(38) “Deliver the Body”

Season 1, Episode 38 – Original Airdate:  (June 7, 1958)

Directed by Lamont Johnson, Written by Buckley Angell.

R.C. ARMSTRONG as Mayor S. J. Lovett
(Killer’s Widow, 1958) as Marshall Tom Jaffey
JAMES FRANCISCUS as Tom Nelson -Attorney at Law
ROBERT GIST as Ben Tyler
(Invasion, 1962) as Gavin O’Shea
(Fandango, 1961) as Sheriff Ernie Backwater
(The Pledge, 1960) as Ike Brennan
(Shot by Request, 1959) as Matt Baker
LEN LESSER as Boldt – Deputy
MADLYN RHUE as Jean Nelson
(Hunt the Man Down, 1959) as Elizabeth DeVries
STAR TREK: TOS (Space Seed, 1967) as Marla
JAMES MURDOCK as Henchman

You’re a puzzle, Tyler. You wouldn’t be the first killer I met that worries about elderly ladies and helpless animals. Still, it puzzles me.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – EVENING

PALADIN
Good evening, Hey Boy.

HEY BOY
Please, not lobby.

PALADIN
Why not go in the lobby?

HEY BOY
Look cautiously over my right shoulder.

PALADIN
So early in the evening?

HEY BOY
I look for you all over.

PALADIN
I took the brunette out two nights ago, And the blonde the night before that. But I made no other engagements with either of them. There are other things in life. Poker, for instance.

HEY BOY
Maybe ladies don’t like play poker.

PALADIN
Have they talked to each other?

HEY BOY
I’m afraid so, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Well, then I’m afraid The time is right for me to disappear.

HEY BOY
This telegram might give reason.

PALADIN
Oh? Excuse me. “Paladin, San Francisco. Regarding offer to find killer of local sheriff. you’re welcome to try at your own risk. S.J. Lovitt, Mayor of Silver Flat, Nevada.”
Hey Boy, I leave the lobby in your capable hands. Good night.

EXT. SILVER FLAT GENERAL STORE – DAY
EXT. SILVER FLAT NEWS OFFICE – DAY

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
You satisfied now, Nelson?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
What do you mean by that?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
The sheriff’s dead, isn’t he?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
And you’re trying to blame me?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
In a way. You got Burt Tyler acquitted. Who went right out and killed the sheriff?
Tyler!

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
You don’t know that Tyler did the killing.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
I know it, you know it. Everybody knows it.

JEAN NELSON
And you know my husband had a job to do.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Just a minute, Jean. What proof do you have?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Tyler said he’d get even for being arrested, didn’t he?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Yes, someone started a lot of talk about that. I don’t know of anyone who actually heard him threaten Sheriff Daly. I thought they were friends.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
So they were friends, were they? Maybe you can tell me why the bullet we took out of Daly’s back was.36 caliber. You know anyone else around here besides Tyler using a gun that size?

JEAN NELSON
Don’t let him bully you, Tom.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
I’m not trying to bully anyone. We had Tyler cold for killing Charlie Bristol. You got him off, and look what happened.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
The jury decided it was self-defense.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Sure they did, ’cause you fancy talked them into it. You haven’t been around this town long. Just long enough to turn a killer loose. You and your courtroom tricks.
We’re trying to make something decent of this country. Lawyers like you come in and get in the way.

JEAN NELSON
In whose way? Yours?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Never mind, Jean. Come on.

INT. SHERIFF’S OFFICE – DAY

M1
What do you want here?

PALADIN
I’m sure I don’t want to talk to you. I may have business with the man who tells you what to fetch and when to carry.

M1
You got a roundabout way of asking for trouble.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Don’t start anything in this office, Beau. Well now…Who are you, Sir?

PALADIN
My card’s on your desk.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
You got here fast.

PALADIN
It’s part of the service, Mr. Lovitt.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
I’m Mayor Lovitt.

PALADIN
I must remember that.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. You’ve offered to bring Tyler back. I’ve got men who can do that, if they could find him. I won’t pay ya, unless you can find him.

PALADIN
That’s the way I work.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Killing him won’t be enough, I’ll have to see the body for proof.

PALADIN
“dead or alive” is the usual procedure.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
You’re welcome to those alternatives, But you’ll never bring Tyler back alive.

PALADIN
Do I get the impression you’d regret it if I did?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
You’ll either kill Tyler, or he’ll kill you. You’ll see if you find him. How much do you expect?

PALADIN
$2,000.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
That’s a lot of money for a bounty hunter.

PALADIN
I don’t sell men. I sell a job of work, And that’s all you pay for.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
All right, you’ve got a deal. I’ll pay you when you deliver. From here on, you’re a deputy sheriff.

PALADIN
Just like that?Shouldn’t I be sworn in by the proper authorities?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Consider yourself sworn in by a proper authority. Here’s a badge, in case you need it.

PALADIN
Well now, anything I acquire that easily…can’t have much value. How will I know this Tyler?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
He’s a fair sized man with red hair. Carries a small gun, a.36 caliber star.
Logger Nelson might know where he is.

PALADIN
I’ll talk to his lawyer.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
There’s something else. Whenever you run into him, he’ll be gambling. Tyler likes to play cards. He’s not good, but he’s lucky.

PALADIN
I guess a man has to be lucky at something.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Oh, Paladin…If you find out anything, let me know. I’ll send the boys out to help.

PALADIN
No, why don’t you keep them here In case anything fierce happens…Like a dogfight.

INT. ATTORNEY’S OFFICE

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Yes, sir?

PALADIN
My name is Paladin. I’ve just come from Mayor Lovitt’s office.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Oh… What do you want here?

PALADIN
I was hoping you could help me find burt tyler.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Lovitt’s already asked me to do that. I won’t help anyone take that man’s life.

PALADIN
I just want to find him, not kill him.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I have nothing to say to you.

PALADIN
I think you do. You defended Tyler On a charge of killing a man named Bristol.
You got Tyler off and apparently, he went right out and killed the sheriff.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Well, the last part of that is hearsay.

PALADIN
Then, let’s straighten it out. I’ll bring him back for trial.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Look, Mr. Paladin. Tyler is my client. I can’t do anything for you.

PALADIN
Was your client. You don’t owe him anything now. You have a sign outside that says ‘attorney at law’. Yet right now, you’re obstructing justice.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Justice? Around here ‘justice’, Mr. Paladin, is what any man with a gun can make stick. Now, I want you and Lovitt And everyone else around here to leave me alone. Good day to you, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Nelson, you don’t live in this world alone, none of us do. We’re all dependent on one another. Tyler’s got to be brought back. If he’s innocent, he should be cleared. If he’s a murderer, he’s got to be stopped. You know where he is. If you shield him now, And he is a murderer…Then every man he kills from here on in Will sit on your shoulders and scream in your ears. Now where is he?
His only chance is in court. If he keeps running, sooner or later, someone will kill him.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Will you give me your word you’ll try and take him alive?

PALADIN
I can only promise to try.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Well, if you were going to lie to me, I suppose you’d lie all the way and guarantee it.

PALADIN
Where is he?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
He’s in Prado.
Across the line in Utah territory.

PALADIN
Thank you. Nelson…Don’t let your conscience keep you from sleeping. I’ll bring him back in one piece, if I can. If he lets me.

INT. PRADO SALOON – PRADO, NEVADA – NIGHT

BEN TYLER
Annie! You’re stayin’ up too late. You’re sold out. Go on home and get some sleep. No use, boys. Nothing can stop me tonight.

PALADIN
You’re very badly mistaken there, Tyler. You left something unfinished in Silver Flats.

BEN TYLER
I’m gettin’ no place this way, Mister uh…

PALADIN
Paladin. You can try that gun, if you insist. I advise against it.

BEN TYLER
Lovitt must want me real bad to pay your price. Make any difference if I told you I didn’t kill Daly? He was shot at Clifton Wells, And I wasn’t within 50 miles of the place. I can prove it.

PALADIN
You’ll have your chance.

BEN TYLER
Now wait…Wait, now. Just hear me out. I was with a girl. She’s gone to Carson City but I can get her down here again. Why do I have to go back? Why can’t I square things with you?

PALADIN
You don’t have to prove anything to me. There’ll be a judge and 12 men, Eager to hear your story.

BEN TYLER
Well, I might go with you if I can have the same lawyer again.

PALADIN
You are going back with me. Either sitting in a saddle or lying across it.

BEN TYLER
All right. I’ll go.

BACK IN TOWN

BEN TYLER
I’d like to be sure my horse is cared for While I’m in there.

PALADIN
I’ll put him in the livery, if you like.

BEN TYLER
I’d be obliged.

INT. JAILHOUSE

BEN TYLER
Just like comin’ home. No lawman been appointed yet?

PALADIN
Not legally.

BEN TYLER
You got any idea why Lovitt wants me back here?

PALADIN
There’s evidence to indicate you murdered a sheriff.

BEN TYLER
It’s not that. I got squeezed in a feud between Lovitt and the sheriff. They hated each other. Politically and every other way. Lovitt wants to move on up. Wants to run this state. Daly had something on him. Something to do with fraud in his election. You don’t care. Do you, Paladin? To you, I’m just a card playin’ saddle tramp.

PALADIN
Doesn’t make any difference to me what you are. I’d just as soon believe you as anyone else.

BEN TYLER
Look, Paladin…I was lyin’ in this jail The night after I shot it out with charlie bristol. Lovitt come in here and braced the sheriff about this thing. Told him he’d never get a chance to do anything about it.

PALADIN
He said that in front of you?

BEN TYLER
I was lyin’ underneath the blanket. He didn’t even notice me. Least not till he finished. Listen, paladin. You gotta believe me. At least give me a chance to prove it.

PALADIN
You’re a puzzle. You wouldn’t be the first killer I met who worried about elderly ladies
and helpless animals. But still you’re a puzzle.

BEN TYLER
I ain’t no killer.

PALADIN
I’ll see that Nelson defends you.

M1
So you did get him. What are you doing that for? He’s locked in a cell, isn’t he?

PALADIN
I decided he’d be better off without any visitors.

M1
Lovitt has plenty of keys.

PALADIN
Don’t use ’em.

M1
I don’t take anything from you, Mister.

PALADIN
The way to prove that is by going into this jail.

M1
I’ll prove it, when Lovitt tells me to.

INT. NELSON’S OFFICE

PALADIN
Tyler came back with me. Here’s his gun. He wants you to defend him again.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
You tell him to find someone else. I’m not getting involved in a criminal case again.

PALADIN
I told him you’d take the case.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I want no part of it! I got him free once, now he’s involved in another killing.

PALADIN
Why should that concern you? The law guarantees every man, innocent or guilty, The right to counsel. You’re an attorney at law. Just do your job.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I don’t like that kind of work. From now on, I’m handling nothing but civil law.

PALADIN
Tyler says he didn’t kill the sheriff.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I’m not interested.

PALADIN
Will you take the case for $500?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Certainly not. This has nothing do with money. It’s a matter of principle.

PALADIN
Oh. Well nelson, why did you study law at all, If you don’t have he stomach for it? You’d like it if only nice people were arrested. If trials were dainty, sweet-smelling and polite. But you’re asked to defend thieves and cutthroats. Find yourself in court in the middle of a war, No holds barred. At stake a man’s freedom or his life. It’s too bad it’s so dirty. You really should give up the profession entirely. As a matter of principle. But not until after this trial.

INT. MAYOR’S OFFICE

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
This’ll be cash. It’s the way I do business.

PALADIN
You sell land all over this state?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Why?

PALADIN
This map.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
I use that map for other things.

PALADIN
Politics, for instance?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Here’s your money. Count it if you want to.

PALADIN
I’ll be back if it isn’t right. Tyler will get a trial, won’t he?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Of course. First thing tomorrow morning.

PALADIN
Circuit judge’ll be there?

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
I’m empowered to sit on the bench in an emergency. In the absence of a sheriff, and with the temper of this town, this is an emergency.

PALADIN
Tyler says he was with a girl when the Sheriff was killed. That girl’s in Carson City, And Tyler will need time to get her down here.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
He’ll say anything to delay a hanging. Anyway, what do you care? You’re working for me, not Tyler.

PALADIN
We just concluded our agreement.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
All right. Then, forget it.

PALADIN
No, I think I’ll take a room in the hotel, And wait until the trial. Gentlemen.

EXT. STREET

PALADIN
Trial tomorrow. Lovitt will sit as judge.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Tomorrow?

PALADIN
That’s a little soon, isn’t it? Tyler says there’s a girl in Carson City that can clear him. But Lovitt’ll never give him time to get her down here.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Lovitt’s a fair man. He’ll change his…

PALADIN
Suppose he doesn’t?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Well, then…That’s still not my concern.

PALADIN
Lovitt and the Sheriff were enemies, weren’t they?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Are you suggesting that…that he had Daly murdered?

PALADIN
Did you ever take a good look at that map in his office? It shows every town in this state, and the number of registered voters in each one. He wants it all, you know.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
This is ridiculous!

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Paladin’s stirring up trouble. Sometime tonight stop it.

INT.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I don’t know how you got in here…

PALADIN
Nelson, you’ve got to do something. I will buy you or beat you or torment you, But you will act!

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Well, I can’t! Because I don’t know what’s right anymore.

PALADIN
The only consideration you can have, Is to see that tyler gets a fair trial. How would you do that if you were his lawyer?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Well, I’d get a change of venue. He ought to be tried in another court. You’d have to get a writ to get him out of Lovitt’s hands. Habeus Corpus. In English that’s…

PALADIN
“Deliver the Body.” Where would you get the writ?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Well, Judge Lehman is riding circuit. I’d have to find out where he is just now…Look, Paladin… The bullet they took out of Daly’s back. It came from Tyler’s gun.

PALADIN
You’d convict him on that? How difficult would it have been for anyone else To get hold of a .36 caliber star?

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I’ve gotta think about it.

PALADIN
Don’t think too long. Lovitt’s rid of the Sheriff. He’d like to make people forget it With a fast conviction of Tyler. Give him that and he’ll hang Tyler so fast, all you’ll be able to do is cut him down.

PALADIN
Hold it! Get up. I wouldn’t tell Lovitt about the cigar. Only a fool smokes a cigar when he’s going to jump someone. Now get out of here.

ext.

d
Hold it.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
What’s this?

d
Nobody allowed inside. Mayor’s orders.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I have a writ here for tyler’s release.

d
I don’t know nothing about that.

PALADIN
Can I? Get out of the way.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
You’re no lawman.

PALADIN
Neither are you.

BEN TYLER
I was beginning to give up on you, paladin.

PALADIN
Had my hands full securing a lawyer for you.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
Burt, I was wrong. I was trying to judge a man myself.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
You’re helping a man break jail, Paladin.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
I brought an order for his release. There’s to be a change of venue in this case.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
I haven’t seen any release order. Neither have my men.

PALADIN
We’ve got it. Since there’s no legally elected lawman in this town, I’ll take responsibility for releasing the prisoner.

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Where’s that order? Burn it.

TOM NELSON – ATTORNEY AT LAW
That’s not gonna do you any good. Paladin and I are gonna tell Judge Lehman we delivered it.

PALADIN
The mayor doesn’t intend for us to tell anybody anything. That’s the way it’ll be, won’t it? You’ll destroy the writ of habeus corpus, And nelson and I…

MAYOR S.J. LOVITT
Will be shot. Helping a prisoner to escape. So will the prisoner.

PALADIN
Well…In that case…You destroy the writ. Yourself.

PALADIN
Counselor…It’s all yours. Tyler…Goodbye.

BEN TYLER
Thanks.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Ben is shown in credits as “Ben Tyler”, but called Bert twice. That name appears in newspaper article as well.

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