Motive

"Quiet, Please!"

Wyllis Cooper

NO. 61 – "MOTIVE"


WOR-MBS Mon. Aug. 30, 1948 – 9:30 – 9:55 PM EDST
REH Mon. Aug. 30 – 2:00 – 5:00 PM EDST Studio 16
8:00 – 9:30 PM EDST Studio 15


CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(SEVEN SECONDS SILENCE)

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(MUSIC ... THEME ... FADE FOR)

ANNCR: The Mutual Broadcasting System presents "Quiet, Please!" which is 
written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and which features Ernest Chappell.

"Quiet, Please!" for tonight is called "Motive".

(MUSIC ... THEME ... END)

SOUND: (A CHILD IS CRYING SOMEWHERE IN THE DISTANCE: THE NOISE IS MUFFLED, BUT 
IF WE WERE CLOSE TO IT, THE YELLS WOULD BE EAR-SPLITTING. AFTER AWHILE--)

AL: Wonder how hot it IS...

SOUND: (HE DIALS WE 6-1212)

VOICE: (ON PHONE) –ates weather bureau forecast for New York City and 
vicinity: 8 PM temperature 91 degrees; humidity 87 per cent; barometer 29 
point 83, falling. Tonight continued hot and humid; highest temperature in the 
mid-eighties. Tomorrow continued sunny and warm with high humidity; highest 
temperature in low nineties. Scattered thundershowers-

SOUND: (HE HANGS UP THE PHONE)

AL: Ffffff! I sure picked a fine night for it.

Oh, well.

Maybe we can go out to some air-conditioned place when she gets here.

Wish she would get here.

SOUND: (THE BABY CONTINUES TO CRY, AFTER A LITTLE WHILE--)

AL: I wish that kid'd shut up. (A PAUSE) Poor little brat, though. Guess the 
heat's got IT, too.

SOUND: (THE PHONE RINGS)

AL: (EAGERLY) Hello? Oh. Hello, Herb. Yeh, I just came back in for a day or 
so. Huh? No, I'd like to, but I can't. I'm tied up. No. Marge is coming up. 
That's right. I don't know: we're just going to talk it over. Yeh, I hope so, 
too. I'll see you. Thanks for calling. 'By.

SOUND: (HE HANGS UP) (THE CHILD IS STILL CRYING)

AL: Hurry up, Marge. (A PAUSE)

I'll be awful glad to see you, honey.

I didn't realize – kid, PLEASE shut up!

SOUND: (CHILD STOPS CRYING)

AL: Huh! How'm I doing?

I didn't realize how tough it was going to be without you, Marge. I got to 
TELL you that, Marge. I got to make you understand it somehow. Gee, baby, I'll 
sure try.....I'll hang up my coat when I come home. I'll hang up the towels in 
the bathroom. I'll put my shaving brush away. And I'll take you out to dinner 
twice – no, three times a week. Oh, Marge, let's make a go of it this time!

(MUSIC...IN FOR BG)

AL: Gee, it was so wonderful once....

And we got so screwed up....

And it was all my fault, Marge!

Wasn't it?

(HE SIGHS DEEPLY)

'Member when we first came here....

Riding on the Staten Island ferry that first night...

I remember what you said, Marge. You were so happy...

MARGE: (FADING IN) I'm so happy I could bust!

AL: I remember...don't you bust here, I said.

MARGE: What'd you think if I did bust?

AL: I'd bust too. Just as simple as that. I wouldn't be worth a nickel without 
you, Marge.

MARGE: Honest, Al? You mean that, honey?

AL: Cross my heart, I mean it. Listen, I'm scared already of this town.

MARGE: What you scared of?

AL: Well, baby, it's awful big, and it's awful fast.

MARGE: Not too big for you, hon.

AL: I'm not so sure.

MARGE: Not too fast for you, either.

AL: Marge, it won't be if you...

MARGE: (AFTER A PAUSE) If I what?

AL: If you – if you just stick with me. I mean if you – you know what I mean, 
Marge. I – this – everything I want to do I want to do it for you.

MARGE: Do you, darling?

AL: And I remember how we stood there in the dark that night, such a long time 
ago, looking back at the lights and the foam spreading out behind the boat as 
we sailed along, and you reached out your hand to me like you used to, and the 
way your eyes were shining, and you took a step toward me and I put out my 
arms to you.

CHILD: (AND THE CHILD SCREAMS WITH RAGE)

AL: (AL's DREAM DISSOLVES AND HE--)

SOUND: (HE LEAPS TO HIS FEET)

AL: Oh, that brat!

CHILD: (THE CRYING CONTINUES)

AL: The way some people take care of their kids! Where the dickens is she! 
She's never been on time in her life!

SOUND: (HE PICKS UP THE PHONE AND DIALS A NUMBER.)

CHILD: (CONTINUES TO CRY.)

SOUND: (WE HEAR THE RINGING SIGNAL)

AL: I wish – 

VOICE: (ON PHONE) Craveny Hotel, good evening.

AL: Uh – 506, please.

VOICE: (ON PHONE) One moment, please.

AL: Letting me sit around in a hot apartment all night, with a kid yowling in 
my ears – hello, hello.

(A SILENCE WHILE THE CHILD CRIES)

AL: Hello!

VOICE: (ON PHONE) 506 does not answer.

AL: What? Where is she?

VOICE: (ON PHONE) 506 does not answer.

AL: Thank you!

SOUND: (HE HANGS UP)

AL: Now, where – my gosh!

SOUND: (HE GOES TO THE WINDOW)

AL: (WITH STRAINED POLITENESS) Hey. Would you mind doing something about that 
child, please?

WOMAN: (OFF) Would you mind your own business?

AL: Listen – 

CHILD: (BUT THE SOUND OF THE CHILD'S CRYING DIMINISHES, AND--)

SOUND: (A DISTANT DOOR SLAMS, CUTTING OFF THE NOISE)

AL: Ffff! Well, that's a relief. Darn it, I wonder where Marge is? Well, if 
she didn't answer me she must be on the way, and it's only ten, twelve minutes 
in a cab.

She ought to be right here. If she didn't – 

SOUND: (A DISTANT PIANO STARTS TO PLAY "MARGIE" NOT VERY WELL)

AL: Huh! Listen to that. (HE SINGS ALONG WITH IT)

Mar-gie, I'm always thinking of you, Mar--

SOUND: BUT THE PIANIST HITS A SOUR NOTE, AND STARTS OVER AGAIN.)

AL: You don't play very well, bud.

SOUND: (THE PIANO GOES ON, HITS THE SAME WRONG NOTE, AND BEGINS AGAIN)

AL: It's G natural, Mac. (HE LISTENS)

SOUND: (THE PIANO SLOWS DOWN, HITS THE WRONG NOTE, HESITATES AND HITS THE 
RIGHT ONE AND GOES ON)

AL: That's better. (A PAUSE) Wow, it's hot.

SOUND: (THE PIANO HITS ANOTHER WRONG NOTE, HESITATES AND STARTS OVER)

AL: Oh, my lord.

SOUND: (PIANO CONTINUES)

AL: I'll get a drink of water.

SOUND: (PIANO CONTINUES AS HE GOES AWAY)

(FAUCET TURNS ON B.G.)

(SLAM OF REFRIGERATOR DOOR)

AL: Ahhhh!

SOUND: (FAUCET TURNED OFF, AND HE COMES BACK)

AL: No ice! I don't know how the dickens she can do a thing like – no, by 
gosh, I did that myself! I remember when I left-

SOUND: (THE PIANO HITS A NEW WRONG NOTE)

AL: Will you stop that – that – piano playing!

SOUND: (PIANO GOES RIGHT ON)

AL: WILL you – oh, the – he can't hear me! Well, maybe Marge'll like it when 
she gets here. It's a good gag. Keep it up, Mac.

SOUND: (MAC OBLIGINGLY KEEPS IT UP)

AL: I'll go nuts before she gets here, though.

SOUND: (HE DIALS ANOTHER NUMBER)

AL: Hello, give me the cocktail lounge. Probably stopped to have a fast nip 
first and – hello. This is Al Bessemer. Is my wife there? Isn't, huh? She been 
in tonight? Okay, thanks.

SOUND: (HANGS UP)

AL: I wonder where the devil she can be. She said she'd be here at 
eight...it's eight-fifteen – seventeen now. I wish she – 

SOUND: (THE PIANO STOPS)

AL: Well, thanks, Mac. We get this thing straightened out, we're going to move 
out of here.

SOUND: (SOMEBODY STARTS POUNDING ON WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A PIECE OF PIPE)

AL: Yeh. I'd just about forgotten about that. I wonder what that guy does. 
Sounds like pounding on pipe or something. You'd think you get in a half-way 
decent neighborhood you'd be entitled to peace and quiet once in a while, but 
it sounds like the Battle of the Bulge.

VOICE: (DISTANT) Hey, cut out that poundin'!

AL: That's tellin' 'em, fat lady. Yes, sir, Marge, we're going to get out of 
this place just as soon as – you wanted a place out in the country. I 
remember. You said the city was getting you down.

MARGE: (FADING IN) The city's got me down, Al.

AL: I remember what I said. I said we'll get a place out in the country one of 
these days, hon. Soon as I'm making a little more money we'll go right out and 
get us a little cottage all covered with vines and mortgages, I said. And you 
didn't think that was funny. You didn't laugh.

MARGE: We can afford it, Al. My goodness, look at the Briggses and the 
Bergens, and all the rest. They've got a place in the country, and I bet 
neither one of them makes any more money than you do!

AL: Well, I don't know; it's quite an investment, Marge.

MARGE: We'd spend a lot less out there, honey.

AL: I suppose. But wait till I get my next raise.

MARGE: Al, do you have any regard for me?

AL: Huh? For you? Why, sure I have!

MARGE: Look, Al. You and I aren't getting any younger. Look at me. I got 
crow's feet. I got wrinkles on my forehead.

AL: Well, look at me.

MARGE: I am looking at you. You said the city wasn't going to get you down, 
Al, and I said it wasn't going to get me down, but look at us, both of us!

AL: Ah, let's have a glass of beer and forget it.

MARGE: That's what you always say.

AL: What's the matter with beer?

MARGE: You never used to drink before we came here.

AL: Now, don't start that.

MARGE: Al!

AL: Well...

MARGE: I hate you!

AL: And I hate you!

MARGE: (CRYING) I'm gonna leave!

AL: Go on and leave!

MARGE: I will!

AL: Go on!

MARGE: I will!

AL: And don't come back!

MARGE: Oh, Al--

SOUND: (THE HAMMER HAS INCREASED IN INTENSITY)

AL: Cut it out!

SOUND: (BABY, AWAKENED, SCREAMS)

AL: Oh, Marge, Marge, what did I ever do that for? Marge, when you come home 
I'll TELL you I love you – I'll SHOW you I love you! I'll never treat you that 
away again! I promise I'll be good to her – I'll never say a cross word to her 
– just let her come back, let us be happy again...

SOUND: (CHILD IS BAWLING VIGOROUSLY IN THE DISTANCE)

AL: Oh, it's so HOT! I wish we had an electric fan here...that's the first 
thing I'll get for you, Marge, just as soon as we get started again...an 
electric fan, and then move to the country.....oh, that baby! No wonder Marge 
was irritable all the time.

Pianos, and people pounding, and that kid! I never noticed the kid so much 
before, though.....But Marge, here all day by herself, with that going on. Hot 
weather, and humidity, and noise....And I'm sitting in a nice cool office, and 
the only noise there is the telephone once in awhile...No wonder she left! I 
wonder if anything happened to her...I'd better phone again. No, she'll be 
here right away.. My gosh, it's a wonder she didn't go crazy--

SOUND: (TELEPHONE RINGS) (BABY STOPS FOR A MOMENT)

AL: Ah, there she is!

SOUND: (HE LIFTS THE RECEIVER)

AL: Hello – hel – who? Who? There's no Miss Pride here! You've got the wrong 
number!

SOUND: (HE SLAMS THE RECEIVER DOWN)

AL: Where IS she?

SOUND: (THE BABY BEGINS AGAIN, BUT LAUGHING AND TALKING THIS TIME, CONTINUING 
BEHIND THE FOLLOWING - )

AL: Maybe she decided not to come. Maybe she IS done with me. Maybe – hey, 
maybe my watch is slow. Let's see.

SOUND: (HE LIFTS THE RECEIVER AND DIALS ME 7-1212. WE HEAR THE RINGING SIGNAL, 
AND THEN - )

VOICE: (ON PHONE) When you hear the signal, the time will be 8:21 and one 
quarter – BUZZ. (PAUSE) When you hear the signal, the time will be 8:21 and 
one half – BUZZ

SOUND: (HE HANGS UP THE RECEIVER. THE CHILD GOES RIGHT ON)

AL: Eight twenty-one. She said she'd be here at eight.

What'll I do if she doesn't come?

Oh, she's got to come. Marge, Marge, please come home?

If you don't come, Marge, I'll...

You'd feed awful funny if you came in here a week from now and found me ...

Oh, stop talking like a silly fool!

Stop talking to yourself!

SOUND: (THERE IS SILENCE FOR A LITTLE WHILE, BROKEN ONLY BY THE BABY)

AL: (AT LENGTH) No...

She acted all right on the phone. She wasn't mad. She even laughed a little 
bit. She was – she sounded as if she was lonesome, too. She said she'd talk it 
over.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Yes, I'd be willing to talk it over, I guess, Al.

AL: I miss you so much, honey.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Do you?

AL: I can't tell you how much.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Did you send your blue suit out to be cleaned?

AL: I haven't been to the apartment.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Well, I just hoped you didn't send it out again, because I 
stopped by last week and I sent it out.

AL: (JOYFULLY) Oh, Marge, did you?

MARGE: (ON PHONE) And I stopped the papers.

AL: I forgot about that.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) There was a stack of morning papers two feet high in the 
hall.

AL: I'm sorry, Marge. I always forget things.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) I know.

AL: If you'll just come back, honey, I promise you I'll never forget anything 
again.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) I've heard that before. (SHE LAUGHS A LITTLE)

AL: I know, Marge, but – this time's different. I – 

MARGE: (ON PHONE) I've heard that, too.

AL: I mean it, Marge.

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Yeah.

AL: I do, honest I do! Will you, Marge?

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Well ... I'll come and talk it over with you, anyway.

AL: Oh, Marge, I love you.

MARGE: (ON PHONE): You said that before.

AL: Do – do you love me, Marge? (NO ANSWER) Marge? (NO ANSWER) A little bit 
... please?

MARGE: (ON PHONE) I'll tell you when I see you.

AL: When, then?

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Well...

SOUND: (THE VOICE OF THE CHILD PRATTLING AWAY HAS BEEN GROWING LOUDER)

MARGE: (ON PHONE, CONT) Monday night, maybe.

AL: What time?

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Eight o'clock.

AL: Oh, Marge, Marge, thank you! Thank you – Marge?

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Yes, Al?

AL: Marge, tell me you love me a little. (A PAUSE) Marge, please? Tell me you 
love me just a little?

MARGE: (ON PHONE) Al, I – 

SOUND: (AND THE CHILD'S VOICE CUTS HER OFF WITH A LOUD SHRIEK)

Al: (YELLS) Will you cut that out!

I'll go crazy if you don't get here pretty soon, Marge!

Oh, Marge, please hurry!

SOUND: (THE CHILD GOES RIGHT ON)

AL: Kid, stop! Stop, stop stop!

(HE GOES TO THE WINDOW) Will you choke that brat or something. I'm going nuts 
up here!

VOICE: (OFF) Ah, shut up!

SOUND: (THERE IS A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. THE CHILD GOES RIGHT ON)

AL: Oh, thank – 

SOUND: (GOES TO THE DOOR AND OPENS IT)

MAN: Hello, Mr. Bessemer. Here's a suit that was sent out to be cleaned. It's 
been downstairs for a week, I took good care of it for you.

AL: All right, thanks.

MAN: I think your wife sent it out, huh? Gee, it sure is hot, ain't it, Mr. 
Bessemer? Hottest day in twelve years it says in the papers.

AL: Yeah. Yeh. Yeh.

MAN: Awful lot of humidity, too.

AL: Yeh, here, Good night.

MAN: Good – 

SOUND: (AND THE DOOR, CLOSING, SHUTS HIM OFF)

AL: (FLINGING THE SUIT ON THE FLOOR) Blue suit! What do I want with – oh. 
That's the one Marge sent out. (HE STOOPS TO PICK IT UP) Oh, the nice 
suit...(HE LAUGHS) Thank you, Marge. Gee ... we'll put you in the closet.

SOUND: (HE OPENS A CLOSET DOOR)

AL: There you are, blue suit. Huh...Marge didn't take all her clothes. Here's 
her green dress. That's the one I always liked.

SOUND (DISTANTLY, THE PIANO BEGINS "MARGIE" AGAIN)

AL: Gee, I'll never forget the first time you wore that. That was the day we 
went to Riverview Park with the Hansens. Poor old Red Hansen. Gee, they were 
so happy together that day, and Hilda liked this dress so much...And we used 
to say nobody was as happy together as the Hansens ... And what a witch that 
Hilda turned out to be. Running out on Red...Gosh, it sure is hot in here. 
Pretty green dress...

SOUND: (HE CLOSES THE CLOSET DOOR GENTLY. THE SOUND GROW A TRIFLE LOUDER)

AL: Poor old Red Hansen. She sure made a bum out of him. He ought to've shot 
her. Running out on him that way. I saw him on the street the other day...ugh. 
(A PAUSE) I wonder....Marge...she couldn't be working a thing like that on 
me.....Nah.

SOUND: (THE PIANO STARTS OVER AGAIN)

AL: Still...what time is it? Eight twenty-eight. And she said eight o'clock. I 
wonder. (BURSTS OUT) Well, she won't make a tramp out of me like Red Hansen! 
I'll never go around putting the arm on MY friends for half a dollar! 
Chiseling drinks, can't hold a job ten minutes! You're not going to do that to 
ME! I'll knock myself off first! ..I'll fix her!..I've got that target pistol 
in there. Ah, sure, it's only a twenty-two, but if I put the bullets in the 
right place it'll be as good as a forty-five. How'd you like that, Marge? 
How'd you like to look at the papers tomorrow and see a headline – huh! 
Headline! It'd be on page twenty-seven, next to the want-ads. Al Bessemer, 
junior executive with an optical firm, was found dead in his apartment early 
today. Police said it was a suicide brought on by his wife running away from 
him and not coming back...How'd you like that, Marge? Well, you'll find out, 
if you don't get here pretty soon! I ought to shoot that kid first, though. 
And that piano player. How can people go on making the same mistakes over and 
over again and never doing anything about it?

Marge, Marge, Marge, come home!

Man, I wish I had a drink! Huh. If I had a drink and Marge did come home, 
that'd be the thing. I WOULD be out! She'd yell her head off. Like the time – 

MARGE: (OFF) You're nothing but an alcoholic, and I'm sorry I ever married you!

AL: Yeh. An alcoholic. And the time her old man kept feeding me home-made 
peach brandy.

MARGE: (OFF) Getting yourself drunk, and worse than that getting dad drunk 
with you!

AL: Oh, you're not so hot, Marge, sometimes. You can be as bad as Hilda 
Hansen, but you're not going to do that to me. But I love you, Marge. Marge, 
for the love of Mike, come home! Marge!

SOUND: (THE POUNDING BEGINS AGAIN)

AL: (YELLS) Cut that out!

SOUND: (THE POUNDING CONTINUES)

AL: (IN DESPERATION) If this keeps up, all the noise and all the heat and – 
I'm going to – 

SOUND: (HE GOES TO THE WINDOW)

AL: Hey you!

SOUND: (THE POUNDING STOPS, THEN BEGINS AGAIN)

AL: You hear me? You cut out that noise, or I'll call the police!

SOUND: (ALL THE NOISE GOES RIGHT ON)

AL: (YELLS) Stop that noise!

VOICE: (OFF) Ah, shut up!

AL: Cut it out, cut it out!

SOUND: (AND THE NOISE GOES RIGHT ON)

AL: (COMING BACK) What am I going to DO?

Marge, Marge, please!

Where are you?

SOUND: (HE PICKS UP THE PHONE, DIALS A NUMBER)

VOICE: (ON PHONE) Good evening, Graveny Hotel.

AL: 506.

VOICE: (AFTER A WAIT) 506 does not answer. Would you care to leave a message, 
sir?

AL: NO!

SOUND: (HE FLINGS THE TELEPHONE TO THE FLOOR)

AL: Message! I'll leave a message! I'll leave you a message, my dear wife, 
that you'll never forget! I'll leave you a message! I'll fix you! I'll leave 
you a 22-calibre message right through the head that you'll remember the 
longest day you live! You walk out on me, and then you promise me you'll come 
back and – 

MARGE: (DISTANT) I, Marjorie, take thee, Albert, to be my lawful wedded 
husband

AL: Marge – Marge – 

MARGE: (OFF) for better or for worse, 

AL: Marge! Oh, Marge, come back! Come back, or I'll – 

MARGE: (OFF) for richer for poorer

AL: Yeah! Yeah, that's what you said – 

MARGE: (OFF) till death us do part

AL: I can do it. I will do it. It's too late, Marge. You've done it once too 
often. I know where the gun is. I can do it all right, and you'll be sorry you 
see, you'll be sorry...

SOUND: (OPENING A DRAWER)

AL: Sure, it's right here. Right where it always was.

This'll fix her. Bullets. Yeh. O, Lord, it's so hot! I don't want to do this, 
but I got to! I got to! Marge, I hate to – Marge – 

I'll count to ten and if you're not here by the time I count ten I'm going to 
do it! I'll give you ten, Marge!

Oh, will you shut up!

You'll be sorry. I'll make you sorry for everything you ever did to me – one!

The way you spoke to me

MARGE: (OFF) I don't want you to drink so much because I love you

AL: Two. Always nagging at me, wanting me to move out to the country – three. 
And always wanting to have kids like that awful brat that yells all the time – 
four. Threatening to leave me all the time – five. And then running out on me 
and promising to come and talk – six. Promising saying you'd tell me whether 
you love me when you see me – seven. (HE LAUGHS) Love me! Eight. Well, I'll 
tell you something, Marge. I hate you. I hope you never come! I hope you – 
nine. And if you did come, I'd just as soon – 

SOUND: (THE DOOR IS OPENED)

MARGE: Al! Oh, Al, I'm sorry I'm so la – 

SOUND: (A SHOT CUTS HER OFF. SHE MOANS AND FALLS.)

AL: Marge ... Marge – Marge darling – 

SOUND: (HE BURSTS INTO RACKING SOBS AS THE CHILD'S GAY LAUGH IS HEARD IN THE 
DISTANCE)

(MUSIC ... THEME ... FADE FOR)
ANNCR: The title of tonight's "Quiet, Please" was "Motive." It was written and 
directed by Wyllis Cooper, and the man who spoke to you was Ernest Chappell.

CHAPPELL: And Mary Patton played Marge. Cecil Roy played the arduous part of 
the child; and the other voices were supplied by Peggy Stanley and Floyd 
Buckley.

The music for "Quiet Please" – including the piano - is of course by Albert 
Buhrmann. 

Now for a word about next week, here is our writer-director Wyllis Cooper.

COOPER: None of the characters in tonight's story were INTENDED to represent 
anybody, living or dead. 

Next week "The Third Man's Story."

CHAPPELL: And so until out next week at this time, I am quietly yours, Ernest 
Chappell.

(MUSIC ... THEME FADE FOR) 

ANNCR: "Quiet, Please" comes to you from New York, and is heard in Canada 
through the facilities of the Canadian Broadcasting Company.

THIS IS THE MUTUAL BROADCASTING SYSTEM.

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