Strange Bonfire

[Case #198920
Transcript of 8 June 1952 
broadcast of "Whitehall 1212."]
__________________________________

SOUND: (PHONE RINGS, IS ANSWERED)

HORACE BRAHAM: (FILTER) This is Scotland Yard.

(MUSIC ... THEME ... OUT)

ANNOUNCER: For the first time in its history, Scotland Yard opens its official 
files to bring you the true story of some its most baffling cases.

HORACE BRAHAM: (FILTER) These are the true stories -- the plain, unvarnished 
facts just as they occurred, re-enacted for you by an all-British cast. Only 
the names have, for obvious reasons, been changed. The broadcasts are 
presented with the full cooperation of Scotland Yard.

ANNOUNCER: Research is from Percy Hoskins of the London Daily Express. 
"Whitehall 1212" is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS)

ANNOUNCER: Now, the voice of Chief Superintendant John Davidson, the caretaker 
of Scotland Yard's famous "Black Musuem."

JOHN DAVIDSON: Good afternoon.

I have here from our file, number one-nine-eight-nine-two-oh, a rusted lock, 
complete with handle. Once, it was brightly nickel-plated - and both handsome 
and utilitarian. Now, its beauty has been completely destroyed by the effects 
of a very hot fire. And its usefulness is ended by the fact that it is locked. 
Some of its parts have been fused by the heat which it endured. It's part of 
the right-hand door of a motor car, the door next to the driver's seat. It was 
locked before the fire.

I should like you to meet Chief Inspector Albert G. Clark, who is known, as 
all "Clarks" are, as "Nobby."

NOBBY: (NARRATES) The fifth of November, Sixteen Hundred and Five, was the day 
set by a certain Guy Fawkes to touch off a number of barrels of gunpowder he 
had secreted in the vaults under the Houses of Parliament, thereby blowing the 
members of the august body, complete with King James I, through the roof.

Unfortunately for Mr. Fawkes, and happily for the monarch, a Lord Monteagle 
learned about the enterprise and flung Master Fawkes into a dungeon, from 
which he emerged only to be hanged.

Thus, the principal form of celebration of Guy Fawkes Day on the fifth of 
November is the kindling of cheerful bonfires in which effigies of Guy Fawkes 
and other gentry are burned to the accompaniment of hilarious noises.

Quite late in the evening of the fifth of November, 1930, quite another type 
of bonfire made history near Hardingstone, which village is quite near 
Northampton. This is the way they related the story:

JOHN THOMAS: My name is Spiller, John Thomas Spiller. My friend here is Victor 
Charles Aspinwall.

VICTOR: It wasn't truly the fifth of November. It was about two o'clock in the 
morning of the sixth.

JOHN THOMAS: But it was still close enough to be practically Guy Fawkes Day.

VICTOR: Be still, John Thomas. We were walking home from a Guy Fawkes' dance 
in Northampton. 

JOHN THOMAS: Hardingstone is only a step from Northampton. 

VICTOR: You walk along the main London road from Northampton till you come to 
the turnoff to the left on Hardingstone Lane.

JOHN THOMAS: Only about two miles.

VICTOR: Two miles. First, as we started to turn off to Hardingstone down the 
lane, a motor car passed us.

JOHN THOMAS: Going towards London very fast. Blinding us quite.

VICTOR: Aye. And when it got past us, we saw a man.

JOHN THOMAS: The moon was quite bright ...

VICTOR: ... so we could see his face quite well.

JOHN THOMAS: He hadn't any hat.

VICTOR: He climbed out of the ditch onto the metal road.

JOHN THOMAS: And he looked as if he were mixed up. Wasn't sure what he was 
doing, like.

VICTOR: And we gaped at him. Didn't know what to say either. And it was just 
at that precise second I saw the blaze round the bend.

JOHN THOMAS: Down Hardingstone Lane where there shouldn't BE any blaze.

VICTOR: And I said to John Thomas here--

JOHN THOMAS: "What's the blaze?" you said.

VICTOR: And the man from the ditch--

JOHN THOMAS: The man without a hat.

VICTOR: He said, "It looks as if someone's having a bonfire."

JOHN THOMAS: "A late bonfire," he said.

VICTOR: Yes, that's right.

JOHN THOMAS: And we turned to look in the direction of the blaze.

VICTOR: Down the lane toward Hardingstone.

JOHN THOMAS: And when we turned back to look at the man--

VICTOR: He was running away.

JOHN THOMAS: Hurrying away.

VICTOR: That's right. Hurrying away.

JOHN THOMAS: He didn't say a word.

VICTOR: He started toward London and then he stopped and looked around.

JOHN THOMAS: The moon was so bright--

VICTOR: And then he turned toward Northampton and he started to hurry that 
way.

JOHN THOMAS: We'd have done something but he was hurrying down the road-- 
Anyway, we didn't care who he was.

VICTOR: And there WAS the bonfire.

JOHN THOMAS: We just THOUGHT it was a bonfire, Victor.

VICTOR: Yes. And so we went on down the lane to see who made the fire.

JOHN THOMAS: And the fire seemed to be getting bigger, so we hurried--

VICTOR: --hurried - and, suddenly, there it was.

JOHN THOMAS: Right there in front of us.

VICTOR: Blazin' like ...

JOHN THOMAS: ... like blazes.

VICTOR: The flames were fifteen feet high.

JOHN THOMAS: But we could see what it was.

VICTOR: It was a motor car.

JOHN THOMAS: (SIMULTANEOUS) Motor car.

VICTOR: And there was somebody in it.

JOHN THOMAS: In the driver's seat.

VICTOR: And he was on fire, too.

JOHN THOMAS: He was dead.

(MUSIC ... FOR A FLAMING CAR ... IN AND UNDER)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) The boys had forgotten about the hatless stranger who 
climbed out of the ditch and ran away. They went for a policeman. Quite a 
number of men arrived. The fire was clearly visible in the village, of course. 
And, presently, it was put out and only sizzled.

(MUSIC ... OUT)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) The unfortunate occupant of the driver's seat was carried 
away in several sacks - and put away to cool in the cellar of the local 
hospital. Then the two boys remembered the man without a hat and they told 
Sergeant Moody about it. Sergeant Moody was the baldheaded one from 
Northampton.

JOHN THOMAS: He wasn't very old, was he, Victor?

VICTOR: About thirty-five.

JOHN THOMAS: Thirty-six, I was thinking.

VICTOR: Thirty-five.

JOHN THOMAS: He looked like a commercial traveler.

VICTOR: He had no hat.

JOHN THOMAS: Victor, we said that.

VICTOR: He seemed confused, I think I'd say. Wouldn't you, John Thomas?

JOHN THOMAS: Bewildered, I'd say.

VICTOR: He finally went off toward Northampton.

JOHN THOMAS: He started the other direction first, though.

VICTOR: Toward London. But he went down the road toward Northampton.

JOHN THOMAS: A dark man.

VICTOR: Needed a haircut.

JOHN THOMAS: Wore a checkered waistcoat.

VICTOR: And a dark red tie.

JOHN THOMAS: He had a tiny black moustache.

VICTOR: And a wart on the left side of his neck.

JOHN THOMAS: A cut on his right hand.

VICTOR: Limped. His right foot.

JOHN THOMAS: Bulgy eyes.

VICTOR: Pop eyes.

JOHN THOMAS: Tall.

VICTOR: Weighed about eleven stone.

JOHN THOMAS: Would you know him again, Victor?

VICTOR: Certainly I'd know him, John Thomas.

JOHN THOMAS: It was all very suspicious, Sergeant. 

VICTOR: Him running away like that.

JOHN THOMAS: From the fire. 

VICTOR: I think he had something to do with it.

JOHN THOMAS: I think you ought to find him, Sergeant.

(MUSIC ... TO SEARCH FOR A HATLESS MAN BY ... BRIDGE ... OUT)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) Sergeant Moody, and the rest of the Northampton police, made 
quite a point of trying to find the hatless stranger that day, but he wasn't 
to be found. By mid-morning, both the burned car and the burned victim had 
cooled off enough for a closer examination. There wasn't enough left of the 
man -- they had decided it WAS a man -- to tell anything about him. The car 
proved to have been a Morris Minor Saloon, and the registration plate, though 
badly burned, was still legible. Sergeant Moody?

SGT. MOODY: (NARRATES) I put in a trunk call to County Hall Westminster in 
London to check the name to which that number was issued. 

VOICE: (FILTER) We'll have it for you in half a second, Sergeant. That was M-U 
one-four-six-eight, wasn't it?

SGT. MOODY: Uh, M-U one-four-six-eight, yes. That's a London registration, 
according to the book.

VOICE: (FILTER) Quite. We'll have it for you in-- Ah, here it is now. The name 
is Paget. Donald Patrick Paget. Address Buxted Road, Finchley. The car is a 
Morris Minor Saloon.

SGT. MOODY: WAS you mean. (MAKES NOTES) Er, Donald Patrick Paget. Buxted Road, 
Finchley. Thank you very much.

SOUND: (HANGS UP PHONE)

SGT. MOODY: (NARRATES) I then consulted the London metropolitan telephone 
directory in the Northampton station to discover whether a telephone number 
was listed for the name Paget in Buxted Road, Finchley. It was. I spoke to a 
woman who identified herself as Mrs. Pamela Paget, wife of the owner of the 
car. I broke the news to her as gently as possible and she announced her 
intention of proceeding to Northampton. She arrived the same day, the sixth of 
November.

PAMELA: (SUBDUED) I came as quickly as I could, Sergeant. Where is he?

SGT. MOODY: (HESITANT, UNCOMFORTABLE) The - the remains are in the hospital 
mortuary, mum.

PAMELA: I suppose I couldn't see him.

SGT. MOODY: Well, I'm afraid I must advise strongly against it, Mrs. Paget, I 
- I'm afraid he'll be a trifle difficult to identify.

PAMELA: I'm not easily shocked, Sergeant.

SGT. MOODY: Well, yes, ma'am, but, er, perhaps it would be better to wait 
until you've rested. I could have a nice cup o' tea sent in for ya.

PAMELA: No, thank you, Sergeant.

SGT. MOODY: Good hot tea?

PAMELA: (REFUSES) Thank you. Perhaps you could tell me how this thing 
happened.

SGT. MOODY: Er, well, er, we don't know a great deal about it ourselves as 
yet. It happened only this morning and, er, we've not-- Well, we've only 
completed our preliminary examinations. We thought perhaps YOU might shed some 
light on the matter.

PAMELA: I'm sure I can't.

SGT. MOODY: Er, you and the late Mr. Paget were on good terms, of course?

PAMELA: We were.

SGT. MOODY: Of course. Er, what was Mr. Paget's occupation?

PAMELA: He was a commercial traveler.

SGT. MOODY: (WRITES THIS DOWN) Commercial traveler.

PAMELA: I must notify the people he represents.

SGT. MOODY: And the insurance companies?

PAMELA: Yes.

SGT. MOODY: Yes.

PAMELA: I - I suppose Mr. Paget was alone when this happened?

SGT. MOODY: Well, there was nobody else in the car when, er-- at the time of 
the fire, ma'am, but, er, there WAS a curious circumstance I meant to ask you 
about at once.

PAMELA: Yes?

SGT. MOODY: Er, the two young men who discovered the fire report that there 
WAS another person--

PAMELA: (QUICKLY) A man or a woman?

SGT. MOODY: (STARTLED BY HER QUERY) Oh, a man. What would a woman being doin' 
there?

PAMELA: (A LITTLE EMBARRASSED) Oh, I--

SGT. MOODY: A man. He was proceeding along a ditch beside the road. Though 
we're, of course, not certain that this man had any connection with the case, 
of course, but, uh--

PAMELA: What did this man look like? Did he give his name?

SGT. MOODY: Oh, no, no. There was practically no conversation with him and he 
hurried away. He's not been seen since.

PAMELA: Do you have his description?

SGT. MOODY: Er, yes. Yes, I have the description, given by the young men who 
saw him. Heh, it was quite a bright, moonlight night as you remember. 
(CHUCKLES) If indeed the moon DOES shine in London.

PAMELA: The description, please.

SGT. MOODY: (CONSULTS HIS NOTES) Uh, age: about thirty-five or six. He wore no 
hat.

PAMELA: That could be anyone.

SGT. MOODY: (READS ON) A dark man, weighing about eleven stone. Wearing a 
checkered waistcoat.

PAMELA: (GASPS QUIETLY IN SURPRISE)

SGT. MOODY: Eh?

PAMELA: My husband was wearing a checkered waistcoat.

SGT. MOODY: (AS IF TO SAY, "ISN'T THAT INTERESTING?") Oh, ah? (KEEPS READING) 
A dark, red tie.

PAMELA: And he wore a dark, red tie.

SGT. MOODY: Ah, I'd best call these young men to see if they can remember any 
more details about this--

PAMELA: Go on with the description, please.

SGT. MOODY: Oh, yes. (READS) Er, the man had a small black moustache.

PAMELA: (EXHALES QUIETLY IN DISBELIEF)

SGT. MOODY: (READS) A wart on the left side of his neck.

PAMELA: Mmmm.

SGT. MOODY: (READS) A cut on his right hand.

PAMELA: (TO HERSELF) No.

SGT. MOODY: (READS) Had bulgy eyes.

PAMELA: (WHIMPERS)

SGT. MOODY: Pop eyes, the young man said. (READS) And dark, curly hair.

PAMELA: (STARTS TO WEEP QUIETLY)

SGT. MOODY: (READS) And he limped. His right foot. He limped.

PAMELA: His LEFT foot, Sergeant.

SGT. MOODY: Eh?

PAMELA: He limped with his LEFT foot. He was wounded in the War in 1916. He 
limped with his LEFT foot. 

SGT. MOODY: (CONFUSED) Do you mean to say you recognize this man, Mrs. Paget?

PAMELA: Of course I do.

SGT. MOODY: Who?

PAMELA: He's the man you thought was burned to death in the motor car.

SGT. MOODY: Who?!

PAMELA: My husband, Donald Paget.

SGT. MOODY: But, Mrs. Paget--?!

PAMELA: (MORE SADNESS THAN ANGER, TO HERSELF) So Don's added murder to his 
other sins at last, has he?

(MUSIC ... A DRAMATIC BRIDGE ... IN AND OUT)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) The reporters -- the self-styled "crime men" -- pounced on 
the story by mid-afternoon and flung their headline broadcasts from Land's End 
to John O'Groat's House. Before nightfall on the sixth of November, a third of 
the people of England, Scotland, and Wales were peering into the faces of 
perfect strangers, hoping for a glimpse of Donald Patrick Paget, the 
proclaimed fugitive. At Scotland Yard, we went a little more slowly. We 
weren't as certain as the newspapers. They got me an impression of the dead 
man's teeth. And when it arrived, I dispatched it to one Clement Walter, who 
was Paget's dentist of record. Mr. Walter telephoned me at the Yard at ten 
minutes after eight the night of the sixth.

DENTIST: (ON FILTER, SELF-IMPORTANT) Is that Inspector Clark?

NOBBY: Yes, Clark speaking.

DENTIST: (FILTER) Walter here.

NOBBY: Walter?

DENTIST: (FILTER, ANNOYED) The dentist, man. Paget's dentist. I should think 
you'd know my voice by now.

NOBBY: Oh, sorry, Mr. Walter. Uh, did you have anything to report?

DENTIST: (FILTER) That impression of your precious dead man's teeth?

NOBBY: Yes?

DENTIST: (FILTER) They're nothing at all like Donald Paget's.

NOBBY: Really?

DENTIST: (FILTER) I've checked exhaustively through all my rather extensive 
records. It has taken a great deal of time.

NOBBY: I'm sorry, sir.

DENTIST: (FILTER) It is quite impossible that the dead man's teeth could be 
those of Paget's. I will be glad to demonstrate to you at your convenience. 
But if you could have the actual teeth, I could show you more graphically.

NOBBY: All right, sir. Thank you very kindly. 

DENTIST: (FILTER) Er, my fee will be -- in view of the fact that this work has 
been done after hours -- one guinea, sir.

NOBBY: I am sure that the Home Office will consider it money well spent, sir. 
Good night.

SOUND: (HANGS UP PHONE)

NOBBY: (CALLS) Sergeant Talbot?!

SGT. TALBOT: (FROM OFF) Coming, sir!

SOUND: (OFFICE DOOR OPENS)

SGT. TALBOT: (ENTERS OFFICE, OFF) I was just about to come in, sir.

SOUND: (OFFICE DOOR SHUTS)

NOBBY: Do so. By all means.

SGT. TALBOT: (OFF) Yes, sir.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS)

SGT. TALBOT: (CLOSER) I've checked four persons so far, sir.

NOBBY: Well?

SGT. TALBOT: I asked each one to give me his own description of Paget, sir. 
And they're all his close acquaintances.

NOBBY: And?

SGT. TALBOT: Well, they all agree in detail with that given by the two young 
men at Hardingstone.

NOBBY: The hatless man climbing out of the ditch?

SGT. TALBOT: Each one of them said independantly that Paget was one of those 
odd chaps who's never been known to wear a hat, winter or summer.

NOBBY: Looks as if he's our boy, then. 

SOUND: (PHONE RINGS)

NOBBY: Uh, wait a sec, will you?

SGT. TALBOT: Yes, sir.

SOUND: (PICKS UP PHONE)

NOBBY: Nobby, er-- Inspector Clark here.

VOICE: (ON FILTER) Mrs. Pamela Paget here to see you, sir.

NOBBY: Oh? Well, ask her to come in.

VOICE: (FILTER) Shall I ask the other lady to come in, too, sir?

NOBBY: Eh? Who's she?

VOICE: (FILTER) Miss Ellen Mc-- Mc--?

PAMELA: (OFF) McKeckrin.

VOICE: (FILTER, TO ELLEN) Who? Mc--?

PAMELA: (OFF) McKeckrin. Ellen McKeckrin.

NOBBY: Well, who's she?

VOICE: (FILTER) Don't know, sir. She's with Mrs. Paget.

NOBBY: Oh, all right. Send her in, too.

VOICE: (FILTER) Yes, sir.

SOUND: (HANGS UP PHONE)

NOBBY: Ever hear of an Ellen Mc-- Ellen McKeckrin, Talbot?

SGT. TALBOT: No, sir. There was an Alice McKeckrin, sir. Pickpocket. She was 
struck by a tram last Tuesday in Hammersmith Broadway. She was killed. 

NOBBY: Talbot, you're a mine of information. I doubt this is the same one, 
though.

SGT. TALBOT: No, sir. That all, sir?

NOBBY: Yes, thank you, for now.

SOUND: (TALBOT'S FOOTSTEPS AWAY, OFFICE DOOR OPENS)

PAMELA: (OFF, TO SGT. TALBOT) Is this Inspector Clark's office, please?

NOBBY: Right here, Mrs. Paget. Come in.

PAMELA: (OFF) Oh, thank you. (TO SGT. TALBOT) Thank you.

SGT. TALBOT: (OFF) Yes, mum.

PAMELA: (OFF) Come in, my child.

SOUND: (TALBOT EXITS, OFFICE DOOR SHUTS, WOMEN'S FOOTSTEPS)

PAMELA: (CLOSER) Inspector Clark, this is Miss Ellin McKeckrin.

NOBBY: How do you do, Miss McKeckrin? 

ELLEN: How do you do?

NOBBY: Won't you be seated?

ELLEN: Thank you, sir.

SOUND: (WOMEN TAKE SEATS)

NOBBY: Well, Mrs. Paget, I'm afraid that it WAS your husband.

PAMELA: I was certain it was.

NOBBY: Yes.

PAMELA: I'd just come back from Hardingstone and I went straightaway to find 
Ellen.

ELLEN: (CACKLES WITH LAUGHTER, CATCHES HERSELF) Excuse me, mum.

NOBBY: I'm afraid I don't understand, Mrs. Paget.

PAMELA: Do sit still, Ellen.

ELLEN: Yes, mum.

PAMELA: That baldheaded sergeant out there -- what's his name?

NOBBY: Sergeant Moody?

PAMELA: Oh, Moody, that's it. He said something when we were talking about not 
being sure whether the body in the fire was a man or a woman.

NOBBY: He told me that on the telephone this afternoon. Apparently, they're 
sure now that it was a man. The medical officer--

PAMELA: Yes, I know. But I didn't know when I came back. That's why I went to 
find Ellen here.

ELLEN: (GIGGLES, MERRILY) She thought perhaps it might be me. But it wasn't, 
was it?

PAMELA: No, child, it wasn't. Neither you nor your father.

NOBBY: I'm afraid I'm--

ELLEN: (LAUGHS) Father's still in jail! You can't burn up people in jail now, 
can you, sir?

NOBBY: Will you tell me - tell me what you're talking about, Mrs. Paget? What 
has this child and her father got to do with the--?

PAMELA: I was afraid it was Ellen that Donald had murdered.

ELLEN: Or my father, you said. (GIGGLES)

NOBBY: Why, for heaven's sake?

PAMELA: Well, Ellen's father had threatened to do bodily harm to Donald.

ELLEN: (LAUGHS) Threatened to burst his bloody neck! Oh, pardon me.

NOBBY: Eh? Why?

PAMELA: Because he wasn't paying the twenty shillings a week he'd agreed to 
pay, of course. 

NOBBY: What twenty shillings?

ELLEN: (CHUCKLES, SLYLY) For my baby.

NOBBY: What--?

PAMELA: The father of Ellen's three-year-old child is Donald Paget, Inspector 
Clark.

(MUSIC ... A CACOPHONOUS BRIDGE ... IN AND OUT)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) John Davidson, from the "Black Museum," shared a pint of 
mild and bitter with me that night after I finally shut up shop. (CLEARS 
THROAT) "I don't know, John," I said. 

JOHN DAVIDSON: About what?

NOBBY: About people.

JOHN DAVIDSON: No accounting for taste. Yeah, fine, original statement, that.

NOBBY: True, though.

JOHN DAVIDSON: You were speaking about the wife?

NOBBY: Yes. Married to this fellow. He goes out and contracts a bigamous 
marriage. 

JOHN DAVIDSON: To a girl who's an obvious idiot, you said.

NOBBY: Well, not very clever.

JOHN DAVIDSON: Maidservant, you said.

NOBBY: What we used to call a "slavey."

JOHN DAVIDSON: Fortunately, that class is disappearing.

NOBBY: Doesn't help the ones that are left, John.

JOHN DAVIDSON: Well, the Paget class never dies out.

NOBBY: I shall do my best to assure this one's dying out.

JOHN DAVIDSON: Uh, we were talking about his wife.

NOBBY: Yes.

JOHN DAVIDSON: She apparently doesn't have any resentment toward this young-- 
er, what's-her-name, Ellen?

NOBBY: Ellen. Why should she? It wasn't Ellen's fault that she has the 
mentality of a mangelwurzel. Any resentment she harbors is towards her 
husband.

JOHN DAVIDSON: The missing Donald Patrick Paget, Esquire, who lit one too many 
bonfires on Guy Fawkes Day.

NOBBY: For which, God willing, he'll hang.

JOHN DAVIDSON: Do you have any ideas regarding the unfortunate man in the car?

NOBBY: None.

JOHN DAVIDSON: Well, I know nothing about it, Nobby. (SWIGS A DRINK) But, 
knowing nothing about it, I may have an idea.

NOBBY: What?

JOHN DAVIDSON: The lawful wife may have an idea, too.

NOBBY: Mrs. Paget?

JOHN DAVIDSON: Aye.

NOBBY: Explain, please, John.

JOHN DAVIDSON: If a man commits -- what shall we call it? -- uh, an 
"indiscretion" like this, marrying bigamously and fathering a child--

NOBBY: The law of the land calls it a felony.

JOHN DAVIDSON: For the purpose of my argument, let's disregard the legality of 
the thing, Nobby. Now, we have here a situation of a husband commiting a grave 
offense against his wife--

NOBBY: And the law.

JOHN DAVIDSON: Disregard the law. (CHUCKLES) [Entelechally?], I mean. He 
commits this heinous crime. The wife, practicing true Christian forebearance 
and charity, forgives the man. Or at least declines to prosecute him.

NOBBY: Well?

JOHN DAVIDSON: Now, bear with me. Given that set of circumstances, would not 
such a man be inclined to repeat the offense ... ?

NOBBY: Well, uh--

JOHN DAVIDSON: ... having convinced himself that he'll be allowed, as our 
American cousins say, allowed to "get away with it" again ...?

NOBBY: Could be, John.

JOHN DAVIDSON: Assuring himself that he need only to satisfy his wife's 
goodness of soul, her love for him, which she's demonstrated, and the payment 
to the unfortunate young woman of a sum of money proposed by the courts. 
Well--

NOBBY: I don't see where your argument's going, John. But--

JOHN DAVIDSON: It's not a bad argument, Nobby. And it follows after one 
advanced by Mrs. Paget. Assume that the wrong girl's father threatens 
unpleasantness to brother Paget.

NOBBY: (UNDERSTANDS) Oh, you're saying that the dead man may be the father of 
still another victimised girl?

JOHN DAVIDSON: That doesn't sound reasonable?

NOBBY: Well, I--

JOHN DAVIDSON: Mrs. Paget was convinced it was reasonable in the case of 
young-- er, Ellen, is it? She's forgiven a lot. But she boggles at the thought 
of murder. So, for that matter, do I.

NOBBY: What do you think?

JOHN DAVIDSON: Why, I think if I were doing it, I - I'd look about and see if 
the temporarily missing Mr. Paget has made any other excursions into the 
extramarital. And then I'd discover whether the father of the bride is 
enjoying good health. Or has recently been the victim of an all-consuming 
fire. And then I should order another half-pint for poor old John Davidson, 
who is now extremely thirsty.

(MUSIC ... A PLAYFUL BRIDGE ... IN AND OUT)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) John Davidson's ingenious idea was ALMOST right. Mrs. Paget 
knew of no other liasons with women of any age, intellectual state, or social 
standing which had been contracted by her husband.

PAMELA: We have been horribly unhappy, Inspector, during all of our married 
life. But I have TRIED to make allowances. Donald was severely wounded in the 
War. He was buried alive at Festubert. And they despaired of his life for a 
long, long time.

NOBBY: I didn't know about that.

PAMELA: He was such a wonderful person, Inspector, before we were married and 
he went to France. At Festubert, only three months after he went overseas, I 
didn't-- Well, I made a vow to myself that if Don recovered and got well, 
I'd-- I don't want to talk about it. 

NOBBY: I'm sorry, Mrs. Paget.

PAMELA: I swore to myself that no matter what happened, no matter what he did, 
I would try-- I-- (BREAKS DOWN AND CRIES)

NOBBY: I'm sorry, Mrs. Paget, but--

PAMELA: (WEEPS) He's been unfaithful to me so many times. But this time with 
Ellen was the only one I knew all about. I was afraid Ellen's father was-- 
Don's mind was affected, you know, by that dreadful wound. He makes mistakes. 
He does things. He can't hold on to a job. We haven't any money. I've tried so 
hard, Inspector. But not - not murder. Not murder. Even if it is Donald. 
That's why I came to you. If it's murder-- Not even for Donny. (WEEPS)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) I went away from there, back to my office. 

It was the morning of the seventh of November, less than thirty-two hours 
since the young men had found the blazing car. There was a telegraph form in 
its envelope on my desk. I looked at it. From Cardiff, in Wales. Tore open the 
envelope.

SOUND: (ENVELOPE TORN, TELEGRAM UNFOLDED)

NOBBY: (NARRATES) Signature -- Arthur Llewellyn. I don't know any "Arthur 
Llewellyn." What's the message say? (READS) "Donald Patrick Paget will arrive 
at Hammersmith Bus Terminal at 9:30 p. m. today, the seventh. Important you 
meet him. You will recognize him from his description. Arthur Llewellyn."

(NARRATES) John Davidson, it appeared, was wrong. I telephoned him to say so. 
I didn't telephone Mrs. Paget. 9:30 that night, I met Donald Paget as he 
stepped off the Cardiff bus. 'Twas easy to recognize him. We went in a CID car 
to my office and talked.

DONALD: I'd given up, Inspector, anyhow. It can't be done. Wonder if I could 
see my wife.

NOBBY: She's waiting in the anteroom. You can see her if you want to, if she 
wants to, after we get this over.

DONALD: All right. I did it.

NOBBY: Very well. Donald Patrick Paget, I arrest you on a charge of willful 
murder and I warn you that anything you say will be taken down in writing and 
may be used in evidence. Sergeant Talbot, do you have your notebook?

SGT TALBOT: Yes, sir. I'm ready.

NOBBY: Now, make a statement.

DONALD: I had to do it. First, I got rid of nearly every penny of money we 
had. I spent it on women. It's funny to say that when I love Pamela. I love 
poor Pamela and I've treated her so badly. Just women. I don't drink, I don't 
smoke. But women find me attractive, I'm afraid, and - I'm their undoing. And 
mine. And Pamela's. Yes, and that kid of Ellen's. I couldn't pay the building 
society on the house. They - they'd've thrown us out in another month. I 
couldn't pay Ellen. Or McKeckrin'd had me in jail. It was just the end of 
things for me. And for Pamela. So I picked him up when he asked for a lift. 
And I poured petrol all over him after I strangled him and I stuffed him into 
the driver's seat. Then I got out and poured a trail of petrol down the road 
to the car and lighted it. And then I remembered I'd locked him in. Tried to 
run back to the car but it was too late. I ran back and down the ditch and 
that was when those boys saw me. The game's up. I'd intended to run away and 
be listed as dead in a motor car accident - and Pamela'd get the insurance. 
But they'd seen me. Did run away. It isn't very clear to me, I'm afraid. I - I 
went to Cardiff. Went to see a girl I used to know -- Gladys Llewellyn. But 
she was gone. And her brother Arthur saw me. He hated me, for some reason. Did 
he telegraph you?

NOBBY: (AFFIRMATIVE) Mm hm.

DONALD: I knew I was done for. Can I see Pamela now? Please?

NOBBY: All right, Sergeant.

DONALD: Oh, wait. There's one more thing. I don't know who he was, the man I 
murdered. He was a complete stranger. He just happened along at the right 
time. I don't know his name. I'm sorry about him. But I'm sorry about so many 
things. Now may I see Pamela?

NOBBY: All right, Sergeant.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS)

DONALD: Hello, Pam darling.

PAMELA: Hello, Donny.

DONALD: Oh, Pamela. I'm so sorry.

PAMELA: I've brought you some of the cigarettes you like ... Donny.

(MUSIC ... A MOURNFUL BRIDGE ... IN AND OUT)

NOBBY: The identity of the dead man was never learned. Donald Patrick Paget 
was tried at the Bedford Assize and found guilty of murder. On the tenth of 
March, 1931, he was hanged at Bedford Prison.

(MUSIC ... TO A CONCLUSION ... IN AND OUT)


This episode is based on the notorious case of Alfred Arthur Rouse (above). Writer-director Wyllis Cooper makes his fictional murderer far more sympathetic than Rouse, who was an extremely promiscuous bigamist and serial adulterer and may have tried to fake his own death, not for his wife's benefit, but to escape his many financial obligations. Rouse did not confess to the police and his trial was a landmark in Great Britain, with the use of forensics evidence playing a large role in his conviction. Both Rouse and Cooper were wounded veterans of the Great War, which may account, in part, for the sympathetic portrayal. ANNOUNCER: Heard today on "Whitehall 1212" in the order of their appearance: Harvey Hayes, Jared Burke, Gordon Stern, Lester Fletcher, Basil Langton, Francois Grimar, Beulah Garrick, Patricia Courtley and Victor Chapin. "Whitehall 1212" is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper. (MUSIC ... THEME ... OUT) ANNOUNCER: Because blood has been available in Korea until now, many, many lives have been saved. However, the present rate of donations is far below that needed to build up our reserve supplies. ...
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