Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e28 Episode Script

Lamb to the Slaughter

He gave me this ticket for blocking an aisle during the rush hour.
I don't understand.
I was in the slow lane.
I just stopped a moment at the condiment shelf where the store's having a "get acquainted" sale on Low Calorie Calories.
Tonight's play is not unrelated to this milieu.
It is called Lamb to the Slaughter.
But before we see it, the store has asked that I direct your attention to their very best bargain.
Hello, love.
Darling, is something the matter? Are they badgering you about that Manetti case again? Is that what's the trouble? Well, try not to think about it for a while.
I hate to see you getting all tired and worried like this.
Darling, why don't you take off your coat and then you can sit yourself down comfortably and relax? We certainly don't have to go out to dinner if you don't want to.
I'll call Molly and tell her you're much too tired.
Would you like me to do that? She'll understand.
I know she will.
And I'll cook you some nice supper right here at home.
There's plenty of meat in the freezer.
We'll have a nice roast.
It'll just take a little longer to cook, that's all.
While it's in the oven, I'll slip out to the corner and get some vegetables.
Oh, before I forget I must tell you, old Mrs.
Keating gave me the ring test today.
You know, where they have a ring on a bit of string and dangle it over your tummy.
And guess what? It's a boy.
There's absolutely no doubt about it, she says.
She's never been wrong yet in her whole life.
Isn't that exciting? Where are you going? Well, to the garage, to get the meat out of the freezer.
Sit down.
Sit down a minute.
Patrick, what is all this? What's wrong, darling? Please tell me.
This is going to come as a bit of shock to you.
I hope you won't blame me too much.
I'd never blame you, darling, you know that.
The truth is, Mary, I want to leave you.
You understand me, don't you? I want to leave you.
You don't mean that.
Yes, I do mean it.
And what's more, I want a divorce.
There's someone else I want to marry.
That really is all there is to it.
I love her and she loves me.
Now, we got to be sensible about it all.
Calm and sensible.
I'll arrange for the divorce.
Naturally you can have the baby when it comes.
You'll have some money.
Sorry, I can't give you a lot but you'll get along all right.
I'll get you your supper.
Get what? Oh yes, yes, you must have your supper, darling.
I wouldn't ever let you go without your supper.
You'll feel better when you've had something to eat.
What are you doing? I'm leaving.
Patrick, you can't.
You can't go.
You can't.
You can't.
No? Patrick, I won't let you.
I won't! I won't! I won't! No sense getting hysterical about this whole thing.
Patrick, I mean it! Try and stop me.
Hello, Molly? Listen, darling, Patrick's just come home and he's utterly exhausted, poor thing.
Yeah, he's had a terribly rough day.
So I was wondering, would you mind terribly if we didn't come over tonight? I knew you wouldn't.
You're an angel, Molly.
No, no, it's nothing like that.
He's just been working too hard, that's all.
Well, maybe we'll see you over the weekend.
Yeah, that would be lovely.
Yes, goodbye, dear.
Hello, Operator? Operator, quick, give me the police.
Quickly! You've got to help us, Mrs.
You think you can pull yourself together now and talk to me a little? Yes, I'll try.
I'll do my best.
Now tell me.
Is this exactly what the room looked like when you walked In? Yes.
You haven't touched a thing? Well, all except Patrick.
I came in the front door and I saw him lying there like that and I You did what when you saw him? Well, I tried to talk to him.
Then I saw that he was dead and I ran to the phone.
I see.
Now, what time was it when you went out? Can you tell us that? Oh, I think it was about 20 minutes ago.
It's 6:14 now.
You think it was around 5 to 6? Yes, I think so.
Print man and photographer are coming in now.
Oh, I want to see them.
And we've got a man out front and one at the back.
All right, now listen, fellows.
Let's have a real thorough job here.
Take all the time you need.
It's the Chief.
Mike, you tell them what we want.
And get some pictures right away before the doc comes along and starts shoving things about.
Okay, get going.
Maloney, do you usually go out shopping so late? Excuse me, but I have to ask you these questions.
Oh, I understand.
Well, no, I don't.
As a matter of fact, we were going out for dinner tonight with some friends but Patrick seemed so terribly tired that I just called up and cancelled.
Now, who did you call? Molly, Molly Vandenoord.
They live on South Street.
And when your husband came in, did it seem to you that there might have been something on his mind? Do you think he was worried about anything? No, no, not especially.
Just seemed terribly tired.
I see.
And when he first came in I Oh, excuse me.
Who did it? No idea.
See what you can find out, will you, Doc? Is that his wife? Yes.
You'd better take her in the next room.
Let's go into another room for a while, shall we? You'll be more comfortable there and then we can talk easier, too.
I don't want to.
I want to stay here.
Please let me stay here.
I'll be all right.
You got something cooking in the kitchen here? Yes, yes, that was his supper.
But I thought you didn't have any supper in the house.
Wasn't that why you went out? Well, yes, but I had to get some vegetables.
I had plenty of meat.
I always keep plenty of meat in the freezer.
Well? It looks like a severely fractured base to me.
Just one blow, right on the back of the head.
What with? Can you make a guess? I can up to a point, yes.
It's bound to be something heavy, that's obvious.
But it isn't sharp.
At least, I don't think there are any sharp edges on it.
No? Why do you say that? Well, look for yourself.
The skin on the scalp isn't even broken.
It isn't a hammer, for instance.
More like a large club of some sort.
A club? Yes, something shaped like a club anyway.
Smooth and rounded at the end.
That's my guess.
See you later, Doc.
Let me know as soon as you're through at the lab.
I'll do that.
Is this glass dusted? Yeah.
Maloney, you said you didn't notice anything particularly unusual about your husband's behavior when he came in this evening? No, not especially.
He just seemed terribly tired.
I see he had a drink.
Yes, he always had a drink when he came home from work.
He usually took soda, didn't he? Yes.
I guess so.
And ice of course.
This evening he took it straight.
And with his coat on, right? Yes, I suppose he did.
Now think hard, Mrs.
He comes in the door.
So what's the first thing he does after that? He kissed me.
Now wait, and please excuse me for asking you these questions, but I'm simply trying to find out whether or not there was something on your husband's mind when he came home.
You're quite sure he kissed you? It wasn't you that kissed him? He kissed me.
Now he walks straight over there and pours himself a shot of neat whiskey.
Am I right? Mmm-hmm.
Well He doesn't usually have a drink before he takes his coat off, does he? No, I guess not.
You saw all this and you still didn't think he was a worried man? I told you.
I just thought he was very tired.
You know what I think, Mrs.
Maloney? I think he was desperately worried.
And if we can only find out why this was, then perhaps we'll be able to get somewhere.
Well, I wish I could help you more.
The other thing I want to find is the weapon.
Hey, Mike.
Now look, I want you to go outside right away and comb every inch of the garden.
Have those fellows out there help you.
See what you can find.
Get some flashlights.
I'll check the rest of the house.
Yes? You know, somehow I don't believe that this was a premeditated murder.
Nor was it a professional job.
I think it was a quarrel.
And then someone lost their temper.
And then Well, perhaps this person, whoever it was, simply grabbed hold of some object that happened to be close at hand and swung at your husband.
The point is this.
If I'm right, then the weapon they used was probably something that was already in this house.
Now then, here's where you may be able to help us out.
First of all, can you tell me if there's anything missing from this room that could have been used as a weapon? Take your time.
Well, I'm not sure what sort of thing you mean.
Well, something like a club, for instance.
A club? You mean like a baseball bat? Yes! Exactly! No there isn't any baseball bat in the house.
All right, how about a door stopper or a heavy metal vase or Well, anything you like.
You understand what I mean, don't you? Well, yes, I think so.
It's just Well, it's so hard to remember everything that's in the house.
Well, perhaps you wouldn't mind coming along with me while I go over the rooms one by one.
Are you nearly through now? Uh-huh.
Say, what time have you got? Thanks.
Yes? You're quite sure you wouldn't want someone to take you over to Mrs.
Vandenoord's house tonight? Oh, no, thank you.
I just couldn't go anywhere at the moment.
Then you ought to go to bed and lie down.
Either Mike or I will be around all night, so you don't have to worry.
It's all right.
I may do that.
There's something fishy about this case.
Go on.
I don't believe there ever was a fight in this room.
I think someone purposely fixed it up afterwards to make it look as though there'd been one.
You do? I'll tell you why.
It isn't humanly possible to club a man hard on the back of the head right here, in the middle of a fight.
Not unless there were two people.
That's right.
But I don't think there were two people.
Or unless he got knocked out during the fight and the other fellow hit him while he was lying on the floor.
Nobody knocked him out first.
There isn't a single bruise or scratch on his entire body.
Only where he was hit.
And another thing.
He was carrying a gun, wasn't he? Sure was.
Then why didn't he draw it? You know why? Because he didn't even realize he was being threatened.
Well, in that case the killer was probably someone he knew pretty well.
Do you think it could've been a woman? Why do you say that? Well, you know as well as I do our friend here used to fool around a bit now and again.
Yeah, I see what you mean.
Well, anyway, we got to find that weapon.
Didn't anyone think to turn off that oven? Whatever it is, it'll sure as heck be ruined by now.
Hey, that looks all right.
It sure does.
That's mighty peculiar, isn't it? I'd have thought it would've been burned to a crisp by now.
Yeah, me too.
Well, maybe it takes longer according to how big it is.
Well, this is a big one all right.
You're darn right it's big.
Jack, would you turn that off for me, please? It's all right.
It's not spoiled.
I can see that.
What I really came in for was to ask if you'd like to have a cup of coffee.
You must be terribly tired by now, both of you.
I'm sorry I didn't think of it sooner.
Well, that's isn't necessary, Ma'am.
You mustn't bother about us.
Well, Patrick, would never forgive me if I didn't look after you properly.
He always used to tell me how grateful he was in the old days when somebody would offer him a cup of coffee when he couldn't get home for a meal.
He said that's the least you can do when somebody's trying to help you out.
Well, it certainly is good of you.
It sure is.
I'll tell you what, why don't you help yourselves to some of this too.
No, we couldn't do that, Mrs.
Wouldn't dream of it.
We'll be sending out for a couple of sandwiches in a little while.
Oh, no.
Now, please.
Eat this instead.
I'll only have to throw it out if you don't.
But what about you, ma'am? Me? Oh, no, I couldn't touch a thing, believe me.
Give some to the others too.
They must be absolutely famished by this time, particularly those two standing out there in the cold.
Ask them all in, why don't you, and give them a nice hot meal.
It's very good meat, I promise you that.
Boy, this is great.
Best piece of meat I've had in months.
She said to finish it, didn't she, Jack? She did.
I'd like to have a piece of this brown, crispy stuff left on the end here.
Suppose it'll be all right to take this bone home to my dog? Sure, she said she never wants to see it again.
She was cooking it for her old man, that's why.
He missed a real nice meal.
Not so loud, fellows.
Take it easy.
You got any dope on this case yet, Jack? Not a lot.
No one's found the weapon.
Doc says it's probably some sort of a club.
You mean like a shillelagh or something? Something heavy, anyway.
Must have weighed about eight or nine pounds.
Whoever did it, they're not going to carry a thing like that around longer than they need.
Personally I think it's here on the premises.
Well, for all we know it might be right under our very noses.
Well, that's the way the ol' meatball bounces.
As for Mary Maloney she would have gone scot free if she hadn't tried to do in her second husband the same way.
Unfortunately, he was the forgetful type and had forgotten to plug in the freezer.
The meat was as soft as jelly.
Speaking of plugs that is precisely what our sponsor wants to do for his product, after which I'll wheel back.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, those of us who work in television have a technical term for this part of the program.
We call it the end.
Next week we shall be back with another story I'm gonna go, now, I can't risk another ticket.
Good night.

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