On a Country Road
On a Country Road
May 10 1959
The Suspense Team:
VOICE OF SUSPENSE
WILLIAM N. ROBSON, host-producer
[MUSIC: "SUSPENSE" THEME
MUSIC: ACCENT AND THEME ... CONTINUES IN BG]
VOICE: And the producer of Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills, the master
of mystery and adventure, William N. Robson.
ROBSON: The anatomy of terror is fascinating to contemplate. Danger does not
necesarily breed fear -- unless the danger is unknown, the circumstances
unrelated to the experience of the frightened. The rustle of leaves on a
spring day is a happy, sunny sound. The same leaves rustling in the dark of a
midnight wind become precursors of doom, the whisperings of ghosts, the
swaying of a hangman's knot. Fear feeds upon itself and grows mightily in
darkness, until it robs the mind of reason and becomes blind terror. Then --
anything can happen. And much does, in the next few minutes. Listen-- Listen,
then, as Ida Lupino and Howard Duff star in "On a Country Road," which begins
in just a moment.
VOICE: And now--
MUSIC: CHORD ... THEN BEHIND VOICE--
VOICE: "On a Country Road," starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino -- a tale
well-calculated to keep you in--
MUSIC: FOR AN INTRO ... THEN OUT
SOUND: CAR ENGINE, THEN IN BG
DAVID: Aw, come on! Get with it!
SOUND: SEVERAL IMPATIENT HORN HONKS
DOROTHY: Relax, David. We're not going to move any faster. So relax.
DAVID: Who can relax in a traffic jam like this? Bumper-to-bumper at twenty
miles an hour!
SOUND: MORE HORN HONKS
DAVID: There must be a wreck or something up ahead.
DOROTHY: This keeps up, we'll get caught in the rain.
DAVID: Yeah. Looks like a big storm building up. Hey! Remember that shortcut?
DOROTHY: Which one?
DAVID: The little country road that goes across through Center Moriches and
comes out on the highway on the other side of the island.
DOROTHY: Oh, yes. You mean the one we took last summer?
DAVID: Yeah, yeah. I'll turn off there and duck this jam. We'll be at home
before that storm hits. Turn on the radio, will you, honey?
DOROTHY: Mm hm.
SOUND: SWITCH CLICKS
DAVID: See if you can get the news, huh?
SOUND: RADIO DIAL TUNED
NEWSCASTER: (ON RADIO) ... police this afternoon issued two warnings to all
residents of Long Island to be on the lookout for Nellie Galler, a middle-aged
woman described as dangerous and insane.
DAVID: What's that?
NEWSCASTER: (ON RADIO) She escaped this morning from Restview Mental Hospital
after fatally butchering a doctor, a nurse and a ward attendant with a meat
DAVID: (CHUCKLES) My mother-in-law!
DOROTHY: (ADMONISHING) David!
NEWSCASTER: (ON RADIO) Just a few minutes ago, the decapitated bodies of an
elderly man and woman were found by police near Center Moriches on Long
DAVID: Well, at least we're not the only crazy people on Long Island.
NEWSCASTER: (ON RADIO) Residents of the area are warned not to open their
doors to strangers. Motorists are cautioned to stay off lonely roads and not
pick up any hitchhikers. All persons are asked to be on the lookout for this
woman. Here is her description again. She is tall ...
DAVID: Here's the shortcut!
SOUND: CAR TURNS OFF HIGHWAY ... ENGINE CONTINUES IN BG
NEWSCASTER: (ON RADIO) ... gray-haired, has broad shoulders, and long arms.
She is believed to be armed with the meat cleaver which she used in her escape
from Restview Mental Hospital. ...
DAVID: Turn that off, Dorothy, will you?
NEWSCASTER: (ON RADIO) ... She will be--
DOROTHY: I thought you wanted to hear it.
DAVID: Well, that's enough of that.
SOUND: RADIO TURNED OFF ... CAR DRIVES DOWN COUNTRY ROAD, IN BG
DAVID: This shortcut'll save us a lot of time.
DOROTHY: David, didn't you hear what the radio said about staying off lonely
DAVID: Well, honey, we just have to go across to the other highway. Won't take
DOROTHY: You sure?
DAVID: 'Course. We go past Center Moriches, then take the left road and come
out right by the highway bridge.
DOROTHY: Center Moriches is where she just killed those two people.
DAVID: (CHUCKLES) Oh, come on, honey. You're acting like a child. What can
happen to us while we're driving? Besides, the whole island is full of men
looking for this lunatic. They'll catch her.
DAVID: Well, here comes the storm.
DOROTHY: (CONCERNED) David!
DOROTHY: The gas gauge says "Empty."
DAVID: Oh, there's still a couple o' gallons left when it points to "Empty."
DOROTHY: (WORRIED) How long has it said "Empty"?
DAVID: That, I don't know. I'll get gas when we get across to the other
DOROTHY: Darling, I'm scared.
DAVID: Oh, come on, relax, honey. Honey, rain and wind always makes you jumpy
as a cat.
SOUND: WINDSHIELD WIPERS, IN BG
DOROTHY: I wish we'd stayed on the highway.
DAVID: Well, if I'd known you'd act like this, I would have.
DOROTHY: Well, it's not my fault.
DAVID: Well, honey, it's not mine, either. I'm having trouble enough just
trying to see through this storm.
DOROTHY: Oh, darling, what are we fighting about?
DAVID: Oh, I don't know. Driving through these woods in this kind of weather
is enough to give anybody the willies.
DOROTHY: It got dark so fast. I can hardly see, even in the headlights.
DAVID: There's something ahead.
SOUND: ENGINE SLOWS TO IDLE, IN BG
DOROTHY: (NERVOUS) Don't stop, David.
DAVID: Oh, it's only a sign.
DOROTHY: But that crazy woman could be around here.
DAVID: I'm not picking up anyone. I just want to know where I am.
DOROTHY: Well, please don't get out of the car!
DAVID: I'm not! Now, calm down. (READING SIGN) Center Moriches, to the right.
(DECISIVE) Well, we'll take this road here.
SOUND: ENGINE IN GEAR ... CAR CONTINUES DOWN ROAD, IN BG
DOROTHY: Center Moriches. Well, this must be the road where she killed those
SOUND: SUDDEN SHARP CLAP OF THUNDER
DOROTHY: (STARTLED AT THE NOISE, GASPS)
DAVID: Dorothy, please.
DOROTHY: I'm sorry. I - I'm jumpy. David -- that woman. She could be anywhere
in these woods.
DAVID: But not necessarily where WE are.
SOUND: ENGINE SPUTTERS
DAVID: Oh, for--
SOUND: ENGINE SPUTTERS TO A STOP ... RAIN CONTINUES IN BG
DAVID: Wouldn't you know?
SOUND: TRIES TO RESTART ENGINE
DAVID: Come on.
SOUND: ENGINE WON'T START ... DAVID GIVES UP
DAVID: (SIGHS) Well, that's that.
DOROTHY: We out of gas?
DOROTHY: Oh, no! You mean we're stuck here?
DAVID: For the time being, anyway.
DOROTHY: That woman is in the woods! She'll kill us!
DAVID: She's nowhere near us. Calm down.
DOROTHY: David, quick! Turn off your headlights!
DAVID: Why? Did you see something?
DOROTHY: I don't know! I don't know! I - I'm scared!
DAVID: Mm, shoulda gotten gas back on the main road.
DOROTHY: Oh, turn off the lights! Please!
DOROTHY: She'll see us if you don't!
DAVID: Oh, for Pete's sake.
DOROTHY: Please, David! Turn them off.
DAVID: Listen, Dorothy--
DOROTHY: Oh, darling, look at those headlights -- poking into the darkness at
all the wet bushes and trees. Please, David! Turn them off.
SOUND: SHARP CLAP OF THUNDER
DAVID: Okay, all right. All right. There. Now they're off. Feel better sitting
in the dark?
DOROTHY: (SIGHS) Yes. If only the thunder and lightning would stop. And this
DAVID: Look, Dorothy, I'm gonna walk up the road a bit. Maybe I can find a
DOROTHY: You're not going to leave me here! I won't let you go!
DAVID: Dorothy, we can't sit here in the middle of nowhere for the rest of the
DOROTHY: But we're safer here than out there. Darling, she's probably hiding
out there -- just waiting for a chance to kill us.
DAVID: Oh, come on, Dorothy. Why should she be right where we've run out of
DOROTHY: Quick! Lock the doors from the inside.
DOROTHY: Lock them! So that that crazy woman can't get in here.
DAVID: She's nowhere near here, I tell you!
DOROTHY: Please don't be mad at me. I - I know I'm being silly but I can't
DAVID: Come here. Come here, let me put my arm around you.
DOROTHY: Oh, Darling.
DAVID: Put your head on my shoulder.
DOROTHY: Please forgive me.
DAVID: Sure. I forgive you
DOROTHY: Would you turn on the radio? Maybe they've caught her.
SOUND: SWITCH CLICKS
NEWSCASTER: (ON RADIO) ... their search for the escaped insane woman who has
killed five persons since fleeing from a Long Island mental hospital. Rain and
darkness are hampering the search. Over one hundred police are combing the
DOROTHY: Turn it off.
SOUND: RADIO OFF ... WIND, RAIN AND OCCASIONAL THUNDER CONTINUE IN BG
DAVID: Now, look, Dorothy. We - we can't sit here all night. I'll run up the
road. There might be a house--
DOROTHY: No, David, please. Please don't leave me.
SOUND: DISTANT DOG BARKING, CONTINUES IN BG
DOROTHY: Do you hear that?
DAVID: What? I don't hear anything.
DOROTHY: Listen. There it is.
DAVID: I don't hear-- Huh! It's a dog. It's just a little dog barking.
DOROTHY: (TERRIFIED) Oh, David!
DAVID: Maybe it's lost or maybe there's a house nearby.
DOROTHY: Or that woman!
SOUND: LOUD THUMP ON CAR
DOROTHY: (GASPS) David! She's out there!
DAVID: Something hit the back o' the car.
DOROTHY: It's her! She'll kill us!
DAVID: Is the door locked on your side?
DOROTHY: Yes, yes. But what if she breaks a window? She has a cleaver!
DAVID: In that flash of lightning, I saw somebody.
DOROTHY: Is that her?
DAVID: Can't tell. It's lying on the road.
DOROTHY: Can you see her? Is she still there?
DAVID: It's too dark to see. Have to wait for the lightning.
SOUND: THUNDER ... DOG'S BARKING STOPS
DAVID: There she is! She's getting up now.
DOROTHY: She'll kill us. She'll kill us, David!
DAVID: Calm down, calm down. Please, please.
DOROTHY: Well, what is she doing?
DAVID: I don't know. She must've been running. She didn't see the car. She ran
right into it.
DOROTHY: (HALF-SCREAM) Look at the window, David! Right next to you!
DAVID: (REPULSED) Good lord - look at her.
SOUND: SHARP RAPPING ON CAR WINDOW
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Get away from that window!
WOMAN: (SCREAMS LIKE A CRAZY WOMAN) Let me in! Let me in! Let me iiiiinnnn!
MUSIC: WILD BUT BRIEF DRAMATIC ACCENT FOR ACT ONE FINALE ... THEN OUT
MUSIC: FOR AN INTRO, THEN OUT
SOUND: THUNDER AND STORM NOISES, THEN IN BG ... RAPPING ON CAR WINDOW, IN BG
WOMAN: (SCREAMING) Let me in! I'm not crazy! The crazy woman is after meeee!
SOUND: RAPPING STOPS
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Go away! Leave us alone!
WOMAN: (SCREAMING) Please let me in! Please! That woman'll kill me! Please!
DOROTHY: (WHISPERS) David, take your pipe. Hold it like a gun. It'll look like
DAVID: Where is it? Dorothy, in the glove compartment. Quick.
SOUND: GLOVE COMPARTMENT OPENS
DOROTHY: All right. Here it is.
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Look! I've got a gun! I'm gonna shoot!
DOROTHY: She's backing away.
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Now, keep on going -- before I start shooting!
DOROTHY: David! She's gone! She disappeared!
DAVID: We can't get out now. All we can do is sit here all night and wait for
DOROTHY: Can you see her? Where did she go?
DAVID: I don't know. But she's out there somewhere. Probably planning on how
to get into this car.
DOROTHY: Darling, what are we gonna do? She's the one; I know! Her face was
completely insane. You saw it.
DAVID: Yeah. She's probably back there looking for that cleaver now.
DOROTHY: She'll kill us! She'll kill us!
DAVID: Dorothy, Dorothy, stop it. Please.
DOROTHY: She'll kill us, David!
SOUND: RAPPING ON WINDOW
SOUND: RAPPING! GLASS SHATTERS ... THUNDER
DOROTHY: The window! She broke the window!
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Get away from there! Stay out of the car!
WOMAN: I'm comin' in! I can't stand it out here!
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Stay out of the car! I warn you! I've got a gun.
WOMAN: You wouldn't shoot me!
DOROTHY: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Go away, do you hear?! You're crazy! We know all
WOMAN: I'm NOT the crazy woman! Listen to me, please! My car is stuck in the
ditch back there!
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN, SKEPTICAL) How far back?!
WOMAN: I don't know! It seems like miles! I heard about the crazy woman on the
radio! I was afraid to stay in the car alone! Let me in! Please!
DOROTHY: No, don't, David.
DAVID: (YELLS AT WOMAN) Go back to your own car!
WOMAN: I can't! It's so dark! And so lonely - and this storm! I locked the
doors but I was afraid; I could see things and hear things in the darkness! I
couldn't stand it any more! I got out and I ran! It's the rain; that's why I
look like this! I'm not the crazy woman! Oh, for the love o' Heaven, let me
in, please! Let me in!
DAVID: (UNCERTAIN) I, er-- I--
DOROTHY: No, no, no! David, don't let her in.
WOMAN: The crazy woman had a cleaver! I'm not armed! Listen! The three of us
will be safer together!
DAVID: (QUIETLY, TO DOROTHY) I don't know. What do you think, Dorothy?
DOROTHY: I don't know. I don't know.
WOMAN: (PLAINTIVE) Let me in. Please. I'm - I'm wet to the skin.
DAVID: All right.
SOUND: CAR DOOR UNLOCKS AND OPENS
DAVID: Get in.
WOMAN: (RELIEVED) Oh! Thank you!
SOUND: CAR DOOR SHUTS
WOMAN: Thank you!
DAVID: You make one move and I'll shoot you.
WOMAN: Ohh! It's - it's so good to sit down. (BREATHING HARD)
DAVID: There's a blanket on the floor back there. You can dry yourself off
WOMAN: The darkness - and this rain. It was enough to drive me out of my mind.
DAVID: Just take it easy. Do you live near here?
WOMAN: I live farther out. Near Restview.
DOROTHY: (UNNERVED) Restview is the mental hospital.
WOMAN: I know. I'm used to the crazy people. But - not at night in a lonely
place like this. Not the kind who kill people.
DAVID: You, uh, you live at Restview?
WOMAN: No! I live just near there.
DOROTHY: David, we can't sit here, not knowing. If we could just get to a
WOMAN: A phone? Why?
DOROTHY: To call the police. Get some help.
WOMAN: No! No, don't do that.
DAVID: Why not? Why don't you want the police?
WOMAN: Oh - oh, I do! But you'll be killed.
DOROTHY: What do you mean?
WOMAN: That woman! She'll kill him if he goes away from this car!
SOUND: DISTANT DOG BARKS AGAIN
DOROTHY: David, listen. There's that dog again. Do you hear it?
WOMAN: Somebody's out there!
DAVID: Might be a house nearby. He's barking to be let in.
WOMAN: It scented somebody. There's somebody out there. That's why it's
barkin'. That woman's out there. Quick! Let's get away before we're caught!
DOROTHY: David, look out!
DAVID: (TO THE WOMAN) Let go of me! What are you trying to do?
WOMAN: Start the car! Quick! We'll get away!
DAVID: We're out of gas!
WOMAN: Out of gas? But we - we just can't sit here! We gotta get away!
DAVID: I'm not a magician, lady. I can't make gasoline out of rain.
WOMAN: We can't stay here all night! D'you hear me?
DAVID: Now, let - let go of me! There's nothing I can do.
WOMAN: Try something! Anything! Don't just sit there!
DOROTHY: She's scares me, David! Stop her!
DAVID: (TO THE WOMAN) Cut it out. You'll have us all in hysterics.
WOMAN: (CALMS DOWN) All right. All right, I'm sorry. Look, I've got an idea.
Give me your gun.
WOMAN: Give it to me!
DOROTHY: (TO THE WOMAN) What's the matter with you?
WOMAN: Can't sit here all night; I'll go crazy! Give me the gun. I'll go for
help. I won't be afraid in the dark with the gun!
DAVID: Now, now, sit back! Go on!
WOMAN: I'll go right now. Just give me the gun.
DOROTHY: We don't have a gun! It's only a pipe!
WOMAN: A pipe! A smokin' pipe?
DOROTHY: Oh, David, I - I'm sorry.
WOMAN: Then - then you're - you're unarmed?
SOUND: THUNDER ... VERY SLOWLY, STORM SUBSIDES DURING FOLLOWING
DOROTHY: (WHISPERS) I'm sorry, David.
DAVID: It's all right. It's all right.
WOMAN: (SUSPICIOUS) Why did you tell me ya had a gun?
DAVID: Why does it make a difference to you whether I'm armed or not?
WOMAN: I don't know you. Maybe you two are more dangerous than the crazy
DOROTHY: I'll tell you what I think. I think YOU'RE the crazy woman! The way
you grabbed David when you wanted him to start the car--!
DAVID: Dorothy, Dorothy, stop it. Don't excite her.
WOMAN: Don't excite me?! Why?! What can I do? Just an old woman ya took into
your car? Two of you, and you're afraid of me?
DAVID: We're not afraid of you. Now, sit back in the seat and don't try
anything. And remember that I'm watching you all the time.
WOMAN: (EXHALES, FRUSTRATED)
SOUND: BY NOW, ONLY WIND, IN BG
DOROTHY: David, the storm's dying down. Moon's coming out. Maybe now is the
WOMAN: (SUSPICIOUS) The time for what?! What're ya gonna do? You two are up to
DAVID: My wife meant that now is the time to go for help.
DOROTHY: No, I didn't! I meant now is the time for us to escape. David, can't
you see it? She's the one! She'll kill us!
WOMAN: (SAVAGE) YOU LITTLE--!
DAVID: (TO THE WOMAN) Stop it! Sit back in that seat!
WOMAN: You haven't got a gun!
DAVID: No, but I've got a knife!
DAVID: My pocketknife. But it's sharp. (TO WOMAN) Now don't you try any
WOMAN: All right! Threaten me! Watch me - while that woman is out there.
(DISGUSTED) Aw, you make me sick! All you can do is sit and wait for her to
make the next move.
DOROTHY: She'll kill us, David, like she did that old man and woman. It must
have been on this same road. They were in their car, too. They must have let
WOMAN: Oh, stop it. We'll leave then! The three of us. We'll walk. We'll stay
close together, see? We'll be quiet. Anyone hidin' in the woods won't hear us.
DOROTHY: Don't get out of the car, David. We'll be killed.
DAVID: Easy, dear. (TO WOMAN) How would we find our way? It's too dark.
WOMAN: We'll find our way!
DAVID: Look out there. Road's full of shadows.
DOROTHY: Get her out of the car, David. I tell you, she wants to kill us.
WOMAN: (INHALES, SURPRISED) Kill ya?!
DAVID: (TO WOMAN) If you want to go, why don't you leave? You don't need us.
We're willing to stay here until help comes.
WOMAN: I'd be helpless alone. If I had a gun or sumpthin'-- (SHARP INTAKE OF
BREATH) Your knife!
DOROTHY: (PANICS) Why doesn't somebody come?! Where are the police?! I can't
WOMAN: Nobody'll come! There's no one in these woods. No one but us.
DOROTHY: David. In her hand. I saw it in the moonlight! It glittered!
WOMAN: Your wife is hysterical!
DOROTHY: No, she was holding it! A long piece of broken glass! Long and
pointed! SHE'S THE CRAZY WOMAN!
MUSIC: WILD BUT BRIEF DRAMATIC ACCENT FOR ACT TWO FINALE ... THEN OUT
MUSIC: FOR AN INTRO ... THEN OUT
WOMAN: You think I'm gonna sit here defenseless?
DOROTHY: David, she's going to attack us.
WOMAN: Don't be silly! It was all right for you to have a knife. Why can't I
DAVID: Give me that piece of glass.
WOMAN: I will not. You couldn't protect us from anything.
DAVID: Give me that piece of glass.
WOMAN: I won't.
DAVID: I warn you. Give it to me!
WOMAN: Stay away from me!
DAVID: Once I'd left the car, you were going to stab my wife with the broken
SOUND: DAVID AND THE WOMAN STRUGGLE FIERCELY DURING FOLLOWING:
DAVID: Give me that glass!
WOMAN: You're crazy!
DAVID: Give it to me!
WOMAN: Let me alone!
DOROTHY: Hold her, David! Hold her! Don't let her free!
DAVID: (CLENCHED TEETH) She's strong. She's got my arm.
WOMAN: You'll - kill me!
DAVID: (WITH EFFORT) Drop - that - Drop that glass!
SOUND: GLASS DROPS
DOROTHY: She dropped it! She dropped it, David!
WOMAN: (GRUNTS) Have - you - both gone - crazy?! Tryin' to kill me?!
DAVID: Like you were going to murder us?
WOMAN: I wasn't!
DOROTHY: Don't let her get free!
DAVID: (GASPS) I - can't hold her much longer! She - she's strong!
WOMAN: If you have a knife - then I'll have glass!
DOROTHY: Hold her, David. Hold her!
DAVID: (GASPS) I can't. Not much longer.
WOMAN: I'm not - crazy! I'm not! I'm not!
DAVID: (STRANGLED) She's got my throat! She's choking me!
DOROTHY: Your knife! David! Your knife!
WOMAN: (SCREAMS TWICE - SECOND SCREAM CUTS OFF ABRUPTLY)
SOUND: (STRUGGLE ENDS ... SILENCE)
DOROTHY: (AMAZED) You killed her. David, you killed her.
DAVID: (DISBELIEF) Couldn't help it. She was choking me.
DOROTHY: Darling, you're - you're covered with blood.
DAVID: She was gonna kill us.
DOROTHY: (WHIMPERS) Oh, David. (SOBS, IN BG)
DAVID: Listen. Listen. Car's coming. It's all right, darling. Help's coming.
SOUND: POLICE CAR APPROACHES, STOPS, ENGINE OUT
OFFICER: (OFF) Hey, there! You in the car! What are you doin' parked here?
DOROTHY: (RELIEVED) It's the police. At last.
SOUND: POLICE CAR DOOR OPENS
DAVID: Well, uh, you see, officer, we ran out of gas and--
OFFICER: (CLOSER, AMUSED) What a night to run out o' gas! What a spot, with
that woman runnin' 'round loose!
DOROTHY: (WEAKLY) Officer, we want to tell you--
OFFICER: Farmer up the road called us, said his dog's been barkin' at
DAVID: We caught her.
OFFICER: Who'd you catch?
DOROTHY: The crazy woman. She's in the back seat. Dead.
SOUND: OFFICER OPENS REAR DOOR
OFFICER: (EXAMINES BODY) No. No, she's still alive. Badly hurt, though.
DAVID: She - she was trying to kill us.
OFFICER: Well, we'll get her to the hospital. You come with me. Lucky
you DIDN'T kill her. We captured that crazy woman a half hour ago. I
don't know WHO this lady is.
VOICE: In which Ida Lupino and Howard Duff starred in William N. Robson's
production of "On a Country Road," written by Walter Bazar. Supporting Ida
Lupino and Howard Duff in "On a Country Road" were Jeanette Nolan and Norm
Alden. [Listen-- Listen again next week when we return with another tale well-
calculated to keep you in--