The Police Station (sketch)
by
Robb Wilton


Robb: They don't give you much to work on. (reading) 'Description of man wanted. Dressed in brown suit, all except blue serge coat and trousers. Hair, just turning grey... may have turned by the time you catch him. Believed to be lurking in some passage, between Yarmouth and Aberdeen.' Oh well, I mean, you can't work on a thing like that. I'll never find him - well, I say I'll never find him, but if I do, it may not be him, and if it is he may say it isn't, and you can't mess about... They - they do give you some problems, I...

A woman enters, talking to herself.

Woman: (distraught) Oh why did I do it, why DID I do it? What shall I do? You tell me - what SHALL I do?

Robb: I dun-, I wha-, what -er, what have you done, lady? What is it you've done?

Woman: Oh, I - I've poisoned him.

Robb: Poisoned him? Poisoned who?

Woman: My husband.

Robb: Poisoned your hus-!? Sit down a minute, will you? (He is sitting in the only chair in the room...) It's turned out nice again today, hasn't it? Just er, give me some particulars, will you, Missus, Just a f...Is your husband with y-? Oh no, of course, you've poisoned him. Er, now er, where - where do you live?

Woman: I live at nineteen Fazackerleyvalleyhill Street.

Robb: Nineteen Faza...faz... er, would you mind passing me that again, I've spilt some of it...

Woman: Nineteen Fazackerleyvalleyhill Street.

Robb: I wish you lived somewhere else... I can't spell... Nineteen Faza...faz..Oh, a couple of Fazes and a zac'll do, I dunno... And, er, when did this happen, when was it?

Woman: Last night - we had some friends to supper.

Robb: I see, and did you poison them, as well?

Woman: Why, no.

Robb: Only just like, as you might say, just the one poisoned.

Woman: Oh yes, of course...

Robb: I see, just the one poi... You'll excuse me asking all these questions, but you see they're getting so particular now. It doesn't matter how many you poison, they all have to go down on the list, you see. And um, and what er, what time did this happen?

Woman: At midnight.

Robb: At midnight. You poisoned your husband at midnight.

Woman: Oh, yes...

Robb: That's the idea..., And, er, and what er, what do you want us to do, find you another one, or what? Woman: Well I - I'm here to give myself up.

Robb: Oh... to give yourse... oh, ah, well, no y'know, that's the first we've heard about that, y'see, that's where we get the books all messed up, y'see? Well, I dunno what -- it's put me in a nice mess, th... Here, wait a minute, just, er, just give me his description will you, what sort of a man was your husband?

Woman: Oh... he was uh, he was four feet two.

Robb: Four feet two? (Tears page he is writing on in half) We'll only - we'll only want half a sheet of paper for that.

Woman: Bald-headed.

Robb: Bald head... (shakes pen over ink-well) ... won't want so much ink for that...

Woman: Knock-kneed.

Robb: Knock... knock-kneed? You were in a hurry to get married, weren't you?

Woman: He had no teeth. Robb: No... no teeth?... Had he any ambition?

Woman: He had a wart on his nose...

Robb: A war... Ah well, I think you did the best you could with him. Ah well, I don't know what to do, and you see, up to now, as far as we've gone, we've got no proof. How do I know - what proof have I got that you really have poisoned your husband? Anyone might walk in here and say they've poisoned their husband, you can't go on a thing like that..

Woman: I could show you the poison I gave to him.

Robb: Yes, I know, but d'you see we should have to have something more conclusive than that... If I took everybody's word we'd have the station full in no time... Before we can arrest you, you'll have to get two householders to vouch for you... then it might be, oh, a couple of months before we could take you in. We're that busy we, we don't know which way to turn... Oh, you can't walk in here and get locked up when YOU like- there's others been waiting longer than you...

Woman: Oh, don't you understand, haven't I explained to you, that I am here to give myself up? Robb: Yes, and I'm trying to help you somehow -- but you've come in at such an awkward time. I wish you hadn't poisoned him for another week or two - you - you see the boss is out, now... could you - could you call back again later on? Or... perhaps you'd rather try somewhere else, or... what d'you - what d'you think, yourself?

Woman: Oh no, you tell me. What do you think they will do with me?

Robb: Oh, goodness knows, I don't -- you see -- I've never -- I can't -- I'd... Have you, have you ever poisoned anybody before?

Woman: Yes. I have...

Robb: You have done?

Woman: Yes.

Robb: Ah -- well, what did you do then?

Woman: (laughing) Why, I escaped!

Robb: Yes, well, perhaps you'd better escape again... 'Course, you know, you've done wrong, I mean, it's not right to go about poisoning people...

Woman: (indignant) Wrong?

Robb: Well -- I say 'wrong'...

Woman: I've done wrong...

Robb: Well, you know what I mean...

Woman: Oh but of course I have, it's always the woman who does wrong, never the man, always the woman, al-ways the woman!

(She slaps him)

Robb: Ooh! Ah well, you're NOT coming in now, you see, and you can poison seven more and you won't come in...

Woman: Look here. This is a Police Station, isn't it?

Robb: It doesn't matter to you WHAT it is... you're not going to mess it about as you like. Poisoned your hus... we lived before you poisoned your husband.

Woman: And I thought I was doing right in coming here...

Robb: Aye, I dare say...

Woman: Now... what am I to do? Robb: I don't know.

Woman: Even the police have turned against me...

Robb: No, no, no -- the police have NOT turned against you -- you're taking it the wrong way... Did I say anything against you poisoning your husband? I don't mind you poisoning your husband. Have y-, have you been married before?

Woman: Oh yes! Three times.

Robb: Three times? And did you poison any of them?

Woman: Ha - all of them!

Robb: Ah well, you'll have to try and break yourself off it -- you're letting it grow on you, y'see. You -- you'll be finding yourself at the Assizes...

Woman: The Assizes? Oh no, not that. Oh no, they shall never do that to me -- they shall never take me alive - never ! Never! Never!

Woman exits in a hurry.

Robb: Oh... thank goodness she's gone!... Well If I'd been her husband she wouldn't have poisoned me... I'd have poisoned meself!


The end