(AUDIENCE TEST SCENE NO. 1)
to Roadshow/Audience Test Scene Index
"THE SAND PEBBLES"
1 - LONG SHOT OF 1925 BATTLESHIP OR CRUISER OFF CHINA COAST
RAVAGED FROM WITHIN BY CORRUPT RIVAL WARLORDS...
OPPRESSED FROM WITHOUT BY THE ENSLAVING TREATIES
FORCED UPON HER BY THE GREAT POWERS WHO HAVE BEATEN
CHINA TO HER KNESS IN 1841, WHEN SHE HAD TRIED TO
CLOSE HER DOORS FOREVER TO THE "FOREIGN DEVILS"...
A COUNTRY IN CHAOS, WANTING TO BECOME A NATION...
2 - VIEW FROM ABOVE DECK - DAY
Bugle sounding formation for inspection. Men in whites
hurrying out of hatches and scattering around the deck
to form up. All very trim and brisk as orders are
barked by Division Officers.
3 - COMPARTMENT - DAY
Holman, a wry, well-built man of about 26. Just now,
his face stiff, he is packing his sea bag, neatly and
carefully. He glances up contemptuously at the military
sounds coming from above: Bugles, barked commands --
"Engineering division, fall in! -- "Dress right, dress right!"
-- "Ready, front!" -- "Prepare for inspection!" Holman
finishes packing his bag.
4 - ON DECK
Bugle... Bos'un's Mate...whistle...
Secure from inspection!
The men break ranks.
5 - BELOW DECKS - DAY
Holman, now fully dressed and carrying his sea bag over
his shoulder, proceeds up ladders, against the stream
of sailors coming down from formation. His expression
is set. He doesn't look at them, and they pay no
personal attention to him.
6 - QUARTER-DECK - DAY
Holman salutes the OOD.
Holman, Machinist Mate first class. (flatly)
The OOD senses an undercurrent of hostility in Holman,
chooses to ignore it. He takes the manila envelope
containing Holman's orders, opens it, starts making
entries in the log.
The San Pablo. What's that?
Gunboat. Yangtse River Patrol.
Gonna be a river rat, huh?
Holman barely nods.
You know where to find her?
Central China. I take a --(fishes for the word)--
civilian steamer upriver.
The OOD hands the orders back to Holman.
You ask for this duty?
I asked for it.
There's no liberty in Shanghai, so report for further
transportation at once. (drily) Good luck, sailor.
Holman shoulders his sea bag, stops for a moment at the
top of the gangway, salutes the OOD and the flag. The
OOD returns both salutes, walks to the gangway and
watches Holman go down.