In addition to
being broadcast in widescreen when shown overseas, "The Next Witness"
is one of four Nero Wolfe episodes that were literally doubled
in length for international broadcast. Solo interviews with principals
in the story punctuate the 90-minute episode. Other scenes are expanded
-- most notably Wolfe and Archie's visit to Saul Panzer's apartment, a
scene sketched by Rex Stout and extrapolated by screenwriter Sharon
Elizabeth Doyle that is a favorite with fans. The cheese-and-checkers
scene at Saul's place runs a full five minutes longer in the
international version. A transcription follows.
[After Saul's "Will you have some beer?" and Wolfe's "Indeed! Indeed I
will, if you please!"]
Wolfe: I'm feeling a bit peckish. Have you got anything -- a sandwich,
something... Don't, don't put yourself out in any way on my behalf.
It's just that I've a -- [Saul begins delivering trays of food] --
Wolfe: I'm not really that hungry. Archie just drove me to Dixie's and
I had a bowl or two of chili. Mmm, this is wonderful... Don't tell me
there's more? When did you have time to do this? Actually, Dixie sends
his regards to you. Do you know him well? Do you go there often?
Saul: Not too often, sir.
Wolfe: Because he seems to know you very well.
Saul: Oh he's a charming guy.
Wolfe: He says you bring a very attractive young lady in there quite
Saul: He's got me mixed up with someone else, Mr. Wolfe.
Saul: I think so.
Wolfe: There's no need to deny, deny, deny.
[Saul brings yet another tray.]
Wolfe: I was hungrier than I thought. This is extraordinary. Oh no,
Saul: No, glad to hear it...
Wolfe: Saul! I couldn't have a... I can't eat another bite.
Wolfe: What is this made from? Duck?
Saul: Yes it is.
Wolfe: Ah. It's duck liver. Mmm. Excellent. Why don't you join me?
Saul: I will, as soon as...
Wolfe: Mmm. What have we here? Vermont Cheddar.
[Saul smiles and nods.]
Wolfe: Piedmont Gorgonzola.
Saul: Vacherin Mont d'Or.
Wolfe: Impossible. That is made from the milk of cows who have been fed
the last cuttings of grass before the first snow. It's available only
for four weeks in September.
Saul: Summer stayed late in the Alps this year. A friend of mine keeps
an eye out for me.
Wolfe: Satisfactory! You must tell this friend to keep an eye out for
me next year.
Saul: It'll be my pleasure.
Wolfe: May I?
Archie, voiceover: Naturally, the first time Wolfe ate under his roof
Saul wanted to give him good grub. Okay, but three kinds of cheese was
piling it on.
[Saul and Wolfe play checkers.]
Wolfe: I notice that you have the new translation of Aristotle's
Saul: It's more colloquial -- it provides a voice.
Wolfe: What is your estimation of its value?
Saul: No one sets out the problem deducing a conclusion from a set of
disparate facts so clearly.
Wolfe: But is it of use? I mean, he never condescended to actual
practice... King me, king me.
Saul: Well, he's Aristotle.
Wolfe: Indeed. Yes, he defined the terms for all of us, didn't he.
Archie: Yeah, yeah, that's certainly true. I'll never forget his
fashion advice: Never mix togas and sandals on a windy day. It's ruled
Wolfe: That's hilarious.
Saul: Your move.
[The fast-cut checkers match between Saul and Wolfe follows --
concluding with Saul saying, "Shall we call it a draw?" and their
Wolfe: I suppose her panic wore off. I'm going to bed.
Saul: I'm afraid I don't have any pajamas that, uh, that you could get
into, Mr. Wolfe. But I do have a robe, from the Sudan.
Wolfe: Robe? What sort of robe?
[The phone rings. Archie silences them as he reaches for it and takes
the call from the "Queen of Hearts." He arranges to meet Helen Weltz and
Archie: If her panic wore off, it wore on again. Now, Saul -- make some
coffee. She'll need that, either that or bourbon. And maybe she likes
Wolfe [calling after Saul]: That robe -- is it going to be big enough?
[End of scene, international broadcast version]