Nikki and the Big Top Bears (a re-imagination)
Written By John S. Badger
ANNOUNCER: Dapper Dan Pomade...PRESENTS...AMERICA'S BEST KNOWN Investigator...... Nikki Sketch!
DOUGLAS: (INTERRUPTING) Just a moment...just a moment, mister...what's all this?
ANNOUNCER: THIS is Nikki Sketch!
DOUGLAS: Nikki Sketch? America's favorite Investigator?
ANNOUNCER: Right you are, Douglas - presented by Dapper Dan Pomade.
DOUGLAS: Wow! Nikki Sketch!
ANNOUNCER: Don’t forget it’s with Dapper Dan, too!
DOUGLAS: That sounds exciting!
ANNOUNCER: It is! Mr. Douglas, it is!
DOUGLAS: Well, then, let's get on with it!
ANNOUNCER: Tonight's story...Nikki and the Case Under the Big Top
SFX: EST. CIRCUS SFXS...MUSIC ETC...THEN FADE WAY TO BACKGROUND
ANNOUNCER: Our story begins in the office of Byron the Magnificent...manager of Triple Circle Circus....
HORTON: (SCREAMS) You stole my new ringmaster jacket!
BERNADETTE: (SCREAMS) You're a liar!
BYRON: (TOPPING THEM) Shut up! Shut up both of you! Now, what seems to be the trouble?
BERNADETTE: (AND HORTON BOTH SPEAK TOGETHER...TERRIFIC ARGUMENT) He says I stole his ringmaster jacket!
HORTON: She did! I just had it made... it was in the dressing room!
BERNADETTE: Why don't you just take care of your things!
BYRON: Stop! Stop! Now, one at a time... you Horton.. What is it?
HORTON: Mr. Byron, my new ringmaster jacket... the one I use in my act with Topsy the dancing elephant...... it's been stolen.
BERNADETTE: Why do you accuse me? there's hundreds of people around this circus. I don't need your old ringmaster jacket!
HORTON: Of course you don't need it! You did it in jealousy.
BERNADETTE: (scoff) Jealousy of what?
HORTON: Jealousy of the fact that Topsy is the final act now. You and your bears play second fiddle. Rightfully so.
BERNADETTE: (ANGER) Why you dirty little...
SFX: (CRACK OF WHIP)
HORTON: (CRIES OUT) Ohhh.... (LUNGES) How dare you hit me with your whip!
BYRON: (GRABBING HIM) Horton! Horton! Now listen to me!
HORTON: (Angry) She hit me.... hit me with her whip!
BERNADETTE: You had it coming... Accusing me of stealing your ringmaster jacket....
BYRON: You'd better leave, Bernadette... Let me talk to Horton.. go on....
BERNADETTE: (spiteful) Sure.. pamper him.. he's your star. I don't mean anything around this big top anymore.. everything is all about Horton… (jabbing) Horton and his dancing elephant!
BYRON: That simply isn't true, Bernadette... you're on a higher pay bracket than Horton.
BERNADETTE: Money... What does that mean? It's billing that counts! Why is he in the star spot! I used to be there!
HORTON: Because you're a has-been... you and your old bears!
BERNADETTE: (ANGER... NASTY) How would you like another cut with my whip!
HORTON: Just try it.
BYRON: Get out, Bernadette go on! It's only twenty minutes to show time.... get out.. and get ready for your act!
BERNADETTE: Sure, I'll go. But you haven't heard the last of this, Horton.... (FADES) Not by a longshot!
SFX: (DOOR OPENS.... SFX OF CIRCUS UP A LITTLE)
DIMITRI: (OFF) Oh, hello Bernadette...
BERNADETTE: (OFF) Shut up!
SFX: (DOOR CLOSES)
DIMITRI: (FADING IN) What’s up with her?
BYRON: She's upset about something, Dimitri. As per usu.
DIMITRI: Figures. Oh Horton, here's your ringmaster jacket.
HORTON: My ringmaster jacket???
BYRON: Where did you find it Dimitri?
DIMITRI: In the dressing tent.
HORTON: But I looked all over for it. It's been gone since last night.
BYRON: Well you've got it now... so forget about the jacket.. Just get ready.
HORTON: (FADES) Sounds good, Byron... see you after the performance.
SFX: (DOOR OPENS.. SFX UP... DOOR SHUTS)
BYRON: What's the matter, Dimitri... Horton say no?
DIMITRI: (Exasperated) He still laughs at me because I am clown. Clowns have feelings behind their painted faces.... I was certain that by now Horton would let me be training with the elephants. I’ve been cleaning up after them for three years now. Clowns are funny. But, clowns also settle scores.
(MUSIC:. . . . . . . )
SFX: CAR COMING TO A STOP. DISTANT CIRCUS MUSIC... VERY DIM)
DOUGLAS: (ANXIOUSLY) Come Miss Clyde, my dear girl...come on Nikki... we're late.. the performance has already begun-------
MS CLYDE: We certainly are... and it's all your fault, Nikki!
SFX: (CAR DOOR OPENS)
NIKKI: Sorry, Miss Clyde... but you know how demanding and unpredictable my field of expertise is....
DOUGLAS: We should have gone to the circus without Nikki.
MS CLYDE: Oh, Douglas.. you don't mean that....
NIKKI: Well, we're never going to see the show, if we don't get a move on.
DOUGLAS: Fair enough... carry on... the Big Top is just up ahead...
SFX: FOOTSTEPS IN GRAVEL. CIRCUS MUSIC FADES IN SLIGHTLY AS THEY WALK
NIKKI: You were here last night, weren't you Miss Clyde?
MS CLYDE: Oh yes...and I loved it. Dimitri the clown, Bernadette and her trained bears, and my personal favorite... Horton and his dancing elephant.
DOUGLAS: Geez… If you were here last night, why do you want to see it again tonight?
NIKKI: You haven’t figured it out yet, Douglas? Miss Clyde has become a candid camera fiend. She takes every opportunity she can to take pictures of everything, all the time.
DOUGLAS: Oh, that's what all that paraphernalia is?
SFX: SNEAK IN VOICE OF TICKET TAKER... "HOLD YOUR OWN TICKETS" etc...
MS CLYDE: Yes. Douglas, when I was here last night, I realized what wonderful possibilities the circus offered for pics....
NIKKI: When I was invited to the circus, I certainly wasn’t expecting to be your caddy. What you needed was a small truck to carry your equipment. The least you could have done would have been to pay my admission.
MS CLYDE: Oh, is it heavy, Nikki?
TICKET MAN: (FADING IN) Hold your own ticket please... still time to see Horton and Topsy the Dancing Elephant.. right this way...
DOUGLAS: I've got the tickets..... come on.. Here you are.
TICKET MAN: Go right in. Best available seating on the left...
MUSIC: ... CIRCUS MUSIC UP BIG AND FINISHES
SFX: OUT OF MUSIC INTO BIG APPLAUSE.. THEN MURMUR OF BIG CROWD.. FADE MURMUR
BYRON: (gradually increasing in excitement) And now, Bernadette’s bears even know how to jump rope!
DOUGLAS: (SNEEZES) excuse me. (SNEEZES) excuse me. (SNEEZES) Excuse me!
MS CLYDE: What's the matter, DOUGLAS... catching cold?
DOUGLAS: (stuffy nose) It's that act... the Bears... can't stand bears... I'm allergic to them... make me sneeze.. even just looking at them...
MUSIC: FANFARE INDICATING END OF ACT. APPLAUSE
NIKKI: You can open your eyes now, DOUGLAS… The bears are going off now.
SFX: (Camera CLICK)
MS CLYDE: Got it... a beautiful shot!
NIKKI: How many pictures have you taken already, Miss Clyde?
MS CLYDE: I haven't the slightest idea, Nikki... but I'm saving one whole roll of film for Topsy and Horton... They’re so cool!
BYRON: (ON P.A. AND ECHO) Ladies and Gentlemen... the star attraction of the Triple Circle Circus... renowned throughout the world... the greatest.. most thrilling attraction of all time... Horton!... and his dancing elephant Topsy!
SFX: (BIG APPLAUSE AND CHEERS)
MUSIC: STARTS "BLUE DANUBE WALTZ" QUIETLY IN BACKGROUND
MS CLYDE: Watch this, Nikki.. Douglas... Horton comes out into the ring over there... and the elephant comes out on this side!
DOUGLAS: Oh do they now..?
MS CLYDE: Then the elephant curtsies...
NIKKI: (DISBELIEF) Oh, Miss Clyde....
MS CLYDE: He does, Nikki.. you'll see, And then Horton and the elephant go into a waltz....
DOUGLAS: Probably does it better than I do. My wife Jules always says....
MS CLYDE: Got it! I got a picture of the curtsy, Nikki!
DOUGLAS: Well, since you’re taking pictures, that waltz of Topsy’s isn’t too bad either.
NIKKI: He's backing away from him.
SFX: (ELEPHANT TRUMPETING) (OFF)
DOUGLAS: Part of the act, Nikki... the elephant pretends he doesn't want to dance.
MS CLYDE: (SERIOUSLY) No.. no.. that isn't the way it went last night... something 's wrong, guys!
SFX: (ELEPHANT TRUMPETS AGAIN.. SCREAM OFF MIC)
DOUGLAS: Oh no! look!
SFX: (AUDIENCE MURMUR STARTS TO GROW)
NIKKI: Topsy’s swinging Horton by his jacket!
MS CLYDE: He’s gonna die if somebody doesn’t help him!
SFX: (CLICK) (CLICK)
(ANOTHER SCREAM OFF MIC)
NIKKI: Miss Clyde!
SFX: (WILD TRUMPETING CONTINUES TO END OF SCENE...BUT OFF)
DOUGLAS: (horrified) He killed her!
NIKKI: (Horrified) Topsy’s still stomping on him!
SFX: (CROWD COMES UP BIG AS IN PANIC)
MUSIC SWEEPS IT ALL OUT....
SCENE: in Nikki’s office
ANNOUNCER: The next morning at Nikki Sketch’s office
BERNADETTE: (INDIGNANT) I don't see why we had to come down here to your office this morning Ms. Sketch! What happened to Horton last night was an accident...
NIKKI: That's what the police would like to determine, Miss .
BYRON: (SIGHS) Ms. Sketch, Bernadette's right, I've been with the circus for forty years... I've seen plenty of accidents like last night's.
BERNADETTE: It's part of the job, Ms. Sketch... the risk, I mean. When you work with animals... well, you never know. Take it from me....
DOUGLAS: (bored disbelief) You mean to say to me dear woman...that those bears of yours haven't been trained... that they're wild?
BERNADETTE: They've been trained, Mr. Douglas, but they're still wild... give them one chance and.....
NIKKI: (CUTTlNG IN) Pardon me... I didn't bring you people down here to discuss animal training. A man was killed last night...
BERNADETTE: (SNEERS) Why don't you book Horton's elephant for murder!
NIKKI: (QUIETLY BUT FIRMLY) Miss , I'm doing my best not to lose my temper with you. You've done nothing since you came in but give curt responses to my questions.
BYRON: You must forgive her, Ms. Sketch... she's upset... everyone connected with the show is. What more do you want to know?
NIKKI: Let's put it this way, Mr. Byron... it's possible to direct an animal to kill, isn't it?
BYRON: Why yes, but....
BERNADETTE: Nobody could handle that elephant but Horton!
NIKKI: I see.
DOUGLAS: Everyone loved Horton, including the elephant... and yet.. he's dead.
BERNADETTE: No one said "everyone loved him"
NIKKI: You weren’t his biggest fan?
BYRON: It was a small disagreement, Ms. Sketch... matter of billing... nothing serious.
BERNADETTE: I didn't do it... don't look at me. Ask Dimitri, or some of the others...
NIKKI: Dimitri... the clown? I asked him to come here this morning too. Where is he?
BYRON: He said he was coming.
DOUGLAS: Did Dimitri hate Horton for any reason?
BERNADETTE: Not hate, I don’t think. Resented, sure. Dimitri wanted to learn to train Topsy. Essentially, he wanted Horton’s job.
BERNADETTE: It's true! I heard it! Maybe he HAD something to do with it!
NIKKI: Yes... I definitely want to talk to him.
BERNADETTE: Well, if you've got nothing more to ask me... I'm going. Are you coming, Byron?
BYRON: (prompting) If Ms. Sketch is through with us...
NIKKI: I guess that's all for now, Mister Magnificent. I'll drop in on you after the performance this evening.... just to take a look around...
BYRON: Certainly, Ms. Sketch... any time.
SFX: DOOR OPENS
NIKKI: Oh.. Miss Clyde...
MS CLYDE: (FADES) Nikki, I finally got all the pics developed that I took last night at the circus.. oh, I'm sorry... I didn't know you had visitors...
BYRON: Quite all right, Miss... we were just leaving. Come on, Bernadette... Bye Mr. Douglas...
DOUGLAS: Good bye, BYRON.
NIKKI: (IDEA) Eh... mind if I walk to your car with you, Mr. Byron... I’d like to ask you a few things about Dimitri the clown.
BYRON: (FADES) It’s a free country.
NIKKI: (FADES) I’ll be back in a moment, Miss Clyde...
SFX: (DOOR SHUTS)
DOUGLAS: It's mystifying,.. certainly mystifying!
MS CLYDE: You mean about Horton's death, Douglas?
DOUGLAS: Yes, Imagine, a little clown named Dimitri was in love with him. He reject his affections and he, in wrath, turned his own elephant against him. Persuaded the mammoth to kill his master ~ Hmmmm... killed with an elephant... (THOUGHTFULLY) Hmmmm.. must have been an easier way...
MS CLYDE: Oh, Douglas... I don't believe it happened that way.
DOUGLAS: Sketch does... at least, she's very much interested in that theory.
SFX: (DOOR KNOCKS, OPENS)
DIMITRI: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Pardon me.. I'm looking for Ms. Sketch.
MS CLYDE: This is her office.. she'll be back shortly. Won't you come in and wait.
DIMITRI: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Thank you.
SFX: (DOOR SHUTS)
DIMITRI: (FADE ON) He said he wanted to speak to me.
DOUGLAS: Are you with the big top, sir?
DIMITRI: Yes. I'm Dimitri...
MS CLYDE: Dimitri, the clown?
DOUGLAS: Wow! I'd never know you on the street... that make-up of yours... terrifying. I’ve always been petrified by clowns.
MS CLYDE: Oh, I've got some pictures of you here... would you like to... (REMEMBERS).... Oh, I just remembered...
MS CLYDE: About the accident... last night.. I've got those here too. I don't suppose you want to be reminded of what happened....
DOUGLAS: (displeased) Of the incident? Definitely not.
DIMITRI: You have actual photographs of the elephant and... Horton?
MS CLYDE: Yes.
DIMITRI: (SLOWLY) I would like to see them... I would like to see them very much!
MS CLYDE: Well...here they are...
SFX: (PHOTOGRAPHS PULLED OUT OF ENVELOPE)
MS CLYDE: There.
DOUGLAS: Amazing! Truly amazing... all those tiny photographs, my dear Miss Clyde.. you've caught every movement of that horrible tragedy! Why are they all thumbnails though?
DIMITRI: (SLOWLY THOUGHTFULLY) Yes, Miss... they are amazing.... and they tell me a very interesting thing...
DOUGLAS: Do they, Dimitri?
DIMITRI: (SLOW) They tell me that Horton was MURDERED!
MUSIC: ACT 1 PLAYOUT
MUSIC: Dapper Dan Pomade
DOUGLAS: (CLEARS THROAT) Ladies & Gentlemen...this is the intermission...and what a stunning development that terrifying clown Dimitri shared with us. Frankly, it's truly sad, this business with with Topsy the elephant. So truly sad.
ANNOUNCER: I know something that could cheer everyone up, Mr. Douglas!
DOUGLAS: You do?
ANNOUNCER: Yes! Something that could make even a scary clown silly!
DOUGLAS: Really? Well, share it, man!
ANNOUNCER: The same old “Bop” getting you down? Hair getting heavy? Not holding firm like it should? Get Dapper Dan Pomade!
DOUGLAS: Dapper Dan Pomade? What’s that?
ANNOUNCER: Why, haven’t you heard Douglas? Dapper Dan Pomade is the right brand to keep your hair in the best shape of your life. Try some!
DOUGLAS: Gollee! Dapper Dan sure does hold it up. Just the way I like it!
ANNOUNCER: It sure does. Well, we gotta get back to the story. I’m excited to see what happens next to Nikki Sketch and the Big Top Bears"
MUSIC: 2ND ACT OVERTURE
NIKKI: You say nobody has seen Dimitri, Mr. Byron?
BYRON: (Phone) No, Ms. Sketch. He didn't show up for the evening performance either. Show just ended five minutes ago.
NIKKI: I see. Well, hold on to him, when, and if he does come back.
BYRON: (Phone) I will, Ms. Sketch. I'll let you know. I'll call...
NIKKI: It's very important.
BYRON: (Phone) I am well aware.
NIKKI: Well, goodbye then.
BYRON: (Phone) Goodbye.
SFX: (CLICKS OFF ON LINE... Sketch HANGS UP)
DOUGLAS: Dimitri the clown.. still missing, eh?
MS CLYDE: Sketch, do you think he may have.. well... met with foul play?
NIKKI: Why do you say that, Miss Clyde?
MS CLYDE: He knew that Horton had been murdered.
NIKKI: But how... how did he know????
DOUGLAS: By looking at those pics that Miss Clyde took of the tragedy, Nikki. We told you that.
NIKKI: I've looked at those photographs from every possible angle, Douglas. You've looked at them... Miss Clyde has looked at them! Have you been able to see anything that would indicate murder?
MS CLYDE: No...
DOUGLAS: But he said it was murder.. He said it very decisively, Nikki.
NIKKI: This is the most confusing case I've had yet... but I have a hunch... just a hunch that a murder has indeed been committed. Dimitri justifies that hunch...
MS CLYDE: And then just disappears....
NIKKI: Here it's eleven o'clock already and he hasn't returned. Why didn't you two hold him here.. till I got back?
DOUGLAS: We told him that you'd want to know what he said...
MS CLYDE: But he wouldn't stay, Nikki. He said he had a bone to pick.
DOUGLAS: His very words, Nikki.
NIKKI: That's a big help to me.
MS CLYDE: About these pictures, Nikki...
MS CLYDE: Do you think it might help if they were larger?
NIKKI: It might... we'd be able to see them more clearly... these little thumbnails are too small...
MS CLYDE: When I get home, I’ll enlarge them.
DOUGLAS: Well come along, young lady, and help... for once.
MS CLYDE: You can come along, Douglas.... but Nikki won’t leave here until she’s shaken the candy bar out of the machine again. You’d think she’d have figured out not to use that thing by now... wait for Mr. Byron's call.
DOUGLAS: That's right... I nearly forgot. I guess I’ll stick around too, then.
MS CLYDE: (FADES) Well-- See you both later...
NIKKI: (PREOCCUPIED) Oh...yes...Miss Clyde... see you later…
SFX: Rattling snack machine
SFX: (DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES)
DOUGLAS: What's the matter, old sleuth? You don't seem your usual chillaxed self tonight?
NIKKI: Douglas, this case has got me completely baffled!
ANNOUNCER: At the big top, Bernadette and Dimitri
SFX: (BEAR GROWLS)
BERNADETTE: (TO BEAR) Now now, cub... Mama can't let you out of your cage... go to sleep... that's a good cub... Come on now....
SFX: (Bear PURRS)
DIMITRI: (OFF.... CALLS SOFTLY ) Bernadette... Bernadette ....
BERNADETTE: (whisper excited) Dimitri??? Where have you been? You’ve missed two shows... Byron is irate!
DIMITRI: Mind if I come into your dressing tent, Bernadette?
BERNADETTE: I guess not... come in.
DIMITRI: (FADE IN) (DETERMINED BUT QUIET) I had something to talk to you about.
BERNADETTE: Have you seen Byron... or Nikki Sketch?
DIMITRI: No. I didn't want to see them... that's why I stayed away from the show this afternoon and tonight. I wanted to see you first… (ominous) alone.
BERNADETTE: What about?
DIMITRI: (SLOW) Have you seen the photographs...
BERNADETTE: What photographs?
DIMITRI: Taken last night by Sketch's friend, Miss Clyde... she's got it all in pictures... how Horton was killed.
BERNADETTE: So what? I saw how he was killed... his elephant trampled him!
DIMITRI: No, Bernadette... Topsy didn't trample him.. he trampled his ringmaster jacket! The pictures show it very plainly.
BERNADETTE: Yeah? Well, what do you want me to do?
DIMITRI: (QUIET) You killed him, Bernadette!
BERNADETTE: No... no...
DIMITRI: (STILL QUIET... BUT MORE INTENSE) You killed him... you're as guilty as if you had placed a gun against his forehead and pulled the trigger!
BERNADETTE: You're crazy!
DIMITRI: Am I? You were jealous of him... jealous because he out-shown you.... because he was a bigger star than you were...
BERNADETTE: I didn't kill him!
DIMITRI: The photographs will tell the story, Bernadette... the photographs... and I will say one thing... and they'll convict you!
BERNADETTE: You can't prove it... anything you say... they won't believe you! You hated him too... you could have done it!
DIMITRI: No... no... I loved him... I loved him...
BERNADETTE: He mocked you... ignored you... you were nothing to him....
DIMITRI: I loved him... and you killed him!
BERNADETTE: What are you going to do?
DIMITRI: I'm going to tell them...
BERNADETTE: Wait... look, Dimitri... I've got money... I've saved it... you can have it!
DIMITRI: You killed him...
BERNADETTE: (more forceful) Take the money and keep your mouth shut!
DIMITRI: No, Bernadette... (FADES) I'm going to tell them... tell them about the jacket...
BERNADETTE: Dimitri! Come back! Listen! (PAUSE) He's gone. There's only one thing to do! Only one way to stop him!
SFX: (SFX OF CAGE DOOR OPENING)
BERNADETTE: Come out, cub...
SFX: (BEAR GROWLS)
BERNADETTE: Go get him... get him for me! Go!
SFX: (GROWLS MENACINGLY AND FADES)
BERNADETTE: (TO HERSELF) Cub’ll stop him... stop him forever!
SFX: (OFF MIC... A VICIOUS GROWL... AND A SCREAM FROM DIMITRI )
ANNOUNCER: Back at Nikki Sketch’s office
NIKKI: I came as soon as I got your call, Mr. Byron. Did Dimitri have a chance to speak before he died?
BYRON: No, Ms. Sketch... before my men could get to him... get that bear off of him... he was already through.
DOUGLAS: That quiet little man... oh no, who would have thunk he was a murderer.
NIKKI: How do you arrive at that conclusion, Douglas?
DOUGLAS: Well, old sleuth... he saw the photographs, didn't he?
DOUGLAS: He realized that he was discovered... so...
BYRON: You think he killed himself?
DOUGLAS: Of course. Think of it, Nikki... he killed Horton with an elephant...killed himself with a bear... incredible! Just incredible!
DOUGLAS: You mean my theory is right, gum shoe?
NIKKI: No, I mean it's incredible! Literally.
BYRON: (matter-of-factly) Dimitri knew nothing about controlling animals, Ms. Sketch... he couldn't have been guilty of Horton's death.
NIKKI: And yet, he knew enough to see in the photographs that Horton had been murdered! Byron, where is Bernadette ?
BYRON: I don't know, Ms. Sketch... no one's seen her since after her performance tonight.
DOUGLAS: (WORRIED) And the bear? (pause) Byron, where is it?
BYRON: Strange thing about that bear... we had a bad time of it for a few minutes... but once we got it into Bernadette's tent... the animal went right back into its cage and went to sleep.
DOUGLAS: She keeps it in her tent? Oh no!
BYRON: It's her favorite.. She calls it "cub."
NIKKI: I wonder what Dimitri saw in the photographs that we didn't see. Now we'll never know!
BYRON: Perhaps, I could see it too, Ms. Sketch... maybe it's something that only a circus man would recognize.
NIKKI: I thought of that, Mr. Byron. After I got the call from you telling me about Dimitri's death, I called Miss Clyde and told her to meet us here -with the photographs. She's enlarged them -
BYRON: Good. I suppose you realize that all this terrible business is going to be bad for my show Ms. Sketch...
DOUGLAS: Of course, sir.... but two people have perished. We aren’t just going to sweep that under the rug.
BYRON: We big top folks expect the worst. Always, Mr. Douglas. In the big top... a bad box office is more of a tragedy than a death.
DOUGLAS: Hmmmm... yes... see what you mean... my dear man... bad box office... yes!...
NIKKI: (IDEA) Mr. Byron.... I wonder if I could have a look at the costume that Horton was wearing when he was killed....
BYRON: Certainly, Ms. Sketch... (FADE SLIGHTLY) I've got it right here. (FADE BACK) I had been thinking of sending it to his folks...
SFX: (CARDBOARD BOX OPEN)
BYRON: There. You can see... it's in bad shape.
NIKKI: Yes. Autopsy showed he died of a broken neck... when the elephant picked him up by the ringmaster jacket and tossed him.
SFX: Cloth shuffling
DOUGLAS: (PICKING UP CAPE) Hmmm... this ringmaster jacket is pretty badly ripped and torn, Nikki… Oh no (SNEEZES) (SNEEZES AGAIN)!! Take it away!
NIKKI: What is it, Douglas?
DOUGLAS: (stuffy nose) This ringmaster jacket, Nikki... it affects me the way bears do! Makes me sneeze. (SNEEZES ) Gollee!
NIKKI: Bears! (IDEA.) Mr. Byron... how do elephants and the bears get along?
BYRON: They hate each other... why?
NIKKI: If an elephant smelled the scent of a bear....
BYRON: He'd kick up an awful fuss! You mean that ringmaster jacket... Horton's ringmaster jacket??
NIKKI: Yes! That ringmaster jacket has the scent of a bear on it.!
DOUGLAS: Jeez, Sketch... Nikki... I see what you mean! That's why I sneezed just now.
NIKKI: Yes and that's why the elephant went berserk last night.. Come on, Byron.... we've got to find Bernadette !
ANNOUNCER: At the big top, we find Bernadette
SFX: (FOOTSTEPS IN GRAVEL) (CRICKET IN BACKGROUND )
BERNADETTE: (SOFTLY) Miss Clyde?
MS CLYDE: (FOOTSTEPS STOP) Oh! Oh...you frightened me for a minute. I can't see you very well... it's so dark...
BERNADETTE: I met you yesterday for a moment... I'm Bernadette ...
MS CLYDE: The Bear Lady?
BERNADETTE: That's right. Eh...I saw you stop your car in the parking lot. I had to see you.... it's about those pictures you took... uh... of the (slow) "accident" to Horton.
MS CLYDE: Oh, did Sketch send you to look for me? Sorry I'm so late... I was making enlargements. I know how anxious he is for Mr. Byron to look at the pictures.
BERNADETTE: Byron.... yes... I see...
MS CLYDE: Well, I'd better take them over to him... that's Mr. Byron's office wagon over there isn't it?
BERNADETTE: Sketch wants Byron to look at them, huh?
MS CLYDE: Yes. He thinks that perhaps a circus performer will be able to see what poor Dimitri saw in them. (lively) Well, I've got to get them over to them...
BERNADETTE: (CAGEY) Wait!
SFX: (FOOTSTEPS STOP)
MS CLYDE: Yes?
BERNADETTE: They're not in the office wagon...
MS CLYDE: They're not?
BERNADETTE: No... they're waiting for you in my tent. It's right this way.... Come on ...
MS CLYDE: Oh... yes.. certainly...
SFX: (FOOTSTEPS IN GRAVEL.... CONTINUES BUT SOFTLY)
BERNADETTE: Eh... those pictures... you've got all of them with you?
MS CLYDE: Why yes..
BERNADETTE: Negatives too?
MS CLYDE: (LAUGHS) Yes...you know, I was in such a rush to get over here... after I finished enlarging the prints that I just jammed everything into this envelope and dashed out of my apartment.
BERNADETTE: Negatives too, hmm?
MS CLYDE: Why are you so interested in the negatives, Miss ?
BERNADETTE: Interested? I'm not.... Sketch said she wanted them too... that's all...
MS CLYDE: Wonder why she wanted the negatives...
BERNADETTE: Oh... here's my tent.... After you ma’am...
MS CLYDE: Thank you. Why, it's dark in here... they're not here...
SFX: (CRICKETS OUT)
BERNADETTE: They'll be back in a minute. Here, I'll switch the dressing table lights on for you...
BERNADETTE: There we are....
SFX: (GROWL SLIGHTLY OFF)
MS CLYDE: (JUMPS) What's that?
BERNADETTE: (smoothly) That's cub.... my pet bear... he's the star of my act... I keep his cage here in my dressing tent...
MS CLYDE: He's not the one who... who...
BERNADETTE: (LYING) cub? No, he wouldn't hurt a fly... (TO cub) now, would you, cub?
SFX: Bear purr
MS CLYDE: (UNEASY) Hmmm.... do you suppose we ought to go look for them... Mr. Byron and Nikki..?
BERNADETTE: They said they'd be back. (CAGEY) May I look at the pictures?
MS CLYDE: Eh... why... yes.... here...
MS CLYDE: There they are...
BERNADETTE: (PAUSE) Yes... yes... it's quite plain.... so Dimitri was right.
MS CLYDE: Then you see it too - What is it?
SFX: Toss envelope in can
MS CLYDE: What are you doing?
BERNADETTE: I'm destroying these pictures, Miss Clyde... burning the evidence....
SFX: Lighter flick. Photos burn
MS CLYDE: (Dawns on her) You...then you killed Horton! And Dimitri!
BERNADETTE: Yes.... I took his ringmaster jacket.... wrapped it around cub here all night... it had the scent of my bear all over it... then -- when Horton's elephant smelled it.... she went wild... and trampled the jacket! I killed Dimitri because he knew ---
MS CLYDE: Why you murderer! You horrible woman! Get out of my way!
BERNADETTE: You're not leaving here, Miss Clyde.... you're not leaving here alive!
MS CLYDE: What!
SFX: (CAGE OPENED.... BEAR GROWLS)
BERNADETTE: Get her, cub! Get her for me!
MS CLYDE : No.... no.....
SFX: (BEAR GROWLS MENACINGLY)
MS CLYDE: (SCREAMS )
NIKKI: (SLIGHTLY 0FF) Miss Clyde! Miss Clyde! (FADES IN) Miss Clyde!
MS CLYDE: Nikki.... look!!!
SFX: (GROWL OF BEAR)
NIKKI: Stand back, Miss Clyde!
SFX: (SHOT... SHOT.... SHOT.... SHOT.... SHOT )
(BEAR: DEATH GROWL AND DIES)
NIKKI: Miss Clyde.... Miss Clyde.. are you all right?
MS CLYDE: Yes, Nikki.... I'm all right.... thanks to you! You were wonderful.... Just wonderful… Your shooting skills haven’t improved, but at least one of those bullets landed.
NIKKI: I heard you scream... and the bear growl... I knew you were in danger!
DOUGLAS: (FADE IN EXCITED) Nikki.... Nikki... what happened? (SEES DEAD BEAR) Oh no! Is the bear dead?
MS CLYDE: Dead as a carpet. Nikki shot him! It's Bernadette , Nikki....she killed Horton... She murdered Dimitri too!
DOUGLAS: Bernadette? Oh my god! Mr. Byron and I saw her running out of this tent a moment ago!
NIKKI: Come on! (FADES) We've got to get her!
SFX: (CRICKETS COME IN)
BYRON: (FADING IN) Ms. Sketch...
NIKKI: Which way did she go?
BYRON: Over there. In the big animal tent.. Why?
NIKKI: She's the murderer!
SFX: (SLIGHTLY OFF ELEPHANT TRUMPETING WILDLY AND BERNADETTE SCREAMS)
DOUGLAS: What was that?
BYRON: Sounded like Horton's elephant! Bernadette's in there! Come on!
SFX: (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS STOP ON CUE)
NIKKI: (WINDED) Pull the tent flap back!
BYRON: (WINDED) OH! LOOK!
DOUGLAS: Oh my god! How horrible! Check her pulse!
BYRON: No pulse!
DOUGLAS: Topsy must have smelled the bears on her and freaked out, trampling her too.
BYRON: What a horrible tragedy!
DOUGLAS: Perhaps you might think of it that way... I prefer to call it retribution.
NIKKI: Douglas is right, Mr. Byron.... Bernadette has paid for her sins!