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Terror by Night

Inner Sanctum Mystery

Terror by Night

Jun 29 1952



CAST:

HOST

ANNOUNCER (1 line)


LINDA DIXON

NEWSCASTER

TROOPER, suspicious

JOHN TAYLOR, ominous tough guy

DR. BRYCE, cultured


NOTE: INNER SANCTUM aired another version of this play on 18 September 1945. This transcript includes material from the earlier broadcast in brackets.




SOUND: THE CREAKING DOOR SQUEAKS NOISILY OPEN


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Good evening, friends of the Creaking Door. This is your host, to welcome you into the Inner Sanctum. Come in, come in. Ahhhh, I always feel lighthearted in weather like this, so perhaps we ought to have a little poetry before we begin:


An Arab girl named Yuhim

Was lied to by her husband, Menuhin.

For this little trifle

She shot him with a rifle

And now she can see right through him.


(LAUGHS FRUITILY)


MUSIC: UP, FOR AN ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: (MORE GRIM) And now if your scalpels are sharpened and ready, we will proceed with the business of the evening. Tonight we're going to do a little study in terror. Have you ever been alone with fear? Alone in the night and frightened? Well, here is our star Agnes Moorehead in the role of Linda Dixon who will tell us a tale of -- "Terror by Night."


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


LINDA: (NARRATES) It was Friday night, and I think I was already a little nervous as I drove north into the mountains. I hadn't wanted to waste even an hour of my two-week vacation, so I'd had all my bags packed and the car waiting at the curb in front of my office building. [I started from the city early enough to arrive before nightfall.] Everything would have been all right if the fuel pump in my six-year-old car hadn't acted up. It took the mechanic almost two hours to get me going. So now I was driving through the night with fifty miles more to go and I was tired and nervous and irritated.


SOUND: DISTANT, STEADY BLEAT OF PRISON WHISTLE (SORT OF LIKE A FOGHORN) ... THEN IN BG--


LINDA: (NARRATES) And then I heard the whistle in the distance. At first, I couldn't place it. And then I remembered the state prison was somewhere in the vicinity. (REALIZES) The whistle! It meant-- It meant a prisoner had escaped. I reached over and turned on the radio.


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH


LINDA: (NARRATES) Maybe they were broadcasting something about it.


NEWSCASTER: (FILTER) Motorists are warned to be on the lookout for Lee Hartley who escaped from the death cell at State Prison at nine-fifteen p. m. Tall, dark-haired, regular features, no distinguishing marks.


SOUND: PRISON WHISTLE OUT


NEWSCASTER: (FILTER) Hartley is a confirmed killer. He is believed to be armed. Beware of Hartley -- he would rather kill than eat. [X] (FADES DOWN A LITTLE) Police are executing a thorough search. It has already been established that--


LINDA: (NARRATES, OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE STARTING AT [X]) He would rather kill than eat?! And that man was loose? Perhaps waiting around the next bend in the road? [I stared ahead at the lonely road spinning toward me through the windshield.]


NEWSCASTER: (FILTER, UP) --Hartley was helped to escape from the outside by his sweetheart Helen Hearn, a redheaded woman just as vicious as Hartley himself. It is thought that Hartley and the Hearn woman may have separated after the escape. All motorists are warned to beware of a dark-haired man and a red-haired woman alone or together.


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH


LINDA: (NARRATES) My hand was shaking a little as I turned off the radio. I looked in the car mirror and shivered. I, too, have red hair.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER


LINDA: (NARRATES) There was a storm coming on and I was driving into it and the night was black and I felt small and lonely and frightened in the car. 


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND LINDA--


LINDA: (NARRATES) And then I saw them in the mirror -- the headlights sweeping up behind me. A car! It had come out of nowhere!


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE APPROACHES ... TIRES SQUEAL AS CAR BRAKES HARD TO A STOP


LINDA: (NARRATES) It was pulling alongside, cutting me off!


SOUND: THE TWO CARS STOP AND THEIR ENGINES OUT BEHIND--


LINDA: (NARRATES) I cowered behind the wheel and watched the door of that other car open.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS, OFF


LINDA: (NARRATES) A man stepped out. (RELIEVED) Oh, and I breathed a sigh of relief. It was a state trooper.


TROOPER: You driving all alone, miss?


LINDA: Yes, officer.


TROOPER: Sorry if I scared you. We're stopping all cars. Where you headed for?


LINDA: Well, I'm going up to the lodge at Smuggler's Notch. That's near Mount Mansfield. You see, I started out late from the city and I'm having motor trouble.


TROOPER: Yeah, sure. Can I see your driver's license, please?


LINDA: My - driver's license? Er, yes, of course. Here, I - I've got it somewhere in my purse. (CHUCKLES) I seem to be all fingers. It's that escaped prisoner, Hartley.


TROOPER: (SUSPICIOUS) How'd you know about him?


LINDA: I heard the prison whistle. And then it came over the radio -- about Hartley and his red-haired girlfriend.


TROOPER: Hey, you've got red hair, too.


LINDA: (CHUCKLES) You don't think I'm that woman?


TROOPER: Find that license yet?


LINDA: Oh, yes. I'm sure it's in here. I've got so many things in this bag. Oh, here - here, I've got it. Here's my license.


TROOPER: Thanks. (BEAT) Hmm. What time did you say you left the city?


LINDA: About five o'clock.


TROOPER: Took you a long time to get up this far.


LINDA: I told you, I had motor trouble.


TROOPER: Mm, so you did. Okay, Miss Dixon, here's your license.


LINDA: Thank you.


TROOPER: You can go ahead.


LINDA: Thank you.


SOUND: ENGINE WON'T START ... CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE IN BG 


LINDA: Oh, darn! There it goes again!


TROOPER: More motor trouble?


LINDA: Oh, it's the same thing. The mechanic said it might happen again. Ohhhh--


SOUND: ENGINE STARTS ... CONTINUES IN BG


LINDA: (RELIEVED) Oh! Oh, it started!


TROOPER: You want to get that fixed first chance you get.


LINDA: Ah, it's too late. All the service stations are closed.


TROOPER: Well, there's one that's open all night. 'Bout, er, two miles up the road. 


LINDA: Oh?


TROOPER: Better stop there. Bill Slater's place. 


LINDA: Bill Slater.


TROOPER: He's a good mechanic; he'll fix you up. Tell him Joe Nesbitt sent ya.


LINDA: Thanks, I will.


TROOPER: And listen, Miss Dixon--


LINDA: Yes?


TROOPER: You be careful. Don't stop to give anyone a lift --  man or woman.


LINDA: Oh, don't worry, I won't.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG


SOUND: AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


LINDA: (NARRATES) [The night closed in on me again, but I didn't feel quite so nervous, knowing that the trooper was somewhere behind me on the road, and Bill Slater's service station ahead.] In a few minutes, I saw the lights of the station. I swung into the open space in front of the pumps and stopped.


SOUND: AUTO PULLS TO A STOP ... ENGINE OUT


LINDA: (NARRATES) [There was a rumbling of thunder in the west. The storm was moving up fast.] There was another car -- a coupe -- parked at the pump, but there was nobody in it. And I didn't see any attendant around, either. I pressed the horn button.


SOUND: HORN HONKS A FEW TIMES


LINDA: (NARRATES, SLOWLY) No one answered. Everything seemed so quiet. And suddenly ominous. I found myself shivering. I had a curious feeling that someone was watching me. I had to get away from there. Fast.


SOUND: ENGINE WON'T START ... CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE BEHIND-- 


LINDA: (NARRATES, DISTRESSED) Oh! Oh, the starter wouldn't work again! Oh, it won't start again! Oh, it won't start! (TEARFUL) Oh, it won't start.


MUSIC: UP, FOR CREEPY ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


LINDA: (NARRATES, CALMER) For a long time, I sat behind the wheel listening -- listening for the sound of footsteps stealing up behind the car. But there were none. Then I could bear it no longer. I had to get out of the car. I had to see what was in that office.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS


LINDA: (NARRATES) I opened the door of the car and stepped down on the gravel.


SOUND: LINDA ALIGHTS ON GRAVEL ... WALKS TO SERVICE STATION DOOR, WHICH OPENS


LINDA: (CALLS) Anybody in there? (PAUSE, NARRATES) No answer. I clenched my fists and stepped inside.


SOUND: LINDA TAKES A FEW STEPS INTO STATION ... STOPS WITH--


LINDA: (STARTLED GASP!)


MUSIC: UP, FOR BIG ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


LINDA: (GASPS, HORRIFIED, NARRATES) There on the floor at my feet - lay the body of a man. His mechanic's jumper was stained red [with blood]. And his throat was cut [from ear to ear]!


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


LINDA: (NARRATES) How long I stood there, I'll never know. I was petrified -- unable to move, unable to take my eyes from the [bloody] body.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS APPROACH, FROM OFF ... CONTINUES BEHIND--


LINDA: (WHISPERS INTENSELY, TO HERSELF) What's that? Someone coming downstairs! (REALIZES) Hartley! It must be Hartley, the killer! He must have been hiding somewhere upstairs. I must get away! [I've got to get away, outside.]


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


SOUND: SERVICE STATION DOOR BURSTS OPEN ... THEN LINDA'S HURRIED STEPS ON GRAVEL BEHIND--


LINDA: (TO HERSELF) But how? My car won't run. (AN IDEA) That other car! The coupe. The coupe; I could jump into that. Yes. Yes! Oh, if I can reach that coupe before he comes down--


JOHN: Anything wrong, sister?


LINDA: (GASPS, TO HERSELF, WITH DREAD) Oh, too late.


JOHN: Anything I can do for you, sister?


SOUND: LINDA'S STEPS ON GRAVEL AS SHE TURNS TO FACE HIM


LINDA: (STAMMERS NERVOUSLY) Yes. Yes, it's my car. It won't start. I - I thought someone here might help me.


JOHN: Sorry. There doesn't seem to be anybody around. That's my coupe over there. I stopped for gas and no one came out, so I went in and looked around.


LINDA: Well, did - did you find anybody?


SOUND: BRIEF UNEASY ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


JOHN: (CRYPTIC) There isn't a living soul in there.


LINDA: (DISMAYED) Ohhh.


JOHN: You, uh-- You look kinda tired.


LINDA: No. No, I'm all right.


JOHN: My name is Taylor. John Taylor.


LINDA: I - I'm Linda Dixon.


JOHN: Linda Dixon, hm?


LINDA: Yes.


JOHN: Glad to know ya. You - traveling far tonight?


LINDA: I'm going to Mount Mansfield. To the lodge at Smuggler's Notch. They're - they're expecting me.


JOHN: Aw, what do you know about that? 


LINDA: What?


JOHN: Mount Mansfield is the place I'm headin' for, too. Isn't that a coincidence?


LINDA: I - I'm sure it is.


JOHN: And your car won't run, huh? I'll tell you what. We'll put your baggage in my car and I'll give you a lift to Mount Mansfield. You can send for your car in the morning.


LINDA: No.


SOUND: JOHN'S STEPS ON GRAVEL, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


JOHN: (MOVING OFF) I'll have your bags switched in a jiffy.


LINDA: Please! No, I'd rather not.


JOHN: (OFF, WITH EFFORT) There ya are. (GRUNTS) All switched. (CLOSER, INSISTENT) Now, come on. Get in here.


MUSIC: UNEASY ACCENT 


[LINDA: (NARRATES) He took my arm and helped me into the coupe. His hand was strong, his grip was hard; it hurt me.


JOHN: There you are. Snug as a bug in a rug.]


SOUND: CAR DOOR SHUTS ... AUTO ENGINE STARTS ... CAR DRIVES OFF, PICKING UP SPEED AS IT GOES ... AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


LINDA: (NARRATES) We drove away into the night, leaving behind us the dead man in the service station.


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER ... FOR PUNCTUATION


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Well! From where we sit, it looks as if Linda Dixon's got herself into an awful jam. And, believe me, she's shaking like jelly. (CHUCKLES) Well, let's see how our star Agnes Moorehead, in the role of Linda Dixon, is making out -- all alone in the car with a strange man. But, after all, she shouldn't be too scared of him. He's just a felon who needs a friend. 


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER ... RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


LINDA: (NARRATES) [The storm broke a few minutes after we left that service station. We drove through sheets of rain.] I sat stiff and tense beside the man who called himself "John Taylor." He had both hands on the wheel and he stared out through the windshield. My eyes focused on something on his right hand. It was a stain; a small stain, but it was wet - and red. I couldn't take my eyes off it.


JOHN: What are you looking at?


LINDA: (STARTLED) What? (NERVOUS) Oh - oh, nothing. Nothing at all.


JOHN: I think I'll turn on the radio. Did you know there's been a jailbreak?


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH


NEWSCASTER: (FILTER) Hartley is five-foot-ten, very dark hair. Don't be fooled by his pleasant manner. He is a killer by instinct.


LINDA: (NARRATES) A killer by instinct. I looked at the man beside me.


NEWSCASTER: (FILTER) He is a killer by instinct and very dangerous. He is accompanied by Helen Hearn. Helen Hearn is a clever and dangerous woman. Five-foot-three, red hair, very pretty. Beware of this woman. She is vicious. Just as dangerous as Hartley himself.


LINDA: (NARRATES) I caught Taylor looking at me out of the corner of his eye. (TO JOHN) What are you looking at?


JOHN: At your hair. It's red.


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT ... AND TRANSITION


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER! ... RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


LINDA: (NARRATES) There was a streak of lightning -- and looking out of the rain-swept window, I glimpsed a signpost. The lightning illuminated the sign and my heart skipped a beat at what I saw. (TO JOHN) That sign we just passed!


JOHN: What about it?


LINDA: It said, "Barrington Ahead"; we're going the wrong way. We should be on the Mansfield road, not the Barrington road.


JOHN: That's funny. I must have taken the wrong turn.


LINDA: Well, aren't you going to turn back?


JOHN: Sure. Whatever you say.


SOUND: AUTO SLOWS TO A STOP ... CLAP OF THUNDER


JOHN: We'll turn right around and go back.


SOUND: AUTO TURNS, BACKS INTO A DITCH, AND STOPS ABRUPTLY


JOHN &

LINDA: (REACT) Oh!


JOHN: We're in the ditch.


LINDA: (DISMAYED) In the ditch?


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE REVS A COUPLE OF TIMES, BUT THE CAR IS STUCK


JOHN: (GIVES UP) Ah, no good. She won't budge. 


LINDA: (A QUIET GASP)


JOHN: Well, looks like we're stuck here for the night.


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER! 


LINDA: (NERVOUS, QUICKLY) I - I think I'd better get out and walk. Perhaps there's a house nearby.


JOHN: Walk? In this weather?


LINDA: Well, I - I don't mind the weather, really I don't.


JOHN: You can't walk in this storm. You're staying right here until I get the car out of the ditch. I've got some tools in the trunk compartment. You stay put.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS ... STORM BACKGROUND UP


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


LINDA: (NARRATES) I heard him open the trunk in the back.


SOUND: TRUNK OPENS


LINDA: (NARRATES) I listened for further sounds, but there was nothing. I didn't hear him moving back there. I didn't hear any tools. I had to find out what he was doing. Slowly -- carefully -- I got my door open.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS SLOWLY


LINDA: (NARRATES) I stepped out into the rain and sneaked back toward the rear. I saw him there, not moving, in front of the open trunk compartment, bending over with a flashlight in his hand. The ray of light was focused on something curled up inside. It wasn't baggage or tools. (HARSH WHISPER) It was a woman's body!


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER! ... FOR PUNCTUATION


LINDA: (NARRATES) Just then, he saw me. He snapped the flashlight off, but not before I caught a glimpse -- of red hair!


SOUND: CLAP OF THUNDER! ... FOR PUNCTUATION


LINDA: (NARRATES) Then -- I - I must have fainted!


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT FOR A BIG FAINT AND A BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN OUT


SOUND: NO STORM ... RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


LINDA: (NARRATES) When I came to, I found myself seated inside the car again. [My face and hair were wet; my clothes were dripping. John Taylor was driving. His face, as he stared ahead through the night, was dark and bleak.] The storm was over. The night was quiet.


JOHN: Oh. So you're awake again.


LINDA: I - I don't feel well.


JOHN: Is it because of what's in the trunk compartment?


LINDA: (MISERABLE) Ohhh, she's dead. (SOBS A LITTLE, IN BG)


JOHN: I told you not to get out of the car.


LINDA: What are you gonna do with me?


JOHN: What do you think?


[LINDA: Oh, please--


JOHN: Sorry, sister. Got to take your medicine.


LINDA: Oh, no.


JOHN: Don't make any trouble. I'll try to make it as easy for you as I can.]


LINDA: (PAUSE, THEN NARRATES) They say that when a person loses all hope, he subconsciously seeks refuge in sleep. That's what must have happened to me. I must have dozed, or perhaps I fainted; I don't know. But I awoke with a start at the sound of brakes.


SOUND: CAR BRAKES TO A STOP ... ENGINE TURNED OFF BEHIND--


LINDA: (NARRATES) I sat up straight and saw that we had stopped in front of a small fieldstone house. (NERVOUS, TO JOHN) Why are we stopping here?


JOHN: I'm out of gas.


LINDA: Oh.


JOHN: Come on. We're going in.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS ... JOHN AND LINDA'S FOOTSTEPS TO FRONT PORCH BEHIND--


LINDA: (NARRATES) The sign on the door said, "Roger Bryce, M. D." -- a doctor's house. I began to feel a spark of hope. There might be a chance.


JOHN: I'll do the talking. Is that clear?


LINDA: Yes.


JOHN: Where's the bell? (SEES BELL) Oh.


SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS TINNILY


JOHN: He must be awake. There's a light in the parlor.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


BRYCE: How do you do?


JOHN: Oh, good evening. Dr. Bryce?


BRYCE: Yes. Can I help you?


JOHN: I'm terribly sorry to disturb you, doctor, but my sister and I were heading for Mansfield and we seem to have gotten lost -- and we're out of gas.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN ... UNEASY ... BEHIND LINDA--


LINDA: (NARRATES) His sister? He was passing us off as brother and sister! Now I knew why he hadn't cut my throat as he had that service station man's. He was carrying me for protection. I was his passport through the police cordon. (WITH DISTASTE) His sister!


BRYCE: I'm afraid I can't be of much help to you. I'm seven miles from the nearest town and I haven't any spare gasoline. But come in, won't you?


JOHN: Why, yes, thank you, we will.


SOUND: JOHN AND LINDA'S STEPS INTO HOUSE AND FRONT DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


BRYCE: I wonder if I could offer you my hospitality for the night.


JOHN: Oh, that would be imposing.


BRYCE: Not at all. I have two rooms that aren't being used.


JOHN: Well, really--


BRYCE: Oh, come, come, I insist.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN ... UNEASY ... BEHIND LINDA--


LINDA: (NARRATES) I had hoped for a chance to talk to Dr. Bryce alone; just a word to warn him. But Taylor never left us alone for a minute. He insisted on coming into my room to make sure, he said, that it was comfortable enough for me. Then he took the doctor by the arm and went out with him.


JOHN: Good night, sis. And - sweet dreams.


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR CLOSES


MUSIC: BRIEF ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--


LINDA: (NARRATES, SLOWLY) I was alone. Free of the presence of John Taylor. I had another lease on life. I lay down on the bed, but I didn't dare close my eyes. I waited, my heart pounding, to give them both a chance to retire. Then I slipped off my shoes and got off the bed in my stocking feet. I stole across the room and inched my door open. Slowly, carefully, I stepped out into the corridor and turned right, toward the doctor's room.


JOHN: (IN CLOSE) What's the matter, sister?


MUSIC: UP AND OUT WITH--


LINDA: (STARTLED SHRIEK)


JOHN: Sleepwalking?


LINDA: (EXHALES ... BREATHES FEARFULLY BEHIND--)


JOHN: You - weren't thinking of going anywhere, sister? Were you?


LINDA: (STAMMERS) I - I wanted a drink of water.


JOHN: A drink of water, huh?


LINDA: Yes.


JOHN: Hmm. In case you didn't know it, there's a water pitcher on your dresser.


LINDA: Oh. (STAMMERS) Well, I - I didn't see it.


JOHN: Good night, sister.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN ... UNEASY ... THEN IN BG--


LINDA: (NARRATES) I turned around and went back into my room. It was no use. [If I attempted to warn Dr. Bryce, Taylor would probably kill us both. I turned out the light in my room; I knew he was watching my transom.] I lay down on the bed. How long I lay there, I don't know. Perhaps I slept, perhaps not, but I heard that slight creak and my door began to inch open.


SOUND: SLIGHT CREAK AS BEDROOM DOOR INCHES OPEN ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


LINDA: (INHALES WITH FEAR ... THEN NARRATES SLOWLY) The blood chilled in my veins. [Slowly, the door came open. I lay fascinated, unable to move.] Vaguely, I saw the outline of the hand -- and the knife it held. I wanted to scream, but I couldn't. Slowly, he came toward the bed. Now he stands over me. He raises the knife. 


SOUND: BIG ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--


LINDA: (BLOODCURDLING SCREAM! ... THEN NARRATES QUICKLY) I screamed, and rolled over on the bed just as the knife slashed down. I rolled off the bed and cowered in the corner. That horrible figure came around the bed after me with the knife upraised! (CALLS DESPERATELY) Help! Dr. Bryce! Help me! Help! (BREATHES AND GASPS IN FEAR BEHIND--)


SOUND: HURRIED FOOTSTEPS INTO ROOM ... LENGTHY SCUFFLE BEGINS ... TWO MEN FIGHT AND STRUGGLE AND GRUNT AND GROAN ... IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH THE FOLLOWING--


LINDA: (NARRATES) While I cowered there in the corner, they fought all over the room in the dark. I had no strength to move - to think - not even to hope! All the life seemed to have gone dead in my veins.


MUSIC: UP AND OUT WITH--


SOUND: CRASH! AND BODY THUD! AS ONE MAN HITS THE OTHER ON THE HEAD WITH THE WATER PITCHER, KNOCKING HIM UNCONSCIOUS ... JOHN BREATHES HEAVILY, IN BG


LINDA: (NARRATES) And then-- Then it was over. But who--? Who had won? In the dark, I strained my eyes to see. [There was a vague shape on the floor -- and another, weaving around the room. Who? Which one was it?]


SOUND: UNEASY ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--


LINDA: (HOPEFUL) Doctor? (NO ANSWER) Dr. Bryce? Is that you?


JOHN: (CHUCKLES, SLOWLY, BREATHLESSLY) No, Linda. It isn't Dr. Bryce; it's - it's I, John Taylor.


SOUND: GRIM ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND LINDA--


LINDA: (NARRATES) It was John Taylor standing there at the light switch. And on the floor, lay Dr. Bryce, unconscious, with a long gash in his head.


JOHN: (OUT OF BREATH) I - I had to hit him with - the water pitcher.


LINDA: (NARRATES) My eyes swung back to Dr. Bryce -- and I saw the knife still gripped in his right hand.


JOHN: That's Hartley, Linda.


LINDA: (ASTONISHED) What?


JOHN: Lee Hartley, the killer.


LINDA: Is he--? It was he who came in here with the knife?


JOHN: Right. I was down in the cellar just now. The real Dr. Bryce is down there -- dead.


LINDA: (GASPS)


JOHN: This guy posed as Bryce when we came to the house.


LINDA: Oh! Then - then you--? You're not Hartley!


JOHN: (CHUCKLES) [No. Isn't that rich?] Oh, what a situation. All the time, you thought I was Lee Hartley and I thought you were Helen Hearn -- on account of your red hair.


LINDA: Oh, but the-- But the body of that red-haired woman--?


JOHN: That's Helen Hearn.


LINDA: (GASPS)


JOHN: This guy must have killed her back at the service station and stuffed her body in my trunk compartment while I was inside.


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


LINDA: (NARRATES) That all happened last summer. In time, I think I'll manage to forget that night of terror, but it won't be soon. Sometimes in the night I dream that I see that awful figure with the knife poised above my throat, and I - I wake up screaming. (LOVINGLY) But then John takes me in his arms and holds me tight, and tells me that everything is all right. (BEAT) You see, I'm Mrs. John Taylor now.


MUSIC: UP, FOR CURTAIN ... THEN IN BG--


HOST: Well, what do you know? A happy ending! As for Mr. Hartley, that pleasant killer, he got what he deserved. Some people never know when they're well off. He should have stayed in jail -- where they never raise your rent, where they make no charge for meals-- Or for - electric current, hmmmm? (CHUCKLES) You see, when you're in jail, everything is free. Except you. (LAUGHS FRUITILY)


MUSIC: ACCENT ... [COMMERCIAL OMITTED] ... THEN BEHIND HOST--


HOST: Well, friends, it's time once again to close that Creaking Door. Until next week at this time when we'll be back with a little hunk of horror-- [...] (LAUGHS FRUITILY) You'll be sure to listen, won't you? Until next week then. Good night. Pleasant dreams? Hmmmm?


SOUND: THE CREAKING DOOR SQUEAKS NOISILY SHUT


MUSIC: CLOSING THEME ... UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: "Inner Sanctum" has come to you through the worldwide facilities of the United States Armed Forces Radio and Television Service.


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