(6) “The Bride”

Original Airdate: (October 19, 1957)

When a pen-pal bride from Philadelphia gets off the stagecoach in the middle of nowhere, Paladin decides to stay with her to make sure that she is safe.

Guest Starring:

Christie Smith (Marian Seldes), Johnny Dart (Michael Connors), Louis Drydan (Bruce Gordon), Guard (Barry Cahill).

Filming Locations: Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA

I read your name on a wall somewhere…
along with a lot of other names of dirty little men.
And wherever you are, I’ll dig you out.

PALADIN
You all right, ma’am?

CHRISTIE SMITH
Oh.
(caught off guard)
Yes, I’m quite all right,
thank you.

PALADIN
It’s hot, isn’t it?

CHRISTIE

(with a light-headed air)
I don’t think
I’ve ever been
so uncomfortable in my life.
It must be nearly 100
degrees of heat.

PALADIN
Oh, it’s at least 120
out there.

CHRISTIE
Oh, my.
(realizing it even more now)
Oh, my.
(surprised)
I can see it just shimmering
off the ground.

PALADIN
Well, I guess we’ve got
the weather all talked about.

STAGE DRIVER
Just about there, Miss.

PALADIN
Just about where?

CHRISTIE
Three Rocks.

PALADIN
Three…?

CHRISTIE
Rocks.

I’m getting off there.

DRIVER
Whoa.
This is it- Three Rocks.

CHRISTIE
I wonder if there’s anyplace
where I could wash my face
and tidy up.
I probably don’t look very neat.

PALADIN
Wait a minute.
Oh, you’re not really
getting out here?
CHRISTIE
Well, why not?

PALADIN
Well, ma’am,
there’s nothing out there
but sand, cactus, lizards,
snakes and three very hot rocks.
You better take
another look.

CHRISTIE
It looks fine to me.

PALADIN
Oh?
Well, I’ll help you down.

CHRISTIE
Oh.
Oh.

PALADIN
You thought there was a depot
of some kind, didn’t you?
A shelter?
And some one person
here to meet you?
And you’re obviously trying
to conceal the fact
that you’re shortsighted.

CHRISTIE
I’m not shortsighted.

PALADIN
No?

CHRISTIE
The person who was to meet me
will be here directly.
Everything is perfectly
as it should be.
Thank you
for your kindness.
Good-bye.

PALADIN
Well, what if he doesn’t come?

CHRISTIE
My brother?

PALADIN
Mm.

CHRISTIE
He will.
I know he will.

PALADIN
Now, wait a minute.
You just can’t leave her here.

The ticket said
Three Rocks.

CHRISTIE
Oh, there are ranches nearby.

<i>Not too
nearby, Miss.</i>

The closest one is
about 15 to 20 miles.

PALADIN
Well, now,
how long do you think
she’d last out here
in this sun?

About an
hour, maybe.

PALADIN
If she’s lucky.

PALADIN
He’s right, Miss.
If your party
is slow
in getting
here, or…

CHRISTIE
That’s my concern,
if you please.

PALADIN
Now, you’d better get back
to the stagecoach.

PALADIN
Your brother can meet you
in the next town.

CHRISTIE
I’m staying here.

DRIVER
One way or
the other,
we got to
get rolling.

PALADIN
Throw my saddle down.

CHRISTIE
No!

No, I won’t permit it.

If you’re here when he comes
for me, it will embarrass me.
How will I explain you?

PALADIN
<i>I’ll explain me.</i>

DRIVER
You sure you
want to do this?

PALADIN
<i>No, I don’t want
to do this, friend.</i>
I’ve got business
in Dallas that has to be settled
by tomorrow night,
and I’d hoped
I wouldn’t have to bed down
on the trail.

DRIVER
Why bother?

PALADIN
Somebody has to take care
of small children
and stubborn women.

CHRISTIE
Please don’t bother.
I don’t want you
to stay here.

PALADIN
You better go ahead.
You’ll get behind schedule.

DRIVER
Good luck.
Thanks.

PALADIN
Thirsty?
I’m sorry,
I don’t have a cup.

CHRISTIE
Oh.
I hate you
for doing this.

PALADIN
Well, you won’t
in about an hour, Miss…

CHRISTIE
Smith.

PALADIN
Well, that’s not
very imaginative.
My name’s Paladin.
Here.
Here, take the horse.

CHRISTIE
I wasn’t being
imaginative.
That’s my name.
What are you doing?

PALADIN
Making us some shade,
’cause we’re going to need it.

Come on!

PALADIN
Once on an island
in the South Pacific,
where the natives
bury their pig
and poured hot
coals on it.
Four days later, they
dug it up and had a feast.
And that’s a delicacy
I’ll never enjoy
completely again.

CHRISTIE
Well, I think
you exaggerate a little.
But it certainly is hot.
But I think I would have
survived without you.

PALADIN
We’ve been here almost an hour
and a half.
Have you seen one single lizard
anywhere out there?

CHRISTIE
No. Not one single lizard.

PALADIN
Well, they stay under the rocks
when it’s this hot.
They won’t come out
till evening.
They’d die if they did.

CHRISTIE
You’re saying
that I don’t have the sense
of a lizard.

PALADIN
Nor the skin of one.
They can stand the heat
better than you can.

CHRISTIE
All right.
I would have been dead by now.
How do I look?

PALADIN
You’re the most beautiful woman
within 100 miles.
And also probably the only one.

CHRISTIE
I want to look nice
when he sees me.

PALADIN
Well, he isn’t here.

135
00:06:15,741 –> 00:06:17,675
<i>He’s not about to see you.</i>

136
00:06:17,710 –> 00:06:19,677
How far is your
brother’s place?

CHRISTIE
It’s 17 miles.

PALADIN
Let’s go.

CHRISTIE
But he said
to wait right here.

PALADIN
I’m going after
your brother.

141
00:06:28,086 –> 00:06:29,554
I can’t afford to
wait any longer.

142
00:06:29,588 –> 00:06:31,155
With this delay
and detour,

143
00:06:31,189 –> 00:06:33,290
I’ve already got to ride
all through the night
and the day.

CHRISTIE
Well, I’ll go with you.
If I may?

PALADIN
Please do.

CHRISTIE
Oh.

My first name is Christie.

PALADIN
Well, that’s the first
sensible thing
you’ve said today.
Come on.

PALADIN
Well, I gather
you haven’t seen your brother
in some time?

CHRISTIE
Oh, no, not
in many years.

PALADIN
Well, I hope
you won’t be disappointed.
Men change in this country.

CHRISTIE
Not Louis.
He wrote me regularly.
He tells me everything.

PALADIN
Oh, everything?

CHRISTIE
Yes, I believe so.
He tells me
that he likes
to take a drink
occasionally,
and he doesn’t
smoke or swear,

166
00:07:20,972 –> 00:07:23,240
or know many women.

GUNSHOTS

Ooh.

Oh.

CHRISTIE
What is it?

PALADIN
It sounds
like a man with a gun.

CHRISTIE
Well, why?
We haven’t
done anything.

PALADIN
No, but we will now.
Stay behind those rocks.

These are shells from a.45.
If he had a rifle,
he couldn’t have missed us.

Christie, what’s the matter?

Can I help you?

CHRISTIE
I’m not strong enough
for this country.

PALADIN
Now, don’t spoil
that pretty face with tears.
Come on.

CHRISTIE
I’m not pretty.
I’m plain.

PALADIN
Come on, Christie.

EXT.

PALADIN
Well, you’ll
feel better
after you’ve had a
rest and some food.
Hope you like
beans and jerky.
Might take this down to
the stream and fill it.

189
00:09:27,599 –> 00:09:29,600
It’s empty.

190
00:09:29,635 –> 00:09:31,736
Christie?

191
00:09:33,471 –> 00:09:35,439
Christie?

192
00:09:35,473 –> 00:09:37,307
Did one of those
bullets hit you?

CHRISTIE
No, of course not.

PALADIN
Well, if you’re
still alive,
will you take this
down to the stream
and fill it, please?

CHRISTIE
Yes, I will.
Forgive me.

PALADIN
I forgive you.

CHRISTIE
Oh!

CHRISTIE
Mr. Paladin!

PALADIN
Christie!
Christie, you are
shortsighted.

CHRISTIE
Shortsighted?

PALADIN
These fell out
of your pocket,
or maybe they belong
to some passing Indian.
Now if you’d
had them on,
you wouldn’t have
missed your footing,
and you’d be dry.

CHRISTIE
All right,
I am shortsighted.
I’m a lot of things
I said I wasn’t.
I wish you’d gone on
in that stagecoach
and left me in the sun
to die like a…

213
00:10:29,227 –> 00:10:30,360
like a lizard.

CHRISTIE
Look at my dress.

PALADIN
Better change into
something else.

216
00:10:35,466 –> 00:10:36,801
Come on.

217
00:10:36,835 –> 00:10:39,070
And my hair is a mess.

Well, it’s nothing
a brother wouldn’t
understand.

CHRISTIE
I don’t have a brother.
I’m a mail-order bride.
There.
I’ve said it.

PALADIN
And that’s the second
sensible thing
you’ve said today, Christie.
And there’s no shame connected
with it.

CHRISTIE
What kind
of a woman does that make me?
Marrying some man
I’ve never even met.

PALADIN
One with trust.
Unquestionably a brave woman.

CHRISTIE
Well, I’m braver
than he is anyway.
He won’t even come and meet me,
and I know why.

PALADIN
Oh?
Why?

CHRISTIE
I sent him my picture
just before I left.
He probably hated the picture
so much
that he tried to shoot me.

PALADIN
Well, I wish I knew
who did that shooting.
And I have an idea
we’re going to find out.
You know something, Christie?
You looked beautiful
when you were all wet.
Like a water nymph.
Now when
did you start corresponding
with Mr… uh…

CHRISTIE
Drydan.
Louis Drydan.
About two years ago,
and then when my mother died,
he sent me all the money
to pay the debts.
Then he wrote and asked me
to come out and marry him.

PALADIN
Now that’s better.

Your hair is, too.

Mr. Drydan will
like that.

CHRISTIE
I just finished telling you
that I was sure
he didn’t want me.

PALADIN
Christie, you
owe him a chance
to decide
for himself.
A man can’t tell anything about a woman
from a photograph.
He has to see her
the way she is.
Warm, alive, vibrant,
full of hope.

CHRISTIE
His letter said
we just follow the
creek from here.
Let’s get
something to eat.
We’ll go on
to the ranch.

CHRISTIE
<i>I guess there isn’t
any other place I can go.</i>

PALADIN
Well, there it is.
Just like he said.
There’s the corral
between the unpainted barn
and the painted one.

CHRISTIE
Well, where’s the house?

PALADIN
Well, it must be
through those trees.

CHRISTIE
I’m very grateful
to you.
I know you’re
in a hurry to go.

PALADIN
It doesn’t look
like anybody’s home.

CHRISTIE
Maybe he’s in bed, asleep.

PALADIN
I smell fresh paint.
I guess he’s been polishing
up the place for you.

CHRISTIE
You think so?

PALADIN
There’s a broom
and a mop.
He’s probably been tidying up
the inside, too.

CHRISTIE
I would’ve done that.
He didn’t have to.
He wrote
such beautiful letters.
Beautiful letters.

PALADIN
Come on.

CHRISTIE
Now I’m scared.

PALADIN
Christie,
don’t be scared.
He’ll be very
pleased with you.
Come on.
Anybody home?
Mr. Drydan?
Anybody home?
Well, look at this.
It’s a bridal bed.
Drydan was readying this place
for a bride.

CHRISTIE
Well, then where is he?
SCREAMS
That was awful.
Well…
I guess I shouldn’t
keep you any longer.

PALADIN
Christie, you sleep
in that bridal bed- it’s yours.
I’ll find someplace outside.

CHRISTIE
What about your appointment?

PALADIN
I don’t think it would’ve
worked out very well anyway.

CHRISTIE
I’m sorry.

PALADIN
I’m glad.

CHRISTIE
I’m afraid here.

PALADIN
There’s something here
to be afraid of.

PALADIN
And that’s the third sensible
thing you’ve said today.

CHRISTIE
Well, good night.

PALADIN
Good night, Christie.

CHRISTIE
He said in one of his letters
that to make coffee just right
is almost an art.

PALADIN
This is perfect.
And you didn’t sleep
last night, did you?

CHRISTIE
How could I?

JOHNNY DART
Well, now,
look who’s here.

CHRISTIE
Louis?

DART
For sure.
Don’t I look the way
you thought I would?

You look fine.
I… I thought you
would be older.

DART
That makes
one pleasant surprise for you.
But what are you doing
here so soon?
I thought you were arriving
on today’s stage.

PALADIN
Well, it was your error,
Mr. Drydan.

329
00:16:50,691 –> 00:16:52,659
I’m sorry not to find
you here last night.

330
00:16:52,693 –> 00:16:53,994
I was in town.

331
00:16:54,029 –> 00:16:55,162
Mister…?

332
00:16:55,196 –> 00:16:56,163
Paladin.

333
00:16:56,197 –> 00:16:57,998
When you weren’t there
to meet the stage,
Mr. Paladin was nice enough
to go greatly out of his way
and bring me here.

DART
That’s very
kind of you, sir.
I deeply appreciate it.
I don’t know how
I got mixed up
on what day
she was arriving.

PALADIN
By the way,
we were shot at riding here.

DART
Shot at?
By who?

PALADIN
Don’t you have an idea?

DART
No, of course not.
You are all right?

346
00:17:18,486 –> 00:17:20,787
Mr. Paladin drove them off.
Louis, who would want to
do something like that?

DART
Well, it’s
pretty wild country.
It attracts
some wild people.

But you’re here,
and you’re all right,
and that’s all that counts.

CHRISTIE
Mr. Paladin stayed with me
until you came.

PALADIN
And you are here now,
so I’ll be on my way.

354
00:17:37,339 –> 00:17:38,973
Oh, well, uh…

355
00:17:39,007 –> 00:17:41,141
couldn’t you stay with us
for just a day or two?

DART
Oh, now, dear.
Don’t you think
we’ve taken up
enough of
Mr. Paladin’s time?
Besides we’ll be
pretty busy ourselves.
The man will be here
today to buy the cattle.

PALADIN
Are you selling
your herd?

DART
No, not all of it.
About 400 head.
I wrote to her about it.
It’s a little nest egg to
start the marriage off.

PALADIN
How many people in this country
know about
your impending marriage?

DART
Well, to tell you the truth,
there aren’t too many people
in this part of the country.
But those who are here knew.

PALADIN
Saloon talk in the nearest
two or three towns, I suppose?

DART
What are you getting at?

PALADIN
Oh, nothing, I was just
wondering about the shooting.
Who might have done it.
You are
in a remote place here.
It’d be difficult
to defend yourself
in case of trouble.

DART
Well, there won’t
be any trouble.

CHRISTIE
Louis, Mr. Paladin
was so good to me.

DART
Paladin.
I keep thinking I’ve
seen that name somewhere.
That’s it.
I saw a card once.

PALADIN
Like this one?

DART
Yeah, like this.
Maybe you didn’t know,
but he’s a professional
gunfighter.

CHRISTIE
I don’t believe it.

PALADIN
It’s close enough.

CHRISTIE
But you’re so gentle.
A gunfighter?

PALADIN
Good-bye, Christie.

CHRISTIE
Bye.

PALADIN
He didn’t swear, nor smoke.

PALADIN
What happened out here?

LOUIS DRYDAN
Dry-gulched us.

PALADIN
Who?

DRYDAN
Name is John Dart.
Killed my hand,
left me to die.

PALADIN
What’s your name?

DRYDAN
Louis Drydan.

PALADIN
Well, Mr. Drydan,
you talk too much.
I think everybody in that town
knew you were selling your herd
for cash.
They also knew the buyer
didn’t know me by sight.

PALADIN
I better dig this
lead out of you
before it does
any more damage.

DRYDAN
Get Johnny Dart first.

PALADIN
This comes first.
You could die
from this poisoning.
Close your eyes
and hold on.

DART
It’s going to be nice
having a woman
around the house.

CHRISTIE
You will give me time
to get used to you,
won’t you, Louis?

416
00:20:52,884 –> 00:20:55,853
Why not start right now?

CHRISTIE
When will the wedding be?

DART
Oh, the preacher
drops by here
every other month or so.

CHRISTIE
Every other month?

DART
You’re a real
scaredy-cat, ain’t you?

CHRISTIE
Well, you said
that we’d be married in town.
You’re not a bit like
your letters.

DART
You believe all you read?
Big girl like you?

CHRISTIE
I’ll get some more water.

DART
Wait a minute.
Didn’t you just
get some water?

CHRISTIE
We need some more.

430
00:21:27,852 –> 00:21:30,154
Don’t stray too far
from the house, woman.
It can be death
out there alone.

CHRISTIE
Oh, you’re here.
You’re here.

You’re still here.

CHRISTIE
Listen to me.
That man in the house
is not Louis.
Louis is gentle,
like you.
He can’t be…

PALADIN
You want to meet him?

CHRISTIE
Louis?

CHRISTIE
Louis?

LOUIS
Oh, you’re beautiful,
Christie.

PALADIN
Put them on, Christie.
You want to see
him, don’t you?
And there’s something
you ought to see.

CHRISTIE
You’re hurt.

EXT.
CHRISTIE
We’ve got to get Louis
into the house.

That man…

Mr. Paladin.

Is that you, Paladin?

450
PALADIN
That’s right, Mr. Dart.

DART
How’d you know my name?

PALADIN
I read it on a wall someplace.

DART
What did you come
back for, your fee?

PALADIN
Along with a lot
of other dirty names
of dirty little men.

DART
Eh, you’re lucky I didn’t have
a rifle yesterday,
Paladin.

PALADIN
Come on, Johnny Dart!
Crawl to me on your belly
like a lizard!
Are you finished, Mr. Dart?

DART
Don’t shoot, Paladin.

Don’t shoot.

CHRISTIE
I know Louis insists
he doesn’t need a doctor,
but if you could just…

PALADIN
Your Louis is a very
hardy breed of man.
He’ll be fine with
just your care.

CHRISTIE
Oh, all right.
But you will
send the preacher out?

PALADIN
Just as soon
as I deliver him.

CHRISTIE
Louis prodded me about
the preacher, too.

PALADIN
He won’t let you go.

CHRISTIE
And will you come back
and visit us whenever you can?

PALADIN
I will indeed.

CHRISTIE
I’m awfully sorry
you missed your appointment.
PALADIN
Christie,
I believe in fate.
I think you must have
been put in my way
in order to keep
me from tripping
when I got off the stage in
Dallas and breaking my neck.

CHRISTIE
Oh, I don’t know
how I can ever repay you.

Don’t we owe
you something?

PALADIN
Nothing.

Well,
what about your fee?

PALADIN
I’d only have to spend
it on a wedding present.
Good-bye, Christie.

LOUIS
Thank you, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Let’s go, Dart.

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