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The Second Door

Suspense

The Second Door

May 06 1962






CAST:


The Suspense Team:

ANNOUNCER

2ND ANNCR

JULIE LONDON, singer

SINGERS


Dramatis Personae:

GORDON SAUNDERS

DR. HOWARD EDERLY

MERILLA

FARMER, New England accent





MUSIC: CHORD


ANNOUNCER: SUSPENSE! 


MUSIC: CHORD SEGUES TO AN EERIE, MELANCHOLY THEME BEHIND GORDON--


GORDON: (NARRATES, SLOWLY) Perhaps I'm a coward. I don't know. In the years that have passed I've never told this story to anyone. I've tried to justify my silence by assuring myself that no one would believe me. But sometimes I feel the guilt. Sometimes I feel it so strongly that I can run out into the street, stop the first man I see, and tell him everything about the white house with the yellow shutters and the small brown chimneys. But then I think, "Why frighten him?" Better that he go on believing that life is real. Life is earnest. And the grave is not its goal.


ANNOUNCER: In a moment, Act One of "The Second Door," starring and written especially for SUSPENSE by Robert Readick. This first portion of SUSPENSE is brought to you by the makers of Marlboro Cigarettes.


MUSIC: COMMERCIAL JINGLE ... MELLOW JAZZ PIANO ... THEN IN BG--


2ND ANNCR: Julie London sings "The Marlboro Song."


MUSIC: PIANO BLOSSOMS INTO A FULL BAND ARRANGEMENT DURING FOLLOWING--


LONDON: (SINGS) Why don't you settle back--


SINGERS: Settle back--


LONDON: (SINGS) And have a full-flavored smoke?

Settle back--


SINGERS: Settle back--


LONDON: (SINGS) --with a Marlboro.

Make yourself comfortable

Whenever you smoke.

Have a Marlboro Cigarette.


MUSIC: BRIEF PIANO SOLO


LONDON: (SINGS) You get a lot to like with a Marlboro filter--


SINGERS: Filter--


LONDON: (SINGS) Flavor--


SINGERS: Flavor--


LONDON: (SINGS) Pack or box.


2ND ANNCR: Try Marlboro, the filter cigarette with the unfiltered taste.


MUSIC: JINGLE OUT ... THEN EERIE, MELANCHOLY THEME BEHIND GORDON--


GORDON: (NARRATES) Some time ago, I made arrangements to rent a completely isolated house in the northwestern part of the country. The last leg of the journey there was made in an old station wagon. It was very late at night when we arrived and I instructed the man who drove it to let me off at the entrance to the long driveway, as I wanted to walk up to the house alone.


SOUND: NOCTURNAL NOISES (CRICKETS, ET CETERA) ... PLUS AN EERIE THEREMIN-LIKE TONE ... BOTH CONTINUE IN BG


GORDON: (NARRATES) With a heavy suitcase in each hand, I started up the long gentle slope toward the house.


SOUND: GORDON'S FOOTSTEPS TRUDGE THE GRAVEL DRIVEWAY ... THEN IN BG


GORDON: (NARRATES) At a point perhaps thirty or forty yards on, the road turned sharply to the left and up ahead it seemed there must have been a patch where the foliage of the overhanging trees grew less thickly together -- for amid the utter darkness, a thin, eerie beam of light filtered down. And in it, there appeared to be some sort of a shape.


SOUND: GORDON'S FOOTSTEPS STOP


GORDON: (NARRATES) I had the impression that what I saw up ahead in this driveway in the middle of nowhere was a woman - in a bright red dress - seated imperturbably in a chair. And suddenly, after I'd taken but a few steps further, this thing that I had been watching moved -- definitely, clearly. For an instant, I thought, an animal. But whatever it was remained in the filtering of light and continued to move back and forth--


SOUND: SLOW CREAK OF WOODEN ROCKING CHAIR


GORDON: (NARRATES) --in a slow, rhythmic pattern. In the sort of to-and-fro motion that one might set up in a rocking chair. 


SOUND: THEREMIN-LIKE TONE FADES OUT WITH--


GORDON: (CALLS, FRIENDLY) Hello! (NO RESPONSE) Hello? (NO ANSWER) Who is that up there?


SOUND: NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND AND ROCKING CHAIR FILL A PAUSE ... CHAIR GROWS LOUDER BEHIND--


GORDON: (NARRATES) I strained my eyes to bring some sense of detail to this apparition, but, incredibly, with each step I took toward it in the darkness, the dimmer it became -- until, inconceivably, when I finally arrived at the spot where it should have been the brightest, there was total darkness.


SOUND: NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND AND ROCKING CHAIR FILL A PAUSE 


GORDON: (NARRATES) And there was nothing there. Nothing but the unmistakable sound of a rocking chair -- rocking back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth.


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--


GORDON: (NARRATES) After a few minutes, the sound of that squeaking chair slowly faded away and I made my way on to the house where I lay awake through the night trying to find some reasonable explanation. As soon as it was daylight, I went back to that spot on the driveway where I found nothing to make the matter more understandable. And suddenly, quite distinctly, there was the sound of a man's voice calling out to me.


SOUND: DIURNAL BACKGROUND (BIRDS CHIRP, ET CETERA)


EDERLY: (OFF, CONGENIAL) Hello, there!


GORDON: (NARRATES) And quite nearby a man stepped abruptly out onto the driveway, having come apparently along a footpath leading through the woods.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


EDERLY: (CLOSER) Well, I see you're an early riser, too. Lovely time of the day to walk about. My name's Ederly; Howard Ederly. I thought as long as we were going to be neighbors that I'd make--


GORDON: (PUZZLED) Neighbors?


EDERLY: Yes, I assume you've taken over the Lonegan place.


GORDON: Well, yes. Yes, I have.


EDERLY: Well, I have the place just north of you.


GORDON: Well, it was made perfectly clear there wasn't another house around here for miles.


EDERLY: Oh, that's true enough, except for mine. Originally, you see, it was sort of a gatehouse, but it was cut off, remodeled, and sold to me.


GORDON: When was this?


EDERLY: Uh, this is our seventh year. Course, we use it only in the summer.


GORDON: We?


EDERLY: Yes, my daughter and I. Er, would you care to walk back with me to my house? I'd like you to meet Merilla.


GORDON: Tell me something, Mr. Ederly. Your, um-- Your daughter--?


EDERLY: Yes?


GORDON: (BEAT) Does she own a bright red dress?


EDERLY: (TAKEN ABACK) What a curious question.


GORDON: Nonetheless, I wish you'd answer it.


EDERLY: Well, I'm - afraid I don't know. (LIGHTLY) Why? Do you have a preference for women in red dresses?


GORDON: By no means. Do you have a - rocking chair, Mr. Ederly?


EDERLY: (CONFUSED) A - a what?


GORDON: A rocking chair.


EDERLY: (CHUCKLES) You're pulling my leg, aren't you?


GORDON: No, not at all. (BEAT) Do you have one?


EDERLY: (SLOWLY) Well, yes. Yes, we do have a rocking chair.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND GORDON--


GORDON: (NARRATES) The Ederly house was a one-story building, white with yellow shutters and two small brown chimneys. It sat in the center of a moderate-size clearing. The surface of this clearing was made up entirely of rock -- actually of one enormous rock whose top was flat as a sidewalk and level with the surrounding earth.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


EDERLY: (CALLS) Merilla?


MERILLA: (OFF) Yes, father?


EDERLY: We have a visitor.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES


MERILLA: (CLOSER) Hello. We thought we heard someone drive up last night.


EDERLY: (INTRODUCTIONS) Uh, this is Mr. Saunders. My, uh, daughter Merilla.


GORDON: (BEAT, SMITTEN) How do you do?


MERILLA: (ALSO SMITTEN) It's a pleasure, Mr. Saunders. You have no idea how much.


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


GORDON: (NARRATES) It was strange how attracted this girl and I were to each other from the very first. There was nothing precisely in what she said that would indicate how she felt, but there was something - unmistakable in her attitude, her manner -- and the expression in her eyes.


EDERLY: How, er, long do you, er, plan to be staying up here, Mr. Saunders?


GORDON: Oh, just until I unwind a little; maybe a month or so. (NARRATES) Curiously, the only chair in the room was the rocker that Mr. Ederly had said he owned. I took a step toward it.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


EDERLY: (QUICKLY) I - I wouldn't sit there, Mr. Saunders.


GORDON: Oh, really? Why not?


EDERLY: Well, it's - it's, uh, uh--


GORDON: Yes?


EDERLY: (UNCONVINCINGLY) Well, it's a little unstable. Some of the rungs are loose.


GORDON: (BEAT) Oh, I see. It, um-- It seems - rather old.


MERILLA: (HELPFULLY) That chair belonged to my mother. She died last year. My father's sentimental about it.


EDERLY: (TO GORDON, STILL UNCONVINCING) Uh, I, er, hesitated to mention it. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Well, er, Merilla, have you prepared that breakfast for me?


MERILLA: Yes. It's in the kitchen.


EDERLY: Well, then I suggest I get to it. Why don't you and Mr. Saunders take a stroll about and get to know each other?



MERILLA: (LIKES THE IDEA, TO GORDON) Shall we?


EDERLY: I'll, er, be working when you get back.


GORDON: Oh? What sort of work do you do, Mr. Ederly?


MERILLA: (CORRECTS HIM) Doctor Ederly.


GORDON: Oh, really? Of what, medicine?


EDERLY: (CHUCKLES) Oh, hardly. Of, uh, philosophy.


MERILLA: (IMPATIENT, TO GORDON) Oh, now let's go. You two can chat another time.


GORDON: (NODS ADIEU) Doctor.


EDERLY: (FADES AS GORDON MOVES OFF) Uh, see you later, Mr. Saunders.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS AS GORDON AND MERILLA EXIT THE HOUSE


GORDON: Don't you think you'll be a little chilly?


MERILLA: (HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT) Oh. Do you think so? I-- Well, I'll get a jacket.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN BEHIND GORDON--


GORDON: (NARRATES) Through the window, I could see her open the closet. And there, hanging in plain sight, was a bright red dress. I said nothing to her about it, hoping that in some way she'd get around to mentioning it or at least let something drop that would help explain what I'd seen in the driveway. But she didn't.


We strolled about for some time and she spoke only of inconsequentialities, and when I asked her something specific about her background, she would respond with a non sequitur or direct my attention to some flower or passing bird. But, withal, her attitude remained warm and friendly. I might even say inviting.


And despite everything, I felt myself being more and more drawn to her. At one point, I couldn't resist the impulse to reach out for her hand.


MUSIC: ABRUPTLY OUT WITH--


MERILLA: (TERRIFIED) Don't touch me!


GORDON: What?


MERILLA: Please!


GORDON: But I don't understand. Why should--?


MERILLA: Don't come any closer. 


GORDON: Merilla, what is it?


MERILLA: We'd - better go back now.


GORDON: What's the matter with you?


MERILLA: Nothing. I'm perfectly all right.


GORDON: When I tried to take hold of your hand, you backed away from me as if I were a serpent. Why?


MERILLA: Oh, please--


GORDON: Why did you do that? You looked absolutely terrified.


MERILLA: I can't explain--


GORDON: Can't explain? Why can't you explain?


MERILLA: I'm-- I don't know why I did that.


GORDON: Well, are you afraid of me?


MERILLA: No.


GORDON: Well, then give me your hand. (BEAT) Why won't you give me your hand?


MERILLA: Leave me alone, will you? Please! Just leave me alone.


GORDON: (NARRATES, QUICKLY) She suddenly turned and started to run down the path, and at that exact moment, from a distance, we heard a voice calling out -- screaming out, rather -- as if in anguish.


EDERLY: (OFF, ANGUISHED CRY)


GORDON: (NARRATES) The path branched off just ahead and I ran quickly in the direction of the scream.


EDERLY: (OFF, ANGUISHED CRY)


GORDON: (NARRATES) It was only a short distance to the point where the path came out of the woods and I found myself on the cleared land that surrounded the Lonegan house. (BEAT) And there was no one there.


EDERLY: (ANGUISHED CRY, CLOSER)


GORDON: (NARRATES) Like the previous night when I'd heard the sound of the rocking chair coming out of nowhere, there was now only this agonizing scream for help again and again.


EDERLY: (OFF, ANGUISHED CRY TWICE MORE)


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND GORDON--


GORDON: (NARRATES) Like before, the sound eventually faded away, but not before I had the distinct impression that what I had been listening to was the  voice of Dr. Ederly. I started back toward his house, but this time circuitously. To make certain that I wasn't seen, I approached from the rear of the house. Then, keeping low, I scurried up to a partly opened window. Merilla and Dr. Ederly were inside.


MERILLA: (ANNOYED) It was your suggestion that I walk with him in the woods. If you hadn't--


EDERLY: (PEEVED) Well, how could I know that you were going to behave like an infatuated adolescent? Of course he was going to touch you. Batting your eyes, talking in whispers. What kind of behavior is that?


MERILLA: Oh, I did no such thing.


EDERLY: Of course you did! It was outright flirtation. And then running -- imagine that! -- running!


MERILLA: What else could I have done?


EDERLY: You could have used your wits.


MERILLA: That screaming you did for help, that--


EDERLY: It was the only possible way to distract him. I'd rather he was puzzled over that than have him discover the whole truth from you. Now, I'm going down to his house and see if I can double-talk our way out of this. Don't leave here until I get back.


MUSIC: FILLS A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG--


GORDON: (NARRATES) For a moment, Merilla stood in the open doorway and then she turned and went to the bend of a long hallway where there were two heavy doors. She unlocked the nearer one and went in. Then, as quietly as possible, I made my way around to the front of the house and down the hallway to the door that Merilla had gone to. It was slightly ajar and I could see most of the room with no difficulty. At one side, there was an enormous workbench completely strewn over with an infinite assortment of tools and electronic equipment -- wires, tubes, lights, and meters. Merilla was seated before what at first appeared to be an ordinary television set. But there were curious labels above the three knobs that she was carefully adjusting. They read, respectively: latitude, longitude, and altitude. Then she flipped a switch--


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


SOUND: SWITCH FLIPS ... THE EERIE THEREMIN-LIKE TONE FADES IN ... CONTINUES IN BG


GORDON: (NARRATES) --and an image appeared on the screen. It was undoubtedly the Lonegan house. And it was a remarkably acceptable illusion, not only because the image was sharp and the coloring perfect, but because, astonishingly, the house was reproduced in its full three dimensions. The object had roundness, depth, perspective. Except for the reduction in size, every detail seemed as credible, as palpable, as the original. It seemed as if you could reach in and pick the very flowers near the lawn. I stood for a time watching this, fascinated by it -- until Dr. Ederly came into view, crossing the lawn, approaching the porch.


EDERLY: (OFF, CALLS, FRIENDLY) Oh, Mr. Saunders? (NO ANSWER) Mr. Saunders, are you at home?


GORDON: (NARRATES) His voice was entirely free of the usual amplification sound of electronic speakers. It was as clear as the miniature image of him that walked up to the door and knocked.


SOUND: EDERLY KNOCKS ON DOOR, OFF


GORDON: (NARRATES) And, getting no answer, he went back toward the woods. At this point, Merilla must have, uh-- must have heard me move slightly, for she suddenly turned and in one motion she clicked off the set and came to her feet.


SOUND: SWITCH FLIPS ... AND THEREMIN-LIKE TONE OUT ... AS MERILLA RISES


MERILLA: (ALARMED) What are you--?


GORDON: That device. Did he invent that?


MERILLA: You mustn't stay here. He's coming right back.


GORDON: Well, there doesn't even seem to be an electronic speaker in that thing. Are there cameras? Microphones? Or does he merely twist those knobs?


MERILLA: (WORRIED) Oh, if he finds out that you've seen it--


GORDON: Well, why is he keeping this a secret?


MERILLA: (UNCONVINCING) It - it's not perfected.


GORDON: Is that true?


MERILLA: Yes.


GORDON: Merilla, listen to me. You seem to be frightened by something that's going on around here. I - I know that I am, and I want to know what it is. Now, I also want to help you. There isn't much I can do if you won't tell me the truth. Now, what's in that other locked room?


MERILLA: What?


GORDON: In the room next to this.


MERILLA: (EVASIVE) My father works in there.


GORDON: Well, I'm sure he does, but at what? What does he work at in there?


MERILLA: I - can't tell you that.


GORDON: Why not?


MERILLA: Because it's - really his affair.


GORDON: But you do know what it is.


MERILLA: Yes.


GORDON: (BEAT, FIRMLY) You're going to unlock that door, Merilla, and you are going to unlock it now. 


MERILLA: No, please.


EDERLY: (IN CLOSE) Well, go on, Merilla. 


MERILLA: (STARTLED GASP) Father!


EDERLY: Why don't you oblige the gentleman? When a man is as curious about something as all that, I don't think he should be kept in frustration. Merilla, give me the key.


MERILLA: Father, what are you doing?


EDERLY: Give it to me. 


SOUND: EDERLY TAKES KEY ... HIS STEPS BEHIND--


EDERLY: Now, Mr. Saunders, if you'll just step this way.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN BEHIND GORDON ... CONTINUES IN BG--


GORDON: (NARRATES) We walked to the second door where Dr. Ederly inserted the key in the lock--


SOUND: KEY IN LOCK ... DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS


GORDON: (NARRATES) --and opened it. I looked into a very small room, the floor, walls, and ceiling of which were made entirely of frosted glass. And there was nothing else; it was empty. On the outside of the door, there was a panel, which he slid aside to reveal three knobs like the others I had seen, similarly labeled -- latitude, longitude, and altitude.


MUSIC: OUT


EDERLY: Actually, Mr. Saunders, there are microscopic perforations in the glass to admit air. Now, would you be good enough to give me the name of a place some distance away.


GORDON: A place?


EDERLY: Anywhere you choose. Anywhere on earth.


GORDON: Some place I, um - I would like to see?


EDERLY: No, Mr. Saunders. Some place you'd like to be.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN IN BG


GORDON: (NARRATES) I had no intention of stepping inside Dr. Ederly's glass cubicle, but I was curious to see what might appear on the screens, and I gave him the general location of the New England farm where I was born. Alongside in the hallway, there was a series of bookshelves; it held a selection of highly detailed atlases and charts, and from one of these we determined the exact location of the farm. Then he carefully adjusted the knobs. I watched from the doorway as the glass began to glow with colored light. 


MUSIC: SEGUE TO PASTORAL THEME TO INDICATE A CHANGE OF SCENE ... THEN IN BG


GORDON: (NARRATES) And then suddenly before me: what was for all the world an actual pasture -- trees and sky, flowers and grass -- and, in the distance, a barn, with a silo leaning like the Tower of Pisa. (EXCITED, TO EDERLY) That barn! I played there when I was a child! (NARRATES) Involuntarily, I must have taken a step toward it, for I heard Merilla's voice.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


MERILLA: Don't! Don't go in there!


EDERLY: Be quiet.


GORDON: (NARRATES) I turned around and I saw that Dr. Ederly had a gun in his hand.


EDERLY: (GRIM) Stay where you are. (MOCKINGLY) Enjoy yourself. Play in the barn again, Mr. Saunders.


SOUND: DOOR CLOSES AND LOCKS


MUSIC: PASTORAL ... SNEAKS IN BEHIND GORDON--


GORDON: (NARRATES) And now I was completely engulfed in this farmland scene. It was astonishing. It was if I were a very part of it. If I had somehow awakened here never having seen those blank glass walls, I would have completely believed that I was standing in this open countryside.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


FARMER: (OFF) Where'd you come from, mister?


GORDON: (NARRATES) I turned and I saw a farmer standing what seemed to be about ten yards away.


FARMER: (OFF) Somethin' I can do for ya?


GORDON: Well, uh-- No. No, I, um--


FARMER: (OFF) Whatcha doin' here?


GORDON: Well, I--


FARMER: (OFF) Lose your way?


GORDON: Well, not exactly. You see, I--


FARMER: (OFF, BEAT) Well? Go on.


GORDON: Well, I - I was born here. My family used to own this place. I just thought I'd - I'd look--


FARMER: (OFF) Take a look around?


GORDON: Yes.


FARMER: (OFF) What's your name?


GORDON: Gordon Saunders. My father was--


FARMER: (OFF) Dan Saunders! I heard of him. He had the place thirty years ago.


GORDON: That's right.


FARMER: (OFF) Want to see the house?


GORDON: Well, I--


FARMER: (OFF) Then come on.


GORDON: (NARRATES) He turned his back and walked away.


FARMER: (OFF) Bring that rake along, will ya?


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN BEHIND GORDON--


GORDON: (NARRATES) It was lying on the ground near my feet. I bent down. But my hand didn't close about the handle of the rake as it would have ordinarily, but rather passed right through it as if it weren't there. Nothing but sounds and images projected across a continent.


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


FARMER: (FARTHER OFF) You coming?


GORDON: (CALLS) Uh, no. No. No, I'd - I'd rather be by myself. I'll just take a little walk around, if you don't mind.


FARMER: (FARTHER OFF) Suit yourself. We'll be up at the house if you change your mind.


GORDON: (CALLS) Well, thank you very much. (BEAT, NARRATES, SLOWLY) Then he turned and - and walked further away. He went on. Then suddenly there was the sound of a key--


SOUND: KEY IN LOCK ... DOOR OPENS ... THEN A SCUFFLE IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


GORDON: (NARRATES, QUICKLY) --and the door opened back into Dr. Ederly's hallway. Somehow in an effort to save me, Merilla must have managed to get the key and the gun away from her father, had quickly opened the door of the cubicle, and thrown the gun down the length of the long hallway. 


EDERLY: (GRUNTS WITH EFFORT AS HE STRUGGLES WITH MERILLA BEHIND--)


GORDON: (NARRATES) As I came out, she was grappling with him, to keep him from reaching it. Before I'd taken two steps toward them, he'd broken loose and was running for the gun. It was obvious that he'd reach it before either of us, and in a moment we'd both be helpless. I had a revolver in my suitcase at the Lonegan place and I knew that our only chance was for me to get it. I ran out of the house and into the woods.


MUSIC: AGITATED TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--


GORDON: (NARRATES) I got the gun - and rushed back with it toward their house. I stopped - just short of the clearing. I walked carefully to the edge.


MUSIC: SEGUE TO EERIE THEME TO INDICATE A CHANGE OF SCENE ... THEN IN BG


GORDON: (NARRATES, SLOWLY) The white house with the yellow shutters and the two small brown chimneys was no more. It had vanished completely. Not a trace of it. I walked out into the clearing -- bewildered, shocked, hardly able to accept the evidence of my senses.


EDERLY: How do you know, Mr. Saunders, that all of life is not an illusion?


GORDON: (NARRATES) I didn't even bother to turn or look about, for I knew I'd see nothing.


MUSIC: OUT, DURING ABOVE


GORDON: Can you hear me, Merilla?


MERILLA: (SADLY) Yes. I can hear you. I can see you.


GORDON: Are you all right?


EDERLY: She's perfectly all right.


GORDON: The house was never really here, was it?


EDERLY: I'm afraid not.


GORDON: Nor were you. The walk we took in the woods, Merilla--?


EDERLY: Like your visit with the farmer.


GORDON: And it was you in the red dress?


MERILLA: Yes. I'm sorry.


EDERLY: I was doing some experiments; there was a short circuit, and the image appeared in the driveway.


GORDON: And when I tried to touch your hand, Merilla, in the woods?


EDERLY: She moved away. We were careful that you never actually touched anything connected with us -- ourselves, the rocking chair. Even the doors of the house were held or left open for you.


GORDON: The floor--?


EDERLY: What you felt under your feet was the same flat rock you're standing on now. What you saw was the illusion of floorboards. No, no; nothing to touch. As yet.


GORDON: As yet?


EDERLY: We have five senses, haven't we, Mr. Saunders? You were quite beguiled by the use of only two. Oh, I expect to have no particular difficulties with odors and tastes. But the sense of touch-- You'd be interested to know that I've begun my experiments with the sense of touch, Mr. Saunders, and with very encouraging results. (POINTEDLY) I'd considered conducting another experiment now -- with you as the subject. With you, and with a bullet from my gun.


GORDON: Oh?


EDERLY: But Merilla has pleaded your case. She's convinced me that you're too sensible to tell anyone about all this; that no one would believe you.


GORDON: I don't imagine they would.


EDERLY: She's also promised never to try to get in touch with you. And, of course, I have a way of keeping an eye on you, don't I?


GORDON: That house actually does exist somewhere, doesn't it?


EDERLY: Yes. But you won't try to find it, will you, Mr. Saunders?


GORDON: And of course your name isn't Ederly.


EDERLY: I should think not. You know, I've thought of an interesting experiment we might conduct in the place of the one with the bullet. (TO MERILLA) Merilla, I thought that since you've become so fond of our friend that you might want to say your last goodbye with the proper finality; that you might want to say it -- with a kiss.


MUSIC: EERIE, MELANCHOLY THEME ... THEN IN BG--


GORDON: (NARRATES) For a moment or two, there was silence. And then I heard Merilla's voice -- very close. Almost in a whisper. 


MERILLA: I've never heard your first name. Would you tell it to me now?


GORDON: (BEAT) It's Gordon.


MERILLA: (BEAT) Goodbye, Gordon.


GORDON: (NARRATES) And then I felt Merilla's lips on mine -- gently -- a tender pressure that lingered on my lips for a moment -- and then was gone.


EDERLY: And now, Mr. Saunders-- Now that I have given you your life, would you tell me, in return, if you felt Merilla's kiss?


GORDON: (BEAT) Yes, I did.


EDERLY: Clearly? Unmistakably?


GORDON: (BEAT) It was, in every sense, the kiss of a lovely woman.


MUSIC: FADES OUT


GORDON: Except--


EDERLY: Yes? Except what?


GORDON: (BEAT) That it was cold, doctor. (BEAT) Cold as death.


MUSIC: CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: SUSPENSE!


MUSIC: CHORD


ANNOUNCER: You've been listening to "The Second Door," starring and written especially for SUSPENSE by Robert Readick.


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


ANNOUNCER: SUSPENSE is produced and directed by Bruno Zirato, Jr. Music supervision by Ethel Huber. Sound patterns by Walter Otto. Heard in tonight's story were Barbara Cassar as Merilla, Paul McGrath as Dr. Ederly, and Bob Dryden as the farmer. This is Stuart Metz speaking. Listen again next week when we return with "Hide and Seek," written by Bob Corcoran, another tale well-calculated to keep you in--


MUSIC: CHORD


ANNOUNCER: SUSPENSE! 


Now, from SUSPENSE, and from CBS Radio Network stations everywhere, anniversary greetings to radio station KSL, Salt Lake City, marking its fortieth year of operation today. To fifty-thousand-watt KSL, affiliated with CBS Radio since Nineteen Thirty-Two, many more years of success. 


This is the CBS Radio Network.


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