Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e16 Episode Script


Good evening, parents, children, babysitters and sittees.
Tonight's discussion is concerned with that thorny problem that all parents face as they survey their children.
Is coexistence really possible? The problems of the teenager are well discussed, but I would like to say a word for his father, the middle-ager.
The middle-ager is truly an outcast from society.
Youth pays no attention to him except to steal his hubcaps, those traditional symbols of virility.
He can only drive down the dusty road toward senility in a cooled-off hotrod.
Forever doomed to be a mere spectator in the great drag race of life.
Of course, any connection between this treacle and tonight's story is pure coincidence.
Sylvia! Sylvia, what on earth are you doing with that thing? Nothing.
I was just trying to see how it works.
You know, I've never even seen a gun before, except in the movies.
But where did you get it? I bought it.
Why are you looking at me like that? It isn't loaded.
Guns are always dangerous.
That's why I never have one in the house.
Well, you don't have to get so excited about it, Daddy.
I only bought it because with your being away I thought I'd feel safer.
The way you're acting anyone would think you expected me to shoot myself or something.
You did think that, didn't you? I don't know what I thought.
It just startled me to come in here and find you sitting with a gun.
Daddy, I'm quite all right now, remember? Oh, I know you are, my dear.
It's just that I worry about you sometimes.
But you mustn't.
I'll get rid of it if it bothers you.
I'm sure I wouldn't know how to use it anyway, even if a burglar did get in.
What bothers me is why you bought it.
If you're afraid of being here alone No, but I'm not, really.
Sylvia, if you weren't, you wouldn't have even thought of buying a gun in the first place.
Maybe you're right.
Anyway, it's silly of me 'cause I won't be alone most of the time.
George and Bertha will be here.
There's no need for you to be alone at all.
I only agreed to take this trip because I thought you wanted me to.
Oh, but I do.
Besides, you need a vacation.
It'd be a lot better vacation if you'd go with me.
Why don't you, Syl? A change of scene would do you a world of good, and so would a little sun.
We could go down to the south of France for a couple of weeks I've had a change of scene and all the sun I could take in Reno.
Oh, that wasn't the same.
I'd never gotten through if it hadn't been for you.
You were so wonderful.
I knew what you were going through because I'd been through it all myself when your mother left me.
Oh, yes.
I don't know what would have happened to me in those days, if she hadn't decided after a few months that you'd be better off with me.
Don't you mean if my mother hadn't decided that she couldn't be bothered with me? Oh, that's not true.
It's all right, Daddy.
It doesn't hurt anymore.
Syl Let's not talk about it.
And don't be so gloomy.
People are supposed to be gay who are going to Europe on vacation.
Syl, come with me, please.
I can't.
Don't you understand? It's too soon.
I know it used to be the custom when a girl was disappointed in love, that you shipped her off to Europe to find somebody else.
But I don't want to find anyone else.
Not for a long time, anyway.
We don't have to go to Europe.
I don't want to go anywhere.
I want to stay here and work in the garden, have a quiet time.
That's what I need most.
Please let me have it, Daddy.
All right, my dear.
If that's what you really want.
That's what I really want.
Now what are your plans? Are you going into town today? I have to, for a couple of hours, anyway.
I have a couple of last minute things to clear up at the office.
I think I'll lie down for a while, and I'll finish your packing this afternoon.
All right.
And no more worrying, please.
No more worrying.
Did you call me, sir? Yes, Bertha.
We'll have dinner at 7:00.
I have to go to the office for a few hours.
I should be back by 5:00.
Yes, sir.
Leeds, there's something you should know about.
You told me last week when you went on this trip I shouldn't let Miss Sylvia be alone any more than I could help.
But if you think it's too much responsibility No.
No, no, it's not that.
I won't be able to because I won't be here.
She's given me and George three weeks vacation starting tonight.
She asked me not to tell you because she didn't want you to worry about her.
I thought I'd better.
Thank you, Bertha.
You go ahead and take your vacation.
Don't worry.
I'll handle things here.
Yes, sir.
I honestly don't know what to think now, Doctor.
She's been doing so well these last few months.
You knew nothing about the servants going away? No, not a thing.
Doctor, this is a terrible thing to think, let alone say.
But is it possible she She plans to kill herself and wants to be alone to do it? I can't answer that any more than you can.
I haven't seen Sylvia for several months.
But when you were treating her you saw her every day.
She must have told you things, told you how she felt about what happened.
Leeds, I couldn't discuss anything your daughter told me.
Not even with you.
I'm sorry.
Of course you can't.
I honestly didn't mean to pry.
I was just trying to help her.
Of course you were.
But how? Well, I can't discuss anything Sylvia told me, but I can certainly listen.
Now this might give me a different picture if I heard about this marriage from your point of view.
I'll be glad to tell you anything, although I'm sure you already know most of it.
Repetition is one way of getting at the truth.
I don't know where to begin.
Well, say, at the beginning, when she first met him.
Well, it all began on a boat when we were coming back from Europe.
It used to worry me that she knew so few people her own age.
You should be in there dancing, enjoying yourself.
I'm enjoying myself, Daddy.
Just the same, that's where you should be, not out here with me.
I'm perfectly happy right where I am.
Well, you're old enough to know your own mind, I suppose.
It isn't as though you couldn't have gone if you wanted to.
This, what's his name? Kent? He invited you to go with him, didn't he? As a matter of fact, he did.
Why didn't you? Don't you like him? I hardly know him, Daddy.
He seems nice.
Why then? Oh, I don't know.
I don't dance very well.
Oh, let's not talk about it.
Syl Miss Leeds.
I wondered if you'd changed your mind about dancing.
Oh, thank you.
But I I don't think you know my father.
Daddy, this is Peter Kent.
How do you do, sir? How do you do? Well You go right ahead.
I was just going to turn in, anyway.
So early? I'm a little tired.
You run along and enjoy yourself.
Nice to have met you, Mr.
Nice to have met you, sir.
Are you sure, Daddy? Perfectly sure.
Good night, Sylvia, dear.
Good night.
They married rather quickly, didn't they? Two months.
Did you see much of them after they were married? Less and less as time went on.
Why was that? Well, didn't Sylvia tell you about it? Yes, but I'd still like to hear it from you, if you don't mind.
We just never got along, Peter and I.
Maybe I'm just old-fashioned.
But I've never been able to stand a man who lived off a woman.
Is Sylvia independently wealthy? No.
But I've always given her a fairly large allowance.
Although, at one time I stopped it.
I thought it might force him to do something about finding a job.
But it didn't.
I couldn't very well let her do without.
But even the allowance didn't satisfy him.
And when this business of the check came up, that was the last straw.
Check? A check of mine which he forged.
I suppose you know you could spend the next 10 years in jail for this.
I'm sure I could.
But you don't think you will.
I doubt very much that you'd press charges against your daughter's husband.
You seem very sure of that? More or less.
You don't know me very well if you think I'll let this pass.
I won't have my daughter married to a thief.
Such strong language.
But I know Sylvia will understand when I explain it to her.
Understand and forgive.
She might.
I won't.
Oh? What do you propose to do? I'll show you.
Get me the district attorney.
Well, aren't you being a bit hasty? I don't believe in putting things off, even unpleasant things.
You realize, of course, what you're doing to Sylvia if you go through with this.
I'm not doing it to Sylvia, I'm doing it for her.
Yes? Hello? Oh, how are you, Robert? Good.
No unfortunately, this is not a social call.
I wonder if you could lunch with me? Good, 1:00 would be fine.
I'd come to your office about this, Robert, but I want to avoid any publicity.
Thanks, I appreciate it.
Yeah, see you at 1:00.
Well, I underestimated you.
That was stupid of me.
Very stupid.
Well, we all make mistakes.
But this is one that can be rectified.
I'll make a bargain with you.
I won't make any bargains.
Oh, I think you will, this one.
Destroy that check and I'll clear out.
Sylvia can get a divorce and I won't contest it.
All right.
On one condition.
That you never see Sylvia again.
I'll have your things sent to you.
I'm not in a very good bargaining position, am I? All right, it's a deal.
But just to satisfy my curiosity, what will you tell her? I don't know.
Whatever I think will make it easier for her.
No, Peter, I don't want an explanation.
That's not the reason why I called.
I love you and I want you back, if you'll come.
Father's leaving on the 11:00 plane tonight.
Can you come here after that? Please.
Thank you, darling.
I'll be waiting for you.
Cancel my plane reservations for tonight, will you, Miss Brown? No, nothing's wrong.
I've just changed my mind.
Yes? Who? All right, send him in.
Nice of you to see me.
Sorry I wasn't able to give you more notice.
What do you want? I thought we might have a little talk.
Mind if I sit down? We have nothing to talk about.
I wouldn't say that.
Sylvia called me this morning.
I don't believe you.
Well, she did just the same.
Yeah, she She wants me to come back.
As a matter of fact, she wants me to come back tonight, right after you take off on your trip.
You aren't thinking of doing it, are you? Why not? It sounds like a very good idea.
We have an agreement you seem to have forgotten.
We had an agreement.
You were to destroy the check, I was to let Sylvia divorce me.
There was no provision for after the divorce that I remember.
I see.
And I was stupid enough to destroy it.
Well, I thought you might.
What do you want? I must say I admire the way you get right to the point.
Oh, I don't especially want to go back, but I do need money.
How much? Twenty-five thousand.
That's a lot of money, however I won't argue with you.
You can have it.
Hello, Mr.
Where's Miss Sylvia? I don't know, sir.
I think she's in the garden.
Should I get her for you? No, don't bother.
Yes, sir.
Hello, Daddy.
Aren't they beautiful? Beautiful.
I'm going to make a lovely centerpiece for the table.
And I've ordered your favorite dessert and a very special wine.
And you know what? I think we should dress for dinner, be really festive.
You seem very gay.
Oh, I am.
I've had a lovely afternoon in the garden.
It affects me that way.
Does it? Oh, Daddy, you look so tired.
Won't you lie down for a bit before dinner? Yes, I think I will.
I'll put these in water before they droop.
I'll call you in an hour.
You know, I think I better make a list of the things I want you to bring me.
Otherwise, you'll forget half or bring the wrong kind.
Now, let's see.
There's my perfume.
And it doesn't seem possible I could've used all that I brought last time, but I have.
Oh, and, Daddy, if you're going down to Spain, you could bring me Will you please stop chattering? I'm sorry.
Do you realize you haven't stopped talking since we sat down to dinner? And you haven't really said anything.
I thought I was amusing you.
Why should you have to amuse me? Well, you seem so down.
It wasn't the best way to start a vacation.
Sylvia, I don't suppose there's any way I could persuade you to come with me, is there? I honestly don't want to go, Daddy.
And there isn't anything you want to tell me? I don't think so.
I I've taken care of everything, I think.
I asked George to put the luggage in the car.
Here's your tickets and your passport That's not what I meant.
I don't understand.
I was referring to your plans while I was away.
What you intended to do.
But I told you.
I know you did, but I was hoping you'd tell me more.
There's nothing more to tell.
Isn't there? He's not coming, Sylvia.
He came to the office this afternoon.
What did he want, money? Yes.
Did you give it to him? Yes.
I thought he might do that.
I wasn't sure, but I I thought he might.
I'm sorry, Sylvia.
I know you are.
And you're hurt, too, because you think I lied to you.
But, Father, it wasn't really a lie.
You see, I hoped if he came while you were in Europe we'd have five or six weeks to try again and I even let myself dream that when you got back everything would be all right between us.
I even let George and Bertha take their vacation so we could be completely alone.
Is that all? What else is there? I tried and it didn't work.
Sylvia, why did you buy a gun if you weren't going to be alone? I suppose deep down I never thought it would really happen.
And if he hadn't come, I really would be alone, and that frightened me.
I think there's more to it than that.
All right.
There was.
I thought if he came to talk things over, but wouldn't come back to me, I'd kill him.
I don't suppose I would have, really, but I did think about it.
He's not worth killing, Sylvia.
I never told you this because I thought it would hurt you less if you never knew.
But he forged a check for quite a lot of money, and when I found out, he offered to let you get a divorce in exchange for my not pressing charges.
Was that how it was? Oh, I wish you'd told me.
It'd have been easier than thinking that he was just bored.
I'm sorry.
I should have.
I should've.
It was a mistake not to.
But I did think it was best, Syl.
Best for you, I mean.
I've never known you do anything that you didn't think was best for me.
Daddy, you don't have to go away tonight, do you? No dear.
Could we go away somewhere tomorrow? Well, not tonight, but in a day or two.
Let's go to Maine where we used to.
I was so happy there.
I think you'd be better go back to Dr.
Jason, for a little while, anyway.
Maybe I should.
He could help you if you'd let him.
All right, I'll go back to him.
And we can go to Maine later on, can we? I'm so tired all of a sudden.
Confession may be good to the soul, but it takes a lot out of you.
It'll get better, darling.
You must believe that.
All you need is a little time.
Yes, a little time.
Daddy Now then, dear, you better go on up to bed.
I'll look in on you when I turn in.
Hello? Dr.
Jason? Sorry to bother you.
This is John Leeds.
Sylvia's willing to start back with you again.
Well, I'm pleased, too.
Well, there have been a couple of developments since I talked to you.
Leeds? The gun! Mr.
Leeds! Mr.
Leeds! Going to bed so early? No, no.
I just thought you might like me to get you a hot glass of milk to help you sleep.
I'd much rather you stayed and talked to me.
Remember? When I was a little girl? I was always allowed to have five minutes to talk before I went to sleep.
Yes, I remember.
Sylvia, as long as I'm here, maybe you'd better give me that gun so I can put it in a safe place, hmm? You're still worried about it, aren't you? Not really.
I just don't like having guns around.
Why are you looking at me like that? I was just wondering why I was never allowed to have anything of my own.
Everything was always a gift from you that I had to be grateful for.
You're talking nonsense.
Not really.
In some funny way, you always thought that if I had anything of my own, it took away from you somehow, so I couldn't have it.
I couldn't have anything that really belonged to me, even a husband.
That's why I bought the gun, you know.
I knew you would never go on this trip.
But I was determined to get free, anyway.
And I still am.
And I'm going to get Peter back.
I know I can, if you're not here to stop me.
Sylvia! Daddy, why wouldn't you let me go? Why? Why wouldn't you let me go? Why? Well, I'm not sure the psychiatrist straightened out Sylvia's mind, but he certainly improved her aim.
You will be pleased to know that Mr.
Milton stopped interfering with Sylvia's life, and her interference with his life was limited to this one culminating stroke.
If you found this story amusing, you will be pleased to know that we have prepared another for our next presentation.
So until then, good hyphen night.

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