The month-by-month outline below chronicles Paul's life from his engagement to Kate Pierce in February 1965 to their marriage in December 1966 after he begins experiencing end symptoms of his terminal illness - all the adventures, all the episodes in one ongoing narrative. (TClick the PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL button to read the day-by-day version of the diary.)
Bonnaire - Port of Spain - Prague & Brno, Czechoslovakia - Copenhagen - San Francisco - Rio Santos, Brazil
The Man Who Had No Enemies The Calculus of Chaos Tell It Like It Is The Cruel Fountain
The boat has an emergency, and they call at Bonnaire to wait for a part. The yacht owner hears an old friend from Hot Springs is living on the island, and goes to see her, discovering an imposter. The woman - hiding out on Bonnaire under a stolen name after murdering her mobster boyfriend, and living on the fabulous sum stolen from his safe - kills him to protect her position. Paul is a suspect in the murder, forbidden to leave the island, and he has a strong attack of claustrophobia, the delay meaning he will miss his drive in Trinidad. When the woman whose name has been stolen comes to blackmail the killer over the identity theft, she shares the story with Paul, and he's finally able to leave his island cage.
Clive wins the race in Trinidad, but Pete is seriously injured. When out of danger he advises asking top Formula 1 driver Nick Cooper to take his place in a Czechoslovakian race and Tony Bell to do so in a two-week South American test series.
[ Most of this episode is portrayed in a dream for a number of reasons. ]
Before Nick Cooper arrives in Prague, Paul has an uncomfortable feeling about his environment (possibly a carryover of the Bonnaire claustrophobia), the sensation no better when they fly on to Brno where the race takes place. Spooked by the country, Paul has such an awful nightmare that his screams wake Nick on the other side of their suite.
In the dream, he and Nick were interrogated by the police, then a girl he'd met at a Prague bar asks Paul to help a scientist escape the country. Paul gets Nick involved in the conspiracy, and he is shot in cold blood by the scientist after they cross the border. CIA agent Mike Allen makes an appearance, pleased with the result, and Paul visit's a grave, the tombstone having Paul's name crossed out and replaced with Nick's.
Nick comes running into Paul's room when he hears him screaming, it should have been me, and makes them a drink, remaining until the trauma of the nightmare had worn away. After breakfast Paul asks what he might do in thanks for the kindness, and Nick suggests a contribution to The Garms Clinic - the organization seeking a cure for Paul's terminal illness, leaving him worrying about the famous driver's fate from then on.
After Nick wins the race Paul returns to San Francisco to discourage friend and mentor Judge Wilson from going on the talk show of a vicious host to promote his autobiography. Confident that he's so much more clever than the controversial broadcaster, the judge goes ahead, but is cut into ribbons via questionable accusations, and comes away dazed and confused. Paul attacks the broadcaster in a restaurant and threatens legal proceedings. Later that night the talk show host is shot by the judge, and Paul is called in by the police because of his public threats that night.
The judge comes to Paul, admits his guilt and says he's going to confess, but the broadcaster confides to Paul that he's going to say he doesn't know who shot him, smug about protecting the judge. Paul will have none of it, and says they're going to turn the judge's attempted murder trial into one scrutinizing the broadcaster's suspect methods.
Kate accompanies Paul for part of a two-week series of races in South America, and when he visits old friend Claire Mallory, living in a hotel as a virtual recluse, he finds it's because her hands have become deformed.
Paul meets a wheelchair-bound young woman undergoing treatment by a healer in the city, her brother expressing suspicion the man is a quack, as does Claire, so Paul contacts San Francisco police to see if the doctor is known to them. But seeing the young woman starting to walk, Claire suddenly wants to try the treatment. The doctor says he has other commitments, and only agrees when she pays him $100,000.
Learning that not just the doctor, but the paralyzed woman and her brother (husband) are a confidence team, Paul tries to get Claire to make a complaint, but she tears up their photos - her hands now perfect again after the treatment. The team does well in all the events, Paul coming in second in the endurance race. He also qualifies for a Formula 1 test driver's license.
Paris - San Francisco - Chicago - repeated trips to Detroit, Columbus & Washington, D.C. -
Puerto Seguero, Mexico - Paris - Nice - Monte Carlo - San Francisco - Hawaii - Tahiti
The Company of Scoundrels The Night of the Terror The Rediscovery of Charlotte Hyde Strangers at the Door
As Kate and Paul arrive in Paris for the team's Formula 1 launch, they learn that his political champion Dwight Sinclair was killed in a road accident. The glorious events celebrating the team's inclusion into the 1966 Grand Prix season become almost a burden, after which they fly back to San Francisco to attend the funeral where Paul is asked to take temporary chairmanship of Dwight's Constitutional campaign to outlaw gambling in the US.
Suspicious of foul play in the crash that killed Dwight, Paul flies to Chicago to speak with accident investigators. A witness' statement leads him to Detroit, and individuals related to gaming machines. Inadvertently consulting a mob-connected detective there Paul receives protection and support from the powerful General who will eventually take over the amendment Committee.
A safe apartment is organized for the weekend, but Paul strays over to a party down the hall, and ends up accompanying two of the guests to what is billed as a haunted house. Two sons of a man who hanged himself live there, the one at the party doing everything he can to spook Paul and the girl he is trying to protect, but though he's been doing the same to his brother, it is he who's been terrorized by the father and his grim suicide.
One of the men in the car that caused Dwight's death is gunned down, and the General's team locates the second, enabling Paul to make a deal with him for a signed confession to the murder. Paul has confrontations with chief of a large crime-connected detective agency, who threatens to reveal the terminal illness if Paul testifies before a Senate hearing.
Taking off for Mexico to keep the fishing date set with Ramon de Vega 12 months earlier, Paul invites the fortune hunter to the Monaco Grand Prix. On his return to Washington, Paul bluffs down the detective chief and after his revealing testimony about organized crime's responsibility for Dwight's crash, the Senate suspends hearings pending FBI investigations.
Pete Gaffney Racing makes its Formula 1 debut at Monaco, and when Ramon gets involved with a woman out to destroy him over fleecing her sister, he is jailed for robbery of a valuable bracelet she gave him to have repaired. Since he returned it to her, but she claims he didn't, Paul tries to get the woman to admit the truth. When Ramon is released, the woman tries to run him off the road, only to become trapped in her car when it veered down an embankment. Ramon saves her, and she succumbs to his charms.
[ Almost dream-like already, this episode serves well as a nightmare. ]
Flying back to San Francisco with Kate, Paul has a nightmare that mirrors all his feelings of insecurity over the race weekend. In it he sells his rental car for a pittance when it breaks down near his home town. Instead of all the normal options, Paul hops a freight (populated by Grand Prix drivers) and falls in with a hobo (whom he sees is Pete Gaffney). They walk a railroad track, seek thirst quenching in many places, and observe an old woman who represents Paul's aunt. Finding many upsetting double meanings reflecting real life throughout the dream, Paul is woken by a prick from Kate's hatpin - a stabbing in the dream.
After a brief stay in San Francisco, Paul and Kate fly to Hawaii, and while staying with her friend, she sprains her ankle, and is unable to accompany Paul any further on their proposed trip to the Pacific and Japan.
Tahiti - Tokyo - San Francisco - Spa, Belgium - Palm Beach & driving around Florida - Le Mans - Rome -
San Francisco / Mill Valley, California - traveling in Louisiana
The Time of the Sharks Rendezvous in Tokyo Baby, the World's on Fire The Treasure Seekers
Down With Willy Hatch A Game of Violence A Very Small Injustice
In Tahiti Paul goes shark fishing with Elizabeth and Hardy Rankin, a big game hunter and good friend, but four sarcastic young people who are diving for treasure understandably object to baiting the sharks, one being killed in an attack.
Elizabeth wants Hardy to bring some gold up for her, and accuses him of cowardice if he won't. When Paul dives in the shark-infested waters, Hardy believes he's obligated to do so too, and gets drunk, admitting he's a coward - all his big game caught under protection. Paul reveals the diagnosis, but Hardy makes the dive anyway, and Elizabeth remains unimpressed. When she reveals plans for a divorce, Paul tells her his fate too, and the self-righteous girl in the group overhears. Paul insincerely suggests she come with him to Kyoto where he's to be best man at buddy Johnny Deedrich's wedding, but Hardy decides to depart at that point, and the girl is left behind.
Learning the wedding is off, Paul flies direct to Tokyo for his Air Force flight reunion, recalling the Korean War and his comrades, in particular the nurse he was in love with, who suddenly announced she was marrying a man in his flight, Mike Green. Paul reminisces about the women he'd been involved with, holding the nurse in distain, and remembers how, because of her, he bent over backwards to make excuses for Mike, even though their flight was endangered by his fears. Aware Mike was a career man, Paul didn't ground him - and his own life had probably been saved as a result.
Having expected to base himself in Kyoto, Paul arrives in Tokyo without a hotel reservation, and is delighted when he runs into Stanford classmate Harry Bevins who not only offers his room, but car to drive as well. The car is nearly hit by a truck, and after arriving at Harry's ransacked suite, Paul gets a phone death threat. Harry's fiancée shows up, but Paul isn't sure he can trust her. They locate Harry hiding out in an apartment, admitting that he stole a high-tech prototype from his company's vault, and offered it to the Red Chinese, only to have an attack of conscience.
Believing him, Paul enables Harry's escape, and deals with the Red Chinese thugs who break in shortly thereafter. But meeting the fiancée at the airport, Paul learns that Harry was actually selling the prototype to a higher bidder in Hong Kong, and feels obligated to inform the authorities.
Paul goes to a reunion of his flight at the Tokyo bar where they used to hang out. No one showing up, he is about to leave with their ceremonial mugs that have waited there 15 years when someone arrives - Mike Green - now an Air Force Colonel - and the nurse, married to him with two children. Paul lets them have the mugs, but avoids the dinner together they set.
Paul receives a call that he's won the Irish Sweepstakes, and flies to San Francisco for presentation of the $500,000 check. There is much in the press about the win, but Paul goes straight to the research facility trying to find a cure for his disease. The director of The Garms Clinic presumes Paul has the illness, and is cold and indifferent, despite receiving half a million dollars. But the man Paul has been corresponding with, Barry Givens, is warm and helpful. After months of disconnecting as much as possible from the disease, following Barry's tour of the facility, Paul becomes deeply interested in research to find a cure.
He also learns the nine months to two years he's been given to live is only anecdotal, merely the span people have lived when randomly discovering they have the ailment. Others might be carrying it, and live five years or longer, they just haven't presented themselves. Paul further discovers that research has already been accelerated by five anonymous donations of $320,000 received by the clinic during the past half year - the monthly amount Kate can withdraw from her father's estate without applying to the Court, the missing month being the one she gave $300,000 to Pete Gaffney Racing.
Though elated by this news, Paul is quickly miserable when a dear friend leaves his suite indignant and offended after Paul won't buy life insurance from him - unable to say why because a pushy journalist is listening in the next room. Paul then meets Alex Ryder, fiancé of Kate's sister Molly, and is outraged when he claims that the winning lottery ticket he sold Paul was actually his.
The grief continues when Paul is thrown out of a party in his honor after refusing to donate to the cultural center for which the hostess is soliciting funds. Afterwards Paul confronts a man who's been following him, watching out for something to blackmail the lottery winner about. Instead, he sells the journalist information about Paul's visit to the Garms Clinic, and she writes it up. She claims it's already gone to press, and won't retract it, but when Molly and Alex come into the restaurant where they're waiting, Paul becomes so enflamed that he discloses to everyone that he is dying - upon which the journalist confesses she hasn't submitted the story, and hands it to him.
Paul flies to Belgium for the Grand Prix, which is a disaster for most, and then takes up an invitation at the Bradley compound in Palm Beach where Kate is waiting for him.
When he reads that former client Willy Hatch, a comedian down on his luck, had been arrested in Florida on a morals charge, Paul goes to see him, and finds Willy fearful. The allegation is false, a reaction to Willy's acid humor about the town, but contrary to his claim to Paul, he did know the girl in question. In fact, she imagines that he wants to marry her.
Willy gets another chance to perform at the local bar, but cracks up during the show, causing a melee. It becomes apparent that the nervous breakdown he suffers has been long coming. After making sure Willy gets proper care, Paul flies to France to race at Le Mans, then goes to the Vatican to arrange his marriage to Kate, to take place when he feels death coming.
Appointed honorary assistant trainer at the camp of pal Duke Smith before an important fight, Paul finds the experience exhilarating, but reaches the depths of despair at the match when Duke is out after an easy punch, appearing to have thrown the title bout. Worse, the fighter collapses in the hotel afterwards, Paul fearing Duke about to die. It turns out that diabetes was the cause of both disasters, and to cover a loss he expected, Duke placed a $25,000 bet against himself in Paul's name.
Duke's manager calls Paul a traitor, and the bookie demands a rematch for the $25,000 in the form of a boxing round between himself and Paul, who wins and takes the money to Duke.
A quiet getaway for Kate and Paul on the lakeside property of one of his Formula 1 mechanics turns into terror when Paul is kidnapped by an escaped prisoner. The two are pursued across Louisiana countryside, police believing Paul to be the accomplice in the jailbreak - the one who killed a guard.
Wrongly convicted and almost a hostage in the prison escape, the boy drags Paul through difficult terrain in hope of reaching the border, and Paul is seriously injured along the way, a shoot-to-kill order out for him. Despite the pain he's caused, Paul is sympathetic and ends up willing to do anything for this lad who never had a chance in life, but he is killed by the posse at his girlfriend's home where Paul was trying to help turn his life around.