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The Bark of a Dead Dog

Lights Out

The Bark of a Dead Dog

Feb 01 1939



CAST:

VOICE

ANNOUNCER


Dramatis Personae:

FEIST, disgraced doctor turned smooth-talking con man

GUNTHER, another con; less smooth

SIBLEY, their mark; a wealthy investor

WILLA BENTON, an alcoholic young woman

THE DEAD DOG, who yelps




VOICE: Lights out, everybody.


TWELVE CHIME NOTES, WIND UP ON FOURTH, OUT BEHIND--


G O N G !


VOICE: "The Bark of a Dead Dog." 


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH ... CHEMICALS BUBBLING IN A LABORATORY FOR A FEW MOMENTS ... THEN SECOND CLICK! OF SWITCH AS BUBBLING STOPS


FEIST: Light one of those Bunsen burners for me, will you, Gunther? Hey, we've kept Sibley waiting fifteen minutes already. He'll be wanting to drive back to town before long. Give me a hand.


GUNTHER: I've been doin' a little plannin' and-- 


FEIST: The plans won't be much use unless we get Bowser to bark for Sibley. Light the Bunsen burner while I take the cover off the-- 


GUNTHER: Don't! Don't uncover that thing now. It gives me the creeps. I don't want to look at it.


FEIST: (CHUCKLES) What's the matter, Gunther? Still squeamish? 


GUNTHER: Yeah. Yeah. I can't get over it.


FEIST: If you want Sibley to think you're a doctor, you've got to have more than that phony bedside manner. Objectivity -- that's what you need. 


GUNTHER: Yeah. Yeah, I know. 


FEIST: It's just a dog, Gunther. Not even that. Just the head of a dog. 


GUNTHER: But those eyes! They look just like it did when-- 


FEIST: The dog is dead. Just keep that in mind. 


GUNTHER: I wish I hadn't been the one that had to take care of that pooch before you--


FEIST: Sure, sure. I know all of that. I like dogs, too. The pooch had that same trusting look in his eyes when I killed him, but I don't think of it. Twenty thousand bucks -- that's what I'm thinking of. 


GUNTHER: I'll be okay. It just kind of gave me a jolt when you started to uncover that darn thing. (A DEEP BREATH) I'll be okay. 


FEIST: Just keep in mind that if the head barks for Sibley we'll be in for nine thousand apiece. Now -- light the Bunsen burner. 


GUNTHER: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Under this, er, whatchamacallit?


FEIST: The beaker, yeah. And don't call beakers whatchamacallits when Sibley's in here. That'd be a tip-off for sure.


SOUND: MATCH STRIKES ... BUNSEN BURNER LIT


GUNTHER: Don't worry about me. Just you get this contraption to operate and I'll take care of myself okay. 


FEIST: Er, turn up the flame a little higher. 


GUNTHER: Mmm.


FEIST: You can bring Sibley and Willa in now. By the time I tell them what it's all about, the solution will be warm enough.


SOUND: GUNTHER'S STEPS TO LAB DOOR BEHIND--


GUNTHER: You do all the talkin' and don't let 'em ask me questions. 


FEIST: (OFF) Don't worry.


GUNTHER: And let me talk money with him. That'll be my end of it.


FEIST: (OFF) Okay, but let him bring up the money angle. Don't appear too anxious. 


GUNTHER: I know what to do.


SOUND: LAB DOOR OPENS


GUNTHER: (ADOPTS A CLASSIER ACCENT, SWEETLY) You may come in now, Mr. Sibley. We're ready with the demonstration. 


SOUND: LAB DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


SIBLEY: Well, this should be very interesting, Dr. Gunther. This young lady has been telling me some quite amazing things about the work you're doing. 


GUNTHER: I hope you didn't exaggerate to Mr. Sibley, Miss Benton. 


SIBLEY: How modest! Just as you said he was. 


WILLA: (CHUCKLES) I didn't tell him too much about what the demonstration would be. I thought Dr. Feist could do that much better. 


GUNTHER: Of course, of course. By the way, Mr. Sibley, I don't believe you've met Dr. Feist yet. 


SIBLEY: Dr. Feist, this is a pleasure. 


FEIST: Thank you very much. I hope we haven't kept you waiting too long. 


SIBLEY: Not at all, not at all.


FEIST: (CHUCKLES) There are so many adjustments to make. Will you sit right over there? Willa, you can sit beside Mr. Sibley. 


GUNTHER: I told Mr. Sibley you'd give him a fuller explanation of what we're doing here. 


FEIST: Certainly as you probably already know, Mr. Sibley, Dr. Gunther and I have made a revolutionary step in man's conquest of the mystery of life and death. We have just recently perfected what we call the Feist-Gunther method of vivifying inert organisms. We've really progressed beyond what you'll see in this demonstration.


GUNTHER: Far beyond.


FEIST: But to make what we're accomplishing readily understandable to the layman, you'll see life restored to the head of a dog. 


GUNTHER: (ACCENT SLIPS A LITTLE) That'll just give you an idea the direction we're workin'. 


SIBLEY: Of course. I understand. 


FEIST: The animal's been dead for six hours and the head was severed from the body two hours ago. So you can be certain what you see is not a convulsive reflex.


GUNTHER: It might be well to explain just a bit of the principle on which we're workin', Dr. Feist. 


FEIST: (CHUCKLES) Yes, of course. You see, Mr. Sibley, by means of an artificial electronically operated heart, we are able to pump a solution of our discovery through the veins of the animal's head. This solution is warmed to the proper temperature and after it is circulated for a certain length of time, it fulfills the function of blood in restoring certain faculties of sight and thought -- and, to a smaller degree, a few nervous impulses that control muscular action. 


SIBLEY: I - I'm afraid that's just a little too complicated for me to understand, doctor. 


FEIST: Well, the demonstration will tell you much more than I could. Er, Dr. Gunther, would you switch on the oscillators? 


GUNTHER: (CLUELESS) Er, certainly, certainly.


FEIST: And now if you'll just be patient for a few moments, we'll be ready.


GUNTHER: (WHISPERS, TO FEIST) What the deuce? I don't know anything about this junk. You know that. 


FEIST: (WHISPERS) Just act as if you're doing something. Do you want Sibley to think you're just an onlooker? (CLEARS THROAT, UP, TO SIBLEY) The oscillator produces micrometric electromagnetic waves which pass in parallel planes through the solution. 


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH ... CHEMICALS START BUBBLING ... THEN UNDER


FEIST: This glass receptacle acts somewhat as does the heart. After the circulation starts, the waves will be sent through the solution in the heart, thus vivifying the molecules. (TO GUNTHER) Er, what is the temperature, doctor? 


GUNTHER: Why, it's, er-- It's, er--


FEIST: (WHISPERS) Shut up. (CLEARS THROAT, UP) One hundred fifty-two degrees Fahrenheit! That's splendid. Now -- the oscillator.


SOUND: OSCILLATOR ... THEN UNDER


FEIST: Now I'll remove the cover from the head of the animal so that you can see the--


WILLA: (STARTLED SCREAM)


FEIST: I think you had better leave, Miss Benton.


WILLA: (UNNERVED, MOVING OFF) I will! I will! I - I just can't watch!


SOUND: LAB DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS AS WILLA HURRIEDLY EXITS


FEIST: (TO SIBLEY) You'll have to pardon Miss Benton. She's rather high-strung and can't bring herself to view the animal with the same detachment we doctors do. 


SIBLEY: (A LITTLE SQUEAMISH HIMSELF) Yes. Yes, of course. It is a rather disturbing sight. 


FEIST: Oh, you'll soon forget that, Mr. Sibley. Perhaps you'd like to move your chair a little closer. Watch carefully when the speed of the pumping action is increased. Now watch the eyes particularly. (WHISPERS, TO GUNTHER) Look at the dog's head, you fool, and don't look so terrified.


GUNTHER: (WHISPERS) I can't, Eric. It gives me the creeps


FEIST: (WHISPERS) Then watch the A-meter. (CLEARS THROAT, UP, TO SIBLEY) You'll notice that the jaws seemed to tighten just a bit. That, of course, is an involuntary action as the brain is not yet functioning completely. The blinking of the eyes is also involuntary. Allow just a few seconds more. 


SOUND: OSCILLATORS OUT ... BUBBLING CHEMICALS CONTINUE UNDER


FEIST: There! Now the brain is functioning, and the sight. The condition of the synapses in the neural pathway of the eyes are nearly normal now. See, I pass my hand in front of the eyes and you notice the blinking? Next, the animal's mind becomes conscious of pain. 


SIBLEY: (STARTLED) The mouth! It moved! 


FEIST: Heh! Yes! Another reflex action. An attempt to bark. Watch.


DOG: (YELPS, SLOWLY AT FIRST, THEN GRADUALLY FASTER, LOUDER, AND STRONGER, CONTINUING UNDER)


FEIST: There.


SIBLEY: (ASTONISHED, HORRIFIED) It's wonderful. And horrible. 


FEIST: It's growing stronger. Think of it! A moment ago, the brain was dead. Now -- alive! Alive.


SIBLEY: (MISERABLE) The poor dog. The poor, poor dog. 


FEIST: Science, Mr. Sibley! The dog is a sacrifice to science. 


SIBLEY: Stop it! Stop the machine!


FEIST: Mr. Sibley, get a hold on yourself! It's just an experiment! 


SIBLEY: Stop that terrible thing! It's inhuman!


FEIST: Oh, please. Please, Mr. Sibley. This is in the interests of science. Think of it! Renewing life. This is just a step--


SIBLEY: Do you hear me?! Stop that machine!


GUNTHER: Calm down, Mr. Sibley. With this start, think of what we can do. With your financial help, we'll have this thing-- 


SIBLEY: No! No! Not a cent! I won't give you a cent of my money! This is ghastly! Inhuman! I'll tell the authorities! 


FEIST: Now, now, Mr. Sibley. It's just a demonstration. 


SIBLEY: Stop that thing! I won't give you a cent of my money to carry on an awful thing like that. 


GUNTHER: (LOW) Turn it off, Eric. I'll talk to him.


FEIST: Mr. Sibley, where are you going?


SIBLEY: I'm getting out of this terrible place! I'm going to inform the authorities of what you're doing. I won't allow a thing like this to go on in a civilized world. I won't! 


FEIST: But we need your financial help to carry on.


SIBLEY: Not one cent! That's final!


GUNTHER: (GREEDILY) But you brought the money with you, didn't you?


SIBLEY: Yes! But you'll not have a penny of it! 


SOUND: GUNTHER SCUFFLES WITH SIBLEY, UNDER--


SIBLEY: Let go of me!


GUNTHER: Shut up! Feist will turn it off. 


SIBLEY: Let go of me!


GUNTHER: I just want to talk with you.


SIBLEY: Take your hands off me! I'll have the police--!


GUNTHER: (SAVAGELY) I told you to shut up! And I meant it!


SOUND: GUNTHER HITS SIBLEY ON HEAD WITH LEAD PIPE ... BODY THUDS TO FLOOR


SIBLEY: (DEATH GROAN)


FEIST: (SHOCKED) Good lord! What did you do that for? 


GUNTHER: What'd you want me to do? Let him go to the police? 


FEIST: You didn't need to crack him so hard. Just a tap with that pipe. 


GUNTHER: Do you think he's badly hurt?


FEIST: Just a second. I'll take a look at him. We'll have to get out of here pretty fast no matter how he is.


GUNTHER: (UNNERVED) Turn off that machine. That dog's yelpin' is driving me nuts! 


FEIST: Turn it off yourself. You know where the switch is. You certainly made a mess of this business. 


GUNTHER: Is this the switch? 


FEIST: Yeah.


SOUND: SWITCH FLIPPED ... BUBBLING SLOWS TO A STOP ... DOG STOPS YELPING ... ITS LAST YELP IS A SORT OF DYING WHINE


GUNTHER: How is he? 


FEIST: (PAUSE) He's dead. 


GUNTHER: Good lord, dead?! I just tapped him! 


FEIST: Nevertheless, he's dead!


GUNTHER: Oh, what'll we do? He's an important man! He'll be missed, and they'll know where to look--


FEIST: Shut up! Let me think--


WILLA: (OFF, BLOODCURDLING SCREAM ... THEN HYSTERICAL WEEPING, IN BG)


FEIST: It's Willa!


SOUND: THEIR HURRIED STEPS TO LAB DOOR, WHICH OPENS TO REVEAL WEEPING WILLA


WILLA: (HYSTERICAL) The dog! The dog! The dog--! (WEEPS)


FEIST: What's the matter? Get a hold of yourself, Willa! What's wrong?!


WILLA: (TEARFUL) The dog! At the door! Just the body! (WEEPS UNDER)


GUNTHER: What's she talkin' about?


SOUND: FEIST SLAPS WILLA A FEW TIMES


FEIST: Snap out of it, Willa! What happened?


WILLA: (HYSTERICAL) The dog!


FEIST: Calm down. We've turned the motor off.


WILLA: But at the door--!


FEIST: What are you trying to say?


WILLA: While you were in there, I heard a scratch on the front door. Scratching, scratching. I didn't know what it was. (WEEPS UNDER)


GUNTHER: She's gone nuts!


FEIST: Shut up and listen to her. (TO WILLA) Yes? What about it, Willa? 


WILLA: I opened the door and there-- (WEEPS UNDER)


GUNTHER: Eric! The door is open. Look! There, on the doorstep! 


FEIST: (HORRIFIED) Good God! The dog's body.


G O N G !


SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR


GUNTHER: Eric? 


FEIST: (BEHIND DOOR) Yeah. Open up. 


SOUND: LAB DOOR OPENS


GUNTHER: Everything go okay? 


FEIST: Yeah.


GUNTHER: Anybody see ya? 


FEIST: I don't think so. I was doing seventy when I passed the filling station on the turnpike. It's so dark on the pike the break in the fence won't be noticed until morning. 


GUNTHER: Good. Ya didn't take off the gloves, did ya?


FEIST: You think I'm crazy? 


GUNTHER: I just don't want to take chances. Guys have been known to leave fingerprints around in the wrong places. 


FEIST: Yeah, yeah. If we wiped up all of Willa's prints, we're in the clear. By the way, how is she? 


GUNTHER: Pretty loaded.


FEIST: Drunk, huh? 


GUNTHER: Yeah. More drunk than scared anyway. 


FEIST: We better let her stay that way until we get out of this place. I know how she feels.


GUNTHER: You know, we got to get some of that equipment out of here. 


WILLA: (DRUNKENLY, OFF) Eric? Eric, is that you? 


GUNTHER: (LOW) Willa's heard you. Answer her.


FEIST: (CALLS) Everything's okay, darling. 


WILLA: (CLOSER) Eric, please -- take me out of here. I - I can't stand it much longer. This awful place. (WEEPS QUIETLY BEHIND--)


FEIST: Take it easy, hun. We'll leave just as soon as we finish up a few things.


WILLA: What did you do with Mr. Sibley's body? 


GUNTHER: (WITH PLEASURE) Ran him off the cliff on the turnpike in his car. 


WILLA: (GASPS IN HORROR)


FEIST: (REASSURING) It'll look like an accident. Don't worry about it. 


WILLA: Please, Eric -- can't we leave now? 


FEIST: We've just a few things to do, honey, and - and then we'll go. 


GUNTHER: (CAGEY) I'll be gettin' out to bury that dog's body-- 


FEIST: Er, wait a minute. 


GUNTHER: (SELF-CONSCIOUS) I was just gonna-- 


FEIST: How about the money? 


GUNTHER: Money?


FEIST: Yes, money. Money. The money Sibley had with him. Did he bring the entire twenty thousand? 


GUNTHER: (UNCONVINCINGLY) Why, no -- he only had three thousand on him.


WILLA: That's a lie! I was with him when you--!


GUNTHER: (SAVAGELY) Shut up! You're drunk!


FEIST: Why don't you want to hear what she has to say, Gunther? You're not trying to pull a fast one, by any chance? (TO WILLA) What were you saying, darling? 


WILLA: I said he's lying. I went with Sibley to the bank and he drew the full twenty thousand.


FEIST: (BEAT, CALMLY) Well, Gunther? What about it? 


GUNTHER: (SARDONIC) Okay. He did have the twenty thousand on him. But who planned this? 


FEIST: What are you driving at? 


GUNTHER: All right, you and Willa are gonna get a thousand apiece. That's your share.


FEIST: I don't think so. 


GUNTHER: Listen, you. I planned this. You just helped me. So I decided to cut you in for-- (UNIMPRESSED) Oh, that. Put the gun away. I put my share where I can find it and you'll take what I give ya. 


FEIST: You won't have much fun spending it if your head is ventilated with six holes. 


GUNTHER: Quit bluffin', Feist. It won't do you any good to kill me. You won't find the money. 


FEIST: Oh, yes, I will. You're going to tell me where it is.


GUNTHER: No good, Feist. I don't scare so easily. 


FEIST: Hold this gun on him, Willa. If he makes a pass at me, drill him. 


WILLA: (DRUNKEN, UNEASY MURMURING)


FEIST: Huh, steady, darling. 


GUNTHER: I tell ya, Feist, you don't deserve any more than a thousand -- and that's what you'll get.


FEIST: Think so?


SOUND: FEIST HITS GUNTHER IN THE FACE


GUNTHER: Why, you--! 


FEIST: Keep him covered, Willa. (TO GUNTHER) So! You're not going to tell, huh? 


SOUND: FEIST HITS GUNTHER AGAIN 


GUNTHER: (GROANS IN PAIN)


SOUND: GUNTHER'S BODY SLUMPS TO FLOOR


FEIST: Get in the other room, Willa -- and shut the door. 


WILLA: But, Eric, we've gotta get out of here! 


FEIST: There's a bottle in there. Get busy with it.


WILLA: (NERVOUSLY) You're not going to do anything with him? 


FEIST: Get in there! 


WILLA: (HELPLESSLY) Well--


SOUND: WILLA'S STEPS TO DOOR, WHICH OPENS BEHIND-- 


WILLA: (TO HERSELF, DISTRAUGHT, MOVING OFF) Why? Why did I get into this? Why did I let Eric do it? I can't go on drinking like this all night. That poor dog. Those eyes.


GUNTHER: (IN TERROR) Don't! Please! Please! Don't! Eric! Oh, my god! Don't - do it. Noooo.


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... STEADY, FAST TICKING OF CLOCK FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN FADES OUT


WILLA: Eric? Eric, what's the matter? 


FEIST: (THOROUGHLY UNNERVED, SOBS) He didn't tell. I couldn't make him tell. He wouldn't tell me.


WILLA: Eric, what you've done to him?


FEIST: He - he wouldn't tell. He just screamed and said he wouldn't tell me. Now we'll never find it. Eighteen thousand dollars.


WILLA: What did you do to him? Tell me. 


FEIST: He died. And he wouldn't tell me. The money's lost, gone! We'll never find it.


WILLA: You - you killed him?


FEIST: He deserved it! Robbed me. Robbed us. Robbed us of our share, that's what he did. He cheated. He robbed me.


WILLA: And you killed him?


FEIST: He wouldn't tell. No matter what I did to him. He wouldn't tell. 


WILLA: You killed him?!


FEIST: Quit saying that! (TEARFUL) The money was as much mine as it was his. Now we'll never find it! Never! Never.


WILLA: (SOOTHING) Oh, Eric. Take a drink. You're not yourself. It'll - it'll do you good. 


FEIST: (SNIFFLES, THEN STOPS)


WILLA: (BEAT) Eric, what's the matter? Don't look at me like that.


FEIST: (REALIZES, SLOWLY) He - won't - cheat us. He died -- but I'll find out. I'll find out!


WILLA: Eric? Let's get away from here -- far away. 


FEIST: No. He won't cheat us. He died -- but I'll find out. I'll find out


WILLA: Listen to me, Eric. We can go to New York. Take a boat for someplace. Get away from here. Oh, please--


FEIST: The dog's head barked, Willa. It barked. 


WILLA: Don't! Don't talk about that! 


FEIST: It barked, Willa. The dog was dead, Gunther's dead; maybe - maybe his head will talk. 


G O N G !


WILLA: (SAVAGELY) I can't stand this! Stop it! Let's just go! Leave everything! Just go! 


FEIST: (MERRILY) Gunther has something to tell us. Yes! A little secret that I know he'd like to share. Now-- 


WILLA: (TENSELY) This is all too fantastic. Too horrible. We'll never be able to forget about it! 


FEIST: Money! We'll have money. That'll help us forget.


WILLA: Eric, you're - you're mad.


FEIST: Mad? Perhaps.


WILLA: The idea is too fiendish to think about. Inhuman! You can't do it! 


FEIST: Oh, but I can do it. Gunther will talk to me. And he'll tell me. (AN ORDER) Scalpel. 


WILLA: Darling, listen to me--


FEIST: (INSISTS) Scalpel


WILLA: We - we don't know what terrible things this will cause. 


FEIST: What do you mean by that? 


WILLA: We can't do it! Mustn't! It's defying the laws of God, Eric! We can't do it. (DISMAYED) The dog-- Oh! 


FEIST: Go on. What about the dog? 


WILLA: You saw it yourself -- there, on the doorstep -- and I heard it scratch on the door. I - I heard it, darling. I know I did. We don't know what it means. 


FEIST: Nonsense! Some of the farm kids around here must have tried to play a prank. Found the headless dog and - and thought they'd scare us.


WILLA: You know that isn't true. It's something else. I know it. I can just feel it. 


FEIST: What, for instance? 


WILLA: Couldn't it--? Couldn't it be possible that the mind, brought back to life that way, could control the muscles of the body -- even if the body was some distance away? 


FEIST: Certainly not. It's silly. 


WILLA: Then how can you explain what happened? 


FEIST: Listen, I - I don't know, but I'm sure it's nothing like that. 


WILLA: How do you know?! Maybe there's a telepathic connection between the head and the body. When you cut off the head of a snake, the body continues to move. 


FEIST: (EXASPERATED) That's muscular contraction! 


WILLA: Nobody's sure of that. We don't know, Eric. We don't know.


FEIST: (CALMLY) I'll take the chance. Give me that scalpel. 


WILLA: You're not--?! 


FEIST: Yes. I'm going to cut off his stubborn head. Get out of the room if you don't want to see it.


WILLA: (GASPS IN HORROR) 


SOUND: WILLA'S STEPS AWAY BEHIND--


FEIST: Don't leave the house. I'll need your help in a few minutes. 


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS AS WILLA EXITS


FEIST: (MERRILY, MADLY, AS HE OPERATES) Now! See if you'll keep your secret, Gunther. You won't have your body to help you. Just your head -- and your eyes, and your tongue. Yes! You'll have your tongue, Gunther, and you'll use it. See if you can keep your secret now. Just see if you can. The dog could bark. You can do as well as a dog, can't you, Gunther? Sure, the dog can bark and you can talk -- and remember. Too bad you never studied surgery, Gunther. You're missing an excellent operation. You didn't know I was a great surgeon, did you? The best! That's what I was -- and the world would have known it, but no. I was disgraced. You had your hand in that, too, didn't you? You wanted me disgraced. You'll never forget that. I won't let you forget. My hand's shaking, sure, but it'll do the job. Off with your head, Gunther! Just a flick, see? And your sternomastoid muscle is no good. See? My hand's steady enough. But I must be careful! Nothing must prevent your miraculous return to life! And your trapezius. Got to cut it - way - down - here. It'll shrink up -- and I need that to make you talk. You are going to talk, you know. (LAUGHS) Talk -- and like it. Here's your external jugular. See? I know where everything is. (STEPS AWAY, THEN RETURNS) And the clip on your lymphatic glands. We don't want them to swell and spoil your return to life. You've got a speech to make, Gunther. Oh, you don't know it -- yet! (CALLS) Willa?! Willa? 


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


FEIST: Come in! Give me a hand. Just don't stand there. Turn up the flame under the Bunsen. (NO RESPONSE) What's the matter? You crocked? 


WILLA: I - don't - like - this. 


FEIST: Yeah, yeah -- I know, but you'll like ten thousand dollars. That's your share, darling. 


WILLA: I - don't - like - it.


FEIST: Okay! You don't like it! But turn up the flame. Gunther is nearly ready to talk to us. 


SOUND: SWITCH FLIPPED ... CHEMICALS BUBBLING ... THEN UNDER


WILLA: He - looks - awful.


FEIST: Well, that's the way, kid. Not afraid to look at him, eh? 


WILLA: (SLOWLY) Oh, but will I ever forget?


FEIST: You'll forget it. A change of scene--


WILLA: His face. It's so bluuuuuue


FEIST: Your face would be a little blue if your head were here and your body sitting on the chair over there. 


WILLA: (LAUGHS MIRTHLESSLY) Cute sense of humor you have. Sitting his body in a chair.


FEIST: Maybe he'll feel more like talking with his body sitting up. What's the temperature of the solution?


WILLA: A hundred fifty-three. 


FEIST: Fine. Now -- the oscillator. 


SOUND: OSCILLATOR ... THEN UNDER


WILLA: It working? 


FEIST: His forehead's warming up. I'll know in a second or two. 


WILLA: (HORRIFIED) Eric?! He's -- he's --! 


FEIST: Yeah. Yeah, he's trying to open his eyes. Try, Gunther, try. Try! Open your eyes! 


WILLA: (GASPS IN HORROR)


FEIST: There! That's fine. Open them wider. Look at me, Gunther. It's me -- Eric Feist. See? (LAUGHS) Thought you were through with me, didn't you? I don't give up, Gunther! Never! Never. Trying to say something, eh?


WILLA: Eric! Don't go through with it! Listen to me, please! 


FEIST: (LIGHTLY DISMISSIVE) Oh, just a little chat with Gunther. Just long enough to find out what I want to know. (MORE SERIOUS) You know what it is, don't you, Gunther? You'll talk to me now -- won't you? (NO ANSWER) That's right -- move your lips. You can talk.


SOUND: OSCILLATOR STOPS ... BUBBLING CONTINUES UNDER


GUNTHER: (DEEP, SLOW, RASPY) Let - me - die. 


WILLA: (HORRIFIED) He said-- He said, "Let - me - die."


FEIST: That's a start, Gunther -- just the start. 


GUNTHER: (HOARSELY, DESPERATELY) Pain! Pain! I want to die. Please, Eric. Please. For the love of God, stop it. Let me die. 


FEIST: No! No, not yet, Gunther. Where did you hide the money?


GUNTHER: I can't remember! Oh, god, don't ask me. I can't remember!


FEIST: Tell me.


GUNTHER: Let me die! Just let me die! 


WILLA: Eric, don't do this to him!


FEIST: He'll tell me! Or else I'll keep him alive for-- For a year! 


GUNTHER: No! Lord have mercy! Take me--! Take me away from this! I don't deserve this!


FEIST: Are you going to tell me where you hid the money?


GUNTHER: I can't! I can't remember! I can't! I tell you-- The pain!


WILLA: (MOVING OFF, MOANS HORRIBLY)


FEIST: Willa! Willa, where are you going?! 


SOUND: DOOR SHUTS AS WILLA EXITS


FEIST: She can't see stand to see you this way, Gunther. But I can. 


SOUND: FEIST'S STEPS TO DOOR BEHIND--


FEIST: Think it over for a minute, Gunther. You'll remember. Just try.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS 


FEIST: (CALLS) Come back in here, Willa! I need your help!


GUNTHER: Lord have mercy. Take me away from this. Help me. Help me!


FEIST: Have you remembered where the money is, Gunther? 


GUNTHER: As God is my judge, I can't remember! I can't remember! 


FEIST: I can keep you alive just like this -- for hours, days, weeks. The pain won't lessen -- not a bit. Think of it! You can't die now! Not until I want you to die. And you'll tell me first.


GUNTHER: I can't remember! Can't you believe me? I can't remember! The pain! Pain! I can't stand it!


FEIST: Then you can stop it. Tell me, Gunther. Tell me where you hid the money. Then I'll let you die.


GUNTHER: I can't think! The pain! Let me die! 


FEIST: Yes. When you tell me where the money is hidden.


GUNTHER: I can't, I can't! I don't know! Oh, God! What have I done to deserve this? What?


WILLA: (OFF) Eric! Please -- stop the motors! I'll never be able to forget! Never! (WEEPS) 


FEIST: Come on in and look at the man who robbed us! Look at him now! 


GUNTHER: Willa! Willa, I never did anything to you. Turn off those motors!


WILLA: (CLOSER) He's talking to me. (PLEADS, TO FEIST) Oh, darling, let him die! We don't want the money. We can go away someplace and start all over again. Oh, let him die. For my sake.


FEIST: He'll tell us in just a minute, Willa. Then we'll have twenty thousand dollars. 


GUNTHER: (NO LONGER DESPERATE -- SLOWLY, OMINOUSLY) No, - you - won't! 


FEIST: Oh, yes -- I will. 


GUNTHER: Look - behind you! 


FEIST: What do you--?


WILLA: (HORRIFIED SCREAM) The body!


FEIST: Good lord! Turn off the motor! Turn off the motor, Willa! 


GUNTHER: (TRIUMPHANTLY) She can't get past me. And you won't either


WILLA: (MOANS AND FAINTS)


GUNTHER: She's fainted. Now you can't turn off the motor until after I get you. 


FEIST: (SHUDDERS WITH FEAR AND DISBELIEF)


GUNTHER: And I will get you! 


FEIST: Stay away from me! My eyes-- My eyes are fooling me. You're dead! Your body can't move. 


GUNTHER: I'm moving my body. My body is there, but my mind is here! And alive! And my body still does what my mind tells it, Feist. (SAVAGELY) And I'm going to kill you! 


FEIST: You can't! This is all a dream. A dream. You're dead.


GUNTHER: You can't get away from me.


FEIST: I'll turn off the motor!


GUNTHER: You can't get past me! You're through!


FEIST: Gunther, don't! Don't! (COUGHS, CHOKES, AND GASPS AS GUNTHER'S BODY STRANGLES HIM TO DEATH)


GUNTHER: (WITH EFFORT) I'm stronger! Strong! You've had your last breath


FEIST: (LONG, LOUD GURGLING GASP)


SOUND: CRACK! AS FEIST'S NECK BREAKS


FEIST: (DYING BREATH)


SOUND: BODY THUDS TO FLOOR ... CHEMICALS BUBBLING FILLS A BRIEF PAUSE, THEN UNDER


GUNTHER: (TRIUMPHANTLY) I did it! Did it! He's dead and-- (INHALES SHARPLY) Oh, the pain! I must find the switch or this'll go on forever. (WITH EFFORT, IN A HARSH WHISPER) The switch! I must find it! If I could just get my body to that switch-- Feel around. There!


SOUND: SWITCH FLIPPED ... CHEMICAL BUBBLING STOPS


GUNTHER: (WHISPERS) I've - done it!


SOUND: A FEW FINAL BUBBLES


GUNTHER: (WHISPERS, WITH GREAT RELIEF) Death! I'll have it. (LONG DYING BREATH) Deeeeeeeath--


G O N G !


[ANNOUNCER: Tonight's drama, "The Bark of a Dead Dog," was written for LIGHTS OUT by Charles Gussman and directed by Gordon T. Hughes from our Chicago studios. This is the National Broadcasting Company.]


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