(12) “No Visitors”

Original Airdate: (November 30, 1957)

“You came to me with a torch and a gun..you call it righteousness?
Call it by its right name: murder”

Paladin comes across a woman and her child, who is stricken with typhoid, abandoned on the side of the road. He tracks down the help of a doctor in a nearby town to help.

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Don Brinkley.

JUNE LOCKHART as Dr. Phyllis Thackeray
GRANT WITHERS as Jeremiah Mulrooney
RUTH STOREY as Clara Benson
WHIT BISSELL as Storekeeper Bill Jonas
PEG HILLIAS as Mrs. Jonas
JIMMY NOEL as Townsman (uncredited)
ANN URCAN as Townswoman (uncredited)

JUNE LOCKHART also appeared in: (The Return of Dr. Thackeray, 1958) as Dr. Phyllis Thackeray. GRANT WITHERS also appeared in: (The Return of Dr. Thackeray, 1958) as Sam Barton, (The Outlaw, 1957) as Sheriff Jake Ludlow. WHIT BISSELL also appeared in: (The Burning Tree, 1963) as Fairchild, (The Silver Queen, 1958) as Vance Crawford.

EXT. ON THE PRAIRIE – DAY

CLARA BENSON
Move away from that wagon, mister!

PALADIN
I thought it was abandoned.

CLARA BENSON
Move away, I said. Now get on your horse and clear out.

PALADIN
Lady, you look to me like you need help.

CLARA BENSON
You can’t help us none.

PALADIN
I can try.

CLARA BENSON
You ain’t a doctor, are you?

PALADIN
No.

CLARA BENSON
Move on then.

PALADIN
Lady, what’s the matter with that baby?

CLARA BENSON
Typhoid. Typhoid fever.

PALADIN
Has a doctor seen this baby?

CLARA BENSON
No.

PALADIN
Well, then you don’t know it’s typhoid fever. it might be some other disease.

CLARA BENSON
Mr. Mulrooney knows.

PALADIN
Who?

CLARA BENSON
Jeremiah Mulrooney, the wagon master. He knows the symptoms.

PALADIN
He’s the one that cut you loose like this, left you out here to dig your own graves?

CLARA BENSON
It was either the baby and me or the whole wagon train. 50 people.

PALADIN
Well, they’re sending help back, they’re not just going on?

CLARA BENSON
What can they do?

PALADIN
Well, lady, you and your baby are alive, you’re human beings.
Now, there’s a settlement one day’s ride from here.
We’ll use my horse to pull the wagon.

CLARA BENSON
They won’t let us in. The wagon train must be there by now. They know about us.

PALADIN
Well, they can’t just cancel you out of the human race.

CLARA BENSON
Mr. Mulrooney says it’s the will of God.

INT. GENERAL STORE – DAY

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
I was a stranger in a strange land, and ye took me in.
A toast to you and your good wife, Brother Jonas.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Thank you. I sure wish you and your folks could stay on a might longer. Maybe even settle here.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
A shepherd must tend his flock, and my wagoneers are getting restless to press on.

MRS. JONAS
You’re welcome anytime, Mr. Mulrooney.
Got all the supplies you need?

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Indeed, yes. Thanks to you, Mrs. Jonas. And bless you both.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Hmm. Newcomer. Wonder where he’s from.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Well, what can I do for you, stranger?

PALADIN
I’m looking for a doctor. Can you tell me where I’ll find one?

STOREKEEPER JONAS
A doctor. Mm. Well, I don’t know. She calls herself a doctor, but…

PALADIN
She?!

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Yeah. Phyllis Thackeray, M.D. That’s what her sign says.

PALADIN
She’s here on the settlement?

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Yeah.

MRS. JONAS
She ain’t recommended.

PALADIN
Oh? Why?

MRS. JONAS
Couldn’t make a go of it back East, so she hung up a shingle here.
Any woman sees fit to take up doctoring ain’t fit to be a woman.

PALADIN
Is she a medical doctor?

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Well, there’s something in Latin hanging on her wall, but lady doctors ain’t my idea…

PALADIN
Now, look, there’s a woman and a baby that need doctoring real bad.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
What’s this? What’s this, my friend? Now, what’s this, my friend, about a woman and a baby?

PALADIN
Some pebble-hearted wagon master left them on the edge of the desert out here to die.
Now, where’s the doctor?

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Just a minute. This child-did it have typhoid fever?

PALADIN
Well, that’s for the doctor to…Why do you ask?

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
My name is Jeremiah Mulrooney and it was I that…

PALADIN
Mr. Mulrooney. You don’t look like a murderer.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking guile.

PALADIN
Put thy own house in order, Mulrooney. You sentenced that woman and that child to death.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
They were diseased!

PALADIN
Well, what did you do to help them?!

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Wait a minute! Wait a minute! What’s this about typhoid, stranger? We don’t want any epidemics around here.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
He wanted me to jeopardize the lives of 50 people against two.

PALADIN
Did you ask the 50 people about what they thought about it? Or did you just make the decision for them?

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Had they known about typhoid, it would’ve caused great panic.

PALADIN
And the will of Jeremiah Mulrooney would have been opposed. Now where’s that doctor.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Now look, typhoid is a terrible thing. Nothing to fool around with. If that doctor brings them here we could all get the disease.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
The hand that touches pitch is defiled forthwith. You’ve consorted with the disease. The fever’s upon you, too.

PALADIN
Now, are you going to let this fool…

MRS. JONAS
He’s right- you could be filling the air with typhoid.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Now, look- you better make tracks, mister, ’cause we got to protect the people in this settlement.

PALADIN
I’m not leaving here without seeing that doctor.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Get out of here before you contaminate all of us.

PALADIN
Well, why don’t you two brave men shoot? For there’s sickness out there. The woman and the child are sick. You could keep them out of this community. But the disease will spread. It’ll get here eventually. It’ll get right here. A doctor could stop that, but why don’t you go ahead and shoot?

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Get out, I say!

STOREKEEPER JONAS
All right. I’ll see to it that you get a doctor.

PALADIN
Please give her my card.

MRS. JONAS
He’s welcome to her. Take her, and good riddance! But once she mixes with the fever, she ain’t welcome back here.

PALADIN
Oh, be careful of that card; it’s crawling with typhoid.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
You give it to her yourself.

PALADIN
I will.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Gunfighter, huh?

PALADIN
Only when I have to be. Now, where’s the doctor?

MRS. JONAS
You can see her sign from right out there. She’s right across the street.

PALADIN
Thank you.

EXT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE “PHYLLIS THACKERAY M.D.”

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Got enough water?

PALADIN
I think this will be enough.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
All right.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. Let the physicians heal themselves before they seek return.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Don’t try bringing those fever patients back here, you understand?

PALADIN
If we have to bring them back here, we will.

MRS. JONAS
We’ve got folks of our own to protect- children, too- and we’ll shoot you down, if we have to.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
They mean what they say.

PALADIN
So do I.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL

PALADIN
Now we better rest a while.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
You said it
was a long ride.

PALADIN
It is.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Well, you never get there resting.

PALADIN
If we don’t rest these horses,
we’ll never get there at all.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
This should be ready in a minute.

PALADIN
Good. You know, you ought to be sitting on a velvet settee, fluttering your eyelashes over a fan.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Oh, no. I’ve tried that.
It’s too easy.

PALADIN
Is that why you studied medicine, because it’s not easy?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Probably.

PALADIN
Thanks. Why’d you come West? Isn’t it hard enough for a woman to study medicine in the East?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Well, I guess I’m more missionary than physician. Is the food all right?

PALADIN
Mmm! It’s fine.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
You know, I was the second woman to graduate from my medical school. After me, there were others, but… well, it’s difficult for us, but I think we’ll finally be accepted as something better than freaks.

PALADIN
And you’re breaking new ground
for them out here.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
I figure that if I can get these people to accept me, then maybe they’ll accept other women doctors.

PALADIN
May I remind you that you were just run out of your home with guns at your back?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Want some more coffee?

PALADIN
Please. Thanks. You’re pretty casual about it.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
I’m not, really. This is the second settlement I’ve worked in. I’ve collected my share of scar tissue.

PALADIN
Are you planning to go back to this community?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Well, it’s either that or back to the velvet settees. I may not be the missionary or the physician I think I am.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – MORNING

PALADIN
Morning, Doctor.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
I should’ve brought something for saddle sores. Where are we?

PALADIN
We’re there. They’re in here. Anything I can do?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Keep your fingers crossed.

PALADIN
They all right?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Yeah. The mother is suffering from exposure, exhaustion, lack of sleep.

PALADIN
She’s going to be all right, though.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Unless the typhoid hits her.

PALADIN
The baby has typhoid?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Maybe.

PALADIN
Don’t you know?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
It’s too soon to tell yet.

PALADIN
Mulrooney knew the symptoms.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Well, so do I. A high fever that lasts for the first few days, then a rash that covers the skin, then delirium and coma that leads to the crisis. The baby seems to have gone about halfway through the cycle, but whether she goes beyond this or not,1 we can’t do anything for her here, in this wilderness.

PALADIN
I’ll hitch those horses to the wagon.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Now, what about Mulrooney and Jonas? They meant what they said about our not going back there.

PALADIN
So do I. These people need help and they’re going to get it.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
I hope so.

EXT. AT THE SETTLEMENT – DAY

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Well, they’re waiting for us.

PALADIN
Whoa.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Turn back, Paladin. The way is closed. You’ll bring no disease among us.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Stand right there. No closer.

PALADIN
Dr. Thackeray has examined the woman and the child. The woman hasn’t a trace of typhoid.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Her child is diseased. And Clara Benson took care of her child. And you and that doctor consorted with them both.

PALADIN
Dr. Thackeray isn’t even certain that the baby has typhoid.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
I’m sure. I saw that child.

PALADIN
The baby needs treatment. Now, what about it? Are you people going to let this man sentence a woman and a baby to death?

MRS. JONAS
We’ll bring you what you need, Mr. Paladin, but you ain’t bringing them in.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
He’s trying to steal your homes! He’s bringing the scourge of Satan down upon you. Stop him, I say!

PALADIN
What about it? Who wants it? Who wants to preach the gospel according to Mulrooney? Jonas? You want it? You want to keep those people out of your precious community? Want to preserve it? Well, you’ve got three fine targets: two women and a baby burning with fever. Here, Jonas, here. You want it? You, sir? You’re defying the will of Mulrooney. Here, Mulrooney. You show these sheep how you practice the art of righteousness.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
But Paladin, they’re diseased. We’ve got to protect ourselves.

PALADIN
Well, they’re not as diseased as you are. You may be able to do this. You may be able to keep them out of your community, but you’ll carry your sickness with you wherever you go. As long as you live, you’ll die every time you see a baby smile.

MRS. JONAS
Don’t you understand? We got to take care of our own children.

PALADIN
Your own children. Do your children sound any different than that when they cry? If one of your own children was sick and crying like that, would you send it out into the desert to die?!

MRS. JONAS
I… I don’t reckon I know.

PALADIN
Well, you ask Mulrooney. He makes the decisions around here. Now, Mulrooney, I’m going to drive that wagon into that settlement. Any of you people need a doctor, she’ll be in her office.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
I’m not going to let you do it, Paladin. I’m not going to let you bring disease and pestilence into our midst.

PALADIN
Get in the back.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
I’ll keep her quiet. You know, they’re going to use those guns.

PALADIN
Just keep her down. Hyah! Hyah! Move! Hyah!

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
He’s the devil himself! This man was sent from the very devil himself! Stop him, I say! Stop him! Heap coals on his head! The fires may burn the sins out of his soul, but stop him! Stop him!

INT. DOCTOR’S HOUSE – EVENING

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Still quiet?

PALADIN
It’s not quiet enough.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Here, you better have something to eat. You’ll probably need the strength.

PALADIN
Thanks.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
What does it all mean?

PALADIN
Well, the torches- Mulrooney’s whipping them up like a witch doctor.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
When was the last time you slept?

PALADIN
I was too young to remember. How’s Mrs. Benson?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
She’ll be all right, soon as she has some rest.

PALADIN
The baby?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
It’s too soon to tell yet. The fever’s still pretty high.

PALADIN
Is it typhoid?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
We’ll know soon. Maybe too soon.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Well, that’s one way to sterilize a contaminated area.

EXT. MORNING

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
There’s some breakfast inside.

PALADIN
Oh, thanks.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
The fever broke last night.

PALADIN
Oh, what does that mean?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
It’s not typhoid.

PALADIN
It’s not typhoid? You sure?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
I’m sure. Go on, have something to eat. I’ll stay out here.

PALADIN
Call me if Mulrooney and his friends show up.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
All right.

PALADIN
Good to see you up and around. Is this mine? Thank you.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
I wish I could tell you how much I appreciate your doing everything for us.

PALADIN
Please, no gratitude before breakfast. I hear your baby’s better.

CLARA BENSON
Yes, very much better.

PALADIN
Well, sounds better. Mrs. Benson, why is Mulrooney fighting so hard to leave you behind?

CLARA BENSON
My husband and I joined the wagon train in Leadville.

PALADIN
Your husband?

CLARA BENSON
Four days later, he was killed- Indian raid. Mr. Mulrooney said the last rites. He made a wild, crazy thing out of it. Like a fanatic. I couldn’t stand it. A few weeks later, around the campfire, he told the whole wagon train he was taking me for his bride. It was Heaven’s will to protect widows, he said. And he was the chosen messenger. I ran away from him… couldn’t stand to be near him. And then my baby got sick.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Paladin! Paladin! Hurry! And they’re all around the place. On the sides, the back, everywhere.

PALADIN
All right. Go on in and take care of the patients. You may have some more. Go ahead.

PALADIN
That’s far enough, Mulrooney.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Paladin! This is the torch of truth and justice. It’ll burn away the seeds that Clara Benson has spread among us. It will scourge the disease from our souls and bodies and purify our homes once again.

PALADIN
Clara Benson never had a trace of typhoid and the doctor says the baby’s out of danger.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
O, how thou art fallen from heaven, O, Lucifer, to plague us with this villain’s falsehoods. You forced these people from their homes, Paladin, contaminated the air they breathe, and now you lie in the face of judgment.

PALADIN
You fool. Put down that torch and call off those rifles.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
The path of the just is the shining light.

PALADIN
Mulrooney, if you touch that torch to this house I will empty this gun into you.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
The flames of the just will banish the scourge.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Mr. Mulrooney, that baby never had typhoid.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
Stay where you are. You’ve mingled with filth and disease. And I know the symptoms. I saw that baby crying with fever and livid with rash.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
That rash, Mr. Mulrooney, was the three-day measles. The three-day measles, Mr. Mulrooney, and you left them out there to die because of it.

JEREMIAH MULROONEY
You’re lying. You’re trying to humiliate me. You’re trying to belittle me.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Well, then, look at the baby. The fever’s down, the rash has faded and her eyes are bright. Go on, look at her.

PALADIN
You can kill people with hate, Mulrooney, but not with the three-day measles.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Look out, Paladin! I had to do it. I had to warn you.

MRS. JONAS
He turned us against each other. He taught us nothing but hate…hate and hate.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Maybe we deserved it. He has sown the wind, and he shall reap the whirlwind.

PALADIN
Go on home, Jonas. The wind has changed.

INT. DR. THACKERAY’S OFFICE – DAY

Paladin is checking his gun.  The HGWT theme music plays.

CLARA BENSON
We have room for you on our wagon train, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Thank you.

CLARA BENSON
We can take you part way to San Francisco.

PALADIN
Good. Save me a soft board to sit on.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Must you leave?

PALADIN
Come with me. San Francisco needs a good doctor.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Oh, no, there are too many velvet settees there. Anyway, they told me I’m needed here.

PALADIN
Oh, yeah.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Is there any way I can thank you?

PALADIN
See me in San Francisco.

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Hey, wait a minute.

PALADIN
What are you doing?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
You’re not going anywhere for at least three days.

PALADIN
Measles?

DR. PHYLLIS THACKERAY
Mm-hmm. I’ll get a room ready for you.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Hey, Paladin! The wagons are waiting for you.

PALADIN
Well, I can’t go anyplace; I’m sick.

STOREKEEPER JONAS
Sick?! How’d you get sick?

PALADIN
I don’t know. I’m just lucky, I guess.

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