THEME: BLUE MOON FADE BEHIND
GEORGE PUTNAM: Campbell's Short Short Story! Brought to you by Campbell's
Tomato Juice, the largest-selling tomato juice in America! Today, we bring you
"Success Story, Or Bernice Morgan Presents," a little glimpse behind the
scenes of the theatrical profession.
THEME: UP BRIEFLY AND FADE BEHIND
PUTNAM: Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Campbell's Tomato Juice brings you
Campbell's Short Short Story, complete in each broadcast. Today's "Success
Story" stars Betty Garde as Bernice Morgan.
THEME: UP AND FINISH
PUTNAM: But first, a short short story about Campbell's Tomato Juice. Well,
the other evening, I was calling on some friends, Frank and Betty Walton, and
Frank said to me in the course of the evening's conversation, "Hey, George,
how in Sam Hill do you ever find so much to say about Campbell's Tomato Juice?
After all, tomato juice is pretty much just tomato juice, isn't it?"
Well, that gave me MY chance. Excusing myself, I went out to the corner store
and came back in a moment with three different brands of tomato juice. And out
in the kitchen, I poured out glasses of each and then brought them in to Frank
Well, the first glass I handed to Betty, and said: "All right, I'll PROVE what
a swell drink Campbell's Tomato Juice is." And here's what happened:
BETTY: Mm, sorry, George but I don't think much of THIS. Tastes too thin and
watery. Doesn't have much flavor either.
FRANK: You're right there, Betty. Tastes pretty dull to me, too.
PUTNAM: Well, so much for tomato juice number one. Now, Frank, let's hear what
you think of the next.
FRANK: Well, this is better than the first one but - this doesn't seem to have
much oomph to it, either. Not what I'd call a refreshing drink.
BETTY: Mm, it's too thick, I think, Frank, and too sweet, don't you?
FRANK: You hit it, Betty. It's too sweet to be refreshing. No, not for mine.
PUTNAM: Very well. Let's try tomato juice number three.
FRANK: Mmm. I'll vote for THIS one. It's got a sort of a lively taste that
sure hits the spot.
BETTY: Ooh, it IS good. Not too sweet, and it tastes so fresh! Why, you know,
George, I think this is MUCH better than the tomato juice I've BEEN buying.
FRANK: And that goes for me, too. This sure IS better tomato juice.
PUTNAM: (CHUCKLES) Well, that's what happened at the Waltons the other day.
And that's what's happening EVERYWHERE, every day. People are saying that,
today, Campbell's is a BETTER tomato juice. Even better than IT was a year
ago. They taste it once, enjoy its deeper, mellower flavor, its refreshing zip
and sparkle, and from then on, their tomato juice is Campbell's, the largest-
selling tomato juice in America.
Say, how 'bout you? Have you tried Campbell's Tomato Juice lately?
MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND
PUTNAM: And now, your Campbell Short Short Story, "Success Story." Along the
drab canyons between Forty-Second and ... [lie] hundreds of little theatrical
agencies. In the rather dingy-looking reception room of the James LaRocque
booking agency, the feted gaiety of rose-colored walls is smudged by the
shoulders that have leaned against them. There's a table scarred with
cigarette burns ...
MUSIC: FADES OUT
SOUND: CROWD BUZZES
PUTNAM: ... holding a few dog-eared movie magazines and ancient theatrical
papers. Everyone's talking at once. But when the inner door to Mr. LaRocque's
office opens and that gentleman appears on the threshold, the conversation
SOUND: CROWD FALLS INSTANTLY SILENT
PUTNAM: (QUIETLY) Every head turns expectantly. Every face with a fixed smile.
LAROCQUE: (OFF) No more casting today, folks! If you haven't an appointment,
you needn't wait. Eh, come on in, Jerry.
BERNICE: (CALLS OUT) How do you do, Mr. LaRocque?
SOUND: DOOR SLAMS ABRUPTLY
BERNICE: Oh, dear, he didn't hear me at all.
SOUND: CROWD BUZZES AGAIN
BERNICE: As I was saying, Mr. Burton, one just CAN'T let people down.
BURTON: No, indeed.
BERNICE: And LaRocque is such a charming person. Definitely charming!
BURTON: Hmm, yes, yes. Splendid fellow, Miss Morgan.
BERNICE: I find it so hard to refuse him.
BURTON: I see.
BERNICE: He absolutely insisted that I drop everything I was doing and rush
right down to his office.
BURTON: Really? Well, uh, to, uh, continue MY story-- I was understudying the
lead at the time. You, uh, recall "The Offerings"--?
BERNICE: Poor LaRocque is dreadfully worried I won't take the part he has for
me. You know, when one does a successful bit of work, one is typed
BURTON: (CHUCKLES) Yes.
BERNICE: I played the housemaid in "Talisman Rose" four years ago. You
remember THAT, of course?
BURTON: I, um, I can't say that I do but, uh, this thing I was doing--
BERNICE: You DON'T recall "Talisman Rose"? (CHUCKLES) Well, it must have
impressed LaRocque. Of course, I shall insist on a two-weeks clause in my
contract. I have something MUCH more important coming up.
BURTON: Yes, of course. Well, as I was about to say, this thing I was doing
had a rather good press, too. I remember some of the criticisms of my work
BERNICE: How lovely! "Talisman Rose" had a wonderful press, too. Oh, but
pardon me, Mr. Burton, I interrupted you.
BURTON: Oh, that's all right--
BERNICE: Tell me, what HAVE you been doing?
BURTON: Oh, I've been very busy, quite busy. Rather an extensive run last
summer. Keeping my hand in, as it were. Just, uh, keeping in trim.
BERNICE: Dear old summer stock!
BURTON: (CHUCKLES) Yes.
BERNICE: I suppose one MUST do it occasionally. I imagine you found it rather
grim at times.
BURTON: Well, uh, I was doing mostly character bits. I played one of the deaf-
mutes in "Silent Road." One does get typed, as you say.
BERNICE: Why, darling! How delightful!
BURTON: Yes. It, uh, it was a mystery play. I was killed in the first scene.
BERNICE: Lovely! I mean, getting the part, and so on.
BURTON: Ah, yes.
BERNICE: It was a minor part, I suppose.
BURTON: Well, uh, one might consider it a sort of "second lead," if you, ah,
get what I mean.
BURTON: After all, it was what the WHOLE play was about: WHO killed me in the
first act and why, uh, and, uh, and all that sort of thing.
BERNICE: Yes, yes, of course. Oh, there's Mary Lee Jenkins, Mr. LaRocque's new
BERNICE: (CALLS OUT) Hello, Mary Lee! (QUIETLY) Poor dear, they say her
eyesight is failing miserably. You were saying, Mr. Burton?
BURTON: Uh, yes, uh. As the murdered man, I was in every scene -- actually
remained on the stage throughout the play. And, uh, quite noticeably, too.
BURTON: I've been considering a similar role in a new production. But, of
course, if LaRocque needs me, I shall--
BERNICE: (FADES) Oh, excuse me, Mr. Burton, an old friend of mine just came
BURTON: (LEFT HIGH AND DRY, HEMS AND HAWS) Yes. Of course.
BERNICE: Why, Jean Ransom! Jean, darling! Of all people!
JEAN: Why, Bernice Morgan! I THOUGHT I recognized you but I wasn't sure. How
are you, dear?
BERNICE: Just perfectly splendid! Why, it's been YEARS since I've seen you!
(POINTEDLY) If this gentleman will just move over to the next chair, I'll sit
GENTLEMAN: (RELUCTANTLY MOVES) All right.
BERNICE: Thank you.
JEAN: I - I don't want to take you away from the friend you were talking to
across the room--
BERNICE: Him? That stuffed shirt? I was just dying to get away from him. He
was telling me how wonderful he was as a corpse in a mystery play.
BERNICE: My dear, it's perfectly amazing the amount of bluffing that goes on.
SOUND: DOOR OPENS
LAROCQUE: (OFF) Okay, Mary Lee, come on in!
JEAN: (TO BERNICE) Oh, is that--?
BERNICE: Yes. (CALLS) Hello, Mr. LaRocque!
SOUND: DOOR SHUTS
BERNICE: Oh, he didn't see me. The poor man is so rushed.
JEAN: Do - do you know him real well, Bernice?
BERNICE: Jimmy LaRocque? (LAUGHS MERRILY) Who doesn't? Dear delightful Jimmy
LaRocque. Imagine him still running the same little agency. I was amazed to
get a telegram from him. But it seems he MUST have me for that new production
of "House Divided."
JEAN: Really? Isn't that lucky, Bernice?
BERNICE: (CHUCKLES) I might say, rather lucky for HIM, Jean. He was JUST in
time. I was about to sign up elsewhere.
JEAN: You're going to get the lead, aren't you, Bernice?
BERNICE: Oh, I presume so. I suppose it means canceling my radio work but--
(CHUCKLES) "First come, first served," you know. (SIGHS) But tell me, darling,
it's been so many years. What have YOU been doing?
JEAN: You mean since the dramatic school?
JEAN: I-- Well, not very much, I guess. I haven't had much opportunity.
BERNICE: My dear, the world is full of opportunity.
JEAN: Oh, for YOU, I know. You're right here in New York, but-- You see, I've
had my little boy to take care of and--
BERNICE: (GENUINELY SURPRISED) Your little boy?
JEAN: Yes. You knew I was married, didn't you?
BERNICE: No. How lovely! Someone from back home?
JEAN: Dan Summers.
BERNICE: (SUDDENLY SOBER) Dan? Dan Summers?
JEAN: Yes. You remember Dan? Oh, you must. He - he spoke of YOU so often. He
used to tell me that you were his great heart throb back in our home town. But
perhaps he said that just to tease me.
BERNICE: (TO HERSELF) Dan Summers.
MUSIC: FLOODS IN WITH BERNICE'S MEMORIES
DAN: (ECHO) You're beautiful, baby.
BERNICE: (ECHO) You flatter, Dan.
DAN: (ECHO) Bernice, I love you.
BERNICE: (ECHO) Dan, you mustn't!
DAN: (ECHO) Bernice, marry me.
BERNICE: (ECHO) I must follow my career, Dan.
DAN: (ECHO) I'll wait for you always, Bernice.
BERNICE: (ECHO, IN DESPAIR) Dan! Dan, where are you? I need you now!
MUSIC: FADES AS QUICKLY AS IT CAME
BERNICE: (AFTER A PAUSE, QUIETLY) So ... So he married after all. I didn't
know, Jean. I heard he'd - died - out west somewhere.
JEAN: Yes. Couldn't seem to get his lungs right. I took care of him for ten
years. Poor Dan. Then there was the baby to take care of.
BERNICE: (SHAKEN) Dan's baby.
JEAN: Made a difference, you see? I might have had a decent career here in New
York but-- there was always Dan and the baby. But I don't regret it.
BERNICE: I suppose he - he looks like Dan.
JEAN: (CHUCKLES) The baby? Aw, the image of him. He's a darling. The same blue
eyes. Well, you know how blue Dan's eyes were. But then I - I don't suppose
BERNICE: (DEEPLY FELT) Yes, I remember, Jean. I remember.
JEAN: It was on his account, Bernice, I--
SOUND: DOOR OPENS, CROWD QUIETS
LAROCQUE: (OFF) Bernice Morgan! (NO ANSWER) Ah, Bernice Morgan? (NO ANSWER)
All right, Burton, you can come in.
BURTON: Ah, thank you. (CLEARS THROAT) Pardon me.
SOUND: DOOR SHUTS, CROWD BUZZES AGAIN
JEAN: Bernice, I - I've got to get something - something to keep little Dan
and me going. I've tried everywhere but, you see, I've been away so long.
Nobody knows me now and-- Well, I don't know anybody.
BERNICE: (ABSENTLY) Yes.
JEAN: Bernice, if - if you could - Well, if you could only put in a word for
me, LaRocque might consider me. Well, you know him so well. Oh, I was hoping
that-- Well, this part of the housemaid in the new show that he's casting--
BERNICE: You mean in "House Divided"?
JEAN: Yes, "House Divided." Oh, you'll be doing something important in it.
LaRocque'll listen to you. Would give me enough for Danny and me to live on,
BERNICE: Danny and you? (PAUSE) Yes.
JEAN: You can help us, Bernice. You're successful and, well, it - it's such a
small, insignificant part, the housemaid. LaRocque won't be too particular.
BERNICE: The housemaid? (SLOWLY) Yes, I - I suppose it is an - an
SOUND: DOOR OPENS
BURTON: (OFF, SOUNDS DISAPPOINTED) I'll - try to come in again, Mr. LaRocque.
LAROCQUE: (OFF) Is Bernice Morgan here?
JEAN: Bernice, Mr. LaRocque's calling for you.
BERNICE: (QUICKLY, QUIETLY) Jean, do you want that part of the housemaid?
JEAN: Oh, if I could only get it. If - if they'd only consider--
BERNICE: Look, Jean. Ask LaRocque for it. He'll give it to you. They have to
have someone right away. Anyone. They're in a terrible rush. You go in and see
him. Tell him - tell him I sent you and that I have to run along.
LAROCQUE: (OFF) Bernice Morgan?
BERNICE: Go in right now, Jean. And I'll keep in touch with you. I - I'll
write you care of LaRocque.
JEAN: But where are you living, Bernice?
BERNICE: (HER FALSE FRONT RETURNING) Well, I - I - I'm stopping at the
Carlton, darling. It's while my apartment's being decorated, you know. I'll
get in touch with you real soon. Good bye, Jean and-- (DEEPLY FELT) Kiss
little Dan for me.
SOUND: DOOR SHUTS, A PAUSE, PHONE BOOTH DOOR SLIDES SHUT, COIN DEPOSITED,
NUMBER DIALED, ANOTHER PAUSE
BERNICE: Hello, Sally? This is Bernice. I'm so glad I got you on the phone
instead of Mr. Stark.
Sally, did he find someone yet?
No. No, I didn't get it.
There was someone else ahead of me.
Yes. Someone I knew a long time ago.
Will ya, Sally?
Yes. Tell Mr. Stark I'll be right down.
Yes, before the lunch hour rush.
Sure I'll take my old tables back.
And, Sally, thanks a million for lending me your caracul.
MUSIC: IN, TO A FINISH, THEN OUT
PUTNAM: And so Bernice Morgan went back to the job of waitress, a failure in
the eyes of her fellow workers, but after her name in the Book of Human
Achievements is written a different word: success.
I'll tell you about Monday's story in a moment. But, as you recall, a few
minutes ago, we demonstrated what happens these days when people try
Campbell's Tomato Juice. But we didn't tell you WHY this happens. Why people
everywhere are discovering that Campbell's is a BETTER tomato juice. Better
even than it was a year ago. Well, the reason is -- Campbell's tomatoes! You
see, for over thirty years, through soil improvement, seed selection, and in
countless other ways, Campbell's have been steadily working to improve the
tomato. And how well they've succeeded you can tell with your first taste of
Campbell's Tomato Juice today. You'll find its flavor deeper, mellower, more
garden-sweet, because Campbell's canning process helps retain the luscious
flavor of these fine tomatoes. It safeguards the fresh tomato vitamins, too.
So that today there's no better-balanced vitamin drink than Campbell's Tomato
Juice. Why not let your family enjoy it often? Remember, Campbell's, the
largest-selling tomato juice in America!
THEME: BLUE MOON UP THEN UNDER FOR
PUTNAM: Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Campbell's Tomato Juice brings you
Campbell's Short Short Story. Monday at this same time our story will be
"Flat-Footed Angel," the story of a well-known man whom nobody knew. "Flat-
Footed Angel" stars Helen Claire of the Broadway stage. This is George Putnam,
inviting you to tune in Monday for "Flat-Footed Angel," presented with the
compliments of Campbell's Tomato Juice.
Now please keep listening for LIFE BEGINS - the story of Martha Webster, which
Originally broadcast: 3 May 1940