This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.
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Missing ''Scarlet Queen'' Treasures Part I of II
by Stewart Wright © 2016
(From Radio Recall, August, 2016)
One of the great Golden Age of Radio high adventure series was Mutual's 1947-48 The Voyage of the Scarlet Queen. While it only ran for 36 broadcasts, it is fondly remembered for its taut, action-packed scripts; great sound effects; stirring musical score; sometimes over-the-top acting, and memorable episode titles.
All but two of the broadcasts have been in circulation for many years. Broadcasts for episodes seven and ten have not yet been found. Early in 2016, I learned that the scripts for these Episodes exist and I gained temporary access to them. I have written plot summaries for each of the missing episodes. This issue features the summary for episode seven: "The Ninth Niece in the Street of Weeping Women" which was broadcast on August 14, 194 7. (The next issue will include the summary for episode ten.)
"Log entry, the ketch, Scarlet Queen, Philip Karney, Master … Position one twenty three degrees, eleven minutes East. Thirty degrees, nine minutes North, … Gyro-compass course, one-seven-three … Wind, fresh. Sky, fair … Remarks: - Left port of Shanghai six days before estimated time of departure … Reason for change in schedule, -- The Ninth Niece in the Street of Weeping Women."
Karney arrives in Shanghai for an important meeting with his boss, Ku Chei Kang. He is to learn the reason for the voyage that had already taken the Scarlet Queen over 8,000 danger-filled miles. When Karney arrives at the address, 28A Victoria Place, he doesn't find the offices of Kang and Son, but rather Ye Old Cheshire Tea Shoppe and enters a world of deceit and intrigue where one false move could mean failure of the voyage and DEATH!
The tea room proprietor, Mrs. Fenwick, has no helpful information, but a parrot in her menagerie of birds, is a salty talker. Mrs. Fenwick invites Karney to her home that evening, her nieces, aka hostesses will be there. The captain decides to string along, hoping to gain information on Kang's location. While he leaving the tea room, Fern, a hostess, gives Karney her address and promises him an entertaining evening.
Next, Karney goes to Kang's home, but someone else has taken up residence, a Colonel Smythe-Forrester. The Colonel said he rented the home from the same agent from which Mrs. Fenwick rented the tea room: Mr. Yen of the Bubbling Well Realty Company. At the rental agency, Karney is given an obvious run-around by Yen and realizes that Fenwick, Smythe-Forrester, and Yen are working together and are most likely in the employ of Kang's enemy, Constantino.
After encountering more dead-ends on Kang's whereabouts, the Captain locates Kang's attorney, Mr. Wong. The lawyer offers him only a Chinese proverb to ponder about remaining calm when dealing with puzzling situations.
Fern, the tea room hostess, is his next stop. Just before entering her apartment, Karney hears the parrot from the tea room and Fern says Mrs. Fenwick lives in the same building. He suggests that they go to Mrs. Fenwick's party. As they enter Fenwick's apartment, the old lady tells the younger woman to go see the other nieces.
Smythe-Forrester and Yen are present as is the Parrot. They believe that if Karney calls the Parrot by name, it will supply a crucial clue to the location of the treasure that Kang seeks. Phil calls the bird, by his name, Yang Ku, but the parrot reveals no information.
The Colonel tell Karney that Kang's daughter, Nan Hua, has been kidnapped and Kang has gone to another city to negotiate the $10,000,000 ransom. Karney's boss has liquidated his Shanghai holdings to raise part of the ransom.
In a final attempt to get his adversary to cooperate, the Colonel reveals that Karney's new chief mate, Mangan, is actually another Constantino henchman. The trio of Shanghai operatives don't realize that Mangan, a man who they have never met, is dead and Red Gallagher is still his mate. The chief mate comes in and plays the role of their deceased confederate. The newcomer is left alone with Karney to get the needed information out of him.
Red quickly tells his skipper that Nan Hua is actually being held in the building. Gallagher even knows the phrase to get the Parrot to speak to reveal supposedly important information: "Where away the Scarlet Queen". Red then works over Karney to make it look like he beat the key words out of the captain.
Mrs. Fenwick, The Colonel, and Yen return to hear Karney tell the parrot the special phrase that will disclose vital information about the treasure. Upon hearing Karney speak, the parrot replies with, "Awrrk! Where away ... Steady on. Stink ... steady on. Nan Hua ... Nan Hua."
Red convinces the Colonel that Nan Hua will never give up the information of the prize Constantino and Kang seek to them, but she might give it to Karney. Yen is ordered to take Karney and Gallaqher to Nan Hua. When Karney and Nan Hua meet, Yen realizes that Gallagher has tricked them, shoots at Phil and runs to warn the Colonel. Red shoots and kills Yen.
Karney, Nan Hua, and Red, take the parrot and waste no time in heading for the Scarlet Queen and about an hour later are on their way out to sea. Red tells Karney that Fern, Fenwick's ninth niece, is Kang's operative and helped him get the parrot to speak nonsense. The Queen is now on course for Swatow, where Karney is to meet Kang.
In our next issue, Stewart sets forth the detailed plot of episode ten, "The Dead Man and The Boac Idol." Watch for it!