Episode Name: Father Lahey
Episode Date: 2 April 1949
Announcer: Pat Novak For Hire
<Opening music, fog horn and bell>
Pat Novak: Sure… I’m Pat Novak. For hire. That’s what the sign out in front of my office says. Pat Novak for hire. That’s about the only way to say it. Oh, you can dress it up and tell how many shopping days there are ‘til Christmas, but if you’ve got yourself in the market, you can’t waste time talking. You’ve gotta be as brief as a pauper’s will, because down on the waterfront in San Francisco, everybody wants a piece of the cake, and the only easy buck is the one you just spent. Oh, it’s a good life. If you work real hard and study a little on the side, you got a trade by the time you get to prison. I rent boats and do a few other odd jobs you can’t afford to picket on. It works out all right, if you put your tongue in hock. Because, down here, you shouldn’t talk. It’s like installing a set of drums in a belfry. You make some noise, but it’s never the right kind. I found that out a few days ago. It must have been Tuesday, or Wednesday night. Anyway, I was sitting in the office reading Time magazine when the door opened. I looked up and had to keep right on going, because the guy was so tall he’d have to bend over to see through a transom. And he had a voice deep enough to rent out as a bassoon.
Father Lahey: Good evening, Mr. Novak.
Pat Novak: I’ll take your word for it.
Father Lahey: You have a small office.
Pat Novak: I’m small time. What’s on your mind?
Father Lahey: My name is Lahey, I want to hire you.
Pat Novak: Yeah, sit down, are you cold?
Father Lahey: Huh?
Pat Novak: That overcoat around your neck, you’re either cold or a priest.
Father Lahey: Oh.. I’m a priest, Mr. Novak.
Pat Novak: I’m sorry Father. You’ve got a slow brogue. What do you need?
Father Lahey: A few hours of your time. I want you to help a man escape from prison.
Pat Novak: Uh huh. Father, you’ll never get along with the bishop.
Father Lahey: Mr. Novak, in a curious way, this is an errand of mercy.
Pat Novak: Well, this isn’t my year for mercy, I’m sorry Father, maybe you don’t like to hear it that way, but if I got the right fee it wouldn’t be mercy anymore.
Father Lahey: When I say it’s an errand of mercy, that’s what it is. Sometime tonight a man is going to break out of Alcatraz. If he’s allowed to get into town, he may kill somebody.
Pat Novak: You want me to stop him?
Father Lahey: That’s right. And if he doesn’t kill anybody, he can still be shot down by the police.
Pat Novak: Well, that’s the percentage Father. If he comes off that rock, he knows that. Stop worrying about him.
Father Lahey: If you can bring him to me, I know I can talk him into going back.
Pat Novak: Tell headquarters, they’ll do the same thing.
Father Lahey: If I did that, I’d break a promise. This is the only thing I can do. Will you help me?
Pat Novak: Yeah, I suppose. How do I pick him up? Tread water in the bay until he comes by?
Father Lahey: He’s due in at Pier 19 sometime tonight. When he comes ashore, bring him to me. I’ll be waiting at the Ferry Building.
Pat Novak: Yeah well suppose he doesn’t wanna come, suppose he wants to party. How am I gonna get him there?
Father Lahey: I don’t ask you to say the beads. If you’re any good, you’ll get him there.
Pat Novak: But you don’t want him in sections.
Father Lahey: I want him all at once, Mr. Novak. I wouldn’t ask you this if it weren’t important. I gotta help him, he’s one of my boys.
Pat Novak: Yeah, sure. What’s his name?
Father Lahey: Joe Feldman.
Pat Novak: Feldman?
Father Lahey: Yeah, if I don’t worry about the spelling, you don’t have to either. He’s one of my boys.
Pat Novak: Slow down, nobody’s pushing you, Father.
Father Lahey: I don’t know when he’s due, but I’ll be at the Ferry Building from 8 o’clock on.
Pat Novak: Yeah, I only got one worry. Is there really a guy named Father Lahey?
Father Lahey: I suppose you’ll have to take a chance on that.
Pat Novak: Yeah, well it’s a big chance. You come in here with a story anybody can see through like a screen door and I’m supposed to buy it. You could dig up a collar, what happens if you’re a fake?
Father Lahey: Just try to guess right.
Pat Novak: Suppose I don’t.
Father Lahey: Then you’re in the same spot Pontius Pilate was. Good Night, Mr. Novak.
Pat Novak: Whoever Joe Feldman was, he had a good friend. Because when Father Lahey walked out of there, I knew he was all right. You could tell without even testing him, the way when you pick up a pool cue, you know right away whether it’s any good or not. He stood at the door for a minute, and then he walked out. You got a funny feeling that he didn’t walk into the night, that he was big enough to wrap it around his shoulders and take it with him. I got a last look at him as he turned the corner under a street lamp. He looked even taller now and you knew if somebody stood him in an oil field, you couldn’t tell him from the rest of the derricks.
Well, I made a couple of phone calls, and then I closed shop and went down to the end of Pier 19 to wait. The bay looked as dark as a bruised crow. The fog was beginning to drift in over near the piers. By 9 o’clock you couldn’t see a thing. You felt like a guy trying to shave in a bathroom full of steam. I was about 30 feet from the end of the pier when a small boat pulled in and let somebody out. I was sure it was my boy, so I moved behind a shed and waited. The boat pulled away and the guy started down the dock. I waited until he moved past me.
Joe Feldman*: Oh… Oh, I’m sorry.
Pat Novak: You ought to be glad, how’s the rock?
Joe Feldman: Huh? You lonely mister?
Pat Novak: What do you care?
Joe Feldman: You ought to buy a beer and talk to the bartender. I’m busy.
Pat Novak: All right, you’re tough Feldman, let’s go now.
Joe Feldman: You got dates for us?
Pat Novak: You’re gonna see Father Lahey, come on.
Joe Feldman: What, are you doubling for Gabriel? Leave me alone mister, I don’t want to go.
Pat Novak: Now look junior, if we draw straws, you’re gonna get the short one.
Joe Feldman: Oh, is that supposed to be a gun in your pocket?
Pat Novak: You got a chance to find out.
Joe Feldman: That’s what I’m gonna to do cuz I have one too. If it starts to hurt your stomach, back down.
Now where’s yours, Mr. Timid? It’s a bad night for bluffin’, so goodbye.
Pat Novak: Yeah, come here.
Joe Feldman: Go easy, fella, it’s a big one.
Pat Novak: Well, you can let go easy then. Come on, drop it, drop it in the water. Let go.
Now, you wanna start again?
Joe Feldman: No… Alright, I’ll see your man Lahey. But I gotta make a stop first.
Pat Novak: Make it after.
Joe Feldman: It’ll take five minutes. Look mister, if you want to do it the easy way let me make the stop. You go with me.
Pat Novak: All right, five minutes, and then you see Father Lahey.
Joe Feldman: Suit yourself. I doubt if I’ll make heaven, but if you want to run interference it’s all right with me. If you need the credits, you need the credits.
Pat Novak: Joe Feldman wasn’t very friendly. He sat over in the corner of the cab and he didn’t say a thing. He just kept looking at me and waiting. like a guy feeding arsenic to a rich aunt.
A few minutes later the cab pulled up in front of a hotel on Geary Street and we walked in. One look at that lobby and you got the idea. The place was about as cozy as an abandoned mine shaft. Over by the wall, there was an old mole hair couch and the legs on it were so warped, pretty soon it was gonna look like period furniture. There were a few chairs, and over by the stairs, a faded calendar of a girl in tights holding a jar of mayonnaise and winking, whatever that meant. And there was a broken clock over the desk. But you knew it was all right, because nobody there cared about keeping track of time; it was something you got rid of in a hurry, like a bent quarter.
Well we went up to the second floor, we walked down a long hall that smelled like an anteroom to a sewer. When Feldman knocked on the door, she opened it right away. The room was full of taboo. She stood leaning there for a minute, sort of a girl who moves when she stands still. She had blonde hair. She was kind of pretty. Except you could see somebody had used her badly, like a dictionary in a stupid family. Feldman seemed to know her.
Joe Feldman: Hello Anne.
Anne: Well, the harvest hands arrive all at once.
Joe Feldman: Yeah.
Anne: Good for the crops, but tough on a woman. Come in.
Who’s your friend?
Joe Feldman: A missionary, I guess, he grabbed me down by the docks.
Anne: Does he talk, or just stand there looking healthy?
Joe Feldman: He growls a little.
Anne: Do you really growl?
Pat Novak: Come on, hurry up lady, your friend’s got a date.
Anne: I’ll bet you bite instead. Don’t worry about him, he can go over in a corner and play fifth wheel.
Pat Novak: Now, look, he’s got five minutes, use ‘em quick.
Joe Feldman: I, uh, came up with a message, Anne. The time’s been changed. Stay around ‘til 10 o’clock.
Anne: All right.
Pat Novak: Is that all?
Joe Feldman: Yeah that’s all. You want the other four minutes?
Pat Novak: Let’s go.
Joe Feldman: All right, open the door.
Pat Novak: Yeah.
<Sound of Pat Novak being hit and falling to the floor>
Joe Feldman: You didn’t open it fast enough.
Pat Novak: When Feldman hit me I wobbled for a minute and went down like the price of winter wheat. If Father Lahey had any loose prayers lying around now was the time to crate ‘em up and ship ‘em over ‘cuz I wasn’t going to stay awake long enough to test the varnish. I rolled on the floor a couple of times, and then I took a raincheck on the next couple of hours.
When I woke up, it was like buying a new Nash and then finding out you can’t drive. Joe Feldman was lying next to me with his throat cut like a pound of rib roast. His head was over to one side and his body was twisted over the other way as if he couldn’t make up his mind which direction to die in. I got up and rolled him on his back. He was grinning like a Pullman porter at the end of a line and his mouth was half open as if he expected you to drop in a suggestion on your way by. I noticed right then how thin and small he was. About as fat as a shadow and tall enough to scrape his head on a lamp shade. Well, there wasn’t anything I could do but wish him luck. So I called the check stand at the Ferry Building and had them page Father Lahey. About two minutes later, he answered.
Father Lahey: Hello, Father Lahey.
Pat Novak: This is Novak, Father.
Father Lahey: Yes?
Pat Novak: Call in the outfield, your boy’s dead.
Father Lahey: I see. What happened?
Pat Novak: Somebody didn’t like him lots. I wasn’t around for the main event.
Father Lahey: Where are you, on the pier?
Pat Novak: No, I’m in some cave up on Geary Street. He wanted to come by here first. Father, who’s Anne?
Father Lahey: I don’t know.
Pat Novak: Has Feldman got a girlfriend?
Father Lahey: He’s got two sisters, I think. One of them’s named Anne.
Pat Novak: A tall blonde with lots of speed?
Father Lahey: That’s your definition, but it’ll probably do.
Pat Novak: Eh, she was around for a while, in case you ever want to check.
Father Lahey: What are you going to do?
Pat Novak: Go down the back stairs and pretend I never heard of Joe Feldman.
Father Lahey: I’m sorry, Mr. Novak. I’m sorry it worked out that way.
Pat Novak: So am I Father. If you liked him, I’m sorry. He may have been a nice little guy.
Father Lahey: Huh?
Pat Novak: Well, I could do without him, but if you like it, I’ll say he was a good little guy.
Father Lahey: How little?
Pat Novak: I don’t know; you could start a picket fence with him. Why?
Father Lahey: Because you’ve got the wrong man, Mr. Novak.
Pat Novak: Huh?
Father Lahey: If he’s under six feet, you’ve got the wrong man. Whoever you’ve got up there isn’t Joe Feldman.
Pat Novak: Well, he’s happy about it now, Father.
Father Lahey: Whoever he is, I’m sorry.
Pat Novak: It’s the percentage.
Father Lahey: Why the percentage? If it isn’t Joe Feldman, why?
Pat Novak: That’s the waterfront, Father. If your name’s Joe Nobody, you still can’t do better than 8 to 5.
Pat Novak: At least Joe Feldman was smart. If you’re gonna get your throat cut, it’s a good time to send in a substitute. As soon as Father Lahey hung up, I knew hangin’ around that hotel was gonna be a waste of time. Like sending mash notes to a bearded lady. If I couldn’t prove the guy was alive, they were gonna charge extra down at the desk. And if Hellman down at homicide ever found out I brought the guy up here, I’d have about as much chance as a bottle of Scotch at a cocktail party. So I picked up my hat and started for the door. I looked at him once more but he wasn’t gonna say goodbye, so I started out.
Pat Novak: Oh, hello Hellman.
Hellman: Expecting me, Novak?
Pat Novak: No, I’d have rolled him first.
Hellman: Eh, invite me in.
Pat Novak: Crash the party, Hellman, you’ll be more at home.
Hellman: All right.
<Hellman walks in>
Hellman: He sure looks lazy. Who is he?
Pat Novak: He’s supposed to be Joe Feldman.
Hellman: But Feldman let him do the hard work. They must be good friends.
Pat Novak: You’d better check, I don’t know the guy.
Hellman: Eh, help me roll him over.
Pat Novak: Ok. There. Here, here’s his wallet.
Hellman: Let me have it.
Pat Novak: You’re gonna break your fingernail.
Hellman: Give it here!
Pat Novak: All right.
Hellman: Yeah… No money in here.
Pat Novak: You gonna drop the case?
Hellman: Here’s his card, Mike Greely. Didn’t he like you either?
Pat Novak: You’re wearing out the rug, Hellman, I don’t know the guy!
Hellman: You brought him up, I checked at the desk.
Pat Novak: Well, check on who left then, I brought him up here on a phony lead.
Pat Novak: Because I was hired to tow him around. He liked the room, so we dropped by.
Hellman: And he cut himself shaving?
Pat Novak: I wasn’t around. There was a girl here for the handshakes.
Hellman: Oh… What kind of girl?
Pat Novak: I don’t know Hellman, how many kinds are there? Her name was Anne, she had a fast pulse, that’s all I know.
Hellman: You must know more than that, if you don’t, you’ll never get a lawyer.
Pat Novak: I won’t need one.
Hellman: You’ll save money, at least, ‘cuz you’ve got a real hole this time, Novak. We get a phone tip and find you in the murder room.
Pat Novak: You got half a story, Hellman.
Hellman: I know, but I’ll get the other half! Until then, you’re under technical arrest. It’s practically the real thing.
Pat Novak: You’ve got a technical head, Hellman, I wouldn’t tip myself off.
Hellman: Somebody else would. Walk around Novak, and tire yourself out. ‘Cuz you’ll wind up sittin’ down. In the meantime, I’ll have you tailed.
Pat Novak: Your men couldn’t follow a moose through a revolving door. Now look, Hellman, I’m gonna double back. This guy’s a phony lead. I was supposed to meet a guy named Joe Feldman, but he never showed up.
Hellman: He didn’t?
Pat Novak: No.
Hellman: I got a dead copper to prove he did. Your boy Joe Feldman killed a sergeant named Grubb at the Goldrush Club a half hour ago. You better start that walk, Novak.
Pat Novak: Well, there are two kind of raps you can’t ever beat. Cheating a woman with kids and killing a copper. So I knew Joe Feldman could put in for reservations right away. And I knew Hellman would stay with him like a February cold. He’d stay with the whole thing. I’d have a real tough time explaining. I couldn’t explain it to myself. What about the message up in that room? Why did the little guy tell Anne to stay in till 10 o’clock? Why did he get off at Pier 19 instead of Joe Feldman? Once he got there, what was Feldman doing at the Goldrush Club and why did they spot him so fast? Well, it pointed to one thing, a police tipoff, but that’s as far as I could go. On the way down I stopped at the desk and I asked the clerk to see the register. He pushed it over toward me. It was a dirty brown thing that looked like an old tortilla somebody had left behind. It didn’t do any good, the registration was a phony. Well, I had to do something in a hurry, so I looked up the only honest guy I know. An ex-doctor and a boozer, by the name of Jocko Madigan. He’s a good man, and he used to be a smart one too, until he started chasing a jigger of beer with a glass of whiskey. I finally found him in the Pied Piper Room arguing with somebody about the words to Annie Laurie.
Jocko Madigan: Ah, Patsy! A drink for Mr. Novak! Something cheap, but impressive.
Pat Novak: Oh, stop it will you, Jocko? You gonna be drunk all your life?
Jocko Madigan: Yes, it’s only a matter of will power, Patsy. I’m probably the only man in the world who intends to carry a hangover into eternity.
Pat Novak: Well, stop long enough to give me a hand, will you? I’m in trouble.
Jocko Madigan: Of course you’re in trouble. You’ll always be in trouble because you can’t recognize it, Patsy.
Pat Novak: You’re fuzzy, Jocko.
Jocko Madigan: You have the social outlook of a bull with a hot foot and there’s no hope for you because if from time to time a moral feeling does sweep over you, you mistake it for influenza and go to bed.
Pat Novak: All right, all right
Jocko Madigan: Oh, you try hard enough. You go through the motions, Patsy, but you never get anywhere. You go stumbling through life doing a tight wire act on a rubber band. You’re always in the middle.
Pat Novak: Will you listen to me?
Jocko Madigan: It’s because there’s no variety in your life. You won’t allow it. You’re a broken down banjo. Not a very good instrument to begin with. To make matters worse, you allow everybody to come along and pluck the same string.
Pat Novak: All right, are you all through now, Jocko?
Jocko Madigan: Yes. You sound angry, I think you have a bad disposition too. What kind of trouble?
Pat Novak: Well, I tried to help some guy out of prison tonight.
Jocko Madigan: You got drunk and thought you were the parole board?
Pat Novak: No, I did it for a good guy, a priest named Lahey.
Jocko Madigan: Yes?
Pat Novak: The guy was already out and Father Lahey was trying to herd him back without getting shot. But this guy Feldman didn’t want to play.
Jocko Madigan: Another drink will clear this up for me.
Pat Novak: I picked up the wrong guy. I took him to a Geary Street hotel. I napped awhile and they cut him up like a piece of parsley.
Jocko Madigan: Sounds like a gruesome hotel.
Pat Novak: The dead guy’s name is Mike Greely. I don’t even know who he is.
Jocko Madigan: Well, this is no time to start building a friendship anyway. Who was in the room?
Pat Novak: Some girl. She may be Feldman’s sister.
Jocko Madigan: Would she kill a man?
Pat Novak: If she did, he’d be crushed to death. No, I’m sure somebody else came in that room.
Jocko Madigan: You better talk to Feldman.
Pat Novak: He’s a hard man to reach. A sergeant almost made it tonight. Feldman shot his way out of the Gold Rush Club.
Jocko Madigan: Hm, that’s one way to get out of a night club.
Pat Novak: Well, Hellman’s steamed up so you gotta help me, Jocko.
Jocko Madigan: You’d better look up Father Lahey. You’ll probably be electrocuted, and if you are, he may have some drag.
Pat Novak: I want you to go down to Chronicle Morgue and pull the clips on Joe Feldman, will you? Get everything you can. And then hit the horse parlors. Find out what they know about him, huh?
Jocko Madigan: Maybe he’s a heavy drinker. I’ll check the bars.
Pat Novak: Jocko, wake up and get down there. If I don’t pace Hellman on this thing, I’ll be a dead pigeon. What am I supposed to do?
Jocko Madigan: I don’t know. You might start cooing. Goodnight, lover.
Pat Novak: Well, as soon as I left Jocko, I went down to the Gold Rush Club on O’Farrell Street. It was a little night club where they charge 80 cents for a drink of whiskey that would kill a redwood. The floor show is just as bad and the headliner was an oriental dancer whose only talent was a zipper. I sat at the bar and I tried to pry some talk loose but they liked the boss. I finally got a hold of a fat waitress who should have been wearing a harness instead of slacks. She told me a little. The owner was a guy named Charlie Giffen. He used to make book with Joe Feldman. She told me that Joe’s sister worked at the Gold Rush club for a while but she got sick a few months ago and quit. I asked the girl if tonight’s shooting was a police plant. She didn’t know but she said that Feldman had been in to see Giffen tonight and on his way out he ran into trouble. I gave her five bucks and she looked hurt as if somebody had given her a plow for Christmas. She showed me where Giffen’s office was and I walked back there.
Pat Novak: Giffen wasn’t there but the taboo was.
Anne: Do you have the right door, Mr. Novak?
Pat Novak: You seem to be in all of ‘em.
Anne: Do you mind if I lean in the doorway?
Pat Novak: No, but I’ll bet you need shoulder pads by this time.
Pat Novak: Where’s Charlie Giffen?
Pat Novak: I want to ask him about Joe Feldman.
Anne: Mm, Ask me, I’m his sister.
Pat Novak: I’ll ask you about Mike Greely. Who killed him?
Anne: I don’t know, is he dead?
Pat Novak: Yeah, he couldn’t stand the bleeding.
Anne: Eh, he was all right when I left.
Pat Novak: What were you doin’ up there?
Anne: Waiting for Joe. My sister and I were gonna meet him up there. Relax Mr. Novak. Relax for me.
Pat Novak: No, when people relax for you they do it on the floor. I was out long enough for homicide to catch up. They want me for Mike Greely, but I’m gonna send ‘em you or Joe.
Anne: You’re forgetting my sister, Norma.
Pat Novak: Should I?
Anne: For most things, yes. But she was up in that room tonight after me.
Pat Novak: I’ll ask her.
Anne: Ask her about the money too.
Pat Novak: You’re out in front of me on that.
Anne: You can see me better that way. Joe had a lot of money on him tonight but the police thought he wouldn’t carry it with him. By now the money’s gone, so’s Norma.
Pat Novak: Oh.
Anne: Do you know where it is?
Pat Novak: No.
Anne: Well. You growl and you bite and you lie. You must have a full day. Sit down, relax.
Pat Novak: I want to see Giffen.
Anne: He won’t be back tonight. Now lean back. That’s it, Patsy.
Pat Novak: You really want that money.
Anne: I can split a motive.
Pat Novak: Can you split it 90-10? If you can’t, you better get your breath back.
Anne: I won’t need it. I don’t wanna talk anymore. Come here and make me stop. Hold her close.
Pat Novak: If I get any closer, I’ll be on the other side of you.
Anne: Mm, Patsy, you ought to get time and a half, darling.
Charlie Giffen: Hello, Anne. I thought you were coming in to curl up with a good book.
Anne: Uh, Mr. Novak came by full of questions. This is Charlie Giffen, Patsy.
Pat Novak: I got some questions for you too, Giffen.
Charlie Giffen: Well ask ‘em down the bore of this gun. Over by the desk, Novak.
Pat Novak: Did you lose that knife, Giffen?
Charlie Giffen: By the desk. That’s it. Where’s the money, Novak?
Pat Novak: I gave her the last report.
Charlie Giffen: Where’s the money? Joe gave it to somebody.
Pat Novak: Try the Red Cross, mister.
<Sound of Pat Novak being hit and falling to the floor>
Charlie Giffen: You got a tender face, Novak. Now get out of this club before I slap on a cover charge.
Pat Novak: Ah, I was getting sick of tonight. In three hours I’d seen more service than a mix master in a cooking school. When I left the Gold Rush Club, I dropped by headquarters. Hellman had nothing to show but his badge. They had a drag net around the city for Joe Feldman and they’d lined up the record on the dead guy in the hotel. He’d been a friend of Joe’s before his trip to Alcatraz. There wasn’t much I could do. If homicide couldn’t find Joe, I couldn’t find him. So I looked up Norma Feldman in the phone book. She had an apartment out on the Avenues, but when I called there was no answer, so I tagged by my apartment to see if Jocko had left a message.
When I opened the door, Norma was there, and she had a gun to keep her company.
Norma: Come in Mr. Novak.
Pat Novak: Well..
Norma: I came up here to kill you.
Pat Novak: Well, if you’re Norma, the rest of the family’s ahead of you.
Norma: What’s happened to my brother?
Pat Novak: I don’t know.
Norma: Please, what’s happened to him Mr. Novak?
Pat Novak: Well if he killed a cop, he’s hiding out.
Norma: I know he didn’t mean to do that, Mr. Novak. Joe’s not that way. Somebody told the police he was going to be there. That’s why I came up here to see you.
Pat Novak: Ho, put down the gun, huh? You can’t shoot through the chairs.
Norma: Mr. Novak, if you know where he is, tell me. Make him give himself up. Make him stop hiding like a small frightened animal.
Pat Novak: He looked big to that copper.
Norma: (crying) Please! Please find him!
Pat Novak: Yeah?
Jocko: Hello, this is Jocko.
Pat Novak: Yeah?
Jocko: You sound ruffled.
Pat Novak: Joe Feldman’s sister just walked in to kill me.
Jocko: Don’t argue, it’s the best offer you’ve had.
Pat Novak: What’d you find out?
Jocko: Feldman has two sisters.
Pat Novak: I know. They both go to pieces.
Jocko: The Gold Rush Club is owned by Charlie Giffen. He owed Joe Feldman $2,000 and the horse people say Joe collected it tonight.
Pat Novak: Well, that fits in Jocko. Everybody in town is after that dough.
Jocko: They’ll have to look some more.
Pat Novak: Hm?
Jocko: I’m out on Arguello Boulevard. Homicide just fished Joe Feldman out of the gutter.
Pat Novak: If homicide finished second, he was a lucky guy. He didn’t have the dough on him?
Pat Novak: Then he stashed it somewhere.
Jocko: Then he left it with a woman.
Pat Novak: Yeah?
Jocko: Because he’s got a woman’s compact in his pocket. You, uh, better hit the sisters’ place.
Pat Novak: How do we know he got it there?
Jocko: A woman’s compact? If he didn’t get it there, Alcatraz is getting too social.
Pat Novak: Well, the minute Jocko hung up, things began to fall into place. But I knew the last piece was going to pinch somebody hard. If the Feldman blood was gonna turn bad, Father Lahey was a good man to send in, so I called him. He was out but I left word for him to get out to Norma Feldman’s apartment. Norma and I left and on the way we picked up Hellman. When we got out to her place and started up the stairs, we could hear people moving above.
There was no point in trying to keep quiet because Hellman was creeping up the stairs like a stallion with a broken leg.
Pat Novak: Yeah, if you got a bomb, touch it off too, huh?
Pat Novak: Well, open it, Hellman.
Charlie Giffen: Hello Novak.
Pat Novak: Did you find the dough, Giffen?
Charlie Giffen: If you mean my stolen dough. Yeah, come on in.
Pat Novak: No, you and Anne better wait. This is Hellman from homicide.
Charlie Giffen: We’re leavin’. Ya better move, Novak.
Pat Novak: Not until you settle a murder rap. Can you pay it off that fast?
Charlie Giffen: I can do it on the way to the door.
Pat Novak: Oh, wait a minute. Point the gun at Hellman, he’s official.
Charlie Giffen: I can tag you both, so move away. You too, Norma. Anne and I are leaving.
Hellman: Look Giffen, homicide gobbles up night club big shots like you.
Pat Novak: You’re nothin’ to me, copper. Move away.
Hellman: You got the hammer. Use it and come on through.
Charlie Giffen: All right, I will, copper.
<Sound of trigger being pulled multiple times on an empty gun>
Hey, oh, hey what?
Pat Novak: Yeah, you need a refill, Giffen.
Anne: That’s right darling. Hand ‘em your gun.
Charlie Giffen: Anne, Anne you couldn’t have done that. You couldn’t have taken them out.
Anne: All right, so they fell out. Better take him for murder, Hellman.
Charlie Giffen: You little bum, that leaves you all the money.
Anne: I can spend it, darling.
Charlie Giffen: Well, you better do it fast, then.
<Sound of Charlie Giffen attacking Anne>
Pat Novak: Grab him, Hellman.
Hellman: Yeah, I got him.
Anne: You can book him for both murders. Mike Greely, and my brother. I’ll testify and I’ll ride there in a cab on your dough, Giffen.
Charlie Giffen: Yeah. Are you gonna pose, or take me, Hellman?
Hellman: If you’re anxious.
Charlie Giffen: Sorry about you, Norma. You get nothin’ out of this, but that’s better than I got. Goodbye, Anne. Lots of luck.
Anne: Thank you, darling.
Charlie Giffen: You know what kind. I hope ya rot. Come on, Hellman.
<Footsteps walking away>
Norma: I’m ashamed of you, Anne.
Anne: Leave me alone, Norma.
Norma: I’m ashamed of you, Anne. For what you did to Joe, I’m ashamed.
Anne: Leave me alone, Norma. I’m sick, you know that. I didn’t know how it was gonna work out.
Norma: Poor Joe was trying to help you and you got greedy. He was trying to help! That’s the only reason he came out. You let this happen.
Anne: I told you I didn’t know how it was gonna end. I thought they’d get him and take him back again.
Norma: There’s no good in you, Anne. They couldn’t find good in you anywhere. You let that happen to Joe. You stood by and watched him walk into something like that.
Anne: All right, I stood by! What can we do about it now except weep, and that won’t help him.
Norma: But hating you will. That will help Joe, lying here, at least to hate you for the short time left.
Anne: Please, Norma.
Norma: Giffen told you to spend it fast. Well you better, you better, spend it fast. Ask them at the hospital if that isn’t so.
Anne: What do you mean?
Norma: Ask ‘em out there what you’ve got. They told me. You ask ‘em what you’ve got, ask ‘em what’s tearing you to pieces. Ask ‘em, they’ll tell ya. They’ll tell you you’ve got cancer!
Anne: Norma, please.
Norma: They’ll tell you cancer. Ask them, they’ll tell you you’re full of it. Now spend your money. Spend your money and see that it lasts as long as you do.
Pat Novak: Goodbye, girls.
<Sound of footsteps, a door opens and closes>
Father Lahey: Hello, Mr. Novak.
Pat Novak: Did you miss much, Father?
Father Lahey: No.
Pat Novak: Feldman luck is running kind of bad tonight.
Father Lahey: It does, for some people, I guess. All they get is unhappiness. They wear it the same way you’d wear a sports coat, only, they never seem to get a new one. I’m sorry about tonight, Mr. Novak. I’m sorry it’s not a smoother world.
Pat Novak: Yeah, but if it were, you’d be out of a job, Father. See you later.
Pat Novak: If you get a bad first break, you never run the table. That’s what happened to Joe Feldman. Charlie Giffen owed him dough and wouldn’t pay up. But Joe didn’t care until Norma showed up and told him how sick Anne was, so, he decided to collect from Giffen and divide the dough between the girls. Father Lahey couldn’t stop him. All he could do was try and make it work out. Joe was gonna get the dough and meet the girls in that hotel room, but he changed his time table and sent Mike Greely up to tell the girls. Giffen showed up there, and figured it might get tumbled to a double cross, so he killed him. Anne engineered the double cross, but she didn’t mean to go that far. She wanted all the dough and tipped off Giffen. He was supposed to turn the dough over to her and then have the police pick up Joe, but Joe got there early. He took the dough away from Giffen and shot the copper on the way out. Giffen followed Joe and killed him out on Arguello, but the dough was gone. He finally tumbled to Norma’s place and that’s how her apartment filled up so fast. Well, Hellman asked only one question. What did I get out of all this? Nothin’. Father Lahey offered me fifty bucks, but I didn’t want it. Jocko was with me and he offered to give it to charity. I guess he did, because where Jocko spent it, the drinks aren’t worth money.
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* Mike Greely