"Two Came Back" is one of Escape's better jungle adventure stories because of the dinstictive dialogue and well-crafted radioplay. This is a story about two army veterans and a "treacherous woman" who must trek through a jungle in New Guinea to retrieve a fortune in gold.
The story begins with a man named John Walker explaining how he came to be involved with his two traveling companions, Gabe and Lily. John had saved Gabe's life when they were fighting the Japanese in New Guinea during WWII. Now, years later, Gabe has contacted John, asking him to return to New Guinea and split the profit of a gold mine. John has no reason not to trust Gabe, but there is a problem with Gabe's wife, Lily. She appears to have scant interest in her husband but a significant interest in John. She makes this known to him with a lot of moaning and "bad girl" talk. John realizes that he is in a tricky situation and against his better judgment, he accepts Gabe's offer. The three of them travel to the Sepik River region of New Guinea and follow the river into the mountains. Only two return.
"Two Came Back" was written by political writer Jules Archer and adapted for radio by Savage Dollar. This episode was produced and directed by William N. Robson. Paul Frees played Gabe, the versatile Joan Banks played Lily, and Stacy Harris played John.
This episode aired on August 4, 1950.
*As was pointed out in the comment section, Suspense also presented an adaptation of this story on June 5, 1960. The radioplay was written for Suspense by Joseph Cochran and Ronald Dawson.
Robert Readick, Connie Lempke, and Richard Donley starred.
(Image of head tray from Papua New Guinea from Wikimedia Commons)