PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Thursday - Saturday, April 1 - 3
This must be the worst thing I could have done. Give myself endless hours to sit and think till my brain felt like scrambled eggs. During the first parts of the journey, there were several interesting people sitting next to me, but I found it almost impossible to listen and converse.
En route, wrote a letter to Dwight Sinclair, advising that I would be withdrawing my name as a possible candidate for the party's Attorney General nomination, and that I expected to be out of the country for the rest of the year. Should have done this before leaving, but there wasn't time. The shadow of my lost political career just adds another bit of darkness to this flight
After three full days of travelling, a sea plane finally brought me to Sukarnapura, or what used to be called Hollandia, and it was certainly culture shock after so many straight hours in the sterile world of planes and airport lounges. With my internal clock still on California time, and my mind on some distant planet, I sought out Carl Hague, and found him slumped in the hotel bar.
The guide was waiting for me, and just as the judge described him. He seemed rather derelict, and more interested in drink than anything else, but nevertheless assured me that everything was organized for our departure , and I was happy to collapse into the bed as soon as terms were settled.
Hollandia - Wyumena
Sunday - Monday, April 4 - 5
Hague was a changed man when I met him at lunch the next day - neatly dressed and clean shaven, the soul of efficiency with our charter plane stocked and ready for takeoff. He flew the craft along the course of a river, and landed at the village of Wyumena. Everything below us was jungle, and lush as it was, the repetitive nature of the scenery left too much time for thinking and tearing myself apart with the fate awaiting me - weighing all the things I could or should do. Eventually the noise of the engine knocked me out, and I awoke to find it storming outside.
We had fairly reasonable accommodations in Wyumena, but I was dreading the forward journey in the rainy conditions. However, after sleeping little, only an hour or so, I awoke to bright sunshine.
Hague made arrangements with the natives, and ordered a truck for the following day. I allowed myself to wander outside the village with a local to get a feeling for the jungle and the mentality of the people, but the native man was as impenetrable as the rain forest. Nevertheless, as far an outpost as this was, the people were well able to cater to travelers' needs and communicate with them. And the children - they were like kids anywhere.
Also tried to get to know Hague a little better, but he seems too slippery to pin down. I have no illusions about the danger before us, even welcome something that would kill me instantly. Next minute I am seeing every moment as precious, and worry about how much I could depend on Hague in a crisis.
Wyumena - Namgai Mountains
Tuesday - Friday, April 6 - 9
I can't believe that it's less than a week since I left San Francisco. It makes the diagnosis seem more and more unreal - distant and nothing to do with me, but I am still haunted by the look on Katie's face, and wondering how she is.
The truck arrived to take us the next hundred miles of the journey right after breakfast, and we made good time. Hague had everything organized, including getting our truck forded across the Omi River. The natives were all friendly and helpful, and I would be reveling in this most incredible experience, had I any sense of balance at all.
Hague, while not softening up, has become more companionable. Far from being the bum he appeared at our first meeting, he has turned out to be an intellectual with many thoughts on the moral basis of the so-called primitive societies we are passing through. He's extremely well-versed in anthropology, and given me much to think about. I can imagine how much he and Doug would have gotten along.
In this way, despite the gloomy nature I must be presenting, he's become a friend by osmosis. Though he has been silent on Doug's fate, I sense that he is not optimistic, leaving me with scant hope.
Things got a little tougher after we crossed the mountains, and it was bumpy as hell, with the road encroached by grass in many places. The only way to converse was by shouting, so I gave up, and was left with my harrowing thoughts.
Kept wondering how Judge Haynes could have withstood this gruelling journey, but then realize that he would do anything for his only son. And I know that the goal of finding Doug has acted as a shock absorber on a lot of this trip, the objective overwhelming not just my oppressive feelings, but the physical hardships as well.
Saturday, April 10
When we got to the Lye River we had to leave the truck behind. The natives took our provisions across in their canoes, and we were accompanied to the other side by a pair of patrol officers, but they made the return crossing, and left us on our own with two native bearers. For all we have endured, this is the real beginning of the journey, and Hague told me that the judge was too ill to disembark, and the search for Doug had ended at this point. It is where I took up his mission - one that is just as much my own now.
And it was like entering another world, another age.
I was writing this while dinner was being prepared, and then a sequence of events started which has brought us precipitously into a totally threatening situation.
We were joking about the standard of the food when Hague heard a wild turkey call, and took the opportunity to get some of her eggs. When we got back to our camp, it was a mess, and Hague said to be alert, as the damage was probably done by a wild boar. We got out our guns, and when Hague heard a noise in the bushes, he fired, but hit a native boy. I ran to see if we could help him, and we were immediately surrounded by Bosavi warriors.
They took us back to their village, placing us under a kind of house arrest. Hague thinks it's likely that they'll kill us if the boy dies, and has tried various ploys like offering shells and medical attention.
These are the very people whom Doug came to study, and Judge Haynes got within a few hours of them. Amongst the tribesmen is a fellow named Warrago who speaks Pigeon, and I'm hoping to ask him if he saw Doug or knows where he might have gone. But for the moment, we are concentrated on our own survival.
Looks like it's going to be a long night while the tribe deliberates our fate. I already know mine, and vacillate between welcoming a quick end, and wanting to pack decades worth of living into a few months. Certainly the last days I've been doing just that - and if we could find Doug too …..
Sunday, April 11
Some time after midnight I was awakened and asked to present myself to the chief. Then we found out that the boy had died, and the Pigeon speaker, Warrago, made it plain that Hague was to be executed. Desperate, we managed to make an escape from the compound, but got caught in a bear pit, and were back in the village within a half hour.
Hague told me that he'd read a letter I've been carrying from Gene Mason, and put it point blank to me that I should claim to have shot the boy, since Hague had more time to live, and of the two of us, he was the only one capable of making his way out of the jungle.
Wherever there is a possibility of life, I will go there, and could never accept his proposition. He started talking about his family then, a wife and children in Australia, but I just couldn't - or didn't want to - find him credible.
In the morning, we were walked to the place of execution. All Hague's words had been pounding in my head as I tried to get a couple hours sleep, my mind absorbing the logic that I couldn't make it out on my own, and my heart thinking about his family. He was right about having a lifetime still to live.
So, at the last moment I came forward and said that I had shot the boy. But it was of no help to Hague, because the child had apparently told the chief before he died that it was the blond man who shot him.
Nevertheless, Hague used the moment of controversy to make an escape. The warriors chased after him, but came back reporting that he had drowned. After the chief declared me to be a free man, we began walking back to the village, and came to a cross marking a grave.
It was Doug's. Warrago said that he had tried to make the grave like the ones he'd seen for American soldiers, his way of attempting to give Doug a respectful burial appropriate for his religion. Saying that Doug had come to trade, Warrago left me sure that he had enjoyed the tribe's hospitality. (“Teacher Fella friend. Teacher Fella eat here.”)
Warrago said that Doug had caught a fever, but they weren't able to save him, and Warrago placed Doug's ID bracelet on the cross.
I held it in my hand, feeling I'd lost a brother, and asked if I could take it to give to his father.
At the lowest possible ebb, and not much caring what happened to me,I parted from the tribe, making a stab at going in the direction of the river, and pondering how my life would simply close all alone in a jungle, without even a soul to mark my end with a cross like Doug's.
But I wasn't long on the road when alerted by something in a tree. It was Hague. He'd swum a distance under water and escaped after all.
I couldn't help but rejoicing. The first moment since the doctor's words hit me that I felt something good.
We came across some remnants of our campsite, but the bearers had taken most things back with them. Still, we were able to salvage enough to make a safer place to stay for the night. Hague said that we'd made at least a third of the distance to the Lye.
Journal continued in next column
Paul pays over Hague's fee
Their problems begin over a meal
Warago asks why they shot the boy
Hague hopes his offering of shells will set them free
Hague finds a letter to Paul about his diagnosis
Paul makes his escape from the pit
Hague says Paul should claim to be the killer
Paul tells disbelieving chief that he killed the boy
Warago takes Paul to the grave of his friend
Paul finds Hague who leads him out of the jungle
Monday, April 12
We made good progress, and the time passed quickly as we talked more personally, for the first time since our meeting in the bar. To my immense surprise, I learned that in addition to studying anthropology at Cambridge, Hague also had an Australian law degree, his father a judge in Melbourne. He had only practiced briefly, and retired even younger than I did - at the age of 25 - when Hague senior died.
Carl said he felt he'd met all due obligations to his father, and should now be able to pursue his own life. But now, he admitted philosophically, he'd reached another turning point, and was ready for something new.
Just as he said that, we saw the banks of the Lye, It was still light, and we signalled to the other side to bring us over. The natives were most surprised to see us after the reports that came back with our bearers, but they appeared to take it all in their stride, and quickly had our truck fueled and ready to go. They treated us to great hospitality, but I was too tired to enjoy much of it after being up all night and trekking all day.
It is amazing. We only crossed a river, and yet, though still in the middle of the jungle, I feel we've returned to civilization.
Lye River to Hollandia
Tuesday - Sunday, April 13 - 18
In the long hours of the return journey I have thought all too much of my own mortality after the loss of my friend's life.
Doug traveled in these regions so much, and slipped past death's shadow endless times. I'd been listening to his tales of close shaves in the jungle since our undergraduate days, and always made the connection that the farther a field one went, the more precarious life would be.
Have certainly found that out myself in less than two weeks of admittedly extraordinary travel. And I have to keep asking myself if there is something in my sub conscious that is propelling me on this road to let fate do the job I could not complete with my revolver.
I have seen sights on this trip which will enrich every day left to me, and in Carl Hague have found a friend who will always remind me of the sides of Doug I never knew so well.
Despite the variety of terrain and peoples, we arrived back in Hollandia without incident, my mind filled with all the smiles and waves that populated our journey back.
Hollandia - en route to Bangkok
Monday, April 19
Spent one last day in New Guinea, resting up and allowing my bones to stop rattling.
Met the associates in Hollandia who worked with Doug, and confirmed the news they'd expected. They said they would pack up his things, and send them to the judge who's apparently left the Brisbane hospital where he was recuperating, and returned to San Francisco.
I'd been planning to go see him in Australia, but suddenly, there is no longer a clear-cut path in front of me.
I'm just not ready yet to see Kate - still not sure whether to tell her or not. I keep writing, but just about my mission.
My first thought was to go to Prof. Turner, but the long and complicated air connections to his remote place in India are more than I'm up to after the jungle.
Then, I remembered that Pete was supposed to be testing a car in Thailand around this time, and the notes of his schedule in my diary confirmed it. It was he who introduced me to Doug my first week at Stanford, and he is exactly the person I want to see right now. If I miss him, Bangkok will be a nice city to see, and a good connecting point for my next journey.
Hague has decided to go to Australia, and we talked about future possibilities for both of us. “We'll meet again,” he said optimistically in parting for my onward flight.
The episode begins with Paul at a desk writing a letter to Judge Haynes about his journey to New Guinea (the content of which serves as a narration throughout), where he met his jungle guide Carl Hague.
Paul is searching for his friend Doug Haynes who went missing there, and though Hague tells him Doug is probably dead, he accepts the same large fee that the judge (Doug's father) gave Hague when searching himself.
They charter a plane, and fly into the jungle where they get a truck and proceed onwards with much native assistance until they reach unprotected territory where head hunters have recently killed patrol guards, to the point where Judge Haynes was no longer able to continue. From there they go on foot with two native bearers. While eating, they hear a bird call, and locate wild turkey eggs. When they return to their camp, they find it destroyed. Thinking it's a wild boar on the rage, when he hears a noise in the bushes, Hague mistakenly shoots a young native boy,.
Paul tries to administer first aid instead of fleeing, and within moments they are set upon by tribesmen and imprisoned. The boy is still alive, and one of their captors who speaks some English, Warago, asks them why they shot the boy.
The tone is reasonable, but when Hague answers that he thought he was shooting at a wild boar, Warago says, “you thought boy fella pig?” Hague offers to give a compensation of some shells, and Warago takes the message back to his chief.
Hague tells Paul that the shells cost him only 17 cents, but are considered valuable by the natives, and Paul asks why they don't just take the shells, Hague replies that this would not be within their moral code, implying that “civilization” has not yet corrupted them, and they have strict laws.
But Warago comes back and says that the chief will not accept the compensation offering, and wants to know which one of them fired the shot. Hague freely admits being the guilty party, and Warago goes back for a consultation.
In hope that saving the child will help, Hague suggests Paul offer medical assistance, but this is rejected. They are allowed to walk freely in the camp, but always accompanied by a spear-carrying guard.
A debate ensues among the natives about what to do with the men, their form of a trial. While it's going on, Hague rifles through Paul's things, trying to find some kind of weapon to defend them, and comes across a letter from a clinic confirming that a cure for Paul's disease is not expected before his time is up.
That evening Warago informs them that the boy has died, that Hague must give his life tomorrow for the shooting, and that Paul may leave.
Paul proposes an escape, and has a look around the camp to consider the possibilities. With a plan in mind, they overcome the two men guarding their tent, and then another two men, before making their way into the jungle, where they promptly fall into a pit trap. Though Paul is able to stand on Hague's shoulders and get out, they are quickly discovered by tribesmen.
Back where they started, Hague tells Paul that he's learned of his diagnosis. Pointing out that Paul wouldn't be able to make it out of the jungle on his own, whereas Hague could - and probably go on to live another 30 years, he asks Paul to claim he shot the boy, so Hague could go free. Paul responds with vehemance that what little is left of his own life is as important to him as Hague's. Hague tries a gentler ploy, speaking of his wife and children. Paul is obviously skeptical that they exist, questioning Hague intensely - and even with passion, but obviously moved by the familial circumstances.
The next day both men are walked at spear point to a place outside the encampment. At the last minute, moved by Hague's situation, Paul claims he is the one who killed the boy. But the chief does not believe him, and reveals that the boy told them this before he died. Then, suddenly, Hague makes a run for it, and the tribesmen race after him. After a fierce chase, Hague jumps into the river and disappears. The natives return to Paul and tell him that Hague is dead, and solemnly, the party walk back to their camp.
Then Warago takes Paul to a grave where he finds an ID bracelet attached to the cross. Warago says that the young man died, and he dug a grave for him in the manner he had seen for “GI fella.” Paul asks if he may take the bracelet, obviously seeing Doug Haynes' name on it. Meanwhile, Hague has actually been swimming below water to a point where he can safely reach land, and struggles ashore.
Paul leaves the native camp amicably, and is promptly lost in the jungle until he hears a noise in the trees. It is Hague, much the battered for wear. Paul tends to some of his wounds, and Hague declares he's leaving jungle guiding for good, and might just settle down to marry and have those children he claimed when trying to get Paul to give his life in place of his own.
They make the long trek to civilization, and when he returns home, Paul writes to Judge Haynes of his journey, and encloses Doug's ID bracelet.
While adventurous locations were an abiding feature in Run For Your Life, they were mostly of the glamorous sort, making Journey into Yesterday definitely offbeat.
Unfortunately, the technique of Paul writing a letter to narrate the events didn't work, mostly because of his tone which didn't befit the conditions and danger he and his guide were in. His voice was just too distant, and only when he spoke his name as a signature did he reach the manner appropriate to the letter in question.
Ken Renard playing Warago created an enormously sympathetic character, and did much to give the production authenticity and interest.
Again we see Paul stepping out of character from his courteous self, delivering quite a number of gratuitously sarcastic lines that really didn't become him. Even his farewell to Warago that he could get him a job as translator at the UN seemed awfully snide to someone who had been so reasonable in the circumstances.
Jo Swerling Jr.
Director of Photography
William Margulies A.S.C.
Howard E. Johnson
John Clarke Bowman
John McCartey &
Edwin S. Hall
Color by Pathe
Editorial Dept. Head
David J. O'Connell