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Series: Adventures of the Thin Man
Show: Valentine's Day Episode
Date: Feb 10 1942

ANNOUNCER:

Woodbury presents the Adventures of the Thin Man --

ASTA:

(BARK)

ANNOUNCER:

There's Asta's happy bark, the signal of another "Adventure of the Thin Man", brought to you each week at this time by Woodbury Face Powder and Woodbury Cold Cream, those twin aids to the loveliness of your skin.

(ORCHESTRA...THEME UP AND OUT)

 

(MUSIC:. . . . .)

 

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NORA:

Nickie --

NICK:

(HALF OFF) Yes, dear?

NORA:

Do you know what Saturday the 14th is?

NICK:

(FADING IN) Oh huh. The day after Friday the 13th.

NORA:

Nick Charles! You've got about as much romance in your soul as a...as a clam.

NICK:

(LAUGHS) On half shell?

NORA:

No -- steamed.

NICK:

All right, dear -- I'll bite. What plays on Saturday the 14th?

NORA:

Well, maybe this little poem will refresh your memory.

(RUSTLE OF PAPER)

 

NORA:

(CLEARS THROAT) Because you're charming, beautiful whack
With oodles of dough, which is no drawback,
Because in you alone I find
The best points of the following women combined:
Venus de Milo and Helen of Troy,
Scarlett O'Hara and Myrna of Loy,
The Queen of Sheba and Madam du Barry,
And Osa Johnson on a safari.
But wise as you are, can you figure out this is
A proposal? Darling, will you be my missus?

NICK:

(GROANS) That's awful.

NORA:

You ought to know, dear.

NICK:

Huh?

NORA:

You wrote it.

NICK:

Me?

NORA:

Yes. On a St. Valentine's Day not so long ago.

NICK:

Darling, a worse piece of slander I never heard in... (LAUGHS) Say come to think of it - it wasn't half bad.

NORA:

Did you hear that, Asta?

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NICK:

Now, darling - you don't really believe I'd forget my own masterpiece?

NORA:

No?

NICK:

No, I recognized it at once. I'll bet you a kiss I did?

NORA:

Who's going to be the judge?

NICK:

What's wrong with Asta?

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NORA:

All right. Now if your honor please. I'd like to ask the plaintiff how he intends to prove his case.

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NICK:

Quite simple, your honor. I shall quote from memory the defendant's answer to my Valentine. Is that satisfactory?

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NICK:

Thank you. The defendant, Nora Charles wrote as follows-- Quote.
My friends all warn me, I'll regret
The fact that we had ever met.
But what care I, my handsome laddie,
Come be my spouse -- and Asta's Daddy!

NORA:

(PLEASED) Nick, you did remember.

NICK:

Uh huh. Now pay off on that bet.

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NORA:

Well, if that's the court's verdict, the least I can do is give in gracefully.

NICK:

Give ---

(BUZZER)

 

NORA:

(SIGHS) Nickie --

NICK:

Huh?

NORA:

I think there's someone at the door.

NICK:

Um.

NORA:

Tell him to go away.

NICK:

Don't move, beautiful. I'll be back in a jiffy.

(BUZZER)

 

NICK:

Just a second --

(DOOR OPENS)

 

NICK:

Yes?

STEWART:

You Nick Charles?

NICK:

That's right.

STEWART:

My name is Stewart.

NICK:

Yes?

STEWART:

I've got a little Valentine for you. It's from Bill Carroll.

NORA:

(FADE IN) Bill Carroll?

STEWART:

Yeah. You ought to remember him, Mrs. Charles. Your husband sent him up for murder.

NICK:

What does Carroll want?

STEWART:

Well, first of all - he don't like the Big House.

NICK:

That's a shame. I suppose he finds it confining?

STEWART:

A little. So he wants you to know, he's going to be moving out one of these days. And then he'll be paying you a little visit.

NORA:

(NERVOUS) Does he...does he have to?

STEWART:

Well, the Boss is like this. He always pays his debts and he figures he owes you two plenty. If you know what I mean.

NICK:

Get out.

STEWART:

Take it easy, Charles.

NICK:

(CONTEMPT) Go on - get out!

STEWART:

O. K. (FADING) If that's the way you feel. A Happy Valentine's Day, folks.

(DOOR SLAMS)

 

NORA:

Nick - Nick, what did he mean?

NICK:

Nothing dear, he was just bluffing.

NORA:

I don't think he was.

NICK:

Now, beautiful - you know better. This isn't the first mash note we've ever received from a crook.

NORA:

But Carroll's no ordinary crook. You once told me he was the smartest criminal you ever knew.

NICK:

And look what it got him. A one-way ticket to the chair.

NORA:

But if he breaks out ----

NICK:

Darling, the name is Carroll - not Houdini. [You know it's impossible to break out of State Penitentiary.

NORA:

Yes, dear. But what worries me is does Mr. Carroll know it.]

(MUSIC: . . . . .)

 

(CELL DOOR OPENS)

 

GUARD:

All right, Mr. Carroll. Here's your visitor. He can have five minutes.

CARROLL:

Thanks.

(CELL DOOR CLOSES)

 

STEWART:

Hello, Boss. How are you?

CARROLL:

Fine. Sit down, Stewart.

STEWART:

Thanks.

CARROLL:

I trust you took care of that little matter?

STEWART:

If you mean did I see Nick Charles and his frau, the answer is "yes".

CARROLL:

Excellent.

STEWART:

Yeah? Well, it was an awful waste of time if you ask me.

CARROLL:

(KINDLY) I wasn't aware that I asked you, Stewart.

STEWART:

(HASTILY) Now don't get me wrong, Boss. I just mean Charles knew you were bluffing all along.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) He did?

STEWART:

Yeah!

CARROLL:

And Mrs. Charles?

STEWART:

Well, if it's any consclation. She swallowed the whole yarn.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Wonderful. Wonderful. So the lovely Nora didn't think I was bluffing.

STEWART:

Well, of course, I put on a good act for her.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Stewart, you're priceless.

STEWART:

What do you mean?

CARROLL:

You poor fool. Can't you get it through that void you call a brain that I have no intention of donating my body to er...electrical research. True - it's not a very handsome body, Stewart. (CHUCKLE) But then it's the only one I have..And naturally, I've grown quite fond of it.

STEWART:

Then what I...what I told Nick Charles was the truth all along.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Comes the dawn.

STEWART:

But it can't be done, Boss. How're you gonna bust out?

CARROLL:

Oh, the details are quite sordid. Money, you know.

STEWART:

You mean you bribed one of the guards?

CARROLL:

Two to be exact.

STEWART:

Suppose they get caught.

CARROLL:

Impossible. Hasn't it ever occurred to you, my boy, that both of us have a similar physical appearance?

STEWART:

All right - so we're both built alike - so what?

CARROLL:

Well, for the sake of argument - suppose you were visiting me.

STEWART:

Like I am now?

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Yes, like you are now. And at the conclusion of our little chat. The prison lights were to fail. Accidentally of course.

STEWART:

Of course.

CARROLL:

And in the resulting confusion, the guard makes an understandable mistake. He takes you for me.

STEWART:

And then what happens?

CARROLL:

Well, naturally, while the poor chap is so confused it would be a simple trick to disarm him. Certainly, no one would think he was negligent.

STEWART:

It's too pat, Carroll. I don't like it.

CARROLL:

I'm afraid that doesn't alter the situation any, Stewart. Its simplicity is what appeals to me.

STEWART:

Well, if you're satisfied -

CARROLL:

I am. Perfectly.

STEWART:

O. K. When does this break come off?

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Right now.

STEWART:

Right now? Are you kidding?

CARROLL:

Stewart, [I wish you could see the expression on your face - it's delightful.

STEWART:

But why don't you give me a little time, so I can round up a couple of the boys, and ....

CARROLL:

That's exactly what I don't want. Too many actors often spoil the play. They get in the way of the leading man. What time is it?

STEWART:

Ten after seven.

CARROLL:

Then I think it's high time the curtain went up on our little drama. Stewart, yours is the privilege of reading the opening lines.] I want you to rattle on the cell-door, and demand that the guard let you out.

STEWART:

I don't get it.

CARROLL:

Do as you're told.

STEWART:

O. K.

(RATTLE OF CELL DOOR)

 

STEWART:

(PROJECT) Hey! Lemme out of here.

CARROLL:

(LOW) A little more impatience in your voice, Stewart.

STEWART:

Come on - lemme out.

GUARD:

(FADING IN) Hold your horses, mister. I'm coming.

STEWART:

Well, hurry up. I ain't got all day.

GUARD:

Take it easy, Buddy.

(KEY IN LOCK)

 

GUARD:

(WHISPERS) Everything's set, Mr. Carroll. When Joe sees me open the cell-door, he's going to short the fuse.

CARROLL:

(LOW) Excellent.

STEWART:

Come on - lemme out of this rat-trap.

GUARD:

(LOW) Make it look good, Carroll. I don't want to lose my job.

CARROLL:

You can depend on us, Walter. We shall give a portrayal worthy of an Academy Award.

GUARD:

O. K. Here goes --

(CELL DOOR OPENS) Now, mister, you, ...

VOICE:

(HALF OFF) Hey - what happened to the lights?

VOICE 2:

(HALF OFF) Turn 'em on.

VOICE:

(OFF) Turn 'em on.

(COMMOTION FROM INMATES - BANGING ON CELL-DOORS, ETC.)

 

GUARD:

(LOW - TENSE) All right, Carroll. Here's my gun.

CARROLL:

Ah - thank you.

GUARD:

You better hit me once to make it look real.

CARROLL:

I'll do better than that, Walter -

(TWO SHOTS)

 

(GUARD GROANS)

 

STEWART:

Hey, Boss - what's the idea of plugging him?

CARROLL:

(SIGHS) What this drama lacked, Stewart, was a touch of realism. And there's nothing that helps it as much as a corpse.

(MUSIC. . . . .)

 

(FIRST COMMERCIAL)

 

FIRST COMMERCIAL WEST

ANNCR:

Before we begin with tonight's adventure of The Thin Man....a word from Miss Janet Parker, Woodbury Beauty Consultant.

PARKER:

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ANNOUNCER:

And now, back to The Adventures of The Thin Man.

(BUZZER)

 

NORA:

Nickie --

NICK:

Uh?

NORA:

It's the front door again.

(BUZZER)

 

NORA:

One of us should answer it.

NICK:

(YAWNS) You.

NORA:

No, dear. You're the master of the house. Go on.

NICK:

Alright. But it's times like this that make me wonder if I was smart to give up bachelorhood.

(BUZZER)

 

NICK:

Coming -- coming --

(DOOR OPENS)

 

CARROLL:

Hello, Nick.

NICK:

Carroll!

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Surprised to see me?

NICK:

A little.

NORA:

(FADING IN) Nick, it isn't.....

CARROLL:

I'm afraid it is, Mrs. Charles. The bad penny, you know. Always turning up. May I come in?

NICK:

With that gunsel flanking you, it wouldn't do much good to say "no" - would it?

CARROLL:

Well they say, Nick - there's no percentage in arguing with a gun. Close the door, Stewart.

STEWART:

Right.

(DOOR CLOSES)

 

NORA:

Oh, Mr. Carroll - please tell him to be careful. He's dropping ashes all over my new rug.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Egad, sir. You've got a wife to be proud of, Nick. She's one in a million.

NORA:

Mr. Carroll, stop. You're making me blush.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Go on, my dear. It's most becoming.

STEWART:

Shall I frisk 'em, Boss?

CARROLL:

I hardly think that's necessary, Stewart. I don't believe they were expecting company.

NORA:

Particularly, present company. The last we heard you were in jail.

CARROLL:

What's the expression? "Stone walls do not a prison make - nor iron bars a cage."

NICK:

How many guards did you have to kill to prove that?

CARROLL:

Just one. But he was a mercenary fellow. Oh no, Nick. I wouldn't move any closer to that desk. I'll take your word for it that you've got a gun there.

NICK:

I'd like to show it to you.

CARROLL:

It'd be a mistake. Stewart here is an excellent shot.

STEWART:

Say, Boss - how about stowing the gab?

NICK:

He's got something there, Carroll. With the heat on, the cops ought to be swarming over this place in a few minutes.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Nick, I don't think you have the faintest idea why I came here.

NICK:

I can guess?

CARROLL:

Really?

NORA:

Nick....Nick's very good at games.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Yes, he's marvelous. Well, suppose he gives us a demonstration. Why did I come here, Nick?

NICK:

Listen, Carroll - if you think I'm going to crawl ...

CARROLL:

Oh my dear fellow, you misjudge me. I haven't the slightest intention of shooting you.

NICK:

No?

CARROLL:

No. I've got a much better idea. I gave it a great deal of thought.

NORA:

You needn't have bothered.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) It was a pleasure I assure you. [Why, many an enjoyable night I spent thinking of the best way to repay Nick for his many kind favors.

NICK:

And you decided?

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) To the point, eh, Nick? Well,] I decided the best way to make you suffer is to separate you from your most precious possession.

NORA:

(GULPS) You mean....money?

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Mrs. Charles, you underestimate yourself.

NORA:

Nick!

NICK:

Easy, beautiful. Carroll, you wouldn't dare try it.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Stewart, will you get Mrs. Charles' coat?

NICK:

Take your hands off her, Carroll.

CARROLL:

Put down that chair, Nick.

NORA:

Nick, please - I'll be alright.

CARROLL:

I warn you, Charles. You're making a very stupid and childish gesture. Put down that chair. And stay where you are.

NORA:

(SCREAMS) Nick, don't!

STEWART:

Look out, Boss.

(SPLINTERING OF CHAIR)

 

(SHOT)

 

(MUSIC . . . . . . ORCHESTRA)

 

(NICK GROANS)

 

GUFFEY:

Take it easy, Nick. The doc ought to be here any minute.

NICK:

(GROANS) What happened?

GUFFEY:

You stopped a slug in your shoulder.

NICK:

I stopped a....Guffey! Guffey, what are you doing here?

GUFFEY:

I decided to pay you a little call after Headquarters got a flash that Carroll busted out. I kind of figured he'd be heading this way.

NICK:

Where's Nora?

GUFFEY:

Huh?

NICK:

Where's Nora?

GUFFEY:

(EVASIVE) I couldn't say for sure. She wasn't here when...Now, Nick - don't you think you ought to lay down?

NICK:

Let me up.

GUFFEY:

Take it easy, pal. You've got a bullet in you.

NICK:

Let me up.

GUFFEY:

Now, Nick - you don't want to carry on this way. We'll find Nora. Just give us a little...

(DRAWER OPENS)

 

GUFFEY:

Nick, don't be a fool. Give me that gun.

NICK:

(FADING IN) Get out of my way, Guffey.

GUFFEY:

You're letting yourself in for a mess of trouble.

NICK:

I said - get out of my way.

GUFFEY:

For Pete's sake, man - have you gone crazy? You don't know what you're doing. (FADING) Nick, where you going?

NICK:

On a little exterminating job. I'm going out to kill a rat.

(ORCHESTRA: . . . . MUSIC)

 

(FADE IN CAFE NOISES - TINKLE OF PIANO)

 

VOICE:

(FADING IN) Here's Louie, Mr. Charles.

NICK:

Thanks, Eddie.

VOICE:

Will there be anything else?

NICK:

No. Just shut that door behind you.

VOICE:

(FADING) I got you.

(DOOR CLOSES - SOUNDS OUT)

 

NICK:

Well, Louie - long time - no see. Sit down. (WINCES) Ow. Watch that shoulder.

LOUIE:

(NERVOUS) Gee, I'm sorry.

NICK:

Skip it.

LOUIE:

(NERVOUS) Nick, you shouldn't have sent for me, you'll give the boys wrong ideas.

NICK:

Don't fool yourself, Louie. Every hood in town knows you're a stoolie.

LOUIE:

(NERVOUS) No more, Nick - I quit it.

NICK:

Cut it out. I'm in no mood for comedy. Start singing for your supper.

LOUIE:

I swear I don't know a thing.

NICK:

You're lying.

LOUIE:

Honest, I ain't. I ain't got a single idea where Carroll's hiding out.

NICK:

How did you know I was hunting for Carroll?

LOUIE:

You....you said so.

NICK:

I did not. Come again.

LOUIE:

Well, it's all over town. Everybody knows. You've been in a dozen places looking for him.

NICK:

Where is he?

LOUIE:

I give you my word, Nick - I don't...... (GASPS) Quit it, Nick - you're choking me.

NICK:

Are you going to talk? You must have a couple of ideas.

LOUIE:

All right. Lemme go. (GASPS) Gee, Nick - why do you wanna....

NICK:

Come on, pigeon - spill it.

LOUIE:

Have you tried Bunny's place?

NICK:

What happens there?

LOUIE:

There's a running card game in the back. Big chip stuff. No pikers.

NICK:

Go on.

LOUIE:

Carroll used to sit in the game every once in a while.

NICK:

Is this on the level?

LOUIE:

I swear it is. You might even run into some of his boys there. That's where they hang out.

NICK:

Heaven help you if you're lying.

LOUIE:

Honest, I ain't, Nick. But you want to watch yourself. They're a tough bunch. They play for keeps.

NICK:

Good. That's just the kind of game I'm looking for!

(MUSIC . . . .)

 

(DOOR OPENS)

 

NICK:

(HALF OFF) Hello, boys.

BUNNY:

Beat it, pal. You're in the wrong pew.

NICK:

(FADING IN) I don't think so. I'm looking for Bill Carroll.

BUNNY:

Well, you won't find him here. He's in stir.

NICK:

He busted out - or haven't you heard?

BUNNY:

I only hear what I'm supposed to, mister. That's something you could learn.

VOICE:

(HALF OFF) Let's get on with the game. Throw him out, Bunny.

NICK:

I wouldn't try it. This gun isn't loaded with blanks. Now I want some information, and the quicker I get it, the sooner...

(PHONE RINGS)

 

NICK:

Go on - answer it.

BUNNY:

Me?

NICK:

Yes. And no cracks if it's Carroll or one of his boys.

(RECEIVER OFF HOOK)

 

BUNNY:

Hello?

STEWART:

(FILTER) Hello, Bunny?

BUNNY:

Yeah.

STEWART:

(FILTER) This is Stewart.

BUNNY:

I'm listening.

STEWART:

(FILTER) Is there a party there looking for the Boss?

BUNNY:

That's right.

STEWART:

(FILTER) Lemme talk to him.

BUNNY:

What?

STEWART:

(FILTER) It's all right. Put him on.

BUNNY:

O. K. I guess you know what you're doing. It's for you, chum.

NICK:

Hello?

STEWART:

(FILTER) Hello, Charles?

NICK:

Who is this - Stewart?

STEWART:

(FILTER) Don't ask so many questions. Go on home.

NICK:

Listen, Stewart, I'm not leaving until .....

STEWART:

(FILTER) I said "Go home." You'll find your wife there.

NICK:

What!!

STEWART:

(FILTER) You heard me. She left here ten minutes ago.

(MUSIC . . . .)

 

(DOOR OPENS)(CLOSES)

 

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NICK:

Nora! Nora, darling!

NORA:

(FADING IN) Nick! Nick! Are you all right?

NICK:

Am I all right?

NORA:

(SOBS) I saw Carroll shoot you. I didn't know what ...

NICK:

It was just a scratch, dear. I forgot all about it. Honest, I did. Now, darling - you mustn't cry. What'll Asta think?

NORA:

(SNIFFS) You big lug. I thought I'd never see you again.

NICK:

That was just wishful thinking, sweetheart. Here - let me look at you.

NORA:

(WEAK LAUGH) Have I changed much?

NICK:

Mmm. Hardly any. Has she, Asta?

(ASTA BARKS)

 

NORA:

Well, maybe that's because I was only gone 3 hours.

NICK:

You're kidding. It was three years.

NORA:

No.

NICK:

Well, maybe I'm thinking of how much I aged during that time.

NORA:

You poor darling.

NICK:

Say, how come Carroll changed his mind?

NORA:

Don't tell me you're sorry?

NICK:

Not very. But I just can't understand why he did it.

NORA:

Neither can I, dear. All I know is...

(BUZZER)

 

NICK:

Excuse me, honey. (PROJECT) Come in.

(DOOR OPENING)

 

GUFFEY:

(HALF OFF) Hello, Nick.

NICK:

Why, it's Guffey.

GUFFEY:

(HALF OFF) Yeah - it's me.

(DOOR CLOSES)

 

NICK:

Guffey, look! Nora's back.

GUFFEY:

(FADING IN) So I see.

NORA:

What's the matter, Sergeant? You don't seem very pleased.

GUFFEY:

(DRYLY) Oh, I'm tickled to death. When did you get here?

NORA:

About a half hour ago.

GUFFEY:

What about you, Nick?

NICK:

Just a few minutes before you did.

GUFFEY:

I don't get it. First, Carroll shoots you and kidnaps Nora. And now you're back together again. All in a couple of hours. How do you figure it?

NICK:

I don't. I just count my blessings and give thanks.

GUFFEY:

Well - it's an interesting problem. What's your guess, Nora?

NORA:

I don't think there is a logical answer, Sergeant.

GUFFEY:

There must be. All we have to do is find the right combination. Where did they keep you, Nora?

NORA:

At some apartment on the West Side.

GUFFEY:

How did you know it was the West Side?

NORA:

Why, I ....

NICK:

Wait a minute, dear. Guffey, is this your idea of third degree?

GUFFEY:

Third degree? You're a little touchy tonight - aren't you, pal? Go on, Nora.

NORA:

Well, I knew it was the West Side because I could see the Hudson River.

GUFFEY:

They keep you locked in a room?

NORA:

Uh huh. For almost two hours. And then something funny happened.

GUFFEY:

What do you call "funny"?

NORA:

Maybe I should have said "peculiar". I heard Carroll and Stewart quarreling in the next room. And about a half hour later, Stewart unlocked my

door. He told me that Carroll had changed his mind, and that I could go home.

(LAUGHS) Fantastic, isn't it?

GUFFEY:

You took the words right out of my mouth.

NICK:

What do you mean, Guffey?

GUFFEY:

Well, Nora called it herself. The story ain't kosher.

NICK:

What difference does it make? The important thing is that she's back.

GUFFEY:

Well, that's one way to look at it. Where were you during all this time?

NICK:

Around.

GUFFEY:

Just around, huh?

NICK:

That's right.

GUFFEY:

The last time I saw you - you were carrying a heater. Mind if I look at it?

NICK:

What for?

GUFFEY:

Just humor me, Pal. Put it down to an old man's whim.

(PATS POCKETS)

 

NICK:

That's funny. I had it in my coat pocket. I know -- It must have dropped out when I hopped into the cab.

GUFFEY:

That's too bad. You're generally not that careless, Nick.

NICK:

Look, Guffey - you don't have to play Dick Tracy for us. What's behind this routine?

GUFFEY:

Nick, I pleaded with you to play ball. I told you if you gave us half a chance we'd find Nora for you. But would you listen to me? No - you couldn't wait.

NICK:

Do you blame me?

GUFFEY:

No. But I do blame you for taking the law into your own hands.

NORA:

Darling, what's he trying to say?

NICK:

Don't ask me.

GUFFEY:

It's no use, Nick. We found Carroll's body.

NICK:

You what?

GUFFEY:

We found his body. He was murdered.

NORA:

Murdered?

GUFFEY:

Yeah. Nick, I hope you cooked yourself up a decent alibi - 'cause, brother - you're going to need it!

(MUSIC. . . .)

 

(COMMERCIAL)

 

MIDDLE COMMERCIAL WEST

ANNOUNCER:

Before we find out if Nick has an alibi, Miss Janet Parker, Woodbury's beauty consultant, would like to say a few words that every woman will want to hear. Miss Parker ...

PARKER:

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ANNOUNCER:

For economy, get Woodbury Cold Cream in the big jar at $1.25. Generous jars at 50 cents and 75 cents. Introductory sizes at 10 cents and 25 cents.

ANNOUNCER:

And now back to the Adventures of the Thin Man. It is an hour later, and we find Nick and Nora with Sergeant Guffey down at the City Morgue --

(STEPS ON CONCRETE)

 

GUFFEY:

(SIGH) No, Nick -- that was a mistake. You never should've killed Carroll.

NORA:

But, Guffey - Nick didn't. Just because he hasn't an alibi is no ...

NICK:

Never mind, Sweetheart. Have you ever known Guffey to be wrong? If he says I killed Carroll -- then I did. Well, Guffey - how about trotting out your corpse now that I've confessed?

GUFFEY:

You're a very comical fellow, Nick -- O.K., we'll see if you can get a laugh out of this --

(NOISE SLIDING MORGUE TRAY)

 

NICK:

Don't look, beautiful.

GUFFEY:

He ain't a very pretty sight - is he?

NICK:

No. Would you mind telling me what was used on him?

GUFFEY:

Now, Nicky -- who're you trying to kid? You didn't forget that fast.

NICK:

My memory's bad.

GUFFEY:

You used Sulphuric acid.

NICK:

Sulphuric acid? You mean I poisoned him with it?

GUFFEY:

No - that's how you mutilated his body.

NICK:

Why do you suppose I did that?

GUFFEY:

To prevent us from identifying him and tyin' his murder on to you.

NICK:

Well, apparently it wasn't very successful. Where did I slip? On the fingerprints?

GUFFEY:

No - the acid took care of that ... You left a cleaners' mark in his coat. That's the way we traced him.

NICK:

Kind of stupid of me to miss it.

GUFFEY:

You couldn't help it. It was in the sleeve-lining. We had to tear the coat apart to find it.

NICK:

As long as you're being cooperative, Guffey - riddle me this. If I didn't kill him with the acid -- what did I use?

GUFFEY:

All right - wise guy. Wait 'til I open his shirt. There -

NICK:

Oh, I shot him, huh?

GUFFEY:

Right through the heart.

NICK:

Carroll never had a heart.

NORA:

Nick Charles, I've stood all of this I can. How long are you and Guffey going to continue this farce?

GUFFEY:

It's no farce, Nora. If Nick thinks it's funny - he's got a screwy sense of humor.

NORA:

But you can't believe Nick killed him.

GUFFEY:

No? Well then who did?

NORA:

Well, it could've been any one of a .... Stewart!

GUFFEY:

What!

NORA:

Uh huh. Stewart killed him.

NICK:

(LAUGHS) Now wait a minute, beautiful.

NORA:

Nick, I'm positive he did! I heard him fighting with Carroll. And wouldn't that explain why he released me?

GUFFEY:

Yeah, but it wouldn't explain why he mutilated the body.

NORA:

That's obvious. It would give him more time to get out of town before Carroll was identified. Why don't you have your men pick him up?

GUFFEY:

Where do you think they are now? They're watching all the railroads and bus lines and airports.

NORA:

What about the steamship lines?

GUFFEY:

Steamship lines? Well, if it'll make you feel better - I'll check them the first thing in the morning.

NORA:

That may be too late. Wouldn't it stand to reason that Stewart will sail on the first boat available?

NICK:

What about that, Guffey?

GUFFEY:

Well, just so you won't squawk later that we didn't give you the breaks, I'll call the customs office right now.

(RECEIVER OFF HOOKS) (DIALS) But this is an awful waste of the taxpayers' money.

VOICE:

(FILTER) Customs. Mitchell speaking.

GUFFEY:

Hello, Mitch - this is Guffey of the Homicide Bureau.

VOICE:

(FILTER) How are you, Guffey?

GUFFEY:

Fine. Say, Mitch - I wonder if you'd settle a bet for me? Any boats leaving tonight for foreign ports?

VOICE:

(FILTER) Nope.

GUFFEY:

(LAUGHS) You sure of that?

VOICE:

(FILTER) Positive. No liners leave until next Saturday.

GUFFEY:

Well, thanks, Mitch -- that's all I ---

NICK:

Hold it, Guffey. Ask him about private boats.

GUFFEY:

Some people are never satisfied. Say, Mitch - how about private boats. Nothing there either, I suppose.

VOICE:

(FILTER) No - you lose, Guffey.

GUFFEY:

What?

VOICE:

(FILTER) Yeah - we just cleared a private job sailing for Havana in the morning. She's called the "Driftwood". She was chartered by a Mr. Stewart!

(MUSIC . . . . .)

 

(WATER LAPPING BOAT ... HOLD THEN UNDER. . .)

 

(STEPS ON WOOD)

 

NORA:

(LOW) Nick, I don't think Stewart's here. No one tried to stop us from coming aboard.

GUFFEY:

Baby, you can say that again.

NICK:

Let's try the cabin.

GUFFEY:

Can't you see no one's inside? There's no light.

NICK:

Guffey, sometimes your powers of deduction amaze me.

GUFFEY:

O.K., wise guy. We'll try the cabin and then it's back to a cell for you.

NICK:

Fair enough.

(CABIN DOOR OPENS)

 

GUFFEY:

No tricks, pal. You first.

NICK:

All right.

GUFFEY:

Now turn on the lights.

CARROLL:

(HALF OFF) Allow me, sir.

GUFFEY:

Huh?

(CLICK)

 

GUFFEY:

Hey - this ain't Stewart.

NICK:

You're right.

GUFFEY:

Gee, I'm sorry, mister, I didn't mean to ... Holy Smoke - it's .. it's Carroll.

NORA:

No .. no .. it can't be.

CARROLL:

(FADING IN) (CHUCKLES) While you're making up your collective minds, I'll trouble you for your gun, Sergeant. Ah - thank you.

NORA:

But we .. we saw your body.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLES) It's delightful. In that case, you're disturbing the dead. Isn't that a penal offense, Nick?

GUFFEY:

I don't get it. If this guy is Carroll - who's the stiff in the morgue?

NICK:

Stewart.

GUFFEY:

Stewart?

NICK:

Of course.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) The next thing you'll be saying, Nick - is that you knew it all along.

NICK:

I did.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) You're second-guessing, my boy. You're as surprised as they are.

NICK:

Not quite. I'll reconstruct it for you.

CARROLL:

Please do.

NICK:

Carroll, you were hot. Very hot. And you knew the police would go on searching for you until they caught you - or they were satisfied you were dead.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Go on.

NICK:

So you hit on the fantastic plan of murdering yourself. There was only one trouble. You had to supply the police with a corpse. But that was easily remedied. Stewart was approximately your size, and he was convenient - so you killed him.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) That's marvelous.

NICK:

And just as you figured, I was accused of your murder. Heaven knows I had plenty of motive after you kidnapped Nora.

CARROLL:

Did you like that touch? It was my idea of poetic justice..

NICK:

Unfortunately, it boomeranged. When I saw the body in the morgue, I knew it wasn't you.

CARROLL:

Why not? All the clothes were mine.

NICK:

That's why it didn't add up. Guffey, remember when you showed me the wound on the corpse, you had to open his shirt.

GUFFEY:

Yeah?

NICK:

Well, why wasn't there a bullet-hole in the shirt? There should've been one.

GUFFEY:

That's right.

NICK:

There's only one thing that would explain it. The clothes didn't belong to the corpse. And if the clothes were Carroll's - then the body wasn't.

CARROLL:

A beautiful piece of logic, Nick.

NICK:

Thanks. And that wasn't a bad plan of yours either. A pity we had to spoil it.

CARROLL:

At this moment - I find it very easy to forgive you.

NICK:

That's mighty white of you.

CARROLL:

(CHUCKLE) Not at all, my boy. After all, no harm's been done. I'm sure my little secret will be safe with you and the fishes.

GUFFEY:

What fishes?

CARROLL:

Nick, I'm afraid your friend is a trifle on the dull side. You see, Sergeant - since you three are the only .... Three? (SHARP) Where's Nora?

NORA:

(LITTLE OFF) (SWEETLY) Right behind you, Mr. Carroll.

(SOCK WITH BELAYING PIN) (CARROLL GROANS)

 

GUFFEY:

Hey - she really conked him.

NICK:

Nora. Nora, darling - how did you get there?

NORA:

It was simple, dear. While you and Mr. Carroll were conducting your mutual admiration society, naturally you both had eyes for no one else. So I edged up behind him, and let him have it, with my little belaying pin.

NICK:

[Belaying pin?] Where did you find that?

NORA:

On deck. I picked it up as a little gift for Sergeant Guffey.

GUFFEY:

What's that?

NORA:

Well, in case we didn't find our murderer here, you would have insisted on dragging Nick off to jail.

GUFFEY:

I guess you're right. I wouldn't've listened to reason no matter how much you argued. But what's that got to do with this belaying pin?

NORA:

Well, I figured this was the one argument that was bound to make a deep impression on you.

(MUSIC . . . . . . .)

 

CLOSING COMMERCIAL

ANNOUNCER:

In just a moment Nick Charles - Les Damon, will return to the microphone. A quick reminder to every woman tonight - get a jar of Woodbury Cold Cream, the cream that will help give you ... like the loveliest stars in Hollywood .. a smoother, more glamorous complexion. And for the most thrilling face powder you ever tried, ask for the new Woodbury Face Powder. And now, ladies and gentlemen, here is Lester Damon:

(INSERT TO COME)

 

Red Cross

(MUSIC: . . . . . . . .)

 

CLOSING

(MUSIC: UP AND OUT)

 

ANNOUNCER:

"The Adventures of the Thin Man", with Claudia Morgan as Nora and Les Damon as Nick, are brought to you each week at this time by the makers of Woodbury Face Powder and Woodbury Cold Cream, those twin aids to the loveliness of your skin. This is Hugh James speaking and reminding you to listen for Asta's merry bark.