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The Bear

Romance

The Bear

May 07 1953



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

HELEN, a widow in deep mourning; dignified, prim, overly sentimental and romantic, but fierce when pushed too far

STEVE GREGORY, brash, loud, fast-talking, obnoxious, rambling, constantly interrupting, et cetera

LUKE, a kindly, simple ranch hand who pronounces "ma'am" as "mom"

SHORTY, another ranch hand; laconic




MUSIC: INTRODUCTORY FLOURISH


ANNOUNCER: Cathy and Elliott Lewis - On Stage.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Cathy Lewis, Elliott Lewis -- two of the most distinguished names in radio, appearing each week in their own theater, starring in a repertory of transcribed stories of their own and your choosing: radio's foremost players in radio's foremost plays. Ladies and gentlemen, Elliott Lewis.


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


ELLIOTT: Good evening. May I present my wife -- Cathy? 


CATHY: Good evening. 


ELLIOTT: Anton Chekhov was a great playwright and short story writer. 


CATHY: He also wrote some wonderful one-act plays. 


ELLIOTT: Walter Brown Newman is a tremendously gifted young author who's written radio and motion pictures and television and about everything else that a gifted young author can write. 


CATHY: Anton Chekhov lived in Russia and is dead; Walter Brown Newman lives in California and is alive. 


ELLIOTT: And tonight we're going to do his adaptation of Anton Chekhov's wonderful one-act play "The Bear." 


MUSIC: FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... GRAND FANFARE WHICH CHANGES TO FAST, SLIGHTLY GOOFY VERSION OF "CHICKEN REEL" ... THEN CROSSFADES WITH HELEN SINGING A MOURNFUL VERSION OF "JUST A-WEARYIN' FOR YOU"--


HELEN: (SINGS IN A SAD, BROKEN VOICE)

Mornin' comes, the birds awake; 

Used to sing so for your sake! 

Now there's sadness in the notes 

That come trillin' from their throats.

(BREAKS OFF AND WEEPS QUIETLY)


SOUND: DOOR OPENS, OFF


LUKE: (CLEARS THROAT, APOLOGETIC, OFF) Er, excuse me, ma'am. It's only me and Shorty. 


HELEN: (SELF-CONSCIOUS) Oh. Come in, boys. (CHUCKLE) Can't seem to find my kerchief. 


SOUND: LUKE'S STEPS IN


LUKE: Right there, ma'am -- next to the late lamented's mustache cup.


HELEN: Thank you, Luke. (BLOWS HER NOSE)


LUKE: I didn't mean to interrupt nothin'. 


HELEN: (SNIFFLES, EXHALES) I was only sitting here looking at his picture.


LUKE: Elegant, wasn't he, Shorty?


SHORTY: He purely was. 


HELEN: Thank you. You're both nobby looking yourselves, this morning. Smell good, too. 


LUKE: Ed Pinaud, ma'am. I reckon us fellers in the bunkhouse used a gallon of Ed Pinaud per slick-'em-up. Didn't we, Shorty?


SHORTY: We purely did.


HELEN: Well, Colonel Roosevelt and his Rough Riders don't have a reunion every day. Have all the boys started for town? 


LUKE: Yes'm. Me and Shorty was a-fixin' to leave ourselves. There won't be a soul left on the ranch. 


HELEN: That's all right. I'm - used to being lonely - now. 


LUKE: Oh, change your mind and come with us.


HELEN: No. 


LUKE: Ma'am, I'm gonna speak a little piece. I've been cook with this outfit ever since the poor defunct first owned it. And, er-- Er-- Well, ma'am, what you're doin' to yourself, it just ain't right.


SHORTY: It purely ain't.


LUKE: You're destroyin' yourself. Today is a day to make your heart bust with gladness, it's that pretty. Everybody's out for a good time. Why, even the cat on the porch is enjoyin' life. She's a-layin' there on her back in the sun, a-switchin' her tail and a-purrin' like an organ. You ought to be a-doin' the same. But instead you squat in this parlor with the curtains down from one day to the next and don't pleasure yourself never. I reckon it's a whole year since you left the house. 


HELEN: I'll never leave the house again. Buck lies in his grave and this - is my grave. We're both dead. 


LUKE: No, ma'am, that's just it -- you ain't dead, and you can't be gnashin' your teeth and wailin' and mournin' the dear departed forever. It ain't right never to see no one or never to pay any call on nobody. 


HELEN: We won't discuss it any further. When Buck died-- When Buck died, my heart died. I'll mourn him the rest of my life. Wherever he is, he'll see how much I love him.


LUKE: Oh, ma'am, please. Let me harness Blackie for ye and drive you to town.


HELEN: (SOBS)


LUKE: (SURPRISED) What'd I say?


HELEN: Blackie was his favorite. What a rider he was! He looked like part of the horse. Before you leave, give Blackie a lump of sugar -- a big lump. 


LUKE: Yes, ma'am.


SOUND: INSISTENT KNOCK ON DOOR


HELEN: Tell 'em to go away. I won't see anyone.


LUKE: Er, go tell 'em, Shorty.


SOUND: SHORTY'S STEPS AWAY


HELEN: (A LITTLE PRAYER) Oh, Buck -- see my tears. See how I forgive you. See how I love you.


LUKE: Please, ma'am, git hold of yourself.


HELEN: You can't understand. 


LUKE: Why, sure I can. Why, when my old woman took sick one time, I just couldn't bear it. "Sarah," I'd say to her -- her layin' there -- "Sarah," I'd say, "I wished you'd get well!" -- or somethin'. But, ma'am, you've got to get the bulge on it.


SOUND: SHORTY'S HURRIED STEPS RETURN


SHORTY: (A LITTLE EXCITED) Ma'am, there's a feller says he's just got to see you.


HELEN: Didn't you tell him I see no one? Throw him out.


SHORTY: Throw him--? Why, ma'am, he stands about eighteen hands at the shoulder.


HELEN: You have a gun on your hip.


SHORTY: He's got two on his. And a knife in his boot.


SOUND: STEVE'S BRISK STEPS APPROACH


STEVE: Ma'am! Allow me to present myself. Stephen Gregory, owner of the Bar Circle Y. I'm here on a matter of the greatest importance!


HELEN: What is it you want? 


STEVE: Your late husband died twelve hundred dollars in debt to me. The interest on the mortgage on my place is due tomorrow. I'd like you to pay me the money today. 


HELEN: Twelve hundred--? What for?


STEVE: Partly for oats bought and delivered; the other eleven hundred and fifty, piled up cuttin' for high card. 


HELEN: If my husband died in debt to you-- 


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) I have his I.O.U.'s.


HELEN: If he owed you money you'll be paid, but not today. I won't have a large enough sum in the bank until the day after tomorrow, so I cannot oblige you this morning. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm in no condition to give financial matters my attention. 


STEVE: And I'm in a condition which, if I don't pay off that mortgage, will oblige me to blow out my brains! They'll take my ranch. 


HELEN: You'll get your money the day after tomorrow.


STEVE: I don't want it the day after tomorrow; I want it today!


HELEN: You'll have to excuse me, I cannot pay you--


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) You'll have to excuse me, I insist that you pay me!


HELEN: If I can't, I can't. 


STEVE: Is that final? 


HELEN: That's final. 


STEVE: Absolutely? 


HELEN: Positively. 


STEVE: (EXTRAVAGANTLY EXASPERATED) Grac-i-as! Muchas gracias! And everyone wants to know why I can't keep my temper!


HELEN: I'll thank you to leave now.


STEVE: I need money! I spent all day yesterday riding from one deadbeat to another! They owe me a fortune; I can't collect a penny!


HELEN: Will you get out of here? 


STEVE: I'm tuckered out, I'm seventy miles from home, I slept in a saloon last night with a brandy keg for a pillow; I finally come here, it's my last hope, and what do I get?! (IN A MOCKING, HIGH-PITCHED VOICE) "I'm in no condition to give financial matters my attention." (EXPLODES) Why shouldn't I be in an uproar?!


HELEN: I distinctly told you my banker would pay you the day after tomorrow.


STEVE: I didn't ride all this way to see your banker, but to see you! What the devil have I got to do with your banker?! 


HELEN: (QUICKLY) Shorty, go after the boys, quick; fetch them back.


SOUND: SHORTY'S HURRIED STEPS AWAY


HELEN: Now, sir, will you leave or will you stay here, bullying a woman and a widow, until my hands return and give you your just deserts? 


STEVE: Is it my fault you're a woman?! Is it my fault you're a widow?! Do I have to pay off my mortgage or don't I?! What do you expect me to do when my creditors come? Strip down to my long johns and pretend I'm a ghost?!


HELEN: Luke, don't just stand there. 


LUKE: Ah, mister--


STEVE: I go to Tim Reid and I break his nose. Still he won't pay. I begged Henry Dawson with a two-by-four and he won't pay. And you! (IN A MOCKING, HIGH-PITCHED VOICE) You're in "no condition to give financial matters your attention"! (EXPLODES) Not one of ya pays up! Just because I'm too gentle with ya! Just because I'm waxin' your hands!


LUKE: Mister--? Mister--?


STEVE: (BRUTALLY) Shut up! Who are you talking to?! I'll cut your heart out! (TO HELEN) I tell you this, ma'am: If you think you can diddle me outta my money just because I'm a gentleman, think again! The pitcher has gone to the well once too often! 


HELEN: (WITH GREAT DIGNITY) Sir, I have never diddled anyone. And I am not accustomed to being addressed in that tone of voice. I've been as patient as I can, but my patience is at an end. Good day.


SOUND: HELEN'S STEPS TO INNER DOOR, WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS AS SHE EXITS BEHIND--


STEVE: (CALLS AFTER HER, SAVAGELY) So's my patience at an end! Even a worm turns!


LUKE: (NERVOUSLY) Well, I - reckon I'll be a-driftin' along.


STEVE: Beautiful manners your boss has! Just beautiful! Does she think she can treat like me this and get away with it?! Does she?!


LUKE: (STAMMERS) I don't rightly know-- 


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) I came here to be paid and I will be paid! Is it warm in here? I'm so mad, I'm dyin' o' heat. Why are the windows closed? Why are the curtains drawn?!


SOUND: STEVE'S STEPS TO WINDOW, WHICH RATTLES OPEN


STEVE: Let a little air in here! I get so worked up when people shove me around -- take advantage of my good nature -- treat me like I had no feelings! Bartender?!


LUKE: Me?


STEVE: Give me some whiskey! Or some water or something! Pronto!


SOUND: LUKE'S STEPS AS HE SCURRIES TO FIX THE DRINK


STEVE: Who can make sense out of a woman?! I leave it to you. Can you make sense out of the way a woman thinks?! 


LUKE: (TIMIDLY) Well, ya gotta try and understand that--


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) I'm goin' loco! I need money so bad and she won't pay because she's-- (MOCKING, SQUEAKY) --in no condition to give financial matters her attention. (RESUMES RANTING) That's the way a woman thinks. Does it make sense?


LUKE: Ya gotta try and understand--


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) Where's that drink?! I'd rather try to reason with a mule than a woman. A mule will meet you partway. A mule's a miracle of logic compared to a woman. I can't abide women! Never could; don't now; not likely to ever! I get mad even when I see one from a distance! Where is she?!


LUKE: Well, stretched out, most likely. She's been poorly. She ain't used to seein' folks. Bourbon all right?


STEVE: Give me the bottle!


SOUND: CLINK! OF BOTTLE AND GLASS ... DRINK POURED BEHIND--


STEVE: Been poorly, has she?


LUKE: Mm, ever since Buck died. 


STEVE: Yeah well, she's not putting anything over on me. (SAVAGE BELLOW) You hear me, wherever you are?! You're not putting anything over on me with those dimples and those bright eyes and those widow's weeds! I can't be diddled! I've been around! I've seen the elephant and heard the owl!


LUKE: Oh, please, please. She's so low in spirits--


STEVE: So am I low in spirits! I'll match my spirits against hers any time for lowness! Fine hospitality, I must say. Gorgeous hospitality! In the middle of a conversation, she stalks out like a turkey head.


LUKE: Well, you can't rightly blame her, not altogether. She ain't used to havin' a gent call on her, not looking like you--


STEVE: What do you mean like I look?! You tryin' to crowd me?! 


LUKE: Well, there's a mirror right there. See for yourself. 


STEVE: Where? (BEAT) Oh. (BEAT, TAKEN ABACK) Well-- Maybe so. A little dusty, but you can't ride for two days without getting dusty. And my boots-- Well, how could I topple Billy Clayright in his own pigpen and keep my boots clean? And my pants; I'd like to see her sleep on the floor of a saloon and rise up with fresher pants. (BEAT, UNSURE) She was put out by my appearance, you suppose?


LUKE: Well, don't exactly inspire confidence. 


STEVE: Well, I know I shouldn't come calling on a lady in her parlor looking like this, but she should have realized the circumstance! Common sense would have told her! That's what I mean: a woman's got less logic than a mule! Anyway, I'm not here on a social call! I'm a creditor! There's no rules for how a creditor should dress! 


LUKE: Just the same--


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) Shut up!


SOUND: INNER DOOR OPENS 


LUKE: (STARTLED) Ooh!


HELEN: Sir! 


SOUND: DOOR SHUTS ... HELEN'S STEPS IN--


HELEN: (APPROACHES, EVENLY) I have grown unaccustomed of late to the sound of a man's voice in this house, and I can't stand shouting. I must ask you to go and leave me in peace.


STEVE: Pay me my money and I'll go.


HELEN: I thought I'd made it plain. You'll have to wait till the day after tomorrow.


STEVE: And I thought I made it plain I don't want the money the day after tomorrow. I want it today. If I don't get it, I'll have to destroy myself tomorrow. If you--


HELEN: (INTERRUPTS, DEEPLY OFFENDED) Who drew those curtains?! Who opened this window?! 


SOUND: HELEN'S STEPS TO WINDOW, WHICH CLOSES


STEVE: I opened the window! I drew the curtains! You expect me to sit in the dark with no air?! Am I a gopher?! Answer me that; I need to breathe! 


SOUND: STEVE'S STEPS TO WINDOW, WHICH OPENS


HELEN: How dare you?! Shut that window. Stand aside, sir!


SOUND: WINDOW CLOSES


STEVE: And people ask me why I get angry! Get out my way!


SOUND: WINDOW OPENS VIOLENTLY ... GLASS BREAKS


HELEN: (VICIOUSLY) You hooligan! You bear! How dare you break that window?! 


STEVE: Don't try to change the subject! I'm not here to talk about windows! I'm here to get paid!


HELEN: I don't have the money now!


STEVE: Then I'll sit here and wait till you do!


HELEN: (WEAKLY) Please. I - I'm not well. 


STEVE: Neither am I, after all the pop-skull I had last night, but I'm goin' to sit here till I get paid anyway. Have I got a mortgage to meet tomorrow or haven't I? You can be sick for a week if you like; all right, then I'll sit here for a week. If you're sick for a year, I'll sit here for a year. You're not putting anything over on me with those widow's weeds and those bright eyes and those dimples. I know those dimples! Now -- maybe you'll understand that I won't be diddled! 


HELEN: You bear. You bear! You bear


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN ... EXPLOSIVE, WITH QUOTES FROM "CHICKEN REEL" 


ANNOUNCER: You are listening to "Cathy and Elliott Lewis - On Stage." Tonight's play, "The Bear." There's outstanding dramatic listening in the daytime, too, on CBS Radio. "Ma Perkins" and "Aunt Jenny" make fiction as real as life with their gripping day-to-day dramas. "Young Doctor Malone" and "Perry Mason" keep you thoroughly engrossed in their exciting daily adventures: Doctor Malone's in romance and medicine, Perry Mason's in the legal field he knows so well; and there are many more making up the entire CBS Radio daytime family. They're yours for the best in daytime listening at the Stars' Address.


MUSIC: SECOND ACT INTRODUCTION


HELEN: (DELIBERATELY) Will you please get out of my house?!


STEVE: As soon as I am paid! I'm not enjoying this. Do you think I'm doing it for a joke?! 


HELEN: Stop yelling! This isn't a saloon.


STEVE: (POUNDS FIST ON TABLE TO PUNCTUATE UNDERLINED WORDS) I'm not talking about saloons! I'm talking about the twelve hundred dollars you owe me -- and the mortgage I have to meet tomorrow


HELEN: Don't raise your voice to me! (EXHALES WEARILY) How dare you behave like this to a woman? 


STEVE: Do you call it etiquette to criticize a guest in your own parlor? I behave very well to a woman. 


HELEN: No, you don't. You have no manners. You're an uncouth man. Decent men don't talk to a woman like that.


STEVE: What a business! How do you want me to talk to you? Like an Englishman? Ah! (MOCKINGLY, AFFECTED ENGLISH ACCENT) "My dear, dear lady! What ripping weather, what, what? And how well you look in mourning. I say!" 


HELEN: That's stupid and rude. 


STEVE: (MORE POUNDING FOR PUNCTUATION) Stupid and rude! Ha! I don't know how to behave to a woman! Ha! In my time, ma'am, I've seen more women than you've seen bustles! I've had three duels on account of women! I've thrown over twelve of 'em, and been turned down by nine! You don't believe me? It's the truth. There was a time when I mooed after women like a sick calf. Almost drowned myself in cologne-y water. Chewed sen-sen to make my voice soft and my breath sweet. Shaved every day -- sometimes twice a day -- and wore pink silk garters on my shirtsleeves.


HELEN: I'm not at all interested-- 


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) I made love -- passionately, madly, softly, loudly -- every which way! I suffered. I howled at the moon like a coyote. I sang love songs, whispered sweet nothings, joined the Emancipation League, and made speeches urging Votes for Women, but not any more! You won't get around me like that now!


HELEN: Get around you? Who wants to get around you? 


STEVE: I've had a bellyful: soft cheeks, bright eyes, ruby lips, dimples, the moon, dainty hands! I wouldn't give a cow chip for the lot, ma'am.


HELEN: Now you listen to me-- 


STEVE: (INTERRUPTS) All women--! All women, present company excepted-- All women -- big or small, thin or fat, old or young -- are unfaithful, crooked, vicious, malicious, envious, vain, petty, trivial, greedy, shallow, merciless, ruthless, lying, unreasonable, and -- where brains are concerned -- a horned toad can give cards, spades, and little casino to anything in petticoats and still win the game. 


HELEN: You-- You--! 


STEVE: I speak from experience. You look at one of these dainty creatures -- all silks and laces, all gentle smiles and soft sighs, angelic! Positively angelic! But when you look into her soul, what do you see? A buzzard! And the most aggravating thing of all: this buzzard, for some reason or other, is convinced that, of all the creatures on earth, it and it alone is capable of love! Now I'll leave it to you, getting right down to cases, have you ever met a woman who can love anything but a lap dog?! When she's in love, can she do anything but blubber and slobber? A man suffers. A man tears his heart to pieces! A man makes sacrifices! And how does she show her love?! By fluttering her fan with one hand, and getting a good strong grip on his nose with the other! Ma'am, you have the bad luck to be a woman. You know yourself that's a woman's nature. Tell me the truth. Have you ever seen a woman who is honest, faithful, steadfast? Of course you haven't. You'll find a cow who can play the mandolin before you'll find a steadfast woman.


HELEN: (PAUSE, COOL) You're quite finished?


STEVE: (WITH A SHRUG) That's the jist of my remarks, anyway.


HELEN: (DELIBERATELY) And as you see it, when it comes to love, who is it that's honest and steadfast? The man?


STEVE: Of course it's the man.


HELEN: (WITH CONTEMPT) The man. Ha! Men! Honest and steadfast. Did you ever? You listen to me. I'm going to tell you about men. Where did you ever get the idea that men are faithful in love? I'll tell you about men! I'll tell you about the best man that ever lived -- my late husband! I loved that man! I loved him with every part of me -- every bone, every drop of blood. I loved him as no other man has been loved before. I gave him everything: my youth, the best years of my life, my joy, my property, everything! I kissed the ground he walked on. I worshiped him. And how did he repay me? He deceived me! There wasn't a day he drew breath that he didn't deceive me. Luke's there. Ask Luke. After he died I found a whole trunkful of love letters, and when he was alive -- (EXCLAMATION OF PAIN) it hurts to remember it even now -- he'd leave me for weeks at a time, go galavanting all over the country, and in spite of all that, I loved him and was faithful to him. (WITH DIGNITY) I'm still faithful to him, and true to his memory. I haven't stirred from this house since the funeral. And I'll wear mourning for the rest of my life.


STEVE: (SNEERINGLY) Hah! Mourning! Do you think that fools me?! Don't you think I know why you wear black while you stay in the house? You want people to say, "How spirit-u-al! For love of her husband, she buries herself alive! What sentiment!" I'm on to you, ma'am.


HELEN: (FURIOUS) How dare you?!


STEVE: You renounce the flesh and the devil, but you curl your hair and you sprinkle yourself with patchouli; I smell it!


HELEN: How dare you insult me?!


STEVE: Keep your voice down. I'm not one of your hired hands. (YELLS) I won't be yelled at!


HELEN: (YELLS) You're the one who's yelling! Get out of here!


STEVE: Pay me and I'll go.


HELEN: You won't get a cent!


STEVE: I'll be hanged if I don't!


HELEN: Not one red penny, just for spite! Get out of here!


STEVE: I'm not your husband and I'm not your intended, so don't make a scene! I don't like it!


HELEN: Get up from that chair and get out of this house! That was my husband's chair. Get up from it!


STEVE: The devil with this chair!


SOUND: STEVE VIOLENTLY SMASHES UP THE WOODEN CHAIR BEHIND--


STEVE: I come on legitimate business and I get insults! I have no time to waste! And I'm forced to spend the day discussing chairs! 


SOUND: CHAIR SMASHING STOPS


STEVE: There! There's your chair.


HELEN: (SAVAGELY) You broke it! You broke the chair!


STEVE: All I want is what's coming to me. 


HELEN: I refuse to say another word to you. Leave this house!


STEVE: When the cash is in my hand, not before.


HELEN: Where's Charlie? Where's Lennie? (SCREECHING) Charlie! Slim! Chuck! Lennie!


LUKE: There ain't nobody around, ma'am. Shorty's gone to fetch 'em. 


STEVE: Let them come!


HELEN: (INCREASINGLY HYSTERICAL) Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out! Get out, get out, get out, get out, get out!


STEVE: Fine openhanded hospitality!


HELEN: You're a hooligan! You're a roughneck! You're a monster, you're a bear!


STEVE: (BEAT, LOW, OFFENDED) What did you call me?


HELEN: A bear! A monster! A bear!


STEVE: What right have you got to call me names?


HELEN: I'll call you as many names as I want to! Do you think I'm afraid of you?!


STEVE: And do you think you can call me names just because you're a woman?! Do you think I let people call me names and take away my dignity without protecting myself? (BEAT) We'll shoot it out!


LUKE: Hold on now! Wait!


STEVE: With six-guns!


HELEN: You're not scaring me one little bit. I wouldn't care if you were twice as big and yelled (LOUD) ten times as loud!


STEVE: (EVEN LOUDER) We'll shoot it out! Nobody insults me and gets away with it! I don't care if you are a woman!


HELEN: Bear! Bear! Bear! Bear! Bear! 


STEVE: Who says only men have to pay for insults? Who made up that rule? Women are always screaming about equal rights! All right, let's have equal rights, all around, in everything! (BEAT) We'll shoot it out


HELEN: Good! With six-guns!


STEVE: And right now! 


HELEN: Right now! I'll get my husband's gun. You wait right here. I'm going to enjoy pumping bullets into your thick skull! Right between the eyes! Right between the eyes!


SOUND: HELEN'S BRISK STEPS TO INNER DOOR, WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS AS SHE EXITS


STEVE: (FIST ON TABLE) I'll bring her down like a chicken! Man, woman -- it's all the same to me when I'm insulted!


LUKE: Oh, Mister, please. Don't do this awful thing. Leave now 'fore it's too late. Let it go just scarin' her. Don't shoot her.


STEVE: If she wants to fight, well, that's emancipation! That's equal rights in matters like this! I support the "new woman": I'll shoot her on principle! (PAUSE, CALMER, SUDDENLY ADMIRING) Isn't she the heller, though? Isn't she a lot o' woman? See the way she galloped off for a gun, head up and tail over the dashboard? (MIMICS HER, WITH RELISH) "I'll enjoy putting a bullet in your skull"! Didja hear her? Huh? And how her eyes sparkled! She didn't back down an inch! 


LUKE: Oh, please, please go away.


STEVE: She's a real woman! That's the kind I like: a real womanly woman! Not a drooping sack of marshmallow, but with blood in her veins! All fire, all pepper, all gunpowder! Shhhfft! A roman candle! (BEAT) Shame to kill her. 


LUKE: Oh, no--


STEVE: I like her! I positively like her! Dimples and all, I like her! I'd be willin' to tear up those I.O.U.'s! (BEAT, WITH SATISFACTION) And I'm feeling see-rene again. I got a grip on my temper. A womanly woman!


SOUND: INNER DOOR OPENS ... HELEN'S STEPS IN


HELEN: All right now! But before we start, you'll have to show me how to use it. I've never held a gun in my hand before.


LUKE: (DESPERATE) Ma'am! Ma'am, don't act hasty. I'm gonna ride down the road and try to find the boys. (MOVING OFF) Please, just play for time!


SOUND: LUKE'S HURRIED STEPS AWAY ... DOOR SHUTS, OFF


STEVE: (FRIENDLY) It's a fine weapon, ma'am. Good balance, nice heft to it. As shiny -- as your eyes. Nothing as pretty as a Colt .45. 


HELEN: (COOL) Just show me how to hold it.


STEVE: The butt goes into your palm like this, and you can either pull the trigger with your pretty little finger, or flick the hammer with your tiny little thumb.


SOUND: CLICK! OF HAMMER


HELEN: Like that? 


STEVE: Just like that. And in aiming it, uh-- (SOLICITOUS) Here, stand in front of me. In aiming it-- Put your head back a little. And hold your arm out like this. That's it. Then, when you're ready, you fire. Just squeeze the trigger. Squeeeeeze, don't pull. 


HELEN: Squeeze? 


STEVE: Like a lemon. (PATIENTLY) Well, here give me your hand. Feel - how gentle I squeeze. I just squeeze it gentle. See? Like this. 


HELEN: (BEAT, BUSINESSLIKE) I understand. I'm ready! Where do we shoot it out? In the yard? 


STEVE: All right, let's go. But I'm telling you in advance: I'm gonna fire in the air.


HELEN: (OUTRAGED DISBELIEF) Well, if that isn't the--! Why?!


STEVE: (TRIES TO ANSWER) Because--! Because-- (GIVES UP) That's my business. 


HELEN: You're not yellow, are you?! (NO ANSWER) Are you?! I'm not going to let you crawl out of this. You come with me. I won't rest easy till I put a bullet in your head! (NO RESPONSE) Well, aren't you coming?! Are you scared?!


STEVE: (UNCONVINCINGLY) Yes, I'm scared.


HELEN: You're a liar! Why won't you fight? 


STEVE: Because--! Well, because I like you.


HELEN: (LENGTHY HALF-HYSTERICAL MOCKING LAUGHTER, THEN SAVAGELY) He likes me! He has the nerve to say he likes me! Come on! Into the yard!


STEVE: Now wait a minute. Let me load your gun. Give it to me.


SOUND: A STEP ... GUN CRACKED OPEN ... BULLETS INSERTED BEHIND--


STEVE: (A LITTLE SHEEPISH) Uh, listen-- You still mad? I'm a little mad, too, but, uh-- You know what I mean? I can't find the words. The fact is-- Well, it - it's like this. 


SOUND: GUN SNAPPED SHUT


STEVE: (SUDDENLY EXPLODES) Can I help it if I like you, do you understand?! It's all I can do to keep from telling you I love you?!


HELEN: Don't come near me! I hate you!


STEVE: What a woman! I've never seen one like her! I'm a gone goose! I'm done for! I'm a mouse in a trap!


HELEN: Get away from me or I'll shoot!


STEVE: Then shoot! I'd enjoy being killed by a gun held in that soft little hand. (RAPIDLY) You're driving me crazy! Don't talk without thinking and make up your mind right now, because if I once leave this house, you'll never see hide nor hair of me again. Make up your mind! I'm a rancher, I'm respected in the community, I have eight thousand head of cattle, I can throw six whiskey glasses into the air and pulverize 'em before they hit the ground, I own the fastest horse in the county; will ya marry me?!


HELEN: (IMPATIENTLY) I want to shoot it out. Let's shoot it out!


STEVE: I'm out of my mind! I'm in love like a boy! I'm happy as a jay bird! I love you!


HELEN: (SCANDALIZED) Get up. Get off your knees. Let go of my hand. 


STEVE: I love you as I've never loved before! I've thrown over twelve women; I've been turned down by nine -- but I never loved any of 'em as I love you! I'm putty, I'm taffy, I'm wax! I offer you my hand, my heart, my fortune, and my life! Shame on me! Shame on me! I'm mortified as I've never been! I haven't been in love for years! I took an oath! And suddenly I'm in love like a wolf in a trap! Marry me! Yes or no? (NO ANSWER) You refuse? All right then.


SOUND: STEVE TAKES A STEP ... STOPS WITH--


HELEN: Wait! 


STEVE: Well?! 


HELEN: (VIOLENTLY CONFLICTED, RAPIDLY) Nothing! Get out of my house! Nooo! Stop! No! Go 'way. I hate you. I mean, no -- no, don't go away. My head's spinning. I'm angry! I don't know what I'm saying! What are you waiting for?! Get out, get out!


STEVE: Goodbye.


HELEN: Goodbye, goodbye! Where are you going?! Stop! (NERVOUSLY) No, don't come near me. No. No. Stay away from me.


SOUND: STEVE'S STEPS TO HELEN


STEVE: (ALSO CONFLICTED, SLOWLY TURNING TO MUSH) I hate myself for this, falling in love on my knees like a schoolboy. I love you! Do you think I want to love you? But I love you! It's the last thing I intended. Tomorrow I have to pay off my mortgage and start my round-up, and here you go ahead, and - and - and I'll never forgive myself for this.


HELEN: (UNCONVINCINGLY, ALSO TURNING TO MUSH) Take your hands away. Get away from me. Uh-- Let's shoot it out. Let's-- Let's - shoot--


LUKE: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Ma'am! Ma'am!


SOUND: DOOR OPENS ... LUKE'S AND OTHER RANCH HANDS' STEPS IN


LUKE: (CLOSER, TENSE) Get ready to shoot, boys. (CALLS) Ma'am!


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ALL STOP


LUKE: (BEAT, STUNNED) Well, I just don't believe it.


HELEN: (RECOVERING FROM A LONG KISS) Oh, Luke--?


LUKE: Yes, ma'am?


HELEN: (IN LOVE, LANGUIDLY) Never mind feeding Blackie that lump of sugar. 


MUSIC: A JAUNTY, MERRY "CHICKEN REEL" ... FOR A CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: "The Bear," starring Cathy and Elliott Lewis On Stage. In a moment Mr. and Mrs. Lewis will tell you about next week's play.


This Sunday night, Frank Lovejoy stars in "The Remarkable Talent of Egbert Haw" on CBS Radio's "Theatre of Stars." You may find it difficult to believe this tale of a talking race horse, but you'll find it easy to enjoy. Also Sunday night, hear Lionel Barrymore on your "Hall of Fame Playhouse," spotlighting another little-known hero of American history on most of these stations this Sunday evening. "Theatre of Stars" and "Hall of Fame Playhouse," presented by CBS Radio. And now once again, Cathy and Elliott Lewis.


MUSIC: FOR A BRIEF TAG ... QUOTES THE SERIES' THEME


CATHY: Our thanks to Walter Brown Newman for a lovely adaptation. (LIGHTLY) Can you talk, dear?

 

ELLIOTT: (CHUCKLES) Enough to say that Horace Murphy tried unsuccessfully to get the courage to throw me out of your house and that Byron Kane escaped my violence earlier in the play. 


CATHY: We've done several scripts by another Newman -- E. Jack Neuman, who is not related to Walter -- and his plays a wonderful effect on all of you. You either violently disliked "The Party" and "Eddie" and "Casey at the Bat" or you were thoroughly delighted with them. Well, next week we give you an opportunity to once again either violently dislike or be thoroughly delighted as we present E. Jack Neuman's new story, "Statement of Fact." 


ELLIOTT: Until then, thank you for listening -- (WHISPERS HOARSELY) -- and good night.


CATHY: (AMUSED) Good night.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG, UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: Music for tonight's story was arranged and conducted by Fred Steiner. "The Cathy and Elliott Theme" is by Ray Noble, and the program is transcribed and directed by Mr. Lewis. George Walsh speaking. 


And remember, listen while you work. Enjoy "Road of Life" every Monday through Friday in the daytime on the CBS Radio network.


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