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Seven Waves Away

The Columbia Workshop

Seven Waves Away 

Apr 02 1938



CAST:

RADIO OPERATOR

ANNOUNCER

HOLMES

COOKIE, cook

CAPTAIN

BIG JOE, sailor

McCRUDDY, engineer

HARRIS

CABIN BOY

MAN, passenger

ANNA, ill passenger

SECOND MAN, passenger

THIRD MAN, passenger

BILLY, young boy

MOTHER, Billy's

JANO, quartermaster

MAN, crew

SECOND MAN, crew




BIZ: RADIO SIGNAL ... OPERATOR'S VOICE FAINT ... "SOS Andorra Star ... SOS Andorra Star ... rapidly sinking ... SOS Andorra Star ... can't hold out much longer ... SOS Andorra Star ... SOS ..." FADE INTO WASH OF SEA ... OUT OF THIS INTO THEMATIC MUSIC ... FADING INTO SOUND OF WIND AND LAPPING OF WATER ON BOAT ... RUNNING SEA AS IT RISES AND FALLS AGAINST THE BOAT ... THIS SOUND CONTINUES THROUGHOUT ... BUILDING AND SUBSIDING BUT ALWAYS THE WATER AND THE SPLASH OF THE BOAT ... UP 


ANNOUNCER: On a vast expanse of lonely tossing sea, a single lifeboat pulls away from the sinking ship. Thirty-three human beings crowd her thwarts -- thirty-three human beings watching their ship go down -- the ship that brought them this far and left them to the merciless will of the sea. In the stern of the lifeboat sits a man -- his hands already stiffening on the tiller, his weight fighting the smothering weight of the waves, his eyes staring into the rolling grayness ahead. It is Dusk of the First Day --


(WIND AND SEA UP AND HOLD IN BACKGROUND FOR FOLLOWING)


HOLMES: (THROUGHOUT UNTIL END HE IS TO BE COLD AND RESTRAINED) Can you see her, Cookie?


COOKIE: Aye, sir, I can see 'er. She makes a lovely sight against the sky. 


HOLMES: Is she going? 


COOKIE: Aye, she is that. She's standin' on her stern like a turnin' spout. She'll slide in quick any minute. You ought to look back at her. 


HOLMES: (SHORTLY) I'm looking ahead -- with this tiller in my hands. (RUSH OF WAVE ... [THE CAPTAIN'S] MOAN IN) Look to the captain, there, will you? 


COOKIE: He's come to -- it's his jaw -- broke, I guess -- and bleeding a little. 


CAPTAIN: (WITH GREAT EFFORT) Has -- she -- gone -- down?


COOKIE: Not yet, sir -- but any minute. Take it easy there, sir -- you can't move. (CAPTAIN GROANS) And ye can't see her when we're in the trough. 


HOLMES: She must be sinking fast, Cookie -- I can see it in their eyes -- like ice -- frozen -- 


(BIG WASH OF SEA ... MURMURS OF FEAR ... WHIMPERS FROM PEOPLE)


COOKIE: Aye -- it's cruel. The sea's running heavy, too. 


(WASH OF SEA)


HOLMES: And it's rising. I've had the feel of it in my hands here. The boat don't handle close at all. 


COOKIE: No -- sir -- we're almost sunk to the gunwales. 


(WASH OF SEA) 


HOLMES: (BREATHING HEAVILY) Cookie -- there are too many people in the boat. 


COOKIE: Ye can't do nothin' about that, sir. 


HOLMES: Thirty-three -- and there ought to be sixteen -- we could turn awash with one good one. 


COOKIE: Aye -- it's only praying and pulling that'll get us out of this. 


HOLMES: (BREATHING HEAVILY ... FEAR IN VOICE) One good -- wash -- (SEA IN) (IN CONTROL OF HIMSELF) Can you still see her, Cookie?


COOKIE: There was some of 'er, sir -- still blowin' on the surface. Wait and I'll take a look -- 


BIZ: VOICE FROM BOAT ... SLIGHT OFF. 


BIG JOE: She's gone! Oh, she's gone! 


(GASPS FROM PEOPLE ... AD LIBS ... MURMURS OF FEAR)


COOKIE: (IN) She's slid in, sir. She done it neat as a cockroach, she did. Between the swells, sir. One swell and she was still there, another and she weren't. She's gone for sure now. 


HOLMES: (HOLLOWLY) Then we're really -- alone. 


COOKIE: (TRYING TO COVER HIS OWN FEAR ... NOT BELIEVING WHAT HE SAYS) For a while maybe-- I guess Sparks got a call out all right. They'll be here. We don't have to worry none.


HOLMES: (GRIM) No -- we don't have to worry. Only this boat loaded to the gunwales -- that'll sink if anybody moves -- only thirty-three mouths to fill with a cask of water and some hardtack -- 


(WASH OF SEA) 


COOKIE: (GLOOMILY BUT RESIGNED) Aye, sir. 


HOLMES: You know how far a cask of water goes -- Cookie?


COOKIE: Don't be thinkin' on it, sir -- it's a black outlook.


HOLMES: It's a thousand miles to land -- too -- a thousand miles-- 


(WASH OF SEA) 


COOKIE: (HORROR AND SURPRISE IN VOICE) Lor' -- sir -- what you got there! 


HOLMES: (VERY QUIETLY) It's my gun, Cookie -- just shifting pockets to keep it dry.


COOKIE: A gun -- sir! Is it loaded? 


HOLMES: Of course it's loaded. A man has a solid feeling, Cookie -- when he's got a gun against him. 


(WASH OF SEA ... PASSENGERS OFF ... VOICES OF CREW ... ROUGHER OFF ... "She's heavy pulling ... She's deep" ... ETC.)


CAPTAIN: (GROANS ... HOARSE) Mate! Mate!


COOKIE: (IN LOW) Don't be twisting like that, sir!


CAPTAIN: (HOARSELY) Mate!


HOLMES: Yes, Captain?


CAPTAIN: I'm not well. Hear me, Mate? I'm not well.


HOLMES: I'm right here, sir. Have you any orders, sir?


CAPTAIN: I'm sick. I'm sick to my stomach with pain. (WASH OF SEA ... HE GROANS) I cannot take command, Mr. Holmes. The ship is yours -- do you hear me?


HOLMES: (QUIETLY) Mine? Sir -- she's mine? 


CAPTAIN: Yes -- and you've got our lives in your brain, now, Mr. Holmes. It's a thousand miles to land -- and you've got to see her through. She's your command. The cook's a witness. (FAINTER ... WITH MUCH EFFORT) Keep -- her -- safe!


HOLMES: Cookie -- you heard that! 


COOKIE: Yes, sir -- I'm a witness, sir -- you're in charge.


HOLMES: (HALF TO HIMSELF) I'm -- in charge! (UP UNSTEADILY) Thank you, Cookie -- (QUIETLY) Men -- McCruddy, Big Joe, Harris, Jano -- I'm in command -- you heard -- and we'll have to pull -- hard and steady -- the boat's -- crowded ...


BIZ: ASSENTS UP ... ROUGH FROM MEN IN BOAT ... WASH OF SEA UP AND FADE HERE ... FOLLOWING SLIGHTLY OFF.


BIG JOE: It'll be a bitter battle -- we're deep in the water.


McCRUDDY: Yes -- she's bubbling past us -- right at the gunwale. 


HARRIS: The oars stick deep-- (OVER EFFORT OF ROWING) 


BIG JOE: Look out you don't bury her -- or you'll scuttle the boat. 


BIZ: FADE VOICES INTO WASH OF SEA. CREAK OF OARLOCKS ... FADE WASH OF SEA DOWN ... FOLLOWING OFF. 


CABIN BOY: (YOUNG) Mr. McCruddy -- Mr. McCruddy? 


McCRUDDY: (GRUFF) Yes, lad -- what is it? 


CABIN BOY: (SCARED BUT TRYING TO COVER IT) We'll make it all right -- won't we, sir? 


McCRUDDY: You can only hope, lad -- if this sea dies down -- we'll be all right -- and if Sparks got the message out. Hold up your chin, there -- now.


CABIN BOY: Yes -- I am -- sir -- but I'd like to help at the oars, sir. 


McCRUDDY: Now sit still -- and take it easy. You're too little, lad-- 


CABIN BOY: No -- I'm not, sir -- I'm getting my seaman's papers -- next trip. 


BIZ: WASH OF SEA ... HEAVY ... WOMAN CRIES OUT ... NEXT A LITTLE MORE OFF MIKE. 


MAN: There, Anna -- steady-- 


ANNA: (MOANS) Oh, I'm ill -- I can't stand it -- can't stand it ... (VOICE MOUNTING) 


MAN: Shhh -- Anna -- shhh -- you must hold on -- we're here -- at least -- and alive. 


SECOND MAN: (ELDERLY ... LOW OFF) Lucy -- open your eyes -- open your eyes -- you're here in the boat -- safe -- you're not going down -- I'm here, Lucy -- I'm here-- 


THIRD MAN: (FEAR MAKING HIM HYSTERICAL) We've got to find a ship -- I've got a wife at home -- and two kids -- they're waiting -- we've got to get out -- got to-- 


FIRST MAN: (LOW) Take it easy -- man -- there are three women here -- listening to you. 


BILLY: (YOUNG BOY) What's he saying, mother -- what is it? 


MOTHER: Nothing, Billy -- we're all right now -- keep your head against me. 


BILLY: But, mother -- I'm cold-- 


MOTHER: (FEAR IN VOICE) I know, dear -- I know -- but mother's here -- close. 


BILLY: Mother -- will it last long? 


MOTHER: (IN DEADLY FEAR BUT CONTROLLED FOR SON) No, son-- 


BILLY: It's getting dark -- and the boat goes up -- and down so -- (SCARED TO DEATH AND BEGINNING TO CRY) Mother -- take me home -- I want to go home! 


MOTHER: (DESPERATELY CONTROLLING HERSELF) Billy, be brave -- just a little while longer -- the ship's coming, son -- soon -- 


SECOND MAN: (VOICE MOUNTING) Ship! What ship can see us in this sea -- what ship can reach us before it gets us -- (MOUNTING) the boat on its belly -- and us -- us -- down there


(WOMEN GASP ... CRIES OF TERROR) 


HOLMES: (RIGHT IN MIKE ... CUTTING THROUGH SOUND OF SEA AND VOICES) Shut up -- you fools! (VOICES OUT COLD ... NOISE OF SEA AND RISING WIND ... CREAKING OARLOCKS ... HOLD ... THEN HOLMES ... HALF TERROR ... HALF PRAYER) God -- God Almighty! 


COOKIE: (ALARMED) What is it, Mr. Holmes? 


HOLMES: I was just thinking -- Cookie -- just thinking. It's almost night -- and I'll have to steer by the feel of her -- and she doesn't steer -- she's not answering the tiller -- Cookie -- she's too crowded -- 


BIZ: SOUND OF WASH OF SEA AND WIND UP AND OUT INTO SOUND OF SEA AGAIN ... THEMATIC MUSIC UP ... INTO WASH OF SEA.


ANNOUNCER: Night -- the emptiness of the seas and sky was filled now -- with a blackness that surrounded the lifeboat like a dark wet cloth -- the passengers crowded on the thwarts drew closer -- the oars beat wearily, steadily into the churning, white-scudded water -- the man at the tiller let his eyes move from the white faces of the passengers to the white flecks on the sea-- 


COOKIE: It don't look much better, Mr. Holmes. 


HOLMES: No -- it's blowing worse. 


BIG JOE: (SAILOR) And black as pitch, too -- I never knew when I shipped the sea could look like this. 


McCRUDDY: (ENGINEER) It looks different when you've got ten thousand tons under you. Is the tiller pulling, Holmes? 


HOLMES: No -- she's riding heavy -- too heavy. 


BIG JOE: Mother Mary -- if we only last this night. 


McCRUDDY: We have to last this night -- we have thirty-three people we've got to see through. 


HOLMES: (TO HIMSELF) Thirty-three -- aye -- thirty-three -- and there should be sixteen -- thirty-three -- to weigh her down till her gunwales are awash -- (WASH OF SEA IN ... SHOUTS) Bail -- do you hear me -- bail -- she's coming in on us! 


(ROUGH ASSENTS UP IN DISTANCE) 


BIG JOE: Aye -- they're bailing -- but their backs are breaking -- and their hands are frozen. 


HOLMES: (FEAR IN VOICE) Let your hands freeze -- we've got to keep afloat. 


(WASH OF SEA ... HEAVY) 


COOKIE: (IN) God, Mr. Holmes -- ye can't see them comin' -- and then they're on you -- like a black wall. 


(WASH OF SEA) 


HOLMES: Bail! Bail! -- again! We'll have to keep it up -- to keep her head free -- or the next roller will go over us. 


(HEAVIER WASH) 


COOKIE: (BREATHLESS WITH FEAR) That one almost turned us, Mr. Holmes! 


HOLMES: (LOW) Look -- Cookie -- when the lightning flashes -- their faces -- they're yellow with fear! 


COOKIE: (CHATTERING) We're all afraid, Mr. Holmes -- and you know it. 


McCRUDDY: (TENSE) If we last till dawn there should be a ship. 


(HEAVIER WASH OF SEA) 


HOLMES: (TERROR IN VOICE) Cookie! 


COOKIE: Oh -- ye scared me, sir -- with that hand. What is it? 


HOLMES: Do you see that-- (WIND ... CRIES ABOVE IT) Look! 


COOKIE: Aye, sir -- whitecaps -- a blow's coming -- we'll be lucky if we finish this night alive. 


(ROAR OF WIND AND RAIN AND WATER UP) 


HOLMES: (HOARSE) Then you know, Cookie -- you know we haven't a chance -- (TENSE AND LOW) But, Cookie -- we would have -- we wouldn't be going down -- if we were lighter! (SHOUT FROM WAY OFF THROUGH THE WIND [JANO: "Mr. Holmes!"]) What is it -- what is it, Cookie?


COOKIE: It's the quartermaster, sir-- It's Jano.


HOLMES: (SHOUTS AGAINST THE WIND) Yes, Jano -- what is it? 


JANO: One of the women has died-- (BREAK IN VOICE) They say one of them is dead. 


HOLMES: Sit still -- do you want to overturn us. (WASH OF SEA ... WIND ... AS IT PASSES) Which one? 


JANO: Mrs. Williams -- the one we picked from the sea a while back. 


HOLMES: Sit still, sit still -- I warn you to sit still, Jano -- do you want to drown us! 


COOKIE: (CLOSE IN ... OVER WIND) It's one of the women, sir -- did you hear? 


HOLMES: (TENSE) (ROAR OF WATER) Look to the oars -- here comes another comber -- like a -- wall! (GRUNTS ... TREMENDOUS ENERGY) I'll -- brace -- the -- tiller -- (QUICK INTAKE BREATH OF FEAR ... SCREAMS FROM PASSENGERS) 


COOKIE: (BREATHING HARD) We made it, sir -- just. She's -- still -- righted. 


HOLMES: Yes -- she's righted -- (CALLS ... FEAR IN VOICE) Jano! 


JANO: Sir? 


HOLMES: You will have her body passed over the side. 


JANO: A nasty sort of a job right now, sir. 


HOLMES: Over the side -- put her close to the bow so that we'll not ship a sea -- and take care -- the water is right at the gunwales -- look alive, there! 


MAN: (OFF ... MOAN) Lucy -- Lucy -- they can't -- (GASP OF BREATH) She's gone! (SOBS) Lucy -- 


JANO: (UP) She's gone, Mr. Holmes. 


HOLMES: (HARD VOICE ... COVERING FEAR) All right -- sit still now. (LOW) She ought to ride better now -- that's some weight gone. 


COOKIE: She ought to, sir. 


McCRUDDY: With thirty-three people here -- there's little difference with one gone. The gunwales are still awash. 


BIG JOE: God help us to bring them ashore, Mr. Holmes -- it was bad letting her go -- like that. 


COOKIE: Bad! Don't say that! (IN) It was the only thing to do, sir -- don't feel no regret.


HOLMES: Regret? What is it you're saying, Cookie? 


COOKIE: The woman -- sir -- you couldn't do nothin' else. 


HOLMES: Oh -- the woman -- no -- no -- I'm not sorry. (TO HIMSELF) I could do something -- else -- I could do -- the pistol's in my pocket -- and it's loaded -- I could do something else. 


McCRUDDY: What are you saying, Holmes? 


HOLMES: I'm saying -- we'll have to wait till morning for something -- to save us. 


COOKIE: If we can wait until morning -- she has the feel of a water-soaked log now -- and she don't recover none at all. 


HOLMES: She'll last this night, I'll make her last this night if it cracks her ribs in half. The morning may bring a ship. 


COOKIE: The morning may bring a blow. 


HOLMES: (GRIMLY) Then something -- will be done -- Look to the captain, Cookie -- you're letting his head roll. 


COOKIE: The captain ought to 'a' been put in the bilge, sir -- he's powerful heavy. Something will be done, ye say -- there ain't nothing you can do! 


McCRUDDY: No -- and that's a fact -- only bail -- and row -- it's all we got left to do, Holmes. 


BIG JOE: And pray -- I was never a one for my prayers -- sir -- but maybe we ought to use 'em now. 


COOKIE: (SCORN) Pray! That don't cut no ice in the face of death, Big Joe. What can ye do, Mr. Holmes -- what can ye do? 


McCRUDDY: (NERVES FRAYED) Shut up -- can't you see Mr. Holmes is doing all he can with the tiller -- trust that we'll get through, that's all. 


HOLMES: You heard my words -- all of you -- something will be done -- in the morning. 


BIZ: THEMATIC MUSIC UP AGAIN AND INTO WASH OF SEA. 


ANNOUNCER: Dawn of the Second Day -- sunless dirty dawn breaking on a raging sea-- 


BIZ: ALL PASSENGERS TALK FAINTLY OFF. 


BILLY: (WHIMPERS) Mother -- mother-- 


MOTHER: Hush -- hush -- what is it-- 


BILLY: I'm afraid, mother -- I dreamed -- I dreamed -- we turned over, mother -- and it was -- wet -- and cold. 


MOTHER: There, there -- Billy -- we'll be safe soon -- safe, when the ship gets here. It's coming -- (VOICE BREAKS) It'll be here soon, Billy. 


MAN: (TENSE) It's almost light enough to see now -- there should be a ship. 


SECOND MAN: I think we've been here forever -- this awful boat -- we've got to be saved -- got to be. 


THIRD MAN: Lucy -- they had to let you go -- Lucy -- I can't go back without you -- 


FIRST MAN: (ASIDE) He's delirious -- (UP) There, Mr. Williams -- take it easy. 


BIZ: WASH OF SEA ... VOICES FADE IN THUNDER OF SEA. 


McCRUDDY: The men are almost exhausted, Mr. Holmes -- they're bailing -- but they're losing. 


HOLMES: Aye -- it would take double their weight and muscle to hold her head against this sea. (SHOUTS AGAINST THE WIND) Pull on the oars -- men -- you've got to give us more weight -- Pull! 


COOKIE: The wind's shifted, sir -- and the clouds are rolling in. 


HOLMES: (QUIETLY ... DEADLY EARNEST) For a cook, you have uncommon good sense as a sailor. 


COOKIE: That's not surprising, sir -- I been three years a hand fishin' the Banks outa Gloucester. 


HOLMES: (STILL DEADLY) Then you know the sea-- 


COOKIE: Aye -- sir -- I know -- what -- men do. 


HOLMES: How do I hold her, Cookie? 


COOKIE: Ye hold 'er well, sir, well and good for one who's learned on steam. I've not doubt ye could take us to land from this very spot -- if yer craft could stay afloat, this is. 


(TERRIFIC WASH OF WATER) 


HOLMES: (TERRIFIED) Over the gunwale -- that one! Bail -- for God's sake -- and, Cookie -- hold with me here -- against the tiller -- we've got to bring her head -- (GRUNTS) up! 


BIZ: AD LIBS FROM PASSENGERS ... SLIGHTLY OFF. 


BILLY: (WHISPERS IN TERROR) Mother -- Mother -- I'm thirsty-- 


MOTHER: No, no, Billy -- not now. Billy -- (HYSTERICALLY) Billy-- don't look at the sea -- think -- (PANTING) think of your games -- think of Jack home waiting for you -- and the bicycle ... 


MAN: (DULLY) I got two little girls home -- waiting for me -- pretty, too-- 


SECOND MAN: (WASH OF SEA) There'll be a ship -- soon -- it's daylight now. 


HOLMES: You're a man of the sea, Cookie -- you know -- when something -- must be done. 


COOKIE: (UNDERSTANDS BUT AFRAID ... CAN'T DECIDE ... TOO MUCH FOR HIM) I -- I don't know, sir. 


HOLMES: I've marked my time. I can't hold off any longer. I've a responsibility, do you hear me, Cookie? I gave them until morning to find a ship to pick them up, but it's daylight now and no ship. 


COOKIE: I hear what you're saying, Mr. Holmes. 


HOLMES: I've got to follow my mind. I believe in it, I think it is right. A life against lives. It's the honest thing to do. I'm master. I'm to save my ship and men as best I know how. And this is all I know.


COOKIE: I hear you, sir -- I hear you. 


HOLMES: If the boat were lighter, we could weather this sea.


BIZ: WASH OF SEA ... ROAR OF WIND ... WASH OF SEA COMES IN ... AS IT SUBSIDES THERE IS THE MURMUR OF PASSENGERS AGAIN.


MAN: I think your son is asleep. 


MOTHER: (TENSE ... STRAINED) I hope so-- I hope he sleeps until we're out of this. It's too dreadful for him -- he'll never forget it. 


MAN: I hope we all get out of this ... (WOMAN MOANS) Anna -- what is it? 


ANNA: I'm ill -- John -- too ill -- I want to die. 


(WASH OF SEA) 


MAN: But it's daylight, Anna -- the ship's coming soon. 


ANNA: The ship -- (HOPE IN VOICE) to take us back -- John -- home -- (TRAILING) home-- 


SECOND MAN: I'm old -- old -- sixty-five now -- but I want to get home -- I want to see my wife again -- she'll be waiting -- I want to tell her -- I'm all right.


THIRD MAN: There are so many of us -- but the crew is working -- they'll get us out -- if we've lasted the night. 


FIRST WOMAN: I believe that -- I believe God won't let us die now -- it's been too long. 


MAN: Look at the man at the tiller -- his face looks like death! 


BIZ: WASH OF SEA AND WIND ... AND TRANSITION BACK TO HOLMES ON MIKE. 


HOLMES: Yes -- there's a way to lighten this boat. 


COOKIE: (QUESTIONING) Yes, sir? 


HOLMES: A way -- and we'd best see it through while we've got the wood afloat under our heels. (VOICE UP) Everybody -- keep your eyes here! [(ASIDE)] Their -- eyes -- Cookie -- staring -- how they stare! 


COOKIE: How they look, sir -- and their faces washed out to white. 


HOLMES: (TRYING TO COVER EXCITEMENT) Listen to me! Is there a soul aboard who disputes my command? 


COOKIE: You're master, sir. The captain is down and out, we're all witnesses to that. 


JANO: (FROM MIDDLE OF BOAT) You're master, sir -- there's none to dispute it. 


HOLMES: Then get this! 


COOKIE: (HORRIFIED) A gun, sir! 


HOLMES: Yes -- a gun. And I'll shoot the first man who disobeys me. That is understood? 


BIZ: WASH OF SEA ... AD LIBS FAINTLY FROM PASSENGERS IN BOAT. 


MOTHER: (IN HORROR) A gun -- he can't! 


MAN: He's gone mad! 


SECOND MAN: He'll sink us all! 


(ETC., AD LIBS, OF HORROR UP AND FADE INTO WASH OF SEA) 


JANO: (NEARER MIKE) Put the gun away, Holmes! Are you out of your head? 


HOLMES: I've got to talk fast before the next wave drowns me out. I'll keep the pistol close -- you've not heard me out yet. We must face this situation. We must accept the fact that we got out no distress signal, there is no proof we did. 


BIZ: AD LIBS AGAIN FROM PASSENGERS. 


MAN: No radio message -- 


SECOND MAN: No ship coming -- 


BIZ: BOY CRIES. 


MOTHER: (CHOKING) Billy -- we'll be all right -- keep your face down, Billy -- keep it down -- (WASH OF SEA AGAIN) 


HOLMES: (UP AGAIN) There will be no rescue ship. We are nearly a thousand miles due east of land. I warn you now, this craft is doomed if she stays loaded as she is. (THIS IS TO BE SPOKEN VERY DULLY ... COLDLY ... BLUNTLY) The next sea or the next or the next and we'll all go under. If she were lighter -- (CATCHES BREATH ... WASH OF SEA) if she were lighter she could endure it, she could do anything -- a row for land or a passing ship. The craft must be lightened. 


JANO: (OVER WIND ... SHOUTING) You're daft! You can't lighten this boat without sending someone over the side. 


HOLMES: Then it's over the side with some of you. What else-- 


COOKIE: (IN TERROR) Look out! Here comes a big one! 


(ROAR OF SEA ... FAINT SCREAMS OF PASSENGERS ... GRUNTS OF MEN) 


JANO: (DESPERATELY ... STRUGGLING WITH WORDS) I'll be no party to it. 


HOLMES: (DOESN'T HEAR HIM ... STEADY VOICE ... FIGHTING FOR CONTROL OF HIMSELF) The weaklings must go. The ones who are no use. We want the men who'll row a thousand miles to land, who'll not fall faint when the food gives out. 


(WASH OF SEA ... PASSENGERS IN ... OFF MIKE IN BACKGROUND) 


MAN: He means to murder us! 


MOTHER: He can't -- they won't let him -- 


MAN: He's mad! 


(WASH OF SEA) 


JANO: (OVER SEA ... SHOUTING) It's wrong! You can't do this, Holmes. It's murder! 


HOLMES: (VERY QUIETLY) No -- that is not murder. This is murder -- the weight of a pair of weeping women -- a child -- the weight of three seasick men. This weight, so useless -- so completely useless, is murder. It will swamp this ship and kill others who have a right to live. 


McCRUDDY: (HORROR-STRICKEN) No, Holmes -- no! I say -- NO! 


HOLMES: (CONTINUING DEADLY CALM AND QUIET) There are living in this boat who want to keep on living. It is the right of self-preservation and I believe in it. It is murder not to believe in it. Murder to keep this supercargo aboard and kill the chances of every soul here. 


JANO: (SCREAMING) You can't do it! You can't throw a woman to the sea. 


HOLMES: (DEADLY QUIET) Will you volunteer to go in her place? (PAUSE) Will you? (PAUSE) You don't answer. All right then -- the wind is freshening, and the seas are rising. It goes worse. We've little time enough before she swings around and takes one on the beam to capsize us. I'll not have all hands die to save the few unfitting. Those are orders. Slide the women over the side when we drop in the next trough and mind you're careful not to ship a sea in the doing. Look alive! 


FIRST WOMAN: (FROM BACK OF BOAT) (SCREAMS) You can't -- you can't send me over -- you can't! 


HOLMES: (IN) Quartermaster! You have your orders. 


JANO: Be damned to them! I'll have no part of them. I'll take my chances with the weak aboard. It's women and children first to be saved. That's always been the law of the sea! 


HOLMES: You've no choice. I've ordered you. 


JANO: Be damned to you, sir. 


HOLMES: I'm ordering you, Jano. (VERY QUIETLY) Slide the women over! 


(WOMEN BEGIN TO SOB AND MOAN ... PROTESTS FROM MEN) 


JANO: No, sir -- I won't. 


(EXPLOSION OF GUN ... DEAD SILENCE EXCEPT FOR SOUND OF SEA ... GREAT WASH OF SEA ... GASPS OF BREATH) 


COOKIE: (LOW ... FASCINATED ... BREATHLESS) You did it, sir -- you -- shot him! 


HOLMES: (IGNORING HIM) Torano, Smith, Harris -- slide the quartermaster over the side. 


McCRUDDY: Holmes, you win -- but it's murder! 


HOLMES: Torano, Smith, Harris -- slide that woman over the side. 


HARRIS: (IN ROUGH WILD VOICE) I can't do it, sir! I'll slide the dead off the beam any time, but I can't drop a living body overboard that way! 


HOLMES: Harris, you're a strong lad, and we'll need you in the boat. I ask you again to assist. I am ordering you and the responsibility is mine.


HARRIS: (ALMOST NUMB ... GASPING ... HORROR-STRICKEN) Very well, sir -- very -- (VOICE IS DROWNED IN TREMENDOUS SURGE OF WATER) 


COOKIE: (SHOUTS OVER CRASH) She'll not last another like that! 


HOLMES: Get the woman over! Then bail, Harris! 


MAN: (OFF ... IN PASSENGERS' GROUP) You can't -- she's ill -- she's ill -- Anna-- (FAINTER) Anna-- 


ANNA: (SCREAMING ... BUT VERY FAINT) Don't -- don't -- let me go -- let me -- 


(SPLASH AND CRASH OF SEA UP) 


MAN: God -- she's gone -- she's gone -- gone! 


HOLMES: (IN) (VOICE DEADLY COLD) The other woman -- you on the portside, Big Joe -- McCruddy, Dannemore! Quick -- quick -- before another crest! 


MOTHER: (CHOKING) Billy -- Billy -- spare him -- spare him -- he must live -- Billy -- 


(CRASH OF WATER) 


HOLMES: Bail, men -- bail -- we can't stay up much longer. Now let the boy go. 


TORANO: He's light. He don't weigh nothin' at all. I know. I gotta kid like dat t'home. 


HOLMES: Over the side. Now -- the old man -- and the one next to him -- 


(WASH OF SEA) 


COOKIE: (IN FROZEN, UNREAL VOICE ... VERY LOW TO HOLMES) It makes a difference. Her head's lifting a little. 


HOLMES: I'm not through ... Miguel Certa ... You were a good deckhand and you're strong but -- your arm is broken. You won't last. 


MIGUEL: (QUIETLY) I'd like a chance in the sea -- I'd like a life preserver, please. 


HOLMES: (SHORTLY) Give him a life preserver. (IN ALMOST PLEADING TONE) You understand, Miguel, don't you? You know what I'm doing? 


MIGUEL: (COLDLY) I know what you're doing -- and may your soul be damned for it. I hope you live through this. They'll hang you for it. 


(WASH OF SEA) 


HOLMES: The cabin boy next -- Johnnie Merritt! 


CABIN BOY: Oh, God, sir -- let me stay, sir. I'll do my turn at the oars -- I'll row till my hands break, but give me a chance, sir, I'm young-- 


HOLMES: You're too little -- you haven't the strength to pull an oar. You'd drink the water and eat the food. It's the row, lad; it's the row I'm thinking of, the row to land from this spot. We've got to have a craft to do it, and the right men to man the boat. No dead weight. Over you go, lad -- will you have a life belt?


CABIN BOY: (SHRILLY ... TERRIFIED) I don't want to go. 


HOLMES: (GRIMLY ... HANGING ON TO HIMSELF) Men! (WASH OF SEA AND WIND) She's riding easier now -- she's feeling the tiller -- (SHARP) Cookie! 


COOKIE: (HORROR STILL NUMBS HIM) Yes, sir. 


HOLMES: Can you slide the old man off?


COOKIE: The captain, sir -- you're ordering me!


HOLMES: Is he conscious? 


COOKIE: No -- he ain't that, sir. 


HOLMES: Slide him-- (SPLASH ... RUSH OF SEA ... WIND AND OARLOCKS UP ... HOLD DOWN TO BACKGROUND AGAIN) Now then -- keep the oars going. Give her steerageway and she'll ride. She's got what she wants now -- and she'll hold to. 


COOKIE: She rides beautiful -- ye could sail this bug clear to China now. 


HOLMES: She works well with the wind. If this wind blows itself out, we'll be able to lay a course for the mainland. We might even jury-rig the boat with a makeshift sail; there's rope and clothes enough to fashion one. I did right, Cookie, the saving of twenty-two through the loss of ten. I did right, didn't I, Cookie? 


COOKIE: (GUARDEDLY ... FROM THIS POINT ON EVERYONE TURNS AWAY ... REPELLING HIM INSTINCTIVELY) She rides beautiful -- she bites in like a Banks fisherman, she does. She'll float, sir.


HOLMES: I did right, didn't I, Cookie? 


COOKIE: I ain't the one to say, sir.


BIZ: WASH OF WAVES AND WIND IN ... SLOWLY DIMINISHING ... INTO THEME MUSIC ... AND BACK TO SEA ... VERY QUIET AND SUBDUED IN SHARP CONTRAST TO TUMULTUOUS SEAS OF PREVIOUS PART ... VERY QUIET ... MEN DULL ... HUSHED. 


ANNOUNCER: Dawn of the second day-- 


BIG JOE: (OVER CREAK OF OARLOCKS) There's a red sun coming up, Mr. McCruddy. Look in the east. 


McCRUDDY: That means good weather -- the grayness is fading-- 


COOKIE: Aye -- and the seas are dropping -- just a roll now. It'll be calm before noon. 


McCRUDDY: The boat goes easy -- with luck we might make a landfall. 


BIG JOE: If we don't see a ship first -- the storm's blown itself out -- they might see us now. 


COOKIE: Aye -- and we've still got a sturdy boat beneath us. 


McCRUDDY: (BREATHLESS) Wait -- look -- 


BIG JOE: What -- what -- it is -- a ship! (SHOUTS) Men -- a ship! 


(AD LIBS AND TREMENDOUS HOARSE CHEERING) 


COOKIE: Look at her -- she's coming this way -- all trim -- and white -- and clean. Look at her! 


McCRUDDY: A passenger ship -- and she's seen us -- it's over -- it's over -- 


(MORE CHEERING ... RELIEF) 


MAN: (THROUGH CHEERING) She's from the south. Maybe they picked up Miguel -- he has a life belt-- 


SECOND MAN: (WANTING TO BELIEVE IT) Aye -- maybe they did -- he had a chance -- he floated south. They could have picked him up. (MORE CHEERS UP, THEN DOWN ... OARS) 


HOLMES: (VOICE VERY OLD ... VERY TIRED ... ALMOST LIKE VOICE FROM GRAVE ... HAUNTED) Cookie! 


COOKIE: (VERY COLD ... REMOTE) Yes, sir. 


HOLMES: (BEGGING) Cookie -- I did right. Tell me I did right, Cookie! 


COOKIE: I'm not the one to say, sir. 


HOLMES: Don't move, Cookie -- stay here -- where are you going? 


COOKIE: (QUIETLY) I'm going to sit with the men, sir -- on the thwarts -- to -- pull. 


HOLMES: I did right. Damn you all, you know I did right. We'd never have weathered last night with that supercargo aboard. 


COOKIE: It's not for us to say, sir. 


McCRUDDY: It was your responsibility, Holmes. 


HOLMES: (VERY OLD) My responsibility -- I saved you -- didn't I? I saved you! All of you-- 


BIG JOE: You threatened us, sir. 


HOLMES: But you're here -- and that ship is on its way to take you home -- don't you see -- I was right -- I did right-- 


BIZ: PAUSE ... LAP OF SEA ... CREAK OF OARLOCKS. 


HOLMES: (PLEADING) McCruddy -- (SILENCE) Big Joe -- (SILENCE ... VOICE MOUNTING IN PLEADING AS HE CALLS EACH NAME ... UNTIL LAST NAMES ARE WRENCHED FROM HIM ... PAINFULLY) Harris -- (PAUSE) Smith! (PAUSE ... DESPERATE) Torano! I saved you -- don't you understand -- I saved you -- Cookie -- I did right! You know it! 


COOKIE: We obeyed orders, that's all -- under threat o' death, we did. It's not for us to say who's right -- it's for the law -- 


HOLMES: (VERY COLD AND NUMB ... HALF TO HIMSELF AS IMPACT OF IT ALL SINKS IN) You've turned against me -- you've turned against me now the ship's coming -- all of you -- but I did right -- I did right -- (VOICE BREAKING ... NOT CONVINCED ... TRYING TO PERSUADE HIMSELF) I'll tell them -- All alone I'll tell them-- they'll know-- They'll know -- I -- did -- right -- 


(SOUND OF WAVES QUIETLY LAPPING AT BOAT ... OARLOCKS ... FADE INTO THEMATIC MUSIC ... OUT)


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