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The Girl in the Gilded Cage

 

Week #2 of 3.

 


The original script is by Carlton E. Morse, copyright 1986/1992 with excerpts from the original

The synopsis is written by Harold M. Hart, original material copyright 2000.


Episode  6  (Thursday September 6th, 1951) 

SOUND:  (Clock strikes Seven) 

“Hold on, there!” shouts the farmer, as two of the enemy agents get out of their sedan with the object of searching his hay wagon.  Without hesitating a moment, the man with the German accent pulls out a revolver and fires two shots into the farmer’s body.  

He falls to the roadway, dead.  Just then, a motorcycle policeman is seen coming down the road from the direction of Tracy. 

MAX:  A cop is coming!  Men, get that farmer’s body into the car!  We’re taking it with us! 

And doing so, the killers in their sedan screech off in the other direction.  

Brushing the hay off his clothes,  Jack climbs into the driver’s seat on the wagon.  He hails the motorcycle cop, who pulls up. 

JACK (shouting):  Hey, officer….did you see that car that just went over the hill?  Well, there were three men inside it, and they had the body of another man!  They stopped to ask me if this was the road to Fresno.” 

The policeman is suspicious of Jack’s story, and threatens to return and lock Jack up if his story turns out to be false.  The cop then takes off in hot pursuit of the sedan. 

Doc and Lee Ming join Jack up front on the driver’s seat.  The three continue their journey on the wagon. 

DOC (wondering aloud):  “Well, Lee Ming, if the enemy are so anxious to have you dead and Uncle Sam’s undercover boys are givin’ their all to keep you alive, then you must have a HONEY of a secret.”

LEE MING:  If I have, I do not know what it is.

Doc and Lee Ming continue conversing about their common plight, while Jack is silently pondering the situation.  As they enter the outskirts of Tracy, Jack suddenly barks an order to the others to get off the wagon quickly.  He has seen the motorcycle cop speeding up behind the wagon. 

JACK:  Come on….quick!  Duck into this yard!  And back behind this house!

Jack tells Doc and Lee Ming to stay inside a shed, while he leaves to look for a car, as the hay wagon can be easily spotted by the police.  In a while, Doc and Lee Ming hear a sound on the roof of the shed.  A young boy jumps down and runs off.   Now, someone knows where they’re hiding!  Just then, Jack drives up in an old jalopy. 

JACK (shouting):  Pile in…hurry!….now we’ve not only got the enemy looking for us, but the whole blamed police force! 

DOC (exhilarated):  Well, let’s git goin’!  They ain’t nothin’ I like better than a little blood and thunder mixed with my daily chores.  Yippeeeee! 

MUSIC  (Organ, “Valse Triste”)

EPISODE  7  (Friday September 7th, 1951) 

SOUND:  (Clock strikes Two) 

ANNOUNCER:  Two o’clock in the damp, fog-shrouded morning of the East Bay waterfront.  Not only the Arm of the Law, but the sinister, clutching hand of the enemy has been reaching out through the highways and by-ways, feeling through the night for Jack and Doc and the Chinese girl, Lee Taw Ming.  Just outside of Tracy a farmer was killed.  He was needlessly shot down by the enemy, but the police don’t know that.  They only know that Doc and Jack were in the vicinity;  thus the intensive search by the law.  The enemy want Lee Ming, the eighteen-year-old Chinese girl, dead or alive!  As disguised agents for the government Jack and Doc have got her safely this far….to the waterfront on the Oakland side of the bay.

All day they hid out and traveled the back country roads in safe, easy stages, in an old jalopy which wasn’t exactly their own.  And now, at two o’clock in the soggy, dripping dead of the morning, Jack parked the heap in the shadow of a warehouse and the three alighted and tiptoed along the cobbled paving like furtive ghosts. 

SOUND:  (Splash and slapping of bay against dock.  Tiptoed footsteps on cement.) 

DOC (quietly):  I wish you’d tell us where we’re a-goin’ and WHY, Jack. 

JACK (just above a whisper):  Keep your voice down, Doc… 

In a guarded voice, Jack tells his two companions that he is taking them to Cockney’s.  Doc explains to Lee Ming that “we done time with Cockney in a Central American jail once upon a time.”  Cockney now runs a waterfront saloon on bayside in Oakland.  

Lee Ming asks why they are stopping there, rather than crossing the bridge into San Francisco, their goal.  Doc explains that the Bay Bridge is “practically crawlin’ with cops, and as for the enemy, we’d have walked right into somebody’s trap for sure.”

Jack decides to go ahead to brief Cockney and to ask him to let them all slip in the back way.  Shortly, Jack returns to the others and the three head for the back door of the saloon.

SOUND (rising):  Water slapping against wooden dock.)

LEE MING:  The bay is very close, isn’t it? 

DOC:  Yeah, the back end of Cockney’s gin mill hangs out over the water.

As they start to enter, two shots ring out.  The three dash indoors.  Lee Ming bursts into tears.  Doc notices that one bullet has cut through her coat and dress.  He tries to comfort the girl.

LEE MING (crying): I do not know why they want to kill me!  It is not fair!  If I have done wrong….

Doc sees that Lee Ming has a locket on a chain.  The bullet apparently broke the chain.  She asks Doc to keep it in his pocket.  Cockney appears, greets his old friends, and meets Lee Ming.  Jack and Doc explain the situation and ask for Cockney’s help.  He is reluctant to get involved when he hears that the police are searching for the trio.  Just then, one of Cockney’s men brings in the unconscious body of the shooter, who turns out to be Max, the enemy agent who shot the farmer in the hay wagon.  They learn that two more men got away from the back of the saloon.  Finally, Cockney agrees to help get the party across the bay to San Francisco.  He opens a trap door in the floor to reveal a motor launch. 

COCKNEY (to the launch driver):  Take ‘em across, Lefty…and look out for trouble!

MUSIC:  (Organ, “Valse Triste”)

EPISODE  8  (September 10, 1951)

SOUND:  (Clock strikes Three) 

ANNOUNCER:  It’s three o’clock on a sloppy, fog-drenched morning in a motor launch on San Francisco Bay, somewhere off Fisherman’s Wharf. 

DOC:  I don’t know which is worse --- the wet or the dark.  It’s sort of like taking a tub bath in a black-out with your clothes on. 

Lefty, the launch driver, cuts the engines to allow the boat to drift into the wharf without attracting attention from fishermen or others who might be around at that hour of the morning.  The three travelers disembark, thanking Lefty, who quietly moves the launch into the darkened waters. 

After reaching the street, Jack, Doc, and Lee Ming search unsuccessfully for a taxi to take them to the girl’s home in Chinatown.  They spot an all-night café, and Jack decides to phone for a cab from there. They are the only customers. 

Doc orders coffee, while Lee Ming goes into the ladies’ room to avoid being observed.  Jack and Doc chat at length with the waitress, who suddenly sees three men looking through the café windows.  Jack tells her to act like she doesn’t know they are there, to take the empty dishes into the kitchen, snap off the main light system, and crawl under the kitchen table "...and STAY THERE!”  

Frightened, the waitress does as she is told and moves quickly into the kitchen. 

JACK (quietly):  Doc, stay at the counter just like you are until the lights go out.  Then, get down on your hands and knees and crawl behind the counter. 

The lights go out.  They hear the sound of 3 or 4 quick gun shots, and the shattering of window glass. 

DOC (Excited):  Man, oh man, looky what’s happening to us!  Blood, teeth, and feathers….including HOMICIDE!” 

MUSIC:  (Organ, “Valse Triste”)

            

EPISODE  9  (September 11, 1951) 

SOUND:  (Clock strikes Three) 

Jack and Doc remain crouched behind the counter of the all-night café.  After the gun shots and broken window glass, no further sound or movement is heard outdoors.   There is the quiet sound of a fork scraping on a plate. 

JACK:  Doc, what are you doing? 

DOC:  Cuttin’ myself a piece of cake. 

JACK (disgusted):  For the love of….Do you always have to be feeding your face? 

DOC:  Well, you don’t expect a guy to lie behind a lunch counter with all this here food stacked around him!

JACK:  I don’t know why I don’t get me a side-kick that thinks about something else once in a while besides food and women! 

DOC:  But, Jack…what else IS there? 

After waiting patiently for several minutes, the two decide to go to one of the broken café windows to seize one of their attackers.  As they peek outside, they see a body on the sidewalk.  A voice is heard….a voice with a Chinese dialect. 

VOICE:  You do not see me, but I am here. 

DOC:  Who said that? 

VOICE:   I, of the family of Wong.  I am here to help you. 

Jack and Doc determine that the other two attackers are still by the café door and the other window.  Doc goes to get a terrified Lee Ming out of hiding in the ladies’ room.  

After talking with Wong in Chinese, Lee Ming is fearful, as she does not know him or his family.  The three carefully exit through the broken window.  After the group evades the remaining two assailants, Wong tells them to follow him across a vacant lot to his vegetable wagon, where they can make their escape.  

They do so, but Wong spots three men in the shadows around the wagon.  Wong then sneaks them silently down a street to a Chinese market.  As they descend into the dark cellar, someone grabs the girl.

LEE MING (screaming):  “Help!  Don’t let them…oh, no….please, please!”

MUSIC:  (Organ, “Valse Triste”)

 

EPISODE  10  (September 12, 1951)

SOUND: (Clock strikes Four) 

ANNOUNCER:  Four o’clock in the dead of a fog-drenched morning in the sub-basement of a Chinese market on the outer fringe of Chinatown, somewhere on Stockton Street.  Jack and Doc have lost Lee Ming.  After conducting the young Chinese girl to within the very shadow of her home, Number Two,Tay Alley, she was snatched from under their very noses.  It was brought about by an awkward, shambling Chinese of the family of Wong.  He allegedly was guiding them by a secret route that took them down beneath this Chinese grocery.  Suddenly, in the darkness, active oriental hands shoved the two men aside and Lee Ming’s cries for help were muffled and lost behind silent doors in the under passage.  For an hour Jack and Doc hunted desperately. 

DOC:  Hey, Jack….where you at? 

JACK:  This way, Doc… 

DOC:  A feller could lose his life easy in this tangle of passages and stuff…. 

JACK:  Where’d that last passage lead you? 

DOC:  Dead-end, jes’ like all the others…. 

JACK:  Yeah, I thought so. 

Doc goes into a tirade, blaming themselves for Lee Ming’s capture and their failure to find her. While Doc is berating their own incompetence as detectives, Jack ponders their situation.  As they leave the cellar, Jack sees a hotel….a flop-house a half-block away.  But the two decide to return to Wong’s vegetable wagon to question the men staking it out. 

DOC:  Jack, I been thinking. If Wong is on the other side, why’d he guide us away from the wagon?  Why didn’t he let us walk right into the trap? 

JACK:  I think it was a set-up.  He was pretending to take us to the safety of the wagon and all the time intended we should go to the cellar.  The wagon set-up was planted to make us sure he was on our side. 

Upon reaching the vegetable wagon, Jack diverts one of the guards while Doc “whams” him.  The two carry the man back to the flop-house, where they can question him in the light and in safety.  They carry the man inside and up the stairs, where the landlady appears.  She is reluctant to give a room to the two men carrying a “drunk” but soon relents on their paying her 75 cents rent. 

Jack and Doc put the man on the floor, tie his feet securely, and throw water on him to wake him up. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door.  

Wong and several companions burst into the room.  Outnumbered, the two detectives allow Wong to handcuff them. 

JACK:  Wong, I don’t believe you are a traitor to your people, to your friends. 

WONG (angrily):  I am not the traitor….It is YOU who are traitors!  I hope you are prepared to die! 

DOC:  Phooey on that stuff!  The bullet ain’t been made yet with my number on it.

WONG (snarls):  We do not use bullet…..we prefer hatchet! 

MUSIC:  (Organ,“Valse Triste”) 


So ends week two, episodes 6 through 10. 

The final 5 episodes,#11 to 15 from the third week of  this "lost" story, follows.