Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Columbia Workshop
Show: Odyssey of Runyon Jones
Date: Jun 08 1941

Music:

Introductory cue; plenty of harp and strings for glitter.

RUNYON:

(timidly) Is this the department of lost dogs?

CLERK:

Yes.

RUNYON:

I'm looking for my dog.

CLERK:

(perfunctorily). Your name?

RUNYON:

Runyon Jones.

CLERK:

Runyon?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. It's a terrible name, but Mother says I will like it when I grow up because it's distinguished, she says. The other boys call me Onion.

CLERK:

What's the name of your dog?

RUNYON:

Pootzy.

CLERK:

Pootzy?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. He's very smart, sir.

CLERK:

When did you lose him?

RUNYON:

Yesterday morning.

CLERK:

Where?

RUNYON:

Right outside my house. He was chasing an automobile.

CLERK:

Why?

RUNYON:

He wanted to bite the tires, I think.

CLERK:

Front or rear?

RUNYON:

All of them.

CLERK:

What happened?

RUNYON:

The car ran over him.

CLERK:

And then?

RUNYON:

He was killed, sir.

CLERK:

Then you're on the wrong floor. This is the Department of lost Dogs. What you want is the Department of Deceased Dogs.

RUNYON:

Where is that, sir?

CLERK:

Two flights up. Here, take this slip and hand it to the man at the desk.

RUNYON:

Thank you, sir.

Music:

Transitional cue. It should combine the elements of timidity and hope.

RUNYON:

Is this the Department of Diseased Dogs?

SECOND CLERK:

Deceased, not diseased. Let me see that slip.

RUNYON:

Yes, sir.

SECOND CLERK:

Mm. Pootzy. Are you Runyon Jones?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir.

SECOND CLERK:

Just a minute; let me look at the file.

SFX:

Sound of file case opening, cards flipped.

SECOND CLERK:

(to himself; scarcely audible, mumbling). Pootzy Jones . . . one and a half years old . . . inveterate auto chaser . . . leash . . . attitude ... mm. (To Runyon.) Young man, I don't think there's anything we can do for you.

RUNYON:

(terribly downhearted). You can't find Pootzy?

SECOND CLERK:

Ordinarily, in a good many cases, when a boy's dog dies from old age or natural causes, or is merely run over while chasing a cat in line of duty, or is fatally wounded in a fight with other dogs, we can make arrangements with St. Bernard, the head of Dog Heaven, for the return of the animal on a limited basis.

RUNYON:

What's a limited basis?

SECOND CLERK:

But--in the case of Pootzy, he is down in the files as an inveterate auto chaser and tire nipper, Class 4. Also, it is known that he has resisted leashes, that he bit a dog-catcher on August eleventh last, and that he stayed out all night on three separate occasions. I'm sorry to say he's not in Dog Heaven.

RUNYON:

(freshly disappointed). No? Gosh! (Almost at point of tears.) Are you sure, Mister? Couldn't he have snuck in when nobody was looking?

SECOND CLERK:

(firmly). He is not in Dog Heaven, and that settles that.

RUNYON:

Well, where is he, then?

SECOND CLERK:

In the place where all ill-behaved curs are punished. Curgatory.

RUNYON:

Where's that? I'll go there.

SECOND CLERK:

Oh, no. Impossible.

RUNYON:

But he won't chase any more automobiles-I swear it! Look-honest. I'll spit on my hand and touch my forehead three times.

SFX:

Spitting, tapping head three times

SECOND CLERK:

What's that mean?

RUNYON:

That's the secret oath of the Elmwood Street A.C., which means pledge of honor.

SECOND CLERK:

Nevertheless it will be impossible.

RUNYON:

But Pootzy will be lonely without me. I have to find him.

SECOND CLERK:

Please go now. I am busy.

RUNYON:

But, gee whiz-I came all the way here .

SECOND CLERK:

Now go quietly, Mr. Jones, or I shall have to call an officer.

RUNYON:

(making a scene). I won't go! I won't go without Pootzy! You've got him somewhere, and you're hiding him on me!

SECOND CLERK:

Now listen here.

RUNYON:

I won't listen! You give my dog back or I'll kick you in the shins! (calling) Pootzy! Pootzy! . . . You locked him up, and you won't let me have him because you want to keep him for yourself. I know!

SECOND CLERK:

Here! Here! Stop kicking me! Stop that! (Projecting.) Officer! Officer! Come here!

RUNYON:

(Continues to protest, ad lib, as the Officer hurries on.)

OFFICER:

(approaching). What is this? What's going on here?

RUNYON and CLERK:

(Both begin to explain, talking at the same time. Finally the Officer shushes them.)

OFFICER:

I think you'd both better explain the matter to the Superintendent of the Division.

SECOND CLERK:

(indignantly). I certainly will! I'm not going to stand for being kicked in the shins by any young brat who happens to come along. No wonder his dog's in Curgatory--I can see where the animal learned its bad manners.

RUNYON:

(beside himself; almost crying). You take that back! I did not teach Pootzy his bad manners. He taught himself!

OFFICER:

Quiet, both of you, and follow me. We'll explain it all to the Super.

Music:

Transitional cue-an argumentative piece scored for distinct voices at high and low instrumentation. An emphatic statement concludes the piece.

SUPER:

(a kindly sort--the right man for the position). I see. Well, there are things to be said for both sides. Now, first of all, I suggest that you two shake hands and apologize to each other.

RUNYON:

Well, all right. I'm sorry I kicked you in the shins, Mister.

SECOND CLERK:

That's all right. (Clears his throat.) I may possibly have lost my temper a bit, too.

SUPER:

Yes. And now, Mr. Jones, let me explain what the clerk was trying to tell you. We do not keep any dogs here on the premises. The most we can do is to refer applications to the right parties. It so happens we have connections with Dog Heaven through our good friend St. Bernard. But unfortunately there is no contact whatsoever--none at all--with Curgatory.

RUNYON:

Well, isn't there any way of getting to Curgatory, sir? Because I'll go myself if you'll only tell me how to get there, sir. I got here by myself.

SUPER:

(to Clerk) Clerk, there's obviously quite an attachment to the dog in this case, and...

RUNYON:

He was attached to a leash, but he kept breaking away on account of he liked to run fast.

SUPER:

Yes. Mm. Now, Mr. Jones, I think you're a likely lad, and so I'm going to tell you frankly that the chances of your ever getting Pootzy back are (gravely) very, very slim.

RUNYON:

(again disappointed). They are? Why is that, sir?

SUPER:

Because Curgatory is a great, great distance away and extremely hard to get to. In fact, nobody we know seems to know just how one does get there. But if you're determined to try to get Pootzy back, and you're willing to take risks and chances .

RUNYON:

(eagerly).Yes, sir, I'll do anything. Gee whizzickers, if you only knew Pootzy--

SUPER:

Then I'll tell you how to get to somebody who may know somebody who knows somebody else who can send you to the right place so that you might be able to find out how to set out for Curgatory.

RUNYON:

Gosh, would you, sir?

SUPER:

Glad to. Clerk, get me Form 5--the blue slip--and also applications for the interdivisional visa and inter-departmental passport. Then clip on the transfer coupons and the pink manifest.

CLERK:

Yes, sir.

SUPER:

Now, Mr. Jones, this is what you do. There is only one person I know who can possibly set you on the right track, and that's the head of the Division of Time. We call him Father Time. His place is quite far, and you'll have to make several changes before you get there. That's what all the tickets are for.

RUNYON:

Shall I say you sent me?

SUPER:

Oh, that won't do much good! He's very busy and won't have much time to talk to you. Tell him quickly what you are after, and if he can assist you, he'll tell you quickly. He hates to waste time.

CLERK:

The papers, sir.

SFX:

Sound of papers.

SUPER:

Very good. Mr. Jones, will you fill out this blank, and sign these two, while I stamp these documents?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. (While they are busy at their respective tasks (SFX: sound of stamping), the Super speaks in a very low, casual manner to the Clerk.)

SUPER:

Er-Clerk-see that he gets put safely on the Golden Escalator with instructions to change at the Inter-Heaven Junction for the Nebula Express.

CLERK:

Wouldn't it be better for him to take the Westbound Taurus Special? That crosses the Meridian two light hours ahead of the Neb.

SUPER:

Yes, but then he'd have to wait at Asterion for the Ecliptic Local. It's better the other way.

CLERK:

Maybe you're right.

SUPER:

Have you finished, Mr. Jones?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. I got an ink spot all over this sheet here. Will that make any difference?

SUPER:

No, no. Well, Mr. Jones, I guess that does it!

RUNYON:

(optimistic). Thank you, Mr. Superintendent. Gosh, Pootzy's sure gonna be glad to see me.

SUPER:

(cautioning). Ah-don't be too sure you'll find him, because you're liable to be disappointed, you know. But good luck anyway.

RUNYON:

(not knowing what to say). Well-thank you.

CLERK:

(with professional cheer, markedly in contrast to his earlier manner). Now, young man, if you come with me, I'll see that you get on to the Golden Escalator.

RUNYON:

All right, I'm coming.

Music:

Cue descriptive of Runyon's celestial journey. Score for separate celeste mike, supported by strings; give tempo of perpetuum mobile; at length retard into rhythm of:

SFX:

Assorted tick-tocks, including bells and chimes which keep striking under the following scene at various perspectives n the studio, some quite far of. After this is established:

TIME:

And you mean to say you came all the way here to ask if I know anybody who can help you find a dog named Pootzy?

RUNYON:

Yes, Father Time.

TIME:

Don't you realize I'm very busy?

RUNYON:

Yes, Father Time, but it won't take you long to tell me whether-

TIME:

Quiet! I've got to listen for time signals.

SFX:

A bong.

TIME:

Aha! That means that the eclipse of three moons on Jupiter was right on time.

RUNYON:

(progressively timid). He was a little dog, about so big...

VOICE:

(booming out-use P.A.). When you hear the time signal it will be exactly half past one-sixty-two on Uranus.

TIME:

Fah! That was thirty-seven thousandths of a second late! Miss Chrono, make a note of that. We'll have to make it up in the year seven billion, three hundred two.

CHRONO:

Yes, sir.

TIME:

Now what was it you wanted, little man?

RUNYON:

Well, sir, could you tell me how I could get to Curgatory, because my dog Pootzy...

TIME:

Oh, yes. Was he a delinquent dog?

RUNYON:

No, sir, a mongrel.

VOICE (P.A.):

When you hear the musical note it will be the hundred seventy-second millionth anniversary of the birth of the first dinosaur.

SFX:

Great booming note of the Chinese gong; reverberation on the board.

TIME:

Miss Chrono, remind me to send an anniversary message of felicitations to M.N.

CHRONO:

Yes, sir. Can I have time to go to lunch?

TIME:

Later, later. (To Runyon.) Where did you say the dog was?

RUNYON:

In Curgatory. I just want to know how to get there.

TIME:

Aha! Well, now, the only way .

SFX:

Loud buzzer close on mike. Receiver lifted off phone.

TIME:

Now who's that?

CHRONO:

Main office. Chrono speaking.

TIME:

My, my! Look at that green clock. It's getting toward morning on Neptune already.

CHRONO:

Yes, I'll tell him. Keep your shirt on, he's right here.

TIME:

(testily) Who's that? Who's that on the phone?

CHRONO:

Our agent on Alcyone. He says they need a shipment of sand very badly.

TIME:

Why?

CHRONO:

The sands of time are running low all through the Archipelago of the Pleiades.

TIME:

Tell him we're digging some new pits on Mercury and that he'll have his order in two shakes of a comet's tail.

CHRONO:

(Relays Time's message and hangs up while: )

TIME:

Finest platinum sand in the system. Uh . . . (With surprise.) What are you doing here?

RUNYON:

Don't you remember, Father Time? I'm the one who is looking for my dog. I came --

TIME:

Oh, yes, yes! Mr. Bones!

RUNYON:

Jones.

TIME:

You're from Earth, aren't you?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir.

TIME:

(sharply) Well, then, I want you to know that I am heartily ashamed of the kind of time they have down there in Greenwich.

RUNYON:

Yes, sir.

TIME:

And I want you to understand why.

RUNYON:

Yes, sir.

TIME:

Because it's so mean! It's pretty mean time!

RUNYON:

Yes, sir.

TIME:

And now about you and your dog. I don't know where Curgatory is at all. It used to be on Sirius, the Dog Star, but the neighbors on Furud and Murzim and Adhara complained about the piteous howling and whining that came from there; so they had to move.

RUNYON:

(fearing the worst). Er--why was there howling and whining?

TIME:

Because all the dogs in Curgatory are tortured, of course.

RUNYON:

Does-does it hurt them bad?

TIME:

(laughs) Well, naturally! What a question! Why, I've heard there are fleas in Curgatory as big as a lion! That's only one of the attractions.

RUNYON:

(very tentatively).Uh-well-is there some way I could find out how to get there?

TIME:

Well, the only one I know who could possibly help you is M.N.

RUNYON:

M.N.?

TIME:

Don't you know anything, lad? Mother Nature!

RUNYON:

Oh.

SFX:

Celeste chord, amplified to a startling degree.

TIME:

Well, well, there goes the vernal equinox on Aldebaran. Now, Mr. Pootzy .

RUNYON:

No, that's my dog.

TIME:

Quiet, Pootzy! . . . Now here's how you get to M.N.'s place .

VOICE (P.A.):

When you hear the note of the bass bautant, that will be time for all visitors-(signficantly) who weren't invited-to get ready to leave.

Music:

Bass bautant, followed by variation on previous interstellar movement cue. This sustains briefly under the following scene.

SFX:

Establish background of bird noises.

MOTHER NATURE:

(laughing). Pootzy? What a funny name!

RUNYON:

Yes, ma'am.

MOTHER NATURE:

And you came here to ask me...

RUNYON:

Well, Father Time said you might know where it is.

MOTHER NATURE:

Well, I don't, little boy, but let me think. (Pause.) I'll tell you who might. Just off the main skyway between Castor and Pollux, before you get to the red light of Mekbuda, there's a harpy who...

BLOSSOM:

Excuse me, Mrs. Nature, but these papers have to be signed right away if you want to get them on the Solar Limited.

MOTHER NATURE:

Yes. Excuse me, Runyon.

RUNYON:

Yes, ma'am.

(Two conversations going on at once)

 

MOTHER NATURE:

(low, to herself). Formal complaint about an earthquake in California . . . test Specimen of a new metal for the mountains of East Orion . . . new species of ant for the Antilles...replace two worn rings on Saturn . . . a petition of twenty-six butterflies of the order Rhopalocera demanding less time in chrysalis and more on the wing . . . requisition for ersatz beans to take the place of butter beans. . . rain wanted in the Panhandle .

There! That's finished.

BLOSSOM:

(idle talk). Hello.

RUNYON:

Hello.

BLOSSOM:

You from Betelguese?

RUNYON:

No, ma'am, I'm from Des Moines.

BLOSSOM:

Looking for a job?

RUNYON:

No, ma'am. I want to find my dog.

BLOSSOM:

Oh. Curgatory?

RUNYON:

Yes'm.

BLOSSOM:

Too bad. No chance.

MOTHER NATURE:

(to the girl). Here, Blossom, take these and see that they ---Wait a minute. What's that you have in your hand?

BLOSSOM:

A vacuum bottle, ma'am. Some warm nectar in case I get hungry on the way, and . . .

MOTHER NATURE:

(furious). Don't you know I abhor a vacuum? Give me that!

SFX:

Smashing of glass.

MOTHER NATURE:

Now, Blossom, don't let me lose my patience with you again. If you get hungry, there's plenty to drink in the Milky Way!

BLOSSOM:

Yes, Mrs. Nature.

MOTHER NATURE:

(immediately calm again). Now, Runyon-as I was saying, this harpy is a very strange spirit, full of lots of esoteric knowledge and. . .

RUNYON:

Does he know where I can find Pootzy?

MOTHER NATURE:

That I can't tell you. But there's no harrn -asking. Incidentally, it's a she, not a he. In fact, she's more commonly known as an it.

RUNYON:

Does it bite?

MOTHER NATURE:

Oh, no! But you may have difficulty understanding it, because of the way this harpy talks. You'll have to hold this little charm-oh, now where did I put it-yes, here it is-you'll have to hold this in your left hand while the harpy talks, in order to make out anything at all.

RUNYON:

Gee, isn't it pretty? It's like an aggie in marbles...

MOTHER NATURE:

Yes, it's the most charming charm I have. Don't lose it, now, because it has the power of translating the harpy's language into your own.

RUNYON:

No, ma'am, I won't lose it. I'll take care of it like as if it was Pootzy.

Music:

Transitional cue, segueing to harp solo. Throughout this scene the harp holds a conversation with Runyon, and its phrases should be as much like conversation as possible-monosyllabic, but at times questioning and expository, as the speech of Runyon indicates.

HARP:

(After a cadenza, a questioning phrase.)

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. I mean yes, ma'am. I mean yes, It.

HARP:

(Phrase.)

RUNYON:

Pootzy.

HARP:

(Phrase in which strings are plucked six times, as though spelling out something.)

RUNYON:

No. P-o-o-t-z-y.

HARP:

(Phrase.)

RUNYON:

Chasing an automobile.

HARP:

(Phrase.)

RUNYON:

Yes'm-sir, I mean --

HARP:

(Phrase broadening into sostenuto tones in lower register.)

RUNYON:

(fearfully). A giant?

HARP:

(Phrase-" Yes.")

RUNYON:

But does he bite?

HARP:

(Reassuring phrases.)

RUNYON:

(still not too certain this is safe). Does he know where Pootzy is?

HARP:

(Phrase-" Maybe.")

RUNYON:

You don't know where he is? Gosh, nobody seems to know where Curgatory is. I hope the giant does. How do I get there, Miss Harpy? I mean, Mr.-I mean, The Harpy?

HARP:

(Cadenza of a most expository nature, broadening into: )

Music:

Full orchestra in transitional cue. The music here should convey a sense of bigness and grotesqueness.

RUNYON:

(sounding very little). And so he ran under the automobile before I could get him, Mr. Giant. And that's how he got killed.

GIANT:

(a great voice tremendously built up by ampllfication-laughing). So you've come here expecting me to tell you where Curgatory is!

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. If you know, I mean.

GIANT:

Of course I know!

RUNYON:

(in a transport of delight). You do? Oh, gee, will you tell me, please! Oh, gee gosh jimmy heck! Then you know where Pootzy is!

GIANT:

(laughs). Do you think I'm gonna tell a little squirt where Curgatory is? Why, I haven't told anybody anything for sixty-seven million years, and I don't see why I should start in now!

RUNYON:

(who can't understand how anybody, even a Giant could be mean enough to withhold information leading to the whereabouts of Pootzy). But it's Pootzy, don't you understand-Pootzy! Pootzy's there. If you tell me, I can go get him.

GIANT:

(derisively) Pootzy! Pshawl I don't care if Tootsy's there. Now beat it, small fry; I got worries of my own-me with my two heads to feed and four sets of teeth, two uppers and two lowers, to clean every night! G'wan, beat it.

RUNYON:

Please, Mr. Giant, please!

GIANT:

What did you ever do for me?

RUNYON:

Nothing, but I'll do anything you want me to, if I get Pootzy back.

GIANT:

Haw, haw! As if you could do something for me! G'wan now, scram before I squash you with my little finger.

RUNYON:

But listen to me .

GIANT:

Don't take up my valuable time. Who sent you here in the first place, anyway?

RUNYON:

The harpy.

GIANT:

(bellowing) The harpy?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir.

GIANT:

You don't say! Mmmmm. Step on my thumbnail here, and don't slip-I want to talk to you very confidentially. Come up here near my ear. Now--what do you know about the harpy?

RUNYON:

(fade in, advancing on mike rapidly). Well, it told me how to get here. It gave me full directions.

GIANT:

(angry).It? What are you talking about?

RUNYON:

The harpy, sir.

GIANT:

Miss Harpy to you, bunny!

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. (Gulps.)

GIANT:

(low again) Well, how the Hecuba could you understand her?

RUNYON:

Why, that was easy.

GIANT:

Easy! I've been trying to get next to that creature for the last four million years, and every time I ask her for a date, she gives me strange talk. I can't make her out. I think she's stringing me along.

RUNYON:

You mean she talks like this?

Music:

A shot of harp talk.

GIANT:

(astounded) Yeah! Say! How'd you do that?

RUNYON:

Well, I'll tell you how if you tell me how to reach Curgatory.

GIANT:

Oh, businessman, eh?

RUNYON:

No, I just want to swap you, that's all.

GIANT:

Well, all right; tell me how.

RUNYON:

Oh, no. First you tell me how to get to Curgatory.

GIANT:

Hm. (Growls.) Well, that's fair enough. Mind you, you're not fooling me now. What you tell me better work!

RUNYON:

Sure. It works like a charm, no foolin'.

GIANT:

All right, then. Now (fading) get this, kid: first you go up through that cloud of meteor dust there on the trimtram, and then you change at San Sunspot for the Sidereal Ferry . . . (Crossing under)

Music:

Transitional cue, similar to the first in combining a feeling of timidity and hope.

SFX:

A long-drawn wolf cry.

RUNYON:

(frightened). What was that?

OFFICER:

That was merely the soul of a wolf passing by the Curgatorium.

RUNYON:

Does--does it bite?

OFFICER:

Don't be alarmed, Mr. Jones. You see, the near-by wolves who occupy what is known as Lupine Limbo resent certain of the policies in practice here in Curgatory, to say nothing of the smell.

RUNYON:

They do?

SFX:

Bell.

OFFICER:

Ah, that means the board of directors has reached a decision on your application. We can go in now.

SFX:

Creaking of heavy door.

CHAIRMAN:

Mr. Jones, will you sit here?

RUNYON:

Thank you.

CHAIRMAN:

Gentlemen of the board, this is Mr. Runyon Jones of Earth, whose request to be reunited with his dog Pootzy-number seventeen billion, six million twelve we have just discussed.

BOARD:

(Ad-lib greetings.)

CHAIRMAN:

Jones, we have gone into this matter most carefully.

RUNYON:

That's good.

CHAIRMAN:

We fully appreciate the pains to which you have gone, and the trouble . . .

RUNYON:

Oh it was nothin'.

CHAIRMAN:

. . . you have taken. We are also aware of the unusual devotion you have shown the said Pootzy, and all these factors have entered into our decision.

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. Then can I see Pootzy and have him back?

CHAIRMAN:

The unanimous decision of the board of directors is that you may not.

RUNYON:

What? You mean I can't see. . .

CHAIRMAN:

Sorry, but it is entirely contrary to the established rules and regulations of the institution. If we made an exception for you, it might lead to all kinds of complications.

RUNYON:

(trying hard to fight back his tears). Jiminy, can't I see Pootzy for just a minute?

CHAIRMAN:

Sorry, Jones.

RUNYON:

Not even for a teeny-weeny second? Just to peek at him through the bars and whistle once? Just like this? (He tries to whistle, but cries instead.)

CHAIRMAN:

We are all very sorry, Jones, but nothing can be done for you. Incidentally, it may be of some consolation to you to know that there are no bars in Curgatory.

RUNYON:

(coming up for air). That's good. (He snlffies.) Do you torture Pootzy bad? He's got a lame foot, you know. I hope you don't hurt him awful.

CHAIRMAN:

Just a moment, Jones. I am proud to say we do not torture any dogs in Curgatory. Where did you get that terrible idea?

RUNYON:

Father Time told me.

BOARD:

(General indignation mixed with amusement.)

CHAIRMAN:

Father Time? Why, don't take stock in anything he says, Jones. (Confidentially.) I shouldn't like this to get back to Father Time, but between you and us--strictly entre nous-that job of his seems to have got the better of him. He's more or less known as a-a crackpot.

DIRECTOR:

That torture talk is nonsense.

SECOND DIRECTOR:

Yes, indeed. . . . Well, we've got a big docket to clear. Hadn't we better show Jones how to get back to the Sidereal Ferry?

CHAIRMAN:

Yes, Jones. I'm afraid that closes the case. Sorry.

RUNYON:

Can I say just one more thing, gentlemens?

CHAIRMAN:

Well, you'll have to make it fast.

RUNYON:

(pleading in desperation). Pootzy is a good dog. H didn't mean to bite no tires. He just wanted to race th' cars to show me how fast he could run. And he could of run faster if he wasn't lame in the leg. And the time he bit the dog-catcher, the big bum. . .

CHAIRMAN:

Jones! That's no kind of language.

RUNYON:

(mad and miserable). Well, he was a big bum! He hurt Pootzy, and Pootzy wasn't doin' no harm to nobody he was just chasing a cat. And about his staying out all night, that was because he saw me talking to Eddie Mazer's bulldog, and he got jealous. You can't blame a dog for that, can you? Honest, Pootzy is the best dog in the world, or else would I have come all this way for him?

FIRST DIRECTOR:

What about the day the auto ran over him and killed him? Didn't he break away from your leash?

RUNYON:

No, sir, the leash broke.

CHAIRMAN:

(severely). Are you sure of that, Jones? (Far moment there is no answer.) Jones . . .

RUNYON:

(defeated). No, sir.

FIRST DIRECTOR:

Then the said Pootzy did break away?

RUNYON:

(now crying). Yes, sir.

CHAIRMAN:

Well, there you are. Again, please understand that we are sorry, but there is nothing we can do.

SFX:

Gavel.

CHAIRMAN:

Next item, gentlemen.

OFFICER:

This way out, Mr. Jones.

RUNYON:

Good-bye. And tell Pootzy I..., I ... (he can't finish.)

CHAIRMAN:

Yes. I'll tell him.

RUNYON:

(going off). Good-bye. (Shouting.) Pootzy! Can you hear me?

CHAIRMAN:

(gravely). No, he cannot. I will tell him good-bye for you.

RUNYON:

Thank you, sir.

FIRST DIRECTOR:

Wait a minute, Jones. Where did you get that mark over your right eye?

RUNYON:

Oh, this? Oh, that's nothing. I got that in the accident.

CHAIRMAN:

What accident?

RUNYON:

When I tried to prevent Pootzy from being run over.

FIRST DIRECTOR:

And?

RUNYON:

And nothing.

CHAIRMAN:

Well, didn't you reach Pootzy in time?

RUNYON:

No, sir. Almost- but, you see, the car ran over me first.

THE BOARD:

(shocked). It did?

RUNYON:

Yes, sir. That's how I got killed.

CHAIRMAN:

Well, now . . . (He clears his throat uncomfortably.) Ahem-just a moment, Jones.

BOARD:

(An indistinguishable ad-lib conference. At length: )

CHAIRMAN:

Jones, the status of the case is changed by the fact that you gave your life to save your dog. That comes under the Priorities Ruling affecting the Seventh Clause of the Constitution of Curgatory

RUNYON:

(not getting it). I see. Well, good-bye, gentlemen...

BOARD:

(Ad-libs under)

CHAIRMAN:

No, no-you don't understand! You can have the said Pootzy back!

RUNYON:

(incredulously). I can see Pootzy?

CHAIRMAN:

Yes, sir! We'll release the said Pootzy from Curgatory in your custody.

RUNYON:

You mean-now?

CHAIRMAN:

(pleased as Punch-- more so). Yes. The officer will take you.

OFFICER:

Come, Mr. Jones.

RUNYON:

Yes, right away. Gee!

SFX:

Door closes. Footsteps on stone for ten seconds.

OFFICER:

He's down at the end of the long corridor.

SFX:

More footsteps. At length:

OFFICER:

Well, here we are. He's right inside that door.

RUNYON:

(hardly able to control his voice). Is he? Right inside there?

OFFICER:

Yes. Just open the door and walk right in.

RUNYON:

Er-wait a minute.

OFFICER:

What's the matter?

RUNYON:

Do I look all right?

OFFICER:

(chuckling). Oh, yes, Mr. Jones.

SFX:

Clear, clean sound of doorknob and the beginning of the door opening, whereat there is an immediate dissolve into:

Music:

Conclusion.