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The Man Who Vanished

The Mysterious Traveler

The Man Who Vanished

Jul 06 1948



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER


CHARLES ORDWAY

ATTENDANT JOHNSON

DOCTOR HARVEY, sympathetic

JOHN ORDWAY, affably evil

HARRY WATSON

INSPECTOR LONG

CAPTAIN BELDEN

OFFICER, jovial and Irish

2ND OFFICER, dour




MUSIC: ORGAN ... IN AND OUT


SOUND: TRAIN WHISTLE ... TRAIN RUMBLES DOWN TRACK


ANNOUNCER: The Mutual Broadcasting System presents "The Mysterious Traveler," written, produced, and directed by Robert A. Arthur and David Kogan, and starring tonight two stars of stage and radio, Wendell Holmes and Roger De Koven, in an original radio drama titled "The Man Who Vanished."


MUSIC: ORGAN ... IN AND BEHIND TRAVELER--


SOUND: TRAIN INTERIOR


TRAVELER: (VERY SUAVE) This is the Mysterious Traveler, inviting you to join me on another journey into the realm of the strange and the terrifying. I hope you will enjoy the trip; that it will thrill you a little and chill you a little. So settle back, get a good grip on your nerves, and be comfortable -- if you can -- as you hear the story I call "The Man Who Vanished."


SOUND: TRAIN WHISTLE ... TRAIN RUMBLES DOWN TRACK


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND TRAVELER--


TRAVELER: Our story begins in a small, white-walled hospital room. Charles Ordway, a man of forty-five, has just awakened. He looks about him in puzzlement. Then memory returns to him and he begins to call frantically.


CHARLES: (AGITATED) Doctor! Doctor! Nurse! Where are you?! I must speak to the doctor!


SOUND: ROOM DOOR OPENS


ATTENDANT: Yes, Mr. Ordway? What is it?


CHARLES: Are you the doctor?


ATTENDANT: No, sir. I'm only the attendant. Do you want to speak to Dr. Harvey?


CHARLES: Yes, yes! I must, I must! It's a matter of life and death!


ATTENDANT: Okay, Mr. Ordway, okay. (CALLS) Dr. Harvey?! Four-oh-two, please! (TO CHARLES) He's coming now, sir.


CHARLES: Thank you. Tell me, what day is this?! It's Friday, isn't it?! It must be Friday.


ATTENDANT: Sure, sure. It's Friday, Mr. Ordway. Here's Dr. Harvey now.


SOUND: ATTENDANT EXITS AND ROOM DOOR CLOSES DURING FOLLOWING--


DOCTOR: Ah, good morning, Mr. Ordway. You, uh, wanted to speak to me?


CHARLES: Yes, doctor! But tell me quickly -- what time is it?


DOCTOR: It's just, uh, ten minutes past ten, Mr. Ordway.


CHARLES: (RELIEVED) Oh, thank heavens! My brother John isn't dead. There's still time to save him!


DOCTOR: Your brother?


CHARLES: Yes, doctor. When I woke up I didn't know how long it was since I was brought here to the hospital and drugged into silence-- But I don't suppose they told you about John?


DOCTOR: I'm afraid they didn't.


CHARLES: Well, then I'll tell you. I'll make you believe me. John's safe for several hours yet, so I can tell you the whole story -- the story they wouldn't give me a chance to tell!


DOCTOR: Yes, go right ahead, Mr. Ordway. I'll just sit here and make myself comfortable.


CHARLES: (CALMS DOWN) Well, I'll try to tell it calmly, doctor. I don't want you to think I'm hysterical. (BEAT) First of all, you have to understand that my brother John is a freak of nature.


DOCTOR: A freak?


CHARLES: Yes. He's perfectly healthy and highly intelligent, but he was born without any natural coloring at all. His eyes are pink, his skin is a chalk white. His hair is like bleached flax. His eyebrows and lashes are practically invisible.


DOCTOR: Yes, a most unusual condition, but it happens once in a while. It's called albinism.


CHARLES: Well, it's a hideous condition for an intelligent, sensitive man. John's boyhood was a torture for him -- until our father took us both out of school and had us tutored, to spare John the misery of being considered a freak of nature by - by the other children.


DOCTOR: Yes, I understand, Mr. Ordway. Please, go on.


CHARLES: Well, as we grew up, John's chief interest was science, so I studied it, too. Our father had a complete laboratory built in our home. After his death, we continued to live there together, working on experimental research.


DOCTOR: Along what lines, Mr. Ordway?


CHARLES: Well, our efforts were centered on discovering a cure for John's condition. To achieve that, we worked hopefully for years -- but we always failed. My brother remained outwardly calm, but inwardly he began to brood. Then, one evening, he came into my room--


JOHN: Uh, Charles?


CHARLES: Yes, John? Finished in the lab?


JOHN: In a way, Charles. I have something to show you.


CHARLES: Show me? You mean you found a cure?


JOHN: Not exactly. Look at this wire cage. Examine the white rat I have in it.


CHARLES: White rat? (BEAT, STUNNED) Good heavens.


JOHN: This morning, that was an ordinary white rat. But now look at it!


CHARLES: It's like a rat made out of - glass. It - it's almost transparent.


JOHN: It is transparent! You can see completely through it.


CHARLES: John, this is amazing!


JOHN: This is what I've been working on these last months, Charles. I've been developing a serum that would alter living tissues to make them transparent.


CHARLES: I wouldn't have believed it possible!


JOHN: I don't see why not. Nature does it all the time. She makes jellyfish that are quite transparent.


CHARLES: Well, yes, of course. I - I didn't think.


JOHN: But this is only the first step. My next step is to develop the serum further. To make living tissues - invisible.


CHARLES: Invisible?


JOHN: You look skeptical, my dear Charles. But look at this rat -- he's half invisible already. In a dim light, he'd vanish.


CHARLES: Yes, that - that's true, but--


JOHN: (CHUCKLES) The basic principle is perfectly natural, Charles. It's only a matter of refining it. And then, Charles-- Well, take a freak like myself -- so colorless, he's already well-started toward invisibility. I'll find out what it's like to be completely unseen. Some day soon, Charles, I'm going to have a real surprise for you.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) That was my first introduction to John's experiments. After that, for many weeks, he worked in secret. Then one morning he called me into the laboratory and showed me a cage that seemed to be empty, but there was something scurrying about it -- a rat! An invisible rat! To the touch, it was warm and furry, filled with life. But to the eye -- if the light was not too bright -- it was nothing!


JOHN: Well, Charles? Convinced now?


CHARLES: Yes. Yes, I'm convinced. You - you've succeeded, John.


JOHN: Not quite. I haven't made myself invisible yet.


CHARLES: Why, you're not going to try your serum on yourself?


JOHN: Of course I am. Listen, Charles. Always I've been considered a freak. Now I'm going to turn the tables. I'll mingle with people and - and I'll laugh at them. I'll be their superior, able to come and go without their knowledge -- able to control their very destinies if I wish.


CHARLES: John, that's madness.


JOHN: On the contrary, it's scientific fact! You'll see, because you're going to help me.


CHARLES: No!


JOHN: You refuse? You'll let me down, your own brother?


CHARLES: Well-- (BEAT, MEEKLY) Of course, John, I--


JOHN: I knew I'd get your help. Here's a hypodermic full of the serum. All I want you to do is to inject it into my arm -- (CHUCKLES) -- and watch the result.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) I tried to refuse, but John wouldn't let me. At last, I gave in. I injected the colorless serum into his veins. At first, nothing happened. As we waited, he removed his garments -- for, of course, the serum could only affect his living tissues. Finally, the change came. His skin became paler and paler -- until suddenly I realized I was looking not at it, but through it! After that, the change was rapid. His body seemed to fade away before my eyes into nothingness.


JOHN: (PLEASED) Well, Charles, what do you say now?


CHARLES: (SHAKEN) But, John, this frightens me.


JOHN: Why should it? I feel fine! In fact, I feel so good, I'm going to take a little jaunt downtown -- to see how the world looks to a man who's invisible.


CHARLES: Oh, no, you mustn't.


JOHN: And why not, Charles?


CHARLES: Why, you aren't ready for it yet. There - there may be after-effects; reactions you aren't prepared for.


JOHN: Ah, nonsense. There's only one thing to be careful of. The tissues must return to normal within twenty-four hours. If the neutralizing serum isn't injected before then, er, death occurs. Otherwise, it's perfectly safe! So I insist, Charles, that I'm going on a little invisible sightseeing tour tonight -- and you're going to conduct me.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) Again I tried to say no, but John was insistent. At last I gave in. His was always the stronger will. We took the car and I drove downtown. He sat beside me, unseen as the very air, laughing to himself.


SOUND: AUTO INTERIOR


JOHN: (LAUGHS HEARTILY)


CHARLES: John? John, let's turn back now.


JOHN: Turn back? I should say not. Drive to Main Street and park around the corner from the Watson jewelry store -- the one where our old schoolboy companion Harry Watson works for his father.


CHARLES: Well, why, John?


JOHN: Because I'm going to try an interesting little experiment, that's why.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) John was in a strange mood and I obeyed his orders with misgivings. I parked the car as he directed and we got out and stood on the sidewalk, with the evening crowds drifting past us, completely unaware of John at my side. Suddenly, John spoke--


SOUND: CITY TRAFFIC


JOHN: Now's the time, Charles. Nobody in the store but Harry Watson himself. Come on, we're going in. Ask Harry to show you some stopwatches, keep him occupied, and - don't worry about me.


CHARLES: (NERVOUS) Well, what are you going to do?


JOHN: Never mind. Just do as I say. Whatever happens, pretend not to notice. Come on. Open the door.


SOUND: STORE DOOR OPENS ... THEN CITY TRAFFIC OUT AS DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


WATSON: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Oh, hello, Charles. Can I help you?


CHARLES: Well, I - I'd like to look at a stopwatch, Harry.


WATSON: Stopwatch? Of course. They're over here.


SOUND: DISPLAY CASE SLIDES OPEN ... WATCHES HANDLED IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


WATSON: Here's a beauty, Charles. This Swiss chronograph is timed to one one-hundredth of a second.


CHARLES: I, er-- I'm afraid it'd be too expensive.


WATSON: Oh? Well, perhaps you'd like this one. It's American-made and it-- (BEAT) What was that?


CHARLES: What was what?


WATSON: I heard a noise in back of the store.


CHARLES: I didn't hear anything.


WATSON: There it is again. There's someone back there.


CHARLES: But there - there can't be. There's nothing in sight.


WATSON: Well, just the same, I think there's someone back there. (QUICKLY, MOVING OFF) Excuse me, I was putting away some valuable diamonds when you come in and I've got to see about them.


CHARLES: (NARRATES) He hurried back into the shadowy rear of the store. I held my breath. If he should bump into John--! Then I heard Watson cry out--


WATSON: (FROM OFF, WITH EFFORT) I've got you, you thief! No! Uhh--! You're not gonna get away! (TENSE) What are you doing? (CALLS) Help! Charles! Help me! Help--! (GRUNTS)


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, WATSON STABBED ... WATSON'S BODY SLUMPS TO FLOOR


CHARLES: John? John, what's happened?


JOHN: (APPROACHES) Come on, quickly. We have to get out of here.


CHARLES: Well, what happened?


JOHN: The fool bumped into me in the shadows. He was so excited, he didn't even realize he couldn't see me. I used a paper knife I picked up and - taught him a little lesson.


CHARLES: Wha--? He's not - dead?


JOHN: Come on, we've gotta get out of here. Someone may have heard him.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) We got out of the store; into the car. As I drove home, John refused to answer any of my frantic questions. When we reached the house, he hurried me into the laboratory.


JOHN: Give me the neutralizer. It'll make me visible again, Charles.


CHARLES: But, John--?


JOHN: No questions! Here we are. Here's the hypodermic. You've got to inject it. Here. Here's the mark from the previous injection. Now go ahead.


CHARLES: (NARRATES) I pressed the plunger. The drug flowed into his blood. For a moment, nothing happened. Then, like a man materializing out of nothingness,  he grew visible -- a misty figure that took on solidity until it was a man. John gave a little gasp of weariness--


JOHN: (EXHALES WEARILY)


CHARLES: (NARRATES) --and pushed me out of the room.


JOHN: Go on, Charles, you get to bed. I need some sleep. This stuff seems to drain away my energy. We'll talk in the morning. (BEAT) Pleasant dreams.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) The next morning, I was having breakfast when John finally appeared.


JOHN: (EXHALES HEARTILY) Good morning, Charles. Sleep well?


CHARLES: (UPSET) John! Look at this newspaper! 


JOHN: (UNWORRIED) Anything in it?


CHARLES: Yes, there's something in it! Look at these headlines!


JOHN: Let's see. (READS) "Local jeweler killed. Store robbed. Fifty thousand dollars worth of diamonds missing." Huh.


CHARLES: You killed Harry last night.


JOHN: (UNCONCERNED) Yes, so it seems. Pour me some coffee, will you?


CHARLES: John, I don't understand you. You killed a man and you act as if it amounted to no more than swatting a fly.


JOHN: Well, does it?


CHARLES: Of course it does!


JOHN: I can't feel that way about it. When we were small boys you'll remember that Harry Watson was one of my chief tormentors.


CHARLES: Yes, but--


JOHN: I've always planned to pay him back. Last night I decided to play a little joke on him.


CHARLES: Murder is hardly a joke.


JOHN: I didn't intend to kill the fool. I just meant to make away with one or two of his father's diamonds. After Harry had had a chance to explain their disappearance, I was going to mail them back.


CHARLES: (REALIZES) Yes! The diamonds! The paper says fifty thousand dollars worth are missing!


JOHN: Oh, probably an exaggeration. However, put your hand into your left coat pocket, Charles.


CHARLES: (REACHES INTO POCKET, SURPRISED) Wha--? What? Why-- A dozen loose diamonds here! 


JOHN: Yes, I put them there last night. (MERRILY) I couldn't very well carry them myself!


CHARLES: We must send them back at once.


JOHN: (MATTER-OF-FACT) Well, I'm afraid that might involve us somehow. No, er, we'll have to keep them. 


CHARLES: John, what's happened to you?! Overnight, you've become a - a monster -- able to dismiss the worst of crimes with a shrug!


JOHN: (SLOW AND GRIM) Please understand this, Charles. For years I was an object of curiosity. I even had offers to appear in sideshows. Now the tables are turned. I can walk among men -- unseen, invisible! That gives me a power that is very sweet to me. I haven't decided yet how I shall use it. But, in any case, I won't have you interfering. Is that clear, Charles?


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) With that, John retired to his laboratory and remained there alone the rest of the day. It wasn't until after dark that he emerged, to find me staring with horror at the evening paper.


JOHN: Well, Charles, what does the paper say that made you look so pale?


CHARLES: (DRAINED) The police found your fingerprints on the knife that killed Harry Watson.


JOHN: What? Let me see it.


CHARLES: Here.


JOHN: Yes. (READS) "The police, investigating the murder last night of Harry Watson, local jeweler's son, state they are trying to trace down fingerprints found on the paper knife used as the death weapon. They also admit they have discovered further evidence which they hope may bring about an early arrest."


CHARLES: They may be here any minute.


JOHN: Ah, nonsense. Even if I did leave a print, how can they trace it to me? Talk of an early arrest is just bluff. And besides--


SOUND: KNOCKING AT DOOR


CHARLES: That may be the police now. If it is, what'll we do?


JOHN: Oh, it can't be. (WITH A SHRUG) But if it is, let them in. (POINTED) Er, let me do the talking.


CHARLES: Oh, all right.


SOUND: BEAT ... FRONT DOOR OPENS


CHARLES: Yes? What is it?


INSPECTOR: Mr. Charles Ordway?


CHARLES: Yes, I'm Charles Ordway.


INSPECTOR: I'm Inspector Long of the homicide squad. Like to ask you some questions, if you don't mind.


CHARLES: Oh, I-- Not at all, not at all. Come in.


SOUND: INSPECTOR'S STEPS IN ... DOOR CLOSES


CHARLES: We can talk in the living room.


JOHN: What is it, Charles?


CHARLES: Oh, John, this is Inspector Long. He says he wants to ask me some questions.


JOHN: Really? What in the world about?


CHARLES: I don't know. I confess, Inspector, I can't imagine why--


INSPECTOR: I want to ask you what you can tell me about the death of Harry Watson.


JOHN: Er, Watson the jeweler? The one we were reading about in the paper?


INSPECTOR: That's the one. Your brother was seen leaving the jewelry store a few minutes before Watson's body was found. Someone recognized him.


JOHN: Why, that's true, Inspector. Charles dropped in last night to buy a watch for me. But he didn't find quite what I wanted.


INSPECTOR: I'd rather hear him tell it.


CHARLES: Well, that's all there is to it. I - I looked at the watches and then left. Watson was all right when I left.


INSPECTOR: I see. There was no one else in the store?


CHARLES: No one I could see. (BEAT) I - I'm sorry I can't tell you more.


INSPECTOR: I'm sorry, too. But just for the sake of helping us, would you be willing to let me take your fingerprints?


JOHN: Well, of course you don't mind, Charles. (TO INSPECTOR) You're thinking of the prints the paper says were found on the death weapon, aren't you, Inspector?


INSPECTOR: Frankly, yes.


JOHN: (AMUSED) Well, they aren't Charles's, I can assure you.


INSPECTOR: It's just a check. Here, Mr. Ordway, if you'll just press your fingerprints against this gelatin plate I have in this envelope.


CHARLES: Like - this?


INSPECTOR: That's right. (BEAT) Thank you.


JOHN: (MERRILY) You wouldn't want mine, too, I suppose?


INSPECTOR: Well, if you'd like to add yours to your brother's--


JOHN: (LAUGHS) Oh, I was just joking. By the way, Inspector, how do you go about tracing down unknown fingerprints such as those of this killer?


INSPECTOR: Well, this is one way and-- Excuse me. (OFFERS CIGARETTE CASE) Cigarette?


JOHN: (ACCEPTS CASE) Thank you.


INSPECTOR: (AS THEY LIGHT UP) You ask how we check fingerprints. Well, we have several methods. The FBI records. Army and Navy records. And the one source few people know about.


JOHN: What's that?


INSPECTOR: Hospital birth records. For a number of years now, they've recorded the footprints and fingerprints of every baby born in this city. In the morning, we'll start checking these records as far back as they go.


JOHN: Well, that's very interesting. Well, sorry, Inspector, we couldn't be more helpful.


INSPECTOR: (SHRUGS) It's all in the game. Good night, gentlemen.


CHARLES: Good night, Inspector.


INSPECTOR: (MOVING OFF) Don't bother to show me out.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, OFF


JOHN: (LOW, INTENSE) Did you hear that? They're gonna start checking fingerprints on hospital birth records -- and our prints were among the first ever to be recorded in this town! Father insisted on it.


CHARLES: Perhaps they'll overlook yours.


JOHN: I can't risk it. But I'll stop them. I'll stop them somehow.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) Not explaining, he hurried into the laboratory. Ten minutes later, he emerged, dressed to go out, his hat pulled well down over his face, and his face--


JOHN: (SHARPLY) What is it? Why are you goggling at me?!


CHARLES: Your face -- I can't see it; or your hands, either!


JOHN: Of course not. I took an injection of transparency serum. Now, I'm going to drive downtown, Charles. With this coat and hat on, I'll look like an ordinary driver to anyone who sees the car. When I get where I'm going, I'll take off these garments and leave them in the car. Heh! Then no one on Earth will be able to see me.


CHARLES: But - where are you going?


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS 


JOHN: To police headquarters.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) With that, John left. I heard him drive off. And then I could do nothing but wait. The hours crawled slowly past and I grew more and more nervous. The clock was striking eleven when I heard John's key in the door at last.


SOUND: CLOCK STRIKES ELEVEN, IN BG ... FRONT DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS


CHARLES: John?! Is that you?!


JOHN: Yes! Charles, come here; I need you!


CHARLES: What is it? What's happened?


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES


JOHN: It's my ankle. I - I think it's broken.


CHARLES: Here, lean on me. I'll - I'll help you into the living room.


JOHN: Yeah. (GROANS) Careful.


SOUND: THEY STRUGGLE TO THE LIVING ROOM, IN BG


CHARLES: Why, John! Your coat's all bloody!


JOHN: Yes, they shot at me. Nicked my side. It's not serious, Charles. Here - here, let me sit down.


SOUND: JOHN SITS ... THEY EXHALE


CHARLES: Shall I call a doctor?


JOHN: No, no. We'll tend to the bullet scratch and the ankle ourselves. It's a reasonable price to pay -- considering that Inspector Long is dead.


CHARLES: Dead?


JOHN: (SIMPLY) Yes, he fell from the window of his office on the sixth floor of police headquarters -- while apparently quite alone in the room.


CHARLES: (STUNNED) Then you killed him, too?


JOHN: Of course I did. I had to. Luckily, he had the paper knife there in his office. I was able to wipe all my prints off it. I found the photographs of the prints in his desk, too. I tore those up and I burned them.


CHARLES: How'd you get hurt?


JOHN: I tried to slip out of the building again during the confusion that followed Inspector Long's "accident." I'd reached the first floor when a clumsy cop bumped into me in a dark hall. He yelled and grabbed at me. I had to duck through a door and lock it. I got the window up and was just climbing out when he fired at the door. The bullet nicked me; I lost my balance. When I picked myself up off the ground, my - my ankle was broken. But I hobbled to the car somehow and-- Well, here I am.


CHARLES: (UPSET) John, what are we going to do?


JOHN: Just sit tight, that's all. The evidence is destroyed. Inspector Long is gone. We're perfectly safe.


CHARLES: But suppose they have some other clues--?


JOHN: Nonsense! I've taken care of everything, you hear?


CHARLES: (TENSE, HUSHED) John!


JOHN: What is it, Charles?


CHARLES: A car just stopped in front of the house.


JOHN: Car? See who it is.


CHARLES: (MOVING OFF) Yes. (BEAT, FROM OFF, HUSHED) It's a police car!


JOHN: Oh, we've got to act fast. They mustn't find me like this.


CHARLES: What can you do?


JOHN: (REMOVES CLOTHES WITH EFFORT) First, I've got to get these clothes off. I haven't time to take my neutralizing serum now. I - I'll just have to hide. (GROWS WEAKER) They'll not find me if they can't see-- (GASPS WEAKLY)


CHARLES: Oh, John, you're ill!


JOHN: I - I feel weak. The loss of blood. It's nothing serious, Charles. But - but I may faint. If I do--


CHARLES: Yes, John?


JOHN: Hide - hide my clothes in the kitchen hamper.


CHARLES: Yes?


JOHN: Then carry me down to the cellar. Put me in the empty storage room.


CHARLES: Right.


JOHN: Lay me on the excelsior there. If they look in, they'll see it's empty. They won't go stumbling around. Do you hear me?


CHARLES: Yes, yes, I hear you. But, John--


JOHN: I - I-- (LONG EXHALATION AS HE FAINTS)


CHARLES: (NARRATES) He fainted in my arms. I had no time to think. Swiftly, I did as he instructed. I carried him down to the small storage room in the cellar, placed him on some excelsior in a corner, and hurried back upstairs. Already the police were pounding on the door.


SOUND: POUNDING ON DOOR ... THEN BEHIND--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) I jammed John's bloody clothes into the kitchen hamper, then I hurried to the door.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS


CHARLES: (A LITTLE BREATHLESS) Yes? What is it?


CAPTAIN: Police, Mr. Ordway. We're comin' in. (TO OFFICERS) Bill? Joe? Come on.


OFFICER: Yes, Captain.


CAPTAIN: (TO OTHER OFFICERS) The rest of you watch the house -- and see that no one leaves.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES


CHARLES: (INDIGNANT) What is the meaning of this? I demand an explanation.


CAPTAIN: And you'll get it. Now, where can we talk? In here? Good. All right, please sit down, Mr. Ordway.


CHARLES: (EXHALES AS HE SITS)


CAPTAIN: I'm Detective Captain Belden. My chief, Inspector Long, was here earlier.


CHARLES: Yes, I know, and I answered all his questions then.


CAPTAIN: Well, now I'm askin' more questions. Long's dead.


CHARLES: (FEIGNS SURPRISE) Inspector Long dead? But, even so, why--?


CAPTAIN: (INTERRUPTS) Listen, Ordway. Long smelled a rat in this setup someplace and, earlier tonight, when he got your fingerprints, he also got your brother's.


CHARLES: But he didn't.


CAPTAIN: He got them on his cigarette case, when your brother took a cigarette; it's an old trick. After he died tonight, we found the case in his pocket, carefully wrapped.


CHARLES: Well, what of it?


CAPTAIN: In some mysterious way, all the pictures of the murder prints we took off the paper knife that killed Watson had vanished. But we had the negatives. We made new prints and discovered they checked with your brother's prints on Long's cigarette case. Ordway, your brother killed Harry Watson last night.


CHARLES: But that's completely ridiculous.


CAPTAIN: Is it? Okay, we'll see. Where's your brother now?


CHARLES: (UNCONVINCING) Why, he's not here. He - he went away on a trip.


CAPTAIN: Hiding, huh? (TO OFFICERS) Bill? Joe?


OFFICER: Yes, Captain?


2ND OFFICER: Yeah?


CAPTAIN: Search the house from cellar to attic. And don't miss a thing.


OFFICER: Right ye are, Captain. Come on, Joe. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CHARLES--


CHARLES: (NARRATES) Half an hour later I knew that further concealment was impossible. The police had not found John, but they had found the bloodstained clothes he had discarded. And in my desk they had found the diamonds which John had stolen. I knew then I must tell the truth.


CAPTAIN: Well, Ordway? Ready to talk yet?


CHARLES: Yes, I'm ready to talk, Captain. My brother did kill Watson.


CAPTAIN: Okay. Where is he now?


CHARLES: He's hiding down in the cellar.


OFFICER: Captain, that's the malarkey! We looked in the cellar. He ain't there.


CHARLES: Of course you didn't see him. He's invisible.


CAPTAIN: He's--? He's what?


CHARLES: He's invisible, I said. 


CAPTAIN: You say your brother is invisible?


CHARLES: Yes! That's why they couldn't see him.


CAPTAIN: Ordway, you know what I think? I think you killed your brother in a quarrel over these diamonds and buried his body in the yard someplace. That's how these clothes of his got bloody. Isn't it? Come on, admit it.


CHARLES: No, my brother was wounded by a bullet after he killed Inspector Long. That's how his clothes got bloody.


CAPTAIN: (SKEPTICAL) Yeah, I suppose he was invisible when he killed Long, too. That's why nobody saw him, huh?


CHARLES: Yes! Don't you understand? He's discovered how to render his body tissues transparent. He's hiding down in the cellar now, invisible.


OFFICER: (TO CAPTAIN) He's nutty as a fruitcake.


CAPTAIN: Shut up, Bill. (TO CHARLES) Ordway, your brother is down in the cellar now, huh?


CHARLES: Yes, he is! He fainted and I carried him down there.


CAPTAIN: And just which room is he in?


CHARLES: The little storage room at the foot of the stairs, the one with the metal door.


CAPTAIN: (TO OFFICERS) How 'bout it, boys? Did you look there?


OFFICER: Sure, we did, Captain. We looked in there twice. There ain't a thing in that room but a little excelsior.


2ND OFFICER: Right. We both looked. That room is as empty as a busted piggy bank.


CAPTAIN: There, you see, Mr. Ordway? If he'd been there, my men would have found him.


CHARLES: But he's there! They didn't see him because he took the serum! He made himself invisible!


CAPTAIN: All right, all right, Mr. Ordway, just calm yourself. Now, listen, my men say the room is empty.


OFFICER: Yeah, except maybe for rats. We heard a couple stirrin' in the excelsior, so we bolted the door after we looked in. Figured we might as well keep the rats inside.


CHARLES: (HORRIFIED) You bolted the door?! No, you mustn't! Captain, we've got to let John out! If he's not let out, he'll die!


OFFICER: (LOW, AMUSED) I've met plenty of whacks, but this is a new one.


2ND OFFICER: (LOW) Yep, he's got it bad.


CAPTAIN: Ordway, I'm afraid you'll have to come with us. Now, will you come quietly or will I have to put the handcuffs on you?


CHARLES: (HYSTERICAL) No, you can't take me away! I have to let John out of that room! If he doesn't get an injection of the neutralizing serum inside twenty-four hours, he'll die!


SOUND: DURING FOLLOWING EXCHANGE, NOISY SCUFFLE AS POLICE MURMUR AND GRAB CHARLES


CAPTAIN: Sorry, Mr. Ordway, but-- (TO OFFICERS) Come on, boys, give me a hand. Got to get him to the psychopathic ward fast.


CHARLES: (OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) Stop! Stop! No! No, you've got to believe me! You've got to! Let go of me! No! No! Nooooooo!


MUSIC: TRANSITION


CHARLES: And that's the whole story, doctor. They wouldn't believe this. They brought me here to the hospital, charged with John's murder. And when I kept trying to tell them he was alive, they gave me a narcotic. But he is alive! He's locked in that room in the cellar. And if he isn't let out soon, he'll die! Twenty-four hours is the limit, but there's still time to get to him.


DOCTOR: Yes, I understand, Mr. Ordway. I'll see to it that he's released at once.


CHARLES: You mean it, doctor? You believe me?


DOCTOR: Yes, of course. (CALLS) Oh, attendant?


SOUND: ROOM DOOR OPENS


ATTENDANT: Call me, doctor?


DOCTOR: Yes. Er, go get my car ready, will you? We're going to Mr. Ordway's home at once to release his brother.


ATTENDANT: Yes, sir. Right away, Dr. Harvey.


CHARLES: (RELIEVED) Oh, thank heaven you believe me, doctor. You'll be in time to save John. You'll find the serum you'll need to bring him back to normal in a green bottle in the laboratory.


DOCTOR: (REASSURING) I'll take care of him. Now, you go back to sleep now, Mr. Ordway.


CHARLES: (WEARILY, DOZING OFF) Yes, I will. I can sleep now. I can sleep.


SOUND: CLICK! OF LIGHT SWITCH ... ROOM DOOR CLOSES


ATTENDANT: How is he now, doctor?


DOCTOR: Eh, he's quiet now. He'll be all right.


ATTENDANT: You know, doctor, sometimes I can't help thinkin'.


DOCTOR: Yes, Johnson?


ATTENDANT: You know, he's locked up here at State Hospital for bumpin' off his brother. Eventually, they found his brother's dead body locked in a little room in the cellar. But I can't help wonderin' what the cops would have found if anybody had taken Mr. Ordway serious - that night he was brought here, ten years ago.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: TRAIN WHISTLE ... TRAIN RUMBLES DOWN TRACK


MUSIC: ORGAN ... THEN BEHIND TRAVELER--


SOUND: TRAIN INTERIOR


TRAVELER: This is the Mysterious Traveler. So John could make himself invisible, could he? Well, unfortunately, he did too good a job of it, for he hasn't been seen around for a long, long time. That's the trouble with having unusual powers. Sometimes they get you into, er, unusual difficulties. And speaking of difficulties-- Oh, you have to get off here? I'm sorry. But I'm sure we'll meet again. I take this same train - every week at this same time.


SOUND: TRAIN WHISTLE ... TRAIN RUMBLES DOWN TRACK


MUSIC: TAG AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: You have just heard "The Mysterious Traveler," a series of dramas of the strange and terrifying. All characters in tonight's story were fictitious and any resemblance to the names of actual persons is purely coincidental. In tonight's cast were Maurice Tarplin, Wendell Holmes, Roger De Koven, Art Carney, and Richard Coogan.


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