43-“The Hanging of Roy Carter”

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Gene Roddenberry.

JOHN LARCH as Chaplain Robert April
ROBERT ARMSTRONG as Sidney Carter
SCOTT MARLOWE as Roy Carter
PAUL BIRCH as Warden Bullock
FRANCIS MCDONALD as Jesse
BARRY RUSSO as Keno Smith
MICHAEL HINN as Marshal
K.L. SMITH as 1st Guard
EDWARD FAULKNER as 2nd Guard
RUSTY WESCOATT as 3rd Guard
TEX HOLDEN as Hanging Spectator (uncredited)
WHITEY HUGHES as Lynch Mob Member (uncredited)
RAY JONES as Hanging Spectator (uncredited)
CACTUS MACK as Hanging Spectator (uncredited)
ROD MCGAUGHY as Hanging Spectator (uncredited)

JOHN LARCH also appeared in: (Out at the Old Ball Park, 1960) as McNagle.
SCOTT MARLOWE also appeared in: (Duke of Texas, 1961) as Duke Franz von Pishin, (Charley Red Dog, 1959) as Marshall Charley Red Dog. FRANCIS MCDONALD also appeared in: (Three Bells to Perdido, 1957) as Gotch. MICHAEL HINN also appeared in: (Twenty-Four Hours at North Fork, 1958) as Tom Ferris. K.L. SMITH also appeared in: (Charley Red Dog, 1959) as Gus Johnson, (Gold and Brimstone, 1959) as Wes. EDWARD FAULKNER also appeared in: (Be Not Forgetful of StrangersBe Not Forgetful of Strangers, 1962) as Ben, (Memories of Monica, 1962) as Deputy Ed Buhl, (The Hunt, 1962) as Lieutenant Brager, (The Brothers, 1961) as Body Guard #1, (The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs, 1961) as Jim Harden, (Soledad Crossing, 1961) as Bud McPhater, (The Puppeteer, 1960) as Cavalry Sergeant, (Black Sheep, 1960) as Marshal, (Love of a Bad Woman, 1960) as Gunman, (The Black Handkerchief, 1959) as Dink, (Incident at Borrasca Bend, 1959) as Curly, (The Road to Wickenburg, 1958) as Jim Goodfellow.

Bullock, there are only two people in the world who can save an innocent boy’s life.
You can do it by delaying that execution three hours. Or I can do it my way.

EXT. PALADIN’S CAMP – NIGHT

SIDNEY CARTER
Hold it. We’ll take care of him.
There’s my money. We got first claim on him.

KENO SMITH
Listen to me, Carter, please. You got no proof. You’re making a mistake.
Please, Carter. Give me a chance, will you? Come on, will you?

PALADIN
Now, hold it! Hold it! I don’t care for horse thieves. I like lynchings even less.

SIDNEY CARTER
Maybe you ought to understand something, Mister. My name’s Sidney Carter.
I run half the cattle in this state.

PALADIN
Well, Mr. Carter, you’re not running cattle tonight.

JESSE
Let’s tell him what it’s all about. He’s got a right to know.
Three months ago, the Carson City stage was robbed.
The driver and two passengers shot in cold blood.
We’ve been following Keno ever since.
We knew he did it, but we had no proof.
Now we do, stagecoach company receipts and all.

SIDNEY CARTER
We watched him dig it up where he hid it.
Shot his horse, and he got away on foot.
Does that satisfy you?

PALADIN
It would if I saw a badge on anyone here.

SIDNEY CARTER
Just one more thing. Before he hid the money, Keno planted some of it on my son.
In 30 hours, they’re hanging my boy at the state prison for something he didn’t do.

KENO SMITH
Listen, I’ll make a deal with you. I did it. I’ll admit it. You hear me, Carter? I’ll admit it, I’ll testify to that.

PALADIN
Hold it, now. You’re going to hang your evidence, Carter?
You need Keno’s testimony written down in order to stop that execution.

JESSE
He’s talkin’ sense.

SIDNEY CARTER
He’s talkin’ delay. It’s 40 miles to that prison. I don’t want to be slowed up by no prisoner.
The money ought to be enough evidence to satisfy Mr. Bullock.

PALADIN
Bullock?

JESSE
The warden.

PALADIN
A warden can’t stop an execution. You have to reach the governor.

SIDNEY CARTER
It’s too far.

PALADIN
There’s a telegraph in the next town.

SIDNEY CARTER
I want bullock to stop it. I want him to have to say the word. I want to see him eat crow. Go on and stretch him up.

PALADIN
Wait a minute. The one thing you should care about right now is saving your boy’s life.

JESSE
Sid, he’s saying what I should’ve said long ago. Why ain’t we taking keno into the marshal? Why ain’t we tryin’ to reach the governor? That’d save Roy. That wouldn’t let you play the big man, would it?

SIDNEY CARTER
All right, we’ll take him into to town.

EXT. U.S. MARSHAL’S OFFICE – DAY

SIDNEY CARTER
You sure that’ll be enough?

MARSHAL
Sworn deposition is as good as saying it in the witness chair. My wire should be on the governor’s desk by now. I guarantee he’ll delay the execution till he sees Keno’s confession, Backed up by Mr. Paladin’s statement.

SIDNEY CARTER
Paladin, I always pay a man for his trouble.

PALADIN
Some things are not for sale. One of them is my testimony.
Excuse me.

MARSHAL
That’s probably your answer from the governor.

SIDNEY CARTER
Why, he’s got no right. He’s supposed to be running the state, not wandering around the back country.

MARSHAL
Governor’s on tour. He’ll be in Donnerville this evening. No telegraph office there. It’s at least a day’s ride from here.

JESSE
But Roy’ll be hung in the morning.

SIDNEY CARTER
Get all the guns you can hire. We’ll be at that prison before morning.

MARSHAL
Hold on, you know I won’t allow anything like that.
I’ll see the warden myself. Ask for a delay.

SIDNEY CARTER
That’ll do no good. Bullock wants to hang Roy.

PALADIN
Why do you say that?

JESSE
The warden had a son, too. He was gunned down by some wild kid in a coach robbery. Bullock isn’t known for his sympathy to convicted killers.

SIDNEY CARTER
He’s blocked everything I’ve tried to do for Roy, even little things. He wants Roy to suffer. He wants Roy to hang.

PALADIN
Marshal, how long would it take to get an answer from the governor?

MARSHAL
Even with the best horses, we’d still need a three-hour delay in the hanging.

PALADIN
One man inside the prison could do more good than 100 outside. You could appoint me a federal witness to the execution. That’d get me inside.

MARSHAL
Yeah, I could do that.

PALADIN
For saving an innocent man’s life, there’s no charge. For what it means to your son, there’s no charge. But for what it’s worth to you, My fee is $5,000.

CARD

EXT. ENTRANCE TO STATE PRISON – NIGHT

GUARD #1
Hold for one rider. Step over here, where I can see you.

PALADIN
Be right with you.

GUARD #1
I’ll come down and meet you at the gate. He’s a witness to the execution.
By order, U.S. Marshal. You got here just in time, mister.
He hangs at 6:00 am. You’ll be searched inside.
Got any other arms?

INT. PRISON YARD – NIGHT

GUARD #2
We put that thing up and take it down twice a year.

PALADIN
I see what you mean.

GUARD #2
Hope you won’t be one of them witnesses that faints.

PALADIN
I’d like to see the warden. Witnesses are bunked over this way.

GUARD #1
You can see the warden at the hanging.

PALADIN
He’ll see me now.

GUARD #2
It’s 3:00 am.

PALADIN
Did I ask you what time it is?

GUARD #2
No.

PALADIN
I asked to see the warden. You want to be responsible for refusing?

GUARD #1
He didn’t say that. He just…Warden’s quarters are this way, sir.

INT. WARDEN’S OFFICE – NIGHT

WARDEN BULLOCK
Is this all you woke me for?

PALADIN
You finished reading it, chaplain?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Not your statement.

WARDEN BULLOCK
Let me set you straight on something. Ever since roy was arrested his old man’s been pulling strings. He may be a big man, big enough to buy you. But not John Bullock.

PALADIN
Warden, I’m going to pass over that insult. I don’t like Mr. Carter either, but that’s not the point. It’s not Mr. Carter you’ll be punishing on that gallows.

WARDEN BULLOCK
I have my orders to execute a man. In a certain way, at a certain time. It’s as simple as that.

PALADIN
Is it?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
It says here you saw Keno smith with the money.

PALADIN
That’s correct. I also heard keno smith’s confession.

WARDEN BULLOCK
No use talking it further. I have orders to hang him. I’m legally bound to obey them.

PALADIN
A human life is not more important than your strict adherence to a court order?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
All he’s asking for is a short delay.

WARDEN BULLOCK
Chaplain, we’ve had these administrative discussions before.
You worry about the souls, I’ll take care of the rest of it.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
I have nearly 1,000 other men that need help, too .

PALADIN
As badly as roy carter needs it?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
It’s a miserable hole. Dank, filthy, joyless.

WARDEN BULLOCK
All run very legal.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
As long as I’m allowed to stay They have something to remind them they’re human. It’s not much, but it helps a little.

PALADIN
And Carter?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Do you think this is the first time I’ve faced this? How can I save lives? I’m having trouble saving their self-respect, their sanity. I wanted to start a library. A simple, harmless library. If you’d like to see roy, I’m allowed to take you to him. That’s all I can do.

WARDEN BULLOCK
What do you want him to do? Trade his bible for a gun?

PALADIN
Warden, give the boy three hours.

WARDEN BULLOCK
I’ll give him every hour the law allows. That’s all he gets.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
God help you, mr. Bullock.

WARDEN BULLOCK
He has, chaplain, he has. As your own book puts it, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

PALADIN
And another man’s son, For your son.

PALADIN
Roy.
Are from my father? Did he send you?
No, he’s just a visitor. You can’t depend on your father helping you now. You’ve got to find
strength in yourself.

ROY CARTER
But I didn’t do anything. I don’t want to die. Somebody has to help me. You, mister, you try to help me, huh? Don’t you understand? I didn’t do anything, I swear. I didn’t…
I didn’t do anything. I didn’t.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Mr. Paladin. I couldn’t let him know that his father did send you. That there’s no hope.

PALADIN
No hope?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
It’s useless.

PALADIN
I’m going to need help to save that boy’s life.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
What do you want me to do? Break the law myself?

PALADIN
That depends on whose law you’re talking about.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Sometimes a man of god has to be practical.

PALADIN
Will you help me save his life?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Don’t you think I want to? Don’t torture me, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
I asked you a question.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Sometimes we must give up some things to gain others. Me, I had to compromise just to get into this place. I have to be careful of what I say, what I do. My duties are prescribed by statute.

PALADIN
Well, I guess that answers my question. I just wondered who you worked for.

INT. EXECUTION YARD – MORNING

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
“Let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed.
Let them be ashamed of which transgress without cause. show me thy ways, O Lord.
teach me Thy paths. lead me in Thy truth, and teach me. for Thou art the God of my salvation. on Thee do I wait all the day. remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies. And thy loving kindnesses. For they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth. nor my transgressions. according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for thy goodness sake, O Lord. good and upright is the Lord. therefore will He teach sinners in the way. the meek will He guide.”  May God have mercy on your soul.

PALADIN
Last chance, warden. Give us the three hours.

GUARD 3
Looks like it’s jammed, sir.

WARDEN BULLOCK
Get him down from there. Get up there. You see anything?

GUARD 3
Yeah, a piece of wood, a wedge.

PALADIN
Roy. Hey! Come on, roy!

WARDEN
Stop him!

ROY CARTER
No, I don’t want to go.

PALADIN
Get in there!

PALADIN
He broke the key off. Get another key.

GUARD 3
There’s no use, it’s jammed. Get a hacksaw.
It wasn’t meant to cut this kind of steel.
We got another blade, keep sawing. Want me to go get more?
That’s a two-hour ride.
Get away from there.
Shoot him!
He asked for a three-hour delay.
One hour’s past. Can’t we wait?

WARDEN BULLOCK
I warned you about interfering before. Put that rifle on him. Cock it! Either one of them moves, kill him. You step into this again, you’re through here.

GUARD 3
This blade’s getting dull.

WARDEN BULLOCK
Will it cut through?
Yeah, in a few minutes.

ROY CARTER
My father did send you, didn’t he? There’s no one else coming? I mean, this was the last chance?

GUARD 3
Sit down, you.

ROY CARTER
Sure is funny, isn’t it? If I don’t let them hang me, they’ll shoot me for it. Either way, they kill me for something I didn’t do. Just doesn’t make sense, does it?

PALADIN
Make sense to you, chaplain? Mr. April believes a man should choose the lesser of two evils. But the book he carries, tells a story of one who refused that choice. Or did I read it wrong, mr. April? Did I read it wrong that all evil begins in a compromise? One principle sacrificed for a cause. One man’s life for the protection of the majority. Warden, that’s how you’re gonna justify this public murder, isn’t it?

WARDEN BULLOCK
You can’t reach me.

ROY CARTER
No-It’s all right now, Paladin. You know something…The hardest thing
I’ve ever done in my life was walk out to those gallows. It’s the first important thing I ever did on my own. I mean, without my father.

PALADIN
That makes sense, Roy. There’s a first time for each of us. A first time when we know
we have to do something. On our own. Chaplain, now!

PALADIN
Hold it!
You’re loosing a lot of blood, mr. April.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Yes. But it’s mine, isn’t it? That’s the difference.

WARDEN BULLOCK
Ride into town, get some more blades.

GUARD 3
Warden, that’ll take two hours.

WARDEN BULLOCK
Get going! Come on. You, too.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
He knew. He knew the bar was just about to break through. That means…

PALADIN
…that means he’s giving us the time. And that means you’re not going to hang. You’ll be out of here, free. By noon.

ROY CARTER
Thank you.

PALADIN
Mr. April. You better take care of those hands.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE PRISON GATES – DAY

SIDNEY CARTER
$5,000 cash.

PALADIN
You’re leaving, too?

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
Just long enough to buy some books. We will have that library.

PALADIN
That’s a start.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
It’s a start.

PALADIN
I suppose any citizen can make a contribution.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
That’s a lot of money, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
I often quote the saints, but I don’t pretend to be one. I have my regular fee right here.

SIDNEY CARTER
Come on, Roy, we’re riding.

ROY CARTER
Say, it’d be kind of tough driving with them hands, mr. April.
I’m a good driver, and I could help with the books.

SIDNEY CARTER
I said come on.

CHAPLAIN ROBERT APRIL
I’d enjoy your company, Roy.

SIDNEY CARTER
Roy, I’m telling you for the last time.

ROY CARTER
That’s right. You’re telling me for the last time.

PALADIN
Roy.

ROY CARTER
‘bye.

SIDNEY CARTER
Roy! Go get him. I paid you to bring my boy back to me.

PALADIN
Your boy’s become a man, Which means you got more than you paid for, mr. Carter.