CAMERAMAN: GEORGE SCHNEIDERMAN
SOUND: GEORGE P. COSTELLO
ART DIRECTOR: JOE WRIGHT
COSTUMES: SOPHIE WACHNER
FILM EDITOR: AL DE GAETANO
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: SAM WURTZEL
DIRECTOR: HAMILTON MACFADDEN
CHIEF INSPECTOR DUFF: Scotland Yard
INSPECTOR HAYLEY: Scotland Yard
PAMELA POTTER: Granddaughter of murdered Drake
DR. LOFTON: Courier of round the world tour
WALTER HONYWOOD: Theatrical manager from New York
PATRICK TAIT: Former criminal lawyer
MARK KENNAWAY: Tait’s young companion, from Boston
JOHN ROSS: Lumberman from Washington
ELMER BENBOW: A tire manufacturer, from Akron, Ohio
NETTIE BENBOW: His wife
CAPTAIN KEANE: A traveler
MAX MINCHIN: Former Chicago racketeer
SADIE MINCHIN: His wife
SYBIL CONWAY: Actress — Honywood’s estranged wife
MARTIN: Floor waiter at Broome’s Hotel
MRS. CHAN: Charlie’s wife
HENRY CHAN: Charlie’s son
SHIP’S CAPTAIN: Captain of ‘President Arthur’
John Garrick: MARK KENAWAY
Marguerite Churchill: PAMELA POTTER
Warren Hymer: MAX MINCHIN
Marjorie White: SADIE MINCHIN
C. Henry Gordon: JOHN ROSS
William Holden: PATRICK TAIT
George Brent: CAPTAIN RONALD KEANE
Peter Gawthorne: INSPECTOR DUFF
John T. Murray: DR. LOFTON
John Swon: ELMER BENBOW
Goodee Montgomery: MRS. BENBOW
Jason Robards Sr.: WALTER HONYWOOD
Lumsden Hare: INSPECTOR HANLEY
Zeffie Tilbury: MRS. LUCE
Betty Francisco: SYBIL CONWAY
Harry Beresford: KENT
John Rogers: MARTIN
J. G. Davis: EBEN
Dated: December 23, 1930
– of the EXTERIOR OF SCOTLAND YARD.
Over this –
DISOLVE TO INTERIOR INSPECTOR HAYLEY’S OFFICE as Duff enters, removing his dripping hat and ulster.
HAYLEY: Morning, Duff. Happy to see you. I’m in need of a bit of cheer.
DUFF: I brought some with me. Just had a letter from our old Chinese friend, Charlie Chan.HAYLEY: (Pleased)Where is he? Still in Honolulu?
DUFF: Yes. He’s Inspector of detectives there, now. And he sends a photograph of what he calls his multitudinous blessings. (Handing photograph to Hayley)Says he’s named his youngest child after me — Duff Chan.
CLOSE SHOT — INSERT — Charlie Chan at the right. Mrs. Chan at the left, and between them ten children, ranging from a boy of eighteen to a baby of two — the three youngest in Chinese dress. All wear happy smiles.
Duff turns photo over. In bold hand-writing is the inscription: “Each man thinks his own cuckoos better than next man’s nightingales. Charles Chan”
HAYLEY: Can’t be any worse than here. Wish something would happen – I need action!
DUFF: Don’t hunt trouble; it’s bad luck. Remember what Chan used to say about that, don’t you?HAYLEY: (Grins)What?
DUFF: (Quotes — smilingly)“Always very hard winter when honorable cheese runs after mouse.”
ON SOUND TRACK throughout action is heard the distracted sobbing of a girl.
CAMERA MOVES BACK, disclosing Duff in Room 28, Broome’s Hotel – the hand and arm of a murdered man, and girl kneeling at foot of bed, head bowed in arms, body convulsed with sobs.Hayley gently lifts the girl to her feet.
The girl, unresisting, still sobbing, covers face with hands, as they lead her gently away. Almost at door she stops and speaks.
They lead her to the door.
HAYLEY: That’s his grand-daughter. She was making the trip around the world with him.
Duff examines key.
DUFF: Strangled with this.
CAMERA FOLLOWS DUFF as he moves to dresser near alcove.From dresser, Duff, still using handkerchief, picks up a pair of earphones, examines them carefully, puts them back.
Duff takes the bag, opens it — pours part of the contents into his hand. It is filled with small round pebbles, which Duff examines closely.
HAYLEY: What do you make of it, Chief?DUFF: (Recapitulating as he pours pebbles back into bag) A harmless old man — very deaf, strangled to death — yet no evidence of any struggle. (As though thinking aloud) Not even the nap of the carpet has been disturbed. (Gazing thoughtfully about him) I believe he wasn’t murdered in this room.
Kent, Manager of Hotel, and Dr. Lofton, enter from hall.
LOFTON: I’m not precisely a conductor. For fifteen years, I have been managing director of Lofton’s round-the-world tours.DUFF: (Dryly) Yes?
LOFTON: This year I have a comparatively small group — thirteen; at least, there were thirteen last night.
DUFF: (Noding) Ah, yes. Was there any trouble on the tour before last night? Anything that seemed like enmity?
LOFTON: (Indignantly) Absurd! The members of the party scarcely know one another as yet.
Duff eyes him. He continues excitedly.
DUFF: Why do you wish me to think that?LOFTON: (Almost pleading as he lays his hand on Duff’s arm) Inspector, this is a serious situation to me — my reputation — everything is liable to be ruined by this —
DUFF: (Holding out thin black strap with which Drake was murdered) I understand. Have you ever noted this strap on the luggage of any of your guests?
He stops at the surprised look on Lofton’s face.
LOFTON: This is odd! I have a strap identically like that on one of my bags.
DUFF: Will you get it, please?
LOFTON: Gladly, Inspector.
DUFF: Have you assembled the members of your party in the drawing room?
LOFTON: Some of them are out, but I’ve gotten most of them together.
DUFF: Thank you, Dr. Lofton.
Duff turns to Kent.
DUFF: Can you open it?
He turns to door and with pass-key unlocks it. He stands aside as Duff goes into Honywood’s room.
CAMERA FOLLOWS WITH DUFF. Room 29 is much smaller than room 28. There is a sense of mustiness about it, the windows being tightly closed.
Duff goes to window, tries to open it, but cannot.
He takes out notebook — glances around room — makes memorandum. He notices half-packed Gladstone bag. As he bends over it —
SOUND OF KEY BEING INSERTED IN LOCK.
Walter Honywood enters room – a dissipated looking man in late thirties.
DUFF: Come in, Mr. Honywood.
An expression of alarm appears on Honywood’s face, at seeing Duff in his room.
Sit down, please. You know what’s happened, of course?
DUFF: (With lightning rapidity)Oh, you know when it occurred, then?
HONYWOOD: Well — no. Of course not. I merely assume I must have been asleep. (Mopping his brow)
DUFF: (Watching him with deep interest)I seem to have heard your name somewhere.
HONYWOOD: I’m a theatrical manager. Perhaps you’ve also heard of my wife, Miss Sybil Conway?
DUFF: (Nods)She’s with you?
HONYWOOD: No. We had an estrangement about two months ago. She’s at San Remo on the Riviera. Our tour touches there, and I hope to persuade her to join me.
Honywood takes out cigarette and holds lighter to it. His hand trembles violently, he looks up — sees Duff watching him.
HONYWOOD: (Starts) Why — I — I never have any trouble that way.
DUFF: Will you wait for me below, please?
Honywood makes an effort to pull himself together, and exits. Duff re-enters room 28, where finger-print expert and Hayley are still working.
HAYLEY: Not yet.
Duff starts from room. At door the excited Lofton almost bumps into him.
LOFTON: (Looking closely — then frightened)I’m afraid it is —
DUFF: (Noting Lofton’s aggitation) Well go into this matter of the strap, later. Will you wait downstairs, please?
EBEN: It’s this way, sir. While I was making my rounds last night at two o’clock, I saw a gentleman standing in front of room 27. When he heard me he said, “I’m afraid Im on the wrong floor. My room is below.”
DUFF: You saw his face?
EBEN: Yes, sir. I can identify him if hes still about. Then, at four o’clock, on the upper floor, someone in the dark knocked me down.
DUFF: The same man?
EBEN: Can’t say, sir. As I fell my torch showed a gray suit. I seized the pocket of the coat and heard the cloth tear. Then he hit me again — and when I come to, he was gone.DUFF: (Knits brow)Thank you, Eben. Wait downstairs. (To Hayley) Look for a gray coat with a torn pocket — or the other end of this chain.
HAYLEY: (As Duff is about to go) This may interest you; did you know there’s a retired Chicago racketeer in this party?
HAYLEY: Yes — man named Max Minchin — the New York police have asked us to keep a kindly eye on him.
DUFF: Thank you, Hayley — we shall.
Members of the party are assembled, including Max and Sadie Minchin.
The lounge is done in red plush and walnut decorations. There are book-cases of dusty volumes — old sporting prints. Outside, the sun has pierced through the fog, and is casting weird light into the room, illuminating the faces of the Lofton party. Max Minchin, who has made himself the center of interest in group, addresses them.
SADIE: Come on, Maxie, it’s no use nursing a grouch, nobody’s accusin’ you.
MRS. LUCE: What language is he speaking?
LOBBY OF BROOME’S HOTEL
Dr. Lofton has joined Duff. As they move down lobby in direction of lounge, a dignified man enters from one of he side corridors. He is distinguished in appearance — has a shock of snow-white hair. Lofton stops him as he passes.
DUFF: You are Mr. Tait’s travelling companion?MARK: Yes. I’m Mark Kennaway. Mr. Tait is subject to this sort of thing. That’s why he employed me to come with him.
Tait stirs; starts breathing heavily as he comes to. Duff indicates that they had better get him out of there. Together they carry him into a little coffee room leading from lobby, and place him on a couch.
He starts from room as Martin comes in. Duff stops him. Martin is a servant with a rather blank face – much younger than Eben. He is obviously nervous.
MARTIN: Yes, sir.
DUFF: You discovered Mr. Drake’s body this morning?
MARTIN: Yes, sir.
DUFF: Tell me about it.MARTIN: (Nervous – stumbling in speech)I awoke Mr. Drake every morning, sir. He was very deaf and it took a bit of doing.
DUFF: And this morning?
MARTIN: I knocked many times, but there was no answer.
DUFF: What then?
MARTIN: I got the housekeeper’s key, and entered the room. Then I notified the management at once, and that’s all I can tell you, Inspector.
DUFF: Thank you, Martin.
MARTIN: Yes, sir.
Duff starts from the coffee room and gets into lounge. He closes door behind him – walks to center of room, addresses those awaiting him.
DUFF: Allow me to introduce myself. Inspector Duff of Scotland Yard.
The various members of the group look at him with anxious eyes. Duff turns to CAPTAIN RONALD KEANE, a man of about 38, with a hawk-like nose, well-dressed, and seemingly at ease. At Duff’s look of inquiry, he introduces himself.
DUFF: Military man?
KEANE: Why – yes.
MRS. LUCE: Captain Keane told me that he was in the British Army and has seen service in India and South Africa.DUFF: (To Keane) Is that true?
KEANE: (Hesitates)Well — no — not precisely. I was just – well – romancing a bit. You see –
DUFF: (Interrupting) Were you ever in any army?
KEANE: (Again hesitating – afraid to tell another lie)Well – no — the title is really honorary.
DUFF: (Makes a note, coming very close to him) Just what is your business?
KEANE: None, at present — retired —
DUFF: What were you?
KEANE: Well, once I was an engineer — just put me down as — as — gentleman.
DUFF: Been out of the hotel this morning?
KEANE: Yes, to cash a check.
Duff turns to Mrs. Luce.
DUFF: And you?
Retired lady. She smiles widely and glances at Keane. Duff, getting the shaft, smiles.
MRS. LUCE: My fourth trip around he world.DUFF: (Looking at list) You occupy Room 27, Madam?
Mrs. Luce nods.
You heard no sounds last night in the room where —
MRS. LUCE: Not last night – but – there was a row the night before.
Duff looks at her with interest. Mrs. Luce hesitates a moment, looking at Dr. Lofton.
Perhaps Dr. Lofton would like to tell you, himself.
Lofton rises, very ill at ease, as Duff turns to him.
Duff gives him a long look and makes note. He turns, looks in direction of small alcove. As Duff nods, a tall man in tweed suit, rises. He carries a heavy walking stick, and one leg is held rather stiffly as he limps toward Duff.
DUFF: Your name, sir,
ROSS: John Ross. I am a lumberman from Tacoma, Washington.
DUFF: Know anything about this murder?
ROSS: Not a thing, Inspector.
DUFF: You knew Drake, of course?
ROSS: Yes. Nice old fellow – got to know him pretty well on board ship. I liked him a lot.
DUFF: Been out this morning?
ROSS: Yes. I went for a walk.
DUFF: That will be all.
Duff makes a memorandum in book as Ross returns to alcove.
Mark Kennaway enters from coffee room.
MARK: Pardon me, Inspector. Mr. Tait has recovered.
Duff nods and turns to occupants of room.
DUFF: You will kindly wait here a moment.
CAMERA FOLLOWS WITH DUFF – as he enters coffee room.
Patrick Tait is sitting erect on couch, a glass of spirits in his hand, which Martin, the waiter, has just served him. As Martin passes Duff, he stops him.
Duff’s eyes follow him for a moment, then he turns to Tait.
DUFF: Hugh Morris Drake! You occupy number thirty, near his room. What time did you retire?
Tait looks at Mark.
DUFF: Mr. Tait, what was it you saw in the lounge that brought on this attack?TAIT: (Becoming very excited – eyes glazing) The attacks come like that.
DUFF: Did you see someone in the lounge?
TAIT: (Rising — almost screaming)No — NO!
He suddenly catches his left side. Mark steps forward quickly.
MARK: Inspector – please. This man is ill.
DUFF: I’m sorry. I apologize.
Tait bows acknowledgement.
Nevertheless, Mr. Tait – I intend to find out what it was that shocked a retired criminal lawyer into a heart attack.
Duff turns from him and re-enters the lounge.
CAMERA MOVES WITH DUFF – to where Eben, the old night watchman has been studying the faces of the men in the room. First, Lofton, then Ross, then — suddenly he points. Duff has been watching him closely.
He is pointing at Keane, who sits up.
EBEN: I mean it’s you I met on my two o’clock round, last night.
DUFF: Is it true?KEANE: (Looking rather anxiously about him)Why, yes. I was up there. You see, I couldn’t sleep and wished to borrow a book from Mr. Tait.
DUFF: It’s pretty old – that wanting-to-read-a-book stuff. Why did you say you’d mistaken the number of your room?
KEANE: (Fumbling about)Why, I just said the first thing that came into my head.
DUFF: Rather a habit with you, isn’t it?
Duff makes memorandum in his book – then dismisses Eben. Suddenly he wheels on Honywood.
Just one thing more, Mr. Honywood.
Honywood starts violently as Duff approaches him. Duff holds out small chamois bag filled with pebbles. He pours a few into his hand for Honywood’s inspection.
Duff returns bag and pebbles to pocket. Honywood stops to pick up cigarette he has dropped on carpet.
Duff turns to the Minchins, his eyes lighting with interest.
MAX: What about it?SADIE: (Angrily)Max! Nobody’s accusin’ you! Answer the man’s questions!
MAX: What for? He’s a dick, ain’t he? I should help him!
DUFF: One moment, please, Mr. Minchin. Allow me to warn you –
MAX: (Interrupts) I know – that everything I say will be used against me. I heard that one before.
MAX: All right. (To Duff)What do you want to know?
DUFF: Where are you from?
MAX: We’re from Chicago — and never mind the funny cracks about the daily casualty lists.
DUFF: Casualty lists? I don’t understand –
MAX: That’s what they call the newspapers out there —
DUFF: I’ll not annoy you with more questions, Mr. Minchin. We’re already supplied with considerable information about you.
Elmer Benbow, short, stout — Germanic ancestry, enters, followed by Mrs. Benbow. He carries a small motion picture camera. Going to Duff he takes his hand — shakes it enthusiastically.
BENBOW: Just been out trying to get some moving pictures. Anything we can do to help you, Inspector?
DUFF: Do you know anything about this murder?
BENBOW: If you mean — did we do it — we certainly didn’t. Mr. Drake was an automobile manufacturer and I make tires. Can you imagine a tire manufacturer killing off one of his best customers?
DUFF: (Smiling) Hardly. (He shows Benbow platinum chain and key) Ever seen this before?
BENBOW: No. But it was made in Canton, Ohio. (Turning to wife) That’s funny, isnt it?
DUFF: What is? Have you seen any member of this party carrying anything like it?
BENBOW: No. I just thought it was strange that it was made so near to our home.
DUFF: Ah, yes. (To others) That will be all for the present, thank you. None of you must leave London without permission of the Yard.
Duff stands at door as the group passes him. He watches them closely. Keane, with his sly face; Honywood, with an assumed nonchalance; Ross, with his frank manner and slight limp; Max Minchin, with his sullen slouch, followed by his be-jeweled wife; smiling Benbow and his mate; then Patrick Tait, now walking with a firm step.
While Duff watches them speculatively, Pamela Potter enters. She still shows evidence of grief, but is calm now, and wears an air of angry determination.
PAM: Is it true, Mr. Duff – that you think the crime was committed by some member of this party?
DUFF: I regret to say that I do.
PAM: In that case, I shall cable my mother and my aunt to come to London, and I shall continue with the tour.
DUFF: Do you think that is advisable?
PAM: Please don’t try to dissuade me, Mr. Duff. I want to help find out who did this cowardly thing.
DUFF: And we, for our part, may need your assistance.
PAM: I might discover some clew – one of them might let something slip.
DUFF: Quite probable, indeed. I have a Chinese friend who used to say: “Only a very sly man can shoot off a cannon quietly.”
Mark enters. He comes to Pam, stands for a moment before her – slowly offers his hand.
DUFF: I thought as much – every one of them had been out of the hotel before we got here.
Duff and the two men move to the entrance of hotel. At door, Duff gives some instructions to Kent, the hotel manager. Kent signifies he understands.
CUT TO UPPER HALLWAY
Martin, the waiter, looks fearfully over his shoulder, takes two pieces of paper from his pocket, and tucks them under carpet on the floor.
CUTBACK TO STREET
As Duff reaches it, coming out of hotel. Benbow is standing on sidewalk.
BENBOW: Say, listen, Inspector — just turn around and face me, will you?
Duff turns, sees Benbow smiling, with his motion picture camera leveled and ready for action.
BENBOW: Mind? I’m delighted. Just take off the benny, will you — the lid, you know — the hat. This light isn’t very good.
DUFF: But you don’t understand — it isn’t customary, you know —
BENBOW: Just let me shoot this — the neighbors back in Akron’ll eat it up — “Inspector from Scotland Yard leaving hotel after murder” — this’ll be a wow!DUFF: If you don’t mind, I’d rather not.
Duff turns abruptly to enter his little green police car.
INTERIOR HAYLEY’S OFFICE SCOTLAND YARDDuff, puffing furiously at his pipe, paces about room. Hayley is seated.
DUFF: But we couldn’t hold them. The American Ambassador himself asked me — Where is our proof? — What was the motive?
HAYLEY: Yes — and tonight they’re in Paris, then Nice — San Remo — Egypt –Singapore — Honolulu– around the world.
DUFF: And the murderer traveling with them — unknown.
Sergeant Burke enters. There is a cheerful excited air about him.
BURKE: I think we’ve got something, Chief. The man says he’s ready to talk.
DUFF: Bring him in.
Burke, in the open door, motions to someone without. Martin, the waiter from Broome’s Hotel, enters, very frightened. Duff points to a chair.
Sit there, please.
Martin does so. Duff, rising, stands over him.
Where did you get all that money you’ve been spending? Don’t tell me you were playing the races! Come on, the truth!
He jerks Martin to his feet.
MARTIN: You won’t send me to prison, sir?
DUFF: I’m giving you one chance; where did you get that hundred pounds?
MARTIN: Mr. Honywood gave it to me.
DUFF: What for?
MARTIN: I’ll tell you everything, sir. At ten o’clock that night I went upstairs with a cablegram for Mr. Drake. I knocked at his door —
DUFF: Then what?
MARTIN: Mr. Honywood opened it.
DUFF: Honywood in Drake’s room?
MARTIN: Yes, sir. I gave him the envelope. He said: “You’ll find Mr. Drake in my room. We have changed rooms for the night.”
MARTIN: I knocked on the door of Mr. Honywood’s room. Mr. Drake came to the door, took the cablegram and thanked me.
DUFF: And the hundred pounds?
MARTIN: At seven o’clock the next morning, Mr. Honywood sent for me, handed me two fifty-pound notes and made me promise not to say anything about the exchange of rooms.DUFF: (Turning to Hayley and pounding his fist in his hand) What did I tell you? Drake wasn’t murdered in his own room. I was right!
DUFF: (His spirits soaring) We have him, my boy! (Looking at his watch) I’ve just time to catch the night boat to Dieppe.
HAYLEY: The party is leaving Paris for Nice, tonight.
DUFF: And the Riviera Express will get me there a day later.
HAYLEY: (Grasps Duff’s hand — shakes it heartily) Good luck and congratulations!
DUFF: (Starting from room) Thanks, old chap.
Man’s gray-gloved hands as they search bureau drawer. Articles are pulled out — perhaps a bit of feminine lingerie — then thrust back into drawer again.
Same hands opening black leather case. Reel of motion picture film is pulled out, then dropped back.
Trunk, hands take letter out of tray. Hands open letter, which reads:
“If anything happens to me, notify my wife, Sybil Conway, Palace Hotel, San Remo.”
Hand crushes letter as if crushing a victim.
Same pair of hands — they fasten lifeless third hand on revolver with fingers engaging trigger. A faint wisp of smoke is issuing from barrel of gun.
LOBBY of lounge of Hotel Excelsior Grande in Nice. Sun shines through windows overlooking terrace garden and Mediterranean.
Pam is holding animated conversation with bearded gendarme, resplendent in gold lace uniform. Dr. Lofton is with them.
GENDARME: You noticed nothing in his manner except nervousness?
PAM: Nothing. On the contrary, he seemed in good spirits.
GENDARME: But Mademoiselle —
LOFTON: I scarcely expected you so soon!
DUFF: Expected me?
LOFTON: Walter Honywood killed himself in the grounds of this hotel last night.
Mrs. Luce has joined the group, and overheard Lofton’s last remark.
MRS. LUCE: Absolutely. Mr. Honywood expected something to happen — he tried to leave a letter with me. I suggested that Dr. Lofton was the proper person to give it to, but he insisted that Dr. Lofton was decidedly not the proper person.LOFTON: (Hastily) I telephoned Mrs. Honywood at San Remo — when she heard the news I believe she fainted.
Duff turns to the gendarme — draws him aside from group.
DUFF: If you like, I’ll take charge of this — there was another murder in London, and I believe the two are connected.
CAMERA FOLLOWS AS THEY MOVE DOWN LOBBY
They pass a group in which are Tait, Mark, Ross and the Benbows. They all appear apprehensive as Duff passes them. As the two men near telephone booth, Duff pauses.
I’ll report any progress.
Gendarme bows, exits. Duff enters booth. As he does so, Sadie and Max Minchin pass booth.
SADIE: Uh – huh.
MAX: Gee — don’t it make you homesick?SADIE: Uh – huh.
INSIDE TELEPHONE BOOTH
He hangs up. As he comes out of booth he almost collides with Lofton.
DUFF: Doctor, you may leave for San Remo at 4:30 as you had planned. The party will not be detained here.
Lofton gives him a curious look as Duff walks away.
PALACE HOTEL, SAN REMO
Sitting room of Sybil Conway.
She is a beautiful woman, attractively gowned.
DUFF: Why did he kill him?
SYBIL: I was married to Jim Everhard, but we were unhappy. Then I met Walter Honywood — and we ran away — Everhard swore he would kill us both.DUFF: (Takes out chamois bag with pebbles) Ever see these before?
SYBIL: No — but I know what they mean. When we ran away, I took two bags of diamonds with us, but they weren’t Everhard’s — he had stolen them, too.
DUFF: All this in South Africa?
DUFF: Are you sure, Mrs. Honywood, that you will be able to recognize Jim Everhard when you see him?
DUFF: Very well. There are some palms just out side the dining room door — you will have a clear view of the Lofton party. All you need to do is point him out to me. Ready?
They move from the room to hall, which is in semi-darkness. They step to the elevator and enter. It is a narrow cage-like contraption. Duff presses button — slowly they begin to descend.
Suddenly there is a sharp explosion above their heads — Duff gets the fleeting impression of a blurred form above, leaning over shaft. The woman at his side collapses. He is just in time to catch her in his arms. A small object hurtles through the air and lands at his feet. Duff tries to stop the car but cannot until it stops automatically at first floor. As he pulls the gates open,
DARKENED HALLWAY — FOURTH FLOOR
Mark Kennaway is rapping at door of a room.
MARK: Mr. Tait! Mr. Tait! — Are you there?
Keane glides up to him.
CUT BACK TO:
Duff places Sybil Conway on a sofa — opposite elevator. Pam and one or two other guests hide the body from view of the camera.
PLATFORM OF STATION AT SAN REMO
PAM: Certainly not. Will you join us again, Inspector?DUFF: Probably. Im going to America. (Smiles) Meanwhile, if anything important comes up, cable me at Scotland Yard.
PAM: (Eagerly) Oh, I know something will — I feel sure we have only to wait —
DUFF: Waiting won’t do, we’ve got to work. As my Chinese friend expresses it: “Sitting man must hold mouth open very long time before roast goose flies in.”
Pam laughs and extends her hand.
PAM: Goodbye, Inspector.
DUFF: Miss Potter, take care of yourself.
As he twirls around finger —FADE OUT.
ON A SERIES OF TRAVEL DISOLVES
Short FLASHES of Egypt, Pyramids.
STREET IN HONGKONG
Showing Chinese shops, bazaars, members of Dr. Lofton’s party walking about looking in shop windows, etc.
Benbow and wife turn to new scenes. Mrs. Luce smiles at Mark.
MARK: If you’re going to talk about Miss Potter again, please don’t. The subject irritates me.MRS. LUCE: (Looking at him with interest) Oh I’m sorry — you were together so much until the last few days, I thought–
MARK: (Irritably) So does everyone else, but it isn’t so.
MRS. LUCE: (Pretending surprise) What isn’t.
MARK: One can’t be nice to a rich girl without everyone’s thinking —
MRS. LUCE: What she thinks is all that matters, isn’t it?
MARK: Probably she thinks so, too. She’s deliberately avoiding me. It’s a bit of a curse to be born as rich as she is. (Starts with surprise — hands her sunshade) Will you excuse me, please?
MRS. LUCE: (Sees Pam coming) Oh! I thought you said she was avoiding you.
MARK: It’s sort of a mutual agreement.
He walks away and enters a jewelry shop.
MRS. LUCE: My dear! All those beautiful moonlight nights together and then — this? What has occurred?
PAM: I was born in the wrong town. In the eyes of superior persons from Boston, I’m insufferably mid-western, and then, of course, there’s my misfortune.
MRS. LUCE: What do you mean?
PAM: It’s a sort of disgrace to be the grandchild of a man who had brains enough to make a lot of money. Didn’t you know?
MRS. LUCE: (Smiling) Has it ever occurred to you, my dear — that it may be embarrassing for a self-respecting young man to court a wealthy girl?
PAM: (As if the idea were quite new to her, pauses, searches Mrs. Luce’s eyes) Do you really suppose that’s what’s the matter with that aristocratic iceberg?
She goes to the shop Mark has entered, but near the door stops and saunters casually in apparently unaware of his presence. Near the door she meets Max and Sadie Minchin engaged in an argument.
Sadie, carrying a paste-board box about the size of a bushel basket, faces with angry glare, the equally angry Max.
MAX: Sure, buy a lot of junk you don’t even know what to do with. And how are you going to carry that thing all around the world?PAM: (Anxious to conciliate) What did you get, Mrs. Minchin?
SADIE: (Pleased with herself) A reading lamp.
MAX: (In utter disgust) Yeah — a readin’ lamp. Next thing you know, she’ll be wantin’ to buy a book to go with it.
He walks angrily out of the shop.
She angrily marches out after him.
MARK: I’m sorry.PAM: (Pretending amazement) What about?
MARK: (Embarrassed) I thought – perhaps – my presence might annoy you.
PAM: We’re going to miss this old war when it’s over, aren’t we?
MARK: You won’t mind — you’ll be having one with someone else. I can’t imagine you without a war.
PAM: (Smiling) Am I really so awful? What would a girl from Beacon Street, Boston, do in a case like this?
MARK: (Angrily) I wish you’d leave Beacon Street out of it — it’s ceased to be funny.
PAM: All right; let’s declare an armistice. If you’ll forget mid-western barbarians – I’ll forget Beacon Street.
MARK: (Forced to smile) Will you keep the truce?
PAM: Of course! On this party we’re forced to meet each other. Let’s disguise our true feelings and pretend to be friends. (Impulsively offering her hand) Is that agreed?
MARK: (Takes hand – smiles) Agreed!
At this moment, Chinese proprietor of shop approaches with tray of jewelry. Pam is immediately interested, and selects a beautiful string of jade.
PAM: How much is this?
CHINAMAN: Two hundred and eighty dollars.
Pam holds it up for Mark’s inspection.
PAM: Beautiful, isn’t it?
Mark nods, turns away — it is too rich for his pocket. Pam picks up another piece of jewelry. As she does so, another Chinaman enters scene. Suddenly he breaks into an excited string of Chinese; points in direction of street, concludes his speech with the English words: JIM EVERHARD. Pam starts and looks in direction of street.
FROM HER ANGLE we see five members of Lofton party as they move past shop. In the group are Keane, Lofton, Tait, Ross and Benbow. Pam turns to Mark excitedly.
The Chinaman shrugs; indicates he doesn’t understand. Pam rushes to door, followed by Mark. The party has moved about twenty yards away.
Pam turns back to door of the shop to question the Chinaman, but he has disappeared.
She hurries after the group. Mark follows. When she reaches a point about ten yards from them, she calls sharply:
PAM: Jim Everhard!
She waits to see who turns at the name. All five men do. Her trick has failed. But she tries to carry it through – looking from one to the other, she says:
They walk away, leaving the five men staring at one another.
Mark and Pam hurrying down the street.
MARK: You’ve put yourself in danger. Jim Everhard is in that group – he thinks you know him, but you don’t. We don’t know whom to watch – and you’re liable to be next.PAM: (As the deadly possibility dawns upon her) Where’s the telegraph office? I’m going to cable Inspector Duff.
As they start off –
INTERIOR CABLE OFFICE NEARBY –
Pam takes cable blank, stands at a high desk directly in front of a stand lamp, and starts to write a cable.
Mark stands beside her. As he glances around, he sees a gloved hand holding a pistol around the jamb of the side door, the barrel aimed straight at Pam.
Mark – swiftly seizing Pam and whirling her out of range, just as the weapon is discharged shattering the lamp, before which Pam was standing.
Frightened, Mark holds her a moment, then releases her and runs to the door – looking up and down the street. He sees no one who might have made the attempt. He then turns back to her with a blank, worried face.
CHAN’S OFFICE POLICE STATION, HONOLULU.
Chan is seated at a table — before him is Duff’s brief case and papers. Duff is pacing the room, smoking his pipe.
CHAN: Too late now. Advice after mistake is like medicine after dead man’s funeral.
DUFF: Strange situation, Charlie – that the man who committed that murder has the nerve to remain with the party.
CHAN: Yes. Only very brave mouse makes nest in cat’s ear.DUFF: (Looks at his watch) This visit will remain a pleasant memory, Charlie, but the Lofton party sails at ten. Where can I call a taxi?
CHAN: (Rising) Not to be considered. I will take you. I have brand new, second-hand 1919 Model Y.
DUFF: Model Why?
CHAN: Must be — that’s what everyone ask me, — why. (Goes to door of room) I will get. (He exits)
Duff bends over the table and returns his papers to brief case. As he does so, a gloved hand holding a revolver is seen outlined against an open window overlooking back alley of police station. The gun is aimed directly at Duff, and is fired. Duff whirls, staggers a step or two in direction of window and lunges forward to floor. An instant later a small object is thrown through the window, lands on floor beside Duff’s body.
Chan opens door of office, sees Duff lying on the floor, gives a startled exclamation – runs forward and bends over him.
Duff’s face is pale as death. Quickly Chan feels pulse, then reaches up and presses button on desk. Again he bends over the prostrate figure of his friend.
At Duff’s side, Chan’s eyes come to rest on a replica of the three little Chinese monkeys. He picks them up, and as he looks at them, their significance as a threat dawns upon him. He puts them in his pocket.
The door opens — a native Hawaiian policeman enters.
CHAN: Telephone for ambulance and surgeon at once, then ask the chief to come here. Quick!
Chan looks helplessly about, then his eyes take in the window and the misty darkness outside. On the table is Duff’s open brief case. Some of the papers are still in the case, others are strewn about carelessly, scattered by the wind.
Chan quickly restores papers to case. As he does so, the Chief enters.
CHIEF: What’s this, Charlie?
His eyes light on the prostrate figure of Duff.
CHIEF: Shot down in the Honolulu police station! Impertinence!CHAN: (Nodding) Even worse than that — insult! Shot down in very office of Inspector of Detectives. (Indicating himself) I am laughing stock of world — very well, then, I shall sail tonight on ‘President Arthur.’
Chan starts strapping up Duff’s brief case.
CHAN: If I do not have that man before San Francisco, retire forever in sack-cloth with ashes.
Chan kneels beside Duff who stirs slightly.
CHAN: Tell me, Inspector — did you see face of assailant?DUFF: (Half unconscious) Lofton — Tait — Keane — Ross — Benbow —
There is an expression of increasing amazement on Chan’s face, then Duff continues:
Which one is it – Charlie?
He relapses into unconsciousness.
CHAN: Take best care — get to hospital — send me wireless. If he wakes, tell him Charlie Chan carries on.
As Chan starts from office with Duff’s brief case under his arm –
Sadie and Max near small fruit stand. The vendor is absent. Max and Sadie are examining a box of avocados. Sadie’s arms are so full of bundles she cannot use her hands.
Chan notes this conversation. Sadie, suddenly aware of Chan’s nearness, nudges Max and nods toward Chan. Max, who has already picked up one of the avocados, and is about to take another, looks around at Chan.
MAX: (To cover) Wonder where the guy is that runs this stand?
Max puts avocados back on stand and goes aboard. Chan stands looking after them.
Mrs. Chan and Henry enter to him.
The boat is just about to sail; steward beats warning gong.
She holds up little travelling bag to him.
The deep whistle of the boat is heard. Chan turns toward gangplank and starts up. He waves to his family.
Chan and the Captain are walking along the deck the same night. The ship is on its way to San Francisco.
CAPTAIN: I have sent word to the party asking them to wait for you in the smoking room. I’m back of you, Charlie, I hope you get your man.
CHAN: You invent picture of very happy event. Thank you so much.
He bows and leaves.
INTERIOR SMOKING ROOM
The men of the Lofton party are assembled. There is an atmosphere of sullen resentment.
MAX: That’s all right. Answer them — only don’t tell em nothin’.
LOFTON: For my part, I’m sick of questions. Nothing has ever come of them, and nothing ever will.CHAN: (Enters and bows, smilingly) May I extend courteous greeting. You are surprised to find me here — I also. Yesterday Inspector Duff come to Honolulu — Paradise of Pacific. Tonight, history repeat itself. Serpent appears in Paradise – Inspector Duff is in hospital, insultingly wounded. And so, reluctantly, I must force my inspeakable presence upon you. So sorry — but must ask questions.
CHAN: Of course, if anyone has something to hide —
TAIT: I won’t allow you to maneuver me into that position. Why do you imagine I have anything to hide?CHAN: (Smiles and shrugs) Man seldom scratches where he does not itch.
TAIT: (Resentfully) I’m simply reminding you that there is such a thing as proper legal procedure.
CHAN: Which is always criminal’s best friend. We understand that, you and I, Mr. Tait — do we not?
LOFTON: I don’t blame Mr. Tait; from the very first we’ve been annoyed by questions by incompetent police officials.
CHAN: (Bows) Stupidity humbly acknowledged. But sometimes dull stone makes very sharp knife.
ROSS: Perhaps, Mr. Chan, it would be advisable to postpone the cross-examination until your suspects are in better humor.
CHAN: Possibly you are right. Time does not press and talk will not cook rice.
He dismisses them with a polite gesture.
Thank you – so much.
All turn to leave except Minchin.
MAX: You seen what happened to Inspector Duff, didn’t you? You better get yourself some iron underwear — you know B.V.D’s.
CHAN: Oh, I see. B.V.D. – before very dead. Thank you, so much.
He bows pleasantly, and as Chan walks from the smoking room —
Chan, in the interior of his promenade deck cabin, in the act of opening Inspector Duff’s brief case.
From the case he takes a small chamois bag and the platinum chain to which is attached the safe-deposit box key.
He places the brief case on top of a dresser directly under the window, and moves under the light to better examine the chain and key. He places this in his pocket, then opens the bag and pours the small pebbles from the bag into the palm of his hand.
Chan looks up suddenly, and in the mirror of his dressing table, he sees the reflection of the window through which appears a hand — the same hand that searched in the trunks in Nice, and placed the revolver in the lifeless hand of Honywood. The hand is reaching for the brief case. It has the case in its grasp when suddenly Chan wheels and jumps for the porthole. He is just in time to wrench the case from the intruder’s grasp, and tears the glove from it at the same time. He throws the case down quickly, then jumps up to the window and looks out onto the dimly lighted deck. About thirty yards away he sees a man leaning over the rail. The man’s back is toward him, but as he turns his head, Chan sees it is Dr. Lofton.
He studies Lofton a moment, then returns to the light and very carefully examines the glove.
He is startled by a sharp, insistent knock on his door. He goes to it, opens it, and discovers the frightened Pam.
PAM: Mr. Chan —
CHAN: You’re frightened – what has happened? Come in.
Pam enters and closes the door after her.
PAM: Some person has been in my stateroom.
CHAN: How do you know?
PAM: I was out of it for a moment — when I came back, this was on my dresser!
She shows him a little cardboard box with a cover over it.
I thought perhaps Mrs. Luce had given me a present, but she knows nothing about it. That’s why I’ve come to you.
Chan takes the box from her, removes the lid and holds up the famous three Chinese monkeys with their paws respectively over their eyes, ears and mouth.
Chan is shown on deck in the morning sunshine.
The wireless operator comes to him and hands him a paper.
He turns and hurries along deck where Pam and Mark are playing shuffle-board.
CHAN: Yes. Cable says operation is success. Honorable Duff doing very well.
PAM: I’m so glad to hear that! Any developments in the case?CHAN: Not yet — Patience and a mulberry leaf become a silk shawl. (He bows and exits)
Chan in stateroom, as he searches rapidly in the baggage and bureau drawers.
At last, from under the mattress of the berth, he finds a gray glove, mate to the one he tore from the hand that came through his window on the previous night. He has just stopped to examine it, when the door is suddenly pushed open, and Lofton confronts him.
LOFTON: I won’t submit to this sort of thing! What are you doing in my cabin?
CHAN: Only trying to seize truth with my fumbling hands. Will you kindly explain this interesting exhibit?
He holds out glove to Lofton.
CHAN: That is what I wish to find out. Is it your glove?
LOFTON: No. Are you pretending you found it here?
CHAN: Pretending — no. I did find it here. You have never seen it before?
LOFTON: Certainly not. What do you hope to accomplish with this absurd trick? Do you imagine you can frighten me into confessing something?
CHAN: Oh — have you something you would not wish to confess?
LOFTON: No. Don’t tell me you suspect me of complicity in this thing! It’s absurd — impossible!CHAN: I am only trying to find the criminal who committed these crimes, and punish him. (He looks keenly at Lofton) He who feeds the chicken, deserves the egg.
Thank you — so much.
As he exits from cabin —
Chan on deck, under the dim deck lights. He stands partly concealed, watching the door of a stateroom. His figure retreats from view as the door is stealthily opened. Keane emerges, looks carefully forward and aft on the deck, then carrying a small bundle, steals quietly towards the rail and near where Chan is concealed.
He is about to throw the bundle overboard, when Chan, with a leap, restrains him. The effect upon Keane is devastating.
Chan unrolls the bundle — it is a gray coat with the right-hand pocket torn.
CHAN: This gray coat – with torn pocket. You should have disposed of this, long ago.
KEANE: What do you mean?
CHAN: Watchman in Broome’s Hotel, London — tore right-hand pocket of murderer’s suit.KEANE: I know he did – I heard it at the inquest. That’s why I tried to get rid of this. (Eagerly) Please believe me – someone just tore the pocket of this coat – someone’s trying to put suspicion on me. If this were the suit, I wouldn’t have kept it. Do you think I’m a fool?
CHAN: (Shrugs) Who shall say? Every man must wear out at least one pair of fool shoes.
He smiles blandly and makes a little bow.
Thank you so much.
The apparently terrified Keane watches Chan with staring eyes as he bows himself away, carrying the coat.
EXTERIOR TAIT’S CABIN
Chan knocks on the door and enters. He finds Mark busy with his tie.
On the dressing table is a neat little silver frame, enclosing Pam’s photograph.
Chan’s eyes smilingly rest upon the photograph of Pamela.
CHAN: May I wish luck? Good wife best household furniture.
MARK: If you mean Miss Potter – there isn’t a chance. There’s something I wanted to tell you.
Mark opens dresser drawer – takes out two sets of Chinese monkeys, shows them to Chan.
CHAN: Where did Mr. Tait buy these?
Chan drops to his knees, and drags from beneath Mark’s berth a suitcase on which is pasted a label from the Great Eastern Hotel in Calcutta. Near the label are the initials “M.K.” He points to label.
CHAN: Please feel with fingers.
Mark bends down and rubs his hand over the label. He frowns.
He takes the duplicate key with the platinum chain attached from his pocket, and shows it to Mark, who stares in surprise.
MARK: Who put that on my bag?
He looks around cabin for a moment, then his eyes rest on a pair of pajamas on the berth occupied by Tait. He continues:
MARK: I will, Mr. Chan.
CHAN: Thank you so much. (He exits)
Pam standing near a flight of stairs leading up to the deck above.
As Chan emerges from Tait’s room, she motions to him urgently. Chan goes to her.
PAM: I don’t know whether it’s important or not – have you the little bags of pebbles?CHAN: (Takes bags from pocket) These?
PAM: (Takes one of them – looks at it carefully) Yes. They’re the same. I was in Mrs. Benbow’s cabin today, and she has a bag exactly like them.
CHAN: Maybe very important. Are you sure —
PAM: I’m positive. Even the same color draw string. She uses it for a jewelry bag.
CHAN: Does she know you saw it?
PAM: Yes – that’s why I thought I better tell you. When she saw me looking at it, she picked it up quickly and put it away. Do you think, Mr. Chan, that Mr. Benbow could be —
Suddenly, Chan looks up, as a slight noise above attracts his attention. Then swiftly he seizes Pam and whirls her out of the way. As he does so, a long knife flashes down, and stands quivering in the deck at their feet.
Chan swiftly but guardedly runs up the stairs along the deck to the other side. He sees a limping man making a hurried escape, a cane held in his left hand, and tapping sharply on the deck. The man hastily descends stairs to lower deck.
Hurriedly, Chan descends the stairs and runs swiftly around the deck to intercept the man. At the corner of the companionway, he encounters Ross, walking leisurely along – smoking a cigar. His attitude and expression cause Ross to speak.
ROSS: No, I just came out of my cabin. Why do you ask?
CHAN: (A sudden change coming over him – he looks at Ross’ cane which he carries in his right hand) Oh, I’m so sorry, Mr. Ross. I have made mistake. I just saw man with cane in wrong hand, and no rubber tip. You wear rubber tip on your cane, always, not so?
ROSS: Yes – always. It’s safer for a man of my disability. I always carry it on the lame side.
CHAN: (Bows) Of course. Please overlook incident. Someone, I think, is trying to impersonate you.
ROSS: Really? (He laughs) Well, someone has been trying to throw suspicion on all the other members of this party. Apparently it is my turn now.
CHAN: Apparently. Please excuse. Thank you so much.
Chan is seated in corner of salon, very downcast in appearance.
FOG HORN BLOWS.
MAX: Running into more fog, huh?
CHAN: (Uninterested) Yes.
MAX: Well, we’ll be in San Francisco in a couple of hours. Have you nailed your man yet?
CHAN: Nailed — no. Guess I’m trying to hunt rabbit with blind dog.
MAX: Cheer up, Charlie — maybe you’ll catch him.
CHAN: Maybe? (Shrugs) Every maybe has a wife called Maybe-Not.
MAX: Oh, that reminds me — My wife and I are throwing a farewell dinner party tonight to celebrate the end of the tour. Will you join us?
CHAN: (Listlessly) Thank you so much.
Max exits. Chan resumes his gloomy retrospection. Pam enters to him.
PAM: And nothing yet?
CHAN: Suspicion — yes. Proof — no. I have no evidence to hold anyone in San Francisco. Ho-hum, I imagine I am very clever man — now find slight mistake.
He touches his forehead with his finger as he says lugubriously —
CHAN: (Pleasantly) Ah! Opportunity knocks on door again. What if young man proposes?
PAM: (Eagerly) Do you think he will?
CHAN: In what way should I know?
PAM: I wish he would.
CHAN: And then — what?
PAM: I’d refuse, of course – for the sake of my wounded pride.
CHAN: (Shaking his head) Woman’s heart is like a needle at bottom of sea.
PAM: Oh, we’re not so hard to fathom. In a way, of course, it will be a pity – he can be so nice when he wants to be.
CHAN: (Smiling) Can he?
PAM: But he seldom wants to be. Shall I see you at Mr. Minchin’s dinner?
CHAN: I think so.
PAM: ‘Bye. (She exits)
Chan continues his unhappy staring into space. His shoulders slump – he resumes his seat.
Suddenly a startled expression flashes across his face. He rises to his feet and utters several startled sentences in Chinese. The next moment he patters out of scene as we –
Chan, entering his stateroom. He goes to a little desk – takes out envelopes, paper – seizes pen and starts to write.
“DEAR MR. LOFTON:
TO SAVE EMBARRASSMENT I
WILL SAY NOTHING TO ANYONE AND WILL
NOT MAKE ARREST UNTIL SHIP DOCKS.
He folds the letter, seals and addresses it to Dr. Lofton – then quickly starts another letter with identically the same words, addressed to Mr. Benbow. As he completes this –
Chan, sealing a fifth envelope – showing five addresses to Mr. Tait, Dr. Lofton, Keane, Ross and Benbow.
It is misty, and the fog horn is blowing at intervals. Mark and Pam stand together near the rail.
PAM: Are you glad the trip’s over?
MARK: Yes. When I turn Tait over to his son, tonight — I’m free.
THE FOG HORN BLOWS AGAIN
PAM: (Accusingly) You Pacifist!
MARK: Perhaps I should have said — I don’t like quarreling with you.
PAM: That’s better.
MARK: Well — if I shouldn’t see you again —
PAM: (Quickly) Oh, I hope you will.
MARK: In case I don’t — I just want to tell you — it’s been fun knowing you. You’re awfully nice, you know. I don’t know what I’d’ve done —
FOG HORN BLOWS
Mark tries to talk through shriek of horn, shouting indistinct words. Pam, with an ear cocked toward him, tries to hear what he says. Suddenly, the sound of the horn ceases.
PAM: Marry you — isn’t that what you were asking me?
MARK: Oh, no. I was saying – I supposed you’d marry some nice boy and be very happy.
PAM: Oh — I’m sorry.
MARK: (Suddenly) But look here! If I had asked you, you mean you’d really have said yes?
PAM: But you just explained you didn’t ask me.
MARK: If I do ask you — will you promise you’ll say yes again?
PAM: If I promise to say yes — will you promise you’ll ask me again?
Mark impulsively crushes her in his arms and kisses her.
FOG HORN BLOWS
They separate –
MARK: Certainly. What?
CHAN: When I leave Mr. Minchin’s dinner – come quickly after me, please. I need help very much.
MARK: Yes, of course.
CHAN: Thank you so much. (He exits)
Pam and Mark immediately resume their embrace —
The Minchin dinner has reached the stage of demi-tasse and cigarettes.
The table is lavishly decorated – Max doing the thing properly, even providing comic paper hats for the guests.
At the table are the Benbows, Dr. Lofton, Ross, Tate, Keane, Mark, Pam, Mrs. Luce — the Minchins.
AS WE DISOLVE IN –
We hear the buzz of conversation – the clink of glasses.
Dr. Lofton is speaking:
LOFTON: But, barring these unhappy occurrences, I hope you have experienced some measure of the enjoyment you all anticipated when we began this world tour. I thank you.
He sits down to the accompaniment of general applause.
MAX: Wonder where our Chinese friend is? I invited him to the dinner and he said he was coming.
PAM: Oh, I think he’ll be here. He told me he would.
MAX: How about a few words from Mr. Keane?
As Keane rises –
Chan, crouching in corridor slipping one of the addressed envelopes under a door.
He hurries to another door across the corridor and slips the remaining envelope under that door.
Ross is just concluding his speech:
There is applause as Max rises.
There is a general look of consternation among the diners, then one after another they turn to look at each other, each wondering which is the murderer. Chan, without any formality, bows and quickly exits. Almost immediately, Mark rises, speaks a word to Pam and follows.
MRS. LUCE: Well, sitting here in the company of a person who did these things, gives me the creeps. I’m going to my cabin.
There is a general breaking up of the dinner. Diners rise and start crowding round Max and Sadie, as we
SHIP’S ANCHOR CHAIN AND
anchor as it rattles through the hawser and plunges into the dark waters of San Francisco Bay.
A SMALL LAUNCH
which comes alongside. The health inspectors clamber up a rope ladder which has been thrown over the side.
INTERIOR TAIT’S CABIN –
Mark is in scene. Chan has just pulled out Mark’s bag, and is showing the label to Mark.
IN A CLOSE SHOT
We see that it has been cut out, and key removed.
CHAN: Just as I thought; key is gone.
MARK: Where is it?
CHAN: Where I want it — now. On the person of murderer.
Mark looks over at Tait’s berth, where his hand luggage is neatly piled.
MARK: Tait —
CHAN: No — leave that.
They are startled by the piercing shriek of a woman, followed by two more in quick succession.
They run to the rail where the spotlight of launch is now playing on water over the ship’s side.
Three or four life-preservers, with ropes attached to them, have been thrown. In the center of these, badly frightened, is a man.
A man in the launch hauls the figure over to the side to safety.
They exit down the deck.
FLASH of Mrs. Benbow, as she tearfully explains to a small group of passengers:
MRS. BENBOW: All the way round the world, I’ve been telling that idiot not to sit on the rail!
STATEROOM OF DR. LOFTON
As he enters, stoops, and picks up letter addressed to him. He opens it – as he reads, an expression of startled amazement comes over his face. He sits, staring straight ahead, with the expression of a man desperately worried.
KEANE IN HIS STATEROOM
He is holding a similar letter in his hand. An expression of terror comes over his face, he stares ahead, as if paralyzed with fear.
ROSS IN HIS STATEROOM
We see him reading the letter. He sinks on the side of his berth, with an expression of incredulous astonishment on his face. He stares wide-eyed into space.
FLASH OF TAIT IN HIS STATEROOM
As he stoops to pick up the envelope on the floor of his cabin. He tears it open, reads it, crumples it in his hand with a snarl, and then stands, a picture of fury.
INTERIOR CHAN’S CABIN
Chan is showing Mark a dummy silhouette which he has rigged up at his window, where the silken shades are drawn tight. It consists of a broom, a coat hanger with Chan’s coat hung on it, a heavy Turkish towel – surmounted by Chan’s hat.
Chan picks up a long light cord, with a button switch at one end – a double socket at the other. He screws socket with the lamp into the electric light fixture, and then with the switch tests it, flashing light on and off. Next, he takes the long cord, opens the door of his cabin, looks up and down the deck, which is in misty darkness, beckons Mark to follow him, closes the door. He starts to lay the cord across the deck in direction of a lifeboat, immediately opposite his cabin. Chan and Mark clamber into the lifeboat.
We see his cabin suddenly lighted up, and clearly defined against the silk curtain, is the silhouette of Chan. Chan presses the button and the light in the cabin is extinguished, leaving it in darkness.
CORNER OF MAIN COMPANIONWAY
Dr. Lofton meets Pam.
Lofton turns away.
KEANE, on a dimly lighted deck. He meets Sadie Minchin.
KEANE: Excuse me, please — do you know where Mr. Chan is?
SADIE: No, I ain’t seen ‘im. What do you want with him?
CORNER OF SMOKING ROOM
Tait enters, apparently very furious. He looks about as if searching for someone, then turns angrily and exits.
THE LIFEBOAT – showing Chan and Mark, as they crouch, watching Chan’s dark stateroom opposite.
A tall figure comes stamping down deck, stops at door of Chan’s cabin; knocks furiously on the door, and receiving no response, looks about and dashes out of scene. The man is seen to be Keane.
Mark turns to Chan with a look of inquiry. Chan makes a sign to Mark for silence. Another figure is seen approaching.It is Mr. Tait. He stops at Chan’s door; knocks. A deck hand comes to him.
TAIT: Have you seen that Chinaman anywhere?
DECKHAND: No sir.
Mark looks at Chan who again gives him the signal for silence.
Suddenly, along the misty deck, a stealthy sound is heard. A third person approaches. As Chan catches sight of a tall figure, he snaps on the light of the cabin, showing the silhouette.
The figure glides up to the window — HIS BACK TO CAMERA – we see a heavy gun raised, aimed at the center of the silhouette of Chan – and a shot is fired.
Instantly, into the scene, leap Chan and Mark, pinioning the figure from behind. Chan wrests the gun from the man, holding his arms behind him, while Mark quickly opens door of cabin. They force the man into the room just as the Captain and two of the crew race up to the door.In the light of the cabin, they turn the man around. WE SEE THAT IT IS — ROSS.
Ross stands for an instant, with a wild, menacing glare in his eyes. Then, suddenly he makes a leap – as if to escape. He is seized by all, and is held until Chan places the handcuffs on his wrists.
CAPTAIN: Everhard? I thought his name was Ross.CHAN: No. Jim Everhard – formerly of South Africa. (He takes the figure of the three monkeys from his pocket) Your warning, Mr. Everhard – see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing. Maybe should be ‘nother monkey – DO NOTHING!
MARK: How about the key, Mr. Chan?
CHAN: Ah – thank you, so much.
He takes from his pocket, the safe-deposit key on the platinum chain, and shows it to Ross.
Mark takes it out.
CHAN: If I may.
ROSS: Where did I slip up? How did you know me?CHAN: (With a bland smile) I wasn’t sure — until just now.
ROSS: (Amazed) You weren’t? Then what about the letter you wrote me?
CHAN: Oh, I wrote everybody the same letter. But you are only one who came here to shoot my best suit.
CAPTAIN: What do you want to do with him, Charlie?
CHAN: Take charge please, while I send immediate wireless to Inspector Duff in hospital.
As Chan starts from cabin,
DOOR OF WIRELESS ROOM –
Chan dictating to operator. Beside him, arm in arm, are Mark and Pam.
He turns and smiles at Mark and Pam.
MARK: No mistake – fortunately, quite true.
He puts his arm around Pam’s waist, as she smiles up at him.