Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Pat Novak for Hire
Show: Episode 6: Rory Malone
Date: Mar 20 1949

Thanks to Paul Adomites for the transcript

CHARACTERS

Announcer
Pat Novak
Conn Reagan, a beautiful, mysterious and dangerous woman
Hans Neumeyer, old German boxing trainer
Rory Malone, lightweight boxer
Kitty, Malone's former girl
Joe Slegal, gambling boss
Eddie, his thug
Inspector Hellman, homicide division
Jocko Madigan, ex-doctor, full-time drunk

ANNOUNCER:

Ladies and gentlemen, the American Broadcasting Company brings to its entire network one of radio's most unusual programs.

MUSIC:

STING

ANNOUNCER:

Pat Novak. For Hire.

MUSIC:

THEME AND OUT

SFX:

FOGHORN "B-O", THREE SHORT BEEPS, ONE LONG.

SFX:

WATER LAPPING AGAINST PIER.

SFX:

SLOW FOOTSTEPS

SFX:

FOGHORN

NOVAK:

Sure. I'm Pat Novak. For hire.

SFX:

FOGHORN

MUSIC:

THEME AND OUT

NOVAK:

That's what the sign outside my office says. Pat Foghorn for Hire. Oh, there are other ways to say it, but down on the waterfront in San Francisco you gotta put your best foot forward. Especially if you want to trip up a friend. Down here a friend is anybody who's been dead for more than ten years and then it pays to watch out because if you relax someone will come along and knock you on the back of your stomach. Works out all right, though. I rent boats, and do anything else you can hide in the dark. It's about all you can ask because along the Embarcadero nothing's perfect except the heels. I found that out Wednesday afternoon. She was a lovely girl, the sort of person you expect to see in a choir loft. About three hours after choir practice. Her hair was red. Her eyes were as cold as rigor mortis. And you knew the first time you met her that you'd been seeing her too often. Must have been about five o'clock in the afternoon, I was walking down near Pier 19 when she pulled up alongside of me in a cream convertible.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS, THEN STOP.

CONN:

Can I give you a lift?

NOVAK:

You already have.

CONN:

Well, is that love or reflex action?

NOVAK:

What's on your mind?

CONN:

You are Mr. Novak. But don't put on your track suit. It's a business matter.

NOVAK:

Well in that case you've got a name.

CONN:

I'm Conn Reagan. I went by your office a few minutes ago but you were out.

NOVAK:

I'm in now. Go ahead.

CONN:

It won't take me long, Mr. Novak. (pause) Stay away from Rory Malone.

NOVAK:

I'm doing all right so far. Who is he?

CONN:

He's important to me. I don't want to lose him, Mr. Novak, so please stay away.

NOVAK:

Go tell a girl. I don't even know the guy.

CONN:

You will, if you're not lying now. He's a prize fighter and someone's going to try to hurt him.

NOVAK:

And you'd rather hurt him first.

CONN:

I'm willing to pay you to stay away from him.

NOVAK:

Suppose I'm going to see him a lot. Will you pay a lot?

CONN:

I'll give you three hundred dollars. All right, Mr. Novak?

NOVAK:

You know, you're not smart, angel. If you're pressing that hard, the other team's gonna bid, too. The answer's no.

CONN:

I'm afraid that's up to you. But I'm warning you, don't do it. Please don't do it.

NOVAK:

Yeah, that's what mother used to say. And I'm still all right.

CONN:

Maybe your mother liked you better, Mr. Novak. See you later.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

NOVAK:

I watched her for a minute as she brushed her hair back and started the car. It was nice hair, and the dress helped too. It was dark blue and had a V neck, but the designer believed in capital letters. She pulled away and gave me a look you could take on a safari. Was enough to tell me she was about as safe as a tap dancer on a floor full of dynamite caps. I walked up and turned in at Pier 19. When I reached the door of the office I could see the old man sitting by the desk. He looked tired, and a year older than the Bible. His hands were shaking, his skin was coarse and the color of an old razor strap. When I walked in he glanced up at me and looked about as happy as a cocker spaniel with a stomach ache.

HANS:

(German accent) I could talk to you please, Mr. Novak.

NOVAK:

We'll try it once. Go ahead.

HANS:

I am an old man.

NOVAK:

You want to argue or go on?

HANS:

I am too old so I must come to someone for help. My name is Hans Neumeyer. I would like you to watch someone for me.

NOVAK:

Someone like Rory Malone?

HANS:

(taken aback) Yes, but you...

NOVAK:

What is this, save Rory Malone week? What's eating you?

HANS:

I am his manager. Oh, you don't ever hear of me because I am old, and not a very good manager, I guess. After this fight Rory find new manager maybe.

NOVAK:

Yeah. When's this fight?

HANS:

Tonight. You don't know Rory. He's a good boy. He's a very good boy, Rory is.

NOVAK:

Well good boys usually don't need watching. Has he got some bad coming out?

HANS:

Something funny about this fight. He meets with bad people. And Rory is good boy.

NOVAK:

Yeah, I just met one. How deep do they run?

HANS:

The worst is a fellow named Joe Slegal. He's a bad man, a gambler. Please Mr. Novak you just watch Rory tonight and see he's all right.

NOVAK:

Are you that rich?

HANS:

Please, I don't have much money. Just three hundred dollars maybe. What I got from the fight. Maybe three hundred, I don't know. I just got a little money.

NOVAK:

It's a tie, Pop. You win the toss.

HANS:

Please, if you don't help me...

NOVAK:

You win, you win, Pop. When do I look at him?

HANS:

Tonight, you come before the fight. In the dressing room I show you to Rory and you see he's all right.

NOVAK:

Yeah. 'Bout nine?

HANS:

Yah. Please Mr. Novak, I thank you all my life, if you watch Rory. I thank you all my life.

NOVAK:

Yeah, well, I'm getting short shrift on that, but I suppose it's not your fault, Pop. See you at nine.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

NOVAK:

I felt sorry for him when he turned and walked outta there. I could afford it. For three hundred bucks you could buy a lot of crying towels. At the door he turned and smiled once before he shuffled out. He moved down the pier in a nervous, uncertain motion like a flower petal in a warm wind. When he disappeared I took a cab and rode up to the Press Club. I found out a lot about Rory Malone, and most of it was good. He was a lightweight and Hans Neumeyer had picked him up and brought him through the prelims up to the main event stuff. He was fighting tonight against a Cleveland boy named George Zaric and the betting was even. I ran into a Chronicle man whose wife divorced him and named a fight club as co-respondent. He said not to worry about Joe Slegal, that Rory Malone fought for purses and that's all. He knew about the girl Conn Reagan but he didn't want to say much, just that she was a fast five-gaited horse trying for seven. Well I had some dinner and went over to the arena about eight-thirty. When I walked into Rory Malone's dressing room Hans Neumeyer wasn't anywhere around. I stood over in the corner and watched him get ready for the fight. There was enough liniment being thrown around to keep an old ladies' home spry for years. The other handlers were in, watching them tape up Malone and put on the gloves. Most of the people cleared out then. Malone shadow-boxed a minute before a second threw a robe around his shoulders and shoved him toward the door. As he passed I fell in beside him and we started walking under the arena. A few feet down I bumped up against him.

MALONE:

(startled) Aaah! Sorry.

NOVAK:

About what? Hans Neumeyer?

MALONE:

Who are you?

NOVAK:

Where's Neumeyer?

MALONE:

What do you care?

NOVAK:

My name's Novak. I'm supposed to meet him here. Do you know where he is?

MALONE:

No, he didn't show up. He's probably out drunk.

NOVAK:

Does he drink?

MALONE:

No.

NOVAK:

Well then that's a funny answer.

MALONE:

I don't know where he is. All I know is I need him tonight. I gotta get up in the ring.

NOVAK:

I'll go with you.

MALONE:

Suit yourself.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE UNDER.

NOVAK:

You gonna win tonight?

MALONE:

You never know.

NOVAK:

Sometimes you do.

MALONE:

Mister, you're either too smart or too dumb.

NOVAK:

What's the difference? You can't fight twice in one night.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS STOP.

KITTY:

I gotta talk to you, Rory.

MALONE:

Not now, Kitty. After the fight.

KITTY:

Please, Rory, talk to me now.

MALONE:

Kitty, you're crazy. This guy's standing around. There are a lot of other people. What do you wanna do, put it in the radio?

KITTY:

Where's Hans? He hasn't been around. Where is he, Rory?

MALONE:

I don't know, Kitty. If I did, I'd get him.

KITTY:

There's something wrong, Rory. I've been watching, and I know there's something wrong about this fight.

MALONE:

Yeah, yeah, there's only gonna be one guy fighting if you don't let me out.

KITTY:

Don't brush me off like a dumb fly. (With certainty) I know there's something wrong. I don't want you to get into trouble.

MALONE:

All right, Kitty.

KITTY:

Don't say all right when you know how I feel. All this talk about you and Joe Slegal. Oh, please, Rory, you don't know what it's like to see somebody you love go crazy.

MALONE:

Your dough is safe, Kitty.

KITTY:

(In tears) That doesn't count. You know that doesn't count, Rory. The little money I saved up doesn't count next to you. Oh please, Rory, don't do anything wrong. I'd ... I'd die. I'd die of terrible heartbreak. It'd hurt me all my life.

MALONE:

Stop it. Will you, Kitty? Now stop crying. Don't worry, I'll win.

KITTY:

Just don't let anything happen, Rory.

MALONE:

I won't. I'll see you after the fight. Comin', Novak?

NOVAK:

Yeah.

SFX: FOOTSTEPS

NOVAK:

You're real good with your women, Malone.

MALONE:

After this fight I want a match with you, Novak.

NOVAK:

I met two of them and they both have you in their dreambooks, right on the flyleaf.

MALONE:

I'll remember. Talk some more.

NOVAK: I'll talk enough to tell you that you're being followed about twelve inches behind.

SLEGAL:

That's right, Malone. Keep walkin'. Turn in the next door.

MALONE:

Wait a minute.

NOVAK:

You better walk, Malone, unless you can out-run a bullet.

SLEGAL:

You too, Mister.

NOVAK:

I agreed, an hour ago.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS STOP

SLEGAL:

All right, open the door up for 'em, Eddie.

EDDIE:

Okay.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS. STEPS INSIDE

SLEGAL:

You stand over here. Now, Malone, take off your gloves.

MALONE:

I'm gonna need it.

SLEGAL:

You're gonna be eatin' teeth, now take off your gloves. Help 'em, Eddie.

SFX:

BOXING GLOVE REMOVAL.

EDDIE:

Yeah. That's it.

SLEGAL:

Hold 'im on the other side, Steve. Put his hand on the table, Eddie. Now give me the block. Yeah. You can cry, Malone. It's gonna hurt.

SFX:

WOODEN BLOCK BREAKING HAND.

MALONE:

(Cry of pain)

SFX:

WOODEN BLOCK BREAKING HAND.

MALONE:

(Louder cry of pain)

SLEGAL:

Hold 'im up. Keep his hand out there, Eddie.

SFX:

WOODEN BLOCK BREAKING HAND.

MALONE:

(Cry of pain)

SLEGAL:

Put the glove back on, Malone.

MALONE:

It's too smashed up.

SLEGAL:

It'll hold the pieces, put it on.

NOVAK:

Better put it on, Malone, you're overmatched.

SLEGAL:

That's it. Now go on up there and look good.

NOVAK:

Why don't you loan him the gun and he'll win in two rounds.

SLEGAL:

Look, Mister, I don't know who you are but I'm sick of your mouth. It's a big floor, so stretch out.

SFX:

BLACKJACK ON NOVAK'S HEAD.

NOVAK:

Oww!

SFX:

BLACKJACK ON NOVAK'S HEAD.

SFX:

NOVAK CRUMPLES TO FLOOR.

SFX:

BLACKJACK ON NOVAK'S HEAD.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

NOVAK:

During the next two hours they either moved me or the arena because I woke up in an alley down near the Golden Gate Theater. It was in back of a restaurant and I was lying there trying to look good in a mixed green salad. My head was about the size of a diving bell and my clothes were so rumpled and dirty I looked like a leg man for the Hobo News. I tried to get to my feet once, but it wasn't easy. It was like trying to push a basketball through a stovepipe. I think it was close to eleven when I got out to the street.

I didn't even buy a paper to find out about the fight. I grabbed a cab and headed up to my apartment to iron out my spine. It was a good idea, but the girl at the desk had a message from Hans Neumeyer. He was out at the California General Hospital and he wanted to see me right away. When I got there he was in the ward at the end of the third floor but the duty nurse wouldn't let me by. She was a real pretty nurse if you like pure mammal. Somebody buzzed and when she oozed down the hall I ducked into the ward and started looking for Hans Neumeyer. It was dark, and he was way down at the end behind a white screen. He looked tired and his eyes were moist and soft like a ripe fruit that's just been squeezed too hard.

HANS:

Please, Mr. Novak, you come to see me?

NOVAK:

Yes, just as soon as I got your message.

HANS:

(in distress) You make mistake with Hans. I don't send message.

NOVAK:

Somebody wants to be your secretary. What happened to you?

HANS:

In my room. I just go to my room, somebody is there ... I don't know. (Pause) Rory is all right?

NOVAK:

I limped a little, Mister. Your boy got his hand smashed.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS OFF

HANS:

Rory is a good boy.

NOVAK:

He's got a good girl. Who's Kitty?

HANS:

She's go with Rory a long time, save money to marry him.

NOVAK:

(whisper) Wait a minute. Keep still.

HANS:

Something the matter?

NOVAK:

(whisper) Yes, somebody coming.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS NEARING.

NOVAK:

(whisper) Down this way. Coming up behind that curtain.

HANS:

Maybe Rory comes to visit me.

SFX:

CURTAIN DRAWN OPEN.

SFX:

GUNSHOT

HANS:

(Cry of pain)

SFX:

GUNSHOT

HANS:

(Cry of pain)

SFX:

GUNSHOT

MUSIC:

DRAMATIC BRIDGE

NOVAK:

Whoever came to visit him didn't stay long. The old man leaned back in the bed and quit without any fanfare. Like a long summer coming to an end. I went out to get the nurse and found her down at the end of a hall giving an intern some greedy talk. She hadn't heard the shots and they hadn't seen anybody come out of the ward. I told her as much as I could, then she wheeled the old man into another room and called homicide. That call to homicide didn't help because from now on things weren't gonna improve. I was fighting a forest fire with a can of kerosene. About twenty minutes later Inspector Hellman showed up. He was full of finesse and fury and he came charging over about as graceful as a lame lobster.

HELLMAN: Hello, Novak. You're up late.

NOVAK:

I had company most of the time.

HELLMAN:

Yeah. Did he bore ya?

NOVAK:

Somebody got tired of him. It happened down there behind a screen in the ward.

HELLMAN:

Who is he?

NOVAK:

Guy by the name of Hans Neumeyer. He manages a fighter named Rory Malone.

HELLMAN:

Yeah?

NOVAK:

The killing's mixed up with a fight fix.

HELLMAN:

The Zaric fight.

NOVAK:

That's right. They got to Rory Malone ten minutes before ring time.

HELLMAN:

You got a thin story, Novak.

NOVAK:

(Anger) Look, I got a fat one. And I got all the gambling dough in town on my side. The old man got it because Rory Malone was dumped in that fight.

HELLMAN: I don't believe it.

NOVAK:

(angrier) You don't have to believe it, Hellman! They smashed him up. His right hand was as limp as an old piece of lettuce when he climbed into that ring.

HELLMAN:

They shoulda smashed both hands.

NOVAK:

Huh?

HELLMAN:

Because Rory Malone won that fight by a knockout in the fifth round. Try another page, Novak.

MUSIC:

STING

NOVAK:

When Hellman told me Rory Malone won that fight, I might as well have handed him a feather. I stood there feeling like a guy peddling dope at his sister's wedding. How could Rory Malone have won that fight without a hand grenade? When I saw that hand it wasn't strong enough to flatten a piece of silk on an ivory table yet he won by a knockout in the fifth round. It pointed to one thing: Zaric had taken a dive. By why the double fix? Why had they smashed Rory's hand? Ah, it was a goofy pitch like sending for a plumber to fix a hole in Boulder Dam. I didn't have time to wrestle around with it 'cause Hellman had talk on his mind.

HELLMAN:

You can't get a bookie in town to take a bet on this one, Novak.

NOVAK:

No, not with you setting the odds.

HELLMAN:

They were that way when I got here so don't write up a clean bill of health. The guy's dead and no on else is volunteering.

NOVAK:

You'd muff a confession anyway, before you tumbled they'd have to cut it in stone across the front of city hall.

HELLMAN:

What were you doing with the old man?

NOVAK:

Helping him over the rough spots.

HELLMAN:

Or taking him over the hurdles.

NOVAK:

(snaps) He hired me to watch Rory Malone. They were stepping up the pace on his boy.

HELLMAN:

For instance?

NOVAK:

For instance, Joe Slegal. Everyone said he had a stake in the fight.

HELLMAN:

You don't throw a fight by winning it in the fifth round!

NOVAK:

That's what the book says, but sometimes the book's wrong. You better look up Joe Slegal and on the same trip you can stop by and see a gal named Conn Reagan.

HELLMAN:

Yeah? Why?

NOVAK:

She's Malone's new sparring partner, a tall redhead with lots of dry cells.

HELLMAN:

Oh. She sounds nice. I'll talk to her. And Slegal too. But I'm gonna find out about you and Rory Malone first. I'm gonna run down the stuff on this fight and I'll find out where you fit in. Don't worry, Novak, I'll pick you out.

NOVAK:

You couldn't pick the jelly out of an omelet, Hellman. Look up the girl and Joel Slegal. They'll talk.

HELLMAN:

Not about each other.

NOVAK:

There's some connection there. I'll give even money they're friends.

HELLMAN:

They oughta be.

NOVAK:

What?

HELLMAN:

They were married a month ago in Las Vegas. Or, don't you know about love?



MUSIC:

BRIDGE



NOVAK:

Hellman stood there a moment and smiled, like a guy who's just killed a landlord. Then he turned around and walked out. Well I stayed until they wrapped up the old man and after that I went to the Chronicle office and folded clips on Joe Slegal. He'd been to three jails and gotten his Masters' at Alcatraz. There were some pictures of him at the racetrack. He had a face any museum would buy and forehead so low he must've had to look down to see his hairline. There was one other thing about him I noticed: he was the same guy who had smashed Rory Malone's hand. I began to wonder about that friendship but it was late and I had to work fast so I looked up the only honest guy I know, an ex-doctor and a boozer named Jocko Madigan. He's a smart guy till he decided a head on your beer was more important than a head on your shoulders. I finally found him in a little joint down on Geary Street talking some woman into giving up all men under 50.

SFX:

BAR AMBIENCE.CONTINUES UNDER

JOCKO:

Aaah, Patsy. I've missed you, in a rather trivial way.

NOVAK:

All right, Jocko.

JOCKO:

I'm giving this woman a little lecture on diminishing returns.

NOVAK:

Jocko, will you stop drinking long enough to listen?

JOCKO:

Patsy, you fail to understand my drinking. Actually, I hate whiskey, but I go on drinking as a sort of sop to Providence.

NOVAK:

Yeah.

JOCKO:

Because everyone knows the guardian angels take care of small children and tipplers. And since I've passed the age where I look good in rompers, this is a very clever dodge to get a little outside help.

NOVAK:

Jocko, you ever gonna change?

JOCKO:

Patsy, don't you know what a burden change is to a man as old as I am?

NOVAK:

(SV) Yeah, boy.

JOCKO:

You see, it's not the change we mind; it's the way it happens. By degrees, never giving you a chance to remember anything else. Oh, it's heartbreaking, Patsy.

NOVAK:

(interrupts) All right, all right.

JOCKO:

It's like visiting a half-forgotten neighborhood. It hasn't changed completely - just parts of it. A few old houses and some human remnants is still around, enough to remind you of the change but never enough to make you happy. It's that way with growing old.

NOVAK:

Will you listen...?

JOCKO:

(interrupts back) They don't allow you to grow old suddenly and leave. They insist on this policy of having you dribble off into eternity. It's undignified, Patsy, feeling like a bowl of old dishwater with the stopper pulled out.

NOVAK:

Jocko, I want to talk to you.

JOCKO:

Why didn't you say so? What's the matter?

NOVAK:

An old guy named Hans Neumeyer is dead.

JOCKO:

Bless him.

NOVAK:

Homicide's full of fever. They think I killed the old man.

JOCKO:

What did he do, before he, uh, stopped doing it?

NOVAK:

A fight manager. He hired me to watch his fighter Rory Malone. He should have hired a team because somebody got to him in the hospital tonight.

JOCKO: How do you fit in?

NOVAK:

I was just passing through when the noise started.

JOCKO:

That was General Custer's problem.

NOVAK:

It's tied up with tonight's fight. Neumeyer was afraid of a gambler named Joe Slegal. He was around tonight, smashed Malone's hand before ringtime.

JOCKO:

That's a hard way to lose.

NOVAK:

It's a harder way to win. Malone won by a knockout in the fifth.

JOCKO:

Was he fighting his father?

NOVAK:

I'm not getting anyplace, Jocko. And I'm doing it in a hurry. It's a bad deal all the way around. It took two tries to get the old man and if Slegal bought the fight why did he smash Malone's hand?

JOCKO:

Let's have a drink.

NOVAK:

Jocko, you gotta help me.

JOCKO:

It's the thirst that's confusing.

NOVAK:

I want you to get up to Rory Malone's place, his address is in the book, go through his stuff and try to pick up a lead, will ya?

JOCKO:

Why don't you do it?

NOVAK:

I'm gonna look up a girlfriend named Conn Reagan. She's married to Slegal, but she's trying to work Malone into the act.

JOCKO:

Hmm, well, in that case I'd be in the way.

NOVAK:

Look, I'm in a spot, Jocko, now get up to that apartment right away.

JOCKO:

What if Malone walks in and finds me going through his stuff?

NOVAK:

Stop worrying.

JOCKO:

He almost killed a man with one broken hand. Suppose someone smashed the other one?

MUSIC:

STING

NOVAK:

Well, I had to do something quick, because the kettle was on the boil. By the time Hellman got to him, Slegal would have an alibi and my story about the smashed hand wouldn't prove a thing. I had to grope around and pretend like a guy on the second verse of the National Anthem. I decided to tag by Slegal's place and on the way I bought a paper to read about the fight. Malone looked real bad for four rounds and then came out of the woods fast with a left hand in the fifth. Was about midnight when I got to Slegal's apartment. Began to look more like it when Conn Reagan opened the door. I could see Rory's point: she was the kind of woman you'd never give a second look. Because the first one would paralyze ya. Her red hair looked brighter now, and, well, legs like that are the reason silkworms are born. She smiled, and you knew if you never made Naples you could die happy with her. But I guess she picked her friends.

CONN:

It's too late for the three hundred now, Mr. Novak.

NOVAK:

I'm working free. Invite me in.

CONN:

Sorry, darling.

(They scuffle. Novak wins.)

 

NOVAK:

You look lonely. Where's Slegal?

CONN:

I agreed to marry him, not follow him.

NOVAK:

How about Malone? Somebody killed his manager.

CONN:

I'd like to help you, Mr. Novak, but I don't like you well enough.

NOVAK:

Well you can make love later. Give me answers now. Where are you going?

CONN:

You're not welcome.

NOVAK:

I want to know what those bags are packed for.

CONN:

I don't trust the drawers. Now get out of here, Mr. Novak.

NOVAK:

Calm down. And put the gun away.

CONN:

Get out of here. You came uninvited, I'll kill you the same way.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

MALONE:

Hello, Novak. Gonna lose an argument?

NOVAK:

Looks that way. If she's yours, call her off, Malone.

MALONE:

You're too tough, Conn. Let him walk out.

CONN:

He steamed in here full of questions.

MALONE:

That's a bad way to answer them. Relax.

NOVAK:

That's what your man Neumeyer is doing. Somebody killed him tonight.

MALONE:

I know that, Novak.

NOVAK:

Your eyes aren't very red.

MALONE:

I can't help it, Novak, all I can do is square his beef.

NOVAK:

Start with your girlfriend. She's leaving town, or did you buy the tickets?

MALONE:

What's your hurry, Conn?

CONN:

If I want to leave I can leave, Rory.

MALONE:

I'll argue with you.

CONN:

But you'll get the short end, Rory, because I'm leaving. Stay away from me.

MALONE:

You're too close.

SFX:

FACE SLAP

CONN:

Oww! Rory, stop it! (Pause) Some day they'll match you even, Rory.

SFX:

PHONE RINGS.

NOVAK:

Maybe it's the referee. I'll get it.

SFX:

PHONE RINGS. ANSWERED.

NOVAK:

Yup.

HELLMAN:

(Phone filter) You got a deep voice, Miss Reagan.

NOVAK:

What's on your mind, Hellman?

HELLMAN:

(PF) Joe Slegal right now. He cleaned up on tonight's fight.

NOVAK:

Not with the betting even.

HELLMAN:

(PF) It wasn't, not after the first round. Word got out that Malone broke his hand. The betting changed.

NOVAK:

Slegal covered every bet in the house.

HELLMAN:

(PF) That's right.

NOVAK:

The old man tumbled before it happened. That's what he was afraid of.

HELLMAN:

(PF) The shot killed him?

NOVAK:

Slegal did. You've got a motive now, Hellman, you better look him up.

HELLMAN:

(PF) We did. He's dead.

NOVAK:

He couldn't be dead.

HELLMAN:

(PF)If he's not, the bullet holes are good fakes. See you soon, Novak.

MUSIC:

STING

NOVAK:

Well, I didn't talk to the girl and Rory because I knew they'd dummy up on me and I had nothing to go on. Ah, it was like trying to build a wall out of jellied consommé. Nothing added up now. Whose side was Rory on? Where did that other girl, Kitty, fit in?

My luck was on the black market tonight, and I knew it. So I went by my place to check with Jocko. He was in the kitchen and he looked worried.

SFX:

DRINK BEING POURED IN GLASS.

JOCKO:

Ah, Patsy. I was going to break open the thermometer until I found this bottle in the closet.

NOVAK:

All right, Jocko. What'd you find out?

JOCKO:

That it pays to know Joe Slegal. There's a $20,000 check in Malone's desk. Slegal signed it.

NOVAK:

He could afford it. Somebody killed him an hour ago.

JOCKO:

Where was Malone?

NOVAK:

I don't know. But that's not gratitude.

JOCKO:

Maybe he'll wire regrets. You better get up there. All his stuff is packed for a long trip.

NOVAK:

Well, well.

JOCKO:

Couple of trunks and all his bags. Does that sound like a weekend party?

NOVAK:

I don't know, Jocko. He's kind of fancy. Maybe he likes a lot of laundry.

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

NOVAK:

Up to now it was like trying to melt a pound of diamonds but when the turn comes in happens in a hurry and things began to fall faster than snow off a warm roof. If Jocko was right, it meant Rory and the girl fought, but they did a lot of clinching between rounds. Well I got a hold of Hellman and I brought him up to date and I started for Rory Malone's apartment. When I got there Hellman was outside the door listening, as quiet as a washing machine full of pebbles.

HELLMAN:

They must be in the back room. I can't hear a thing.

NOVAK:

You couldn't hear a rifle shot in a boxcar, Hellman. Let's get a better view.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS.

MALONE:

Hello, Novak.

NOVAK:

You're gonna miss your train, Malone.

MALONE: I don't believe you.

CONN:

It's a chance to bet, Mr. Novak.

NOVAK:

This is Inspector Hellman, from Homicide.

MALONE:

Well, you guessed wrong, Inspector. I'm covered for Joe Slegal. Novak here is alibi for Miss Reagan.

HELLMAN:

We can check.

MALONE:

You're scraping bottom, Mister.

NOVAK:

We can start with the $20,000 check from Joel Slegal.

MALONE:

That's where you'll stop, too. The $20,000 covered the sale of my contract. The fight commission can beef. But that's all. You ready, Conn?

HELLMAN:

Well I hope you are, too, because you're going downtown.

MALONE:

Look, fella, you'll make us miss the train but we'll catch the next one.

KITTY:

(Off) You're wishing now, Rory.

HELLMAN:

Who's this?

NOVAK:

A fast friend with a slow burn. Hello, Kitty, You're boyfriend's gonna leave, say goodbye.

KITTY:

Rory, you're crazy to go with her.

MALONE:

She makes me that way, Kitty. I'm sorry.

KITTY:

Rory, I've done too much for you. I kept loving you all this time. You can't leave! You can't leave now - I don't want to be alone!

MALONE:

Buy a dog.

KITTY:

No, Rory. No I won't let you go.

MALONE:

You're not too good with guns. Drop it!

SFX:

GUN TO FLOOR.

KITTY:

(weeps.)

MALONE:

Better take her, Hellman, she's anxious.

KITTY:

Oh, please, Rory, I loved you too much for this. I loved you enough to kill somebody. You can't leave, Rory. You can't leave me to myself.

MALONE:

When the guy comes, tell him where the baggage is.

KITTY:

What'll become of you, Rory Malone? What'll become of you, Rory Malone, when you have to think about me? When you hear the sound of me in your head? You're brave, Rory. You're brave to leave me alone.

MALONE:

Come on, Conn. In a place like this we're wasting you.

KITTY:

Come back, come back, Rory Malone! Come back long enough to watch them laugh at me! (sobs) Watch them laugh at me for the fool I am! Oh it's the great fool of the world I am!

MUSIC:

BRIDGE

SFX:

FOGHORN

SFX:

WATER LAPPING ON PIER

NOVAK:

Well, it doesn't prove much. Except the right kind of a heel can grind you into the dirt fast. Hellman pieced most of the story together. Slegal and Malone planned the fight together and it went off without a hitch. Slegal bought off the other fighter so Malone could win as soon as the bets were covered. Hans Neumeyer had an idea but he liked Rory too much to believe it. They found he was coming to me, so Conn Reagan tried to scare me off. She looked too good to Rory, and this game started to grow. He lied to Slegal after the fight about Neumeyer so Slegal went into the hospital and killed the old man. That left Slegal around to cloud things up so Rory Malone told a phone story to his girlfriend Kitty. She loved him enough to kill Slegal. There was no way to stick Rory Malone. He could never fight again with that hand. But he had a check for twenty thousand bucks to start on. That's enough to keep love in the living room. Well, Hellman asked only one question: Why would a smart gambler like Slegal take a chance on giving Malone a check for twenty thousand bucks? I guess Malone found out when he tried to cash that check. Because Joe Slegal was big hearted but broke.

MUSIC:

THEME AND OUT