Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Short Short Story
Show: "Good Salesman"
Date: Jan 29 1940

Form No. RA 906
WARD WHEELOCK COMPANY
PHILADELPHIA, LINCOLN-LIBERTY BUILDING
NEW YORK OFFICE: GRAYBAR BUILDING, HOLLYWOOD OFFICE: EQUITABLE BUILDING

RADIO PROGRAM
Planned and Produced By
WARD WHEELOCK COMPANY

CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY
PRESENTS
SH

THEME:

BLUE MOON FADE BEHIND

PUTNAM:

Campbell's Short Short Story!

Today's story, "GOOD SALESMAN", an adventure in the personal columns of a great newspaper, brought to you by Campbell's Tomato Juice, the largest-selling tomato juice in America!

THEME:

UP BRIEFLY AND FADE BEHIND

PUTNAM:

Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Campbell's Tomato Juice brings you this brand new radio program developed from the most popular feature of your favourite magazines ? the short short story. Each one complete in itself; modern, dramatic, entertaining? a thrilling , different story each Monday, Wednesday and Friday?brought to you at this time by Campbell's Tomato Juice. Today's story, "GOOD SALEMAN", stars Agnes Moorehead of Orson Welles' Campbell Playhouse, and movie actor Donald Cook, Gertrude Lawrence's leading man in the Broadway hit show, "Skylark."

THEME:

UP AND FINISH

PUTNAM:

And now, your Campbell Short Short Story, "GOOD SALESMAN."

MUSIC:

NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART FADE BEHIND AND OUT

HELEN:

My name is Helen Wilson. I live in Ohio with my sister, Sarah, who is younger than I am, though she's married and has two children. I suppose I should really have been the young sister, because Sarah's quite the older-sister type?and I, I'm afraid, am? well, shy and unattractive. It's quite a large city we live in, but I'm lonely?terribly lonely. Sometimes I think you can be lonelier in large city than anywhere else in the world. And the awful, wasteful, unnecessary part of it is that all around are thousands and thousands of other people just as lonely as you are. If you only knew how to reach them. I suppose that's why I started reading the women's pages of the newspapers?these columns where people tell their troubles and ask for advice. And from that it was only a step to pouring over the personal columns?trying to understand the stories that lie behind those pathetic few lines signed "John," and "Ruth," and "Mother."

SARAH:

And I think it's silly and undignified!

HELEN:

No, it isn't, Sarah! It's?interesting.

SARAH:

Prying into other people's affairs...

HELEN:

Oh, no, Sarah. I?just like to try to?sort of make up stories to go with the little ads. Look, here's a girl in Kansas who says...

SARAH:

Oh, for heaven's sake, Helen!

HELEN:

She says...

SARAH:

I'm not interested in her problems out in Kansas. We've got enough of our own here?the mending, and...

HELEN:

I'll help you with the mending, Sarah...

SARAH:

Well, I wish you would. With the youngsters...

HELEN:

How long does it take mail to get to South America?

SARAH:

What?

HELEN:

Listen. (Reads) "Who will have pity on a lonely young American." Listen, Sarah. "...a lonely young American mining engineer in the jungles of South America. I am dying of boredom.. Please, somebody write to me. Richard Marshall, General Delivery, Monteluna, Venezuela.

SARAH:

You're not going to start writing to these people now, are you? For goodness' sake...

HELEN:

Oh, Sarah, can't you understand? You've got all your married friends, your bridge club, Albert and the children. You've got dozens of things to keep you busy and occupied?but I haven't. And I'm?lonely.

SARAH:

Well, even so, you're hardly in the position where you need to write to perfect strangers! You're not going to write to him, Helen.

HELEN:

(Wearily) No, no I guess not, Sarah.

MUSIC:

NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART UP AND FADE OUT BEHIND

SOUND:

PEN SCRATCHING ENDS AS MUSIC FADES

HELEN:

(Re-reading her letter) "October 20. Dear Mr. Marshall: I'm glad to write to you, and perhaps I'll write to you again if you send me a nice letter in return. Life in Ohio is really boring, Mr. Marshall, and I can't understand anyone being bored in South America. Please tell me about it. Would I like it there? And tell me about yourself, too. Very truly yours, Helen"?oh, heavens no! I don't dare sign my own name. What would be a good name?huh?umm?Betty! "Very truly yours, Betty Wilson."

MUSIC:

LACUMPARSITA UP AND FADE TO OUT BEHIND

SOUND:

COME IN WITH A FEW TYPEWRITER KEYS AS MUSIC FADES

RICHARD:

(Re-reading his letter) "Monteluna, Venezuela, November 9. Dear Miss Wilson. I'm twenty-two years old and working on my first engineering job. I'm sure I won't be so bored with South America if I can look forward to regular letters from you. It would be very nice if you'd send me your photograph. We're going farther into the interior on a new oil survey soon, and it would be nice to have a picture of my new friend to take along with me. Please don't forget?and thank you. Yours truly, Richard Marshall."

MUSIC:

NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART UP AND FADE TO OUT BEHIND

HELEN:

"January 22. Dearest Richard?umm, no?Dear Richard. Enclosed is a picture of me that was taken when I graduated from high school. I warn you, it flatters me. At present I am living with ? my Aunt Helen. She wants me to marry a wealthy young man in the flour-milling business, but I don't want to. Haven't I been good to send you my picture right away? Now, you must send me yours. Please give my regards to the mango trees, the boa constrictors and the pampas. You see, I've been doing quite a lot of reading up on South America. With kindest?uh, no?Fondest Regards, Betty."

MUSIC:

LA CUMPARSITA UP AND FADE BEHIND FOLLOWING DIALOGUE.

SOUND:

A FEW TYPEWRITER KEYS AND PULL THE PAPER OUT OF THE MACHINE.

RICHARD:

"Monteluna, Venezuela. March 13. Betty, dear. It's been almost six months that we've been writing each other, and I feel that I know you better from your dear letters than I've ever known any other girl. Betty, you must not marry that boy in the flour business. Please wait at least till I can come back to the States. I am sending my picture, taken alongside one of our oil wells. Betty, dearest, if you love someone else my heart will be broken. You are all I ever think of. Please say that you love me a little, and that I have a chance. Yours forever, Richard."

MUSIC:

NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART UP FULL AND THEN FADE TO OUT BEHIND

HELEN:

(Reading) "April 20. Darling Richard, I know that I love you. I'm sure that I do" (aside) I think (returns to reading) "I wish you were here..."

MUSIC:

LA CUMPARSITA UP AND THEN FADE TO OUT BEHIND

RICHARD:

"May 21. Betty, darling, I'm coming home! There's a little more survey work on one of our oil wells to do, but it will be finished in about a wee, and then I'll be leaving. For the first time we'll see each other, Betty! Darling, last week I picked out something that I thought you would like. It is an engagement ring, and I will have it in my pocket when I see you. By the way, my favourite uncle, Mr. Albert Marshall who has been knocking about South America for four years, is also on his way back home.

RICHARD & SARAH:

(Read simultaneously, Richard fading out and Sarah fading in) He'll probably get to you as soon as this letter. Darling, your aunt surely won't try to stop us from being married, will she? Until I see you, I love you, I love you, I love you. Your own, Richard."

Helen, what on earth does this mean?

HELEN:

Well, Sarah, I've been meaning to tell you, but...

SARAH:

Is that man in South America in the personal column?

HELEN:

Yes, but...

SARAH:

Oh, Helen!

HELEN:

I know. I've been writing to him ever since last November. And we wrote oftener and oftener. And one thing led to another, and the first thing I knew...

SARAH:

He was in love with you.

HELEN:

He?he's not really in love with me, Sarah. I invented a girl named Betty Wilson. I was afraid to use my own name. And Betty's the one he's in love with.

SARAH:

And he wants to marry her.

HELEN:

And she's me! Oh, Sarah, what'll I do?

SARAH:

(Amused) Well, Helen, I didn't think you had it in you. How old does he think you are?

HELEN:

(Miserably) Twenty.

SARAH:

And you've been teaching school for fourteen years.

HELEN:

Fifteen in September.

SARAH:

You're three years older than I am.

HELEN:

You're thirty-three. Oh, but Sarah, what'll I do? I never thought anything'd come of those letters. And now he'll be here.

SARAH:

Practically any day.

HELEN:

Oh, Sarah...

SARAH:

Well, you got yourself into this; you'll have to get yourself out.

HELEN:

But I ? but I...

SARAH:

You told him your aunt's name was Helen?

HELEN:

Yes.

SARAH:

Well, all I can think of is maybe you could tell him your niece Betty went and got married to the boy in the whatever-it-is business...

HELEN:

Oh, Sarah, that's it! Maybe it'll work! Maybe, if I were to tell his Albert when he comes...

MUSIC:

NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART UP FULL AND FADE TO OUT FOR

RICHARD:

Well, but I was looking for Miss Betty Wilson.

HELEN:

Oh, I'm her aunt.

RICHARD:

Isn't she here? I had a message for her from South America.

HELEN:

I'm sorry. Betty was?was married two weeks ago.

RICHARD:

Married! Oh, but?that's impossible. Why, they loved each other?she told him she loved?uh?him.

HELEN:

You're Albert Marshall, then.

RICHARD:

Did you force her to marry that flour-mill man?

HELEN:

What? Oh, no! I?won't you come in, please?

RICHARD:

Well?

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES

HELEN:

Won't you sit down?

RICHARD:

Thank you.

HELEN:

I'm terribly sorry about Betty.

RICHARD:

I?my nephew will be sorry, too.

HELEN:

Is he?so very much in love with her?

RICHARD:

Very much, indeed. HELEN: He wrote such lovely letters.

RICHARD:

You saw them?

HELEN:

Yes. I ? I ? Mr. Marshall, can I trust you?

RICHARD:

What? Why ? yes, of course. But ? why?

HELEN:

Mr. Marshall, there never was any Betty Wilson.

RICHARD:

What?

HELEN:

I wrote those letters to your nephew, Mr. Marshall.

RICHARD:

You wrote them!

HELEN:

Mr. Marshall, you're a man of my age. You understand, I know. I was lonely. I felt I had to have a friend. I didn't mean any harm, but ? I got in so deep with Richard that I couldn't find a way out.

RICHARD:

So that's why you said Betty was married.

HELEN:

It was the only way out I could think of, Mr. Marshall. I ? I do wish I could help Richard some way, but?I've made a dreadful mess of things.

RICHARD:

Yes. (Sighs) Poor Richard.

HELEN:

I'm so sorry, Mr. Marshall. If I could only help him some way...

RICHARD:

Yes. Well, perhaps you could help him.

HELEN:

I'll do anything, Mr. Marshall!

RICHARD:

I'll do my best to explain it to him, but ? look here, I think you'd better have dinner with me tonight, and we'll talk it over... MUSIC: BLUE MOON UP FULL AND THEN FADE TO OUT BEHIND

HELEN:

That was three months ago. We sat and talked of America, and Ohio farmland, and everything in the world except Albert's nephew, Richard. And when I told Sarah about it, she complimented me. She was sure the whole thing was over. But it wasn't. Albert called me up the next week to tell me that he'd had a cable from his nephew in South America saying that he had decided to remain there and would he please explain to me. Well, three months is a long time. And Albert and I got better and better acquainted. Here he comes now. Would you like to come with us?

RICHARD:

(Entering) I hope I'm not too late, Helen.

HELEN:

Why Albert, you look wonderful!

RICHARD:

(With a touch of self-consciousness) Thought the hat (laughs) might be a little skittish for an old man...

(Helen Laughs)

 

RICHARD:

...but it's all right for the occasion.

HELEN:

It's wonderful!

RICHARD:

Where do we go?

HELEN:

Right around the corner.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS ON MARBLE FLOOR

HELEN:

There. See the window?

RICHARD:

Mm-hmm! Excited?

HELEN:

A little. You?

RICHARD:

Well...

SOUND:

A FEW MORE FOOTSTEPS AND STOP

Clerk:

Yessir?

RICHARD:

Well, I'd like to ? uh ? apply for a ? a...

CLERK:

Marriage license.

RICHARD:

Why, how could you tell?

Clerk:

Mister, I've been here nineteen years. Lady first. Name, occupation and age.

HELEN:

Helen Wilson ? school teacher ? age 36.

Clerk:

All right. You mister? Name?

RICHARD:

(After a pause) Richard Marshall.

HELEN; Richard Marshall!

RICHARD:

Helen, dear, I should've told you this before. I should have told you that day when I first called, when you were so honest with me.

HELEN:

But ? but ?

RICHARD:

I started it the same way you did, Helen. I was lonely, too, and a young mining engineer sounded a lot better than a middle-aged toy salesman.

Clerk:

Occupation, toy salesman.

HELEN:

But the photograph!

RICHARD:

I bought it right out of a photographer's window, darling. And then I invented an uncle so I could come and see you.

HELEN:

I ? I see.

RICHARD:

Helen ? does it really make any difference? If it does...

HELEN:

Of course it makes a difference, Albert. Now I've got to get used to calling you Richard all over again!

MUSIC:

WEDDING MARCH UP FULL AND FADE TO OUT BEHIND

PUTNAM:

And so they lived happily ever after, even if they couldn't remember each other's names at times! These Short Short Stories come to you each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at this time with the compliments of Campbell's Tomato Juice. Fifteen minutes listening time ? a new, different story each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Wednesday at this time you will hear, "Reunion", the story of a rendezvous in the enchanted woods, with Kingsley Colton, famous child star of "My Son and I." This is George Putnam, inviting you to tune in Wednesday at this time for "Reunion", presented by Campbell's Tomato Juice.

MUSIC:

BLUE MOON UP THEN UNDER FOR

Putnam:

Now please keep listening for the great new program LIFE BEGINS ? the moving story of Martha Webster, which follows immediately. This the COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM.