(1) “Three Bells to Perdido”

Original Airdate: (September 14, 1957)

“I’d like you to take a look at this gun.
The balance is excellent.
This trigger responds to a pressure of one ounce.
This gun was hand-crafted to my specifications.
And I rarely draw it unless I need to use it.“

New Mexico rancher Jesse Reade hires Paladin for $1,000 to bring back outlaw Dave Enderby, who has run off to Perdido, Mexico with Reade’s daughter Nancy.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen Writers: Herb Meadow, Sam Rolfe

RICHARD BOONE as Paladin

JACK LORD  as Dave Enderby
JANICE RULE  as Nancy Reed Enderby
HARRY SHANNON as Jesse Reed
JUDSON PRATT as Mayor O’Brien
FRANCIS MCDONALD as Gotch
KAM TONG as Hey Boy
CHRIS DRAKE  as the Dark Youth
THEODORE MARCUSE  as the Bartender
MARTIN GARRALAGA  as Peon
GENE ROTH  as the Cheating Gambler

EXT. PACIFIC STREET, SAN FRANCISCO – EARLY MORNING

A carriage rolls down Pacific Street and stops at the Hotel Carlton.

A bundle of newspapers is tossed down to the sidewalk. In seconds an attentive Chinese hotel servant picks up the bundle and runs up the steps to the hotel lobby.

We HEAR melodious music as part of the soundtrack to set the mood.

We SEE a luxurious hotel lobby with very well-attired guests going to and fro.

Paladin descends the ornate staircase accompanied by a lavishly dressed woman. Paladin is also dressed in lavish evening attire. They both stop at the foot of the stairs and the woman whispers something into Paladin’s ear.  Paladin then responds with a sly laugh.  She leaves him smiling broadly.

Paladin then walks over to where HEYBOY, the Chinese servant is sorting the newspapers and plops a dollar coin into Heyboy’s palm.

HEYBOY
(thankfully) Thank you, Mr. Paladin.

Paladin saunters over to a plush divan and settles down to read the various papers. He turns one page forcefully.

FADE TO a view of a selection of western newspapers:  THE WICHITA STAR, THE OREGON TIMES, THE ABILENE GAZETTE.

The Chinese servant returns with Paladin’s pen.

HEY BOY
(very politely) Your pen, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
(with an aristocratic air) Thank you, Hey Boy.

Paladin is reading a newspaper. He turns the page to the headlines of the:

NEW MEXICO JOURNAL.

WE ARE LOOKING over his shoulder to read the bold headlines:

RANCHER INVADES MEXICO.

PALADIN (V.O.)
“Rancher invades Mexico. Pursues eloper’s attempt to assault on Perdido. Jesse Reed, prominent cattleman of this territory took fast action when his daughter Nancy ran off with Dave Enderby for whom the US Marshal holds a murder warrant. Mr. Reed led 26 of his ranch hands against Perdido, a notorious outlaw refuge in the Sierra Grandes where the young couple are believed to have fled. 21 dead, three wounded, including Mr. Reed.”

Paladin pulls out his billfold from his coat and produces a small envelope and his calling card.  WE SEE a plain white card with the emblem of a chess knight with the words:

HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL
WIRE PALADIN
SAN FRANCISCO

PALADIN
(writing on the envelope) Jesse Reed. Portalis…New Mexico.

FADE TO

INT. OF JESSES REED’S HOME – DAY

We hear someone knocking on the door (softly)

JESSE REED
(calling loudly)
Gotch!

More knocking at the door (softly)

JESSE REED
Gotch!
(calling louder)
Oh! Never around when I want him. What can I do for you?

PALADIN
My name’s Paladin. I got your wire.

JESSE REED
(suspiciously)
What are you trying, Mister?

PALADIN
Your name Jesse Reed?

JESSE REED
(rudely)
Yeah. And what about it?

PALADIN
You and 26 of your men tried to take the town of Perdido in Mexico. Only six of you came back and not in very good shape, either. I sent a card offering my gun; you wired acceptance.

JESSE REED
(badgering)
Where do you get all this knowledge?

PALADIN
In the newspapers in San Francisco.

JESSE REED
(gruffly)
Well, you better go back to San Francisco and read some more papers. I never sent you no wire.

PALADIN
(surprised)
You didn’t send me…

GOTCH
(with a cheerful air)
Well, howdy, Mister. Gotch is the name.

JESSE REED
(gruffly)
Never mind all of your sociability, Gotch. Show the well-dressed fella to the door.

GOTCH
Now, that ain’t being very hospitable, Jesse.

JESSE REED
I don’t need to be hospitable. Man claims I sent him a wire. He just ain’t telling the truth.

GOTCH
Well, I sent the wire, Jesse.

JESSE REED
(angered)
What?! Well, who asked you?
What’s going on here? Who are you?
(as he reads Paladin’s card)
Oh. A fast gun, huh?

PALADIN
Fast enough.

JESSE REED
And what do you think you can do for me?

PALADIN
Well, Dave Enderby ran off with your daughter, shot you in the leg and ambushed 21 of your men. I guess you’d like to see him.

JESSE REED
If I couldn’t bring him back here with 26 men, just how do you think you can bring him back here alone?

PALADIN
The Greek Phalanx was developed out of a specific need. They fought shoulder to shoulder on small battlefields and they were considered invincible. Then the Mastadonians hit them with cavalry and that was the end of the Phalanx. There are all sorts of tactics, Mr. Reed.

JESSE REED
Ex-army officer, huh?

PALADIN
Among other things.

JESSE REED
West Point, sounds like.

PALADIN
Let’s stay with your problem.

JESSE REED
I know the breed. He can’t work, can’t sleep, got to have action and money.

PALADIN
And that brings me to my fee.

JESSE REED
I am not paying anything. I didn’t ask you, and I’m not paying.

PALADIN
You’re paying for Dave Enderby delivered, breathing.

PALADIN
And when I deliver him, that will come to $1,000.

JESSE REED
That big black gun of yours comes high. Let’s have a look at it.

GOTCH signals to Paladin that it is not a good idea!  Paladin laughs while calmly handing his gun to Jesse.  JESSE immediately cocks and points Paladin’s gun at him while saying…

JESSE REED

What do you think of that? I asked a man for his gun, and he hands it to me. Why, you overdressed tin soldier, you have about as much chance against Enderby as a ribbon clerk.

JESSE is still laughing as Paladin slyly and secretly pulls out his trusty derringer from the hidden pocket in his gunbelt.  Paladin points the derringer directly at Jesse’s temple.

PALADIN
I’ll have my gun now, Mr. Reed.

JESSE returns Paladins gun whereby Paladin demonstrates the attributes of his unique firearm.

PALADIN

I don’t think you got a very good look at this gun while you had it. The balance is perfect. This trigger responds to a pressure of one ounce.

Paladin then points his gun straight into the eyes of Mr. Reed. About two inches away from his eyes so he can get a good look at the rifling inside the gun’s barrel.

Beads of perspiration are forming on Reed’s face.  He is very nervous and frightened.

PALADIN

If you look carefully in the barrel you’ll see the lines of rifling. It’s a rarity in a hand weapon. This gun was handcrafted to my specifications, and I rarely draw it unless I mean to use it. Would you care for a demonstration?

Jesse is silent as Paladin laughs and returns the gun to his holster.

JESSE REED
Are them your working clothes?

PALADIN
They have been.

JESSE REED
All right, Mister, you’ve got yourself a job.

PALADIN
Which way is Perdido?

JESSE REED
I can tell you how to get in there. It’s the getting out that’s dangerous.

PALADIN
Thank you. Which way’s the road?

JESSE REED
You go west from Portalis until you get to Twin Peaks. Then head dead south…through the brush country

JESSE continues speaking when it CUTS TO

EXT. TWIN PEAKS, NEW MEXICO -DAY

a scene of Paladin riding on his horse through the brush.

JESSE REED’S VOICE AS NARRATOR (CONTD.) (V.O.)
about a half-day’s ride from here. The Rio Grande-she’s running pretty low at this time of year. You won’t have much trouble crossing. You’re not deep enough into Mexico until you can see the Sierra Grande Mountains. A half-day’s ride will bring you to the foothills. The only way up to Perdido is through the passes. That’s where I left 21 good men. Just remember this. They say a lone rider can get into Perdido, but the main trick is the getting out.

PALADIN
Buenos dias, amigo. There’s a man called Dave Enderby. Señor Enderby. My friend. My heart longs to see him. When two friends meet, there is much to talk about. Is he alone?

PEON
Señor, it is not permitted to quarrel in Perdido, even among good friends. One comes to Perdido to rest and be safe.

PALADIN
I’ll ask for it later.

INT. CANTINA-DAY

PALADIN
(beckoning to waiter)
I will pay for water at the price of tequila.

DAVE ENDERBY
If that were a man’s neck you would have missed him a mile.

DARK YOUTH

I don’t miss when it’s a man.

DAVE ENDERBY
Oh, yeah? Double the bet?

DARK YOUTH
Why not?

Dark guy throws knife at target.

DAVE ENDERBY
Oh, too bad. Can’t ever beat that.

DAVE ENDERBY
Now, ain’t that a crying shame? Hey.

DARK YOUTH
This time I’ll use your knife.

DAVE ENDERBY
(turning to Paladin)
Now I ask you, stranger. Ain’t that a mean, dirty trick? Take another man’s knife?

PALADIN
I don’t know the rules in this town.

DAVE ENDERBY
It’s a dirty trick in any town, ain’t it? Hand it over.

DARK YOUTH
You can use my knife.

DAVE ENDERBY
Hand it over.

BARTENDER
Señor! There is one law in Perdido. We do not fight with each other.

DAVE ENDERBY
Well, I want to thank you for reminding me of that. We’re just having a little fun here, and, well, I ain’t going to be the one to spoil it. Go ahead. Try it.

BARTENDER
Señor!

DAVE ENDERBY
I don’t mind giving stuff away, but nobody takes anything from me. You savvy? I tell you, stranger. Don’t ever get mixed up with that Dave Enderby.

PALADIN
Dave? I’ve come looking for you.

DARK YOUTH
He likes his little jokes. He’s Enderby.

BARTENDER
Señor! Get out of here!

DAVE ENDERBY
I hear another flat out of you I’ll poison you in your own liquor. Now, you were looking for me?

PALADIN
That’s right. I’m going to take you back across the border.

DAVE ENDERBY
Oh? You forgot something. Uh, well, if I need one, I’ll find it.

DAVE ENDERBY
Who sent you anyway?

PALADIN
Jesse Reed. He wants you alive.

DAVE ENDERBY
How do you figure on getting me out of Perdido? A lot of sentries out there.

PALADIN
You don’t suppose this village is sick enough of you by now to want you to go?

DAVE ENDERBY
Uh-uh, it’d be bad for future business. What’s your name anyway?

PALADIN
Paladin.

DAVE ENDERBY
Paladin, huh? You know, you’re more fun than old man Reed and his whole army. Come on along with me. Nancy’d get a big boot out of you.

PALADIN
Thank you. I’d like very much to meet the young lady that caused all this.

DAVE ENDERBY
After you, Mr. Paladin.

EXT. CANTINA-DAY

DAVE ENDERBY
Ay, Señor O’Brien. Cómo ésta?

MAYOR OBRIEN
Muy bien, amigo. Is that one a friend of yours?

ENDERBY
This is Mr. Paladin. He’s come to take me back to Jesse Reed…he says.

MAYOR OBRIEN
The tools of a craftsman, señor. Very excellent.

ENDERBY
His?

OBRIEN
You should not leave weapons in the serape of a poor sleeping man, señor. He might have bad dreams.

PALADIN
I was very careless.

MAYOR OBRIEN
Fortunately, we are not.

DAVE ENDERBY
Oh, meet Señor O’Brien. He’s the alcalde here, our mayor.

PALADIN
An interesting village, Señor Alcalde.

MAYOR OBRIEN
Our soil is poor. All we have to offer is hospitality, for those who need it.

PALADIN
Or so long as their money holds out.

MAYOR OBRIEN
It’s a poor business, Señor, that does not show a profit. Oh. I must tell you about our bell. If it should ring when one leaves here, that one is always met in the pass.

PALADIN
Looks like a church bell.

MAYOR OBRIEN
It was. But we did not need the church. It’s a very fine bell. So stay with us and be comfortable, Señor. And when you leave…

DAVE ENDERBY
Leave? He doesn’t have to leave. I like him.

MAYOR OBRIEN
That is your business, Señor. My business is to keep Perdido prosperous and peaceful.

PALADIN
Hasta luego.

MAYOR OBRIEN
Good-bye, señor. I hope the bell does not ring for you.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

PALADIN
You must be very happy here, Mrs. Enderby.

DAVE ENDERBY
Tell him, honey.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
I have the right to follow my husband.

P
I’d like to think he’d follow you just as quick.

DAVE ENDERBY
What happens is nobody is going anywhere right now.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Dad wasn’t completely honest with you, I’m afraid. All he wanted, I guess, was to set you against Dave. I don’t suppose he told you that every time Dave fought, he was forced into it.

DAVE ENDERBY
That’s the gospel.

The Gospel by Saint Enderby. English bone china. Beautiful. We had this at home when I was a boy. And your silverware is very handsome too.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
It all came with the house. Dave wanted me to have the best. Dad wouldn’t even understand what made one thing better than another.

PALADIN
No, I guess he’s just a good judge of men.

DAVE ENDERBY
He’s raking me with them spurs again, honey. See?

NANCY REED ENDERBY
You think you’re going to get me to go back?

DAVE ENDERBY
Honey, he came for me. Your daddy don’t even want to see you again. He said so.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
It’s true. He won’t ever want to see me again.

PALADIN
How do you know?

DAVE ENDERBY
She knows her old man. He’s got a hide thicker than an alligator.

PALADIN
You managed to put a bullet into that hide.

DAVE ENDERBY
Don’t you believe it. I told our boys to leave your daddy be, and they did. I saw him ride away with my own eyes, without a scratch.

PALADIN
Your dad saw Dave try to bushwhack him.

DAVE ENDERBY
Don’t that prove he’d say anything to split us?

PALADIN
I guess you got a real problem, Nancy. Who’s the liar? Your husband or your father?

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Dave is wild, but he’s no outlaw murderer. He wouldn’t shoot my father any more than he would me.

DAVE ENDERBY
If I did half the things folks said, then I’d be dancing at rope’s end long ago.

PALADIN
There’s still time.

DAVE ENDERBY
Nancy, will you go in the house and get me that old bottle of wine we’ve been saving?

NANCY REED ENDERBY
He’s trying to make you fight, Dave. Don’t let him.

DAVE ENDERBY
Go in the house and get me that wine.

PALADIN
You have to fight, Dave. Or come back with me. You’ve got both my guns. I give you my word I haven’t another. Now let’s see you fight. You’re a miserable, slimy, yellow, scrawny coward, who bushwhacks men or stabs or shoots them in the back.
If you had any stomach for fighting, you’d have finished that boy at the cantina. You’d have finished me. But you couldn’t because we were face-to-face with you. You’re about as much man as a wood louse.

PALADIN
I’m taking you home.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
I wish he had killed you.

PALADIN
We’ll talk about that on the way.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
You’re crazy to think I’ll go.

PALADIN
You’d rather stay here with him?

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Yes..

PALADIN
Then I’ll have to finish him.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
You wouldn’t!

PALADIN
Self-defense, that’s what he’d say in my place.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
No. Please. I’ll do anything you ask.

PALADIN
Will you go back with me?

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Yes.

PALADIN
You give me your word, no trouble.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
No trouble.

PALADIN
All right. We’ve got a long way to go. Come on.

MAYOR OBRIEN
Buenos días, señora. You’ve completed your business in Perdido, Señor Paladin?

PALADIN
I had bad luck. I came after Dave Enderby, and he’s still there.

MAYOR OBRIEN
I see you changed your gun, señor. A sign of friendship, perhaps?

PALADIN
Possibly. Anyway, I’ve put myself in Mrs. Enderby’s hands.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
It’s all right. I’m going to ride to the foot of the pass with Mr. Paladin.

MAYOR OBRIEN
Then it is good-bye to you, señor.

MAYOR OBRIEN
Perhaps we’ll meet again someday.

MAYOR OBRIEN

In Perdido?

PALADIN
I would like it to be in Perdido. (slaps horse) Hah!

PALADIN
Sounds like Dave’s on the way.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
You’ll be sorry you ever saw us or Perdido.

PALADIN
Well, we’ll have to ride fast to stay ahead.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
It’s hot.

PALADIN
It’s cooler near the Rio, Nancy. Let’s get to it.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
We going to ride all night?

PALADIN
The idea is to lose Dave, isn’t it? Let’s go on.

Commercial Break

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Aren’t we ever going to rest?

PALADIN
I guess we can now. He’ll be catching up to us about now. Between the two of us, we left a clear enough trail for him to follow.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Between the two…?

PALADIN
If the trail was any longer, you’d have a real problem in modesty. And he’ll come after you. Not out of any feelings for you, but because of his brag that no one takes anything from him.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Was it one of your lies about Dave shooting my father?

PALADIN
He tried to shoot your father in the back.

We hear a gunshot

PALADIN
That’s the way he works. If there’s a way to crawl around to a man’s back, he finds it.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
No, you’re wrong. He loves me. He doesn’t know you forced me to ride away, and I’m going to tell him.

Another gunshot

NANCY REED ENDERBY
He was aiming at me.

PALADIN
You want to prove that, just straighten up.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Don’t. He’ll kill you.

PALADIN
Nancy, what I said about him is true. He’ll never face up to a fight. He’ll stay under cover.

Paladin gets the drop on Dave Enderby

PALADIN
You’re welcome to try.

INT. RANCH HOUSE -DAY

DAVE ENDERBY
Now wait a minute. I don’t want to go in there.

PALADIN
$1,000 delivered and breathing.

JESSE REED
Yeah, but not for long.

DAVE ENDERBY
Now wait a minute. I’ve got a right to a hearing.

JESSE REED
Shut up, you! Why you…

PALADIN
I didn’t agree to become an accessory to murder. There’s a warrant out for this bushwhacker, and you’re going to let the law take him.

JESSE REED
I am paying for him, and he’s mine.

PALADIN
Only as a son-in-law. And the hangman will arrange a quick divorce.

JESSE REED
Now listen…

PALADIN
Reed, you vindictive old goat, your daughter’s outside waiting for you.

JESSE REED
Nancy? Look at me, girl.

NANCY REED ENDERBY
Don’t grab me like I’m some puny little babe. I can take of myself. How are you, Dad? How do you feel?

JESSE REED
How do you think I feel? With a daughter that hasn’t got any more sense than to stay out here in the sun when-when she’s got a house to go into. Go on up to your room. Get washed up. You look like you’ve been in a stampede.

PALADIN
How does a man throw away the most valuable thing he’ll ever own? I’ll never understand that. Well, Dave, the marshal is waiting for you. Let’s travel. Then it’s the Golden Gate for me, and I wonder what kind for you.

EXT. BACK AT THE HOTEL CARLTON – NIGHT

PATRICK
Welcome home, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Thank you, Patrick. It’s nice to be home. I’ll send Hey Boy out for the luggage.

PATRICK
Thank you, sir.

HEY BOY
Oh, Mr. Paladin. I’m so happy to see you.

PALADIN
Hello, Hey Boy.

HEY BOY
You have good business trip?

PALADIN
Hey Boy, this business was a pleasure.

CHEATING GAMBLER
Hey, boy, two fresh decks of cards, Room 204, right away?

HEY BOY
Right away.

PALADIN
Game, Hey Boy?

HEY BOY
Big game, lots of money.

PALADIN
Do the other players happen to know who that gentleman is?

HEY BOY
Oh, him? Him lose all the time, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
He always does. Until he switches to his own deck. I think I’ll sit in that game, Hey Boy, just for relaxation. My luggage is outside.

Paladin meets the Mexican woman again as he ascends the staircase and stops to whisper something into her ear.  She laughs, then goes on.

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