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The Panama Hat

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe

The Panama Hat

Oct 10 1948






CAST:

ANNOUNCER

PHILIP MARLOWE, private detective

ISABEL, the client

BYSTANDER

AVERY, the uncle

BRUCE, the artist

BROCK, the muscle

SKIPPER MARTIN

CARLA, the dragon lady

NEELY, police sergeant

YBARRA, (pronounced ee-BARR-uh) police detective






MARLOWE: Sounded good, real good. A weekend in Malibu, expenses paid with a cash bonus thrown in. But that was before I knew about the henchman, the redhead, and the corpse. These three, and a white Panama hat, ruined it all for me.


MUSIC: STING ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: From the pen of Raymond Chandler, outstanding author of crime fiction, comes his most famous character, as CBS presents--


MUSIC: DRUM ROLL


ANNOUNCER: The Adventures of Philip Marlowe!


MUSIC: THEME


ANNOUNCER: And now, with Gerald Mohr starred as Philip Marlowe, we bring you tonight's unusual story, "The Panama Hat."


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) I was sitting in my office, bombing the ashtray on my desk with paper clips, wondering what kind of a job a private detective gets when clients stop calling completely. I was see-sawing between the picture of me as a well-starched huckster and the more comfortable portrait of Marlowe -- author in English tweeds, man of distinction--


SOUND: PHONE RINGS


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) --when the telephone brought me to a rude awakening.


SOUND: RECEIVER UP


MARLOWE: Marlowe speaking.


ISABEL: (FILTER, URGENT) My name is Isabel Gordon, Mr. Marlowe. I must see you at once. My husband Bruce is in terrible danger. Could you possibly meet me in an hour at the Pelican Inn? It's a small roadside place on the way to Malibu. I'll explain everything then.


MARLOWE: Pelican Inn. One hour, Mrs. Gordon.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) The Pelican Inn was strictly a liquor license with chairs, and a bored piano player in one corner grinding away. The place was empty and I was about to order a drink when the front door opened and a woman entered.


MUSIC: CHANGES TO BAR PIANO ... CONTINUES IN BG ... PIANIST FINISHES UP UNOBTRUSIVELY AT [X]


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) She was tall and thin and right out of Harper's Bazaar, from double ankle-strapped shoes to close-cropped hair. One look at her fear-clouded eyes and I knew it was Isabel Gordon. I got up and introduced myself. Then we went to a table and she started to talk.


ISABEL: For two weeks now, Mr. Marlowe, my husband Bruce has been receiving unsigned threatening letters. I'm almost sick with worry. I - I don't know what to do.


MARLOWE: Now wait a minute, Mrs. Gordon. The first thing to do is to get hold of yourself. Then tell me the whole thing, right from the beginning.


ISABEL: Yes. All right. Well, first of all, Bruce and I have only been married a little more than a year. We're living with my uncle, Avery Fairchild, on an estate out beyond Malibu.


MARLOWE: I see. What does your husband do for a living, Mrs. Gordon?


ISABEL: Why, he's a photographer.


MARLOWE: Movie or commercial?


ISABEL: Well, at present, it's neither. You see, Bruce has been terribly unsettled since the war. Lost, sort of, and--


MARLOWE: Mm hm.


ISABEL: Then recently, he got interested in photography and it's been a great help to him.


MARLOWE: But he doesn't exactly work at it, huh?


ISABEL: Well, he's converted one of the rooms in the guest cottage into a studio and he spends almost all of his time there experimenting with portrait work. But he doesn't actually have a job, if that's what you mean.


MARLOWE: How does that appeal to your Uncle Avery?


ISABEL: Well, I'll be honest with you, Mr. Marlowe. My uncle thinks the sun rises and sets on me, but, with Bruce--


MARLOWE: It's total eclipse, is that it?


ISABEL: I'm afraid so. All his life, Uncle Avery has been concerned only with dollars and cents. He simply doesn't understand or sympathize with an artist's viewpoint.


MARLOWE: Uh huh. Now what about these unsigned letters?


ISABEL: Well, Bruce has been getting them for the past two weeks. They're always made up of words cut from newspapers and pasted on ordinary paper.


MARLOWE: That's a cheap stunt. What do they say?


ISABEL: Each one threatens my husband's life. Yet, both he and Uncle Avery consider them nothing more than the work of some harmless crank. In spite of the fact that for the last several days, I've seen a strange man lurking around our place every night.


MARLOWE: Can you describe him?


ISABEL: No. No, except-- Well, he's about your height and build.


MARLOWE: Is that all?


ISABEL: Yes. No! I-- Wait a minute. [X] There is something else. Each time I saw him, Mr. Marlowe, he was wearing a white Panama.


MARLOWE: Well, that's not much to go on. Tell me, why haven't you called the police?


ISABEL: Uncle Avery wouldn't hear of it. He hates publicity; dreads it. That's why I suggested contacting you, a private detective.


MARLOWE: As sort of a bodyguard for Bruce, huh?


ISABEL: Yes. However, Mr. Marlowe, Bruce is somewhat temperamental and I know he'd rebel at the thought of being watched over. So I'd - I'd rather you posed as a houseguest; an old college chum of mine, perhaps.


MARLOWE: My fee is twenty-five a day plus expenses, Mrs. Gordon.


ISABEL: Oh, any price is all right, Mr. Marlowe. Let's see, it's a little after seven now. Can you be at our place in Malibu at nine?


SOUND: CHAIR SCRAPES AS ISABEL RISES


MARLOWE: I think so. But, as a fellow alumnus, Isabel, one last question. Where'd you go to college?


ISABEL: Southern California. Why? 


MARLOWE: Well, I was afraid you might say Vassar. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) After Isabel left, I remembered that I was already on my expense account, so I had a tasteless, cold, hot blue plate special and a burned cup of coffee. Then I stepped out of the Pelican Inn and headed across the paved parking lot to my car. It was already dark and I was admiring the full moon and the beautiful wash it made over the ocean -- when it happened.


SOUND: SPEEDING CAR APPROACHING FAST


BYSTANDER: (YELLS, OFF) Hey, mister! That car! Watch out! 


MARLOWE: (STARTLED) What the--?! 


SOUND: SPEEDING CAR ROARS PAST ... FADES INTO THE DISTANCE


BYSTANDER: (APPROACHES) You all right, mister?


MARLOWE: (SHAKEN) Yeah. Yeah, I think so. Thanks to your sounding off. 


BYSTANDER: That nut was aiming right for you. 


MARLOWE: Yeah, yeah. Looks that way. Did you happen to get his number? 


BYSTANDER: No, no.


MARLOWE: What about his face? Can you describe him?


BYSTANDER: No. Matter of fact, I only noticed one thing. 


MARLOWE: What was that? 


BYSTANDER: The hat he was wearing. It was a white Panama. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) I tried to be broadminded, but there was no other way to look at it. The gentleman in the white Panama hat definitely meant business. I returned to my apartment in Hollywood where I shaved, showered, and packed. And then I headed for Malibu. At a quarter to nine, I was inside the grounds of the Fairchild estate. Another mile and I was at the front door. When I entered, Isabel greeted me like I was a keg of brandy around a Saint Bernard's neck. Then we waded through an inch-thick carpet to the library where Uncle Avery -- fat, bald, and looking like he'd just bitten into an underripe persimmon -- was waiting. I wasn't asked to sit down and I wasn't offered a cigar. Avery Fairchild was not one to waste time.


AVERY: I'm a very rich man, Mr. Marlowe. As such, I'm the target for all kinds of fortune hunters, confidence men, and cranks. In my lifetime, I've been threatened and pestered by a score of crackpots -- each one slightly more psychopathic than the last. It's never bothered me and it never will. However, in this case, the approach is a bit different.


MARLOWE: Meaning you think somebody's trying to get at you through your nephew, huh?


AVERY: Never refer to him as my nephew! My niece's husband, if you please. And don't forget it.


ISABEL: Uncle Avery! 


AVERY: Isabel, my feelings about your husband are no secret. 


ISABEL: You're being unfair, Uncle Avery. Just because Bruce is an artist and--


AVERY: Artist, is he?! Why, Isabel, that man's no more an artist than I am a horse jockey! 


SOUND: DOOR OPENS DURING ABOVE


BRUCE: (ENTERS) Good evening, everybody. 


ISABEL: Hello, Bruce. 


BRUCE: Hello, darling. You were saying something, Uncle Avery?


ISABEL: Bruce, um, I want you to meet Philip Marlowe. We were great friends at school, and when I heard he was in town for a while, I insisted that he spend a weekend with us.


MARLOWE: How do you do, Mr. Gordon? 


BRUCE: It's a pleasure to have you with us, Mr. Marlowe. You're very welcome. 


AVERY: I do the welcoming around here, Bruce!


ISABEL: Mr. Marlowe's had a long trip and I'm certain he'd like to turn in early. Bruce darling, he's going to stay in the guest cottage, the room next to your studio. Will you show him there, please?


BRUCE: Oh, I'll be glad to. By the way, Isabel, I'm going to work late, so I'll say good night to you now.


ISABEL: Good night, dearest.


BRUCE: Good night, sweetie.


ISABEL: Please, please be careful.


AVERY: (SARCASTIC) Yes, Bruce! By all means, be careful. Remember, the true artist belongs to posterity. Or something.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) The guest cottage was only a landscaped hop-skip-and-a-jump from the museum that Uncle Avery called home. And as Bruce and I strolled along a flagstone path, I feigned a deep interest in photography. That was all my host needed. He struck at the bait like a shark with malnutrition.


SOUND: NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (CRICKETS, ET CETERA) ... BRUCE AND MARLOWE'S LIGHT FOOTSTEPS ON WALK DURING FOLLOWING--


BRUCE: Well, Mr. Marlowe, it didn't even occur to me that photography might be one of your hobbies. Isabel never said a word.


MARLOWE: Well, good for Isabel. I'm strictly a dabbler. And tell me, Mr. Gordon, how long have you been at this?


BRUCE: Portrait work?


MARLOWE: Mmm.


BRUCE: Oh, about six months. You see, I divide my time between my studio here and a school I attend in Hollywood. That way I capture both the theory and practical experience at the same time.


MARLOWE: Oh.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS STOP


BRUCE: Well, here we are. Would you like to see the studio? 


MARLOWE: Yes, I would. 


SOUND: STUDIO DOOR OPENS ... STEPS ON WOOD FLOOR


BRUCE: Here, let me get the light.


SOUND: STEPS INTO STUDIO ... DOOR CLOSES BEHIND--


MARLOWE: (IMPRESSED) Well, this is all right, huh? Enlarger, two cameras, darkroom. Are these your pictures? 


BRUCE: Yes. What do you think of them? 


MARLOWE: Ah, I don't know exactly. They're certainly different, huh? 


BRUCE: They are unusual, aren't they?


MARLOWE: Yeah.


BRUCE: You see, Marlowe, each picture is actually made up of two separate studies which are superimposed. I call it "interpretive photography."


MARLOWE: Uh huh. Now, uh, this one. A splash of light and a bent pipe cleaner? 


BRUCE: The sun and a plant shoot. It's called "Metamorphosis."


MARLOWE: Oh. What about that one there in the corner? It's a girl's face and, um, clouds maybe.


BRUCE: (SURPRISED) Clouds?


SOUND: BRUCE'S HURRIED STEPS TO PAINTING BEHIND--


BRUCE: (NERVOUSLY, MOVING OFF) Uh, Mr. Marlowe, you'll - you'll excuse me, but that picture isn't ready for display yet.


SOUND: BRUCE QUICKLY COVERS UP PAINTING BEHIND--


MARLOWE: I'm sorry. I didn't mean to pry. I thought it was just another interpretive photograph.


BRUCE: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Well, it's not. That is, it isn't finished yet. 


SOUND: BRUCE'S STEPS RETURN TO MARLOWE

 

BRUCE: Now, Mr. Marlowe, I'm afraid I've forgotten what my wife said about your long trip. Shall I show you to your room?


MARLOWE: Yes. Please do, Mr. Gordon.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) My room on the other side of the guest cottage was wider than Hollywood Boulevard. After Bruce apologized for his display of temperament and bid me a polite "good night," I climbed into the silk pajamas that were laid out for me, stretched out on the bed, and tried to figure who belonged to the white Panama hat. But an hour passed and I wasn't getting any sensible answers, so I switched out the light, put my gun on the table next to me, and snuggled into what felt like a mile and a half of mattress. I was almost asleep--


SOUND: CLATTER OF SHOVEL ON WALK


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) --when the clatter of a shovel falling on the walk outside brought me straight up in bed. I grabbed my gun and made for the door, but the second I threw it open, I knew that I'd made a mistake. Whoever kicked over that shovel had heard me, and met me with a large fist that came straight at my face.


SOUND: PUNCH IN THE FACE


MARLOWE: (IN PAIN) Ohhh!


SOUND: MARLOWE'S BODY FALLS TO FLOOR


MUSIC: BIG ACCENT ... THEN IN BG--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) As I came back into the world, I was embarrassed to find myself alone and flat on my back. When I started to get up, I felt like the L. A. Dons -- water boy and all -- had run over my face. My gun was a few feet away and when I went to pick it up, I stopped short. 


MUSIC: UP FOR A MILD ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) There was a souvenir, from the man with the great big fist. A gold cigarette lighter. It was engraved, "To Skipper, on his birthday." Putting it in my pocket, I picked up my gun and made for Bruce's studio. He wasn't there. I threw on some clothes and went back to the house and found Isabel in the living room. I was about to give her a biased account of the shortest fight on record when I noticed Uncle Avery quietly entering the house from a side door that lead to the garden.


ISABEL: What's the matter, Phil?


MARLOWE: Bruce isn't in his studio any more.


ISABEL: What?!


AVERY: (APPROACHES) Now, Isabel, there's no reason for alarm. Why, Bruce often goes off into the night like this. Calls it a search for beauty or some such rot.


MARLOWE: And what was it you were after just now outside, Mr. Fairchild?


AVERY: I was looking for my niece, Marlowe. Isabel, your cousin John telephoned to say he wouldn't be down this weekend.


ISABEL: Oh--


MARLOWE: I didn't know there were to be other guests.


ISABEL: Oh, just my cousin, John Martin, Phil. Not really a guest, he comes down often.


AVERY: Yeah, too often to suit me! 


ISABEL: Oh, Uncle Avery, please. You know that I'm fond of him.


AVERY: Yes, but I don't know why! He's a chronic gambler and of no use to anyone. Living at the Wilshire Gardens when he can't afford it. Driving expensive cars--


ISABEL: Oh, you're too hard on him. Skipper is-- 


MARLOWE: Skipper? 


ISABEL: Yes. Do you know him? 


MARLOWE: Er, no. No. No, I don't.


AVERY: Well, you're not missing anything, believe me. 


MARLOWE: Oh, I do believe you, Mr. Fairchild. I believe your every word.


ISABEL: What? 


MARLOWE: Good night, all.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) I left the house and headed straight for my car with the Wilshire Gardens in Hollywood in mind. It was just a chance that John "Skipper" Martin might own a white Panama hat. When I got to the prodigal cousin's bungalow, it was dark inside, so I pressed one hand close to my gun and the other against the doorbell. But there was no answer. A side window was open and I started toward it, when a nasty voice greeted me from the shadow of a palm tree.


BROCK: Good evening. Lovely night, isn't it? 


MARLOWE: I hadn't noticed. I've been busy. 


BROCK: I know. We've been waiting for you for a long time. 


MARLOWE: We? 


BROCK: Uh huh. Me and my nice shiny revolver here. A thirty-eight.


MARLOWE: Oh, I see. Well, you make a handsome couple and I hope you're both very happy together. Now, what do you want?


BROCK: I don't want anything. I'm here to give you something. Advice.


MARLOWE: Look, brother, I've already told you I'm busy, so if this is a heist, let's get it over with, fast.


BROCK: You know, I think you're confused. I'm holding the gun, Mr. Martin. 


MARLOWE: Martin? 


BROCK: John "Skipper" Martin. Surprised I know your name? 


MARLOWE: Why, er, yes. Yes, I am. I don't recall having had the pleasure.


BROCK: You haven't. People never forget me, Mr. Martin. My tag is Brock. Does that mean anything?


MARLOWE: No, what do you do? Sing, dance, tell jokes? 


BROCK: Yeah, that's it. The last one. I tell jokes. 


MARLOWE: I can't wait.


BROCK: You won't have to, Mr. Martin. I'm gonna tell you one right now. Goes like this. Once upon a time, a young punk borrowed ten thousand dollars from a generous gambler on his promise to pay the money back within a week. But the young punk never came across. So the gambler told a nice fellow named Brock to call on the young punk and tell him that he had forty-eight hours in which to get the money together. And that if he didn't, he'd never see the forty-ninth hour. (BEAT) What's the matter, Mr. Martin? Don't ya like jokes?


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) Brock grinned, shoved his thirty-eight into his shoulder holster, and walked away. Soon as he rounded the corner, I went to the open window and climbed in. I rummaged through two closets looking for a white Panama you-know-what. I was about to search a third, when I heard something that brought me to a dead stop.


MUSIC: UP FOR A STING ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]


SOUND: KEY IN LOCK


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) It was a key in the front door lock. I closed my right hand over the gun in my pocket, moved flush against the side wall, and waited. But the moment the door swung open--


SOUND: DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS ... PHONE RINGS [X]


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) --the telephone rang. And the hulk of a man that entered went straight for it. He was wearing a gray fedora.


SOUND: SKIPPER'S STEPS TO PHONE DURING ABOVE ... RECEIVER UP 


SKIPPER: Hello? --- Oh, hello, Isabel. --- What? --- Bruce? Are - are you sure? --- But that's impossible. I - I mean, things like that just don't--


SOUND: MARLOWE SHIFTS POSITION, MAKES A SLIGHT NOISE


SKIPPER: (ALERT, WHISPERS) Excuse me Isabel, I - I think I have a visitor. I'll call you back.


SOUND: RECEIVER DOWN


MARLOWE: Reach, Mr. Martin!


SOUND: MARLOWE'S STEPS APPROACH


SKIPPER: Who are you?


MARLOWE: The name is Brock. You owe a client of mine ten thousand dollars. He wants his money in forty-eight hours.


SKIPPER: I'll get it. I - I swear I will. I'll have it right here, on time -- all of it. 


MARLOWE: How're you gonna do that, Mr. Martin?


SKIPPER: (STAMMERS) I've got a way. Someone's going to give it to me -- tonight! 


MARLOWE: Why?


SKIPPER: Why? Because it's the healthy thing to do. That's why. That - that's all you wanted to know, isn't it?


MARLOWE: That's all. Good night, Mr. Martin.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


ISABEL: (FILTER) Hello?


MARLOWE: This is Marlowe, Isabel. I'm calling from a drug store in Hollywood. Has Bruce returned yet?


ISABEL: (FILTER) No, and he won't! He's been kidnapped! 


MARLOWE: What's that?


ISABEL: (FILTER) And whoever did it wants fifty thousand dollars before morning or we'll never see Bruce alive again!


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) As I walked to my car at the Wilshire Gardens, I felt like my brain had spent the night in a cement mixer. I was about to head back for Malibu when I suddenly saw Skipper Martin dash out of his bungalow and pile into a long, glossy convertible. I followed him out to the Pacific Palisades, where he made a call at a little house which sat on a bluff overlooking the sea. Once he was inside, I moved up quietly and saw that the name on the mailbox was Miss Carla Winters. I crawled up to a lace curtain window where I could see what was going on. One look at Miss Winters made the damage I was doing to my tweeds worthwhile. She was strictly dragon lady, with flaming red hair and a waist you could span with two hands -- if you were lucky enough to get that close. And the rest of the measurements fit just perfect.


CARLA: (OFF) Oh, yeah? Why, you sniveling coward! You wouldn't dare open your mouth about us!


SKIPPER: (OFF) Wouldn't I? Listen, Carla, I've got myself -- Skipper Martin -- to look after first, last, and always. You remember that.


CARLA: (OFF) Why should I? You've always been cheap talk and no more. Look at you now. You're in trouble, so what do you do? You holler blackmail. Go on. Get out of here! Get out of here before I kill you!


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) When Skipper slammed the front door, stomped to his car and roared off, I couldn't figure any reason -- legitimate reason, that is -- for calling on Carla Winters. So I returned to the Fairchild place. Isabel was somewhere between hysteria and collapse over the fact that she and Bruce had less than two thousand dollars in their own name. Uncle Avery, of course, was more than reluctant to pay the ransom demanded for the return of a man he'd rather not have returned. But his niece won out.


AVERY: All right, Isabel, I'll give you the money. But, understand, I'm doing this for you. Not for that no good--


ISABEL: Yes, yes, Uncle Avery, I understand. But can you get that much cash at this hour? The banks are--


AVERY: Who said anything about banks? You know I don't like 'em. The money'll be in your hands in thirty minutes. In the meantime, tell Mr. Marlowe here what arrangements you've made with your husband's abductors.


MARLOWE: One minute, Mr. Fairchild. What about the police?


AVERY: The police have already been notified, Mr. Marlowe. They've agreed not to interfere until tomorrow morning. By that time, I suppose we'll have Bruce returned to us.


ISABEL: To-- To us, Uncle Avery?


AVERY: Er-- A mere slip of the tongue, Isabel. I'm only paying for his return. You take over from there. I don't want him!


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) A half hour later, Avery Fairchild handed me a bundle of bills which added up to fifty thousand dollars cash. The bills seemed slightly dirty. The old geezer must have had them buried someplace. For a moment, I couldn't help thinking, "Boy, to get at this place with a shovel sometime." But then I got back to the more pressing matters at hand. I wrapped up the money in a shoebox and I drove north along the Pacific Coast Highway. 


SOUND: CAR ENGINE SPEEDING BEHIND--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) I covered the sixty miles to the rendezvous, which was a junkyard near Ventura, in about as many minutes. Then, according to instructions, I slowed down -- to ten miles an hour.


SOUND: CAR ENGINE SLOWING


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) I blinked my lights twice; tossed out the shoe box. I was just about to resume my speed when the headlights of an approaching car fell on a man as he darted back into the junkyard. And I saw what I'd been expecting all the time -- the white Panama hat!


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) But I was still playing by the rules. So there was only one thing I could do about it. I slammed my foot down on the accelerator and kept it there until I reached the nearest telephone, where I telephoned Skipper Martin at the Wilshire Gardens. It was just possible that he owned two hats. But that little balloon exploded in a hurry.


SOUND: PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


SKIPPER: (FILTER) Hello?


MARLOWE: Mr. Martin?


SKIPPER: (FILTER) Yes. (BEAT) Who is this?


MARLOWE: This is Brock, remember me?


SKIPPER: (FILTER) Oh, yes. Yes, of course. I've been hoping you'd call.


MARLOWE: You mean you got the money right now?


SKIPPER: (FILTER, STAMMERS) Well, well, well, no. Not this minute, but I will have it in a couple of hours.


MARLOWE: You're sure, Mr. Martin? 


SKIPPER: (FILTER) I'm positive, Brock. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) Now only one thing figured. The man in the Panama hat worked for Skipper Martin. It had to be. An hour later, I pulled into the Fairchild estate and, the moment I put my double-A over the threshold, I knew that the kidnapper, too, had kept his part of the bargain. Bruce Gordon was back, safe and sound.


BRUCE: It happened shortly after you retired, Mr. Marlowe. I was working in my studio, when a man wearing a--


MARLOWE: White Panama hat. 


BRUCE: Yeah. But how did you know that, Mr. Marlowe? 


MARLOWE: They're very popular this season, Mr. Gordon. 


ISABEL: Darling, Mr. Marlowe is a private detective. 


BRUCE: Huh? 


ISABEL: But I'll tell you all about that later. Go on with your story.


BRUCE: Well, this man was wearing a handkerchief over his face and he forced me to go along with him at gunpoint. Took me to a car parked in the service driveway and told me to turn around. Then I was hit from behind and went out cold. 


ISABEL: Oh, darling. How terrible.


BRUCE: Wasn't pleasant, dear. When I came to, I was bound hand and foot, blindfolded, and gagged. I had no idea where I was.


AVERY: Oh, but didn't you see anybody before you were released? 


BRUCE: No, Uncle Avery. Before they let me go, they - they hit me again.


AVERY: Ah.


BRUCE: When I came to that time, I was lying in the road out near Ventura, untied. That's about it.


MARLOWE: I suppose you've told this story to the police already, huh?


AVERY: No, he hasn't, Mr. Marlowe. And what's more, he isn't going to. I'm sorry, but I was forced to lie to you earlier this evening. The police mean reporters, and they mean publicity. And I hate publicity! I'm sure you see my point.


MARLOWE: I wouldn't make book on that, Mr. Fairchild. Secrets like this only encourage kidnappers.


AVERY: Well, since we no longer see eye to eye, Mr. Marlowe, I'd suggest that we consider your services at an end. I'll have my check at your office in the morning. Good night, sir.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) Avery Fairchild wasn't the kind of a man you argued with. I threw my coat over my arm, tipped my hat to Isabel, and stepped outside. I hadn't once mentioned Skipper Martin to the family. That might have been a mistake, but I still wanted to look around before I yelled, "Copper." As I walked past the guest cottage, I decided to go in and check Bruce's studio. Maybe the man in the white P. H. had left a few odd footprints on the ceiling. I tossed my coat in a corner chair and started through the clutter. And ten minutes later, I'd found nothing. I was about to leave when I suddenly remembered the picture, of a girl and some clouds, that Bruce had been so careful to keep out of sight. Ah, it hadn't been moved. And when I brought it into the light, I didn't have to look twice.


MUSIC: STING ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) It was the portrait of Carla Winters, the redheaded dragon lady that Skipper Martin had visited. Now things began to add up. At the chauffeur's quarters, there was an outside telephone and I put through a hurried call to Lieutenant Ybarra at Homicide in L. A. The best I could get was one Sergeant Neely.


NEELY: (FILTER) I'm sorry, Mr. Marlowe, but the lieutenant's out on a call right now. There's some kind of a row uptown.


MARLOWE: Well, do you know where he is? The address I mean.


NEELY: (FILTER) Oh, yeah, yeah. Sure, sure. It's one of those bungalows at the Wilshire Gardens.


MARLOWE: The Wilshire Gardens?!


NEELY: (FILTER) That's right. What's so special about that?


MARLOWE: Maybe nothing. I'll know in a minute. Thanks, Neely!


MUSIC: BRIDGE 


SOUND: PHONE RINGS AND IS ANSWERED (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE)


YBARRA: (FILTER) Hello.


MARLOWE: This is Marlowe, Ybarra. What brings you to Skipper Martin's at this late hour?


YBARRA: (FILTER) Well, it seems as though some person or persons unknown fired a gun several times, a little more than an hour ago. Four shots, to be exact.


MARLOWE: Well, do you think Skipper Martin fired 'em? 


YBARRA: (FILTER) No, Marlowe, I'm sure Martin didn't fire them. You see, he stopped 'em -- personally.


MUSIC: STING ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) Before I hung up, I gave Ybarra a quick rundown on the whole story. After making me feel like a school boy for keeping him in the dark so long, he told me to sit on the Fairchilds' front steps until he got there. Well, that gave me a half hour to kill, most of which I spent walking around aimlessly trying to get something close to four out of two and two. But I couldn't. Finally, I heard Ybarra's siren up to the front door. I was about to head for him, when the chill in the morning air reminded me that my topcoat was still in Bruce's studio. I went back and got it. When I turned for the door again, I noticed a little slip of paper, that had been under the coat, fall to the floor. I picked it up. I must have held it for a full minute before I realized what it meant. Just a small slip of paper and yet - it made everything -- the kidnapping, Carla, the murder -- fall right into place.


MUSIC: STING ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) When I entered the living room at the house, one glance at Isabel and Bruce told me that she already knew about Skipper's death. Only Uncle Avery, who was not one to shed crocodile tears, hadn't changed. Ybarra, of course, was unhappy.


YBARRA: Marlowe, we can't run any kind of a police department when every private detective acts like he's the commissioner himself. Why didn't you call me when this business first began to smell? You know better.


MARLOWE: I'm sorry, Ybarra, and I hate to sound immodest, but I happen to be one of the two men in this room who can name Bruce Gordon's kidnapper -- and Skipper Martin's killer.


YBARRA: You know what you're saying, Marlowe?


MARLOWE: I think so. The man in the white Panama hat -- who kidnapped Bruce Gordon, lieutenant -- is Bruce Gordon himself. 


ISABEL: (GASPS)

 

MARLOWE: In other words, Bruce Gordon kidnapped Bruce Gordon.


ISABEL: No!


AVERY: What?!


BRUCE: You're out of your mind, Marlowe! 


MARLOWE: Am I? Would you still say that, Gordon, if we paid a call to Carla Winters and asked her to hand over the fifty thousand dollars of so-called ransom money she's holding for you, too? Or would you prefer--?


YBARRA: Stop, Gordon! Stop or I'll shoot! 


MARLOWE: The window, Ybarra! 


ISABEL: Bruce!


SOUND: GUNSHOT


MUSIC: BRIDGE 


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


YBARRA: Then, in other words, Marlowe, Bruce, who eventually planned to divorce Isabel and marry Carla Winters, wanted to have a little stake, like fifty thousand dollars, around first.


MARLOWE: That's right, Ybarra. But Skipper Martin knew about Bruce and Carla's plans to marry later and he tried to blackmail them to pay off his gambling debts. That's why he came to Bruce's cottage on the sly. However, he got there just in time to see Bruce leave of his own free will and therefore, knew later, that he couldn't have been kidnapped.


YBARRA: Which gave him two holds over Bruce.


MARLOWE: That's right. But he made a mistake when he went to Carla's house and got too demanding. Because she told Bruce about it and before he, er, released himself, he took care of Skipper -- with four gunshots, to be exact. Charming people, aren't they, Ybarra?


YBARRA: Lovely. Sometimes I think I should shoot higher and save the state a lot of money. And he almost got away with it. Oh, by the way, Marlowe, how'd you know?


MARLOWE: That Bruce was the man in the white Panama hat? I was pretty certain, but I got my proof accidentally. Promise not to repeat this, Ybarra?


YBARRA: Yeah.


MARLOWE: Well, I practically fell over a little slip of paper in his studio. It was a receipt from a department store and it was made out to Bruce Gordon--


YBARRA: For one Panama hat? 


MARLOWE: Uh huh. Nothing else but. 


MUSIC: STING ... THEN BEHIND MARLOWE--


MARLOWE: (NARRATES) When I finally got back to my place on Franklin Avenue, the sun was already up. And the people who work at nice sane jobs were beginning to fill the streets. I'd been on the go for a steady twenty-four hours, so I could think of nothing but my bed. I was about to put my key in the lock when a next door neighbor walked by, bid me a cheery "good morning," and started down the corridor. Now that alone wouldn't have disturbed my sleep, but why - why did he have to be wearing a white Panama hat?


MUSIC: UP FOR A CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe," created by Raymond Chandler, stars Gerald Mohr and is produced and directed by Norman Macdonnell. Featured in tonight's story were Jacqueline DeWitt as Isabel Gordon, Wilms Herbert as as Uncle Avery Fairchild, Bill Lally as Bruce Gordon, Shep Menken as Skipper Martin, and Lou Krugman as Brock. Detective Lieutenant Ybarra is played by Jeff Corey. The special music was conceived and conducted by Richard Aurandt.


MUSIC: TAG AND UNDER


ANNOUNCER: Be sure to be with us again next week at this same time, when Philip Marlowe says--


MUSIC: UP AND OUT


MARLOWE: When her will was read, everybody figured she'd been crazy when she wrote it. And that included me. But I changed my mind after spending the night on an island with a pig, a cat, and an ape. Because, in reality, they were people.


MUSIC: TAG


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, Amos and Andy return to the CBS network and, along with all their friends, Kingfish, Lightnin', and Henry Van Porter, they're settling down for a permanent stay. Be listening for them later this evening over most of these same CBS stations.


MUSIC: TAG ... THEN UNDER UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: This is Roy Rowan speaking for CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.


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