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The Sealed Book: Death Brings Down The Curtain (Radio Show)

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The Sealed Book

(Old Radio Show)

Death Brings Down The Curtain

"Death Brings Down the Curtain" is the story an elderly woman named Martha Richards. Her health is failing, she has not left her bed in a year, and the blinds of her room are always closed.  “How long have I got?” she asks her doctor and he tells her that she could live another year, possibly two – if she lives a quiet life.

Martha is a very wealthy woman, and her only living relatives are a niece and nephew, from her husband’s side of the family.  She is considering leaving them the Richards fortune, but before she does so she wants to get to know them a little better. Martha hasn’t seen them since they were children, and fearing that they may be a couple of ne'er-do-wells, she invites them to stay with her for a week.

Martha is right to have her doubts about her perspective heirs. Gerald has already gambled away the money that his father left him and is deep in debt. His sister Millie is no better. She is one of Broadway’s leading actresses, and earns $1,000 a week, but she spends twice that and is worse financial trouble than Gerald.

After a week has passed Millie is convinced that she has managed to pull the wool over her aunt’s eyes, but Gerald knows better. Martha has hired a private investigator who has been digging into their past. Now Martha has summoned her solicitor and plans to write them both out of her will. As far as Gerald is concerned the game is up, but Millie is not so easily defeated. She goes up to her aunt’s room and smothers the old lady with a pillow. Not enough to suffocate her, but more than enough to bring on a heart attack.

By the time Martha’s lawyer arrives Millie has applied some make up, assumed the identity of her aunt, and is confident that she will give the greatest performance of her career. Aunt Martha had some secrets that neither potential heir was aware of though, and, as if often the way in this sort of story, things do not go exactly as planned.

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