The Killers (1946) Script

Ketchup.

What'll it be, gentlemen?

I don't know. What do you want to eat, Al?

I don't know what I want to eat.

I'll have the roast pork tenderloin with the applesauce and mashed potatoes.

That's not ready yet. Then what's it on the card for?

Well, that's on the dinner. You can have that at 6:00.

That clock is ten minutes fast. The dinner isn't ready yet.

Never mind the clock. What have you got to eat?

Well, I can give you any kind of sandwiches, bacon and eggs, liver and bacon, ham and eggs, steaks...

I'll take the chicken croquettes with the cream sauce, the green peas and the mashed potatoes.

That's on the dinner too.

Everything we want's on the dinner. That's the way you work it, huh?

I can give you ham and eggs, bacon and eggs... I'll take ham and eggs.

Give me bacon and eggs.

One ham and, bacon and. Comin' up!

You got anything to drink? I can give you soda, beer, ginger ale...

I said, have you got anything to drink?

No.

This is a hot town. What do you call it? Brentwood.

Did you ever hear of Brentwood?

What do you do here nights?

They eat their dinner.

They all come here and eat the big dinner.

That's right. You're a pretty bright boy, aren't you?

Sure. Well, you're not. Is he, Al?

He's dumb.

Hey, you, what's your name?

Adams. Nick Adams.

Another bright boy. The town's full of bright boys.

[COOK] One ham and, one bacon and.

Which one is yours? Don't you remember, bright boy?

[LAUGHING] What are you laughing at?

Nothing. You see something funny?

No. Then don't laugh.

All right.

He thinks it's all right. Oh, he's a thinker.

What's the bright boy's name down the counter?

I forget.

Hey. Yeah?

You go around the other side of the counter.

What? You heard me.

What's the idea? There isn't any idea.

Better go around, bright boy.

Who's out in the kitchen?

Only the cook. Tell him to come in.

Say, where do you... Use your head!

Tell the cook to come out here.

Sam. Yeah?

Come here.

What was it?

I'm going out to the kitchen with him and bright boy.

Come on back, you two.

If anybody comes in, you tell 'em the cook is off.

What's it all about?

Hey, Al, bright boy wants to know what it's all about.

[AL] Why don't you tell him? What do you think it's all about?

I don't know. What do you think?

I wouldn't say.

Hey, Al, bright boy says he wouldn't say what he thinks it's all about.

Hey, you. Come here.

I'll tell you what's gonna happen.

We're gonna kill the Swede.

You know the big Swede works over at that filling station?

You mean Pete Lunn?

If that's what he calls himself.

Comes in every night at 6:00, don't he? Yes, if he comes.

We know all about that.

What are you going to kill him for? What did Pete Lunn ever do to you?

He never had a chance to do anything to us.

He never even seen us. He's only going to see us once.

What are you going to kill him for?

We're killing him for a friend. Shut up. You talk too much.

I got to keep bright boy amused, don't I?

What are you going to do with us afterwards?

That'll depend.

That's one of those things you never know at the time.

[FOOTSTEPS]

Hello, George. Hello, Fred.

Can I have supper? Sam's out.

He'll be back in about half an hour.

Oh. Well, maybe I better go up the street.

Sorry. That's all right.

[DOOR CLOSES]

That was nice, bright boy.

You're a regular little gentleman.

Lunn won't be in tonight.

What makes you think so? It's after six.

If he comes, it's always before six.

Hear that, Al? Bright boy says he don't think the Swede's going to show up.

Sorry, but we're not serving.

Why not? The cook's away. He's sick.

Then why don't you get another cook?

Are you running a lunch counter or aren't you?

You, bright boy.

That on the level about the Swede not showin' up tonight?

Yeah. You wouldn't fool us, would you?

When he's not here by six, he's not coming.

No, he ain't fooling.

He'd know better than to fool.

Come on, Al. What about those two back there?

Bright boy, here.

They're all right. Think so?

Sure.

You got a lot of luck, bright boy.

That's the truth.

You ought to play the races.

Oh, dear.

I'm glad we're all alive.

This never happened in this town before.

I don't like it. I don't like any part of it.

It's all right, Sam. They were going to kill Pete Lunn.

They were going to shoot him when he came in to dinner.

The Swede? Yes.

I don't get it. Why would anyone want to kill the Swede?

They've gone over to the station. They'll probably get his address from the daybook.

Nick.

You work with the Swede. You better go and tell him.

I'm going for the cops. You better go tell the Swede first.


Swede!

I was over at Henry's. A couple of guys came in and tied up me and the cook.

They shoved us in the kitchen.

They said they were going to shoot you when you came in to supper.

George thought I ought to come over and tell you.

There's nothing I can do about it. I can tell you what they look like.

I don't want to know what they're like. Thanks for coming.

Don't you want me to go and see the police?

No. That wouldn't do any good. Isn't there something I could do?

There ain't anything to do. Couldn't you get out of town?

No. I'm through with all that runnin' around.

Why do they want to kill you?

I did something wrong once.

Thanks for coming.

Yeah. That's all right.

[SIGHS]

[DOOR OPENING]

[DOOR CLOSING]


[FOOTSTEPS RUNNING AWAY]

[PHONE RINGING]

[MAN] Brentwood Police Station.

The chief is busy now. He'll call you back.

The way I look at it, this killing doesn't rightly concern Brentwood at all.

What concerns us is protecting the lives and property of our citizens.

This man Lunn lived here, that's all.

The killers came from out of town, and they were here looking for Lunn.

They ain't gunning for anyone else in town.

They made their getaway, and what happens to 'em from here on in is up to the state police.

It's out of our hands. This is what I'm looking for.

"Beneficiary: Mary Ellen Daugherty. Palms Hotel, Atlantic City." Relative?

Haven't checked yet.

Souvenir, I guess.

Yeah. Could be.

What do you know about Lunn? Not much.

Came here about a year ago.

Lived at a boardinghouse out on Spruce Street. Mrs. Hirsch's.

Never made any friends, as far as I can make out. Kept pretty much to himself.

Ma Hirsch says she can't ever remember him getting any mail even.

Well?

They weren't any of these guys. That's for certain.

These two boys saw the killers. They came into Henry's Diner looking for Lunn.

Said right out they were gonna kill him when he came in.

Just happened Nick Adams was in the place that night.

He and Lunn worked together at the filling station.

I ought to be getting back on the job. If you're done with me for now, I'd better go.

You can go. Say, Adams.

What kind of a fellow was the Swede?

It's okay, Nick. Mr. Riordan's from the insurance company.

Ah, he wasn't a bad sort of fellow.

You got along with him all right on the job?

Sure. Easy enough to get along with.

Uh-huh. Think I'll have a look at the body.

Right. Nick, you take Mr. Riordan down to Pluthner and introduce him.

Mr. Pluthner's in charge of our county morgue.

Thanks. I'd like to have a chat with Nick anyway.

Anything else I can do, let me know.

I'd like a copy of the report on Lunn's fingerprints soon... as you get it from Washington. I'll send it right on to you.

Fine. Mind if I keep this? Keep it. Sure.

Thanks again.

Tell me, Nick, the last time you and the Swede were together...

[DOOR CLOSES]

Hello, Nick. What's on your mind?

Mr. Pluthner, this is Mr. Riordan. The chief asked me to bring him down.

I'm with the Atlantic Casualty Company.

Tri-States Oil carries a group policy with us on its employees.

Lunn worked for them. Well, the policy is now payable.

Got eight slugs in him. Near tore him in half.

"Once I did something wrong." Huh?

Those were his last words to Nick here.

I wonder what he meant. "Once I did something wrong."

I don't know, but it was something a long time ago.

How do you know that? Just the way he said it.

Like it was something happened a long time back.

Did the Swede eat his supper at the diner every night?

Yeah.

I wonder why he didn't show the night the killers were there.

He'd been staying home for a few days. He didn't feel so good.

What was the matter with him? I don't know.

Stomach or something.

It started Thursday, a week ago.

I was at the filling station.

About an hour before closing, a guy drives in in a big black car.

Caddy, I think it was.

Fill 'er up. Ethyl. Yes, sir.

[MAN] Hey, you!

Look at the oil, will ya?


It's okay.

Check the rear tires.

Wipe the windshield.


This town got a name?

Yeah. What is it?

Brentwood. Brentwood?

3.83 with the tax. Here, kid. Thanks.

Thank you.

Brentwood, huh?

Nick, you close up. I'm going home.

What's the matter, Swede? Are you sick?

Yeah.

I feel kind of sick.

[NICK] And he walked off rubbing his stomach, and he didn't come to work next day.

Only time I knew him to miss a day.

You didn't notice the license plates on the car, did you?

It was an out-of-state car, though.

Illinois, I think, or maybe Pennsylvania.

And the man in the car, what did he look like?

Well, he was kind of heavyset. Had a mustache.

Look, mister, if you don't mind, I'm feelin' kind of sick myself.

Yeah.

I want to call Newark, honey. Market 3-2-600.

Uh, Brentwood 2-7-7.

This is Riordan. Let me have my office, please.

Hello, Stella? I'm still up in Brentwood. Yeah.

I've had some postmortem photographs made of this fellow Lunn.

I'm sending you in a print. He's got broken knuckles, a fighter's hands.

Have one of the boys take the picture over to Kelly's gym.

See if anyone there can identify him. Get me anything you can on the guy.

What? Oh, that can wait till I come in tomorrow.

Well, tell the boys I've taken a run down to Atlantic City.

I want to interview Lunn's beneficiary.

[WOMAN] Around here, Mr. Riordan, they all call Mary Ellen "Queenie."

She should be here any minute.

She's usually home from church by now.

There she is.

Queenie, will you come here a minute?

This is Mr. Riordan.

Hello, Queenie.

Thank you, Mrs. Grimes.

Sit down, Queenie. Thank you, sir.

I have news for you. It may be good, it may be bad, according to your feeling for the deceased.

Oh, did somebody die, sir? Pete Lunn.

Who, sir? Pete Lunn.

Oh, I know no one of that name.

Well, you must have known him, Queenie. You're his beneficiary.

His what, sir?

His life was insured for $2,500. It's payable to you.

Oh.

Oh, there must be some mistake.

Nobody would be leaving me that much money.

There aren't any other Mary Ellen Daughertys employed here, are there?

No, sir.

Oh. Him it is!

Who? Oh, the man in 1212.

But... But his name was never Lunn.

It was, um, uh, Nelson.

That's who that is. That's Mr. Nelson.

And you only knew him as a guest in the hotel?

Yes, sir. Oh, but that was years ago.

The year of the hurricane. 1940, that was.

I remember because it was when my sister's youngest was born.

Was it a natural death he was dying, Mr. Riordan?

No, Queenie. He was murdered.

Murder, you say?

How long did Mr. Nelson, as you call him, stay here?

Well, I couldn't say exactly, sir, but no longer than a few days.

And you never saw him before those few days or after?

Never, sir.

Why do you suppose he made his insurance payable to you?

For the life of me, sir... Murder, it was?

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Poor Mr. Nelson.

Well, there's one thing to be thankful for.

He can sleep in consecrated ground.

What do you mean by that? The sin was not on his own soul.

Why did you think he'd killed himself?

Well, sir, now maybe I shouldn't be tellin' it.

No, go ahead, Queenie.

Well, sir, I was makin' my rounds.

I was on night duty then, turnin' down the beds, and I came into 1212.

Oh! It was a sight to behold!

She's gone.

She's gone! Who's gone, mister?

Don't do it, mister! Mister, don't! Please, mister.

Oh, if you did, you'd never see the face of God.

You'd burn in hell to the end of time. Oh, you mustn't, mister.

Oh, blessed Mother of God, help me. Oh, please.

She's gone!

Charleston was right. He was right.

Charleston was right.

[WOMAN] Atlantic Casualty, claim department.

There's your party. Go ahead.

Good morning, Stella. Good morning, dream boy.

Mr. Kenyon wants to see you. What about the Swede? Pete Lunn.

Oh, my notes aren't transcribed yet. Uh-huh.

You sent for me? What are you working on?

The Lunn case. That one of those $2,500 death benefits?

That's right. Forget it.

There's a damaged freight claim... Ever hear of anyone called Charleston?

Charleston.

There was a petty-larceny thief. Why?

Does a green handkerchief decorated with golden harps mean anything to you?

What are you talking about, a green handkerchief?

Did you ever try to remember something like somebody's name, have it on the tip of your tongue almost, then, just as you're about to say it, lose it? I guess so.

Well, that's how it is with me and this green handkerchief.

It's real silk. Whose was it? The dead man's.

Listen. I'm trying to run an organization.

The number of claims piled up here...

I could use six other investigators and still be behind.

And you're off fooling around with a two-for-a-nickel shooting.

But this isn't a two-for-a-nickel shooting.

Two professional killers show up in a small town... and put the blast on a filling station attendant, a nobody.

There was no attempt at robbery. They were out for only one thing.

To kill him. Why?

I don't know. And what's more, I don't care.

Here, get to work on these.

Give me a couple of more days. Maybe a bell will ring.

I'd fire you if I didn't know you'd go right over to more money at the Prudential.

Go ahead. One more day.

[TYPEWRITER CLICKING]

Never mind typing it up. You can do that later. Read it to me, huh?

Kelly's gym was a good hunch.

"Real name: Ole Anderson. Born: Philadelphia, June 23, 1908.

"Mother died 1909. Father employed by Philadelphia Transit Company.

"Died: 1916. Started fighting professionally in 1928.

"Weight: 173.

Last fight: Philadelphia Sports Arena, October 1935."

I knew those hands were no accident.

"Three years later, October 1938, arrested in Philadelphia for robbery.

"Sentenced to three years of hard labor by Justice Reagan.

Released for good behavior in May of '40." That's all I could get.

That's enough. Look, call up Reynolds on the ledger. Give him the story.

He's done good turns for us.

And try and see if you can locate an old-time thief named Charleston, will you?

Oh, by the way, who made that pinch on Anderson?

Detective Lieutenant Lubinsky. Philadelphia, fifth precinct.

Uh-huh. See you later.

[WOMAN] Sam! Yes?

Someone to see you. Out here.

Lieutenant Lubinsky? That's right.

What can I do for you?

Sit down, Mr. Riordan.

It's all right. They're dry.

I don't know whether you remember, but you once arrested a man named Ole Anderson.

I remember. Well, he's been murdered.

Insured with your company? Yes.

Okay, what do you want to know?

Anything you can tell me.

I can tell you almost everything about Ole up until the last few years.

This was his stamping ground?

Came from the 12th ward, right here in Philly. Both of us did.

His old man and mine worked together. His was a motorman, mine a conductor.

Ole and I ran around together when we were kids.

I joined the department. He started fightin'. We always kept in touch.

And you put the pinch on him?

When you're a copper, you're a copper.

Seems like I was always in there when he was losing.

Did you ever see him fight?

I don't think so. Not that I remember.

He was pretty good. Take an awful lot of punishment.

Yeah. I saw his first fight and I saw his last, though I didn't get there till the start of the last round.

He was fightin' Tiger Lewis.

Hiya, Lieutenant.

[WHISTLE BLOWING]

[CROWD CHATTERING]

All right, seconds out. Come on, fella, let's clear the ring. Outside.

Now use your right, Swede. He's wide open, and it's the last round.

Keep throwin' your right. [BELL RINGS]

[CROWD SHOUTING]

Hello, Pete. Has he got a chance?

He's gettin' murdered. Can't last.

Your right, Swede. Let go with your right.

Break it up, boys. Step back.

One, two, three, four, five, six, Take nine, Swede. Take nine. seven, eight, nine...

What's the matter with you, Swede? Use your right! Your right!

[CROWD CHEERING, SHOUTING]

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... [BELL RINGING]

[CROWD YELLING, BOOING]

The winner! [CROWD WHISTLING, CHEERING]

Hey, Swede. Swede? Do you know who I am?

Uhh. Who am I?

You're... You're... Say who I am.

Who am I? Say my name.

[WHISTLES] Take a look at that hand.

Gee. No wonder he didn't throw his right.

Hey, Doc. In there, please.

Take a look at this.

Have him come into my office in the morning for an x-ray.

No wonder. What round's comin' up?

[MAN] The fight's over, Swede.

Yeah. You'd better get him under the shower.

He's fought his last fight. Yeah. Just my luck.

Well, he wasn't no Mickey Walker or no Rosenbloom, but he'd done all right.

I figure I'm out about ten G's. That ain't hay for me these days.

How you doing, Ole?

What happened? You were on the deck when the bell rang.

Yeah?

See that he gets hot and cold compresses... on that hand tonight to take the swelling down.

Swelling down, swelling up. It don't make no difference now.

Ah, cheer up, Packy. There's more where he came from.

Ten G's is ten G's.

How'd ya like that Irish kid that was fourth on the card? That Callahan.

He's a powerhouse, that boy. Wagner's got him.

I bet you could buy Callahan off Wagner for two, three hundred.

Anyway, it won't go down in the record books as a K.O., will it?

That's right, Ole.

There's no use hanging around here. I never did like wakes. Good night.

[LUBINSKY] Good night. Yeah, good night, fellas.

I bet you that Callahan would get your ten G's back for you.

That guy was a cinch.

I could have taken him easy if my right had been workin'.

Well, next time.

There isn't gonna be a next time.

What do you mean, no next time?

You might as well know it right now.

You're through. Huh?

That hand will never be good again. Not for fighting.

Who said so? The doc, for one.

Maybe he's wrong.

He's not wrong, Ole. The bones are all broken.

Well, they can mend, can't they?

Not so's you can hit a toy balloon without breakin' 'em all over again.

No. You're done fightin', Ole.

And if you want my opinion, it's a lucky thing. You aren't punchy yet.

Suppose it was your brains were scrambled instead of your hand.

I ain't quittin'.

It's not quittin' if your hand's gone.

I stayed the limit, didn't I? That's right.

They can't take that away from you.

Want to eat? Yeah.

Last time there were 50 guys outside... just waitin' to shake this.

Funny when you lose a fight, ain't it?

Hello, Lilly. Oh.

Hi. Hello, Swede. You all right?

Yeah.

I guess you don't feel like much celebration tonight.

Maybe you'd like to come over to my house. I'll cook up something to eat.

Well, Lilly, I'll tell you. Right now, I'm... I'm not hungry.

You invited the wrong guy. Ah, you. You were born hungry.

Did you see the fight?

I was in my regular seat.

I didn't notice tonight.

Hey, what was the matter with your right?

He hurt it.

Too bad, Ole. You'd have taken him sure.

Yeah.

Well, Lilly, I... I know, Ole.

Guess I better be going on home.

Yeah, I'll call you up tomorrow. Okay.

Good night, Sam. I'll be seeing you, Lilly.

What am I going to do if I quit fightin'?

Well, there's always the department.

No, I wouldn't want to be a copper.

It's not a bad life, Ole. Twenty years and you've got a pension.

And it's $2,200 a year to start.

$2,200 a year.

You know something?

Some months I made that much in one month.

Some months.

[LUBINSKY] After that I didn't see much of Ole.

It wasn't my fault. Just one of those things.

[WOMAN] Sam! Yes?

Open the door.

Whew! It's getting muggy.

Thought you might like some lemonade.

Swell. This is Mr. Riordan.

My wife. How are you?

We were just talking about Ole. Poor boy.

You knew him, Mr. Riordan? No.

Mr. Riordan is investigating his death.

He was a good boy. No one had any call to kill him.

Lilly knew Ole too. The three of us were together a good part of the time.

She was always in love with him. Sam!

And I was always in love with her. [LAUGHS]

Worked out fine for me anyway.

I haven't been too unhappy myself.

How recently had you seen the Swede, Mrs. Lubinsky?

Oh, not since Sam and I got married. Just about nine years ago.

September the 26th. Ole was best man.

It was about six months before that that Ole and I, well, uh, stopped seeing each other.

Just about. Why was that?

I don't mean to be out of line, but your husband will tell you, we have so little to work on. Anything may help.

Oh, I don't mind telling you, though it's not very flattering.

Ole and I had a date to go to the movies.

At least, I thought that's where we were going... until we went into this hotel.

♪♪ [PIANO]

Who's giving this party? Some guy lives here.

Jake gave us the invite. Jake who?

Jake, the fella I introduced you to in the restaurant the other night.

Oh. I don't like him. Why?

He's got mean eyes.

Him and me may be going into business.

Look, honey, you go on ahead. I got a headache.

Since when? Aw, come on. You'll have a good time.

♪♪ [PIANO]

Hello. Come in, folks. Come in.

Swede, good to see you. How's it, Jake?

Fine, fine.

And it's good to see the little lady too.

What was your name again, honey? Miss Harmon.

Miss Harmon. Swell.

Blinky, you know the Swede. Oh.

Miss Harmon, Blinky Franklin. How do you do?

At the piano, Lou Tingle, and our hostess, Miss Collins.

Kitty, Mr. Anderson and Miss Harmon.

Hello.

What are you drinking, Miss Harmon? Ginger ale, please. Plain.

Swede? Rye and water.

Ah, Blinky. Yeah?

Rye and water and ginger ale plain.

Make yourself at home, folks.

Jake tells me you're a fighter. Do you like the fights?

I'm afraid I've never seen one.

No kiddin'! I hate brutality, Mr. Anderson.

The idea of two men beating each other to a pulp makes me ill.

I saw all Swede's fights.

How wonderful of you.

I could never bear to see a man I really care for being hurt.

[JAKE] Kitty.

Oh, excuse me.

She's beautiful. Yes.

Plain ginger ale for you, lady.

I've changed my mind. You can sweeten it now.

No trouble whatsoever.

It's a nice apartment.

Must cost a fortune to keep it up.

I'll bet they need two servants at least to take care of it.

♪ The more I know of love ♪

♪ The less I know it ♪ Here's your drink, lady.

- ♪ The more I give to love ♪ I said, here's your drink, lady.

- ♪ The more I owe it ♪ Oh, thank you very much.

♪♪ [HUMMING]

♪♪ [VOCALIZING]

Sit down. Me?

Nice apartment. Big Jim likes to live well.

Big Jim? Yeah. Colfax.

He's not here tonight? Tonight? No, ma'am.

Nor last night nor tomorrow night. Not for a lot of nights.

Big Jim has his time all booked up.

[JAKE] Jim's out of town, Miss Harmon.

♪ A heartbreak or two ♪

♪ The more I know of love ♪

♪ And you ♪♪

[LILLY] Right then I knew the boat had sailed.

I just got my things and went on home.

[LAUGHS] I don't think Ole even missed me.

He'd never been in love before.

Poor Ole. When he did fall, it had to be for dynamite.

Who's Big Jim? Colfax? A thief with a touch of class.

Was in jail at the time. Went straight after he came out.

That was seven, eight years ago.

And the Swede went crooked? I know what you're thinking, Mr. Riordan.

I seem like a good deal of a heel, don't I?

First, I marry Ole's girl. Then I send him up for three years.

Oh, now don't talk nonsense, Sam. I wasn't Ole's girl, not when I married you.

And you didn't set out to arrest him.

That's right.

Lil and I had been married about a month then.

And one night, I went into Lou Tingle's cafe.

I'd been given a tip on some hot jewelry.

[CHATTERING] ♪♪ [PIANO]

[CHATTERING CONTINUES]

Hello, Sam. Hiya, Charlie.

Miss Bryson, Lieutenant Lubinsky.

How're tricks, Sam? It's been a long time.

You're partly to blame for that. Only 90 days' worth.

No hard feelings.

Who's the girl sittin' next to Jake the Rake?

Name of Collins.

She got any other names? None that I know of.

She couldn't be Kitty Collins, could she?

Waiter!

[NO AUDIBLE DIALOGUE]

Yes, sir?

More coffee. Yes, sir.

She's Big Jim Colfax's girl, isn't she? Or used to be.

Ole Andreson's girl now, or so I hear.

Good night, Ginny.

Don't you know what happens to little boys who play with matches?

Just a minute.

Pretty, isn't it? I never saw it before in my life.

I don't know anything about it.

I swear, Lieutenant. Get your street clothes on.

This belong to you?

That? Me? No.

Maybe you know who the owner is. I haven't any idea.

Not you, Jake?

How about the rest of you?

Well, since it was Kitty here had it on, I guess she'll have to be the one I take in.

Let's go, Kitty. [WOMAN] Hi, Swede.

Hello, Barbara.

Oh, thank you.

Hello, everybody. Kitty, Jake. All set to go?

I finally got some front row...

Sam! Well, I'll be! How are you, boy?

Okay, Ole. Okay.

You seem to be doing all right. That numbers racket really pays off.

Boy, you know everything. This is one smart copper.

You know how long him and me knows each other? Since we were little kids.

How about a fast drink?

What's the matter?

[SOBBING]

Kitty, what is it?

I'm runnin' her in, Swede.

You mean a pinch? That's what I mean.

But you can't do this, Sam.

You're not going to try and stop me, are you, Ole?

Don't you worry, honey. Nothing's gonna happen to you.

Sam, let's go sit down and talk... Some other time, Ole.

But be reasonable, Sam. You don't understand. Kitty here and me are...

I know. I know. But I'm only interested in this.

Sorry your girl had to be wearin' it, but that's how it goes.

If your girl happens to be a shoplifter... It's not true, Swede.

I didn't take it. I had no idea it was stolen.

Swede, make him listen. I'll give it back. I'll do anything if he'll just let me go.

Please, don't let him take me in, Swede, or they'll throw the book at me.

Sam.

I'm asking you for old time's sake.

There's nothing I can do, Ole. Come on. Wait a minute.

You don't want her, Sam.

I swiped that stuff myself.

I was lettin' her wear it just for tonight.

I'm the one you're after. Get me?

Try and get me.

[LUBINSKY] Of course, we did get him the next day.

He was trying to catch a bus to New York.

I pleaded with him to tell the truth, but he stuck to his story.

It got him three years.

I went down to the train when they took him away, and that was the last I ever saw of him.

You'd have never known that right of his was broken, the way it felt.

What became of Kitty? Oh, she went her own sweet way.

Haven't heard of her in years.

Oh, Lilly. Yes, dear.

You better get ready.

We're burying Ole this afternoon, Mr. Riordan.

Us and Packy Robinson.

When I read in the papers about him being dead, I sent to Brentwood for his body.

I figured we owed him a decent send-off.

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

He that raised up Jesus from the dead will also quicken... our mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in us.

Riordan, if you ever find out who killed Ole, let me in on it.

Who's the man with the derby?

Packy was his manager.

And the guy with him? Joe Smalley, his trainer.

[MINISTER] At thy right hand, there is pleasure forevermore.

Who's the other fellow over there?

Oh, an old-time hoodlum named Charleston.

[MINISTER] And we commit his body to the ground.

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

[ALL CHATTERING]

Charleston don't talk, see.

Even if he's worked over head to foot by experts.

Charleston never talks. Good enough.

You know what happened to the Swede?

I know plenty, mister.

Plenty. Only I ain't tellin'.

Old Charleston's the little monkey with his hands over his mouth.

How well did you know the Swede?

Me?

Mister, I guess me and the Swede were about as close as two guys can get.

For nearly two years, we weren't never more than eight and a half feet apart.

That's how big the cell was.

There's Jupiter. Mmm.

Jupiter's a planet.

Do you know how many planets there are circlin' the sun?

How many? Nine.

Jupiter's to the earth like a... like a football is to a marble.

That big.

Then on the other hand, Mars ain't no bigger than a bean.

That small.

How come you know so much about the stars?

Oh, I don't know.

Exceptin' after lights out, nights I couldn't sleep...

I used to look at 'em through the bars.

I knew they had names, and pretty soon I got to wonderin' which was which.

So I got me a book from the prison library... and began to study up on 'em.

I don't guess there's a better place in the whole world... for learning about stars than stir.

That up there's the constellation of Orion.

Where? There.

Otherwise known as the "Big Bear." You see that bright star in the center?

That's Betelgeuse, the "Red Giant."

The brightest star in all the heavens.

Only it's so far away it don't seem like it.

Charleston.

Yeah?

You know what harps mean? Angels play 'em.

They mean Ireland.

That's why they call them Mick's Harps.

Kitty's Irish.

She gave me this.

A couple of more weeks, you'll be out. Yeah.

I want you to do something for me. You name it.

It's been a long time since I heard from Kitty.

[SIGHS] Yeah, I know.

Look her up. See if she's okay, will you?

Sure thing. Maybe she's sick or somethin'.

[SIGHS] I'm worried.

Swede, I studied up on girls times I wasn't in stir.

And you know what?

A girl don't write, that don't mean she's sick like you might think.

Not necessarily.

[CHARLESTON] Yes, sir, I guess you'd say I knew the Swede real well.

Did you find out about his girl?

No, sir, I didn't.

I didn't find out a thing. And do you know why?

Because she didn't live there anymore.

But you saw the Swede again?

Sure, after he got out.

When was the last time you saw him?

Mister, did you say when? Yes.

Mister, when it comes to dates, 1492 is the only one I can remember.

I can tell you what was the last time, but not where nor when or who was present.

All right. What was the last time?

That's better. Much better.

Word was passed along to me... that a certain party wanted to see me.

I was to be at a certain place... at a certain time and bring the Swede.

He'd just got out a couple days before.

Sit down!

Never knew a guy who was in stir more than ten years... didn't walk up and down all the time.

Oh, it ain't that. It's just I get nervous sittin' still.

Well, we get nervous, you walking up and down all the time.

What are we waitin' for anyway? Want to play some blackjack?

Not with you I don't. I know your reputation.

What about my reputation? Nothin' about it.

I just don't want to play blackjack with you, that's all.

[LAUGHS]

Cut for deal.

Anyhow, I didn't come up here to play cards.

You were going to tell us about a caper. Go ahead.

We're waiting for the Swede to show. Well, I'm tired of waiting.

You can leave anytime you want, friend.

Come on, easy does it, fellas. Easy does it.

I don't like to be asked to come up here and then told I can go.

Who do you think you're pushin' around?

A minute ago we were talking about reputations.

Well, you've got quite a reputation yourself.

You're supposed to be a troublemaker.

Okay, make some.

[KNOCKING]

[KNOCKING CONTINUES]

Who's there? It's me. Anderson.

Hello, Swede. Good evening.

Glad to see you, Swede. Hello.

How are you, Charleston? [KITTY] Hello, Swede.

Hello.

[MAN 1] I take it you know everybody.

Yeah. Grab yourself a chair.

[MAN 2] Now that the Swede's here, maybe we can get started.

Yeah, what's the pitch? It's big.

The biggest caper that's been pulled around here in years.

It should be good for better than 250 grand.

Bank job? Uh-uh. Payroll.

[MAN 2] Where?

I'll tell you that when you decide whether you're in or not.

How am I to decide if I don't know what the layout is?

That's your problem, but I'll tell you this:

The job's been cased backwards and forwards.

The getaway's been fixed and we've got ten days to plan every last move.

[BLINKY] Would just us be in on it? Uh-huh.

What'll the split be?

I take the first hundred grand. The rest you divide to suit yourselves.

Who declared you in for the big slice?

I declared myself.

If you don't like the setup, declare yourself out.

And no hard feelings.

What about her?

She's with me.

It's a four-way split then without you. What about it?

I'm in, provided the rest of us share and share alike.

No more long splits. Okay by me. You?

You twitch a lot, friend. Nervous, huh?

Carrying the monkey on your back, ain't you?

I was. I'm not anymore. Is that straight?

He wouldn't be here if it wasn't.

Okay, I'm in.

Charleston?

Count me out. What's the matter?

Oh, I don't know...

[MAN 1] Something about the setup you don't like?

Maybe it's too big. I don't get you.

If it's as big as you claim, it's not going to be any easy pickin's.

Nothing that big ever is.

And that's what I want from here on in. Easy pickin's.

It'd go just as hard with you if you were taken for stickin' up a shine parlor.

Yes, that's right, but the chances of being taken aren't as many.

I don't know. Maybe... Maybe I'm just gettin' old.

It's like you were saying before the Swede come in.

I've done a lot of time.

I've spent almost half my life in stir, and I don't intend to spend any more.

Okay, Charleston. So long.

So long.

No offense. No offense.

What about you, Swede?

I'm in.

Right. So long, Swede.

Be seeing you, Charleston.

Do you want a word of advice? Huh?

Stop listening to those golden harps, Swede.

They can land you into a lot of trouble.

What are you drivin' at?

[CHARLESTON] I left him, and I waited out in the hall.

I had hoped he'd walk out too, but he never showed up.

And I never seen the Swede again.

[SIGHS] I was sorry...

'cause him and me...

We had some good talks about the stars.

Good morning, Stella. Good morning, dream boy.

I got that dope on Charleston for you.

Working in a Philadelphia pool hall. 1700 block on Chestnut.

What am I doing here? Don't change the subject.

See if you can get anything on a girl named Kitty Collins.

Well, the bell rang. What bell?

The green handkerchief. I just came from the library. Take a look at this.

"Bandits rob hat factory of quarter-million payroll.

Prentiss Hat Company in Hackensack victim of daring holdup."

What's the connection? Well, read it.

"The Prentiss Hat Company in Hackensack, New Jersey, "was the victim yesterday of a sensational robbery.

"Each step of the holdup had obviously been carefully planned, "and police officials are certain the job was masterminded...

"by someone with firsthand knowledge of the hat company's operations.

"Shortly before 8:00, four men, "all wearing employee identification badges, "joined the incoming day shift at the Prentiss factory.

"There was nothing unusual about the interlopers...

"as they lined up with the other employees, "and the gatekeeper had no reason for suspicion...

"as the four robbers sauntered through the gate, "ostensibly on their way to work.

"At the Prentiss factory, the paymaster's office...

"is just across the yard from the employees' gate.

"Apparently, the strangers merely crossed the yard, "loitered near the stairway that leads to the cashier's office, "and then entered the building, taking their own sweet time in the move.

"A few seconds later, while the paymaster and his assistants...

"were working on routine tasks in connection with company business, "the holdup men suddenly appeared.

"At the point of drawn guns, "they performed the robbery with detailed precision.

"Two of the bandits proceeded to rifle...

"the company's safe and paymaster's till...

"while the others bound and gagged the Prentiss employees.

"They then left hastily, "using the same door through which they had previously entered.

"They took with them the company's entire semi-monthly payroll...

"amounting to $254,912.

"Entering the yard again, the bandits fell in behind a truck...

"that was just leaving the factory.

"With the gates open to permit the truck to exit into the street, "the holdup men dashed into the clear...

"and made their way to three cars that had been planted earlier for the escape.

"The gatekeeper, Henry Wilson, of411 Spring Street, "ran into the street, firing a warning shot...

"and shouting for them to stop.

"When they ignored his command, Wilson fired first at one car, "and then at another that was having trouble in the getaway.

"This latter car returned the fire as it sped past Wilson, "and the gatekeeper fell to the ground with a bullet in his groin.

"He is now in the Hackensack hospital, "where doctors say he will probably recover.

"The four bandits all had their faces covered during the actual robbery, "so no detailed description is available.

"One of them, however, is described by the paymaster as wearing...

"an unusual green handkerchief decorated with golden harps over his face.

State and local police are investigating."

"Unusual green handkerchief."

They sell those by the thousand every St. Patrick's Day.

But this is the one that was used in that holdup.

How do you know that? Follow me.

Take an ex-pug named the Swede, falls for a girl named Kitty Collins.

He takes a three-year rap for her.

When he gets out, he's brought into a robbery setup... through an old-time thief named Charleston.

There's a girl present the night of the big powwow.

Charleston wouldn't name names, but my guess is that same Kitty Collins.

Go on.

The Prentiss Hat robbery was July 20, 1940.

That same night, the Swede and an unidentified woman... check into a small hotel in Atlantic City.

Two days later the woman takes a powder, and the Swede tries to pile out a window.

A chambermaid saves his life, and he's grateful enough to leave her his insurance.

Is that all? Just about.

Until six years later, we find the Swede in Brentwood.

As far as anyone knows, a filling-station attendant.

Except... he's waiting for some killers to come and get him.

Huh. Nice of him to hang on to this, wasn't it? Without it, I'd have gone on about my business and the whole thing would have blown over.

Forget it. What?

It's not worth your time.

But we insured Prentiss Hat. There's a quarter of a million dollars... of Atlantic Casualty money that's never been recovered.

Riordan, you know the insurance business.

The losses in any one year determine the premium to be paid the following.

We pay out in 1940, as we did with Prentiss Hat.

That's adjusted in our rates for 1941. This is 1946.

Our job is to keep our losses at a minimum... so that the rates don't have to go up in 1947. That's how we serve the public.

And you're not interested in recovering this money?

Oh, sure I am, if you knew just where to lay your hands on it, but you don't.

You have a hunch about one man who may have been in the holdup.

He's dead. Aside from that, you know nothing.

I didn't know that two days ago. [TELEPHONE RINGS]

Kenyon speaking.

For you.

Riordan. Hello, Lubinsky. How are you?

What? The devil you say. Hold the wire a minute.

Am I still on this case or have I quit Atlantic Casualty?

Well, I... Which is it?

All right. I'll give you a week.

But if you don't turn up the dough, the time comes off your vacation.

Okay, Lubinsky, I'll be with you in an hour.

Two sailors found him lying in a depot washroom in a pool of blood.

The shootin' couldn't have happened more than a minute or two earlier.

Who is he? Ever hear of Blinky Franklin?

That's who he is. Keeps ravin' on and on about the Swede, Dum-dum Clark... and our old friend Kitty Collins. No use my telling you, though.

You can get it straight from the horse's mouth.

What are his chances? Nil.

How long has he got? He's behind schedule now.

That's why I told you to hurry. [MUMBLING]

Hello, Doctor.

If that guy don't call by 10:30, we better get started anyway.

Each one steal his own heap.

Still raining. It would be.

Bet ten. I'll stay.

I never was in a hat factory before. You ain't in this one yet.

He's talking about the night before the Prentiss Hat robbery.

Give me two cards. I'll take three.

If this rain keeps up, it'll be mud up to the axles on them hick roads.

How many miles of dirt road is it to the Halfway House?

I don't like anything about capers in the rain.

Rain always gives me the creeps.

I hate rain. I hate rain.

[MAN] One for the dealer.

Eleven miles to the Halfway House, Blinky, your's and Dum-dum's route.

I can't win a pot. Me either.

How about it, boys? Got all the moves straight in your minds now?

We ought to. We've been over it often enough.

Why don't that guy call? Relax, Dum-dum.

Waitin' on word about cars reminds me that... a couple of birds I used to know once stuck up a theater in L.A.

Everything goes swell... until they go to get in their heap.

You know what? Somebody stolen it.

A traffic cop shoots one of the birds dead... up an alley in back of the theater.

The other bird surrenders with all the money.

Some story. Know any more like it?

Yeah. There's another bird I used to know...

Well, don't tell it! We don't want to listen to your stories, see?

Go ahead, deal the cards.

I fell asleep.

Let me cut before you deal, will ya? What's the matter with you?

What do you mean, what's the matter? You're nervous. You're all in a sweat.

You keep your mouth shut if you don't want it slapped shut.

You been askin' for it lately. Hey!

Any objections? Yeah!

Keep out of this, Swede. She's his girl.

[KITTY] Mind your own business, Swede. I can take care of myself.

You touch me and you won't live till morning.

[CHUCKLES] Come on, Swede, play a few hands.

Move over.

Deal 'em. Deal me out.

[BLINKY] Three cards. [SWEDE] Same.

[COLFAX] One for the dealer. $ 150.

I fold.

Up you $100.

Up you $200. Up you $200.

I'll look. Two pair. Aces and sevens.

Tough. Full house. Eights over deuces.

Reach for that and I'll kick your brains out.

[BLINKY] What did he hit him for? I don't get it.

Nobody can cheat me and get away with it.

[BLINKY] Didn't you think he had 'em?

He oughta showed me his cards before reaching for the pot.

If it wasn't for tomorrow, I'd be for giving you the works.

He should've turned his cards over. Yeah.

The job comes first, but afterwards, we'll have business together.

Anytime you say.

[TELEPHONE RINGS]

Hello. Yeah.

Yeah, this is him.

Uh-huh. What are they?

Uh-huh. Okay.

The cars are waiting at the garages. Everything is okay.

We may as well get goin' then. See you in the morning.

[COLFAX] Yeah. You too, Swede.

He shouldn't have hit you.

You had 'em just like you said. He shouldn't have hit you.

He shouldn't have hit you.

Beats me. I don't know what keeps him going.

Will he be able to talk anymore?

He's dead now, except he's breathing.

Well, guess I'll have to hunt up my old friend, Kitty Collins.

We've got nothing on her. This isn't evidence.

Don't I know it? Swell chance of ever getting... the ravings of a delirious man admitted as testimony.

[MAN] Here's something, Lieutenant.

Hmm. A newspaper story of the Swede's murder... and a bus ticket to Brentwood. They were in his pants pocket.

[BLINKY MUMBLING]

Step on it. Can't you get any more out of it than this?

Looks like a good clean getaway.

It's too bad you had to shoot that guy at the gate.

[RIORDAN] The robbery's over. This is the getaway.

Did it look like 200 G's to you?

Most money I ever saw all at once.

Wonder if the others are playing on the same luck we are.

They should be. They got away before we did.

I guess the Swede made it all right.

I seen him runnin' for his heap and nobody was between him and it.

Sure, he got away.

Keep your eyes peeled for Polk Road.

It's a left turn there. Yeah. A left on Polk Road.

We oughta be there in another five minutes.

Hello, farmer.

[ENGINE APPROACHING, BRAKES SQUEAL, DOOR SLAMS]

Others here yet? [COLFAX] I'm in here.

Hey!

Everything go okay? Yeah.

Definitely.

Oh, boy.

And they aren't marked, either.

[DUM-DUM] No use standin' around lookin' at it. Let's start countin'.

Stand back, you.

All right, heist 'em!

Turn around. You, drop that gun.

Up against the wall. Put your hands up. Higher!

Swell idea you guys had.

Leavin' me holdin' the bag at the Halfway House while you split up the dough, huh?

I'll betcha it handed you a laugh.

The Halfway House burnt down last night. That's why we came here.

Somebody oughta have let me know. You were told. You're here.

Next time, play it straight.

I'll be seein' ya, Swede.

[GUNSHOTS]

[ENGINE STARTING, REVVING]

There goes a quarter of a million dollars! A quarter of a million.

A quarter of a million.

It took him six years to find out where the Swede was hiding.

And then it was too late. Yeah.

I wonder what he and the Swede'll have to say to each other now.

At least we know why Blinky was on his way to Brentwood.

A quarter of a million makes pretty good bait.

I wonder which other one of the gang knocked him off to beat him to the punch.

Hmm. The Swede's room in Brentwood should answer that.

Officer.


[BUZZER BUZZING]

[BUZZING CONTINUES]

[DOOR HINGE CREAKS] [WOMAN] What is it?

[DUM-DUM] Got any rooms? Just one.

Can I see it? This way. Upstairs.

Just got in town.

Fella runs the lunchroom down the street said you had a roomer here.

Name of Lunn, somethin' like that.

Said he died. Thought the room might still be empty.

It still is empty. This is it.

It'll do.

Nine dollars a week, in advance. Okay.

The bathroom's down the hall, the last room on the right.

Here's your money. I'll let you know if I want anything.

All right. [DOOR CLOSES]

[WHISPERING] Is that the man?

I'll go call the police.

[CLATTERING]

[CLATTERING CONTINUES]


[CLOTH RIPPING]

Find anything? Better put your hands up.

What are you after? Same thing you are.

The money from the Prentiss Hat caper.

Where do you come in? I know about it. That's enough.

How do you know about it? Blinky Franklin told me.

Blinky's dead. I know. Sit over there.

Is this a pinch? I'm not a cop.

Then what do you want from me?

You don't know what the Swede did with the money... or you wouldn't be here tearing his room to pieces.

But maybe you do know things that, put together with the things I know, will tell me where the money is.

And the way things stand, I think you'd better answer my questions.

What do you wanna know?

Why did you meet at the farmer's after the robbery... instead of the Halfway House as you'd planned?

Well?

That caper was a long time ago.

Come on, Dum-dum. You remember.

Halfway House burned down the night before the caper.

Uh-huh. And who picked the farmer's?

Mister, you wanna know too much.

Dum-dum, Blinky was killed with your special kind of a bullet out of a.45.

A gun just like this. You makin' a deal?

I can't see you've anything to lose either way.

Who picked the farmer's?

Who do you think? I'm asking, you're answering.

Colfax.

That wouldn't be Big Jim, would it?

When did you get the news of the Halfway House burning down?

We'd all split up by then.

We weren't gonna meet until next mornin' at the factory.

Colfax knew where we all were. He sent us word about the change.

Who by? Kitty?

What time?

She got to my hideout around midnight.

At the farmer's when the Swede stuck you guys up, he claimed he hadn't been told about the switch.

How else would he have known to come to the farmer's?

Did you kill the Swede?

Not me. I never could find him.

I didn't know where he was at until I read in the papers about his gettin' it.

Who did kill him? You got me.

It wasn't Blinky and me. We were after the money.

Would we knock off the one guy could tell us where it was?

And you killed Blinky so he couldn't get here ahead of you.

Aw, I'd have split with him.

I didn't want him to come here. He might of got picked up.

Those kind of guys'll blab anything if you work on 'em right.

Uh, okay if I smoke?

Yeah.

By the way, what's become of Kitty Collins?

Kitty?

Let me see now. Last I heard of Kitty...

Okay, mister. Now it's your turn to answer the questions.

Why'd you wanna know about Kitty?

Come on! Now I'm askin', you're answering.

I think she knows where the money is.

How do you figure? The Swede and some girl... checked into an Atlantic City hotel the night of the holdup.

Two days later, the girl took a powder.

I've got an idea the dough went with her.

What makes you think it was Kitty? She was Colfax's girl.

I'm not arguing with you.

Yeah, yeah. I got it.

You're makin' a sucker play, Dum-dum. The cops are outside waitin' for you.

I'll take care of the cops.

So long, mister. [RIORDAN GRUNTS]

[CREAKING, FOOTSTEPS]

[THUDS] [MAN] There's a man on the roof!

[BELL CLANGING]

Hello, Lieutenant. Glad to see you. Hello.

What gives? I think we're on the home stretch.

Where are we goin'? Pittsburgh.

He doesn't know it yet, but I've got a date with your old friend, Big Jim Colfax.

Remember? Kitty's ex-boyfriend? Yeah. How does he figure?

As the number-one man. He planned the whole Prentiss Hat job.

Where'd you get that? Dum-dum.

He showed, did he, at Brentwood? Yeah.

He also got away after a gun battle. [CONDUCTOR] 'Board!

They found blood on the roof where he'd been hit.

Every cop in Brentwood is claiming credit for the shot.

What were you doing at the time? I was up in the Swede's room, sleeping it off. Big Jim, huh?

He was supposed to have gone legit.

He has. Big contractor now. [MAN] Mr. Riordan?

Here I am. That's me. James Riordan?

Telegram, sir. Thank you.

"Answering your query, Halfway House fire...

"July 20, 1940, at 2:53 a.m.

Signed, Kenny, Chief, Hackensack Fire Department." What's it mean?

Means we're headed in the right direction.

Oh, by the way, did you bring along that extra.45?

Yeah. What happened to yours?

Oh, it got lost or stolen or... Or something.

Mmm. Let's get some shut-eye.

[MACHINES CLANGING]

Mr. Colfax? Yeah.

Not interested in insurance, Mr. Riordan.

I'm not a salesman.

I'm investigating the death of a man named Ole Anderson.

Alias Pete Lunn, but best known as the Swede.

I don't remember any of those names.

Work for me? You could call it that.

How long ago? 1940.

Oh. Hunting season starts pretty soon. I never miss the first day.

I learned that Anderson was a member of a gang... that once robbed the Prentiss Hat Factory of about a quarter of a million.

Oh, yeah. I remember reading about that.

They all got away, didn't they? The law never caught up with any of them.

Not so far. But most of them turned out to be unhealthy.

The farmer died from natural causes.

The Swede and Blinky Franklin were both killed.

Dum-dum went back to Brentwood and got shot in a fight with the police.

Do you know who else was in the gang?

You were.

Me? [CHUCKLES]

No, brother, you're on the wrong track.

I'm an honest citizen.

Seems to have paid off pretty well. I've got no complaints.

People around here... the businessmen and all... they know I served time, but they don't hold it against me.

They figure if a guy's trying to level, he deserves a helping hand.

Nice speech, Colfax. Solid.

Look, Riordan, if you're trying to pin anything on me, go right ahead.

I got nothing to hide. That's your opinion.

Anyhow, I haven't got one shred of evidence against you.

Nothin' but hearsay.

Frankly, it's not you I'm interested in.

I want to find out what's become of a girl named Kitty Collins.

You remember Kitty? Yeah, I remember Kitty.

Maybe I'm not telling you anything, but it was Kitty Collins and not the Swede... that reaped the golden harvest. How do you mean?

When the gang met to divvy up after the robbery, the Swede pulled a fast one and walked off with the whole take.

No wonder he got blasted.

That same night, he and Kitty were together in Atlantic City.

She walked out on him a couple of days later.

The money disappeared when she did.

Is that on the level, Riordan?

A chambermaid at the hotel can identify Kitty... if I can produce her.

Any idea where she's at?

I thought you might be able to tell me.

Right now, I wish I knew.

I'll tell you something, Riordan.

If there's one thing in this world I hate, it's a double-crossing dame.

That guy... What's his name? The Swede?

Never had a chance, did he?

Any one of the gang that ran on to him would have been sure to knock him off.

You might say Kitty Collins signed his death warrant.

[PHONE RINGS]

Hello? Yeah, speaking.

Yeah. Mmm-hmm.

Yeah, he's here with me right now.

Okay.

A fellow named Jake the Rake.

Asking about Kitty? Yeah.

I sent out word that she had till 10:00 tonight to get in touch with me... or I'd take what I know to the police.

So long, Colfax. Glad to have met you.

Say, Riordan. If ya do run on to her, let me know, will ya?

After you're through with her, I'd like to have a word or two with Kitty myself.

We got some unfinished business.

I wonder if that chambermaid can really identify Kitty.

After six years? Not a chance.

But Colfax fell for it. I think Kitty will too.

You know what I think? I think we're nuts waitin' here for that dame to call.

She'll call.

A deuce'll get you four she won't.

I haven't been on the force all these years for nothin'.

I know more about women... [TELEPHONE RINGING]

Yes? Riordan speaking.

Wherever you say, Miss Collins.

The Green Cat on Salton Street?

No. No, thanks. I don't like the Green Cat.

Better make it the lobby of the Adelphi Theater in 20 minutes.

No, I won't be there, but I'll send a man.

The show's already begun, so there won't be any crowd. He'll bring you to me.

Look, there'll be no police. I wanna make a deal.

If you're pinched, that ends that. Figure it out for yourself.

Good. The man'll be waiting.

Blue suit, bow tie.


Got a match?

Never mind. I only wanted to see your tie. I'm ready.

We'll take a cab.

Straight ahead. I'll tell you when to turn.


Where's Riordan? I'm Riordan.

I should have known.

I was hoping you'd call. How'd you know where to find me?

A voice from the past, Jake the Rake, called me.

I took the first plane for Pittsburgh.

Right at the next corner.

Where are we going?

The Green Cat on Salton Street.

Thought you didn't like the Green Cat.

Only when I'm not expected.

♪♪ [PIANO]

♪♪ [PIANO CONTINUES]

Glass of milk, hot. I haven't eaten all day.

Steak sandwich, rare, and a glass of beer.

Very good, sir.

Well, how about it?

How about what, Mr. Riordan? The $254,912.

You think I have it? For your sake, I hope so.

I'm not the law.

My job is to recover money that the company I work for is out.

If the money's gone, well, putting you awayfor20years... would be something to show for my time and effort.

Can you put me away, Mr. Riordan?

Blinky Franklin made a deathbed statement under oath.

There's no stronger testimony.

And there's a chambermaid in an Atlantic City hotel... that has a memory for faces.

Well?

Oh, there's no use kidding myself. I'd do anything you wanted.

Give you every penny I could lay my hands on.

How many pennies is that?

Well, I... I might be able to raise $65,000, $70,000 at the most.

Not enough. That's all I could possibly get together.

I'm not stalling, Mr. Riordan, not now. I know when I'm beaten.

I'm fighting for my life. Not Kitty Collins' life, but mine.

I have a home now and a husband.

I've got a life worth fighting for and there's nothing in this world...

I wouldn't do to keep it just the way it is.

Well, we might still be able to do business... if you put a prize in with the Cracker Jacks.

What do you mean?

I want a fall guy for the law.

Who would that be?

Colfax.

Even the old Kitty Collins never sang, Mr. Riordan.

Well, I'll be moseying along.

Do I tell the police where you live and what time you'll be home?

Oh, please wait. What is it you want?

That's better.

Who planned the robbery?

Colfax. Was the Swede in love with you?

I hadn't seen him for a long time, but the minute I laid eyes on him, I knew.

He was always looking at me, and it doesn't sound like very much, but he always carried a handkerchief I'd given him.

Green... with golden harps?

Steak sandwich? For me. The milk's for the lady.

Mr. Riordan, I'd like you to believe something.

I hated my life, only I wasn't strong enough to get away from it.

All I could do was dream of some big payoff that would let me quit the whole racket.

The Swede was my chance to make my dream come true.

If I could only be alone with him for a few hours.

But Colfax was always there.

I thought it was hopeless, and then suddenly my chance came.

You mean the burning down of the Halfway House.

Colfax sent me to tell the others what had happened, and that they were to meet at the farmer's instead.

I went to Blinky Franklin first and then to Dum-dum.

I saved the Swede till last.

It was nearly2:00 in the morning when I got there.


Kitty!

What's up?

I'm taking my life in my hands coming to you like this.

But I just couldn't stand by, not after what you did for me that time in Philly.

Forget that. Why are you here now?

Colfax thinks I'm on my way to New York. He's meeting me there tomorrow.

But I just had to come to you, Swede, and tell you.

Tell me what?

They're planning to double-cross you.

Who is?

Colfax and the others.

They don't intend for you ever to get a smell of the money from tomorrow's job.

How do you know that?

Colfax sprung it tonight on Dum-dum and Blinky right after you left.

First he called you names and said dirty things about you, and then he sprung it.

What if they were not to go to the Halfway House after the robbery?

You'd go there, but they'd be someplace else and so would the money.

What did Blinky and Dum-dum say? They fell right in with the idea.

Where are they gonna meet?

The farmhouse north of town on Polk Road, eleven miles out on the turnpike.

Colfax hates you, Swede, so much so that Blinky and Dum-dum have caught it from him, and they hate you too.

Thanks for putting me wise, Kitty.

What are you gonna do? Swede, what are you gonna do?

I'm gonna do them like they mean to do me.

Promise me one thing. You won't give me away.

If Colfax ever found out what I did... Don't you worry.

You know why Colfax hates you? Because of me.

He's no fool. He sees what's happened.

Why did you ever go back to him, Kitty?

Maybe because I hate him.

I'm poison, Swede, to myself and everybody around me.

I'd be afraid to go with anyone I love for the harm I'd do them.

I don't care, harming him.

You're not meetin' him tomorrow.

Aren't I, Swede?

And that's it, Mr. Riordan. The whole story.

I knew then that by night the Swede'd have the money, all of it.

And it all worked out.

He met me right after he left the farmer's place.

We drove down to Atlantic City.

And as soon as you could break away, you left him flat.

I'd like to have known the old Kitty Collins.

You were in the clear because no one knew you'd been with the Swede.

You had nothing to fear from anyone.

Too bad it had to catch up with you now.

Let's get out of here, Mr. Riordan. I'm nervous.

Where do you want to go? It doesn't matter.

Take me back to your hotel with you.

I'll powder my nose. I'll wait for you.

Don't go away.

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

♪♪ [PIANO CONTINUES]


[SIREN WAILING]

How much further? About three miles.

Cut your siren. We'll drive right up and hit the front door.

You boys cover the other doors and windows.

Right.

Got your gun handy? Sure. Why?

Just thought I'd ask.

[VEHICLE APPROACHES]

[ENGINE STOPS]

[GUNSHOTS]

It's Dum-dum.

Cover us! You get over there.


Operator, this is a police call.

Get an ambulance out to 792 River Bend. Fast.

Ambulance won't do any good. Sorry, Colfax.

I'd hoped to beat out Dum-dum. I wanted you alive.

How'd you figure it, Riordan? Dum-dum tipped me.

He said Kitty brought him word at midnight about the changed meeting place.

The Halfway House didn't burn down till nearly 3:00 in the morning.

That meant Kitty had a partner. And who could he be but you?

Is this your woman? Yeah.

Hello, Kitty. We got her outside.

How bad is he? The ambulance is on its way.

It's gonna be a little late.

I guess our luck's run out, Kitty.

You didn't have anything on her before now, did you?

No, but I had to make you think so.

Then I was sure you'd try to knock me off before I could find out Kitty was your wife.

You knew that too?

Married people can't testify against each other.

Otherwise, I'd have tried playing you off, one against the other, instead of making myself a target for those gunmen of yours.

Give me a cigarette, will you?

What I don't get is why you sent those two killers to blast the Swede.

He wasn't doing you any harm there in Brentwood.

Why didn't you let well enough alone?

I couldn't.

Suppose one of the gang ran into him, same as I did.

They were after the money.

He'd have had a chance to tell his story and that would have been the end of it.

They knew Kitty and I were married, and they'd have seen through the frame-up. [COUGHS]

Anyhow, if I hadn't had him knocked off, he'd have wondered why... and begun thinking. [CHUCKLES, COUGHS]

Jim! Jim!

Tell them I didn't know anything. Jim, listen to me.

You can save me.

Jim, do you hear me? Tell them I didn't know those gunmen were coming.

Say, "Kitty is innocent. I swear, Kitty is innocent."

Say it, Jim, say it! It'll save me if you do.

Don't ask a dying man to lie his soul into hell.

"Kitty is innocent. I swear, Kitty is innocent."

It's no use, Kitty. Your would-be fall guy is dead.

Come back, Jim. Tell them. Come back!

Save me! Jim!

"Kitty is innocent. I swear, Kitty is innocent."

"Kitty is innocent! I swear, Kitty is innocent!"

[SOBBING] "Kitty is innocent!"

And the Swede never knew his girl... had gone straight back to Colfax with all the money.

As for the others, they had no idea she'd ever been away from Colfax.

Have I got it all straight? Right.

Then Colfax framed the whole thing just so he wouldn't have to split the take.

The double cross to end all double crosses.

Yeah. And just to think, none of this would have ever come to light... if it hadn't been for a $2,500 death benefit.

[YAWNS] Uh-huh.

Well, I suppose you're waiting to be congratulated.

Ah, it's the job.

Owing to your splendid efforts, the basic rate of the Atlantic Casualty Company as of 1947... will probably drop one-tenth of a cent.

Congratulations, Mr. Riordan.

I'd rather have a night's sleep.

Why don't you take a good rest? I must say, you've earned it.

This is Friday. Don't come in till Monday.