CHARLIE CHAN’S GREATEST CASE
Dated: July 7, 1933
DIRECTOR: HAMILTON MACFADDEN
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: PERCY IKERD
SCREENPLAY: LESTER COLE & MARION ORTH
PHOTOGRAPHY: ERNEST PALMER
SETTINGS: DUNCAN CRAMER
EDITOR: ALEX TROFFEY
MUSICAL DIRECTION: SAMUEL KAYLIN
SOUND: GEORGE LEVERETT
Carlotta Egan: HEATHER ANGEL
John Quincy Winterslip: JOHN WARBURTON
Harry Jennison: WALTER BYRON
T. M. Brade: IVAN SIMPSON
Barbara Winterslip: VIRGINIA CHERRILL
Captain Hallett: FRANCES FORD
Dan Winterslip: ROBERT WARWICK
Amos Winterslip: FRANK MCGLYNN
Minerva Winterslip: CLARA BLANDICK
Captain Arthur Temple Cope: CLAUDE KING
James Egan: WILLIAM STACK
The beachcomber: ROGER IMHOFF
Arlene Compton: GLORIA ROY
Steve Leatherbee: CORNELIUS KEEFE
Opening titles. One or two atmospheric shots of Honolulu, the Royal Hawaiian, boys on their surf boards, the beach.
SCENE 1 — Omitted.
CLOSE SHOT ON A DRAWN VENETIAN BLIND on the outside of a veranda. Behind this blind we hear the voice of a man raised angrily.
DISSOLVE THROUGH BLIND INTO:
INTERIOR DAN’S VERANDA
It is luxuriously furnished in attractive wicker furnishings and looks as if it were the general living quarters of the household. On a table is a framed photograph of Dan’s younger daughter, Barbara. Discovered are Dan and Amos Winterslip, both men are in their early fifties, both dressed in white linen. Amos of stiff sanctimonious appearance, Dan just the opposite. Amos holds a newspaper and shakes it in Dan’s face.
AMOS: When such disgraceful actions become the property of scandal columns, it’s time something was done about it.
Amos indicates a particular item in the newspaper which has aroused his indignation. Dan takes the paper from him calmly and looks at it.
INSERT OF PICTURE IN NEWSPAPER OF ARLENE COMPTON.
LAP DISSOLVE TO:
NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ACCOMPANYING PICTURE which reads:
Dan reads the article and smiles provokingly, and puts paper down.
Dan is beginning to burn but he compels himself to speak calmly.
INSERT OF BARBARA’S PICTURE.
We hear Amos’ voice coming over insert.
AMOS’ VOICE: What will your daughter say when she comes back from San Francisco?
Dan looks thoughtfully at the picture, rises and taking Amos’ arm, leads him to the screen door at the end of the veranda.
SHOOTING THROUGH SCREEN, we see a white picket fence in the background with Amos and Dan in foreground. Dan points toward this fence.
DAN: Now, look here, Amos. For thirty years you’ve lived on the other side of that fence, snooping around, watching my activities and condemning me in your righteous heart. You’ve refused to speak to me, denied me as a brother. You’ve cursed me and prayed to God to strike me dead for my sins. And now you dare come over here and tell me how to live my life.
CLOSE SHOT AT DOORWAY TO DINING ROOM.
Koahla, man-servant, discovered eavesdropping on Amos and Dan. Dan’s voice is heard.
AMOS: You’ll pay for this. You may have prospered in this life with your shady methods, but in the life to come, you’ll get yours.
Amos jerks open the screen door, stalks out slamming the door after him. Amos exits.
Dan has crossed to the table and is pouring himself a drink.
EXTERIOR DAN’S GARDEN
Amos, rushing down the garden path, turns a heavily shrubbed corner and bumps into Minerva, very nearly knocking her down.
MINERVA: (Amused) He’s your brother, too. Why don’t you try it!
AMOS: If something isn’t done to stop him from going through with that affair, no Winterslip will ever be able to hold his head up again. (Furiously) I’d see him dead rather than married to that woman.
With that, Amos goes on his way. Minerva looks after him and then starts for the house.
Dan has finished mixing his drink as Minerva enters.
DAN: Hello, Minerva. There’s some mail for you.
He indicates a packet of mail on the table. Minerva crossed toward it, talking as she walks.
Off-stage phone rings twice and stops.
MINERVA: (Starting to read letter) Make it man-sized, I’m parched.
Dan begins to prepare a huge scotch and soda for Minerva. Koahla, the native boy, enters.
KOAHLA: Yes, sir.
Koahla leaves and Dan hands Minerva her drink.
MINERVA: Thanks Dan.
She takes a long swallow of the scotch.
Dan settles down into an easy chair and picks up the newspaper Amos has left.
DAN: I don’t understand why they have to send him for you. Aren’t you able to take care of yourself?
MINERVA: He’s the only available male in the family. I’ve written to them that I’m enjoying myself, and that’s more than they can tolerate.DAN: (Smiles) I suppose he’ll stop with our brother, Roger, in San Francisco. Why don’t you wire him there and tell him to make his home with us when he gets here?
MINERVA: (Laughs) You don’t know what you’re letting yourself in for, Dan. John Quincy is just like Amos thirty years ago without the touch of sun.
Dan, beginning to look over the newspaper, chuckles. Minerva seats herself and enjoys her drink. Suddenly, Dan sees something in the paper which appears to upset him. His expression changes.
He throws the newspaper aside, rises and crosses impatiently to the door, meeting the house-boy as he appears there.
Dan picks up his hat from a peg on the wall and starts for the screen door where he turns and looks back at Minerva.
Under the pretext of tidying room, Koahla picks up paper and exits.
DAN’S HOUSE – ANOTHER ROOM
Koahla enters with paper in stealthy manner. He reads the article which Dan has folded uppermost, with great interest.
INSERT: FOLDED NEWSPAPER –
“T.M. BRADE DUE
Next week, from India, comes T.M. Brade, retired British Civil Servant. This is his first visit of the Islands, and is the gratification of a life-long desire.”
INTERIOR DAN’S HOUSE
This information seems to mean something to Koahla. He tears the item out of the paper –
Kamaikui, coming down hall, calls –
KOAHLA hears the call. He quickly slips the torn bit of paper into his pocket and, to avoid seeing Kamaikui at this moment, nimbly slips over the window sill, drops to the ground and runs madly down the beach.
CLOSEUP ON LIFE PRESERVER attached to the railing on a ferry boat. Inscribed on it is:
“TAMALPAIS, OAKLAND – SAN FRANCISCO”
In the background we have a process shot of the bay and the San Francisco sky line.
DECK OF FERRY – BOAT IN MOTION.
Same process shot in background. Colored porter loaded with eight pieces of elaborate pigskin luggage which include a set of golf clubs and a hat box, comes into the scene. As the porter, exhausted, sets them down, we notice that they are initialed “J.Q.W.” and labeled “Boston.” The porter wipes his brow and turns grinning as John Quincy, a young man of twenty-eight, or so, immaculately clad and formal with cane and gloves, comes into the scene. He tips the porter.
PORTER: Thank you, sir. First trip out here?
John nods briefly as if wishing to dismiss the man.
Some place, California, sir.
JOHN: Yes, quite, thank you.
The porter goes on his way. John leans against the rail looking out and frowning. It is a misty day. A hearty, middle-aged man standing there observes John’s impressive luggage.
MAN: (Not at all daunted) Too bad it’s so foggy. Unusual. As a rule this is the most beautiful view in the world.
JOHN: (Coldly polite) Is that so?
MAN: Yes. Why, we have…
JOHN: (Bitingly) How fascinating.
The man realizes that John does not intend to respond to his cordial efforts. He shrugs and moves away. John sighs with relief and gazes out over the water. A second man comes over to him, notices the luggage and then says:
SECOND MAN: Got a match, stranger?
John turns and observes him with restrained patience.
SECOND MAN: First trip out this way?JOHN: (Controlling a sigh) Yes.
SECOND MAN: Great country. Too bad about the fog today. Unusual. Most of the time you can see the Golden Gate and Mount Tamalpais. Great sight. Ever see Mount Tamalpais?
SECOND MAN: Ha, ha. Of course not. Forgot you said you were never here before. Too bad it’s foggy.
JOHN: (In cold, measured tones) I like the fog, do you mind terribly?
SECOND MAN: (Gasping with astonishment) I…oh…er…
The second man walks away. John grits his teeth and turns back to his survey of the water, standing with his back full to the camera. Now Carlotta enters the scene and drops her heavy bag with relief.
CLOSEUP OF JOHN as he hears the bag drop. His expression is one of extreme annoyance. Anticipating the questions, he decides to nip them in the bud and without looking around starts talking.
MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT – ANOTHER ANGLE
For a moment Carlotta looks at him in astonishment. Then she decides it must be a game and why shouldn’t she play it too? Thrusting her hand in front of her coat, Napoleon-wise, and dropping her chin on her chest, she assumes a deep bass voice.
CARLOTTA: I would have conquered the world, and Wellington, too, if it hadn’t been for Fouche.
John turns in astonishment to find Carlotta beside him.
John continues to stare at her without answering.
She opens her purse and hands him a packet. Dumbfounded he takes them without being aware of the fact that he’s done so.
CARLOTTA: Don’t tell me that you haven’t a cigarette either?
She opens her case and offers John a cigarette. John quickly hands her back the matches.
JOHN: I’m terribly sorry. I suppose it must have sounded quite crazy. I beg your pardon.
CARLOTTA: That’s all right.
She turns away smiling.
Carlotta hastens to assure him.
CARLOTTA: All right, all right.
As if she is just a bit frightened, she starts to move away. John pursues her a step, detaining her.
JOHN: But you are thinking it, I know. I’m afraid I became a bit annoyed by the hearty cordiality of these people. Everyone felt obligated to assure me that this fog was unusual, and that this was really a beautiful place. I was only trying to beat the next nuisance to it.
CARLOTTA: (Stiffly) Oh, I see.
She turns to move away.
CARLOTTA: I must say your manner of entering a flirtation is hardly alluring.JOHN: (Hastily assuring her) But I’m not trying to enter a flirtation.
CARLOTTA: (Pretending disappointment) Oh, then I’ve been wasting all this time hoping…
JOHN: (It suddenly dawns on him) I say, are you trying to make a fool of me?
Carlotta smiles as if to say, “God’s already done that.” Then she turns and surveys his luggage.
CARLOTTA: Where are you bound for, stranger?
Carlotta touches his hat box.
CARLOTTA: (Laughs) A high hat in Hawaii. Why you’ll be taken for a missionary.
John looks chagrined.
John looks coldly at her and then, bending over his luggage, he deliberately picks up the box and throws it overboard.
JOHN: Do you feel better?
Carlotta turns, concealing a smile, and sees –
STOCK SHOT – FERRY SLIP
MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT –
CARLOTTA: Oh, we’re coming in –
She picks up her bag and starts off. John hurriedly begins to gather up his luggage, eager to go with her.
JOHN: I say, why can’t we go….I mean if you’ll wait…that I’d like to…
Carlotta continues on her way, looks back smiling over her shoulder and calls a warning.
CARLOTTA: Don’t go native over there.
John, anxious to follow the girl, struggles with his luggage, picking up one piece and dropping another. Finally he becomes exasperated, looks at the luggage helplessly and mad through and through and shouts for help.
While waiting for the porter, he begins to stack up the bags in as good order as possible. The porter comes running to him grinning and takes charge of the luggage, noticing as he does so, the Boston labels.
PORTER: Yassuh. First trip out this way, sir? Too bad about the fog –
EXTERIOR SAN FRANCISCO STREET – NIGHT. An establishing shot.
ANOTHER STREET. RESIDENCE DISTRICT. NIGHT. CLOSE SHOT ROGER WINTERSLIP’S CAR as chauffeur opens the door and John and Roger get out. John looks at the house with obvious distaste.
ACROSS STREET, MYSTERIOUS FIGURE LURKING IN SHADOWS, WATCHING.
EXTERIOR DAN WINTERSLIP’S SAN FRANCISCO HOUSE. CAMERA PANS UPWARD as John would see it, showing a three story house, with windows boarded up, and a general air of desertion.
EXTERIOR DAN’S SAN FRANCISCO HOUSE. ROGER AND JOHN.
He takes him by the arm and leads him up the stairs. CAMERA TRUCKS ALONG with them.
Take this house, for instance. He comes over here perhaps for two months a year, yet he goes to all the trouble of bringing all his servants with him, and opening the place. You’d think a hotel would do, but not for Dan.
By this time they have arrived at the door.
ACROSS THE STREET we see a stealthy figure lurking in the shadows, watching Roger and John.
He sees them go into the house.
INTERIOR DAN’S SAN FRANCISCO HOUSE – HALL AND STAIRWAY
Roger takes flashlight from his pocket, and as the pale light travels about we see the furniture swathed in ghostly linen covers, and the broad stairway leading up.
Roger takes Dan’s cable from his pocket, hands it to John Quincy, and turns the flashlight on it for him to read.
INSERT OF CABLE:
1438 MONROE ST.,
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
WHEN NEPHEW ARRIVES TAKE
HIM TO MY HOUSE. IN OLD
TRUNK IN ATTIC WILL BE FOUND
SMALL STRONG BOX MARKED
T.M.B. HAVE HIM THROW IT
OVERBOARD INTO PACIFIC ON
WAY TO HAWAII
INTERIOR DAN’S HOUSE
ROGER: Absolutely.JOHN: (Exasperated) Well, then, it’s nonsensical. Evidently it is of no value. Then why isn’t it just as well off here as it is at the bottom of the Pacific?
Roger takes John by the arm with friendly force, and starts him up the stairs.
ROGER: Because that’s the way Dan wants it, my boy, and it’s always wise to accommodate Dan.
A faint ray comes through a window high in a gable. We can just discern the movement of a shadowy figure, crossing the center of the room.
Then we hear Roger and John coming up the stairs, the light of the flash preceding them. The next moment they appear.
ROGER: I guess that’s the trunk over there.
As Roger flashes the light on the trunk, the flashlight is suddenly struck from his hand. He shouts. John finds himself struggling with an unseen assailant. Roger joins in the scrap and the flashlight rolling crazily across the floor, throws weird circles of light on the struggle. Finding himself outnumbered, the mysterious stranger makes a break for the stairway. We can hear his feet pattering on the steps as he runs down. Roger picks up the flash and turns it upon John who is starting after the intruder.
Roger has now turned the flash on the trunk which we see is opened, and is bending over it with the flashlight shining on its contents.
ROGER: If he’s after what we’re after, he didn’t get it.
John comes to the trunk and looks into it.
INSERT OF BOX IN TRUNK
Plainly marked are the initials, T.M.B.
Roger lifts the box out of trunk and John looks at it curiously. SCENE 38
INSERT: PORTION OF THE BOX SHOWING “T.M.B.”
Roger turns the flash on John and sees a slight gash on his cheek.
JOHN: Not fatally.ROGER: (Closing the trunk) Good. Let’s get out of here.
They cross to the stairway and start down.
SECOND FLOOR STAIRWAY
As Roger and John come down, Roger lighting the way with the flashlight.
ROGER: The evening’s still young. Perhaps we can find a gay spot. What would you like to do?
The CAMERA TRUCKS BACKWARD ALONG the hall as John and Roger cross to the staircase, leading down to the first floor.
JOHN: Frankly, take the next train for Boston.
INTERIOR OF LOWER HALL SHOOTING UP THE STAIRCASE
As John and Roger start down.
By this time they are down the stairs and the CAMERA TRUCKS with them to the street door as John replies.
MYSTERIOUS FIGURE ACROSS STREET, watching.
The two men come out and Roger locks the door. The CAMERA TRUCKS with them as they cross to the car.
By this time they have arrived at the car. As they get in –
MYSTERIOUS FIGURE watching them out of scene, and starting as if to follow.
QUICK FADE OUT AND INTO:
INTERIOR NIGHT CLUB
Shooting through archway into supper room, dance number is being played and the dance floor in the center of the room is crowded. Roger and John enter from the left and stop in the archway. They are met by the Captain, who greets them, and leads them away.
CUT TO NEARBY TABLE
Cope, a man of about fifty, of military bearing, is seated with a man friend. They are looking in the direction taken by Roger and John.
MAN: Roger Winterslip.
COPE: I thought his face was familiar. Dan’s brother, eh?
MAN: That’s right, you knew Dan well in the old days. I suppose you’ll be seeing him when you get to Hawaii.COPE: (Angrily) Not if I can help it. Hanging is too good for Dan Winterslip. And I might be tempted to —- (Catches himself and forces a laugh) I guess Hawaii’s big enough for the two of us.
Cope offers the man a cigarette from his case.
EDGE OF DANCE FLOOR – TRUCKING
Roger and John are skirting the dance floor. Suddenly, from the dance floor a woman’s hand reaches into the scene, seizing Roger’s shoulder. THE CAMERA STOPS with Roger and John and then we see that it is Barbara who has detained Roger. Harry Jennison, a good-looking young chap in his middle thirties, is her dancing partner. As he sees Barbara, Roger’s face lights up.
ROGER: Barbara! You little devil. Why didn’t you let me know you were in town?
He shakes hands with Jennison.
As Barbara speaks, she and Jennison are bumped into by a passing couple on the crowded dance floor. Barbara and Jennison resume dancing as Barbara calls over Jennison’s shoulder.
BARBARA: Join us?
Roger and John arrive at the table which is on the edge of the dance floor. As they are seating themselves, Roger says:
ROGER: And that, my boy, is your cousin, Dan’s daughter. You’ll probably be sailing on the same boat.
JOHN: She’s very attractive. Who’s the man?
ROGER: Harry Jennison. Another Islander – been Dan’s lawyer for years.
As Roger speaks a waiter comes to the table, handing both men menus.
NIGHT CLUB – CLOSEUP AT TELEPHONE
Cope is speaking into mouthpiece.
Cope hangs up and turns from the phone.
The dance number is over and Barbara and Jennison come back to the table. John and Roger rise and Roger says:
ROGER: You weren’t going to sail without coming to see me, I hope?
He turns to John.
I want you to meet your cousin, John Quincy Winterslip – he’s going to the Islands to bring your Aunt Minerva home.
JOHN: How do you do?
During this Roger and Harry are shaking hands and ad libbing “Glad to meet you,” etc.
ROGER: Oh, John – this is Mr. Jennison.
The men shake hands and murmur a friendly greeting. The music starts up again for the second half of the dance, and Barbara, full of animation, turns to John.
ROGER: Go ahead, my boy.
John and Barbara step to the dance floor. The CAMERA TRUCKS ALONG with them as they dance. Barbara looks up teasingly into John’s serious face.
BARBARA: What do cousins do in Boston?
JOHN: (Nervously trying to joke) Er — rub noses, I believe.
BARBARA: What fun.
She stretches up and manages to rub his nose, much to his embarrassment. However, he evidently has liked it. She moves closer to him in dance positions and then the CAMERA STOPS, allowing them to dance away and lose themselves amongst the other couples, as we
LONG SHOT SHIP AT SEA – NIGHT
EXTERIOR BRIDGE OF SHIP
Barbara and Jennison are talking with the Captain.
While they are talking, Higgins, a passenger, joins them unobserved.
BARBARA: Oh, just an idea.
JENNISON: (Indulgently) Some of her school friends sailed yesterday on the ‘Matsonia.’ I expect she’d like to beat them. (Turns to Barbara) Isn’t that it?
Barbara laughs. Higgins moves into the group.
HIGGINS: Would it be possible, Captain? I’d like to get in a day ahead myself.
They all turn and see Higgins.
CAPTAIN: Oh, good evening, Mr. Higgins.
Barbara and Jennison nod.
The Captain looks a bit reluctant.
CAPTAIN: Now, don’t try any of your wiles on me, young lady. (And with that he encircles her with his arm, holding her as he talks to Higgins) Such an offer, Mr. Higgins, is a great inducement, I’ll try.
BARBARA: Oh, you darling! (She kisses him)
CAPTAIN: But I warn you, if we don’t make it by five o’clock the evening before, we’ll have to lie outside the harbor overnight.
BARBARA: But we will make it, I know.
CAPTAIN: (Gives instructions) Full speed ahead.
CLOSEUP INSTRUMENT as it advances to full speed.
INSTRUMENT ROOM BERKELEY AND OFFICER
INTERIOR JOHN’S CABIN
He is unpacking a bag, getting to the box, which he takes halfway out of the bag, when there is a knock at the door. He replaces it.
JOHN: Come in.
The Reverend Frank Upton enters. A missionary type, ascetic, austere.
UPTON: My name is Upton. Reverend Frank Upton, Missionary.
JOHN: Yes?UPTON: (Severely) I noticed your name on the passenger list. Young man, you aren’t by any misfortune related to Dan Winterslip, are you?
JOHN: He is my uncle.
UPTON: Indeed! I knew him forty years ago. I hope since then he’s become an upright, god fearing, respectable man.
JOHN: What was he when you knew him…a horse thief?
UPTON: Good gracious, no. There aren’t any horses in the South Seas.
JOHN: How unfortunate. How did he amuse himself?
UPTON: (Sternly) He was a Blackbirder.
John has uncovered the strong box. We hear Upton’s voice coming into the scene.
UPTON’S VOICE: I met him when he was first mate on the ‘Maid of Shiloh,’ a blackbirding ship, owned by a man named Brade, Thomas Michael Brade.
John looks sharply in direction of box.
INSERT OF BOX
Showing the initials “T.M.B.”
John instantly covers the box and closes the bag, while Upton continues:
UPTON: (Astonished) Amusing, sir!
JOHN: (Hastily) I beg your pardon. I was thinking of the dinner you’re missing. The food’s really excellent on these boats.
UPTON: (Sighs righteously) There’s too much thought of food for the body, and not enough thought of food for the soul. Now, if human beings would only consider that their lives —-
John sees that Upton is about to launch forth with a sermon and eases him toward the door.
JOHN: Thanks, but I’ve already eaten.
UPTON: Of course! (He is now in a hurry) See you again. (He closes the door)
JOHN: (To closed door) Not if I see you first.
John moves quickly to the bag, and removes the box. With he box under his arm, he comes to the door, opens it, looks up and down the deck. Satisfied, he exits.
It appears deserted as John makes his way to the stern. We see a figure leap from the shadows, snatch the box from John’s upraised arms as he is about to heave it overboard. The figure whirls John around and trips him, making him sit down suddenly and disappears again into the shadows.
John, astonished at this turn of events, which comes so quickly, turns, and cannot make up his mind for a moment what to do.
John running, rounds a corner of he deck. He stops suddenly and looks.
EXTERIOR DECK – CLOSE SHOT
From John’s angle. Upton, the missionary, carrying a black box, enters a cabin.
EXTERIOR DECK – MEDIUM SHOT
John starts rapidly toward Upton’s cabin, the CAMERA FOLLOWING HIM. He reaches a porthole opening on the cabin and looks in.
INTERIOR UPTON’S CABIN – MEDIUM SHOT
Shot through porthole. Upton has his back to the CAMERA. On a dresser near the porthole is the box.
EXTERIOR DECK – CLOSE SHOT
John reaches his hand in the porthole and grabs he box.
EXTERIOR DECK – MEDIUM SHOT
Hugging the box to him, John starts down the deck, the CAMERA following him. As he passes, the CAMERA moves in for a CLOSE SHOT. John looks at the box and discovers that it is a graflex camera. He looks around. Seeing that he is unobserved, he drops the camera on a deck chair and starts back toward Upton’s cabin.
EXTERIOR DECK – MEDIUM SHOT – REVERSE ANGLE
As John starts away from the deck chair, two young people appear from around a passageway. They see the graflex, note John and pick the graflex up, starting after him.
EXTERIOR DECK – CLOSE SHOT
As John reaches the door of Upton’s cabin, it opens and Upton, agitated, comes out. He halts John.
UPTON: Have you seen anyone around here in the last few minutes?
JOHN: Why – no.
UPTON: Someone has just stolen my camera.
The two people who picked up the graflex enter. The man addresses John.
MAN: Pardon me – you left your camera back there.
He hands the graflex to John and they continue on. Upton glares at John.
He snatches the graflex away.
You are a true Winterslip, sir!
He slams into the cabin. John continues on his way. He then starts running in the direction he believes is taken by the thief.
DECK FARTHER ALONG
Barbara and Jennison, in the partial shadow of a lifeboat, locked in passionate embrace.
Into the foreground walks John. He is about to walk right to where the couple is embraced, when they see him and stop short. They turn toward CAMERA.
John looks surprised, and then thoughtful, as he exits from scene. Now the CAMERA ROLLS UP CLOSE to Barbara and Jennison.
Barbara and Jennison as they slip from close embrace.
BARBARA: Yes, Harry.
JENNISON: I – I was almost afraid to ask you.BARBARA: I was almost afraid you weren’t going to. (Happily) I’m going to send a wireless to Dad. Come on.
JENNISON: Why not wait until we get in, and surprise him?
BARBARA: I’d rather have him know now, so that he can have time to arrange a party for me. (She kisses him swiftly) Come on.
She takes his hand, pulls him along. He follows reluctantly.
INTERIOR WIRELESS ROOM
Barbara and Jennison are reading message she has finished writing.
AM ENGAGED TO HARRY JENNISON
DELERIOUSLY HAPPY HOW ABOUT
BIG PARTY TO WELCOME US AND
GIVE PATERNAL BLESSING LOVE
INTERIOR WIRELESS ROOM
Barbara hands it to the operator, who smiles.
EXTERIOR DAN’S HOUSE – NIGHT
Dan’s car waits in driveway. We see a shadowy figure lurking.
Back of a clump of bushes, evidently lying in wait for Dan. Dan comes from the house and is about to step into his car when this figure steps out onto the driveway and we see that he is a rather seedy looking Englishman, tall, wiry, about forty-five years of age. He steps close to Dan.
MAN: I don’t suppose you remember me. I’m Egan.
DAN: Oh…you run the Reef and Palm Hotel. What do you want?
EGAN: Twenty years ago I was a bank teller in Sydney, Australia. We met there.
DAN: (Brusquely) You’re mistaken.
EGAN: (Darkly, positively) Oh, no, I’m not. (With foreboding menace) T.M. Brade is in town! I suppose you never heard of him?
DAN: (Angrily) No.
EGAN: (Smiling harshly) He’s stopping at my hotel. It might be a good idea to give me a few moments privately with you before he comes to see you.
DAN: (Almost shouting in his anger) Now, look here. I don’t know what you’re talking about, and if I catch you skulking around on these grounds again, I’ll have you arrested.
Dan gets into his car and the car starts to move.
INTERIOR ARLENE COMPTON’S BEACH HOME
It is attractively shabby. Arlene is a faded bleached blond past thirty, who might once have been beautiful. A victrola is playing. Steve and Arlene are dancing to the strains of seductive Hawaiian music. There is a knock at the door. Arlene motions to Steve to duck into the other room, which he does nonchalantly, arranging his clothes. Arlene arranges her hair, etc., and goes to the door. She opens the door.
ARLENE: Darling! I didn’t expect you so early.
DAN: I can only stay a minute. Listen, Arlene, I don’t want to seem an Indian giver, but you’ve got to do me a big favor.
ARLENE: What is it, Dan?
DAN: I’ve got to have that emerald brooch back.
It is obvious that Arlene has no intention of returning the brooch. She stalls.
ARLENE: Did you dear? I’m so sorry, I forgot.
DAN: It’s vitally important that I get it back immediately. I’ll give you something in place of it —
ARLENE: All right. I’ll get it for you tomorrow. (Brightly) Oh, I know what you can get for me in exchange. Do you remember that darling emerald necklace we saw in the arcade of the Royal Hawaiian?
DAN: It is as good as yours.
ARLENE: (Gratefully) Darling! (Sweetly) Don’t you want to sit down, have a little drink, and — (The rest of her sentence is implied)
DAN: I can’t. I’ve a business engagement that won’t wait. Goodbye.
He starts for door.
He takes her in his arms and kisses her perfunctorily.
The moment he’s out of that door, Arlene crosses to a chest of drawers and takes out a brooch.
INSERT of old-fashioned brooch in Arlene’s hand.
INTERIOR ARLENE’S BEACH HOUSE
Arlene looks at the brooch as if it were a valuable piece of property. The door of the bedroom opens and Steve Leatherbee, an obvious pimp type, enters the room. He calmly takes the brooch out of her hand.
ARLENE: I’m trying my best.
STEVE: Trying ain’t good enough, see? Start doing.ARLENE: (Coming to him coquettishly) And if I do, what happens?
STEVE: What do you think?
He kisses her.
ANCHOR PLUNGING INTO WATER.
DECK OF SHIP – NIGHT
The captain is met at the foot of the companionway by a group of passengers, including John, Jennison, Barbara, Berkeley and Higgins. Conversation ad lib concerning the disappointment at failing to arrive in time to make the harbor.
CAPTAIN: I’m sorry…I did my best, but I warned you.
A WOMAN: I don’t see why…it’s so silly to wait out here for a quarantine…nobody has smallpox.
CAPTAIN: Port regulations, Madame. We dock at nine in the morning.
The crowd, disappointed, moves away, ad libbing “Too bad”, “What a shame”, etc. Higgins lingers behind the others.
HIGGINS: Listen, Captain, I’ve got to get ashore tonight. Couldn’t one of your men take me in, in a small boat?
CAPTAIN: Not a chance, Mr. Higgins, I’m sorry.
The Captain walks away. Higgins moves to the railing and gazes frowningly toward the shore.
EXTERIOR DECK – FARTHER ALONG
ANOTHER PART OF DECK
Barbara, Jennison and John.
JOHN: I’m sure I’ll return to Boston.
BARBARA: (Laughs) Aunt Minerva once said something like that, but she traded her lorgnette for a ukelele.
EXTERIOR DAN’S HOUSE – NIGHT
The house is in darkness. An automobile rolls up to the driveway, stops and Minerva gets out, carrying a ukelele.
VOICES OF A MAN AND A WOMAN: Goodnight…goodnight. We’ll go again sometime. See you soon.MINERVA: Yes, goodnight.
The car moves away as Minerva enters the darkened house.
INTERIOR DAN’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – DARK SET
Through wide open door we can see the veranda bright with moonlight. At first the only sign of movement is the illuminated dial of a wrist watch moving in the shadows. Minerva enters. Instantly, the dial stops moving, then apparently the wearer slips stealthily through some thin hangings into the dining room. Minerva gives a startled gasp and hastens from the room by another door.
Minerva comes to servant’s door and knocks very lightly.
The native boy, fully dressed, suddenly appears behind Minerva from the darkness of the hallway.
They go quietly down the hall.
INTERIOR LIVING ROOM
Minerva and Koahla enter. She turns on the light.
MINERVA: Look in the dining room, Koahla.
Koahla obeys, but finds no one there.
Where is Mr. Dan?
KOAHLA: I think asleep.
Minerva crosses to the door leading to the veranda.
In the moonlight we can faintly see Dan lying half off the couch, face upward, one arm hanging limp, the other twisted behind his back. Minerva raises her hand to her mouth suppressing a scream. Koala runs to her side.
Realizing that Dan is dead, Minerva stumbles back, saying unsteadily, and grabs the back of a chair.
KOAHLA: I call police.
She goes into the living room. Koahla, after a frightened look at the murdered man, follows.
INTERIOR LIVING ROOM
Minerva crosses to the phone.
He hurries into the dining room. Minerva picks up phone.
Hotel operator at telephone.
OPERATOR: Captain Cope is not in.
INTERIOR LIVING ROOM
MINERVA: Not in his room?
CLOSE SHOT – Hotel operator.
OPERATOR: Shall I have him paged?
INTERIOR LIVING ROOM
Minerva looks at her watch.
INSERT OF WATCH showing the time to be 1:20.
INTERIOR LIVING ROOM
She hangs up, then jiggles receiver.
Evidently Amos at the other end starts to protest. Minerva cuts him short.
Please, Amos, this is no time for nonsense… your brother is dead… murdered…
She hangs up.
INTERIOR POLICE STATION
Captain Hallett at desk, talking into phone.
CAPTAIN HALLETT: Hello. Who? Yes? Murdered! I’ll be right over.
Hallett hangs up, then jiggles receiver once or twice.
HALLETT: Get me Charlie Chan.
INTERIOR CHAN’S LIVING ROOM
The dark room is splotched with moonlight. The telephone is ringing loudly.
NOTE: Throughout all the short scenes that follow, the telephone bell continues to ring.
Twin beds occupied by Chan and his wife. They are waking to the sound of the telephone bell.
QUICK FLASHES of each of Chan’s eleven children waking.
INTERIOR CHAN’S LIVING ROOM
Chan, folding dressing gown about him, enters, followed by Mrs. Chan.
MRS. CHAN: What is the matter?
CHAN: Even wisest man cannot answer until he knows question.
Chan makes a light while he speaks. In rapid succession all the eleven children come hurrying into the room, in various stages of undress, watching while Chan lifts the telephone receiver.
Chan hangs up and hastens from the room to dress. Mrs. Chan follows.
Now the children begin scurrying about. One gets Chan’s flashlight, another gets his gun from the drawer, one of the very small ones gets his coat and is nearly hidden under it, trying to carry it. He looks like a Chinese Skippy. They all rush into the other room.
INTERIOR CHAN’S BEDROOM
Chan is now almost dressed.
Through all this, Chan smiles indulgently and then begins looking about on the floor.
CHAN: Where are my shoes?
At this, into the room comes Chan’s youngest, a tiny child, the shoes seem enormous.
CHAN: The smallest jewel is sometimes brightest.
He puts on his shoes while one of the boys laces them for him, pleading with Chan while he does so.
Chan is now dressed. He stands up and Mrs. Chan hands him his hat. He turns to the children clustered about him.
To bed now with much haste.
He waves the children away and they scamper off.
As he turns to go out,
FADE OUT AND INTO:
INTERIOR DAN’S LIVING ROOM
Discovering Minerva, Captain Hallett, a policeman and a doctor. Hallett is questioning Minerva.
HALLETT: Nothing has been touched?
HALLETT: Good. All right, doctor.
Hallett motions in the direction of the veranda, and the doctor nods and exits to veranda.
MINERVA: (Sharply) “Hmmm” nothing, my good man, I’m the…his sister.
The doctor appears in the doorway and calls.
DOCTOR: Captain Hallett.
Hallett crosses and both he and the doctor go to the veranda.
The doctor and Hallett are leaning over the body of Dan.
He turns and goes back into the living room.
INTERIOR DAN’S LIVING ROOM
Minerva sits stiffly upright in her chair and as Hallett approaches her, looks at him a little belligerently.
MINERVA: I didn’t say. I wasn’t asked. Minerva Winterslip.
HALLETT: The doctor tells me Mr. Winterslip has been dead a very short while. If you can give me any idea as to…
MINERVA: I can give you a very definite idea. It happened within two minutes of fifteen past one.HALLETT: (Stares at her) You’re sure of that?
MINERVA: Certainly, I’m sure. I got the time from the wrist watch of the person who committed the murder.
HALLETT: (Astonished) You…what! You saw him!
MINERVA: (Coldly) I didn’t say that. I said I saw his wrist watch. The dial was illuminated. And if it will be of any assistance to you, the numeral indicating the hour two, was slightly obscured.
HALLETT: Well! You certainly had your wits about you.
MINERVA: Where else should they be?
Minerva rises and crosses to a window as if to draw the blind. Suddenly she bends a trifle, looking out into the garden and exclaims:
MINERVA: There! In the bushes!
Without waiting for Hallett, Minerva makes a dash for the door. Hallett follows.
EXTERIOR DAN’S GARDEN
Minerva comes upon a crouching figure and is about to seize hold of it when the figure straightens and we recognize the bland face of Chan. Hallett comes hastily up and exclaims:
HALLETT: Oh, Charlie. What are you doing out here?
CHAN: Like when eating orange. Start outside and work to center.
Chan shows him a small white object he has picked up.
Small cigarette butt in Chan’s fingers.
EXTERIOR DAN’S GARDEN
CHAN: Most unfortunate. Be generous to accept my most unworthy condolence.
MINERVA: What has he to do with this?
HALLETT: Mr. Chan will have charge of his case.
MINERVA: (With asperity) Charge of the case? A Chinaman!
CHAN: Humbly suggest not to judge wine by barrel it is in.
MINERVA: Well, I never…I see where I’ll have to send to Washington for assistance. The idea!
CHAN: It is not easy to make fire in cold stove. Politely request cooperation for good of all. (To Hallett) May we proceed to scene of most upsetting crime?
They all turn and start back into the house.
INTERIOR DAN’S LIVING ROOM
It is evident that Chan has been questioning Minerva for some time and she shows signs of fatigue.
MINERVA: I’ve told you all I know about it.
CHAN: Most helpful. Thank you so much. The servants?
MINERVA: I’ll call them.
She crosses to the thin curtains that hang from the dining room doorway. As she does so, Chan quickly crosses to the door on the opposite side of the room and pulls it open. Both Koahla and Kamaikui have been leaning against it, crouching. They now come into the room.
MINERVA: (Sharply) You weren’t asleep when I called you. You weren’t even in your room.
KOAHLA: Went for drink water.
CHAN: More later. (To Kamaikui) And you?
KAMAIKUI: Many people here tonight.
KAMAIKUI: No see. Go to bed early. But cannot sleep. Hear loud talk. First man he shout and go. Then woman and man shout and go. Everybody come and shout and go and come back. Mr. Winterslip shout too.
CHAN: You understand what they say?
Now over the scene comes the loud, righteous voice of Amos.
AMOS’ VOICE: The wages of sin are death.
INTERIOR DAN’S LIVING ROOM – ANOTHER ANGLE
They all turn quickly to find Amos standing tall and fanatic looking in the doorway.
Chan approaches Amos quietly as latter seats himself in the nearest chair and drops his straw hat on the floor beside him.
AMOS: I know one thing! You cannot live a life of sin, and hope to be rewarded in the hereafter.
CHAN: Profound wisdom, but not helpful at present. How did you learn of crime?
AMOS: My sister called me on the phone and I notified the police.
CHAN: You live but short distance?
CHAN: Why did you not come right over? Were you already in bed?
CHAN: What have you been doing since telephone call?
AMOS: I have been praying for his soul.MINERVA: (With asperity) That doesn’t help these gentlemen either, Amos. (Thinking) Now that I think of it, I remember a man named Egan calling on the phone a dozen times. Dan refused to talk to him. Perhaps….
CHAN: Egan…Reef and Palm Hotel. Most helpful. Thank you so much.
Chan turns slowly away from Amos and crosses the floor as if he is thinking deeply. Suddenly his sharp eyes encounter something on the floor. He quickly stoops.
BIG CLOSEUP of Chan’s hand picking up a piece of seaweed and turning it over once or twice, investigating it.
Chan straightens and puts the seaweed in his pocketbook without a word, although both Minerva and Amos have observed his action with curiosity. As Minerva is about to question him concerning it, Chan quickly diverts her by looking at his watch and saying:
CHAN: Only make haste when catching flea.
MINERVA: Really, Mr. Chan.
Chan picks up his hat and crosses to the door. Turning:
CHAN: Good night. Worry not. What is to be is to be and inscrutable fates very busy arranging program.
Chan leaves. Minerva and Amos sit in silence for a long moment, and then Minerva suddenly remembering, exclaims:
He picks up his hat, rises and starts for the door. Minerva looks after him, her brows knit. As he reaches the door, she calls sharply:
MINERVA: (Slowly) What do you know about this, Amos?
Amos shows nervousness and is almost too greatly astonished:
AMOS: I? You must be mad, Minerva.
He turns hastily and leaves.
Minerva gazes after him wonderingly, then rising, starts across the room as if to turn out the lights, when coming to the veranda she hears native voices raised in violent argument. She starts for the veranda.
Kamaikui and Koahla are discovered in what amounts almost to a struggle. Kanaikui is clutching something and Koahla is trying to wrest it from her.
Koahla looks at her furtively and then slinks away. Kamaikui approaches Minerva holding some object in her outstretched hand.
KAMAIKUI: I find this here on porch. He try to take it.
She hands the object to Minerva who takes it and looks down at it curiously.
MINERVA: To whom does it belong?
KAMAIKUI: Many, many years, Mr. Dan have this and more just like it. Last month he give this to woman down beach.
MINERVA: Don’t mention this to anyone, Kamaikui.
MINERVA: Thank you. Good night.
Kamaikui leaves and Minerva looks down again at the object she is holding.
INSERT of Minerva’s hand holding the brooch which we last saw in Arlene Compton’s possession.
VERANDA – DAY
John and Minerva. John is pacing back and forth.
MINERVA: It isn’t incredible. It’s a horrible fact, and we’ve got to face it. Something must be done about it.
JOHN: The best thing we can do is take the next boat for Boston.MINERVA: I’m not leaving here until we get to the bottom of this. (Scornfully) I hope you don’t expect Amos to take care of it!
JOHN: He could be as helpful as you.
MINERVA: (Dryly) Thank you. And now, John Quincy, I’ll tell you something else. (With provoking calm) Not only am I staying, but you are too.
JOHN: (Impatiently) In heaven’s name, why?
MINERVA: There’s Barbara.
JOHN: But Jennison’s been acquainted with all these facts. Since he and Barbara are going to be married, he certainly will take care of her affairs.
MINERVA: All that doesn’t find the murderer.
JOHN: How about that Oriental Sleuth you told me about?
MINERVA: (With scorn) A Chinaman! Why, even the police in Boston need prodding. When I lost my little dog, Abigail, I finally had to see the police commissioner before I got the slightest aid in recovering her. (Triumphantly) But they found her! And that’s what I want you to do. Accompany this Mr. Chan, and keep him from falling asleep under palm trees.
MINERVA: Dozing at his desk in the police station, I’m sure.JOHN: (Dryly) Hail, the new detective!
John picks up his hat and leaves.
INTERIOR BARBARA’S ROOM
The door is partly open. Her luggage still unpacked is in the room. Barbara, wearing the clothes she has arrived in that morning, reclines on a chaise longue, weeping brokenly. Jennison, very tender and solicitous, is with her.
JENNISON: He shouldn’t have had. He was one of the finest men I ever knew.BARBARA: (Suddenly) Uncle Amos! He always hated Dad! Oh, no! I can’t believe that!
Jennison bends over her, taking her hand and kissing it gently.
JENNISON: Of course, dear.
There is a light knock on the partly opened door and Minerva enters with a cup of hot coffee for Barbara. As she crosses the room, Minerva says:
Barbara makes a pathetic attempt to smile bravely.
BARBARA: I’ll try.
Jennison kisses her on the forehead.
JENNISON: I’ll be back soon.
Barbara clings to Minerva who sets the coffee down and puts her arms around the girl.
MINERVA: There, there, dear.
EXTERIOR DAN’S DRIVEWAY
Jennison’s roadster is parked here. Jennison comes from the house. At the same time Amos is walking along driveway on his way to the house. They meet at the car.
AMOS: I feel it is my duty to take a hand in my brother’s affairs….go over his private papers, in fact.JENNISON: (Firmly) Barbara has asked me to attend to all that, Mr. Winterslip.
AMOS: (Raising his voice) I am the logical one, I should think.
JENNISON: (Crisply) After all, I am his attorney.
AMOS: That is exactly why I make my request. Perhaps I know more about your association with my brother than you think.
The two men look at each other with repressed antagonism, each showing a certain wariness. Jennison shrugs.
JENNISON: Very well. Would this evening suit you?
AMOS: Right now would be even better.
JENNISON: I’m sorry. I have some other business to attend to now and I promised to spend the remainder of the day with Barbara.
AMOS: Very well, then, this evening.
Jennison glares after him, gets in his car and drives off.
Amos continues on into the house.
INTERIOR SMALL RESTUARANT
Chan is seated alone at a table near the window as we see printed in reverse on the window:
“THE ALL-AMERICAN RESTAURANT”
A Japanese waiter comes to the table with a piece of pie and places it in front of Chan. Chan inspects the pie gravely and then calls:
The waiter returns.
Be kind to summon proprietor of his unworthy establishment.
WAITER: Please to state your complaints. I am also proprietor.
CHAN: This sector of pie appears most unhygienic. It is my unfortunate lot to look for fingerprints in my profession. But when they appear in pie, they are neither helpful nor tasty.
The waiter picks up the pie and exits with it. John Quincy enters the cafe, looks around, sees Chan and comes to his table.
CHAN: Most correct.
JOHN: They told me over at the station that I’d find you here. I am John Quincy Winterslip.CHAN: (Rises) Most honored. Pray accept this unworthy chair.
JOHN: (Sitting down) I arrived on the ‘President Tyler’ this morning from Boston. Dan Winterslip was my uncle.
CHAN: Most unfortunate and disagreeable homicide. It is proper for me to infer that you wish to speak of distressing incident?
JOHN: Yes. I’d like to accompany you in your investigations. I won’t pretend that I’ll be of much assistance, but I promise not to be a hindrance.
CHAN: Your desire is my great delight. If for no other reason than your refreshing employment of extravagant English which is rare here. Most helpful to my meager vocabulary.
JOHN: Have you formed any theory as yet regarding the crime?
CHAN: Theories like fingerprints…everybody has them. Only facts and motives lead to murderer. (Suddenly remembering) Oh, thousand pardons! Dry up plate of soup, perhaps?
JOHN: No, thank you.
CHAN: Then let us be on our way. We shall gather us to Captain Hallett and make for the Reef and Palm Hotel. (Calls) Proprietor!
Chan picks up the slip on the table which is his check. The waiter comes into the scene.
CHAN: I pay most unwillingly. Anxiously await day when law considers such food major crime.
WAITER: Thank you.
Chan and John leave the restaurant.
Chan’s antiquated Ford is parked at the curb. Chan and John come into scene. Chan removes huge lock from front wheel of car. John watches him, amused.
JOHN: (Looking Ford over) Sort of Model T wife, eh?
CHAN: Just so, good joke.
Chan and John get in car. Chan unlocks and works several contraptions. Chan steps on the starter, a bit nervously but when the car responds and motor starts, he sighs with relief and they start out.
EXTERIOR REEF AND PALM HOTEL
It is a weather-beaten frame building, part of it is extending on rickety piling out over the water. A riotous garden surrounds it on the rear and two sides. Chan and John drive up in Chan’s Ford. Behind them comes Hallett in his car. All three get out of cars.
CHAN: Great pleasure in presenting nephew of deceased man. It is his wish to accompany us.HALLETT: (Gruffly) Well, all right, but just leave the actual business of all this to us.
JOHN: (Stiffly) I never intended otherwise, I assure you.
They start for the dilapidated stairway leading up to the entrance of the hotel when Egan comes running down the stairs. He is about to brush past the three men when Hallett stops him.
HALLETT: We want a few words with you.
EGAN: I’m frightfully sorry, old man, but I have a most pressing date and I’m late as it is. Some other time….
HALLETT: (Like a bullet) Now!
EGAN: (Without raising his voice) Impossible. I’ve got to get down to the dock within five minutes….
Hallett seizes Egan by the arm and begins to force him back up the stairs again.
HALLETT: Watch your step, Egan, I guess you know why we’re here.
EGAN: I haven’t the slightest idea.
HALLETT: I suppose you don’t know that Dan Winterslip was murdered last night.
EGAN: So I read in the morning paper. But I still don’t know why you’re here.
Hallett again urges Egan up the stairs.
HALLETT: You were the last person to see him alive. Now stop stalling and come inside.
The four of them mount the stairs.
INTERIOR REEF AND PALM HOTEL
There are two exits in the lobby, which has a picturesque shabbiness. A beachcomber has slipped in when Egan went out, perhaps to get a glimpse of a newspaper from “home”. When Hallett, John, Egan and Chan enter, the beachcomber makes a hasty silent exit. Egan indicates chairs and they all seat themselves.
CHAN: Last night you telephone Mr. Winterslip. Wished to cancel engagement with him. He insisted upon seeing you. You went to his house some time after eleven as he most urgently requested. Conversation with him was exciting one. Voices were elevated. It is not quite so?EGAN: (Nervously) Quite.
The men are all seated with their backs to the exits, engrossed in their conversation. We see the beachcomber move stealthily past the open doorway and glance in as he passes. Then he moves away.
HALLETT: Who let you in?
EGAN: Winterslip was waiting in the garden. We talked there for a while then went inside. We talked a half an hour about…the…er…business that brought me. Then I left and came right home.
CHAN: Your clerk… (Waving hand toward desk) ….saw you come in?
EGAN: I have no clerk.
CHAN: You and Mr. Winterslip were good friends?
EGAN: In the twenty-three years I have been here, I never spoke to him until the other morning on the telephone.
CHAN: Then you were acquainted with him previous?
EGAN: (Hesitantly) Yes, slightly. So slightly that Winterslip had completely forgotten it.
CHAN: But your memory retained it and after twenty-three years you called him on sudden business.
EGAN: I did.
CHAN: Thank you so much. And now please what was that business?
EGAN: I can’t tell you.
HALLETT: Oh, yes, you can.
EGAN: (Quietly) Never.
HALLETT: You’d better come along with me. You’ll tell it to the prosecutor.
Now Egan is angry. He crushes the cigarette he has been smoking in a tray and rises.
EGAN: Now, look here. I have told you once, my business with Winterslip was my own.
Calmly Chan leans over and picks up the cigarette stub. He gazes happily at it, then takes a small box from his pocket, opens it, takes out the stub he found in the garden, comparing them.
Two cigarette stubs in Chan’s fingers, each bearing the name “Corsican”.
CHAN: You always smoke these, Mr. Egan?EGAN: (Startled) No.
CHAN: They are not for sale here on the Island, Mr. Egan. Please let me see your case.
Egan reluctantly hands over his case. Chan finds half a dozen of the same brand of cigarettes in the case. From these he looks inquiringly at Egan.
CHAN: Who was generous person, please?EGAN: I’m…I’m afraid I can’t tell you that either.
John is viewing the proceedings with superior distaste.
JOHN: Why not arrest him, Captain Hallett? It’s pretty obvious he’s implicated.
Egan turns a glare of intense dislike to John. Hallett rises.
HALLETT: Come on, Egan.
EGAN: If you’ll just wait until this afternoon….
HALLETT: Get your hat.
Egan suddenly becomes a figure which strongly appeals to the sympathy.
CHAN: Time only wasted when sprinkling perfume on goat farm.
Now into the scene comes Carlotta Egan, with her suitcase. John recognizes her as the girl he has met on the ferry and looks on in astonishment as she drops her grip and runs into Egan’s arms.
EGAN: I’ve a little business in the city, Carlotta, dear. If I’m not back soon, you take charge.CARLOTTA: (Nervously) What’s happened?
HALLETT: I’m sorry, Miss, but your father’s being held for questioning in a murder case. Come on, Egan.
Hallett firmly leads Egan away. Carlotta stands there bewildered. John steps up to her.
JOHN: Perhaps I can explain. I don’t suppose you remember me?
CARLOTTA: Of course I do, the missionary.
She brushes past John, runs to the door and sees:
FROM CARLOTTA’S ANGLE
Egan getting into Hallett’s car. Hallett gets in and the car starts off.
INTERIOR HOTEL LOBBY – MEDIUM SHOT
Carlotta watches the car disappear. John comes up to her and Carlotta turns quickly to him.
JOHN: My uncle was murdered.
CARLOTTA: Oh! And you blamed my father?
JOHN: I’m awfully sorry, but the evidence made it appear….CARLOTTA: (Flaring) What evidence? How dare you even think my father could do such a thing! It’s too bad you threw away that high hat.
Carlotta is ready to weep with anger and anxiety. She turns on her heel and leaves. John looks helplessly after her. Chan, who has been shrewdly observing this, approaches John, who is looking off in the direction taken by Carlotta.
JOHN: Perhaps Egan is not guilty, Mr. Chan. Do you think we’ve been too hasty?
CHAN: Perhaps – Hasty accuse, leisurely repent.
Chan and John are going out of the hotel on Chan’s speech.
EXTERIOR REEF AND PALM
John and Chan come to Chan’s car – Chan takes big old-fashioned lock off wheel. They get in. Again Chan is uncertain as to response of car. He steps on starter and is gratified with the car’s immediate response. Car starts out.
CAMERA TRUCKING ALONG BESIDE THE CAR
Chan’s expression is blandly noncommittal as they ride. John looks worried. Presently he says:
JOHN: There’s something that’s been on my mind all along, Mr. Chan.
CHAN: Humbly suggest….shoot.
JOHN: A strong-box I was bringing to my Uncle Dan from San Francisco was stolen from me on the way over. You see, it was like this…..
As John starts to tell about the box, CAMERA STOPS, and we see the beachcomber slip from behind palm tree and watch car disappear.
FADE OUT AND INTO:
EXTERIOR DAN’S VERANDA
Amos and Minerva are having tea.
MINERVA: Well, it seems that Mr. Jennison has to leave for China next week, and will be gone a year. The poor child feels she’ll be better off away, forgetting it, than alone here.
AMOS: Even so, it’s disgraceful. There’s such a thing as respect for the dead.MINERVA: (Sighs) There must be, Amos.
AMOS: Jennison is showing me Dan’s papers tonight. Perhaps I’ll find some information of importance. You know, I have never trusted Jennison.
John comes into the scene, tosses his hat on a chair and sits down.
MINERVA: What news.
JOHN: They’ve arrested Egan, but the more I think about it, the less I believe him guilty.
MINERVA: It seems to me you’re all forgetting the wrist watch.
JOHN: So we are! How stupid!AMOS: I don’t believe that will help us. (Turns directly to Minerva) That Compton woman I spoke of to you, Minerva. I think the real murderer has something to do with the life Dan led with that woman.
MINERVA: (Slowly) There might be some truth in it.
Minerva reaches for her handbag and takes out the brooch holding it up for them to see.
MINERVA: (Coldly) This is not a matter for official prying. I intend to see her myself.
JOHN: I think I’d better do that.
AMOS: No – I will see her. Give me the brooch.
Chan’s voice comes over the scene.
CHAN’S VOICE: The law is honest man’s eyeglass to see better. Humbly suggest unworthy self as proper person.
They turn as Chan comes into the scene. He holds his hand out to Minerva, who after a second’s hesitation, gives him the brooch.
CHAN: Thank you so much.
AMOS: Perhaps you’re right. Let me know what you find out.
CHAN: Always enjoy to talk when words are important.
EXTERIOR DAN’S DRIVEWAY
Jennison is getting out of his car. Barbara is there meeting him – Amos passes them on his way home, and nods curtly.
JENNISON: I don’t think he likes us either. But then what does he like?
BARBARA: He’s so different from Dad. I sometimes wonder if they were really brothers.JENNISON: (Tenderly) Barbara, I’m going to do my best to make you forget all this. Promise to help me.
BARBARA: You’ve been wonderful, Harry.
By this time they have arrived at the door of he house and they stop.
JENNISON: I hope you’ll always think so.
He takes her in his arms and kisses her tenderly.
INTERIOR ARLENE’S BEACH HOUSE
Steve is standing over Arlene, berating her. She is weeping.
STEVE: I said you was dumb, and I still say you’re dumb.
ARLENE: Oh, Steve – how can you be so brutal –
There is a knock at the door.
STEVE: Who is it?
CHAN’S VOICE: Police Department.
Steve and Arlene exchange a quick, frightened glance. Steve goes to the door, the CAMERA PANNING with him. He opens the door, and Chan steps in. He bows to Arlene.
CHAN: Mrs. Compton?
CHAN: Forgive intrusion, please – but I must ask you questions about Mr. Dan Winterslip.
Arlene gives a little moan and puts her handkerchief to her eyes.
You knew him well?
STEVE: Whyn’t you leave her alone? Can’t you see she’s all broken up?
Chan turns suavely on him.
CHAN: Sometimes beneath eyes that weep are teeth that laugh.
Arlene sits up indignantly.
Steve is tough.
STEVE: What’s the idea of cracking wise?
CHAN: Wisdom is strong lever to pry knowledge loose. Maybe I have question for you, too –
Under his gaze, Steve drops back a step.
ARLENE: What do you want to know?
CHAN: You were Mr. Winterslip’s – er – er –
He pauses, searching for a word.
– excuse poor English, please – friend?
ARLENE: He was my fiancé.
CHAN: A soft word does not scratch the tongue – His death was big surprise to you?
She touches her eyes with the handkerchief and nods.
Arlene changes her front. She is defiant.
ARLENE: How dare you make any insinuations! I don’t know anything about poor Danny’s death. I haven’t seen him since last Friday.
CHAN: You were not there last night?
Chan extends his open hand, showing her the brooch.
CHAN: Pardon me, please.
Arlene gives a start as she sees the brooch.
ARLENE: That’s mine – give it to me.
Chan shakes his head and puts the brooch in his pocket.
CHAN: It now belong to law. It was found in house of murdered man.
He stares steadily at her.
You were with him on night he was killed.
Arlene changes front.
ARLENE: Yes, I was – but I had nothing to do with his death. I went over to return that brooch. At nine-thirty, I left. That’s the truth – you’re not going to drag me into this, are you?
CHAN: Many times ship of reputation wrecked on rock of crime.
Steve snarls at him.
STEVE: You got nothing on us.
CHAN: That we shall see. Time covers and discovers everything. Meanwhile please not to try leaving Island. That is official.
He bows and exits. Steve is worried.
STEVE: They can’t hang it on us – they can’t.
ARLENE: Oh, Steve – I’m frightened.
INTERIOR REEF AND PALM HOTEL
Carlotta at desk. Brade, a Cockney provincial, of about fifty years of age, steps up to the deck and gives Carlotta his door key. He is carrying a small traveling bag.
BRADE: Even’. Any mail?CARLOTTA: (Turns, looks at pigeon holes) Nothing.
BRADE: I’m leaving for the island of Maui for a few days. But I’m not checkin’ out, an’ I’d be obliged if no one went into my room while I’m gone.
CARLOTTA: Of course not, Mr. Brade.
Carlotta, who has been going over some papers, now puts some of them into a drawer of the desk. Her attention is arrested by something she sees in the drawer. She quickly picks it up.
INSERT OF CHECK IN CARLOTTA’S HAND
It is for five thousand dollars, payable to James Egan, and signed by Dan Winterslip.
Carlotta looking at check first in amazement, and then with a thoughtful frown. She looks up to see Koahla come into the lobby. He is carrying a package, wrapped, under his arm, which is actually the strong box. As Koahla approaches the desk, Carlotta hastily slips the check into the drawer and closes it.
KOAHLA: Like to see Mr. Brade, please.
CARLOTTA: I’m sorry, he’s just left. Do you want to leave something for him?
KOAHLA: Come back.
He moves away quickly, and is about to leave by the front entrance when suddenly he stops, as he sees someone approaching, and hastily leaves by a door leading to the beach. John Quincy comes in by the main entrance. He comes to the desk.
JOHN: Miss Egan.
Carlotta looks up, sees John, and her face becomes set. John finds it difficult to go on, but is determined.
She just stares at him stonily. He finds it still more difficult.
JOHN: I didn’t realize…I mean, I didn’t know your father…What I really mean is I don’t believe he is guilty.
CARLOTTA: (Coldly) That’s very kind of you. You don’t know how relieved I am. (Sarcastically) I suppose that now you’ve changed your mind, he’s automatically released.
JOHN: No, but I’m going to clear him.
CARLOTTA: (Bitterly) I don’t see how you can spend your time around here.
With that, Carlotta turns from John deliberately and starts for the door leading to beach. John follows.
He falls into step with her – as they exit.
Chan enters, finds lobby empty, crosses to desk and looks at register.
A portion of register showing name “T.M. Brade” and “Room No. 14”.
Chan’s eyes begin to travel over desk in search of further information.
EXTERIOR MOONLIT BEACH – TRUCKING SHOT
John and Carlotta. He has evidently made her listen to him, but she is far from being friendly.
JOHN: Well, he admits he was there that night, and he refuses to tell the nature of his business.
CARLOTTA: I’m sure he has a good reason.
JOHN: But they don’t know that.
He turns and takes her hands in his.
Look, isn’t there some way I can make you believe that I really want to help you?
Carlotta softens a little.
CARLOTTA: And you are the hero?
JOHN: You can tell me that – later – Now the important thing is to find some way to clear your father.
CARLOTTA: (Slow, struggling with herself as to whether or not to tell) I found a check dated the night of the murder in father’s desk, made out by your uncle to him. (Triumphantly) If Mr. Winterslip gave him a check that night, my father certainly intended to cash it. And that would prove difficult under the circumstances. Therefore, it would be to his advantage if Mr. Winterslip were alive! That ought to clear him!
JOHN: That sounds reasonable. Will you let me have the check?
CARLOTTA: (Looks at him searchingly as if making up her mind. Finally) Yes.
JOHN: (Gratefully) Thank you.
They turn and start back.
INTERIOR BRADE’S HOTEL ROOM
Chan is there going over Brade’s belongings. His luggage is plainly marked “T.M.B., Calcutta”. Chan has found a round tin box filled with cigarettes.
INSERT TIN OF CIGARETTES.
Chan’s fingers select one, turning it so we can see the name “Corsican” written on it.
CHAN’S VOICE: “Corsican”.
Chan adds one of these to the two stubs which he already has of the same brand. Then he prepares to leave the room, putting things back as he has found them.
INTERIOR REEF AND PALM LOBBY
Cope stands at the desk in the empty lobby. His manner suggests that he has been there for some moments, tapping bell. Chan comes into the lobby, goes behind the desk. We see him place key on #14 rack. Cope, seeing him, thinks he is the clerk.
COPE: Where can I find Mr. Egan?
Chan realizes Cope’s mistake and is quick to take advantage of it.
COPE: My name is Cope.CHAN: (Gratified) Gives me great honor to make your acquaintance. I intend to visit you later.
COPE: I’m afraid I haven’t the slightest knowledge of who is addressing me.
CHAN: Your most insignificant servant, Charles Chan.
COPE: What can I do for you, Mr. Chan?
CHAN: You can make me most happy by telling me what you did last Monday.
Cope stares at Chan with an expression which might be fear. Then he becomes indignant.
COPE: Are you trying to be funny?
CHAN: Funny as man can be about murder.
Chan takes his badge from his pocket and holds it for Cope to look at it.
INSERT OF BADGE IN CHAN’S HAND
Cope’s attitude changes to one of concern.
He crushes out his cigarette in a tray, and turning on his heel, strides rapidly from the lobby. Chan immediately picks up the stub.
INSERT OF CIGARETTE STUB IN CHAN’S FINGERS
It also bears the name “Corsican”.
CHAN’S VOICE: “Corsican”.
Chan looks after Cope’s receding figure and murmurs:
CHAN: Thank you so much.
He stores the stub with the others.
EXTERIOR REEF AND PALM MOTEL
TRUCKING SHOT of John and Carlotta coming along the path close to the building. There is a tangled mass of shrubbery against the building.
CARLOTTA: You must have thought I was a very dreadful person.
JOHN: I never thought that – even for a minute. I understood perfectly how you felt.
CARLOTTA: I’m so upset and worried – and angry, too – because I know that never could my father kill anyone – it’s just not in his nature.
JOHN: I’m sure he didn’t do it. Well, from now on I’m sharing your worries.
CARLOTTA: But won’t you be going back to Boston?
JOHN: Not until we get your father out of trouble – and not until –
He pauses. She looks up at him expectantly, unconsciously they start to sway toward one another.
There is a rustle from the bushes.
CLOSE SHOT ON SHRUB
It moves as if someone were concealed back of it.
EXTERIOR REEF AND PALM – MEDIUM SHOT
John quickly dives into the shrubbery and grapples with someone. Carlotta moves back with a startled cry. John drags the fellow into the bright moonlight. It is Koahla. In the native’s struggle to free himself, the package is torn and he drops the box. John seizes it. Koahla breaks and runs away. John looks at the box in astonishment.
INSERT OF BOX showing initials “T.M.B”.
EXTERIOR REEF AND PALM
John and Carlotta start to run.
As revolver in man’s hand comes around the trunk of palm tree and two shots are fired.
SIDE OF HOTEL
Carlotta and John are hastening in its shadow, about to turn the corner of the building. The shots stop momentarily. Then John, quick as lightning, takes Carlotta’s arm and pulls her around the corner.
John has Carlotta in his arms.
JOHN: You’re not hurt?
INSERT OF JOHN’S ARM
Her hands are on it. We see a bullet hole through the coat.
EXTERIOR REEF AND PALM
Carlotta sighs in great relief.
CARLOTTA: Oh – I’m so glad.
She sways a little. He puts his arm around her.
JOHN: Steady – I’m all right.
CARLOTTA: You might have been killed.
JOHN: Heroes are always shot at – but never hit – because there has to be a happy ending. Now let’s find Chan.
She looks up at him smiling anxiously.
CHAN’S VOICE: Already found. You were elected target for recent shot?
Both John and Barbara look up to veranda above.
They start up the steps.
VERANDA, REEF AND PALM
Moonlight on ocean and beach in back ground, Chan standing there calmly as they move hastily into scene.
JOHN: Never mind about the shots. This is more important. You remember the box I told you was stolen from me on the boat?
CARLOTTA: He probably is the one who fired at us. You ought to go after him.
CHAN: (Examining the box) Cannot get far. To conceal oneself from law is like trying to hide in bird cage.
John is observing Chan’s scrutiny of the box. It is locked.
JOHN: I wonder what’s in it.
CHAN: Shall gratify your worthy curiosity.
He takes from his pocket a knife. Opens one of the blades which is a sharp delicate strip of steel, and picks the lock in an astonishingly short period of time. Chan looks in box, smiles.
INSERT: INSIDE OF BOX
It is empty.
CHAN’S VOICE: Empty as Robin’s nest in January.
CHAN: Mr. Brade very best person to answer that question.
CARLOTTA: Mr. Brade? Why, a Mr. Brade is stopping here at the hotel.JOHN: (Excitedly) Let’s see him at once.
CARLOTTA: Oh! You can’t. He’s gone away for a few days.
JOHN: Where? Can’t we go after him?
CHAN: Make haste only when withdrawing hand from mouth of tiger. And now, humbly beg to be excused. I have appointment with Honorable Amos Winterslip.
He picks up box and bows.
John and Carlotta come to desk.
CARLOTTA: Oh, you forgot to tell Chan about the check.
She walks behind the deck. He leans on it.
She goes to the drawer where she has left the check and starts to open it. She is arrested by his speech in the act of opening the drawer.
CARLOTTA: Why, I hadn’t even thought about it.
JOHN: Well, I have. I think I’ll move in.CARLOTTA: (Flustered; yet secretly gratified) Why, I…I wouldn’t dream of allowing it, really.
JOHN: This is a hotel, isn’t it?
John very calmly takes the pen from the holder and writes his name on the register.
JOHN: With bath, please.
Carlotta looks at him. She cannot refuse. Turning to the keyboard, she takes a key from it and hands it across the desk to him. John looks at the key.
On the ocean side?
CARLOTTA: Yes, sir.
They look at each other. Then, she, to hide her embarrassment, opens the drawer to get the check.
INSERT OF OPEN DRAWER
Carlotta’s hand comes into the scene stirring the contents in search of the check.
Carlotta suddenly looks up at John in blank amazement.
JOHN: What’s up?
CARLOTTA: It’s gone! The check is gone!
He leans over the desk as if to assure himself that the check is really gone. He then reaches across the desk with his left hand, taking her hand and pressing it with swift tenderness.
I’ll be back.
He crosses to the door, then turns.
EXTERIOR REEF AND PALM
John comes running down the stairway and hurries along the garden path.
DISSOLVE INTO:SCENE 158
ROAD NEAR AMOS’ HOUSE
Chan’s Ford is parked at the roadside. John comes along the road. He sees Chan’s Ford and is about to continue on when he hears the crackling of twigs under foot. John stops abruptly, looking in the direction of the noise.
At the sound of Chan’s voice, John again turns his head. At the same moment, a figure darts out from back of Ford and starts running down the road. John dashes in pursuit.
EXTERIOR ROAD NEAR AMOS’ FENCE
In the moonlight we see Chan stooping over some object on the ground. He now straightens and takes a step or two toward the CAMERA as if he is trying to locate John.
Chan waits anxiously. In a moment, John appears, dragging the beachcomber.
JOHN: I found this fellow lurking in the ….
John breaks off abruptly for Chan has moved to one side so that now John can see what was heretofore hidden from him.
CLOSE SHOT NEAR FENCE
The distorted corpse of Amos lying on the ground.
John is stunned, horrified.
JOHN: Uncle Amos!
As John moves involuntarily toward the body of Amos, Chan steps close to the beachcomber, seizes his wrist suddenly and holds it up.
INSERT OF BEACHCOMBER’S WRIST showing the wrist watch with the numeral two obscured.
Over the scene comes John’s voice:
INTERIOR POLICE STATION – DAY
Chan is seated at desk, calmly writing on piece of paper. Hallett is pacing back and forth, very much upset.
HALLETT: I tell you, Charlie, they’re putting the thumbscrews on me. That Minerva Winterslip woman is raising the roof at the Governor General’s mansion. And if we don’t get to the bottom of this right away, it means my stripes and your job.
Chan continues to write without looking up.
CHAN: (Looks up, smiles) Ah, you can portion it out, but cannot receive it, eh?
He continues to write.
VERY CLOSE SHOT on Chan’s hand, writing list of the names of the suspects. He has already written:
Chan writes the name of “Arthur Temple Cope”.
Jennison is escorted in the office by a uniformed policeman. Chan looks up. Hallett nods curtly.
HALLETT: Yes, Mr. Jennison?
JENNISON: I am here as the late Mr. Winterslip’s attorney to protest against the way your investigation has been handled.
CHAN: Unworthy officer apologizes for stupidity – very sorry.
JENNISON: Sorry? You’re going to be a lot more than sorry if you don’t do something right away. Do you realize that the ‘President Tyler’ sails tomorrow morning with most of your suspects on it?
HALLETT: Sure, we know – what do you want us to do – stop the boat?
JENNISON: I demand that you make every effort to arrest the guilty person before tomorrow – otherwise I shall register a formal protest with the Governor General.
WINDOW OF ROOM HIGH UP
Through the bars stealthily comes a long narrow tube held in a man’s hand.
INTERIOR POLICE STATION
Chan rises, the piece of paper in his hand.
CHAN: If you will please see that these people are at Winterslip house tonight at eight thirty, we shall do our very best. Have plan.
As Chan finishes speaking, he hands the paper to toward Hallett. A dart flashes into the scene past Chan’s head, piercing the paper, and pinning it to the desk.
Quivering dart, stuck in desk through paper.
INTERIOR POLICE STATION
The three men look up in direction of window. There is no one there.
Hallett, who has been stunned with amazement, now turns and rushes from the room.
Chan turns to Jennison.
CHAN: Most strange. No native ever do anything to Chan – unless hired by someone.
He looks significantly at Jennison.
INTERIOR CHAN’S DINING ROOM
The entire family is at dinner. Chan looks at one of his sons admonishingly.
BOY: Well, then, how about that saxophone you promised me?CHAN: (Grimaces) Of both prefer musical soup.
Chan rises. The whole family stands up respectfully. Chan turns to the eldest son on his right.
OSWALD: What’s on your mind, Pop?
OSWALD: Everything’s Jake.CHAN: (Puzzled) Jake?
CHAN: (Enlightened) Oh…Okay.
During this, Mrs. Chan has left the room. She now re-enters, bringing Chan his hat.
MRS. CHAN: You’ll be home early?
CHAN: Cannot say.
MRS. CHAN: Good luck.
CHAN: Luck and help of inscrutable fates extremely necessary. Tonight decide future. Tomorrow big detective or lowly laundry man.
As Chan leaves, putting on his hat,
EXTERIOR DAN’S HOUSE – NIGHT
The house is brightly lighted within. Bars of light sift through the venetian blinds on the veranda. We can hear the murmur of many voices from the inside. John and Carlotta come up the garden path and, as they near the door, Carlotta stops. John slips his arm about her protectingly.
JOHN: Won’t you come in? There’s nothing to worry about.
Carlotta holds back nervously.
CARLOTTA: But you know what happens in cases like these. All they’re interested in, is a conviction. It doesn’t matter to them if the man is innocent as long as they can prove him guilty.
JOHN: Don’t be nervous. For your father’s sake. He’ll feel better if he sees you believe in him.
Carlotta braces herself and manages to smile. As they go into the house,
INTERIOR DAN’S LIVING ROOM – CLOSE SHOT AT DOOR
John and Carlotta enter, pause, their eyes travelling around the room.
INTERIOR LIVING ROOM – PAN SHOT AROUND ROOM
As we pick up each character, the voices of the others are heard, ad lib. As we reach each individual, we hear what he is saying to the exclusion of the others, whose voices are but indistinctly heard. CAMERA first PANS on BRADE.
Brade turns, as he says this, as if he were asking the question of the man next to him. CAMERA PANS as he turns, revealing Cope.
ARLENE: Silly bores, these gatherings, what?
CAMERA PANS direction she is looking, revealing Steve, looking at her in open-mouthed astonishment.
CAMERA PANS, passing in succession the beachcomber, Koahla, the three policemen standing at the doors, Hallett and the doctor. CAMERA PANS FARTHER. MINERVA’S voice is heard just before the Camera picks her up, where she is sitting with Jennison and Barbara.
MINERVA: This is all poppycock. The idea of bringing all these people into the house. The first thing I’ll do when I get back to the States is to put this in the hands of the proper authorities, you may be sure.
As she reaches the end of her speech, CAMERA PANS to dining room door, and we see Charlie Chan standing there, having just arrived, listening with calm amusement to her speech. He has a box under his arm.
CHAN: Thank you so much.
INTERIOR LIVING ROOM
Chan sees Carlotta and John at door.
CHAN: You have all, except one, good excuse for much annoyance that I bring you here tonight. Humbly request patience, for though all are called perhaps only one chosen…..
CLOSEUP CHAN’S HANDS as he opens the book and lays the exhibits out in orderly fashion on the table. His voice comes over the scene.
CHAN’S VOICE: I have before me evidence which show that every person in room saw Dan Winterslip or had reason to see him the night of murder.
Chan pauses, and with a gesture toward the family group, adds:
CLOSE SHOT OF BRADE
Uneasily he takes out a cigarette and lights it.
CHAN’S VOICE: Mr. Brade!
Suddenly into the scene right front of Brade, comes the box. Brade starts nervously. CAMERA MOVES BACK far enough to include Chan, who is holding the box.
BRADE: I never saw it before in me life.
CHAN: These are your initials?
BRADE: They were also my father’s.
CHAN: Humbly suggest you tell what you know of all this.BRADE: I don’t know nothing. I came ‘ere to ‘Awaii to see Dan Winterslip to get by rights what is mine. Dan Winterslip robbed my father when ‘e was a mate on my father’s ship, thirty-five years ago. When my father died, Winterslip buried ‘im in the South Seas, and kept all ‘is fortune, South American gold and jewels. I’ve been a Civil Service worker in India until I was retired. I’ve been waiting thirty years to save enough money to come ‘ere to get what is rightfully mine, but I never ‘ad a chance to see ‘im.
BRADE: No, I didn’t, worse luck.CHAN: You smoke Corsican cigarettes?
Picks up cigarette from desk.
The CAMERA PANS QUICKLY TO EGAN, who looks startled and then PANS BACK to Chan and Brade again.
I gave Egan here a couple. ‘E said ‘ow ‘e was famished for a ‘omey fag.
CHAN: Thank you so much.
As Chan goes out of the scene, the CAMERA ROLLS UP close on Cope, who is cooly smoking a cigarette.
CHAN’S VOICE: You smoke Corsican cigarettes, also.
COPE: Quite right.
Chan comes into the scene speaking and holding two of the cigarette stubs.
CHAN: Mr. Brade smokes Turkish.
CHAN: Stub found here that night, Virginian. What were you doing here?
COPE: I wasn’t here that night.
CHAN: Can you prove?
COPE: I went to bed early and read.
CHAN: Regret such alibis have habit of disappearing like cheese in vicinity of mouse.
MINERVA’S VOICE: Cheese and mice, fiddlesticks.
The CAMERA SWINGS to Minerva who sits indignantly erect in her chair.
Captain Cope had tea with me here that afternoon.
CHAN’S VOICE: Much time saved if honorable lady not so secretive with important information.
MINERVA: Whom I have tea with is my own affair.
CAMERA SWINGS BACK to Chan and Cope.
Cope sits straighter in his chair and involuntarily looks off at Egan.
THE CAMERA SWINGS TO EGAN, who quickly and pleadingly shakes his head, then CAMERA SWINGS BACK TO COPE AND CHAN AGAIN as Cope stops abruptly. Chan, however, has caught the business.
CHAN: More later. Thank you so much.
As Chan turns from Cope.
CLOSEUP OF BROOCH in Chan’s fingers. Over the scene comes Arlene Compton’s voice.
ARLENE’S VOICE: Yeah…that’s my brooch all right.
As Arlene claims the brooch, Brade rises, comes over and looks at it.
BRADE: Hers, nothing! That brooch is part of a set belonging to my family. There was a necklace and earrings that went with it.
Chan waves him back to his chair.
CHAN: Kindly wait until asked.
Brade retreats himself and Chan approaches Arlene.
ARLENE AND STEVE
She sees that she is to be the next one.
Chan comes into scene.
Arlene turns to Chan as if she has suddenly decided to take him into her confidence.
STEVE: Get wise to yourself, Chan. Why should she kill him? He was worth more to her alive than dead, wasn’t he?
CHAN: To you also?STEVE: Ah, no cracks from you. (To Arlene) Come on, Babe, I guess we can scram now.
They start up.
They hesitate, then resume their seats. As they do so, Chan turns.
He walks out of the scene.
MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT ON EGAN
He is pathetically apprehensive. Chan comes to him. In he hand hanging close to his side, Chan holds the $5,000 check.
CHAN: Perhaps you will explain why Mr. Winterslip gave you this?
He holds up the check. Egan starts violently, then he flashes a quick look off at Carlotta.
Carlotta with John on edge of shot. She is looking anxiously off at her father, hoping he will say something to clear himself.
EGAN AND CHAN
Egan lowers his eyes and makes no reply.
CHAN: Regret that without adequate explanation will have to hold. Very often circumstantial evidence carry conviction.
This is said as a veiled threat to urge Egan to speak. But Egan remains silent. Chan turns and walks away.
MEDIUM FULL SHOT
Chan crosses to table near which Hallett is seated.
CHAN: Advise that he be taken into custody.
He starts for Egan.
All eyes turn to Carlotta. She advances to Cope.
Why don’t you speak? Why don’t you tell what you know?
She stamps her foot.
Egan jumps up.
EGAN: Carlotta – please –
She turns to him.
CARLOTTA: I know all about it, Dad – I’ve known for years – ever since I found your old diary – it doesn’t matter to me – you’re my father no matter who you were or what you did – Thirty-five years ago, my father was a teller in a bank in Australia. One day a man walked in with a bag of foreign gold – he cashed it into English pounds. It was unusual – so much South American gold was rarely seen in those days. My father wrote the transaction in his diary – and he never forgot the face of the man. He is the only living person who could identify Winterslip as the man who had Brade’s gold.
She pauses and looks defiantly around her. She looks at John pitifully, beseeching him with her eyes.
John springs to her. She holds him off.
I just couldn’t tell you before – I didn’t want anyone to know –
JOHN: What difference would it make to me?
Egan lifts his shamed face.
EGAN: I was going to use the money to send you back to England – to my family –
Carlotta goes to him and puts her arm around him.
CARLOTTA: I don’t want to go to your family – they weren’t interested in us before – I’m not interested in them now.
Cope comes to her in a kindly way.
COPE: My dear, don’t judge us too harshly – I came here to take him home.
CHAN: I beg pardon – you take him home?
COPE: I am his older brother.
CHAN: Clues explode in embarrassed face, like loaded cigar. I am expecting….
She indicates Koahla. Chan walks over to beachcomber, he has the watch in his hand.
BEACHCOMBER: I don’t remember….
CHAN: More later.
He goes to table and picks up box. He then goes to Koahla.
CHAN: So you could blackmail? (To policeman) Take him away.
Koahla is taken out.
CLOSE SHOT OF OPEN BOX in Chan’s hand. Chan presses a hidden spring, and the bottom of the box shoots forward, revealing a narrow secret drawer, in which we see earrings and a necklace of the same peculiar design as the brooch.
BACK TO SCENE
CHAN: Precisely. You came here that night to get what rightfully was yours, and when Mr. Winterslip refuse, you —-BRADE: (Frightened) No, no, I tell you —-
At this moment a loud commotion is heard just outside. Everyone keyed up to a high pitch of excitement shows extreme uneasiness. Now we see a struggle in the doorway between three men. We recognize Chan’s two elder sons, each firmly grasping a struggling figure.
MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT FAMILY GROUP
They are watching this struggle tensely. Suddenly Barbara gasps with astonishment.
MINERVA: (Excitedly) Who is he?
JOHN: He was aboard ship with us.
ANOTHER ANGLE – INTERIOR ROOM
Chan stands at the table confronting Berkeley, who is flanked on either side by Chan’s sons.
OSWALD: Okay Pop?
CHAN: Extremely Jake! Thank you so much.
The boys drop back, leaving Chan and Berkeley facing each other. Berkeley is a little breathless and is arranging his disordered tie, etc.
BERKELEY: This is an outrage!
INSERT: Chan’s hand picking up the piece of seaweed from the table.
There is a gasp of amazement from everyone.
BERKELEY: You’ll never get me alive!
He looks around wildly. Chan takes out a gun. Berkeley makes a break for the door. The women scream.
CHAN: Get him!
Jennison leaps for Berkeley, seizing him from behind, and although much smaller than Berkeley, we see that by a quick maneuver he throws the man on his back. Berkeley gives a cry of pain. Chan puts the gun on the table and comes to them quickly.
The doctor hastens over and stoops beside Berkeley, quickly examining his arm.
Chan seizes hold of Jennison.
CHAN: (Facing the room) Mr. Berkeley is a Federal Agent here on business. He has heroically offered to play part for me.
BARBARA: (Cries) Oh no, it can’t be Harry.
CHAN: (To Barbara) When on ship you sent wireless to your father, announcing intention to marry?
CHAN: But you did not see reply your father sent to Mr. Jennison?
CHAN: (Takes copy from pocket) Cable office graciously supply copy of same.
He hands the wire to her. She reads.
INSERT: WIRELESS IN BARBARA’S HANDS
ABOARD S.S. PRESIDENT TYLER
Manage to break your engagement
with Barbara or will completely
disinherit her. If not will expose
you, regardless of damage to me.
BACK TO SCENE
JENNISON: This is ridiculous, I tell you.
CHAN: Not so ridiculous – because you kill Mr. Amos fearing he expose you when he go over papers. Also, we find native you hired to blow dart in police station.
MINERVA: Fantastic! What about the wrist watch?
During this, two policemen have come into scene and stand on either side of Jennison. Chan goes to the table, puts his gun down, and picks up the watch, which is square in shape. He comes back to Jennison and lifting his arm, pushes back his cuff.
CLOSEUP OF JENNISON’S WRIST wearing a large round wrist watch.
CHAN’S VOICE: Officer, kindly remove.
The hands of the policeman come into the shot, and the wrist watch is taken off.
CHAN’S VOICE: You will notice that although this man wears round wrist watch, sunburned impression is square, fitting this watch.
During this speech Chan suits his action to his words. We see his fingers fitting the square wrist watch over the space where it has formerly rested, and where it fits exactly.
CHAN: Losing wrist watch most untimely.
Jennison looks quickly in direction of Barbara, who looks at him, gives a low cry and collapses. Minerva hastens to her. Chan also bends down to Barbara.
CHAN: Am most sorrowful for you. Sometimes sad world. Baby cries when born, and often life proves baby right.
Jennison, taking advantage of this unexpected event, sees the revolver Chan has placed on table. He dives for it, turns and holds the room at bay. Everyone shrinks back, but Chan, who walks calmly toward him.
JENNISON: Stand back, or I’ll shoot!
Chan continues to walk toward him. Jennison, desperate, pulls the trigger. There is a click, nothing more.
Chan turns to assemblage.
CHAN: Thank you, so much.
INTERIOR CHAN’S HOUSE — NIGHT
In front of house stands a brand new Ford touring car. Suddenly from within comes a commotion. The front door opens, and out streams Chan’s entire family, shouting gleefully, and piling into the car. The youngsters fight for the front seat with Chan, ad libbing…. “I want to sit with Pop” –“He promised me”, etc. Mrs. Chan comes into scene with the youngest, followed by Chan beaming happily. Mrs. Chan takes the front seat without a word. Chan looks at his wife.
CHAN: Inscrutable fates prompt Miss Minerva Winterslip to this unexpected generous reward of new car for humble services. We will now proceed to attest its efficiency.
Car drives off.
EXTERIOR DAN’S GARDEN
Near wall. Carlotta and John.
JOHN: We could live in San Francisco.
CARLOTTA: But I think I’d like Boston.
GARDEN OTHER ANGLE
Near driveway. Chan’s Ford rolls into scene. Car stops and Chan looks off and indicates to others what he sees.
The shadows of John and Carlotta are seen merging in an embrace.
CHAN’S VOICE: Observe happy phenomenon.
BACK TO SCENE OF CHAN
MRS. CHAN: Yes – two lovers in moonlight cast only one shadow.
Chan looks at her, then at all his children.
CHAN: Yes – one shadow now — many shadows later.
Then he tries starter fearfully, it responds immediately, much to his satisfaction, and car drives away as we