Escape's "Beau Geste" was adapted from the classic adventure novel of the same name by Percival Christopher Wren, which was first published in 1924. Beau Geste is a long and complicated novel to shorten for a half hour radio program and Escape's adaptation reflects that difficulty. Beau Gestehas been adapted for the screen several times and has also been parodied in many ways. The full text of the novel is available online at Google Books.
The opening scene of the Escape's version is essentially the same as it is in the the 1926 silent film starring Ronald Colman and the 1939 remake starring Gary Cooper. A squadron of French Legionnaires arrives at isolated Fort Zinderneuf in the Saharan desert. At first there is no response from inside the lonely fort, but then, suddenly, shots are fired! When the squadron comes closer, they find that the soldiers who appear to be protecting the fort...are dead. When they send a man over the wall of the fort...he doesn't come back. Finally, the commandant and his sergeant climb the wall and search the eerie fort themselves. Inside, they find two more dead bodies. One is a young man, and the other was the commandant of the fort. They also find a signed confession by Beau Geste stating that he was the one who stole the famous sapphire known as the "Blue Water". Before they can make sense of what they have found, they discover that someone has set the fort ablaze.
What is the mystery of Fort Zinderneuf?
"Beau Geste" was adapted for radio by Les Crutchfield and produced/directed by Norman MacDonnell. Featured in the cast were Berry Kroeger, Wilms Herbert, Jay Novello, Ben Wright, Ramsay Hill, Lillian Buyeff', and Peggy Webber. This episode aired on June 6, 1948.
This is an episode of HQ Escape from Tennesee Bill's OTR. It is a large file, so it may take longer to download.
Below is the opening scene from the 1929 silent film Beau Geste.