Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: X Minus One
Show: Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls
Date: Jun 05 1955

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
CINDY
ALMA
HENRY
PYRIGI, always calm, with a slight accent
TOTO, creepy, high-pitched voice
BLISTER, the dog
SARGE, no-nonsense policeman
RYAN, Irish accent

NOTE: A version of this play aired 4 August 1950 on DIMENSION X. This transcript includes material from that earlier broadcast in brackets.

SOUND:

HIGH-PITCHED ELECTRONIC HUM

ANNOUNCER:

Countdown for blast-off. X minus five, minus four, minus three, minus two. X minus one. Fire!

SOUND:

ROCKET SHIP BLASTS OFF

MUSIC:

IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future, adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds. The National Broadcasting Company presents -- (ECHO) X ... Minus ... One!

MUSIC:

TO A CLIMAX ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, X MINUS ONE presents "Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls" by George Lefferts.

MUSIC:

SORT OF A SINISTER "FUNERAL MARCH OF THE MARIONETTE" FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--

ANNOUNCER:

The doll shop stood on a quiet Washington side street, not too far from the sprawling Pentagon building. A woman and child waited outside, the little girl peering eagerly through the window at the dolls inside, and the woman glancing impatiently at her wristwatch, as if expecting someone who was late for an appointment. There was nothing about the doll shop to warn them that they were waiting to keep an appointment -- with doom.

SOUND:

TRAFFIC BACKGROUND

CINDY:

Mommy, look.

ALMA:

Hm? What, dear?

CINDY:

In the window of the shop, the tiny dolls. Oh, mommy, do you think daddy'll buy me one?

ALMA:

We'll ask him when he comes, dear. Should be here soon. He said three o'clock on this corner.

CINDY:

I see him, mommy. See?

ALMA:

Oh. (CALLS) Henry! Over here!

HENRY:

(APPROACHES) Hello, dear. I'm sorry I'm late.

ALMA:

Well, we're all ready to go shopping. Cindy's been rea--

HENRY:

Yes, well, I'm afraid we'll have to call off the shopping, Alma.

ALMA:

(CHIDES) Oh, Henry, we promised Cindy.

HENRY:

Well, I'm sorry, but it's just one of those things. You've been the wife of an army colonel long enough to know his life isn't his own.

ALMA:

What is it this time?

HENRY:

It's some more of that flying sphere nonsense. The pilot who says he sighted it last month crashed and was killed today and the general wants a full report.

ALMA:

Oh, dear. What next?

HENRY:

Well, I got a staff meeting at the Pentagon at three-fifteen.

CINDY:

Daddy, look in this window.

HENRY:

Yes, well, I haven't time, dear. Alma, I--

CINDY:

Just for a minute, daddy. Please?

HENRY:

(LIGHTLY) Now, Cindy, I haven't time to stop and watch a bunch of six-inch dolls parading around in a shop window. (CHUCKLES)

ALMA:

(CHUCKLES)

HENRY:

(INTERESTED) Say, they are lifelike, aren't they? (CHARMED) Look at that, Alma. Dolls are marching around like a regular review. They've even got their own little band.

ALMA:

(CHUCKLES)

CINDY:

See the one in the red jacket, daddy?

HENRY:

Yes.

CINDY:

He's the leader; he's bowing to us.

HENRY:

Well, now if they don't look human--

ALMA:

(AMUSED, GENTLY) Henry, your staff meeting.

HENRY:

Huh? Oh, yes, yes. Well, I gotta run.

CINDY:

Can we buy one, daddy?

HENRY:

Well, not now, dear. Now run along. Now don't go spending a lot of money on that nonsense, Alma.

ALMA:

No, dear.

HENRY:

G'bye. Bye, Cindy.

CINDY:

Bye, daddy!

ALMA:

Bye.

CINDY:

Oh, look, mommy, the band's going to play.

MUSIC:

FROM THE TINY MARCHING BAND

ALMA:

Aren't they wonderful, honey? Honey, I must have stood on this corner a thousand times; I've never noticed this shop before.

CINDY:

Look at the man inside, mommy. Who's he?

ALMA:

That's the proprietor, dear.

CINDY:

Doesn't he look funny with those red cheeks and white mustache?

ALMA:

It's easy to see who he models his dolls after.

CINDY:

Mommy, look. He's coming to the door. He's coming!

SOUND:

SHOP DOOR OPENS ... BELL OVER DOOR RINGS

MUSIC:

GENTLE LILTING TOYLAND THEME EMERGES FROM SHOP, IN BG

PYRIGI:

(ODD ACCENT, BUT VERY KINDLY) Good evening, children.

ALMA:

(TAKEN ABACK) Uh-- Good evening.

CINDY:

How funny he talks.

ALMA:

Hush, Cindy.

PYRIGI:

Would you like to step inside the shop of Santo Pyrigi?

ALMA:

Why, yes, we would, but--

PYRIGI:

This way.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS INTO SHOP ... BELL RINGS AS SHOP DOOR CLOSES

MUSIC:

LILTING THEME GROWS LOUDER ... CONTINUES IN BG, OUT GENTLY AT [X]

CINDY:

(DEEPLY IMPRESSED) Mommy. It's like -- like Fairyland.

PYRIGI:

Here in the shop of Santo Pyrigi, creator of Pyrigi's Universal Wonderful Dolls, the world of adult reality is blended with the world of child's fantasy.

ALMA:

This is a new shop, isn't it, Mr. Pyrigi?

PYRIGI:

(PHILOSOPHICAL) What is new --- and what is old? [X] Come -- this way. Would you like to meet one of my little ones?

CINDY:

Oh, yes!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS THROUGH SHOP

PYRIGI:

Now, this one, in the red jacket, is Toto. He is the leader. (WITH EFFORT, LIFTS DOLL) Handle him ever so gently. See? I will set him on the table. (BEAT, TO TOTO) Speak, little one.

TOTO:

(MECHANICALLY) How do you do? How do you do? How do you do?

CINDY:

(GASPS) Oh, mommy, he talks! The doll talks!

ALMA:

Amazing. Absolutely amazing.

PYRIGI:

That is nothing for Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls. Listen. (TO TOTO) Sing. Sing, Toto. Sing for the little girl.

TOTO:

My name is Toto. (LAUGHS, ALMOST BUT NOT QUITE MANIACALLY)

CINDY:

(AMAZED) Oh.

ALMA:

My.

PYRIGI:

Sing, Toto.

TOTO:

(SINGS) Men are big and tall.
Dolls are very small.
When men begin to fall,
The dolls will rule them all. (LAUGHS)

CINDY:

Oh, more! More!

ALMA:

How do they work, Mr. Pyrigi?

PYRIGI:

How do they work? Ah, that is the secret of the great Pyrigi, greatest of all doll makers. To make an ordinary doll is nothing. To make a perfect replica, that is something. But to make a doll with intelligence, that is the work of an artist, eh?

ALMA:

I suppose that they're very expensive to buy.

PYRIGI:

Pyrigi does not sell his dolls, madam.

ALMA:

You don't sell them?

PYRIGI:

When I construct a doll like Toto, I cannot bear to be permanently separated from him. So instead of selling, I rent my little people.

ALMA:

You do? You rent dolls?

PYRIGI:

Precisely. Ten dollars.

ALMA:

For how long?

PYRIGI:

For as long as they are cherished. My only request is that when you grow tired of my dolls, you return them to me in good condition.

CINDY:

Oh, mommy, could we take him home?

TOTO:

Take him home! Take him home! Take him home! (LAUGHS)

CINDY:

Oh, look, he's bowing and dancing. He wants to come.

ALMA:

Well, honey, your father said that we shouldn't spend a lot of money--

CINDY:

Oh, please! I'll take such good care of it. Please?

ALMA:

Well, honey, we'll have to deal with your father later, but-- Well--

CINDY:

Oh, mommy!

ALMA:

All right. Wrap him up, Mr. Pyrigi. (LIGHTLY) But I have a feeling that when your father comes home, we'll be sorry.

TOTO:

Be sorry! Be sorry! Be sorry!(LAUGHS)

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

CINDY:

Now, Toto, this is my room. And you're gonna sleep right here next to my pillow.

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

CINDY:

I wish you wouldn't laugh like that. I'm going to have to teach you some manners.

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

CINDY:

And you be quiet because my daddy'll be home soon. And he's a colonel in the Air Force staff. And he'll bust you to private if you don't behave. Come along now, I'm going to introduce you to my puppy dog, Mr. Blister, so be good.

SOUND:

BEDROOM DOOR OPENS

CINDY:

(CALLS) Here, Mr. Blister! Here, Blister! Come on!

BLISTER:

(APPROACHES, BARKS)

CINDY:

Mr. Blister, this is Toto.

BLISTER:

(GROWLS, UNFRIENDLY)

CINDY:

Oh, dear, I don't think Mr. Blister likes you, Toto. Come over here and shake hands with Toto, Mr. Blister. Come on, now.

BLISTER:

(GROWLS, THEN BARKS SAVAGELY AND ATTACKS)

TOTO:

(SCREAMS)

CINDY:

Mr. Blister! Let him go! Let him go!

TOTO:

(OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE, TERRIFIED) Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!

BLISTER:

(GROWLS, IN BG)

SOUND:

BEDROOM DOOR OPENS

ALMA:

(APPROACHES) Cindy! Mr. Blister! Come over here! Come over here! (BEAT) Cindy, what happened?

CINDY:

Mr. Blister tried to bite my doll. Look at how frightened he is.

ALMA:

Oh, honey, dolls don't get frightened.

CINDY:

But he was frightened, mommy. He screamed!

ALMA:

You imagined it, dear. It's only a doll.

CINDY:

He did! He did!

ALMA:

Well-- Mr. Blister didn't mean it. Now, you know he's the gentlest little pup alive.

CINDY:

(TEARFUL) He isn't! He's nasty and I hate him!

BLISTER:

(WHIMPERS)

ALMA:

Awww. Now, see? You've hurt his feelings.

CINDY:

I don't care. He tried to bite my new doll and I don't ever want to see him again! Ever!

BLISTER:

(WHIMPERS)

ALMA:

Oh, dear. All right, Mr. Blister. You come downstairs with me.

BLISTER:

(MOVING OFF, BARKS)

ALMA:

(MOVING OFF) Cindy's angry with you tonight.

CINDY:

I'll kill him!

ALMA:

(OFF) Cindy! (APPROACHES) Where did you learn a thing like that?

CINDY:

I-- (BEAT, QUIETLY) Toto said it.

ALMA:

(TAKEN ABACK, BUT CHANGES SUBJECT CAREFULLY) Honey, you've had a very exciting day. Now, brush your teeth now and go to bed, hm? Daddy's coming home late so he'll see you in the morning. Good night, dear. (GIVES HER A KISS) Sleep well.

SOUND:

BEDROOM DOOR CLOSES

CINDY:

I hate him!

TOTO:

(CHUCKLES) Hate him. Hate him. Hate him. Hate him! (LAUGHS)

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

KITCHEN DOOR OPENS ... HENRY'S FOOTSTEPS IN

HENRY:

Morning, Alma. Breakfast ready?

ALMA:

In a minute, dear.

HENRY:

Hm.

ALMA:

How was the staff meeting last night?

HENRY:

Oh. Horrible bore, as usual. I don't know what's got into the old man. Just because a few farmers corroborated the pilot's report, he thinks some strange aircraft has penetrated our radar zone. Where's the little one?

ALMA:

Up in her room.

HENRY:

Huh. Now, that's funny. She's usually down here before me.

ALMA:

Well, she's probably up to something. Sit down, dear.

HENRY:

Say, remind me to take some papers back to the War Department, will you? I left them in my strongbox.

ALMA:

You haven't been bringing your reports home, have you?

HENRY:

Well, it's safe enough.

ALMA:

Well, you told me it's against regulations to bring secret papers home.

HENRY:

Well, I had to finish some work for the old man and nobody'll ever know the difference.

ALMA:

Well, I don't know. Oh, would you feed the puppy before we sit down, Henry?

HENRY:

Hm, yes.

ALMA:

His bowl's under the sink.

HENRY:

Where is he? Say, that's funny. Here's his supper from last night only half-eaten.

ALMA:

(LIGHTLY) He's getting fussy. Doesn't like canned dog food any more.

HENRY:

(CHUCKLES) Here, Blister! Here, Blister, Blister, Blister! Now, where the dickens is that mutt?

ALMA:

Maybe he's on the back porch.

HENRY:

Yeah.

SOUND:

HENRY STEPS THROUGH SCREEN DOOR TO BACK PORCH

HENRY:

(WHISTLES) Here, Blister! Here-- (STUNNED) Alma!

ALMA:

(OFF) What is it, dear?

HENRY:

Alma, look!

SOUND:

ALMA'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

ALMA:

(GASPS) Henry! Is he--?

HENRY:

He's dead.

ALMA:

But how? What happened--?

HENRY:

From the looks of it, he might have been poisoned.

ALMA:

But who would do a thing like that to an innocent little puppy?

HENRY:

I don't know. Let me see his dish.

SOUND:

HENRY STEPS THROUGH SCREEN DOOR TO KITCHEN ... HANDLES DISH

HENRY:

(WITH DISGUST) Look at that. I don't understand this at all. Not at all.

ALMA:

What, dear? What is it?

HENRY:

There are pieces of broken glass in this food. Blue glass, do you see?

ALMA:

How--? (BEAT, REALIZES) Henry.

HENRY:

What?

ALMA:

I just remembered something.

HENRY:

What?

ALMA:

It may be coincidence, but -- in the bathroom this morning --

HENRY:

Well, what about the bathroom?

ALMA:

Cindy's blue glass -- the one with the Mickey Mouse on it -- was broken. I found pieces in the wastebasket. I meant to ask her about it.

HENRY:

Oh, now, Alma, for heaven's sakes. You aren't suggesting that our little girl--? Why, she loved Blister more than anyone.

ALMA:

Not last night, she didn't.

HENRY:

Why not?

ALMA:

He went after Toto.

HENRY:

Now who is Toto?

ALMA:

That's her new doll.

HENRY:

Her what?

ALMA:

Honey, I was meaning to tell you.

HENRY:

You bought her one of those dolls, huh?

ALMA:

I - I just rented it.

HENRY:

Rented it? Now look here, Alma. You know we haven't got the kind of money to throw away on--

ALMA:

Well, she had her heart set on it, dear. I used my dividend.

HENRY:

(SIGHS) All right. But what happened with Blister?

ALMA:

Well, he went for the doll and - and Cindy said she hated him.

HENRY:

Oh. Well, a child--

ALMA:

She said she'd kill him.

HENRY:

Where'd she get a thought like that?

ALMA:

I don't know.

HENRY:

Has she been watching those chillers on television?

ALMA:

I don't know.

HENRY:

Well, it's too ridiculous. Good heavens, a nine-year-old child putting ground glass in dog food; she'd have to be a monster.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES OFF ... CINDY'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH DURING FOLLOWING--

CINDY:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Mommy!

ALMA:

(WHISPERS) She's coming.

HENRY:

Hm. Well, don't say anything; I'll talk to her.

ALMA:

Morning, dear.

CINDY:

Morning, mommy. Morning, daddy. (BEAT, SENSES SOMETHING WRONG) What's the matter?

HENRY:

Eh, sit down, dear.

CINDY:

Yes, sir.

SOUND:

SCRAPE OF CHAIR

HENRY:

Now. Your mother tells me you broke your blue drinking glass.

CINDY:

Oh, no, I didn't break it.

ALMA:

(CHIDES) Cindy--

CINDY:

I didn't.

HENRY:

Well, now, somebody broke it. It wasn't your mother and it wasn't me.

CINDY:

Then it must have been Toto.

ALMA:

Cynthia!

HENRY:

Cindy, you know Toto is only a doll. Now, a doll couldn't have broken your glass, could he? (NO ANSWER) Well?

CINDY:

(QUIETLY) I guess not.

HENRY:

So we can't very well blame it on a doll then, can we?

CINDY:

But he must have done it, daddy.

HENRY:

Cindy, you know how daddy feels about little girls who tell fibs. (CAREFULLY) Now, did you break your glass and maybe accidentally get some pieces into Mr. Blister's dish, to sort of punish him for biting your doll?

CINDY:

No, daddy.

HENRY:

Well, I'd hate to think you'd done something you knew was wrong and you were blaming it on a doll.

CINDY:

Is something wrong with Mr. Blister? Is he sick?

HENRY:

Worse than that.

ALMA:

(CAUTIOUS) Henry--

HENRY:

The child has to face reality, Alma.

CINDY:

What's the matter with Mr. Blister?

HENRY:

(BEAT) He's dead, Cindy.

CINDY:

(DISTRESSED) Oh, no. He can't be dead. He isn't dead, daddy. No, he isn't! He isn't! Mommy!

ALMA:

(SYMPATHETIC) Honey. He is dead, Cindy.

CINDY:

(TEARFUL) He'll come back. He has to come back!

ALMA:

No, darling. He won't come back.

CINDY:

Ever?

ALMA:

Not ever.

HENRY:

Yes. Well, now that we've told you, Cindy, do you want to change your mind about the glass?

ALMA:

Henry, leave her alone -- please.

CINDY:

(WEEPS) You think I killed him!

ALMA:

(TO HENRY) Now look what you've done. The child feels guilty enough, Henry.

HENRY:

My dear, this is no time for feelings to interfere.

ALMA:

You go up to your room, honey. Daddy and I'll be up in a minute.

CINDY:

I don't want to.

ALMA:

Please, Cindy. Now, we'll be right up. Please.

SOUND:

KITCHEN DOOR OPENS ... THE REST OF THE SCENE IS FROM CINDY'S PERSPECTIVE AS SHE WALKS UP TO HER ROOM

ALMA:

(OFF) There, that's a good girl. Close the kitchen door behind you.

SOUND:

KITCHEN DOOR CLOSES

MUSIC:

SOMBER UNDERSCORE, IN BG ... OUT ABRUPTLY AT [X]

SOUND:

CINDY'S FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS, IN BG

CINDY:

(SOBS, TO HERSELF) Mr. Blister's dead. He isn't coming back. Ever. Ever. Daddy thinks it was me but--

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OUT, BEDROOM DOOR OPENS [X]

CINDY:

(TEARFUL) It was you! IT WAS YOU!

TOTO:

(LAUGHS MANIACALLY)

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

KITCHEN TABLE BACKGROUND ... UTENSILS ON PLATES, ET CETERA

ALMA:

Eat your supper, dear.

CINDY:

I'm not hungry.

ALMA:

You've scarcely touched your lunch.

CINDY:

I don't feel like eating.

ALMA:

(BEAT) Is it Mister Blister?

CINDY:

(STARTS TO SOB)

HENRY:

Now, answer your mother.

ALMA:

She'll work it out her own way, Henry.

HENRY:

Well, I don't know, Alma. When I was a boy, there was such a thing as discipline. Now the way this child is being brought up--

ALMA:

Henry!

HENRY:

Well, it's true! There's no respect! Lying and--!

CINDY:

(SOBS)

ALMA:

Oh, there, there, honey. Now, your father's upset. He doesn't mean it.

HENRY:

Well, what's happened to us? We were a nice, peaceful, happy family until you bought that cursed doll.

ALMA:

Now whose blaming things on the doll?!

HENRY:

Well, it's true! It's--

SOUND:

CLATTER! OF COFFEE CUP ON PLATE

HENRY:

Now I've spilled my coffee.

ALMA:

I'll get you another cup.

HENRY:

Never mind. I'm late now. I'd better be going.

ALMA:

(SIGHS) Oh, you, uh, wanted to get some papers from the strongbox.

HENRY:

Oh, yes.

SOUND:

SCRAPE OF CHAIR AS HENRY RISES ... HIS FOOTSTEPS AWAY

ALMA:

Cindy, please. Try to eat something.

CINDY:

(VERY QUIET) Yes, ma'am.

HENRY:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Alma! Alma!

SOUND:

SCRAPE OF CHAIR AS ALMA RISES

ALMA:

What is it?

SOUND:

ALMA'S FOOTSTEPS HURRY TO HENRY

HENRY:

Alma! It's gone!

ALMA:

What's gone?

HENRY:

The box! The strongbox is gone!

ALMA:

It can't be. The door to your study's always locked. You and I have the only keys.

HENRY:

I know all that; and I tell you, it isn't there.

ALMA:

Well, who would go--?

HENRY:

I don't know. Alma, those confidential reports, if they ever got into the wrong hands--

ALMA:

I warned you about keeping them there!

HENRY:

Well, what if it ever came out in the open? Can't you see the papers? ["Army Colonel Derelict In Duty"?]

ALMA:

Call the police, Henry.

HENRY:

And throw my Army career in a wastebasket after seventeen years? No. We've got to find it ourselves.

ALMA:

Well, it was there when I went in to clean this morning.

HENRY:

What about your key?

ALMA:

It's right here; I always keep it with me--

SOUND:

KEYS CLINKING

ALMA:

That's funny.

HENRY:

Oh, no.

ALMA:

My other keys are on the ring.

HENRY:

(DESPAIR) Oh, you've lost it.

ALMA:

I don't see how.

HENRY:

Alma, Alma, how could you do--?

ALMA:

Oh, Henry, please!

HENRY:

We'll search the house! I can't think of anything else to do.

ALMA:

Well, you'll miss the staff meeting.

HENRY:

Meeting? My whole career goes up in smoke if we don't find those reports! Somebody got hold of your key and opened that room and-- (REALIZES, CALMLY) I know. Cindy.

ALMA:

You leave the child alone. She's been through enough. You know she wouldn't do a thing like that.

HENRY:

I don't know anything any more. I don't even know my own child. I don't even know you. All I know is that strongbox is gone and it contains papers that are dynamite if the wrong person gets them. The question being, who?

TOTO:

(FROM OFF; LAUGHS, CONTINUES IN BG)

ALMA:

(EXHALES UNHAPPILY)

HENRY:

What's that?

ALMA:

It's coming from upstairs. It must be Cindy's doll.

HENRY:

Oh, that blasted doll again.

ALMA:

Something must have set it off. I don't know how the mechanism works.

HENRY:

For heaven's sakes, let's go up and shut it off.

SOUND:

THEIR HURRIED FOOTSTEPS RUN UP THE STAIRS ... TOTO'S LAUGHTER GROWS LOUDER AS THEY APPROACH ... BEDROOM DOOR OPENS

TOTO:

Toto! Toto! Toto! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him! (LAUGHS) How do you do? How do you do? Ahh-- (CUT OFF ABRUPTLY WITH--)

HENRY:

Stop it! (TO HIMSELF) Blasted little imp.

ALMA:

Henry--

HENRY:

Ever since you brought this thing--

ALMA:

Henry!

HENRY:

What?

ALMA:

Look.

HENRY:

Where? What?

ALMA:

Around the doll's neck. The key! The key to your study!

HENRY:

You see, Alma. It was Cindy after all.

ALMA:

I don't believe it!

HENRY:

Well, good heavens, do you have to have it spelled out for you? Here's her doll with the key around its neck.

ALMA:

She wouldn't, Henry. You know she wouldn't.

HENRY:

Oh, ever since you got this fool doll, she's been acting half-insane. First the dog and now this. I think she hates us, Alma.

ALMA:

Henry, Cindy is my child. I know her. I know she's a good sensitive person with no malice in her.

HENRY:

You're simply refusing to face the facts, my dear.

ALMA:

What are you going to do?

HENRY:

I'm going downstairs and have a talk with that young lady.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

HENRY:

You're not telling the truth, Cindy.

CINDY:

I am, I am!

HENRY:

Cindy. Now you know that strongbox is very important to me. Now I can understand that you might have been angry at me, because I scolded you, and so you took it and hid it, just to spite me. Now all I ask is for you to tell me the truth. Now, where is it?

CINDY:

I didn't take it, daddy. Honest, I didn't take it.

HENRY:

(SIGHS) I suppose you're going to tell me now that a little six-inch doll took it and hid it. (NO RESPONSE) Well? (NO ANSWER) I'm speaking to you, young lady.

CINDY:

But I didn't take it, daddy. You don't understand. Toto did it. He's terrible. Awful. He says things. He's going to kill everybody.

HENRY:

Cindy, you're inventing things.

CINDY:

It's true. At night, when I'm sleeping, he stands next to my pillow and whispers things to me. Awful things. He told me he'd kill me, too, if I told you.

HENRY:

Alma, I think this child is sick. I think she needs a doctor.

ALMA:

She's frightened, Henry. Trembling like a leaf. (TO CINDY) Come on, dear. We'll go up to your room.

CINDY:

I don't want to go up there.

ALMA:

Honey, Mommy will stay with you.

CINDY:

I'm afraid. He's up there.

ALMA:

Who?

CINDY:

Toto!

HENRY:

Well, he won't be up there for long. Mister Toto is going right back to Pyrigi's Wonderful Doll shop before I lose my sanity, which means right now!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SOUND:

SHOP DOOR OPENS ... BELL RINGS ... HENRY'S FOOTSTEPS IN

MUSIC:

TOYLAND THEME, IN BG

PYRIGI:

Ah, Colonel Grayson. Welcome to the home of Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls

HENRY:

Are you Pyrigi?

PYRIGI:

Santo Pyrigi, creator of the Universal Doll -- the doll with a mind, the doll which--

HENRY:

I'm returning one of your masterpieces.

PYRIGI:

Oh? If you will step into the rear of my shop--

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS THROUGH SHOP

MUSIC:

FADES OUT

PYRIGI:

Now, [what is] the complaint?

HENRY:

No complaint. Here's your doll. Good riddance.

PYRIGI:

(GENTLY, TO TOTO) My little Toto. Rejected. You found the world of men too filled with hate.

TOTO:

Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate!

PYRIGI:

We will change all that -- later on. Return to your comrades in the window, little one.

SOUND:

TINY WOODEN FOOTSTEPS MARCH AWAY

PYRIGI:

And now, Colonel Grayson--

HENRY:

I think we have no further business.

PYRIGI:

Ah, but we do, Colonel. Let me see. Ah, yes. Here it is. Do you recognize this strongbox, Colonel?

HENRY:

(ASTONISHED) My strongbox. Well, where--?

PYRIGI:

My little Toto is very clever, sir.

HENRY:

Are you trying to tell me your doll stole that from me?

PYRIGI:

Let us not say "stole." I am merely keeping it in custody.

HENRY:

What's the game, Pyrigi?

PYRIGI:

The "game," as you call it, is blackmail. You give me what I want and I do not ruin your career.

HENRY:

Well, what do you want?

PYRIGI:

Information. We already know something from the reports of the War Department concerning a certain strange-looking sphere reported by one of your pilots.

HENRY:

What government do you represent?

PYRIGI:

I represent Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls. None other.

HENRY:

(CHUCKLES) I am not so na´ve, sir.

PYRIGI:

Perhaps I should explain. Each man hides something from the world. Each man loves something more than life. With the help of my Wonderful Dolls, I obtain personal information which enables me to control the men who control the world. [Men like you.]

HENRY:

You're a madman.

PYRIGI:

A genius. You would be surprised at the list of men who have become the confidants for my dolls.

HENRY:

Do you think you can blackmail me into betraying my country?

PYRIGI:

If the price is right. And in this case, sir, the price is your career and the lives of your wife and child.

HENRY:

Why are you so interested in the flying sphere?

PYRIGI:

Let us say for reasons of my own. Well, Colonel?

HENRY:

Hand over the strongbox!

PYRIGI:

I warn you, I have a gun.

HENRY:

Give it to me!

PYRIGI:

You are being foolish. Put down that walking stick.

HENRY:

Now!

PYRIGI:

No closer.

HENRY:

Now!

SOUND:

GUN SHOT! ... PYRIGI'S BODY FALLS ... HENRY'S FOOTSTEPS TO PHONE ... RECEIVER UP, DIALS

HENRY:

Hello? Give me the police. (BEAT) Hello? (BEAT) Yes, this is Colonel Henry Grayson. I've, eh-- I've just killed a man. (BEAT) Yes, Pyrigi's Doll Shop, corner of Fourth and Lexington. The body is in the back room. (BEAT) Yes, I'll wait for you.

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

HENRY:

Shut up.

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

HENRY:

Shut up, you little fiend!

TOTO:

(NO LONGER MECHANICAL) Colonel Grayson?

HENRY:

(BEAT, TO HIMSELF) Did - did I hear it speak?

TOTO:

Colonel Henry Grayson? (LAUGHS, CONTINUES IN BG)

HENRY:

(TO HIMSELF) I must be going out of my mind. A six-inch doll-- (TO TOTO) Shut up! Your master's dead!

TOTO:

You are mistaken, Colonel. I, Toto, am the master.

HENRY:

What do you mean?

TOTO:

If you will examine the body of Santo Pyrigi, you will see that he does not bleed. And he does not bleed, Colonel, because --- Santo Pyrigi never lived.

HENRY:

Never lived?

TOTO:

(SLOWLY) Santo Pyrigi --- is a doll.

HENRY:

A doll?! But that's impossible. He's a man. He talks, he walks--

TOTO:

The people of Meritrix are skillful doll builders.

HENRY:

People of Meritrix? Doll builders? Look, who are you?

TOTO:

I am Xantu Sympiritor, commander of the legions of the third planetoid, Meritrix.

HENRY:

Legions? Planetoid?

TOTO:

My people and I, whom you regard as dolls, come from a tiny planet beyond the moon -- so small that it cannot support our population. We landed one of our space spheres on earth three months ago with the intention of colonizing. Unfortunately, one of your pilots intercepted us.

HENRY:

So that's why you wanted our information.

TOTO:

Precisely.

HENRY:

Are you, uh--? Are you, uh, human?

TOTO:

Oh, quite human. Of course, in order to deal with Earth people without suspicion, we were forced to construct Pyrigi -- a man-sized doll.

HENRY:

Well, I can't believe this. I'm having hallucinations. I'm going to get out of here.

MUSIC:

BUILDS SLOWLY, IN BG ... BEHIND--

TOTO:

Oh, that would be impossible. We have weapons of destruction quite unknown to Earth people.

HENRY:

Well, I've phoned the police and they'll be here soon.

TOTO:

By the time they arrive, my people will have prepared something - quite - shocking. (LAUGHS, BUILDS MANIACALLY)

MUSIC:

UP, FOR BRIDGE

SOUND:

POLICE SIREN ... POLICE CAR SKIDS TO A STOP ... CAR DOORS OPEN & CLOSE ... THEN OFFICERS' HURRIED FOOTSTEPS, IN BG

SARGE:

Cover him, Ryan.

RYAN:

Okay, Sarge.

SOUND:

SHOP DOOR OPENS ... BELL RINGS

SARGE:

You the guy who turned in the call?

HENRY:

Yes.

SARGE:

Where's the body?

HENRY:

Well, it isn't exactly a body.

SARGE:

What do you mean?

HENRY:

It's a doll.

SARGE:

A what?

HENRY:

Well, now, you've got to let me explain. Now, this sounds fantastic, but I've stumbled onto an unbelievable plot to control the world.

SARGE:

Keep talking.

HENRY:

Now, these little dolls-- They aren't really dolls. They're tiny people. There's a big doll named Santo Pyrigi and he runs this shop.

SARGE:

(TO HIMSELF) Holy smokes.

RYAN:

He's off his trolley, Sarge.

SARGE:

Listen, mister, we got a call that there was a murder here. Now if there was one, where's the body?

HENRY:

Behind those curtains, in the back. Only it isn't really a body, you see.

SARGE:

What?

RYAN:

I hear something back there, Sarge.

SARGE:

All right. Cover those curtains. (CALLS) You! Is anyone back there? Come on out! Come out, or we'll come in and get you!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

RYAN:

Something's comin'. The curtain's opening.

SOUND:

CURTAIN SLIDES OPEN

PYRIGI:

(CALMLY) Welcome, gentlemen.

HENRY:

(DISBELIEF) Pyrigi! Well, this is impossible, I smashed his skull. I--

SARGE:

You know this guy?

HENRY:

Yes, that - that's the one. That's the doll!

SARGE:

(TO PYRIGI) What's your name, mister?

PYRIGI:

Pyrigi. Santo Pyrigi, creator of the Universal Doll.

SARGE:

You ever see this man?

PYRIGI:

Never, until just now.

HENRY:

Wha--? Well, he's lying! I tell you, he's nothing but a life-sized doll! The real masters are these little dolls!

SARGE:

Ryan, are you getting this?

RYAN:

He's wacko, Sarge. Nutty as a fruitcake.

HENRY:

Look, look. I'm not crazy, I tell you. I can prove it. They - they must have fixed up his head where I smashed it in. Touch him, you'll see!

SARGE:

Mr. Pyrigi, do you know what this guy is talking about?

PYRIGI:

The man is demented, obviously.

HENRY:

(STAMMERS) Look. I tell you, there's a - there's a plot to control the Earth. Listen. You've got to let me call the War Department. They'll want to know about the flying sphere.

SARGE:

Holy mackerel, this gets worse every minute. Ryan?

RYAN:

Take him to headquarters?

SARGE:

Save some time, take him down to the psycho ward.

RYAN:

(TO HENRY) Okay, Buck Rogers.

HENRY:

Now, look--

RYAN:

Come along nice and quiet now.

HENRY:

Look, you've got to listen to me! Don't you see? The future of mankind is at stake!

RYAN:

Sure. Sure, I know how it is.

HENRY:

Look, he's nothing but a man-sized doll! Touch him!

RYAN:

And the little ones are going to take over the Earth; I know. [And you're goin' where you can cut out some nice paper dolls.] I had the D.T's once. (TO SARGE) Okay, Sarge. We'll see you later.

SOUND:

HENRY AND RYAN'S FOOTSTEPS WALK AWAY DURING FOLLOWING--

HENRY:

Please! Please!

RYAN:

Come along, now.

HENRY:

(OFF) Please listen to me! You've got to listen to me!

SOUND:

SHOP DOOR CLOSES ... BELL RINGS

SARGE:

Sorry to cause all this trouble, Mr. Pyrigi.

PYRIGI:

Not at all, sir. Not at all. [Poor chap. He is obviously suffering from delusion.

SARGE:

Well, he's not the only one in Washington today. You know, we've been getting a whole string of crack-ups lately; bigwigs blowing their tops under pressure. If you could see some of the names in our confidential files--

PYRIGI:

You keep confidential files on cases like this?

SARGE:

Certainly. Believe me, they'd be dynamite if they ever got in the wrong hands. Well, I'd better be running along.

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

SARGE:

Hey, is that a talking doll?

PYRIGI:

Yes, Sergeant.

MUSIC:

TOYLAND THEME, IN BG

TOTO:

My name is Toto! I dance and sing!]

SARGE:

Well, I'll be. (CHUCKLES) Well, now, if that ain't the cutest little doll. Say, my little girl'd be nuts for that.

PYRIGI:

Perhaps you will accept it as a gift.

SARGE:

Well, now, I--

PYRIGI:

For saving my life. That madman might have killed me. No home is really complete without one of Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls, Sergeant. Is that right, Toto?

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

SARGE:

Yes, but I-I-I--

PYRIGI:

I would like, in some way, to show my gratitude. You'll be doing me a favor if you will take the doll home to your little daughter.

SARGE:

Well, I don't know, Mr. Pyrigi. It's against regulations for us to accept favors.

PYRIGI:

But this is not for you. It is for your little daughter. And if you will only take the doll and give him a good home, you will be doing me a great favor.

SARGE:

Well, then, if you insist. And thanks very much.] (CHUCKLES) Say, this ought to make her the happiest girl in the world. [When my kid sees this, will she be surprised.]

PYRIGI:

Yes, Toto will come as a great surprise.

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

PYRIGI:

A very great surprise. Eh, Toto?

TOTO:

(LAUGHS)

MUSIC:

UP, FOR CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, by transcription, X MINUS ONE has brought you "Pyrigi's Wonderful Dolls," written by George Lefferts.

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME ... IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Heard in the cast were Janet Alexander as Cindy, Anne Pitoniak as Alma, Nelson Olmsted as Henry, Joe DeSantis as Pyrigi, Michael O'Day as Toto, Ken Lynch as the Sergeant and Frank Milano as Ryan. This is Fred Collins speaking. X MINUS ONE was directed by Fred Weihe and is an NBC Radio Network Production.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight's story concludes the present series of stories of the world of the future. If you'd like to hear X MINUS ONE return to the air at some later date, please drop us a postcard or letter addressed to -- X MINUS ONE, care of the National Broadcasting Company, RCA Building, New York.