34-“Three Sons”

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen

Writers: Ken Kolb, Herb Meadow (creator)

PARKER FENNELLY as Rupe Bosworth, PAUL JASMIN as Hank Bosworth,
WARREN OATES as John Bosworth, KEVIN HAGEN as Ed Bosworth,
JACQUELIN MAYO as Janie Bosworth, S. JOHN LAUNER as Roy Daggett,
JON LORMER as Judge Cates, OLAN SOULE as Hotel Carlton Desk Clerk,
FRED DALE as Sheriff,

This gun is the only thing you two understand.
Vicious scum like you who sent a mutilated cat
To a young girl as a wedding present.

DESK CLERK
I’m very sorry, sir. I don’t know how the mix-up occurred,
But the suite simply won’t be vacant until tomorrow.

HANK BOSWORTH
All right. Give us any old room for tonight.

DESK CLERK
I can’t do that. The hotel’s entirely filled up. There isn’t one vacancy.

PALADIN
May I be of some assistance?

HANK BOSWORTH
I guess not. Not unless you talk him into giving us a room.

DESK CLERK
I’m sorry, but as I’ve told you,
The bridal suite won’t be vacant until tomorrow.

PALADIN
Just married?

HANK BOSWORTH
Yeah. Fine way to start out a honeymoon.
I guess we’ll just have to find someplace else.

PALADIN
I think you’ll have a lot of difficulty.
There’s a cattlemen’s convention in san francisco
And most places are filled.

HANK BOSWORTH
We’ve only got three days here.

PALADIN
Why don’t you take my suite tonight.

JANIE BOSWORTH
But where would you sleep?

PALADIN
If all goes well, I won’t.
Some gentlemen I know are planning an all-night card game.

HANK BOSWORTH
We’d be much obliged, but how come you’d do this for us?

PALADIN
Because it gives me pleasure.
Give them the extra key to my suite.

DESK CLERK
Yes, sir. Right away.

HANK BOSWORTH
I’d like to pay you for this.

PALADIN
No, thanks.
I’ll tell you what:
You can have breakfast ready for me in the morning.
I’ll see you then.

HANK BOSWORTH
Nine o’clock

PALADIN
Fine.

DESK CLERK
Right up the stairs to your right.
We’ll send your luggage up.

PALADIN
Good morning.

HANK BOSWORTH
Good morning.

PALADIN
This came in the mail for Bosworth.
I suspect it’s a wedding present.

JANIE BOSWORTH
Oh, Thank you.

HANK BOSWORTH
The clerk said your name is Paladin.
I’m Henry Bosworth and this is Janie Martin.
I mean, Janie Bosworth.

PALADIN
You’ll get used to that new name.

JANIE BOSWORTH
Your breakfast is ready.

PALADIN
Thank you.

JANIE BOSWORTH
My kitten.
My poor kitten.

HANK BOSWORTH
Don’t cry, honey.

PALADIN
“don’t come back or this might happen to you.”
Who would do this?

HANK BOSWORTH
My brothers. Half-brothers. They’re vicious.

PALADIN
Why would they do a thing like this?

HANK BOSWORTH
About a month ago, I helped dad throw them off the ranch.
They said they’d get even with both of us.

PALADIN
Would they harm your father?

HANK BOSWORTH
I never thought so.
This makes me think differently.
I’m starting back now.

PALADIN
Wait a minute…
This gift has upset your wife.
I’ll go to your father.
You stay here and follow when Janie feels better.

HANK BOSWORTH
Why do you want to get mixed up in this?

PALADIN
It’s my profession.

PALADIN
Anybody here?

RUPE BOSWORTH
Got it.
Would you mind tossing that thing up here, stranger?
A little off-center.
Set another one up on the railing over there, will you?
They’re in that gunnysack.
You want something?

PALADIN
Just to meet you.
Social call, eh?
There’s a jug in back of the chair here.
Help yourself.
Dud. That’s the trouble with homemade shells.
You gonna hold that jug or make use of it?
Whoooo-wee.
It’s nice of you to drop in. Who are you?

PALADIN
My name is Paladin.
Your son suggested I come and see you.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Which son?

PALADIN
Hank.
I met him in San Francisco.
He seemed to think you might
Be having trouble with the older boys.
Yeah, that’s possible.
They ain’t much good.
Their mother was a violent woman.
She liked to wring chicken’s necks.

PALADIN
Do you think there’s any possibility
Those boys might try to harm you?

RUPE BOSWORTH
They said they would.
Blow my rotten carcass full of holes.

PALADIN
Or perhaps I should go and see them.
Have a talk with them and convince them they shouldn’t try.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Yes, I’d be obliged.
I don’t believe I could shoot one of ’em
Even if they did come around here.
Sentimental, I guess.

PALADIN
Where can I find them?

RUPE BOSWORTH
They’re holed up in a cabin up on the North Fork Road.
Hey, before you go… You any good with that gun you carry?
Yeah. You go have a talk with him.
You might go out by way of the West Quarter.
Take a look at the crop.

PALADIN
And see if it’s ready for harvest?

RUPE BOSWORTH
Ain’t gonna be no harvest.
You ever see 200 acres of sweet peas in bloom?

PALADIN
No.

RUPE BOSWORTH
They’re worth looking at.
Smell good, too.

JOHN BOSWORTH
There, that’s your share. This is mine.

ED BOSWORTH
How come you get twice as many as me?

JOHN BOSWORTH
That’s because I’m generous. If I was selfish,
I’d take the whole bunch.

ED BOSWORTH
I’m the one did the stealin’.
All you did was sit around and keep the old fool busy.

JOHN BOSWORTH
But it was my plan.

ED BOSWORTH
Seems like every time you divvy something up,
I always get the short end.

JOHN BOSWORTH
That’s the way the brains is divided up.

ED BOSWORTH
You stop that kinda talk! I ain’t gonna listen.

JOHN BOSWORTH
Come in. Slow.

PALADIN
Is your name Bosworth?

JOHN BOSWORTH
Maybe. What do you want?

PALADIN
I just want to see what kind of scum would send
A mutilated cat to a young girl as a wedding present.

ED BOSWORTH
Who you callin’ names?

JOHN BOSWORTH
Shut up, Ed.
It ain’t easy sending a gift to a girl who’s got everything.
What business is it of yours?

PALADIN
I hear that you had trouble with your father.
You threatened to harm him.

JOHN BOSWORTH
You heard that, did you?
Just how well do you know my old man?

PALADIN
Well enough to like him.

JOHN BOSWORTH
We know him a little better than that, don’t we?
We know him well enough to know he’s crazy.

PALADIN
That’s beside the point.
My question to you was,
Did you threaten to harm him?

JOHN BOSWORTH
Ain’t it just like that wild old coot to say something like that?
As a matter of fact, we don’t mean no harm to him at all.
We want him to be in the best kind of place,
With the best kind of people
So everybody’s gonna understand him.

PALADIN
You’re trying to have him committed?
That’s what you’re trying to do?

JOHN BOSWORTH
We already saw the sheriff and we got the papers swore out.
I’d appreciate it if you told the old fool
That’s just what we gonna do.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Crazy, huh? They say I’m crazy.

PALADIN
That’s what yourolder two boys say,
And they’re gonna try and prove it.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Do you think they can do it?

PALADIN
I don’t know. What do the other people in this community think about you?

RUPE BOSWORTH
They might say I’m a bit off.
Take the little matter of Jasper here.
Most people think an owl is a funny pet.
But I like him. He’s my friend.
He teaches me a lot of things.

PALADIN
Such as?

RUPE BOSWORTH
He knows enough to keep his mouth shut.
Not chattering all the time like a parrot.
He sleeps when he wants, wakes up when he wants,
Makes his own schedule.
So do I.

PALADIN
Have you ever caged him?

RUPE BOSWORTH
I let him out at night to hunt.
He comes back every morning.
He’s better than a watchdog, too.
If I was to yell, he’d be on you in a minute.
You see them talons?

PALADIN
I see.
Will anyone else?
Why do you keep the rest
of this house locked up?

RUPE BOSWORTH
Why should I open it up?
There’s nothing but dust and sadness in them rooms.
I’m an old man, Paladin.
I’ve outlived two wives. A bad one and a good one.
And I’ve raised three boys.
Two of them want to kill me for what I own.

PALADIN
At least you have a fine son in hank.
I hope he gets here soon, we’re going to need his testimony.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Testimony? Is this business going to court?

PALADIN
I’ll ride into town today and see what kind of a hearing you can expect.
I’ll try to stop it, but you’d better be prepared.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Prepared for what?

PALADIN
If the sheriff comes out here to serve you with a paper
To appear, don’t cause any trouble.
You’re gonna need all the friends you can get.

RUPE BOSWORTH
All right. I’ll be tame as a housecat.

PALADIN
Do you always do that?

RUPE BOSWORTH
Sure. I hate to do dishes,
So I buy a new set in town every week for a dollar.
I throw them away when they’re dirty.
Anything wrong with that?

PALADIN
No. Nothing at all, no!

RUPE BOSWORTH
He’s nice fella, jasper.

PALADIN
My name is paladin. Are you mr. Daggett?

ROY DAGGETT

Yes.

PALADIN
I understand you’re
the only lawyer in town.

ROY DAGGETT
I am the only person
who’s duly authorized
And licensed to
interpret the law.
Did you wish an appointment?

PALADIN
It’s about Rupe Bosworth’s
Saturday hearing.
I believe you know
about it.

ROY DAGGETT
I’ve been engaged
to see whether mr. Bosworth
Is confined to an institution
which can give him proper care.

PALADIN
What kind of a hearing
will there be?

ROY DAGGETT
There’ll be a three man commission composed of
A circuit judge, an elected public official
And a doctor specializing in mental defects.
They should arrive by tomorrow.

PALADIN
Mr. Daggett, I’m asking you to drop these charges.

ROY DAGGETT
On what grounds?
What business
is that of yours?

PALADIN
On the grounds that the charges
are false and malicious.
I appeal to your
professional ethics.

JOHN BOSWORTH
What’s he doing here?

ROY DAGGETT
Frankly,
I don’t know.

PALADIN
I was merely trying to find out
If this shyster had been misinformed.

ROY DAGGETT
Get out of this
office right now.
Right now!
Do you hear?

JOHN BOSWELL
Seems to be a little
“deef”, daggett.

ROY DAGGETT
Throw him out of here!

JOHN BOSWELL
That’s a pleasure.

ROY DAGGETT
Don’t you dare hit me!

PALADIN
Rupe!
Oh, rupe!
Hank, when did you
get back?

HANK BOSWELL
About noon today.

PALADIN
Where’s your dad?

HANK BOSWELL
The sheriff took him
to jail, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
For what?

HANK BOSWELL
He came to serve papers on dad
to appear at a Saturday hearing.

PALADIN
I warned your dad
not to cause any trouble.

HANK BOSWELL
He didn’t mean to.
He was being polite as pie. Without
thinking, he started to reach for his rifle.
The sheriff got scared and
started yellin’ all kinds of orders
And that woke up Jasper.

PALADIN
The owl?

HANK BOSWELL
Jasper swooped down and put
those talons into the sheriff
And the sheriff shot him.
Feathers all over the kitchen.

PALADIN
And your dad
went for the sheriff.

HANK BOSWELL
We’re gonna have quite
a time proving he’s sane now.

PALADIN
Yeah.

PALADIN
How do you feel?

RUPE BOSWORTH
As well as I can since
I messed everything up.

PALADIN
Don’t worry about it.
The judge and commissioners arrive today,
Your hearing will be this afternoon.

RUPE BOSWORTH
What are my chances?

PALADIN
It’s hard to say.
Everything depends on whether or not we can prove
That the boys are trying to put you away so they can seize your property.

RUPE BOSWORTH
It’s gonna be hard to prove anything on them.
John, he’s awful sly.

PALADIN
Why did you put them off the place?

RUPE BOSWORTH
’cause of another smart idea of john’s.
He took out fire insurance on the house…
Let hank tell you. He knows.

PALADIN
Hank and I will do the best we can for you.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Gonna be any outsiders at this business?

PALADIN
It’s a public hearing. Anyone who’s interested can attend.
I imagine some of your neighbors will.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Then I best keep still.
I ain’t so good at talking in front of people.
Especially when they already think I ain’t… Quite right.

PALADIN
I’ll say whatever has to be said.

RUPE BOSWORTH
Thanks.
I hate to ask you, but could you do me one more favor?

PALADIN

Name it.

RUPE BOSWORTH
See that jasper has a decent burial.
They took me away before I could do it.

PALADIN
Deputy.

ROY DAGGETT
We have here before you a man
Who is a danger to the entire community.
He lives like a savage in a single room
While his large, comfortable house remains locked and barred.
He has rich farmlands which he lays waste by planting worthless crops.
This is a man whose mind is dangerously unbalanced.
He must be committed to an institution For his own welfare.
And for the safety of those around him.

JUDGE CATES
Does the defendant have anything to say in answer to these charges?
If the defendant has no explanation to offer, then this commission has no choice in its verdict.

PALADIN
Your honor, my name is paladin.
And we have an explanation.

JUDGE CATES
Are you the defendant’s legal counsel?

PALADIN
I’m his friend.
He has no counsel.

JUDGE CATES
Very well. Proceed.

PALADIN
Your honor, rupe bosworth is as sane as any man in this room.
His two sons are trying to have him committed
Solely to gain possession of his property.

ROY DAGGETT
Objection!

JUDGE CATES
This is an open hearing, not a criminal court Mr. Daggett.

Proceed, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
The final argument between the father and the two sons
Occurred when they tried to burn down the house
In order to collect on a fire insurance policy
They’d taken on the place.

JUDGE CATES
Can you prove
this assertion?

PALADIN
I’d like you to hear Henry Bosworth.

JUDGE CATES
Very well.
Step over here, young man.

HENRY BOSWELL
I was mending harnesses in the barn
When I saw Ed pour kerosene on the back porch.
I yelled but he kept right at it.
I had to do something, so I fired a shot
To the back of the house where Dad was sleeping.
He came out in time to catch John with a torch ready to fire the place.
Dad and I threw him off.
I guess they meant to burn Dad up with the house.

PALADIN
Had there ever been trouble before?

HENRY BOSWELL
Sure, there was the blowing up of Cy henson’s place.
The time they stole Whit Grantley’s cattle.

PALADIN
Did these matters ever come
to the attention of the sheriff?

HENRY BOSWELL
No, ’cause Dad always found out first
And settled it up in cash
so nobody complained.

PALADIN
Thank you, henry.
That’s all for now.
Now, your honor,
There is the matter of
bosworth’s eccentric behavior.
Let’s take these things in order.
First the “predatory animal.”
Rupe kept an owl because
it was a clean, quiet pet.
Destroyed rodents and ranch pests.
The owl attacked the sheriff
only when he threatened rupe.
Any watchdog would have done the same.
It’s been alleged that rupe lived
like a savage in a single room.
That is a lie.
His kitchen was neat,
clean…
A good deal more so than
Daggett’s office.

ROY DAGGETT
I object!

PALADIN
If there’s any question
in the commission’s mind,
I’d suggest you gentlemen
examine both rooms
And make your own decision.
The rest of the house
is kept locked because
It would only be of nuisance
to clean and maintain.
And as for the rest,
Which of you gentlemen likes to do dishes?
And which one of you has ever lived in a house
With a cuckoo clock without ever at some time feeling an impulse to smash it?
So that we have finally 200 acres of sweet peas
To prove or disprove mr. Bosworth’s sanity.
Thirty years of hard work have made rupe financially independent.
He doesn’t need a money crop on that land.
And I don’t know how anyone could look at that 200 acres of color and beauty
And say it was a foolish thing to do.

JUDGE CATES
I believe this commission has enough
facts at its disposal to reach a decision.

ROY DAGGETT
This is outrageous!
Henry bosworth
would say anything
To do john and edward out
of their rightful inheritance.

PALADIN
your honor…
I have a document here
I’d like to read.
I’ll be reading it without mr.
Bosworth’s knowledge or consent,
But I believe
it’s pertinent evidence.

JUDGE CATES
Very well. Proceed.

PALADIN
“I, rupe bosworth, being of
sound mind and aging body
“do hereby make this
last will and testament.
“to my son, henry,
I leave the 500 acres
“adjoining the thousand
he received as a wedding gift.
“the remaining 3,000 acres I
leave to my sons, john and edward,
“to share as they see fit.
“I sincerely hope that hard
work and responsibility
“of ownership will teach them
what I have not been able to.
“that honesty and self-discipline
are a man’s best assets.
“signed, rupe bosworth.”
This will was made right after
henry’s wedding a week ago.
It leaves equal shares to all three brothers.
Henry knew the contents. He had no reason to lie.

JUDGE CATES
It is the verdict
of this commission
That rupert bosworth
is sane.

HENRY BOSWORTH
We can’t begin to pay you
for what you did.

PALADIN
We’ll talk about
that later.

JOHN BOSWORTH
Paladin!
You did a real fine
job in there, paladin.
I just wanna see you
get paid off.

PALADIN
You can’t commit
a murder here.
Fire a shot in this alley, there’ll be
dozens of people out here in seconds.

JOHN BOSWORTH
This ain’t gonna
be no murder.
This gonna be real legal.
You gonna draw on ol’ ed!
And I’m gonna shoot you
to save old ed’s life.
You gonna have
that gun in your hand,
And dagget there’s
gonna be my witness!
You turn around there
and face ed.
Move!
Real slow.

PALADIN
You gonna let him
do this to you, ed?

JOHN BOSWORTH
Do what to me?

PALADIN
He’s gonna let me draw and
kill you before he shoots me,
And I can do it, you know.

JOHN BOSWELL
Get on with it!

ED BOSWELL
Wait a minute!
Why would he do that?

PALADIN
You heard the will.
With you dead, he gets three
thousand acres of prime land.

ED BOSWELL
Maybe I ought to hold the gun
and let you draw on him.

JOHN BOSWELL
You do like you’re told.

ED BOSWELL
He’s right.
That’s what you were
gonna do, wasn’t it?
Isn’t it?!

PALADIN
Sheriff, you’d better get
this one to a doctor’s office.
His lawyer will
tell you what happened.
I’ll come around later
and tell you the truth.
Daggett, you’re gonna lose
another case when you try
And defend this one
on a murder charge.

RUPE BOSWELL
Why did it have
to turn out this way?
What did I do wrong?

HANK BOSWELL
Wasn’t your fault,
dad.
You did all
you could for him.

RUPE BOSWELL
I tried.
I remember them as kids.
Playing marbles in the dirt.

PALADIN
They can’t do anything
to efface that memory now.
Think about the fine
son you have in hank.
The fine grandchildren you’ll
have in the future.
Let’s ride on out
past those flowers.
We’ll think about
what’s good in the world
What’s clean.

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