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Series: Uncle Sam's Forest Rangers
Show: Episode 18 - The Lookout Station
Date: May 05 1934

CAST:


ANNOUNCER
RANGER JIM ROBBINS, middle-aged, folksy
JERRY QUICK, Jim's young assistant
BESS ROBBINS, Jim's wife
MARY HALLOWAY, the school teacher; on whom Jerry is sweet

11:30 to 12:30 P.M. C.D.S.T. MAY 5, 1932 THURSDAY

ANNOUNCER:

Here are Uncle Sam's Forest Rangers!

(ORCHESTRA: QUARTET)

ANNOUNCER:

Uncle Sam's Forest Rangers, the men whose job it is to keep the national forests green and growing, are with us again today. Last week we saw Ranger Jim Robbins and his assistant, Jerry Quick, up in the high country, where they were about to string up a new telephone line and erect a new lookout cabin on the top of Bald Peak. They finished the job a couple of days ago, and now we have a new unit in the protection system that is constantly being strengthened to guard the national forest against fire. Lookout men are already being stationed at each of the lookout points on the forest, to keep a constant watch throughout the summer for signs of fire and to report any fires that start as soon as they can be discovered. Emergency guards will be located at strategic points in the forest, ready to get after a fire as soon as it is reported and choke it out while it is still young. Reserve manpower for fire-fighting will be organized and available, Ranger Jim, veteran of many a hard campaign against fire, the "red enemy" of the forests, is working earnestly to make his fire control organization smooth and efficient this year, and he hopes that he and his men will be able to hold the fire losses on his district to a lower record then ever before.

However, we find that although lookout men have been installed at all of the other lookout stations, the man who is to go up to the new lookout station on Bald Peak will not be able to arrive for another week. So Jim Robbins is preparing to install Jerry as lookout at Bald Peak until the new man arrives. We take you now to the Pine Cone Ranger Station, where we find Jim and Jerry getting ready to leave.

(MUSICAL INTERLUDE)

JIM:

Well, Jerry. You'd better be getting the rest of your stuff together now so we can get an early start.

JERRY:

I've got most of it together already, Jim, -- Say, will I be keeping my horse up there with me on Bald Peak? I'll have to fix some kind of a pasture or something if I do, won't I?

JIM:

I guess I'd better bring your horse back with me this time, Jerry. Not much grass up there near the lookout cabin and it'll save having to bring up extra feed.

JERRY:

Okay. -- I was sorta hoping to have Spark up there for company, though.

JIM:

(chuckles) Well, we'll let you paint the cabin -- and oil the floor during your spare time. That'll keep you from getting lonesome.

JERRY:

(LAUGHS) I see. You'll give me a paint brush for company, huh? --- Well, that's all right. I'll have that cabin looking neat as a pin before I leave.

(PHOHE RINGS)

JIM:

Pine Cone Ranger Station. --- Oh, hello there, Bert. How are yuh? --- That's good. Yes, Bert, I've already installed look-out men at all the stations except the new one at Bald Peak. -- Yeah, the same men we had last year, I sent 'em up yesterday. --- Yeah. --- Well, I'm going to put Pete Evans up on Bald Peak, but he can't come up for another week yet, so I'm taking Jerry up there this morning to serve as lookout till Pete gets here. --- (chuckles) Yeah. Jerry's going to be lookout. --- Yes, I knew the forest was getting a little dry around the edges, so I thought I'd better get the men up this week. --- Thought you'd catch old Jim Robbins sleeping, huh? (chuckles) Well, you'll have to get up a little earlier next time, Bert. --- All right. So long. (HANGS UP RECEIVER) That was the Supervisor, Jerry.

JERRY:

Mr. Ellsworth?

JIM:

Yes. He wanted to know if we'd installed the lookout men yet. I told him you were going to take a turn at the job this week.

JERRY:

What did he say?

JIM:

(CHUCKLES) He said you ought to like it. You'd be sitting on top of the world.

JERRY:

(laughs) Sure I will. I'll certainly be able to look down on you folks.

BESS:

(coming up) Oh, you will, will you? Do you think that's a nice way to treat us?

JERRY:

Oh, hello, Mrs. Robbins. (LAUGHS) Now you know I wouldn't look down on you that way.

BESS:

You'd better not. After I just finished baking some gingerbread for you to take up on the peak with you.

JERRY:

Fine! Thanks a lot, Mrs, Robbins. I thought I noticed some awfully good smells coming from the direction of the kitchen.

JIM:

Well now. Maybe that'll increase Jerry's chances of pulling through the week on his own cooking. Huh, Jerry?

JERRY:

Well, it will help out. I admit I'm no expert at this cooking business, but I guess I can last out one week anyhow.

JIM:

Just so we don't have to haul you back at the end of a week on a stretcher.

BESS:

Oh, I'm sure Jerry will get along all right. --- I'll go put the gingerbread in a box so you can put it in the pack, Jerry.

JERRY:

All right, Mrs. Robbins. It's sure good of you to make it for me. It'll come in mighty nice up there at the lookout station.

BESS:

(going off) I'll have it ready in just a minute.

JERRY:

Thanks, Mrs. Robbins.

JIM:

Well, let's see now. --- Have you got your supply of weather report forms in your kit?

JERRY:

Yes, I've got 'em.

JIM:

And the fire report forms?

JERRY:

Sure, I put them in too.

(PHONE RINGS)

JIM:

There goes the phone again. --- (answers) Pine Cone Ranger Station. --- Oh, Mr. Quick? --- Yes, he's right here. --- (to Jerry) Jerry, you're wanted.

JERRY:

Thanks, Jim -- (to phone.) Hello. --- Oh, hello, Mary. --- Yes. --- Yes, I'm going up this morning, Mary. --- Fine, Mary! That'll be great! --- You'd better hurry, Mary. We'll have to leave in a few minutes. --- All right, Mary. --- Good bye, Mary. (HANGS UP RECEIVER) (TO JIM) That was Mary.

JIM:

(laughs) Mary? Well, now, I never would've guessed it.

JERRY:

She's going to stop in and tell me goodbye.

JIM:

Well, that's nice.

JERRY:

Let's see, I guess I've got about everything ready.

JIM:

I reckon so. --- You may have some fires to spot while you're up there, Jerry. The forest is getting dry in spots, so you'll have to keep your eye peeled.

JERRY:

I'll do that, all right.

JIM:

I wouldn't be surprised to see a lightning storm come up before long, and a lightning storm is apt to leave a few fires scattered around behind it. --- And then you never can tell when somebody's going to toss a burning cigarette out of his automobile, or leave his campfire without putting it out, or something like that.

JERRY:

Well, we lookout men'll catch the fires. You catch the fellows that start 'em.

JIM:

I'd a heap sight rather show a fellow why he needs to be careful with fire in the woods, before hand, than haul 'im up before the J. P. after he starts the fire. But enforcing the law's part of the job, of course. --- By the way, I just learned this morning about a fellow who paid the extreme penalty for a fire he started.

JERRY:

How was that?

JIM:

Well, they had a fire last year on the Plumas National Forest that burned over 3,000 acres before they could stop it. But the boys never found out what started it --- they had to put it down "cause unknown". -- Well, the other day, John Gray - he's the assistant supervisor on the Plumas -- and Ranger Herb Wilcox ran across a human skeleton near the place where the fire started. There was a watch and a belt buckle on the ground along side, but that's all there was for identification. It seems likely that it was the remains of a tramp who lay down and fell asleep with a lighted cigarette in his fingers.

JERRY:

Gee! burned himself up alive!

JIM:

'Pears that way. ---- Well, he won't be careless about smoking in the woods any more, poor fellow, - but I s'pose somebody else will sooner or later. So keep on the watch when you get up on the peak, Jerry.

JERRY:

Sure. That's what I'm going up for.

(KNOCK ON DOOR)

JIM:

There's somebody at the door. I reckon it's your friend the school teacher.

JERRY:

Yeah. It's Mary. (going off) I'll let 'er in. (DOOR OPENS) Hello, Mary.

MARY:

(coming up) Oh, good morning, Jerry. Good morning, Mr. Robbins.

JIM:

Hello, there, Mary. Glad to see you.

JERRY:

Gee. It didn't take you long to get here.

MARY:

No. I left right after I finished calling on the 'phone. ---- I hope I haven't delayed your starting, Mr. Robbins.

JIM:

Oh, no. We haven't loaded up the pack horse yet, Mary.

MARY:

I -- I just wanted to tell Jerry goodbye.

JIM:

(chuckles) That's right. He'll be gone a whole week now, won't he?

MARY:

Well --- it seems like a long time, anyway.

JERRY:

Oh, it's just a few days.

MARY:

Well --- I brought a box of homemade candy for you to take up with you, Jerry.

JIM:

(laughs) Well, now. Look at that. (chuckles) I guess the worst danger isn't going to be from eating your own cooking after all. Huh, Jerry?

MARY:

Why, Mr. Robbins. You're not very complimentary about my candy. I made it myself, last night.

JIM:

Oh no, Mary. No reflections on the candy. (chuckles) I was just thinking Jerry's getting an awful lot of attention from you womenfolks -- That's kinda dangerous for a young fellow, you know.

JERRY:

(slightly indignant) Well that's all right now. I'm sure going to take that candy along. -- You see, Mary, Mrs. Robbins baked some gingerbread this morning for me to take along too.

MARY:

Oh.

JERRY:

So now I'll be all fixed.

MARY:

Oh.

JERRY:

I'll sure enjoy having this candy too, Mary. It was mighty nice of you to make it for me.

MARY:

I thought you might like to have it - way up there by yourself.

JERRY:

I sure will. Thanks ever so much, Mary.

MARY:

You're welcome, Jerry.

JIM:

(chuckles) I'd certainly hate to see what'd happen to Jerry if he was going away for a year instead of a week.

JERRY:

(good natured again) (laughs) Well, if this is a sample, I'd like to try going away a year some time.

MARY:

Oh, no. I hope you won't do that, Jerry.

JIM:

(laughs) Well, anyway, maybe you youngsters'll excuse me a minute, - while I hunt up something.

JERRY:

Sure.

MARY:

(with him) Surely, Mr. Robbins.

JIM:

(going off) We'll have to be leaving soon, you know, Jerry.

MARY:

All right, Mr. Robbins. --- Oh, Jerry. I -- uh --- we'll miss you while you're away up there at the lookout station.

JERRY:

Will you? It's only for about a week, you know.

MARY:

I know, but -- I hope you won't be too lonesome up there all by yourself.

JERRY:

No, of course I won't. -- uh -- that is, I mean I will be lonesome in one way.

MARY:

How is that?

JERRY:

Oh -- well, you know -- up there by myself -- and everything.

MARY:

Yes, of course. -- I hope you don't have any lightning storms -- Sometimes you can see lightning striking up in the mountain tops from here. I'd be frightened to death to be up on top of the peak during a storm.

JERRY:

Aw, that's nothing. -- We've got to be on our toes more than ever when a lightning storm's going on, you know - in case the lightning starts any forest fires.

MARY:

Yes, I know.

JERRY:

There's no danger - much.

MARY:

I'll be glad when you come back just the same, Jerry.

JERRY:

Will you, Mary? Thanks.

JIM:

(coming in) Well now. You youngsters got your goodbyes all said?

JERRY:

I guess so.

BESS:

(coming in) Why, Mary Halloway. Good morning. I'm glad to see you.

MARY:

Good morning, Mrs. Robbins. I just thought I'd drop in and see Jerry off.

BESS:

Yes, indeed. We'll all miss him while he's away on lookout duty.

JERRY:

Mary brought me some homemade candy to take along too, Mrs. Robbins. I'm sure going to be fixed up fine when it comes to eats.

BESS:

Oh that was nice of you, Mary.

JIM:

(chuckles) You girls'll have this young assistant of mine plum spoiled if we don't look out. Won't you, now?

BESS:

Oh no we won't. Jerry isn't that kind of a boy.

JIM:

(chuckles) Well, I reckon I'd better rescue him anyhow. - Jerry, it's time you got the pack horse loaded up. Better take the rest of this stuff in here out with you.

JERRY:

All right, Jim.

JIM:

I'll let you load up the horse -- I want to work on the fire plan chart a little more before we leave.

JERRY:

Okay.

JIM:

And put the saddles on Dolly and Spark -- and don' forget to put that can of kerosene in the pack, -- for your lantern. I set it out by the shed door.

JERRY:

All right. -- Well, goodbye, Mary.

MARY:

Good bye - and good luck, Jerry.

JERRY:

(going off) Gee! A week does seem like a long time after all.

(MUSICAL INTERLUDE)

JIM:

Well, Jerry, here's your home for the next week. Let's drop the packs here on the floor now. You can unpack 'em later.

(SOUND OF HEAVY BUNDLES BEING DROPPED ON FLOOR)

JERRY:

It's a nice little cabin, if we did put it up ourselves.

JIM:

There's still a little fixing up to do. You can get some painting done this week while you're here, and oil the floor. Be sure and have the oil good and hot when you spread it.

JERRY:

Sure, I can do a lot of fixing up in my spare time.

JIM:

First of all though, you want to get your detection map oriented. I'll line you up on some of the landmarks before I leave. --- Now let's see if the telephone line is still okay. --- (RINGS ONE LONG RING) (To Jerry) I'm calling the ranger station. --- (to phone) Hello. --- Hello, Bess? -- can you hear me? --- How does the masterful voice of the old man sound from Bald Peak Lookout? --- Yeah? (chuckles) --- All right, Bess. Ring me back when I hang up and see if the ring comes through at this end. --- Bald Peak is two longs and two shorts. -- That's right. (HANGS UP RECEIVER) (PHONE RINGS TWO LONG, TWO SHORT) Hello. --- Okay, Bess. Thanks. (HANGS UP RECEIVER)

JERRY:

How does it work?

JIM:

Clear as a bell. --- Poor Bess'll have to be jumping for the phone all day when I'm not there - till we get the summer-term guards in.

JERRY:

Well, that won't be long now.

JIM:

No. --- Well now, let's see. Let's get lined up with this detection map. --- See, this center spot here, where the alidade pivots, is Bald Peak, where we are. --- See that rounded mountain top over there to the north?

JERRY:

Yeah?

JIM:

That's Windy Mountain Lookout. Get the binoculars and you can see the lookout cabin on top.

JERRY:

All right. Just a second.

JIM:

Windy Mountain is right here -- see -- on the map. Got the lookout cabin spotted?

JERRY:

Yeah. It's plain as day now.

JIM:

Well, you can sight it with your alidade and then get the two points on your map in line, see. Then you can sight on Cloud Peak -- and on Pine Crest over there -- and on Henderson Mountain over here to the east, of course.

JERRY:

Yeah. I see.

JIM:

Sure. You'd better post the list of phone rings alongside the telephone, too -- and the fire organization chart.

JERRY:

All right.

JIM:

Well, I guess everything's okay. Remember, Jerry, for the next week you're going to be a regular lookout and you'll have to go by the same rules as the other lookout men. No leaving the station for more than fifteen minutes without an O.K. from me or whoever's acting for me.

JERRY:

I understand that all right, Jim.

JIM:

Get your wood and water early in the morning or in the evening. See? You know where the spring is.

JERRY:

Yeah.

JIM:

And don't forget you're to report in to the ranger station by telephone every morning at 7:30 and every evening at six.

JERRY:

I won't.

JIM:

All the other lookout men on the district this year are old hands at the game, so you'll have to be on your toes if you get in first report on a fire ahead of them. Here's hoping we don't have any fires, of course, but keep a watch out just the same.

JERRY:

All right, Jim. I sure will.

JIM:

Well, I guess I'll have to be getting back. Phone in if there's anything you want to know.

JERRY:

Aren't you going to stay long enough to try some of my cooking, Jim? I can fix up something or other, I guess.

JIM:

(chuckles) I don't think I'll risk it, Jerry.

JERRY:

Well, let's sample some of the gingerbread - or some of Mary's candy anyway. Just a second. I'll get it.

JIM:

(chuckles) Well, I reckon I can stand a little of that.

JERRY:

Here. Have a piece of candy. -- Gee, it looks good.

JIM:

Thanks.

JERRY:

Say -- it tastes -- kinda funny, doesn't it?

JIM:

Haven't tasted it yet -- (chuckles) Seems to smell of kerosene.

JERRY:

That's what it is! Say, do you know what happened? I put that can of kerosene right next to it in the pack - and it must've leaked all over the candy.

JIM:

Well now, that's tough.

JERRY:

Gosh, I'll say it's tough! Say, don't tell Mary about this, Jim.

JIM:

(chuckles) No. I won't. I'll tell her her candy had a very unusual flavor.

(FADE OUT)

ANNOUNCER:

Well, folks, we'll leave Jerry here at Bald Peak Lookout Station, where he will remain for several days now, until the regular lookout man arrives. Like the other lookouts, Jerry will be constantly on the watch for smoke so that any fire which breaks out may be speedily reported and extinguished and our national forest will be kept green and useful for us.

Next Thursday at this same hour Ranger Jim and Jerry will be with us again. Tune in for another episode in the life and work of Uncle Sam's Forest Rangers. This program is sent to you by the National Broadcasting Company, with the cooperation of the forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

The role of Ranger Jim Robbins is played by Harvey Hays. Others in today's cast were:

(ORCHESTRA)