Quiet, Please
Introduction Episodes Listen Scripts Press Clippings Fan Forum Copyright Info Links

Northern Lights

Details Discussion (6) Print
Northern Lights
dx7qp4
quote post #1 - Permalink
22 of 41 people found this post helpful
Posted 07/04/02 - 5:08 PM:

Northern Lights

Announcer: Quiet, Please .... Quiet, Please!

(Organ theme music starts)

(Organ theme music ends)

Announcer: The American Broadcasting company presents Quiet, Please, which is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and which features Ernest Chappel. Quiet, Please for today is called \"Northern Lights\".

Chappel: This is a story about the temperal displacement of mass, ... it is also a story about teleportation. You know what those terms mean? No, I didn't think you did, but you stay right where you are my charming freind, and your quite likely to find out. You just stay right there and listen, and I'll tell you everything you'd like to know, ...and maybe a couple of things your not to terribly anxious to know ...

(Music comes in)


Paul
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Webmaster
Joined: Dec 21, 2001
Location: Northern California

Total Topics: 31
Total Posts: 219
quote post #2 - Permalink
21 of 40 people found this post helpful
Posted 07/04/02 - 6:14 PM:

(continued)

Ever see the northern lights? (Aurora borealis is their right name.) You don't see them very often below the 50th parallel of latitude in this country, but up in northern Minnesota and Canada, upper New York, places like that... they're quite common on a winter night. If you've seen 'em you know what they look like, if you haven't there's no use in my trying to describe them. Sometimes they fill the whole northern sky with waves of color, like a fire burning way beyond the horizon. Sometimes they're just long streamers of fire filling up the whole sky. And another time they look like gigantic strange curtains of pure light, swaying, as if some cold cosmic breeze plucked at them, way far off there to the north. And you can hear 'em too sometimes -- well, maybe not exactly hear 'em, but... but there's a sound, a humming, a crackling somewhere inside your head. And there are times when you'd swear it's a voice, talking to you, talking in some kind of strange language you can almost understand -- filling your whole being with a kind of desperate, inescapable terror. You know what I mean? [music vibrates] At night, in the cold night... voices talking and saying things to you that you can almost understand, filling the night sky, with signs and importance of inescapable terror. And nobody, nobody in the whole world, knows what they are -- nobody in this world at least -- except me. And after I get done talking to you, you'll know too... and you won't be happy.

[time - 3:00/28:48]
dx7qp4
quote post #3 - Permalink
19 of 39 people found this post helpful
Posted 07/05/02 - 5:58 PM:

(continued)

Chappel: Let me show you somethin' now. This is from a recording I made on, uh, lets see, December 13th 1948, a little over a month a half ago. I started the recorder while Norman and I were just about finished with our work that afternoon, here in the laboratory (footsteps), and just set the microphone on top of the filing cabinet over there, and turned on the machine. Listen, I'm gonna play it back for you. The quality isn't so very good, but you can recognize my voice ... and Norman's, I think ... here ... (sound of machine being turned on)
Paul
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Webmaster
Joined: Dec 21, 2001
Location: Northern California

Total Topics: 31
Total Posts: 219
quote post #4 - Permalink
19 of 39 people found this post helpful
Posted 07/08/02 - 12:42 AM:

Norman: [I got the ??] Rewound now I guess.

Paul: Did ya test it?

Norman: How can I test it when I said I just got it rewound?

Paul: Well hurry up, it's almost 6 o'clock.

Norman: Oh. It's dark out, I didn't realize the time.

Paul: Hurry up!

Norman: All right. Be a display tonight you suppose?

Paul: How do I know? Been a display the last three nights.

Norman: That was a dinger last night, wasn't it?

Paul: Yes, but the machine wasn't ready.

Norman: Hey listen, if you think you can do better than I can... ouch!

Paul: What's the matter.

Norman: Aw, stuck my finger.

Paul: Where'd you put the copper sulphate?

Norman: Um, up above the sink.

Paul: Huh? Oh, I got it. What're ya doing?

Norman: Testing the coil.

Paul: How is it?

Norman: Aw, looks OK. Hey wait a minute... yeah, it's ok.

Paul: I'll be right with you. Hook it up.

Norman: What're you going to send?

Paul: Try my cigarette lighter. It won't work anyway, I won't miss it if we don't get it back.

Norman: I don't know how the thing'll work when the northern lights aren't shining.
Paul
Senior Member
Avatar

Usergroup: Webmaster
Joined: Dec 21, 2001
Location: Northern California

Total Topics: 31
Total Posts: 219
quote post #5 - Permalink
20 of 39 people found this post helpful
Posted 07/10/02 - 1:26 AM:

Paul: Maybe they are shining. Turn off the room light, let's see.

Norman: All right.

Paul: Pretty early, I uh... ah.

Norman: What's the matter?

Paul: Hey, look.

Norman: Ooh. Out early tonight. Oh boy, that's fine, the whole sky. Look -- blue, and yellow... I never saw those long fringes before...

Paul: Never the same.

Norman: Oh say, did you turn on the recorder.

Paul: Yeah.

Norman: Yeah... yeah, it's turning over. Let's see. AHEM. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.

Paul: Heh, leave it alone. You about ready now?

Norman: It's funny about the aurora.

Paul: The northern lights? What's funny?

[Narration cut in, over the voices.] Paul: Listen to this part closely friend. Remember what I told you.

Norman: Oh, I don't know. You can almost hear the darned things. Not hear 'em I mean, but it's uh, it's kinda like somebody talking to you in a language you can, you can almost understand. I dunno. I mean, you ever notice it?

Paul: Sure, I frequently think it's... something.

Norman: Awful lot we don't understand.

Paul: Look, uh, you go over there to the recorder and talk into the mic.

Norman: Talk what?

Paul: Just describe what happens for the records.

Norman: I'm no announcer.

Paul: I know you're not, but just say what you see so we'll have an accurate record.

Norman: OK. Now?

Paul: Go ahead.

Norman: AHEM. This is an experiment in the temporal displacement of a solid object. Uh, in other words, the first actual demonstration of a time machine -- if it works.

Paul: It'll work all right. Go on.

Norman: Paul is now placing his old beat up cigarette lighter on the stage of the hypercontanbulator, and he is now fitting the microchronometer to determine how far into the future he's going to sent the lighter. How far, Paul?

Paul: Uh... ten seconds.

Norman: Ten seconds. At the end of that time, if our calculations are correct, and we hope they are, the cigarette lighter will reappear. In that period of time it will have been into the future. Um, we could send it farther into the future if we wanted to I guess, but we'd just have to wait that much longer for time to catch up with it and make it reappear. But ten seconds -- well I mean, uh, we can prove our point by sending it ten seconds into the future just as well as ten years ahead, and this way we don't have to wait so long. Hey, how am I doing Paul?

Paul: Hey, go into your commercial

Norman [singing]: When Paul presses the little button, the cigarette lighter will turn to 'nutin.

[Sound of laugher from both Paul and Norman]

Paul: That's not right. It'll be here, but it'll be ten seconds later..

[Narration cut in, over the voices.] Paul: Listen closely, please. It's going to happen.

[Time - 7:15]
MS
Senior Member

Usergroup: Member
Joined: Mar 14, 2003

Total Topics: 71
Total Posts: 220
quote post #6 - Permalink
19 of 39 people found this post helpful
Posted 10/03/03 - 4:48 PM:

Okay, I'm finishing up this transcript:

Northern Lights

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(SEVEN SECONDS' SILENCE)

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

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

ANNOUNCER: The American Broadcasting Company presents "Quiet, Please!" which is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper and which features Ernest Chappell.
"Quiet, Please!" for today is called "Northern Lights"

(MUSIC ... THEME ... END)

PAUL: This is a story about the temporal displacement of mass.

It is also a story about teleportation.

Do you know what those terms mean?

No, I didn't think you did, but you stay right where you are, my charming friend, and you're quite likely to find out. You just stay right there and listen - I'll tell you everything you want to know.

And maybe - well, maybe a couple o' things you're not terribly anxious TO know.

(MUSIC ... EERIE ... UNDER)

PAUL: Ever see the northern lights? Aurora borealis is their right name. You don't see them very often below the 50th parallel of latitude in this country, but up in northern Minnesota and Canada, upper New York, places like that, they're quite common of a winter night. If you've seen 'em you know what they look like. If you haven't, there's no use in my trying to describe 'em. Sometimes they fill the whole northern sky with waves of color, like a fire burning way beyond the horizon. Sometimes they're just long streamers of fire filling up the whole sky. And another time they look like gigantic fringed curtains of pure light, swaying, as if some cold cosmic breeze plucked at them, way far off there to the north.

And you can hear 'em, too, sometimes -- well, maybe not exactly hear 'em, but - but there's a sound, a humming, a - a crackling somewhere inside your head. And there are times when you'd swear it's a voice talking to you, talking in some kind of strange language you can almost understand -- filling your whole being with a kind of desperate, inescapable terror.

You know what I mean?

(MUSIC ... FILLS A PAUSE)

PAUL: At night, in the cold night -- voices talking and saying things to you that you can almost understand, filling the night sky with signs and portents of inescapable terror. And nobody -- nobody in the whole world -- knows what they are. Nobody in this world, at least -- except me. And after I get done talking to you, you'll know, too.

And you won't be happy.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, THEN OUT)

PAUL: Let me show you somethin' now. This is from a recording I made on, uh, let's see, December 13th, 1948, a little more than a month and a half ago. I started the recorder while Norman and I were just about finished with our work that afternoon, here in the laboratory.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS)

PAUL: I just set the microphone on top of the file cabinet there, turned on the machine.

SOUND: (RECORDER SET ON CABINET)

PAUL: Listen, I'm gonna play it back for you. The quality isn't so very good but you can recognize my voice and - and Norman's, I think. Here ...

SOUND: (TAPE MACHINE IS TURNED ON ... WHAT FOLLOWS IS A PRERECORDED SCENE WITH PAUL THE NARRATOR OCCASIONALLY INTERJECTING COMMENTS)

NORMAN: I got the coil rewound now, I guess.

PAUL: Did ya test it?

NORMAN: How can I test it when I said I just got it rewound?

PAUL: Well, hurry up. It's almost six o'clock.

NORMAN: Oh. It's dark out, I didn't realize the time.

PAUL: Hurry up!

NORMAN: [a little annoyed] All right! Um, be a display tonight, do you suppose?

PAUL: Mm, how do I know? Been a display the last three nights.

NORMAN: That was a dinger last night, wasn't it?

PAUL: Yes, but the machine wasn't ready.

NORMAN: Hey, listen now, if you think you can do better than I can-- ouch!

PAUL: What's the matter?

NORMAN: Aw, stuck my finger.

PAUL: Where'd you - Where'd you put the copper sulfate?

NORMAN: Um, uh - up above the sink.

PAUL: Huh? Oh. I got it.

SOUND: (ODD NOISE)

PAUL: What're ya doing?

NORMAN: Testing the coil.

PAUL: How is it?

NORMAN: Aw, looks okay. Hey, wait a minute... yeah, it's okay.

PAUL: I'll be right with you. ... Uh, hook it up.

NORMAN: What're you going to send?

PAUL: Try my cigarette lighter. It won't work anyway, I - I won't miss it if we don't get it back.

NORMAN: I don't know how the thing'll work when the northern lights aren't shining.

PAUL: Mm, maybe they are shining. Turn off the room light, let's see.

NORMAN: All right.

PAUL: It's pretty early, I, uh...

SOUND: (LIGHT SWITCH)

PAUL: Mmmh.

NORMAN: What's the matter?

PAUL: Hey, look.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS)

NORMAN: Ooh. Out early tonight. Oh, boy, that's fine, the whole sky. Look -- blue, and yellow... Say, I - I never saw those long fringes before.

PAUL: Never the same.

NORMAN: Oh, say, did you turn on the recorder?

PAUL: Yeah.

NORMAN: Yeah, yeah, it's turning over. Let's see. [clears throat] Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party.

PAUL: Heh, leave it alone. You about ready now?

NORMAN: It's funny about the aurora.

PAUL: Northern lights? What's funny?

PAUL: [narrates, over the voices] Listen to this part closely, friend. Remember what I told you.

NORMAN: Oh, I don't know. You can almost hear the darned things. Not hear 'em, I mean, but it's, uh, it's kinda like somebody talking to you in a language you can, you can almost understand. I dunno. I mean, d'you ever notice it?

PAUL: Sure. High frequencies, I guess ... or somethin'.

NORMAN: Awful lot we don't understand.

PAUL: Look, uh, you go over there to the recorder and talk into the mike.

NORMAN: Talk what?

PAUL: Well, just describe what happens for the record.

NORMAN: I'm no announcer.

PAUL: I know you're not, but - just say what you see so we'll have an accurate record.

NORMAN: Okay.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS TO THE MIKE)

NORMAN: Now?

PAUL: Go ahead.

NORMAN: [clears throat grandly] This is an experiment in the temporal displacement of a solid object. Uh, in other words, the first actual demonstration of a time machine. If it works.

PAUL: It'll work all right. Go on.

NORMAN: Paul is now placing his old, beat up cigarette lighter on the stage of the hypercucambulator, and he is now fitting the microchronometer to determine how far into the future he's going to sent the lighter. Well, how far, Paul?

PAUL: Uh... ten seconds.

NORMAN: Ten seconds. Now, at - at the end of that time, if our calculations are correct -- and we hope they are -- the cigarette lighter will reappear. In that period of time, it will have been into the future. Um, we could send it farther into the future if we wanted to, I guess, but we'd just have to wait that much longer for time to catch up with it and make it reappear. But ten seconds -- well, I mean, uh, we can prove our point by sending it ten seconds into the future just as well as ten years ahead, and this way we don't have to wait so long. Hey, how'm I doin', Paul?

PAUL: Hey, go into your commercial

NORMAN: [sings] "When Paul presses the little button, the cigarette lighter will turn to nuttin'."

SOUND: (PAUL AND NORMAN CRACK UP WITH LAUGHTER)

PAUL: That's not right. It'll be here, but it'll be ten seconds later.

PAUL: [narrates, over the voices] Now, listen closely, please. It's going to happen.

NORMAN: Yeah. Well, now, um, Mr. Paul McGilligat, that famous maaaad scientist, is about to press the big ol' button and send his lighter into the future. You ready, Paul?

PAUL: Here we go. Stand by.

SOUND: (CRACKLING)

PAUL: Look! Norm!

NORMAN: By golly, it IS gone! It just disappeared. Bang! - like that.

PAUL: Hold your watch up close to the mike, Paul, so it'll record.

NORMAN: Yeah, um, the - the - there is no sign of the lighter. Ah, the little stage on which Paul placed it is empty and it should, er, appear again in - in just a second if it really did work. Three - two - one!

PAUL: IT'S BACK! I-IT'S BACK, NORM!

NORMAN: It worked! We made it! Oh, man, let's see if it's all right. Ouch!

SOUND: (LIGHTER PICKED UP AND DROPPED)

NORMAN: Oooh.

PAUL: Now what?

NORMAN: Ah, the lighter! Oh, oh, it's cold, Paul. Oooh - here, here - take it, take it, Paul, take it - it's freezing cold.

PAUL: Ack! Well, what do you know? The - the - the darn thing's like a piece of ice!

NORMAN: Now, where the dickens do you suppose it's been in that ten seconds?

PAUL: [narrates, over the voices] No, wait, friend. That's not the payoff yet. Listen.

NORMAN: [?] you said, [?] in the future and--

PAUL: Time's caught up with it. It's - it's back but--

NORMAN: Hey, Paul, look! Where did that come from?

PAUL: What?

NORMAN: There, on the stage where the lighter was. Where'd THAT come from? In the middle of winter!

PAUL: Wh - wh - what is it?

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS TO THE MIKE)

NORMAN: It's a caterpillar, Paul. A brown and black caterpillar.

PAUL: Well, where do you suppose it came from? It wasn't there--

NORMAN: I'll - I'll tell you where it came from, Paul.

PAUL: What?

(MUSIC ... EERILY UNDER)

NORMAN: It came from the same place where the cigarette lighter went.

PAUL: What? What are you talkin' about?

NORMAN: Well, feel it, Paul. Feel its fur. See? It's as cold as ice, too!

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, THEN UNDER)

PAUL: [narrates] A caterpillar. A little brown and black caterpillar, the kind they call "woolly bears" You know, uh, larva of the tiger moth, the Isia isabella. In the dead of winter and as cold as ice. Where did it come from? Huh? YOU want to know?

Incidentally, you know, the old timers say that the woolly bear caterpillar is a weather prophet, if the brown bands on his fur are narrow, there's severe weather ahead. If they're wide, it's gonna be a mild winter.

Ah, maybe.

This one, you could hardly see the brown bands. Tough weather ahead, that's what the old timers would say. But where'd she come from? She wasn't there when we put the cigarette lighter on the stage. When time caught up again, there she was.

She? Sure, Isabella. Isia isabella. I told you, remember?

Oh, she was wiggling happily when she arrived from - somewhere in the future. But as she warmed up, she seemed to go into a trance, almost a - a deathlike trance. So, Norman said, put her in the deep freeze and maybe she'll come to again in the cold. So we put her in the deep freeze.

(MUSIC ... FILLS A PAUSE)

PAUL: [narrates] And in half an hour, when we looked in at her, she was wiggling happily.

(MUSIC OUT)

PAUL: [narrates] At ten degrees below zero, friend! Now, can you tie that? My goodness, she should have been frozen solid.

Well, nothing special happened for a couple of days. That, you remember was a month and a half ago, December 13th, 1948. Where were you on the night of December 18th? Uh, Saturday night, a week before Christmas? I'd been Christmas shopping in the afternoon, I remember, I came back to the laboratory to check up on some stuff. Norman was there - fiddling with things. "Hi, Norm!" I said:

How's Isabella?

NORMAN: [as grim as Paul is cheery] You know something funny, Paul?

PAUL: What's the matter with you?

NORMAN: Who, me?

PAUL: You look so pale. You sick? Eat somethin' disagreed with ya?

NORMAN: [after a beat] Paul, Isabella's singing.

PAUL: Singing what? Er-! Isabella singing?! Why, you're dotty!

NORMAN: She's singing. The caterpillar's singing.

PAUL: [bemused disbelief] Not - tap dancing, I hope.

NORMAN: I'm not kidding you!

PAUL: Ah ha, cut it out.

NORMAN: Open the deep freeze and listen.

PAUL: You been at the C2H5OH?

NORMAN: I haven't had a drink since Thursday night.

PAUL: Well, now, what--?

NORMAN: Open the deep freeze and listen.

PAUL: No kiddin'?

NORMAN: No kiddin'.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS)

PAUL: Well, we don't know where she came from.

SOUND: (FREEZER DOOR OPENS)

PAUL: I won't be surprised at anything. [cheerily] Hello, Isabella!

NORMAN: [annoyed] Hey, don't do that!

PAUL: 'S'matter? You afraid she'll answer me back?

NORMAN: Well, I don't know what!

PAUL: [chuckles] Hello, Isabella. [chuckles] I hear you're singing.

NORMAN: I told ya, Paul!

PAUL: Ssh! Ssh! [pause] I don't hear anything.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS)

NORMAN: Now, listen, Paul, I haven't lost my buttons. I've been hearing it all afternoon. I couldn't figure out what was doing it and then I noticed it was louder alongside the deep freeze here. So I opened it up and stuck my head inside. And it was coming from her.

PAUL: Huh. Wh - What'd it sound like, Norm?

NORMAN: Oh, I dunno. Only it was kind of like, uh [sings] Aaa - eee - iii -

PAUL: A-E-I?

NORMAN: [a little embarrassed at how silly it sounds] Ah.

PAUL: Didn't she say A-E-I-O-U and sometimes W and Y?

NORMAN: Now, don't rib me. I tell ya, I heard it.

SOUND: (FREEZER DOOR CLOSES)

PAUL: I think you'd better take a Christmas vacation, Norm.

NORMAN: I'm not--!

PAUL: I know, kid, I know but, listen, we've been playin' around with some pretty deep cosmic secrets, you and me. We've managed temporal displacement, which nobody in the world has ever done, see? Maybe we both need a rest.

NORMAN: You know what I think, Paul?

PAUL: What?

NORMAN: I think we've managed teleportation, too. And we don't know it.

PAUL: Teleportation? You mean like Charles Forte talks about?

NORMAN: I mean transporting tangible objects from one place to another without any mechanical means.

PAUL: Electronically?

NORMAN: I don't know, Paul. All I know is that that cigarette lighter was someplace where it was awful cold. And it wasn't cold here in this room.

PAUL: Well ...

NORMAN: And - where did that caterpillar come from?

PAUL: I don't know.

NORMAN: It came from wherever that cigarette lighter went, Paul.

PAUL: But where?

NORMAN: I don't know, somewhere. And you know what? I'm going to find out where it came from.

PAUL: You are? [amused] And how, may I ask you?

NORMAN: I'm going to modify this gadget of ours, this hypercucambulator, so that it'll carry a man. And then, my dear boss, I'm gonna sit down in it and have you send me out there somewhere in time and space and come back and tell you all about it.

PAUL: [decisive but good natured] That's all for tonight, bud.

NORMAN: What?

PAUL: Come on, I'll take you out and buy you a drink.

NORMAN: I'm not fooling, Paul!

PAUL: Okay, okay, you're not fooling, Norm. Get your hat and coat and come on. [chuckles] I prescribe hot buttered rum.

NORMAN: Now--

PAUL: Turn off the lights.

NORMAN: Will you listen to me for a minute?

PAUL: Turn off the lights. I want hot buttered rum.

NORMAN: Okay, okay.

SOUND: (FOOTSTEPS)

PAUL: Gosh, look out o' that window.

NORMAN: [admiringly] The northern lights.

(MUSIC ... WEIRD PULSING EFFECT SLOWLY BUILDS, LOUDER AND LOUDER)

NORMAN: Ah, they're really bright tonight.

PAUL: They sure are.

NORMAN: Look how they pulse. Up, down, up, down ...

PAUL: [coolly] Norm--

NORMAN: ... up-- What?

PAUL: Look at the deep freeze there in the dark.

NORMAN: What about it?

PAUL: You see it?

NORMAN: Light, Paul! Light! It's the-- It's--

PAUL: I see it, Norm. It's right in step with the northern lights.

NORMAN: And the same colors! Red, red. Blue, blue. Up, down, up, down.

PAUL: Coming from the deep freeze where our little friend, Isabella, was singing to you. Now, what do you--?

NORMAN: Hey, Paul, listen.

PAUL: I don't--

NORMAN: Listen!

CATERPILLAR: [a high-pitched voice wailing along with the music]
A - E - I - O - U ... A - E - I - O - U ...

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, A BRIEF BRIDGE, THEN UNDER)

PAUL: [narrates] We never did get that hot buttered rum. We stayed there in the laboratory for a long time, listening to the voice of the thing in the box, endlessly repeating A-E-I-O-U -- the vowel sounds of our speech. And watching the light that pulsed up from the deep freeze in perfect rhythm with the flickering of the northern lights we watched [?]. And we thought long, long thoughts that I - I don't remember any to tell ya now. I do know we both of us thought of ways to perfect our little mechanism, our time machine -- our machine that brought back a little cold, brown and black caterpillar from - somewhere.

And when it was morning and the lights had faded from the northern skies, we found that our machine was very different.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT ... AND OUT)

PAUL: [narrates] The stage, where we found the caterpillar, was larger now. I had only a vague recollection of what had happened in the night, I said, to Norm, "Norman," I said:

What did we do last night?

NORMAN: I don't know for sure, Paul.

PAUL: Did we - rebuild that thing? Make it larger?

NORMAN: I don't know. I - I don't-- Well, I - I mean, I think I dreamed I was working on it. I think I hit my finger with a hammer.

PAUL: Let's see. Huh. Thumb's all bruised. Certainly looks it.

NORMAN: Nobody could have gotten in here. The door's locked.

PAUL: The machine's certainly different.

NORMAN: This coil, I fixed. Look, it's rewound - Did - did I do that?

PAUL: Ooh, my head hurts.

NORMAN: Yeah, mine, too.

PAUL: I don't get it.

NORMAN: I don't either. I wish I could.

PAUL: Listen, Norm.

NORMAN: What?

PAUL: Maybe we did change it.

NORMAN: But, I-- Well, how could we have done all that by ourselves?

PAUL: I got an idea.

NORMAN: What?

PAUL: Why, maybe - Isabella helped us.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, THEN SOMBERLY UNDER)

NORMAN: The caterpillar? Aw--

PAUL: Let's see, shall we?

NORMAN: [resigned but willing] Open the deep freeze.

PAUL: [narrates] Well, I opened it. It was empty. There wasn't any brown and black caterpillar in the deep freeze. We took a flashlight and looked over every inch of it. We stood there and looked at each other. For a whole minute. Norman said, "Well--" I just shook my head. We went over and sat down. All of a sudden, I said, "I found her, Norman." And there she was. There was little Isabella the caterpillar crumpled up stone dead on the floor of the laboratory. And you know, caterpillars have little tiny paws. In one of Isabella's paws was the end of a long piece of wire - that ran up to the generator coil.

NORMAN: How did she get out?

PAUL: [narrates] I said, the thing couldn't be opened from the inside. I said, it was fastened down tight when I took the lid off just now.

NORMAN: But she did get out.

PAUL: [narrates] Maybe. Maybe she did help us, Norm, I said. He just sat there and stared at me. And I got up and put on my overcoat.

NORMAN: Where ya goin'? Where ya goin', Paul?

PAUL: [narrates] I said, I'm gonna find out somethin', Norman. Where I'm going, it's cold, I said. I know that and I'm gonna find out what's been going on and where that caterpillar came from. Norm goggled at me. I stepped on the stage of the machine that was to take me away somewhere in Time - and Space. I said, Norm,

Turn it on.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT)

PAUL: [narrates] Well, he - he reached over and touched the switch. He didn't say a word. And I - braced myself. I nodded at him. "Go ahead," I said. And he pressed the switch.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT)

PAUL: [narrates] Nothing happened at all. Nothing. Why?

NORMAN: I know, Paul! I know! It's daylight. And there aren't any northern lights.

(MUSIC ... A LONG ACCENT AND OUT)

PAUL: [narrates] Well, it was just as well. I had a chance to think about it a little and I realized that just an overcoat wouldn't do me any good where I might be going. And so when it was dark night again and the northern lights were flickering and dancing in the sky, I put on a high altitude aviator's suit that had its own source of heat supply. Norman shook his head as I got back on the stage. Nodded for him to press the switch.

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, THEN UNDER)

PAUL: [narrates] Cold?

You've never been cold, friend.

Dark?

You wouldn't know how dark it can get.

And I was standing on an immense plain that stretched so far, so far into the distance, the plain was snow and eternal ice. A dead, cold, white world with the blackest sky above me. And the northern lights reached from horizon to horizon. Even through the high altitude suit, I could feel the biting cold. And I was afraid, shivering, abjectly afraid. The streamers of the northern lights reached down toward me and wrapped about me. I heard the sound of voices screaming into my mind, I - I could understand them - I wished heartily I'd never played around with cosmic forces. They yelled inside the heavy helmet - I yelled, "Norman! Norman, bring me back!" And there was nobody to hear me.

No, I don't know where I was. Another planet? Maybe. The North Pole? Maybe. The lights were all around me - maybe that's where it was but-- It was the most terrible, awful, cold, lonely place you could imagine in a hundred years. The lights - the flickering northern lights - crawled over me and beat at me - I could almost understand what they were saying. And then -

(MUSIC ... SPIRALS DOWN)

PAUL: [narrates] A crash!

Sudden blackness.

I was standing again in the laboratory I'd left only a few short seconds ago and Norman was tearing at the fastenings of my suit and beating at me with both hands. I wondered what in the world he was doing until I got the helmet off.

He was - brushing caterpillars off me!

Thousands of cold, freezing cold, brown and black Isabella caterpillars!

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, THEN OUT)

PAUL: [narrates] I was in bed for a week or more, I don't know how long. Wherever it was I'd been, I'd nearly frozen to death in those short seconds. And, at last, I was able to come back to the laboratory. I sat there that night with Norman. And, outside the windows, the northern lights were brighter than they'd ever been before. Purple, green, yellow. Black lights, even.

And there was a new rhythm tonight.

(MUSIC ... THE WEIRD PULSING EFFECT AGAIN)

PAUL: [narrates] A kind of code. Almost words. Thoughts. Not quite formed and yet - curiously disturbing. Norman, though, didn't seem to be as disturbed as I was. He - he just sat quietly. And looked at me.

NORMAN: Where'd those caterpillars come from, Paul?

PAUL: [weak, listless] I don't know. Where I was, that's all I know.

NORMAN: Did you - did they attack you or--?

PAUL: I don't know. They came from the lights.

NORMAN: The lights?

PAUL: The northern lights. Where are they, Norm?

NORMAN: The caterpillars?

PAUL: Yes. Where are they?

NORMAN: In the - deep freeze. Where Isabella was.

PAUL: Poor Isabella.

NORMAN: What's the matter with you, Paul?

PAUL: I'm listening.

NORMAN: Listening to what?

CATERPILLAR: [a high-pitched voice wailing along with the pulsing music]
A - E - I - O - U ...

PAUL: Don't you hear them?

NORMAN: I don't hear anything.

CATERPILLAR: A - E - I - O - U ...

PAUL: Don't you?

NORMAN: I don't hear anything.

PAUL: Then, listen.

CATERPILLAR: A - E - I - O - U ...

PAUL: Listen.

NORMAN: I don't hear anything.

PAUL: Turn on the recording machine. I want to see if we can pick up their voices.

CATERPILLAR: A - E - I - O - U ...

NORMAN: There isn't anything, Paul!

CATERPILLAR: A - E - I - O - U ...

PAUL: Turn it on! Turn it on, I want a recording, quick! Quick, Norman! They're talking to us!

CATERPILLAR: A - E - I - O - U ... A - E - I - O - U ...

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND OUT)

PAUL: [narrates] Listen, friend, I want to play you another recording. This is what came out of our tape recorder that night when I was listening to the voices. And Norman couldn't hear anything.

Just listen.

SOUND: (TAPE MACHINE TURNS ON - WHAT FOLLOWS IS ANOTHER PRERECORDED SCENE)

NORMAN: I still don't hear anything, Paul.

PAUL: Be still, listen!

NORMAN: [after a pause] I tell ya, I--!

PAUL: Listen!

SOUND: (FREEZER DOOR RATTLES)

NORMAN: What's that?

PAUL: Look at the deep freeze.

NORMAN: The top's coming open! Look at the light around it, Paul!

PAUL: Be quiet. Watch.

NORMAN: How did they--? Good lord, look! The caterpillars are coming out, Paul, look at them! There's millions of 'em!

PAUL: [increasingly high pitched voice] Be still, Norman!

NORMAN: B-b-but, Paul, your voice--!

PAUL: Be still, I said!

NORMAN: What's the matter with your voice?

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: [high pitched caterpillar voice wordlessly shadows Paul's] We want to talk to you.

NORMAN: You what? You - you said, "We"!

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: Why, of course, Norman. We.

NORMAN: Who, for the--?

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: It is Paul's voice, Norman. Paul's voice. Voice. But it is not Paul speaking. Listen.

CATERPILLAR: [sings] A - E - I - O - U ...

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: We speak to you.

NORMAN: Paul!

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: Not Paul. We, the People of the Lights. We, from the cold. We are speaking to you with Paul's voice.

NORMAN: I tell you that--

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: Paul's voice will tell you what to do when the time comes, Norman. We go to the machine now. Paul's mind is ours for a little time now. We go to the machine, the machine that brought us to your world from the World of the Lights.

NORMAN: Who are you? Who--?

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: The People of the Lights. To take over this world of yours. Only this world of yours is so hot. We must have the cold world. And we know how to make it cold.

NORMAN: What's the matter, Paul? Paul?

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: So, so hot.

NORMAN: No, no!

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: Quick, Norman, turn on the machine. Send us to places in your world -- no, our world! Hurry! So hot! Hurry! So hot!

NORMAN: Paul!

PAUL/CATERPILLARS: Hurry! Hurry! Turn on machine!

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT AND UNDER)

PAUL: [narrates] That's the end of the recording.

No, I don't know. I don't have any recollection of it at all. Well, the recording's there, isn't it? That - must be what happened.

When I woke up, Norman was gone and there were no caterpillars in the place here. And our machine, our machine that took people and things away into Time and Space - was wrecked.

I don't know what became of them. You heard what they said about my voice. They're going to take over this world and make it a cold world. Like the one they came from. Whatever that is. And wherever they went.

No, I don't know where they went - where the machine sent them.

I do have ideas.

Yes.

Are you cold? It's freezing in here. And, just for example, you read the papers? Look at the newsreels? Didja see the pictures of the snow - in Los Angeles - in subtropical Los Angeles - where it hasn't snowed for so many, many years?

I wondered about it, too.

I wonder if anybody - saw any brown and black woolly bear caterpillars in Los Angeles.

Larva of the tiger moth, Isia isabella.

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

ANNOUNCER: The title of today's "Quiet, Please!" story is "Northern Lights." It was written and directed by Wyllis Cooper. The man who spoke to you was Ernest Chappell.

CHAPPELL: And my laboratory assistant Norman was played by Dan Sutter. The voices of Isabella - and her friends - was that of Cecil Roy. As usual, music for "Quiet, Please!" is played by Albert Buhrmann. Now, for a word about next week, our writer-director, my good friend, Wyllis Cooper.

COOPER: Thank you for listening to "Quiet, Please!" For next week, I'll have a story for ya that comes from the steel mills out south Chicago way. It's called "Tap the Heat, Bogdan."

CHAPPELL: [chuckles] And so until next week at this same time, I am quietly yours, Ernest Chappell.

(MUSIC .. THEME ... END)

ANNOUNCER: And now a listening reminder. How are your predictions of things to come? What's your batting average? Compare your average with the man who has made predicting his business. Listen to Drew Pearson tonight on ABC. This is ABC, the American Broadcasting Company.

LOCAL ANNOUNCER: WJZ -- New York's First Station -- AM and FM. Stand by now for inside news and startling predictions by Drew Pearson, one of the most famous reporters in America.






 
  • 0/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Download thread as


Sorry, you don't have permission to post. Log in, or register if you haven't yet.