Alfred Hitchcock Presents s03e25 Episode Script

Flight to the East

Good evening, Earthlings.
Now you housewives know what to do with your rugs when the moths eat at them.
Put the moths to work.
After all, if you can't lick them, join them.
This could be the transportation of the future.
I'm certain that the day is not far off when the two-carpet family will be quite common.
No special launching platform is needed.
The well-waxed hallway of your home will do.
a billboard.
Over there.
Shall we get off? No.
I'm sorry.
I wonder if I could have one of those? Of course.
I should have got some at Nairobi.
You live there? Thank you.
I was born there.
That's luck.
My own brand.
I've been smoking them ever since the war.
I was a correspondent during the war.
American Wire Service.
El Alamein.
I was a nurse's aide.
That still your work? No.
I'm a governess.
What's your name? Miss Denham.
"Miss"? All right.
Barbara Denham.
I'm Ted Franklin.
The name familiar to you? Yes.
I read your articles on the North African campaign, and later your dispatches on the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya and what followed.
The trial of Sasha Ismail? Sasha the Terrible.
"Sasha the Terrible".
He was nothing but a puppet.
You still believe that? Yes.
Franklin has many strange beliefs.
Beliefs I'm going to prove.
If Sasha had been an Englishman instead of a half-caste French Arab from Algeria, he'd never have been convicted.
You didn't say that at the beginning of the trial.
I didn't know then.
I spent every day in that courtroom.
Right from the start.
Crown Prosecutor Sir Robert Walton made his opening speech.
and the Crown will prove that Sasha Ismail, the defendant in the dock, was not only a scavenger who robbed the bodies of the dead of their weapons on the battlefields of North Africa, but that he subsequently made an evil career of illegally trafficking in such weapons, coming from Algeria to Kenya for that sole purpose.
The crown will further prove that he incited the Kikuyu tribe to rebellion, bloodshed and mass murder, supplying them with German, Italian, English and American instruments of death.
And that he was paid for his nefarious activities in stolen diamonds, an inestimable fortune of which only a small part has been recovered.
For his infamous crimes against all of humanity, the Crown will ask, nay, demand, that Sasha Ismail be made to forfeit his life.
Of course I assumed he was guilty.
Sir Robert was very convincing.
You seem very bitter about Sir Robert.
I have my reasons.
Day after day I sat there listening while he drew the noose tighter and tighter about Sasha's neck.
Witness after witness told of loading crates or driving trucks under Sasha's guidance.
They told of night trips into the countryside, the crates delivered under cover of darkness, Sasha getting small packages in payment.
If they'd stopped the trial and hung him right then and there, I wouldn't have been surprised.
The repetition made me restless.
Only one thing drew my attention.
An old man in the spectator's gallery.
He occupied the same seat every day.
I took to watching him.
He must have become aware of it, because our eyes began to meet.
Then, one day after the court adjourned, I was a little slow in getting out, and I saw him waiting for me.
He's not guilty.
I'm afraid you're the only one who feels that way.
I know it.
I know it.
He is my son.
He is not guilty.
He asked me to see Sasha, to talk to him.
Somehow, I couldn't refuse.
I was an accredited correspondent, so I asked Sir Robert's permission for an interview.
He didn't like the idea, especially without an armed guard in the room.
But my wire service was a powerful one.
Yes, Mr.
Franklin, I was arrested during the transfer of a wooden crate to the Kikuyu.
But I did not know its contents or that the receivers were to be Mau Mau.
And it was the only such transfer I ever made.
So far, 10 witnesses have testified to other shipments.
I had one small package of diamonds, Mr.
Franklin, one.
Did they find any others in the hovel that was my home? Does a man with a fortune live as a pauper? They have dressed me well for the trial.
I was arrested in rags.
The witnesses tell the same story you're telling, but with you as the leader.
And there must be a leader, mustn't there? One master criminal to be hanged while they get off with a few years in jail.
Why should they point to you if another man hired them? Perhaps because another man with a fortune in diamonds could offer them security? You have heard the prosecution, Mr.
Have you once heard the name Arthur Smith? No.
Nor will you.
Because he is the man for whom I must die, the man who hired me for the errand that brought me here.
He hires a man in rags to ride with a truckload of guns and pick up a payment in diamonds? Why? If he knew there was going to be an arrest.
Wealth buys many things, Mr.
False witnesses.
Why didn't you tell Sir Robert? I did.
But I doubt if you will find any mention of it in my statements.
And when I do mention it in court, they will become indignant, outraged.
"Sasha The Terrible is lying to save his life.
" Could I have another one of our cigarettes? Of course.
I'm glad they're your brand.
Is that what made your articles change so radically? Sasha's story? No.
I'm too good a reporter for that.
I asked Sir Robert's permission to examine the pre-trial statements.
He refused.
But I bribed a clerk and got them anyway.
Arthur Smith's name never appeared.
Sasha might have lied to you.
You must have missed my second article.
Oh, yes.
The diamond.
One uncut stone worth $1000 left in my hotel room with a note saying there'd be a similar diamond every night until Sasha's execution if I would "see things clearly.
" That convinced me.
Your articles were not without effect.
They aroused a lot of people.
Why not? Sasha became a symbol of injustice and persecution.
People don't like that.
Sir Robert didn't either.
I couldn't be bribed.
Killing me would have been further proof of Sasha's story.
So he did the next best thing.
On the day he was to conclude for the prosecution he sent for me.
The manager of my European bureau was in from Paris.
Now, calm down, Franklin.
When a man's going to die? You have stirred up an international storm.
If it's in the interest of truth, it's all right.
But there's one thing I don't like.
Not one other correspondent has followed your lead.
Because they were denied access to Sasha and the records! That's not true.
It is true! Several of them interviewed Sasha days before you did.
I granted your request immediately, just as I made available all records.
You did not! Franklin, I've spoken with the others.
They did see Sasha, but he never mentioned Arthur Smith.
How do you account for that? Maybe they don't have my immunity to uncut diamonds.
The prosecutor, the court, the witnesses, and now the correspondents.
All liars.
All but you.
You're fired, Franklin.
You, too, huh? There is a man from immigration waiting outside, Mr.
You will leave Kenya on the noon plane.
That was it.
I was deported.
A month later, Sasha was hanged.
What have you done since? Roamed around.
Europe, Australia, Africa.
For Arthur Smith? Yes.
I followed rumors, tips, anything involving uncut diamonds.
Did Sasha ever describe the man to you? Yes.
Dark complexioned.
Neck like a bull.
Not British.
That description could fit your companion.
It could, couldn't it? Oh, thanks.
You're a very surprising man, Mr.
Well, the story isn't over yet.
The part that brought us together.
That started in Cairo, just a week ago today.
You were there? Still searching for Arthur Smith? Yes.
But it was a wild-goose chase, like a hundred before it.
I should have been used to it by then, but I was depressed.
I walked.
I found myself on a side street.
Odd little shops, art galleries, antiques.
Something in the window of one of them caught my eye.
An ancient Egyptian luck token.
Well, I guess I needed luck.
I went in.
The proprietor didn't seem to be there.
But he was.
Excuse me.
Abdul Ismail.
What do you want? Don't you remember me? Ted Franklin.
I remember you.
You killed my son.
You sold his life as you would sell the life of an animal in the marketplace.
I was the only friend he had in the world.
I tried to save him.
Until the price was high enough.
Until enough diamonds were offered.
I'm broke.
I haven't had a job since.
I've done nothing but search for Arthur Smith.
Why? Were you not paid in full? I lost my only son, Mr.
My only son.
Are you the only son of your father? I pray that you are.
Then I might believe in justice again.
You ran away? Yes.
I caught the first plane out.
To Johannesburg.
He must have been insane.
I had to kill him.
It was self-defense.
Well, running didn't help.
No, but I remembered what happened to Sasha.
And you met him in Johannesburg? Yes.
Will he testify for you? Hardly.
I'm afraid I've been a little unfair.
Dramatic effect, I guess.
Or perhaps I've developed a warped sense of humor.
His name isn't Arthur Smith.
It's Kafir.
Inspector Kafir of the Cairo police.
I see.
They had my description.
Newspapermen can't hide.
Too many other newspapermen know them.
Well, do I rate another one of our cigarettes after that? Of course.
I'm afraid I have a confession, too.
I said I was a governess.
My employer is Sir Robert Walton.
I hope you do a better job with his children.
Sir Robert wasn't present, of course, but he had quite a different theory about your interview with Sasha.
I'll bet he did.
He's a clever man.
Shrewd, unscrupulous and clever.
Those are the very words he used about you.
He said that your demand for an interview without the presence of a guard was unusual.
But he granted it out of respect for your reputation.
I will tell you what I have told the others.
I have nothing to say.
You're going to hang.
You know that, don't you? I can prevent it.
A journalist? Listen to him, my son.
What can he do in the face of such evidence? Use it to save your neck.
You've been smart, in spots.
Being dressed in rags when you were caught.
Living in a hovel.
That's good.
But you've been stupid, too.
Hiring so many drivers.
One driver would have known.
Would have given them one witness to use against you instead of ten.
Very well, Mr.
You've made your point.
I can regret my error while I hang.
What would it be worth to serve a short jail term instead? And who arranges this? I do.
For what price? An even half of the loot.
Does he know where the diamonds are? Only I know, until after I am sentenced.
I'll need one diamond in advance.
A reward for wasting my time? Do you want to die? No.
No, I do not.
But how can you save me? With a typewriter.
The story of my life? Not your life.
The life of the mysterious, unseen, untouchable Arthur Smith.
Who is Arthur Smith? The man who hired you on the streets of Nairobi to make the one delivery of arms that led to your arrest.
The man who committed the crimes for which you stand accused.
The man you told Sir Robert about in your statements.
But they have records.
They didn't put it in the records.
They ignored it.
Why? The witnesses identify me.
That's the beauty of it, Sasha.
You're so guilty.
A master criminal would create some doubt, or maneuver a victim like you into his place.
I am grateful for a friend who will prevent such an injustice.
You'd better be.
That was Sir Robert's version.
Your editor seemed to agree.
Do you? I wasn't there.
That's what I've been getting for years.
"I don't know.
I wasn't there.
" Isn't your own knowledge enough? Yes! But my own life is at stake now.
You know what they'll say about Abdul's death, don't you? I think so.
They'll say that you were searching for him, rather than for Arthur Smith.
A search that ended when you traced him to Cairo and entered his shop, to kill him.
And they'll be speaking the truth, you know.
You did set out to murder Abdul.
Sir Robert Walton will prove this at your trial when he tells the story of what really happened that day in Cairo.
You haven't been easy to find, Abdul.
You have been seeking me? Yes, I've been seeking you.
I want my half.
Half? What half? Half of the diamonds.
I don't know where they are.
You're wasting my time.
I don't know.
After the trial I never saw Sasha alone.
He could not tell me.
You're wasting my time, Abdul.
What are diamonds? I lost my son.
I don't care about your son.
But you're going to join him unless you talk.
Come on, Abdul! No, no, no.
Right now.
I will get them.
That's what they'll claim, isn't it? Sure.
With Sir Robert leading the pack.
Got another cigarette? These are the last until Cairo.
I'm going to beat them, though.
I've got them stumped on one thing.
One beautiful thing.
What? The knife and the gun were German war weapons, weren't they? That's what Sir Robert hanged Sasha for dealing in.
So, who'd own them? Me? Or the father of Sasha the Terrible? The newspaper said the gun and the knife were of special design, issued only to Nazi Generals.
So? The set in question belonged to General von Kronk.
He was killed al El Alamein.
Yes, I know he was.
I told you I was a nurse's aid.
I met a Lieutenant at the hospital base after El Alamein.
We fell in love.
He might have lived but the doctors had so little to make do with.
We had nothing to give each other.
But he managed a gift of cigarettes for me the day before he died.
That's why I'm going to Cairo to testify.
You see, during the campaign, he captured von Kronk's gun and knife.
He traded them with an American war correspondent for two cartons of cigarettes.
Your brand.
I shall certainly never try that again.
I learnt too late that it was a three-stage carpet and I was the first stage.
I did manage to take some pictures which I shall show you now.
Here is how the Earth people look to a Martian.
As you can see, the Martians have a rather distorted picture of our world.
It looks as though our flying carpet is falling Earthward and disintegrating into throw rugs.
This concludes tonight's space adventure.
Next week we shall be back with more fiction, scientific or otherwise.
Until then, good night and a happy international geophysical year to all of you.

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