High Tide (1947) Movie Script

My leg's pinned under the car.
Can't move it.
You on your leg.
My back feels like it's broke.
I never did wanna die alone.
Glad you're with me, pal.
It's a pleasure.
- Say, Fresney.
- Yeah?
What time is high tide, got any idea?
No, why?
There'll be a lot of water
over this place in a little while.
We'll be under it.
Oh, that's all right, Slade.
We're not going anywhere.
You and your insurance policy,
you sure started something.
You might have owned the
paper and been my boss,
if you played your cards right.
Yeah, there's blood on those cards,
lots of it.
Sort of changed the spots.
Think of all the trouble
you'd have saved yourself
if you hadn't answered that telegram
I sent you in San Francisco.
Yeah, think of all the
trouble you'd have saved.
- Who is it?
- Telegram.
Come in.
Copy boy!
- Hi, Mac.
- Hi, Hugh.
I'm all set up for an extra.
I'm waiting for a flash
from the death house now.
Brett's covering it.
That's 30 for Cresser.
Well, put up a good fight.
Yeah, a good fight, with no dough,
a lawyer still wet behind the ears,
and this crusading sheik
convicting him in the headlines
before the jury was even picked.
Shut up, Cleve.
His wife dropped in
to see you awhile ago.
I said shut up.
She said she'd be back.
You oughta have that drawer fixed, Hugh,
just in case of an emergency.
You've got a nasty mind, Cleve.
Wouldn't do you any good
if I did get the business.
Running this paper takes
more than you've got.
Greeting, gents.
Hi, Hugh. Cleve.
Hiya, Slade, thought
you were in San Francisco?
Was, got a wire from
a guy about a job maybe.
Don't tell me the boss
says all is forgiven,
and you're coming back to work?
Don't worry, I won't
tell you that, Cleve.
Thought maybe you could give
me a rundown on this guy, Hugh.
Yeah, perhaps.
Anything else on the schedule, Cleve?
No, but Nick Dyke's here.
Dyke, where?
In with the boss.
He is, huh?
Come on, Slade, this might be interesting.
Mr. Fresney, Mr. Vaughn's in conference.
I know, that's why I'm going in.
Wait here.
Ah, I see Vaughn has
redecorated since I was here.
Lovely color scheme.
You shouldn't embarrass Mr. Vaughn
by going over my head, Dyke!
Besides, as owner, publisher,
and managing editor of "The Dispatch",
he's much too busy to talk to you!
That's what you say.
What I say goes, Nick.
You may run the local gambling
rig, the rest of the
rackets all you want,
but you can't buy this
paper or run this city,
as long as I'm here.
That's a very pretty speech,
but it don't mean a thing, eh, Vaughn?
Your number's up, Dyke.
I'm gonna break you just
like I broke Cresser
if it's the last thing I do.
It probably will be.
You're too emotional, Hugh.
Mr. Dyke and I were coming
to a sensible understanding
before you came in and-
- No understanding, but
Nick Dyke makes sense?
Say, who is the boss around here anyway?
Well I...
Well, goodbye, Vaughn.
I'll see you later, Fresney.
When I'm not looking you hope.
I'd forgotten you meet
such interesting people
in the newspaper business.
What's your name?
Did you wish to see Mr. Vaughn?
Not if I can help it.
I don't think he wants to see me either.
My name's Slade.
I've heard Mr. Vaughn speak of you.
Bet he burned your
ears off, didn't he, huh?
- Hello, Dana.
- Hello-
- Hello, Pop, how you been?
Oh, just fine, Tim, just fine.
- How are you?
- Great.
Say Pop, how about a formal intro, huh?
Ah, oh, sure, Tim.
Allow me to introduce Miss Dana Jones.
Uh, Dana, Mr. Tim Slade, a
good reporter gone wrong.
It's going to be a pleasure, Dana.
We'll have to discuss
this further, Hugh.
Are you waiting to see me?
Hello, Pop, what's new?
Nothing new, Fresney.
You'll find that out when
you get to be an intelligent
and broken down old newspaperman like me.
I should live so long.
How do you like "The Dispatch" these days?
Murder, cheesecake, rotten politics.
Scum dredged up to offend the senses.
Circulation, Pop.
You're riding for a fall, Fresney.
How'd you guess?
Ain't no guess my boy.
Okay, Pop, but it's a
swell ride while it lasts.
See you around.
How about dinner some night?
Second Thursday of next week.
- It's a date.
- Mr. Fresney?
Right, I, ah, cut it
short, will ya, lady?
I'm pretty busy.
I'm Mrs. Cresser.
Oh, ah, yes, Mrs. Cresser?
Believe me, you have my deepest sympathy.
Sympathy, you rotten liar!
Why, I, I could kill you, you murderer!
Men like you shouldn't be allowed to live!
Now look, Mrs. Cresser.
All I do is run a newspaper.
Your husband was tried and
found guilty according to law.
They're killing him because
every story you printed
in your dirty newspaper told them to!
He's innocent! I'm his
wife, I know!
Okay, Brett, shoot!
Wilson, grab number four,
it's Brett with the execution story.
We'll roll as soon as you've got the lede.
It's happened.
Yes, Mrs. Cresser.
Hey, Jake.
Let's have a picture of the widow.
I'm sorry, Mrs. Cresser.
If the the law says a life
for a life, I say so too.
Remember that, Mr. Fresney.
Beginning to get the idea?
Yeah, and I don't like it.
That's why I sent for you.
You got a room?
Not yet.
Might as well stay with me.
Here's my address. Malibu Beach.
- See you out there?
- So long.
Extra, extra, governor
denies clemency plea!
Read all about it!
Cresser dies at midnight.
Tomorrow we start in
on Nick Dyke.
Complete picture layout
of his gambling joint.
I still think we ought to
handle Dyke with kid gloves.
Look, we're gaining circulation
at the rate of 16,000 a day.
That's money in the bank.
You don't do it with kid gloves.
But Hugh, it's not right.
We're making enemies.
Why every other paper in
town is taking punches at us.
You know why, don't you?
Our new circulation used to be theirs.
My point is.
Dyke isn't like Cresser.
He's got a powerhouse behind him.
We've got a car behind us.
Do you think they're following us?
They're about sticking
pretty close for some time.
I'm gonna step on it then
we'll find out for sure.
This is outrageous!
Dyke wouldn't dare.
Oh no?
And that's the kind of a guy
you want to handle with gloves?
Hang on. I'm gonna turn at the driveway.
What's all the noise?
Somebody shot at us.
Shot at you?
How nice. Anybody we know?
Looks like a 45.
Hello, Julie.
Drilled through the back and
got stuck in the cushions.
Why don't you boys stop playing cowboy?
We're willing, but it's
always open season for editors.
They might have killed me.
Too bad.
If they wanted to Kill
anybody, I think it was me.
I got an idea that little target practice
was just a warning.
Oh, why don't you call the police?
- Forget it.
- Well, I can't forget it.
And what's more, I'm gonna take the hint.
You've gotta drop that Dyke story!
Are you kidding?
I haven't even started yet.
Well, that's fine, Hugh.
I'm rather looking forward
to being a rich widow.
Listen, Hugh, I say drop
the whole thing or else!
Or else what?
Or else you can leave the paper.
So we drop the Dyke story and
all the other live stories.
So we play out the Sunday morning sermons,
bridge games at women's clubs,
human interest stories about the kiddies,
fine circulation builders.
Ah, beautiful.
Especially the kiddies.
You can't fire me, Clint.
Have you forgotten I had my lawyer
drop my contract guarantee,
no interference from you?
And he's the smartest
contract lawyer in town.
Oh, I wish I had sold the
paper when my father died.
Look, Clint.
You hired the best city
editor in the west,
with all due modesty,
because your old man
left you a dying horse.
I put life back into it, didn't I?
Little things like this happen
when you have a fighting
newspaper working for you.
But you, I'm not like you.
I want people to like
me, to be my friends.
Yes, he read a book once
about how to win friends.
I didn't get my reputation
trying to win friends.
You go ahead and read your books, Clint.
Let me run the paper in my own way.
You boys better get yourselves measured
for a couple of portable foxholes.
How 'bout a drink?
Well, I could certainly use one.
Yeah, I'll take a nightcap, Julie.
Couldn't we arrange for a police guard?
The police don't like
us much more than Dyke.
I've been riding 'em pretty hard lately.
Wait a minute.
How 'bout Tim Slade?
Is he back in town?
Yes. He's a private detective now.
Think I'll put him to work on our side.
He's a smart operator.
I'll say he is.
He'd like to see me dead.
Ah, Clint, that was a long time ago.
He's forgotten all about it.
What makes you so sure?
If you wanna use him,
that's your business,
but keep him away from me.
No telling what he
might dig up on Nick Dyke.
Well, goodnight, Clint. Julie.
Say hello to Tim.
You must bring him to dinner real soon.
I'll tell him.
See you tomorrow, Clint.
Hey, come in here before
your freeze to death.
Nice ocean you got.
Yeah. Make yourself at home.
I did.
I grabbed a plane and came down
as soon as I got your wire.
What's the gag?
No gag, Tim.
I mean about me being named beneficiary
in your insurance policy.
That doesn't sell, Hugh.
Ah, maybe that's because I
love you more than my ex-wife.
I remember how you felt about her,
that doesn't add up to 10 grand.
Can't measure a
friendship in dollars, Tim.
Come on down off that
cloud and talk sense.
I've been bating around,
crammed a lot of living into my 42 years.
I guess you know that.
I can smell death when it's close.
I can smell it now.
You're still over my head.
You heard and Nick Dyke and
Mrs. Cresser talking tonight.
They weren't kidding. They meant it.
I never knew an editor worth his salt
that didn't have his life threatened
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Say, it reminds me, got
anything to eat in this place?
Yeah. Let's take a look.
I'm no bodyguard, Hugh,
you oughta know that.
I can get you a good strong arm boy
if that's what you want.
You're one of the best police reporters
that ever worked for me, Tim.
You better warn me before
you say anything like that.
That's one of the reasons I backed you
in that detective agency of yours.
Incidentally, you still owe me 500 bucks.
In another three months,
I'll be able to pay you back.
In another three
months, I'll be forgotten.
Get back on the beam, Hugh.
Someone took some shots at us tonight.
It might have been meant for Vaughn,
but everybody knows he's soft,
they all know that I'm steering him.
I think they were meant for me.
Here's one of the slugs.
45, huh?
Got a glass over there?
Makes a neat hole.
Dyke or some of the Cresser followers?
I'd say Dyke.
Cresser is a long shot.
A lot of other starters in the race.
Give me some of the other entries.
I fired a reporter named
Halem couple of weeks ago.
He and Vaughn's secretary were
pretty sweet on each other.
Dana Jones? She looks smarter than that.
Halem took a smack at me.
I knocked him cold.
Fixed it so he couldn't
get another job in his town
so he went east.
But a week later, I
got a call from a dame.
Sounded like she was talking
through a whole box of tissues
and she tells me I'm going to get mine.
Dana doesn't look trigger happy to me.
I'll give you Halem on a show bed.
Even Vaughn's beginning to
hate me because he's yellow.
He got scared.
You're living up to
past performances, Hugh.
The works are nothing at all, huh?
One newspaper can't clean up this town,
not the way I went at it.
That was one of my mistakes.
The other one I've made all my life.
I like to smash people that get in my way.
Smashed people hate easy, Hugh.
I wired you, Tim, for a
reason you may not understand.
I wanna be through pretty quick.
They don't scare me.
I carry a gun.
That heavy stick you
saw in the other room.
But if they get me in the back,
don't even give me a 50150 chance,
I'd like you to get the headman, Tim.
You mean you wanna
reach out from that, uh,
that slab in the morgue and
pick off the guy that got you.
It's like you to want to
do a thing like that, Hugh.
You still owe me 500.
See me through this and
you can write it off.
Not much for me to do,
but stick around and
wait for your funeral.
It's a good deal.
That 10 grand insurance
will be your bonus.
That was for laughs. Forget it.
Looks like you're the
only one around here
that doesn't hate me, Tim.
Don't worry. I'm not gonna
cry on your shoulder.
Look, you're not gonna die
and I'm not taking your 10 grand.
It's against my business ethics.
Those don't bother me.
Your social ethics I'm worried about.
Social ethics?
Julie's still crazy about you.
- Don't worry about that.
- I'll steer clear of her.
That's just it.
She wants you to come to dinner.
You'll have to go.
Promise me you won't make any passes, huh?
You won't have anything to worry about
if Dana Jones is there.
Ha. You got a deal.
Should we go in the living room?
We'll have coffee in there, please.
Well, tell me, have you heard from Peggy?
I haven't heard
from her for some time.
I don't know.
Let's take a breather. I
wanna ask you a few questions.
All right.
Um, is this the third degree?
If I don't talk, do you get rough?
In a nice way. Let's sit down, huh?
This Halem Guy. Where'd he
go after Fresney fired him?
Well, how should I know?
He said Chicago. I haven't heard.
He was your boyfriend, wasn't he?
Does he have to be?
It could be that I just
hate to see a good guy
get kicked in the teeth.
It's nice to meet an
honest dame once in a while.
Well, if you were in
some other business,
it might not be such a surprise.
Did you have to invite your
secretary to my dinner party?
Oh, well, as a host,
I had to provide Slade with someone
whom I could trust to look after him.
I see.
You've got to do something for me, Hugh.
Brandy, Chartreuse, creme de menthe?
I've got to see Tim alone.
No, not tonight, but very soon.
Thought perhaps at your beach house.
I don't think that's a good idea, honey.
Why don't you try to forget about him?
I thought it was all over, Hugh,
but it isn't.
I can't go on like this any longer.
Leave me out of this, will ya?
I got enough grief without that.
There's coffee.
Oh, hi, Clint.
Don't mind my playing bartender, do you?
Why, no.
As a matter of fact,
it's nice to see a man
resigning at the bar for a change.
I said there's coffee.
Dana, there's coffee in the living room.
I'll get it.
Well, I've had mine.
Besides I'd like to talk
to you for a minute.
It's all the same to you, I-
- Well, I'll get mine before it's cold.
Trying to turn the little girl's head?
I think it's on pretty solid.
Haven't played this game in years.
Neither have I.
Oh no?
Oh no, Tim.
I mean that I've waited.
I knew I'd be seeing you again.
Look, Julie.
I'm here on business. Strictly business.
It's funny,
you hired to protect
the life of my husband.
Fresney hired me to take care of him.
Oh, but Clint's been threatened too.
He was fired at the other night.
He can get his own boy.
Of course if anything
should happen to Clint,
it would simplify
everything for you and me.
- It would, huh?
- Yes.
The paper would be mine and
you could run it for me.
I can't wait.
Go in and take care
of your guest, Julie.
I'll talk to you later.
- Oh, don't be so stuffy.
- Do as I tell you.
Don't hurt him, darling.
I don't like the games you play, Slade.
I don't play games.
I didn't ask to be your guest.
All right, so it was
Julia who invited you.
Nevertheless, you might have the decency-
- I'm not the decent kind
you oughta know that, Vaughn.
You fired me when I told you
Julie was running you for your dough.
No decent guy would've told you that.
Why should I change for the
better at this late date?
I'm not gonna let you make
a fool out of me, Slade.
You've already done that to yourself.
Hey, is this a private
fight or can I take a hand?
Oh, cut it, boys.
I'll buy you both a
drink if you come inside.
I don't like his brand, Hugh.
I know what's been
going on behind my back.
I've traced Julie's telephone
calls to you in San Francisco.
All right, so I answer my telephone.
Maybe I like the sound of her voice.
Come on you two, break it up.
Consider it broken. I'm leaving.
Good, and I hope you'll
make that permanent.
I don't wanna see you around here
or at the paper either.
Don't worry, you won't.
Hey, you're still working
for me, don't forget that.
Get yourself another boy, I'm through.
- Trouble?
- Yeah.
I thought so.
I'm leaving.
Can I take you home or
would your rather stay?
Well, as a matter of fact,
the atmosphere around here
doesn't agree with me.
- I'll go now.
- Take it easy kid.
We'll talk it over when you get home.
Look after him, will you honey?
That's what I'm doing.
Where's Tim?
He just left.
Asked me to say goodbye
and thank you for a very pleasant evening.
Did he?
Oh, I'm sorry everything
turned out the way it did.
wanted to give Tim a note
to tell him so, but..
Will you give it to him for me?
No, maybe I'd better mail it.
I wouldn't peek.
I'll mail it.
Where you going, bud?
I work here.
- What's wrong?
- Oh, you'll find out.
Wait a minute.
Didn't you just come out of this building?
Not me.
Okay. Go ahead.
I was sitting at my desk
when I heard one shot.
Go on.
Well, then I heard another shot
and I got out here as quick as I could.
This one's dead, Inspector.
Hey Doc, he's still alive.
Take him up to the office.
How'd did it happen, Cleve?
I don't know.
Vaughn and Fresney left
the city room together.
I better see how he is.
- Joe, get a stretcher.
- Okay, Inspector.
- Hey you?
- Who, me?
Yes, you.
Where do you fit in here?
Special investigator of the paper.
My name's Slade.
Special investigator, huh?
Seems to me you got here awful quick.
Not quick enough.
- I'll talk to you later.
- Anytime, Inspector.
Told you that bomb
would go off any minute.
I thought you were on
a train to San Francisco.
I was delayed.
Do you know Vaughn is dead?
Have you notified Julie?
I tried, but I couldn't get her.
Try again. Fresney in here?
Give you a hand, Doc?
No thanks.
Near miss, Hugh. How do you feel?
Thought you were on your way home?
You just rehired me.
I'll stick around till
you're on your feet again.
Good boy. Better keep
out of Vaughn's way.
Vaughn's dead.
Oh, that's tough.
Let me outta here!
Take it easy.
Don't try to move yet, Hugh.
I'm awfully sorry. I
don't know what to say.
Well, you know what to do.
Cut the gab. Don't just stand there.
Get out a special!
Take my desk.
Just temporarily, sweetheart.
I'll take care of everything.
Give 'em the bare facts in this edition,
save the wallop for the final.
- Vaughn is your story.
- I understand.
Play it up as a big loss to the city.
Anybody hear his last words?
- No.
- Oh, nevermind.
Put some in his mouth.
Quote, "I'm just a fallen soldier.
The fight is not over.
My paper will carry on."
End quote.
We're setting up Vaughn's obit now.
I got a nice one on you.
I'll save it for ya.
- Thank you so much.
- How is he, Doc?
I think I better
run him over to a hospital.
Don't forget the police in your lead.
You know, uh,
they're working on all the angles,
making arrests before morning.
They love Vaughn.
They're all broken up over his death.
When word got around that I was alive,
they were even more broken up.
All right, Fresney.
Your paper's been riding
the department for weeks.
We just love to be called
grafters, quitters, cowards,
and in headlines.
- We try to do our job.
- I'll help you all I can.
Can you give it to us straight, Hugh?
Oh, the special investigator again, huh?
- That's right, Inspector.
- He's here to help.
That's alright with me.
All right. Let's have it, Fresney.
Well, Vaughn and I were finished talking
about how to treat the Dyke story.
Vaughn started down the stairs.
I don't know,
I think there's something
wrong with the elevator.
Were you alone out there?
I'll ask the questions.
Vaughn turned back to talk to me
and I was just telling him,
when there was a shot.
Vaughn grabbed me and
called out, I think he said,
"Get him, Hugh! I'm shot!
Get him!"
As he went down, there was another shot.
That's the one that got me, I guess.
It spun me around, I went to my knees
and something hit me over the head.
I felt myself falling.
I hit the stairs.
That's about all.
I passed out.
Did you get a look at
the guy that cracked you?
Are you running this or shall I?
Go ahead, Inspector.
Did you see the guy that...
Go ahead, answer the question.
I didn't see anybody.
Whoever it was, he was in back of me.
Do you know anybody that might
have wanted to kill Vaughn?
What's so funny?
Sorry, Inspector. I lost my head.
Lots of people feel
like killing editors.
Feel strong enough to
walk to the elevator?
Yeah. I can walk.
Slade, tell Collins to offer
award of 5,000 for the Killer.
Or the killers.
I'll be back.
Can't keep me in any hospital.
All right, gang. Get back to your desk.
What do you think this is?
We got a paper to turn out.
Over here, Jake.
Get a couple good shots of Fresney.
Now save your flashes, Jake.
Cleve, are you crazy?
Vaughn's your story.
Splash his pictures all over,
as a boy, with his old
man, as a bridegroom.
Don't bother with me. I'm no story.
Well, I thought it would dress up
the front page, you know?
Maybe you better take over my desk, Tim.
No, thanks.
Yes. This is Mr. Vaughn's office.
Mr. Vaughn.
Well, no, I'm sorry, but Mr. Vaughn just-
- Wait a minute.
No, this isn't Mr. Vaughn.
He's not here at the moment.
Ah, I see.
Union Station, front of a news stand.
45 minutes.
Who shall I say called?
He'll know, huh?
Thanks. I'll tell him.
Who was that?
I don't know, but I'll soon find out.
Oh Tim, I've just seen Clint.
They were taking him away.
This is no place for
you. Why don't you go home?
But I have to talk to you.
I haven't got time.
But Tim, it's important. I
have something to tell you.
Meet me at the house.
They're be cops around there.
Meet me at the beach house
in about an hour. It's open.
- I'll be there.
- And listen.
Don't answer any questions.
Just tell him you don't
feel well or something.
All right.
Now arriving
from San Francisco,
Fresno and Bakersfield.
San Francisco, Fresno.
Hello, Pop.
Waiting for somebody?
Oh no, I'll just like to hang around
these places for my health.
You're too young to understand
the mystic qualities
of unknown destination.
You're waiting for
Vaughn, he's not coming.
Not coming?
Why I left him a message.
He knows it's important.
He doesn't know anything.
He's dead.
You'll be reading
about it in the papers.
Did you get something for him?
Too late.
Too late.
There's a tide in the affairs of men-
- Yeah, I know, Pop. I know.
I can spare some dough if you need it.
No, thank you.
No, thank you.
What does Garrow gotta do with all this?
How should I know?
He came out to the house
to see Clint a few times,
but they always stopped
talking when I came around.
Did he always carry the briefcase?
I wouldn't know.
Well, you better give me
back that note I wrote to you
before anyone else sees it.
What note?
- Didn't you get it?
- No.
Well, it was a note I wrote last night.
I wanted to give it to you,
but you'd already gone.
So I mailed it like a fool.
What was in it?
I don't remember exactly.
I wasn't thinking very
straight when I wrote it.
It was something about
our being together and,
and trying to get rid of Clint.
Of course I meant divorce, but,
well, now that Clint's
dead it sounds terrible.
- See what I mean?
- Yeah. I certainly do.
Where'd you send it?
To the paper.
Blue envelope with my
initials on the back.
You know.
Don't worry about it. I'll
pick it up when I get back.
There's something else
more important, Julie.
I don't know whether you know this or not,
but you're in a spot.
- So are you.
- Nevermind about me.
They got your husband. You might be next.
Do you think so?
Of course it might have been a mistake
and they really, after
Fresney, I don't know.
Might be somebody we
haven't even thought of,
maybe another newspaper.
The fact remains that you've
got control of the paper
and it put you right
up in the firing line.
Why beat around the bush like this?
Why don't you just tell
me you killed Clint,
and get it over with.
Are you crazy?
Well, you had reason
enough to, didn't you?
Oh, I don't know, maybe you didn't.
I can't think straight anymore.
All right, it's your life
you're playing around with, not mine.
I've got an idea how we can
draw the fire away from you
and put it on me.
When they do that, they'll tip their hand.
I want you to do what I tell you.
Come on over here.
Sit down.
This goes to your
lawyers. Know the address?
Dear Mr., whatever his name is.
At this unfortunate time,
I am very desirous
that the managing control
of "The Dispatch..."
Got that?
Be placed in the hands
of someone
whom I consider
- Trustworthy?
- Yeah.
Until such time
as a permanent appointment
can be made.
I therefore request
that Mr. T. M. Slade
be placed in charge.
And whose hand are you tipping now?
Do as I tell ya.
If you want to marry me,
Tim, this is a fine proposal.
If you want to kill me,
that's something else again.
Sign it, Julie.
Mail been sorted today?
Yeah, it's all in there.
Hey, what do you think
you're doing, Slade?
I thought maybe Nick Dyne
was hiding out in here.
Look, I'm in charge here now, Slade,
and I won't stand for this.
Why don't you call
O'Haffey and have me pinched?
I'm looking for a letter.
Hey boss,
Fresney told me to tell you
to run a box on page one
offering a five grand
reward for the Killer.
Are you gonna try and collect it?
It might be worth trying for.
Come in.
I don't think my shirts
will fit you, Inspector.
Are you carrying a gun?
You've been through the
suitcase, you know it's there.
- You've got a 38 in there.
- I'm looking for a 45.
The boys dug a slug out
the wall on the stairs.
Probably the one that drilled
Fresney through the shoulder.
Here's the night to it.
This one was fired at Vaughn and Fresney
a couple of days ago.
Could have come from the same gun.
Where is it, Slade?
I don't know.
If you're implying I can
fire 45 slugs from a 38,
I got myself a Vaudeville act.
Why are you carrying a
box of 45s in your suitcase?
Must have packed in a hurry.
I'm not trying to put
the finger on you yet.
No, just a great big foot.
But you'll have to admit it all adds up.
You got anything to say?
Not right now.
You know in the department,
when we think much of
special investigators,
- private eyes.
- That's not news.
They're usually a
bunch of transom peepers,
bail bond extortionists,
blackmailers, chiselers,
who get the protection of a phony badge
without the dignity of a real one.
If you ever contemplate a
book on your career, Inspector,
remind me not to read it.
I don't like your approach.
And maybe you won't
like this any better.
You and Mrs. Vaughn were once
that way about each other,
as they say.
I don't like your style either.
For your information I
was in love with Julie
before she married Vaughn.
If you'd asked me, I would've told you.
And you'll admit you had a
lot to gain by Vaughn's death.
You mean she never told you that?
I bet you don't go around repeating
what women tell you in confidence.
Women don't talk to me that way.
You're missing out on
a lot of fun, Inspector.
What happened at Vaughn's last night?
I walked out after Vaughn sort of hinted
Julie and I were trying to get together.
- Were you?
- No.
Well, how do you explain this letter
from Mrs. Vaughn to you?
"My darling."
Oh brother.
"I'm sorry to have put you
in more trouble with Clint.
I must talk to you and I
know you won't let me down.
As I told you, we could
be so happy together
if it weren't for Clint.
Darling, you must
realize that, don't you?"
There must be some way of
getting him out of the picture.
Call me tomorrow morning.
Love, Julie."
Where'd you get it?
Right over there on the desk.
Here's the envelope.
Pulled it out of a waste basket.
Somebody's been reading my mail.
Any ideas?
You may be telling the truth
but she wrote it to you,
and that puts you right in the middle.
If you follow along those
straight lines of yours,
Inspector, it sure does.
Anything else?
Not for now.
I'll be around the building, Miss Jones.
Say, uh, who took Vaughn's
mail in there today?
I did.
You know how this
letter got on his desk?
I don't know anything about it.
It didn't walk in there by itself.
You figure it out.
Who was in there?
Collins was in and
out quite a lot today.
So was a whole staff after what happened.
You're as mixed up as I am.
Nobody was
in front when it happened.
Nobody heard the shot fire.
Nobody saw anyone run out of the building.
Evening, gents. So you
moved in here now, huh?
Yeah, thought I'd give Collins
a crack at the city desk.
- Yeah?
- Mr. Wilson to see you,
Mr. Fresney.
Tell him to call later. I'm busy.
Look, Hugh.
There's something for you too, Inspector.
You know an old guy, very
thin with a gimp leg?
Left leg, I think.
Walks with a black cane.
No. Why?
Might not mean anything,
but he followed you
from the hospital today.
Stood around outside for a while.
Then a blonde girl came along.
He dropped his paper, she picked it up
and handed it back to him.
Well, boys, looks like I'm next.
By the way, Slade, did
you ever sell insurance?
No. Why?
I didn't think so because
you'd have known that the policy
on a murdered man would be
very thoroughly investigated
before it was paid off.
I'm to blame for that, O'Haffey.
Say, O'Haffey, what's
that gotta do with me?
Nothing, except that
Colin's found a policy
for 10 grand with you as beneficiary.
He said he found it in his desk.
You're doing fine, Slade.
O'Haffey's been hounding
me on account of that letter.
Now you and your insurance
policy, that really ties it.
Saw what? Let him hound if he wants to.
You keep your eye on the ball.
I'm on the spot.
I can feel the heat through
the soles of my shoes.
I didn't want O'Haffey to hear this
because I want you to follow it through.
About that guy with the gimp leg,
I said I didn't know him, but I do.
I think it's a guy named Angelo,
he used to be a
stoolie for the police,
disappeared for about a year.
Now I think he's working for Nick Dyke.
That's what I heard anyway.
Maybe I better have a session with Dyke.
I still think he's our man.
I'll see ya.
- Yes, sir?
- Nevermind.
You're not very particular
about the company you keep.
Haven't I seen you before somewhere?
Yeah, "The Dispatch",
My name's Slade,
investigator for the paper.
Is that so?
Yeah, I saw you up there the
day before Vaughn was killed.
Mind if I barge in?
Look, you're wasting your
talents around here, Slade.
Not quite yet. I've
got things to talk about.
- Please, Tim.
- What kind of things?
Nasty things. You won't like it.
I'm listening.
Okay. So I'll make it brief.
You and "The Dispatch" didn't
get along so well, check?
Get to the point.
You didn't like the
picture of you behind bars
and that's just the way the
paper was looking at it.
So I figured you did the
only thing you knew to stop it.
You knocked off Vaughn.
Don't get carried
away with your thoughts
because I might have to do
something to change your opinion.
It's been tried before, Dyke.
But not by me.
I work differently.
Nice and clean.
Not messy.
A real artist, huh?
That's right.
Thanks for the tip,
Dyke, I'll think of it.
Do that.
Might do you a lot of good.
Well, I'll see you around.
Bye, Miss Jones.
Take it easy.
You shouldn't have
talked to him like that.
Let's get out of here.
Okay. Let's get down to cases.
Number one.
How long you been stooling for Dyke?
I was forced to go there.
They picked me up in
front of the newspaper.
What did they want?
Well, they asked me
all sorts of questions
about Mr. Vaughn's personal business.
Things of which I know nothing.
You're not much help.
What'd you tell 'em?
Well, specifically
they wanted to know about
a private file of some sort.
Private file, huh?
What do you know about it?
Well, I've never seen it,
but I do know that one exists.
I think Pop Garrow has
something to do with it.
Uh-huh. Did you tell that to Dyke?
Of course not.
You better go to Julie's
house and stay with her.
O'Haffey's got the place well spotted.
I'll meet you there later.
Well, I guess that
would be the best thing.
A nice view out there.
Ever see the view in San Francisco?
No, but I'm looking forward to it.
Glad you said that.
Come on. Let's go.
- Hello, Slade.
- Hi.
What are you doing here?
Thought maybe old Pop Garrow
could throw a little light on things.
Where is he?
Went down to the
corner for some tobacco.
He'll be back in a minute.
He doesn't get a very
neat house, does he?
That's a fact.
How do you figure Garrow ties into this?
I don't know.
I think he's doing some
undercover work for Vaughn.
- I think I'll beat it.
- I guess I'll stick around.
Do you wanna wait? I'll run you downtown.
No, I've got my own car.
Don't try anything, Inspector.
Don't be a fool, Slade.
- You can't get away with it.
- Oh yes, I can.
At least until I've taken
care of a few details.
So long, Inspector.
I don't believe Slade
had anything to do with it.
He's got a lot of
explaining to do if he didn't.
- But why would he kill him?
- He went there for information.
Maybe Garrow wouldn't talk.
We'll know when I get my hands on Slade.
Oh, now wait a minute, Inspector.
I've known Slade for a long time.
I'll back him to the limit.
He's too smart to do anything like that.
Besides, it just doesn't make sense.
All right, Fresney, now
I'll tell you something.
He's so smart he got Mrs. Vaughn
to turn over the paper to him.
Did you know that?
What do you mean turn it over to him?
The will hadn't even been probated yet.
That's right, but she's investing him
with emergency powers.
Her attorney's drawing
up the papers now.
Slade's gonna walk in here,
take over Vaughn's job and be your boss.
You never figure that, did you?
Why that low down, double crossing...
He wouldn't do a thing like that.
Sister, he has done it.
I've got out a general alarm for him.
You wouldn't have any idea
where he is, would you?
He'll be at Mrs. Vaughn's
sometime tonight.
If he shows I'll arrest
him on suspicion of murder
and then maybe we'll know where we stand.
Bring your book.
What do you know about that? Ha.
Don't be carried away with your thoughts
because I might have to do
something to change your opinion.
I work differently.
Nice and clean.
Not messy.
Oh, Tim what's happened to you?
I'll be all right.
I wanna wash up.
What happened?
Somebody didn't like
the shape of my face.
Gave me the works after
I left Pop Garrow's.
What about Pop?
Hasn't O'Haffey told you? He's dead.
He's coming here to arrest you.
You tip him off?
Well, what else could I do?
Thanks, pal.
Well, why did you hold up O'Haffey?
Why did you run away?
Because I wanted a chance
to work on a couple of ideas.
You mean like getting Julie
to turn the paper over to you?
- O'Haffey tell you that too?
- Yes.
What happened to Julie? Where is she?
I put her to bed upstairs.
She was pretty broken up.
You don't say?
I, I think she's finally realized
what Vaughn's death means.
It's about time.
Why don't you
let the police handle this
and stop risking your life over things
- that don't concern you?
- Oh, yeah?
Ever see this key before?
I gotta hunch this is the
answer to the whole thing.
What are you gonna do?
Find the lock it belongs to.
There's O'Haffey now.
Oh Tim, I'm sorry.
That's all right, honey.
Just cover for me now.
I'll see you soon one way or another.
And we'll see San Francisco together.
All right.
Yes, sir?
Just a minute sir.
That'll be 20 cents additional charges.
Thank you.
- Say, driver?
- Yeah?
See that cab back there
that's been tailing us?
Yeah. I've been watching him.
There's a five in it for
you if you can shake him.
Okay, chief.
Here they come.
What's he trying to do?
Hey, look out, he's gonna block us.
Stop the cab.
Thanks for the lift.
- Hello, Tim.
- Hi.
Excuse me for not getting up, I'm tired.
- It's okay.
- What happened to you?
- Just about everything.
- I'm lucky to be alive.
Can I borrow some clothes from you?
Help yourself.
Up they go, Slade.
He had me covered kid.
I couldn't warn you.
You saved me a lot of trouble.
I was just gonna search the
house for that briefcase.
Come here.
Turn around.
Open it.
- Haven't got a key.
- Break it open.
If it's got the stuff
in it I think it has,
it'll be goodbye, Slade.
Fast work, Hugh.
Had to work fast.
Neither one of us
would've left here alive.
Too bad you had to kill him.
O'Haffey would've liked to talk to him.
I can handle O'Haffey.
Inspector O'Haffey, please.
Hugh Fresney of "The Dispatch" talking.
Hello, O'Haffey?
Yeah. Fresney.
Well, it finally happened
just like I told you.
Yep. Nick Dyke.
You better send over the meat wagon.
He's having a slight
attack of rigor mortis
right in the middle of
my living room floor.
Yeah. He's here.
Okay. We'll be right over.
He wants us down at headquarters.
Yeah, he's got a
murder charge against me.
Don't worry about that.
He'll drop it now that we got Dyke.
It's all in that briefcase, Tim,
evidence that Vaughn and Garrow and I
have been collecting for weeks.
It would've sent Dyke to the gas chamber.
Come on.
By the way,
O'Haffey said Dana
Jones is waiting for you
down at headquarters.
That she's anxious to see you too.
Had an idea once Dana and
I would make a great team.
I never thought you'd
fall for the little woman
in the vine covered
cottage stuff, but you did.
Well, I'm glad I can deliver the body.
Body, ay?
That's what I figured.
Yeah, as I see it,
I've got about three minutes more to live.
- I don't get it.
- Yes, you do.
You don't need me anymore, Hugh.
Are you nuts?
I wish I were.
I saw you shoot Dyke tonight.
He didn't expect it because he
was your pal, not your enemy.
Of course he was only a strong arm boy
and you were the brains.
He was helping you get
control of the paper
so you and he could run the
town and all the rackets.
You got me down here from San Francisco
when you were all
ready to finish off Vaughn.
You hired me knowing that Vaughn
hated me because of Julie.
I was an alibi and a fall guy.
You got it all figured out, haven't you?
Sure I have.
You built up a lot of little hates.
Some of 'em were real enough.
Then one afternoon you
caught Vaughn in the hallway
and shot him in the back.
Then you put a slug
in your own shoulder.
Probably tossed the gun down the stairs
to one of Dyke's boys
- who caught it and ran.
- Sounds good.
After you got rid of
Vaughn, Dyke was next.
He knew too much.
There was one thing you didn't count on.
You thought she was gonna
turn over the paper to me.
You didn't like that kind of double cross.
That's what I did it for, Hugh.
I wanted to see who would
be interested enough
to try and stop me.
It was you.
Go on.
Remember that guy with the
gimp leg I told you about?
You knew all about him.
There never was
a guy with a gimp leg.
I just tossed that in to see
if you'd fall for it and you did.
- Anything else?
- Yeah, this briefcase
with information about your filthy past.
Vaughn had Garrow collect it
when he was trying to get rid of you.
You had to have that briefcase
so you sent Dyke after it.
Garrow wouldn't give it
up so Dyke killed him.
All right, Tim, you've
made your little speech.
Yeah now you'll try to kill me.
I'm a fugitive with a
murder rep against me.
Self defense, you'll be in the clear.
There's just one thing I
haven't told you about yet.
I figured somebody was gonna
try to take that briefcase
so I gave the real one to
Dana to give to O'Haffey.
You what?
This is a phony. It's empty.
You're a smart boy,
Tim. A little too smart.
I hired you to get the guy that got me,
and now I'll have to do
that little thing myself.
Ah, to think of all the
trouble you'd have saved
if you hadn't answered that telegram
I sent you in San Francisco.
The only thing I didn't expect.
Might have known you
do something like this.
You could do me a favor if you wanted to.
Throw me down something to dig with.
I could make it easy for ya, pal.
They shoot horses with broken legs.
Sure. Why not?
Try that.
Might work if it's strong enough.
It's got cold steel inside.
Twist the top, pull it out.
- Concealed weapons, huh?
- Yeah.
I never intended to save
anybody with it either.
Can I help you, Hugh?
Go on, beat it.
But write me a good obit.
The stuff that was in that briefcase
will tell you what to say.
But get me on the front page.
That'll be my high tide.
So long, Hugh.