Charlie Chan in Reno (1939) Movie Script

Yes, sir. It's the biggest little
city in the world.
And by gosh, it's the liveliest.
I guess these divorces figure that
as long as they're changin' partners...
they just might as well dance.
- This your first trip here?
- Yes.
I thought you were strange.
Some of them come back so often,
I was thinkin'of printin'up commuter's tickets.
Oh, well.
I guess divorce ain't much more
than a matter of traveling.
You check out of the state of matrimony
and land in the state of Nevada.
I ain't got no complaints though.
Owe my livin' to divorces,
same as most of the people in this town.
And, by gosh, it's the one business
that even the depression don't hit.
- Now, you take me for instance-
- How much farther to the hotel?
Oh, you in a hurry, are you?
Don't matter how soon I get you there,
lady, it still takes six weeks.
- Good evening.
- Good evening. I'm Mrs. Curtis Whitman.
- I have reservations.
- Oh, yes, Mrs. Whitman. We have your room ready.
I'll notify our social directress
that you're here.
Is that necessary?
I'm rather tired.
Not necessary, but we try to make each guest
feel that he or she is more than a guest.
Especially during these trying days.
If you'll just register, please.
Miss Wells' office.
- Try the bar.
- Try the doc's office, I'd say.
Ring Dr. Ainsley.
Dr. Ainsley, this is the front desk.
Does Miss Wells happen to be there?
Certainly. It's for you.
Hello? All right, I'll be right out.
Another lost soul here for the cure.
- Shall I give her the bright approach or the sympathetic?
- I prefer the bright.
So I've noticed lately.
I'll leave the sympathy for you.
You do it so well.
106. You'll find there's never a dull moment
at the Hotel Sierra, Mrs. Whitman.
We have sunrise trips
to points of interest...
alimony breakfasts,
bridge luncheons or-
Oh, here's Miss Wells.
Mrs. Whitman.
How do you do? You've had a long trip,
haven't you? Let's have a drink.
Thank you, but I don't think I care for one.
L- It's rather late.
Oh, come on. You don't want to spend
your first evening in that room alone.
- You're right. I don't.
- Fine.
It's this way.
I'll show you your room later.
Seventeen and the black.
Well, that washes me up.
- Oh, it's you.
- Oh, hello, Ainsley.
You're a doctor. Save my life
and let me have a hundred, will you?
Sorry. My office hours are from 2:00 to 4:00.
But I'll buy you a drink.
That's awfully generous of you.
Here. Cash these for me.
Maybe that'll help your credit.
- Meet you at the bar.
- Place your bets.
- The same, Mrs. Bentley?
- Yes.
- Where's your shadow?
- Shadow?
The official greeter.
Greeting a decidedly attractive new arrival.
I wouldn't mind having her job myself.
What's the matter?
- I'm amused.
- That must be obvious to everyone in the place.
- Do you know her?
- Know her? I'm going to marry her husband.
Want to meet her?
Come on.
Number 25 and the red.
Well, well!
Greetings, salutations,
and my heartfelt thanks.
Curt wrote me he'd finally
talked you into a divorce...
but I didn't expect you so soon.
Dr. Ainsley finds you so attractive,
he asked for an introduction.
Since you're doing so much for me,
why shouldn't I do something for you?
The doctor's a bachelor. You'll find him
most amusing while you're here.
I know I have.
- Mrs. Whitman, Dr. Ainsley.
- How do you do?
I'm sorry, Mrs. Whitman...
but this seems to be one of those situations
that we try to avoid here.
Why, going to marry her husband.
So what?
This is 1939. We're modern.
Let's talk things over.
Besides, there's lots of things
I want to ask you about Curt.
You know, how he likes
his eggs and toast.
And is he sometimes cross in the morning
or always as charming as I've found him?
- And all the little things you did that upset him.
- Let me out, please.
Mrs. Whitman,
what are you doing here?
- Thanks.
- Don't you know?
- Why, no.
- I haven't had the heart to tell the poor boy.
Tell me what?
I've decided that Curt will make me
a better husband. He's more mature.
Why, you cheap, lying-
- Don't you call me names, you stupid fool!
- Oh!
My goodness!
Is it my fault you're sap enough
to trail me everywhere I go?
Will you show me my room please?
Are you both going up
and have a good cry?
- Shut up.
- I won't shut up!
Mrs. Bentley,
I have to ask you to leave my hotel.
- What?
- You've done nothing but cause trouble since you came here.
- Why, you can't-
- I shall expect you to be gone by morning.
Behave yourself and sit down.
- I want a drink.
- You've had too much to drink already.
And you've talked too much.
You used to be smart.
Keep on like this
and you'll hang yourself.
What's the matter?
Afraid you'll hang with me?
Where have you been? Mrs. Bentley's
been ringing for you all evening.
What was she ringing for?
She knows it's my night off.
- She's leaving the hotel. You've got to pack.
- Tonight?
And if you want to know,
she was thrown out.
Oh. Now she'll really be hard to work for.
What happened?
Mrs. Bentley won't be
leaving until morning.
All right, Mrs. Russell.
I'll have her bill ready.
Mrs. Bentley.
- What's the trouble? Is someone hurt?
- Mrs. Bentley.
- What's happened here?
- In there-
- How did it happen?
- I don't know. Mrs. Bentley.
- Keep back everybody.
- Who is she?
- What's going on?
- Did they send for a doctor?
- Is she dead?
- I think so.
Get Dr. Ainsley.
I'll telephone the police.
Don't look at me like that.
I didn't do it.
Don't! I didn't do it, I tell you!
I didn't! I didn't!
Lieutenant Chan,
Mr. Curtis Whitman is here to see you.
Always pleased to see Mr. Whitman.
This way, please.
- Hello, Charlie.
- Please pardon experiment...
but must reproduce elusive Easter rabbit
for number one grandchild.
So glad-Words of welcome freeze
when friend appears troubled.
You couldn't have
seen the papers, Charlie.
Please forgive question,
but is concern for living or the dead?
Mary is still my wife,
in spite of what we'd planned.
But she didn't-
She couldn't have done this.
Man yet to be born who can tell
what woman will or will not do.
But you know her.
You've known her all her life.
Yes. Very difficult
to believe ill of those we love.
Oh, I knew you'd
feel that way, Charlie.
That's why I want you to go with me.
Why, they might build up
a case against her that we can't break.
- Oh, she's in a jam and it's-
- Please.
Ancient ancestor once say,
"Words cannot cook rice. "
Then you will go?
I've reserved seats
on the Clipper for both of us.
Can you be ready in an hour?
Will go pack
and notify family in person...
just so honorable wife will not
misunderstand contemplated visit to Reno.
Phew! Very objectionable odor,
Mr. Chan. Ah, what is it?
Just one of my experiments
in chemical criminology, sir.
You see, I'm working on a new method
to bring out fingerprints on cloth.
Bring them out?
My dear boy, that'll drive them out.
I'm sorry, sir.
I don't think it turned out just right.
Hey, a telegram
just came for you, Jimmy.
Oh, gee, thanks.
Do you have to make that stuff?
Hey, listen to this.
It's from Pop.
"Honorable sprout, unexpectedly find self
on way to Reno, Nevada.
Will visit you before return home. "
Reno? Is your Dad
gonna get a divorce?
Oh, gee, no.
I- I don't think so.
Say. You know that murder we read about
and I said I knew the people?
- Yeah.
- That's what Pop's on his way to Reno for.
- No kiddin'!
- No foolin'.
Say, Jack, the Easter holidays start tomorrow,
and you're not going anywhere.
- Can I borrow your car?
- Well, the tank's empty.
- I'll fill it up.
- How long are you gonna use it?
Oh, I'll be back
before vacation's over.
Hey, wait a minute!
That's a week.
Oh, don't worry. With me helping Pop,
it won't take that long.
We'll have this case
cleaned up in no time!
Young man, you'll clean that up
before you clean up any mysteries.
Yes, sir.
- Oh!
- What's the trouble?
My pal here got smacked
by a hit-and-run.
- Oh!
- Is he hurt bad?
Looks like it. I got to get him to a hospital.
Say, we're only 20 miles from Reno.
I'll be glad to take you there.
- Thanks, buddy.
- Hey, I'll help you.
You can't do this to me!
Yes, sir. It's the biggest little
city in the world, Mr. Chan.
I knew you was the famous detective
the minute I seen you.
Congratulations upon penetrating
humble disguise.
Aw, you're kiddin'.
We got a pretty smart
police force of our own.
Eager to make acquaintance of same.
Would kindly drive us there first?
- To the police station?
- Please.
All right, but if you're here to solve the
killing at the Hotel Sierra, you're too late.
'Cause they've already arrested
the woman that done it.
Has unfortunate lady confessed?
Nope. Too smart for that.
But they got her dead to rights.
Motive and everything.
It seems her husband and this-
Yes. We read all about it
in the papers.
Yeah, but you didn't see her
the night she got here, like I did.
I knew there was
something wrong, even then.
She didn't say nothin'.
Just sat back there quiet-like
and stared out the window.
I figured she was unhappy about a divorce...
but of course, now I know she was just
sittin' back there cooking up the murder.
Very interesting evidence.
This man will prove
most valuable on witness stand.
Witness stand? Who? Me?
I ain't getting mixed up in any murder trials.
No, sir. Not me!
I ain't saying another word.
Thank you so much.
- What's your name?
- Mr. Jones.
Yeah? And I suppose yours is Smith?
Correction, please.
Lieutenant Chan of Honolulu Police.
I thought so.
Lieutenant Chan! Oh, yes.
The chief is expecting you. This way, sir.
Well, Charlie! You old son of a gun.
I'm glad to see you again.
Sincerely hope
status does not change.
- Why should it?
- Quite possible I make large nuisance of self.
Chief of Police King,
Mr. Curtis Whitman.
- How do you do?
- How do you do? L-
Whitman? Oh.
Well, I'm sorry to meet you
under these circumstances, Mr. Whitman.
I know you're anxious to talk about the case,
but I'm on my way to the show-up.
- Like to have you come with me. Won't take long.
- Thank you.
Disorderly conduct, drunk, heaving brick
through window, hitting two police.
Take him away, Clancy.
Wow, that helps me.
Boys, we've got
a distinguished visitor today-
an old pal of mine from Honolulu,
Charlie Chan.
- So this is Charlie, eh?
- How do you do? It's a pleasure.
- So pleased.
- Sit right down here, Charlie.
And we'll show you the choicest collection
of con men and crackpots you've ever seen.
- Uh, meet Sheriff Fletcher.
- Most honored to meet illustrious Sheriff.
Oh, are you?
I've heard a lot about you too.
And, uh, this is a friend
of Lieutenant Chan's, Mr. Whitman.
- How are you?
- Whitman? That name sounds familiar.
It ought to.
That's the case you're on.
That's where I heard it.
Well, Chan, I reckon you ain't here
with Whitman for nothing.
Excellent observation.
Then we might as well
understand each other right now.
Me and King got this case well in hand, and
we don't need no outside help... or interference.
Don't mind him, Charlie. He's known
as "Tombstone. " I guess you can figure out why.
Tombstones often engraved
with words of wisdom.
Yeah, and ain't all of them
covered with moss either.
Now that you're here, young fella...
there's a couple of questions
I'd like to ask you.
- I know as little about this as you do.
- Yeah.
All right,
let's get on with the show-up.
Bring 'em in, Mac.
All right, come on, you guys,
and make it snappy.
- Get up on there.
- Quit pushing!
Hurry it along.
- You're gonna be sorry for this.
- Get up on there!
Take off your hats.
- Anything wrong, Charlie?
- Sudden shock to eyesight. Not permanent, I hope.
Step forward.
You too!
What's the charges on this kid?
Violation of ordinances 106, 109, 214-A.
And suspected of being nuts.
I am not nuts.
I told 'em how some hitchhikers stole
all my clothes, and-and a car I borrowed.
Violent too.
What's your name, bub?
It's Jimmy Chan, sir. And my father's
Charlie Chan. Everybody's heard of him.
Mm-hmm, and I suppose you'd recognize
your famous pa if you was to see him?
- Of course I would.
- Well, here.
Pop! Am I glad to see you!
You mean, he's really your son?
Must admit to dubious honor.
Pop, tell these guys I'm not crazy.
Parent must first
convince self of same.
Possible to release
offspring in my custody?
Sure, now that he's been identified.
Thank you. Now, will kindly
explain presence here?
I just came up during the holidays
to help you catch the murderer.
Pop appreciates valuable help
of number two son...
but first use talent
to catch new pair of pants.
Thanks. Don't do anything
on this case until I get back.
Is he gonna be on the case too?
- Self-appointed.
- He ain't the only one.
What's your name?
Who me? I'm Charlie Chan's
number three son.
Me go home now?
Charlie. Oh, Charlie,
I didn't do it!
You know I didn't do it!
Have brought somebody.
Thank you for coming, Curt.
Are you all right?
I mean-
Don't worry about anything.
Charlie's here to help you.
Sit down, please.
Now, want you to tell me exactly
what occurred on night of murder.
Well, I was in bed, but not asleep.
- What time, please?
- About 12:30.
While I was lying there,
I- I heard a scream...
not loud, but close to my room...
and it was cut off sharply.
It frightened me,
and I got up to see what was wrong.
How long after scream
before you reach hallway?
Oh, I don't know.
A minute, maybe longer.
You saw no one in corridor?
No. But the door opposite mine
was open a little, and the light was on.
I looked in and saw her
lying on the floor.
Even when I reached her,
I didn't recognize her at first.
She was wearing some sort of beauty mask
that completely covered her face.
Police have pictures?
Yes. Here.
You can have this set.
Thank you so much.
Continue, please.
I started to touch her,
and- and I saw the blood...
and then I recognized her
by her hair.
Oh, it all happened so fast, Charlie,
and it was such a shock to me.
I don't know what I did.
I just stood and
looked at her, I guess.
And then suddenly
the Chinese maid was screaming...
and people ran into the room
and... they accused me.
Police have reason to
doubt truth of story?
We ain't got no reason to believe it.
She had plenty of motive too.
Why, only an hour or two
before Mrs. Bentley was stabbed...
this woman and her had a fight in the
hotel bar, over her stealing her husband.
Oh, but I wasn't
the only one she quarreled with.
You were the only one found
standing over the body.
May humbly request one more favor?
Please arrange for Mrs. Whitman
to return to hotel.
What? Turn loose
the only suspect we got?
Can promise she will not
attempt to leave Reno.
Chief, this Oriental's loco.
If you think you're gonna take her
out of here like you did your son...
- you got another think coming.
- Please.
Victim was stabbed, you say?
Oh, she was stabbed all right,
with some kind of a knife.
Was weapon found on Mrs. Whitman?
Well, no,
but she might've got rid of it.
Exactly what kind of knife, please?
How should I know?
We ain't found it yet.
That's what has us stumped, Charlie.
The knife is still missing.
Then police believe Mrs. Whitman
foolish enough to kill...
leave room to hide death weapon...
then return to be discovered
beside body of victim?
Well, my theory is, she came back
for something- something she dropped.
Such as?
You can ask
the doggonedest questions!
Chief, are you gonna be taken in
by a lot of polite bowing and scraping?
You know we haven't got enough
evidence for an indictment, Tombstone.
Yeah, but who's going to be
responsible for her?
Suggest husband
number one man for job.
Her husband? First thing I know, you'll be
asking me to swear Whitman in as a deputy.
Can think of no one with better reason
for wishing to capture murderer.
- I'll see what the D.A. Says about releasing her, Charlie.
- Thank you so much.
Doggonedest detective I ever saw.
He's taking 'em out of here
faster than we can put 'em in.
Oh, excuse me, Sheriff.
What you hiding for?
Are you shadowing someone?
I ain't hiding. I got orders
to stick around and help your pa...
so I'm giving him plenty of rope.
- Where is he now?
- In there talking to the owner of the hotel.
So right after the quarrel in the bar,
I took Mrs. Whitman up to her room.
I stayed with her for some time
because she was pretty upset.
And I don't blame her. She took an awful
beating from that Bentley woman.
- Mrs. Bentley very unpopular.
- That's putting it mildly.
Believe unlamented lady here
to divorce self from present husband.
Yes. A George Bentley
from San Francisco.
So far, we haven't
been able to locate him.
- No one claim body?
- Her family. The police shipped it Back East yesterday.
Murder room still intact?
Yes. And locked, of course.
- Would like to visit same now.
- Certainly.
Mind if I snoop along?
Charming company turn
lowly sandwich into rich banquet.
Hiya, Pop.
How do you like my new hat?
Off head at present.
Oh, sure.
Excuse, please. This is number two son,
masquerading as Lone Ranger.
- Hello.
- How do you do?
Say. Are you getting ready
to visit the scene of the crime?
Yes. Would honorable Sheriff
wish to come?
Heck, I been through that room so much
I could search it with my eyes shut.
Thank you. Will search then
this time with eyes open.
Oh, Mrs. Russell!
Somebody's took the passkey off my ring.
- The passkey?
- Yes, ma'am. I left it hanging outside while I did 108...
and when I come out, it was gone.
Gee, maybe the murderer took it.
- The murderer! Oh, oh!
- Quiet!
Call the desk
and see if it's been turned in there.
I did, and it ain't.
Oh, ma'am, do you think-
I think you'll find it.
And please don't mention it to anyone.
Why, Dr. Ainsley!
What are you doing here?
I just remembered something
that happened the night of the murder.
- Oh, uh, this is Charlie Chan, the detective.
- How do you do?
Most gratifying to meet hostess
who remembers job at all times.
I get it. You think I was trying to
warn him for some reason.
Is there any reason
to warn honorable doctor?
Say, you don't
waste any time, do you?
Well, I'm not any good at hiding it,
so I may as well confess.
I'm rather fond of
the honorable doctor.
But I must admit this doesn't look so hot.
What were you doing here?
Looking for the money Mrs. Bentley won
the night she was murdered.
Don't you think you'd better leave
the searching to the police?
They did search this room...
but it occurred to me that
no mention was made of the money.
You see, Mr. Chan, the jealousy angle
was so strong against Mrs. Whitman...
that no one thought of
a simple robbery motive.
Most happy to consider same.
Was it large sum lady won?
Large enough for her to be paid off
in a stack of hundred dollar bills.
Wally Burke cashed in her chips.
And handed her the money
during the quarrel. I remember.
Hey! Cut it out! That hurts!
Take your hands off me, you big hick!
I haven't done anything!
Come peaceable now,
or I'll get rough.
What's all this about, Sheriff?
Burke knows
he ain't supposed to leave town.
Yet I just caught him trying
to pay his bill and check out.
- Pay his bill? With what?
- Money. What do you think?
- That's funny. I thought he was broke.
- What gave you that idea?
You tried to borrow some
from me the other night.
I wired home for it.
Any business of yours?
No. But it might
be of interest to Mr. Chan.
- Well, what is all this?
- Was under impression Mrs. Bentley was friend of yours.
She was.
Surprised then, you unwilling
to assist police by remaining in hotel.
Since you put it that way,
of course I'll stay.
You'll stay no matter
which way we put it.
Did Sheriff notice
if Mr. Burke have hundred dollar bills?
He was downright filthy with 'em.
- I better lock him up.
- No.
Most inadvisable.
If want wild bird to sing
do not put him in cage.
Maybe he won't sing,
but leastwise he won't take off either.
Check later with telegraph company
concerning story of Mr. Burke about cash.
Okay, Pop. I'll handle that.
If I can be of
any further help, I'Il-
I'll trouble you for that
passkey you took from the maid.
The maid?
I didn't take any key from her.
This is the one I used. The night clerk
gave it to me last week on an emergency case.
I forgot to return it.
It's been in my desk ever since.
With gracious permission of hostess,
will resume conversation later.
All right,
and I'll be looking forward to it...
because never have I
so politely been told to scram.
And now, please, would like to occupy
this room during stay in hotel.
- This room?
- Yes.
Gosh. It hasn't been three days
since Mrs. Bentley was killed in here.
Yet room continues to attract visitors,
and passkey still missing.
You mean we're gonna sleep in here
and wait for somebody to sneak in on us?
Perhaps sleep more attractive
in university classroom?
Oh, no. I don't mind.
Those things don't affect me!
I was just thinking about you,
that's all. It might be dangerous.
I agree with him, Mr. Chan.
When searching for needle in haystack,
haystack only sensible location.
Very well. I'll have her things packed
and moved out when you're ready.
One moment. Have kept
Mrs. Whitman's room?
- Yes. Why?
- Expect her here this afternoon.
- She's being released?
- In custody of husband.
- Oh, I'm so glad.
- Perhaps somebody else not so glad.
Request no mention
be made of release as yet.
- I understand.
- Thank you so much.
These police pictures sure are spooky.
- Death usually grim.
- What was she wearing the mask for?
Lady using new psychology on wrinkles.
Scares them away.
Gee, this Mrs. Bentley
sure liked herself.
She kept a publicity scrapbook,
just like a movie actress.
- Where you find scrapbook?
- Hmm? Right here on the trunk.
Police pictures indicate scrapbook
on vanity when body discovered.
Then somebody's moved it
since the murder.
Say, do you suppose this Burke fellow
might've killed her for the money?
Possible. Look for scissors
among lady's effects.
Okay. Uh, any particular kind?
Straight edge indicate
use of long desk shears.
You mean it might have been used
as a death weapon?
If closed, would leave wound
as described by police surgeon.
Gee, then I'd better look hard.
And if I don't find any,
it'll look like we're right.
I don't see any in here.
Find something important, Pop?
What I do not find
is more important.
- What do you mean?
- Pages covering 1935 and '36 have been removed.
Why, do you suppose?
Someone strangely anxious to conceal
lady's activities during those years.
- Continue search for scissors.
- Okay.
What's the matter?
What's happened?
Get a load of that
Honolulu bloodhound.
Sounds good.
- Well, what about him?
- What about him?
Looks like his nose just
led him straight to the bar.
Did you get me over here just to show me that?
- Ain't it enough?
- Listen, Tombstone. I knew Charlie was throwing this party.
He's doing it for a special reason...
and I want you to stay out of it.
I'll stay out of it, but while he's
wasting his time in there drinking...
where's that murderer
he was so sure of catching?
- Well, he may be drinking with him.
- Then why don't he arrest him?
Relax, will you? And for heaven's sake,
don't call me again unless it's important.
- There.
- Thank you.
What's in it, Mr. Chan?
Something to loosen the tongue?
Humble Hawaiian drink.
Very mild.
- I'll stick to bourbon.
- Do we toast with humble drink, or just dive into it?
Suggest toast to very gracious woman
and unhappy husband...
now entering.
You don't have to hold your chin
quite that high, Mary.
But they stared so.
How long do we have to stay?
Well, Charlie said for just one drink.
We can go someplace else for dinner.
I just want to get
back up to my room.
All right, Mary.
Anything you say.
So, tell me, Mr. Chan, have they dropped
the case against Mrs. Whitman entirely?
Police realize evidence very weak.
Personally, I don't think much of the motive.
You do not find
Mr. Whitman attractive?
I couldn't be attracted to any man who was
stupid enough to fall forJeanne Bentley.
Well, thanks.
Perhaps acquaintance with murdered lady
too brief to learn real character.
It took me a couple of months,
but I finally found her out.
It didn't take me long. The minute
she walked in the hotel, I had her labeled.
- That was first meeting with Mrs. Bentley?
- Yes.
And you, Dr. Ainsley?
I never knew her before she came here.
Why should you ask me?
Was only asking if you required
to have glass refilled.
Oh, uh, yes.
Yes. Thanks.
That was slick, Mr. Chan...
but if you're trying to find someone who knew
her before she came here, why don't you ask?
Have asked all except Mrs. Russell.
- I didn't know her.
- Mr. Burke, it looks like you're still leading the pack.
- What are you trying to do?
- Oh, don't be stuffy.
If you did do it, I'm all for you.
That woman had at least
one murder coming to her.
Would you have killed Mrs. Bentley?
Probably. If she'd annoyed me enough
and the knife had been handy.
Lady killed with scissors,
not knife.
- Scissors?
- What kind of scissors?
Very sharp. Pointed on end and long
enough to inflict very deep wound.
Implying surgical scissors?
Found doctor's office
well-equipped with same.
- I didn't know you had called.
- So sorry, doctor not in.
Are you accusing me?
What possible motive
could he have had?
None. But Mr. Burke seems
to have had plenty.
- Mr. Burke.
- Just a minute.
This is the second time you've tried to
pin this thing on me. What's on your mind?
Well, you never explained
where you got the money.
Come on. I don't want you to
get mixed up in this.
- You stay out there!
- Curt!
Hello. Give me
the police station, quick!
Hello. Give me the chief. Hurry!
Yes. King speaking.
I said you knew
he was throwing a party...
but did you know
he was staging a riot?
Well, stop it, you fool,
before somebody gets hurt.
Okay. But you told me
to keep out of it.
- Think he's hurt badly?
- I hope not.
- Who hit me?
- Are you hurt, Mr. Fletcher?
You're darn tootin' I'm hurt.
I got a good mind
to arrest the whole bunch of you.
I'll take him to his room.
All he needs is a sedative.
He'll sleep it off.
Perhaps you had better
assist doctor.
If honorable sheriff will permit...
think head need examination.
It's not my head
that needs examining.
It's the people's that let you
come in here and stir up a lot of trouble.
Regret accident, but sometimes
must strike innocent to trap guilty.
Yeah? Well, if you think you're gonna use
my skull for bait, you're crazy.
Thank you so much.
- Mr. Chan?
- Yes?
- Telephone.
- Oh.
- Yes?
- Hello? Pop?
I just got the report
from the telegraph office.
Wally Burke's family
cabled him $1,500 yesterday.
- Oh.
- Can I join the party now?
Party all finished.
Hey, Pop, somebody's
trying to get in here.
Oh, gee. I-I'm awfully sorry.
- Hello, Pop.
- Pop humbly suggest you assist young lady to rise.
Oh, sure. Gee, I hope
I didn't hurt you.
My dignity is slightly bruised,
but no bones broken.
Excuse please.
Can explain presence in this room?
Yes, honorable sir.
Are you Charlie Chan?
Praise in any language very sweet...
but young lady have not yet
explained presence here.
My name is Choy Wong, honorable sir.
Gee, that's a pretty name.
Uh, isn't it, Pop?
- My name's Jimmy.
- Jimmy Chan is also a nice-sounding name.
If Choy Wong will be so kind...
have not yet explained
presence in this room.
I was told that I'm now free
to pack Mrs. Bentley's clothes.
- Obtain key from clerk?
- Why, yes, sir.
- Gosh, Pop, you don't think that she-
- Shh.
Was personal maid to deceased lady?
- Work for her in 1935 or '6?
- Why, no.
She engaged me in San Francisco
a month ago and brought me here.
Ever glance through
lady's scrapbook?
I looked at some of the pictures.
Were pages torn out
when Choy Wong look at book?
- No, I'm sure they weren't.
- Is it all right for her to pack now?
- Yes.
- I'd better help you.
We might find something important.
You'd better clear out
the closet first.
All right.
Oh, Charlie.
We've got something to show you.
I found this in Wally Burke's room.
As you see,
the scissors are missing.
Gee, they'd be just the size
we're looking for.
And it's got his initials on it too.
Mr. Burke aware of discovery?
No, the doctor spotted it
while I was trying to quiet Burke.
- Administer sedative?
- Yes. He'll be asleep for some time.
Will question young man
when he wakes up.
Thank you so much.
Assistance greatly appreciated.
Burke's in the clear
about that money he got...
but he'll have a tough time
explaining this.
Can recall last time
Mrs. Bentley wore riding boots?
The day before she was killed.
She went out early in the morning
and didn't get back till noon.
Say, if she was on a horse,
where'd she get all that mud?
- And those scratches?
- Most clever deduction.
Lady did not remain on horse.
Hold boots, please.
- Do you think we've got something, Pop?
- Time and analysis will tell.
- Can reach me at police station if needed.
- Okay.
Don't worry.
I'll keep an eye on things here.
Am certain can depend on same.
Pop sure is smart. He doesn't miss a thing.
Except his son moving the furniture.
Oh, you mean that bench over there?
That wasn't anything. I just dropped
a cigarette and burned a hole in the rug.
Does honorable father
think you're too young to smoke?
Oh, no. I'm no kid.
I help him solve his cases.
- You do?
- Yeah.
I've got an idea how to solve this one.
Do you want to help me?
Yes- If I don't get killed.
I wouldn't want you to do
anything dangerous.
- I think you're very nice.
- What do you want me to do?
Well, I haven't got it
all doped out yet.
Do you mind if I smoke?
It helps me to think.
Drive to police station, please.
Okay, but I still ain't talkin'.
Aw, now, Priscilla.
I told you not to follow me.
I'm workin'.
Well, I just talked
with the New York police.
They're putting men on the 1935 and '36
newspaper files right away...
and they're going to check up on
Mrs. Bentley's bank account.
- Thank you so much.
- Oh. What did you find on the boots?
Plenty of sand, some pollen
from desert flowers, red clay...
- a suggestion of copper shavings and-
- Horsefeathers.
And minute splinters
from very old wood.
Copper and old wood
suggest abandoned mine.
Yes, well, there are
lots of those around here...
but the red clay narrows it
to someplace south of town.
Distance also limited.
Lady must ride there on horse,
transact mysterious business...
- and return to hotel by noon.
- I see.
Honorable chemist suggest...
old wood might possibly
indicate ghost town.
Yes, that's right.
Oh, wait a minute.
I know one.
Yes. Here it is.
Yeah, there it is, right there.
It's up in the hills, about four miles
off the main road.
It's beyond Dead Man's Canyon.
Yes, there's plenty of red clay
in that district.
And the old Sully copper mines
were there too.
That fits the analysis, and it's about
the only one that fits the distance.
Say, if you're interested...
I'll have Tombstone
drive you up there in the morning.
Visit to Dead Man's Canyon with Tombstone-
Very appropriate.
Will consider same tomorrow.
You want him to drive you
back to the hotel?
Have hotel driver waiting.
Thank you so much.
Hey, what are you going to do?
I'm going right along
after that guy.
He started one riot tonight,
and I aim to see he don't start no more.
Darned if I can figure why
you want to drive way out here...
at this time of night for.
Have strong desire
to visit real ghost town.
But it ain't nothin'
to look at even in the daytime.
You'll see for yourself in a minute.
It's just around the bend.
Please turn off all lights
when entering abandoned village.
- What for?
- Do not wish to alarm sleeping ghosts.
Wish to wait here?
If you don't mind, I think I would.
Oh. It's only you, Sheriff. Hello.
Where is that Chan fella?
He's wanderin' around somewheres...
- lookin' for ghosts.
- Ghosts nothin'.
He's up to something,
and I aim to find out what it is.
He can't give me the slip
and get away with it.
Are you tryin' to be funny?
I don't think so.
I ain't laughin'.
- What's that?
- It ain't mice.
Come out, whoever you are,
with your hands in the air.
- What was that?
- That ain't no... c-c-cow.
You're darn tootin' it ain't. Come on.
Light a match, Chan. I got him bulldogged.
- Why, this is a mining engineer's kit.
- Wait.
Wait'll you get a load
of these papers.
Bentley-The dead woman's husband?
How did he get away?
Regret scuffle
which occurred in dark...
to Mr. Bentley's advantage.
But have written description of car
with number of license.
Suggest you circulate same.
And how, I'll circulate it. This puts
an entirely new light on the case.
He's been out there all this time
in hiding, and I want to know why.
Also why wife visit him in secret.
Mmm. Send out
a general alarm for this car.
The driver is thought
to be George Bentley...
wanted in connection
with his wife's murder.
He'll try to leave the state, so notify
state and county highway patrols...
- to be on the lookout.
- Yes, sir.
I've got a hunch that when we get him
we'll have our murderer.
Sure be a relief to me
to get off of this merry-go-round.
Don't you ever solve
any of your cases in the daytime?
My feet hurt.
Chief King speaking.
What? All right.
We'll be over right away.
That was your son.
Something's happened at the hotel.
Must hurry.
Excuse please.
All right, break it up, folks.
Break it up. One side, please.
- What's wrong, Peters?
- This fella tried to sneak out of the hotel.
With these, Pop-
The ones we were lookin' for.
I told the officer that
somebody might try to do this...
and sure enough, it was him.
You've got a lot
of explaining to do, Burke.
I want a lawyer.
That won't be hard.
Half the population of Reno is lawyers.
- These are yours?
- Yes.
But I didn't kill her.
Someone's trying to make it look
like I did, and I know who it is.
- Just a minute, young fella.
- Sit down.
Have not explained scissors.
Jeanne borrowed them from me over a
week ago, and never returned them...
so when I heard she'd been
stabbed with scissors, why-
Who said she was
stabbed with scissors?
Lieutenant Chan-
And the police surgeon confirmed it.
Go on.
Don't tell me anything.
I'll just wait till the whole thing
is solved...
- then read about it in the papers.
- I'm sorry, Tombstone.
I thought you knew it.
All right, go on, Mr. Burke.
Well, I naturally figured
she was killed with my scissors.
Explain present possession
and attempt to dispose of same.
Dr. Ainsley gave me a sedative...
and when I woke up,
the scissors were on my table.
Someone put them there,
but with all the accusations...
that have been made against me,
no one would have believed that.
L- Well, I had to get rid of'em.
- Mr. Chan, there's something queer about this.
- You bet your life there is.
Somebody planted these in my room...
and if they did it for a joke,
I don't think it's funny.
Excuse please.
You were speaking when lady interrupt.
I was just going to say that I found
a pair of desk shears...
- exactly like those in my room tonight.
- What?
- Doctor also find similar pair?
- Yes.
But how did you know?
- Have theory.
- It better be good. They couldn't have all killed her.
Would like to see scissors, please.
- Bring the ones up from my office too.
- Certainly.
Number two son finally win jackpot?
- What do you mean?
- Scissors cost money.
Oh, I had some money left
after I bought this suit.
- What are you talking about?
- Think ambitious young detective...
can explain confusion of scissors.
Well, I figured that if all the suspects
found scissors in their rooms...
the one that was guilty
would try to get rid of'em.
- And it worked too.
- You mean you planted 'em, son?
- Yes, sir.
- I'm as much to blame as Jimmy is.
He thought of it,
but I'm the one who did it.
Oh, boy, am I relieved.
I found these under a cushion
of a chair in Mary's room.
But we didn't put any scissors
in Mrs. Whitman's room.
- You didn't?
- No, sir. We couldn't get in.
That policeman was
on guard outside the door.
Yeah, on my orders.
It looks like I was pretty smart too.
Now what have you got
to say, Mr. Chan?
But I didn't have them there.
I didn't know anything about them.
Have you got that
leather case, Charlie?
Uh, on desk.
Here they are.
What's happened?
Bring scissors, please.
- These the ones that were found in Mrs. Whitman's room?
- Yes.
These have the same trademark
as the letter opener.
I'm afraid there's no doubt that these
are the ones she was stabbed with.
You're afraid?
You got the goods on her
the second time...
and you got him trying to hide
incriminating evidence.
So you apologize. Horsefeathers!
I ain't losin' no more time.
Wait a minute, Tombstone.
What are you going to do?
To see the district attorney. I'm gonna
tell him everything we got on this woman!
I'll lay you 10 to 1 he'll have it...
before the grand jury by morning.
Curt, stop it, please.
You're blaming yourself
for showing them the scissors.
Of course I am.
All I want is to help you,
and, oh, I've made things worse.
I know you wanted to help.
But what did you think
when you found them?
That's what matters.
You must have thought I was guilty.
I didn't think anything
except that I was responsible.
Come in, Charlie.
Sometimes tears from woman
very happy sign.
I'm pretty scared, Charlie.
No need to be.
At moment police are searching
for man who is very likely suspect...
- and when-
- What is it?
Have burned sleeve.
Well, you don't smoke, Mary.
How did you do it?
I don't know.
I- I didn't even notice.
I haven't
had it on since-
Since when?
Since the night I...
found Mrs. Bentley.
Please, return with me to room.
Lone Ranger's hat bad enough
without wearing horse's blanket.
Oh, you mean these pajamas, Pop?
I didn't buy 'em.
I found 'em in your bag.
They're the ones Mom gave you for Christmas.
Although 3,000 miles away,
honorable wife still make presence felt.
Mary, would like you
to repeat actions on finding body.
All right.
I, uh- I saw her from the hall...
and crossed over
to the dressing table.
She was lying here
between the bench and-
Well, the bench wasn't here.
Can remember exact position ofbench?
Not exactly, but, uh-
It was something like that.
What's the matter?
What is it, Charlie?
- First bright light in very dense fog.
- You mean a clue to the murder?
Gee, Pop, I can't let you
get sidetracked that way.
I burned it with a cigarette.
Rug burned with acid...
- not cigarette.
- Acid?
How about Mary's sleeve?
Also acid.
Why, there is some there. It must have
been spilled here and dripped down.
If Mary leaned here,
that explains the burn on the sleeve.
Gee, it's a good thing you didn't
get any on your arm, Mrs. Whitman.
Nitric acid leaves a nasty burn.
Number two son think it nitric acid?
Well, it could have been.
It eats through anything but glass.
Have seen one bottle
nitric acid tonight...
but bottle full.
What would acid be doing here?
Think answer may be found
in second bottle-
Not so full.
Nitric acid?
Yes, I have some.
That's funny. I could have sworn
this bottle was full.
No one have occasion to use same?
What is purpose of gauze?
It prevents breaking
and leakage. Why?
Gauze on this different weave and quality
from gauze on other bottle.
It shouldn't be.
They're all shipped from the same firm.
With permission,
will keep till morning.
But do you think
it's connected with the murder?
Person who remove pages
from Mrs. Bentley's scrapbook...
- may have answer.
- Pages from her scrapbook?
Covering years 1935 and '36.
Thought doctor may have noticed
when searching lady's room.
No, I didn't.
Thank you so much.
Label this "Gauze
from Wally Burke's Room. "
- Who's next?
- Miss Wells, but you'd better search her room.
All right.
But what if they catch me?
Oh, don't you worry.
I'll be right behind you.
- Yes? Oh! Good morning.
- You bet your life it's a good morning.
- We've got Bentley, the husband.
- Good.
Tombstone's on his way over
to Tonopah to pick him up.
- But I've got some real news from New York.
- Yes?
The police checked on Mrs. Bentley's
New York bank account.
She wrote two checks this month...
for 1,500 apiece.
And who do you think
they were made out to?
Dr. Ainsley.
That is highly interesting.
You check on newspaper files?
And how. Say, no wonder somebody wanted
to get rid of the pages of that scrapbook.
They're dynamite. Get this.
In 1935, Jeanne was married
to a man named Russell.
Related to Mrs. Russell here?
Her ex-husband.
And he died suddenly in 1936.
What was cause of death?
According to the attending physician,
Russell died of a heart attack...
but the attending physician
was our old friend Dr. Ainsley.
Must see Mrs. Russell at once.
Very urgent.
- They just found Mrs. Russell in her room, strangled.
- Lady dead?
I don't know. The maid found her
and called Dr. Ainsley.
- Dr. Ainsley?
- Doctor with her now?
- Yes. - Hurry.
- Come along.
Lift her arm to the outside
of the covers, please.
- Doctor. One moment.
- What are you giving her?
Adrenaline. She's got to have
a heart stimulant.
- Will take, please.
- What's the matter, Mr. Chan?
Have you gone mad?
Examination of hypodermic
will determine that.
- Jimmy!
- I got it, Pop.
- Thank you so much.
- Let me have that, please.
Keep this man covered, Peters.
I'll call the police surgeon.
Choy Wong, stay with lady.
Can help when police surgeon arrive.
You search rooms for gauze?
Yeah. This was in
Wally Burke's room.
I guess the doctor used it last night
to patch him up after the fight.
And this was in Miss Wells' room,
in the wastebasket.
Neither one of them matches the gauze
on the nitric acid bottle...
but I brought them along anyway.
We didn't get a chance
to look in here.
- Can look now.
- Yes.
Pop! This is it.
It matches.
That means that Mrs. Russell
took the acid from the Doctor's office.
- Do you suppose that she-
- Please.
You will take all exhibits to room
and guard carefully.
If lady recovers
sufficiently to talk...
bring all suspects to scene of crime.
Oh. Also request...
everyone wear same clothes
as night of murder.
All right, Bentley, come on.
What are you bringing me here for?
Oh, ain't you heard?
We don't put people in jail no more.
We take 'em to the best hotel.
Give 'em music with their meals...
and hot and cold
running water and-
Come on.
Stick around if you like, Mr. Whitman,
but Charlie doesn't want you inside.
Okay. I guess Charlie knows
what he's doing. I'll wait downstairs.
Joe, keep your eye
on the elevator and the stairs.
You boys stick here
and don't let anybody leave this room.
- You understand?
- Yes, sir.
- What's goin' on?
- Charlie's called all the suspects together.
He's going to produce the murderer.
He's going to produce the murderer?
After I drive to Tonopah
to pick 'im up?
Go on in, Burke.
Well, I'm a cockeyed son of a gun
if this don't beat all.
- What's the matter?
- I knew that Chan fella was fancy...
but if he can't hold an inquest
without making it formal, I give up.
Relax, will you?
All right, go in, ladies, please.
Come on. He's probably
serving cocktails again.
Have been called together
because each of you...
had very strong reason
for hating Mrs. Bentley.
One of you had motive
powerful enough to kill.
Here is lady whose husband
was stolen from her...
by murdered woman five years ago.
Here is young man,
blindly in love...
until eyes rudely opened
by ugly insult in public.
Miss Wells, impulsive young lady
in love with Doctor...
has admitted she would have
killed Mrs. Bentley...
if given sufficient provocation.
Just a minute. Just a minute.
If you're takin' 'em
from left to right...
you just skipped
your friend Mrs. Whitman.
She's still the only one
found with the body.
Will neglect no one.
Here is husband.
Most anxious to get rid of wife.
Only in a legal,
straightforward manner.
Then why were you hiding out
in that ghost town?
I'm a mining engineer.
I got a job to
look over those mines...
afterJeanne had established
residence in Reno.
I was afraid if I was seen here
it would look like collusion...
and the divorce wouldn't be granted.
Or maybe you thought
you had a perfect alibi-
That no one would suspect you of murdering
your wife if she was giving you a divorce.
Yeah. If you're
so all-fired innocent...
why did you put up such a scrap last night
and then run away?
I didn't know you were
connected with the police.
I found a man sneaking around my place,
so I jumped him.
- You would have done the same thing.
- Horsefeathers.
- I'm arrestin' you.
- Tombstone.
He's already under arrest.
Why did wife visit you
on day before murder?
She was panicky.
Said she needed $5,000 right away.
- Did you give it to her?
- I didn't have it.
- Did she say why she wanted it?
- No.
Think Dr. Ainsley can
furnish answer to that.
What do you mean?
Doctor said had known
Mrs. Bentley only three weeks...
yet signed false certificate
on death of first husband...
Wayne Russell, three years ago.
False certificate?
You mean she killed him?
Canceled checks prove
Mrs. Bentley...
paid Dr. Ainsley large sums of money
to keep guilty secret.
- If I'd known that I-
- Didn't you?
Then please explain
why you visit Mrs. Bentley...
with acid bottle.
How did you know-
We know you were here.
I came to disfigure her.
When Mrs. Whitman arrived at the hotel
and I saw what happened...
I realized thatJeanne
was going to ruin her life...
the same as she'd ruined mine.
All the hate I'd felt
came back to me.
I got the acid
from the doctor's office.
But found lady's face
protected by beauty mask.
That's it.
Then you grabbed the scissors
and stabbed her.
- Mrs. Russell, I arrest you in the name of the law.
- I didn't kill her.
When Jeanne saw the acid
she grabbed for it.
Said she'd give me a dose
of my own medicine.
I kept her from getting it,
but some of the acid was spilled.
When I left her,
she was very much alive.
But now I understand what happened.
When she couldn't get
the $5,000 from Bentley...
- the doctor killed her.
- He didn't.
Missing $100 bills found
in doctor's room...
- prove he was here on night of murder.
- What ifhe was?
If he was blackmailing Mrs. Bentley,
would he kill his meal ticket?
- You keep out of this.
- I won't keep out of it.
Miss Wells very calm young lady...
except where doctor is concerned.
Do you think I'm going to let a bunch of
blundering fools pin a murder on him?
What time was it when you
brought the acid up here?
- After 12:00.
- And she was alive then.
Dr. Ainsley came up here
at 10 minutes of 10::00...
and left at 11:00.
I know, because I was
waiting for him in the office.
- Waiting with watch in hand?
- What do you mean?
Such careful check on time
highly suggestive of jealousy.
What are you doing now,
accusing her?
Have accused no one as yet.
Merely search for truth.
What about Mrs. Russell?
She admits coming up here with the acid.
Yet you take her word for it
that she left without killing her.
Can explain bandage found in room?
Who found it in my room?
Number two son-
Most ambitions amateur sleuth.
A lot of people found
scissors in their room...
and they were planted
by number two son...
so what does that prove,
Mr. Charlie Chan?
Look out!
Your-Your sleeve's on fire.
- Look out. Fire.
- Stop it. Let go of me.
- Stop it! Leave me alone.
- What is it?
Leave me alone.
Stop it!
What happened, Charlie?
Merely experiment with liquid smoke.
Quite harmless,
but highly successful...
in trapping murderess.
Honorable sheriff
may now make arrest.
Who? Her? Uh-uh.
I ain't makin' no more arrests
until I got the evidence.
Burn on arm received
from nitric acid...
when Miss Wells reach for scissors
to stab Mrs. Bentley.
Evidence of guilt...
quite apparent
in desperate desire to hide burn.
Sorry to resort to trick,
but lady make fatal mistake...
by wearing jacket
she did not wear...
- on night of murder.
- Just a minute.
Where do you think
you'll get with that evidence?
Never mind.
Mr. Chan's right.
I did kill her.
But I didn't intend to.
I didn't even bring a weapon.
I only wanted to find out
what was between...
her and Dr. Ainsley,
but she wouldn't tell me.
She was drunk and nasty,
and when I threatened...
to get the truth out of him,
she went for me.
She'd have killed me,
so I grabbed up...
the first thing I saw
to defend myself.
You've got to believe me.
Sincerely hope
will convince jury of same.
One moment, please.
- May also arrest doctor.
- What for?
Analysis of hypodermic
revealed deadly poison, not adrenaline.
What? Has there been another murder?
No, Tombstone.
Attempted murder.
- Dr. Ainsley tried to kill Mrs. Russell.
- Why?
Doctor guessed it was Mrs. Russell
who removed pages from scrapbook.
He feared exposure of old guilt...
in connection
with Wayne Russell's death.
Where was I when
all this was goin' on?
- In Tonopah.
- Horsefeathers.
Wait a minute.
Where are you going?
Back to Tonopah. They got a nice, easy
case of cattle rustling over there...
and I know I can pin it
on the guilty guy...
because they found him
under the cow.
All right, Doctor.
Is it over?
Are you cleared?
Did you think
of that liquid smoke gag all by yourself?
Pop and I worked it out together.
Oh, Jimmy, I think you're wonderful.
Number two son's present idea
strictly his own...
but not bad as example.