A Passion For Horror
The Sealed Book
(Old Radio Show)
The Man with the Stolen Face
This episode of The Sealed Book begins in the office of John Harrington, who is telling his confidential secretary, Matt Briggs, that he is ready to retire. John had always planned on retiring when he was worth $20 million; he now has the money and is looking forward to fulfilling his ambition.
John has a skeleton in his closet though. Many years ago he escaped from San Quentin and killed a guard in the process. As far as he is aware, Matt is the only person who knows anything about this and John can be sure of his silence because Matt is also guilty of murder. He once killed a man in cold blood and John has enough evidence stashed in his lawyer’s safe, to send Matt to the electric chair.
After Matt goes home John remains in his office, enjoying a last cigar, and has an unexpected visitor—Jeremiah Cole. It turns out that he also knows John’s secret and he has an axe to grind with him. Many years ago John swindled Cole’s father out of his business and the old man died of a broken heart. Cole has spent the last twenty years tracking John down; now he wants every penny he’s got, and if John does not hand over the cash Cole will spill his story to the police.
John has already killed one man, killing a second is nothing to him, especially when the stakes are so high; so he strangles Cole and then escapes to his mountain lodge. He then rings Matt and tells him to bring him all the money and securities he can lay his hands on. He also needs two more things: a plastic surgeon and someone, with a similar build to John, who would be willing to swap faces with him for a million dollars. Matt brings John everything he has asked for: the money, a corrupt surgeon and a travelling salesman, named William Quincy, who is willing to do the time for John’s crime.
The surgeon performs both operations—his finest work—and John promises him a million dollars as payment. Neither the surgeon or Quincy receive a single penny. John poisons both of them. Then he shoots Matt Briggs. John has a new face a, new life and the bulk of his fortune. And there is nobody left who knows the truth. The last laugh is on him though, because Matt had a plan of his own and John is in for a nasty surprise.
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