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Lost Horizon

The Lux Radio Theatre

Lost Horizon

Sep 15 1941



CAST:


The Lux Team:

ANNOUNCER, Melville Ruick

HOST, Cecil B. DeMille

WOMAN

MAN

GROOM

BRIDE

SALLY


Dramatis Personae:

HUGH CONWAY, British consul

HIGH LAMA, elderly

LO-TSEN, young Chinese woman

MALLINSON, young British vice consul

CHANG, cultured Chinese

RUTHERFORD, British author

SIEVEKING, pianist

MISS BRINKLOW, British missionary

HENRY BARNARD, Midwest American businessman

PILOT, heavy Chinese accent

STEWARD




ANNOUNCER: Lux presents Hollywood!


MUSIC: LUX THEME ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: The Lux Radio Theatre brings you Ronald Colman in "Lost Horizon," with Donald Crisp and Lynne Carver. Ladies and gentlemen, your producer, Mr. Cecil B. DeMille.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: Greetings from Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight's play gave the language a new word for an old dream. The word is Shangri-La, the name of the beautiful far country in James Hilton's novel "Lost Horizon"; and the dream is man's eternal vision of a land completely civilized, peaceful and free. High in the rugged mountains of Tibet lies Shangri-La, a world apart from war and rumors of war -- whole centuries ahead of its time. 


But even the best of all possible worlds must have people, and people will always be human. That's what makes Mr. Hilton's magnificent adventure tale a fine human drama, and a story of a very human love, too. If you saw "Lost Horizon" on the screen, you wouldn't picture anyone else but Ronald Colman in the starring role, and neither could we. I still have the many fine letters you wrote about his performance here last year in "Libel," and I believe this play will inspire you even more. With Ronald Colman, you'll hear Donald Crisp and Lynne Carver as two of the people that are part of the strange story of Shangri-La.


And Lux Soap, by the way, will be perfectly at home with Mr. Hilton's globetrotting play tonight. Right next to the distant mountains where our story takes place is Turkestan -- a wild, forbidding, sparsely inhabited country. Just the other night, Mrs. DeMille and I were reading a book written by an adventurous gentleman who traveled straight across Turkestan on horseback. Far up in the Himalaya Mountains, his party stopped for the night at a native home and, following the custom of the country, he gave a present to the three ladies of the household. He gave them each one cake of Lux Toilet Soap. Much to his astonishment, each of the women put the soap in a small bag and hung it around her neck. In that lost horizon of the hills, Lux Toilet Soap was much too precious to be used. It was to be treasured like - like some work of art. Remember that, the next time you get a new cake down from the shelf.


And I know you'll remember "Lost Horizon," starring Ronald Colman as Conway, with Donald Crisp as the High Lama, Lynne Carver as Lo-Tsen, and Denis Green as Mallinson. The curtain rises on the first act.


MUSIC: INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG


HOST: Far out on the Pacific, a steamship moves slowly through the midnight fog. Shrouded in mist, her huge hulk glides ghostlike over a glassy sea.


SOUND: OCEAN LINER FOG HORN


MUSIC: CHANGES TO A LOVELY CHOPINESQUE PIANO PIECE ... THEN IN BG


HOST: In the lounge, almost deserted and heavy with shadows, a man is seated at the piano. His face is thin and pale. He plays very softly, absently, his eyes fixed far ahead, as if seeing into the future -- or trying to remember the past.


RUTHERFORD: Long day ahead of us tomorrow. Don't you think you'd better turn in, old man? It's rather late. (NO RESPONSE) Conway, don't you hear me? (NO ANSWER) Conway?


CONWAY: (UNENTHUSIASTIC) Anything you say.


MUSIC: PIANO STOPS


SIEVEKING: Please, don't stop playing! Please! That last selection was quite beautiful. May I inquire the name of it?


RUTHERFORD: (BEAT) Well? What was it, Conway -- the name of that selection?


CONWAY: (ABSENTLY) I don't know. It's something I-- Oh, something--


MUSIC: PIANO RESUMES ... FILLS A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG


SIEVEKING: Ah! Beautiful, beautiful. Oh, I beg your pardon. My name is Rudolf Sieveking.


RUTHERFORD: Sieveking? The pianist?


SIEVEKING: You know me?


RUTHERFORD: I've heard you play many times. My name is Rutherford. This gentleman is Mr. Conway.


SIEVEKING: How do you do?


MUSIC: PIANO STOPS


SIEVEKING: Oh, no, don't stop. Go on -- please.


MUSIC: PIANO RESUMES ... THEN IN BG


SIEVEKING: Thank you. Yes! Superb, but I can't quite place it.


CONWAY: (REALIZES) I remember now. It's by Chopin.


SIEVEKING: Chopin? No, no, no, no. Not Chopin. Very much in his style, but definitely not Chopin.


CONWAY: (POLITE BUT FIRM) I know it's by Chopin.


SIEVEKING: Really? But I flatter myself that I know everything of Chopin's -- everything that was ever published.


CONWAY: Well, this wasn't published.


SIEVEKING: (PUZZLED) So--? Then how do you happen to know it?


CONWAY: It was taught to me -- a few months ago -- by one of Chopin's pupils.


SIEVEKING: (AMUSED, POLITE) Hmm, Mr. Conway chooses to have a joke with me. (CHUCKLES)


CONWAY: Not only a pupil, but a friend.


SIEVEKING: (LIGHTLY) Mr. Conway, may I remind you of one thing? This friend of Chopin's-- Do you realize that to be alive today he would have to be somewhere in the neighborhood of, say, a hundred and thirty years of age?


MUSIC: PIANO STOPS


CONWAY: (DEAD SERIOUS) Yes. He was with Chopin the night he died -- in Eighteen Forty-Nine. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Rutherford, I - I believe I'll take a walk around the deck. (MOVING OFF) Good night.


SOUND: OCEAN LINER FOG HORN ... DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS CONWAY EXITS


SIEVEKING: Hm, perhaps Mr. Conway resented my intrusion.


RUTHERFORD: You'll have to forgive my friend, sir. He's been quite ill.


SIEVEKING: Oh?


RUTHERFORD: Yes, I'm taking him home to England. You see, he's had a very severe case of amnesia.


SIEVEKING: Oh, I am sorry.


RUTHERFORD: I'd better go along with him. (MOVING OFF) Excuse me, please.


SOUND: SCENE FADES OUT ... THEN FADE IN OCEAN LINER FOG HORN, TWICE ... FOOTSTEPS ON SHIP'S DECK


RUTHERFORD: (APPROACHES) Conway?! Conway, is that you?! (LIGHTLY) Well, I'm afraid you've insulted the eminent Mr. Sieveking. He was quite peeved.


CONWAY: I suppose it sounded very absurd.


RUTHERFORD: Well, a man a hundred and thirty years old-- It was rather hard to believe.


CONWAY: Yes, the more so because it's true. (BEAT) You don't believe me, either, hm?


RUTHERFORD: I'm a writer, Conway. I'm capable of believing almost anything.


CONWAY: Rutherford, how did you happen to find me?


RUTHERFORD: Oh, purely by accident. I was traveling from Hankow to Chungking by train. I made the acquaintance of a very charming lady -- Mother Superior of some French sisters of charity. She told me of a case they had in the hospital at Chungking, a fever patient who'd been brought in some weeks ago. She said he seemed to be English, but spoke excellent Chinese. Naturally, I was interested. When I went to the hospital with her, I recognized you at once.


CONWAY: And I didn't recognize you?


RUTHERFORD: The doctor said you'd been under considerable strain.


CONWAY: Yes, but I do recognize you now.


RUTHERFORD: You mean your memory is coming back?


CONWAY: For the past two days I've been remembering -- little things. Tonight, it all came back to me. That is, all except a few days when-- Rutherford, when you went to the hospital, did they mention how I had come there?


RUTHERFORD: Yes. You were picked up on the road about sixty miles from Chungking.


CONWAY: Alone?


RUTHERFORD: No. There was someone with you. A woman.


CONWAY: A Chinese woman?


RUTHERFORD: Yes.


CONWAY: And -- what happened to her?


RUTHERFORD: Why, they brought her in, too, of course. But she was pretty far gone. She died that night.


CONWAY: (SHAKEN, WHISPERS) Died?


RUTHERFORD: (SYMPATHETIC) Conway, I'm glad your memory has returned, but I'm sorry if already you wish it hadn't.


CONWAY: I don't know what I wish. I only know that-- Rutherford, you said you were capable of believing almost anything? Could you believe the impossible?


RUTHERFORD: Do you believe it?


CONWAY: (SIMPLY) It happened to me.


RUTHERFORD: Go on.


CONWAY: I - I don't know just where to begin. How long is it since I've seen you?


RUTHERFORD: Mmm, 'bout Nineteen Twenty-One. As I remember it, you were at Oxford.


CONWAY: Yes, that's right. I'd gone back there after the war. I was making a study of Oriental languages. Well, soon after that, I went into the consular service.


RUTHERFORD: So I heard. You were sent to India, weren't you?


MUSIC: FOR A FLASHBACK ... SNEAKS IN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: Yes. To Baskul. I was the consul there, up until last May. Then there was a revolt of sorts in Baskul and we thought it safer to evacuate the civilians to Peshawar on the northwest frontier. We had some planes for the purpose and I myself left Baskul with four passengers and a pilot. With me was my vice consul, a young fellow named Mallinson; a missionary woman, Miss Brinklow; and Henry Barnard, an American businessman. We took off from Baskul at about three in the afternoon and should have landed in Peshawar about five-thirty. We never arrived at our destination.


SOUND: AIRPLANE ENGINES ... SNEAKS IN DURING ABOVE ... THEN IN BG


MUSIC: OUT


MALLINSON: (URGENT, WORRIED) Conway? I say, Conway, you asleep?


CONWAY: (WAKES) Hm? Huh? Oh. What's the matter, Mallinson? Anything wrong?


MALLINSON: I'm not sure, but didn't you tell me that Fenner was piloting us?


CONWAY: Yes, isn't he?


MALLINSON: No. The chap turned his head just now and I'll swear it wasn't Fenner.


CONWAY: Well, they must have changed their minds and given us someone else.


MALLINSON: Yes, but who is he?


CONWAY: My dear boy, how should I know? When we arrive in Peshawar you can ask him all about himself.


MALLINSON: At this rate we shan't get to Peshawar at all. The man's off his course, and we're an hour overdue at least.


CONWAY: What?


MALLINSON: You've been asleep. It's after six-thirty. And look down there. Nothing but mountains as far as you can see.


CONWAY: (LOOKS, UNHAPPY) No, I don't recognize this part of the world at all. I'd say you were right, Mallinson. The man's lost his way.


BARNARD: What's that, Conway? Did you say we were lost?


BRINKLOW: Lost?! Oh, good heavens!


CONWAY: Oh, it's quite all right, Miss Brinklow. There's nothing to be upset about, I'm sure.


BARNARD: I'm not so sure. Flying over the mountains of India with night coming on isn't exactly my idea of a pleasant time. Where would you say we were?


CONWAY: I don't know, Mr. Barnard.


BARNARD: Well, we might ask the pilot, you know.


BRINKLOW: But if we're lost, he won't know either, will he?


CONWAY: Oh, I'm not yet certain that we are lost.


MALLINSON: (DRY) Still, there's nothing like finding out, is there?


CONWAY: All right, I'll ask him.


SOUND: KNOCK ON GLASS WINDOW OF COCKPIT DOOR


CONWAY: Hey! You there, pilot! Open the panel!


SOUND: KNOCKS AGAIN


CONWAY: Open up, will you? I want to speak to you!


SOUND: GLASS WINDOW SLIDES OPEN


PILOT: I advise you ask no questions, please.


CONWAY: (QUIETLY DISMAYED) Oh. Certainly.


MALLINSON: Look here! We want to know where we are!


PILOT: I advise that you be seated.


MALLINSON: I will not be seated! I want to know--!


CONWAY: (INTERRUPTS, CALM) Mallinson, I don't know whether you've noticed it, but there's the barrel of a revolver pointing directly at my chest.


BRINKLOW: (GASPS) Oh!


CONWAY: (LIGHTLY, WITH A CHUCKLE) Under the circumstances, I think you'd better do as the gentleman suggests.


PILOT: Thank you. It would be pity if I had to resort to force.


CONWAY: (GOOD-NATURED) I don't suppose you'd care to answer, but might I ask just where we're going?


PILOT: You will know that tomorrow when we arrive.


SOUND: GLASS WINDOW SLIDES SHUT


MALLINSON: (ASTONISHED, LOW) What the devil did he mean?


BRINKLOW: Do you suppose we're being kidnapped?


CONWAY: (SHRUGS) As good an explanation as any.


MALLINSON: He wouldn't have dared to shoot. It was probably just bluff.


CONWAY: (AMUSED, DRY) Quite, but, heh, I'd rather leave it to you to make sure.


MALLINSON: Well, I - I do feel we ought to put up some sort of a fight. We can't just give in like this.


CONWAY: Putting up a fight without a decent chance of winning is a poor game, and I'm not that sort of a hero.


BARNARD: Good for you, sir! When a man's got you by the short-hairs, you may as well give in pleasantly and admit it.


BRINKLOW: But, er, what are we going to do?


CONWAY: Well, since we're going to be flying all night and since there seems to be nothing we can do at the moment, I suggest we try and get some sleep.


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG, OUT BY [X]


CONWAY: (NARRATES) For hours we sat in the darkness of the plane, each of us pretending to sleep. From all I could make out, we were flying northeast over a range of mountains, the Karakorams. In the moonlight, I fancied I could pick out the crest of K2, the second-highest mountain in the world. Beyond lay Tibet. 


SOUND: AIRPLANE ENGINES, IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) Then I must have fallen asleep -- for how long, I don't know. Suddenly the plane lurched sharply. There was a loud rushing sound in my ears and I realized that we were coming down. [X] But fast -- much too fast!


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, AIRPLANE ENGINES WHINE AND ROAR ... LONG LOUD CRASH OF AIRPLANE ONTO MOUNTAINTOP PLATEAU ... AIRPLANE SKIDS TO A STOP ... SILENCE EXCEPT FOR A HARSH WIND THAT BLOWS, FILLS A PAUSE, THEN CONTINUES IN BG--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) We stumbled from the plane, the four of us -- badly shaken, but uninjured. We found ourselves on a snow-covered plateau surrounded by towering cliffs and I knew we must be somewhere in Tibet -- a vast uninhabited and unexplored region, a land of frozen wastes and bitter cold.


MUSIC: GENTLE, SERENE ... SNEAKS IN ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


SOUND: WIND DIES DOWN, BUT CONTINUES IN BG--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) Then a strange thing happened. The wind died suddenly and the moon swung over the edge of a precipice high above. And there, soaring into the heavens appeared the loveliest mountain on Earth. It was an almost perfect cone of snow -- so radiant, so serenely poised, that I wondered for a moment if it were real at all.


MALLINSON: Conway! Come here! Something the matter with this pilot fellow. I think he's ill or something; I can't get a word out of him.


BARNARD: (DISMAYED) The pilot! Well, now we are in a fix.


CONWAY: Loosen his helmet. Well, he's still breathing anyhow. Got a match, Barnard?


BARNARD: Not very many. Here we are.


SOUND: MATCH STRIKES


CONWAY: Well, keep lighting them.


MALLINSON: His pulse is pretty weak; I - I can hardly feel it.


BARNARD: What do you suppose happened to him?


CONWAY: Oh, possibly a heart attack brought on by the altitude. There's not very much we can do for him out here. Barnard! Barnard, another match!


SOUND: MATCH STRIKES


MALLINSON: (CRACKS UP WITH MAD LAUGHTER)


CONWAY: Mallinson, what's the matter with you?


MALLINSON: (LAUGHS) What's the matter--? Look at us -- a lot of fools striking matches over a corpse!


MUSIC: TROUBLED TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG


PILOT: (SPEAKS IN CHINESE STARTING AT [X] BELOW, OVERLAPPED BY CONWAY)


CONWAY: (NARRATES) There was little we could do for the man. We watched his breathing grow more and more labored. Eventually, he opened his eyes [X] and began to speak in [?] a kind of Chinese that I didn't understand very well. Toward the end, he half-lifted himself and looked toward that shiny precipice towering above us. With a great effort, he raised his hand and pointed--


SOUND: WIND BLOWS, IN BG


PILOT: (FINISHES HIS SPEECH WITH--) --Shangri-La! Shangri-La!


MUSIC: ACCENT ... AND OUT


CONWAY: (NARRATES) Then, as the early rays of the sun caught the summit of the mountain, the man died.


MUSIC: ACCENT/TRANSITION FOR THE PILOT'S DEATH


SOUND: WIND BLOWS, IN BG


MALLINSON: (ANXIOUS) But what did he say? He must have told you something.


CONWAY: Very little, I'm afraid. Merely that we are in Tibet, which is obvious. But he did say something about a lamasery near here, along the valley. Shangri-La, he called it. He was most emphatic that we should go there.


MALLINSON: Which doesn't seem to me any reason at all why we should. What if it's a trap? Have we got any guarantee that we won't be murdered?


CONWAY: None at all.


BARNARD: Conway?


CONWAY: Well?


BARNARD: I've just been looking at that mountain. Am I seeing things? Or are those men coming towards us?


MUSIC: ETHEREAL CHANT ... THEN IN BG


CONWAY: (NARRATES) They were men: a party of a dozen or more, crawling like ants across the white face of the mountain. As they drew near, we saw they carried among them a hooded chair and, in it, a robed figure: an elderly Chinese -- gray-haired, clean-shaven. Slowly they came toward us. The Chinese gave an order.


CHANG: (GIVES AN ORDER IN CHINESE)


MUSIC: ETHEREAL CHANT STOPS


CHANG: (TO CONWAY) I am from the lamasery of Shangri-La. My name is Chang. You, sir -- would you be good enough to present me to your friends?


CONWAY: Of course. This is Miss Brinklow -- Mr. Barnard -- and Mr. Mallinson. My name is Conway. 


CHANG: How do you do? We observed from the mountain that you have had a severe accident. Your ship is beyond repair?


CONWAY: Yes, I'm afraid so. And, anyway, our pilot is dead.


CHANG: So.


CONWAY: As a matter of fact, we were just setting out to find your lamasery. If you could give us directions for the journey--


CHANG: There is no need for that. I shall be delighted to act as your guide.


CONWAY: Oh, but you must have just come from there -- and if it isn't very far, we could easily--


CHANG: It is not far, but it is not easy, either. I shall esteem it an honor to accompany you and your friends.


CONWAY: Oh, but really--


CHANG: I must insist.


CONWAY: Well, thank you.


MALLINSON: (CURT) Our stay won't be long and we'll pay for anything we have, and we'd like to hire some of your porters to help us on the journey back. We want to return to civilization as soon as possible.


CHANG: (DRY) Are you so certain you are away from it? (TO PORTERS, A BRIEF ORDER IN CHINESE) [Von hoy] Shangri-La!


MUSIC: ETHEREAL CHANT ... THEN IN BG


CHANG: You are contemplating the mountain, Mr. Conway?


CONWAY: Yes. Yes, it's a beautiful sight. It has a name, I suppose?


CHANG: It is called Karakal.


CONWAY: Ah, I don't think I ever heard of it. Is it very high?


CHANG: Over twenty-eight thousand feet.


BRINKLOW: (DISMAYED) Do we have to climb it to get to your lamasery?


CHANG: There is a pass -- at twenty thousand.


BRINKLOW: (UNHAPPY) Oh.


MUSIC: ETHEREAL CHANT ... UP, TO FILL A LENGTHY PAUSE ... THEN SLOWLY FADES OUT


SOUND: TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN FADE IN HARSH WIND BLOWING AND FOOTSTEPS TRUDGING IN SNOW ... THEN IN BG


BARNARD: (OUT OF BREATH) Can't be much further than this, can it? We've been climbing for hours!


CONWAY: (LIKEWISE) Well, it's quite - quite certain we could never have found the way ourselves.


MALLINSON: (DRY) Well, would we be missing much? (AGITATED) What sort of a hell's kitchen are we making for? And what's our plan of action when we get there? What'll we do?!


CONWAY: Mallinson, there are times in life when the most comfortable thing is to do nothing at all. Things happen to you and so you just let them happen. 


MALLINSON: That's - that's a bit too philosophic for me. I'm suspicious about all this. They're - they're getting us into a corner!


CONWAY: Have you anything else to suggest?


MALLINSON: No!


CONWAY: (CHUCKLES) Well, then -- try and make the best of it!


MALLINSON: (CALMER) I'm sorry, I - I don't know what's the matter with me. The whole world seems to have gone completely mad.


CHANG: (AN ORDER IN CHINESE)


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS STOP


BARNARD: We seem to be at the top!

 

CHANG: We shall rest here a moment before we descend into the valley.


BRINKLOW: Are we almost there?


CHANG: The dangers of our journey are quite over. If you will look below, toward the head of the valley, you can see the lamasery of Shangri-La.


SOUND: WIND OUT WITH--


MUSIC: MYSTICAL AND BEAUTIFUL ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) Shangri-La. It was a strange and incredible sight: a group of colored pavilions clinging to the mountainside, like flower petals impaled upon a crag. It was superb and exquisite. The eye was carried upward from the milk-blue roofs to the gray rock looming tremendously overhead. Beyond that, in a dazzling pyramid, soared Karakal. It was the most beautiful and the most terrifying mountainscape in the world. I don't remember how we arrived at the lamasery; the thin air had a dreamlike texture, and with every breath, I took in a deep anesthetizing tranquillity. But I do remember a strange sensation, half-mystical, half-visual, of having reached at last some place that was an end, a finality.


MUSIC: UP, FOR CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: In just a few moments, Mr. DeMille and our stars -- Ronald Colman, Donald Crisp, and Lynne Carver -- will bring us Act Two of "Lost Horizon."


MUSIC: "THE WEDDING MARCH" ... THEN IN BG


WOMAN: (FILTER) What a beautiful bride!


MAN: (FILTER) Lucky man -- getting a girl like that!


GROOM: And how I'm lucky -- marrying anyone as lovely as you. Darling, I--


BRIDE: I always want to look lovely for you, dear.


MUSIC: DOWN AND OUT


ANNOUNCER: Ah, there's a bride who can count on happiness ahead -- a clever young bride, typical of women everywhere who win romance, and keep it, by caring for their own natural loveliness. They know that complexion beauty must be cherished if skin is to stay appealingly soft and smooth. That's why they take a tip from the world's most beautiful women, Hollywood's famous stars. Know how they care for their million-dollar complexions? Hollywood's beauty care? Why, daily Active Lather facials with gentle white Lux Toilet Soap. Screen stars say this beauty facial is as simple as one-two-three. They just smooth the creamy Lux Soap lather lightly in, rinse with warm water, then with cool, and pat gently to dry with a soft towel. That's all. But you'll find that Lux Soap's Active Lather has removed every trace of dust, dirt, and stale cosmetics; has left skin feeling smooth, looking flower-fresh. Don't let another day go by without trying this gentle beauty care. See how the rich lather of this smooth white soap caresses your skin, how beautifully fresh it makes you look and feel. Here's a tip for brides -- for women everywhere who want their beauty care really to work: begin now to use gentle Lux Toilet Soap regularly. (BEAT) Now, our producer, Mr. DeMille.


HOST: Act Two of "Lost Horizon," starring Ronald Colman as Conway, with Donald Crisp as the High Lama, and Lynne Carver as Lo-Tsen.


SOUND: OCEAN LINER FOG HORN ... TWICE


HOST: At the rail of the ocean liner, Conway continues his story -- a strange tale of a journey to a strange place, the lamasery of Shangri-La.


MUSIC: PEACEFUL ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) From the stormy cliffs of Karakal to the serene peace and quiet of Shangri-La was like a descent into another world. How long we would have to stay, we didn't know, but I can't pretend that I was worried or even annoyed, for here in this lovely place, I enjoyed a strange sensation: a pleasant mingling of physical ease and mental alertness. It seemed to me, of all sensations, the most truly civilized. At dinner our first night there, I noticed that the food was cooked and served in Chinese fashion.


SOUND: DINNER TABLE BACKGROUND


CHANG: You will excuse me if I do not have my dinner with you. My diet is very restricted; I am obliged to take care of myself.


BRINKLOW: Not at all.


BARNARD: Of course, of course.


CHANG: If there is anything you wish, please do not hesitate to ask. I'm sure we can supply it.


CONWAY: You seem to be a fortunate community here, and very hospitable to strangers. I don't imagine, though, that you receive them often.


CHANG: Seldom indeed. It is not a traveled part of the world.


CONWAY: (CHUCKLES) Yes, to put it mildly. As we came up, I thought it the most isolated spot I had ever set eyes on. And yet--


CHANG: Yes?


MALLINSON: And yet you run this place as though it were a first-rate European hotel. Isn't that what you mean, Conway?


BARNARD: Or an American hotel, for that matter. You even have bathtubs!


CHANG: Yes. We are less, er, barbarian than you expected.


BRINKLOW: Will you tell us about the monastery, please?


CHANG: It will give me the greatest pleasure, madam, so far as I am able. Er, what exactly do you wish to know?


BRINKLOW: First of all, how many are there of you here, and what nationality do you belong to?


CHANG: Those of us in full lamahood number fifty. As for our racial origins, there are representatives of a great many nations, though it is perhaps natural that Tibetans and Chinese make up the majority.


BRINKLOW: I see. It's really a native monastery, then. Is your head lama a Tibetan?


CHANG: No. 


BRINKLOW: A Chinese?


CHANG: No, madam.


BRINKLOW: Well, I'm sure he can't be English. Oh, um, do you have any English here?


CHANG: Several.


BRINKLOW: Dear me, that seems very remarkable. And now, tell me what you all believe in.


CONWAY: That's rather a big question, Miss Brinklow.


BRINKLOW: Of course, I believe in the true religion, but I'm broad-minded enough to admit that other people -- (CHUCKLES) foreigners, I mean -- are quite often sincere in their views. 


CHANG: If I were to put it into very few words, I should say that our prevalent belief is in moderation. We believe in the virtue of avoiding excess of all kinds. In the valley below, there are several thousand inhabitants living under the control of our order. We rule with moderate strictness, and in return we are satisfied with moderate obedience. And I think I can claim that our people are moderately sober, moderately faithful, and, er, moderately honest.


MALLINSON: Well, were those the valley people who arrived with you this morning?


CHANG: Yes.


MALLINSON: Well, they all seem to be excellent guides. Why can't they take us back tomorrow? We'll make it worth their while, of course.


CHANG: I am sorry, but that is beyond my province. I cannot help you, sir.


MALLINSON: (EXPLODES) You mean you won't!


SOUND: BANG! OF MALLINSON'S FIST ON TABLE AS PUNCTUATION ... DISHES RATTLE


CONWAY: (CAUTIONS) Mallinson--


MALLINSON: If you refuse to help us, we'll help ourselves! You - you have maps, I suppose?


CHANG: Yes, we have many.


MALLINSON: Well, then we'll borrow some of them, if you don't mind. How far away is the nearest telegraph line?


CHANG: I do not know.


MALLINSON: Well, where do you send to when you want anything? Anything civilized, I mean. When you had all these - these modern baths installed, how did they get here? (NO ANSWER, EXASPERATED AND INCREASINGLY AGITATED) Oh, you won't - you won't tell me, then? It's part of the mystery, like everything else, I suppose. Conway, I must say I think you're devilish slack. Why - why don't you get at the truth? I'm all in, for the time being, but-- Tomorrow, mind you, we must get away tomorrow -- it's essential-- (FAINTS)


CONWAY: (STARTLED) Mallinson!


SOUND: CLATTER OF UTENSILS AND CRASH! AS MALLINSON FALLS FACE DOWN ON TABLE


BRINKLOW: (STARTLED CRY)

 

BARNARD: Lend me a hand here. (TO MALLINSON) Easy, man.


CONWAY: Are you--? Are you all right, Mallinson?


MALLINSON: (BREATHING HEAVILY) I feel-- I don't know, I--


CHANG: Tomorrow he will be much better. The air here is difficult for the stranger at first, but one soon becomes acclimatized.


CONWAY: Yes, I expect we're all feeling it somewhat. Barnard, look after Mallinson, will you? And I'm sure you're in need of some rest, too, Miss Brinklow.


BRINKLOW: (UNNERVED) Yes. Yes, I am. Good night!


CHANG: Good night, madam.


BARNARD: Come on, Mallinson. Just lean your weight on me. (MOVING OFF) That's the boy.


CHANG: Shall I call for someone to help you?


BARNARD: (OFF, CHEERFUL) We'll manage.


CHANG: (PAUSE) Are you retiring also, Mr. Conway?


CONWAY: I'd like a word with you first, if I may.


CHANG: Yes?


CONWAY: (GOOD-NATURED, BUT INSISTENT) I want to know-- This morning when you found us, were you setting out on a journey?


CHANG: No.


CONWAY: Then it was not a chance meeting. You came there deliberately to intercept us. That suggests that you must have known of our arrival beforehand. The interesting question is: How?


CHANG: You are very clever, but not entirely correct. Therefore I should counsel you not to worry your friends with these, er, abstract discussions. 


CONWAY: (CHUCKLES) No. They want something more concrete. They want to know exactly how long you're going to keep us here.


CHANG: There will be certain unavoidable delays.


CONWAY: How long?


CHANG: The difficulties of the trip, securing the necessary porters--


CONWAY: Ah, how long? Please.


CHANG: Er, you may tell your friends -- a few months.


CONWAY: But you don't guarantee it, is that what you mean? Very well. Heh! For myself, I can't say I shall mind a great deal. It's a new and interesting experience.


CHANG: In time to come, you may find it even more interesting. (MOVING OFF) Good night.


CONWAY: Good night.


CHANG: (OFF) The view from here is quite delightful. Notice how the moonlight shines on Karakal.


SOUND: CONWAY'S STEPS TO CHANG


CONWAY: (IMPRESSED) It's beautiful. (REALIZES) I'd been thinking it was white. Or silver. But it isn't. It's blue.


CHANG: Karakal, in the language of our people, means Blue Moon.


MUSIC: PEACEFUL ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) In the days that followed at Shangri-La, I gave myself over to a rich and growing enchantment. In the petal-colored buildings which dotted the mountain, I recognized treasures of art that museums and millionaires alike would have bargained for, paintings and sketches, exquisite ceramics, and tinted ink drawings preserved for more than a thousand years. And then I discovered the library, lofty and spacious, with a quiet atmosphere more of wisdom than of learning. Here was housed all the great literature of the present and of centuries past, and all the scientific knowledge of the world.


MUSIC: CHANGES TO DELICATE HARPSICHORD PIECE PLAYED BY LO-TSEN, SOFTLY AT FIRST, THEN GROWING LOUDER BEHIND--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) One morning, I stood beside a lotus pool in an open pavilion of the lamasery. Presently, I became conscious of the music that seemed to come from an archway behind me. It was a harpsichord, and it had begun so softly that I wasn't even aware of listening. A girl was playing -- a girl in Chinese dress. She had the high cheekbones, and the eggshell pallor of the Manchu; her jet black hair was drawn tightly back, and braided; her mouth was small and pink. She was like a delicately painted miniature.


MUSIC: HARPSICHORD PIECE FINISHES


CONWAY: That was very lovely.


LO-TSEN: You are pleased, sir?


CONWAY: More than pleased.


LO-TSEN: Chang said it would be so.


CONWAY: (LIGHTLY) Ohhh. Did Chang send you here?


LO-TSEN: To play for you.


CONWAY: (CHUCKLES) Well, that's very nice of him. My name is Hugh Conway.


LO-TSEN: They call me Lo-Tsen.


CONWAY: Lo-Tsen. Are you--? Do you live below in the valley?


LO-TSEN: No. I live here.


CONWAY: (ASTONISHED) At the lamasery?


LO-TSEN: Yes. But as yet I have not attained the full lamahood.


CONWAY: You mean you are a lama?


LO-TSEN: Yes.


CONWAY: (CHUCKLES) I'm a bit confused. I didn't realize-- I thought that only men could be lamas.


LO-TSEN: They will tell you, when you have been here longer, that in the lamahood there are no distinctions between a man and a woman.


CONWAY: But you-- You're hardly more than a child.


LO-TSEN: Shall I play for you again?


CONWAY: Oh, please.


MUSIC: ANOTHER HARPSICHORD PIECE PLAYED BY LO-TSEN ... THEN IN BG


CHANG: (PAUSE, TO CONWAY) Good morning.


CONWAY: (MILDLY SURPRISED) Oh. Er, Chang--?


CHANG: You are pleased with Lo-Tsen?


CONWAY: She plays magnificently.


CHANG: One of our greatest students of music. She has studied for a great many years.


CONWAY: But she couldn't-- She - she's only-- (LOW) Chang? How old is Lo-Tsen?


CHANG: (BEAT, ENIGMATIC) I am afraid I cannot tell you.


MUSIC: HARPSICHORD UP TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN FADES OUT


MALLINSON: (FADES IN, ANNOYED) Two weeks! Two whole weeks and not a word yet about when we're to leave! Has Chang spoken to you, Conway?


CONWAY: (IN A JOLLY MOOD) Chang has been rather vague on the subject.


BARNARD: Vagueness seems to be his principal stock-in-trade, but I imagine he'll break down a bit before long.


MALLINSON: Well, the prospect of being marooned here doesn't seem to worry you a great deal, Barnard.


BARNARD: Well, frankly, it doesn't. The outside world has certain attractions, of course, but it also has some definite disadvantages.


MALLINSON: Well, I'm surprised to hear that from you. From Conway I might have expected it. You seem positively intrigued by the place, Conway. Or are you intrigued mainly by the little Chinese girl?


CONWAY: (CHUCKLES) I've always been a lover of music. I enjoy her company.


MALLINSON: Hardly an excuse, is it?


CONWAY: Oh, I don't know. You don't care for music, do you?


MALLINSON: No.


CONWAY: And yet, if you'll forgive my saying so, you seem to enjoy her company, too.


BARNARD: (LAUGHS)


MALLINSON: Suppose you think that's rather clever.


CONWAY: No. No, I merely think she's rather beautiful. And I know that you're only twenty-four.


MALLINSON: Well, you're not very old yourself, you know.


CONWAY: True, true.


BARNARD: Speaking of age, I've been sort of puzzled about this fellow Chang. How old would you say he was, Conway?


CONWAY: Chang? Well, that's rather difficult. At a rough guess, I'd say, oh, anywhere from forty-nine to a hundred and forty-nine.


BARNARD: (LAUGHS)


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR


MALLINSON: (URGENT) Conway? Are you awake? Conway?


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


CONWAY: What is it?


MALLINSON: I've got to see you.


CONWAY: Come in.


MALLINSON: Listen, I just found out why our friend Barnard is so willing to stay on here. He dropped his pocketbook tonight and a lot of newspaper clippings fell out.


CONWAY: Well?


MALLINSON: The clippings say that he's wanted back in America for embezzlement and fraud!


MUSIC: ACCENT ... THEN GENTLY BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) When Mallinson had gone, I walked out on the terrace and stood looking across the valley of the Blue Moon. Suddenly I became aware of a figure standing in the bright square of the pavilion.


CHANG: Good evening, sir.


CONWAY: Oh, is that you, Chang?


CHANG: I am sorry to disturb you at this hour, but I bring you important news.


CONWAY: Well?


CHANG: I congratulate you, sir. And I am happy to think that I am in some measure responsible for the High Lama's decision.


CONWAY: Decision? High Lama?


CHANG: It is extraordinary and unprecedented. A fortnight ago you had not arrived. Tonight you are to be received by him. You will follow me, please?


MUSIC: GENTLY ... THEN IN BG, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) As I followed Chang through the lamasery that night, I knew I was on the threshold of some great discovery. Pattering in front of me, he mounted a great spiral staircase to a door which opened noiselessly before us. Inside, the atmosphere was dry and tingling warm. The - the airlessness increased as we passed through the dim halls. And then at last we stopped.


CHANG: The High Lama will see you - alone.


SOUND: DOOR OPENS


CONWAY: (NARRATES) Chang left me silently, and I stood breathing an atmosphere that was sultry and full of dusk. As I became accustomed to the gloom, I saw sitting before me a small and wrinkled man. He was motionless, a fading antique portrait in Chinese dress, his face thin and drawn tight over the frame of his skull. And his eyes-- I felt dizzy beneath the gaze of those ancient eyes.


MUSIC: OUT GENTLY WITH--


LAMA: You are Mr. Conway?


CONWAY: I am.


LAMA: It is a pleasure to see you, Mr. Conway. Please sit down beside me and have no fear. I am an old man and can do no one any harm.


CONWAY: I feel it a great honor to be received by you. 


LAMA: Thank you. I trust you have been comfortable at Shangri-La since your arrival?


CONWAY: Extremely so.


LAMA: I am glad. Chang tells me you have been asking many questions about our community and its affairs.


CONWAY: Oh, yes. I am very much interested in them.


LAMA: Then if you can spare me a little time, I shall be pleased to give you a brief account of our foundation.


CONWAY: There's nothing I would rather hear.


LAMA: The history of Shangri-La begins rightly in the city of Pekin in the year Seventeen Hundred Nineteen, for it was then that four friars set out on a long and perilous journey into the hinterland. They traveled southwest for many months, by Lanchow and the Koko-Nor, facing many hardships. Three died on the way, and the fourth was not far from death when by accident he stumbled into the rocky defile that remains today the only practical approach to our valley of the Blue Moon. There, to his joy and surprise, he found a friendly population who made haste to display what I have always regarded as our oldest tradition -- that of hospitality to strangers. Quickly he recovered his health and began to preach his mission. His name was Father Perrault, and he was by birth a Luxembourger. He was something of a scholar, but he was also physically sturdy. For more than half a century, he labored with his hands like any other man, tilling his own garden, and learning from the inhabitants as well as teaching them


Then in the year Seventeen Hundred Eighty-Nine, news descended to the valley that Father Perrault was dying at last. He lay in this room, where he could see from the window the white blur that was all his failing eyesight gave him of Karakal. He gathered his friends and servants 'round him and bade them all farewell. But the end was not yet. He lay for many weeks without speech or movement, and then - he began to recover. He was then a hundred and eight.


MUSIC: GENTLE ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) The ancient Lama paused, his eyes closed as if the discourse had tired him. What he had told me was not beyond belief, but as he went on, I was held speechless with wonder. Father Perrault's recovery, he told me, was not in any sense temporary. No, he plunged immediately into a rigorous self-discipline which would have killed another man of that age. 


It was in Eighteen Hundred and Three that a wanderer found his way to the valley of the Blue Moon, an Austrian named Henschell. A great friendship sprang up between the two and Henschell stayed on. It was then that they had a wild and fantastic dream: to preserve for all time the transient and perishable beauties of the world, to store them at Shangri-La, and keep them safe against the brutalities and ravages of war -- a heritage to cherish and bequeath. Then when the strong had devoured each other, the Christian ethic might at last be fulfilled, and the meek might inherit the earth. So, with the valley's gold, they purchased art treasures from Europe and Asia. They filled the library with the great literature of all the ages. Then, later on, it was decided to admit travelers and strangers who had lost their way. (FADES OUT)


LAMA: (OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE) --strangers who had lost their way. Strangers might come as freely as they wished -- but with one important proviso.


CONWAY: And what was that?


LAMA: In the years that followed, strangers did come. More than one party of explorers, lost in these hills, encountered messengers bearing a cordial invitation -- and one that was rarely declined. Meanwhile, under the watchful eyes of Father Perrault and Henschell, the lamasery had begun to acquire many of its present characteristics. It was almost completed when - Henschell died.


CONWAY: He died?


LAMA: Yes. It was very sudden. He was killed in the year Nineteen Hundred Ten.


CONWAY: Nineteen Ten? But, er--?


LAMA: Just before his death a Chinese artist had sketched him. There is his picture -- on the wall behind you.


CONWAY: (SLIGHTLY OFF) But this is the portrait of a young man. (CLOSER) If he died in the year you said--?


LAMA: He did.


CONWAY: (ASTONISHED) And he came here in Eighteen Hundred and Three?


LAMA: Yes.


CONWAY: (UNEASY) He - he was killed, you said?


LAMA: Yes. A traveler shot him. 


CONWAY: What was the cause of it?


LAMA: There had been a quarrel -- about some porters. Henschell had just told him of the important proviso that governs our reception of guests. Perhaps you are wondering, my dear Conway, what that proviso may be?


CONWAY: I think I can already guess. We are to stay here ---- all of our lives.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN ... IN BG


LAMA: And can you guess anything else after this long and curious story of mine?


CONWAY: It seems impossible, and yet - impossible as it may be, I know it's the truth.


LAMA: What is, my son?


CONWAY: (ASTONISHED WHISPER) That you are still alive, Father Perrault.


MUSIC: UP, FOR CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: We pause now for station identification. This is the Columbia Broadcasting System.


MUSIC: LUX SIGNATURE FILLS THE PAUSE ... THEN OUT


ANNOUNCER: After a brief intermission, Mr. DeMille and our stars -- Ronald Colman, Donald Crisp, and Lynne Carver -- will bring us Act Three of "Lost Horizon." (BEAT) And now, here's Sally, all dressed up and looking like a million dollars in a very dashing new fall hat. Well, Sally, you certainly are a good picker.


SALLY: (CHUCKLES) Mr. Ruick, do you really like this hat? I do, but then of course--


ANNOUNCER: Why, Sally, it's a honey.


SALLY: Well, thank you. I bought it in such a hurry today, but-- Well, I was sure it was the hat for me the moment I saw it. Well, I guess I'm just one of those people with whom first impressions count most.


ANNOUNCER: Well, I think most women are like that, Sally.


SALLY: Well, first impressions have always counted most with me. You know, Mr. Ruick, I still remember the first time I tried Lux Toilet Soap -- oh, years and years ago. That neat, sort of quaint American sampler wrapper made a hit with me right away. It was so different and so-- Well, so nice-looking. And then when I unwrapped the cake and saw how very pure white and satiny-smooth it was, I just knew some way that Lux must be a real beauty soap: the kind of soap a girl wants for her skin.


ANNOUNCER: You were right about that, Sally.


SALLY: Of course. And then I remember what an impression it made on me when I started to use that beautiful cake of Lux Toilet Soap. Why, it felt as if I were actually smoothing beauty in. The lather was so creamy, so caressing. Believe me, I was absolutely reveling in luxury!


ANNOUNCER: Yes, Sally, so many women speak of Lux Toilet Soap as a luxury soap, and yet Lux Toilet Soap really isn't a luxury as far as price is concerned. It costs only a few cents a cake -- and for those few cents, you get a personal toilet soap that's as fine as money can buy. You know, Lux Toilet Soap is made of only the highest quality ingredients. That's why it's so pure and mild, gentle to precious complexions. Which is why nine out of ten screen stars use Lux Toilet Soap for their priceless complexions. If you haven't tried it, why not get three cakes of this fragrant white soap tomorrow? (BEAT) Now Mr. DeMille returns to the microphone.


HOST: Curtain rises on the third act of "Lost Horizon."


SOUND: OCEAN LINER FOG HORN ... TWICE


HOST: Once again, as his friend Rutherford listens intently, Conway takes up the thread of his narrative. Dawn is breaking over the calm Pacific. Conway's voice is low, keyed to the tune of another world, the peaceful world of Shangri-La.


MUSIC: PEACEFUL ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) I learned one of the secrets of Shangri-La that night -- the secret of prolonged human life, for the High Lama who sat beside me had been born in Sixteen Eighty-Three. He had lived for nearly two and a half centuries. He confirmed my suspicion that our coming was no accident. There had been no travelers to Shangri-La for twenty years, many lamas had died, and our pilot had been sent out into the world to bring new life to the lamasery.


LAMA: Yes, my son, there is death at Shangri-La. There are many of us who live no more than a hundred years.


CONWAY: And those who do live more -- when do they begin to grow old in appearance?


LAMA: Cases differ. Some retain their youth for a century or more, but they must never leave the valley of the Blue Moon.


CONWAY: And if one of your lamas were to leave the valley?


LAMA: He would die. His years would fall on his shoulders like a great burden and he would die very soon, an old, old man.


MUSIC: ACCENT ... FOR TRANSITION ... THEN HARPSICHORD IN BG, GENTLY OUT AT [X]


CONWAY: (TROUBLED) Lo-Tsen--?


LO-TSEN: You have seen the High Lama?


CONWAY: Lo-Tsen, you must help me. When I spoke with him, I understood everything. And now-- 


LO-TSEN: And now -- [X] -- you are not sure again. That will pass.


CONWAY: Will it?


LO-TSEN: You will be happy -- as all of us have been.


CONWAY: Lo-Tsen, how did you come here? How long ago?


LO-TSEN: I was betrothed to a prince of Turkestan. We were traveling to Kashgar to meet him when my carriers lost their way in the mountains. 


CONWAY: When did this happen?


LO-TSEN: In Eighteen Sixty-Four. I was eighteen.


CONWAY: Eighteen? Well, then, now you--?


LO-TSEN: The missionaries of Shangri-La found us. They brought us here.


CONWAY: Yes. It must have been very difficult for you, your wedding journey.


LO-TSEN: I had never seen the man I was to marry. It was the custom of our land.


CONWAY: Then, in all these years, you have never known the meaning of love? (NO ANSWER) Lo-Tsen, is there no love at Shangri-La?


MUSIC: HARPSICHORD RESUMES ... IN BG


CONWAY: Is there no room for love at Shangri-La, Lo-Tsen?


MUSIC: HARPSICHORD UP TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG


CONWAY: (NARRATES) She did not answer, but I thought I saw a faint flush rising in her ivory cheek, and my heart seemed to leap inside me. And then I was aware that someone had entered the pavilion and was standing watching us. (BEAT) It was Mallinson.


MUSIC: HARPSICHORD GENTLY OUT


CONWAY: (PAUSE, NARRATES) In the next few weeks, I was summoned often by the High Lama. I learned to expect his call and I seemed to sense when it would come.


MUSIC: ETHEREAL CHANT ... IN BG


CONWAY: (NARRATES) One night, I heard the valley people chanting far below. I thought it strange, for I had not heard it since we arrived. It was midnight when I stood in the presence of the High Lama.


LAMA: Tell me, my son. Have you been happy at Shangri-La?


CONWAY: Quite happy, Father Perrault.


LAMA: What have you been doing?


CONWAY: Something very unusual. I have been learning new pieces by Chopin.


LAMA: Ah! Then you have met Alphonse Briac.


CONWAY: Oh, yes.


LAMA: He was a great friend of Chopin. He was with him the night he died -- in Eighteen Hundred Forty-Nine.


CONWAY: And so he told me. It was fascinating.


LAMA: My son, I know that you are content here. But I worry about your friends. Will they learn to be content also?


CONWAY: (WITH QUIET AMUSEMENT) I'm sure that two of them will. Miss Brinklow is going to convert you.


LAMA: (SHRUGS, DRY) Or we her -- does it matter? What of Mr. Barnard?


CONWAY: Oh, he's found a project, too. He wants to mine your gold.


LAMA: For himself?


CONWAY: No, for you. He's discovered that you use it to bring supplies from outside.


LAMA: And he wishes to help us? Splendid. And now -- Mallinson.


CONWAY: Ah, he's going to be a problem.


LAMA: Yes. I am afraid he's going to be your problem.


CONWAY: Why mine?


LAMA: Because, my son, I am going to die.


CONWAY: (SURPRISED) You are going to--? Father Perrault--?


LAMA: Yes. We are all mortal -- even here in the valley of the Blue Moon. But I must feel at rest before I die. That is why I sent for you tonight.


CONWAY: You do me a great honor, Father.


LAMA: I have in mind to do much more than that. I have waited for you, my son, for - oh! - a long time. My colleagues have grown old and wise, but you who are still young in years are as wise already. My son, there is a great storm gathering in the world -- a black fury which will not spend itself for many years. There will be no safety in arms, no answer in science. It may rage till every flower of culture is trampled, and all human things are leveled in vast chaos. Such was my vision when Napoleon was still a name unknown; and I see it now, more clearly with each hour. Do you say I am mistaken?


CONWAY: No, a crash such as that came once before, and then there were the Dark Ages lasting five hundred years.


LAMA: The Dark Ages that will come will cover the Earth like a pall. But I believe that you will live through the storm. Beyond that, my vision weakens, but I see, at great distance, a new world stirring in the ruins, seeking its lost and legendary treasures, and they will all be here, my son, hidden behind the mountains in the valley of the Blue Moon. And you will be here to give them to the hopeful world. (BEAT, DYING, WITH MILD DIFFICULTY) My son, I place in your hands the heritage -- and destiny -- of Shangri-La.


MUSIC: CHANT GENTLY OUT


CONWAY: (NARRATES) The High Lama stopped speaking. The glow in his eyes faded. Presently, it came to me as in a dream: the High Lama was dead.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


MALLINSON: (URGENT) Conway? Conway! I've been waiting for you. I've got some news. I-- I say, what's the matter, Conway? Are you ill?


CONWAY: (SOMBER) Ill? No, I - I don't think so. Just tired.


MALLINSON: Well, where were you all the while? 


CONWAY: I - I was visiting the High Lama.


MALLINSON: Oh, him! Well, that's for the last time, anyhow.


CONWAY: (HALF TO HIMSELF) Yes, the last time.


MALLINSON: Pull yourself together, man. The porters are waiting for us.


CONWAY: Porters?


MALLINSON: Yes, it's all arranged. We've got to start immediately.


CONWAY: We can't.


MALLINSON: Oh, don't be a fool. They've even been paid. They're gonna take us back to Peshawar. Miss Brinklow and Barnard are staying, so it's just you and I and--


CONWAY: (STAMMERS) Who's been making all these plans? Who--?


MALLINSON: Lo-Tsen. She's with the porters now. She's waiting.


CONWAY: Waiting?


MALLINSON: Yes. She's coming with us.


CONWAY: (QUIETLY HORRIFIED) That's impossible.


MALLINSON: Why is it impossible?


CONWAY: You must take my word for it. Lo-Tsen must never leave here. 


MALLINSON: (ACCUSING) Oh, because you want to stay. Because you're in love with her -- that's it, isn't it? That's it!


CONWAY: Now, listen to me--


MALLINSON: I won't! You're in love with her!


CONWAY: What if I am? That's why I tell you she must stay!


MALLINSON: You've no right to say that! Oh, Conway, listen. There isn't much time. You've got to come with us. I want to go back, to get away from this place. And Lo-Tsen, too. She's - she's young -- doesn't that count?


CONWAY: Lo-Tsen is not young.


MALLINSON: (DISBELIEF) Not young? Ha! Not young!


CONWAY: Lo-Tsen came to Shangri-La in Eighteen Sixty-Four!


MALLINSON: You're raving, man!


CONWAY: It's the truth! Her beauty is a fragile thing. It can only live where fragile things are loved. Take her away from this valley and she will fade away like an--


MALLINSON: Conway, I'm not gonna waste any more time. Are you coming with us or not?


CONWAY: Mallinson, listen to me--


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) I tried then to tell him about the secret of Shangri-La. He looked at me as though I were mad. And as I read the disbelief in his eyes, I began to doubt myself. When he left me, I wanted to cry out to him to wait, that I had been mad, that the thing was too incredible even for me to believe. (BEAT) I waited in torture all night. And then, toward dawn, Mallinson returned.


MALLINSON: (HIGHLY AGITATED, DISTRAUGHT) I couldn't do it! I - I didn't have the nerve!


CONWAY: (CALM) Mallinson--


MALLINSON: Oh, that place where we were roped together on the cliff, do you remember? I got as far as that and I couldn't manage it! I - I was afraid! I was so afraid!


CONWAY: (GENTLY) Stop it. Stop, do you hear?


MALLINSON: Conway, you've got to go! I can't do it without you! I - I depended on you. I've depended on your help in everything. You - you've got to help me to get out of this place.


CONWAY: (QUIET, FIRM) Tell me something. Are you in love with Lo-Tsen?


MALLINSON: (BEAT, QUIET) Yes. And she's in love with me.


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN ... IN BG


CONWAY: Where is she?


MALLINSON: (CALLS) Lo-Tsen?


LO-TSEN: (APPROACHES) I am here.


CONWAY: Lo-Tsen, do you wish to leave Shangri-La?


LO-TSEN: We have tried to go. We tried to leave tonight.


CONWAY: You know -- you understand -- the risk?


LO-TSEN: (YES) I love him. If he is not with me, I would die -- here.


MALLINSON: Conway, you see, don't you?


CONWAY: (EXHALES) Do you think you could manage that tricky bit with the rope if I were with you?


MALLINSON: (EXCITED) You mean you'll come?!


CONWAY: Yes.


MALLINSON: (THRILLED) Lo-Tsen, did you hear? He's coming! He's coming with us!


MUSIC: UP, FOR TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND CONWAY--


CONWAY: (NARRATES) We made the descent that morning -- Mallinson, the girl, and I. For weeks we traveled toward the east. And then our porters began to desert. One by one, they disappeared -- until there were just the three of us, creeping like snails across a desert wilderness. Then, for a long while, we were only two: Mallinson had died.


SOUND: OCEAN LINER FOG HORN 


RUTHERFORD: Go on. There must be more, Conway. What's the rest of the story?


CONWAY: I don't know the rest of it. But perhaps you can help me, Rutherford.


RUTHERFORD: I?


CONWAY: You found me in the hospital at Chungking. A woman had come with me.


RUTHERFORD: Yes.


CONWAY: Did you ask--? Did they tell you--? Was she a young woman?


RUTHERFORD: No. They said she was old -- the oldest woman they had ever seen.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: BUSTLE OF CROWD DEBARKING FROM OCEAN LINER, THEN IN BG


STEWARD: (CALLS, TO CROWD) Go-in' ashore! Gangplank is down! Goin' ashore!


SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR


RUTHERFORD: (CALLS) Conway? Are you in there? The boat's docked, Conway!


SOUND: KNOCKING ON DOOR


RUTHERFORD: Conway, answer me!


STEWARD: I beg your pardon, sir. Are you Mr. Rutherford?


RUTHERFORD: Yes.


STEWARD: Mr. Conway asked me to deliver this note to you.


RUTHERFORD: Well, where is he?


STEWARD: We arrived quite early, sir. He went ashore in the tender.


SOUND: ENVELOPE OPENED, LETTER UNFOLDED ... CROWD FADES OUT BEHIND--


RUTHERFORD: (READS) "My dear Rutherford. When this letter reaches you, I will be gone. Thank you for everything that you have done--" (FADES OUT BEHIND MUSIC--)


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN DURING ABOVE ... THEN IN BG ... INCREASINGLY STIRRING


CONWAY: (FILTER, INCREASINGLY EXHILARATED) When this letter reaches you, I will be gone. Thank you for everything you have done for me. I can never repay you. Tomorrow I hope to find passage back to Shanghai. Somewhere beyond Lassa, near the foothills of the Himalayas, I seem to picture in my mind a long plateau running north. It seems to me that from the end of this plateau I can see a mountain, far away, rising white against the sky! I hope to find it again! For this I think is Karakal and beyond is Shangri-La and the valley of the Blue Moon!


MUSIC: UP BIG FOR CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: The curtain falls and downstage to the footlights come Ronald Colman, Donald Crisp, and Lynne Carver. Ronnie, we salute you -- and the company at large -- for a splendid performance.


COLMAN: Thank you, C. B., and I wish James Hilton were here, so that we could thank him for giving us a story like "Lost Horizon."


CARVER: The most amazing thing to me is that he's made Shangri-La just as believable as Hollywood. 


COLMAN: In some ways, a little more so.


CRISP: So real that I believe some people have actually gone in search of it. The rumors of such a place keep coming from Tibet every once in a while.


CARVER: (CHUCKLES) I hope we haven't started anything like that tonight.


HOST: (CHUCKLES) After working a year on "Reap the Wild Wind," I'd like to go hunting for it myself.


CRISP: Sounds like an exciting trip over Mr. Hilton's mountains by mule.


COLMAN: C. B., I'll give you ten minutes in Shangri-La before you start looking for camera angles.


HOST: (CHUCKLES) I might surprise you, Ronnie.


CARVER: And now before we go, Mr. DeMille, I want to thank you for making my first visit to the Lux Radio Theatre so pleasant. I didn't really feel like a stranger at all because I've heard the program so much. And also because I've used Lux Soap for so long a time. I'd like to tell the women in the audience that it's a complexion care that's really kind to your skin. When you try Lux Soap once, you know it's what you've been looking for.


HOST: Hmm, Lux Soap came, was seen, and it conquered, Lynne. If Julius Caesar's listening, my apologies.


COLMAN: Ah, he won't mind, C. B., if only you tell us what next week's play is.


HOST: It's this week's hit in the screen world, Ronnie -- a picture that's just been released. It's called "Lydia," adapted from Alexander Korda's fine film production. The star is the same lovely actress you've seen, or surely will want to see, in this picture: Merle Oberon. And with her we'll present Alan Marshal, Edna May Oliver, and George Reeves from the screen cast. "Lydia"'s the story of a beautiful woman and the four men who loved her. The story's climaxed by the dramatic scene many years later when they all meet again. The picture's been hailed as an acting triumph and we have the same stars here next Monday night.


COLMAN: I'm anxious to hear it, C. B., because I've heard so much about the picture. Good night!


CRISP: Good night, C. B.


CARVER: Good night.


HOST: Good night. Good night.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


HOST: And may we all find Shangri-La. (AFTER APPLAUSE) Ladies and gentlemen, this is "Retailers for Defense Week." May I suggest that when you go shopping, you take your change in United States Defense Stamps?


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG, UNTIL END


HOST: Our sponsors, the makers of Lux Toilet Soap, join me in inviting you to be with us again next Monday night, when the Lux Radio Theatre presents Merle Oberon in "Lydia," with Alan Marshal, Edna May Oliver, and George Reeves. This is Cecil B. DeMille saying good night to you from Hollywood.


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: Ronald Colman is currently seen on the screen in "My Life with Caroline." Donald Crisp appeared tonight through the courtesy of Warner Brothers Studio. Heard in tonight's play were Denis Green as Mallinson, Cy Kendall as Chang, Dennis Hoey as Rutherford, and Jill Esmond, Dick Elliot, Charlie Lung, and Peter Leeds. Our music was directed by Louis Silvers.


Our Lux Radio Theatre production of "Lost Horizon" has come to you with the good wishes of the makers of Lux Toilet Soap, the beauty care that nine out of ten Hollywood stars use to help keep their complexions beautifully clear and smooth, flawless -- as every woman wants her skin to be. Your announcer is Melville Ruick and this is the Columbia Broadcasting System.


SOUND: APPLAUSE



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