Perry Mason (1957) s02e18 Episode Script

The Case of the Jaded Joker

( noirish jazz theme playing ) (slow piano playing) No, no, no.
I'm not a chuckle man.
Don't these guys know they're writing for a real comic? Where are the boff laughs? I'll die on my feet with that jazz.
Danny, your biggest laughs you ever got were from ad libs.
I can't depend on ad libs.
I gotta be right.
Rehearsed and right.
Millions of old friends are gonna be watching that first show.
They're waiting for me to come back.
You want me to disappoint 'em? ( sighs ) Come on, it ain't that bad, boy.
All right, say it for me, Freddie.
( piano playing stops ) You're scared.
I'vealwaysbeen scared.
This is the worst.
Three years, I've been off television now.
Ah, but they're all waitin' for you, all your old friends, millions of them.
What time is it? Almost 5.
Five? Goff said he was gonna call at4 about the contracts.
So it took longer than he figured.
They got a lot to talk about.
I've got to get that show.
Don't want it that bad, Danny.
You're askin' for travelin' music to the nut house.
I can't help it.
I want that show.
I've got to have it.
You'll have it.
After all, you're Danny Ross, the biggest, the best.
They love you, baby.
They always have, and they always will.
( sighs ) ( piano playing resumes ) ( telephone ringing ) Hello? WOMAN ( on phone ): Hello, Mr.
Ross? Speaking.
Mr.
Goff closed theBryant-Hallsy show at 3 this afternoon.
He used you to get the deal, but you're not doing it, Mr.
Ross.
What? What'd you say? ( click ) Wait a minute.
Hello? Hello? Speak up.
Hello--? I can't believe it.
What, Danny? What? I don't get the show.
But Charlie Goff promised you.
She said he sold me down the river.
Who? Some dame.
I don't know.
( ominous theme playing ) We'd better check that.
Yeah, we'dbetter check that.
( ominous theme swells ) ( laughs ) We closed it this afternoon, that's right.
The Bryant-Hallsy account is mine, all $8 million worth.
( indistinct speaking over phone ) Absolutely on the level.
Of course you can check it.
Can't blame him.
( chuckles ) I could hardly believe it myself.
Where was I, Miss Hiller? "Bryant-Hallsy is one of the biggest soap companies in the world.
" Hold it.
Go ahead.
"Its executive board considered my proposal and found it--" Times? Mr.
Riller, please.
"--so absolutely perfect that they're--" Joe? Charlie Goff.
I got an exclusive for you.
I just got the Bryant-Hallsy account.
( indistinct speaking over phone ) On my mother's grave.
Eight million bubbly bucks.
( speaking continues ) How? Genius, absolute genius.
It'll have to pay off sooner or later.
I sat there listening to him blowing to the newspapers.
I couldn't stand it any longer, I just couldn't.
The thief-- The lying thief.
Thief? He stole a year's work from you.
Well, they won't arrest him for that.
There's no law about breaking a promise.
How can you be so calm about it? Lisa, I have no choice, just an impressive title.
My job is simply to dream up ideas for the jaded tastes of his clients.
But this entire Bryant-Hallsy idea was your own.
You did it on your own time.
A vice president doesn't haveany time of his own.
At least, that's what a court would say.
He promised you a big percentage of the profits.
Yes, but not in writing.
Look, we can't let this happen.
We've got to do something about it.
Lisa, I am gonna do something about it, but I need a little more time.
( buzzes ) ( sighs ) Yes? GOFF ( over intercom ): Is Miss Hiller with you? Yes.
If she's not too busy, I'd like to finish dictating.
I'll tell her.
I won't go back there.
I'm quitting.
Lisa, not until I tell you.
Why? Well I-- I just want you to stay in that office.
Please.
Is he in? Yes, he is.
GOFF: Well, well, well.
Danny boy, am I glad to see you.
Great news, positively fabulous.
You'll be reading about it in the papers tomorrow.
You were supposed to call me at 4:00.
No chance yet.
Been busy as a dog chasin' four rabbits.
How about a drink? How about tellin' me what happened? What happened? Heh! I just closed the Bryant-Hallsy deal.
Well, what about me? Good news for you too.
Yeah, I'll bet you have.
They're signing you for the next show we put together.
What do you mean, "the next show"? What aboutthisone? This show isn't for you, Danny.
That's not what you said three months ago.
Three months is a long time ago.
I remember every word.
So does he.
Tell him what he said, Freddie.
"This is the perfect show for you, Danny.
" That's what you said.
"The one we've been waiting for, and it's perfect for your old sponsor, Bryant-Hallsy.
" "They love you.
You love them.
" I said the next show.
I set this one up for you.
This one, not the next one.
This one! I told you, they wouldn't buy you, Danny.
They said you were old stuff, deader than last season's jokes.
They said that? You asked me.
I don't believe it! Are you calling me a liar? If it'll make it any clearer, yes! ( grunting ) You shouldn't have done that, Charlie.
He's little, and he's not very strong, but he's got a crazy temper.
I sold you to Bryant-Hallsy, and now you've sold me down the river.
I told you, they wouldn't buy you, Danny.
You lie.
Now please hit me so I can break every bone in your body.
Both of you, get out of here, or I call the police.
You'll need them when I come back with the truth.
( door opens, intercom buzzes ) ( door closes ) ( sighs ) Well, don't stand there like a wet tree.
I've got work to do.
Where was I? "--so absolutely perfect--" What's the idea of letting them in unannounced? They didn't wait.
so absolutely-- ( rings ) Answer it.
Mr.
Goff's office.
WOMAN ( on phone ): This is Sheila Hayes.
Moment please.
Miss Hayes.
I don't want-- ( sighs ) Hi, Sheila.
Did you get it? GOFF ( on phone ): We closed the deal this afternoon.
That's the most wonderful news I've had in years.
I'll tell you what.
We'll go out on the town tonight, drink champagne, have the craziest, silliest time we can think of.
I'll expect you at, um-- Sheila, I can't see you tonight.
Why not? I've got to finish work on another idea for Bryant-Hallsy.
Look, Charles, I've waited six years for this night.
I've worked as hard as you did to get it.
I've earned it, and I'm going to have it.
I'll expect you at 8:30, black tie.
( ominous theme playing ) What did I say last? "Absolutely perfect.
" That's right.
Absolutelyperfect.
( rings ) Yes, Gertie? Mr.
Danny Ross.
The comedian? Mm-hm.
Right about here, we could use a few laughs.
Have him come right in, Gertie.
I just love that man.
Nobody double-crosses me without a fight, and I'm gonna fight if it takes every cent I have.
Well, good afternoon, Mr.
Ross.
I'm not gonna let him get away with it, either.
I'm talkin' about Charlie Goff.
Would you care to sit down, Mr.
Ross, please? Now, um, who is this Charlie Goff? He's the schlock who did it.
He's in the advertising business.
He's a pure, A no-good, low-crawlin'-- Danny, Danny, you're runnin' long.
Okay, okay.
I wanna sue him.
MASON: Why? Because he-- Ah, you tell him.
Well, this Charlie Goff's a chest-beater from a way back.
He pushes the word for some of the seconds in the mag racket, a real ganef, with his hot mitts in anybody's tuss-bag.
Speed it up.
You're dying.
But Danny, this ain't no comedy routine.
It ain't no pep talk either.
Eight years of belly laughs, and the laughs just don't come out of the air.
Every joke, you sweat blood over.
Pretty soon, maybe you run out of blood, maybe you run out of writers.
Who know what goes wrong? Anyway, the sponsors tell me I need a new format, a new idea.
But ideas don't come overnight, Mr.
Mason, you gotta have time to think.
And before I can come up with somethin', all of a sudden, I'm canceled.
You know how it feels to be a canceled comic? It's like somebody put you in a dark cave.
Whole world suddenly disappears.
You gotta get out of that cave.
You get desperate.
You're willin' to do almost anything to get back on top where you feel you belong.
That's why I listened to that guy, Charlie Goff.
What did he tell you? Well, he had an idea for a show for me that was sensational.
I go all out for it.
I agree to do it.
It's a natural for Bryant-Hallsy.
I cut all the red tape, open all the doors, get him in to see the top brains like that.
Did you tell them that you were to go with the show? Well, look, I'm pedalin' Goff.
Goff is supposed to be pedalin'me.
The sponsors go for it but big.
I think I got me another show.
Suddenly, I ain't got it.
It's my life, Mr.
Mason.
If Goff is tellin' the truth, then Danny Ross is washed up, finished.
I got to know.
This Charlie Goff's a liar.
I told him so.
And then he slugged me.
Did you sign a contract with Mr.
Goff to represent you in this deal? No, we just talked.
You know, words.
"You do this, I do that.
" Then you have no correspondence or written proof of any kind to support your oral agreement that you were to be sold with the show? Nothing.
I guess I was a real schnook, huh? MASON: Well, the best evidence, of course, is a written contract.
However, thereare some exceptions, when it can be proved that an oral contract has been partially performed, which you seem to have done.
Yeah, but it doesn't look too good, huh? I'll do the best I can, Mr.
Ross.
Yeah.
MASON: Mr.
Ross.
I always thought your shows were great.
Thanks.
( door closes ) He makes me wanna cry.
Della, get ahold of Charlie Goff for me, will you? I want an appointment with him as soon as possible.
Perry, what's a schnook? It's kind of, um, a dope.
A likeable dope.
( jazzy piano playing ) NILES: Try Yellow Bellies for relief of headaches.
Five world-famous quitters guarantee it to be the chickenest way out of all troubles, small, medium or large.
Take the easy way out.
Yellow Bellies are for you.
And I do mean you.
( piano playing continues ) ( telephone ringing ) ( tense jazz theme playing ) Hello? ( rings ) Hello? HAYES ( on phone ): This is Sheila Hayes.
Oh, good morning, Miss Hayes.
HAYES: I had an appointment with Mr.
Goff last night.
He didn't show up.
I'm still waiting for him.
Do you know where he is? No, I haven't seen him as yet this-- ( jazzy theme playing ) This morning.
I'll have him call you as soon as he gets in.
Thank you.
( dramatic theme playing ) ( tense theme playing ) ( telephone dialing ) LISA: Operator, may I have the police, please? ( indistinct speech ) Hello? I'm Mr.
Charles Goff's secretary.
I just found his body wedged in the kneehole of his desk.
The address is ( jazz playing over radio ) You don't look so good.
Yeah.
Did me a big favor last night.
You did me plenty.
I never kept you from killing yourself.
Could be you did a hundred times.
So what? Okay, okay.
Lox? Heard the news? What news? Radio, 10:00 news.
Somebody rubbed oue friend Charlie Goff.
I'll be happy to be a guest at his funeral.
Freddie, you didn't go out last night.
You were right here with me every minute.
And we worked real late until daylight, like we often do.
Remember? I remember.
Good lox.
Nova Scotia? Mm-hm.
Where you been, Buzzie? Probably out with the beatniks.
There's a real megillah for you.
First half of the night they don't do nothin', second half they don't say nothing in a lingo that's from out of left field.
Dopey.
Well, if you ask me, it's that crazy coffee they drink.
TRAGG: Did Mr.
Goff have any close friends? Women friends? Well, one that used to telephone him quite often.
How often? Well, at least once a day.
Her name? Sheila Hayes.
Could you identify her? Oh, I never saw her.
I only spoke to her on the telephone.
I-- I don't think they were getting along too well.
Why? Well, he was always annoyed when she called, avoided speaking to her if he could.
He was always breaking dates with her.
Do you have her, uh, telephone number and address? Yes, sir.
Get a warrant out for his arrest.
Miss Hiller, when was the last time Mr.
Goff saw Danny Ross? Yesterday.
Where? Here.
Friendly? Well, thanks very much.
We'll talk more later in my office.
Please keep yourselves available.
Well, Mr.
Mason, I didn't know you were coming.
Just what kept you so long? My appointment was for 11:00.
Appointment? With whom? Mr.
Charles Goff.
Oh, I see.
Are you acquainted with the gentleman? No.
Oh.
This is Mr.
Goff.
( jazzy piano playing ) ( buzzer sounding ) ( door closes ) Hello, there.
I heard the music, and I figured somebody was home.
I guess you, uh, didn't hear the doorbell.
I heard it.
You just didn't feel like answering, is that it? Like, I'm, uh, busy.
( sniffs ) Drag? No.
I thought I smelled tea.
Small world, isn't it, baby? Did I? Shamus? Later for you, okay? Where's Mr.
Ross? Why? Police business.
Past me.
I'm not, uh, civic-minded.
Mr.
Ross's attorney is looking for him too, Perry Mason.
Would you mind tellinghim where Mr.
Ross is? Look, man, you're buggin' me.
Why don't you split? Mr.
Mason.
Who's your friend? Lieutenant Tragg of Homicide.
TRAGG: You Danny Ross? You know I am.
TRAGG: You Freddie Green? I am.
I've got a warrant for your arrest, charging you with the murder of Charles Goff.
( plays chord ) Man, this is the wildest.
So I want you to handle Freddie's case, whatever it costs.
All right.
First off, we'll have to find out why Freddie's fingerprints were on the murder weapon: your gun.
Oh, that's easy.
I was foolin' around with it the other night, cleaning it, and he wanted to take a look at it, so I handed it to him.
What'd he do with it? Well, I don't know.
All I know is Freddie didn't kill Goff.
What makes you so sure? Well, I know.
Freddie was withmeall night.
Where were you? Home.
All night? All night.
You go and see Freddie.
He'll tell you the same thing.
I will.
Just get him off, Mr.
Mason.
He sure goes all out for his friends, doesn't he? Maybe too far.
Paul, did you find out how the police were able to check Freddie's fingerprints so quickly? That was no problem.
Freddie's got a record.
Petty stuff, nothing recent.
It goes back a long time, before he latched on to Danny Ross.
What do you mean by "latched on"? I don't know yet.
One day, he's picking up pennies, doing two-bit errands for any guy that's got two bits in his pocket.
The next day, he's living in luxury at Ross's expense.
About that gun.
There were no other fingerprints on it? Nope.
That's all Burger has? Well, let's say that's all my informant was able to get.
All right, Paul.
I'd like you to check every restaurant, nightclub and bar where Ross, Freddie and Buzzie are known.
See if they were there separately.
Well, we covered the town.
Freddie was at Sammy Gleck's place the night of the murder, and he was carrying a gun.
You sure? The waiter saw it sticking out of his pocket while he was sittin at the bar.
Says he's never known Freddie to carry a gun before.
Buzzie? Buzzie was at the Purple Wall.
And he was there again last night with some weird-looking chick.
What's the Purple Wall? It's a beat joint.
No liquor, no life, no laughs.
They just sit around hating themselves.
Ross? None of the places we hit.
Well, try some more tonight.
Who was the woman with Buzzie? Oh, Sheila Hayes.
She lives at, uh, Apartment 3B.
She drives a 1958 300 SLR, which sells for $13,000.
How do you know it belongs to her? Registration slip.
Got her name in the joint, followed her home.
Name and address check out.
Mm.
Oh, don't mind me.
Who are you? I'm, um, Sheila Hayes.
I, uh, own all of this.
You what? The furniture, the, um, pictures, um, that.
The whole business.
Including the Bryant-Hallsy contract.
I don't wish to appear rude, Miss Hayes, but if I were you, I'd take this matter up with my lawyer.
Oh, but I have.
I've paid for everything here, and I have the canceled checks to prove it.
Niles is leaving here, and he's taking his show with him.
I don't think so.
We'd better be very good friends, the three of us.
Well, if we're not, the, uh, district attorney may be given reason to wonder about us.
As a matter of fact, I'm wondering myself.
Here we are: three people with awfully good reasons to hate dear Charles.
Do you suppose, uh one of us killed him? ( dramatic theme playing ) ( ominous theme playing ) Okay, okay, so I'm at Sammy Gleck's two minutes for a gargle.
Then I go home, and we're together from then on.
Ross told me hewasn'thome, that he went for a long drive along the beach.
He told you that? I convinced him the alibi wouldn't stand up.
What do we do now? Tell me just what happened.
Well, like I told you, I went home.
Ross wasn't home? Nobody not even Buzzie.
Then what did you do? I went to bed.
What else was there to do? You tell me.
Nothing.
We found the bullet lodged in the brain, and we found injuries both to the left and the right sides of the brain.
What could have caused these injuries to both sides of the brain? To the best of my belief, the injuries on the left side of the brain were caused by the penetrating bullet, and those on the right side of the brain were caused by a ricochet of that same bullet.
You mean it's possible for the bullet to pass forward on the left side of the brain and then ricochet against the skull in such fashion that it would go backwards on the other side of the brain? That's exactly what I mean.
Do you know from your own personal experience any case where it was established that a bullet fired into the back of the brain ricocheted around the skull in this manner? I have never had such an actual case in my own experience, but it's an established fact that it can happen.
It's been described in the textbooks.
Do you know of a case so described? Yes, I do.
In the book entitled Legal Medicine: Pathology and Toxicology by Gonzales, Vance, Helpern and Umberger, in the second edition, on page 423, it is mentioned-- If the court please, I object to the witness testifying from a book.
JUDGE: Sustained.
Very well.
Now, Mr.
Coroner, you testified that it's your opinion that the injuries to the deceased were caused by a bullet ricocheting around inside the skull.
What factors influenced you in arriving at this opinion? My knowledge of anatomy, my experience with trauma, and, uh, the research work that I have been able to do.
I see.
Thank you, doctor.
That will be all.
Your witness.
Doctor, this, uh, research work took in a certain amount of reading, did it not? It did.
And part of your research work, uh, consisted in the study of the book you previously referred to in your testimony? It did.
Is this that book? Yes, it is.
Is it a standard and authoritative book? It most certainly is.
It's one of the leading books in the field of forensic medicine.
And, doctor, you perhaps also read on page 304, that a violence to the back of the skull-- If it please the court, I object.
If the witness can'ttestify on the book, certainly Mr.
Mason can't cross-examine him on the book.
MASON: If it please the court, the witness has now testified that in reaching his opinion, he relied upon certain statements in a certain book, that that book is standard and authoritative.
I have the right to cross-examine him on his opinion and the means he used in reaching that opinion.
Your Honor.
We're dealing with a technicality, and I'd like to hear the rest of Mr.
Mason's statement.
Go ahead, Mr.
Mason.
Since the witness testified this book was a factor in reaching that opinion, I'm entitled to refer to other parts of the book for the purpose of bringing out other statements which the witness should have evaluated in reaching that portion of his opinion which is based upon the book.
I believe that's the law.
Objection overruled.
Now, doctor, on page 304, doesn't it state that a violence to the back of the skull, in some instances, might produce contrecoup lacerations of the frontal or temporal lobes? Yes, it does.
And from such lacerations, a fatal hemorrhage might occur in the subdural space? Yes.
Also that a direct laceration of the brain posteriorly is not likely to occur in a trauma of this sort? That's true.
Now, doctor, turning to page 297 in the same book, doesn't it also state that a fatal concussion of the brain can be diagnosed at autopsy only by inference, that is, by demonstrating severe scalp, skull and brain injuries consistent with the development of the complication? That's correct.
Now, doctor, did you find the passage of a bullet on one side and evidence of a contrecoup lesion on the other? I cannot be altogether certain that the damage was not so caused.
There was a very considerable damage to the contents of the brainpan.
I am quite satisfied that most of this damage was caused by the ricocheting bullet.
But it is possible that this ricocheting bullet could have destroyed evidence which would have indicated a contrecoup lesion with resulting damage that could have been very serious.
Thank you, doctor.
No further questions.
JUDGE: The witness may stand down.
I call Lieutenant Arthur Tragg.
And where did you find the weapon, lieutenant? It was half hidden under a chair, approximately six feet from the body.
Thank you, lieutenant.
That'll be all.
Your witness.
Now, lieutenant, did the office show any indications of a struggle? No.
You testified that the body was found wedged in the kneehole of a desk.
You've heard testimony that there were bruises on the head.
Now, as an expert police observer, wouldn't this indicate to you some kind of physical action? Well, not necessarily.
It's quite possible the victim could have been hit, shot and dragged to the desk without disturbing the furniture.
Mr.
Goff weighed approximately 180 pounds.
Also as an expert observer, would you say that the defendant has the strength to have done all that? TRAGG: It's been my experience that, uh, people do things under emotional stress they would ordinarily be incapable of doing.
Did you find the defendant's fingerprints anywhere other than on the gun? No.
No, sir.
He touched nothing in that room? There were no other fingerprints.
Doesn't that seem strange to you, lieutenant? I mean, the office was in perfect order, and cleaned so efficiently that the defendant's fingerprints appeared only on the gun.
TRAGG: Ithashappened.
Thank you, lieutenant.
That's all.
I call Lisa Hiller to the stand, please.
JUDGE: Stand down, lieutenant, please.
What did Mr.
Goff say when Mr.
Ross stopped the fight? He told them to get out or he'd call the police.
BURGER: And what did Mr.
Ross say? LISA: He said, "You'll need them when I come back with the truth.
" Thank you, Miss Hiller.
That'll be all.
Your witness.
Miss Hiller, do you remember the day the Bryant-Halsey deal was closed? Yes.
What time did Mr.
Goff return to his office that day? Around 3:30.
Did he tell you about the deal at that time? Yes.
Did he, in your presence, inform anyone else about it? Mr.
Niles.
Then as far as you know, you and Mr.
Niles were the only persons informed of the transaction before 3:30 that day? As far as I know.
Did he attempt to telephone Mr.
Ross? I don't know.
Why was Mr.
Niles told? The entire campaign, from commercial tie-ins to the television show itself, had be conceived and worked out by Mr.
Niles.
Hehadto be informed.
MASON: Then it wasn't Mr.
Goff's idea? LISA: No.
MASON: Miss Hiller, was the Bryant-Hallsy presentation created especially to sell the talents of Danny Ross? He wasn't even mentioned by Mr.
Goff.
Then no one at Bryant-Hallsy had any reason to associate Mr.
Ross with Mr.
Goff's presentation? No.
You were told about the contract before 3:30.
Yes.
Why did you wait until almost 5:00 to telephone Mr.
Ross? I couldn't-- I mean, I-- I don't know what you're talking about.
Only three people knew of Mr.
Goff's promises to Mr.
Ross.
One is dead.
The other two are you and Mr.
Niles.
It was a woman's voice on the telephone.
Was it yours? Yes, I telephoned Mr.
Ross.
Why? I felt sorry for him.
Why the sudden sympathy for Mr.
Ross after the show was sold? No further questions.
JUDGE: Uh, you may stand down.
You were present in Mr.
Goff's office when the defendant attacked Mr.
Goff? Mr.
Goff attacked first.
Just answer my question.
Well, if I wasn't there, how could I know Goff attacked first? Would you please answer "yes" or "no"? Would you please repeat the question? You were present in Mr.
Goff's office when-- Yes.
And you saw the defendant attack Mr.
Goff? It was self-defense.
Your Honor, would you instruct this witness please to confine his answers to simple responses to my questions? The court recognizes your high degree of temperament, Mr.
Ross, but it will not tolerate a wanton disregard of its dignity.
Proceed, Mr.
Burger.
BURGER: Thank you, Your Honor.
Now, Mr.
Ross, when the defendant struck back at Mr.
Goff, what did you do? Well, I stopped him, naturally.
The big guy had 75 pounds on little Freddie.
I see.
Now, I show you this weapon marked "People's Exhibit 1", and ask if you've ever seen it before.
Honestly, I don't know one gun from another.
Well, this gun happens to be registered with the police as belonging to you.
Well, then it's my gun.
It also has been referred to as the murder weapon.
With the court's permission, I object to the gun being referred to or identified as the murder weapon until it is proven that the decedent did not die of a skull fracture.
Your Honor, Mr.
Mason knows perfectly well that he's standing on a technicality.
Your Honor, Mr.
Burger's devotion to the obvious sometimes causes him to confuse my clients' interests with standing on a technicality.
JUDGE: Under the circumstances, I'll have to sustain the objection.
Devotion to the obvious.
Now, Mr.
Ross, shortly after the arrest of the defendant you told the police that you and he were together all night.
Was that true? No.
You lied to the police? I'm admitting it.
What more do you want? I want the truth.
If you weren't with the defendant, where were you? At the beach.
What beach? How do I know what beach? There was water and sand and a highway, and I was driving and I wanted to clear my head, to think straight.
Alone? Alone.
I didn't stop for coffee or gas or gossip.
Nobody saw me.
Nobody.
As a matter of fact, isn't it true you weren't at the beach at all? You were with the defendant all night, except for a few moments that he was at Sammy Gluck's saloon.
That's not true.
And that you decided to change your story because you thought you could help him more if you weren't able to testify to his movements.
I changed my story because I was advised to tell the truth.
Having lied once, do you think this court is going to believe you without substantiating witnesses? If the court please, because I recognize the hostility of the witness, I've not previously interposed an objection.
But I now object on the grounds that the question is argumentative, incompetent, irrelevant, immaterial, All right.
And an attempt by the district attorney to discredit his own witness.
All right.
I'll withdraw the question.
BURGER: Now, Mr.
Ross, did you telephone H.
W.
Bryant, chairman of the board of Bryant-Hallsy, about 9:30 the evening of the murder? Yes.
Would you tell this court please, in your own words, what Mr.
Bryant told you during that conversation? I-- I don't remember exactly.
Well, I have a deposition here, made and sworn to by H.
W.
Bryant.
Maybe it would refresh your memory if you read it.
I remember.
He said Mr.
Goff convinced him that I was wrong for the show.
And that's the truth that you threatened Mr.
Goff with? Yes.
Did you tell the defendant about this telephone conversation? No.
Why not? Well, he'd already left the house, I didn't see him till the following morning.
So you didn't know he'd also phoned Mr.
Bryant, and received the same information? If Freddie killed Goff, he did it for me, soI'mthe guilty one, not him.
And you should be sendingme to the gas chamber, not him.
Mr.
Ross, I'll have to ask you to refrain from such outbursts.
But Freddie didn't kill Goff.
I know he didn't.
How do you know? I just know.
Any further questions, Mr.
Burger? Not at the moment, Your Honor.
JUDGE: Your witness, Mr.
Mason.
No questions.
JUDGE: Mr.
Burger, do you expect a lengthy examination of your next witness? About a half an hour, Your Honor.
You may stand down, Mr.
Ross.
It's 4:35 now.
We'll adjourn until 10:00 tomorrow morning.
( mysterious theme playing ) Could I talk to you a minute, Mr.
Mason? All right, Freddie, I'll catch up with you.
I'll meet you in the car.
All right.
( dramatic theme playing ) That Burger, he's pointin' the finger at Danny.
Why? I don't know, Freddie.
Maybe you can tellme.
He didn't have anything to do with it.
How do you know? He was at the beach.
He said so.
He can't prove it.
Well, I can prove he didn't kill Goff.
How? BecauseIdid.
How? I shot him.
You hit him first? That's right.
With what? Something.
I don't remember.
After you shot him, you stuffed him in the kneehole of the desk, and carefully cleaned up the office, then not only forgot to take the gun with you, you even forgot to wipe off the fingerprints? Pretty dumb, huh? No, pretty loyal.
Why do you think Ross killed Goff? I didn't say that.
Yes, you did when you confessed to a murder you didn't commit.
Suppose you tell me the truth now.
You might even be helpingRoss.
Well, I guess it begins when I stopped Danny from committin' suicide.
Yeah.
I talked him out of it with a fake commercial, then I take the gun away from him.
But I'm afraid to leave it in the house, so I lug it with me.
I go to Sammy Gluck's for a snort, and then I call this Bryant gent, and when he tells me that he already spoke with Danny, my stomach starts spinnin'.
I rush home, but Danny's not there.
Buzzie tells me he went for a ride.
I tell him, "For Pete's sake, if Danny comes back, don't let him leave the house.
" Did you tell Buzzie why? Natch.
I covered all the joints, but nothin'.
Then I get a horrible idea.
It makes me sick all over.
I went to Goff's office.
The door's open.
I walk in.
The office shows a big fight.
And I find Goff wedged under the desk.
Danny's been here.
Poor Danny.
I shot the guy once and threw the gun under a chair and scrammed.
Was Goff dead when you shot him? He wasn't breathin'.
And you didn't clean up the office? I never thought of it.
( slow piano music plays ) May I? Feel like talking, Buzzie? Can you figure it? The cool ones take the tail out of their faces.
A lost tribe of rejects.
Slobs go for smash.
Maybe wind up in the island doin' five to nine for jostlin'.
But the squares.
Oh, the squares.
Tell me about the squares.
Go, go, go.
Run through the ruts.
splash mud on clean little people.
Stay in the muddy rut, splash mud at the sun, wear a mask to hide a muddy face.
Squares? Ask me about the squares.
I'm Madam Berta.
Mystic reader.
I understand it better than anybody.
I put 'em down.
Liars.
Hypocrites.
Slaves.
What areyou,Buzzie? I'm beat, daddy.
I'm beat.
No past.
No present.
No future.
Alone, me.
Nothin' else except chaos and confusion and squares.
Who's me? I don't know.
Where am I? I guess a hipster said it best: "At the bottom of my personality, lookin' up.
" What gives with the squares, Buzzie? They don't make it, baby.
They don't swing.
No chance? ( soft guitar music playing ) Only a chance to be born again.
Like you did with Goff? Goff was a square.
He didn't belong.
Boffo.
Now he gets a new start.
A new scene.
Let's split.
( noirish jazz theme playing ) Hello, Perry.
Della.
I know it's late.
I just had to stop by to tell you that I think you are a great host.
Well, thank you.
We'll have to try it again sometime.
Well, maybe, uh, Sheila Hayes will invite us.
We're releasing her in the morning.
You know, she had nothing to do with it.
Goff didn't show that night, she was depressed, and she went to the beat joint.
And Buzzie came in after she did? Yes, and she told him about Goff.
And adding that to the Ross double-cross, it was too much for him to take.
He says he borrowed her car, went to Goff's office, killed him with a wrench he found in her car, and about an hour after that, he was back at the Purple Wall.
Will somebody please tell me who cleaned the office? Mm-hmm.
It was, uh, Lisa Hiller.
Yeah, she thought her boyfriend, Niles, killed Goff.
She was trying to cover for him.
But now it's your turn.
How did you get onto Buzzie? Well, I never could understand why that body was stuffed into the kneehole.
It seemed completely crazy to me.
But it had to mean something to someone.
Actually, I wasn't sure until I heard Buzzie say, "The only chance for a square is to be born again.
" And then you knew? Mm-hmm.
Well, I'm glad this one's over.
I'm beat.
Dig the hipster.
Don't bug me, granny.
I'm one of the cool ones.
I don't dig slick chicks tryin' to goof me up.
Daddy-o.
( upbeat mysterious theme playing ) TRAGG: Good night, counselor.
( noirish jazz theme playing )