PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Traveling through India and Pakistan
Thursday - Monday, August 26 - 30
From the plush gentleman's club atmosphere of the Masai Safari Club in its own - for me - exotic location where I composed my recent journal entries, I have traveled through a miraculously heady, and again totally new - and awe-inspiring - atmosphere to find myself in a bombed-out Mogul temple in the foothills of the Himilaya to start this page.
Cancelled the Srinagar house boat on arrival in Nairobi, but over the time in Kenya, decided to still concentrate my stay on the sub continent in the regions around Kashmir, to give my eyes a chance to feast on these sacred mountains and the Golden Temple.
My last stop - as profoundly important to me as any historical or religious shrine - was to visit the man who has been perhaps the greatest influence on the development of my adult thinking.
When he left Stanford last year, I think Warrington Turner began his own odyssey to dwell near these sacred peaks, and I felt an even closer kinship to him than ever. And for that reason, I made a point of visiting him on my 35th birthday - maybe my last, and a day I had also hoped to share with Kate.
Whether a tennis game, sailing or just an hour in a Palo Alto bar over a scotch, no meeting with Prof. Turner was ever ordinary, and in the spiritual atmosphere of the Himilaya, this reunion was the philosophical exchange that will provide the foundation of the next stage of my life's journey.
It took renting a vehicle to make it to his door, and chancing an altogether different driving challenge than racing, but I now feel renewed and adjusted to the most painful of my recent experiences, as well as a little more able to face my fate.
Told him about the diagnosis almost as soon as I walked in his door, and that made our conversation direct and honest from the first moments.
He said so much that I must write down again, but the thing he stressed most was that it is love that gives light to the darkness of human existence - from that of a brief match brought by a small kindness to the sun's glow that is total commitment between two people.
Driving back to the airport for the next leg of my journey, my mind was totally absorbed by all his words when I was stopped by some armed forces who confiscated my rental vehicle. It was the opening act of a most bizarre and troubling experience.
Was pretty sure that they weren't official, but at gunpoint, I did what the men told me - which included surrendering my documents. The soldiers put me in a truck with two American women - a “model” and an academic. We were waiting to see what happened next when a plane started bombarding us.
It was pretty horrific, and only luck saved us, but most of the militia men died. Luckily, I'd only taken an overnight bag with me to Prof. Turners, but it contained all my notes from this trip and my conversation with him - blown up with the rental car.
Before he perished, one of the leaders had advised us to proceed to this nearby temple, but we didn't get far before receiving a hostile escort, and the danger never let up. Being the rebel headquarters the temple was also under fire, and other captives were being executed as spies.
I find myself getting so intense about things lately, but for some reason - more than likely, Prof. Turner's influence - I was taking all this in my stride.
Two of the three other players who dominated the drama were open books - a slippery American who called himself a journalist (in some way attached to the rebel movement), and a lady of surely ill-repute named Margo (though a kick to have around).
But the surprise package was Dr. Jennifer Palmer, a girl one would have cast to play Bo Peep, but one who would have just as soon led her lambs to slaughter if they didn't have exactly the right kind of fleeces.
Dr. Palmer gave me a sneak preview of her real self when she asked if the execution of some of our fellow captives had been done “decently.”
As the serious bombing of the building started, it was Jennifer with whom I found myself - sheltering under a pool table. She'd been coming on to me, but became frightened out of her skin, and rightly so, but I did everything in my power to comfort her, hold her, and keep her spirits up.
I even told her about listening to Ed Murrow reporting on The Blitz, and crawling under our kitchen table to pretend I was experiencing what the Londoners did.
This was in one of the quieter moments of the night, but instead of being cheered and identifying with my childhood memory, she began talking about World War II in a philosophical way, saying that it was a shame how the Allies had drawn Hitler into the War, and distracted him from implementing his brilliant theories to perfect the human race.
The bombs may have failed to knock me out, but Jennifer did with that remark - and the many others of a similar nature that followed.
She also spoke of “biological immortality,” Hindu philosophy, the continuation of existence after death, and expressed so many conflicting beliefs that, in the end, I didn't know whether to feel sorry for her or despise the woman.
As an academic, she certainly wasn't harmless, with an ability to promulgate her theories to young minds, but even apart from her misguided, wacky or dangerous talk, I simply didn't like her.
Having spent the night warmly cuddling Dr. Palmer, I had added two more mistaken ideas to Bo Peep's basket, that she was in love with me - and that I might reciprocate the feelings.
By daybreak the bombing had ceased, and the rebels who'd survived had moved on, the only people alive in the temple being we four Americans.
Assembled together before a Swedish UN captain, we were assured that we'd be escorted to the airport in the morning. Right now, my only thought is some blissful sleep in a proper bed.
Thought it was just a matter of a quiet day of waiting - and catching up on the diary and some sleep …. until awakened by Jennifer to discuss her plans - for me.
When retrieving her own documents from the rebel command at the temple, she had apparently looked through my own confiscated papers, and found a letter from the clinic.
Armed with this information, she made the grand offer of her wonderful and unique gift to me - to give birth to a child and provide me with the biological immortality she'd spoken of last night. All gift-wrapped in a package of her love, of which she tried to provide a sample.
Maybe it was all the bombing we'd gone through, both out in the open and all night in the temple; certainly it was the disgust I have for this woman's thinking ….
But I simply snapped with rage …. at the audacity of anyone to make such a suggestion, most of all, this monster dressed up as a girl proposing it. The idea of her having ANYONE'S child was abhorant to me.
After I'd let Mt. Etna erupt, and she was gone, I continued to fume over her suggestions. The insidiousness of this pretext of love! A woman who would raise a child like it was something in a Petri dish.
When my Sicilian volcano was at last dormant again, and I began to become drowsy, my thoughts remained on what Jennifer had suggested - the thought of having a child, even if I couldn't be around to see it grow up.
I had to admit to myself that it was something that did cross my mind in June…. how Leslie had wanted to have ten children, and the thought of only one of them had flickered in my heart, especially since then, I might almost be sure of holding the child in my arms and have a face that I could project growing into adulthood.
Leslie …. How I admired her determination, then became enchanted by her charm and innocence, before falling insanely in love with this girl who crossed my path when I thought Kate was lost to me.
It wasn't a fake. I still do feel love for Leslie, but know that the passion was totally born out of desperation, an affair between a wonderful girl and a crazy man.
When she was gone, I saw the folly and selfishness of such an idea - to father a child who would grow up without me. And my last thought on the subject …. There was only one woman who should be the mother of my children, and it wasn't really Leslie.
en route to Laos
Tuesday, August 31
Early in the morning the UN captain showed up with his jeep and armed guard for me to drive Margo to the airport. Before we left the temple we heard the announcement that the state that had lived for only 24 hours no longer existed, and original borders had been agreed by all sides.
How many were left from the one which held us was questionable. Their dead were all around.
My plans now were to go on to Calcutta, and after a couple more days in India, to fly on to Rome where Pete will be driving in the Amalfi Challenge …. I can't wait to find out how he did at the new Hockenheim circuit …. Margo had more or less assumed that she was coming with me to Italy, and I figured I'd just let things roll, and see what happened.
One thing she told me in the jeep reassured me that I hadn't been too hard on Jennifer. Margo recalled how, even before the dreadful night of bombing, just after Jennifer had come in with her documents, “the professor,” as Margo dubbed her, had declared that she wanted me, and I was THE man in all the world for her.
Margo had found it a riot, but to me, it was chilling. Unlike her claims in my bedroom, it wasn't really out of fear that she'd cease to exist from the bombs, or falling in love with the man who protected her, but a cold, calculated plot of a woman looking for a sperm donor.
The UN was brilliant, and had a fully staffed office at the airport where the American consul met us.
They were able to patch a call for me to Marcella, and her first news was that GB had come second at Hockenheim!
Since we'd spoken only a few days earlier, there wasn't much else, but what it was, was LARGE. Marcella said that I needed to urgently go to Laos - Laos? - to see a man named John Rick.
Of course, I told her that I didn't know anyone by that name, and she quoted the man as saying that he was the one who pulled Polo away from Bumble when it was time to go.
It was Johnny Deedrick, referring to the moment he always teased me about for years, when he and I went off to Korea. The UN couldn't do enough for us, and quickly had me booked on the journey to Vientiane, where I'm now headed, my last sight of Margo looking suddenly helpless, and getting instant attention from the young American Consul.
Notes & Comments:
Episodes which could - with a few name changes - be slotted into many other legal, spy, detective or thriller series are all too common in Run For Your Life, so one which specifically relates to Paul's predicament is always welcome.
With a moral referred to in the title, and an offbeat location, it rates taking notice of.
Jo Swerling Jr
Director of Photography
John L. Russell A.S.C.
Hilton A. Green
John McCartey &
Robert C. Bradfield
Color by Technicolor
Editorial Dept. Head
Costumes by Grady Hunt
Assistant to Executive Producer
Their guards help fight off the attack
The three arrive at the temple
Margo goes through the documents for her own
Jennifer and Paul get acquainted
Margo borrows Jennifer's lipstick
Margo asks Paul if he is afraid of death
Margo suggests children would give Paul immortality
Paul's reaction to Margo's question is negative silence
Saunders says he's suspicious of them all
Margo tells Paul that she isn't so cool as he thinks
Paul rescues Jennifer
Paul leaves the women to decide which will go with him
Jennifer attempts to kiss Paul
Paul tells Jennifer she doesn't know what she is saying
Jennifer offers Paul continuation
Paul asks if she just wants him for a footnote in her thesis
Jennifer insists she has something of value to offer
Paul says that he's already rejected her idea
They hear news of the ceasefire
Paul is driving to the Jamal airport in the Himilaya when a militia takes him prisoner as well as confiscating his vehicle and documents.
He is held on the road with two recently captured American women in a large military vehicle, guarded by three men. The three captives have moved only a short distance when the convoy is attacked from the air, and troops shoot at the plane, but many are killed, and with their guards gone, the three Americans manage to escape the vehicle and take cover on the ground before it is blown up.
When the worst of the bombing ceases the three Americans make their way overland to the local temple where the headquarters of the breakaway movement are located. They are immediately locked up on arrival, and shortly afterwards the temple is severely bombed, killing more of the freedom fighters.
Resident with the leaders - and in their uniform - is the American journalist Jay Saunders, reporting on the birth of the new nation. The Chief of Staff asks him to talk to the new arrivals, to determine if they might be spies of the nation's Muslim enemies.
Saunders puts the confiscated documents on a table, and tells one of the Americans, psychologist Jennifer Palmer, to take her own. He then questions her about Paul, but she has little information. However, she has picked up something vital about him while talking to Saunders, as amongst the documents on the table is a letter about Paul's illness that he had been carrying when captured.
While trying to ingratiate himself with Jennifer, Saunders also considers her a spy, and she is eager to get out of his presence.
In a nearby room Paul is telling the other American woman, Margo, that he was on his way to Calcutta, and his next stop will be Rome. That appeals to her, and in anticipation, she kisses him then. Jennifer sees them embrace when she opens the door briefly, but steps outside again in disappointment over this development..
She returns a few minutes later to tell Paul that the Colonel wants to see him. Margo says that he spoke to her too, as did Saunders, and though she got her documents back, they both seemed very suspicious of her.
When Paul goes, Jennifer asks to borrow Margo's lipstick, and asks if she likes Paul. Margo says that she doesn't know yet, only having kissed him once. Jennifer then asks Margo to let her have Paul.
Margo is taken aback, but Jennifer tells her there are a million men for Margo, and goes on to muse that the whole war seems to have taken place to bring him to her, the one man just right for her. Jennifer says that Margo , who admits liking Paul's company, is frivolous, whereas she herself is interested in deeper things, adding that she could give Paul a baby. After asking Margo once more to leave Paul to her, Jennifer departs .
In the evening, as the three are assembled around a pool table, they hear shots. Saunders jauntily comes in and reports that it's a firing squad executing a man and woman whose papers didn't check out.
As Saunders begins playing pool and whistling merrily, Paul at the window is deeply affected as the couple are carried away. Margo goes over to him and asks if the execution was done decently. Rather perplexed by her question, he replies, “to the extent an indecent act can be done decently.”
“To a good Hindu, death is a release of the soul,” she says quietly, but with authority, adding softly, that it is a great ritual.
“They say that all souls are part of the ultimate soul,” Paul replies thoughtfully, and Margo says that with that belief, one wouldn't be so afraid of death.
Paul turns away, then asks if Margo is afraid of death, and she answers that up until today, it was something very impersonal, but now, what she fears is extinction. “The ego wants to live on,” she says, then adds faintly, “mine does.”
After a pause, she asks Paul, “doesn't yours?”
“Naturally,” he replies, and the tone lightens when Margo suggests building oneself a great memorial like the one they're in, and Paul declaring today's building costs too high to create one for him.
But Margo has reached the aim of her talk with Paul, and points out that in western civilization, even the poorest of the poor have an opportunity for biological immortality. She then asks Paul if he'd ever thought of living on by having children.
Paul only looks back at her crossly until Saunders calls him over to the pool table, saying that the new government has been the victim of much sabotage, subversion and espionage. He declares that their Muslim enemies have bombed numerous strategic installations, seeming to have great knowledge of troop disposition and movements.
Saunders' tone clearly implies that Paul or one of the others may be the source of this information about military operations, and his oily manner irritates more than frightens them, though a danger seems present.
Margo asks Saunders what he told the Colonel about them. Blithely he replies, “I told the Colonel that I didn't know anything about you.”
Then he adds a little more urgently that a lot of people are being killed because confidential information is reaching the enemy - and none of the three Americans has any visible means of support, and thus might be the kind of individuals who could deliver a package or make a phone call for some handy money. Margo cozies up to Saunders then, and they leave the room together.
When they've gone, Jennifer says that Margo is very intelligent, whereas she herself, an intellectual, is not as bright. She shudders at the sound of a nearby explosion, and Paul comments that she is afraid - in an intellectual sort of way, though coolly detached.
Getting a little closer to Paul, Jennifer says simperingly, “I'm not so cool, am I? Maybe a little awkward.” Then she kisses him, and in the same moment, bombs start falling. Paul and Jennifer flee under the pool table, and he tries his best to protect her as fire bombs fall constantly from the air.
The attack is huge and seemingly endless, and in the morning, it is clear that many have been killed.
The temple headquarters has been badly damaged, and is now deserted, but the only injury suffered by the four Americans is Saunders' broken arm. Paul tells him that the leaders have set up a new headquarters down the road.
Paul then goes to find Margo who has barricaded herself in Saunders' room. He brings her out, and find Saunders' arm being dealt with by a medic.
A Swedish UN Captain is on the scene, and appears to have everything under control. Asking if Paul can drive a jeep, he announces that one will be available in the morning, and Paul can drive one of the women to the airfield with an armed guard. The other lady will be able to leave by truck later in the day.
Saunders declares himself wounded, and says he has stories to file. The Captain salutes him and leaves. Paul goes out as well, letting the ladies decide between themselves which one will depart with him in the jeep.
That night Jennifer comes into the room where Paul is sleeping. She lights a cigarette for him, then kisses him, but after a moment he draws back, and says that he had taken her for the shy type.
Jennifer says that she usually is, and Paul replies that she should go back to that, adding that aggressiveness is not a girl's best friend.
She starts to say, that of all the men she's ever met, and he breaks in and finishes her sentence, "that he's the one who was there when she was being shot at."
But Jennifer says it's more a matter of her having to face total and permanent annihilation for the first time, and she could die like so many have around them in the last hours. This has made her do a lot of thinking in a short time, and she says that she wants to share everything she has with Paul.
He tells her that the phoney war has put a lot of things out of perspective, and many things that they were feeling were phoney too. But Jennifer protests that she loves Paul and has something valuable to offer him. He says that she doesn't know what she is saying.
But Jennifer jumps up, and eagerly tells him that her thesis is on the compulsion of every human being for a sense of continuity after death. Bewildered, Paul says that he doesn't understand, and wants to know what her thesis has to do with what they were talking about.
Jennifer says that it's not just a thesis, but a truth, and applies to Paul as much as anyone else. “Don't you see, Paul,” she says, “I can help you achieve that sense of continuation,” and to Paul's further confusion, she tells him that she would be a wonderful healthy mother for his child.
Paul is at a loss, and says that she has a weird sense of humor, adding that the words are clear, but the meaning keeps slipping away. Jennifer says that she is offering Paul something priceless - immortality.
“Why me?” he asks. “Give me one rational, logical reason.” Jennifer replies that she saw a letter to him from The Garms Clinic.
He gets up. “So you want to have a baby without a man to interfere with the way you bring it up? Is that it?” he asks challengingly, adding, “or do you just think I'd make an interesting note in that thesis of yours?”
But Jennifer repeats that she has something valuable to offer him, insisting, “no one can face death or even life without some sense of immortality”
“I can,” he interrupts intensely.
Jennifer nevertheless persists, asking “can you think of a better mother than a trained psychologist?”
He rejects her again, and she declares, “think what it can mean to you!”
“I have thought of it, and I think parents owe something to children - like two parents. I thought of it, and I discarded the idea as incredibly selfish. Impossibly selfish! And if I were to do something like that, I wouldn't do it with a cold-hearted, clinical …..”
She interrupts, protesting that she isn't cold, but he says that she'd bring up a child like some specimen on a lab slide.
She starts to run off, and Paul says, “Jennifer, the world is not a clinic. Stop looking at everything through a microscope.”
Then, more gently, he tells her that if she did, she might find it pleasant.
The next day, the UN Captain tells Jennifer that he's arranged transport to the airport for her, and she goes over to Paul's jeep to say goodbye to him and to Margo.
She thanks him for being there for her when the bombs were falling, and tells Margo that she'll love Rome.
Just before they leave, Saunders tunes in the radio, from which they hear an announcement that a ceasefire has been agreed, all fighting to stop at 8 am.
Under the terms of the UN-brokered agreement, a committee will be formed under the supervision of the Secretary General to draft a treaty which will result in a permanent settlement to the dispute.
In the meantime, both sides have agreed to stabilize the situation as it was before the first shots were fired 24 hours earlier.
Margo shouts out to the hundreds of dead bodies which have been lined up along the road, “hey there, did you hear that?”
Then Paul drives away.