Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e14 Episode Script

The Percentage

Oh, good evening.
I bring good news to those of you who are plagued with faulty television sets.
I am prepared to repair your set.
It only stands to reason more can be accomplished working from the inside-out, than from the outside-in.
Let's see.
Perhaps I should tighten this a bit.
On second thought, it looked very good the way it was.
Oh, here's the trouble.
We can't have loose wires hanging around.
Tonight's playlet is called "The Percentage", and it's about a professional hoodlum named Big Eddie, who meets up with a television repair man.
As you see, it has exciting prospects.
Someone has sent me the bird.
But let's go on with the show.
Perhaps we should get some ideas from the repairman in the story.
I phoned that shop over an hour ago.
Oh, keep your shirt on.
Hundreds of TV repair shops in Manhattan, and you phone for one way out in Queens.
So? So how dumb do you think I am? I don't know what you're talking about.
No? I'm talking how this set was working fine until you began fiddling with it.
Then, bingo, it goes on the blink.
Next thing, you phone for a repair man miles and miles away in Queens.
Shut up.
Okay, I'll shut up.
Hey, stop frowning.
Maybe I have reasons.
You got reasons? For instance? Ain't I good to you? Yeah, you're good to me.
Then what's wrong? Eddie, you just not in this world.
Talking to yourself all the time, and drinking too much.
Getting those dizzy spells.
Something's going on inside of you.
And it's been going on for a long, long while.
You're eating sawdust.
I'm okay.
That's the repairman now.
He'll fix that TV set in a jiffy.
Leave us alone, baby.
Hi, Sarge.
Pete, how's the boy? Put it there.
Come on in.
You don't seem surprised to see me.
The minute the boss gave me the call, I knew it was you.
I read in the papers how you lived here.
You're a famous guy.
I even saw you on television during that anti-crime committee thing.
How did I look? Best dressed guy in the room.
Oh, there it is.
Say, isn't it a coincidence you calling our shop way out in Queens to do a repair job? It was no coincidence.
I wanted to see you.
I've been looking for you for years.
Yeah? I even hired detectives.
No kidding.
I couldn't find you.
You sure did drop out of sight.
How was I to know you'd changed your name from Wyzonski to Williams? It's easier for business.
Say, this is some place you got here.
Yeah, this is This is real fancy.
Boy, you really got it made.
I said leave us alone.
I need a cigarette.
Meet Pete.
This is Faye.
A pleasure.
You acquainted with Eddie? Look, go inside and And jump in the lake.
How long have you known Eddie? We were in Korea together.
Oh, by the way, it's just a tube.
Eddie broke it himself on purpose.
Did you think you fooled me? That dame's too smart.
Sure nice.
Say, you went to a lot of trouble finding me.
Why? Do you know what I owe you? Oh, sure.
This visit here will set you back five bucks, and the tube, if that's what it is, will cost another buck.
Leave that set alone.
Tell me what I owe you.
Name it.
I don't dig you.
Boy, you really did bust this tube.
Say it.
Huh? Go on, say I was a coward.
Say I was the kind of sergeant that went chicken.
Say I got scared and ran away.
Go on.
Say it.
Say you covered up for me.
So it's that patrol that's bugging you? Forget it.
I haven't thought about that in years.
I've never forgotten, not for one day.
You think I could forget how you kept them from knowing I was chicken? Look, so for a minute you went chicken.
We all could have.
All of us was gonna get killed if somebody didn't do something.
So I knocked you out.
But the patrol came through okay.
So what's the difference? I got the credit.
What's wrong with that? I don't like it that way.
Hey, what's the matter? Just dizzy for a minute.
It'll go away.
I've been getting them spells ever since this whole thing started.
Trying to find you, so I could fix the percentage.
I wanna pay you for shutting up, for saving my life.
Pay me? How much you make a week? Pretty good.
How much is pretty good? $110 a week.
Don't make me laugh.
$110 suits me fine.
I say it's peanuts.
You got a wife? The best.
Don't she want a fur coat, a new car, a nice house? You think a woman's happy to spend her life cooking and washing your socks? I want to make you rich, so you can buy your wife everything she wants.
It's certainly a temptation, Sarge.
Stop calling me Sarge.
Look, Eddie.
I can't let you hand me a lot of dough.
I owe it to you.
You don't owe me nothing.
The whole thing's screwy, it's not even worth discussing.
There, now.
Let's see if it works.
You got a mortgage on your house? Don't have a house.
Hope to someday.
How much dough do you need? Look, Eddie, I'm not taking that kind of dough, and that's all there is to it.
There, your set's working okay.
Isn't there anything you want? Yeah.
It would take me an hour to tell you everything I want.
But I intend getting them on my own steam.
What's the angle? You got something on me.
I was a coward.
Why didn't you tell the world I was chicken? You're talking nuts.
I don't let nobody have a percentage on me.
I got to pay you back! Hey, let go with the fingers, huh? Name it.
Name something I can do! Okay.
Louise likes to go out to fancy places.
So, if you wanna take us out on the town some night, that much I'd like you to do.
On account of my wife would get a kick out of going to a fancy place.
A measly hundred bucks for food, drinks, cover charges, so what? I'm talking about handing you thousands.
Eddie, I told you, it's no use.
Now, you want to go out with us, or don't you? Okay, okay.
When? Well, tomorrow's my night off.
I'll show you the town.
Here's the repair bill.
43 cents.
Six bucks.
You got something on me nobody knows.
Sooner or later, I'm gonna pay you back and you can't keep saying no.
Oh, gee, that's a beautiful fur.
Thank you.
Well, here we are, the four of us.
Just like a dream, ain't it, Pete sweetheart? Sure is, hon.
Oh, boy.
To think I'm sitting with Eddie Slovak.
I mean, you read the papers, and every day there's Eddie being indicted or something important like that.
Say, why don't you take a spin around with Eddie, huh? Yeah.
I'd love to.
Oh, you don't mind, do you? Oh, no, not at all.
How about it, Eddie? You bet.
Eddie sure is a great guy.
Yes, he is.
You dance wonderfully.
What did Pete say about me? I mean, way back.
Oh, he said you was a big hero in Korea.
He said that? Yeah.
I bet you was, too.
A real hero, I mean.
How would you like to put a lot of dough in Pete's way? What do you mean? You got to help me talk Pete into letting me stake him to a shop of his own.
His own? I'd be the silent partner.
He buys the equipment, makes the place look real fancy.
I'd pay him, let's say, $300 a week.
$300? What's the catch? There's no catch.
I don't get it.
Why should anybody want to pay Pete What's the matter? Come here.
Pete can make a fortune.
I know ways to pull the wool over customer's eyes No.
Pete wouldn't like that.
He's got what he calls scruples.
Don't you want him rich? Sure, you do.
Then you got to make him say okay.
I'll try.
Hello? Boy, am I glad to hear from you.
What do you think, baby? Sure, we'll be glad to.
What time? Give my regards to Pete.
Yeah, we'll see you then.
That was Pete's wife, Louise.
I thought as much from the sounds you were making.
Meaning what? Eddie, I'm not jealous.
But I think it's rotten for you to make a play for your own friend's wife.
Don't worry.
She don't mean nothing.
Playing both of us now? What are you talking about? Listen, tomorrow night we go to Pete's house for dinner.
Not me.
I've rehearsal.
Are you glad? Now, you can show off for your washed-out blonde.
But don't hurt that little guy, Eddie.
Pete thinks the sun rises and sets with her.
Stop worrying.
She's doing Pete and me a great favor.
Eddie, oh, I'm so glad to see you.
You're early.
Where's Pete? He's getting ice cream for dessert.
Sit down.
Go on, sit down.
Gosh, you're sure a nervous guy.
I don't know.
But I guess when a man's as important as you are, you get nervous after a while, huh? Did you talk to him? Pete? Who else? Yeah, I talked to him, the chowder head.
He's a stubborn chowder head.
He said no? In spades.
"I can't let a guy hand me a lot of dough for doing nothing.
"I'd feel dishonest," he says.
Imagine, dishonest.
Did you ever? He's crazy about you.
He'd do anything you asked him to.
Yeah, except this.
We had an awful fight over it, believe me.
He's so stubborn and proud.
Why don't you take off your coat, and make yourself comfortable? You should have persuaded him.
You must have said the wrong things.
Well, don't get sore, Eddie.
I counted on you.
The dope.
He was nice looking in his uniform, wasn't he? I thought you'd get a kick out of seeing him all dolled up the way you remember him back in Korea.
You got a drink? Yeah, sure.
On the table.
Don't you feel good? I'm okay.
Hey, where's Faye? Rehearsing at a musical.
Then she'll be busy for a while, huh? Yeah.
Well, maybe if you and me met someplace kind of private, you could think of some clever way to make Pete let you back him.
That's an idea.
When? Maybe tomorrow? He'll be at work until late at night.
I'm crazy about you, Eddie, and you know it.
So, you be nice to me.
You keep at Pete to take the dough, understand, honey? Yeah, sure, sure.
Hi, folks.
The flavor of the month.
Chocolate Peppermint.
I tell you, Eddie, people want too much.
I say, when you got yourself a fine job, a little dough in the bank, a place to live.
A gal who loves you.
Then, like the song says, "Why ask for anything more?" Hey, Louise, leave finishing the dishes until later.
Come on out and be sociable.
I'll be finished in a minute, honey.
Leave her out there.
I happen to like Louise around.
Look, Pete, if you're so crazy about her, don't you want her to have a maid to wash the dishes? Move out of here to a better neighborhood? Just for once, Eddie, talk about something else, will you? Now, try and feel at home here.
Home? You call this dump a home? Listen.
I like it fine, see.
It's a breadbox.
It suits me fine.
Yeah, and my jalopy suits me fine.
This suit I got on, maybe it costs 50 bucks but I like it fine, too.
You lunkhead.
You could live on Park Avenue.
Real paintings on the wall, furs and clothes for Louise.
I'm the one who says what goes in this family.
Now, you stop talking to Louise.
Either quit making trouble or stay away from here, Eddie, I mean it.
Look at this.
Nickel and dime stuff.
Get out of here, once and for all.
Oh, Pete, I didn't mean it.
Get out.
You're going nuts.
Here, this will pay for it.
I don't want your dough.
Not a dime.
Just get out of here.
What's all the shouting and yelling in here? Where's Eddie? He's gone.
What happened? He flipped his lid.
Oh, look.
Leave that money alone.
He sure is generous.
I said leave it alone.
But there's 50 bucks or more here.
And I'm sending it back, every dollar.
Hello, Eddie.
Sit down, Eddie.
The boys tell me you get hot under the collar these days.
And when the boys get sore, they don't work well with you.
I've been a little shook up.
You let the Lexington Avenue number bank get overloaded.
How was I to know some jerk could get a hunch on a number and clean up? Why all this drinking? Who is this mosquito who repairs TV sets? Just an old buddy from the war.
You've a couple of million dollars worth of assets to take care of.
I will not have you ruin those assets.
You will stop visiting old buddies who live in neighborhoods where people ask questions.
You will stop seeing him.
And his woman.
Boss, you don't understand.
I've got to see him and convince him.
I'm taking the concessions away at Third and at Harlem.
Gordo will handle them.
He can't clean my shoes.
Good night, Eddie.
I don't appreciate people touching me.
Hello, Beacon TV? Is Pete Williams there? Yeah.
Hello, Pete, this is Eddie.
Look, yesterday I put twenty grand in your account.
Oh, you know about it.
That's great.
No, it's nothing.
You did what? You sent it back? Oh, you can't.
Pete, don't hang up.
Pete, I know you got work to do, but this is more important.
Pete, don't hang up.
I wanna talk to you.
Pete, don't Hello? Hello, Eddie.
I want to see you.
No, the boss just called him out on an emergency.
He won't be home for hours.
Well, then dress and shave and get over here, honey.
I get kind of lonely sitting here all by myself.
I got ideas about how to make Pete change his mind about taking the dough you want to give him.
I will get over there as soon as I can.
Right away, Eddie.
Oh, no.
You've had enough.
It's nice, you and me together like this alone.
You sure about Pete? I tell you, he had to take the subway to Brooklyn Heights.
You know, he's crazy about you.
Yeah, I know, that's what makes it easy.
I mean, he believes everything.
He thinks I'm in love with him.
But I really fell in love with his uniform.
You're so different from Pete, Eddie baby.
You're so strong and successful.
Fuss over me, please.
Tell me you like me more than that Faye.
Fuss over me.
You said you had ideas about how you could get Pete to change his mind about taking the dough.
I was only kidding.
Your fingers, they're so strong.
Eddie, you're hurting me.
You dirty cheat.
Williams? Mrs.
Williams, are you all right in there? Let's call the police.
I'll be right back.
Oh, Mr.
Williams, something's happened to your wife.
We're even now.
She made a play for me, and I let her have it.
I did the best thing I knew.
For your sake, Pete, all for you.
She was no good, a cheat.
It's even now, Pete.
The percentage, I mean.
Pete, don't look at me like that.
We'll tell them a prowler came in.
We'll make a good story, you and me, like we did in Korea.
This is the apartment, Officer.
That's it.
That's it.
Open up, police.
Don't forget to tell them about the prowler.
You know how to do it.
A good story, make it good story, like you did for me before.
Please, Pete.
I said, open up.
People have been phoning that there's Hey? Pete, tell him how we found her.
Look, officer, this is his wife.
We just found her dead.
A prowler must've killed her.
We just come in, him and me.
Is that your story, too? My name is Pete Williams.
He's Eddie Slovak.
He killed her.
Who is it? It's me, Pete.
Oh, Pete.
Come on in.
I wanted to tell you Louise is dead.
Oh, no.
Eddie killed her.
The cops have taken him down to headquarters.
Things are going to be all right, Faye.
From now on.
Well, that's the way the old body bounces.
I can't seem to find out what's the matter with your set.
What's this? No wonder so many television tubes are broken.
If you don't care for the program, turn off the set.
Don't throw your shoes at it.
Of course, I realize that there are some of you who can't turn the knob.
Your present tube seems to be in fine shape, however.
Oh, well, I'm afraid you'll have to wait until next time when we shall be back with a new story and a new tube.
Until then, good night.

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