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The 39 Steps

SCENE ONE
(HANNAY sits in an armchair)
HANNAY
London. 1935. August. Id been back three
months in the old country and frankly
wondering why. And I was bored. No, more
than bored. Tired. Tired of the world and
tired of life, to be honest. And then I
thoughtwait a minute! Come on, Hannay!
Pull yourself together, man! Find something
to do, you bloody fool! Something mindless
and trivial. Something utterly pointless. I
know! A visit to the theatre! That should do
the trick!

COMPERE
Now then, ladies and gents, first question
please. Come on now, please. (audience
shouts questions) Pardon, sir? What was
that, sir? Who won the Cup in 1926?
MR. MEMORY
Who won the Cup in 1926? The Tottenham
Hotspurs won the Cup in 1926, defeating the
Arsenal Gunners by five goals to nil in the
presence of his majesty, King George the
Fifth. Am I right, sir?
COMPERE
Quite right, Mr. Memory!
MR. MEMORY
Thank you!

SCENE TWO
(The theatre, the Mr. Memory theme plays.
COMPERE and MR. MEMORY enter as
HANNAY takes a seat)
COMPERE
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. And now
with your kind attention I have the immense
privilege to present to you, one of the most
remarkable men ever in the whole world. Mr.
Memory!
MR. MEMORY
Thank you. I will now place myself in a state
of mental readiness for this evenings
performance. (ANNABELLA enters next to
HANNAY)
ANNABELLA
Is this seat taken?
HANNAY
Not as far as I know. (she sits)
COMPERE
Now then, are you ready for the questions,
Mr. Memory?
MR. MEMORY
Quite ready for the questions, thank you.
COMPERE
Thank you.
MR. MEMORY
Thank you.

COMPERE
Thank you! Next question, please. (audience
shouts questions) What was Napoleons
horse called?
MR. MEMORY
What was Napoleons horse called?
Napoleons horse was called Belerophon,
th
rode for the final time at Waterloo, June 15 ,
1815. Am I right, sir?
COMPERE
Quite right, Mr. Memory!
MR. MEMORY
Thank you!
COMPERE
Thank you! (ANNABELLA sees something in
the audience, recoils)
HANNAY
Are you all right?
ANNABELLA
Thank you, yes.
COMPERE
And the next question, please!
(ANNABELLA pulls a gun out of her
handbag and shoots into the air, hides it
quickly, the audience panics) Calm down,
ladies and gents! Calm down, please!
ANNABELLA
Excuse me?

The 39 Steps
HANNAY
Yes?

ANNABELLA
Because I think its for me.

ANNABELLA
May I come home with you?

HANNAY
Am I allowed to know your name?

COMPERE
Calm down, please!

ANNABELLA
You dont want to know my name.

HANNAY
Well, its rather tricky at the moment.

HANNAY
Dont I?

ANNABELLA
Please, you have to!

ANNABELLA
Schmidt.

HANNAY
Well, its your funeral. (they exit together)

HANNAY
Schmidt?

COMPERE
That was Mr. Memory!

ANNABELLA
Annabella Schmidt.

MR. MEMORY
Thank you!

HANNAY
It was you who fired that revolver in the
theatre, wasnt it?

COMPERE
Dont forget his name now!
MR. MEMORY
Thank you! Thank you!

ANNABELLA
It was a diversion. There were two men in
the theatre trying to shoot me.
HANNAY
Beautiful mysterious woman pursued by
gunmen. Sounds like a spy story.

SCENE THREE
(HANNAYs apartment, HANNAY and
ANNABELLA enter)
ANNABELLA
Mr. Hannay
HANNAY
How do you know my name?
ANNABELLA
I saw it in the lobby.

ANNABELLA
Mr. Hannay, please! I am being pursued by
a very brilliant secret agent of a certain
foreign power who is on the point of
obtaining highly confidential information vital
to your air defense. I tracked two of his men
to that music hall. Unfortunately, they
recognized me. You dont believe me?
HANNAY
Frankly, I dont.

ANNABELLA
Dont answer it, please!

ANNABELLA
They are in the street this moment. Take a
look, why dont you? But be careful!
(HANNAY peers out the window, sees two
sinister men under a lamppost) Now do you
believe me?

HANNAY
Why not?

HANNAY
You win.

HANNAY
Ah, yes. (phone rings)

The 39 Steps
ANNABELLA
Mr. Hannay, have you ever heard of the 39
Steps?
HANNAY
What is that, a pub?
ANNABELLA
Your English humor will not help, Mr.
Hannay. And I am the only person who can
stop them. You dont know how clever their
chief is. He has a dozen names! He can look
like a hundred people! But one thing he
cannot disguise. This part of his little finger
is missing.

ANNABELLA
Good night, Richard. (exits)
HANNAY
Good night, Annabella!

SCENE FOUR
(hours later, HANNAY sleeps in the chair.
ANNABELLA enters, map in hand)
ANNABELLA
Richard?

HANNAY
Ill remember that.

HANNAY
Annabella?

ANNABELLA
Mr. Hannay?

ANNABELLA
Oh Richard. Richard.

HANNAY
Richard.

HANNAY
Annabella. Ive never met anyone quite like
you, and frankly(she falls over the front of
the chair, knife in her back)

ANNABELLA
Richard.
HANNAY
Yes?
ANNABELLA
I need a map of Scotland.
HANNAY
Scotland?
ANNABELLA
Theres a man in Scotland who I must visit
next if anything is to be done. An
Englishman. He lives in a big house.
HANNAY
A big house?
ANNABELLA
At a place called Alt-na-shellach.

ANNABELLA
Alt-na-shellach! (dies. HANNAY struggles to
get out from under her, and then to get the
map from her stiff hand. Unfolds it)
HANNAY
Alt-na-shellach! (exits, runs into the
MILKMAN)
MILKMAN
Blimey, mate! Whatchoo up to? I nearly died
a fright.
HANNAY
Could you use a pound note, brother?
MILKMAN
A pound note? Whats the catch?

HANNAY
Alt-na-shellach, and the 39

HANNAY
I need your cap and coat. I need to make a
getaway. Theres been a murder committed
on the first floor.

ANNABELLA
Bring it to my room.

MILKMAN
A murder? By who? By you?

HANNAY
Certainly.

The 39 Steps
HANNAY
No, no. By those two men over there. (points
to the men under the lamppost) Theyre
spies, foreigners. Theyve murdered a
woman in my flat and now theyre waiting for
me.

SALESMAN 1
Wonder who won the two oclock at
Windsor.

MILKMAN
Cor blimey! I wouldnt be in your shoes! Ere,
ave me cap and coat. (hands them over)

SALESMAN 1
Ill go to the lavatory. (they squeeze around
each other) Excuse me. Sorry. Sorry.

HANNAY
Thank you.

SALESMAN 2
Sorry. Sorry.

MILKMAN
Perfect!

HANNAY
Sorry. (SALESMAN 1 exits, SALESMAN 2
sticks his head out the window and whistles
for a paper. PAPERBOY enters)

HANNAY
I say, take a pound. (takes money from
pocket)
MILKMAN
A pound! Thats very kind of you!
HANNAY
Take two! (gives him another)
MILKMAN
Two pounds! Bless you, guv! (HANNAY
exits) Hang on! Thats outta me coat! Thats
my money you just give me! Oi! Come back
ere! Oi! (exits. MRS. HIGGINS enters the
apartment, cleaning)
MRS. HIGGINS
Mornin, Mr. annay! Ow yer keepin? What
a lovely morning. What about this ere heat
wave? Never seen nothing like it. People
droppin like(sees ANNABELLAs body,
screams)

SALESMAN 2
Ill get a paper.

PAPERBOY
Evenin paper! Latest news! Evenin paper!
Latest
SALESMAN 2
Evenin paper, please.
PAPERBOY
Evenin paper, sir? Thank you, sir! (gives
him a paper)
SALESMAN 2
Thank you.
PAPERBOY
Evenin paper! Latest news! Evenin paper!
(exits, SALESMAN 1 enters)
SALESMAN 1
Excuse me. Sorry. Sorry.
SALESMAN 2
Sorry. Sorry.

SCENE FIVE
(A train. HANNAY rides in a car with two
SALESMEN)
SALESMAN 2
Where are we now?
SALESMAN 1
(looks out window) Edinburgh Town.
SALESMAN 2
That was quick! (the train stops)

HANNAY
Sorry.
SALESMAN 2
(opening paper) Goodness!
SALESMAN 1
What is it?
SALESMAN 2
Been a woman murdered in a fashionable
West End flat! Stabbed in the back, she
was. Terrible!

The 39 Steps

SALESMAN 1
Terrible!

POLICEMAN 1
Anything suspicious, let us know, sir.

HANNAY
Terrible!

SALESMAN 1
Oh, yes, dont you worry!

SALESMAN 2
The tenant, Richard Hannay, is missing.
Approximately thirty-seven, dark wavy hair,
piercing blue eyes, pencil mustache.

PORTER
All aboard! All aboard! (PAPERBOY enters)
PAPERBOY
Final edition, sir? Final edition.

HANNAY
(hiding his lip) Excuse me. Might I have a
look at your paper?

SALESMAN 2
No, thank you.

SALESMAN 2
Certainly.

PORTER
All aboard! All aboard!

HANNAY
Thank you. (reads it)

SALESMAN 1
All right, all right.

SALESMAN 2
Think Ill pop out to the buffet car. Fancy
anythin?

POLICEMAN 1
Keep your eyes peeled, wont you, sir?

SALESMAN 1
No, thank you.
HANNAY
No, thank you.
SALESMAN 2
Right you are. Excuse me. Sorry. Sorry.
SALESMAN 1
Sorry. Sorry.
HANNAY
Sorry. (SALESMAN 2 exits, SALESMAN 1
pulls down window)
SALESMAN 1
Good heavens, the place is stiff with police!
Excuse me, constable! Caught the West
End murderer yet? (POLICEMAN 1 enters)

SALESMAN 1
Certainly will, constable!
POLICEMAN 1
Dont forget, sir!
SALESMAN 1
No, I wont, constable.
PAPERBOY
Read all about it! Read all about it!
PORTER
All aboard! All aboard!
POLICEMAN 1
Anything suspicious, let us know, sir.
SALESMAN 1
Will do, constable.

POLICEMAN 1
Well catch him, dont you worry, sir.

PORTER
All aboard! All aboard! (MRS. HIGGINS
enters)

SALESMAN 1
Thats the spirit, sir! (PORTER enters)

MRS. HIGGINS
Is this the 9:41 to Reading?

PORTER
All aboard for the highlands! Next stop, the
highlands!

PORTER
Platform Twelve!

The 39 Steps
MRS. HIGGINS
Thank you!
PORTER
All aboard! All aboard!
PAPERBOY
Read all about it! Read all about it!
PORTER
All aboard! All aboard!
PAPERBOY
Final edition! Final edition!
PORTER
All aboard! All aboard!
HANNAY
Oh, just get on with it! (the SALESMEN
return to their seats)
SALESMAN 2
Excuse me. Sorry. Sorry.
SALESMAN 1
Sorry. Sorry.
HANNAY
Sorry.
SALESMAN 2
Well, back from the buffet. Listen to this!
SALESMAN 1
What?
SALESMAN 2
The police are searching the train! Every
compartment!
SALESMAN 1
Every compartment?
HANNAY
Excuse me! Sorry! (escapes down the
corridor)
SALESMAN 2
Hes in a rush. (POLICEMAN 1 and 2 enter,
checking compartments, they close in on
HANNAY, he bursts into a compartment to
find PAMELA)

HANNAY
Listen, my names Richard Hannay. Theyre
after me for murder. I swear Im innocent!
Youve got to help me! Ive got to keep free
the next few days. You see, the safety of
this country depends on it! (POLICEMEN
burst in)
POLICEMAN 1
Sorry to disturb, but have either of you seen
a man passing in the last few minutes? His
name is Richard Hannay.
PAMELA
This is the man you want, inspector!
POLICEMAN 2
Is your name Richard Hannay?
HANNAY
Certainly not.
POLICEMAN 2
But this attractive young lady clearly
stated(HANNAY pushes past them) After
him, constable!
POLICEMAN 1
Right, sir. (follows HANNAY clinging to the
outside of the train) Were on the Fourth
Bridge, sir!
POLICEMAN 2
I can see that, constable! Grab him, man!
POLICEMAN 1
Very good, sir.
PAMELA
Can I help?
POLICEMAN 2
Not right now, miss. (the train goes into a
tunnel, HANNAY battles POLICEMAN 1)
PAMELA
Just a thought.
POLICEMAN 2
Yes, miss?
PAMELA
What about the communication cord?

The 39 Steps
POLICEMAN 2
Pulling the communication cord, now! (pulls
it, the brakes screech, HANNAY and
POLICEMAN 1 fly off in different directions)
RADIO ANNOUNCER
The suspect Richard Hannay managed to
jump from a train on the Fourth Bridge just
outside Edinburgh. The suspect is
approximately thirty-seven and about six
foot one. Although he is clearly dangerous,
he is quite good looking, actually, with dark
wavy hair, piercing blue eyes, and a very
attractive pencil mustache. It is not known
whether he survived his ordeal. Police had
to call off the search in the gathering
darkness.

HANNAY
So whose hoose is that then?
CROFTER
A professor, I believe. Professor Jordan. An
Englishman.
HANNAY
It wouldnt be called Alt-na-Shellach, would
it?
CROFTER
It would.
HANNAY
Right! Well, thanks very much. Ill try there.
CROFTER
Ye wont tonight.

SCENE SIX
(a house. HANNAY knocks on a door,
CROFTER answers)
HANNAY
Hello there.
CROFTER
Can I help ye?
HANNAY
Yes, are there no big houses around here?
CROFTER
No big hooses.
HANNAY
So whats that big house?
CROFTER
What big hoose?
HANNAY
That big house.
CROFTER
Oh, that big hoose.
HANNAY
Isnt that a big house?
CROFTER
That is a big hoose.

HANNAY
Wont I?
CROFTER
Its fourteen miles. The other side of the
loch.
HANNAY
No, really, Im sure Ill be
CROFTER
Margaret! (MARGARET enters)
MARGARET
Ay?
CROFTER
Come ere, we have a visitor.
MARGARET
Good evenin, sir.
HANNAY
Good evening.
CROFTER
You could stay here if you wanted.
HANNAY
Thatd be very kind.
CROFTER
See to the gentleman, and be quick about it.
HANNAY
Your daughter?

The 39 Steps

CROFTER
Me wife.

HANNAY
They wouldnt if you were beside them.

HANNAY
Well done.

MARGARET
You ought not to say that. (CROFTER
bursts in with a paper)

CROFTER
Ill see to the coos.
HANNAY
Sorry?
CROFTER
Ill see to the coos! (mimes milking)
HANNAY
Right. (CROFTER exits)
MARGARET
Will ye come in?
HANNAY
Id love to. So, um, been in these parts long?
MARGARET
No, Im from Glasgow.
HANNAY
Well, Ive never been to Glasgow, but Ive
been to Edinburgh and Montreal and
London.
MARGARET
London! Me husband says its best not to
think of such places and the wickedness that
goes on there.
HANNAY
What would you like to know?

CROFTER
Ought not to say what?
HANNAY
Oh, I was just saying to your wife that I
prefer living in the town to the country.
CROFTER
God made the country.
HANNAY
Certainly did.
CROFTER
Supper ready, woman?
MARGARET
Almost.
CROFTER
Then hurry yourself. (she exits)
HANNAY
Do you mind if I look at your paper?
CROFTER
Suit yourself.
HANNAY
Thank you.
CROFTER
Ye did not tell me your name.

MARGARET
Is it true that all the ladies paint their
toenails?

HANNAY
Oh, um, Hammond.

HANNAY
Some of them.

CROFTER
Mr. OHum Hammond.

MARGARET
And put rouge and lipsticks on their faces?

HANNAY
No, Hammond. (MARGARET enters with
food)

HANNAY
They do, yes.

MARGARET
Here we are.

MARGARET
Do London ladies look beautiful?

The 39 Steps
HANNAY
Splendid.

CROFTER
The police!

CROFTER
Ill say a blessing afore we begin.

HANNAY
Theyre after me for murder.

HANNAY
Good idea. (during the blessing,
MARGARET flirts with HANNAY)

CROFTER
Murder? Police? (a knock at the door)

CROFTER
Oh most mighty and unforgiving father,
sanctify these bounteous and undeserved
mercies to us miserable sinners. And
continually turn our loathsome hearts from
wickedness, beat our gluttonous thoughts
and lash our lustful desires. Amen.
HANNAY
Amen.
CROFTER
Ach! I just remembered, I forgot to lock the
barn. (leaves, then peers in the window as
HANNAY and MARGARET chat)

HANNAY
Dont let them in! Say Im not here!
CROFTER
Ach! (leaves)
MARGARET
Quick! Nows your time! Through the
window! (HANNAY rushes to a window) Not
that window!
HANNAY
Which window?
MARGARET
The rear window! Wait! (gives him a coat)
HANNAY
This is your husbands coat.

SCENE SEVEN
(Hours later, HANNAY sleeps, MARGARET
bursts in and wakes him)
MARGARET
Wake up, sir! Wake up, please sir!
HANNAY
Oh, hello.
MARGARET
Its the police, Mr. OHum Hammond.
HANNAY
The police!
MARGARET
Ye must go now while theres still a chance.
(CROFTER bursts in)
CROFTER
Ay! I might a known! Makin loove behind
me back! Get oot!
HANNAY
Actually, if you want to know, Im on the run
from the police.

MARGARET
Its so black theyll never see you.
HANNAY
(pulls out a small book) Whats this?
MARGARET
His hymn book.
HANNAY
Whats your name?
MARGARET
Margaret.
HANNAY
Goodbye, Margaret. Ill never forget you for
this.
MARGARET
Go now! (HANNAY escapes through the
window, POLICEMEN burst in)
POLICEMAN 1
There he is! After him! (they follow out the
window)

The 39 Steps
RADIO ANNOUNCER
We interrupt this program to bring you an
important news flash. Richard Hannay has
been spotted on the moors near Loch
Crimond. Here is his description once again.
He is approximately thirty-seven and about
six foot one. With dark wavy hair, piercing
blue eyes, and of course, his attractive
pencil mustache. His time on the moors has
actually made him slightly more rugged
looking, which makes him look even better
than he did before. Police can assure
listeners that they are closing in with
specialist squads by foot, road, and by air!
(HANNAY, runs through the moors, chased
by airplanes)
PILOT 1
There he is! Over there!
PILOT 2
Which directions that, then?
PILOT 1
North by northwest.
PILOT 2
Hes disappeared again!
PILOT 1
Oh no!
PILOT 2
There he is!
PILOT 1
Shoot, man, shoot!
PILOT 2
Missed him!
PILOT 1
Wait a minute!
PILOT 2
What?
PILOT 1
Were too close! Oh no!
PILOT 2
What?
PILOT 1
Change direction! Change direction!

PILOT 2
I cant! I cant!
PILOT 1
Oh no! Oh no!
PILOT 1 and 2
Ahhhhhhhhhh! (planes crash)

SCENE EIGHT
(a house. HANNAY knocks, MRS. JORDAN
answers)
MRS. JORDAN
Yes?
HANNAY
I am so sorry to disturb you, but Im looking
for the professor, Professor Jordan.
MRS. JORDAN
Professor Jordan? I am the professors wife,
Louisa Jordan.
HANNAY
I do beg your pardon, Mrs. Jordan. May I
see the professor? Its really quite important.
MRS. JORDAN
May I know your name?
HANNAY
Yes, my name is Hammond. Tell him Im a
friend of Miss Annabella Schmidt.
MRS. JORDAN
Miss Annabella Schmidt? Come in, Mr.
Hammond, if you would please.
HANNAY
Thank you. (he enters) Lovely house.
MRS. JORDAN
We like it. Were just having a few drinks
with some friends to celebrate my
daughters birthday. (opens a door, party
noises) If you wouldnt mind waiting in here,
Mr. Hammond. Ill fetch my husband directly.
HANNAY
Certainly. (she exits into the party. HANNAY
checks the door a few times, finally finding
PROFESSOR JORDAN there)

10

The 39 Steps
PROFESSOR JORDAN
Mr. Hammond? So sorry to have kept you.
HANNAY
Its quite all right.
PROFESSOR JORDAN
So youre from Annabella Schmidt?
HANNAY
I am, yes. Shes been murdered.
PROFESSOR JORDAN
Quite dreadful. And now the police are after
you.
HANNAY
I didnt do it!
PROFESSOR JORDAN
Of course you didnt do it Mr. Hannay. I
suppose its safe to call you by your real
name now? But tell me, why did you come
all the way to Scotland to tell me about it?
HANNAY
She was killed by a foreign agent.
PROFESSOR JORDAN
So did she tell you what this foreign agent
looked like?
HANNAY
Part of his little finger was missing.
PROFESSOR JORDAN
Which little finger?
HANNAY
This one, I think.
PROFESSOR JORDAN
Are you sure it wasnt this one? (holds up
his finger, it is half gone)
HANNAY
Im not sure. I think

MRS. JORDAN
I shall be serving lunch directly, dear. Will
Mr. Hammond be staying?
PROFESSOR JORDAN
I dont think so, dear. (she leaves) Unless, of
course, you decide to join us. You see,
youre just the kind of man we need. Sharp.
Intelligent. Cold blooded. Ruthless. When
the war comes, these will be the exact
qualities we need.
HANNAY
And what if I dont believe in those qualities?
PROFESSOR JORDAN
What other qualities are there?
HANNAY
Loyalty. Selflessness. Sacrifice. Love.
PROFESSOR JORDAN
(a German accent begins to creep in) Oh,
we will give you love, Hannay. And in
return? You will love us! The master race.
On our great unstoppable march. Well, old
sport? What do you say? Will you join us?
HANNAY
All right, professor. If you think Im suitable
material. Theres just one thing. The 39
Steps?
PROFESSOR JORDAN
The 39 Steps? The 39 Steps? It is mein own
brilliant idea! The verywait a minute! You
think you can pull ze vool? Ach! You thought
you could join us, and then
HANNAY
Master race? I despise you! (PROFESSOR
JORDAN shoots HANNAY in the chest,
HANNAY falls)
PROFESSOR JORDAN
The 39 Steps? I tell you, Mr. Hannay, you
vill never ever know! (an evil laugh)

PROFESSOR JORDAN
(pulls a gun) Mr. Hannay, youve forced me
into a very difficult position. You see, I live
here as a respectable citizen. My very best
friend is the sheriff of the county. So it
seems there is only one option, Mr. Hannay.
(points the gun at HANNAY, MRS. JORDAN
enters)

11

The 39 Steps
SCENE NINE
(sheriffs office)
SHERIFF
Whod a thought a hymn book could stop a
bullet! Still, Im not surprised. Some of those
hymns are terrible hard to get through.
HANNAY
Look here, I dont want to rush you or
anything(CHIEF INSPECTOR enters)
CHIEF INSPECTOR
Are you wishing to see me, sheriff?
SHERIFF
Indeed I am, Chief Inspector! Do you think I
enjoy playing for time with a murderer!
HANNAY
Murderer?
SHERIFF
Richard Hannay, you are under arrest. I
dont believe your cock-and-bull story about
the professor! Why, hes my best friend in
the district!
CHIEF INSPECTOR
Come along quietly, sir. Please sir. (clicks
one handcuff on HANNAY)
HANNAY
I dont think so! (pushes them, leaps out a
window)

SCENE TEN
(an assembly hall, a sign reads vote
McCorquodale. DUNWOODY and
McQUORRIE set up chairs)
HANNAY
Excuse me. I wonder if you can help me. Im
afraid Im
DUNWOODY
Why, hello there! Youre here at last!
HANNAY
Am I?

DUNWOODY
So good of you to come! Look, hes here,
Mr. McQuorrie!
McQUORRIE
Ah! Hes here!
HANNAY
Thank you. (DUNWOODY addresses a
crowd)
DUNWOODY
Ladies and gentlemen, it is now my extreme
pleasure to call upon our ever popular
chairman Mr. McQuorrie to say a few choice
words about this evenings illustrious guest
speaker. Mr. McQuorrie, if you would,
please.
McQUORRIE
Ladies and gentleman, our guest speakers
brilliant record speaks for itself. He is the
perfect gentleman to tell ye how important it
is that our candidate should be returned. So
without further ado, Captain Rob Roy
McAlistair! (HANNAY reluctantly takes the
podium)
HANNAY
Well, ladies and gentlemen, Id no idea that I
should be addressing an important political
meeting. (sees PAMELA in the crowd) Good
heavens! Hello. So, anyway, um, what was I
saying? Ah yes. As you know, were here
tonight to discuss, um, what shall we
discuss? Lets all just make this world a
happier place! A world where no nation plots
against nation! (the two HEAVIES enter)
Because thats the sort of world I want. A
better world! A new world! And above all,
vote for Mr. McCrocodile! There, thats all I
have to say, thank you.
PAMELA
This is the man you want, inspector!
HEAVY 2
Come along now, sir.
HANNAY
Dont you see I was speaking the truth in
that railway carriage?
PAMELA
Goodbye, officers.

12

The 39 Steps
HEAVY 1
Actually, beg pardon, Miss

PAMELA
What are we stopping for?

PAMELA
Edwards. Pamela Edwards.

HEAVY 2
Sheep! Get out of the way! (sheep sounds)
Well have to clear them away.

HEAVY 1
On second thought, Miss Edwards, wed like
you to come too.
PAMELA
Me? Whatever for?
HEAVY 2
To identify the prisoner, Miss.
PAMELA
But Ive told you who he
HEAVY 2
Its essential for public security, miss.
PAMELA
Well, if its absolutely necessary.
HEAVY 1
Thank you, miss. If youd like to climb into
the car, miss.
PAMELA
The what? (the HEAVIES realize theyve
forgotten the car, and make it out of
whatever is nearby)

HEAVY 1
Not so easy in all this thick fog. Look how its
suddenly come down. Out of nowhere.
HEAVY 2
Come on, man.
HEAVY 1
What about him? (HEAVY 2 locks
HANNAYs handcuff to PAMELA)
PAMELA
What on earth are you doing? Unchain this
handcuff!
HEAVY 2
There you are, miss. As long as you stay, he
stays. Come on, clear the road! Get out of
the road, you mangey beasts!
HEAVY 1
Away, away, you bleating brutes! (the
HEAVIES exit)
HANNAY
And as long as I go, you go! Come on!

HEAVY 1
The car, miss. (they all get in)

PAMELA
What are you doing?

HANNAY
Im Richard, by the way.

HANNAY
Get a move on! (they exit, HEAVIES enter)

PAMELA
Im not talking to you.

HEAVY 2
They got away!

HANNAY
Right.
SCENE ELEVEN
PAMELA
Wait a minute. This is the wrong road. This
is the road south.
HEAVY 2
Theres a bridge fallen down on that road,
miss. We have to go round. (HANNAY
whistles the Mr. Memory theme, then the car
brakes to a halt)

(the moors, a fence. HANNAY whistles the


Mr. Memory theme)
PAMELA
Do stop whistling! Look, what are you doing
this for? You cant possibly escape. What
chance have you got, tied to me?

13

The 39 Steps
HANNAY
Keep that question for your husband.

MRS. McGARRIGLE
Its a terrible highland night, Willie!

PAMELA
I dont have a husband.

MR. McGARRIGLE
Aye.

HANNAY
Lucky him. Come along! Under this stile.
(they get more and more entwined trying to
fit through the fence)

MRS. McGARRIGLE
All that rain and wind rushing down the glen!
Wouldnt want to be out alone tonight!

PAMELA
Ow!
HANNAY
We seem a little stuck.
PAMELA
Is that so?
HANNAY
Hang on.
PAMELA
What?
HANNAY
If you gothen if I gono, that doesnt
workwait a minutelets start again
PAMELA
I say, what is the use of all this?
HANNAY
Theres a dangerous conspiracy and were
the only people who can stop it!
PAMELA
The gallant knight to the rescue.
HANNAY
All right, then youre alone on a desolate
moor in the dark, manacled to a plain
common murderer.
PAMELA
Im not afraid of you. (for a moment, they are
very close, then HANNAY pulls her free)
Ow! Youre horrible!

MR. McGARRIGLE
Nay. (HANNAY and PAMELA enter)
MRS. McGARRIGLE
Welcome to the McGarrigle Hotel. I am Mrs.
McGarrigle. This is my husband, Willie
McGarrigle.
MR. McGARRIGLE
Aye.
HANNAY
How do you do. Anyway, wed like to stay
the night if you can accommodate us.
MRS. McGARRIGLE
You are man and wife, I suppose?
HANNAY
Oh, yes.
MRS. McGARRIGLE
Would ye mind registering, please? Willie,
the book.
MR. McGARRIGLE
Aye. (opens the guest book)
HANNAY
Thank you. (tries to write, but his right hand
is chained to PAMELA) Tell you what. Why
dont you sign, my darling? The sooner you
get used to writing your new name, the
better. (PAMELA signs)
MRS. McGARRIGLE
And there we are. Would ye care to follow
me to your room now please?
HANNAY
Certainly. Darling? (they follow, she leads
them into a room)

SCENE TWELVE
(a hotel. MR. and MRS. McGARRIGLE
enter)

MRS. McGARRIGLE
There we are now. All ready for ye.

14

The 39 Steps
HANNAY
Marvelous.
MRS. McGARRIGLE
Good night, sir. Good night, madam. (exits)
HANNAY
Well, come along.
PAMELA
What are you doing?
HANNAY
Going to bed.
PAMELA
Certainly not! I am not lying on that bed.
HANNAY
So long as youre chained to me, you lie
where I lie. Sorry.
PAMELA
(lies down awkwardly) I want you to know, I
hate you.
HANNAY
Right. (whistles again)
PAMELA
Will you stop doing that!
HANNAY
I wish I could get that tune out of my head. I
wonder where I heard it? (yawns) The sad
story of my life. Poor little orphan boy who
never had a chance. Irredeemable. Utterly
horrid and beastly. (he falls asleep.
PAMELA manages to squeeze her hand
free of the cuff, and exits)

SCENE THIRTEEN
(hotel lobby, PAMELA finds the two
HEAVIES there, she hides)
HEAVY 2
Hell have told her the whole plot by now.
Shell know were not the real police! The
professors cleared out already.
HEAVY 1
Cleared out already?

HEAVY 2
Thought it was too dangerous with Hannay
and this girl on the loose. Hes warning the
whole 39 Steps.
HEAVY 1
The whole 39 Steps? Does he have the
you know.
HEAVY 2
Certainly does. And hes picking up our
friend from the London Palladium tonight.
HEAVY 1
Right.
HEAVY 2
Right. Ill start the car. You check the
register.
HEAVY 1
Right. (HEAVY 2 exits, HEAVY 1 rings the
bell and MR. McGARRIGLE enters)
MR. McGARRIGLE
Aye? Can I help ye?
HEAVY 1
Yes, I was wondering if you might have a
young couple staying here.
MR. McGARRIGLE
A young couple staying? Well, now that you
mention it
HEAVY 1
Yes?
MR. McGARRIGLE
But can I take your coat, by the way?
HEAVY 1
Thank you very much. (takes off coat) You
were saying?
MR. McGARRIGLE
Well, now that you mention it, we do have a
young(MRS. McGARRIGLE enters)
MRS. McGARRIGLE
Willie!
MR. McGARRIGLE
Aye?

15

The 39 Steps
MRS. McGARRIGLE
What are ye doin out ere?

HANNAY
Nine!

MR. McGARRIGLE
The gentleman wanted to know

PAMELA
Thirty nine! Thats right. Thirty nine.

MRS. McGARRIGLE
Standing there in your nightgown for all the
world to see! Put your coat on! And tidy
yourself! Get in the kitchen, man!

HANNAY
Steps!

MR. McGARRIGLE
Aye.
MRS. McGARRIGLE
And as for ye, whoever ye are, Ill thank ye
to get out a me hoose! Wakin people up all
hours of the night! Have ye no bed to go to?
HEAVY 2
Right, No, sorry. Thank you. (HEAVIES
leave)
MRS. McGARRIGLE
Thank ye, and good night.
MR. McGARRIGLE
And good night. (PAMELA sneaks away)

PAMELA
39 Steps! How did you know that?
HANNAY
Never mind. Go on!
PAMELA
Yes, there was another thing. Theyre
picking up someone from the London
Palladium.
HANNAY
London Palladium? Whos that, I wonder?
PAMELA
Im sorry. I feel like such an awful fool for not
having believed you.
HANNAY
Thats all right. Well.

SCENE FOURTEEN

PAMELA
Well.

(the hotel room, HANNAY wakes and sees


PAMELA there, unchained)

HANNAY
We ought to be

PAMELA
Morning.

PAMELA
Yes

HANNAY
Whats the idea? How did you get out of
these? Why didnt you run away?

HANNAY
Going, I suppose.

PAMELA
I did. Then, just as I was going, two
policemen came here last night. The ones
from the car. I overheard them. Theyre not
policemen!
HANNAY
So what did they say?
PAMELA
A lot of stuff about something with a number.
Um, twenty, thirty. Thirty

PAMELA
Mmm. (they draw closer)
HANNAY
Which room are they staying in?
PAMELA
Who?
HANNAY
Those two men?
PAMELA
Theyre not. They drove off last night.

16

The 39 Steps
HANNAY
Where?
PAMELA
Dont know. Does it matter? (almost kissing)
HANNAY
(pushing her away) Does it matter?!
PAMELA
What?
HANNAY
What do you mean, does it matter?
PAMELA
Im sorry, I
HANNAY
So where did they go?
PAMELA
I dont know! The London Palladium, I
suppose!
HANNAY
The only way to clear my name is to expose
these spies!
PAMELA
Dont expect me to come with you!
HANNAY
I wont!
PAMELA
Good!
HANNAY
Good! (exits)
PAMELA
Im not surprised youre an orphan!

SCENE FIFTEEN
(The Palladium. HANNAY enters, looks
around, spots PROFESSOR JORDAN in a
stage box. PAMELA enters)
PAMELA
Hello.

HANNAY
Thought youd run off. But now look here!
Ive found him!
PAMELA
Who?
HANNAY
The professor.
PAMELA
The professor? Where?
HANNAY
There. In that box. Do you see?
PAMELA
You cant do anything about it. Ive been to
Scotland Yard. Nothings been stolen from
the air ministry. No top secret information or
anything.
HANNAY
But you heard those men say the
professors got it!
PAMELA
Well, theyve checked and theyre absolutely
certain. (POLICEMEN start to enter)
HANNAY
Police! What are the police doing here?
They didnt follow you here, did they?
PAMELA
Oh dear. Sorry. (COMPERE enters)
COMPERE
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. And
now with your kind attention I have the
immense honor and privilege to presenting
to you one of the most remarkable men ever
in the whole world. Mr. Memory! (The Mr.
Memory theme plays, MR. MEMORY
enters)
HANNAY
Wait a minute! Thats the tune I couldnt get
out of my head!
MR. MEMORY
Thank you, thank you. I will now place
myself in a state of mental readiness for this
evenings performance.

17

The 39 Steps
HANNAY
Ive got it! Ive got it! Of course they dont
know anythings missing! All the information
is in Memorys head! Thats why the
professors here tonight. To take Mr.
Memory out of the country! (exits)
MR. MEMORY
Thank you! First question, please. Beg
pardon, sir? Who built St. Pauls Cathedral?
Sir Christopher Wren built St. Pauls
Cathedral in the year 1660(HANNAY
appears on stage)
HANNAY
What are the 39 Steps?
MR. MEMORY
The 39 Steps, sir?
HANNAY
Yes, Mr. Memory!
MR. MEMORY
The 39 Steps is an organization of spies.
They collect information on behalf of the
secret service of(PROFESSOR JORDAN
shoots MR. MEMORY)

MR. MEMORY
Just a scratch. Ill be all right. (HANNAY
enters)
HANNAY
What was the secret formula you were
taking out of the country?
MR. MEMORY
It was a big job to learn it, sir. The biggest
job I ever had to tackle. The first feature of
the new engine is its greatly increased ratio
of compression, represented by R minus 1
over R to the power of gamma and 9
sequenced to the power of XY squared,
duplicated by 32 point, 71 point, and 88
point, reduced by 19 alpha. (gasps, fades.
All bow heads, then he revives) Excess
pressure being taken by the adjustable
thrust block which locates the rotor to the
power of 900abh/7. This device renders the
engine completely silent. Am I right, sir?
HANNAY
Quite right, old chap.
MR. MEMORY
Thank you, sir. Im glad its off my mind at
last, sir. (dies)

HANNAY
There! Thats the man you want! (points him
out to police, then exits)
SCENE SIXTEEN
PROFESSOR JORDAN
I dont think so, Hannay! No no! This is not
your story. This is my story! And I decide
how it ends. You dont destroy me, Hannay!
And you dont get the girl! Oh no! You lose
the girl! You thought you found love,
Hannay? Really? Afraid not, old sport! You
will never find it, you see. Never in all
eternity! (points the gun at PAMELA)
PAMELA
Richard! (HANNAY appears in the box)
HANNAY
Oh no you dont, Professor! (they struggle, a
shot rings out, PROFESSOR JORDAN falls
out of the stage box. COMPERE and
PAMELA comfort MR. MEMORY)
COMPERE
Take it easy, old chap. Theres a good chap.

(HANNAYs apartment)
HANNAY
So thats me. And the sad story of my life.
Richard Hannay. Irredeemable.
Irreclaimable. Unreformable. (PAMELA
enters)
PAMELA
Utterly horrid and beastly. Poor little orphan
boy who never had a chance. This is the
man I want, inspector.
HANNAY
Happy Christmas, darling.
PAMELA
Happy Christmas, darling. (snow falls at the
window)

18