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"The Black Cat"
written by Edgar Allan Poe
adapted to radio by Dennis Rhodus

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Synopsis

Allan, living with his wife and his black cat, Pluto, has been having problems. He reads about microwaves jumping off power transformers. He thinks this might be causing the problems. His problems become more intense. One night Allan returns home drunk and gouges his pet cat's eye out with a knife. A few weeks later, apparently because he feels guilty when he looks at the one-eyed cat, Allan takes the cat into the back yard and hangs him. That night his house burns down. Later, when Allan looks at the ruins, he discovers what he thinks is the shape of a cat hanging from a noose outlined on the one standing wall, above his bed.

Allan and his wife move to a new house. Allan continues to drink, and, one night, in the local bar, he finds and adopts another black cat exactly like Pluto. Several weeks later, when Allan, axe in hand, goes down to the cellar to break up some kindling for the winter, his new cat runs under his feet and nearly causes him to fall. He raises the axe, intending to hurl it at the cat, but his wife grabs his arm, and he kills her instead.

He thinks of ways of disposing of the body and eventually decides to tear down a brick wall in the cellar and seal her body up behind it. He does this and is very proud of his work. A policeman questions Allan about his wife's disappearance, but the officer's questions are too easily answered; he doesn't even search the house. Allan feels he needs more of a challenge. A few days later, two more policemen search the house thoroughly. They search the cellar last, and, as they are about to leave, Allan proudly slaps on the very wall behind which he has buried his wife's body. The officers hear something that sounds like a baby crying from behind the wall. They get crowbars and break down the wall to find Allan's wife's body with the one-eyed black cat sitting on her head.

 
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Last modified: June 04, 2015