WM. ESTY AND CO., INC.
1537 No. Vine Street
"MYSTERY IN THE AIR"
StarringPETER LORREForCAMEL CIGARETTES
NBC - Studio A 6:00 - 6:30 PM, PST
Program Number 5
Thursday, July 31, 1947
Produced by Don Bernard
Directed by Cal Kuhl
Original story "Nobody Loves Me"
Written by Herbert Clyde Lewis
Joe Reeze.................Peter Lorre
The Voice.................Henry Morgan
Peggy ....................Lurene Tuttle
Sgt. Holt.................Frank Nelson
Capt. Kelly...............Cyrus Kendall
Aunt Ella.................Ruth Perrott
Joe Reeze (as a child)....Conrad Binyon
Echo is needed
MUSIC: SHIMMER OF MYSTERY THEME (ENG: FADE IN - BUILD TO B.G.)
MORGAN: "Mystery in the Air" starring Peter Lorre...Presented by Camel
MUSIC: "MYSTERY IN THE AIR" THEMESOUND: DOOR OPENS
LORRE: Hello. Are you guys in charge of this police station?
HOLT: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Well.....hello, bright eyes.
SOUND: FOOTSTEPS TO KELLY, SPEECH WHEN HE GETS ON MIKE
LORRE: Who's in charge here?
KELLY: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Just a minute. How'd you get in here?
LORRE: I walked in. Who's the top man here?
KELLY: (FADES IN) This is the squad room, son. If you have a complaint, give
it to the desk sergeant.
LORRE: No -- I don't want to bother him. He's sleeping.
KELLY: Jenkins sleeping! Wait'll I tell that...
LORRE: You better sit down.
HOLT: Look out, Kelly.....he's got a gun!
MUSIC: HITS - HOLD UNDER
LORRE: Yeah ....I got a gun - so what?--And this is a police station - so
what? So sit down you flatfoots. I got something to tell you!
MUSIC: SWELLS (BIG) THEN TO B.G.
MORGAN: Each week at this hour, Peter Lorre brings us the excitement of the
great stories of the strange and unusual -- of dark and compelling
masterpieces culled from the four corners of world literature.
MORGAN: Tonight -- "Nobody Loves Me" by Herbert Clyde Lewis
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MUSIC: "MYSTERY IN THE AIR" THEME TO SHIMMER
KELLY: Now wait a minute mister ... you must be crazy coming into a police
station and pulling a gun.
LORRE: Maybe I am crazy. But I think I know what I'm doing.
HOLT: You ... you can't hold up a police station, Mister.
LORRE: Shut up! I don't want anything from you flatfoots. And I don't want to
make any complaints either...
KELLY: Look, son...
LORRE: Keep your hands up!
KELLY: I didn't move.
HOLT: Mister...this isn't funny.
LORRE: Shut up!--I'm talking-and I might even give you a present.
HOLT: Now look....
LORRE: A present of ten thousand bucks just for sitting there in all your lard
and listening. (PAUSE) So which one of you is boss?
HOLT: He...he is.
KELLY: Not me.
HOLT: He's Captain Kelly. I'm a Sergeant.
LORRE: Captain, huh? On night duty? What's the matter, Captain? Burn your
fingers. (PAUSE) Well, maybe it's a good thing because after all I wouldn't
want to turn myself in to just any flatfoot.
KELLY: You turning yourself in?
LORRE: Where do you think the dough comes in. There's a ten thousand dollar
reward for the kidnapper of Peggy Stewart. Am I right?
HOLT: You did that?
KELLY: Where is she? Where is the girl?
LORRE: Uh-uh. You forget my gun. You also forget I'm doing the talking. Sit
HOLT: You mean you're confessing?
LORRE: You might call it that. Yeah, it's the story of my life. And it'll hand
you plenty of thrills. You know why?
KELLY: Look, son...
LORRE: Plenty of thrills. (SLIGHT PAUSE) Because my name is Reeze.
HOLT: (PAUSE) (WHISPERS) Joe Reeze.
KELLY: Then you killed her. You killed the girl. You killed Peggy Stewart!
LORRE: So you've heard about me.
HOLT: Killer Reeze.
LORRE: (PAUSE) Killer Reeze, Captain Kelly. Then you admit I got a
story? Well, I'm going to tell it in my own way...first things first...last
things last. Peggy Stewart comes last.
KELLY: Just tell us...did you kill her, Joe?
LORRE: Shut up - and don't move...just listen. I start at the beginning...The
beginning when I was born...And don't interrupt.
HOLT: (REACTS) Okay...We won't interrupt.
MUSIC: (SNEAKS IN UNDER TO BACKGROUND)
LORRE: I think a lot about when I was born, see...Maybe my mother loved me. Or
maybe she wished I was dead. She didn't live long enough for me to find out.
But after she died, I was shoved off on an aunt and uncle who had the meanest,
grimiest, stinkingest souls even you guys have ever seen... Yes, Aunt Ella and
Uncle Walter...they were a pair. Why, they even looked alike...faces like
rotting cabbages, and their mean little mouths yapping away, in the middle of
them. But I was so little when I went there, I didn't even know what I was
missing. When I was about nine years old, one day I found a kitten...(MUSIC
OUT)...a dirty, sick little kitten...
AUNT ELLA; (SHARP) Joe! Joe Reeze! What you got there?
JOE: (CHILD) Just a little cat.
ELLA: How do you speak to me?
JOE: I mean, ma'am.
ALEX: (ABOUT FOURTEEN) He found it down the alley, mom. Backa the fish store.
ELLA: You get rid of it, Joe Reeze! You get rid of it quick.
ALEX: I told you, Joe.
JOE: Please, ma'am...it...
ELLA: You hear me!
JOE: It won't eat much. Please.
ELLA: You hear me! You get rid of it...dirty thing! And if I see it again,
Uncle Walt will beat the stuffing outa you.
SOUND: DOOR SLAM
ALEX: Whatcha going to do with it, Joe?
JOE: I don't know. Nothing.
ALEX: We could have some fun, I bet. Tie something to its tail.
JOE: No, I don't want to.
ALEX: Might as well. We could have some fun.
JOE: No, I said. (PAUSE) Say...feel!
ALEX: Yeah? What about it?
JOE: It's buzzing inside ... like machinery.
ALEX: Oh - that's purring.
ALEX: Sure. Cats do that when they're glad.
JOE: It's glad? About what?
ALEX: Bet it thinks you're going to feed it.
JOE: Oh, yes. (PAUSE) What do cats eat, Cousin Alex?
ALEX: Hey, you better not! You better take that cat away from here.
JOE: I ask you, what do they eat?
ALEX: You heard Mom. You start trying to keep that cat...feeding it...you'll
JOE: I don't care.
ALEX: You ain't going to? You ain't going to keep it?
JOE: Sure I'm going to keep it. I'm going to keep it somewheres she don't
ALEX: You're crazy.
JOE: I'm not. I'm going to keep it. It likes me....that's why.
ALEX: Likes you - a cat?
JOE: Then why is it buzzing ... purring? Sure it likes me.
ALEX: Aw, it doesn't. It's hungry. It'll stop purring. Look!
JOE: What you doing, Alex?
ALEX: Watch when I twist its tail.
JOE: No, don't -- Owww!
ALEX: What'd it do, Joe?
JOE: (HALF CRYING) It clawed me! It clawed me, and now it's scared. Look at
ALEX: (YELLS) Joe! Joe....what you doing?
MUSIC: (HITS...SWELLS THEN TO BACKGROUND)
LORRE: You ever feel a kitten...what it's really like? Why, it's nothing but
fur... soft...and its backbone is like a thin string of beads...curled just
so. When it's scared, its eyes stare...all one color...and its neck is
thin...thinner than a match... like a string of beads...just nothing between
your fingers...(MUSIC OUT) (SEMI-WHISPER) Just nothing...
MUSIC: (SWEEPS IN...SWELLS...THEN FADES)
LORRE: What's the matter with you. It never turned my stomach...killing.
It was always easy.
MUSIC: BRIDGE...THEN TO BACKGROUND...UNDER:
LORRE: After that, one day I killed a toad. Next day a butterfly. Each day I
killed one thing...it was only natural. And I always felt the same...I felt
good... I liked to kill!
HOLT: Now, Joe, don't get excited.
LORRE: Why don't you shut up! After I made the right connections I found there
was room in the world for a bright young fellow like me. There was work to
spare for a man who didn't mind killing. A hundred bucks a job, I could
get...sometimes even more, Captain. How much do you make, sucker?
LORRE: Pick up that pencil, Fatty...you, Sergeant...I'll give you a list. Put
these down: The Bresco brothers... all three of them. A guy named Lyons who
was two-timing somebody's wife. Then that chorus babe - Daisy Mae Marks. She
got her fingers in the wrong pie. Izzie Turnbull - The Weasel - an old codger
named Haskett we called The Ear --
KELLY: That's enough of them, Joe. Please - where'd you leave Peggy Stewart?
LORRE: Will you shut up - or would you like to join the list?
KELLY: No! No, Joe.
HOLT: But where'd you kill her, Joe?
LORRE: I'll get around to her.
HOLT: Sure...sure...but --
LORRE: Look - who is talking here, huh? Sit down now and listen to it!
MUSIC: SNEAKS IN
LORRE: Listen to what I have to say, because it all happened different with
MUSIC: SWELLS TO CLIMAX...CURTAIN
MORGAN: In a few moments, Mr. Peter Lorre will bring us the climax of
tonight's "Mystery In The Air" when Camels present Act Two of -- "Nobody Loves
ROY: Ever hear of a yellow-bellied cobia? It's a fish...a great, big, sassy,
fightin' fish that has given sporting fishermen more back talk than almost any
other kind. Mrs. Dorothy Newstead has its number though...She landed a sixty-
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Record for Cobia. Not on her first try, of course. No, Sir...Mrs. Newstead
fished a long time before she became a champ. As she said:
WOMAN: Experience is the best teacher in deep-sea fishing...In cigarettes,
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ROY: Yes, people learned during the wartime cigarette shortage that experience
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judging the differences in cigarette quality. As a result of this
CHANDLER: (FILTER) More people are smoking Camels than ever before!
ROY: Yes, thousands of people learned that they like Camel's rich, full flavor
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MUSIC: "MYSTERY IN THE AIR" THEME - TO SHIMMER, THEN TO BG
MORGAN: At the precinct police station, Joe Reeze continues his story. A
strange story to be told to such a strange audience. A Sergeant and a Captain
of police listen... at the point of a gun!
HOLT: Now wait a minute Reeze... (NERVOUSLY) and be careful with that gun.
LORRE: I'm always...careful, Sergeant.
HOLT: (STILL NERVOUS) Did...did the gang send you over to kill this Peggy
LORRE: You see, I wasn't supposed to kill her. The boys sent me around to case
the Stewart house for the kidnapping. That was all I was supposed to do...find
out who was in the house and when the girl was alone. It was a big job. Since
old man Stewart owns half the state and holds a mortgage on the rest,
naturally we expected it to pay off plenty. So I went to the house...you know
how it is....all white...covering I bet an acre... What a house! I stood at
the back door and I never been so full of mean hate in my life...Just looking
at how clean and big and right that house is...
SOUND: DOOR OPENS
HORACE: What do you want?
LORRE: I'm looking for work, sir...
HORACE: There's nothing here.
LORRE: I thought maybe raking the yard. Or I can drive.
HORACE: No...there isn't anything.
LORRE: Is there anyone else here I could ask? ...You see...
PEGGY: (CALLS) Horace..Horace..who are you talking to?
HORACE: It's a young fellow, Miss Peggy. Looking for work.
PEGGY: (FADE ON) Oh? What kind of work?
LORRE: Anything, ma'am. Anything at all. You see, I'm going to college and I
just want work for the summer. And I have a bad back so I can't do anything
PEGGY: Oh, I see. Well, maybe we have something. I'll ask my father.
HORACE: Miss Peggy.....
PEGGY: Father isn't home, right now. But if you want to wait...
LORRE: Oh, sure. Sure -- I'll wait.
PEGGY: You can come inside, Mr...
LORRE: Uh...Sanders. Joe Sanders.
PEGGY: Well, come in, Joe. Horace was about to give me my lunch. Maybe you'd
like to eat with me.
MUSIC: (SHORT BRIDGE... THEN TO BACKGROUND)
LORRE: So for more than an hour I was on the inside...looking out. Just for
once. It did things to me. That room where we ate...all sunshiney... the blue
dishes... the food cooked in little dabs, and so good.. I was just boiling
with hate. I couldn't look at her...at the girl. Or talk. But she didn't seem
to notice what was happening to me. That's what really got me. She didn't once
look scared. (PAUSE) You ever see Miss Peggy? She's little. All curved and
little and bright and soft. Even her voice is soft. I'd never known anybody
like her except people in books I'd read. I love to read, see? And I couldn't
take it when she didn't once look scared. I wanted to force her to look like
the other girls I'd known...(MUSIC OUT)...make her get that look in her
PEGGY: You're not eating, Joe.
LORRE: I been thinking.
LORRE: Aren't you scared?
LORRE: Being alone like this with a fellow you don't even know.
PEGGY: Scared of you?
LORRE: Lots of girls are.
PEGGY: (LAUGHS) Why? Are you dangerous?
LORRE: I don't know. Lots of girls think I am. There must be something in it.
PEGGY: Oh...you mean you're a wolf.
LORRE: Oh, no. No, I don't mean it that way.
PEGGY: Well, if you are, I think you're a nice wolf. The nicest I know.
LORRE: That's not what I mean. And anyway -- you just don't know me.
PEGGY: It's funny. I feel like I do. I feel I've known you for a long time.
SOUND: DROP FORK ON DISH
PEGGY: What's the matter, Joe?
LORRE: Nothing. Nothing's the matter. I guess I better be going.
PEGGY: But aren't you going to wait for father? He'll be here pretty soon.
LORRE: No, I guess I better not wait.
PEGGY: But...you said...
LORRE: You see...I just remembered...I....I got to be some place...at two
PEGGY: (DISAPPOINTED) Oh. Well....if you come back tomorrow...
LORRE: That's it. I'll come back tomorrow.
PEGGY: Maybe that will be even better. I can talk to father tonight about you.
Then I'm sure he'll give you a job.
LORRE: Sure. You do that. That'll be swell.
PEGGY: But you will come back? Promise?
LORRE: Oh sure...sure, I'll come back.
MUSIC: (HITS OMINOUS ... THEN TO BACKGROUND)
LORRE: I couldn't figure it out...how a girl like her could be with me and not
be scared. And after I practically warned her, too. You can see how I tried to
warn her, can't you? But she looked at me...at my eyes...my eyes...and hers
stayed just the same...blue and soft like she was looking at anyone. There's
killing in my eyes. Lots of killing. Anyone can see that. (PAUSE) But then it
hit me. I had to make her scared. I had to get her to look at me in that
beautiful glassy way from back deep in her head...her blue eyes all glazed
over...all one color. And then I had to kill her.
MUSIC: (PUNCTUATES AND SWELLS, THEN TO BACKGROUND)
LORRE: Well, I got my car out and drove back to her house. It was night,
already, and there were lights on and windows open...and this time I went
right to the front door...
MUSIC: (OUT)SOUND: DOOR KNOCKER
PEGGY: (CALLS, OFF) I'll go, father.
SOUND: DOOR OPENS ON
LORRE: Hello, Miss Peggy....
PEGGY: Did you...did you come to see father tonight? I haven't talked to him
LORRE: No, I came to see you.
PEGGY: Why, that's nice, Joe....I....
LORRE: I came to get you.
PEGGY: Get me?
LORRE: Sure. Don't you remember? I came back like you said. I'm going to take
PEGGY: Like I said?
LORRE: That's it. Now you're getting the look. Now you're beginning to look at
me the right way.
PEGGY: Don't, Joe! Joe, please, you're hurting me.
LORRE: No, I'm not, Peggy...I'm not hurting you much. Just enough so you look
up at me like something in a trap. And it won't hurt much more when I kill
PEGGY: When you....? Joe! Joe, please.
LORRE: That's what I said. When I kill you.
PEGGY: Oh, no! (SCREAMS) Father! Help! Help! (ANOTHER SCREAM)
MUSIC: (WIPES SCREAM AND DOWN TO BACKGROUND)
LORRE: She fought me when I was carrying her to the car. I dumped her in the
front seat and piled in, and after I got the car in high she didn't move any
more. She sat there with her big eyes staring at the road. Well, I didn't talk
any more then. I thought fast and I drove fast. I thought how it was going to
be...killing her... and I was still thinking when we got to the hideout. Hunh?
Where is it? It's up in the mountains, and I like it there. There's nothing
but a cabin...but someone had a house there once, and there are still lilac
bushes -- roses -- lots of roses. When I stopped the car in front of the
cabin, I could smell the lilacs.. (MUSIC: OUT) ...and there was just enough
moon to see her face. I opened the door.
LORRE: Okay..inside. Walk straight ahead and stand still.
PEGGY:. It ... it's dark in here.
LORRE: I got a candle.
LORRE: There. Now, get over there and sit down.
PEGGY: On the floor.
LORRE: (VICIOUS) Sure, on the floor. What do you want? All the comforts of
home? Of your beautiful clean bright wonderful home? Well, why don't you tell
me what you want?
PEGGY: Joe, what's the matter. What did I do to you?
LORRE: Nothing. You didn't do nothing to me.
PEGGY: Then why are you...why, Joe?
LORRE: Go on...say it. Why am I going to kill you?
LORRE: That's a very foolish question. I got to kill you.
PEGGY: But why?
LORRE: I got to talk to you and watch your eyes..and tell you a lot of
things...a lot of things...
PEGGY: Please, Joe..
LORRE: I got to know how you feel before you die..hold you like this. Do you
love me, Peggy? Do you?
PEGGY: Love you?
LORRE: Sure. That's what I asked.
PEGGY: No. Of course I don't love you.
LORRE: I know. Nobody loves me. Nobody ever loved me... except a cat once.
Everyone hates me, Peggy.
PEGGY: But I don't hate you, either.
LORRE: Oh you don't? Say, it's funny..I just thought of something. You know
PEGGY: Joe, how can you... ?
LORRE: No, this is important...Listen..it's this way. I used to live here in
this shack...weeks sometimes. And I'd read books...good books. The Modern
Library. Do you know about them?
PEGGY: Yes..I know...
LORRE: Well, you can get any book you want for less than a buck..the
PEGGY: Yes ...
LORRE: So I read something by a man named Oscar Wilde...where he says that
each man kills the thing he loves. It's in the Modern Library. Each man kills
the thing he loves. Maybe that's what I'm doing.
PEGGY: No, Joe -- You don't love me!
LORRE: You don't get it. I'll tell you what I mean. Like I said, nobody loves
me...but I get love anyway. I get something like love. Because when I start to
kill you... Peggy...there won't be anyone else in the world for you but me. No
one else will matter. And your eyes-will glaze -- and the blue will spread
out..and there won't be anything in them but me. Me. Joe. (SOFTLY) That's why
I'm going to kill you, Peggy..it will be so easy.
MUSIC: SNEAKS IN UNDER AND BACKGROUND
LORRE: All I got to do is take your neck in my hands..like this
MUSIC: SWELLS ...AND OUT
LORRE: You heard me say it, Peggy..I'm going to kill you! You heard me say it.
I'm going to kill you now. (PAUSE)
PEGGY: (WHISPERS) Poor Joe.
LORRE: What..what did you say.
PEGGY: You've been hurt. You've been terribly hurt. Poor Joe..I'm sorry.
LORRE: Well..that's it.
HOLT: But where did you leave the body, Joe?
LORRE: What are you talking about?
HOLT: After you killed her..
LORRE: Who said I killed her.
HOLT: Why you said...
LORRE: Listen, bonehead...that's what it's all about. That's why I came in
here to give myself up. Nobody ever loved me, except that cat..and when it got
scared it clawed me and I had to kill it. But Miss Peggy wasn't scared.
KELLY: I don't get it..
LORRE: Miss Peggy looked at me and into me and through me.... and she knew
what I was..rotten..but she said -- Poor Joe -- To me. Joe Reeze. I
figured that was as close as I'd ever get to love. I figured it was enough.
SOUND: PHONE RINGS
LORRE: Go ahead answer it, Sergeant. I guess that's her old man, saying she's
home. And then you can lock me up, Captain..if you don't mind. I need sleep.
I'm dead for sleep.
MUSIC: SNEAKS ... QUICKLY..SWELL TO CURTAIN
ROY: Peter Lorre will be back in just a moment for Camel Cigarettes. Each
week, the makers of Camel Cigarettes send free Camels to Servicemen's
hospitals from coast to coast. This week the Camels go to Veterans' Hospital,
Tomah, Wisconsin...U.S. AAF Station Hospital, Hamilton Field, San Rafael,
California...U.S. Naval Hospital, Dublin, Georgia...U.S.. Marine Hospital,
Carville, Louisiana...and Veterans' Hospital, Togus, Maine.
CHANDLER: (FILTER) According to a recent nationwide survey, more doctors smoke
Camels than any other cigarette. Three leading independent research
organizations asked one hundred thirteen thousand, five hundred and ninety-
seven doctors: What cigarette do you smoke, Doctor? The brand named most was
MORGAN: And now, here is Mr. Peter Lorre.
LORRE: Ladies and gentlemen. Should anyone think I don't love cats.... please
- I do. I really do. As a matter of fact, and this is true, Mrs. Lorre
couldn't come to to broadcast tonight because she's attending five new kittens
sired by our fine persian, Rochester. Yes - I love cats. Huh - beg your
pardon? Why did I kill one tonight? Oh, that was for money, pardon me. (PAUSE)
If you come around our way next week, and I hope you do - so does our sponsor
-- you don't know who our sponsor is -- why, Camels, of course -- you'll hear
a great story by my friend Ben Hecht. It's called "Between Good and Evil"
MUSIC: "MYSTERY IN THE AIR" THEME .. FADE UNDER TO BACKGROUND
MORGAN: Next week, "Mystery in the Air", starring Mr. Peter Lorre brings you
Ben Hecht's gripping story, "Between Good and Evil" with a special musical
score composed and conducted by Paul Baron.
MUSIC: COMMERCIAL LEAD-IN .. FADE OUT ON CUEHITCHHIKE
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And don't forget to tune in Saturday night to Prince Albert's "Grand Ole
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Minnie Pearl and Rod Brasfield...And the rest of the Opry gang...That's Prince
Albert's "Grand Ole Opry" Saturday night over NBC...And Red's special guest -
MUSIC: THEME UP AND FADE FOR:
ROY: Listen again next week at this same time when the makers of Camel
Cigarettes present Mr. Peter Lorre in "Mystery In The Air.
This is Michael Roy in Hollywood wishing you all a pleasant - goodnight - for
MUSIC: THEME TO FINISH
N.B.C. ANNCR: THIS IS N.B.C. - THE NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY.