(40) “The Manhunter”

Directed by Buzz Kulik, Written by Harry Julian Fink.

JOSEPH CALLEIA as Sheriff Sam Truett
MARTIN BALSAM as Charlie Dawes
DAVID WHORF as Jimmy Dawes
STEPHEN COIT as John Dunham (landlord)
HAMPTON FANCHER as Ben Dawes
JOSEPH V. PERRY as Clay Dawes
RUSTY LANE as Judge
Leonard P. Geer as Townsman (uncredited)
Murray Pollack as Hotel Guest (uncredited)
Dan Sheridan as Tom – Stage Driver (uncredited)

MARTIN BALSAM also appeared in: (Saturday Night, 1960) as Marshal Jim Brock.
HAMPTON FANCHER also appeared in: (The Misguided Father, 1960) as Keith Loring, (Unforgiven, 1959) as Beau Crommer.
JOSEPH V. PERRY also appeared in: (The Black Handkerchief, 1959) as Sheriff, (The Moor’s Revenge, 1958) as Drunk.

Killing that boy is a thing I regret having had to do, but if you push me any further ever, you or your brothers, I won’t shoot one of you in the arm and hold my fire on the other. I won’t chance it a second time.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY -DAY

HEY BOY
Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Thank you very much, Hey Boy.

HEY BOY
Nothing interesting? Gee, that’s too bad.

PALADIN
Hey Boy, only an idle man does not know what it is to enjoy rest. As for myself, I can enjoy it very much indeed. Hey boy, what are you doing with the newspaper?

HEY BOY
Almost forget, come from Kansas.

PALADIN
Kansas?

HEY BOY
Um hmmm.

PALADIN (reading aloud)
“Dawes eludes Kansas justice. The search for Jimmy Dawes, wanted in Kansas for murder ended today when Sheriff Lyons disclosed that he had called off his posse at the state line where Dawes had crossed into Colorado. Interstate law at this time does not provide for fugitive return, therefore dawes cannot be brought back to justice by state authorities as long as he remains outside the Kansas boundaries.”

HEY BOY
You find something, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Well…Hey boy, in my business it’s always a question whether I find something…Or if something finds me.

HEY BOY
Oh, yeah. uh huh.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL

JIMMY DAWES
You followed me a long way, Mister. His family must’ve paid you a lot.

PALADIN
A thousand dollars, boy. And I’ve earned it.

JIMMY DAWES
You haven’t earned your bounty yet.

PALADIN
I’m not a bounty hunter, son. I get paid whether you go back, or not. You killed a man in Kansas. Some say it was murder. You have to go back and stand trial. It will be a fair trial, I promise you that.

JIMMY DAWES
I’ll get a quick hangin’ and nothing more. This is my country, and I’m almost home. Once there, there ain’t nobody gonna get me. Not from my kin. Don’t! You stay where you are.

PALADIN
Drop that rifle, boy.

Paladin is forced to shoot Jimmy Dawes in self-defense.

EXT. TOWN – DAY

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
You brought him to the wrong place. You brought him home.

PALADIN
I thought his family might want to bury him.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Who hired you?

PALADIN
Had you heard that he murdered a man?

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
We heard he killed a man. He probably had to. We know it was a long ways from here.
Who hired you to kill him, gunfighter?

PALADIN
You’re Sam Truitt? That’s right. Mr. Truitt, I hear you’re an honest peace officer.
This is a Kansas warrant for the arrest of James Dawes. The murdered man’s family hired me to bring him back. He made a fight of it, got off several shots. I had to kill him.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Murdered, gunfighter. That’s the word for it, I think. Get off your horse.
Give me your gun. You want me to take it from you?

PALADIN
That might take some little doing, Mr. Truitt.
And I don’t think it’d be worth your while.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
You’ve earned your blood money. Just be here tomorrow for the inquest. Until then, you keep away from me. The sight of you makes me sick to my stomach.

PALADIN
The horse is his. The saddle’s mine, And I want it.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY

PALADIN
I’d like a room and a bath.

JOHN DUNHAM
You the one that killed the Dawes boy?

PALADIN
I’d like the water hot, please.

JOHN DUNHAM
If I give you a room, Mr. Paladin…People are gonna ask me why. I was just wondering if you’re worth that kind of trouble to me?

PALADIN
Landlord, I’m tired…And I’m almost out of patience. You tell people I gave you no choice
And I’d like my key, please.

JOHN DUNHAM
On the first landing.

PALADIN
Thank you.

JOHN DUNHAM
Mr. Paladin…These are good people. But I’d sleep lightly…Were I you.

INT. PALADIN’S HOTEL ROOM – NIGHT

PALADIN
Who are you?

BEN DAWES
I should’ve used both barrels.

PALADIN
Who are you?!

JOHN DUNHAM
It’s the boy’s brother. Ben. Ben dawes.

INT. COURTROOM – DAY

JUDGE
The Kansas warrant is in order. The Dawes boy was a fugitive. Any citizen, or whatever, has the right to make such an arrest. I see no reason to hold you, Mr. Paladin.

JUDGE
Boys…Had there been a witness to this killing, we might had heard another account of what happened. But under the present circumstances, I have no choice but to find that James Dawes died a fugitive while resisting citizen arrest. And that Mr. Paladin is legally absolved of criminal responsibility. The inquest is closed, gentlemen.

PALADIN
I’ll take my gun now, Mr. Truitt.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
I’ll tell you something, gunfighter. I don’t suppose you realize it yet, but you’re a dead man.

PALADIN
I met Ben Dawes. He’s not quite my size.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
You’re smug and that’s good. When the time comes and they find you, it’ll make it easy.

PALADIN
Who’s they?

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
I want you out of this town in 15 minutes.

PALADIN
Who are the others?

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
The boy you murdered has three brothers. Their blood runs thick. You met one last night, But Charlie and Clay are not so young. They won’t stop, and they won’t miss. Now I’m warning you…

PALADIN
Where are they?

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Are you sweating, gunfighter?

PALADIN
It’s a hot day. I sweat like anyone else.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Like Jimmy Dawes did?

PALADIN
My gun, Mr. Truitt.
See you soon.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Charlie and Clay have been away buying horses. They’re due back before sundown.
They’ve heard by now and will be pushing. I want you gone when they get here.
Charlie Dawes will find you and kill you. But I don’t want it to be here.
You understand me? I don’t want to hang a good man for killing a thing like you.
Now you buy yourself a horse, and get out of this town.
You’ll get your gun as you leave.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Give me an excuse. I remember that boy, I had a warm feeling for him.
There’s your saddle. In case no one’ll sell you a horse, Mister…
There’s a stage at Three. But I’d try not to wait, if I were you.

Stage rolls into town.

PALADIN
I will take my gun now.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Put it in your blanket, and the derringer too.

PALADIN
I think not.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Now, we have an ordinance here. No guns worn in the town limits.
Now we don’t usually enforce it, But if you strap that on,
You’ll spend the next seven days in a cell, I give you my word.
What now, gunfighter? Another killing?

PALADIN
You abuse your badge, old man.
And you don’t really have the strength to back it up.
But I have a deep respect for the law, and I’m not gonna push it.
Why’s that gun belt on there?

PALADIN
I’m not wearing a gun, Mr. Dawes.

CHARLIE DAWES
Ride out, Tom. The gunfighter’s not going with you. I said ride out, tom.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Charlie! I told you to buy yourself a horse, Mister. Now you do it, and get out of my town.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Put that gun away, Charlie. I said, put that gun away.

CHARLIE DAWES
Not on your life. Now Sam, back away.

PALADIN
He said he was your friend. What kind of animal are you?

CHARLIE DAWES
Clay…Take him over to the pump.

CHARLIE DAWES
You have until sundown to leave. You wear your gun or not, it’s not gonna make any difference. Now you get out of my sight.

PALADIN
You don’t have to wait until sundown. I can put my gun on right now.

CHARLIE DAWES
You sweat it out first, Mister. You think about dyin’ for awhile…
Like my brother must’ve done. Then we’ll come for you.
And when we come for you, You’re gonna die.

PALADIN
Dawes, in that holster is a hand-crafted weapon. I’m an expert in its use.
But I have killed, only I hope, when there was no other choice left me.
No man has a right to do more than that. I am not legally at fault for your brother’s death. Nor morally at fault either. Now you think on that until sundown.
Also, that I may not be the only one to die on this street before nightfall.

CHARLIE DAWES
You’ll be needing a doctor, Sam. Come on, let me help you. Sam…Two or three hours, it’ll be over. Now don’t do anything foolish. Don’t make me kill you. Sam…

PALADIN
Come in.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT

In our trades it always comes to that, doesn’t it, gunfighter?

PALADIN
Truitt, I don’t want your help. You’d just hinder me.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
I don’t plan to see them murder you. Not in my town.

PALADIN
You’re a fool, and I meant what I said. You’d get yourself killed, and me with you.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
Now listen to me…

PALADIN
I don’t want you, old man! Not at all! But I can use your gun.

BEN DAWES
It’s getting to be about that time, Charlie.

CHARLIE DAWES
I guess so.

CHARLIE DAWES
Paladin! Paladin!

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT

Paladin…I could help you.

LANDLORD
Mr. Paladin…Ben the boy, he’s out back. He’s got the shotgun.

PALADIN
You! You let it drop! Let it drop! Now the rifle. I won’t say it again.

CHARLIE DAWES
If not now…Then someday, gunfighter. I won’t forget, and I won’t stop.

PALADIN
I had no choice about your brother.

CHARLIE DAWES
Someday, that’s one thing you got to look forward to.

PALADIN
Dawes…I won’t keep you waiting. There’d be no point.
And besides, I think I owe you something for Sam Truitt.

CHARLIE DAWES
Go ahead. I’m not gonna make it easy for you.

PALADIN
You better tend to him. He’s losing blood.

CHARLIE DAWES
Paladin…! It’s not finished.

PALADIN
Now, I’m gonna say this to you once more. I killed your brother, yes. I had to.

CHARLIE DAWES
He was a boy. He was 18 years old. You think I’m gonna let that lie?

PALADIN
Killing that boy is a thing I regret, but if you push me any further, you or your brothers ever, I won’t shoot one of you in the leg, and hold my fire on the other one.
I won’t chance it a second time.

CHARLIE DAWES
Clay! Leave it be. It’s finished.

PALADIN
My apologies, Mr. Truitt. But it’s a thing I felt I could do best alone.

SHERIFF SAM TRUETT
There was a time when no man could have done to me what Charlie Dawes did today.
Or what you did either. There was a time, gunfighter…

PALADIN
I know that, sir. I’m sure of it.