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The Dead Duck Caper

The Adventures of Sam Spade

The Dead Duck Caper 

Feb 02 1947






CAST:

ANNOUNCER

SAM SPADE, hardboiled detective

EFFIE PERINE, his secretary

MRS. PERINE, Effie's mother; sweetest old lady ever

LOLA BRENT, not all she seems

GUEST

2ND GUEST (2 lines)

MARTY (2 lines)

1ST GONIF (2 lines)

2ND GONIF (1 line)

JENNY THE JUKE, hardboiled 

DENNIS O'ROURKE, lawyer; Irish

DUCKY MORTON, unpleasant racketeer

BUGSY

SALTY HAWKINS, tattoo artist; Anglo

LT. DUNDY, of Homicide (1 line)







ANNOUNCER: The Adventures of Sam Spade, Detective!


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION


SOUND: OUTER OFFICE DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS ... SPADE'S STEPS IN


SPADE: (CALLS, INTENSE) Effie?! (NO ANSWER) Effie?!


SOUND: INNER OFFICE DOOR OPENS 


SPADE: Eff--?! (STOPS SHORT AS HE SEES HER) Oh.


EFFIE: (ANGRY, UPSET) I waited.


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR SHUTS ... SPADE'S STEPS IN ... CLINK OF BOTTLES AND GLASS AS HE FIXES A DRINK BEHIND--


EFFIE: Say what you have to say and I'll go.


SPADE: You've been through a tough time, sweetheart.


EFFIE: Well, you didn't make it any easier!


SPADE: (EXPLODES) Do you think it was a cakewalk for me?! You think my nerves are made of rubber?!


EFFIE: You have no nerves! You're just a cold, callous--


SPADE: Shut up!


EFFIE: --old detective!


SPADE: (DRINKS)


SOUND: SPADE SETS DOWN GLASS


SPADE: (EXHALES) You're gonna listen to me. You're gonna sit still, not talk, and listen.


EFFIE: (SOBS) I--


SPADE: When I'm finished, you can say good night or goodbye! But first you're gonna listen to me.


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) You remember how it started -- yesterday evening, when you told me it was your mother's birthday. You were giving a party, you said, and you wanted me come. I tried to beg off, being no social butterfly, but Mom would be hurt, you said, and so the next thing I knew, there I was at your house surrounded by two dozen strangers, ten gallons of lemonade, and your mother.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, SNEAK IN PARTY BACKGROUND


MRS. PERINE: I've been wanting to have a talk with you, Mr. Spade, about Effie.


SPADE: (STIFFLY POLITE) I can't think of a nicer subject, Mrs. Perine.


MRS. PERINE: (CHUCKLES) Effie is just so devoted to you, Mr. Spade.


SPADE: (SELF-CONSCIOUS) Yeah. Well, uh-- I, uh-- I'm very devoted to Effie, too, Mrs. Perine. What I mean is--


EFFIE: (APPROACHES) Mother? Mother? Mother, I think we should do something. The party's dying on its feet.


SPADE: Uh, you want me to spike the lemonade, Effie? It just so happens that I have here in my pocket a bottle of, uh--


MRS. PERINE: I have a wonderful idea! It'll make the party one big happy family. You just wait and see now. (TO ALL) Quiet! Quiet, everybody!


SPADE: (LOW, TO EFFIE) What's she up to?


EFFIE: Some kind of game, probably. Mother's great on games.


SPADE: (IRONIC) Oh, that's all I need.


SOUND: MRS. PERINE CLAPS HER HANDS ... PARTY CROWD QUIETS A LITTLE, BUT CONTINUES IN BG


MRS. PERINE: (TO ALL) Your attention, please! (TO SOMEONE) Oh. Oh, excuse me. There's Miss Brent going out. (CALLS) Miss Brent?! Oh, Miss Brent?!


LOLA: (OFF, DISTRACTED) Yeah, Mrs. Perine?


MRS. PERINE: Won't you join the party?


LOLA: I'd love to, but I have an appointment.


MRS. PERINE: Oh, what a shame. Oh, do stay.


LOLA: Thank you; some other time.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS OFF AS LOLA EXITS


MRS. PERINE: (TO SOMEONE) Oh, Lola's so nice. She rents the sitting room upstairs. I wish she could have stayed. Well, I'll explain the game now.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS OFF AS LOLA RETURNS


LOLA: (NERVOUS) Mrs. Perine, I think I'll stay after all.


MRS. PERINE: Oh, how nice. Oh, you've brought a gentleman friend.


LOLA: Yeah. Yeah, he-- This is Marty.


MRS. PERINE: Marty? Oh. Well, Marty, I'd like to have you meet-- (FADES OUT)


SOUND: PARTY BACKGROUND CONTINUES


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) Lola sat down and crossed her legs at me. On her left knee, where I would have preferred to see a dimple, I saw a tattoo mark. Her gentleman friend Marty was a small, stocky guy -- all teeth and New York tie. He shook hands all around and it felt like the paw of a stale stiff.


MRS. PERINE: And this is Mr. Spade. He's a private detective Effie works for. Lola's from Kansas City, Mr. Spade.


SPADE: Oh?


MRS. PERINE: She's waiting for her husband to return from service overseas.


SPADE: (POLITE) I'm glad he's coming home safely. Where's he stationed?


LOLA: (UNCONVINCING) Uh, Japan. Yeah, he's--


MRS. PERINE: (TO ALL) Now, quiet, everybody! Quiet! We're going to play charades!


SOUND: PARTY CROWD REACTS POSITIVELY AND TRIES UNSUCCESSFULLY TO QUIET DOWN DURING FOLLOWING--


MRS. PERINE: Oh, it's very simple. Now, you see, I'm the captain of Team A. Now, uh, Doctor-- Uh, Dr. Burstyn-- Oh, he's so clever. He can be captain of Team B. (TO SOME CHATTERING GUESTS) Now, dear-- Quiet, everybody. Now, we'll both select the members of our teams. And then, um, each of you will write something on a slip of paper. 


GUEST: Like what?


MRS. PERINE: Uh, well, write a quotation or a phrase, the title of a song, whatever you like, doesn't matter. Just something interesting and clever. Then I think-- Yes, yes, I think I've got it. You act out what you've written all in pantomime. No words can be used, although sounds are permitted. (BREAKS OFF, TO SOME) Dears, you must listen to me or we can't play the game.


SOUND: SOME IN THE PARTY CROWD TRY TO SHUSH THE OTHERS 


GUEST: Quiet, quiet!


MRS. PERINE: Now, you can't play unless you know how. (RESUMES) And then your team must guess what is written on the paper. And you act it out. Now, any questions?


GUEST: How many words can we put?


MRS. PERINE: Oh, any amount of words.


GUEST: Any? Oh, that's fine.


MRS. PERINE: No, not over ten, though. That's too long, yes. Now, everybody ready?


SOUND: PARTY CROWD MURMURS ... CONTINUES IN BG--


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) Teams were chosen. I wound up on Mrs. Perine's Team A. Slips of paper were handed out to the guests. I wrote down, "Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore.'" So I'd have to make like a raven. While everybody was getting settled, Lola Brent came up to me. She pushed a slip of paper into my hand.


LOLA: (NERVOUS, QUICK) This is your charade, Mr. Spade.


SPADE: Yeah, but I've got one.


LOLA: (UP, FEIGNS PLEASANTNESS) Isn't this fun?! (LOW, NERVOUS, WORRIED) Please don't lose the charade I gave you.


MUSIC: IN BG--


SPADE: (NARRATES) And with that, she lost herself in the crowd. I pushed the paper she handed me into my pocket without looking at it. Her gentleman friend, Marty -- the little character with the New York tie -- was out in the center of the floor acting his charade.


MARTY: Quack-quack! Quack-quack!


SPADE: (NARRATES) He flapped his arms up and down, quacked twice and--


SOUND: MARTY'S BODY HITS THE FLOOR


SPADE: (NARRATES) --rolled over on his back. Nobody got it, so he did it again.


MUSIC: OUT


SOUND: PARTY CROWD MURMURS INCORRECT GUESSES


2ND GUEST: Oh, now, wait a minute--


MARTY: Quack-quack! Quack-quack!


SOUND: MARTY'S BODY HITS THE FLOOR


2ND GUEST: Wait a minute now. A pigeon? Duck! Dead duck! Dead duck!


GUEST: That's it! Dead duck!


SOUND: PARTY CROWD MURMURS AGREEMENT ... CONTINUES HAPPILY IN BG UNTIL MUSIC


MRS. PERINE: Oh, isn't that wonderful? Now, Team A scores a win there. Let's go on, please. (BEAT, TO MARTY) Mister--? Mr. Dead Duck? We guessed you. So will you please get up now? We'll go on to the-- (GASPS, SHRIEKS) 


EFFIE: Sam! Sam, he's dead!


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


SPADE: (NARRATES) And he certainly was. A deader duck I'd never seen. I bent to him and his lips were turning blue. Somebody had spiked his last drink with a jigger of poison. One hour later, Dundy and the Homicide boys, including the medic, had taken the stiff downtown. No one could identify him. Lola Brent had brought him to the party, but she'd taken a powder. You and Mom were kinda shaky, so I decided to spend the night on the sofa in the living room. Only used up about three hours of it when I heard the front door open.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


MUSIC: OUT


SPADE: (NARRATES) I figured it was Lola. I got to my feet, crossed to the hall, and found myself staring into the biggest forty-five I ever saw.


1ST GONIF: Where's the duck?


SPADE: Who?


2ND GONIF: He wants to know who, Pobey.


1ST GONIF: Look, we don't want no trouble. You're protecting this juke, okay. All we want is the duck.


SPADE: Try Walt Disney.


SOUND: SPADE IS SAPPED IN THE HEAD


SPADE: (GRUNTS IN PAIN)


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN FOR DREAMY UNCONSCIOUSNESS BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) I shoulda known they had no sense of humor. The butt of the gun caught me behind the left ear. That's where it usually catches me. I don't know how much more sleep I packed away until I felt you shaking me.


EFFIE: (HYSTERICAL) Sam?! Sam?!


SPADE: (WAKES, CONFUSED) Huh? What? Effie?


EFFIE: Sam, they took Mom! Those gunmen! They took Mom!


SPADE: What happened?


EFFIE: They came into our bedroom.


SPADE: Yeah?


EFFIE: They hit me.


SPADE: What?


EFFIE: Right here. 


SPADE: Yeah?


EFFIE: And then they grabbed Mama. They wanted the duck.


SPADE: Huh?


EFFIE: Sam, what were they saying? They took Mom out with them. I'll call the police--


SOUND: RECEIVER UP


SPADE: Effie, no. No.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


EFFIE: But they've got Mom! Oh, for heaven's sake, Sam, they took my mother with them. (WEEPS, IN BG)


SPADE: No, no, we can't call the police, Effie. Not yet. They - they want something. They want the duck. They think Mom has it. She's safe for a while, but if we call the police, she's--


EFFIE: Oh, Sam, Sam, what shall we do? What shall we do?


SPADE: Keep our fingers crossed and play the rest of the caper by ear.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) So you promised that you wouldn't call the police until I gave you the nod. I went out to buzz the town. I figured it was an out-of-state mob, probably New York. The gunsels were after the duck! Well, that made no sense. They thought I was the muscle for the juke joint. I hustled over to Jenny the Juke. If she didn't know the score, nobody would. Her place was dark, but finally she opened up and led me into the rear. When I mentioned the duck, she shut down tighter than a clam in December.


JENNY: It's blisters, Sam. Blisters, I tell ya! This ain't only the local law, this is the feds! Go away, Sam! My joint ain't jukin' for the duration.


SPADE: Listen, Jenny, there's an out-of-state mob. They put the arm on my secretary's mother. She don't know the time of day. They pulled the wrong feather.


JENNY: I don't hear a word you say, Sam.


SPADE: They're mixed up in the juke joint grift. You know who they are. Where's the duck, Jenny?


JENNY: Sam, you're wingin' in the breeze. Sam--


SPADE: Now, give me a rundown, Jenny, or I'll tear your ears off. I want that old woman back safe!


JENNY: You can't muscle me, Sam. Do you know why? Because you'll tear my ears off and that's where you'll stop. Huh! That's where they begin.


SPADE: (GIVES UP) Okay, Jenny, okay. One thing. Can you get word to them?


JENNY: Maybe.


SPADE: Will you try?


JENNY: Maybe.


SPADE: Tell 'em I've got the duck. I'll deal for the old woman.


JENNY: I'll try. Go back to your office. If I can throw a little weight, you'll get a call. If I can't, you can come back for my ears.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) And when I got back to the office, I had you on my hands. And that was no rest cure.


EFFIE: But I can't just sit here. Do something.


SPADE: We've got to sit and wait.


EFFIE: Maybe they're killing her. Maybe-- Oh, Sam, please, call the police!


SPADE: No! We gotta sweat it out.


EFFIE: I can't! I can't go on like this!


SOUND: OUTER DOOR OPENS


DENNIS: Mr. Spade, is it?


SPADE: Who sent ya?


DENNIS: Jenny the Juke.


SPADE: What's your name?


DENNIS: I'm Dennis O'Rourke. I'm here to talk about the duck.


SPADE: Good enough. Come into my office. Effie, you wait out here.


EFFIE: But, Sam--


SPADE: Wait here, I said!


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR SHUTS


SPADE: Sit down.


DENNIS: Thank you, kindly. I'm a lawyer, Mr. Spade. I'm here to represent my client.


SPADE: What's his name?


DENNIS: (SLOWLY, POINTEDLY) John Doe.


SPADE: Mm hm. Jane Doe's big brother, huh?


DENNIS: My client has been led to believe that you are prepared to, er, produce the duck. Is that correct?


SPADE: More or less. What's it worth to your client?


DENNIS: My client is willing to trade the old woman for the duck.


SPADE: (CHUCKLES) You go back and tell your client I'm a big boy now.


DENNIS: I, er-- I don't understand, Mr. Spade.


SPADE: This town is loaded with old women. All I have to do is walk up and down Market Street. But there's only one duck!


DENNIS: There must be a misunderstanding. 


SPADE: Then let me put you straight. I've got the duck.


DENNIS: Where?


SPADE: Oh, don't be cute. Your client wants the duck, okay. For fifty G's.


DENNIS: Fifty thousand dollars, is it?


SPADE: Yeah, things are high all over.


DENNIS: Yeah, but the old woman, this Mrs. Perine. Aren't you interested in--?


SOUND: SPADE HITS DESK WITH FIST


SPADE: (EXPLODES) Now, listen, you can do whatever you like about the old woman! So you got an old woman! Get rid of her, however you want! That's your tsuris! What's important is that you want the duck! I want fifty grand. (BEAT) Do we play?


DENNIS: Well, now, I-- Wait.


SOUND: DENNIS RISES, WALKS QUIETLY TO DOOR, FLINGS IT OPEN


EFFIE: (GASPS IN SURPRISE)


SPADE: Effie!


DENNIS: I thought we had an audience the other side of the door.


EFFIE: Sam, what were you--?


SPADE: Shut up! Save it, Effie. This is business. Easiest money of the season.


DENNIS: Well, if you're ready to talk business, we'll go and talk to my client, Mr. Spade -- now.


SPADE: Then let's go.


EFFIE: Sam, what I heard you say-- You didn't mean it. Oh, Sam!


SPADE: You've known me a long time, Effie. But maybe you don't know me.


SOUND: DOOR SLAMS


MUSIC: CURTAIN ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: The United States Armed Forces Radio Service is presenting the weekly adventure of Dashiell Hammett's famous private detective, Sam Spade.


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


SPADE: (NARRATES) The car that drove us down the peninsula was brand new. I could tell by the way the upholstery smelled and the careful way the driver handled it. O'Rourke the lawyer sat up front and I sat in the back, squeezed between two gonifs. The gun muzzles stuck into my ribs told me all I needed to know about them. The rest of it I had to guess at. Time is hard to judge when you're blindfolded, but there's only one main road out of San Francisco by land and I know the towns and stops along it fairly well.


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE OUT ... NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (CRICKETS, ET CETERA)


SPADE: (NARRATES) About twenty miles out of the city, the car turned off the main highway onto a gravel road.


SOUND: CAR DOORS ... FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL


SPADE: (NARRATES) Five minutes later the blindfold came off, but the fog was so thick I still couldn't see much. The gonifs pushed me ahead of 'em into a shack that looked like a summer vacation cottage with a sign over the door that said, "Bide a wee."


SOUND: KNOCK ON DOOR WHICH OPENS ... FOOTSTEPS IN


SPADE: (NARRATES) A sallow, mean-looking little man with a heavily scarred face met us at the door. On his right arm, just above the wrist was tattooed a small picture of a mallard duck. He glared at me and then at O'Rourke.


MUSIC: OUT


DUCKY: How come? I told you, don't come back without her.


DENNIS: Heaven be my witness, Ducky, I did my utmost.


DUCKY: Huh?


DENNIS: It seems, Ducky, that Mr. Spade is interested in money.


DUCKY: What money? Did you tell him we got the old lady?


DENNIS: I did, sir. I am afraid we've misjudged Mr. Spade. In short, Ducky, Mr. Spade is not in the least altruistic.


DUCKY: What does he want?


DENNIS: Ah-- Er, you had better tell him, Mr. Spade.


SPADE: Fifty thousand now; another fifty G's when I deliver the duck.


DUCKY: A hundred G's is a lot of cash.


SPADE: You can afford it.


DUCKY: (CALLS) Bugsy? Bring in the old lady.


BUGSY: (OFF) Okay.


SOUND: BUGSY'S FOOTSTEPS TO A DOOR WHICH UNLOCKS AND OPENS


BUGSY: (OFF) [In here, sister. ?]


SOUND: MRS. PERINE AND BUGSY'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH


MRS. PERINE: (APPROACHES, TO BUGSY, SWEETLY) I do wish that you'd explain to Mr. Morton-- (SEES SAM) Sam! Well, it's high time. Do you know these men?


SPADE: (COOL, TO DUCKY) This is a cute trick, Ducky, but it's gonna cost ya.


DUCKY: The lady spoke to you, Spade.


SPADE: I told you, it's gonna cost you lettin' her see me here. The longer she stands here starin' at me, the more it's gonna cost ya.


MRS. PERINE: (SWEETLY) Sam, what is it? If I've done anything to make you angry--


SPADE: (EXPLODES) Get her out of here!


SOUND: DENNIS GENTLY ESCORTS MRS. PERINE FROM THE ROOM DURING FOLLOWING EXCHANGE, THEIR DIALOGUE OVERLAPPING


MRS. PERINE: (PUZZLED) Mr. Morton said you were going to call for me, Sam. I - I don't understand. I don't--


DENNIS: (SOOTHING) There, there, now, mother. Come along now. Don't you worry about a thing.


MRS. PERINE: I want to go home.


DENNIS: Well, of course, dear.


MRS. PERINE: I really want to go home.


SOUND: DOOR SHUTS, OFF


DUCKY: You ought to be ashamed of yourself, Spade. You've broken that old lady's heart.


SPADE: Stop drooling.


DUCKY: Watch your talk, sonny. I ain't any sweet old lady.


SPADE: I don't have to use words when I talk to you, Ducky. You won't do anything to me because I got something you need.


DUCKY: Okay. A hundred G's. Paid the way you said.


SPADE: Price has gone up.


DUCKY: Huh?


SPADE: Kidnapping's a federal rap. I'm not takin' any part of it.


DUCKY: She don't know she was snatched. We told her we were from the D. A.'s office, keeping her on ice as a witness.


SPADE: She'll find out different.


DUCKY: I don't plan on settlin' down here.


SPADE: Oh, that's fine, but I have to go on livin' in this town -- with that old hen alive and cluckin'. It won't be easy.


DUCKY: You mean you want we should knock off that sweet old lady?


SPADE: You're a little slow, Ducky, but you'll get there.


DUCKY: I've met some lousy lowdown heels in my day, but you're the lousiest, lowest--


SOUND: DUCKY SMACKS SPADE


SPADE: (EXHALES) Go on. Go on, I can take more of it at these prices.


DUCKY: We ain't doin' your dirty laundry, see?


SPADE: Then it's no dice. My price is a hundred grand.


DUCKY: What if I say no?


SPADE: Then I turn over the duck to the federal boys. In that case, I don't care if the old lady stays alive or not because I'll be playin' their game. Either you're in or you're out. Think it over, Morton. When you decide, you know where to reach me.


DUCKY: Yeah. We'll know where to reach you.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG


SPADE: (NARRATES) They drove me back to town blindfolded. When they let me out of the car, all I could see without the blindfold was the corner of Post and Kearny. When a streetcar came along, I tossed a coin whether to get on it or lie down on the tracks and let it run over me. Came up heads, so I, er, tossed it again and I got on instead. I fished in my pocket for a slug and came up with a folded slip of paper. It was the one Lola had handed me at Mrs. Perine's birthday party when they were passing out the parts for that screwy charades game. I unfolded it and glanced at it.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


SPADE: (NARRATES) Then I read it over very carefully. The writing was hard to make out, but what I could read of it said, "Help me. That man Marty has followed me here to kill me. If I get out of here alive -- Maxie's Arcade. I have a hundred dollars."


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG


SPADE: (NARRATES) I got off at Columbus and walked up to the international settlement where Maxie's Arcade does business. It's what they used to call a penny arcade before inflation set in. 


SOUND: ARCADE BACKGROUND (CROWD MURMURS, ET CETERA)


SPADE: (NARRATES) I dropped a nickel in a fortune telling machine. (READS) "Worried? Perplexed? Know thyself and your problems will vanish." A card came out that said, "You're of a naturally deceitful and secretive character. Disloyalty brings its own punishment. It's never too late to mend." I tore up the card, kicked the machine, and that's when I saw it.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) It was a narrow little booth, muffled in drapes, and the sign over it said, "Salty Hawkins, Tattoo Artist." A card pinned to the curtain showed some typical tattoo designs -- anchors, mermaids, fancy initials -- but one had a hand-drawn picture pasted over it. It was a mallard duck, the same as the tattoo mark I'd noticed on Ducky Morton's wrist. I pulled the curtain aside and went in.


SALTY: Yes, sir? What can I do for ya, mate?


SPADE: (SHARPLY) What do you know about the duck?


SALTY: 'Old in your jib, mate. There's no freshwater birds hereabouts.


SPADE: How 'bout the new one you just put up on your card outside?


SALTY: Oh. That one, eh? Now -- whereabouts? On the arm? Two, three-color job.


SPADE: On her leg.


SALTY: Whereabouts?


SPADE: Her left knee.


SALTY: Well, that's right, mate. It was on her knee.


SPADE: Did she have you remove it for her?


SALTY: Right as the [tar?], mate.


SPADE: Know why?


SALTY: Look, mate. If I did, I wouldn't be telling strangers about her secrets.


SPADE: (MANHANDLING HIM) All right, where is she?


SALTY: (IN PAIN) Take it easy, mate.


SPADE: I haven't got time to take it easy, mate. Talk!


SALTY: Sure a hot-tempered gent you are.


SPADE: Come on, come on.


SALTY: I was going to tell you anyhow. She says to me, she says -- if a man comes in--


SPADE: All right, shut up! Where is she?


SALTY: Right in the back room, mate.


SOUND: SPADE'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR ... KNOCK ON DOOR


LOLA: (BEHIND DOOR) Who is it?


SPADE: Spade! Open up.


SOUND: DOOR UNLOCKS, OPENS


SPADE: Hello, Lola. Finally worked out your charade.


LOLA: Come on in, quick!


SOUND: SPADE'S STEPS IN ... DOOR SHUTS, LOCKS


LOLA: Were you followed here?


SPADE: I wouldn't'a' come if I had been.


LOLA: How much do ya know?


SPADE: They want ya a hundred thousand bucks worth. You tell me why.


LOLA: You've seen Ducky Morton?


SPADE: Yeah.


LOLA: Didn't he tell ya?


SPADE: I want to hear it from you.


LOLA: Don't believe anything he says. [More'n a year and he?] didn't even give me the time of day. He says he wants me back that way, he's a liar.


SPADE: How does he want ya back?


LOLA: With rigid mortis he wants me back. I'm takin' an awful chance openin' up to ya like this. Let 'em catch me, they'd only kill me -- humane. You was to let the D. A. people get at me, Ducky's mob'd lay for me then, if it took 'em years and-- Aw, gee, you don't know, Sam. They - they torture girls. What that mob'd do to me if I had to testify against 'em--


SPADE: Okay, I take your word for that. Who are these D. A. people you're talkin' about?


LOLA: You never heard of Ducky Morton before?


SPADE: I heard his name. I thought he was knocked over when they had the big racket-bustin' show in New York years ago.


LOLA: Yeah, I guess a lot of people thought that. It wasn't healthy to mention Ducky's name.


SPADE: What was the racket?


LOLA: Juke joints. Givin' mickeys to servicemen, rollin' 'em. That's why the feds are helpin' the D. A.'s office. They arrested hundreds of girls and held 'em as material witnesses. Only they wanted me most of all. I'd worked the joints, y'see, and then I was Ducky's girlfriend during the duration.


SPADE: I think you'd only be too happy to tell what you know about him in court.


LOLA: Aw, gee, I would if I did, but you don't know. The D. A.'s office say they'll give a girl protection, but how can they?


SPADE: What are you doin' in San Francisco?


LOLA: Runnin' away. Had my ticket on a boat; I was goin' to Honolulu. But they was watchin' the boats. So then I found this room out in Oakland. Mrs. Perine was real nice to me. I never thought they'd find me there. And then Marty showed up. Honest, it was just a mickey I put in his drink -- just like we used in the joints. I never knew it'd kill him! (BREAKS DOWN AND CRIES)


SPADE: You're a brave kid, Lola. Now, look -- Ducky offered me a hundred grand to deliver ya. Would you take a chance on me fighting it out with him for half of that?


LOLA: (ABRUPTLY STOPS CRYING, VERY INTERESTED) For fifty grand? Brother, where are we meetin' him?


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG--


SPADE: (NARRATES) O'Rourke's car was parked outside my apartment building where I had a hunch it would be. The two gonifs picked us up at the door, unloaded my hardware, and marched us up the stairs.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS UP STAIRS ... APARTMENT DOOR OPENS


SPADE: (NARRATES) Ducky opened the door of my apartment and waved us inside.


LOLA: (DESPERATE) Listen, Ducky. Listen, honey, you've got it all wrong, see?


DUCKY: (TO GONIFS) Keep the plant outside, you two.


LOLA: Ducky, listen to me--


SOUND: APARTMENT DOOR CLOSES


MUSIC: OUT


DUCKY: Eh, sit down. You, too, Lola.


LOLA: Ducky, I swear I never said a word! I'd never talk, Ducky, even if they chopped my head off.


DUCKY: We'll take up your suggestion later. I got a conference on with Mr. Spade here.


SPADE: Bring the money?


DUCKY: Don't crowd me! There's that other matter. The old lady.


SPADE: How about the old lady?


DUCKY: I keep my word, Spade. You delivered the duck, okay. The way Jenny gave it out to O'Rourke was, the old lady for the duck. But you ain't got no ethics. You see, you figured me wrong. I don't kill old ladies.


SPADE: You're gonna kill the duck.


LOLA: I ain't no old lady!


DUCKY: No. You ain't. And you ain't gonna get any older.


SOUND: CLICK! OF GUN HAMMER


DUCKY: And neither are you, Spade.


MUSIC: OMINOUS, IN BG


SPADE: (NARRATES) He wasn't kidding. He really meant to knock me over. And the gun he was gonna do it with got ready to speak its piece. I'd made my play too strong. The way this type of gunsel thinks is simple and I'd guessed it right -- if you pressure 'em, they go the other way by instinct. But! What I hadn't figured was that this killer had a heart of lettuce! He was gonna cut me down to protect your mother from me! How do you like that?! I couldn't change my play now. The wheel was already spinning, and so was my head. Tried to brace myself and waited for the blast.


MUSIC: OMINOUS ... UP AND OUT


SOUND: KITCHEN DOOR OPENS, OFF


MRS. PERINE: (SINGING MERRILY) "Every little movement--"


SOUND: CRASH! OF TRAY AND COFFEE CUPS ON THE FLOOR


MRS. PERINE: Oh! Oh, dear! I dropped the tray!


SPADE: (DUMBFOUNDED, RELIEVED) Mrs. Perine! What are you doing here?


MRS. PERINE: I was just making some coffee for the boys. Oh, dear -- I've broken your cups.


DUCKY: That's okay, mother. We'll take care of it. Bugsy, pick it up.


BUGSY: (MUMBLES AGREEMENT)


MRS. PERINE: Oh, thank you, Mr. Bugsy.


SOUND: CUPS AND TRAY PICKED UP


MRS. PERINE: Well, I'm so glad you got my message, Sam. Didn't Effie come with you?


SPADE: (CONFUSED, FLUSTERED) Er, yeah. I mean, no. I mean--


MRS. PERINE: Oh, I wanted to surprise you both together. I hope you don't mind my taking over the kitchen. It was so late and the boys were getting hungry, so I offered to make them coffee and hotcakes.


SPADE: Well, that was very nice of you.


MRS. PERINE: Er, Mr. Morton? Put that pistol down for a moment and-- (WITH EFFORT) --and help me move this table out into the room.


DUCKY: Huh? Oh. Oh, sure, mother.


SOUND: TABLE MOVED AND THEIR FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT BEHIND--


MRS. PERINE: (WITH EFFORT) Thank you. (EXHALES) Oh, we've had such a good time. (CHUCKLES) I've never been up so late in my life. Mr. Bugsy and I played a game called "blackjack" and I won fifty dollars! (CHUCKLES) Wait till Effie hears about that! (CHUCKLES) 


SPADE: Yeah. Wait till she hears.


MRS. PERINE: I suppose Effie will come with Mr. Bundy.


SPADE: Bundy?


MRS. PERINE: Oh, yes. I remembered that Effie said you and she are often down at his office at police headquarters late at night, so I phoned there--


DUCKY: (PUZZLED) Er, mother--?


MRS. PERINE: Yes, Mr. Morton?


DUCKY: Did you say you phoned police headquarters?


MRS. PERINE: Why, yes. That's where Mr. Bundy works.


DUCKY: Mother, what did you tell Mr. Bundy?


MRS. PERINE: Well, just that you and the boys were here, and that we were about to have some coffee, and he said he'd just love to come up and join us, and I said do, and he said he would. With some of his boys.


SPADE: (CRACKS UP WITH LAUGHTER)


MRS. PERINE: Did I say something wrong?


SPADE: No! No, mom, not at all!


SOUND: FROM OFF, THE POLICE ARRIVE


DUNDY: (OFF) All right, boys! 


MRS. PERINE: Why, I believe that's Mr. Bundy now.


SOUND: POW! BANG! FISTFIGHT AND THEN SHOOTOUT BETWEEN GONIFS AND COPS


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND SPADE--


SPADE: (NARRATES) When the smoke cleared away, Ducky Morton and his hoods were playing dead duck for keeps on my living room rug. And that rug just came back from the cleaners, too. Dundy and the boys from Homicide took Lola Brent away with them. After it was all cleaned up, I found your mother out in the kitchen.


MRS. PERINE: (FRAGILE) Well, Sam, I just made another pot of coffee and-- (LONG INHALATION, DELAYED NERVOUS REACTION TO ALL THE TENSION AND VIOLENCE)


SPADE: (COMFORTING) Ohhhh, it's okay, mom. It's okay, it's all over now.


MRS. PERINE: (SHIVERING) I know. I know. I-- I've been holding this back. Oh, Sam, I - I've never been so frightened in all my life. 


SPADE: (SOOTHING EXHALATION)


MRS. PERINE: (ABRUPTLY) How does Effie stand it?!


SPADE: (GENUINE ADMIRATION) You played it good, mom. You played it real good.


MRS. PERINE: (PLEASED) Did I? Was I as brave as Effie?


SPADE: (QUIETLY) Braver. And not only that -- you got more brains.


MUSIC: CURTAIN ... THEME (1931 SONG "GOODNIGHT, SWEETHEART") ... UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: This is the United States Armed Forces Radio Service, the voice of information and education. 



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