The Coffin in Studio B

[Transcript of 13 July 1946 broadcast. 
The first broadcast of this script 
would have been circa 1934-1936.]
__________________________________

NARRATOR: Lights out ... everybody.

SOUND: (GONG ... WIND BLOWS) 

NARRATOR: This is the witching hour. 

SOUND: (DOG HOWLS OVER THE WIND)

NARRATOR: It is the hour when dogs howl --

SOUND: (CLOCK CHIMES, DOG HOWLS AND BARKS)

NARRATOR: -- and evil is let loose on a sleeping world. 

SOUND: (THUNDER)

NARRATOR: Want to hear about it? Then ... turn out your lights.

SOUND: (NOISES OUT ... GONG)

ANNOUNCER: The National Broadcasting Company brings you "Lights Out" -- a 
revival of the eight best stories in the series which many of our listeners 
will remember. Wyllis Cooper is your author and Albert Crews your director. 
Sit in the dark now and listen to ... 

NARRATOR: Lights out.

SOUND: (GONG ... THEN SILENCE)

ED: And, uh, what will you do if I won't?

FRITZ: Something very unpleasant, my dear chap.

ED: For example?

FRITZ: For example, it is quite possible that I will kill you.

ED: (EXHALES) You amaze me.

FRITZ: Oh, no, no, no, I assure you, I'm quite serious.

ED: Impossible.

FRITZ: Not impossible at all.

ED: May I ask just how you propose to, uh -- end my life, shall I say?

FRITZ: I shall cut your throat. Neatly -- and, as the books have it, with 
dispatch.

ED: (CHUCKLES) You've been reading books, then?

FRITZ: We're wasting time. What's the answer?

ED: The answer is the same as it has always been.

FRITZ: You refuse, then?

ED: I refuse, yes.

FRITZ: Very well. You force me to become a murderer.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Cut. Look, uh -- I don't want to throw you up on this first 
reading but, uh, not much is coming through in here. I don't know just how to 
say it but, uh, it just doesn't jell for some reason or other. Now, let's 
think about these lines. Oh, let's hold it a minute.

FRITZ: What's the matter, George? Who is it? Me or Ed?

GEORGE: (FILTER) Well, I - I hate to throw you up on this first reading but, 
uh, Fritz, I think it's you. Something wrong. Let's see. The attack on the 
part or maybe you're throwing those lines away without any sincerity. There's 
no menace in the part, you see what I mean? Well, look, uh, let me come on 
out.

ED: (AFTER A BEAT) Ah, hammin' again, eh, Fritz?

FRITZ: Okay, character. Let it alone. I'm havin' enough trouble.

ED: (DRYLY, TO GEORGE) Look, he can act. Honest, George. Fella's got a card.

GEORGE: (APPROACHING) All right, uh, let's can the funny stuff, Ed. We got 
some work to do and I want you to just pay attention if you don't mind.

ED: All right.

GEORGE: Uh, look, Fritz, uh...

FRITZ: Yeah?

GEORGE: How do you feel in this thing?

FRITZ: I don't know. It's not-- It's not right. I don't know what to do, 
though.

GEORGE: Well, you don't sound convincing, you see my point?

FRITZ: Yeah.

GEORGE: Er, you got any ideas on how you might do it?

FRITZ: No-- Oh, wait a minute. Wh-what about dialect? I could do a little 
German. I could--

GEORGE: German? Wait a minute. No, no, no, I don't think I want any German on 
this thing. I hear too much o' that. Uh, uh some Austrian? No, no, that's-- 
No, no, that's too close to German. 

FRITZ: I don't know--

GEORGE: How's your French? How's your French? Let's see how your French is.

FRITZ: (RELUCTANT) Oh, it's all right, it's all right.

GEORGE: No, no, no. Look, I don't want-- I don't want to make him too 
definite, see? He should be a kind of a combination, a lot of menace in there, 
quiet, but - I gotta believe the guy. Make 'em, uh-- Let's see, what's that 
word? I want him, uh--

FRITZ: Continental. Continental.

GEORGE: That's it! Uh, just-- not - not too much now. Just a whiff of it, 
okay?

FRITZ: I know - Continental. Let me try it. Yeah. Right.

GEORGE: Well, try it now. From the top, huh? Let's go.

ED: Okay. (AFTER A PAUSE, IN CHARACTER) And, uh, what will you do if I won't?

FRITZ: (CONTINENTAL) Something very unpleasant, my dear chap.

ED: For example?

FRITZ: For example, it is quite possible that I will kill you.

ED: You amaze me.

FRITZ: I assure you, I'm quite serious.

GEORGE: Okay, hold it. 

FRITZ: How's it doin' now? How's it sound?

ED: Are you asking me or the director?

GEORGE: Well, it sounds a lot better than it did before. You'll work into it. 
Yeah, well, look, uh, yeah, Fritz, I think that'll do it. Er, uh, what do you 
say we put it up on the mike and let's see how it sounds. Take that whole 
scene over.

FRITZ: How is it for age, George?

GEORGE: (RETREATING TO CONTROL ROOM) Oh, the age is okay. I want a little bit 
of age, not too much age.

FRITZ: All right. Just a little -

GEORGE: Just about right. 

FRITZ: - a little older? 

GEORGE: Right on the nose the way you had it.

FRITZ: All right.

SOUND: (CONTROL ROOM DOOR)

ED: (YAWNS) Rehearsals, rehearsals. Well, it beats digging ditches for a 
living, I guess.

FRITZ: Oh, does it?

ED: Or so they tell me. 

FRITZ: Well, anyway, it's cold in here. Thank the Lord for air conditioning.

ED: I wish it was nine-thirty.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Okay, characters. Now, uh, give me that "AFRA Number Five" 
now, will ya? And, uh, let's hear it again, uh, from the top.

ED: (IN CHARACTER) And, uh, what will you do if I won't?

FRITZ: Something very unpleasant, my dear chap.

ED: For example?

FRITZ: For example, it is quite possible - I will kill you.

ED: You amaze me.

FRITZ: I assure you, I'm quite serious.

ED: Impossible.

FRITZ: Not impossible at all.

ED: May I ask just how you propose to -- end my life, shall I say?

FRITZ: I shall cut your throat. Neatly -- and, as the books have it, with 
dispatch.

ED: Oh, you've been reading books, then?

FRITZ: We are wasting time. What's the answer?

ED: The answer is the same as it has always been.

FRITZ: You refuse, then?

ED: I refuse, yes.

FRITZ: Very well. You force me to become a murderer.

GEORGE: (FILTER, UPSET) Look, Fritz, you sound about as much like a murderer 
as-- Oh, I give up!

FRITZ: Well, for the love of Mike, George, what do you want me to do? Growl?

GEORGE: (FILTER) No, no. I don't want you to growl! But I do want you, if you 
won't find it too inconvenient, to act just a little bit like a murderer. You 
know, a murderer -- a guy that, uh, kills people.

FRITZ: Yeah.

ED: He wants you to make faces, Fritz.

FRITZ: Ah, shut up.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Wait. Um, I'll come out there again.

ED: (SYMPATHETIC, TO FRITZ) How ya doin', kid?

FRITZ: (DISCOURAGED) I give up, I don't know what the man wants. 

SOUND: (CONTROL ROOM DOOR OPENS)

GEORGE: (APPROACHING) Now, listen - sweetheart - have you the faintest idea 
how a guy acts when he's goin' to kill somebody? Have you?

FRITZ: No. But I got a hunch I'm gonna know about it in a minute.

GEORGE: Oh, well, that'll be swell. Because the way you're doing it now, a 
guy'd think that you were Ed's brother or something.

FRITZ: Oh, George--

GEORGE: Now, listen, get it through your thick skull that we got a show in a 
few minutes. We're going on the air -- radio, remember, ya see? You're 
supposed to be a murderer!

FRITZ: I know but it's gonna come a lot easier if you don't gimme a--

GEORGE: Oh, you can't take it, huh?

FRITZ: (DISMISSIVE) Oh, nuts!

GEORGE: All right, well, let's try it again. Uh, take it from that line, um, 
oh, "The - the answer is the same as it has always been," Ed. Go on, will ya?

ED: (WEARILY) All right. (IN CHARACTER) The answer is the same as it has 
always been.

FRITZ: You refu--? Pardon me. (IN CHARACTER) You refuse, then?

SOUND: (STUDIO DOOR OPENS)

HORACE: Hey, George!

FRITZ: Oh, for-- 

ED: Now what?! 

GEORGE: Well, what do you want?

HORACE: There's an old gent out here wants to see you.

GEORGE: What's he want?

HORACE: I don't know.

GEORGE: Well, tell him to go away. No, no, wait, uh, who is he?

HORACE: I don't know. (TALKS TO OLD GENT UNDER FOLLOWING) What is it you're--?

FRITZ: How can I keep in character--?

ED: Oh, I don't know, sometimes I wonder--

HORACE: Oh. (CALLS) Uh, he says he wants to see Ed, not you. 

ED: Who is he?

HORACE: He won't give his name.

GEORGE: Probably some guy that you owe money to.

ED: You should talk.  (CALLS TO HORACE) Well, look, tell him-- Well, listen, 
we're right in the middle of a rehearsal.

GEORGE: Go ahead and talk to him, Ed. We can smoke a cigarette or play 
tiddlywinks.

ED: (SCOFFS) Ohhh.

GEORGE: But, listen, you tell him to make it snappy! We got a show to get on!

ED: All right, all right. (CALLS) Tell him to come in here, Horace.

HORACE: Go right in, Mister.

SALESMAN: (APPROACHING) Why, there you are, Mr. Henley. Good evening, sir. 
Good evening. 

ED: Why, uh, I don't believe I've ever had--

SALESMAN: (CHUCKLES) Don't know me, heh? Well, I know YOU, Mr. Henley. Mr. ED 
Henley, yes, sir.

GEORGE: He owes the old guy dough, all right. 

FRITZ: (LAUGHS)

ED: I'm afraid I don't know you, sir.

SALESMAN: I, er, come up to show you my book. I - I figured you'd like to have 
a look at it now while you have the chance -- just in case you had any choice. 
(CHUCKLES) Folks don't often have the choice, you know.

ED: Choice? Uh, choice of what?

SALESMAN: Now, here. Let me show you the book.

SOUND: (SETS BOOK ON TABLE)

SALESMAN: Er, I won't be a minute.

SOUND: (FLIPS THROUGH PAGES OF BOOK)

SALESMAN: I don't like to disturb your work, you know, but - it's got to be 
done, I guess. Now, this one here--

ED: Ye gods! Coffins!

FRITZ: What?

GEORGE: Coffins?

ED: Look! It's a catalogue o' coffins!

SALESMAN: (CORRECTS HIM POLITELY) Caskets.

ED: Huh?

SALESMAN: Yes, that's right. Yes, sir. The neatest line of caskets in the 
country. Handle nothing but the best. No, sir. Now, looky here. This number -- 
A-Fourteen-Thirty-Six, ain't it? -- Yes. (READS) Uh, all gray silk, solid silver 
handles--

ED: Say, listen, what IS this?

SALESMAN: Or this model -- A-Fifty-Four-Ninety-Nine -- in mahogany. This--

GEORGE: Uh, wait a minute, mister, uh, what's this all about?

SALESMAN: Why, I just figured Mr. Henley'd kind o' like to pick hisself out a 
casket.

GEORGE: Well, uh, who are you?

SALESMAN: So I brought up the book here to show him. I got my tape measure 
right here in my pocket.

FRITZ: Ahhh, it's a rib, George. Somebody sent him up here.

GEORGE: Heh. Oh, yeah?

SALESMAN: Oh, no. Nobody sent me. I just thought Mr. Henley--

GEORGE: Well, look, Mr. Henley's busy. We're rehearsing a radio show here and 
we've got just a few more minutes before we go on the air so if you don't 
mind--

SALESMAN: I know, I know. You're rehearsing "Lights Out." I know all about it. 
Listen every Saturday night. I like it. All about ghosts and corpses and 
things. Yes, sir. (CHUCKLES)

GEORGE: Oh, well. Well, that - that - that's fine but, uh, we've got work to 
do now.

SALESMAN: Well, well, I'll get right out of here -- uh, just as soon as Mr. 
Henley makes up his mind. Now, this A-Fourteen-Thirty-Six that I was showing 
you--

ED: Listen, mister, I don't want to buy a coffin. I got no use for one, do you 
get me?

SALESMAN: Solid silver handles!

ED: George, this guy's screwy.

SALESMAN: Oh, no I'm not. No, no. No, sir! Now, wait. I got some pictures here 
in colors if you like something a little fancier. Now, just a minute now till 
I find it. 

SOUND: (FLIPS THROUGH PAGES OF BOOK)

GEORGE: (WHISPERS) Fritz?

FRITZ: (WHISPERS) Yeah?
 
GEORGE: (WHISPERS) Go get Horace and have him get this old gent out o' here. I 
think the old guy's crazy.

FRITZ: (WHISPERS) Yeah, yeah. Okay.

GEORGE: Uh, mister, did, uh, somebody send you up here to see Ed Henley?

SALESMAN: Send me? No, sir. I told you, I - I thought it up my own self. Now 
this here H-Sixty-Seven-Eighty-Two with the bronze plate on top. How do you 
like that? Pretty nifty, i'n't it? Hm? Yes, sir!

ED: Listen, I've told you. I don't want a coffin. I have absolutely--

SALESMAN: Or -- you CAN have it with solid silver plate, if you like that 
better.

GEORGE: If, uh, I were you, Ed, I'd get the one with the silver plate.

ED: Huh?! Oh! Yes. Yeah, I rather like that one with the silver plate. Mm hm. 
That's the one, all right.

SALESMAN: The H-Sixty-Seven-Eighty-Two-A with solid silver plate. Yes, sir! 
Well, that's all I wanted to know. Yes, sir. That's what I come up here for. 

SOUND: (PICKS UP BOOK)

SALESMAN: Well, thank you kindly, Mr. Henley. I think you'll find it very 
satisfactory.

ED: I'm sure I will.

SALESMAN: And thank you, sir. I'll be going now. (STARTS OFF) Thank you ever 
so much. Sorry to interrupt you.

GEORGE: Well, uh, uh, good-bye.

SALESMAN: (LEAVING) Good-bye, gentlemen! Thank you very much, Mr. Henley.

SOUND: (STUDIO DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES)

GEORGE: Well! I wonder what goes with that guy.

ED: Whose idea was that?

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

FRITZ: ... in here, Horace.

GEORGE: It's, uh, it's all right, uh, Fritz. He's gone now.

FRITZ: What?

GEORGE: We don't need you, Horace.

HORACE: Huh? 

FRITZ: Where'd he go?

GEORGE: Well, he just went out that door a minute ago. Didn't you see him?

FRITZ: No. 

HORACE: He musta went the other way.

GEORGE: He went out that door right there.

HORACE: Oh? That's funny. Uh, we didn't see him.

ED: Listen, Horace, was that YOUR idea?

HORACE: Mine? Gosh, no.

FRITZ: Hey! (SNAPS FINGERS) I know. It was one of the announcers. Wisecrackin' 
guys.

ED: I don't think it was so funny myself. Not at this time o' night with 
nobody else in the whole place.

FRITZ: How'd you get rid of him, Ed?

GEORGE: Heh. Oh, the old guy was showing us coffin after coffin and I 
suggested to Ed that he buy Number H-Sixty-Seven-Eighty-Three-A.

ED: With solid silver plate!

FRITZ AND HORACE: (LAUGH)

GEORGE: So he said "Okay" and scrammed. Leave it to me to handle the screwy 
guys. I've had experience enough producing shows around here.

ED: Oh!

FRITZ: Thank you, dear.

HORACE: You birds want me any more?

GEORGE: Uh, no. No, Horace. Uh, thanks. Oh, if you see old Joe Coffin-Seller 
again, though, tell him we're not in the market. Now, come on, let's get to 
work.

ED: All right.

FRITZ: Yeah, it's about time.

ED: Where do we start?

GEORGE: Uh, there on, uh, page six, line five. "The answer is the same--" and 
so on, you know.

ED: All right. (IN CHARACTER) The answer is the same as it has always been.

FRITZ: You refuse, then, huh?

ED: I refuse, yes.

FRITZ: (BREAKS CHARACTER BRIEFLY) Mm, I'll get that the next time through. (IN 
CHARACTER) Very well. You force me to become a murderer.

GEORGE: (INTERRUPTS) No! "You force ME to become a murderer"!

FRITZ: (IN CHARACTER) You FORCE me to become a murderer!

GEORGE: (INHALES UNHAPPILY) Go on.

FRITZ: (BREAKS CHARACTER) I don't know.

ED: (CONTINUES SCENE, IN CHARACTER) You know the penalty for murder in this 
country.

FRITZ: (CHUCKLES)

ED: Put down that knife.

FRITZ: You have had your last chance. (CHUCKLES)

ED: No. No, don't kill me.

FRITZ: I warned you.

ED: Don't! No! No!

FRITZ: I warned you but you would not listen to me.

ED: Help! Help!

SOUND: (STRUGGLE, GRUNTS AND GASPS)

GEORGE: Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut!

ED: Now what?

GEORGE: Now, listen, er, we've gotta plant that knife somehow.

FRITZ: Oh, holy smokes, George, I can't say "I am now about to stab you with 
this here repulsive knife," can I?

GEORGE: Ah, well, that's the trouble with writers -- no imagination. Let me 
see now--

ED: I could say "Drop the knife" again.

GEORGE: No, no. Let me think. 

FRITZ: (AFTER A PAUSE) Tick tick tick tick tick--

GEORGE: Shut up.

FRITZ: Sorry.

GEORGE: Oh, I got it. Oh, look, why do sound effects guys have to go on 
vacations? Is there a knife out there someplace?

FRITZ: I don't know. I'll look over here. Let's see. 

SOUND: (POKES THROUGH SOUND EFFECTS EQUIPMENT)

FRITZ: (FROM OFF) Yeah. Here's one.

GEORGE: Well, what kind is it?

FRITZ: Pocket knife. Think I'll just drop it in my pocket, too. I've been 
wantin' a knife like this.

GEORGE: Well, let's see it.

FRITZ: Uh uh uh, I got ten dibs on it.

GEORGE: Well, now, look, you hold it up close to the microphone and open it. 
Make it click. And I'll go to the control room and listen.

FRITZ: (MOCK BRITISH ACCENT) Very well, Orson.

ED: It'll probably sound like a door opening.

SOUND: (CONTROL ROOM DOOR OPENS)

FRITZ: So what? It's more than the door opening gag we got sounds like.

GEORGE: (FILTER) All right, uh, let's hear it now. Open it up.

SOUND: (KNIFE OPENS)

GEORGE: (FILTER) No. Not so loud. Try it again.

SOUND: (KNIFE OPENS)

GEORGE: (FILTER) Okay. Now, uh, Fritz, you put that effect in just as you 
start to struggle. Give him the cue, Ed.

ED: Ah, what? "No, no, help, help"? That business?

GEORGE: (FILTER) Yes, yes.

ED: (IN CHARACTER) No! No! No! Help! Help!

FRITZ: (CHUCKLES) 

SOUND: (KNIFE OPENS)

FRITZ: You would not listen to me, so--

SOUND: (STRUGGLE, GRUNTS AND GASPS)

GEORGE: (FILTER, IMPATIENT) Stab him! Stab him!

FRITZ: Oh! Oh, yeah. Okay.

SOUND: (STRUGGLE, GRUNTS AND GASPS ... PAUSE)

GEORGE: (FILTER) You, uh, better fall down on the floor, Ed. It'll sound 
better.

ED: Why is it I always have to do the falls?!

GEORGE: (FILTER) Go on, go on!

ED: Aw, nuts!

SOUND: (BODY FALLS)

ED: (FROM THE FLOOR) Okay?

GEORGE: (FILTER) Okay. Now, uh, how are we gonna ring that gong? Oh, I don't 
see why we can't get some help on this show.

FRITZ: Why don't you get Horace?

GEORGE: (FILTER) That's an idea. I'll go get him.

ED: (YAWNS) Ohhhh, gosh, I'm tired. I was here at nine this morning for an 
audition and I haven't even had time to get any dinner.

FRITZ: Actors -- the idle rich.

ED: Says you. Say, who do you suppose sent that dilly old bird up here?

FRITZ: I don't know. Lot o' funny jokers around this shop.

ED: Well, it was a good gag for this show, I guess. 'Cept I don't suppose 
it'll be so funny for the old gent when he finds out it was a gag.

FRITZ: Yeah, I don't imagine it's a very good racket, runnin' around peddling 
coffins.

ED: I never even knew they peddled coffins that way.

FRITZ: Neither did I.

SOUND: (STUDIO DOOR OPENS)

HORACE: (OFF, PROTESTS, TO GEORGE) I was readin'--

ED: (REFERS TO GEORGE, IRONIC) The genius.

FRITZ: Yeah.

GEORGE: (APPROACHING) You'll have plenty of time to catch up on your reading 
after the show's over. I want you to sock that gong.

ED: All ya gotta do is take the little club and clout the gong when George 
points at you, Horace.

FRITZ: If George points at you, Horace.

GEORGE: Listen, who's producing this show?

ED: I sometimes wonder.

HORACE: Uh, where's the stick to hit it with?

FRITZ: You are practically standing on it.

HORACE: Huh? Oh.

GEORGE: All right, now. Now, look, I'll go in the control room and you guys go 
on into the fight. Now, you watch me, Horace, and when I point, you sock that 
gong.

HORACE: Okay.

FRITZ: Ah, George, listen, do we have to go through the whole thing again? My 
throat--

GEORGE: No, no, no. Just the struggle part. Now, wait till I get in.

SOUND: (CONTROL ROOM DOOR OPENS)

ED: (ENCOURAGING) Hit it a good bat, Horace.

HORACE: (WITH A CHUCKLE, AMUSED TO BE IN SHOW BIZ) Okay.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Okay, struggle.

SOUND: (STRUGGLE, GRUNTS AND GASPS, BODY FALLS ... A PAUSE)

GEORGE: (FILTER) Well, pay attention, dummy! Will ya hit that gong?!

HORACE: Oh! Oh.

SOUND: (HITS GONG POORLY)

HORACE: Excuse me, I was watchin' Ed and Fritz.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Well, look, you watch me from now on. I'll give you the cues 
and you do 'em. You got it?

HORACE: Okay.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Go ahead, struggle.

SOUND: (STRUGGLE, GRUNTS AND GASPS, BODY FALLS ... A WELL-HIT GONG)

HORACE: Okay?

GEORGE: (FILTER) Okay. Now, uh, you do it just like that on the air. Ya got 
it?

HORACE: Okay! 

SOUND: (DISTANT PHONE RINGING)

HORACE: Oh, I gotta go, George -- the phone's ringin' in the lobby!

GEORGE: (FILTER) Well, hurry up. We're practically on the air.

HORACE: (LEAVING) [?]

ED: Ohh, I wish I had a cigarette.

GEORGE: (FILTER) No smoking in the studios.

ED: Speak when spoken to! I was talkin' to Fritz.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Oh, well. There's still no smoking in the studios.

FRITZ: Oh, brother. Want to go get somethin' to eat after the show, Ed?

ED: Oh, not me. I'm gonna be dead.

FRITZ: I'm draggin', too. I'm goin' sailin' with Jake tomorrow.

ED: Oh, are ya?

FRITZ: Yeah. (YAWN) [?]

SOUND: (STUDIO DOOR OPENS)

HORACE: (OFF) Okay, George, I'm back.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Well, look, uh, come on, will ya? Come on.

HORACE: (APPROACHING) Hey, you know who that was?

FRITZ: Sure, somebody wantin' to know what time Fred Waring's on.

HORACE: (INSULTED) No. No, it wasn't.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Come on, will ya can the guessing games? Let's go!

HORACE: It was the old coffin guy! He wanted to know if Mr. Henley wanted a 
silver or a bronze plate on his coffin!

FRITZ: What'd you tell him?

HORACE: Silver, I said. Nothin' cheap about Mr. Henley, I said. (LAUGHS)

FRITZ: Wooo wooo!

ED: Listen, you oughtn't to kid the old guy like that. He's just a poor, 
harmless old bird. Besides, the first thing you know, somebody'll be knockin' 
at my door, deliverin' a coffin and collectin' money for it.

FRITZ: Tryin' to collect, you mean.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Now, listen, you lugs, if you wanna play comedy, you put the 
bite on Don McNeill, will ya? You're wasting your time over on this side. Now, 
uh, let's go to work. Now, if that old guy calls up again, you tell him to go 
jump in the lake. Now, come on, look at page ten. We won't have time to take 
it in dress. Top of the page. I want, uh, running footsteps, all three o' you, 
cross the studio floor, up the stair steps. You stop and run back down. You 
got it? On my cue.

SOUND: (HURRIED FOOTSTEPS ACROSS FLOOR, UP STAIRS, STOP, RUN BACK DOWN)

GEORGE: (FILTER) Okay. Hurry up now. Now, uh, take the knock on the door and 
the footsteps coming in -- it's bottom of page eleven. You do the knock, Ed. 
Horace you open the door. And, Fritz, you do the footsteps. You got it? On my 
cue.

SOUND: (KNOCK, DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS)

GEORGE: (FILTER) Okay. Keep it that way. She's comin' right up now. Fritz, uh, 
you do the wind machine.

FRITZ: Right. Right, George.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Ed, you do the chimes.

ED: Okay.

GEORGE: (FILTER) Horace, you sock that gong.

HORACE: (OFF) Right, George.

GEORGE: (FILTER) On your toes, now. At my cue, Fritz. Quiet, everyone. Five 
seconds.

NARRATOR: (AFTER A FIVE SECOND PAUSE) Lights out ... everybody.

SOUND: (GONG ... WIND BLOWS) 

NARRATOR: This is the witching hour. 

SOUND: (DOG HOWLS OVER THE WIND)

NARRATOR: It is the hour when dogs howl --

SOUND: (CLOCK CHIMES, DOG HOWLS AND BARKS)

NARRATOR: -- and evil is let loose on a sleeping world. 

SOUND: (THUNDER)

NARRATOR: Want to hear about it? Then turn out your lights.

SOUND: (NOISES OUT ... GONG ... KNOCK AT DOOR, FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPENS)

FRITZ: Ah, good evening, my dear friend.

ED: Good evening, Doctor.

FRITZ: Won't you come in?

ED: Thank you.

SOUND: (DOOR CLOSES)

FRITZ: Here, let me take your coat and hat.

ED: Ah, certainly. Here you are, Doctor.

FRITZ: Well, won't you come in and sit down?

SOUND: (CLOSET DOOR CLOSES)

ED: Thank you.

FRITZ: Well?

ED: It's all taken care of.

FRITZ: Really?

ED: Quite.

FRITZ: You have the proof?

ED: Well...

FRITZ: Of course you realize, my dear friend, I cannot be expected to carry 
out our little arrangement unless I have proof.

ED: Yes, I was reasonably sure of that.

FRITZ: And - so?

ED: There is a hat, crumpled in the left hand pocket of my overcoat.

FRITZ: A hat?

ED: His hat. I think you'll find that it has a bullet hole through the crown 
and, uh, there are several blood stains.

FRITZ: Oh, fine. Uh, you don't mind if I look for myself?

ED: Ooh, of course not. That's why I brought it, you see.

FRITZ: Yes, yes, yes.

SOUND: (CLOSET DOOR OPENS)

FRITZ: (FROM OFF) Ah! Apparently, a very neat job.

SOUND: (CLOSET DOOR CLOSES)

ED: I specialize in neat jobs, Doctor.

FRITZ: (CHUCKLES) Do you mind telling me how it was done?

ED: Not at all. I waited for him in the driveway of his house. Cold, too, 
tonight.

FRITZ: Mm.

ED: He left his car at the gate and walked up to the house.

FRITZ: Hm.

ED: We had planned on that, you remember?

FRITZ: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

ED: And when he came close enough, I - I shot him.

FRITZ: Oh. (CLICKS HIS TONGUE IRONICALLY) So noisy.

ED: There was a silencer on the revolver.

FRITZ: Ah! Thoughtful of you.

ED: I'm always thoughtful, Doctor.

FRITZ: (CHUCKLES) Excellent.

ED: I even stepped close enough to him to - ensure powder burns.

FRITZ: Better and better.

ED: And the revolver is there without the silencer to - to make it look like 
suicide. So...

FRITZ: I congratulate you, my dear friend.

ED: Thank you. I am - conscientious.

FRITZ: Are you conscientious enough to remember what I asked you to bring?

ED: Yes. Quite.

FRITZ: May I have it?

ED: I think not.

FRITZ: What'd you say?

ED: I came here tonight merely to thank you, Doctor, for your - cooperation. I 
find myself a richer man.

FRITZ: I hope you are joking, my friend.

ED: Not at all.

FRITZ: You don't want to give up the packet of jewels?

ED: I couldn't have put it more neatly myself, Doctor.

FRITZ: Mm hm. I see. You have not forgotten that I paid you a sum of money to 
perform this - service for me?

ED: Five hundred dollars.

FRITZ: That is correct.

ED: That is why I came here.

FRITZ: I'm afraid I don't understand.

ED: To return the five hundred dollars. You see, Doctor, I have decided to 
keep the jewels instead.

FRITZ: I see. (CHUCKLES) Would you care for a drink?

ED: Brandy, perhaps.

FRITZ: If you like.

SOUND: (RETREATS, MIXES DRINKS)

FRITZ: Water?

ED: Uh, thank you, no.

SOUND: (MIXES DRINKS)

FRITZ: Mm hm. Your health.

ED: If you don't mind, Doctor -- let us exchange glasses.

FRITZ: (CHUCKLES) You are a remarkably suspicious man.

ED: I have to be. If you please.

FRITZ: Oh, quite.

SOUND: (EXCHANGE OF DRINKS, DOCTOR SMASHES GLASS ON FLOOR)

ED: (AMUSED) I thought so, Doctor. Well, to your good health. (DRINKS, 
EXHALES) And, now, I'll be going, if you don't mind.

FRITZ: Oh, must you go, really?

ED: Yes. Uh, here are your five hundred dollars.

FRITZ: My offer is still good.

ED: Your offer?

FRITZ: Five hundred dollars for eliminating this man and bringing me the 
jewels from his pocket.

ED: Oh! I'm sorry not to be able to accept your offer, Doctor. I've made other 
arrangements, you see.

FRITZ: May I point out that you left your revolver at our friend's side?

ED: May I point out that it is extremely possible that I have another?

FRITZ: Possible?

ED: Probable.

FRITZ: Mm. Shall we have another drink?

ED: May I pour?

FRITZ: (CHUCKLES) If you like.

SOUND: (MIXES DRINKS)

ED: There.

FRITZ: That's enough. Thank you. Now - now, shall we discuss this further?

ED: I'm afraid there's very little to discuss, Doctor.

FRITZ: If you do not mind, I would--

ED: No. No, there is nothing to discuss. I'm grateful to you, my dear doctor, 
for putting me in the way of earning the very comfortable sum that these 
jewels will bring. I'm equally grateful to you for your hospitality. But I 
really must go.

FRITZ: Oh, I beg of you. Let me point out that a gentleman of your reputation 
might have some difficulty in disposing of the jewels.

ED: There are ways.

FRITZ: Would it not be a great deal safer for you to take the five hundred 
dollars with no further risk -- than to keep the jewels and run the risk -- of 
hanging?

ED: I'll take the risk. Besides, if anything unpleasant DOES happen to me in 
the course of disposing of the jewels, I can always remind my captors of the 
part that you played in this little affair -- you see?

FRITZ: I'm afraid you will have a very difficult time proving that.

ED: Mm, perhaps. But I'll run the risk. Good night, Doc--

FRITZ: Don't hurry, I beg of you. I should dislike to have any unpleasant 
happening.

ED: You forget that I have a revolver, Doctor.

FRITZ: That - is a lie.

ED: I wouldn't take a chance if I were you, Doctor.

FRITZ: I'm not taking a chance. I know you have no revolver.

ED: Really?

FRITZ: Really.

ED: Interesting. How?

FRITZ: A very simple process of deduction. There is none in your overcoat -- I 
could tell by the weight of it.

ED: Ah, but there is.

FRITZ: Ah! Thank you. I was rather certain that it was there.

ED: You--

FRITZ: And so I took the liberty of locking your overcoat in the closet when I 
got up to inspect our friend's hat. Checkmate, my dear friend?

ED: Stalemate, I think. I still have the jewels.

FRITZ: And I warn you for the last time to give them to me.

ED: I'm sorry.

FRITZ: It'll be a great deal better for you if you would, you know.

ED: What will you do if I won't?

FRITZ: Something very unpleasant, my dear friend.

ED: For example?

FRITZ: It is quite possible I will kill you.

ED: (EXHALES) You amaze me.

FRITZ: I assure you, I am quite serious.

ED: Impossible.

FRITZ: It is not impossible at all.

ED: May I ask just how you propose to, uh -- end my life, shall I say?

FRITZ: I shall cut your throat. Neatly, and, as the books have it, with 
dispatch.

ED: (CHUCKLES) You've been reading books, then?

FRITZ: Come, we are wasting time. What's the answer?

ED: The answer is the same as it has always been.

FRITZ: You refuse, then?

ED: I refuse, yes.

FRITZ: Very well. You force me to become a murderer.

ED: You know the penalty for murder in this country, Doctor?

FRITZ: (CHUCKLES)

ED: Put down that knife!

FRITZ: You have had your last chance.

ED: No. No, don't kill me.

FRITZ: I warned you.

ED: Don't! No! No!

FRITZ: I warned you. You would not listen to me.

ED: Help! Help! Help!

SOUND: (STRUGGLE, GRUNTS AND GASPS)

ED: (SCREAMS)

FRITZ: Ed? Ed?!

ED: (COUGHS, MOANS) You -

FRITZ: Ed?!

ED: You - you stabbed me, Fritz! (MOANS)

FRITZ: Oh, my God! Horace! Horace, look! The knife slipped! I didn't mean-- I 
cut him! I didn't mean to cut him! 

ED: (MOANS)

FRITZ: I cut him! I--

SOUND: (BODY FALLS TO FLOOR)

HORACE: Blood! You've REALLY killed him, Fritz!

FRITZ: (HORRIFIED) I-- Oh, no. No, I - I didn't-- 

SALESMAN: (APPROACHING) Gentlemen! I just got here in time, didn't I? Yes, 
sir! Model H-Sixty-Seven-Eighty-Two with silver plate for Mr. Henley!

FRITZ: Nooooo! (WEEPS)

SALESMAN: Yes, sir! Just bring it right in, boys! Mr. Henley's all ready for 
it! (CHUCKLES)

SOUND: (GONG)


NBC's Studio B in Chicago, original home of "Lights Out"

ANNOUNCER: You have just heard "The Coffin in Studio B" -- the second in a 
summer revival series of "Lights Out." In tonight's cast, you heard Bob Murphy 
as Ed, Sherman Marks as Fritz, Don Gallagher as George, Jack Bivans as Horace, 
and Charles Eggleston as the - coffin salesman. Come next Saturday night, we 
have a yarn cooked up for ya that we think you'll like. We call it "The 
Haunted Cell" and I rather think you'll get a chill or two when the ghost of a 
condemned man starts working on the guilty conscience of one of the toughest 
hoodlums in town. Why don't you sort of plan to listen in for -- "Lights Out"? 
This series is produced and directed by Albert Crews.

NARRATOR: All right. You can turn them on now.

SOUND: (GONG)

ANNOUNCER: This is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.

SOUND: (NBC CHIMES)

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