The sealed book.
Once again the keeper of the book is ready to open the ponderous volume in which is recorded all the secrets and mysteries of mankind through the ages.
All the strange and mystifying stories of the past, present and the future.

 


The book.
Keeper of the book, what tale will you tell us this time?
What tale shall I tell you? I have here tales of every kind. Tales of murder, of madness, of dark deeds and events strange beyond all belief.
Let me see. Yes, here's a tale for you. A tale of a man who stole by force the secret of immortality, of life everlasting and entered into a mad adventure.
The title of the tale is King of the World.
Here is the tale as it is written in the sealed book. It is late at night and the wind howls over the desolate countryside.
In the darkness a man runs frantically through the woods trying to elude his pursuers.
I've got to shake him or it'll meet a ten year stretch. Stop or I'll shoot.
That's twice they got me in the same arm.
Here's a house with a light in it. My only chance. If I stick to these trees they won't be able to see me.
I'm almost there. Here's a door. If it's only unlocked. It is.
Good evening. Now listen. Listen close. A couple of guards from the Horton estate are after me.
I'll be behind this door covering you with a rod so you haven't seen me. You understand?
I understand. That must be them. Remember any tricks and I'll start blasting.
I have no intention of being foolish. Okay, go ahead then. Open the door.
Yes, what is it? There's been an attempted theft of the Horton diamond sir. We chased the crook this way. Have you seen anything of him?
I know. There hasn't been anyone here tonight. We'll keep on going. Good night.
They're gone now. You did all right. I'm glad you're satisfied.
What kind of a place is this? All those machines, bottles and things. This is my laboratory.
What are you, a professor? Yes, you.
Hey, what's that? Your nerves are on edge. It's only my great day in Caesar.
Come in Caesar. We have a visitor. Hey, what's he growling at me for?
I'm sorry. He always growls at strangers. I don't like him coming towards me that way. Keep him away, will you?
Come here Caesar. He won't listen to you. He's gonna spring. Well this will stop him.
Get him off. Take him away will you? Here Caesar. Here. Stop it I say. Stop it.
That's better. I think I'd better put the chain on you Caesar. Did he hurt you?
Look, I put three slugs into that dog. Why isn't he dead? He isn't even wounded.
You must have missed. You say I missed him, do you? I won't miss him this time.
I suppose I missed him that time, eh? Why isn't he dead?
Well the truth is, in this laboratory I've created a serum that has the power to defeat death.
I call it serum L. L for life. You mean the stuff protects you from a bullet or a knife wound?
In a way, yes. Swifter than the eye can see. It heals all wounds. The damage is repaired in a fraction of a second.
My serum is what protected Caesar. A shot of that stuff and you can't be killed.
It sounds screwy but that dog, four slugs and not a mark on him.
Look professor, I'm going to make a deal with you. A deal? Yeah.
I'll let you keep on living if you'll give me a shot of that serum. But that's impossible. It hasn't been perfected.
What do you mean it hasn't been perfected? It saved the dog didn't it? Yes of course but I'm still in the experimental stage.
I don't know how long the serum is effective or the condition in which it leaves the body after it has worn off.
You're wasting time professor. I'd hate to have to persuade you.
I see. Do you understand the responsibility is all yours? It's all right professor.
You let me do the worrying. Now come on let's have a shot of that stuff. Very well.
If you roll up your sleeve. Sure. And don't try pulling a fast one professor. It won't be healthy.
May I ask why you're so anxious to have my serum? Any guy in my racket who can take a slug and not feel it would be top man.
I see. Just hold still a moment. All right go ahead.
That's all. Hey my wounds. They're gone. Why there isn't even a mark on my arm to show where they were.
I told you it healed faster than the eye could see. Yeah. It's like a miracle. Think of it. I can't be killed.
Nothing can stop me now. I can move in on all the rackets and take them all over. Yes sir I'll be king of the world.
Hello Duke. What do you want to see me about? I'm kind of busy. I won't take up much of your time. I'm after a job.
I'd like to give you one but I have a room for another man. You're wrong. There's one job in your racket that's going to be open soon. Yours.
Mine? Yeah. Duke you've got a funny sense of humor. Yeah I know. But this is one time I'm not kidding.
You better be kidding or it might not be healthy for you. I don't have to worry about my health anymore.
You'd better go while I go and it's good. I like it here. You're the one who's leaving. Right now.
You haven't got a gun Duke. The boys saw to that. And I have. You're a little nervous aren't you Williams?
Stay where you are. I'll let you have it. I don't scare easily. Not anymore. You ask first.
Couldn't have missed. I won't this time.
Don't seem to be able to stop me Williams. I shot you. I tell you I shot you. Why did you fall?
Oh it can't be. I put six bullets into you. Why did you fall? Your gun is empty now Williams.
It's just you and me. No Duke don't. I'll do anything you say. Stay away please.
Too bad Williams. You should have resigned when I gave you the chance. But you would be stubborn.
That's what they'll all get if they stand in my way.
Hello Mike. Come on in. I'm just totaling up the take for last month. Gonna be quite a haul.
Duke you're headed for trouble. You've been expanding too fast. Stepping on too many people's toes.
They don't want to get stepped on. They better stay out of my road. They tried to bump me off a half a dozen times in the past month.
And I'm still alive. Duke what is it that keeps you up even after they put a dozen slugs into you?
Your job is to carry out my orders not to ask questions. Oh I didn't mean anything by it. I hope you didn't.
Now look I want you to pick up a fast car. We're going after the Horton Diamond tonight. The Horton Diamond? Yeah.
Duke that's suicide. We're cleaning up right here. Why risk our necks on a dangerous job?
Because I want the Horton Stone. The way I got it figured we can't miss. Remember their guns can't stop me.
Hey is 70 the best you can get out of this car? I got my foot down to the floor now. Hey look at that diamond Mike.
Isn't that a beauty? Think of it. I got a half a million bucks right in my hand.
Yeah a lot of good it's gonna do us if we don't shake that police car. Yeah you're right they're hanging on.
We got a chance to get out of here. We got a chance to get out of here.
We got a chance to get out of here. We got a chance to get out of here.
There's nothing more I can do. I'm pushing this crate as fast as it'll go.
All right, look out for this curve. We're taking it too fast.
Hey, I can't control it.
Look out! We're going over it!
Wheeeeeeee!
Look at that car, will you?
They must have been doing all of 70 when they crashed.
Yeah, they'll sure have a hard time identifying this guy behind the wheel. What a mess.
What about the other guy?
Let's have a look.
Say, there isn't a mark on him. He's unconscious, but he doesn't appear to be hurt at all.
But he must be, after a crash like this.
Take a look for yourself. I tell you, this guy is gonna live.
Oh, a lot of good it'll do him. After killing two guards at the Horton estate, he's headed to the electric chair.
The electric chair.
And now, to go on with the story of the King of the World, as it is written here in the sealed book.
Duke Farson, having been duly tried and sentenced for the murders he committed, is being strapped into the electric chair.
Ha ha ha. Warden, you're wasting your time. This isn't the last mile for me. I'm one guy you can't fry.
All right, Richards, we can proceed now.
Will you examine the body, Doctor?
Sorry to disappoint you, Warden, but I'm not dead.
But you must be. No man has ever lived through it.
I'm not like other men, Warden. You can't kill me.
Richards, unstrap the prisoner from the chair. What's happened must be due to a mechanical defect. That must be it.
You look a little pale, Warden. It's good to get out of that chair. It's not very comfortable.
Why are you all backing away from me? You afraid I'll hurt you? I'll just take this gun. That's better now.
All right, Warden, start marching. You're going to lead me to freedom. If you want to live.
Duke.
Let me in, Joe. Wait. That's better. You look as though you'd seen a ghost, Joe.
The papers are full of stories about your escape. They say the juice was turned on, and yet when it was over you got up and walked away.
Yeah. Yeah, that's right. I told them I was one guy too big to be killed.
Look, Duke, I can't afford any trouble with the cops. You know I'm a three-time loser.
Shut up. I'm still giving orders. You'll do as I say. The cops can only send you up for life. I can do worse.
Don't talk like that. Duke, you know you can count on me. I'll do anything you say.
Yeah, you'd better. I'm going to hold up here for a couple of weeks until the heat's off. Meanwhile, I'm going to make plans, big plans.
I'm bigger than just being the king of the underworld. If I organize things right, there's no reason I can't use the underworld to take over the rest of the world.
Yeah, that would make me king of the world. Wouldn't be hard to either. Why is that clock so loud? I can't even hear myself talk.
What clock? There isn't any in this apartment. Are you deaf? Can't you hear it?
No, Duke, honest. I don't hear a thing. You must be imagining things.
I don't know. I don't hear it so loud now either. Yeah, I guess maybe it was my imagination. Yet I could have sworn.
Well, never mind. I got other things to think of. Big things.
Why don't you sit down, Duke, and take it easy? I'm tired of sitting. Three weeks in this rat trap is enough for anyone. I've had about enough.
The heat's on as big as ever, Duke. And if I saw them, I'm as anxious to get anyone. Every time I go out, I expect some dick to trail me back to this high ground.
Suppose you let me do the worrying, huh? Sure, sure. I was only talking. Have you been having any more of those attacks lately?
I'm okay. Stop talking about it. It's bad enough without having to be reminded about it. I don't want to hear...
Hey, what's that? What, Duke? That buzzing sound. Keeps growing louder and louder. I don't hear nothing.
Listen, you must hear it. It's a fly. Yeah, and it's getting louder. I tell you, I can't stand it.
A fly? Yeah. I don't hear it. Wait, there's one over there flying around us. Crank.
Well, do something, will you? I can't stand the noise. It's driving me crazy. Take it easy, Duke. Do your best.
Wait, tell it. There. Oh, thanks, Joe. It's gone now. For a while I thought I'd blow my top.
Maybe you'd better see a doctor, Duke. You've been getting these attacks more and more these past three weeks.
No doctor can do me any good. There's only one man that can help me. Who's that? That's the professor.
You remember me, don't you, Professor? Yes, of course. I've been reading quite a bit about you in the papers lately, Mr. Farsall.
Your serum was all right, Professor. It saved me from being an electrocutor, but I don't know, these last three weeks something's happened and I don't like it.
Suppose you tell me about it. I keep getting attacks. Maybe I'm listening to the radio. Everything's fine.
Then all of a sudden it grows louder as though someone was turning it on full blast. It pounds on my head until I think I'm going crazy.
Professor, I can't stand it. You've got to help me. You recall that when you asked for my serum I told you it hadn't been perfected?
That I didn't know what effect it would have on the human body? Yeah, yeah, I know, but you've got to help me now.
I can't go on this way. I keep waiting for the next attack. Each one is worse than the last.
You remember my Great Dane Caesar, don't you? Sure. He tried to take a piece out of my throat, didn't he?
I'll open this trap door. You can see him in the cellar. There he is, Mr. Farson.
Well, what's wrong with him? Why does he keep whining like that?
Caesar too received an injection of the serum, Mr. Farson, six months before you received yours.
Now every sound he hears is a hundredfold greater. I'm speaking to you in normal tone of voice, yet to Caesar I'm shouting unbearably loud.
You mean that... Caesar has passed into a condition where every sound is sheer torment.
To be quite frank, he went insane three months ago. Oh. Well, why don't you kill him? Put him out of his misery.
You forget, Mr. Farson, that the serum still protects him from death. He can't die.
And is that... is that what will happen to me in a few months? Yes, I'm sorry to say.
But, Professor, there must be something you can do. Maybe you got another serum. Huh? Anything. I've got money.
I'm sorry, but it isn't a question of money. I can offer you no help.
I can't go on this way, waiting for each new attack. And then in the end, if only there was an end, if only I could die.
Possibly there is a way out. There is? Tell me. I'll do anything.
Well, as you know, my serum can prevent death from a dozen bullet wounds. But there might be one way its great healing powers could be defeated.
Yeah, which way is that? If you were to use an explosive, a powerful explosive, you might blow yourself up into so many pieces that the serum would no longer be able to defeat death.
Yeah. Yeah, I see what you mean. One of the mob once had an accident with Nitro. They never found a trace of him.
Yeah. Yeah, Nitro. That would do the trick. Yes, quite possibly. If the attacks continue and they're beyond endurance, it may be your one way of escape.
My one way of escape? Once I thought that with your serum, I'd come to rule the world. Now I'm looking for a way out of it.
Oh, it's you, Duke. Yeah. You expecting someone else? No, no, of course not.
What are you so jittery about? For me? Yeah. I'm okay. What'd the guy you went to see say? He can't help me. No one can.
What are you going to do, Duke? There's nothing I can do but wait. Maybe, maybe he was wrong. Maybe I won't get them attacks anymore.
After all, just because it happened to the dog doesn't mean that... Hey, what's that? That steady pounding? It's growing louder and louder.
Must be another attack. I can't stand it. It keeps pounding, pounding, louder and louder. Maybe it's the faucet in the kitchen that's been leaking lately. I'll have a look at it.
I can't go on this way. I can't. It's gone now, but there'll be another attack and then another. The faucet was leaking. I just turned it off.
Was that what was troubling you, Duke? Yeah. It's no use. I can't go on this way, waiting for it to happen all the time and then ending up like that dog.
Never mind. Get out the car. We're going on a little trip. Trip? Yeah. Where to, Duke? Upstate to the old hideout. I'm going to try to take the one way out.
Duke, won't you tell me what we come to this old place for? You'll see. Come on. What are you looking around for? Nothing. Nothing at all. Have you got the shovel? Yeah.
Won't you at least tell me what we need the shovel for? You're going to do some digging for me in the cellar. Is there something buried in the cellar? Yeah. Nitro.
All right. Here's the cellar door. Nitro. You mean that's what's buried down there? Yeah. We stored it here for safe cracking jobs. Now I got a better use for it.
You're going to get me to dig it up and be suicide. You saved this gun, don't you, Joe? You haven't much choice. Now start down those steps.
But I can't see. It's pitch dark down there. That's okay. Just fail your way down the steps. We get to the bottom. I'll light a candle. Duke, please don't make me.
Keep going. Duke, that was the bottom step. What about lighting a match? Okay. Just a second. I've got one here.
Grab him, Ross. I got his gun. I got him. Let go of me. I got to reach that nitro. Let go. Get him, coppers. Get him or he'll blow us all out.
You rascal. You squeal on me. Pour the light on him, Jordan. I got him. You've got to let me get to the nitro. It's the only way I can die. He's as crazy as a loan. Yeah.
A place for this guy's in a padded cell.
All right, Farson, in you go. There. You won't be able to hurt yourself in that nice padded cell. And you won't be able to hear any of those loud noises again either.
No, no, no noises. There aren't any radios or watches or automobile horns that can bother you in that cell. It's guaranteed a hundred percent soundproof.
Now be a good boy. You've got to let me go. I want to die. Do you hear? You can't let me live and suffer these attacks. Let me out of here. Let me out. Do you hear?
I can't stand. It's starting again. Another attack. It's growing louder and louder. A steady pound. It's my heart beating. Growing louder and louder. I can't stop it. I can't stop it.
I can't stop it.
And that is the story of the King of the World as it is written in the sealed book. Years have passed, but Duke Ferguson is still locked up in the padded cell. Day and night he begs to be executed. And yet at the same moment he knows he can't die.
That the serum in his blood has given him immortality and sentenced him to a life filled with torturous sounds from which there is no escape. There is no escape. It is so written here in the sealed book.
But the sound of the great gong tells me I must close the great book once again. One moment, keeper of the book. What story from the sealed book will you tell us next time? Next time?
What shall it be? A tale of madness? Of terror? Of dark deeds in far lands? Or I have them here? All the stories that ever happened and many that have yet to come to pass. But I'll find one for you in just a moment.
And now, keeper of the book, have you found the story you'll tell next time? Yes, yes I found one. It's a story about a ruthless man who put money above all and wouldn't stop at murder to achieve his ends. The title of the tale is Death Spins a Web.
Be sure to be with us again next time when the great gong heralds another strange and exciting story from...
The sealed book.
The sealed book written by Bob Arthur and David Cogan is produced and directed by Jock McGregor.