The Phantom of Crestwood (1932) Script

How do you do ladies and gentlemen of the Motion Picture audience.

This is the National Broadcasting Company. Graham Massamé speaking.

You listened to the final chapter of the Phantom Of Crestwood radio broadcast.

Which ended with the mystery still unsolved.

Who killed Jenny Wren? Who killed Carter? Her companion.

You are invited to submit your own original ending for the story.

And one hundred prizes.

Totalling $6,000 in cash were offered for the best ending.

The National Broadcasting Company and RKO Radio Pictures.

Have received thousands of original endings for the story.

Of course, as we told you over the air.

The winning ending, need not necessarily be the same.

As that used in the motion picture.

We have kept the solution of this mystery a secret for many months.

But now that the contest is closed.

You are about to see the mystery unravelled.

Before your very eyes on the motion picture screen.

So that you may compare your ending with that of the motion picture.

The Phantom Killer.

Of Jenny Wren is still at large.

Who is that killer?

We take pleasure on behalf of RKO Radio Pictures.

In presenting to you: "The Phantom Of Crestwood."

Graham Massamé signing off.

What are you doing in Los Angeles?


Why, I'm here to look over the Olympic Games, stranger.

I wouldn't get mixed up with anything too "gamey" here if I were you.

Me? You, especially.

It's always more fun for us to hook a big fish than a little rat.

They fry better.

I used to work in New York.

I thought you might remember me.


Look again.

Are you a short, fat man?


I might be wrong.

What is your name?


How do you spell it?

The same way you pronounce it.

Jenny Wren.

Hello, Miss Wren.

I'm waiting for someone, thanks.

Well, perhaps if you would let me know who you are waiting for?

Oh yes, of course. A Mr Farnsbarns.


No. Farnsbarns.

I'm sorry, but I don't recall anyone by that name.

The Bank Of Southern? Oh, no.

This is the Harbor National Bank. Oh, I'm sorry.

That's alright.

Will you have a peppermint? Oh, thank you.

Mr Andes, please.

Mr Andes is busy just now.

Oh, I'm sorry. Will you tell him Miss Jenny Wren ..

A "Miss Wren" to see you, Mr Andes.


"Miss Wren."

I'll settle with those later.

Alright. Send her in.

You may go in.

Well, Jenny. A pleasure.

A pleasure.

Isn't that a lie?

Can you give me a light please, Priam?

I ..

I thought I read you were in the East.

I was.

Anything the matter?


From the way you're jittering.

Come, come Jenny. I'm too old for your tricks.

I'm getting on myself. Nonsense.

I'm retiring, Priam. Leaving the country.

Oh, that's too bad.

To lose so colorful a character.

When are you going?

Not that fast.

There are a few people I want to see first.

Ah, men, Jenny. Men.


Herbert Walcott .. Will Jones.

Eddie Mack .. and you.

Yes, dear.

So do be a sweet and give me a farewell party.

At the ranch.

They always were such fun, those parties at Crestwood.

Though you never invited your usual crowd there when I was around, did you?

Well, I could hardly have had you .. I know.

But you are going to have a few of that usual crowd there this weekend.

Walcott, Jones and Mack.

They've been there before, haven't they?

And they always accept your invitations, don't they?

Do you know ..

Those men?



Well, they may not be able to accept .. Up to you to see that they do accept.

That Walcott brings his wife.

And Jones that Miss .. whatshername ..?

Ritz .. that he's engaged to.


What for?

I'm depending on you to do exactly as I say. Do you understand?

You are not to suggest to any of those men that I'll be there.

That you've even seen me.

That this party is anyone's idea but your own.

You understand that too?

This is impossible.

I have business tonight. So have I.

Shall we say dinner at eight at Crestwood tonight?


"Ironic" I suppose you think?

That the community considers you such an efficient Saint?

No. That's ignorance.

Priam, I have a little sister being graduated from finishing school.

She's coming home soon.

And it seems she's met that young nephew of yours.

Frank? Uhuh.

The Andes heir.

And they have fallen in love. And they are engaged.

That's irony, darling.

Perhaps Mr Andes will see you now.


Oh yes .. thank you.

Hello, Carter.

Uhoh. Cat on the bed: bad luck.

Superstitious? A little bit.

Anything break? A telegram.

Anything break with you? Yes. Priam Andes.

Into little pieces. He is going to invite those men.

Carter darling, why do you always seal my telegrams after reading them?

A force of habit. So you won't know I've read them.

It's from your sister. Oh, what did she say?

Her train gets in at two. Well, she knows the address.

Are we just about packed for Europe? Almost.

Do you think we can afford that space on A-Deck as we're going alone this time?

We will be able to afford it.

After I see Volante in New York.

And sell him back his love sonnets.

You know, it will amuse me.

Having those particular rooms on that particular boat all to myself for once.

[ Buzzer ]

It's the manager of the building. Someone wants to see the apartment.

Oh, alright. Draw my bath, will you.

Ah, Miss Wren.

Rather delightful weather, isn't it?

I was just telling ..

Did you want to see the apartment?

This is Mister .. Why ..

If the rest of this apartment is as charming as this living-room.

I'm sure it will be more than suitable.

Miss Wren's furnishings included as I told you.

Even to the view.

Yes .. of a lot of oil-wells.

Would you like to look in here?

He just told me you were going abroad.

If I should decide to take it, when can I move in?

Sometime next week.

Then I'll let you know here, tomorrow or the next day.

I won't be here.

That's too bad.

If I should decide to take it I'd like to show it to my mother first.


Well .. if you are not going to be here ..

Aren't there some papers to sign .. or something?

If necessary, you can get in touch with me at the Andes ranch.

Above Crestwood, up the coast.

Carter .. Mister ..?


Mr Farnsbarns and his mother.

Will return. Will you show them around, please.

Yes, Miss. Thank you.

No thanks.

Oh, Carter.

Just pack an overnight bag.

I think you should come up to the ranch yourself, when you finish.


Those four unsuspecting chisellers, including my host.

Are going to be desperate when they hear the bad news.

I may need you.

You may at that.

Whether they like it or not. They won't.

I'm dealing this hand.

With stacked cards.

Won't the gentlemen be inclined to shoot?

An old Western custom.

That's baloney, Carter.

Like the weather.

[ Buzzer ]

Give me one.

Just one more before I meet the family.

It will steady me.

Hello, Carter. How do you do, Miss Esther.

I'm so glad to see you, Carter. Thank you.

Will you go in the living room, please?

I'll tell your sister you are here.

Getting home after a year always makes you laugh, doesn't it.

You are so happy at having your family meet the train.

They cheer when they see you .. and all that.

I hate cold things.

Come here, then.

Warm now?

Oh, I shouldn't have said that.

Jenny has been swell to me.

Welcome home.

Hello, Jenny.

Hello infant.

This is Frank, Jenny. I wrote to you about him.

Frank Andes, isn't it? Right.

Andes is a grand old name in California.

Oh, I don't pay much attention to that.

You've a nice smile.

I would use that smile on your uncle if I were you.

When you tell him you're marrying a sister of mine.

It's not my uncle I've got to sell. It's my aunt Faith.

She brought me up and I'm mad about her.

Aunt Faith is a little insistent about the family and all that.

You know, the old "Andes" stuff.

As if I were a mountain.

Well, she sounds tough enough.

Oh, wait until you meet her.

She may drive down tonight when she gets my wire.

I'll bring her up if you're going to be in.


Your uncle has been kind enough to ask me up to his ranch over the weekend.

Great. We'll go up.

A graduation party for you.

We'll have a swell time.

You might at that.

Well, children. I've got to dress.

Oh, I can't go to the ranch. My trunks haven't come and I've nothing to wear.

You can wear some of my things.

Well I don't like those black things you wear.

What a shame.

A lot of other people have.

The house is beautiful, I must say. Yes.

I've never seen so many beautiful women in all my life.

The people bore me to tears.

By the way, I want to ask you. Where did ..?

It's so old and picturesque.

I'll say so: 1804.

Oh, really?

One can fairly breathe the aroma of old Spain, can't one?

Tell me, haven't you one or two old ghosts about?

Sure. They live in our secret passageways.

Secret passageways? Oh, go on.

No, really. The place is full of them.

The ancestors had to have them for the revolutions in the early days.

Esther, will you throw one? Yes.

Come this way Mrs Walcott. Will you try?

I'll think about it.

I'll try. Come on. I think it will be fun.

Look here.

Hasn't it struck you as peculiar that so few of us were asked here this time?

And on such short notice, too.


What's more peculiar, is why we came.

One obeys his banker these days, n'est pas?

Yes .. if one is still lucky enough to have a banker.

Gentlemen .. that reminds me, like Abe Lincoln, of a story.

Herbert. Come on. Throw one.

You too, Will. It will help your aim after we're married.

Humorous people.

A bullseye this time.

Oh, you're good. Marvellous.

The unblinking eye, the steady hand.

My aunt taught me these things when I was a kid.

And fencing, riding and shooting and things like that.



Gee, that was close.

One could be killed by one of these things.

"Dead men tell no tales".


Ladies and gentlemen.

This is my very good friend, Mr Vayne of Boston.

How do you do.

His first visit to our great State.

I want you all to meet him.

This is Miss Mears. Good evening.

Come down, Miss Wren.

Hello, Jenny.

Jenny Wren? Evidently.

This is Mrs Walcott - Miss Wren.

Miss Mears. How do you do.

And Mr Walcott.

Oh, the Senator, isn't it?

Not yet. Not yet. After the election perhaps .. Miss ..

"Wren", was it?


Frank, you know. This is my friend, Mr Vayne.

I have wanted so much to meet you.


And .. this is Mr Jones.

How do you do. And this is Eddie Mack.

Hi, Jenny.

Miss Wren.

A lovely evening.

Yes, isn't it. Is it?

Come on, Jenny. We're going to gamble.

Isn't this a bit indiscreet, Priam?

I beg your pardon, Mr Andes.

Your sister, Miss Faith has just arrived. She is in the living-room.

Pardon me.

Faith. Surprised?

I thought you were in Santa Barbara. I was.

Until I got Frank's telegram.

Yes. He is here.

I suppose you are upset over this girl he intends to marry?

I am too.

Are you staying over, Faith?


I want to meet .. this girl.

No. Don't worry, Priam.

I won't interfere with your guests.

Isn't it a pity that as brother and sister ..

We have so few things in common?


Yes, Miss Andes? My usual place at dinner.

But it's grand being with you, darling.

I wanted you to meet Esther.

That's why I came.

And so personally, when I return to California, I say with the poet:

"Is there a man with soul so dead?"

And so on. You know.

"This is my old, my native land."


What a widely-read young man you are, Mr Mack.

But Mr Walcott.

Surely you enjoyed at least one stay in other parts of the country, haven't you?

Oh, but Palm Beach can't touch .. Palm Beach?

When were you in Palm Beach, Herbert?

You never told me.

Oh, but I did told .. tell ..

That is ..

Don't you remember?

No. We don't.

But you remember all the places you've been, don't you, Mr Mack?

Even .. Honolulu.


I may see you more after the marriage, Mack.

Pittsburgh, isn't it?

Oh, I don't envy you.

The drawing rooms on trains are furnaces in September.

Oh, but Will always travels by plane.

Does he?

Ever since one hot September, yes.

Mr Vayne.

You've cut yourself.

How stupid of me.

Shall we go in?

Thunder and lightning. Enter three witches.


Seems to me everything you've quoted comes from Shakespeare. Doesn't it?

Everything I quote does.

Be in the library in ten minutes.

Walcott, Jones, Mack and you.

Make some excuse.

Didn't they teach you kiddies about Shakespeare in school now and then?

A helluva writer, that fellow.

Steven Di Fango. An Andes.

Very brave in his brave dress.

Fights and battles ..

And shoes and sealing-wax and cabbages and kings.

I know, aunt.

Doctor Fido Di Van Andes.

Grand inquisitor of the inquisition.

Died in 1497.

Don Diego.

Of California when it was ours.

My grandfather, Frank.

He was killed ..

Fighting for family.

We think of ourselves so little nowadays.

I don't, my dear.

I think of you.

And your son.

What if I have daughters?

Even you, you know, can't issue proclamations deciding that.

If the bloods that are mingled are right, there will be sons.

What were you darling, an accident?

My grandfather said I should have been a man.

And raised me as one.

And you Priam, most of all are wondering what this little party of mine is about.

Well, I'll tell you.

I'm retiring.

I'm quitting early, gentlemen.

Before I'm on the rummage counter.

I'm sailing out at high tide.

And I'm taking enough cold cash with me ..

To ensure me of a comfortable old age.

You didn't know that you'd all been gambling on the same green, did you?

Will Jones, I want $50,000 from you.

I don't think that's too much to ask in the "lover" business.

My business is on the verge of bankruptcy.

I haven't got $50,000. You'll get it.

Priam will lend it to you.

And you Priam, with your bank in such good condition.

You can afford to double that ante.

$100,000 from you.

I can't afford that! Yes, you can.

Mack, you're broke, aren't you? Yes, ma'am.

Hmm .. $25,000.

That's alright if I can raise the money.

What? Well, we're hooked aren't we?

My dear young woman .. $250,00 from you.

One quarter of a million dollars, Herb.

You sanctimonious old hypocrite.

How the mighty are fallen. Be quiet!

What if we refuse this ..? This blackmail?

Yes, blackmail.

Do you realize ..

I realize that I can stop your marriage to Miss Mears.

She's the only thing in the world you've ever really wanted, isn't she?

And your marriage too, Mack.

That girl in Pittsburgh.

Who is buying your page in the social register.

I'm, not arguing with you, Jenny. But I'd like to ring your neck.

Why can't men stay home nights.

This is impossible. You are out of your mind.

Don't you quibble, Priam.

Your letters would look fine in the newspapers.

Ha! And yours, Senator.

It would be patriotic to publish them.

This country could use a laugh right now.

Has it occurred to you that publicity of this sort lands you in the gutter too?

Or in jail.

It will never get the chance.

If I can't live in the luxury that you men have accustomed me to.

Je déclare la guerre.

That's all, gentlemen.

No. No, wait.

If it's money you want.

There is a man here tonight who would gladly give you ..

More than all of us put together.

I refer to Mr Vayne.

He saw you in the bank and became infatuated with you.

That's why he's here tonight.

He asked me to invite him here solely to meet you.

You are all he wants.

He would give you everything you asked for.

I'm through with that.

But Jenny, if this man is willing to ..

[ Door knocks ]

Come in.

This was delivered after you left, Miss Wren.

I thought it might be important. Thank you.

My room is at the head of the stairs as usual.

You can go up and unpack.

You must have been born without a conscience.

Oh, a fraternity pin.

She's gone through some college, too.

You wanted to know why I was through.

You wondered why I didn't care about Vayne's millions.

I'll tell you why.

Three weeks ago, I was in the Adirondacks.

Will you wear this for me?

You know, a fraternity pin really means much more than an engagement ring.

I've never given that to anybody before.

Oh, you do love me, don't you?

I think I'd just stop breathing if you didn't.

Why .. of course I do.

Of course father won't give us a nickel, but we'll have each other.

Besides, I've got a hundred a week from my mother's estate.

We'll get along alright until I knock them over in the streets.

You mean .. you don't get any money from your father if you marry me?

Well, not if I marry anyone until I'm twenty-five.

But think what fun we'll have making a go of it together.

I'm afraid that ..

Wouldn't be much fun.

Bye-bye, Goldilocks.


Well, what is it?

You stay away from hungry mama-bears after this.

I may as well give you the needle quickly. It won't hurt so much.

I like you. You're sweet.

But I love the idea of your family's millions.

That's my type.

But ..

Didn't you mean anything that you said?

Now come on back to the house.

I'll leave and ..

You just forget all about me.

Come on.

Well, goodbye.

Oh, don't be tragic, youngster.

It's experience.

Come now. Don't be silly.



That's why I'm quitting.

So, get that cash, every one of you.

Or I'll say it with headlines.

It would give me great pleasure to kill you.

You haven't the nerve.

Any of you.

If anything ever kills me except disgust ..

It will be the memory of that boy's face.

Not you.

Do you imagine we fell for that sob-story?

The Adirondacks, eh?

Carter said the package was delivered.

From the grave, I suppose?

Miss Wren.

Is anything the matter?

I .. I think I saw a ghost.

Come now. Let me dispel it for you.

A hundred thousand dollars.

There must be something we can do.

There is only one thing. Sure. Pay up.


[ Girl's scream! ]

That face.


Come down at once. Come down.

What's the matter?

What's the matter?

What's happened?

Look at that dart. It's in her head.

She's dead!

Faith, where you going?

I'm going to phone the State Police in the village. That girl's been murdered.

The Crestwood Police, please.

Highway Patrol, Crestwood.


Hello. This is the Andes ranch. There's been a murder committed.

I wouldn't report that if I were you.


Take your hands out of your pockets.


The storm must have cut the wires.

Get up to the Andes ranch. Take some men with you.

Somebody started to report a murder.





The line's dead.

So is Miss Wren. Who are you?

If you please, Priam. How do you know Miss Wren's name?

I picked up a lot of interesting things waiting round here tonight.

Who are you?

My name is Gary Curtis.

It is not!

He was in Miss Wren's apartment this afternoon.

He's been in a lot of apartments.

Alright, Officer. Take him in.

Trying to pull a fast one, eh?

That's alright, lady. There's nothing to worry about.

What is all this? Help, help!

Stick where you are, lady.


Mr Harris and his men, perhaps.

But I'm of the old school. Will, do something.

Are you men or what?

Did you cut the phone wires, Pete? Yes, chief.

Now let's scram.

We can't.

The road is washed out and there's a thousand foot drop down the cliff.

None of us can get away.

I came up here for some letters that I was hired to get.

And brought along an old school chum of mine and some of his boys.

Yeah. And walked us right into a murder.

I didn't want you to phone the police as I was seen in Los Angeles this morning.

If I'm even seen around trouble ..

They'll save themselves a lot of exercise by simply tagging me.

Seat me in the electric chair and watch me fry.

Excuse me, chief. It's hanging in this State.

Why, their confrères in every worthwhile city in this country.

Not to mention London, Paris and Rome.

Sit by, sigh gratefully and cable for ringside seats.

What a party huh, Pete? With you and your men in the ring cooking.

Excuse me, I mean choking.


What are we going to do, chief?

Grab the murderer and turn him over to the cops before the cops grab us.

How can we do it? We don't know who killed her.

That's what I'm going to find out.

If you and your men want to take the rap .. alright.

It's not going to be my neck.

Well, not ours either.

You give the orders.

What a brain that baby's got.

One time when .. Don't talk so much.

Now, inside all of you. This is ridiculous.

A crook playing detective, ordering respectable people about.

How do we know you didn't kill Miss Wren? - One minute.

By saving my own neck, I'll save the innocent among you, too.

But I'm going to do it my own way.

I'm too young to die.

Now, is everyone here?

Answer me. Are all of you here?

All but Esther Wren. Jenny's sister.

Where is she?

Asleep, I suppose.

I thought it better to tell her about this in the morning.

A pretty sound sleeper, isn't she?


Find the servants and see what they're up to. Hurry up.

Now, all you in there.

Inside. All of you.

You stay over there.

Will .. Will.

You see .. we're quite serious.

Cat. No-one's to leave this room. Get it?

Come on. Where is this Esther's room?



Something must have happened to her.

If she wasn't asleep she would have heard Jenny scream.

Everyone else did.

Where is Jenny's room?




It's me, dear. Frank. Are you alright?

Who's he? Never mind, sweet.

What happened?

I don't know.

Where's Jenny? What happened in here?

It's alright, dear. Tell us. Try to remember.

I was in your aunt's room.

She wanted to talk to me about us.

I have no objection to you personally, child.

But Andes never mate their thoroughbreds with anything but thoroughbreds.

And I am sure when your background and your sister's is made clear to Frank.

He'll be an Andes enough to see that to carry on the line ..

He must marry a thoroughbred himself.

But we love each other. Isn't that enough?

That's not important.

A woman is important only to bear sons.

Do you think Frank will listen to this?

It's out of the middle ages. It's cruel.

I'm not responsible for my sister Jenny or what she's done.

Our mother was just as fine as you are.

And Frank is about the only person who's ever loved me. Even a little bit.

And I will marry him.

Who is it? It's me, Esther.

Well come on in. The door is not locked.

I must say you don't look too stunning in my black thing.

Why, what's the matter?

Sit down and tell mother all about it.

Jenny, you've got to help me.

Frank's aunt doesn't want him to marry me because you ..

We are ..


I realized something was at the back of me.

I started to turn but ..

Something hit me over the head.

That's all I remember.

Here, dear. Put this over your shoulders.

Where is Jenny?

Cat. Upstairs and watch that girl.

Whoever killed Jenny Wren tried to kill her sister, too.

With this.

Pete, keep your eye on this.

Someone here might try to wipe his fingerprints off.

Okay. What do you mean?

I told you that I'd been around for some time tonight.

Out there, waiting. I heard things.

That each of you had a definite reason to kill Jenny Wren.


What was yours?

I'm the one who had no reason to kill her.

You did, as most of you did.

And if necessary.

I am going to wrap up one of you for delivery in circumstantial evidence.

Juries don't understand any other kind.

Your name? Carter.


Can't we stop this horseplay and do something?

You were anxious to do a thing this evening, weren't you?

Yes. I wanted to kill her.


Darling, it's got to come out now. I'll take my medicine.

I used to know Miss Wren.

But you didn't do this. No.

Maybe not.

When did you last see Miss Wren alive?

When she dismissed me for the night. Was she alone?


Mr Walcott came in.


Mr Walcott.


Well, where were you when I started for bed?

Not in our room.

Alright, Walcott. You first in the library.

Well, I've grilled the servants. They ain't got no clues so I locked them up.

Have them round up the darts in the playroom.


Jenny .. Jenny!


Esther, please.


Mr Curtis.

You say you heard things tonight?

So .. I throw myself upon your discretion.

I have to.

Yes, yes, Senator. Let's go.

You called on Miss Wren? Yes.


I knocked on her door.

She sent Carter away.

I pleaded with her ..

About this money she wanted.

Wait until after my campaign ends.

Then I will be able to help you handsomely.

Why, this publicity, it would ruin me.

I have no money. You're a liar.

You and your friends made millions on the street this last year.

Selling to suckers.

Why, that is a fiction. No it isn't.

I let your broker take me to dinner last night.

You've been selling short. Selling America short.

While at the same time issuing political statements about a return of prosperity.

Urging John Jones and his wife to buy.

How do you think it will look on your opponent's billboard in this campaign?

You can't do this to me. A quarter of a million dollars? That's a fortune.

Are you crazy?

Oh .. forgive me.

No. Forgive me.

I ..

Well, goodnight. Goodnight.

And so I left.

Now, I mean to cast no unfair suspicion.

But it had been suggested.

That Mr Vayne was interested and infatuated with Jenny.

Miss Wren.

And so Vayne stayed? Yes.

And you went to bed? Naturally.

Alone, naturally?

Alright. Out.

Mr Vayne. Here are the darts.

Seven of them.

Who were the experts at throwing darts tonight?

What's that to do with it? Anyone can use one in his hand.

Then the hand would have crushed the feathers like this.


The dart in that neck was thrown.

But using a thing like that? Taking a chance for it to kill.

Which indicates the murder was not premeditated.

The murderer used this because he had no other weapon.

How many darts were used when you were playing?

Why ask me? I don't know.

Then there's no telling how many may be still out, in the hands of the murderer.

Yes .. to be used as he sees fit.

Don't say "he".

Anyone of us might have done it, you said.

I would have myself if I'd known the things that Will has just told me.

"She" then. Anything to save time.

Which believe me, is scarce.

The police are working on the road right now. We've got to step on it.

Yeah, wrap the rope around ..

Mr Vayne.

I ..

I have a confession to make.

No! Here it comes.

Come on.


That isn't my name.

I'm Henry T. Hesketh.

Of Boston? Yes.

And you killed her?


Then what kind of a bum confession is that?

Very well. I'll listen to the rest of it in there.

Please .. you can't go on like this.

Sit down.

Something else happened.

If I could only remember.

But don't try.

Something is trying to get through to me.

It's connecting up with something.

I can't remember.


I went to Miss Wren's room.

When I saw her for the first time in Andes' office.

I became infatuated with her.

Try to understand that.

And being a banker of importance, you couldn't use your own name.

So Andes played along with you.

What went on in that room upstairs?

Ah ..

I explained to Miss Wren.

I ..

Well, goodnight.


You will excuse me?

I stepped out on the porch for a walk.

But my door out there must have locked after me as I pulled it to.

Well, this one is not locked.

Has Mr Andes explained?

That you're on the make? Yes.

Aren't you just a little ashamed at your age?

Love, Miss Wren ..

Does fantastic things to all of us.

Yes. I've read about that.

And love ..

Makes us do fantastic things, too.

And have those same things done to us.

Goodnight, Mr Vayne.

Will you please get out of here.

Naturally, I left.

I suppose it was foolish at my age. To have loved her?

No. Not at your age.

Did you see anyone in the hall? Yes.

When I started from my room .. a door opened.

Someone came into the hall.

When he saw me .. Who?

Frank Andes.

He stepped back into his room.

And I went on.

After a moment, I opened my door again.

The young man came from his room.

Went to Miss Wren's door. And knocked.

What made you open your door again?

Curiosity, I suppose.

What time was it?

It was striking two.

And then?

I picked up a book and read.

I ..

I was too disturbed to sleep.

[ Whispering ]

Listen you two. Cut out that whispering. Get back to where you belong.

Get over there.

Mr Andes.

No .. you.

Do you mean to say that that man has suggested that my ..

Your nephew was the most expert at that darts game.

This is a fine graduation party.

I graduated alright.

All at once. Don't, dear.

I know what you came for. Quiet, please.

I don't care. Whoever did this tried to kill Esther too.

You think I'll stand by when it may be tried again?

This is impossible.

Where's your backbones? Allowing a common thief to ..


I demand that Mrs Walcott and I be permitted to go at once.

I ought to pin one right in your button.

Go where, Walcott?

We're all trapped here until the police get past the road.


He can't get far.

Alright, kid.

I'll go too. Frank.

You are determined to toss just anyone to the wolves, aren't you.

Anyone that the wolves will go for, instead of me.

It's alright, General.

I'd rather you wouldn't listen to this. I am going to.


She is guilty.

The innocent little girls in stories always are.

Take it easy, Bright-Eyes. You are taxing your brain.

You said you knew what Mr Vayne came here for.


To meet Jenny Wren.

My uncle told me he .. I know that.

Is that all you meant? Yes. And it's the truth.

Why did you go to Jenny's room?

You .. you didn't?

Yes I did.

Oh, I'm sorry.

I .. I don't know what I'm doing.

It's simply that you mustn't think .. She wouldn't even let you alone.

Oh, it wasn't that.

You don't know what's happened here. Never mind that.

Why did you go to see her and what happened?

I .. I had to talk to her about Esther.

Don't laugh.

As long as I'm marrying your sister.

Our family becomes yours. Don't you see?

You can't do this to us.

Uncle Priam is terribly upset.

He told me all about it.

Oh, I know he's weak.

And you ..

You're not weak?

Uncle Priam doesn't dare tell aunt Faith he's in such a jam.

So I thought I'd talk to you.

I'll get his $100,000 for you some way.

Oh, tell it to me.

Doing business for the kindergarten.

I knew the guards would make a monkey out of me someday.

You've got to promise: whether or not the rest come through, you won't talk.

The publicity. Oh.

Esther, eh? Yes.

The mud you throw would stick to her all her life.

It's going to be hard to get my aunt to welcome your sister as my wife as it is.

I like you, youngster.

You've got stuff.

But I've never promised anything before, and I'm not going to now.

If the rest of those fools, as you say ..

Don't come through.

There is going to be more dirt than you've ever heard of.

Oh, Esther can stand it. It might harden her up.

The child is too soft for this ..

Civilization, anyway.

I might kill you if you hurt her. But why?

It would have something to do with .. honor, I suppose.

A word you wouldn't understand. Oh, don't be a silly little boy.

It wasn't any use arguing with her.

I left.

Then came downstairs for some darts. - No!

You know you that were .. Wait.

There's somebody you haven't thought of. If you'd give me a chance to remember.

What's happened to those lights? Frank!

Here, dear.

Don't move, any of you.

Cat. Yeah?

How'd the lights go out? Don't know.

The light switch. Where is it? Here.

Put it on. One moment.

It won't work. Cat.

Get my flashlight, quick.


Get in there!

[ Girl's scream! ]

[ Gunshot! ]

Cat, get the guests out of here. Wait!

What are you doing? Wait a minute.

That's the death-mask of my son.

It belongs to me. I had it made.

Because of her .. he killed himself.

The story Jenny told us.

He died in my arms .. three weeks ago.

He was all I had.

He told me about Miss Wren.

I determined to make her suffer as she made me.

I determined .. to kill her.

But first.

To torture her with that death-mask.

I .. pretended to be in love with her.

Got Andes to invite me.

I put on the mask.

Went out on the porch.

Opened her door.

I expected to find her alone. Asleep.

But she was awake. She screamed.

Her sister who was with her, started to turn.

I picked up the candlestick and struck her.

Jenny got out of bed.

She backed towards the door, into the hall.

I heard a peculiar knock.

Her face!

Twisted with pain.

She staggered to the stairs.


I closed her door.

Got back on the porch. Went to my room.

Took off the mask.

And joined the others here.

I wanted to kill her.

I wish I had.

His heart's gone.


He's better off.

I couldn't find a thing upstairs, chief.

Wait! I remember now.


Oh look .. look!

Another dart! This is horrible.

It just missed her neck.

She's fainted.

Alright, carry her upstairs.

Bright-Eyes. Go up with them and watch both of them.

The minute she comes to, call me.

She was stabbed because she was going to say who killed Jenny Wren.

So, whoever is guilty will have to kill her now.

Can't we get out of here? Not one of us is safe.


I'll have you run off of every committee in town for this.

By heaven, I'll have your bank examined. Shut up!


You filthy representative of the cancer choking the life out of the country.

A gangster! Be quiet, please.

Haven't you bungled enough? Or will you blunder on until we're all killed?


This dart wasn't thrown. Its feathers are crushed.

The girl was stabbed by somebody in this room.

When I find which of you left this room in the dark.

And appeared with the mask on, I have .. Carter!


She went up those stairs long before the lights went out.

How did she happen to go upstairs?

She had to.


We've got to find her.

Alright, all of you upstairs. Cat, lock everybody in their rooms.

What are you going to do now?

I'm going to turn this place inside out and find Carter for the police.

Come along.

Come on. Get up there.

Come on, come on. Open up.

Is she still out? Yes.

This dame will relieve you.

The poor child should have a doctor.

When the police get here, you men will suffer for this.

Maybe we will.

Come on.

Lock the door, then lock her up again in her room.

Listen, chief. My boys are getting nervous.

We don't want to get "hung", chief.

No kidding.

What say we pin this on somebody and take it on the lam, chief?

We might be able to get down that cliff, chief.

Nobody can get down the cliff. And stop calling me "chief".

They can't just pin it on anybody without proof.

Okay, chief.

Think we can find her before the cops break through that road?

I don't suppose you've ever heard of airplanes?

The Los Angeles police are in on this by now.

We've got to step on it.

If I could figure out what caused that knock before the dart struck Jenny Wren.


Vayne, or whatever his name is, heard it too.

Can Esther Wren talk yet? No.

If it was only the kid that was murdered it'd be a cinch.

Oh no.

There's a perfect reason to want to kill Esther Wren.

What? The aunt.

To keep her from marrying Frank.

But she had no reason to kill Jenny Wren.

Say, I've been all over this joint and there ain't no sign of the maid Carter.

Who was sitting by that lamp before the lights went out?

How do I know? I'm no dick. Why?

Because whoever was sitting here ..

Scraped the insulation off the wires and made a short circuit and blew the fuse.

That's why the lights went out.

Where was Carter when she asked to go upstairs?

Over there, whispering to old Andes.

What were they whispering about that time?

Oh, I know that.

I got it out of Andes upstairs.

She tried to blackmail him for some letters of his that Jenny had.

What a bunch of mangy pillars-of-society.

What I can't figure out is.

If Carter left this room before the lights went out.

Who made that short-circuit?

Who was sitting in that chair?

Where was the dart that was used on Esther hidden?

Who used it?

What was Esther trying to tell me?

Oh how do I know? I'm only an amateur at this detective business.

Sneak out and see how the cops are getting along with that road.

Come on. Let's have a look outside.

If Carter was desperate, maybe she did try to get down that cliff.

The woman couldn't just have evaporated.

I got the motive .. insurance.

You know.

Didn't you ever read one of those murder mysteries?

Ah, sit down.

Say, it might have been insurance at that.

If Carter knew she was in Jenny's will.

Why, there wouldn't be ..



I never noticed that shale.

Why, that stuff could sweep you over the cliff before you'd realize it.

What about that insurance motive?

How could the woman kill all those people without ..?

It's a passageway, Pete. See any faces down there?

You don't believe in ghosts, do you? No. But I'm afraid of them.

This must be hundreds of years old.

Built to get from the house down to the sea.

I guess there used to be a way down that cliff to the boats. Come on.

What's that? It's only a bat. Come on.

I was worried about you.

Well .. I guess we're getting near the house.

Just as I thought. There's a stairway.


There's Carter, Pete. And the third dart.

It didn't miss the neck this time.

She was stabbed too.

And dragged here.


It's only the death-mask.

Whoever killed Carter must have been the one on the balcony with this face.

Look, chief. A door. Let's try it.

What did I tell you?

Vayne. He came down through that.

Oh, we're all wet. Why?

How can he be here looking up at the balcony ..

And be up there with the mask on at the same time?

Please get him, will you? We got to frame someone for this. Quick.

I suppose he was in Jenny's room and out in the hall at the same time, too?

Was he?

He told us he was in Jenny's room with the mask on.

When she screamed and backed out, he heard the knock just before she fell.

Maybe he was lying. He wasn't.

Because just before Jenny fell into my arms, she cried out: "That face".

In your arms?

So, you were in here then?

If we don't get anyone else for this ..

What's to stop me from handing you over to the police?

Ah, so now I killed her, huh?

Well, Carter seemed to have met you before.

And you seem kinda shady about why you came here.

It kinda adds up. You bet it does, you ape.

Do you think if the tide wasn't rising above nose I'd be here imitating a dick?

I'll show you what I came up here for.

Miss Jenny was after some big dough.

Another boyfriend of hers, G.K. Volante of New York.

Hired me to get his letters back.

Well, I did.


While you were upstairs talking to these people and getting this.

Okay, chief.

But how did you know she'd have the letters here?

She got them from under the boards yesterday morning.

I saw them in her travelling bag in her apartment later.

What a brain.

Well, it won't be long now. The cops have got a steam shovel on that road.

I'll give you 10 minutes. Then I'm going to do what they were planning myself.

Shut up. Yeah?

I mean, don't be funny.

Well, that corpse ain't.

This dart didn't go in at an angle.

Whoever threw it was directly behind her.

Hey. You going dippy too?

The knock before the dart hit her.

Pete, quick. The magnifying glass from the library.

Here you are, chief.

And I always thought Sherlock Holmes used this glass for a gag.

It's a chip of ruby from a finger ring. They struck the wall and cracked it.

When Frank Andes pulled back his arm to throw that dart, his hand ..

But this is the old lady's room.

The aunt?

Was she wearing a ring? I don't know.

I've got it, Pete.

If she's only wearing that ring now, that's evidence the police understand.

Where is she? Taking care of the girl.

Unlock the door, quick.

They've gone?

We must find them. She's taken the kid out to kill her.

She's tried to do it before.

There must be an opening to that passage from here.

It's how they got out. Trying to kill Esther?

Yes. It's as plain as day. The aunt saw Esther go into Jenny's room.

When Jenny backed out of the room, the old lady thought it was Esther.

Jenny Wren wasn't meant to be killed at all.

Bright-Eyes. Get the boy, Frank. He'll know where this opening is.

We'll need him?

Oh .. my shoulder.

Oh I know, dear. You should be in bed.

But it's so nerve-racking in the house with those men there.

You see .. this is the only way we can get out.

Go on, in there.

The sea air will do you good.

I want to talk to you.

To try to know you better.

Perhaps I have been a little harsh.

Don't be a fool.

Show me how to get into that passageway. Why would I lie to you?

I don't know. But you can't convince me my aunt killed that maid Carter.

I tell you she did. Why?

Because Carter tried to blackmail your uncle for the affair he had with Jenny.

I don't believe that, and I don't believe she tried to kill Esther.

You've got to.

It was Esther she meant to kill last night when Jenny backed out of the room.

If you love that girl ..

You imagine I believe you about my aunt? Or that I'd help you do anything to her?

Will you believe your eyes?

This room was locked.

Why should she take Esther through these walls? I'll tell you why.

To finish what she started.

Keep Esther from marrying you and protect the Andes name.

The woman is insane with family pride.

Carter is lying dead in that muck down there. Do you want your girl beside her?

Because that's what your aunt's trying to do. Kill her, now.

Can't you see I'm telling the truth?


My father used to joke about my having sand in my veins instead of blood.

The sand in my hourglass is running low.

So it doesn't matter about me.

But it does matter about Frank.


This way.

In my girlhood, this cliff was called "The leap of the lovers".

When two sweethearts of different classes could not marry.

They would let themselves slip to their deaths.

Down to those rocks.


When you left me last night, to go to your sister's room.

You hated me, didn't you.


I rather felt you hated me.

That's what l was trying to remember.

That you might have thought .. Jenny was me.


You are threatening our name, my dear.


Sorry, Frank.

Was it scraping the insulation off the wire that broke this nail?


You witnessed this.

It wasn't very well planned, was it.

I never have been one to think much of consequences, Mister ..

Curtis, is it?

Thank you.

That mask. How did you know about that?

I saw the old gentleman frighten Miss Wren with it early in the evening.

Thank you.

Police planes.

Thank you.