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I LOVE A MYSTERY -
THE ROXY GANGSTERS
1/16/39-2/3/39

ILAM BOOK 1 - STANFORD GREEN LIBRARY -
VOLUME 66
February 26, 1992

Synopsis created by
Richard Bauman
 
 
 

CAST

Jack Packard                                                                             Michael Raffetto
Doc Long                                                                                   Barton Yarborough
Reggie York                                                                              Walter Paterson
Mayor Gordon (mayor of Roxy)
Patricia Gordon (step-daughter of mayor)
Dolores Lopez (secretary of the mayor)
Billy Taylor (son of city attorney)
Various cops and gangsters
 
 

Episode 1  -  January 16, 1939        7 p.m.

On the foggy San Francisco waterfront, in a sleazy hotel, we find Jack Packard and Reggie York (Reginald Bertram if you please) waiting for Doc Long.

All three men are officially dead.  Five months ago in Macao, they planned to meet in the Gold Nugget Hotel in San Francisco in Room 715, at 7:15 p.m. on July 15th.  Reggie shows Jack a clipping from a Hong Kong paper that says the bodies of one British and two American soldiers of fortune were found with their papers.  The bodies were unrecognizable otherwise. The men had been serving with the Chinese Army at Canton.

Reggie expresses concern about the families of the three men on whom they had planted their papers.  Jack has no such scruples.  We find that they have been soldiering together for four years.  They wonder what is keeping Doc and talk about how crazy he can be.  Someone knocks at the door and they find it is the landlady.  She is convinced that they are criminals on the lamb and tries to shake them down.

Jack grabs her and they tie her up with a sheet and gag her.  They next hear the sound of the lock being picked and it is Doc. He spots the woman and of course is immediately interested.  He tells them that 'Frisco is no longer a safe place for them, but that he has a car in Oakland ready for their getaway.  He tells them that he was in a poker game and of course won big.  Two hombres pulled guns on him so he had to teach them some manners.  Now the cops are looking for him.  Apparently he dented the losers pretty badly.
They hear a siren approaching and conclude they are after Doc.  Doc kisses the bound woman and they flee the hotel over the roofs.
 

Episode 2  -  January 17, 1939        10 p.m.

The three adventurers have picked up the car in Oakland and are on their way toward Sacramento.

Jack, who is 37 years old is from Omaha, Nebraska. Reggie is 24 and is from Quebec.  Doc Corey Long, 30 is naturally from Texas, Dallas in  particular.  The car Doc has found for them is really a wreck.  That is not to surprising as he only paid $12.98 for it.

They are not too far along before one of the tires goes  flat.  They discover that they have no spare, so Doc says that he will fix it in the morning, as they have no idea exactly where they are.  Jack takes a look around, but there is not much to see in the dark.  They banter about their escape from 'Frisco and pool their resources.  Doc has $700, Reggie $7.50 and Jack $24.

Suddenly they hear someone coming along the road toward them.  In the dim light they make out a girl and then they see a man following her.  When they get near the boys the man pulls a gun and shoots at the girl!

Reggie attacks the man and knock him cold.  The girl, frightened by the gunfire, has fainted.  Doc gathers her up and brings her back to their car. They hear a car coming along the road and so they load the girl and the man, both unconscious, into their car.

The car pulls up and a tough bunch of men climb out.  The leader identifies himself as the Mayor of Roxy.  He orders his men to cover the boys.  Doc wants to clean up on them, but Jack is curious about what is going on.  The Mayor questions them about what they are doing there and unsatisfied with their answers, which are less than friendly, has them handcuffed.  His men search their car and they find the girl and the man.  With that they are taken off to jail.
 

Episode 3  -  January 18, 1939        9 a.m.

(Note: This is the only known available recorded episode of this adventure.)

Jack, Doc and Reggie are enjoying the hospitality of the Roxy jail.  While Reggie sleeps like a baby, Jack and Doc discuss their situation.  Jack is curious about Roxy but Doc just plain wants out of jail.

One of the cops arrives, handcuffs Jack and takes him to see the Mayor.  The Mayor interrogates Jack about the events of the previous night.  Jack tells their version of the shooting.  The  Mayor calls him a liar.  He tells Jack that the girl is Patricia Gordon, his daughter and that the man was Ben Sterling who was supposed to be guarding her.  Patricia had been at a road house, just up the road with a young man named Arthur Young.  Someone shot Arthur through a window, killing him and the girl fled.

Jack suggests they question Sterling and examine his gun.  The Mayor admits that he has put Sterling in jail and that the gun has disappeared from his desk.  It becomes clear that the Mayor really does not suspect the boys and would like Jack to act as his daughter's new bodyguard.

As the alternative appears to be staying in jail, Jack agrees.  However, Doc and Reggie will be kept in jail, in effect, as hostages.
 

Episode 4  -  January 19, 1939        7 p.m.

Doc and Reggie are still in jail and Jack has begun his duties as the bodyguard of Patricia Gordon.  We find the two at the waterfront, where Patricia wants to visit a houseboat. Jack goes aboard first and enters the cabin which is in darkness.  Someone slams the door behind him and locks him  in.  He is attacked by two men.

In the ensuing battle, Jack decks both of them.  When the fighting stops, the door opens and Phyllis asks, "Did you get him?"  Jack grabs her,  pulls her inside and gets a light on. Phyllis runs to one of the men, whom she calls Billy.  Jack demands an explanation as they try to revive the boy.

It seems Phyllis and Billy grew up together.  She explains that Gordon is not her father, he is her step-father.  She thought Jack was working for the Mayor and was really out to get her at his first opportunity.  Jack explains that he is working for himself.  Phyllis thinks that Arthur was shot by accident, instead of Billy who was supposed to be  with her the previous night.  Billy is the son of the Mayor's worst enemy, Remus Taylor, the City Attorney.  Both Taylor and Gordon have gangs imported from outside the town.

A gang war in a town of less than 5,000?  Jack asks why?  Phyllis doesn't know.  Jack convinces Phyllis that his only goal is to guard her.  She is very afraid of the Mayor.  Her mother is dead.  She doesn't know why the  Mayor, her stepfather, hates her so. Possibly he thinks she knows too much?

Jack decides that the best plan is to hide Phyllis out.  He gets the key to the Gordon house from her and leaves her on the houseboat with the still unconscious Billy Taylor for the time being.
 

Episode 5  -  January 20, 1939        11 p.m.

Doc and Reggie are in the jail discussing their situation.  Doc has direct orders from Jack not to escape, but he is having a hard time with it. Reggie is also ready for action.

Jack returns to the cell and fills them in. He explains that there are two factions and that Arthur Young was killed instead of Billy Taylor.  He also explains that many of the cops are actually hired gangsters and that Ben Sterling is in jail because he failed to kill Phyllis Gordon.  Jack says he is going to stay and fight for the girl.

Jack asks Doc if he can get in and out of the jail?  Is the Pope Catholic?  They fix their bunks to look like sleeping men and Doc has the door open in a flash.  Doc and Reggie go out and leave Jack there. Jack calls the guard while the two sneak out past him.  Jack gets the guard to let him out and Jack goes out to meet his comrades.  They set off to Mayor Gordon's house in the dark.
 

Episode 6  -  January 23, 1939        2 a.m.

Outside the Mayor's house, Jack explains that he thinks Gordon is planning to frame him for the murder of Phyllis.  He tells Doc and Reggie she is at the houseboat and that he would like to hide her in the jail.  What could be a safer place?  The second floor is empty.  First they will check out the Mayor's house and get some clothes for Phyllis.

They go in with the key and three shots ring out.  The Mayor and two of his men are there!  The shots miss the trio and they attack, knocking out all three on the dark porch.  They drag the bodies into the house and Jack and Doc go upstairs to Phyllis' room.  There they run into a Mexican girl with a gun, who orders them to put up their hands.  They have the wrong room.  Dolores Lopez is the Mayor's secretary.  She has already called the cops!

They jump her, tie and gag her.  Jack calls City Attorney Taylor and tells a tale about three gang members cornered at the Mayors.  They get moving.
 

Episode 7  -  January 24, 1939        3 a.m.

Reggie comes upstairs in the Gordon house to tell them that the place is surrounded.  Doc is busy picking through Phyllis' clothes.  They discuss tactics.

Jack calls out to the Chief of Police.  He threatens the Mayor if the cops wont pull back.  Doc wants to bring Dolores along so she can't squeal on them.  Jack says no way.  Taylor's mob is on the way.  They can hear sirens coming...

They head for the basement exit.  When they get there, Doc is missing!  They hear gun fire starting and in the confusion they escape out the back of the house.  Doc catches up with them and he is carrying Dolores.  Jack is really mad but there is nothing to be done now. He tells them to get back to the jail  pronto while he gets Phyllis.
 

Episode 8  -  January 25, 1939        8 a.m.

Doc and Reggie are back in their cell.  They talk about the nights activities.  Doc has locked Dolores in an unused room on the second floor of the jail.  Phyllis is also hiding there.

A rock comes through the window with a note attached from Jack.  He says the town is in an uproar and he will call on them if necessary.  A cop arrives to tell them that their murder arraignments will be laid over for two weeks.  He tells them there was a fight at the Mayors - 5 men were killed and 12 are in the hospital.  They are about the only ones who are not under suspicion.
 

Episode 9  -  January 26, 1939        9 a.m.

Jack is brought to see the Mayor.  Gordon demands to know what Jack has done with Phyllis.  Jack pretends ignorance.

The Mayor orders him to get out there and find her.  Jack explains his view of the gangs.  He asks why there was a big fight on the Mayor's lawn?  The Mayor blames it on Dolores
Lopez.  He is glad she is gone. The Mayor blames the Taylor mob for taking Phyllis.  He orders Jack to get her back from them.  Jack refuses.  The Mayor threatens Jack with jail again.  He wants Jack to get either Phyllis or Billy Taylor as a hostage.  Jack agrees to go after Billy.

Jack arrives at Taylor's and is greeted by Lena the housekeeper.  She calls Billy.  Jack tells him that they met at the boat and it was he who knocked him out.  Jack explains he is on their side and asks how Billy feels about Phyllis.  Billy admits they are in love although their fathers hate each other.

Jacks talks Billy into trusting him and acting as a hostage.  He takes Billy to his car, pretending to  cover him with a gun.  The housekeeper, Lena, screams for help.

Episode 10  -  January 27, 1939        9 p.m.

Jack has taken Billy Taylor to the Mayor who puts him in a jail cell. Doc sneaks out of his cell to get instructions from Jack.

Jack tells him about the jailing of Billy.  Remus Taylor has threatened the Mayor but the Mayor claims he is just returning the favor for the kidnapping of Phyllis. Jack wants to get Billy and Phyllis out of town.  He wants to give them their $700.

Doc has a little trouble with this, but he goes and gets Billy out of his cell.  They sneak across the street and hide.  Jack arrives and they take a back stairs to the second floor of the jail where Billy and Phyllis are reunited.  Doc teases Dolores.  Jack wants her outside, but they hear someone coming.
 

Episode 11  -  January 30, 1939        9 p.m.

Four men have entered the second floor of the jail.  Fortunately they have gone to another room and haven't found them.  Billy asks why Dolores is there?  Doc explains.  They try to make plans.  Jack tells them that he would like to get them out of town.

They hear the four men coming down the hall so they burst out and attack them.  All four are knocked cold so they drag them into the store  room.   Jack takes the kids and they sneak out of the jail.

Doc is supposed to get rid of Dolores.  He takes off her gag. She promises that she won't tell the Mayor.  They hear someone coming so Dolores grabs this opportunity to scream, "Help!  Kidnappers!"
 

Episode 12  -  January 31, 1939        10 p.m.

Dolores screams for help, but Doc has tricked her into tipping her hand. No one was coming!  Doc takes her out of the jail, planning to hide her in an empty store across the street.  Doc picks the lock and they move inside. A voice says, "Put up your hands!"

Two of the Mayor's thugs have found them!  They decide to kill Doc.  Dolores tries to argue with them. They make up their minds, but  Dolores jumps in the way so they will have to shoot both of them.  In the nick of time, Jack appears and says, "Drop
your guns, you are surrounded."

They take the thugs into the store and tie them up.  Jack has seen Phyllis and Billy on their way.  He sends Doc to get Reggie out of the jail.  Jack talks to and unties Dolores, trying to get her to tell him what is really going on in Roxy.  She says she will tell him if he will get her out of town.  She  starts to speak when suddenly there is a shot!
 

Episode 13  -  February 1, 1939        10 p.m.

Dolores has been shot to death to silence her!  Doc and Reggie arrive to join Jack.  Doc is really angry that they have killed her.

They take the body to the nearby hospital.  Jack goes in to check things out, while Doc and Reggie wait in the bushes.  Jack returns and they take Dolores in and give her to a nurse.  A doctor and a cop appear and the cop tries to arrest them for murder.  Doc decks him with one blow and threatens to do the
same to the doctor.

Jack explains what has happened to the doctor, while Doc says his good-byes to Dolores.

As they are leaving they run into the Mayor. They capture him and take him to his car and head for the houseboat.  The Mayor gets uncooperative so Doc knocks him out.
 

Episode 14  -  February 2, 1939        10 p.m.

At the houseboat the trio talks about the gang war and getting out of town now that the kids are safe.  They have found that there is a freighter leaving for San Pedro at 5 am and they want to be on it.

They douse the Mayor with buckets of water and with a few slaps, revive him.  Doc tells him they are going to send him to China.  Jack confronts the Mayor with his view of the gang  war.

The Mayor denies everything.  Jack then threatens him with a working over by Doc and Reggie.  The Mayor finally gives in and admits that the gang in the city changed from liquor to gun running because it was a very profitable business.  He said the six months ago he and Remus Taylor had had a falling out and each had formed his own  gang.

Suddenly federal agents break in and order all of them to put up their hands!
 

Episode 15  -  February 3, 1939        11 p.m.

The FBI has arrived.  They question Jack and arrest the Mayor and haul him out.  Apparently the FBI had a man in town gathering evidence to break the gun running gangs.  They realize that Jack, Doc and Reggie had no part in the gangs.

The head agent tells them they have everything covered and that they are free to go.  He asks them where they are going.  Jack tells him they plan to ship on "The Lady Mary."  The  agent implies that things are not right on that ship.  If they decide not to sail at 4 am, see him at the jail in the morning.

The boys discuss sailing under this vague threat. Reggie says that what he needs is a Tommy gun.  Since danger is their game, they decide to go for it!
 

Notes:

This is the first adventure.  The introduction used wind blowing and a tolling bell.  After the commercial there was a siren and then the clock striking the hour of the action.  The wind and bell were also used at the close.

It is fortunate that there is actually an available recording of one of these episodes.  It is episode three where Jack talks with the mayor.

There is also some confusion of names in this episode of the original script.  In it, the mayor is named Ellis and his daughter is referred to by him as Patricia Ellis.  Morse's wifes name was Patricia, possibly coincidentally.

Morse also slips at one point and provides a line for "Clifford" rather than Doc.  This was probably an easy mistake to make as Barton Yarborough played Clifford in "One Man's Family."