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The Mink Coat

The Unexpected

Episode #115: The Mink Coat

Oct 22 1947



CAST:

HOST

LORNA, daffy working class secretary; cute, high-pitched voice (LURENE TUTTLE)

FLINT, the uptight boss

JENKINS, the mousy auditor

DOCTOR, no-nonsense





HOST: From Hollywood --


MUSIC: ACCENT


HOST: Lurene Tuttle in --


MUSIC: ACCENT AND OUT


HOST: (ECHO) The Unexpected.


TUTTLE: (ECHO) The Unexpected.


HOST: (ECHO) The Unexpected!


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN BEHIND HOST, OUT AT [X]


HOST: Life is filled with the unexpected -- romantic, tragic, and mysterious endings to our most ordinary actions. Dreams come true or dreams are shattered by sudden twists of fate in -- [X] "The Unexpected."


MUSIC: UP FOR TAG


HOST: But first, a word from your announcer.


MUSIC: MINUTE-LONG FILL ... FOR COMMERCIAL


HOST: And now Lurene Tuttle, outstanding radio and screen star, in "The Mink Coat," a drama of "The Unexpected"!


MUSIC: THEME ... FOR BRIEF TRANSITION


SOUND: OFFICE BACKGROUND (TYPEWRITER, ET CETERA)


LORNA: You have no right to say that, Mr. Flint! I don't care what kind of a person you think I am! You shouldn't say so!


FLINT: Oh, but, Lorna, please-- 


LORNA: Well, how would you like it if your boss called you into his office and said, "Miss Rogers, you're a thief"? I ask you, how would you like it?


FLINT: But, my dear Lorna, you are a thief. The records are right here.


LORNA: Records, records -- I don't care anything about your old records! All I want is my mink coat.


FLINT: Your mink coat?


LORNA: Certainly. What do you think I'm talking about? Going around accusing people unjustly when it's really all your own fault anyway.


FLINT: (SIGHS) Now, see here Lorna. What's this all about? Why don't you just explain exactly what happened? 


MUSIC: IN AND UNDER


LORNA: Well, it was about a year ago. I just started to work for Flint and Company; that's you. And I must say, things in this office weren't a bit what I expected.


FLINT: Wha--?


LORNA: Now, in the movies, the boss would have-- Oh, well, never mind. Well, anyway, I was walking back from lunch and I saw it in the window -- the most wonderful mink coat. I could imagine wearing it. Maybe you don't know what a mink coat does for a woman's ego, but you - you feel all warm and expensive.


FLINT: Yes.


LORNA: And I wanted to feel all warm and expensive. So I went into the shop. And guess what I found out?


FLINT: What?


LORNA: Four thousand eight hundred and seventy-five dollars, plus tax. Well, now where can a girl like me get four thousand eight hundred and seventy-five dollars, plus tax? But I wanted that coat. I wanted it so badly. I just-- Well, I just had to have it. And then I remembered! In the movies, what does the boss always give the girl who works in his office? (NO ANSWER) Right. A mink coat. So I let you take me home that evening and-- Well, you remember what happened.


MUSIC: FADES OUT WITH--


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR


LORNA: It's the next apartment, Mr. Flint. 


SOUND: AUTO PULLS TO A STOP BEHIND--


LORNA: Oh, would you like to come upstairs? For a nightcap?


FLINT: (STIFFLY) I - don't drink.


LORNA: You don't drink?


FLINT: Ulcers.


LORNA: But, Mr. Flint, the boss is always supposed to come upstairs for a nightcap.


FLINT: Always?


LORNA: Certainly. Now, my apartment's on the third floor. I'll go in first and then you come up in a few minutes.


FLINT: But - but why?


LORNA: Because that's the way it's always done. Really, Mr. Flint, I don't think you're even trying.


FLINT: Oh. I'm sorry, Lorna. I - I'll try.


LORNA: Well, that's more like it.


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS


LORNA: I'll see you upstairs, Mr. Flint.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... FOR GOING UP STAIRS


SOUND: APARTMENT DOORBELL BUZZES ... DOOR OPENS


LORNA: (AS IF SURPRISED) Why, Mr. Flint, how nice to see you - again.


FLINT: Lorna, isn't it a little too late?


LORNA: Silly boy. It's never too late. Come in.


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


FLINT: (SNIFFS THE AIR ONCE, THEN TWICE) What's that peculiar smell, Lorna? (MILDLY ALARMED) Is the place on fire?


LORNA: Of course not. It's the perfumed candles.


FLINT: (RELIEVED) Oh.


LORNA: (AS IF IN A MOVIE) And now if you'll excuse me, I'll just slip into something more comfortable.


FLINT: (NERVOUS) Uh, but - but, Lorna, I - I can only stay a moment.


LORNA: Well, then we'd better not waste time, had we?


FLINT: I - I beg your pardon?


LORNA: Now, you just sit over here by me. I'll turn down the lights and get some soft music on the radio. And then--


FLINT: Lorna!


LORNA: Yes?


FLINT: What do you mean -- "then"?


LORNA: (QUIETLY MELODRAMATIC) Oh, let's not fight this, Mr. Flint -- Alan -- it's too big for us.


FLINT: Lorna!


LORNA: We were meant to pass like ships in the night -- and then die in the harbor.


FLINT: (CONFUSED) I'm afraid you're a bit ahead of me.


LORNA: It's fate, Alan. Just pure simple fate. (BEAT) Well, say something.


FLINT: Good night, Lorna. I - I really must go. Good night.


LORNA: Is that all you can say? Just "good night"?


FLINT: I'm afraid so.


LORNA: (MILDLY ANNOYED) Mr. Flint, the trouble with you is, you don't see enough movies!


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND LORNA--


LORNA: Well, the next day, you didn't act like anything had happened and I was just beginning to wonder if you were gonna buy the coat. But all my girlfriends got mink coats when they went out with their bosses and I couldn't see why you should be the exception. But you were. A week later, I just had to give in and admit that you weren't gonna buy me a mink.


SOUND: RESUME OFFICE BACKGROUND (TYPEWRITER, ET CETERA)


FLINT: Lorna, what has all this to do with the shortage of funds in the firm's account?


LORNA: You mean you don't understand what I've been trying to tell you?!


FLINT: No. Not very clearly.


LORNA: But it's so simple! I wanted a mink coat. I used to dream about it at night when I was asleep. And I knew if I didn't get it, I'd - I'd be - frustrated. People who don't get what they want are - are frustrated, Mr. Flint. They have nightmares and awful things happen.


FLINT: Oh. Oh, yes, I see. Well, go ahead, please.


LORNA: Well, the company was making lots of money and you said yourself the government wouldn't let you keep it, so I decided to take a little each week. Not very much.


FLINT: Oh.


LORNA: I went down and had them put the mink coat away for me and told them in about a year I'd be able to pay for it. They didn't believe me at first, but each week I brought in a hundred dollars. I would have told you about it, Mr. Flint, but-- Well, the subject never came up.


FLINT: Lorna, you were stealing that money.


LORNA: (OFFENDED) That's a terrible thing to say, Mr. Flint. If you don't stop talking like that, I'll quit!


FLINT: (LOW, DISBELIEF) You'll - quit? (UP) Lorna, how much have you--?


LORNA: (A WARNING) Mr. Flint! 


FLINT: (STERN) How much, Lorna?


LORNA: Five thousand dollars! (LOW) Well, just a bit more.


FLINT: Five - five thousand?


LORNA: There wasn't any problem about it, Mr. Flint. Not until today. I just marked a hundred a week down to "Miscellaneous" and wrote myself a check. But then you brought in that auditor. Why'd you do that, Mr. Flint? Don't you trust me? You know there's never been any mistake in my bookkeeping. I think bringing in an auditor indicates a certain - lack of faith, don't you?


FLINT: Lorna, exactly what happened with that auditor?


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND LORNA--


LORNA: Well, I showed him all my books and answered all his questions and everything tallied perfectly. There wasn't a single mistake. Now, aren'tcha proud of me? Not a single mistake. And then after he was all done, Mr. Jenkins -- that was the auditor's name -- turned to me and said--


JENKINS: Well, Miss Rogers, everything seems to be in A-Number-One order.


LORNA: Certainly.


JENKINS: (CHUCKLES, LIGHTLY) I guess you haven't been taking any of the company funds, huh?


LORNA: (VERY SERIOUS) Certainly not. What kind of a person do you think I am?


JENKINS: Now, Miss Rogers, I'm just having my little joke. (CHUCKLES)


LORNA: Well, I don't think it's very funny.


JENKINS: Now, uh, there's just one more item; I know it isn't serious. Eh, this column marked "M." Er, that's for "Miscellaneous," of course.


LORNA: Yes, "Miscellaneous." And "Mink."


JENKINS: And "Mink." (QUIET DOUBLE TAKE) What?


LORNA: Well, that's the money I use to pay for my mink coat. You see, I have a separate file here. My mink file. It has all the canceled checks and receipts and-- (REASSURING) It's in order.


JENKINS: I, er-- Really, Miss Rogers, I - I'm afraid I don't quite understand.


LORNA: Oh. Well, I went out with Mr. Flint. And then when he--


JENKINS: (REALIZES) Oh. Oh - oh, yes. (CHUCKLES, EMBARRASSED) You shouldn't tell me about that. I mean, if Mr. Flint-- (PUTS A GOOD FACE ON IT) Well, sometimes employers feel grateful.


LORNA: They do?


JENKINS: Now, Miss Rogers, let's not discuss this. It has nothing to do with the audit.


LORNA: Oh. Oh, of course not.


JENKINS: And you're a very fortunate girl. I mean-- Well, it is nice of Mr. Flint to buy you a fur coat.


LORNA: Oh, he didn't buy it. I did.


JENKINS: (IF YOU SAY SO) Certainly, certainly.


LORNA: Of course, I do think he should have taken the initiative.


JENKINS: (REALIZES, DISMAYED) You mean, Mr. Flint didn't buy the--? He doesn't know about your fur coat?


LORNA: No, I don't think so. He never said anything if he does.


JENKINS: (BEAT) But this is really quite serious, Miss Rogers.


LORNA: Yeah, I know. A mink is a very serious matter in a young girl's life.


JENKINS: Yes, of course. Well-- I think I'd better talk to Mr. Flint. Excuse me, Miss Rogers.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, JENKINS RISES


LORNA: Oh, you gonna tell him about the coat?


JENKINS: I'm afraid I must.


LORNA: Oh, I wish you wouldn't. I was gonna wear it to work tomorrow as a surprise and show him how much I appreciate it.


JENKINS: I think he'd, er, better be prepared - for the shock.


LORNA: Well, whatever you say. But don't make him feel too guilty about not having bought one for me. I'm willing to pretend that he did.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: RESUME OFFICE BACKGROUND (TYPEWRITER, ET CETERA)


LORNA: So that's all that happened, Mr. Flint, and I don't see why you're so excited.


FLINT: But - but, Lorna, you must understand that you had no right--


LORNA: What difference does that make now? The coat's all paid for. I won't need any more money for it.


FLINT: But, Lorna, I--


LORNA: Let's just forget the whole thing. (BEAT) We've both been wrong, Mr. Flint. And I'll forgive you, if you'll forgive me.


FLINT: Forgive? (MILDLY EXASPERATED) Uh, Lorna, I should have put you in jail.


LORNA: What for?


FLINT: For - for borrowing company funds.


LORNA: It's not against the law to borrow money, is it?


FLINT: You didn't borrow it; you--


LORNA: I told you what would happen if you called me names! And I meant it!


FLINT: (GIVES UP, PATIENTLY) Very well, Lorna. (BEAT) You may keep the coat.


LORNA: Well, of course. It's all paid for.


FLINT: But you'll have to give back every cent of that money. Every penny! I'll take it out of your salary, if you have to work here ten years to make it up.


LORNA: (WOUNDED) I think it's very petty of you.


FLINT: (STERN) That will do, Lorna. Now, you may leave now. Oh, uh, one more thing. You'll be given a different job -- one that doesn't require so much responsibility.


LORNA: If you don't trust me, Mr. Flint, just say so.


FLINT: You must realize, Lorna, I'm being very lenient.


LORNA: I suppose. Well-- Oh, Mr. Flint, could I leave early this afternoon? I want to pick up the coat. (DREAMILY) Just imagine. My own mink coat. I'll be able to wear it tonight. Gee, I guess I'm really a very lucky girl.


FLINT: Yes. I would think so.


LORNA: But I always say if you want a thing, you've got to go after it yourself. You can't wait for favors. (GIGGLES) Don't you agree, Mr. Flint?


FLINT: Oh, er, yes, Lorna. I agree.


LORNA: I thought you would.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


HOST: You think the story is over, don't you? But wait. Fate takes a hand. Wait - for the unexpected.


MUSIC: THEME ... FOR BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN MINUTE-LONG FILL FOR COMMERCIAL


HOST: And now for the surprising conclusion of "The Mink Coat," starring Miss Lurene Tuttle, a Hamilton-Whitney Production written by Robert Libott and Frank Burt, and directed by Frank K. Danzig.


MUSIC: THEME ... FOR BRIEF TRANSITION


LORNA: (INTO PHONE, APOLOGETIC) Hello? -- Hello? -- Is that you, Mr. Flint? -- Oh, this is Lorna. -- I knew you'd be worried about me when I didn't come to work today, but I can't. -- I'm in the hospital. -- I don't know what's wrong with me. They're - they're trying to find out. But don't worry about the accounts. I'll get caught up just as soon as I'm feeling better. 


SOUND: HOSPITAL ROOM DOOR OPENS, OFF


LORNA: (INTO PHONE) Oh, doctor's coming in now. I gotta hang up. Goodbye, Mr. Flint.


SOUND: PHONE RECEIVER DOWN


DOCTOR: Good morning, Miss Rogers. Feeling better?


LORNA: I guess so.


DOCTOR: Well, we've found the cause of your trouble.


LORNA: What is it, doctor?


DOCTOR: You're allergic to mink, Miss Rogers. Have to get rid of that coat. Never be able to wear it again. (POINTEDLY) You're allergic to mink.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


HOST: "The Mink Coat" starred Lurene Tuttle. Listen soon for another of your favorite motion picture stars in a drama of "The Unexpected"!


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN UNDER UNTIL END


HOST: This program was transcribed in Hollywood.

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