The Shanghai Cobra (1945) Script

Evening, mr. Black.

I fixed up a nice beef stew today.

Thought it would be good with it raining outside like it is.

Just a cup of coffee.

It's got grade "a" beef.

I selected it myself, and nice brown gravy.

I want a cup of coffee.

Ok, mr. Black. Wants a cup of coffee, Get him cup of coffee, that's all.

Say, uh, I made a beautiful beef stew today.

The best in town. Grade "a" beef.

(paula) just a cup of coffee.

(joe) uh, rich brown gravy?

I said, "just a cup of coffee."

Yeah, that's what I thought you said.

Mr. Black wants a cup of coffee. He wants his black.

I suppose you want cream in your coffee. Well, uh, I suppose you want a cup of coffee, too, Instead of the delicious beef stew I fixed up On account of it's a rainy day?

Yeah. A cup of coffee.

I should've known better than to ask.

A cup of coffee, he says, huh?

Joe's coffee shop, so everybody orders coffee.

This one's on me, honey.

Mr. Black, I--

Now look, I'm fed up with you following me around, understand?

(lorraine) number, please.

Number 10, the blue danube.

Is that him?

(man) yes.

Now stop bothering me and stop following me.

[music playing]

That's a wrong number. I asked for number 10, the blue danube .

Well, I'm sorry, sir. We don't have that number.

Just push the return button and your money will be refunded.

Please, mr. Black, you must trust me.

Stay out of my hair, I'm telling you for the last time.

Oh, please, I've got to talk to you--

Now, look.

I think you dropped this, miss.

Oh, well, well now, when did you arrive?

Me? Oh, about 5 minutes ago.

And didn't even speak to me. Well, I like that.

You--you do?

Start making your excuses, and they'd better be good. Now, give.

This friendship thing's sudden, But I'm interested if you are, too.

The name's ned stewart, but--

Oh, well, that's--that's great.

Well, wait a second.

We haven't finished the introductions yet.

And you two also haven't finished paying for your coffees.

Oh, please pay him. I'll wait outside.

That will be, uh, 20 cents, please.

Oh, yeah, uh, you--you got a nickel change comin'. Uh...


You wouldn't want to match for it?

I was afraid to talk to you in joe's.

We've been followed for days.

What I've been trying to tell you is this--

Mr. Black?

Mr. Black?

What happened?

I don't know.

He started to say something to me and then he fell down.

Try to revive him, please. I'll call a doctor.

[crowd chattering]

All right, all right. Let's break it up. What's happened here?

Where's the girl?

Uh-oh, I thought you'd be back for your nickel.

Where is she? Where did she go?

Oh, you been stood up, pal. She went out the back, fast.

Where'd he go?

You mean the guy who give me the nickel--

Don't give me that. The fellow killed a man outside and ran in here.

Oh, you've been stood up, too, pal.

He just breezed through the back, fast.


What a day. People run in, nobody eats my beef stew, People run out, nobody pays for their coffee.

Hello, babe. Give me a nickel's worth of anything soft and soothing.

My head's killing me.

(lorraine) joe, who got killed?

I don't know, but from the sounds in the alley, A cop's killing my customers.

"third cobra killing."

[intercom buzzing]


(secretary) mr. Gray.

Send him right in.

Chief, here's the latest dope on them cobra killings.

Uh, washington just got it from scotland yard.

There was a man murdered the same way in shanghai in 1937, And a man by the name of van horn was arrested but he escaped.

Did they send his description?

No, they lost all of his records In the shanghai bombing 8 years ago.

There's only one man in the entire country Who can identify this van horn, And I'm afraid we can't get him.

Who is he?

Charlie chan.

Who says I can't get him?

George, Please come into my office and take a telegram.

(secretary) yes, sir?

Will be out of town for several days.

Must postpone all business.

[traffic humming]

Most interesting case.

In 4 months, 3 persons are murdered by bite of cobra fangs.

Yes. Man named rafferty, and a girl called dunham, And then a man named black.

Most curious.

All 3 victims work for 6th national bank.

Yes, but there's no connection between them, uh, charlie.

The men were bank guards and the girl worked in the posting department.

8 years ago in shanghai, china, I arrest a man named jan van horn For bank robbery and murder by cobra bite.

It was first day japanese bombers fly over city of shanghai.

[bombs whistling]

Our prisoner, jan van horn had been injured in bombing, And the inspector was driving me to his office.

Van horn badly burned in bombing?

Oh, he's pretty badly disfigured on his face and hands.

I'm afraid he may be permanently so, Unless he gets immediate plastic surgery.

Inspector mainwaring and myself continue on To the british international settlement police headquarters.

There I meet jan van horn for the 2nd time.

Good morning, mr. Chan.

Mr. Corning.

Sorry we had to call upon you.

Most happy to be of assistance.

If you'll sign right here, please.

Mr. Hume?

May we have your signature on this receipt for the prisoner?

We'll turn van horn over to your custody.

Let's go.

Mr. Chan, I don't care what evidence you've got.

I'm being framed, I tell you.

Singapore authorities will determine your guilt or innocence.

I'm telling you, I'm being railroaded.

They'll never let me get to trial.

Still a matter for courts to decide.

Come along, van horn.

You're just like all the rest.

But I tell you, I'll even this score with you one day.

(chan) special agent hume took van horn to wharf at shanghai, Where they place him aboard ship's launch.

He was starting journey to singapore, where he was to stand trial.

The launch left the wharf.

When launch reach midstream, one of ship's officers went to bow of boat.

Van horn ask remaining officer for a light for a cigarette, And when officer reach for a match, Van horn struck him malicious blow on chin And disappear over side of boat.

And that was last I hear of jan van horn until now.

Could you identify him today?

His face badly burned, perhaps greatly changed.

But his hair most unusual.

Uh, very black with strange streak of white.

I see.

At any rate, charlie, I want you to know how glad I am The government has let you off to help me.

And I want you to feel that you're in full charge.

Oh, thank you, thank you.

But I am still government agent.

Vaults of 6th national bank contain something Very valuable to american government.

Oh. What is it?

Stores of radium.

Radium? That is valuable. Is there much of it?

Several million dollars' worth, perhaps.

You see, bank is distributing center For hospitals, laboratories and factories In this vicinity.

Well, I must be off to bank and afterwards, will visit coffee shop.

Want to use a police car?

Oh, no, thank you. Uh, With your permission, I will telephone assistants At hotel to meet me with car at the bank.

Sure, charlie. Help yourself.

Thank you.

[people chattering]


Doesn't the bank smell nice, huh?

Yeah, and that green stuff don't look bad, either.

You know what?

I bet it would be an easy job to knock off this bank.

Wouldn't it? You know what we'd have to do?

Is drive our car out front and leave the motor runnin'.

Leave the door open, Come in here and take all this money out without firing a shot.

That's probably why pop wanted us to meet him here today.

Yeah, yeah. You know...

Now, like the last--

Hey, what you doing? Wait a minute.

Now, if I had a million dollars here--

Now, uh...

Hello, pop.

Glad to met you, mr. Chan.

One moment. One moment. What is trouble?

Nothing, pop. We came in and just waited for you, like you told us to.

Friend of yours?

Oh, yes, sir. Oh, yes.

They were acting suspicious. I heard them say--

I am charlie chan, officer. These are my 2 assistants.

They sometimes talk foolish. They mean no harm.

Oh, all right, mr. Chan.

Friend of yours, huh?

You 2 wait in car or I make serious trouble.

Yes, pop. Right away.

Yeah, mr. Chan.

You can stop writing, lorraine, here's the check.

Thank you, mr. Jarvis.

Hiya, jarvis.

What's the matter with jarvis?

Expect him to put his arms around you?

But, morgan, I only said hello to him--

Shut up, taylor. Get going.

You wish to see mr. Fletcher, the president?

I'm bradford harris, the vice president.

My business with president.

Oh, mr. Chan, the detective. Come right in, sir.

Mr. Charlie chan to see you, walter, on government business.

Very well. I'll see him.

Sit down, please.

[chuckling] oh.

Startling white plume, huh?

Most unusual.

Mr. Fletcher, were you ever in shanghai, china?

Yes. In 1936 and 1937, For the international bank company.

Now, uh, your business, sir?

I'm investigating deaths of 3 people.

Rafferty, dunham, and black.

Oh, the police have wasted hours of my time about those people.

Merely wish to examine personnel records of same.

(secretary) yes, mr. Fletcher?

Miss webb, bring me the personnel cards On black, dunham, and rafferty.

But they're dead.

I--I mean right away, mr. Fletcher.

That all, mr. Chan?

No. Would like to look into safety deposit box number 210.


That's a special vault rented by the United States government.

I work for United States government.

I have key to vault here.


This is my secretary, miss paula webb, mr. Chan.

Chan? Charlie chan?

If you want me, paula, I'll be in the safety deposit vault.

Great pleasure, miss webb.

(fletcher) this way, mr. Chan.

Deposit vault, please.

Hello, who is this?

Oh, listen.

Mr. Fletcher is coming down with charlie chan.

Yes, that's right.

This way, mr. Chan.

Ok so far.

Why, mr. Chan, surely you didn't expect to find anything wrong?

In my business always expect to find something wrong, But here everything seem normal.


Well, hope same continue.


Police. Wish conversation with you.

Yeah, what do you want?

You proprietor?

Yeah, I'm the proprietor and I'm closed. Can't you see?

No food.

Merely wish information regarding strange young man Who disappear from here when man killed outside.

Well, all I know is he went through here Like a flash, chasin' the peacherino.

Chase a what?

Uh, pop, as the french say, cherchez la peacherino.

There's a woman in the case, pop.

Thank you, my sitting-down assistant.

Yeah, she was a good lookin' gal, too.

You know her name or name of young man?

No. Don't know them from adam and eve.

Didn't even know adam and eve.

Thank you so much.

Wait. I know the man's name.

Place is haunted by voice of young lady, perhaps?


No, no. That's just the girl that plays records over the jukebox.

Her voice comes in here over a wire.

Hey, babe, you say you know the guy's name?

Yes, joe.

I heard him say to the girl, "the name is ned stewart."

Ned stewart?

That's right.

Thank you so much.

You're welcome.

[giggling] you're cute, too.

[all laughing]

She said he's cute.

[clears throat]

[door closes]

[papers rustling]

Somebody's very interested in the cobra murders, pop.

He's been reading every newspaper in town.

Excellent deduction.

Thanks, pop. Nothing to it.

You know, mr. Chan...

Good evening.

Hi, boys. What's the angle?

I wish to speak to head of apex detective agency.

Go ahead. Speak. And it better be good.

You are mr. Ned stewart?

That's right.

Please put down gun. I have important matters to discuss.

I like it this way.

I would like you to locate young man who escaped Through coffee shop at 1410 dexter street When man named samuel black killed outside.

You've come to the wrong place, chum.

You better call on the police.

I am police.


Might have known it. Charlie chan, eh?

That's right, mr. Stewart.

Well, where do we go now? Police headquarters?

Seem logical destination.

You say you were following this girl Because you were hired to do so?

Yes, yes, for the 10th time, yes.

Man by the name of rogers hire you by telephone?


Good detective never accept job From man he neither see nor know.

I started my agency 4 months ago.

This was my first case. I couldn't be too particular.

Mr. Rogers give you address of 1055 harley street.

Yes. A rooming house.

I was to watch it every night.

If the girl, pauline webster, came out, I was to shadow her, But do nothing unless she seemed to be in danger.

Did she go back to the harley street address the night black died?

Yeah, but by the time I got there, she'd packed and gone.

Next day, I got this in the mail.

A week's salary from mr. Rogers.

Postal money order.

Impossible to trace.

And this.

"payment in full for services to date.

Do nothing more about pauline webster."

Signed r. Rogers.

Man tried to disguise handwriting, But police will learn everything By checking everyone who work at bank.

Now are you satisfied I'm in the clear?

If we find this girl, your innocence might be established.

Perhaps she guilty.

Otherwise, she would appear.

Oh, no, no. She couldn't.

Why not?

Well, because she couldn't. She's--she's too nice. She's...

Well, she's wonderful.


Inspector, you will please inform newspapers You have arrested ned stewart for murder of samuel black.

Arrest me? Why?

Wish to learn if strange girl So wonderful as you say.

Miss webb, uh, I was wondering If mr. Fletcher had seen these headlines?

Thank you, mr. Adams. I'll show the paper to mr. Fletcher.

And another thing I don't understand is--

[telephone rings]

Pardon me.

Inspector davis.

Oh. For you, charlie.


Excuse, please.

Charlie chan speaking.

Oh, yes.

Most happy to meet you tonight at lotus garden cafe.

7:30 p.M. Yes. Thank you so much.


It's the girl.

She have important information for me.

I meet her tonight.

Good. Now we're getting places.

If you would excuse me, I, uh, will leave now.

I have important personal matters to attend to.

I will see you tonight, after I have talked with girl, huh?

I'll be here.

And as I started down the street, Mr. Black stepped out of the shadows, Started to tell me something and fell dead.

You know what mr. Black want to tell you?

No. Before he could tell me, he died.

Ever hear name jan van horn?

Jan van horn?

You know such person?

No. No, I'm not acquainted with anyone by that name.

Mr. Stewart?

This young lady you speak of?

I'll say she is.

You may join us, mr. Stewart.

This is miss paula webb, Known to you as miss pauline webster.

This young lady has done noble thing By clearing you of murder charge.

But, miss webb, we expect you to come tomorrow To police headquarters to make affidavit of what you tell me.

Oh, I'm sure she'll do that.


You will excuse, please.

Uh, I have important business at police headquarters.

Mr. Stewart, You are to escort charming young lady home.

Do, uh, well, I...

Is it all right with you?

Must you go, mr. Chan?

Oh, quite necessary.

Besides, much better for you to have dinner With young detective than with old detective.

Good night.

Well, I don't know exactly what to say, but thanks.

Oh, I know you didn't have anything more to do With mr. Black's death than I did.

What did you do that for?

Well, now we're even.

Well, why?

You kissed me, didn't you?

Yes, but I did that because I didn't want you to start an argument with mr. Black, And besides, he was beginning to be pretty nasty And I was afraid somebody would make a scene.

Well, it certainly was worth it.

Wh-what is?

Catching up with you.

Are you sure you have?

Oh, you're not married?


In love?

[sighing] not exactly.

You had me pretty scared there for a minute.


Well, if you're in love with someone else, You can't very well be in love with me And if I'm in love with you, naturally I--

Just--just--just a minute.

What are you trying to say?

Well, uh, can't you guess?


[chuckling] oh, no.

People don't fall in love that fast, except on the stage.

Or do they?

Finish in the offices, larkin?

No, I have mr. Fletcher's office to do, But he's in there with mr. Harris.

They came back after dinner.

Davis speaking.

Yes, larkin. What'd you see?

I can't talk, inspector, I'm being watched.

You and mr. Chan get here quick.

Charlie, you're just in time.

Something wrong?

Plenty. Larkin called from the bank. Told us to get over there quick.

Come, we go.

It's all right, boys. Let them in. It's the police.

Where's larkin?

We can't find him, but we found this in mr. Harris's office.

[chuckling] well, I haven't even been in my office tonight.

Mr. Adams, you bank guard by day, also by night?

Uh, double duty today, sir, because I switch over To night duty for the coming month.

I can't understand larkin's disappearance, But why are the police looking for him?

Because he's a detective.

A police detective we put in here 3 months ago.

You search entire bank?

Thoroughly, sir. Both floors and every room, But somehow larkin managed to get out.

I don't understand it because the guards Haven't unlocked the door to let anyone out tonight.

But larkin's gone. What's happened to him?

Appears to be mystery Which we must solve alone, inspector.

Rising generation sit too much.

Why you here instead of mailing important letters?

I mailed them, pop.

But on the way, we got this.

You get illegal u-turn ticket?

Mr. Chan, I'll tell you just how--

Tommy, you tell it.

I warned you, birmingham. I said, "no u-turn here."

That's what you said: "no, you turn here."

I said, "no u-turn here."

That's what I did, "you said no u-turn here!"

Pop, I told him. I said, "no u-turn here."

That's what you said. "no, you turn here." and I did.

You see what I mean? I said, "no u-turn here."

Mr. Chan, did you hear? He said--

Please. Please. You turn so many u-turns, You have my head spinning like merry-go-round.

You--you remain here until I find doghouse Big enough to hold both of you.

Please, please.

Oh, mr. Chan, I have something important I'd like to ask you.

Do you think, uh, paula will like it?

Do not offer ring until case is closed.

Hey, now wait a minute.

Do you still think paula is connected with these murders?

Ancient ancestor once say:

"even wise man cannot fathom depth of woman's smile."

Any further trace of larkin?

(davis) none.

My men are making a check Of the entire first floor of the bank building right now.

What is below bank?


Must be service tunnel, sewers.

That's right. I never thought of that, charlie.

I'll call up the building department And have them send the plans right up.

When you receive architect's plan, we take look below bank.

And here's another thing, charlie.

I got a report that these 2 men, morgan and taylor, Were seen leaving fletcher's office yesterday morning.

I ordered them both picked up.

They both have records.

When they are brought in here, We'll put the heat on them and make them talk.

Good work, inspector.

Hey, where are we goin'?

We're going to investigate on our own. We'll show pop.

You show him. I'll stay right here.

Come on, we're going to check up on the sewers.

Sewers? Why, this detective job ain't sanitary.

Let's try this manhole.


What's the matter?

No use, anyway. We couldn't find it.

We lost it already, I think.

Yeah, just ain't no use at all, tommy.

Yeah, we tried 3 manholes and the same cop showed up--

That's what I said...

Why don't you look where you're walkin'?

(morgan) the whole sidewalk...

Birmingham, that's them. The fellows whose pictures We saw in the inspector's office. Let's follow them.

No, no. Let's wait right here.

Birmingham, suppose paul revere had waited, Where would this country be now? Come on.

Wait a minute. I'm birmingham, I ain't paul revere.

Hi, rita.

(rita) hi, buzz.

We're goin' out back, rita. Anything happened?

Anything happen around here? Are you kidding?

What a sense of humor. I know.

Now we want 'em but we can't even find 'em.

There's a girl inside. Now we gotta get inside and take a look.

We got to get inside?

Did you see that big man go in there? You go in there.

We'll give them the eager beaver routine number 5.

Ok, the eager beaver. That's all right... Eager beaver routine?

Hello. Hello.

Is miss evelyn wing here?

Miss evelyn wing isn't here. I work here.

Oh, that's funny. I have a date with her.

She asked me to call for her here.

You heard me.

I'm sorry.

That's funny, she should be here.

Uh, in case that she should show up, Will you please tell her that I was here?



[door closes]

They hid in here?

They came in here. They haven't gone out.

They must be in here.

Well, my knees is killin' me.

Strange, now. There's only one door, and there's...

[groans] goodness gracious, earthquake.

The floor's movin', the table's movin'. Everything's movin'.

Tommy, I'm going to move. Let's get out.

Well, look at here.

They must have gone down there. Let's go.

Now, wait. You said they was murderers.

I think so.

Why do you want to go down there?

Don't let me down. Now come on.

Oh, my goodness. Ain't this somethin'?

Now, I got to follow you all around here.

I don't see... Why don't you watch...


Now be careful, birmingham. Be careful.

(birmingham) it's all wet.

[door squeaks]

H-hey, tommy.

Somebody done took the door away.

Shh. Come on.

Hey, tommy. Hey, tommy.

I told you not to leave me like that.


There's something in here.

Follow me, birmingham.


Don't do that. It's a long way down.

I just found that out.

Look. The sewers are down there. Come on.

Sewers? Now you goin' way down there?

Now why do you want to go down there?

Come on.

Gracious me.

Why don't you stay up here?

I got to follow you all over the world, now, ain't this somethin'?

And to go down here, this is something ridiculous.

I don't see what-- what I want to meet you for.

Let's go this way.

Why don't you investigate where all this light is?

Why do you want to go down in the dark?

Come on.

Now, be very careful, now. This part is wet.

You're liable to get drowned here.

Water, water, water.

I ain't never seen so much water in all my life.

Look. Listen. Come over here. Now, be very careful. Careful here.

This is the first time that I ever seen anything That there was enough of.

There's too much water and it's too dark. And I'm going back.

Birmingham, we are gonna stay down here and solve these murders, Even if the water comes up to my neck.

Your neck? Mmm-mmm, I'm gone.

Birmingham. All right. You want to go, go.

You'll get lost.

Sure, I'll go. I ain't gonna stay with you.

Lost? Hmm? Wait a minute.

Tommy. Tommy!

I'm sorry. I thought you were someone I knew.

She doesn't look familiar, but she sounds like someone I know.

Strike me same way.

Where are we going, charlie?

Below bank.

See, you might get lost, so I think I'll take the lead.

See, if you come on out here, tommy.

Now, take it easy. Come on with me.


Is that you?


That's all right. I was--

Why don't you just follow me, birmingham?




He's dead.

He's gone.

He's gone? I'm goin'.

There's a man comin' behind you and he ain't dead.

They got me. I'm shot.

[alarm ringing]

Are you all right? Let's go.

[birmingham yells]

Heating and water pipes run through here.

(tommy) help! Help!

Uh, we arrive too late.

Taylor, the laundry store. Let's get out of here.

(tommy) help!

My assistants out of doghouse and in more trouble.

(chan) tommy. Birmingham.

Pop. Thank goodness.

How you get here?

Through a laundry, pop.

You look wet enough for laundry.

We followed those 2 fellows we saw in the pictures this morning.

When we got down, they started shooting.

After we found a dead man.

You find dead man? Where?

Down below, in the sewers.

Come show me. This way, pop.


Charlie, it is larkin. Now we'll never know what he wanted to tell us.

Even in death, mr. Larkin tell us What murderer do not wish police to know.


Yes, thank you, doctor.

Mr. Larkin is 4th person to die by fangs of the cobra.

At least we had a motive for his murder.

He wanted to tell us something.

For same reason 3 other people die.

Miss paula webb say mr. Black wish to tell something.

Therefore, he was killed.

Sure, people are always getting in trouble for talking too much, pop.

Be sure you remember that.

Mr. Larkin's body found on outside of bank, Which prove in reverse there is way of getting into bank Without using doors or windows.

Yes, but charlie, the bank plans Show there's only one entrance to the bank.

Buildings can be altered without altering plans.

What about the maintenance store, pop?

Maintenance store not inside of bank.

That is outside, in hallway of building.

Now, this is bank.

Time element prove neither mr. Black, Mr. Rafferty nor miss dunham poisoned inside of bank.


Mr. Black's body found there.

Rafferty got in the car and died right there.

Miss dunham got on the bus And dropped dead right there.

There, there and there.

Seem logical place where 3 persons poisoned by human cobra?

It's the coffee shop.


Place which need much attention, which we give same tomorrow.

But, pop, we found larkin's body down in the sewers.

Excellent, excellent, very good.

You talk fast. You think fast. Excellent.

We go now to laundry with mysterious trapdoor. Come.

In here, pop.

Pop, the trapdoor's back there.

There. Right there.

Who are you to come bustin' in here?

Police, please.

This is the table, pop.

We picked it up--

Just like this.

What? The trapdoor's gone.

Well, don't look at me. I didn't take it.

There never was a trapdoor here.

I could have told you that.

Pop, I want to talk to you as man to man.

I am ready, but you still have few years to go.

That's right.

Well, is that all you gents want?

Sorry for intrusion.

Forget it.

Next time, bring your laundry and I'll call it square.

Gee, I'm sorry, pop. I guess we should have our eyes examined.

Yeah, mr. Chan, we are mortified.

Perhaps you not so dumb as you think. We call police.

You want us to watch the laundry, pop?

No. Make the occupant suspicious.

We learn nothing.

[telephone ringing]

Hello. Rita?

What happened?

It worked, jarvis. Yeah, they just left.

They couldn't find a thing.

Good girl, rita. Now, take it easy, Because they've been completely thrown off the track.

You were right but how did you know those 2 kids got in yesterday?

The maintenance door. We wired it.


When it opens, an alarm bell rings down in the tunnels.

It didn't ring when those 2 got in, So they must have followed us in through the laundry.

Well, we've got work to do. Get these things out.

Yeah, that rita's a pretty clever kid.

What's the idea of the, uh, rockets now--

Be careful, taylor. You want to blow us to bits?

Why are we loadin' these things now?

Have you finished those tubes down below the vault?

Yeah, they're all set.

The boss wants us to get ready to get this radium any night. Maybe tonight.

Very clever and unusual.

Uh, in-information most interesting.

Thank you very much.

You're entirely welcome.

What did he say, pop?

What's up, charlie?

Will illustrate. Come with me.

(davis) why'd we come here, charlie?

My assistants not entirely insane.

Huh? "not entirely?"

Lawbreakers make first move, so we make 2nd one.

Recently has been counter here. Also shelves.

My assistants in this room yesterday.

Oh, no, pop. We were next door.

No. Cannot sell bearskin before shooting bear.

Watch the entrance.

You not here yesterday?

Why, no, pop, we were...

Why, yes, we were.

Yes, sir, mr. Chan.

This is the table right here.

It's got to be. See, pop?

How did you know this was in here, charlie?

Oh, I am very smart detective.

I talk with one man who always know what happen in his street:

United states letter carrier.

He tell me yesterday laundry here.

Today, move one door further away.

We go down.

You two, watch from across street.

I see you later. Hurry.

Thank you, mr. Chan.

Thank you very much.

Peculiar arrangement of pipes so close to bank wall.

Must study architect's plans to determine purpose of same.

Down there is where we found larkin's body.

Now, we try to discover how larkin get from inside of bank to here.

Someone employed here recently.

Look, they work here.

Someone has made an opening into the ventilating system.

Passageway go upward, but not built far.

I'll try it.

(ned) I'm making a turn left. There's a light up ahead.

Mr. Chan, this seems to open into the bank.

Mmm-hmm. I am certain of same.

Come, quick. Let us go.

Visitors are supposed to be announced.

Sorry. Police do not read emily post.

Uh, I must offend emily post once more.

Your company not desired.

This where you came out of the ventilator?

Right there. I closed it.

This is where mr. Larkin so strangely exit from bank.

Oh, this is a surprise.

That's what I was going to say.

You often work here late at night?

No, mr. Fletcher never keeps me after regular hours.

Paula, are they questioning you about me?

Where'd you come from? I didn't see you come in.

You can see us all go out.

Miss paula, get your things and come with us.

Yeah, yeah, I know you're police, but I ain't done nothin', No matter what my ex-wife says.

You own this place?

Sure. Is that a crime?

Employees of bank come here often?

All the time. They are my best customers.

Where you obtain music box?

Uh, oh, that, I--I got it from a fellow come in one day.

I make a big percentage on it.

Name of man who put in machine, please.

A guy named jan van horn.

Jan van horn?

Name sound familiar to you, miss webb?

I told you, I know no one by that name.

Can you describe van horn?

Oh, sure.

He was a sort of a short, uh, well, not too short.

He was a little bit on the heavy, uh, but, uh, but his hair.

Oh, he had his hat on.

He was just-- j-j-just one of them mediocre guys, like you and me.

Oh, thank you so much. Yes, splendid.

Uh, you will all remain here, please.

We'll see you later. Come.

Charlie, we couldn't find the jukebox company in the telephone book, So why did we come here to the 2nd floor of the bank building?

To find girl whose voice comes from jukebox.

How do you know she's here?

She come from elevator in hall downstairs yesterday.

Girl whose voice sound strangely familiar.

Elevator boy tell me she work in this office.

Strange place for music jukebox.

Skeleton key, please.

You know, this is slightly illegal.

4 murders much more illegal.

No jukebox equipment in here, charlie.

What is it?

Suspect pentylite. Very powerful explosive.

I wish police chemist to analyze same.

Girl of voice work here, so jukebox must be here.

Yes, but where?

Amateur attempt at concealment.

Must be hidden spring or some strange, secret device.

A doorknob.

This is other end of jukebox.

Would like to work mechanism, please.

What these buttons on desk for?

Well, this one's for the microphone, And this for the speaker...

Why? Who are you?


She know that. Excuse, please.

Television screen work?

I only work here.

Uh, we see.

That's the coffee shop.

Sorry to keep you waiting.

Oh, that's ok, pop.

I thought I heard pop's voice.

You did.

Hm, I knew it.

I knew it. You fool around with murders And you'll turn up a ghost.

Mr. Chan talking from the jukebox.

(chan) thank you, mr. Stewart.

Everyone there?

Yes, sir.

Please, when mr. Black there, He put coin in box?

Yes, he did put a coin in.

Then he got the wrong number and demanded his money back.

He get money?

Yes, he did. Through the return coin slot.

I see. One moment.

When mr. Black in coffee shop press button for return money, Which button you press here?

I didn't. I, uh...

Thank you for information.

Mr. Stewart, You will please press button for return money, But do not press button with finger. Understand?

Yes, sir.

Here. Use this.


Ready here, mr. Chan.

Ready here.

(chan) push button.

Mr. Chan, you found the cobra.

It's a device here in the machine.

Thank you, mr. Stewart.

So, this is how you kill mr. Black and 2 others.

I didn't-- I didn't touch that lever.

It was always jan van horn.

One moment, please. You will describe jan van horn.

I can't. I never saw his face in my life.

Most unfortunate, You not see man's face after so many associations?

You will come with us to police headquarters And refresh your memory. Come.

So, inspector, girl not lying When she say she not see jan van horn's face.

I still think she can tell us more than she has And I'm not going to let her go.

Quite right, inspector. She most important witness.

Still sitting.

The girl talk?

Not right kind of talk. No new developments.

Want a suggestion, pop?


Want a suggestion, pop?


No? Oh.

Seems like we're getting no place fast in this case.

On contrary, inspector, we get some place very quickly.

I was hoping you'd have something up your sleeve.

No new developments. We create same.

I am giving out information to the papers That government will remove radium from bank tomorrow.

Are you going to do it?

If thieves believe we remove radium tomorrow, Perhaps they might try to steal same tonight.

Excellent idea, charlie.

When they go in to crack the vault, I'll have my men outside and we'll nab them.

No, no, please.

Mice will never play so long as cat is in house.

You will have your men in police cars in street outside the bank.

Uh, you will move them in only when I give the word.


Where will you be?

I have important appointment With mr. Fletcher at the bank.

No, no, mr. Stewart.

You will please look after miss webb.

Too many hands sometimes spoil pudding.

My sitting assistants will drive car.

He's here now. We'll get busy right away.

Well, they're playing right into our hands, morgan.

The government is planning on moving the radium in the morning.

They think they're going to get the radium.

Well, fortunately, we have everything ready.

It took a great deal of work to make this rocket practical.

That sure ought to put a nice hole in the vault.

It will. Is everything ready in the tunnel?

Taylor's waiting for me.

It's now 7:05.

Here, check your watch with mine.

We must make sure that there's no slip-up.

Now unless I hear from you differently, I'll put the rockets in the tubes from here at exactly 11:00.

The sewer explosion must be timed to go off 5 minutes After we get the radium.

We have everything set.


This is one time the famous charlie chan Is going to find himself outsmarted.

That won't be hard to take.

I don't need to caution you About handling this pentylite.

I want to live a while longer.

Assistants will not be needed.

I will only be 5 minutes. Remain here.

Good evening, mr. Chan.

Fletcher told me you were coming.

I have appointment with mr. Fletcher to visit vault.

Uh, suggest you come along.

Yes, sir.

You have work in bank long time, mr. Adams?

Yes, mr. Chan. A long time.

8 years, perhaps.

You know, people in bank act very strangely.

For instance, mr. Fletcher's secretary, paula.

You mean, uh, miss webb?


You think she connected with murder in any way?

Oh, that child? Why, she couldn't harm a soul.


Uh, thank you so much, mr. Adams.

Mr. Fletcher, sorry to inconvenience you, But my business most important.

Glad to be of service.

Wish to open vault.

You can't.

The time lock won't open until 9:00 tomorrow.

Time lock not set for tonight, by my orders.

Not set?

Mr. Chan, that's a violation of banking regulations.

So sorry, but government Now in charge of bank vault. Come.

Open vault quick, please.

Everything in order.

Thank you so much, uh, mr. Fletcher.

We return now to your office.

Look, there's one of the men the police are after.

I wonder what he's up to?

Yeah, that's that great big man. I ain't curious.

He's probably heading for the laundry. We gotta take a look.

Your pop told us to stay right here.

Pop would want to know what he's up to. Come on.

He must have gone in the laundry.

Big as he is, I don't care where he went.

Come on.

What are you closing that door for?


This door leads into the room with the trapdoor.

He must have gone in there.

Yeah, but I still ain't curious.

If I didn't know you better, I'd think you were scared.

Yeah, and I ain't relaxed, neither.

You know, that's a big man.

Pop said the police would guard this place.

He also told us to stay in the car and wait for him.

He's gone down there. The trapdoor's open.

And I'm goin' out.

Hey, tommy, look.

Why, it's the police.

Just knocked out. Whoever did it must--

I don't know who did it, but I'm go--

(whispering) tommy.

What's the matter?

The big fella.

Come. Here.

Oh, my goodness.

Hurry up.

Birmingham, come quick.

Come out this way.

What way?

Don't lose me now.

Hey, we're trapped.

Come on. Follow me, quick.

Hold it, taylor.

Birmingham, quick.

This will be easier. Pentylite.

Explosion. Beneath bank. Must investigate.

I wouldn't go in there if I were you.

Tell me later.


No, taylor. I'll keep him covered.

Call jarvis. Tell him to go ahead.

In the meantime, I'll prepare to blast the sewer.

Birmingham. Tommy.

You--you hurt?

No, pop. I guess I'm ok.

We're trapped.

Birmingham, how are you?

I didn't know it was going to be this cold down here.

Number, please? Thank you.

There's something wrong with the lines.

There must be a short some place.

I'll have one of the men cut the line out.

That seems to be in morse code.

Hand me your pencil.

Get inspector davis at police headquarters.

Do you think you will get through, pop?

If not, number 3 son and father Will join honorable ancestors.

Mr. Chan, tell your honorable ancestors To move over and make room for me.

Hello, inspector davis?

Just a minute, please.

Inspector davis? We have just received a message from charlie chan.

I'll read it to you.

"bank robbers apparently attempting

"to blow vault by using pentylite bombs

"in mysterious tubes in maintenance tunnel.

"instruct men to proceed at once with our plan.

We are imprisoned in sewer tunnel by explosion."

Is that clear?

Yes, I got it.

Inspector davis speaking. Put out a broadcast to all cars.

Jarvis'll be ready in 2 minutes.


[siren wailing]

5 seconds.

All set here.

(davis) we're coming through. Charlie.

Sorry for delay, but necessary for change of linen.

Inspector, I have arrested 4 persons But still seek killer and leader of bank robbers.

The police said it was a man named van horn.

Jan van horn, at moment, is man of mystery.

But not for long.

Miss webb, Every time the name of jan van horn is mentioned, You frightened.

Not for self, but for jan van horn.

A man named rogers worry about you.

Uh, mr. Adams also worry about you.

What are you getting at?

I have compared fingerprints on mr. Rogers' letter With people working in bank.

All right. I wrote the letter.

Show me wrists, please.

From fire in shanghai.

Your face greatly changed.

Plastic surgery. I also dyed my hair.

I am jan van horn.


Even humble detective notice affection between you two.

Dad never killed anyone or robbed any bank anywhere.

Mr. Van horn, after you escape, why you come here?

Because one of the men on the boat in which I escaped Had some of the jewels I was accused of stealing in shanghai.

Why not inform police?

Because he was not the leader.

I intended to follow him to get to the man who framed me For robbery and murder.

Who was man you follow?


Jarvis take offices in bank building, so you get job in bank.

Yes. Paula also got a job.

She saw black talking to jarvis, So she started following black at night.

That's why I hired mr. Stewart to follow her.

Only one man ever fully believe you rob bank in shanghai.

Man who collect all and only evidence against you.

Who was that?

Man who disappear when you escape.

Special agent hume of shanghai.

I have here bag of strange powder Which I find on mr. Jarvis' desk.

Mr. Jarvis, you can explain what it is?

You should be more careful, sir.

Excuse, please.

Real explosive in another bag.

You are one who stop being careful.

For first time, you use left hand.

What are you talking about?

Special agent hume, killer of shanghai, also left-handed.

Are you trying to say that my name is hume?

Will prove same when I receive fingerprints from England.

All right.

You're breaking my arm. Let go.

Take them both out.

Put them in confinement.

At last, inspector davis, we capture the human cobra.

2 buttons, observe:

One to open, other for killing detective larkin.

I can't tell you how much you've done for me, mr. Chan.

Glad to be of service.

Perhaps can still be of further service.

Some time ago, mr. Stewart purchase this ring In the hope miss paula might wear same With your permission.

Excuse, please.

Well, I--I forgot my words.

Well, case is closed. We can now retire.

No, pop. We still have some unfinished business.


Another illegal u-turn ticket?

That's right, pop.

Let's give it to the inspector, huh?

No. You turn here and go to hoosegow.

But, pop, we didn't--

No buts. You go to hoosegow.

You, too. But, mr. Chan.

Go. I wasn't drivin'.

Neither was I, pop.

No, that was last night.

And, mr. Chan, that was you drivin'.


That's right, charlie.

But, inspector, I say to you, "do I go straight ahead?"

And you say, "no, you turn here."

No, charlie. You're mistaken. I said, "u-turn here."

No, inspector, you say--

[all laughing]