Run For Your Life
Starring Ben Gazzara



Paul Bryan's Journal
21 - 26 June 1966

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21 - 26 June 1966 ("A Game of Violence")


Paul's old friend Duke Smith (played by Sugar Ray Robinson) is about to go for a middle-weight title. He's first interviewed by Chick Hearn (playing himself), then works out in the gym. At the end of training, Paul discusses the long road with trainer Frankie Morton (Ossie Davis) and the party he is throwing for Duke's victory.

Click the arrow at right to start the video clip.


Return to "A Game of Violence" page or read from Paul's journal about the events of the episode below


Journal Entry
Chronology of Events
Mill Valley
Tuesday, June 21

Fantastic to see Katie walking completely normally. We kept things light as I filled her in on the excitement of Le Mans.
With the HSD suite free, and having booked neighboring ones for Duke's celebration party, we stayed there, Katie having brought over a fresh wardrobe for me and a couple of my paintings she's held on to.
I didn't even have to wait for room service - she had a table of light snacks ready and waiting. It was over brandy that I told her I'd seen Father Anselmo's brother in Rome.
After that, we were uncomfortable with any further conversation, no matter what subject we tried. In a way, I'm glad that we were forced to break off for a couple days, and put some space behind the awful facts we had to face up to.
The change of atmosphere coming into the gym was heaven sent, and the whole time up to starting to write this, my head was completely absorbed with all Frankie's plans and tactics for the fight. He is one comprehensive manager.


Paul travels to the training camp of his old friend Duke Smith, who is about to fight for a world championship.

Mill Valley
Wednesday - Thursday, June 22 - 23

These days have been such a change, and flown so fast, they've been total fun and almost a rest cure as well.
Duke appointed me an assistant trainer, and I tried to fulfil my role in a determined way, even getting in a few sparring sessions with him. He said that he was amazed at the shape I was still in, and that lit me up.
But I've had a lot of relaxation as well, and gotten a good chance to catch up on my mail, including a note of congratulations to Kay Mills who writes that she's flying out to London to start a job with the Mastin Corporation.
Talked to Barry Givins at the clinic, saying that I was ready to know more about the disease in depth, and he's promised to bring over some material on the subject.

Playfully appointed to the training staff, Paul enjoys three days at the camp

San Francisco
Friday - Sunday, June 24 - 26

When I look at the last lines I wrote, it now seems laced with irony. So hollow. Neither one of us were in good health.
Smitty started the fight so brilliantly that I felt convinced that he would have the title within a couple punches - and then he went down like such a ton of bricks, how could I help but think he'd thrown the fight?
I feel so ashamed now …. the bad words - taunts and jibes - I'd thrown at him - even though they were a product of too much alcohol.
When he collapsed in the hotel room, for a minute I thought he was going to die right before my eyes - maybe the result of a blow in the fight having triggered something in his brain.
“Dear Brother, don't die, don't die,” I heard myself pleading as we waited for the ambulance to come. Bad as his diagnosis is, it felt like jubilant news when the doctor said that it was “only” diabetes.
When I got back to the suite, Katie's embrace was like finding her after searching a decade - so warm and comforting, but more, filling me with a sense of normality.
Not very long lived, as the visit of Sam Miller with his $25,000 brief case interrupted any immediate plans we had. On and on he went about Duke's health and my close friendship - and his wish for a “re-match.”
So I was Duke's insurance policy, and now have to decide what tack to take. Smitty put me in a very difficult position, and I'm surely an accessory if this goes to Court.
All I wanted to do was sleep - starting to be a perpetual condition - but it wasn't on the cards - especially after the tirade Frankie layed on me. About the nicest thing he called me was traitor. That woke me up - and plenty.
So there I was - caught amongst the lot of them. When I told her I couldn't think any more, Katie applied her best TLC, but didn't stay, and said that I needed to take a good nap. Now, I'm just waiting here at the hospital for Duke to wake up.

Later

Smitty seemed weak, but OK, and we talked about the bet. I didn't want to tire him, and left fairly quickly after he woke, and went over to put Frankie straight about “my” bet against Duke.  Am no better off, in a fairly dangerous legal position, if not worse, but at least he knows the truth now.

Though appearing to be poised for a win, Duke loses the fight. Paul and almost everyone believe that he has thrown it when he is so easily knocked out, but at the remnants of the "victory party" Paul was going to hold, the boxer collapses, and it turns out that he was a diabetic.

A local bookie shows up at Paul's hotel a few hours later with $25,000 Paul has won from placing a bet that his friend would lose the fight. The bookie is more than suspicious that Paul had inside information, but in actual fact, Duke Smith placed the bet against himself in Paul's name, fearing that the condition he has noticed coming on might prevent him from winning the fight.

His manager attacks Paul as a traitor until he learns the truth.

The bookie, however, is not satisfied, and challenges Paul to a game of chance of his own choosing with the $25,000 going to the winner.



San Francisco - en route to Louisiana
Sunday, June 26

Sam Miller sent a dropped glove over via a strolling musician at the hotel restaurant, and after a blessed night's sleep, I'm ready to take on his challenge.
Katie would be horrified, so I've suggested that she go home and pack for the surprise lake vacation. Told her that I was going to see Garrett, and did. He was surprisingly better.
Then I met Sam for the bet settlement.  Probably over-confident after doing a few rounds with Duke Smith, and knowing Sam used henchmen these days for anything physical, I took the chance of having an advantage over him in the ring - and did.
Took the $25,000 over to Smitty, and figure that we've made the best of a bad situation.  But it certainly wasn't the way I'd expected this weekend to end. It will be good to get completely away from it all with Katie off in the wilds of Louisiana.

Later

After writing up my notes, I picked up The Examiner Katie had bought at the airport, and started looking at it with the idea of it putting me to sleep.
Then I saw the headline on page 3, “Assassin Bill Dagen Dies While Awaiting Trial.” I didn't have to read beyond the first paragraph which stated that he died of the incurable illness that had led him to go on a shooting rampage in January. Less than nine months after he was diagnosed.


27 June - 3 July 1966 ("A Very Small Injustice")
Paul chooses a boxing match against the bookie, and wins, then leaves the money at the hospital for Duke and his wife