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Don't Tell Me About Halloween

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MS
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Posted Mar 19, 2004 - 5:36 PM:



Okay, here's an attempt at a transcript of "Don't Tell Me About Halloween" -- I think I may tackle "A Night to Forget" next.



CHAPPELL: (OFF MIKE) Pocket watch! The Longines Wittnauer!

(SILENCE)

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(SILENCE)

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

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

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

"Quiet, Please!" for tonight is called "Don't Tell Me About Halloween."

(MUSIC ... THEME ... FADE)

CRAIG: (CASUAL) Ah, I'm going to kill my wife tonight.

Or maybe tomorrow night.

I mean, I'm gonna kill ONE of my wives.

I better -- or something's going to happen to me that won't be good.

Well, Halloween's almost here.

Halloween's the deadline. And Candace has to be dead before Halloween.

Only trouble is, I'm not sure I'll recognize her when she shows up.

You ever been in Salem, Massachusetts? Place where they hanged all the witches?

No, they didn't burn 'em at the stake. Lot of people think so but they didn't. They hanged 'em. All except the man witch, old Giles Cory -- they PRESSED him to death.

Very unpleasant.

Well, it was in Salem this particular Halloween that I met Candace.

(MUSIC ... IN AND UNDER)

CRAIG: It was dark up there on the hill where the gallows used to stand.

Dark and cold with a damp wind coming in off the sea. The few little lights you could see in the dusk only made it darker and lonelier and creepier up there.

And I remember how I shivered as I started down the hill to town. And I remember how I jumped when something that looked like a black cat jumped out of the shadows at my feet. Without thinking, I yelled, "Who's that?!"

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: And my heart almost stopped beating because--

CANDACE: (FLIRTATIOUS) Well, good evening!

CRAIG: I'd been all alone up there - and then, all of a sudden, there was a woman standing beside me.

CANDACE: You're the first human being that's spoken to me tonight.

CRAIG: Who are you?

CANDACE: I'm Candace.

CRAIG: I - I don't know any Candace.

CANDACE: You don't. But you do now.

CRAIG: You nearly scared me to death.

CANDACE: Oh, I wouldn't do that to you. What's your name?

CRAIG: Craig.

CANDACE: You like me, Craig?

CRAIG: What? Well, I - I don't know what you look like.

CANDACE: I like you very much.

CRAIG: Well, but I--

CANDACE: Kiss me, Craig.

CRAIG: Now--

CANDACE: Kiss me, I said.

(MUSIC ... COMMENTS ON THEIR KISS)

CANDACE: Mm. You know, you're going to be a very nice husband for me, Craig.

CRAIG: What do you mean? I'm not going to--

CANDACE: Oh, yes, you are. When I say something's going to happen -- it happens, Craig.

CRAIG: But I - I'm not--

CANDACE: Wouldn't you like to be rich, Craig? And have a beautiful wife? I am beautiful. You'll see. Wouldn't you like to be rich and wise and happy? And live forever?

CRAIG: (CONSIDERING) Mm--

CANDACE: Wouldn't you, Craig?

CRAIG: (SNAPS AT HER) Who the devil are you?

CANDACE: (LAUGHS GAILY) Why, that's a very apt way of putting it, Craig.

CRAIG: Who are you?!

CANDACE: I'm Candace.

CRAIG: That doesn't mean anything to me.

CANDACE: I'm the witch they didn't hang, Craig.

(MUSIC ... A BIG ACCENT)

CRAIG: Well, she was right. I am rich. Whenever I need money -- which hasn't been for a long time, now -- I ask Candace when she comes to see me at Halloween time.

I am reasonably wise, I suppose. I'm quite an authority on American history. Quite well-considered at the university here.

And while I can't say I've lived forever. I have lived two hundred and fifty-three years.

Yeah, that's right. You see, I met Candace on the hill above Salem in the year 1694. Two years after Cotton Mather stopped hanging witches.

(MUSIC ... ANOTHER BIG ACCENT)

CRAIG: Yes, Candace has kept her promise. I remember the way she put it, standing up there in the early morning, watching the mists crawling along the ground below us.

CANDACE: You'll not see me now till another Halloween. And I can't tell you what form I'll be in when I come to see you again. But -- if you see a strange bird or a lost dog or any strange being at your door come Halloween, you say, "Who's that?" -- and if it so happens the stranger's me, why, then, I'll be home with you till the cock crows for morning.

CRAIG: And I remember I started to speak, to ask questions. But she stopped me.

CANDACE: But the time's short now, my love. And remember the words and [?] As long as I live, you shall live.

SOUND: (COCK CROWS SHARPLY AND LOUDLY)

CRAIG: And, below us somewhere, a rooster crowed.

(MUSIC ... IN AND UNDER)

CRAIG: And I was standing alone on the hill. And a yellow butterfly was rising in circles above my head. I watched it disappear into the first ray's of the sun.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: No. I didn't believe it either. And yet we were only two years away from the witchcraft trials and, whatever may be said today, the belief in witches didn't die as quick a death as modern historians would have you believe.

I was there. I know.

Besides, I had -- married a witch.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: Halloween, 1695. A stray dog lay on my doorstep shivering in the rain. I don't like dogs. I was about to boot the animal into the street when I caught a look in its eyes. I yelled, "Who's that?!"

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND OUT)

SOUND: (DOOR SHUTS)

CANDACE: (SAVAGE) Well, it's about time! I've been lying here on that doorstep freezing and nearly drowned without a stitch on and you stand there and look at me like some great fool! Get me something to put around me and start the fire before I catch my death of cold! And I do believe you WERE going to kick me, too! (TEARFUL) What did I ever see in you?! (WEEPS NOISILY)

CRAIG: (TRIES TO BE REASONABLE) Candace, dear, how was I to know?

CANDACE: Give me that quilt!

SOUND: (SHE SLAPS HIM IN THE FACE)

CRAIG: Ooh!

(MUSIC ... AFTER A PAUSE ... QUIETLY UNDER)

CRAIG: Oh, she was all contriteness and apologies in a moment. But I can feel that slap alongside my chops from two and a half centuries ago.

And our first anniversary was a very pleasant one. I was rather glad I'd married a witch.

It had its drawbacks though, despite wealth and growing wisdom. People around me in Salem grew old and I seemed to stay the same age. I moved away and the years went on. I moved away from Salem. And I moved away from Philadelphia. And I moved from Baltimore and Richmond, Savannah. And a score of other places.

I spoke to George Washington. And I watched Robert Fulton's steamboat chug up the Hudson when I was more than a hundred years old. And LOOKED thirty-five.

And, every Halloween, I welcomed Candace home -- for a night.

One year in a farmhouse on an Illinois prairie, a red fox whined at my door.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT COMMENTS ON EACH TRANSFORMATION)

CRAIG: And it was Candace.

One year, a blue jay flew down from a tree in Missouri.

Another year, she came as a skittering little gray field mouse.

And the year I came back to Wisconsin after the Civil War, a porcupine gnawed its way into my cabin on Halloween night and one of its quills spiked me before I thought to say, "Who's that?" And when Candace smiled at me, there was only a strand of yellow hair through the thick of my thumb. I remember she pulled it out. And it hurt.

Years.

And years.

And years.

Ah, she's been a wonderful wife. But I never forget what she is.

Once a year is getting to be enough.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: It was just sixty-seven years ago tonight -- before Halloween, you see. That was the first time she appeared BEFORE Halloween -- 1880. Rutherford B. Hayes was still president then. Eh, seems like yesterday. I heard something bumping against the front door and before I thought, I called out, "Who's that?!"

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

SOUND: (DOOR OPENS)

CANDACE: I thought you were never going to call.

CRAIG: Darling! I didn't know it was you.

CANDACE: Well?

CRAIG: Huh?

CANDACE: Don't people kiss their wives any more?

CRAIG: Darling! You - you surprised me.

CANDACE: Suppose YOU surprise me. (THEY KISS) Hmm. Now!

CRAIG: How come you're so early, dear?

CANDACE: Oh, I just thought it would be nice. To surprise you.

CRAIG: You certainly did surprise me.

CANDACE: Did I?

CRAIG: You certainly did.

CANDACE: What's happened since last year?

CRAIG: Why, er -- nothing much.

CANDACE: That so?

CRAIG: What have you been doing?

CANDACE: I've been away.

CRAIG: Where?

CANDACE: Craig. You'll be better off if you don't inquire too closely into my private affairs. Being married to a witch ought to be enough for you.

CRAIG: I'm - I'm just interested, Candace.

CANDACE: Like I'm interested in what YOU do when I'm away.

CRAIG: What?

CANDACE: I am interested, you know.

CRAIG: I don't know what you're - talking about, dear.

CANDACE: You don't?

CRAIG: No.

CANDACE: Don't you ever get lonely while I'm away?

CRAIG: What? Why, certainly.

CANDACE: Mm hmm.

CRAIG: What are you talking about?

CANDACE: (STERN) You KNOW what I'm talking about, Craig.

CRAIG: I don't, either.

CANDACE: You're forgetting that I'm a witch, dear?

CRAIG: What?

CANDACE: (CHUCKLES) You can't keep anything from me, Craig. Don't you know that?

CRAIG: Why, I--

CANDACE: Oh, I won't punish YOU, Craig. (DARKLY) But you mustn't run around with red-haired girls.

CRAIG: Why, I don't know what you're--

CANDACE: Oh, yes, you do. So I just decided to take that temptation away from you.

CRAIG: Candace! What did you--?

CANDACE: Look over there at the window, darling.

CRAIG: And I looked. And peering in the window out of the darkness was a frightened, tiny, red squirrel -- its teeth chattering with terror and cold.

CANDACE: She's still got her red hair, dear.

CRAIG: Candace! Candace, did you do that to her?

CANDACE: Of course, dear. No, no, don't try to rescue her, Craig. I've got other plans for your little girlfriend.

CRAIG: What are you going to--?

CANDACE: Listen.

SOUND: (HOWL OF WOLVES, ATTACKING THE SQUIRREL)

CANDACE: Now, come here and kiss me.

CRAIG: Mm.

CANDACE: Good.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: Yes, in some ways, it's fine.

In some ways.

You know, in the last fifty-sixty years I've gotten so I'm afraid to say "Who's that?" any time. (SUDDENLY NERVOUS) Ah, ah, wait a second.

(LOW VOICE) Did you hear anything?

No, I guess she's not here. I - I wouldn't want her to surprise me again. I want to surprise HER.

It's sixty-seven years ago that she set the wolves on that poor little red squirrel that was once Marjorie-- I've forgotten her last name.

But I haven't forgotten what she did to me. They arrested me for murder!

Candace let me stay in jail a whole year. I waited till the next Halloween, 1881, till a little screech owl came and perched on the window ledge of my cell. Even then, it took me half an hour to remember to say, "Who's that?"

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: Sure, she was very sorry, she said. Very sorry -- but I had to be punished for being unfaithful to her.

Unfaithful!

I never even KISSED Marjorie!

That ... WITCH!

Mm, believe me, I was pretty careful after I got out of there and moved to Oklahoma. If I HAD any female acquaintances I stopped seeing them along in early September. But, darn it, how would you like it if you only saw your wife once a year? And you knew that she could turn you into a caterpillar or a hippopotamus or something whenever she got miffed with you?

You'd look around, too. Just like I did.

She nearly caught me again in Washington, D.C. That was in 1910. I'd been a good boy for nearly fifty years. Well, pretty good. At least, careful.

I was standing outside the door of the Willard Hotel that Halloween night and a big moth dropped out of the darkness and lit on my shoulder.

Candace likes to be a moth, I think. She's appeared that way fifteen, twenty times. Well, I knew at once what it was. My conscience was reasonably clear so I just said: (PLEASANT) "Who's that?"

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CANDACE: Hello, darling!

CRAIG: Welcome back, Candace, dear.

CANDACE: Been a good boy?

CRAIG: Perfect, darling.

CANDACE: Love Candace?

CRAIG: Mad about Candace.

CANDACE: You better be.

CRAIG: Now, Candace...

CANDACE: You living here now? In the hotel?

CRAIG: I - I hope you like it.

CANDACE: I've never been in Washington before.

CRAIG: Well, we'll go sightseeing tomorrow.

CANDACE: Oh, I saw quite a lot of it -- flying in.

CRAIG: Yes?

CANDACE: Who's that woman?

CRAIG: What woman?

GERTRUDE: Why, Craig, darling! Where on earth have you been?!

SOUND: (CRASH OF THUNDER, MIXED IN WITH THE MUSIC)

(MUSIC ... OMINOUS ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: Yes, I thought Gertrude was in Chicago where I'd left her. Wasn't that just my luck? I don't know what Candace did to her -- she just disappeared.

But you know what that witch did to me?

She turned me into a fire alarm box.

Ah, don't laugh, it isn't funny. From October 31st, 1910 to October 31st, 1911, I stood there in front of the Willard Hotel, rain and shine, snow and boiling hot weather.

And nobody even turned in an alarm on me.

Of course, they - they did paint me in the spring.

Then, at half past eleven on Halloween, a little black dog came by. I tried to say, "Who's that?"

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

CRAIG: And I made it all right because I could hear gears clickin' and wheels spinning and -- there we were: Candace, in a black fur coat. Me, in a blue serge suit, all plastered with red paint.

CANDACE: (CRACKS UP WITH LAUGHTER) You look perfectly awful, Craig!

CRAIG: Well, how do you think I FEEL? Oh, my feet.

CANDACE: Well, now, maybe you won't be chasing other women, my dear.

CRAIG: Candace, I - I promise I'll never do it again.

CANDACE: You better not, sweetheart. I'm a very jealous woman.

CRAIG: So I noticed.

CANDACE: And, if you think that was bad, how would you like me to--?

CRAIG: No, no, Candace, please, no, no. Don't tell me.

CANDACE: You may kiss me now.

CRAIG: Oh--

CANDACE: And don't get paint all over my coat!

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT ... A TRANSITION, THEN UNDER)

CRAIG: Candace can be very sweet when she wants to be.

But these last thirty years, she doesn't seem to want to be -- very much. She spends most of the time she's here asking me questions about what I've been doing, where I've been, the people I've seen.

Well, friend, I'm getting awful tired of it. Two hundred and fifty-three years is a long time. A long, long time -- with a jealous wife.

So I'm gonna get rid of her.

This time, I'm done.

No, I don't love Candace any more.

I'm afraid of her!

I told you I got this job here at the university in the history department? I've got this little cottage up here in the hills where I go every Halloween.

Why? I don't want Candace barging in on faculty row.

Well, I'm not supposed to be married here. You know how that is.

So -- so, I decided to end it all this year.

I'm gonna kill Candace.

That is, I HOPE I am.

When she appears, I - I'm not gonna say, "Who's that?"

(SAVORS IT) And then, Alicia and I are gonna be married.

Oh, I -- I didn't tell you about Alicia. Here comes Alicia now. Uh, I'd like to have you meet her. (CHUCKLES, PROUDLY INTRODUCES HER TO US) Uh, this is Alicia.

ALICIA: (TO US) How do you do?

CRAIG: (TO US) Alicia and I are gonna be married.

ALICIA: (TO US) Yes, indeed. Right after Halloween.

CRAIG: (TO US) Alicia's secretary to the Dean of Woman.

ALICIA: (TO US) That's how I met Craig.

CRAIG: Why, I hope you don't mean to imply I was flirting with the Dean, Alicia.

ALICIA: Oh, goodness, no, dear. I mean, you were being introduced to her when - (LOVINGLY) when we first saw each other.

SOUND: (THEY EXCHANGE LITTLE SIGHS)

CRAIG: (EQUALLY LOVING) I'll never forget.

ALICIA: Oh, I won't, either.

CRAIG: (TO US) Isn't she pretty?

ALICIA: (EMBARRASSED) Oh, Craig! You mustn't talk that way to strangers!

CRAIG: Well, I'm sorry, dear, but you ARE pretty.

ALICIA: Oh, but I'm so much younger than you are, Craig!

CRAIG: Well, uh, you ARE a little younger, dear, but, uh, that won't make any difference. Will it?

ALICIA: (LOVING) Oh, not to me, darling.

CRAIG: (TO US) Excuse us a second? (QUIETLY, TO ALICIA) Darling, I love you.

ALICIA: Darling, I love YOU. (GIGGLES)

CRAIG: Kiss me.

ALICIA: Oh, but they're looking, sweetheart!

CRAIG: (TO US) Shut your eyes a second, will you please? (QUIETLY, TO ALICIA) Now, darling.

ALICIA: Craig, dear.

(MUSIC ... FOR A LONG, LONG KISS)

CRAIG: You like her? She's quite a girl, isn't she?

Nothing at all like Candace.

Man, am I tired of Candace.

SOUND: (PHONE RINGS)

CRAIG: Uh, wait a second, the phone's ringing. I'll be right with you.

SOUND: (PICKS UP PHONE)

CRAIG: Hello?

ALICIA: Hello, darling! This is Alicia!

CRAIG: Oh, er, hello, dear.

ALICIA: Are you going up to the cabin today?

CRAIG: I'm just leaving, darling.

ALICIA: Oh, I wish I could go with you.

CRAIG: Well, I do, too, but - but I'll be back in a day or so.

ALICIA: Oh, couldn't I? Please?

CRAIG: No, no, dear, no, uh-- You know it can't be done.

ALICIA: Mm, I wish I could.

CRAIG: Well, it isn't practicable, dear. Uh, I'll hurry back.

ALICIA: I could drive up tomorrow.

CRAIG: I'll probably be back tomorrow.

ALICIA: Oh. I'll miss you.

CRAIG: I'll miss YOU.

ALICIA: I just wanted to say goodbye.

CRAIG: I love you.

ALICIA: (AFTER A PAUSE, SADLY) I love you.

CRAIG: See you in a day or so, honey.

ALICIA: All right. But I wish I could go along.

CRAIG: It can't be done, sweetie.

ALICIA: (QUICKLY) I might drive up and surprise you!

CRAIG: No, no, no, don't do that!

ALICIA: G'bye!

SOUND: (ALICIA HANGS UP PHONE)

CRAIG: Alicia! Wait! Oh, my gosh, she can't do that. If she does--!

SOUND: (RATTLES THE PHONE)

CRAIG: Hello? Hello? Get me-- Oh. Get me, uh-- Three Four One Two Jay!

(MUSIC ... HAS BUILT TO AN ACCENT, THEN UNDER)

CRAIG: Well, so here I am.

I wish I could have got Alicia back on that phone.

If she comes up here, she'll--

Oh, well. She won't. She's got better sense.

Eh, let's see what time it is. (CHECKS THE TIME) Mm hm.

Well.

Let's see:

Revolver. Silver bullet.

The old Revolutionary War bayonet I had at Valley Forge.

Bowie knife Dave Crockett gave me.

Yeah, I'm pretty well fixed.

Come on, Candace, honey. Come on. Yes, come on in. (LAUGHS) This time - this time, you can come ahead of time, baby, and papa'll be waitin' for ya. (CHUCKLES) And then - (SIGHS) - Alicia.

SOUND: (DISTANT SCREECHING)

CRAIG: (STARTS) She's an owl or somethin'! Wait, if she's an owl-- Better get that shotgun out.

SOUND: (PULLS SHOTGUN FROM UNDER SOME JUNK, OPENS DOOR)

CRAIG: Let's see.

Well, Candace ... (GASPS) Look out! What the dickens was that?

Oh. Oh? A moth? A moth, eh?

Well, well, well, Candace!

Here. The Saturday Evening Post. (CHUCKLES)

Light somewhere, darling. Light. There.

There!

SOUND: (SWATS AT MOTH WITH NEWSPAPER)

CRAIG: Oh, I missed her. You're not gonna get away this time, sweetheart!

SOUND: (SWATS AT MOTH)

CRAIG: Get away from that lamp! Get away, I say!

SOUND: (SWATS AT MOTH)

CRAIG: I got you! Oh, you're not dead yet? Well, I'll--

CANDACE: (DREAMY VOICE) Never mind, Craig.

CRAIG: What?

CANDACE: Never mind. I'm going die, all right.

CRAIG: (UNCERTAINLY) Who's that?

CANDACE: It's too late, Craig. You've killed me. But haven't you forgotten something, darling?

CRAIG: What did I forget?

CANDACE: You forgot what I told you back there on the hill at Salem, sweetheart: You'll live just as long as I live. And when I die -- you'll die.

CRAIG: (REALIZES) Oh, my--! (PANICS) Candace! Candace!! Let me help you!

CANDACE: (LAUGHS) It's too late, darling! Much, much too late!

(MUSIC ... HAS BUILT TO A BIG ACCENT, THEN OUT)

FOREST RANGER: (ON THE PHONE) Hello? Hello, this the Forest Ranger station? Oh, hello, Brad. This is Joe Thomas. Listen, Brad, you better call the county cops or somebody. ... Well, I don't know. Well, it's the little cabin halfway up Latigo Canyon. You know, the one with the red shutters?

ALICIA: (SOBBING LOUDLY IN THE BACKGROUND)

FOREST RANGER: (ON THE PHONE) Yeah, well, I was on my way up to the station, see, and I - I meet this girl-- (TO ALICIA) Please be quiet, will you, lady? (ON THE PHONE) This girl and her car's busted down and, well, I picked her up and she wants to come up here. ... Oh, uh, what's your name, lady?

ALICIA: Alicia Dee.

FOREST RANGER: (ON THE PHONE) Alicia Dee. So she's goin' to meet this fella here, she says, and I lift her out and I was just starting away and I hear her scream. Scream. You know, holler. So I stopped and run inside and she's yelling her head off. (TO ALICIA) Lady, lady, please! (ON THE PHONE) Yeah. ... Yeah, I don't know, Brad. It sure looks awful strange. ... No, there wasn't no guy here. ... No. Nothin' but a squashed moth -- one of them big death's-head moths, you know. And a skeleton. ... Yeah, a skeleton. All dried up and dusty, like it was maybe two hundred and fifty years old. And that's all. Just him and the moth. Funny, ain't it?

(MUSIC ... THEME)

ANNOUNCER: You have listened to "Quiet, Please!" which is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper. The man who talked to you was Ernest Chappell.

CHAPPELL: And Charita Bauer played Candace. Alicia was Peggy Stanley, and the forest ranger was Jim Boles. The music for "Quiet Please" is composed and played by Gene Perrazzo except, of course, for our theme which, in answer to many queries, is based on the second movement of the Symphony in D Minor by Cesar Franck.

Now, for a word about next week's "Quiet, Please!" here is our writer-director Wyllis Cooper.

COOPER: "Take Me Out to the Graveyard" -- that's the title I've got for next week's story. Come along for the ride, won't you?

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

(MUSIC ... THEME)

ANNOUNCER: "Quiet, Please!" comes to you from New York. This is the Mutual Broadcasting System.

(MUSIC ... THEME ... OUT)

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