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The Adventures of Inspector Stagg
"All Is Not Gold That Glitters"
Transcribed & Edited by E.O.Costello
Broadcasting Company transcription
"The Adventures of Inspector Stagg"
East Coast broadcast
Saturday, July 9, 1938, 1830 Gnu York time
over the Red Network
[GRAMS: Train bell]
Announcer: Ladies and Gentlefurs, that bell means comfort and convenience, the kind of comfort and convenience you can always find along the thousands of miles served by the Interstate Public Service Company. But this bell...
[GRAMS: Telephone bell]
Announcer: That ringing telephone bell means mystery! Adventure!
[GRAMS: Telephone bell, then telephone being answered]
Det. Inspector Franklin J .Stagg: Constabulary Detective Bureau, this is Inspector Stagg speaking. Ummm...hmmm? Errrr...I do beg your pardon, madam, but I'm having a little difficulty with your accent, could you please...? Ah. Oh. I see. Hmmm. Yes. I beg your pardon, could you repeat...? What? Oh, I see, please go...I'm sorry, that's a little indistinct, I...well, I...yes, Sergeant Brush is here. I see, he can help me with more details then? Yes, and my Spontoonie, yes. Again, madam, I apologize, but...yes, madam, I will look into it right away.
[GRAMS: Telephone being hung up]
Det. Sergeant Orrin F.X. Brush: Who was dat, sir?
Stagg: A lady fur telephoning from a Constabulary sub-station on the north part of Main Island. She was taking issue with a few things. One was my grasp of Spontoonie.
Brush: Heh, heh, heh. Ehhh, sorry, sir. What wuz her odder complaint, den?
Stagg: The lady in question was complaining rather heatedly about some other furs. Treasure seekers, messing up her front yard, and what were we going to do about it?
[MUSIC: Opening bars of Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre"]
Announcer: Interstate Public Service Company presents "The Adventures of Inspector Stagg," based on the characters created by E.O. Costello and M. Mitchell Marmel.
[Music fades down]
Announcer: Time was, when only those furs who owned private rail cars could enjoy the luxury of comfortable, temperature controlled travel, with tasty meals just steps away. Well, thanks to the new $50 million program just completed by the Insterstate Public Service Company, the privilege of the few is now within the paw's reach of millions.
Interstate's new fleet of Electroliners boast the latest in climate control. For travel even in the hottest summer months, it really is twenty degrees cooler inside an Interstate coach. No more sweltering even with the automobile windows down. Instead, lean back in a comfortable armchair as you're whisked away to your destination. Come winter, these same cars are electrically heated, to provide even, climate-controlled comfort. And this same all-electric temperature control applies to our dining and sleeping cars, too. All the better to enjoy a tasty, inexpensive meal cooked on our all-electric ranges, and dream away in a comfortable bed. The all-electric world isn't the future, it's here today, on an Interstate Public Service Electroliner.
So remember, for comfort and convenience, go rested, go relaxed...go Interstate!
Announcer: Detective Inspector Franklin J. Stagg was once the Chief of the New Haven State Police, until a revolution broke out there, destroying everything he had, including his wife and doe-fawns, hung by the cruel executioners of the new regime. Stagg escaped, but was forced to start his life all over again in the far away Spontoon Islands of the North Pacific. Helped by his trusty assistant, Detective Sergeant Orrin Brush, Inspector Stagg works to overcome his tragic past by doing what he does best...fighting crime and bringing evildoers to justice! Tonight's story is called..."All Is Not Gold That Glitters."
[Brief musical bridge]
[GRAMS: Indistinct native voice speaking off-mike, with some emotion, under Brush's initial text.]
Brush: So, anyhoo, me 'n th' Inspect'r, we grabs a water-taxi an' heads out t'th' north shore a'Main Island. That's a part that don't no tourists go never, see? They ain't 'llowed, it's a local law, keeps 'em from botherin' th' natives. So, normal-like, it's quiet, mostly fisher-furs haulin' in th' catch, an' such. Ain't th' case t'day. Leastways, that's what this otter dame wuz tellin' us. Well, really me, since most of what she wuz sayin' wuz in Spontoonie. Th' Inspect'r, he don't speak more'n few words of the lingo, so he's kinda standin' there awkward-like, while th' dame gives him 'bout thirteen t'th' dozen, waggin' a finger innis muzzle.
[GRAMS: Brush speaking off-mike, indistinctly, in Spontoonie]
Brush: I tells th' dame it ain't all dat fair talkin' t'Stagg like dat, when he can't speak back. I mean, he's standin' dere, hat in paws, ears droppin straight-like down.
[GRAMS: Native voice speaking loudly and indistinctly off-mike, with emotion]
Brush: Dame tells me t'shut my muzzle an' have a lil' respec' for my elders, that my old man wouldn't have treated a lady like dat, an' it was a cryin' shame th' way her taxes wuz goin' t'support a bunch a layabouts that didn't do nothin' 'bout stoppin' folks from diggin' up her oyster and clam beds. An' so on. An' so on. An' so on.
[GRAMS: Native voice continues briefly off-mike]
Brush: *Finally*, onea th' local uniforms comes up t'me.
Constable: Good afternoon, Sergeant. Can I help with anything?
Brush: Some facts might be nice. I ain't gettin' nothin' more'n somethin' I been hearin' in th' Althing.
Constable: Well, she is a little upset, Sergeant.
Brush: Aw, jeez. No foolin'? Say, youse got th' makins of a 'tective, y'know?
Brush: Shaddap. I'm bein' nasty-like. Now, spill it, wit'out th' adjectives, see?
Constable: Awright, awright. Well, I've been talking with some of the villagers here. Starting about two or three days ago, furs started showing up, poking around the beach area. Seems there'd been a rumor going around that buried treasure was found on the beach.
Stagg: Did they say where they had heard this rumour, or from whom?
Constable: No, sir. The usual. "It was going around," that's all.
Stagg: I see.
Constable: Anyway, a few furs found some things two days ago. More yesterday. So today...
[GRAMS: Distant sounds of digging and scraping]
Constable: ...well, it's like the Klondike.
[GRAMS: Indistinct native voice off-mike, with some emotion]
Constable: Oh, and all the clam and oyster beds are getting mussed up, and some of the villagers are going to petition the Althing if something isn't done about it, soon.
[GRAMS: One, last snarl off-mike, then footpads away]
Brush: Phew. Glad *she* ain't an Uplander. Say, what they bin findin', anyhoo?
Constable: Coins, Sergeant.
Brush: Coins?! What, ya mean like pieces o'eight?
Constable: No, Sergeant. Silver dollars, American silver dollars.
Brush: I don't geddit.
Stagg: Well, Sergeant, we *are* a bit far from the Spanish Main. Constable, how have they been finding coins?
Constable: With a shovel, mostly.
Stagg: I'm sorry. I was a little vague. Where, physically, have they been finding coins?
Constable: Oh! Well, all up and down the beach, really. About maybe two hundred yards up that way, and another hundred, hundred and fifty yards that way.
Stagg: Well, it's a good day for a stroll, Sergeant. Breeze off the ocean is taking some of the heat away. Shall we?
[GRAMS: Sounds of digging and scraping getting louder]
Brush: Sure as ya know, when we gets a lil' closer, ya kin sees whut th' otter dame was so het up about. Furs diggin' all 'bout, runnin' around, lissenin' t'other folks makin' excited sounds, an', prolly most important from thems what lives here, mussin' up th' clam an' oyster beds in th' tide.
[GRAMS: Excited, high-pitched squeal of delight.]
Brush: We wuz walkin' toward th' tide line, when one lil' kitten nears us soun's off, like it wuz his birt'day, or such. Mebbe it wuz, 'cause I seen 'im holdin' up somethin' in a lil' paw. He sees us, tho, an' figgers he's in fer it, an' makes like he's gonna bolt. Th' Inspector, tho, he gets down on one knee, which ain't easy fer 'im, an' talks t'th' kitten.
Stagg: Errrr...kumtux mika Euro wawa?
Kitten: Creature with horns outlander accent have *lousy*!
Brush: 'ey! Noneathat, or I'll spank yer lil'...
Stagg: Um, Sergeant? If I may...young man, I'm very interested in what you have found. May I please see it?
Brush: Th' kitten sorta looked a little shifty-eyed. 'specially at me. But Stagg don't look too threatenin'. 'vantage a'bein a deer, I s'pose. Anyhoo, th' kitten turns it over. Yeah, it's a coin, allright. Can't really see nothin', 'cause Stagg's gottit in his paw, but he's lookin' at it wit' ears standin' straight up. It's got his int'rest, all right.
Stagg: Young man, would you like to make a deal?
Brush: Kitten ain't more'n mebbe seven, but he knows th' word "deal" okeh.
Kitten: Five pound, head-tree.
Stagg: Three pounds.
Kitten: No-no-no. Four pounds ten.
Stagg: Three pounds, ten shillings.
Kitten: Four pounds five
Stagg: Four pounds, that's my final offer.
Brush: The kitten t'inks 'bout this a bit.
Kitten: Cash on barrel, head-tree.
Brush: Now, see, this kinda s'prises me, 'cause th' Inspect'r, he's normally tight wit' his money. But he don't make no fuss, he goes inta his pocket, counts off four one-pound notes, an' gives 'em t'th' kitten. Kitten's outta there likea shot. Prolly gonna make hisself sick on candy, surest t'ing ya know.
Brush: Both of us looks inta th' hole where th' kitten found his...well, I means, th' Inspect'r's coin. Aint' that deep. Mebbe 'bout six inches deep, foot inta th' high tide mark.
[GRAMS: Vulpine pads against sand, irregular step of cervine hooves against sand. Also natives speaking indistinctly off-mike.]
Brush: So, anyhoo, th' twoa us go walkin' 'round, askin' some questions. Furs kinda suspect us-like, I mean, we're cops an' all, but Stagg spreads 'round a bit a dough, buys 'bout mebbe 'nother half-dozen coins. Leastways, I gets a pretty good squint at where they bin findin' them coins. Like th' constable sez, all 'round th' place. Some of 'em in th' shallows, others washed up on th' beach. Whole lotta holes an' other diggin' all over th' place, tho. Good t'ing this ain't a tourist beach, I thinks t'myself.
Stagg: Let's get back to Meeting Island, and headquarters, Sergeant. I'd like to look up a few things.
Brush: Hey. Ain't we gonna talk t'that otter dame 'fore we leaves?
Stagg: I'll leave that to you, Sergeant. After all, you're...well, you're a much smoother talker in Spontoonie, is that not so?
Brush: I gotta watch him sometimes. He's gotta real quiet sensea humor, sneaks up on ya. Which wuz th' last quiet t'ing I hears for a half-hour, while that otter dame gives it t'me hot. Sez she's gonna tell my aunts an' my sisters in law 'bout dis. Dey're a bunch a Wise Ones, what we calls priestesses up in my neck o' th jungle on Main Island, in th' Uplands. Lemme tellya, you ain't messin' round when ya sez yer gonna talk t'a Wise One. An' havin' six in my family...well, it took me a while t'convince her t'keep quiet.
[Light musical bridge]
Brush: Th' Inspector ain't at HQ when I finally gets back. Now, if he's on th' job, and ain't at HQ, that leaves one place. Which is Luchow's, the diner joint just down th' street. Th' dame that owns that joint, Rosie Baumgartner, she treats cops a-okeh. 'course, she treats Stagg real special, too. Iffen ya knows what I means. Interestin' pair, they make.
[GRAMS: Door opening, small bell ringing, door closing, small bell ringing, sounds of plates and silverware.]
Rosie Baumgartner: Good afternoon, Sergeant.
Brush: Afternoon, Rosie. White coffee, t'ree sugars.
Rosie: Say "please." The Inspector's manners still haven't rubbed off on you, I see.
Brush: Awright, awright. Puh-leeeze.
Rosie: Hrmph. I'll tell your mother on you.
Brush: Ehhhh, heard dat already t'day.
Rosie: Anything to do with what you and the Inspector were doing this afternoon?
Brush: Yeah, yeah, folks' diggin' up th' beach up on Main Island's North Shore, tryin' t'strike it rich. Say, whatcha got there, sir?
Stagg: The Spontoon Consolidated Statutes, Sergeant. Looking up a few things.
Brush: Such as?
Stagg: Whether our treasure-seekers are breaking any laws by digging around under the high-tide mark.
Brush: Bet they ain't.
Stagg: You win the prize, Sergeant. It's common property up to the high-tide mark. And I didn't see any private lobster pots or the like in the shallows. About the only thing we can do is cite them for disturbing the peace, perhaps. At best, crossing village property without permission. Hardly likely to give our lady friend a good deal of satisfaction.
Brush: Aw, now ya ain't gonna asks me t'tell her this, hanh?
Stagg (chuckles): I'm not cruel, Sergeant. No, I think I'll have a word with a few of the Main Island representatives on the Althing, the ones who represent the affected villages.
Rosie: Well, at least you have some souvenirs.
Stagg: For what it's worth. I'll probably turn them in, though, for reimbursement.
Rosie: Awwwww. That's a pity. They're kind of neat. I remember, there used to be a saloon in Gnu York that had hundreds of silver dollars nailed to the floor. Some of the barflies would try to pry up one or two to pay for a round. Never worked, though [chuckles]. You can't see much, with all that tarnish. Here, let me shine one of them up. I've got some silver polish underneath the counter for the flatware.
[GRAMS: Sound of jar being opened]
Brush: How long ya figger this'll go on?
Stagg: Hard to say, Sergeant. The rumors weren't exactly helpful as to where these dollars came from, were they?
Brush: Yeah. Put a call into the Elele or th' Mirror, mebbe? See what dey knows?
Stagg: Couldn't hurt, Sergeant, I...
Rosie: Here we are, boys. A nice, shiny dollar!
[GRAMS: Ringing sound produced by coin bouncing off counter-top]
Brush: Heh, sound as a dollar, awright.
Rosie: I bit it, too. Silver all the way through. Are you going to test it, Inspector? Um, Inspector? Inspector?
Stagg: Ehhh? Hmmm? Oh, sorry, Miss Baumgartner. I...I was just thinking.
Rosie: Penny for your thoughts.
Stagg: Ah. A-heh, well, you've already given me a dollar. One that shined up quite nicely.
Rosie: Didn't it, though?
Stagg: Yes. And to my mind, it shouldn't have...
Brush: Th' Mirror turned up dry, though that didn't suprise me none, since dat's a Euro paper. Th' Elele, tho, dat's a paper fer Spontoonies, so it figgers dey'd have an ear t'th' groun'. Even den, tho, we hadda wait fer one notebook jockey t'come in...
[GRAMS: Isolated typewriters in the background]
Reporter: ...yeah, sure, I've been following the story, gents. I've got kinfolk in that part of the Main Island.
Stagg: The story that some of the treasure hunters told us was that it had been building over a few days.
Reporter: That's what I've heard, too. Details dribbling out. You know, the old game.
Stagg: Seems remarkable, such a haul of silver dollars. I, myself, bought seven and that was with just a few hours' bargaining.
Reporter: All told, I'd say about two or three hundred dollars.
Brush (whistles): Phew. Some haul.
Reporter: Yup. And it looks like there's still more where it came from.
Stagg: And where *did* these silver dollars come from?
Reporter: Way I heard it, the wreck of the SS Pecos River.
Brush: Hey. No kiddin'?
Reporter: Oh, I forgot, Iron. You're from the Main Island.
Brush: Yeah. See, sir, dat was a ship what got busted up in a big storm, back in '14. Drove it on th' rocks 'bout mebbe five hunnert yards from th' shore. Ya could still see some of the wreck as recent as mebbe five years ago, 'fore 'nother storm swept it out t'sea.
Reporter: Yeah, that's the one. Supposedly, the Pecos River was carrying some money to Manila, when it tried to avoid the storm, and when it didn't, it got driven on the rocks. But it lives again, doesn't it?
Brush: Looks dat way, don't it, sir?
Reporter: Don't believe in treasure stories, Inspector? Can I quote you?
Stagg: No...not this time. Keep me off the record. For now. I may have a story for you later.
Reporter: Heh, heh. Crane'll bust a beak when he hears that...
[GRAMS: Vulpine footpads, irregular cervine hooves with walking stick]
Brush: Dunno, sir. Dat whole story 'bout the ship, dat's th' same I hears when I wuz a cub. My old man'd tell ya th' same.
[GRAMS: Footpads and hooves stop.]
Stagg: Refresh my memory, Sergeant. Haven't you said your father was in the Constabulary, too?
Brush: Yup. That's a fact. My old man, and *his* old man before 'im, they wuz on th' job. Sorta a family callin', if ya falla.
Stagg: H'm! And was he in the Constabulary in 1914, when the Pecos River went down?
Brush: Yup. Lessee. It's 'bout six t'irty. Lissen, if we ain't got nuthin' more urgent, ya wanna meet 'im? He's prolly playin' dominoes wit' his buddies at a joint I knows on Main. Keeps him out from unner my ma's footpads. An' away from my aunts, too.
Stagg: The aunts that are Wise Ones?
Brush: Oooooh, yeah.
Stagg: Your father appears to have great wisdom, Sergeant.
Brush: Preservin' his sanity, morelike.
[Light hearted musical bridge]
[GRAMS: Background noise of furs laughing and talking, with the click of dominoes]
Brush: Th' Over An' Unner Th' Table Club is th' kinda joint where ya see old furs sent out by dere mates, when they don't wannem hangin' 'round th' longhouse, gettin' bored an' such. My old man goes nuts wit' all the Wise Ones 'round home, tellin' him t'knock off wit' th' cigarettes an' the pineapple brandy. So the O an' U is where he hangs out, see?
[GRAMS: Raspy laugh, click of dominoes.]
Brush: Hey, Pop!
Mark Brush (speaks in raspy, cigarette and brandy influenced tones): Aw, geez. Please tell me your ma didn't send you.
Brush: Naw, this is on th' job, Pop. Ya met my boss, Inspector Stagg?
Mark Brush: Oh. Hey. No, I haven't. Heard a lot about you, though. Pleased t'meetcha.
Stagg: How do you...um, is it Sergeant Brush, as well?
Mark Brush: Heh, heh. Nah, not like my boy, here. I was always a uniform. He's done better than his old man. C'mon, siddown, I'm losin' this game anyhoo. I owe you two and six, L'ors.
[GRAMS: Sound of two chairs scraping against the floor]
Mark Brush: So what's on your mind, boys?
Stagg: We were up on the northern shore this morning, sir. We were investigating some complaints about furs digging up the beach in search of coins.
Mark Brush: Oh, yeah. Few of th' young furs from our village were going up there to try their luck. Kids today, I'm telling you.
Stagg: Does the name Pecos River mean anything to you?
Mark Brush: Hmmm...oh, yeah. Ship that busted up over twenty years ago. Hunh. I remember it was carrying a whole lotta dough, too. Folks saying that's where the money comes from?
Stagg: That's what the reporter we talked to from the Elele said.
Mark Brush: Yeah, I remember when it happened. 'course, this was before the Constabulary was really formal, you understand. Most of what we did was poke around. The real work was done by the local agent for Lloyd's, the boys from London who do all the ship insuring.
Stagg: Ah. Indeed? Is this gentleman still alive?
Mark Brush: Not only that, that's him over there, havin' a beer. Hey! Phil! (whistles)
[GRAMS: Footpads approaching]
Phil Manx: What's the word, Mark? Looking to lose some more money?
Mark Brush: Ehhhh, don't crack wise with me. My boy and his boss, Inspector Stagg, they wanna ask ya a few questions. Remember the Pecos River?
Phil Manx: Sure do. First time I ever had to file a wreck report with Lloyd's.
Stagg: So, you did the investigation, and all of the followup?
Phil Manx: Yup, that's right.
Stagg: And filed reports with Lloyd's?
Phil Manx: Yup. Took a few years to sort out, but we did it.
Stagg: Do you still have your files on the matter?
Phil Manx: Oh, yes. Lloyd's policy is to require agents to keep the files. Usually for wreck records, you see.
Stagg: Sergeant Brush and I would like to see your records tomorrow morning, if that's at all possible.
Phil Manx: Naturally, Inspector. Nine tomorrow morning convenient for you?
Stagg: Certainly, thank you.
[GRAMS: sounds of paper shuffling]
Phil Manx: Yes, here we are. The Pecos River was carrying a mixed cargo, some mail, and two main bits of cargo. $5,000 in silver dollars to Guam, and $20,000 in silver dollars to banks in Manila.
Stagg: How were the dollars secured aboard ship?
Phil Manx: The $5,000 was in the purser's safe. The $20,000 was contained in locked steel trunks in the cargo hold.
Brush: Heh. Lotta protection, all dat steel.
Phil Manx: Oh, quite. Good thing, too. It was about the only thing that was salvageable from the wreck.
Stagg: Oh? You sent some salvers to the wreck?
Phil Manx: Oh, yes. I had to telegraph Honolulu, and then baby-sit the wreck for three weeks until they could send some furs to take over for me. Quite hair-raising. Many furs around here were of the "finders keepers" point of view, and were not in a mood to listen to legal arguments on behalf of the names at Lloyd's.
Stagg: Do you have a salver's report in your file?
Phil Manx: Annnnnnnd...here it is. All $25,000 was accounted for.
Brush: I'll be...so th' rumors ain't true, den.
Phil Manx: What rumors?
Stagg: The story we've heard is that the silver dollars being found on the north shore of Main Island came from the wreck of the Pecos River.
Phil Manx: Most unlikely. The ship's passengers and crew survived with all hands -- the captain did a superb job -- but no one ever claimed for any unregistered cargo. I'm sure there was some loose silver about, but nothing in any quantity.
Stagg: Hmmm! Thank you very much, Mr. Manx. You've been quite illuminating. I can consult you further regarding this or any other related matter that comes up?
Phil Manx: Certainly, Inspector.
[Short musical bridge]
Brush: Weird. So that rumor don't add up. Shucks, shoulda asked 'im 'bout other wrecks in that neck o' th' woods.
Stagg: Don't bother, Sergeant. That silver never came from a shipwreck.
Brush: Hunh? How ya figger dat?
Stagg: Here's the silver dollar that Rosie polished up yesterday. Run your fingers over it. What's your impression?
Brush: Shiny, 'course. Rosie done a good job o' polishin' it. Looks like it coulda come from th' mint yestiddy.
Stagg: Exactly, Sergeant. Exactly.
Brush: Awright, I'm missin' somethin' here.
Stagg: Then let me add one additional fact, Sergeant. Salt is highly corrosive to silver. If you've ever seen the silver-plated top to a salt shaker, you'll know what I mean. It produces pitting and a sort of greenish cast to the silver from the chemical reaction. It takes a while, but it will always happen.
Brush: This dollar don't have that. Hey, waitaminnit. Th' furs been findin' this below th' high-water mark. It's wet-like dere.
Stagg. Wet. From what, Sergeant?
Brush: From salt wadder. Hey. These didn't come from no wreck. Ya figger someone's been saltin', excuse th' impression, th' joint wit' dollars?
Stagg: The dollars have been found relatively close to the surface, Sergeant, and scattered all about. It is, at the very least, a strong possibility.
Brush: Sheesh. Whaddya bet them idiots at th' Min'stry o' Tourism did this stunt?
Stagg: Hmmm. That hadn't occurred to me, Sergeant. Go on.
Brush: Y'know, a tourist stunt. Buried treasure an' all. Red-Tail th' Pirate stuff an' all dat. Fifteen furs on th' dead fur's chest, yo-ho-ho an' all dat.
Stagg: It has a certain romantic appeal to be sure...but there's one issue with that.
Stagg: The treasure, as it were, has been found in a place where tourists are barred from going. If the coins were being found on Casino Island, or South Island, or even Eastern Island, I think your theory would be a strong one. But what purpose to stir up interest for tourists, when they can't go there? And what's more, spend money?
Brush: Ahhhhhh, nuts. Yer right, sir. Don't pay me no neverminds.
Stagg: No, Sergeant. It's a simple matter to eliminate things. Listen, I would like you to do two things. One is to call the Ministry of Tourism and ask if they have a paw in this matter.
Brush: Gottit. An' th' second?
Stagg: Call your father. If the two of you are alike, you both keep lots of notes. That may prove very helpful...
Brush: Yeah, figgers. Stagg had it on th' money, like usual. Min'stry o' Tourism said dat dey ain't got nothin' on like th' silver dollar gag. Thanked me fer th' idea, tho. I tells 'em t'knock it off, th' funny stuff. Wiseguy tells me I ain't got no sense o' humor. Heck wit' 'im.
Anyhoo, Pop brings a big ol' trunk t'th' Over and Unner...
[GRAMS: Trunk being unlocked and opened]
Mark Brush: I'm telling you, son, if I opened this up and started spreading around dusty notebooks all over the place, your mother would have a rolling pin on my head faster than you know. Plus your aunts, your sisters in law, and probably your mate Kiki, too, for good measure. You 'n me are stupid, son. Why we *both* married inta families with Wise Ones, I'll never know. We must be suckers for punishment.
Brush: It ain't too bad, Pop.
Mark Brush: Yeah, yeah, I hear ya. Anyway, Inspector, talk to me. What do ya wanna know?
Stagg: Do you have your notebook for 1914 handy?
Mark Brush: Notebooks, more 'n one. That year was crazy.
Stagg: The war, you mean?
Mark Brush: Among other things, yeah. Half th' bloody furs on the Islands were seein' spies everywhere. I was working sixteen hour days tracking down furs flashing secret lantern codes and whatnot. On top of that was the big storm, the one that wrecked the Pecos, and tryin' to help ol' Phil from keeping the wreck from bein' looted. And that was just weeks after the Coolie Riot.
Stagg: Coolie Riot?
Mark Brush: Yup. Last of the plantations on the Islands, holdover from the Brits. Pineapples. They had furs from China doing all the back-work on it. The firm that owned the plantation was in trouble, and they were way behind on pay. And of course, these furs bein' who they were, they didn't have no trust in no paper money. Hard cash, you see? So, the plantation finally scrapes up the dough, and it's even on the Main Island, when it gets snatched.
[Musical sting, then bridge]
Brush: My ears went up at dat, but not as much as my boss' did.
Hey Pop, I don't remember dat.
Mark Brush: Sure ya do. Remember when your uncle Chuck and me, we cornered some of the gang, and we flushed 'em out with dynamite?
Brush: Aw. Wait, yeah, I remember *dat*. Didn't t'ink it had no connection, tho, t'some snatch job.
Stagg: Back up for a minute, sir. What did you know about the theft, and how did you trace things?
Mark Brush: Lemme see. I gots th' draft report...stupid Constabulary, they pulped all this bunch of years back, to save file space. Wasn't for me an' a few other...yep, here we go. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now I remember, sure. Shipment of five thousand $20 gold pieces...guess they couldn't get gold sovs, or somethin' shipped in from San Francisco. One ounce a pop, so that's about 310 pounds of gold right there. Add in the crate, the iron, the locks, the lead foil and such, the whole shooting match came out to 800 pounds.
Stagg: Very heavy. How did they move it?
Mark Brush: Lessee...yeah, that's right. Ship brought it in as far as it could, slid it down a gangplank, bunch of boys loaded it onto a hearse. Folks were cracking wise about how the thing looked like a coffin. Anyhow, a team of fellows were pulling the hearse when they got jumped by a gang about a mile from the plantation.
Stagg: How fast did you respond?
Mark Brush: Well, see, me and a few of the boys, we got there quick, but the coolies, when they found out that the money had been snatched, thought things were being put over on them, and they went nuts. Took a whole bunch of hours to quiet that down, and by that time, the gang had a pretty good head-start on us.
Brush: So howdja nab 'em, Pop?
Mark Brush: Busted my tailfur going around the island. Old fashioned knock and ask. About three days after it happened, we got a tip as to where the gang was hiding out. Actually, a few miles from here. Leader of the gang was this big Javan rhino, real dangerous mix of muscle *and* brains.
Stagg: And so you were at their lair?
Mark Brush: Yeah, but they didn't wanna come quiet-like. Made it hot with flying lead to make their point. So, my kid brother Chuck and me, we bummed some dynamite from the plantation, snuck up to the gang's hideout, and played boomstick with them.
Stagg: A rather dramatic way to end a standoff.
Mark Brush: Saved the cost and time of a trial, didn't it?
Stagg: But, I take it, also eliminated a path for recovering the gold, assuming they hadn't divided it up already..
Mark Brush: Well...ah, yeah. That it did. The furs that lingered on a day or two, they said they'd buried it, but clammed up -- hey, geddit, clammed up? -- when we pressed 'em. We had a lead on their inside guy, fellow named Schwarzfuchs, he was the bookkeeper at the plantation. Dropped out of sight, and what with the War and all, we never found out what happened to him.
Stagg: Stayed on the Islands, you think?
Mark Brush: If he did, he's been goin' through a lot of fur dye, let me tell you.
Stagg: Hr'm. Do you have a description in your notes?
Mark Brush: Yup. Wanted poster, and all. Here, take it. You figure to track him down?
Stagg: I have a few ideas, sir. Thank you, I'll return these.
Mark Brush: 'kay. Say, it's good sein' a guy like you on th' job. An old pro, if you follow me. Iffen we had you back in '14, I'll bet we'd have gotten the whole gang.
Stagg: Perhaps, sir. We may yet get the gang...
Brush: We didn't go direct t'HQ when we left my pop. Th'Inspect'r 'n me, we stopped by th' local Scouts office. Stagg has a chat-like wit' one of th' furs in charge, lays out what's goin' on, an' where. He ast th' fur fer a watch on' th' area where th' coins wuz bein' found. No interferin', mind. Just keep a sharp look-see fer folks goin' in wit' more than they wuz comin' out wit', an' tailin' em. An' reportin' any other odd-like stuff goin' on.
[Brief musical bridge]
Brush: At HQ, we makes th' telephone comp'ny happy. Stagg arranges fer a call t'Hon'lulu, an' when th' calls comes t'ru, he has 'nother chat, wit' his ol' pals at Minkerton's. This time, he reads off th' stuff my pop gave 'im, 'bout Schwarzfuchs, an' wanted th' low-down on it. Him 'n Allan Minkerton hisself, they go back a ways, which makes t'ings real good fer us when we needs the low-down from far, fast.
[Brief musical bridge]
Brush: So, anyhoo, t'ings are quiet fer at least a few days...
[GRAMS: Filtered off-mike vocals, as if someone is on the telephone being held far from an ear, owing to some crackling abuse.]
Brush: ...'course, that's if ya don't count that otter dame makin' my life mis'r'ble. Folks still diggin' up all an' whatnot up on th' North Shore. Lucky fer us th' Chief's got conf'dence in Stagg, figgers Stagg knows what he's doin'. Mebbe crackin' a twenny-plus year case figgers inta it, too. Anyhoo, 'bout t'ree days pass, 'fore we gets a big fat cable from Hon'lulu.
[GRAMS: Rustle of telegraph paper]
Stagg: Well, I will say this, Sergeant. Your father's old friend has not let the grass grow under his footpads in the intervening years.
Brush: He bin a naughty cub?
Stagg: Arrested for suspected fraud in the sale of arms to Allied countries, 1915, acquitted 1916. Arrested for possession of stolen food ration books, 1917, pled guilty, served six months. Drafted 1918, deserted within 30 days. Arrested for selling fraudulent oil stock, 1920, convicted, sentenced to five years in California state prison, sentence to run concurrently with desertion punishment. Released for good behaviour, perhaps ironically, 1924. Arrested for his part in the Julian Petroleum swindle, 1926. Pled guilty in return for testimony against C.C. Julian, received five years, three suspended, released 1929...various arrests since then, no convictions, but he seems to have been rather preoccupied. Last known whereabouts, Los Antelopes, February, 1936, has dropped out of sight since then.
Brush: Minkerton's want him?
Stagg: They're keen to have a chat with him regarding some of their clients that are missing inventory. List of aliases enclosed, and it's a pretty long one. One further message: Allan Minkerton says, quote, give my love to the grifter, endquote.
Brush: Heh, heh, heh.
Stagg: Indeed. Your father's note-taking habits are quite useful, Sergeant. I'm sure he has some love to give to the grifter as well.
Brush: Love taps, ya mean. He ain't th' only Brush wit' a Headache Maker.
Stagg: Speaking of which, Sergeant, you'll be pleased to know that Chief Sapper sent me a memorandum this morning. The Scouts have apparently identified a fur that was seen, on the last two nights, venturing toward the north shore with a pouch. The pouch was heard to make noises as if it contained metallic objects, at least going north. Returning south, no such noises were heard. We have been requested to detain the individual, description appended. You, Sergeant, have been specifically authorized to use reasonable force to apprehend the individual.
[GRAMS: Sound of knuckles being cracked.]
Stagg: The word "reasonable" is underlined in the memorandum, Sergeant.
Brush: Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh. Don't you worry none, sir. I'll be a lil' angel...
Brush: Th' dope th' Scouts gave us was good. Spotted th' guy near th' beach, an' yeah, he's jingle-jangle-jinglin'...
[GRAMS: Two sets of footpads]
Brush: Hey, mister, ya got a light?
Courier: Hunh? Well, I...hey! You're a cop! HEY...
[GRAMS: Sound of blackjack being applied to skull]
[GRAMS: Sound of body hitting the ground, hard, with metallic jangle]
Brush: Hey, it ain't polite t'be makin' noise when furs is sleepin'. Punk. Sleep offen yer headache, chum.
[GRAMS: Sound of body being pawcuffed, then dragged]
Brush: Fur had t'irty-nine, count 'em, t'irty-nine silver dollars innis pouch. All tarnished, but ain't nonea them corroded. It's enough t'get a search warrant fer his hut, which turns up 'nother two hunnert of 'em. He clams up, tho'. He ain't tellin' where he gottem, who he gottem from, an' what he wuz doin' wit' em.
Stagg: Well, Sergeant, this does show that the coins are indeed being salted on the beach, to create a disruption.
Brush: Whaddya figger is happenin', den?
Stagg: Somefur remembers where the chest containing the stolen gold was buried. But probing around might raise too many suspicions and questions. Best, then, to create a diversion. What better way to cover your traces of probing and searching, than by the eager efforts of treasure seekers?
Brush: Kinda a risk, ain't it? S'posin somefur finds th' chest?
Stagg: It's probably not buried below the high-water mark, like the silver dollars are. One would have run a risk of the chest being discovered, by the simple process of beach erosion.
Brush: So dey're probin' near th' beach?
Stagg: Remember what the otter lady said to me in her initial complaint, over the phone? While she was making a great deal over the clam and oyster beds when we talked to her in person, her initial comment to me, which I have in my notes, was that some furs were making a mess of her front yard. That's off the beach, though fairly close.
Brush: Hunh. Well, that part o' th'Island ain't been settled but recent. That part was kinda thin fer furs up until 'bout mebbe ten years 'go.
Stagg: With no sign of the chest yet?
Brush: Okeh, lemme tellya. Some fur finds a whole buncha gold coins while diggin' fer taters, that ain't gonna be no secret fer long in th' Spontoons.
[GRAMS: Telephone ringing, twice, then sound of telephone being picked up.]
Brush: Constab'l'ry 'tective Bureah, dis is Sergeant...yeah...yeah, dat's right. Un-hunh. Oh, hey, no kiddin'? What wuz they usin'? Un-hunh. Yeah, I kin see how's that'd make ya suspect-like somethin's up. Okeh. Yeah, okeh. Yeah, sure. Right.
[GRAMS: Telephone being hung up.]
Stagg: Information, Sergeant?
Brush: Yup, th' Scouts gotta line on a buncha furs. Usin' long, t'in steel rods, pokin' 'em in th' ground. Not on th' beach, mindya, but up near th' old Coast Road, 'bout fo'ty yards from th' beach. An' they bin doin' dere lil' huntin' at night, too. Scouts figger dark lanterns an' such.
Stagg: One doubts, Sergeant, they're digging for fishing worms or potatoes.
Brush: You ain't kiddin'.
Stagg: Hmmm. It's about five-thirty, now. Let's see if we can get some warrants, tonight. Who's the magistrate on duty?
[GRAMS: Paper shuffling]
Brush: Yeah, it's, lemme see...Cock'rel. Want I should ring 'im up?
Stagg: Yes. Tell him we want a conference in his chambers in one-half hour. I'll type up a short affidavit, and you make out some arrest warrants...
[Slow, ominous musical bridge.]
[GRAMS: Sounds of night insects. Sounds of distant digging in the earth.]
Stagg (sotto voice): Just as well we chose to act tonight, Sergeant. They seem to be through with probing.
Brush (sotto voice): Ain't dat th' truth. Hmmm. Lesseee...
[GRAMS: Slight shifting of body]
Brush (sotto voice): Kay. I sees th' four const'bles over on our right. Scouts is watchin' th' Coast Road, both ways. Wish we had a better moon, tho.
Stagg (sotto voice): I borrowed a Very pistol from the harbor police, Sergeant. That will take care of the light. How many furs do you see?
Brush (sotto voice): Lessee. I make out t'ree doin' diggin', and mebbe four standin' guard an' such.
Stagg (sotto voice): Hmmm. Six on seven, not counting the Scouts, but counting the furs doing the digging. That's as good odds as we're likely to get, Sergeant. Let me know when you're ready, and I'll fire the flare.
Brush (sotto voice): Gottit. Shoot it off in four, t'ree, two, one...
[GRAMS: Pistol report, followed a few seconds later by a distant bang]
Brush: POLICE! GIT YER PAWS UP IN TH' AIR, NOW!!!!
[GRAMS: Distant voices, sound of machine gun being fired rapidly]
Brush: What th' ---? Aw, jeez, they got a chopper. Dat ain't...
[GRAMS: Pistol shots being fired, along with the Tommy Gun being fired off mike.]
Voice (off-mike): Hey, coppers! Whatsamatter, you chicken or somethin'? C'mere, we gots somethin' fer---
[GRAMS: Pistol shot, off-mike]
Voice (off-mike): Aaaaugh!
Mark Brush (off-mike, but then getting closer to mike): AWRIGHT! LET'S SEE THEM, AND SEE THEM HIGH IN THE AIR NOW! ALL OF YOU!
Brush: Aw, jeez, hey Pop. Nice shootin'.
Mark Brush: Shaddap, you. Lucky a Scout told me what was going on. Listen to your old man when he tells you stuff 'bout bustin' mooks.
Brush: Sorry, Pop.
Mark Brush: Never mind, we'll talk 'bout it later. HEY, YOU! UH-UH! LEAVE THAT TOY ON THE GROUND, SEE?
[GRAMS: Pistol shot]
Voice (off-mike): Don't shoot! Don't shoot!
Mark Brush: C'mon. Let's see who our little archaeologists are...
[GRAMS: Sound of multiple footpads trotting, followed by cervine hooves shuffling.]
Mark Brush: Well, well, well. Fancy that.
Stagg: Are you going to introduce your friend?
Mark Brush: Awwwww, yeah. He's an old friend...ain't you, Mr. Schwarzfuchs? I've been wanting to have a chat with you for a niiiiiice long time.
Stagg: Put your paws behind your back, sir. I caution you that anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law...
[Musical sting, then brief musical bridge]
[GRAMS: Sound of shovels digging in the earth, under lines]
Brush: We're gonna look pretty crazy if we don't find nothin' here.
Mark Brush: Shaddap yappin', keep diggin', you.
Brush: Awright, awright, pop, I wuz just --
[GRAMS: Loud sound of shovel hitting metal]
Mark Brush: Well, well, well. What have we gots here?
Stagg: Sixteen furs on the dead fur's chest, perhaps?
Brush: So, anyhoo, me, my pop, a few const'bles an' a buncha Scouts, we rigs t'ings up, an' round 'bout dawn, we hauls out what sure looks like a big ol' coffin.
[GRAMS: Sound of lock being struck off, sound of chest being opened.]
Brush: An', surest 'ting ya know, lined up like nice neat lil' toy soldiers, th' missin' loot.
[Brief musical bridge]
[GRAMS: Sound of dishes and cutlery]
Rosie: Awwwww. So you don't get any of the gold, then?
Stagg: Not directly, Miss Baumgartner. I'm sure the Attorney General right now is arguing that the Althing, as successor to the plantation, owns the gold. And the gold was found on the right of way of the Coast Road, on Althing property, so it would be very difficult to make any claims on the gold.
Rosie: But it will go toward your pay, then?
Stagg: Perhaps. Though I, for one, will be walking my pay over to the bank. Much safer, there.
Rosie: So, what did your father say to you, Sergeant?
Brush: Aw, I donnwanna talk 'bout it. Talked my ear off, 'bout not doin' t'ings right on a stakeout. That's th' trouble wit' havin' a dad who wuz on th' job. Built-in critic. Well, anyhoo, he's gettin' his fun talkin' t'Schwarzfuchs.
Stagg: Quite chatty, our friend.
Brush: Yup. No Headache Maker fer him. Not a bad plan. Invest a few hunnert in silver dollars, get back a whole lot in gold.
Stagg: Clever plan. Tripped up by a few minutes with a jar of silver polish and Miss Baumgartner's elbow grease.
Rosie: You're just flattering me. Stop it.
Stagg: Are you sure?
Rosie: No. Keep going. I --
[GRAMS: Telephone ringing, twice. Telephone being picked up.]
Rosie: Luchow's Restaurant, this is Rosie Baumgartner. Mmmm-hmmm. Yes, he's here, just a moment...it's for you, Sergeant.
Brush: 'keh. Sergeant Brush, here. Uh, yeah, I...but...yeah, but...yeah, but...aw, but...yeah, but...yeah...(sigh)...yeah, yeah, yeah, I know...no, I ain't sassin' ya...yeah, but...ooooh, awright, I'll be dere in a few...
[GRAMS: Telephone being hung up, hard]
Stagg: Trouble, Sergeant?
Brush: Depends. That wuz our ol' friend th' otter dame. Callin' up, yellin' dat dere's a huge hole right next t'th' Coast Road, it's unsafe, what does she pay her taxes fer, an' what am I gonna do about it?
Rosie (chuckling deeply): Heh, heh, heh.
Brush: Awwww, skip it, Rosie. Wrap my sammich t'go, willya? I gotta see an otter 'bout a hole...
[Music, and then end.]
Announcer: So many places to go, so many things to do, now that summer is here. You've got lots of choices for how to get there. Why not choose the most convenient way to get there?
Stop by any of the hundreds of railroad stations served by Interstate Public Service in thirty-two states and two Canadian provinces, and pick up our national summer timetable. You'll find not only that Interstate Public Service serves thousands of communities all over North America, but that it provides fast, regular service at all hours of the day. No matter whether you want an early start on the day, whether you want a quick getaway after lunch, or you want to leave at the end of the day, and sleep over in one of the many comfortable sleeping cars that Interstate provides, you'll find that there's an Interstate train for you. And at a price that's affordable, too. While you're picking up that summer timetable, ask about our package tours to all sorts of fun-filled destinations. Make your summer holidays simple, with one stop shopping.
So remember, whether you're looking for comfort or convennience in your travel plans, there's the easy, smart way to go: go rested, go relaxed...go Interstate! Interstate Public Service, the routes of the Electroliners.
[Music: "Danse Macabre" under the announcer]
Announcer: You have been listening to the Inspector Stagg adventure "All That Glitters is Not Gold," written by E.O. Costello. Sergeant Orrin Brush was played by Jackson Beck, Inspector Stagg by Parker Fennelly, Mark Brush by Walter Huston, and Rosie Baumgartner by Georgia Ellis. Musical arrangements were by John Urie, and the program was directed by Walter D. Reimer.
Tune again this same time next Saturday for another case in the files of "The Adventures of Inspector Stagg." This is Ken Fletcher, speaking for the Interstate Public Service Company.
[Music: "Danse Macabre" closing bars]
Network announcer: This is the National Broadcasting Company.
Network announcer: Stay tuned for "The Sky Shark Adventures," based on the stories by Stu McCarthy, coming up next over most of these NBC stations.
Transcribed & Edited by EOCostello