As a mission from his doctor, Paul joins Julie Foster (Lesley Ann Warren) and her father on safari. Julie is dying, and her father initially decided not to tell her, but when he does, she reacts hysterically, and Paul tries to help her come to terms with the news.
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Chronology of Events
Nairobi / Masai Safari Park
Wednesday, August 18
Hoping to have a few more hours together, I suggested Kate might take a later flight and come along on my mission for Gene Mason to the Masai Safari Club. The troubled expression on her face was compounded by a response that she was distressed by people who travelled around the world to go killing.
So I saw her off for her flight back to the US, and am now waiting for my taxi to take me to the Club. Though there wasn't a moment that we weren't close as ever, I can't help but sense there's something wrong, and blame myself.
What self-destructive force within me chose such a difficult program for our trip, and is there also a sadistic streak in my character that put Kate through that punishing schedule with two overnight flights in ten days? On my own I had never moved at that speed.
She's become convinced that my new lifestyle is necessary to maintain sanity, but I know that no matter what I do to try and preserve a sense of balance, my mind is severely affected.
I know Gene Mason explained that the earliest signs of the disease were psychological, but what's come on me has turned my psyche around
… The erratic behavior and bizarre nightmares … the sound judgment I always credited myself with now so often flawed or even abandoned … the rise of an over-quick temper, completely unlike the famously Cool Paul Bryan who defied his Sicilian blood … and the danger I keep putting myself in. Is it thrill seeking, a desire for instantaneous death or simply irrational?
I think Kate was wrong. Perhaps it is living on my own that has been the cause of some of these problems. Maybe I have a tendency to lie to myself about why I'm doing things, to convince myself that I've made the right choices.
A loud woman was posing with two elephant tusks when I arrived at the Safari Club. At that moment I was grateful Kate hadn't come along.
Approached Mark Foster with Dr. Mason's letter, and though aware that I was a patient too, he was angered by the breech of confidentiality, and pretty much told me to mind my own business, then relented, asking me to stay for dinner and meet his daughter.
Think we were both glad of that, and so was Julie, a lovely girl, full of vitality and genuineness. He hasn't told her about the diagnosis.
I spent a good part of the evening in her most charming company, and after we said good night, Mark invited me to go on safari with them tomorrow. What a unique opportunity. I couldn't help but accept instantly.
On behalf of Dr. Gene Mason, Paul's doctor, he visits Mark Foster, on safari in Kenya, to see if he can lend support to the man whose daughter has a terminal illness.
Foster is rude, but then apologizes, and invites Paul to meet his daughter at dinner. Paul is enchanted with the naturalness of Julie, and Foster decides to ask Paul to accompany him into the bush on safari.
On Safari in Kenya
Thursday - Friday, August 19 - 20
It took us a day and evening of travelling in uncomfortable trucks over bumpy roads before we finally stopped. But once we did, things were very civilized. Ice cubes in our tents and breakfast on fine linen - but the large cat that skirted our camp while some of us slept was a reminder that this wasn't Yosemite.
We went off in jeeps then, and Julie took photographs with a wonderful enthusiasm. I began to believe Mark made the right decision not to tell her.
Seeing all these animals running free in the wild was an incomparable experience, but then we set out on foot for the real business at hand - bagging a lion. I could see that Mark couldn't wait, but nevertheless, generously offered me the first go.
However, our attention was suddenly drawn elsewhere, as an elephant began to charge at us. Being the client, I was given the privilege of shooting him, and I guess, saved everyone.
A big celebration was held in the evening, feting me over the kill, but I noticed that Julie went away from it. Maybe she thought it was a show like the one she mocked at the safari club.
Perhaps she felt the way Kate does. Julie said she'd never wanted to accompany her father on safari before.
Afterwards Mark came into my tent to ask me how I felt about knowing the prognosis. Since I came offering help, suppose I'd asked for this grilling on a subject I don't want to think about, much less discuss, but said the news had changed my focus.
Having in mind my long range objective to become Governor of California, but not certain I could even get the party's nomination for Attorney General, I explained how I'd been living for a long-range goal that might never even happen, and after learning about the diagnosis, I started living for the day that was here and now and real, no longer putting life off until someday.
Of course, it was all words, and I don't really know what I'm doing at all, this going after life I told him about, it might be an aim, but whether it's an accomplishment, that's something else. Maybe I'm just running around in circles.
At the moment I could imagine nothing better than spending whatever is left to me in the Seychelles with some beloved and unread books and Kate, being enriched by the unending depths of her, and finding more in myself as a result. Not covering Paris, Madrid and the Indian Ocean in three days.
Julie takes photographs of the wild animals they see, and Paul is given the first chance to shoot a lion, but when an elephant charges their party, Paul kills him instead, and is praised by all.
That evening, Mark Foster asks Paul about how he coped with his diagnosis, and Paul talks about living for now, not some goal in the future and moving so fast in his travels that time is expanded.
Saturday, August 21
Awakened shortly after daybreak from the most pleasant dream. Only after I woke did I realized that it was a nightmare.
Reading in the study of my house in San Francisco, I heard a noise behind me, and when I turned to see what was tapping on the glass, it was an elephant in the garden. Opened the window, and she offered her trunk and took my hand in a very friendly manner, then touched my face.
I went to the kitchen, and brought out some bread and fruit, and noticed that she had a baby elephant with her. When I patted him on the head, he too offered me his trunk.
I sat down on a bench, and the little elephant came up to eat out of my hand, then lifted his front leg and put it on my knee. The next moment tears began falling from his eyes. I woke up wide awake and freezing.
When Mark and the guides went out to shoot a lion, I decided to stay back and talk to Julie. She was blossoming womanhood, and spoke of how she'd left behind some kind of beatnick existence, now having fallen in love with the kind of life her mother had, being a devoted wife and home maker.
I knew it would be wrong to destroy this dream with an announcement of the diagnosis. Living for the future was what made life beautiful for Julie.
Her wistful conversation was broken by a most horrific scream. It was the guide witnessing her father being mauled by a lion, going on interminably before the white hunter was able to stop the lion with a shot.
We got a helicopter to the hospital, and found Mark at least alive, but unconscious. Julie remained in shock, and the doctor gave her a sedative. The safari had turned into a kind of hell on several levels.
The following day, Paul stays back from the hunting party, and chats with Julie about her hopes for the future, and her dismay with her past. While they are talking, her father is mauled by the lion he was about to kill, and almost doesn't survive. Julie is desperate, saying that she and her father had only just become acquainted.
Sunday - Monday, August 22 - 23
I have had the elephant dream three nights in a row. Shuttling between the safari club and the hospital has given me too much scope to think, but I've tried to spend as much time with Julie as possible, and be a comfort to her.
But she is on the verge of hysteria over her father, especially since they'd apparently been, for most purposes, estranged for some years. When not with her, I caught up on a lot of correspondence, including a letter of congratulations to Jim Seaborne on his move from Justice to the SFPD.
But the big news in the mail packet from Marcella was a letter from Barbara Sherwood announcing that she and Henrick Verbeck were going to marry at the end of this month!
The best part of the day was a phone call from Pete to say that GB had won the Burgundy Rally. High from the victory, he went into wonderful detail, and lifted my spirits immensely. We talked about the race on the 4th, and I promised to try and get there.
Tuesday, August 24
A night without the dream. And wonderful news from the hospital also this morning. Mark has not only regained consciousness, but is out of danger.
Was even able to spend some time with him, but disturbed by the news that his own near-death experience had made him decide to tell Julie about her fate.
I told him not to, that it was a very bad idea in her case, but he did anyway, and then asked me to find the poor girl who'd run away in horror from his hospital room.
The experience of recovering this once-blooming flower, now torn into shreds by her father's news, was shattering, but in the most immediate moment, I irrationally tried to reason with her, even telling her about my own situation, and in shock, she finally calmed down from the screaming frenzy in which I'd found her.
The doctor was able to sedate her, and said that he would put her on the plane with her father for the States in the morning.
Nairobi - en route to Calcutta
Wednesday, August 25
Took Julie to the airport where we met the ambulance and two nurses who would accompany Mark on his onward journey. Julie and I promised to keep in touch, and I held her until the last moment she boarded the plane, then went over to the Air India desk to turn in Kate's ticket and change the destination from Agra for my solitary flight. The Taj Mahal was not the place I wanted to visit right now.
26 - 31 August 1965 ("Tell It to the Dead")
On the fourth day Mark Foster finally rallies, and tells Paul that his near-death experience has made him decide to tell his daughter about her prognosis, and against Paul's urgings, he does exactly that, sending Julie into a frenzy of despair which Paul tries to quell.
Paul sees the Fosters off at the airport, and makes the trip he planned to take with Kate alone.