Beau Geste

1
"The love of a man for a woman
 waxes and wanes like the moon
 .... but the love of brother for
 brother is steadfast as the stars,
 and endures like the Word 
 of the Prophet."

       .... ARABIAN PROVERB

2
On a day white with the
 intolerable desert sun, a
battalion of the French Foreign 
Legion advanced across the 
Sahara to the relief of Fort 
Zinderneuf--whose messengers,
riding with all speed, had brought
word of a massed Arab attack.

3
"Strange!....no lookout
 on the tower .... no
 sign from those men
  on the walls ...."

4
One answering shot!

5
"Go tell your Commandant
 that Major de Beaujolais
 is here, with his battalion."

6
"Has the Foreign Legion
 no manners? Take that
 pipe out of your mouth
 - - and step smartly!"

7
"Forgive me, my friend ....
     I didn't know."

8
"There is a man at every 
 embrasure -- and every
      man is dead!"

9
"Scale that wall and
   open the gates!"

10
"Let me go, sir!"

11
"What can have happened
 to him? Fifteen minutes
 .... and the gates not yet
          opened."

12
"Careful - - Major! It's a
    trap of the Arabs!"

13
"A French bayonet - - the
 Commandant murdered by
  one of his own men!"

14
"Trumpeter!"

15
"TRUMPETER!"

16
"Mes enfants, strange
 things have happened 
 here -- what, it is our
  duty to discover!

17
"Is there a man among
 you - - like my missing
 trumpeter - - willing
 to enter the fort with
          me?"

18
"Gee, Buddy .... I sure
 would like to see a 
        ghost!"

19
"First, we will honor the
 fallen who were not
 allowed to fall - - the
 dead forbidden to die -"

20
"A moment ago the
 Commandant and an-
 other soldier were lying
   here - - dead - -"

21
Outside, the troop stirred
 restlessly under the
spell of nameless fears.

22
"We'll camp in the oasis
 tonight - - and occupy
 the fort in the morning."

23
"Sergeant, take your men
 forward and cover for
 a possible Arab attack
 - - and send the two
   Americans to me."

24
"You have proved your-
 selves brave men .... do
 you think you can get
 through the Arab lines
        alone?"

25
"Major, you don't need to
 worry about a couple of
 good Elks in a little parade 
   o' Mystic Shriners!"

26
"Return to Tokotu, and
 order the battalion of
 Senegalese to join me 
     here at once."

27
WHAT MYSTERIOUS POWER
     MOVES HERE?

[dissolves to:]

28
DEAD MEN STAND
   TO ARMS!

[dissolves to:]

29
A LIVING BUGLER
   VANISHES!

[dissolves to:]

30
THE FALLEN ARE
SPIRITED AWAY!

[dissolves to:]

31
THEN -- A FORTRESS
DISAPPEARS IN FIRE!

32
These happenings -- strange
 and terrible -- are but a
part of the story of three
brothers, whose love for
each other proved stronger
than their fear of death.

33
To know the rest, we must
 go back fifteen years --
to a day when the three 
were boys, happy under the
age-old trees of Brandon 
Abbas, in country England.

34
"I'm shot!"

35
"I'm sick."

36
"We are now about to
 perform a naval surgical
 operation without esthetics."

37
"I shall not yell, Captain!"

38
"Private John Geste, you
 are hereby cited for
 bravery under fire, and
 given the title - STOUT 
        FELLA!"

39
"I, Michael Geste, now
 pronounce you worthy
 the highest honor - - a
   Viking's funeral!"

40
"This is the body of the
 Viking Earl, John Geste!"

41
"A dog at his feet!....a
 Viking must have a
   dog at his feet!"

42
"Trumpeter Digby, sound
         taps!"

43
"That's what I call a
       funeral!"

44
"Digby, you must promise
 that if I die first, you'll
 give me a Viking's
       funeral."

45
"I say, Beau .... suppose
 I die first .... will you
       give me one?"

46
Lady Patricia Brandon
 entertained that day
the Rajah Ram Singh,
visiting Brandon Abbas to
view its famous sapphire,
     "Blue Water".

47
"Your Highness, this is
 my husband's niece, 
      Isobel - -"

48
"-- and my nephews --
 Michael, whom we call
 Beau -- and Digby and
        John."

49
"Children, this is the old
 friend of whom you have
 heard me speak so often 
 - - Captain Henri de
 Beaujolais, of the French
     Foreign Legion."

50
"I wonder how much
 you'd give for it, sir?"

51
"A fortune, my child - -
 if money could buy it!"

52
"I'll give you one like that, 
 Isobel - - when we're
        married!"

53
"Tell us about the Legion,
 Captain - - and fighting
        the Arabs!"

54
"The Legion is the great
 refuge for men who want
 to go where they'll never
 be found....it is the exile
 of the self-condemned -"

55
"- - and fiercest of all
 the Arabs are the
   veiled Touaregs!"

56
"Well, Henri, I'm keeping
 my promise to my dead
 sister....I've brought up
 her boys - - and I shall
   see them educated."

57
"Since we have lived
 apart, my husband has
 taken every penny that
 comes from the estate."

58
"Can't I help you,
 Patricia? Once I hoped 
  for the right --"

59
"Henri dear, the problem
 is mine alone - - and I
    shall find a way!"

60
"- - but, Your Highness, I
 consent only because I
 see no other way out
  of my difficulties."

61
For years Lady Brandon
  fought out her
problems....alone....until
the boys had grown
into splendid manhood.

62
"What do you say to a
 game of bridge, Digby?"

63
"How about you, Beau?"

64
"It was worth while,
     wasn't it?"

65
"Please bring in the
    Blue Water."

66
"A cable from Uncle 
      Hector."

67
"That means, Beau, I
 don't take my degree
     at Oxford."

68
"Are you playing a joke,
         John?"

69
"Digby - - ?"

70
"Michael - - ?"

71
"- - someone in this
 room has taken the
   Blue Water...."

72
"I will give the one who
 played the stupid trick
 a chance to put it 
         back."

73
"Isobel, will you put out 
       the lights."

74
"If the sapphire is not
 returned by morning,
 I shall be more sorry
 than I can say - - to
 know that one of you
 is a common thief!"

75
"When Digby found that
 Beau had gone, to shield
 him, he packed up and
 left too. Look at the
 note Dig left for me!"

76
"They're both trying to
 protect me, Isobel. Tell
  Aunt Pat I stole it!"

77
Marseilles -- port to
 that "exile of the
self-condemned" where
lives broken by love --
sin -- failure -- embark
for the unquestioning 
solitude of the Sahara.

78
The Canteen....where the
 Legion first becomes a
reality to the new recruit...
here, among adventurers
from every nation, he meets
for the first time his
comrades of the next 
     five years.

79
"Whiskey and soda!"

80
"One drink of whiskey
 costs a legionnaire one
 hundred days' pay ....
 Better stick to plain 
      red wine!"

81
"American?"

82
"No, English - - John
        Smith."

83
"I'm Hank - -"

84
"- - an' this here little
     runt is Buddy!"

85
"My name is Boldini - -
 I'm re-enlisting in the 
      Legion ...."

86
"I might give you a little
 useful information in 
    exchange for - -"

87
"All together now! The
 Marching Song of the
       Legion!"

88
Then to Sidi-bel-Abbes,
 under the burning
African sky, for military
assignment and final drill --

89
--derelicts--adventurers--fugitives
-- ready to sacrifice themselves
at a penny a day for sheer love 
of fight--scamps--and heroes!

90
"English gentlemen, eh?"

91
"How would you like to
 have a hand like that?"

92
"Look at it!"

93
"Just a little joke of mine
 - - we'll be the best of
         friends."

94
"Back again, eh? None
 of your dirty tricks this 
         time."

95
"Enter the third robber!"

96
"So I'm not the only
 one who remembered 
 'the exile of the self-
     condemned'!"

97
"Jewel thief! Fleeing from
  justice too, are you?"

98
"Got the jewel with you, 
          Dig?"

99
"Beau's keeping it for 
         me."

100
"He tried to steal my 
         belt."

101
"There's just one law here
 - - a man cannot steal
 from a comrade. And if 
 he does - - that's the
      punishment."

102
"Stealing from whom?"

103
"I'll break up this Anglo-
     American clique."

104
"Corporal, send those
 three to Major de
 Beaujolais' battalion at
       Tokotu."

105
"And these two will 
 come with me to Fort
     Zinderneuf."

106
"What were you after?"

107
"A jewel .... worth a
       fortune!"

108
"The Englishman called 
 Beau - - he carries it
      in his belt."

109
"They're a gang of jewel
 thieves - - I heard them
 talking about their last 
          haul."

110
"Next time you hear of
 a jewel thief, tell me
   .... understand?"

111
Fort Zinderneuf....the last
 outpost in the Sahara....
often under the fire of 
Arab outlaws, always under
the fire of the terrible
       desert sun.

112
"Give them a drink
 of water, Sergeant.
 They're dying of 
     thirst!"

113
"The deserters have been 
      retaken, sir."

114
"They must be punished,
 Lejaune - - but let us
 temper justice with
      mercy ...."

115
"It's 'Le Cafard' - - that
 damned desert madness
 - - it gets us all, sooner
        or later."

116
"Lieutenant Maurel is
 dead .... I am in
    command now."

117
"You know the penalty
   for desertion?"

118
"Your Commandant asked
 me to show you mercy ...."

119
"You wanted to escape
 from this hell hole ....
 and get to Morocco?"

120
"Well, you shall go ....
         now!"

121
"If you drive them into the
 desert, it is certain death,
      mon Commandant!"

122
"Thank God, Digby was
   sent to Tokotu!"

123
"This pig Lejaune will kill
 us all! Tell every man
 you can trust to meet
 me in the oasis at
       sunset."

124
After a fortnight of life
 that was not really life,
but an avoidance of death
-- death from sunstroke,
desert madness, or the
 cruelty of Lejaune.

125
"And you Englishmen --
   what about you?"

126
"Your plan to murder 
 Lejaune and escape
 across the desert is
      madness!"

127
"My brother and I have 
 sworn to protect the 
 flag of France - - and
 we stand by that oath!"

128
"To hell with the flag! At
 four o'clock tomorrow
 morning the pig dies, and
 either you join us as
   butchers, or - -"

129
"Everyone of you who
 believe that justice
 demands Lejaune's
 death - - follow me!"

130
"Lejaune knows all about
 the mutiny - - who's in
 it - - and when it's
     going to be."

131
"He'll use you loyal ones
 to kill the mutineers - -
 and he'll see to it that
 you and all the rest of
  us die in that fight!"

132
"He wants your jewel
 and there must be no
 living witness to the
     robbery ...."

133
"He has already sent for
 the relieving force!
 When it arrives, he'll
 swear he suppressed the
 mutiny single-handed -
 and France will pro-
  claim him a hero!"

134
"The plot thickens,
    Stout Fella!"

135
"Order the corporal of
 the guard to report to
    me immediately."

136
"Wake your brother and 
    Private Maris."

137
"Shoot the first man
   that moves - -"

138
"- - and shoot to kill!"

139
"Give me that jewel - -
 I'll put it away for
    safe keeping."

140
"You and your cursed 
 jewel have corrupted
 my whole garrison!"

141
"Very Stout Fella!"

142
"Look here, Lejaune --
 don't you realize there
 are only five of us to
 see you through this
        mutiny?"

143
"Don't be an ass - - be
 thankful we know our
  duty if you don't!"

144
"You wait - - you loyal,
 lying grandsons of
 Gadarene swine! I'll
  deal with you yet!"

145
"Well, my little birds in a
 trap, you'd plot against
      me, would you?"

146
"Tell Sergeant Dupré to
 disarm the guard and
 send their rifles to me."

147
"The Arabs!"

148
"Back with those rifles!
 Give the alarm! Issue 
 a hundred rounds of
 ammunition to every
         man!"

149
"I can't spare you yet, my
 friend! As long as there's
 an Arab out there you
 must continue to look
  alive and dangerous."

150
"Cease firing! They've
 withdrawn - - probably
 to plan a new attack."

151
"Sergeant Dupré!"

152
"Take every man below
 -- give him coffee --
 then have him report 
 to me fully equipped."

153
"You'll have a little
 while up there to
 plan another mutiny!"

154
"Get up there - - you
 dirty stool-pigeon!"

155
"Stand easy! Again they
       retreat!"

156
"- - six - - seven - -
        left - -"

157
"Get some rest in relays.
 The Arabs haven't
 finished with us yet - -
 you two Englishmen go
         first."

158
"Last cup of wine, 
       John."

159
"Last cigarette."

160
"Last nothing! Lejaune's
 got the Arabs completely 
 fooled - those dead men
 on the walls will save us."

161
"How about a little sleep, 
       youngster?"

162
"Good night .... Dig."

163
"Good night .... Isobel,
         dear."

164
"The Arabs are at 
     prayer."

165
"They believe in God.
 We believe in France!"

166
"Come, now - altogether!
 The Marching Song of
     the Legion."

167
"You sing, too - - you
  gibbering jackal!"

168
"Now laugh - - you jolly
 carefree swine! Let the
 Arabs know we're awake
 and merry and still all
          here!"

169
"Lejaune's a topping good
 soldier .... let's forgive
    him if he's killed."

170
"Sorry I got you and Dig
 into this mess, Stout
        Fella."

171
"Drop that carrion, you
 swine - - and bring me
        coffee!"

172
"I'll serve France and
 you - to the end - -
 Sergeant Lejaune - -"

173
"-- but God help you if
 you touch my brother's
         body!"

174
"So he wasn't a jewel
     thief, eh?"

175
"Attacking an officer,
       are you?"

176
"I find you guilty of
 mutiny and sentence
    you to death!"

177
"Get away quickly - -
 before the relief 
    comes - -"

178
"They'll shoot you for
  killing Lejaune - -"

179
"Take - - letter - - to
      Aunt Pat - -"

180
"Where are you - - Stout
         Fella?"

181
"Isn't that silly, Johnny --"

182
"I'm -- going -- blind --"

183
"Beau! Beau, old fellow!
       Dig's here!"

184
"John - - ?"

185
"TRUMPETER!"

186
"A Viking's funeral ....
 I remember .... when
 we were children ....
 a Viking's funeral!"

187
"A dog at his feet, Beau!
 A Viking must have a
   dog at his feet!"

188
"I'm going to give you
 taps, Beau, old boy - -"

189
"-- but ever so softly ...."

190
".... for fear they
 might spoil your
 Viking's funeral."

191
"Then it was you who
   killed Lejaune."

192
"I kept my promise, 
   Stout Fella."

193
"I gave him .... a Viking's
       funeral ...."

194
"Say, Buddy - - I'm all
    twisted around."

195
"Same here. I couldn't
 tell Tokotu from Toledo."

196
"Well! If it ain't the 
    mystery boys!"

197
"Nobody'll ever know 
 how brave them
    soldiers was!"

198
"Beau's .... in there."

199
"Kid, your brother sure 
      was white!"

200
"I guess I'll have to give
 you boys a lift to
 Tokotu - - you can go
 on alone, once you get
         there."

201
Five days later - -
 hopelessly lost in
the desert--their water
low and one of their
  camels dead .....

202
"You ain't got a chance
 in the world to find him,
 kid. If you had, don't
 you know Buddy and 
 me would go with you?"

203
John Geste lived to
 reach the sea, and
England .... and there
   he found ......

204
"Dig gave his life that I 
 might come back to
   you and Isobel."

205
"I'm a deserter from
 Fort Zinderneuf, sir!
 I give myself up to 
         you."

206
"Fort Zinderneuf is only 
 a heap of ashes, and
 every man of its garrison
 died a hero's death ....
 that is the official record, 
         my boy."

207
"I think you all should 
     hear this - -"

208
"'Greater love hath no
 man' .... that is the
 most beautiful gesture
       in life!"



THE END



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