Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The Whistler
Show: Stranger in the House
Date: Jun 02 1948

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
THE WHISTLER
HELEN, wealthy
GEORGE, her lawyer
RHODA, her maid
PASSENGER (1 line)
STEWARD
TED, Helen's alleged brother; a charming rogue
RIGBY, elderly headmaster; gregarious
STATE (2 lines)
CLERK
FBI, fingerprint expert
OPERATOR, long distance
JULIAN, ominous

NOTE: Another version of this play aired on THE WHISTLER, September 2, 1946. This transcript contains material from the earlier broadcast in brackets.

ANNOUNCER:

The Signal Oil program -- THE WHISTLER.

MUSIC:

WHISTLER THEME ... FOLLOWED BY DOUBLE DRUM BEAT

ANNOUNCER:

That whistle is your signal for the Signal Oil program, THE WHISTLER.

MUSIC:

WHISTLER THEME REPEATED ... THEN ORCHESTRA IN BG

WHISTLER:

I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak.

MUSIC:

TYMPANI ACCENT ... THEN ORCHESTRA ... OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

Yes, friends, it's time for the Signal Oil program, THE WHISTLER, rated tops in popularity for a longer period of time than any other west coast program in radio history. And Signal Gasoline is tops, too -- tops in quality. It takes extra quality, you know, to give you extra mileage -- and Signal is the famous "Go Farther" gasoline. So look for the Signal circle sign in yellow and black that identifies friendly dealer-owned Signal stations from Canada to Mexico.

MUSIC:

IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

And now the Whistler's strange story, "Stranger in the House."

WHISTLER:

Helen decided she might as well be honest with herself. The suspense was getting her down. But if she didn't find out one way or the other pretty soon, something was going to snap. It'd been over six years since her foster brother Ted had left for the Orient on that government mission [just before Pearl Harbor]. And he was still out there somewhere between Manila and Shanghai, alive or dead. It was a terrible thing to admit, even to herself, but she was even wishing now for any kind of message, even one stating Ted was dead. At least it would end the waiting. At least it would be better than not knowing at all.

HELEN:

George, please. I don't want to talk about it any more. Ted's been on my mind for so long now that I wish I could forget about him for a while.

GEORGE:

I'm rather surprised to hear you say that, Helen.

HELEN:

Oh, I know it sounds terrible, but-- George, it's been six, almost seven, years of waiting and not knowing.

GEORGE:

Yes, I know, Helen.

HELEN:

I can't stand it much longer, George. After all, he's my foster brother. Don't you understand? All these years of silence. If they'd only tell us something.

GEORGE:

You must realize there are a lot of women like you, dear. It's just one of the terrible things about the aftermath of war, that's all.

HELEN:

Let's just wait, then. Let's not talk about him any more.

GEORGE:

I'm your lawyer, Helen. There are some things we've got to talk about.

HELEN:

(RELUCTANT) All right. Go on, George.

GEORGE:

Well, it's been almost seven years now. If we haven't heard from Ted in another four months, he'll be declared legally dead.

HELEN:

What does that mean?

GEORGE:

There's a clause in your foster father's will, Helen. When Ted dies, the entire estate goes over to you.

HELEN:

(UPSET) Why must you always throw that will in my face, George? Why must it always come around to money-money-money? Every time we talk about Ted, it's the same thing! I don't care about the money! All I care about is having him back alive and well! Now please go, George. If it doesn't have to be settled till September, let's not talk about it till then!

GEORGE:

(BEAT) All right, Helen.

SOUND:

GEORGE'S FOOTSTEPS MOVE OFF

HELEN:

George?

GEORGE:

(OFF) Yes?

HELEN:

(CALMER) I'm sorry I blew up. I - I guess I'm just not myself.

GEORGE:

(OFF) Sure, Helen. I understand.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--

WHISTLER:

Yes, Helen, the suspense is beginning to tell on you, isn't it? Almost seven years of it. Just a few letters from Ted early in Nineteen Forty-One, telling you of his arrival in Manila. Then silence. No way you could get in touch with him. Nothing you could do but wait. And you're still waiting, rushing out to meet the postman, hoping each day will be the big one.

George is more tactful now about the will. He doesn't mention it any more and you're very grateful. And then, at long last, the suspense is ended. It's not the postman; it's Rhoda, your maid, walking into your bedroom one morning with a cablegram.

SOUND:

CABLEGRAM OPENED AND UNFOLDED BEHIND--

HELEN:

When did this come, Rhoda?

RHODA:

Just this minute, miss. A messenger brought it to the door.

HELEN:

(READS) "Arriving June fourth - Seattle - steamer President Jefferson. Love, Ted."

RHODA:

(EXHALES QUIETLY) Oh, at last. Oh, Miss Helen -- Mr. Ted coming home at last.

HELEN:

(MYSTIFIED) Yes. Yes, Rhoda. At last.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

STEAMSHIP BACKGROUND ... SHIP'S HORN, MURMUR OF PASSENGERS, ET CETERA

HELEN:

(PUSHING THROUGH CROWD) Pardon me. Oh, I beg your pardon.

PASSENGER:

That's quite all right.

HELEN:

(CALLS) Steward? Oh, steward?!

STEWARD:

Yes, miss?

HELEN:

I'm looking for Mr. Ted Van Norton. Where is his cabin, please?

STEWARD:

Just a minute, please. Uh, Van Norton-- Stateroom Three-C, third deck.

HELEN:

Thank you.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

KNOCK ON STATEROOM DOOR

TED:

(FROM BEHIND DOOR) Come in!

SOUND:

STATEROOM DOOR OPENS

HELEN:

(EXCITEDLY) Ted, darling!

TED:

Hello!

HELEN:

Oh-- Oh, I'm sorry. I must have the wrong stateroom. I'm looking for my brother -- Ted Van Norton.

TED:

Well, what's the matter, Helen? Don't you recognize me?

HELEN:

(CONFUSED) What? Who are you?

TED:

Well, this isn't much of a homecoming after six years. (CHUCKLES, LIGHTLY) Maybe I'd better introduce myself. The name is Theodore Van Norton.

HELEN:

Oh, there - there must be some mistake.

TED:

Helen darling, you're joking.

HELEN:

Who are you?

TED:

I've already told you. I'm your foster brother, Ted Van Norton.

HELEN:

(BEAT) You're not Ted. You're - you're an impostor!

MUSIC:

PROLOGUE CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

With the prologue of "Stranger in the House," the Signal Oil Company is bringing you another strange story by the Whistler.

But now, important news for drivers. The amazing new-type tire by Lee of Conshohocken, which is being announced this month in the Saturday Evening Post, is already at your Signal dealer's. I'm referring to the new eight-ribbed Super DeLuxe Lee tire. Not just a new model, mind you, but a completely new tire. You can see that the handsome eight-ribbed tread is wider and flatter, and there's more rubber in it. But not until you drive on these new-type tires can you appreciate their easier turning and steering, and the way they absorb road shocks, sparing you fatigue, and sparing your car unnecessary wear. In addition, quicker stopping and greater protection against skidding are assured by the sixteen cleaning edges on Lee's broad flat tread. And when it comes to wear, these new Lee Super DeLuxe tires are setting records so amazing, they're almost unbelievable. Yet all this extra quality is yours at no extra cost. In fact, right now, as their summer driving special, Signal dealers are offering extra-generous trade-ins on old tires, plus liberal credit terms. So, before you buy any tire, see your Signal dealer. Find out how little it will cost you to enjoy real safety and comfort this summer with new eight-ribbed Lee Super DeLuxe tires.

And now back to THE WHISTLER.

MUSIC:

WHISTLER THEME ... THEN ORCHESTRA BEHIND WHISTLER--

WHISTLER:

Well, Helen, all you can do is stand there in the stateroom and stare at him. The effrontery of this stranger trying to pass himself off as your foster brother leaves you at a loss for something to say. True, he does resemble Ted -- he's tall, the same build, the same athletic poise, the same general features. But the expression -- it's not quite Ted's, is it? That's funny, isn't it, Helen? Perhaps he thinks it's funny in a different sort of way. Perhaps he's one of those people with a perverted sense of humor -- a practical joker. Yes, it's hilarious, isn't it? To pull a trick like this after all those years of almost unbearable suspense.

TED:

Well, darling, hadn't we better get a move on?

HELEN:

Are you stupid enough to think you can get away with this?

TED:

Er, get away with what?

HELEN:

If this is some crude attempt at humor, I don't think--

TED:

Not at all. I'm quite serious.

HELEN:

Where's Ted?

TED:

Oh, do you have to be that way? I explained once.

HELEN:

Don't lie to me! Where is he?!

TED:

Excuse me a moment.

SOUND:

TED'S FOOTSTEPS INTO PASSAGEWAY

TED:

(OFF) Oh, steward?

STEWARD:

(OFF) Yes, Mr. Van Norton?

TED:

(OFF) Would you take care of my hand baggage, please?

STEWARD:

(OFF) Yes, sir, right away.

TED:

(OFF) Thanks.

SOUND:

TED'S FOOTSTEPS BACK INTO STATEROOM

TED:

Come on, Helen, let's go down to the dock.

HELEN:

I'll call the purser. I'll--

TED:

Wait a minute. Now, look--

SOUND:

RATTLE OF PAPERS

TED:

See? Passport with fingerprints and photograph -- birth certificate -- State Department credentials -- letters from you.

HELEN:

They're forgeries!

TED:

I'm sorry, they're genuine.

HELEN:

You-- You're not going home with me! I won't stand for it!

TED:

Very well, darling. I'll check in at a hotel -- for the time being. But, after all, you can't keep a guy out of his own home -- can you?

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

HELEN:

George--? George, I've never been so stunned in my life. He just stood there, smiling at me, saying over and over that he was Ted.

GEORGE:

Well, wait a minute, you say he had identification?

HELEN:

Everything! Even letters from me! I wrote them when Ted first arrived in Manila.

GEORGE:

Were they genuine?

HELEN:

Oh, I think so. You're my lawyer. Do something!

GEORGE:

Well, he'd know better than to try to get by with forgeries. Helen, you're - you're sure you're right?

HELEN:

George, you don't think I know my own brother?

GEORGE:

Oh, but it's been close to seven years. He's probably been in a prison camp. That can make a lot of difference in a man's appearance.

HELEN:

But it's not entirely a matter of appearance. It's the way he walks, his voice, his mannerisms. Besides, Ted's dead.

GEORGE:

What?

HELEN:

[Or he would have written.] Something terrible's happened, I'm sure of it. (GETS AN IDEA) This man might have killed him! Yes, that's it! So he could get his hands on Ted's money.

GEORGE:

That's a pretty serious charge, Helen. You've got to be sure of yourself. You're the only one in Seattle who can recognize him. Remember, he's been gone for seven years. Do you have any pictures?

HELEN:

No, I thought of that. No. No, there weren't any, not since he was a little boy. Spent most of his time in the east with Aunt Ida.

GEORGE:

Well, where's she?

HELEN:

She died -- some time ago.

GEORGE:

Well, there are a lot of ways we can check on him. The State Department ought to know about him. He's been with them for over ten years. You, uh-- You say he's stopping at a hotel?

HELEN:

Yes.

GEORGE:

You know, of course, that if he can prove his identity, he has a legal right to live here in this house.

HELEN:

I tell you, he's a flagrant impostor. He's not coming here if I have to hire somebody to throw him out!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

KNOCK ON BEDROOM DOOR

HELEN:

(WAKES, SLEEPILY) Who is it?

RHODA:

(FROM BEHIND DOOR) It's Rhoda, miss!

HELEN:

Oh, what time is it?

RHODA:

(FROM BEHIND DOOR) After eight.

HELEN:

(UNHAPPILY) Ohhhh. Go away. I'm sleepy.

RHODA:

(FROM BEHIND DOOR) I must see you, miss.

HELEN:

All right, Rhoda, come in.

SOUND:

BEDROOM DOOR OPENS ... RHODA'S FOOTSTEPS IN

HELEN:

Now what is it?

RHODA:

It's - it's that man. Mr. Van Norton.

HELEN:

What?! Where is he?

RHODA:

He's in the guest bathroom, miss. Shaving!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

HELEN'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS DOWN HALL TO BATHROOM WHERE TED IS SHAVING WITH A BUZZING ELECTRIC RAZOR

TED:

(SINGS) Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer--

SOUND:

BATHROOM DOOR OPENS

TED:

Well! Good morning.

SOUND:

ELECTRIC RAZOR STOPS

HELEN:

(FURIOUS) What - what do you think you're doing?!

TED:

Shaving. Morning ablutions. (CHUCKLES) Can't say I'm used to having ladies barge into the bathroom--

HELEN:

(SAVAGELY) Get out of here!

TED:

(MOCK WARNING) Ah-ah-ah! Temper, temper.

HELEN:

How did you get in?!

TED:

Well, I couldn't get a room at a hotel so I took a taxi up last night. Walked in the back door. It was open, you see.

HELEN:

You can leave the same way you came in.

TED:

(CHUCKLES) Ah, no, I'm - I'm here to stay, sister dear. I've got the proof in my pocket. And if you want to get me out, you can trot right down to the Hall of Justice and get yourself a court order.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

TED:

Have some more coffee, Helen.

HELEN:

No, thanks.

TED:

Hot cakes?

HELEN:

Mister Whoever-you-are--?

TED:

Van Norton. Name's Theodore Van Norton.

HELEN:

I must say, I've never seen such colossal nerve in my life.

TED:

Oh, you flatter me.

HELEN:

You're not at all concerned about the servants?

TED:

Hm? Should I be?

HELEN:

Aren't you afraid they'll fail to recognize you?

TED:

Don't be silly. None of 'em were here when I left. Edward the butler was last to go, I think. Oh, by the way, Helen, whatever became of old Edward?

HELEN:

There are other people in town, of course. What about your teachers at Washington Heights school?

TED:

(LAUGHS) Why, Helen! (LAUGHS) I believe you're trying to trick me. You know father sent me to Foxhall Academy when I was fourteen. I never went to Washington Heights.

HELEN:

(FRUSTRATED, MOVING OFF) Ohhh.

TED:

Where're you going?

HELEN:

(SNAPS) You seem to know everything. Why don't you tell me that?

SOUND:

HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS START OFF, BUT STOP WITH--

TED:

Uh, Helen. We have some talking to do, darling. About the will. Father's estate; left all of it to me, you know. Seems to me the executor owes me close to a million dollars.

SOUND:

HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS HURRY OFF ... DOOR SLAMS

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--

WHISTLER:

You knew it was coming, didn't you, Helen? That's the purpose behind this whole crazy business. It's still inconceivable to you that the man can actually expect to get away with it. George was right. There are a thousand ways you can check up on him. And the impostor himself just gave you an excellent one. You make a long distance call to the Foxhall Academy and talk to Mr. Rigby, the headmaster.

RIGBY:

(FILTER) Why, yes, of course, Miss Van Norton. I'd be delighted to come down tomorrow afternoon. Ted was always one of my favorites, you know. Any special time?

HELEN:

What about two o'clock?

RIGBY:

(FILTER) Fine, fine. It'll be quite a reunion, won't it?

HELEN:

(PLEASED) Yes, indeed, Mr. Rigby. Quite a reunion.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

HELEN:

Mr. Rigby, this is George Chadwick, my lawyer.

RIGBY:

Mr. Chadwick.

GEORGE:

How do you do, sir?

HELEN:

Would you like to wait in the living room, Mr. Rigby? I think Ted's out on the tennis court. We'll call him.

RIGBY:

Thanks.

HELEN:

Come on, George. Excuse us, Mr. Rigby.

RIGBY:

Of course.

SOUND:

HELEN AND GEORGE'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH OPENS AND SHUTS AS THEY STEP OUTSIDE ... FOOTSTEPS

HELEN:

You still think I don't know my brother?

GEORGE:

Now, I never said that, Helen. I only said seven years can make a lot of a difference. You yourself said his general features were the same.

HELEN:

(LAUGHS) I'm afraid Mr. What's-his-name is going to suffer a little embarrassment.

GEORGE:

You think Rigby will recognize him?

HELEN:

Recognize him as an impostor, if that's what you mean.

GEORGE:

Hm.

HELEN:

He knows Ted as well as I do.

GEORGE:

(THOUGHTFUL) Yeah, uh huh.

HELEN:

What's the matter?

GEORGE:

I don't know. I had those documents checked -- the hospital records in Manila. He was a patient there for over--

HELEN:

I tell you, he's a fraud. Heaven knows what's happened to Ted or how this crook got hold of his papers, but he's--

GEORGE:

All right, all right, Helen. You'd better go and call him.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES, TED'S FOOTSTEPS IN

TED:

Hello, sis! What's up?

HELEN:

I was sorry to interrupt your tennis game, Ted.

TED:

Oh. Oh, it's "Ted" now, huh?

HELEN:

Why, of course. I could have been mistaken, you know.

TED:

Well! Can't say I expected this.

HELEN:

I'd be a little foolish not to admit it when I'm wrong, wouldn't I? Come on, dear.

SOUND:

THEIR FOOTSTEPS TO GEORGE DURING FOLLOWING--

TED:

Where to?

HELEN:

Just to the living room. You can go back to your tennis in a moment. Oh, there you are, George.

GEORGE:

Hello, Ted.

TED:

Hello, George. What's going on around here?

HELEN:

We're going into the living room, George. Perhaps you'd like to join us.

GEORGE:

Yes, of course.

HELEN:

(BEAT) Well -- open the door, George.

GEORGE:

Hm? Oh. Oh, sorry.

SOUND:

LIVING ROOM DOOR OPENS

TED:

Say, what's this all about? I-- (SURPRISED) Rigby!

RIGBY:

(EXUBERANT) Ted! Teddy, old boy! How have you been?! (LAUGHS HAPPILY)

TED:

(THRILLED) Oh, you old son-of-a-gun! What is this, Helen? A surprise? Why don't they tip a guy off when his old headmaster comes to see him?

RIGBY:

Oh, you're looking fine, Teddy. Good lord, it's been a long time.

TED:

Yes.

RIGBY:

Last time I saw you was after the Washburn game, remember?

TED:

Washburn? Yeah, Spokane! Stinky was there, too. Say, do you remember the bus broke down that night outside of Wenatchee?

RIGBY:

(LAUGHS)

TED:

You and I had to hitch-- (FADES)

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--

WHISTLER:

You stand there stunned -- speechless -- just staring at them as they slap each other on the back, forgetting all about you. And George avoids looking at you. He's on their side now; you're sure of it. And, worst of all, it's beginning to get you, too. He's not Ted, your foster brother -- you know it; you're positive. It's ridiculous to go through all this rigmarole, but it seems to be your word against his proof, doesn't it? But there are still other ways, aren't there? Like another long distance call -- this time to the State Department in Washington, D. C. After being transferred to four or five different offices, you finally get through to the right man.

HELEN:

It's most important that you check this matter thoroughly. I'm positive that the man representing himself as my foster brother is an impostor.

STATE:

(FILTER) You say you were with Mr. Van Norton when he filed his original application here in Nineteen Thirty-Eight?

HELEN:

Yes. I saw him attach his photograph and fix his fingerprints. I simply want to see that application.

STATE:

(FILTER) I'll forward the file to our Seattle representative. You can check it there. Will that be satisfactory?

HELEN:

Quite satisfactory, thank you.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

CLERK:

I see. You say the file was forwarded here from Washington?

HELEN:

That's right. I simply want to examine it -- particularly the photograph.

CLERK:

Uh huh. Excuse me a moment, Miss Van Norton. I'll have to look it up.

SOUND:

CLERK'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

HELEN:

Well, George?

GEORGE:

Well what?

HELEN:

I can't say that I'm pleased with your lack of faith in me.

GEORGE:

Now who said anything about that?

HELEN:

Oh, it's clear enough.

GEORGE:

Look, I'm a lawyer. I'll believe black is white if they throw enough evidence at me. Mr. Rigby was a very convincing witness.

HELEN:

He's a decrepit old fool and it had been fifteen years.

GEORGE:

I thought he was an intelligent man.

HELEN:

I could have passed you off as my brother. He'd forgotten what Ted looks like.

GEORGE:

[And does that explain why Ted recognized him?] I don't know. You might be arguing against yourself [when you say Rigby might have forgotten what he looks like].

HELEN:

What do you mean?

GEORGE:

[You might have forgotten yourself.] You haven't seen Ted in almost seven years. [A man can change--]

HELEN:

Oh, don't be ridiculous. [I know my own brother as well as I know the--

GEORGE:

Sh! Here comes the clerk.]

SOUND:

CLERK'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

CLERK:

Here we are. "Theodore H. Van Norton." Now, what did you wish to see?

HELEN:

Here, let me see it.

SOUND:

RUFFLES THROUGH FILE

HELEN:

(READS) Medical examination -- education record -- application -- (TO CLERK) Where's the picture?

CLERK:

On the other side.

HELEN:

Oh. Here.

SOUND:

FLIPS PAGE

HELEN:

(GASPS)

GEORGE:

(BEAT) Satisfied, Helen?

HELEN:

(SHAKEN) It - it can't be! I saw Ted paste the picture on himself!

CLERK:

Is something wrong?

HELEN:

(UPSET) Of course there's something wrong! This isn't Ted's picture! It's - it's that man!

GEORGE:

Helen, Helen, get hold of yourself.

HELEN:

But-- Here, let me see. Yes, here they are -- fingerprints! (TO CLERK) Now, listen - listen, clerk. I want this whole record sent to the office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation--

GEORGE:

Helen, you've got to have a rest. This thing is getting you--

HELEN:

That's one thing that can't be forged! Don't you see? They can't forge his fingerprints!

CLERK:

I'm sorry, Miss Van Norton, but I have no authority to send--

HELEN:

You've got to! I tell you, there's a stranger in my house! He's posing as my foster brother! There's a million dollars involved!

GEORGE:

Just a minute, Helen, please. (TO CLERK, SMOOTHLY) It's, er-- It's most important, Mr. Robbins, not only because of the money involved. Miss Van Norton is extremely upset.

CLERK:

Of course, Mr. Chadwick, but you see I can't simply turn over material like this to--

GEORGE:

I'll make the necessary arrangements with the F. B. I., Mr. Robbins, and get your authority from Washington. Will that be satisfactory?

CLERK:

Quite, Mr. Chadwick, quite.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES ... HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS IN

HELEN:

(CALM, PLEASANT) Hello, Ted.

TED:

Well, Helen. I began to wonder where you were all afternoon.

HELEN:

Oh, downtown. Shopping. Stores are frightful these days.

TED:

Indeed, they are.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF NEWSPAPER

HELEN:

Reading?

TED:

Hm? Yeah.

HELEN:

How's Dick Tracy?

TED:

Oh, haven't checked him today.

HELEN:

Funny, you used to read Dick Tracy before you even looked at the headlines.

TED:

I guess a guy gets a little serious after all those years overseas; prison camp, hospital.

HELEN:

Yes, I suppose so.

TED:

You're looking calmer today. Finally decide I'm the real thing?

HELEN:

I - I want you to forgive me, Ted. It's so unbelievable that I - I don't quite trust my senses any more.

TED:

Sure. You're a good kid, Helen. I don't blame you.

HELEN:

Will you drink on it?

TED:

Why not?

SOUND:

HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS TO BAR

HELEN:

What'll it be?

TED:

Bourbon and soda.

HELEN:

Oh, you're a man after my own heart.

SOUND:

HELEN FIXES DRINK

TED:

Mm. You know, I'm kinda surprised. I thought you'd be a tougher nut to crack.

HELEN:

Oh? You expected me to be suspicious?

TED:

Well, after that episode on the boat, I expected anything.

HELEN:

Oh.

SOUND:

HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS TO TED

HELEN:

Here you are.

SOUND:

CLINK OF GLASS

TED:

Thanks.

HELEN:

What'll we drink to?

TED:

To us, of course.

HELEN:

All right. To us.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

FBI:

Yes, ma'am?

HELEN:

You're in charge of the fingerprinting department here?

FBI:

Yes.

HELEN:

I'm Helen Van Norton. I brought in a highball glass yesterday afternoon with some fingerprints on it.

FBI:

Oh, yes, yes. That's the one you wanted us to check against the prints on the State Department application file.

HELEN:

That's right.

FBI:

Um, where did you get that glass?

HELEN:

A man is posing as my brother, staying at my house. They're his fingerprints.

FBI:

You're sure of the prints on the application?

HELEN:

What do you mean?

FBI:

Are you sure they're the bona fide prints of your brother?

HELEN:

Of course. I was with him in Washington when he completed the application in Nineteen Thirty-Eight. I saw him put the prints on it.

FBI:

I see. Well, that ought to settle it, once and for all.

HELEN:

What do you mean?

FBI:

The man at your house is your brother, Miss Van Norton. The prints are identical.

HELEN:

(STUNNED) I-- Why, I-- It can't be. It can't!

FBI:

We wouldn't commit ourselves if we weren't positive.

HELEN:

(DAZED) I-- I see. Yes. Of course. (ALMOST FORGETS TO THANK HIM, CATCHES HERSELF) Oh. Thank you.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--

WHISTLER:

Well, Helen, that settles it, doesn't it? You're beaten and you know it. And, worst of all, you're not at all sure of yourself any more. Yes, that's the unbearable part -- not knowing in your mind whether you're right or wrong. But you still have one more out, just one. It's a long chance, but you've decided you have to take it -- to decide once and for all whether or not this man Ted is your foster brother, whether you can trust your own mind. It's very late that night when you get quietly out of bed and walk downstairs to the telephone. The house is as quiet as a tomb. Everyone's asleep.

SOUND:

HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS TO PHONE .. RECEIVER UP ... DIALS ... PHONE RINGS (CALLER'S PERSPECTIVE) AND IS ANSWERED

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Long distance.

HELEN:

(SLOW AND LOW) I want to call Shanghai, operator. Mr. C. S. Julian, Two-Eight Perlang Drive, Shanghai.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Just a moment, please. Mr. C. S. Julian--

HELEN:

Yes.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Twenty-Eight Perlang Drive, Shanghai.

HELEN:

Yes.

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) There will be a delay. Will you wait?

HELEN:

Yes. Yes, I'll wait.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

OPERATOR:

(FILTER) Here's your party. Go ahead, please.

HELEN:

Hello?

JULIAN:

(FILTER) Hello?

HELEN:

Is this Mr. Julian?

JULIAN:

(FILTER) Who is calling, please?

HELEN:

I last talked to you in April, Nineteen Forty-One. The name I gave you was Grayson. Do you remember that?

JULIAN:

(FILTER, SUSPICIOUS) Why are you calling?

HELEN:

Do you remember me?

JULIAN:

(FILTER) Of course I remember you. You called concerning a man. A Mr. Van Norton, as I remember. He was in Manila.

HELEN:

Do you know what became of him?

JULIAN:

(FILTER, CAREFULLY) He was killed ---- in an accident, in May of Nineteen Forty-One.

HELEN:

You're - you're positive?

JULIAN:

(FILTER) Positive.

HELEN:

(RELIEVED) Thank you, Mr. Julian. Thank you very much.

MUSIC:

CURTAIN

ANNOUNCER:

The Whistler will return in just a moment with the strange ending to tonight's story.

Meantime, a word of wisdom to Mr. Average Driver. You spend well over a hundred dollars a year for gasoline. That's a lot of money. You'd like to be sure it's buying the gasoline that's tops in quality -- the gasoline that gives you top performance from your car. Well, you can be sure if you'll just keep two points in mind when you buy gasoline. One, it takes extra quality to go farther. And two, Signal is the famous "Go Farther" gasoline. After all, the only way any gasoline can put more thrilling performance into your car is by helping your motor run more efficiently. And when your motor runs more efficiently, naturally, you get better mileage. So there you have it in a nutshell. The reason why Signal's good mileage is so important to you. And the reason Signal says-- To be sure of the tops in gasoline quality, there are just two things to remember. One, it takes extra quality to go farther. And two, Signal is the famous "Go Farther" gasoline.

And now back to THE WHISTLER.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND WHISTLER--

WHISTLER:

It was a relief to know, wasn't it, Helen? You can trust your own senses now. Ted is dead. Mr. Julian just told you so. And the stranger in the house is an impostor. Somehow, some way, you can prove it. [And the fifty thousand dollars you paid Mr. Julian back in the spring of Nineteen Forty-One is still a good investment because Ted's million dollars -- half of the estate -- will be yours, all of it.] But right now you don't want to think about it any more. It's been too bewildering. All you want now is your bed and the first good night's sleep in a week.

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN ... HELEN'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY

WHISTLER:

You put down the phone and start toward the stairs.

TED:

(NO LONGER CHARMING) Sit down, Helen.

HELEN:

(STARTLED GASP) How long have you been here?

TED:

Long enough. I said, sit down.

HELEN:

I'm going upstairs!

TED:

Sit down before you fall down.

SOUND:

HELEN SITS

TED:

That's it. You just hung yourself, baby. There's a record of that phone conversation down at F. B. I. headquarters.

HELEN:

What are you talking about?

TED:

You didn't have Shanghai, in case you're wondering. You were talking to the boys down at the office; not Mr. Julian. We had everything, you see, except the link you just gave us. We knew Mr. Julian paid ten thousand dollars -- part of the money you sent him -- to one of his boys in Manila, the boy who killed your foster brother Ted.

HELEN:

But--

TED:

I was the only one who knew. I was detained over there in a prison camp, like I said. It was a long wait.

HELEN:

[What made you suspect me?

TED:

I didn't, at first.] I knew Ted had a foster sister and I knew there was close to a million bucks in it somewhere. [And I had three and a half years in a prison camp to think it over. A guy can do a lot of deductive thinking in three and a half years.] But all I had was a suspicion.

HELEN:

What about Julian?

TED:

The authorities in Shanghai have him.

HELEN:

Well, I guess there's nothing much I can do.

TED:

Tough, isn't it? You could have been a nice kid -- if you weren't a killer at heart. You shouldn't have picked out someone in the State Department. Oh, it took us a long time to work it out. A [lot of planning, a] lot of names, a lot of people [to run down]. We even drew on the services of Mr. Rigby. When we got going, we knew you'd crack, sooner or later.

HELEN:

Who are you?

TED:

This time, baby, I'm telling you the truth. I was your brother's best friend. My name's McKay. Oh, and, incidentally, I'm with the F. B. I.

MUSIC:

DOUBLE DRUM BEAT ... FOLLOWED BY WHISTLER THEME ... OUT BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

Let that whistle be your signal for the Signal Oil program, THE WHISTLER, each Wednesday night at this same time, brought to you by the Signal Oil Company, marketers of Signal gasoline and motor oil and fine quality automotive accessories.

Signal has asked me to remind you-- To get the most driving pleasure, drive at sensible speeds, be courteous, and obey traffic regulations. It may save a life -- possibly your own.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG UNTIL END

ANNOUNCER:

Featured in tonight's story were Virginia Gregg and Gerald Mohr. THE WHISTLER was produced and directed by George W. Allen, with story by Harold Swanton and Mark Smith and music by Wilbur Hatch, and was transmitted to our troops overseas by the Armed Forces Radio Service.

Next Wednesday, for a full hour of mystery over most of these stations, tune in a half-hour earlier. Enjoy THE SAINT as well as THE WHISTLER.

Marvin Miller speaking. This is CBS -- where ninety-nine million people gather every week -- the Columbia Broadcasting System.