Monday, July 25, 2016

Episode 21: The Private Eye and the Chambermaid

Monday, July 25, 1966

My name is Victoria Winters. The early morning mist rises from the sea at the foot of Widow’s Hill. The great house sits quietly on its crest, and the events of a shattering night seem almost like the vague memory of a forgotten dream. But it was no dream. And there’s no forgetting that a man had almost been killed.

Carolyn asks Vicki if the coffee will perk faster if she stares at it.

“I was just thinking.”

“What about? The meaning of life?”

“No, death. . . . What do you want, toast or cereal?”

“Toast, and I’ll fix it. You were hired to be a governess in this house, not a cook. What do you mean, death?”

“Have you seen your uncle this morning?”

Carolyn puts bread in the toaster and they discuss whether what happened to Roger was an accident. Vicki thinks not and is worried it could happen again. She explains to Carolyn about the bleeder valve and seeing Burke with a wrench by Roger’s car.

Carolyn blames herself for being a bad judge of character. Vicki tells her about Burke’s denial—and that she believed him, which of course sets Carolyn back on hoping for Burke’s innocence.

Bill pays Burke a visit at his hotel room while Burke is having breakfast. Bill doesn't use the house phone this time; he just shows up.

He tells Burke that anything that touches the Collins family touches him. He doesn't believe bygones are bygones. He remembers Burke’s threat to take away everything the Collins family owned. Burke says that was a long time ago, when he was a kid. Now they’re just some family he used to know.

Bill asks about Wilbur Strake. He knows he worked for Burke and that he’s a private investigator.

Carolyn tries to tell her mother that Vicki thinks Burke is innocent too. Liz doesn't care. She tells Vicki she has a letter from the foundling home in her mail.

Vicki tells Carolyn she believes Burke, but how can she be sure? This is a great distinction and seldom made. Beliefs are not facts. When Vicki was a little girl, one of the attendants at the foundling home played a mean trick on her, telling her that her parents were coming to get her. (What kind of a sadist is that?) She was six.

Liz wants Carolyn to go away before all the unpleasantness really starts with Burke. She remembers the kids teasing her at school, saying her mother was a witch. (Too bad Carolyn and Vicki couldn't have known each other as children.)

“I survived,” Carolyn says. And if Burke isn't trying to cause trouble, someone else is, and they have to find who it is.

Vicki brings the letter to Liz. It’s the one from Mrs. Hopewell, telling about Wilbur Strake’s queries. Carolyn gets giddy at the idea of a private eye being involved.

Burke wants to know how Bill knows about Wilbur Strake. A chambermaid at the hotel used to work at the cannery. Bill has his sources. Burke comments it’s a good thing he doesn't leave his briefcase unlocked.

“Burke, nobody hires a private detective to tell ’em if the weather’s gonna be good or the hotel rooms are comfortable.”

Burke claims he hired Strake for business reasons. There’s a cannery for sale over in Logansport. Bill wonders why Strake asked so many questions about the Collinses.

“Well, they own a cannery, don't they?” is Burke’s fairly weak rejoinder.

Bill thinks Burke is a smooth talker. Always has been. Burke tells Bill he should come and see him again sometime. Bill says he might.

After Bill leaves, Burke calls somebody named Bronson and tells him to take the first plane to Bangor tonight.

Cast, In Order of Appearance

Victoria Winters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alexandra Moltke

Carolyn Stoddard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nancy Barrett

Burke Devlin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mitchell Ryan

Bill Malloy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Frank Schofield

Elizabeth Collins Stoddard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Bennett

Fashion by Ohrbach’s

Directed by Lela Swift

Story created and written by Art Wallace

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