Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e11 Episode Script

The Deadly

Oh, good evening.
I guess if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
The plumber keeps fixing the leak, and I don't want it fixed.
I'm sure many of you have one of these in your homes.
But for the benefit of the backward, I shall explain.
The subject is strapped in this chair.
I then turn this valve, and the water drips on his head.
One drop each minute.
After about a week of this, I suddenly turn the water off.
It produces the most astounding effects.
It is especially valuable if you have a friend who wishes to lose his inhibitions.
Naturally, you may lose your friend too.
However, there is one serious danger.
Don't ever leave it running when there is no one in the chair.
Because in a few days, the force of the dripping water can actually drill a hole through the wood.
Now, while I go back to the shop to get the proper tools, we shall have the rest of this evening's entertainment.
A honeymoon can't last forever.
But some people expect it to.
Is this a conspiracy, Myra, or may I have a light? We were just talking about Ann Warren and her husband.
What's the matter? Trouble in paradise? So I hear.
Well, she doesn't exactly look like the happy young bride.
Hello, Ann.
Margot, are those women talking about me? Those women are talking about everybody.
It's the only form of communication we have.
You'll adjust to it.
I suppose so.
Would you like a cigarette? Margot, how do you balance a bankbook? Oh, that's simple, you just doctor the books, cheat on the budget and steal from yourself.
I'll have to try it.
I was going to call you this afternoon, Ann.
We'd like you and Joe to come for dinner.
Friday night, if it's convenient.
We haven't been going out much.
I'll have to talk to Joe about it.
I'll phone you.
Hello, darling.
Beat? To a pulp.
Then I'll save the dire news till you've had you're drink.
Anything wrong? Oh, no.
Not really.
Something sprang a leak in the basement.
I don't know.
It's got something to do with the water heater.
So, I was all ready to be intrepid and put my finger in the dike, but I couldn't see where it was coming from.
I'll have a look at it before dinner.
Oh, by the way, I asked the Warrens over for dinner.
Not tonight? Oh, no.
Ann's got problems.
I invited them on the spur of the moment.
Her biggest problem is Joe Warren.
What's the trouble? How should I know? He's just a jealous, suspicious guy.
Well, you saw him last weekend at the Country Club.
He just sat and glowered all evening.
Well, I've already invited them, I hope you don't mind? I guess not.
But it doesn't sound like a very stimulating evening.
We're certainly over-stimulated by the frantic life we lead out here.
I thought you liked living out here.
I do.
But you must admit there isn't much excitement.
I mean, when the big event of my day is a leak in the basement? What you need is a good knife murder, or one of those juvenile gang wars.
Oh, shut up.
Did you get it fixed? No.
It's too dark down there to see what's wrong.
I guess you'll have to call a plumber.
First thing in the morning.
Come on.
Get washed up.
Dinner's ready.
Oh, and honey? Make sure you get an estimate before you let him do any work.
Yes, dear.
If he says it's gonna be more than $10 you can just tell him to forget it.
Oh, well, shouldn't I bargain with him? I had such good luck with the butcher.
Yeah, well it's the milkman I've got my eye on.
Oh darling, I didn't know you were the jealous type.
Well, I wouldn't be too sure.
I'm hungry.
Brenner? Yes? You phoned me up about a leak? Oh.
You're very prompt.
Come in.
Would you make a note of the time? I work by the hour.
I wouldn't want my customers to think I'm overcharging.
Oh, it's just 9:30.
Say, this is a nice place you got here.
I like the way you got it fixed up.
I'll bet you did it all yourself.
Well, yes, most of it.
Now, this is what really interests me.
The kitchen.
Not like most men, huh? No, I suppose not.
Oh, well, it's different with me, you see, being a plumber.
I kind of make it my business to know just what appeals to women.
I didn't mean that the way it sounded.
You know something? I can take a look at a kitchen and give you a pretty fair estimate of that person's income.
Would you believe that? No.
Not really.
You wouldn't, huh? Okay, I'll prove it to you.
I'd say your husband makes about Oh, about 19, 20,000 a year.
I came pretty close, didn't I? You know that Rhoda Forbes that lives down the block? Yes.
I know Mrs.
Yeah, well, I did some work for Mrs.
Forbes last winter, and I guessed her husband's income right on the nose.
Well, I I guess I better take a look at that leak.
Yes, it's right down there, behind the furnace.
I'll take care of it.
Do you know where the turn-off valve is? No, but it's down there someplace.
I'll find it.
Oh, say, my husband said to get an estimate before you do the work.
Anything you say, Mrs.
Hello? Oh, hi, Rhoda.
Oh, wait a minute.
You're not finished already? Oh, no, no.
I've I'm just waiting for the pipe to drain.
It takes a couple of minutes, you know.
I've got to turn the valve off in the bathroom.
Now, where is that? Upstairs? Oh, yes.
Why do you have to go upstairs to fix the leak in the basement? You've got to equalize the pressure or else you'll flood the whole cellar.
That's the trouble with a Stetson valve.
Otherwise they're very good.
Say, Rhoda, will you call me back again in a few minutes? No, just a domestic crisis.
Yeah, thanks.
The bathroom is over there.
Hey, you painted this.
Margot Brenner.
That's you, ain't it? Yes, last summer.
Up in Maine.
Well, what do you know.
A real artist.
I never met a celebrity before.
Don't be ridiculous, it's very amateurish.
No, it's not.
You got real talent.
Listen, I never had much education before, but I got an artistic side.
I know something good when I see it.
I got real appreciation.
Most people have appreciation, but they're untrained.
They don't really see things.
That's absolutely true.
You know, people go through life with their eyes closed.
Not me.
You'd be surprised at some of the things I see.
You take this room for instance.
I can tell you got good taste.
You take those drapes, take this furniture, take that bedspread.
How much you pay for a spread like this? Please.
I wish you'd get on with your work.
I know I talk too much.
That's what everybody tells me.
But I don't mean no harm.
I'm just trying to be a little friendly.
Now the world would be a better place, wouldn't it, if everybody was just a little more friendly.
You know, "love thy neighbor"? That's the way I am.
That's nice.
Got a lot of style.
Just like you.
Put it down.
Okay, okay, okay.
Nice and silky.
You look scared, Mrs.
If it's on account of me, I want to apologize.
I don't mean no harm.
I just got natural curiosity, that's all.
You know, it takes curiosity to be a good plumber.
Well, I guess I'd better get on with my trade, huh? Mrs.
I'm going down to the basement.
Now I ought to be able to give you an estimate in a couple of minutes.
I think I found out where the trouble is.
Ought to be real easy to fix.
How much is it going to cost? Yes, sir, this is a mighty fine kitchen.
Not many people would be able to afford a house like this.
What? $500.
That's what I figure the job is worth.
Now wait a minute.
I've had just about enough of this.
You wouldn't want people to hear about it, would you? Hear about what? About us.
Being upstairs together.
People would wonder how I knew about that painting you did in Maine, and about the bedspread, and the pink negligee.
Why, they wouldn't believe a word you said.
Wouldn't they? How about the neighbors? My truck's been parked in front of the house since 9:30.
What time is it now? It's just 11:20.
I've been here for nearly two hours giving you an estimate on a leaky valve.
You and me, all alone, Mrs.
And you too busy to even answer the phone.
Why, it never rang.
Maybe you didn't hear it.
I wonder what Mrs.
Forbes thought when she called you back and she didn't get any answer.
And doesn't your husband ever phone you from the office? Why this is blackmail.
I'll report you to the police.
Yeah, that's what Myra Herbert said.
But she didn't do it.
Myra? Neither did Ann Warren.
Ann Warren? You blackmailed Ann Warren? Why, she's only been married a few months.
Yeah, I know.
And they tell me her husband is kind of jealous, too.
I won't give you a cent.
And if you make any talk about me, I'll tell my husband.
He's a lawyer and he'll take you Oh, that's good.
That's good.
Because you're going to need a lawyer if I decide to sue you.
Sue me? For damages.
On account of I hurt my back when I slipped and fell in that bathroom of yours, upstairs.
Why, you wouldn't dare.
If I'm asked, I'll just have to describe that bedspread and the negligee and all, just to prove my case.
You ask your husband about the legal points.
You see even if I lose, you won't win.
Unless you're husband's a really broad-minded guy.
I don't have $500.
I know.
But you can get it.
And don't give me any song about your husband handling all the money.
You see, I know all the angles to this game.
I do it a couple of times a month.
I average close to 15 grand a year.
Tax free.
Then you ought to realize I don't have $500 in the house.
I know.
But I'll be back tomorrow morning, bright and early to fix that leak.
And, that'll give you plenty of time to get to the bank.
See you, Mrs.
Lewis, breakfast in five minutes.
Just going to have my shower.
Oh, get me the police department please.
Hello, this is Mrs.
Lois Brenner, Yes.
I would like to have an officer come over in about an hour.
I'm in trouble.
I'm being blackmailed.
Thank you.
Are you absolutely sure? I'm positive.
Jack Staley? Why thank you.
I didn't think he went in for that kind of stuff.
Well, he does.
You'll see.
When he comes, let him in and try to act as natural as you can.
Have you got the money for it? Yes, right here.
Let me have it.
I'll mark it so I can prove he got it from you.
Good morning, Mrs.
I'll have that leak fixed in no time.
Just a minute.
What's that? The money.
I've decided to pay you even though it is blackmail.
I don't want any trouble.
I don't understand you, Mrs.
You wanted $500.
Here it is.
Look, if you're worried about yesterday, forget it.
We all make mistakes.
Why don't you pretend it never happened? That's not the way you talked yesterday.
Oh, you mean about my back? Oh, no, I only wrenched it a little.
It was a bit sore when I got up this morning but it'll be all right in a day or two.
If there is a big medical bill, you've probably got insurance to cover it.
But I couldn't take any money from you.
I'd feel funny about it.
You're twisting everything around.
Look, why don't I just finish the job and get out, huh? Hello, Staley.
Brenner, what are you trying to do to me? She tells us that you tried to extort $500 from her.
What's your story, Staley? Nothing.
It's It's just between the lady and me.
Why, he's lying, he's distorting everything.
All right, Mrs.
How about it, Staley? Look, Sarge, why don't you leave the lady alone? She didn't mean any harm.
I'm ready to forget the whole thing.
That's up to Mrs.
She made the accusation.
Your husband's a lawyer, isn't he, Mrs.
Brenner? Why don't you phone him and see what he wants to do? I don't want him to No, I can't.
You believe his lies, don't you? It doesn't matter what I believe.
You say one thing, he says another.
If you want to make a charge, I'll take him in.
On your way, Staley.
He was lying.
He knew that you were here The coffee cups.
He saw that there were two of them.
It's possible.
Brenner, you haven't lived in North Park very long, have you? No, but Staley was born here.
Everybody knows him.
It'd be your word against his.
But I'm not the only one he's tried this on.
He's boasted about the women he's blackmailed.
He's even told me who some of them were.
We've never had any complaints about him before.
Because they were afraid to complain.
He'd ruin their reputations.
Look, isn't there something you can do? Not without some evidence.
If I were you, Mrs.
Brenner, I'd have a talk with these other women.
If enough of you got together, you could make a case against him.
Providing it's true.
But it is true.
That's the best advice I can give you.
Goodbye, Mrs.
Brenner? Yes? That was a dirty trick you tried to pull before.
I thought you had better sense.
I saw that one coming from way back.
You really got yourself into trouble now.
If I have to go into court, that cop will tell everything he heard today.
And you won't stand a chance.
I know that.
Okay then, I'll be around for the money later this afternoon.
Brenner? Do you hear me, Mrs.
Brenner? Yes.
I'll have the money ready.
And no more tricks.
Or else I might have to raise the price on you.
Come in.
And this time if you don't mind, I'll take a little look around.
You'd be surprised at some of the tricks they've tried.
I didn't know you had company, Mrs.
I'd better come back some other time.
Oh, that's quite all right, Mr.
I think you know most of these ladies.
Yes, indeed.
Nice to see you again.
Would you like a sandwich? Or perhaps some tea? No, nothing.
Nothing? Oh, surely you want your $500.
That's why you came.
Oh, don't be embarrassed, Mr.
All these ladies know about it.
Some of them have even paid you.
Okay, Mrs.
You have everybody here.
Are you all present? Now what? What are you going to do? I'd just like to know.
Sergeant Thompson? Oh, this is Mrs.
Lois Brenner.
Yes, I took your advice.
I have all the ladies here and I Oh, just a moment, Sergeant.
Did you want to speak to the Sergeant? Okay, okay.
You win.
I'll call you back later, Sergeant.
I knew it couldn't last forever.
Oh, just a minute, Staley.
We're not finished with you yet.
We want our money back.
Are you kidding? I don't have your money.
I spent it all.
Well, then you'll just have to work it out.
What? Yes, you're a plumber.
We all have some repairs we need.
Yes, we need a new sprinkler system.
Of course, you'll have to dig up the old one first.
Very good, Myra.
We have a heater to install.
What do you need, Ann? Oh, I have a lot of jobs.
Over $300 worth.
Nothing doing.
I wouldn't have any time for myself.
Listen, I got to live too, you know.
Why? You can't make me do it.
That's just plain Blackmail? Oh well, perhaps you'd like to call the police? I'll dial them for you.
No, wait a minute.
Okay, I'll I'll do anything you want.
We thought you would.
Now we have to decide on the order.
Shall it be alphabetical or should we do it in amount already paid? Alphabetical.
My name is Adams.
Hello, darling, all in? As always.
How about you? Another exciting day in suburbia? I had some of the girls over this afternoon.
We had tea.
Tea? That's nice.
What else? Oh, the plumber came to fix the leak in the basement.
Oh, honey, did you get that estimate? Stop worrying, darling.
It was such a small job, he wouldn't take a cent.
A thief and blackmailer posing as a plumber.
Nothing is sacred anymore.
I shall be back in a moment after you've viewed this rusty elbow in the plumbing of television.
That is all for tonight.
Next week, we shall be back with another story.
I've fixed this.
Nothing to it, really.
Good night.

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