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The Glass Key

The Campbell Playhouse

The Glass Key

Mar 10 1939






CAST:

ANNOUNCER, Ernest Chappell

LEWIS E. LAWES, warden of Sing Sing

CBS ANNOUNCER


PAUL MADVIG / ORSON WELLES

NED BEAUMONT, Paul's best friend

SENATOR HENRY

JANET HENRY, the Senator's daughter

MRS. MADVIG, Paul's mother

OPAL MADVIG, Paul's daughter

OPERATOR

FARR, the district attorney

BRETT, of the police

SHAD O'RORY

JEFF

WHISKY

RUSTY

NURSE

and some CLUB PATRONS





MUSIC: FANFARE ... CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE THEME (FROM FIRST MOVEMENT OF TCHAIKOVSKY'S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 1) ... UNDER


ANNOUNCER: The makers of Campbell Soups present the Campbell Playhouse; Orson Welles, producer!


MUSIC: UP ... CAMPBELL PLAYHOUSE THEME ... FINISHES WITH A SNATCH OF "MANHATTAN SERENADE" ... THEN OUT BEHIND--


ORSON WELLES: Good evening. This is Orson Welles. Tonight, under the guidance of an expert, we're going to take an excursion into the underworld of the Prohibition period. Our story is "The Glass Key," by an author who is best known as the creator of "The Thin Man," Mr. Dashiell Hammett. "The Glass Key" is, to my way of thinking, one of Dash Hammett's very best. So sit back and let the Campbell Playhouse demonstrate that Mr. Hammett knows far more about underworld plots, political skullduggery, and crimes of violence than any other respectable author should. And then when our story is over, we'll have a chance to check on Dash Hammett because we have with us in the studio tonight a man who knows more about this sort of thing than even Dashiell Hammett -- Warden Lawes, no less, of Sing Sing, of course, and who will speak to us at the end of this broadcast. And now first a word from Ernest Chappell.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN BRIEFLY


ANNOUNCER: There are different dishes that are special favorites with different families. But there's one dish that makes a big hit with most everyone, and that is chicken. People, by and large, like chicken so much that it's become the customary main dish for nearly any special party meal. I believe this enthusiastic taste for chicken accounts for the widespread liking for Campbell's Chicken Soup. Because, as sure as you like chicken, you'll like this soup. There's chicken in the savory aroma from your plate, and chicken in the tempting golden glisten of the slowly simmered broth. Chicken in the eating of this soup, too -- deep-down, slow-simmered chicken flavor, and tender pieces of chicken meat, along with the fluffy white rice. I want to make a bold statement -- one you might have doubted five years ago, and that perhaps some of you will doubt today. If you will eat a plate of Campbell's Chicken Soup tomorrow, I'm absolutely sure you'll say it's as fine as the finest chicken soup you ever tasted anywhere. Do you doubt that statement? Well, if you do, I'm sure it's because you haven't tasted Campbell's Chicken Soup recently. And, in that case, I ask you to try it -- because I'm sure one taste will convince you, and that you'll want to have Campbell's Chicken Soup often. And now "The Glass Key" starring Orson Welles as Paul Madvig.


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) My name's Ned Beaumont and I guess I'm out of a job for a while. Well, I did the best I could for Paul Madvig, but there it is -- a clean sweep for the reform ticket. Hm, funny how things change. Six weeks ago you could have got four-to-one on the Madvig machine putting over the whole ticket. When you come to think about it, there wasn't a thing Paul Madvig could have done differently -- not with the set-up he had. I remember the first evening he talked to me about it in his office up over the party headquarters. Office? Well, it wasn't much of an office. Just a desk with a lamp on it and a couple of chairs and a picture of the governor looking down at ya.


SOUND: KNOCK ON OFFICE DOOR


PAUL: All right.


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS


PAUL: Ah, there you are, Ned.


NED: Hello, Paul. 


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR CLOSES


NED: Lend me some money.


PAUL: What do you want?


NED: Couple of hundred.


PAUL: Been shootin' dice?


NED: Yeah.


PAUL: Here ya are.


NED: Thanks.


PAUL: (BEAT) A long time since you done any winning, isn't it, Ned?


NED: Oh, not too long -- month or six weeks.


PAUL: That's a long time to be losing. Whyn't you try laying off a while when you hit one of these sour streaks?


NED: Ah, that's no good. It only spreads it out. 


PAUL: Well, if you can stand the gaff.


NED: I can stand anything I've got to stand.


PAUL: Guess you can, at that. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Listen, Ned, you know more about this stuff than I do. Janet Henry's birthday's Thursday. What do you think I ought to give her?


NED: Is the Senator throwing a party?


PAUL: Yeah.


NED: You invited?


PAUL: No, but I'm goin' there to dinner tomorrow night.


NED: Are you gonna back the Senator in this election, Paul?


PAUL: Yeah, I think I will.


NED: Why?


PAUL: 'Cause, with his help, we can put over the whole ticket just like nobody was runnin' against us.


NED: Without you behind him could the Senator make the grade this time?


PAUL: Not a chance.


NED: Does he know that?


PAUL: He ought to know it better than anybody else. And if he didn't know it-- 


NED: You wouldn't be going there to dinner tomorrow night. Have you, uh, promised him anything yet?


PAUL: Yeah, it's pretty well settled.


NED: Listen to me, Paul. Throw the Senator down. Sink him.


PAUL: Well-- 


NED: [Do you think he'll play ball with you after he's re-elected?


PAUL: I can handle him.


NED: Maybe, but don't] forget he's never been licked at anything in his life.


PAUL: Sure, and that's one of the best reasons I know for throwin' in with him.


NED: No, it isn't, Paul. It's the very worst. Think that over even if it hurts your head. How far has this dizzy blonde daughter of his got her hooks into you?


PAUL: (QUIETLY) I'm gonna marry Miss Henry.


NED: (AN IMPRESSED WHISTLE) Is that part of the bargain?


PAUL: Nobody knows it yet, except you and me.


NED: If that's what you want, make them put it in writing. Better still, insist on the wedding before election day. Then you'll at least be sure of your pound of flesh, Paul, or, uh-- She'll weigh around a hundred and ten, won't she?


PAUL: I don't know why you keep talking about the Senator like he was a yegg. He's a gentleman--


NED: Absolutely. And his daughter's an aristocrat. [To them you're a lower form of animal life and none of the] rules apply.


PAUL: Aw, Ned, don't be so--


NED: And we oughtn't to forget that her brother Taylor Henry's an aristocrat, too, which is probably why you made your daughter stop playing around with him.


PAUL: Aw, now, Ned, that's different.


NED: And when you're married to Janet Henry, will that entitle her brother to begin playing around with Opal again?


PAUL: Over my dead body it will. (MILDLY ANNOYED) I didn't ask for all this. I just asked you what kind of present I ought to give Miss Henry.


NED: How far have you got with her?


PAUL: Nowhere. I've been-- Well, I've been over there a half dozen times to talk to the Senator. Sometimes I see her and sometimes I don't.


NED: But you didn't get a bid to the birthday party?


PAUL: No, not yet.


NED: Then the answer's one you won't like.


PAUL: Such as?


NED: Don't give her anything.


PAUL: Aw, Ned.


NED: Well, do whatever you like. You asked me.


PAUL: But why?


NED: You're not supposed to give people things unless you're sure they'd like to get them from you.


PAUL: I got you. (BEAT) Guess you're right. But I'll be hanged if I'll pass up the chance to give her a present.


NED: Well, flowers then, or something like that, might be all right.


PAUL: Flowers? But I wanted--


NED: Sure, you wanted to give her a roadster or a couple of yards of pearls. You'll get your chance at that later. Start little and grow.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) Paul went to that dinner. It was the next night, a Wednesday. Just lately, I found out what happened up at the Senator's house that evening. As a matter of fact, I got it-- Aw, well, never mind.


MUSIC: JANET PLAYS PIANO IN BG


PAUL: Don't give it a thought, Senator. With me behind you, the election's as good as in the bag.


SENATOR: I've been through a few more elections than you, Madvig. They're never in the bag until the votes are counted.


PAUL: The boys all figure to pile up a thirty thousand majority in the Eighth Ward alone.


MUSIC: JANET STOPS PLAYING PIANO


JANET: (DRY) What will you two talk about when the election's over?


PAUL: (DEAD SERIOUS) How to win the next one, Miss Henry.


JANET: I'm afraid that's true.


SENATOR: Oh, if you'll excuse me, Madvig, I'll leave you alone with Janet for a moment.


PAUL: Sure, Senator.


SENATOR: I want to have a talk with my son before he goes out. (MOVING OFF) I'll be right back.


JANET: (UNCOMFORTABLE IN PAUL'S PRESENCE) You'll, uh, have to excuse my brother for not coming down to dinner.


PAUL: That's all right. Taylor and I had a little - misunderstanding some weeks back about my - daughter.


JANET: You're not, uh, interested in music, are you, Mr. Madvig?


PAUL: I'm interested in anything you do, Miss Henry.


MUSIC: JANET PLAYS PIANO IN BG


JANET: I didn't ask that.


PAUL: Music? Oh, yes. I like music -- with you playin'.


JANET: I can see you're a difficult man to amuse, Mr. Madvig. The conversation must be about politics or about me. Is that it?


PAUL: Those are the two things I'm interested in.


JANET: Do you think they go together very well?


PAUL: Yes. When one's a means to the other.


JANET: (OFFENDED) Mr. Madvig!


MUSIC: ABRUPTLY, JANET STOPS PLAYING PIANO


PAUL: My friends call me Paul.


JANET: (UNFRIENDLY) Very well. "Paul," then.


PAUL: Listen, Miss Henry. I know this is a little out of my line. I know I'm a politician from the wrong side of town and you're Senator Henry's daughter. 'Bout all I've ever learned that you don't get up to the sixth grade is how to run things, how to get other people to run things for you. Not quite all. I can learn music and the rest of the things on your side of the town. That's what I'm settin' out to do. (BEAT, SLOWLY) Janet, you're the end of my road, everything I want. Everything I want to be. (TRIES TO PUT HIS ARMS AROUND HER)


JANET: (BEAT, UPSET) Mr. Madvig!


PAUL: Sorry. I thought you wanted me to kiss you.


JANET: (FIRMLY) I think you'd better go now. I'll explain to father.


PAUL: I'm sorry.


JANET: Let's not talk about it. Your coat's in the hall.


PAUL: All right. Good night, Miss Henry.


JANET: Good night, Mr. Madvig.


SOUND: PAUL'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES, OFF


SENATOR: (APPROACHES) Oh, what's that? Who just went out? Where's Paul?


JANET: He's gone.


SENATOR: I wanted to see him. Taylor promised to come down and apologize for, uh-- But, Janet, why did Paul go?


JANET: Because I asked him to. Father, is it really necessary for me to be associated with Mr. Madvig?


SENATOR: When you're in public life, my dear-- Besides, Paul's not a bad sort.


JANET: He's the sort that wants something for everything he does. This evening, he started collecting.


SENATOR: What do you mean, Janet?


JANET: Just what I say. He started to make love to me.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES, OFF


JANET: (STARTLED) What's that?


SENATOR: It must have been Taylor.


JANET: (WORRIED) I hope he didn't hear what I said.


SENATOR: (CALLS) Taylor?!


SOUND: SENATOR'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY DURING FOLLOWING--


JANET: You know how he feels about Madvig.


SENATOR: (CALLS, MOVING OFF) Taylor, come back here! Taylor, come back! Taylor! Taylor!


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) I had an idea Paul would stop by party headquarters that night after the dinner and I went up to his office and sat at his desk waiting for him. It was after ten when he came in.


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR OPENS


PAUL: Hello, Ned. What are you doin' at my desk?


SOUND: OFFICE DOOR CLOSES


NED: Readin' the paper.


PAUL: Thought you was downstairs playin' dice.


NED: I was. How'd the Henry dinner go?


PAUL: I've been to worse.


NED: Was Taylor there?


PAUL: Not at dinner. Why?


NED: Because he's dead. In a gutter up in China Street. With a fractured skull.


PAUL: (BEAT) Is that so?


NED: Do you understand what I said?


PAUL: Yes.


NED: Well?


PAUL: Well what?


NED: He was killed.


PAUL: All right. Do you want me to get hysterical about it?


NED: Oh, I thought you might want to look into it since it's Senator Henry's son.


PAUL: It's up to the cops, isn't it?


NED: I was there with them before they moved the body.


PAUL: (LOW, CAREFULLY) Did you notice anything?


NED: Yeah.


PAUL: What?


NED: His hat wasn't there.


PAUL: Yeah? (SHRUGS) He won't need it now. 


NED: Well, I'll be going along. (MOVING OFF) So long, Paul.


PAUL: (BEAT) You're a fool, Ned.


NED: (OFF) Yeah. One of us is.


SOUND: NED'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) Next day, I drove out to Paul Madvig's house down on Mill [Street?] Boulevard. I figured Paul wouldn't be in.


SOUND: DOORBELL BUZZES ... HOUSE DOOR OPENS


NED: Is Mrs. Mad--? Oh, hello, Mom.


MRS. MADVIG: So here you are at last, Ned. 


SOUND: HOUSE DOOR CLOSES


MRS. MADVIG: You're a worthless boy to neglect an old woman like this.


NED: Aw, Mom Madvig, I'm a big boy now and I've got my work to look after. Uh, where's the kid?


MRS. MADVIG: Opal?


NED: Yeah.


MRS. MADVIG: She's layin' down. She's not feelin' good.


NED: Oh? What's the matter with her?


MRS. MADVIG: Headache. The way she's been dancin' too much.


NED: Yeah. Well, her father been up to see her?


MRS. MADVIG: No. Paul hasn't been home since yesterday. (LOW) Did you find out about the Henry boy?


NED: Do the cops ever find out anything? (CHANGES SUBJECT) Is it all right if I pop in and say hello to Opal?


MRS. MADVIG: Sure. Go right up, Ned. She'll be glad to see ya.


NED: Okay.


MRS. MADVIG: (MOVING OFF) I'll have a cup of tea for ya when you come down.


NED: (NARRATES) I went up the stairs and across the landing. The blind was down in Opal's room and I could see the light from her cigarette as she sat in bed.


OPAL: (DEPRESSED) Hello, Ned.


NED: Hello, snip.


SOUND: OPAL'S DOOR CLOSES


NED: I know, youngster. It's tough.


OPAL: No, really, most of the headache's gone.


NED: So, Opal, I'm an outsider now, huh?


OPAL: I don't know what you mean, Ned.


NED: I mean Taylor Henry.


OPAL: Yeah, but-- (UNCONVINCING) You know, I - I hadn't seen him for months, since Dad made me stop seeing him.


NED: (BEAT, COOL) Okay, kid. I'll be running along.


OPAL: No, wait, Ned. Come back here. What makes you act like that?


NED: You oughtn't to lie to me.


OPAL: But, Ned--


NED: How long since you saw Taylor?


OPAL: You mean to talk to? It's been weeks.


NED: (BEAT, COOL AGAIN) All right.


OPAL: Oh, Ned, don't make it so hard for me. Aren't we friends?


NED: Sure, but it's hard to remember it when we're lying to each other.


OPAL: Did - did you know I'd been meeting him?


NED: Well, I know it now.


OPAL: (UPSET) You--


NED: Never mind that.


OPAL: (TEARFUL) Ned, I was with him only yesterday afternoon. All afternoon! Three hours before he was killed.


NED: Yeah?


OPAL: Who do you think could have killed him? Do you know, Ned?


NED: No.


OPAL: We've got to find out. We've got to.


NED: Why?


OPAL: Ned, if I ask you something, you won't get mad, will ya?


NED: I'll try not to.


OPAL: Did Dad know that Taylor and I were still - going together?


NED: (ANNOYED) Listen, kid, what are you trying to prove?


OPAL: I thought you weren't gonna get mad.


NED: I'm not. Did you really love Taylor Henry, snip, or was it just because your father--?


OPAL: I really did love him, Ned. I'm pretty sure-- (DEFINITELY) I'm sure I loved him.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) I drove back to town and stopped at a pay station and called up Paul Madvig at party headquarters. He wasn't there. 'Round three, I went over to the district attorney's office.


SOUND: BUZZ! CLICK! OF SWITCHBOARD


OPERATOR: (INTO PHONE) District attorney's office. --- Mr. Farr's busy. Will you leave your number? --- Thank you.


SOUND: BUZZ! CLICK!


OPERATOR: (INTO PHONE) Hello. District attorney's office. 


NED: Hello, sister.


OPERATOR: (TO NED) Hello, Mr. Beaumont. 


NED: Tell Mr. Farr I want to see him.


OPERATOR: Sure.


SOUND: CLICK!


OPERATOR: (INTO INTERCOM) Hello, Mr. Farr? Mr. Beaumont's here. --- Yes, Mr. Farr. 


SOUND: CLICK!


OPERATOR: (TO NED) You can go right in, Mr. Beaumont. You know the way.


NED: Thanks. I ought to.


SOUND: BUZZ! CLICK!


OPERATOR: (INTO PHONE) District attorney's office. --- Sorry, Mr. Farr's busy. Would you leave your name? (FADES OUT BEHIND--)


SOUND: NED WALKS TO FARR


FARR: Oh, hello, Ned. Come on in.


NED: Hello, Farr.


SOUND: D. A.'S DOOR CLOSES


FARR: Sit down. What can I do for ya?


NED: Farr, I want you to fix me up with some sort of papers -- special prosecutor or something.


FARR: Oh, sure, I guess I can fix it up, but, uh, what crime are you particularly interested in solving?


NED: A murder. The murder of Taylor Henry, remember?


FARR: Oh, yes, but I thought-- Well--


NED: That Paul Madvig and I might be interested in not solving the case, is that it?


FARR: Well, now, Ned, I - I didn't say that, but-- Here, I want to read you this note. I get one of 'em every day.


NED: Well, writing notes, are they? Let's see. Typewritten on plain white paper. What's it say?


FARR: Well, it doesn't say anything; just asks a question. (READS) "Is Paul Madvig the reason you're doing nothing to solve the Henry murder?"


NED: Well?


FARR: Well, now, Ned, don't think I'm taking that seriously. But, you know, we get bales of that kind of stuff every time anything happens. I just wanted to show it to you.


NED: Aw, that's all right -- as long as you keep on feeling that way about it. I, er-- I don't think I'd say anything to Paul about the notes if I were you. He's got enough on his mind.


FARR: Well, sure, whatever you say, Ned.


NED: Listen, Farr, Paul hasn't anything to hide in the Henry murder and I wouldn't like to think you were going around thinking he had.


FARR: Aw, now, for heaven's sake, Ned, get me right. You know darned well there's nobody in the city any stronger for Paul and you than me. You know you can always count on me.


NED: Well, that's fine. Well, I've got to run along. So long, Farr.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) I never did spend much of my time at party headquarters around election. I don't like listening to the same line of talk over and over again. It was Tuesday before I saw Paul Madvig again.


SOUND: KNOCK ON DOOR WHICH OPENS ... DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


PAUL: Hello, Ned. Where you been the last few days?


NED: Oh, different places. Aw, Paul, you oughtn't to wear silk socks with tweeds.


PAUL: No? I like the feel of silk.


NED: Well, then lay off the tweeds. Did you go to Taylor Henry's funeral yesterday?


PAUL: Yeah. Senator suggested it.


NED: How is the Senator?


PAUL: He's all right. I spent most of this afternoon up there with him.


NED: At his house?


PAUL: Yeah.


NED: Was the daughter there?


PAUL: (BEAT, LOW) Janet Henry was there.


NED: Mmmmm, yeah. It's Janet now. Getting anywhere with her?


PAUL: Still think I'm going to marry her.


NED: (SARCASTIC) Does she know yet that your intentions are honorable?


PAUL: Aw, lay off, Ned.


NED: All right, Paul. I came here to tell you something you ought to know.


PAUL: 'Bout the election?


NED: Yes, in a way, it's about the election. Shad O'Rory's noising it around that you know more about Taylor Henry's death than you're telling. That won't do you any good with the respectable citizens, civic union, and the women's clubs.


PAUL: So Shad O'Rory's shootin' his mouth off, is he?


NED: Yeah.


PAUL: His own backyard's gettin' too small for him. (BEAT) Ned, I think I'll knock Shad O'Rory loose from our little city. I'm tired of having him around, Ned. I think I'll knock him loose right away, starting tonight.


NED: For instance?


PAUL: For instance, I think I'll have Farr close up the Dog House and Paradise Gardens and every dive that we know Shad or any of his friends are interested in. I think I'll have Farr smack 'em over in one long row, one after the other, this very same night. Maybe that'll keep Mr. Shad O'Rory quiet.


NED: Maybe. But this wholesale stuff is too much like using a cyclone shot to blow off a safe-door when you can get it off without any fuss by using a come-along.


PAUL: I don't know a thing about opening safes, Ned, but I do know fighting -- my kind -- going in with both hands working. Never could learn to box. Only times I ever tried I got licked. We'll give Mr. Shad O'Rory the cyclone shot, beginning tonight.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


BRETT: All right, men, break down the door.


SOUND: DOOR BROKEN DOWN ... PATRONS MURMUR IN SURPRISE


BRETT: All right, boys! Start workin'!


SOUND: GLASSES SMASHED, TABLES OVERTURNED, ET CETERA ... PATRONS MURMUR


BRETT: Okay, that's all for here, boys! Paradise Gardens next!


SOUND: POLICE SIRENS ... FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) Well, that was quite a night. From midnight to dawn, they raided Shad O'Rory's places -- the Dog House, Paradise Garden, the Carousel -- one after another.


MUSIC: PIANO PLAYS A TUNE ... THEN IN BG--


NED: (NARRATES) The next evening, Paul Madvig and I were sitting in a private room at Pip Carson's. A man opened the door and came in without knocking, a man of medium height, with smooth white hair. He wore a dark blue overcoat over a dark blue suit and carried a black derby hat in a black-gloved hand.


SOUND: ROOM DOOR CLOSES


PAUL: How are you, Shad?


SHAD: I'm fine, Paul. How's yourself?


PAUL: You know Beaumont? Mr. Shad O'Rory.


SHAD: Yep.


NED: Yeah.


SHAD: Madvig, politics is politics and business is business. I've been paying my way and I'm willing to go on paying my way in this town, but I want what I'm paying for.


PAUL: Yeah? What do you mean by that?


SHAD: I mean that half the coppers in town are buying their cakes and ale with dough they're getting from me and some of my friends.


PAUL: Well?


SHAD: I want what I'm paying for. I'm paying to be let alone. And, election or no election, I want to be let alone. Business is business and politics is politics. Let's keep 'em apart.


PAUL: (BEAT) No.


SHAD: It's gonna mean killin'.


PAUL: If you make it mean killin'.


SHAD: It'll have to mean killin'. I'm too big to take the boot from you, Madvig.


PAUL: Maybe you're too big to take it laying down, but you'll take it. You are taking it.


SHAD: I'm opening the Paradise Garden again tonight. I don't want to be bothered. Bother me and I'll bother you.


PAUL: Ned, get me Headquarters on that phone, will ya?


NED: Sure.


SOUND: RECEIVER UP


NED: (INTO PHONE) Operator? Police Headquarters. 


MUSIC: PIANIST FINISHES TUNE


NED: (INTO PHONE) Hello, I want to speak to Lieutenant Brett. (PAUSE, TO PAUL) Here he is, Paul.


PAUL: (INTO PHONE) Hello, Brett? Paul Madvig. --- How are the folks? --- That's good. Say, Brett, I hear Shad's thinkin' of opening up again tonight. Yeah. --- Yeah, the Paradise. Well, slam it down as hard as you can. --- Right. --- Sure. --- Bye.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


PAUL: Now do you know where you stand? You're through, Shad. You're through.


SHAD: I understand. So long, Madvig.


SOUND: BEAT ... THEN ROOM DOOR OPENS OFF AND SHUTS AS SHAD EXITS


PAUL: (TO NED) Well?


NED: Wrong, Paul.


PAUL: Holy mackerel. Don't anything suit you?


SOUND: NED RISES AND STARTS TO WALK AWAY


PAUL: Say, where're you going?


NED: (OFF, UNHAPPY) I'm leaving. I'm tired of hick town stuff.


PAUL: Meaning me? This is a swell time to be throwing me down. Say, you're hard to get on with, Ned.


NED: (OFF) I never said I wasn't.


PAUL: Here. Have a drink. There's no hurry, is there?


NED: (OFF) No.


SOUND: DRINK POURED


NED: (CLOSER) Thanks.


PAUL: Mind telling me why you think I handled Shad wrong?


NED: It won't do any good.


PAUL: Try.


NED: (CRISPLY) Shad O'Rory's going to fight. You've got him in a corner. There's nothing he can do now but play the long shot. You're trying to re-elect the whole city administration. Well, giving them a crime-wave just before election isn't gonna make them look any too efficient. And then there's this stuff that's being said about Taylor Henry's killing. Next thing you know, it'll be printed.


PAUL: You think I ought to lay down to Shad O'Rory?


NED: Well, I think you should have left him an out, a line of retreat. You shouldn't have got him with his back to the wall.


PAUL: I don't know anything about your kind of fighting. He started it. All I know is when you got somebody cornered you go in and finish him. That system's worked all right for me so far.


NED: Well, Paul, this is one time I think you've let yourself be outsmarted. First you let the Henrys wheedle you into backing the Senator. There was your chance to go in and finish an enemy who was cornered, but that enemy happened to have a blonde daughter and social position and what not, so you--


PAUL: Cut it out, Ned.


NED: Well --- I must be running along.


PAUL: Aw, now, wait, Ned.


NED: Take your hand off me.


PAUL: Now, look here, Ned--


NED: Let go.


PAUL: Don't be a fool. You and I--


SOUND: NED STRIKES PAUL IN THE MOUTH


NED: (BEAT) I said to let go. I meant it.


PAUL: Crazy nut. I ought to knock the devil out of you. (BEAT, MORE FRIENDLY) Aw, come on, Ned. Let's finish our beers.


MUSIC: ALFRED NEWMAN'S "STREET SCENE" ... FIRST ACT CURTAIN 


ANNOUNCER: You are listening to the Campbell Playhouse presentation of "The Glass Key," starring Orson Welles. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.


MUSIC: "STREET SCENE" FILLS PAUSE FOR STATION IDENTIFICATION ... OUT BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: This is Ernest Chappell, ladies and gentlemen, welcoming you back to the Campbell Playhouse. In just a moment, we will resume our presentation of Dashiell Hammett's "The Glass Key," starring Orson Welles. 


Who killed Cock Robin? Who killed Taylor Henry? I think there's nothing quite like a good murder mystery and Dashiell Hammett is my idea of a perfect companion whether it's for a Friday evening by the radio or for good reading anytime. But there's a time and place for mystery, like anything else. And one place you won't find any mystery is in the kitchens where Campbell Soups are made. I visited those kitchens as recently as last week and I know whereof I speak. There are no secrets there. You can watch for yourself each step in the making of fine soup. Among other things, I watched them make Campbell's Chicken Soup and I know why it is that people who have never thought a canned chicken soup could be as good as homemade changed their minds completely when they first taste Campbell's. Because Campbell's make chicken soup the way a good cook does at home. Indeed, it seems to me that Campbell's way is, in some respects, even better. For example, where chicken soup at home is often made from leftovers, Campbell's use all the good meat of the fine selected chickens. And what plump, splendid chickens they are, too. But the thing that amazes me most is the care with which each ingredient is prepared and cooked, and the precision of the measuring and blending. Skill, precision, a lavish hand with the ingredients -- these you see in the making of Campbell's Chicken Soup. But no mystery, no secrets. And if there's any doubt in your mind about how good a canned chicken soup can be, I do earnestly invite you to try Campbell's Chicken Soup.


Now we resume our Campbell Playhouse presentation of "The Glass Key," starring Orson Welles as Paul Madvig.


MUSIC: "MANHATTAN SERENADE" ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) Well, you can't keep a thing like that quiet. By next morning, word had filtered through the grapevine that Paul Madvig and I had quarreled in the back room at Pip Carson's. At noon, one of Shad O'Rory's boys by the name of Whisky Saunders came to my apartment. He didn't stay very long. Around three, I wandered over to the Paradise Gardens and, in the private room of the joint they'd smashed up two nights before, Shad O'Rory was waiting for me.


SOUND: SHAD'S DOOR OPENS


SHAD: Oh, I'm glad to see you, Beaumont. 


SOUND: SHAD'S DOOR CLOSES


SHAD: Drop your hat and coat anywhere.


NED: What'd you want to see me about, Shad?


SHAD: I heard what happened after I left last night. I owe you something for trying to stop Paul from closing up my joints.


NED: You don't.


SHAD: I don't?


NED: No. I was with him then. What I told him was for his own good. I thought he was making a bad play.


SHAD: He'll know it before he's through. Is it so that you and Paul have broken for good and all?


NED: I thought you knew it. I thought that's why you sent for me.


SHAD: I heard it, but that's not always the same thing. Er, what were you thinking you might do now?


NED: There's a one-way ticket for New York in my pocket and my clothes are packed.


SHAD: How long you been here?


NED: Fifteen months.


SHAD: And you and Paul have been close as a couple of fingers how long?


NED: Year.


SHAD: You ought to know a lot of things about him.


NED: I do.


SHAD: Why did Paul Madvig bump off young Henry?


NED: Make your proposition.


SHAD: How does this hit you? After election I'll stake you to the finest gambling-house this state's ever seen; let you run it to suit yourself with all the protection you ever heard of.


NED: That's an "if" offer -- if you win. 


SHAD: Don't you think we're going to win the election?


NED: You won't bet even money on it.


SHAD: You're not so hot to go in with me, are you, Beaumont?


NED: No. It wasn't any idea of mine.


SHAD: Er, sit down. We can still talk, can't we? 


NED: Sure.


SHAD: Listen, I'll give you ten grand in cash right now if you'll come in and ten more on election night if we beat Paul and I'll keep that house-offer open for you to take or leave.


NED: You want me to rat on Paul Madvig, of course.


SHAD: I want you to go to the papers with the low-down on everything you know about him being mixed up in the sewer-contracts, the dirt on how he's running the city. I want you to tell the papers how he killed Taylor and why.


NED: Well, there's nothing in the sewer-business now. He let his profits go to keep from raising a stink.


SHAD: All right. But there is something in the Taylor Henry business.


NED: Yeah, we might have him there.


SHAD: It'll be worth it for both of us. I'll have a reporter put the stuff in shape. You just give him the dope and let him write it. We can start off with the Taylor Henry thing. 


NED: Maybe.


SHAD: (LAUGHS) You mean we ought to start off first with the ten thousand dollars? Well, there's something in that. Here -- ten grand. Cut 'em up.


NED: Thanks.


SHAD: Ah, the thanks go both ways. The reporter's out there now. Shall I call him?


NED: I ought to have a little time to straighten it out in my mind.


SHAD: Aw, give it to him any way it comes to ya. He'll put it in shape.


NED: Fine. We'll go over to my place now and get to work on it.


SHAD: It'll be better here.


NED: Well, if it's the money you're worried about, you can hang on [to] it till I've turned in the stuff.


SHAD: I'm not worried about anything. But you're in a tough spot and if Paul gets the news you've come over to me and-- I don't want to take any chances on having you knocked off.


NED: You'll have to take them. I'm going.


SHAD: No!


SOUND: SHAD'S STEPS TO DOORWAY


SHAD: (CALLS) Jeff?! Whisky?!


JEFF: (OFF) Yeah, boss?


WHISKY: (OFF) Yeah?


SHAD: Come on in here, you two.


JEFF: Okay.


SOUND: JEFF & WHISKY'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH


SHAD: I am afraid we'll have to persuade Beaumont to stay with us.


JEFF: Sure. Want us to get to work?


SHAD: Well, how 'bout it, Beaumont? You comin' across on Madvig?


NED: No.


SHAD: Too bad. (TO JEFF & WHISKY) Well, boys, get goin'.


JEFF: Come on, Whisky.


WHISKY: Sure.


SOUND: GRUNTING WITH EFFORT, JEFF & WHISKY BEAT UP NED, WHO GROANS IN PAIN WITH EACH BLOW ... AFTER THREE BRUTAL PUNCHES, NED COLLAPSES TO THE FLOOR


SHAD: All right, boys. He'll stay now. (LIGHTLY) Go back and finish your game.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


NED: (GROANS IN PAIN)


SOUND: POKER CHIPS TOSSED


JEFF: Raise ya two bits, Whisky.


SOUND: CHIPS TOSSED


WHISKY: I'm stayin' in.


SOUND: CHIPS TOSSED


RUSTY: How many cards, Jeff?


JEFF: Three.


WHISKY: Two for me.


SOUND: CARDS DEALT ... CHIPS TOSSED


JEFF: Four bits.


WHISKY: I'll fade.


NED: (MUTTERS TO HIMSELF)


SOUND: NED RISES UNSTEADILY AND STAGGERS TO DOOR


JEFF: Oh, uh, just a second, gents. 


SOUND: SCRAPE OF CHAIR AND FOOTSTEPS AS JEFF RISES AND WALKS TO NED


JEFF: (AS IF TO A CHILD) Now, Beaumont, I told ya to stay away from that door, didn't I?


SOUND: WITH EFFORT, JEFF PUNCHES NED BRUTALLY ... NED GRUNTS IN PAIN AS HIS BODY THUDS AGAINST THE WALL AND SLUMPS TO THE FLOOR


RUSTY: Hey, careful, Jeff. You'll croak him. 


JEFF: Aw, ya can't croak Beaumont. He's a tough baby. I've never seen a guy that liked bein' hit so much. Or that I liked hittin' so much. (BEAT, AS HE RETURNS TO TABLE) Oh, well.


SOUND: CHIPS TOSSED


JEFF: I'll call ya, Rusty.


RUSTY: Pair o' kings.


JEFF: My pot; three deuces.


SOUND: CARDS DOWN ... CHIPS RAKED IN


WHISKY: Your deal, Rusty.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS.


WHISKY: Oh, hi, Shad.


SHAD: How's Beaumont?


WHISKY: Jeff's been slappin' him down for the fun of it.


SHAD: I don't want him killed, Jeff. Not yet. (BEAT, EXAMINES NED) Well. (SHARPLY, TO NED) Beaumont?


NED: (WEAKLY) Yeah?


RUSTY: He's pretty far gone, boss.


SHAD: This is Shad O'Rory, Beaumont. Can you hear what I say?


NED: Yeah.


SHAD: Good. Now listen to what I tell you, Beaumont. You're gonna give me the dope on Paul Madvig.


NED: No.


SHAD: Maybe you think you won't tell, Beaumont, but you will. I'll have you worked on till you do. Do you understand me?


NED: I won't. I won't.


SHAD: Okay, Jeff. Get to work on him some more.


JEFF: I'll try the same thing again. (TO NED) Here, you.


SOUND: NED GROANS AS JEFF LIFTS HIM UP AND SLUGS HIM ... NED FALLS BACK, UNCONSCIOUS


JEFF: (DISAPPOINTED) It ain't no good now. He's throwed another joe.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) I don't remember much what happened after that. It was getting dark and I found I was alone in the room. Then I remember something about tearing a mattress apart with my nails and teeth, and setting fire to it with my cigar lighter. The next thing I knew I was at the emergency hospital. Paul was standing at the foot of my bed.


PAUL: Gosh. Glad to see you alive, Ned.


NED: Hello, Paul. How'd I get here?


PAUL: A copper found you crawling on all fours on the lawn of the Paradise Garden, leaving a trail of blood behind you.


NED: (LIGHTLY) I think of funny things to do.


PAUL: (AMUSED) Yeah.


NED: Did they nail Shad?


PAUL: No use, Ned. They'll lay it on Jeff and let him take the rap for assault. What good does that do us?


NED: Is Shad still squawking about the Taylor Henry murder?


PAUL: Chronicle's full of it. Other papers are taking it up.


NED: We're gonna stop that.


PAUL: You're gonna stay in bed and get well; that's what you're gonna do. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Look, Ned. I've got a visitor with me. She'd like to see you. She's waitin' in the hall. It's kind of important to me. Mind if she comes in?


NED: I guess not. Who is it?


PAUL: Janet Henry.


NED: The Senator's daughter, huh? Well, send her in.


PAUL: She said she wants to see you alone. That all right?


NED: Sure.


PAUL: (MOVING OFF) Take it easy, kid.


NED: Looks like I'll have to. So long, Paul.


PAUL: (OFF) All right, Janet. Ned's feelin' better. Come in.


SOUND: JANET'S STEPS APPROACH


PAUL: (OFF) Have a nice visit, you two.


JANET: (OFF) Thanks, Paul.


SOUND: HOSPITAL DOOR CLOSES


JANET: (CLOSER) I wanted to come. You don't mind, do you?


NED: I'm flattered. Sit down.


JANET: No, you're not. You don't like me. Why?


NED: I think maybe I do.


JANET: You don't. I know it.


NED: Well, you can't go by my manners. They're always pretty bad.


JANET: You don't like me and I want you to.


NED: Why?


JANET: Because you're Paul's best friend.


NED: Paul has lots of friends. He's a politician.


JANET: You're his best friend. He thinks so.


NED: What do you think?


JANET: I think you are, or you wouldn't be here now. You wouldn't have gone through that for him. I wish you'd like me, if you can.


NED: Miss Henry, I'm kind of awkward when I'm around people like you who belong to another world altogether -- society and roto-sections and all -- and you mistake that for enmity, which it isn't at all.


JANET: You're making fun of me. But I don't even mind that, if you'll let me be your friend.


NED: Well, I might. May be something new. I never had a Senator's daughter for a friend.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) Next day, I had another visitor. 'Bout two in the afternoon, the nurse came in to see if I was sleeping. I wasn't.


NURSE: Basket of fruit for you, Mr. Beaumont.


NED: Who from?


NURSE: Here's the card.


NED: Open it, nurse.


NURSE: It just says, "Please!" and it's signed, "Janet Henry."


NED: (DISMISSIVE) Oh, help yourself to the junk. Take enough so it looks as if I'd eaten it.


NURSE: (CHUCKLES) No wonder people beat you up. And, um, there's a Mrs. Madvig here to see you.


NED: Well, tell her to come in, and you stay out.


NURSE: It'll be a pleasure.


SOUND: NURSE'S STEPS AWAY


NURSE: (OFF) All right, Mrs. Madvig.


MRS. MADVIG: (OFF) Thank you.


SOUND: MRS. MADVIG'S STEPS APPROACH


NED: (PLEASED TO SEE HER) Ahhh--


MRS. MADVIG: Hello, Ned.


NED: Come on over here, Mom. I'm - I'm gonna kiss you.


MRS. MADVIG: (CHUCKLES) Oh, what foolishness.


NED: (CHUCKLES) 


MRS. MADVIG: Well, you don't look so bad, nor yet so good. How do you feel, Ned?


NED: Oh, swell. I'm only hanging around here on account of the nurses.


MRS. MADVIG: That wouldn't surprise me much, neither.


NED: Oh, Mom.


MRS. MADVIG: (SERIOUS) Look here, Ned. You've got to tell me the truth. Paul didn't kill that whippersnapper Taylor Henry, did he?


NED: What makes ya ask that? Opal, wasn't it? (NO ANSWER) Wasn't it?


MRS. MADVIG: Yes. Opal's got herself in a state over it. She's sure her father did it.


NED: What's she got -- evidence or intuition?


MRS. MADVIG: She gets a note like this every day.


SOUND: RUSTLE OF PAPER


NED: I'll bet she does. I've seen one of those before. Read it to me anyway.


MRS. MADVIG: (READS) "Are you really too stupid to know your father murdered your sweetheart?" (TO NED) That's what it says.


NED: Well, everybody in town's had at least one of these notes.


MRS. MADVIG: Ned, it isn't true, is it?


NED: Nope.


MRS. MADVIG: I didn't think so. He's always been a good boy, but the Lord only knows what goes on in this politics. 


NED: (AMUSED) You're a humdinger, Mom.


MRS. MADVIG: Would you tell me if he had killed him?


NED: Nope.


MRS. MADVIG: Then how do I know he didn't?


NED: Because if he had, I'd still say, "No," but then, if you asked me if I'd tell you the truth if he had, I'd say, "Yes." Aw, he didn't do it, Mom. It would be nice if somebody in town besides me thought he didn't do it and it would be especially nice if that other one was his mother.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND NED--


NED: (NARRATES) While I was on my back in that hospital, I did some thinking. I didn't like the way things were going for Paul. Decided I'd better get out and do some looking around. The doctor said no. I said yes.


SOUND: BUZZ! CLICK! OF SWITCHBOARD


OPERATOR: (INTO PHONE) District attorney's office. --- Yes, I'll connect you.


SOUND: OUTER DOOR OPENS


NED: Hello, sister.


OPERATOR: Hello, Mr. Beaumont. How are you feeling?


NED: Fine. Tell Farr I'm here.


SOUND: CLICK!


OPERATOR: (INTO INTERCOM) Mr. Beaumont to see you, Mr. Farr. --- (SURPRISED) All right. 


SOUND: CLICK!


OPERATOR: I'm sorry, Mr. Beaumont. Mr. Farr has an important conference.


NED: If you don't mind, I'll see for myself.


SOUND: NED'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY


OPERATOR: Mr. Beaumont, please! You're not supposed to go--


SOUND: D. A.'S DOOR OPENS


NED: How are ya, Farr? Do I have to smash my way in to see you these days?


FARR: (UNCONVINCING) Oh, Ned. Was it you? I thought the girl said Mr. Barman. Come right in.


SOUND: D. A.'S DOOR CLOSES


NED: No harm done. I got in. (BEAT) Anything new?


FARR: Oh, no, nothing. Just the same old grind.


NED: How's the electioneering going?


FARR: Well, it could be better, but I guess we'll manage all right.


NED: What's the matter?


FARR: Oh, this and that. Things always come up. Well, that's politics, I guess.


NED: Yeah. Anything I can do -- or Paul -- to help?


FARR: No, I think not.


NED: This Henry killing the worst thing you're up against?


FARR: Well, there's a lot of feeling that we ought to've cleared up the murder before this, and that Paul ought to've helped. That's one of the things -- maybe one of the biggest that'll count against us at election.


NED: Made any progress since I saw you last? 


FARR: No, not much.


NED: Listen, Farr. Paul's always glad to help the boys out of holes. Do you think it would help if he'd let himself be arrested and tried for the Henry murder?


FARR: Well, it's not for me to tell Paul what to do.


NED: Yeah, there's a thought. And here's another one that goes with it. It's not for you to do much Paul wouldn't tell you to do, Mr. District Attorney.


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE


MUSIC: JANET'S PIANO PLAYING ... THEN IN BG


JANET: Ned, how did you happen to come to the house with Paul tonight? You didn't come to see me.


NED: Well, I came because Paul asked me to. I don't go to Senator's houses usually. What's that you're playing, Miss Henry?


JANET: Like it?


NED: Yeah.


JANET: I want to talk to you, Ned, before father and Paul get through with their business.


NED: Go ahead, talk, but -- don't stop playing.


JANET: How's Opal?


NED: I haven't seen her since last week. Why?


JANET: Isn't she in bed with a nervous breakdown?


NED: Oh, that. Didn't Paul tell you?


JANET: Yes, he told me his daughter was in bed with a nervous breakdown. He told me that. I suppose that means she's locked up in the house.


NED: That's right. She got the foolish idea that her father had killed your brother.


MUSIC: JANET'S PIANO PLAYING STOPS


JANET: But why did she think that?


NED: Who doesn't?


JANET: That's what I wanted to ask you, Mr. Beaumont. Do people think that?


NED: Didn't you get any of the anonymous letters that've been going around?


JANET: Yes, today! I wanted to show it to you, to--


NED: Aw, don't bother. They all seem to be pretty much alike and I've seen plenty of them.


JANET: Is Paul actually in danger?


NED: If he loses the election, loses his hold on the city and state government, they'll electrocute him.


JANET: But he's safe if he wins?


NED: Sure.


JANET: Will he win?


NED: I think so.


JANET: And then he'll - he'll not be in danger?


NED: No, he'll not be in danger. Too bad, isn't it? Go on, play; you may not want this to be overheard.


MUSIC: JANET'S PIANO PLAYING ... THEN IN BG


NED: (CRISPLY) You can put up with Paul for the sake of the political backing your father needs, but that has its limits. Last week, you decided Paul had killed your brother and was going to escape punishment, so you decided to do something about it, Miss Henry. That's splendid. Paul's daughter and his sweetheart both trying to steer him to the electric chair. He certainly has a lot of luck with women.


MUSIC: JANET'S PIANO PLAYING STOPS ABRUPTLY


NED: (FIRMLY) Keep playing, I tell you, or I'll shout it.


MUSIC: JANET'S PIANO PLAYING RESUMES ... THEN IN BG


NED: You sent those anonymous letters around. Certainly you did. 


MUSIC: JANET'S PIANO PLAYING STOPS AGAIN BEHIND--


JANET: I'm not good at lying. I know Paul killed Taylor. I wrote the letters.


NED: You hate Paul, don't you? Even if I proved to you that he didn't kill Taylor you'd still hate him, wouldn't you?


JANET: Yes, I think I should.


NED: That's it. You don't hate him because you think he killed your brother. You think he killed your brother because you hate him.


JANET: No. Now, listen to me. I'll tell you what happened that night. Paul came to dinner, the first time we'd had him to dinner. Taylor wasn't at the dinner-table, but he was up in his room. Yes, he wouldn't eat with Paul because of the trouble they'd had about Opal. After dinner Paul and I were alone for a little while in this room and he suddenly put his arms around me and tried to kiss me.


NED: What happened then?


JANET: I asked him to leave.


NED: And then?


JANET: Father came down. He'd heard Paul going out. I told him what had happened. And then Taylor came down from his room. He must have heard what I said because he ran out the door after Paul. Father tried to stop him. I didn't see either of them [again] until Father came to my room and told me Taylor had-- had been killed.


NED: Well, what of it?


JANET: What of it? How could I help knowing then that Taylor had run out after Paul and had caught up with him and had been killed by him? He was furious and--


NED: No. No, that won't do. Paul wouldn't've had to kill Taylor and he wouldn't've done it. Paul doesn't lose his head in a fight. I know that. I've seen Paul fight and I've fought with him. No. No, that won't do.


JANET: I know. You're Paul's friend. It hurts.


NED: You're right about my being Paul's friend.


JANET: Then this is useless? I thought if I could show you the truth-- But we needn't be enemies, need we?


NED: The part of you that's tricked Paul and is trying to trick him is my enemy.


JANET: And the other part of me, that hasn't anything to do with that? You don't know that part, do you?


NED: (WITH AFFECTION) Sure I do. That part was playing the piano just now.


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


PAUL: Drop you off at the club, Ned?


NED: No, thanks, Paul. I think I'll go home.


PAUL: You don't know how good I feel that you and Janet hit it off this evening.


NED: I can get along with anybody if I have to. How's the election going, Paul? Is everything going along to suit you?


PAUL: We're not as well off as we were two weeks ago. You know that.


NED: That's right. And if Taylor Henry's killing isn't cleared up pronto, you won't have to worry about the campaign. You'll be sunk whoever wins.


PAUL: Just what do you mean by that, Ned?


NED: Everybody in town thinks you killed him.


PAUL: Yeah? Don't let that worry you. I've had things said about me before.


NED: (CHUCKLES) Is there anything you haven't been through, Madvig? Ever been given the electric cure?


PAUL: (LAUGHS) And don't think I ever will!


NED: You're not very far from it right now, Paul.


PAUL: Ned!


NED: I'm not taking up your time with my nonsense?


PAUL: I'm listening to you. Never lost anything listening to you.


NED: Thank you, sir. Why do you suppose Farr's wiggling out from under? And the rest of the boys? They figure you're licked. Everybody knows the police haven't tried to find Taylor's murderer and everybody thinks it's because you killed him. Farr figures that's enough to lick you at the polls this time.


PAUL: We've been talking a lot about what other people figure, Ned. Let's talk about what you figure. Figure I'm licked?


NED: I've told you. If Taylor Henry's murder isn't cleared up pronto, you're sunk. That's the whole thing. That's the only thing worth doing anything about.


PAUL: It won't do. Bring up somethin' else. There must be an out, Ned. Think.


NED: There isn't. That's the only way. You're going to take it whether you like it or not, or I'm going to take it for you.


PAUL: Aw, no. Lay off.


NED: Well, that's one thing I won't do for you, Paul.


PAUL: (BEAT) I killed him, Ned. (BEAT) It was an accident, Ned. He ran down the street after me when I left, with a cane he'd picked up on his way out. Tried to hit me with the stick. I don't know how it happened, but pulling it away from him I hit him on the head with it -- not hard -- but he fell back and smashed his head on the curb.


NED: What happened to the stick?


PAUL: I took it away under my overcoat and burned it. 


NED: What kind of a stick was it?


PAUL: A rough brown one, heavy.


NED: Then you had a clear self-defense plea.


PAUL: I know, but I didn't want that, Ned. I - I want Janet Henry more than I ever wanted anything in my life. What chance would I have then, even if it was an accident?


NED: You'd have more chance than you've got now. Janet Henry's always thought you killed her brother. She hates you. She's been trying to play you into the electric chair. She wrote all those anonymous letters to everybody. She's the one that turned your daughter against you. She was telling me this tonight, trying to turn me. She's--


PAUL: (UPSET) That's enough!


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE DIES OUT AS PAUL STOPS THE CAR


PAUL: (BEAT) What is it, Ned? Do you want her yourself or is it--? (EXHALES) It doesn't make any difference. (BEAT) Get, you heel, this is the kiss-off.


NED: Whatever you say, Paul.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS ... NED CLIMBS OUT ... DOOR SHUTS ... AUTO ENGINE STARTS ... CAR DRIVES OFF, SLOWLY FADING INTO THE DISTANCE ... PHONE RECEIVER UP, COIN DROPS IN PAY PHONE ... 


NED: (TO OPERATOR) NOrman Five-Eight-Two-Three. --- Hello, I want to speak to Miss-- Oh, Janet? This is Ned. Do you mind if I come back? --- I've got some news, yes. --- Say, do you want the lowdown on what happened to your brother? --- Well, look among Taylor's walking sticks. --- That's right. See if any of them - his or your father's - are missing. Particularly a rough heavy brown one. --- Yeah, that's right.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... DOORBELL BUZZES ... THE HENRYS' FRONT DOOR OPENS ... THEN CLOSES BEHIND--


JANET: Come in, Mr. Beaumont. What's happened? Tell me.


NED: I, er-- What'd you find out about the walking stick?


JANET: It's upstairs in father's closet; the heavy one you described. In fact, none of them are missing, neither Taylor's nor father's. But what about it? Ned, don't be so mysterious.


NED: Look here, Janet, are you sure you wanna go through with this thing?


JANET: I want to go through with it more than I ever wanted to do anything in my life.


NED: (LAUGHS) They're practically the same words Paul used telling me how much he wanted you.


JANET: Did you tell him about me?


NED: Yep. Called me a liar and kicked me out of his car. Paul and I are washed up.


JANET: I'm glad. I won't pretend I'm not. Did Paul say anything else?


NED: Yes.


JANET: Well?


NED: He said that he killed your brother.


JANET: Ned, I knew it! Then you'll go to the district attorney?


NED: You certainly want to be in at the kill, don't you?


JANET: He was in at my brother's.


NED: Well, I hope you like it when you get it. Now, go ahead; call your father.


JANET: (CALLS) Father?! Oh, father?! Would you come in, please? Right away!


NED: Janet, just - just one more thing. You're sure about that cane?


JANET: Of course I'm sure. I saw it just ten minutes ago.


NED: Good. That's all I need to know.


SENATOR: (APPROACHES) Well, Janet, what is it? Oh, hello, Mr. Beaumont. You're back again?


NED: Hello, sir.


JANET: Father, I'm afraid we have some unpleasant news for you. Mr. Beaumont has just told me who killed Taylor. It was Paul Madvig.


SENATOR: (DISBELIEF) Madvig?! Mr. Beaumont, what have you got to support that statement? What evidence?


NED: For one thing, his own confession.


SENATOR: Madvig admitted that he killed my son?


NED: Yes.


SENATOR: This is incredible. An associate of mine killed my son? I - I can't believe it.


JANET: Father, what are you going to do?


SENATOR: Well, there's only one thing we can do. Tell Farr to arrest Paul Madvig.


SOUND: RECEIVER UP


SENATOR: (INTO PHONE) Operator, get the district attorney's office.


NED: Senator, I, uh-- I wouldn't do that if I were you.


SENATOR: What do you mean, Beaumont?


NED: I'd hang up that receiver. I wouldn't talk to Farr yet. You're not quite ready.


SENATOR: You think that you can tell me what you did and expect me to do nothing, when my son--?


NED: Hang up that receiver, Senator.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


NED: Senator, I have a special authority from the district attorney. I've got it here in this pocket. If there's any arrest in this case, I'd like to do it myself.


SENATOR: Then why didn't you arrest Madvig on the spot?


NED: Because he didn't kill your son.


JANET: Ned!


SENATOR: Why, you - you just said yourself--


NED: That Paul confessed. Yes, but I didn't say I believed him. His story didn't hold together. Sit down, Senator, and you, Janet. I've got plenty to say to both of you.


SENATOR: You'd better be quick about it, Beaumont, before I pick up the phone.


NED: It won't work, Senator, because Paul's going to stop covering you up the minute he gets arrested. Now, what happened, Miss Henry, is something like this. When your brother heard about Paul that night, he ran after him, taking the stick with him and wearing a hat, though that's not important. You wanted to be re-elected, Senator. You couldn't let your son get in a fight with a man you were counting on to put you over. So you had to stop your son at all costs, didn't you?


SENATOR: This is nonsense! I will not have my daughter subjected--


NED: Sure, it's nonsense! And your bringing the stick that killed him back home is nonsense. And wearing his hat because you'd run out bare-headed after him, is nonsense too, but it's nonsense that'll nail you to the cross, Senator Henry.


SENATOR: Let's have it quickly, Beaumont. What is it you're trying to say?


NED: I can say it in four words, Senator. You killed your son.


MUSIC: HUGE ACCENT ... FOR A TRANSITION ... OUT BEHIND--


NED: (NARRATES) Well, that's how the reform party got in. Here it is, right off the tape -- a plurality of two hundred and twenty-seven thousand. That's reform with a vengeance. After tonight, Paul and I are on the shelf. Even Shad O'Rory is out of the picture. Two days ago, he was killed by one of his own henchmen at Paradise Gardens. Senator Henry's through with politics, too. He's indicted for manslaughter by his own confession and he's awaiting trial. Paul Madvig's lying low for a while. (CHUCKLES) Never gives up, that man. I said goodbye to him yesterday and we shook hands. There wasn't much we could say. Well, I still got my one-way ticket to New York and tomorrow I'm gonna use it. Oh, I'm the sort that likes to travel alone, but-- Well, I - I guess the reform wave's got me, too. There's another ticket in my pocket. I bought it last night. This one's for Janet Henry.


MUSIC: "STREET SCENE" .... CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: This concludes the Campbell Playhouse presentation of "The Glass Key" by Dashiell Hammett. In just a moment, Orson Welles will return to the microphone, but first a word from the makers of Campbell Soups.


A little while ago, I spoke of the lavish emphasis on chicken in Campbell's Chicken Soup. Actually, all the good meat of fine, government-certified chickens goes into its making. The broth bubbles slowly and softly in shining kettles until it takes on a golden glisten and the good flavor of chicken is rich in every drop. Pieces of chicken meat, cooked deliciously tender, go into the soup, too, along with snowy rice. Somewhere, sometime, you've probably tasted a chicken soup that you decided was the very last word. Well, with that chicken soup in mind, if you'll try Campbell's tomorrow, I'll promise you won't be disappointed. I'm sure you'll say Campbell's is as fine as the finest in your memory, and you'll be glad you can have it at any time, and often. You'll like it for lunch, for supper, for family meals, whenever the idea of chicken soup sounds good. Why not put Campbell's Chicken Soup on tomorrow's shopping list and have it this very weekend?


And now here is Orson Welles.


MUSIC: "MANHATTAN SERENADE" ... THEN BEHIND WELLES, OUT AT [X]


WELLES: In a certain sense, "The Glass Key" is something more than a detective story. Some day, perhaps, historians will consult it as a social document -- as an accurate, if depressing, picture of almost any American city of the not-so-distant past. Dash Hammett, one of the period's greatest chroniclers, comes honestly by his knowledge of the dark ways of the underworld. Before he ever published a single story, long before he went to Hollywood to create the cinematic detective, he was himself a private investigator -- a dick, in the vernacular. I'm sure he wouldn't object to my telling you the story of his biggest case -- the biggest case in the sense that he was hired to look for one of the biggest things you could imagine. It was a Ferris wheel. As a friend of Mr. Hammett, I should like to be able to report that he laid hands on the Ferris wheel and returned it to the owner, but he didn't. Nobody to this day knows what happened to the Ferris wheel. Perhaps it escaped to South America disguised as a roller coaster or a merry-go-round. However, Hammett, thwarted in his career of detection turned eventually to literature and I, for one, am heartily thankful. There are lots of detectives, but there's only one Dashiell Hammett. [X] Now, I have the great pleasure in introducing to you our distinguished guest of the evening, Warden Lawes of Sing Sing.


LAWES: Mr. Welles, I want to thank you for inviting me to one of the most realistic crime dramas I've witnessed -- shall I say, in an unofficial capacity?


WELLES: Warden Lawes, would you say that Mr. Hammett's story reflects the underworld of the Prohibition era only, or one that still persists today?


LAWES: Well, booze is gone, Mr. Welles, but crime persists. However, I believe the intimate tie-up of crime with politics is decidedly on the wane.


WELLES: Does that mean that we're catching up with the crime problem?


LAWES: We've been catching up with crime for over four thousand years. Tablets dug up in the Near East [tell] of the trial and execution of a couple of protection racketeers who had been terrorizing the local merchants. The record shows that these gangsters had actually been [paying off the mayor?]. This particular racket was busted in the year Two Thousand B. C.


WELLES: Well, that's not exactly tossing orchids to the crime crusaders of the past four thousand years.


LAWES: Don't misunderstand me, Mr. Welles. Police action against matured crime is necessary, but there is another front on which the fight must go on. We may fill our prisons to capacity and work the electric chair overtime, but crime will continue until we correct the conditions which produce it.


WELLES: That's the challenge you made in your recent book, "Invisible Stripes." Supposing we accept your challenge, Warden Lawes. What can the average citizen do about it?


LAWES: The average citizen is the only one who can do anything about it, because crime is essentially a problem of youth, and the average citizen is directly responsible for the training of youth. And there are at least three million children throughout the country desperately in need of supervised leisure activities.


WELLES: Well, that brings the fight right into our own homes, doesn't it? Are those the basic factors involved in society's effort to eliminate crime?


LAWES: No, there is one thing more. In the twelve months of Depression beginning in the late months of Nineteen Thirty-Seven, Sing Sing received the greatest number of genuine first offenders in its history -- victims of a tragic lack of opportunity. We must find places in our social and economic fabric for every young man and young woman. That, Mr. Welles, is the answer to the crime problem.


WELLES: Let's hope that it can be accomplished.


LAWES: It must be accomplished, Mr. Welles, if democracy is to reach its true fulfillment.


WELLES: Thank you, Warden Lawes.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN BRIEFLY


ANNOUNCER: In tonight's Campbell Playhouse production of "The Glass Key," Orson Welles played the part of Paul Madvig. Paul Stewart played Ned Beaumont. Ray Collins played Shad O'Rory and Myron McCormick the part of Senator Henry. Effie Palmer was Mrs. Madvig, Elspeth Eric was Opal, and Elizabeth Morgan was the telephone operator. The role of Farr was played by Everett Sloane; that of Jeff by Howard Smith. Laura Baxter played Janet Henry and Edgar Barrier the part of Rusty. Music for the Campbell Playhouse was arranged and conducted by Bernard Herrmann. And now, Mr. Welles, may we have a word, please, about next week's broadcast?


MUSIC: JAUNTY ... IN BG, OUT AT [X]


WELLES: Just a word. Next week, our story is about three brothers who left England to save a lady's honor and who wound up in Morocco as members of the most desperate band of men in the world -- the Foreign Legion. Next week, Percival Christopher Wren's romance "Beau Geste" is the story and, with us, Laurence Olivier and Noah Beery. And so, until next week, my sponsors, the makers of Campbell Soups, [X] and all of us on the Campbell Playhouse remain -- obediently yours.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN OUT BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: The makers of Campbell Soups join Orson Welles in inviting you to be with us at the Campbell Playhouse again next Friday evening when Laurence Olivier and Noah Beery will appear with him in "Beau Geste." Meanwhile, if you have enjoyed tonight's Campbell Playhouse presentation, won't you tell your grocer so tomorrow when you order Campbell's Chicken Soup? This is Ernest Chappell saying thank you and good night.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG UNTIL END


CBS ANNCR: Heard on tonight's show, "Manhattan Serenade" and "Metropolitan Nocturne" by Louis Alter. Also, Alfred Newman's "Street Scene." This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.


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