Microphone Plays‎ > ‎

The Ape Song

Murder at Midnight

The Ape Song

Mar 31 1947



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

CRANE FOLLIET, insane big game hunter

THE APE

CECILY, Crane's unloving wife

WORKER

DR. MURCHISON, Scottish accent

GIRL (2 lines)

VENDOR, working class New Yorker

SAM, older upper class gentleman

OFFICER, Irish policeman

JAKE, policeman (2 lines)




SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES THRICE


ANNOUNCER: (ECHO) Mur-der -- at Midnight!


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND CRANE--


CRANE: (NARRATES) She seemed to be making for the roof. But on the top floor we finally caught up with her.


APE: (ROARS, CONTINUES BEHIND CECILY--)


CECILY: (SCARED) Crane! Crane, please! That ape! Get him out of here! I'll do anything! Anything!


CRANE: You treated me like an animal, Cecily. And now an animal shall treat you as you deserve: choke you to death!


APE: (ROARS)


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER, OUT AT [X]


ANNOUNCER: Midnight -- the witching hour -- when the night is darkest and our fears the strongest, our strength at its lowest ebb. Midnight -- when the graves gape open and death strikes. How? You'll learn the answer in just a moment in -- [X] "The Ape Song"!


MUSIC: THEME ... TAG


[COMMERCIAL BREAK]


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER, OUT AT [X]


ANNOUNCER: And now "Murder At Midnight" -- tales of mystery and terror by radio's masters of the macabre. Our story by Peter Martin is -- [X] "The Ape Song"!


MUSIC: INTRO ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


SOUND: HARBOR BACKGROUND (WATER AND FOG HORN)


ANNOUNCER: Night and fog shroud a nondescript freighter just in from Africa and now unloading its cargo in New York Harbor.


SOUND: HARBOR BACKGROUND OUT


ANNOUNCER: Down in the ship's deepest hold stands Crane Folliet, the famous big game hunter. Before him is an iron cage containing his latest conquest: a restless thing of panic and hysteria and insensate passions -- a huge ape!


APE: (TENSE GUTTURAL ROAR ... THEN BREATHES HEAVILY, GROWING CALMER IN BG)


CRANE: (SOOTHING) Quiet. Don't be afraid. I'm not going to kill you; hurt you. (DARK ASIDE) I kill too much already. (SOOTHING AGAIN) And besides, I need you to live; need your help. Now, that's better. Yes, my friend, you shall live to save me from death -- a death in life.


SOUND: WORKER'S STEPS APPROACH


WORKER: I'll be takin' him off in a minute.


CRANE: (MILDLY SURPRISED) Huh? Oh. Good.


WORKER: Lucky thing we were able to get ahold of another truck.


CRANE: (SMOOTH) Why the university forgot to send their truck is beyond me. Still, I don't think keeping the animal in my cellar overnight will harm him, or - anybody.


WORKER: Yeah. Look at him shake, though. He's scared.


CRANE: Not scared, exactly. That's because, like all apes taken from their natural habitat, he imagines he's in the presence of -- death.


WORKER: Death?!


CRANE: Yes.


WORKER: What's he doin' now, openin' and closin' his mouth as if he were tryin' to sing or somethin'?


CRANE: (SHARPLY) What? How did you know?


WORKER: Know? Know what?


CRANE: (SMOOTH AGAIN) Oh, I'm sorry. No, you - you wouldn't know. They can sing, though.


WORKER: Yeah?


CRANE: They do. But only when they're - in the presence of death.


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG


SOUND: TRUCK ENGINE


CRANE: (NARRATES) We rode home through the foggy night in the truck, the ape and I. The house was dark when we got there and I had to give the driver and his helper an extra twenty dollars to take the canvas-covered crate holding the ape around to the back door and into the cellar.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON STAIRS


CRANE: (NARRATES) Walking up the cellar stairs, I entered the front hall and, er--


MUSIC: OUT BEHIND--


MURCHISON: Folliet? Is that you?


CRANE: (SURPRISED) Dr. Murchison?


MURCHISON: Yes! Welcome home.


CRANE: What - what are you doing here?


MURCHISON: Your wife was just going out when I came here, but she let me in and I've been waiting for you.


CRANE: Waiting for me?


MURCHISON: Yes. I was about to go myself when I heard a noise downstairs.


CRANE: Oh, I suppose you want to know where the ape is. Well, he's downstairs in the cellar.


MURCHISON: (MILDLY SURPRISED) I see. Folliet, why did you bring the ape here rather than to my laboratory?


CRANE: Well, the laboratory truck never arrived.


MURCHISON: What? That's impossible. I personally arranged for it to meet you at the pier.


CRANE: (IRRITATED) Why are you questioning me, Dr. Murchison? You don't really think I want an ape as a houseguest, do you? The only thing I was interested in was to get the ape to a safe place until morning, then I was going to call you.


MURCHISON: I see.


CRANE: Can't you wait to start cutting him up, [or] whatever you intend to do with him? Do you want to take him with you now?


MURCHISON: Oh, you know that's impossible, Folliet. And you know we don't intend to cut him up.


CRANE: (APOLOGETIC) Well, I - I'm sorry, doctor, but the strain; taking care of him. You know what delicate animals they are. Uh, won't you come into my study and we can talk?


MURCHISON: Thanks, Folliet, but now that I know he's safe, I must be running along.


CRANE: As you wish. When, uh--? When will you send the truck around, [to] take him to the laboratory?


MURCHISON: Oh, around noon, I should say.


CRANE: Good.


MURCHISON: Get some sleep, man. You look terribly tired.


CRANE: Yes -- good peaceful sleep, at last.


SOUND: KEY IN LOCK ... DOORKNOB TURNS


MURCHISON: (SURPRISED) Hello! Someone's at the door.


CRANE: Yes, yes. I imagine it's - (DARKLY) - my wife.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


CECILY: (MILDLY SURPRISED AND UNHAPPY) Oh. Oh, Crane.


CRANE: (COOL) Hello, Cecily.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


CECILY: You're back.


CRANE: Yes.


CECILY: Why?


CRANE: "Why?" That's a strange question. You know Dr. Murchison, don't you?


CECILY: Yes.


MURCHISON: (POLITE) I was just about to leave, Mrs. Folliet.


CRANE: (DRY) You must excuse my wife, doctor. She's so pleased at seeing me that - she's forgotten her manners.


MURCHISON: I understand. Well, I'll be in touch with you.


CRANE: Right.


MURCHISON: Good night, Mrs. Folliet.


CECILY: Good night.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS MURCHISON EXITS


CECILY: (IRRITATED) Crane! You promised you'd stay away until November.


CRANE: Yes, I know I did. (IRONIC) But the thought of you all alone in this big house, doing nothing but waiting for me to return to your welcoming arms, what else could I do but rush home as quickly as I could, my dear?


CECILY: Don't be sarcastic, Crane.


CRANE: On the contrary, my dear. I'm not being half as sarcastic as I'd like to be.


CECILY: Excuse me, I - I'm going to bed.


CRANE: But, uh, don't you care for me just a little, Cecily? Just enough to - kiss me goodnight?


CECILY: (CURT) Let me pass.


CRANE: I've never asked very much of you, you know. No more than the friendly pat on the head you give to your dog.


CECILY: I said, let me pass.


CRANE: Yes, Cecily. But first there's something I must tell you. How tired I am of being a hunter, of killing wild animals instead of enjoying the happiness of my home with you.


CECILY: You seem to enjoy your hunting trips well enough. You're always going on them, and bragging about them to everybody. Now, let me pass, Crane.


CRANE: Please believe me, Cecily. Hunting is only a substitute, a very unsatisfactory substitute, for the love I hope to receive from you -- and never do.


CECILY: I thought we'd settled all that.


CRANE: Yes, but I - I never dreamed you'd treat me like some loathsome animal you couldn't bear near you -- as though I wasn't a man, but an ape!


CECILY: (ABRUPTLY) When are you leaving on your next trip?


CRANE: When?


CECILY: Yes. Because until you do, I'm going away.


CRANE: If you hate me so much, my dear, why don't you go to Reno and get divorced?


CECILY: You know my family doesn't approve of divorce.


CRANE: Of course they don't -- especially when it's a matter of losing the Folliet millions along with the husband.


CECILY: How can you be so disgusting?


CRANE: Something terrible has happened to me, Cecily. Something which forbids me ever to go hunting again.


CECILY: Don't make silly excuses. You know you love to hunt.


CRANE: Not any more, Cecily. Something has happened that makes me terrified ever to hunt again.


CECILY: What on Earth are you talking about?


CRANE: I really can't explain it, my dear, but on this last trip, every time I killed a wild animal, I imagined I was killing-- I was killing you


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG


SOUND: CECILY'S STEPS AWAY


CRANE: (NARRATES) I watched her run up the stairs in terror. I heard the slam of her bedroom door. (SOUND: DOOR SLAMS, OFF) I stood there at the foot of the stairs for a moment, dazed -- yet more certain than ever of what I had to do. And then, quite unexpectedly, I felt the wet sting of tears on my cheeks. Yes, there were tears, but no sound. I thought of the ape in the hold of the ship silently opening and closing his mouth. (SOUND: CRANE'S STEPS DOWN HALL, IN BG) Some outside force seemed to be guiding me now as though I was a mechanically controlled robot. I began walking down the hallway to the cellar door. (SOUND: CELLAR DOOR OPENS, CRANE'S STEPS DOWN INTO CELLAR, IN BG) The darkness didn't frighten me. It was my friend. I went down the cellar steps in perfect calm, never thinking to snap on the light. No, it was the darkness that soothed me, whispered to me -- (SOUND: THE APE HOWLS ONCE, THEN BREATHES HEAVILY AND SLOWLY, IN BG) -- the darkness and the presence of my friend. He sensed me, of course. And, more than that, he expected me. He knew I was coming. (SOUND: CRANE'S STEPS TO APE) I went to him. There he was, outlined in the dim light of a faraway street lamp coming into the cellar from the grating over my head. (SOUND: THE APE ROARS, THEN BREATHES, IN BG)


MUSIC: CUTS OUT WITH ROAR ABOVE


CRANE: (TO APE) Sh! Sshhh! Yes, my friend. You want to be free, don't you?


APE: (GROWLS AGREEMENT)


CRANE: Yes, and why not be free? But before I let you out of your cage, we must understand each other. There is a price you must pay for your freedom.


APE: (ROARS SAVAGELY)


CRANE: Am I really being so unreasonable? Listen. You shall do what I command you to do -- with an ecstasy of satisfaction, do you hear? For, this time, it is no animal you will see die, but a human being!


APE: (EXCLAIMS EAGERLY)


CRANE: And more than that, my friend, you will not only see her die, but you yourself shall kill her -- shall avenge all the terrible deaths I have dealt your fellow brothers of the animal kingdom.


APE: (ROARS APPRECIATIVELY)


CRANE: Ah, ha ha! I see you are pleased. And you should be! Didn't I kill your mates?


APE: (ROARS UNHAPPILY)


CRANE: But I tell you, Cecily drove me to it in my need to quench my murder lust against her. And now, my friend, you shall act as my conscience. You shall kill Cecily in revenge. Your spirit shall be my spirit and Cecily will die!


APE: (ROARS APPRECIATIVELY)


CRANE: Yes! Yes, you do understand. Here in my hand is the key to your cage! The key to your freedom -- and mine!


APE: (GROWLS EAGERLY)


CRANE: We have made our bargain, haven't we?


APE: (EXCLAIMS AFFIRMATIVELY)


CRANE: Yes, yes! We understand each other as though we were two brothers!


APE: (GRUNTS AFFIRMATIVELY)


SOUND: KEY IN LOCK


APE: (BREATHES QUIETLY)

 

CRANE: Yes. Come out.


SOUND: CAGE DOOR CREAKS OPEN ... CRANE PATS APE AS IT EXITS CAGE ... THEIR STEPS UP STAIRS DURING FOLLOWING--


CRANE: Now -- upstairs, to her room. It is there that you shall sing at last. Yes! Your song of freedom. Your ape song.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER, OUT AT [X]--


ANNOUNCER: And so man and ape start for the room of their victim -- start up the stairs side by side in the darkness - (SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES) - as the clock strikes twelve for-- [X] (ECHO) Mur-der -- at Midnight!


MUSIC: THEME ... CURTAIN


[COMMERCIAL BREAK]


MUSIC: TAG ... OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: And now back to "Murder at Midnight" and "The Ape Song."


MUSIC: EERIE ... IN AND IN BG--


SOUND: STEPS UP THE STAIRS, IN BG


ANNOUNCER: Crane Folliet and his ape continue up the steps to Cecily's room.


CRANE: (NARRATES) We went up the cellar stairs together. And it didn't seem strange when the ape took my hand as though wishing me to guide him. And then for a moment I was afraid of trouble. (SOUND: FOOTSTEPS PAUSE AS THE APE HEAVILY PATS THE CARPET) The ape became fascinated with the heavy carpeting in the hallway, patting it with his hand as an infant plays with sand. But finally I got him to stand up and come with me. (SOUND: PATTING OUT, QUIET FOOTSTEPS RESUME) We made hardly any sound as we climbed the main staircase leading to her room.


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR OPENS


CECILY: (AWAKES WITH A STARTLED EXCLAMATION)


MUSIC: CUTS OUT


CECILY: Who - who is it?


APE: (ROARS)


CECILY: (SHRIEKS IN TERROR)


CRANE: (CALM) What is it, my dear? What's the matter?


CECILY: (TENSE) Something in the room-- I - I hear it. I see its eyes.


CRANE: But that's fantastic, my dear.


CECILY: There! There it is! Crane? Crane, what are you doing to me?


CRANE: I see nothing, I hear nothing.


CECILY: Crane, let go of my arm!


CRANE: In a moment. But won't you kiss me -- please?


CECILY: (REALIZES) You-- You're going to kill me.


CRANE: Oh, no, no. Not I. Come, aren't you going to kiss me just once as you used to in the old, old days?


CECILY: (DESPERATE) All right, yes -- anything! But let me go!


CRANE: Good. Now -- let me hold you in my arms. (SOUND: THEY EMBRACE) Oh, Cecily, I need you so. Why have I lost you? Why did you forsake me, Cecily?


SOUND: CECILY BREAKS AWAY ... HER RUNNING STEPS IN BG--


CECILY: (MOVING OFF) Let go!


CRANE: Cecily!


APE: (GROWLS)


CRANE: Come back! Don't run, you can't get away!


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR SLAMS AS CECILY EXITS


CRANE: Very well. If that's the way you want it.


SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR OPENS


MUSIC: FOR A CHASE ... IN AND IN BG--


SOUND: RUNNING FOOTSTEPS AND BANGING DOORS, IN BG


CRANE: (NARRATES) It was quite a chase. I followed them as they ran through the house from room to room, floor to floor. She seemed to be making for the roof, but I knew if she got away from me, she'd never never shake off the ape. 


APE: (GROWLS)


CRANE: (NARRATES) Finally, on the top floor--


CECILY: (SCREAMS)


CRANE: (NARRATES) --we caught up with her in the attic!


MUSIC: CUTS OUT


CECILY: (TERRIFIED) Crane! Please! Please, that ape--! Get him out of here! Crane, I'll do anything!


CRANE: You treated me like an animal, Cecily! And now an animal shall treat you as you deserve: choke the life out of you! (TO THE APE) There she is! Over there in the corner!


CECILY: No! No, Crane--!


APE: (GROWLS)


CRANE: She made me kill your mates!


APE: (GROWLS AND GRUNTS, IN BG)


CRANE: Kill her! Kill her! Kill her!


CECILY: (GURGLES AND CHOKES AND GASPS AS SHE IS STRANGLED AT LENGTH; THEN FINALLY DYING) Crane--! Crane--?


CRANE: (WITH QUIET PLEASURE) Goodbye, Cecily.


SOUND: APE JITTERS UP AND DOWN BEHIND--


APE: (HOOTS HAPPILY, THEN ROARS TRIUMPHANTLY)


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--


CRANE: (NARRATES, DREAMILY) I felt wonderful. I stood over her body and thought I could smell the sea and hear the pounding of the clean waves. And I felt sleepy again. Really sleepy again. I knew I could sleep now. (SOUND: DOORBELL RINGS, CONTINUES IN BG) I don't know how long I stood there or how long the doorbell was ringing -- until I remembered that it wasn't I that had killed her, but the ape. I was safe. Why not go downstairs and open the door?


SOUND: DOORBELL OUT


MUSIC: UP AND CROSSFADES OUT WITH--


MURCHISON: (FADES IN) I couldn't get a taxi and I wanted to see the ape first thing in the morning anyway, so I thought I'd come back to that comfortable sofa of yours.


CRANE: (FEIGNS TENSION) Dr. Murchison, the ape has escaped.


MURCHISON: Escaped?


CRANE: Yes, he jumped out of a window into a tree after - killing my wife. 


MURCHISON: Folliet, what are you saying?!


CRANE: Yes, right after you left. The first I knew of it was when she screamed. I ran upstairs to her room, but--


MURCHISON: (REALIZES INSTANTLY THAT CRANE IS GUILTY; QUIETLY) Queer.


CRANE: (TAKEN ABACK) What was that?


MURCHISON: I merely said it was queer. (GENUINELY SAD AND SYMPATHETIC) I can't tell you how sorry I am, Folliet -- for you.


CRANE: Sorry - for me?


MURCHISON: Shouldn't I be?


CRANE: (CASUALLY) Well, in a way. (BACK ON SUBJECT) Yes, it's lucky you did come back. We'll have to organize a search for the ape, of course; call the police.


MURCHISON: (GRIM) Yes. I am sorry for you, Folliet. Terribly sorry.


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CRANE--


CRANE: (NARRATES) The days that followed were the happiest of my life. At the inquest, the coroner's verdict was "death by accidental strangulation." The ape could not be found and the official opinion was that he drowned in the river, his body carried out to sea. Everything had worked out perfectly, until-- I began to become aware of something strange, and frightening, and horrible -- all this was happening to me. One day on the street--


SOUND: CITY TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... CLATTER OF COIN DROPPED ON SIDEWALK


GIRL: You dropped a coin, sir.


CRANE: Oh, thanks. That dime-- (BENDS, WITH EFFORT) I - I have it. (BEAT, PUZZLED) Uh--


GIRL: Didja hurt your finger? Here, let me pick it up for you.


CRANE: Thank you. (UNEASY, MYSTIFIED) My - thumb. Somehow I can't seem to bring it across.


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CRANE--


CRANE: (NARRATES) My thumb was no longer opposable. I couldn't bring it across my fingers. I never realized what it could mean until a few days later at a ball game--


SOUND: BALL GAME BACKGROUND (CROWD MURMURS)


VENDOR: Get your scorecard at the game! Can't tell nothin' without a scorecard, mister!


CRANE: (HALF-GROWLED, APELIKE) Never mind!


VENDOR: Come on, mister. Only a dime a scorecard. You don't want to spoil the pleasure of the game just for a dime, do ya?


CRANE: Move on, you idiot!


VENDOR: Yeah?! Who are you, a Quiz Kid or somethin'?


SOUND: CRANE MANHANDLES THE VENDOR


CRANE: (SAVAGELY) I said get out of here!


VENDOR: Take your hands off o' me -- ya ape, ya!


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CRANE--


CRANE: (NARRATES) What was happening to me? I could hardly force myself to think about it. But I had to. Especially after what happened at my club--


SAM: I say there, Folliet old man! Have a seat and a chat!


CRANE: Er, thank you, Sam, but I've got to be going.


SAM: (UNEASY) Er, yes, of course. I see.


CRANE: See what?


SAM: Lumbago, eh? Can't straighten up your back. (CLICKS TONGUE) Uh, going to a doctor, eh?


CRANE: Do you think it would help? Do ya?


SAM: I don't know. But you certainly can't spend the rest of your life bending over like that with your hands hanging halfway to your knees.


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CRANE--


CRANE: (NARRATES) A half hour later I was in Murchison's office.


MURCHISON: Now, now -- you must take it easy, Folliet. We all have our off days, you know.


CRANE: (AGITATED) You've got to help me, Dr. Murchison! You don't know what I'm going through!


MURCHISON: I wonder. You do look rather--


CRANE: I can't stand wearing shoes any more. They torture me! And I can't straighten my back up!


MURCHISON: Have you ever had rheumatism? Any severe back injury?


CRANE: Rheumatism?! You sit there talking like that when I've caught myself making sounds like an ape?! Don't you realize what's happening?! That's what I am becoming, an ape! You're a psychiatrist, aren't you? Well, do something! You've got to do something!


MURCHISON: (STERN) Quit your whimpering and listen. I can help you, but only if you cooperate.


CRANE: I'll do anything.


MURCHISON: Admit you arranged for your wife's murder.


CRANE: (BEAT) What?


MURCHISON: With the ape's help. Everything points to it, Folliet: bringing the ape to your house, your strange behavior before and after I left -- and now the transference.


CRANE: I - I don't know what you're talking about.


MURCHISON: It's quite simple. Arranging for the ape to strangle your wife put you legally in the clear, but you can't strangle your guilt. You can only suppress it. And unconsciously, in your guilt, you have taken on the actual characteristics of the ape.


CRANE: (HALF-GROWLED) If you say that again, I'll kill you!


MURCHISON: Killing me would only prove your guilt twice over. Be sensible, Folliet. Trust me. I've taken extensive notes on your case.


CRANE: You've taken notes?


MURCHISON: Yes. Because I knew some sort of reaction would set in.


CRANE: (GROWLS LIKE AN APE)


MURCHISON: No, no -- keep away from me!


CRANE: (APELIKE) So! You're gonna turn me over to the police, huh?! You're against me, too! Everyone's against me! Trying to hunt me down! But you won't get me! You won't! (GROANS WITH EFFORT BEHIND--)


SOUND: LENGHTY STRUGGLE AS CRANE ROUGHS UP MURCHISON


MURCHISON: Please--! (GROANS)


SOUND: BODY THUD!


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--


CRANE: (NARRATES) I dropped him -- and he fell to the floor gasping. (SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS ... RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, BRIEFLY IN BG) And then I tore open the door and ran! I didn't know where I was going, what I was going to do next; I only knew I had to hide! I found an abandoned house, hid in the cellar, and there -- there in the darkness -- it all became clear. 


(PAUSE, SLOWLY AND QUIETLY INSANE) Ape -- the ape who had killed Cecily -- I was the ape. That meant that he was Crane Folliet and that meant-- Yes. I had to find him somehow -- kill him for killing Cecily -- and that way - that way become my old self again. Ape, ape, ape, where could I go? Where would I hide if I were he? Where there is green. Yes, and trees - and rocks. Ape, yes, in the park. 


(PAUSE, FOR TRANSITION) (SOUND: NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND, CRICKETS CHIRP ... CRANE'S STEPS ON GRASS, IN BG) That night in the park, I threw off my shoes - (SOUND: SHOES DROPPED ON GRASS) - and walked barefoot, concealed in the night as I hunted my mortal enemy. (SOUND: CLOTHES DROPPED, FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE, IN BG) Piece by piece, I discarded my clothes -- my jacket, my shirt, my trousers -- walking like the animal I had become. My eyes were sharper than they'd ever been. I could see, even in the darkness. And then, as the moon started to go down, I climbed a ridge. (SOUND: CRANE CLIMBS A RIDGE) There were caves, cages, stone houses -- the zoo!


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


APE: (ROARS)


CRANE: (NARRATES) And then I heard something. Something that made the hair prickle on the back of my neck.


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


APE: (ROARS)


CRANE: (NARRATES) My fingers itched and my body shook as I heard the sound that told me I had found my enemy -- the ape! (SOUND: CRANE LANDS ON HIS FEET BEHIND--) I jumped down toward the sounds -- my lips puffing in and out with my heavy breathing, my head pounding like a trip hammer, my entire body aflame with the hot blood of murder! 


APE: (ROARS)


CRANE: (NARRATES) I ran to where the sounds came from, and there was a locked steel door. The ape was snarling, daring me to come near him. (SOUND: RUNNING FOOTSTEPS AND AXE WRENCHED FROM WALL, IN AGREEMENT WITH--) I ran around to the other side, wrenched a fire axe from the wall, and came back for the door. (SOUND: AXE SMASHES DOOR FOUR TIMES, BEHIND--) I smashed at the lock with the sharp edge of the axe -- opened the door - (SOUND: CAGE DOOR OPENS) - and leaped into the cage!


APE: (ROARS)


CRANE: (NARRATES) He reared at me with his hind legs and I sprang at his throat!


MUSIC: CUTS OUT


SOUND: CRANE AND THE APE STRUGGLE, BOTH GRUNTING AND ROARING, IN BG


OFFICER: Holy Moses! Jake, get your gun, quick! There's a man in there! Hurry up, now!


CRANE: (HYSTERICAL) Die! Die -- for killing Cecily! And die in me, too! Let me be Folliet! Folliet, do you hear?!


OFFICER: Watch out, the cage is open!


CRANE: (GROWLS WITH SATISFACTION) 


SOUND: APE'S BODY THUDS TO FLOOR


CRANE: Dead. It's dead! And I am free! (ABRUPTLY STARTS HOOTING AND GRUNTING MADLY LIKE AN APE)


OFFICER: There he is, Jake! Let him have it!


SOUND: FIVE GUNSHOTS!


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN OUT


MURCHISON: (SAD AND SYMPATHETIC) Yes. It's he. I pronounce him dead.


OFFICER: Who'd've thought a man could make a sound like that? It was dark and we thought the ape had killed him, so Jake just fired. 


JAKE: What gets me is his trying to kill an ape with his bare hands and doing it.


MURCHISON: To his crazed mind, this was the same ape he provoked into killing his wife.


OFFICER: I'll never forget that sound as long as I live. Never!


MURCHISON: A complete transference into ape. Yet he could have been saved. Look at them lying on the ground. Too bad we couldn't have gotten here a minute sooner.


JAKE: Sure left an easy trail. Dropping his shoes and clothes after him, piece by piece.


MURCHISON: Ape and man on the ground, side by side.


OFFICER: It ain't pretty.


MURCHISON: His toes turned in. Tufts of hair from the ape's throat still clutched between his fingers. His teeth biting into his lower lip. Poor Folliet. Or should I say "poor humans"? How close to animals we really are.


MUSIC: SOMBER ... IN AND BEHIND ANNOUNCER, OUT AT [X]


ANNOUNCER: Two bodies lying side by side in the darkness, with no one to say which was the victim - (SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES) - as the clock strikes twelve for -- [X] (ECHO) Mur-der -- at Midnight!


MUSIC: CURTAIN


[COMMERCIAL BREAK]


MUSIC: THEME ... TAG, THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]


SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES


ANNOUNCER: Remember to be with us again when death pads through the night with glowing eyes, and the clocks strike twelve for -- [X] (ECHO) Mur-der -- at Midnight!


SOUND: CLOCK CHIMES


MUSIC: THEME ... IN AND BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: The part of the big game hunter was played by Raymond Edward Johnson. With music by Charles Paul, "Murder at Midnight" was directed by Anton M. Leader.


MUSIC: UP, FOR THEME ... UNTIL END

Comments