Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e33 Episode Script

Post Mortem

Good evening, members of the garden club.
I have been asked to reveal some of my horticultural secrets.
First and foremost, I recommend plenty of sunshine.
I think it is shameful the way some plants are allowed to loaf all night when they could be growing.
Of course, the lamp has other uses.
It also comes with a 5'8"- inch motor-driven spit, a basting brush and a gallon of suntan lotion.
This evening's entertainment well suits this sunny and bucolic atmosphere.
It is called "Post Mortem.
" It begins quicker than you can say I could lie here all day.
I know.
You'll stay there till there's no more hot water, then you'll get out and catch cold.
This'll warm up the room for you.
Oh, you're sweet, darling.
I can't help it, baby.
You're so beautiful you must be perishable.
We ought to think about getting another place, with a heated bathroom.
Well, we ought to think about how we could pay the rent.
We don't want to touch our savings, of course.
On the other hand, if we had that money working for us, a nice little investment, the dividends would make up for the difference.
The bank pays interest.
Well, it's safe there.
Anyway, we've already lost $16,000 by investing.
We haven't lost it at all.
Those stocks are a long-range proposition.
They'll pay off in time.
No, what I was thinking about, darling, was something with a quick turnover.
The kind of investment I heard about this morning.
Now, don't say no until you know what it is.
I don't care, Steven.
There's only $9000 of Harry's policy left and I wanna hang on to it.
Now, you're just being stubborn.
I don't care.
That's all the money I've got in this whole world and I'll never have any more.
There's always my policy.
You'll collect on that someday.
Oh, Steven, that's an awful thing to say.
You know how bad it made me feel to get Harry's money that way.
That's the only way you'd ever have gotten any from that horse player.
Oh, you poor baby, you burned your hand.
Quick, there's some medicine on the medicine cabinet.
You take it and spread it on your hand, and then I'll bandage it up for you.
It would never have happened if we had a heated bathroom.
Oh, my goodness! Well, don't tell me you're the upstairs maid.
No, there's no such thing except on stage.
Then you must be Mrs.
Harry Mead.
No! I'm Mrs.
Steven Archer.
I used to be Mrs.
Who are you, all of you? Mrs.
Archer that used to be Mrs.
Mead, we're reporters.
Can we come in? Thank you.
Thank you, Mrs.
My deepest sympathy on your bereavement.
Oh, did you know Harry? My dear young thing, I never heard of him before an hour ago.
Well, how'd you know he was dead? There's no other possible explanation.
Why don't you sit down and tell us what happened? About Harry? Well, Harry died of a heart attack after an attack of indigestion.
How long ago? Six months ago.
Did you inherit the estate? Harry didn't have any estate.
No other heirs? What was his profession? No.
Playing the horses, mostly.
It figures.
Up here now.
How'd he do? Say, what is this? What did you do before you married Harry? I was on the stage.
It figures.
Musical comedies, no doubt? Uh Well, how did you know that? I was only in the chorus so you couldn't remember me.
How good a picker was he? Horses, I mean.
Well, that's kind of hard to say, see, 'cause he never had a winner.
That's my lead.
"Dead horse player finally picks a winner.
" Will somebody please tell me what you're talking about? We've got good news for you, Mrs.
Your horse won the Irish Sweepstakes.
My horse? I don't bet the horses.
All right, then, Harry's horse.
But you inherited the winning ticket.
Harry's? But I don't I went all through Harry's things.
I didn't find any ticket.
We just got the flash from London.
The winning tickets on Ravenal are held by three persons.
One in Boston, one in San Francisco and a Mr.
Harry Mead, 1452 Iris Avenue.
Right name? Yes.
Right address? Yes.
I would have come across it.
He must've hidden it on you.
I'd look around real good, Mrs.
That ticket is worth $133,000.
What are you going to do with all that money, Mrs.
Archer? I don't know.
I didn't even know there was that much money in the whole world.
I can't even think straight.
What's the first thing you're gonna buy? I don't know.
Yes, I do.
I'm gonna buy a house.
And I wanna buy a house with a heated bathroom.
Did you find it? No, I didn't find it.
It's not here.
I've gone through this junk three times.
What've you got there? I found this out in the garage.
If it's not in here, it's not anywhere.
Oh, honey.
Let me do this.
It's got to be somewhere.
He bought a ticket, we know that.
He couldn't sell it because it's not transferable.
And I know horse players.
They never lose a ticket and they never throw one away That's just a bunch of old letters.
They were mine, the ones I wrote to Harry.
I didn't know he kept them.
Maybe it's in one of them.
No, it couldn't be.
They were written long before we were married.
I was in that road company of Maybe he hid it there anyway.
I'll go through this bunch.
No, you don't, either.
They're personal and I don't want strangers reading them.
Stranger? I'm your husband.
Well, you weren't then.
It's just that I don't want you reading letters I wrote to another man.
That's all.
I'm not interested in reading them.
I want that ticket.
Judy, there's $133,000 involved.
That's a fortune.
We'd be rich, wouldn't we? Yeah.
You open that and I'll open this one.
I'm so sorry, honey.
We could have done so much with that money.
We've got to find that ticket.
Think, Judy.
Where would he hide it? Honey, I just don't know where to look any more.
All right.
All right, we'll start all over again.
We'll think like Harry.
Now, he buys a ticket on the Irish Sweepstakes, and he doesn't want you to know about it.
He was always promising to stop gambling.
So he hides it somewhere or he carries it around with him.
Well, it wasn't in his billfold.
Did you ever throw any of his things out or give them away? Of course not.
Oh, I gave his suit to Goodwill.
That's it.
That's where he kept it.
It was in one of the pockets of that suit and you gave it away.
No, it wasn't in one of the pockets.
Now, if you know anything about women, you'll know that I went through that suit right to the lining.
It wasn't in that suit.
I'm positive of that.
What happened to the rest of his clothes? That's the only place we haven't looked.
It must be in one of his other suits.
He only had three.
You know Harry.
Every single time he saved enough money to buy a suit, he met a bookie on the way to the store.
What happened to the other two? Well, that plaid one I started cutting up to make a skirt out of.
The blue one.
He had a dark blue one, I remember it.
That was his best suit.
And the ticket's in it.
That's the only place it could be.
Steven, that doesn't We've got it.
I know the ticket's in one of the pockets of that suit.
Steven, that doesn't help us at all.
Why doesn't it? Because that was the suit that Harry was buried in.
Steven, I've been thinking it all over and it's all very simple.
We're going to get that money.
You've got to present the ticket.
All right.
We'll get it.
What? We'll just have the coffin dug up.
We can't do that.
Why not? We can get permission to have the body exhumed.
It's done all the time.
It's not done all the time.
It's hardly ever done.
I don't want that coffin dug up, do you hear me? Well, if we don't, how are we gonna get the money? What good is money if If you have to do something like that? I mean, it would give me nightmares digging up a dead body.
I guess I'm superstitious.
I'm sorry, baby.
But, you know, I've always had a horror of death and dead people and things like that.
You know I've never been to the cemetery in my life.
Even when it was somebody I knew being buried, I couldn't bring myself to go.
We just can't do it, Judy.
Not even for $133,000? No.
Not even for a million.
It's funny.
You know that convention on Friday in Philadelphia? I was going in to old Kirby and tell him to send another boy.
When he blew his top I was going to light my cigar with a 10-dollar bill and quit on the spot.
Well, I'll send you a postcard from Philadelphia.
Shady Rest Cemetery? May I speak to your superintendent, please? This is Mrs.
Steven Archer.
I'd like to know how I'd go about getting my husband's body dug up.
No, no, no, not Archer.
His name was Mead.
Oh, I see.
Would you be so kind as to send me one of those forms? All right.
Thank you very much.
All right, Mrs.
It will take just a few moments to check the files.
I ought to be sure that these things are in order.
Now, if you'll just sign here, I'll tell the men to start digging.
You going to attend to the business yourself? Well, I guess I'll have to.
That's not a very nice job, Mrs.
You should've had your husband take care of it.
Well, you see, he would have, but he's in Philadelphia on business.
I'd be glad to volunteer my services, Mrs.
Oh, are you one of the diggers? In my own way, I suppose, yes.
This is Mr.
He's from the From The Daily Bulletin.
Oh, are you a reporter? That's right.
I've been assigned to do a human interest story on your winning the sweepstakes.
I'll tell the men to start digging.
Well, how did you know I was going to be here? Oh, I was checking some facts for my story and I heard about the exhumation order.
Thought you might need some help.
Would you like me to handle it for you, Mrs.
Archer? Very nice.
I believe I know what to look for.
You do? What? It's pretty obvious the ticket was buried with your husband.
It can be rather a disagreeable job, Mrs.
Why don't you just sit down here and wait? If the ticket's there, I'll get it and bring it to you.
Oh, thank you very much.
You're very sweet.
It's just part of my job.
Have they found They are just opening the box now, Mrs.
Your friend, the reporter, will be along in any moment.
Archer, what did your husband die of? My husband Oh, Harry.
Well, he had a case of indigestion and it brought about a heart attack.
I see.
Oh, here comes Mr.
Wescott now.
Would you happen to have a little I've had exhumations before.
Help yourself.
Wescott, I hate to bother you, but Thank you.
Did you find In the inside breast pocket.
I almost missed it.
Hurry up, Steven, I've got a surprise for you.
You'll never guess.
Now, close your eyes.
No surprises.
I'm not up to it.
I should have refused to go to that convention.
Well, I'm glad you did.
The ticket? You really found it? 133,000 dollars' worth! 133 grand.
Oh, man.
Baby, you're wonderful! The first thing I'm going to do is go right into the old man's office and tell him off.
Yeah? Where was it? Right where you said.
In the right hand breast pocket.
Not in the coffin? You didn't have it dug up? Of course I did.
You fool! I told you not to do it.
Who was there? Somebody must've helped you.
Was there anybody snooping around? Why are you getting so excited about for, darling? It's all right.
I got a court order and the cemetery people did the rest.
I got the ticket, and they put the coffin back right where it was.
It didn't hurt anything.
Now we'll have all that money.
Yeah, we'll have enough dough to travel if If we want to.
You're sure there wasn't any trouble? Nobody snooping around? Darling, who's going to be snooping around in a cemetery at 10:00 at night? Okay.
I'm sorry I got excited.
You were right all along.
Now we'll collect that money and start living.
But not like the last time.
What do you mean by that? Well, no investments.
We'll buy a house and a car and things like that.
And the rest of the money goes in the bank at 3%.
Well, aren't you the practical little manager? Next thing you'll be buying yourself a new husband.
I'm serious.
I love you, Steven, but when it comes to money you and Harry are just the same.
Betting horses, investments You always lose.
For anything else Oh, I see.
You'll dole it out a little at a time.
"Darling, may I have $5 for pocket money?" Steven! I don't think I'm going to like that.
Oh, hello, Mr.
Good evening, Mrs.
Is your husband at home? No, he's not.
And I'm not sure when he'll be back.
It was really you I wanted to talk to anyway.
May I? Oh, sure.
Come right in.
Thank you.
I need a little more information for my story, and I wondered do you mind if I asked you a couple more questions? No, not at all.
If you don't mind asking me in the dining room, I'm just finishing dinner.
All right.
Would you like some coffee? No.
No, thank you.
Here, you sit right there.
Archer, I think it's only fair to tell you I lied to you the other night.
I'm not a newspaper reporter.
I'm an insurance investigator.
And I was at the cemetery because I was curious about the way Harry Mead died.
He died of a heart attack, I told you that.
Just one month after my company had insured him for $25,000.
Of course, these things do happen from time to time.
We expect them.
Even when the insurance salesman who wrote up the policy got married to you a few months later, that didn't bother us too much, either.
If I were a little younger myself I guess there's nothing much there, either.
But then when Archer quit his job with the company right after the wedding, that did seem a little strange.
Well, why should it? He didn't like selling insurance, and he had an offer of a better job.
But he was a very good insurance man, Mrs.
He had a great future.
So about then I began to get curious, you know, a little uneasy.
So I went all through the Harry Mead file again, still couldn't find anything wrong.
What were you looking for? Evidence your first husband might have been murdered.
By Steven Archer, of course.
Well, Mr.
Wescott, you can stop looking right now, because that isn't true.
Well, I don't know about that.
You see, we had an autopsy performed.
How dare you! We were going to ask you about having the body exhumed, and then by fortunate coincidence, you went ahead and did it on your own.
Well, I had good reasons.
It turns out we have good reasons, too, Mrs.
Your husband didn't die of indigestion and heart attack.
He was poisoned.
I don't believe you.
I have the autopsy report right here to prove it.
I don't care, Mr.
You're wrong.
I know you're wrong.
Archer, now think back.
The night it happened, Archer was invited here for dinner, wasn't he? And being a proper guest he brought along a bottle.
A liqueur, wasn't it? The flavor would disguise the bitter taste of the poison.
Even so, how do you know that Steven killed Harry? I could have done it.
Yes, I considered that possibility, too.
But tell me this, why did you go to the cemetery for the exhumation and not Archer? It's not a very pleasant job for a woman, certainly not if you had a guilty conscience.
Was Archer in favor of the grave being opened? No.
Why are you telling me all this, Mr.
Wescott? You know I'm going right straight to Steven and tell him.
That could be quite dangerous, Mrs.
He killed Harry Mead for $25,000.
With that sweepstakes ticket, you'd be worth over 100,000.
Well, Mr.
Wescott, you'll never make me believe that.
Steven loves me, and he wouldn't think of doing anything to Why, just the other day he saved my life.
Yes, what happened? Well, I was taking a bath and he bumped into the electric heater and it almost fell into the tub with me.
Now, that could have killed me, couldn't it? Just like the electric chair.
Yeah, that's right.
Well, he grabbed it right at the last second.
And he burned his hand terribly.
So, that proves you wrong.
Tell me, Mrs.
Archer, did this happen before the winners were announced or after? Well, it was I thought so.
Where is he now, Mrs.
Archer? I don't know.
We had a little quarrel over the money.
And he took the ticket with him.
Well, I'll not worry about that.
He can't collect on it without your signature, unless Unless I'm dead? Judy? Judy.
I'm sorry we quarreled.
I had no right to take that attitude.
It's your money.
It's ours.
I just wanted to be careful of it.
I don't blame you.
Look, let's forget it, okay? Why don't we go out for dinner and a couple of drinks? We should be celebrating.
All righty.
You should have the heater on.
You'll catch cold.
Let me warm up the room for you before you get out.
Be careful, Steve.
Oh, I will.
If it hadn't been for that accident, I might not have thought of this.
Archer My wife's had an accident.
Call for an ambulance.
Wait a minute, what happened? Well, I just found her in the bathtub.
The heater seems to have fallen into the water.
I think she's electrocuted herself.
You're under arrest for murder.
What? Who are you? Insurance investigator.
Are you crazy? I didn't kill her.
I just got in from Philadelphia.
Take him downtown.
Look, if somebody would only call for an ambulance for my wife, maybe it isn't too late.
Get him out of here.
Steven Archer.
Thank heavens you're all right, Judy.
These fools were trying to say I murdered you.
Well, you tried to.
Don't be silly.
Get these things off.
You threw that electric heater into the tub and tried to electrocute me.
It was an accident, it slipped out of my hand.
If Mr.
Wescott hadn't pulled the fuse before he left, I'd be dead.
How are you going to prove anything? It's my word against hers.
That'll never hold up.
I got an autopsy report on Harry Mead today.
Archer, would you like me to get a doctor for you? You've had a bad shock, you know.
Maybe you'd better call someone to come stay with you for a while.
No, I'm all right.
What's gonna happen to Steven? Well, with one murder and one attempted murder, I don't think there's much question.
You mean he'll be The punishment fits the crime.
He tried to electrocute you.
Oh, no.
Wait! Wait! Just a minute! Stop! Stop.
How do you like that.
Five minutes ago he tried to kill her.
Thank goodness I remembered.
I don't want to go through that again.
You can see how effective the lamp is.
It looks as though I should turn off the lamp.
I shall do so following the following.
I'd better be off in case the lamp does something to me.
I'll be back next week with another story.
Until then, good night.

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