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A Hindu Miracle Man Will Cure Lum (1941)

An episode from "Lum and Abner," an American radio comedy that aired as a network program from 1932 to 1954 and was created by co-stars Chester Lauck (who played Columbus "Lum" Edwards) and Norris Goff (Abner Peabody). Set in the fictitious town of Pine Ridge, the show regularly played on "hillbilly" humor. In this particular episode the pair are visited by the Hindu prince "Aloo Kush," known for his healing powers.

Duration: 00:11:24

Date: October 24, 1941
Subject(s): Radio
Type: Audio
Language: English
Source: Lum and Abner

[Phone ringing]

Lum: By grannies, Abner, I believe that’s our ring.
Abner: I doggies, Lum, I believe you’re right.
Lum: I’ll see. Hello, Jot ‘Em Down Store, this is Lum and Abner.

[Theme song]

Narrator: And now, let’s see what’s going down in Pine Ridge.

When Lum appealed to Squire Skimp to not tell the insurance company about his phony broken leg, the Squire came through with a plan to save Lum. For a slight charge of only $500, the Squire would send for his friend, Prince Aloo Kush, a Hindu miracle man of rare powers. The prince would come to Pine Ridge, work his magic, and to all outward appearances, Lum’s leg would be healed and he could throw away his crutches.

As we look in on the little community today, we find Lum and Abner in their Jot ‘Em Down Store, Lum excited over the prospect of a prince coming to town.


Lum: Oh, it’s the greatest idea I ever heard of. Granted, that Squire Skimp can study up more ways to get out of something than anybody I ever seen in my life.

Abner: Well, I expect he’s had enough experience getting his self out of scrapes. There’s a fellow that’s made a living for years with one shady deal after another. Always just barely inside the law on everything he does.

Lum: Well, there ain’t nothing crooked about this, though, Abner. Nobody ain’t gonna be hurt.

Abner: No.

Lum: This Prince Alibi something or other, he calls his self, is supposed to have some kind of power of curing folks. So, he’s just gonna cure my broke leg so I can throw away these crutches and take them bandages off my leg so folks here in town won’t catch on that my leg ain’t sure enough broke.

Abner: Yeah, it’s a good idea alright, I reckon. Kinda unhonest.

Lum: Well, I’ve got to do something, I can’t stay on these crutches for no three months!

Abner: No, well, I guess it’s alright. I just hate to see you get mixed up in anything with Squire Skimp.

Lum: Get mixed up with him? Well, he’s doing me a favor! Getting me out of this whole thing. He could have sent me to the penitentiary, putting in a claim to an insurance company when my leg weren’t broke.

Abner: Well, if it’d been me, I believe I’d have just writ the insurance company and explained the whole thing to ‘em.

Lum: Yeah, and that’d made Squire mad and he'd tell everybody in town my leg ain’t broke.

Abner: Well, let him tell it, why don’t you!

Lum: I can’t, Abner, I’ve carried to too far now. The first day or two I might could have did it, but not now. I’d lose every friend I’ve got in town, ‘special after everybody’s bein’ so nice to me, sympathizin’ and all.

Abner: Well, it’s your business, do as you like about it, Lum.

Lum: I thought this was a good idea. Thought you’d be for it.

Abner: Oh, well, I am, I reckon. I’m just natural a little dubious about anything that Squire Skimp has something to do with.

Lum: Oh, I’ll watch him, don’t you [laughing] worry about that. But he seems to be awful anxious to help me any way he can – even talked the prince down to $500 on the job.

Abner: Down to $500? How much did he want to start with?

Lum: Well, I don’t know, but those princes can’t be running around over the country for nothing, you know.

Abner: Well, that seems like awful lot of money to me.

Lum: It is a lot of money, but it’s a heap cheaper than going to the penitentiary. ‘Cost me that much to hire a lawyer to fight the case for me.

Abner: Yeah, I guess you’re right. Well, uh, when’s the prince gonna get to here, Lum?

Lum: Why, Squire said this morning he’d be here the first of the week. He’s got to find somebody to look after his restaurant for him while he’s gone.

Abner: Restaurant?

Lum: Yeah, he’s retired from being a Hindu miracle man. Runs a restaurant there in Kansas City, Missouri, now.

Abner: A prince running a restaurant?

Lum: Yeah, it does sound funny, don’t it?

Abner: Yeah…

Lum: I asked Squire about that. He said the prince was just doing this for a hobby.

Abner: Hobby?

Lum: Yeah, he wants to meet the great middle class so’s he’ll know how rule his people better when he gets to be a majarajah or something.

Abner: What’s that?

Lum: It’s a king or… it’s what the Hindus call their king.

Abner: Well, I’m sorta anxious to see what the feller looks like. Whereabouts is that country he’s from – Hindu?

Lum: I don’t know… India, I think.

Abner: Oh, well I know some people from – no.

Lum: Hm?

Abner: Not them. I was thinking about India-ana and I know some people from there.

Lum: This is a foreign country. You’ve saw pictures of folks from there – Hindu fakers they call them.

Abner: I don’t believe I ever seen one.

Lum: You know, they wear bandages on their heads, turbans they call ‘em.

Abner: Well.

Lum: Sit around on boards full of nails all the time, eat glass and stuff like that.

Abner: For the land’s sake, well I’d hate to eat at that restaurant of his, sit around on a chair full of nails and eat glass.

Lum: Oh, well, running a restaurant in this country he’d have to have the kind of food we eat.

Abner: Well, I was aimin’ to have him over to the place for supper while he’s here, but he can get broke glass anywhere. Besides, I don’t believe Lizabeth know how to cook it, if I had him over there.

Lum: Well, they don’t eat that all the time, they more likely eat other stuff, too, you know.

Abner: More likely that’s the reason they keep their heads bandaged up – that’d give anybody a headache, eatin’ glass.

Lum: I hear them fellows can take a rope and throw it up in the air and it’ll stay there, just like a flagpole, stickin’ right straight up in the air.

Abner: What’s it tied to?

Lum: Ain’t tied to nothing. And then they can climb right up to the top of it.

Abner: They climb right…?! Are you feeling alright, Lum?

Lum: That’s the truth, they do it. Nobody’s ever figured out how they do it, neither.

Abner: I don’t believe it.

Lum: They even sleep on boards with nails sticking up all over ‘em.

Abner: They got no hammers to knock ‘em down with?

Lum: They don’t want to knock ‘em down! They sorta enjoy torturin’ themselves for some reason.

Abner: Well.

Lum: I’ve heard about ‘em standing on one foot all their lives, punishing their selves for something.

Abner: Well, a crane must be a Hindu then – they stand on one foot thataway.

Lum: Whole one arm up over their head all their lives. And some of ‘em stare at the sun all the time.

Abner: I doggies, it’s worth $500 to see somebody like that, you know it? I believe you made a good deal, Lum. Uh, uh – can he stand with both feet off the floor?

Lum: [Laughs] ‘Course not, how in the world would he do something like that?

Abner: Well, the same way he climbs that rope when it ain’t tied to nothing, I reckon.

Lum: Well, I don’t know whether he does all them tricks or not – Squire never said. All Squire claimed he could do is heal broke bones.

Abner: Well, your leg ain’t sure enough broke, Lum. Why didn’t you just get somebody to make out like they was a miracle man?

Lum: Well, I wouldn’t want to fool nobody… er, I hadn’t thought about that.

Abner: You coulda got somebody for a heap less than $500!

Lum: Yeah… but it’s too late now, Squire’s done hired the feller.

Abner: Yeah. Well, I reckon where he’s gonna stay while he’s in town.

Lum: I don’t know… over at Sister Simpson’s boarding house, I reckon.

Abner: Well, you better be making arrangements for him then, Lum! She ain’t got no bed with nails sticking up in ‘em. You want him to be comfort while he’s here, don’t you?

Lum: [Laughs] Well, I’ve heard some of these drummers talkin’ about how uncomfort them beds are over there, they might just suit the prince.

Abner: Yeah… yeah, instead of sitting on a chair full of nails, if he wants to just torture his self something uncommon like, why he can just sit there in the parlor and listen to Sister Simpson gab all evening.

Lum: [Laughs] It’d be worse than sitting on any nails.

Abner: Oh, there he is.

Lum: Huh?

Abner: Squire, coming up on the porch out there.

Lum: Oh.

Abner: [Whispering] Yeah, there he is.

Lum: Come in, Squire!

Abner: Howdy, Squire!

Lum: Come on back and sit.

Squire: Well, good afternoon, gentlemen, good afternoon.

Lum: You heard any more from the prince, Squire?

Squire: Oh, no no, but I didn’t expect to, Lum. The deal’s all set. He’ll be here. Don’t worry about that. I take it that you’ve told Abner about our plans…

Lum: Yeah, but he ain’t gonna say nothing about it to nobody.

Abner: Won’t breathe it to a soul.

Lum: See, he already knows my leg wasn’t sure enough broke.

Squire: Yes, yes, well that’s alright just so that nobody else knows about it.

Lum: I’ve been thinking about that, Squire. Instead of having a public demonstration down in the park – the prince curing my broke leg with a miracle – why wouldn’t it be better to have it over at the school house?

Squire: Over at the school house?

Lum: Yeah, we can have some entertainment of some kind over there and get a big crowd and then you can introduce the prince as a friend of yours from India, or wherever he’s from.

Squire: Yeah, it’s India, that’s right, Lum.

Lum: Then, tell ‘em that he heals broke bones – if there’s anybody there that’s got a broke bone, have ‘em come up and he’ll cure ‘em. That’s when I’ll step up out of the audience and walk up on the platform.

Squire: Well, sure, that’s not a bad idea, Lum. And as far as entertainment goes, you know the prince is quite a magician. He could entertain the crowd for quite a while with his magic tricks.

Lum: Magic tricks?

Squire: Oh, yes, does all kinds of magic.

Lum: I never knowed he was trained.

Squire: Yes, does everything. And to climax his act, then he could call for somebody from the audience to come up and that he will demonstrate his power of healing.

Lum: Well!

Squire: You can come forward, after he waves a few magic gestures over your leg, you remove the bandages, throw away your crutches, and walk down off the platform a well man.

Lum: I grant you that sounds good, Squire.

Squire: We might even charge a little admission.

Lum: Yeah!

Squire: Advertise it well, might pick up a few dollars that way, Lum [laughs].

Lum: Well, I’m paying for getting him down here – if we charge admission, I get the money, though.

Squire: Well, I think we’ll ought to split it, Lum – 60/40 for me. Speaking of finances, that reminds me what I came over here for, too. Our check came this morning, Lum.

Lum: Our check?

Squire: Yes, the $100 from the insurance company. Here it is, right here, $100 to [unclear] Edwards. It’s all yours. That is, unless, of course [laughs], you want to divide some of it with me for sending in the claim and all, you know.

Lum: Well, here, Squire, I don’t want this money. I ain’t got nothing coming from them.

Squire: Well, I was in hopes that’s what you’d say, Lum. I think under the circumstances that’s the best thing to do. Now, it’s made out to you, so you just endorse it here on the back – write your name right there – and I’ll make it back to the insurance company.

Lum: Well, I’ll mail it to ‘em, Squire.

Squire: Oh, no no, you better let me attend to that, Lum. You write a letter in there and you might say the wrong thing and then they’ll catch on that your leg isn’t really broken and get in to a lot of trouble.

Lum: Yeah.

Squire: You just let me handle it. Here, put your endorsement right there on the back, and I’ll see that everything’s taken care of.

Lum: Alright, Squire, I just hate to put you to all that bother.

Squire: [Laughs] No bother at all, no bother at all, Lum. Glad to help you. Always glad to help a friend.

Lum: Here you are.

Squire: Yes, yes, that’s fine, thank you, Lum. Now, whatever you do, Lum, don’t mention this to a soul. Nor you either, Abner.

Abner: Well, if Lum endorses that check there, why... nothing.

Squire: Yes, yes, that’s alright, now don’t worry about that, Abner. And now don’t forget, Lum: Don’t write to that insurance company, whatever you do.

Lum: No, I won’t. But I want to tell you how I appreciate you looking after this for me, Squire.

Squire: Oh, cut cut.

Lum: Grant you, if I could afford it, I would see that you get something out of this deal, too.

[Theme music]


Donor: My Old Radio
Item History: 2011-11-09 (created); 2013-08-27 (modified)

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