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The Lady in the Red Hat

Suspense

The Lady in the Red Hat

Aug 30 1955



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

2ND ANNOUNCER


MITCH, the columnist

BANNING, the editor

RECEPTIONIST

JEANNIE, the reporter

MARIO, the Italian waiter

DOWELL, the police detective


NOTE: Another version of this play aired Nov 30 1950 on SUSPENSE. This transcript includes some material from the '50 broadcast in brackets. In the '50 version, the serial killer is named "The Avenger"; in the '55, the killer is named, apparently in error, both "The Avenger" and "The Thirteenth Apostle." For clarity's sake, this transcript changes all references to "The Avenger." 




MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: And now tonight's presentation of Radio's Outstanding Theatre of Thrills -- SUSPENSE! Tonight we bring you a story of a manhunt that ends in a church. We call it, "The Lady in the Red Hat." So now, starring Mr. Vic Perrin, here is tonight's SUSPENSE play, "The Lady in the Red Hat." 


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


SOUND: NEWSROOM BACKGROUND ... MITCH'S FOOTSTEPS TO OFFICE DOOR WHICH OPENS


BANNING: Hello, Mitch. Come in, sit down.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


MITCH: Thanks. What's the trouble?


BANNING: Orders to stop those articles you're writing.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, MITCH'S STEPS TO CHAIR WHICH SCRAPES AS HE SITS


MITCH: Why?


BANNING: Well, it's not so much the Avenger, as the way you keep harping on those theories you've got about him.


MITCH: Well, I think I'm right!


BANNING: I know. So does the chief. But you've got every woman in the city scared to death. That's why he wants you to lay off.


MITCH: Look, five women have been murdered by the Avenger in three months. And they were all wearing red in their clothes. I say that means something! (WITH DISGUST) And they want me to lay off.


BANNING: This isn't me. We hired you to do the feature column in the Sunday supplement because you've got a big following. "Psychology of Murder," it's a great idea, but--


SOUND: INTERCOM BUZZES


BANNING: Excuse me.


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH


BANNING: Yeah?


RECEPTIONIST: (FILTER) Mr. Banning? Is Mr. Mitchell in there?


BANNING: Yeah.


RECEPTIONIST: (FILTER) Will you tell him his housekeeper's on the phone? She says it's urgent.


BANNING: All right. Switch the call in here. 


RECEPTIONIST: (FILTER) Yes, sir.


SOUND: CLICK! OF SWITCH


BANNING: Use this phone, Mitch.


MITCH: Oh. Thanks. 


SOUND: CHAIR SCRAPES AS MITCH RISES ... HIS STEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP


MITCH: (INTO PHONE) Hello? -- Oh, yes, Mrs. White. -- Oh? -- Will you repeat the message please? -- Thank you. -- No, don't worry, it's all right. -- Yes, I won't be home until after midnight then. -- Yes. Goodbye. 


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


BANNING: Anything wrong?


MITCH: I don't know. I'll find out, though. An anonymous note slipped under my door; somebody wants me to meet the Avenger at midnight.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: NEWSROOM BACKGROUND (REPORTERS MURMUR, TELETYPE MACHINES CHATTER, ET CETERA) ... MITCH'S STEPS THROUGH ROOM TO JEANNIE'S CLACKING TYPEWRITER ... JEANNIE FINISHES TYPING AND PULLS THE PAPER FROM THE MACHINE


MITCH: Good evening.


JEANNIE: Oh! Hi, Mitch. I thought you were going to wait downstairs.


MITCH: I was, but Banning wanted to see me. Naylor called him. The police department wants me to stop my articles.


JEANNIE: Why?


MITCH: Oh, I'll tell you while were eating.


SOUND: JEANNIE RISES (SCRAPE OF CHAIR) AND SHE AND MITCH WALK THROUGH NEWSROOM, THROUGH DOOR, AND ONTO TRAFFIC-FILLED STREET DURING FOLLOWING--


JEANNIE: They say anything about my stuff?


MITCH: No. No, yours is straight reporting. It's theorizing they object to. Maybe I'm getting too close.


JEANNIE: Have you written anything on last night's murder? I'd like to read it.


MITCH: I won't be writing it now. But if I did, I know what I'd say.


JEANNIE: Have you got something new, Mitch?


MITCH: Something new? Maybe. I don't know yet.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MITCH--


MITCH: (NARRATES) "Meet The Avenger at twelve o'clock" -- and the Avenger could be anyone. [Was she the one? This tall girl with long legs; smart, self-possessed career woman with fresh-faced innocence?] We waited for the elevator. I watched. Tired faces drifting into boxes lowering them to the street -- and then outside into darkness, growing cold with snow and night's wind. And she was there with me, a smile on her lips. We went to a place for dinner.


MUSIC: CHANGES TO SOFT DINNER MUSIC ... IN BG


SOUND: RESTAURANT BACKGROUND ... PLATES, UTENSILS, ET CETERA


JEANNIE: You know, Mitch, I love this place. My favorite hangout after work.


MITCH: That's why I brought you here. 


JEANNIE: (CHUCKLES)


MITCH: Though I was beginning to wonder why you've been so quiet. Subdued lights and warmth -- is that it?


JEANNIE: In a way.


MITCH: Oh? Something else, too?


JEANNIE: Mitch, tell me now. What do you think about it?


MITCH: It?


JEANNIE: The Avenger.


MITCH: You've read my articles. That's what I think.


JEANNIE: No, I don't mean what you write. I do that, too. I mean you. What do you think?


MITCH: Well, I have to write about him; must I talk about him, too?


JEANNIE: (YES) Mm hmm.


MITCH: (GIVES IN) All right. I think he's fantastic. Consider the name he -- or she -- has chosen for himself, "The Avenger." Probably wants to purge the world because of its sins.


JEANNIE: But that's what you said in your articles.


MITCH: Well, that's what I think.


JEANNIE: And all that stuff about the color red?


MITCH: It means something. Perhaps a sinful color. The obsession of red is a symbol. There's a tie-up.


JEANNIE: [That makes me a marked woman, doesn't it?


MITCH: You mean your - your scarf?


JEANNIE: Mm hm. You gave it to me, remember?


MITCH: That's right. I might be the man.


JEANNIE: Yes. But why couldn't the Avenger be a woman?


MITCH: She could.


JEANNIE: Well, that case last night -- the old woman. Why kill her? She wasn't pretty. She was just - old.


MITCH: Rather obvious. She worked at the Follies.


JEANNIE: But she was only a scrubwoman.


MITCH: But she worked there. Sinful. There you are. She carried a red purse, too.]


JEANNIE: Listen, I want to tell you something, something big. [Even the editor doesn't know it.]


MITCH: A story?


JEANNIE: [The story.] (HESITANT) Can I have another drink?


MITCH: Oh, I'm sorry. (CALLS) Mario?


MARIO: (OFF) Coming, sir.


JEANNIE: I got an anonymous note this morning.


MITCH: A note? Well, that's odd.


JEANNIE: What do you mean?


MITCH: Because--


MARIO: Yes, Mr. Mitchell?


MITCH: (TO JEANNIE) Oh, uh, the same?


JEANNIE: Yes, please.


MARIO: And, uh, you, Mr. Mitchell?


MITCH: Nothing, thanks. 


MARIO: Yes, sir.


MITCH: Oh, by the way, when a Lieutenant Dowell comes in, will you show him to this table, please?


MARIO: But of course! (MOVING OFF) Yes, sir.


JEANNIE: Bill Dowell? He's on the Avenger case! Are you holding out on me, Mitch?


MITCH: You, uh, were speaking of a note -- anonymous. Did it say anything about - the Avenger?


JEANNIE: Yes. Yes, it did. If I wanted important information about the Avenger, I was to go at midnight to the community chapel on Seventh. [It's such a lonely old building, I--]


MITCH: Have you got the note with you?


JEANNIE: No, I left it at home.


MITCH: Oh? Did it tell you to sit in the first pew and wait?


JEANNIE: You got one, too?


MITCH: This afternoon, under my door at home; the housekeeper called.


JEANNIE: The same thing!


MITCH: It's queer, isn't it?


JEANNIE: I wonder.


MITCH: What?


JEANNIE: This isn't an ordinary tip, don't you see? I've been working on this story for "The Standard"; you've been doing your series [in the magazine section, "Psychology of Murder"]. Supposing--


MITCH: The Avenger sent the notes?


JEANNIE: Well?


MITCH: Uh, Bill Dowell called me earlier; he wanted to see me. 


JEANNIE: Oh?


MITCH: I said I was taking you out for dinner; I told him to meet us here.


JEANNIE: Why?


MITCH: The lieutenant claims he received a note like ours, too.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MITCH--


MITCH: (NARRATES) Could she be the one? Or Dowell? Millions of people in a city and the person next to you a killer? You just couldn't believe it was someone you knew. [Never anyone you knew, but maybe it was.] Was that then the ultimate stimulation? [Had it come to that?] To kill a stranger was not enough. Now, seek out the danger, the extreme risk -- because there was emotion here, emotion of friendship. That was different, and who might it be? The girl on the newspaper? Or the policeman?


MUSIC: CHANGES TO SOFT DINNER MUSIC ... IN BG


SOUND: RESTAURANT BACKGROUND


JEANNIE: Are you being stubborn because you're a policeman, or because you're just pigheaded, Lieutenant?


DOWELL: Jeannie, you're a reporter -- too much imagination. I still think it's a crackpot gag.


JEANNIE: Then why did you come?


DOWELL: Well, because Mitch and I have been working together on this, and because we're all friends. I'm not taking any chances. There have been five murders already.


MITCH: She makes sense though, Bill. Three of us, all vitally interested in the case. It'd be very flattering to him if we turned up at the chapel at midnight.


JEANNIE: I'll be there, I can tell ya that!


DOWELL: I don't like it. He might be after one of us. Maybe you, Jeannie. Maybe he doesn't like some of the stuff you've been writing about him.


MITCH: Maybe me.


DOWELL: Maybe. Or me. I'm the cop who's chasing him.


JEANNIE: Yes, I don't imagine he's particularly fond of you, Bill.


MITCH: Well, why not surround the chapel?


DOWELL: No. Mind you, I still think it's a crank note, but if it isn't, this baby's too smart. If he sees anything wrong, he'll get away.


MITCH: Well, you've used police cordons before to get a killer. There must be enough buildings around to hide in.


DOWELL: I'm still not taking any chances.


JEANNIE: I think Billy wants all the credit for a dramatic capture.


DOWELL: I'd have to share it with Mitch anyway.


JEANNIE: And me!


DOWELL: (NO WAY) Uh uh. You're going home.


JEANNIE: Oh, that's what you think! I'm on that list. I want to be there when something happens.


MUSIC: BRIDGE [... THEN BEHIND MITCH--


MITCH: (NARRATES) We had dinner in that little bar. Somehow none of us wanted to leave. Outside was the night -- cold. Through the window and on the pavement we could see a cover of snow -- snow, silent and clean. I thought of a knife flashing, and then the snow -- soft, absorbent -- no longer white, turning red, until it spread over the entire city. The neon sign outside flashed red - red - red. And at our table it was warm and candlelit. (PAUSE) Then we were outside and the snow was falling.]


SOUND: MITCH, JEANNIE, AND DOWELL'S FOOTSTEPS ON SNOW-COVERED SIDEWALK AS THEY STROLL TO THE CHAPEL ... OCCASIONAL TRAFFIC NOISE AND A HEAVY STEADY WIND BLOWS, IN BG


MITCH: Do you know where the chapel is, Bill?


DOWELL: Yeah, it's the one on Seventh, just around the corner there. 


MITCH: That's funny. I must have passed it a hundred times. (CHUCKLES) Never noticed it.


JEANNIE: Most people think it's vacant, but it's not. In fact, it's open all night. 


MITCH: How do you know, Jeannie?


JEANNIE: I dunno; I guess I heard about it. (BEAT) You know, I always used to like the snow; looked forward to it. I don't like it tonight.


DOWELL: I never liked it. There's something smothering about the stuff; I was in a blizzard once.


MITCH: What happened?


DOWELL: (UNCOMFORTABLY) I - I was lost in the woods up north and nearly froze to death. The snow kept coming down, got in my mouth, and my nose, and - and eyes, and, after a while, things didn't look white any more; they were blurred and - red.


MITCH: Well, what frightens you more, fear of being lost or fear of dying?


DOWELL: I don't know. Why?


MITCH: Just wondered.


MUSIC: THE CHAPEL'S ORGAN SNEAKS IN ... CONTINUES IN BG


JEANNIE: Anybody got the time?


MITCH: (CHECKS HIS WATCH) Oh. It's eleven o'clock. 


DOWELL: Let's go in. 


[[MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MITCH--


MITCH: (NARRATES) We stood outside the community chapel. It was on a side street. I remember the lamp post with its light so much brighter than usual. Everything was white, but not beautiful. There was a murderer here. In all of this great city, the murderer stood looking up at a church spire. And who knew it? We went up the broad steps, slowly.]]


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS UP A LONG SET OF STAIRS TO CHAPEL DOOR, WHICH OPENS ... THEIR STEPS IN ... DOOR CLOSES ... THEIR STEPS THROUGH CHAPEL, IN BG; THEIR VOICES HUSHED--


MUSIC: ORGAN GROWS LOUDER IN AGREEMENT WITH ABOVE ... CONTINUES IN BG


JEANNIE: Funny.


MITCH: What is?


JEANNIE: If one of us were killed here.


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS SLOW TO A STOP


DOWELL: I'm gonna have a look around, check any side doors. 


MITCH: All right.


DOWELL: You stay here.


MITCH: Yeah.


SOUND: DOWELL'S STEPS AWAY


JEANNIE: The music's nice. There's the organist up there; see him?


MITCH: Have you ever noticed how even in an empty place like this, one speaks softly?


JEANNIE: Yes.


MITCH: Wonder why it's always so quiet.


JEANNIE: I wonder. (BEAT) Why are you looking at me like that?


MITCH: Was I?


JEANNIE: Yes. Why?


MITCH: Perhaps I was thinking how strange it'd be if one of us were the Avenger. 


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: You are listening to "The Lady in the Red Hat," tonight's presentation in Radio's Outstanding Theatre of Thrills, SUSPENSE!


MUSIC: THREE CHORDS AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: Every Saturday night over most of these same stations CBS Radio picks up the threads of a startling story of people who call the police -- and often of people who call on police and the other way around -- working out of 21ST PRECINCT. There's fast-moving drama, and an intimate glimpse into the human side of police work, Saturday nights on CBS Radio when you're invited to hear THE 21ST PRECINCT.


MUSIC: THEME IN 


ANNOUNCER: And now we bring back to our Hollywood sound stage Mr. Vic Perrin starring in tonight's production, "The Lady in the Red Hat," a tale well-calculated to keep you in - SUSPENSE!


MUSIC: THEME UP AND OUT ... THEN SECOND ACT INTRODUCTION ... CHANGES TO CHAPEL ORGAN, IN BG


[MITCH: (NARRATES) We stood there in the chapel looking at each other. Now it had started; it had been said aloud. What if one of us were a killer? Not the ever-present shabby man seen by witnesses loitering on a lonely street, but one of us. If not Jean Gray, would she think it me? Or Bill Dowell, the policeman? It was an odd game, a game of fear. Who'll kill Cock Robin? The Avenger. And who'll be Cock Robin?]


JEANNIE: (SKEPTICAL) One of us? The Avenger? Oh, Mitch!


MITCH: Well, it has to be someone.


JEANNIE: I believe you're serious.


MITCH: I am. We've all been on the case since the first death. Perhaps one of us enjoys the publicity, the thrill of killing.


JEANNIE: Are you trying to frighten me?


MITCH: No.


JEANNIE: I don't like this place.


DOWELL: (IN CLOSE) Better go home then.

 

JEANNIE: (STARTLED GASP)


DOWELL: Jitters, Jeannie?


MITCH: What did you find, Bill?


DOWELL: One side exit, that's all. We can see it from the front pew.


JEANNIE: What's the time?


DOWELL: About a quarter past eleven.


JEANNIE: Oh, I'm cold. Wonder if we could get some coffee.


DOWELL: There's a place on the corner; I'll - I'll get it. You two stay here. How do you like yours?


JEANNIE: Just black.


MITCH: The same.


DOWELL: Right. I'll be back in five minutes. Take it easy, Jeannie. (MOVING OFF) It's not twelve yet. 


SOUND: DOWELL'S STEPS AWAY


MITCH: Want to sit down?


JEANNIE: Up in the front? No, not yet.


MITCH: All right, here then. 


SOUND: THEIR STEPS TO PEW ... THEY SIT


JEANNIE: Mitch? You weren't serious, were you?


MITCH: Yes. 


JEANNIE: Mitch!


MITCH: Well, you've read my articles. I've theorized about the Avenger. The analysis could fit any one of us.


JEANNIE: Me?


MITCH: Well, why not? You're fairly strong; you could have done it. 


JEANNIE: [But the victims have all been women. Why should I kill a woman?]


MITCH: You like excitement, danger. You've often said you don't get along with women, you never have. [Your favorite color is red. Your scarf, for instance--


JEANNIE: (SUDDENLY TENSE) Don't!


MITCH: (SURPRISED) You - you afraid to be touched?


JEANNIE: Well, no, I--


MITCH: You like men, but you don't like them to touch you. You like me--]


JEANNIE: That doesn't mean I'd--


MITCH: [Ah! I'm right, aren't I? Now think of the five dead woman -- all of them in some way concerned with what the Avenger considers sinful.] It could be you.


JEANNIE: Or you. Or Bill.


MITCH: Yes, Dowell. I've thought about him. It wouldn't be difficult for him to kill and get away with it; easier than most people because he's a policeman.


JEANNIE: And you?


MITCH: Perhaps I'm in love. In love with a girl I can never have -- and because of that I hate all women.


JEANNIE: That's funny. I never thought of you - in love.


MITCH: Why not?


JEANNIE: Because you're so alone. So-- (EXHALES) I don't know.


MITCH: [No. You don't know.]


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MITCH--


MITCH: (NARRATES) We sat alone with the music. It was everywhere in the chapel -- solemn, accusing. The thoughts had been spoken. Fear was creating suspicion, and the girl with the red scarf tied about her head, sitting with folded hands beside me, looked in front of her, and her eyes were on the front pew.


MUSIC: CHANGES TO CHAPEL ORGAN, IN BG


SOUND: DOWELL'S STEPS APPROACH


DOWELL: Sorry I was so long, it seems that half the cab drivers in there were getting coffee. Did anything happen?


MITCH: No.


DOWELL: (HANDS OVER COFFEE) Jeannie. 


JEANNIE: Thanks. You know, it seems wrong -- drinking coffee in a chapel.


MITCH: Sinful, Jeannie?


JEANNIE: Oh, stop it! That's not what I meant.


DOWELL: Here, Mitch. 


MITCH: Thanks.


JEANNIE: What's the time, Bill?


DOWELL: Eleven-thirty.


JEANNIE: That all?


DOWELL: I see our friend at the organ's still there.


MITCH: Yeah, it's a funny hour to practice.


DOWELL: Mitch?


MITCH: Hm?


DOWELL: I, uh-- I heard what you said to Jeannie before. I mean, about one of us being the Avenger. Were you kiddin'?


MITCH: No.


DOWELL: That's crazy.


MITCH: Well, why? It's got to be somebody, why not one of us?


JEANNIE: (DRY, TO DOWELL) Oh, he's got brilliant reasons. Ask him, we all fit.


DOWELL: It's not a joke any more, Mitch.


MITCH: I know. The trouble with you Bill is you think you have to look for some poor devil frothing at the mouth, hands covered with blood. Must a murderer always look like a comic book conception of a murderer?


DOWELL: Cut it out, you're not funny.


MITCH: I'm not trying to be. I think it more than probable that one of us could be the Avenger. We're normal, moderately attractive people, but one of us thinks differently. Which one?


DOWELL: [(CHUCKLES) You're a nut.


MITCH: Maybe.]


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MITCH--


MITCH: (NARRATES) We drank our coffee. There was an animal awareness now, each of us watching the other -- cautious, wondering. We spoke of Christmas, of sailing, of next year's Dodgers. We spoke of everything but the Avenger, and of twelve o'clock.


DOWELL: Look, there's been a lot of crazy talk tonight, Mitch; you started it. Now let's get things out.


MITCH: All right, Bill.


DOWELL: I still think those notes we got were from a crackpot, but it's my job to investigate. I've gone along with the gag, Mitch, but this - this is serious. This talk about Jeannie or me or you--


MITCH: If you think it's a gag, why bother about it?


JEANNIE: What's the matter with you, Mitch? Why don't you stop?!


MITCH: I'm sorry. Let's forget it. We'll leave Bill to sit it out and I'll take you home.


DOWELL: I wish you would.


JEANNIE: No, I'm staying!


DOWELL: Hey.


MITCH: What?


DOWELL: [When did the organist leave?


JEANNIE: I - I don't know.]


DOWELL: I hadn't figured on that.


JEANNIE: (UNEASY) Oh.


DOWELL: The lights. There's only one up there now. The organist must have turned the others out. Be hard to see anyone coming in from the front pew.


MITCH: Well?


SOUND: DOWELL RISES BEHIND--


DOWELL: I'm going to take a look. I'll see if I can find a janitor.


JEANNIE: No, no.


MITCH: (CHUCKLES) You're not afraid to be alone with me, are you? 


JEANNIE: Don't be an idiot.


DOWELL: If anyone comes in, stay in the shadows.


MITCH: It's nearly twelve.


DOWELL: Might as well get in your places; I'll be right back.


SOUND: DOWELL'S HURRIED STEPS AWAY


MITCH: I guess we'd better.


JEANNIE: The front pew?


MITCH: Yeah. Yeah, those were the instructions. 


SOUND: MITCH AND JEANNIE RISE ... THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO FRONT PEW, IN BG


JEANNIE: It's quiet without the music.


MITCH: It's too quiet; it was nice.


JEANNIE: There's so many shadows.


MITCH: Shadows in a chapel? They shouldn't be frightening.


JEANNIE: Will Bill be able to see us when he comes back?


MITCH: I think so.


SOUND: MITCH AND JEANNIE SIT IN FRONT PEW


JEANNIE: Do you think it's him?


MITCH: Do you?


JEANNIE: What's the time?


MITCH: Mmm, about three minutes to.


JEANNIE: I hope he finds the lights.


MITCH: I don't mind it. (BEAT) Strange.


JEANNIE: What?


MITCH: When I was very young, I was in a place like this -- very much like this.


JEANNIE: Oh?


MITCH: I was taken every week. And every week there was a woman who sat across the aisle. And she was beautiful. I was in love with her. Nobody ever talked to her. My mother hated her, but not my father. Do you know what I found out? 


JEANNIE: No.


MITCH: It was after my father left us. He'd been in love with that woman all that time. They ran away together.


JEANNIE: How terrible.


MITCH: Yes, I - I thought so at the time. What tiny things one remembers. She always wore a red hat. She was beautiful, but she must have been very wicked.


JEANNIE: (REALIZES, NERVOUS) A - red hat? 


MITCH: Where I lived, they used to say it was the shock of his leaving that killed my mother. 


MUSIC: CHAPEL BELL BEGINS TO RING MIDNIGHT OMINOUSLY ... CONTINUES IN BG


JEANNIE: (STIFLES A STARTLED EXCLAMATION)


MITCH: Poor Jeannie, I'm frightening you. Give me your hand, Jeannie.


JEANNIE: No, no.


MITCH: Well, you're cold.


JEANNIE: Don't! Please don't.


MITCH: You're - you're like her. You know, you look like her; you even wear red because it's your favorite color.


JEANNIE: Mitch-- Mitch!


MITCH: I'm in love with you, and - and it's so wrong. I've been in love with you ever since I met you, but it's wrong. You're bad. You're like her.


JEANNIE: (TRIES TO EXCLAIM, BUT MITCH GRABS HER)


MITCH: Don't scream. Don't.


JEANNIE: (TERRIFIED, SOOTHING) Mitch-- All right. I understand. (BREATHES HEAVILY IN FEAR, IN BG)


MITCH: I'm sorry the music stopped. We've got to have music. There was always the organ playing at home. Come along, Jeannie.


SOUND: MITCH DRAGS JEANNIE FROM PEW ... THEIR FOOTSTEPS UP STAIRS, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


JEANNIE: Where are we going?


MITCH: We're going upstairs to the organ loft. 


JEANNIE: (WHIMPERS IN FEAR)


MITCH: Now, don't scream, please.


DOWELL: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Mitch? Jeannie? You up front?


MITCH: (LOW, TO JEANNIE) Listen, don't you say anything.


JEANNIE: I won't, I won't. (BEAT, DESPERATELY TRIES TO WIN HIM OVER) Mitch, you're not well. I'm glad you told me.


DOWELL: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Mitch? 


JEANNIE: (TO MITCH) I love you, too! 


DOWELL: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Jeannie?


JEANNIE: (TO MITCH) You must believe me! I love you, Mitch. Please!


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MITCH--


MITCH: (NARRATES) She was [a] clever [devil], trying to win me over with talk of love. I wasn't going to take any chances with her. We went up the narrow stairs to where the organ was; I closed the door behind us. I didn't need my knife any more. I could smash her with my hands. I could pound the evil flat -- stamp it out on the floor. The other five were bad -- they had sinned -- but she was like the woman at home -- the woman in the red hat -- and I knew what had to be done with her. I'd known it from the day I'd met her -- tall, with long legs, fresh face masking wickedness, and - and that--


DOWELL: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Mitch?! Jeannie? Where are you?


JEANNIE: (DESPERATELY, TO MITCH) Please-- Please-- (WHIMPERS, IN BG)


MITCH: (CALLS) Stay down there, Bill. Don't come up. I - I've got her. You stay there. I - I found her out. I've known all the time. She's got to die. You know that, Bill.


DOWELL: (CALLS, HUMORING MITCH) I - I'm coming up, Mitch; it's okay! We'll - we'll take her in together!


MITCH: (CALLS) That's why I sent those notes, Bill. I - I had to trap her, you understand?


DOWELL: (CALLS) Sure, sure.


MITCH: (CALLS) I'm right! I'm right, aren't I?


DOWELL: (COMING CLOSER, BEHIND DOOR) Dead right, Mitch. Open the door; we'll take her in together.


SOUND: DOORKNOB RATTLES ... KNOCKING ON DOOR


MITCH: What? No, you stay there, Bill. I don't need your help; I can do it! 


[JEANNIE: (STRAINS TO BE CONVINCING) Mitch, Mitch, you're sick. But it's all right. I'll make you better because I love you.]


MITCH: (TO HIMSELF) How do you turn this thing on? Now, there must be a switch-- (SHARPLY, TO JEANNIE) Don't you go near that door, Jeannie!


SOUND: POUNDING ON DOOR


DOWELL: (BEHIND DOOR) Mitch! Mitch! Open the door, Mitch!


MITCH: (TO HIMSELF) Here's one. (MURMURS WITH EFFORT BEHIND--)


SOUND: MITCH FLIPS SWITCH ... ORGAN'S MACHINERY WHIRS TO LIFE, CONTINUES IN BG


DOWELL: Mitch! Open it! 


MITCH: In a minute! Don't worry! She won't hurt me; not any more!


JEANNIE: (TEARFUL) Mitch, please! Whatever I've done to you, I'm sorry! (WEEPS, IN BG)


MITCH: You're the woman. You're always the woman in red. [But not any more. It'll be all right now.] Now play! [There has to be music.] There was music at home, at my mother's funeral; now you play!


JEANNIE: I can't! 


MITCH: Play it!


JEANNIE: I don't know how!


MITCH: PLAY!


SOUND: JEANNIE'S SCRAMBLING FOOTSTEPS AS MITCH DRAGS HER TO ORGAN


MUSIC: BAD ORGAN PLAYING ... THEN IN BG


MITCH: You play louder. Louder! Louder! Louder!


SOUND: DOOR BURSTS OPEN ... DOWELL'S RUNNING STEPS IN


MITCH: Louder!


DOWELL: [Mitch!] Drop the knife! [Drop it!]


SOUND: MITCH AND DOWELL GRUNT AND GROAN AS THEY SCUFFLE ... THEN TWO GUNSHOTS


MUSIC: ORGAN OUT


SOUND: MITCH'S UNEVEN STEPS AS HE STAGGERS TO ORGAN

 

MITCH: (WHIMPERS, DAZED) Bill? Bill?


SOUND: MITCH STAGGERS AND FALLS ON ORGAN


MUSIC: SOUR ORGAN CHORDS ... FOR A DYING MAN LYING HELPLESSLY ON THE KEYBOARD 


MITCH: (INSANELY) Turn it off! Turn it off! The music! Stop it! Stop it, it's killing me! (DYING) It's killing meeeeeeeee!


MUSIC: ORGAN OUT WITH--


SOUND: MITCH COLLAPSES AND FALLS OFF ORGAN TO FLOOR


MUSIC: CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: SUSPENSE! ...


MUSIC: KNIFE CHORD


ANNOUNCER: ... in which Mr. Vic Perrin starred in tonight's presentation of "The Lady in the Red Hat." Next week, the story of a killer and the family which he held in a night of fear. We call it, "Strange for a Killer." That's next week on--


MUSIC: KNIFE CHORD


ANNOUNCER: SUSPENSE! 


MUSIC: CLOSING MARCH ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: SUSPENSE is produced and directed by Antony Ellis. Tonight's script was written by Clock Dailey. The music was composed by René Garriguenc and conducted by Wilbur Hatch. Featured in the cast were Virginia Gregg, Larry Thor, Barney Phillips, Jack Caroll, and Jenny Stevens.


2ND ANNCR: In this second half of the twentieth century, war could happen in a hurry. To help guard America, enlist in the Ground Observer Corps. Sign up for the silver wings that mean you're doing your share to man our vital aircraft spotter observation posts. Write or telephone your nearest civil defense center and volunteer.


MUSIC: CLOSING MARCH ... IN BG, UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: Stay tuned now for DOUGLAS EDWARDS WITH THE NEWS, followed by DISC DERBY over the CBS Radio Network.

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