The Vale of Glencoe

Episode #97
Aired 1949-04-24
Length: 29:54
Size: 10.3 MB
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Quiet, Please script #97
"The Vale of Glencoe"
Written by: Wyllis Cooper
Broadcast: 1949-04-24, American Broadcasting Company


CHAPPELL: Quiet, Please... Quiet, Please.


NARRATOR: The American Broadcasting Company presents Quiet, Please, which is written and directed by Wyllis Cooper and which features Ernest Chappell. Quiet, Please for today is called "The Vale of Glencoe".


ALAN: (NARRATING) You go right through Santa Barbara on the coast road, then 6 miles later, at Goleta, 150 branches off to the right, up through Gaviota Pass. Named for the seagull that Gaspar de Portolá shot there in 1769. The road leads up through the Santa Ynez Mountains, up to the old mission Santa Inés, that's been there since 1804. And they say the cactus in the garden there was planted by old Fray Estevan Tápis himself.

Now, the way from Goleta, up over the mountains, is a very pleasant way.

[1:33 - begin 44 seconds of very poor audio quality - all words approximate]

ALAN (REMEMBERING): And my mind's eye sees the gray-green sycamores along the ever-rising highway and the hills above me reach for the blue bowl of the sky, and the hills are pleasant when the winter comes and the rains lay their hands on them to turn them from brown to green.

I would remember the road in the late winter, in February-time; short afternoons. It's a good time to remember them, my friend.

It's a good time to remember them -- and the girl beside me as we ride along the groved highways to Santa Inés of an afternoon in February, in 1944. I'll have you remember that date. I found it very important.


ALAN (REMEMBERING): The girl beside me in the car along the road... the innocent hard-worn road that was first trod by the old Franciscan Friars more than two centuries ago... the winter green of the hills and the blue of the sky... and an uneasiness [hurt] in my heart... a premonition of darkness and haunted places half remembered... so that the girl felt the edges of my mood and fell silent.


And after a while, spoke. Spoke as the shadows of the grove of sycamores slid along the length of the car and we rode for a moment in the shade.

IONA: Tired, Alan?

ALAN: No... Not tired.

IONA: Sad about something?

ALAN: Eh, I don't know what it is, I... I feel depressed.

IONA: Been working too hard at the studio, maybe.

ALAN: Maybe.



ALAN: I don't... I don't seem to be able to relax.

IONA: Beautiful afternoon, no worries.

ALAN: I know.

IONA: None of my business, Alan, but... could I help? Maybe?

ALAN: I don't know what's the matter with me.

IONA: Lonesome for the war?

ALAN: Hardly.

IONA: I mean, maybe you feel strange being out of it after all that...

ALAN: Huh... No, I had all I wanted of that.

IONA: Want to talk about it? (PAUSE) How are the girls out in the South Pacific? Pretty?

ALAN: I didn't see any.

IONA: Well, tell me something. How did you get enough gas to take a trip like this with an 'A' card?

ALAN: I'm a wounded hero! I get gas.

IONA: I feel a little guilty riding around burning up gas like this.

ALAN: Well, if you'd seen all the gas wasted that I've seen, it wouldn't bother you.

IONA: Mmm. I'm sure.

ALAN: Am I getting you down?


ALAN: I'm sorry.

IONA: Don't mind me. (PAUSE) You have a good time at the Hollywood Canteen last night?

ALAN: I got stuck in the corner with a radio actress with [orchids].

IONA: Ung. I spent most of the evening with a little English sailor, but not English, Scottish. Royal Navy, though.

ALAN: Talk Scots with him?

IONA: About Scotland.

ALAN: You're Scots, aren't you? (PAUSE) That where you got that name?

IONA: My father and mother were born there.

ALAN: That name?

IONA: Oh, Iona? Yes, of course. Iona's a Campbell name.

ALAN: Island or something.

IONA: Mmm. An island. That's right. I remember my father used to tell me about an excursion boat that used to run up to the islands in the Firth of Clyde...

ALAN: Whatever that is.

IONA: ...and the name of the boat was Iona. And there was a Canadian on it who had a routine about buying the boat. When I was a little girl I used to go into hysterics when my father told me how his partner would ask him the boat's name and he'd say "Iona," and the straight man would say, "Well, keep 'er, but what's the boat's name?"


IONA: Sure. (PAUSE) The right name of "The Campbells Are Coming" is "Baile Ionaraora".

ALAN: What's that mean?

IONA: I haven't the slightest idea. Aren't you Scottish, too?

ALAN: MacDonald!

IONA: Oh. Of course.

ALAN: All I know about Scots, though, is I go into Lucy's and ask for Glenlivet, finest Scotch whiskey in town. Only place in Hollywood you can get it.

IONA: See! You're feeling better again!

ALAN: What?

IONA: I said you're feeling better again.

ALAN: (PAUSE) I'm sorry. I didn't hear what you said.

IONA: Come on, boy, wake up! Your name is Alan MacDonald, and you're driving a car along California 150, and we're going to see Santa Inés Mission.

ALAN: I'm sorry. I was thinking.

IONA: 'bout what?

ALAN: You said something about "The Campbells Are Coming".

IONA: The what?

ALAN: The pipe music.

IONA: Pipe? (PAUSE) Oh! Oh, bagpipes!

ALAN: Yes.

IONA: What about bagpipes?

ALAN: (SLOWLY) That's in the dream... too.

IONA: (YELLING) Look out, Alan! You're going off the road!



ALAN: (REMEMBERING) The words of the old man come back to me slowly. The old man in the dream, [inside of] kilts. Kilts? No. Feileadh-beags of blue and green and black - the ancient tartan of the Campbells. The sound of war pipes, ribbons fluttering from the great black drones of the war pipes, and the skirl of the chanters above the sobs of the women. The sound of men's voices singing above the wails of the women.


ALAN: (SINGING) The Great Argyle he goes before, He makes the cannons and guns to roar...



ALAN: I'm... all right. What happened?

IONA: Darling. (NERVOUS LAUGHTER) You drove right off the road.

ALAN: I did?

IONA: Look at your beautiful car.


IONA: Are you hurt?

ALAN: Me? (PAUSE) I'm all right.

IONA: You sure?

ALAN: Me? Yeah. You? You all right? Are you all right?

IONA: I just bumped my head.

ALAN: Let me see. (PAUSE) Gee.

IONA: But... look at your car.

ALAN: Smashed all to...

IONA: Now what?

ALAN: Gee, I'm sorry Iona. I... I don't know what happened.

IONA: You... just seemed to pass out, kinda.

ALAN: I... I don't know.

IONA: You got out of the hospital too soon, Alan.

ALAN: Huh. I guess I must have.

IONA: Well... sit down. There'll be another car along right away.

ALAN: I better...

IONA: Here...


ALAN: Thanks.

IONA: Okay.

ALAN: I'm awful sorry, Iona.

IONA: Think nothing of it.

ALAN: What'd I do? Just... just black out?

IONA: You just sat there with your eyes turned up. I never saw anything like it. I...

ALAN: I'm sorry.

IONA: And singing.

ALAN: Singing?

IONA: You said you didn't know anything about [Scotch things].

ALAN: Huh?

IONA: Where'd you learn the words to "The Campbells Are Coming"?


ALAN: (REMEMBERING) In the dream, the black rocks, the tortured black rocks and the high crags above, with the mist drifting down the glen and the waters descending and flowing [upon the] marshy beds where the ghillies dig the brown peat from the ground. The place where Man was not meant to exist. A place primeval and awful, death-haunted and grisly beyond my words. The very path, blood-soaked and horrible. [Clinging] back the light of day and the good yellow sunshine, seeming the very mouth of blackest hell itself.

Where shall I... waking... see such desolation? Such... such dismal horror?

MACIAIN: 'Tis the very gate of death.

ALAN: (REMEMBERING) The voice of the old man.

MACIAIN: Glencoe.

ALAN: (REMEMBERING) The tall old man with the white hair.

MACIAIN: Glencoe.

ALAN: (REMEMBERING) The old man, the old fox.

MACIAIN: MacDonald of Glencoe.


IONA: It's going to get dark before long, Alan.

ALAN: What time is it?

IONA: My... watch stopped.

ALAN: Somebody will be along.

IONA: I hope so. You cold? I am.

ALAN: Put on my coat.

IONA: No. No, you're the sick man.

ALAN: I'm not sick.

IONA: Well, you...


ALAN: I don't know what happened to me, Iona.

IONA: Head feel all right?

ALAN: Of course... My legs are getting stiff. Want to walk a little ways? Somebody will be along.

IONA: If you feel strong enough.

ALAN: Oh. I'm all right.

IONA: Help you up?


ALAN: Thanks.

IONA: Which way?

ALAN: Well, we were going this way. As a matter of fact, I think Las Cruces post office is up the road a piece. Not far.

IONA: I've never been up here.

ALAN: I have. Should be somebody there, anyway. We can sit down, maybe use a phone.

IONA: Wait for me.

ALAN: Come on! (PAUSE) Those are no shoes to go for a walk in, Iona.

IONA: (LAUGHS) I didn't expect to take a walk, [darling].

ALAN: Well, I'm so sorry.

IONA: Oh, forget it. Let's [step out a little], I'm freezing.

ALAN: Come on.


ALAN: Don't sing that!

IONA: Wh... why? What's the matter?

ALAN: I don't like it!


ALAN: Thanks. (GROANS)

IONA: I'm worried about you, Alan.

ALAN: I'm all right.

IONA: I know, but...


ALAN: What?

IONA: (SURPRISED) You're a nice guy.

ALAN: You're a nice girl, Iona.

IONA: Thanks, Mac. (PAUSE) What about that dream?

ALAN: Dream?

IONA: Nightmare, hm?

ALAN: I... can't remember, Iona.

IONA: Can't?


IONA: Won't!

ALAN: Now, look little girl, I've been psyched by experts.

IONA: Not trying to psych you.

ALAN: Excuse me.

IONA: Ach.

ALAN: Little sensitive, I guess.

IONA: Oh, stop it.

ALAN: Well, a guy gets his head batted in. You know, all the [docs]. This guy okay for sound? You know.

IONA: You shouldn't have gone back to the studio so soon after getting out of the hospital.

ALAN: I know, but... but they need training films. And I'm the guy who knows how to be the big fat technical advisor. Only...

IONA: Only what?

ALAN: (SIGH) I don't like to have people looking at me, wondering if I've got all my buttons or not.


ALAN: Yeah, you can laugh.

IONA: Ah, you're all right, baby.

ALAN: All right? I go into a trance and drive off the road with my best girl alongside me.

IONA: What did you say?

ALAN: I said I go into a trance and...

IONA: No. The last part of it.

ALAN: Huh? Well...

IONA: About the "best girl", that part.

ALAN: Yeah. Well... huh?

IONA: Could be you meant that, Alan?

ALAN: You don't think I'm off my rocker, a little? Huh?

IONA: I sure don't! What do you mean?

ALAN: Well... If you don't think so, then I meant it.

IONA: Alan?

ALAN: What?

IONA: Would you have a kiss for your "best girl"?


ALAN (REMEMBERING): In the dream... the raw, red smell of fresh spilled blood... and the smell of smoke pouring from the burning houses. In the dream the blackness of early dawn reddened with the flames from the burning houses. In the dream, the cries of the dying, the women and all the men and the children. In the dream, the voice of the old one, the long-dead old one, the chief, the MacDonald of Glencoe.

MACIAIN: In the winter, and the snow, deep on the moors. Along came frae Edinburgh with the word that all the clans must sign the pledge of loyalty to William, before the winter was spent. And the word came to Glencoe after all the others, for they hated the MacDonalds. Aye, hoping the word would be too late, and we could not sign and the lowlanders would come and take us. I, mind ye... I, MacIain MacDonald of Glencoe, I braved all the winter snow, and I came to fort William, and said I would sign the paper. And they sent me away to the sheriff of Inveraray. And, again, through the snow I went, and I set my name to the paper, for the sake of all the MacDonalds of Glencoe that they might not forfeit their lives. Ah, and I was content, for they would live, and there will be peace among us all, highland and lowland alike. Aye, and the lums reeked in peace in the morning agin the high dred rock of the glen.


ALAN (REMEMBERING): The voice of the old man, the chief. The old fox in my dream. And in my dream...


...the wailing of the pipes, the MacDonald pipes, the lament for Glencoe.


IONA: Was that thunder? Alan, was that...

ALAN: I've never heard thunder in Southern California before.

IONA: It's going to storm. It's so dark. Oh, come on, Alan, let's run. I don't want to get caught in it.


ALAN: It is thunder, Iona.

IONA: What's the matter with you? You've [heard guns].

ALAN: I don't like it.

IONA: You scared? You scared, honey?

ALAN: Yeah, thunder and lightning always frightened me when I was a kid back East, I guess I never got over it.

IONA: You take hold of your best girl now, and she'll protect you.

ALAN: For that, I thank you.

IONA: I don't see any lightning, though.

ALAN: You never see lightning in California.

IONA: You California characters.

ALAN: We're all right.

IONA: You're all right.


IONA: Listen to that.

ALAN: Wish we had some place to get inside.

IONA: We should have stayed in the car.

ALAN: It's too far to start back there. Anyway, it would be just a little uncomfortable standing on a [name of automobile?] in the ditch.

IONA: Poor car.

ALAN: Poor you.

IONA: We ought to be getting to that country post office you said, Las Cruces, wasn't it?

ALAN: It seems to be farther than I thought.

IONA: Sure you know where you are?

ALAN: I've been up here a million times.


IONA: The road always as... bad as this?

ALAN: It's not so bad when you're driving.

IONA: Huh. Should have worn my moccasins.

ALAN: Why?

IONA: I keep falling into the ruts with these high heels.


ALAN: Maybe there'll be somebody at Las Cruces, we can... get a cup of coffee or something.

IONA: Matter? You cold, too?

ALAN: That breeze is fresh.

IONA: Wait till the rain starts. Get good and cold, then.

ALAN: We'll stop under a tree and build a fire.

IONA: (ANNOYED) What tree?

ALAN: Well... I see what you mean. (HESITANT LAUGHTER) Trees everywhere, except where we are. When it rains.


ALAN: What's the matter?

IONA: [HEAVY BREATHING] Well, I'm... not used to walking.

ALAN: Want to rest?

IONA: No. We'd better get along. The rain'll hit any minute.

ALAN: It's dark. Say, maybe it's night coming on.

IONA: No. It... It was two o'clock just as we came up the hill at Goleta. It must be about four, now. (GASPS) Ouch!

ALAN: What?

IONA: I stepped into another one of those darned ruts.

ALAN: Ruts?

IONA: I told you, my high heals.

ALAN: I heard you the first time. I thought you were kidding.

IONA: Kidding?

ALAN: There's no ruts in a concrete road.

IONA: Concrete? Where's concrete?

ALAN: Why... Hey!

IONA: Don't you know where you are?

ALAN: Where'd we get off the main road.

IONA: Isn't it...

ALAN: We must have got off it somewhere.

IONA: But this is a wagon road—a dirt road.


ALAN: Well, how do you like that? You and me we're lost.

IONA: (ALARMED) Oh, no, Alan!

ALAN: Baby, I've really fixed you up, today, haven't I?

IONA: Wait.

ALAN: What?


IONA: Listen!


IONA: I thought...

ALAN: Wait.



ALAN: I guess not.

IONA AND ALAN TOGETHER: What did it sound like to you?

IONA: I thought it... was the sound of pipes.

ALAN: The sound of MacDonald coronach abune the braes.

IONA: Why, Alan. You sounded just like a real Scotsman when you said that.


ALAN (REMEMBERING): The coronach of my dreams. The old sorrowful wail of the pipes in the dim darkness echoing through the grim gate to the vale of Glencoe. Sorrowing for the MacDonalds who died. And the voice of the old leader, old MacIain, the old fox, as he told his dreadful tale in my dream...


MACIAIN: And I had set my name to the paper, as I said to ye, young MacDonald. And our people had, I thought, the protection of the crown. And we were to be left to dwell in peace, among the crags of [darkling] Glencoe. But there are, [aye, many] that hate the MacDonald, and would see us all dead in our graves, and they are the [aons] that took council among their selves to plot our doom and destruction. For I, MacIain, the old fox, I had out-foxed the enemies of the MacDonalds by signing their oath. And I'll say to ye that I meant to keep it, though all the MacDonalds have been liegemen to James and his line. But now, William, the Dutchman rules. Ach, and Jamie's fled. Thus there was one Dalrymple in Edinburgh. And when he examined the paper, it seems that the name of MacIain MacDonald of Glencoe had been expunged frae the paper, so that we were still held traitors. Though we knew it not. So, when the soldiers of the Duke of Argyle's regiment came to Glencoe, and Campbell of Glenlyon leading them, we welcomed them and took them into our homes and treated them as honored guests. (PIPE MUSIC STARTS) Aye, every man of them was a Campbell. And their pipes be forever roaring out the chant about the great Argyle.


And when the MacDonald pipes skirled, ach, it was only the old reels and the strathspeys. And the MacDonald pìobaireachd was never heard for the roaring of the Campbell war pipes in the glen. And the dismal black crags of the glen gave back their sound, the Baile Ionaraora and MacDonald [aires]...




IONA: Alan?

ALAN: Stay close to me, darling.

IONA: Lightning!

ALAN: I saw it.

IONA: Did you see... great, high, dismal black rocks, I saw Alan? Great, horrible, jagged crags and a stream splashing down among them. Oh, Alan!

ALAN: I saw it.

IONA: Alan, where are we?

ALAN: We're lost.


IONA: Alan. Listen. (PAUSE) I do hear it! I do hear the pipes. Alan?... Alan?

ALAN: (REMEMBERING) In the darkness. In the lightning-splashed darkness, and the rain and the mist, many things are revealed. The coronach of the MacDonalds. The sobbing, sorrowful music from the blackened crags. All is now clear to me. The dream returns to me. And it is morning of the February day two-and-a-half centuries ago in the vale of Glencoe. And I see the soldiers of the Campbells in the grey of the early dawn as they grope their several ways to the homes where they'd been honoured guests. And the glint of little lights on the naked claymore blades bodes ill for the MacDonalds.


A child laughs. And calls to the companion of yesterday. The claymore slashes down at him and a massacre has begun. The Campbells are everywhere slashing, burning, shooting down the helpless ones who yesterday bade them welcome at their firesides. "Put all to the sword that none may escape", the secret order said to them. And the Campbells did well their work. And this is the dream I could not remember, save for the old man, the old fox, [that] fell, the last of them all, beside his hearth that morning in Glencoe. In my dream I heard his dying words: "Cursed be ye all!" And the claymore of the Campbell struck him fair between the eyes. An unarmed man. But still in the dream, his voice went on: "You are a MacDonald. Never forget it. Never forget that the MacDonalds of Glencoe shall be revenged against the Campbells. Never shall one of the name of Campbell enter the dark, the blood-haunted vale of Glencoe. Never, never, never! And when ye hear the coronach of the MacDonalds...


... Remember!"


ALAN: Don't


ALAN: Don't cry, darling.

IONA: I'm afraid, Alan.

ALAN: We'll be all right.


IONA: Listen. (PAUSE) Listen, the pipes again.


IONA: Don't you hear it?

ALAN: I... I hear it.

IONA: Alan, hold me.

ALAN: There's somebody coming.


ALAN: Yes.

IONA: Wh...

ALAN: See him? See him in the lightning flash?

IONA: Why, it... It's a man with a bagpipe. What in--?!

ALAN: Wait, Iona. (PAUSE)



IONA: An old Scotsman that lives...

ALAN: Come on. Let's go talk to him. Maybe he...

IONA: Wait for me!

ALAN: (CALLS OUT) Hey friend.

ALAN: (TO IONA) Watch your step, Iona.

IONA: He scares me. Ask him where we are and... let's get out of here.

ALAN: Excuse me, sir. (WALKS CLOSER) Would you mind telling us where we are? I... smashed my car and we... I guess we got lost.

MACIAIN: You'd any ken where ye are, then, MacDonald?

ALAN: Why... How did you... I've heard that...

MACIAIN: Aye. Ye heard my voice. I am MacIain MacDonald.

ALAN: my dream.

MACIAIN: Welcome, home, MacDonald. You're in the vale of Glencoe.

ALAN: Glencoe?

MACIAIN: Welcome home. You. And your lady.

IONA: Alan?

ALAN: Wait, Iona.


IONA: I am Iona Campbell.




ALAN: (REMEMBERING) On a February morning, in 1694, the Campbells marched away from Glencoe and Inverlochy, and not a MacDonald was left living... On a February day, two hundred and fifty years after, they found me sitting beside the body of Iona Campbell, under a sycamore tree, two miles from Las Cruces. There is no place, in all that mountain region, that remotely resembles the vale of Glencoe, where no Campbell may enter and live. Goodbye.


ANNOUNCER: The title of the Quiet, Please story you have just heard is "The Vale of Glencoe", which was written and directed by Wyllis Cooper, and the man who spoke to you was Ernest Chappell.

CHAPPELL: And J. Pat O'Malley was MacIain MacDonald, Helen Choate played Iona. Music for Quiet, Please, as usual, was by Albert Buhrman. The pipe music was by pipe major James Petrie. Now, for a word about next week, our writer-director, Wyllis Cooper.

COOPER: Thank you for listening to Quiet, Please. For next week, I have a story for you about black, or at least dark-grey, magic. It's called "As in a Glass, Darkly".

CHAPPELL: And so, until next week at this same time, I am quietly yours, Ernest Chappell.