According to the Jot ‘Em Down Journal of February, 1999:
Lum decides to open the “Trace em, Chase ‘Em, and Lace ‘Em Collection Agency.” Sister Simpson (Vivian Lasswell again) is a potential client, but she only wants L&A to track down a man for her… she doesn’t care whether he owes her any money or not!
Ben Withers wants L&A to collect a $100 debt from Harold W. Fein (“fine”) of Mt. Ida. The only problem with collecting the money is that Harold is dead. The Fein estate is now under the direction of Mt. Ida lawyer Duirwood Zincafoose, but before going to see him Lum thinks they should visit Mena and buy a used car (“and if we can’t afford that, we’ll buy a new one”).
Arriving at the county seat, L&A are faced with a long row of used car dealerships: ;”Honest Yohnson, the Smiling Norwegian,” Ken Christy
Gonzales, the “Honest Laughing 11 S
Kalua, the Howling Hawaiian,” etc.
Remember, this is supposed to be MENA they are talking about, not southern California.) The dealer they finally meet with is “Just Plain Bill,” deeply voiced by Lum & and Abner and Great Gildersleeve alumnus Ken Christy. Bill sells them a motor scooter with a side- car (Abner gets the sidecar), and our friends hit Highway 88 for Mt. Ida.
Abner thinks he and Lum should advertise with signs like L&A listeners:
he is Eknore Vincent, who spent most of 1944 as Abner’s half-senile “papa,” Phinus Peabody! Vincent’s performance as Zincafoose is actually based more upon a character he did on various radio shows for years before he joined up with L&A, a tongue-tied orator then known as “Senator Fishface.”
Seeing that Abner is bent in half from his ride in the sidecar, Zincafoose thinks he can make a good case;
ZINCAFOOSE: You say you were hit by the sidecar in the side street… er, sideswiped by the streetcar… The conductor was nebuloits… inebriated… OH, ffE WAS SWACKED, was he? Well, you’ve got a good strong case there, Mr. Pearblossom!
Lum finally gets in a word or two, and tells Zincafoose that they are collecting a $100 debt for Ben Withers…
ZINCAFOOSE: Ben Withers! I know him well! We were boyhood schools together… er, schoolboy stool pigeons together… er, we were in. reform school together…
At last, L&A get the info that Zincafoose transferred the debt to Orlo Wormley, who owed $100 to the Fein estate.
Back to the motor scooter, and off to the Wormley home, which is just two blocks off the main street.. of Fort Smith, that is. Their knock on the door is answered by the tearful Mrs. Wormley (Bea Benaderet again, using the same voice she employed as Maude Toops back in the January 2 program).
When Orlo shows up, he too is miserable and forlorn; for years, we were unable to identify the actor playing Orlo, but the Gassman brothers of SPERDVAC finally confirmed that he is Hal March. Orlo brightens when he finds out L&A are collecting the Ben Withers debt, because he has already transferred that $100 to one William Calhoun of Mena (Wormley refers to Mena as “the county seat,” even though in Fort Smith that reference would be nonexistent).
Naturally, after L&A motor back to Mena, they find that William Calhoun is used car dealer “Just Plain Bill,” to whom they still owe $100 for the motor scooter.
As Lum puts it: “Here we travyov.
The Brothers Gassman have identified actress Virginia Gregg as playing the mother and also providing the sounds of the baby. Dink Trout returns to the cast, not as Luke Spears but as the announcer in the depot, reeling off Jack Benny inspired itineraries such as “Bus now leaving for Hatfield, Cove, and Texarkannnnnnnna.” An actor identified by the Gassman’s as Ed Macks appears as a holdup man who finds his criminal career thwarted by Abner’s innocence, and Macks later doubles as a mumbling bus driver. We do not know who plays the suspicious woman who keeps an eagle eye on L&A and their newly-acquired infant This is one of the very few L&A episodes ever in which none of the action actually occurs in Pine Ridge.
Learn more about the world of Lum and Abner from the pages of the National Lum and Abner Society.