Quiet, Please
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Summer Goodbye

Episode #84
Aired 1949-01-23
Length: 28:58
Size: 4.97 MB
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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 "Summer Goodbye."

(MUSIC ... THEME ... END)

---

NOEL: The last stoplight, the last traffic light, is where Sepulveda Boulevard crosses Ventura at Sherman Oaks. The next one's nearly forty miles northwest at Camarillo. So we felt pretty sure there'd be nothing to stop us for a long time.

And, even though they weren't very far behind us then, I knew most of the side roads. I wasn't sure THEY did.

I thought of the road that branches off the Hidden Valley Road, that goes the other way from Lake Sherwood. And I thought of the East Potrero Road that goes down to the Coast Road, finally leads [?] over to the sand dunes of Hueneme. I was afraid they might know that way.

And then I remembered Las Virgenes Canyon. I remembered the little house way up under the hills, the place we used to call "Shangri-La." And I was sure they wouldn't know that place.

Ah, you need a place to hide out in, when the back of your car is loaded down with two satchels full of money that used to belong to somebody else.

And there's bright, fresh blood - on the handle of one of 'em.

(MUSIC ... WISTFUL "RANCHO GRANDE" MELODY FILLS A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG)

NOEL: The last days of summer in California.

The time when you know it's "Summer, goodbye."

When the rains are sweeping down from the northwest where they've been gathering up over Juan de Fuca, drenching the forests in the north, turning to snow over the High Sierras, drifting southward to kiss summer goodbye and turn the long brown hills into green pastures.

When the little brooks would fill up and overflow their banks, the sleepy Los Angeles River'd come to life again down in the valley and roads would disappear in the mud.

The last days of summer. And I knew if we could hide away somewhere till the rains came, they'd be hard put to follow us. Maybe there'd come a day when we could pull out again. And that money that used to be somebody else's - would be ours. Madeleine's and mine.

And not in California, either.

(MUSIC ... OUT)

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE ... IN BG)

MADELEINE: Rainin' up in the Ridge Rock, Noel. We'll get it almost any day now.

NOEL: It certainly doesn't look like it now, does it?

MADELEINE: Ah, ya can't tell in California.

NOEL: Sooner the better.

MADELEINE: That's right. The way it's been all summer. We get up in the canyon there, you know-- I'm afraid of fire.

NOEL: Ah, we had no fires all summer.

MADELEINE: It only takes one.

NOEL: Turn around, see if you can see anybody.

MADELEINE: (AFTER A PAUSE) No. Nobody. Think they got tied up in the traffic back there at Van Nuys Boulevard.

NOEL: Yeah, I hope so.

MADELEINE: Me, too.

NOEL: Keep a sharp eye out for motorcycle cops, too.

MADELEINE: (LAUGHS) Big joke if we got stopped for speedin'.

NOEL: Mm, I feel sorry for anybody that tries it.

MADELEINE: Me, too. ... (TROUBLED) I wonder what about that one that was carryin' the satchel.

NOEL: Nothin' to wonder about.

MADELEINE: I guess not. I got my hands all - dirty from that satchel, too.

NOEL: You can wash when we get up there.

MADELEINE: Hope there's nobody up there.

NOEL: So do I. (GRIM) Be too bad if there is.

MADELEINE: Noel? Do you think you can get out if it starts to rain?

NOEL: Hope so.

MADELEINE: That road'll probably go all to pieces.

NOEL: All the better for us.

MADELEINE: Well, I wouldn't want to get stuck.

NOEL: We won't. Take another look back.

MADELEINE: Nobody yet.

NOEL: Well, I think we're gettin' away from 'em.

SOUND: (HONKS HIS HORN)

NOEL: If we don't get stuck behind a truck or something.

SOUND: (HONKS HIS HORN)

NOEL: (DISGUSTED) Ah, the--! California drivers!

MADELEINE: Be careful! You're doin' seventy-five!

NOEL: Well, I have to do better than that.

MADELEINE: How much farther? Where we turn off, I mean.

NOEL: Well, four, five - six miles, maybe more.

SOUND: (DISTANT POLICE SIREN GROWS CLOSER IN BG)

NOEL: That's the road there over to Canoga Park.

MADELEINE: Listen, Noel. Hear anything?

NOEL: What?

MADELEINE: Sirens.

NOEL: I hear 'em. Long ways off, though. Hang on, we're goin' places.

MADELEINE: Hope we don't blow a tire.

NOEL: Oh, cut it out.

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE REVS ... CAR SPEEDS UP)

NOEL: (LAUGHS) Fat chance!

MADELEINE: What?

NOEL: Hitchhiker -- see him? Blue denim pants, khaki shirt.

MADELEINE: (LAUGHS, PRETENDS TO CALL OUT) Take the next car, Mister!

NOEL: Yeah. (CHUCKLES)

MADELEINE: You're goin' awful fast, Noel.

NOEL: Well, so are the boys behind us!

MADELEINE: (PAUSE) Noel?

NOEL: What?

MADELEINE: What do we do if they catch up with us?

NOEL: They won't catch up with us.

MADELEINE: But what if they do?

NOEL: Well, if they grab us...

MADELEINE: Well?

NOEL: They'll top us.

MADELEINE: Top us? What do you mean?

NOEL: Put us up on a platform with a rope around our necks, honey. Pull the platform out from under us--

MADELEINE: Hang us?

NOEL: Well, that's what they do to people that murder other people, honey.

MADELEINE: But I didn't murder anybody, Noel!

NOEL: You were with me when I did.

MADELEINE: Well, yes, but--!

NOEL: You didn't try to stop me. You grabbed the satchel he was carryin'.

MADELEINE: (QUIETLY) My hands. I didn't have a chance to wash them. I wish -- (DISTRACTED)

NOEL: Wish what?

MADELEINE: Another hitchhiker.

NOEL: Yeah, looks just like the one we just passed. Wish what?

MADELEINE: What?

NOEL: Wish what?!

MADELEINE: Oh! I - I wish we hadn't done it.

NOEL: You wanna keep on livin' in that shack down on Temple Street?

MADELEINE: I wish we hadn't killed him!

NOEL: Ah, we had to, honey! We wanted the money, he didn't want us to have it. Ah, forget it.

MADELEINE: I can't forget it. Noel, I think they're getting closer.

NOEL: Can you see them?

MADELEINE: There's - there's too many curves in the road.

NOEL: Well, we'll be at Brent's Junction in a minute, where we turn off.

MADELEINE: Well, what if they follow us?

NOEL: I don't think they will if they don't see us turn. (CHUCKLES) They'll go right on up Ventura Boulevard.

MADELEINE: And if they stop and ask somebody?

NOEL: Well, if they follow us-- Is that gun loaded?

MADELEINE: You only fired one shot.

NOEL: Well, see the safety's off.

MADELEINE: You're really gonna - gonna fight it out, if they--?

NOEL: Well, there's nothing else to do, honey. We're dead pigeons anyway.

MADELEINE: (QUIET, NERVOUS) It's a beautiful day.

NOEL: Yeah.

MADELEINE: (DARKLY) To die.

NOEL: We won't die, baby.

MADELEINE: (RESIGNED) Die with the summertime.

NOEL: We won't die. Look, there's the turn-off!

MADELEINE: They're closer, too, Noel.

NOEL: Hang on, here we go.

SOUND: (HONKS HIS HORN)

NOEL: Out of the way there, Mac! Ah, these hitchhikers! The woods is full of 'em!

MADELEINE: Poor fella.

NOEL: Well, listen, if you're gonna feel sorry for anybody, feel sorry for us.

MADELEINE: I know but - they all look so--

NOEL: They all look alike -- blue denim pants, khaki shirts. (GRUMBLES)

MADELEINE: Noel?

NOEL: What?

MADELEINE: I was just thinkin'. Suppose they stop and ask one of those hitchhikers--

NOEL: They won't-- Hey, wait a minute.

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE SLOWS)

NOEL: (CLEARS HIS THROAT, THOUGHTFUL)

SOUND: (CAR BRAKES TO A HALT)

NOEL: (MAKES A DECISION, TO HIMSELF) Yeah.

MADELEINE: What are you gonna do?

NOEL: Talk to that fella a minute. Hand me the pistol.

MADELEINE: Noel--!

NOEL: Shut up.

MADELEINE: Are you gonna--?

NOEL: Stick your head out and yell at him.

MADELEINE: Yell what?

NOEL: Ask him to come here. (CHUCKLES) He'll think we're gonna pick him up.

MADELEINE: Noel, you're not gonna--?

NOEL: Do what I tell ya.

MADELEINE: Well, where is he?

NOEL: Mm, back up a little ways.

MADELEINE: I don't see him, Noel.

NOEL: Well, he was right there. He was standing by that live oak tree.

SOUND: (DISTANT POLICE SIREN ... COMES CLOSER)

MADELEINE: Well, he's gone.

NOEL: Well, he can't-- Listen.

MADELEINE: Noel, we can't wait. Go on.

NOEL: But if he--

MADELEINE: (PANICS) Go on! Go on! They're right behind us!

NOEL: Hang on to your hat, baby.

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE REVS ... CAR SPEEDS OFF)

(MUSIC ... UPTEMPO "RANCHO GRANDE" MELODY FOR A BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG)

NOEL: We made it around the corner of Brent's Junction. Down the Las Virgenes Canyon Road. As we passed the big yellow sign, "No Smoking or Fires Beyond This Point," we heard the sirens of the police cars screamin' their way on up Ventura Boulevard, away from us.

(MUSIC ... SLOWS DOWN ... IN BG)

NOEL: Yeah, we breathed a long sigh of relief, slowed down at last to a respectable thirty miles an hour, in the dust among the sunflowers.

(MUSIC ... WISTFUL "RANCHO GRANDE" MELODY ... IN BG)

NOEL: Down the winding road, past the alfalfa fields and the side road that leads down to the creek.

Down the winding road past the steep little path that leads up to Las Virgenes school house.

Sedately on past the barn where the dog comes out and bites at your tires.

Down the winding road under the trees, to the clump of eucalyptus at the corner of Clarence Brown's ranch.

Yeah, sharp turn - left - past the high-wire fence, to the clump of scrub oak where ya turn off - and cross the fields at the bottom of the hill.

And up to Shangri-La.

Around through the willows. Down through the sandy little creek bed that's a roaring torrent when it rains.

Across the fields.

And take down the bars and the gate. Up, toward the hill ...

(MUSIC ... OUT)

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE)

NOEL: ... through the woods to Shangri-La.

MADELEINE: Look, Noel!

(MUSIC ... BUILDS NERVOUSLY IN BG)

NOEL: What?

MADELEINE: My gracious, are there hitchhikers everywhere?!

NOEL: Way up here, too? Where's HE going? There's nothing up this way except the house at Shangri-La.

MADELEINE: He's got the same kind o' uniform on.

NOEL: Mm, blue Levi's, khaki shirt. No hat.

MADELEINE: Noel. Wait, stop!

NOEL: What's the matter?

MADELEINE: Listen, Noel. What if it's the same man?

NOEL: What?! (DERISIVE CHUCKLE) Are ya crazy? How could he--?

MADELEINE: I don't know he could but is he--? Is he a policemen or somethin'?

NOEL: I'll take the gun.

MADELEINE: You're gonna pick him up? You're gonna stop?

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE SLOWS)

NOEL: I'm gonna stop.

MADELEINE: Look where you're goin'!

(MUSIC ... A SHARP QUICK ACCENT ... AND OUT)

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE REVS HELPLESSLY)

MADELEINE: What's the matter now?

NOEL: (PAUSE) We're stuck!

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE REVS HELPLESSLY)

NOEL: (GRUNTS AND EXHALES WITH DISGUST) Ah, the--

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE POWERS DOWN AND OFF)

NOEL: (DISGUSTED) Ahhh!

SOUND: (CAR DOOR OPENS, NOEL GETS OUT)

NOEL: No good. No good, we're stuck. (EXHALES) Ahh. Listen, go run up there and get that fellow to come and give us a hand, will ya, Madeleine?

MADELEINE: (RELUCTANT) But what if he--?

NOEL: Tell him we'll - give him a ride.

SOUND: (CAR DOOR OPENS)

MADELEINE: Well, all right.

NOEL: Hurry up. The longer we sit here, the deeper we'll be in the sand here.

MADELEINE: All right.

NOEL: Make it snappy, I want to get out o' here.

SOUND: (CAR DOOR SHUTS, SHE TRUDGES OFF)

NOEL: (SIGHS, UNDER HIS BREATH, TO HIMSELF) I'll give him a ride, all right. (GRUMBLES, TO HIMSELF) I think if I can get him and Madeleine to push--

MADELEINE: (FROM OFF) Noel!

NOEL: Now what?!

MADELEINE: (FROM OFF) Noel!

NOEL: Yeah?! What's the matter?!

MADELEINE: (FROM OFF) He's gone!

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

NOEL: What?

MADELEINE: (IN A PANIC) He's gone! I can't find him anywhere! He was standing right here by the big rock and there isn't a sign of him! Oh, Noel, I'm scared!

(MUSIC ... A BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG)

NOEL: Well, I was scared, too.

You think not?

Well, try it yourself sometime.

Try murderin' a man in broad daylight.

Try carryin' away two satchels full of money with a dozen people watchin' ya.

And try racin' across the countryside with a frightened woman, in a fast car and three carloads of cops right behind ya.

Get stuck in the sand twenty miles from no place. Somebody watchin' ya and then -- disappearing when you go lookin' for him.

Sure. Yeah, sure, you'll be just as scared as I was.

(MUSIC ... FOR A LONG AFTERNOON ... IN BG)

NOEL: Late summer afternoon. Hot and lazy. The smell of eucalyptus trees around you and not a sound to reach ya. (CHUCKLES) Not a sound, except the scrape of the shovel as you dig and dig and - dig at the sand that keeps shifting under the wheels.

And your wife, standing there with a gun, keepin' watch for you-don't-know-who.

And the afternoon shadows growing longer and longer and the little breeze comin' up to rustle the leaves and make ya think you-don't-know-who's creepin' up on ya, ready to throw down a gun on you and say, "Come on with me, kids, let us hang ya for robbery and murder."

And you - you know all you want is to get up there to that deserted old house and stash away the satchels of money - and just lie low till the rains come and a cop'd stay in the station house. And the curtain of rain hides you as you creep out and up the highway - to a boat that's gonna take you and the money and her - away someplace where they'll never, never - never find ya.

Oh, you got plenty to think about while you're digging and the shadows crawl down the hillside toward you. You wonder if you'll ever be done and - get out of there.

You wanna try it sometime?

You don't, friend.

Ah, I guess everything's got to end sometime and, at last, the back wheel's free and you get back in.

(MUSIC ... OUT)

SOUND: (CAR DOOR SHUTS ... ENGINE STARTS, HUMS IN BG)

NOEL: And you ease yourself out of there. And it's dark now as you take that winding little old trail up between the hills that's so hard to see even in the daytime.

MADELEINE: I keep feelin' that there's somebody's watching us, Noel.

NOEL: Listen, keep your ideas to yourself. This is tough enough in the dark.

MADELEINE: Well, I wish you'd turn the bright lights on.

NOEL: And have everybody within twenty miles seein' us?

MADELEINE: You said nobody lives up here.

NOEL: Ah, we'll be all right with these lights. We can't get off the trail.

MADELEINE: (DARKLY) Unless we fall down the hillside.

NOEL: We won't fall.

MADELEINE: (QUIETLY) Keep feelin' somebody's watching us.

NOEL: WILL YOU CUT IT OUT?!

MADELEINE: I'm sorry. I'm - I'm scared.

NOEL: Well, there's nothing to be scared of.

MADELEINE: I know. That's why-- (SQUEAKS, STARTLED) What's that?

NOEL: (A LITTLE DERISIVE) A deer.

MADELEINE: [?]

NOEL: Deer all around here.

MADELEINE: Those eyes in the lights. They look like ...

NOEL: I know what they look like.

MADELEINE: Somebody staring at us.

NOEL: It was only a deer.

MADELEINE: How much farther is it, Noel?

NOEL: Only a little way now. You remember this turn, don't ya?

MADELEINE: I don't remember anything except I'm tired and cold and hungry.

SOUND: (ENGINE SLOWS BRIEFLY AS CAR MAKES A TURN)

NOEL: (SYMPATHETIC) Aw. (REASSURING) Well, it'll give you somethin' to remember when we're livin' on some nice, warm island down in the South Pacific somewhere, six thousand miles away from here.

MADELEINE: (SIGHS, UNDER HER BREATH) If we ever get there.

NOEL: What'd you say?

MADELEINE: (LOUDER) If we ever get there.

NOEL: We'll get there.

MADELEINE: Noel?

NOEL: (PAUSE) Well?

MADELEINE: Do you think those -- that hitchhiker could be a cop?

NOEL: Naw.

MADELEINE: Well, who was he?

NOEL: Some bum. Listen, that wasn't the same guy. Ya crazy?

MADELEINE: Well, I don't know. He sure looked the same.

NOEL: Well, that's silly. How - how could he get ahead of us all the time? I was doin' seventy-five, eighty miles an hour. He was walkin'.

MADELEINE: (QUIETLY, UNCONVINCED) Maybe.

NOEL: I can't hear ya.

MADELEINE: I said, MAYBE he was walkin'.

NOEL: (SIGHS) You're crazy, Madeleine.

MADELEINE: Well, maybe he had a motorcycle or somethin'.

NOEL: Well-- How could he get past us? We'd've seen him if he passed us.

MADELEINE: Well, maybe he knows some shortcut!

NOEL: Oh, cut it out!

MADELEINE: Look out!

NOEL: What?! (SIGHS) Just a snake in the road.

MADELEINE: Did you run over it?

NOEL: Yeah.

MADELEINE: I heard it's bad luck to kill a snake.

NOEL: Kill a snake it brings rain, that's what we want.

MADELEINE: I hate to see the summer go away.

NOEL: Not me. "Summer, goodbye" -- that's what I say. And good riddance. I want rain.

MADELEINE: (SIGHS) I wish we'd get there.

NOEL: Well - well, it's just up this little slope, honey. And then we can rest.

MADELEINE: I'm worn out.

NOEL: Me, too.

MADELEINE: (DRYLY) We've had a day.

NOEL: (CHUCKLES) Yeah, I'll say.

MADELEINE: I sure want some coffee.

NOEL: No coffee.

MADELEINE: Why not?

NOEL: Fire. (CHUCKLES) Not gonna build a fire up here.

MADELEINE: Why? 'Fraid of settin' the grass on fire? 'Fraid about that sign?

NOEL: What sign?

MADELEINE: Sign that said no smokin', no fires beyond this point.

NOEL: No, no, not that. Somebody might see us. Anyway, you ever SEE a brush fire up here in the canyons?

MADELEINE: No.

NOEL: Well, you don't want to see one, believe me.

MADELEINE: Mm, guess not.

NOEL: There's only this one road to get out, see?

MADELEINE: I know.

NOEL: Heh. And we'd drive right into the hands of the cops.

MADELEINE: Yeah.

NOEL: After it rains. It'll be all right.

MADELEINE: Doesn't feel much like rain now. Say, isn't this the place?

NOEL: Ah, I think it's a couple of hundred yards more. (PUZZLED) No, wait.

MADELEINE: There's that rock shaped like a bell.

NOEL: Sure, that's right. (CHUCKLES) My gosh, I nearly got lost.

MADELEINE: Well, you couldn't go much farther. The canyon is right past the house.

NOEL: Sure. (CHUCKLES)

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE SHUTS OFF)

NOEL: (UNCERTAINLY) Hey. Looks - different here at night.

MADELEINE: Hope nobody's up here, Noel.

NOEL: There isn't anybody. Don't worry.

MADELEINE: I don't know. That fella we saw--

NOEL: Ah, forget it, will ya? (CHUCKLES) Yeah, this is good. We'll park here.

MADELEINE: At last.

NOEL: You go ahead and unlock the door. I'll get the stuff out and bring it up.

SOUND: (CAR DOOR OPENS)

NOEL: Flashlight in the glove compartment.

MADELEINE: (RELUCTANT) Um, you go unlock it.

NOEL: Scared?

MADELEINE: Well--

NOEL: (DISGUSTED) Ah, for--

MADELEINE: All right, all right, I'll start.

NOEL: Go ahead, honey. We're all alone here. And this will be all over in a couple of days and it's a boat for the South Pacific. Go ahead. (CHUCKLES) I'll be right behind ya.

MADELEINE: All right.

SOUND: (CAR DOOR SHUTS)

NOEL: (TEASING) Watch out for snakes.

MADELEINE: I will.

NOEL: (WHISTLES "RANCHO GRANDE")

(MUSIC ... PICKS UP "RANCHO GRANDE" ... BUILDS IN BG)

MADELEINE: (FROM OFF) Noel? Noel?!

NOEL: What's the matter? (TO HIMSELF) Where's that gun?

MADELEINE: (FROM OFF) Noel? Noel?!

NOEL: What's the matter?! Is there somebody--?!

MADELEINE: (CLOSER) Noel! The house! It's - gone!

(MUSIC ... A LONG ACCENT ... THEN IN BG)

NOEL: "The house is gone?" I said.

"The house is gone," she said.

And the house WAS gone.

I saw it three and a half months before and it was there.

Little frame cabin, three rooms, a little porch and a chimney -- big as life. I KNOW it was there then.

But in the darkness - that night - it was gone, friend.

Oh, no, I checked it with the lone eucalyptus tree that stood alongside the porch. The TREE was there. The house was gone.

There wasn't the slightest sign that the house had ever stood there, nothing dug up, no debris of any kind, no sign there'd ever BEEN a house there.

In the dim starlight, in the middle of the night, with my wife and me lookin' at it. Me, holdin' a satchel full of money in one hand and a loaded, cocked pistol in the other.

Yeah, top that, friend.

Madeleine started to cry.

MADELEINE: (WEEPS)

NOEL: (IN DISBELIEF) Well, I'll be--

MADELEINE: You took us to the wrong place.

NOEL: (CONSIDERS THIS) I-- I wonder if I-- No, I couldn't have. I - I know every inch of that trail, Madeleine. You - you recognized the rock that looks like a bell yourself ...

MADELEINE: Oh, but, Noel--

NOEL: ... didn't ya?

MADELEINE: Didn't I what?

NOEL: Recognize it?

MADELEINE: I thought I did. But where is the house?

NOEL: I don't know. Somebody must have torn it down, taken it away.

MADELEINE: Doesn't look as if there ever WAS a house here.

NOEL: Well, ya can't see in the dark. This is the place, all right. This is Shangri-La, Madeleine.

MADELEINE: I'm scared. Let's get out of here.

NOEL: Get out of here and go where, darling?

MADELEINE: (BREAKS DOWN) Oh, Noel, why did we - why did we do it?

NOEL: (DISGUSTED) Oh, for the love of-- Here, give me that flashlight.

MADELEINE: [?]

NOEL: Give me the flashlight. (AFTER A PAUSE) What's that over there?

MADELEINE: Where?

NOEL: Looks like somebody's had a campfire here. (AFTER A PAUSE, FROM OFF) Yeah. Yeah, that's what it is.

MADELEINE: Noel, let's go.

NOEL: Ah, this fire's old. Old fire. (CLOSER) The people that tore down the house probably built it to burn up rubbish. That's why we don't find anything.

MADELEINE: I'm scared, Noel.

NOEL: Shut up.

MADELEINE: What are we gonna do?

NOEL: Well, there's - nothin' else TO do. Go back and sleep in the car.

MADELEINE: With those bags? With the one with the blood?

NOEL: The blood. And the money, baby.

MADELEINE: I won't be able to sleep a wink.

NOEL: You said you were so tired.

MADELEINE: I expected to sleep on a bunk in the house. Noel, what became of it?

NOEL: It's been torn down, I told ya. You talk as if I owned it or somethin'.

MADELEINE: (UNCONVINCED, WORRIED) Well, I don't go for it, Noel.

NOEL: Look. Sweetheart. We're two jumps ahead of the cops. We're loaded with two bags of money. They saw us knock off that guard. What do you want to do? Go to a hotel up in Santa Barbara? (SIGHS WITH DISGUST) Don't be a jerk.

MADELEINE: I'm sorry. I'm makin' a fool of myself, Noel.

NOEL: (CHUCKLES, REASSURING) That's okay. (CHUCKLES, HUGS AND PATS HER) Aww, that's a good kid.

MADELEINE: Hope we don't have to stay here very long.

NOEL: It'll rain. Any day now. Summer's over, baby. Now, come on back to the car. I'm out on my feet.

MADELEINE: I wish--

NOEL: I wonder who it was tore that place down.

MADELEINE: Hope it wasn't that man we saw.

NOEL: Oh, cut it out. He's a million miles away from here.

MADELEINE: Well, I hope--

SOUND: (DISTANT GUNFIRE)

MADELEINE: (GASPS, STARTLED, WHISPERS) Noel? What was that--?

NOEL: That was a rifle shot. I wonder--

MADELEINE: The police.

NOEL: Get in the car, Madeleine.

MADELEINE: I don't--

NOEL: Get in the car.

MADELEINE: I told you that man--

NOEL: Cut it out. (AFTER A PAUSE) I don't hear anything. Maybe it was somebody out takin' a potshot at a deer.

MADELEINE: I tell you--

NOEL: Get inside the car.

MADELEINE: Noel, I don't want to--

NOEL: You heard me. If anybody--

MADELEINE: (GASPS, STARTLED)

NOEL: What?

MADELEINE: (WHISPERS) Noel? Look. On the - hill behind you.

NOEL: What? Where?

MADELEINE: (WHISPERS, TERRIFIED) There. The man. The hitchhiker.

(MUSIC ... A HUGE ACCENT ... THEN, EERILY, IN BG ... WITH AN OCCASIONAL HINT OF "RANCHO GRANDE")

NOEL: There he stood.

On the little slope of the hill, above and behind us.

Mist was drifting over the stars but I couldn't mistake him -- khaki shirt, blue Levi's, no hat, rifle in his hands.

I shouted at him but he didn't even look down at me.

He raised his rifle.

And fired.

Immediately, there was an answering shot from somewhere off in the hills below us.

Madeleine was lying alongside the car, crying. I stood there. Just stood there, unable to move.

And he started down the hill - toward us.

And then ...

SOUND: (DISTANT GUNFIRE)

NOEL: ... a sudden flurry of shots in the distance.

And, like a character in an old-time silent movie, he - he stumbled and fell down the hill toward us.

I could see the spreading stain across his khaki shirt in the starlight.

I took a step toward him.

He didn't even look at me.

Painfully -- oh, so painfully -- he drew himself up on his knee, aimed the longest time -- and fired one shot.

SOUND: (RIFLE SHOT)

MADELEINE: (SCREAMS)

NOEL: (YELLS) Madeleine!

(NARRATES, CALMLY) "Madeleine!" I yelled.

And all I could hear in the dark was her [?] rasping breath and when I reached her...

MADELEINE: (GASPS FOR AIR)

NOEL: ... her sweater was black with blood. And she could only gasp.

I raised the pistol and aimed it at the man who had murdered my wife and I pressed the trigger once, twice - three, four times. And then I stood up again and I saw the bullets hit him in the starlight.

And he didn't even cringe.

Silently, deliberately, he reached in his pocket, pulled out a match and struck it, bent down to set fire to the summer-dry grass.

(MUSIC ... FOR A BRUSH FIRE ... EERILY, IN BG)

NOEL: In half a second, the scene was bright as day.

The racing fire roared up and I hardly had time to snatch up Madeleine and hurl her into the car, start away, back where we came from. There was nothing else to do.

Down the twisting canyon trail the fire pursued us.

I drove faster and faster.

[On every side of the car?] the devastating fire was leaping at us.

Down through the fields.

Down to the sandy creek bottom. Fire always at our heels.

(MUSIC ... FADES OUT)

SOUND: (CAR ENGINE)

NOEL: (VOICE CRACKING) And then, just as we crossed the creek -- the rain began.

(MUSIC ... FOR A RAIN ... SOMBER, IN BG)

NOEL: The blessed rain that - that was to have saved us - now that we'd bidden goodbye to summer.

And, at the corner, there by the ranch, the police car was waiting.

And Madeleine was dead.

(MUSIC ... MOURNFUL ... TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG)

NOEL: I told them - under their guns - and I could see they didn't believe me.

I babbled about the rain. How it had put out the fire. How the house was gone.

And they laughed.

And then when it was morning, and it was broad daylight, we went back up the canyon and up the twisting trail -- where there was no sign of fire -- me and the police.

And when we got there, in the daylight, there was the house. Just as it always had been. And there hadn't been any fire. Not the night before, anyway.

(MUSIC ... EERIE ... TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG)

NOEL: One of the police officers told me about it.

"Remember - or maybe you don't - twenty-seven years ago there was a fella murdered a couple up here in Las Virgenes Canyon?" he said. "And he hid away up here. Twenty-seven years ago," he said. "A posse came out in the night and they killed him. But he managed to set the grass on fire that night. It burned out the whole countryside, you see. He was a bad man," he said. "Right up here. I remember him so well. Hitchhiker, he was. Wore a pair o' Levi's and a khaki shirt. Remember him very well," he said.

So do I.

(MUSIC ... SLOWLY FADES OUT ... THEN, THEME ... FADE FOR)

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

CHAPPELL: And Cathleen Cordell - played the part of Madeleine. Music for "Quiet, Please!" is by Albert Buhrman. Now -- Wyllis Cooper, for a word about next week.

COOPER: Thank you for listening to "Quiet, Please!" My story for you for next week is called "Northern Lights."

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