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The following program is produced and recorded in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. We present the American woman in fact in fiction from Colonial Times to the present day. A series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard and produced by Virginia Maynard and Charles Levy part two of a question of justice. Oh I've got my big. SCAR. Guess I better run back and get it. For the land sakes only do have to go two minutes ago. What do you think I am anyhow. Did you take time to comb my hair. Should be going at all really red already for mixing. Half the flour and sifted. Where is that scarf anyhow. Oh here it is. If he's scared to death the sheriff and his wife in that new county attorney will think I'm slow or something.
She's all right. Seems like a nice little thing. Not much like a sheriff's wife but if she don't look like a sheriff's wife he sure makes up for it looking like a sheriff. That's good enough. Well I made it out. I don't see how you ever get ready. Back there with my wife. You know Miss Peters don't you Miss Hale Peters last year. How are you Miss Peter. She's. Shaken all over. Scared as a rabbit and going out to the right place. She had to get some things she want another woman along. Why I don't know. Well all sighed all set is about this is a fine new rig you've got here. PETERS. Yes a new one. This here's Mr. Henderson and he's
our new county attorney. I do Mr. Henderson you do Mr.. Keep under the covers girls don't go. I know Mr. Hale as we was. How about this here. This looks like a cut and dried case to me an Anderson air. What do you think. Well I don't know. Seems kind of hard to think that it was right to do a thing like that sheriff Peters. She's such a little play a little bit a woman like Miss Wright. Take a rope. Nonsense Mr. Hale mark my words you'll find she did do it. All we need is some little clue as to the motive and then without that that the motive of your case looks pretty slim. Mr. and well I will admit that we have very little evidence to go on up to now. That's what I want to go over the place inch by inch if necessary. What I think that she is not very pleasant this time of year. Man it's always pleasant to be MS ride. Then it's my home. I've been here all my life. You must know Mr. Right. Ever since she was a girl Minnie Foster she was
then a pretty little thing. I didn't see her like I ought to have lately though. To tell you the truth I don't much like going over the place today after this has happened to our. Going into her house with her gone when I crossed her doorstep and land knows how long her off there sat in that jail. Seems like Snoop and her in such trouble. I could have been more of a neighbor to her with her place a close time and again I've thought I ought to go over and see Minnie Foster. I still think of her as many fosters. And there. Something always come up to do when she went out of my mind. There's a lot to do on a farm I know and I'm glad you came with me though Miss Hale. I hated to go in there by myself and I couldn't leave those men Gopalan through her things. No they don't and. This is the right place on it's own lonesome looking place this morning callers is alone from the complaining room it's going to
I'm going right in. That's the ticket Anderson. Walking right in. Oh that's true. Oh I get paid more to take care of it. Not much of a stove. Said he had a hard time with the dapper. Cologne and girls don't just stand there like a couple of school all the mom altogether moved on to the executor and the notifier ladies. Who have no party little woman you have there. Peters Well you know how the girls feel Henderson a little shy of coming into MS Wright's kitchen like this Tate neighborly whether or not you must realize that a murder has been committed ladies and this is official business. Not very nice work for ladies I'll admit. Well Sheriff Peters let's not waste any time. Let's proceed with the investigation. Have a chair ladies. No thank you. Well Mr. Hale before we start to move things about starts to place. Suppose you tell a county attorney
just what it was you saw when you come out here yesterday morning. Well by the way Sheriff Peters has anything been moved. I think it's just as you left them yesterday. It's just to say somebody should have been left here yesterday or yesterday. Let me tell you I had my hands full yesterday when I had to send Frank to Morris Center for that man who went crazy. And anyhow I knew you'd get back from Omaha today Anderson. And as long as I went over everything here myself Oh Mr. Hale just what did happen when you came here yesterday morning. Well no. Let me recollect. He'll care. Tell him to please Mrs. Hale I'm sure your husband can speak for himself. Proceed Mr. Hale. Well Harry and I had started to town with a load of potatoes. Harry's my oldest boy why isn't he here with us he's an important witness. Are you here with us because he's taken those potatoes to town we started with yesterday when we ran on a little will continue Mr. HILL. Well we come along this road and as we got in sight of the house I says to
Harry I'm going to see if I can't get John Wright to take a telephone. You see unless I can get somebody to go in with me they won't come out this branch road except for a price I can't pay. I spoke to write about it once before but he put me off saying folks talked too much anyway and all he asked was peace and quiet. I guess you know about how much he talked himself. But I thought maybe if I went to the house and talked about it before his wife and said all the women folks liked the telephones and that in this lonesome stretch of road it would be a good thing. Although I said to Harry I didn't know as what his wife wanted made much difference to just talk about that a little later Mr Hero. I'm anxious to know how to get along to just what happened when you got here. Well a knock at the door it was all quiet inside. I knew they must be up so I knocked again louder than I thought I heard somebody say come in. I wasn't sure but I opened the door and there in that rocker sat Ms Wright. How did she look. Well she
she looked queer. How do you mean queer. I mean you're right Norma is downstairs. I thought it might take a few notes while this was fresh in your mind. Does that bother you Mr. Hu. Well and might make a difference how I put thing. Please continue Mr. Hale. This is Wright looked queerer you said. Well as if she didn't know what she was going to do next. I'm kind of done up. How did she seem to feel about your coming. Well I don't think she minded one way or another. She didn't pay much attention. I said How do Mr. Wright it's cold ain't it. And she said is it. Well I was surprised she didn't ask me to come up to the store were to sit down and just sit there not even looking at me. And so I said I want to see John. And then she laughed. I thought of Harry and the team outside so I said little shock when I see John. No says she kind of dull like Andy Holmes is on. Yes a she's home. And why can't I see him. I asked her out of patience with her now cause he's dead says she just as quiet dull and fell a pleated in
her apron. Dad says I like you do when you can't take in what you've heard. She just nodded her head nods. Getting a bit excited but rockin back and forth. Why where is he says I not knowing what to say. She just pointed up stairs. I got up with the idea of going up there myself. I walked from there to here. And I says. What did die. He died of a rope around his neck says she. Just went on pleading in her apron. And what did you do then. I went out and called Harry. I thought I might need help. I got Harry N. and we went up stairs. And there he was Liam. I don't think I'd rather have to go into that upstairs Mr Hill where you can point it all out. Just go on with the rest of the story. Well my first thought was to get that rope off. It looked but Harry went up to him and he says no he's dead all right and we better not touch anything. So we
went downstairs. She was still sitting that same way. As anybody been notified I asked. No says she unconcerned. Who did this Ms Wright said Harry he said it businesslike and she stopped bleeding in her apron. I don't know she said. You don't know Mrs. Harry or just sleep in the bed with them. Yes says she. But I was on the inside. Somebody slipped a rope around his neck and strangled him and you didn't wake up says Harry. I didn't wake up she said. We may have looked as if we didn't see how that could be for after a minute she says. I sleeps on air is going to ask her more questions but I said maybe that weren't our business. Maybe write a letter tell our story first of the corner of the sheriff so Harry went fast he could over to high road where there was a telephone going what did you do when you knew you had gone for the coroner. She moved from that chair to this one over here just sat their hands held together. I got a feeling that oughta make some conversation so I said
I'd come to see if John wanted to put in a telephone. And at that she started to laugh and then she she just stopped and looked at me. Scared scared. I don't know maybe I wasn't scared. Mr. Henderson. I would like for you to write that down but soon Harry got back and then Dr. Lloyd came and you share Peter's. So I guess that's all I know that you don't. Well that's their. Guess we'll go upstairs first then out to the barn and. Here is the door to the stairs for us to head to circumvent. There was nothing important here sure nothing that would point to any motive. Nothing here but kitchen things. And I reckon kids should think it's a very important cupboard. Something might be hidden on one of those high shelves and he would look up there. Well no I don't know as the day I think I'll take a look at me that show Sheriff Peters if you please. Thank you. Well here's a
nice mess o her through. She worried about that when it turns a cold last night. She said the fire would go out and her jars might be hers. Bro just. As you gave you held for murder and worryin of honor preserved just before we're through with her she may have something more serious than preserves to we're all well women are used to worrying over trifles. And yet for all their worries what would we do without the ladies bless them. Well looks like I'd better wash up. Would one of you ladies buy me a towel please. There's a roller towel right there. Oh yes. Dirty towels. Not much of a housekeeper would you say ladies. There's a great deal of work to be done on a farm Mr. Henderson to be sure. I know there are some Dickson County farmhouses that don't have such roller towels. Just look at that those towels get dirty awful quick. Mans hands aren't always as clean as they might be loyal to your sex.
But you and Mrs. Wright were neighbors. I suppose you were friends too. No I can't say as we were. I've seen little enough of her unlike you. Why was that he didn't like her I liked her well enough. Farmers wives have their hands full Mr. Henderson. And then yes. Never seemed a very cheerful place. No I don't think anyone would call it cheerful. I shouldn't say she had the homemaking instinct. Well I don't know as Wright had either. You mean they didn't get on very well. No I don't mean anything. But I don't think a place would be any of the cheerfuller for John Wright's be and I'd like to talk to you about that a little later Mrs Hale. I'm anxious to get the lay of things up stairs no. Let's go sure. Mr. Hiro by the way I understand yes I suppose anything Mrs. Peters or my wife does will be all right. She was to take in some clothes for you know when we left and such already yesterday. Yes Mrs. Peters. Of course Mrs. Peters is one of us. But keep your eyes open Mrs. Peters for anything that might be of use. No
telling you ladies might come upon a clue to a motive and that's the thing we need. But what the women know a clue if they did come out of all the hard. How did I. Would you know a clue. We did come upon it. Sometimes Ms Peters men can be so nasty that I don't know. Well they're gone for a spell. I'd hate to have men coming into my kitchen snooping round criticizing. Of course it's no more than their duty and duty is all right but I guess that devotees share of the come up to make the fire might have put a little of this dirt on the towel. I wish I'd have thought of that sooner. Seems mean to talk about it for not having things slicked up when she had to come away in such a hurry. I expect I better be getting those clothes she asked for out of the front closet. You stand in here where it's warmest. You know there's only a few things she asked for. You won't find many things to look through or any nice ones either. Many used to wear pretty things and be lively when she's one of the town girls singing in the choir. But that was
20 years ago. You go ahead Miss Peters. I don't want to go through a closet. All right. I can find them. She don't care how much difference it makes to her whether Minnie Foster had pretty clothes when she was a girl that I don't know. I'm not so sure about her. For all our timid little ways sometimes she looks as if she could see a long way into things. But this kitchen is a sight worse than mine looks like many got interrupted while she was doing something just like I did today. But what interrupted her. They said she was sitting in that rocker. Don't seem to think I'll get up on that chair and see her fruits all gone worryin over trifles they call it. Well I guess they'd think it was a trifle they didn't have any preserves all winter. Here's one that's all broke. Jerry's too. I remember the afternoon I put my cherries up last summer.
Oh ma it's like I see and I owe some of our fruits All right. And I declare I believe this is the only one with Oh what a shame she'll feel bad after all her hard work last summer. Do you have any trouble finding anything. Not a bit. I reckon that's about all there was. Just look at that skirt. How many times it's been right was close. I think maybe that's why she kept so much to herself not having anything to wear. These all used to take in. She said she wanted the apron. Funny thing the why. There's not much to get you dirty in a jail goodness knows but I suppose just to make a feel more natural. She said they were in the bottom drawer of the cupboard. Yeah. Well yes here they are. And then her little show that always hung on the stand though. Here it is. Ms Peters. Yes Miss Hale do you think she did it. Oh I don't know. Well I don't think she did. Asking for an apron or a little grace and worrying about her
fruit. Well Sheriff Pete is my husband is says it looks bad for. And Mr. Henderson is awful soft cast taken a speech and he's going to make fun of us a and she well she didn't wake up and I guess John Wright didn't wake up when they were slipping that rope under his neck. You know it's strange I think. It was such a funny way to kill a man. That's just what Mr. Hale said. There was a gun in the house. He says that's what he can't understand. Mr. Henderson said coming out that what was needed for the case was a motive something to show anger or sudden feeling. Well I don't see any signs of anger around here. I look at that table one half white clean in the other half missy. I wonder wonder are the findings up stairs. Hope she had a little more lead up there. You know it does seem kind of sneaking locking her up in town coming out here to get her own house to turn against her. Mrs. Hale the law is the law. I suppose it is. Well this fire's not much to brag oh I better put it up a
little or be out. The law is the law as feeders and a bad stove is a bad story. How do you like to cook on this. Just look at that broken line. And this. What it would mean the year after year to have this stove to deal with I suppose a person gets discouraged and loses heart. You better take off your coat Mr. Peters and put it over there by mine. You will feel the cold so bad when you go out. I think I will. Why look here she was peace and quiet to where its log cabin pattern. This is how they go together. Pretty ain't it. Do you suppose she was going to quit or just not tell you the time that well wherever I am looking for evidence that I think are on there down here we want to turn over our behind which they wonder whether she was going to quilt it or just not it would have been one already. Well ma'am we mustn't waste time in here. Oh it's pleasant here nice company with the ladies. Let's go out to the barn and get that cleared up.
I don't see if there's anything so queer and us taking up our time with little things while we're waiting for them. I don't see as it's a thing to laugh about of course they've got awful important things on their minds this is a fine even state she's got nerve blocks. She's always been good at sewing many yeahs. When I look at this blob what's wrong with it. But this way and all the rest of them have been so nice and even but for this one. Why it looks she looks like shit. Even though what she was about yesterday not so good. That's a fact. Here give it to me a minute. Oh oh what do you do Miss A. Just pullin out a stitch or two that's not sewed to good ole miss. I don't think we ought to touch thing I'll just finish up this and if you think I might say Oh yes Miss Peters What do you suppose she was so nervous about. Oh I don't know I don't know she was nervous. I so awful queer sometimes and I'm just tired.
Well I must get these clothes wrapped. I wonder where I can find a piece of paper a string in that cupboard maybe. Well here's a kid did you have a birthday. I don't know whether she did or not. There's a man round last year selling canaries cheap but I don't know she took one. Maybe she did. She used to sing real pretty or so seems kind of funny to think of a bird here but she musta had one a why would she have a cage. I wonder what happened to Lee. Although I suppose maybe the cat got it. No she didn't have a cat. She's got that feel and some people have about cats being afraid of them. When they brought it to our house yesterday my cat got in the room and she was really a lot upset and asked me to take it out. My sister Bessie was like that knock at the door on this cage it's broke. One hand has been pulled all apart looks as if someone musta been rough with it. Well they're going to find any evidence I was they'd be about it. I don't like
this place. I'm awful glad you came with me Ms Hale. It would be lonesome for me all alone. Yes it would wouldn't it. But I'll tell you what I wish Miss Peters. I wish I'd come over sometimes when she was here. I wish I had. But of course you were awful busy Miss Haye your house and your children I could have come. I stayed home because there weren't cheerful and that's why I ought to have come. I've never liked this place. Maybe because it's down the hall and you don't see the road. I don't know what it is but it's a lonesome place and always was. I can see you now you mustn't reproach yourself. Somehow we we just don't see how how it is with other folks till well something comes up. Not having children makes less work but it makes a quiet house right out to work all day and no company when he did come in. Did you know John Wright Miss Peters. Not to know when I've seen him in town. They say he was a good man. Yes. Good. He didn't drink. Kept his
word as well as most I guess and paid his debts. But he was a hard man Miss Peters just to pass the time of day with him like a raw wind that cuts to the bone. I should think she would have wanted a bird. What do you suppose went wrong. I don't know. Unless it got sick and that you didn't know her. Not till they brought her yesterday. She come to think of it she was kind of like a bird herself real sweet and pretty kind of teammate and flattery. She did tell you what Ms Peters why did you take the grill in which you might make up her mind. I think that's a real nice idea Mrs. Hale. They couldn't possibly be any objection to that now could they. Now now just what will I take. Exposure patches are all here in the basket. Macartney things. Here's the bridge now and here's a little box maybe your scissors are in here. What a pretty little box I'll warrant that was something she had a long time ago when she was a girl. I wonder how it opens. Oh yes.
Why what on. Oh you. Oh what an awful smell. What is it Miss Haye. There's something wrapped up in this piece of the house and has since has unwrapped. Missed Pieter's it's it's the book. But Miss Peters look at its neck look at its neck but all of this I do. Oh somebody. Oh. What about. Well it isn't decided whether she is going to prove it or not it will help. Well we think she was going to knot it Mr. Henderson. Well that's very interesting I'm sure. Oh OK has the bird flown. We think the cat got it. There's now a cat. Well not now that they're superstitious you know that they leak no sign at all of anyone coming in from the outside their own rope. Now let's go upstairs and go over it piece by piece. We'll be back very shortly ladies. It would have to be somebody who knew just the right time. She liked the bird. She was going to bury it in a pretty box.
When I was a girl my kitten there was a boy. He took a hatchet and before my eyes before I could get there. Well if they hadn't held me back I would have hurt him. Right. Wouldn't like a bird. The thing that saying she used to sing he killed that too. Of course we don't know who killed the bird. I knew John Wright was an awful thing that was. Down in this house that night Ms Hale killing a man while he slept slipping a thing around his neck that that choked the life had been his neck choke the life out of him just like he did the bird. We don't know who killed him we don't know if there'd been use in years of nothing. Then a bird to sing you would be awful. Do you after the birds do what's telling us he's When We homesteaded in Dakota and that first
baby died. He was two and me with no other than I know what stillness is. But the law has got to punish crime Miss Hale. I wish you'd seen many foster when she wore a white dress with blue ribbons and stood up there in the choir and saying oh I wish I'd come over here once in a while. That was a crime. Who's going to punish slash we mustn't take on they have hear us. I might have known she needed help. I tell you it's queer Ms Peters. We live close together and we live far apart. We all go through the same thing. It's all just a different kind of the same thing. If it wasn't why do you and I understand. Why do we know what we know this minute. Don't tell her you've gone Miss Peters tell her tain't. Tell her it's all right. All of it. Take this one to prove it to her. She she may never know whether was gone or not.
It's a good thing the men couldn't hear us getting all stirred up over a little thing like you. Like a dead canary. As if that could have anything to do with with. OH MY wouldn't they love whomever they would never they wouldn't know it is it's all perfectly clear except the reason for doing it. And you know juries when it comes to women. If there were some definite things something to show something to make a story about a thing that would connect up with this way of doing it. I've got the team around now but oh they're. Here I don't. Know. I think I'll stay here awhile by myself sure. You can send Frank out for me later can't you. I want to go over everything again. I'm not satisfied we can't do better. Well if that's what you want. Do you want to look over what Mrs. Peters was going to take in. I mustn't neglect that. They might have some very important evidence.
Let me see. Apron. Blocks. Well Sheriff to tell you the truth it doesn't look like they've picked out any very dangerous things. No I don't think Mrs. Peters needs supervising. For that matter a sheriff's wife is married to the low. Ever think of it that way Mrs. Peters. Just. Married to the hello. That's a good one. Well if you're going to stay that Manderson Yes I think I'll go in the front room and look around. You boys go along. And offer me about five o'clock sheriff Well OK I'm. Ready. Just a minute your peers. What are you going to do. I don't know what channel it's up to you. If we leave it here with our county attorney snooping around it's all up. Many foster but conceded evidence is it's made a difference. They said we would no proof we did come upon it. Give it to me I'll put it in my purse.
It's too big that way take the burden. Oh. And it's Mr. Henderson's comment. Put it in your pocket Mrs. Hale Horry. Well if you're taking the quilt alone. At least you found out that she wasn't going to quilt it she was going to. What is it you call it. We call it not you Mr. Henderson. I'm sorry you can't stay around and help me discover some more important clue. We're sorry to Mr. Henderson you where common. That was part 12 of the American woman in fact in fiction from Colonial Times to the present day. A series of 13 programs written and directed by Virginia Maynard. A question of justice was based on a short story. A jury of her peers by Susan Glasser. The cast included Charles Levy Angela Goldsby Virginia Maynard and William
Matheson engineering was by David L. Talcott the American woman in fact and fiction was produced and recorded in the studios of KPFA Berkeley California under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center and is being distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the any radio network.
The American woman in fact and fiction
Episode Number
Episode 12 of 13
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KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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This series, written and directed by Virginia Maynard, dramatizes various stories of women from colonial times to the Twentieth century.
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Director: Maynard, Virginia
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Writer: Maynard, Virginia
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-19-12 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:29:30
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APA: The American woman in fact and fiction; Episode 12 of 13. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from