Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Sherlock Holmes
Show: The Problem of Thor Bridge
Date: Oct 01 1945

CAST:
ANNOUNCER, Harry Bartell
SHERLOCK HOLMES
DR. WATSON
NEIL GIBSON, wealthy American
SERGEANT COVENTRY, of the local police
CESAR, Brazilian servant
MISS DUNBAR, the chief suspect
SINGER, of Petri Wine commercial

ANNOUNCER:

This episode from the life of Sherlock Holmes will be transmitted to our men and women overseas by short wave and through the worldwide facilities of the Armed Forces Radio Service. Petri Wine brings you--

MUSIC:

FANFARE

ANNOUNCER:

Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in "The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."

MUSIC:

FANFARE ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

The Petri Family -- "the family that took time / to bring you good wine" -- invites you to listen to Dr. Watson tell us another exciting adventure he shared with his old friend, that master detective, Sherlock Holmes. And, while you're settling back comfortably in your chair, mind if I tell you about something I'd like you to share with me? It's a glass of Petri California sherry. Of course, most people think of Petri California sherry as the one wine that's really swell any time but, personally, I like a glass of that Petri sherry just before dinner. You know, that's the time you're a little on edge, you've just finished your day's work, and you're waiting for your dinner, and-- Well, that's when you want to lean back and take it easy. And, boy, that's the time a glass of Petri sherry tastes like something just too good to be true. Try it. Petri sherry's the perfect before-dinner wine. And, incidentally, if you like your sherry dry -- you
know, not sweet? -- then you'll find that Petri pale dry sherry is just made for you. The important thing is the Petri label, because when it says "Petri," it always means good wine.

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

And now for our weekly visit with our good friend and host, Dr. Watson. Good evening, doctor.

WATSON:

Good evening, Mr. Bartell. You're a bit late. I've been keeping some dinner hot for you here. Pull up your chair and join me.

ANNOUNCER:

That's very nice of you. Thanks, doctor. Are you all set with tonight's story?

WATSON:

Yes, my boy. I'm "all set" as you call it. As a matter of fact, I was going over my notes on the case just before you arrived.

ANNOUNCER:

Last week, you hinted that a beautiful girl figured prominently in your adventure.

WATSON:

That's quite right, Mr. Bartell. An extremely beautiful girl. In fact, I often used to say to Sherlock Holmes that if I'd been a little younger at the time, I might-- Oh, well, you haven't come here to listen to my personal reminiscences. You want to hear the story that I called "The Problem of Thor Bridge."

ANNOUNCER:

That's what you promised us, doctor. How did it begin?

WATSON:

(NARRATES) On a windy morning in October -- in 1890, it was -- as I was dressing, I observed how the last remaining leaves were being whirled away from the solitary plane tree which graced the yard behind our Baker Street house. I descended to breakfast prepared to find my companion in depressed spirits, for, like all great artists, he was easily impressed by his surroundings. But, to my surprise, he was in an unusually gay mood. As I entered the room, he looked up at me and, with a smile, he spoke.

HOLMES:

(CHEERY) Good morning, my dear fellow. I hope you slept well.

WATSON:

Splendidly, thanks, Holmes.

HOLMES:

I'm so glad.

WATSON:

Well, you're very solicitous this morning. I - I think you must have got a new case. (CHUCKLES) Am I right?

HOLMES:

The faculty of deduction is certainly contagious. Yes, I have a new case. After a month of trivialities and stagnation, the wheels revolve once more.

WATSON:

Good. Tell me all about it.

HOLMES:

Well, as yet, there isn't much to tell. Have you ever heard of Neil Gibson?

WATSON:

Neil Gibson? Oh, yes, yes, yes. Something to do with gold mining, hasn't he?

HOLMES:

A great deal to do with it, my dear fellow. In fact, he's considered the greatest mining magnate in the world. About five years ago, he bought a large estate in Hampshire. Perhaps you've read of the tragic death of his wife.

WATSON:

Oh, yes, of course. I remember the case now. She was murdered by a jealous governess who was in her employ, wasn't she?

HOLMES:

That point will be decided when the lady in question -- Grace Dunbar, I believe her name is -- comes up for trial at the forthcoming Winchester Assizes. In any case, it's hard to see what I can do for my client at this late date.

WATSON:

Your client?

HOLMES:

Oh, yes. I forgot I hadn't told you. I'm getting into your involved habit of telling a story backwards. You'd better read this letter; came this morning.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF PAPER

WATSON:

Let's have a look. (READS) "Dear Mr. Sherlock Holmes, Miss Dunbar is innocent. I can't see the finest woman in the world go to her death without doing everything possible to save her. I shall call on you at ten-thirty to-morrow morning to discuss the matter. Yours faithfully, Neil Gibson." Good gracious me.

HOLMES:

There you have it, Watson. That is the gentleman I await.

WATSON:

Do you know anything about his dead wife?

HOLMES:

Only what I've been reading in the papers. Apparently, she was past her prime, which was the more unfortunate as this Miss Dunbar, who superintended the education of the two young children, is reputed to be a very attractive young lady.

WATSON:

(CHUCKLES) The eternal triangle, eh? Well, where did the murder take place?

HOLMES:

On Gibson's estate in Hampshire. His wife was found on the grounds nearly half a mile from the manor house, late at night, clad in her dinner dress, with a shawl over her shoulders and -- a revolver bullet through her brain.

WATSON:

Any weapon found near her?

HOLMES:

No, there were no clues found at the scene of the crime.

WATSON:

What made them suspect the governess?

HOLMES:

Well, in the first place, there was some very incriminating evidence. A revolver with one discharged chamber -- the calibre corresponding with the bullet in the dead woman's head -- was found on the floor in Miss Dunbar's wardrobe.

WATSON:

Oh, was it? Pretty damaging evidence, Holmes.

HOLMES:

Mmm. So the coroner thought. And, to make the case even blacker against Miss Dunbar, the dead woman had a note on her making an appointment at that very spot -- and the note was signed by the governess.

WATSON:

It seems obvious that the girl's guilty. And the motive's clear. Mr. Gibson would be a great catch for a young girl. Love, fortune, power -- all dependent on one life.

HOLMES:

Possibly, Watson, but circumstantial evidence can be very misleading at times.

SOUND:

DOOR BELL JANGLES

HOLMES:

Ah, there's the gentleman in question, unless I'm very much mistaken, considerably before his time.

WATSON:

(OFF) Well, I can see him from the window here. Formidable-looking fellow. Must be well over six foot tall.

SOUND:

DOOR BELL JANGLES, LOUDER

HOLMES:

(LAUGHS) Judging by the way he's wrenching at that door bell, he's a man with a violent temper.

WATSON:

(OFF) Mrs. Hudson's opening the door to him now.

HOLMES:

Ah, meet him on the stairs, will you, old chap? It'll save Mrs. Hudson a journey.

WATSON:

(OFF) Right you are, Holmes.

SOUND:

WATSON'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR ... DOOR OPENS

WATSON:

(OFF, CALLS) Up here, sir!

GIBSON:

(OFF, TO WATSON) Are you Mr. Sherlock Holmes?

WATSON:

(OFF) No, no, indeed. I'm his colleague Dr. Watson. Come along in, won't you?

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES ... FOOTSTEPS IN

HOLMES:

Mr. Neil Gibson, I presume?

GIBSON:

That's right. So you're the great Sherlock Holmes, huh?

HOLMES:

(CHUCKLES) The adjective is your own, Mr. Gibson. Sit down, won't you? By the way, you may speak quite freely in front of Dr. Watson.

GIBSON:

Hm. Well, I may as well begin by telling you that money means nothing to me in this case. You can burn it if it's any use to you in lighting the truth. Miss Dunbar is innocent and it's up to you to prove it. Just name your fee.

HOLMES:

Mr. Gibson, my professional charges are on a fixed scale. I don't vary them, except when I omit them altogether.

GIBSON:

Very well. I imagine that you read the newspaper reports of the coroner's inquest.

HOLMES:

Yes, very thoroughly.

GIBSON:

I don't see that I can add anything that'll help you. But if there are any questions you'd like to ask, I'll answer them.

HOLMES:

Well, thank you. First, what were the exact relations between you and Miss Dunbar?

GIBSON:

(TENSE) I suppose you're within your rights in asking such a question, Mr. Holmes.

HOLMES:

(CHUCKLES) We will agree to suppose so, shall we?

GIBSON:

(UNCONVINCINGLY) Then I can assure you that my relations with Miss Dunbar were always those of an employer towards a young lady whom he never conversed with, or ever saw, except in the company of his children.

HOLMES:

(DISGUSTED) Ohh. (DISMISSIVE) I'm rather a busy man, Mr. Gibson, and I've no time or taste for aimless conversation. I wish you good-morning.

GIBSON:

(ANGRY) What the devil do you mean by this, Mr. Holmes?

HOLMES:

My dear sir, the case is difficult enough without your giving me false information.

GIBSON:

Meaning that I lie, sir?

HOLMES:

I was trying to express it as delicately as possible, but - (CLEARS THROAT) - if you insist on the word I won't contradict you.

GIBSON:

Why, you confounded--!

HOLMES:

Don't be noisy, Mr. Gibson. Please, don't be noisy. I find that after breakfast even the smallest argument is unsettling. I suggest that a stroll in the morning air and a little quiet thought will be greatly to your advantage.

GIBSON:

I suppose I can't make you take the case - but you've done yourself no good this morning, Mr. Holmes! (MOVING OFF) I've broken stronger men than you! No man ever crossed me and was the better for it!

SOUND:

GIBSON'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS

HOLMES:

(CALLS) Good-morning, Mr. Gibson. You've a great deal yet to learn.

SOUND:

DOOR SLAMS SHUT

WATSON:

(CHUCKLES) Upon my soul, Holmes, you were unusually severe with him. (CHUCKLES)

HOLMES:

(STERN) I dislike liars, Watson, and I cannot tolerate arrogance -- particularly when it's coupled with great wealth.

WATSON:

How did you know about his relations with the governess?

HOLMES:

I didn't. It was pure bluff.

WATSON:

Bluff! (CHUCKLES) Well, it certainly worked. Think he'll come back?

HOLMES:

Oh, of course he will. He needs my help too badly. He'll probably change his mind before he's halfway down the stairs.

SOUND:

SIMULTANEOUS KNOCK AT DOOR

HOLMES:

(CALLS) Come in!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

HOLMES:

Ah! (CHUCKLES) Mr. Gibson. Just saying to Dr. Watson that I was certain you'd be back.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES ... GIBSON'S FOOTSTEPS IN

GIBSON:

(APPROACHES) I've been thinking it over, Mr. Holmes, and I feel that perhaps I was hasty in taking your remarks amiss. Just the same, I can assure you that the relations between Miss Dunbar and me really don't affect this case.

HOLMES:

Surely, that is for me to decide, Mr. Gibson.

WATSON:

You see, Mr. Gibson, my friend is like a doctor. He wants every symptom before he can give his diagnosis.

GIBSON:

Fire away, Mr. Holmes. What is it you want to know?

HOLMES:

The truth.

GIBSON:

I can give it to you in a very few words. To begin with, I met my wife when I was gold-mining in Brazil.

WATSON:

Your wife was Brazilian by birth, wasn't she, sir?

GIBSON:

Yes, doctor, and very beautiful. Well, to make a long story short, I fell in love and married her and brought her to England. After a few years, I realized that we had nothing -- absolutely nothing -- in common.

HOLMES:

And then, I suppose, this young governess, Miss Dunbar, arrived on the scene.

GIBSON:

That's right, Mr. Holmes. Well, the story should be obvious to you from there.

WATSON:

You fell in love with this girl, I suppose, sir.

GIBSON:

Who could help it?

HOLMES:

Did you suggest marriage to her?

GIBSON:

Yes. Though I knew that my wife would never divorce me.

HOLMES:

I see. Then you made an utterly insincere proposition to her.

GIBSON:

Now, look here, Mr. Holmes, I came to you on a question of evidence, not of morals. I'm not asking for your criticism.

HOLMES:

It's only the young lady's sake that forces me to touch your case at all. Now, tell me, sir. What is your own opinion as to Miss Dunbar's guilt?

GIBSON:

It's very black against her, I can't deny that. One explanation of the tragedy did come into my head, Mr. Holmes. I give it to you, for what it's worth.

HOLMES:

Pray continue, Mr. Gibson.

GIBSON:

My wife was bitterly jealous. She was half-crazy with hatred. She might have planned to murder Miss Dunbar -- or, we'll say, to threaten the girl with a revolver and so frighten her into leaving us. There might have been a struggle in which the gun exploded and gone off and shot my wife who was holding it.

HOLMES:

Well, that possibility has already occurred to me. It's the only obvious alternative to deliberate murder.

WATSON:

The revolver, Holmes. It was found on the floor of the governess' wardrobe.

HOLMES:

Mr. Gibson, I should like to examine your house and the scene of the murder as soon as possible.

GIBSON:

Certainly, Mr. Holmes. Sergeant Coventry of the local police is still down there. He'll give you any help you may need.

HOLMES:

Excellent! Watson, old fellow -- [?] the timetable! We're catching the next fast train to Winchester!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

PASTORAL AMBIANCE -- BIRDS WHISTLE, AN OCCASIONAL DOG BARKS

SERGEANT:

So if I have to have someone else on the case, I'd rather have you, Mr. 'Olmes. The Yard gets called in, then we local police loses all credit for success; generally gets blamed for the failures. Now, I've heard that you play straight.

HOLMES:

(CHUCKLES) I need not appear in the matter at all, Sergeant Coventry. If I can clear it up, I don't ask to even have my name mentioned.

SERGEANT:

Well, that's handsome of you, I'm sure now. I know your friend, Dr. Watson, can be trusted, too.

WATSON:

(CHUCKLES) Don't worry, my dear fellow. We won't steal any of your thunder.

SERGEANT:

Oh, that's nice and friendly of you, doctor. Well, come on, gentlemen, I'll walk you down to the bridge. That's where we found Mrs. Gibson's body. It's not far from the 'ouse 'ere.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS TRUDGE ON TRAIL

WATSON:

Well, I must say, Mr. Gibson has a beautiful estate. It must be sixty or seventy acres.

SERGEANT:

Oh, nearly twice that, doctor. The woods back o' the house there belongs to him, too. (BEAT) Mr. 'Olmes?

HOLMES:

Yes, sergeant?

SERGEANT:

There's a question I'd like to ask you. A question I wouldn't ask anyone else.

HOLMES:

Then please ask it.

SERGEANT:

Don't you think there might be a case against Mr. Gibson hisself, sir?

HOLMES:

I've been considering that possibility.

SERGEANT:

That there Miss Dunbar's a bit of all right. If y'ask me, he wanted his wife out of the way. And the pistol she was shot with was his pistol, you know.

WATSON:

Oh? Was that fact proven?

SERGEANT:

Yes, doctor. It was one of a pair that he had.

HOLMES:

One of a pair? Where's the other?

SERGEANT:

Well, Mr. Gibson has a lot of firearms. We never quite matched that particular pistol -- but the box was made for two.

WATSON:

Well, if it was one of a pair, surely you'd be able to match it.

SERGEANT:

Well, we 'ave 'em all laid out at the house if you want to look 'em over.

HOLMES:

We'll do that later.

SOUND:

WATER RUNS UNDER BRIDGE ... CONTINUES IN BG

HOLMES:

Ah! This, I presume, is Thor Bridge.

SERGEANT:

That's right, sir. Found Mrs. Gibson's body lying right here at the approach to the bridge.

HOLMES:

I see. I gathered from the newspaper reports that the shot was fired at very close quarters.

SERGEANT:

Yes, sir, very close.

HOLMES:

Near the right temple, wasn't it?

SERGEANT:

Just behind it, sir.

WATSON:

How did the body lie, sergeant?

SERGEANT:

Oh, on its back, doctor. No trace of a struggle. No marks. No weapon. The note from Miss Dunbar was clutched in her left hand.

HOLMES:

Clutched, you say?

SERGEANT:

Yes, sir, we could hardly open the fingers to get at it.

HOLMES:

Ah, that's of greatest importance. It excludes the idea that anyone could have placed the note there after death in order to furnish a false clue.

WATSON:

What did the note say, sergeant?

SERGEANT:

Little enough, doctor. It just said, uh, "I will be at Thor Bridge at nine o'clock" and it was signed "Grace Dunbar."

HOLMES:

Did Miss Dunbar admit writing it?

SERGEANT:

Oh, yes, sir.

HOLMES:

What was her explanation?

SERGEANT:

She wouldn't say nothing. Said she was saving her defence for the trial.

HOLMES:

Yes, it seems odd that Mrs. Gibson was still clutching that note.

WATSON:

Seems perfectly natural to me.

HOLMES:

Oh, come now, old fellow, argue the thing out logically. If the letter is genuine, it was certainly received some time before the tragedy -- say an hour or two. Why, then, was the dead woman still clasping it in her left hand? Why should she carry it so carefully? She certainly didn't need to refer to the note at all at the interview. Doesn't it strike you as rather strange?

WATSON:

Well, now, you put it that way, it does seem a little peculiar.

HOLMES:

Hello!

SOUND:

HOLMES' FOOTSTEPS AWAY VIA THE BRIDGE

HOLMES:

(OFF) Did you notice this, sergeant?

SERGEANT:

Oh, you mean that chip out of that stone on the underside of the parapet of the bridge, sir? Yes, I noticed it. Didn't think nothin' of it, though.

WATSON:

(OFF) Not a very large chip.

HOLMES:

(OFF) Yes, but it's been done recently. Notice how the stonework is white just here. It took some violence to do that. Hand me your cane, Watson, will you?

WATSON:

(OFF) Here you are.

HOLMES:

(OFF) Thanks.

SOUND:

HOLMES RAPIDLY WHACKS STONE WITH WOODEN CANE HALF A DOZEN TIMES

HOLMES:

(OFF) Yes, it was a hard knock. (CLOSER) And in a curious place, too.

SERGEANT:

But it's fifteen feet from where we found the body, Mr. 'Olmes.

WATSON:

Yes, Holmes, I don't see how it could have any connection with Mrs. Gibson's murder.

HOLMES:

Well, perhaps it hasn't. But it's a point worth noting. There were no footprints, you say, sergeant?

SERGEANT:

None, Mr. 'Olmes. The ground was as hard as iron. It's been a very dry summer and we haven't had any rain to speak of.

HOLMES:

That's a pity. Hmm. Well, sergeant, I'm much obliged to you and now I think we'll go back to the house.

SERGEANT:

Right. Cesar'll show you where the firearms are, sir.

HOLMES:

Oh, uh, who is Cesar?

SERGEANT:

Oh, a funny kind of a bloke. Brazilian, I guess.

HOLMES:

Brazilian, eh? Like Mrs. Gibson?

SERGEANT:

Yes, Mr. 'Olmes. Comes from the same town as she does, as a matter of fact. Something very fishy about 'im, if you ask me. Now, if you'll excuse me, gentlemen, I'm going to take a little stroll around the grounds. You've started me on a new train of thought in this case, Mr. 'Olmes.

HOLMES:

(LAUGHS) I'm delighted, sergeant. [Come, Watson, let's] get back to the house.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

HOLMES:

I see. And these are all the firearms in Mr. Gibson's possession, eh, Cesar?

CESAR:

Mm. Except for the revolver that is missing from the case. [?]

WATSON:

I've never seen such a collection of guns and revolvers in my life.

CESAR:

Mr. Gibson have many enemies, seņor. He always sleep with a loaded pistol beside his bed. He is a man of great violence. There have been times when all of us were afraid of him.

HOLMES:

Did you ever witness physical violence towards Mrs. Gibson?

CESAR:

No, seņor, I cannot say that I have. But I have heard him say many terrible things to her. He would taunt her in front of we servants. I have heard him do it many times.

HOLMES:

Thank you, Cesar, that will be all.

CESAR:

Muy bueno, seņor.

SOUND:

CESAR'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

WATSON:

You know, Holmes, I still think the case against Miss Dunbar looks very black.

HOLMES:

I should agree with you if it were not for one fact -- the finding of the revolver in her wardrobe.

WATSON:

(TAKEN ABACK) Upon my soul, Holmes. That seems to me the strongest evidence of all.

HOLMES:

I think not, old chap.

WATSON:

Huh?

HOLMES:

We must look for consistency. Where there is a want of it, we must suspect deception.

WATSON:

I don't quite follow you.

HOLMES:

Suppose for a moment that we visualize you in the character of a woman who, in cold, premeditated fashion, is about to murder a rival. You've planned it. A note has been written. The victim has come. You have a weapon. The crime is well done. It has been workmanlike and complete. Do you mean to tell me that after carrying out so crafty a crime you'd be so stupid as to forget to fling the incriminating revolver to the bottom of the stream? Or perhaps in the dense reeds that border it? Would you carefully carry it home and put it in the first place that would be searched? Your wardrobe?

WATSON:

Well, perhaps in the excitement of the moment--

HOLMES:

No, no, my dear chap, I won't admit that's even possible. When a crime is coolly premeditated, then the means of covering it are coolly premeditated also.

WATSON:

Well then, if Miss Dunbar didn't shoot Mrs. Gibson, who the devil did?

HOLMES:

I hope I can give you the answer to that question, Watson, when we've made one further visit.

WATSON:

(WEARILY) Oh, Lord. Where are we going now?

HOLMES:

To prison, old chap.

WATSON:

Prison?

HOLMES:

Yes, we're going to Winchester Prison to call on Miss Dunbar. I'm certain that the key to this strange mystery lies in her hands.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

You'll hear the rest of Dr. Watson's story in just a few seconds. Just time enough for me to remind you that the easiest way to make good food taste better is to serve that good food with a good Petri Wine. If you like a red wine, well, you want a Petri California burgundy. If you'd rather have a white wine, then you want a Petri California sauterne. But, red or white, Petri burgundy or Petri sauterne, you're choosing a dinner wine that's sure to turn a simple meal into a feast. Your whole family and all your friends will love Petri, the wine that makes good food taste better.

MUSIC:

THEME FILLS A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ANNOUNCER:

And now back to Dr. Watson and tonight's Sherlock Holmes adventure, "The Problem of Thor Bridge." [X] Well, uh, doctor, did you go to Winchester Prison and see Miss Dunbar?

WATSON:

We did, Mr. Bartell. An hour later found the two of us sitting in a dank and gloomy cell talking to one of the most beautiful girls that I've ever seen. Her bright, flashing eyes and her air of quiet confidence seemed sadly out of place in such a setting. Holmes spoke to her, quietly soothing her.

HOLMES:

Miss Dunbar, tell us of your true relations with the dead woman.

DUNBAR:

She hated me, Mr. Holmes. She hated me with all the passion of her distorted mind.

HOLMES:

Please tell us exactly what happened on the evening of Mrs. Gibson's death.

DUNBAR:

Well, I - I received a note from her in the morning, a note imploring me to meet her at the bridge after dinner that night. She said she had something important to say to me.

WATSON:

Did you keep that note, Miss Dunbar?

DUNBAR:

No, doctor. She-- Well, she asked me to destroy the note, so I burned it in the schoolroom grate. I saw no reason for such secrecy but-- Well, I - I did as she asked.

HOLMES:

Hmm. And yet she kept your reply very carefully. That's interesting. Tell me what happened when you met her that night.

DUNBAR:

When I reached the bridge, she was waiting for me. I - I won't tell you what she said. But she poured out her whole, wild fury in burning, horrible words. I did not [even answer] -- I couldn't. It was dreadful even to look at her. She was like an insane woman, standing there screaming disgusting insults at me. I - I put my hands to my ears and rushed away.

WATSON:

Where was she standing when you left her?

DUNBAR:

Within a few yards of the spot where her body was found later.

HOLMES:

And yet, presuming she met her death shortly after you left her, you heard no shot?

DUNBAR:

No. No, I heard nothing. But I was so upset, Mr. Holmes, that I rushed straight back to my room.

HOLMES:

Did you leave it again that night?

DUNBAR:

Yes. When the alarm came that Mrs. Gibson was dead, I ran out with the others.

WATSON:

Did you see Mr. Gibson?

DUNBAR:

Yes, doctor. He had just returned from the bridge when I saw him. He had sent for the doctor and the police.

HOLMES:

This pistol that [was] found in your room. Had you ever seen it before?

DUNBAR:

Never, Mr. Holmes, I swear it.

WATSON:

When was it found, Miss Dunbar?

DUNBAR:

Next morning, when the police made their search. It was on the floor of my wardrobe where I keep my shoes.

HOLMES:

Hm. You've no idea how long it had been there?

DUNBAR:

Well, it hadn't been there the morning before.

HOLMES:

How do you know?

DUNBAR:

Because I tidied up the wardrobe that day.

HOLMES:

I see. Then someone must have come into your room and placed the pistol there in order to incriminate you.

DUNBAR:

I'm certain of it.

WATSON:

Well, when - when could they have done that?

DUNBAR:

Well, it - it could have been at meal-time, or when I was in the schoolroom with the children.

HOLMES:

Yes. Miss Dunbar, on examining the scene of Mrs. Gibson's death, I noticed that a piece of stonework on the underside of the parapet of the bridge had been broken away. Can you suggest any possible explanation for that?

DUNBAR:

Oh, surely, it must have been a mere coincidence, Mr. Holmes.

HOLMES:

Possibly. But why should it appear at the very time of the tragedy, and at the very place? Could it possibly be that--? (THUNDERSTRUCK) Why, yes, of course! Idiot! Why didn't I think of it before?! Come along, Watson!

WATSON:

Where are we going, Holmes?

HOLMES:

Back to Thor Bridge, old fellow, as fast as we can get there!

DUNBAR:

What have you found out, Mr. Holmes?

HOLMES:

The answer to this mystery I hope, my dear young lady. You will get news before the day is out. And meanwhile take my assurance that the clouds are lifting and that the light of truth is breaking through!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

RUNNING WATER UNDER BRIDGE ... CONTINUES IN BG

SERGEANT:

Well, Mr. 'Olmes, you're soon back here. What have you found out?

HOLMES:

Tell you in a few moments. You got my message?

SERGEANT:

Yes, here you are, a ball of twine. What you want it for, I can't imagine.

HOLMES:

You'll soon see, sergeant. Uh, Watson, I, uh, have some recollection that you usually go armed on these excursions of ours.

WATSON:

Yes, I'm carrying my revolver. Why?

HOLMES:

Give it to me, old chap, will you? Thanks. I believe your revolver may have a very intimate connection with the mystery we're investigating.

WATSON:

(CHUCKLES) You're joking.

HOLMES:

No, Watson, I'm very serious. We have a test to make. If the test is successful, Miss Dunbar will be free before nightfall. And the test will depend on the conduct of this revolver of yours.

SOUND:

HOLMES UNLOADS BULLETS FROM REVOLVER

HOLMES:

I take the precaution of unloading it. Uh huh. There we are. Now, sergeant, ball of twine, please.

SERGEANT:

Wish I knew what you was up to, sir.

HOLMES:

I tie one end of the twine -- like this -- to the handle of the revolver. So. Sergeant, see if you can find me a heavy stone, will you?

SERGEANT:

Right you are, sir.

WATSON:

Holmes, what are you doing?

HOLMES:

Trying to reconstruct the killing of Mrs. Gibson. But you've seen me miss the mark before, Watson. I have an instinct for such things, and yet it has sometimes played me false. It seemed a certainty when it first flashed across my mind in Miss Dunbar's cell, but one drawback of an active mind is that one can always conceive alternative explanations which would make our scent a false one. And yet-- Oh, well. We can but try.

SERGEANT:

Here's a nice stone, Mr. Holmes.

HOLMES:

Thank you, sergeant! Now! I tie the other end of this twine to a stone. Wait a minute. Like that. Splendid! Uh, sergeant, will you please take this stone and stretch the twine across the parapet of the bridge there -- so that the stone will swing just clear of the water on the other side of the bridge?

SERGEANT:

Right you are, sir.

HOLMES:

I'll stand on the spot where Mrs. Gibson's body was found. (CALLS) That's it, sergeant. Over the parapet.

SERGEANT:

(OFF) All set, Mr. Holmes. The stone's swinging about eight feet above the water.

HOLMES:

Splendid! Now, Watson, watch closely. I raise the revolver to my head.

WATSON:

Careful, Holmes, careful.

HOLMES:

Don't worry, old chap, it's not loaded. Now, let us imagine I am the late Mrs. Gibson. I raise the revolver to my head and fire it.

SOUND:

CLICK OF EMPTY REVOLVER

HOLMES:

Instantly, my fingers release their grip and--

SOUND:

GUN RATTLES ACROSS BRIDGE ... LOUD CLANG AS METAL GUN HITS STONE PARAPET ... SPLASHES AS STONE AND GUN SINK INTO STREAM

HOLMES:

There's your answer, Watson!

WATSON:

Great Scott! The revolver flashed back out of your hand -- struck the parapet of the bridge -- and then the weight of the stone flipped it over into the water!

HOLMES:

Was there ever a more exact demonstration? Come on, old fellow!

SERGEANT:

You're a bloomin' magician, Mr. 'Olmes! That's what you are, a bloomin' magician!

HOLMES:

Look at that! There's the second chip on the stonework of the parapet here -- same size as the first!

WATSON:

Then the murder of Mrs. Gibson--?

HOLMES:

Wasn't murder at all! It was suicide!

WATSON:

What?

HOLMES:

We can follow the various steps quite clearly. A note was extracted very cleverly from Miss Dunbar. A note which made it appear that she had chosen the scene of the crime. Mrs. Gibson, in her anxiety that the note should be discovered, somewhat overdid it by holding it in her hand to the last. That alone should have excited my suspicions earlier than it did.

WATSON:

Then she stole one of her husband's revolvers--!

SERGEANT:

And planted the other one in Miss Dunbar's wardrobe!

HOLMES:

Exactly! After discharging one of the cartridges, which she could easily do in the woods without attracting suspicion, she then went down to the bridge where she contrived this exceedingly ingenious method of getting rid of her weapon. When Miss Dunbar appeared, she used her last breath in pouring out her hatred, and then, when the girl had left, carried out her terrible purpose.

SERGEANT:

Then the missing revolver--?

HOLMES:

You'll find it, with the aid of a grappling hook, at the bottom of the stream, and also the stone and the string, with which this vindictive woman attempted to disguise her own crime and fasten a charge of murder on an innocent victim.

WATSON:

Yes, sergeant, and don't forget, while you're at it, that my revolver's down there, too.

SERGEANT:

(MOVING OFF) Oh, don't worry, doctor. I'll get some grappling hooks right away.

WATSON:

(CHUCKLES) I must say, Holmes, you've solved this case brilliantly. Quite brilliantly.

HOLMES:

Ah, I disagree, old chap. And I fear that you will not improve my reputation by adding the case of the Thor Bridge mystery to your annals.

WATSON:

Oh, nonsense. But that's ridiculous.

HOLMES:

Oh, no, it isn't, old boy. I've been sluggish in my mind -- and wanting in that mixture of imagination and reality which is the very basis of my art. I confess that the chip in the stonework was a sufficient clue to suggest the true solution, and I blame myself for not having attained it sooner.

WATSON:

Well, Holmes, personally, I agree with the sergeant's opinion of you.

HOLMES:

Oh? What was that, old fellow?

WATSON:

(MIMICS THE SERGEANT) You're a bloomin' magician, Mr. 'Olmes! That's what you are, a bloomin' magician! (LAUGHS)

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

Well, doctor, Holmes really was a magician -- that is, if you did find Mrs. Gibson's revolver, and your own, in the stream.

WATSON:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, we found them all right. You don't think I'd tell you the story otherwise, do you? What do you take me for, anyway?

ANNOUNCER:

Well, now that you ask, I'll tell you. I take you for a very charming gentleman, a wonderful storyteller, and a fine host.

WATSON:

(BURBLES IN EMBARRASSMENT) Oh, really, I--

ANNOUNCER:

Well, you are a gentleman, of the old school.

WATSON:

(MORE BURBLING)

ANNOUNCER:

And you do tell a fine story.

WATSON:

You flatter me. You--

ANNOUNCER:

And you are a perfect host. That meal we had tonight was wonderful.

WATSON:

Oh, it was?

ANNOUNCER:

And, um, that - that wine. What kind was it?

WATSON:

(STOPS BURBLING, REPROVING) It was Petri Wine, and you know it.

ANNOUNCER:

(CHUCKLES)

WATSON:

And I should have known you were leading up to something. Mr. Bartell, you should be ashamed of yourself. You'll do anything to get a chance to talk about Petri Wine. Though I can't say that I blame you.

ANNOUNCER:

Oh, honestly, doctor, I meant everything I said. But you don't really want me to stop talking about Petri Wine, do you? After all, it's worth talking about, isn't it? What other wine is made with the loving care that goes into Petri Wine? Don't forget, Petri Wine is made by the Petri Family. Winemaking is their business. Why, they've been making wine for generations, handing down -- from father to son, from father to son -- all their skill and knowledge and experience. You can be sure the Petri Family really knows plenty about the fine art of turning luscious grapes into delicious wine. That's why, whether you want a wine for before dinner, with dinner, or for any time, you can't go wrong with a Petri Wine. "Because Petri took time / to bring you good wine." And now, Dr. Watson, what new story are you planning to tell us next week?

WATSON:

Well, next week, Mr. Bartell, I'm going to tell an adventure that Holmes and I had amid the Oriental magnificence of a maharaja's palace in India.

ANNOUNCER:

India? Sounds intriguing. What were you and Sherlock Holmes doing out there, doctor?

WATSON:

Oh, well, you'll have to wait till next week for the answer to that question, my boy. But I can tell you that it was one of the weirdest problems that we ever had to solve. I call the story, "The Vanishing Elephant."

MUSIC:

THEME ... CONTINUES IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight's Sherlock Holmes adventure is written by Denis Green and Anthony Boucher and is adapted from the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story "The Problem of Thor Bridge." Mr. Rathbone appears through the courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Mr. Bruce through the courtesy of Universal Pictures where they are now starring in the Sherlock Holmes series.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

The Petri Wine Company of San Francisco, California, invites you to tune in again next week, same time, same station.

MUSIC:

CHEERY JINGLE ... ACCOMPANIES SINGING COMMERCIAL

SINGER:

Oh, the Petri Family took the time
To bring you such good wine
For when you eat and when you cook
Remember Petri Wine!

ANNOUNCER:

(SPOKEN) To make good food taste better, remember--

SINGER:

(INCREASINGLY LOW NOTES) Pet - Pet - Petri -- Wine!

MUSIC:

OUT

ANNOUNCER:

This is Harry Bartell, saying good night for the Petri Family! Sherlock Holmes comes to you from our Hollywood studios. This is the Mutual Broadcasting System.

SOUND:

APPLAUSE