It’s a tale well calculated to keep you in suspense. It’s a Sunday night, and the cops converge on a mild mannered piano tuner named, Hercules Remington. Hercules is Jack Benny, and he recounts his tale as he worries that his wife will have something to say about it if he’s late in getting home.
Hercules ends a typical day of piano tuning, wondering how he’ll manage to keep his bills paid. The whole time, he notices the musical notes of the routine noises around him. There’s still one last job to go on, and as he rides the street car, he sits next to a little bald man. A fairly nondescript event, but when he arrives at his tuning job, Hercules is surprised to find all his tools are gone. In their place is bundle after bundle of crisp ten dollar bills. At home, Hercules shares the news of his windfall, and the reason he came home early. What now? What should he do with the $25000?
His wife is insistent that he do the right thing, and turn the bag over to the cops. Hercules thinks it’s a simple matter of “Finders Keepers,” and even uncle Herman agrees there shouldn’t be any harm in keeping the windfall of cash. Besides there’s no identification in the bag to know who the owner of it may be. Hercules insists that he didn’t steal it, and it’s rightfully his.
There’s just one thing that Remington didn’t count on. The owner of the bag wants it back, and though the cash had no identity in it, the bag of tools did. The bubble is burst when the phone rings, and a meeting is arranged to swap bags back to their owners.
To step aside from the story a moment, there are some questions that need asking. With that much cash, there has to be a bank, or a business out there that reported a major robbery. I suppose with blinders firmly in place, it would be easy to not look for news reports. Also the person who lost it, actually most likely stole it, just might be a desperate criminal. A nasty person who wouldn’t be bound to the treatment that the cops, and authorities might dish out.
Sure enough Hercules arrives to find a body. More than that, he has been clobbered over the head by one of Hercules own tools. Does this mean that there are no more claims on the cash? That’s the direction of thought the main characgter is taking, but somebody wants the cash. Why didn’t they just wait until the exchange went down before killing the little man? Why didn’t they go right for our mild mannered hero?
After the commercial, we are brought to the present, and the conversation with the cops. Hercules describes his emotions, and a particular musical tone from the shadows. A G flat. He runs, and escapes from the killer. Is he after Hercules as well? A newspaper is finally read, and the source of the cash is revealed. Worried about other robbers in the gang, Hercules goes to uncle Herman’s stand at Coney Island for comfort and advice in what to do.
The twists aren’t over yet. When the bag is hidden in it’s new location, it’s full of shredded paper. No money. Who is playing games with Hercules? Where is the money now? That musical clue of G flat returns, and Hercules is in mortal danger. The mystery of the killer is in the open, but it doesn’t answer the question of who replaced the real bills with fake ones.
The cops actually have the final answer, and with the story told, Hercules returns home to face up to his wife.
Tiny Bradshaw. 1944. Hit that Jive Jack.