EDGE OF NIGHT, 1.APR.1969
“Querying Barrington is our only alternative to finding out where Laurie is,” Mike pleads desperately to Ron.
“If I ask Barrington where they’re keeping Laurie,” Ron argues. “He’s bound to be suspicious. I’m sorry, Mike. The alternative is irrational. It's out of the question.”
"Then appeal to Barrington’s ego.”
“ I’m caught between a rock and a hard place," Ron throws his hands up in the air helpessly. "Either way. I, Ron Christopher, am the loser."
“Do you think it's any easier for Nancy and I?" Mike says. “The fact I can’t tell Adam anything or even mention Laurie’s kidnapping to Bill, the chief of police, puts me in an equal bind.”
Ron moves away from Mike’s desk and, in front a narrow window, flower buds tremble in peebles of ice from a stunted shrub as dead as winter and desolation as Ron is feeling. On one hand he is to bargain with Barrington, the devil's right hand, the other with Mike while pretending to be a spy for Barrington and staying loyal to Mike just as Phil Capice had done before he was nearly killed and beaten into a coma by Barrington's henchmen. Either way he is bound to be changed, too, in some form or another just like Phil by Barrington's henchmen or Mike's relentless crime commission more likely to make him an unavailable groom for his April 11 wedding at City Hall to Cookie like the retarded buds outside the window that will never know spring flowers.
“You listened to the call,” Mike reminded him.
Ron wanted to scream. “Yes," he grits his teeth, remembering Laurie Ann's terrified voice pleading so. Crying and pleading and begging for the right to live. He turns and looks at Mike with tears in his eyes. "Laurie. Dear God. She was scared to death..."
“If anything ...” A shaken Mike chokes up and is unable to continue..
Ron glances over at the buds, the wind knocking them back and forth against the pane. “Okay,” he blurts out, thinking, too, of Cookie’s reaction if he refuses to help save her sister's family. Cookie would never forgive him for that and might refuse to marry him. He would rather die than to lose Cookie. “All right, Mike. You win.”
Mike is uplifted and, for a first moment in many days, he manages a tentative smile.
“Tomorrow night," Ron says staring at the buds, "I’ll ask Barrington point-blank Laurie’s location.”
“But Mike,” Nancy argues with Mike after Ron has left, “don’t you see? If Ron asks too many questions, Barrington is sure to be suspicious. Don't you remember? It was Ron Christopher who got you tied up in this from the beginning with Barrington and loan sharks and this undercover charade. I emphatically hold Ron Christopher responsible for Laurie's kidnapping.”
“Nancy...Nancy,” Mike grabs his embittered wife by the shoulders and attempts to soothe her worries. “I assure you, working with Ron Christopher, is our best chance to get Laurie home to us safely.”
Nancy's green eyes widen in soundless horror. “You believe Laurie Ann will be killed, don’t you?" She bats her eyes, holding back tears and trying hard not to cry...but she is crying uncontrollably for the step daughter that she has accepted as her own real daughter. "Even if we cooperate fully. That no matter what we do...No matter how much we comply. Barrington isn’t going to allow our daughter returned to us alive. That’s what you’re really telling me, isn’t it?”
"Nancy..." Mike pauses unable to tell Nancy anymore or let her even know his plans to rescue Laurie himself with Ron's help.
"What is it Mike? What else are you not telling me?"
"Nancy I..." Mike turns away from Nancy, rubbing his chin. He closes his eyes, wanting so to tell Nancy everything because they shared everything as man and wife. It had always been that way. Nancy Karr. The good wife. The trusted ally always in his corner. His most loyal confidante. Supporter. The greatest mother of his daughter Laurie Ann. Nancy Karr was his life. His everything. Without Nancy he could not see the light, would not care to pursue living. For a first time he hesitated after looking into those trusting, beautiful green eyes. He was unable to tell her that he, the lion and hero of justice for all against the bad guys, was scared to death. This time around the bad guys had the upper hand and had their daughter captive. A sharp pain rushed suddenly up and then down his spine. He squeezed his eyes tight to control composure. Then blinked and closed them again only to shudder at the thought of how devastated Nancy would be if he was mercilessly killed while attempting with Ron to free Laurie Ann from her captors.
"Laurie Ann...is my daughter, too.," Nancy was saying to Mike's un-wavered back. "I know you never expected I would love and cherish this child, your child, Laurie Ann, as my own. But...I do...Laurie Ann is my child completely. Her pain, your pain is my pain. Please, Mike, I must know everything. Even if you're planning to defy Barrington and rescue Laurie yourself and not tell me and have me worry."
Startled that Nancy has already figured out his plan unknowingly, Mike opens his eyes, turns around and faces his wife he can no longer keep in the dark.
Meanwhile at the shack up in Graham county a despondent Laurie discusses her past and future with Mona, but she speaks of them in past tense. "I once had another mother before Nancy was my mother.. My father, Mike Karr,.used to tell me I looked just like Sarah who was the first mother. Same thick dark hair. Big brown eyes. The way my lips used to curve when I smiled. Sarah Lane-Karr was my birth mother's full name and she had been the first and only daughter of grandma Mattie Grimsley, before Sarah married my father when Mattie was Mattie Lane and widowed and not fond of my father because he was just a poor Irish-American cop on the beat All she wanted for mother was that mother would have more than what Mattie had had all those struggling years as a member of the Lane family and wife of Dick Lane. The Lanes were best known for Dick's richer brother Uncle Harry's criminal business dealings. Uncle Harry even framed his own wife, Cora, for murder of his secretary, Marilyn Ballon, long before Mattie finally met and married grandpa Winston Grimsley. They told me, Sarah and Mike, were happy together. Very happy and in love and they had me and then Sara died and I was a baby girl and not very well. You know, Sarah saved my life after I ran out into the street and that fast moving car was aimed to kill me instantly. She screamed so loud, 'Laurie Ann!' and, like a bolt of lightening, she was in the middle of the street and shoved me out of the way and I heard tires screeching. And that sound. A horrible thud that knocked Sarah down and she collapsed into a ball in the street. I laid there helplessly at the edge of the sidewalk bruised and bleeding.. The man driving the car got out. He was a big man bigger than my father. He called himself Charlie White and wore a dark overcoat and a big tall black hat. He grinned at me; then went over and stood over mother and don't remember his helping her but I could hear a siren rushing up the street and Charlie got back in his car and it speeded away. I was crying and my throat got so tight I thought would choke if I didn't stop. Mother's eyes were closed. She couldn't hear or see me anymore or know that I lived until now. After Sarah died in my father's arms at the hospital, Mike met Nancy and they fell in love and Nancy became the new mother. Nancy was my mother, too. I will miss Nancy, my mother, very much.."
“I don’t like that kind of talk,” Mona snapped. “Please don’t talk that way. As if there’s no future.”
“They’ll never let me go alive. I know that. You and Barney know it, too.”
“But Barney and I...we won’t harm you,” Mona says; then quickly whispers a prayer underneath her breath after an after thought. A moment later she realizes she can’t really pray. Not properly anyway or officially against an inevitable. Laurie’s fears are accurate as her own. Both she and Barney were powerless against Barrington and higher powers in charge.
They speak no more about it.
Laurie lays back down and cries herself into semi-sleep. Mona leaves Laurie alone to cry in Laurie’s own tears.
In the middle of the room Mona digs a key out of her pocket; then tiptoes over to the dresser. The top drawer is secured with a new lock Barney fixed to keep Laurie out of it. With the key Mona nervously unlocks it. Her wide eyes staring at a small leather pouch. She unzips it and takes hold of the gun.
Glancing back at Laurie and the gun now in Mona’s jittery hand, Mona stands over Laurie and decides to free herself and Barney of anymore debt.
She squeezes her eyes shut and pulls the trigger...
EDGE OF NIGHT Re-IMAGINED by Charles Pearson, 7.April.1969
“That R-Ron...” Barrington stutters; then stops, staring into empty space. He shakes his head, unable to continue.
“Must be elimanated,” Travis finishes gladly. “In other words, killed like a prey on the spot.”
Barrington puts his cigar down in an ashtray on a corner table and stares at smoke billowing from the cigar and, for a moment, there is a tear in his eye. “You know, I have a lodge up in Graham County near the gardener’s shack and it's by the river. Why don’t you accompany me there?”
“For a close encounter?” Travis laughs. “Is that what you’re suggesting, Eric?”
“Why not?” Barrington wipes his eye.
Travis lights a cigarette and sits back in his chair gazing at a photograph of his beautiful daughter Nicole on his desk. Nicole, his precious daughter and most important off-spring, is even more beautiful than the mother, Eleonore. Unlike orderly Eleonore who in the last years of their marriage bore him to discard her affections like an unwanted old shoe, Nicole never bored him and was the most important body he had left in the world, even if she was foolishly in love with his nemesis, Mike Karr. “Indeed,” he says aloud, thinking what could it hurt if Nicole eventually took Mike away from Nancy and married Mike who would become his future son-in-law. Mike would have to take Ben's side for Nicole’s sake. No matter how criminal. Mike couldn't hurt Nicole. “A weekend getaway up in the Graham county to sort things out in all that fresh country air could do wonders. Yes, Eric, I will accompany you to see just where Laurie Karr is going to take her last breath...”
In Raintree an hour drive outside of Monticello in Graham county, Sheriff Wim Willard picks up the phone.
“Graham County police. Sheriff Willard.”
“You gotta help me!”
“What? Who is this?"
“I’ve been kidnapped.”
“You’ve been what?” the Sheriff drops in the chair behind a desk and grabs a pen and pad.
“They’re holding me here against my will...”
“Wait just a minute, Miss...Miss...-“
“My father is important. Mike Karr-”
“Mike who? Who is this?...” Before a puzzled Wim can finish the line goes dead.
After a hard struggle with Laurie, a breathless Mona manages to wrestle the phone away from Laurie, and Mona quickly disconnects it from the wall.
“Don’t you understand Barney will harm you badly if he knew what you’ve done,” Mona warns Laurie.
Overhearing their argument at the door, a slightly intoxicated Barney waits at the threshold.
“I don’ care!” Laurie tells Mona. “ I’ll do anything. Anything to be free of two petty criminals.”
“Can’t you see, I’m afraid for you."
“Then if you’re so afraid let me walk out of that door right now?”
As Mona looks at the door, it opens and Barney walks in.
“What’s going on?” he says.
Fearing for Laurie's safety, “Nothing,” Mona says trying to cover for Laurie . “Nothing at all.”
“ What did she do?”
“I told you,” Mona insists. “Nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing has happened..”
“I called the police,” Laurie admits without fear.
“You did what?” A furious Barney grabs Laurie by the arm.
"You heard me! I said I called the police. A sheriff picked up the phone."
"Sheriff Wim Willard?"Barney wonders out loud.
"He's going to take you and Mona up the river."
“This time, little lady, you’ve gone too far.”
“Not far enough,” Laure spits at Barney who raises his fist to hit the girl in the face but Mona stops him.
“I’d tell you what, Missy,” Barney shoves Laurie down on the bed. “From now on you will not only be bound and gagged, you'll be drugged until you’re delirious.”
“Barney, no,” Mona plops down on the bed and reaches for Laurie, but Laurie shuns any comfort from Mona.
“We’re see how you wiggle your self out of that all doped up,” Barney laughs.
"Please Barney," Mona pleads. "Let's not use any drugs...No drugs."
"We gotta control her!" Barney says.
“Do what you have to do,” a defiant Laurie tells Barney, “but I won’t stop trying to escape until I’m free to testify and see that both you and Mona are sentenced to rot in prison...”
An angry Barney starts at Laurie again and Mona screams...
In Mike’s study, Nancy watches with trepidation as Mike and Ron locates Raintree on the map, which they discover is only 30 miles north of Monticello.
“Mike, we got to tell Bill,” Ron implores.
“Absolutely not,” Nancy forbids.
‘Nancy, let’s think about this."
“Don't you see, Mike, if that compromise is broken, Barrington will not hesitate to kill our daughter at the first sign of police just as he stipulated.”
“Nancy, we can always have Bill dispatched quietly."
“How do you know that Barrington doesn’t already have a crooked cop planted at police headquarters?”
“Mike, Nancy’s right," Ron injects, "Barrington could have an inside man already there.”
“Which would explain how they’ve managed to stay one step ahead of every move the crime commission has made,” Nancy says scrutinizing Ron who looks at Mike to avoids Nancy’s accusing green eyes.
Mike sighs heavily and sits back in his chair staring up at the ceiling dubiously; finally, he looks at Ron, his eyes wide with fright. “Ron, you know what this means?”
“Yes,” Ron nods at Mike; then takes a deep breath as he looks into Nancy Karr's unwavering eyes, “we are acting alone.”
EDGE OF NIGHT, 4.April.1969
“Then you are granting me permission, so to speak, to divulge Laurie Karr's location?”
“I’m not granting you anything, Eric,” Travis reiterates, thinking he needs to call Joe Pollock personally and set a few matters straight, “I am ordering you to make it happen by telling Ron Christopher exactly what he wants to hear.”
Barrington starts to leave with an unlit cigar cocked in the side of his mouth. At the heavy door, he overhears Ben buzzing his secretary, Hilda, and demanding she get Joe Pollock on the phone right away.
After a delay Hilda comes back on the line, “I’m sorry, Mr. Travis, but Mr. Pollock is in a meeting. If you prefer, I could always get Charles to-”
“I don’t need Charles and don’t care if Pollock is in a meeting or down on his knees making confession. Does he know who’s calling?”
“Yes, I mentioned-.”
“Interrupt the meeting!”
Barrington shuts the door quietly. In the reception area, he waits watching like a curious cat and smiling at agitated Hilda trying desperately to get Joe Pollock back on the phone while Charles, Ben’s PR assistant, rushes past Barrington frantically and into Ben’s office.
“What mostly worries me,” Mike is saying to Ron Christopher over lunch, “is what Laurie already knows.”
“Such as?" Ron takes a swing of Scotch over ice.
“She can identify her captors.”
“Then you fear she will be killed?”
“Killed regardless if we cooperate fully or not. My baby girl isn’t coming back home alive if we don’t find her first.”
“Barrington wasn’t very happy being questioned about Laurie...”
“And he told you nothing?”
“A call came in he told me was sensitive and had to take. He asked me to leave. I did, but I don’t think he’s suspicious.”
“Suspicious or not. Ron, you’ve got ask him again where they’re keeping Laurie,” Mike says. “We’re running out of time.”
A shack in the woods
Barney and Mona are going stir crazy after Barrington informed them he doesn't see an immediate closure to the loan shark investigation. Grabbing the handgun to keep both Mona and Laurie away from it, he tucks the gun in the inside pocket of his blazer and tells Mona he’s leaving to go get drunk in a bar in Raintree.
“But you’re always leaving me here alone with her,” Mona complains. “Me...Always behind. I need to get away, too, Barney...from all this. “
“Well, you just gonna have to wait your turn.”
“Look at my hair?”
“What of it?”
“The roots. I look like an awful tramp. I gotta see a hairdresser. Something. Anything. I can’t stand it!”
“Lighting your hair up any ain’t gonna fix your looks, Mona. Far crying out loud, ya ain’t 21 anymore. When ya were ya were no Marilyn Monroe by a long shot.”
“Oh you...You disgust me! That’s right. Get out of here ya dirty bastard with your cruelty. Go on get yourself stinking face drunk for all I care.”
“Oh, to hell with you,” Barney says, waving Mona off as he hurries for the door.
“Maybe you’ll show some wisdom by using that handgun on yourself. Why don’t you? See if I care if I hear ya done shot and killed yourself. Go on! Get loaded til you can’t see straight!”
Barney slams the door.
At Monticello Arms Hotel , Ron sips another Scotch over ice Barrington has prepared. On the wall directly above Barrington’s profie, Ron glances at an intriguing painting of a stormy bay and yacht named “The Sprite.” The conversation in room #505 has become dangerous.
“Are you really sure that Laurie is well hidden?” Ron engages Barrington again.
“Yes, I’m quite sure that she is.”
“That must be one hell of a safe-house.”
“All these inquires, Ron,” Barrington laughs. “I’m beginning to believe you want to know something more? Like something you may need to get off your chest?”
“No no no,” Ron chuckles. “I just want be sure she’s really...well hidden. I mean, if Mike and the commission or the police were to-”
“Mike Karr will not involve the police. If he does, he knows the consequence will be most severe. In fact, it will be a fatal error.”
“Yeah,” Ron feels his left leg shaking and he starts to sweat, remembering the terror in Laurie’s voice the night she called Mike and Nancy. He drains his cocktail and puts the glass down on the table.
“Would you like another?”
“No, I’m okay,” he walks to the window, looks out and turns back to Barrington with fire in his eyes.
“I see you’re not satisfied.”
“I’m concerned about this whole thing blowing up.”
“I can assure you, Laurie Karr is well hidden in a secure gardener’s shack,” Barrington says, sitting down in a recliner to rest and picking up an unlit cigar.
“What?” Ron says, feelings little hairs rise on the back of his neck as he attempts to hide his emotion. He is feeling both shock and elation; and then a coming sense of doom. He quivers, looking at the empty glass he put back on the table.
“A gardener’s shack," Barrington repeats picking up a lighter. "I own the property myself. Right off Interstate 56 near the town of Raintree.” Barrington lights his cigar and silently analyzes Ron’s reaction through a cloud of smoke.
Across town from Monticello Arms in a Civic Center skyscraper, Mike is reciting a brief into a dictaphone in his office when Jeanne rushes in.
“Ron Christopher is on Line 1,” Jeanne informs Mike. “He says it’s urgent.”
After Jeanne leaves, Mike picks up the line. “Ron. Where are you?”
“Hotel lobby in a phone booth,” Ron whispers, looking over his shoulder to make sure he hasn't been followed. “Mike, we got it. Barrington told me everything...”
Mike whispers a silent prayer and smiles.
Back at the shack up in Graham county while Mona is preoccupied with styling her hair in the mirror to hide dark roots in her unsightly hair as best as she can, Laurie pulls eagerly at the telephone cord that Barney carelessly left nearby. At last the phone in her grasp, Laurie picks up the receiver hearing a dial tone . . . Meanwhile, Barrington is talking with Ben Travis on the telephone.
“The trap is set,” Barrington says.
“If Ron falls into it,” replies Travis with a sinister smirk, “we’ll do what every hunter does to his prey.”
Re-Imagined Edge is based on a summary of Episode #3379 of The Edge of Night, which aired on CBS Television 3.April.1969.
Feeling triumphant, a relieved Lydia smiles. "Thank you," she says and continues dusting and straightening up the room.
"You know, you really don't have to tend to housework," Louise commands. "Trudy will see that one of the chamber maids do that."
"I really don't mine," Lydia replies.
"That is very thoughtful, kind and admirable, but really it isn't necessary when cleaning here at Orchard Hill is strictly Trudy's responsibility. You're a private registered nurse. Full-time for my husband."
"I know that," Lydia continues dusting. "I rather keep it tidy for Mr. Capice for when it wakes up, everything will be just as it was before. Trudy or one of the chamber maids will clean again as they usually do. Who am I, to stop Trudy or John or the chamber maids from their daily duties?"
"Lydia...Besides all of that. How is your family?"
"My family?" Lydia suddenly stiffens. "I don’t recall mentioning a family...”
“I wasn’t eavesdropping, but the other day I overheard you and Calvin discussing your family. I realize then I don’t know anything about them.”
"You overheard Calvin and I?"
"I was outside the door in the hall. You talked about your family in California."
“I have a sister..." Lydia says with a quiver in her voice and, disturbed, nervously drops the duster on the floor.
"A sister. Oh my...that must be very nice. To have a sister. A sibling. I never had any. Though, Mike is like a brother since Mattie married father. What is her name?"
"Rhoda," Lydia says tersely, picking up the duster. "She lives in San Francisco..."
“Oh, San Francisco,” Louise smiles, turning her attention to Phil and remembering a second honeymoon they spent in San Francisco and danced at the Top of Mark Hopkins hotel with fog sweeping below the tower, over rooftops and smoldering city lights on top of Nob Hill. Philip was such a brilliant dancer. Light on his feet and well coordinated. The very best. The way he held her close, cheek to cheek, and swung her around and dipped her gracefully in sync with the band playing their song. "Love me Tender", that joyous night, she would always treasure. “What a beautiful, fantastic place. I have such fond memories of San Francisco...And children? Do you have any children? I mean, you never talk about them at all if you do...” After hearing no response from Lydia, Louise swings around to see that Lydia has quietly slipped out of the room.
A puzzled Louise turns her attention back to Philip who lies there unconscious, motionless. No longer a brilliant dancer. A brilliant anything. Just lying there helpless and as useless as a vegetable. She caresses the top of his white hand, finding it warm. “Oh, Philip. My darling, Philip,” she laments, “I need you so...so much when I am so angry. Frustrated. Oh, Philip, I no longer feel any sympathy at all for other people. In fact, I feel nothing but utter hatred for Mike Karr. Nancy, too. All of them. I truly wish everyone of them to the devil...” As an emotional Louise turns away weeping in her handkerchief, Phil slowly opens his eyes...
“What are you proposing?” Sara-Louise is saying to Calvin who is on his hands and knees at Sara’s feet in the kitchen downstairs.
“That we see a movie together?”
“Which movie do you have in mine?”
“What about Midnight Cowboy? Dustin Hoffman is in it along with some other actor with blond hair.”
“You mean, Jon Voight? He is awfully dreamy on TV..."
"Yeah, on that floor model thing ya'll keep hidden in the den..."
"Yes, that floor model thing, is called television that we watch occassionally."
"In living color?"
"He is pretty, isn't he? Jon Voight. Color or in black and white. Kind of a younger, fresher version of Robert Redford."
"Isn’t that film rated...ahhh... X?”
“Yep, I believe so.”
“Well, I don’t think they’ll let me in to see it. I’m only 17.”
“Then we’ll use a fake picture ID?”
“I supposed you have one on hand?”
“That being said,” Calvin snaps his fingers, then pulls out an ID card from his wallet presenting it to Sara with a goofy grin on his face. “You ask for an ID. And so it is. One picture ID on hand for you, my lady.”
“You have thought of practically everything,” Sara blushes, looking at the card that is Calvin's own ID. She particularly notes his birthday. November 3. Scorpio. The most attractive and mysterious of men. The kind Sara was attracted to. 6'2 height, 155 pounds and lanky; steely blue eyes and blond hair, born in Santa Cruz, California; only five years her junior. She grins looking back at him with bright eager eyes, "I love it," she says.
“ ‘Beauty provoketh thieves sooner than gold! ‘ “
“Ahhh, you know the mad playwright?”
“Not personally,” Sara giggles. “But the words are familiar.”
“Like your beauty that inspires a downtrodden heart as my own. I confess of no shame I hold in front of thee. So is it a date or not to date this lonely man before thy enchanting blue eyes?”
Lydia walks in that very moment and is startled hearing Calvin asking Sara-Louise for a movie date. Lydia screams, demanding Calvin leave Sara-Louise alone that instant. An angry Calvin climbs to his feet and broods at Lydia’s warning, telling Lydia she has no control over his life. No one does. Calvin Brenner is his own man and will do as he pleases. During their heated exchange, Sara quietly excuses herself from the kitchen and runs upstairs to her bedroom.
Down the hall from Sara-Louise's bedroom where a happy Sara listens to rock and roll and lay cuddling her pillow, Lydia opens the door to the sick room and is horrified to see Phil's eyes wide open. Louise looks up from her handkerchief and notes Lydia's strange look in the doorway, then Louise turns to stare straight into Phil's eyes.
Based on a summary of Episode #3379 of The Edge of Night, which aired on CBS Television 3.April.1969
ORCHARD HILL MANOR
HOME OF THE GRIMSLEYS & THE CAPICES
The Living Room
“Okay, I admit it,” Sara-Louise snaps. “I’ve been running away from father’s condition. I don’t want to be here...”
“Surely, you want your father to recover?” cries Louise.
“Of course, I do. I miss father. But you, mother. You’ve changed. For weeks you’ve payed me little to no attention. I thought of even posting an ad in a personal column, sending a telegram or a picture postcard to remind you I exist.”
“Oh, Sara! Darling. I’m sorry I’ve been so preoccupied. So consumed with your father’s condition. Forgive me. Really. I wasn’t aware. Darling, you know I truly love you,” Louise stands up. “What if I promise to be more attentive as I should have been as a proper mother? Philip and I fought so hard to have you as our daughter. I feel that I am your real mother. That I created you for this world with all the love I feel in my heart and the family I wanted and do have with you and Philip.”
“You are my real mother. Oh, I wish to never know the wretched other who bore me...”
Christopher North (1969-70) played Sara-Louise Capice, teenage daughter of Phil and Louise., granddaughter of Winston and Mattie Lane-Grimsley, neice of Mike and Nancy Karr, first cousin of Laurie Ann Karr. Sara is named for Mike Karr's first wife, deceased Sara Lane-Karr, and Winston Grimsley's deceased first wife, Louise's mother, also named Louise.
“Promise me you won’t stay away from us any longer. I worry so much about you. I’ve missed you even more than you would ever know.”
“Oh, I’ve missed you, too, mother. So very much. I needed to talk to you...but you...you were never available.”
“I am available now for whatever is troubling my baby girl,” says Louise stretching out her arms. “I am here forevermore.”
Rushing into her mother’s arms, Sara-Louise embraces Louise and vows, “I promise to spend more time at home. With you and father, grandfather and grandmother, too. I won't run away again. I’ll be here for all of you,” she smirks looking into space and thinking more of brooding Calvin working under her thumb at Orchard Hill. Any consideration of Calvin makes Sara’s heart beat faster.
In a brightly lit stainless steel kitchen as frosty as a sterile condition hospital, Calvin makes Sara-Louise a club sandwich at a long counter underneath a window overlooking a garden. Sara-Louise sits behind a block table, her hands are folded under her chin as she gazes up at Calvin’s every movement. She is enraptured by Calvin’s enduring presence and desires nothing more than Calvin Brenner.
At last, Calvin finishes and Sara applauds as Calvin swaggers over with her sandwich. Putting the dish before Sara who grins, Calvin advises Sara to spend more time like Calvin does with Sara-Louise and to give Louise more support during Philip’s critical illness. “Louise is under much pressure,” he reminds her. “Surely, she would be grateful for a daughter there to hold her hand while she goes through this painful ordeal.”
Sara whitens as she fumes, “You think I’m not concerned about my father?”
“I would never believe that,” Calvin hands her a cloth napkin.
Sara snatches it. “Or that I don’t care about my never-there-society mother?”
“I believe you care very deeply about the both of them,” Calvin notes, now pouring Sara a tall glass of milk and then sitting down in the opposite chair in front of Sara at the table. “You’re a smart girl. No, I mean, you are a smart, beautiful young woman with a genuine heart of gold any parent would be proud to have as a daughter.”
“You really think I’m attractive?” Sara blushes. “That I’m...that I’m beautiful?’
“You’re a breath of fresh air in a room full of dull senseless men.”
“You describe yourself. Only you're not dull..." Then batting her blonde eyelatches, Sara feels a warm tingle and whispers calmly. "Or senseless...”
“When I pursue the thing I want,” An abrupt smile crosses Calvin’s thin tight lips. “I’m more than a guy out for just kicks. I will have the object of my desire.”
“What if that object doesn’t reciprocate?”
“Then I’ll re-invent the wheel until it does.”
Sara-Louise considers that and nibbles her sandwich, staring deeply into Calvin’s hypnotic blue eyes.
EDGE OF NIGHT, 2.April.1969
Law Offices of Karr & Drake
Adam Drake is on the phone with Vic discussing bringing Vic into the firm when Adam catches a glimpse of Mike rushing pass his office. Adam exclaims he’ll have to call Vic back and hangs up. He runs after Mike, but by the time Adam reaches the hallway the elevator door closes.
Worried over Mike's moody behavior, Adam caresses his chin and saunters back into the reception area.
Jean stops typing. “You missed him again?” She says, observing Adam.
“Did Mike mention anything about our hiring Vic Lamont?”
“No,” Jean replies. “Then he’s not been his usual self lately.”
“He has been rather moody, hasn’t he?”
“That's an understatement.”
“What time is Mike expected back?”
“Late this afternoon. He’s running late for a consultation with Louise Capice and ...afterwards...he has an appointment with Bill Marceau at police headquarters. He may or may not return to the office.”
Adam gazes out the window at Monticello river in the distance. For a moment he thinks about a vacate barn he'd seen up in Graham county behind a river the same olive color. He considers how nice it would be to buy and renovate that old barn some day and live up in Graham county. The commute to the city wouldn't be so bad. “So, I’m not the only one who’s noticed Mike’s moodiness,” Adam finally says, sitting on the corner of Jean’s desk.
“It would be hard not to miss. Mike is madly concerned about every phone call, especially about Laurie Ann...”
“I’m sure what’s really eating Mike is this stagnating loan shark investigation.”
“No, Mike is under a more personal pressure,” Jean counters. “Something at home. Between Mike, Nancy and Laurie Ann.”
In the living room Mike is explaining to Louise that they should find an interim president for Phil's real estate firm while Phil remains comatose.
Angered by Mike’s suggestion-legal or otherwise- Louise snaps, “Obviously, you believe Phil won't recover...”
“No, Louise,” Mike attempts to assure her. “My concern is that the company is going to suffer. Drastically. Without Phil or someone at the helm. Someone needs to be in control-”
“You won’t stop, will you?”
“Won’t stop?” Perplexed Mike stares at Louise and shakes his head. “I don’t understand?”
“The same way you destroyed Phil’s life. Now you intend to destroy his business. With a friend like you, Mike Karr, who needs an enemy.”
“Louise, don’t be silly. You have it completely wrong. I have the best intentions for Phil’s company-”
“Furthermore, you had the audacity to go over my head.”
“What are you talking about?”
“You investigated Lydia as if...as if she’s a criminal. You just won’t quit...until you’ve destroyed all of our lives.”
“I researched Lydia’s credentials at Winston’s request. Don’t pretend you weren’t aware of that.”
“I won’t hear it.”
“Winston insisted on knowing if Lydia was a certified registered nurse-”
“No, Mike. You voluntarily investigated Lydia to sabotage Phil’s recovery. That’s the real truth. Whether you admit or not. You won’t fool me. Not for one moment.”
“I give up,” Mike says closing his brief case and standing up as Louise refuses to listen to reason and rages on. “I am leaving,” a frustrated Mike says and starts out of the living room with Louise in tow.
Mike opens the door, turns and looks at Louise. “After you’ve calmed down and had some time to think, we can discuss this further. Now is not a good time for that when you simply won’t listen to anything sensibly. We’ll wait...Okay...So ahh...I’ll say goodbye.”
An undaunted Louise is still unhappy, remembering the degradation she suffered when Nancy screamed at her and ordered Louise out of the Karr house. Now more than ever she is determined to have the last word. “This goodbye should be your very last,” she announces sternly.
“As you wish,” Mike nods and walks out.
With all her strength, Louise slams the door.
Still fuming over both Mike and Nancy, Louise smokes a cigarette to calm her nerves. She misses her husband and thumbs aimlessly through a magazine glancing at pictures and articles she could care less about. When Sarah-Louise comes gaily into the living room, Louise puts the magazine down and gets up to greet her daughter Louise is happy to see. Then laments her concerns over Sarah-Louise’s perpetual absences that gravely disturbs Louise.
At first Sarah explains she’s been at a friend’s house, but then decides to tell Louise the truth.
“Mother, if you must know, I’ve been with Calvin,” she confesses.
“Calvin Brenner? Our Calvin? What do you mean? You’ve been with Calvin?”
“We ran into each other at the soda shop downtown on Powell Street. Oh, mother. He’s simply groovy. Devine. He's so very good to me.”
“I don’t think I like where this is going. Not in the least.”
“Mother, I’m not a child anymore. I'll be going away to college soon...but...Calvin. Oh, mother, I do...I do find him...so terribly attractive.”
Shaken by Sarah-Louise's shocking announcement Louise doesn't want to think about, Louise sits back down, wishing Phil would only wake up. She wasn't sure anymore if she could be a good enough parent alone to Sarah-Louise who had become a young woman. Meanwhile at Karr & Drake, Mike returns to the office in high spirits and Jean is happy about that and goes about her daily work. When Adam finally catches up to Mike, Adam mentions Vic’s job query and Mike enthusiastically tells Adam to hire Vic immediately.
EDGE OF NIGHT, 2.Apr.1969
“What’s the update on Laurie Karr?” Ben Travis says to Eric Barrington in Barrington’s Monticello Arms Hotel Suite #505.
“Laurie Karr is doing exceptionally well under a condition the girl might ordinarily consider hostile compared to the comfort of her snug bedroom in Monticello,” replies Barrington chewing on the tip of an unlit cigar.
“And Barney and Mona West?”
“The Wests are performing their duties quite capably.”
“Considering the large amount of their debt, I should hope so. Now, an update on Ron Christopher?”
Barrington drops his cigar in an ashtray on the stand by his chair and clears his throat before continuing, “You might say there’s been an unfortunate...small err."
"A small err? What the hell are you talking about?"
"There’s no need to worry or get bent out of shape. I know Ron inside-out."
“Explain this immediately before I am tempted to just...yank it out of you!”
“I was forced to tell Ron about Laurie Karr’s kidnapping.”
"You did what?" Ben is furious.
"I told him reluctantly about the kidnapping."
“I know you're a fool, Eric. A gigantic fool. But have you now lost your marbles?"
“No, I have not lost my marbles," disputes Barrington. "Our purpose is to keep Ron Christopher in line and under lock and key. I have succeeded with that as well as holding the operation together and keeping Mike Karr at bay.”
“Ron Christopher, I tell you, he can’t be trusted.”
“I assure you, Ben, implicitly, Ron won’t betray us.”
“What makes you so certain he's not already Mike Karrs's mole? Eric, if this blows up in our faces, we could very well -.”
“Ron Christopher will never betray us. If he does, everyone in Monticello, specifically the media, Bill Marceau and the police, will be told that he is responsible for Philip Capice’s near-fatal beating.”
“So now you've resorted to blackmailing the man you supposedly know inside-out? What kind of lunatic trust is that?”
“A little extra precaution and insurance will do us no harm to keep all of us from being prosecuted in Federal Court as Mike Karr would have it if we didn't have his precious daughter.”
“So the rook and the queen are throwing their weight around, and we've become desperate little pawns still trying to figure out how to silence meddling Mike Karr permanently.”
“We should be desperate pawns regardless,” Barrington strikes a match to his cigar and a cloud of smoke billows in the air over Ben. “Desperate enough to save what’s left of the operation before the walls crumble into pathetic little bits like Jericho...
* * *
On the riverfront at popular Ho-Hi-Ho restaurant, Ron and Cookie have a tense lunch.
“I am worried that I’m rushing you into marriage. That’s why you’ve been so much under stress.”
“Cookie, I told yo-”
“I don’t want to pressure you into marrying me just because it’s what I want. I want you to want it, too. Fully and completely as much I do when I meet you down that aisle.”
“Cookie, how many times must I remind you that I love you. My business stress with Barrington, well...it comes with the job and can’t be helped. None of it is going to stop me from marrying you come April 11th.”
“But since Barrington is kind of your boss-”
“Whatever you’re thinking in your pretty head, he’s not coming to the wedding. He's a very private secluded man. So forget about sending an invitation...” Ron notices Cookie looking away and turns around to see who Cookie is looking after. “Well, what do you think about that,” Ron says.
“I can hardly believe it myself,” A startled Cookie says. “Liz Prentiss and Vic Lamont. The very man who convicted her step-mother of murdering Harry Constable."
“Yes, if Adam hadn't gotten a confession out of Ernie Tuttle, two minutes later Julie Jamison would have been hung and died an innocent woman.” Ron turns back to Cookie. “Speaking of Adam-”
“He's my brother-in-law's very good law partner. He's-”
"That's not what I'm talking about. You dated Adam before I met you.”
“Yes, that’s true.”
“Tell me, honestly, are you over Adam Drake?”
“I am marrying you, aren’t I?” Cookie says.
“I take that as an affirmative?”
Cookie smiles, “Why should you even have to ask? My encounter with Adam Drake was a school-girl infatuation. Adam had more unreciprocated feelings for Nancy and absolutely none for me. He means nothing to me when you’re the man I am in love with and the man I am going to marry in less than week.”
* * *
"Of course, I was devastated after Steve's ghastly testimony," Liz Hillyer-Prentiss is telling Vic Lamont. "I am still shaken when I think of how he testified how deeply he resented me, my father and everything we stood for at Claybank. If I had known any of those disturbing things beforehand-"
"But how could you have known," says Vic sipping his cocktail.
"Or if I had bothered to adhere to father's advice who never wanted me to marry Steve in the first place, I would never have made such a horrible mistake. If anything I should count Steve's desertion as an hearten blessing."
"As soon as we locate Steve in Mexico. You did tell me his missive to Ruth in Los Angeles was postmarked Mexico?"
"Yes, in Mexico. He's there."
"We're find him. Get everything arranged, so you're a free woman as soon as legally possible. I assume. Your hurry is because...there's someone waiting?"
Liz sips her drink. "There isn't anyone waiting. I just want to be free of Steve who isn't coming back to Monticello. And even if he did come back to Monticello, I don't want him anymore."
"Then you're not involved with anyone? I would-"
"No, there is no one. What about you? Surely, you...a dashing attorney...isn't at all single and free."
"My social life. I should hire a social secretary. You would hardly guess all the TV dinners every night in an empty bachelor's pad. Frankly, I do a lot of overtime at the office to help prosecute of all of Monticello's innumberable bad guys. But all that work, well....it makes up the empty lonely hours at home."
"But my luck can always change. I feel it changing right now..."
"Then you've decided to leave the DA's office and work with Mike and Adam in private practice?"
"I've met with Adam. Briefly. He's excited. All for it. We're waiting now for Mike's green light. And yeah, I'm looking forward to private practice, having a normal life, a beautiful client like you for starters and more dinners...with you..who should be officially divorced soon...and then more dinners with you after you're single and I'm hoping...that you would like to continue seeing me after your divorce is final as much I want to see you."
They both smile as a perky waitress carrying two trays arrives with their lunch orders.
* * *
At dusk, the sound of traffic in the street below Monticello Arms seems to slow down and the temperature in Suite #505 changes. The night isn't getting any shorter. Sweating profusely, Ron Christopher finally gets up the courage to ask Barrington where Barrington is holding Laurie Karr.
A startled Barrington is unresponsive and, at once, lights a fresh cigar...
EDGE OF NIGHT, 28 Mar 1969
After dinner at home, Nancy and Mike attempt to stay calm holding each other on the sofa in the living room by a soft fire burning in the fireplace on a cool evening. Neither is able speak openly about Laurie Ann, but Laurie Ann is, as always, deeply in their minds as sharp as a razor. There is some happy news, which Nancy shares, telling Mike about Ron and Cookie's impending April 11th wedding. However, neither are joyous about it. Overwhelmed with fears for Laurie Ann, they have no reason to celebrate Ron and Cookie's happiness.
Ron stops by the Karr home. Alone with Mike in the study, Ron reveals that Barrington admitted kidnapping Laurie.
"Obviously, Barrington doesn't suspect a thing."
"He trusts me, Mike."
Mike strokes his chin, thinking aloud, “Even if we do cooperate, there is one thing we haven't tried..Ron, you have to coax Laurie's whereabouts out of Barrington. ”
Ron's lip quivers slightly, "Don't you think that'll tip Barrington off? Mike, he'll kill all of us. Laurie. Me, you, and Nancy included-"
"I have to save my daughter."
"They're viscous. Evil. Mike, they'll stop at nothing to get at us..."
A desperate Mike is unwilling to throw in the towel, "I'm begging here, Ron. Please question that bastard until he breaks and reveals the exact location they're holding Laurie Ann. Ron, I'm terrified for my daughter. I can't let her be killed."
Thinking of Cookie and their impending wedding and now Laurie, Ron is speechless ...
Michael "Mike" Karr
William "Bill" Marceau
Elaine "Cookie" Pollock-Thomas
Laurie Ann Karr
Benjamin "Ben" Travis
Dr. Hugh Lacey
| || |
MARY K. WELLS
EDGE OF NIGHT, 25 Mar 1969
Downtown Monticello Office . . .
St. Anthony Hotel
Monticello Parkside Drive
“A man with Mike's abilities is only hindered by a woman like Nancy,” Travis encourages his daughter. “Furthermore, you should go after Mike, if you really want him. Your lifelong ambition, Nicole, is to love and be loved.”
Nicole is startled by her father’s sudden change in attitude. Yes, she decides sipping another glass of sherry with Ben, Nicole will gladly destroy the Karr’s stable marriage and take Mike away from Nancy.
Suddenly, Ron feels an impending doom and fear lights up his steely blue eyes. “What if I-I refuse...this.. spying on Mike a-any longer?" Ron stammers.
“Then I will be forced to inform the chief of police and the public that you, Mr. Christopher, and you alone were responsible for Philip Capice's near-fatal beating. Do you think Cookie Thomas will think of marrying you after that?”