MANHUNT (earlier versions had the titles of TRAPPED and QUICKSAND)
WRITERS-JE SELBY AND STAN H. SILVERMAN
A giant convict, chased by guards, falls and spots the Spindrift just after Dan, Barry, Betty, and Valerie get inside it, Chipper running off to Steve, Mark, and Mr. Fitzhugh.
The giant looks in and sees Valerie who was trying to close the port shield covers. He wraps his jacket around Spindrift and carries it off, the others just having time to strap into their seats. Steve and Mark use Chipper to track the ship and convict with Fitzhugh. Dan figures the convict may hand over the ship in exchange for a pardon. After a brief rest, the convict moves faster and faster away--beyond radio range. Steve tells Dan via radio to keep sending a signal every 15 minutes. Mark and Fitzhugh seem to give up hope, Fitz wanting to return the camp. At night, the giant hides at a farmhouse while Mark converts the astrogater, which was out of the ship when the giant took it, into a radio range finder, questioned by a nervous Fitzhugh. The three pick up a signal and start out after them again. The convict has a fight with the farmer--who has uncovered the spaceship and looked in at the cockpit. The others all rush into the cockpit to watch the fight--which rolls dangerously close to them. The convict wins and Dan orders all of them back to their seats and to strap in. The giant scoops them up as the farmer calls for help, bringing guards. The others arrived to see this. They lose the giant during the night but spot him by morning. Steve finds his heel mark and has Chipper smell it. Unfortunately, when they find him, the giant has fallen into quicksand and begins to sink!
Mark and Fitz pulls Steve away from the quicksand as he almost fell in also. Steve uses a ploy to get Dan to talk to him alone in the cockpit with the headset on so as not to PANIC the others. Dan, who knew something was wrong, is told by Steve. Dan has to field questions from Betty and then Val and Barry later. They all seem to sense something is wrong, too. Mark continues to act pessimistic toward Steve's plan while Steve asks for the giant's shirt so they can make a rope to for them to tie around a tree so he can pull himself out. Betty is fielding questions from Val and Barry the best she can. Val notices she straightened the same pillow several times. Dan recalls Steve and would rather let the others in on the score so they know what is happening. He would rather trust them. Steve tells him to do what he thinks is best. Dan tells them. The rope breaks as the convict pulls himself toward shore, holding the ship.
Val panics, "I think we're under the quicksand. You want to tell me I'm wrong?" Dan orders her to sit back down and explains that the ship is water tight and they have air. Despite this, soon, everyone passes out but Betty manages to wake Dan up. Dan bypasses a circuit, causing a small blast. He gets the air to work and he and Betty awaken Val and Barry. Val asks Dan, "Who hit me?" Outside, the others use rocks to try to get the giant to let go of the ship--his weight on it will cause it to sink faster. It is on top the quicksand again. Dan wants to shut out the beta control system to generate enough power to move the ship out of the quicksand (more like slow sand). This could burn out the generator and the batteries but the whole ship may also blow up in an inferno. Against Mark's wishes and Steve's warnings, Dan does try this--Steve tells him while Dan is out there and in the ship, Dan himself is in command. As the ship moves, the giant reaches for it and the others think it is to stop the ship so he can use it to pull himself out. It is not: the giant pulls his jacket off the ship so Dan can see where he is going. This allows it to fly-skid. Everyone piles out, coughing. Mark checks it. Steve wants to pull the giant out by himself with only him in the spaceship. Mark complains, "For all you know, he's a murderer." Steve counters with, "Then let someone else be the executioner." Dan tells Mark to forget trying to change Steve's mind. Steve tells them it will not be the same maneuver--Steve will use the ship's power to offset the weight of the giant as the giant pulls himself out--the ship itself will not move forward--besides, as Fitz notices, there are titanic trees ahead of it. The convict starts to do this as Spindrift smokes. Dan calls Steve by radio to let him know how the convict is doing; Mark keeps the others back. The ship gets very hot and is threatening to explode. Mark comes to Dan and tells Dan Steve is going to let the ship blow up before cutting the rope loose. The ship smokes and seems about to go up in smoke.
Mark calls, grabbing the radio from Dan, and threatens to cut the rope free himself but Steve continues the move. The convict comes out. Steve shuts down the engines and jets and runs out. The giant grabs Betty and Valerie; the others hide but he also gets a charging Chipper and following Barry. He dumps the boy and dog into the hallway of Spindrift near the girls, high in the air, under his arm. The guards heard the ship's jets and come running as well. Steve is scolded by Fitzhugh but they give chase, discovering that the giant man brought the ship back to the same spot. Fitz wonders why the convict didn't ask for a pardon from his sentence, using the ship as ransom. Dan wants to go see if the girls and Barry are all right but the guard giants arrive. They fight with the convict, a gun falls that they held on him, and finally they knock the convict down. He falls and hits his head. Fitz looks, "That finishes it for all of us." Will the giant turn in the ship?
Steve spots the gun and gets the other three men to help him haul the gun into the convict's hand. The giant uses the gun to handcuff the two guards together and frighten them off. The giant thanks them and waves goodbye as the seven Earthlings and their dog rejoin each other at the ship's entrance.