The Draminski Matter
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The Draminski Matter
|COMPANY:||Empire Insurance, Limited|
Bill Gardner calls Johnny and asks him how he likes Oysters Rockefeller. (Love 'em) And where do you find the best ones? (New Orleans, of course.) Good. There is a plane leaving at 4:30. Find out why a daffy client left the back door of her shop open and let someone walk out with $75,000 in furs. Her name is Princess Draminski - she is not a real princess, but you won't care. All that and oysters too? Bill, Johnny replies, I'm your boy.
Johnny flies to New Orleans and goes to the shop of Princess Draminski, located at the edge of the French Quarter. Johnny notes that the shop is between a used car lot and an herbal remedies shop. Johnny meets the Princess and she is glad for "it" to happen - for Johnny to fall in love with her; men always do. The Princess shows Johnny the rear door and tells him that some times she forgets to lock it - "I am a little careless". When Johnny starts to scold her, she tell him that she is only a woman, how can she do everything right?
Outside the door Johnny finds a dead-end alley - something unusual for a professional burglar. The Princess tells Johnny that "Honest Tom" has a car lot on the other side of the building at the end of the alley, and Professor Balderoff is on the other end. Back inside the shop Johnny hears a loud noise from the Professor's shop. Johnny is told that the Professor only makes the noise when a man is with the Princess - He has the jealousy and is madly in love with the Princess.
Johnny goes to visit the Professor and finds him in his back room. Johnny explains who he is and asks the Professor if he heard anything on the night of the robbery, but the Professor knows nothing and suggests that Johnny talk to Tony Mariaccio. The Princess barges in and yells for Johnny to stop killing the professor - she thinks Johnny has the jealousy and is there to kill the professor! Johnny reminds her that he is only there to find the insured furs, remember?
Johnny hears music outside and is told that it is Tony. The Princess calls him a troubador of music; the Professor calls him "a pig of a pig of a pig" - a street beggar fed by a monkey!. Johnny is told that Tony is madly in love with the Princess and brings her gifts: roses, caviar, perfumes. He has money from an uncle or cousin. She tells Johnny that Tony goes to the shop, but do not worry, she locked the door this time! She tells Johnny that Honest Tom watches the shop when she goes out. Honest Tom is in love with the Princess!
Johnny talks to Tony, but he works for pennies and knows nothing, but he is sad for the princess. Tony tells Johnny that his monkey really likes him because the monkey tries to pick Johnny's pocket. When Johnny asks how many pennies it take to buy caviar, Tony accuses Honest Tom of telling bad stories, because he is a big crook. Tony tells Johnny that he lives across the street over the antique shop. Tony tells Johnny to come to his room after it is dark.
Johnny talks to Honest Tom who is a fool for the girl - she has class, cluture and royal blood. He tells Johnny that he loves to do things for her and is surprised that someone has not cleaned out the store. Johnny tells Tom what has happened, and he tells Johnny that he closed the car lot about 9:00 last night. While Tome tries to sell Johnny a car, he tells Johnny that the Professor is nuttier than a fruit cake.
Johnny cabs to police headquarters and talks to the Captain of the Safe and Loft Detail, who tells Johnny that the police have washed their hands of the case. Johnny cabs back to the French Quarter and goes to Tony's room. Johnny knocks but no one answers - he only hears a whimpering sound inside the room. Johnny opens the door and the monkey jumps into Johnny's arms. Johnny turns on the light to find the monkey covered in blood just as someone turns off the light - the last thing Johnny remembers.
Johnny wakes up, turns on the light, and finds Tony on the floor, dead. Johnny runs to the Princess' shop to use the phone. Tom comes in to tell Johnny that he had seem him running across the street. Johnny calls Lt. Lewis and updates him on what has happened. Both Tom and the Princess are shocked at Tony's death. The Princess tells Johnny that Tony had been there earlier that evening.
Lt. Lewis tells Johnny that Tony's death is not some pointless crime, and Johnny agrees. Johnny tells Lewis that he thinks Tony had some money, as he had been buying gifts for the Princess. Johnny is sure that Tony did not steal the furs, but might have known who did and maybe tried some blackmail.
Johnny walks outside and looks at Tony's window and the line of sight angle and gets an idea. Johnny goes into the shop and asks about a trap door in the ceiling. Johnny finds the opening and climbs out on the roof where he look straight across to Tony's window. Johnny looks at the skylight in Professor's shop and sees nothing, but on the side of the car lot Johnny sees what he is looking for - a fire escape.
Johnny climbs down the fire escape and lands sprawling on the ground and rolls under a parked car. Johnny hears footsteps and tries to get to a set of ankles next to the car. Lt. Lewis calls out and Johnny warns him that Tony's killer is there. Lewis shines a light and Johnny grabs the ankles when he hears a gun shot. Lt. Lewis hand cuffs the shooter and Johnny tells him that the man is Honest Tom, the man who runs the car lot and stole the furs. He used the trap door to remove the furs and Tony saw him and tried to blackmail Tom. Johnny is told that the furs are in the trunk of a car on the lot. Johnny tells Lt. Lewis he is late for a date and asks where the best place is for oysters Rockefeller.
Remarks: Thanks for the oysters included in expense account item 3!
|Producer: Jaime del Valle||Writers: Les Crutchfield|
|Cast: Clayton Post, Lillian Buyeff, Robert Griffin, Hal March, Jay Novello|
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