Escape's "The Vessel of Wrath" was adapted from the 1931 short story by W. Somerset Maugham, which also goes by the title of "The Beachcomber." The story first appeared in the April, 1931 edition of International Magazine and was later included in his book Ah King. It has been adapted for film twice and for television twice. "The Vessel of Wrath" is one of Escape's best adaptations, and it is presented almost exactly as Maugham wrote it.
The story takes place on Baru, the largest of the Alas Islands in Papua New Guineau. Mr. Gruyter is the Dutch controller of the islands and one morning, he receives a visit from Mr. Owen Jones. He and his sister, Miss Martha Jones, are the local Baptist missionaries, and they are appalled by the behaviour of one of Baru's residents, Ginger Ted.
Drinking, womanizing, brawling,...it is more than Mr. and Miss Jones can put up with. They want him deported, but instead, Mr. Gruyter sentences Ginger Ted to six months hard labor for his most recent public brawl.
Six months later, Miss Jones is called away to a nearby island to help with a medical case. On her return, she forced to share a boat ride with Ginger Ted, who has just finished his term and is returning to Baru. A problem with the boat causes them to stop for the night on an uninhabited island. Miss Jones is terrified of being alone with Ginger Ted and the two natives -- but is Ginger Ted really as frightening as she thinks?
"The Vessel of Wrath" was adapted for radio and directed by Antony Ellis. Ben Wright was the narrator. Alan Reed played Ginger Ted and Jeannette Nolan played Miss Jones. Also appearing were Parley Baer, Eric Snowden, and Dave Young. This episode aired on May 10, 1953.
(Image of Dell 10 Cent Book #16. Dell Publishing. 1951)