Comments on How Are You, Pal?
Joined: Mar 14, 2003
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Posted Feb 16, 2006 - 12:04 PM:
Brackets are used to indicate Cooper's handwritten script notations such as: [music] or [TOO LOUD!]
Bracketed numbers indicate handwritten timings such as: [(1)] (at the one minute mark) or  (at two minutes and thirty seconds)
A page break looks like this: [title page] or [page 1]
An illegible notation looks like this: [???]
Crossed out text is indicated with a bracketed X like this: [X]moved[/X]
FROM: Ted Lloyd Incorporated
250 West 57th Street
New York 19, New York
Tel. No. CIrcle 5-4204
Written & Directed
"HOW ARE YOU, PAL?"
DANE Quiet, please. [TOO LOUD!]
DANE Quiet, please.
DANE I want you to play a little game with me.
I want you to get a piece of paper, and a pencil, and write down three words. Just write them down and hold onto them, because before we're through with this half-hour you'll find you have need of them.
It'll take you just a moment to find the pencil and paper; only another moment to write down the three words I'll give you. Write them down, and keep them alongside you. Write down first "yes"; Then write down "yours." Now write down "mine." Yes; yours; mine. That's all. Now relax and listen to me.
MUSIC SOMETHING VERY DREAMY AND ALMOST HYPNOTIC
FADE FOR [(1)]
DANE [FADE IN] We used to be good friends, you and I; didn't we?
Went around a lot together back in the old days.
Long time ago.
Long time ago.
But we haven't seen much of each other the last few years; not till I [X]moved[/X] [came] back here to town and called you up, and said, "Hey, remember me?"
[#] I remember how your voice sounded on the telephone; not quite the same as it did the last time we saw each other - Where was that --- at the station when you came down to say good-by and good luck and stuff? Was it - oh, never mind; that was quite a while ago.
I didn't think of it at the time. I remember now, though.
DANE (CONT) Not that I blame you; it's just good Newyork manners to be a little reserved when a pal of the old days calls - till you're sure the old pal isn't going to put the arm on you to find him a place to stay and maybe lend him a ten or so --- I don't blame you.
You were a little more cordial after I'd answered that question that you asked so casually "What're you doing now, Dane?"... when I said I was doing all right and couldn't I buy you dinner?...And you did come back pretty fast and say "No, dinner's on me, old pal, old pal."
And we had an argument about the dinner cheque, and you did pay it. Sure. I've got no kicks about that. None at all.  We had a lot of laughs at that dinner, talking about the fine Christmases we used to have together, and the gag presents we used to give to each other, and some of the people we used to know: some of them we both liked, and some of them one of us liked and the other didn't. And the top hat you gave me for my birthday; a great laugh because I wouldn't be caught in an alley with a plug hat on. So I gave you the silver-mounted stag-handle hunting-knife  because you were strictly the night-club type and wouldn't be caught in the woods if you were starving for hassenpheffer. And I made you give me a penny for it, because a gift-knife might cut friendship? I still had the penny the other day. It fell out of my pocket and somebody picked it up. Laughs? A million of 'em. [???] [X]Still listening, pal? Keep on, will you. And don't lose the paper with the words on. Okay?[/X]
[Start] I remembered something [(6)] else, too, after I left you and went
DANE (CONT) home to that hotel - what was its name? you remember - up on West 57th Street? I remembered all of a sudden, as I was untying my tie...and I bet you remember, too. I bet you even know what I'm talking about. Who I'm talking about.
MUSIC A SLOW BUT CRASHING SFORZANDO ON STRINGS [x]
DANE What was her name? Simple name - doesn't make any difference. Better not to mention names, isn't it? We were sitting on the steps that night. It was weather like it's been this fall - too hot for the time of the year? Remember? She said
GIRL I've got to tell you something.
DANE I love you, too.
GIRL That's not it, Dane.
DANE Make me guess.
GIRL No. (A PAUSE) I'm going to tell you. 
DANE Well, shoot.
GIRL I'm sorry.
DANE Sorry? About what?
DANE I don't get it.
GIRL I don't want you to buy me that ring.
DANE Why [!] not? We went all over that. I've got the money.
DANE I have, too.
GIRL It isn't that, Dane.
DANE (IN A CHANGED VOICE) What do you mean, kid?
GIRL (AFTER A PAUSE) That's what I mean. (DANE: But, kid -) No. I mean it. I...can't.
DANE Why not? (NO ANSWER) Why not, honey?
[X]GIRL I - (SHE STOPS)[/X]
DANE Is it somebody else? (PAUSE) Is it?
GIRL Dane, I feel so miserably sorry, but...
DANE Is it?
THERE IS A LONG PAUSE
DANE This is kind of.....tough to take, you know.
GIRL I know. (SHE SPEAKS RAPIDLY) Oh, Dane, I didn't want to hurt you, and I tried not to tell you, but Dane, I can't I can't I can't - (SHE STARTS TO SOB) [loud]
DANE (GETTING UP) Is it somebody I know, kid?
GIRL (SOBS) Oh, Dane, promise me you won't - (SHE SOBS)
DANE Huh! What can I do? I...kind of love you, you know. [^] And if it's got to be somebody else to make it good for you... well...
THE GIRL SOBS QUIETLY 
DANE Who is it, honey?
GIRL It's - it's your best friend, Dane...
MUSIC SFORZANDO AGAIN. CUT OFF SHARPLY
DANE See? My best friend. You, pal. (HE LAUGHS SHORTLY) 'Member what I did? 'Member the note? I do. It said "I'm sure glad I made you pay me that penny for the hunting-knife, you lucky buzzard." You know, so we still had our friendship.
[music] Oh, don't feel bad, pal. I don't, any more. It was too bad your folks wouldn't go for her, and made you break it off or
DANE (CONT) lose out on your old man's dough.  I still think she was kind of silly to fall through the ice that winter, out skating alone in the dark on the pond in the park that night. That was two days before your wedding, wasn't it? And you did postpone the wedding so you could go to the funeral. I remember. I saw you there, and we shook hands and bawled a little. Long time ago. [- MUSIC]
I guess I never told you about finding her, in the water where the ice had been so thin. Or did I? I guess you didn't know I found her, did you? I never said anything about it. I was kind of crazy about that girl. I'd just come back to town, remember, after a trip to - where was it? Chicago? Never mind, It was somewhere. And I just sort of stopped around at her house - no good reason, of course, and her mother was kind of worried.
MOTHER [tacit] She said she was going skating, Dane, out on the park lake, and I told her she shouldn't. that ice isn't thick enough yet, but she was bound and determined to go, and she ought to be home any minute; why don't you walk over toward the park and see if she's on the way home?
DANE So I did. All the way to the park, I kept whistling, so she'd know it was me - I used to always whistle "A Kiss [NO PICCOLO] in the Dark" and she'd recognise it. And I met that old park policeman. The sparrow-cop, we used to call him, remember? He said he'd seen her, and she was talking to some fellow. He didn't see who it was, and anyway he was cold and he supposed she'd gone on home. I walked over to the lake, and there was a big black hole in the ice, and
DANE (CONT) something floating in it, and of course it was her. [#] I yelled for the cop, and he came running, but he was so fat - Remember? So I slid out on the ice on my belly and dragged her out. I thought that was her little [X]red[/X] [green] beret that was floating in the cold water after I pulled her out, but it wasn't. And then the cop and I - what was his name? - carried her over to the streetcar line, and a taxicab came along, and that was that. [???]
So she's gone, and that's a long time ago. Oh, and say - talking about gag presents we used to give each other..... remember the pair of [X]red and white and[/X] green Norwegian [woolen] mittens I gave you one Christmas, and you lost one of them? I found one to match in some old stuff I was going over the other day, and I mailed it to you. I guess you got it all right.
Say, there's something you might tell me about, too, some time. There's a certain friend of ours....well, I don't know how much of a friend he is, but maybe you'll know. I won't tell you his name, because, as I said, I don't think it's a good idea to mention names in public like this - say, are you going to sleep? Sit up and listen; we've got a lot to talk about yet. Turn the radio up a little. I don't want you to miss anything. Oh, about this friend. [#] I got a telephone call the other day: last Saturday - what are you fidgeting about? Light a cigarette.  I got this 'phone call (THE PHONE RINGS) and when I answered the guy said [out]
MAN (ON PHONE) Hello, Dane.
MAN Listen, Dane. Maybe you think you know who this is -
DANE Why, sure. It's -
MAN Never mind that. I'm not going to tell you who I am for a very good reason.
DANE Well, now look, I can kid along with anybody, but -
MAN I'm not kidding, Dane. And I'm not going to mention any names at all. But a certain guy that you and I both know has been spreading a few stories that you ought to know about.
DANE Oh? Is that so?
DANE What kind of stories?
MAN Where have you been the last few years?
DANE Well, for a while I was in the Army. 99th Division. The Bulge, Remagen Bridge, and all that...
MAN You can prove that?
DANE Are you kidding?
MAN This....friend....of yours says you've been in the penitentiary.
DANE Sounds like a wonderful friend.
MAN Doesn't he?
DANE Well....as a matter of fact, I was. 
MAN (STARTLED) You were!
DANE Four years.
MAN Good Lord, Dane!
DANE Now you're going to ask what I was in for.
DANE I had a job in a penitentiary.
MAN A what?
DANE A job. I worked there.
DANE Sure. [X]Oh.[/X]
MAN Well, I'm sorry. Your - friend probably misunderstood.
DANE I hope so.
MAN What'd you do? Not a guard?
DANE Oh, no. I had a very special job. Tell you about it sometime.
MAN Well, gee, Dane, I'm awful sorry. You - I mean I - better tell this friend of yours. Gosh, a thing like that could ruin a man!
DANE That's right it could.[|] Couldn't it?
MAN It sure could. Well, you know, Dane, I mean....I meant well?
DANE Sure. Thanks for calling. Nice of you.
MAN I'm sorry about it. I'll tell him -
DANE No, I'll tell him when I see him. Or some time.
MAN But do you know who -
DANE (LAUGHS) Why, shore! So long, bub. And thanks anyway.
HE HANGS UP THE PHONE
DANE I sure hope you didn't have any misunderstanding  about what I've been doing, pal. Or didn't you know? Remind me to tell you sometime what my job was there.
[Hold mus] Well, here I stand gassing, and you're sitting there clutching that piece of paper. Look, be a pal and hang on to it for a little while yet. Just_________minutes, as a matter of fact, and then I'll stop and you take it from there. I wanted to tell you about last Saturday, though, first. I had a couple of fellows from my old outfit to see - you know
DANE (CONT) us veterans! and I sat around with one of 'em all afternoon knocking over bottles of beer and hashing over the Bulge and some of the things they put me up to after war. I don't usually take more than two beers in an afternoon, but you know how it is. Or do you? No, I guess you don't. You weren't in the Service, were you? I remember now. Oh, well, we can't all be heroes, I always say.  The reason we sat around so long was this pal of mine out of the 99th spilled something about a special job I had to do after the war, up in Germany, and I wasn't very anxious to have everybody in the world know about it, so I kidded about it a lot with this feather-merchant we were talking to, and pretty soon it was seven o'clock, and the civilian was still asking questions with his eyes bulging out. So I had one more beer, and I went back to the hotel. [#] And you know what? [#] Somebody'd been in my room. [#] I tried to figure out how anybody could have got in there without the hotel people putting up a big squawk. They said they didn't know anything about it. And then, all of a sudden I remembered another night. I remembered that night I was at your house and we ate Chicken a la King and kidded about the knife and stuff, and when I got back to my hotel, I'd lost my key.  Might have been in the taxicab, or someplace, I don't know where. It was a good thing the hotel people had another key for my room, even if the night-clerk did beef about people losing keys. Can't get metal to make 'em, or some long line of stuff. [#] So I said okay, doc, I'll pay you for it, and hit the sack. [#] So you know what I think? About last Saturday night? Somebody
DANE (CONT) either found the key, or sneaked it out of my pocket someplace, and decided to see what I had lying around that was worth glomming. He'd done a pretty good job of going through my bags and my dresser-drawers, and the only thing that was missing was a little old book of mine - a notebook, kind of a diary.
Hey, where you going? Sit down. I'll only be a few more minutes. That's it. Sit down. [X]I know I'm boring you, but[/X] I got a payoff to all this that'll - that's really something. (HE LAUGHS CHEERFULLY)
Well,  the book wouldn't be much use to anybody but me, except for one or two specially hot parts....and I hated to lose them. I was pretty griped, and I yelled for the house-dick at the hotel, but he was out having a plate of pigs' knuckles or a salad bowl or something, and he wouldn't be in till ten. Anyway he wouldn't have been much good. He even looked like a house dick.
So I sat down to think. Then I got up and looked for fingerprints - the penitentiary training, you know? I was in charge of the print file the first year I was there, and I can lift a print with the next Homicide Bureau man. Yes, sure, I found some.
You dropped your cigarette.
I stuck 'em in an envelope and mailed 'em to the cops. The mail-chute was just outside my door. Everything was ducky, except for one thing. 
Wait till I light a cigarette. (LIGHTS CIGARETTE) Still got that paper? I won't be long now.
The last thing I remember was hearing the door of the clothes-closet squeak open. I started to get up, and that's when
DANE (CONT) I got the knife through my back. Dead? Why, sure I'm dead! You wonder how I'm talking to you on the radio, don't you? Ha, pal, you can do so many things on the radio if you're smart! Now listen. Got that piece of paper? Good. Listen, now. I'm going to ask you three simple little questions. [x] And when I ask you the questions in order, you answer me by reading the answers in turn off your piece of paper. [^] Okay? Okay, here we go.  The first one: is that blood on your hands? [-] The second: Whose blood is it? [-] And the third: Whose knife was that that was left sticking in my back? [-] Okay, pal. Your prints are down at the bureau; I'm in the morgue; the cops have got the knife, and I think somebody heard what you said. Oh, one thing - you were wondering what my job was at the penitentiary - why, I was the executioner. Comes out even, doesn't it? And isn't that somebody at your door, pal?
SOUND A SERIES OF THUNDEROUS KNOCKS ON THE DOOR
MUSIC TO A FINISH [26 10]