Cannon (1971) s01e20 Episode Script

A Deadly Quiet Town

All right, hold it.
Let's hold it right there.
Come on, private fuzz.
Can't we take a walk? You're gonna take a walk, right back to that home you came from.
We came from the planet Ralph.
We were just cutting across the Glens' front yard.
You're not gonna wake 'em up for that.
Back to the house.
We'll see what's going on.
Back, come on, let's go.
This is your friendly neighborhood wake-up service.
It's now 2 a.
Sunday morning.
You'd better wake up.
Somebody stepped on your grass.
Uh, sorry to wake you, miss, but I caught these three coming from your house.
You must be mistaken.
They weren't in this house.
You sure? -Of course.
My parents are upstairs sleeping, and I've been downstairs wide awake, so I know there's been no one here.
ANNOUNCER: Starring William Conrad.
With guest stars: John Larche, John Rubinstein, Louise Latham, Keith Andes.
Dianne Hull.
ANNOUNCER: Compulsion.
I suppose everybody has a compulsion of some sort.
I suspect that sometimes nature invented the pistachio nut as a device to control the compulsion to eat.
You know, by the time you get 'em shelled, you've lost your appetite.
Are you telling me those kids were under compulsion to do what they did? Or what they didn't do, depending on whether we believe the private patrolman or your daughter.
Cannon, those creeps definitely broke into my house, took a vase from the bedroom, slashed my jacket, which of course makes absolutely no sense at all.
Maybe the fact that it doesn't make sense makes sense.
I don't understand that.
Well, you know, when I look at a picture straight on and don't get it, I try looking at it sideways.
I think we've gotta ask ourselves a question: Why did your daughter lie? He must have told her to.
Larry, the head freak.
-Larry Bollinger? -Yes.
Yes, he runs those kids.
A whole group of young people from the best families in town.
They think he's some sort of a mystical being, a god, a prophet at the very least.
It's incredible.
Anyway, my My wife and I have made up our minds, we need a private detective.
But we don't wanna engage one in our own town.
Well, gossip.
That sort of thing.
So we're turning to you.
To do exactly what? Susan only comes to us once in a blue moon, when she needs a square meal.
The rest of the time she's at that ranch where Bollinger and those kids hang out.
Cannon, we want you to bring our daughter home.
Manhandling teenage girls isn't exactly my specialty.
I-I don't mean use force.
Just show Bollinger up for what he really is.
It's common talk in town that he's done all kinds of criminal things, or instigated them, but nobody can prove it.
Susan's a sweet girl, a good girl.
She'd walk away from Bollinger if she knew the truth about him.
Glen, you know, the truth is like the rain.
It doesn't care who gets wet.
I'll gamble on that.
Just get enough on Bollinger to break his whole sick cult, before something serious happens.
This jacket that you neglected to tell the police about, from the looks of it, somebody was standing within a few feet of your bed holding a deadly weapon.
In my book, something serious has already happened.
Do we honor anything in our past? No.
Is it not so? It is so.
Is it not so? It is so.
Is it not so? It is so! Does that matter to us? No.
In all our yesterdays, is there one day that is still alive? No.
Therefore, in fire and in earth, we will bury the former self of Susan Glen.
And let the powers of darkness remind you that even the word "live", when the letters are turned around, becomes "evil.
" What the day makes live, the night makes evil.
Is it not so? It is so.
Is it not so? It is so.
Is it not so?! It is so! Then so be it.
Do I know you? My name is Cannon.
I'm a student of ancient rites and rituals, but, uh, that's a new one on me.
You don't look like a student, Mr.
Well, you don't look like something the night could make evil either.
Oh, that.
It's a ritual Larry invented.
It has what he calls an ultimate meaning.
Oh, I see.
Did my parents ask you to come here? Eh, well, I guess I'm just not the right shape to be mysterious, am I? Heh! Yes, they did, Susan.
She doesn't have any parents anymore, mister.
She was born again today.
You see, now she is Sister Lilith, first wife of Adam.
No kidding? You know, as I understand it, Adam's first wife tempted him with a chocolate bar.
How about it? Hee-hee! Come on.
You really think it's serious? Listen, Susie, heh, any time you catch me inhaling a double malted in the line of duty, you know it's serious.
I don't wanna hurt my parents, Mr.
I love them.
Why don't you go home to them, then? I can't.
It's like I just don't belong there anymore.
Too big for my bed or something.
I wanna find out who I am and where I belong.
And you think Bollinger can help you with that, huh? You know, Susie, you're not a child anymore listening to ghost stories around a fire at a summer camp.
Let's see how really grown-up you are.
What were those kids doing in your parents' home last Sunday night, and why did you lie about it? Well, it was a ritual Larry designed as an act of faith.
You surrender your will, your consciousness completely, so you can live above and beyond.
Very well-spoken, Susan.
Let's go.
The young lady isn't finished.
As a matter of fact, why don't you sit down and have a chocolate malted? You look like you could use one.
I'm finished.
Nice meeting you, Mr.
Thank you, Susan.
Cannon, we welcome open-minded observers out at our ranch, but not hostile intruders.
Now, that's private property out there.
If I were you, I wouldn't trespass anymore.
Really? Why, that's kind of a shame, because I was thinking about inviting the police out to see one of your little shows.
Oh, the police won't bother us, Mr.
Believe me, I know.
See, the chief's my father.
I bet he doesn't advertise it.
I think I'm getting some bad vibrations from you, Cannon.
Young man, when I start to vibrate, you won't have to think, you'll know.
Bye, Susan.
Look, Cannon, I've been on the police force here for 25 years and chief for ten.
And I don't have any need for any private investigator to help me keep the peace.
Well, you did invite me to sit down, didn't you? When you're shaped like I am, you pick the softest place.
Be my guest.
Thank you.
Oh, how about some coffee? Uh, no, thanks, I have to watch my liquids.
The only other thing I have to watch are my solids.
Now, let's see, uh, speeding, more speeding, more speeding.
Curfew violation.
Bollinger must have been a lot younger then.
Well, we booked a lot of curfew violations.
But as a result, you can hear a pin drop after 10:00 in this town.
How about a knife? There's nothing in that file to justify any charges against Larry Bollinger.
Liquor store breaking and entering violation.
The Bollinger kid just happened to be in the neighborhood.
No indication that he broke in, and anyway, nothing was stolen.
One week later, somebody broke in again, this time smashed every bottle in the place.
Never found out who did it.
You can rest assured it wasn't a heavy drinker.
Eh, here's something.
College chemistry lab, explosion, fire.
A professor was killed, huh? Yes, he was working with propulsion chemicals.
You know, we got an anonymous tip that Larry Bollinger had a grudge against the professor.
What for? Low grades.
What's the difference? There's nothing, absolutely nothing, to tie Larry Bollinger in with that explosion.
What about the kids that the private patrol picked up at the Glen house, hm? Yeah, well, the private patrol says one thing, and the Glen girl says another.
How am I supposed to know? Why don't you ask your son? He might know.
He was there, wasn't he? "Father" is only a title after kids reach a certain age.
Yeah, I know.
Wonder how it works.
Do the fathers resign, or do the kids just quit? Now, look, Cannon, all those kids hanging out with Bollinger are mostly over 21.
They make candles and sandals and paper flowers.
A little boy-girl hanky-panky, but I wasn't hired to change the world.
Yeah, I know.
I was a cop myself.
Well, I'm telling you: decent kids from the best families in town.
Decent kids don't go around molesting old men, do they? What? Here.
Harry Smith claims that he was molested by the Bollinger group last week.
That skid row wino.
A human derelict.
How can you molest a derelict? Did you ask him? Of course we asked him, but with that type of individual, there's a communications problem.
Well, you should be happy I'm in town, then.
I'm a communications specialist.
There you go, Harry.
You? You a cop? No, I'm not a cop, Harry.
You're not a cop.
Well, you don't have anything against the cops anyway, do you? I understand you went to pay 'em a visit last week.
Last week? Mm-hm.
No, no, I I haven't been in the tank since I don't remember when, honest.
Oh, I don't mean the drunk tank.
You went to the police to register a complaint.
You said some kids molested you.
Don't you remember? Why did they do that? Why? What did they do? Harry, you can tell me.
I don't know why they made me do that.
I-I don't know why.
What did they make you do, Harry? They made me dig my own grave.
My own grave.
Where? Do you remember where? In the cemetery.
My own grave.
They were a bunch of devils, that's what they were.
Had you seen any of them before? Would you know them? I had some children once, did you know that? No, I didn't.
Oh, there was Freddie and Georgiana Uh Harry, uh, I know you've got a busy schedule, but, uh, would you do me a favor and see that you can get a couple of square meals in you in the next day or so? You do that for me, huh? Okay.
All right, what is this? What gives? Okay, if you don't wanna talk to me, stick around a couple of minutes, and you can talk to the police.
Hello? You don't need to be afraid, Cannon.
You're not part of the plan yet.
Who is this? Uh, just a voice in the night.
You hear voices in the night, don't you, Cannon? What do you want? I don't wanna kill you, Cannon, but I can.
I think you know that now, don't you? Come on, get to the punch line.
I love a good laugh too.
Just leave town, Cannon, and don't stir things up.
Just get out now, because I can kill you any time I want to and you won't even see me.
Why didn't you call us last night when it happened? By the time I could have made the call, it was all over.
Well, look, uh, can you identify any of them? Well? I'm not sure.
Well, any wild guesses to match that wild story? I don't make wild guesses.
I've seen too many innocent people sweating under hot lights.
Do you think my son was among those kids? I don't make wild guesses about police chiefs' sons, either.
But I do know one thing for sure, that that was no harmless little street corner game that those kids were playing.
And meanwhile, back at the ranch, more crimes are being plotted, right? Right.
But when was the last time you bothered looking out there? I'm a policeman.
Are you saying I close my? You're also a city employee in a town that takes great pride in its image of peace and tranquility.
Well, I give you one old wino down on skid row, alias Harry Smith, who has a completely different picture of your lovely little town.
skid row winos have all kinds of pictures in their heads.
And I've got one piece of information for you, for your personal file.
Yeah, I found out how you molest a human derelict.
You make him dig his own grave, and if that isn't sick, I don't know what is.
Hallucinating, probably.
No! No, he was crying.
And you can trust the memory of a man like that? Why don't you look it up in your files? It only happened a week ago.
You sure do rock a boat when you step in it, don't you, Cannon? I can't help that.
I've been chubby all my life.
That's correct, Mr.
Professor Renfred was working with propulsion chemicals when the accident happened.
Uh, dangerous, I suppose, huh? Well, not in the proper hands.
I was working along the same lines as Professor Renfred myself.
I still am.
No chance of any of this blowing up now, is there? Certainly not.
The whole wing was destroyed by the fire, huh? Virtually.
You'd certainly never tell it by looking at it now.
You would if you looked at the departmental budget.
It cost a half a million dollars to rebuild.
You can imagine what a loss like that can do to salaries and promotions.
I myself am still only an associate professor.
That's, uh, too bad.
You're positive that, uh, it was an accident? If you're looking for student revolutionaries or building burners, you won't find them on this campus, Mr.
Well, I'm glad to hear that.
I understand that Larry Bolinger wasn't exactly an Einstein in the lab.
Who? Larry Bolinger.
Professor Renfred flunked him, I was told.
Oh, that That strange Bolinger boy.
Yeah, that strange Bolinger boy.
Some of the students seem to think that Larry held a grudge.
If you're suggesting that Larry Bolinger had anything to do with the accident, I'm afraid he just wouldn't know enough chemistry to blow up the place.
Wouldn't you think that Professor Renfred would have know enough not to? Well, apparently not.
He had a previous accident, you know.
What? How was that? Another explosion followed by a fire which Professor Renfred was able to put out by himself before any great damage was done.
So, you see, there was a certain element of incompetence.
Professor, how far apart were these two fires? Exactly a week.
A week to the day.
Well, Larry is a very sensitive and thoughtful boy.
He's very devoted to me, you know? Yeah? I-I forgot, d-did you say that you know Larry, Mr.
, uh? Cannon, Frank Cannon.
Well, we only met once, and it was just briefly.
Oh, well, then you can't really know Larry.
I suppose not.
He's Well, he's very devoted to me, you know.
I'm sure he is.
Uh, Mr.
Bolinger passed away several years ago, I understand.
My Larry is Mr.
What does Larry? Uh, what does Mr.
Bolinger do these days? I I know he stays at a ranch.
Oh, yes, that's a That's a special project of his.
Larry has always been interested in creative things like that.
Uh, like what, Mrs.
Bolinger? He's always had a lot of friends, you know? Well, that's only natural.
He was an excellent student.
He was never flighty and girl-crazy like so many young men, you know.
Yes, I'm sure he wasn't.
Uh, the ranch where he carries on these special projects, uh, who owns it? Um, it belongs to the Bishops.
The son is a good friend of Larry's.
Bishop died, you know? Oh, no, I didn't know that.
And Mr.
Bishop married this young floozy from Las Vegas.
They just travel, travel around.
Really? Oh, can I get you a drink? Oh, no, no, no, thank you.
I I gain weight when I read the labels on the bottles.
Oh, that's a shame.
Well, especially when you like a drink like I do.
Larry has Has a really marvelous, eh, physique.
I I guess you noticed the marvelous body that he has.
Mother, you're embarrassing me.
Larry, darling.
Are you, uh, keeping a new boyfriend from me? Oh, you're a silly boy.
No, it's Mr.
, uh Cannon.
Yes, we've met.
Oh, here, let me fill up your drink for you.
You see what I mean, Mr.
Cannon? Now, we don't have all kinds of money like some of Larry's friends, but it's Larry who has to fight off the girls.
Oh, come on, now, Mother, you know you're my girl.
Uh, can I fix you one, Mr.
Shannon? Eh, Cannon.
Thank you, no.
Well, is there anything we can do for you, then? Well, I'm just trying to dig up a little information about a certain liquor store that was broken into on two different occasions exactly one week apart, and on two chemistry lab explosions that happened exactly one week apart.
What's your question? Well, I just wondered if possibly you could shed a little light on the coincidences, if that's what they were.
Gee, Mr.
Cannon, uh, all I can tell you Practice makes perfect.
Larry, you always make them so full.
Oh, well, a A full life calls for a full glass.
Isn't that right, Mr.
Cannon? You know something, Mr.
Bolinger? I'll bet I can tell you where you heard that.
I'll bet you heard it from an old wino by the name of Harry Smith.
Well, now you've got a shot of Harry Smith with a knife wound in his back.
You can file it along with his mug shot for drunk and disorderly.
Only you can label this one, "dead and gone.
" Take it easy, Cannon.
Take it easy, huh? You know, when you retire, they're gonna give you a gold watch with "Take it easy" engraved on it.
Now, look, these guys kill each other over a 59 cent bottle of muscatel Oh, no, you're not gonna walk away from this one.
No, Harry Smith ended up face down on my carpet because I was getting too close.
Too close to what? You still don't get the picture, do you? I don't deal in pictures, I deal in facts.
All right, fact.
A liquor store was broken into exactly one week before it was demolished.
A chemistry professor was blown up and killed exactly one week after another explosion took place in the same building.
Harry Smith ended up with a knife in his back exactly one week to the day after he was forced to dig his own grave.
So I'm supposed to take your little calendar of coincidences and go out and roust every kid on that ranch for murder? You're supposed to start thinking about what you are gonna do.
Is there anything to go on besides that old man's rantings, I mean, about? Well, about digging his own grave? Where's he gonna be buried? Potter's Field.
Here you are, sir, right over here.
You say they came in here during the night, huh? It weren't my fault, sir.
No, sir, it weren't my fault.
They snuck in.
You didn't see them? Of course not.
If anyone should ask you about this, just tell them that I was busy.
I'll tell them.
Hello? Hello, Mr.
You're not doing too good, are you? Who is this? You're fat and you're so slow, Mr.
I'll tell you what I'll do.
If you really wanna get everything together, I can give you names, dates, places.
You just say the word.
In exchange for what? -Oh, it'll cost you, Mr.
It'll cost you.
Meet me down at Bronson's Pier, and I'll tell you what it's gonna cost.
When? Right now.
Right now.
This won't keep.
A dummy.
Well, that makes two of us, buddy.
All right, Mr.
Bolinger, who shot that arrow? Uh, I didn't shoot any arrow.
Yeah, I know you didn't.
You get a kick out of watching your little slaves do things for you.
Now, what's going on here? I don't know what to tell you.
You don't, huh? Hey, wait a minute! Take your hands off me! What do you think you're? I ask you what's going on here.
Will you get your hands off me? I just come here for the fresh air like everybody else.
By the time I get through with you, the only fresh air you're gonna get will be in an exercise yard.
But what's it supposed to mean? That a dummy was shot, an old man was killed, or even that Professor Haines had an accident? I What's that got to do with us? I'll tell you, Susan.
I'll tell you what it means.
It means that two people have already been murdered on a precise one week schedule after rehearsals.
The shooting of the dummy has to do with me.
I'm supposed to be the fourth victim.
Now, would you like to ask me who the third victim's going to be? No, I don't even wanna talk about it.
Ask me, Susan.
Who, me? No, your mother and father.
Oh, no, don't tell me anything like that.
Breaking into your house last Sunday night was just a rehearsal.
The slashing of your father's coat was a dry run.
Susie, don't you understand? Today is Sunday.
It doesn't make any sense.
You told me once that it was a ritual designed by Larry, surrendering your will to live above and beyond.
I told you, there's no harm in anything Larry wants us to do.
Thank God at least you don't know.
What sense would it make for Larry to want my mother and father killed? What reason would he have? That's what I've been asking myself.
Look, an old wino and a chem lab explosion, that's one kind of risk.
But when you murder two people like your mother and father in their own home, that's another kind.
Look, Susan, is there anything you can possibly think of that might conceivably be a reason? No, there's There's no possible reason.
I don't want you talking to him anymore.
Let's go inside.
No, Susan, don't go.
He has no right to tell you what to do.
But he has.
I'm his wife now.
We were married on Friday.
Well, I've got news for you.
It takes more than candlelight and double-talk and a phony ritual to get married in this state.
No, no, Mr.
Cannon, it was perfectly legal.
You can check it with the county clerk.
What the power of the state and the strength of love hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
Hello? Mrs.
Glen, this is Frank Cannon.
Oh, Mr.
My husband talks so much about you, I feel as though we've met.
Look, Mrs.
Glen, that's very nice, but right now we don't have time.
Is your husband home? No.
He's out playing golf.
All right, listen very carefully.
Call the club, get a message to him to come home as fast as he can make it.
Why? What is this? Well, roughly, you've missed a big event in the lives of parents, Mrs.
Glen: your daughter's wedding.
You're not serious.
Susan and Larry Bolinger.
I don't believe it.
Well, you'd better believe it.
Your lives may depend upon it.
Look, Bollinger's now in line to inherit your money through Susan, and he doesn't look like the type to stand in line very long.
Cannon, I can't follow you at all.
Don't try.
Just tell your husband what I said.
Do that second, though.
First you call the police, and meanwhile, I'm gonna be on my way to your house.
Well, can't this wait till you get here? Mrs.
Glen, don't discuss it.
Do it.
Hello, this is Frank Cannon.
I wanna speak to Police Chief Horne, please.
Well, where is he? Oh, golf again.
Golf isn't even an exercise anymore.
Look, this is urgent.
Will you try to get in touch with him, please? Tell him to call me at Glen's house.
Do you mean to tell me that you didn't call the police? Mr.
Cannon, I'm not usually like this, but as you said, we don't have the time to be nice.
I didn't want to hire a private detective.
I only agreed because my husband said it could save spreading our troubles all over town.
She thinks basically you must be wrong about the marriage.
It's common knowledge Larry doesn't like girls.
You know, the only thing that keeps me from screaming right now is the fact that your week is up at 2 a.
Thank goodness it's still daylight.
And the fact that Larry may not like your daughter couldn't be too important, because he's bound to like your money.
Your phone's dead.
All right, here's what I want you to do.
Go pack a bag.
I wanna get the two of you out of this house as fast as possible.
Glen, you go get your car out of the garage.
I'm gonna go look around for a couple of minutes.
She wouldn't get married without even talking to us about it.
Grace, Susan stopped talking to us a long time ago.
What's the matter? My wife's car won't start, neither will mine.
I don't know why.
I drove it this morning.
Is this yours? Yeah.
Wait a minute.
Ah Well, you won't be driving it now.
Come on, let's take my car.
I'll hurry Grace along.
All right, stop right there No, no, no, no, no, no.
Pass the gun over, fat man.
You'd better do it or Bishop over there may get nasty with his knife.
Now, listen to me, you take your He'll kill her.
He will.
Ever so gently, Mr.
Hand it over.
By the barrel.
Now, suppose you tell us what this is all about.
Oh, we don't know what it's about, Mr.
We act on faith.
Do you know what faith is? You haven't got any faith.
If you did, you wouldn't be so afraid.
All this faith in a creep like Larry Bolinger? Shut up.
Sit down, Mr.
You too, Cannon.
We've all got a few minutes left.
May I suggest that you kids take your toys and split? Because the police are on their way here right now.
Ha-ha! You hear that? The police are coming.
You hear any sirens? Which one of you nice people would like to be first? Wait a minute, wait a minute.
Now, if that was your signal, don't you think you'd better go out and check with Larry as to who should be first? Oh, don't worry, Mr.
Everybody gets his turn.
Ladies first? No, no, no, we'll give you anything.
All right! Hold it! John, put that gun down now.
Shoot him, shoot him.
Oh, God.
I almost killed you, Dad, my own father.
What am I doing? Why? Why does Larry make us do these things? Why? He makes us do it.
Yeah, he says He says it's not us doing it.
But it is.
It is us.
It's true, isn't it? You've just said that Larry instigated this whole thing.
Would you say that again in a courtroom? Good.
All right, stay right where you are, Larry.
It's all over.
Your friend John Horne is blowing the whistle on you right now.
Larry! Okay, Cannon, I'm gonna kill myself, and they're gonna blame you for it.
Wanna watch? Larry, don't do this.
Sired by fire, born of darkness, what the day makes live, the night makes evil.
Larry, you're sick.
Don't do this.
I'm sick? Heh! What about them? What about all those kids with all that money? All the clothes and all the cars they want, they'd do anything for me, they'd even kill.
What do you call that? I'm not gonna let you do this.
Watch me.
Larry! Go ahead, why don't you just kill me? Everybody wants me dead anyway.
Well, there's no way.
I'm not gonna let you die and have half the kids in town wailing "martyr" every time the sun goes down.
I didn't know.
I didn't know.
Cannon, there's no way to express how we feel, what we owe you.
Glen, may I give you a small piece of advice? Be very gentle with Susan.
There's no point throwing the baby out with the bath water, as they say.
I'd like you to come down and sort of help us with the report, if you're going my way.
I was always going your way, you know that.