Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Suspense
Show: The Visitor
Date: Sep 18 1947

The Suspense Team:
ANNOUNCER
2ND ANNCR
TRUMAN BRADLEY

Dramatis Personae:
BUD OWEN, age eighteen; alleged son
MACK BURRELL
DAVID, Bud's stepfather
JUDITH, Bud's mother
ELLEN, sympathetic teen
JOE, surly, sullen teen
MARY LOUISE, enthusiastic teen
MRS. CALLAHAN, working class nanny
STERLING, educated professional
DINER (1 line)
AL (1 line)

NOTE: Another version of this play aired on SUSPENSE, May 11, 1944. This transcript contains material from the earlier broadcast in brackets.

MUSIC:

SUSPENSE THEME AND KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

OUT ... BRIEF MELODIC JINGLES PUNCTUATE THE FOLLOWING AT [X]

TRUMAN BRADLEY:

At the world famous Waldorf-Astoria, where luxury is legend and hospitality is a high art, the discriminating clientele is offered a full selection of C-R-E-S-T-A [X] -- B-L-A-N-C-A. [X] -- Cresta -- [X] -- Blanca. [X] Cresta Blanca. [X] In serving magnificent Cresta Blanca wines, the Waldorf preserves a tradition for pleasing the palates of luxury-wise world travelers. Such choice selection is distinguished proof that when you pour proud Cresta Blanca wines, you and your guests enjoy the best. Schenley's Cresta Blanca Wine Company, Livermore, California.

2ND ANNCR:

And now Schenley brings you Radio's Outstanding Theatre of Thrills--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

OUT

2ND ANNCR:

Presented by Roma Wines. That's R-O-M-A, Roma Wines, America's favorite wines.

MUSIC:

THEME BEHIND ANNOUNCER--

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, by popular request, we bring back the brilliant young star who appeared with us only a few weeks ago, Mr. Donald O'Connor, and in a play which was first presented on SUSPENSE two and a half years ago and was the subject of considerable comment; Donald O'Connor in "The Visitor," a SUSPENSE play produced, edited, and directed for Schenley by William Spier.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR ACCENT ... THEN A BRIEF INTRO ... THEN BEHIND BUD--

SOUND:

DINER BACKGROUND ... CASH REGISTER DRAWER, DINERS MURMUR, PLATES AND UTENSILS CLINK, ET CETERA

BUD:

(NARRATES) It was around two o'clock on a Tuesday afternoon. I was right in my usual groove -- counterman in Al's Coffee Pot, Route Twenty-Two out of Baltimore. Not a bad job for a green guy; eighteen bucks a week and my meals. But I was aimin' to be a short order cook when I really got the hang of things. [Of course, I'd only been in the diner a couple of months.] Well, as I say, it was the usual afternoon; not especially busy, but busy enough.

DINER:

Hey, no kiddin', mac -- where's our western sandwiches?

BUD:

Oh. Here ya are. (TO BURRELL) Uh, what'll you have, mister?

BURRELL:

Oh, a ham on rye and a cup of coffee, "Bud."

BUD:

Comin' right up. (CALLS TO COOK) Ham on rye and draw one!

BURRELL:

Look, uh, kid, I'd like to talk to you.

BUD:

Yeah? What about?

BURRELL:

Have you got a minute?

BUD:

Yeah, I guess so. (CALLS) Uh, Al, take the counter, will ya? I'm gonna have some coffee.

AL:

(OFF) Okay!

SOUND:

BUD'S FOOTSTEPS FROM BEHIND COUNTER

BUD:

So what's on your mind, mister?

BURRELL:

Uh, look, can we go in here?

BUD:

Yeah.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS INTO SIDE ROOM ... DINER BACKGROUND OUT AS DOOR SHUTS

BURRELL:

(CAREFULLY) I've been looking for a long time for someone who looks like you.

BUD:

(BEAT) Yeah?

BURRELL:

Your name could be Bud Owen, couldn't it?

BUD:

(BEAT, CAGEY) Well, why should it? [They call me Bill Duncan around here.

BURRELL:

That's not what I asked.

BUD:

So?]

BURRELL:

Well, I'm lookin' for a boy named "Bud Owen."

BUD:

For what?

BURRELL:

Disappeared from his home 'bout three years ago. Boy from my town. He'd be about your age now; 'bout eighteen.

BUD:

Seventeen.

BURRELL:

Well, that'll do. Well, his folks have just been worried sick about him. Everyone else gave him up for dead. And then I heard you were workin' here, "Bud."

BUD:

Yeah? Who told you?

BURRELL:

Oh, no one told me. I got a note; anonymous. (BEAT) You didn't write it, did ya?

BUD:

No. No, I didn't write it.

BURRELL:

You know, I think I'd'a' recognized you anyway. You're a lot taller, of course, and you look older, "Bud."

BUD:

Well, anyone would, wouldn't they?

BURRELL:

(CHUCKLES) Same ears, though.

BUD:

(CHUCKLES) I call 'em wings.

BURRELL:

[That's a good one.] You remember who I am, of course. Mack Burrell. Used to be chief of police.

BUD:

Pleased to meet you, er, again, Mr. Burrell.

BURRELL:

(LAUGHS) Well, well! Bud Owen! (CHUCKLES) A lot of know-it-alls are sure gonna be surprised.

BUD:

Surprised? At what?

BURRELL:

Why, to see you. Edgerton is certain to a man that you were drowned three years ago off White's Pier. [And when they see you-- Boy, I can't wait.]

BUD:

I was drowned, huh?

BURRELL:

Yeah.

BUD:

Hey, look, Mr. Burrell, just what is your proposition?

BURRELL:

Well, Bud, I want you to come home again. With me.

BUD:

Oh.

BURRELL:

Of course, things have changed some in Edgerton in three years, but not too much and, er, if you take it easy and if you have a friend to help you over the rough spots, you'll feel right back at home in no time.

BUD:

I see.

BURRELL:

Workin' in a diner. Why, you're depriving yourself of everything a boy could want -- a good home, lovely parents. Wealthy parents.

BUD:

Yeah, you make it sound kind of nice at that, Mr. Burrell. Uh, but what about you?

BURRELL:

Why, Bud, didn't you know that your father has offered a ten thousand dollar reward for anyone who finds ya?

BUD:

No, I didn't know that.

BURRELL:

Ten thousand dollars. [Don't you think you ought to come home?

BUD:

Maybe I should.]

BURRELL:

And think of your folks. Think how your poor mother has suffered. Think how happy it'd make 'em.

BUD:

Uh huh. Well, Mr. Burrell, if you really think it'll be all right for me to come home--

BURRELL:

Sure it will. Oh, it may be a little tough at first -- all the excitement, people starin' at ya -- but that won't last long. Well, ya gotta expect some excitement.

BUD:

Yeah, I suppose it was an event, having a home [town] boy drown.

BURRELL:

Drown, boy? Why, they thought you were murdered.

MUSIC:

OMINOUS BRIDGE ... THEN MORE SYMPATHETIC BEHIND BUD--

BUD:

(NARRATES) After I talked to Mr. Burrell for an hour or so, the whole thing sounded pretty darn good. [I quit my job at Al's Coffee Pot the next afternoon and met Mr. Burrell at the station.] We took the five o'clock train for Edgerton. On the way, Mr. Burrell gave me the lowdown on what had been going on in the town for three years; how the town thought I was murdered and how my, uh, mother and David Cunningham -- my, uh, stepfather -- just wouldn't give up hope that I was still alive. And he told me how my mother hadn't changed anything in my room, she was so sure I'd come back. Although, she'd bought new stuff for the rest of the house -- new rugs, a couch, things like that. Mr. Burrell described it so plain I could almost see it. Well, by the time we got to Edgerton, I was feeling pretty sad for my mother. And [when I stood on the dark front porch with Mr. Burrell -- it was a peach of a warm summer night -- ] I thought, if I could make her happy, even if it was tough for me, it was worth-- Well, it was worth a try.

SOUND:

NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND (CRICKETS, ET CETERA) ... DOORBELL BUZZES

BURRELL:

(CLEARS THROAT NERVOUSLY) Well, brace yourself, youngster. This is it.

BUD:

Yeah, sure; I'm okay, Mr. Burrell.

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS

DAVID:

Is that you, Burrell?

BURRELL:

(SELLING IT) Yeah! And look who's with me!

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

DAVID:

(STUNNED) Oh-- Bud--

BUD:

(STAMMERS) Hello, father!

DAVID:

(WARMLY) Come in. Come in, Bud. Come in, come in.

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR CLOSES ... MORE FOOTSTEPS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

DAVID:

Here, let me take your suitcase. (BEAT) Here - here's your mother, Bud.

BUD:

Uh, hello, mother, I--

JUDITH:

(APPROACHES, CRIES OUT) Oh, Bud! (STARTS GIBBERING, OVERCOME)

DAVID:

Judith-- Judith, this time it's really Bud. He's come back to us.

JUDITH:

(WEEPING) Oh, Bud! Bud!

DAVID:

It's all right, darling. It's all right now.

JUDITH:

(THROUGH SOBS) My big baby! You're so tall I can hardly kiss you!

DAVID:

Come, Judith, let's go into the living room. Come along, Burrell.

BURRELL:

(CLEARS THROAT, PLEASED THAT THINGS ARE GOING WELL) Yes.

SOUND:

EVERYONE'S FOOTSTEPS INTO LIVING ROOM DURING FOLLOWING--

JUDITH:

(TO BUD) I always knew I'd be silly when you came back. Here, let me push your hair down.

BUD:

(CHUCKLES SELF-CONSCIOUSLY)

JUDITH:

(CHUCKLES WARMLY) Now you look more like my Bud.

BUD:

(POINTEDLY) Gosh, I - I wouldn't've recognized this room. Uh, isn't the couch new?

JUDITH:

Yes, and the rugs and the drapes.

BUD:

(SIMULTANEOUS WITH ABOVE) Drapes!

DAVID:

I don't know how we'll ever be able to thank you, Burrell.

BURRELL:

(SLYLY) Oh, why, seeing Judith so happy is, er, reward enough.

DAVID:

(GETS THE HINT) Oh, yes, yes. That reminds me. Well, drop into my office tomorrow and I'll take care of that other, more tangible reward.

BIZ:

EVERYONE CHUCKLES

BUD:

Well, Mother, I, er-- I don't know how to begin. I mean, to tell you how sorry--

JUDITH:

Oh, don't tell me anything, darling. Nothing matters except that you're back.

DAVID:

That's the spirit, Judith, that's the spirit.

JUDITH:

Goodness, your right hand, Bud; it's all bandaged.

BUD:

Oh. Oh, that's - that's nothing much. I burned it working in the diner. It's nothing really.

JUDITH:

(SYMPATHETIC) Oh, darling.

BURRELL:

Well, folks, it's been a long day for an old man; I guess I'll run along.

BUD:

(SURPRISED, NERVOUS) Right away, Mr. Burrell? Well, you - you just got here!

BURRELL:

Oh, you'll be seeing plenty of me, Bud. Right now you should be wanting to get acquainted with your folks again.

BUD:

(CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY)

BURRELL:

(MOVING OFF) I'll see you tomorrow, Dave.

DAVID:

Oh, yes, yes, of course. (CHUCKLES AWKWARDLY) [Good night.

JUDITH:

Good night.]

SOUND:

BURRELL'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY DURING ABOVE ... FRONT DOOR SHUTS, OFF

DAVID:

Well, have you noticed, Judith, how deep Bud's voice is now?

JUDITH:

Why, yes. It was just a little pipe when he left.

DAVID:

(LAUGHS)

JUDITH:

But it was beginning to break, wasn't it, Bud?

BUD:

Gosh, I - I guess so. I - I sure must have sounded awful.

JUDITH:

And he shaves, David!

DAVID:

(LAUGHS)

JUDITH:

Every day, snooky?

BUD:

(EMBARRASSED) Well, gosh; not quite.

DAVID:

(LAUGHS HEARTILY)

JUDITH:

Now, please, David. I don't think that's so funny.

DAVID:

(LIGHTLY) Well, I can't help it--

SOUND:

DOORBELL BUZZES DURING ABOVE

JUDITH:

Why, that sounds like Ellen. Isn't that nice? Let her in, David!

DAVID:

(MOVING OFF) Oh, certainly. Sure, sure.

BUD:

Ellen Woods?

JUDITH:

Why, who else, Bud?

BUD:

(HEMS AND HAWS UNCERTAINLY) Does she still live next door?

JUDITH:

Of course! The Woods have always lived there.

SOUND:

FROM OFF, WE HEAR THE FRONT DOOR OPEN, THEN EXCITED GREETINGS EXCHANGED BY DAVID AND ELLEN

JUDITH: (CALLS) Ellen dear, we have such a surprise!

ELLEN:

(APPROACHES, TO BUD) Oh, my word! Angel! This is simply fabulous! Let me kiss you, you big lug!

BUD:

(AS HE'S HUGGED) Hey, hey-- Ouch! Take it easy!

ELLEN:

Oh, Bud, you're just gigantic! A regular beanpole! (QUIETLY) Oh, Bud, I can't wait for Joe to see you.

BUD:

(BLANKLY) Joe?

ELLEN:

I called him just as soon as I heard. He - he's coming over here. (LOW, TO JUDITH) It's all right, Mrs. Cunningham?

JUDITH:

Oh, of course, Ellen.

DAVID:

Sure!

JUDITH:

I'd forgotten. It'll mean so much to Joe. (LOW) You know about Joe, Bud?

BUD:

Er, yes. Mr. Burrell told me. I - I didn't know before.

DAVID:

This town's got a lot to make up to that young man.

ELLEN:

My folks wouldn't let me see Joe, Bud.

BUD:

Yeah?

JUDITH:

Well, [naturally] they thought that-- [After all,] Joe was the last person who saw you and - and then-- Well, he admitted you'd quarreled.

DAVID:

But your mother and I never had a moment's doubt, Bud.

JUDITH:

Oh, no.

DAVID:

And I'm thankful for that.

SOUND:

DOORBELL BUZZES

ELLEN:

There! That's Joe! That's Joe now!

SOUND:

ELLEN'S FOOTSTEPS TO FRONT DOOR WHICH OPENS

ELLEN:

Joe, it's true! Bud's here!

JOE:

(APPROACHES) Ellen phoned. I ran all the way. She said that--

BUD:

Yeah. Yeah, Joe. (LIGHTLY) It's me.

JOE:

(BEAT, UNCERTAINLY) Yeah. I guess it is.

BUD:

(LIGHTLY) Well, pal, I hear I owe you an apology or something.

JOE:

(BEAT, SULLEN) Skip it, "pal."

JUDITH:

Now, Joe, we know how hard it's been for you. Only now it's over.

JOE:

(GRIMLY) It didn't matter, Mrs. Cunningham. I've learned to put up with a lot.

DAVID:

Er, Judith dear, let's go upstairs. Let's give the young folks a chance [to be] by themselves.

JUDITH:

All right, David. But don't stay up too long, Bud.

DAVID:

No.

JUDITH:

You'll need lots of sleep.

BUD:

I won't, Mother.

JUDITH:

And don't forget to turn off the lights.

BUD:

Okay.

JUDITH:

Good night, children.

BIZ:

BUD, ELLEN AND JOE EXCHANGE "GOODNIGHTS" WITH DAVID AND JUDITH WHO EXIT

BUD:

(BEAT, WITH FORCED LIGHTNESS) Ah, well, what'll we do? Cut a rug or chew the fat?

JOE:

(CURT) Suit yourself.

ELLEN:

(CHIDES) Joe, don't talk that way to Bud. You might remember he's my friend and he certainly was yours.

JOE:

Yeah, I guess he was.

BUD:

Now - now, look, Joe, I can see how you're sore at me, but don't take it out on Ellen.

JOE:

(FURIOUS) Kindly don't start messing between Ellen and me.

ELLEN:

Joe, please!

JOE:

Okay, do I have to make a speech? So you're home now, Bud, and I'm the last one to kick. But when you toss it all off by saying you owe me "an apology or something"-- Well, maybe it's not easy to remember we were friends.

BUD:

Well, I - I-- Well, I didn't know what to say.

JOE:

I know I tried to remember we were friends when the whole town was sure I'd killed you! And I tried to remember it when the draft board listed me as undesirable because they thought I was guilty!

BUD:

Yeah, but--

JOE:

I even tried to remember we were friends when for three years people crossed the street so they wouldn't have to speak to me! And people got up and walked out of the room when I came in! And when--

BUD:

Oh, gosh, Joe, I - I didn't realize that. I - I am sorry, Joe. Honest.

ELLEN:

Joe, you should be the first one to walk around town with Bud, right tomorrow morning. If you both like it, I'll go with you.

JOE:

(HIS ANGER ALL GONE, LOW) If it's all right with Bud.

BUD:

Is it? Boy, I'm gonna need company.

ELLEN:

Then it's a date, huh?

JOE:

No kiddin', Bud, I'm glad you're home, fella. No hard feelings?

BUD:

Oh, gosh, no, Joe.

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR OPENS

JOE:

So long, Bud.

ELLEN:

[Bye, Bud.]

BUD:

So long.

SOUND:

FRONT DOOR CLOSES ... JUDITH'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

JUDITH:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Bud?

BUD:

(STAMMERS NERVOUSLY) Yes, Mother?

JUDITH:

Are you coming up to bed now, dear?

BUD:

Uh, yeah. I might as well.

SOUND:

BUD AND JUDITH'S FOOTSTEPS UP THE STAIRS

JUDITH:

You, uh-- You knew, Bud, about Trixie?

BUD:

Trixie?

JUDITH:

Do you realize you've never even asked about her?

BUD:

Oh, Trixie. That's right, I didn't.

JUDITH:

After all, she was your dog. And you know what they say about a boy and his dog. Aw, poor thing. When you didn't come back, she just wandered off.

BUD:

Oh, gee, that's tough, all right.

JUDITH:

(THOUGHTFUL) And you didn't even ask about her. (SHRUGS IT OFF) Oh, but I - I guess you can't be expected to remember everything.

SOUND:

JUDITH'S BEDROOM DOOR OPENS

BUD:

No, I - I guess I can't - remember everything.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN BEHIND BUD--

BUD:

(NARRATES) [My mother kissed me good night.] I went upstairs to my room. It was just like Mr. Burrell told me it would be. (SOUND: BEDROOM DOOR CLOSES) Everything seemed to have gone all right so far. I undressed and turned out the light. But before I got into bed, I locked the door. (SOUND: DOOR LOCKS) Just in case.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A CURTAIN ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--

ANNOUNCER:

For SUSPENSE, Roma Wines are bringing you Donald O'Connor in "The Visitor," Roma Wines' presentation tonight in Radio's Outstanding Theatre of Thrills -- SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

2ND ANNCR:

SUSPENSE, Radio's Outstanding Theatre of Thrills, is presented by Roma. That's R-O-M-A, those better-tasting Roma Wines. Every day, more and more hostesses are discovering a simple secret for successful entertaining. Whenever guests are invited -- or just drop in unexpectedly -- welcome them with a fine Roma California wine such as glorious golden amber Roma sherry, ruby red Roma port, or mellow Roma muscatel. And when you serve these delicious Roma wines with cheese, fruit, or nuts, the most informal get-together becomes a delightful party. These Roma wines are a treat at dessert-time; to top off the dinner, too. If you are planning to entertain this weekend, be sure to have better-tasting Roma sherry, Roma port, and Roma muscatel on hand. Then you'll be sure of pleasing everybody because Roma Wines are America's favorite wines.

MUSIC:

THEME, IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

And now Roma Wines bring back to our Hollywood sound stage Donald O'Connor as "The Visitor," in a play well-calculated to keep you in--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

INTRODUCTION ... THEN OUT WITH--

SOUND:

KITCHEN DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS BUD ENTERS ... BREAKFAST BACKGROUND (UTENSILS, ET CETERA)

BUD:

Gosh, I - I guess I'm kind of late for breakfast.

JUDITH:

Oh, that's all right, darling. We know you needed the sleep.

DAVID:

Sit right in your old place, Bud.

BUD:

(STAMMERS) Yeah. Sure.

DAVID:

(CHUCKLES) Your mother and I have been mooning over old pictures of you, son.

JUDITH:

Yes. Really, Bud -- except for the ears and, uh, something around the eyes, you've changed so that I can hardly recognize you.

DAVID:

(LAUGHS)

JUDITH:

Now, look, here's the last picture before you went away. Why, it's almost frightening the way you've grown.

DAVID:

(GOOD-HUMORED) Oh, Judith darling, you wouldn't want the boy to be a midget, would ya?

JUDITH:

Oh, well, no--

DAVID:

Sure, sure, he's taller. But look at his hair, the way he stands--

BUD:

Yeah, I sure was a goon.

DAVID:

(LAUGHS)

BUD:

You should have been glad to get rid of me.

DAVID:

(CHUCKLES) Aw, no--

SOUND:

RATTLE OF PAPERS IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

JUDITH:

And look, Bud, what else I found.

BUD:

What?

JUDITH:

All your school compositions from the first grade on. Here's one you wrote on Alexander the Great.

BUD:

Ouch! Mother, don't be so careless with those things or I'll die of blushing!

DAVID:

(LAUGHS)

JUDITH:

Why, Bud, I think this was very good for your age. You were barely fourteen when you wrote it. See? It's marked "B" so it can't be too terrible.

DAVID:

(AMUSED) Ah, your least little scribble is a great thing to your mother.

JUDITH:

Oh, of course.

SOUND:

DAVID SETS DOWN COFFEE CUP

DAVID:

(EXHALES) Well, I'd better get off to the office. Drop in to see me if you have time, Bud.

BUD:

Why, sure, father. I'll do that.

DAVID:

Good, good. Goodbye, Judith darling. I'll be -- (QUICK KISS) -- home for dinner.

JUDITH:

Goodbye, David.

SOUND:

DAVID'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

JUDITH:

How about some hot coffee, Bud?

BUD:

Yes, thanks.

SOUND:

COFFEE POURED

JUDITH:

There, snooky. (CHUCKLES WARMLY, THEN TURNS SERIOUS) Uh, Bud? There's something important I want to discuss with you. It's about my will.

BUD:

Your - your will?

JUDITH:

You know how your father -- well, David -- is about my money, Bud. He never wanted to touch it or even have me put him in my will. He's so proud about things like that and I do have so much more than he ever will.

BUD:

Well, sure. I remember. How much money is it, anyway?

JUDITH:

Why, you know, Bud. There's about one hundred and fifty thousand dollars your grandfather left.

BUD:

Yeah.

JUDITH:

Then there were the four houses on Elm Street that Aunt Caroline left and the income from them. I haven't used any of it, so it amounts to quite a lot by now.

BUD:

Gosh, yes; it must, at that.

JUDITH:

Well, after you left, even though David didn't want me to, I changed the will leaving everything to him.

BUD:

Why, sure, that sounds fine to me.

JUDITH:

Ah, yes; but now you're back, I think the best thing would be to just turn it all over to you now. Set up a trust fund. You could use the income when you start to college and, later, maybe you'd want to set yourself up in some kind of business. And I know it'll please David.

BUD:

But, mother-- Gee whiz, it's swell of you, but don't you think you should wait?

JUDITH:

Wait for what, darling?

BUD:

Well, until you know me better.

JUDITH:

What?

BUD:

(STAMMERS) I-- Well, I-- I mean-- (RECOVERS, QUICKLY) Gosh, I wouldn't know what to do with all that money and - and maybe I'd mess things up.

JUDITH:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, silly. The bank takes care of everything. It always has for me. Now, all you have to do is to sign these papers here.

BUD:

Sign--? But - but I can't, mother. You see, my hand-- The bandage--

JUDITH:

Oh, isn't that a shame? I forgot you couldn't write.

BUD:

It ought to be all right in a couple of days, so I can take the bandage off--

BIZ:

ELLEN AND JOE WHISTLE SHARPLY, OFF ... CONTINUES DURING FOLLOWING--

JUDITH:

Oh, somebody's whistling for you, Bud! My! That sounds like old times!

BUD:

Oh, it's Ellen and Joe. They're gonna take me out and show me around the town. (RELUCTANT) I guess I'll have to face the music.

JUDITH:

You know you'll love it. You're going to be a regular hero.

BUD:

Yeah. But I don't feel much like a hero now.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OF BUD, ELLEN AND JOE AS THEY WALK DOWN STREET ... MARY LOUISE'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

MARY LOUISE:

(APPROACHES) Hey, Bud! Bud Owen, wait!

ELLEN:

(GOOD-NATURED) Now you're in for it, Bud.

MARY LOUISE:

(EXCITED) Oh, Bud, you're really real! And you've grown but divine!

BUD:

(AS HE'S HUGGED) Hey, hey, you're choking me.

MARY LOUISE:

Oh, I've just been telling everybody you're back. It's too sensational! It's like having a new boy in town, and do we need some!

BUD:

(STAMMERS) Well, gosh, I shouldn't think you'd have any trouble. Why, you're cuter than ever.

MARY LOUISE:

(TO ELLEN) Listen to him, he's got a line! [Gee, he sends me!] Isn't that something?

ELLEN:

(DRY) Bud, the best thing you ever called her before was "Buzzard Egg."

MARY LOUISE:

(CHUCKLES)

BUD:

(STAMMERS) Well, gosh, I called her something besides that once in a while.

ELLEN:

Oh, you did call her Mary Louise.

BUD:

Well, of course I called her that. (POINTEDLY) Gee, it's swell to see ya, Mary Louise.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OF BUD, ELLEN AND JOE WALK DOWN STREET ... OUT WITH--

MRS. CALLAHAN:

Bud Owen, you bad boy! Are you gonna recognize me or aren't ya?

BUD:

(GAMELY) Oh, gee, it's good to see ya. How are ya, anyway?

MRS. CALLAHAN:

Well, you're not too grown-up to kiss ol' Mrs. Callahan the way you always did?

BUD:

Oh, I - I'll say I'm not, Mrs. Callahan. Here.

MRS. CALLAHAN:

[(SURPRISED) Why--] Oh, well, now that's better. (A LITTLE PEEVED) I heated enough bottles for ya and washed enough of your diapers, too, so don't let me catch you puttin' on airs.

BUD:

(PUZZLED) Oh, no, ma'am; I won't.

MRS. CALLAHAN:

Well, goodbye for now.

BUD:

Goodbye.

SOUND:

MRS. CALLAHAN'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

JOE:

(SUSPICIOUS, ACCUSING) What's the matter? Didn't you recognize her?

BUD:

Oh, Mrs. Callahan? Well, of course I did.

JOE:

Well, then why didn't you call her what you always used to? Couldn't you see she was sore?

BUD:

(TAKEN ABACK) Well, I-- Well, yes, I did.

ELLEN:

(DOUBTFUL) Bud? You - you used to call her Aunt Celie.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

SLIGHT TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... FOOTSTEPS OF BUD, ELLEN AND JOE WALKING DOWN STREET ... OUT WITH--

STERLING:

Well, well, well, I couldn't believe it! But I daren't refute the evidence of my senses -- it's the Owen boy. Bud Owen!

BUD:

(STAMMERS) Why, I'm glad to see you, sir.

STERLING:

I just saw your mother; heard you were back. Uh, she told me she was bringing you down to my office in a day or two.

BUD:

Oh, yes. She told me.

STERLING:

Your mother is one in a million, young man. She thinks only of your welfare. I hope you've learned to appreciate her.

BUD:

Oh, yes, sir; I have.

STERLING:

(MOVING OFF) Well, I just wanted to check on the news. And no nonsense, my boy. You do as your mother says.

SOUND:

STERLING'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY DURING ABOVE

BUD:

Yeah, goodbye.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS OF BUD, ELLEN AND JOE WALKING DOWN STREET ... THEN IN BG

BUD:

(TO ELLEN AND JOE) Hey, er, what did he mean, "no nonsense"?

JOE:

Don't you know?

BUD:

(STAMMERS) Er, well, I-- Yeah, I guess so. Well, mother told me this morning we had to go to the lawyer's office.

ELLEN:

(QUIETLY DISMAYED) Oh, Bud.

SOUND:

FOOTSTEPS STOP

JOE:

(SHARPLY ACCUSING) I've been waiting for you to outsmart yourself -- and this is it.

BUD:

Well-- I don't get it.

JOE:

(NASTY) You sure don't, "Bud."

ELLEN:

(PLEADS) Give him a chance, Joe.

JOE:

Because it happens that's not Mr. Reedy the lawyer, but Dr. Sterling the dentist.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG

BUD:

(NARRATES) I talked fast and Ellen took my side, and we got Joe calmed down. But I knew he was going to watch me like a hawk from then on.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

BUD:

(NARRATES) That afternoon, Ellen, Joe, and Mary Louise got the really snazzy idea of going to the beach. My, er, father knocked off work and drove us down, sort of to celebrate my homecoming. Ah, it was really a hot day so when we got there, the others made a beeline for the water, but I didn't, because of my bandaged hand. I stayed around the beach club, near the pool. When it began to get dark, we all dressed and went down to White's Restaurant for a seafood dinner. Then we walked out on the pier -- the same pier where I was supposed to have been murdered.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS ON WOODEN PIER ... PIER BACKGROUND (STEADY SLOSH OF WATER FROM BELOW, AN OCCASIONAL GULL)

BUD:

(NARRATES) I remember I said something about taking the body back to where X marks the spot, and everybody laughed. [X]

BIZ:

EVERYBODY LAUGHS

ELLEN:

(REACTS TO JOKE) Oh, Bud! Really now.

MARY LOUISE:

Gee, isn't it heavenly out here?

BUD:

Yeah. Gee, the breeze is swell.

DAVID:

Well, Bud, it looks like you and Joe are right back where you were three years ago.

BUD:

Yes, I guess so, father.

JOE:

This railing's just where we stood, isn't it, when you and I had our fight?

BUD:

(HESITANT) Yes. Yes, about.

ELLEN:

Hey, what's the phobia people have looking down from tall buildings? Gee, I get it looking down at the water from up here.

BUD:

That shouldn't worry you, Ellen. You swim like a fish. Now me, I should really feel funny.

DAVID:

Well, you about ready to go home, children? I don't want Judith to worry.

ELLEN:

Oh, yeah. All right, Mr. Cunningham.

MARY LOUISE:

(MOVING OFF) It's been such a heavenly day.

SOUND:

EVERYBODY'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY, EXCEPT BUD AND JOE

JOE:

Bud, wait a minute.

BUD:

Come on, Joe.

JOE:

Wait a minute. There are a couple of things I want to say.

BUD:

Look now-- Later, Joe. Ellen and father--

JOE:

[It'll only take a minute. First, about your not being able to swim.

BUD:

But, Joe, you knew about that. I never learned. That was why--

JOE:

Sure.] Everybody knew Bud Owen couldn't swim. That was why when you disappeared they thought I'd pushed you off the pier and you'd drowned.

BUD:

Now-- [Joe, I don't get it. Can't you let bygones be bygones?]

JOE:

Bud Owen couldn't swim. But this afternoon when you thought we were all at a good safe distance, I walked up to the beach club looking for you. And I saw you swimming in the pool.

BUD:

Yeah, but I learned--

JOE:

And your bandage was off. (BEAT) Well, start talking. Or do I do the talking to the cops?

BUD:

Now listen, Joe, you've gotta wait. You've gotta give me time.

JOE:

[Now, don't get me wrong.] No one else in this town should be gladder to have Bud Owen come back than me. After all, I've taken plenty because he disappeared. But rather than let Mrs. Cunningham be fooled--

BUD:

Well, that's what I mean, Joe. You've gotta give me time -- to square things. Just a little time.

JOE:

Well, you better move fast, brother.

BUD:

Now, Joe, no matter what you think you know -- I haven't hurt anybody.

JOE:

Not yet.

BUD:

And if you give me time, maybe nobody will be hurt.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG

BUD:

(NARRATES) I went to Mr. Burrell the next morning and talked about everything -- about how people were making cracks at him about the ten thousand dollars reward, and the whole mess. I knew things were moving awfully fast and I told Mr. Burrell he had to help me. That night, when she finished her coffee, my mother said she was awfully tired. My father -- David -- saw her upstairs to bed. I looked out the window and saw Mr. Burrell's car pull up to the curb in front of Ellen's house. I knew he was going to do everything he could, but, by this time, I was scared.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

BUD:

(NARRATES) Well, at bedtime, my stepfather fixed some sandwiches and we drank some milk.

SOUND:

BEDROOM DOOR CLOSES ... FOOTSTEPS IN ... BUD AND DAVID SIT

BUD:

(NARRATES) Then he came up to my room with me and sat down to talk. [X]

DAVID:

Well, I see your mother's [been] changing your room around. [It's not bad.]

BUD:

Yeah, I guess women like to fuss around and so forth.

DAVID:

(CHUCKLES) That's a fact, and there's no use opposing them.

BUD:

I guess that's right.

DAVID:

(CHUCKLES, PAUSE, THEN QUIETLY SERIOUS) By the way ---- what is your real name?

BUD:

(BEAT) Bud Owen.

DAVID:

You don't need to be afraid of me. I've protected you so far.

BUD:

(CAGEY) Why have you?

DAVID:

I asked you first. What's your real name?

BUD:

Bud Owen.

DAVID:

You're stubborn, aren't you? You know, at first, I thought you'd worked this little scheme out all by yourself. Or with Burrell. But there's someone else involved, isn't there?

BUD:

(CAGEY) Who do you think?

DAVID:

What about that bandage?

BUD:

Well--

DAVID:

Take it off.

SOUND:

BANDAGE REMOVED

DAVID:

Well, well, well. Not even a scar. I, er, don't suppose you'd mind writing with it -- now that it's "healed"?

BUD:

No. I don't mind. What shall I write?

DAVID:

Well-- Suppose we take this little composition of yours on Alexander the Great.

SOUND:

DAVID'S FOOTSTEPS DURING ABOVE ... THEN RATTLE OF PAPER

DAVID:

Uh, here. Would you copy this, er-- This sentence, say, on the top of page three?

SOUND:

RATTLE OF PAPER

BUD:

[Sure.] Why not?

SOUND:

SCRIBBLE

DAVID:

(THOUGHTFUL) Mm hm. And, uh, to make it a fair comparison, write your name -- Bud Owen.

SOUND:

SCRIBBLE

BUD:

(TO HIMSELF, WHILE WRITING) Bud -- Owen. (TO DAVID) Here ya are.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF PAPER

DAVID:

Hm. (BEAT) So she taught you Bud's handwriting, too.

BUD:

Who did?

DAVID:

My wife. Do you think I didn't know what was going on? Every move she made gave her away. Why is she in such a rush to change her will?

BUD:

I don't know. Why?

DAVID:

She thought she was being so smart -- trying to pass you off -- trying to trap me. But I was one person who knew you weren't Bud.

BUD:

Yeah? What makes you so sure I'm not - Bud?

DAVID:

I know. Isn't that enough? I know.

BUD:

I see. Well, uh, don't you think we'd better get my - my, er, my mother in on this?

DAVID:

Yes. Yes, I think perhaps we'd better.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO BEDROOM DOOR WHICH OPENS ... FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE DOWN HALL

DAVID:

She's, um-- She's asleep. You'll have to wake her.

SOUND:

JUDITH'S BEDROOM DOOR OPENS

BUD:

Mother? (NO ANSWER) Mother? (NO ANSWER) Why, she's-- (WORRIED) Mother!

DAVID:

(GRUNTS WITH EFFORT)

BUD:

(GROANS WITH--)

SOUND:

BUD STRUCK ON HEAD, THEN FALLS TO FLOOR

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

BUD:

(NARRATES, IN PAIN) Oh, when I came to, I had an awful pain in my head. I was in my room on the bed and Ellen and Joe and Mr. Burrell were there. For a minute, I didn't know what had happened and then I remembered. [X] (SPEAKS, EXCITED) Mother?! Where's my mother?!

BURRELL:

She's all right, Bud. She's in the hospital. Why, he gave her enough of those sleeping pills to kill a horse. But she's all right now.

ELLEN:

How do you feel, Bud?

BUD:

All right, I guess.

BURRELL:

Oh, it's a good thing you had us standing by tonight, son. Why, he had you trussed up like a turkey. He was gonna hang ya.

BUD:

Oh, gee, Mr. Burrell, he must have been crazy. I guess he wanted to get us both out of the way before mother could change that will.

JOE:

For crying out loud, Bud, why didn't you let me in on this? I thought that--

BUD:

Well, gee, I hated to do it, Joe. Honest. But I had to. Somebody had to be the guinea pig.

ELLEN:

It was my idea, Joe. I sent the note to Mr. Burrell. I really found Bud in that hash house.

JOE:

Yeah, but if you'd let me know--

ELLEN:

We knew that if Bud could fool you -- if you thought he was a phony -- he could fool everybody. Even David Cunningham.

BUD:

Yeah. You see, Joe, for three years, I suspected that guy. He pushed me off the pier that night when I was only a kid. But I knew I was a kid and it was just his word against mine, so I ran away. I kept putting off coming here, but I swore that someday I'd trap him, and tonight, I did. Because when he said he knew I wasn't Bud Owen, I knew he thought he'd killed me.

BURRELL:

You took one whale of a chance tonight, Bud. He had you framed pretty. Another half hour and we'd have found your mother dead, you strung up, and that - that suicide note you wrote propped up on the dresser.

BUD:

Suicide note? Why, I just copied a sentence out of an old composition; something about Alexander the Great.

BURRELL:

Alexander the Great?

SOUND:

RATTLE OF PAPER

BURRELL:

Well, listen to this. (READS) "It is terrible what awful crimes are done for greed and ambition." Signed, Bud Owen.

BUD:

Aw, sure, well, you see, I was writing-- (DOUBLE TAKE) What?! I signed that?! Holy--!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND BUD--

BUD:

(NARRATES) Well, that's about all. I didn't know how my mother would take it, having my stepfather turn out to be such a heel. But once she got over the dope he slipped her, she was fine. As happy as a lark over me. And Joe and Ellen? They got married but quick. Mary Louise and I are going together now. And I've been playing hard-to-get, but, gee, she can see through me in a minute. I guess I never could fool anybody.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

SUSPENSE!

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

2ND ANNCR:

"The Visitor," starring Donald O'Connor, presented for your enjoyment by Roma Wines. That's R-O-M-A, Roma Wines, America's largest-selling wines. For a wine to give great enjoyment, it must have great quality -- and that's precisely what you enjoy in better-tasting Roma wine. The famous goodness of Roma Wines stems from choicest California grapes, gently pressed; then with age-old skills and America's greatest winemaking resources, Roma master vintners guide this great treasure unhurriedly to taste perfection. These finer, better-tasting Roma wines are laid with mellow Roma wines of years before. And, from these, the world's greatest reserves of fine wines, Roma later selects for your pleasure. So whenever you order wine, remember this. You're sure of better taste at moderate price when you ask for Roma. That's R-O-M-A, Roma Wines, enjoyed by more Americans than any other wines.

ANNOUNCER:

Donald O'Connor may currently be seen in the Universal-International production "Something in the Wind." Tonight's SUSPENSE play, "The Visitor," is from the novel by Carl Randau and Leane Zugsmith. Next Thursday, same time, you will hear Claire Trevor as star of--

MUSIC:

KNIFE CHORD

ANNOUNCER:

--SUSPENSE! Produced and directed by William Spier for the Roma Wine Company of Fresno, California.

MUSIC:

THEME ... UNTIL END

ANNOUNCER:

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.