugged individuality?" -- a little voice said--


LITTLE VOICE: Johnny Hodiak.


HOST: So we listened to that little voice, and it grew into a big strong voice which said the very same thing.


HODIAK: John Hodiak.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: Welcome to "Comedy Theatre," John. Pull up a microphone and make yourself broadcastable.


HODIAK: Thank you, Harold.


HOST: I hope you managed to find a leading lady, John. You'll need one, you know.


HODIAK: Yes, I know. And I had an experience similar to yours, Harold, because when I asked myself -- "Who's a beautiful girl with poise and sophistication and charm?" -- a little voice said-- 


LITTLE VOICE: Susan Hayward.


HOST: Well, now, isn't that amazing? Probably both of us are wired for sound. But what did you do?


HODIAK: I listened to that voice and it grew stronger, but it always said the same thing.


HAYWARD: Susan Hayward.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: Welcome, Susan. What do you think of our psychic powers?


HAYWARD: Quite impressive. Do you tell fortunes, too?


HOST: Indeed, I do. I huddled with my prognosticator this afternoon and I can safely predict that you and John are going to give as delightful performances tonight as John is giving in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's "Marriage Is a Private Affair" and yours, Susan, in Paramount's "And Now Tomorrow."


HODIAK & HAYWARD: Thank you, sir.


HOST: You're welcome. Now, let me begin this way. Once upon a time, a very shrewd advertising man said, "It pays to advertise" and made himself a lot of money. And once upon a time, Tom Verney, a very shrewd young man, said, "It pays to be in advertising" and made himself a lot of trouble. It all began when Tom carried six feet of muscle, two and a half feet of shoulders, and a letter of introduction into the offices of Atwater and MacGregor, advertising specialists.


VERNEY: (POLITE) Good morning.


RECEPTIONIST: (IMPRESSED) Good morning.


VERNEY: I, er, have a letter of introduction to A. M. MacGregor.


RECEPTIONIST: Is it about a job?


VERNEY: Well, yes.


RECEPTIONIST: (CONFIDENTIALLY) You want to know something?


VERNEY: Well, yes.


RECEPTIONIST: You'll get the job.


VERNEY: Well-- Yes?


RECEPTIONIST: Yes. The more I look at you, the more I'm sure you'll get the job --- chump.


VERNEY: Chump?


RECEPTIONIST: (DISMISSING HIM) Third door to the right. Just walk in.


VERNEY: Thanks, pal.


RECEPTIONIST: Don't mention it, chump.


SOUND: TOM'S FOOTSTEPS DOWN HALL TO OFFICE DOOR WHICH OPENS


VERNEY: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm looking for MacGregor.


MacGREGOR: (OFF) Well, you found her. Close the door, come on in, and sit down.


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR CLOSES ... VERNEY'S FOOTSTEPS IN


VERNEY: Well, I am sorry. Dooley didn't tell me MacGregor was a lady.


MacGREGOR: Is a lady. You have a letter from him? May I see it?


VERNEY: Yes, here.


SOUND: LETTER HANDED OVER, UNFOLDED


MacGREGOR: Tom Verney, huh? Well, now, I might be able to use you. What have you done?


VERNEY: Well, nothing much. I had an income and lived as I pleased. Shipped aboard freighters twice -- once to the Argentine, once to Portugal. I was bodyguard to a banker, played pro football for a couple of years, but-- I mean, none of it was work.


MacGREGOR: Piggy bank empty?


VERNEY: That's right.


MacGREGOR: College graduate?


VERNEY: Yep.


MacGREGOR: Do you like advertising?


VERNEY: Not particularly.


MacGREGOR: Well, that's a fine start. What do you like?


VERNEY: I guess I'm childish, but that's my secret.


MacGREGOR: Stand up.


VERNEY: Huh? What?


MacGREGOR: How do you look in clothes?


VERNEY: Clothes?


MacGREGOR: Yeah. I mean a decent suit or tails.


VERNEY: Well, isn't this suit decent? I've worn it for two years; haven't been arrested once. ...


MacGREGOR: Please answer my questions and try not to be cute.


VERNEY: Pardon me. Fire away.


MacGREGOR: Do you dance?


VERNEY: Fairly well; no prizes.


MacGREGOR: Are you married?


VERNEY: Nope.


MacGREGOR: Any obligations?


VERNEY: What kind?


MacGREGOR: Female.


VERNEY: Eh, no.


MacGREGOR: Well, you're a little on the Gargantua side, but I'll take a chance. You'll start at fifty dollars a week.


VERNEY: Fifty dollars?


MacGREGOR: When you're worth more, you'll be paid more.


VERNEY: Well, thanks, but what am I?


MacGREGOR: My private secretary.


VERNEY: Yeah, but I don't know anything about shorthand or typing.


MacGREGOR: Oh, we have girls in the outer office for that. (LOW) Your duties will be - more personal.


VERNEY: (BEAT, LOW) I see. ... (UP, OFFENDED) Miss MacGregor, I came here because I needed money, but if what I'm thinking is right, (MOVING OFF) pardon me while I go out and start digging a nice clean ditch.


MacGREGOR: Oh, just a moment, Mr. Verney. Believe me, I won't hurt you. Your three predecessors made the same mistake. Was probably the night work that fooled them.


VERNEY: Night work?


MacGREGOR: Mm hm. You see, a woman in advertising has an edge and a handicap. She's a woman -- that's the edge. But so are the wives of the executives she has to deal with. And that's the handicap.


VERNEY: (UNDERSTANDS) Oh, and they think that you're--? I mean, that they--?


MacGREGOR: You're learning, Verney. And that's what we're up against tonight. We're dining with a Mr. and Mrs. French. He has a two-million-dollar advertising contract that I could use -- and a wife that I could choke.


VERNEY: Can't say I blame her for being suspicious. You're, uh, quite beautiful.


MacGREGOR: You're learning. And that's why I need you.


VERNEY: To choke the wife?


MacGREGOR: Oh, no, you won't have to go that far. Just a little extra pressure when you're dancing with her should do the trick. See what I mean?


VERNEY: I'm learning.


MacGREGOR: How does the job strike you?


VERNEY: Repulsive.


MacGREGOR: Fifty dollars a week!


VERNEY: Impressive!


MacGREGOR: You'll take it?


VERNEY: Positive.


MacGREGOR: Good! ... Now, dash over to Barton's and get yourself a full dress suit. Here's the address. I'll pick you up tonight at seven. You'll probably need alterations. Hurry now, and ask for Mr. Barton personally. (FADES OUT)


MUSIC: BRIDGE


VERNEY: You Mr. Barton?


BARTON: I'm Mr. Barton.


VERNEY: Miss MacGregor sent me.


BARTON: Oh, Mr. Verney! Miss MacGregor phoned about you. (IMPRESSED) So you're the new secretary, eh?


VERNEY: Yeah, I'm the new secretary. Let me see some soup-and-fish; I have to pick one out.


BARTON: Now-now-now, my men have taken care of everything.


VERNEY: What do you mean?


BARTON: Well, tails, top hat, stick, gloves -- big gentleman. It's all ready for you.


VERNEY: Stick?


BARTON: And I have a little surprise for you, Verney. You're going to get two business suits, also. You lucky dog, you.


VERNEY: Don't poke me in the ribs. How do I know this stuff's gonna fit?


BARTON: My dear boy, I have been dressing Miss MacGregor's secretaries for years. But we'll try this coat on just to make you happier. (BEAT, TOO ADMIRINGLY) My, but you do have broad shoulders and large biceps. Wrestle?


VERNEY: With you? 


BARTON: (FLUSTERED) Well, please! ... Certainly not. No, no, indeed. I - I was just making chitchat. 


VERNEY: This coat's too tight.


BARTON: Maybe, maybe not. Miss MacGregor likes a form-fitting coat.


VERNEY: (PROTESTS) I'm wearing it.


BARTON: (SIMPLY) Miss MacGregor is buying it. 


VERNEY: Oh, I see. ... Well, what would you do if I held out for a large one?


BARTON: Unfortunately for you, I should be forced to telephone Miss MacGregor-- (QUICKLY) Now wait a minute! Don't bunch your shoulders and don't stretch your arms! You'll rip the coat!


SOUND: RIP! OF COAT


BARTON: Oh, you huge beast!


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: THEME ... BRIEFLY IN BG, TO SIGNAL COMMERCIAL


HOST: I thought that was a ripping good scene, didn't you, B. W.?


ANNOUNCER: Well, frankly, H. L., I didn't think Mr. Barton had to get upset. Supposing Tom did rip a coat? Did you hear what Barton called him? A huge beast!


HOST: Oh, but, B. W., you must remember that Barton is an artist at his work. Every thread and stitch in that coat was a work of art - and with one stretch of his arms, Tom ripped the coat to shreds. Now, why shouldn't Barton be annoyed?


ANNOUNCER: Oh, come, come now, H. L. You know that when situations like that arise, we have a magic formula.


HOST: Oh, of course. Gee, someone should have told Barton. Someone should have said to him, "Why be irritated? Light an Old Gold."


ANNOUNCER: H. L., truer words were never spoken. Yes, smokers! Why be irritated? Light an Old Gold. When you need a minute to straighten yourself out, that's the time for the comfort and pleasure of a fine cigarette. But you know from experience that you get no pleasure if your cigarette is dry and harsh. Therefore--


2ND ANNCR: To help prevent cigarette dryness, Old Gold's magnificent tobaccos are conditioned with apple honey. This special conditioning process helps hold in the natural moisture, helps guard your smoking enjoyment.


ANNOUNCER: And, smokers, that's not all.  


2ND ANNCR: To give you a smoke of unusual richness -- of delicious matchless flavor -- a touch of rare imported Latakia tobacco is added to Old Gold's great blend of many great tobaccos.


ANNOUNCER: Yes, and it all adds up to the keenest smoke ever. Old Gold, with its extra flavor plus the special protection of apple honey, which helps guard against cigarette dryness. So, friends, play it smart. When little annoyances come your way, just say, "Why be irritated? Light an Old Gold." Yes, light an Old Gold and see for yourself why they've tripled in popularity.


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


HOST: Heh, yes, this is Harold Lloyd, to tell you that Tom Verney carried off his first assignment with flying colors. While Mrs. French spread her wings and Tom spread the oil, MacGregor spread the contract before Mr. French and got five winks, three hand squeezes, two knee nudges -- and one important signature. And MacGregor was grateful. She doubled Tom's salary. Yes, MacGregor knew a good man when she saw one. That is, secretarially speaking. And she knew an unhappy man when she saw one, too. Because the next day in the office, she said--


MacGREGOR: Verney, you did a fine job on Mrs. French. What did you say to her?


VERNEY: (SURLY) I did what you told me, that's all.


MacGREGOR: What's the matter?


VERNEY: Nothing.


MacGREGOR: You don't like your work, hm?


VERNEY: Well, I don't feel honest. I don't even feel like a man.


MacGREGOR: Do you want to quit?


VERNEY: No.


MacGREGOR: Why not?


VERNEY: I need the money!


MacGREGOR: Oh. (BEAT) Verney?


VERNEY: What?


MacGREGOR: What do you think of me?


VERNEY: How do you mean?


MacGREGOR: Well, personally. What's your opinion?


VERNEY: You're a very successful woman, beautiful and clever; that's all I think.


MacGREGOR: (SLOWLY) Verney, do you think you could ever fall in love with me?


VERNEY: What?


MacGREGOR: Answer me. Do you think you could ever fall in love with me?


VERNEY: No.


MacGREGOR: (PLEASED) Well, I'm glad to hear it. You're liable to be the best secretary I've ever had. (CURT) Now, you just do what I tell ya, do it well, and --- think what you want.


VERNEY: Thanks, I always do.


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS


ATWATER: (OFF, CHUCKLES) Oh, pardon me. I thought you were alone.


MacGREGOR: Come on in; it's all right. (TO VERNEY) This is Atwater, my partner. (TO ATWATER) Verney -- my new secretary I was telling you about.


ATWATER: Glad to know you.


VERNEY: How do you do?


ATWATER: Hm, big fella, isn't he?


MacGREGOR: Smart operator, too. He knocked twenty years off of Mrs. French last night with his strong right arm.


ATWATER: (TO VERNEY) I used to be good at that sort of thing, and then all at once, I lost my fire. My waistline.


MacGREGOR: And quite a few good contracts.


VERNEY: I've got an exercise that's good for the waistline.


ATWATER: Well, I don't need it. I've got a partner that's good for the contracts.


MacGREGOR: (CHUCKLES) And why should you worry as long as I'm willing to make your living, huh?


ATWATER: Oh, no complaint, my dear. I came in to tell you that Jonathan Caldwell and his sister Ethel are in town.


MacGREGOR: Oh, the man with four wives and a tobacco fortune.


ATWATER: He hasn't any wife now. He hates and despises women. Can't stand the sight of 'em. After four strikes, he's not only out, but-- Well, he threw his bat away.


MacGREGOR: Hmm! Been reading up on him?


ATWATER: Talked to him last night.


MacGREGOR: You know, the Caldwell tobacco company should keep him locked up.


ATWATER: Hm? Their president?


MacGREGOR: He's the president?


ATWATER: He's the big wheel, along with his sister. Well, he's in town to change agencies.


MacGREGOR: What?! Well, why didn't you say so?! Get him on the phone! What are we waiting for?!


ATWATER: Now, now -- take it easy, you haven't got a chance. He hates women.


MacGREGOR: That's a ten-million-dollar account! Who's a woman?


ATWATER: You were, last time I looked in your direction.


MacGREGOR: Well, don't be silly. We're wasting time. If he hates women, I'll be something else.


ATWATER: (DRY, TO VERNEY) Hm. This she does with mirrors.


MacGREGOR: Don't be a sap, Atwater. Look, get me all the newspaper clippings on his past love life.


ATWATER: I know a couple of books you'd enjoy more.


MacGREGOR: Verney?


VERNEY: Hm?


MacGREGOR: Have the art department get me copies of the Caldwell advertising layouts for the past five years.


VERNEY: All right.


MacGREGOR: And then go to the library and get all the books you can on tobacco -- everything about tobacco.


VERNEY: Okay.


MacGREGOR: (TO ATWATER) And get going, partner. Get Caldwell on the phone and make an appointment for me next Monday. I'll need the weekend to plan my campaign.


ATWATER: Well, you don't need to get so excited about it. It's just another account. (MOVING OFF) Oh, what am I saying?


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR CLOSES


VERNEY: Anything else?


MacGREGOR: Mm hm, yeah. Pack a bag for the weekend. We'll work together.


VERNEY: A bag? Where?


MacGREGOR: At my lodge. Now, we've got a lot of work to do and we won't be disturbed. Oh, remind me to get a couple of dresses -- very demure and innocent-looking.


VERNEY: For the lodge?


MacGREGOR: Of course not! For Caldwell.


VERNEY: Oh, should I make train reservations?


MacGREGOR: Oh, don't bother. We'll drive. 


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


VERNEY: Boy, there's nothing like a fireplace and a good log fire to stretch your feet in front of. I'm just a natural-born foot toaster.


MacGREGOR: (AS IF TO A CHILD) All right, all right now. Get busy with your homework. Grab one of those books and learn all about tobacco.


VERNEY: Can't I have a breathing spell?


MacGREGOR: No. Just look at me, going through seven years of Caldwell's life. Seven years and four wives. Hm! Miss Tobacco Land of Nineteen Thirty-Four, an elevator girl, a friend of his first wife, and a nightclub dancer. And I volunteered to get his signature on an advertising contract.


VERNEY: You'll get it.


MacGREGOR: Why do you say that?


VERNEY: You're class, and you're pretty, too. The minute he finds out you're different, he's hooked.


MacGREGOR: Thanks, but it won't be that simple.


VERNEY: It'll be a cinch for you. It's women with a heart that get messed up. A woman without emotion can plan like a general in battle.


MacGREGOR: (WOUNDED) Oh. I see. (BEAT) Verney? Why do you work at a job you don't like?


VERNEY: I need the money.


MacGREGOR: We're a lot alike, you know that? We'll both swallow our pride to get just what we want. You for a hundred and I for a little more. You know, you could be a very successful man, Verney.


VERNEY: Not the way you mean.


MacGREGOR: Why not?


VERNEY: Well, I guess I'll have to explain about myself after all. I'm an artist. Trouble is, I paint what I like and nine times out of ten that means no money.


MacGREGOR: Are you good?


VERNEY: I haven't decided. You see, I took this job to earn enough money for a jalopy and a trailer. Then I'm going to head for Mexico to paint my head off and live by the sun.


MacGREGOR: (CHUCKLES) I've dreamt those dreams. They never come true.


VERNEY: They will for me. Anyway, now you know why I dance around with your fat jealous wives.


MacGREGOR: Now I'll tell you something silly. I write.


VERNEY: Write what?


MacGREGOR: Poetry.


VERNEY: Oh?


MacGREGOR: Well, go ahead and laugh.


VERNEY: Why? All of us are poets. Only, some can put it in words and some just get a feeling.


MacGREGOR: (BEAT) I like you, Verney. Never fall in love with me, will ya?


VERNEY: (DISMISSIVE) Don't worry.


MacGREGOR: Why do you say it like that?


VERNEY: Look, you're just a beautiful brain in beautiful clothes. No temperature, no pulse, that's all.


MacGREGOR: (EXHALES) Where did you learn about women, Verney?


VERNEY: It isn't a matter of learning. Just instinct.


MacGREGOR: So. So I'm a brain with no pulse, huh? Look, I'm a woman, Verney. More woman than you've ever known. When I fall in love, it's going to be like the sea crashing against the rocks, and lightning flashing across the sky, and thunder rolling through the mountains! (QUIETLY) I mustn't make a mistake. It can happen only once. Understand?


VERNEY: Come here, I'm gonna kiss you.


SOUND: PAUSE, AS THEY KISS


MacGREGOR: Get your things packed. We're going back to town.


VERNEY: Tonight?


MacGREGOR: As soon as you're ready.


VERNEY: Why?


MacGREGOR: As long as you're working for me, you'll do as you're told! Start packing. I'll meet you outside in the car.


VERNEY: Okay, you're the boss.


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


VERNEY: May I ask a question?


MacGREGOR: Certainly.


VERNEY: Am I fired?


MacGREGOR: No. Why, you've proven very capable. If you continue to do your work well, there's no reason why you shouldn't remain on salary.


VERNEY: I'm talking about my kissing you.


MacGREGOR: Oh, that's forgotten. It was an incident of no importance.


VERNEY: You're running away from it; that makes it important. You see, you've worked hard for independence and you're afraid you're gonna lose it. Well, you are. But I promise you, you won't regret it.


MacGREGOR: May I ask a question?


VERNEY: Sure.


MacGREGOR: Have you decided I'm in love with you?


VERNEY: Yes.


MacGREGOR: (STERN) Well, let me assure you, I'm not! And will you keep your place as an employee or will I have to fire you after all?


VERNEY: Sorry, my mistake. I won't get out of line again.


MacGREGOR: (SYMPATHETIC) If I hurt you, I'm sorry, but I had to set you straight.


VERNEY: No harm done; I heal quickly.


MacGREGOR: (BEAT) Shake?


VERNEY: Shake.


MacGREGOR: (PLEASED, BRIGHTLY) And now we can go after Caldwell!


VERNEY: We? I thought he was wifeless at the moment.


MacGREGOR: Oh, he is. But he has a sister.


VERNEY: Oh. I'm not interested.


MacGREGOR: You will be when I tell you about the bonus.


VERNEY: What bonus?


MacGREGOR: Well, if we land the Caldwell account, there's ten thousand dollars in it for you.


VERNEY: Ten thousand dollars?! (HOWLS LIKE A WOLF)


MacGREGOR: What does that mean?


VERNEY: (GOOFY VOICE) Well, there ain't nobody here but us wolves, boss. Nobody here but us wolves.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Well, Tom was right. MacGregor got in to see Jonathan Caldwell and when he discovered she was a woman, he threw her out. But she left behind some advertising samples that caught his eye, and she left behind the memory of beautiful hair, and beautiful features, and a beautiful figure that must have caught his other eye because that afternoon he phoned and told her--


CALDWELL: (ON FILTER, FRIENDLY) I called to find out if you submitted that campaign to my competitors as you threatened to.


MacGREGOR: Why, no. Not yet.


CALDWELL: (FILTER) Well, don't. I think it merits further discussion. How are you with women?


MacGREGOR: Women?


CALDWELL: (FILTER) Yes, my sister has the final say on the advertising, you know. You'll have to convince her. How 'bout dinner with us tonight?


MacGREGOR: Oh, that'll be excellent. Oh, by the way, one of our best men is just back from Washington, Tom Verney. Mind if I bring him along?


CALDWELL: (FILTER) Feel you'll need some help with my sister?


MacGREGOR: Oh, not at all, but-- Well, he has some of the best brains in the advertising business and we could use his ideas.


CALDWELL: (FILTER) Well, bring him along. She might fall for him at that.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: And did Ethel Caldwell fall for Tom? She fell like a German city for General Patton. Two dances and she told him how she loved the North. Six dances and she told him how he'd love the South. Ten dances and she told him how much the South loved the North. Twelve dances and-- The band went home. (BEAT) So they returned to their table where they found a very amused Jonathan Caldwell and a very irritated MacGregor.


ETHEL: I do declare, Tom is a divine dancer.


CALDWELL: You two dance very well together.


MacGREGOR: (THROUGH GRITTED TEETH) Like a couple of penguins.


CALDWELL: Have you made up your mind about the advertising, Sis?


ETHEL: Well, nearly. It's - it's so late and-- Well, the place is closing.


MacGREGOR: Perhaps tomorrow?


ETHEL: Oh, sorry, I, er-- I'm leaving for Carolina. (BEAT, CONFIDENTLY FLIRTATIOUS, TO TOM) Oh, uh--? (CHUCKLES WARMLY) Do you fly, Tom?


VERNEY: Fly?


ETHEL: To Carolina. With me. We could lounge around for a couple of weeks while you mull over your ideas.


CALDWELL: (LIGHTLY, TO VERNEY) She'll move on ya if you can break your chain.


ETHEL: What do you say, Tom? You'll be my houseguest at Caldwell Acres. (SLYLY) After all, we can accomplish just as much there. Maybe even more.


MacGREGOR: (CONFIDENTLY NIXING THE IDEA) You know, I'm sure he'd enjoy that, Miss Caldwell, but he has important conferences in Washington. Don't you, Verney?


VERNEY: No.


MacGREGOR: (SHOCKED) What?! ...


VERNEY: No, no; the president can wait. I'll be very happy to accept your invitation, Ethel.


CALDWELL: (AMUSED) Well, that's that, and I do mean "that." Well, after all, your interest is only in getting our account, Miss MacGregor. This looks like the way to do it.


MacGREGOR: Hm? Oh, yes! Of course, if Mr. Verney feels the president can wait-- I'm just a taxpayer. 


ETHEL: I'll have the hotel arrange for another plane ticket.


VERNEY: Well, that'll be fine. Shall I call for you at your hotel?


ETHEL: Do! Then we can have breakfast together. (FADES, AS VERNEY AND ETHEL MOVE OFF)


MacGREGOR: (DISGUSTED) Well, of all the--!


CALDWELL: (GOOD-HUMORED) Uh uh. Steady. Remember that contract. Business, you know.


MacGREGOR: I never saw such a disgusting exhibition of--


CALDWELL: Ah-ah-ah, now. Never cry over spilled hamburger. After all, you brought it along for the wolf.


MacGREGOR: Is your sister a wolf?


CALDWELL: Mm hm. Runs in the family. Didn't you notice our long ears?


MacGREGOR: Yes, and I'd like to tear them off! Just wait till I get him alone. I'll tell him--


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


MacGREGOR: You deliberately accepted that invitation knowing I didn't want you to go!


VERNEY: I did what you told me to. Don't you like it?


MacGREGOR: You don't need a mink coat. You can say no, can't you?


VERNEY: And lose the contract?


MacGREGOR: What do you know about advertising? What're ya gonna tell her about the campaign when you get down there?


VERNEY: I'm not worried. You can send down ideas every now and then and I'll spring them on her.


MacGREGOR: Oh? As your bright thoughts, of course!


VERNEY: Sure, sure.


MacGREGOR: (MOCKING) Sure, sure. (BITTERLY IRONIC) Fine, fine! I should beat my brains out so that you can convince her that you're an encyclopedia with muscles!


VERNEY: Oh, let's not get excited. If I made a mistake, fire me.


MacGREGOR: I can't fire you, and you know it!


VERNEY: All right, then I quit!


MacGREGOR: (ABSOLUTELY NOT) NO!


VERNEY: Then stop yelling at me!


MacGREGOR: (BEAT, QUIETLY) I'll - I'll just say one thing. Never in my whole life have I seen a man make a greater fool of himself over a woman.


VERNEY: Check.


MacGREGOR: Prancing around the floor like a Great Dane chasing butterflies.


VERNEY: Check.


MacGREGOR: You never even asked me for a single dance!


VERNEY: Check and double-check!


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: So Tom went to Caldwell Acres as Ethel's guest and had a wonderful time while MacGregor burned. And, uh, back in New York, Jonathan Caldwell burned, too. But his temperature was induced by love. So he picked up the phone, dialed a number, and said--


CALDWELL: (FILTER) I've got surprising news for you.


MacGREGOR: About your sister?


CALDWELL: (FILTER) No, nothing so trivial. About me. I've fallen in love with you. How soon can I see you?


MacGREGOR: (TAKEN ABACK) Oh. Well-- Well, look, some important business has come up. I'm - I'm leaving for Caldwell Acres this afternoon.


CALDWELL: (FILTER) Perfect. So am I. I'll have you on my own grounds.


MacGREGOR: (EXHALES, LIGHTLY) Are you hinting that I have a chance of becoming Mrs. Caldwell the Fifth? Do I have to join a union?


CALDWELL: (FILTER) Nothing so drastic. ... But I warn you, I'm gonna make you care for me. I say that, knowing that right now, spiritually, you're sitting on Tom Verney's lap.


SOUND: PHONE DISCONNECTS (MacGREGOR'S PERSPECTIVE)


HOST: And he was so right. Because as soon as they arrived at Caldwell Acres and MacGregor could get Tom alone, she said--


MacGREGOR: (UPSET) What do you think I'm paying you for? Why didn't you answer my wires? (BEAT, ASTONISHED) Why, these sample layouts haven't even been opened.


VERNEY: Now, take it easy, take it easy. I figured out another campaign with Ethel. She didn't like your ideas.


MacGREGOR: Oh, she didn't?!


VERNEY: No. Our idea is to show the world's most famous painters at work on their masterpieces, and each smoking. Er, the painters, I mean. Now, here. Here are some of the pictures I painted.


MacGREGOR: (BEAT, IMPRESSED) Hey. Well, say, these aren't bad. Not bad at all. (BEAT, ENTHUSIASTIC) What an idea. And what a campaign! We'll run these all over the country, and wait till you see the copy I'll write for it.


VERNEY: Oh, sorry. Ethel's writing the copy.


MacGREGOR: Oh, she is, is she? Well, let me tell you something--


VERNEY: Look, I have to change. Cocktails with Ethel at five.


MacGREGOR: Oh. (MOVING OFF, HEAVY SARCASM) Pardon me for intruding.


SOUND: DOOR SLAMS SHUT


VERNEY: (WRY, TO HIMSELF) How'm I doin', Ma?


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG--


HOST: Yeah, Tom was doing fine. He was doing just what Jonathan had advised.


CALDWELL: (INSISTS) Look, you can't overdo this jealousy business. Pour it on.


VERNEY: (WORRIED) Yeah, but isn't there a time when a girl like Mac is liable to get too much and bounce back into some other fella's arms?


CALDWELL: Not a chance. You can't overdo it. Pour it on.


MUSIC: UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--


HOST: And he did! He really poured it. So heavily that MacGregor finally came to Jonathan and said--


MacGREGOR: (VERY SERIOUS) Jonathan, a while ago, you asked me to marry you. Does that offer still stand?


CALDWELL: Why, yes.


MacGREGOR: Good. (BEAT, SIMPLY) I accept.


MUSIC: UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--


HOST: And then Jonathan went to Tom and said--


CALDWELL: (LIGHTLY) Well, old man, I guess you can stop pouring it on now.


VERNEY: (PLEASED) You mean she's had enough?


CALDWELL: Yep! She's gonna marry me.


VERNEY: (STUNNED) Marry you?


CALDWELL: That's right. Well, what are you gonna do about it?


VERNEY: (WITH EFFORT) Just this!


SOUND: VERNEY PUNCHES CALDWELL IN THE FACE


CALDWELL: (EXCLAMATION!)


MUSIC: ACCENT, FOR CALDWELL COLLAPSING TO THE FLOOR ... THEN IN BG--


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: UP, FOR SECOND ACT CURTAIN ... THEN BRIEFLY IN BG, TO SIGNAL COMMERCIAL


HOST: And now we'd like to get serious for a moment about a subject that's very serious to you. You've been hearing lots of confusing stories about "cigarette shortage." Maybe you've been asking yourself lots of questions. Well, here's Bob Williams with the real answer to those questions.


ANNOUNCER: You want to know, of course, why there is a cigarette shortage. Well, there's a reason. In fact, three big reasons.


2ND ANNCR: Reason Number One.


ANNOUNCER: Like many other manufacturers, cigarette producers are faced with a manpower shortage. Many of the men and women who made your cigarettes before are making vital war goods now. So that puts a limit on the number of cigarettes that can be made. But the makers of Old Gold can tell you this. In spite of these difficulties, we're turning out every cigarette we possibly can. However--


2ND ANNCR: There's Reason Number Two.


ANNOUNCER: More people are smoking more cigarettes than ever before. The demand for Old Gold has been especially heavy. It has actually tripled in recent years. Naturally, we're sorry there aren't enough to go around everywhere, but be sure of this. We're doing our utmost to ensure the fairest possible distribution of Old Golds and no cigarettes are being held back.


2ND ANNCR: And here's Reason Number Three.


ANNOUNCER: Millions of American cigarettes go overseas to our Armed Forces. Every week, a substantial part of Old Gold production is earmarked for overseas shipment. Now, you may wonder why some of our G.I.s abroad are also faced with shortages. Well, there's a reason for that, too. Recently in a press release, high Army authorities declared, when preparations were being made for the big push to Germany, shells and ammunition went through first. Less essential items piled up on the docks. But the cigarettes are being set aside for our Armed Forces, and in tremendous quantity. So remember--


2ND ANNCR: Manpower shortages at the plant. Increased cigarette demand at home. Massive shipments abroad to our men and women.


ANNOUNCER: Those are the big reasons why you can't always buy Old Golds and most other popular brands. Now, think of those reasons when you hear irresponsible rumors about the cigarette shortage.


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


HOST: Heh, yeah, this is Harold Lloyd again, and you're all invited to the wedding. Oh, yes, it's scheduled. Tom is back in New York, brooding in his attic studio. Atwater brought him his check for ten thousand dollars because the Caldwell account has been landed. But Tom, he isn't happy. So he sends MacGregor a large portrait for a wedding present. And at Caldwell Acres they're rehearsing the wedding and two of Jonathan's disapproving aunts have retired to the library to inspect the presents, when suddenly--


AUNT JUDY: (FROM OFF, A DISAPPROVING HOWL)


MacGREGOR: What in the world was that?


CALDWELL: Sounded like Aunt Judy. We'd better go see.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO LIBRARY 


AUNT JUDY: So! There you are! Jonathan Caldwell, you're a fool!


CALDWELL: Aunt Judy--


AUNT MINNIE: (TO MacGREGOR) And you! You woman! You're what I knew you were the minute I laid eyes on you.


CALDWELL: Aunt Minnie--!


AUNT JUDY: We refuse, with all the decency that's in us, to be present at this wedding!


AUNT MINNIE: If your mother were alive--!


AUNT JUDY: Come, Minnie! We'll never enter this house again!


AUNT MINNIE: (MOVING OFF) To think we'd ever live to see the day!


CALDWELL: (TO ETHEL) What are they talking about?


ETHEL: You'll find it with the presents. (UNAMUSED CHUCKLE) Quite a charming portrait of you, Miss MacGregor.


MacGREGOR: (MYSTIFIED) Of me?


CALDWELL: (HIGHLY AMUSED) Here it is. Well! What's this card? (READS) "To Mac, in memoriam, Tom."


MacGREGOR: (ASTONISHED) Why-- Why, it's almost nude. (BEAT, SOUR) What a childish trick.


CALDWELL: What a relief, I'd say.


MacGREGOR: Relief?


CALDWELL: To find out you're human. Was Verney foolish enough to think that this would shock me out of the marriage?


MacGREGOR: Well, I don't care what he thinks. What about you? Do you think I posed for this?


CALDWELL: Oh, Mac, forget the act. I know how these things happen. A couple of advertising executives on their night off.


MacGREGOR: But I tell you, I had nothing to do with this. (OFFENDED) Do you think I have hips like that?


CALDWELL: You don't understand. I'm glad you did pose for it. (HEAVY INNUENDO) You know, I've been around myself. It's good to know you talk my language.


MacGREGOR: (WITH CONTEMPT) Ohhh! So I talk your language, do I? You and your four other wives! Why, you big flub! I wouldn't marry you if you were the last pair of pants below the Mason-Dixon Line!


CALDWELL: Now wait a minute! ... Don't throw that vase!


MacGREGOR: I wasn't going to! But thanks for a wonderful idea!


SOUND: CRASH! OF THROWN VASE


HOST: And that should have ended everything. But when a girl's walking along a Southern highway burdened with two suitcases, and a young fella like Tom Verney comes along in a jalopy with a trailer attached, she can't throw rocks at him forever, can she? Sooner or later, she'll just have to get in and hear him say--


SOUND: JALOPY MOTOR PUTTERS ... SNEAKS IN DURING ABOVE AND CONTINUES IN BG


VERNEY: Sorry, Mac. It's the only way I could bring you to your senses.


MacGREGOR: Where are you going?


VERNEY: Mexico, remember? Got a lot of painting to do down there. Uh, where do you want me to drop you off?


MacGREGOR: Oh --- anywhere.


VERNEY: Sure thing. You can get back to New York and your advertising business. You've got freedom and independence. It's in your blood; you'll never change.


MacGREGOR: (BEAT, QUIETLY) Tell me. How are you gonna live?


VERNEY: Me? Oh, beans and tortillas out in the open. Rough it; that's for me.


MacGREGOR: Verney?


VERNEY: What?


MacGREGOR: How do "beans and tortillas out in the open" taste?


VERNEY: Best food in the world.


MacGREGOR: I - I'd like to try some.


VERNEY: You mean you're coming along?


MacGREGOR: Mm hm.


VERNEY: Just for that?


MacGREGOR: Not just that. I'm gonna teach ya how to paint.


VERNEY: Well, thanks, but I'm pretty good already.


MacGREGOR: You've got one weakness.


VERNEY: Like what?


MacGREGOR: Maybe you need a streamlined model. You're not too good on hips.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: This is Harold Lloyd--


HAYWARD: This is Susan Hayward--


HODIAK: This is John Hodiak--


HOST: --saying good night to you for Old Gold. And I hope you'll be with us again next Sunday when "The Old Gold Comedy Theatre" presents -- Adolphe Menjou in "Louder, Please." See you then.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG--


ANNOUNCER: "Take a Letter, Darling" was presented by arrangement with Paramount Pictures, producers of "Frenchman's Creek."


Have you noticed Old Golds are wrapped in cellophane again? That's because Old Gold uses its government-allocated supply of cellophane now, during the winter months only, when cigarettes need extra protection against dryness. So when you get Old Golds wrapped in cellophane today, you know they are newly made.


And listen to Old Gold's other great new show, "Which is Which," with Ken Murray as M. C., Richard Himber's Orchestra, and famous stars of stage, screen, and radio, or their reasonable facsimiles. Tune in Wednesday night on another network. Consult your newspaper for time and station. Bob Williams saying good night for Old Gold!


SOUND: APPLAUSE


NBC ANNCR: This is the National Broadcasting Company.


SOUND: ALL OUT FOR--


MUSIC: NBC CHIMES




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