The month-by-month outline below chronicles Paul's life from his engagement to Kate Pierce in February 1965 to their marriage in December 1966 after he begins experiencing end symptoms of his terminal illness - all the adventures, all the episodes in one ongoing narrative. (TClick the PAUL BRYAN'S JOURNAL button to read the day-by-day version of the diary.)
Laos - central California (home town Almeria and nearby lake) - Monte Carlo - Florida -
Cuba - Bulgaria - San Francisco - Juan les Pins - San Patrazio, Spain
Make the Angels Weep Hoodlums on Wheels Who's Che Guevara How to Sell Your Soul for Fun and Profit The Sadness of a Happy Time
Paul goes to meet boyhood and Korean War buddy Johnny Diedrich in Laos, learning he's on the run from police in their California home town, having been framed for the murder of his lover's husband. In Almeria Paul finds the girlfriend a kind of psychological prisoner of her mother-in-law, then crosses swords with the rival of his youth, now the local District Attorney. When his brakes are tampered with, Paul knows he's close to the real killer, and discovers the husband alive - a murderer himself.
Driving back to San Francisco, Paul makes a sentimental detour to the lake where his parents had a summer cottage. Along with a mother and daughter, he becomes hostage of a violent Nazi-inspired gang hiding out from police after a ruthless killing. The hours of captivity are like something out of a horror film, but just before they are to be killed, Paul manages to intimidate the girl in the gang to assist them, and the men are overcome.
Paul flies to the French Riviera to watch Pete race, running into Rachel Pike who insists he come to another enticing party at her island off Florida.
When he arrives at the seaplane to take him to Rachel's, Paul is kidnapped, and told one false story after another. The bottom line is that a soldier of fortune plans to kill Fidel Castro and blame the assassination on Paul, also involving the wife of a rejected Castro aide. The attempt fails, but in escaping Cuba, Paul kills two of the gang in self defense, and the FBI tries to unravel the plot, the intended vidtim another of Rachel's guests, with a similar name to Paul's.
Paul flies to Eastern Europe to participate in a week-long series of races with Pete. A Bulgarian driver joins in Paul's lighthearted but pointed political toast, and when the action is reported as subversion, the driver is summarily tried and given a long prison sentence. Feeling responsible, Paul manages to contact a dissident who'd escaped from the same prison. The man doesn't trust Paul, who reveals the diagnosis to win him over, and they cook up a complex plot to spring the driver who gets out of the country in a race car.
Paul flies back to San Francisco for medical tests, and for the second time, his doctor reports new diseases popping up in his system, likely picked up in the exotic travels. Though they seem no threat at the moment, Dr. Mason asks Paul to see a physician on the Spanish Mediterranean who treats the terminally ill, and specializes in such complications.
On this trip Paul's contact with Kate is limited, and he fears that things are over with them, as she is determined he cut ties to her to take the most from the months he has remaining. Paul flies to France for Pete's race in Juan les Pins, meeting an Israeli girl whom he goes gliding with, and promises to join in Arizona where she will be tutored for a competition in the US.
Traveling south to Spain Paul visits the new specialist to make an appointment, and can't help noticing a sad-looking girl leaving the practice as he approaches, deeply moved and troubled that one so young is dying. Coming out, he sees her in a café across the street, and sits down at her table. She is the novelist Nicole Longet, and it is love at first sight for both, Paul finding the passion and tenderness borne of limited time for each giving infinite value to every touch.
At his appointment, Paul urgently wants to know about Nicole's condition, but learns she was only signing a copy of her novel for the doctor. Paul is elated, and wants to marry her, but when CIA agent Mike Allen bursts on the scene, and is shot in a gun fight at the cantina where they're staying, Paul starts to question the relationship, while Nicole believes him to be a spy.
Alicante - Rome - Sicily - San Patrazio, Spain - Madrid - Arizona - Athens - mountains on Greek-Albanian border - San Francisco -
Phoenix - mountains on Greek-Albanian border
Sequestro The Sadness of a Happy Time The Shock of Recognition A Girl Named Sorrow Flight From Tirana
As he did with Kate after the diagnosis, Paul tells Nicole he is going away, but not why, and leaves with Mike Allen. Within hours the agent's company becomes unbearable, and Paul heads for Sicily to meet his mother's family.
(Sal Mineo, Harry Guardino, Marianna Hill)
Just before arriving at his ancestral village, Paul is kidnapped by two brothers and fiancée of one, held in a cave for ten days, and forced to arrange a ransom. When it doesn't arrive at the post office box in a nearby town after the young people check daily, it becomes likely they will kill Paul.
Though she knocks him unconscious, and even shoots at him, Paul finds the vivacious girl's charm irresistible. However, when she takes a turn to go to town, her overconfidence and naivety cause her to be sexually victimized by a slick but obvious young man, and everything spins into Greek tragedy mode as her drunken fiancé wrecks Paul's rental car, and she lets their hostage loose. The fiance kills her, and while attempting to kill Paul, is accidentally shot dead by his brother. With the brother Paul grimly arrives at the village where his mother was born, driving a hay wagon holding the corpses while unknowing crowds cheer him.
Thinking throughout his ordeal of Nicole, Paul rushes to Spain to marry her, but when he tells her of his terminal illness, she leaves, having been (erroneously) informed by Mike Allen that Paul cannot stay in the company of anyone who knows about the prognosis.
Hoping to find Nicole in Madrid, Paul instead runs into a girl he always avoided in college. Her boyfriend is a movie star who's bought a fighting bull, and Paul gets the chance to make a few passes by the animal.
[ Due to considerable anomalies, the major part of this episode is treated as a dream. ]
Paul flies to Arizona to join his Israeli friend at her gliding school, but the girl acts strangely, and says her teacher is a wanted man. Exhausted, Paul goes to bed, and the power of suggestion causes him to have an ongoing dream about endlessly pursuing a Nazi war criminal across the Arizona desert. When he wakes in the morning, the complex is deserted, and there is a note in his pocket indicating that help arrived but the gliding teacher took poison.
Paul continues with his plans, and accompanies childhood sweetheart Eileen to Greece to watch GB Racing in a rally.
When Pete's navigator becomes unavailable, Paul takes the seat, but the ride is short due to a crash, and with Eileen visiting a friend, Paul goes to the Parthenon and meets a jolly couple who invite him to dine at a wonderful restaurant. As they come out, Paul is almost hit by a motor bike, but saved by a passerby. Over a drink to steady their nerves, his rescuer, a sales engineer, mentions that he's going skiing in the mountains near the Albanian border. The description delights Paul, and he sees the remote location as a perfect complement to Eileen's psychological recuperation.
Indeed, they find the peaceful place like a Shangri La, but when a mellow Eileen meets the engineer, she is spooked, and after only a day or so, decides she wants to go home. As Paul is paying their bills, a message arrives that Kate's father has died of a heart attack. Eileen and Paul fly to San Francisco where they call on a despairing Kate.
After the funeral Paul accompanies Eileen to Phoenix, and returns to San Francisco where he receives an emotional visit from Kate, and the two are together again. The obscure Greek ski resort seems ideal to help Kate get over the first stages of her bereavement.
Mountains on Greek-Albanian border - San Francisco - Albania - Athens - New York City -
Athens - Davos - San Francisco
The Dark Behind the Door Flight From Tirana A Rage For Justice
The engineer departs before they do, and again as Paul is paying his bill, another shock phone call. The engineer has been arrested for spying in Albania, and wants Paul to defend him. But with the trial some while off, Paul accompanies Kate back to San Francisco where he is invited to return to his law firm with extraordinary benefits, an offer difficult to turn down, considering what little will be required of him.
Dining with an old friend after a match of the football team the former colleague now owns, Paul is horrified at how much the man's wife is drinking. Meeting her privately, Paul learns that she believes her husband to be supporting a mistress. Keen to quell her suspicions, Paul tries to find where the money is going, and manages to relieve her mind when he discovers the payments are to a man demanding a fee to keep silent that his son was signed to the football club when under age.
Paul is summoned to Albania for the engineer's trial, and quickly learns the whole thing is a frame up to charge him with espionage, the engineer not an American agent, but working for the opposition. Even meeting him was a set up, a trick cyclist employed to almost knock Paul down to establish a relationship with the Communist operative.
This information and a tip from a Greek spy gets Paul fleeing Albania - with aid from the US Army defector who had been supervising him, someone who went to Albania only because of a deal his drug addict wife made with the Communists.
Free in Greece, Paul learns Kate has inherited her father's entire fortune, and he acts as civilian counsel in the Court Martial of the defector who helped him flee Albania. The problem is establishing the drug dependency of his wife who did not survive their flight, so Paul proposes exposing the valuable Greek agent to prove the fact, and the Court backs down, giving the defector a minimum sentence.
New York City - San Francisco - Santa Margarita, Mexico - southern California - Central America -
USA Midwest - San Francisco
The Day Time Stopped I Am the Late Diana Hays The Savage Machines
The Edge of the Volcano The Mustafa Embrace Time and a Half on Christmas Eve
Paul Lukas, Sheree North,, Slapsy Maxie Rosenbloom, Robert Strauss)
Injured tobogganing in Davos where he's gone to suss out a place to spend New Year's with Kate, Paul loses his memory with no recollection of the diagnosis or anything that happened after it. In a panic he rings Kate, but there's no answer, and a call to his firm reveals he has left them.
Shocked by the extensive traveling revealed by his passport and a session under a drug, Paul discovers the cornucopia of fantastic adventures he's experienced, the woman he appears to be in love with not Kate, but someone named Nicole. The doctor believes the amnesia is the result of information Paul's brain is trying to suppress, so he flies to San Francisco.
Unable to find Kate, now unaware she left her Nob Hill apartment, Paul locates her sister Molly whose boyfriend attacks him over Kate's breakdown, and accuses him of coming back now for her inheritance - all news to Paul. Still unaware that Paul and her sister are together again, Molly tries to keep him from seeing Kate for fear of psychological damage, then relents, warning him to show no affection or even familiarity to Kate - insisting that was crucial for Kate's sanity.
Unprepared for the situation Kate shuts down completely, hoping Paul may never learn he is terminally ill, and he finds her stiff and impersonal, unable and unwilling to help him. Eventually accepting a dinner invitation another day, Kate admits that they've spent considerable time together since April, but still gives no hint about why Paul left. Their relationship normalized, he wants to marry as soon as possible and go back to his law firm.
But remaining obsessed to discover why he left, after buying a lottery ticket from her boyfriend, Paul takes Molly's tip about a redhead he mentioned in Rio, and traverses his favorite nightspots until he manages to locate someone in contact with the woman. His secretary returns from a long weekend, and she presents Paul with a book containing information about all he has done - dates, places, names, addresses and comments - everything but the reason he left.
When he finally meets the redhead, her only tip about the day he left is an office building that upset him, so Paul goes there, and his steps take him to Gene Mason's office where the doctor repeats the prognosis.
Both needing comfort, Paul and Kate head for a Franciscan retreat center in Mexico. On the way she spots a friend whose husband is on Death Row for his wife's murder. Paul takes the woman home, and the husband - an extremely eccentric artist - is released, Paul determining that the wife ran away when her lawyer falsely advised that her husband murdered his first wife, making her suddenly take serious his constant threats to kill her.
When the truth comes out, the couple reunite, and before his next driving assignment in Central America, Paul goes on to the retreat center, a haven of comfort and inspiration.
For the Central American endurance race, Pete makes a snap deal with Clive Darrell to use his new Mastin engine when Gaffney Bryan's older model seems inadequate, the factory cars having failed to qualify. The Mastin head mechanic believes his cars were sabotaged by Clive's estranged wife, Rhona Mastin Darrell, who resents the fact that Clive gave up driving for engineering after they married, believing he was only after the factory which her father left him.
Still in love with his wife though he's handed her the signed divorce papers, Clive takes over the car during Paul's stint, and drives like a madman, obviously a last-ditch bid to get Rhona back. During a pit stop, she admits guilt, and offers unlimited funds for the factory if Clive would get out of the car, but he drives on and crashes the machine.
The Darrells reunite, but it's a big loss for Gaffney Bryan until next day when the couple offer GB Racing two fully financed and up-to-date race cars for the new season. The second machine to be driven by Clive or Paul, what they want in exchange is the addition of Mastin to the team name - to help promote Clive's long-time dream - revival of the Mastin road car.
On a fishing trip with one of the racing staff, Paul meets a girl going to a mountain camp to interview a rebel leader. Trekking up the mountain with her, he learns she is actually making the trip to get her father, a famous novelist, to leave the camp. Held captive for a time when they reach the top, Paul establishes a good relationship with the rebel leader, and shares observations of government troop movements made on the trip up.
When Paul takes the novelist's daughter back down the mountain, they are captured by government troops who force him to bring the novelist to them. At the government camp the father escapes custody and manages to disable their super cannon, giving the rebels equal footing in the battle that ensues.
[ This episode has been represented as a dream due to the following anomalies: 1) CIA field agent issuing a false US passport for nefarious purposes, 2) Paul involving innocent third party, driver Hank Rodgers, in a crime which would inevitably result in pursuit by Interpol 3) Paul not disguising himself, would have resulted in his being a wanted man worldwide; 4) however much he may have given up the straight and narrow life, Paul wouldn't resort to crime, moreover not for a woman he barely knew. ]
With difficulty and a circuitous route, Paul manages to escape the country and get a flight to the US. Boarding a very bumpy internal flight for San Francisco for a special Christmas Eve with Kate, he has a nightmare about a girl who resembles the novelist's daughter.
She is about to be divorced by a Moroccan potentate who is Paul's host, and inveigles Paul to smuggle a priceless family heirloom out of the country, then wears the necklace openly at a restaurant when they meet later in Zurich. Added flight turbulence is represented by a severe beating from the potentate's people who take the necklace back to Morocco.
The dream goes into caper mode when Paul gets CIA agent Mike Allen to transform the girl and give her a new passport. Along with Hank Rogers (who won the last race), they fly to Morocco, break into the palace and steal the necklace from a high-security vault, their getaway in the very car Hank drove in the race, only escaping their pursuers by hopping a waiting helicopter.
The swaying of the helicopter and the extreme motion of the plane become entwined and Paul wakes up to find his aircraft in trouble and about to make an emergency landing in the Midwest.
A taxi is organized to take him to a hotel, but he ends up spending Christmas Eve driving around the city, and then out to another town where the cabbie's ex wife lives, Paul purchasing a carload of presents for the driver's son who doesn't even know his father, his mother now remarried. Paul never makes it to the hotel at all, and misses the very special Christmas Eve he and Kate planned, but they still make Christmas memorable.
This includes her handing Paul a check for nearly $400,000, achieved for sale of some of his paintings, nearly double the expected amount.
Pete brings over preliminary contracts with Mastin that will allow them to enter more races. Their girlfriends suggest getting Rachel Pike to invest in the team, and both couples fly to the Bradley complex on the Costa del Sol for New Year's.