(27) “The Teacher”

Original Airdate:  (March 15, 1958)

“Go on Brex, start. You’ve got two hands, one of them holding a gun. standing on your own two feet, what do you want? An edge?

Paladin comes to the defense of a teacher who was threatened after she taught about war crimes that occurred during the Civil War.

EXT. WESTERN TOWN MAIN STREET – DAY

INT. GENERAL STORE

MR. CALDWELL
That’ll be $16.22.
I wonder if I could interest you
in a new product that just came in.
It’s called “soap”.

MR. WEAVER
You tryin’ to make me look
the fool, Mr. Caldwell?

MR. CALDWELL
Why no, Mr. Weaver.
I just thought you might
find a use for it.
Those ignorant fools.
What can I do for you?

PALADIN
I want some breakfast.
And a box of.45’s.

MR. CALDWELL
Yes, sir.
You visiting
around here?

PALADIN
Just passing through
on my way home.
I have some
business up north.

MR. CALDWELL
Must’ve been pretty
noisy business.

PALADIN
Wasn’t that
a school bell, miss?

CALDWELL
Becky ain’t going
to that school.
Not ’til that
schoolteacher gets out.

PALADIN
Oh? What’d she do?

WEAVER
Have you heard of a man
called Jackson Breck?

PALADIN
Texas? Trying to beat the
feds down there after the war?

MR. WEAVER
That’s the one.
He was driving
his herd up to Wichita,
Passing through here.
He heard what Marlee Stanton
was teaching about the war.
How did she put it?

GIRL
Quantrill
and his guerrillas,
Miss stanton says they were little
more than thieves and murderers.

PALADIN
So?

CALDWELL
Breck rode with quantrill.
He wanted her
to retract that.
Said he’d be back,
burn down the school
And ride her right out
of town if she didn’t.
He’ll be passing
through here any day.

PALADIN
I take it
she hasn’t retracted.

CALDWELL
Why does she have to stir
up a fuss like that?

PALADIN
She’s obviously
just teaching history.
Mr. Breck’s the one who’s
stirring up the fuss.

CALDWELL
But she had to go around teaching
things that cause trouble.

PALADIN
One and one make two.
Do you believe that?

CALDWELL
Sure, sure.

PALADIN
One and one make five.
Wanna argue it?

CALDWELL
No, not that way. You can say it if
you want. But we both know better.

PALADIN
Yes, we do.
Don’t we?
We also both know that quantrill
and his men did some bloody work.
It’s history.
Why shouldn’t it be taught?

CALDWELL
She don’t have
to lie about it.
All she has to do is say
nothing at all about it.

PALADIN
I don’t like the number two. I
want your teacher to leave it out.

She’s got 1, 3, 4, 5, 6…
All the other numbers.
But I want her to leave out two
and quantrill
And any other fact that
some people may not like.

CALDWELL
Breck and his men
mean trouble.
And Miss Stanton…
She’s the one causing it.
Other than that,
it’s a lot of talk.

PALADIN
Yes, it is. Isn’t it?
It’s all just talk.
Now where is this school?

CALDWELL
Just past the end
of the street. The flagpole…
You baitin’ me, mister?
Did Breck send you?

PALADIN
You think I’d ride a thousand
miles to burn down a schoolhouse?
Run a woman over the line?
Becky, that’s
a very good job.
I really can’t see
where you’ve mended it.

PALADIN
Wasn’t that
a school bell?
You’ll be late.

BOY
Yep.

PALADIN
Did you have to ride

BOY
About ten miles.

PALADIN
What do you expect to meet on
the trail that you carry a rifle?

BOY
Indians. Rabbits.

PALADIN
Get over.

INT. SCHOOLHOUSE -DAY

PALADIN
‘morning.
Where’s miss stanton?
Thank you.

MISS STANTON
You wish to see me?

PALADIN
I’d like to speak
to you alone.

MISS STANTON
Miss Grubb, kindly copy
this lesson on the blackboard.

And the rest of you,
read page 18 in mcduffy.

PALADIN
I’ll come straight to
the point, miss stanton.
I don’t like what you’ve been
teaching about the jayhawkers.

MISS STANTON
The jayhawkers?

PALADIN
The Kansas and
Missouri patriots
Who organized to fight for
the union along the border.
I understand you’ve been
teaching that they committed
Many revengeful, vicious,
unprincipled acts.
Is that true?

MISS STANTON
There’s a man who doesn’t want me to
teach about Quantrill and his atrocities.
Now you don’t want me to teach
about the Jayhawker’s atrocities
Merely because they were
on the union side.
I will teach
the truth as it is.
Not as anyone would
like it to be.

PALADIN
Hm.
Good for you.

MISS STANTON
What?

PALADIN
I was merely trying to be certain you
were telling both sides of the story.

MISS STANTON
Who are you?

PALADIN
Here’s my card.

MISS STANTON
Who has hired you?
And for what?

PALADIN
No one’s hired me.
I thought I’d help you.

MISS STANTON
Help…

PALADIN
You.

MISS STANTON
I’m terribly sorry.
I’ve been very frightened.
Jackson breck
and all his gunmen,
And no one here
brave enough to stop him.

PALADIN
Hasn’t anyone in this town
tried to support you?

MISS STANTON
There used to be
18 pupils in there.

PALADIN
I’ll rest your mind
to this extent.
If this matter is
to be settled by guns,
You’ll have at least
one on your side.

MISS STANTON
I can’t pay you.

PALADIN
We’ll call this
a civic duty.
As I take the time
to vote or sit on a jury.
I think I’d best stay here
until we’ve settled this.
Do you have a cot I could
set up in the school room?

MISS STANTON
Of course.
You look very tired.
Make yourself at home here.

PALADIN
Thank you.

MISS STANTON
I must get back
to my class.

FADE OUT

INT. SCHOOLHOUSE -DAY

SCHOOLCHILDREN
… Three make nine.

MISS STANTON
Three times four makes
twelve.

SCHOOLCHILDREN
Three times…

COOLEY
Don’t stop all this
educatin’ on account of me.

MISS STANTON
What do you want?

COOLEY
Mister breck
and his party…
They’re coming
through here tomorrow.
I rode on ahead to see where
they’re gonna make that camp fire.

MISS STANTON
Get out of here.

COOLEY
This here teacher
of yours…
Did she tell you how
she lied about quantrill?

MISS STANTON
Leave the children alone.
I have not changed
history for you.

COOLEY
Haven’t you?
Now look what
I went and done.
I made a mess.

PALADIN
But you’ll
clean it up.

COOLEY
Well, now.
And who are you?

PALADIN
My name is paladin.
What do they call you
when they’re being polite?

COOLEY
Cooley.
That’s a name
you remember.

PALADIN
I doubt it. Will you
pick up that desk?

COOLEY
I’m going now.
In your place I’d take back what
I’ve been saying about quantrill.

PALADIN
Pick up the desk.
You wanna try again
with that other gun?

COOLEY
I’m gonna bring back Mr. Breck and
a couple of men to finish this job.

PALADIN
Pick up the desk.

COOLEY
I got a bullet
in my arm!

PALADIN
Pick it up!
Pick the papers up.
All right.

COOLEY
I’m looking forward
to our next meeting.

PALADIN
Miss Stanton…
I think you understand
the necessity for this.
I hope you can
explain it to them.

MISS STANTON
I believe we were up
to three times five.

CHILDREN
Three times five
makes fifteen.

MISS STANTON
three times five makes fifteen.

MISS STANTON
Three times six
makes eighteen.

SCHOOLCHILDREN
three times six makes eighteen.

MISS STANTON
Three times seven makes
twenty-one.

SCHOOLCHILDREN
Three times seven
makes twenty-one.

MISS STANTON
Three times eight
makes twenty-four.

SCHOOLCHILDREN
Three times nine…

MISS STANTON
And so ends perhaps
my last day in this school.

PALADIN
Tomorrow may
bring surprises.

MISS STANTON
Tomorrow will bring Jackson
Breck and more of his gunmen.

PALADIN
Men like Breck.
They always run in packs.
You break any piece off that pack
and pure yellow shows through.

MISS STANTON
You can’t fight
them all alone.

PALADIN
I expect to have help.

MISS STANTON
From whom?

PALADIN

I want you to give
me a list of all your students
And where they live.

MISS STANTON
Oh. You think the men in
the families will help us.
Well, you’re wrong.
You see how they’ve
behaved so far.

PALADIN
They’ll have to defend you.

MISS STANTON
Really? Why?
I’m just a stubborn
old schoolteacher.

PALADIN
It’s right that
you’re a teacher.
And a teacher is
something very special.
Without teachers, every
generation would have to start
By discovering fire
and inventing the wheel.

FADE TO

INT. GENERAL STORE -DAY

MR. CALDWELL
It’s my daughter. I’ll tell
her what’s right for her.

188
00:12:56,809 –> 00:12:59,676
Why do you let breck tell
her what’s right for her?
That’s what he does
when he says what she shall
Or shall not
be permitted to learn.

MR. CALDWELL
I’ll do as I see fit.
And I don’t see that this is
anything for anyone to fight over.

PALADIN
Jason, adults forget that
children are learning all the time.
Becky learns not only
from what you tell her,
But from the way
she sees you behave.
What do you think
she’s learning right now?
I’ve got a lot
of people to see tonight.
Becky?
Good night.
Good night.

INT. RANCH HOUSE – NIGHT

PALADIN
Good evening, son.
Is your father home?

WEAVER BOY
Pa, the man wants you.
He’s the one who
went to school today.
He won the fight.

PALADIN
May I come in,
Mr. Weaver?

MR. WEAVER
Come along.

PALADIN
My name is paladin.

MR. WEAVER
I’m daniel weaver.
Morris here you know.
My boy, joel.
Frank over there.

PALADIN
Frank.
Since morris told you what
happened at school today,
I won’t have to fill in
on the details.

MR. WEAVER
You want
help tomorrow.

PALADIN
That’s right.
I’m asking the people
this concerns to help.

MR. WEAVER
So how have
you been doing?

PALADIN
Poorly.
I’ve been riding
for six hours tonight.
Talking, arguing,
begging.
It’s no use,
they’re all afraid.
You’re the furthest south
and the last one on my list.
Will you help?
Sit down.

PALADIN
Sure.
If I was to say no,
would you figure
It was because
I was scared of breck?

PALADIN
Why else would
you say no?
It might be because
I figure he’s right.

PALADIN
He isn’t.
This fight’s
about quantrill.
What he was
and what he done.
Joe there left that arm
in chickamauga.
Frank got shot up
in gettysburg.

PALADIN
there was one error in your statement.
This fight isn’t
about quantrill.
This is about whether
a man named jackson breck
Is gonna burn down
a schoolhouse
And drive a woman out
of the county for teaching.

MR. WEAVER
We had a little farm down
in georgia before the war.
Then sherman and his
army marched through.
And when they’d gone,
there wasn’t nothing left.
Nothing.
The only difference I can see
‘twixt sherman and quantrill
Is that one did it
to the yankees
And the other did it to us.

PALADIN
Morris.
Morris, did Miss Stanton discuss Sherman’s
March through Georgia with the class?
Did she tell about the
devastation that army caused?
What did she say? Did she say it
was a good thing or a bad thing?

MORRIS
Well…
She did say it
was something terrible.
Then she said
the whole war was terrible.

PALADIN
There you are,
Mr. Weaver.
Some yankees would think
that was sufficient grounds
For burning down
the schoolhouse.
All right,
don’t rattle me.
I still don’t see
it’s my fight.
If everybody else
was to take a stand
I’d feel obliged
to go along,
But I don’t see doing
their fighting for them.

PALADIN
It’s for yourself.

MR. WEAVER
Mr. Paladin, you’ve had your
say and you’ve got your answer.

PALADIN
You’ve found a lot of reasons why you
shouldn’t stand up to Jackson Breck.
None of them are
the real reason, are they?
Why, what do you mean?

PALADIN
You’re like all
the rest. You’re afraid.
Only the rest
of them admit it.
You can’t call me
a coward and just walk away.

PALADIN
Don’t tell me
you’ll fight me.
Tomorrow’s my day
for fighting.
You see me at the schoolhouse
if you want to finish this.
Unless you’d rather shoot
me in the back tonight.

FADE OUT

EXT. SCHOOLHOUSE YARD -DAY

MISS STANTON
No students.
No parents.
There’s our support.

PALADIN
Then we’ll meet
Breck alone.

Miss stanton! Miss stanton!
I’m sorry I’m late.

MISS STANTON
You certainly have been
a stranger, Miss Caldwell.
Get to your desk. You have
two weeks work to catch up on.

CALDWELL GIRL
Yes, ma’am.

PALADIN
I’ll wait out here.
Good luck.

281
00:18:19,798 –> 00:18:21,197
Becky!

PALADIN
You’re Jackson Breck.
That’s him all right!
I told you we’d bring along
enough men to finish the job.
So you’re gonna stop me?

PALADIN
That’s the idea.
leave him alone!
Leave him alone!
Now see all the trouble
you went and caused.

MISS STANTON
You animal!
Too bad you didn’t pack
your clothes when I asked you.
Now they’ll just have
to go up with the schoolhouse.

293
00:19:35,841 –> 00:19:37,340
Becky!
Becky!

294
00:19:37,342 –> 00:19:39,175
Get out, you.

PALADIN
Don’t do it, breck!
Don’t do it!

MR. CALDWELL
You leave
her alone! Git.

BRECK
Put that thing up.
Look, boys. We got us
here another one.

MR. WEAVER
Turn that man loose.
He’s mine.

PALADIN
So you came to fight?

MR. WEAVER
That’s why the uniforms.
We like to dress up
for a fight.

PALADIN
All right.
But you’ll have
to wait your turn.
Mr. Breck got here first.

308
00:20:42,007 –> 00:20:43,707
You others,
stay out of this.
Five to one
I can’t stomach.

PALADIN
All right, breck.
Start.
What are you waiting for?
You got a gun
in that holster.
You got two good hands, you’re
standing on your own two feet.
What more do you want?
Want an edge?
Here, is that better?
No?
What’s it take
to make you fight, breck?
You only draw
on women and children?
Or are schoolteachers
your specialty?
How about the rest
of you? Anybody else?
Do you want
to try it again?
I only got
one good arm.

MR. WEAVER
Man wants to make it even,
joe. Accommodate him.

JOE
I’m at your disposal, sir.

PALADIN
You get out of here.

BRECK
Let’s go, boys.
No sense all this fuss over
a dirt splinter shack
And an old maid
schoolteacher.

PALADIN
Breck.
Would you like
to apologize for that?

BRECK
All right.
I’m sorry.

PALADIN
Breck. Let it end here.
Today.

MR. WEAVER
A big man like you shouldn’t
be hard to spot at all.

BRECK
Shouldn’t be nothin’
to it.

MISS STANTON
Finished.

MR. WEAVER
Not quite.
You called me a coward.

PALADIN
You know why. You wanted me
To give you an excuse
to come here today.

MR. WEAVER
You’re gonna have to take
it back just the same.

PALADIN
I never meant it.
I know what
you were afraid of.
You were afraid you’d fight
for caldwell and his friends.
And they just laugh
at you for being a fool.

MR. CALDWELL
I’m afraid you’re right.

PALADIN
Miss stanton?

MISS STANTON
Recess has been
long enough.
Miss caldwell, mr. Weaver,
back to your desks.

MR. WEAVER
Go on, son.

SON
It’s a fearful
waste of time.

MR. WEAVER
You go learn and be
a better man than your pa.

MISS STANTON
Dinner will be
at six o’clock.
I expect you all.
Thank you.

PALADIN
Miss stanton,
we thank you.

MR. CALDWELL
Well, ain’t no sense
you and your boys riding
All the way home
then back again.
Why don’t you set over
at my house ’til dinner?
Come on, daniel.

MR. WEAVER
Well, I don’t wanna
be unneighborly.

MR. CALDWELL
Paladin?

PALADIN
I’ll join you.

FADE OUT

INT. SCHOOLHOUSE ROOM

… Who had joined the host
of the crusaders in palestine,

And was pacing slowly
along the sandy deserts
<i>Which lie in the vicinity
of the dead sea.
His sircoat born
in several places,
The arms of the owner,
although much defaced,
These seemed to be
a sleeping leopard…

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s