Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Dragnet
Show: The Big Bounce
Date: Jan 23 1955

Dramatis Personae:
SERGEANT JOE FRIDAY
OFFICER FRANK SMITH
ANITA NESKETT
AGNES CRIMP
DAISY WILKERS
FRIEDA
PAUL PILCHER
WILBUR FRENCH
and two announcers, FENN and GIBNEY

NOTE: This transcript contains material from script in brackets.


MUSIC:

DRAGNET THEME AND UNDER

FENN:

Ladies and gentlemen .... The story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.

GIBNEY:

Dragnet [ - brought to you by Chesterfield].

MUSIC: DRAGNET PLAYOFF AND UNDER

FENN:

(EASILY) You're a detective sergeant. You're assigned to Forgery Detail. For the past several months a man posing as an actor has been passing worthless checks in your city. You've got a description of the suspect, but no lead to his whereabouts. Your job.....get him.

MUSIC:

UP AND FADE FOR--

GROUP:

[(SHOUT).....Stop!

WOODBLOCK:

PLAY TRIPLET FIGURE

GROUP:

(SING) START SMOKING WITH A SMILE
WITH CHESTERFIELD SMILING ALL THE WHILE
WITH CHESTERFIELD PUT A SMILE IN YOUR SMOKING
JUST GIVE 'EM A TRY....LIGHT UP A CHESTERFIELD!

GROUP:

They satisfy!

GIRL:

Put a smile in your smoking!

FENN:

Next time you buy cigarettes...Stop...Remember this-- In the whole wide world, no cigarette satisfies like Chesterfield.

GIRL:

Put a smile in your smoking!

MUSIC:

VIBRAHARP STINGS

FENN:

Instantly, you'll smile your approval of Chesterfield quality - highest quality at no extra cost to you.

MUSIC:

STINGS OUT

FENN:

Today's Chesterfield is the best cigarette ever made...and our factory doors are always open to prove it!

MUSIC:

STING

FENN:

Come in any time...We're installing the quality detective...the newest - the most important discovery in cigarette-making in over thirty years. The quality detective...another reason why the Chesterfield you smoke today is highest in quality....

MUSIC:

STING

FENN:

Low in nicotine.....

MUSIC:

STING

FENN:

Best for you!

MUSIC:

HARP UP AND OUT

GIRL:

Put a smile in your smoking!

FENN:

Next time you buy cigarettes...Stop...Remember this -- In the whole wide world, no cigarette satisfies like Chesterfield!

MUSIC:

CLOSE UP FULL ...] THEME

GIBNEY:

Dragnet, the documented drama of an actual crime. For the next thirty minutes, in cooperation with the Los Angeles Police Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the law through an actual case, transcribed from official police files. From beginning to end...from crime to punishment....Dragnet is the story of your police force in action.

MUSIC:

UP TO SEMI BUTTON AND FADE ON SUSTAINED CHORD

SOUND:

JOE'S STEPS IN CORRIDOR. SLIGHT ECHO AND CORRIDOR B.G.

JOE:

It was Tuesday, January 10th. It was foggy in Los Angeles. We were working the day watch out of Forgery Division. My partner's Frank Smith. The boss is Capt. Welsh. My name's Friday. I was on my way back to the office from a cup of coffee. It was 4:12 P.M. when I got to Forgery...

SOUND:

DOOR OPEN, JOE ENTERS ROOM. DOOR CLOSES. B.G. CHANGE.

JOE:

...the squad room.

ANITA:

(LITTLE OFF - FADING IN AS JOE APPROACHES) I told her to report it herself, told her it was her duty as a citizen. It is her duty, isn't it?

FRANK:

Yes, ma'am.

SOUND:

JOE REACHES THEM, STOPS.

FRANK:

Hi, Joe.

JOE:

Hi.

FRANK:

Mrs. Neskett, this is my partner, Sergeant Friday.

JOE:

Mrs. Neskett.

ANITA:

Hello, Sergeant.

FRANK:

Seems Mrs. Neskett's mother got stuck with a bum check, Joe.

JOE:

Mm hm.

FRANK:

She's a landlady out on Western.

ANITA:

Well, not a landlady exactly ... only rents a couple of rooms. More for company than anything. Dad left her plenty to get by on.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am.

ANITA:

And we'd help her out if it was necessary...Dick and me. Dick's my husband. We'd help her out.

JOE:

Mm hm.

ANITA:

So far she's managed pretty well by herself but if she pulls any more fool stunts like this...(SOUND: RUSTLE OF PAPER)...Phony as a three-dollar bill. See right there? "No such account"...big as life, stamped all over it.

JOE:

Mm hm.

ANITA:

I just don't understand her. I just don't understand her at all.

JOE:

Well, anybody can take a bad check, Mrs. Neskett, no matter how careful they are. Even with good identification you can be fooled.

ANITA:

When they do, they report it, don't they?

JOE:

Well, yes, ma'am, usually.

ANITA:

Look at the date...way last December...over a month ago.

JOE:

Yeah.

ANITA:

Over a month ago and she hasn't done a thing about it. Didn't intend to either. Didn't even want me to know. Good thing I started early this year.

FRANK:

Early, ma'am?

ANITA:

On her income tax. That's how I found out about the check.

FRANK:

Oh.

ANITA:

I used to work in a tax office so I always make out mother's return. If I didn't do it, I don't know who could. Doesn't keep any records...just stubs and a few bills. Well, someday they'll audit her and she'll find out.

JOE:

Why didn't your mother report this check herself, do you know?

ANITA:

You tell me. The man had an honest face...that's about all I can get out of her.

FRANK:

How'd she happen to take it?

ANITA:

It was supposed to be for his first month's rent.

JOE:

Well, then she's not out any cash.

ANITA:

Sure she's out cash. Twenty dollars...that's what she's out. He made the check for seventy, a month's rent's only fifty. It's not a lot of money but twenty dollars is twenty dollars.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am.

ANITA:

And there's the principle, too.

JOE:

Yeah.

ANITA:

He's an actor or something like that.

FRANK:

Ma'am?

ANITA:

The fellow who gave it to her. Mother says she remembered his name...from the movies. That's how she happened to take the check. I don't see why she'd trust an actor any more than she would somebody else.

SOUND:

RUSTLE OF PAPER

FRANK:

May I see that, please?

ANITA:

Mm hm.

FRANK:

(READS THE NAME) "Parker Allington." You ever hear of him, Joe?

JOE:

Allington?

FRANK:

Uh huh.

JOE:

Well, I think it sounds familiar. He was in pictures when I was a kid, I believe.

FRANK:

Oh?

JOE:

As I remember, I never cared much for him though -- if it's the same guy -- the parts he played.

FRANK:

What do you mean?

JOE:

Heavies.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JOE--

JOE:

We ran the name Parker Allington through R. and I. and we turned up one package listing a drunk arrest in 1935. We called the Screen Actors Guild to see if they could help locate him. They said they'd check and they asked us to call back in an hour. 4:30 P.M. We left the office and drove out to the Western Avenue address Mrs. Neskett had given us. It was a two-story Spanish stucco with a "Rooms for Rent" sign in the front window.

SOUND:

COUPLE OF STEPS ON PORCH . . . . TURN OLD-FASHIONED BELL IN DOOR. OUTSIDE B.G.

FRANK:

(BEAT) Somebody's coming.

JOE:

Mm hm.

SOUND:

OPEN DOOR

AGNES:

Yes?

JOE:

Mrs. Crimp?

AGNES:

Yes.

JOE:

We're police officers. This is Frank Smith. My name's Friday.

AGNES:

Police officers?

FRANK:

That's right, ma'am.

AGNES:

(DISGUSTED) Anita.

JOE:

Beg pardon?

AGNES:

My daughter Anita. She sent you.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am.

AGNES:

I told her not to. She never does anything I tell her. Never has.

JOE:

Be all right if we come in?

SOUND:

DOOR CREAKS OPEN A LITTLE WIDER...STEPS...CLOSE DOOR UNDER

AGNES:

The living room's a mess.

FRANK:

Don't worry about it, ma'am.

AGNES:

I was just putting away the ornaments...from the tree. It was raining last week when I took it down and I couldn't get out to the garage.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am.

SOUND:

STEPS COME TO A STOP

AGNES:

(BEAT) I won't press any charges.

JOE:

Well, that's up to you.

AGNES:

Not against that poor man I won't. You can't force me to press charges.

FRANK:

No, ma'am.

JOE:

Suppose you tell us about the check.

AGNES:

There isn't much to tell.

FRANK:

Your daughter says this man Allington gave it to you for rent.

AGNES:

Here, let me get that box out of the way so you'll have someplace to sit.

SOUND:

LITTLE MOVEMENT.

JOE:

I'll take care of it, ma'am.

SOUND:

PICK UP BOX...COUPLE OF STEPS

JOE:

All right if I put it here?

AGNES:

Yes, yes, fine....thanks.

JOE:

Mm hm.

SOUND:

COUPLE OF STEPS...THEY SIT

JOE:

Uh, the check was for rent, is that right?

AGNES:

That's right.

FRANK:

When'd you take it?

AGNES:

Last month sometime -- a week or so before Christmas. The date's on it, isn't it?

JOE:

December 9th?

AGNES:

If that's what it says.

JOE:

Had you ever seen Allington before, ever met up with him?

AGNES:

Not in person. I may have seen him in pictures. He said he'd been in a lot of pictures. He seemed familiar.

FRANK:

Well, now, ma'am, how'd he happen to come here to rent a room?

AGNES:

He saw the sign out in front...in the window. He was living in a hotel downtown and he was out this way visiting friends.

JOE:

Did he mention the name of the hotel?

AGNES:

No...I don't think so.

FRANK:

What about the people he was visiting?

AGNES:

What about them?

JOE:

Well, did he tell you who they were?

AGNES:

He may have. I couldn't say for sure...not now.

FRANK:

You said he saw the sign?

AGNES:

In the window.

FRANK:

Yes, ma'am.

AGNES:

He came in and asked about the room, if it was still for rent. I showed it to him...upstairs in front...real nice view.

JOE:

He agreed to take it, did he?

AGNES:

Straight off, straight off. Said he used to live in a house something like this when he first came to California years ago...when his wife was alive. It sorta reminded him of better times....that's how he put it.

FRANK:

And he gave you this check for the first month's rent?

AGNES:

Yes. (BEAT) I suppose Anita already told you...he made it out for twenty dollars extra.

JOE:

Why was that?

ANITA:

Well, he needed some cash money to hire a cab and move his things out here.

FRANK:

And you gave him the cash, hm?

AGNES:

Twenty dollars. I couldn't turn him down.

JOE:

Why not?

AGNES:

Well, he just seemed....honest, that's all. You can tell when a person's honest.

JOE:

Yeah, sometimes.

AGNES:

And he was so anxious to get the room. He wanted to be all moved in in time for the holidays...wanted to be with people I suppose. I felt sorry for him.

JOE:

Did you ask for any identification?

AGNES:

There wasn't any reason. I recognized his name. Besides he was going to be living here. If there was anything wrong with his check, he'd be around to make it right.

JOE:

And you never heard from him again?

AGNES:

Now, that doesn't mean he was trying to cheat me.

FRANK:

Well, it looks that way, ma'am.

AGNES:

You folks are policemen. It's your job to suspect people of being crooked, and I don't blame you. It's your job.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am.

AGNES:

Twenty dollars?

JOE:

Ma'am?

AGNES:

Twenty dollars. Is that reason to throw a man like Mr. Allington in jail?

JOE:

Well, it might be more than twenty dollars.

AGNES:

Well, that's all I gave him. Don't you believe me?

JOE:

Yes, ma'am, but this man has passed quite a few checks.

AGNES:

(BEAT) I told you before...I won't press charges.

FRANK:

Yes, ma'am, you told us.

AGNES:

You don't understand. He didn't mean any harm.

JOE:

You sure about that, Mrs. Crimp?

AGNES:

I'm a pretty good judge of human nature. I ought to be by now.

FRANK:

Yes, ma'am.

AGNES:

He's had lots of troubles....Mr. Allington.

JOE:

Mm hm.

AGNES:

Lots of troubles. An actor like him...probably pulled down a fancy salary, never had any worries. Now it's all gone, all his money...his wife...everything. If he'd never been rich it wouldn't be so hard...you don't miss something you've never had.

JOE:

Yeah.

AGNES:

If you're finished with me, I'd like to get on with my housework.

JOE:

Mind if we use your phone?

AGNES:

It's in the hall. I'll show you.

SOUND:

JOE RISES...STEPS UNDER

JOE:

That's all right. I'll find it, thank you.

FRANK:

(FADING) You know, I didn't mean any offense, Mrs. Crimp.

AGNES:

(FADING) Oh, I suppose it's just your job.

SOUND:

PICK UP PHONE...DIAL NUMBER

AGNES:

(OFF) There's some cookies there while you're waiting.

FRANK:

(OFF) I'd like to, but-- No, thanks.

AGNES:

(OFF) They're homemade.

FRANK:

(OFF) They look very good but I'm sorta watching my diet. Right after the holidays and all.

AGNES:

(OFF) Oh, go on. Have one.

JOE:

(BEAT, INTO PHONE) Miss Breckhart, please...I'll wait, if you don't mind...Thank you......Hello, Miss Breckhart?....This is Sergeant Friday. I spoke to you a little while ago about Parker Allington....Yeah, that's right. You asked me to call back.........Uh huh. When was that?.......Oh, I see......Yes, it certainly does. You bet. Thank you very much....Right. Goodbye.

SOUND:

HANGS UP PHONE...STEPS UNDER

FRANK:

(OFF FADING ON) (EATING) I remember this kind when I was a kid. My mom used to make 'em for Christmas.

AGNES:

(OFF FADING ON) Oh, well, maybe you'd like to take a few home with you. I've got plenty extra.

FRANK:

Well, thanks anyway, but they wouldn't let me inside the front door if I showed up with an armload of cookies.

AGNES:

(CHUCKLES)

SOUND:

STEPS STOP

FRANK:

(LOOKING UP) You ready, Joe?

JOE:

Yeah. We'd like you to come with us, Mrs. Crimp.

AGNES:

Me? Why, what on earth for?

JOE:

Want to see if you can identify the man who gave you that check.

AGNES:

You mean you've already arrested him?

JOE:

No, ma'am.

AGNES:

I don't understand.

JOE:

Well, we want to show you some mug shots; some photographs.

AGNES:

You want me to pick out Mr. Allington's picture?

JOE:

If you can.

AGNES:

Now, that's silly. You don't need me for that. The studios must have pictures of him--the newspapers. Why, that's downright silly.

JOE:

It wasn't Allington, ma'am.

AGNES:

What?

JOE:

The fellow who passed that check.

FRANK:

What'd you find out?

JOE:

Allington died three years ago.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JOE--

JOE:

Miss Breckhart at the Screen Actors Guild had checked with the Motion Picture Relief Home. They reported that Allington had lived there from 1949 until a heart attack caused his death several years later. We managed to convince Mrs. Crimp that she'd been taken by a professional swindler. Down at the City Hall, we showed her mug shots of known bad check artists.

SOUND:

MUG SHOTS BEING LOOKED THROUGH

AGNES:

No, that's not him.

SOUND:

ANOTHER PICTURE

FRANK:

How about this one?

AGNES:

I don't think so. I'm pretty sure not.

SOUND:

ANOTHER PICTURE

AGNES:

That's not him either. He was older.

JOE:

Well, the picture might be out of date.

AGNES:

Even so.

SOUND:

STACK PHOTOS TOGETHER

FRANK:

Well-- That's it.

JOE:

Well-- Mrs. Crimp?

AGNES:

Yes?

JOE:

Could you describe him for us?

AGNES:

Well...he was medium-sized...little taller than you are maybe.

JOE:

Yeah.

FRANK:

How old would you say he was?

AGNES:

Oh, about my-- In his sixties.

JOE:

Gray hair?

AGNES:

That's right.

FRANK:

Any marks or scars?

AGNES:

No, not that I noticed.

JOE:

How 'bout his eyes?

AGNES:

Beg pardon?

JOE:

What color were his eyes?

AGNES:

Well, I couldn't say. He was only there for a few minutes.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am. We understand.

AGNES:

He just seemed like an average man...for his age. A gentleman...nice looking...sort of distinguished.

FRANK:

Anything else about him?

AGNES:

No...except for his expression.

FRANK:

What do you mean?

AGNES:

It was kind of sad...unhappy...like he'd been through a lot. But I guess that won't help you though.

JOE:

It might.

AGNES:

Is that all?

JOE:

Yes, ma'am. We'll take you home now.

SOUND:

SCRAPE CHAIRS ... COUPLE OF STEPS.

AGNES:

Uh--officer...?

SOUND:

STOP STEPS

JOE:

Yes, ma'am?

AGNES:

Would you mind doing me a favor? I'd appreciate it.

JOE:

What is it, Mrs. Crimp?

AGNES:

Don't tell my daughter about all this. I mean that it wasn't Mr. Allington...that I let somebody trick me. She'd say it proves that I'm not able to take care of myself. I'd never hear the end of it. She treats me
like a child as it is. You don't have to tell her, do you?

JOE:

No, ma'am.

AGNES:

I'd sure appreciate it. Not that she doesn't have my best interests at heart. But nobody likes to be criticized all the time ... especially by their own flesh and blood. You got any children, Sergeant?

JOE:

No, ma'am.

AGNES:

Well, then you don't understand how I feel.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am. Maybe I do.

AGNES:

(SADLY) You couldn't.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JOE--

JOE:

We drove Mrs. Crimp to her home and then we checked out for the night. By the end of the week two more landladies in the Western Avenue area had reported receiving bad checks from a man who claimed to be Parker Allington. Their stories tallied almost word for word with what Mrs. Crimp had told us. January 13th, 4:45 P.M. Frank and I checked back into the office after an interview with one of the victims.

SOUND:

STEPS IN CORRIDOR.

FRANK:

You'd think that guy would wise up.

SOUND:

OPEN OFFICE DOOR...MORE STEPS...CLOSE DOOR.

FRANK:

Can't go on using a dead actor's name forever. Somebody's gonna catch on.

JOE:

Well, they haven't so far.

FRANK:

Well, sooner or later.

SOUND:

OPEN DESK DRAWER ... RATTLE OF CELLOPHANE UNDER

JOE:

Thought you were on a diet.

FRANK:

Huh?

JOE:

Thought you were on a diet.

FRANK:

Well, Joe, I gotta keep up my strength.

JOE:

Yeah.

FRANK:

Person needs a certain amount of sugar, y'know.

JOE:

Mm hm.

FRANK:

It's not so high on calories. Read an article the other day. Teaspoonful of sugar...only thirty-five calories. (TAKES A BITE)

JOE:

Have you lost any weight yet?

FRANK:

(EATING) Well, I'm holding my own.

JOE:

You haven't lost any, though?

FRANK:

No. I don't want to get thin, Joe. I'm just sort of - watching it, that's all.

JOE:

Mm hm.

SOUND:

TELEPHONE RINGS ... COUPLE OF STEPS ... PICK UP PHONE

JOE:

(INTO PHONE) Forgery. Friday....Yes, ma'am, this is the right extension......Could you speak up a little, please? I can't hear you....Just a minute.

SOUND:

JOE GRABS WRITING PAD

JOE:

All right, go ahead please.....It's Twenty-Two Thirty-Eight?....Yes, ma'am, I have it.....Yes, ma'am, right away.

SOUND:

HANGS UP PHONE ... TEARS SHEET OFF PAD

JOE:

Well, looks like you had it figured.

FRANK:

How come?

JOE:

Somebody did catch on. Woman over near Los Feliz Boulevard.

FRANK:

Yeah?

JOE:

Fellow's trying to give her a phony check.

FRANK:

Trying?

JOE:

Yeah. He's still there.

MUSIC:

CURTAIN ... [HARP UP AND OUT

GIRL:

Put a smile in your smoking!

FENN:

Next time you buy cigarettes...stop...Remember this-- In the whole wide world, no cigarette satisfies like Chesterfield.

GIRL:

Put a smile in your smoking!

MUSIC:

VIBRAHARP STINGS

FENN:

Instantly, you'll smile your approval of Chesterfield smoothness.

MUSIC:

STINGS OUT

FENN:

You want them mild. We make them mild! Mild and mellow with the smooth and refreshing taste of the right combination of the world's best tobaccos. So, next time you buy cigarettes.....

GROUP:

(SHOUT).....Stop!

WOODBLOCK:

PLAY TRIPLET FIGURE

GROUP:

(SING) START SMOKING WITH A SMILE
WITH CHESTERFIELD SMILING ALL THE WHILE
WITH CHESTERFIELD PUT A SMILE IN YOUR SMOKING...
JUST GIVE 'EM A TRY....LIGHT UP A CHESTERFIELD!

WOODBLOCK:

TRIPLET FIGURE

GROUP:

They satisfy!

GIRL:

Put a smile in your smoking!

FENN:

Remember....In the whole wide world, no cigarette satisfies like Chesterfield!

MUSIC:

CLOSE UP FULL] ... TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JOE--

JOE:

Frank and I drove out to a side street just south of Los Feliz Boulevard. It took us twenty minutes to get to the house. When we pulled up in front of the place a lady was standing on the porch. She spotted our car and walked down the steps.

SOUND:

LADY WALKS TOWARD THEM...STREET B. G.

DAISY:

(OFF SLIGHTLY) (FADING ON) You the policemen?

JOE:

Yes, ma'am. My name's Friday. This is Frank Smith.

DAISY:

Hello, how are you?

FRANK:

How do you do, ma'am?

DAISY:

You certainly didn't hurry.

JOE:

Well, the traffic's kinda heavy this time of day.

DAISY:

Well, why didn't you use your siren?

JOE:

We didn't want to scare him off.

DAISY:

Well, it's too late for that. He left about ten, fifteen minutes ago. Oh, I'm Daisy Wilkers. Suppose you need that name for your records.

JOE:

Yes, Miz Wilkers.

DAISY:

Not Mrs.

JOE:

Oh.

FRANK:

You see which way he went?

DAISY:

Took a bus on the corner. Probably in Hollywood by now.

JOE:

Why'd he leave in such a rush, do you know?

DAISY:

Got suspicious. Might have heard my phone call. Had to talk so loud to make you understand me. I tried to keep him here as long as I could. I did my best. You can't ask more than that.

FRANK:

No, ma'am. Thanks.

DAISY:

Well, you might as well come inside. Suppose you'll want a full report. That's regular procedure, isn't it?

SOUND:

STEPS UNDER...WALK UP A COUPLE OF STAIRS...OPEN DOOR

JOE:

Are you familiar with police procedure, are ya?

DAISY:

Watch it on television, go to the movies. They got it all down pat.

FRANK:

Yes, ma'am.

DAISY:

[I guess they didn't use to be so accurate. But they are nowadays....you know, documentary.

FRANK:

Sure.]

SOUND:

DOOR SHUTS...STEPS IN

DAISY:

[(BEAT) Well?

JOE:

Ma'am?

DAISY:

What are we waiting for? Let's get started.

JOE:

Suppose you just tell us what happened.

DAISY:

Where's your notebook?

JOE:

Huh?

DAISY:

You're going to take this down, aren't you? (BEAT) They always do.

JOE:

We'll try and remember it.

DAISY:

Pretty sure of yourselves.] Well...he came up to my door...oh, must have been an hour ago by now. At least an hour.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am.

DAISY:

Asked if I had a room for rent. I told him that's what the sign said. He just laughed ... like he thought I'd been making a joke. Didn't know I was serious.

FRANK:

You show him the room?

DAISY:

Well, I tried to. He hardly even glanced at it. Then he said this was exactly what he'd been looking for. That's when I first began wondering about him.

JOE:

What else did he say?

DAISY:

That he used to live in a house like this when he was a little boy back east and that it reminded him of home. I figured he was softening me up to get me to lower the rent. Well, two can play at that game.

JOE:

Yes, ma'am. What did you do?

DAISY:

Well, I upped it ten dollars. Room's not worth a cent over forty-five. I asked fifty-five.

JOE:

Mm hm.

DAISY:

That way I'd be able to come down when he started playing on my sympathies. Wouldn't be out anything either.

JOE:

Yeah.

DAISY:

Didn't bat an eye...when I told him it was fifty-five. Said he'd take it. Just like that. I knew right away something was wrong.

FRANK:

What happened then?

DAISY:

Well, we came downstairs into the living room here.

FRANK:

(BEAT) Go ahead, please.

DAISY:

Well, I said I wanted the first month's rent in advance. Lot of 'em try to pay you by the week...before you can turn around, they're behind...takes forever to get rid of 'em once they're moved in. I always insist on a full month.

FRANK:

Yes, ma'am.

DAISY:

Well, didn't bat an eye at that either. Brought out a checkbook.

JOE:

Now, did he ask if he could make it for a little extra?

DAISY:

How'd you know?

JOE:

Well, he's been around before.

DAISY:

Twenty-five extra...that's what he wanted. If he's been around so long, why haven't you picked him up?

JOE:

Well, we're trying, ma'am.

DAISY:

Few minutes earlier this afternoon, you'd've solved the whole case.

JOE:

Well, we're just as anxious to solve it as you are, Miss Wilkers.

FRANK:

Did he say why he needed the extra cash, ma'am?

DAISY:

Something about cab fare to get his things out here.

FRANK:

That's a lot of cab fare.

DAISY:

That's my own words...right to his face...exactly what I said. He said he'd have to clear up his hotel bill, too. Claimed they wouldn't take a check if he was moving.

JOE:

And that's when you called us?

DAISY:

Course not! Didn't call you until I was sure the check was no good. Not that I would have cashed it. But there's no point in running to the police until you got the facts to back you up.

JOE:

Mm hm. What made you so sure it was phony?

DAISY:

Well, the way he signed it.

FRANK:

What do you mean?

DAISY:

Parker Allington.

JOE:

You knew he wasn't Allington?

DAISY:

Well, how could he be? Allington's dead. You didn't know he was dead?

JOE:

Yes, ma'am, we knew it.

DAISY:

Well, then?

FRANK:

Miss Wilkers, are you connected with show business?

DAISY:

I follow it, that's all. Oh, I don't spend all my time reading movie magazines or anything like that. But I keep up with what's going on in the field. Did you know Allington was on television last night?

JOE:

What's that?

DAISY:

The late show ...picture must have been at least twenty years old...he played the villain...did a good job considering it was twenty years ago. Gives you a funny feeling though...watching somebody who isn't here any more.

FRANK:

Yes, ma'am. Now, as soon as you saw the name Allington on the check you realized the guy was a phony and called us -- is that right?

DAISY:

Well, approximately.

JOE:

Approximately?

DAISY:

Well, I told him I didn't know if I had the cash in the house...said I'd have to go upstairs and make sure. I got an extension phone up there.

JOE:

I see.

DAISY:

Then I telephoned you.

FRANK:

[What did you do next?

DAISY:

Came back downstairs.

JOE:

(BEAT) Yes?

DAISY:

Told him I didn't have the money. He started acting funny....said it didn't matter...he'd cash the check someplace else. Real funny....like he was on to me. I stalled around best I could, but he took off. Caught the bus on the corner...didn't have to wait more than a minute or so for it. Sure is strange...whenever I want that bus I stand out there for half an hour.]

JOE:

Uh huh. One more thing, Miss Wilkers.

DAISY:

Well?

JOE:

We've got a description, but it's rather vague.

DAISY:

Description?

JOE:

Yes. Of this guy who's been passing himself off as Allington.

DAISY:

Oh.

JOE:

All we know is he's medium-sized, gray hair, and fairly well-dressed.

DAISY:

Well, that's about right.

JOE:

(BEAT) It's not very specific.

FRANK:

Can you add anything?

DAISY:

You mean you want to know who he is?

JOE:

That's right.

DAISY:

Wilbur French.

JOE:

Who's that?

DAISY:

Used to play bit parts in pictures.

JOE:

Yeah?

DAISY:

I recognized him the minute he came through the door.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JOE--

JOE:

Miss Wilkers insisted her identification of the check forger was correct. We drove back to the office...checked the name Wilbur French through R. & I. ... We had nothing on him. I telephoned Miss Breckhart at the SAG. She reported that French was a member in bad standing...two years delinquent in his dues. She had no address listed for him but she was able to tell us that the last company he had worked for was a small TV outfit on Santa Monica Boulevard. She also told us that his file showed that he was last represented by a Paul Pilcher, an agent with offices on Sunset. January 14th, 9:35 A.M. I dropped Frank off at the Santa Monica TV company and I drove on out to interview Pilcher.

SOUND:

OPEN DOOR...STEPS IN...CLOSE DOOR

FRIEDA:

Yes, sir? What can I do for you?

JOE:

I'd like to see Mr. Pilcher.

FRIEDA:

You a client?

JOE:

Police officer. My name's Friday.

FRIEDA:

Oh.

JOE:

Mr. Pilcher in?

FRIEDA:

Not yet.

JOE:

You expecting him?

FRIEDA:

Well, I don't know when exactly. Sometimes he plays tennis on Saturday mornings before he comes to the office.

JOE:

I see.

FRIEDA:

But he'll be in. He's closing a deal with T.R.C.

JOE:

Oh?

FRIEDA:

That's a studio; a new company just getting started.

JOE:

I see.

FRIEDA:

Would you like to look at the trades while you're waiting? Yesterday's...they don't come out on Saturday.

SOUND:

RUSTLE OF PAPERS

JOE:

Well, thank you very much.

SOUND:

COUPLE OF STEPS...SITS

FRIEDA:

(OFF SLIGHTLY) Uh, Mr. Pilcher in some kind of trouble?

JOE:

Not as far as I know, no.

FRIEDA:

Well, that's a relief.

JOE:

[Ma'am?

FRIEDA:

Just between you and me, the office has been skating on kinda thin ice lately. Financially speaking, that is.

JOE:

Oh.

FRIEDA:

Owes me two weeks' pay. Two weeks today. If anything happened to Mr. Pilcher, I'd never get it.

JOE:

Uh huh.

FRIEDA:

He's an easy man to work for but a girl likes to be paid.

JOE:

Sure.]

SOUND:

TELEPHONE RINGS SLIGHTLY OFF ... PICK UP PHONE...JOE LEAFS THROUGH TRADES

FRIEDA:

Mr. Pilcher's office...I'm sorry, he hasn't come in yet....Any minute....Would you like me to have him call you?....I see. Well, if you'll try again in about fifteen minutes, he ought to be here. Bye.

SOUND:

HANGS UP PHONE SLIGHTLY OFF

FRIEDA:

(BEAT) [Guess there wasn't much news yesterday.

JOE:

No, ma'am.

FRIEDA:

Friday's a bad day. All that stuff about what pictures are shooting. Hardly anything else.

JOE:

Uh-huh.

FRIEDA:

I hope you weren't insulted.

JOE:

What?

FRIEDA:

When I asked if you were a client.

JOE:

No, ma'am.

FRIEDA:

Some people wouldn't like the idea of being taken for an actor.

JOE:

Some people wouldn't like the idea of being taken for a cop.

FRIEDA:

I never thought of that.

SOUND:

LAY DOWN TRADES

JOE:

You got a list of your boss's clients?

FRIEDA:

Sure.

JOE:

Names and addresses?

FRIEDA:

Of course.

SOUND:

JOE GETS UP...COUPLE OF STEPS

JOE:

Maybe you can help me then. Wilbur French.

FRIEDA:

French?

JOE:

I'd like his address.

FRIEDA:

I've never heard of him.

JOE:

Oh.

FRIEDA:

Wait a minute, I'll make sure.

SOUND:

RUFFLE THROUGH PAGES IN A BOOK

FRIEDA:

He's not down.

JOE:

I see.

FRIEDA:

If he was a client I'd know the name. He'd have called in. They all do.

JOE:

Uh-huh.

FRIEDA:

I've only been here a couple of months but he'd have called in. Actor?

JOE:

Yeah.

FRIEDA:

He'd have called.

JOE:

Maybe Mr. Pilcher can help me.

FRIEDA:

I doubt it.

JOE:

The Screen Actors Guild says your boss used to handle him.

FRIEDA:

They change agents real fast. Ninety-one days.

JOE:

What?

FRIEDA:

If you don't get them so much work in ninety-one days, they can get a new agent. It's in the contract.

JOE:

Oh.]

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS...STEPS IN...DOOR SHUTS

FRIEDA:

Morning, Mr. Pilcher.

PILCHER:

(WEARY) Good morning.

FRIEDA:

This gentleman's waiting to see you.

PILCHER:

Mm?

FRIEDA:

And Mr. Brogan's office called. They'll call back. Mr. Brogan's getting shaved.

PILCHER:

Yeah, all right.

JOE:

I'm a police officer. My name's Friday.

PILCHER:

Police?

JOE:

That's right.

PILCHER:

What can I do for you?

JOE:

Like to talk to you for a minute.

PILCHER:

All right. Come on inside.

SOUND:

STEPS...OPEN DOOR...STEPS...CLOSE DOOR.

PILCHER:

Sit down.

JOE:

Thank you.

SOUND:

STEPS...THEY BOTH SIT

PILCHER:

Want a cigarette?

JOE:

Yeah. Thank you.

PILCHER:

Here's a lighter.

JOE:

Never mind. I have a match here.

SOUND:

THEY LIGHT UP; JOE WITH THE MATCH, PILCHER WITH THE LIGHTER

PILCHER:

(EXHALES SMOKE) Well?

JOE:

You handle an actor named Wilbur French, Mr. Pilcher?

PILCHER:

French?

JOE:

That's right.

PILCHER:

No. No, I don't handle him.

JOE:

You used to be his agent, didn't you?

PILCHER:

Oh, a couple of years ago. Not any more.

JOE:

Oh?

PILCHER:

What's he done?

JOE:

Could you tell me where I could find him?

PILCHER:

Wouldn't have any idea. Don't think he's had much work lately. At least, I haven't heard about him working.

JOE:

What was his last address?

PILCHER:

You've come to the wrong man.

JOE:

Well, the last address that you have for him?

PILCHER:

I don't keep addresses of actors after they leave me.

JOE:

Well, why did he leave you?

PILCHER:

Usual reason. No work. Pretty bad as an actor.

SOUND:

TELEPHONE RINGS

PILCHER:

Excuse me.

SOUND:

PICK UP PHONE

PILCHER:

Yes?....Put him on.....(SUDDENLY LIVELY AND PUGNACIOUS) Hello, George, how are you?....Glad to hear it....And Mabel?......Aw, that's a shame...seems to be a lot of it going around this time of year......Well, what about Harvey? You make up your mind?....Uh-huh. I sure don't agree with you there, George. He didn't look too old in the test.....So he's been in the business a few years, you can't hold that against him.....What do you mean a new face? You'll bring out somebody from New York who's been on television a hundred times. There won't be anything new about his face.....Look, I'm not trying to tell you your business. I'm just trying to set a good actor in the right part.....(LOW ASIDE, TO JOE) I'll be through soon, Mr. Friday.

JOE:

Yeah.

PILCHER:

That's more like it, George....Now, how many weeks' work?.....No, no, George, I've read the script. Davis can't shoot that many scenes it two weeks.....Twelve hundred a week, four-week guarantee.....Fletcher paid him twelve hundred last fall. Go ahead and check.....Look, George, if I was a Beverly Hills agent, you know what Harvey'd cost you?.....Well, I'm not going to argue with you about it. You call Fletcher. He'll tell you what he paid Harvey. I'll be here till noon if you want to make a deal. Bye.

SOUND:

HANGS UP PHONE

PILCHER:

(LOW KEY AGAIN) Sorry to be so long.

JOE:

Sure. Any suggestions on how I might get in touch with French?

PILCHER:

Screen Actors Guild.

JOE:

Well, they sent me here.

PILCHER:

Oh. (BEAT) What's he done?

JOE:

We'd rather talk to him.

PILCHER:

Well, the last time I saw him he touched me for ten bucks.

JOE:

Where was that?

PILCHER:

I bumped into him on the street. Is it serious?

JOE:

It's just a routine investigation. Thanks very much, Mr. Pilcher.

SOUND:

JOE RISES, STARTS TO LEAVE

PILCHER:

All right. Uh, wait a minute.

JOE:

Yes, sir?

PILCHER:

I suppose I could turn him up. Be a dirty trick though.

JOE:

I don't know why.

PILCHER:

Maybe it's my fault that he's in trouble. I didn't get him enough work. Now I hand him over to you. Makes me a heel, doesn't it?

JOE:

Well, you might be doing him a favor.

PILCHER:

He won't think so.

JOE:

You said you didn't know where he lives.

PILCHER:

Well, I don't.

JOE:

Well, how will you find out?

PILCHER:

Spread the word around that I got a job for him. He'll hear about it.

JOE:

I see.

PILCHER:

He'll turn up.

JOE:

All right, sir.

PILCHER:

Leave your number. When I hear from French, I'll get in touch with you.

JOE:

Thank you.

PILCHER:

I still feel like a heel.

JOE:

Well, you shouldn't. You called the turn on him.

PILCHER:

Hm?

JOE:

He's a bad actor.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JOE--

JOE:

I left Pilcher's office and picked up Frank. The TV company had given him a still photo from the last production in which French had appeared. Two of the check victims readily identified the man in the picture. The third victim was also [almost] certain it was the same person who had posed as Allington [but she refused to say positively]. January 16th, 3:32 P.M. Paul Pilcher telephoned the office. He told us French was living at a hotel in Hollywood on Selma Avenue. When we got there, the desk clerk said French was in his room ...Seventeen-B.

SOUND:

STEPS ALONG CORRIDOR...STOP

FRANK:

This is it.

JOE:

Yeah.

SOUND:

KNOCK ON DOOR

FRENCH:

(OFF) Who is it?

JOE:

Like to talk to you, French.

FRENCH:

Just a minute.

SOUND:

BEAT...DOOR IS UNLOCKED...THEN OPENED

FRENCH:

Yeah?

JOE:

We're police officers.

FRANK:

Like to ask you some questions.

JOE:

Downtown.

FRENCH:

What is this...a gag?

JOE:

No, it's no gag.

FRENCH:

Anybody can get hold of a badge. Who sent you--Mike? Sammy?

JOE:

Come on, let's go, French.

FRENCH:

Knock it off. I've been in too many pictures. I can can tell actors from cops.

JOE:

You ever hear of Parker Allington?

FRENCH:

(BEAT) Yeah, I've heard of him. Worked with him in pictures...used to be friends.

FRANK:

That give you the right to sign his name?

FRENCH:

Hm?

JOE:

On bad checks?

FRENCH:

(BEAT) Now look, boys, I know why they sent you. I told Mike I got a call this morning about a job. It'd be just like him to pick a time like this. (LAUGHS) Some practical joker, isn't he?

JOE:

No, it won't work, French.

FRENCH:

What?

JOE:

Come on. You know who we are and why we're here. Let's go.

FRENCH:

(BEAT) It's one of Mike's gags.

JOE:

Yeah, well, three landladies say different.

FRENCH:

Oh.

FRANK:

You wanna get your coat?

FRENCH:

It was only a few bucks.

JOE:

It was enough.

FRENCH:

(BEAT) How'd you tumble?

JOE:

One of the landladies knew Allington was dead.

FRENCH:

I never figured he was that famous.

FRANK:

She knew you, too.

FRENCH:

Me?

JOE:

That's right.

FRENCH:

Couldn't have known I was living here. (BEAT) Who told you?

JOE:

Come on. Let's go.

FRENCH:

(REALIZES) Pilcher. That's why he wanted to get in touch with me. I shoulda figured it wasn't about a job. Pilcher, wasn't it?

JOE:

Come on.

FRENCH:

Some agent. Couldn't land a job if your life depended on it. Five years! Over five years I was signed with him. Never had a decent booking. Nothing that lasted. Couple of days here and there. Nothing that lasted.

JOE:

Well, don't you worry about it.

FRENCH:

Huh?

JOE:

This one will.

MUSIC:

SIGNATURE

FENN:

[(EASILY) The story you have just heard is true. The names were changed to protect the innocent.

GIBNEY:

On February 7th, trial was held in Department 98, Superior Court of the state of California in and for the County of Los Angeles. In a moment, the results of that trial.

FENN:

Now here is our star - Jack Webb.

WEBB:

Thank you, George Fenneman. Friends, no cigarette satisfies like Chesterfield. I hope you'll remember that next time you're at your favorite tobacco dealers'. Buy Chesterfield and put that smile in your smoking. You'll like 'em as much as I do.]

GIBNEY:

Wilbur Karl Flicker, also known as Wilbur French, was found guilty on three felony warrants charging forgery. He was sentenced to the state prison as prescribed by Section 470 of the California penal code for a period of one to fourteen years.

MUSIC:

[THEME ... THEN UNDER

GIBNEY:

You have just heard Dragnet--a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the Office of Chief of Police, W. H. Parker, Los Angeles Police Department. Technical advisors: Captain Jack Donohoe, Sgt. Marty Wynn, Sgt. Vance Brasher. Heard tonight were: Ben Alexander, _____________________ Script by Frank Burt...Music by Walter Schumann......Hal Gibney speaking.

MUSIC:

THEME UNDER...CONTINUES

FENN:

Watch an entirely different Dragnet case history each week on your local NBC Television Station. Please check your newspapers for the day and time. (BEAT) Chesterfield has brought you Dragnet, transcribed, from Los Angeles.

JINGLE....

THIS IS IT ... L & M FILTERS
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ANNOUNCER:

L & M stands out for flavor. The pure, white miracle tip draws easy ... lets you enjoy all the taste. L & M's got everything. It's America's best filter-tip cigarette.]