The 39 Steps (Lux Radio Theater, 13/Dec/1937)
Listen to this broadcast...
- broadcast as part of Lux Radio Theater
- date: 13/Dec/1937
- length: approx 60 minutes
- George Wells - adaptation
- Melville Ruick - announcer
- Frank Woodruff - director
- Cecil B. DeMille - host
- Louis Silver - music
- Frank Nelson - announcer
- Robert Montgomery — Richard Hannay
- Ida Lupino — Pamela
- Leonard Mudie — Professor Bartlett
- Reginald Sheffield — detective
- Herbert Evans — detective
- Keith Kenneth — detective
- Lionel Belmore — innkeeper
- Vernon Steele — cart driver
- Edgar Norton — music hall manager
- Eric Wilton — Cockney traveler
- Raymond Lawrence — Cockney traveler
- Ward Lane — butler
- Eric Snowden — Scotchman
- Norman Ainsley — Scotchman
- Sybil Harris — a rowdy
- Phyllis Coghlan — woman
other unconfirmed cast members:
- Edith Craighead, Ross Forrester,Isabel Jewell, Grace Kern, Gene Lokhart, Lou Merrill, Lilian O'Marra, and George Webb
MFX: LUX THEME ... THEN IN BG
ANNOUNCER: Lux presents Hollywood. For your loyalty to our product, Lux says thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and brings you another hour of entertainment direct from the film capital. Tonight, we star Robert Montgomery, Ida Lupino, Isabel Jewel and Gene Lockhart, with Major C. E. Russell, formerly of the United States Intelligence Service, as the evening's special guest. Louis Silvers conducts the orchestra. And here beside me, our producer and your host, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Cecil B. DeMille!
MFX: OUT BEHIND—
DEMILLE: Greetings from Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen. "The 39 Steps" lead an old friend and a newcomer, Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino, to the stage of the Lux Radio Theatre. Since here last, Robert Montgomery's been rushing back and forth between two lots. One is the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio where, with Rosalind Russell, he has completed "Live, Love and Learn." The other is a lot in Beverly Hills, on which Bob has just finished building a new home with a beautiful library. And Bob is a man who really uses his library, for he's constantly seeking new screen material. President of the Screen Actors Guild, Bob devotes at least three nights a week to that organization; though this fall he took time off to go to his farm in New York State for a few weeks of partridge and pheasant hunting. His favorite Hollywood sport is tennis, in which activity he is expert enough to be the frequent opponent of Sidney Wood, the ex-Davis Cup player. Bob is heard tonight as Richard Hannay, in "The 39 Steps," adapted from the Gaumont-British film, which in turn was taken from the novel by John Buchan. Gaumont-British will shortly release "The Girl Was Young," starring Nova Pilbeam and Derrick De Marney, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Ida Lupino is a girl I watch very closely, and suggest that you do the same — for every Lupino seems destined for greatness in the theater. To American film audiences, she's the best known representative of perhaps the oldest stage family in the world. Three hundred and fifty years ago, when acting was considered a crime in Italy, Alfredo Lupino, acrobat and troubadour, fled from Naples, turned gypsy, and eventually found welcome and fame in England. Ever since then, Lupinos have added to the excellence of England's entertainment. Ida's father is Stanley Lupino, among London's most popular comedians. She has a sister, two cousins, three uncles and five aunts, all noted performers, while her mother is Connie Emerald, once a celebrated dancer. Along with three and a half centuries of tradition, Ida has inherited a turned up nose, violet eyes and blonde hair. She's an excellent musician and painter, can speak the language of the deaf and dumb, whistles as well as a farmboy, likes to wear sneakers and is a prize mimic. A highly entertaining miss, you'll meet her tonight in the role of Pamela.
Isabel Jewel, featured in such hit films as "Lost Horizon" and "Marked Woman" is heard as Annabella, and Gene Lockhart, top-flight character actor back from the New York stage, is Mr. Memory.
And now for the play. The Lux Radio Theatre presents Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino in "The 39 Steps," with Isabel Jewell and Gene Lockhart.
MFX: BRIEF INTRO ... LIGHT AND BRISK ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]
DEMILLE: A London Music Hall. The evening performance is on and the theatre is jammed to the doors. The audience has sat comfortably through the acrobats, the singers and the whirlwind dancers. But now they're restless. The manager appears on the stage to announce the featured act. His hand is raised for silence. [X]
BIZ: AUDIENCE BOOS AND JEERS ... SUBSIDES TO RESTLESS MUTTERING BEHIND—
MANAGER: Ladies and gentlemen! Ladies and gentlemen! With your kind permission, I now have the honour to present to you one of the most remarkable men in the world. I present "Mr. Memory"!
MFX: FANFARE ... FOR MR. MEMORY
BIZ: AUDIENCE APPLAUDS ... THEN MORE RESTLESS MUTTERING BEHIND—
MANAGER: Thank you very much, thank you! Every day, this remarkable mentality commits fifty new facts to memory. Fifty, ladies and gentlemen! Facts from history, geography, newspapers, scientific books! Millions and millions of them!
BIZ: AUDIENCE AD LIBS SKEPTICISM
MANAGER: And he remembers them all!
BIZ: AUDIENCE AD LIBS MORE SKEPTICISM
MANAGER: Test him, ladies and gentlemen, test him! Ask him any question you like and he will answer fully and freely. (GRANDLY) Mr. Memory!
BIZ: AUDIENCE APPLAUDS BRIEFLY
MR. MEMORY: Thank you. Thank you. Now then, ladies and gentlemen, a question please! A question from anyone in the audience!
1ST VOICE: Who won the Derby in 1921?
MR. MEMORY: Mr. Jack Joel's Humorist, Steve Donoghue up, won by a length, odds six to one; am I right sir?
1ST VOICE: That's right.
BIZ: AUDIENCE BUZZES AND APPLAUDS BRIEFLY
MR. MEMORY: Thank you very much, thank you. Question, please. Do not hesitate. Another question, please.
2ND VOICE: Who was the last British heavyweight champion?
MR. MEMORY: Bob Fitzsimmons. He defeated Jim Corbett, heavyweight champion of America at Carson City, Nevada in October 1897. He was then thirty-four years of age; am I right, sir?
2ND VOICE: Right.
BIZ: AUDIENCE BUZZES AND APPLAUDS BRIEFLY
MR. MEMORY: Thank you, thank you.
3RD VOICE: Mr. Memory? Mr. Memory? Who won the football cup in 1926?
MR. MEMORY: Would you mind repeating that question again, young man?
3RD VOICE: Who won the football cup in 1926?
MR. MEMORY: Bolton Wanderers defeated Manchester City at Wembley by three goals to one in the presence of His Majesty the King; am I right, sir?
3RD VOICE: Righto!
BIZ: AUDIENCE BUZZES AND APPLAUDS BRIEFLY
MR. MEMORY: Thank you. Another question, please.
ROWDY WOMAN: Hey! Where's my old man been since last Tuesday?
BIZ: AUDIENCE LAUGHS
MR. MEMORY: Madam, he's been where you can't ask him silly questions.
BIZ: AUDIENCE ROARS WITH LAUGHTER
MR. MEMORY: Will the lady in the gallery please confine her questions to those of a more serious nature?
BIZ: AUDIENCE JEERS AND CAT CALLS
MR. MEMORY: Thank you very much.
BIZ: AUDIENCE STARTS TALKING ALL AT ONCE ("Mr. Memory?!" "Here, what's the idea?" "Who killed Cock Robin?" "Keep quiet!") ... A FIGHT BREAKS OUT ... JUMBLED SHOUTS ... COMMOTION
MANAGER: (OVER THE ABOVE) Gentlemen! Gentlemen, no fighting! No fighting please, gentlemen!
SFX: TWO LOUD GUN SHOTS
BIZ: AUDIENCE FALLS SILENT FOR AN INSTANT UNTIL—
BIZ: AUDIENCE PANICS, SHOUTS ... MUCH NOISE AND CONFUSION ... CONTINUES IN BG
MANAGER: (OVER THE ABOVE) Keep your seats! Everybody, keep your seats! Don't crowd the aisle! Orchestra! Play something! Quick, they're in a panic. Play something!
MFX: PALLADIUM ORCHESTRA PLAYS ELGAR'S "LAND OF HOPE AND GLORY" ... IN BG
ANNABELLA: (OVER THE NOISE) Let me out of here! Oh, please, let me out of here!
HANNAY: Let the lady through there! Will you stand back, please?!
ANNABELLA: Oh, help me, please.
HANNAY: Hold on to my arm, miss! I'll get you out of this! (PUSHING THROUGH CROWD) Get back there! Clear the aisles there, will you?! This way, miss. This way. Come on. This way. Come on.
SFX: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN FADE IN TRAFFIC AND STREET NOISE BACKGROUND
HANNAY: There you are, miss. Take a good, deep breath.
ANNABELLA: (RELIEVED) Oh, thank you.
HANNAY: Are you all right?
ANNABELLA: Yes, I - I had to get out of that theatre, that's all.
HANNAY: (WRY) A lot of people had that idea.
ANNABELLA: Oh, it wasn't the panic that frightened me. It was— It was something else.
HANNAY: I'm afraid I don't understand.
ANNABELLA: (NERVOUS) I— Oh, I'm in terrible trouble. Will you help me?
HANNAY: Trouble? What kind of trouble?
ANNABELLA: I can't tell you here. Can we go someplace and talk?
HANNAY: Well, my - my flat is nearby.
ANNABELLA: Oh, let's go there. But hurry! Please!
SFX: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... DOOR OPENS
HANNAY: Go in, Miss.
ANNABELLA: Thank you.
SFX: DOOR CLOSES
HANNAY: Now, if I can find this light switch—
ANNABELLA: (ANXIOUS) Oh, no! Don't turn on the lights!
ANNABELLA: Don't turn them on! It will be safer.
HANNAY: (AMUSED) I'm afraid I don't under—
ANNABELLA: Will you pull down the blinds, please?
HANNAY: Very well.
SFX: BLINDS PULLED DOWN
HANNAY: This just puts me doubly in the dark. My name is Richard Hannay. Any objections to telling me yours?
ANNABELLA: No. It's Annabella Smith.
HANNAY: Smith? Not really?
ANNABELLA: Is there anything wrong with it?
HANNAY: (CHUCKLES) No, it's just an unusual name. What's this all about? You said you were in trouble.
ANNABELLA: You don't believe me, do you?
HANNAY: I believe you're slightly hysterical.
ANNABELLA: If I am, I have good reason; I - I was the one who fired those shots in that theatre tonight.
HANNAY: You? Why?
ANNABELLA: I had to do something to create a disturbance. I had to get away from there! There were two men in that theatre - who wanted to kill me.
HANNAY: (SCOFFS) Oh, come on now.
ANNABELLA: No, you've got to believe me.
HANNAY: But why should anyone want to kill you?
ANNABELLA: Because I'm what you would call a - a professional spy.
HANNAY: A spy? Whom do you spy for?
ANNABELLA: Anyone who pays me.
HANNAY: I suppose you're here to dig up some big state secret.
ANNABELLA: No. I'm here to save a secret. For England.
HANNAY: Oh. Go on, please.
ANNABELLA: The agent of a certain foreign power is on the point of obtaining a secret vital to your air defence. I tracked two of his men to that music hall. Unfortunately, they recognised me. That's why they're after me now!
HANNAY: (SKEPTICAL LAUGH)
ANNABELLA: You still don't believe me, do you?
HANNAY: No, frankly, I don't, Annabella.
ANNABELLA: Very well. If you will look out of that window you will see two men standing across the street. Look. Please do.
HANNAY: All right. (MOVING OFF) I'll play your game a bit further.
ANNABELLA: Oh, don't let them see you! (BEAT) Well?
HANNAY: (OFF) By jove, you're right! Two of them. They seem to be looking up here.
ANNABELLA: Come away, please. (BEAT) Do you believe me now?
HANNAY: (CLOSE AGAIN) Well, I - I suppose I must.
ANNABELLA: I'm going to tell you something that's not very healthy to know. But now that they've followed me here, you're in it as much as I am.
HANNAY: Yeah, so it seems.
ANNABELLA: Have you ever heard of —- the Thirty-Nine Steps?
HANNAY: Thirty-Nine Steps? No. What are they?
ANNABELLA: Never mind, but this much you must know. If those men are not stopped, it's only a matter of days, perhaps hours, before the secret is out of the country.
HANNAY: Why not call the police?
ANNABELLA: Because they wouldn't believe me any more than you did. And if they did believe me, how long do you think it would take them to get going? Those men are acting quickly. You don't know how clever their chief is. Clever, and ruthless.
HANNAY: Well, what's his name?
ANNABELLA: He has a dozen names, and he can look like a hundred people. But there's one thing he can't disguise. The top of the little finger on his right hand is missing. (SHUDDERS AND SIGHS AT THE THOUGHT OF HIM) Oh!
HANNAY: Come on now, you're trembling.
ANNABELLA: I'm frightened.
HANNAY: Well, you needn't be. You're safe here, you know. What you need is a good night's rest.
ANNABELLA: Oh, yes, I do.
HANNAY: You can have my bedroom. I'll sleep on the couch here in the living room.
ANNABELLA: Are you sure you don't mind?
HANNAY: Sleeping on the couch? Why, I've done it dozens of times.
ANNABELLA: No. I mean, being in danger.
HANNAY: (CHUCKLES) Oh, I'm not quite convinced of that yet. Is there anything I can get you?
ANNABELLA: Yes. Have you a map of Scotland, please?
HANNAY: A map of Scotland? (MOVING OFF) I have an atlas over here somewhere, if I could only— Oh yes, here it is. (MOVING ON) You, er, going deer stalking or just plain hiking?
ANNABELLA: There's a man in Scotland I must see next if there is anything to be done.
HANNAY: I see. Are the, er—? Are the Thirty-Nine Steps in Scotland?
ANNABELLA: Perhaps I'll tell you tomorrow. Good night, Mr. Hannay. Thank you.
HANNAY: Good night, Annabella. (CHUCKLES) Pleasant dreams.
SFX: BEDROOM DOOR SHUTS
MFX: MENACING BRIDGE
SFX: CLOCK STRIKES FOUR
ANNABELLA: (BLOODCURDLING SCREAM)
HANNAY: What the—?!
SFX: HANNAY GETS UP AND MOVES TO BEDROOM DOOR
HANNAY: Annabella! Annabella, was that you?!
SFX: KNOCKS ON BEDROOM DOOR
HANNAY: Annabella, open that door!
SFX: RATTLE OF BEDROOM DOOR KNOB
HANNAY: Will you open that door or do I have to break it down?!
SFX: HANNAY BREAKS DOWN BEDROOM DOOR
HANNAY: Annabella? Where are you?
ANNABELLA: (WEAK, DYING) Oh, I—
HANNAY: Here. Here, look at me. What's happened? What's the matter?
ANNABELLA: They - they came through the window. One of them - had a knife.
ANNABELLA: Oh, don't touch me.
HANNAY: But you're hurt. You're bleeding. Here, I'll call a doctor.
ANNABELLA: No. No, it's no use. Listen. You've - got to stop those men. In a few days, they'll have the secret - out of the country.
HANNAY: But how will I stop them?
ANNABELLA: Kinreach. The professor.
ANNABELLA: Kinreach. Scotland.
HANNAY: What's there? Who is this professor? What's in Kinreach?
ANNABELLA: There are— They'll get you - just - like - they did - me. (EXHALES, DEAD)
HANNAY: Annabella? (NO ANSWER) Annabella? (NO ANSWER) Good God.
MFX: THRILLING BRIDGE
SFX: RAILWAY STATION BACKGROUND
TRAIN GUARD: Aberdeen Express! Edinburgh, Kirkcaldy, Dundee! Aberdeen Express!
SFX: TRAIN GUARD BLOWS WHISTLE
HANNAY: Ticket to Kinreach, please.
TICKET INSPECTOR: One, sir?
HANNAY: Yes, one. Hurry, please.
TICKET INSPECTOR: One to Kinreach, Scotland. Here you are, sir.
SFX: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON MOVING TRAIN BACKGROUND ... CARRIAGE DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS
HANNAY: Excuse me. Is this seat taken?
1ST COCKNEY: Not by us, it ain't. Sit down, young fella.
HANNAY: Thank you.
2ND COCKNEY: I say, Jess, who won the two o'clock at Epsom?
1ST COCKNEY: Here it is! Batchelor Button; odds, seven to four.
2ND COCKNEY: Oh, Batchelor Button, eh?
1ST COCKNEY: Hello, look at this! Another woman murdered in a West End flat.
2ND COCKNEY: Murdered, eh? Who was she?
1ST COCKNEY: (READS) "A well-dressed woman of about twenty-five was found with a knife in her back. The tenant, Richard Hannay, is missing."
2ND COCKNEY: Blimey. If that ain't the blasted limit. Missing, eh?
1ST COCKNEY: (READS) "The police are hot on the trail and watching with careful eyes all points of departure from London."
2ND COCKNEY: Oh, so that was what they was a-doing, eh?
1ST COCKNEY: Who?
2ND COCKNEY: Scotland Yard. Two plain clothes bobbies. I seen 'em get on this train. Asking plenty of questions they was, too.
1ST COCKNEY: Look here. Here's a picture of that Hannay chap.
2ND COCKNEY: Let's have a squint at it. (BEAT, GRUNTS) Rum looking lot, ain't he?
HANNAY: (CLEARS THROAT) Excuse me.
1ST COCKNEY: Here, young fella, where you going? Don't you like that seat?
HANNAY: (MOVING OFF) Oh, thank you, I just remembered something.
SFX: CARRIAGE DOOR OPENS ... THEN SHUTS BEHIND HANNAY
1ST COCKNEY: In a bit of a 'urry, wasn't he?
2ND COCKNEY: He was, that. (REALIZES) I say—!
1ST COCKNEY: What?
2ND COCKNEY: I say—!
SFX: TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS ... TRAIN BACKGROUND UP, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN DOWN AS CARRIAGE DOOR SLIDES SHUTS
PAMELA: Oh, I beg your pardon; this is a private compartment.
HANNAY: Oh, is it?
PAMELA: Yes, and it happens to be occupied.
HANNAY: Yes, so I see. Very charmingly, too.
PAMELA: Well, what do you want, please?
HANNAY: Your hospitality, for a short while.
PAMELA: Really? Well I'm not interested. Now, will you please go?
HANNAY: I, er— I can't.
HANNAY: It isn't safe.
PAMELA: Listen, are you going, or shall I call a conductor?
HANNAY: No, no, don't do that.
PAMELA: Stop! You're hurting my wrist.
HANNAY: I'm sorry, I— Listen to me. I want your help.
PAMELA: My help?
HANNAY: I'm Richard Hannay.
PAMELA: Hannay? Why— Why, you're the man the police are—
HANNAY: Yes, but I'm innocent; I swear I'm innocent. Listen, you've got to help me. It's terribly important that I be free for the next few days. You - you will help me, won't you?
PAMELA: Yes. Yes, of course I will.
HANNAY: (RELIEVED) That's fine. I'm - sorry if I hurt your wrist.
PAMELA: Oh, that's all right. Uh, you say the police are on this train looking for you?
HANNAY: Yes, that's why I forced my way in here.
PAMELA: Oh, I see. And just how am I supposed to help you?
HANNAY: Well, they're looking for a man travelling alone. If I stay here with you, they'll think we're together. We'll pose as man and wife — and they won't pay any attention to us. They'll just pass us by.
PAMELA: (MIRTHLESS CHUCKLE) How clever you are.
HANNAY: You'll do it?
PAMELA: Yes, of course.
HANNAY: Say, you're all right. What's your name?
PAMELA: Well, what's that got to do with it?
HANNAY: Nothing, I just wanted to know who my benefactress was, that's all.
PAMELA: Well, I'm Pamela Stuart.
HANNAY: Pamela. Well. That's rather pretty. Suits you.
PAMELA: Thank you.
SFX: KNOCK ON DOOR
HANNAY: (LOW) There they are now. Remember, I'll sit here and pretend to read. You do the talking.
PAMELA: (LOW) All right.
SFX: KNOCK ON DOOR
PAMELA: (CALLS) Come in!
SFX: CARRIAGE DOOR SLIDES OPEN ... TRAIN BACKGROUND UP
1ST POLICE: Excuse me. Have either of you seen a man pass here? Young fellow? Smooth shaven?
PAMELA: Why, er— Why, no. (ABRUPTLY) Wait, are you the police?
2ND POLICE: That's right, miss.
PAMELA: (QUICKLY) Then this is the man you want. He forced his way in here and told me his name was Richard Hannay.
HANNAY: Why, you—!
1ST POLICE: He did, eh? Come here you!
HANNAY: Let go of me!
2ND POLICE: Are you Richard Hannay? (NO ANSWER) Well, speak up!
HANNAY: Yes. (BEAT, PLEASANTLY, TO PAMELA) Thank you very much, Miss Stuart.
PAMELA: Well, you didn't expect me to harbour a murderer, did you?
HANNAY: Unfortunately, I did. And I am not a murderer.
2ND POLICE: We'll see about that. Come on, Hannay.
HANNAY: Certainly, gentlemen. I'll go with you willingly. (WITH EFFORT) In fact, I'll lead the way!
SFX: HANNAY EXITS AND SLIDES THE CARRIAGE DOOR SHUT BEHIND HIM
2ND POLICE: Grab him!
1ST POLICE: He's gone!
SFX: RATTLE OF CARRIAGE DOOR
2ND POLICE: Here, get after him! Open that door.
1ST POLICE: I can't. He's holding it from the other side.
2ND POLICE: Here, let me try. Together now. One!
1ST POLICE: (GRUNT)
2ND POLICE: Two!
1ST POLICE: (GRUNT)
2ND POLICE: Three!
SFX: CRASH! CARRIAGE DOOR SMASHED OPEN ... TRAIN BACKGROUND UP
2ND POLICE: Get out of the way! Where is he? Where did he go?
1ST POLICE: There he is! Down that passageway!
2ND POLICE: Stop him! Grab him before he gets to the vestibule!
1ST POLICE: Come back here, you! Come back, you! Stop! Stop!
2ND POLICE: Have you got him?
1ST POLICE: No. (DISBELIEF) He's gone!
2ND POLICE: What?
1ST POLICE: He jumped. He jumped off the train.
2ND POLICE: The fool. He's probably lying dead in a ditch!
1ST POLICE: No. The last I seen of him, he was on his two feet — and running like a rabbit!
MFX: TO A FINISH
ANNOUNCER: During our first intermission, and while waiting for Act II of "The 39 Steps," starring Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino, we'd like you to go with us to one of the millions of homes where Christmas secrets are in the air and listen in on a very interesting conversation.
BETTY: Aunt Sally? Come here. I want to see you alone.
AUNT SALLY: More secrets, Betty? The house is full of them.
BETTY: Now the door is closed, we can talk. Aunt Sally, what can I give Mother for Christmas?
AUNT SALLY: Did you ask her, dear?
BETTY: Yes, and she just says all she wants from me is love and kisses.
AUNT SALLY: (AFFECTIONATE CHUCKLE) Well, I did hear her say she needed more stockings. How about getting her some of the lovely sheer ones we saw in the store today?
BETTY: But she always says sheer stockings are extravagant.
AUNT SALLY: Not necessarily, dear. They wear very well if you're careful about washing. Just dip them in Lux suds every day. Lux keeps the silk nice and springy, so it doesn't break so easily into runs.
BETTY: Then I'll tell you what. I'll buy some and tell Mother I'll Lux them for her, every time she wears them. I'll buy a big box of Lux and give it to her with the stockings.
AUNT SALLY: Now, that's a real Christmas gift, Betty.
BETTY: Okay, I'll get some Lux Flakes right away.
AUNT SALLY: And be sure to use nothing but Lux Flakes, dear. You know, rubbing stockings with a cake of soap is bad for them; and some soaps are strong — too harsh for delicate silk things.
BETTY: Oh, thank you, Aunt Sally. You're an angel to help me. Mother's the most perplexing person on my list.
ANNOUNCER: Stockings for Christmas and Lux Flakes for stockings — a perfect combination. We return now to Mr. DeMille and our play.
DEMILLE: Robert Montgomery, Ida Lupino, Isabel Jewel and Gene Lockhart - continue with "The 39 Steps."
MFX: PORTENTOUS INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]
DEMILLE: p>Two days have passed and Richard Hannay, wanted for a murder he did not commit, is still at large. Determined to discover the secret of the Thirty-Nine Steps, he's made his way to Scotland. The driver of a donkey cart has given him a lift and he is now on the last leg of the journey — the outskirts of the village of Kinreach. [X]
SFX: PONY AND TRAP MOVE DOWN DIRT ROAD ... THEN IN BG
DRIVER: (NORTHERN SCOTS ACCENT) Are you going to stay long in Kinreach, laddie?
HANNAY: Well, that all depends. I'm - I'm looking for work. Do you suppose I could find something?
DRIVER: Mmm, I hae me doubts, laddie. Kinreach is a mighty small town. What do ye do?
HANNAY: I, er— I'm a chauffeur.
DRIVER: Well, I'm thinking you'd better try somewhere else then. What folks as need chauffeurs in Kinreach has had them for years.
HANNAY: Oh, I see. But, er, aren't there any newcomers? I mean, somebody told me about—
DRIVER: Aye, now wait a minute. Aye, come to think of it, I did hear something. About a retired professor moving into the big house on the edge of the moor.
HANNAY: A professor? Yes. Yes, that's it. I can try it anyhow.
SFX: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON DOORBELL RINGING ... BEAT ... FRONT DOOR OPENS
BUTLER: Yes, sir?
HANNAY: I'd like to see the master, please.
BUTLER: What name shall I say?
HANNAY: Oh, he doesn't know my name. But you might ask him if he knows - Annabella Smith.
BUTLER: Yes, sir. Would you mind waiting in the—?
PROFESSOR: (OFF) Is that someone for me, George?
BUTLER: Oh— Yes, Professor.
PROFESSOR: (BEAT, CLOSE) How do you do?
HANNAY: How do you do? My name is— Hammond. I've come from London. From Annabella Smith.
PROFESSOR: Oh. Well, do come in, please. You must be tired. We can talk in the library.
SFX: PARTY GUESTS CONVERSE, IN BG
PROFESSOR: My daughter's having an engagement party; I'd rather not disturb her.
HANNAY: Yes, of course.
SFX: LIBRARY DOOR OPENS
PROFESSOR: Go right in, please.
HANNAY: Thank you.
SFX: LIBRARY DOOR SHUTS HEAVILY, CUTS OFF PARTY GUESTS
PROFESSOR: Sit down. Will you have a drink?
HANNAY: No, thank you.
PROFESSOR: Well. So what did you want to see me about — Mr. Hannay?
HANNAY: Hannay? You know me?
PROFESSOR: Yes. I suppose it's safe to call you by your right name now. What about our mutual friend, Annabella?
HANNAY: She's been murdered.
PROFESSOR: I know. Poor girl. The, uh, police are looking for you.
HANNAY: Yes, but I didn't do it. I—
PROFESSOR: (AMUSED) Oh, of course you didn't. But why come all this way to Scotland to tell me about it?
HANNAY: Well, I believe she hoped to come see you about some Air Ministry secret. She was killed by a foreign agent who was trying to steal it.
PROFESSOR: Oh. Did she tell you what this foreign agent looked like?
HANNAY: No, she hadn't time. She— (REMEMBERS) Oh. Oh, yes, there was— There was one thing. She told me the top of his little finger is missing.
PROFESSOR: On which hand, Mr. Hannay?
HANNAY: On the, er, on the left, I believe.
PROFESSOR: Are you sure it wasn't on the right?
HANNAY: It might have been.
PROFESSOR: Like on, er, my hand, Mr. Hannay?
HANNAY: (STUNNED) Good Lord. Then you're—? You're the one she—?
PROFESSOR: The one she was trying to warn you against. The chief. (LAUGHS) You misunderstood her. She meant for you to kill me, not to bring me information.
HANNAY: Yes. Well, what are we going to do about it?
PROFESSOR: Ah, that's just the point. What are we going to do? You see, I live here as a respectable citizen. I should hate to have it known that I am, er, not what I seem to be. You understand my position?
HANNAY: Oh, yes. Quite.
PROFESSOR: What makes it doubly important that I shouldn't let you go is that I am just about to transfer some very vital information out of the country.
HANNAY: (SURPRISED) What?!
PROFESSOR: Oh, yes. I've got it already. I'm afraid poor Annabella would have been too late in any case.
HANNAY: Well. That's that, I suppose.
PROFESSOR: Yes. Well? What about it, Mr. Hannay?
HANNAY: What about what?
PROFESSOR: Yourself. It seems to me there's only one way out.
HANNAY: And what's that?
PROFESSOR: I've a small revolver here. Pretty little thing, isn't it? Supposing I left you alone with this? The newspapers could then announce tomorrow morning that the murderer had taken his own life.
HANNAY: You want me to kill myself?
HANNAY: You're mad. I won't do it.
PROFESSOR: Then I'm afraid you leave me no alternative.
SFX: PISTOL SHOT
SFX: HANNAY'S BODY SLUMPS TO FLOOR
PROFESSOR: (BEAT) You should have stayed in London, my friend.
SFX: LIBRARY DOOR OPENS ... PARTY GUESTS AUDIBLE AGAIN
PROFESSOR: (LOW) Oh, George? George?
BUTLER: (APPROACHES) Yes, Professor?
PROFESSOR: I want your help, please. There's a little job for us, inside.
PROFESSOR: Yes. We'll carry him to the garage. When it gets dark, we can drop him off on a road somewhere.
BUTLER: Yes, sir.
PROFESSOR: Come in.
SFX: LIBRARY DOOR SHUTS, CUTS OFF PARTY GUESTS
BUTLER: Where is he, sir?
PROFESSOR: Behind that table.
BUTLER: Here, sir?
PROFESSOR: Yes, pick him up and—
BUTLER: I'm sorry, sir, but there's no one here.
BUTLER: Well, you can see for yourself.
PROFESSOR: But I - I shot him! The body was lying there on the floor.
BUTLER: The - the body, sir? Seems to have disappeared.
MFX: AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT
SFX: AUTO SLOWS TO A STOP WHILE TOOTING ITS HORN
PAMELA: Get out of the road, please! What do you mean by standing in front of my car? You might have been killed!
HANNAY: (APPROACHES) Sorry, lady. I just wanted a lift. Would you mind—? Well! Well, Miss Stuart. How do you do?
PAMELA: You? Well, what are you doing here?
HANNAY: Richard Hannay is my name. I believe we've met. On a train, wasn't it?
PAMELA: Yes. Yes, I think so.
HANNAY: Yes. Yes, if I remember correctly you handed me over to the police. You did, didn't you?
PAMELA: Oh, get away from me.
HANNAY: Oh, don't worry, I don't hold it against you really.
PAMELA: Well, now, that's very kind of you.
HANNAY: Yes, isn't it? What are you doing in Kinreach?
PAMELA: I live here.
HANNAY: It's a charming place, isn't it? You know where the local police station is?
PAMELA: Oh, of course I do.
HANNAY: Will you take me there?
SFX: CAR DOOR OPENS, HANNAY CLIMBS IN
HANNAY: The police station. In a hurry, please.
SFX: CAR DOOR SHUTS
SFX: AUTO ENGINE STARTS ... AUTO DRIVES OFF ... AUTO ENGINE CONTINUES IN BG
PAMELA: Well, I suppose you know what you're doing.
HANNAY: Oh, yes. You see, I know who killed Annabella Smith.
PAMELA: Is that so?
HANNAY: The same man who shot me a few minutes ago.
PAMELA: Shot you?
HANNAY: Right in the cigarette case.
HANNAY: See? There's a hole in one side of it. Handy little things, cigarette cases. If I hadn't been carrying it about in my vest pocket, the hole would have been in my chest.
PAMELA: Mmm? And who was this arch-villain?
HANNAY: Gentleman called "The Professor."
PAMELA: Professor? Oh, now, you - you don't mean Professor Bartlett?
HANNAY: I didn't stop to enquire his last name.
PAMELA: (LAUGHS) That's very funny.
HANNAY: Oh, come now, it isn't as funny as that.
PAMELA: Do you actually mean you're going to the police with this story? That Professor Bartlett shot you? That he's the one who killed Annabella Smith?
HANNAY: Of course. Why not?
PAMELA: And you expect them to believe it, I suppose.
HANNAY: Well, you don't, evidently.
PAMELA: No, and neither will they. Professor Bartlett, a murderer? Why, he's one of the best-liked men in the village and a very good friend of the sheriff's. I'm sure the sheriff will be interested in your story, Mr. Hannay.
HANNAY: Yes. Yes, I see your point. It hadn't occurred to me that— Stop the car, please. I'm getting out.
PAMELA: Oh, no, you're not.
HANNAY: Stop this car!
PAMELA: You said you wanted to go to the police. Well, that's just where you're going. And if you touch me or make a move to jump, I'll turn this car into a ditch.
HANNAY: Well. Aren't you the sweet little thing?
PAMELA: Ha. You just sit tight, Mr. Hannay, and don't make any sudden gestures. We're going rather fast.
HANNAY: You haven't the nerve, of course.
PAMELA: Haven't I? Just try me.
HANNAY: All right, I will!
PAMELA: Don't touch that brake!
SFX: TYRES SCREECH
HANNAY: Hang on!
SFX: CRASH! OF AUTO PLOWING INTO DITCH
HANNAY: (PAUSE) Where are you? Are you all right?
PAMELA: (CALMLY) Quite all right, thank you.
HANNAY: You little fool, we might have been killed!
1ST SCOT: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Hallo, there!
HANNAY: There's someone coming. Keep down.
PAMELA: Let go of me. (SHOUTS) Hello! Hello!
HANNAY: Shut up!
PAMELA: (SHOUTS) Over here! Richard Hannay!
HANNAY: Why, you—!
PAMELA: Richard— (MUFFLED AS HANNAY PUTS HIS HAND OVER HER MOUTH)
2ND SCOT: There they are. Grab that man!
1ST SCOT: All right Hannay, we've got you. And don't try any funny business. Stand up.
HANNAY: Yes, of course.
PAMELA: Are you the police?
1ST SCOT: We've been lookin' for you, Hannay. Put the bracelets on him, Joe.
2ND SCOT: Right you are. Put out your hand.
SFX: CLICK! OF HANDCUFFS
2ND SCOT: There we are.
1ST SCOT: Now put the other one on the girl.
PAMELA: Here, what are you doing?
1ST SCOT: We are handcuffin' ye to your friend here. Any objections?
SFX: CLICK! OF HANDCUFFS
HANNAY: (CHUCKLES, TO PAMELA) Now see what you've done.
PAMELA: Oh, shut up. (TO THE SCOTS) Listen, you can't do this. I don't even know this man.
1ST SCOT: (IRONIC) You ride around the country with him in a car, but you don't know him? Of course you don't.
PAMELA: Yes, but I'm telling you, I don't!
1ST SCOT: Keep your mouth shut! All right, Joe. Take 'em to our car. It's a good day's work for us.
SFX: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON AUTO DRIVING DOWN QUIET ROAD ... CONTINUES IN BG
PAMELA: (UNCOMFORTABLE) Will you please move over?
HANNAY: Are you talking to me?
PAMELA: Yes, I am.
HANNAY: Very well.
PAMELA: Ow, my wrist!
HANNAY: Well, you asked me to move, and if I move, you move with me. It's a scientific fact that when two people are handcuffed together—
PAMELA: (PLEADS) Officer, must I be chained to this man?
1ST SCOT: Aye, ye must. And keep quiet aboot it!
PAMELA: Wait a moment. Where are you taking us? This isn't the way to the sheriff's office.
1ST SCOT: Weel, we're not exactly going to the sheriff's office. Eh, Joe?
2ND SCOT: (LAUGHS) Not exactly, no.
PAMELA: Well— Well, where are we going?
1ST SCOT: (SLY) Well, it's the real head we're going to see. The Sheriff Principal. Eh, Joe?
2ND SCOT: (LAUGHS) Aye, the Sheriff Principal.
PAMELA: I - I don't understand.
HANNAY: Would you like to have a small bet with me, Pamela Stuart?
PAMELA: Now, what do you mean?
HANNAY: I'll bet you a hundred to one that the man they call the Sheriff Principal has the top joint of his little finger missing. (TO THE SCOTS) Am I right, gentlemen?
1ST SCOT: (ANGRY) You shut yer mouth, young fella! Or I'll shut it for ye. For good!
HANNAY: Ah, you see, Pamela? I win. They're taking us to your old friend, the Professor. Charming gentleman, the Professor. Best-liked man in the village and a personal friend—
PAMELA: Oh, be quiet, will you?
SFX: AUTO SLOWS
1ST SCOT: Here, what are we stopping for?
SFX: AUTO BRAKES TO A HALT BEHIND—
2ND SCOT: Sheep. A whole flock of them across the road.
SFX: MILLING SHEEP "BAA!" ... THEN IN BG
1ST SCOT: Well, blow your horn. Maybe that'll scare 'em.
SFX: AUTO HORN
2ND SCOT: Stubborn beasts! They won't move an inch.
SFX: AUTO DOORS OPEN AND SCOTS CLIMB OUT BEHIND—
1ST SCOT: Well, come on. We'll have to get out and shoo them off.
SFX: LAST TOOTS OF AUTO HORN
2ND SCOT: Here! Get on there! Shoo, get on there!
1ST SCOT: Go on, go on! Get out of the way, go on!
BIZ: SCOTS AD LIB SHOOING OF SHEEP
HANNAY: (LOW) Now's our chance. We'll make a run for it.
PAMELA: (LOW) Run? How can we?
HANNAY: (LOW) Come on. When I say jump, jump and run for your life.
PAMELA: (LOW) Yes, but they'll catch us!
HANNAY: (LOW) Go on, jump!
SFX: AUTO DOOR OPENS ... HANNAY AND PAMELA JUMP OUT
1ST SCOT: (OFF) Hey look, they're gettin' away!
2ND SCOT: (CALLS, OFF) Stand where you are!
1ST SCOT: (OFF) There they go!
2ND SCOT: (OFF) Give it to 'em!
PAMELA: They're shooting!
HANNAY: Come on, you little fool, run for it!
MFX: FOR RUNNING AWAY ... BRIDGE
SFX: HANNAY AND PAMELA TRAMP HURRIEDLY THROUGH THE MOOR
PAMELA: (BREATHLESS) Please, don't go so fast. You're hurting my wrist.
HANNAY: Shut up.
PAMELA: (EXHAUSTED) Oh, I can't go any further. I've lost my shoe.
PAMELA: Oh, back there.
HANNAY: Well, forget it. All right, sit down; sit down for a while.
PAMELA: Do you - think we've lost those men?
HANNAY: Oh, it's as black as pitch on this moor. They'll never find us now.
PAMELA: You know this is all very silly. You can't escape. What chance have you got handcuffed to me?
HANNAY: Keep that question for your husband when you get one. Meanwhile, I'll admit that you're the white man's burden.
PAMELA: Oh, yes, I know, and I can't tell you how it comforts me. Why don't you give yourself up?
HANNAY: To whom?
PAMELA: Oh, give yourself up to Scotland Yard.
HANNAY: Thank you, but it's a little impractical at the moment. Listen to me. I told you the truth on the train and I'm telling it to you now. There's a dangerous conspiracy against this country and I'm the only man who can stop it.
PAMELA: Ha ha. I don't believe you.
HANNAY: All right, very well then. I'm just a plain, common murderer who stabbed an innocent, defenceless woman in the back in Portland Place, London. I don't know how innocent you may be — but you're a woman, you're defenceless, and you're alone on a desolate moor in the dark. And you're manacled to a murderer who would stop at nothing to get you off his hands. If that's the story you prefer, have it, my lovely, and welcome.
PAMELA: Well, I'm not afraid of you.
HANNAY: Why not? For all you know, I murdered a woman. You listen to a bit of advice. From now on, you do everything I tell you to do and do it quickly.
PAMELA: Oh, you wretched bully.
HANNAY: I admire your pluck, but you keep a civil tongue in your head. Otherwise, I might feel the next killing was a bit overdue. All right, on your feet now.
PAMELA: Well, where are we going?
HANNAY: I see some lights over that way. We'll do a little investigating.
PAMELA: Well, I won't go. I'm gonna stay right here.
HANNAY: (THREATENING) Pamela, are you forgetting I murdered a woman? Well?!
PAMELA: (SCARED) Don't you strike me. (RELENTS) I'll - I'll go.
MFX: TENSE BRIDGE
SFX: HANNAY AND PAMELA'S SLOW FOOTSTEPS ONTO FRONT PORCH
PAMELA: Say, what kind of a place do you think this is?
HANNAY: I don't know. Looks like an inn. Now, remember what I said. A civil tongue, or else. And you back me up in everything I say or do. Do you understand?
PAMELA: (RESIGNED) Yes.
HANNAY: Stay close to me and hold my hand. It'll hide the handcuffs.
SFX: KNOCK ON DOOR ... DOOR OPENS
HANNAY: Good evening.
INNKEEPER: Good evening! Welcome to King's Head Tavern. And what can I do for you and the lady?
HANNAY: We had an accident with our car a few miles back.
INNKEEPER: Hey, that's too bad, now. You want to stay the night, I suppose.
HANNAY: Yes, we do.
INNKEEPER: And will it be two separate rooms, or one?
PAMELA: Oh, two separate rooms.
HANNAY: (OVERLAPS ABOVE, FIRMLY) One room, please. One.
INNKEEPER: Well. Which?
PAMELA: Erm. One, thank you.
INNKEEPER: Oh, one. And what's the name?
HANNAY: Er, Hawkinson. Hawkinson, yes. Henry Hawkinson and Mrs. Hawkinson.
INNKEEPER: Well, come along, Mr. Hawkinson. The rooms are at the top of the landing.
HANNAY: Thank you.
SFX: WHILE CLIMBING THE STAIRS—
HANNAY: Nice place you have here.
INNKEEPER: Aye, it'll do. Here's the room.
HANNAY: Oh. Thank you.
SFX: ROOM DOOR OPENS
INNKEEPER: Well. Good night to you.
PAMELA: Oh, wait. Now, wait, please. You - you mustn't go.
INNKEEPER: Well, what's the matter, lass? Is there anything wrong?
PAMELA: Yes. Well, I—
HANNAY: (OVERLAPS ABOVE) Of course there's nothing wrong. She wants to tell you something, that's all.
PAMELA: Yes, I want to—
HANNAY: (OVERLAPS ABOVE) Yes, yes, we— You see, we're a runaway couple.
INNKEEPER: (DELIGHTED) Are you now?
HANNAY: Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact, we've been running all night. If anyone enquires for us, you won't give us up, will you?
INNKEEPER: Aha, that I won't. I was young myself once.
HANNAY: (CHUCKLES APPRECIATIVELY)
INNKEEPER: Good night.
HANNAY: Good night.
INNKEEPER: (MOVING OFF) Good night.
HANNAY: Good night. (COOLLY) Inside, Pamela.
SFX: ROOM DOOR SHUTS
PAMELA: Of all the outrageous things! Listen, you don't think I'm going to spend the night in this room with you?
HANNAY: Personally, I don't see how you can help yourself.
PAMELA: Oh, stop jerking my arm.
HANNAY: I'm so sorry. I want to take my shoes off. My feet are tired. You'd better stand here by the fire and get warm. You'll be catching cold.
PAMELA: Hmm? And if I did?
HANNAY: (SNAPS) Stand by the fire!
PAMELA: Don't yell at me like that! I didn't ask to come with you.
HANNAY: And I didn't invite you. But here we are.
PAMELA: Well? Aren't you afraid the men will find us?
HANNAY: I'm not thinking of that so much as some way to get out of these handcuffs.
PAMELA: (GETS AN IDEA) Oh, I have a nail file in my pocket. Maybe that'll help.
HANNAY: (LAUGHS, SARCASTIC) That would be dandy. If you file twenty-four hours a day, ten years from now we might be free. Imagine — tied to you for ten years. It's a horrible thought.
PAMELA: I've had enough of your insults. I'm going to tell the innkeeper the whole story!
HANNAY: You want me to hang for a murder I didn't commit?
PAMELA: As long as you hang, I don't care whether you committed it or not.
HANNAY: What a bloodthirsty creature you are. Haven't you any pity?
SSFX: PAMELA FILES THE HANDCUFFS ... CONTINUES IN BG
HANNAY: Ow! What are you up to now?
PAMELA: I'm merely trying to file the handcuffs.
HANNAY: Well, don't jab me in the wrist that way. I don't like it.
PAMELA: I'm sorry.
HANNAY: You're going about it in a very amateurish fashion anyway. I can see you know nothing about filing handcuffs.
PAMELA: Hmm. I'm sure you do. Tell me, how did you start being a criminal?
HANNAY: (CHUCKLES) So you want the story of my life. It's really very interesting.
PAMELA: (IRONIC) Oh, I'm sure it is.
HANNAY: I was born a poor orphan boy. From the beginning, I hadn't a chance.
SFX: NAIL FILE SLIPS OFF METAL CUFF
PAMELA: I'm sorry, it slipped.
PAMELA: Accidentally. Go on, please.
HANNAY: I started by pilfering pennies out of other children's lockers at school. Then a little pocket-picking and car-pinching. And at last my efforts were rewarded, and I graduated into straight burglary.
PAMELA: With diploma?
HANNAY: With diploma.
HANNAY: I killed my first man when I was nineteen. It scared me at first, but I soon got hardened to it. Lady, you wouldn't believe me if I told you—
SFX: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... AUTO DRIVES ON QUIET ROAD ... THEN IN BG
1ST SCOT: It was your fault. The whole thing was your fault.
2ND SCOT: My fault? How do you make that out?
1ST SCOT: If you hadn'a stopped the car for those blasted sheep, we'd have had the two of 'em in the Professor's parlour right now.
2ND SCOT: We'd better have 'em there soon is what I say. The Professor was anxious about Hannay. "Knows too much," he says. "Get him."
1ST SCOT: Get him? We had him. And the girl, too.
2ND SCOT: You dinna suppose they'd head in somewhere, do you? Stop at a tavern, I mean.
1ST SCOT: Hmm. They might, in this weather.
2ND SCOT: There's a place about four miles back. King's Head Tavern it's called.
1ST SCOT: King's Head Tavern. That'd be somewhere near where they gave us the slip! Turn around. We'll find out.
2ND SCOT: Right.
1ST SCOT: And if we see 'em again, blast you, shoot straight.
2ND SCOT: I will, all right. You can depend upon that.
SFX: SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON HANNAY CONTINUING HIS STORY
HANNAY: Then little by little, and year by year, I sunk lower and lower.
PAMELA: Hmm, and you got badder and badder.
HANNAY: That's right. You might have read about me in the papers. They call me Hannay, the Cornish Bluebeard. And that, me lady, is the 'orrible story of me life.
PAMELA: Dear, dear. And you have such a nice face. How many people have you killed altogether?
HANNAY: Uh, nine. And if you don't watch the point on that nail file, it may be ten!
SFX: NAIL FILE SLIPS OFF METAL CUFF
PAMELA: At least I'm trying to do something.
HANNAY: Well, if you don't mind, I'm gonna try and get some sleep. (YAWNS) I haven't had a wink for forty-eight hours.
PAMELA: Well, I'm not in the least bit tired. Besides, I have to stay by the fire and get dry.
HANNAY: All right. You don't mind if I stretch out in the chair, do you?
PAMELA: No, not at all.
HANNAY: Thank you. (YAWNS) Ho ho, good night.
PAMELA: Good night.
PAMELA: I - I don't see how you can sleep at a time like this.
PAMELA: I said, I don't see how you can sleep at a time like this.
HANNAY: I'm hardened to it. That's all. A hardened criminal will sleep any time.
SFX: AUTO DOOR SLAMS, OFF
PAMELA: Listen. Listen, did you hear that? There's a car out there. It just drove up. A car.
HANNAY: It's your imagination.
PAMELA: It's not my imagination. I heard a car. Oh, all right, if you don't care—
HANNAY: (SLEEPILY) Don't care. Just don't care. (BEAT) Ooh! (YELPS, SNORTS)
PAMELA: Don't do that! What's the matter with you anyway?
HANNAY: (PLEASANT) Oh, I'm so sorry. You musn't get frightened, Pamela. I have awful nightmares. I guess it's my conscience bothering me. Good night!
MFX: FOR A JOLLY FINISH
SFX: APPLAUSE ... THEN IN BG
ANNOUNCER: We pause now for station identification. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.
SFX: APPLAUSE CONTINUES, FILLING THE PAUSE ... THEN OUT
DEMILLE: We pause now between the scenes of "The 39 Steps." Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino will be back shortly, when we raise the curtain on Act III in this play about spies. Spies may be roughly divided into two classes. There are mercenary spies who traffic in state secrets, selling them for cash to the highest bidder. And there are patriots, who risk their lives solely for the protection of their country, who receive the smallest monetary rewards and whose names never get into the newspapers. Richard Hannay of our play belongs to this second group — and so does tonight's guest, Major C. E. Russell of the United States Army, retired. Before this country entered the world war, Major Russell temporarily loaned his services to Scotland Yard as one of their American operatives. Back in the United States army during the war, he served on a special staff in France. He later instructed our army officers in the art of espionage and is the author of a
standard military text book on this subject. With such a background, Major, there should be no better authority to answer the question "just what are the qualifications that make a valuable spy?"
MAJ. RUSSELL: The qualifications today, Mr. DeMille, are exactly the same as in Biblical times and the instructions which are taught follow very closely those which Moses gave to his men when he sent them forth to spy out the land of Canaan to learn what the land contained; the strength of the enemy; if the people were content; and how strong were the walls. Then, as today, spies had to have powers of observation, of memory and description. These are the three traits that must be developed in the capable espionage agent, and are the least developed of all human traits. In addition, he must have common sense, a good general education, an ability to take orders and preferably a knowledge of foreign languages.
DEMILLE: I've noticed that the opinion held of a spy varies greatly. Some people have only the greatest respect and admiration for a spy; others consider them vicious, double-dealing scoundrels who stop at nothing to attain their ends.
MAJ. RUSSELL: How well do I know that. But I think these people would change their minds if they only realized that spies are one of the greatest forces for world peace. I am of course referring to patriotic spies — not mercenaries. I believe that a patriotic spy, by keeping his country informed of military activity in other lands, enables his own nation to properly prepare itself — and a properly prepared nation is a nation seldom attacked. The war that they are ready for rarely comes.
DEMILLE: If what I've observed is true, you soldiers who fight with your brains instead of bayonets are finding more and more women as your co-workers. How does a woman compare with a man as a spy?
MAJ. RUSSELL: Very favorably — up to one point. A woman's heart will rule her head much more quickly than a man's. Today, there is probably one woman to every two men in the world's espionage service. We've learned that if you want to make a man talk, send a pretty woman. And when we want to make a woman talk, we make her jealous. Both theories work amazingly well.
DEMILLE: It would appear to me that spying is one activity which provides little or no room for modernization. Along with qualifications, I presume that methods have changed little since the days of Moses.
MAJ. RUSSELL: That's very true, Mr. DeMille. They remain essentially unchanged. But there have been radical technical changes in carrying out those essentials. For instance, there's a machine, recently developed in this country, so delicate and so accurate that it can etch an invisible secret message on a surface no larger than a grain of corn. Or, to employ a commodity with which, perhaps, you're more familiar it could etch the map of an entire country on a single Lux flake. And that's probably the finest, thinnest and most fragile thing I can think of for the moment.
DEMILLE: I know that you can read through a flake of Lux, Major. It's actually only two one-thousandths of an inch thick.
MAJ. RUSSELL: I see. Almost as amazing as this machine I'm speaking of. Lux Flakes remind me of women. And women, in turn, recall an amazing spy story I encountered during the World War. It concerns a Swiss opera singer who volunteered in the French Red Cross as an entertainer. For two years she made periodic visits to a home in Switzerland; each time using the same route, over the French border. One day she started to cross and found a new officer in charge. He took a good look at her and immediately ordered his women assistants to search her. They returned with the petticoat of this famous singer. Suspecting that it might contain invisible writing, Lieutenant called for hot irons and himself applied them to the petticoat. The heat revealed what had been invisibly written in lemon juice — the complete working drawings of a new French war tank. The reason Lieutenant had suspected Madame was that before the war he had been a style designer in Paris. One
of the first things he observed about the singer was that while she was dressed in the height of fashion, she wore a starched petticoat and starched petticoats had been out of style for ten years.
DEMILLE: To me, one of the truest utterances of the great French general, Marshal Foch, was his statement to a group of his espionage agents. "You will die a thousand deaths," he told them, "before oblivion comes; while the man in the trenches dies but once."
MAJ. RUSSELL: And no better example can be found, Mr. DeMille, than that patriot of revolutionary war, John Honeyman. Too old to carry arms, he became a confidential spy at Washington's urgent request and posed as a Tory. Despised by his wife and family, ostracized by his friends, he became a cattle buyer for the British army. American soldiers were ordered to shoot him on sight. But John Honeyman kept his promise never to disclose his real identity. Once, he allowed himself to be captured, knowing he might be shot, but [that] there was a chance of [his] being brought before Washington first. This, fortunately, happened and Honeyman was able to disclose to Washington how some of his own men were on the verge of assassinating him by placing poison in the general's food. And it was John Honeyman who, on Christmas Eve, crossed the Delaware alone, entered Trenton, discovered the condition of the Hessian troops, and reported back to Washington on the other
side. On Honeyman's unsupported testimony, Washington made his celebrated crossing [and] won his celebrated victory that turned the tide. Honeyman returned to his New Jersey home after the war, still an outcast, still an object of hate and scorn. His magnificent services were never announced until Washington himself made a special trip to Hackensack and publicly proclaimed him one of the greatest heroes of the American Revolution. His example will always remain a shining light to Americans who seek to serve in the silent, secret and sometimes inglorious ways of espionage. I thank you.
DEMILLE: Thank you, Major, that's very interesting. Very interesting.
DEMILLE: Once again, "The 39 Steps," starring Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino, with Isabel Jewel and Gene Lockhart.
MFX: FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]
DEMILLE: It's early the following morning. Richard Hannay stirs restlessly in the armchair and rubs his eyes sleepily. Suddenly, he jumps from the chair and stands in the middle of the room, staring down at the handcuffs which are dangling from his wrist. Pamela Stuart, on the other side of the room, smiles cheerily. [X]
PAMELA: Good morning, Mr. Hawkinson. Looking rather dazed this morning.
HANNAY: How did you get free?
PAMELA: Oh, very simple. A little matter of work while you had your nightmares.
HANNAY: I suppose you filed the handcuffs.
PAMELA: No, darling, I picked the lock. I was trying to do the same for you but the file broke.
HANNAY: Say, what's wrong with you?
PAMELA: Oh, nothing that I know of. Oh, you mean my shoes? Yes, they're rather large, aren't they? I borrowed them from the innkeeper's wife.
HANNAY: Oh, no, no, no, it's not the shoes. Why are you being so nice? You don't feel ill or anything, do you?
PAMELA: No. Why should I?
HANNAY: Why didn't you leave? You were very anxious to, if I remember correctly.
PAMELA: Well, something happened last night that convinced me you've been telling the truth.
HANNAY: May I ask what earthquake caused your mind to work at last?
PAMELA: When I got free, I went downstairs. That car you said I imagined belonged to our pursuers. It was sitting downstairs when I got there.
HANNAY: (WORRIED) Did they see you?
PAMELA: No, I hid behind the counter. But they asked the innkeeper about us.
HANNAY: What did he say?
PAMELA: Said he hadn't seen us. Then they ordered something to eat, and while they were eating, they talked a lot about, er— Oh, about the Thirty-Nine Steps.
HANNAY: Thirty-Nine Steps?
PAMELA: Oh, don't ask me what it means, because I don't know.
HANNAY: Anything else?
PAMELA: Well, they said the Professor was clearing out of the country.
HANNAY: Then he has got the secret! Did they say how soon he was leaving?
PAMELA: No. But they did say that he was going to London first to pick up someone at a music hall.
HANNAY: Thirty-Nine Steps. London music hall. It doesn't make any sense. Which room are these men in?
PAMELA: Oh, they left.
PAMELA: Oh, about four or five hours ago.
HANNAY: And you let them go after hearing what they said? Oh, you button-headed little idiot, you!
PAMELA: Don't you speak to me like that!
HANNAY: My dear girl, I'm accused of murder. The only way I can clear myself is to expose those spies.
PAMELA: Then why don't you go to Scotland Yard?
HANNAY: What's the use? You said yourself that no one would believe me.
PAMELA: Well, then why don't I go to Scotland Yard?
HANNAY: Why not? They'd listen to you.
PAMELA: Of course they would.
HANNAY: Come on, we'll get the next train for London.
SFX: LONDON RESTAURANT BACKGROUND
WAITRESS: You wish to order now, sir?
HANNAY: No. No, thank you. I'm - I'm waiting for someone.
WAITRESS: I beg your pardon, sir. Your face looks familiar. Are you in the cinema?
HANNAY: No, I'm not. Bring me a bottle of ale, will you?
WAITRESS: Very good, sir.
PAMELA: (APPROACHES) Oh, make that two please.
WAITRESS: Yes, miss.
HANNAY: (RELIEVED) Pamela! Sit down.
PAMELA: Did you think I was never coming?
HANNAY: Not exactly, but I was getting nervous waiting. Well, what happened? Did you go to Scotland Yard?
PAMELA: Prepare yourself for a shock.
PAMELA: They've checked every possible channel. The Air Ministry are positive that no papers are missing that would be of any possible use to spies.
HANNAY: But that's incredible. Are you sure?
PAMELA: Well, that's exactly what they said.
HANNAY: I don't know what to make of it.
PAMELA: I think you've been tricked.
HANNAY: Well, it certainly is all very bewildering.
PAMELA: Oh, I'm sorry, Richard, really I am. Look, I think you better go now.
HANNAY: (DISMISSIVE) Ah— Go where?
PAMELA: Oh, any place. Leave the country. I'll help you.
PAMELA: Oh, I know it sounds funny, but somehow I couldn't bear the thought of them catching you again.
HANNAY: Why, Pamela?
PAMELA: Oh, I don't know. I guess I've just changed my mind about you, that's all. Of course you're as vain as a peacock and I couldn't stand you for any length of time, but - you're not so bad.
HANNAY: Well, you're not so bad either. If I weren't in this jam, I'd—
HANNAY: Nothing. Come on, let's get out of here.
PAMELA: No, no, you'd better stay. I'll run and get you a ticket for Liverpool. There ought to be a boat travelling soon.
PAMELA: Well, what's the matter? What are you staring at?
HANNAY: Look out the window. Do you see that billboard across the street?
PAMELA: Yes. Is there anything strange about it?
HANNAY: A list of acts playing this week at the Palladium? The feature attraction is Mr. Memory!
PAMELA: But I don't understand.
HANNAY: Come on, we're going to get out of here.
PAMELA: Where are we going now?
HANNAY: The Palladium!
PAMELA: But why?
HANNAY: I don't know, but we're going just the same.
MFX: BRIEF BRISK BRIDGE ... CHANGES TO JAUNTY PALLADIUM ORCHESTRA, THEN IN BG
USHER: Here are your seats, sir. First two on the aisle.
HANNAY: Thank you. Sit down, Pamela.
PAMELA: This is silly. In the first place, the show's almost over.
BIZ: PALLADIUM AUDIENCE APPLAUSE FOR STAGE ACT
PAMELA: If anyone sees you here— What are you looking for?!
HANNAY: Be quiet. I'm just playing a hunch, that's all.
PAMELA: Well, you're playing a fool if you ask me.
MFX: PALLADIUM ORCHESTRA OUT
BIZ: PALLADIUM AUDIENCE APPLAUSE OUT
COMPERE: Ladies and gentlemen. With your kind permission and attention, I now have the honour to present to you one of the most remarkable men in the world. I present — Mr. Memory!
BIZ: PALLADIUM AUDIENCE APPLAUSE ... CONTINUES IN BG
HANNAY: Look at that right-hand box nearest the stage. You see that small man sitting in front?
PAMELA: Why, yes, it's—
HANNAY: It's the Professor. The Professor himself.
PAMELA: We'd better get out of here before they see you.
HANNAY: No, no, sit down. Listen!
BIZ: PALLADIUM AUDIENCE APPLAUSE OUT
COMPERE: (BEGINS SPIEL) Every day he commits to memory fifty new facts. And he remembers every one of them! Facts from history, from geography, from newspapers, from scientific textbooks. Yes, ladies and gentlemen— (CONTINUES IN BG)
HANNAY: Pamela. I've got it. I've got it.
COMPERE: (IN BG) —millions and millions of facts! And he remembers them all!
HANNAY: Don't you see? The details of this Air Ministry secret have been borrowed, memorised by Mr. Memory, and then put back again before anyone could know.
PAMELA: Why, that's it! Of course it is.
COMPERE: (IN BG) Ask him any question you like and he will answer fully and freely—
USHER: Pardon me, sir, but there's a gentleman who would like to speak to you.
HANNAY: Who, me?
COMPERE: (GRANDLY, IN BG) —Mr. Memory!
BIZ: BRIEF PALLADIUM AUDIENCE APPLAUSE
DETECTIVE: Are you Richard Hannay?
HANNAY: Well, I—
DETECTIVE: You're under arrest.
HANNAY: Wait, officer.
MR. MEMORY: (IN BG) Questions? Questions? Has anyone a question?
HANNAY: Listen, there's something here you ought to know.
DETECTIVE: That'll keep, laddie. Come along quietly.
PAMELA: But you must listen to him. That man on the stage can—
WOMAN: (IN BG, CALLS OUT) How far is Winnipeg from Montreal?!
DETECTIVE: Come on, we don't want any excitement here.
HANNAY: (RESIGNED) All right, I'll go quietly.
MR. MEMORY: (IN BG) Winnipeg — capital of Manitoba. Distance from Montreal—
PAMELA: Richard, you're not!
HANNAY: Pamela, what's the use?
MR. MEMORY: (FADES UP TO FOREGROUND) —one thousand, four hundred and twenty miles. Am I right?
BIZ: BRIEF PALLADIUM AUDIENCE APPLAUSE
MR. MEMORY: Thank you. Question, please. Do not hesitate. Question, please.
HANNAY: Wait a minute. (YELLS) Mr. Memory! What are the Thirty-Nine Steps?! Come on! Answer up! What are the Thirty-Nine Steps?!
MR. MEMORY: (NONPLUSSED) The Thirty-Nine Steps? The Thirty-Nine Steps is a secret organisation, headed by Professor—
BIZ: PALLADIUM AUDIENCE AD LIBS CONFUSION
HANNAY: There's a man up there in the box! He's the one who shot him!
DETECTIVE: Stop that man!
HANNAY: Stop that man! Stop him! Stop him!
HANNAY: I want to see Mr. Memory, please. Where's his dressing room?
STAGE MANAGER: Number Five. But you can't go in now.
HANNAY: Well, I'm afraid we have to. Detective, have you a pencil and a piece of paper?
HANNAY: I want you to write down everything you hear.
STAGE MANAGER: But listen here, I don't—
PAMELA: Do as he tells you, please.
HANNAY: (TO DETECTIVE) I'm going to prove to you that the man who shot Memory is the murderer of Annabella Smith.
SFX: KNOCK ON DRESSING ROOM DOOR WHICH OPENS
DOCTOR: What is it?
HANNAY: We want to see Mr. Memory. How is he, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Very bad. Did they get the man who shot him?
DETECTIVE: We got him, all right. He'll hang for it too.
MR. MEMORY: (GROANS)
HANNAY: Mr. Memory? Mr. Memory, can you hear me?
MR. MEMORY: (WEAK, DYING) Yes.
HANNAY: Mr. Memory, there's something I'd like you to tell us, please.
MR. MEMORY: Yes?
HANNAY: What was the secret formula you were taking abroad?
MR. MEMORY: Will it be all right my telling you? It was a big job learning it. The biggest I've ever tackled. I don't want to throw it away, sir.
HANNAY: It will be quite all right.
MR. MEMORY: (STRUGGLES) The first feature of the new engine is its greatly increased ratio of compression, represented by the formula 1 minus 1 over r to the power of gamma minus 1, where r represents the ratio of compression and gamma, dimensions of cylinder's diameter. This device renders the engine completely — silent. The exhaust gases impinging on a series entirely eliminating all sound. Am I right? Am I right, sir?
HANNAY: That's quite right, old chap.
MR. MEMORY: Thank you, sir. I'm glad it's off my mind. At last.
HANNAY: Memory? (NO ANSWER) Mr. Memory?
PAMELA: Richard, what is it?
HANNAY: The Air Ministry's secret will never leave England.
MFX: BRIEF BRIDGE ... "RULE, BRITANNIA!"
DETECTIVE: This way, please. We can pick up the police car on the corner.
HANNAY: The police car? Where are you taking us?
DETECTIVE: To Scotland Yard, of course.
HANNAY: Scotland Yard?
PAMELA: Yes, but you can't do that! You heard what that man said. He didn't kill anybody!
DETECTIVE: Easy now, easy. He'll be all right. All we want is to put the story on the record.
HANNAY: (UNDERSTANDS) Oh.
PAMELA: (RELIEVED) Oh, that's better.
DETECTIVE: You've nothing to worry about at all. He'll be a free man in an hour, Mrs. Hannay.
PAMELA: Hannay? Well, what are you talking about?
DETECTIVE: Well, I— Oh—
HANNAY: Mrs. Hannay?
DETECTIVE: I'm sorry, I thought—
HANNAY: That would be just fine, that would. We were together for one day. One day, and we fought for twenty-four hours.
PAMELA: Twenty. You were asleep four hours.
HANNAY: Can you imagine what it would be like? Fight for breakfast, fight for lunch, fight for dinner. One long, drawn out battle for the next thirty or forty years.
PAMELA: Ooh. Thirty or forty years. Do you think we could keep it up that long? (CHUCKLES) I mean, really.
HANNAY: (CHUCKLES) Well, we could try.
MFX: TO A CHEERFUL FINISH
DEMILLE: Robert Mongtomery and Ida Lupino have completed "The 39 Steps," but they'll take a fortieth when they return later to the microphone. First, a word from Melville Ruick.
ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Mr. DeMille. Just a moment for a suggestion to the women who begin, when winter comes, to be bothered by rough, chapped hands. Perhaps they don't realize that the trouble may start in the simple, daily task of washing the dishes. Here's the reason. There are oils in your skin which give it a protective coating against cold weather outdoors and steam heat indoors. If you use a strong soap in the dish pan, these oils are dried up. Your skin gets rough and red. To protect these beauty oils, simply change from your harsh soap to Lux Flakes. Women find the difference between Lux and ordinary soaps for dishes almost unbelievable. They feel it the moment they put their hands in the dish pan. There is no sting in the very gentle, soothing Lux suds. Almost at once, your hands will begin to look smoother and whiter. Begin tomorrow to keep your hands lovely by washing dishes with Lux Flakes. I turn you back now to Mr. DeMille.
DEMILLE: At the moment, both our stars, Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino, are having a breathing spell between pictures. Bob is back after six weeks in the east. And Ida has been indulging in her favorite avocation, composing music.
MONTGOMERY: And not just simple little ballads, Mr. DeMille, but the real thing. Not so long ago, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra played Ida's symphony, "Aladdin and the Lamp."
LUPINO: Oh, thanks for the nice boost, Bob. You know, composing's really very exciting, although I had no thought of attempting it until two years ago. It was just about this time of year. I was riding in a taxi-cab down Hollywood Boulevard; the street was crowded with Christmas traffic; when all of a sudden, the noise seemed to take the form and tempo of a melody. Well, I rushed right home, worked straight through till morning, and there it was. And I've been at it ever since.
DEMILLE: What's your latest composition?
LUPINO: Something I've just sent to London. The score and book for a musical comedy. Look, I hope no one is going to get the impression that I think I'm a great musician. In fact, I know so little that I often use a code to take the place of notes and musical symbols until I have time to figure out what I'm trying to do. I use the letters of the alphabet for a code. If you ever saw one of my scores, you'd think someone had spilled alphabet soup on an orchestration sheet. But I think our listeners are a lot more interested in what Bob's next picture is going to be than in my music. So, Bob, suppose you tell them.
MONTGOMERY: Well, if I knew, I'd be glad to. I'm having story difficulties at the moment.
DEMILLE: (CHUCKLES) Don't we all. Can't you find the right one?
MONTGOMERY: Well, the trouble is I've found the right two! And M-G-M and I can't make up our minds which will make the better picture. Number One is a light comedy, the type of story that audiences have been favoring so much lately. Plenty of laughs and sophistication. Number Two, also a modern story, presents a definite problem of living, that any one of us might have to face. A very interesting story for an actor, but the question is, will it interest an audience?
DEMILLE: And, in the meantime, you're perched on a fence, eh?
MONTGOMERY: Exactly. And since that's not a very comfortable spot to be in, perhaps the Lux Radio Theatre audience will help me out. I'd really be very grateful if you'd drop a card or a note to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, to me, or the Lux Radio Theatre, and let us know which of these two types of pictures you'd prefer to see — a light comedy or a story with a social problem. In the meantime, my thanks and good night.
LUPINO: Good night, Mr. DeMille
DEMILLE: Good night, Ida. Good night, Bob.
ANNOUNCER: Thank you, Robert Montgomery and Ida Lupino. Ladies and gentlemen, this is your announcer, Melville Ruick. Mr. DeMille returns in just a moment with news of next week's play and stars. In our cast tonight were Leonard Mudie as Professor Bartlett; Reginald Sheffield, Herbert Evans and Keith Kenneth as Detectives; Lionel Belmore as Innkeeper; Vernon Steele as Cart-Driver; Edgar Norton as manager of the music hall; Eric Wilton and Raymond Lawrence as Cockney travelers; Ward Lane as Butler; Eric Snowden and Norman Ainsley as Scotchmen; Sybil Harris as a rowdy, and Phyllis Coghlan as a woman. Louis Silvers appeared through courtesy of Twentieth Century-Fox studios, where he was in charge of music for the new picture, "Love and Hisses." And now, our producer.
DEMILLE: One of the most glamorous beauties that the screen has ever known appears in the Lux Radio Theatre next Monday night — Marlene Dietrich. Our play is taken from the highly successful motion picture in which Miss Dietrich starred, "The Song of Songs," a love story of a Viennese girl and the three men who try to win her. Miss Dietrich will be surrounded by an all-star cast, headed by Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., with Lionel Atwill.
MFX: LUX THEME ... CONTINUES IN BG, OUT AT [X]
DEMILLE: Our sponsors, the makers of Lux Flakes, join me in inviting you to be with us again next Monday night, when the Lux Radio Theatre presents Marlene Dietrich, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Lionel Atwill in "The Song of Songs." The special guest of the evening will be the creator of Mickey Mouse and the Silly Symphonies, Mr. Walt Disney. This is Cecil B. DeMille saying good night to you from Hollywood.
SFX: APPLAUSE ... CONTINUES TILL END
ANNOUNCER: This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.
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