(25) “The O’Hare Story”

Original Airdate:  (March 1, 1958)

“The greatest calamities in history were made by words set in anger. If you can’t back it up, don’t speak in anger”

Paladin is hired to stop a dam from being built, but ends up siding with the dam engineer instead.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen, Writers: Malvin Wald, Jack Jacobs

VICTOR MCLAGLEN as Mike O’Hare
HERBERT RUDLEY as Henry Ritchie
CHRISTINE WHITE as Myra Ritchie
JOHN DOUCETTE as Joe Marsh
KEN MAYER as Eli Gardner
RICK VALLIN as Cal
ALEX SHARP as First Guard
PAUL HAHN as Carson

MYRA RITCHIE
Your gunmen are here.

HENRY RITCHIE
Good, bring ’em in.

MYRA RITCHIE
You still have a minute to change all this. One minute.

HENRY RITCHIE
My mind’s made up.

MYRA RITCHIE
What right do you have to make up your mind about life and death?

HENRY RITCHIE
The years I’ve spent in this town, and the sweat.

MYRA RITCHIE
So you hire a filthy gunman to save the fruits of your life.

HENRY RITCHIE
I don’t care what he is, so long as he does the job. If this gunman won’t help, there are others on the way. They’re not hard to find.

MYRA RITCHIE
I never thought I’d say I’m ashamed of my own father.

JOE MARSH
Well, hello. Nicest scenery since I got here. I want to talk to Richie.

MYRA RITCHIE
He’s in there.

JOE MARSH
Thank you.

PALADIN RIDES UP

MYRA RITCHIE
Oh, thank you.

PALADIN
It’s entirely my pleasure. A pretty girl completes a beautiful morning.

MYRA RITCHIE
You sound as though you’ve said that before.

PALADIN
I have, and I’m just as sure you’ve heard it before.

MYRA RITCHIE
May I help you?

PALADIN
I believe Mr. Ritchie’s expecting me. My name’s Paladin.

MYRA RITCHIE
Oh. Same breed, different feathers.

MYRA RITCHIE
There’s another man with a gun to see you.

HENRY RITCHIE
Oh? It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t talk to him, Marsh. He’s come a long way.

JOE MARSH
That’s alright, Mr. Ritchie, I understand. Me and my boys would like to do the job. The man needs calming down, we’ll calm him.

HENRY RITCHIE
That’s exactly the situation I don’t want. You’ll step outside a minute, I’ll get rid of him.

JOE MARSH
I’ll see you later.

HENRY RITCHIE
That’s enough of that, Marsh.

JOE MARSH
What’s a’matter?

Marsh walks slowly and carefully past Paladin as he exits.

MYRA RITCHIE
Your turn, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Thank you. Mr. Ritchie.

HENRY RITCHIE
Yup.

PALADIN
My name’s paladin.

HENRY RITCHIE
Sit down.

PALADIN
Was that Joe Marsh who just left here?

HENRY RITCHIE
That’s who it was, you know him?

PALADIN
Not very well, but as well as I’d care to. Is your town doing business with him?

HENRY RITCHIE
We’ll do business with the devil if he’s the man we need.

PALADIN
You were just interviewing one of his assistants.

HENRY RITCHIE
Maybe I should be pleased about that. You read what’s been going on here?

PALADIN
A fight over the water in this area.

HENRY RITCHIE
Central city wants the water for themselves. They don’t care what happens to our town. Hear that? Dynamiting to build a dam. And look there. Every spring, the snows melt in those mountains, Fill the lake, run over into the streams, And irrigate our lands. We live by that water. Without it, we’re done.

PALADIN
The newspaper interview quoted you quite fully.

HENRY RITCHIE
Building a dam across our lake, aqueducts to their cities, Stealing our water.

PALADIN
Let’s say with their political power and influence they’re usurping your water, Sounds like you have reason to be angry.

HENRY RITCHIE
You know about the situation?

PALADIN
It’s an unfortunately common condition in the west.

HENRY RITCHIE
Tell the truth, I’d just about decided on Joe Marsh.

PALADIN
Oh, you want some killing done?

HENRY RITCHIE
No, no, absolutely not. All I want is to stop the construction of that dam. I want to make it so hot for Mike O’Hare, He’ll take his men back to Central City.

PALADIN
Who’s Mike O’hare?

HENRY RITCHIE
An engineer, very tough man.

PALADIN
Well, if he’s that tough you won’t beat him by scaring off some construction hands.

HENRY RITCHIE
Maybe not. But we’ll make the cost of the project so high, the city’ll give it up.

PALADIN
If you hire Joe Marsh, it’ll be by the gun. He doesn’t think another way.

HENRY RITCHIE
Do you?

PALADIN
Mr. Ritchie, I never use this gun unless I have to. That’s why you’ll find my fee somewhat high.

HENRY RITCHIE
How would you do it?

PALADIN
Shall we say $1,000?

HENRY RITCHIE
How would you do it?

PALADIN
Well, I haven’t the faintest idea…Yet.

HENRY RITCHIE
You understand, if it doesn’t work out the way you say, I’ll expect you to use your gun.

PALADIN
In two weeks, Central City should be looking for a new source of water.

HENRY RITCHIE
I don’t know.

PALADIN
Worried about Joe Marsh? Suppose you let me do the explaining?

HENRY RITCHIE
Yeah. Yeah, why don’t you settle it between you?

PALADIN
Mm-hmm.

JOE MARSH
Mr. Ritchie, uh…When are me and my boys gonna work for you, huh?

PALADIN
Marsh, you’re gonna be terribly angry with me.

JOE MARSH
Really?

PALADIN
Yes, really. It seems I convinced Mr. Ritchie that I’m the man for the job.

JOE MARSH
You?

PALADIN
That’s right.

JOE MARSH
You better change your mind, Mister, and fast. Think you can make us ride out here and say, “nothin’ doin’,” like that?

PALADIN
He’s right, Mr. Ritchie. You should pay these men for their trouble. $50 is a fair amount.

JOE MARSH
$50?!

PALADIN
For the lot.

HENRY RITCHIE
There you are.

JOE MARSH
You don’t mind if we hang around awhile, Just in case the job turns up again? Boys, let’s get a drink.

HENRY RITCHIE
O’Hare.

PALADIN
Well, he’s not afraid to ride alone. He’s carrying a gun, though.

HENRY RITCHIE
I told him if he or his men set foot in this town, there could be some shooting.

PALADIN
What a bloodthirsty idea. Here, hold this. Never make a threat you don’t mean to carry out, Ritchie. Embarrassment could be the least result.

HENRY RITCHIE
It was just said in anger.

PALADIN
The greatest calamities in history were the result of words just said in anger.

MIKE O’HARE
I’m here for the mail, Miss Mae Ritchie.

mae rit
I’ll get it for you.

MIKE O’HARE
Ritchie, my men want to come to town. They want to buy things.

HENRY RITCHIE
I’ll sell ’em nothing.
If it wasn’t for the post office,
I wouldn’t let you in the store.

MIKE O’HARE
Our needs are
stronger than yours.
If you weren’t such a
stubborn fool, you’d know it.

HENRY RITCHIE
From now on, things
are gonna be different.
Reason won’t
make a dent on you,
Maybe something else will.

MIKE O’HARE
Oh, I see.

HENRY RITCHIE
I warned you.

MIKE O’HARE
A gunfighter?

PALADIN
I don’t care for that term.

MIKE O’HARE
Well, what do you know? A sensitive gunfighter. Well, take advice, if you will. If you want your thin skin unbroken, Keep away from my construction areas.

PALADIN
Now, you wouldn’t shoot a man without due cause, would you?

MIKE O’HARE
Well, don’t give me cause, that’s all. Thank you, miss.

MYRA RITCHIE
You’re welcome.

MIKE O’HARE
Ritchie, if just one of my men get hurt, You better run for the hills.

PALADIN
Well, don’t look at me, Miss Ritchie, I just arrived.

MYRA RITCHIE
It was a beautiful morning, Mr. Paladin, until you put clouds in it.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

HENRY RITCHIE
I’m not asking for your approval, gentlemen.
I wanted you to meet Paladin and know what he’s doing here.

man 1
You pull this off without killing, the rest of us will double what Ritchie’s paying you.

GARDNER
Now, don’t cinch him in too tight, Ed. He’s a gunfighter. What’s he gonna use in case of trouble?

PALADIN
Brains, Mr. Gardner.

GARDNER
That can have kind of temporary effects.

PALADIN
But it does leave people alive and that’s an advantage when the dust settles.

RITCHIE
Pass the word to keep cattle and sheep out of the south wash. Paladin’s gonna blow one of the coffer dams and flood O’Hare out.

PALADIN
Just a minute, Ritchie, I said I’d look into it.

HENRY RITCHIE
How do you expect to get direct results without direct action?

PALADIN
You hired me to do a job, now leave me alone to do it.

ed
When you gonna start?

PALADIN
When I’m ready. Gentlemen.

EXT. O’HARE’S CAMP – RAIN

MIKE O’HARE
Anything?

161
00:10:12,578 –> 00:10:15,179
Nothing but rain.

162
00:10:22,854 –> 00:10:25,556
Let’s hold it down tight.

Any water touches that cement and O’Hare’ll go up like a rocket.

MIKE O’HARE
Ritchie, you’re gonna pay for the destruction of my supplies.

165
00:11:47,740 –> 00:11:49,373
Supplies? Destruction?

166
00:11:49,375 –> 00:11:51,708
Complaint department’s over there.

MIKE O’HARE
You’re my kind of fella, no question.

168
00:11:58,684 –> 00:12:00,584
Maybe I’ll hire some gunslingers

169
00:12:00,586 –> 00:12:02,586
To put you against your own kind.

170
00:12:02,588 –> 00:12:04,455
That ought to be interesting.

PALADIN
Oh? Do you have to hire from the outside?

172
00:12:06,625 –> 00:12:10,127
I was told you and your construction gangs were very tough men.

MIKE O’HARE
I’m an engineer. I spent most of my life building,

174
00:12:13,232 –> 00:12:15,032
Not destroying.

175
00:12:15,034 –> 00:12:18,202
The likes of you have been around since the beginning of time.

You haven’t changed the world any.
And in regards to being tough,

Let me try and see if that’s true.

PALADIN
I’d rather not. There are a number of years between us.

GARDNER
What’s a’matter? Can’t you fight without a gun?

R
I don’t understand.

W
Don’t you, pop? It’s simple. There’s a man in town.

R
I don’t understand it. He had o’hare cold, right in front of him. He could’ve settled the whole mess right there, without gunplay. Why didn’t he?

W
Did you expect him to beat up an old man? What’s happening to you?

PALADIN
O’Hare!
Paladin. I want to talk to you.

MIKE O’HARE
All right,
come on in.

PALADIN
That coffee smelled
so good last night
I thought it might
be worth a taste.

MIKE O’HARE
Give him a cup of coffee.
If you come here to
start a ruckus, mister,
I just want to say that handling
these things is not my business.
But at this distance,
I couldn’t miss.

PALADIN
This distance,
you’re too close.

MIKE O’HARE
Come over to my tent.

What do you want?

PALADIN
A little civility
might be a good start.
I’m your guest.

MIKE O’HARE
Why didn’t you take
a slug at me this morning?

PALADIN
I was outclassed.

MIKE O’HARE
Oh, that’s a lot
of hogwash.

You could’ve mopped the
streets with me. Why didn’t you?

PALADIN
I’ve always liked
men who build.

One of my great idols
was the emperor hadrian.

MIKE O’HARE
Hadrian? What do you
know about hadrian?

PALADIN
Well, he was an emperor,
great builder.

215
00:15:47,913 –> 00:15:50,080
Is that what you think
you are, mr. O’hare?

216
00:15:50,082 –> 00:15:52,416
You seem to be making
the demands of an emperor.

MIKE O’HARE
What else could I do for those
stiff-necked jug heads of ashley?

218
00:15:56,822 –> 00:15:59,323
I offered them twice
the value for their soil.
I even convinced legislation to
set aside fertile lands upstate,
To be given to them
as extra compensation.
He said, “unfair.”

PALADIN
Do the people
of ashley know this?

MIKE O’HARE
Of course they do.

224
00:16:12,171 –> 00:16:14,204
They were notified
for two months.

PALADIN
Notified how?

MIKE O’HARE
By letter from
the state capital.

227
00:16:17,543 –> 00:16:20,377
Mr. Ritchie has one himself.

PALADIN
Do you have a copy?

MIKE O’HARE
No, I haven’t, but I can
get one from central city.

PALADIN
How long will that take?

MIKE O’HARE
Oh, about two days.

232
00:16:28,788 –> 00:16:31,955
Maybe sooner. I’ll get one
and I’ll bring it to you.

MIKE O’HARE
I’m a builder.

234
00:16:34,827 –> 00:16:38,662
I want to make this beautiful
place, well, a new athens.
A rome.
But the first necessity
is water.

R
You’re back early tonight.

PALADIN
I thought we might have
a little chat, mr. Ritchie.

R
What’s on your mind?

PALADIN
A letter, the contents of which
you seem to have kept to yourself.

R
Letter? I don’t know
what you’re talking about.

PALADIN
How many other people in Ashley know the terms for surrender of the town’s water rights?

R
That’s no concern of yours. You’re hired to do a job, do it.

PALADIN
O’hare’s given me his version of what goes on, now I’d like yours.

246
00:17:25,310 –> 00:17:27,711
You’re being paid
for only one version.

247
00:17:27,713 –> 00:17:29,179
Mine.

248
00:17:29,181 –> 00:17:30,514
I built this town.

249
00:17:30,516 –> 00:17:32,850
I watched it grow
for twenty-five years,

250
00:17:32,852 –> 00:17:34,951
And it’s gonna
grow even more.
Every year, more farmers and
ranchers come out here to settle.

PALADIN
Why wouldn’t they be willing
to settle on the new town site?

R
The new town site? No, sir.

254
00:17:42,762 –> 00:17:45,763
Not after the years of sweat and labor
that went into making this valley.
Nobody’s gonna
take it away from me.

256
00:17:48,133 –> 00:17:51,468
Nobody’s gonna push me out
and tell me where to go.
What I did when I was young,
I can’t do again.
I won’t even try.
I’ve got a plot of ground
next to my wife’s grave
And I aim to be here in
this town when my time comes.

PALADIN
That’s a highly
personal outlook.
What about the other
people in this town?

R
People here have always
done what I asked them.

PALADIN
What did you do
with the letter?

265
00:18:11,791 –> 00:18:13,657
I tore it up.

PALADIN
Ritchie, this is
an old fight.

267
00:18:16,028 –> 00:18:18,695
The rights of the many
against the rights of the few.

268
00:18:18,697 –> 00:18:21,698
And I don’t agree you have
the right, moral or legal,

269
00:18:21,700 –> 00:18:23,366
To decide for your neighbors.

R
I’ll see that you’re paid for your expenses, paladin.
You’re no longer needed here.

PALADIN
That’s your privilege. Goodnight, sir.

WOMAN
I wish you hadn’t. He’ll turn to joe marsh now.

PALADIN
I’m afraid so.

W
Why don’t you talk to
joe marsh first?
Get him to move on,
leave town?

PALADIN
Then you really don’t
mind a little shooting?
That would have to follow.
Goodnight.

MIKE O’HARE
I’ve got ten square miles to cover. I can’t do it with my men. You said so yourself.

PALADIN
I took you by surprise. We know joe marsh is coming, it won’t be that easy for him.

MIKE O’HARE
We practically have no ammunition.

That’s telling you
no secret.

PALADIN
How many rounds?

MIKE O’HARE
Two or three
to the rifle.

290
00:19:38,777 –> 00:19:41,277
Unless you’d like to
pick some out of that cement.

PALADIN
I’m afraid we haven’t time.

MIKE O’HARE
Hey, what made you
change sides?

PALADIN
Education.

MIKE O’HARE
Didn’t that same education
warn you to get out
When you know marsh and
his gang will arrive?

PALADIN
You know, I must’ve
skipped that class.

MAN
Blast powder.

MIKE O’HARE
That’s north, number three dam. Get mounted, men!

P
Cover me. Every time a head shows, try and hit it.

[GUNFIGHT]

MARSH
Let’s get him.

ENGINEER
Alright, hold it.

EXT.  BACK IN TOWN – NIGHT

R
Thought you’d left town?

PALADIN
I did. I helped Mr. O’Hare. He gave me a copy of a very interesting letter. I’m just debating whether to post it on the town bulletin board Or let the people hear it from their leading citizen, Who always has their best interest at heart.

R
I do.

PALADIN
I don’t doubt it. But I don’t like to see one man control the lives of an entire community.

P
Well, Mr. Ritchie?

W
You’ve run out of gunfighters, pop.

MIKE O’HARE
Oh, smile, Mr. Ritchie.

You and your town can have a prosperous year before we leave.

Me and my men need an abundance of supplies.

317
00:24:31,904 –> 00:24:33,369
Also friends.

318
00:24:33,371 –> 00:24:35,906
Mr. Paladin explained how you feel.

R
Be hard starting again. New place at my age. No, thanks.

PALADIN
Goodbye, Marsh.
Ride far.

Goofs

Continuity: Joe Marsh tussles with and is knocked out by Paladin during a fight between his hired guns and O’Hare. The next scene shows him standing with those same men, not a hair out of place.

Quotes => Myra Ritchie: Same breed, different feathers.

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