(24) “Girl From Piccadilly”

Original Airdate:  (February 22, 1958)

“You have to trust me. If I think you’re my enemy rather than my friend, you’d be dead by now.”

Martin Westrope’s son, a Cavalry officer stationed near the Mexican border was killed in action. But the details of his death are not clear. Westrope hires Paladin to find the woman that his son married just before his death. Unfortunately, very little is known about the woman except that she is from London. Paladin finds a woman claiming to be Isobel Westrope but he is surprised to find another woman who also claims to be Michael Westrope’s wife. Paladin must find out which woman is the real “Girl From Picadilly”.

Director: Lewis Milestone, Writers: Ken Kolb, Herb Meadow (creator)

BETSY VON FURSTENBERG as Isabel Westrope
CARL BENTON REID as Martin Westrope
CHARLES AIDMAN as Gordon Dawes
FINTAN MEYLER as Catherine
CHARLES E. FREDERICKS as Major Blaisdell
WILLIAM SCHALLERT as Soldier
RUSS BENDER as Wilbur Macon

INT. DAWES MANSION – EVENING

GORDON DAWES
Uncle martin? Mr. Paladin’s here.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Show him in please, Gordon.

MARTIN WESTROPE
How do you do, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Mr. Westrope, it’s a privilege to meet you.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Drink?

PALADIN

Thank you.

MARTIN WESTROPE
This bourbon came around Cape Horn In a four-masted schooner. Water?

PALADIN
No, thank you. If this bourbon needed more water, They’d have done it at the distillery.

MARTIN WESTROPE
I find that a four-master has the right rolling motion To properly age a bourbon in the cask.

GORDON DAWES
You think that’s wise, uncle martin?

MARTIN WESTROPE
Thank you for showing mr. Paladin in, gordon.

PALADIN
Pleasure meeting you. Gordon.

MARTIN WESTROPE
My nephew means well, But he listens to my doctor, who’s a fool. If a drink will kill me, I’m better off to go quickly.

PALADIN

I’ll drink to your health.

MARTIN WESTROPE
You have a very unusual business card, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
I’m in a very
unusual business.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Yes, I confess I sent for you Mainly out of curiosity. I never saw a professional gunman. Tell me, please. How can you be of use to me?

PALADIN
You’re looking for the girl who married your son, Just before he died. I believe I can find her for you.

MARTIN WESTROPE
With a gun?

PALADIN
Sometimes a gun helps. Your son was a cavalry officer, wasn’t he?

MARTIN WESTROPE
Yes. He was stationed at an outpost near the mexican border.

MARTIN WESTROPE
He was killed in action. I have no details of his death.

PALADIN
You wrote to his commanding officer.

MARTIN WESTROPE
As soon as the war department notified me. His commanding officer sent me a very terse reply. It’s one of the things that puzzled me. In the last letter that I ever received from my son, He told me he’d found the girl he’d looked for all his life, And that he’d married her.

PALADIN
Did he give youher name?

MARTIN WESTROPE
No, he said he was due to come home on leave. He wanted to introduce her to me in person.

PALADIN
Mr. Westrope…Did he say anything that would help you identify her?

MARTIN WESTROPE
Only the fact that she was english, from london. Then I received a telegram. I thought it would say what day he was coming. Instead, it said…That he would never come.

PALADIN
You were very close to your son, weren’t you?

MARTIN WESTROPE
He was all that a father could want. A braver, kinder, better man than I am. I wouldn’t want the girl he married To be in need of anything. I want her to come here and be my daughter.

PALADIN
I’d like to try and find her for you, sir.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Well, mr. Paladin, I mean no offense. But I suspect it’ll take more than a fast gun To find the girl.

PALADIN
Well, I have more than a fast gun. Allow me to demonstrate. Your import firm has a triple a credit rating. Your bank balance averages $40,000. And you have security holdings In six prominent San Francisco companies. Unbeknownst in most cases, even to the board of directors.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Very interesting. Anything more?

PALADIN
Yes. You’re a man of regular habits. You retire every night at ten o’clock. Your doctor is Josiah McKinley who you respect more than you pretend to. You suffer from a cardiac weakness, Which concerns you more than you let anyone know.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Mr. Paladin, you’ve told me quite enough To demonstrate your ability.

PALADIN
Oh yes, one more thing. You like your private little joke. This whiskey did not come around Cape Horn In a four-master. If this was rocked in a cask at all, it was on a bumpy stagecoach ride from a distillery in Sacramento.

MARTIN WESTROPE
If you hadn’t known that, you’d never have gotten the job. But you’ve convinced me.

INT. ARMY FORT – DAY

MAJOR BLAISDELL
Why don’t you keep out of the way?

PALADIN
Take another look, Major. I’m not wearing a uniform that takes orders from you.

MAJOR BLAISDELL
Then get off the post.

PALADIN
I’ll get off the post when I have answers to some questions. Not before.

MAJOR BLAISDELL
Sagebrush lawyer, huh? We’ll see how smart you are after you spend ten days in the guard house, for trespassing on government property.

PALADIN
The Adjutant General may be very interested in that when I get out.

MAJOR BLAISDELL
Step in my office. That was pretty fancy talk. What charge were you thinking of making?

PALADIN
Charges, Major. Charges. I made some inquiries. Lieutenant Westrope and two of his men were killed needlessly.

MAJOR BLAISDELL
They were killed in the line of duty. We often have these border clashes. This is a cavalry outpost, not a tea party!

PALADIN
They were killed because someone is running contraband weapons across the border to Escobar. That old border pirate happens to be a friend of mine.

MAJOR BLAISDELL
Did he tell you who was running them?

PALADIN
No, but I imagine he will if I decide to meet his price.

MAJOR BLAISDELL
What do you want?

PALADIN
Where’s Westrope’s wife?

MAJOR BLAISDELL
He wasn’t married. Junior officers aren’t allowed to marry. Did his father send you?

PALADIN
Yes.

MAJOR BLAISDELL
I have some of his personal effects.

PALADIN
That’s all?

MAJOR BLAISDELL
That’s all.

PALADIN
Thank you.

EXT. TOWN

PALADIN
I’d like to see the marriage license registry For the past two months.

CLERK
You can’t. Records are closed to the public.

PALADIN
All right, I’d like a marriage license then.

CLERK
You’ll have to fill this out.

PALADIN
When I get this filled out, I’ll have to sign the marriage license registry, won’t I?

CLERK
Get it out. Two dollars first.

PALADIN
There’s a page missing. You can see where it’s torn out.

CLERK
Um hmm. So?

PALADIN
So what licenses were issued during this period? Was there one for a Michael Westrope?

CLERK
You don’t expect me to remember the name of everybody who applied for a marriage license, do you?

PALADIN
Yes, I do.

CLERK
But I don’t know Westrope. Never heard of him! I swear it!

(Paladin steps outside the clerk’s office and opens a folded note. The camera shows the note unfolded with no creases!)

ISABEL WESTROPE
I am Isabel Westrope. Thank you for coming, Mr. Paladin. I wasn’t sure you’d act on my note.

PALADIN
How did you know who I was?

ISABEL WESTROPE
The clerk in Major Blaisdell’s office. He’s kept track of you while you looked for me. He was in my husband’s platoon. I took a chance, hoping you were a friend.

PALADIN
What do you mean?

ISABEL WESTROPE
You’re not the only one looking for me, Mr. Paladin. An attempt was made on my life last week. I’ve kept hidden every moment since then.

PALADIN
What’s the book?

ISABEL WESTROPE
Oh, Dryden’s. “All for Love.”

PALADIN
It’s a beautiful edition. Now…How can I be certain you’re Mrs. Michael Westrope?

ISABEL WESTROPE
Why should I pretend?

PALADIN
Good deal of money involved. Family has a sizeable fortune. Didn’t your husband tell you?

ISABEL WESTROPE
No. We had such a short time together. We talked about everything. Mostly what we wanted from life.

PALADIN
Do you have your marriage license?

ISABEL WESTROPE
No, it burned in the fire. Someone set fire to the cottage Michael rented. Almost everything we had went up in smoke. I thought it was an accident, until someone shot at me.

PALADIN
Can you tell me the first name Of your husband’s father?

ISABEL WESTROPE
I really don’t know.

PALADIN
Where do you come from?

ISABEL WESTROPE
London.

PALADIN
What part?

ISABEL WESTROPE
We lived on a little street called Shepherd’s Lane, Not far from Piccadilly. Look here, Mr. Paladin. You came searching for me. Now that you’ve found me, you seem to be doing your best to prove I’m not me. I don’t understand.

PALADIN
I’m not sure that I do either. But I’d like to take you back To Mr. Westrope in San Francisco. Will you come?

ISABEL WESTROPE
Of course I will.

PALADIN
I thought you might.

PALADIN
Why did you come west?

ISABEL WESTROPE
I had an aunt who was supposed to live in Wichita. After I got there, I was told she moved to Tucson. I suppose it was absurd to try and find her. But I felt so lost and alone. I don’t know what I would have done If I hadn’t met Michael. He was such a wonderful person.

PALADIN
Martin Westrope. Michael’s father. A very fine man. Sure you’ll like him if you ever meet him.

ASSASSIN
Isabel Westrope?

ISABEL WESTROPE
Yes?

ASSASSIN
Don’t move.

PALADIN
You ever see that man before?

ISABEL WESTROPE
No, I’ve never seen him.

PALADIN
I wonder how he knew your name.

INT. WESTROPE MANSION

MARTIN WESTROPE
Mr. Paladin, sorry to have kept you waiting.

PALADIN
I’m delighted to see you, mr. Westrope. You look well.

MARTIN WESTROPE
I feel wonderful. I want to reimburse you for your time and trouble. Sorry you made that tedious journey for nothing.

PALADIN
Nothing?

MARTIN WESTROPE
She arrived a few days after you left.

PALADIN
Who arrived?

MARTIN WESTROPE
My daughter-in-law. How much do I owe you?

PALADIN
There’s no hurry about that. I’ll bring you the accounting. I’d like very much to meet your daughter-in-law.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Unfortunately, she isn’t here just now. Gordon has her out, showing her the city. Shops and so forth, you know.

PALADIN
I’m more sorry than I can say.

MARTIN WESTROPE
You’ll like her, Paladin. She’s everything I’d hoped for. A wonderful girl.

INT. ROOM

ISABEL WESTROPE
What is it, mr. Paladin? What is it?

PALADIN
I’ve always been suspicious of the sweet ones. They’re the ones you have to watch.

ISABEL WESTROPE
What’s the matter, mr. Paladin? I don’t understand what you’re saying.

PALADIN
You’re good. You’re really one of the best I’ve ever seen.

ISABEL WESTROPE
If you have something to tell me, say it!

PALADIN
The real mrs. Michael westrope showed up. That makes you an impostor and me a fool.

ISABEL WESTROPE
How dare you, sir! I will not be called an impostor! I am Michael Westrope’s wife. There is no other. Why would I do such an unspeakable thing?

PALADIN
For half a million dollars. Well, you have conviction. I don’t know whether you’re lying or not, But you have conviction.

INT. ANOTHER ROOM

PALADIN
Mr. Westrope, I hope I’m not intruding.

MARTIN WESTROPE
You’re welcome anytime. Did you bring an accounting of your expenses?

PALADIN
No, I decided in good faith I couldn’t charge you. All I ask is the privilege of meeting The young lady I was searching for.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Of course, won’t you sit down? Gordon, ask Katharine to come down for a moment.

G
Very well.

PALADIN
You look very happy. How wonderful that you found her. And how especially wonderful for the girl.

MARTIN WESTROPE
And what a sweet, attractive girl she is.

PALADIN
You know, I admire you. Under the circumstances, there aren’t many men who would have followed their heart instead of their head.

MARTIN WESTROPE
I’m afraid I don’t quite understand.

PALADIN
Most men would have kept that girl Under six months intensive cross examination. They would have demanded conclusive proof. After all, she’s your possible heiress.

MARTIN WESTROPE
But she gave me proof. I didn’t have to ask for it. She was sensitive enough to volunteer it.

PALADIN
And the proof was conclusive?

MARTIN WESTROPE
Come now, mr. Paladin! Would she be here otherwise? She not only has every detail of michael’s life, She has their marriage license. Oh, you look lovely, my dear. There’s someone here I want you to meet.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Katharine, this is mr. Paladin. Mr. Paladin, my son’s wife.

PALADIN
How do you do?

CATHERINE
Delighted to meet you. Dad told me you were off in the wilds, Tracking me down.

PALADIN
I was indeed.

CATHERINE
If I’d only written. But the news of mike’s death shocked me so. I wasn’t myself for a long time. And of course, I wasn’t sure of my reception.

PALADIN
I’m very happy for both of you. In celebration…I’d like to plan a dinner for you at my hotel.

MARTIN WESTROPE
I think the Carlton has the finest chef in the city.

CATHERINE
That is most kind of you, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
It’s settled then. Tomorrow night at eight?

CATHERINE
Yes.

PALADIN
Oh, one more thing. Did your husband have a favorite wine?

CATHERINE
Chablis in white wines. Chateau lafitte in Bordeauxes. And of course, he always loved champagne. Dry.

PALADIN
Dry.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Wonderful dinner, Mr. Paladin. The chef is a most talented man.

PALADIN
Thank you, I’m certainly happy you enjoyed it.

CATHERINE
No, really. I don’t believe I should. I’m half-giddy now.

PALADIN
Well, you won’t have to drink. I’d like to propose a toast. Gentlemen…Here’s to a young lady who left her native land a very short time ago.

CATHERINE
Two years ago.

PALADIN
And in leaving her native land, she left her mother and father.

CATHERINE
My parents died when I was a child.

PALADIN
This young lady, who lived in an East End orphanage…

CATHERINE
Mr. Paladin, I lived with my aunt on Mount Street. That’s in the West End, near Piccadilly. You probably never heard of it.

PALADIN
On the contrary, I know it quite well.

MARTIN WESTROPE
I never thought of you as a tourist.

PALADIN
I’m not a tourist. But I do travel. If I may be permitted to go ahead with my toast, this young lady followed the man of her choice. And in a dusty border town, in an old adobe church, they were married. None of the niceties of the newly married state were hers. Instead, she…

CATHERINE
We were going to europe. On a delayed honeymoon. He so much wanted to see Paris. After Paris, we were going to Nice. By carriage. Mike hated trains.

MARTIN WESTROPE
And so he did. A cavalryman never trusted anything but a horse. I drink to the cavalry.

PALADIN
To the cavalry. Speaking of the cavalry, did your husband tell you About his commanding officer?

CATHERINE
Yes, Major Blaisdell, I believe his name was.

PALADIN
Why didn’t you two go to him for permission to be married?

CATHERINE
Major Blaisdell was a rather difficult person. Mike felt he might refuse the request, So we kept it secret.

PALADIN
Oh, I see. And because major Blaisdell didn’t know, you couldn’t Go to him after Mike’s death for his personal belongings, Including the watch you gave him. That’s right. That’s very interesting, you come from Mount Street? That’s very near Hyde Park and the Great Exposition.

CATHERINE
Yes.

PALADIN
You certainly must have enjoyed that. Although you were quite young at the time. How old were you?

CATHERINE
I was sixteen, I think.

PALADIN
My dear, you are charming. But you’re a liar.

MARTIN WESTROPE
You abuse your privilege, Mr. Paladin!

PALADIN
The great exposition was held in 1851. This young lady wasn’t even born then. The church in the border town is wood, not adobe. And you never gave Michael Westrope a watch. The only watch he had, his father gave him. Mr. Westrope… Your daughter-in-law is a fraud. She never knew your son.

MARTIN WESTROPE
That’s ridiculous. I have their marriage license.

PALADIN
I know printers who could produce a license showing I was wed to Queen Victoria.

MARTIN WESTROPE
But Katharine has other proof. She knows things that no one could have told her, Except Michael.

PALADIN
Except Michael. Except Michael or the man who was raised with him…
As a brother.

g
He’s insane.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Of course. Why should Gordon tell Katharine anything?
He’s losing a fortune if she’s my heiress.

PALADIN
He’s trying to palm her off as your daughter-in-law.

g
Are you going to listen to more of these ravings?

PALADIN
Perhaps you can tell us who wrote this letter. It offers $1,000 for the death Of Mrs. Michael Westrope. Katharine, murder is a very serious crime. Carries a long jail sentence. This letter is in a woman’s handwriting. Would you care to show us your handwriting?

CATHERINE
Gordon made me write this letter. He planned the whole thing just like you said.

PALADIN
It’s up to you whether you press charges against these two.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Just get them out of my sight. Please, get them out of my sight.

PALADIN
Miss.

PALADIN
I’m very sorry to have done this to you.

MARTIN WESTROPE
I’m sorry you were right. Now I have nothing.

PALADIN
Excuse me. Isabel. Mr. Westrope, I’d like you to meet Michael’s wife. Her name is Isabel.

MARTIN WESTROPE
Isabel.

PALADIN
Now you’re a lonely man, And you’re too anxious to believe. This time we don’t want you to believe anything, Until it’s been proven.

ISABEL WESTROPE
Mr. Westrope, we don’t have to talk about it tonight. But tomorrow we’ll have a long chat about Michael.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON

PALADIN
Well, this is an unexpected pleasure.

ISABEL WESTROPE
Mr. Paladin, I only have a minute. But I couldn’t leave without saying goodbye and thank you.

PALADIN
Goodbye? Is anything wrong?

ISABEL WESTROPE
Oh no, everything is fine. Mr. Westrope’s a wonderful man. So much like Michael. We’re going on a trip together.

PALADIN
Where?

ISABEL WESTROPE

Our first stop is going to be England. I’m going to show him London And all the places where I grew up.

PALADIN
I know you’ll have a wonderful trip.

ISABEL WESTROPE
I’m sure we will. I want to give you this book. Somehow, I want you not to forget me.

PALADIN
Isabel…This is a first edition of Dryden’s “All for Love.” You shouldn’t give me this, it’s very valuable.

ISABEL WESTROPE

I know, but I want you to have it. It’s been in my family for years.

PALADIN
“hairs like straw, from the surface bow. He who would search for pearls, must dive below.”

ISABEL WESTROPE

The prologue.

PALADIN

Dryden was a very wise man.

ISABEL WESTROPE
So are you, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Goodbye.

I
Goodbye.

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