PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL
From the diary about this episode:
Monday, June 27
I was ready to head for Europe - anywhere but have the peace and quiet we'd come here for. This whole day I haven't been able to do anything - neither fish, nor write, nor even to talk things over with Kate.
The reality I've been trying to pretend didn't exist came and hit me so hard that I wonder if I'll ever get back to that safe place I've been hiding out. Bill Dagen found out nine months after I did, and the “at least nine months” was all he had.
Kate has suggested that we pack up tomorrow, and head for Santa Margarita, and I think that's what we should have done this morning.
Crescent Lake - in flight to France
Tuesday - Thursday, June 28 - 30
Trying to pull myself together, I'd gotten up early with the idea of bringing Kate some rainbow trout for breakfast. Then the world caved in under me - again, and I have the injuries to prove it was all too real.
J. B. Flowers thought that I was going to be the man to give him cover to escape over the border, but after dragging me all day across field and water, pursued by dogs and posses, when we arrived at his girlfriend's house, it turned out to be his place of death rather than path to freedom.
Another person who came close to me, but has preceded me into eternity. The pain I'm feeling for this unfortunate human, wrongly imprisoned in what the sheriff called “a very small injustice,” then taken along by a killer to make a prison break, he was a very mixed up lad who never had a chance at life.
Though, at times, I thought him either insane or backward, in the end I came to think of him as someone I would do anything to help. And I would have. The doctor has looked at my leg, but says it's nothing serious. I was starting to think of things like gangrene, so low my spirits have sunk.
The shoulder wound is a little more serious, he says, but I'm determined to get out of here as quickly as possible. What I hadn't realized was that for a lot of the time we were on the run, the law were ready to shoot me on sight - believing that I was the man who escaped with JB.
It seems like a dream now, but there was a horrible moment when I felt like Bill Dagen was reaching out a hand to me when a farmer began shooting at us, and then JB shot the handcuff from my wrist.
I just keep reliving that moment over and over in consciousness and in sleep, sometimes the farmer an elephant charging me, others one being JB, bludgeoning my handcuffed wrists with his trunk.
The Wynters couldn't have been nicer, offering loving hospitality, and having been a great support to Katie when I was kidnapped. But I couldn't take another minute of this place, and as soon as a new car was delivered, we took off for the airport.
All the sedation and medication didn't have the expected effect, and I'm like walking around in a dream. Extremely fearful. That Kate and I can't seem to reach one another seems the worst part. Asleep and then frighteningly awake again, this has been a nightmare of a flight.
Friday, July 1
There was no possibility of even getting into the car, much less driving it, and that hurt, as I'd made up my mind that this would be my last race as test driver.
Everyone was incredibly kind. Clive seemed dazzled and uncomprehending when he learned what had happened, as if having to live through it himself. Rhona's hug was so warm that I was ready to cry.
Only Pete made little of it, with an off hand remark about the scrapes I got into, but Kate said later he'd told her that he'd gone through hell, waiting for news about me.
Jack seemed embarrassed and confused, but I told him sincerely how grateful we had been for all the support and kindness his parents had given both of us.
Then there was Armand. I was too weak to resist when he showed up with his personal physician to look after me. Dr. Soule frowned when he looked at what I was taking, and gave me something which improved my spirits remarkably.
And the soreness and pain in my leg and shoulder seemed to melt away, and when Kate and I had dinner in our suite, all of a sudden, after dessert, she was suddenly there again as a human presence, not someone who was making me uncomfortable. I even feel well enough to join the others in the bar for some pre-race chat.
Saturday, July 2
Feeling no pain in more than one sense of the word, I was able to cheer with real heart when Pete qualified sixth on the grid for tomorrow's race. But aside from that, on doctor's orders, I spent the rest of the day in bed.
Not the only one under doctor's care, and I intend to go see Jim Clark tomorrow. We're all worried about his eye after the unbelievable attack from a bird during qualifying.
Sunday, July 3
Feeling almost normal, went to see Jim, and he assured me he was going to be fine. Like a lot of people here, he's very down and sentimental, as this is going to be the last Formula 1 race at Reims. He reminisced about driving here - as did many others who talked about the myths and legends of Reims.
Ninth, but we finished. We cheered Pete as if he had won, and I rededicated myself to finding joy in whatever life was still mine to have.
That Katie and I have been able to talk again in depth has had much to do with my getting back to this point. Just knowing that she is there helps even with things we haven't discussed.
A man emerges from the back with a gun
Flowers tells Paul to get out of the car
Flowers takes Paul over land as a hostage
Flowers shoots the handcuff from the well
Posse leaders argue over tactics
Flowers is thrilled to see Donna
Flowers tells Donna his escape plans
Paul explains the injustice to Flowers
The sheriff laments the injustice
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
On a fishing trip Paul has just driven away in his car when a voice from the back seat tells him to follow orders, enforced by a gun to Paul's head.
From the radio Paul hears that two convicts have escaped, the one now holding him a prisoner serving a ten-year sentence for second-degree murder.
His captor, J. B. Flowers, tells Paul to drive through a roadblock, and a police car follows them immediately.
They manage to pull off on a side road and escape pursuit, but then come to a barrier. Flowers gets out to see what they can do, handcuffing his captive to the steering wheel.
Paul makes an effort to turn on the ignition and escape, but badly positioned, after he has it going, the car gets stuck in the mud, and they have to abandon it.
Meanwhile a posse has gathered, and they have bloodhounds combing the area.
Believing that he might be some protection, Flowers takes Paul with him, and they continue on foot over difficult terrain, having to stop when Paul gets his leg caught in barbed wire, then injures it further with a fall.
While they're resting Flowers shows Paul a picture of his girlfriend Donna whom he hasn't seen for five years.
She lives in the area, and he's aiming to get to her house. They hear the dogs coming in the distance, and Flowers makes Paul move on, handcuffing the two men together.
After crossing much wild land they come to a farm yard, and wash and drink from a pump, the handcuffs only on Paul now. In hope of not having to go on, Paul asks to change the cuff from a sore wrist to the other, and when Flowers gives him the key, Paul cuffs himself to the pump and throws away the key.
But just then the farmer appears and starts shooting at Paul, wounding him in the shoulder. Flowers shoots back at the farmer, then approaches Paul, and shoots away the handcuffs, and brings him away and onwards.
The posse get word that it was the other escapee who shot two guards, and that he is now dead himself, thus bringing them to the conclusion that one of the men they are pursuing may be an innocent victim. The dogs and most of the men are sent in the opposite direction of Donna's house in order to avoid possibly killing Flowers' hostage.
The fugitives stop so that Flowers can clean Paul's wound, and when he accuses the convict of shooting at the farmer, Flowers says it was to keep him from killing Paul. They continue on, and the next time they stop to rest,
Flowers talks about the happy future he and Donna had planned.
The lawmen call at her house to see if Flowers has been there, and one is left on watch in the barn. Donna then speaks to her father on the phone, and tells him about the malicious gossip going on at the school where she teaches.
After learning that he will be home the next day, she hangs up to see Flowers in the room. They embrace and express great affection and concern for one another, and Paul is struck by their bond.
Flowers gets Donna to help Paul with his wound, and she offers both men fried chicken.
The convict tells of his plan to get to the swamps which he knows well, and then make his way across the border to Mexico, getting Donna to join him when he is settled.
Paul discourages him, and says that even if he has learned Spanish in prison, he'll never pass for a Mexican, and be found quickly there.
Flowers tells Paul the circumstances of his conviction. He hit a man who suffered head injuries when he fell against a car bumper, and his influential father saw that the book was thrown at Flowers when his son later died.
Paul explains that Flowers' attorney should have gotten the trial moved to another venue, saying that if Flowers gave himself up now, they could get him a new trial on a lesser charge. Most likely, he would be set free, having already served five years.
But Flowers points to the prison escape, and says that would mitigate against him. He is interested in Paul's proposal, but still dubious. Before he can deliberate on the proposal,
Donna calls out to him from the yard where a number of law officers are gathered. She begs him to give himself up, but instead of doing so, he tries to make a run for it. He kills three men, and is eventually shot dead himself.
The sheriff points to six men now dead because of the unfair trial Flowers got - an injustice that didn't disappear, but came home to roost. The sheriff asks Paul if he can take him anywhere, and Paul answers, “away from here.”
Notes & Comments:
A fairly predictable subject, but one hostage episode per series would be enough. One a season (besides all the other ways Paul is held) is a bit much.
At least a moral point at the end.