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Inquest
Title Inquest
Message Text An attempted transcript of "Inquest" -- as usual, some parts are hard to decipher -- best guesses are in brackets -- feel free to make corrections.

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

(SEVEN SECONDS' SILENCE)

CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.

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

ANNOUNCER: Today's story, written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and featuring Ernest Chappell, is called "Inquest."

(MUSIC ... THEME ... UP AND FADE)

---

ROSS: (DISAGREEABLE) My name is William Ross. And I want to know why I'm here.

CORONER: My dear Mr. Ross, in all cases of violent death, it is customary for an inquest to be held. Surely you know that, don't you?

ROSS: Who are those people?

CORONER: The jury, Mr. Ross. And, if you're wondering, my office is that of coroner. Now, may we proceed, please?

ROSS: Now, wait a minute. I want to know what these people are wearing those funny clothes for. They look more like a masquerade than a coroner's jury.

CORONER: You are referring to the gentleman - in kilts?

ROSS: Well, him and the others, too. Who - who is he?

CORONER: Will you identify yourself to Mr. Ross, please, sir?

DUNCAN: (FROM OFF, RISES, CLEARS THROAT, SCOTTISH ACCENT) My name is Duncan.

ROSS: What's the idea of the Scotch outfit?

DUNCAN: (OFFENDED) Sir! I'm a Scot. These are my usual garments.

CORONER: Thank you, sir. You may be seated again. (BEAT) Mr. Ross?

ROSS: Well, I think it's a funny outfit to wear at a coroner's inquest.

CORONER: Your garments may be quite as unusual to some of the members of the jury as theirs are to you, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: I must look pretty funny, then.

CORONER: That is a matter of opinion, Mr. Ross. Shall we begin?

ROSS: I want counsel.

CORONER: That will not be necessary, sir. This is not a court of law - but an inquiring body - whose function it is to determine the causes of - death in the case.

ROSS: Well, you'll find it was justifiable homicide, brother. I'm tellin' ya.

CORONER: We shall see. You were on bad terms with your sister and your brother-in-law?

ROSS: They were on bad terms with ME.

CORONER: I see. This is a state of affairs that has existed for some time?

ROSS: Long enough.

CORONER: How long?

ROSS: Since before she married him.

CORONER: And they were married ... ?

ROSS: Just a few months. They'd been married just a few months when this thing happened.

CORONER: When the murder took place. We call things by their right names here, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Well, you haven't proved anything yet.

CORONER: We shall.

ROSS: You'll find it was self-defense.

CORONER: All in good time, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Well, you'll see. Go ahead. Go ahead, ask me questions.

CORONER: Very well. You'll tell the truth, the whole truth--?

ROSS: And nothing but the truth, yeah, I know, I know. Yeah, sure.

CORONER: I regret that it is impossible for us to call your sister and your brother-in-law as witnesses.

ROSS: (CHUCKLES)

CORONER: So we shall have to depend upon your testimony completely.

ROSS: (AMUSED) Sure. Yeah. I know.

CORONER: Perhaps you can tell the jury something about the causes behind this ill feeling between you and your sister, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: I certainly can.

CORONER: Do so, please.

ROSS: Well, it's pretty simple. Eileen was born in nineteen hundred and eight -- two years before me. There was just the two of us.

CORONER: I understand your parents were wealthy, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Yes, they were. Ah, that's part of it, too.

CORONER: I suspected as much. Go on.

ROSS: I haven't got any money--

DUNCAN: (LAUGHS)

ROSS: Well, what's HE laughing at?

CORONER: None of the people who come here to testify ever have any money, Mr. Ross. For one reason or another.

ROSS: Well, that's not funny.

CORONER: I agree with you, Mr. Ross. (TO THE JURY) Kindly restrain from unseemly mirth, gentlemen. (BEAT) Go on, sir.

ROSS: Well ... our parents were drowned in the wreck of the Vestris. Uh, when was that? 1927?

CORONER: 1928.

ROSS: Yeah, that's right, '28. They left everything to us. Uh, quite a lot of money.

CORONER: Yes?

ROSS: But there was a catch to it.

CORONER: Address the jury, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: What? Ah - Oh. Uh... (LOUDER) Well, I said, there was a catch in it. We weren't to get all the money right away. (QUIETER) We were both underage, you see. Eileen was twenty and I was eighteen.

DUNCAN: Will ye speak up, please?

ROSS: (ANNOYED) All right, all right. (LOUDER) We got - We got five thousand a year at first. And we were to get the rest of our shares when we came of age.

CORONER: That was a considerable amount, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: It was. So I was supposed to wait three years. Eileen got hers the next year, 1929. I had to wait.

CORONER: Did you wait, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: Yes. Well, I waited till Eileen got her share. I mean, after all, it was OUR money. Wasn't fair for Eileen to have that much and me not have a cent. (BEAT) Was it?

CORONER: We're not here to judge such things, Mr. Ross. This is a coroner's jury.

ROSS: Well, you - you see what I mean?

CORONER: Go on, sir.

ROSS: So I saw people makin' money that year hand over fist. All you needed to make money was some money to start with. And I didn't have any.

CORONER: What about your five thousand?

ROSS: I lost that.

DUNCAN: (LAUGHS)

CORONER: (GENTLY ADMONISHES THE JURY) Gentlemen, gentlemen.

ROSS: Well ... I - borrowed money from her. I mean I didn't borrow it, either. I showed her how I could make a lot more money for her by - just investing her money.

EILEEN: But I don't want any more money, William.

ROSS: I told her if I had MY money, I'd put it into investments and double it or triple it. She just smiled at me. She had the most AGGRAVATING smile I've ever seen. No matter what I'd say, she'd shake her head and smile at me.

CORONER: Was that when you forged her name, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: [Well, that's not what I told you.]

CORONER: Well, of course, I'm no judge, but you promised to speak the truth you know, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Well, I signed her name to a bank draft, sure. I was doing her favor. I was gonna make a lot of money for her.

CORONER: Of course.

ROSS: And I was gonna have MY money in another couple of years. There isn't anything wrong with that. After all, we were brother and sister. And it wasn't MY fault the market crashed. (BEAT) Was it?

CORONER: Of course not, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Of course it wasn't.

CORONER: Uh, just, uh, for the record, Mr. Ross, how much did you -- did SHE lose?

ROSS: All her money. Well, not all of it right away. There was about sixty-five thousand dollars on the draft, you see, but when the market started to slip, there was margin that we had to get up, you see. I explained to her in words of one syllable how if we didn't put up margin, we'd lose everything we'd invested. So that's where the rest of it went.

CORONER: Of course, you couldn't put up your own money?

ROSS: How could I? It was tied up in government bonds and things like that for another year. I couldn't touch it. I explained that to her.

CORONER: And she was still unreasonable?

ROSS: Well, I should say she was.

EILEEN: A thief! A despicable thief!

ROSS: Called me names.

EILEEN: Get out of here and never come back!

ROSS: Tried to throw me out of her house.

EILEEN: Not even a [?] (WEEPS UNDER THE FOLLOWING)

ROSS: She changed her tune when I pointed out she didn't have a house to throw me out of, though. Oh, brother! Oh, ho ho! Was THAT a battle!

CORONER: That was when she, uh -- when her arm was broken?

ROSS: Well, how did I know she was going to fall down? I just gave her a little push. Pushed her away from me.

CORONER: [?] It's too bad, though, really, that the arm was permanently deformed.

ROSS: Yes, it certainly was. But is that MY fault? I offered not once but a dozen times to take her to a doctor and have the arm re-broken and set again. Could have been done very easy. Just re-break it and set again but -- what did she do?

EILEEN: No, William, I like it this way. This way, it's a reminder. Keeps me from forgetting. It's stopped hurting, William, it doesn't hurt at all.

CORONER: Tell us, Mr. Ross, you received your share of the estate all right?

ROSS: Oh, sure, sure. And you wanna know something else? Just as soon as I got hold of my money, I--

CORONER: You didn't reimburse your sister?

ROSS: I did BETTER than that. I took her in to live with me. At my new house. I didn't charge her a cent.

CORONER: She didn't have any money to pay you, did she?

ROSS: No, but I let her be a kind of a, of a, you know, a housekeeper, you see. I thought it'd make her feel better if she, uh, you know, sort of earned her keep.

CORONER: I have no doubt.

ROSS: And she had money whenever she wanted it, brother. She never had to ask me for a dime. Every week when I gave her the house money, there was always something extra for her -- five, five, ten -- twenty dollars sometimes. Yeah, she had no kick coming.

CORONER: Then I take it you feel she had no real reason to - harbor a grudge against you?

ROSS: I don't see why she should. But she did. I mean-- Well. I take that back. I guess she did have an excuse for a grudge.

CORONER: Mm hm.

ROSS: Yeah, I guess she did. You know, about Arthur.

CORONER: Arthur?

ROSS: The guy she married.

CORONER: Your brother-in-law?

ROSS: Yeah, that's right. Oh, that jerk. I didn't like him from the start.

CORONER: So, naturally, you did your best to prevent their marriage.

ROSS: Well, I was just thinking of her, er-- what's your name?

CORONER: Why, I'm the coroner, Mr. Ross. Don't you remember? This is an inquest.

ROSS: Yes, but you must have a name. I can't just call you "coroner," can I? Haven't you got a name?

CORONER: Oh, yes. I have a name, Mr. Ross. We'll get to that. In the meantime, the jury is waiting to hear the rest of your testimony.

ROSS: Oh, yes. The jury. I thought there were only supposed to be six people on a coroner's jury. More than six people over there.

CORONER: Oh, yes.

ROSS: [All those] fellows in the masquerade costumes. Listen, coroner, what's the idea of all that? Looks awful phony to me.

CORONER: Why, I assure you, it's anything but phony, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Are you sure this IS a coroner's jury? Not some gag you're riggin' up to make me confess?

CORONER: Confess what, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: Well, I mean, er-- Well, I mean, er-- You know, to make me talk.

CORONER: You ARE talking, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Uh huh ... Looks like a convention at a lunatic asylum. That Scotchman--

DUNCAN: Scotsman, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Scotsman! And that fellow there in the bathrobe.

CORONER: But they're the coroner's jury, Mr. Ross, I told you.

ROSS: I never heard of people dressing up like that just to be on a coroner's jury.

CORONER: This is your first experience with such a body, isn't it, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: It certainly is.

CORONER: Well, then we can forgive you for being unfamiliar with our procedure. Now, shall we get on with our inquest?

ROSS: Well ... This is on the up-and-up?

CORONER: I assure you it is, sir. You said you objected to your sister's marriage.

ROSS: I did.

CORONER: Why?

ROSS: For her own good. Here she was, living in luxury--

CORONER: Luxury?

ROSS: What? Well, I'd call it luxury for somebody who didn't have a cent to her name, Mr. Coroner. She had a good home. Her own room - with a private bath, even. She could use my car practically whenever she wanted to. She had good clothes. Where would she have been without me?

CORONER: I was thinking of that.

ROSS: I'll tell you where she'd've been. She'd've been in some charitable institution. And she'd have been scrubbing floors or somethin'.

CORONER: Or she might have been-- Well, let's not go into that.

ROSS: Yeah, that's right. And so this Arthur came along. And she falls for him.

EILEEN: I love him.

ROSS: A guy I detested on sight.

EILEEN: I love him.

ROSS: A guy with no more money than she had.

EILEEN: I love him!

ROSS: I told her flatly I wouldn't take him into my house.

EILEEN: We're not asking that, William. We'll be all right.

ROSS: Said she'd be all right. How COULD she be all right? What would they live on?

EILEEN: You took my money and lost it, you know.

ROSS: Wanted me to give her money.

EILEEN: You stole my money.

ROSS: Called me a thief!

EILEEN: We wouldn't need much, William!

ROSS: I wouldn't give her a cent. I GAVE her a home. I took care of her. I'd have got that crooked arm of hers fixed up. Why, with that arm she couldn't even do the housework decently. And then she has the crust to want me to set her and this Arthur of hers up in their own home! Support them, even.

CORONER: Where did Arthur come from, Mr. Ross? Did you know him before?

ROSS: Yeah, he was in the army. I didn't know him.

CORONER: You weren't in the army, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: No, uh, I had a bad heart, you know.

CORONER: Yes, I know.

ROSS: I bought plenty of war bonds, though. Every week, eighteen dollars and seventy-five cents, regular as clockwork. But this Arthur, he didn't buy war bonds. Ha! He was in the army. Not that the army wasn't all right. But some of the people they had in it.

CORONER: Mm. Isn't there something about taking all kinds of people to make a world, Mr. Ross? I suppose that applies to armies, too.

ROSS: Yeah, I suppose it does. But I don't want any part of that kind.

CORONER: What was your objection to him?

ROSS: Well, to begin with, he wanted to take my sister away from me. That was enough to set me against him. Then he didn't have any job. Or any prospects. And he didn't like me.

CORONER: I can't understand that.

ROSS: I wasn't going to have him upset my way of living. After all, I'd had Eileen there with me for-- Well, let's see, it was nearly fifteen years. I was USED to her.

CORONER: Hadn't you ever had any idea of getting married yourself, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: Me? Well, I should say not. Why should I?

CORONER: Yes, I suppose you're right. After all, you had a housekeeper, someone you were used to. And I understand you were quite a ladies' man, too. Marriage might upset that, mightn't it?

ROSS: Yeah, it certainly would.

CORONER: Well, now, Mr. Ross, we have the background for this unfortunate occurrence, haven't we? Shall we get down to details now? If you're ready.

ROSS: I'm all ready. Go ahead. Ask me questions.

CORONER: I think we'd all rather have you tell the story in your own words, without prompting.

ROSS: Well, uh-- (STARTLED) Say, listen--!

CORONER: Yes, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: I didn't see all those other people before.

CORONER: What other people?

ROSS: I thought an inquest was a private thing. I didn't know you had an audience. Do I have to make a spectacle of myself in front of all those people?

CORONER: Which people, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: Those people back there, behind your jury. In the shadow back there. There's millions of 'em. Far as I can see. Who are they?

CORONER: Oh, those people.

ROSS: Yeah. Who are they?

CORONER: The people listening to you on the radio.

ROSS: On the radio! Are we on the radio?

CORONER: Didn't you know, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: I certainly did not.

CORONER: Oh, that's too bad.

ROSS: And I never heard of a coroner's inquest like this.

CORONER: You said this is your first experience.

ROSS: Yes, but--

CORONER: We're wasting time, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Well, what am I supposed to do?

CORONER: We want to hear your story.

ROSS: I told it to you.

CORONER: Not all of it. Come, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Listen--

CORONER: Come, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Come where?

CORONER: Over here. To this microphone.

ROSS: I won't do it.

CORONER: Oh, yes, but you will.

ROSS: I'm not going to talk to all those people.

CORONER: Yes, you are. Stand up, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: I've - I've got my rights, you know.

CORONER: We are very considerate of your rights, sir. Just step this way. NOW, if you please, Mr. Ross.

SOUND: (ECHOING FOOTSTEPS)

ROSS: Well, where do you want me?

CORONER: Right here, if you please, Mr. Ross.

SOUND: (ECHOING FOOTSTEPS)

CORONER: You can speak into this microphone so the audience will hear you clearly.

ROSS: (TOO LOUD) I'M NOT GOING--!

CORONER: Not so close to the microphone, Mr. Ross. Now, sir, we will hear your story of - that day. We shall supply you with sound effects as they are necessary, Mr. Ross. And we even have music for you -- to, ah, put you in the mood.

ROSS: Well, I don't know what kind of monkey business this is--

CORONER: An inquest, Mr. Ross. Merely an inquest at which you are principle witness. You're on your own, Mr. Ross. A great many people are listening. Music, please.

MUSIC: (A FANFARE ... THEN, IN BG)

CORONER: Go ahead, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: Well, I-- Well, I told Eileen I wouldn't let her marry this Arthur.

I told you that, didn't I?

After all, I'd taken care of Eileen for all those years.

And I think it's-- Well, I think it's very unfair of her to want to walk out on me after all I've done for her.

She's got a good home. And you have to remember that she's a cripple. With that crooked arm of hers, what could she do? What kind of wife would she make?

And she's thirty-nine years old now. That's too old to start in married life.

And this fella, Arthur, is nearly - he's nearly ten years younger than she is.

Not only that, but how is he goin' to make a living for her?

Sure, he was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. Got a lot of medals. He was a Japanese prisoner and all that.

But Lieutenant Colonels are a dime a dozen now.

And he's got no money. And no prospects. He probably thinks Eileen's got money. He thinks he's gonna get some of that. Well, Eileen, you know, hasn't got any money. It's MY money. And she isn't gonna get a cent of it.

Unless I die before she does.

And there's small prospect of that.

"So get out, Arthur," I said. "Get out and stay out! And, Eileen, you see that he stays out of my house!"

That's what I said.

And I meant it.

(MUSIC ... OUT)

ROSS: Well, he went. Eileen cried.

EILEEN: (WEEPS)

ROSS: Eileen is ALWAYS crying.

EILEEN: (WEEPS LOUDER)

ROSS: What's that? What's that noise?

CORONER: That's a sound effect, Mr. Ross. Perhaps you'd better listen to it a moment.

EILEEN: (WEEPS)

ROSS: Sounds like Eileen, crying.

CORONER: Listen, Mr. Ross ...

(MUSIC ... IN BG)

EILEEN: (WEEPS) I won't give you up, Arthur! I won't! I won't!

ROSS: It can't be Eileen. You said that--

CORONER: A sound effect, Mr. Ross. Listen.

ARTHUR: [Eileen, dear. Don't. Don't cry. There'll be a way out somehow. We'll work it out. He'll have to let you--]

EILEEN: Oh, but, Arthur, Arthur! How can we? He's GOT to help us.

ARTHUR: [I know, I know, but-- Isn't there some way we can talk him into doing something? He just can't do this to you.]

EILEEN: Darling, if he won't let me have some of the money he stole from me, how can we--? Oh, I hate him! I HATE HIM!

(MUSIC ... BUILDS TO A CLIMAX, THEN OUT)

CORONER: Did you recognize our sound effects, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: (SUSPICIOUS) I don't know how you did that.

CORONER: That isn't important, Mr. Ross. You did recognize it, didn't you?

ROSS: Certainly I did. That was three weeks ago. That was the day that-- Well, that was the day I really went into action.

CORONER: You remember?

ROSS: I came into the room. Eileen was sitting with her back to me. She didn't see me. Arthur was facing me. Eileen didn't hear me come in the room and, of course, he couldn't see me and--

CORONER: Perhaps you'd better explain to our radio audience why Arthur didn't see you, Mr. Ross, if he was sitting there.

ROSS: Well, sure. Didn't I say he was blind?

(MUSIC ... AN ACCENT, THEN IN BG)

ROSS: I walked right up to them before they saw me. "Hate me," I said, "huh?" And she jumped up in front of me. "I'll show ya," I said, and I reached out for him. He got to his feet and he was turning his head, looking for me, but he - he couldn't see me. I grabbed him by the collar. "I'll show ya," I said. And she leaped at me. See those marks on my face? Her fingernails! And she kept screaming:

EILEEN: Hate you! Hate you! Hate you!

ROSS: And he got an arm around her and he tried to pull her away.

EILEEN: Eileen! Don't, don't, don't!

ROSS: And they struggled and I started pushin' 'em toward the door and she grabbed up the heavy ashtray and struck at me with it.

CORONER: And you grabbed her arm?

EILEEN: (SCREAMS IN PAIN)

ROSS: Well, I couldn't help it if it was her bad arm, could I?

(MUSIC ... ACCENT, THEN IN BG)

CORONER: Of course not, Mr. Ross. And, of course, Arthur couldn't see you.

ROSS: (AMUSED) How could he? He was makin' passes in the air, tryin' to find me.

CORONER: And you knocked him down?

ROSS: AND threw him out! "Next time, I'll kill ya!" I said.

(MUSIC ... ACCENT, THEN OUT)

CORONER: You shouldn't have said that, you know, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: I know.

CORONER: It could be used against you.

ROSS: Well, I had to protect myself.

Well, all right. I figured I'd fixed that.

I got the doctor for Eileen. She wasn't hurt bad. She just fainted when her arm got twisted.

And she wouldn't speak to me. Stayed in her room.

That house was an inch deep in dust, dishes weren't washed, no groceries.

Wouldn't come out of her room. I was pretty sore. I've got a violent temper, you know. I don't brood about things -- I DO something about 'em.

Well, I let her stay in her room.

And then finally I got tired of it.

I went upstairs one morning with blood in my eye.

I hammered on her door.

SOUND: (POUNDING ON DOOR)

ROSS: I said, "Open up that door, Eileen!"

There wasn't any answer. I hammered some more.

SOUND: (POUNDING ON DOOR)

ROSS: She still didn't answer. And I said, "Eileen! Open up that door or I'll break it down!"

SOUND: (POUNDING ON DOOR)

ROSS: I said, "I'll take the cost of fixing it out of your allowance, too!"

There still wasn't any answer. So I got back and I SLAMMED ...

SOUND: (SLAMS INTO DOOR)

ROSS: ... my shoulder against it. And - and the second time ...

SOUND: (DOOR BREAKS OPEN)

ROSS: ... the lock broke and I fell into the room.

CORONER: And she wasn't there?

ROSS: That's right. She wasn't there.

MUSIC: (AN ACCENT, THEN IN BG)

CORONER: But - the note was.

ROSS: Yeah, that's right. The note. She'd skipped out on me! She'd married that Arthur. That blind man! I thought I'd die right then and there.

CORONER: You didn't though.

ROSS: No, but I thought I was going to. When I found she'd got into my safe-- I'd forgotten she knew the combination.

CORONER: How much was missing?

ROSS: Fifteen thousand dollars in bonds! She STOLE it!

CORONER: How much did you get from her that other time?

ROSS: Well, that was different. This was STEALING.

CORONER: I see.

ROSS: Well, I hunted high and low for her. I hired detectives -- and they cost plenty, too. I didn't find her. I thought they'd be easy to find -- a blind man and a woman with a crooked arm. But they weren't. I used to lie awake nights thinkin' o' what I'd do to 'em when I found 'em.

CORONER: You're making some very damaging statements, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: I am? So what? We'll see whether it was "justifiable homicide" or - or what? (BEAT) Well, they came back. I was all alone. They knew I'd be alone.

CORONER: Was that the - the day, Mr. Ross?

ROSS: Yeah, that's right. They came in. Eileen still had her key. I didn't know they were there till she spoke from the doorway of the living room.

EILEEN: We've come back, William.

ROSS: And he was with her -- standing, grinning, behind her, in the hall. Grinning, he thought, at me, at his new brother-in-law. His face was turned in the wrong direction. Blind men give me the creeps. She came in the room and she put out her hands to me and she smiled:

EILEEN: Aren't you going to congratulate us, William?

ROSS: And my head began to swim. And the light in the room seemed to turn red and I staggered as I got up out of the chair and then she backed away from me and I heard him talking [gently]:

ARTHUR: What's the matter, William? William, what's the matter?

(MUSIC ... BEGINS TO BUILD)

ROSS: The room began whirling around faster and I tried to speak but I just got-- Well, I got kind of muddled and Eileen yelled:

EILEEN: William!

ROSS: And I reached for that fool Arthur's throat! Yes, I did! Listen to me! As I reached for his throat, I saw Eileen out of the corner of my eye and she was picking up an old-fashioned dirk that was on the coffee table that used to belong to my grandfather -- we used it for a paper knife. She was running at me and I was trying to hold on to Arthur and she stabbed at me and I couldn't let go of him because he was struggling and she cut my hand! Didn't I tell you it was self-defense?! And she kept striking at me and I grabbed the dirk out of her hand and Arthur was kicking me and I got the dirk and I heard Eileen scream and--

EILEEN: (SCREAMS)

ROSS: --there was a great red flash in my mind and ...

(MUSIC ... ACCENT AND OUT)

ROSS: Well - well, that's all.

So. That's the story, Mr. Coroner.

Next thing I remember is sitting in that chair over there -- with your jury and your radio audience staring at me.

So.

Go on, let's hear your verdict.

Go on, let's hear it!

From your masquerade party jury.

Go on!

CORONER: Very well, Mr. Ross. (BEAT) Your Majesty?

ROSS: Majesty? What's this?

CORONER: King Duncan of Scotland is foreman of our jury, Mr. Ross.

ROSS: There isn't any King--

DUNCAN: If you will please to remember, Mr. Ross, Duncan of Scotland was foully murdered by a certain Macbeth many's the long year ago.

CORONER: Yes, Mr. Ross. And the gentleman, in what you termed a bathrobe, died at the hand of a friend named Judas.

DUNCAN: Aye. And the gentleman in the red cap was done to death by a slip of a girl named Charlotte Corday in Seventeen Hundred and Ninety-Four.

ROSS: What are you talking about, you--?

CORONER: Yes, Mr. Ross. These gentlemen are your peers. All murder victims -- at one time or another.

ROSS: What kind of a masquerade--?

CORONER: I assure you, this is no masquerade, Mr. Ross. Just one thing. Your sister and your brother-in-law did not die.

ROSS: Well, then -- what's all this about?

CORONER: Your Majesty, the verdict, if you please.

DUNCAN: Guilty of murder, Mr. Coroner.

ROSS: Murder?! But - you said they didn't die!

CORONER: No, Mr. Ross.

THEY didn't.

But you did.

Your heart, remember?

And now I think you are MY property, sir.

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

ANNOUNCER: You have listened to "Inquest," a "Quiet, Please!" story written and directed by Wyllis Cooper. The man who spoke to you was Ernest Chappell.

CHAPPELL: And James Van Dyk played the coroner. King Malcolm [sic] was Pat O'Malley. Eileen was played by Sylvia Cole. And Arthur was John Morley.

The music was composed and played by Gene Perrazzo.

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

COOPER: Next week's story is the adventure of a writer and the characters that he creates. It's called "Bring Me to Life."

CHAPPELL: And so, until next week, I am quietly yours, Ernest Chappell.

(MUSIC ... THEME UP AND FADE FOR)

ANNOUNCER: This program came to you from New York. This is the Mutual Broadcasting System.
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Submission Date Aug 30, 2004

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