Warden: Naturally, we're going to try to prevent them. It's too far for bombers to carry an adequate load so we shall have to go in and smash it up on the ground.
Shears: How are you going to get there?
Warden: Parachute drop and then march.
Shears: With demolition equipment through that jungle??
Warden: Yes. Our chief problem is lack of first-hand knowledge. You see, none of us have ever been there.
Shears: Well, I don't want to discourage you Major, but uh...
Warden: It should be interesting. Colonel Green has given me the Kwai Bridge. I'm gonna take a team in and blow it up.
Shears: Lucky you...Look Major, I don't want to be rude, but I've got a luncheon date in Colombo at two and she's beautiful, so if there are any questions...
Warden: ...Well, there is only one question, actually. How would you feel about going back?
Shears: Come again?
Warden: I know under the circumstances it's a bit much but you see, you do have a unique knowledge for our purpose, and we'd love to have you with us.
Shears: You mean to tell me that that's why you brought me here? To ask me this?
Warden: Oh frankly, yes.
Shears: Major, I just got out of there. My escape was a miracle. Even your people said so, and now you want me to go back. Don't be ridiculous.
Warden: All this is very embarrassing, I...
Shears: Oh let's stop kidding around. I can't go back. I don't belong to you. I belong to the American Navy.
Warden: Yes, of course. Colonel Green has already taken the matter up with your people.
Shears: With my people?
Warden: Yes. Your Navy's turned you over to us. The signal arrived yesterday morning from your C-in-C Pacific, authorizing your temporary transfer of duty to Force 316.
Shears: They can't do this to me.
Warden: I'm afraid they have. It was awfully difficult. I didn't know how to break it to you.
Shears: No, but they can't do this to me. I really mean it. My Navy's made a mistake...Look, I'm not a Navy Commander, I'm, I'm not even an Officer...No, the whole thing's a fake. I'm just an ordinary swab jockey second class...When the Houston sunk, I made it ashore with an officer, a real commander. Later, we ran into a Japanese patrol and he was killed. I figured it was just a matter of time before I was captured so...
Warden: ...so you changed uniforms with a dead man.
Shears: I thought officers would get better treatment in prison camps.
Warden: Very sensible.
Shears: Not that it did me any good because at Saito's camp, the officers work along with the rest.
Warden: Yes, there's always the unexpected, isn't there?
Shears: I kinda got used to being a commander and so when I arrived here at the hospital, I took a look at the enlisted men's ward and I took a look at the officer's ward and I said to myself, 'Well, let's let it ride along for a while.' There were certain definite advantages.
Warden: Yes, I saw one of them on the beach.
Shears: Anyway, that's the whole story. And the point of it is that you can't use me. You want an officer for your team - an American Commander named Shears and he doesn't exist. When the Navy Brass learns the truth about me, they'll say: 'Send him home in arms for impersonating an officer,' or something like that. Once that happens, I've got it made.
Warden: Got it what?
Shears: Made...I'll apply for a medical discharge. I'll tell 'em that I impersonated an officer because I went off my rocker in the jungle. I'm getting worse, you know. Sometimes, I think I'm Admiral Halsey.
Warden: Well, it's quite a clever plan.
Shears: It's not only clever, it's foolproof. When my Navy finds out who I am, those temporary orders you got won't be worth the paper they're written on.
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