|Tex Murphy||......................||Chris Jones|
|Chelsee Bando||......................||Suzanne Barnes|
|Louie LaMintz||......................||Randall Edwards|
|Rook Garner||......................||Doug Vandergrift|
|Mac Malden||......................||Kevin Jones|
|European Man||......................||Randall Edwards|
|Greek Man||......................||George Manousakis|
|Indian Man||......................||Sandeep Kharkar|
|Overseers||......................||Aaron Conners & Chris Jones|
|Scripts & Dialogue||......................||Aaron Conners|
|Audio Production||......................||Jon Clark|
|Foley & Additional Music||......................||Jon Clark|
|Assistant to Mr. Clark||......................||Les Oswald|
|Constant Hovering||......................||Doug Vandegrift|
NARR: Welcome to Tex Murphy Radio Theater! When we last left our hero, Tex had been forced to escape back into his jail cell after overhearing that Louie had mortgaged his life savings to bail him out. Tex’s first stop is to Chelsee’s apartment, where he discovers several leads and a quick-footed intruder. Sensing that time is running out, Tex decides to gamble Louie’s brontosaurus-sized nest egg and skip town in search of Chelsee’s brother, Chance. And now, our sixth and final episode (at least for now): Games of Chance!
[TRAIN SOUNDS, A EUROPEAN MAN SPEAKS IN DREAMY, DISTORTED ECHO:]
EM: A stroke of luck, eh Mr. Donnelly? What are the odds of us both being on this very train. But I wouldn’t imagine a man of your disposition believes in coincidence.
TM: Sure I do. I also believe Martians landed in New Jersey last Halloween.
EM: And do you also believe in the – what is it called – Easter Rabbit?
TM: Easter Bunny. That one I’m not so sure about.
EM: Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret… [beat] I am the Easter Bunny.
TM: (deadpan) No kidding. I thought you’d look different.
EM: It’s true. You see, I know where you can find the most amazing Easter Egg…
[LOUD EXPLOSION, TRAIN’S BREAKS SCREECHING, A MAN, THEN A GIRL SPEAK:]
M: The bridge! Someone’s blown up the bridge!
G: They know we’re here.
[RUNNING FOOTSTEPS THRU SNOW, SNAPPING TREE BRANCHES, PANICKED PANTING…]
TM: (angry, urgent) C’mon, Princess!
G: All they want is the key! Let’s go back! If I give it to them, they’ll let us go!
TM: (hard-boiled) It’s too late to go back. Now shut up and run.
[LONG TRAIN WHISTLE; IT FADES AWAY TO A MODERN TRAIN SOUND]
TM: [VO] The dreams were becoming
clearer, more intense, but they still didn’t make any sense.
It was like I was in someone else’s nightmares. When
I woke up this time, it took a second for me to remember I really
was on a train, the Disoriented Express.
Two hours earlier, I’d made a new friend in the pawnshop business and his name didn’t rhyme with “crook.” My so-called friend would’ve accused me of stealing Chelsee’s books, and while that was technically true, I didn’t need to hear it from him. Besides, Chance Bando had been right about the old books – they were worth a bundle and Rook would’ve lied through his wooden teeth and given me pennies on the dollar; The bitter little midget was so tight, dogs howled whenever he passed gas. As it was, my new pawnshop pal had given me more cash for the books than I’d earned in the past two years. Granted, that wasn’t saying much, but it was enough to get the ball rolling, or high-ball, as it were.
BARTENDER: What can I get ya?
TM: Bushmills and Water, with a shot of Bailey’s. Make it a triple and hold the water.
B: One Irish Makeover...comin’ up.
TM: [VO] I don’t know why I’d
taken the train. Maybe it was the romantic in me, but it was also
cheaper than flying and faster than walking. A few rounds later,
we were within view of the Strip. I grabbed a cab and introduced
myself to Ahmad Dohadjermefistocamahla. As we rose above the desert
sands and sailed for Deluxe Importing/Exporting. I asked if he was
one of the Pacific Grove Dohadjermefistocamahlas, but he informed
me that the spelling was different, and then refused to talk for
the remainder of the flight.
Ten minutes later, he dropped me off at a strip mall. Chance’s establishment was sandwiched between the Peepshow Palace and an Indian restaurant. [INDIAN AND BURLESQUE MUSIC] A Navajo taco sounded pretty darn good, but I was driven by a sense of urgency; I was hoping Chance’s place had a restroom.
[DOOR SHAKING] The front door was good and locked. I thought about kicking it in and doubted anyone would care, but all things considered, I thought it best not to attract any unnecessary attention. Besides, my bladder felt like a cracked piñata and one good jolt might cause me to spill the goodies. [TROTTING FOOTSTEPS] I jogged as gently as possible around back of the strip mall. I was about to irrigate the desert flora when I saw something that made me immediately forget my Ps and Qs: a sliver of light through the slightly open back door of Deluxe Importing/Exporting.
[ZIPPER SOUND, STEALTHY FOOTSTEPS]
TM: [VO] I slipped inside and crept toward the source of the light. I peered around the corner, into a small office lit by a green-shaded banker’s lamp. I liked what I saw. [SEXY SAX MUSIC] The dame was turned away from me, thumbing through the contents of a file cabinet drawer. Raven hair tumbled onto the shoulders of her cream-colored blouse. A close-fitting black skirt with an impossibly narrow waist stopped just above her knees. And the dark seam in her sheer black nylons ran straight down into the heels of her glossy black pumps. I needed a cigarette.
[ZIPPO CLICK, LIGHT; JULIETTE SPEAKS (IN AN ENGLISH ACCENT:]
J: Make one move and I’ll scream.
TM: You took the words right out of my mouth.
J: What are you doing here?
TM: Just havin’ a cool, refreshing Llama light. What are you doing here?
J: I work here.
TM: You should try unlocking the front door. It’s good for business.
J: We’re not open. Mr. Bando isn’t here and I’m just his personal assistant.
TM: Business must be incredible. Allow me to introduce myself. The name’s Tex Murphy and I’m friends with Chance’s sister. She’s disappeared and I think he might know something about it. Oh, and I’m a P.I. I’ve got a license and everything.
J: Let me see.
TM: So…where’s your boss?
J: (worried) I wish I knew. He’s been gone over a week and I haven’t a word. He’s never done this before and I’m afraid something may have happened to him.
TM: Got any proof of that? Or is that what you were looking for in the file cabinet?
J: No. [beat] He said he’d write me a check, but he didn’t. I need to pay the rent on my flat.
TM: Your flat. Tell you what, doll. I’ve got so much cash I’m walking with a limp. Maybe we can work something out.
TM: Let me go ahead and clarify that.
[OLD-FASHIONED TELEPHONE RING…SECOND RING…THIRD RING]
TM: I think the phone’s ringing.
J: I don’t answer the telephone.
TM: No wonder he doesn’t pay you.
J: It’s not that. Chance insists on handling all the customers directly. I’m not to answer any calls.
[START OF RING, TEX SNATCHES THE PHONE UP, A GREEK VOICE SPEAKS]
GV: Mr. Bando?
TM: Who wants to know?
GV: You’re late for your appointment with Mr. Kazastanus.
TM: How late?
GV: Nine days. If you want to see your sister in one piece, you have exactly one hour to be at the middle roulette table in the Palladium. Play nothing but the Black 11, 100-dollar bets. We’ll find you. [CLICK]
J: Who was it?
TM: He didn’t say, but I’d guess he was some kind of hired thug. Tell me, what would I have to do to pass myself off as Chance Bando?
TM: [VO] According to my new acquaintance, Juliette, all I had to do was lose my hairline, shrink about a foot, and beat myself silly with an ugly stick. It was a moot point – my hunch had been dead-on…Chelsee was still alive. But Chance wasn’t around to save her so it was up to me to pinch-hit. Juliette was nice enough to let me ogle her legs out of the corner of my eye as she gave me a lift to the Coliseum. Don’t get me wrong…Chelsee was still the girls of my dreams, but c’mon. Even Chelsee would’ve stared at ‘em.
[CASINO SOUNDS, ROULETTE WHEEL SPINNING, CROUPIER SPEAKS:]
C: That’s it. No more bets.
[ROULETTE BALL FALLS]
TM: [VO] I was down 1200 clams when I finally saw the little ball fall into the 11 slot. Not surprisingly, at that exact moment I found myself moving backwards involuntarily. As someone stepped in neatly to take my spot at the table, I turned to see two quasi-humans the size of vending machines on either side of me, squeezing my arms like they were tubes of toothpaste.
[DOOR SLAMMING SHUT]
TM: [VO] The room I was taken to resembled a Grecian palace, only nicer. In the middle of the opulent cavern was a single poker table with five incredibly fat, poorly-dressed slobs. The overall effect was like a tiny cigarette burn in the center of the Mona Lisa. One of the players looked up just long enough to remove his soggy cigar and wipe a thread of spittle from his lip.
P: That ain’t Bando. Get rid of him.
TM: Where the hell is Chelsee?!
P: What do you care?
TM: She’s my…I guess she’s my girlfriend…pretty much…
[THE FAT MAN STARTS SLOWLY, WORKS HIMSELF INTO ROARING LAUGHTER]
TM: [VO] After ol’ Poker Face calmed down, we laid our figurative cards on the table. He admitted that he had the “goods,” as Chelsee was apparently known in these parts. He went on to say that he’d been a long-time customer of Chance’s, who it seems had been making a good living procuring slightly illegal black market merchandise, in particular items from one of the more evil factions in World War II. Several months earlier, Chance had been the go-between on a deal for a certain “artifact”, Kazastanus had fronted a down payment for it, then Chance had am-scrayed. Most of what Kazastanus said was Greek to me, but it all boiled down to this:
P: I’m a sportin’ kinda guy, Murphy. I don’t wanna do nothin’ to your girl and I’ll hand her over safe and sound, I don’t care if it’s to you or her brother. But you either gotta find the artifact or come up with my 600 grand.
TM: [VO] With that, the wet cigar went back in his mouth and I went bye-bye. As I was loaded unceremoniously into a taxi, they handed me the 3500 I’d won at the roulette table. Kazastanus really was a good sport, but I didn’t like odds he’d given me – coming up with 600 grand was just ridiculous…and he hadn’t bothered to mention what the artifact was. On the bright side, I still had a pulse and I was up 23 bills for my night’s work. I leaned back and closed my eyes as the taxi started to lift off.
[BANGING ON THE TAXI WINDOW]
TM: Hold up a second!
[ELECTRIC WINDOW ROLLING DOWN, LOUDER SOUNDS OF CASINO, VOICES; A MAN WHISPERS FRANTICALLY:]
MWF: The thing you’re looking for – everyone’s looking for it! It’s in the possession of the Armaggedonists! But I’m telling you now, they’d give it up to get their hands on YOU!
TM: Why would they want me?
MWF: It’s not you they want…it’s who you were!