The Kennel Murder Case (1933) Movie Script

The finest show
we have ever held,
with nearly twice as many dogs
as last year.
Refreshments are being served
at the marquee
at the west end of the grounds.
Bichons ready
in ring number two.
Next event, number 729
collies bred by exhibitors.
Have your dogs ready.
Quiet, please,
during the judging.
Attention, please.
Judging in ring one,
event number 728.
Scottish terriers, American-bred dogs.
Great Danes in ring number two.
Great Scott in ring number one.
This is number 292,
Captain McTavish,
shown by the owner,
the well-known fancier.
Mr. Philo Vance,
whose kennel comprises
some of the finest
campaigners in America.
That's fine.
A little smile, please.
Cup to your right.
That's great.
Sorry, boys, but
these are not trophies.
Hold it.
Thank you.
Mind if we go now?
I can stand one dog,
but this bedlam
is getting on my nerves.
Don't be impatient, darling.
We'll have plenty
of time for dinner.
How old is that dog?
Two and a half.
Event number 728:
the blue ribbon won
by Gillespie of Heather stone
Dundee Deviler is runner-up,
and Milosian Gentleman
receives the special.
Better luck next time,
Mr. Vance.
Don't be down hearted, Captain.
You're still champion with me.
Maybe we'll have
better luck in Italy, huh?
Tough luck, Vance. I was hoping
to have the pleasure
of beating you tomorrow.
Thank you very much,
Mr. Coe.
Perhaps you'll get stiffer competition
from Sir Thomas MacDonald.
I want to borrow
Misty Morgan for a second.
But, Miss Lake, you know Mr. Archer
don't want any one to borrow his dog.
Come along and protect him,
if you like.
That's enough, Sir Thomas.
I wouldn't take off
another whisker.
Hmm, I think
you're right, Sandy.
Get ready.
Hold it.
There you are, Ghillie, laddie.
Hello, Hilda.
Hello, Thom.
Well, what's the idea?
I thought we'd do
a little private judging.
I don't imagine your uncle
would particularly approve of this.
I'm sure he wouldn't.
Hold him there, Sandy.
Let's take a good look at him.
All right.
Wag your tail.
Well, what do you think?
I think its a pretty close thing.
But I'm not worried, eh, Sandy?
I think your bet is safe, sir.
Here we are, sir.
What the devil do you think
you're doing, Hilda?
Well, I... How do you do?
How do you do, sir?
I wanted to prove you're
going to lose money to Thom
when these two get
into the ring tomorrow.
And have you proved it
to your satisfaction?
So much that I want you to loan me
$1000 to place on Ghillie.
That's cheek for you.
Wants to bet against me
with $1,000 of my own money!
I wasn't asking you
for your money.
I merely want you
to loan me some of mine.
As long as I control the purse strings,
you're not going to do any betting against me.
You'll be grateful that I've saved
a few thousand of your fortune someday.
But don't raise your
hopes too high, Hilda.
Bring that dog out here.
I shouldn't let him
worry you, my dear.
If you knew how
I hate him, Thom...
...the things he's done to me.
I despise him.
Now, let's see.
Where did I put that...
Ah, here it is...
Unsolved Murders.
Huh, you know,
I almost forgot it.
I wouldn't have been able
to sleep a wink tonight,
wondering who murdered who and why.
How any intelligent man can read
that drivel is beyond me, Brisbane!
What time does that Chicago train go?
Five o'clock.
Well, it's 4:15.
You've got plenty of time.
But I want to get out of here
before Archer gets home.
Good afternoon, sir.
Is my brother at home?
Yes, sir.
He's upstairs.
Tell him I want to see him.
Yes, sir.
Your taxi's waiting, sir.
All right.
There's the bag.
Did you get those reservations?
Yes, sir, and Mr. Archer told me
to tell you he wants to see you, sir.
Oh, he did, eh?
You tell him I don't want to see him.
Tell him I said so.
In those words, sir?
Exactly, unless you can think
of something stronger.
Yes, sir.
Of course...
Of course, it's none
of my business, Brisbane,
but I wouldn't talk that way
in front of Gamble.
I don't trust him.
I just couldn't resist it.
I'd like to see the look on
Archer's face when he tells him!
I wouldn't.
How the deuce can you stand it here?
Why, there wouldn't be
enough money in the world
to compensate me for
being Archer Coe's secretary.
Oh, he's not as bad as all that.
You'd better be getting along.
There's such a thing
as carrying loyalty too far.
Don't forget, I overheard a few
of his choice remarks to you
when you dared suggest that
you were in love with Hilda
and wanted to marry her!
I'm afraid you're taking Archer
a little too seriously, old man!
Did you deliver my message?
I thought it best to wait till
you were safely away, sir.
Do you mind dropping me off?
I have an engagement
with Hilda for dinner.
Come ahead.
Come ahead.
All aboard.
Albany Express
to Stamford, Bridgeport,
New London, New Haven,
West New Haven, Croton, Boston.
Here is Sir Thomas MacDonald now.
What's the matter, Sandy?
Something terrible happened, sir!
Ghillie's gone,
and I cannot find him.
They've taken him off the bench.
Well, he couldn't have got loose.
He didn't break that lock
himself, either!
I haven't been away from that dog
for ten minutes all day, sir.
I just went into the restaurant
to get a wee sandwich.
And when I come back,
he was gone!
Sir Thomas?
I think we found him, sir.
Out in the alley, sir.
This way, sir.
He's dead.
I'll kill the man who did this!
Listen, Thom, you mustn't do anything
until you're sure, please!
I've got my own ideas.
Oh, I know Uncle Archer's
mean and cruel,
but I can't believe
he'd do a thing like this!
I'm sorry, but
Mr. Archer Coe isn't here.
Your dog dead?
Oh, I'm terribly sorry!
I'll try to locate him at once.
Go away from me, you!
Get out of here!
Get out!
I suspected it when I saw
you together this afternoon.
You're nothing but a two-timing...
Get out of my apartment!
Get out!
From now on, it is your apartment...
all yours!
I'm getting out for good!
Ah, Mr. Coe.
My dear friend, I...
Yes, I see you are!
Oh, I am...
how do you say it?
Canto allegri.
I came to see you.
I received the cable
from Milan authorizing me
to complete the deal
for your Chinese collection
and confirming the price
of $117,000.
Means decorations and
all that sort of thing
from a very grateful government,
I suppose?
Oh, un momento..
But it's no good now of course.
I've changed my mind!
But you have promised me.
You can't go back on your word!
What will I tell my people?
What will I say?
A pity you didn't think of this before!
You might have been a little
more discreet, eh Grassi?
But you have signed a contract...
Too bad for you!
It's still at my home
in my safe.
Oh, but you will...
Most certainly destroy it...
I'll tell you what'll I do:
I'll give you Miss Delafield...
for nothing!
Hey, Liang, at it again, eh?
I was led to believe that a
cook's place is in the kitchen.
The next time I...
I have been expecting
my dismissal, Mr. Coe.
We have served our purpose,
these priceless treasures and I.
I overheard Mr. Wrede saying you were
preparing to sell this whole collection.
You've been listening
at the keyhole, have you?
You cannot sell them, Mr. Coe.
Do you think I would
have dishonored my ancestors,
perjured my soul,
cheated my own country men,
to acquire these for you,
had I not believed
that you would
reverence them as do?
That's the worst of your race -
a pack of mawkish sentimentalists
about your ancestors!
I don't need you tonight.
Go on, get out!
I would suggest you consider most
carefully before you sell.
Mr. Coe?
Mr. Coe?
Breakfast, Mr. Coe!
Mr. Wrede?
Mr. Wrede?
Mr. Wrede?
What is it, Gamble?
Mr. Coe - Mr. Archer Coe
has killed himself!
Killed himself?
When? How?
He's sitting in there like...
and the door is bolted!
You're positive?
Yes, sir, in his bedroom!
Phone the police.
Yes, sir.
Hello? Give me police
headquarters, quick!
Sergeant Miller speaking.
Now, wait a minute.
Wait a minute.
I don't get you.
Take it easy.
Wait a minute! You're not gonna
run out on this hand!
Archer Coe, 98 East 71st Street?
Okay, I got you.
That it, Sergeant?
Well, good-bye, Ernest.
Sergeant Heath to you, cub.
Kick in with that six bits!
Oh, relax, will you?
This is your case, Sergeant.
You better get the boys out.
9871st Street?
That's right.
All right, come on.
Tell Dr. Doremus to hurry right out
to 98 East 71st Street.
Did you say East, Sergeant?
East, yes.
I got it.
Give me the city desk.
Calling car 18, car 1-8.
Hello, Times?
Charlie Atler...
98 East 71st Street.
Last night Archer Coe
committed suicide.
Proceed immediately, and call
your station for instructions.
Drier and warmer
with light to moderate winds
for New York and the vicinity
today and tomorrow.
And now for the
latest news flashes:
Archer Coe, the well-known
sportsman and collector,
committed suicide last night at
his home, 98 East 71st Street.
His body was discovered by the butler at 8:00
this morning when he took up a breakfast tray.
No reason has been
advanced for this action,
as Mr. Coe was in excellent health
and had no financial troubles.
No news has been received...
Is the land phone still connected?
Yes, sir, but it will be disconnected
in about two minutes, sir.
Hello, Markham.
Hello, Vance.
I thought you were
on your way to Italy.
Oh, I am.
Well, tell you, Markham,
I just heard about Archer Coe.
Yes, too bad he had to bump
himself off like that.
That's why I called you.
Are you sure that he did
bump himself off?
Well, his butler tells us
he's sitting in a locked room
with a revolver in his hand
and a bullet in his head.
I don't know what
else you'd call it.
I don't want to butt into your affairs,
but aren't you a bit hasty
in jumping to that conclusion?
Hasty? Why?
Well, if you knew Archer Coe,
you would know that
suicide is almost a psychological
impossibility for him.
Psychological bosh!
Two and two make four,
don't they?
But how do you know
you have two and two?
Just let me point out to you...
Oh, point out the Statue of Liberty!
Say, Vance...
Hello? Hello?
The land phone has been disconnected, sir.
Will you have my luggage brought up?
Yes, sir.
Just have them send it ashore.
I've decided not to sail.
Vance, you've been right about
a lot of cases in the past,
but I can't help smiling at
you getting off that boat
and giving up a swell trip,
all because of a hunch!
As a matter of fact, Markham,
it's more than a hunch!
It just so happens that I talked
with Archer Coe only yesterday.
What? Where?
The Long Island Kennel Club.
Now, I can't conceive of a man
on the verge of suicide
being very deeply concerned over winning
a championship at a dog show, can you?
What do you mean?
As late as yesterday afternoon,
Archer Coe was looking forward
with the keenest anticipation
to winning a blue ribbon from
Sir Thomas MacDonald today.
Sir Thomas MacDonald?
Say, wasn't it his dog that
was found dead last night?
And Archer Coe found
dead this morning!
Do you suppose there might
be some connection there?
I don't know.
But if someone were to try
to kill Captain McTavish,
I'd probably turn murderer myself,
wouldn't I, Captain?
Hello, Mr. Markham.
I got your message to hold everything up.
What's the idea?
Hello Mr. Vance!
Good morning, Sergeant.
Well, it's been a long time.
Several years.
I might have known it would be you,
the world's champion troubleshooter!
Now, come on, boys.
Come inside.
Well, Chief, this is another
just open-and-shut case.
Mr. Wrede, the secretary.
This is Gamble, the butler.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Markham, the district attorney.
How do you do, sir?
And Mr. Vance.
How do you do?
Everything just as it was?
they said they haven't touched anything.
We thought it best to
leave everything intact, sir.
Where's the room?
This way, please.
You been in Mr. Coe's service long?
About three months, sir.
And before that?
Why, unfortunately I was unemployed, sir.
This is it, sir.
Yep, he's there, all right.
Just like I told the police on the phone.
I tried the door,
found it locked,
looked through the keyhole,
and there he was dead.
I think this is a
job for you, Sergeant.
Certainly, Mr. Vance.
Well, Hennessey, what are you standing
there for, your health?
This takes beef.
All right.
Congratulations, Sergeant.
What is this,
a bedroom or a museum?
More junk here than
in a Chinese joss house.
I trust I did the right thing, sir,
by not breaking down the door.
I realized I could be
of no help to him.
No, he's been quite dead for hours.
Bumped himself off.
That's plain enough.
Certainly looks that way, Vance.
I'm afraid your trip
was spoiled for nothing.
I think not, Markham.
This may prove far more interesting
than a trip to Europe!
You carry a gun?
No, sir.
Yes, sir, but only at night for
the protection of the household.
Is that it?
Why, I...
Come on.
No, that was Mr. Archer's.
But he always kept it
in a desk drawer downstairs.
I saw it yesterday morning as
I was putting away some papers.
Oh, you did, eh?
Did Mr. Coe generally keep
his windows locked?
Why, no, sir.
As a matter of fact, he was a
great believer in fresh air.
Ah, indeed.
I wonder if these gentlemen would
mind waiting downstairs?
Why, certainly not.
I'm sorry we had to damage your door.
That's quite all right.
It's easily repaired.
I'll have it attended to at once.
Hennessey, see that no one
leaves the house without my permission.
It's as plain as the nose on your face.
This guy locked himself in here
and blew out his brains.
I wish I could agree
with you, Sergeant.
How the devil could it be
anything but suicide?
It was all very well for you to theorize
before we got here, Vance.
But now that you've seen this,
and there are no signs
of a struggle...
And the door bolted on the inside
and no means of entrance
to the room.
Ah, and no other means
of entrance.
How right you are, Sergeant.
But we can hardly call a second
story window a means of entrance.
And nothing here that even a
human fly could crawl up.
So why should Archer Coe
lock his windows,
particularly if he was a
fresh air enthusiast?
I'm afraid your reasoning is
not altogether convincing.
Well, perhaps so.
But doesn't it strike you as rather odd
that a man should suddenly
decide to commit suicide
while changing from his
street clothes to pajamas?
Well, why not?
A man debating suicide might
get partially undressed
and walk up and down for hours
trying to make up his mind.
Yes, he might walk
up and down for hours,
but not with one shoe half off.
No, Markham. Something stopped him
as he was removing that shoe.
This was supposed to suggest suicide,
but someone miscalculated.
But you can't get away
from that bolted door!
I wish I could.
Well, the way you figured it out,
the man was murdered.
As soon as the killer is gone,
he gets up, goes and bolts the door,
plants himself in a comfortable chair with
a loaded gun in his hand to suggest suicide.
That's a swell theory.
Hello, Gamble.
What is this?
What's happened?
Something terrible has
happened, Miss Lake.
What is it, Raymond?
What is it?
It's your Uncle Archer, Hilda.
He killed himself last night.
They're upstairs.
Hey, don't touch
that body, miss!
Oh, Mr. Vance.
How do you do, Miss Lake?
This is Mr. Markham,
the district attorney.
How do you do?
Miss Lake is Coe's niece.
I'm sorry, Miss Lake,
but you mustn't touch anything
until the medical examiner arrives.
It's against regulations.
Is it also against regulations
to tell me what's happened?
We arrived only a few moments ago.
We found your uncle as you see him.
It has every appearance of suicide.
I doubt it.
Do you know of any one who would
have reason to kill your uncle?
Yes, I had, for one.
Why, Miss Lake?
Because he stood in the way
of everything I wanted.
He made my life miserable,
because he held the purse strings,
and because...
'cause he was jealous of every
man who came near me.
I was afraid of him.
Oh, the horrible nights
I've spent in this house.
Are we to accept your comments as
a confession of murder, Miss Lake?
Look here, Markham,
that's ridiculous.
Please, Raymond.
I think I can handle
this situation myself.
When we found your uncle, Miss Lake,
the door was bolted from the inside.
Bolted inside?
May be he did shoot himself.
Can't you make up your mind?
Do you know of anyone else who
felt as you do about your uncle?
Practically every one
he came in contact with!
He was ruthless.
He wanted his own way in everything.
I imagine there are plenty of Chinese who will be
glad to know that his collecting days are over!
Ask our cook.
I shall.
Can you think of anyone else?
Well, Uncle Brisbane shared my
feelings toward him, I'm sure.
Where is this Brisbane guy?
May be he decided to do
something about it.
That's impossible.
He's on his way to Chicago.
He left on the 5:00 train
yesterday afternoon.
He'd be just about
getting there by now.
Well, you'd probably like to
wire him, wouldn't you?
Why, yes, of course.
Is that all?
For the present, yes.
Suppose we check up on Uncle Brisbane
on that Chicago train.
Won't take me but a minute.
Come on, Simkin.
Get your feet off the boss' desk
and jump down to Grand Central.
All right.
I get ya.
Yes, Mr. Heath.
Langham Hotel?
Yes, sir.
I'll rush the call.
Hold the wire, please.
Oh yes, Mr Heath.
We're expecting Mr. Brisbane Coe
this morning.
Oh yes. He wired for
a reservation last night.
Thank you. Goodbye.
Yep. He took the
5:00 train, all right.
You know, there's a few things I'd like
to find out about this girl Hilda Lake.
Why are you always trying
to check up on me?
I am not trying to
check up on you, Hilda.
I want to help you.
You know how feel about you.
You know that I love you.
But lately, you seem
to have changed.
Every time I want to speak to you
about marriage, you evade me.
What's on your mind?
Oh, nothing, nothing.
Raymond, I never said
I'd marry you.
But I thought that now we...
well, that - that I could
take you away from here.
You might as well know
now as later.
When all this is cleared up, I'm
going to marry Thom MacDonald.
Try to understand, Raymond.
I'm sorry.
Oh, don't tell me.
Keep quiet.
Suicide, my eye!
With the D.A. himself
and Vance on the job?
It's suicide, and that's that!
Oh, come on.
Have a cigar.
It's still suicide.
Hey, wait a minute!
Are you a reporter?
No, I'm Sir Thomas MacDonald.
I'd like to talk to the
officer in charge here.
Oh, come on inside.
Why didn't you stay away from here?
And leave you to face this thing alone?
But you promised me last night
you wouldn't come here.
Won't you go, please?
I can bluff it through.
I don't want the police
asking you questions.
I know all the answers.
Please go, for my sake.
Let's forget about it, shall we?
It's too late now, in any case.
The police are guarding every entrance.
Wait a moment.
You can cross that yard
to your apartment.
No one will see you.
Take the first boat to England,
and I'll join you as soon as I can.
Watch out for those
newspapermen, Sir Thomas.
They're even deadlier
than the police.
I had no intention of leaving.
Ah, good.
Oh, by the way, I was sorry to hear about
the death of your dog last night.
Oh, thanks.
You didn't by any chance discuss it
with Archer Coe, did you?
No, if had, I might have killed him!
Well, did you?
That's your problem.
How about a statement now?
Oh, wait a minute.
I'm a doctor, not a magician!
You're always pulling...
Go on, now.
Hello, Doc.
Hello, Johnson.
Where've you been?
Haven't seen you for a long time.
Working hard.
What kept you so long?
Did you walk all the way?
You always pick
on me at mealtime.
I was in the middle of
cakes and sausage.
What have you got?
Just plain suicide.
This guy locked himself in the room,
bumped himself off.
Suicide! Why didn't you
let me finish breakfast?
Hello, Doc.
Hello, Markham.
All you need is an order
to remove the body.
If you'd told me over the phone,
I'd have sent my assistant.
Mr. Markham told me to
phone you personally.
Don't crab at me about it.
I'll give you the approximate hour
of the death, if you want it.
That's big-hearted of you, Doc.
And the routine autopsy we can do tomorrow,
as it's just a case of suicide.
Now, why do you jump to
that conclusion, Doctor?
I know a dead man
when I see one.
Besides, the door was bolted...
I know, the door was bolted
from the inside.
But what about the body?
Hadn't you better have a look at it?
I was going to.
I'm a doctor, not a detective.
This man is dead, with a bullet
hole in his right temple.
He's holding a gun in his right hand.
Just the kind of wound that might
have been self-inflicted.
The position is natural, and the door
was locked on the inside.
Well, let me see.
That's strange.
Did you find something
to disturb you, Doctor?
There's blood in his mouth,
and he's got a skull fracture
from some club-like instrument.
Now what about the bullet
wound in his temple?
There's no blood there.
That's so!
Gentlemen, when that bullet
entered this man's head,
he had been dead for hours!
Can you place the time of his death?
I'd say from 8 to 12 hours ago.
Would you say that the revolver was placed
in his hand before rigor mortis set in?
Did he die from the effects
of the blow on the head?
No, probably rendered him
unconscious for a while,
but that wouldn't have killed him.
Not powerful enough.
The blow didn't kill him,
the bullet didn't kill him,
yet he's dead.
Suppose we find out
just what did kill him?
Glad you thought
of that, Mr. Vance.
It's not a bad idea.
Perhaps I'd better
take another look.
All right, boys, let's pick up these
clues before they get mussed up here.
Just a minute, Doc, please.
Give me a hand, Sergeant.
Help me lift the body
over to the bed.
There couldn't have been
much of a struggle.
His hair isn't even mussed.
May be somebody slugged him
and then combed his hair!
By George, now I've got it.
Stabbed below the left shoulder
blade near the spine.
There's no external bleeding.
Internal hemorrhage, huh?
That's it.
What do you think of that
suicide theory now, Sergeant?
Well, it's slightly complicated.
The man's been shot, slugged, and stabbed
himself, particularly in the back!
Yes, very complicated!
Oh, Markham.
You see, there's no hole in the
back of his pajama jacket,
so he couldn't have been wearing
that when he was stabbed.
There's a hole
in the back of his coat
and another in his weskit...
He must have been fully dressed
when he was attacked.
That lets me out I'm finished.
I suppose you want
a quick autopsy?
Get that body to the morgue
as soon as possible.
Good day, gentlemen.
Good day.
Hey, Doc?
Do you think there's any possible
chance of that being suicide?
All right, all right!
Just a fair question, big boy!
Go home and get your
hot cakes and sausage.
You need the strength.
Hurry up with that dead white.
Any report on that wire?
Not yet, Sarge.
Send a wire to this guy Markham,
98 East 71st Street,
New York City,
and tell him...
'Brisbane Coe not
aboard this train'
Wallis, Conductor,
Train Number Seven.
Sit down.
What time did Brisbane Coe
leave for Chicago?
In time to catch
the 5:00 train, sir.
How do you know he caught
the 5:00 train?
I phoned for the reservation,
brought him his walking
stick and overcoat,
and put his bag in the taxi.
Uh-h uh.
Did you remain in the
house all evening?
Why, no, sir.
I went out about 6:30.
It was the servants' night off.
Everyone was out to dinner.
Did you notice anything unusual in
Mr. Brisbane's manner when he left?
Well, now that you mention it, he
was distracted and very irritable.
You say you gave him his stick?
Yes, sir.
What kind of stick?
His favorite -
an ivory-handled one.
He never went any where
without it, sir.
You're quite sure he took that
particular stick with him?
I handed it to him myself, sir.
Did you see him when he returned
here last evening?
I didn't know he
had returned, sir.
Then whose ivory-headed stick is that
hanging over that chair in the hall?
Sit down. Sit down.
Steady, Gamble, steady.
Is this it?
Is it?
Yes, sir.
I can't understand it.
I suppose you saw
nothing of his bag?
Why, no, sir.
Well, if he brought his cane back here,
what did he do with his bag?
Ah, very good, Sergeant.
That's just the point.
He undoubtedly left it somewhere.
But where?
I should think the most logical place would be
the check room at the Grand Central Station.
What kind of a bag was it?
Just an ordinary pigskin bag, sir,
with his initials "BC" on it.
Is that it?
Yeah, that looks like it.
There's your police
department receipt.
What time was this checked?
Thanks, pal.
Well, here it is.
Put it here.
Did you examine the contents?
No, I brought it right up here.
I'll open it.
Did you find out what
time this was checked?
Yeah. There you are.
He must have gone direct
from the house to the station.
Did the attendant
remember who left this?
No, he said it was some man,
and that most of the time,
he didn't even notice the people.
Well, there's a shaving kit, shirts,
underwear, socks, collars, slippers...
Nothing in there that a man wouldn't
ordinarily take with him on a short trip.
Except this, perhaps.
"Unsolved Murders".
That's a swell book
to take to Chicago!
That's rather odd, isn't it?
Yes, more than that.
Gentlemen, the mist
is beginning to rise.
I think I know at least a part of
what happened here last night.
How about this?
Let's say that Brisbane Coe
started for Chicago
on a night when he knew that no
one but Archer would be at home.
He missed his train purposely,
checked his bag at the station,
and returned here
to kill his brother.
To make a perfect alibi, he planned
to take a later train to Chicago.
But something stopped him,
and something stopped Archer Coe before
he could remove his shoes last night.
Do you see what I mean?
Those shoes of Archer's,
that bag of Brisbane's,
his stick hanging
there in the hall?
It shouldn't have been there.
Wait just a minute.
Oh, Gamble, where did Mr. Brisbane usually
put his hat and overcoat when he came in?
He always hung them in the closet, sir.
Which closet?
This one.
Mr. Brisbane!
Well, Mr. Vance,
where are we now?
I should say somewhere in the
middle of the Gobi Desert!
I'm right in the
middle of my lunch.
First you interfere
with my breakfast.
Then you ruin my lunch!
Don't you boys ever eat?
No, I'm on a diet.
Oh, all right.
All right.
I'll attend to that later.
Get me the wagon and
the fingerprint gang.
Just a minute, fellows.
One side, please.
Just a moment, please.
That's all.
All right, go ahead.
Yes, he's been dead for hours.
And me thinking all the time
he was playing possum.
Well, there are too many people
in the world, anyway.
Mr. Vance, this is just ordinary junk.
I'm afraid so.
And I'd rather hoped
for something important.
Which one of the
two victims died first, Doctor?
Archer Coe, I think.
This one a little later.
And the weapon?
The same, sharp and narrow.
Detective, tag and lift these.
I think I'd better fingerprint
everything inside and outside here.
Right, Captain.
- Hennessey?
- Yes?
Look for a sharp, narrow weapon.
All right.
Found something?
Why, it looks
like fishing tackle.
It's tackle, all right,
but not fishing.
Markham, we're dealing
with a shrewd brain.
The technique for this crime was very
cleverly worked out, but something went wrong.
Sergeant, here's your order
for the removal of the body.
Thanks, Doc.
So long.
I want food.
Well, nobody's stopping you.
And if you got any more corpses,
bring them out now, will ya?
I can't be running up
and down here all day.
What do you mean,
"running up and down all day"?
...with that swell car
the city gave you!
Nothing upsets the doctor.
Hiya, Captain.
You wanted to take charge?
Well, if you hurry up
and solve this case,
maybe I can go home!
Come on.
I can handle everything if I don't
get too much interference.
Oh, Markham?
You're just in time
for a demonstration.
I think I can show you how Brisbane
Coe used this fishing tackle.
He started for Chicago
merely to provide an alibi.
He had other plans in this room.
Watch this.
Notice the bent key which is
hooked on the bolt handle?
This is attached to the string I'm
now pulling through the keyhole.
If you follow the string,
you will see it passes around
a pin in the wall.
This acts as a pulley, and it's also attached
to a string passing through the keyhole.
You see, the bolt is now
being forced into its socket.
Upon my word.
I now pull the first string
through the keyhole
and then the second string.
And with it comes the pin, leaving
no evidence, not a pin.
It worked?
Yes, it worked.
Well, that explains that, then!
Very clever!
It could have been
done that way.
But if Brisbane killed Archer Coe,
who killed Brisbane and
hung him in the closet?
And why did he do it?
That's what we want to
find out, isn't it?
Gentlemen, two persons planned
the murder of Archer Coe.
But their paths crossed.
Brisbane was one of them.
The other?
The Chinese cook.
They're full of those tricks.
Now, get this.
Dr. Doremus said that Coe was struck
over the head with a blunt instrument.
This poker would answer that
description, wouldn't it?
Yes, and that certainly
looks like dried blood.
It certainly does.
But what about those
short, coarse hairs?
They don't look like Coe's.
Well, Mr. Vance, why didn't you find that
when you looked in there this morning?
It wasn't in there this morning.
Besides, it doesn't belong
in this room.
It belongs downstairs in the library.
That you, Captain?
What's the matter with you?
What is it, Captain?
What is it, Captain?
Oh, good boy, Captain.
This dog's been struck a nasty blow.
That explains the
coarse hairs on the poker.
Whose dog is this?
I don't know.
I mean, I've often seen it
in the vacant lot, sir.
Just tell the truth, Gamble.
Yes, why don't you?
It belongs to the lady
next door, sir.
Hennessey, get that fellow to a vet
as fast as you can, will you?
Yes, sir.
Easy, easy.
Easy, boy.
Now, Gamble, let's have the name
of the lady next door.
Doris Delafield.
Yes, I'm Miss Delafield.
Won't you sit down, gentlemen?
Thank you.
I'm sorry I didn't win your
trophy at the dog show.
You're quite a fancier, aren't you?
Yes, somewhat.
I'm interested in one of your dogs,
the Doberman.
You mean Figaro?
I wonder if I could look at him.
I'm terribly sorry.
You know, he slipped his leash
last night and ran away.
I've notified the police.
My maid's been scouring the neighborhood
trying to find him.
Well, did she inquire at
Mr. Coe's house next door?
Well, I don't know.
You and Mr. Coe have been
good friends, haven't you?
I know him.
Your dog was found in his house
this morning, badly wounded.
Have you any idea
how he got there?
Do you suppose he would follow
someone into the house?
Why, I hardly think...
Say, what are you driving at?
Mr. Archer Coe and his brother
were murdered last night.
I was afraid that...
Just a moment.
Is that Miss Doris Delafield's apartment?
Would you please tell Miss Delafield
that we couldn't get the reservations
for her and Mr. Grassi on "A" deck?
And ask her if "B" deck
would be satisfactory.
Miss Delafield will not be sailing.
You can cancel the reservations
for them both.
Do you mind telling me whom the
other reservation was for?
I refuse to answer that question.
Would it be Mr. Grassi?
But I am Mr. Grassi.
And if I didn't cancel those
reservations, who did?
Miss Delafield?
Oh, no, no, she didn't.
No, really, there's been a mistake.
As soon as I can find out about
this, I'll call you back.
I don't think you'll find Miss
Delafield at home just now.
And as for the cancellation
of your steamship reservations,
we regret very much
that it was necessary.
Who are you?
This is Mr. Markham,
the district attorney.
Oh, I'm honored, but I'm afraid
I don't quite understand.
It's about this.
As a matter of fact,
Mr. Coe didn't commit suicide.
He was murdered.
Would you mind coming along with us?
Just a little matter of
comparing fingerprints.
No, not in the least.
I think that's all.
Found anything yet?
The one taken from the doorknob is
too blurred for identification,
but this one is very clear.
It appears to be that of Liang,
the Chinese cook.
Any luck?
No, not yet.
Well, it' must be here somewhere.
I'm positive that the dagger that killed
the Coe's belongs in that sheath.
Tired, Philo?
No, no.
Well. That's strange.
What is it?
A Tsing-Yao vase is missing.
It's the most valuable
in the whole collection.
That's all that's left of it.
If I' m not mistaken,
that's blood.
Markham, I'm coming more
and more to the belief
that Archer Coe was
killed in this room.
That poker, this dagger sheath,
now these fragments, all here.
But, Vance, do you mean to tell me
that the dead man walked upstairs?
I'm not trying to tell you
anything but the facts.
It's the most remarkable
case in my experience!
Find anything, Cap?
Yes, sir, plenty.
Oh, Mr. Wrede?
Yes, Mr. Vance?
Would you step in for
a moment, please?
Why, certainly.
No thanks.
Did you notice that the
Tsing-Yao was missing?
Why, it was here yesterday evening.
At what time?
At about 6:30 or 7:00.
I came back to talk to Mr. Coe.
About what?
Well, as a matter of fact,
I- I wanted to quit my job
as his secretary.
Oh, you'd been having
some difficulties with him?
It was rather a personal matter.
I wanted his permission
to marry Miss Lake.
What did he say to that?
He ordered me out.
You went?
I went to find Miss Lake.
I thought she was at the Kennel Club,
but I had a puncture on the way.
So it was rather late
when I got there.
She'd already left with
Sir Thomas MacDonald.
Then I came home and
went directly to bed.
Did you hear anything or see anything
when you came into the house?
But after I'd been in bed for a while,
I heard some noises downstairs.
I opened the door and looked down,
but it was only Liang,
the Chinese cook, coming in.
Was he customarily noisy
in entering the house?
As a matter of fact, it's the
first time I heard him come in.
Well, I think that's all,
Mr. Wrede. Thank you.
Thank you.
If there's anything I can do
to help, let me know.
Right away.
Good night.
I think I'd check up on
the Kennel Club alibi.
I will.
You might have those fragments
checked for fingerprints,
if you will.
Meanwhile, I'll do a little
exploring in the kitchen.
Why, Mr. Vance, I thought...
Get Markham.
All right.
Mr. Liang, I believe?
You're the cook?
Me cook.
You can drop the pidgin English.
That isn't necessary with me.
Where did you go to school?
Columbia University.
Oh, that's considerable education
for a cook, isn't it?
Mr. Coe employed me because I know a
great deal about Chinese porcelain.
Ah, I see.
That's a very lovely piece
of Tsing-Yao, isn't it?
How did it get broken?
I don't know, sir.
I found the pieces in the
waste basket in the library.
You want me, Vance?
Why, yes.
See that, Markham?
More blood spots on the inside.
Apparently the murderer had dropped
the dagger in here to hide it,
but he dropped it too hard
and the vase broke.
When did you find these pieces?
This morning.
This morning?
You're sure it wasn't last night
about 8:00, let us say?
No, sir. I did not get in
until after midnight.
I'm sure Mr. Wrede or Mr. Gamble
will tell you that.
What time did you find the poker?
The poker?
Yes, the poker - the one you hid in the Chinese
chest in Mr. Archer's room this afternoon.
But I don't know what you mean.
Oh, yes, you do.
I was behind the door in
that room when you hid it.
Let me handle this, Mr. Vance.
Are you going to talk,
or do I have to make you?
Wait; I'll tell you the truth.
Well, spit it out!
When I returned to my room
here about 8:00 last night...
Ah, I thought so.
I heard angry, muffled
voices in the library,
then a dull sound as
of someone falling.
I stood at my door here and listened.
Then I heard footsteps cross the kitchen
and go out the back door.
And then?
I walked up the corridor,
and everything was very quiet.
I opened the library door
and looked in.
The furniture was overturned.
The poker was there,
the desk was disarranged,
and the valuable
Tsing-Yao vase was broken.
I thought there must
be something wrong,
so I went upstairs and looked
into Mr. Coe's bedroom.
He was dead.
Fearing that I might be suspected,
I went back to the library and picked up
the broken pieces of the vase.
And together with the poker,
I took them to my room.
And knowing that you were
alone in the house,
you were afraid you
might be suspected.
So you hid the weapons and left?
Yes, sir.
You returned to the house about midnight
and purposely made a lot of noise
so as to establish your alibi.
Is that right?
Yes, sir.
All right, then.
Where'd you put the dagger?
I did not find the dagger.
Don't give me that.
What did you do with it after
you stuck it in Archer Coe's back?
I've got it, Mr. Markham.
Fingerprint on this broken fragment
belongs to the Italian, Eduardo Grassi.
Well, Mr. Vance, looks like
somebody else miscalculated.
Yep, it fits.
That doesn't prove anything.
What about this?
Where did you get it?
It was in Archer Coe's pocket.
What were you doing outside
the drawing room window?
I wanted to be sure
that he was alone.
For weeks, we had been negotiating for the
sale of his collection to the museum at Milan.
It meant everything to me.
He kept raising the price.
But on Monday, we came
to an understanding,
and I cabled the museum
that I had succeeded.
And last night, he turned me down because
he saw me with Miss Delafield.
Let me explain.
Archer was extremely jealous of me.
Well, you can't blame him for that.
You went there to threaten
him, didn't you?
Which I had every right to do.
I told him I would use any means to
make him fulfill his contract.
He laughed; said he would smash every piece
in his collection before he'd let me have it.
So you picked up the poker and did a little
smashing on your own account, eh?
I did not!
Let me have that fragment.
Thank you.
Do you know how that was broken?
The Tsing-Yao vase?
With blood stains on the inside and
your fingerprint on the outside.
I don't know.
Sergeant, I think you'd
better book him.
Thank you.
Come on, let's get
out of that monkey suit.
Let's get going.
Come on.
Don't worry.
I'm not running away.
You telling me?
I suspected the Italian all along.
But why should Grassi
also stab Brisbane?
And what about the Doberman?
You see, Markham, we have nearly
all the pieces of the puzzle,
but none of them seems to fit.
Here we are.
This isn't it.
This is the basement.
I know.
Come on.
I just want to see
where this goes.
Good evening, sir.
By the way, how long have
you been using that name?
All my life, sir.
Dubois checked Gamble's fingerprints
at the Identification Bureau.
And who do you think
he turns out to be?
Not Gamble?
No, Atlantic Eddie.
You used to work the boats on
both sides of the ocean.
Oh listen, Mr. Vance,
I haven't turned a trick
in five years.
Well, that's all right, Eddie.
I just wanted to let you know
that we're old pals.
Sir, someone slipped in the back door
and went into one of the front rooms.
Well, Miss Delafield!
Don't be surprised, gentlemen.
I'm used to coming
in here like this.
You seem to know your way
around here pretty well.
As the district attorney, you're
responsible for this case, aren't you?
That's right.
Well, I'm tired of detectives.
I'm tired of being spied on.
All you want to know is who
killed Archer Coe, isn't it?
Well, I did.
Yes, and there isn't a jury on earth will
convict me when they hear my story.
You don't believe me, do you?
You were wondering this afternoon how my
dog, Figaro, could get in to this house.
Well, he was following me.
He was defending me
when he was struck.
Well, where did you
kill Mr. Coe?
In his bedroom.
What kind of lipstick do you use?
What's that got to do with this?
Is that yours?
Yes, that's mine.
While I was struggling with Archer,
my bag dropped on the floor,
and everything spilled out.
Won't do, Miss Delafield!
It's an old trick.
It's not a trick.
I didn't realize that you were so
fond of Mr. Grassi.
Mr. Grassi has nothing
to do with it.
Take me down to the station.
I'll say nothing more
until I get an attorney.
Help! Help!
Help! Help!
This guy's been stabbed,
Is this it, Mr. Vance?
Yes, that's it.
Thank you very much.
First you spoil my breakfast.
Then you break up my lunch.
Now you pull me, out of bed
in the middle of the night,
and this fellow not even dead.
Why don't you put that
in your report, Doc?
Those fingerprints
would never pick up
on that silk handle,
but it fits perfectly.
Where'd you find it, Sergeant?
Under the bed.
That's all right, Mr. Vance.
Three times with the same
weapon, Markham.
Thom, what is this?
What's happened?
I don't know, dear.
Somebody stabbed me.
Is it serious, Doctor?
Oh, no.
I gave him three grains of sodium
amytal to quiet his nerves.
He'll be all right.
I'd like to rent a room here
till they finish this case.
Poor darling.
I wish I hadn't got you
mixed up in all this.
You shouldn't have come here.
Let me see this through alone.
I won't leave you.
Can't we get away from here?
We leave tomorrow, together.
Well, what do you think
about it, Doc?
Well, the thrust punctured
the median basilic vein
and caused a hemorrhage.
Could the wound have been
self-inflicted, Doctor?
I'm the city butcher,
not a detective.
Don't bother me with any murders
after 3:00 tomorrow.
I'm going to the World Series.
Hey, Doc, phone me the score
between innings, will you?
Get these people out of this.
What are they waiting for?
We just want to ask you
a few questions, Sir Thomas.
You say that when you were stabbed,
you saw nothing, huh?
That's right.
It was dark.
I heard a noise and
jumped out of bed.
Somebody threw a chair and just missed
my head and struck the window.
I shouted for help and
ran towards the door.
Then I felt a sharp pain in my
arm as I lost consciousness.
Knifed by a ghost!
That's a hot one!
I think he done it himself.
How dare you...
That's not fair.
Do you know anything about that?
Where'd you find it?
Under your bed.
I-I never saw it before.
Yeah, like I never saw
a pair of handcuffs.
You've no right to question
him now in this condition.
Rather funny.
You see what I
see in Archer Coe's room?
I have a suspicion that
whoever killed the Coe's
came from this house,
probably from this room.
Gentlemen, I think I can fit the
pieces of this jigsaw puzzle together.
Now, here is East 71st Street.
This is the Coe house, the yard,
and the apartment house next door.
Now, let's have a look inside.
This is MacDonald's apartment.
Directly opposite is the window
of Archer Coe's bedroom.
Underneath MacDonald's apartment,
the cozy little nest
of Miss Delafield and her
temporary guest, Mr. Grassi.
This is the elevator, and here are the stairs
that lead directly to the back entrance.
From there, it's easy to reach the back
entrance to the Coe house across the yard.
Now, that's the front hall,
and here's the library.
On Wednesday evening between 7:30 and 8:00,
Archer Coe was sitting alone in that room.
Now, remember it was
the servants' night off.
The killer must have known this
when he came in the back door.
He was so intent upon
what he was planning to do,
that he must have left
the back door open,
because from somewhere in
that vacant lot came a dog,
a Doberman pinscher belonging
to Doris Delafield.
He saw the back door standing
open and went in.
Meanwhile, the killer was moving along
the hall toward the library,
making absolutely sure that
Archer Coe was alone.
He knew exactly where he was going
and exactly what he was going to do.
He came so silently that it must have startled
Archer Coe when he looked up and saw him.
...carefully closing the door.
It is my conjecture, gentlemen,
that a terrific argument took place.
Archer Coe must have struck him.
And as he fell back, he picked up the poker
as the first weapon that came into his hand.
He struck Archer Coe on the head.
Coe collapsed across the desk, his hands
groping in the drawer of the desk for his gun.
Then in the blind rage of the moment,
the killer saw a Chinese dagger.
He seized it and stabbed
Archer Coe in the back.
Coe probably fell to the floor.
Meantime, our Doberman pinscher
was coming closer and closer,
probably attracted by the sound
of the struggle in the library.
As the killer opened
the door to escape,
he saw the Doberman pinscher
in the hall coming toward him.
He again picked up the poker
as the dog entered the room.
True to the instinct of his breed,
the dog sensed an enemy.
He leaped.
The killer struck, and the dog
fell, badly wounded.
Now he tried to hide the dagger
in the Tsing-Yao vase.
But he dropped it too hard, and
the porcelain broke into bits.
He picked up the dagger again and
went out the same way he came in.
Meanwhile, Coe slowly regained consciousness
and pulled himself to his feet.
You remember, gentlemen, that Dr. Doremus
said Coe died of an internal hemorrhage.
That is the key to the whole situation.
Archer Coe, already a dying
man, walked upstairs.
And what is more terrible, he did
not know that he had been stabbed.
He went to his room, and, feeling
a little faint probably,
he removed his coat and vest and hung
them in the closet, where we found them.
He put on his pajama top and went to
the window and raised the shade.
Can you imagine the killer's emotions when,
from someplace in the apartment house
across the vacant lot, he looked over and
saw the man he thought he had killed
standing there at the window?
He knew then that he had to go back and
complete his job to save himself.
Feeling very faint by now,
Archer Coe went from the window
to the chair beside his desk,
where he sat down.
There he started to remove his shoes.
You remember just how we found him:
in the very act of removing them.
Before he could get one of them
entirely off, he died.
I don't think he ever knew
what killed him.
Now we come to the most awful
part of the tragedy.
Brisbane Coe came back to the house with a
cleverly worked out plan for killing his brother.
He also knew that it was the servants' night
out and that he would not be disturbed.
He went down the hall to the library,
and from the drawer of the desk,
he took Archer Coe's own revolver
and put it into his pocket.
Then, turning out the light on the
desk, he went out of the room.
He hung his stick over
the chair in the hall
and tiptoed up the stairs
and into Archer Coe's room.
He saw his brother sitting in his
easy chair, apparently asleep.
I can see him tiptoe across the room.
And from somewhere just across the desk,
he took out the revolver.
And with careful aim,
he pulled the trigger.
Meantime, the killer, believing that
he had only wounded Archer Coe,
came back by the same route
to finish his job.
Then Brisbane closed the window,
lowered the shade,
and returning to the body,
he carefully placed the gun
in Archers hand,
as though it had been suicide.
Then he went to the door.
And with the two pieces of string,
the pins, and a darning needle,
he was able to bolt the door on the
inside, just as I showed you.
A very clever device, gentlemen,
which he had discovered
in the book of "Unsolved Murders"
which we found in his suitcase.
Then, gentlemen, Brisbane
went on down the stairs,
little knowing what awaited him there.
The killer mistook Brisbane
for Archer Coe
and drove the dagger
into Brisbane's back.
Then, to hide the body,
he dragged it into the closet.
I doubt if he even discovered his
mistake until the next day.
That's great.
But who did all that?
Well you can search me!
I'm going screwy!
Well, you can include
me in that, Sergeant.
Haven't you got any ideas
at all, Vance?
Markham, it's a maze
of conflicting clues.
Any one of seven people
might have done it.
But we couldn't convict
seven people, Mr. Vance.
You couldn't convict one
with the evidence you've got.
Gentlemen, I'm afraid
we're completely stopped.
Well, I hate to admit it,
but it looks that way.
Vance, in all the years
we've worked together,
I never heard you
say that before.
I know.
I'm sorry, Markham.
Well, what are we
gonna do about it?
I don't know.
Are you sure you checked
up on all the alibis?
Every one of 'em.
And you've gone over the fingerprint
situation with Dubois?
Yes, sir.
Well, you've slipped up
somewhere, Sergeant,
but there must be something that
we can get our teeth into.
Markham, I suggest that
you dismiss this case.
Dismiss it?
Yes, turn all the suspects loose!
I can just see all the newspapers in this
town screaming for a new district attorney!
Well, we can probably cover you
up all right, Mr. Markham.
I've said it was suicide all along.
Yes, I know we could
put that solution on it,
but I hate to do it.
All right, Sergeant, go ahead.
Turn 'em loose.
Turn 'em loose?
Well, Mr. Vance, this is once
we're both stumped!
When you give up,
Vance, I'm sunk.
Oh, I haven't given up.
I have another idea.
If it works, I'll have your killer
for you in half an hour.
I'm going to arrange a little
meeting with him now.
What!? But you let me
dismiss all the suspects.
That's just what
I wanted you to do.
Hello, this is Mr. Vance.
I hope I haven't disturbed you.
I wonder if you'd
do me a little favor.
Mr. Markham?
Can I see you a minute?
That suicide story might work
all right for Archer Coe,
but I forgot all about Brisbane!
Well, never mind about that now.
Just release the suspects
as I told you.
All right.
That's right.
At 4:30.
Just get him into an argument.
Oh, I'll have him with me.
I'm depending in his instinct.
That's right.
If we can catch him off his guard,
I think he'll give himself away.
Come on, Markham, we've got
to get there before... 4:25.
Mr. Vance.
They're in the library now.
Oh, darling, let me help you.
All right.
Well, this is the first time we've
used bloodhounds in police work
since I wore high-buttoned shoes.
And red flannel underwear?
Oh, I always wear
red flannel underwear.
So do I.
I want your bridal suite on the...
...on the "Grolier".
We're sailing at midnight.
That's right.
Thank you.
Sailing at midnight?
Lady MacDonald.
Is it the title that
dazzles you so much?
Or is it the fortune she'll inherit that
makes her so attractive, Sir Thomas?
Raymond, are you crazy?
It isn't the first time a
fortune has bought a title.
It so happens, I'm not
in need of a fortune.
Possibly you are!
Raymond, you've no right
to interfere this way.
No right? Well,
I'll take that right!
You think you're both
sailing at midnight?
Well, it won't work!
You're going all right, Sir Thomas!
But your going alone!
Yes, and you're going now,
or else...
The poker again, eh?
Take him off.
Take him off.
Get off!
Take him off.
Take him off, will ya?
Will ya take him off?
Help. Help.
Hold him.
Why did you kill Archer Coe?
Why did you kill him?
I didn't mean to kill him!
But you did, eh?
I tell you, I didn't
mean to kill him.
He struck me when I told
him I wanted to marry Hilda,
but I lost my head.
I hit him with a poker.
I don't remember anything after that!
What about Brisbane?
It was a terrible mistake.
And MacDonald?
I still would kill him
if I could.
There's your man, Sergeant.
You made a fatal mistake, Wrede,
when you reached for that poker.
Somebody swiped my bracelets!
You dropped them in the pantry.
All right, Hennessey, take him
down and book him.
I want to thank you very much
for your cooperation.
Not at all.
It was Sir Thomas I telephoned
from your office, Markham.
He very cleverly helped us
stage this little scene.
We have to thank the dog
for the rest.
Well we did it again,
Mr. Vance.
Congratulations, Sergeant.
Thank you.
I'll certainly mention you
in my story to the papers.
Thank you.
Oh, that's all right, Mr. Vance.