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Sorry, Wrong Number: Radio Play Synopsis and Summary

Updated on June 12, 2016


One mysterious night, along the dark trail of Second Avenue, fear fills the house of this old lady named Mrs. Stevenson. Her caring husband, Mr. Stevenson is away, working late at work. She’s alone and bedridden, and it’s past her bedtime. To alleviate her suffering, she rings her husband’s office phone again and again but is unable to, causing her to ask for the operator.

Surprisingly, she hears someone... someone not her husband. On the other end of the line, two tough men plotting murder converse, leaving Mrs. Stevenson completely agitated. The details astound her: the murder would be done at 11:15 when the private patrolman has left for the bar and when the train crosses the bridge. She decides she must do something about it that this dreadful murder might be averted, so she gets in touch with the operator, who in turn refers her to the chief operator, who in turn refers her to the police. Sergeant Martin answers, simply telling her to leave it up to them. Perplexed at people who couldn’t care less, she seems to find no hope.

...until the phone rings. She picks it up, and no one answers. It happens again; she picks it up, and no one answers. She starts reacting hysterically, but then realizes something: now the murderers know for sure that she is home. Then she receives a telegram from Mr. Stevenson, which says that he is on a business trip and that he would be back tomorrow. Mrs. Stevenson bursts into tears.

Deeply in need for a companion, she calls Henchley Hospital for a nurse for the night. She does not realize, it was already 11:14. Suddenly, there was a click on the telephone line. She thinks someone might be downstairs. She is torn between screaming for help and being as quiet as possible. However, she couldn’t stand it anymore, she asks for the police department.

Unfortunately, it was too late. At 11:15, when the murderer enters her bedroom and Mrs. Stevenson screams. A train passes by and Mrs. Stevenson is shot dead at the same time. Later, when the police finally answers back, the murderer says it is a wrong number. As the night passed and darkness ceased, Mr. Stevenson disappears, and is never heard of again.

Alternative Summary

Years ago, in a mansion situated in the middle of New York, nothing other than constant whining could be heard. Meet Mrs. Stevenson: an old woman who has nothing to do but to complain, wanted her husband home for the night. To pacify her desire for companionship, she attempts to call her husband. Unfortunately, the line is busy. Because of this, she decided to turn to the operator.

However, something happens—something she did not expect. The operator connects her to a conversation between two murderers plotting against a woman alone Second Avenue at 11:15. This resulted to anguish which now reigns in her heart. Carried away, she decided to ask for help from others, going through the operator, the chief operator, and the police. Finding no luck, she begins to lose hope.

Out of nowhere, the phone rings. To her terror, no one answers. It rings again; still, no one answers, causing her to become frantic. At this time, something comes to her; the murderers now realize she is home. The phone rings one more time. This time it is a telegram from Mr. Stevenson. Once she learns that her husband would be away for the night, she is devastated.

Helpless, she now demands companionship. She rings Henchley Hospital and asks for a nurse. She has no idea it is too late. Not knowing what to do, Mrs. Stevenson attempts to ring the operator and ask for help. But today was not her lucky day.

A shadowy figure has entered Mrs. Stevenson's bedroom. As the subway train goes by outside the window, there is a struggle and a scream. Fifteen minutes past eleven, there was silence in this mansion, and whining no more.

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