- The Shadow/Lamont Cranston
- Senator Durham: A respected politician
who is accused of accepting a bribe.
- Anthony Vogel: An attorney who
has a reputation for being crooked.
- Hugh Wilson: A radio and stage
- Travers: A former wrestler and
Vogel's personal bodyguard.
- Senator Durham's Defense Attorney
- The Prosecutor (i.e. the Prosecuting Attorney)
- Courtroom observers
- Mario Renaldi (probably from the Mafia)
Synopsis: (Warning! Contains spoilers!)
A car pulls up at the criminal court. Lamont
gets out and helps Margo out of the car. She's puzzled as
to why he has brought her here. Lamont explains that they
are here to witness and assassination a character and
reputation assassination of Senator Durham, one of the most
outstanding public figures in the country. Margo has read
the newspaper reports; there seems to be plenty of evidence
that Senator Durham accepted a bribe. Lamont thinks the evidence
is forged. Besides, Senator Durham is already wealthy (thanks
to his independent income), and has devoted his life to public
service. In fact, the amount of money he has given away is
ten times the more than the bribe he is accused of accepting!
Margo does not think it makes any sense either; why should
Senator Durham be sentenced to 15 years in jail for a bribe
he does not need? Lamont informs her that the prosecution
is going to spring a surprise in court today, and that is
the reason why they are here.
In the courtroom, the judge calls for order.
Senator Durham's defense attorney states his case, emphasizing
the senator's good reputation in society. Senator Durham is
soon called to the stand to testify. He steadfastly denies
taking a bribe from a man called Mario Renaldi, who is now
deceased. The prosecutor then questions Senator Durham, asking
him if he denies receiving a visit from the late Renaldi at
his room at the Maximillian Hotel. Senator Durham does not
deny the fact, but before he can explain why Renaldi was there
in the first place, he is rudely cut off by the prosecutor.
The prosecutor attacks the defense attorney's argument about
Senator Durham's upstanding qualities and devotion to public
works. In fact, there is evidence to discredit the senator:
a motion picture that shows him accepting the bribe from Renaldi.
The judge asks the defense if they have any objections. The
defense attorney does not believe that this surprise evidence
will harm Senator Durham, even though it was made without
his knowledge. The judge orders the lights to be extinguished
and the curtains drawn. The defense attorney asks, for the
record, who it was that requested this picture to be made.
The prosecutor replies that the picture was made at the request
of a lawyer named Anthony Vogel. It seems Vogel was acting
as a concerned citizen interested in public welfare.
The projection screen is placed before the
jury. The prosecutor provides affidavits to prove that the
motion picture of Senator Durham and Renaldi's meeting on
the evening of December 16 is authentic. The picture begins,
and the court sees Senator Durham receiving a visit from Renaldi.
Renaldi wants a contract for a building, but Senator Durham
asks him for fifty thousand in cash first. Renaldi agrees
and says that he will return in an hour with the money if
Senator Durham will get him the contract. The picture ends,
and the courtroom erupts with excited chatter about this damning
evidence. Senator Durham is shocked and protests his innocence.
His defense attorney objects to the motion picture evidence,
calling it a fake. Yes, they did meet in that hotel room,
but the conversation heard in the motion picture never took
place. Senator Durham admits that it sounded like his voice
on the soundtrack of the picture, but he never, ever, received
or asked for a bribe for any reason whatsoever. Only two people
knew what really happened on the evening of December 16: Senator
Durham and Renaldi. Unfortunately, Renaldi is dead. Hoping
to salvage his case, the defense attorney asks the judge to
declare a recess, so that the motion picture and its soundtrack
can be studied. The judge agrees and gives him until 10 a.m.
tomorrow. Just 24 hours.
Driving home, Margo seems convinced by the
evidence, but Lamont is not so sure. He quotes a few words
of wisdom from Greek philosophy: "Only believe half that
which you see and nothing you hear". Lamont tells Margo
that one can discern what another is saying by the way that
person's jaw moves when certain words are spoken. Lamont had
been carefully watching Senator Durham's jaw movements in
the motion picture, and he is certain that a bribe was never
asked for. But Senator Durham's face was half averted from
the camera, so Lamont could not see his lips moving and cannot
make out what he really said. Lamont stops the car. Margo
notices that they are now outside the lawyers' building. Lamont
announces that The Shadow will pay a visit to Anthony Vogel
on the 25th floor. Vogel has a reputation as one of the most
crooked lawyers in the city. He seemed so "concerned"
about public welfare that he planted a camera in Senator Durham's
At Vogel's office, Vogel's personal bodyguard,
Travers, is impressed by the clever trick that Vogel has pulled
to frame Senator Durham. It is clear that Vogel has feelings
of animosity towards Senator Durham (though he never really
explains why), and he will only be satisfied once the senator
is in jail. Travers takes the opportunity to ask Vogel when
he can get back to his old job of wrestling. Travers is itching
to get back into the ring, and could use the extra money.
Vogel tells Travers that he's better off working as his bodyguard,
and that he makes more money that way. Vogel then asks Travers
if anyone had called while he was out. Travers replies that
a man named Wilson called earlier wanting to have a talk with
Vogel. Vogel begins to fear that Wilson might go to the press
and tell them the truth about the soundtrack on motion picture
shown in court today. Travers suggests that they "fix
him" so that never happens, perhaps even arranging an
accidental fall from Wilson's apartment on the 15th floor.
Travers asks if can do it now, but Vogel decides to wait until
Wilson starts to talk to the press. With that taken care of,
Vogel moves on to another case he is working on.
The Shadow has heard enough from the two
men, and confronts Vogel about the evidence against Senator
Durham. Vogel attempts to bribe The Shadow, but he is turned
down. The Shadow then asks Vogel about the Wilson's part in
the framing. Instead of answering, Vogel orders Travers to
lock the door, so that The Shadow cannot escape. "Melodrama
won't help you, Vogel, " The Shadow replies.
Vogel tells Travers to take his hand and
stand up against the wall. Puzzled, Travers does as he is
told. Vogel then instructs Travers to stretch out his arms
so that he is touching another wall (perpendicular to the
one he is standing against), then to walk forward slowly.
Starting from one end of the room, with their arms outstretched
to the sides, the men begin walking to the other end. That
way, The Shadow (who is invisible to them) will be caught
in their trap. As they move forward, Travers feels something
and grabs it. Vogel quickly joins in. The Shadow soon feels
Vogel's hands around his throat. Gripped by Travers and choked
by Vogel, The Shadow starts to weaken. Believing that The
Shadow is defeated, Vogel decides to let Travers finish the
job with his famous stranglehold, and leaves to deal with
Arriving at Wilson's apartment, Vogel asks
Wilson if he is alone. Wilson says that he is, and that he
wants to talk to Vogel. Wilson's conscience is starting to
bother him. Back then, he took the job offered by Vogel because
he had a family to support. Now after reading the news about
Senator Durham, he feels guilty about sending an innocent
man to jail. Angered, Vogel pulls out a gun and forces Wilson
to walk to the window. Terrified, Wilson begs for his life.
Vogel ignores his pleas and orders him to open the window
and to get on the window sill.
Suddenly, The Shadow intervenes. Vogel is
shocked that The Shadow is still alive. The Shadow admits
that Travers is a good wrestler, and for a while it seemed
that he had him beaten,, but The Shadow soon defeated him
using the fighting techniques he learnt in the orient. Once
free of Travers, The Shadow managed to follow Vogel to Wilson's
apartment. Not to be outwitted, Vogel shoots Wilson and plans
to frame The Shdow for the murder. Vogel will make it so that
the cops will find The Shadow locked up in the room with Wilson's
body. "There's your proof, Shadow, lying on the floor!"
Vogel laughs. He leaves the room and locks the door behind
Wilson is slowly dying from the gunshot wounds.
He weakly calls out to The Shadow. The Shadow asks Wilson
for proof of the framing, but Wilson passes out. Upon hearing
the gunshots and seeing Vogel leaving the apartment building,
Margo senses that something has happened to The Shadow. She
quickly makes her way to Wilson's apartment and bangs on the
door. The Shadow tells Margo to unlock the door (conveniently,
the keys are on the outside). The Shadow blames himself for
not intervening in time. He had waited too long, hoping that
Wilson and Vogel will spill their secret before he spoke.
Wilson comes to, and The Shadow asks him again how he had
framed Senator Durham. Knowing that he is dying, Wilson asks
them to help him into the next room. The Shadow and Margo
soon discover that this room has recording equipment in it.
Wilson admits that recording is his hobby. At Wilson's request,
they help him ready the equipment. Wilson then records his
At 10 a.m. the next morning, the court is
in session. Senator Durham's defense attorney asks the judge
to dismiss the charges against his client based on new evidence.
It appears that a record was found in the apartment of the
late Hugh Wilson, a radio and stage impersonator, who was
found shot to death last night. They play the record. On it,
Wilson admits that Vogel had hired him to impersonate Senator
Durham's voice on the soundtrack of the motion picture. To
prove it, Wilson begins to impersonate Senator Durham, but
the performance does not last long. Wilson dies. At the end
of the recording, the court hears a mysterious voice confirming
that Wilson is indeed telling the truth. Puzzled by that voice,
the judge asks the defense attorney who it is.
"That, your honour," the defense
attorney replies, "is the voice of the man to whom Senator
Durham owes his vindication. The voice of The Shadow!"