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State Department File 649

State Department File 649(1949)


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At the State Department in Washington, D.C., ex-marine Kenneth R. Seeley, whose file number is 6-4-9, is trained for a new post as a foreign service officer in the northern regions of China. While in training, Ken falls in love with foreign service officer Margaret Waldon. When he was a boy, Ken's missionary parents were murdered by Mongolian bandits, and consequently, he has a desire to return to China to do his part in keeping the peace there. Ken flies to Peiping and finds himself in the middle of a revolution that has killed numerous Americans. Immediately upon his arrival, Ken is nearly killed, but escapes unharmed to his post at Ming-Goo. Ken, along with Marge and American Don Logan, are to aid consul Howard Brown, who is being watched by an elaborate spy network. When the Americans see a caravan of armed men pass through Ming-Goo, they begin to suspect that exiled warlord Marshal Yun Usu is preparing for a coup. Within days, Yun Usu arrives in a trailer and takes control of the consulate, holding the Americans hostage. After Johnny Han, the consulate's radio operator, calls for help, his arms are cut off by the marshal's guards, and he dies. Wonto, the village undertaker, who is friendly with the Americans, smuggles dynamite into the consulate in Johnny's crematory urn. Meanwhile, Yun Usu orders the execution of several villagers whom he accuses of being government sympathizers. Later, when the American embassy at Nanking calls and promises to send an airplane if they receive no word from the consulate within twenty-four hours, Yun Usu orders Ken to fix the radio. While retrieving glass tubes from the marshal's trailer, Ken plants the dynamite on the battery beneath it. During the return call to Nanking, Ken purposefully says that the marshal is on the air to tip off the embassy. To protect himself from an American assault, Yun Usu takes Ken hostage in his trailer, and leaves the village. After the trailer hits a peasant child in the road and the marshal refuses to stop, Ken reconnects the battery wire. The marshal then boasts that his revolution cannot proceed without him, and Ken calls him a "mad dog," for which he is shot in the stomach. Before he collapses, Ken turns on the trailer radio, triggering an explosion that kills all onboard. Later, in Washington, D.C., Ken's name is added to a list of foreign service officers who died while serving their country.