(22) “The Singer”

Original Airdate: (February 8, 1958)

A cowboy asks Paladin to help his ex-girlfriend who he thinks is being held prisoner.

Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by: Ken Kolb and Sam Peckinpah.

JOAN WELDON as Faye Hollister
RICHARD LONG as Rod Blakley
DENVER PYLE as Pete Hollister
JAY ADLER as Signore Vittorio Bottellini
GLORIA PALL as Della
RICHARD HARTUNIAN as Curley (ranch hand)

Hospitality toward strangers is a western virtue. If you gentlemen don’t see fit to practice it, you will force me to use this gun.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

ROD BLAKLEY
Hey, you.

HEYBOY
My name “Hey, Boy,” not “Hey, You.”

ROD BLAKLEY
Does a man named Paladin live in this hotel?

HEYBOY
Yeah, Mr. Paladin is up in suite 205. You wanna send message?

ROD BLAKLEY
I’ll deliver it personally.

HEYBOY
Oh, Mr. Paladin very busy. He can’t be bothered with visitor.

ROD BLAKLEY
I’m no visitor. This is important.

HEYBOY
But Mr. Paladin give strong order not to disturb him. You wait here.

PALADIN
Yes? What is it? Go ahead, Chung. Wait, wait.

ROD BLAKLEY
Your name Paladin?

HEYBOY
Mr. Paladin, I told him not to bother you, But him no understand English.

PALADIN
What do you want?

ROD BLAKLEY
Is that your card?

PALADIN
If you want to talk business, come back in the morning. I’m busy this evening.

ROD BLAKLEY
I’ve got $1000 for the man who can help me.

DELLA
But you promised.

PALADIN
As I told you, I’m busy this evening. Please close the door on your way out.

ROD BLAKLEY
Now, look! I rode 50 miles to talk to you and you’re gonna listen or I’ll bust your jaw!

Paladin calmly gets up, folds his coat and places it on the sofa, then in one graceful move punches the intruder in the stomach, rendering him unconscious.

PALADIN
Hey boy, please take care of the young man.

HEYBOY
Toss him in the alley?

PALADIN
No, he might die of pneumonia. Put him in a room and have the manager bill me. Thank you, Hey Boy. Now my dear, you wanted to see the Barbary Coast.

DELLA
Oh, but I’d so much rather…

FADE TO

INT. HOTEL ROOM

ROD BLAKLEY
Sorry about last night. I lost my head.

PALADIN
What’s your proposition?

ROD BLAKLEY
It’s a woman, Mr. Paladin. I got woman trouble.

PALADIN
$1000 worth?

ROD BLAKLEY
We were gonna be married. I was ramrod and chief cattle buyer for Pete Hollister. He sent me off to Texas to buy some cattle. When I got back to the ranch, she was Mrs. Hollister.

PALADIN
What did she do before that? When you were the intended bridegroom.

ROD BLAKLEY
Singer in the Orofino in Fresno. Sings like a bird. You ought to hear her. She was too good for that. She’s too good for Hollister, too. He forced her into marrying him.

PALADIN
Mr. Blakely, I’ve found that forcing a woman to do anything Is very difficult.

ROD BLAKLEY
Yeah? He did it just the same. Paid me a year’s wages. Had me thrown off the ranch.

PALADIN
Did the lady ever explain her change of affection?

ROD BLAKLEY
Nah. Never even got a chance to talk to her. When I did try to get back on the ranch, A couple of his hands jumped me and beat me up. I really need your help, Paladin.

PALADIN
I’m not for hire as a home breaker.

ROD BLAKLEY
All I want to do is talk to Faye. To find out whether she’s Hollister’s prisoner, or his wife.

PALADIN
How much time do you figure you need?

ROD BLAKLEY
Ten minutes. Then I’ll know whether she still loves me or not.

PALADIN
Ten minutes. $1000.

ROD BLAKLEY
Will you take the job?

PALADIN
If you understand that I’m not being hired to break up another man’s marriage, I’ll get you the ten minutes.

ROD BLAKLEY
When do we start?

PALADIN
Just as soon as we finish this coffee.

EXT. HOLLISTER RANCH HOUSE – DAY

PALADIN
That’s a nice little place.

ROD BLAKLEY
Yeah. How do you figure we should go in?

PALADIN
Let’s try the front door.

ROD BLAKLEY
Uh-oh. Here comes trouble.

PALADIN
Who are they?

ROD BLAKLEY
Those are the ones who jumped me last time.

CURLEY – RANCH HAND
So Rod boy. It’s been a long time. We kind of figured maybe you’d learned your lesson last time. Now get movin’.

PALADIN
What’s the matter, gentlemen? Is there a law against paying a social call on Mr. Hollister?

CURLEY – RANCH HAND
There’s a law against him being on this ranch. The Hollister law, and that’s enough.

ROD BLAKLEY
Not this time. I’m going in.

CURLEY – RANCH HAND
You’re going out in a box.

PALADIN
Hospitality toward strangers is a western virtue. I hope you gentlemen will see fit to practice it from now on. Now get on the horse.

EXT. HOLLISTER RANCH HOUSE – DAY

PALADIN
All right, let’s see Mr. Hollister. now just stand there. I’ll go in the front door, you’d better go in the back.

ROD BLAKLEY
What for?

PALADIN
While I’m talking to Mr. Hollister, Perhaps you can talk to his wife.

PETE HOLLISTER
What happened to you? Who’s he?

PALADIN
My name is Paladin.

CURLEY – RANCH HAND
Fast gun, boss. He come here with Rod Blakely.

PETE HOLLISTER
You two better go get cleaned up. So Blakely’s gonna have me murdered, eh?

PALADIN
Nobody’s gonna be murdered, Mr. Hollister. You and I are just gonna sit down and have a nice, quiet little talk. For exactly ten minutes.

PETE HOLLISTER
Why ten minutes?

PALADIN
’cause that’s how long Blakely wants to talk to your wife.

PETE HOLLISTER
Where is he?

PALADIN
Probably with Mrs. Hollister. Now wouldn’t you like to sit down and make yourself comfortable?

ROD BLAKLEY
She’s gone. What did you do with her?

PETE HOLLISTER
She heard you were coming, so she asked me to hide her out.

ROD BLAKLEY
That’s a lie. You knew if I came back, she’d go with me.

PETE HOLLISTER
Go away with you? Why do you think I had you kicked off this ranch? She didn’t want you hanging around. Now why don’t you grow up? If you didn’t have that gun, I’d beat the brains out of both of you.

PALADIN
I’m not interested in disproving that. I’m looking for Mrs. Hollister.

PETE HOLLISTER
Go ahead and find her. But remember, she’s my wife.

PALADIN
I’ll remember.

ROD BLAKLEY
I’m gonna see Peg no matter what you do, Pete. I’m gonna see her.

PETE HOLLISTER
Now remember this. If either of you set foot on this ranch again, I’ll personally see that you’re killed. Now git.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

PALADIN
I hear it.

ROD BLAKLEY
Yeah. Yeah, that’s Faye all right. He’s got her locked up.

PALADIN
I promised you ten minutes and you’ll get it. Come on!

Paladin and Rod knock out a guard and put him in the barn.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Ooh! Rod!

ROD BLAKLEY
Faye! Are you all right?

FAYE HOLLISTER
You don’t know how glad I am to see you, Rod.

PALADIN
You’re entitled to your ten minutes alone. Mrs. Hollister, very nice to see you.

FAYE HOLLISTER
I tried to run away to San Francisco, but… Pete caught me. Since then he’s kept me locked up. Put me out here like…like an animal.

ROD BLAKLEY
Faye, I love you and I’m going to get you out of here.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Will you take me to San Francisco? That’s what I want more than anything.

ROD BLAKLEY
I’ll take you anywhere you want to go…if you’ll marry me.

PALADIN
Sorry to interrupt. There’s activity at the house. They seemed to have noticed their guard is missing.

ROD BLAKLEY
Come with me, darling.

PETE HOLLISTER
Blakely?! I know you’re in there! Come on out!

FAYE HOLLISTER
All right, Rod. I’ll leave him if you can get me off this ranch.

PETE HOLLISTER
You coming out, Blakely, or do we come in and get you?

PALADIN
Mrs. Hollister, you stay here and keep down.

ROD BLAKLEY
We’re not leaving Faye.

PALADIN
Rod, leave her here. She’s another man’s wife.

ROD BLAKLEY
Sorry, can’t do it.

PALADIN
That’s your choice, not mine.

ROD BLAKLEY
I guess we have to shoot our way out, eh?

PALADIN
We haven’t got a chance.

ROD BLAKLEY
You know a better way?

PALADIN
Maybe.

PETE HOLLISTER
Blakely! All right. All right. I’m gonna give you just two minutes to come out of there and surrender! Two minutes! Do you hear? You got ten more seconds, Blakely! Five! Three! Two!

The barn door bursts open and Paladin charges out with a wagon.

PALADIN
Yah!

PETE HOLLISTER
Don’t shoot! You’ll hit my wife! Get to your horses!

PALADIN
Whoa!

Paladin stops just outside the Hollister Ranch gate then gets down and secures the doors to the gate.

PETE HOLLISTER
Get that gate open! They went this way!

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

HEY BOY
Paladin!

PALADIN
Hey boy.

HEY BOY
You know that unconscious man from the other day? He came back to see you.

PALADIN
Good. I was expecting him. Where is he?

HEY BOY
I let him wait in your room. Is it all right?

PALADIN
That’s fine. Thank you.

HEY BOY
Mr. Paladin! He…

PALADIN
You weren’t satisfied to get out of there in one piece, You had to bring her here with you.

ROD BLAKLEY
Paladin, I wish you’d stop hammering at me. I told you, we’re two people in love And we’re gonna get married and that’s all there is to it.

PALADIN
How do you expect to support her while she’s waiting for a divorce? Her tastes aren’t exactly inexpensive. Hey boy says she’s in the most opulent suite in this hotel.

ROD BLAKLEY
We’ll work it out. We talked it over last night. The most important thing…

PALADIN
…Is to join that opera company. Do you think launching an opera career is inexpensive?

ROD BLAKLEY
That’s no longer any concern of yours. You’ve done the job you were hired for, Now here’s your $1000.

PALADIN
And what are you gonna do with hollister when he gets here, Which should be soon. Come in.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Good morning.

ROD BLAKLEY
Good morning, darling.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Careful, dear. I’ve just had my hair done. And how are you this morning, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
That’s a very attractive dress.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Do you like it? I found it downstairs in that quaint little shop. Luckily it just fit me perfectly. Oh, I charged it to my bill here. Is that all right, dear?

ROD BLAKLEY
Oh, sure. You have to have clothes.

PALADIN
Would you like to sit down, Mrs. Hollister?

FAYE HOLLISTER
Well, thank you.

PALADIN
You had breakfast? May I call downstairs…

FAYE HOLLISTER
No, I never eat a thing before noon. Just some lemon juice. My voice, you know. Well, my voice teacher arranged an audition With me for the opera company.

PALADIN
I’m certain I could be some help. I have a very good friend, Signore Vittorio Bartellini. Formerly of La Scala and now the foremost opera impresario in the United States. I’m certain I could arrange a private audition.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Oh, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Would three o’clock be convenient?

FAYE HOLLISTER
Oh, but I don’t have my music.
I’ll need an accompanist.

PALADIN
I’d be honored to accompany you.

FAYE HOLLISTER
You? Well, all right. Do you know “La Sonnambula?”

PALADIN
“La Sonnambula?” You’re not going to sing that, are you?

FAYE HOLLISTER
Why not?

PALADIN
Because it’s a piece of sticky, sentimental drivel. The sleepwalker.

FAYE HOLLISTER
But I’ve studied it so hard!

PALADIN
Mrs. Hollister, you’re not a sleepwalker. You’re a warm, vibrant, full-bodied woman. And besides that, the piece is best sung by a coloratura, And you’re not a coloratura, are you?

FAYE HOLLISTER
No, I’m a lyric.

PALADIN
I know a woman like you would have a full-bodied voice. Let’s see… “The Marriage of Figaro.” there’s an opera that was written for you. When I heard “La Noce de Figaro,” The meaning of love cried out for a woman like you.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Oh, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
I know a little theater just down the street. It’s dark in the afternoons, and I know I can get the use of it for two hours. The use of a piano…and in the meantime, I suggest that you get some rest. Arrivederci. Mr. Blakely…

FAYE HOLLISTER
Isn’t it wonderful, Rod?

ROD BLAKLEY
Just what you wanted, Faye.

FAYE HOLLISTER
To think Mr. Paladin knows Bartellini. Why didn’t you tell me about Mr. Paladin before?

INT. HOTEL LOBBY

PALADIN
Hey boy.

HEY BOY
Oh, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Hey boy, in the next couple of hours There’ll be a gentleman looking for me or for Mr. Blakely. He’s tall and has grey hair.

HEY BOY
Oh, I catchie. Mr. Paladin out of town on business.

PALADIN
No, you don’t catch. Mr. Paladin will be at the old theater down the block At three o’clock this afternoon.

HEY BOY
Three o’clock in theater?

PALADIN
Right, Hey Boy. It’s a command performance.

HEY BOY
Command performance?

INT. MUSIC HALL

PETE HOLLISTER
I warned you, Blakely.

ROD BLAKLEY
Wait, Pete. Not now. This is her big chance. Let her finish…And we’ll settle everything once and for all. For her sake, Pete.

She finishes singing.

ROD BLAKLEY
Well, Signore Bartellini?

PETE HOLLISTER
Now maybe you’ll come home and start acting like a wife.

FAYE HOLLISTER
Oh, no I’m not, Pete. I’m going on with my career and there’s nothing you can do to stop me.

PALADIN
Signore Bartellini says that’s there’s a remote possibility that perhaps in five or six years, with intensive training…

FAYE HOLLISTER
I’ve been studying for quite some time now, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Mrs. Hollister, to be a fine singer, requires sacrifice, a good deal of old-fashioned sweat. And not a little bit of humility and understanding.

PETE HOLLISTER
And money. Where are you going to get money?

FAYE HOLLISTER
I’ll get along. Rod’ll help me. Won’t you, Rod?

ROD BLAKLEY
Sure, I will. Maybe in a couple of years after we’ve bought a ranch And gotten it rolling.

FAYE HOLLISTER
A ranch? A couple of years?

ROD BLAKLEY
That’s the important thing, isn’t it? Getting married, having a home of our own. Sure, I want you to sing, but… Later, when I can afford it.

FAYE HOLLISTER
I see. I should’ve known you were nothing but a cheap tin horn.

ROD BLAKLEY
Now just a moment!

FAYE HOLLISTER
I’m glad I found out now. Because you make me sick. Bleating about true love.

PALADIN
Bravo! Fine performance.

FAYE HOLLISTER
And what does that mean?

PALADIN
It means you’ve shown yourself to be a spoiled, selfish woman.

PETE HOLLISTER
Mr. Paladin, you’re talking to my wife. Remember that.

PALADIN
I remember. I wouldn’t have it any other way. That is a marriage made in heaven. You two really deserve each other.

PETE HOLLISTER
Mr. Paladin, I’ve taken about all I’m going to take from you.
Now you’re going to take it from me now that you don’t have your gun!

FAYE HOLLISTER
Pete! Pete, are you hurt?

PETE HOLLISTER
No more than I was when you left me. Is this the way you’re going to be, faye? Going through life always taking and taking…And never givin’ unless you get back twice over?

FAYE HOLLISTER
I’m ambitious, Pete. If I got any kind of chance, I’d be awful grateful to you.

PETE HOLLISTER
I guess the older you get, the more foolish you become. I’ll give you the chance. You know that. But don’t be grateful. I know what I’m bargaining for.

ROD BLAKLEY
Mr. Paladin, this is the best money I ever spent.

PALADIN
That’s fine, Vittorio. Thank you very much. Here’s for the haircut, And this is for your excellent performance yesterday.

SIGNORE VITTORIO BARTELLINI
Grazie, Signore. It was a pleasure to oblige you.

PALADIN
If you weren’t such an excellent barber, I’d recommend that you go on the stage. You’re a very convincing actor, Signore Bartellini.

SIGNORE VITTORIO BARTELLINI
I’ll tell you a secret. I was not acting.

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