Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Romance
Show: Mrs. Moonlight
Date: Aug 30 1943

CAST:

SARAH, who is Mrs. Moonlight
TOM, Sarah's loving husband, Mr. Moonlight
EDITH, Sarah's uptight cousin who secretly loves Tom
MINNIE, Sarah's faithful Scots housekeeper
JANE, Sarah's daughter
WILLIE RAGG, Jane's untrustworthy suitor
PERCY MIDDLING, Jane's other suitor
PETER, Jane's son
ROMANCE, our narrator
ANNOUNCER

ANNOUNCER:

Columbia brings you ROMANCE.

MFX:

THEME ... CONTINUES IN BG

ROMANCE:

My name is - ROMANCE. I'm the dream you carry in the heart of your youth. I'm all the stories told down the ages in the name of love. I'm one with each of you, part of the lover in all of you. I am - ROMANCE.

MFX:

THEME OUT ... AN INTRODUCTION, CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ROMANCE:

Tonight, I bring you the story of "Mrs. Moonlight" -- Sarah Moonlight, a strange and lovely lady, who is portrayed for us tonight by the distinguished Broadway star Miss Julie Haydon.

Men don't often understand this - but sometimes a woman is afraid to grow old. She's afraid because someone has told her that she's lovely and she begins to think, "Will he love me less as the years pass and I'm no longer young?"

Years ago, Tom Moonlight used to say that Mrs. Moonlight had the brightest eyes and the smallest waist and the most beautiful hair he'd ever seen. She loved to hear him say it - because she loved Tom Moonlight. And, because she loved him so, she was truly afraid to grow old. That's why she did the thing she did. And afterward she wouldn't face it -- until one birthday when she had to face it.

Tom and her sister Edith were with her. Poor Edith -- she had always been in love with Mr. Moonlight. But she'd brought Mrs. Moonlight a shawl for her birthday gift. (FADES) [X]

SARAH:

(UNENTHUSIASTIC) A shawl. (RECOVERS) Oh, how lovely.

EDITH:

You don't like it, do you? I was afraid you wouldn't.

SARAH:

Oh, I do like it, Edith. I think it's beautiful.

TOM:

It is beautiful.

EDITH:

I can see a thing when it's plain before my nose. You don't like it, Sarah, because you think shawls are for old people.

SARAH:

Oh, Edith, that's not so.

EDITH:

Well, middle-aged people. But if you don't look middle-aged yourself, at least you're a mother and a married woman.

TOM:

I should hope so.

EDITH:

And married to a middle-aged man.

SARAH:

(LAUGHS)

TOM:

(MOCK OUTRAGE) I'm barely over forty!

EDITH:

Forty-four is more than half of eighty and who knows that you won't die at sixty?

SARAH:

(AMUSED) Oh, Tom.

EDITH:

And just tell me this. Did Sarah look a day younger at twenty-one, or twenty, or nineteen, than she does today?

TOM:

Well -- no. But is that a crime?

EDITH:

I didn't say so.

SARAH:

(SUDDENLY SERIOUS) Do you think so?

EDITH:

It's hardly my business.

SARAH:

(INSISTENT) Do you think so, Edith?

EDITH:

No, I don't think it's a crime. It's just bad taste.

SARAH:

(UNEASY) Is it my fault if - if I don't seem to change much?

EDITH:

Whose fault would it be, if not yours?

SARAH:

(SERIOUS) Oh, Edith, I can't help how I look. Dressing older doesn't seem to help and - if there were a reason that I couldn't help, it wouldn't be bad taste then, would it?

EDITH:

(TAKEN ABACK) It's just so odd, that's all. (CHANGES THE SUBJECT) Isn't that a new dress, Sarah?

SARAH:

Yes. Tom gave it to me this morning. Isn't it lovely? Pink's always been my favorite color. Mr. Moonlight picked it all by himself.

TOM:

It's not too bad. It's really not too bad at all. Sometimes I amaze myself.

EDITH:

It is pretty. What jewelry will you wear?

SARAH:

What shall I wear, Tom? My crystals?

EDITH:

It wants something with a touch of blue.

SARAH:

(SHAKEN) Blue?

MFX:

GENTLE BUT UNEASY ACCENT ... CONTINUES IN BG, MATCHING SARAH'S UNEASE

SARAH:

(UNCONVINCING) I don't think I have anything blue.

TOM:

Yes, you have, my dear. The, uh, what-do-you-call-it. You know, you haven't worn it for years. The Dreird.

SARAH:

No!

TOM:

Why, darling--

SARAH:

No!

EDITH:

What in the world is the Dreird?

SARAH:

Oh, it's a necklace, made of turquoise. It's very pretty and very, very old and-- It belonged to Minnie -- it was in her family for centuries -- and she gave it to me for a wedding present.

EDITH:

Good heaven, why not wear that?

SARAH:

No!

TOM:

But, darling, it's just the right color. It would look wonderful.

SARAH:

I'm sorry, Tom. I don't care for the Dreird. I don't think it looks very well on me.

TOM:

But you used to like it when we were first married.

SARAH:

But I don't like it now.

MFX:

GENTLY OUT

SFX:

CLOCK CHIMES ... KNOCK AT DOOR ... DOOR OPENS

EDITH:

Yes?

MINNIE:

(SCOTS ACCENT, SLIGHTLY OFF) The baby is crying. Isn't anybody going up to see her before church?

EDITH:

I'd like to go up and see Baby Jane for a moment. May I, Sarah?

SARAH:

Of course.

MINNIE:

Come along then, come along.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES

SARAH:

Tom?

TOM:

Mm?

SARAH:

You should be very nice to Edith.

TOM:

Well, I am, aren't I?

SARAH:

Yes.

TOM:

Why?

SARAH:

You see, she's-- She's in love with you.

TOM:

(AMUSED) Rubbish.

SARAH:

It's true.

TOM:

I don't believe it.

SARAH:

Then you're very unobservant.

TOM:

Oh, I wouldn't say that. Perhaps she does like me and respect me. But I don't think any more than most women.

SARAH:

Then perhaps they're all in love with you, Mr. Moonlight, except me?

TOM:

You? Why, you adore me.

SARAH:

I don't.

TOM:

Mrs. Moonlight, you worship me.

SARAH:

Mr. Moonlight, I don't.

TOM:

Then just why did you marry me?

SARAH:

Pity, Mr. Moonlight.

TOM:

Self-pity, madam, is a disgusting trait.

SARAH:

Is that so? Well, then, I guess I'll just have to confess. It was my name. Any girl with the name of Sarah Jones would make enormous sacrifices to be called "Sarah Moonlight."

TOM:

(HE LIKES THE SOUND OF IT, TOO) Sarah Moonlight.

SARAH:

Yes.

MFX:

ROMANTIC ... SNEAKS IN ... CONTINUES IN BG

TOM:

There's something I've been meaning to tell you.

SARAH:

Yes, Mr. Moonlight?

TOM:

You've made me very happy. (CHUCKLE) Funny, I probably told you I loved you far more times when I was twenty-five and yet I love you much more now. I wouldn't have believed that was possible.

SARAH:

(WEEPS) Oh, Tom, Tom.

TOM:

Well, don't cry about it.

SARAH:

It's only that I love you so much and - I'm afraid.

TOM:

Afraid? Of what?

SARAH:

It might end.

TOM:

Not a chance. You aren't going to get away from Baby Jane and me. You're ours legally, you know. We can take it right into court, if necessary. Oh, Sarah, the best years are still ahead of us. The years when we'll grow old together.

SFX:

DARK ACCENT, THEN OUT

SARAH:

(SERIOUS) Tom. Suppose someone should be born who never did grow any older. I mean, after a certain age. At least, who never looked any older. What would happen?

TOM:

(LIGHTLY) She'd probably make a fortune in a freak show.

SARAH:

Tom, be serious. What do you think would happen? What would you think of a person like that?

TOM:

Me? I've told you. I'd think she was a freak.

SARAH:

Oh. She would be very lonely, wouldn't she? No man would love a freak.

TOM:

No decent normal man. (REASSURING) Mrs. Moonlight, you'll look older in time.

SARAH:

You want me to look older?

TOM:

Why, of course. But there's quite enough that's miraculous about my wife without - without perennial youth.

SARAH:

It sounds silly when I talk to you about it. But not when I'm alone. It's like a nightmare that's always there. You see, it's growing stronger, not weaker. I don't know what's going to happen.

TOM:

(GENTLY) Silly Mrs. Moonlight.

SARAH:

Tom -- whatever happens, you'll always believe that I loved you, won't you?

TOM:

Nothing's going to happen. (LIGHTLY) In the morning you'll look thirty-five and hate it.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

MINNIE:

Your baby wants to see you before you go to church, Mr. Moonlight.

TOM:

All right. (MOVING OFF) Be back in a moment, dear.

SFX:

TOM'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES

SARAH:

Minnie! I don't know what will become of me. I - I'm never-- (BLURTS IT OUT) I'm never going to look any older.

MINNIE:

(AMUSED) Nonsense.

SARAH:

It's true. I know it. I suppose I've really known it for some time. I-- It was your necklace, Minnie.

MINNIE:

Oh, that old piece of trash?

SARAH:

Remember the legend? One wish to every owner?

MINNIE:

Why will you upset yourself over that fally-diddle?

SARAH:

I wished, Minnie! It was just before Jane was born and I used to wear your necklace always. I was afraid that when Jane was born I might not look so pretty and Tom might love me less. So I wished and wished that I might never look any older. I wished and wished. And now it's happened. And I'm - I'm a kind of - freak.

MINNIE:

Oh, ho. Do not torment yourself. It's not true. And, if it is, think how lucky you are -- to be your own pretty self always.

SARAH:

(HAS MADE A DECISION) Minnie, if ever you should get a letter from me -- ever, do you hear?

MINNIE:

Oh, now?

SARAH:

Everything in it you must treat as sacred. Not a soul must see it but you.

MINNIE:

And what would be in it?

SARAH:

I don't know just now. I'd like to feel that I could write to someone.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

TOM:

(FADES IN) It's time to start for church, Sarah.

SARAH:

(EVASIVE) I - I don't think I'll go this morning, Tom. I have a headache.

EDITH:

(FADES IN) A headache, did you say? You were up too late last night, Sarah.

TOM:

Maybe I should stay home, too. Keep you company.

SARAH:

Oh, no, thank you, Mr. Moonlight. (LIGHTLY) Never let it be said of me that any headache of mine stood between you and your slender chances of salvation.

EDITH:

That's a trifle flippant, Sarah.

SARAH:

Oh, I'm sorry, Edith. Goodbye. Goodbye, Mr. Moonlight. May I kiss you goodbye?

TOM:

I'm only going to church, my dear. It's only an hour.

SARAH:

It seems - longer. (THEY KISS)

MFX:

SAD ... SNEAKS IN

SARAH:

Goodbye, Mr. Moonlight. Goodbye.

MFX:

FILLS A PAUSE ... CONTINUES IN BG ... OUT AT [X]

ROMANCE:

It was seventeen years -- seventeen years before Sarah Moonlight, young as ever, saw Tom Moonlight again. When they came back from church that day, she was gone. She left a note that said she was going to kill herself and it would be no use to hunt for her. But she went to Italy and France and Austria and other places. And then, after seventeen years, she found a way to come back for a visit. By that time, Tom and Edith were married and Jane was grown up enough to receive suitors. Mrs. Moonlight pretended she was a cousin of Jane's own age. She stayed three weeks -- a sad, wonderful, beautiful, heartbreaking three weeks. On the last day, she had a chat with Minnie. [X]

SARAH:

You packed everything, Minnie?

MINNIE:

Of course I have. Does not your train go at three-twenty?

SARAH:

Yes, I'm afraid it does.

MINNIE:

Ah, you - you will come again?

SARAH:

After another twenty years?

MINNIE:

Stuff and nonsense. Long before.

SARAH:

Oh, no, Minnie. What's the use?

MINNIE:

To see us all.

SARAH:

To see you all growing old without me? To feel left behind?

MINNIE:

Ah, there is no leaving behind. Ah, you're older in yourself, too.

SARAH:

Yes. In myself. That's one of my little troubles. Hmph.

MINNIE:

And who's this new music-master you're off to meet in Paris?

SARAH:

A man who's going to arrange some concerts for me.

MINNIE:

You shouldn't have to work.

SARAH:

It keeps me busy.

MINNIE:

Ah, why ever did you go? Why did you?

SARAH:

I told you in my letter. I wanted to hide so that no one would suffer through me. All right, it was madness, hysteria, panic but-- Look at me. Look at me now. Do I look as old as my own daughter?

MINNIE:

No. (PAUSE) Have you friends?

SARAH:

I have cousins. They all know about me and they're very kind. It was Maud's idea to write to Tom and Edith and say I was her daughter Joy and ask them to let me visit. I've missed you, Minnie. I wish you could come with me.

MINNIE:

No. My place is here. Heh! That Tom Moonlight would be in a pretty way without me!

SARAH:

(SAVORS THE NAME) Mmmm. That Tom Moonlight!

JANE:

(FADES IN) Oh, here you are, Joy. I've been looking everywhere for you.

SARAH:

I haven't been far.

JANE:

I'd like to speak to you a moment privately before you go. Will you leave us please, Minnie dear?

MINNIE:

(MOVING OFF) I suppose I will.

SFX:

MINNIE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES

SARAH:

What is it, Jane?

JANE:

Well, it's about Willie Ragg. I want you to help me, Joy. We want to get married and Father doesn't think he's the right person for me. So I thought if you were to speak to him-- It's obvious that he's mad about you.

SARAH:

Oh, Jane.

JANE:

Well, it's true. He talks about you all the time. He says you remind him of my mother. And that's about the nicest compliment my father could pay any woman.

SARAH:

(MOVED) I'm sure I - I thank him very much for it.

JANE:

So would you please, please tell him before you go what you think of Willie.

SARAH:

Are you sure you'd like me to?

JANE:

Oh, very sure.

SARAH:

But, Jane my dear. You see, what I think of Willie is really very much what Uncle Tom thinks of Willie.

JANE:

(SURPRISED) Joy!

SARAH:

I'm so sorry, my dear. You want me to tell the truth, don't you?

JANE:

Yes, but I thought you'd understand. Can't you see what Willie really is?

SARAH:

I'm afraid I can, my dear. I've been worried that you couldn't. Now, Percy Middling--

JANE:

Percy Middling! He's impossible! He's a drip of the first water.

SARAH:

Percy has some very solid qualities. He'd make a good husband.

JANE:

Yes, but not for me! I'm sorry I bothered you, Joy. I thought you'd be on my side.

SARAH:

My dear, I am.

JANE:

That's what Mother -- I mean, Edith -- always says. But middle-aged people have forgotten what it's like to be in love.

SARAH:

Not always, Jane. I haven't forgotten.

JANE:

Oh, you're not old enough to have forgotten yet. One of these days you'll be falling in love, too, though, and then you'll know how I feel.

SARAH:

I've disappointed you. I'm sorry.

JANE:

Oh, skip it. It's all right. I just thought you'd understand.

SFX:

KNOCK AT DOOR WHICH IMMEDIATELY OPENS

WILLIE:

(BRASH, SLICK) May I come in, ladies?

JANE:

Oh, Willie! Of course! I'm so glad you're here.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

WILLIE:

My nice little Jane.

SARAH:

Good afternoon, Mr. Ragg. You're only just in time to see me. I'm off in half an hour, you know.

WILLIE:

What a shame. I've come to regard you, Miss Joy, during the last three weeks as an essential corner of a very happy triangle.

JANE:

Why, yes. In fact, I don't know what our engagement would have been without you.

SARAH:

Three is not usually regarded as the ideal number for an engagement. But I shall miss you both. I'll feel very sorry for myself in Paris.

JANE:

I'd love to go to Paris.

SARAH:

It's a lonely city.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

MINNIE:

Miss Jane, your father wants you in the library right away. That Percy Middling is with him.

JANE:

(UNENTHUSIASTIC) All right, Minnie. (MOVES OFF) Excuse me.

SFX:

JANE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES

WILLIE:

(LOW, INCREASINGLY INTENSE) Well. May I sit beside you?

SARAH:

Why not, Mr. Ragg?

WILLIE:

Until you call me Willie, I'm gonna feel very ill-at-ease with you. Unless -- you're afraid to.

SARAH:

I'm never afraid -- Willie.

WILLIE:

Then, in that case-- (KISSES HER)

SARAH:

(REACTS) Why did you kiss me?

WILLIE:

You'll never make me say I'm sorry.

SARAH:

Hm. What a shame that I'm leaving today.

WILLIE:

You're not gonna get away from me now. I'll follow you.

SARAH:

To Paris? Paris is a very big place.

WILLIE:

Where will you be?

SARAH:

I don't promise to see you if you come.

WILLIE:

The address. Tell me.

SARAH:

Hm! Eighty-four Rue d'Algers.

WILLIE:

Eighty-four Rue d'Algers. Now, I won't be able to come before--

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

JANE:

Percy's come to say goodbye to Joy.

WILLIE:

(BRASH AGAIN) That's right. Shake hands with the lady, Percy.

PERCY:

I was going to.

SARAH:

It was kind of you to come.

PERCY:

Not at all. It's been a great pleasure having you here. I wish you could stay a bit. We're going to have lots of excitement -- a ball, a horse show.

WILLIE:

Oh, that reminds me, Jane. I'm terribly sorry, and so on, but I'm going out of town for a few days. I won't be able to take you and your mother to the horse show after all.

JANE:

(DISAPPOINTED) Oh, Willie.

WILLIE:

I can't get out of it. You see, it's - it's business.

JANE:

But you haven't any business.

SARAH:

Isn't it a coincidence that Mr. Ragg has to go to Paris, too?

JANE:

(STUNNED, SLOWLY) Paris? Willie? For business?

WILLIE:

(UNCONVINCING) Why, uh-- Yes, dear. After all, people do do business in Paris.

JANE:

(REALIZES) I see.

WILLIE:

Now then, what would you like me to bring you back as a surprise?

JANE:

(COLDLY) Nothing, Willie. I - I don't think I like surprises.

WILLIE:

Well, we'll see. Goodbye, Percy.

PERCY:

Goodbye.

WILLIE:

Goodbye, Jane. (NO ANSWER) Goodbye, everybody! (MOVING OFF) Goodbye.

SFX:

WILLIE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES

SARAH:

Jane? (NO ANSWER) Jane? Come and sit here by me.

JANE:

(HARD, DECISIVE) No. Percy, will you do something for me?

PERCY:

Of course I will, Jane.

JANE:

You know where Willie lives?

PERCY:

Yes.

JANE:

Then will you take him this ring, please?

PERCY:

(PUZZLED) Of course. I'll be only too glad, but--

JANE:

Percy! Do you still want to marry me?

PERCY:

Of course I do, Jane. Very much, but--

JANE:

Then you may ask Willie to congratulate you.

PERCY:

(SURPRISED) Jane? I don't understand.

JANE:

(IMPATIENT) Never mind. Don't try to understand now. Just go and do what I ask.

PERCY:

But, Jane--?

JANE:

Will you please go?

PERCY:

(MOVING OFF) Yes. Yes, of course, dear.

SFX:

PERCY'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES

JANE:

(BREAKS DOWN AND WEEPS)

SARAH:

(COMFORTING) There, there, my darling. Don't you care. Don't you care. He's not worth it.

JANE:

(FURIOUS) Don't touch me! How dare you?! He isn't worth it, is he?! But you wanted him, didn't you?!

SARAH:

Oh, Jane--

JANE:

Don't talk to me! I hate you! Do you hear?! I hate you!

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

EDITH:

Jane dear, what on earth are you saying?

TOM:

Yes, surely that's no way to talk to your cousin.

JANE:

Why did she have to come here and ruin my life?!

TOM:

What are you talking about?

JANE:

I've just broken my engagement and I'm going to marry Percy! Now are you all satisfied?! She wanted Willie and she's got him! (WEEPS) I shall be unhappy all my life. (CONTINUES TO WEEP IN BG)

EDITH:

(SOOTHING) Now, now, darling. Come along. You're going to lie down and have a nice rest. (MOVING OFF) Come along with me. Come along.

SFX:

EDITH'S AND JANE'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY ... DOOR CLOSES

SARAH:

Are you disgusted with me, Uncle Tom?

TOM:

My child, I don't even know the facts.

SARAH:

Jane told you fairly. I've stolen her young man. He was coming to Paris to see me.

TOM:

I never would have thought it of you.

SARAH:

I did it so she'd give him up. I didn't want him. I'd rather have Jane's love than his.

TOM:

Then why did you do it?

SARAH:

You were against the marriage.

TOM:

Yes, certainly I was. I thought they would never be happy.

SARAH:

So did I!

TOM:

(REPROVING) Really, my dear. I'm her father.

SARAH:

(QUIETLY) Yes. You're her father. (LIGHTLY) I made up the address I gave him.

TOM:

Why should you, a distant cousin, go to all this elaborate trouble for us?

SARAH:

(SLOWLY) Don't ask me any more questions, please.

TOM:

Very well, my dear.

SARAH:

When Jane's over this, will you tell her what I've told you?

TOM:

Of course I will.

SARAH:

(GENUINE CONCERN) Tell me. Are you very happy -- Mr. Moonlight?

MFX:

SNEAKS IN

TOM:

Strange. You said my name just the way Mrs. Moonlight used to say it.

SARAH:

You must have loved her very much.

TOM:

Mrs. Moonlight was the beginning and the end of all love - for me.

SARAH:

What was she like?

TOM:

Very much like you. Very lovely.

SARAH:

And you've never forgotten her?

TOM:

No. There're some things you never forget. There're some things that only come once.

SARAH:

Mr. Moonlight -- may I kiss you goodbye?

TOM:

Of course, my dear.

SARAH:

(AFTER A KISS) Goodbye, Mr. Moonlight. (MOVING OFF, TEARFULLY) Goodbye.

TOM:

Mrs. Moonlight -- wait, wait. (PUZZLED) Mrs. Moonlight?

SARAH:

(OFF) Goodbye.

MFX:

SWELLS TO A ROMANTIC BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

ROMANCE:

Seventeen years between the first parting and the first meeting. Thirty years before the second meeting. Mrs. Moonlight hadn't meant ever to see them again but she went back to London and somehow she couldn't stay away from the house. By now, Jane and Percy had a son, Peter Middling, who was always going in and out, and Mrs. Moonlight liked to stand outside and watch him. He was tall and handsome, much as Mr. Moonlight had been so long ago. And, one day, she couldn't help herself. She went into the house. And Jane and she stood face to face once more. [X]

SARAH:

I'm sorry to intrude on you like this.

JANE:

Come over and sit by the fire. You must be cold.

SARAH:

Thank you. Are you my--? Are you Peter's mother?

JANE:

Yes. Yes, I am. How did you know?

SARAH:

I just know, somehow. Is that why you're staring at me so?

JANE:

No. It's just that -- you remind me of someone I knew long ago. My cousin Joy. But, of course, it's only a resemblance. You couldn't be--

SARAH:

Of course. Where's your father?

JANE:

He's upstairs.

SARAH:

May I see him?

JANE:

No, I'm afraid not. You see, he's very old. He'd be asleep now. We have to take great care of him.

SARAH:

Is he well?

JANE:

He's very feeble. The doctor isn't very pleased with him. His memory's gone. He really doesn't recognize people. He hasn't recognized any of us for months.

SARAH:

Poor Mr. Moonlight.

TOM:

(FADES IN) Is there anyone in here? It's very dark. It's dark.

JANE:

(GENTLY) Oh, Father, you shouldn't have come down.

SARAH:

(ENTRANCED) Hush, let me speak to him. Please. (TO TOM) Mr. Moonlight.

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... GENTLE

TOM:

Ah, Mrs. Moonlight. I've been asleep. I've had a good nap.

SARAH:

Yes, dear. I know.

TOM:

Has Edith gone?

SARAH:

Edith? Yes, dear, she's gone.

TOM:

Good. I'm worried about Edith. Worried about what you told me this morning. Oh, here, my dear, sit down beside me. I've been thinking it over. And I believe you're right. Edith is in love with me.

SARAH:

Oh, of course she is, darling. We all are.

TOM:

Including you, huh? This morning you had a very different story. Then it was "except" you.

SARAH:

Was it, Mr. Moonlight? Perhaps I've grown older since then.

TOM:

Have you, indeed? Well, I'll tell you a secret. I never believed you. You love me very much indeed.

SARAH:

Clever Mr. Moonlight.

TOM:

Am I right?

SARAH:

Of course you're right, my darling.

MFX:

ABRUPTLY OUT, WITH--

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

PETER:

Hi, Mom. Hello, Grandfather. (IMPRESSED) Say -- who's the lady?

TOM:

Why, this is my wife, young man. Who do you think it is?

PETER:

Your wife? But, Grandpa, why should you think it's your wife?

TOM:

Heavens, oughtn't I to know my own wife? Who are you, anyway?

PETER:

I'm Peter, sir, your grandson.

TOM:

Grandson? Huh! I don't know you, sir, and I don't much want to.

PETER:

But I think your wife's very pretty, Grandpa.

TOM:

(PLEASED) Do you, Mr. Peter? And she is, too. That's what they all say. And what's more, she doesn't alter. Do you know that? She doesn't alter. Doesn't alter. Now, what's that bit about altering? She's worried about that. There's something about altering. I don't like that a bit. (SIGHS) I've forgotten.

PETER:

What's your wife's name, Grandpa?

TOM:

Hm? She's called Sarah. Sarah Jones before she met me. (CHUCKLES) I'll tell you something if you want to know. She used to say that's why she married me. Couldn't stand "Sarah Jones" at any price. (TO SARAH) Do you know, Mrs. Moonlight -- I'm a very lucky man. And a very happy man.

SARAH:

So am I, Mr. Moonlight.

TOM:

I think I shall go up to bed. I'm feeling tired and sleepy. Minnie was turning it down when I came down to see you. Are you coming up now?

SARAH:

No, dear. Not just yet. But I won't wake you.

TOM:

(DREAMILY MOVES OFF) Mm hm. Good night -- Mrs. Moonlight.

SARAH:

Good night -- Mr. Moonlight.

MFX:

SAD BRIDGE, THEN IN BG

PETER:

Why is she staying up there so long? And what's she doing here, anyhow?

JANE:

I don't know. She just - seems to belong here. As if she knew us all. I wonder if I should go up. Minnie said he was asking to see her and no one else. I do hope nothing's wrong.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

JANE:

Minnie? What is it?

MINNIE:

(FADES IN) Here, sit down. Here, Mrs. Moonlight.

JANE:

Minnie?

MFX:

A SLIGHT ACCENT ... THEN SAD AGAIN, IN BG

MINNIE:

He is dead, Miss Jane.

JANE:

(SAD) Oh, Minnie.

MINNIE:

She was with him. He was in her arms.

JANE:

Oh, how sad.

SARAH:

(DYING AND INCREASINGLY DELIRIOUS) It's all right. I'm all right. Quite all right. I'm not unhappy. It was really very, very beautiful. It would be wicked to be unhappy. I'm only - only very tired. (EXHALES) I wonder why I'm so tired. He just said to me, "I love you, Mrs. Moonlight, very, very dearly." He just said that. And he looked happy, too. Jane? Where's Jane?

JANE:

Here I am.

SARAH:

Where's your hand?

JANE:

Here.

SARAH:

I'm so pleased with you, Jane. And I've always liked your nice Percy Middling. You've done well together, haven't you? A nice boy and a nice home. (INHALES) "I love you, Mrs. Moonlight, very, very dearly." Peter? Are you listening?

PETER:

Of course I am. What is it?

SARAH:

Peter, I want you always - always to be a very good boy. You are now, aren't you?

PETER:

I don't know.

SARAH:

I know. You are a good boy. Any grandmother -- grandmother! -- would be glad of you. You're the image of Mr. Moonlight. You'll make some girl very happy. Ohhh, I'm so tired. "I love you, Mrs. Moonlight, very, very dearly." Oh, Jane, do I look happy?

JANE:

Very happy, dear. Are you?

SARAH:

So happy. But it - it's funny to be so tired. (TO TOM) Why, hello, Mr. Moonlight! You know all about me now, don't you? It doesn't have to be a secret any more. (PRAYS) Now, Lord, lettest Thou Thy servant ... depart in peace ... (DEEP BREATH) ... for mine eyes have seen ... mine eyes have seen the glory ... (SIGHS, TO TOM) May I take your arm, Mr. Moonlight?

MFX:

SWELLS TO A FINISH

ROMANCE:

The curtain has fallen on "Mrs. Moonlight." But though the play is over, I do not leave you. I linger in your memory, to return next week to quicken your hearts with another great love story. The play that shall speak for me then is "Wild Oranges," a tale of romance and adventure by one of the great storytellers of our generation, Joseph Hergesheimer. Till then, till curtain time next week, I wish you love and happiness. My name is - Romance.

MFX:

THEME ... CONTINUES IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

You've been listening to ROMANCE, a series of programs produced by Columbia to bring you the great romantic plays and love stories of all time. The play tonight was "Mrs. Moonlight" by Benn W. Levy, adapted for radio by Jean Holloway, with script supervision by Albert Perkins. The play was directed by Marx Loeb and the music was conducted by Charles Paul. The part of Mrs. Moonlight was played by Julie Haydon and Mr. Moonlight by Ted Osborne.

Listen next week at a new time -- eleven-thirty p. m. Eastern War Time -- when we will bring you our next great romance, "Wild Oranges." Remember, beginning next Monday, ROMANCE will be heard at a new time, eleven-thirty p. m. Eastern War Time, over most of these stations.

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.

MUSIC:

FADES OUT