PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Minaus - Rio de Janeiro - en route to San Francisco
Monday, October 10
(The journal takes up at the end of the "East of the Eqiator" segment on this date.)
It might have been expected, but still, it is a terrible shock. Armand is dead. It was the first thing Marcella said when I rang her from Rio.
Apparently, Alice and Molly flew to Paris, and brought Kate back to San Francisco after the funeral. Carolyn is understanding, and will fly back to New York on her own, and I'm getting the next connection home.
Trying to put down my thoughts, and find it impossible. My confused feelings about this man who was my rival - as if I could ever have been a rival to him. He had everything, but most of all integrity and kindness.
The two years Kate and I were together, I never realized the true depth of their relationship, the national celebrity status she had being with him, the incredible financial wealth he possessed.
Kate referred to him so seldom before our engagement. It was only from Molly that I knew anything, and all the while, they spoke on the phone every day.
It was only on after the Formula 1 laundh Kate told me about Armand's unbelievable role in the Resistance, how he and Odette had been a virtual free-lance bombing pair, crisscrossing the country doing inestimable damage to Nazi efforts.
All I'd known was that during her time in Paris, Kate had had a romance with a French businessman who'd taken his wife back after a suicide attempt following the end of an extra-marital affair.
The mild jealousy - and vague sense there was still something between them - was increased when I first met him. So handsome, so worldly, so charming, I couldn't but resent him.
How those feelings have unravelled as I knew more about the man, spent a little time with him, and learned of the infinite love and respect expressed by everyone who's spoken of him.
During our recent days in Zermatt I came to care for him as a brother or father, Armand's presence such a warming combination of intensity and lightness. And how much it seemed that he wanted me to live.
Tuesday, October 11
Seeing Armand health continue to fail since his wife's funeral, I've constantly worried about Kate's fragile mental state. During our time in Zermatt it was clear that my presence was not a support to her, but only a source of more anxiety.
When my going away caused a breakdown, I was prepared for anything, and couldn't know whether Kate would hold up after this ultimate tragedy in her life.
To my surprise, she opened the apartment door herself, was even a little cool. We seemed unable to say more than one another's names, then, holding my hand, she walked to her study.
The door shut behind us, we stood just looking at each other. I was trying to say how sorry I was, but couldn't speak.
Kate moved toward me, and as I embraced her, she went weak, and I guided her to the sofa, tears flowing from both our eyes for a long, long time, words still impossible.
I kept thinking how she'd need comfort in a few weeks when it was I who was gone. But Kate suddenly regained control, and offered me tea.
“We'll save the words for later,” she said, getting up, and added that her mother was upstairs in the guest room. I spoke with Alice who said that Kate was holding up better than she could have hoped.
It had been virtually a state funeral in Paris, and with sedatives, she'd gotten through everything, but her mother thought it best for Kate to get away from all the tumult in France for a while.
Alice then dropped the bombshell that Armand had left all his billions - the companies - the properties - everything - to Kate, and she needed some detachment to come to terms with the totally unexpected responsibilities.
Everyone had assumed most of the estate would go into Armand's charitable foundations, and I wondered what it would all mean.
I went back down to Kate who'd brought a tea tray into the living room, and appeared composed. We said little though, our conversation being mostly caring glances.
Finally, I told her I'd just come from the airport, and would be back after I got a place to stay. “Here, of course,” she said in a surprisingly strong voice, then added, “you wouldn't leave me right now, would you?”
She'd given me no alternative. I'd dropped my bags at the firm, but had to leave them in an absent Marcella's office since mine was being redecorated. When I picked them up, Marcie “apologized” that she was leaving for a wedding in Honolulu tomorrow.
She handed me everything that had come in while I was in Brazil, and said she'd be back on Monday. I hugged her - rather out of character for us - and suddenly felt close to breaking down again, so quickly left to see Ralph Phillips.
He offered some additional news about an imminent execution I'd read about on the plane, someone I prosecuted when at the DA's office.
The condemned man's co-defendant had a breakdown when he learned Patterson had lost his last writ for a stay, and Pons is now at Napa.
When I called in to see Ben du Pres, and mentioned the case, he said a meeting with Patterson could probably be arranged, then apologized about the painters being in my office, saying Ralph would be away, and I could probably use his if I wanted to follow up with anything.
Kate was lying down when I got back to her apartment, and I had a look through the stack of mail. I'll have to let Lisa Sorrow Kate and I won't be coming to the Holy Land now.
Wednesday, October 12
Ben rang just after Kate left for an early therapy session. Having cut through a mile of red tape, he'd arranged an audience at St. Quentin. As I walked into Patterson's cell, I couldn't help thinking that another soul was being added to Death Row.
He was ambivalent about the new development, and regarded Pons' breakdown with scorn, saying that he was tired of hating the man who had lied about his being an accomplice in the armed robbery, and just wanted to die in peace.
I closed my eyes a moment, and wondered what I'd been doing. Trying to go out in a blaze of glory? Did he really want that? I felt my guts were ripped out when he replied that “want” was almost as bad a word as “hope.”
Before leaving I put the question to him directly, asking whether he killed the watchman, and Patterson's response was even harder to bear. “Six years ago you told everyone I did. Now you're asking?”
My statement that I wanted to represent him was met with further indifference. So much, I wanted to tell him then and there that I was dying too, but knew nothing mattered to him anymore, and his apathy would make me feel even worse.
Talked over the case with Ralph, and before leaving for New York, he was very supportive and encouraging. His secretary was eager to please, and it may be handy to have her assistance until Marcella comes back.
Told her I hadn't had a secretary for a long time, and when she answered the phone for me, figured it was kind of true.
Was able to get an appointment with Pons' psychiatrist who was totally uncooperative. Judge Andrews gave me no hope either, but I finally broke him down enough to at least call the Governor's office to ask for another stay.
Went back to Kate's at 4. She seemed normal - in an unnatural sort of way - and over sandwiches, I explained about trying to do something for a man I'd helped to put on death row, adding that under the circumstances, things could get tense, and I might be getting phone calls at crazy hours.
My own nerves are too overwrought to be around Kate, and we agreed that I'd stay at a hotel for a couple days. She went to lie down after the busy day, and I went back to the office, finding the trial transcripts waiting for me. Might have a look at them later, but at the moment I just can't concentrate.
Thursday, October 13
Judge Andrews managed another stay - but only 48 hours more.
Continued to read through the transcripts, seeing the name Rick come up as someone Patterson thought could have done the robbery he was accused of.
Lou was unable to provide any recollection about the Rick he'd mentioned at the trial - had driven himself mad trying to recall something else about him the past six years.
Back at HSD, I was ploughing through the transcripts, when Dr. Graham came in, and said that he'd had a session with Pons today under drugs - and a name had come up. Fletcher. Once. With nothing else to identify it.
Spent some time with phone books from six years ago to the current directory, and have come up with 14 possibilities.
Friday, October 14
By the middle of the afternoon, was in a garage where I came face to face with the man who must be Rick. Not surprisingly, he denied any knowledge of Pons or Patterson, but I had the feeling this was Pons' accomplice, and arranged a team of detectives to investigate him.
The key was when Lou picked Richard Fletcher's photo out of a bunch I showed him. He was elated. Too elated considering the time we have left, and Fletcher's total denials.
Patterson then railed at the length of the new stay. He said that, to someone alive like I am, death is only a word, but he felt surrounded by it, like death was crawling all over him.
Then he spoke those chilling words, “nobody knows what it's like, knowing when you're going to die,” adding that “you'd lose your mind if you didn't learn to live with it.”
Bad as things are for me, I haven't come to the point where Lou is - yet, and I started pondering over his words about dying in peace. Surely, my actions are only giving him that diabolical “hope” when there really isn't any. What have I done?
No sooner than these thoughts started to pierce my mind, he voiced them himself, saying that before I showed up, he was prepared - even felt that he had already died. Now, he was alive again - and had hope.
I know how many times the joys I've experienced in these past 18 months made me feel that death wasn't haunting me - only to have a tragedy bring it that much closer. I must do everything I can to fulfil this reawakening of hope for Lou Patterson.
Flew to Sacramento, and had every last hope dashed when the Governor's legal counsel says the new information - he refused to call it evidence - is just too scant to deserve another stay of execution, and that the Governor is unlikely to grant another when the writ is put before him.
Have come back to the hotel dejected - and wondering if I should have gone to Kate's, but I want to be where Fletcher can find me.
Saturday - Sunday. October 15 - 16
Fletcher virtually burst into my hotel room in hysterics over the detectives he said were harassing him. He looked ready to crack - but how long will it take?
Told him I'd keep the detectives on him even after Patterson was executed, and when he pleaded about his wife and family, and the business he built, declared I'd take photos of them to show Lou what he was dying for.
That was when he knocked me down and left the room. These four walls are driving me crazy, and I'm going to Judge Andrews' chambers now to wait for the Governor's verdict on the new evidence.
Of course, the Governor decreed no more stays. The execution had to go ahead. Judge Andrews tried to explain the man's position, and I thought, had I gone into politics, made it all the way to the Governor's Mansion, this kind of dilemma would be facing me all the time.
When I got back to my hotel there was a message from Fletcher, telling me to meet him at the Pacific Police Station. Why didn't I stay in my hotel room? Why didn't I leave the Judge's phone number in case of a call? These questions will haunt me to the day I die.
When I arrived at the station, Fletcher had confessed to be one of the robbers, admitted that Lou Patterson wasn't there at all, and that Pons had killed the watchman.
But it was too late. Lou Patterson was already dead.
The Sunday papers were full of the injustice and the Governor's decision in light of new evidence.
There was also an interview with the clergyman who spoke with Lou just before he was taken to the gas chamber - quoting him as saying I had used him to ease my conscious over getting the conviction of an innocent man …. that I had made him want to live again.
This is the lowest point I've ever sunk to, and I just hope that my own death is very near, and I won't have to live with these thoughts much longer. For Kate's sake, I will not take my own life, but otherwise I would.
Journal continued in next column
Paul visits Lou Patterson in his cell
Paul tells Lou about new developments
Paul asks if Lou committed the murder
Dr. ~Graham refuses to cooperate
Paul appeals to Judge Andrews
Dr. Graham has come up with a name
Paul questions Rick Fletcher
Lou recognizes Rick Fletcher's picture
Lou talks about knowing when he's going to die
Fletcher appeals to Paul to leave him alone
Paul makes an equally strong appeal to Fletcher
Paul asks Louise Laine about Orsini
Paul and the judge wait for a call of reprieve
Alicia realizes that her husband is dead
Paul tells everyone that Lou is already dead
Monday, October 17
Went to the firm to clear the mess I'd made in Ralph's office, and move back into mine. At this point I can't possibly fulfil my plan to campaign for Tony Oliviera - would be a liability after all the bad publicity, so wrote a check for $1000 which is probably more than he can spend in the next two weeks, and might cover any debts he's built up.
When I returned to Kate's, Molly was there, a little more mature than usual. Only Alice knows that Kate and I are together, and I told Molly that I was in San Francisco working on an old case. She clearly hadn't read the papers.
After making what seemed a very genuine inquiry about how I was, when I simply said, “fine, fine,” Molly began talking about her wedding plans and Armand's funeral, but also her concern for Kate, who she said was under sedation at the moment.
Her fiancé, the abominable Alex Ryder then came to pick Molly up, and as she was getting her things, he made clear that my visit must have something to do with the billions Kate had inheirited.
I didn't want to cause a scene. Kate was upset enough about her sister marrying Alex, but with my mood at rock bottom, it was difficult to restrain myself.
Alex started to speak about the execution, and I could see, was getting around to the minister's statements, when I cut him off.
Then he asked, “how's your health?” This sentence, followed by, “you're looking great,” was not uttered in solicitousness, but somehow seemed to indicate that he really didn't believe I was dying.
I just turned and walked out, and with time before my appointment at Mason's went over to Garms. Still can't get used to Odette de Martignac Foundation, but Barry Givens kept referring to it as ODM.
Journal continued in next column
Paul goes to St. Quentin's death row to visit Lou Patterson, a young man who has run out of stays of execution, and is about to face the gas chamber in virtually hours. Having been the prosecutor at Lou's murder trial, Paul is disturbed by a development which now makes him doubt that Lou is guilty after all.
Convicted by the testimony of John Pons, Lou is being executed for killing a watchman in the commission of a robbery for which Pons is also serving a sentence.
At his trial Lou had maintained that he wasn't even involved in the robbery, and that Pons was crazy. Now Pons has been committed to the state psychiatric hospital for the criminally insane as the result of a breakdown that occurred when Pons learned that Lou's last possible appeal had failed. When Paul tells Lou about the development, the condemned man is ambivalent. Saying that he's tired of hating him and John Pons, he asks Paul to just let him die in peace. When Paul asks him if that is what he really wants, Lou says that “want” is almost as bad a word as “hope,” ruefully noting the fact that Pons is now “officially” crazy.
Paul gets down on the floor with Lou, and asks him if he killed the watchman, and Lou replies, “six years ago you told everyone I did. Now you're asking?”
He denies the murder, and Paul says he wants to represent him, but Lou asks what he could possibly do in the 48 hours left to him.
Off to New York on business, Paul's friend Ralph Phillips lends Paul his office and provides one of their firm's secretaries to work on the case.
Paul goes to see Dr. George Graham, the psychiatrist treating John Pons. Graham is completely uncooperative, and says that he'll do nothing to use or harm his patient in Lou Patterson's cause.
Though Paul points out how much Pons envied everything Lou could do, and he couldn't, Graham still refuses to help in any way. Paul keeps trying, and appeals to Graham as a human being, that if he can help save a man's life, he should try.
After seeing the psychiatrist, Paul visits Judge Andrews.
He points out that Lou Patterson has already had two appeals and four stays of execution. He believes that there is no legal ground to ask for another stay, but Paul finally convinces the judge that Pons' breakdown is an indication for further investigation, and the judge gets in touch with an aid to the Governor.
24 hours before Lou is to go into the gas chamber, the Governor grants a stay of execution, but only for 48 hours, leaving Paul only 72 to come up with something.
That night Dr. Graham visits Paul, and says that he has a lead based on a session with Pons under sodiam amathol, in which Pons spoke extensively about Lou Patterson, and also mentioned a new name - Fletcher. Paul goes to see Lou at St. Quentin again, and asks him about the name Fletcher, saying that this person just might be the man that Pons got to replace Lou on the raid when the watchman was killed. At the trial Lou had spoken about someone named Rick, a point on which Paul had cross examined him so ruthlessly that Lou says he made him look like a liar, and convinced the jury that he was just that.
The problem had been, and remained, that Lou knew almost nothing about Rick, a man who was like a phantom that Lou says he's spent six years trying to remember.
After checking out 10 of the 14 Richard Fletchers in the phone book, Paul drives into a garage, and confronts the eleventh, mentioning both Lou Patterson and John Pons to him. Fletcher says that he doesn't know either of them, then goes off in a car with his family. Paul takes with him a car maintenance booklet with Fletcher's picture on the cover.
He shows a number of photos to Lou, and he picks out the one of Fletcher as someone he's seen before.
Lou is elated that Paul has found the mystery man who's haunted his life, but Paul points out that there's still a long way to go.
The condemned man is incredulous that the information won't mean an automatic stay of execution. Having gotten both a face and name that he was seeking for years, he says that death is just a word out there far away to Paul, adding, “but what you don't know is that it's all around; it's climbing all over me.”
He tells Paul that no one knows what it's like to be aware of when you're going to die, losing your mind if you don't learn to live with it.
“Before you came I was ready for it. In some ways I was dead already, but now I'm alive again. I got hope …. again.”
Desperate, he says that Paul must try and get the stay of execution. But when Paul goes to see the Governor's office in Sacramento, his aide Spencer Gallagher says the new information is just not substantial enough for another stay.
Later, Richard Fletcher comes to Paul's hotel, and asks him to stop harassing him. There are four detectives working on the case for Paul, and Fletcher says that he can't explain all this to his wife and children. He again denies that he knows anything about Pons or Patterson, and that he's worked hard to build his business, and can't understand what Paul wants from him. He shouts at Paul to leave him alone.
“I'm not going to do that,” Paul tells him, Even if Patterson dies, I'm going to keep this investigation going. You'll never get rid of me.”
He adds ironically that instead of showing Lou Patterson Fletcher's photo, he should have taken a picture of his family - or his service station - to show him what he was dying for - so Fletcher could have these things. Paul points out that there is still time to do this, since Lou Patterson still has 12 hours left.
Fletcher knocks Paul to the floor and leaves.
A short time from the deadline, Fletcher rings Paul at his hotel.
But he is at Judge Andrews' chambers waiting for a call from the Governor's office, so Fletcher leaves a message at the desk, saying that Paul should go to the Pacific Section Police Station as fast as possible.
A clergyman visits Lou who goes into a mixture of rage and then grief, saying that Paul Bryan used him to ease his conscious.
“He made me want to live again,” Lou sobs, ranting helplessly, and grabbing the minister, first in anger, then in desperation.
The minister is passive through all this.
, and suggests praying as Lou's trembling head rests against his chest.
Lou moves away, leaning against the wall as the clergyman recites The Lord's Prayer, while outside the cell, prison staff begin making preparations.
At the judge's chambers, a call comes from Spencer Gallagher that the Governor has decided that the execution must go ahead on schedule.
Paul goes back to his hotel; Rick Fletcher enters the police station;
Lou walks with an entourage towards the gas chamber.
Fletcher tells detectives that they should call St. Quentin to stop the execution, and that Lou Patterson is going to die for a crime he didn't commit. Fletcher says that he is ready to confess or do anything they want, as long as they make the call.
A call is made to the Governor's Office, and the detectives advise Fletcher of his rights as a stenographer is ordered.
Fletcher explains that the murder was committed by Pons, and he was a witness to it. He says that he kept wanting to say something, but waited, expecting Patterson to be released.
At this moment, having arrived at the police station only a minute earlier, Paul walks into the room. Fletcher tells the detectives that Paul is his lawyer, and knows about the confession.
“He confessed?” asks Paul, then says, “Patterson died 15 minutes ago.
Notes & Comments:
Rich in every dramatic detail, with a difficult ending, this episode shows what the serfies was capable of.
Jo Swerling Jr.
Director of Photography
William Margulies A.S.C.
John McCartey &
Robert C. Bradfield
Earl Crain Jr.
Color by Technicolor
Editorial Dept. Head
Costume by Burton Miller
He had much positive news, but none that would affect my life. Only that they'd added a new associate to the foundation, a Dr. Papagapoulos in Athens who was interested in my case. I doubt I'll be there again, but told Mason to send him my records.
Execution or no, I still had my appointment at the doctor's. Somehow, the examination and tests seemed worse than usual, but my mind was a million miles away. It felt like some kind of punishment for what Lou Patterson accused me of.
Wondered why there was any point in going through these sessions, but Mason says they might help in future research.
Now it seems like it's Kate running for her life. Having flown from Paris, she now feels uncomfortable in this edifice of an apartment that Armand bought her.
This is the first time I learned he paid for it, but what would have been an unbearable shock once, is now a small surprise.
Kate's doctor asked what places gave her the most comfort, and along with Armand's island in Tahiti and the place in Zermatt, Santa Margarita was the one she needed most now.
Dr. Owen spoke to me at lenth, and said that a few days at the retreat house there would be beneficial to both of us, and would give him more of an idea of whether it helped Kate to be with me or not. He knows my borrowed time is quickly running out.
While waiting for Kate to get ready, I rang Pete in Malaga, surprised at how warm he was after my being out of touch for so long.
To my apologies, he responded that everything had been going well, and he looked forward to seeing me on the weekend.