Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e29 Episode Script

Fatal Figures

Good evening, tele-watchers.
I'm about to demonstrate this amazing electronic brain.
May I have the problem, please? Figures fascinate me.
2 plus 2.
Now we'll feed this problem into the machine and the answer will appear there.
Perhaps we should have started with something simple.
Of course.
Would you, please? As you can see, it's almost human.
And now for the problem.
I think the answer is coming.
If this machine persists in these do-it-yourself suggestions, he may find himself replaced by a human being.
Now, while I tinker with this, suppose you watch tonight's play, "Fatal Figures.
" Oh, did we get some mail today? Just your almanac.
No letters.
Were you expecting one? No, but you never know until you look.
Now, who would be writing you? Nobody, my dear sister.
Nobody in the whole world would be writing to me.
Then you should be glad there's no mail for you.
Unexpected letters usually mean bad news.
And we have enough of that in the newspapers.
But that's always about other people, never us.
I should hope not.
Run along, Harold, you'll miss your bus.
I haven't missed my bus in 13 years.
Five days a week for 50 weeks a year for 13 years is I do my best to keep your house properly.
I doubt if a wife would have done much better for you.
No, I suppose if I had married, I would have gone to work at least once in a soiled shirt.
I beg your pardon.
Yeah? The shop next door, the florist, he's moved out.
Yeah, I know.
The owner's telephone number is on the card in the window.
No, I wasn't interested in that.
I mean, do you know what happened to the florist? He died.
I didn't know that.
Must have been very sudden.
I guess.
Was he a friend of yours? Yes, a very old friend.
I used to wave to him every morning.
And he always watched for me.
I'll miss him.
I wonder if you knew where he lived.
I couldn't say, mister.
Maybe the owner has Mrs.
Rubin's address.
Rubin? His wife.
That was his name, wasn't it? I don't know.
I thought you said he was an old friend of yours.
Yes, he was, for 13 years.
But I never knew his name.
In fact, I never even spoke to him.
You're not eating, Harold.
Don't you like the meat? Yes, this is very good, but I've had enough, Margaret.
I don't understand why you let yourself get so disturbed over nothing.
I don't consider the death of a friend nothing.
Now, it's ridiculous of you to keep calling him your friend when you hardly even knew him.
I'm sorry a man died, but why should you go into mourning for him? Oh, I don't know.
Yes, I do know.
I'm mourning for myself.
Rubin is me and I'm Mr.
Or I will be in a few years.
I mean, when I die, there will be no more notice taken of me than there was of Mr.
The company will run an ad, "Bookkeeper Wanted.
" And there'll be nothing to show that I was ever here.
That's very flattering.
After all the years I've spent making a home for you.
Oh, I didn't mean to hurt you, Margaret.
I know I'm important to you.
But that's not enough.
I want to be something, to be somebody.
To leave behind me a gap that can't be filled in overnight.
To make a mark somewhere that somebody will notice.
Now you're just being morbid.
Sometimes I think I should have gotten married.
At least there would have been children to carry on.
You could have.
I certainly wouldn't have stood in your way.
If you had brought a wife home I would have gladly stepped aside.
This way, what have I contributed? I've held the same job for 13 years.
I work an adding machine.
I check trial balances, I post the general ledgers and all it adds up to is numbers.
Numbers! That's all I am, Margaret, a number.
A vital statistic, nothing more.
There are a lot of people in this world worse off than you are.
I'm just a vital statistic, Margaret.
I was born.
I added one point to the general population.
But 160 million other people can claim the same distinction.
All right, Harold, if you want to enjoy your own insignificance, you might just as well do it properly.
The population of this country, according to the almanac, happens to be You see, you're even less important than you thought.
Employment status of the U.
population: One of those 60 million is Harold George Goames.
At least, that's a little better than being one in 172 million.
Male labor force, only 60 million.
That's a big improvement, except who knows Harold George Goames is one of them? Auto thefts, Harold? Aren't you ready yet? Ready for what? Church! Oh.
Yes, I'll be right down.
Robberies, Why, that's a mere handful.
Harold! We are going to be late for church! All right, I'm coming.
Harold, where are you going? Upstairs.
I thought I'd read a while.
What about our checker game? I don't feel like it tonight.
You don't feel like it? Every Sunday evening for the past 13 years we have always played Chinese checkers.
Now all of a sudden you don't feel like it.
Would it be expecting too much to ask why? Maybe that's why.
Thirteen years of the same thing at the same time.
Harold, I will not have you carrying on this way! We have led a decent, respectable life all these years and I will not let you throw it over.
Now, please sit down and play checkers.
No, Margaret.
I'm going up to my room and read.
Harold, I want to talk to you.
Harold! What's wrong? Wrong? There's nothing wrong with me.
It's you.
Harold, I demand an explanation from you, right here and now.
Oh, there's nothing wrong.
Everything is fine.
I think you're having a nervous breakdown.
Tomorrow morning I'll call Dr.
Oh, him! Harold.
I tell you I don't need any doctors.
I never felt better.
What's this? It's perfume? Harold, where did this come from? I like to think it came from Bulgaria.
They say the largest rose fields in all the world are located in the Maritsa Valley.
And the maidens gather the flowers early in the morning while the dew is still fresh upon them.
That's it.
You've been philandering.
I bought it for you.
Don't you lie to me, Harold Goames! That's why you've been acting so strangely.
Sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night.
You've got another woman.
Another woman, Margaret? I wasn't aware I had any at all.
You know perfectly well what I mean! I have devoted half my life to your comfort, your well-being and this is the thanks I get? Oh, I can see the handwriting on the wall.
You want to turn me out.
That's not true.
Next thing you know you're going to be bringing her right into this house.
I won't stand for it.
I know you won't.
I found that out years ago.
All this talk about your being important.
You think a cheap hussy is going to make you feel important? Oh, Harold, you've got a rude awakening coming to you.
You, you're almost 50 years old, you'll never be important to anybody but me.
Yes, you saw to that, didn't you? Whatever I did, I did for your own good.
I saved you from making a fool of yourself.
Now I think I would rather have been a fool.
Well, you're certainly behaving like one now! Oh, Harold, why don't you face up to the facts? You and I are exactly alike, we're nobody.
And without each other, even less than that! Murders, We played a game of Chinese checkers, and then she made some tea.
It was about 10:00, I think, when I went up to bed.
Margaret stayed down to wash the cups.
Did she seem to be all right? Yes, she was in very good spirits.
She'd won the game of checkers.
I tried to talk her into another game, but she decided to quit while she was still ahead.
Did she cry out during the night? No.
At least I didn't hear her.
But then, I'm a very sound sleeper.
She used to say you could shoot off a cannon beside my bed, and I wouldn't hear it.
No, it wasn't until I came down for breakfast this morning that I realized something was wrong.
You see, Sergeant, in all the 13 years that Margaret kept house for me, she never once failed to have breakfast ready on time.
13 years.
That's quite a record.
A hot breakfast and a clean shirt.
Well, I think that just about covers it, Mr.
I'm sorry to intrude, but we have to check whenever the presiding physician can't determine the cause of death.
What do you think caused it? Food poisoning, most likely.
I don't know what else.
Fortier said her heart was in good shape.
You don't think it could possibly have been murder? I told you, Mr.
Goames, we have to check any unexplained death.
It's routine, that's all.
How can you be sure? We have to go on the evidence.
Your sister was a very respectable woman, no enemies.
She had no insurance, no bank account.
There was no sign of a prowler, no struggle.
You see, it had to be food poisoning.
Well, why didn't I get it, too? We eat the same food.
It happens that way sometimes.
Aren't you going to have an autopsy? That'll be up to the coroner, but I doubt it.
The evidence doesn't call for it.
Thank you for cooperating, Mr.
7, 125 murders.
But that's wrong.
It's only murder if the police say so.
Change the total back again, Harold Goames.
It isn't going to count.
You don't belong on that list.
But I do belong on that list.
I am a murderer.
They've got to change those figures.
Okay, Mr.
Goames, you say your sister was murdered.
Now, tell me why you think so.
Because I murdered her.
Oh? How? With rat poison.
It's down in my workroom.
It has strychnine in it.
I put some in her tea.
Well, I guess there's going to have to be an autopsy after all.
If they find strychnine you're going to be in trouble.
I realize that.
As a matter of fact, even if they don't find any, you'll be in trouble.
Are you sure you know what you're doing? I'm confessing to the murder of my sister.
Why? Why did you do it? You must've had a reason.
Did you hate her? No, not really.
She always dominated me.
But I guess that was my fault more than it was hers.
I should have taken a stand.
She thought she was doing the right thing for me, but she was wrong, but I forgave her for that.
Look, there has got to be a motive.
I guess it was mostly a matter of statistics.
That's the only place in which I can make a mark.
Do you know how many people there are in this country, Sergeant? No, not exactly.
Over 172 million.
I'm one of them, so are you, so is everybody else.
And one isn't any more important than another.
I never really looked at it like that.
Over 172 million people.
I was completely lost in all those people.
Ah, but murderers, that's different.
There are only 7,124 murderers.
Now, do you understand? Yes, oh, yes.
I understand.
Of course, there are 7,125 now, and I'm one of them.
They are going to have to change the whole statistics just to make room for me.
Sort of sets me apart, doesn't it? Yes, I guess it does.
Now, let's get back to why you killed her, if you killed her.
Of course I killed her, and I just explained to you why.
You still don't see it, do you? No, I'm afraid I don't.
Look, it's very simple.
I had to kill somebody to be eligible.
To change the figures? Yes! And Margaret was the only logical one.
Because she didn't care if nobody remembered her.
It wasn't important to her to be important.
So it all worked out fine.
I've got seven and a half years on the force.
I've worked on every possible kind of case for every possible reason.
I've even arrested psychos who didn't have a reason.
Ah, but I had a very good reason.
Would you mind coming down to headquarters and telling this to the Captain? I don't have any choice, do I? Because if the police don't believe it's murder, they won't be able to change the figures.
And that would ruin everything.
I'll just go get my coat.
Suicides, I'm giving the brain one more chance.
multiplied by 38,915.
Please, no help from the audience.
While the brain digests the problem, see if you have an answer to the following, after which I hope you'll rejoin us.
There's nothing difficult about mathematics.
I found an answer in a few seconds.
I'm now trying to get a problem to fit it.
This is all now until next week when we shall be back with another story.
Perhaps I should erase this so you can see the following show.
Good night.

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