Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Bold Venture
Show: Slate Shannon Accused of Murder
Date: circa 1950s

MUSIC:

ROMANTIC LATIN THEME MUSIC UNDER

ANNOUNCER:

Once again the magic names of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall bring you "Bold Venture!" and a tale of mystery and intrigue.

MUSIC:

OUT

F/X:

Dining room sounds

DICKSON:

(LAUGHING) I just told you that hotel joke because of this place, this Shannon's Hotel, reminded me of it. Oh, I got another one for ya! Oh, you wanna hear it? Sure you do! Now look...you ask me, "Why do Rumba dancers have such an easy time of it?" Go on, go on, ask me!

SAILOR:

All right- "why do rumba dancers have such an easy time of it?"

DICKSON:

You wanna know why rumba dancers have such an easy time of it, Miss Duval?

SAILOR:

Uh huh.

DICKSON:

Well- get this, it'll kill ya- because all they have to do is stand around and twiddle their "tums"! (LAUGHING) Twiddle their thumbs. Ya get it? Rumba Dancers! (STOPS) It doesn't reach ya, huh?

SAILOR:

How long to you plan to stay with us here at Shannon's Hotel, Mr. Dickson? Play it straight and give me an answer, huh?

DICKSON:

Ah, you're just angry because you don't respond to my bombs. You got a deep hurt. You got a deep hurt because your boy Shannon is taking a fancy to my partner Franny Lane. (SNAPS) Like that. The ink is barely dry on the register from her signature, he invites her out to partake of the delicacies of her manner. She accepts with alacrity. That hurts us both.

SAILOR:

Slate likes to make people feel at home.

DICKSON:

How long does it take to build up a cozy little thing like that? Three hours? Four?

SAILOR:

Well, roll out the carpet- here comes lover boy now.

F/X:

Footsteps

SHANNON:

Ah, you should have come with us, Sailor. Franny's a lot of girl - we had a ball.

SAILOR:

What'd ya do for four hours? Dribble her?

DICKSON:

Everywhere, comics! Where's my partner, Shannon? She make you walk home alone because you got frisky?

SHANNON:

She's in her room. I took her by way of the balcony-the moon shines brighter there. You don't mind do you, Dickson?

DICKSON:

No, no, not a bit. Maybe Franny can build it into a laugh for the act.

SHANNON:

Look, Dickson, all we did was look at the sights.

DICKSON:

Then she'll wanna show me the postcards, because Franny likes to share things with her partner. Oh...uh, Shannon?

SHANNON:

Yeah?

DICKSON:

The next time you'll bring Franny around the front way, huh? She plays better to an audience. You'll do that, huh?

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

F/X:

Footsteps then knock on door

DICKSON:

(KNOCKING) Franny? It's Hal, Franny. Come on, open up.

F/X:

Door Opens

DICKSON:

Ah, that's my little Franny.

FRANNY:

Okay, what do ya want?

DICKSON:

Inside.

F/X:

Door closes

FRANNY:

Wait.

DICKSON:

Invite me to sit down.

FRANNY:

Have you gone crazy?

DICKSON:

Tell me a thing, honey? Do you like Havana? Sure you do.

FRANNY:

What are you talking about?

DICKSON:

How much money do you got stashed away in Havana, Franny? Twenty grand? A hundred?

FRANNY:

That's the funniest joke you ever told in your life.

DICKSON:

I'm a funny man. You wanna know another thing? I know who you are.

FRANNY:

Hal...

DICKSON:

The first time I saw you I knew about you. Five years ago when we teamed. For a purpose we teamed, because I knew you were the ever-lovin' of Tommy Carper, and Tommy's a man with how much money? Twenty Gs? A hundred?

FRANNY:

All right, what do you want?

DICKSON:

Ah, that's my baby. Tommy's in the clink right here in Havana, because that's the law. You pull a prank job in the locality, you get caught, you get the clink in the locality. That's why you were so anxious to come to Havana, Franny?

FRANNY:

Listen to me, Hal...

DICKSON:

Sure...it was because that dough Tommy robbed never turned up, because you know where it is, because Tommy told you. All that dope for us - for you and me baby.

FRANNY:

Take your hands off me!

DICKSON:

Ah, now.

FRANNY:

Get out of here, get out!

DICKSON:

No.

F/X:

He SLAPS her.

DICKSON:

You don't talk to Hal like that. Never like that.

F/X:

He slaps her TWO more times.

F/X:

BODY HITTING GROUND

DICKSON:

Franny, get up baby. You hit your head on that bad ol' pipe, Franny, huh? Aw, tsk, tsk, tsk. Come on, come on, get up. Hey, hey, baby. You're not going to get up are you? Never. Well, we'll just have to put you someplace, baby. An alley? Sure, an alley. You went out with a guy named Shannon tonight and you never got home. Shannon left you in an alley.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

F/X:

TWO sets of FOOTSTEPS slowly walking

DICKSON:

Did you bring the pass key, Shannon, like I told ya?

SHANNON:

Like you ASKED me. You did ASK me, didn't ya?

DICKSON:

Oh, sure, sure. What's eatin' you, Shannon? You got ugly memories? Did I wake you up out of a bad dream? You should be grateful.

SHANNON:

It's just that I'm not used to comics on an empty stomach. What makes you so anxious to get into Franny's room?

DICKSON:

Well, it's like this. I've been knockin' on the door and she doesn't answer. Ha, ha, ha, you must have given her a snazzy time last night, Shannon.

F/X:

KNOCKING on DOOR

SHANNON:

(KNOCKING) Franny? Franny, your partner says it's time for you to get up.

DICKSON:

No, I've been through all that, Shannon, so make with the key, huh? Even if it breaks your heart.

F/X:

Key in DOOR then DOOR OPENS.

SHANNON:

Franny?

DICKSON:

What do ya know? Franny isn't here. What did ya do with my partner, Shannon? Look at the bed - it hasn't been slept on, hasn't even been sat on. And no nylons hangin' up to dry. She never came home, Shannon. What did ya do with her?

LASALLE:

Exactly as I would have phrased the question, Senor.

SHANNON:

Huh? What are you doing here, La Salle?

DICKSON:

Ah ha, a policemen - Havana type. Well, you two will wanna be alone.

LASALLE:

Thank you for the courtesy, Senor.

DICKSON:

Here's a pass to my show, Chief. I'm a comedian, you'll enjoy me.

LASALLE:

Gracias.

SHANNON:

I asked you a question, La Salle. What do you want here?

DICKSON:

Maybe what I want Shannon. Maybe he wants you to (SINGING) "bring back my Franny to me." Ha, ha, ha. Have fun, fellows.

F/X:

DOOR OPEN and CLOSES

LASALLE:

This was Senorita Franny Lane's room, eh?

SHANNON:

Yeah. What about it?

LASALLE:

She is murdered, beaten to death. We found her body in an alley with a room key to your hotel. Franny Lane.

SHANNON:

No, not Franny.

LASALLE:

Exactly, Franny. You enjoyed Havana with her last night, Senor Shannon, eh? We know you did so. Many friends have told us.

SHANNON:

What else did your friends tell you? That I killed her?

LASALLE:

We have not yet had the rudeness to ask this question of them. But I will ask it of you.

SHANNON:

I brought her home...she said goodnight, here, at the hotel.

LASALLE:

Ah, from an alley, no? You know who the girl really was, Senor?

SHANNON:

Franny Lane. Part of an act - Dickson and Lane.

LASALLE:

She was more than that, Senor. She was the wife of a convict whose name is Senor Tommy Carper. Yesterday Senor Carper escaped from our escape-proof jail. It makes me sadness.

SHANNON:

I bleed for you.

LASALLE:

Thank you. This Senor Carper, it is good for you he escaped. If he had not, I would arrest you for the murder of the Senora. As it is, you will have no impulse to depart of Havana, no, Senor Shannon?

MUSIC:

SAILOR:

Slate. Slate? Hello, Slate.

F/X:

CAR pulling to a stop.

SHANNON:

Hi.

SAILOR:

I've been looking all over the beach for you, all day.

SHANNON:

Yeah, what'd ya want?

SAILOR:

Nothing. Pretty nice, huh?

SHANNON:

What do ya want, Sailor?

SAILOR:

Look at me.

SHANNON:

What?

SAILOR:

Go ahead, look at me. What do ya see?

SHANNON:

Now look, Sailor, I've got enough on my mind without making drooling noises at you.

SAILOR:

That's why I'm here. I wanna KNOW what's on your mind so I can worry about it too.

SHANNON:

Who killed that girl?

SAILOR:

You didn't.

SHANNON:

Now that leaves the rest of Havana. Any of the 23 people registered at the hotel. You didn't kill her, did you?

SAILOR:

It crossed my mind.

SHANNON:

So that brings us back to the question, who killed that girl? Her husband?

SAILOR:

You've got to know that so you can clear yourself, is that why?

SHANNON:

I've got to know it because she was murdered, because she was a person I enjoyed, because she gave me four hours of her life! We laughed a lot together. She kissed my cheek and thanked me when I brought her back to the hotel. Now she's suddenly dead. That's why I've got to know who made it like that.

SAILOR:

That's why, Slate. What are you going to do?

SHANNON:

I've been spending the day thinking about it. Now I know. You wanna come along?

MUSIC:

UP to STING

F/X:

HAVANA STREETS SOUNDS

F/X:

TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS ON THE STREET

SAILOR:

We going to walk around Havana for the rest of the night, Slate?

SHANNON:

You wanna go home? Go.

SAILOR:

We're not getting anyplace, are we?

SHANNON:

It's not easy to get people to give you an answer when you ask them about an escaped convict.

SAILOR:

You mind if I ask a question?

SHANNON:

What?

SAILOR:

How do you know all these people? The kind of people you can ask about an escaped convict.

SHANNON:

Oh...we, ah, we've got mutual interests. Books, teas, the theatre, friends in jail. In here, Sailor.

F/X:

Door to BAR OPENS

MUSIC:

Noisy bar music

SAILOR:

Hey, what is this?

SHANNON:

A dollar a dance. Stay here, Sailor.

SAILOR:

Oh, Slate!

MAN:

Your friend is leaving, Senorita? You dance with me? Si? I am pretty. I dance the American Charleston...

SHANNON:

(fading off mic) (Laughing) You're on your own, Sailor.

SAILOR:

Thanks, boy.

MUSIC:

OUT

SHANNON:

Hello, Maria.

MARIA:

Oh, Slate Shannon, my beautiful Slate! I have been waiting for you.

SHANNON:

Waiting?

MARIA:

Si. I knew you would come here to Maria to her palace of jolly, of which Marie is the foremost jolly, eh? Also people have been whispering into my fat ear that you have been saying "where is Tommy Carper"?

SHANNON:

And you have just been waiting for me to come to you, huh?

MARIA:

Would I come to you mi hermosa with my big measurements. How many times a day can I get from this chair? Yes see, I knew you would come...

SHANNON:

Where's Carper?

MARIA:

He will be happy to see you.

SHANNON:

Where is he?

MARIA:

Number 22 Paseo Batista on the corner near the alley.

SHANNON:

That girl I came in with is named Sailor Duval.

MARIA:

Oh, I saw her. She was lovely. Muy lovely.

SHANNON:

See that she gets home alone.

MARIA:

Once I had a figure like she has. Tell her to stay off the tamales, Senor.

(MUSIC)

 

F/X:

KNOCK on DOOR

CARPER:

You would be Slate Shannon.

SHANNON:

Word got to you, huh, Carper? Word moves fast in Havana.

CARPER:

Doesn't it, though. Come on in. Make yourself cozy, Shannon. A sofa there, and a pillow for your head. Don't refuse me, Shannon. I'm sensitive - I'll be hurt.

SHANNON:

And the gun in your hand will help you get over it, huh?

CARPER:

Sure it will. Comfortable?

SHANNON:

Uh huh. What've you got in these pillows, Carper- goose down?

CARPER:

I never looked. Another word reached me, Shannon. A word that said you showed my wife a big time, then you killed her. Is that how you operate? One pleasure on top of another?

SHANNON:

Now look, Carper, I came to you . . .

CARPER:

You came to me to die, Shannon. That's why I want you to be comfortable. All warm and cozy, because pretty soon, Shannon, it's going to turn cold.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

KING:

(SINGING CALYPSO)

Lady Sailor she goes to Dime a Dance.

The place of Jolly and bell bottom fun.

Lady Sailor she try like a hostess to post.

Mr. Shannon he take powder right under her nose.

(LAUGHING)

 

SAILOR:

What are you laughing about? I made a dollar and thirty cents. How that man could Charleston!

KING:

You mean you dance, Lady Sailor, and let get Mr. Slate get away from you?

SAILOR:

How did I know he was getting away? I turned my back and he was gone. I needed cab fare home, so I danced.

KING:

You know where Mr. Shannon go?

SAILOR:

Sure...looking for something, and he'll find it. Why does he do it, King, why doesn't he stay here?

KING:

With you?

SAILOR:

With me, have it your way. I think I'll take myself somewhere and dream about it.

KING:

You go for a walk?

SAILOR:

With the moon dipping low in the tropic sky I'm going to bid a fun farewell to colorful ole Havana. I'm going to sleep. Hey...wait a minute!

KING:

I wait Lady Sailor, for what?

SAILOR:

The letter in the box for room twelve -- Franny Lane's room.

KING:

While you were out it came. I was going to mention it to Mr. Slate when he returned.

SAILOR:

Hmm...a letter for Franny Lane; the murdered girl. Registered, postmarked Miami, and no return address. Let's see what's in it, King. Don't look at me like that! Mr. Slate would see what's in it.

KING:

King Moses can compose jail song on spur of the moment.

SAILOR:

Well, what do ya know?

KING:

What is it, Lady Sailor?

SAILOR:

A baggage check for the checkroom at the plane terminal. A baggage check...I wonder why?

KING:

If King Moses was you he would not wonder too much. He would wait for Mr. Slate to do the wonder why.

SAILOR:

Sing me a song, King Moses. About how I was going to sleep to dream of Slate Shannon. About how I decide to wait up for him to show him a baggage check. Go on King...sing to me about Slate Shannon.

MUSIC:

transition

CARPER:

How does a man like you go out, Shannon? With a beddy-bye prayer you remember as a kid? I pause, because it interests me what people tell themselves when they're gonna die.

SHANNON:

If you kill me, Carper, you'll never know who murdered your wife.

CARPER:

You, you, nobody but you! The word is they found her in an alley. That's no place for my wife to die in -- an alley.

SHANNON:

The cops say YOU got to her, Carper. You or me... they don't care. I found you. Why didn't I just turn you over to them without going through all this? Maria gave me your address. I could have given it to La Salle. Why didn't I do that, Carper?

CARPER:

It's stuffy in here, I'm going to open a window. I escaped from a jail because I want to breathe, and what do I get? A wall. A stinking alley covered with yesterday's garbage.

SHANNON:

You believe me now, you believe I didn't kill her?

CARPER:

Relax, kid. I'll tell you about Carper.

SHANNON:

Ya, sure, go ahead do that.

CARPER:

Five years ago I did good in Havana. I split open a bank for fifty G's. They put me behind a door for that. But they never lay hands on the money. Stick their noses every which place. Can't find my fifty G's.

SHANNON:

Hey, look...

CARPER:

Don't interrupt, kid. Carper's sensitive, remember? I put fifty G's worth of dreams in a cardboard suitcase, checked it in a place. Send the baggage check to Franny. Told her to come to me when I give her the word. You found the check on her when you killed her, huh, kid?

SHANNON:

Look, Carper, I told you...

CARPER:

Well, it won't do you any good! It won't do anybody any good. I'll tell you more about Carper. A piece of my life I spent in the army.

SHANNON:

I'll tell my friends how I met a man who was in the army.

CARPER:

They were good to me. Put me in a demolition squad. Taught me how to rig a trigger mine. I rigged them all over the place. In doorways, in suitcases. So you see, kid, if I don't kill ya, death waits for you anyway.

F/X:

Sound of CAR PULLING UP then TWO GUNSHOTS

CARPER:

(he is hit) See? see how it is?

F/X:

BODY HITTING FLOOR

SHANNON:

Carper. Carper. Yeah, someone just killed you, that's how it is.

F/X:

CAR PULLING AWAY

MUSIC:

UP AMD OUT

KING:

Mr. Shannon's a long time gone, Lady Sailor.

SAILOR:

He's a big boy now. What am I trying to be funny for? I'm worried.

KING:

Maybe the funny man will make a haha for you.

SAILOR:

What?

KING:

Funny Man. He just came in, Lady Sailor. The way he's standing there looking at you, he likes the inside of Shannon's Hotel better than the outside of Havana.

F/X:

Footsteps

SAILOR:

I wonder what he wants? (BEAT) I just asked myself what you wanted, Mr. Dickson.

DICKSON:

Oh, a big smile.

SAILOR:

See, I'd give it to you. What do you want?

DICKSON:

Let's play post office.

SAILOR:

All right. Go stick your head in a mailbox, I'll send you home to mother.

DICKSON:

Oh that's good, very good, very good. Say ain't that a letter in Box 12?

SAILOR:

What about it?

DICKSON:

Give it to me.

SAILOR:

Over my dead body.

DICKSON:

Ya, it might just have to be that way. There's a gun in my pocket, Sailor Doll. It's pointed upward. If I pull the trigger the bullet will hit you say...uh, somewhere between your throat and your heart. Over your dead body. Now how am I going to top that one?

SAILOR:

The letter's addressed to Franny Lane.

DICKSON:

Poor Franny, bumped her little head. Franny Lane had a pain in that back of her head; it made her dead. You want what I gave her?

SAILOR:

Here's the letter. Goodbye, Mr. Dickson.

DICKSON:

Goodbye, Mr. Dickson. Ha, ha! How funny can you adlib! You tag along, doll. Wave good bye to your friends over there. Make it jaunty and carefree and happy, happy!

SAILOR:

King Moses.

KING:

Yes, Lady Sailor?

SAILOR:

Ta ta, King Moses, and toodaloo. Tell Mr. Slate I couldn't wait any longer. Jaunty enough, Mr. Dickson?

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

KING:

Well, welcome to your home, Mr. Slate.

SHANNON:

Anyone been asking for me, King?

KING:

Me, Lady Sailor.

SHANNON:

Anyone else, like...police?

KING:

So far it has been a very beautiful night. Full moon with no shadow of police. However, I bring one if you want one.

SHANNON:

Suddenly everyone's a comic around here.

KING:

Oh, I had no desire to be funny, Mr. Slate. I thought perhaps you would want a policeman.

SHANNON:

Now, look at me, King, what could make you think I'd want a thing like that?

KING:

The letter maybe.

SHANNON:

Huh?

KING:

The registered letter that came for Miss Franny Lane.

SHANNON:

Well, where is it?

KING:

Here, in slot room twelve. I knew you would want to peek into it before... It's gone!

SHANNON:

So it's gone. Who took it?

KING:

Lady Sailor, maybe. Maybe she could not resist the curiosity of the baggage check she found in Miss Lane letter when she opened it.

SHANNON:

Ah, that's what was in it.

KING:

Not only that, a baggage check from the plane terminal. I peeked also.

SHANNON:

Where's Sailor. In her room?

KING:

Oh no. On the arm of the man with the not-too-funny jokes. They went away together someplace. I know not what place.

SHANNON:

I bet I do, King. Funny-funny man could kill a girl like that.

KING:

Because he killed before?

SHANNON:

Uh huh. How'd you guess?

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

SHANNON:

The girl was tall, slender with honey colored hair.

CHECKER:

Si, si.

SHANNON:

She came here with a man to get some baggage just a few minutes ago.

CHECKER:

Si, si, I remember.

SHANNON:

Sure you do, how could you forget a girl like Sailor?

CHECKER:

Frankly, Senor, the thing I remembered about the girl was her baggage check. It was five years old. It was for a suitcase.

SHANNON:

A suitcase! That's what Carper meant! It's booby trapped.

CHECKER:

Please Senor...the name booby I do not like.

SHANNON:

Well, well where'd they go?

CHECKER:

Out that door there. Where the taxi cabs are.

F/X:

FOOTSTEPS RUNNING

SHANNON:

Thanks. Hey, cabby?

DRIVER:

Senor!

SHANNON:

You see a tall girl and a man, both Americans come out here a few minutes ago? They had a suitcase?

DRIVER:

Si, they just took a cab.

SHANNON:

Yeah, where'd they go?

DRIVER:

I heard them tell Pedro, Pedro the driver, Senor. To take them to the beach at Punta Verde.

SHANNON:

Well, take me there, cabbie - fast!F/X: CAR DOOR CLOSES

F/X:

CAB DRIVES AWAY

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

F/X:

TWO SETS of FOOTSTEPS on GRASS

DICKSON:

You tell me where to stop, doll.

SAILOR:

What have I got to do with it? You've got the gun.

DICKSON:

Pick a place that's pretty cause it's your dying place. I want to do right by you.

SAILOR:

What's it to you if I'm dead or alive?

DICKSON:

You gotta be dead, doll. There's maybe fifty thousand dollars in that suitcase. I killed Franny for it, and Carper. I've gotta kill you so you won't run to the police. I know a joke to fit the occasion. You wanna hear it? Wait a minute. Is that?-- yeah, someone's following us. Lie down behind that dune, doll. I said, lie down! You looking for us, Shannon?

SHANNON:

Yeah. Yeah, I'm looking for you.

DICKSON:

You found us.

SAILOR:

Slate! Slate, are you all right?

SHANNON:

You missed, Dickson!

DICKSON:

We'll try again.

SHANNON:

Dickson, listen to me. That suitcase is booby trapped - you'll get blown up!

DICKSON:

Your boy makes funnys too, huh, doll?

SHANNON:

Carper booby trapped that suitcase! He told me!

SAILOR:

You better listen to him, Dickson!

DICKSON:

You think so, huh, Doll?

SAILOR:

He's not going to lie to you at a time like this!

DICKSON:

This is JUST the time to lie to me! But I'll tell you what, we'll play it out. Hey, Shannon!

SHANNON:

I'm telling you it's booby trapped, Dickson, don't open it!

DICKSON:

I'll tell you what. I'm going to slide this suitcase down the other side of this dune. You open it, Shannon. You open it or I'll kill this girl of yours here. You got it, Shannon?

SHANNON:

I got it.

DICKSON:

Open it!

SAILOR:

Slate, run! Don't open it - run!

SHANNON:

It's open.

DICKSON:

Strike a match so I can see it's open!

SHANNON:

All right - look!

DICKSON:

Yeah! All that money, Shannon!

SHANNON:

Fifty grand! Carper told me that, too.

DICKSON:

Say goodbye to your girl, Shannon. I'll give you that much.

SHANNON:

Sure. I'll go tell her things I never told her before.

DICKSON:

Don't roam away or I'll shoot you in the back, I can see that far!

SHANNON:

Yeah, thanks.

DICKSON:

You pretty money! You pretties, lying there so smug in your suitcase. Let me touch ya. You feel nice. Let me lift you. Let me rub you against my cheek. Let me... ahhhhhh!

SHANNON:

Turn around, Sailor, you don't have to look. We're pretty lucky, Sailor.

SAILOR:

What happened?

SHANNON:

Carper rigged it good. It blew up when the money was taken out of the suitcase. Come on...let's go home.

(MUSIC)

 

SAILOR:

Look down there, Slate. Doesn't the beach look lovely?

SHANNON:

Who needs it?

SAILOR:

I know a deserted hunk of it where there's four clumps of palm trees...

SHANNON:

So?

SAILOR:

So you can gather yourself a bunch of coconuts. Goodbye, Slate.

SHANNON:

Come back here!

SAILOR:

What for?

SHANNON:

Is that the way to treat the man who saved you from the jaws of death? The very jaws.

SAILOR:

Then come to the beach...

SHANNON:

For what?

SAILOR:

So I can pin a medal on you.

SHANNON:

Do it here.

SAILOR:

All right. (BEAT) Well.

SHANNON:

That's a medal?

SAILOR:

What do you think?

SHANNON:

Well, I think it's a kiss. Maybe I'm wrong. Come here. (BEAT)

ANNOUNCER:

And so our two stars, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, have brought to a close our latest Bold Venture story. Special music was composed and conducted by David Rose.