Francis (1950) Movie Script

Thank you.
I appreciate it very much,
Mrs. Gordon.
Most helpful.
- We thought you ought to know.
- Absolutely.
You know, we bankers
can't be too careful.
Give my best to that
nice husband of yours.
Thank you.
Yes, sir.
Hey, Stirling,
Mr. Munroe wants to see you.
Y... you sent for me, sir?
That's all, Ms. King.
Sit down, young man.
Stirling, how long have you been
with this bank?
A... about, uh... uh,
uh, four... four years, sir.
Uh, counting the time
before the war.
Four years.
My boy, I must speak frankly.
There's a great deal of talk
going around town.
Talk that isn't good
for you or the bank.
- Yes, sir.
- Oh. So you know about it?
Oh, y... yes, sir.
Well, young man,
then you can understand.
In the banking business
we can't be too careful.
The talk's
all nonsense, of course.
Oh, but, sir,
I-it's not nonsense.
Utter non... What?
I- I-I mean,
I... it's true, sir.
But how can such an absurd,
what's the matter with you?
W... well, could I...
C... could I tell you about it?
- Tell me?
- Y... yes.
I... if you, if you
just let me explain.
See here,
I'm an extremely busy man.
B... but, sir, it...
it means my job.
Well, then...
make it brief.
Yes, sir.
You see, sir, it...
It all began a few years
ago over in Burma.
Uh, y... yes, sir.
Uh, the jungle was the hottest
I'd ever known it that day.
Still, there was
no excuse for me,
a second lieutenant,
getting separated
from my platoon.
No excuse at all.
When I realized I was alone,
lost behind the Jap lines,
I was scared.
Then I thought
what my company commander
would say when I told him
I'd lost my platoon.
And I was really scared.
Well, at last,
I took refuge under a tree.
I must've been exhausted
because I fell asleep.
Our barrage woke me.
My mouth felt dry.
It's funny how wet
you can be outside
and so dry inside.
Hey, watch it!
If you don't want
to live, I do.
Keep your head down.
Who said that?
Who said that?
I did.
Where are you?
Come on out or I'll shoot.
you better put that gun up
before you hurt somebody.
Who's speaking?
- Who's me?
- Me. The mule.
Oh, don't...
don't be ridiculous.
Coming from a second lieutenant,
that's almost ironic.
Must be a booby trap
of some kind.
Oh, you oughta know.
But it's fantastic, I...
I don't believe it.
What are you?
I'm just an army mule,
and my name happens
to be Francis.
That's a girl's name.
Let's keep sex out of this.
The name is still Francis,
with an I.
Must be wired for sound.
Well... it's some kind
of a trick.
It's a cinch, mules don't talk.
We are facing an extremely
serious situation, I...
I must decide upon
a course of action.
Brilliant, lieutenant.
Smack-dab on the button.
I must be crazy
to even think it can talk.
That bang on the head
must've been worse
than I thought.
I gotta get outta here!
Could... could you carry me
outta here?
Carry you?
And slow myself up?
But I am an officer.
A second lieutenant.
Why, it wouldn't
even be patriotic.
You mean, my life
isn't worth saving?
Well, the question is,
would it be worth
risking mine to do it?
What do you mean?
Is there a shortage
of second lieutenants?
Certainly not.
The war department has announced
they got a large surplus.
But mules, hey,
that's a different story.
No-0-0, I just couldn't do it.
Not with my interest
in furthering the war effort.
Pull your ears in!
M... my leg.
- I've been hit.
- This would have to happen.
By the tail of
my great aunt, Regret,
who won the Derby,
I oughta leave you here
for Jap bait.
Go ahead.
Go ahead, save yourself.
You know perfectly well
I can't leave you now.
Well, I thought you said
a second lieutenant
wasn't worth saving.
A whole one ain't.
Wounded, you've become
a matter of principle.
Never mind that!
Come on, get on my back
and I'll take you
to an aid station.
I'll have you made
a corporal for this.
What us mules
go through
to earn a couple of stripes.
Lieutenant Stirling?
Uh, yes, sir?
How's the leg?
Oh, I... it's just
a flesh wound, captain.
I... I understand I'm getting
out of here in a couple of days.
Uh, cigarette?
Uh, no, thank you.
Uh, Stirling...
I'm from G-2.
Well, what does Intelligence
want with me?
You had quite an experience
out there, didn't you?
Yes, sir.
Uh, t... the men on my patrol,
did they all...
Oh, they're all back
safe and sound.
It's okay, lieutenant,
those things
can happen on patrol.
Well, we were crawling along
on the hillside, sir,
and... and suddenly I was alone.
I was afraid to call out.
Lucky for you,
that mule found
its way here
to headquarters.
Oh, Francis!
Uh, t... the mule, sir.
He spelled it with an I.
You seem to know
quite a lot about this mule.
O... only what he told me, sir.
What who told you?
Yes, sir. The mule.
That's what I thought you said.
But, lieutenant,
this doesn't indicate
there's anything the matter
with your mind.
Why, why, there isn't, sir.
you just told me
a mule talked to you.
He did, sir.
You're sure of that?
Oh, yes, sir.
I... I didn't believe it
at first either,
but he really did.
Now, uh...
Ta... take it easy, lieutenant.
Just... take it easy.
Well, young fellow,
how are you getting along?
Uh... uh, fine, sir.
Had a little bump
on the head too, didn't you?
Y... yes, sir.
Doesn't seem to amount
to a thing.
N... no, sir.
I, uh, hear you told
Captain Grant
a mule talked to you.
That right?
Y... yes, sir.
Well, my patients like
to have their little jokes.
B... but I wasn't joking, sir.
Come, lieutenant,
this is no time for leg-pulling.
There's a war going on.
You know mules can't talk.
W... well, that's
what I thought, sir.
B... but this one talked to me.
You mean the animal
talked to you
the way I'm speaking now?
W... well, m... maybe
not so loud, sir.
Tell me, Stirling,
is it just one particular
mule who talks to you,
or do all the mules talk?
Just Francis, sir.
That's the mule's name,
He spells it with an I.
Do any other animals
talk to you?
Elephants? Rabbits?
Chickens? Goldfish?
No, sir.
Of course not.
The very thought of such things
talking is ridiculous,
isn't it, young man?
Yes, sir.
Lieutenant, yours is not
an unusual case.
Nothing unusual about it at all.
In no time we'll have you
fixed up good as new.
Good morning, boys.
Samuel. Ben.
How're you, Raymond?
Feeling better?
Come, come, lieutenant.
Colonel Plepper
wants to see you.
Colonel Plepper?
Yes, he's our top,
top psychiatrist.
But I don't need a psychiatrist.
Now, now, come along.
Oh, well?
Colonel Plepper,
Lieutenant Stirling is here.
this is Colonel Plepper.
No, no, my boy, none of that.
Just come in and sit down.
Make yourself right at home.
Thank you, sir.
How long have you been
visiting us, lieutenant?
Let me see.
Ten days.
I see you've gained
a pound a day.
Y... yes, sir.
I've been on
a condensed milk diet.
Remarkable what it can
do for a man.
You feel fatter?
Uh, yes, sir.
Perfectly natural.
Wonderful the way
the army
is able to put weight on a man.
This is going to look beautiful
on our chart.
Now, lieutenant...
suppose you tell us all about
your friend,
the mule who talks, mm?
Well, uh...
Uh, well, colonel, sir,
uh, I must've been
wrong about that.
J... just imagined it, uh...
I... it could've been
that bang on the head.
O... or perhaps I was just
Oh, no.
We call it combat fatigue.
You're thinking
of the last war, Stirling.
Well, I... Well,
I must've been fatigued,
but I... I'm perfectly
alright now, sir.
Of course you are.
Why don't you report
to Colonel Saunders
this afternoon
for assignment to duty?
See how quickly
the army can cure you?
Oh, gosh.
Fine, then I'll bring.
Ms. Gelder over right away.
The quarters are all arranged.
And the ladies of the Red Cross
are waiting to welcome you.
Ah, merci.
They are so kind
to let me stay.
You're just still under
the wing of the army, you know?
Yes, it may be some little time
before we're sure
that it's safe for you
to return to your father's
trading post.
Monsieur, vous etes si aimable.
I am so touched
that with a war on,
you trouble with me.
Papa would be so grateful.
If only we could find him
to let him know
that you're alright.
But who knows where he is?
The Japanese,
they came in so fast
we had to take to the hills
with scarcely time
to pack our things.
Then poor papa and I
got separated.
I was looking for him
when your patrol found me.
We'll do everything we can
to find your father.
In the meantime, my dear,
we'd better get you settled.
Merci, Colonel Saunders.
Merci encore, Colonel Hooker.
I hope you'll be comfortable
in your quarters.
I trust you're not
too busy to attend
the staff meeting
this afternoon.
Now, what has the colonel got
I haven't got?
Rank, captain, rank.
And me only
a second lieutenant.
...and that is the reason
for this staff meeting,
Of course, this opening
in the Intelligence Section
offers the usual opportunity
for advancement.
I like to ask
if there is any officer
in this headquarters
who feels that he has
special qualifications
for G-2 work.
Lieutenant Brimm?
Sir, I speak seven languages
of the Far East.
I was a professor
at Duke University.
Make a note, lieutenant.
Captain Norman?
I've spent nine years
in Burma, prospecting.
I know the country
and the people.
- You speak the language?
- Yes, sir.
All dialects fluently.
Very good.
Note that, lieutenant.
Lieutenant Stirling?
Second Lieutenant Stirling!
Oh, y... yes, sir?
Lieutenant, have you any special
for Intelligence work?
Oh, no, sir.
U... uh, none at all, sir.
I wouldn't even, uh... uh...
Oh, no, sir. Uh, none.
G-2 Intelligence.
You know, it's hard to picture
a beautiful young girl
like you living
in a jungle trading post.
Do you find it pretty dull?
The jungle dull? Mais non.
It is mysterieuse,
wonderful, thrilling.
Yes, I'm afraid
some of the men around here
don't find it so thrilling.
Ah, that is because they are
so lonely, n'est-ce pas?
It's a sacrilege the way that
luscious armful's being wasted.
Yeah, I can hear
the colonel's last two
red corpuscles
yelling for reinforcements.
It's unpatriotic,
that's what it is.
It's on all their faces.
A sort of...
Oh, no, no,
not sadness, my dear.
They're all hoping
I'll drop dead.
And they're all so handsome.
So attractive.
Well, it might be good strategy
if I did share you with them.
Come, I'll introduce you.
Lieutenant Stirling,
I don't believe you've met
our charming guest,
Ms. Gelder.
N... no, I haven't, sir.
B... but it's wonderful.
A pleasure, lieutenant.
Lieutenant Stirling has just
been assigned to Intelligence.
Oh! And so very young, too.
My compliments, lieutenant.
T... thank you.
You must be
Lieutenant Stirling's friend.
Simply fascinating.
A... aren't you going to ask me
to dance, lieutenant?
Y... you mean, you would?
I... I mean, would you?
Mais, oui, but of course.
Ah, after Lieutenant
Colonel Saunders
and the two majors and...
Lieutenant Stirling!
Surprise, lieutenant.
Someone's looking for you.
Lieutenant Stirling
was my favorite patient.
Such an unusual...
You wanna dance?
L... lieutenant!
The colonels, the majors,
the captains,
what will they think?
Oh... oh, what have I done?
F... forgive me.
I... I'll take you right back.
Mais, non!
I like a masterful man
that sweeps me away
from everyone!
Oh, gee, I...
I did, didn't I?
"Comment allez-vous?"
- Vous...
- Pardon, monsieur.
Monsieur, please.
Please, can you...
Ah, it is the masterful
young Lieutenant Stirling.
Bonjour, mon ami, bonjour.
Oh! Uh, Ms. Gelder.
Comment allez-vous?
Uh, tres bien, merci.
I see you study Francais.
That is very nice.
Mm-hm, oui, but when I say it,
it doesn't sound like you do.
Oh, it is the same
for me with Anglais.
English. You see?
And at the trading post
I do not learn.
For there is only papa.
And he is worse even than me.
Tell me, monsieur,
if your army should have
a message from papa,
they would tell me, no?
W... well, you see, uh...
But you mustn't worry.
Maybe I can, well,
look into it and let you know.
Oh, it is tres gentil.
So very kind of you to trouble.
I would be most grateful.
Until then,
au revoir, monsieur.
A... au revoir,
Ah, bonjour,
monsieur le sargente.
Good morning, sir.
"Come at once. Francis."
Oh, s... sergeant,
do I look alright?
Alright? Yes, sir.
Francis, I... it's me,
the second lieutenant.
Hey! Hey, Francis.
Remember me?
Gee, maybe I am
a mental case.
Most second lieutenants are.
- Francis.
- Alright, alright!
Then... then you can talk.
[... I did hear you
the first time.
I... I didn't imagine
it at all, I...
I'm not crazy!
That's debatable, lieutenant.
Well, then,
then why did you send for me?
Me? Send for you?
Yes, this,
this note you wrote me.
I never put anything in writing.
But it's signed "Francis."
Get smart, lieutenant.
You're being ribbed
by your buddies.
Huh. Then the joke's on them.
You can talk!
I'm gonna bring 'em out here
and prove it.
Lieutenant, meet the Sphinx.
You... you mean,
you... you'd let them
laugh at me?
Let 'em think
I'm a mental case?
Well, next thing you know,
they'll be sending me
home as a psycho.
Well, I know what you think
of second lieutenants,
but even we want
to help win the war.
Come back here.
Your morale's draggin'.
Never thought I'd have
to wet-nurse
a lieutenant, but...
How'd you like to be a hero?
Me? A hero?
For your information,
there's a Jap observation post
spotting your base
about 2,000 yards
from headquarters.
Oh... don't be an ass.
Be that as it may,
that Jap observation
post is there.
Well, then why aren't you
doing something about it?
I am.
I'm tellin' you.
Me? Why?
You know what section
you're in?
Well, certainly.
I'm in G-2. Intelligence.
Then don't sound
so all-fired surprised
when I give you some.
This must be reported
Now, look, haven't you been
in the army long enough
to know that you don't get
medals for just reportin' it?
So, what else can I do?
What else can you do?
You can go out
and capture that post.
Who? Me?
Either you're a soldier
or an optical illusion.
And tonight, I intend
to find out which.
Oh, this must be an illusion.
What are you made
up for, lieutenant?
My aching back.
Shush my
Great Aunt Regret's tail!
You're making enough noise
to wake up the whole Jap army.
Well, well, what are you made up
for, lieutenant?
What secret weapon have you
got hidden in that pack, huh?
It's a shelter hat.
In case of rain
or do you expect
to shack up with those Japs?
Go on. Get rid of it.
Go on.
Why that shovel?
We may have to dig
Oh, look, lieutenant,
if there's any diggin' done,
it'll be to bury ya.
Get rid of it!
And that gas mask, too.
I have been ordered to wear
my gas mask at all times.
Do you really believe
that two Japs
in the middle of a jungle
are gonna launch the first
gas attack of the war
against you personally?
That goes too.
Now, how many grenades
you got there, huh?
A dozen.
A dozen?
Look, lieutenant,
we're goin' after two.
Get it?
Two frightened Japs.
How do you know
they're frightened?
Two Japs alone
are always frightened.
One grenade's plenty.
A whole dozen grenades.
Now, that revolver.
Well, suppose the Tommy gun
doesn't work?
Then you won't need anything
except flowers.
Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Francis, you've stripped me.
Now, we're all ready to go.
And for the love
of Burma mud, quiet!
Come on.
Hey, don't yank.
I'm sensitive.
Come on!
I thought you said
it was only 2,000 yards.
Oh, we haven't
even gone 200 yet!
They're right up there.
What do we do now?
I'm gonna get behind 'em.
You stay here.
When I yell,
fire a couple of shots
in the air.
In the air?
In the air.
Throw down your guns!
You're surrounded!
Come down!
On the double!
Close in
with your men, lieutenant.
Com... coming!
For... for...
Forward, men!
I'm Lieutenant Sakia.
Pleased to make
your acquaintance.
Save your bows.
One false move
and we'll drill ya.
Very good.
Very good.
We'll surrender.
I hope to kiss a duck
you surrender!
Get those hands higher. Higher!
Oh, ho, come around here,
Y... yes, sir!
Get 'em up.
No need to worry,
my good fellow.
We know when the game is up.
Hey, quite a cultivated
accent you got there.
Harvard, I presume.
Harvard? Hmph!
Certainly not.
Oh, so solly.
Let's go.
Wha' happened?
"Wha' happened?"
Well, my boy, you are
to be congratulated.
G-2 is proud of you.
No, no, thank you, sir.
Yes, sir! Yup.
Here. How 'bout one of these?
Oh, no.
Eh, t... thank you, sir.
I suppose you realize, Stirling,
that what you've done,
although highly irregular
mind you,
is of tremendous value.
And you did it alone!
That's the remarkable
part of it.
Uh, oh, no, sir.
Th... that's not quite...
- What's that, lieutenant?
- I... I mean, y... yes, sir.
The general is delighted!
And now, lieutenant,
just, um, few questions.
Yes, sir.
The, uh, Japanese
observation post,
just, uh, how did you
find out about it?
What's the matter?
That's a simple question.
Ah, yes, sir.
Well, uh...
I don't know, sir.
What kind of an answer is that?
I mean, I'd rather not say, sir.
You'd rather not say?
You capture
a Jap observation post
within 2,000 yards
of headquarters,
you tell me
you'd rather not say!
Well, even if I told you, sir,
y... you wouldn't believe me.
Well, I'll be the judge of that!
Y... you really wanna know?
I demand to know.
Uh, well, sir,
it all happened like this.
The mule...
Well, lieutenant,
welcome home.
Is... is it
that mule again?
Such a fascinating
friend to have.
Simply fascinating!
It's Colonel Plepper.
Good morning, Colonel Plepper.
No, no, my boy.
Well, well...
And how are we today?
- Fine, sir.
- Of course, we are.
Nothing serious
the matter with us.
Nothing at all.
But you do have a cold feeling
at the tips of your fingers?
No, sir.
Then you suffer
from a little dizziness.
Everything seems
to be revolving?
No, sir.
I mean, there are times when
you feel faint, out of breath?
No, sir.
I don't think so, sir.
Oh, I understand, Stirling.
The thing that's bothering
you is here. Mm-hmm.
You're feeling perfectly
then suddenly there's
a sharp, violent pain, hmm?
Lieutenant, did they take X-rays
of your head?
- Yes, sir.
- And what did they show?
Uh, nothing, sir.
Lieutenant, what the devil's
the matter with you?
There's nothing to matter
with me, sir.
Nothing? Huh!
Fine attitude
for a military man.
Drives my doctors crazy, drives
my psychiatrists crazy,
drives my entire staff crazy!
- I'm sorry, sir.
- Sorry?
Huh, half of 'em say
you're loco.
The other half say you aren't.
Me, I'm the head doctor,
I think they're all loco.
Give a man a good dose
of castor oil and a hot bath
either he's crazy
or he isn't.
Doesn't make much
difference anyway.
Yes, sir.
How did you ever get your
commission, lieutenant?
Officers Candidate School, sir.
- Passed all your examinations?
- Yes, sir.
Doesn't prove a thing.
- Father and mother living?
- Yes, sir.
- Sane?
- Yes, sir.
Doesn't prove a thing!
Well, that's it, gentlemen.
What do you think?
A clear-cut case of
hyper-imaginative reaction
induced by
emotional starvation.
Acute symptoms impelled by
battle fatigue.
And what treatment would you
suggest, colonel?
Violent activity.
Give him four aspirins
and send him back to duty.
Stirling, the medics have
recommended activity for you,
and fortunately I've got
just the thing.
- Really, sir?
- Yes.
- You see this area, lieutenant?
- Yes, sir.
Well, we have reason to believe
there's a Jap patrol in there.
- That close?
- That's right.
Now, we don't know the number
of men or just where they are,
so we've decided to send out
a patrol tomorrow.
Of course, sir.
And I've chosen you to lead it.
Yes, sir. Who me?
Eh, bu... bu... but... but...
- But what?
- But, uh... Yes, sir.
- Who is this?
- Francis.
- Francis? Francis who?
- Lieutenant, please.
Francis! But, you... you can't
talk on the telephone.
I hear you're leading
an expedition.
You what?
But t... t... that's impossible.
For you to lead
an expedition
or for me to hear about it?
You're just guessing.
Is Hill X-246 guessing?
For heaven sakes,
that's... that's top secret!
Now you're showing
signs of basic intelligence.
Better show a little more
and get over here.
Eh, yes, sir.
I... I... I mean, I'll be there.
How did you know I was
leading a patrol?
How did you find out about...
How did you find out
about Hill X-246?
If I found out, you can
be sure the Japs know.
But, b... b... but that's
- Why?
- Well, th... they'll ambush us.
We'll have
to call off the patrol.
Oh, nothing of the sort,
that's the beauty of it.
We know they know,
now all we gotta do
is to outmaneuver 'em.
Who is "We?"
Well, let's just say that we're
gonna work it out together.
Work what out?
The information
that the Japs have
gives you a great opportunity.
Fo... to... for what?
To carry out your mission
But, what do I do?
I don't know why I
worry about you, lieutenant.
I can't even understand
why I like you.
Uh, I suppose in all of us
there's a trace
of the mother complex.
Lieutenant, this mule should be
in the rear
with the rest of 'em.
I want him up in the front.
I know, but that ain't
the way it's done.
Sergeant Chillingbacker,
I'm in charge of this patrol.
Yeah, so they tell me.
- What's that?
- Sorry, sir.
Tell the men to close up.
They're close enough.
- Sergeant Chillingbacker!
- Yes, sir.
Attaboy, lieutenant.
What do we do now?
Why, just go ahead with
the patrol.
This is it.
Take the man down and put out
security posts
at the edge of the clearing.
And tell 'em to keep alert.
Posts are supposed to be
20 yards out in the jungle.
I want 'em at the edge
of the clearing.
And tell 'em to pitch their
tents in the center.
You mean, out there in the open?
That's right.
- But, lieutenant...
- There.
- What's that?
- Sir.
What now?
Have 'em get a campfire ready.
A big one!
What? I will not!
Are we gonna handle this,
We are.
What a way
to fight a war.
What do we do now,
just wait to be wiped out?
- Now... we light the fire.
- Light the fire?
A fine job.
And now, lieutenant,
just how did you know
the Japs were going
to ambush you?
Good morning, lieutenant.
We have a visitor.
- Oh, no! Not another doctor.
- Not this time.
Colonel Plepper says
you need stimulation.
Stimulation, flapdoodle.
Ye... yes, b... but
who... who is it?
Are we respectable?
- Yeah.
- Yes.
You may come in.
Bonjour mon cher ami.
Uh, no, no, no,
please don't get up.
And... and how is my lieutenant?
Uh... uh, bon...
Uh, b... bon... uh...
- Fine since you came.
- Then I am happy to be here.
Will you be all right,
Oh, I will take
very good care of him!
I'll be outside.
Just in case.
- Well...
- Hah, okay.
- Oh-oh, please, let me.
- Thank you, thank you.
I thought
this would please you.
Gee, thanks.
And... and thanks for coming.
Oh, thank you!
- Me? Wh... what for?
- What for?
Why, everyone,
the whole headquarters,
we talk of nothing else.
Killing all those... and not one
of your men even wounded.
It was so
very wonderful.
Uh, yes, b... but it wasn't I...
Oh, please don't be so modest.
Gee... you're
so beautiful, Maureen.
I'm... I'm... I'm sorry.
Forgive me.
Forgive you?
For what?
Oh, oh, please.
I like to hear
you say Maureen.
My name's Peter.
What is that?
- I don't know.
- Have you ever seen it before?
No, not that I...
Say, it looks almost like...
Could it be that someone is
trying to send a message to you?
Who'd want to reach me?
Gosh, I can't read signals.
At papa's trading post
we had a wireless.
- Can you read that?
- I will try.
Uh, B-U-T...
- Q-U-I-C-K.
- Hey, but quick. Yes?
- What does it mean?
- "But quick. Francis."
Th... there must be trouble.
I... I gotta get outta here.
- Going somewhere, lieutenant?
- Uh, no, no.
There are guards out there,
what am I gonna do now?
You wish to get outside?
I must!
I've gotta see Francis.
Oh, that is very simple.
I will go out.
In two minutes
they will not be there.
Francis, where are you?
you're hurt!
I got here as fast as I could.
Tell me what happened.
Uh, nothing.
Don't you ever get tired?
I just want to tell you...
Uh-oh, you brought company.
- Peter. Oh!
- Ms. Gelder, I'm... I'm...
Why didn't you wait for me?
Well, I didn't think
there was time.
Now, what were you saying,
- Who are you talking to, Peter?
- Francis.
Now, why did you
send for me?
It... it was you who sent
the signals, wasn't it?
Say something!
What's the matter with you?
Don't you realize,
I had to escape
from the psycho ward
to get here?
I could be court-martialed
for this!
Oh, my lieutenant, do not excite
yourself like this.
Come, let us go back.
No! He can't do this to me.
Now, why did you send for me?
Come on now, start talking.
But, mon ami,
come with Maureen.
This is not good for you.
Now, you think I'm crazy too.
But I tell you,
Francis can talk!
Oh, yes.
Yes, of course.
And a very intelligent
mule he is too.
You must do as he says.
But he hasn't said anything.
Oh, then you are too
excited to hear him.
He said it was all
one big mistake
and you must go back
with Maureen and rest.
But, Maureen...
The nurse, she will be so angry
with both of us.
Let us start walking, huh?
Now see what you've done!
Why won't you talk?
Please, please, lieutenant.
Come, let us go.
Now, you got me into this,
you, you, you...
Oh, Peter, I know.
You wait right here.
I will come right back.
Wait, like a good boy.
Just one moment.
Wait, huh?
Quite a dame.
Oh, now that you've ruined
for me, you talk, huh?
But I'll have you know
Ms. Gelder is no dame.
That's a matter of viewpoint.
Well, now maybe we can talk.
Francis, stop treating me
like a child.
Remember, I'm an officer.
Lieutenant, it haunts me.
Alright now, why did you
send for me?
'Cause I got some
hot information.
Oh, oh, no.
Oh, no, not again.
Look, look at... look at me.
You see this?
Mm-hmm, pajamas.
GI issue, I presume.
Yeah, from the psycho ward
where you put me.
Uh-huh, feel there's
some credit to be had
and I thought you might
just as well...
Will you please stop trying
to build me up?
A few months ago
I was a perfectly happy
second lieutenant, minding my
own business, bothering nobody.
Then I meet you,
and what happens?
I spend half my time
in the booby hatch.
Well, thanks for everything,
but I've had enough.
Maybe now I can stay out
of the hospital.
Okay, if you don't mind
gettin' yourself blown
to kingdom come this afternoon,
I don't know why I should worry.
Are you crazy?
Hey, you're the one that's in
the psycho ward, remember?
Uh, now... now...
Now... now,
wait a minute, Francis.
What do you mean
blown to kingdom come?
Huh, that's better.
I got some hot information
that better be passed on fast.
At 4:35 this afternoon,
headquarters gets it.
Three waves of enemy bombers.
An air raid?
But this is serious.
I hope to kiss my
Great Aunt Regret, it's serious!
Remember, 4:35,
three waves of enemy bombers.
Hey, looks like the dame
went for help.
Well, what'll I do now?
They'll take me back
to the psycho ward.
- And I won't be able to...
- Cousin.
There's an old army maneuver
known as scrammin'.
Quick, behind those bushes
over there, hurry.
If you're not right about
that air raid,
I'll be kicked right out
of the army!
Might be a patriotic
gesture. Duck!
You sure this
is the place, miss?
Oui, I am sure,
there is the mule.
But the poor lieutenant,
he is gone.
Oh, never should I have
left him, not for a moment.
So that's his talking mule, huh?
Why don't we ask him
where his pal is?
Do not waste time
with this stupid thing
while the poor lieutenant
is getting lost
somewhere in the jungle.
Oh, he's probably halfway
back to camp by now.
Come then
we must be sure.
Oh, my poor lieutenant!
enemy bombers at 4:35.
"Oh, my poor lieutenant."
Lieutenant, do you realize the
seriousness of this information?
Yes, sir.
- Where did you get it?
- Uh...
If you tell me it was that...
That jackass again, I'll...
Lieutenant, I'm in charge
of Intelligence.
You come and tell me that
our headquarters are gonna be
bombed by enemy planes,
you give me their schedule,
well, and then by thunder you...
Just who in tarnation
do you think, you're...
- working for?
- You, sir.
And you still can't
tell me the source
of your information?
No, sir.
Lieutenant, one of us is crazy.
- Yes, sir.
- Yeah!
Don't be impertinent, young man.
Oh, no, sir.
Alright, lieutenant,
I've got to take a chance on
your past record,
I'm going to trust you.
I can't afford not to.
That's all.
Do you know the status of a buck
private in this man's army?
Well, if the information
you gave me isn't right,
heaven help you.
I'm gonna have you
busted so low
that you'll have
to use a telescope
to look up to a buck private.
Yes, sir.
Base headquarters to engineers.
It's a three-bell alarm.
Heaven help you, lieutenant.
Sergeant, get those map cases
and take off!
all I can say is,
heaven help you!
Aw, quit your gripin'.
This is for duration plus six!
Snap it up.
It isn't the heat,
it's the Japs.
For heavens sake, Francis,
you're not sleeping.
It's after 4:35.
It's after 4:35!
Yeah, usually it's about
this time of day.
But nothing's happened.
I hope headquarters didn't go to
sleep on that information.
Go to sleep? We've drawn fighter
cover from every unit in Burma.
Francis, are you...
Are you sure
of your information?
- Ooh, I suspect it's all right.
- Suspect? Suspect?
Do... do you know what they're
gonna to do to me?
I'm gonna have to
use a telescope
to look up to a buck private!
Oh, why did I ever
listen to you?
My career, it's ruined.
Dear me, do second
lieutenants have careers?
Shh, wai... wait a minute.
I... I think I hear something.
And they ain't mosquitoes!
Francis, they're coming!
Up there, I can see 'em.
And here come
our interceptors.
I knew you were
right all the time, pal.
I'm so happy,
I could kiss you.
Relax, lieutenant, I can take it
as well as the next mule,
but there's a limit
to everything.
- Lieutenant?
- Oh, no, th... thank you, sir.
And as I said, lieutenant,
this entire command will be
eternally in your debt.
Now, come, come.
Uh, no more nonsense.
You must realize this has gone
beyond the joking stage.
- But, sir...
- You know, lieutenant.
- I'm really very fond of you.
- Yes, sir?
And I'm old enough
to be your father.
Yes, sir.
And, uh, ahem, if it's
an affaired'amour,
eh, lieutenant?
I could understand that.
D'amour? Oh... oh, no, sir,
the... there wasn't any girl.
Oh, no girl.
Then with the great God Jupiter
what in thunder's so all-fired
confidential about your source
of information?
Well, I... I just can't
tell you, sir.
Why? Why?
Because you wouldn't
believe me if I did.
Oh, no, no!
Not that mule again!
Yes, sir.
Hello, you.
Is it our cute little
mule again?
How fascinating.
Simply fas...
Lieutenant Humpert, hasn't
anyone come to see me?
If by anyone,
you mean Ms. Gelder, yes.
But Colonel Plepper's orders
are no stimulation.
No one is permitted
to visit you except...
Except, except who?
Except the commanding general.
The... the...
Who... who did you say?
Lieutenant General Stevens.
Nobody can stop him
from seeing you.
The commanding general
to see me? Oh, no.
Well, there's nothing
to be afraid of.
He's just another man.
General Stevens!
At ease, lieutenant.
- Sit down.
- Thank you, sir.
Well, you've been having quite
a time of it, haven't you, son?
Yes, sir.
You performed a great service,
both to your country
and to my command.
And you've also caused
terrific turmoil,
you know that, don't you?
I'm afraid I have, sir,
but I didn't mean to.
Why, I'm sure
that you didn't.
And I think
you and I can get to
the crux of the situation
Now, at every interview,
you have claimed
an army mule talks to you.
- Is that right?
- Yes, sir.
My boy, I want you to
understand the position
in which you place
both me and my command.
Now, your actions are worthy
of the highest commendation.
But your explanation of those
actions is an affront
to the Intelligence,
to the dignity of my command.
How do you suppose this tale
of a talking mule
would sound in a communique
to Washington?
But it's true, sir.
Am I to understand
you refuse to tell us
the real truth, lieutenant?
Oh, no, sir,
I have told the real truth.
It's just that nobody'll
believe me.
Well, I'm stumped.
Completely stumped!
You really believe a mule
talked to you, don't you?
I know it, sir.
Positively the weirdest
tale I ever heard.
West Point,
35 years in the army,
nine campaigns, seven children,
four of them in the army.
I thought I'd bumped
into everything.
But a lieutenant who insists
he knows a mule that can talk!
May, may I make
a suggestion, sir?
May you?
I insist that you do.
Well, perhaps, perhaps you'd go
and have a talk with Francis.
Perhaps I'd what?
You mean, you want me to meet
this animal?
Yeah, well, yes, sir,
then you could ask him
if what I've said isn't
the truth, sir.
Me? Ask a mule?
Why, if I ever did such a thing,
I'd... I'd lose my command.
But... but talk to a mule?
Well, I should say not!
is this the animal?
Yes, sir.
Uh, hello, Francis.
How are you today?
Uh, Francis, I, I... I'd like you
to meet the commanding general.
Uh, Francis,
the... the commanding general.
Is something the matter?
Sir, I'm afraid I should have
told you this before.
Francis is scared to death
the army will discover
he can talk.
He said he was afraid
they'd send him
to Officers Candidate School.
A mule?
Well, that's what he said, sir.
Well, what do we do?
Well, sir, Francis has been
in the army for seven years
and he takes great pride
in the military.
I believe if you were to give
him orders, he'd obey them.
What sort of orders?
Well, uh, uh, perhaps...
Uh, maybe, maybe you could trick
him into talking, sir.
Lieutenant, as an officer
I've been required to do
some mighty strange things.
But giving orders
to a mule to trick her...
it into talking.
Well, I just wonder
what the limit is.
Right turn!
Left turn!
About turn!
About turn!
At ease.
Count off!
W... w... would you, uh,
try again, sir?
One step forward.
At ease.
A remarkably
well-trained mule, lieutenant.
There's no indication
the... animal can talk.
May I try again, sir?
Go ahead.
you and I have been
through a lot together.
We've faced death together.
So, for my sake,
won't you please,
please talk to the general?
This whole thing is ridiculous,
lieutenant. It's inexcusable!
Some of you junior officers
are beyond me.
You're full of prunes
or prune juice.
You confuse me,
you confuse the G.I.'s,
you confuse
the whole war effort!
When I think of what you'll
do to the post-war world,
the hair I have left
stands at attention.
you said a mouthful.
Just give me
good junior officers
and I'll have the best...
Who said that?
It does my heart good, general,
to hear you talk that way.
Just echoes
what I've been thinking
ever since Pearl Harbor.
you're a ventriloquist!
Oh, no, sir.
No nonsense,
this is an order.
I want direct answers
to direct questions!
- Name?
- Francis.
A hundred and twenty-third mule
detachment, sir.
- Serial number?
- M-5-2-5-1-9.
At ease!
Well, I'll be hanged.
I'll be double
and triple hanged.
I'll be hanged
in 72 languages.
- So you can talk?
- Yes, sir!
Lieutenant Stirling,
I owe you an apology.
We all owe you an apology.
Yes, sir.
You, Francis, have done a truly
magnificent job for the army.
Oh, shucks, I only tried
to do my duty as I saw it, sir.
When America hears about you,
it'll cause more furor
than the war.
Well, that's the last thing
I want, sir.
And pardon
the presumption, sir,
it's the last thing
you should want too.
- What's your point?
- Well, my point is.
That a three-star general
won't get any further
with those army psychiatrists
than the lieutenant did.
Well, they'll sing a different
tune when they hear you talk.
Uh, but they're not going to.
- What? You mean you won't talk?
- That's right, sir.
- What if I order you to talk?
- I hope you won't, sir.
But I'm
the commanding general.
And I'm a mule, sir, and I have
the right to act like one.
Francis, the one thing I won't
tolerate in my command
is willful insubordination!
I'll obey any ordinary
mule order, sir, but that's all.
You'll obey any orders
you're qualified to obey.
Talking included!
And if I don't?
What happens to you?
Are you threatening me?
I'm merely reminding you, sir,
of what happened
to the lieutenant.
I'm perfectly aware
of what happened to the...
lieutenant, but I...
For the good
of the service, sir,
I suggest we forget
about this little meeting.
Well, if you're going
to be stubborn, I...
You may have a point at that.
At any rate,
under the circumstances
you leave me no alternative.
B... but how am I ever gonna get
out of the psychopathic ward?
Ah, that'll be
taken care of somehow.
Come to think of it...
you may be right.
This should go no further.
Very well, then.
Uh, are we all agreed?
Yes, sir!
- Well?
- Hm?
Oh, yes, sir.
Surprise, lieutenant.
We're gonna start
another ducky new basket.
- Here you are.
- Oh, no, you don't.
Hasn't Colonel Plepper heard
from General Stevens yet?
Well, yes. In fact,
he's with the general right now.
Lieutenant, is there anything
wrong with the general?
Half the medical staff
is over there.
Oh, no.
Orders are orders, colonel,
and I order you to discharge
Lieutenant Stirling!
Sir, regulations
are regulations.
And I can't discharge
a man in Stirling's condition!
For the tenth time, colonel,
there's nothing wrong
with Stirling.
He's perfectly normal.
Sir, normal people normally
don't go around
holding conversations
with mules.
Gentlemen, I was hoping
I could avoid this,
but for Lieutenant Stirling's
sake, you force me to...
Colonel Carmichael,
in accordance
with army regulations, you have
periodically given me
a thorough physical examination?
Why, yes, sir.
You've always found my reflexes
to be normal?
Yes, general.
You've found no sign
of neurosis,
or mental aberration?
- No, sir.
- Very good!
I have news for you.
Lieutenant Stirling's mule
can talk.
I've talked with him and
what's more, he's talked back!
Well, really now, general.
Steady, Plepper.
What is it, Colonel Carmichael?
Nothing, sir.
I was merely trying to remember
when you had your last physical.
Get that look out
of your eye, colonel.
You're not getting me
in any psycho ward.
I tell you Francis can talk!
Do you understand?
- That mule can talk!
- Yes, general.
If you say so,
that mule can talk.
That's better.
Now, gentlemen...
for obvious reasons,
no word of this
should get outside this office.
I gave the mule my word.
Tell me, sir.
Is it just Stirling's mule
who talks to you
or do all mules talk, hm?
Excuse me, general.
Put it right over there,
Hooker, what the
devil's the matter with you?
We just made a transcription
of the Tokyo broadcast.
I think you should hear it, sir.
Colonel Carmichael, when did you
last examine Colonel Hooker?
This is Radio Tokyo
bringing you the voice
of your Tokyo correspondent.
Good afternoon, fellows.
How's it going?
Well, before I give you
the news of the day,
I've picked up
a little top secret
that's too good to keep.
Believe it or not,
the Americans
have a talking mule
in their Burma command.
Not mule talk, mind you,
but real important conversation.
He reports on Japanese movements
and helps plan defense strategy.
At least, that's what their
general claims.
And a three-star general
can't be wrong.
Can he, fellows?
Well, that's
the scuttlebutt, boys.
Of course, it's just barely
possible the poor man can be...
Well, your guess
is as good as mine.
But it does make me wonder
which jackass would be
the better general.
C'est la guerre, boys.
Now, a tune to cheer you up.
Turn that blasted thing off!
It's obvious
the Japs have got wind
of Stirling's hallucination,
and they've twisted it
into a damaging propaganda.
Brilliant deduction, colonel.
I suggest, general,
we issue an immediate denial
and state the real facts.
What I'd like to know is
how the news leaked out.
I'm sure Francis didn't
say anything.
Well, hardly, unless we share
the lieutenant's delusions
about the animal.
He's rather funny at that.
Imagine if a mule really
could talk.
What do you mean, "Imagine?"
It was the mule's idea that
this be kept confidential.
I beg your pardon, sir.
A TWX; Sir.
Well, we're due for a visit.
A planeload of correspondents
on their way to Kunming
heard the Tokyo broadcast.
They request permission to land.
Of course
you'll refuse it, sir.
What, and have them think
I'm really crazy?
That mule's gonna have
to talk to the press!
Gentlemen, with your permission.
Colonel Hooker, release Stirling
and have him bring Francis here.
Here, sir?
Yes, sir.
Oh, Colonel Hooker.
Yes, sir?
Tell him to...
brush him up a bit.
Yes, sir.
And if you're thinking
of starting me on a basket,
I'll have the three of you
What's the idea, lieutenant?
Th... the general's orders, sir.
General, Lieutenant Stirling
and a mule reporting, sir.
Send them in.
At ease.
What kept you, lieutenant?
Well, Francis didn't want
to come, sir.
He's here now under protest.
Oh, he is, huh?
Yes, sir.
He feels he's been
and he's not gonna talk.
I'm sorry, Francis.
An unfortunate development,
but that's war.
I want you to meet
Colonel Hooker.
He's been a bit skeptical.
These G-2 men, you know,
are hard to convince.
Speak to him.
It's a pleasure, Francis.
The general has spoken
very highly of you.
Now, listen, Francis.
This is no time
for personal feelings.
The morale of this
entire command is at stake.
Uh, perhaps,
he should rest a while, general.
He looks very tired.
He's just a stubborn m...
He's just stubborn, that's all.
And that plane's due
any minute.
- Attention!
- General, please.
You've got
to get a hold of yourself.
Get hold of myself, indeed!
My order's being defied
by a stupid,
insubordinate jackass!
He could be shot for it.
He should be, general.
It would solve
a lot of problems.
He can't do this to me.
The ungrateful,
unpatriotic, unmentionable!
Believe me, Francis,
I don't know how
the Japs got the news
any more than you do.
Yes, there's a few questions
I'd like to ask on that subject.
If he won't talk to me,
he won't talk to you!
Oh, I wasn't going
to talk to the mule, sir.
Lieutenant Stirling...
who did you talk
to about Francis?
Who did you talk
to about Francis?
Uh, no one, sir.
Th... that is...
Well, only to Maure...
Uh, Ms. Gelder.
Oh, Ms. Gelder?
Well, I had to prove to her
that I wasn't crazy, sir.
And I just happened to mention
that Francis had talked
to the general too.
That's all I wanted to know.
Sir, I may have the answer
to everything.
I should know
in a few minutes.
May I be excused, sir?
Very well.
G-2 Intelligence.
Huh! Shoot him
and we might win this war.
My sentiments exactly.
Francis, I knew you wouldn't
let the general down.
Keep your shirts on.
The gentlemen of the press will
get no copy out of me.
Well, now, use your head,
You stand on the threshold
of fame such as few men...
Few peop... Few creatures
have ever enjoyed.
Oh, I wouldn't enjoy it, sir.
But... Now just picture it,
A special unit activated
to handle you.
Waited on hand and foot.
Millions listening
to your every word.
One of the most revolting
sales talks I've ever heard.
Why, the thought of it, sir,
makes me shiver
right down to my tail.
Think of the opportunity!
Why, you're a, a nobody.
Well, it's your nobodies, sir,
who are winning this mule's war.
I've given 35 years
of my life to the army.
And in all modesty, up to now,
I have been considered
a pretty sound military man.
But my whole career
will be ruined today
if you don't talk.
And mine will be ruined
if I do!
- But, Francis.
- Huh?
- Think of my family.
- Unh-unh!
You've got me there, general.
I haven't got a family.
And according to all
scientific reports,
I can never acquire one.
But the answer is still no!
And I am still the commanding
general of this theater!
I have a good mind
to horsewhip you!
Easy now, general.
Suppose you raised
one little finger to me,
just a gentle slap, mind you.
Then suppose I talked.
I can see the headlines.
"Defenseless Mule Beaten
By General."
What a story.
Why, you, you...
You're not worth the gunpowder
to blow you to...
Mess up my life,
mess up my command,
mess up the whole war effort!
You too!
Out of my sight, both of you!
Yes, sir.
Come on, Francis.
Well, you certainly
cooked our gooses.
Geese, lieutenant, geese.
Get back in there, lieutenant.
You can't leave now.
But the general's orders, sir.
But, sir, the correspondents
have arrived.
They're on the way in.
Get that animal out of sight
and keep it out of sight.
Yes, sir.
Sir, the correspondents mustn't
even see the mule.
Why not?
Hiding him isn't going
to hide my humiliation.
But you're not going
to be humiliated...
and the correspondents
are going to get a story.
Behind the map board,
Stop talking in circles, Hooker.
I'm in no mood
for guessing games.
Ms. Gelder has been
induced to substitute.
She's ready and waiting
for the press conference.
Does that answer things
for you, sir?
And, uh,
if she doesn't make them
forget what they came for,
I don't know
war correspondents.
Very good, colonel.
Uh, I'm afraid
I've been a bit testy.
Well, I can
well understand, sir.
Come on. Let's meet the press.
Lieutenant, swing him around.
His... tail is showing!
Yes, sir.
- And, lieutenant.
- Yes, sir?
Not a word out of either of you.
No, sir.
I wonder...
I wonder what Maureen can do
to satisfy the correspondents.
Well, how about a fan dance?
Tsk, tsk. Yeah, hey, hey.
And as you know,
this is one of
the vital areas
of action of this war.
The strategic situation here
is entirely dependent
upon the uninterrupted
flow of supplies.
Airlift, as you're aware,
is definitely limited.
General, what about
this Tokyo broadcast?
But in spite of all obstacles,
the job is being done.
General, do we get
a look at this,
uh, famous mule?
Sir, how 'bout a picture
of the mule for our...
How about an interview
with this amazing mule?
Yeah, what's
with this Tokyo Rose
and the talking mule?
Uh, oh, yes,
the story of the mule
who's winning
the war single-hand...
What we could do with an army
of such remarkable creatures,
eh, Colonel Hooker?
Indeed, general, but I think
we'll muddle through
without them,
despite the enemy's
ridiculous propaganda.
Much as it may spoil news value
for you, gentlemen,
I'm not quite ready
for the psychopathic ward.
But you're not going away
Colonel Hooker,
I suppose you'll brief
the boys
on what's in store for them.
Glad to, general.
As you know, both the British
and American armed forces
have been operating
in this theater
with complete cooperation.
Some time back,
British Intelligence picked up
the trail of a very
beautiful young woman,
supposedly French,
suspected of being part
of a network of agents
collaborating with the enemy.
Uh, she was last active
somewhere in Sumatra.
one of our patrols picked up
the supposed daughter
of a Dutch trader,
also a very beautiful
young woman,
helping her papa run
a trading post
in the Burma Hills.
Oh, no, that's not true.
We suspect that she was
the same girl,
but we have no proof.
So we took a rather ingenious
young officer,
assigned him to Intelligence,
and, uh, dangled him as bait.
So that's what you were
doing in G-2, a booby-trap.
When you see the girl,
and then take a look
at Lieutenant Stirling,
you'll realize that her
only interest in him
could have been for the purpose
of getting information.
We saw to it that the lieutenant
gave her misinformation.
But when he concocted
the fantastic story
of a talking mule,
Ms. Gelder couldn't resist I,
sent it over to the enemy,
and the trap was sprung.
Well, gentlemen,
there's your story.
Worth coming for?
Sure, if she looks as good
as she listens.
Bring Ms. Gelder in.
Let go of me! Laissez-moi!
Cochons, cochons! Pigs!
So brave, so strong,
these Americans.
Two of them to guard one girl.
You have no evidence against me.
No evidence?
You're the only one to whom
Lieutenant Stirling
told that absurd talking
mule tale, uh, story.
And that misinformation
got to Tokyo.
What proof have you got
that I sent it?
Who accuses me, anyway,
that lunatic lieutenant?
Oh, no, Maureen, I...
I, I didn't have
anything to do with this.
Why, I don't even believe in
any of it!
Sir, this has all been
a terrible mistake.
Why, she couldn't have done it.
But you could.
And you did, didn't you?
Anyone crazy enough to think
that a mule can talk
is crazy enough
to send messages to the enemy.
Isn't that so, Peter?
Why do you not confess?
keep your mouth shut.
I'll handle this.
Sir, this dame's
got him so goofy,
he's liable to say anything.
Silence, Francis!
You'll speak
when you're spoken to!
So you...
You can talk.
I hope to kiss a duck,
I can talk.
And now,
I'll tell you how she got
that information to the enemy.
You know that old Burmese
temple up the road a piece?
Well, you'll find
a couple of natives
hanging around the back door.
They're her messenger boys.
Maureen, why don't you
say something?
Why don't you deny it?
Deny it? You stupid idiot.
It's all your fault, you...
You and that,
and that stinking mule!
- Take her out.
- No, you cannot do this.
You have no evidence.
Laissee-moi! Cochons!
- Take that stupid lieutenant.
- Maureen!
Thank you, Francis.
I'm glad I have at least
one jackass in my command.
I didn't want to deceive you,
but in the interest of...
Spy stories,
they're a dime a dozen,
but a talking mule!
Oh, I still don't believe it.
It's mass hypnosis.
Oh, sure,
the whole thing's a gag.
We're either being played
for saps
or we're all going as balmy
as the lieutenant.
This thing can't talk.
A mule's the stupidest beast
in existence.
Next to correspondents.
So you geniuses
know everything, huh?
Well, I got some news for you.
Quote, "There's a war going on!"
So go peddle your papers.
We got some fightin' to do!
Please remember
that these gentlemen
have come thousands of miles
to meet you.
If I'd have known,
I'd have baked a cake.
these men are leading
representatives of the press.
Just goes to prove
what I've always said.
The only reliable reading
is the encyclopedia.
Well, what am I
supposed to do, sir?
Write their hogwash for 'em?
All we want are
a... a few statements.
Okay, shoot.
How did you learn to talk?
A stupid question!
How'd you learn?
Why, uh, my mother taught me.
She must've had
quite a struggle.
Francis, a little courtesy.
- That's an order.
- Yes, sir.
Francis, how 'bout
a couple of shots
of you and the general?
Well, that's up to you, sir.
Why, certainly, certainly.
Alright, gentlemen.
- One, two.
- Halt.
You understand, general,
I'm making this trip
under protest.
Orders from Washington.
They're convinced
the correspondents are crazy
and they're holding
the stories until you arrive.
They've assigned six men
to you as orderlies.
You arrive in Washington
on Sunday.
From then on, you're under
direct orders of the Pentagon.
Everything's being arranged
for your comfort.
Just what I deserve
for not keeping
my big mouth shut.
But, think of the good
you can do.
War bond drives, speeches,
public appearances.
You'll have
a tremendous influence.
Horse feathers!
I'm a fightin' mule.
I wouldn't be surprised
if I ran out on the whole show.
Why, you, you couldn't do that,
No, I couldn't.
Then again, maybe I could.
Well, you better get started.
Good voyage.
You know something?
I'm gonna miss you, lieutenant.
Oh, gee, Francis,
Well, it... it's only
for a couple of days though.
I... I'm to meet you
in Washington.
Oh, there must be something
the matter with me.
I hate to leave you.
keep your buttons shined.
Goodbye, Francis.
Yeah, so long.
Take care of yourself.
That's a hobby of mine.
Simply amazing!
- You have your orders?
- Yes, sir.
Twenty-four copies of them.
Now, you're to proceed directly
from the airport
to the Pentagon.
Francis will be there.
You're to stay with him,
to General Fullbright
of Morale Services.
Well, your plane leaves
in a few minutes.
- Goodbye, sir.
- Bye.
Goodbye, sir.
- Take good care of Francis.
- I will, sir.
- Good trip, lieutenant.
- Thank you.
Wait, lieutenant, wait.
Are you sure?
All of them?
No word of him?
Yes, just as soon
as you get anything.
I'll wait.
There's been an accident.
What, sir?
The plane has crashed.
Francis crashed?
Oh, no.
What happened, sir?
We don't know.
The hills of Kentucky,
just a few minutes ago.
No further details.
The crew?
All parachuted to safety.
The mule refused
to leave the plane.
So, I was returned
to the United States.
I searched the wreckage
of the plane.
Francis' body wasn't there.
Then I started combing
the Kentucky countryside.
I looked everywhere, sir.
And of course,
you never found him.
W... what, sir?
I say, you never found him.
Oh, yes, sir, I found him.
You what?
- I... I found him, sir.
- You did?
But... but... but
what happened to him?
Well, he's living with me
at my house.
Living with you now?
Uh, would you, would you
like to come and meet him?
Is this the... animal?
Yes, sir.
This is Francis.
Wake up, fella.
I've, uh, brought
our bank president,
Mr. Munroe, out to meet you.
Ah, he's heard stories,
thought I might be
a little crazy,
so I want you to
put his mind at rest.
It's your mind that needs rest,
not mine, young man.
If that stupid-looking thing
has a thought in its head,
let alone talks,
then I'm a jackass too!
Here we go again!