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Dialogue for a Tragedy
Dialogue for a Tragedy
Comments on Dialogue for a Tragedy
Dec 22, 2001
Posted Jan 14, 2017 - 9:06 PM:
CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.
(SEVEN SECONDS SILENCE)
CHAPPELL: Quiet, please.
(MUSIC ... THEME ... FADE FOR)
ANNCR: 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 "Dialogue for a Tragedy".
(MUSIC ... THEME ... END)
ROY: Yes. Yes, I know the pistol is loaded. Yes, it's perfectly easy to see that it's pointed at my head. Let me congratulate you on a very steady hand. You've held it without moving for almost a minute now, I've been glancing at the clock.
Certainly I know what you propose to do. You propose to squeeze the trigger of the pistol just a tiny little hair's breadth at a time. Squeeze it softly, gently, just as you were taught to do out at Fort Riley all those years ago when you were a fat little buck private in the cavalry. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, the way Ike Martin used to teach you. Squeeze the trigger until you squeeze the bullet right out of the muzzle... right out of the muzzle, right at my head. And the reason you squeeze the trigger so gently is so as you won't know the exact moment the hammer falls on the firing pin, the firing pin sticks against the cap in the cartridge and the gas begins to expand. And then I look at you like the young Subaltern in Kipling's "Grave of the Hundred Head", remember? With a big blue mark on his forehead, and back blown out of his head.
Yes, I remember "The Grave of the Hundred Head". I like Kipling. Remember
A Snider squibbed in the jungle,
Somebody laughed and fled,
And the men of the First Shikaris
Picked up their Subaltern dead,
With a big blue mark in his forehead
And the back blown out of his head.
Very pretty. Very, very pretty.
I doubt very much if I'm going to be able to talk you out of it. You've got most of the slack taken up on that trigger and now the real squeeze begins, doesn't it? Now you can feel the steel pressing inside the steel in the gun itself, pressing back against the pressure of your finger, as if it's relunctant to give that last irrevocable fraction of an inch -- the fraction of an inch that'll let slip that thirty grams of copper-jacketed death.
I never could remember the names of those parts inside the pistol that make the last final deal with the laws of physics and ballistics. I remember the sear, whatever it is, and the disconnector and the firing pin... but I never could keep them separate in my mind. And now the sear and the disconnector and the firing pin and the firing pin spring and all the odd shaped little gadgets in that gun are conspiring to make a mess of the mind that never could keep them separate. A very fine piece of poetic justice, indeed.
No, no... don't just crook your finger on the trigger, remember how Ike Martin said squeeze your whole hand. Squeeze even the fingers that aren't touching the trigger, that takes longer, it makes a better game of it. Squeeze your whole hand. The trigger finger will sqeeze right along with the others, and presently... presently.
You won't be talked out of it, will you? Well then, perhaps I have time to tell you a few things about yourself before the hammer falls and puts a permanent period to my simple delcarative English sentences. If you don't know the exact second the hammer will fall, I don't know either. It'll be an interesting interlude.
Alright, I'll begin.
A ???? ????. A ???? ???? ???? of a man, spotless and clean to the eye, but within a stifling miasma of horror. It's your I'm talking about -- you with the pistol pointed at my head, you with your finger closing on the trigger. You're a ????.
[Organ up and out]
NORMA: I've got something that I've got to talk to you about, dear. The children were here this afternoon. The ???? children, ???? adopted ????. And they had the strangest idea that ???? ??? been lied about her will. Her will. Why, they say they're both sure there's another will, leaving all her money to them instead of to you. I know, I said it was absurd. Yes, they said they knew she'd written another will in her own handwriting. Uh, ??? is that what they call it? I know, she made that will leaving all the money to you a long time ago before the children were adopted. No, I don't like to disucss it either dear, I said it was absurd didn't I. But they knew that you and ????... well they knew that ???? came to dislike you for, well, something that I don't know about. And they said... you know how ???? was about her heart... they said she'd made a will cutting you off. Yes, I know you're her brother, it's absurd! Cutting you off and leaving the entire estate to them! And they said they knew where she'd hidden the will, and when they went to find it it'd disappeared. Why they seem to have some rediculous idea that you... of course I don't believe it. No dear, they haven't got a cent. They really ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? with you bring the sole heir to all her money.
[Organ up and out]
ROY: Thief. Rich man... thief. People don't search out and destroy unfavorable wills in real life, do they? They don't rob orphaned children in real life, do they? Don't they, thief? You're rich, aren't you thief?
The kids... the girl... her name was Celeste. She's married now, got four kids, lives above a saloon down in Baltimore. That's her money that bought that gun you're aiming at me. The boy... tough little devil, wasn't he? Seventeen when it happened and he accused you right out, didn't he? You shouldn't have kicked him so hard. Too bad he died, it won't be fun meeting him when you die. No it won't be fun, not if there's any justice the other side of the grave, he was a bitter young fellow.
His sister's money, and his money. That's what bought the gun, wasn't it? Makes you cringe... but I notice your finger is still on the trigger.
And your wife, Norma. She was sorry for the kids too, but what could she do? You never let her know exactly what became of the kids, did you? Lot of things you never let Norma know. Now come on, look at me. [Raises voice] Lot of things you never let Norma know, weren't there?
[Sound of knocking on door]
ROY: That's Norma now. She doesn't know what's going on in here, does she?
NORMA [muffled in background]: Dear, may I come in?
ROY: We won't answer Norma, will we? She'll go away. Maybe Norma thinks you're asleep. Norma doesn't know you're sitting here with your finger on the trigger of a gun. Norma doesn't know. [PAUSE] She's gone.
There are lots of things Norma doesn't know, traitor. Almost forgotten about Frederick, hadn't you? Long, long, long time. Poor old Frederick. Almost forgotten that Norma and Frederick were married to each other once, hadn't you? Traitor... sitting there with that gun in your hand pointed at my head, you traitor. You'd forgotten Frederick.
[MUSIC UP AND OUT]
Edited by Paul on Feb 13, 2017 - 7:45 PM
Dec 22, 2001
Posted Jan 18, 2017 - 5:21 PM:
Tried voicebase.com automated transcription to see if that can help any. It came up with this nonsense, heh:
I thought. Yes. Yes I'm all of us. Yes it's perfectly fine to let me congratulate you on a very moving for the middle of the clock. But certainly I know it's a bill for you to squeeze with for the first time you read of a group of voters you were probably due out of rally all those years ago when you were a fat little book. But for your right out of the right out of them a little out of my. In the reading of your exact moment of firing and firing pins Thanks again for capping the corporate McGaffigan when I look out for my subaltern and crippling river the hundred. With a big blue mark on his fire and in the back blown out of his head. Yes I remember the grave of the hundred and I like and remember Snyder's would do in the jungle and somebody laughed and the men of the first recoveries picked up the subaltern dead. With the big blue mark going to the back blown out of his head. Very pretty very very pretty. And I very much of I'm going to be able to drink you out of it. You got to the slack taken up on the trigger in the other real squeeze begins the. Now you can feel the steel pressing against the steel inside the gun itself birthing back against the pressure of your finger. The reluctant to give the last irrevocable fraction of an inch. Fraction of a mental of slip the thirty grams of copper jacket of death. I never could remember the names of those parts inside the pistol with make the last final deal with the laws of physics and ballistics. Remember the seer. Whatever it is in the connector in the firing and that I never could keep them separate in mind. And now the serum of the connector in the firing pin and the firing pins brain. Little gadgets inside that gun are conspiring to make a mess of the mind but never good. You can very find that brother. That's. Just quit your finger on the trigger. Remember how like Martin said squeeze your oar and. It's really been the thing going on touching the trigger that the. Well. You never. Live long and from what I don't know what the water will find for your. Route. But I did. What makes you. You know. A lot of what we want to. Think you're. A long long long way. Really. But I don't want to find. I almost forgot you were. Rich and loved. Little. Of those twenty six you remember the horrible options and the micro recorder on. There was you were it was. A little drunk or sober and. I remember the first run for your sister was murdered. For your. Relaxing a little reminiscing we forget what. I think. We're both. Smiling at you. Curtains. And. Sort of a good. But it's like I think that's not at the door again. It's not as worried. And it's normal to not be quiet moments and know what we're talking about in here almost making sure there's anybody in this room that gross your lap with the world and you don't say a word to the quiet. We often do you know when you've got company have you. I'm very nice. And here you sit with a pistol in your hand reminiscing. What company and where do you wait mom. And she's going again. Company company. Right. It's up OK. I remember a man I've been married. And see Frederick died in one nine hundred twenty eight in April. When Frederick stepped out of the window of his office eleven fourth about Webster place. It was that Gretchen died that turned me on remember nineteen twenty eight. And you were on I'm A were married just before Christmas the same day. You were before your sister adopted those two kids. The kids you stole the money from not really long ago the money that went to buy the gun and the ballots that are going to kill me. And I'm doing twenty eight. December. Run with immediately. Rendered you mean able and murder. Right or any other names I can give you liar. We're going to be strange if that you wouldn't speak something if you believe it was something you were. Sitting out there in your living room when acting normal. And. You know I don't know I'm in front of. A long one and. I wouldn't have been hiding from them or. Around the front door. I don't know what you're thinking. I didn't know you had a brother. From the. Meeting. And. You. Probably were not born and your wingman it is evil and you heard it the board and you're recognized the voice. You're putting down the person that's bothering your mouth but nothing you can do that you are rather there's nothing you remember as a clever girl or know how to keep them upset you going to help them out something more than twenty years. Or not going to what she's been missing and I was twenty years of normal who are much money you get an even money that should have been hers that she gave you the government then your good even on that sort of enormous. Wrong break Norma's heart. I don't. More Most hard to believe that I had been a good wife and. Good sweet loving ignorant fool and certainly she has something coming to her you've taken up from. Complicates matters more than she moved brought. You got it when I had everything she wants she was sad. Right but you know that you can't you can straighten everything out of the make amends for everything and I'm a would never know about evil. And he is going to happen the medals brought it straight at my head and even bear with Norm but maybe you know about already known only to find out about it. You said evil and smart good night. Ground. To tell normal men on. I must remember about what's happened in the past. How much too soon out why did several I must assume out the traitor. The murderer a liar. You can throw me another. Salad everything about stop everything everybody doesn't tell or. Whether people endorse telling. Lately but they're going to say. All right. Them or be able to vote so you can listen listen to what your wife and evil are talking about listen. Listen no one. Listen to. We've been. Looking away from my husband away from me and we're all. Caught on. Listening to this new crazy. One that might hurt. We'll tell you something. I'm missing something but what are you. With me. Right. And. Tell me if you. Were reluctant to regain all the work of your fingers on the trigger. Snyder scream of somebody laughed in. The first episode.
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