Dr. Charles Cromwell is preparing to accept a large gift for Euclid College when a woman from his past makes a drunken appearance. He learns the donor's aide is behind her appearance. When the aide is found dead, Cromwell is charged.
The new president of Euclid College, Dr. Charles Cromwell, is doing his best to ensure that a major donor to the college isn't offended in any way. James Vardon is going to receive an honorary degree at the upcoming commencement exercises and has promised the college a donation of $1 million. As a result, Cromwell is walking on egg shells and pretty well letting Vardon's assistant Robert Haskell, walk all over him. Cromwell is shocked when a woman arrives at he college in a taxi looking for someone named Curly. She is literally falling down drunk and the taxi whisks her away. She's soon in the hospital and it's revealed that Cromwell is the old friend she is looking for. He had met her long ago and she has left him a small bequest in her will. He visits Perry Mason worried that the will may become public and the impact it would have if Vardon or his assistant should ever hear about it. When Haskell is found dead however, Cromwell is charged with murder. Written by
Let me tell you what I am: A disgusting frightened little coward who let his best friend take the rap for him!
***SPOILERS*** This was one "Perry Mason" episode that didn't have to go full circle for Perry, Raymond Burr, to get the murderer to brake down and confess. He voluntarily let the cat out of the bag by confessing to the crime because his conscience not Perry forced him to do it! The victim Robert Haskell, Willam Allyn, was attempting to discredit Euclid Collage president Dr.Charles Cromwell, Karl Weber, in not being up to the hight moral standards that Haskell's boss James Vernon, Will Wright, expected of him. Thus jeopardize a desperately needed one million dollar grant to the collage.
Haskell came up with information that back in 1935 when Cromwell was a sailor in the US Navy he was involved in a free for all bar-room brawl in Panama City where a man was knifed to death. Despite being dead drunk and out cold at the time Cromwell, using the name Curly Oliver, when he sobered up quickly checked out on his boat before he could be questioned by he local police in him being the prime suspect in the killing. Now some 25 years later Haskell unearthed from a local ginmill former bar-girl Maizie Freitag, Barbara Stuart, who was the reason for that deadly free for all that an stone cold drunk and totally out of it Charles Cromwell was a part of. It was Maizie who helped the 17 year old Cromwell escape and now is being used, with a couple of cheap bottles of whiskey, by Haskell to expose his dark past to keep his collage from getting the million dollar grant!
Passing out from all the whiskey that she consumed and ending up in the hospital with a fatal heart-attack it's soon discovered that Maizi left Cromwell her life savings of $2,000.00 that instead of helping him would implicated,in her leaving it to Curly Oliver, James Cromwell in the 1935 bar-room killing! With other complications added into the mix like a love letter attributed to Charles wife Mrs. Mary Cromwell, Phylis Avery, to Euclid Collage student Dick Wilson, John Wilder, that a love sick Wilson actually wrote to himself. Now with sticky fingers Haskell getting his hands on it not only is Cromwell's career and freedom about to go bust but his marriage as well! With all the trouble he cause it's a given that Haskell won't live long enough to see the final ending of this very confusing and complicated "Perry Mason" episode. The big question is which of the many people who had it in for Haskell eventually was the one who finally did him in!
***SPOILERS*** As the truth comes out in court in what a lowlife creep Haskell was it's also reviled the reason for his actions in him disgracing the kind and honorable Dr. Charles Cromwell. Haskell had been embezzling his bosses James Vernon money and playing the stock market where he ended up losing $250,000.00 of it! With Vernon ready to give a one million grant to Euclid Collage he's soon to find out that he was a quarter of a million dollars light and know exactly who's the person who stole it from him: The person who Vernon treated as his own son that despicable swindler and blackmailer Robert Haskell! And it didn't take that long for one of Haskell's many victims over the years to finally brake down in court and admit killing him! In by knowing in his heart that instead of getting sent to jail or the state's gas chamber he'll get a ticker tape parade down Main Street for doing that lowlife in!
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