Big Town After Dark (1947) - full transcript

When Lorelei Kilbourne leaves her job as the police reporter for the Illustrated Press, Managing Editor Steve Wilson employs the publisher's niece, Susan Peabody, to replace her. Susan becomes involved with gangsters in plotting a $50,000 swindle against her uncle, which Steve and the returned Lorelei uncover.

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Good morning, Steve.

Call me back.

Good morning, Lorelei.

What's this bilge I hear
about your selling a novel?

What novel?

Oh, every reporter has
a novel in his trunk.

[inaudible] is a
good place for them.

I thought you'd be pleased.

I am pleased.

I congratulate you.

Only I hate to see you waste
your time writing tripe.


Look, Lorelei, you're a newspaper

woman, and a good one.

As phenomenal...

Now, wait a minute, Steve.

That's the way you feel
about it, as of right now

I'm not a newspaper woman.

What's that?

I'm through.

Oh now, just a second, Lorelei.

You can't do that.

And why not?

I have another novel in the works.

Look Lorelei, If it's a
race you want, $10 a week.



No, Steve, I'm through.

Very well, if your mind's made up

you'll have to give
me two weeks notice.

OK, two weeks.

Steve, I... oh, good
morning, Lorelei.

Good morning, Mr. Peabody.

I hear you sold your novel.


Thank you, Mr. Peabody.

Great girl, Lorelei.

She's made a fine police
reporter, hasn't she?

She certainly has,
and I'll sure miss her.

That is, the newspaper
will miss her.

Miss her?

Yeah, she's given
me two weeks notice.

But you're not going to
let her leave, are you?

Not if I can help it.


By the way, Steve, did you ever
meet my niece, Susan Peabody?

No, I don't believe so.

I had brought her here
from California a year ago.

Been putting her
through a journalism

course at State College.

Now she wants to quit school
and take a job on the paper.

I have a full
staff, Mr. Peabody.

Now just a minute.

After all, Steve, I
own this paper, and...

According to the
terms of our contract

all hiring is in my hands.

I don't need a cub reporter, I'm
not running a finishing school

in journalism, and if your niece
wants a job on a newspaper,

let her try "The Chronicle."

I was hoping you'd
see it that way.


I'd much rather she
stayed in college.

Well, why don't you tell her so?

Well, it's hard for me to
say no to one of the family.

I'd rather you did it.

She waiting outside.

If there's anything I'm
good at around a newspaper,

it's saying no.

You'll need to be good, Steve.

Susan's quite aggressive.

I'm afraid her folks haven't
been too strict with her.

She needs discipline.

Come in, dear.

Steve, my niece, Susan Peabody.

How you do do, Miss Peabody?

How do you do, Mr. Wilson?

I'll leave you two
to talk things over.

Well, it's nice to see you.

Sit down, sit down, please.

Thank you.

So you want to be a
newspaper woman, hmm?

There's nothing I'd rather do.

Well, the journalism course
at State is excellent.

But it's so slow and so expensive.

I hate being on Uncle Amos.

I want to earn my own
way, and I want to get

it working on a newspaper.

A very commendable
ambition, Ms. Peabody.

But I wonder if you know
that there's more to being

a reporter than sticking
your press card in your hat

and going to all the better fires.

You sound like Uncle Amos.

Now listen Mr. Wilson, if
I'm going to work for you

we should have no secrets.

I'm in a terrible jam.


For the past six months I've been

working on "The Lindbury Eagle,"
cub reporter, $16 dollars

a week.

Lindbury, it's a
pretty tough town.

Is it?

I really wouldn't know.

I only worked on campus news.

But I cut so many classes
I flunked out of college.

Oh, that's bad.

Does your Uncle know?

Not yet.

And if you'll give me a job
I won't have to tell him.

Please, Mr. Wilson.

I simply can't let him
find out what's happened.

He'd be so disappointed and so...

Steve, what goes?

Lorelei says she's
quitting in two weeks.

Lorelei quitting?

Don't take any bets
on it, Fletcher.

Oh come in, Fletch.

Come in.

You want to meet your
new police reporter?

Stay out, you [inaudible]!

Funny thing is, suppose
those "Chronicle" boys don't

want me in the press room.

Hello, Louie.

What's new?

The dicks say ready to
sing on the bank caper.

I'm going to check with the DA.

Oh, thanks Louie.

OK babe, no charge.

See Steve?


Pleased about your novel?

Of course he was pleased,
like you'd be pleased in losing

a part on "Four Kings."

You didn't quarrel him, did you?

No, I didn't quarrel, I quit.


I thought you were
Steve were sort of...

Don't exaggerate, Wally.

Well, if you're really
quitting that's the best news

I've heard since the mayor
tripped over that cornerstone

and broke his leg.

You couldn't mean you haven't
enjoyed working with me?

Aw, we haven't got anything
against you, Goldilocks.

It's just we don't
want a dame on police.

Any dame, dames upset our style.

You know, this press room used
to be a nice, rough dirty dump

until you moved in, Lorelei.

Now it's... now it's like a tea
room, only [inaudible] tea.

We got any tea, Harv?

No tea, Wally When
are you gonna quit?

Two weeks.

You'll never make it.

Nobody ever quit the
newspaper racket.

Hilde Johnson tried to quit
and look what happened to him.

Somebody stole his watch.


I remember.

Hey, somebody stole my watch.

Oh, that Louie Sneed.

That thieving rat.

I'll chew him up and spit
him off the 14th floor.

Oh, by the way, call your office.

Steve's been trying to get you.


You know, Lorelei, with you gone

things aren't going to be the
same around the old press room.

Steve Wilson, please.

You mean you'll miss me?


Like I'd miss a toothache.

Steve, Lorelei.

I've just sent over
your replacement.

So soon?

Two weeks little enough
time to land a police beat,

so please cooperate, will you?

I'll be glad to.

Just a gag, he says.

OK, so a sock on the
jaw... just a gag.

Why the sorrow face, Goldilocks.

Won't be [inaudible]?

Steve's sending over
a new police reporter

and I'm supposed to break him in.

[inaudible], don't you think?

Yes, like a gutter.

Well, I hope he plays poker.

Bad poker, that is.

We'll find out.

Oh yeah, and phone
the janitor, Harvey.

Tell him to bring back a cuspidor.

Hello there, beautiful.

Jay, what are you
doing in Big Town?

Came over to make a
little payoff for the boss.

Doing anything later?

I'll be tied up all
day, and you know it.

Maybe some other time, then.

Where you want it, boys?

Where it belongs.

Right in the middle of the room!


I'm Susan Peabody.

Mr. Wilson sent me
over to cover police.

How do you do, Miss.


Name is Peabody, it's my uncle.

Miss Peabody, I want you to
meet Wally Blake and Harvey

Cushman of "The Chronicle."


How do you do, Susan?

As fine a pair of jackals as ever

slit a cub reporter's throat.

Oh, now you don't want
to pay any attention

to Lorelei, Miss Peabody.

We're a couple of worms,
sure, but as long as you

don't try to step on us, why...

That's box 3.

I'll show you how
to find the fire.

Tea room.

Well, well.

Jake Sebastian.

Ain't you off the reservation?

How are things in Lindbury?

Sucker still playing poker?

Go get lost, will you?


You know any good
places to get lost in?


Thank you.

What could you learn
in a rag like that?

Oh, you'd be surprised.
"The Eagle" office is only

a block from the [inaudible].

Oh, one of those poker joints.

Hello, Moore?

Lorelei Kilbourne.



Hold the suspect.

No make on the license.

No, that the police radio.

Pay no attention to it.

So you've played poker?


Susan, I have a woman
beaten up in a drunken ball.

She may die in a
floater at the morgue.

Someone might think they've
paid us to work in this job.

Louie, this is Susan Peabody,
our new police reporter.

Susan, Louie Snead.

He happens to like you.

Louie's the best news
source in the city hall.

Pleased to meet you.

Did you say Peabody?

My uncle owns "The
Illustrated Press."

What do we do about this, Lorelei?

Better get upstairs, boys.

The DA dug up a hot lead
on that Boyle murder.

Wait a minute, boys.

Susan's going with you.

How come?

One of Steve Wilson's brilliant
plays, leading with a queen.

Rewrite, please.

Thinks I'll get jealous and
change my mind about quitting.

Hello, McCabe?

I'll have a couple of
yarns for the last run.

Mabel Steely, 24, of
519 Jameson Place.

Jameson Place.

Removed to the emergency with
cut, bruises, and lacerations.

Husband, John B. Steely,
held in the city jail.

Both drunk.

No, no identification on the body.

That's all, McCabe.



What in the world
are you talking about?

Am I talking again?

Do you ever stop?

Want to play a
couple hands of cards?

You know I haven't
got time to play cards.

I got a hunch it might
be a good idea for you

to start practicing.

Here's my five.

I'm in.

I'll call.

Full house, kinds on the roof.

42, 10th and Oak.

A man down.

Ambulance, 14.


Well, little poker?

It ain't poor starvers, doc.

We just thought we'd
kill at little time.

Time ain't all you
can kill, [inaudible].

Deal me out, boys.

How have you been doing
your first day on the beat?

How's he been doing, he asks.

Haven't had a bit of trouble.

Everybody's been wonderful to me.

That's good.

Lorelei go home?


That's funny, I thought she
was having dinner with me.

Well, I guess she misunderstood.

88, no
make on the license.

You haven't had
dinner yet, have you?

No, and I'm starving.

Well, let's go.

Isn't this a bit irregular,
the managing editor taking

the cub reporter out to dinner?

Miss Peabody, as
far as I'm concerned

you're not a cub reporter.

You're the boss's favorite niece.

On a deal like that,
how can I lose?

You get her in a poker game, doc,

you'll find out how you can lose.

47, no make.

Profit, eh?



Mmm, wonderful.

I was crazy about
that [inaudible].

Where'd you learn to play poker?

Winner's Club.

One of those poker
joints in Lindbury?


That's quite a racket
they've built up.

It's too bad, too.

They shouldn't allow those
clubs so close to college green.

Too many kids get the poker fever

and spend so much time
drawing inside straights

they flunk out of college.


No thanks, I don't smoke.

It's really a shame.

Those dives should be locked up.

Well, there's a bill
in the legislature now.

Bars private gambling
clubs within ten

miles of a university.

However, it's buried in committee.

Suppose we got it out.



A crusade in "The
Illustrated Press."

Pictures, editorials, sob stories.

Uncle Amos, you know,
just loves a crusade.

Yeah, don't I know.

Well, don't you like crusades?

When they're news.

I'm old fashioned, Susan.

I've always believed a
newspaper should publish news.

Wouldn't it be news if we
closed up those gambling clubs?

Trouble is, people
who want to gamble

will find a way,
clubs or no clubs.

Listen, Mr. Wilson.

Have you ever been in
one of those joints?


Then do me a favor.

Go out to the Winner's
Club with me tonight.

Get into a game and
watch the people,

and then decide if they
shouldn't be closed up.

All right, I will.

Maybe this is my lucky night.

Come out, Marcus.

Wait a minute big shot.

You didn't pay for
those cigarettes.

Go buy yourself a mink coat, baby.

Now life was never
easy for mother and me

even before dad died.

California's supposed to be
the land of sunshine and gold.

Well, you can't eat the
sunshine and the gold never

seem to stick to dad's fingers.

You see, he was the black
sheep of the family,

the one who wouldn't keep
his nose to the grindstone.

I'll bet I'd have liked him.

Oh, I'm sure you would.

Everybody liked dad.

Everybody but Uncle Amos.

Uncle Amos never had
anything to do with him.

I never even saw my uncle
'till I came to Big Town.

He was just a legend,
a legend about a mean,

grasping old millionaire.

Was I surprised when I met
him for the first time.

Ah, Peabody's all right.

Why, he's a darling.

Look at all he's done for me.

Brought me east, paid my tuition,

rented me an apartment
in College Green,

gave me an allowance.

Well, there's the Winner's Club.

Good evening.

This way, please.

That'll be a dollar for each chip.

All right.

Thank you.

Thank you.

[inaudible] mac.


OK, Chuck.

She's at table 14 with that guy
off "The Illustrated Press."


Mark, come in here.

What's she been doing all day?

She left her apartment
in College Green at 9,

drove her crate into Big
Town and went to the press.

She was at the...

Mark, send in O'Hara.

O'Hara coming right up.

She was at the press an hour,
and she went to the city hall.

Stayed there until 7:30 tonight.

She got into a poker
game, the press room.

Ah, she would.

You want me, Mr. LaRue?

There's a peasant at table
14 I want you to take care of.



At 7:30, Wilson took her to
dinner at the Green Lantern.

The left the lantern at
nine and came on out here.

All right, you know what to do.

I'll wait for you here.

I'm out.

I'll stay.

I'm in.

Five more.


I'll see it.

I'm in.

Nice going, I think you have it.

I've had enough.

Good evening, leave
you to our deal.

You come here often?

Every night.

How you doing?

This is my third stack.

Guess it's not my night.

I'll have a new deal,
if you don't mind.

Next time deal off
the top of the deck.

I don't take that from nobody.

You were dealing
bottoms and I saw you.

Why you lying [inaudible], you?

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

What is this?

Let go, let go.

Stick around.

Deal the cards.

What's going on?


Let go, let go of me.

Hold it, Monk.

Why not?

Get him on his feet.

I don't have [inaudible].

Now put him in a car
and dump him in Big Town.

How'd you get in the act?

Press room got the
flashing [inaudible].

You might have been killed, Steve.

How do you feel?

Never mind that.

What's the story?

You were found unconscious
on the 9th street causeway.

What happened?

Oh, I got out of line in
someone else territory.

The Winner's Club, one of
those poker joints in Lindbury.

Caught a dame cheating...
where's Susan?


Is that who you were out with.

You didn't waste
any time, did you?

Never mind the sarcasm.

What time is it?

One o'clock.

Call home, would you?

See if she got in all right.

What's her phone number?

I don't know, look
it up in the book.

College Green.

Nurse, where's the phone?

In the hall.

First turn to the left.

Thank you.


Where's my coat?

On the chair.

But if you want to play
safe, you'll stay in that bed

- the rest of the night.
- Thanks.

Get me another cup of
coffee, would you please?


You get her?

What'd she say?

There was no answer.

Those two mugs.

That's big dame
working for the house.

Lorelei, I was framed.

Taking Peabody's niece
to that [inaudible],

what did you expect?

Fanfare and an open
corsage on the house?

- Here.
- Thanks.

Taking her my eye.

She took me.

She's been living there
practically for months.

She didn't learn [inaudible]
journalism [inaudible],

you know.

What time did you say it was?

I think it's time
you call the police.

OK, let's go.

Press room.

Yes, sergeant?


Vermont and Gary, a woman down.


I see.


Well, the dicks went
after the Winner's Club

with a couple of Lindbury bulls.

She wasn't there.

Claimed they never saw her before.

They know when she
went, where, or how.

What happened to her car?

Some woman phoned in a
stolen car report, 11:42 PM.


No, my guess is no.

All units,
keep alert for a woman, age 20.

Red hair, 5 feet to 2.

Weight, 115 pounds.

Believed to be in the
hands of kidnappers.

They're not using her name.

I asked him to keep
it on the secret file.

building up a
scandal if she's all right.

Shouldn't we phone Mr. Peabody?

We've got to tell him, Steve.

If it is a snatch, he'll
have to pay the ransom.

Stop talking like that.


Try the number again, will you?

Oh, why don't you try?

Can't you see I'm so
jittery I can't dial?

She's home.

For a girl who's supposed
to be at work at 9 AM,

that little number
keeps late hours.

Oh, quit it.

Do you want to take me home now,

or do you want to wait
here and talk to her?

I'll wait.

Poor kids.

She may have been
out looking for me.

Maybe she's worried.

You hope.

Oh, lay off, will you?

What did you say her number was?

Now he can dial.

R, B, 1, 4, 6, 9, 2.

She was there just a minute ago.

Do you suppose she
had the party line

and the other party's using it?

With Peabody's influence
would she use a party line?

When you got that busy
signal before you just dialed

a wrong number, that's all.


What now.

Louie, don't you ever sleep?

Not if I can help it.

Looks bad for the kid, huh?

What kid?

You don't have to play dumb, chum.

Dumb chum.

Hmm, I'm a poet, huh?

I thought you had those
dicks in your pocket.

Don't play the dicks,
they didn't tip me off.

I got other sources.

You don't have to worry, anyhow.

I wouldn't give it
to "The Chronicle."

Press room.

Wilson speaking.

Yeah, you will check the
wheel for prints, won't you?

Thanks, Hyde.

They find her jalopy?


In a vacant lot
outside of Big Town.

Well, that's bad.

It's natural right?

You think so, Louie?

It's a cinch.

Come morning, that
Winner's Club mob will

put the pressure on Peabody.

I wonder what the little
filly will bring on the hoof.

Well, if I run into any
angles, I'll pass them on.

Wait a minute, Louie.
Come here.

Come here.
Sit down.

Sit down.

Louie, you pick up
more dirt around here

than 17 street cleaners.

OK, suppose the girl
has been snatched,

we're going to need
an intermediary.

A go-between Louie.

Go between what?

Oh, quit stalling.

You know what I mean,
and you're elected.

Hey, look, Lorelei,
don't let him do this!

Louie, before we can put
that girl in circulation

we've got to know the score,
and you're the only one

who can find it out.

Please, if you think
for one second...

We've been good friends, Louie.

Why, we've been batting around
this city hall for a long time

now it's seems.

Me for you, and you for me.

You wouldn't let me down
now, would you, Louie?

Oh, baby, you're killing me!

Aww, come on, Louie.

Well, OK.

But... I'll see what I can do.

Atta boy, junior.

Come on now, get going.

Well, no use stalling any longer.

I'll have to call Peabody.

Press room, Lorelei Kilbourne.


No prints on the steering wheel.

that wouldn't be Susan.

Well, that cinches it.

I'll have to call.


Missed it.

I never should have
given her that apartment

in College Green.

If she hadn't been living
by herself going around

with those college
kids, she'd never

had heard of the Winner's Club.

I made a mistake bringing
her here in the first place.

Oh, you were only
trying to be kind.

Yes, but look what
I've done to her.

The poor child.

They won't hurt her.

They'll only shake you down.

You'd better start
worrying about yourself.

Do you think I care about myself?

To have her back right
now I'd gladly pay...

Yeah, very well.

I'll wait.

It's Louie Snead.

Steve, we ought to
get a squad of cops,

go out to the Winner's Club,
and round up the whole mob.

We've been over that
before, Mr. Peabody.

We have no evidence.

We can't even call in the
FBI until the kidnapping

has actually been established.

Yeah, Louie?



All right, I got it.

Thanks, junior.

Louie's made contact with someone

who is in touch with the mob.

What do they want me to do?

They want you on the southwest
corner of Fifth and Grant

at 10 o'clock this morning.

You must be alone.

I just have time to make it.

Now, now, wait a minute.

You're not going to
pay off, are you?

Oh, I might.


It's the wrong way
to handle the snatch.

Why, if that mob shakes you
down without any trouble...

Steve, my niece is in danger.

If I have to pay, I'll pay.

I want that girl back unharmed.

Miss Whitley, call
the detective bureau.

Tell Captain Murphy to
have two of his best men

meet me right away
at Fifth and Grand.

Northeast corner, got it?

Yes, Mr. Wilson.

Second desk on the
right, Mr. Peabody.

Nice of you to
come, Mr. Peabody.

I'm Charles LaRue, Managing
Director of the Winner's Club.

How much do you want?

Now about that stock.

It's a block of 50,000
shares of common stock

in the Winner's Club.

Par value, $1 per share.

I'll sell at par.

The stock is already made out
in your name, Mr. Peabody.

Make the check out
to me, Charles LaRue.

I see.

You'd be very slow if you didn't.

I think you'll find it's
an excellent investment.

Of course, this stock has
never paid a dividend.

Maybe it never will.

But every investment
has intangibles.

Values which can't be
reckoned in dollars and cents.


Good morning, Mr. LaRue.

Good morning.

Deposit this to my
account, please.

There he is, boys.

Here's your stock, Mr. Peabody.

You'll find it a
very good investment.

All right, boys, take him along.

What's all this about?

You'll find out at headquarters.

What's that?

Stock in the Winner's Club.

$50,000 worth.

I just bought it.

Not good, Mr. Peabody.

Not good.

Come on, honey.

What's the rap?

Did you talk to the cashier?

He told me the money
had been legally

deposited in LaRue's account.

For the last time,
Harding, I demand that I be

allowed to phone my attorney.

He has a point there,
Mr. Peabody, of course.


Take him down and book
him on an open charge,

then bring him back.

What did the corporation
commissioner have to say?

The Winner's Club is a
legitimate corporation.

LaRue had a legal right
to sell that stock.

The commissioner said if
you want your money back,

you'll have to go to court.

I don't care about
getting the money back.

I want Susan back.

Harding speaking.

For you, Wilson.

Thank you.


What goes, Steve?

Oh, I see.

How long will you be up there?

I'll call you.

Louie, they have a
man in the DA's office

by the name of LaRue.

He just shook Peabody
down for $50,000.

Chuck LaRue?

I was afraid of that.

Goldilocks, this
whole caper smells.

And that babe with
the innocent look.

What does Steve Wilson
want to go taking

her out for when him and you...

Maybe he only did it to
make me jealous, huh, Louie?

Maybe he did and maybe he didn't.

But, Goldilocks, if he's
giving you the run around...

Louie, you're just a
sweet sentimentalist.

Well, this whole caper smells.

Forget it, Louie.

If anything goes wrong,
no one will blame you.

I know, but...

Darling, I'm terribly
sorry I'm late,

but my car was stolen last
night and I had to spend

- the night with a girlfriend.
- Girlfriend?

Yes, Mona Lawrence.

And we got to talking over coffee,

and time just slipped by and...

Include me out of this.

Steve wants you to
call him right away.

Oh, is he all right?

I know there was some
trouble last night.

So I heard.

I'll get Steve on
the phone for you.

I suppose he's mad at me.

Oh dear, I wonder
if he'll fire me.

No, I don't think he'll fire
you, he'll probably murder you.

Steve Wilson, please.

Hello, Steve?

Oh, I'm all right.

I spent the night
with a girlfriend.

Well, never mind that.

I'm in the DA's office
on the 14th floor.

Get up here right away.

And bring Lorelei with you.

He wants us both to come up
to the DA's office right away.

He says that...

Never mind what he says.

Come on.

14, please.

OK, Susan, start talking.

About Steve?

Oh, I think he's wonderful.

You didn't mind about his taking
me out last night, did you?

Why should I mind?

Well, I thought maybe
there was an understanding

between you two...

The only understanding
between me and Steve

is that I'm quitting
13 days from today.

Susan, would you be
interested in knowing

that your night with Mona Lawrence

cost Mr. Peabody $50,000?


Never mind.

Well, I don't see what
I did that was wrong.

There was some trouble
at the Winner's

Club and Steve disappeared.

I waited a while, then
decided to go home.

My car was missing,
so I called the police

and told them it was stolen.

Then I took a bus
and went to Mona's.

Weren't you at all worried
about what happened to Steve?

Of course I was.

I kept calling his
house, and finally I

called the office and the
operator told me he'd come in

and gone out on a story.

I presume you know my niece.

Sorry, I've never
had the pleasure.

On the contrary, Mr. LaRue.

You cashed a check
for me once, remember?

I've cashed checks
for so many people.

That's all, LaRue.

You're free.

Now wait a minute, this man just

swindled me out of $50,000.

You're not going to let
him get away with it!

I didn't swindle
you out of anything.

You bought some stock in my club.

Sure, I did.

But that was on the assumption
that he had my niece.

You led me to believe...

I don't know where you
got that idea, Mr. Peabody.

I never mentioned your niece.

Now look here.

This is nothing but an open
and shut case of fraud.

And I'm going to sue!

Take it easy, Mr. Peabody.

I'm sure your investment
is going to pay off.

Are you through with me?

Anytime you want to get
a check cashed, drop in.

Excuse me a minute.

Now, young lady, just exactly
what happened last night?

Wait a minute, LaRue!

That was a very clever trick.

But don't get the idea
we're through with you.

That's just part payment on
last night's account down.

And I spent most of the time
telling her about my new job.

So there it is.

You should have phoned the office

this morning instead of
sitting around chatting

with your friend.

I never seem to do anything right.

It wasn't your
fault. Forget it.

It was my fault, and
I'll never forget it.

I've caused you nothing
but trouble and expense

ever since I came here.

I'm going to give up and
go back to California.

You're doing nothing of the kind.

You wanted to be a
reporter, very well,

we'll make you a reporter.

Now get back to the press
room and go to work.

Oh, Uncle Amos, you're a darling!

Coming, Lorelei.

No, Lorelei's staying here.

You're on your own, Susan.

Oh, Susan?

No one knows anything
about this business,

so don't talk to Wally or Harvey.

Of course not.

What was the idea of
stopping me with LaRue?

LaRue wasn't as
smart as he thought

when he sold you that stock.

We're going to use it to
close up the Winner's Club.

Yes, and every other
club in Lindbury.

That's a worthy
ambition, Mr. Wilson.

And not an easy thing to do.

Of course, there's that
bill before the legislature.

It's buried in committee.

We'll dig it out of committee.

Will you cooperate, Harding?



We'll use a full-page
spread with pictures.

Lots of pictures.

We'll put on a good,
old-fashioned muckraking


And what's more, AP,
I'll get your money back.

Lorelei Kilbourne, Sergeant.


Thank you.

Everything is quiet.

Are you sure you won't
need me any longer?

You had a hard day.

Go home and rest.

You've been so
kind to me, Lorelei.

I do appreciate it.

Forget it.


Goodnight, Lorelei.

Goodnight, boys.

Goodnight, beautiful.

Take it easy, kid.

Hi-ya scoop.

What's breaking?

Same to you, sister.

Hey, you guys, that Hawkins story.

The dicks are holding out on you.

The dame sang two hours ago.

I had a hunch they'd try
to pull a fast one on us!

Come on, Wally.

I'm giving them the run around.

The dame's still clammed up.

They'll murder you.

Let me worry about that.

You know, I've been thinking.


Little Miss Innocence
ain't on the level.

Her racket with Steve.

Please, Louie.

I don't want to hear
any more about her or...

Don't try to kid me, Goldilocks.

You're carrying a torch
like the Statue of Liberty.

I didn't think it showed.

Well, it does.

Are you going to be a sap and
let that piece of no-good fluff

break you two apart?

I'm sure Steve
knows what he wants.

Well, it ain't what he wants.

And most of all, it
ain't what you want.

And between the both of us,
we're going to straighten him

out about her.

She's palsey-walsey with
more wrong G's than a...

than a bail bond broker!

What am I saying?

You know Jake Sebastian?

Should I?

Top man at Chuck LaRue's mob.

Yesterday, right here
in the city hall, I

seen him talking to her.


So take that shakedown.

Say that Chuck LaRue
had Steve framed.

Say he had Susan's car stolen.

Say he had her trailed out
to her girlfriend's house.

Say that he knew she'd be out
of circulation until morning.

What I want to know is...

How he'd know she wouldn't
check in here until after 10

this morning.

Ah, so you've been
thinking about it too, huh?


OK, do something.

What should I do?

Should I bothered
because her uncle

was shaken down for $50,00?

Should I care if Steve Wilson
is making a fool of himself

over the girl?

Don't give me that, Goldilocks.

You care all right, and plenty.

All right, I care.

So do I. I was the go-between
on that deal you know.

I was double-crossed too.

OK, Louie.

I might do a little checking.

OK, kid.

You go in to your [inaudible]
and I'll go into mine.

And tomorrow we'll
compare notes, right?


When we get through
with her, they'll

be putting her face where it
belongs, on iodine bottles.

Hello, "Lynnbury Eagle?"

City desk, please.

Hello, Hanks?

Lorelei Kilbourne.


I want to check up
on one of the new cub

reporters, Susan Peabody.

No, she claimed
she worked for you.

Oh, I see.


Not more than half a column, Joe.

We're tight now.

And when we break that Winner's
Club story in the final.

OK, then kill it.

I'll be ready any time.

I'll be with you in five minutes.

Hello, Jimmy.


Are you in on this
Winner's Club thing?

Lorelei's covering a
political meeting tonight.

Republicrats United.

Very important.

Ah, you lucky girl.

Steve, I hate to mention
this, but I've been doing some

checking on a new reporter and...

Very interesting, Goldilocks,
but I can't go into it now.

I'm going out to
the Winner's Club.

We're going out to
the Winner's Club.

To play this thing
right, you'll need

some human interest angles.

- Very well, I'm your girl.
- Uh-uh.

That's out.
This job is too dangerous.

If it's dangerous for me, it's
twice as dangerous for you.

- I'm going.
- You're not.

I am.

You're not going to the
Winner's Club tonight!

Winner's Club.

Wait for it.

You bet, Mr. Wilson.

Sure, but not too loud.

Not with Monk and Marcus
breathing down our neck.

He was right, Chuck.

They're here.

Good, bring them in.

After the trouble you
caused last night,

Wilson, you and your
friends aren't welcome here.

You want to get out peacefully?

We're not leaving, LaRue.

Oh, no?

Keep out of this Monk.

You too, Marcus.

Remember I told Mr. Peabody
his investment would pay off?

Well, he's assigned
his stock to me.

Owning a piece of this
joint, I have a legal right

to enter it at any time.

So, if they still want
to put us out, hop to it.

What do you say, LaRue?

Come on, Lorelei.

How much is 17 take away eight?

I don't know.

LaRue, how about a shot
of you and the boys?

Oh no.

The boss don't like
his picture took.

Call Mr. Wilson's cab.

One cab, coming right up.

Well, thanks.

It was a successful evening.

We got some nice pictures.

Give us a good spread, Wilson.

Bad publicity is better
than no publicity.

An aphorism, Mr. LaRue,
which I hope to disprove.

Come on, Lorelei.

Pardon us.

Come on, O'Brien.

Get the car.

Well, I... I never expected
it to be that easy.

We're not home yet, Goldilocks.

Keep going, bub.

Straight into Big Town.

Listen driver, your cab is
in the garage and the guy

that stole it is in jail.

They didn't beat you up, did they?


Well, send in the bill.

I'll OK anything within reason.

How are they?

They're pretty good.

I'll have some more
when they [inaudible].

Anything familiar about that girl?

What's on your mind?

That suit.

It's [inaudible] There are
hundreds like it in Big Town.


It's an original.

It came from Paisley's
and it cost plenty.

You can't fool a woman.

What you're trying to tell me is

that the girl is Susan Peabody.

What you're not trying to tell me

is how Susan can afford
an original Paisley

on the allowance that
Peabody gives her.

Do you know how much he gives her?

No, but I know Peabody.

So, you know Peabody.

So I know that suit and
the girl who's wearing it.

What's it prove?


Only suddenly you've
gone stone blind.

Well, Lorelei, you
must love limbs.

You climb out on so many.

Very well, Steve.

You asked for it, here it is.

I checked with the phone company.

Susan has a one-party line.

When I got that busy
signal last night,

Susan was home in her apartment.

You dialed the wrong number.

OK, pass that one.

The girl never worked
for the "Lindbury Eagle."

Well, don't all would-be reporters

lie about their experience?

Yeah, skip that one too.

Now, see if you can knock
this one out of the lot.

She never stayed with
Mona Lawrence last night.

Mona Lawrence hardly knows her
and hasn't seen her for weeks.

So she told a fib.

A fib?

Steve, she's not only a
liar, she's pure poison!

Are you going to write that
story on the Winner's Club

or should I give it
to a rewrite man?

How do you like that girl?

Susan has
a one-party line.

You should get that one.

She didn't work on
the "Lindbury Eagle."

She didn't stay with
Mona Lawrence last night.

Did she think
we've been asleep?

We've known all that since noon.

If we hadn't been so
busy, we'd have been

able to do something about it.

Well, we're not too busy now.

Hey, this is pretty good.

Wait a minute.

Yeah, good find.

Excuse me a minute, darling.

Don't go.


Oh, hello.

Oh, no.

No, you didn't get me out of bed.

I was wondering.

Mind if I drop around for a while?

Why not?


I'll be over in 20 minutes.


Bye, darling.

You were sweet to bring me home.

What's the matter?

No more of that.

Why not?

Let's stay healthy.

Your boyfriend's
beginning to get wise.

If he finds out about us...

So you're scared?

Look, I know him
when he's jealous.

He'll blow his top.

Oh, so I'm getting a brush-off.

Don't get sore.

I know a brush-off when I get one.

And I won't forget
it, not for a minute.

Now get out.

If that's the way you feel, sure.

Goodnight, baby.

Oh, shut up!

It was nice of you
to come and see me.

It was nice of you to let me.

Well, cozy little
place you have here.

I like it.

I planned to stay at
the sorority house,

but Uncle Amos insisted
that I take an apartment.

Now I'm glad that I did.

Yeah, sororities sort of,
uh, cramp a girl's style.

If you know what I mean.

I'd be pretty dumb if I didn't.

How'd you make out with
the Winner's Club story?


When that blast hits the capital,

it'll be all over but
nailing on the padlocks.

Did you get some good pictures?

Now don't tell me, I was there.


I wanted to see the
fun, so I went out.

And your cameraman
started making wild shots

and I had to duck.

I was afraid that Uncle
Amos might be peeved

if he knew I was there again.

Uncle Amos is already peeved.

I know.

- I'm so...
- Sorry?

Sure, sure.

Are you also sorry you
lied to me about working

on the "Lindbury Eagle."

You don't hold that
against me, do you?

No, but you shouldn't have
lied to me about staying

with Mona Lawrence.

All right now, tell
me the truth, what

really happened last night?

Well, when I found out
my car had been stolen,

I called up my boyfriend and
had him come out and pick me up.

We drove around for a
long time, then about 2:30

I came back here.

I needed a coat.

It was a cold night, remember?


How long did you stay?

Oh, just a few minutes.

Then we went out again
to a few late spots.

Who did you call
while you were here?

Oh, I didn't call anyone.

But my boyfriend did.

Just who is this boyfriend
you're talking about?

He's just a boy.

College boy?

Of course.

He, uh, wouldn't be connected
with that LaRue mob, would he?

Oh, heavens no!

He's just an unsophisticated kid.

He gets mad whenever he
finds out I've been gambling.

He's told me again
and again I should

stay away from those places.

If he's that concerned, he
must think an awful lot of you.

He does.

He's frightfully jealous too.


I wonder if...
if he should happen

to come by tonight, would you mind

going down the fire escape?

Yes, I could just picture myself.

It wouldn't be the
first time, would it?

Would, uh, that be your boyfriend?

He bores me.

It could be for me, you know.

I suppose you told
everyone in the office

- you were coming here.
- No, no.

Just Fletcher.


Just a moment, Mr. Fletcher.


Yeah, Fletch?


All right, tell him
I'll be right along.


Your uncle is leaving for
the capital in half an hour,

wants to see me before he goes.

Sorry, I have to rush off.

When Uncle Amos
tosses the herring,

the trained seals bark.

Tell me, Steve, do you also
balance the ball on your nose?

You never stop pouting.

It was sweet of you
to come and see me.

All right, honey, see
you in the morning.

Yeah, see you in the morning
and maybe, uh, tomorrow night.

Bye now, darling.


With the Greer Agency.

They needed a smart private eye...

So they hired you.


Some [inaudible].

What kind of a case you on?

If I get the goods on
this two-timing tomato,

her old man will pay off.

Well, keep your nose clean.

Hello, junior.

Hi-ya, boy.

No, no, look I...

What are you doing here?

Hey, take it easy!
That's my good suit!

Come on, come on, give!

What are you hanging
around here for?

I'm checking up on
that Peabody dame.

Who's paying you, Lorelei?

Oh, come now.

Don't be a cad.

Let's keep her name out of this.

And if you want to know something,

you ought to be ashamed what
you're doing to that girl!

All right, Louie.

Have fun.

But I suppose you know
you're playing with dynamite.

What do you think you're
playing with, marbles?



Loaded dice.

Well, I'll be seeing you.

Hello, baby.

You're home early, darling.

Business was slow.

Jake got you home all right.

I'm here.

You're not jealous
of Jake, are you?

I'm jealous of everybody.

Chuck, quit.

Haven't I a right to be?

After all, you're my wife.

Then it's about time you started

treating me like a wife.

What are you talking about?


It wasn't his idea to trail
me around all day yesterday.

Oh baby, you're just a kid.

That was a big deal.

I had to be sure it was set
up right before I sat into it.

You picked a fine
guy to follow me.

At the Green Lantern
he was so obvious he

almost tipped the play.

I still don't see
why it was necessary.

You can't blame me for
trying to protect myself.

I only blame you
for not trusting me.

Does that look like
I don't trust you?

Is it all here?

It's all there.

50,000 bucks.

But don't get any ideas,
half of it's mine.

No, darling.

All of it is ours.

OK, Uncle Amos,
penny-pinching old skimplet!

Now what do you think
of your favorite niece?

A millionaire, and he puts
me up in a place like this.

He buys me a car, a
second-hand roadster.

He gives me a fur coat, rabbit.

And jack rabbit at that!

I get an allowance,
30 bucks a week.

And you know how he lives?

I can guess.

Do you know how he
dresses his daughters?

Mink, no less.

OK, starting
tomorrow, I wear mink.

You don't want to
crowd your luck, baby.

I do want to crowd my luck.

When you have the cards
you play them, don't you?

OK, so we've got the cards.

And we've only started.

We've got 50,000 bucks,
and pretty soon we'll

take him for another 50,000.

And after that... What's
the matter, Chuck?

Quit dreaming, Susan.

We got 50 Gs and we were lucky.

Have a smoke and cool off.

You know very well I don't smoke.

Who's been up here?

Stop it!

Stop it!

Who was up here?


Jake, huh?

My good friend, Jake.

So that's why you put
on a fancy outfit.

That's not true.

I put this on for you.

Jake only stayed a few minutes.

Long enough to smoke a
couple of cigarettes, huh?

And long enough to make
a couple of passes at me.

Which you brushed off, of course.


That I'd have to see.
I've been watching you two.

- Darling...
- Shut up!

Hello, Marcus?

It's Chuck.

Is Jake there?

OK, now look and
get this straight,

as soon as Jake comes in I want
you and Monk to take the car...

Sorry to have kept you
waiting, Mr. Peabody.

I had a little business.

Look what "The
Chronicle" is running.

"Amos Peabody, publisher
of the "Illustrated Press,"

has bought a block of common
stock in the Winner's Club.

It was revealed today.

The Winner's Club is one of
several private gambling clubs

now operating in Lindbury.

That changes everything.


In the light of that story
our blast against the gambling

clubs is not an expose, it's
a publicity stunt to build

business for the Winners Club.

Well, it'll certainly
look like that all right.

And what does that make me?

Appearing before the
legislature and asking

them to pass a law closing a club

in which I own an interest.

They'll say that's a
publicity stunt too.

Well, there's only
one thing left to do.

Run the whole story of the shake
down exactly as it happened.

However, that means
dragging Susan in to it.

Steve, I'm afraid
she's already in it.

Well, I'll have Lorelei
write the story right away.

When you get back from the capital

we'll see what we can
do about your $50,000.

We'll see what we
can do about Susan.

Your taxi's
waiting, Mr. Peabody.

Good luck with the legislature.


Lorelei there?


Send her in, will you?


What do you want, Steve?

"The Chronicle" is running a story

on Peabody's buying that stock.

So we've got to run a
story on the shake down.

The straight, unbiased,
unvarnished story of what


Will you write it?



We can't use it as follow
up, it'll look too phony.

Wait a minute.

Steve Wilson.

Wilson, this is Chuck LaRue.

I understand you're running your
big story on the Winner's Club

tomorrow morning.

Now look, Wilson, why don't
you talk it over with me?

I realize all that, Wilson,
but what have you got to lose?

Well, boss, here we are.

Ordinarily I'd be glad
to come to your office.

To be perfectly
frank, Wilson, I don't

dare stick my face in to Big
Town until some of this heat

is off.

No, I'm not at the club,
I'm in College Green.

Wilson doesn't know
where you live, does he?

The address is 595 Oak
Street, Apartment 402.

I've got it.

I'll be right over.

Did you hire Louie to
watch Susan's apartment?

I certainly did not.

Then what's he doing there?

How would I know?

Where are you going?


Why the heater?

It's a cold night.

Your [inaudible].

Look, Steve, you're only sticking

your neck out for what?

For Peabody's dough,
the 50,000 bucks.

Don't give me that.

You don't care about
Peabody's dough.

You have your mind on Chuck LaRue.

So he beat you up last night
and showed you up today.

Why not forget it?

Forget it?

Are you kidding?

Now get on that story.

Send Fletcher in here.

Inspector Steve wants you.

You want me, Steve?

Yeah, Fletcher, here's the play.

LaRue wants to see me.

He just phoned from
Susan's apartment.

Here's the address.

Susan's, eh?

Well, I'm not surprised.

Well, neither am I. Now
look, if you don't hear

from me in 40 minutes...

I'll be out there
with a carload of cops.

No, that's no good.

We've got nothing on LaRue yet.

Get a couple of
boys in circulation.

I know just the pair.

And stand by for a call.

I'll be waiting.

Not yet, Goldilocks.

Now listen, kid...

Put down a fin for me on Wee Willy

Winky in the third at Hialeah.

A fin on Wee Winky
in the third at...



Now look, Steve
just went upstairs.

You'd better hurry out
here right away, Lorelei.

There's something cooking and
I'm afraid it's too hot for me

to handle.


I'll be waiting for
you in the lobby.

Up five.

Up your five, and
up you five, boss.

Are you nuts?

Ain't my money.

I'll stay.

How many?


One card.


I'll play these.

Dealer takes three.

In the kitchen.

Come in, Wilson.
How are you?

Fine, thanks.

I believe you've met the boys.

Monk, Marcus, and Jake Sebastian.

Hi boys.

Hi, Wilson.

Little game you're having?

Yeah, Postman's Holiday.

Mind if we finish this hand?

No, go ahead.

Well, cozy little
place you've got here.

I like it.

Jake, you open.

Uh, 20.

20 more.

There's still time to kill
that story isn't there, Wilson?

Plenty of time.

I'm saving it for our final.

You guys are awful brave
betting in to a pan hand.

I'll call.

And 50 betting.

What are you so proud of?

50 more.

Are you sure you don't want
to change your mind about it?

The story?

I can't.

It isn't up to me.

It's up to Peabody.

If it's persuasion
you were looking for,

you should have invited him here.

You'll do.

Yes, I think you'll do very well.

What do you say, Monk?

It's 100 to you.

I'll call.

I'm in.

What have you got?

Four deuces.

Deal, Jake.

Look, LaRue, if there's
something on your mind,

let's have it.

Don't worry, I got
plenty on my mind.

You want a drink?

No thanks.

What will people say when
they find out the managing

editor of the "Illustrated Press"

owns a piece of the Winner's Club?

When they read the
paper in the morning

they'll find out just how the
whole shake down was engineered

and they'll say that
LaRue and his mob

ought to be run out of the state.

Why don't you sit in here?

No thanks.

Too rich for my blood.

Able stakes.

As much or as little as you like.


What will you have?

I'll take $100.

You deal, Wilson.

No, no.

It's Sebastian's deal.

Go ahead, Jake.

Jake doesn't like to deal.

He doesn't even
like to play poker.

Jake just likes to play
with dames, don't you, Jake?

Yeah, Jake is a great
boy with the babes.

He can make more passes
than a leatherneck

with a pair of crooked dice.

And he has a particular
yen for other guys' wives.

You got a wife, Mr. Wilson?


You're lucky.

I mean, with Jake around.

What are you're getting at Chuck?

Just kidding, Jake, old boy.

Just kidding.

You won't need a rod
around here, Wilson.

It isn't that kind of game.

Just a big, happy family, huh?


You crossed me up
very neatly, Wilson.

Running that shake down yon.

I'm surprised Peabody would
want to get his niece mixed

up in a sordid story like that.

You don't know Peabody.

He's a tough old guy.

I wonder if he's
tough enough to take

what I'm going to dish him.

Baby, come in here!

Mr. Wilson, meet Mrs. LaRue.

I've already met Mrs. LaRue.

I found her very charming.

She's charming all
right, but not very smart.


Who planned this caper?

Who dragged Wilson out to the
Winner's Club and set the deal?

You did, dear.

what do you mean I'm not smart?

Sit down, baby.

Deal her in.

Anybody mind?

Six hands, nice game.

Yeah, set a shy though.

That's better.


Open for five.

What do you mean I'm not smart?

Put it on the line.

I'll stay.

Would a smart girl,
knowing me very well,

play around with my best friend?

You staying?

Yeah, I'm in.

Me too.

Look, LaRue, I don't know what
you and your marital problems

have to do with my
running that story.



One card.

Two cards.

Look at it this way, Wilson,
how would Amos Peabody

like for it to be known that
this kid here, this green pea

from the west, came
into town and made

a sucker out of her uncle?

He won't know anything
about it until the paper

hits the streets.

He'll know it if you
tell him right now.

Peabody left town 10 minutes
ago for the state capital.

Get a bill through the legislature

that will close you up.

Then you're the only person
in town who can kill the story.






Bet 10.

You don't seem to
understand, Wilson.

There's a story
breaking right here

that will back your
Winner's Club story

right out of the newspaper.

Monk, Marcus on your way.
You've got your stories.

Hey, what goes.

Sit down.

Marcus, what do you tell the cops?

You and me and Monk
was playing poker here

with Jake and this guy,
Wilson, and the dame.

I mean, your wife.

Yeah, then we got a
call from the club.

Trouble with a couple
of the peasants.

Then me and you and
Monk hopped in the car

and hightailed it out to Lindbury.


Jake and this guy,
Wilson, and the dame.

I mean, your wife, here alone
in the apartment together.

OK, on your way.

Pull the car around
in the alley and wait.

I'll be down the fire escape.

OK, boss.

What are you doing?

Half of that dough
is mine and if you...

Shut up, you two-timing tramp.

Half that dough is
mine, I tell you.

Don't you think you're
going to powder with it.

Yeah, the money is
half yours all right,

but where you're going, baby,
it won't do you any good.

You can't phone the cops, Lorelei!

If there's nothing wrong up there

that mob will sue you
paper for a million bucks.

Come along with me.

But Louie...

Come along, Goldilocks.

Leave everything to Louie.

Hold it, Monk.

Who's that?

That ain't good.

Let's take him.


Get up in the back of
that truck, you guys.

- In you go.
- Now listen...

Aww, come on.

We don't want any yakety-yak.

Get in the truck.

Come on.
Get in.

Get in.

Drive it around
back, in the alley.

Yeah, then I'll get the boss's
car and bring it around too.

You're acting like a fool!

If you've got the crazy
idea that I've been

- playing around with your wife...
- Quiet!

Chuck, you're insane!

I lied to you about Jake.


Chuck, listen to me.

Chuck, please!

Operator, get me the police.

Sit down.

Don't try anything funny, Wilson.


I want you to send a car to
595 Oak Street, Apartment 402.

I've just killed
a man and a woman.

I'm going to kill myself.

My name?


Steve Wilson.



Are you sure you know
where you're going?

Sure, I cased this
joint all night.

Come on.


595 Oak Street, Apartment 402.

A shooting.


Police have traced the call back.

Well, what are you waiting for?

I want to hear a
[inaudible] There it is.

It's a nice set up, LaRue, but
you'll never get away with it.

Why should the police believe
I killed these people?

You've been playing
around my wife.

So was Jake.

After the boys and
I left you here,

you and Jake must have got
in to an argument over Susan.

And you, evidently, blew your top.

I trust this gun is
registered in your name.

It is.

But you can't have a suicide
without powder burns.

Let me take care
of the powder burns.

Don't touch the gun, Louie!

His prints are on it.

Well, here's Peabody's 50,000.

Steve, she's still alive!

Oh, too bad.

Look, Kelly, I'm not
interested in clinical details.

Will she live?

OK, Kelly.

Keep in touch.

Well, here we are.

Where's Fletcher?

He's swearing out a complaint
against Monk and Marcus.

Kidnapping, conspiracy,
accessory before the fact.

Hey, they left one out.

Parking in front
of a fire hydrant.

Yeah, they booked
them on that too.

They better.

Well, what do you think of it?

A beautiful blast, huh?

Will it turn the trick?

Will it turn the trick?

I guarantee that within
30 days every poker

club will be closed up
tighter than a Puritan's lips.

How's Susan?

Kelly just phoned from
the general hospital.

They've given her a transfusion.
They say she'll live.


Hey, them mugs don't need bond.

Thanks for everything, Louie.

OK, junior.
No charge.

Well, should we call it a night?

Oh, that Louie Snead.

Now there's a character.

He's brash.

He's sharp as a tack.

He's hep to all the angles.

You know, I think Louie would make

a pretty fine police reporter.

Still, I guess I already have
a pretty fine police reporter.

Lorelei, you're not really
going to leave me, are you?

Well, I...

Are you?

Oh, Steve.

You big lug.

Hey, this building's on fire!

Call me when the walls get hot.

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