The Topaz Flower

SOUND: (PHONE RINGS TWICE, PICKS UP)

LIBRARIAN: (INTO PHONE) Hello, I hope I haven't kept you waiting. ... Yes, 
this is the Crime Club. ... I'm the Librarian. ... "The Topaz Flower"? Yes, we 
have that Crime Club story for you. Come right over. 

(MUSIC ... THEME ... IN AND OUT)

SOUND: (DOORBELL CHIMES SULLENLY ... DOOR OPENS)

LIBRARIAN: Ah! You're here. Good. 

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS)

LIBRARIAN: Take the easy chair by the window. ... Comfortable? The book is on 
this shelf.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT ... IN AND UNDER)

LIBRARIAN: Here it is. "The Topaz Flower" by Charlotte M. Russell. The 
exciting story of a flower that was plucked by the hand of Death. Let's look 
at it under the reading lamp. ...

It was a little after seven o'clock in the evening. A family and friends were 
scattered through the rather austere house. And Mr. Sloane was even more than 
usually indifferent to their comfort and his responsibility as host. 

Wally Kent was the only person there who did not fear the old man. He even 
admitted to himself that he liked him in a strange sort of way. And that was 
good, especially as the Sloanes were inclined to be clannish, and Wally 
intended to propose to Natalie -- if he could find her. After having looked 
everywhere else for her, he finally decided to try Mr. Sloane's room. Perhaps 
she had been closeted with her uncle. 

(MUSIC ... OUT)

LIBRARIAN: Standing at the door, he hesitated. Then, squaring his shoulders, 
he knocked.

SOUND: (KNOCKING ON DOOR)

WALLY: Mr. Sloane? Mr. Sloane, is Natalie there?

SOUND: (MORE KNOCKING)

WALLY: Mr. Sloane? Hey, Mr. Sloane!

SOUND: (RATTLES LOCKED DOOR)

WALLY: Ah, it's locked. (CALLS OUT) Natalie? Mr. Sloane? 

SOUND: (MORE KNOCKING, DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS)

WALLY: Oh, Natalie darling! I've been looking all over the house for ya. The 
party-- Why, honey, what's the matter?

NATALIE: Let me go, Wally.

WALLY: Oh, but, listen--

NATALIE: Let me go, I tell you!

SOUND: (NATALIE'S FOOTSTEPS RUSH OFF)

WALLY: Well, what the d--? (SIGHS)

SOUND: (WALLY'S FOOTSTEPS WALK INTO ROOM)

WALLY: (STUNNED) Mr. Sloane? Oh, my good gosh. Natalie, what were you doing--?

BOWER: (THE BUTLER, ENTERING) Did you call, Mr. Sloane? (SEES WALLY) Oh, Mr. 
Kent-- (SEES SLOANE, IS SHOCKED) Oh! Oh.

WALLY: Take it easy, Bower.

BOWER: Oh, but he's murdered! Mr. Sloane's been murdered!

WALLY: Get to the phone, Bower, right away. Call Captain Tom Bane of the 
Homicide Bureau. Tell him what's happened. He'll be here right away.

BOWER: Y-yes, sir.

WALLY: Oh, and, Bower -- just see that nobody leaves until he gets here, will 
you?

BOWER: Well, well, sir, I - I don't know but I'll try, sir. Oh, poor Mr. 
Sloane.

WALLY: And if you see Miss Natalie, tell her to come up here, please. It's 
very important.

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

BOWER: Captain Bane is here, Mr. Kent.

WALLY: Oh, thanks, Bower. Bring him right in here.

BOWER: Yes, sir. (TO CAPTAIN) Er, come in, please, Captain.

CAPTAIN: Thank you.

WALLY: Hello, Tom.

CAPTAIN: Hello, Wally. Hear you got a murder here.

WALLY: Got a dead man, anyway, Tom.

CAPTAIN: Let's have a look.

WALLY: Right in here.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS)

CAPTAIN: Yeah, he's dead all right. Harry Sloane, huh?

WALLY: Yeah.

CAPTAIN: Nobody saw it done, I suppose.

WALLY: Far as I know.

CAPTAIN: Now, let's see. Two glasses. Drinking with somebody.

WALLY: Looks like it.

CAPTAIN: Wonder who.

WALLY: Search me.

CAPTAIN: Anybody in here besides you?

WALLY: No. Oh, yes, there was, too. Young Raymond Sloane, his nephew.

CAPTAIN: Hm?

WALLY: Came roaring in when the news got out that the old gentleman was dead. 
I kept the others out.

CAPTAIN: Well, maybe we can get some prints off those glasses.

WALLY: Yeah. Oh, say, though -- Raymond Sloane picked up one of the glasses. 
This one.

CAPTAIN: Picked it up? What for?

WALLY: Well, he was kind of upset and he wanted a drink. So he just grabbed 
the glass, poured a shot into it and--

CAPTAIN: Yes, and smeared the prints all over the place, darn the luck. I 
always get the tough jobs. Why couldn't he have picked up the old gentleman's 
glass?

WALLY: Well, how would he know which was which?

CAPTAIN: Yeah, you got something there. Well-- Well, thanks anyway. Let's go 
see these folks, shall we?

WALLY: Sure.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS, FOOTSTEPS)

WALLY: Downstairs and to your right.

CAPTAIN: Mmm.

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS, FOOTSTEPS)

WALLY: I'll show ya.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS DOWN STAIRS)

CAPTAIN: (THOUGHTFUL) The, uh, old man -- had a lot o' dough, didn't he?

WALLY: He was pretty well off.

CAPTAIN: Ah. This the room?

WALLY: That's right.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS, CROWD OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS MURMURS)

CAPTAIN: (TO ALL) Now, uh, ladies and gentlemen, if you please. (CROWD QUIETS) 
I'm Captain Tom Bane of the Homicide Bureau. I know Wally Kent here but you 
others-- uh, will you please tell me who you are? You first, sir.

BOWER: I'm Bower, the butler, sir.

CAPTAIN: (TO THE NEXT PERSON) You?

MARIA: I'm Maria Sloane, Mr. Sloane's sister-in-law.

RAYMOND: And I'm his son, Raymond Sloane.

CLARINDA: Clarinda Bell, Mr. Sloane's secretary.

CAPTAIN: And this gentleman here in the corner?

BANNISTER: Joe Bannister. I'm an old friend of Harry Sloane.

CAPTAIN: Uh, shouldn't there be someone else?

RAYMOND: Well, Natalie--

MARIA: My daughter.

CAPTAIN: Where's she?

WALLY: Well, I - I think she--

NATALIE: (ENTERS) Sorry I'm late. I'm Natalie Sloane.

CAPTAIN: All right. Now sit down please, everybody. Let's just check those 
names again so I know to whom I'm talking. Bower, the butler?

BOWER: Yes, sir.

CAPTAIN: Mrs. Maria Sloane?

MARIA: Yes.

CAPTAIN: And Miss Clarinda Bell?

CLARINDA: I'm right here.

CAPTAIN: I see. And you're Joe Bannister?

BANNISTER: I am.

CAPTAIN: Miss Natalie Sloane?

NATALIE: Yes.

CAPTAIN: Have I forgotten anybody? Oh, yes. Raymond Sloane.

RAYMOND: Present!

WALLY: And me.

CAPTAIN: Mm hm. Wally Kent. Okay, here we go. We know that Mr. Sloane was shot 
about seven-fifteen by someone with a revolver with a silencer. He'd been 
drinking in his locked room with - someone, who, um, apparently killed him and 
took the, uh, Topaz Flower. What, er, what IS the Topaz Flower?

CROWD: (SEVERAL SPEAK AT ONCE)

NATALIE: It's a jewel, a cluster of jewels, a family heirloom.

CAPTAIN: Easily recognizable, Miss Natalie?

NATALIE: Oh, yes.

BANNISTER: "The Topaz Flower" is also a gold mine in Canada that Harry Sloane 
and I discovered.

CAPTAIN: Oh. Thank you, Mr., uh, Bannister.

BANNISTER: You're welcome.

CAPTAIN: Now, let's just check what each of you were doing when, uh... Wally 
Kent?

WALLY: I - I discovered the body, Captain. I was looking for Natalie and--

CAPTAIN: Uh, where were you, Miss Natalie?

NATALIE: (HESITANT) I was, er, dressing.

WALLY: (TO NATALIE) But--

CAPTAIN: (TO WALLY) What?

WALLY: Oh, I didn't say anything.

CAPTAIN: Okay. You, young man -- Raymond Sloane.

RAYMOND: I was having a drink in the living room, down here.

BANNISTER: (DRYLY) He's ALWAYS having a drink. Aren't you, Ray?

CAPTAIN: What were you doing, Mr. Bannister?

BANNISTER: I don't remember.

CAPTAIN: Oh, you don't remember? I see.

CLARINDA: I was downstairs here, all the time.

CAPTAIN: You're the secretary, Clarinda Bell?

CLARINDA: Yes. And -- may I go home?

CAPTAIN: You may not. You, Mrs. Sloane?

MARIA: Me? I was dressing. You can ask my maid.

CAPTAIN: (CHUCKLES) I will. And the butler?

BOWER: I - I was in the front hall, all evening, sir.

CAPTAIN: (PRETTY MUCH WHAT HE EXPECTED) Mm hmm. (SIGHS) Wally, you're supposed 
to be an amateur detective. What's your theory -- since you found the body? 
Was there, um, anybody else in the room?

WALLY: (CHOOSES WORDS CAREFULLY) Not - when I found the body, Captain, no.

CAPTAIN: Well, how'd you get in there if the door was locked?

WALLY: (PAUSE) What?

CAPTAIN: I said, how did you get in there if the door was locked?

WALLY: (LIGHTLY) Ohhhh, that.

CAPTAIN: (MATCHES HIM) Yeah. That.

WALLY: Well, I - I never thought of that, Tom. Well, one minute the door was 
locked and - and - then it was unlocked.

CAPTAIN: (IRONIC) Mmm.

WALLY: (CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) That's right. I never thought of that.

CAPTAIN: There must have been somebody in there.

BANNISTER: There sure must have been.

CAPTAIN: And you didn't see anybody when you went in?

WALLY: No. No, I didn't see anybody.

MARIA: Well, perhaps whoever it was got out through the French doors that open 
on the terrace.

CAPTAIN: Ah, they were locked, Mrs. Sloane.

CLARINDA: Were there any fingerprints on the glasses that they were drinking 
out of?

CAPTAIN: Thanks to young Mr. Sloane here, no. He smeared his own prints all 
over 'em.

RAYMOND: Well, I was only trying to help.

CAPTAIN: (IRONIC) Yeah, great help. Well ... whoever killed Mr. Sloane took 
the Topaz Flower, I suppose.

MARIA: (SCOFFS) Oh, that couldn't have been the motive for the murder. It was 
only worth about five thousand dollars.

CAPTAIN: (CHUCKLES, SURPRISED) Only five thousand? Mrs. Sloane, you'd be 
surprised what people'll do for five thousand doll-- (SUDDENLY THOUGHTFUL) 
Wait a minute. Young Mr. Sloane, how are you treated in your father's will?

RAYMOND: What? What do you mean? Do you mean--?

CAPTAIN: Easy, easy, lad. Er, do you come into a lot of money?

BANNISTER: If he does, Captain, so does practically everybody in the room 
here. Maria here is his sister-in-law. Natalie is his favorite niece. Bower's 
been an employee of Sloane's for--

BOWER: Twenty-eight years, sir.

BANNISTER: And I know I'm provided for in his will. Everybody here except 
Wally Kent stands to benefit by the will.

CAPTAIN: How 'bout you, Wally? You AND Miss Natalie, I take it?

WALLY: Er, Tom it could it be that the murderer took the Topaz Flower to 
direct suspicions along another line?

CLARINDA: It certainly could be, Mr. Kent.

CAPTAIN: Ah, Miss Clarinda Bell! Incidentally, you didn't say anything when 
Bannister was talkin' about people who might profit by, uh--

CLARINDA: Uh, no. I stood to lose a great deal by Mr. Sloane's death.

CAPTAIN: Oh, you mean he wasn't going to do the right thing by his secretary?

CLARINDA: By his first will, yes.

CROWD: (GASPS AND SPEAKS AT ONCE:)

MARIA: First will? Why--!

RAYMOND: What?

BANNISTER: What do you mean? There was only one--

CAPTAIN: Now, hold it, hold it! What do you mean by that, Miss Bell?

CLARINDA: Mr. Sloane dictated a new will to me only a week ago.

CAPTAIN: Why didn't you tell me this before?

CLARINDA: You didn't ask me, Captain.

MARIA: Well, I don't believe it.

RAYMOND: I don't either!

CAPTAIN: Miss Natalie, what do you think?

NATALIE: (FLUSTERED) Well, I - I don't know what--

WALLY: Now, wait a minute. Let's find out about this new will.

CAPTAIN: Yes. By all means. (TO CLARINDA) What did you mean about losing by 
the terms of the new will? Will you explain that, please?

CLARINDA: I will. Mr. Sloane and I were to be married.

CROWD: (GASPS, SCOFFS)

MARIA: Why, that's ridiculous!

CLARINDA: And the new will named Clarinda Bell Sloane, his wife, as a 
principal beneficiary. (DARKLY) However, since I'm still Clarinda Bell -- 
probably always will be -- you see --

CAPTAIN: Where is this will, Miss Bell?

CLARINDA: In the safe. Mr. Sloane's office. So, Captain, now that I've 
demonstrated that I have no possible motive -- do you suppose I might go home?

CAPTAIN: Why, sure. Sure, you can go home. I'll be in touch with you.

CLARINDA: Thank you. Good night.

CROWD: (MURMURS) Wait, Clarinda! Good night. Good night.

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS, DURING FOLLOWING DIALOGUE THE PHONE RINGS IN B.G. AND 
BOWER ANSWERS IT)

BANNISTER: Well, people, looks as if we're out of luck.

MARIA: No, we're not out of luck yet, Joe. That second will can't be probated 
so the first one is still good.

BANNISTER: Oh, no, my dear. The INTENT of the will is the thing. We're still 
out of luck.

RAYMOND: I didn't know there was another will.

BOWER: Telephone, Captain Bane. Headquarters calling, sir.

CAPTAIN: Oh, thanks. Uh, the rest of you clear out for a few minutes. Uh, 
Bower, see that they don't run all over the place and get lost.

BOWER: Oh, yes, sir, yes, sir.

SOUND: (CROWD MURMURS AND FILES OUT LOUDLY UNDER THE FOLLOWING:)

CAPTAIN: (INTO PHONE) Uh, hello? ... Oh, you did, eh? ... No, hold it a minute 
till these people get out of here. (IMPATIENT, TO ALL) All right, let's go, 
sweeties, let's go!

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

WALLY: Natalie?

NATALIE: What, Wally?

WALLY: Come in here a minute, will you?

NATALIE: Where?

WALLY: Here in this room. I want to ask you something. No, wait, let's see if 
there's anybody in there. (PAUSE) No. Come on.

NATALIE: What do you want?

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS)

WALLY: Now, honey -- look at me. What were you doing in your uncle's room when 
he was shot?

NATALIE: I - I don't know what you mean.

WALLY: Nat, darling, this guy Bane is a sharp cop. Now, look, I can't cover up 
for you all the time.

NATALIE: Do you mean you think I shot Uncle Harry?

WALLY: Darling, no, but I-- I mean, you WERE in there with the door locked. 
You unlocked it yourself. I nearly got caught when Bane asked me how I got in.

NATALIE: (ALARMED) You're not going to tell him, Wally!

WALLY: Natalie, darling, listen, please. I--

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

CAPTAIN: Well, Wally Kent, I've been looking all over-- (SEES NATALIE) Excuse 
me. Wally, I want to see you.

WALLY: Oh, excuse me, Natalie, I - I'll see you later, huh? Okay, Tom. What 
now?

CAPTAIN: Sorry, Miss Natalie.

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS, WALLY AND THE CAPTAIN ARE ALONE)

CAPTAIN: Wally -- we found the Topaz Flower.

WALLY: You - you what?

CAPTAIN: Yeah. John Jarboe of the hock shop squad just called -- that was the 
phone call. Uh, found it in a shop six blocks from here and he's, uh, bringing 
the owner and the Topaz Flower first thing tomorrow morning.

WALLY: Well, I'll be-- Say, that's fast work, Tom.

CAPTAIN: Yeah, it sure is, isn't it? Says a woman hocked it.

WALLY: (WORRIED) A woman?

CAPTAIN: You suppose somebody could have gotten out of the house, run over to 
the hock shop and, uh--?

WALLY: (APPREHENSIVE) Well, what - what did the woman look like, Tom?

CAPTAIN: Well, the fella said she was wearing a green hat, a purple scarf, and 
she had red hair.

WALLY: (SURPRISED) Red hair?

CAPTAIN: Yeah.

WALLY: (RELIEVED) Oh-- Well-- Thank goodness there's no redheaded women in 
this house.

CAPTAIN: Think again, Wally. There may be - a red wig.

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

BOWER: I got Miss Bell on the telephone, Captain. 

CAPTAIN: Mm hm.

BOWER: She's on the way over. I told her what you said about the woman pawning 
the Topaz Flower, sir.

CAPTAIN: Well, where's Mr. Kent this morning?

BOWER: Well, I--

WALLY: (ENTERING) I was looking for Natalie, Tom.

CAPTAIN: Mm.

WALLY: Where's the Topaz Flower?

CAPTAIN: Be here any minute. Now, look here, you're supposed to be an amateur 
dick. This, uh, this look like an inside job to you?

WALLY: I-- I don't know, Tom.

CAPTAIN: Ah, it does to me.

WALLY: Who do you, uh--? I mean--

CAPTAIN: Well, this son of his.

WALLY: Ray?

CAPTAIN: Mm?

WALLY: Well, he's the kind of a young fella they call a "ne'er-do-well" in 
detective stories. Drinking, gambling, women, you know.

CAPTAIN: Yeah. If he knocked off the old man, he sure made a mistake. How'd 
they get along? Not good, I hear.

WALLY: That's right. But I doubt he's got the nerve to do such a thing.

CAPTAIN: And that sister-in-law, Maria?

WALLY: Well, now, she's kind of malicious. But she's harmless.

CAPTAIN: Mm hm. Well, you pick out the murderer.

WALLY: Oh, no, Tom. Not for me. Not me.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

BOWER: (ENTERS) I wondered if you would like some coffee, gentlemen?

CAPTAIN: Oh, uh, no, thanks, uh, Bower -- that's your name, isn't it?

BOWER: Yes, sir.

CAPTAIN: But you can tell the rest of the people I want them in here now, 
please.

BOWER: Very good, sir, very good.

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS)

CAPTAIN: Hm. The guy snoops.

WALLY: Aw, no. Not Bower.

CAPTAIN: Well, how do you know he wasn't listening at the door?

WALLY: Well, I--

CAPTAIN: Yeah. When you've been in this game as long as I--

SOUND: (DOORBELL CHIMES)

CAPTAIN: Ah. Doorbell.

WALLY: Bower'll get it.

CAPTAIN: Must be nice to be so rich.

WALLY: And get murdered?

CAPTAIN: (AGREES THAT THAT'S NOT NICE) Yeah. That's right, too.

SOUND: (FRONT DOOR OPENS)

BOWER: Uh, a police officer, Captain, and another, uh, person.

CAPTAIN: Hm? Oh, hello, Jarboe!

JARBOE: Morning, Captain.

CAPTAIN: Nice work, kid.

JARBOE: Yeah. This here is Dorn, the hock shop fella.

CAPTAIN: Oh, good. Uh, come on, we'll go in the other room where we have these 
people. There's more room in there. Everybody in there, Bower?

BOWER: Yes, sir. They're waiting for you.

CAPTAIN: Okay. In here, Jarboe, Dorn.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS, CROWD MURMURS, THEN QUIETS)

CAPTAIN: (AFTER A PAUSE) Well, Dorn? Either one of these two ladies?

DORN: Uhhhhh, nope. Not either of 'em.

CAPTAIN: You're sure?

DORN: Absolutely. I'd recognize that woman out of a million. Red hair, kind of 
deep voice, a green hat, purple scarf--

MARIA: Just what IS this, please, Captain Bane?

CAPTAIN: Jarboe, give us the stone.

JARBOE: Yes, sir.

MARIA: (GASPS) Why, it's the Topaz Flower.

NATALIE: Where'd it come from?

RAYMOND: And where did YOU get it?

WALLY: Yeah. How--?

CAPTAIN: A woman with red hair.

DORN: (EAGER TO HELP) And a green hat and a purple scarf with a deep voice.

CAPTAIN: (TO DORN) All right, all right. (TO ALL) It was hocked at this man's 
place, last night.

DORN: Er, a woman with red hair and a green--

CAPTAIN: (TO DORN) That's enough. You say it wasn't either of these ladies, 
now?

DORN: Positively. I'd know her in a million--

CAPTAIN: Okay, okay. Take him back, Jarboe.

JARBOE: Okay. Come on, lad.

DORN: Er, is that all, Captain?

CAPTAIN: (CHUCKLES) That's all. Much obliged.

DORN: (CHUCKLES) You're welcome.

MARIA: Well, I must say, Captain--

NATALIE: Hush, mother.

RAYMOND: Say, Captain, as long as this fellow's trying to identify women for 
ya, hadn't you better keep him here till Miss Bell gets here? Just to make it 
come out even, you know?

CAPTAIN: Oh. Oh, yeah, sure. That's, uh--

DORN: Hey, Captain! Captain! Hey, Captain! Captain! I found 'em!

CAPTAIN: What's the matter with you now?

DORN: Look, look! The green hat and the purple scarf! I found them.

WALLY: Where'd you get that?

NATALIE: Well, that's MY hat!

MARIA: And my scarf!

CAPTAIN: Now, wait a minute. Let's see that--

DORN: It was right there on that thing in the hall. I never noticed it when I 
come in. But when I went out -- there it was. And I knew it right away. Look!

CAPTAIN: Mm.

DORN: Look, I bet there's maybe a red hair in it someplace. Look, huh?

CAPTAIN: Well, what do you know -- it IS a red hair. Or am I colorblind, Kent?

WALLY: (GLUM) No. It's red, all right.

RAYMOND: Well, Aunt Maria, now who's in the soup?

MARIA: Why, I haven't seen that purple scarf in a week.

DORN: Well, the lady that hocked the jewelry wore it and--

WALLY: Natalie? When did you wear this hat last?

NATALIE: Why, it was in my room. How'd it get down here?

CAPTAIN: Young lady, I think we're going to have a lot of fun finding out.

NATALIE: But I didn't--

DORN: No, no, no, no, it wasn't her. Not her.

RAYMOND: The hat and the scarf might have been left to someone.

MARIA: You make another remark like that--

CAPTAIN: Let him alone, please, Mrs. Sloane. Uh, shut that door, Bower.

SOUND: (DOORBELL CHIMES)

CAPTAIN: Uh, wait. See who that is.

BOWER: Yes, sir.

CAPTAIN: Probably Miss Bell and Mr. Bannister.

MARIA: Now, see here, Captain--

CAPTAIN: Hold it for a minute or two.

BOWER: (ANNOUNCES) Mr. Joseph Bannister.

CAPTAIN: Ah. Come in, come in. Bannister, we found the Topaz Flower.

BANNISTER: What?

CAPTAIN: Yes. It was pawned at Mr. Dorn's shop last night.

DORN: Uh, by a redheaded woman in this green hat--

CAPTAIN: (TO DORN, INTERRUPTING) Uh huh, uh huh, yeah. (TO OTHERS) Do, uh, 
either [any?] of you know any red-haired women?

BANNISTER: I know one in Calgary, Captain.

CAPTAIN: Hmmm. Bower?

BOWER: Yes, sir?

CAPTAIN: Will you take the gentlemen somewhere for a few minutes, please? I 
want to talk to these two ladies.

BOWER: Yes, sir. Er, this way, gentlemen, if you please.

RAYMOND: What are you going to do?

CAPTAIN: I'll call you when I want you, Mr. Sloane. Let's go, let's go.

WALLY: Want me to go, too?

CAPTAIN: No. You stay here.

WALLY: Thanks. Sit down, Natalie.

NATALIE: Thank you, Wally.

BANNISTER: (FROM OFF) How long before you'll want us?

CAPTAIN: I'll call you.

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS)

WALLY: Nat -- is that your hat, really?

NATALIE: Yes, of course. I think that man must be crazy.

MARIA: Well, I think it's something the police have cooked up to try to scare 
us into --

CAPTAIN: Scare you into what, Mrs. Sloane? What do you mean by that?

MARIA: I don't know. Er, I mean-- I don't know. 

CAPTAIN: Uh, sit down, sit down, Mrs. Sloane. Now, are you sure you haven't 
lent that scarf to someone recently?

MARIA: Ridiculous!

CAPTAIN: And you, Miss Sloane, your hat--?

NATALIE: The hat's been in my room for weeks. I haven't worn it in - I don't 
know when.

CAPTAIN: I see. Well, Brother Kent, it WAS an inside job after all, wasn't it?

WALLY: It certainly looks like it, all right. But I - I don't think--

CAPTAIN: Mm hm. Go and ask the men to come back, will you?

MARIA: I'll go, if I may, I want to get a handkerchief and--

CAPTAIN: Uh, no, wait. (CHANGES HIS MIND) No, never mind.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS, SHUTS)

NATALIE: Wally, you don't think--

CAPTAIN: It doesn't make any difference what Mr. Kent thinks, Miss Sloane. I'm 
the one that--

MARIA: (DISTANT SCREAM)

NATALIE: Mother!

WALLY: Come on!

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

NATALIE: Mother! Mo--! (GASPS)

WALLY: Natalie, get back. It's Maria.

CAPTAIN: And Clarinda Bell. They're dead. They're murdered.

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

CAPTAIN: How is, uh, Mrs. Sloane now?

NATALIE: She'll be all right, Captain. But the shock--

CAPTAIN: Yeah, I know.

NATALIE: May I go up to her now, please?

CAPTAIN: Uh, sit down a moment, if you will. I, uh, won't keep you long.

NATALIE: But--

CAPTAIN: Sit down, please. 

WALLY: Here, let me help you, Natalie.

CAPTAIN: How did Miss Bell get in the house?

NATALIE: Why, she had a key. 

CAPTAIN: Hm?

NATALIE: She often came out here to work with Uncle Harry.

CAPTAIN: I see. Do you know how she was murdered?

NATALIE: She was stabbed, wasn't she?

CAPTAIN: Yes. And when your mother saw her, she fainted.

WALLY: Well, what would YOU do?

CAPTAIN: Mm, faint, probably. Uh, Miss Sloane, this - this pencil was lying 
under Miss Bell's body. You ever see it before?

NATALIE: (SURPRISED) Well, that's MY pencil!

CAPTAIN: Oh, it is? Miss Sloane, belongings of yours seem to turn up 
everywhere. Your green hat, your pencil--

NATALIE: But I was in here! And I lost that pencil three weeks ago!

WALLY: Oh, now, see here, Bane--

CAPTAIN: (INTERRUPTS WALLY) That'll do from you. (TO NATALIE) Now, look, 
Natalie, I'm reasonably sure you didn't murder Miss Bell but -- you wouldn't 
have lent the pencil--?

NATALIE: Please!

WALLY: Stop it, Bane.

NATALIE: I told you I lost it.

CAPTAIN: This is a very odd pencil. You pull the end off, there's an eraser.

SOUND: (PEN CLICKS)

NATALIE: I know that.

CAPTAIN: It's got another trick, too.

NATALIE: I don't know what you mean.

CAPTAIN: Well, look. You pull the eraser off--

NATALIE: (GASPS) A knife! A little knife!

CAPTAIN: Yeah, a little knife with blood on it. Miss Sloane, who murdered 
Clarinda Bell with YOUR knife?

WALLY: Now, look here, Bane!

CAPTAIN: Shut up! Take it easy, Kent. (TO NATALIE) Answer my question, young 
lady.

NATALIE: I tell you, I don't know anything about it.

CAPTAIN: All right, all right. You can go up to your room. But stay there, 
will you?

WALLY: I'll take you up, Natalie.

CAPTAIN: No, you stay here. I want to talk to you for a minute. Go ahead, 
Natalie.

NATALIE: Captain Bane--!

CAPTAIN: (CUTS HER OFF) I'll see you later.

NATALIE: All right.

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS)

CAPTAIN: (SIGHS) I don't get it. 

WALLY: She didn't do it, Bane.

CAPTAIN: No, I don't think so either. But who did? (PAUSE) Well ... here's the 
stuff from Clarinda Bell's purse. 

SOUND: (DROPS PURSE ITEMS ON TABLE)

CAPTAIN: Keys. Lipstick. Cigarette case. Address book, matches, comp-- Papers.

SOUND: (PAPERS RUSTLE)

CAPTAIN: We-ell!

WALLY: What?

CAPTAIN: Here, look at this card. Read it.

WALLY: Hm. (READS) "I remember the Christmas party six years ago - just as 
well as you do." (TO CAPTAIN) Well, what is it? Christmas card or something?

CAPTAIN: I wouldn't know. But what--? 

SOUND: (PAPERS RUSTLE)

CAPTAIN: What's this? Uh huh. (READS) "Last Will and Testament of Harrison 
Sloane."

WALLY: Yeah, but where's the rest of it?

CAPTAIN: Somebody wanted that will badly enough to knock off the old girl for 
it. Now, just who could that be?

WALLY: We're just as badly off as we were before.

CAPTAIN: Yeah, yeah.

WALLY: Except--

SOUND: (KNOCK AT DOOR, DOOR OPENS)

BOWER: Captain Bane, Mr. Bannister would like to speak to you.

CAPTAIN: Oh, Bannister? Send him in.

BOWER: Yes, sir.

BANNISTER: (OBVIOUSLY INEBRIATED) Well, how ya doin', Cap?

CAPTAIN: (UNHAPPY) Oh. All right.

BANNISTER: Don't kid me, Cap.

CAPTAIN: Oh, yeah. You've been drinking.

BANNISTER: Sure. Makes me think.

CAPTAIN: Well, what do you think you want?

BANNISTER: Makes me remember things.

CAPTAIN: Oh, isn't that fine? Like what?

BANNISTER: Like things I see.

CAPTAIN: Come on, come on.

BANNISTER: I was out in the garden for a breath of fresh air about the time 
Harry got killed.

CAPTAIN: And?

BANNISTER: I looked up at Harry's room. French doors, you know. Know who was 
in there with him?

CAPTAIN: Who?

BANNISTER: A girl.

CAPTAIN: What girl?

BANNISTER: You look around. You'll find out. Young girl.

WALLY: Bannister, are you insinuating--?

BANNISTER: No. Just telling ya. Goodbye.

CAPTAIN: Hey, wait a minute.

BANNISTER: (WALKS OFF) Nope. Goodbye.

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS)

CAPTAIN: Hm! What do you think of that?

WALLY: Why, that old--

CAPTAIN: Hold your horses. He's not so drunk. But, uh, why did he--?

WALLY: (REALIZES) Hey, wait a minute!

CAPTAIN: Now what?

WALLY: He didn't see anybody in that room!

CAPTAIN: What do you mean?

WALLY: Well, didn't you see those French windows?

CAPTAIN: What do you mean?

WALLY: They're covered with frost -- all the way from the top to the bottom, 
in this cold weather.

CAPTAIN: Well - I'll - be -- That's right! Nobody could see in.

WALLY: Of course they couldn't!

CAPTAIN: That's right! Now, what do you suppose--?

WALLY: All I know is he couldn't have seen in that room.

CAPTAIN: Bub, you've got the makings of a detective after all. But why would 
he want to throw suspicion on Natalie?

WALLY: I wonder. Say, maybe he meant Clarinda.

CAPTAIN: Nah, he said a young woman.

WALLY: He was a little drunk.

CAPTAIN: Mm mm. I don't think Clarinda did it. Anyway, the hock shop man said 
she wasn't the one that had the Topaz Flower.

WALLY: Yeah, that's right. What about that card, though?

CAPTAIN: Hm? The, uh, Christmas card?

WALLY: Yeah, let's see it again.

CAPTAIN: Here.

WALLY: (READS) "I remember the Christmas Eve party six years ago - just as 
well as you do." (BEAT) Bane! I've got an idea!

CAPTAIN: That's swell.

WALLY: Ring for Bower.

CAPTAIN: Huh? Okay.

SOUND: (BUZZER ... AFTER A BEAT, DOOR OPENS)

BOWER: You rang, sir?

WALLY: Yes, come in here, Bower. Close the door.

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS)

BOWER: Yes, sir?

WALLY: Bower, you've been here a long time.

BOWER: Yes, sir.

WALLY: Were you here at a Christmas party six years ago?

BOWER: That would be - 1941. Yes, sir, of course.

WALLY: Who else of these people was here? Mrs. Sloane? Natalie?

BOWER: Mm, no, sir. They were in California. Let me see. Why, I think Mr. 
Sloane and Miss Bell and Mr. Bannister.

WALLY: Anything special happen that night?

BOWER: Special, sir?

WALLY: Something Miss Bell might remember, for instance.

BOWER: Let - let me think, sir. (REMEMBERS SOMETHING) Why, why, yes, sir. 
(CHUCKLES TO HIMSELF) Yes, indeed, sir. Very funny.

WALLY: What?

BOWER: It - it was Mr. Bannister, sir. 

WALLY: Bannister? What did he do?

BOWER: Well, sir, he was rather, er, tight. And he came downstairs wearing a 
woman's dress and a red wig.

CAPTAIN: A red wig?!

BOWER: Why, yes, sir. I remember perfectly. (CHUCKLES) Oh, he was a scream.

CAPTAIN: Bower, go out and ask Mr. Bannister to step in here, will ya?

BOWER: Yes, sir. I hope you won't tell him--

CAPTAIN: Snappy, Bower, please.

BOWER: Yes, sir. 

CAPTAIN: Kent? Nice going.

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

NATALIE: It - it all seems so simple, Captain Bane.

CAPTAIN: Yeah, sure, looking back on it. Sloane told him about the new will 
and about marrying Clarinda. Uh, what we didn't know, of course, was that 
Sloane had cut Bannister off in the new will. So Bannister figured he'd murder 
the old gentleman, take the will out of the wall safe in the room and get away 
with it even if Clarinda DID tell everyone about it. But it wasn't there - so 
he took the Topaz Flower to make it look like robbery.

NATALIE: And when I came in the room, he locked me in.

CAPTAIN: Yeah, that's right. Then, he had to get rid of the Topaz Flower. So 
he dressed up in women's clothes. But he'd forgotten that Clarinda remembered 
the Christmas party and his act.

WALLY: And she was going to pass him the note when she came here.

CAPTAIN: Yes, only he got here first. (BEAT) Well, see ya at the trial. And if 
you ever want a job on the force, Wally--

WALLY: Oh, no! Not me, Captain. I'm going to be pretty busy looking after the 
- (CHUCKLES) - Topaz Flower.

CAPTAIN: Hm?

WALLY: Sure. Belongs to Natalie now and--

CAPTAIN: (UNDERSTANDS) Ohhh! 

WALLY: (CHUCKLES)

CAPTAIN: Yeah. I get it, I get it. Well, I look pretty good in soup-and-fish.

NATALIE: What do you mean, Captain?

CAPTAIN: Oh, pardon me. I just mean, uh, in case you want somebody to guard 
the - wedding presents.

WALLY: (CHUCKLES)

CAPTAIN: Well, goodbye for now.

(MUSIC ... TO A FINISH ... IN AND OUT)
LIBRARIAN: And so closes tonight's Crime Club book, "The Topaz Flower" based 
on a story by Charlotte M. Russell.

SOUND: (PHONE RINGS UNDER FOLLOWING)

LIBRARIAN: Wyllis Cooper did the radio adaptation. Roger Bower produced and 
directed. Raymond Edward Johnson played Captain Bane. Chet Stratton was Wally. 
And Julie Stevens was Natalie. The cast included Eleanor Phelps, Reese Taylor, 
Barry Thomson, Irene Hubbard, Paul Hammond and Ed Latimer. Oh, I beg your 
pardon.

SOUND: (PICKS UP PHONE)

LIBRARIAN: (INTO PHONE) Hello, I hope I haven't kept you waiting. ... Yes, 
this is the Crime Club. ... I'm the Librarian. ... Yes, come over a week from 
tonight. ... Good. We have a very intriguing story of a missing person that 
was found by Death. It's called "Epitaph for Lydia" by Virginia Rath.

(MUSIC ... IN AND UNDER)

LIBRARIAN: (INTO PHONE) In the meantime? Well, in the meantime, there's a new 
Crime Club book available this week, and every week, at bookstores everywhere. 
... Yes, it's available now. ... Fine. And we'll look for you - next week.

(MUSIC ... UP FOR A BRIDGE ... AND UNDER)

ANNOUNCER: This program came from New York. This is the world's largest 
network, the Mutual Broadcasting System.

__________________________

Originally broadcast: 24 April 1947

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