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Typhoon

Escape

Typhoon

Jul 28 1947




CAST:

ANNOUNCER

NARRATOR (1 line)

JUKES, the chauvinist first mate

SIGGS, ship owner 

MACWHIRR, a practical, imperturbable Scot

ROUT, the engineer

SECOND MATE

HACKETT, at the wheel

BOATSWAIN

and two hundred COOLIES






MUSIC: OMINOUS CLOCK CHIMES


ANNOUNCER: ESCAPE! Escape tonight to the China Seas in "Typhoon."


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations presents ESCAPE, a new series of programs of which this, the fourth, is "Typhoon" by Joseph Conrad, produced and directed by William N. Robson. 


MUSIC: THEME, UP AND OUT


NARRATOR: Of all the great authors who wrote of the sea, none so captured the wonder and the horror of it as did Joseph Conrad. Tonight, we escape to the China Seas in his great story "Typhoon," told in the words of a certain Mr. Jukes, chief mate of the China coast steamer Nan-Shan -- (DRY) a young man of very remarkable perceptions. 


MUSIC: FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND JUKES--


JUKES: (NARRATES) I've been sailing the China Sea long enough to see some strange and terrible things, but nothing as bad as that was. Why, God himself forgot us and the whole blinkin' universe set out to do us in that night. It was the-- (HESITATES) Oh, but that comes later. I guess you can't really understand what happened on board the Nan-Shan without knowin' something about our skipper -- Captain MacWhirr. "Stupid" MacWhirr, I called him, and after sailing with him for three years I ought to know what I'm talking about. Why, I tagged him right off, first day he came aboard to take command. In Liverpool it was, and Mr. Siggs -- who was one of the owners -- was showin' him around the deck.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, SNEAK IN HARBOR BACKGROUND ... SIGGS AND MACWHIRR'S FOOTSTEPS ON WOODEN SHIP'S DECK


SIGGS: There's no more modern ship afloat. (CHUCKLES) I might say again that you've come to us very highly recommended, Captain MacWhirr. We've a great deal of confidence in you. 


MACWHIRR: (GRUNTS) Thank you, Mr. Siggs. 


SIGGS: She's a brand new ship and a good ship. There's no reason why you shouldn't continue in command of her as long as you like. 


MACWHIRR: Hmmm. Well, that's, er, that's fine. 


SIGGS: She'll be the smartest thing afloat in the China trade. Why, she's put together like a Swiss watch, precision-built from stem to stern. 


MACWHIRR: Wait, er, just a minute, Mr. Siggs. 


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS OUT WITH--


SIGGS: What is it? 


MACWHIRR: That lock. 


SIGGS: Lock? What lock? 


SOUND: RATTLE OF LOCK BEHIND--


MACWHIRR: Here, on the cabin door. 


SIGGS: What about it?


MACWHIRR: You'll notice how it's been set in the frame somewhat cocked at an angle. The ship starts rolling a bit, and the first thing you know, it snaps open and leaves the door a'swinging. It really should be fixed, Mr. Siggs. 


MUSIC: BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JUKES--


JUKES: (NARRATES) That's Captain MacWhirr. The best berth he'd ever had -- new command, a brand new ship -- but instead of pinching himself to see if he's awake, he complains about a lock on the cabin door! See what I mean? 


SIGGS: Ah yes, Captain MacWhirr. (CHUCKLES) I see what you mean, I'll have it attended to right away. (IMPRESSED) I, er, I think you'll do all right. 


MACWHIRR: (AGREEABLE GRUNT) Thank you, Mr. Siggs. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JUKES--


JUKES: (NARRATES) Well, everybody knows what the China coast is. You haul out of Bangkok for a quick run up to Singapore, and then shove off for Hong Kong. Two days ashore -- and you do it all over again. Three years of it. Three years of heat, smells, weather, copra, silk, and tea. Along in there somewhere, the owners decided to transfer the ship's registry to the Siamese flag. Don't ask me why; they just did, that's all. Anyway, I can tell you I didn't like it. When you grow up under the Union Jack, you figure to go on sailing under it. Not that the skipper, of course, could understand that kind of a feeling. Oh, no -- not old "Stupid" MacWhirr. 


SOUND: SHIP BACKGROUND ... JUKES' FOOTSTEPS TO CAPTAIN'S DOOR WHICH OPENS ... THEN CLOSES, SHUTTING OUT SHIP BACKGROUND 


JUKES: (CLEARS HIS THROAT POINTEDLY)


MACWHIRR: Aye? What is it, Mr. Jukes? 


JUKES: They, er, just sent the new flag out from shore, sir. Here it is. 


MACWHIRR: Oh, fine, fine. Unroll it. Let's have a look.


SOUND: FLAG UNROLLED


MACWHIRR: (PLEASED) Ah, yes. 


JUKES: In my opinion, sir, it's a queer kind of flag for a man to sail under. 


MACWHIRR: Oh? And what's the matter with it? 


JUKES: Well, it, er, just looks queer to me, that's all. 


MACWHIRR: Well now, let's see. A white elephant on a red field. Just a minute, I'll look it up in the book. 


SOUND: BOOK OPENED ... PAGES FLIPPED


MACWHIRR: Mmm. Ah, here we are. (READS) "Siam. White elephant on a field of bright red. Length exactly twice the breadth." So. Well, there's nothing wrong with this flag, Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: (SARCASTIC) Oh, isn't there?


MACWHIRR: Not a thing. I hardly thought there could be. After all, these people ought to know how to make their own flag, it stands to reason. 


JUKES: Does it now?


MACWHIRR: You must have it confused with some other flag, Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: (UNHAPPY) Well, all I can say is--


MACWHIRR: Of course, you'll have to take care that the seamen don't hoist the elephant upside down; that is, before they're quite used to it. 


JUKES: (FLABBERGASTED) I-- I-- (SIGHS BEHIND--)


MACWHIRR: I presume it might be taken for a signal of distress, and in that case, er-- Well, the way I see it, that elephant stands for something like the nature of a Union Jack in the British flag. 


JUKES: (EXPLODES) Oh, you think so?! Well, it's like a bloomin' Noah's ark, that's what it is!


MACWHIRR: (MILDLY SURPRISED, QUIET ADMONISHMENT) Mr. Jukes.


JUKES: (CHASTENED) I'm sorry, sir. 


MACWHIRR: I can't see where the color of a flag could anywise affect the navigation of a ship. 


JUKES: I'd, er-- (RESIGNED) All right, sir, I'll instruct the hands. (BITTER IRONY) It'd certainly be a most distressful sight to see that elephant hoisted upside down!


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JUKES--


JUKES: (NARRATES) Well, that was Captain MacWhirr. Couldn't get a thing through his head if you drew him a picture. And that's the skipper we had to sail under on the maddest, wildest trip that any coaster ever took. 


SOUND: HARBOR BACKGROUND


JUKES: (NARRATES) We were loading out in Singapore; half the cargo had already come aboard. The sun was blazing, and the smoke from our stacks hung over the decks like a blanket. The Nan-Shan's winches puffed away aft; the cargo chains creaked and clattered across the combings. I was in the waist, supervising the loading, when Mr. Rout, the chief engineer, came up to me. 


ROUT: Hey, there, Jukes! What's going on down there on the dock? Looks like a bloomin' army. 


JUKES: I dunno, Mr. Rout. Must be a mob of coolies on the move. 


ROUT: Yeah, here comes the captain. Could be some of his doing. 


SOUND: MACWHIRR'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH


MACWHIRR: (OFF, CALLS) Oh, Mr. Jukes?


JUKES: Aye, sir? 


MACWHIRR: (APPROACHES) Keep the forward 'tween deck clear of cargo. There'll be two hundred coolies coming aboard, and we'll plan to bunk them down there. 


JUKES: (SURPRISED) Good lord, where are they bound?


MACWHIRR: Fu-chau. We'll have to put in there this trip. 


JUKES: Yeah, but we're not fixed to handle passengers, sir. 


MACWHIRR: Oh, they'll bring supplies aboard with them. Every man's got a camphor wood chest, so you'll have to nail deck battens down there to keep them from sliding. 


JUKES: Yes, sir, I'll see to it. 


MACWHIRR: They've all been working on a plantation north somewhere. Two-year contract. They're dying to get home. It wouldn't have been quite right to turn them down. You may as well start them coming aboard, Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: All right, sir. (BEAT, SHOUTS) All'ee number one boy all'ee same! Listen, you savvy, huh?!


COOLIES: (FROM OFF, MURMUR AGREEMENT)


JUKES: (SHOUTS) All'ee fella catch 'em here topside catch 'em step-step bottomside all'ee time, chop-chop!


COOLIES: (MURMUR AGREEMENT, MOVING CLOSER, CONTINUES IN BG)


JUKES: (SHOUTS) Single file now! One fella, one time, all the time! (NORMAL VOICE, TO MACWHIRR) What do you suppose they carry in those boxes?


MACWHIRR: Oh, I suppose their personal belongings, Mr. Jukes. And of course their two year's pay in silver dollars. 


JUKES: Well, they're as vicious a-looking bunch of murderers as I've ever seen. 


MACWHIRR: Murderers? Oh, come now, Mr. Jukes. One or two of them maybe, but in the main I'd say they're honest workmen. Have to be, to stick out a two-year contract on one of these plantations. 


JUKES: Just the same, sir, we'd better not take any chances. 


MACWHIRR: Oh, I checked the laden weights carefully, Mr. Jukes. We can carry them without any overloading at all. 


JUKES: (ANNOYED) I mean that-- (CATCHES HIMSELF) All right, sir. (DRY, MOVING OFF) I'd better go hide the silverware in the officers' mess. 


MACWHIRR: (THOUGHTFUL, TO HIMSELF) Hmm, he's a hard man to understand sometimes. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND JUKES--


JUKES: (NARRATES) I could say I had a premonition right then, and I wouldn't be lying. Anyway, that's how it started. At the hottest time of the year, two hundred half-civilized coolies aboard, a captain with no more imagination than you could stick in your ear, we steamed out from Singapore and laid a course for the port of Fu-chau. 


MUSIC: UP BIG, WITH CYMBAL CRASH, FOR AN OCEAN VOYAGE ... TRANSITION


SOUND: SHIP'S ENGINE BACKGROUND


ROUT: I tell you, Jukes, I don't like it. I don't like it a bit!


JUKES: What don't you like about it, Mr. Rout?


ROUT: Why, the looks of things. Something ominous about it. 


JUKES: Oh, there's a bit of a swell running all right. There's not a breath of wind. It's uncommonly hot, that's all; gives a man the jumps. (CHUCKLES) You're as bad as the second mate; he's been groaning around like the voice of doom all day. 


ROUT: Well, I don't know--


MACWHIRR: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Mr. Jukes? Mr. Jukes? 


JUKES: (TO ROUT) Uh oh, that's the old man; I'll see ya later. (MOVING OFF) Ah, keep your steam up, Mr. Rout. 


SOUND: JUKES' STEPS TO CAPTAIN'S DOOR WHICH OPENS AND CLOSES ... JUKES' STEPS IN


JUKES: Were you calling me, captain? 


MACWHIRR: I was, Mr. Jukes. (CASUALLY) Er, what was all the long conversation with Mr. Rout?


JUKES: (TAKEN ABACK) Oh, why-- Why, nothing much, sir. I - I didn't see any harm in talking a bit; I'm not on watch, you know. 


MACWHIRR: Oh, no, no, nothing wrong with it, nothing at all. I just wondered what ye could find to talk about. 


JUKES: Well, er, different things; I don't know. 


MACWHIRR: I've seen people on shore sit around a table and talk for two or three hours. I never could understand it. 


JUKES: It's just conversation, that's all, about nothing in particular. 


MACWHIRR: Seems pretty silly. Well, you've noticed the barometer no doubt. 


JUKES: Yes, sir, it's dropping. 


MACWHIRR: Falling fast; quite low now. Take a look. 


JUKES: (LOW WHISTLE OF SURPRISE) I'll say it's dropping. 


MACWHIRR: Bad time of the year for that sort of thing, very bad.


JUKES: Anything you want me to do, sir?


MACWHIRR: Oh, no, no. Must be some uncommonly dirty weather knocking about somewhere, eh, Mr. Jukes?


JUKES: Yes, sir. 


MACWHIRR: Well, that's all. Just thought you ought to know about it, that's all. Well, carry on, sir, carry on. 


MUSIC: GRIM TRANSITION WHICH CLIMAXES WITH CHINESE GONG


SOUND: "SHIP IN ROUGH SEA" BACKGROUND ... PLANKS CREAK ... CRASH! OF WOOD AGAINST WOOD ON DECK


JUKES: Whoa! There's a heavy one, all right, mate!


SECOND: (UNHAPPY) Heh! 


JUKES: Them coolies must be having a time of it down below. Lucky for them the old girl rolls easier than any ship I've ever seen. 


SECOND: Ah, you just wait. 


JUKES: Oh, you think we may be in for it, huh?


SECOND: Oh, no! I don't think anything. You're not gonna make a fool out of me that way, Mr. Jukes. I didn't say a word. 


JUKES: What's the matter with you, second? Why shouldn't you say what you think if you're a mind to?


SECOND: Oh, no, you don't catch me.


SOUND: HEAVY CREAK AS WAVE ROLLS THE SHIP


JUKES: Whoa, there's another one!


SOUND: LENGTHY CRASH! OF WOOD ON WOOD


JUKES: That's pretty rough. Well, whatever is about, we're steaming right into it. 


SECOND: Hah! You just try telling the old man that. 


JUKES: And why shouldn't I? Matter of fact, I think I'll ask him about this cross swell. (MOVING OFF) It's getting worse all the time. 


SOUND: JUKES' STEPS TO CAPTAIN'S DOOR 


SECOND: (SHOUTS AFTER JUKES) I've known skippers to break some right good men for saying a whole lot less! 


SOUND: CAPTAIN'S DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES ... JUKES' STEPS IN ... MUCH CREAKING AND THE SLOW, REGULAR BANGING OF A SWINGING DOOR IN BG


JUKES: Uh, Captain MacWhirr--? 


MACWHIRR: Ah, yes, Mr. Jukes; what is it? 


JUKES: Swell is getting a good deal worse, sir. 


MACWHIRR: Yes, I noticed that in here. Anything wrong? 


JUKES: Well, I, er-- I was thinking about the passengers. 


MACWHIRR: Hm? What passengers? 


JUKES: Why, the coolies, sir! 


MACWHIRR: Then, if you mean coolies, say coolies, Mr. Jukes. A man ought to say what he means. What about the coolies?


JUKES: She's rolling her decks full of water, sir. I thought you might want to put her head at the swell for a bit -- until this goes down, of course. 


MACWHIRR: Hmm, so that's it, eh? Put her head at the swell, four points off the course. 


JUKES: Well, it's just for a while, sir. A swell as high as this can't last long, it stands to reason. 


MACWHIRR: Mr. Jukes, take a look at the barometer. 


JUKES: (BEAT, SHOCKED) Good lord. 


MACWHIRR: Yes, exactly. It's a dead calm outside, isn't it?


JUKES: There's not a breath of air stirring, sir. Only that cross swell. 


SOUND: BOOK PAGES FLIPPED


MACWHIRR: I've been reading in the book here about storms. 'S funny thing. If a man believed everything written down here, he'd spend half his life running to get behind the weather. If I was to go by what this fella says, I'd alter my course and come booming into Fu-chau from the north, four days late, three hundred extra miles in distance, and a pretty bill for coal on top of it. I tell you, Mr. Jukes, if I knew every word in here was gospel true, I couldn't bring myself to do that


JUKES: No, sir, I guess not. 


MACWHIRR: And how's a man to know the book is right? If you dodge around a spot of dirty weather, how do you ever find out it was there in the first place? Answer me that. No, Mr. Jukes, there's things that a man can't get from books. I've thought it all out this afternoon. We'll hold her steady as she goes. 


JUKES: Whatever you say, sir; you're the captain. I guess I'd better write up the log; I'm going on watch. 


MACWHIRR: Good. I daresay we're heading into something a bit out of the ordinary. Call me at once if anything shows up in the night, Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: (MOVING OFF) All right, sir, I'll see to it. 


MACWHIRR: And, er, Mr. Jukes--?


JUKES: (OFF) Yes, sir?


MACWHIRR: If you're going into the chart room, please close that blinkin' door! I can't stand to hear a door bangin'! 


JUKES: (BEAT, RESIGNED) Yes, sir. 


SOUND: DOOR SLAMS SHUT


MUSIC: IN AND BEHIND JUKES--


SOUND: SCRIBBLE! OF PEN ON PAPER BEHIND JUKES--


JUKES: (NARRATES, SLOWLY, AS HE WRITES IN LOG) Eight p. m. Swell increasing. Ship laboring heavily and taking water on all decks. Still a dead calm and very hot. Battened down the coolies for the night. The barometer is still falling. All appearances indicate an approaching - typhoon. 


MUSIC: UP, FOR A TRANSITION


SOUND: HARSH WIND BACKGROUND


JUKES: (SHOUTS OVER WIND) All right, Hackett, hold her steady as she goes! That's all we can do!


HACKETT: (WITH EFFORT, AS HE STRUGGLES WITH WHEEL) Aye, sir! I'll sure try to! 


JUKES: Well, do the best you can! 


HACKETT: Aye, aye, sir!


MACWHIRR: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Mr. Jukes?! Mr. Jukes?!


JUKES: Aye, captain, I'm coming! Stand by!


SOUND: THUNDEROUS WHOOSH! OF LARGE WAVE


MACWHIRR: (OFF) Over here, Mr. Jukes! Starboard bridge rail!


JUKES: Right, sir! Coming over! 


MACWHIRR: (CLOSER) Well, Mr. Jukes, why didn't you call me? 


JUKES: There was no warning, sir. Hit us all of a sudden about five minutes ago. Blasted right out of a dead calm. 


MACWHIRR: Hmm, the book was right in some parts, anyhow. How's it go in the wheel house?


JUKES: Hackett is-- Look out, sir! Hang on!


SOUND: THUNDEROUS WHOOSH! OF LARGE WAVE


MACWHIRR: (SHAKES OFF WATER) Oh-- Ah-- (RESUMES) What about Hackett?


JUKES: He's on the wheel. Second is putting up shutters. The window glass'll go if she starts breakin' any higher. 


MACWHIRR: Oh, she'll break higher, Mr. Jukes; much higher. 


JUKES: (IRONIC) It's a happy thought. 


MACWHIRR: You haven't altered her course?


JUKES: No, sir, heading straight at the wind. 


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN BEHIND--


MACWHIRR: Good! Nothing else we can do, Mr. Jukes. Understand?


JUKES: Yes, sir. 


MACWHIRR: Some things a man can't find in books. Just keep her at it, that's all.


MUSIC: UP, FOR A TRANSITION


SOUND: WIND AND WAVES GROW LOUDER DURING TRANSITION ... CONTINUE IN BG


JUKES: (YELLS OVER NOISE) Captain, our boats are starting to break away!


MACWHIRR: That's all right!


JUKES: But the boats, sir! Two of them are gone now!


MACWHIRR: It can't be helped, Mr. Jukes. Hammering through a mess like this, you're bound to leave something behind -- naturally. Hold hard. 


SOUND: THUNDEROUS WHOOSH! OF LARGE WAVE ... STORM CONTINUES IN BG


MACWHIRR: (SHAKES OFF WATER) Oh-- Ah-- (TO JUKES) She's still rising all right. That one broke over the wheel house. 


JUKES: We're done for, for sure. 


MACWHIRR: What's that, Mr. Jukes? You say something? 


JUKES: I said, is there any chance at all, sir? Can she live through it? 


MACWHIRR: She may. We can hope so now, at least. She's a good ship. That's all a man can ask.


BOATSWAIN: (MUFFLED, CALLS, FROM OFF) Captain MacWhirr!


MACWHIRR: What's that? Somebody yellin'?


JUKES: It's below us on the foredeck, sir. (CALLS, TO BOATSWAIN) Up here! Starboard bridge! 


BOATSWAIN: (OFF) Aye, sir! Coming up! 


MACWHIRR: (TO JUKES) Man shouldn't be on that deck 'less he has to. It's a bit dangerous. 


BOATSWAIN: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Captain MacWhirr? Are you there, sir? 


MACWHIRR: Over here! What's the trouble, boatswain? 


BOATSWAIN: (CLOSER) Them Chinese, sir. They're--


JUKES: Wait, hang on!


SOUND: THUNDEROUS WHOOSH! OF LARGE WAVE ... STORM CONTINUES IN BG


MACWHIRR: (SHAKES OFF WATER) Oh-- Oh-- (RESUMES) The Chinese -- what about 'em? 


BOATSWAIN: They've all fetched away, sir! One big lump -- it's horrible!


MACWHIRR: Here now, what do you mean -- fetched away?


BOATSWAIN: Rollin' around in the hold in one big lump, screamin' like bloomin' maniacs, sir; all adrift. 


MACWHIRR: Mr. Jukes--?


JUKES: Yes, sir?


MACWHIRR: I can't make head nor tail of this. I guess you'd better go below and see to it. Put things in order. 


JUKES: But - but what shall I do, sir? 


MACWHIRR: I can't tell you up here. Find out what's wrong. Straighten it out, that's all. 


JUKES: That's all?! 


MACWHIRR: Take the boatswain with you. I'm going to try for the wheel house. 


JUKES: (UNHAPPY) All right, sir. Come on, boatswain. 


BOATSWAIN: Aye, sir. 


JUKES: (SARDONIC, MOVING OFF) Just straighten it out, that's all. 


SOUND: WHEEL HOUSE DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS


MACWHIRR: Well? How's the wheel stand, Hackett? 


HACKETT: Steady as she goes, sir. 


MACWHIRR: You realize, of course, we've hit a typhoon. 


HACKETT: Aye, sir. 


MACWHIRR: Sorry I can't give you a relief. Can you manage a while longer? 


HACKETT: I'll hold her to the course, sir, as long as there's a ship beneath here. 


SECOND: (SARDONIC) 'Ere, that won't be long. 


MACWHIRR: Oh? Anything wrong, second? 


SECOND: (SCARED, EXPLODES) Wrong?! We're all as good as dead men, that's what's wrong! 


MACWHIRR: Oh, now, I wouldn't say that. She's still afloat. 


SECOND: (DISMISSIVE) Hah! 


MACWHIRR: And we've got it lucky here on deck. Plenty of chance to see what's coming afore it hits us. A man always feels better when he can see what's coming, but it's a different story down below there. (MUSIC: SOMBER) Not having knowledge of what's going on, not knowing if we're afloat or sinkin'. Now there's the lads that's got it tough -- the ones down there in the engine room! 


SOUND: STORM UP AND OUT


MUSIC: UP, FOR BRIDGE ... THE RHYTHM OF WHICH SEGUES TO--


SOUND: ENGINE ROOM BACKGROUND ... STEADY RHYTHM OF ENGINE


ROUT: Come on now, swing to it! Keep it going! No time now for the steam to drop! 'Ere, ride that throttle, Beale! Can't let her rip her shaft out once she breaks clear of those swells. (INTO TUBE) Hello, bridge?! (NO ANSWER) Hello, bridge?! (NO ANSWER, TO HIMSELF) Confound it, why don't they answer the speaking tube? Can't tell if they're dead or alive up there. (INTO TUBE) Hello?! Hello?! 


MACWHIRR: (FAINTLY, THROUGH TUBE) Yes, Mr. Rout? 


ROUT: Captain, how is it on deck? 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) Bad enough. It depends mostly on you. 


ROUT: Well, so far, so good. We're holding a full head of steam. 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) Good. We'll need it. 


ROUT: Don't let me drive her under, sir. 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) Have to take a chance. Can't see twenty feet up here. Got to keep moving enough to steer. 


ROUT: I understand, sir. Count on us. 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) We've been smashed about a good deal, but doing fairly well. As long as the wheel house stands. Wait. Wait, hold on. 


ROUT: (BEAT) Hello? Hello? 


JUKES: Is that the captain, Mr. Rout? I've got to talk to him right away. 


ROUT: Wait a minute, Jukes. Something's happened up there. (INTO TUBE) Hello?! Hello, bridge?! 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) You still there, Mr. Rout? 


ROUT: Right. Anything wrong, sir? 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) No, not now. The second mate's lost, though. 


ROUT: Overboard? 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) Oh, no. Lost his nerve. Awkward circumstance. Had to knock him out, too. Too bad. 


ROUT: You hear that, Jukes? 


JUKES: Yes, let me talk to him. (INTO TUBE) Captain? Jukes here. The boatswain and I just took a look at the 'tween deck. It's them bloomin' boxes, sir. They've all broke loose and smashed to bits, and the coolies are fighting like crazy men for them silver dollars that's rollin' around. 


MACWHIRR: (AFFRONTED, THROUGH TUBE) Fighting? We can't have fighting on board, Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: There're two hundred of them, sir; they're all trying to kill each other. 


MACWHIRR: (INSISTS, THROUGH TUBE) I can't have it, Mr. Jukes. Put a stop to it at once, d'ye hear? 


JUKES: (INCREDULOUS) Put a stop to it? How? They're crazy mad! They'll kill anybody that came on that deck! 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) You're second-in-command, Mr. Jukes. Use your authority. Make it clear to them, we simply can't have fighting. 


JUKES: Make it clear to them?! 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) Oh, yes. After that, you'd better gather up all the money. I can't have it lying about on the deck. Get the boatswain to help you. Wait -- here it comes. 


SOUND: THUNDEROUS WHOOSH! OF MASSIVE WAVE


ROUT: (HORRIFIED, TO JUKES) Jehosophat! There's the one that does it! That - that must have swept the deck from stem to stern. (INTO TUBE) Hello?! Hello, Captain MacWhirr? You all right up there? 


MACWHIRR: (THROUGH TUBE) Everything's all right, Mr. Rout. All the boats and half the starboard rail carried away. Nothing serious. There's nothing to worry about, Mr. Rout. Carry on. 


ROUT: (TO JUKES, AMAZED AND AMUSED) Nothing to worry about? Carry on? Heh! (INTO TUBE) Hey, you're all right, captain! As you say, sir -- carry on! 


JUKES: (ASTONISHED) Carry on? 


ROUT: Hey, now; hey, now-- Where you goin'? Where you goin', eh? 


JUKES: (ANNOYED) Where d'ya think I'm goin', you loud-mouthed old windbag? Out on that deck to get myself murdered! 


ROUT: (HIGHLY AMUSED) Ha, ha! Ha, ha! Nothing serious, Jukes; nothing to worry about! (LAUGHS) 


JUKES: The whole bloomin' world's falling apart, and I'm out pickin' up silver dollars, captain's orders! (TO BOATSWAIN, MOVING OFF) Come on, boatswain. 


BOATSWAIN: Aye, sir.


ROUT: (LAUGHS, SHOUTS AFTER THEM) Don't be silly, old Jukes! Carry on, boy! Carry on! (LAUGHS) 


MUSIC: BRIDGE


SOUND: TWO HUNDRED ANGRY CHATTERING COOLIES ... IN AND THEN IN BACKGROUND


BOATSWAIN: Blimey, sir, look at 'em! [?]


JUKES: (DRY) No help for it. Our gallant skipper says to stop the fighting; use our authority. (SHOUTS, TO COOLIES) All right, there -- quiet down! (TO BOATSWAIN) Come on, boatswain.


BOATSWAIN: Aye, sir.


JUKES: (SHOUTS, TO COOLIES) Stow it there, you fools! Cut it out now, d'you hear me?! (TO BOATSWAIN) Authority, huh? They're clean out of their heads. We gotta drive 'em to the bulkhead. (SHOUTS, TO COOLIES) Back up now!


SOUND: A COOLIE SMACKS JUKES


JUKES: (SHOUTS, TO COOLIES) Hey! None of that!


SOUND: JUKES SOCKS A COOLIE


JUKES: Get to it, boatswain. 


SOUND: JUKES SOCKS ANOTHER COOLIE


JUKES: We got to show 'em what for. Nothin' else to do. 


SOUND: JUKES AND BOATSWAIN START PUNCHING COOLIES WHO REACT WITH ALARM ... PUNCHING CONTINUES IN BG


JUKES: (SHOUTS, TO COOLIES) Back up, there! Captain's orders, you know! (TO BOATSWAIN) Follow me, boatswain. 


BOATSWAIN: Right with you, sir. (WITH EFFORT, TO A COOLIE) Don't be a dope. (GRUNTS AS HE PUNCHES COOLIE)


SOUND: COOLIES' VOICES RAISED IN ANGER AND ALARM ... PUNCHING CONTINUES IN BG


BOATSWAIN: I was just thinking, sir. 


JUKES: Yeah? What about? (SHOUTS, TO COOLIES) Back there! No fightin' allowed! Skipper's orders!


BOATSWAIN: (TO A COOLIE) No, you don't! (SOCKS THE COOLIE, TO JUKES) What if me old lady could see me now?


JUKES: Ah, she'd say, "Oh, you jolly sailor lad!" (SHOUTS, TO COOLIES) Keep movin' there! (TO BOATSWAIN) Jam 'em up, boatswain -- into the bulkhead! 


MUSIC: CRASH! OF GONG ... FOR TRANSITION ... THEN GENTLE BUT UNEASY, IN BG


JUKES: Captain? Where are you, captain? 


MACWHIRR: Over here, Mr. Jukes. Ah, you got everything cleared up down below. 


JUKES: Oh - oh yes, we - we took care of everything, sir. 


MACWHIRR: I thought you would. The wind fell all at once; stopped cold. It's been like this for ten minutes now. 


JUKES: If you, er, think it was an easy job to bring that mob under control--


MACWHIRR: Ah, the coolies? Oh, I daresay it wasn't. I 'ave to do what's fair by them, though. Er, Mr. Jukes, that barometer in there stands at the lowest point I've ever seen a glass in my life. 


JUKES: You mean there'll be more of it? 


MACWHIRR: The worst yet, according to the book. It'll break sudden now -- any minute. A puff or two of wind, and then it hits. 


JUKES: She's taken a horrible beating, sir. 


MACWHIRR: She has indeed, and she's in for a worse one. 


JUKES: We haven't much chance, have we, sir? 


MACWHIRR: She may come through it. She's a good ship. 


MUSIC: OUT WITH--


SOUND: WIND RETURNS, BLOWING HARD ... CONTINUES IN BG


JUKES: There's the first puff. 


MACWHIRR: Hmm. It'll hit us hard when it comes. You left them pretty safe, did you? 


JUKES: The coolies? We strung life lines. Gives 'em something to hold on to. 


MACWHIRR: Good. I'd like to give 'em all the chance we can -- whatever happens. 


JUKES: Oh, they'll be all right, sir. I broke out rifles for eight of the crew; put 'em to guarding all the companionways leading off the 'tween deck. 


MACWHIRR: (DISAPPROVING) You armed the crew, Mr. Jukes? 


JUKES: Oh, sure! We won't have any trouble with them now, sir. 


MACWHIRR: Mr. Jukes -- please have those rifles returned to the magazines at once. 


JUKES: What? 


MACWHIRR: There'll be work for every man aboard in a few minutes. I can't spare seamen to stand around and hold rifles when it isn't necessary. 


JUKES: Isn't necessary?! Don't you realize those savages will think we stole their money? Why, they'll tear us to bits if they ever get out of that deck! 


MACWHIRR: Oh, I think they'll understand we're dealing fair by them. Collect the rifles, Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: Captain, it's suicide! The best thing we can do is turn the whole mess over to the authorities in Fu-chau --- if we ever get there. 


MACWHIRR: Well, I don't know. I figure that when anything happens on shipboard, it's up to me to settle it on shipboard. Part of the duties of commanding a vessel, Mr. Jukes. I've no doubt I'll be able to reach an understanding with these men later. 


JUKES: Understanding?! You ought to have seen them a while ago when me and the boatswain was down there. 


MACWHIRR: Lost their heads a bit, I guess? No wonder at that. Here she comes. Pick up those rifles, Mr. Jukes. And something else.


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, WIND INCREASES IN STRENGTH


JUKES: Yes, captain?


MACWHIRR: If anything happens to me, you'll be in charge. Only advice -- keep her facing it. Best way to get through, facing it. That's enough for any man. 


JUKES: All right, captain, I'll remember. 


MACWHIRR: And one thing more, Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: Yes, sir? 


MACWHIRR: Something that always helps at sea is to keep a cool head. Just keep a cool head. 


SOUND: THE BIGGEST THUNDEROUS WHOOSH YET AS WIND AND WAVES HIT THE SHIP


JUKES: (YELLS, TO HIMSELF, OVER TYPHOON) Oh, no! Keep a cool head! Stitch in time saves nine, a rolling stone--! What in the name of heaven do you do with a man like that?! 


MUSIC: BRIDGE ... BRIEFLY INTENSE, FOR THE TYPHOON ... THEN CALMER, FOR THE REST OF THE VOYAGE ... THEN EVEN MORE GENTLY, IN BG--


JUKES: (NARRATES, CALMLY) There was a clear blue sky and bright sunshine the morning we steamed into Fu-chau harbor. Mr. Rout was leaning on a hatch combing, smoking a pipe. And the boatswain lounged on the foredeck, waiting to pick up a line from the wharf. And the captain? Well, he was engaged in the most unusual occupation. 


MACWHIRR: (SLIGHTLY OFF, TO COOLIES, SLOWLY AND POLITELY) All right, keep moving. [X] Next. Step right up. Next man. That's yours.


JUKES: (NARRATES, OVERLAPS WITH ABOVE AT [X]) He was sitting at a table on the foredeck handing out silver dollars to them blinkin' coolies -- all divided up even, the same amount to each one. Craziest thing you ever heard of in your life. You see, the way the captain figured it, since those blighters had all worked for two years at the same rate of pay, then their savings ought to all be about equal. As you can see, of course, that wasn't necessarily true by any means -- wasn't even legal! -- but you couldn't tell him anything. 


MUSIC: OUT BEHIND--


MACWHIRR: (SLIGHTLY OFF, TO HIMSELF) Well, that's that. (CALLS GENTLY) Er, Mr. Jukes?


JUKES: Yes, sir. Coming, captain. 


MACWHIRR: Well, Mr. Jukes, I've disposed of our little collection of silver dollars. 


JUKES: Ah, that's great. Only wait till those boys get ashore and file claims against us. 


MACWHIRR: Oh, no, they won't do that. As a matter of fact they were quite pleased at having it arranged that way. Figured it might avoid a lot of arguments later. They, er, they sent a spokesman to thank me. 


JUKES: (SURPRISED) Well, I'll be-- 


MACWHIRR: Mr. Jukes, you may as well give all the hands six hours' leave before we start workin' the cargo. 


JUKES: Whatever you say, captain. 


MACWHIRR: Oh, yes, and, er, before the carpenter leaves, I wish you'd have him fix the lock on that port cabin door. 


JUKES: What? 


MACWHIRR: That seems to have got broken somehow -- during the storm, I suppose. I can't stand to hear a door bangin', Mr. Jukes. 


JUKES: Aye, sir. I, uh-- I don't suppose it matters that the ship is battered from stem to stern, half her topside carried away, and smashed till she looks like a bloomin' Tinsin freighter!


MACWHIRR: Mr. Jukes, I don't understand ye. 


JUKES: (EXASPERATED) You don't understand me, sir? Do you understand that we've come through the worst typhoon on the China Seas in twenty years? We're the only ship that got through!


MACWHIRR: It's true. I suppose we were a bit lucky. 


JUKES: Lucky, sir?! With two hundred murderin' cut-throats runnin' loose aboard, and the very heavens doin' their worst!


MACWHIRR: We had a job to do and we did it; that's all, Mr. Jukes. That's the important thing. 


JUKES: Yes, sir, that's, er, that's all


MUSIC: GENTLE .. IN AND UNDER


JUKES: (NARRATES) "That's all," he says. "A job to do," "a bit lucky." What can you do with a man as thick as that? But then, as I started to turn away, Captain MacWhirr said something else that surprised me. With emotion rung from the very bottom of his soul, he - he uttered words I never thought I'd hear coming from so - so stupid a man. 


MACWHIRR: (WITH QUIET PASSION) But I'm glad we brought her through, Mr. Jukes, truly I am. She's a good ship, Mr. Jukes, a good ship. I should have hated to lose her. I - I should have hated to lose her. 


MUSIC: UP GRANDLY, FOR CURTAIN


ANNOUNCER: "Typhoon" by Joseph Conrad was adapted for radio by Les Crutchfield and produced and directed by William N. Robson with Frank Lovejoy as Jukes, Raymond Lawrence as Captain MacWhirr and Cy Kendall as Rout the engineer. The special musical score was conceived and conducted by Cy Feuer. 


MUSIC: OMINOUS CLOCK CHIMES ... SEGUES TO UNDERSCORE BEHIND--


ANNOUNCER: ESCAPE is presented by the Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations each week at this time. Next week we invite you to escape to Paris of five hundred years ago in Robert Louis Stevenson's story of a fascinating adventure, "The Sire de Maletroit's Door." And so, good night until next week at this time, when again it will be time to -- ESCAPE


MUSIC: UP, SEGUES TO CLOCK CHIMES ... UNTIL END


ANNOUNCER: This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System. 


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