Plunder of the Sun (1949) is a novel by David Dodge about an American in Chile, who smuggles a mysterious package into Peru and then ends up discovering a lost Incan treasure.
The episode opens in Valparaiso, Chile, where an antiques dealer named Don Alfredo Berrien and his nurse, Ana Luz Benavides, meet an American named Al Colby. Berrien asks Colby to smuggle a package into Peru. It is a valuable Peruvian artifact that was taken out of the country, and now he wants it smuggled back in. Colby isn't allowed to know what is inside the package, but he agrees to the job anyway.
He travels with them on a boat to Peru, but midway through the voyage, Berrien dies. Due to his age, the police assume that it was from natural causes, but when Colby and Anna Luz found Berrien, there had been someone in his room. Was it Jefferson, the American tourist that Berrien was afraid of?
When the boat lands in Peru, Colby opens the package and finds a quipa, an Inca message cord and pages of pergamino (parchment). The pages are written in a Spanish translation of the Incan language, Quechua. Supposedly, the pages give the location of a fabulous treasure of Incan gold that was hidden from the Spaniards. Colby travels to Arequipa, to visit Don Ubaldo Naharro, an antiques dealer even more devious than Berrien.
Will Colby have the message deciphered and find the treasure? Will he help Anna Luz, the beautiful nurse who wants to buy her way out of indentured servitude? Will Jefferson, the American tourist, get the package from Colby? Or, will Don Ubaldo Naharro find a way to get the package away from both of them?
The last part of the book is summarized too quickly, and the final parting of Ana Luz and Colby is very different. If you get the chance, read the book.
"Plunder of the Sun" was adapted for radio by John Dunkel. William N. Robson produced and directed. Paul Frees played Al Colby, Gerald Mohr played Jefferson, and Lucille Meredith played Ana Luz. Also appearing were Harry Bartell, Charlie Lung, and Tony Barrett. This episode aired on November 8, 1949.
(Image from 2005 reprint by Dorchester Publishing Co.)