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Three Wise Guys

The Whistler 

Three Wise Guys

Dec 24 1950

 


CAST

ANNOUNCER

THE WHISTLER

AL

GOOD TIME CHARLEY

BLONDY SWANSON

THE DUTCHMAN

CLARABELLE COBB

BABY

OFFICER

and a CHURCH CHOIR




ANNOUNCER: And now stay tuned for the program that has rated tops in popularity for a longer period of time than any other West Coast program in radio history -- the Signal Oil program, "The Whistler," transcribed by the Signal Oil Company for Christmas Eve to enable the entire production staff of "The Whistler" to spend Christmas Eve at home with their families.


MUSIC: WHISTLER THEME ... FOLLOWED BY DOUBLE DRUM BEAT


ANNOUNCER: (ECHO) Signal, the famous "Go Farther" gasoline, invites you to sit back and enjoy another strange story - by The Whistler. 


MUSIC: WHISTLER THEME REPEATED WITH ECHO ... THEN ORCHESTRA IN BG


WHISTLER: I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak.


MUSIC: TYMPANI ROLL ... THEN QUIETLY BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: And now, for the Signal Oil Company, the Whistler brings you a most unusual story -- one of the most heartwarming stories of our times, especially appealing this Christmas Eve -- "Three Wise Guys."


MUSIC: TAG ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--


WHISTLER: 'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Even Broadway, that glamorous avenue of make-believe in faraway New York, seemed empty, deserted. Most cafés and eating places were closed. But the doors of an occasional refuge for those hearty souls who prefer to walk alone were still open. Such a place was Good Time Charley's Bar on Forty-Ninth Street where on another Christmas Eve a series of unusual events began, ending in one of the most unusual stories Good Time Charley had ever listened to. At the moment Charley is listening to the voice of a man named Al.


SOUND: CLINK OF GLASSES ... THEN INTERMITTENTLY IN BG


AL: As is well known to one and all, Charley, I am not one to complain, but it strikes me that Broadway would bring very little tonight on the open market. 


CHARLEY: I know you ten, maybe fifteen years, Al, and till now I don't know you know there is an open market.


AL: Ah ha, for the past twelve months that I know of, I am one hundred percent legitimate. Honest, legitimate Al. 


CHARLEY: Want another "rock candy and rye," without the rock candy?


AL: I, er, very seldom indulge in alcoholic beverages. But, in answer to your question, yes.


SOUND: BOTTLE ON GLASS AS CHARLEY POURS DRINK


CHARLEY: Haven't seen you for a year, Al. Want to run over that part again where you tell me you're playin' it straight for the past twelve months? 


AL: (DRINKS, EXHALES) As of last Christmas Eve, I am a one hundred percent honest ticket scalper. I do not make a killin', but I get that good warm feelin' that comes with bein' one hundred percent legit.


CHARLEY: It feels good to play it straight? 


AL: Cozy. 


CHARLEY: You wanna tell me about it, Al? 


AL: I do not mind if I do, Good Time Charley. It all begins a year ago tonight right here in your strictly high-class drough. Blondy Swanson was here with me, remember?


CHARLEY: Yeah, I think I do remember, Al.


AL: Now, Blondy Swanson is one of the gentry which operates on that side of the law as very few calls right, though Blondy himself always feels this is a matter of opinion. But Blondy is not concerned with his racket a year ago tonight. You are busy chauffeuring the bar, Good Time Charley, so maybe you do not notice the sad scene. Yep -- it is last year, just about this same time, when Blondy comes in here, his big frame pretzeled with grief. 


SOUND: FADE IN CROWDED BAR BACKGROUND


BLONDY: (DEJECTED) Hullo, Al. 


AL: Well, hiya, Blondy. I see you are not so happy tonight. Why not join me in a medicinal rock candy and rye? Er, without the rock candy. I am fightin' off a touch of grippe.


BLONDY: Okay, Al. I got a bad case of memories tonight. If rye can pack away the grippe, maybe it can take a load off my memories.


AL: (CALLS) Hey, Charley?! Two more rock candies and ryes! Er, without the rock candy!


CHARLEY: (OFF) I'll slide 'em down.


AL: Are these conversational memories, Blondy, or shall we give 'em the clam?


BLONDY: Do you recall a doll named Clarabelle Cobb, Al? 


AL: Miss Clarabelle Cobb? Of course I do. She is well known to one and all on Broadway as a leadin' light with George White's Scandals some years back. 


BLONDY: Yeah. Well, Christmas Eve is an anniversary for me. It was on Christmas Eve that Clarabelle left me -- to marry an honest guy in Akron, Ohio. 


SOUND: DRINKS SLIDE DOWN THE BAR


CHARLEY: (OFF) There ya are.


AL: Oh. Drink up, Blondy. 


SOUND: AL AND BLONDY DRINK AND EXHALE


AL: Up to now, I remember Miss Clarabelle Cobb as a doll with Class A judgment. Why did she put distance between her and you?


BLONDY: Well, Clarabelle was a gal that didn't care as much about how much money you had as she did where you got it. She felt that my roll was ample, but tainted.


AL: This is why she puts on the exit? 


BLONDY: Right. I can see now that she was right, but now it's too late.


AL: But there must be other dolls as beautiful and desirable -- and not such quizmasters as to where the scratch comes from.


BLONDY: I'll never look at another doll again, Al! They're - they're for other guys.


SOUNDS: DUTCHMAN'S STEPS APPROACH BEHIND-- 


DUTCHMAN: Hey, Blondy! 


BLONDY: Huh?


DUTCHMAN: Blondy Swanson! 


BLONDY: (PLEASED) Well, if it ain't the Dutchman! Well, look, Al! 


DUTCHMAN: Hi, Al, Blondy. Yuletides all around. 


AL: Why, I cannot believe my eyes, Dutchman. I have not seen you in these parts for maybe a whole calendar or so. 


DUTCHMAN: I've been detained in the west. Oh, it's a sad story. And I can see that all you two guys need is one more sad story. But you're not gonna hear none. I got good news for ya.


BLONDY: Then you have come to the right place, Dutchman. I always get kinda down on Christmas Eve.


DUTCHMAN: What I'm gonna tell ya, will give ya a big lift. Blondy, you and me have pulled a few fast deals together, but I got one tonight that's the softest touch of all. Oh, you can listen, Al. We'll cut you in, too.


AL: Oh, ho ho! I have turned down soft touches before. But, not wishing to be rude, I will hear you out.


DUTCHMAN: Some months back, three others guys and me knocked off a tin safe in a factory over in Pennsylvania. It was a cinch haul on account of we received a dead center tip. The tip was on the level. So we stashed fifty G's in our grip sack and get set to hit the open road.


BLONDY: Somethin' detained ya? 


DUTCHMAN: The cops. After hot blastin' from both sides, I find myself alone, on the lam, with fifty G's in the grip sack. But it's not a clean getaway, and I figure it's better to find a hidin' place for the dough, not wantin' to be caught with the goods.


AL: I am beginnin' to get the idea. You're suggestin' that the three of us go for this dough tonight and cut it three ways.


DUTCHMAN: That's the idea. It's in an unpopulated barn, under the floorboards. When I decide to go get it, the first guy I think of is you, Blondy. How about it?


BLONDY: I must admit I got no other plans, Dutchman. Nice of you to think of me. Count me in.


DUTCHMAN: How 'bout you, Al?


AL: Er, I am not generally known as a spoilsport, but this prospect frankly holds no appeal for me. I do not wish to join the party.


DUTCHMAN: This your final answer? 


AL: Yes, Dutchman. You may quote me. I will not go with you. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... QUOTES "WE THREE KINGS" ... THEN BEHIND AL--


AL: (TO CHARLEY) Well, Good Time Charley, that's the way it went. I am certain I will not leave your bistro that night, I am negative to the whole scheme, and am nixin' it loud and clear to one and all. 


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


AL: So imagine my surprise at some later point to find myself warm and cozy in the back seat of the Dutchman's ancient velocipede, doggin' it through the snow-covered country side. The whole settin' is so peaceful I am catchin' small doses of snooze. But in between times I cannot help but overhear the up-front conversation of Blondy and the Dutchman.


BLONDY: You sure this is the right road, Dutchman? 


DUTCHMAN: Certainly I'm sure. I can fly this road blind if necessary.


BLONDY: You are not flying blind now so you must have noticed that the radiator is percolatin' again. I think we better stop and take on another load o' snow.


DUTCHMAN: Uhhhh, guess we'll have to. But I sure hate these delays.


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE WINDS DOWN TO A STOP ... CAR DOORS OPEN


MUSIC: FROM OFF, A CHURCH CHOIR SINGS A HYMN ... CONTINUES IN BG


DUTCHMAN: (GROANS AS HE PICKS UP SNOW)


BLONDY: Hey, Dutchman! Listen. (BEAT) Must be comin' from that little church. 


DUTCHMAN: (UNINTERESTED) Yeah, yeah. Come on, help put this snow in the radiator. 


BLONDY: Sounds real pretty, that kind of singin'. 


DUTCHMAN: You think that's pretty? Wait till ya hear real music -- the kind money makes when it's crisp. 


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... QUOTES "WE THREE KINGS"


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


AL: (WAKES WITH A SNORT) Hey! Hey, Blondy, Dutchman? Where - where are we? 


DUTCHMAN: In Pennsylvania, Al, not far from that barn where I stashed the factory payroll.


AL: How can you tell? I for one see very little but darkness around and about.


BLONDY: I got to agree with Al, Dutchman. I got a feeling we're lost. Maybe we better give the whole scheme up.


DUTCHMAN: You two give up easy. I tell ya, I know for certain we're close to that barn. I can tell by that big fat star I've been followin' for the last few miles.


AL: Oh, yeah. I am seein' a small light ahead, but I observe if this is a star, it is hangin' very low to the ground.


BLONDY: I still got a feeling we are lost. Why don't we go back to Good Time Charley's, which is a lot easier to find.


DUTCHMAN: I don't care how low this star is hangin'. I know it's leadin' me straight. I'm runnin' this show, so you two better seal up. There, look! I'm right as rain. This is the barn.


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE WINDS DOWN TO A STOP BEHIND--


AL: I do not wish to start an exchange of words, but that star you followed turns out to be nothin' more than a light from the window of said barn.


DUTCHMAN: (CONCEDES) Ah, okay! So somebody's livin' in the barn. I'll take care of them if they're too hard to get along with.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, CAR DOORS OPEN ... FOOTSTEPS THROUGH SNOW TO BARN, IN BG


BLONDY: Uh, I vote for gettin' out o' here.


AL: I am not dressed to call on strangers myself. 


DUTCHMAN: Come on, and cut the gab. 'Sides, maybe there's only animals in the barn. I don't see no human footprints in the snow, 'cept ours. 


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS OUT


DUTCHMAN: (BEAT, LOW) I'll be doggone. Look through that window, Blondy. Is that a doll in there?


BLONDY: Let me see. (BEAT) Yeah. Yeah, she's a doll. Not only that, I don't think she's feelin' in the pink either. Now that we are here, let us go inside and see if there's anything we can do for her.


DUTCHMAN: I don't care nothin' about a sick doll. I want to lay my mitts on the grip sack with the fifty G's in it. Come on.


SOUND: STEPS TO BARN DOOR, WHICH OPENS ... FOOTSTEPS IN


CLARABELLE: (WEAKLY) Who - who's that? (NO ANSWER, WORRIED) Who are you? 


BLONDY: We mean no harm. We-- 


SOUND: BLONDY TAKES A STEP, THEN STOPS


BLONDY: (DOUBLE TAKE, STUNNED, SLOWLY) We-- Well, for-- If it ain't Miss Clarabelle Cobb -- in person. 


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: Friends, to all of you who have opened your homes to "The Whistler," not only throughout the year, but even tonight on Christmas Eve, the Signal Oil Company has asked me to express their sincere appreciation for this privilege and pleasure. And we of the cast want to add our thank you, too. During the eight consecutive years that "The Whistler" has been broadcast by Signal Oil Company, many of us have celebrated Christmas with many of you a number of times. And believe me, we're mighty proud that you consider us part of your entertainment family. Tonight on behalf of Signal Oil Company -- and the independent Signal dealers who serve you in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah -- I want to convey warmest season's greetings. May the many blessings of living in these United States of America enrich your holiday season and the New Year. 


MUSIC: WHISTLER THEME ... THEN ORCHESTRA BEHIND WHISTLER--


WHISTLER: Yes, Al, that isolated barn in the snow-swept Pennsylvania countryside -- so far removed from Good Time Charley's Bar where you're now enjoying Charley's rock candy and rye, without the rock candy -- held a surprising development for you, Blondy Swanson, and the Dutchman, didn't it? The three of you had driven there that Christmas Eve a year ago to claim the fifty thousand dollar payroll the Dutchman had hidden there. The presence of Miss Clarabelle Cobb in the barn at your arrival was something not even her ex-boyfriend, Blondy Swanson, could fathom immediately. And you were even more puzzled than Blondy, weren't you, Al? Only the Dutchman seemed to have the faintest understanding of what it's all about -- so you turned to the Dutchman.


AL: Dutchman, I am not understandin' all this. Why do you not inform us?


DUTCHMAN: Listen, Al, you and Blondy better clear out of here for a while. Take a walk in the snow. I guess I'll have to take care of this doll.


BLONDY: Huh? Hey, look, Dutchman, I haven't seen Clarabelle for a long time. If you think I'm gonna leave her now and go for a walk with Al, you are nuts!


AL: Besides which, Dutchman, this doll is clearly at grips with some strange malady. I do not think it is polite the three of us should visit in this manner at this time.


DUTCHMAN: Listen, I came here to get fifty G's -- not a sick doll and a lot of lip from you two. This won't take long, so blow.


BLONDY: But, Dutchman--!


DUTCHMAN: I'm gettin' fed up with you, Blondy. I know what I'm doin'. I've delivered seven of the eight kids my wife's had. And I never needed no doctor. This one'll be a cinch. Now, will you get out o' here?


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: AL AND BLONDY'S FOOTSTEPS IN THE SNOW


AL: (SIGHS) I cannot help but say this is quite a night for surprises, Blondy.


BLONDY: Yeah.


AL: I for one can take winter sports or leave them to someone else--


BLONDY: (INTERRUPTS) Al? 


AL: Yeah, Blondy?


BLONDY: We could take the Dutchman's car there. Ya think Clarabelle would be better off if we get her a doc?


AL: Well, I am new in this racket, Blondy, but if you want an inexperienced opinion, I will say--


BABY: (CRYING, IN THE DISTANCE)


BLONDY: (STARTLED) What was that? 


AL: What? 


BABY: (CRYING, IN THE DISTANCE)


BLONDY: That! 


AL: Well, Blondy, I am new in this racket, but if you want an inexperienced opinion, I will say Miss Clarabelle Cobb is a cinch mother. Come on, let's get back to the barn. 


SOUND: AL AND BLONDY'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS IN THE SNOW


MUSIC: BRIDGE


CLARABELLE: (WEEPS, SOBS)


BLONDY: Oh, I wish you wouldn't cry, Clarabelle. No sense cryin'.


CLARABELLE: (TEARFUL) Oh, Blondy--


BLONDY: I know if all of a sudden I found myself with a brand new kid, I wouldn't be cryin' -- 'special' since it's such a - such a beautiful kid.


CLARABELLE: You - you really think he's beautiful, Blondy? 


BLONDY: I sure do. (BEAT) He - he's sleepin', huh? 


CLARABELLE: Uh huh. Bless his heart. (SOBS, TEARFUL) If he only gets a break! 


BLONDY: Aw, don't worry about him, Clarabelle. A beautiful kid like that? They'll love him in Akron!


CLARABELLE: Oh, Blondy, there's so much I want to tell you. 


BLONDY: Yeah, but maybe you ought to sleep now yourself, huh? 


CLARABELLE: Not till I tell ya, Blondy. You gotta know about everything: Why I'm staying here in Dr. Kelton's barn; about Joe, my husband. He's in such trouble, Blondy. He-- (SOBS) He's in jail!


DUTCHMAN: (LOW) Come on, Al, let's go find the grip sack. I know right where it is.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


DUTCHMAN: Hey, look, Al; this is more like it. 


SOUND: SHUFFLE OF MONEY IN SACK


DUTCHMAN: Yeah, it's all there -- fifty thousand bucks. 


AL: A very likely safe.


DUTCHMAN: Ah, this is all that counts -- a fat swatch of cash. Especially if it's mine. Come on, let's get Blondy and clean out of this barn.


SOUNDS: BLONDY'S STEPS APPROACH 


BLONDY: (ANGRY) You ain't goin' anywhere with that dough, Dutchman! 


DUTCHMAN: (BEAT, TENSE) You wanna play that again, Blondy? 


BLONDY: Same song. I said you ain't goin' anywhere with that dough. 


DUTCHMAN: You tell me what he said, Al. I don't like what I'm hearin'.


AL: Blondy has mouthed the same identical words two times around, Dutchman, and I for one get the impression he means it.


BLONDY: I do. You didn't tell us the whole story of this dough and how you came by it, Dutchman.


DUTCHMAN: Now listen, Blondy--


BLONDY: No, I been listenin'. I heard everything you said about this factory payroll job you pulled, and you never did say anything about trussin' up the bookkeeper at the factory that night.


DUTCHMAN: So what? 


BLONDY: Not only that, you make it look like it's an inside job and leave the bookkeeper to take the rap. 


DUTCHMAN: So? They gotta nail somebody for it. Why are you buildin' such a case for this cluck bookkeeper? 


BLONDY: This cluck bookkeeper, Joseph Hatcher, happens to be Clarabelle's husband. That's his kid you delivered, Dutchman. 


DUTCHMAN: No kiddin'?


BLONDY: No kiddin'! 


AL: Did - did Miss Clarabelle Cobb tell you all this, Blondy?


BLONDY: She told me plenty. This Joseph Hatcher's been coolin' in the clink ever since. He was doin' a special bookkeepin' job for this factory. Came here from Akron to do it. He's a right guy, an honest guy. (BEAT) Or can you understand that, Dutchman?


DUTCHMAN: Here, Blondy -- here's somethin' honest I understand!


AL: (NERVOUS) Hey!


DUTCHMAN: Yeah, a gun.


AL: Easy, Dutchman. 


DUTCHMAN: Shut up, Al. Now look, Blondy, I've been patient with you. I know you're soft for this doll and that's your business, but you're interferin' with mine, Blondy, and I don't like that. Now let's get out of here, with the dough, and quick. (NO RESPONSE) I said come on, let's get goin'. 


AL: Dutchman, please -- put the iron away. It is not in keepin' with the season to pull a heater on Blondy. In addition to which, this shoutin' is apt to wake that kid who is a pretty tired character like his mama.


DUTCHMAN: Now you're goin' soft, Al. What's with you two?


BLONDY: Listen, Dutchman. Clarabelle's husband don't know she's livin' in this barn. When she heard they'd salted him away on a bum rap, she came here to try to help him. Then she found out she was goin' to have a kid and she looked up a doc here -- guy named Kelton. Clarabelle's got no dough, but Doc Kelton gives her first-rate care, all up to now. Even fixes it so she can stay in his barn. It is not great, but it beats livin' in a snowbank.


DUTCHMAN: (A CHANGE OF HEART, HAS HEARD ENOUGH) Ohhhh, stow it, will you? 


AL: (GENTLY) The heater, Dutchman. Hide it, huh? 


DUTCHMAN: (GRUMBLES, THEN RELENTS) Yeah, yeah, okay, okay. But I'm still runnin' this show, wise guys, and this is what we do. Blondy, here's the grip sack. Take my crate out there and find this Doc Kelton character. Pay him off for what he's already done for the doll. Give him some more for takin' care of her and the kid from here on in. Then bring the grip sack back here and we'll blow. 


BLONDY: (PLEASED) Yeah. You bet, Dutchman. 


DUTCHMAN: And you can tell this doctor a couple of things for me. Tell him to get Clarabelle and the kid to a hospital where they belong. 


BLONDY: Sure, Dutchman. Sure!


DUTCHMAN: And tell him till now we didn't need no doc. That the Dutchman took care o' things perfect! And that mama and kid are doin' nice. Real nice.


MUSIC: SECOND ACT CURTAIN ("WE THREE KINGS")


ANNOUNCER: For all of you who play canasta, or have been thinking of taking up the game, there's a little Christmas gift for you at your nearest Signal service station. It's a twelve-page booklet on that exciting new version of canasta, Hollywood Three-Deck Canasta, which is replacing the old two-deck game practically everywhere it's been tried. In fact, Robert Lee Johnson, the only Pacific Coast member of the National Canasta Laws Commission, says of this game, "You'll never know how much fun cards can be until you've played this exciting new three-deck game. It has completely replaced two-deck canasta with all my friends in Hollywood." And, friends, the booklet I mention is written by the man who devised this new game, so the rules are both complete and authentic. Right now, in fact, this booklet is being sold by leading department stores in thirty-two states, but you needn't buy a copy. One is waiting for you, free while supply lasts, at any Signal service station. It is the hope of your Signal dealer that this fun-packed new version of canasta will add to the card-playing pleasure of your holidays. 


MUSIC: TAG ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--


WHISTLER: It was almost midnight on Christmas Eve at Good Time Charley's bar on West Forty-Ninth Street, as Al continued his amazing account of the story of that other Christmas Eve that crossed the lives of Blondy Swanson, Miss Clarabelle Cobb and her newborn son, the Dutchman, and his grip sack containing fifty thousand dollars. As Al continued talking to Good Time Charley, a faraway look came into his eyes.


SOUND: BOTTLE ON GLASS AS CHARLEY POURS ANOTHER DRINK FOR AL


AL: (TO CHARLEY) So you see, Good Time Charley-- (DRINKS, EXHALES) That's good.


SOUND: GLASS SET DOWN


AL: (RESUMES, TO CHARLEY) It is no more than small wonder that since all this takes place a year ago this very night, me, Blondy, and the Dutchman have settled down to one hundred percent legitimate endeavors.


CHARLEY: (UNIMPRESSED) Yeah, sure, and why not? A three-way split on almost fifty stolen G's is a cinch beginnin' to the straight and narrow.


AL: (CHUCKLES) You are laboring, as they say, under a misapprehension, Good Time Charley. I see now where it is only fair I tell you the rest of this story.


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... "WE THREE KINGS" ... THEN BEHIND AL--


AL: (TO CHARLEY) After Blondy makes the deal with Doc Kelton to get Miss Clarabelle Cobb and her brand new kid out of that barn and into a Class A hospital arrangement, the three of us are once again in the Dutchman's hot rod, beatin' it along the streets of some pint-sized burg in Pennsylvania, thinkin' to leave this territory for them as wants it.


SOUND: RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


DUTCHMAN: Ya know, maybe age is catchin' up with me. I oughta feel great right now. We still got nearly fifty thousand clams in that grip sack, but somehow I don't feel great at all. You did bring the grip sack back from Doc Kelton's, Blondy?


BLONDY: Yeah. Yeah, sure I did, Dutchman. The grip sack's in the back seat with Al.


DUTCHMAN: Funny, it don't feel good, and it should. 


AL: Perhaps a touch of rock candy and rye -- er, without the rock candy -- would warm your heart, Dutchman. 


DUTCHMAN: Well, maybe so. Pass up the bottle. 


AL: I am willing to do this, but the bottle will be of small comfort -- as it is empty.


DUTCHMAN: Oh. Well, thanks for nothin'. Oh, well -- I'll just nudge the motor and we'll blow this burg; get back to native territory. New York ought to look pretty good.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, POLICE SIREN FADES IN ... THEN IN BG


BLONDY: Hey! Better slow down, Dutchman. The law is gainin' on ya.


DUTCHMAN: Oh, great. Never saw such a night in my life. 


SOUND: POLICE CAR PULLS ALONGSIDE ... SIREN OUT AS CARS SLOW TO A STOP


OFFICER: (APPROACHES) That red light back there was no Christmas tree ornament. You should have stopped. 


MUSIC: DURING ABOVE, ORGAN PLAYS A HYMN, FROM NEARBY CHURCH ... THEN IN BG


DUTCHMAN: Uh, sorry, officer.


OFFICER: And you're in a church zone clearly marked for twenty miles an hour. Forty is too much. 


DUTCHMAN: We's hurryin' home for Christmas, officer.


OFFICER: (SKEPTICAL) Carrying toys for the kiddies in this tub, huh? I'll bet. I better have a look around.


MUSIC: ORGAN GENTLY OUT WITH--


SOUND: CAR DOOR OPENS


OFFICER: (JUST AS HE THOUGHT) Uh huh. Uh huh! What's in this grip sack? 


DUTCHMAN: Oh, why, er, nothin', officer. As empty a grip sack as you'll ever run into. 


OFFICER: Yeah.


SOUND: OFFICER OPENS SACK BEHIND--


DUTCHMAN: No need to open it. It's empty. 


OFFICER: Well, you're right about that, mister. There's nothin' in there. 


DUTCHMAN: Yeah. (DOUBLE TAKE) Huh?


BLONDY: Easy, Dutchman.


DUTCHMAN: But-- You sure? It's empty?


OFFICER: Sure, I'm sure. Weren't you? 


DUTCHMAN: Oh, yeah. Sure, sure. I was sure, I just wanted you to be sure. 


OFFICER: Yeah. Carryin' nothin' but empties, huh? You guys empty this bottle all by yourselves? 


AL: This bottle is once full of medicine, officer. I myself have been wardin' off a touch of the grippe. I am now, uh, "in the pink," as the sayin' goes. 


OFFICER: (ANNOYED) Oh, wise guys, huh? Three wise guys. You know, if it weren't practically Christmas, I'd haul you in. Go on now, get out of our town. (AN AFTERTHOUGHT, DRY) Oh, yeah, and merry Christmas, three wise guys.


DUTCHMAN: Yeah, yeah, same to you. 


SOUND: POLICE AUTO ENGINE STARTS UP ... CAR IN GEAR AND DRIVES OFF


BLONDY: Uh, Dutchman, I-- 


DUTCHMAN: You know, Blondy, a while back you accused me of not tellin' you the whole story of that factory payroll job. Seems to me you forgot to tell me somethin' pretty important, too. What is it about that grip sack bein' empty of nearly fifty G's that I ought to know?


BLONDY: Well, I figured to fill you in, Dutchman. You see--


MUSIC: DURING ABOVE, SNEAK IN CHURCH CHOIR SINGING "O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL" FROM OFF ... CONTINUES IN BG


AL: Hey, look, Blondy, Dutchman. It's that same little church. 


BLONDY: Yeah.


DUTCHMAN: Yeah. 


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


DUTCHMAN: Ya know somethin'? It's a miracle. I don't know yet what happened to that nearly fifty G's in the grip sack, but if that copper had caught us with that dough, we'd be on our way to the clink right now.


AL: An astute observation. 


BLONDY: Yeah. Well, you see, Dutchman, when I called on Doc Kelton tonight, I left all the dough with him. The whole fifty G's. Told him to give it back where it belongs. Told him enough more that the doc is sure he can spring Clarabelle's husband out of jail. So him and Clarabelle and the new kid can be together.


MUSIC: CHOIR GENTLY OUT


DUTCHMAN: Hey, this, er-- This Doc Kelton is a right guy? 


BLONDY: Oh, I'll say he is. Why, he even agreed to give us a head start for the Pennsylvania border before he notifies the law. 


AL: This is a right guy?


DUTCHMAN: Yeah. And we better oblige the doc -- and ourselves -- by makin' the border ahead of the cops.


SOUND: AUTO ENGINE STARTS UP ... CAR IN GEAR ... RUNNING AUTO INTERIOR BACKGROUND


DUTCHMAN: Hey, ya know, that copper was right. Three wise guys, he called us. If we wasn't pretty wise, we'd've had all that cash on us when he pulled us over to the curb. I think it's a good idea we stay right on bein' three wise guys. I'm through stretchin' my luck. From here on in, I'm gonna play it straight. And I'm still runnin' this show, so you two wise guys are goin' straight with me. Okay?


BLONDY: Okay. 


AL: Agreed. 


DUTCHMAN: (SATISFIED) Huh. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Wonder how far it is to the border. They got a lot of funny little burgs here in Pennsylvania. What was that one we just left, Blondy? 


BLONDY: Oh, I saw a signboard back there a ways. That burg is known as, uh, uh, Bethlehem. 


MUSIC: FOR PUNCTUATION ... CHIMES AND THEN ORCHESTRA ... "JOY TO THE WORLD" ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--


WHISTLER: And so, on a night before Christmas in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, three wise guys were strangely touched by the spirit of the season -- a spirit born in another Bethlehem nearly two thousand years ago. And tonight, on the eve of another Christmas, may we hope that this same eternal spirit will someday bring to wise guys throughout the world the understanding that the future of the peoples of earth rests in good will toward all men.


MUSIC: UP, FOR CURTAIN ... THEN WHISTLER THEME ... THEN OUT BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Let that whistle be your signal for the Signal Oil program "The Whistler" each Sunday night at this same time. Signal Oil Company has asked me to remind you: This week it's especially important to drive at sensible speeds, be courteous, and obey traffic regulations, so some avoidable accident doesn't mar the holiday season for you. 


MUSIC: TAG ... THEN IN BG, UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: Remember what I said at the beginning of the program, friends, that you'd find tonight's story unusual and heartwarming? Now, wasn't I right? I'm sure many of you recognized it as one of the late and great Damon Runyon's most famous tales. The radio adaptation was by Kathleen Hite. Featured in tonight's story were Bill Forman, John Brown, Marvin Miller, and Jack Moyles. "The Whistler" was transcribed and directed by George W. Allen, with music by Wilbur Hatch, and was transmitted to our troops overseas by the Armed Forces Radio Service. The Whistler is entirely fictional and all characters portrayed on "The Whistler" are also fictional. Any similarity of names or resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. Remember at this same time next Sunday another strange tale by the Whistler. Marvin Miller speaking for the Signal Oil Company. 


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