(2) “The Outlaw”

Original Airdate: (September 21, 1957)

Manfred Holt breaks out of jail, killing two deputies. Is he on his way to kill the banker who testified against him, or to see his family for the last time? The banker hires Paladin.

Paladin accepts the task of capturing the escaped criminal, only to form an irregular bond with the convicted man.

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

CHARLES BRONSON as Manfred Holt
GRANT WITHERS as Sheriff Jake Ludlow
STEVE MITCHELL as Gage
BARRY CAHILL as Abe Talltree
PEGGY STEWART as Sarah Holt
WARREN PARKER as Ned Alcorn

Mister, you killed nine men. I never heard anyone say
you made allowances for your opponents’ ability
with a gun.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – SAN FRANCISCO – DAY

Paladin is reading a newspaper while Heyboy comes up and serves him a glass of wine

PALADIN
Thank you, Hey Boy.

NED ALCORN
Excuse me. You see most everybody that comes in to this hotel lobby, don’t you?

HEYBOY
Yes, sir.

NED ALCORN
Take a good look at that picture. If you see this man, would you please contact me? My name’s Alcorn. Room 12. The reward would be yours.

HEYBOY
Yes, sir.

ALCORN
And I’ll even add a little extra. I’ve got money enough to take good care of you.

PALADIN
Oh, do you now? Excuse me, Hey Boy.

ALCORN
Beg your pardon?

PALADIN
Well, that’s Manfred Holt. Killed nine men, condemned last week in Laramie. Escaped from prison, killing two guards in the process, according to the papers. And I’ll be the next. I was the chief witness at his trial. He swore to get me, and I ran.

PALADIN
Well, it took some courage to even testify against a man like that.

ALCORN
Oh, I was scared. But I owed it to my neighbors to speak up. He’ll make me pay for that now.

PALADIN
Well, he could be caught.

ALCORN
No one will ever catch him in the Black Mountains. Sheriff Ludlow is chasing him up there for all the good it’ll do. This makes the fourth time Holt’s got away from him. Ludlow’s not too smart.

PALADIN
Mr. Alcorn, I’m not a bounty hunter, but I am available for a fee.

ALCORN
What do you do?

PALADIN
My card.

EXT. PRARIE – SHOOTOUT WITH MANFRED HOLT AND THE SHERIFF – DAY

PALADIN
That’s Manfred Holt you’ve got bottled up in there, isn’t it?

SHERIFF JACK LUDLOW
Where’d you come from?

PALADIN
San Francisco. You’re Jake Ludlow, the sheriff.

SHERIFF JACK LUDLOW
How do you know this?

PALADIN
A man named Alcorn, a friend of yours, wants me to see that Holt’s returned to Laramie. I was on my way to his wife’s cabin just now.

SHERIFF JACK LUDLOW
So was he, when we caught up with him – as you can see.

PALADIN
He alone?

SHERIFF
He’s got a saddle horse and a pack horse.

PALADIN
Well, apparently, you don’t need any help from me.

SHERIFF
Unless you want to speed things up a little, and dig a grave.

PALADIN
Holt might surrender.

SHERIFF
You don’t think I’m going to spend two weeks on the road to Laramie with Holt. He’s already killed two of my deputies.

PALADIN
And outsmarted you a few times. I understood the court settled his fate. He’s to hang.

SHERIFF
Hang later, shoot now-what’s the difference?

PALADIN
That’s an interesting question, Sheriff. What is the difference between murder and justice?

PALADIN
Hah. Whoa. Hah.

SHERIFF
Get that horse. Knock him down.

DEPUTY
Too late, Jake. That horse was racing. Who are you, mister?

PALADIN
My name’s Paladin. He may still be in there, Sheriff. Or maybe he’s under the packs on that other horse.

SHERIFF
Close in.

DEPUTY ABE
Looks like he got away from you again.

SHERIFF
Read it, Abe.

DEPUTY ABE
Here’s his shells. This is where he was firing from. Then he came over to here, where his horses were, and he got on one. No more footprints. And… And the horse he got on went like so.

SHERIFF
The pack horse.

DEPUTY ABE
He hid under the canvas. Holt will go to see his kid, like he promised. We can ride for the cabin.

SHERIFF
Gage, you and I will ride to the cabin. Abe, you and Fuzz follow the trail. Mister…We see Holt shinny down from his hiding place up in an oak tree…you’re on your own. If you cross Holt’s trail, stay away from him. I know 11 men that have tried to outdraw him, and they’re wearing marble hats.

PALADIN
I’ll bear it in mind. Good hunting.

SHERIFF
Hyah! Hyah!

PALADIN
Get your hands on that horn, Holt. That’s not what I told you to do. Then you should have pulled that trigger. That may come. I’ll take the gun.

HOLT
Ain’t I the hard luck fella, though? Here all the time I thought…

PALADIN
Stage coach shift. A very graceful maneuver, and one I know well.

HOLT
Stage coach shift?

PALADIN
Never saw it before, huh?

HOLT
Ah, live and learn. How did you know I was here?

PALADIN
That branch I picked up under the tree. It’s fresh wet with sap. You broke it off while you were climbing the tree. You rode the pack horse under the branch, swung up without your feet touching the ground again. Say, how did you get that pack horse to keep running? Did you put a burr under the saddle?

HOLT
No. It was a sharp rock. And I sure hated to do it to old Jenny, but she’ll keep running till she shakes that rock loose, I guess. So you knew all the time, huh? How come you didn’t tell Jake?

PALADIN
He’d have killed you.

HOLT
And you?

PALADIN
I’m taking you back to Laramie.

HOLT
To be hung at a county fair while they hawk buttons off my shirt? Thanks.

PALADIN
Step up on the horse.

HOLT
A man ought to be left to die like a man. At the hands of a man. What are you messing into this for, anyhow?

PALADIN
Alcorn hired me to see you don’t reach him.

HOLT
You mean you hired your gun to that quivering tub of gully mud? Man can’t even fight his own fights.

PALADIN
Against you?

HOLT
Look, I’d have seen that he had a gun. I never yet shot a man but he wasn’t holding a gun and was facing me. You just ask around about Manfred Holt.

PALADIN
I never heard anybody say you took into account the ability of your opponents with a gun. Or lack of ability.

HOLT
If a man can’t handle a gun, he ain’t got no business west of the Mississippi.

PALADIN
No? Let’s go.

HOLT
Uh, wait a minute. You know, we’ve got two weeks on the trail to Laramie. Now, I figure to give you some trouble in that time.

PALADIN
I’ll be looking for it.

HOLT
Well, maybe you’ll catch it, and maybe you won’t. Now, about a half a day’s ride from here is my in-law’s cabin. My wife and my boy are there. I’ve got a present to give my boy.

PALADIN
And if I take you to that cabin?

HOLT
I’ll go along with you quiet. No trouble. Now I give you my word. Look, mister, I’m not begging you. I’m offering my word. Since you heard the rest about me, maybe you heard, too, that my word is good.

PALADIN
I heard. The sheriff will be waiting at that cabin.

HOLT
Yeah, and I guess Abe will be catching up with Jenny about now. They’ve been trailing along behind. But I mean to give my boy that present. He’s only been around about three weeks.

PALADIN
You’ve never seen your boy?

HOLT
No.

PALADIN
Well, you ought to see him before you go to Laramie. And I give you my word, you will. Lead the way.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

HOLT
Oh, ain’t this the pretty country, though? You know, Wyoming Territory has every other place beat. Oh, Paladin, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, turning your back like that. You tempt a man.

PALADIN
I’ve got your word. Well, I’ve been on the lie.

PALADIN
Take a look.

HOLT
Oh, that Abe. He’s more bloodhound than he is man. You could take off on a cloud, and he’d follow you a track.

PALADIN
Yeah, well, tracking, they’ll move more slowly than we will.

HOLT
Yeah, I know a tricky piece of trail that will save us some time, right up over there. It’ll boggle Abe a piece, too.

PALADIN
Well, you better lead us to it, if we’re going to see that boy of yours. What are you calling him, by the way?

HOLT
Well, that’s another thing. Sarah’s Pa is figuring on naming him, uh, Hubert. Hubert Holt. Now I-I ask you…

PALADIN
Hubert’s a fine old name. It means “bright mind.” It’s a good name for a scholar.

HOLT
My boy ain’t going to be no scholar. He’s going to be a man. I’ll set him off on the right foot when we get there and I give him his present.

PALADIN
Yeah, I’m sure you will, Holt.

HOLT
Hey, uh…my front name’s Manfred, you know. Manfred.

HOLT
Then when I got married, Sarah fixed us up with this here bed in her folks place. Oh, yes, sir. Sarah sure changed my ways.

PALADIN
Manfred, it’s too bad she didn’t change your ways with a gun. You might have spent more time with her.

HOLT
Yeah, there’s no denying it. Still, a man has to be what he is. You know, I don’t like someone, I just reach for a gun, just about as natural as you’d reach to scratch an itch.

PALADIN
Well, you can let off a lot of steam just using your fists.

HOLT
Oh, I’m no good with my fists. I’m good with a gun. What’s the sense to fighting when you’re going to get licked?

PALADIN
Well, unfortunately, you can’t be allowed to go around killing everybody you don’t like.

HOLT
Yeah. It does sound like I got me some bad habits. But still, it just don’t seem right to hold a carnival and string me up And now that I’ve got me a son…Can’t you just see him running around saying, “My Pa, he was hung.”

PALADIN
No. No, I can’t. But Manfred…the way a man dies is less important than the way he lives.

HOLT
Oh, I figured it’d be my finish he’d be remembering most. Now, if my boy could say, “My Pa, he stood up in a gunfight, and was shot down like a man working a gun…” Well, now, that’s something else again.

Paladin falls down into a gorge.

PALADIN
Throw me down a rope.

HOLT
Paladin, you’ll be taking me back to hang.

PALADIN
Well?

HOLT
Well, you see how it is. You know what I’ve got to do.

PALADIN
I can’t get out of here without help!

HOLT
Paladin, I’m sorry. So long.

PALADIN
Manfred! I thought you never killed anybody except with a gun! Manfred?!

HOLT
Paladin, here, take hold. Come on up.

PALADIN
Thanks.

HOLT
No thanks called for. You didn’t turn me in to Jake Ludlow when you could’ve, so I owe you my life there. And you wouldn’t have been down there if you hadn’t gone off your trail so’s I could see my son. Now, the way I see it, now we’re quits.

PALADIN
All right. Neither of us owes the other one anything.

HOLT
You’re dang right. And our deal’s off. And I’ll break away if I can.

PALADIN
Fair enough. Manfred…all the same, that was a friendly gesture.

HOLT
Ah, forget it. The cabin is right up around the bend there. I figure we better go in on foot from here. That’s my Sarah.

PALADIN
Easy. Sheriff will be in that cabin. Where will all the horses be?

HOLT
On the other side. Well, now, listen. That’s my son. Paladin, I got to get in that cabin.

PALADIN
You will. Get me a pebble.

HOLT
What are you figuring on doing?

PALADIN
Stay out of sight until Ludlow and his man ride out.

SHERIFF
What are you doing here?

PALADIN
Sheriff, I came looking for you. Abe and that other man ran into Holt back in that clearing where you had him trapped.

SHERIFF
They get him?

PALADIN
No, sir. They didn’t.

SHERIFF
Abe and Fuzz dead?

PALADIN
Well, sir, they could still talk when I left them, but it wouldn’t do any harm to get a doctor to them right away.

SHERIFF
Pretty bad, huh?

PALADIN
There wasn’t anything I could do for them.

SHERIFF
Gage, go get the…

GAGE
Not me. I ain’t going nowhere. Not alone. Not with Holt out there someplace.

SHERIFF
All right, get the horses. All three of us will go. Lame horse, huh?

PALADIN
Yeah, something happened to him just as I neared the cabin.

SHERIFF
How do you expect to ride with us?

PALADIN
Well, Sheriff, I guess I’m just stuck here. You have to take care of your men, don’t you?

SHERIFF
Sure. I guess you better hide in the rocks till we get back And if you can get in back of Holt, use your gun.

PALADIN
Yes, sir.

HOLT
That must’ve been some whopper you told Ludlow.

PALADIN
I didn’t tell him anything but the truth. He filled in the spaces himself.

HOLT
Paladin, I guess we’ve come to the point where we can stop counting what we owe each other.

PALADIN
As you said before, Manfred, we’re even, and we always will be.

HOLT
How are you, Sarah? Hey, what’s this I hear- you been breeding boy children.

SARAH HOLT
Oh, Manfred. Manfred. Manfred.

HOLT
Ah, don’t carry on so. You knowed I’d be along.

SARAH
Oh, yes, I knew.

HOLT
Oh, uh…I brought a friend.

PALADIN
How do you do, Mrs. Holt.

SARAH
Won’t you come in?

PALADIN
Well, thank you. I better take care of my horse. Oh. All right.

HOLT
Yeah, time’s wasting. Well, come on, show me what you’ve been up to.

HOLT
Here, have a cigar. I’ve got me a son.

PALADIN
Thank you. I’ll smoke it later. How is Hubert?

HOLT
Hubert who? I told you I had a present for my boy. Manfred Holt, Jr. I give him my name. Yeah. Sarah’s Pa ain’t going to fool with that no more.

PALADIN
I see you picked up a present for yourself.

HOLT
Oh, you…you mean the gun? A man like me just don’t feel right unless he has one.

PALADIN
Sheriff’s going to be here any minute. We better move.

HOLT
Paladin…I’m not going back to Laramie with you.

PALADIN
I wish you would.

HOLT
Not for that crowd waiting in Laramie.

PALADIN
What about Ned Alcorn? He hired me to see that you don’t kill him. What about that?

HOLT
Oh, I just wouldn’t feel right knowing he was walking over the same earth I am. I’d see that he had a gun.

PALADIN
We talked about that, Manfred. He’s not very good with a gun.

HOLT
That’s too bad.

PALADIN
If I let you go, there’ll be other men, and some of them pretty helpless. And you won’t like them, and you’ll have to kill them.

HOLT
A man just has to be what he is. Guess that holds for you, too.

PALADIN
That’s right. Shall we move away from the house?

HOLT
They’ve been told not to come out, no matter what. They won’t.

PALADIN
All right then. Here.

HOLT
Oh, and Paladin…don’t try anything fancy, like winging a shoulder or the leg. You know, a man like me, we either kill or he kills you.

PALADIN
I know.

HOLT
That pump-when the next drop of water falls.

PALADIN
Manfred…I’m sorry.

HOLT
Say…I never asked you- what does “Manfred” stand for?

PALADIN
It’s an old German name. It means… “man of peace.”

HOLT
“Man… of peace”? What do… what do you know.

PALADIN
He wouldn’t let me avoid it.

SARAH
It was bound to come. We’ve always known that. He shared his life only with the men he respected. So it is with his death.

SHERIFF
You’re under arrest, mister. Tricking me into leaving, so you could sneak Holt back. You hear me?

DEPUTY

Forget it, Jake. After all, he did kill Holt, didn’t he?

As a matter of fact, mister, you’ve got the reward money coming to you.

Uh…Maybe some of that reward money will find its way back here one day.

PALADIN
You let it be that way.

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