Perry Mason (1957) s02e11 Episode Script

The Case of the Perjured Parrot

( noirish jazz theme playing ) ( mellow theme playing ) Oh! Oh, I didn't know you were back, Charles.
I didn't hear you.
Where's Waid? I want him.
PARROT: Awk! Pretty Polly, pretty Polly.
Polly wanna cracker.
Hello, Casanova.
CASANOVA: Polly want a cracker.
Awk! Polly want a cracker.
Awk! "Hello, Stephanie.
" ( door closes ) Are you a lazy bird? I'm a very busy bird.
Oh, you are, are you? CASANOVA: Busy bird, busy bird.
Awk! Good afternoon, Mr.
CHARLES: Waid, this bird looks seedy.
You haven't been taking good care of him.
Yes, I have, Mr.
Sabin, really.
Where the devil are my canceled checks? Well, they- They should be right there, sir.
I've gone through all of them, you know.
My fishing gear ready? Uh, yes, sir- Oh, here they are.
If I get word on those mineral rights, I want you fly out to Denver and pick up the options right away.
Stay in your apartment Monday until you hear from me.
If you don't get word by late afternoon, go out to the airport and wait for my call there.
I'll let you know.
Yes, sir.
Are you ready to leave for the cabin? I've decided to go immediately.
We're not even packed.
You said you wanted to go tomorrow.
I've changed my mind.
We'll go right now.
Don't you talk to my mother that way again! I may be your stepdaughter, but I know you! And I know you, Helen.
I found out! ( Casanova squawks ) CASANOVA: Pretty bird, pretty bird.
What did you mean when you said you had found out? I mean she's a thief.
And she must be an idiot besides, if she expected to get away with it.
So now it's Helen, is it? Everyone in the whole world is trying to steal from you.
Well, this is just too much, Charles.
I'm not going with you now.
I'm not going with you ever! ( tense theme playing ) Waid, put my things in the car.
( dramatic theme playing ) ( suspenseful theme playing ) ( Casanova squawking ) ( Casanova squawks ) CASANOVA: Helen, give me that gun.
Don't shoot.
( squawking ) Helen, give me that gun! Don't shoot! ( squawks ) Yours very truly, etc.
, etc.
Send that airmail, will you, please? Mm-hm.
This one should interest you.
They want a lock of your hair to auction off at a club benefit.
Well, you've got to be kid- Della, did you write this? No! That's a bona fide request for a lock- ( phone ringing ) Yes, Gertie? Mrs.
Charles Sabin is here.
Um, have her come in.
Have her come in, Gertie.
Won't you come in? MASON: How do you do, Mrs.
Sabin? How do you do, Mr.
Mason? This is my daughter, Helen Watkins.
Miss Watkins.
And my secretary, Miss Street.
Sit down, won't you? Thank you.
Now, then, how can I help you, Mrs.
Sabin? You've been handling some of my husband's business affairs, haven't you, Mr.
Mason? MASON: Yes.
He's been murdered.
I saw nothing in the papers.
Well, there wasn't time.
They just found the body this morning.
A Mr.
Bascomb found him in our cabin up above Logan City.
The police have just been to see me.
I'm very sorry, of course.
Oh, thank you.
I came to see you because- She's afraid they'll think I did it, because I hated him! Of course, I don't think anything of the kind, but I'm afraid the police will.
You see, Casanova- He's my husband's parrot.
- he was up there with him at the time.
And he keeps saying over and over: "Helen, give me that gun! Don't shoot!" I see.
They think the parrot saw the murder committed? Or heard it.
And it's not true.
She's been with me the whole time.
The whole time! Now, when did it happen? About a week ago.
They think he was killed last Tuesday.
He went up to the cabin Saturday night.
Alone? Yes.
We had planned to go with him, but Go on, please.
Well, after he left for the cabin, Helen and I packed our things, and I drove her to her school at Hollymount.
It's not far from Logan City.
Then I came right back to town and I went to the Windsor Hotel.
You didn't go home? No, I had decided to get a divorce.
I've been at the Windsor ever since that Saturday night, and this bad girl, she didn't stay at school.
She followed me to the hotel.
Well, I don't see that you can be in much trouble, Miss Watkins, if you and your mother were together all this last week.
You can certainly find witnesses to prove that.
The hotel register, people who saw you together.
That's just it.
She wasn't registered until Wednesday.
I just took her to my room.
I- I never thought to register her for several days, and that was after the police say that he was- Mr.
Mason, I didn't kill my stepfather.
Oh, of course you didn't, darling.
Of course you didn't.
( suspenseful theme playing ) Sheriff Barnes? That's right.
What can I do for you? My name is Perry Mason.
Charles Sabin was a client of mine.
Sabin asked me come up here and look things over.
With your permission, of course.
This is Miss Della Street, my secretary.
How do, ma'am? DELLA: How do you do? Well, I'm pleased to meet you, Mr.
This is Mr.
You may have heard of him.
He teaches criminology at our college here, and lives in Logan City.
A pleasure, Mr.
How do you do? I've asked Mr.
Langley to give me a hand on this case.
I'd appreciate any ideas that you might have too, of course.
Come right in, Mr.
Uh, Miss Street I'll just wait out here, thank you.
All right, fine.
If you'd rather.
The parrot was out of the cage, loose, and the door was propped open.
This is where the cage was sitting.
Polly want a cracker? It was nice of you to come, but you needn't stay.
( squawking ) Who's Helen? ( squawks ) Helen, give me that gun! Don't shoot! Awk! He says that more than anything else.
Sabin's daughter is named Helen.
I understand she hated Sabin.
Yes, I know.
( Casanova squawks ) That's where the gun was lying.
That little circle.
No fingerprints.
Do you, uh? Do you know how long the body was here before it was discovered? Well, we think so.
Sabin had only caught one string of trout.
And I think that must have been Tuesday, the day the season opened.
He got up early.
This clock is run down, but it was set for 5:30.
The alarm run down too? Oh, yes.
No doubt he was hungry when he first got back from fishing, so he ate right away.
Didn't bother to clean his fish or put them in the refrigerator.
( grunts ) So we can say he was killed a little after just after he'd had his lunch, but before he'd had time to clean his fish.
CASANOVA: Helen, give me that gun! Don't shoot! Awk! Uh, we found some clothes.
A woman's slip and a pair of stockings.
Sabin said they didn't belong to her or her daughter.
LANGELY: What did you expect them to say? BARNES: Well, they come up here all the time.
It wouldn't mean anything if the clothes belonged to them.
LANGLEY: They could be trying to throw suspicion on another woman.
BARNES: Yeah Or there could be another woman.
( knocking on door ) What is it? I'm Richard Waid, Mr.
Sabin's secretary.
Sheriff Barnes? That's right.
Come on in.
Thank you.
This is Mr.
Edward Langley.
How do you do? Mr.
And Mr.
Perry Mason.
Uh, Mrs.
Sabin sent me up to bring the parrot back with me.
She also wanted me to collect Mr.
Sabin's personal things.
I don't blame her.
Waid, where were you last Tuesday morning at 11:00? Well, I was in Denver on business for Mr.
What time did you leave for Denver? WAID: Monday.
Right after he called me at International Airport.
Did Mr.
Sabin phone you from here? Well, no, sir.
He said his phone was out of order, and he went down to a pay-phone booth.
CASANOVA: Let's get outta here! Let's get outta here! Awk! That's right.
It's dead.
Sheriff, I want to thank you for your cooperation.
It's been a pleasure.
Glad to have met you, and thanks for your interest in the case.
Not at all.
CASANOVA: It was nice of you to come- Mr.
( squirrel chitters ) What are you doing to the wildlife, Della? ( squirrel chitters ) Well, I was feeding them, and now you've frightened them away.
Oh, you should've seen the first one I was feeding.
He could hold five at a time: Two over here, and two over here and one right here.
And look.
See the bird? He kept swooping down and trying to steal them from the squirrel.
What are you looking at? That wire up there.
See it? Oh.
MASON: Somebody's tapped Sabin's phone.
( suspenseful theme playing ) I think I'll have a look.
You better stay here.
You'll ruin your stockings.
Oh, stockings are expendable.
Well, someone's been here recently and someone's been eavesdropping.
( suspenseful theme playing ) Miss Monteith? Yes? May I help you? I wonder if you could tell me who checked out a certain book on the 11th of September.
It was due back today.
Why, yes, that's possible, though it's a little trouble.
However, if it's important It might be quite important.
I'm a lawyer.
My name is Mason.
It's in connection with a case I'm working on.
The book is a cookbook by Valentine Prosper.
Valentine- I'll s-see if I can find it.
I'm sorry.
I can't find that card.
Perhaps you're mistaken about the date.
No, I'm certain of the date.
You see, it has to do with a murder.
This murder.
Well, then, maybe you could come back later.
Tomorrow, when we're not quite so busy.
I think the police will be here quite soon.
I'm sure they'll insist you drop everything to find that card.
Mason Could I please talk to you? Of course.
Ever since yesterday, I've been looking at the paper and trying not to believe, and afraid I had to believe.
Even thinking of telling the police.
Could I talk to you first? You see, I took that book.
It'll be a little awkward talking here.
Is there someone who can take over for you? Yes.
Miss Fairchild.
The park is nearby.
Would that be all right? ( suspenseful theme playing ) ( suspenseful theme playing ) I've been working in the library for about six months.
I came here from the east.
You know, I- I never realized how lonely I was until George Wallman came along.
George Wallman? Yes, this- This is his picture.
That's the way he looked.
Charles Sabin.
Oh, I know he was a good deal older than I, but, you see, it didn't matter.
I had waited a long time for the right man.
You met at the library? Yes, we became acquainted because we both enjoyed the same kinds of books.
He had the most wonderful philosophy.
I thought he was the nicest, kindest man I'd ever known.
And then, two weeks ago, we- We went to Las Vegas and got married quietly.
And you spent your honeymoon in that cabin? Yes.
Exactly when was that? Well, we arrived September the 11th and left on the 16th.
That was Saturday morning.
George said that the own- The owner wanted to use it for a few days.
And you left the book there.
Did you leave anything else? Yes.
A slip and a pair of stockings.
And- And a gun.
You know, I- I have the most awful feeling it was that gun that killed my husband.
Tell me about it.
Well, when I used to work in the library at night, I was the last one to leave, and they thought I should have it, so I- I put the gun in the glove compartment of my car, and on the way up to the cabin, George found it.
He took it into the cabin? Yes.
Where did you go after your honeymoon? He said he had to go away for a few days.
He didn't say where, but he was very cheerful.
He He was certainly mysterious.
Yes, I- I told him that, and he just asked me if I believed him, and I had to tell him I did.
I trusted him with my whole life.
And now that part's gone, and I don't want the rest without him.
I'm- I'm sorry.
Feel like going on? That's all.
I never saw him again, and I never heard from him again.
They'll trace the book to you, of course.
And if it was your gun that killed Mr.
Sabin, they'll trace that too.
Do you understand? Did you locate Paul? Uh-huh.
He's checking on all long-distance calls that were made from Mr.
Sabin's cabin since he went there Saturday night.
Do- Do you think they'll think I killed him? Yes.
( suspenseful theme playing ) Come right in, Mr.
This is Mr.
Sprague, our district attorney.
How do you do? Have a seat, Mr.
Bascomb? Thank you.
Smoke? Uh, no thanks.
Come on in, Miss Monteith.
This'll just take a second.
I want you to take a good look at this gentleman here, Miss Monteith, and tell us if you know him.
Do you ever remember seeing him before? No, I- I'm sure I've never met this gentleman.
And I- I don't ever remember seeing him.
All right.
That's all.
That's the woman, all right.
No question about it.
She was driving up towards Sabin's cabin along about 10:30, 11:00.
The road's real narrow there.
Had to slow down to a crawl to pass.
I got a good look at her.
Hi, Perry.
I was just about to call you.
Turned up something? Yeah.
Not about the phone calls, but some of the other things.
First, there's a will.
It divides the property between Mrs.
Sabin and Charles' brother, Arthur Sabin.
That's the first I've heard of him.
Anything else on him? No, not yet.
But I've got what you wanted to know about the daughter, Helen Watkins.
She did not go right to the Windsor Hotel like her mother said.
She didn't arrive there till Tuesday.
Registered or not registered, the maids know how many beds were slept in.
Do you know where she was during that time? Uh-huh.
She'd run away from school and was working in a restaurant in Logan City.
Her mother found her and took her to the hotel.
Perry, is she your client? No, I just agreed to look into the general situation because Mrs.
Sabin was afraid the police might suspect Helen.
I have a hunch she was holding back on me.
In fact, I think she's very much afraid that Helen did kill her husband.
I better see her again.
Stay with it, will you, Paul? Mm-hm.
STEPHANIE: Of course, I was completely stunned to learn about it.
Yet I don't suppose that Charles would have had any moral scruples against bigamy.
It probably amused him to live two lives at once.
I suppose it might have.
Well, in any case, we can stop worrying about Helen now.
Thiswoman is obviously guilty.
The parrot was saying "Ellen," of course.
But I do thank you for standing by.
Not at all.
You, um You understand, my cousin Stanley is a lawyer, so naturally, I'll- That is, he will probably handle things for me with regard to the estate.
Since he is my cousin, that's no reflection- I understand perfectly.
I'm delighted you have someone to handle the matter for you, Mrs.
Oh, good.
Well And by the way, what do you know about Arthur Sabin, Charles' brother? Well, very little, really.
Where does he live? I- I don't know.
He's rather a strange man, I gather.
Just drifts from one place to another, I think.
I've never met him.
Were they fond of each other? I believe so, in a way.
Charles once said that Arthur was the only man in the world he could really trust.
Well, goodbye, and thank you very much for coming.
( suspenseful theme playing ) ( suspenseful theme playing ) MASON: And Paul Drake, my private investigator, reports that Mr.
Sabin telephoned you, Mr.
I got a call from Mr.
Sabin on Monday the 18th, about 4 in the afternoon.
He discovered several forged checks along with his last bank statement.
About $10,000, as a matter of fact.
He thought he knew who the forger was, and had sent me the checks along with a sample of handwriting to compare.
May I see them? Yes.
MASON: Whose handwriting is on the letter? BOLDING: The stepdaughter, Helen Watkins.
Did she forge the checks? Definitely not.
Was Sabin pleased about that when he called Monday? Oh, I don't know.
He merely said he'd send along some samples of some other people's handwriting, but I never got them.
I see.
When you told the police about this, did they come here and examine the checks and the letter? Yes, uh, Sheriff Barnes and a Mr.
Langley went into it rather thoroughly.
But they didn't take the letter and the checks as evidence, just told me to be sure I could produce them if they were called for.
I don't think they feel these were connected with the murder.
Thank you again, Mr.
I appreciate your help.
Not at all.
( dramatic theme playing ) MAN: All we want to get at is the facts.
We want to find out how this man died.
Somebody killed him.
If we know who it was, then we'll say so.
But if we're not sure, we won't say.
Now, we're not here to try anybody for anything.
We're just here to determine how Charles Sabin met his death up in that cabin.
Now, the coroner- That's me.
- is in charge of inquest.
The district attorney here asks questions generally when he wants to.
That doesn't mean he runs the inquest.
It just means he's here to help us.
Also, we have Mr.
Perry Mason with us.
He represents Miss Monteith, who's being held on suspicion of murder in this case, as you probably all know.
He's going to be allowed to ask questions.
And of course, you, the jury, is allowed to ask questions.
I want it understood there's not going to be any technicalities or any long-winded objections.
We're just gonna move right along with this thing and try to dig up the facts.
If I get my order of proof all cockeyed or something like that, that's my responsibility.
Now then- Of course, the coroner's idea of what is a technicality may be different from mine, in which event- In which event what the coroner thinks is what's gonna count.
( crowd laughs ) I think first we'll hear from the neighbor who discovered the body.
Come up here.
Then when I didn't see him all that week, I guessed he'd been called back to Los Angeles.
But when I drove by his place last Monday, I noticed the car was still there.
Now, I thought that was kind of funny, so I went up and looked in the window, and there he was.
Now, I- Wait a minute.
Members of the jury, I'm not going to ask you to do more than take a quick look at the body, 'cause on account of the weather and the length of time before it was discovered.
But I can say this: We got a record of Charles Sabin's fingerprints from Washington, and no mistake about the fingerprints being the same.
Now, then, uh, what did you see in the window? Well, I couldn't see too much, on account of the reflections in the glass, you know.
But the body was clear enough, and there was this parrot walking around squawking, and I saw his papers on the table where he'd been working.
His boots, fly rod, and the parrot, like I said.
I guess that's about all.
Any questions of this witness, Ray? Mr.
Bascomb, when you drove up there on Tuesday the 19th, did you see anyone that you later regarded as significant? Yes.
Miss Monteith over there.
Ellen, why were you there? I thought if the owner had left the cabin, I might get my things.
But when I saw the car there, I drove on by.
All right.
Any questions of this witness, Mr.
Mason? Uh, yes, if you please.
You said you didn't see Mr.
Sabin during that week, Mr.
Would you normally have expected to see him? As a rule, yes, only not so much this year.
Oh? You see, there's a piece of stream up there.
The best fishing water runs through private property.
Well, Sabin had bought that and posted "Keep out, no fishing" signs there.
So I assumed he could be fishing in there.
He'd done that recently? Yes.
Matter of fact, I was trying to buy that property myself.
He must have heard about it.
Anyway, he stepped in and bought it.
Doubled my price.
That's the way he operated.
He had no friends where a dollar was concerned.
I don't suppose that did the business at your lodge much good.
It certainly did not.
So you didn't go or let any of your guests go into that area to fish? With those signs up there? Ha! He'd just as soon shoot you as not if he could do it legally.
And during that week, you didn't see or hear anything that would indicate that Charles Sabin was dead or alive? No.
No, I didn't, and that's a fact.
Thank you, Mr.
Thank you, Mr.
That will be all, Mr.
Now, I think we'll have the sheriff tell us what he found when he first went up to the cabin.
Results of the lab report and all that.
It'll probably take us up to just about time to adjourn for lunch.
( suspenseful theme playing ) ( dramatic theme playing ) ( crowd chattering ) All right, all right, let's come to order, Let's get to work.
What's this? This is the parrot who was undoubtedly an eyewitness to the murder.
It was nice of you to come, but you needn't stay.
( whistles ) Who's Helen? Awk! Let's get outta here.
Awk! Whoo-hoo.
Who's Helen? CASANOVA: Helen, give me that gun! Don't shoot! Awk! Helen, give me that gun! Don't shoot! I want his words made a part of the record.
Awk! I'll have a martini.
Awk! ( gulping ) ( crowd laughing ) Just a moment.
Am I to understand you're adopting this parrot as a witness? The parrot made a perfectly audible statement, and I want it in the record.
But he hasn't been sworn.
Don't be ridiculous.
You can't swear a parrot! Also, if he's going to be a witness, I think I have the right to cross-examine.
I didn't say he had to be a witness.
I said that he made a perfectly plain statement, and I want it in the record.
Now that's clear enough, isn't it? CASANOVA: Awk! I'll have a martini.
Awk! ( gulping ) ( crowd laughs ) All right, all right, just a minute.
The parrot can't be a witness, of course, but he did say something.
What those words are is going in the record for what they're worth.
I think the jury understands the situation.
Now, then, did I understand you wish to cross-examine? Uh, why, uh Why, yes, if you don't mind.
Go ahead.
I'd like to enlist Mrs.
Sabin's help, if I may.
Sabin, will you come forward, please? Mrs.
Sabin, I take it that Casanova has quite a vocabulary.
Yes, he has, except that Except what? I've never heard him say some of these things.
Sabin, do you think this bird is Casanova? Well, he looks like him, but I'm not sure.
Does Casanova have any particular tricks? Yes.
If you extend your finger and say- Will you show us what you mean, please? ( squawks ) Aah! ( squawks ) Oh! ( squawks ) Ooh! He's supposed to get on my finger.
Casanova, are you a lazy bird? I'll have a martini.
Awk! ( crowd laughing ) Oh, Mr.
Mason, this bird is definitely not Casanova.
He always says, "I'm a very busy bird.
" Thank you, Mrs.
That will be all.
Does it make any difference whether this is Casanova or not, Mr.
Mason? Just so it's the same parrot that was in the room when the body was discovered.
There's no doubt about that, is there, Mr.
Sheriff? That's right.
There's no doubt about the parrot.
It's been in my custody.
Bascomb, what about it? That the same bird? That's the same bird, all right.
I don't know whether the coroner knows it, but the moment that Perry Mason entered the case, Charles Sabin's secretary showed up and tried to take the bird away.
Now, hold on, Mr.
District Attorney.
How do you know that Perry Mason is in the back of this attempt to take the bird? I don't know, but there's no law that tells me I can't do my own thinking.
Cover the bird.
I'd like to call on Miss Monteith next, but since she's being held on suspicion of murder, Mr.
Mason will probably have her decline to answer any questions.
On the contrary, I'm perfectly willing for Miss Monteith to answer any reasonable questions.
But I must confess, I do not see the value in her testimony at this point.
Well, I can.
Maybe we'd better call on Mr.
Langley first.
Then the jury will have the benefit of his testimony when they hear hers.
Langley, would you take the stand, please? Now, what I want here is for Mr.
Langley to tell us what he thinks of the different things the sheriff described in the cabin, the results of the lab report.
What he thinks they indicate.
You'll probably object to this as a conclusion of the witness.
But seems to me we have a man here with a lot of valuable background.
I think the jury ought to have the benefit.
Oh, I quite agree.
It seems to me a perfectly proper way to get at the ultimate facts of the case.
All right, you go ahead, Mr.
Thank you.
Well the evidence is conclusive that Ellen Monteith killed Charles Sabin.
First, she had motive.
Now, Sabin had married her under an assumed name and placed her in the position of a bigamous wife.
Second, the murder weapon was registered to her, and, uh, well, she admits it was hers.
And third, she was present at the cabin at exactly the time Sabin was killed, between 11 and 12 Tuesday morning the 19th, So Well, she had the opportunity.
How do you fix the exact time? LANGLEY: We know that Sabin was at the cabin on the evening of Monday the 18th because he telephoned from there.
We know he got up early the next morning, because the alarm was set for 5:30.
Now, he had a hasty breakfast of two eggs, some bacon, and coffee and went out and caught a limit of fish.
Now, when he got back between 10 and 11- How do you know when he got back? Well, uh, h- he couldn't have caught a limit of fish much earlier than that.
TEMPLET: Why couldn't it have been later? LANGLEY: For one, Sabin was wearing a sweater and slacks.
Now, the sun doesn't hit the roof of that cabin till, uh, oh, a little after 11.
But when it does, that room heats up very rapidly and stays hot till about 4:00, So i-it had to be before noon, or, uh, he'd- He'd have been uncomfortable in a sweater.
Why couldn't it have been after 4:00? Because there was a fire laid in the fireplace, and it hadn't been lighted.
If it was after 4 and had started to cool off, he'd have lighted his fire for the evening.
I see.
Well, that seems to cover the situation very thoroughly.
Go ahead.
May I ask a question or two? Certainly.
Just a couple of little points I'm not quite straight on, Mr.
As I understand it, Sabin was so hungry when he got back from fishing that he stopped to fix himself something to eat before cleaning the fish or putting them away.
And apparently he also laid a fire in the fireplace before putting the fish away.
Why the rush to do that? Well, he- He must have laid the fire the night before.
And according to your theory, he either laid that fire Monday night on top of hot ashes, or else he laid it the next day, right after getting back from fishing and before cleaning his fish.
Now, does either one seem logical to you? Well, it's a minor item.
You frequently encounter trivialities which aren't quite consistent with the, uh- The broad picture.
All right.
Now, I believe the alarm clock, which was set at 5:30, was on the table by the bed.
That's correct.
Is it your experience, Mr.
Langley, as an expert interpreter of circumstantial evidence, that a sleeper will permit an alarm to completely run down without shutting it off? I believe he didn't even bother to shut it off.
H- he was in a hurry to go fishing.
Despite the fact that he was in a hurry to go fishing, he stopped to fix his breakfast, washed his dishes, made the bed, and then he laid a fire in the fireplace.
All this is absurd! Yes, it is If you assume that Mr.
Sabin was killed on the morning of Tuesday the 19th.
But there's nothing absurd about it when you realize that he was actually killed the night before.
Monday?! Why, that's impossible! The fishing season didn't open until Tuesday morning, and Charles Sabin would never have fished before the season opened.
Why, we know that from a dozen different sources.
I'm sure Mr.
Sabin wouldn't have fished early.
But do you think his murderer would have had the same respect for the game laws? Now, just a minute, Mr.
Mason has drawn some entirely different conclusions from this evidence, and I want to hear his explanation.
Go ahead.
Thank you.
Well, everything indicates that Sabin was killed on Monday night instead of Tuesday morning.
The bed was made because it hadn't been slept in.
The alarm had run down because the only occupant of the cabin was dead when it went off.
There was still a fire laid in the fireplace because he hadn't used it on Monday night.
The fact that Mr.
Sabin had put a sweater on places the time of the murder at around 4 in the afternoon.
It was cooling off, but it still hadn't gotten cool enough for a fire.
Anything else? Yes.
The murderer was someone Sabin knew, because he let him in.
It was someone who had planned the murder, because he had gone to the trouble of finding a similar parrot and then taking weeks or months to teach the parrot lines which would subsequently divert suspicion from himself.
What about the fish and the gun? Well, he caught the fish for the purpose of confusing the police about the time.
Now, it may be he knew the gun was in the cabin, or it may be he saw it after he got there and decided to use it instead of whatever weapon he had with him.
How could Sabin have been killed at 4:00 Monday afternoon and still call his secretary long-distance that night at 10:00? He couldn't.
You think the deceased didn't call Mr.
Waid at the airport that night, then? I'm convinced he didn't.
You're excused, Mr.
Let's just find out what Mr.
Waid has to say about this.
Will you take the stand, please, Mr.
Waid? Just a minute, young man! Raise your right hand.
Do you solemnly swear the testimony you're about to give to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God? I do.
Be seated.
Mason, you got us started down this track.
Do you wanna question him? Very well.
Waid, did you receive a telephone call at the airport from Mr.
Sabin at 10:00 on Monday night? No.
Were you at his cabin that afternoon at 4:00? No! When were you there? Look, Mr.
Mason, I didn't kill him.
He was already dead.
Perhaps you'd better tell us about it.
All right, I'll tell you about it.
I was financially involved.
I had forged some- Some checks in order to get some working capital.
I was going to return the money, but Mr.
Sabin came back unexpectedly and found my account short.
Since you, uh Since you claim you didn't kill him, will you admit that as a last alternative you were planning to kill him? I must have been insane.
I could never have gone through with it.
When I saw him lying there dead, I didn't know what to do.
But you had planned to kill him that Monday at the cabin? Yes, if it worked out.
And then I went to a little shack near the cabin, where I tapped the phone.
You took the parrot with you? Yes.
I bought him- I bought him several months ago and taught him to say those things, just to confuse matters.
I knew they wouldn't go too hard on Helen.
She's only a kid.
The real Casanova is at my apartment.
What happened when you got to the shack? Well, when I- When I heard him talk to Denver, I- I knew I could go there and attend to the business.
And right after that, he spoke to Bolding.
Well, don't you see? I couldn't have killed him then.
Bolding had the forged checks, and they were bound to be found out.
And the police would know that I'd forged them.
I didn't dare to kill him.
And then? Well, then I I decided to throw myself at his mercy.
When I got there, he was dead.
Was the door to the cabin locked? Yes.
But I have a key, and when there was no answer, I- I opened it and went in.
And there he was, lying on the floor.
And even though you had nothing to do with his death, you still went ahead and set up this complicated alibi.
But Bolding had the forged checks, don't you see? They were bound to think that I was the killer.
I wasn't sure my alibi was right, but it was my only hope then.
I had to go through with it.
All right.
Exactly what did you do? Well, then I went back to the shack and got the fish I'd caught and the parrot I'd trained, and I brought them back.
And then I wound and set the alarm clock and I put the phone out of order.
Then I took Casanova back to my apartment and I went out to the airport and hung around a pay-phone booth for several hours where plenty of people could see me.
And then, near 10:00, when nobody was near, I pretended to hear the phone ring, and I answered it.
Then I caught the 10:00 plane to Denver.
That's about all, I guess.
That's just about enough, I'd say! Sheriff, put this man in custody on suspicion of murder.
We'll file formal charges when we're through here, and that shouldn't take much longer.
You don't believe him? Believe him? Why, it's the flimsiest, most obvious fabrication I've ever heard.
Don't tell me you believe him.
Why, yes, I think I do.
What? Are you serious, Mason? Quite serious.
Perhaps if I might ask another question or two? Well, go ahead.
Waid, did you leave everything at Mr.
Sabin's cabin exactly as you found it except for the things that you told us about? Yes, sir.
Now, the gun was wiped clean of fingerprints.
Did you do that? Oh, no, I figured if there were any prints on it, I sure didn't want to disturb them.
What about Mr.
Sabin's papers? Well, I did look through them to see if any of my checks were among them.
Then you left the papers just as they were? Well, no.
As soon as I finished with them, I put them all into a briefcase just to get them out of the way.
And when you left, the papers were all in the briefcase? Well, yes, sir.
But when you arrived at the cabin on the day Sabin was murdered, you found the papers lying on the table? Yes, sir.
Excuse me.
Excuse me.
Would you please read back that part of Mr.
Bascomb's testimony? The part where the coroner asked him, uh, what he saw when he looked in the window? Yes, sir.
Let's see When would that be? There was just four lines, probably 20 or 30 pages ago.
Bascomb: "I couldn't see too much, "on account of the reflections in the glass, you know.
"But the body was clear enough, "and this parrot, walking around squawking.
"I could see his papers on the table where he'd been working-" Hold it.
Just a minute.
And you mean Bascomb.
Where is he?! Why, um, he walked out.
( crowd chattering ) You saw him leave and didn't stop him? Isn't it a further indication of guilt? George! Oh, George! There, there, dear.
It's all right.
Perry, what-? Miss Monteith, or perhaps I should say Mrs.
George Wallman, has just discovered that her husband isn't dead after all.
What? Then you mean she wasn't married to Charles Sabin at all? That's right.
But I have an idea she still doesn't know who she is.
I think she's really Mrs.
Arthur Sabin.
TEMPLET: Arthur Sabin? That's right.
I'm Arthur Sabin, although I haven't used the name in quite a while.
Just a minute.
This thing's getting out of hand.
It usually does, Mr.
When it comes to murder, it happens all the time.
( dramatic theme playing ) Now, I wouldn't say that Arthur and Charles Sabin looked that much alike, would you? Well, enough to understand how Ellen could make a mistake.
Remember, you saw Arthur before he had a chance to dress up.
He'd just returned from the desert this morning.
He came here just as soon as he saw a paper.
Hey, come to think about it, you weren't even surprised when you saw him.
Did you know about this all the time? No, but it had been bothering me.
How could Charles Sabin be such a total loss to everyone and still be George Wallman, the kindest, gentlest man Ellen had ever known? That's why Arthur changed his name- Excuse me.
- from Sabin to Wallman, because everybody kept trying to reach Charles through him.
And you take this Waid.
Now, if you knew he was lying about his alibi- Why didn't everything else point to him? Exactly.
Well, it did.
At first I thought that Bascomb had made an honest mistake about seeing those papers.
But when the secretary Waid came out with the logical story of putting the papers away, why, everything fit.
That ought to teach you a lesson, Miss Street.
How do you mean? Waid saved his life by putting those papers away.
If you're going to be a secretary, you'd better be neat.
( all laughing ) ( dramatic theme playing ) ( noirish jazz theme playing )
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