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The love of a man for a woman waxes and wanes like the moon ... but the love of brother for brother is
steadfast as the stars, and endures like the Word of the Prophet. - ARABIAN PROVERB
On a day white with the intolerable desert sun, a battalion of the French Foreign Legion advanced across the Sahara
to the relief of Fort Zinderneuf, whose messengers, riding with all speed, had brought word of a massed Arab attack.
Strange!...no lookout on the tower ... no sign from those men on the walls ...
One answering shot!
Go tell your Commandant that Major de Beaujolais is here, with his battalion.
Has the Foreign Legion no manners? Take that pipe out of your mouth - and step smartly!
Forgive me, my friend ... I didn't know.
There is a man at every embrasure - and every man is dead!
Scale that wall and open the gates!
Let me go, sir!
What can have happened to him? Fifteen minutes ... and the gates not yet opened.
Careful - Major! It's a trap of the Arabs!
A French bayonet - the Commandant murdered by one of his own men!
To the Chief of Scotland Yard and all those to whom it may concern.
I confess that I alone stole the great sapphire known as the "Blue Water" from Lady Patricia Brandon.
Mes enfants, strange things have happened here - what, it is our duty to discover!
Is there a man among you - like my missing trumpeter -willing to enter the fort with me?
Gee, Buddy ... I sure would like to see a ghost!
First, we will honor the fallen who were not allowed to fall - the dead forbidden to die -
A moment ago the Commandant and another soldier were lying here - dead -
Outside, the troop stirred restlessly under the spell of nameless fears.
We'll camp in the oasis tonight - and occupy the fort in the morning.
Sergeant, take your men forward and cover for a possible Arab attack - and send the two Americans to me.
You have proved yourselves brave men ... do you think you can get through the Arab lines alone?
Major, you don't need to worry about a couple of good Elks in a little parade o' Mystic Shriners!
Return to Tokotu, and order the battalion of Senegalese to join me here at once.
WHAT MYSTERIOUS POWER MOVES HERE?
DEAD MEN STAND TO ARMS!
A LIVING BUGLER VANISHES!
THE FALLEN ARE SPIRITED AWAY!
THEN - A FORTRESS DISAPPEARS IN FIRE!
These happenings - strange and terrible - are but a part of the story of three brothers,
whose love for each other proved stronger than their fear of death.
We are now about to perform a naval surgical operation without esthetics.
I shall not yell, Captain!
Private John Geste, you are hereby cited for bravery under fire, and given the title - STOUT FELLA!
I, Michael Geste, now pronounce you worthy of the highest honor - a Viking's funeral!
This is the body of the Viking Earl, John Geste!
A dog at his feet!...a Viking must have a dog at his feet!
Trumpeter Digby, sound taps!
That's what I call a funeral!
Digby, you must promise that if I die first, you'll give me a Viking's funeral.
I say, Beau ... suppose I die first ... will you give me one?
Lady Patricia Brandon entertained that day the Rajah Ram Singh, visiting Brandon Abbas to view its famous sapphire, Blue Water.
Your Highness, this is my husband's niece, Isobel -
- and my nephews - Michael, whom we call Beau - and Digby and John.
Children, this is the old friend of whom you have heard me speak so often -
Captain Henri de Beaujolais, of the French Foreign Legion.
I wonder how much you'd give for it, sir?
A fortune, my child - if money could buy it!
I'll give you one like that, Isobel - when we're married!
Tell us about the Legion, Captain - and fighting the Arabs!
The Legion is the great refuge for men who want to go where they'll never be found...it is the exile of the self-condemned -
- and fiercest of all the Arabs are the veiled Touaregs!
Well, Henri, I'm keeping my promise to my dead sister...I've brought up her boys - and I shall see them educated.
Since we have lived apart, my husband has taken every penny that comes from the estate.
Can't I help you,Patricia? Once I hoped for the right -
Henri dear, the problem is mine alone - and I shall find a way!
- but, Your Highness, I consent only because I see no other way out of my difficulties.
For years Lady Brandon fought out her problems ... alone ... until the boys had grown intosplendid manhood.
What do you say to a game of bridge, Digby?
How about you, Beau?
It was worth while, wasn't it?
Please bring in the Blue Water.
A cable from Uncle Hector.
It is absolutely necessary to sell the stone. Have it appraised by an expert immediately. - Hector
That means, Beau, I don't take my degree at Oxford.
Are you playing a joke, John?
- someone in this room has taken the Blue Water...
I will give the one who played the stupid trick a chance to put it back.
Isobel, will you put out the lights.
If the sapphire is not returned by morning, I shall be more sorry than I can say - to know that one of you is a common thief!
For the benefit of Aunt Pat there is no longer any need to worry about the sapphire. I am the criminal ... but
give up trying to get me! In the meantime, be good and try to think fondly of your evil brother. - Beau.
When Digby found that Beau had gone, to shield him, he packed up and left too. Look at the note Dig left for me!
Dear John, Do not think ill of my gesture! Beau never stole anything in his life.
He's just trying to protect me. Farewell. Your beloved brother, -Digby
They're both trying to protect me, Isobel. Tell Aunt Pat I stole it!
Marseilles - port to that exile of the self-condemned where lives broken by love - sin - failure - embark for the unquestioning solitude of the Sahara.
The Canteen...where the Legion first becomes a reality to the new recruit... here, among adventurers
from every nation,he meets for the first time his comrades of the next five years.
One drink of whiskey costs a legionnaire one hundred days' pay ...Better stick to plain red wine!
No, English - John Smith.
- an' this here little runt is Buddy!
My name is Boldini - I'm re-enlisting in the Legion ...
I might give you a little useful information in exchange for -
All together now! The Marching Song of the Legion!
Then to Sidi-bel-Abbes, under the burning African sky, for military assignment and final drill -
-derelicts-adventurers-fugitives - ready to sacrifice themselves at a penny a day for sheer love of fight-scamps-and heroes!
English gentlemen, eh?
How would you like to have a hand like that?
Look at it!
Just a little joke of mine - we'll be the best of friends.
The dog !
Back again, eh? None of your dirty tricks this time.
Enter the third robber!
So I'm not the only one who remembered 'the exile of the self-condemned'!
Jewel thief! Fleeing from justice too, are you?
Got the jewel with you, Dig?
Beau's keeping it for me.
He tried to steal my belt.
There's just one law here - a man cannot steal from a comrade. And if he does - that's the punishment.
Stealing from whom?
I'll break up this Anglo-American clique.
Corporal, send those three to Major de Beaujolais' battalion at Tokotu.
And these two will come with me to Fort Zinderneuf.
What were you after?
A jewel ... worth a fortune!
The Englishman called Beau - he carries it in his belt.
They're a gang of jewel thieves - I heard them talking about their last haul.
Next time you hear ofa jewel thief, tell me ... understand?
Fort Zinderneuf...the last outpost in the Sahara... often under the fire of Arab outlaws, always under the fire of the terrible desert sun.
Give them a drink of water, Sergeant. They're dying of thirst!
The deserters have been retaken, sir.
They must be punished, Lejaune - but let us temper justice with mercy ...
It's 'Le Cafard' - that damned desert madness - it gets us all, sooner or later.
Lieutenant Maurel is dead ... I am in command now.
You know the penalty for desertion?
Your Commandant asked me to show you mercy ...
You wanted to escape from this hell hole ... and get to Morocco?
Well, you shall go ... now!
If you drive them into the desert, it is certain death, mon Commandant!
Thank God, Digby was sent to Tokotu!
This pig Lejaune will kill us all! Tell every man you can trust to meet me in the oasis at sunset.
After a fortnight of life that was not really life, but an avoidance of death - death from sunstroke,
desert madness, or the cruelty of Lejaune.
And you Englishmen - what about you?
Your plan to *** Lejaune and escape across the desert is madness!
My brother and I have sworn to protect the flag of France - and we stand by that oath!
To hell with the flag! At four o'clock tomorrow morning the pig dies, and either you join us as butchers, or -
Everyone of you who believe that justice demands Lejaune's death - follow me!
Lejaune knows all about the mutiny - who's in it - and when it's going to be.
He'll use you loyal ones to kill the mutineers - and he'll see to it that you and all the rest of us die in that fight!
He wants your jewel and there must be no living witness to the robbery ...
He has already sent for the relieving force! When it arrives, he'll swear he suppressed the mutiny
single-handed - and France will proclaim him a hero!
The plot thickens, Stout Fella!
Order the corporal of the guard to report to me immediately.
Wake your brother and Private Maris.
Shoot the first man that moves -
- and shoot to kill!
Give me that jewel - I'll put it away for safe keeping.
You and your cursed jewel have corrupted my whole garrison!
Very Stout Fella!
Look here, Lejaune - don't you realize there are only five of us to see you through this mutiny?
Don't be an *** - be thankful we know our duty if you don't!
You wait - you loyal, lying grandsons of Gadarene swine! I'll deal with you yet!
Well, my little birds in a trap, you'd plot against me, would you?
Tell Sergeant Dupré to disarm the guard and send their rifles to me.
Back with those rifles! Give the alarm! Issue a hundred rounds of ammunition to every man!
I can't spare you yet, my friend! As long as there's an Arab out there you must continue to look alive and dangerous.
Cease firing! They've withdrawn - probably to plan a new attack.
Take every man below - give him coffee - then have him report to me fully equipped.
You'll have a little while up there to plan another mutiny!
Get up there - you dirty stool pigeon!
Stand easy! Again they retreat!
- six - seven - left -
Get some rest in relays. The Arabs haven't finished with us yet - you two Englishmen go first.
Last cup of wine, John.
Last nothing! Lejaune's got the Arabs completely fooled - those dead men on the walls will save us.
How about a little sleep youngster?
Good night ... Dig.
Good night ... Isobel, dear.
The Arabs are at prayer.
They believe in God. We believe in France!
Come, now - altogether! The Marching Song of the Legion.
You sing, too - you gibbering jackal!
Now laugh - you jolly carefree swine! Let the Arabs know we're awake and merry and still all here!
Lejaune's a topping good soldier ... let's forgive him if he's killed.
Sorry I got you and Dig into this mess, Stout Fella.
Drop that carrion, you swine - and bring me coffee!
I'll serve France and you - to the end - Sergeant Lejaune -
- but God help you if you touch my brother's body!
So he wasn't a jewel thief, eh?
Attacking an officer, are you?
I find you guilty of mutiny and sentence you to death!
Get away quickly - before the relief comes -
They'll shoot you for killing Lejaune -
Take - letter - to Aunt Pat -
Where are you - Stout Fella?
Isn't that silly, Johnny -
I'm - going - blind -
Beau! Beau, old fellow! Dig's here!
A Viking's funeral ... I remember ... when we were children ... a Viking's funeral!
A dog at his feet, Beau! A Viking must have a dog at his feet!
I'm going to give you taps, Beau, old boy -
- but ever so softly ...
... for fear they might spoil your Viking's funeral.
Then it was you who killed Lejaune.
I kept my promise, Stout Fella.
I gave him ... a Viking's funeral...
Say, Buddy - I'm all twisted around.
Same here. I couldn't tell Tokotu from Toledo.
Well! If it ain't the mystery boys!
Nobody'll ever know how brave them soldiers was!
Beau's ... in there.
Kid, your brother sure was white!
I guess I'll have to give you boys a lift to Tokotu - you can go on alone, once you get there.
Five days later - hopelessly lost in the desert - their water low and one of their camels dead.
A camel can carry three men, not four ... and I cannot let Beau end up here, alone.
You have Isobel, so carry on for all of us. Farewell. - Digby
You ain't got a chance in the world to find him, kid. If you had, don't you know Buddy and me would go with you?
John Geste lived to reach the sea, and England ... and there he found...
Dig gave his life that I might come back to you and Isobel.
I'm a deserter from Fort Zinderneuf, sir! I give myself up to you.
Fort Zinderneuf is only a heap of ashes, and every man of its garrison died a hero's death ...
that is the official record, my boy.
I think you all should hear this -
What a beautiful name you gave me when I was a child ... Beau Geste ! But the good deed I attempted has become a bad joke.
I was behind the screen the day you sold the sapphire to Prince Ram Singh and when Uncle Hector's telegram came,
I realized how desperate you were. So I took the glass copy of the jewel.
I know you planned the whole thing out of love and fear ... so I, out of love and fear took it,
and if it helped, maybe you'll still speak to me. - Beau
Greater love hath no man ... that is the most beautiful gesture in life!