Cause for Alarm! (1951) Script

"This is where I live."

"I'm a housewife."

"My name is Ellen Jones."

"That Tuesday in July started out .."

"Just like any other day the past few months."

"There was no warning it was to be the most terrifying day of my life."

"I remember thinking how tired I felt."

"Even the housework seemed drudgery."

"So meaningless with George confined to his bed."

"No-one to see or care even."

"And then I got scared."

"Because I knew I was beginning to feel sorry for myself."

"George was the one who was ill."

"And he needed all of my thoughts and attention."

"And above all my cheerfulness."

"I tried not to think about us. About George."

"How he had changed."

"I told myself it was just my imagination."

"That things would be different when he was well and strong again."

"Then I thought I heard him call."

George. Did you call?

George. Are you alright?

Yes, Ellen.

Do you want anything?

Not now. I've just begun work on an insurance report for the office.

Well, call me dear if you need me. Okay.

"Somehow, I had an odd feeling."

"There was something about George's voice."

"I found myself thinking about the first time we met."

"How different he was in those days."

"I remember I was sitting in Dr Grahame's office."

"We were talking."

I played one game of checkers and two games of rummy.

And I've written letters to a wife, a mother and a sweetheart.

And I listened for half an hour to a homesick young ensign from Texas.

He was awful cute.

Now, what else can I do to help boost the morale around here?

You could go out to dinner with me.

We'd get half way through the soup and you'd get a call from the hospital.

You're right. Uhuh.

I guess my courting will have to wait until after the hostilities.

There's a compound fracture down the hall who's waiting to see me.

But I'll be tied up for a while. Oh?

They tell me he's feeling blue. You see, his wife is expecting a baby any minute.

I think he can stand some cheering up.

It's practically done.

See you later, Rann.

I'm sorry. They told me I could find Dr Grahame in here.

He ought to be along any minute. Why don't you come on in?

Thank you.

Are you a patient here, sir?

In a Naval hospital? No, no.

I'm just a friend of the Doc's.

I flew in last night with the ferry command.

The only thing wrong with me is a double-barrelled hangover.

Dr Graham will be detained so I'm taking you for an airing.

Maybe he doesn't want to go for an airing.

He doesn't.

There's nothing a woman likes better than shoving a man around.



Who are you?

I'm Ellen Brown.

Doesn't suit you at all. It's much too plain.

I'm sorry. I'd tell my parents about it but they are still back in Kansas City.

Now what can I do for you, young man?

I can think of a lot of things.


Well, shall we begin with a game of cards?


Well, I could read the newspaper to you.

I could write a letter for you.

I know.

I know. I'll sit right here ..

And you can tell me about that wonderful baby you are expecting.


The baby you are expecting.

Does Ripley know about this?

I beg your pardon?

Skip it.

Which is your bad leg?

Well, neither one of them is working very well today.

Oh, my head.

Is your head bothering you? Terribly.

Both of them.

Would you like me to rub it for you?

I couldn't think of anything nicer.


Now relax.

Close your eyes.

Now just think of something pleasant.

Pretty soon you'll be going home to your wife.

Won't that be wonderful? Hmm.

Think what she looks like.

How pretty she is.


Beautiful blue eyes.

A short nose.

Soft brown hair.

And lovely kissable lips.

Whoa. There is nothing wrong with your morale, young man.

I'll recommend to the doctor that you be sent home to your wife immediately.

Hey, wait a minute.

You are all dressed. Naturally.

George. Hello Ranney.

Son of a gun. What are you doing here? Enjoying myself immensely.

His leg isn't even broken.

Hey Doc, what kind of nurses do you have around here anyway?

What goes on here, Ellen?

When I came in here he was lying there all covered up.

He let me make an absolute idiot of myself.

Rubbing his head. Both of them.

The best cure in the world for a hangover.

Ellen, this is George Jones. An old and untrustworthy friend of mine.

Now remember, I saw her first. George Jones.

The name suits you perfectly. Completely undistinguished.

I wouldn't say that, honey.

Some day you might wind up wearing it.

Well ..

Shall we go?

She's cute.

It's pretty depressing have a medical student for a room-mate.


He is always dissecting something. Including me.

You got to know what's going on inside if you expect to understand the outside.

Excuse me, sir. But you are wanted at the hospital. There is an emergency.

Oh Rann, I'm sorry.

So am I.

Well, back to the salt mines. See you folks later.

Not if I can help it.

I intend to keep you to myself for the rest of the afternoon.


And for the next two weeks. So.

When a lonely prospector strikes gold ..

He doesn't yell for his friend until he stakes a claim.

How about some lunch? Yes, I'd love it.

I don't like to make love on an empty stomach.

No. Neither do I. Especially to a perfect stranger.

Why, Ellen. Wherever did you get the idea that I was perfect?


Would you like to switch boxes like we did when we were kids?

Naturally. You'll love it.

Fried chicken, potato salad, tomatoes, cookies.

K-Rations. Canned ham.

Powdered milk. Chewing gum.

And four cigarettes.


So measly. Is that the best you can do?

The best I can do with no ration card.


Now, if we were to combine forces.

And pool our resources.

I think we might do very well together.

There we go.

Goodbye George and good luck. Thanks for having me.

Goodbye, darling.

Take care of yourself.

I'll be back, honey. Remember that. I'll be back.

Of course. Of course.

And I'll never let you go.

Goodbye, darling.

Quite a guy.

Yeah. Quite a guy.

I'm going to marry him, Rann.

I'm going to marry him just as soon as he gets back.

I figured as much.

Are you sure he is right for you, Ellen?

I don't know.

It isn't something you think about. It's just something you feel.

You know.

You can't do anything about it.

I know what you mean, Ellen.

A guy with wings has it all over us fellows who walk around down here.

I'm coming up now, dear.

Do you want me to bring you anything?


You alright?

What is it? What's the matter? Get a doctor.

No, no. Not that. Get a doctor. Another doctor. Not Grahame.

But I have to, dear. He is your doctor. Don't argue with me.

Don't call Grahame. Get another doctor. Yes. Alright.

He didn't want the medicine but I made him take it.

Good girl.

Still ticking?

Sounds pretty good.

You're evidently feeling better that when Ellen called.

What time is it?

Five after nine, dear.

It took you a long time to get here, Ranney.

I know it seems like it but he came just as soon as I called him.

How long did it take? About twenty minutes.

Fortunately Ellen caught me as I was leaving on another call.

Is there some alcohol about? Yes.

Twenty minutes.

I got that pain over forty-five minutes ago. Why did you delay?

I didn't, dear.

I lost a lot of time trying to get another doctor.

But you needed him so badly that .. You know best.

You always know best nowadays, don't you Ellen.

No, it isn't that.

I just knew that he would come sooner than anyone else.

He's our friend, George.

You're much better already.

Ranney, let's not kid each other.

We both know it. My own insurance company wouldn't put a nickel on me.

Now look here. All of us are in that same boat.

An automobile taking an unexpected turn.

A brick falling from a high building.

A heart condition like yours.

They're all hazards but that doesn't necessarily mean they'll never happen.

Think of all the chances you took during the war.

You didn't worry about them.

You came out feeling better than when you went in.

Now the only thing you have to do is lie in bed and let us help you get well.

Isn't that right, Ellen? Yes. That's what I keep telling him.

You are lucky in many ways, George.

You have a wonderful wife. She's developed into a fine nurse.

I don't think I'll be tying up her exclusive services much longer.

You must cut out this way of thinking. Yeah. I know. I know.

Would you mind, Ellen? I'd like to talk to George alone.

No. Of course not.

I'll be across the hall if you need me.

Those were pretty morbid things you were saying in front of Ellen.

Has she complained? Certainly not.

But you got to think of her too.

She is looking a little worn.

Now when you get these ideas try using a little mental therapy.

Next you'll be telling me I ought to see a psychiatrist.

That might be a very good idea. You doctors are all alike.

If you can't cure a patient you tell him it's all in his mind.

I'm trying to help you, George. You know that.

I'll drop in again this afternoon.

Maybe we can talk this thing out. Yeah. Maybe we can.

Ellen. Yes?

Ellen, did anything particular happen to upset George this morning?

No. Not that I know of.

Why, do you think he's worse?

Frankly, I don't like his mental state.

I think maybe it's just the hot weather.

It depresses him.

He's been a very active man. It's natural for him to be depressed but ..


When a man is at a low ebb mentally and physically ..

He's prone all sorts of imaginary fears.

Yes. I know.

I'd feel better if he were in hospital for a while.

No. No, I don't think so.

You want what's best for George don't you?

Well of course. That's just it.

I think it would upset him terribly.

You see, he doesn't seem to want anyone else around him except me.

Well, this morning he didn't even want me to call you.

It isn't that he is disloyal Rann, or he's lost confidence but ..

Lately he seems to have taken these sudden dislikes to people.

Look, Ellen.

You and George aren't just patients. You are friends.

George is up there brooding and I don't like it.

It could develop into something serious.

If you won't send him to the hospital I want you have someone here to help you.

I'm sure you know what's best, Rann.

But honestly, I don't know how George will take it.

He doesn't even seem to want his aunt around anymore.

Ellen, I don't think it is wise for you to try to handle this alone any longer.

You're stressed to the breaking point already.

I'll take it up with George this afternoon.

I'd better get back upstairs. No, Ellen.

Let him relax for a while.


Give the medicine a chance to work. Yeah.

I want you to relax too.

Remember now, you can call me any time you need me.

Even if you just think you need me. Oh, thanks.

I don't know what I'd do sometimes if I didn't remember that.

Goodbye. Goodbye.

You're doing fine. Thanks.

Stay where you are. Don't move.

Oh. You frightened me.

Did I? Yes.

Say, what are you all dressed up for?

And where did you get that beautiful new tricycle?

It's not a tricycle.

It's a horse. A palomino.

My grandpa gave it to me.

Oh he did? Well, it's beautiful, Billy.

I'm not Billy. I am Hoppy.


Now who is Hoppy?

Don't you know who Hoppy is?

No, I'm afraid I don't. Don't you have television?


Don't you have television? No.

You want to see mine? Sure.

Look inside.

Well, look at that. See.

Hoppy is in there too. Just like a real cowboy.

Why of course. I know him. That's Hopalong Cassidy.

Well, saved many people today, Hoppy?

Oh, six to a hundred.

Don't try any tricks now. I wouldn't think of it.

Do you have any cookies?

No I haven't.

See, the grocery man hasn't come yet but I will have later.

Do you know what I do to bad men? No. What do you do?

I dynamite them into little pieces.

Shoot them. Put them in jail.

Oh? I don't think even the real Hoppy would treat bad men that way.


Really what I did was ..

Lasso them. Tie them up.

Throw them in jail.

Well, that sounds like a lot more work and more dangerous too.

I took care of you didn't I? Yeah, You sure did.

Can I come in?

Honey, I'm sorry. I'm afraid not. My husband isn't feeling well today.

I won't make any noise.

If I was eating cookies I couldn't even talk.

No. You couldn't.

Well I tell you what you do.

After the grocery man comes which will be around 12 o'clock.

You come to the back door very quietly and I'll have some cookies for you.

Okay? Okay.

I'll ride my horse up and down and see that no bad people make any noise.

Because I am your friend, aren't I.

That's right, Hoppy. You are my friend.

Toot-toot. I'm an Indian. I'm an Indian.


You weren't out of bed just now were you?


It must be the heat. I could have sworn I saw somebody ..

What took you so long? What, dear?

What took you so long?

Sorry, dear. I was talking to Billy.

I should say Hoppy.

Let me change your pillow.

You know, the boy I told you about who just moved in to the neighborhood.

The one with the glasses. You know. He's an awful sweet little kid.

What were you talking to Ranney Graham about?

That's what I'm interested in.

We were talking about you, dear.

He thinks you worry too much about yourself.

If I didn't, I don't know who would.


Ever since you got out of bed yesterday to see if you could walk ..

I've had it on my mind.

I want you to promise me not get out of bed again while I'm out of the room.

Alright, Ellen.

Did you ..

Call the druggist about getting the heat prescription filled?

Yes, dear. He said he'd send it up here later in the day.

But there is enough there if we need it before.

Did you tell them I'd spilled it?

No, I didn't. Do you feel well enough for the paper?


The editorial page?

No. Just the front page is alright, thank you.

Here it is.

You look tired, Ellen.

I'm not.

It's just that it is so hot today.

What are you thinking about, Ellen?

Well, you know I was ..

I was just thinking that ..

Everything in our lives.

Every breath, every though has been for ourselves.

I don't think people can do that and be happy.

Do you?

You're getting a little confused, darling.

It was me that Ranney Grahame told to change my way of thinking.

Oh no. I mean it was my fault too.

I ..

I just wasn't strong enough to help you.

But we could change all that now.

It could make all the difference in the world, George.

Come here, Ellen. Yes.

What is the first thing you do?


When I am out of this bed again. Away from the house.

I'll just be so grateful that you are well.

I think I would ..

Try to do something for somebody .. I mean you.

For your own self.

I'd like children. Yeah.

And then I'd like a garden.

A real garden. Like the woman next door has.

And I'd find out about flowers and things.

I'd compare notes with every other woman on the block.

So you'd have a garden and children, huh?


Isn't it good to plan again.

It kinda gives you something to hold on to, doesn't it.

Oh my, it takes a long time for things to sink in doesn't it.

You always said that. You said make a plan for anything and then stick to it.


Alright. Our plan now is for you to get well.

And then afterwards .. You must think I'm very stupid.


Don't you think I know you're in love with him?

In love with whom? Grahame.

Why, that's the silliest thing I ever heard of.

You are not as subtle as you think you are, Ellen.

It's quite obvious.

At first I thought it was just an infatuation.

But now I realize it is more serious.

Serious in the way that my life is more in danger from your heart than mine.

George, what are you talking about? I almost feel sorry for you, Ellen.

He overrated you Ellen, just as he underrated me.

You haven't the courage on the intelligence he thinks you have.

Please don't talk like that.

You suppose I don't know he told you to rake over these old coals this morning?

No. He didn't.

You convinced me I was a failure by making me impossible promises.

I know something about my own sickness.

I know what happens to a man when you take away his self-respect.

I know what happens when you constantly upset me.

George, this is wrong. I know it is. Please don't upset yourself any more.

That's what he told you to do, isn't it?

Did he also tell you to delay getting help to me like you did this morning?

How could you do that, Ellen?

How can you take a man of second-rate intelligence like that?

I'll do anything you say. Get another doctor.

You didn't know what you were in for, did you, Ellen.

Please don't talk anymore.

Rest, darling.

Oh, George. You just couldn't believe those things you said about Dr Grahame.

I don't even want to hear his name.

Leave it half way up, Ellen.

"I was so hurt I could hardly keep from crying."

"Again, I reminded myself that George was terribly ill and didn't mean it."

"I knew I had to keep doing something. Anything."

"Anything to keep me from hearing George's words."

"He didn't mean them."

"He couldn't mean them."

"It was his illness. The heat.

"But when I took his lunch up to him."

"I'd be pleasant and cheerful as if nothing had happened."


Oh. Hi, Hoppy. Shush.

What's the matter?

You don't have to whisper now. He is awake.

I'm just fixing his lunch.

You come for your cookies? Mummy says not to beg.

But I've already had my lunch.

You're not begging. I want to give you them.

There you are. Take your choice.

Thank you.


Are you catching a cold in this weather?

You sound just like my Mom.

No. I'm not. Oh.

I got you something too.

A present for me? Uhuh.

Oh Hoppy, how nice.

I wonder what this could be.

That's very nice of you.

Are you sure you don't want to keep it yourself?

We got a big television at home.

A real one. This is just a pretend one.

Well I know it is but it's very nice.

I want to thank you very much for giving it to me.

Mummy says television is good for when you are sick.

Daddy says it makes him sick.

Mummy lets me look at television so I stay in bed.

Well I think that is a very good idea.

I'll have to tell my husband about that.

Can I see him?

I can play with him if he can't go outside.

Well, that is very nice of you but ..

I don't think he is well enough to see people, dear.

I won't make any noise.

I'll just eat my cookies and look.



Perhaps in a week or two when he's feeling better.

Okay. My horse is sick. I got to go and see my horse.


Can I take some cookies for my horse?

By all means. Take as many as you like.

I'll go and see my horse now. Alright.

Say, honey. Are you sure you don't want to take that television set with you?

The man can use it but tell him not to break it.

I got to use it later. Alright. I'll tell him.

And thank you again, Hoppy.

Goodbye. Bye.

"I always felt better after talking with Hoppy."

"I wondered how he'd look without his glasses."

"The nice things that kids do."

"Don't break it because I have to use it again."

[ Buzzer ]

"George wanted his lunch. That was a good sign."

Yes. As a matter of fact I am.

I'm feeling much better.

Hoppy sent you a present.

A television set.

And he says not to break it because he has to use it later.

You two are getting to be great pals.

Yes. He's a darling little kid. He's so eager to please.

Oh honey, not now.

Alright. But at least you will have clean hands and face before you eat.


Has the postman come yet?

What did you say, dear?

The postman. Has he come yet?

Oh, no.

No. He is very late today.

I guess it must be the heat.

Give him this letter when he comes, please.

Oh dear. I thought you were resting.

It was a rest in a way.

And a relief to get that written.

A new insurance law affects the Emerson estate.

I've got to check the policies. Alright, dear.

I'll meet him at the gate and give it to him myself. How's that?


Thank you.

There you are. Looks good.

It is good.

Oh, Ellen.

The letter. Oh. Sorry.

And if you finish before I get back.

Don't try to put that tray on the floor. Remember what happened last time.


Say, you really wrote a letter, didn't you.

"I wanted to stop a minute and chat with the neighbors."

"But I knew George wouldn't like it."

"He didn't believe in neighbors."

"And then I saw the postman."


When do you think this heat is going to break?

Morning, Mr Carston.

Good morning, Mrs Jones.

It certainly is hot, isn't it. Oh, it sure is.

Especially with this mailbag.

It does look heavy.

If I'm all in now, I wonder what I'm going to be like this afternoon.

Well I guess I'll live. Yeah.

With everything so high I've got to keep my nose to the grindstone.

I got a pension plan. Did I tell you about it?

Yes, you did.

Well, you got to follow it to a T.

Every penny counts.

You know, my wife doesn't understand that.

She says I'm an old penny-pincher. No.

But I told her ..

Mr Carston, would you take this letter for me please?


I'll swear I bring in more mail than I take out.

I'm sorry. I'd run up to the mailbox with it myself.

But I don't like to leave the house alone with my husband being ill and all.

Nobody figures it slows me up lugging extra mail around in this awful heat.


My feet are throbbing. Do your feet ever ..

Yes, I know what you mean.

You know, I ought to be way out on Pine Avenue and Merritt Street by noon.

But the rate I'm going I won't be out there until one o'clock.

What with everybody giving me mail to take back.

Is that mail for me? Huh?

That mail. Is it mine? Oh yes.

Excuse me. Thank you.

It's that retirement plan that keeps me going.

Yeah, I bet it is. Thanks again Carston. You're welcome.

I'm glad to see your husband is well enough to be up, Mrs Jones.


I wish I could lie down for a while.

George, you were out of bed.

And you promised me you wouldn't .. I can't get leave bed in my condition.

Dear, the postman said he saw you at the window.

Did he really?

Well no, he didn't actually say he saw you.

The postman has got a touch of sunstroke.

Yeah. Me too I guess.

That hot wind certainly doesn't help much.

You finished?

Yes. Very nice thank you.

I'm glad you got that letter off.

Come over here, Ellen and sit down.

Would you like your aunt Clara to come up and visit for a little while?

It's pretty hot for the old girl. She'd love it if you ask for her.

You are the apple of her eye, you know. I always was.

You know.

Aunt Clara gave me a toy when I was a kid.

A toy I was crazy about.

My mother used to say she gave me too much but I can still remember that toy.

It was a ..

It was a bottle with a small absolutely perfect sailing ship built inside of it.

You know, I was ..

I was so crazy about that toy I wouldn't let anybody touch it.

No? Not even my mother.

One day I was making a .. garden.

Making a garden in the back yard.

And a neighbor boy came running out of my house with my ship in his hand.

Somehow, I ..

Got it away from him without breaking it.

I don't know what I said to him but ..

He looked awfully scared and white.

And then I was frightened too, thinking he may have broken it. The ship, I mean.

I picked up the little rake I had been playing with and hit him with it.

And where his face had been so white it was all blood.

I think I might have killed him if mother hadn't come out.

She took him in the house. To the bathroom and washed his face.

They were both so excited but I felt ..

Safe now I had my own little ship again.

And when the neighbor boy stopped crying mother turned to me and she said ..

Give it to him.

She sounded so strange and quiet I knew I had to.

He held out his hand. I could see he hadn't learned anything so I ..

I handed him the ship but just as he was about to take it ..

I let it drop on the tiled floor and I stepped on it.

He'd never have known what it was but somehow or other it was mine.

Mine more than it had ever been before.

I remembered every little perfect thing about that ship.

But to them it was just a mess of broken glass and matchsticks on the floor.


You know who that neighbor boy looked like?

He looked very much like Grahame.

And your Dr Grahame will find himself in the same position as that little boy.

But we are not going to have him here again.

But that doesn't change the fact you're wrong about him. He's been fine to you.

So thoughtful and given you so much time.

Maybe that's is because he is a bachelor? No home life.

He's been a good friend to us.

Our time is limited so you must listen carefully.

Ranney Grahame may have you alright.

He'll be disappointed with what he gets.

George, please.

George, I can't let you talk this way anymore.

I'll fill this up.

I'll be downstairs if you want me.

You'd better wait, Ellen.

I've written to the district attorney ..

Asking him to make a full investigation if anything happens to me today.

Before he can get help to me.

Why do you torture yourself like this?

Why do you imagine things that don't exist?

That letter exists.

It proves you are trying to kill me.

But I'm not.

I'm not!

If I can't help you George, then I am going to get someone else in who can.

It's not me that needs help now, Ellen.

You gave that letter to the postman yourself just a while ago.

Yes. Yes, I gave him the letter. The one that you wrote about insurance policies.

I knew you wouldn't recognise the district attorney's name if you saw it.

Nobody ever does. Isn't that strange?

Everybody knows he's the district attorney but nobody ever knows his name.

We are going to get someone else in. Another doctor.

Because this is all in your mind.

My mind is fine.

To reassure you on the point let say to you that letter was about insurance.

I told the district attorney how much insurance we had on each other's lives.

If either of us died the other would do very nicely for the rest of his life.

Or her life very comfortably indeed.


I also told them how you and Dr Grahame, how you ..

Working together to aggravate my condition so it won't look like murder.


I also told him how you are ..

Gradually giving me overdoses of the heart medicine.

But that isn't true.

Anyone would know that isn't true.

Would they?

Why is that bottle almost empty, huh?

We only got it the other day.

Well, you ..

You told me you spilled it on the tray.

You told me that yourself, George. You didn't tell the druggist that.

Mr Philips will make an excellent witness against you, Ellen.

He'll be the first if anything happens to me, and let me say there are others.

The letter takes care of everything.

The druggist, the medicine, the doctor. He's in it too.

You have implicated your old friend Grahame you know.

Nothing is going to happen to you.

I don't know if you are doing this to frighten me.

But I'm going to get the letter back from the postman.

You are not going anyplace anymore, Ellen.

Because I am going to kill you.

I decided that definitely this morning.

You can't ..

You couldn't mean this, George. You couldn't.

George, you know I wouldn't hurt anybody.

Anybody! Much less you.

George, think! It's me. It's Ellen! Your darling.

But you did want to be rid of me.

It was in your mind. That's why you feel so guilty, isn't it.


The letter will take care of Grahame. I will take care of you myself.

I'll make it look like self-defence.

Please don't.

There are just too many things against you, Ellen.

You used to say that you were lonesome until you met me.


George, you love me. No, Ellen.

I love you, George. Since I've been sick.

Since he's been coming to the house you've hated the sight of me.

No, I haven't.



"It was one of those awful dreams."

"The kind I used to have when George was overseas."

"That man lying there was George."

"My husband."

"He was dead."

"He died trying to kill me."

[ Telephone ]

[ Telephone ]

"Hello .. hello?"

"Hello?" Yes.

"Mrs Jones?"

Yes. Who is it?

"Mr Philips down at the drugstore."

What is it that you want, Mr Philips?

"It's about that heart medicine you want refilled."


"I can't refill it without another prescription."

I see.

Well, just let it go.

Let it go?"

That is until I talk with Dr Grahame. "Oh."

"By the way, according to my records you got prescription filled the other day."

But my husband knocked that bottle over on the tray and spilled it.


"You didn't tell me that when you called before."

But that's what happened. I promise you. That's what happened, Mr Philips.

"Alright, alright, Mrs Jones."

"You don't have to promise anything."

I didn't tell you before as I didn't think it was necessary.

"You mean it wasn't?"

"Look here, Mrs Jones."

"George said the Mr Philips would be a witness against me."

"A witness."

I'll see that you get another prescription.

"Yes, you just get in touch with Dr Grahame."

"Why didn't I tell him about George?"

"The letter."

"I had to get that letter back."

"I couldn't tell anyone about George until I got that letter back."

"I could feel the woman next door watching."

"Maybe she'd be a witness against me too."

"She could tell them how I ran out of the house."

"And then back in again."

"How strangely I was acting."

"It wouldn't matter what she thought if I could only get that letter back."

"Then I tried to think. Which way did he go?"

What's that for, Tex?

Who knows?

The engine needs everything we can put in it.

Yeah, but what will it do?

Who cares?

Pardon me.

Can you tell me, did the postman go by here yet?

The postman? Yeah.

That old oddball found his way through here a little while ago.

Oh. Which way did he go? Do you know?

Thataway. Oh, thanks.

The way toward Merritt Street. You know? Yeah, I know.

Oh, I'm sorry.

You know, every time I go home at night I always tell my wife Laura.

If it wasn't for that pension plan I do I'd just never get up.

I'd just drop in my tracks one of these days and that would settle it.

And I'd just never get up anymore and that's all.

You know how it is. Hello, Mr Carson.

See you later, Joe. See you later.

Well, Moss Jones. What are you doing out this way?

I was visiting a friend. Oh, that's nice.

I wish I had more time for visitors.

But by the time I get home at night I can just hardly make it up the stairs.

Mr Carston, remember that letter I gave you this morning?

I suppose so. I pick up plenty of letters. Why, what about it?

Well, I know it seems silly but I ..

I mailed it by mistake. It wasn't even finished. Yes.

What did you do that for?

I don't know, I guess I was just so busy I ..

Finish it up and mail the rest tomorrow. They'll get it in two instalments.

You wouldn't want me to do that.

May I have the letter please?

So, I pick them up and carry them around for miles and then they want them back.

Well, I'm sorry but you can understand why.

I wouldn't want it to go out unfinished. Yeah, I guess so.

But all these delays count. Keep me on my feet longer than I ought to.

It won't be much trouble will it?

Here. Here it is. Thank you.

Now look, you shouldn't have given me this letter in the first place.


Giving me this letter is just like putting it in a mailbox.

Now, you wouldn't expect to get this back from the mailbox would you?

No. But surely you can make this exception. After all, I ..

Isn't this fellow the district attorney?


Yes. My husband read about some graft in the newspaper.

And wrote to the district attorney about it.

Oh, your husband wrote the letter? Yes.

I thought you said you wrote it.

Well, what's the difference? He is my husband.

It makes all the difference in the world, Mrs Jones.

But why? It's one of our strictest rules.

We can't return a letter to anyone except the person who wrote it.

But Mr Carston, my husband is sick. You know that.

And he sent me to get the letter back. Yes. I know that.

Don't be so obstinate!

You know it's alright. He's sick. Give it to me.

Obstinate? Now how do you like that?

After standing here patiently in all this heat trying to reason with you.

You are the one being obstinate and don't realise it's against the rules.

What do you care if it's against the rules?

I have to care but you don't.

You are not the one who'd get fired.

I'm sorry.

I'm very sorry, Mr Carston.

I forgot what it means to you. Your responsibility.

It must be this terrible heat.


I know how anxious my husband is to get that letter back.

It was my fault you see, I mailed it by mistake.

He's awfully with me. He is very angry with me, Mr Carston.

Couldn't you please help me?

Couldn't I please have the letter back?

Well, I tell you what I'll do. Yes?

I'm all through with the route until this afternoon's delivery.

Since it is so important like you say. Oh, it is.

If you give me a lift to town in your car so I won't lose any more time ..

I will.

I'll go to your house with you now and give the letter to Mr Jones personally.

No, you can't. But, Mrs Jones ..

This way I'll be sticking to the rules and your husband gets his letter back.

But my husband didn't sleep last night.

And he fell asleep just before I left and I wouldn't want to wake him.

I'm trying to do the right thing by everybody concerned.

It seems you cannot cooperate. I'm not risking losing my job for anybody.

Try to understand. I can't talk about it any longer.

I can't waste more time.

Do you want me to take the letter to your husband personally or don't you?


Alright then. I'll take it to the post office like I'm supposed to.

You can go down there and get it from the superintendent.

Superintendent? Yeah.

He has more authority than I have. Maybe he'll give it to you.

I see.

You'd better not waste any more time.

Once I bring the mail in they send it out right quick.

Once it leaves the post office for delivery nobody can stop it.

The post office downtown? Yep.

Thanks. Oh, Mr Carston.

How do I get there? The shortest way I mean.

Right down the boulevard is the shortest. Can't miss it.

Thanks. How much time do I have?

About 2:30. Maybe a little over 4.

Thank you.



Pardon me.


Have you seen Mrs Jones this morning?

Yes. She went out about a half hour ago.

Went out? Yes.

But what about George? Mr Jones?

She hasn't gone off and left him alone has she?

Well .. Her husband is sick you know.

So I've heard.

If course I never really met them. Though I haven't lived here long.

I can't imagine her going off like that.

I'm, Mr Jones' aunt. I made him some jelly consommé. I packed it in ice.

It's melting.

I never dreamt I wouldn't get in.

I could tell you where the key is.


Perhaps you think it's nosy but I did see her when she locked the door.

Well, isn't that good of you.

The front door? Yes.

Right over there above the door.

Thank you.

I don't know how you stand it in the sun without a hat on.

You might dry up like a prune.

The top of the green shutter. The far side of the door.

I've found it.

If there is anything I can do for you just call me.

You are very kind. Thank you.

Aunt Clara.

Ellen, where on earth have you been?

Have you been upstairs?

I was just going up. Why are you so out of breath?


I've been running.

Running in all this heat? You should have more sense.

How did you get in, aunt Clara? I found the key on the ledge.

There, look at that. Slipped right down my dress.

Now it's ruined.

I was worried half to death. I thought something had happened.

I've never known you to go out like this.

How is George?

He's alright.

I even rang the bell. Just a jab.

Did he take one of those sedatives?


People take too much medicine nowadays if you ask me.

When I was a girl we had homeopathic doctors.

I wonder what happened to them.

Anyway, they gave very little medicine and it all tasted good, even the tonics.

And no promises at all.

Ellen, I've never seen you look so tired and worn out.

Why not ask that doctor to give you something?

I'm alright.

He looks too young to me to be a good doctor.

But after all, if you and George like him so much ..

Confidence is half the battle.

You look awful peaky.

Ellen, you are not letting yourself go, are you?

No. I know I look terrible.

Look, when George fell asleep, I ..

I had some errands to do.

I'll get you some.

I just thought I would go and take care of them without ..

Bothering to change.

You know how it is. Sure you are alright?


Why not go upstairs and lie down for a bit. Take a snooze. It will do you good.

I'm not tired. Really I'm not.

Well, after all.

Clara, I have so much to do today.

Do sit down, Ellen.

Lean back. Relax.

You'll be on your back before you know it if you don't watch out.

After all, all I want to do is to help.

From now on, I'm going to have more time too.

Ellen, I forgot to tell you.

I resigned.


From the Helper's Guild after fifteen years. I'm not helping anymore.

I will ..

I'll leave the kitchen door open and we can talk as I clean out there. Alright?

You might as well. You're so fidgety.

Oh, Ellen. While you are on your feet will you bring me a dishcloth?

For fifteen years I was in that guild.

And for the past five I was treasurer.

And for the last three they were promising me the presidency.

So, what happens?

Last Tuesday they elect Paula Comstock.

You know, Zachary's wife? Well I was furious.

Zachary said I was hasty. But after fifteen years ..

You know, I've never known a small woman yet ..

Who wasn't always boasting about her little hands and tiny feet.

And trying to run everything. That's the best I can do.

Do you think I was right?

Fifteen years, after all.

Zachary was upset. He says I need lots of outside activity. Lots.

And I agreed with him.

"I thought if she didn't stop I'd scream."

I always tell him he plays too much at his age.

That's just one of the worries of being married to an older man.

Ellen, why don't you have some of that jelly consommé?

At least it was jelly when I left home. Try it. It's tasty and full of vitamins.

I'd like someone to enjoy it. After all it ruined my dress.

I think I'll run up and pop in on George.

If he is asleep you can tell him later that I peeped in.

Aunt Clara. Aunt Clara. What is it, darling?

There is something I must tell you. What is it, dear? What is the matter?

I ..

Are you having trouble? Yes.

I didn't want to tell you but now I think I must.


Take my advice and don't. You will only be sorry later that you did.

I thought It was funny you being out like that ..

And not going up to see George when you came in.

But you don't understand. Oh yes. I understand.

I'll just say goodbye to him. No. Please don't.

I didn't want to tell you this but ..

George said that the last time you came to see him you upset him terribly.

And he said to tell you that if you came again today to tell you that he just ..

Couldn't see you.

Upset him?

You must remember he is ill. Upset him?

I've a good mind to tell him something. No, please!

No. I wouldn't think of humiliating myself.

He knew I was here all the time.

Well, he was rude and selfish even before he was sick.

And he is rude and selfish since he's been sick.

Sorry I had to tell you this.

I thought when I first met you, you'd do something for him. Change him somehow.

But I must say he hasn't changed at all.

He is worse if anything. And Ellen.

You can tell George from me.

That a man wrapped up in himself.

Makes a very small package.

"I wondered how much time I had."

"She was right. I must look awful."

"I had to fix myself up before I could go to the post office."

"I had to go in there."

"I was terrified but I knew I had to."


"He was dead."

"I mustn't let myself think about it."

"I mustn't think about anything, anything until I get that letter back."

"That letter that said I killed him."

"Maybe it was a dream."

"No, it wasn't."

"I must fix my face."

"I must look presentable."

"Like any other housewife making a simple request for a letter."

"A letter that was mailed by mistake."

"The gun."

"It was still in George's hand."

"Somehow I knew I shouldn't leave it there."

[ Gunshot! ]

Bang-bang. Bang-bang.

Come down, will you.

I'll take care of them for you.

It's alright, Hoppy.

It was the radio. I just turned it off.

Need any help? No.

No. Everything is alright.

I see it.

Bang, bang. Bang, bang.

Bang. Got you.

"I prayed that no-one else had heard that shot."

[ Doorbell ]

"I thought perhaps if I didn't answer he'd think no-one was home and go away."

"But he didn't."

"He just rang the bell again and then stood there."

[ Doorbell ]

"Then I knew I had to get rid of him."


Good afternoon. I'm Mr Russell. Yes?

I'd like to see Mr Jones. He is expecting me.

Expecting you? Yes.

He telephoned me the other day.

Well, there must be some mistake.

My husband is not well.

He isn't able to leave his bed.

He told me he was ill but he did telephone to be here this afternoon.

Well, nevertheless he isn't well enough to see anyone.

It's a business matter, Mrs Jones. I'm sorry.

But the doctor has forbade him to see anyone.

He warned me that I would get some resistance from you.

He did?

He explained that you were over solicitous about his health ..

But that I wasn't to take you seriously. Oh.

Your husband only wants me to authenticate some legal papers.

I am a notary.

It won't take but a few minutes. Sorry. I told you he isn't very well.

He's had a relapse.

The doctor just left here a few minutes ago.

And he said he wasn't able to see anyone today. Not anyone.

Sorry to have bothered you, Miss Jones. Oh, that's alright.

I will leave my card.

Perhaps you'll call me when he's better? Yes. Yes, I'll call you.

Good afternoon. Goodbye.

"Could he be another witness?"

"I couldn't think what I'd said to him."

"I would have to be more careful."

"Suddenly I remembered what happened the last time."

"I had to be sure no-one could get into the house."

Here I come. Here I come.


I beat you to the crossing, didn't I. Billy.

Where are you going? Are you alright?

Sure. Can I go with you?

No, you can't.

I'm sorry. I'm late.

For heaven's sake be more careful.

Don't you ever do a thing like that again. You hear me?


My horse ate the bowl of cookies.

Well, I'll give you some more later on.

M & M's?

Yes. M & M's.

You stay right there in that driveway until I get out. You understand?


"All I remember about the drive down town was .."

"I kept thinking."

"This time I must control myself."

"I must keep calm."

We caught it in plenty of time, Mrs Jones.

It was brought in just a little while ago and wasn't even processed yet.

Then I can have it now? Of course.

Thank heavens.

I am glad we caught in time for you.

My husband will be so pleased to have it back.

I'll give you one of our regular forms here ..

A form?

Yes, one of these. Oh.

You mean I can't take the letter with me now?

Just take the form home to Mr Jones. Have him fill it out and ..

When you bring it back I'll have the letter here and I can give it to you.


But why is that necessary?

Just regulations.

Among other things it gives me time to compare Mr Jones' handwriting ..

With the writing on the envelope.

I can assure you it is my husband's handwriting.

I'm sure it is. Yes.

But I must have one of those forms for my records.


But ..

But my husband has been very ill.

And everything bothers him.

And if I don't have this letter for him when I go home he'll be awfully upset.

Why should he?

Well you see ..

I am afraid that ..

He said a lot of very strong things and ..

He regrets them now.

You can explain to him that it won't be delivered.

It'll be held here until the form comes back.

Yes. But it is so hard to reason with a person who is ill.

Well, you know how it is.

They exaggerate the importance of everything.

And what with his heart condition I wouldn't want to take a chance.

Really, I must have the letter for him when I go home now.

I must.

Mrs Jones, I think I can take a chance.

I'll let you fill out the form for your husband.

That's very nice of you. On one condition.

I of course must make sure of the contents of the letter.

What do you mean?

It will be strictly confidential but the letter must be opened and read.

Open the letter?

Yes. To make sure that it is the letter to the district attorney as you say.

No. You can't!

I won't have anyone prying into my husband's mail.


I want that letter back. Do you understand?


Mrs Jones, I was about to tell you if you'd let me finish ..

That I would call your husband for you.

Explain the issue and ask his permission for you to open the letter, not me.

I'm sorry.

I'm very Sorry. I didn't mean to say that.

But you don't seem to understand.

No. I don't understand, Mrs Jones.

And I have no alternative but to send the letter on to the distributing room.

Good day.

Mrs Jones.

Mrs Jones.

I don't want to intrude.

But I couldn't help noticing you all day long.

I've had the feeling that you ..

That something was wrong.

And I would so like to be able to help you.

I know we haven't been too neighborly.

But trouble is something else again.

Can I help you?

Is there something I can do for you?

Of course I know you are anxious to get up to your husband.

So you run up and see if he is comfortable and settled.

Then you come over.

Or call me.

I'll be waiting for you.

"She was kind."

"She might have been my friend."

"She might have helped me."

"Then I remembered Rann."

"He said he was going to stop in again to see George."

"I couldn't let him do that."

"He mustn't come here again."


Dr Grahame's office.

"Hello. This is Mrs Jones. Is Dr Grahame there?"

He isn't here, Mrs Jones.

Can you locate him please. It's urgent.

"If it's an emergency I could trace him through his house calls."

Please do.

It is very important that Dr Grahame doesn't come here today.

I hope you understand.

"Of course. I will do my best. Goodbye."


[ Doorbell ]

Doctor, I just called your office and told the nurse ..

What is it?


George told me he wanted to consult another doctor.

And I did too. And he just left and ..

And I really think it would be better if you didn't see him again today.


What doctor did you call?

Oh ..

I'm sorry. I have forgotten his name.

I called a neighbor for her doctor and she gave me his phone number and ..

George liked him very much.


Is he a heart specialist?

Yes. Yes.

That is, I think so.

What was his diagnosis?

I don't know.

Really. George feels much better. I'll call you tomorrow.

Now wait a minute. What's happened really?

Well, you see.


No, no! Please don't. Please!

Don't go up there. It's better for everybody if you just don't go up there.


It ..

Is he dead?



He had a gun.

He tried to kill me but ..

Before I could shoot he ..

He ..

Take it easy.

And so I took the gun out of his hand. And then I hid it.

I had to. It looked as though he had died protecting himself from me.

Alright, Ellen. But why didn't you want me here?

I don't know how to tell you.

That letter said that we planned his death together.

That you told me to aggravate his condition.

To give him overdoses of his heart medicine.

And if they come here and find you here ..

They'll think it's true just as George said.

Ellen, his mind was going. I tried to tell you this morning.

He wasn't responsible. They won't believe me.

How could they?

I did everything wrong. Everything. Just like he said I would.

The druggist and then the postman and then the superintendent.

I even lied to his aunt.

They'll think I was guilty. All of them. You are not guilty, Ellen.

Remember that. I know.

The police will be here any minute. You'd better go. Better go right now.

[ Doorbell ]

Ellen, where are you going?

I don't know.

There is no sense in running away now. Go to the door.


Go to the door.

Hello, Mrs Jones.

I got a letter for you this afternoon.

I didn't put it in the slot because ..


I guess I should feel kinda funny coming here like this.

After what happened between you and me this noon.

But it is alright. I understand.

Here is the letter you gave me to mail this morning.


A surprise. I didn't realise it at first.

A thick letter like that and only one stamp.

Those public officials like the district attorney won't accept postage-due mail.

"Insufficient postage."

Yeah, the other end just won't pay the postage in these cases ..

And we have to return them to the senders. How do you like that?

Not enough postage and we have to deliver them twice.

Yes. A crazy business.

You know, some folks might think I'm stingy.

I know these extra stamps cost only just a few cents but ..

Yes, I understand.

The same for you as everybody else. Yes, I understand it.

Thanks again for the letter, Mr Carston. That's alright, Goodbye.

Thanks again Mr Carston for bringing it. You're welcome.

0h .. it is so funny.

Go ahead. It will do you good.

You know, I ..

I tried so hard.

So hard to get it back.

It's alright, Ellen.

You got it now.

"And then I knew what people meant when they said their heart was broken."

"All that was left of George and me and our marriage."

"Was that little pile of ashes."

"I knew that some way or somehow I would have to begin to live again."

"But right then."

"All I could do was pray to lose that one day."

"That one terrifying day."