These Journal entries continue from the story of Paul is dodging a Las Vegas Mafia boss while also threatening the casio owner - now "hiding out" in Mexico. The Journal for both is contained on "The Savage Season
Tuesday, June 8
With Dick and Maria's arrival still a couple days off, I chartered the boat of a most hospitable man who can't do enough for me. His name is Ramon, and he could get a job cooking at The Ritz, He is quite a character, maybe a professional fortune hunter from what I'm gleaning between the lines.
Now relaxing by writing letters and making notes for my journal after a glorious morning of fishing. Not the usual sense of rushing I'd have on a stolen weekend, but a feeling of total freedom with my body returning to strength. A good sign, I think.
As the boatman doesn't appear to speak English, and my Spanish is only adequate for getting by, I have a beautiful sense of being alone at sea, and thinking clearly for the first time since the precipitous departure from San Francisco two months ago.
Though we avoided the subject of my departure, the time with Kate has a lot to do with this clarity, along with the realization that we may never be lovers again. More and more, I think my decision to leave was the right one - even though it has proved hazardous, to say the least.
But what of the future, and for that matter, the past? When I look back at my life, I wonder if I've spent enough of my time helping others, and if I chose the right career - becoming a lawyer because my father was an attorney. I do love the law, but perhaps I should have been working in another area. What can I do now to make up for that?
Wednesday - Thursday, June 9 - 10
I am trying to make sense of what has happened. Apparently, I stayed on Ramon's boat Saturday night to get an early start, and then there was the horrific explosion at sea.
My first thought was what a fool I had been to let my guard down, and think I was safe here in Mexico … chartering a boat from a man who didn't communicate? Zeno had found me. And what if I'd brought Kate along?
But Ramon - who I found, speaks perfect English - tells me that he gave me a wrong command when a massive swordfish appeared by the boat.
By following the instruction, it was I who caused the boat to explode, and there we were at sea with one raft, one injured man, and Ramon with the impossible proposition of trying to drag me to shore.
It's all mostly a blur, and I think I was going in and out of consciousness, but remember telling him to swim to shore on his own, which seemed the only possibility of either of us making it. When he refused, I told him that if he continued to try and pull the raft, he might be losing his life to save only a few months of mine.
But that seemed to make him even more determined, and the next thing I remember is the miracle of being on a beach, and people putting me onto a stretcher.
In the morning I woke up in the home of Jessica Braeden, a woman Ramon had told me was a millionairess who'd attempted suicide after a painful and highly publicized divorce.
Could see how flawed judgment might have caused her to marry the wrong man, as her assessment of Ramon was that she found him shy.
That he had designs on her became immediately apparent when he arrived here this morning - the beard shaven off. He is no longer on vacation from fortune hunting, and I just can't let him take Jessica in. She is far too vulnerable.
On the other hand, this is the man who saved my life by risking his own, and the fact that he's lost everything is partly my fault. I know too much about boats to have reacted without thinking, and just got overexcited about the big fish.
He took her dancing tonight, and I was out on the beach testing out my bad leg (read, waiting for them to come home), and witnessed him kissing her. Ramon rightly called me a voyeur, but for the wrong reason.
I'd been muddling around all day, trying to decide how to play this. I owe him my life- and also like him very much, so I told him that I wouldn't do anything to prevent his courting Jessica, or expose him as a giggolo but I was interested in her myself.
That was raindrops on the sea to him, and he told me - in the most friendly way - that I was in over my head. How true, how true, but trying to detract her from his clutches is the only way I can act with fairness to both.
Friday - Saturday, June 11 - 12
Jessica has been keeping a low profile here, feeling that everyone is observing her, but when we were out today, she spotted a dear friend she'd gone to finishing school in Switzerland with, and told me that her old classmate had also recently been through a messy divorce.
Francesca asked us to join her for lunch, and it turns out that she's now married to an Italian count. When she mentioned living in Trieste, I told her that I'd been racing there recently, and she lit up and said that if I'd still be in Mexico next week, I must participate in a motor race she sponsors every year.
Explained that I didn't have a car available, and Jessica chimed in that there was still an old Mastin road racer at her own home, just north of Acapulco. She was sure, because she had just been reading through her property inventories. That caused a note of gloom, and the Countess interjected and said that I must come to her home for dinner as soon as I arrived for the race - as if it were now all a fait accomplit.
When we got home, Jessica rang the care taker in Acapulco, and asked him to have a mechanic get the Mastin ready for me. But despite the excitement over this possibility of participating in a race without it being organized by Pete, I am feeling even more guilty and confused about Jessica.
Though it's clear that I've fended Ramon off, and she's enjoying the pleasure of his company without losing her heart, Jessica is clearly getting emotionally involved with me, and I have no one to blame but myself if she ends up being hurt after all - and at my hands rather than Ramon's.
Earlier, she asked a frighteningly perceptive question about whether I had lost someone, and I started to wonder if I'm a walking advertisement for the predicament that made me leave San Francisco. If Jessica, who described Ramon as shy, could observe this in me, I need to harden up.
No one said it was an easy situation, and when you plunge yourself head first into a moral dilemma, it's near impossible to do the right thing. For starters, though, I've moved back to the hotel.
Sunday, June 13
Things started coming to a head today, and I know that, while playing a kind of poker game with Ramon, I'm also playing with Jessica's heart.
We all went out fishing this morning, at first in good spirits, but some barb I made sent Ramon down below in a last-straw kind of huff. To appease him, Jessica followed, and when she returned topside, she was white as a sheet, and looked barely able to hold herself together.
I've intervened too much to take another step in this, and we returned home in virtual silence, Jessica going below for most of the ride back.
Rang Pete at his father's place, and told him about the Acapulco race. He said he'll be flying back to Monaco on Wednesday, and if I joined him, we'd be able to talk about the team.
Journal continued in next column
Paul charters Ramon's boat for a day of fishing
They make friends
After the boat explodes, they are nearly lost at sea
A shaven Ramon invites Jessica dancing
When Ramon kisses her, Jessica is distressed
Paul points out what Jessica has gone through
Jessica tells Paul that unlike most men, she think he's a
Paul is amused by Ramon's failure
Ramon's revelation leaves both in shock
Paul and Ramon agree to meet again
Jessica says she'll remember how Paul made her feel
Monday, June 14
Ramon shocked me this morning by saying that he was leaving for Europe, but as an act of faith, we've made a pact to go fishing next May 14 in Puerto Zaguaro.
Couldn't reach Jessica all day, but her maid said that I should call over in the evening, and with Dick and Maria having meantime arrived, I went out fishing on their boat.
All seemed right with the world, and then came a radio message that someone in San Francisco was urgently trying to reach me. I asked Maria to check it out, and she came back with the message, “the yellow fish is ready to mount on the wall.”
Angie Zeno was dead. I threw off my shoes and dived into the water. Dick and Maria obviously thought I was crazy, but I felt reborn. Talked to Jim Seaborne on the phone when we got back, and he said it was best if I returned to San Francisco immediately to record a deposition. I am not a suspect, he assured, but it was better to make things tidy.
Spent the evening with Jessica, and all the strange behavior of herself and Ramon is now explained. She revealed that he told her on the boat yesterday about my prognosis.
Though like a wounded dove, she was stronger than I expected. I knew in my heart that I could be responsible for a second suicide attempt, but she appeared very much in balance, and ready to start her life again, seemingly undamaged despite allowing herself to become attached to someone who could not remain with her.
JULY 15, IRELATING ONLY TO THE END OF "The Savage Season
," STORY CAN BE FOUND IN THE THIRD COLUMN OF RAPTURE AT TWO FORTY
Next Journal Entry:
Paul has chartered Ramon de Vega's boat for fishing on the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, but afterwards, Ramon says it's on the house, and they become pals.
They go out for a drink, and the irrepressible Ramon comments that even though he's grown a beard, the women won't leave him alone.
He says he's on vacation from his work - which he explains to a bemused Paul is women.
He treats them royally, giving everything until the day that an “emergency” arises on his ranch requiring cash which is not ready.
He tells Paul that he's an illusion, and women see in him what they want him to be. When he disappears, it's only like a dream ending.
The next day before they go out fishing, a woman asks Ramon if his boat is for hire, and he brusquely tells her no.
Later, at sea, he reveals to Paul that she is millionairess Jessica Braeden who'd just gone through a difficult divorce; however, he is “on vacation,” and doesn't plan to romance her.
Just then Ramon spots a super fish, and gives Paul a command to stop the engine, but his actions result in blowing it up, Paul is injured, and Ramon drags him into a life raft, then tries to pull it through the water.
Their situation is perilous, and Paul tells Ramon to save himself - to leave him, and swim to shore on his own.
As persuasion, he reveals that he is dying, but Ramon states that's an even greater reason to save him, and they finally make it to shore near the property of Jessica where Paul gets medical treatment and a bed.
Ramon leaves, and in their initial conversation, Jessica tells Paul she thinks his friend is shy.
The next day Ramon arrives with his beard gone, full of charm with Jessica. With his boat gone, he must “go back to work,” and her millions are obviously his target. He invites her to go dancing with him, and she accepts.
After he is gone, she talks about Ramon with Paul, and wonders if he knows about her vulnerable situation.
That evening Jessica and Ramon enjoy the flamenco dancing, but when he asks her to take the floor with him, Jessica panics, and asks him to take her home.
She obviously warms to him, but when Ramon attempts to kiss her on the beach, she tells him that her reactions are all mixed up, and asks to walk back alone.
Paul walks up the beach, having witnessed the scene. He tries to deter Ramon, pointing out that Jessica is in a fragile state after her divorce, and even tried to kill herself.
But Ramon is to win Jessica in order to refill his coffers. Paul replies that while he won't reveal Ramon's motives in deference to the fact that he saved Paul's life, the field will not be open, and he intends to court Jessica himself. “If this is a challenge,” Ramon retorts, “then you're in over your head.”
They each spend time with Jessica, but during a cock fight, she again suddenly asks Ramono to take her home.
In an intimate moment with Paul, she asks him who he is, and he replies that hedoesn't know anymore.
When she questions whether he's lost someone, his answer is, “yes, in a way,” referring to life as he knew it. A romance is clearly developing between them.
But Ramon hasn't given up, and takes on Paul's challenge with enthusiasm. He rents a boat to go fishing, intending to impress Jessica at Paul's expense. The conversation is full of double entendre.
Paul struggles with a fish, then mutters something about professional versus talented amateur, and Jessica enjoys herself driving the boat. She is delighted and impressed by Ramon's duel with a giant swordfish, but in the end, the line breaks and he loses it.
In a fit of temper he goes below as a smug Paul remarks pointedly, “some of them get away, amigo.”
Jessica goes down to assuage Ramon, and he immediately tells her to pack and come away with him to the Costa Brava. He tells her that she must know how he feels about her, and that she must come back into the world.
But she declines, and he asks, “Paul?” She nods, and Ramon breaks out passionately, telling her that Paul is dying, then apologizes for divulging the news - with apparent sincerity.
Later, Ramon asks Paul, “do you realize, I lost my chance to retire for life on account of you?” But Paul counters, “I'm glad, think of all those women out there who would never have their dreams come true.”
Then it is Ramon telling Paul to let Jessica down gently. Just before leaving for Bavaria. He intends to try his luck with the ladies on the ski slopes, he makes a pact with Paul to meet in the same place one year hence. Walking on the beach together, Paul and Jessica embrace, and she asks him if he's saying goodbye.
She reveals that Ramon told her about Paul's secret, but she wants him to stay. She says she never cried when her husband left her, but did for Paul's situation, and then for herself, knowing she couldn't keep him with her.
He tells her that he wants to spend the time he has left avoiding reality among strangers who don't know he is dying - that if things move fast enough and the days are full enough, he can live in the illusion that he's no different than anyone else. And both will leave Mexico to live their lives separately.
Notes & Comments: The roguish charm of Fernando Lamas carries this often jocular episode with a bittersweet melancholy at its center. Leisurely in pace, it does contain an explosion at sea which nearly takes Paul pre-prematurely, but is nevertheless a rather lack-lustre episode. So early in the life of the series, this fact may well have denied the show many viewers who checked it out once and never came back.
Title Song sung by
Jo Swerling Jr.
Director of Photography
Lionel Lindon A.S.C.
John McCartey &
Melvin M. Metcalfe, Sr.
Color by Pathe
Editorial Dept. Head
David J. O'Connell
Costumes by Burton Miller