PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Paris - Spa - Brussels - San Francisco
June drove me to Belgium in her Porsche, and I was ready to ask her to join our team. Very nifty around the curves.
Pete finished a credible third at Spa - a lousy third, he said - and when I congratulated him, wearing my GB blazer, he looked genuinely delighted. Told him there was one for him in June's car, and we spent the night at an all-weekend house party thrown by one of the local moguls.
Lost track of Pete and June early in the evening, but met a fellow named Willem Van Rensselear who had two girls on his arm offering consolation that he'd crashed out of the race. (Pete told me later he's the son of Mona Martin, the much-married millionaires.)
After a few drinks with them I asked for a room in the quietest part of the house, and crashed myself, only waking to June's knock about breakfast and a drive to Brussels Airport.
Pete waited for my departure to drop the bombshell that, not only had he gotten confirmation of our inaugural race in Rio de Janeiro next month, but that I too would be driving.
I took off for San Francisco with the most extreme of emotions - elation over Brazil, and a dark feeling about keeping the appointment with Dr. Mason that's been on my calendar four months.
Quiet flight back to San Francisco, and no making dates with stewardesses. All part of learning the rules of the road. Soon as she met me at the airport, I regailed Kate with the news about GB's first race in Brazil, and that I would be driving.
She congratulated me, and said that Molly was there right now as part of her graduation present world tour (along with a couple hundred thousand in her purse), staying with the family of one of her sorority sisters.
But all in all, Kate seemed quite preoccupied, and over dinner, admitted that she just might need that shoulder to lean on.
Similar down vibes from Dwight Sinclair when I called to confirm our lunch date tomorrow. When I rang he was desperate like someone after crumbs that lead to a path out of the woods.
Here I am, going to find out if my time is shorter than expected, and everyone is leaning on ME for comfort. Where is it that I go for support?
Monday, July 26
What a long, long day. Spent all morning in Gene Mason's office. He too said that there was something he wanted my help on, but would talk to me about it later.
He promised a brief, preliminary assessment of the incredibly lengthy new tests tomorrow - nothing I should put too much weight on, since he wanted to show everything to a couple colleagues, and would have the whole story on the 9th, then said he wanted to see me again in two months this time, and made an appointment for September.
Dwight told me that he'd finally located his daughter, and that she was a go-go dancer at a Las Vegas casino. The ballerina? Worse, she appears to be involved with some mobster.
That this could be the same Sarah Sinclair, bound for Wesley when I last saw her, daughter of the ramrod straight man I've always known her father to be, seemed more than impossible.
Thought that she was happily married, but Dwight said that the union had broken up in May, and he could no longer communicate with her. It wasn't that bridges were broken, but she was just a different person.
Remembering how she had had a crush on me when in her teens, Dwight asked if I might go to Las Vegas and talk to Sarah, at least find out how she was.
My mentor since college, the man who put my lost political career on the road, I couldn't turn down anything Dwight asked of me, and promised to fly out tomorrow.
What I found was on Kate's mind turned out to be the last thing I would have thought of. She said that her mother was having an affair, something she had begun to suspect when still in the clinic, and now knew for sure to be the case.
This just threw me. A handsome woman, surely, but I always thought of Alice Pierce as a mother figure, and can barely get my head around this ….. or know any way of offering support to Katie.
Then, after all that was over, she asked if I'd heard anything about the house. I told her that this might be our last night here, as Tim had told me he had a buyer who was ready to purchase - maybe someone from overseas, as they hadn't looked at the place, and all dealings had been with a lawyer.
“Maybe the buyer has already seen the house,” Kate suggested, then covered her mouth to conceal the embarrassed smile that was breaking out.
But her eyes gave it all away. I wanted to say no, I wouldn't sell to her, but then wondered why not. Because she would have fallen into the unhealthy state of living in a ghost's house?
Instead, I just shook my head chidingly, and said that some negotiation would be required. Then she insisted on washing the dishes. This domestic side of Dr. Pierce always fascinates me.
San Francisco - Las Vegas
Tuesday, July 27
Tried to put Kate's idea out of my head, but every sentimental bone in my body crossed swords with every brain cell in my skull. I might pretend to myself to be a person of the mind, but my heart has won just about all the battles.
It was with the first genuine sense of fear that I rang Gene Mason this morning, just scared that the hazardous way I've been living might have escalated the course of the disease.
Not revealing a thing, he said there was “nothing to worry about” …. amazing choice of words …. In his preliminary reading of some of yesterday's tests.
But he suggested that I come by his office in the afternoon, as he had something he wanted to discuss with me. Anywhere but his office, I pleaded, and we made a date to get together at Fisherman's Wharf at 4.
Went by the gallery, to pick Kate up for lunch and spring my surprise, asking if she'd like to travel with me for a while after the race in Brazil.
She said something about going to the moon with me, then produced her own surprise, handing me this morning's copy of the Chronicle, opened to the page which declared, “Distinguished San Francisco art historian Dr. Kathryn Pierce to give major lecture at Columbia.”
I couldn't believe that she hadn't told me, but Kate said that the paper was making too much of it. Just something routine, she claimed, and the situation with her mother - “and you,” she tried to say in a throwaway kind of way, had compartmentalized the talk in a small place of her mind.
Her speech the same weekend as the race in Rio, I wondered if we might do the travelling thing some other time, but we came up with something even better than flying out of San Francisco, and decided to meet in the Bahamas.
So I went on to meet Mason with a lighter heart. Over a snack at DiMaggio's, and emphasizing that I shouldn't put too much weight into such a cursory look at only some of the tests, Dr. Mason told me he'd seen no advancement in the disease, and his prognosis remained the same.
I couldn't help asking if that might mean that I might still have the nine to 18 months, but he told me that I'd have to wait until he and colleagues looked at all the data. He then asked me about the race, and I could see that any further discussion of my tests was impossible.
Of course, I couldn't help lighting up, speaking about the prospect of driving in company with some of the top names in the world in a brand new race in Rio, and to my surprise, Gene went back to my condition, saying that it was incredible, how I had “adjusted” to my situation.
That brought him to the favor he wanted, for me to speak to a young girl who “had a similar prognosis,” and might benefit from talking with me. He actually wasn't sure whether her father had told her yet, but thought that the man could also use my support.
As they're living in Africa at the moment, I should be able to see them on the little tour Kate and I are planning. She and I had a quick dinner out at the airport, and I told her that I'd rung Tim and instructed him to take the house off the market, then handed her the key.
To her protest that she already had one, I said that this one was THE key, and reminded her that the house was already hers in the will. This unfortunately clinical remark by the lawyer left the man - and the woman - unable to meet each other's eyes, and we were both grateful for the disruption caused when the Las Vegas flight was called a minute later.
Checked into the hotel where Sarah is working, and saw her in seconds, wriggling in a cage above the bar. When we met it was instantly clear how much she'd changed.
Whatever schoolgirl crush she may have had, it was going to be of no use to me now, but she did agree to meet me at a soda shop in the wee hours. I've set the alarm for two, and will get a little shut eye in case this turns out to be a long night.
Las Vegas & Grand Canyon
Wednesday - Saturday, July 28 - 31
The girl who met me at the soda fountain wasn't even a relation of the Sarah I'd last seen before she went off to college. Obvious now why Dwight was so torn up, there wasn't an ounce of the old substance left. I felt completely dejected, and suspected that she was not just brainwashed, but high on something.
Not really meaning it, I invited her to go to the Grand Canyon with me, and she appeared to take such an outing as little more than a joke.
Back at the hotel I was interrogated by three heavies about my plans, and though she wasn't mentioned, it clearly had something to do with Sarah. As a reminder that they meant business, one nearly broke my fingers.
The next morning, though too sore to hold a pen, I was able to take off for the Grand Canyon, and amazingly found a note from Sarah, saying that she'd like to come along.
During our talk on the drive, I became convinced that everything in her manner screamed that she wasn't just jaded, but definitely on drugs. She seemed to enjoy the Grand Canyon, but the physical signs she was displaying by the end of the long day made me decide that she was strung out on something pretty strong - maybe even heroin.
Went back to her room after we parted, and found her setting up to inject herself, her cocky manner turning to begging when I ripped the needle out of her hand. She admitted the substance she was about to take not only contained both heroin and cocaine, but other addictives as well.
The heavies had apparently been following us, and burst in with their boss man, Cappi, who'd been the one to turn Sarah into a drug slave. They made sure I had two bad hands now, and were roughing me up when the manager knocked.
I don't know what he saw, but later got him to sign an affidavit about the incident in order to get Cappi extradited to Arizona for the assault. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that, when appearing before a judge on Friday, he and a cab driver suddenly lost their memories.
Decided that Dwight needed to intervene, but could see how he and Sarah had come to live on different planets.
His arrival at the casino proved that it was a lot more than not communicating, and after one difficult meeting with her, Dwight just gave up, telling me that she was a grown up beyond his influence.
Though initial appeals couldn't change his mind, I found myself suddenly representing Sarah instead of my mentor. Trying to empathize with her position, I reminded Dwight that he was all she had in the world.
It felt like I was pleading for someone about to face a death sentence. Their lives had obviously diverged since his wife's passing, but whether he remembered something from Sarah's childhood or a father's responsibility, Dwight came back with me from the airport to try and save her.
It was really all about getting rid of this hood Cappi, and we put together a story about how a group of rich and powerful politicians like Dwight were going to initiate a Constitutional amendment harnessing the other 49 states disapproval of gambling to have the practice outlawed everywhere in the US.
We presented the news to the man identified to us as Cappi's superior in the local mob, telling him this was all because of a vendetta towards Cappi, and though he dismissed us as meaningless, the next day, my Arizona witnesses had regained their memory and Cappi's two dozen alibis for the time of the assault also changed their stories.
The Las Vegas prosecutor assured me that Cappi was now likely to be extradited and convicted. No surprise that the man went on the warpath, and Sarah was his target.
She came begging her father for help, meaning drugs, but Dwight said that he would only take her to a hospital, and I agreed that it was the only deal in town for her, now that Cappi had shut off the cash and made sure that no one would supply her with heroin or anything else.
In Sarah's state of desperation, it was obvious that she'd say yes to anything, and the three of us walked out of the hotel, a police escort having been supplied by the prosecutor who was also in our party.
Then, in one frightening moment, shots were being fired at us. Both Sarah and the marshall were hit, and whereas in hindsight, I know that I should have thrown myself to the ground and taken cover, something made me grab the lawman's gun from the pavement, and try to see where the shots were coming from.
It was Cappi, and now he started firing at me. Maybe I was the target all along. I got a lucky shot in, and he fell back in the car, dead.
A case of self defence, and he was a monster, but I had taken a life - in the same way as my bombs had done in Korea. Another combat situation, but a horrible feeling.
Though it seemed like several minutes went by, it was only seconds later that I heard Dwight calling for an ambulance. The marshall was standing, but Sarah hadn't made it.
A hundred witnesses had seen or heard shots fired from Cappi's car at our party, but no one saw who hit him. Nevertheless, the marshal is being given a new identity, and the statements of our party have been sealed.
The Prosecutor called me a hero, but I couldn't help thinking about the people I'd come in contact with since the diagnosis who had preceded me in death. Henri, diving in Actif, Ned Loomis, accidentally killed by the police chief in Pine Grove, the young boy mistakenly shot by Carl Hague, my dear, dear friend Doug Haynes, taken by a fever in the New Guinea jungle, Angie Zeno gunned down by a rival in Las Vegas, Bud and Lee, massacred by police in Acapulco, and the Commandant who shot his sergeant and was then killed by Gillan in Yugoslavia.
Now this human detritus Cappi, erased at my own hand, the hand that he had prophetically tried to disable.
Just as I've slowly finished writing all this, got a call from Marcella that Barbara Sherwood urgently needed to get in touch with me from London.
When I reached her, she said that her sister had drowned in Milan, and asked if I could meet her there. The poor thing was in floods of tears, and even seemed to think there was foul play. So on it goes. I have to be everyone's tower of strength.
Journal continued in next column
Paul wins a jackpot on arrival in Las Vegas
Paul stops Sara after her dance
Sara claims her tawdry life to be wonderful
Three heavies in smart suits hassle Paul
They drive to the Canyon and Sara babbles about life
Paul finds Sara about to inject herself
The desperate Sara is grateful for her fix
Paul tells Cappi he's filing felony charges in Arizona
Sara says that she may be an addict, but she's fine
At the hearing the hotel man contract his affidavit
They ask Cano to have Cappi put in jail
Paul explains about the 25th amendment plans
Sara tells her father that she needs his help
Sara decides to go with them
Cappi kills Sara
There was a time when I would have viewed such responsibility ambivalently with a sense of duty, but now, though I feel the weight more, and my resources seem diminished, I find myself reaching out to even more people - often strangers.
Used to pontificate that the joy of life was in giving, but the wisdom has taken on ever greater significance in the last months, since there is no more precious commodity to me than time, and when I devote mine to others, it seems to expand so greatly in volume and value, that I become the beneficiary of any support I might offer.
As my mother used to translate Ecclesiastes, “if you feed the sea with bread, it will come back Torta di Ricotta.”And it's her Cassata that I taste every time I do.
Paul arrives in Las Vegas, and before going up to his room, plays the slot machine and wins a jackpot on his first try. Recognizing a girl dancing in a cage, he asks the porter if she's Sara Sinclair, but the jaded porter says it's not his place to carry on a conversation. Paul asks him to take the bags upstairs, and waits to meet Sara, daughter of Pauls friend who is a former San Francisco mayor.
The porter goes to the hotel owner and points out the man at table 16 knows Sara.
Paul greets her when she's finished dancing and left her cage. He asks her if her father knows she's here, and she asks him the same question back. He invites her to have a drink with him, but she suggests that he meet her when she's off work at 4 am in a soda fountain, and there,
Sara sings the praises of Las Vegas as the new way everyone will be living someday. She tells Paul of the failure of the marriage her parents objected to, and when she asks Paul challengingly if she looks like she's hurting anywhere, he replies that she looks and talks as if she died some time ago.
He speaks of remembering her beauty, her high IQ and the money to do anything she wanted. Irritated, Sara gets up, and Paul says goodbye, but then, before leaving, she adds, “if there's anything I can do for you while you're here ….”
He replies that she could come with him to see the Grand Canyon the next afternoon. She seems amused by his idea of somewhere interesting to go, doesn't respond, but tells him to give her love to her father when Paul sees him. However, Paul replies that he doesn't expect to see him.
Shortly afterwards three men come to Paul's hotel room. His identification is checked, and he's asked his plans.
Two thugs then nearly break his fingers. The next afternoon, when he goes to pick up his car for the trip to the Grand Canyon, he finds a note inside from Sara, and she joins him on the drive. She speaks in an odd way, as if she were on drugs, talking of the sunrise being like a bloodshot eyeball and disparaging ordinary life. She says that she's happy being a Las Vegas chorus girl, and has found her town.
Then she notices Paul's damaged fingers, but he asks if she came on the drive so that Paul would give a good report to her father.
He says he'll tell him that Sara is well, but adds that between them, he can see she's in trouble, and wants to know if she needs any help.
She says that she's not in trouble, so Paul asks why three thugs jumped him the night before, and told him to leave town.
Sara suggests that it might be because he cheated at the gambling tables.
He replies that he'd hardly do that at a casino controlled by the mob, and Sara replies, “everything is controlled by something.”
They view the canyon, and take a donkey ride to the bottom, then check into a motel.
When Paul has gone to his own room, Sara desperately opens her bag, and takes out a needle to inject herself with drugs. Then Paul walks back in, and asks, “is it heroin?”
She tells Paul it's a special formula they've made up just for her - cocaine, heroin and a few other things.
He talks about her being hooked, but Sara says that she doesn't like the word. Eventually, he wrests the syringe away from her, but just as he does, the mafia boss Carl Cappi enters the room followed by his henchmen who grab Paul, and take him into the bathroom when the proprietor knocks with ice cubes.
Though the man hears signs of a struggle, and knocks again, he is told to go away, and obeys. Cappi sorts out Sara's fix, and she kisses his hands
The next day Paul tells Cappi that he's filing charges in Arizona for the assault. Cappi says that Paul is out of his mind, and that a dozen witnesses will state that he was in Las Vegas at the time - any time Paul names. Paul replies that he's called Sara's father, and then she walks up herself, apologizing to Paul. However, she then steps behind Cappi in solidarity when Paul says he wants her to testify against the mobster. Cappi declares that he and Sara aren't just an item, but the real thing, and suggests that Paul drop his pursuit, but Paul says he doesn't like the way the real thing was achieved.
Paul visits the Las Vegas District Attorney's office, but they say little can be done against Cappi and mobsters like him without witnesses who frequently have a problem with memory loss, but agrees to go to Arizona for the preliminary hearing of Paul's charges against Cappi.
Sara's father, former mayor of San Francisco arrives, and Paul fills him in. When her dance in the cage is done, Sara comes to their table, and an uncomfortable conversation ensues, ending in some sharp words. When her father apologizes and says he understands that she is sick,
Sara declares that she's fine. Then she admits that she's in deep, but that her father is off target, and he tells her to call him any time she needs him.
At the hearing in Arizona the hotel proprietor recants on statements made in his affidavit, describing completely differently the men who beat Paul up, and saying that Paul had pressured him earlier. A taxi driver also says that he couldn't identify anyone.
Dwight Sinclairdecides to return to San Francisco, leaving his daughter to whatever fate she chooses.
But Paul stops him, and reminds his friend that Sara is sick and he's all she has. They come up with a plan, and visit Joey Cana, the virtual boss of Cappi.
Paul tells Cano that they want him to help put Cappi away for ten years. He doesn't bother to respond, and is completely disinterested in their goals, though Paul advises they plan to do something that will put Cano out of business.
He leaves the room, and it is through the door that Paul shouts about their intention to form a committee.
It will support an amendment to the American constitution - to outlaw gambling in all states. They point out that most citizens would support it, and the FBI sees open gambling as allowing many unsavoury practices in the country. Paul says that it took only a year and a half to pass the 24th amendment, and the 25th could be ratified even quicker. Sinclair declares his millions and those of his friends would be available to back the 25th amendment, and he wants Cappi stopped. Paul adds that he wants Cappi jailed for the assault on him. Cano says that he can't help and wouldn't want to if he could, and asks them to leave.
Sinclair and Paul are about to depart for the airport when the Assistant District Attorney arrives to say that they'll be getting a personal escort from the hotel to the plane, telling them that the Arizona witnesses have changed their minds, and are now willing to testify against Cappi.
The bell boy enters the room, and tells Sinclair that his daughter wants to speak to him in the hall. Sara tells her father that she is about to need a fix, and has no way of getting the drugs. The bellboy says that Cappi has cut her off, asking if it's true that his boss will be going to jail.
When the bellboy has departed, Sara tells her father that she'll do anything, give him any names of people involved in illicit activities, if he'll just give her the money to get the drugs she needs.
Sinclair says he'll help her, but with treatment, not more drugs. She runs away then, and Paul catches up with her, saying that she should take her father's help, and that no one in Las Vegas will supply her with drugs now. She decides to accompany her father, and they are just going to the car when many shots ring out from Cappi's gun, firing at the party.
Both the policeman accompanying them and Sara fall to the ground. Paul fires back, and wounds Cappi, but Sara is dead.
Her father is coming to terms with his daughter's death when Paul sees him off at the airport, but Sinclair says that nothing has changed, and Cappi is still running his private empire.
Paul tells him that it might have been a ploy, but their idea about a constitutional amendment was a good one, and Sinclair says that he will pursue it.
Notes & Comments:
Too predictable and implausible to be a good episode. Enormously full of holes from Paul suddenly having a gun to shoot Cappi to the father's comment that the man would continue running his racket when that issue had supposedly been settled. The fact that the heavies would damage Paul's fingers when he'd done nothing, but let him return to the scene with threats, and do him no harm beggared belief. Also difficult to imagine Cappi getting a ten-year sentence for injuries in the hotel from which Paul recovered almost immediately.
We can suspend belief for important dramatic purposes, such as the fancy that a mafia boss would harm one of his brother criminals over a few people forming a constitutional committee, but this went too far.
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Jo Swerling Jr
Director of Photography
William Margulies A.S.C.
Howard E. Johnson
Hilton A. Green
John McCartey &
James M. Walters
Earl Crain Sr.
Color by Technicolor
Editorial Dept. Head
Costumes by Grady Hunt
Assistant to Executive Producer