ADVENTURES IN PARADISE "Build my Gallows Low" 1962
Gardner McKay is a Korean War vet who stayed in the east after the war. He bought a schooner, the "Tiki", and now runs a small cargo and passenger service out of Tahiti. This is the 85th episode of the series which ran for a total of 91 episodes during 1959-62.
Gardner McKay is upset. He has landed a cargo at a small Island and the recipient refuses to pay for the cargo. The man, plantation owner, Freeman Lusk says the cargo is late, and he will not pay. McKay replies that the delay was weather caused. The two exchange punches over the argument and Lusk goes down. McKay takes the cash owed, 300 dollars, from a pile sitting on Lusk's desk and throws the rest back.
Several minutes later, after McKay has started back to his schooner, another man enters Lusk's office. The man, Steven Geray, is the manager of Lusk's operations. He sees Lusk lying on the floor moaning. He also sees the pile of cash on the desk. He grabs a handy blunt object and proceeds to beat on Lusk. Geray then grabs up all the cash and exits. Lusk's body is soon discovered by the houseboy, James Hong.
The Police are soon calling on McKay for a chat. Houseboy Hong has identified McKay as the man he let in to see Lusk. McKay admits to having an argument that resulted in blows being exchanged, but that Lusk was alive when he left. Police Inspector, Barry Kroeger does not buy McKay's story and arrests the man. McKay is not the least bit happy with this idea. He belts the Policeman and his Sergeant, Henry Scott before beating the feet into the nearby jungle.
After wandering around the jungle for hours, an exhausted McKay hits the ground and passes out. He is found by a local, Bella Bruck, and given food and water. Bruck fills McKay in on the local gossip about Lusk. Bruck calls the plantation owner, "an evil man".
McKay now returns to the plantation to try and clear his name. He soon finds himself on the wrong end of a gun. The gun is held by Peggy Ann Garner, who just happens to be Lusk's daughter. McKay tells the woman that he did not kill her father, and that he is being framed. Garner, who had just returned to the islands after 10 plus years, decides to give McKay a chance to do just that. They grab her car and head off to question people who might have had a beef with Lusk.
Soon a trio of possible suspects pop up. The first, Philip Ahn is the company book-keeper, the second is Geray and the third is another schooner captain, George Wallace. The whole time this is going on, Policeman Kroeger is dogging McKay's trail.
After some digging and a few close calls with Kroeger, McKay and Garner discover that Garner's father was a right villain. Lusk had been growing narcotics out in the jungle. The manager, Geray was upset with Lusk over what he considered too small a cut. The other schooner Captain, Wallace, was in on the deal and smuggled the narcotics to Australia etc. Everything is soon hashed out with all the correct people behind bars.
The more of this series I see, the more I like it. Though mostly shot at the 20th Century Fox studio back lot, it does feature plenty of action and great guest stars.
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