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Evening Star

The Hour of St. Francis

Evening Star

Apr 27 1952




CAST:

ANNOUNCER

NEWSCASTER

DENNIS CONROY, serious

EVA, warm

THE FATHER, kindly






MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER, OUT AT [X]


ANNOUNCER: From Myles Connolly's book, "Dan England and the Noonday Devil," and featuring Tyrone Power, THE HOUR OF ST. FRANCIS brings you the adventure of the scientist who discovered the wisdom that lies beyond all knowledge -- [X] the secret for which our world is sick at heart today.


MUSIC: BAND PLAYS A JAUNTY DANCE TUNE ... ESTABLISH, THEN CUT OFF ABRUPTLY WITH--


NEWSCASTER: Ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience, we interrupt this program to bring you a special buletin from the Spaceship Division of the Interplanetary Flight Research Station. The United States spaceship, X-Thirty-Seven-D-Two has landed on the recently discovered planet Venetius. Flight Headquarters has just received the first rocket communiqué from Professor Dennis Conroy, the one-man crew of the ship. Here is the report, received only a few moments ago by Professor Edward Briggs. (READS) "Report Number One. Landed safely on planet Venetius, two-seventeen p. m." (EXPLAINS) That's our time. (READS) "Ship intact, but space radio does not reach you. Will report via rocket communiqué. Signed Dennis Conroy."


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM ... THEN BEHIND CONROY--


CONROY: (DICTATES MESSAGE) Professor Briggs and staff, Report Number Two from Professor Conroy on the planet Venetius. I am dictating this report into the rocket communiqué transcriber. There is life here. There are people, animals, and trees. But they are exactly like those of the temperate regions of our country. The inhabitants gave me a cordial reception. The governor of the community, who is called "The Father," has assigned his young niece as my guide. Following is the data on my flight to the planet Venetius-- (FADES OUT)


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM ... THEN BEHIND CONROY--


CONROY: (DICTATES MESSAGE) Professor Briggs and staff, Report Number Seven from Professor Conroy. The people here are primarily agricultural and rural. There are no cities. Transportation is poor and communication is primitive, by messenger or carrier pigeon. The inhabitants do not use money as all trade is conducted by barter. When I described some phases of our advanced civilization, the inhabitants manifested a peculiar lack of interest. This morning, I inspected the local community on foot with Eva, the governor's niece-- (FADES OUT)


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON DIRT ROAD


EVA: Mr. Conroy? This is the house of my uncle, who is now "The Father."


CONROY: (PUZZLED) "The Father." That's a peculiar name for a ruler.


EVA: Oh, he doesn't rule. He takes care of us.


CONROY: But, uh, how did your uncle get the post of "The Father"?


EVA: Well, all the people gathered in the town square and they chose my uncle because he'd shown the greatest kindness to his neighbors during the past year. You see, the Father of each community sees that every family has a good house, and all the food they need, and time for singing and dancing. (AN INVITATION) Our street is having a dance this evening. Won't you come?


CONROY: I'm sorry, Eva, but I have no time to waste. I have to hurry back to the ship and make my reports.


EVA: I see.


CONROY: You can't imagine how inconvenient it is to be without a telephone or an automobile.


EVA: Uh, Mr. Conroy--? 


CONROY: Oh, you may call me Dennis.


EVA: Dennis, would you be--? Well, were you happy when you had a telephone? Did the automobile make you laugh?


CONROY: Well, not particularly. Why?


EVA: Well, I don't think you've laughed since you came here.


CONROY: Well, I'm very busy, Eva. I'm going to talk to the Father tonight. You have a marvelous country here, with fine people, and it's a crime that you haven't made any scientific progress. You don't seem to realize that you're still back in the thirteenth century.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM ... THEN BEHIND CONROY--


CONROY: (DICTATES MESSAGE) Professor Briggs and staff, Report Number Twelve from Professor Conroy on the planet Venetius. The potentialities here are unlimited. But the attitude of the inhabitants is a challenging mystery which I mean to solve. For example, I tried to demonstrate to the Father a few of the miracles of science on the spaceship such as the telephone-- (FADES OUT)


FATHER: These telephones, they can ring in your house or your office at any hour of the day or night?


CONROY: Yes, you are always in contact with the outside world. 


FATHER: You mean you have no privacy? Any man is free to break in upon your work or your thoughts?


CONROY: But it saves time. And think of all the time you would save if you had automobiles.


FATHER: Oh, from the way you've described them, I know they're the last things we'd want. Why shoud we have great metal objects on wheels dashing through our quiet streets and across our meadows?


CONROY: Because you could travel faster.


FATHER: Why should we travel faster?


CONROY: Well, because it saves time.


FATHER: We have time for everything we ought to do. A few hours of work gives us our living for the day. We enjoy the rest of the hours.


CONROY: But you aren't making any progress.


FATHER: What is progress?


CONROY: Well, it-- It's-- Well, getting ahead. Changing things.


FATHER: There is nothing we wish to change. We're happy the way we are. Would you care to take a walk through the rose garden? My niece Eva has developed a new variety of scarlet climber.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM ... THEN BEHIND CONROY--


CONROY: (DICTATES MESSAGE) Professor Briggs and staff, Report Number Thirteen from the planet Venetius. I have at last made definite progress. I believe I am on the verge of penetrating the secret of this strange planet. This morning, I had another discussion with the Father. I proposed the establishment of a school of science on this planet, to be staffed from our leading universities-- (FADES OUT)


FATHER: (FADES IN) Thank you, thank you, thank you for the offer, Professor Conroy, but that is the last thing that we would permit to be established here.


CONROY: But why? Why is everyone here opposed to progress and science? You can't imagine the miracles science has performed. Why, in the past fifty years, we have developed machines that think for us; radio-guided missiles that can destroy targets halfway across the world. Through atomic fission, we have already developed the hydrogen bomb that can level an entire city.


FATHER: (SICKENED) It is good that we no longer care to watch you.


CONROY: (SURPRISED) Watch us?


FATHER: There is a device for that in our museum of science.


CONROY: Museum of science?


FATHER: Yes. You do not understand us, Professor Conroy. I am the only man on this planet who has the key to the mystery. I shall show you tomorrow.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM ... THEN BEHIND CONROY--


CONROY: (DICTATES MESSAGE) Professor Briggs and staff, Report Number Sixteen. Today I made the great discovery. You will find it almost impossible to believe. The Father kept his word. He took me to their museum of science, a low, many-windowed building hidden in a dark grove of trees. Before he could unlock the door, he had to scrape moss away from the keyhole.


SOUND: SCRAPE AT DOOR ... KEY IN LOCK ... DOOR UNLOCKED DURING FOLLOWING--


FATHER: Professor Conroy, our laws require that each Father keep these relics in perfect condition, but no one ever comes here.


CONROY: Why not?


FATHER: (CHUCKLES) No one is interested. Uh--


SOUND: DOOR CREAKS OPEN


FATHER: Please go in.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS INTO MUSEUM ... THEN IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


CONROY: (STUNNED, SLOWLY) Oh, no. No, it can't be. It's fantastic. Incredible.


FATHER: What is?


CONROY: Why, these drawings. These models. Your research is centuries ahead of ours. But you have everything here.


FATHER: Everything?


CONROY: Dreams we never dared dream are realized in this room. Look - look at this model.


FATHER: Ah, what is it?


CONROY: It's a spaceship. Compared to this, my spaceship is like one of the wooden carts in your village.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS TO AN EXHIBIT


CONROY: What is this exhibit? (REALIZES, DISBELIEF) Oh! No. No, this is miraculous.


FATHER: Uh, what are these things?


CONROY: These are completed plans for a weapon that makes our hydrogen bomb look like a firecracker. You have discovered the secret of complete and final fission -- the disintegration of matter itself. The destruction of the universe.


FATHER: I don't know much about what's in here, nor, I must confess, am I much interested.


CONROY: Not interested?! In all this priceless knowledge? All this incredible power? The triumphs possible for you approach the infinite. You can rule the universe.


FATHER: Would that make us happier? Years ago, when we possessed knowledge of the things you see here, we discovered that they did not bring peace. Our people were constantly at war with their environment, and with themselves. And, too often, with their neighbors. Yet, in those foolish days, we used to feel sorry for you on Earth because we could see that you were not as advanced as we in the pursuit of knowledge.


CONROY: You could see?


FATHER: We had an instrument. (LOOKING AROUND) There's a model of it here somewhere. Oh, over there in the corner, I think.


CONROY: Let me look.


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS TO THE INSTRUMENT


CONROY: (AMAZED) Television! Interplanetary television!


FATHER: The concentrated pursuit of knowledge seemed usually to lead to unhappiness. Even in the matter of medicine it was discovered that for old diseases cured, new ones appeared, sprung usually from conflict with the false artifical environment of our scientific world. But that was not the worst result of our progress.


CONROY: How can progress have bad results?


FATHER: The more we studied, the more we produced new instruments of death -- instruments that could destroy in one day more lives than all the plagues and famines had destroyed in the ages before science. Finally, we reached the point where, in one blast, we could have wiped out our planet. At this point, we abandoned science.


CONROY: You abandoned it - completely?


FATHER: We forebade its study and its practice, for we have established a new principle of education.


CONROY: And what is that?


FATHER: Our principle of education is, "Knowledge without wisdom is ruin. And knowledge without character is death." We discovered that it's much better for our happiness that we know hidden values, rather than apparent values -- for that is wisdom.


CONROY: I - I don't understand.


FATHER: It must be difficult, coming from Earth as you do. It is wisdom to know that loving an enemy makes you happy; and possibly him, also. It is wisdom to know that hatred brings you only discontent and death. Our schools are dedicated to teaching wisdom and character. I - I know this will sound strange to you, but we have discovered that kindness is more important than chemistry, and humility of far greater value than higher mathematics.


CONROY: How, um--? How long ago did you give up science?


FATHER: A thousand years ago -- and a little more, as you on Earth measure time. We have been happy that long. 


SOUND: THE FATHER TAKES A STEP TOWARD THE DOOR


FATHER: Shall we leave?


CONROY: Why - why, yes. 


SOUND: THEIR FOOTSTEPS THROUGH DOOR BEHIND--


FATHER: It is - not good to stay here too long. Already I imagine I feel the chill of death.


SOUND: DOOR CREAKS SHUT ... DOOR IS LOCKED BEHIND--


CONROY: (MARVELS) And you could have controlled the universe.


FATHER: (CHUCKLES) Would we have been happy? I brought you here only because I have seen in Eva's eyes her love for you.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM ... THEN BEHIND CONROY--


CONROY: (DICTATES MESSAGE) Professor Briggs and staff, Report the Twenty-Third. This will be my last report to you from the planet Venetius. Tonight I sat in the dark of a rose garden with Eva, and we looked at the stars. One star shone more brightly than the others. I knew that was Earth, and I laughed. 


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM FADES OUT


CONROY: (LAUGHS)


EVA: (PLEASED) You know, this is the first time I've heard you laugh. You sound at ease -- like one of us.


CONROY: I'm glad. Because you've made me see how love can be far more important than knowledge.


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TELETYPE WITH WEIRD HUM ... THEN BEHIND CONROY--


CONROY: (DICTATES MESSAGE) Professor Briggs, as soon as I have finished this report, I will launch the spaceship. It will roar wildly into the heavens, going nowhere, until it burns itself out and vanishes, for I will not be on it. (BEAT) Before I destroy this rocket communiqué equipment, I will tell you the most important secret of this planet Venetius. Knowledge without wisdom is ruin. Knowledge without character is death.


SOUND: TELETYPE STOPS ... WEIRD HUM SLOWS TO A STOP ... ROCKET LAUNCHES


MUSIC: CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: This episode of THE HOUR OF ST. FRANCIS, entitled "Evening Star," featured Tyrone Power and was adapted from the book, "Dan England and the Noonday Devil" by Myles Connolly. It was brought to you by the Third Order of St. Francis whose members, with St. Francis, pray:


MUSIC: ORGAN ... BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy. Amen.


MUSIC: ORGAN ... RELIGIOSO ... THEN CONTINUES UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: For a copy of this program, "Evening Star," or of "The Peace Prayer of St. Francis," write to THE HOUR OF ST. FRANCIS in care of this station.

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