Mr. Wong, Detective (1938) - full transcript

When a chemical manufacturer is killed after asking detective James Wong to help him, Wong investigates this and two subsequent murders. He uncovers a international spy ring hoping to steal the formula for a poison gas being developed by the first victim's company.

-You're going to
get killed doing

that one of these
days, Lescardi.

-There were people out front.

I had to get to you quick.

I found the stuff.

It's being loaded
aboard "The Orinoco.

-The "Orinoco"?

-An old trans steamer
tied up at Pier 28.

-Well, you have
your instructions.

-What can we do?

We can't get near the ship.

-You know, don't you, that
if those chemicals fall

into the hands of our
enemies, we're through?

-Sure, I know.

But the wharf's
swarming with guards.

-Then we've got to think
of another way, Lescardi.

That ship has got to be stopped.


Yes, this is Olga.


Yes, I understand.

I'll do as you say.

-I think we gave him
the slip that time.

How much further is it?

-We'll be there in a minute.

-Is Mr. Wong at home?

I'm Mr. Simon Dayton.

What do you want?

-I-- I'm looking for Mr.
Wong, Mr. James Lee Wong.

-Good evening, Mr. Dayton.

I am James Lee Wong.

I beg you to forgive
my feathered friend.

He delights in the
sound of his own voice,

but like so many humans, the
words don't seem to matter.

If you will forgive my
humble surroundings.

-Well, Phil Davis sent
me to you, Mr. Wong.


-My life is being threatened.

He said you'd be
able to help me.

-A request from a friend
is virtually a command.

If you'll state
your case, please.

-Well, I-- I haven't any case.

I'm just convinced that
somebody's out to get me,

that's all.

-Whom do you suspect?

-Anyone, everyone,
every place I go.

I tell you, it's
driving me crazy.

-How long have you been
bothered by this, uh, shall we

say, apprehension?

-Uh, for a couple of months.

You see, about that
time, my two partners

and myself arranged to ship
a load of chemicals abroad.

From that time on, we've
had a lot of trouble.

-Just what sort of trouble?

-Factory deliveries held up.

Railroad shipments damaged.

Ships withdrawn that
I'd already chartered.

-I see.

Go on.

-My office has been entered and
rifled several times lately.


Anything taken?

Desk, files
searched, but nothing taken.

-Is there anything
else you can tell me?


A couple of days ago, a Miss
Petroff dropped into the office

with a letter of a introduction.

Yesterday I saw
the man from whom

she said she'd
gotten the letter.

He had never heard of her.

-How about these two
partners of yours?

-Wilk and Meisle?

They're OK.

We've been associated
for 15 years.

I don't know, I-- I seem to
have the feeling that I'm

being followed, that I
was followed here tonight.

It all seems so indefinite.

I-- well, I just can't give
you a single clue, Mr. Wong.

-On the contrary,
Mr. Dayton, you have.

You spoke of a forged letter.

Do you have it?

-Oh, yes, of course,
at the office.

Will you do this?

Will you come to the
office and talk it over?

I'll pay you anything you
ask, but I must have help,

or I'll lose my mind.

-How will 10 o'clock in
the morning suit you?


I do appreciate this, Mr. Wong.

I appreciate it immensely.

In the meantime, what
would you advise me to do?

-I would suggest an almond duck,
smothered with succulent water

chestnuts, a little rice wine--


-I beg your pardon.

Have you a good cook?


-Then go home.

Have a good dinner and sleep.

He rests well who dines well.

Good night, Mr.
Wong, and thank you again.

I'll see you tomorrow
morning at 10:00.

Good night, Mr. Dayton.

Look out, Wong!

That wasn't my chauffeur.

That wasn't John.

I saw his face!

-Here's John.

This is my chauffeur, John.



John, what happened?

What happened?


-Good morning, Mr. Dayton.

-Good morning.

Mr. Wong will be
here at 10 o'clock.

I'm not seeing anyone
else, understand?

-Why, Mr. Meisle
and Mr. Wilk are

in your office waiting for you.


Thank you.

Good morning.

-Anything wrong, Dayton?

-Nothing wrong with me.

What's on your mind?

-Simon, we overlooked
a little matter

in, uh, our
partnership agreement.

It's quite important.


What is it?

-There's nothing that
covers the situation

which will arise
if one of us dies.

-Meisle thinks of everything.

-In order to
simplify things, I've

drawn up an additional
clause to our agreement.

I'll read it to you.

"In the event of the demise
of any of the three principals

to this agreement, it
is understood and agreed

that his interest shall
revert in its entirety

to the surviving principals
and/or principal."

We've both signed.

-The way I figure,
it's wise to always

be prepared in a case like this.

-I wish we'd never
gone into this now.

-Not trying to back
out again, Dayton?


-Well, don't.

You're in this
too deep for that.

That ship is going to sail.

-Mr. Wong should be here by now.

-Why, he's not due for
20 minutes, Mr. Dayton.


-Good morning, Miss Ross.

-Good morning, Carl.

-Can I see Mr. Dayton?

-Oh, I'm sorry,
Carl, I'm impossible.

-You've been telling
me that for a week.

-Well, Carl, he'll
see you tomorrow.

I'll get him to.

-He'll see me today.

-Oh, Carl!

-Here, you!

-He has a gun!

-Let me go!

What do you want?

-I want my formula.

-Throw him out!

Ryan, Russell, throw
him out of here.

Throw him out!

-Now you promised to
pay me for my formula.

You promised to
make me a partner.

You've got a shipload of
it going out tomorrow.

You're trying to freeze
me out of this deal.

I'm going to kill you!

-Throw him out!

-Carl, Carl--

-I will!

I will!

No, I will!

-Hello, operator, get me
the police department.

-Street speaking.

-This is Simon Dayton,
Dayton Chemical Works.

Yes, there's a man
up in my office

threatening me with a gun.

-With a gun, eh?



-There's a guy with a gun at
the Dayton Chemical Works.

-You better stay
away from him, Myra.

He's-- he's dangerous.

-Oh, Carl and I are
old friends, aren't we?


-Hello, Myra?

Is there a guy up
there with a gun?

Your boss just phoned.

-Why, yes, there is, Sam, but
I don't think you need to--

-I'll be right up.

-Look, Carl, why
don't you go home now?

-No, I'm going to wait here.

I gave him my formula.

He said he only
wanted to look at it.

Now he won't give it back.

-Oh, I'm sure Mr. Dayton's
just misplaced it.

He's been very busy lately.

-But he says I didn't
give it to him.

-Oh, he probably just forgot.

He's been awfully worried.

Look, Carl, uh, why
don't you go now?

If he should--

-I want my formula.

-There he is.

-Hello, Sam.

-What's up, Myra?

Where's this gunman?


-Up on your feet.

-Where's your boss?

-I'll let him know you're here.

He doesn't answer.


He was standing at the
window when we drove up.

-Mr. Dayton?

-Mr. Dayton?

-It's locked, Sam.

-What's all this about?

-Hello, this is Street speaking.

I'm down at the Dayton
Chemical Company.

Looks like a homicide.

Yeah, everything.

Right away.

Why'd you kill Dayton?

-I didn't.

-Look, Myra, I want you
to pull yourself together

and tell me exactly
what happened.

Hello, Wong.

-Hello, Street.

I hope I'm not too late.

My appointment was
for ten o'clock.

-What appointment?

-I have an appointment
with Mr. Dayton.

-This man wasn't shot.

There's not a mark on him.

Looks like heart failure.

-What about this gun?

Even with my rather
limited experience,

I would say the doctor was
correct in his assumption.

Simon Dayton was not shot.

-How do you know?

Did you examine the body?


But I examined the gun.

I'm afraid it hasn't been fired.

-What'd you find?

-A piece of glass.

-Now look, Wong, the doc tells
me he died of heart failure.

Now you're going to tell me
somebody hit him over the head

with a bottle?


I'm not suggesting this
is part of the bottle.

It's as thin as a
piece of eggshell.

-Chief, you want to see this?

I found it in his inside pocket.

-Those are Mr. Dayton's paper.

Have-- have you a
right to read them?

-I've already read them.

What's it to you, anyway?

Who are you, one
of the partners?

-No, sir.

-Well, who are you?

-Uh, Mr. Dayton's
office manager.

-Sit down.


-If I might, please?

-When I got your message, Mr.
Wong, we prepared everything.

-So nice of you to
take so much trouble.

-Oh, we're always interested
when you decide to work out

one of your experiments with us.

Mr. Simkins is
anxious to meet you.

-Oh, yes.

-I told him that we
were at Oxford together.

-Oh, really?

-He's the scientist
you said you wanted.

Mr. Simkins?

Mr. Wong.

-Delighted, Mr. Wong.

-How do you do, Mr. Simkins?

-We didn't have any
glassblowers on the faculty,

but Mr. Simkins
assures me he's one

of the best in San Francisco.

-I'm sure of it.

Now do you think
you can determine,

from these small
pieces of glass,

the size and shape
of the original?

-Well, I don't see why not.

-Then shall we go to work?

Calcium, 0.063.

Silicate of potash, 0.653.

Manganese, 0.217.

-That much manganese?

-Yes, why?

-Awfully brittle glass.

Must have been
made by a Bavarian.

-Why do you say that?

-They're the only
glassblowers I know

who use that much manganese.

-From the curvature, it
must have been almost

a perfect sphere, 65
millimeters in diameter--

about 2 and 1/2 inches.


Try to reproduce the
size and the thickness

as closely as possible.

Which shoelace you
tie first, left or right?


What is the
capital of Minnesota?

-St. Paul.

Scratch your neck.

Say ah.


Count from 12 to 25.

-12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 23, 25.

What do you associate
with the word "hiccough"?

-A spasm of the diaphragm.

-Well, they haven't
found the car yet.

When you do get it, what
do you expect to find?

-I'm afraid I don't
quite know yet.

But I'll tell you
just as soon as I do.

-Ah, you're wasting
your time, Wong.

It's as plain as the
nose on your face.

Roemer figured Dayton stole
that two-bit invention of his

and goes up there and
waves a gun around.

Dayton's got a weak heart and
it jumps and he keels over dead.

So they'll find out
the little guy's crazy

and that'll be the end of that.

-Here's the, uh,
Roemer sanity report.

-I told you they'd find out
the little guy was insane.


He's just as sane as you are.

-Yeah, you have to be crazy to
dope one of those things out.

-Here's your coroner's report.

The guy died of poison gas.


That's impossible.

How could the guy
have been gassed?

What's that?

-That is a replica of
the murder instrument.

-Now, look, Wong,
you're not going

to tell me you took those
little pieces of glass

and put them together
and made that?

-You flatter me.

Some friends of mine made it.

-Sort of a gas grenade, huh?

Breaks when thrown?


-I got it.

That gun was a ruse,
a magician's trick.

While Dayton was
watching that gun,

Roemer threw that glass globe
and it broke and killed Dayton.

-And everybody else in the room.


Yeah, that's right,
it would have.

But he could've planted it.

That's it.

He planted it.

And when Dayton came back to
his desk, he stepped on it

and it killed him.


-Well, that should
be easy to find out.

Mr. Russell and Miss Ross were
with Roemer the whole time.

-That's right.

Bring 'em in.

-Say, how much more--

-Take it easy.

-Is it for me?

-No, lady.

Uh, Miss Ross, Russell, inside.

-Hello, Mr. Wong.

-Sit down.


I want you to dismiss
everything else from your mind

and concentrate on what
happened this morning.

-Who do you think
you're talking to?

-I'm sorry, Myra,
this is business.


When Roemer broke in
Dayton's office this morning,

did he have anything else
in his hand beside that gun?

-Not that I know of.

But you're not sure.

-You mean in the
hand with the gun?

-No, the other hand.

-The left hand.

-Naturally, if the gun
was in the right hand,

the other hand would
be the left hand.



-Did you see him drop
anything on the floor?


-I'm quite sure
it wasn't dropped.

-How do you know
it wasn't dropped?

You picked it up in
little pieces, didn't you?

It had to break.

-But not by dropping.

-Did you see Roemer
stoop over and--

and roll a little
glass globe like this?

-What's that?

Isn't that curious?


That's a replica
of the glass globe

that might have contained
the gas that killed Dayton.

-Oh, there's no gas in that.

And you.

Maybe you can answer my
questions intelligently.

What hand did you
have a hold of?

-Left hand.

-Did he have anything
in the left hand?


-You're sure he didn't have
anything in the left hand.

-No-- yes.

Yes, I'm sure.

-I beg your pardon, Miss Ross.

I would like to ask you
a question, if I might.

-Yes, Mr. Wong?

-Did Mr. Dayton
have any set habits?

I mean, for instance, did he
always open the top drawer

of his desk, then
take out his bank book

and examine the balance at
9:30 sharp every morning?

-What's that got to do with it.

-Please, Sam, Mr. Wong is
trying to ask me a question.

Mr. Dayton didn't keep his bank
book in his desk at the office.

-I know, Miss Ross, but did
he take bicarbonate of soda,

or change his coat, or anything
at all at any set given time?

-What are you driving at?

-If the murderer knew
the habits of the victim,

he could have placed the
bulb where the victim

himself could explode it.

-That's right.

Was Roemer ever
in Dayton's office

before he came in with that gun?

-You mean this morning?

-This morning, yesterday
morning, the morning before?

-What morning do you mean?

-Any morning!


Mr. Wong, I think I know
what you're trying to get at.

Mr. Roemer hasn't been in Mr.
Dayton's office for a month.


I don't think it could've been
planted as far ahead as that.

Obviously the murder
was timed to occur

when Dayton was
alone in his office.


That's all.

-Mr. Wong, it's been
such a pleasure meeting

a detective with such
charming manners.

-Thank you.

Delightful girl.

I'm sure you two
will be very happy.

-You don't miss a thing, do you?



Bring in
Meisle and Wilks.

-Is it for me?

-No, lady.

You two.

-Sit down.

-Thank you.

-Mr. Meisle?




-You were Dayton's
partners, weren't you?


-Yes, we were.

-What were you doing in his
office this morning at 9:30?

-Well, purely a business
meeting between the three of us.

-What kind of business?

-Well, we had a rider
to an agreement which

needed the signatures
of all three.

-Is this it?

-Yes, that's Dayton's copy.

-In other words, if Dayton
died, you two fellows

would inherit his
interest, that right?

-That's right.

-If I've ever seen a motive
for murder, this piece of paper

is it.

Did you take anything
else into his office?

-No, absolutely nothing.

-You ever see one of these?

-No, I can't say that I have.

Some type of light
bulb, I should say.

-Pardon me.

Isn't Meisle a Bavarian name?

-It was, originally, I believe.


Are we to consider ourselves
under arrest, Captain?

-No, you can go.

-Thank you.

-Well, a lot of information
we got out of them.


Yeah, Chief?

-Any more of them out there?

-Yeah, a woman.

-Who is she?

I picked her up
at the Dayton Chemical Works.


Bring her in.

-This way, lady.

-What's your name?

-Margaret Dolan.

-Sit down.

Where were you at
9:30 this morning?

-At 9:30 this morning, I
was in the Dayton Chemical

building on the fourth floor.

-What were you doing there?

-What I'm always doing.

-What's that?

-Scrubbing floors.

-That'll be all.

Thank you, lady.

-This way, lady.



-Nice going.

-Thanks, Chief.

Get out of here!

Well, that's all of them.

-Oh, no.

You're forgetting Miss Petroff,
the one with the letter

of introduction, to say
nothing of the party or parties

who rifled Dayton's office.

-And the guy that
stole Dayton's car.

-And the man who
stole Dayton's car.

-Look, Roemer's got a motive.

At least he thinks
he has-- the formula.

Meisle and Wilkes have a motive.

But that Russian gal and the
guy that stole Dayton's car,

see if you can tilt
that out for me.

You've blundered, both of you.

You must have, Olga, or Dayton
wouldn't have gone to Wong.

And you.

I told you to be careful.

-Well, Dayton's out of the way.

-Yes, but that
Chinaman saw your face.

-I'll take care of him.

-We're not taking any
chances like that.

We've got to stop that
boat and get their formula.

-Won't take them long
to get that boat loaded.

-Then we've got to work fast.

It's the formula
that worries me.

If we could only reach Roemer.

-It's impossible.

He's in jail.

-Then it's got to
be Wilk or Meisle.

-It'll be Wilk.

I'm having cocktails
with him tomorrow.

-Olga, you can be very clever
when you're not careless.

And you, you watch the boat.

And remember, be careful.

Wong is a clever man.

But if you watch
your every movement,

as you've been
trained and as I do,

even Mr. Wong can be fooled.

-You won't find
anything in there, Wong.

We've checked it completely.

The only fingerprints
on the car are

Dayton's and his chauffeur's.

What'd you find?

-The man who stole
Dayton's car obviously

picked up a companion.

I don't think Dayton smoke
this type of cigarette.

-You mean there's
something in the tobacco?

-The kachina bark.

It's mixed with tobacco
in South America.

-Look, Wong, first
you give me a Russian.

Now we got a hitch-hiking
South American.

A nice menagerie you're getting.

Where do we go from here?

-To Carl Roemer's house.

-All right, Devlin, back it out.

Tommy, bring that car over.


-What about your
international duet?

-You're still holding
Carl Roemer, aren't you?


-Well, then we must eliminate
him before we can proceed.

-What do you expect
to find at Roemer's?

-I don't know, Street,
but it won't hurt to look.

-I don't like to disturb
you, Mrs. Roemer,

but we'll have to look over
your husband's workshop.

-Why don't you let
Carl come home?

He didn't kill Mr. Dayton.

He was only angry because
Mr. Dayton kept his formula.

All he wanted was
to frighten him.

-Yeah, well, if that's
true, Mrs. Roemer, you

haven't anything to worry about.

He'll be out in a couple days.

-You know that's all Carl did.

Why, the gun wasn't even loaded!

-All we are trying to do is to
help your husband, Mrs. Roemer.

Now if you'd allow us to
have a look at the room

where he worked?

-We haven't anything to hide.

You can see everything.

My husband is innocent.

Come this way, please.

This is where Carl works.

-Would you like
to see Carl today?

-Oh, can I?


You get your hat and coat
and we'll take you down.

What are you looking for?



What are you gonna
do, build a beach now?

-White sand.

-What's the difference?

-It's used in the
manufacture of glass.

-Oh, Mrs. Roemer,
I'd like to ask

you a few questions
about your husband.

Was he ever mixed up
with the officials?

That is, the law?

-Oh no, sir.

-By the way, Mrs. Roemer,
where was your husband born?

-He was born here
in San Francisco.

-And he's lived
here all his life?

-Yes, sir.

-Let's go.

You going with us?

-No, I'm going home.

But if you need
me, I'll be there.


I'll remember that.




Mr. Wong, of course I want
to help in every way possible,

but you've come
to the wrong man.

-Sometimes we witness
things without being

aware of their importance.

-Are you implying that
my eyesight is failing?

-You misinterpret my words
as well as my motive.

-I don't think I've
misinterpreted your motives.

Just what is it you think I may
have seen without being aware

of it?

-The murderer planting
the instrument of death.

We know it was
planted in Dayton's

office shortly before his death.

-It couldn't have been
placed there in my presence.

-There is always
that possibility.

You were there that morning.

-So was Meisle.

-That is true.

-I admit that the
death of my partner

was very profitable to me.

But outside of that,
I can't help you.

The Countess Dubois.

-I'm sorry we have to
cut our visit so short.

-I quite understand.

-I'm glad you called, Mr. Wong.

Countess, I'm honored.

-Mr. Wilk, Baron von Krantz.

-How do you do?

-How do you do?

I'm glad you came
with the countess.

-My dear Countess, what
an unexpected pleasure!

And may I add, looking
even more charming

than when I saw you last.

-I regret not
recalling the occasion.

-I regret having made
so faint an impression.

Surely you remember?

The Argentine ball at
the embassy in London?

-Oh, of course,
how stupid of me.

But there were so many
other celebrities there.

Mr. Wong, Baron von Krantz.

-How do you do?

-How do you do?

-It's still Mr. Wong?

-As yet, I've had no
occasion to change my name.

-Are you in a hurry, or will
you join us in a cocktail?

-Well, since you insist.

Allow me, Countess.

And are you going to be
in San Francisco long, Countess?

-Just a fortnight.


Oh, allow me.

-Oh, do you mind?

Baron, may I have one of
your cigarettes, please?

Thank you.

-If I may?

No brand.

-I have them
especially made for me.


Very pleasing and
individual flavor.

A trace of kachina.

-I brought the papers Mr.
Wilk wanted from the office.

-Mr. Wilk is engaged at present.

-I'll just leave
them in the library.

-I think that'd
be all right, sir.

-Pardon me.


-I have the papers.

-All right.

Your health, Countess.

-Thank you.

-Oh, I seem to be just in time.

Mr. Wong.


Countess Dubois, my
partner, Mr. Meisle.

-How do you do?

-Mr. Meisle.

-To our better
acquaintance, Countess.

-Special delivery
letter for you, sir.

-Excuse me.

-Oh, Baron?

Mr. Meisle, Baron von Krantz.

-Oh, I think I have everything
arranged as you suggested.

-It's all right, Russell.

You can go now.

-Street speaking.

-This is Christian Wilk.

I've just received a warning
my life is in danger.

Come right away.

-Are you home?


-I'll be right out!

Come on.

-Hey, Tommy, 3800 block on
Webster, and make it snappy.


-Where's Wilk?

-In the library, sir.

-Show us to him.

-Very good, sir.

-Stay at the door.


-Mr. Wilk?

The door's locked, sir.

-And you've got a key?

-Yes, sir.

-Well, use it.

-Yes, sir.


-Get the doc.

And nobody leaves here.

-Wong, you been
here all the time?


I came here to question
Wilk, and his guests arrived.

-Any ideas?

-Nothing definite.


Is he--

-I believe so, making
you the sole owner

of the Dayton Chemical Works.

-Are you trying to imply--


Who was the last one with him?

-Uh, Mr. Russell, sir.

Mr. Russell.

-Hm, the office manager.

-Yes, sir?

Mr. Wilk!

-Were you in here with him?

-Y-yes, I was.

-What were you doing?

-I brought some papers.

-Did you kill him?

-Oh, of course not!

No, sir, I did not.

-After Mr. Russell left, I
saw Mr. Wilk close these doors

and apparently lock them.

I can vouch for the
fact that everyone

here was in the other room.

Why was
he in here alone?

I had given him a
special delivery letter, sir,

which he brought
directly to this room.

That's right,
Captain, we all saw that.

He seemed greatly agitated.

-The doc's coming up.


See if you can find a letter.

-Nothing on him.

-How are you, Street?

-Hello, Doc.

All right, everybody
wait in the next room.

Watch 'em.

Any marks on him?

-Known that I can see.

-Well, what killed him?

-That's up to the
coroner, Captain.


That letter.

-Here you are, Street.

-Hey, Wong.

This letter's from Roemer.

What are we waiting for?

Look here.

Oh, more glass, huh?


And the same texture.


So what?

So maybe the guy wore earrings.

Come on.

Hold everybody here.

You can't deny
writing that letter.

It's your own handwriting.

-No, I don't deny that.

It is my handwriting.

-Why'd you write it?

-I can't tell you.

-How'd you get the
letter out of the jail?

-Can't tell you that.

-If you'll take my
advice, Carl, you'll

tell the Captain
everything you know.

-I can't.

-You're going to talk, Roemer.

If it's a little persuasion
you want, you'll get it.


Have the DA's office send
over a couple of men.

You'll talk, Roemer,
if it takes all night.

-If you'll excuse
me, Captain, there

are just a few things
I'd like to look into.

-Soon as I can find
out why he wrote this,

I'll know everything.

-I know.

I'm very sorry,
but I can't wait.

-Carl, I know you're innocent.

I'm only trying to help you.

If there's something
bothering you

and it's protection
you want, I'll

promise you and your family
every protection in the world.

-You protected Wilk.

-Look, Roemer, don't you realize
if you continue this attitude,

we'll have to indict
you for murder?

-Come on, lady, right this way.

-Oh, Carl!


-Wait a minute.

Well, Captain, I
got it out of her.

She mailed that letter.

Roemer gave it to her when
she visited him yesterday.

She mailed it this morning.


Maybe you'll talk now, Roemer.

Unless you want your wife to
go to the gallows with you.


Carl, tell them what
they want to know.

You know you're innocent.

-Let her sit down.

-I refuse to be held
here any longer.

As attorney for the
deceased, I demand

you let me phone the
district attorney.

-I'll have to call headquarters.

-I thought I told you not
to put any calls through.


All right, put him on.

-Listen, Sam, I can't hold
this guy Meisle much longer.

He wants to call the DA.

Insists as attorney for
the two murdered men, you

can't hold him.

-Wait a minute.

Meisle's hollering for the DA.

Can't I hold him as
a material witness?

-Yes, you can.

But if you do, you won't
have your job in the morning.

-Look, Devlin,
release all of them.

Yeah, let 'em go.

But make 'em go straight home.

Yeah, where I can get a
hold of 'em if I want 'em.

I don't care what he says.

He's a suspect and
a material witness.

-You can go.

You can all go.

But you gotta go
right straight home

and stay there, in
case Street wants you.

-Yes, sir.

-Do you think Captain Street
will call out the militia

if I see that the
Countess has supper?

-Street wants you at your own
home, where you can be reached.

-Tell Captain Street that
the Countess and I will

be having dinner
for the next hour.

-But after that, you'll, uh, be
at your own home, Mr. Meisle?

-Yes, but only
because I intended

to go there in the first place.

-Take her around to the matron.

-OK, Captain.

Come on, lady.

-You're the toughest nut
I've ever had to crack.



-Lady to see you.

-I don't want to see anyone.

-It's the lady.

-I-- oh.

Keep working on him, boys.

Hello, honey.

Did you want to see me?

-I thought we had
a date tonight.

-Oh, I'm sorry.

I got-- I got tied up inside.

You know how it is.

-I thought I heard a
woman's voice in there.

Who is it?

-Mrs. Roemer.

-Good heavens, not Mrs. Roemer?


-Oh, nothing.

She just mailed a warning
letter that Roemer

smuggled out of jail.

-I suppose that
makes her a criminal.

-Yes, it does.

-Oh, she's no more
guilty than he is.

-Oh, look, let's don't
go into that, Myra.

She's all right.

She's with the matron.

-Sam, can I see her?

Why don't you let me
take her to her sister's?

You could find her
just as easily there.

-All right, all right.

I'm tired.

I don't care.

Maybe I killed him.

-Maybe you did.


Look, honey, phone the
matron and tell her

I'm coming down to
get Mrs. Roemer.

-No date, huh?

-I'll be back for you later.


Oh, Captain Street?


Nope, Captain Street isn't here.

This is Hawkins with
the DA's office.

-This is Theodore
Meisle speaking.

Tell Captain Street
that I have just

finished dining with
the Countess Dubois

and I'm on my way home now.

If Street wants to
make anything of it,

he can reach me there
in about an hour.

-Everything going all right?


I'll have her loaded by morning.

-All right, fine.

-Put it away.

Where have you been?

-Well, the police held me.

-Held you for what?

-Now don't tell me you
don't know Wilk was killed.

-Wilk, killed?

-Oh, come on, how did you do it?

-I didn't.

-Oh, Anton, don't be so modest.

-You're crazy.

That leaves two of them.


Only Meisle.

-And Mr. Wong.



Why do you think
I left the place?

He suspects us.

He was here and
searched the apartment.


How do you know?

-I saw him.

-And you let him get away?



-Because we're calling
on him tonight.

-Good evening, Mr. Russell.

You've found what
you were looking for?

-Yes, I did.

-Would it by any
chance have anything

to do with your
employer's death?

-Oh, no, of course not.

It's-- it's my contract.

You see, I-- I had a personal
contract with Mr. Dayton.

I was afraid his successor
may not live up to his terms.

-But why in the dark?

-I was afraid, afraid my
life might be in danger.

And tomorrow might be too late.

Uh, you see, I understand the
authorities are taking all

of Mr. Dayton's
effects tomorrow.

-That's true.

You were very close to
your employer, weren't you?

-Oh, very close.

He's more than an
employer to me.

He's my best friend.

-Would you really like to help?

-I would, of course.

-Then go home and
stay home, and I'll

have one less person
to bother about.

-Carl, can't you see this
is getting you nowhere?

That you'll have to tell us
what you know eventually?

Your turn, Captain.

-Listen, Roemer, you know
who killed Dayton and Wilk.

But what's more important,
I know you know it.

Now you may think you're saving
that measly neck of yours

by not talking, but you're not.

Many a man has swung for
knowing less than you do.

-My wife.

She's safe at her sister's?

You're not lying to me?

-No, we're not lying.

She's at your sister's.

-You want the name
of the murderer?

-Yes, Carl, yes!

-You must be very careful.

Take no chances.

He's a very cunning
and desperate man.

He'll stop at nothing.

Who is it?

We'll take every precaution,
but who's the man?

-It means my life if you fail.

-We'll not fail.

We'll get him before
he can strike again.

-The man who murdered Simon
Dayton and Christian Wilk

is-- Theodore Meisle.

-How do you know?

-I was working at
his house one day

and I heard him
talking to someone.

And he said, Wilk fades
out of the picture

just 56 hours after Dayton.

I didn't think anything
of it at the time,

but after Mr. Dayton was
killed, I got thinking,

and a cold chill
went down my back.

That's why I sent the
warning letter to Mr. Wilk.


I knew it!

Get the boys.

Two cars, tear gas,
the whole Works.


-You two men stay
here and protect Carl.

Get him anything he
wants from the kitchen.

Send in and get the radio
from the matron's room.

I knew I'd crack this case.

Would you like to come along
and see me pinch a murderer?

-I should be delighted.

-Follow me.

-Well, that was a tough one.

-All right, men.

515 Marsden Square,
and no slip-ups.

-All right, Harry,
take the back.

Devlin, take that side.


Somebody out cold in there!

-Break in.


Well, he found out the
house was surrounded

and took the easy way out.

-All right, Devlin,
call headquarters.

One of you men stay here
till the doctor gets here.

The rest of you,
search the house.

Seems kind of useless, though.

This man's obviously
taken his own life.

-Yes, and with the same weapon.

-Why not?

He knew it was fast and
he knew it was sure.

-Yes, it's very fast
and it's very sure.

-You know, I hated to work
on poor little Roemer the way

I did, but it was the only
way I could crack the case.

-And just what
happens to Roemer now?

-We'll let him go.

-No good reason to
hold him any longer.

I wonder if you'd bring
him to my house on the way.


-Well, he'll talk
more freely now,

and I think we should know a
little bit more about Meisle.

-Yeah, that's OK.

Oh, say, Wong-- I've got a date.

You mind if I bring Myra along?

She's down at the
station waiting for me.


It's my servant's day out but
I think we can have some tea.

-Yeah, tea, that's great.

If we'd used our
beans, we'd have

figured this out
a long time ago.

I'll be right with you, Myra.

Let him go and make
out the report.

Those DA men are gone?

Phone their office and
explain that to them.

And get a hold of
the newspapers.

I don't want this
story gummed up.

Sorry, Myra, I was held up.

-Did they get your
watch and money?

-No, I mean I was delayed.

-You're telling me.

-Look, it may not seem
of any importance to you,

but I just solved
the murder case.


-It was Meisle.



I knew Roemer was
innocent all the time,

only I had to get a
few facts out of him.

I can't tell you everything.

-You're wonderful.

Are you going to
release Roemer now?


-Oh, sweet.

-There's, uh-- well,
there's a few questions

we've got to ask him.


-No, Myra, not me.

Wong's going to question him.

-We're going to Wong's?


-Aw, darling.

-Well, this must be Mr. Lescari.

I don't think we've met before.

How do you do?

And the Baron.

I'm so sorry my servant
wasn't here to let you in.

Good evening, Countess.

Really, your presence
in my poor house

gives me more honor than
I can reasonably bear.

-Let the phone alone.

-My dear Baron, I was only
going to turn on the light.

Is there any reason why
we should have no light?

That's better.

Do sit down.

-You sit down.

-With your permission, Countess?


Well, this looks like
quite an evening.

-Talk, Wong, and talk fast.

Why have you been trailing us?

-Trailing you?


You were in my
apartment tonight.

-Your apartment?

-I saw you.

What did you take off my desk?

-"Mr. Anton Mohl's Blotter."

You are Mr. Anton
Mohl, aren't you?

-What of it?

What's your interest in us?

-I was called in
on the Dayton case.

-What has that
got to do with us?

-Well, it seems fairly simple.

You tried to stop the
shipment of some poison gas

to the enemies or your country.


The next move, of course,
was to obtain possession

of the formula from the
four men who owned it.

You tried to kidnap Mr. Dayton.

I remember your face in
spite of the fog, Lescari.

-Let's let him have it!


-And the next morning, Mr.
Dayton was found murdered.

Am I right so far?

I see by your faces that I am.

Very gratifying.

You know, in my country a teller
of tales asks no final reward.

-This isn't getting us anywhere.

-You then turned to
the most dangerous

of all deadly weapons--
a beautiful woman.

And I must say that Miss Petroff
played her part to perfection.

-Cut the compliments.

-But in spite of
all your efforts

you still appear to be
without the formula.

-Because you've got it.

I'll give you exactly four
minutes to hand it over.

-But I assure you that
I haven't the formula.

-You've wasted a half
a minute already.

-You drive a very hard
bargain, Mr. Mohl.

I have no choice but to accept.

This glass ball contains a
concentration of the poison gas

you're looking for.

-What do we care?

Where's the formula?

-The formula is of no
use to you unless you

understand its operation.

-Cut it out!

-You've destroyed us all.


-Don't move, anyone!

The slightest exertion
will kill you instantly.

This room is filled
with poison gas.

Invisible, colorless, swift.

It's in your lungs, seeping
into your bloodstream.


-There's no escape.

Soon, you-- you'll feel
a sensation of choking,

of tingling in your fingers,
paralysis of your limbs.

No pain.

And icy numbness flowing
through your veins

and gnawing at your
brain, just as the poison

reaches the heart.

And then-- then the sleep
of everlasting death.

get out of here!

-Stay where you are!

Now face the other way, please.


-Come in.

Just in time, Street.

-But not for tea, I guess.

Oh, the Countess.

-Allow me to present
the Countess Dubois.

Miss Olga Petroff, originally
Ms. Sophie Dome of Brooklyn.

Captain Anton Mohl,
who has been cashiered

from at least three armies.

And our good friend Lescari,
who was born-- well,

was born without a conscience.

-Are they mixed up in this?

-Only indirectly.

In this particular case,
they haven't killed anyone.

But I assure you, they gave
me a most uncomfortable, uh,

four minutes.

If you'll call your men, please?

-All right, over there.

-I congratulate you on your
exoneration, Mr. Roemer.

-Thank you.

Devlin, pick up at
Wong's, and make it snappy.

-So nice to see you
again, Miss Ross.

Now Mr. Roemer, I
know how anxious

you must be to get home,
but there's a small service

that you can do me, if you will.

-With pleasure.


I have the photographs
of our three friends

here, with a long list of
the crimes for which they are

wanted by the
federal government.

Now Mr. Roemer, there
is one small point

that I can't seem
to get quite clear.

Of course, it is obvious
the suicide of Meisle

clearly establishes the
identity of the murderer.

But we have yet to determine
the method that he used.

Now you no doubt have
experimented from time to time,

as we all have, with
vibrations of sound,

and used those
vibrations to shatter

tubes or globes of glass.

But Meisle went a step further.

He filled the glass globe
with your poison gas,

then made use of
some form of sound

that he could control
from a safe distance.

So all he had to do was to
plant the globe in his victim's

quarters and await an
opportunity to explode it.

I think it is more than likely
that he was preparing to take

the life of one of us,
but accidentally he

destroyed himself.

I'm sorry to spoil your
theory of suicide, Street.

Now I am positive
that this globe is

identical with the globes
that were used in the murders.

I have destroyed two or three
myself in my own experiments

with various forms
of sound, but not

when it was filled with
gas, as this one is.

So tonight, if you will help
me, I'm going to try radio.

I have a sending set.

If it succeeds,
all we have to do

is to look for one
in Meisle's home.

Needless to say, we'll operate
it from an adjoining room.

But I assure you, there's
enough poison in this--

Oh, excuse me.

Your carriage approaches.

So sorry you can't stay.

When you're at
liberty, do call again.


-Watch that!

-Please don't be alarmed.

That one, too, is empty.

-All right, Devlin, cuff
him and take him away.

-Don't forget you have
another passenger, Street.


Roemer, too.

-So you always arranged to have
your victims call the police

themselves, and the sound of
the siren exploded the globe.


Very clever, Roemer.

-Well, let's start moving.

That goes for you too, sister.

Move 'em right along, Charley.

-Well, that's off the slate.

I knew it all the
time, it was Roemer.

I hope you're convinced.

-Oh, I am, thanks to Mr. Wong.

-Oh, thank you.

-Very clever, but I don't
see how you figured out--

-Look, Myra, Mr. Wong
is tired and I'm tired,

and we have a date.

-Oh, have we?

-Yes, for supper and a show.

-Oh, so nice of you to
remind me at midnight.

We'll probably wind
up in a lunch-wagon.

-Well, you knew what you
were doing when you started

running around with a detective.

-Oh, you admit it?


-That you're a detective.

Good night, Mr. Wong.

I do hope we meet
again sometime.

-Good night, Miss Ross.

-Good night, Wong.

That's a fine crack to
make in front of Mr. Wong.

-Oh, Sam, don't act so silly.


the time, too much music.

Have a nice day?

-A very nice day.

-You like something to eat?

Chicken noodle?


-Pork chop?


-What would you like?

-Just a cup of tea.

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