The Bat (1959) Movie Script

Cornelia Van Gorder
(Voiceover): This
is the Oaks, a house
in the country which
I rented for the summer.
As an author, I write tales
of mystery and murder.
But the things that
happened in this house
were far more fantastic than any
story I've ever had published.
I brought a staff of servants
from my city apartment,
and my maid Lizzy Allen who had
been with me nearly 20 years.
Yes, Miss Cornelia?
Cornelia Van Gorder:
Is the car ready?
It's at the door.
Miss Cornelia, them servants
you brought from the apartment
are talking about
walking out on us.
Well, I know they
don't like it here.
But I didn't think
it was that bad.
Well, they've been hearing
things about the killer
that the police call
the Bat, and the murders
that he committed
here this past winter.
Now people are saying
he's back again.
Well, how can they
be sure of that?
Has he committed another crime?
No, not yet, but that
ain't saying that he won't.
Here's something else.
You've heard about the
bats they have here--
Animal bats, the kind that fly.
Yes, yes.
Look what it says
in this magazine.
This is a report from the
state health department.
And it says some of
them bats is rabid.
And that ain't all.
Now there's a rumor going around
that it was the Bat himself,
the killer I mean, that
released the rabid bats
in this neighborhood.
Oh, that's ridiculous.
Well, the housekeeper,
the cook, the butler,
and the upstairs
maid don't think so.
Well, I can't help
what they think.
If hysterical nonsense like
that can scare them out
of their good jobs, it's
their loss not mine.
Come on, Lizzy.
I've got to get to the bank.
Drive directly to
Zenith bank, Warner.
I'm afraid we'll have to hurry.
It's near closing time.
I'll get you there,
Miss Van Gorder.
Thanks again.
Miss Van Gorder!
How are you doing, Mr. Bailey?
How are you?
I'm very well, thank you.
You remember Lizzy Allen?
Of course, hello, Miss Allen.
How do you do?
So you're spending the
summer with us again?
Yes, yes, I've leased the
Oaks, the home of your bank
president, John Fleming.
I heard you had.
I was surprised.
Is there something
the matter with it?
No, I was surprised
because Mr. Fleming
said he would never rent it.
Well I rented it
from his nephew mark
Fleming who has the
real estate office here.
He said his uncle would
be gone the entire summer.
That's right.
Mr. Fleming's in the north
woods now, with his physician
Dr. Wells.
Oh, pardon me.
I want you to meet my wife.
We were married
at Christmas time.
That must have been nice.
Believe me, it was.
Oh, here she is-- my wife,
Ms. Van Gorder, Ms. Allen.
How do you do?
How do you do?
Cornelia Van Gorder.
Oh, well I've read every murder
mystery you've ever written.
I just adored that weird one,
the private morgue of Dr. X,
even though it gave
me the shivers.
Only the shivers?
Scared hell out of me.
Well, I really need that
Miss Corny killed them off
in that one.
When you refer to
my books, please
don't call me Miss Corny.
Pardon me, Mr. Bailey.
Hynes is here to see you.
Oh yes, excuse me, please.
Don't be strangers now.
No, no we won't.
Oh, so you're a bride?
Well, not quite.
Not since Christmas.
I'm sure I've seen you.
Well, I-- I used to be
my husband's secretary
here in the bank.
Cornelia Van Gorder:
Of course, I remember.
May I welcome our most
distinguished visitor
back to Zenith?
Oh, that's very charming.
But, um--
Lieutenant Anderson.
Lieutenant Anderson,
of course, chief
of detectives of the
Zenith police department.
This is Miss Allen.
How do you do?
Lieutenant Anderson is one
of our favorite citizens.
He's on the bank's
board of directors.
Not bad for a policeman.
You must have made
a good thing of it.
Well, I saved my money,
if that's what you mean.
It's near closing time.
And I've got some business in
the safe deposit vault. Please
come and see me, Mrs. Bailey.
Oh, I'd love to.
And you, Lieutenant.
Thank you.
Goodbye, nice to have met you.
My, what a charming woman.
She moved into the Oaks
just the other day.
That house is a proper sitting
for a writer of mysteries.
Oh, it certainly is.
Dick, what's the matter?
Come in here, both of you.
Andy, we're in trouble.
Wendell hynes came in to pick
up $350,000 worth of bonds
that we were holding as
collateral for a loan.
They were kept in
our special fault.
Mr. Fleming and I
are the only officers
of the bank who have
access to that vault.
The hynes bonds are gone.
That's not all.
Other negotiable
securities are missing.
From what I can gather
short of a careful check,
the bank has been looted
of over a million dollars
worth of securities.
You'll have to notify Fleming.
I wish I could talk to him.
Unfortunately, he and Dr.
Wells are deep in the woods.
They can't be reached by phone.
What is it?
I thought I heard
someone on the path coming
from the lake, had an idea it
might be that guide of ours.
Oh, Sam won't show
up until morning.
It's a 20-mile canoe trip
from here to civilization.
Five will get you 10
Sam has a message for me.
I thought you told them at
the bank not to bother you.
I did.
But they'll bother me.
Yes, John.
What would you do
for half a million?
Anything short of murder.
Why not murder?
Too messy.
Dr. hynes: Too great a risk?
For half a million?
I pinched a million
from the bank.
I'm not kidding.
I embezzled it.
Not that I think
you wouldn't do it
if you thought you
could get away with it.
I got away with it.
I'm not talking about currency.
I took negotiable
securities that
could be converted into cash.
I have the cash, in tens,
twenties, and hundreds.
I'm your doctor,
not your lawyer.
Why tell me this?
You'll find out why.
Who's going to take the
blame for the robbery?
Bailey, the cashier,l
they'll never suspect me.
I like Bailey.
Well, so do i. I love the guy.
I gave him his first chance.
He has a lovely little wife.
Charming girl, I
was the best man.
Where's the million?
In my family's tomb in Zenith,
in the crypt with my father's
I don't buy that, John.
No, you forget that
I had you in charge
when you were a very sick man,
when you raved in delirium.
And I heard you talk
about a hidden room.
Now, where else could
you put a hidden room
except in that
mansion you built,
that white elephant
you call the Oaks?
Look, everyone knows
I have a bad heart.
Who would doubt it if you
wired the bank directors
that my heart had failed, that
I had fallen from a great height
here in the woods, and that
I was badly smashed up?
You could ship the
body back for burial,
and instruct them not to open
the casket due to the condition
of its contents.
Well, you realize,
of course, that we'd
have to have a body to
put in that casket, which
means that we'd have to deal
with an undertaker at this end.
Of course.
But where do we get a body?
Couldn't we provide
one of our own?
How about Sam?
Our guide?
Sam weighs about
as much as I do.
He's practically a hermit.
He wouldn't be missed
for a long time.
The local undertaker
would know him.
Dr. hynes: Not if we
made him look as if he'd
been in a serious accident.
But if Bailey's going
to take the blame, why
do you have to do this?
A jury might acquit him.
In that case, I'd be
a logical suspect.
I could disappear, of course.
But it's safer if
they think I'm dead.
What if I don't
go for this deal?
In that case, it
would be two bad.
You mean you'd kill me?
What else could I do?
Now that I've told
you about the million.
I'd say you were shot
in a hunting accident.
Now, look, doctor, it you
can find another body instead
of Sam's, it's
all right with me.
There's half a
million in it for you.
I'll do my best.
I smell smoke.
So do i. What's that noise?
Look, doctor!
The woods are on fire!
It's coming this way!
We've got to get out of here!
Out the back way!
We will, as soon as
I provide that body
we were talking about.
Oh, my goodness dear,
Lizzie, is that you?
Yes, Miss cordelia.
There's a storm coming up.
And it's going to be a snorter.
The wind nearly blew
the door off its hinges.
Well, that noise blew my
game higher than a kite.
I think I've lost
some of the cards.
Oh, I'll get them for you.
Oh, I see you've
found the paper.
Drat that paper boy,
scooting by on his bicycle,
just chucked it into a couple
bushes and let it go at that.
For land's sake, Mr. Vick
Bailey's been arrested.
Right there.
Victor Bailey, vice president
and cashier of the Zenith bank,
was arraigned before united
states commissioner Alvin
fielding charged with the
embezzlement of over $1
I can't believe Vick
Bailey had anything
to do with that robbery.
Oh, well, I see our
landlord is home again.
Mr. Fleming, Dr. Malcolm
Wells is back in town
with the body of John
Fleming, president
of the Zenith bank, who was
killed in a forest fire.
Mr. Fleming will be laid to rest
in his family's tomb on Friday.
And I hope he stays there.
Why shouldn't he?
Well, this is his house.
And ever since he
died, some funny things
have happened here.
For instance?
The housekeeper, the
cook, and the butler
said that they heard
strange noises at night.
And the upstairs
maid swore that she
met a man without a face
coming up the back stairs.
Oh, so that's why they
quit and left me to run
this place without a staff.
They didn't tell
you, Ms. Corny.
But the truth is, they
were scared to stay.
But you're still here, Lizzie.
Haven't you seen anything?
No, no, and even if I had,
I ain't afraid of ghosts.
They're afraid of me.
Honest, Ms. Corny,
a spiritualist
told me once that ghosts
was allergic to me.
But-- but this Bat
feller they keep
talking about in the paper,
I-- I guess he'd be different.
I don't think you would
have the same effect on him.
Oh dear.
What are they trying
to do, drive people away
from this part of the country?
What does it say about the Bat?
His specialty seems to be
killing women-- my goodness,
two of them in one night.
All his victims
died the same way,
like their throats had been
ripped open with steel claws.
Well, that's a
charming little caper.
I'll have to try it sometime.
In a book.
That aint' nothing,
just something
bumping against the house.
That's just the
wind banging a door.
Pay no attention to it.
Listen to this, one of his
victims who lived for a moment
after she was found,
described the Bat as a man
without a face.
Honest, Ms. Corny,
I think that woman
must have been exaggerating.
That's just that heavy tapestry
at the top of the stairs.
I know.
I know.
I've heard it before
on a windy night.
But that sounds as if there
was someone on the stairs.
I know there isn't, at
least there shouldn't be.
There ain't.
Them's just the noises
you here in any old house
on a windy night.
It says here that the Bat
never leaves no fingerprints.
That's understandable.
Having no face, he probably
has no fingers either.
And that, I suppose, is the
cat dropping its dentures?
No, no, I don't think so.
But I think it's something
should be looked into.
Now, who chucked him down here?
The wind, I hope.
There must be a
window open up there.
No, Lizzie!
Let him lay.
Let him sleep it off.
I hope the power lines don't
go down, put the lights out.
We'll check the windows
in the living room,
and drawn the curtains,
and then we'll go to bed.
Yes, ma'am.
I won't be a minute.
Ms. Corny!
What was that?
Oh, when I went to get the
paper, I turned the latch off.
I forgot to turn it on again.
He's out there.
He was coming in.
He might have got you.
Oh, but he didn't.
And he's still out
there, thanks to you.
Now, you hurry now, and
we'll call the police.
No, no, I won't
leave you, Ms. Corny.
Are you ok?
Yes, ma'am, I'm ok.
Operator: Operator?
Give me the police
department, please.
Officer: Zenith
police department.
This is Cornelia Van Gorder.
I'm living at the Oaks.
We know about that,
Ms. Van Gorder.
Just a moment ago, a man
tried to force his way
into this house.
Officer: You're not
alone there, are you?
What about your servants?
Well, I have none
except my chauffeur.
And he's away.
He won't be back
until the morning.
Now, there's only two
of us here tonight.
And we're going to lock
ourselves in my room.
Now, uh, if-- if any of
your men see anything,
will you have them call me?
Officer: I'll send officers
over there right away.
Well, thank you very much.
Come on, Lizzie.
We're going to sleep in my room.
Well, nothing can get at us in
this room now, I don't think.
This door seems good and solid.
Like the door to a tomb.
Uh, I think that couch
will be comfortable.
There's some extra bedding,
you know, in the closet.
Let's see now.
Oh, uh-huh, no bolt.
Well, that's not so good.
What's that for?
That, my good woman,
is a boobie trap.
If anybody tries to
open this transom,
this'll be knocked off.
And we'll hear it fall.
Oh, fiddlesticks, I forgot my
night things, my robe, my gown,
and my slippers.
I'll go get them now.
Now, wait a minute, Lizzie.
I'll go with you--
Now don't you
bother, Ms. Cornelia.
My room's just down the hall.
Cornelia Van Gorder:
Lizzie, I told you to wait!
It's all right.
I'll only be a second.
Get in here!
Get in here!
Officer: Miss Van Gorder?
Officer: Zenith
police department.
There's a police car
just outside your house.
And the officers
in it have reported
that there's no sign
of a prowler anywhere
well, the man's inside now!
He's in the hall just
outside my bedroom!
Have your men break
through the kitchen door
and search this place
from top to bottom.
Officer: Ok, Ms. Van
Gorder, sit tight.
I will.
I have a gun.
And I know how to use it.
Oh, relax, relax, Lizzie.
The police did a good job.
They couldn't find
anybody in here.
But we both saw
him, Ms. Cornelia.
All right, all
right, so he got away.
But there are men
on guard outside.
So just try and get some rest.
There's nothing
can get at us here.
Oh, oh, oh, Miss cordelia!
Miss cordelia!
What's the matter?
A bat!
Oh, nonsense, you've
had a nightmare.
Maybe I did.
But there was a bat.
And it bit me.
It flew in that closet.
Oh, good gracious, Lizzie.
You're right!
Operator, operator, will
you get me Dr. Malcolm Wells'
office, please.
I don't know his number.
And I have no
phone book up here.
But this is an emergency.
Will you connect me
with his office, please?
Oh dear, oh dear, I'm
going to get the rabies.
Woman: Hello?
Dr. well's office.
Woman: This is a call service.
Dr. Wells is out at moment.
But if you give me your name and
number, I'll try to locate him.
Well, this is Miss
Van Gorder of the Oaks.
My maid has just been bitten
by a bat that may be rapid.
And she must have treatment
as soon as possible.
And I was told that Dr. Wells
was the nearest physician.
Woman: I'll try to
find him for you.
And I can't, I'll send
you another doctor.
Well, thank you very much.
Oh, he's out on a case.
I hope it's not a
delivery-- a baby, I mean.
They can be terribly
It never bothered me none.
Oh, Lizzie, you
never had a baby.
Of course I didn't.
That's why they
never bothered me.
Oh, does it hurt, huh?
A little.
Operator: Dr. Wells?
Are you there Dr. Wells?
Are you there, Dr. Wells?
This is the operator.
Your call service
is on the wire.
It's an emergency.
This is Dr. Wells.
Woman: This is your
call service, doctor.
Oh, hello I-- I was
just doing an experiment.
I left the receiver off.
Woman: That's what I
thought, but I kept trying.
Ms. Van Gorder at
the Oaks called
and said that her maid
had been bitten by a bit.
And she's afraid
it might be rapid.
Oh, all right, tell her
I'll be right over there.
Who's there?
Dr. Wells: Dr. Wells.
Come in.
Good evening.
Oh, I'm so glad they
found you, doctor.
Well, I reached my office
shortly after you called.
How is your maid?
Is she in any pain?
No, no, she doesn't seem to be.
Did the bat get away?
I believe it's
still in my bedroom.
Oh, good, I'll
want to examine it.
There you go, Ms. Allen.
Now you'll feel better.
Doctor, have I got the rabies?
Well, I can tell you better
after I've examined the bat's
brain under a microscope.
That thing's got a brain?
Oh, you'd be surprised.
Where is it?
I think the little
darling is in that closet.
You know, it's a pity you leased
this house, Ms. Van Gorder.
Why a pity?
Well, my dear lady, I don't
want to alarm you, but--
Oh, well after tonight,
nothing can alarm me.
Yes, I understand.
It must have been terrifying.
So many unexplainable
things have happened here.
There's something
about the place.
Your servants must
have sensed it
when they walked out on you,
an apprehension of disaster.
Well, let's see.
Yes, there he is.
All right now, take
it easy, nobody's
going to hurt you,
quiet now, quiet.
Looks quite normal, doesn't
seem to be sick at all.
Ain't that nice.
I've been worried about him.
Well, you should be.
From his appearance,
I'd say that he
doesn't have any
infection, in which case
you've had a narrow escape.
Now, you take one
of those tablets
I left for you and I
guarantee you a good night.
And I'll drop in
on you tomorrow.
Oh, thanks for
everything, doctor.
But I can find my way out.
I know you can.
But do let me help you.
Oh, don't forget
that once I'm gone,
you'll have to climb
those stairs alone.
Oh, I'm all right.
I'm armed now.
Can you shoot one
of those things
without shutting your eyes?
Oh, doctor, there are guns in
every book I've ever written.
I don't write about things
I'm unfamiliar with.
Lock the door, Lizzie.
Yes, ma'am, good night, doctor.
No, no, the wind blew
him down, I think.
Did you know that young mark
Fleming leased you this house
without notifying his uncle?
No, no, I didn't.
Well, it doesn't matter now.
John Fleming is dead.
And mark's his heir.
But if John were alive,
he would warn you
to leave here, Miss Van Gorder.
It's been a tragic place for
anyone who ever lived in it.
Well, goodnight.
Goodnight, doctor.
Who's out there?
Nobody you need to
worry about, doctor.
Oh, it's Andy.
That's right.
Good evening, Miss Van Gorder.
Good evening, Lieutenant.
Somebody sick here?
My maid was bitten by a bat.
A rabid bat?
Well, I'll know for sure
when I get to my lab.
I-- I caught the bat.
It happened indoors?
In my bedroom.
How'd it get in?
Well there are ways a
bat could get in a house.
You ought to know.
I, uh, I spotted this hole
in the window the minute
I got there.
That's where the two-legged
bat got your door open.
Miss Van Gorder told me
that she phoned headquarters
at Zenith.
Yes, I phoned twice.
The second time was after
the prowler got in the house.
Were you in headquarters, Andy?
No, but they contacted me.
An officer came and searched
the house from top to bottom.
But they couldn't find the bat.
You better have this
window fixed tomorrow.
Oh, yes, I certainly shall.
Yes, and I-- I better be going.
I'm due in surgery at 8
o'clock in the morning.
Goodnight, doctor.
There will be a man patrolling
the grounds all night,
Ms. Van Gorder.
Oh, thank you.
And nobody inside, Andy?
Why should there be?
Well, how do you know but what
the bat is hiding somewhere
in the house?
I'm quite sure he isn't in
the house, doctor, not now.
Hi, Andy.
Hello, mark.
Well, congratulations,
real estate business
must be picking up-- new
office, new furniture.
New deal, how do you like it?
It looks expensive.
Are you squandering
your inheritance?
Oh, I haven't got it yet.
Well, the paper says John
Fleming left his entire fortune
to you.
Funny thing about
that entire fortune
is that we can't find it.
No kidding?
No, all uncle John
has in his bank account
was a couple hundred dollars.
And his safe deposit
box was empty.
If we don't find
that missing million,
mine will be empty too.
How come?
Well, all my savings were
invested in Zenith bank stock.
The examiners won't
certify the bank as solvent
until those stolen
securities are found.
So the stockholders
have voted an assessment
that'll wipe some of us out.
It's as is those securities
have been converted into cash.
And if I can't find
that cash, I'm sunk.
Well, where are you going
to look for it, Andy?
Here in Zenith.
Your uncle wouldn't take a
million on a hunting trip,
would he?
You suspect uncle John?
Why, Andy, he founded
the Zenith back.
That'd be like robbing
the family tomb.
You think he wouldn't?
Well, besides, Vick
Bailey's fingerprints
are all over the vault.
They didn't find any
of uncle John's fingerprints.
Because he wiped them off.
Can the defense prove that.
They'll try to.
Judie Holland had Bailey's
secretary as a defense witness.
And they believe her
testimony will have
a powerful effect on the jury.
Well, she has a
powerful effect on me.
Judie's a doll.
Here's the book you
mentioned, judie.
Your newest one.
Yes, it's just been published.
You can have that
copy if you wish.
Oh, it's a first edition
and you've signed it.
Yes, of course.
Thank you so much.
May I serve tea
now, Ms. Van Gorder?
Yes, please do, Warner.
I see you've
engaged new servants.
Yes, of course.
How did you persuade them
to live in this house?
Jane Patterson,
my new housekeeper,
knows this house better
than you do, doctor.
She worked for John Fleming.
And Warner was my chauffeur.
Chauffeur turned butler?
It's incredible.
He can play any part
at a moment's notice.
Did you-- did you get
a plumber, Warner?
Warner: No, we can't get a
plumber for three days, madame.
What about that leaking pipe?
The basement will be
flooded in three days.
The pipe is no longer leaking.
You mean it's dried
up of its own accord?
Not quite, I packed the elbow
where the water was coming up.
Packed the elbow?
Where did you learn
how to do that?
Into each life, a
little rain must fall.
And a careful man learns
to keep himself dry.
Now, is there anything that
you require, Miss Van Gorder?
No, not at the moment, Warner.
Thank you, madame.
Now, there's a character.
How long did you say that he
worked for you as chauffeur?
About three months.
Dr. Wells: Well, I hope he
doesn't have a police record.
My dear Dale, it
may interest you
to know that the last night
of his life, John Fleming
told me that he loved
your husband like a son.
If Fleming were alive
today, he would be fighting
to prove Vick's innocence.
Could Mr. Fleming
prove his own innocence?
Miss Van Gorder, can there
be any doubt about it?
There will be when Ms. Holland
testifies at Vick's trial.
You know something that we
haven't heard yet, judie?
Something I saw
with my own eyes.
She's not permitted
to say what it was.
My dear girl, I wouldn't
think of asking her.
But let's assume for
a moment that Fleming
did steal the million.
Now, what would he do about it?
Where is it?
Hidden some place
where he could
lay his hands on it without
getting caught in the act.
Now, if I was
writing this instead
of living in the
middle of it, I'd
hide it right here in
this spooky old house.
Under a loose floorboard
or up a chimney?
If Mr. Fleming had the
nerve to steal a million,
he'd make his plans
well in advance.
I'd say he'd prepare
a place to hide it,
possibly when this
house was being built.
I rented this place from
mark Fleming, his nephew.
I wonder-- I wonder if
he'd have the floor plans.
I'll ask him.
Lizzie, will you bring
Mrs. Bailey the phone?
You ask him now.
His number is summit--
Summit-- 7537.
Thank you, Lizzie.
Cordelia Van Gorder: 7537.
Not bad, hey, Andy?
That means new business.
Now, you see?
Somebody wants to buy a house.
Mark Fleming speaking.
Oh, hello, Dale.
Well, hang on a minute, honey,
while I see if I have it.
It's Dale Bailey all excited.
Ms. Van Gorder wants
to know if I have
the floor plans of the Oaks.
Now, what would she want
ith the floor plans?
Well, she suggested to me
that your uncle might have
hidden the bank loot there.
Are the plans here?
Somewhere in the house
itself-- wait a minute.
There is a place where
uncle Johnny might
have kept those blueprints.
What place?
Well, I heard him talk about
it a good many years ago.
I can't be sure of
the exact location.
Anyway, I don't think
the old boy had the guts
to steal a million.
But if I find those plans,
I'll let you know, Andy.
Hello, Dale?
Look, honey, I haven't seen
those plans since I was a kid.
But I'll come over tonight,
and maybe we can find them.
Thank you, mark.
We'll expect you.
He seems to think they're
here in the house somewhere.
He's coming over tonight.
Well, that's good.
Dale and judie are my house
guests for the weekend.
Would you like to have
dinner with us tonight?
Oh, no thank you, I couldn't.
I still have a
few calls to make.
You know, if Judy's testimony
is going to clear Vick Bailey
and implicate John
Fleming, others
may get the idea that there's
buried treasure in this house.
Don't even mention
your testimony
until you're actually
on the stand.
Oh, I won't.
That's a smart girl, judie,
and a very lovely girl.
Well, good afternoon, ladies.
Goodbye, Dr. Wells.
Come on, girls, let's go.
Cordelia Van Gorder:
So many unusual things
have happened here this summer.
The more I think
about it, the more
I realize I should be
putting them down on paper.
Weren't you your
husband's secretary, Dale?
Yes, I was.
Do you take shorthand?
Well, my dear, if you'd like
to have your mind occupied,
I want you to work
with me while I
write the story of this
fantastic criminal, the Bat.
Wonderful dinner.
Thank you.
It was really nice.
It was a good dinner,
Lizzie, as usual.
Oh, what a lovely
piece of silver.
It's an original, isn't it?
Cordelia Van Gorder: Yes, the
still use them in england.
That clock hasn't struck the
hour in the last 10 years,
if I'm to believe what
mark Fleming told me.
Why is it angled away
from the wall like that?
I don't know.
Somebody must have moved it.
Lizzie, very like,
when she was dusting.
Wait a minute.
Did you know there's a
door in this paneling?
No, I didn't.
Oh, by gracious!
So there is!
Maybe it opens to
a secret passage.
Certainly to a
secret something!
Who knows, girls, we
may be about to stumble
on that missing million.
There's a panel.
There must be some
gimmick to it.
There always is.
Officer: Calling car
11, calling car 11.
Proceed to the Oaks in
Zenith township immediately.
A homicide has been reported.
Proceeding to the Oaks.
Notify the county
coroner, Dr. Wells.
Tell him to come to
the Oaks at once.
It's as if his
throat had been torn
by some creature
with fans, or claws.
That's his sign.
We found it on the
others he killed.
I had hoped those reports that
he was up to his old tricks
again were pure imagination.
But apparently
they're based on fact.
He's come back, back to
the scene of his kills.
Yes, that's who I mean.
That's who did this, the Bat.
Who found mark?
We all did.
That is Dale, and judie, and I,
Lizzie was in the dining room.
This is my new housekeeper,
Jane Patterson.
You know, she worked
for John Fleming.
I know her.
Where were you, Mrs. Patterson?
In the kitchen cleaning up.
I cooked the dinner tonight.
Did you know that this
secret closet was here?
No, it was behind the
grandfather's clock.
Well, it was I who
found it, really.
I noticed the clock
had been moved.
And the door wasn't
quite closed.
I'll get it.
Who is it?
Mark Fleming.
As coroner, you saw the
same wounds on the others.
How long has he been dead?
Oh, I'd say about
a half an hour.
Do you believe it was the Bat?
That's the Bat's trademark.
Perhaps he's
still in the house.
It's possible.
Why should he be?
Because he's looking for
something, and like you,
he believes it's here.
And he's a persistent killer.
I would advise you
get out of this house
as quickly as possible, not
withstanding our expert police
Have you called the morgue?
They're on their way here.
Oh, good, I want to examine
the body before they get here.
May we take it
into another room?
Yes, to the sun
room in the back.
Thank you, give me a hand.
Excuse me.
Oh, Warner, where have you been?
Well, madame it--
There's been an accident?
There's been a murder.
Mark Fleming, the young man
from whom I leased this place,
was killed here tonight.
They know who did it?
Well, they-- they
believe it was the Bat.
I'm sorry I had to use the
front door, Miss Van Gorder.
Bu I forgot my keys, and when
I rang the bell at the kitchen
door, there was no response.
Oh, this is Warner, Lieutenant.
He's my butler.
He was my chauffeur.
Why'd you promote him?
Well, it's very difficult
to find a butler.
They don't like
service in the country.
Have you been a butler before?
I've served in many
capacities, sir.
But this was my night
off, and I forgot my keys.
I heard that part.
What time did you leave
the house tonight?
Oh, about 6:30.
I had dinner at
wiley's roadhouse.
Can you prove where you
spent the rest of the evening?
I can try.
Try hard.
And don't leave the house.
I'll get to you later.
Very good, sir.
I shall be in my room, Miss
Van Gorder, if you need me.
Yes, Warner.
Surely, you don't think he's--
Warner and I have met before.
I can't recall where or when.
But I will.
There will be a crew here
shortly from headquarters,
dusting for fingerprints,
taking photographs.
But in the meantime,
Mrs. Patterson,
you aren't leaving the
house tonight are you?
No, Lieutenant.
Don't, I'll talk to
you in the morning.
Goodnight, sir.
Dale, I was with mark
Fleming this afternoon
when you talked to him about
the floor plans of this house.
I heard him tell you he
was coming here tonight.
Dale called him at my request.
She told me he was coming.
Who else heard
her tell you that?
Judie, Lizzie.
And that nice Dr. Wells.
Dr. Wells?
There are few killers who
kill for the fun of it.
The Bat very likely
is a mental case.
And I'm convinced that his
crimes are by his person gain.
There's a million
dollars at large.
And he's going to
keep on hunting for it
until he lays his hands on it.
Now, these young ladies
are staying here tonight?
Yes, they're my house guests.
Well, when my crew arrives,
we'll be busy for a while.
So I'd suggest that--
That we go to our rooms?
That's a very good idea.
Come on, girls.
What a police guard for this
house tonight, Lieutenant?
You've got one.
I'm going to cover
this place tonight
from the attic to the basement.
If the Bat makes
another call, I'll
have a little surprise for him.
Who, uh-- who is he?
Have you any idea?
He could be anybody.
So far, there are
clues to his identity,
but nothing we could
take before a jury.
I am afraid we must look
higher than the criminal world.
He may be a merchant,
lawyer, doctor, scientist,
one of the pillars
of his community.
Ladies, lock your doors tonight.
Stay behind them.
I promise you you'll be safe.
Goodnight, Lieutenant.
Poor mark.
Yeah, it's a pity.
So young.
Well, doctor, do you
agree it was the Bat?
In my report, I
shall say the death
was caused by the
same technique used
in the other killings, a
paralyzing blow to the throat,
followed by a severe
lacerations of the jugular,
resulting in
excessive hemorrhage.
In a layman's language, he
didn't know what hit him.
Oh, he knew, but he didn't
have time to think about it.
You staying here tonight, Andy?
Well, until I check
the doors and windows.
But I'll be back bright
and early in the morning.
Neither snow, nor rain,
nor heat, nor gloom of night
stays these couriers
from the swift completion
of their appointed rounds.
A lot of people are due for a
shock when I close this case.
Yes, I'm sure they are.
Goodnight, Andy, don't get hurt.
Goodnight, doctor.
You know, I think we'd
better let get some sleep.
Oh, well Lizzie and
I share this room
for mutual protection.
You know, one night, a
storm blew the wires down,
put the lights out.
And I went out the next day
and bought a half a dozen
of these things.
You better take
one with you, Dale.
Oh, thank you.
We'll go across the hall.
Are you sure there's
nothing else you need?
Quite sure, we'll be all right.
Well, if anything bothers
you, you just sing out.
And two strong women
will come to your rescue.
Oh, nothing will bother us,
not with Andy on the job.
Don't worry, everything
will be all right.
Come on, Lizzie.
I don't think
I'll sleep tonight.
Me neither.
All I can see is poor
mark Fleming staring at us.
I thought that when people died
their eyes closed, as in sleep.
Don't think about it.
I bet you're thinking about it.
No, I was thinking of my
poor husband sleeping in jail
Oh, judie, I love him so much.
What's that noise?
Oh, I don't know.
I kind of fell half asleep.
For a moment, I thought it
was something from a dream.
It's somewhere in the house.
Yes, on the floor above,
not directly over us,
probably a room
overlooking the driveway.
Should we call Ms. Van Gorder?
She'll hear it.
How can she help but hear it?
Besides, we don't want
her to think we're
a couple of hysterical women.
I'm about to become one.
I've had it for one night.
Dale, you're not going
out in that hall.
I want to know what's
happening up there.
But Lieutenant
Anderson said if we
stayed behind our locked
doors, we'd be safe.
Vick isn't safe
locked up in that jail.
Suppose that stolen
money is in this house.
Mark Fleming seemed
to think it was.
Maybe that's what
somebody's looking for.
Oh, for heaven's
sake, don't you
hear that awful noise up there?
Now, Lizzie!
You've just got to stay awake!
The house phone and the outside
phone wires have been cut!
And we can't get help!
Where's that policeman?
Oh, I don't know.
Something must have
happened to him.
Now, go on.
Get on your robe.
Oh, Dale, please
don't go up there.
I've got to.
Think what it
could mean to Vick.
Now you stay here.
Oh no, if you go, I go.
You stay here.
No, no--
You wait here.
I'm going to see what it is.
Oh, please let me go with you.
Judie, will you warn
me if anyone comes?
And I'll only be a moment.
Now, wait.
Oh no!
What did he do to her!
No, not judie!
Give her to me.
I'll look after her.
Poor baby.
The Bat.
Yes, the Bat.
He caught her at the
head of the stairs.
We saw him rushing
down the stairs
as we came out of the room.
I hurled that after him.
I hit him, I believe.
I'm going to cover this
place from attic to basement,
you said!
Well, what were
you covering when
that poor child was murdered?
Where were you?
I saw a man outside
on the grounds.
I went out there and hunted him.
I heard him in among the trees.
And so I followed the sound
of him as far as the brook
down near the back road.
And then I lost him.
I'd rather give my own life
than have this happen to Judy.
But I told you to stay in
your rooms and lock your doors
and stay there!
What was she doing at
the head of those stairs?
That was my fault.
They heard a strange
noise, heavy pounding in one
of the rooms on the third floor.
We all heard it.
I wanted to see what it was.
Judie, she wouldn't let
me go out by myself.
I made her stay on the balcony.
What about your new butler?
Well, he's in his
room, I suppose.
Oh, Mrs. Patterson.
Did you know what
happened here?
No, sir, but I
heard the screams.
I to call Warner.
We have rooms on the same floor.
But he wasn't in his room.
His bed hasn't been slept in.
If Mrs. Patterson
heard the screams,
Warner could
certainly hear them.
You're quite right, sir.
I heard them.
Oh, you did?
And where were you?
Outside on the grounds.
Ms. Holland has been murdered.
So you're surprised, shocked.
Well, I've seen
better performances.
I remember you now.
Your name's not Warner.
I've got a circular in my
office with your picture on it.
The Chicago police
not so long ago
were hunting for you in
connection with a robbery.
You're right again, sir.
And they found me,
and they tried me.
And I proved my innocence.
And I was acquitted.
That could have
been a lucky break.
Where were you when
this child was killed?
I told you before,
sir, outside.
What were you doing there?
I was following you.
I saw you leaving the house.
And it seemed that you
were hunting someone.
I thought you might
need some help.
Oh, yes, sir, I followed
your flashlight down
through the trees.
Then it disappeared.
And then suddenly as I was
staring out into the darkness,
I was struck by something
on to the back of the head.
Next thing I knew, I
was lying on the ground.
I realized I'd been knocked out.
I wish you had
been knocked out.
For then we'd have
found you with your mask
still on your face!
You were hit here in this
house with this poker
as you were rushing down those
stairs after that child--
Oh, no, sir, you
can't pin this on me.
I'm not the Bat!
I've never killed.
I couldn't kill.
I won't take the rap for this!
Well, doctor, we have another
case for the county coroner.
You see, the Bat came back.
Why did you come back, doctor?
Well, I-- I had an accident
about a mile down the road.
The right rear wheel
of my car came off,
and I plunged into the ditch.
This was the nearest house.
So I came here to call for help.
I thought I'd find
you around, Andy.
Physician, heal thyself.
You're must have
been hit by something
on the back of your head.
I told you.
I had an accident.
So you did, doctor.
So you did.
I could be wrong.
But maybe I'm not.
We shall see.
Fine, dear, let's
start a new chapter.
For days, the murders
held the headlines.
Lieutenant Anderson grilled
us, and ransacked the house
from top to bottom.
Warner was not
placed under arrest.
But his every move was watched.
At night, except for a
detective on guard in the house,
the police and the
reporters left us alone.
And on one of those
nights, without telling
Lizzie or anyone else, I
pursued a secret investigation
of my own.
It was in an empty
room on the third floor
where we kept our
trunks and other things.
Put 'em up, Bat.
That's a bright idea to
kill me in my own lab
and let people think
that I'm the Bat.
But you had to kill me first.
What was it to be, ambush?
Clever as you are, you're
not smart enough to do that.
Nor were you smart enough to
find the money, though you
came quite close to it.
But I know where it is.
And when you're dead with that
sign pinned on your chest,
I'm going to collect it and
live happily ever after.
He destroyed himself,
how true that will be.
Goodbye, Bat.
Here's a serum that will
heal you whether you're rabid
or not.
Something's wrong.
Something's wrong.
Miss Cornelia?
Miss Cornelia?
Now, where would she be
going at this time of night?
I never!
Mr. Davenport, Mr. Davenport--
Oh, a fine thing, the door
unbolted, the chain off,
and you asleep on the job.
Wait till Lieutenant
Anderson hears about this.
Come on!
Wake up!
What's the matter with you?
I don't know.
I don't know.
My head hurts, my
whole body is numb.
Here, here, take a sip of this.
Try to snap out of it.
I'll be back in a minute.
Hurry, will you?
It's Lizzie.
I'm terribly worried.
I can't find Ms.
Cornelia anywhere.
And something's happened
to the policeman.
I don't know what.
Get Warner.
Bring him to the drawing room.
Tell him we need him.
Are you all right now?
Yeah, I'll be all
right in a minute.
I remember now.
I took a drink of wine
from that decanter there.
Ms. Van Gorder told
me to help myself.
She wouldn't put nothing in it.
Well, somebody did, somebody
who knew I was on duty here.
And it was somebody
that got Ms. Van Gorder.
I can't find her
anywhere-- upstairs,
downstairs, or in the basement.
I told the housekeeper
to get Warner.
Lieutenant Anderson will
want to know about this.
Yeah, this is
Davenport at the Oaks.
We've got trouble here.
Well, for one thing
I was drugged.
But I must have been knocked
out, because the maid tells me
Ms. Van Gorder's missing.
You better call Anderson
and let him know.
He's not at home?
Well where is he?
Out on a case?
What case?
Dr. Wells?
What else did they
tell you about him?
Oh, hurry, will you?
We've got to find Ms. Cornelia!
Lieutenant Anderson
is out on a case.
Dr. Wells was found
dead in a room
next to his garage, murdered.
Dr. Wells?
There's something queer
about the killing of Wells.
But headquarters
won't talk about it.
Lizzie, Warner
isn't in his room.
There's no sign of him anywhere.
And I was supposed to
keep an eye on that guy.
Where's Ms. Cornelia?
That's what I want to know!
Wait a minute!
Didn't you say that
the chain and the bolt
were off of the front door?
I certainly did.
Well, maybe Ms. Van
Gorder went outside.
Oh, she never would.
We better look.
I can't-- I can't breathe.
There's no air.
Ms. Cornelia?
Ms. Van Gorder?
Ms. Van Gorder?
There's a light in that
room on the third floor.
Were you up there tonight?
Well, of course I was,
but I turned the lights out
before I came downstairs.
Ms. Cornelia might have
turned them on again.
That's where we're
going to look first.
Come on!
Miss Cornelia?
Miss Cornelia?
I'm here!
Right here!
Here we are, Ms. Van Gorder.
What do we do now?
Over the mantle,
there are five panels.
Try to-- with your hands.
Which panel did you
say, Ms. Van Gorder?
Oh, I-- I just--
Ms. Van Gorder!
Which panel!
We couldn't hear you!
She said strike it!
What difference does
it make which panel?
Strike them all!
Oh, it's all right now.
It's all right, dear.
Lizzie's here.
feeling better?
Yes, much better.
We'll take you to your room.
Oh, no you want.
I'm going to stay right here.
I'm quite all right.
Oh, how blessed it is to
breathe without an effort.
You know, no one knows how sweet
the air can taste until someone
shuts it off for a moment.
That room is just like a box.
When the mantle piece closed,
it seemed like all the air
was drawn out of it.
There it goes again!
Let it close.
I can open it from in here.
There's a control panel behind
this blueprint, electric motor
under the trap door here.
Once the door's open,
you can keep it that way.
I believe that the
fireplace in this other room
opens the same way.
And it does.
I tried to find this.
But I couldn't find it.
Yeah, it was back of
this blueprint here.
Well, it's-- it's
quite a set up.
Too bad we can't open
that safe the same way.
Take an expert to crack this
box, or a shot of nitro.
Maybe-- maybe that's
what the Bat had in mind.
Could be, seems he's
on the prowl tonight.
Ms. Van Gorder,
Warner has disappeared.
And Dr. Wells
has been murdered.
Dr. Wells?
Lieutenant Anderson's
on that case right now.
Well, does he know what
happened here tonight?
They got word to him.
He'll be here any minute.
What's that noise?
Ms. Van Gorder, the
garage is on fire.
Great scot!
Look at that!
Lizzie, put that light
out in the other room.
Now, where are you going?
To report the fire.
Well, you just stay right here.
But Ms. Van Gorder, the garage.
Let it burn.
You watch the stairs.
Can't you see that fire was
set to get us out of the house.
Out of the-- well,
you're talking about the--
Yes, yes, I'm
talking about the Bat.
Now that the lights
are out, he'll
think his trick has
worked, and we've gone.
He'll be here any minute.
Well, so will
Lieutenant Anderson.
I hope so.
But the Bat will be here first.
And he'll kill again
if we're in his way.
We've got to be as
clever as he is.
But you'll be safer downstairs.
I'll take care of him.
Well, the others can go.
But I'm going to
stay right here.
All right, but
get out of sight.
Let's face it, ladies,
and get it over with.
Others have seen my
face before they died.
But I'll have to deny
you that pleasure.
This would make a good scene
for your book, Ms. Van Gorder.
But I'm afraid you'll
never write it.
That is Warner.
I could tell.
You misjudge me, Ms. Ellen.
I don't like being a murder
suspect, Ms. Van Gorder.
I was headed for a plane.
But halfway to the airport, I
changed my mind and came back.
I'm glad that I did.
Why, it's Lieutenant Anderson!
Yes, it was Anderson.
He had discovered the
secret of the hidden room
and was waiting to get into
it and open up the safe.
We found the money in
it, little over a million
in tens, and twenties,
and hundreds.
Good old Andy, with
all his ill-gotten
gains invested in bank stock.
It's rather a clever way to
hide stolen money-- in the open,
as it were, and so respectable.
But don't try it.
No matter how clever you
are, you can't hide murder.
Well, that's it, Dale.
That's the end.