Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Escape
Show: The Abominable Snowman
Date: Sep 13 1953

Transcribed by Gary Williams

ANNCR:

Tired of the everyday routine? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you...Escape!

ANNCR:

Escape! Designed to free you from the four walls of today, for a half hour of high adventure!

MUSIC :

Opening theme... into background, behind narration..

ANNCR:

You are high on the frozen slopes of a great mountain. Terrified, and caught in a blizzard. While the thing for which you've been hunting has suddenly become the hunter. And if it finds you... then, for you, and your companions, there can be no escape! So listen now, as 'Escape' brings your Anthony Ellis exciting story, The Abominable Snowman!'

MUSIC:

(long bridge into..)

PAUL:

Our first bit of luck was when we hired our Sherpa guide, Nah-song. That was in Darjeeling. When I told Nahsong what we were after, he hesitated for a moment, and then he said...

NAHSONG:

Thee sahibs have not come to climb Shahm-a-loma?

PAUL:

No..we're a little late for that. It's already been done. The other two sahibs and myself are here for the reason I told you.

NAHSONG Metocamee?

PAUL:

That's right.

NAHSONG:

The Sahibs always hire me to climb the mountain with them. But. . . never this!

PAUL:

Are you afraid of 'em?

NAHSONG:

I have seen one.

PAUL: You've seen one?

NAHSONG :

Yes! Many of us have seen them.

FX:

Chair pulled back. Footsteps begin on hardwood floor.

PAUL:

Wait a minute-

SOUND:

Footsteps across floor, door opens

PAUL:

Allen?

ALLEN:

Yeah?..what's up?

PAUL:

I'm interviewing a Sherpa in here. He says he's seen one of the things. Where's Frank?

ALLEN:

Went out to get some tobacco.

PAUL:

Well, come on in. I think this is our man.

ALLEN:

Alright..

SOUND:

footsteps.. door closes.. footsteps

PAUL:

Nahsong!... this is Mr. Ferris.

ALLEN:

Hello, Nahsong.

NAHSONG:

Hallo.

PAUL:

Nahsong was telling me about what he'd seen... .Go ahead, Nahsong.

NAHSONG:

It has a face that is evil! And when it saw me, it uttered a strange cry, and bounded away. Sometimes leaping, sometimes running, with great strides. It was dusk...and after a moment I lost sight of it in the snow.

PAUL:

Where were you?

NAHSONG:

With the French expedition. It was at nineteen thousand feet. On Sham-a-looma

ALLEN:

(whistles) How far were you from it?

NAHSONG:

Uhhhmm... thirty feet.. .perhaps thirty five.

PAUL:

You're sure it wasn't an ape?

NAHSONG:

I am sure. There is no ape in the Himalaya, to make such a track.

ALLEN:

What about bears?

NAHSONG:

This, too, I have been asked. But does a bear walk always upon its hind legs?

PAUL:

Well, that's enough for me. (pause) Allen?

ALLEN:

Yeah, he'll do.

PAUL:

Well, if you want the job, Nahsong, you're hired.

NAHSONG:

You are going to try to capture a Yeti?

PAUL:

Yes.

NAHSONG:

It will be a difficult thing. (pause) But... I will serve with you.

(MUSIC BRIDGE AND UNDER)

 

PAUL:

(narrating) YETI. . . WILD MAN. . . METOCAHMEE. . ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN! That's the names the natives had for the things, and Allen Ferris, Frank Davis and I were going to try to get one. We'd all done some climbing, but climbing was secondary here. Expeditions since the beginning of the twentieth century had heard of the Abominable Snowman, observed their tracks, and one or two white men claimed to have seen them. Great ape? Bear? Monkey? Wild men? We didn't know...but we were going to find out!

(MUSIC BRIDGE AND UNDER)

 

PAUL:

(continuing) Four weeks later, we were in the Rangbok valley for our interview in the Monastary with the Lama. The journey from our base had been uneventful, the weather was good, and our spirits were high. From the Lama's window we could see the great peak of Everest in the distance....

LAMA:

Why, gentlemen, do you desire to capture metocahmee?

PAUL:

Because, sir, we believe it will be an invaluable aid in our prehistoric research...that is...if these things are, in any way, human.

LAMA:

And. .for this reason, then, you have formed the expedition?

PAUL:

Yes.

LAMA:

You are familiar with climbing?

PAUL:

Yes, we are.

LAMA:

You would need to be. The Yeti move at high places. Dangerous places, so my people tell me. Also...the monsoons are arriving in a short time.

PAUL:

I understand that. (Pause) Then, do we have your permission to investigate in the valley and beyond?

LAMA:

You have my permission, now.

ALLEN:

We appreciate it.

LAMA:

There is one point, however. I must request that no animal, or being, in this valley be shot. Our religion does not allow it.

PAUL: We'll respect your wishes, sir. Now, may I ask you one more thing?

LAMA:

Of course, my son.

PAUL:

Do you believe in the existence of Metocahmee?

LAMA:

I, myself, have never seen them...but I know that they live here, above the valley, on the Goddess Mother Of The World. It is also true that perhaps five, and possibly more, inhabit the upper Rongbok and its glaciers.

PAUL:

Thank you.

LAMA:

Do you have porters?

ALLEN:

Our guide, Nahsong, is hiring them now.

LAMA:

Ahhh....I trust that he meets with good fortune.

(MUSIC BRIDGE AND UNDER)

 

PAUL:

(narrating) The old man...with great dignity...bowed slightly to us and we were dismissed. But I thought I saw the shadow of a smile on his lips as he turned away. And it wasn't long before I found out why. (pause) Nahsong returned to us in our quarters, and his face warned of bad news.

NAHSONG:

Sir...I am unable to hire any porters!

PAUL:

But why not?

NAHSONG:

They know the purpose of the expedition. They...will not go.

ALLEN:

Why?

NAHSONG:

They are afraid.

ALLEN:

Of the Snowman?

NAHSONG:

Yes! (pause) They live in peace with them. They wish no trouble. They are afraid.

PAUL:

Well. . . alright! It'll be rough, but we can't waste time talking them into it. The monsoons will be coming in a couple of weeks. It's not the same as climbing Everest. We'll travel light...just the four of us...set up a base and start hunting. Alright with you fellas?

VOICES:

Yeah...sure... okay...

PAUL:

Nahsong?

NAHSONG:

I will go with you. I am not afraid.

PAUL:

Good!

SOUND: Scraping of chair, footsteps on floor.

PAUL:

Now lets take a look at the map. (footsteps continue)

SOUND:

Map unfolding

PAUL:

Now, we'll each carry a capacity load.. .and we should be able to make...this point below the glacier in two days. That's sixteen thousand feet. And if our Abominable Snowmen are in the vicinity, we've got two weeks to find them.

FRANK:

And when'll we start?

PAUL:

Tomorrow!

ALLEN: Good.

PAUL:

Well!...

SOUND:

(rolling up map)

FRANK:

Uh, Paul?

PAUL:

Yes, Frank?

FRANK:

One thing...Uh, what do the natives mean when they say they don't want any trouble with the things?

PAUL:

Oh, superstition, probably.

NAHSONG:

Oh, no, sir! It is not superstition. It is because the Yeti are cannibals. That is why the porters are afraid.

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

 

PAUL:

(NARRATING) The weather turned ugly the day we left the village. A cold Tibetan wind blew down from the west, and with our heavy packs, it took us much longer than we'd thought, to arrive at the point just below the Rongbok Glacier.

SOUND: Light wind begins

PAUL:

(NARRATING) We set up our camp and made ourselves as comfortable as we could. (pause) The next morning wasn't so bad. There was a heavy overcast, a promise of snow... and the peak of Everest looming over us, was shrouded in clouds. The four of us sat in our tents, looking at our charts and drinking hot tea.

SOUND: tea cups, spoon, pouring. . .

FRANK:

Uh, I figure it'd be easiest if we started at the East Glacier. It's only about three miles from here, and with the weather as stinking as it is, we won't run too much of a risk. (pause) Whad'ya think, Paul?

PAUL:

Well, that sounds alright. (pause) Whato do you say we split up? (drinking) Uhh, you and Nahsong, Allen and me? We'll work up on either side of the ridge...here. (map sounds) And if we spot any tracks, fire two shots,huh?

FRANK:

Yeah, good enough.

PAUL:

And the big thing...no matter what!...don't shoot at the thing, if you do see it. (pause) Okay?

FRANK:

Okay.

PAUL:

All right. If we lose touch with each other, we'll meet back here at five. (pause...) All right...let's get going!

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

 

SOUND:

Light wind...which will soon increase...

PAUL:

(narrating) We'd left the base at six that morning, and the going was rough. Allen was pretty well shot by the time we got to the seventeen thousand foot mark. He was having a tough time breathing. (pause) And the wind had come up again. And with it, a fine, powdery snow that blinded and choked us.

SOUND:

(HEAVY WIND NOW) THE MEN BREATH & GASP HARD (FOOTSTEPS ON CRUNCHY SNOW)

ALLEN:

Hey! I gotta take five.

PAUL:

All right. (pause) Here, move over here. It might cut some of the wind.

SOUND:

HEAVY WIND, AND OHHH...ohhh, uh...struggles with; FOOTSTEPS ON SNOW

ALLEN:

Whew... .that's better..

PAUL:

Well, we might as well start back for the base. We couldn't see anything.

ALLEN:

Right now, I don't care whether we do, or not.

PAUL:

Ehh, this is good weather! Wait until the monsoons start.

ALLEN:

Nah! Nah! Not me! (noises) Cold! I never been so cold in all my life!

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

 

SOUND:

lighter wind

PAUL:

(narrating) We stayed in the half-shelter of an overhang for ten minutes, and the wind was quieter and the snow had let up. I noticed that the tracks we had made coming into the shelter were gone now, but we didn't have any worry finding our way back. I figured that Frank and Nahsong had met pretty much the same thing on their side of the ridge, and we'd meet them at the base. So, Allen and I picked ourselves up and started off.

SOUND:

(WIND UP, SNOW CRUNCHING...)

ALLEN:

(really struggling...) Boy...I...I thought I was in pretty good shape but...up here...boy, I'm not! Ohh...Paul, I'm tired again.

PAUL:

Well, we'll just take it easy going down.

ALLEN:

Alright.

PAUL:

You haven't got frostbite, have you?:

ALLEN No... .no, not yet, but -- I..uhh...

PAUL:

What?

ALLEN:

To the left, there...

PAUL:

Yea...

ALLEN: They're...they're not our tracks, are they?

PAUL:

Not unless you took your boots off on the way up.

ALLEN:

Musta....just passed by. (pause) Musta seen us.

PAUL: Yeah. (pause) Come on!

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

 

PAUL:

(NARRATING) We were looking at a set of tracks, newly made in the fresh snow. And they'd passed so close to our shelter that the thing must have known we were there. (pause) They weren't the tracks of a bear. Or an ape. But more like a splay-footed, naked foot. (pause) The tracks of The Abominable Snowman!

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

PAUL:

(NARRATING) We began to follow the tracks. And for awhile, perhaps a hundred and fifty yards, it was easy. And then the thing made a leftward traverse down a deep slope. We could see the prints clearly, angling with a sidestep, as sure-footed as a mountain goat. Except...that it was walking on two legs.

SOUND:

(WIND, FOOTSTEPS IN SNOW)

ALLEN:

(off mike) This way, Paul.

PAUL: Take it easy, Allen!

ALLEN:

(off mike) Getting steeper.. .Boy, that thing sure can climb.

PAUL:

Hold up! (pause) Allen? Hold it!

ALLEN:

I think the... (BLOOD CURDLING YELL, AS HE FALLS INTO DEEP CANYON)

PAUL:

(NARRATING) And he dropped out of sight over the lip of the crevass. We weren't roped together. (pause, struggling) I got as close as I dared to the edge. The loose snow crumbled away from my outstretched body. And I looked down into the blue-black darkness below, falling away into nothingness. (pause) He was gone...finished. (pause) All I could think of was the noise he had made when he went over: surprised... angry...then silence. The crevass might have been five hundred feet, or five thousand. (long pause)
Snow started to fall again. Big flakes this time, and wet. I stood up. Across the gap, twenty feet away, I saw the tracks of the thing, continuing on and away, until they became lost in blank whiteness of the glacier. It had jumped and landed, still upright on the opposite side. (pause) I went back to the base, and an hour later Frank and Nahsong returned. I told them. And we were quiet for a long time. Then...

FRANK:

Paul...we going out again tomorrow?

PAUL:

Why not?

FRANK:

I just wondered.

NAHSONG: We should go back! It is an omen!

PAUL:

(somewhat forcefully) I tell you, he was going too fast. He didn't have a chance to see the crevass. That's not an 'omen', it's bad sense.

NAHSONG:

Metocahmee cannot be caught.

PAUL:

We'll catch him!

FRANK: Yeah, but there are only three of us. If we had a few more men...

PAUL:

(still somewhat forcefully..) I tell you, the thing was so close, if we'd looked up at the time, we'd have seen it! Do you think I'm gonna give up now. Next time we'll get it!

FRANK:

(quietly ) There was.. .no chance to get Allen out?

PAUL:

No.

FRANK:

Do you think if we went back, we..

PAUL:

(more forcefully) Listen! Do you think I don't want to? He's gone! I tried... but he's gone!

FRANK:

Okay! Paul.. .okay.. (long pause) Wish that wind would let up...

PAUL:

Maybe by morning. (long pause) We'll try again tomorrow.

(MUSIC BRIDGE AND UNDER)

 

PAUL:

(narrating) It was cold that night. And somehow colder, because Allen was gone. I heard Frank tossing around and I knew he was thinking about... a body... broken and lonely, lost somewhere in a deep....and dark place. (long pause)
In the morning, the three of us packed our gear, camera, food -- it was a light pack -- and we started up again. This time to a crest above the ridge. (struggling some) It was tougher than it looked, and we weren't even halfway up before we had to rest. (WIND INCREASES SOME...) As I looked to the west, I saw clouds boiling up. Not white, but somber, threatening. And below, the valley looked grim...ugly gray. And then the sun was gone. (pause) And we kept on going up... (pause) And then I had a strange feeling. It was nothing I could see. Nothing I could hear. Only a sensation of being...watched!...and followed!

SOUND:

(SNOW CRUNCHING)

PAUL:

(out of breath) Wait a minute!

NAHSONG:

See something?

PAUL:

No.

NAHSONG: I..have felt it, too, Sahib.

PAUL:

Something following us?

NAHSONG:

Yes! It is...Metocahmee!

PAUL:

How do you know?

NAHSONG:

It cannot be something else, this high. (pause) There is nothing else that lives here.

PAUL:

Maybe it's curious. (sharply now) No -- don't turn around! Listen... when we get up to the crest, you two flop down, stay in sight of the slope here.

FRANK:

What are you gonna do?

PAUL:

Move around the hump and watch. If it thinks we're all together, it may come close enough to give us a chance to get it.

FRANK:

You'd better watch your step. It looks nasty.

PAUL:

I will. Now, come on...

PAUL:

(narrating) It took us another fifteen minutes to get up to the crest and then Frank and Nahsong hunched down to rest. They were in clear view of the slope we just ascended. I moved back out of sight and made my way toward the hump, which backed a long shelf on the north side of the crest. In a couple of minutes, I lost sight of them. And of the slope. (pause) The wind had increased and the clouds had spread now, to become an iron-gray canopy over the mountain. It was getting colder again. I don't think it took over five minutes to reach my lookout point. And when I did, I had a perfect view of the ground we'd covered. (long pause) There was...nothing there. The men were out of sight. I waited. (pause) a minute...two...there was nothing. Then, all of a sudden --

SOUND:

(WILD ANIMAL IN DISTANCE - GUNSHOTS - MORE ANIMAL CRIES)

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

 

PAUL:

(narrating) It came!...carried on the wind...a cry...and then shots! I scrambled back to where I'd left them, and when I got there...WHEN I GOT THERE!... Frank was lying on his back.. .and I couldn't look at what was left of his face! There were terrible, deep rips in his clothing, and...he was dead. (MOANING FROM NAHSONG) Nahsong lay huddled, a few feet beyond... a gun in his hand.

NAHSONG: (weak, in great pain) Maa...Sahib?

PAUL:

Nahsong.. .what is it? What?

NAHSONG: Metocahmee! (pause, struggling) .. came from behind us.. be...before I could get hold of the gun. It killed him...then sprang at me. It is...strong, Sahib...with the strength of ten men!

PAUL:

Alright...Alright...can you sit Up?

NAHSONG:

Uhhhhh...my leg...it is broken. I shot at it, but I missed. It jumped away and was gone.

PAUL:

(narrating) We were four hours from camp, and with Nahsong practically helpless, it could well be four days, or -- never! (pause) I buried Frank where he was lying, then began to work down the slope. Nahsong was in great pain. He half-slid and crawled as best he could. That part of it wasn't too bad. Then we were at the bottom and there was a ledge to climb. (pause) It took well over two hours to do that. And we still had three miles of difficult terrain to cover. The stops became more frequent...

NAHSONG:

(at the end of his endurance) Sahib...leave me here. Go back!

PAUL:

No.

NAHSONG: My leg is frozen. There is no feeling anymore. I shall not live much longer.

PAUL: (demanding) Don't be a fool! After a rest, you'll be able to go on!

NAHSONG: Soon, the night comes. If we are both caught here, we both die! (pause) There will be snow, much snow! Leave me!!

PAUL:

No! We're going back together!

NAHSONG:

Please! Let...me sleep. Let me sleep here. I cannot go on.

PAUL:

You've got to, Nahsong!

NAHSONG:

No!...no more..

PAUL:

But the ridge is only about a half mile. From there it won't be too bad!

NAHSONG:

No! No, let me stay.

PAUL:

Nahsong!

NAHSONG: Let me sleep.

PAUL:

(SLAPPING HIS FACE REPEATEDLY) No! Come on, Nahsong, come on! You're not going to sleep! You'll be alright!

NAHSONG: Sahib!..look there!...

PAUL:

What?

(NARRATING) I turned. And for an instant, I saw it, outlined against the snow...crouching. Of medium height. It was covered with thick hair. The face was reddish and bare. A semi-human face... and it was not an ape.

SOUND: (SEVERAL LOUD GUNSHOTS)

PAUL:

The thing made a tremendous leap and was gone, but I'd hit it! I knew I hit it!

NAHSONG:

Metocahmee.. .that was he! Did you kill it?

PAUL:

No!..I don't think so!

NAHSONG:

Then it will be back. It has.. tasted blood. You must leave me!

PAUL:

No, get up! Get up! Come on! Let's go!

NAHSONG:

(IN GREAT AGONY) Ahhhh....

PAUL: Nahsong!... Nahsong!

NAHSONG: I...very...sorry, Sahib. Will you ask...the Lama...to make a prayer for me?

PAUL:

Sure...sure I will, Nahsong. But--

NAHSONG:

Say goodbye to my wife in Darjeeling. (pause) I'm sorry, Sahib. (pause) I die.. .ahhh...

PAUL:

(pause) ...Nahsong? (long pause..only the wind heard...) NAHSONG?!!

(MUSIC BRIDGE)

 

PAUL:

(narrating) And the darkness came. And with it, shadows in the snow. Every hillock, mound...became The Thing...motionless, waiting...In my mind I kept seeing its powerful long arms, and the dreadful claws it must have possessed. (pause) I carried my gun in my gloved hand, but I knew that I couldn't fire it unless I was barehanded. And that meant my hand would freeze to the gun. And then suddenly, I felt myself slipping!

SOUND:

(FALLING DOWN SNOWY SLOPE, GRUNTS & GROANS)

PAUL:

It was a short incline, but when I reached the bottom, the gun was gone! I'd lost it! (STRUGGLING IN SNOW, SEARCHING...)

PAUL:

(in a panic) Got to find it! I've got to find it!!
(NARRATING) And I saw a glint of metal in the snow, ten feet away. And at the same time. . . above me, at the top of the bank... The Thing! It stood swaying a little, looking down at me. (MOVEMENT, WIND) I moved...slowly... slowly. . . inched my way toward the gun. And as I drew closer, I kept my eyes looking up. But it didn't move.. .only stared down at me. And I thought I saw its little eyes glittering. And I thought...if the gun's frozen now...if it's frozen and doesn't fire... (struggling) And I was nearer to it. Near enough to take off my glove. But that moment in which I'd have to bend to pick it up... that' s when it would leap down at me.. .tear my throat out! Tear, and--... (movement in snow) -- I HAD THE GUN, AND I... PULLED THE TRIGGER!

SOUND:

(CLICK, CLICK, CLICK - BANG!!!) FOLLOWED BY A LOUD, BLOOD-CURDLING SCREAM THEN...WIND AND BREATHING...for two or three beats...

PAUL:

(narrating) And it...lay there....strange...and terrifying. It's blood staining the snow.

SOUND:

DEEP, GUTTERAL ANIMAL SOUND: GEEGGGEEGGEEEE CONTINUES UNDER NEXT SPEECH

PAUL:

(narrating) And it looked at me... (LOUD, GUTTERAL SOUND continues...) Looked at me. Until the sound died away... (SOUND FADES OUT..)

SOUND:

(WIND ONLY HEARD FOR A FEW BEATS..)

PAUL:

It was dead. (long pause) But the eyes kept on staring.

SOUND:

BEGINNING OF AVALANCHE

PAUL:

It -- must have been the shots that loosened the snow and ice on the ledge above. I heard the sound! And I RAN! RAN!!!

SOUND:

AVALANCHE: - INTO MUSIC BRIDGE

PAUL:

It passed me... and swept on down toward the valley, the thunder of it dying in the distance.

(MUSIC BEHIND)

PAUL:

And...when I went back, there was nothing there. (pause) It was buried... somewhere under tons of snow. (pause) I made my way back to the Rongbok village... I don't remember how... I didn't remember anything...for two weeks after. (pause) But I'm alive! (pause) And I'm NOT going back there again! (long pause)

(quietly) That's all I know. (pause) Or WANT to know... (long pause) about the Abominable Snowman!

(MUSIC FINALE)

 

ANNCR:

Escape has brought you The Abominable Snowman, written by Anthony Ellis.