Three Men

Date: 20 December 1948
[This play was first broadcast, with minor 
differences, on "Lights Out!" in the 1930s.]

(MUSIC ... DRUM ROLL)

ANNOUNCER: The National Broadcasting Company presents "Radio City Playhouse" 
-- Attraction Twenty.

(MUSIC ... "RADIO CITY PLAYHOUSE" THEME ... OUT)

NARRATOR: A story about Christmas -- it is titled, "Three Men" -- by the 
outstanding American writer Wyllis Cooper.

(MUSIC ... FOR AN INTRODUCTION, THEN UNDER)

NARRATOR: This is the tale of another Christmas, a Christmas thirty years ago. 
It is 1918 and the Great War is over. War-weary men are at last getting leave. 
Leave areas have been established in various parts of France and men are en 
route from their stations to these areas, there to rest and refresh themselves 
for a brief period. It is Christmas Eve in the railway station at 
Ville Franche. 

(MUSIC ... FADES OUT)

SOUND: (A CROWDED RAILWAY STATION)

NARRATOR: The crowd is dense and compartments on the train are scarce. A young 
British officer hurries along the platform looking desperately for an empty 
seat.

STATIONMASTER: Entre, montez, avec un compartiment y la, monsieur.

BALLANTINE: Oh, uh, I beg your pardon? Do you mean I can get into that one? I 
can get into that compartment?

STATIONMASTER: Oui. Oui, oui, monsieur.

BALLANTINE: Oh, but - but there's somebody in it now. The trains are full.

STATIONMASTER: Ah, bien, monsieur. Montez, montez, montez, vite.

BALLANTINE: "Montez"? Oh, oh, thanks very much, I will.

STATIONMASTER: (hurrying away) Joyeux Noel, monsieur.

BALLANTINE: What's that? (calls after) Oh, yes, a merry Christmas to you, too!

SOUND: (COMPARTMENT DOOR SLIDES OPEN)

BALLANTINE: (attempts French) Ah, excusez-moi, I, uh-- I - I - I mean, I'd 
like to, er, veni in here, if it's all right with you. Veni? (gives up, in 
plain English) Oh, I can't talk the ruddy language.

GASCOIGNE: (amused) Ah, it is not necessary to speak the "ruddy" language, 
monsieur, since I speak yours, after a fashion.

BALLANTINE: (also amused) Oh, ho. The stationmaster said you wouldn't mind if 
I stowed my stuff in here.

GASCOIGNE: I should be delighted. Uh, let me help you with your baggage.

BALLANTINE: Oh, that's all right, I'll - I'll just stick it up on the rack.

SOUND: (PUTS BAGGAGE ON RACK)

BALLANTINE: There we go. And, uh, shut the door.

SOUND: (COMPARTMENT DOOR SLIDES SHUT, CUTTING OFF MUCH OF THE OUTSIDE NOISE)

BALLANTINE: There. Ah, this is a bit of all right. So clean, too. I've never 
seen such a clean train in France.

GASCOIGNE: (chuckles) They probably scrubbed it out for Christmas. I am, uh, 
Captain Ismael Rochefort de Gascoigne of the 212th Regiment Artillery, G.P.F.

BALLANTINE: Oh, I'm Lieutenant Horace Ballantine of the Australian Light 
Horse, sir. Are you going on leave, Captain?

GASCOIGNE: Yes. I'm not sure where yet, mais c'est la guerre, one never knows 
where he goes in this war.

BALLANTINE: (laughs) That's too right. It's jolly good of you to share your 
compartment.

GASCOIGNE: I'm only too glad.  It has been rather a lonely journey so far. I'm 
delighted to have someone to talk to.

BALLANTINE: Well, first class compartments aren't too easy to get hold of, 
either. Yeah, it's a bit cushy, this, isn't it?

GASCOIGNE: Ah, not too bad, indeed. (chuckles) You'll pardon me, I know, but, 
uh, I am a bit curious to know how an Australian officer should find his way 
to Ville Franche.

BALLANTINE: (laughs) Matter of fact, I don't quite know myself, Captain, er, 
uh, Gascoigne, is it?

GASCOIGNE: Er, yes. And your name is, uh, Ballantine? I - I must remember.

BALLANTINE: Righto. Well, I was at Gallipoli with the Third Aussie Division 
and, uh, got a bit of a crack on the head, you know. First thing I knew, I 
found myself transferred to a village a few miles east of here. Nothing but 
Americans in it.

GASCOIGNE: Ah, the Americans. They're good soldiers, eh?

BALLANTINE: Oh, yes, they're splendid.

GASCOIGNE: And now you find yourself bound for leave -- on Christmas Eve.

BALLANTINE: Righto -- and jolly glad of it, too.

GASCOIGNE: Where're you going, do you know?

BALLANTINE: Oh, report to the R.T.O. at Ile de Bain, that's all I know.

GASCOIGNE: (chuckles) You have the same difficulties in your army, I see. 

BALLANTINE: (chuckles) 

GASCOIGNE: One never knows where one goes. You are a long way from home, my 
friend.

BALLANTINE: Yeah, that's right. Ruddy long way. Half 'round the world, you 
know.

GASCOIGNE: And you have come to fight for France. (genuinely) I salute you, 
monsieur.

BALLANTINE: (shrugs it off) Oh, it's been fun.

GASCOIGNE: Oui. And now it is over. And our young men lie dead -- under the 
stars out there.

BALLANTINE: Now, wait a minute, we've lost a few, too.

GASCOIGNE: (clarifies) "Our" young men, monsieur: French and British and 
Australian and American. Alors, one cannot make the omelette without breaking 
the eggs.

BALLANTINE: That's right. And a ruddy lot of good eggs, too, friend Gascoigne.

GASCOIGNE: Oui.

BALLANTINE: (on a lighter note) Well, I wish the blasted train would start.

GASCOIGNE: (matching him) It is always a mystery how they control these trains 
-- particularly when one wishes to go somewhere in a hurry.

BALLANTINE: Hey, there's a chap in American uniform out there looking for a 
place.

GASCOIGNE: What's that, sir? Perhaps we could invite him in here, if you do 
not mind.

BALLANTINE: Why not? If it's all right with you.

GASCOIGNE: Why, he's a comrade. There is little room on the train.

BALLANTINE: Right you are.

SOUND: (COMPARTMENT DOOR SLIDES OPEN ... RAILWAY STATION NOISES)

BALLANTINE: (calls out) Oh, Yank?! Yank?! Yank, there -- this way, Yank!

GASCOIGNE: He comes?

BALLANTINE: Yeah. Why, strike me pink, now. The blighter's black. And an 
officer, too.

GASCOIGNE: That so? I've heard that the Americans have two divisions of, uh, 
Negroes. And they have many officers who are -- as the Americans say -- 
"colored," also. I've never seen one.

BALLANTINE: (calls out) Ah, this way, Yank! (to Gascoigne, uncertain) You 
don't mind if I ask him in, do you?

GASCOIGNE: My dear Ballantine, why should one mind? Is he not a man? And an 
ally? And an officer? Do we dislike one another because I am French and, uh, 
you Australian?

BALLANTINE: (relieved) Good man. After all, what the devil's difference does 
it make what color a chap's skin is, eh? (to the approaching American) Ah, 
Yank, there's room here.

MELVIN: Mind awfully, Lieutenant?

BALLANTINE: Well, there's not much room anywhere else, matey. Come on in. 
We've got room for one.

MELVIN: Ah, thank you.

SOUND: (COMPARTMENT DOOR SLIDES SHUT, CUTTING OFF MUCH OF THE OUTSIDE NOISE)

MELVIN: I was afraid I was gonna be left behind.

BALLANTINE: My name's Ballantine, leftenant, Australian Light Horse.

MELVIN: Oh, I'm Captain Melvin of the 370th American Infantry.

BALLANTINE: (chuckles) Delighted, Captain. And, uh, this is Captain, er-- 
(embarrassed, to Gascoigne) Oh, dear, you'll have to help a chap out.

GASCOIGNE: (chuckles) I am Captain Ismael Rochefort de Gascoigne of the French 
artillery, Captain. Welcome.

MELVIN: Well, gentlemen, I - I thank you.

BALLANTINE: Here, give me your musette. I'll shove it up on the rack.

SOUND: (PUTS BAG ON RACK)

MELVIN: Oh, thank you, Lieutenant. Ahh, feels good to get that thing off my 
shoulder.

GASCOIGNE: Sit down, Captain Melvin.

MELVIN: Ah, thank you. (sits) I've been standing around there all day long on 
one foot and then on the other, waiting. Finally, when the train did pull in, 
I thought I was still gonna stand there. Good of you to take me in.

GASCOIGNE: We are delighted, sir.

BALLANTINE: Oh, righto.

MELVIN: Uh, you're Australian, eh, Lieutenant?

BALLANTINE: That's right. From Adelaide. But I've lived in England for years. 
Where are you from, Captain Melvin?

MELVIN: I'm from, uh, Chicago.

BALLANTINE: Oh. And you, Captain Gascoigne?

GASCOIGNE: My home is in Bayonne, as one might infer from my name.

MELVIN: Your name, Captain?

GASCOIGNE: Gascoigne. Er, G-A-S-C-O-I-G-N-E. Uh, from Gascony, you see.

MELVIN: Oh ho, is that so?

BALLANTINE: Oh, I see.

MELVIN: (sighs) You know, gentlemen -- it's odd, isn't it? Here we are, three 
of us in one railroad coach, bound for - somewhere - and we've come from all 
over the world to meet on Christmas Eve in France.

BALLANTINE: Heh! To tell you the truth, we don't even know where we're going. 
Do you?

MELVIN: (laughs) I haven't the slightest idea. Leave area -- that's all I 
know.

BALLANTINE: Well, we may as well have a spot of Christmas cheer, eh? I've a 
bottle of rather good wine in my musette.

MELVIN: Yeah, so have I.

GASCOIGNE: Ah, not to be outdone in this matter, mes amis, I also have a 
bottle of Lachryma Christi -- "tears of Christ." A very precious wine in these 
days, gentlemen. (with a shrug) I do not remember how I came by it but, er, 
suffice it to say, I have it.

BALLANTINE AND MELVIN: (laugh)

SOUND: (TRAIN WHISTLE)

STATIONMASTER: (off) Attencion! 

GASCOIGNE: Ah, we are about to start.

STATIONMASTER: (off) Attencion! 

SOUND: (TRAIN STARTS)

MELVIN: Yes, we ARE startin'.

SOUND: (TRAIN SPEEDS UP, WHISTLES)

BALLANTINE: Say, you know, there was a jolly happy crowd there at the station, 
wasn't it?

MELVIN: Hm. Christmas. 

BALLANTINE: Yes. 

GASCOIGNE: Still Christmas despite the fact that most of them all want to get 
out of the town and go somewhere.

MELVIN: Mm hmm. Last Christmas, I was down in Texas - in Camp Logan.

BALLANTINE: I was in the hospital at Marseilles.

GASCOIGNE: (grandly) And I -- I had dinner with a German general.

BALLANTINE: What?

MELVIN: A German general?

GASCOIGNE: Oui. Captured on Christmas Eve.

MELVIN: (laughs) Oh!

BALLANTINE: (laughs) I see. (beat) Well, gentlemen, will you drink with me?

SOUND: (BOTTLE OPENING)

GASCOIGNE: With pleasure, sir. If YOU will drink with me.

SOUND: (BOTTLE OPENING)

MELVIN: And - with me.

SOUND: (BOTTLE OPENING)

BALLANTINE: All right, then, mates. To, uh-- To Christmas, eh?

MELVIN: To Christmas!

GASCOIGNE: Ahhh!

SOUND: (THEY CLINK BOTTLES, DRINK, AND EXHALE HAPPILY)

BALLANTINE: Well, my musette's so ruddy full of junk of all sorts, I was 
afraid I might have lost that bottle.

MELVIN: Uh, souvenirs, huh?

BALLANTINE: Uh huh, yes. And silly toys and things that I picked up, you know. 
Give 'em to some kids somewhere.

MELVIN: Yeah. 

BALLANTINE: Lord knows they have few enough.

GASCOIGNE: Gifts, too, in my musette. There - there's no one left of my people 
to give them to but-- It is a sentiment. A sentiment of Christmas.

MELVIN: Yes, I suppose we all do that. Mine's tight with odds and ends, too. I 
didn't know if I'd ever get back to the outfit after this leave so I got some 
souvenirs together.

GASCOIGNE: Another drink, mes amis?

MELVIN: Mm, not now, thanks, Captain. I'll wait a while.

BALLANTINE: Ah, I think I will, too.

GASCOIGNE: Quite. (pause) Well, it's a beautiful night.

BALLANTINE: Clear. You know, if the war was still on, I'd expect to hear 
someone shout, "Lights out, Jerry up!" and have a lot of bombs land in our 
laps.

GASCOIGNE: I hope we are done with that, monsieur.

MELVIN: Amen.

BALLANTINE: There's no moon, though. 

MELVIN: Yeah, but - look at the stars. 

BALLANTINE: I say, do you see that one over there? Might even imagine it to be 
the star of Bethlehem. Ruddy bright, isn't it?

GASCOIGNE: Oui. Nearly two thousand years ago. I wonder if that same star 
still shines upon the Earth.

MELVIN: Well, if it does, we wouldn't know it. Not we who fight wars and deny 
the name of the man that was born under it. 

BALLANTINE: Say, you, uh - you a religious chap?

MELVIN: No. Not at all, Lieutenant. A long way from it.

BALLANTINE: I'm not religious, either. Oh, used to have some jolly times as a 
kid at Christmastime, though -- church things and all that, you know. Candles 
and whatnot.

MELVIN: Heh heh, yeah.

GASCOIGNE: Oui. One is not religious save when one sees a star shining down on 
him.

MELVIN: (musing) I wonder if that COULD be the star.

GASCOIGNE: And why not, my friend? Our Earth changes but the everlasting stars 
change not.

BALLANTINE: Be funny if it is, wouldn't it?

GASCOIGNE: Oui. (stifles a yawn) Ah, but our journey is long, gentlemen. If 
you wish to sleep--

BALLANTINE: You sleepy, Captain?

GASCOIGNE: This so-little drink of wine has affected me, I fear. I cannot keep 
my eyes open.

MELVIN: (chuckles) I'm a little tired myself. Standing around all day in that 
station and no place to sit down--

BALLANTINE: (yawns) I could always sleep myself.

GASCOIGNE: I propose, then, that we do sleep for a little while, my friends.

MELVIN: (yawns) Talking of sleeping has made me sleepy. Yeah, I'm all for it.

BALLANTINE: Shall I turn down the lights?

GASCOIGNE: If you will, monsieur. Ah, pleasant dreams. And -- joyeux Noel.

BALLANTINE: Merry Christmas to you both, gentlemen.

MELVIN: And to you, Lieutenant Ballantine, Captain Gascoigne.

GASCOIGNE: Yonder star shall watch over us, n'est-ce pas?

MELVIN: The star that shone on Bethlehem.

GASCOIGNE: You know, it seems that I have met you both before somewhere.

BALLANTINE: That's - very odd.

GASCOIGNE: What, my friend?

BALLANTINE: I - I was thinking the same thing.

MELVIN: Yeah. I was, too. Oh, but it couldn't be. One from France, one from 
Australia, one from America.

GASCOIGNE: Oui. It is so. (pause) Good night, my friends.

MELVIN: Good night.

BALLANTINE: Good night.

SOUND: (TRAIN WHISTLE BLOWS AS THE TRAIN RUMBLES DOWN THE TRACK ... EVENTUALLY 
CROSSFADING INTO A MUSICAL BRIDGE)

(MUSIC ... A BRIDGE)

SOUND: (A NOISY DESERT WIND BLOWS STEADILY THROUGHOUT)

BALTHASAR: Well, we have journeyed far. Three lone men across valleys, 
mountains and deserts. Gaspar, my friend, didst thou not promise us a sign? 
Are we to turn around like this forever?

GASPAR: Be not of faint heart, Balthasar. The end of our journey is at hand.

BALTHASAR: The wind is bitter in this strange country. Oh, Gaspar, whither 
goest we? For how many days now have we traveled? I can no longer count. The 
night is dark, Gaspar. I'm tired and weary.

MELCHIOR: And I, friend Balthasar, I would fain rest.

GASPAR: Have faith, my friends. Balthasar, Melchior, have faith.

BALTHASAR: We have faith, O Gaspar.

MELCHIOR: Aye. Lead on, Gaspar. Whither thou goest, there will we follow thee. 
For we be but three lone men traveling in a strange country in the dead of
night, yet we know that thou art inspired of God and that His hand doth lead 
thee.

GASPAR: Yet not even I know what miracle He will do before our eyes.

MELCHIOR: No matter. We will follow on the road -- to death. Now, which road 
takest thou? That to the right hand or - to the left?

GASPAR: I know not.

BALTHASAR: Will thou not call upon God, Gaspar?

GASPAR: Aye. Kneel down, brethren. (they kneel) O Lord Father God, lead us Thy 
servants in the way that Thou didst set out for us. For know, O Lord Father 
God, that we are poor. And our eyes know not the right. And we would follow 
the way that Thou wilt have us follow. Therefore, we pray Thee humbly--

BALTHASAR: Look! A miracle! A miracle!

GASPAR: Miracle? What sayest thou, Balthasar?

MELCHIOR: Behold, Gaspar! A sign from the Lord Father God!

GASPAR: There is no sign--

MELCHIOR: Behold! In the sky!

BALTHASAR: A sign. A sign.

GASPAR: A star -- that burneth brighter than all the stars of the heavens. O 
Lord God, we thank Thee. The way is before us. We follow Thy will.

BALTHASAR: Behold, Gaspar, the star shineth upon the pathway to the left.

GASPAR: Forward, forward, brethren - for the end of our journeying is at hand. 
Certes, this is a sign from God.

MELCHIOR: Behold, Gaspar, beyond the hill -- the lights of a village.

GASPAR: It is so! There are we come to our destination, indeed. Haste, haste.

SHEPHERD: O travelers! Ho! Have you seen the star?

BALTHASAR: Who calls? Who art thou?

MELCHIOR: 'Tis a shepherd. See the flocks of sheep beyond the road?

SHEPHERD: Seest thou the star, travelers? Knowest thou its meaning?

BALTHASAR: Aye, we have seen it, O shepherd. Yet we know not its meaning save 
that a miracle of the Lord Father God is nigh unto us.

SHEPHERD: Aye, from the blackness of the sky, it sprang into blaze. O 
travelers, dost thou think it portend the end of Earth?

GASPAR: Nay, friend. Not the end of Earth. Say, rather, its beginning.

SHEPHERD: What sayest thou?

MELCHIOR: Behold, shepherd, the mantle of the Lord is upon him.

SHEPHERD: Yea, verily, ye speak as men that understand the workings of the 
will of God.

BALTHASAR: Say now, shepherd, how is yonder village named?

SHEPHERD: Ay, surely if ye know what shall come to pass because of the star -- 
how is it you know not the name of the town?

BALTHASAR: We have come from far lands, O shepherd.

MELCHIOR: Aye. What does it matter if we know not such trifles as the name of 
the village, when we do know of a miracle to be wrought in the name of 
Almighty God?

GASPAR: Aye, it is so.

SHEPHERD: Hm. What miracle shall come to pass?

MELCHIOR: It is hidden from our ken, O shepherd. Yet it shall come to pass. 
Fear not.

GASPAR: Aye, and such a miracle as shall set all the world to singing praises.

SHEPHERD: Ye be not of Israel?

GASPAR: Nay, I am from the land of the Greeks. And these, my companions, be 
also from far lands. Melchior from Ethiop. And Balthasar, a wise man of 
Egypt, the soothsayer unto the King.

SHEPHERD: Mm. Ye have come far.

GASPAR: Aye, so. Since many days, our feet have trod the pathways of hidden, 
unknown places - yet always have we set our faces unto the East, obeying the 
bidding of a voice unheard, the guidance of a hand unfelt.

SHEPHERD: And ye go now unto the town?

MELCHIOR: Shepherd, thou hast not told us its name.

SHEPHERD: Certes, all men know that yonder town is called the town of the 
house of bread, even Bethlehem.

BALTHASAR: Now this night shall be born in Bethlehem that Messiah, that very 
Son of God, which the ancient prophets have foretold. And this is the miracle 
that shall come to pass, for He shall be born of a virgin immaculate. And His 
name shall be Jesus, called Christ.

SHEPHERD: O, O holy man, may I not go with thee, seeing that thou knowest not 
the village and I with my brethren were - were born there?

GASPAR: Aye, thou mayest come with us but haste, haste.

MELCHIOR: Behold the star -- how it seemeth to beckon us on.

GASPAR: Sling thy burthens from thy shoulders. Haste! Haste!

BALTHASAR: I - I marvel also that there should be lights abroad in the town. 
The hour is passing late. Yet there is a light in every house.

MELCHIOR: Perchance the men of Bethlehem rejoice that the Messiah is born.

GASPAR: Nay, not so. For He is hidden from men. And they of Bethlehem know Him 
not.

MELCHIOR: Then what--?

SHEPHERD: Er, the feast of Hanukkah is but lately over, my masters. The feast 
of the lights, in memory of the Maccabee. And thus is the city full, even all 
the inns.

BALTHASAR: But dost thou know where we shall find Him, O Gaspar? Has it been 
revealed unto thee?

GASPAR: All in good time, my friend. We follow the star.

SHEPHERD: Eh, eh, eh, behold! These be the walls of Bethlehem, O wise man. Ere 
yonder lieth the gate.

MELCHIOR: Perchance the soldiers of the Tetrarch may refuse us admission into 
the city, Gaspar.

GASPAR: Nay, they are gone away, Melchior.

SHEPHERD: Aye, they all lie in the inns and the public houses and - and 
carouse with the people of the town.

BALTHASAR: Gaspar, art thou sure indeed that we shall find Him in Bethlehem?

GASPAR: Dost doubt the word of God, Balthasar? Come, we must go on.

SHEPHERD: But whither goeth we, O Lord Gaspar?

GASPAR: Name me not "Lord," shepherd. For we are all humble men in the sight 
of God.

MELCHIOR: Praise God.

BALTHASAR: Praise God.

GASPAR: Behold how the rays of the star shine down upon this certain street. 
It is the way. Follow.

SOUND: (CROWD NOISES IN)

MELCHIOR: Lo, one comes, Gaspar, in haste.

GASPAR: Aye. So?

SHEPHERD: Hm! Perchance he knows.

GASPAR: Ho! Draw, man! Whither goest thou?

PHYSICIAN: (haughtily) Who art thou? Stand aside that I may pass.

SHEPHERD: Who art thou? Know that I am citizen even as thou art!

PHYSICIAN: Oh, ho, ho. Speak thou thus to me who am the great physician?

SHEPHERD: Cease! Thy tongue clacketh like--

BALTHASAR: Didst say that thou art chirurgeon, O man of Bethlehem?

PHYSICIAN: Aye. I am that. I am Balthus, wrestler with the Angel of Death.

GASPAR: Hold, I pray thee. Hast thou attended woman this night - that was 
brought of child?

PHYSICIAN: Hm? And how didst thou know that, stranger?

GASPAR: Wilt thou say "aye" or "nay"?

PHYSICIAN: Aye, I have done so. And, lookee, now, this night, I have come upon 
a miracle, a very marvel, a prodigy of nature.

GASPAR: Speak of the marvel that thou hast witnessed, man.

PHYSICIAN: Then, behold. Not two hours have past since one came post haste, 
crying before my door, "O Balthus, O most noble surgeon, O saver of lives, 
come down in haste. A woman hath need of thee in the stable nigh unto the inn 
of the two oxen."

BALTHASAR: In the stables?

PHYSICIAN: Aye. The stables. Well, now, I - I am a man of charity and always 
ready to answer the call when sickness stalketh abroad, so I flung my cloak 
about me and went in haste -- as ill becometh a man of my age and girth, yet I 
am charitable, I say. And behold. In yonder stable was a woman, couched in the 
straw of a manger, brought to bed of a child.

SHEPHERD: Bah! Surely, man-- Women have been brought to bed of a child in 
stables before, chirurgeon.

PHYSICIAN: Aye, so. But, mark me well now, this woman - was a virgin.

SHEPHERD: Nay!

PHYSICIAN: I swear it. By the Holy phylactery. By my father's beard, I swear 
it. Verily, a child born unto her -- and she a virgin.

SHEPHERD: Bah! Thou hast drunk too much of thy sack-posset, neighbor. And thou 
a physician!

PHYSICIAN: I swear--!

GASPAR: Verily, hast thou stood before a miracle this night.

PHYSICIAN: A miracle? In sooth, a very prodigy--!

GASPAR: Where is the woman thou didst attend?

PHYSICIAN: Er, in yonder stables. The man did say they had come from, er, 
Nazareth in Galilee, to giveth testimony to the tax collectors. And so they 
beseeched the innkeepers, yet none would give them rooms, saving only this one 
- who, having pity upon a woman with child, did say unto them they might find 
bed amongst the kine of the stable and did charge them naught.

GASPAR: Now, may all the blessings of God be on this innkeeper -- for that he 
hath offered a shelter this night unto the Son of God.

PHYSICIAN: (stunned) Eh? What sayest thou?

GASPAR: And on thee, physician, for that thou didst lend thy hand unto her who 
is the very mother of Him who shall be the Savior of the world.

PHYSICIAN: (convinced) Verily, I know not who thou art, old man, yet I 
perceive that thou hast the gift of prophecy. Hm. The babe did look upon me 
with a look that I shall never forget. Hm. If thou dost speak sooth, I am most 
blessed amongst men.

GASPAR: Thine was the hand that first touched Him. Verily art thou blessed. 

PHYSICIAN: I thank thee for thy grace, friend. Go now, inside the stable.

GASPAR: Come, my two good friends, and fall down and worship the infant Jesus, 
Son of God, which shall be called the Christ.

MELCHIOR: Praise unto Him.

BALTHASAR: Praise. 

GASPAR: Praise unto the Son of God.

SHEPHERD: I - I will not go in. I am not worthy.

MELCHIOR: Nay, shepherd. There be none of us worthy to touch His hand, yet 
there be none too humble to do Him reverence. Come.

GASPAR: Aye, come, shepherd.

SOUND: (CROWD NOISE OUT ... DESERT WIND BLOWS STRONGLY)

BALTHASAR: The star! The star waneth a little.

MELCHIOR: Shadows fall upon us.

GASPAR: The star paleth before His glory.

MELCHIOR: Nay, nay, Gaspar. Behold! Behold in the sky! A sign!

BALTHASAR: Sign? O Father Lord God.

GASPAR: A sign! (voice breaking) The shape of a man - crucified upon a cross.

SOUND: (WIND CROSSFADES INTO MUSICAL BRIDGE)

(MUSIC ... A BRIDGE)

SOUND: (TRAIN RUMBLES DOWN THE TRACKS, WHISTLE BLOWS)

MELVIN: (half asleep) Balthasar! (awaking from dream) Huh? Uh, Ballan--
Ballantine? 

BALLANTINE: (half asleep) Gascoigne? Didst cry out unto--? (awaking) Uh-- 
Why-- What's the matter?

MELVIN: Heh. I was dreaming, I guess.

GASCOIGNE: (awaking) Wha-? Wha-? Where are we?

MELVIN: Uh, it - was a dream. But I - I saw you two.

GASCOIGNE: You saw US?

MELVIN: It's hard to remember but--

GASCOIGNE: Did you - did you dream of three men, Melvin?

MELVIN: Uh-- Yes.

GASCOIGNE: I - I did, too.

BALLANTINE: Gaspar!

GASCOIGNE: And Melchior.

MELVIN: And Balthasar.

BALLANTINE: Gascoigne.

GASCOIGNE: And Melvin?

MELVIN: And Ballantine.

BALLANTINE: Look at our clothes. Look at our shoes. All of us.

GASCOIGNE: What? Straw!

BALLANTINE: Yes. Straw from a stable. And that fragrance. What is it?

GASCOIGNE: (slowly, in awe) Gentlemen, I - I have been in the East. I know 
what that smell is. It's myrrh. And frankincense.

SOUND: (WHISTLE BLOWS ... TRAIN RUMBLES DOWN THE TRACKS)

(MUSIC ... TO A FINISH)

NARRATOR: That was "Three Men" -- written by Wyllis Cooper.

(MUSIC ... "RADIO CITY PLAYHOUSE" THEME ... OUT)



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