"The Third One" features Martin Balsam in a story about a little girl named Jane, who doesn't want to admit to her parents that she was bitten by a rabid dog.
We can't really blame Jane because her parents seem to have problems of their own, particularly her mother. Grace is a woman whose moods swing back and forth...like a swing. She seems to be very annoyed, with her husband, her daughter, her job, etc. Why? Well, it has something to do with being an overwhelmed working mother, but we are never sure. Her husband, Robert, thinks that a nice family vacation will fix everything. Grace tells him several times, "that this won't do any good." Nevertheless, Robert, convinces her with his cheerfulness that everything is going to be great! Grace goes outside to look for Jane so that they can leave on their trip.
We find Jane playing hopscotch with some other neighborhood kids. Suddenly, the kids find something new to play with. It is a funny-looking, growling dog coming towards them. "Here boy! Here boy!" The little girl on the left is smarter than the two stupid boys on the right. She goes over to tell a policeman about the strange dog, but it is already too late. AAaaaaaaahh! Mad dog! Mad dog!
The dog attacks Jane and the two little boys. The policeman, played by Martin Balsam, shoots the animal down in the street. In the post-dog attack pandemonium, Jane is confused. She is hurt and scared, but when she realizes that the policeman will have to inform her parents, she slips away from the crowd. After dealing with the annoying mother of one of the little boys, and then talking to the other little boy, the policeman realizes that the little girl has disappeared! Do they know who she was? No. Do they know where to find her? No.
Grace asks Jane where she was. Was she playing with the neighbor's dog? Jane tells her mother "No," which is true. Jane wasn't playing with the neighbor's dog, she was attacked by a vicious rabid dog. She just chooses not to mention it because she is afraid her parents will scold her. Their conversation is interrupted by a phone call from her mother's office. Then, Robert comes in and gives Grace another pep talk about how this vacation is going to be fantastic! Grace then notices the band-aid on Jane's arm, but Jane tells her it is just a scratch. Her mom looks at it and doesn't recognize it as anything serious. So, they all go on vacation.
Meanwhile the ambulance picks up the two little boys and the paramedic warns the policeman that he must find that little girl immediately. She needs to be treated for rabies within the next 24 hours. If not, her chances for survival are slim. The police put the story out to media to try and find her.
When Jane and her parents reach their vacation destination, they seem more or less as tense and unhappy as they were back in the city. Grace picks up the newspaper and reads the article about the missing girl who was bitten by a mad dog. She reads aloud the description of what happens to rabies victims and shudders. Robert mentions that kids are "always getting into some kind of trouble."
The next day, Grace is back on her emotional see-saw. It is too bad that they brought her on this vacation; she sure knows how to throw a wet blanket around. Robert surprises Jane with a radio to replace the one she broke the day before. So now they have a radio, and they can hear the news reports about the little girl the police are trying to find...
"The Third One" aired on November 22, 1949. Margaret Phillips played Grace, Theodore Newton played Robert, and Iris Mann played Jane. This episode is available on Suspense: The Lost Episodes, Collection 2, Disc 1.