Radio Script: The Board of Missing Heirs, September 23, 1941
RUTHRAUFF & RYAN Inc. ADVERTISING
RADIO DIVISION
CLIENT: IRONIZED YEAST COMPANY
PROGRAM: BOARD OF MISSING HEIRS
BROADCAST: #93
NETWORK: CBS
8:00--8:30
11:30-12:00
1 ANNR: ARE YOU A MISSING HEIR?
2 (MUSIC)
3 ANNR: For the ninety-third consecutive week, the makers of
4 Ironized Yeast present radio's great public service...
5 The Board of Missing Heirs. Tonight we again present
6 actual true to life stories of people who have left
7 large fortunes which are still unclaimed. Maybe you
8 are a missing heir, maybe you can claim one of these
9 estates. So listen carefully. And now, here is our
10 conductor...George B. Marshall...
11 MC: Thank you, good evening, ladies and gentlemen. As you
12 know, this great public service, the search for missing
13 heirs, is made possible by the makers of Ironized Yeast.
14 Thus far, we have located heirs to estates worth more
15 than five hundred and seventy thousand dollars. Think
16 of it...over a half a million dollars. Tonight you'll
17 hear the story of ____________________________________
18 ______________________________________________________
19 _____________....There are more actual life
20 life stories, too, and now we are ready for our first
21 case.
FORBES
-1-
1 M.C.: Thank you, Don Hancock, for your sensible advice.
2 And now, ladies and gentlemen -- to our next case.
3 FACTS: It's the case of the estate being held for Wallace
4 Wellington Forbes, spelled F-O-R-B-E-S, who was born in
5 Galesburg, Illinois, on September 25, 1878, and who now
6 stands heir to an estate valued at seventeen thousand,
7 seven hundred and fifty dollars.
8 M.C.: (MUSIC SIMULTANEOUS) Ladies and gentlemen, we have been
9 on the air now every Tuesday night for nearly two years.
10 We have told true stories of people -- sad stories,
11 some of them; some comical, perhaps as life is comical;
12 some tragic or exciting. But never have we had a story
13 so packed with the stuff of human terror and human
14 bravery, as is the story of Wallace Wellington Forbes.
15 Wallace Forbes is one of his country's great heroes.
16 Tonight we are searching for this man, to turn over to
17 him the seventeen thousand, seven hundred and fifty
18 dollars that is due him by special grant of the Congress
19 of the United States. We implore you to listen, ladies
20 and gentlemen, in the hopes that maybe one of you will
21 be able to help us find Wallace Forbes, a brave man --
22 an American hero.
23 (MUSIC)
24 VOICE: What is it that makes a hero? His family? His
25 birthplace?
26 FACTS: There was nothing extraordinary in Wallace Forbes's
27 family or background. He was born in a quiet midwestern
28 town, Galesburg, Illinois, the only son of James
29 Wellington Forbes and Mary Alice Forbes.
FORBES
-2-
1 VOICE: What about his dreams? What fed his imagination?
2 FACTS: He read the dime-novels, the adventures of Nick Carter;
3 he read of Robinson Crusoe, shipwrecked on a desert
4 island; and in his dreams he floated down the
5 Mississippi on a raft, with Tom Sawyer. His dreams
6 were the same as those of the other boys of his day.
7 (SOME SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR MUSIC: FAST SNEAK)
8 VOICE: Maybe there was something that was happening in the
9 world, that fired him to heroism...
10 (MUSIC UP AND DOWN)
11 (OUT OF MUSIC: BIG EXPLOSION. AS IT DIES AWAY:
12 REGISTER TICKER DOT-DASH)
13 VOICE OF TICKER: (DOT-DASH UNDER) Havana, Cuba -- February 15 --
14 1898. The U.S. Battleship Maine was sunk by a mysterious
15 explosion in the harbour of this city early this morning.
16 It is believed that at least two hundred lives were lost,
17 (MUSIC QUICK SWELL)
18 and that death toll may reach as high as three hundred..
19 (MUSIC UP AND DOWN)
20 (OUT OF MUSIC: RUNNING STEPS ON TO MIKE: SCREEN DOOR
21 SLAM OPEN AND SHUT)
WALLACE: (COMING ON: HE'S 20 YEARS OLD) Hey, Dad! Dad! Look
23 here --
24 MOTHER: Wallace Forbes, I do believe you'll rip that screen door
25 right off, one of these days --
26 FATHER: What is it, Wally?
27 WALLACE: Look -- the headlines --
FORBES
-3-
1 (PAPER RUSTLE)
2 FATHER (PAUSE) So. He's declared war --
3 MOTHER: Hmp. Way things have been going, would have been a
4 scandal if he hadn't --
5 WALLACE: We're at war.
6 FATHER: Well, maybe now the Spaniard will learn a lesson.
7 MOTHER: Yes. Wallace -- go up and wash. We're ready for
8 supper --
9 WALLACE: Gee -- I can't eat, mom. I'm too excited --
10 FATHER: What? (PAUSE) See here, young man -- you don't think
11 this war means anything to you personally, now do you?
12 WALLACE: See what it says in that box there on the front page?
13 They've issued a call for young men to volunteer --
14 (PAUSE)
15 Well? I'm a young man, aren't I?
16 MOTHER: You better talk to him, Jim.
17 FATHER: You know, I don't think it'll do much good for either
18 of us to talk to him, Mary. If I know that expression,
19 he's joined up already --
20 (MUSIC)
FORBES
-4-
1 FACTS: And so the United States Army sailed for Cuba. And the
2 United States Navy steamed for the Philippines. And
3 there was Dewey at Manila Bay, and battles at Santiago
4 de Cuba, and San Juan Hill. A short war--less than
5 four months it lasted. And after the armistice, young
6 Americans were still being held at camps in Cuba...
7 but they weren't sure why...
8 (AS THIS IS AN IMPRESSIONIST SCENE, IT MIGHT BE TRICKED
9 UP WITH MUSIC B.G.)
10 ONE: Why they keeping us here?
11 TWO: Why'nt they send us home?
12 THREE: I could use a little old Indiana dirt under my feet
13 again ---
14 ONE: Maybe you think I wouldn't like to see St. Loo.
15 TWO: And here we set. Drill and clean. Clean and drill.
16 (MUSIC QUICK IN & DOWN)
17 THREE: I hear ---
18 ONE: I heard a rumor---
19 TWO: A guy was telling me ---
20 THREE: Epidemic! There's an epidemic of yellow-fever---
21 ONE: Yellow jack!
22 TWO: They don't dare send us home, fear we'll take it with us--
23 THREE: But what're they doing about it?
24 ONE: They sent a doc down here---an army doc--Major Walter
25 Reed ----
26 (MUSIC UP & DOWN)
FORBES
-5-
1 REED: Well, gentlemen--three months we've spent trying to
2 isolate that yellow-fever virus --- three months.
3 CARROLL: And not a sign. Reed---if it's all the same with you---
4 I'm for packing up and getting back to the States.
5 I'm for scientific investigation--all that---but I like
6 what I can see.
7 REED: Admit we're licked? How about it, Agramonte?
8 AGRAMONTE: (ACCENT) I am a Cuban, Dr. Reed. In any case, I would
9 stay here---
10 REED: Of course. Well, Lazear?
11 LAZEAR: There's what that Scot fellow suggested, Reed. You
12 know--Dr. Finlay---
13 CARROLL: (OVER) Finlay? He's a crank.
14 REED: What was it, Lazear?
15 LAZEAR: That whether or not the virus could be isolated, at
16 least we should be sure of what carries the virus. The
17 mosquito.
18 CARROLL: Guesswork. It's guesswork. He has no proof---no proof
19 whatsoever that it's the mosquito that carries
20 yellowjack from one man to another---
21 AGRAMONTE: (SOFT) It is very difficult to get such proof,
22 Dr. Carroll.
23 REED: What do you mean, Agramonte?
24 AGRAMONTE: We know of no animal except man that is susceptible to
25 yellow-fever, Dr. Reed. Not guinea pigs, nor mice, nor
26 even monkeys. To test this theory, to put it to proof,
27 we would have to experiment on man himself.
FORBES
-6-
1 CARROLL: Exactly. The scheme is impossible.
2 REED: Not---impossible.
3 LAZEAR: (EXCITED) No! Not impossible! Get the mosquitoes---
4 feed 'em on sick men, have 'em bite healthy men!
5 CARROLL: We can't! (AGHAST) We can't do that!
6 REED: What do we lose, Carroll? If it doesn't work, a man
7 is bitten by a mosquito. No more. If it does---he
8 will be under treatment. He has a chance of living---
9 CARROLL: One chance in ten---
10 REED: He's one dead for proof, Carroll. It is for humanity.
11 AGRAMONTE: Remember, gentlemen---remember what the papers, what
12 your American public will say, if you start using
13 their soldiers as human guinea pigs --
14 CARROLL: I don't like it myself---
15 REED: We don't need the soldiers, gentlemen. We shall start
16 on ourselves.
17 (MUSIC)
18 (THIS IS ANOTHER IMPRESSIONIST SCENE. TRICK UP WITH
19 B.G. MUSIC AGAIN)
20 ONE: What are they doing?
21 TWO: Why don't those doctors hurry up?
22 THREE: More guys died last night--more are sick today---
FORBES
-7-
1 ONE: And here we sit -- and drill and clean --
2 TWO: -- while they play around with mosquitoes --
3 THREE: Mosquitoes?
4 TWO: Yeah -- those docs. They got hundreds of mosquitoes up
5 there in the lab --
6 ONE: I seen 'em. Looks like a flea circus --
7 TWO: Did you ever see a flea circus?
8 (MUSIC SWELL UP)
9 THREE: I want to go home --
10 (MUSIC QUICK IN & DOWN) (BACK NEXT QUICK SCENE WITH
11 LOVE MUSIC)
12 GIRL: (CUBAN ACCENT) So, Wally. You know nothing yet?
13 WALLACE: Golly, Rosita. I wish I did. But there's no news
14 yet. I'm still in the army. No sign of they're
15 letting us go --
16 GIRL: Why do they delay?
17 WALLACE: It's this yellowjack epidemic, honey. But don't
18 worry. They'll get it licked somehow -- and then
19 you'll be Mrs. Wallace Forbes. Eh?
20 GIRL: That will be when I am happy, Wally --
21 (MUSIC UP & DOWN)
22 REED: Well, gentlemen, let us take stock. We agreed
23 that we are right?
24 (AD LIB MURMURS)
25 That it is the stegomyia mosquito that's carrying
26 yellow-fever?
27 CARROLL: Lazear is dead. There is part proof.
FORBES
-8-
1 REED: Agramonte?
2 AGRAMONTE: Dr. Reed -- we have two cases of men bitten who
3 recovered. One case, dead.
4 REED: Do you feel it is proof?
5 AGRAMONTE: That is the trouble.
6 REED: You're right.
7 AGRAMONTE: It has not been thorough. We cannot be sure that
8 these men were not infected some other way. Each
9 of them was exposed --
10 REED: We need a thorough test. We have tried ourselves
11 -- all of us have been exposed.
12 CARROLL: The soldiers?
13 REED: I'm going to General Wood. I'm going to ask money and
14 full backing. We've got enough for him to go on --
15 (MUSIC SNEAK)
16 now we need his cooperation --
17 (MUSIC UP & DOWN)
18 (UNDER THESE VOICES: MUSIC AGITATO)
19 ONE: Hey, did you hear?
20 TWO: About the mosquitoes?
21 THREE: Yeah --
22 TWO: What?
23 ONE: They want guys to volunteer to be bitten --
24 THREE: To get yellow-fever--
24A ONE: Are they crazy?
25 TWO: Out of their heads?
26 THREE: What's a guy want yellow-fever for?
27 TWO: It's for science --
FORBES
-9-
1 ONE: For humanity --
2 THREE: Nuts! It's for three hundred bucks --
3 ONE: What do you mean?
4 THREE: They're offering three hundred bucks to any guy who'll
5 get the fever --
6 ONE: (SCORNFUL LAUGH) What's he spend it on?
7 TWO: A new set of angel's wings?
8 THREE: They need volunteers --
9 TWO: Not me --
10 ONE: One chance in ten? Not me!
11 THREE: Get yellowjack? Not me!
12 (MUSIC UP & OUT)
13 (KNOCKS ON DOOR)
14 REED: Come in --
15 (DOOR OPEN)
16
17 WALLACE: Major Reed?
18 REED: Yes --
19 WALLACE: I'm Private Forbes, sir. Wallace W. Come to volunteer.
FORBES
-10-
1 REED: Volunteer? For what?
2 WALLACE: For this yellow-jack experiment, sir.
3 REED: (PAUSE) Oh. (PAUSE) You know, uh, you know what kind
4 of chances you're taking?
5 WALLACE: Yes, sir.
6 REED: Never had it before?
7 WALLACE: No, sir.
8 REED: Any exposure to it that you know of?
9 WALLACE: No more'n anybody else, sir.
10 REED: Forbes, if we select you, you'll go into solitary
11 confinement for two weeks, then be bitten by a mosquito
12 carrying the virus of yellow fever. Understand?
13 WALLACE: Yes, sir.
14 REED: You'll be a very sick man. Of course, we'll do all we
15 can for you, once you've been taken ill..
If
you're
16 taken ill.
17 WALLACE: Yes, sir.
18 REED: But, Forbes..
19 WALLACE: Yes, sir?
20 REED: All our care. It may do no good. I want you to be sure
21 you understand that.
22 FORBES: I do, sir.
23 REED: And when you recover..if you recover..there's the
24 three hundred dollars that General Wood has offered.
25 FORBES: Oh...Major Reed..
26 REED: Yes?
27 FORBES: There's only just the one condition I'm doing this on,
28 sir...
FORBES
-11-
1 REED: What's that?
2 FORBES: That I get no compensation for it, sir. I...I figure
3 it's..it's like you said, sir. For the cause of
4 humanity.
5 REED: (PAUSE) Private Forbes, I salute you.
6 (MUSIC)
7 FACTS: Wallace Wellington Forbes, private, United States Army
8 was one of six who volunteered their lives for science,
9 their country, and humanity. One of six of the bravest
10 men who ever lived. One of six men who were taken to
11 Camp Lazear, placed in isolation for two weeks, then
12 bitten with the poison-carrying mosquito..
13 (MUSIC IN AND HOLD UNDER...)
14 And four days after the fatal bite..
15 REED: (LOW AND TENSE) Temperature?
16 NURSE: One hundred and two and four-tenths, doctor..
17 REED: Pulse?
18 NURSE: One hundred and twelve.
19 REED: Eyes injected. Face diffused.
20 AGRAMONTE: Really it is a beautiful case, Dr. Reed..
21 REED: A beautiful case. Jaundiced already.
22 AGRAMONTE: We have won, doctor. We
ha e
proven our case.
23 REED:
Yes, I pray
God that the cost is not too high. Three men already...
24 (MUSIC SWIRL UP FOR JUST A SEC AND THEN DOWN)
25 WALLACE: The sun..the hot sun..and I can see the shade..elms..
26 and the sound of the lawnmowers, along, under the elms.
27 AGRAMONTE: What is this?
FORBES
-12-
1 REED: His home, I should think. Delirium. Get the syringe,
2 nurse. We'll give him..
3 (MUSIC SWELL UP)
4 another injection now, and a fourth at six o'clock..
5 (MUSIC UP AND DOWN)
6 FACTS: In all, eight men died, in the army camp near Havana,
7 that Dr. Walter Reed might prove that it was the
8 mosquito that carried yellow fever to man, and not
9 contagion, proximity to somebody sick. Eight men dead,
10 that yellow fever might be stamped out, that the Panama
11 Canal might be built, that science and progress might
12 once more triumph over nature. Eight men. But Wallace
13 Forbes lived.
14 (MUSIC)
FORBES
-13-
1 WALLACE: Rosita --
2 ROSITA: Wally, my most loved---(ALMOST A SOB OF RELIEF)
3 WALLACE: Here! Hey! Look at me---you're crying---
4 ROSITA: (THROUGH SOB) It is for happiness, Wally. I was so
5 worried --
6 WALLACE: I'm okay---I'm okay. Come on, cheer up---I'm here,
7 aren't I?
8 ROSITA: Yes, Wally, you are here. And now we are together
9 again. And now we are to be married, is it not?
10 WALLACE: You bet it is, honey.
11 (MUSIC SNEAK)
12 You bet it is---just as soon as we can --
13 (MUSIC UP & DOWN)
14 FACTS: Wallace Forbes, married by the army chaplain, lived on
15 in Cuba, after his honorable discharge from the army.
16 He would have stayed there the rest of his life, but his
17 wife and their child both died, within a tragically
18 short time after their marriage. So Wallace Forbes
19 went back to the States, to Minneapolis, where his
20 family was living. But running a cigar store in the
21 Vendome Hotel was a tame life for a man who had fought
22 in one war and spent six years in the tropics. So in
23 1916....
24 WALLACE: I'm leaving, mother---
25 MOTHER: Now what, Wallace?
FORBES
-14-
1 WALLACE: Been talking to the officers down at the recruiting
2 post. I can get to join Black John Pershing in
3 Mexico, if I hurry --
4 MOTHER: Oh, Wallace! The army again?
5 WALLACE: It's a good life for me, mom. Don't worry. They can't
6 kill me. I'll be back in the springtime,
7 (MUSIC SNEAK)
8 with a good tan from that Mexican sun ---
9 (MUSIC UP & DOWN)
10 FACTS: Wallace Forbes wrote his mother, he even visited her in
11 Thanksgiving of 1919. He was in the Army to stay. His
12 last letter, sent from an army post in Texas....
13 WALLACE: (READING) I'm being sent to duty in the Philippines,
14 mother. After Cuba, twenty years ago, this won't be
15 anything. Remind me to send you some presents when I
16 get there, and give my best regards to everybody at
17 home.
18 (MUSIC SWELL)
19 Signed your son, Wallace Forbes...
20 (MUSIC UP AND DOWN)
21 FACTS: His family never heard from Wallace Wellington
Reed
Forbes

22 again. He does not know of his present good fortune.
23 Nor does he know that his father has died, and that in
24
Minneapolis
Chicago
his mother is still living, hoping that
25 she will see him at least once more before she too is
26 called away.
27 (MUSIC)
FORBES
-15-
1 M.C: Wallace Wellington Forbes performed his act of heroism
2 in 1900, as did the other volunteers for that grave deed.
3 It was not until February 28, 1929, after attention had
4 been called to their bravery in Paul de Kruif's book
5 Microbe Hunters, that the Congress passed a special
6 enabling act to reward the men or their heirs for their
7 heroism of almost thirty years past. By the terms of
8 the act, Wallace Wellington Forbes was to receive one
9 hundred and twenty-five dollars a month for the rest of
10 his life. This money now totals seventeen thousand,
11 seven hundred and fifty dollars; but Wallace Forbes
12 has never been found to claim it. The Finance Department
13 of the United States Army is looking for Wallace Forbes
14 for this reason and no other. Only to turn over to him
15 the fortune that is his. We hope that he, or someone
16 who knows his whereabouts, will have heard this account
17 of his heroism, and will thus be in a position to let
18 us know how to get in touch with him. If you know, you
19 will communicate with us, won't you?
20 ANNR: Your letters, postcards, or other communications should
21 be sent to the Ironized Yeast Board of Missing Heirs,
22 Box 705, New York City.
23 MC: And don't forget that if you are the first person to
24 give us information which leads to this man's discovery,
25 you will get Ironized Yeast's check for fifty dollars.
FORBES
-16-
1 FACTS: This was the case of the estate being held for
2 Wallace Wellington Forbes, spelled F-O-R-B-E-S, who
3 would at present be sixty-two years old; had fair hair
4 and blue eyes; a stocky build, bushy eyebrows that met
5 over the nose, tattoo marks on both arms, and one
6 thumb missing. The value of the fortune held for him
7 by the Finance Department of the U.S. Army: seventeen
8 thousand, seven hundred and fifty dollars.