33-“The Silver Queen”

Original Airdate: May 3, 1958)

When a beautiful lady receives a half-ownership in a silver mine in a rather suspicious-looking will, Paladin sticks his neck out for the sake of a dead man’s true wishes.

Director: Lamont Johnson  Writers: Albert Aley, Herb Meadow (creator)

LITA MILAN as Mlle. Annette Vargas

EARLE HODGINS as Leadhead Kane

WHIT BISSELL as Vance Crawford

MARTIN BALK as Jess Hagen

RALPH MOODY as Judge Howell

ROBERT GIBBONS as Rimrock Hotel Desk Clerk

MASON CURRY as Hotel Carlton Doctor

TOM LONDON as Juror

There it is, hagen.
You can’t get into this mine,
And we can’t get out.
Stalemate.

PALADIN
Thank you very much,
gentlemen.
I hope you all have exactly
the same luck tomorrow night.

7
00:00:59,358 –> 00:01:01,660
Thank you.

PALADIN
Goodnight.
Leadhead.
You were trying to bluff me
out of that last pot.

LEADHEAD
Yeah, I had you
guessing for a minute.

PALADIN
Sounds like you’re
getting tired of the game.

LEADHEAD
It passes the time.
Say, you got another
one of them?

PALADIN
Now you know
what the doctor said.

LEADHEAD
Don’t you start in with that foolishness.
What’s the difference between dying at 75 or 80?
Ain’t many pleasures left when you get to be my age.

PALADIN
Looks to me like you’re doing fine.

LEADHEAD
Sure, I live in a plush hotel now,
Instead of a lean-to.
Bought me silk shirts and I eat fancy food.
Yeah, I’ve done fine since
I found me a silver mine.
I can have just about anything I want.
Hey…
You ain’t going just yet, are you?

PALADIN
It’s 5:00 in the morning.
We played all night.

LEADHEAD
I’ll see you tomorrow night, huh?

PALADIN
Let’s start earlier.
12:00 is a little late.

LEADHEAD
I’m going over to
the music hall.

PALADIN
Again?

LEADHEAD
As long as I can keep on
seeing millie annette.

32
00:02:19,455 –> 00:02:20,855
Who?

LEADHEAD
Millie annette,
the singer.
What’s the matter with you?
You’re the one that took me
there the first time.
I always thought you had
an eye for the ladies.
If you don’t
remember her…
What are you laughing at?

PALADIN
That’s not her name,
leadhead.
Not “millie.”
this is french.
Stands for mademoiselle
annette vargas.

LEADHEAD
Oh.
Well, whatever it is
they call her,
She’s the prettiest thing
I ever seen.

PALADIN
You’ve been going to
the music hall every night
Just to see her?

LEADHEAD
Why not?

PALADIN
She’s living here
at the carlton.
You could have met her.

LEADHEAD
Ha!
You think she’d
even stop to look at
An old desert rat
like me?

PALADIN
I understand she’s
a very gracious woman.
At any rate,
I’ll see you tonight.

LEADHEAD
Oh, sure.
‘bye leadhead.
Good night.

ANNETTE VARGAS
“with sincere appreciation
“for your enchanting performance
at the music hall.
“and in hopes that you will
have supper with me tonight.
“l. Kane.”

LEADHEAD
I just can’t get over it.
Me sitting here
talking to you.
I never dreamed you’d
have supper with me.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Your card and
the beautiful flowers
Were most persuasive.

LEADHEAD
That’s something
I can’t understand.
I don’t recollect…

PALADIN
Leadhead…
I believe mlle. Vargas
is ready for more wine.

LEADHEAD
Sure.
Hey boy.

HEYBOY
Yes, mr. Kane?

LEADHEAD
Those glasses are no
doggone use to us empty.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Leadhead?
Forgive me.
Is that really your name?

LEADHEAD
Yeah!

ANNETTE VARGAS
I don’t believe it.

LEADHEAD
Honest injun!
See, when I first
started out prospectin’,
I was an awful greenhorn.
Then one day
I was workin’ my way
Up through the tuscaroras,
and I hit it.

ANNETTE VARGAS
You found your silver mine.

LEADHEAD
Now wait a minute.
Wait just a minute now.
Hold your horses.
No, sir.
You see, I got me
a lot of rock samples.
And I head out
for the survey office,
Just like there was
a fire in my britches.
Oh, excuse me.

ANNETTE VARGAS
I understand.

LEADHEAD
Anyway, I busted into town
Yelling and whooping
like a comanche.
Telling everybody
that I’d made a big strike.
Some strike.
It was lead.

ANNETTE VARGAS
not really?

LEADHEAD
Yeah, and that’s when they
started calling me “leadhead.”
And it stuck to me.
I’ve just been
jawing away
To a fare thee well,
ain’t I?
Gosh, somebody should have
stuck a boot in my mouth.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Don’t stop, your stories
are enchanting.

LEADHEAD
You sure make it easy
for me to tell them.
You know,
it perks up an old man
To have a young lady
like you pay him some mind.

ANNETTE VARGAS
But you’ve lived such
a wonderfully full life.

LEADHEAD
Full?
Full of looking
and never finding.

ANNETTE VARGAS
I want to hear
more about you.
We’ll do it again,
won’t we?

LEADHEAD
It can’t happen too soon
to suit me, ma’am.
You know…
This is the nicest night
I’ve ever spent
in my whole life.
Say there,
just something else.
It’s kinda silly,
I guess.
But I want
to remember tonight.
I wonder if you’d
sign this picture?

ANNETTE VARGAS
I would rather
you remember me with this.

LEADHEAD
No, I couldn’t.

ANNETTE VARGAS
I want you to have it.
Perhaps it’ll keep you
from being lonely again.
Good night.
Leadhead.

PALADIN
May I see you to your room,
mademoiselle?

ANNETTE VARGAS
Thank you, mr. Paladin.

122
00:06:35,043 –> 00:06:37,478
Good night.

PALADIN
Good night, leadhead.

LEADHEAD
Gosh, almighty.

HEYBOY
I knock on bedroom door
Like always when
I bring his breakfast.

This time he not answer,
so I open it.

And I see him there,
Lying so quiet.
I call doctor,
and then you.

DOCTOR
It happened during the night,
while he slept.
He’s an old man.
His heart simply gave out.
Will you notify the next of kin?

PALADIN
There’s nobody to notify Doctor.
He was alone.

DOCTOR
Someone has to make…

PALADIN
I’ll take care of it.

DOCTOR
Very well.

PALADIN
Thank you, doctor.

HEYBOY
Mr. Kane want you to have this.
He write it last night, after you leave with lady.
Also letter. Letter I mail.
That he want me to give you,
Say you will know what to do.

PALADIN
This is leadhead’s will.

HEYBOY
I know.
He asked me to write
my name on it.
You see?
I’m a witness.

PALADIN
Mademoiselle annette?
Hmmm.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Oh no, mr. Paladin.
I can’t accept this.
The poor man had too much
champagne that night.
He didn’t know
what he was doing.

PALADIN
Believe me, he did.
Leadhead kane was
a lonely old man.
In that one night,
you showed him
More honest affection and
friendship than he’d ever known.

ANNETTE VARGAS
No, it’s not right.
There are others to think of.
His friends, family.
They deserve…

PALADIN
He had no family.
And he considered you
his close friend.
His share in that mine’s
worth $250,000.
$250,000?

160
00:08:21,200 –> 00:08:23,234
Ten minutes, miss vargas.
Somebody waiting to see you.

ANNETTE VARGAS
One minute, please.

PALADIN
Let me know what you decide.
I’ll be at the carlton.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Thank you for coming.

PALADIN
My pleasure, goodbye.
Good night.

VANCE CRAWFORD
Miss vargas?

ANNETTE VARGAS
Yes.

VANCE CRAWFORD
My name’s vance crawford.
I’m leadhead kane’s partner.
Or rather, I was.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Come in, won’t you?
Please, sit down.

VANCE CRAWFORD
No, thank you.
I’ll only be a minute.
I received an unusual letter
from leadhead yesterday.
It was apparently written
the night before he died.
He stated he’d just
made out a will
Leaving his share
of the rimrock mine to you.
Is this true?

ANNETTE VARGAS
Yes, it’s true.

VANCE CRAWFORD
You didn’t know leadhead
very long, did you?
I never heard him
speak of you.

ANNETTE VARGAS
No, I had just
met him that evening.
We had supper together.
I liked him.

VANCE CRAWFORD
Of course you did.
But I’m sure that $1,000
Will make you
feel a lot better.

ANNETTE VARGAS
$1,000?

VANCE CRAWFORD
For the will. You don’t think
it’s any good, do you?

ANNETTE VARGAS
Mr. Paladin said

VANCE CRAWFORD
– believe me, it’ll never stand up in court.
Especially under
the circumstances.

ANNETTE VARGAS
What do you mean
“the circumstances”?

VANCE CRAWFORD
You know, ms. Vargas, you
really are a talented actress.
Now I can understand
why leadhead was taken in.

ANNETTE VARGAS
“taken in”?

VANCE CRAWFORD
Let’s not carry
this too far.
You don’t have to put
on a show for my benefit.

ANNETTE VARGAS
I’m afraid I don’t know
what you’re talking about.

VANCE CRAWFORD
All right, I’ll spell it
out for you.
It’s $1,000 or nothing.
You can’t collect on that will
and you know it.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Why can’t I?

VANCE CRAWFORD
The judge’d laugh it
out of court.
Anyone can tell
what happened that night.
You picked the old man up
in a saloon.
Got him drunk, then you tricked
him into writing that will.

ANNETTE VARGAS
You’ve said enough.
Will you please leave?

VANCE CRAWFORD
You tried one of the oldest
tricks, it just didn’t work.
The estate’ll be settled when
the judge hits rimrock next week.
You don’t stand a chance at
collecting.

ANNETTE VARGAS

I asked you to leave.

VANCE CRAWFORD
I’m not going to offer it again.
$1,000 cash, now.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Will you go?

VANCE CRAWFORD
That’s funny.
I always thought women like you
were sensible about money.

ANNETTE VARGAS
I could hardly get through the performance.

PALADIN
You’ve made up your mind
about the will.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Yes, mr. Paladin.
I don’t care about
the money for myself.
But I can’t let crawford get
what belonged to leadhead.

PALADIN
You’re going to
need some help.
May I offer my assistance?

PALADIN
Would you check in
for both of us?
I want to get a buckboard.

ANNETTE VARGAS
Of course.
Where are we going?

PALADIN
We should go to the mine soon. You should
post a notice of the new partnership.
That’s a law in the silver counties. We
have to do it before the court convenes.

223
00:11:48,690 –> 00:11:50,191
See you soon.

224
00:11:53,162 –> 00:11:55,229
So that’s leadhead’s filly?

225
00:11:55,330 –> 00:11:59,033
He wasn’t as old
as I thought he was.

226
00:11:59,134 –> 00:12:01,335
I don’t want her
in court tomorrow.

227
00:12:02,237 –> 00:12:03,437
Room seven and nine.

228
00:12:03,539 –> 00:12:06,140
Ms. Vargas and mr. Paladin.

229
00:12:06,241 –> 00:12:08,909
Want me to take your bags up?

ANNETTE VARGAS
Please.

230
00:12:09,010 –> 00:12:11,445
I’ll wait for Mr. Paladin.

231
00:12:12,847 –> 00:12:14,215
Welcome to rimrock.

232
00:12:14,316 –> 00:12:16,384
Thank you.

233
00:12:19,288 –> 00:12:21,121
You have to leave soon,
do you?

234
00:12:21,223 –> 00:12:24,124
I’d like to get acquainted.
I’m Jess Hagen.

235
00:12:24,226 –> 00:12:26,661
You’ll be seeing
a lot of me if you stay.

236
00:12:26,761 –> 00:12:29,363
I look forward to that.
Good.

237
00:12:29,464 –> 00:12:32,333
I’d like to take
you to supper tonight.

238
00:12:32,434 –> 00:12:34,235
Okay?
Will you let me pass, please?

239
00:12:34,336 –> 00:12:37,104
Soon as you tell me about
supper. Don’t touch me.

240
00:12:37,206 –> 00:12:39,207
Don’t use that tone to me.

PALADIN
Apparently, the young lady’s not
interested in your attentions.
Oh, my, you’re slow.
I assume you’re mr. Crawford.
And you were
expecting us, I trust.

245
00:13:09,705 –> 00:13:11,739
You take that look
off your face.

246
00:13:11,840 –> 00:13:15,409
There’s no look on my face.
You’re seeing things.
Paladin just ordered a buckboard.
Obviously, they’re going to the mine.
They have to post a new
partnership notice.
That’s the time.
Get everybody away-

250
00:13:24,586 –> 00:13:27,271
Why don’t you
draw me a picture.

PALADIN
How does it feel
to be a lady of property?

252
00:13:41,253 –> 00:13:44,755
Is this all there is to it?
This hole in the ground?

PALADIN
The mine’s only a year old, but
there’s over $500,000 in that hole.

254
00:13:49,561 –> 00:13:51,929
Why aren’t there
people working here?
At least someone should make
sure no one steals any silver.

PALADIN
It’s not quite that simple, but
it does seem strange, doesn’t it?
Now we know why
there weren’t any people around.
Witnesses would
be embarrassing.

259
00:14:13,251 –> 00:14:16,419
I don’t understand
why anyone would shoot at us.

PALADIN
It’s your friend
from the hotel.

261
00:14:19,725 –> 00:14:21,858
The one who was
so rude, hagen.

PALADIN
That’s right. He doesn’t
discourage easily, does he?

263
00:14:25,230 –> 00:14:26,564
That can’t be.
To try to kill me ’cause
I wouldn’t dine with him?

PALADIN
Get back in the mine.

266
00:14:56,228 –> 00:14:58,629
You have a gun. Shoot back!

PALADIN
It’d be a waste of lead.
Rifles have twice
the range of this gun.

269
00:15:05,037 –> 00:15:07,020
We’re just going to stay here?

PALADIN
Looks like
we don’t have a choice.
What are you waiting for, hagen?
Come and get us.

273
00:15:14,313 –> 00:15:17,781
No hurry, I’m not going
anywhere. Neither are you.

PALADIN
Well, that’s it.
They can’t get in
and we can’t get out.
Stalemate.

277
00:15:48,130 –> 00:15:51,565
Paladin, you were gone so long,
and that light…

PALADIN
I found the shaft. There’s no
other way to get out of the mine.

279
00:15:54,870 –> 00:15:58,422
Some air shafts, but they’re
too small to crawl through.

280
00:15:58,523 –> 00:16:00,291
Why are they keeping us here?

281
00:16:00,392 –> 00:16:02,643
What can they gain?

PALADIN
Time.
It’s almost dawn.
Leadhead’s estate will be
settled in a few hours.
If we’re not there
with the will…

285
00:16:09,701 –> 00:16:13,370
To think of that man
getting leadhead’s money…

286
00:16:15,573 –> 00:16:18,509
Paladin, why don’t
we try to sneak out?

287
00:16:18,610 –> 00:16:20,711
Perhaps we could make it.

PALADIN
What then? Walk back to town?
Besides, they’d
come after us.
Unless they thought
we were still here.

291
00:16:54,980 –> 00:16:57,747
You can loose the top
of your head that way.

292
00:16:57,848 –> 00:16:59,616
How’d you get out of there?

PALADIN
On my belly.
It was a dirty trip,
but worth it.
You tell your men to get dynamite
to blow us out of that cave.

296
00:17:06,657 –> 00:17:08,325
No.
All right.
Shauny, joe.
Go back to town.

300
00:17:16,935 –> 00:17:18,001
What’s going on, jess?

PALADIN
Dynamite.
Get some dynamite.

303
00:17:21,939 –> 00:17:25,009
We’re going to blow
them out of the cave.

304
00:17:25,110 –> 00:17:27,544
ain’t there some in the shack?

305
00:17:27,645 –> 00:17:31,548
No, do what I tell you!

PALADIN
Well, jess, that was perfect.
To show you how much I
appreciate what you did…

308
00:17:43,428 –> 00:17:46,397
All right, paladin, he won’t
escape now.

PALADIN
Let me have the hat.
Mr. Hagen, if I were you,
I’d sit still.
Your friends’ll be looking
for a target when they return.
Come on.

313
00:18:04,465 –> 00:18:05,732
All right, now.
Come to order, boys.
First order of business before this
court is to settle the estate of mr. Kane.
All the interested
parties present?

317
00:18:19,714 –> 00:18:22,649
I believe I’m the only one,
judge.

318
00:18:22,750 –> 00:18:25,419
Well, I can’t
see anything to settle.
Leadhead didn’t
leave any heirs.
So I guess we’ll-

PALADIN
Your honor.
If the court pleases…
Before you decide this,
I’d like to be heard.

324
00:18:37,883 –> 00:18:40,184
Who are you?

PALADIN
My name is paladin.
I represent mlle. Vargas
Who, by virtue of this document,
is entitled to kane’s entire estate.

327
00:18:50,094 –> 00:18:53,163
It’s a fraud. That will
doesn’t mean anything.

328
00:18:53,264 –> 00:18:56,367
You can’t come in
with a piece of paper-

PALADIN
That is a holographic will.

330
00:18:58,869 –> 00:19:00,203
What?

PALADIN
A holographic will is one made
out in a man’s own handwriting
On a single sheet
of paper and dated.
As your honor knows,
it’s legal
Since many people here
recognize kane’s writing.

335
00:19:17,455 –> 00:19:20,157
All right,
so he did sign it.
But he was tricked.
You all know leadhead.
How many of you heard him
talk about mlle. Vargas?
Of course you didn’t.
He only knew her one night.
Mlle. Vargas was
nothing but a cheap entertainer.

341
00:19:38,409 –> 00:19:40,844
She caught poor leadhead
in a trap.

342
00:19:40,945 –> 00:19:43,947
That’s why I say
this will is a fraud.

343
00:19:44,048 –> 00:19:48,085
Coercion. It ought
to be thrown out.

344
00:19:48,186 –> 00:19:50,754
I can’t see any
argument against that.
So, I hereby declare-

PALADIN
just a minute.
Aren’t you going to hear my side?
Don’t look like you’ve got one.

PALADIN
The court’s question is whether
or not kane made this will.
And if he did make it,
Was he unduly forced, urged, coerced,
bribed or even seduced into making it.

350
00:20:09,624 –> 00:20:13,777
It’s up to you to answer that
question to my satisfaction.

PALADIN
It’s be happy to, your honor,
but to a jury.

352
00:20:17,349 –> 00:20:19,483
Look here, this is not a trial.
We don’t use juries
in this kind of case.
It’s not a criminal case.

PALADIN
I think it is.
If mr. Crawford’s
charges are true,
Ms. Vargas and I
are guilty of extortion.
Extortion is a criminal offense.

358
00:20:32,863 –> 00:20:35,031
You willing to stand on that?
A jury finds against you, you
willing to admit to extortion?

PALADIN
I am.
You’ll go to jail.
You and the mademoiselle, too.

PALADIN
I realize that.

362
00:20:44,409 –> 00:20:45,509
All right.

363
00:20:45,610 –> 00:20:47,777
It’ll take time
to get the jury-

PALADIN
Your honor, it needn’t
be a full panel.
Any six men.
Any four men.
You, sir?
You, sir.
You, at the bar.
And you, sir.

371
00:21:10,234 –> 00:21:13,604
All right, all of you,
come over.
Stand up here.
Listen smart.
Go ahead, mr. Paladin.

375
00:21:21,262 –> 00:21:22,862
Your honor.

PALADIN
Gentlemen, I’ll be
as brief as possible.
I’ll simply present
a set of circumstances.
And I’ll ask you one question.
Your answer will
be your verdict.
I don’t know anything about you.
But in each of you, I see
something of leadhead kane.
A loneliness that comes from
the dream of the big strike.
You never had time for
companionship, warmth, laughter.
And now it’s too late.
You’re too old.
That same look
was in kane’s eyes.
Sure.
Leadhead hit it rich. He could
buy anything in the world.
Anything except
what he really wanted.
Friendship, warmth,
understanding.
Then one night he went to a
music hall to pass the time.
There he saw
a young woman, a singer.
He was charmed by her.
He attended every performance.
Until one night, a friend
arranged a supper party.
And he met her
for the first time.
He saw her face to face.
As you see her now.
Mademoiselle?
This, gentlemen, is the cheap
entertainer who tricked leadhead.
Will you sit there, please?
Gentlemen.
I ask you to put yourself
in kane’s place that night.
You had a wonderful supper.
You had someone to talk to.
Someone who listened,
understood you.
Someone who laughed at your jokes
and sympathized with your loneliness.
Someone who gave you
a locket to remember her by.
Just before she said good night.
A few hours later,
leadhead kane died.
But before he died,
he had done something.
Something to show his
appreciation
For the only night in his life
when he didn’t feel alone.
He made out a will and left
his entire estate to her.
Now, gentlemen, I ask each
of you for one second…
Be leadhead kane.
Then tell me what
you would have done.

418
00:24:20,140 –> 00:24:22,476
I’d have done the same thing, by gosh.

419
00:24:27,782 –> 00:24:29,315
No, they can’t do that.

420
00:24:29,417 –> 00:24:30,684
Hold on a minute.
This is highly irregular.
A jury can’t be just four men.
It’s not legal.
I hereby declare the verdict to be
– your honor.

PALADIN
The jury was legal when you and crawford
thought I’d be convicted of extortion.

425
00:24:43,347 –> 00:24:48,851
You can’t change a verdict. I have
a room full of witnesses to prove it.

426
00:24:49,920 –> 00:24:51,888
Judge!
A verdict is a verdict.
I hereby declare the will of
leadhead kane to be proper and valid.

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