The Trial of Captain Queege (Part 2 of 2)

Cast of Characters

  • Attorney for The Defence………………………..E.G. Marshal
  • Attorney for The Prosecution……………………Jose Ferrer
  • Captain Queege……………………………………Humphrey Bogart
  • Private Pulver……………………………………….Van Johnson
  • Enson Benson……………………………………….Lee Marvin
  • Ship Psychiatrist……………………………………Fred Mc.Murray



April 3rd. 8:53 am. 1954

Officers of The Caine assemble outside The Courtroom

Enson Benson: ‘I didn’t think you’d have the nerve to show yourself here!’

Ship Psychiatrist:  ‘I didn’t have the nerve not to!  Have they started the proceedings yet?’

Enson Benson: ‘They’re just about to put Queegie on the hot-seat now…’

Ship Psychiatrist:  ‘I had absolutely nothing to do with this ya know!  If it hadn’t have been for that stupid diary of Pulver’s!  He and his tiny I.Q. score are gonna hang us all!  You know that don’t you?’

Enson Benson:  ‘Yeah?  I always figured you, when it comes to a lack of guts Fred…  We’d better get inside.  I think they’re starting now…



Attorney for The Defence:  ‘The Defence calls Captain Queege to the stand…’

E.G. Marshal:  Captain…  Would you consider yourself a reasonably sane man?

Captain Queege:  Yes I would.  Why only yesterday a gave a little girl, the rest of my cup cake…  I certainly hope she doesn’t contract gum disease!  How did I do?  Was it like we discussed in the back room?’

E.G. Marshal:  Captain, it’s not necessary to discuss here, what goes on between you and I in the back room.  Understand? (Queege nods.)  That’s good…  Tell this distinguished Tribunal, if you would, what awards you’ve received for outstanding conduct.

Captain Queege: ‘Well let’s see now…  I got pinned: Boy Scout of the Year, for helping defenceless, old women across the street when I was nine…’

E.G. Marshal:  ‘Not those kinds of awards Sir.  I mean naval declarations.’

Captain Queege:  ‘Yes of course…  I was just kidding around…  I have The Naval Cross for heroically firing The Cook!  I got the distinguished Medal of Honour for bravery above and beyond the call of duty, taking crates of chickens off The Ship…  Also, I got the Medal of Religious conviction for attending regularly at: The Holy Mother of Divine Blasphemous Quintuplets Church!’

E.G. Marshal:  That’s enough for now Captain.  No need to further detain this august/September body, with all of the many hundreds of good deeds you do every day…  No further Questions…


Attorney for The Prosecution:

Cross examination:

Jose Ferrer:  ‘Tell me Captain…  What does the term: ‘Old Yellow Stain’ mean to you?

Captain Queege:  Oh that!  Ha ha…  That’s just a fun, nick-name for me, meaning cowardice under pressure.  They’re just funning with me mind you.  Why, I can take a joke with the rest of them!

Jose Ferrer:  Did you awaken every Officer on board at 3 O’clock in the morning, what was it (flips through pages…),  to conduct a search for an imaginary key?


Captain Queege:  I proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, that a key To The Ward-Room Ice-Box DID IN FACT EXIST!  (Pulls out ball-Barings) (Click, click, click, click, click, click)  They in return were insubordinate, and fought me at every turn!  Tow the line, no more, no less!  Old Yellow stain they called me, just because I wet my pants during a Typhoon!  Why, I’d give them every opportunity!  But no!  Shirt tails hanging out, making popcorn in the gun barrels, pooping on the poop deck!  I tried to help them, but I, I with all the experience, and expertise, steamed over my own tow line! (Click, click, click, click, click, click)… AND I DID NOT STEAM OVER MY OWN TOW LINE! (Click, click, click, click, click, click)…  Of corpse gentleman., I’ll be happy to answer your questions… one at a time… (Click, click, click, click, click, click)

Jose Ferrer:  You do understand that unless you answer my questions without going berserk, you will be prostituted to the full extent of Naval Law!  This means: less TV privileges, smaller helpings of desert, and having to wear your present pair of underwear until they turn green, and fall off…  Disgraced and practically a certified Nut-bar,  Bailiff, put him in shackles!

Bailiff:  The shackles are all out being cleaned Sir!

Jose Ferrer:  Well wrap him in band-aids then!  I don’t care…  That’s it…  Make him look like a real Mummy…


The Hot-seat gets hotter!

E.G. Marshal: No questions at this time…

Tribunal Speaker: Sir.  The Venerable Tribunal is curious as to why the member for the esteemed defence is passing by, what may be a credible and valuable witness?

E.G. Marshal: ‘If The stingy and wart infested tribunal will excuse my indulgence, truthfully, I was waiting for all this preliminary stuff to get out of the way, so I can get to the real perpetrator of this heinous crime!’ (insert crickets…)

Cross examination:

Jose Ferrer:  ‘Private Pulver…  What level of schooling have you completed? ‘

Private Pulver:  ‘Grade 6 Sir…’

Jose Ferrer:  ‘A Grade 6 education, yet you thought you were the man most capable of taking over the ship in a crisis situation?’

Private Pulver:  ‘Well yes.  The other Officers encouraged me…’

Jose Ferrer: ‘You poor, senseless, fool!  Couldn’t you see the other Officers needed a patsy to take the fall and you’re it?  What other seamanship credentials do you have to display besides your service on The Caine?

Private Pulver: ‘I used to play with sail boats in the bath-tub when I was a four…’

Jose Ferrer: ‘ Yes!  And what in your words, what happened that night the typhoon hit the ship, Private?’

Private Pulver: ‘Well Sir, I haven’t seen a look like that since I was a juvenile delinquent!  It was like he was paralysed and couldn’t move Sir!.’

Jose Ferrer: ‘Queege?’

Private Pulver:  ‘Yes Sir!  I shouted out to him to give the command to come hard about right, but he just froze there, like:The Thinker.  Ya know?’

Jose Ferrer:  Go on…

Private Pulver: ‘When I shouted that he’s going to capsize the ship, and he still didn’t budge, Old Yellow Stain, I mean Captain Queege had to be relieved of command for the safety of the ship, and all on board Sir!’  So I found Enson Benson Fencin’, I told him to take note of the time, and assumed command of the ship.’

Jose Ferrer:  ‘So the great grade 6 Hero of the Day, saves the ship and should gets a medal.  Huh?  Only, there’s the little matter of your Dirty Little Dairy, that started all this mess to begin with. And Einstein here wants us to pin a medal on him!  Why did you give it to the ship’s psychiatrist?  EH?’

Private Pulver: ‘I was just playing…’

Jose Ferrer: ‘Get out of my sight…’

Cross examination:

E’G. Marshal: eh,eh,eh…  ‘Just one question before you step down… That grade 6 education…  Did you fair well at it Private Pulver?’

Private Pulver: ‘Yes I did!  I went to a regular school, and got a C+ at almost everything…  I failed gym…’

E.G. Marshal:  ‘That’ll be all Bob.  You may step down now…  There’s a good boy…  Wanna cookie?  Beg!  Speak!  Say Woof-woof!’

Private Pulver: ‘Woof-woof!’

This hot-seat gets even toastier!


E.G. Marshal: ‘Have you ever threatened anyone Fred?

Ship’s Psychiatrist:  Just the time I tried to smoother my little sister with a sock…  It was a dispute over a Barbie Doll…  I wanted it, and she wouldn’t give it to me…  (Insert crickets…)

E.G. Marshal: ‘Yes but you’re not the spiteful type, are you?’

Ship’s Psychiatrist:  Spiteful?  I’ll show you spiteful!  When a man gets to feeling like he’s lost his grip on reality, you shouldn’t mess with him…  Know what I mean consoler? (add frogs and humming birds.)

E.G. Marshal: (looking puzzled) ‘Uh…  Yes.  No further questions at this time…

Cross Examination:

Jose Ferrer:  ‘Before the typhoon, Queege came to you guys for help and you turned him down!  Didn’t you!’

Ship’s Psychiatrist: (Fred bows head)  ‘Yes sir!’

Jose Ferrer: ‘Are you a certified Psychiatrist Fred?’

Ship’s Psychiatrist:  ‘I have, read a book or two on the subject.’ (Bows head again!) I refuse to answer the question on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.’

Jose Ferrer:  ‘I thought so!  Gentleman, I give you the true perpetrator of this crime;  a snivelling coward, with an ego the size of a freight wreck!  I give you a whimpering, school boy, intent to pray upon the faults of others!  I give you…  Mr. Nobody!’

Ship’s Psychiatrist: OK OK… if you don’t mind…  I think you’ve said quite enough…

Jose Ferrer:  ‘Yes Mr. Nobody!  I believe I have…  The prosecution, rests its case…’


The Celebration…

Later the same evening…

Jose Ferrer: (Drunk)  So… ‘ The Officers of The Caine!  A fine group of gentleman…  (HICK! HICK! HICK!)  The Cain gets all neatly sewn up!  Queege gets The Clink, you clink your glasses, and life goes on as if nothing happened at all!  Huh?’

Enson Benson: ‘We’ve all decided to do what we can to help Queege!’

Jose Ferrer: ‘Oh you have, have you? (Slips and falls breaking glassware.  Gets back up sideways)  Oh you have have you? (HICK! HICK! HICK!)  Like you helped him on The Caine?  Like you all sat by and didn’t lift a finger to help him during the trial? (HICK! HICK! HICK!)  Gentlemen Eh?  SALUTE! (smashes glass!)  Well let’s me go visit Fred The Big Shot!  The one who nearly sunk us all, and The Caine too!  Mr. Nobody! (Throws drink in his face!)

Fred Mc.Murray:  ‘I deserved that!’

Jose Ferrer: ‘ If you want to do something about it, I’ll be right outside…  I’m a lot drunker than you…  So it’ll be a fair fight…’ (HICK! HICK! HICK!)

The End.


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