47-“A Sense of Justice”

Directed by Lamont Johnson, Written by John Kneubuhl.

KARL SWENSON as Sheriff Neal Grayson
VIRGINIA GREGG as Widow Briggs
BARRIE CHASE as Julia Grayson
BING RUSSELL as Andy Dawes
BARRY CAHILL as Tom – Ranch Hand
JAMES PARNELL as Harry – Ranch Hand
BARRY BROOKS as Boak – Ranch Hand
CACTUS MACK as Townsman (uncredited)
FRED MCDOUGALL as Townsman (uncredited)

KARL SWENSON also appeared in: (Brother’s Keeper, 1961) as Sheriff, (El Paso Stage, 1961) as Sam DeWitt, (Fandango, 1961) as Lloyd Petty, (Alaska, 1959) as Boris Tosheff, (Twenty-Four Hours at North Fork, 1958) as Milo Culligan. VIRGINIA GREGG also appeared in: (Don’t Shoot the Piano Player, 1962) as Nellie Harper. BING RUSSELL also appeared in: (Memories of Monica, 1962) as Sheriff Reagan. BARRY CAHILL also appeared in: (The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs, 1961) as Perrell, (The Night the Town Died, 1960) as Aaron Bell, (The Yuma Treasure, 1957) as Sgt. Combs, (The Bride, 1957) as Stagecoach Guard, (The Outlaw, 1957) as Abe Talltree. JAMES PARNELL also appeared in: (Winchester Quarantine, 1957) as Sheriff. BARRY BROOKS also appeared in: (The Trial, 1960) as G.L. Stevens – Drummer, (The Day of the Bad Man, 1960) as Agent.

You hired me to keep that mob from lynching Andy.
Now you tell me to hand him over.
Just which side of that badge are you going to stand behind, Sheriff?

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

PALADIN
Hey boy, my compliments to the management. This is an excellent sherry.

HEY BOY
I’m glad you like it. Some more.

PALADIN
“Volunteers to be paid out of the Sheriff’s own pocket, But thus far, no takers.”

HEY BOY
I know you go away.

EXT. TOWN

WIDOW BRIGGS
Business in town, mister?

PALADIN
Yes, ma’am.

WIDOW BRIGGS
With?

PALADIN
The sheriff.

WIDOW BRIGGS
Answering his call for men? About jim briggs’ murder?

PALADIN
Right. I’ll bring a bag in later.

WIDOW BRIGGS
We don’t need outside help.

PALADIN
That’s for the sheriff to say, isn’t it?

WIDOW BRIGGS
I got more say than any sheriff. Jim Briggs was my son.

PALADIN
I’m sorry, Mrs. Briggs.

WIDOW BRIGGS
Not Mrs. Briggs, Widow briggs. No husband, no son. Just Widow Briggs.

PALADIN
Excuse me.

WIDOW BRIGGS
Paladin. Harry, you and Boak got back to the ranch. Get tom here.

EXT. OUTSIDE SHERIFF’S OFFICE – DAY

PALADIN
Sheriff Grayson, my name is Paladin.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Come in, Paladin.

PALADIN
That bad?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Not yet, but it can be. Glad to see you, Paladin. I guess I don’t have to tell you that.

PALADIN
Any other volunteers?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
No, it’ll be just the two of us.

PALADIN
Have they started anything yet?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Just talk.

PALADIN
Sometimes if they talk enough, they talk themselves out of it.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
The prisoner Andy’ll get a fair trial When the judge gets here from placer on Wednesday. All we have to do is keep them from triggering anything.

JULIA GRAYSON
Excuse me, papa. That’s all right, honey.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
My daughter julia, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
How do you do?

JULIA GRAYSON
How do you do? I was hoping to bring some cookies to andy.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Why, certainly,
honey. Come with us. I’ll show you the prisoner. There he is.

JULIA GRAYSON
Hello, andy.

ANDY DAWES
Hello, julia.

JULIA GRAYSON
I brought you some cookies.

ANDY DAWES
Sit down?

JULIA GRAYSON
I just baked them myself.

ANDY DAWES
I heard an owl last night.

JULIA GRAYSON
Did it keep you awake?

ANDY DAWES
Awake? No. I pretended it was you. You were calling me that it was time for us to go on a picnic, Up to the old barn.

JULIA GRAYSON
Try a cookie. Here.

PALADIN
How long has he been like that?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Since he was six years old. Follows julia around like a puppy dog. Julia’s always wanted to put him in a hospital where he’d be looked after. No kinfolk.

PALADIN
You can’t hold a man like that responsible for his acts.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Well, all I know is that they found him at the old smith barn Sitting near the body. Jim was stabbed right here. Sharp stake, or a spike, something like that. They say that a person like andy Probably didn’t even realize that he’d done it. Just sat by the body. Well, judging isn’t my job. Holding the mob back is.

PALADIN
It’d be easier if we could establish reasonable doubt about his guilt. Was there anything in the barn?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
A lot of men have gone over that barn. No murder weapon. Nothing.

PALADIN
No murder weapon?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Nothing.

PALADIN
I’d like to have a look if I may.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Sure.

EXT.

WIDOW BRIGGS
Tom. That’s him. You think he knows what he’s about?

TOM
With a gun, he does. That’d be a man to cut a notch on. No need to be ashamed of that notch. Big man. A big target’s easier to hit. But that man’s got to be beat. I can beat him.

WIDOW BRIGGS
This ain’t the time to think that way. We’ve gotta even things for jim. He’s gonna try to stop us. The three of you do it.

TOM
I don’t need them.

WIDOW BRIGGS
Tom, we’ve got to be sure.

EXT.

TOM
What are you doin’ here, mister?

PALADIN
Just looking around.

TOM
For?

PALADIN
That’s my business, isn’t it?

TOM
Well, we don’t want any troublemakers around here, mister.
Get out.

PALADIN
When Sheriff Grayson tells me my job is finished.

TOM
I’ve got some witnesses here. They’ll back me up.

PALADIN
About?

TOM
About how you drew on me first. There’s three of us, mister. You haven’t got a chance. I don’t like it that way. But that’s the way it is, nevertheless.

PALADIN ESCAPES

TOM
It don’t matter. It’ll be better this way. Make the town move faster on andy When they find out the sheriff’s bringing in gunslingers. That’d be a man to cut a notch on.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Here she comes with the men. Widow briggs. Get in there, honey.

PALADIN
I think she just wants to talk. She’d have brought more men if she wanted a showdown.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Widow Briggs.

WIDOW BRIGGS
You’re turning Andy over to us, neil.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
No, andy’s staying here till he gets a fair trail.

WIDOW BRIGGS
We’re willing to give him a trial.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
What kind of a jury? Men’d as soon hang him.

WIDOW BRIGGS
The town don’t like gunslingers moving in. If that’s the kind of law we’re gonna have around here, We’re taking matters into our own hands. The men are coming back with me at 3:00. We want andy then.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
You’ll have me to reckon with.

WIDOW BRIGGS
You. And him, and julia. It ain’t an easy thing to lose your own flesh and blood, neil.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
I know that. So? You can’t have andy.

WIDOW BRIGGS
3:00. Tom?

TOM
3:00.

JULIA GRAYSON
Papa, will they really come?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Yeah, they’ll come, all right. She won’t rest until she sees andy swinging from a tree.

PALADIN
We’ve got about two hours.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
We’ll never be able to hold them off.

PALADIN
This crime doesn’t make any sense. A man, even like andy, wouldn’t kill someone, Hide the murder weapon, Then not try to hide the body or at least try to get away.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
You can’t prove that. Nobody knows how andy’s mind works.

PALADIN
Grayson, if he hadn’t known what he was doing, He wouldn’t have tried to hide the murder weapon.

JULIA GRAYSON
Of course. He’s right, papa.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
They won’t listen to words!

PALADIN
That’s right. It’s got to be something they can see.I’m going back to that barn. It’s the one slim chance we’ve got.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
All right.

JULIA GRAYSON
I’d like to come, too.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
No! I don’t want you in the streets.

JULIA GRAYSON
Andy’s my friend. I want to help. Maybe I could answer questions, show you things. It might help.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Julia, I don’t want you to get involved.

PALADIN
Perhaps she could help.

JULIA GRAYSON
Please, papa.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
All right.

WIDOW BRIGGS
1:30.
Won’t be long now.

PALADIN
A woman. A jealous woman might have killed him. Did he have many lady friends?

JULIA GRAYSON
Yes. Many. He’s true to none of them. Anyone one of a dozen people might have killed him. Not just a lady friend. There’s the barber. Had a terrible fight a few months ago.

PALADIN
About what?

JULIA GRAYSON
A gambling debt. Then there’s Jim’s mother. She was jealous of anyone he got serious about. Furious.

PALADIN
We’ll have to find something more concrete than suspicions.

JULIA GRAYSON
No, no, don’t! Don’t!

PALADIN
Stop it! Now I’m going to have to see what’s behind the door. Is this what killed jim briggs? Caught this, right between the shoulder blades?

JULIA GRAYSON
I couldn’t…

PALADIN
How do you know? Come on. Outside, come on.
Was the spike the weapon that killed jim briggs?

JULIA GRAYSON
But not andy.

PALADIN
Then, who? Julia, who?

JULIA GRAYSON
I, for one…I did it.

PALADIN
Why? How?

JULIA GRAYSON
I… I agreed to meet Jim here. It was the first time. He never looked at me before. I always thought he was very nice.

PALADIN
And you found out he wasn’t very nice.

JULIA GRAYSON
Most girls liked him. He was used to having his own way. He thought that I was like that.

PALADIN
And you weren’t, and he didn’t like that.

JULIA GRAYSON
He tried to…Well, he got rough. We struggled. I pushed him away. He fell…Against that spike.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Julia. What is it?

PALADIN
Julia’ll tell you.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
What is it?

JULIA GRAYSON
What I had to tell you is…I killed Jim Briggs.

PALADIN
Here they come.

JULIA GRAYSON
You tell them.

CROWD OF MEN
Men, let’s go! Get him out of there!

WIDOW BRIGGS
Tom. Come on, andy.

TOM
Let’s get this party over with.

MAN
Bring him out! Over here!

MAN
Come on!

PALADIN
You stupid, blundering…

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Andy is…’s he got to live for?

PALADIN
Andy didn’t kill briggs!

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
I’ve gotta protect my daughter. Now you stand back.

PALADIN
Grayson, it was an accident. Nobody will blame julia.

JULIA GRAYSON
Papa!

MAN
There you go, boy! You’ll be all right, everything’s all right.

ANDY
No! No!

PALADIN
Julia.

WIDOW BRIGGS
Tom.

PALADIN GUNS DOWN TOM

PALADIN
Julia and Andy about ready to leave?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Almost. So many years, Thinking of myself as a man of principle, upholding the law. And I find myself acting like a criminal.

PALADIN
Or a human being.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
At any rate, I’m gonna give up this badge.

PALADIN
That would accomplish nothing.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
At least it’d give me more time with Julia. A fine parent I am. She couldn’t trust me to come and tell me what she’d done.

PALADIN
That what’s bothering you? Well, maybe it is better you know the truth. Go inside and watch. No matter what I do, just stand there and watch. Come on.

JULIA GRAYSON
You know we’re going away, don’t you? You’ll like it there. There’ll be lots of nice people and things to do. Friends.

PALADIN
Ready to leave?

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
All ready.

JULIA GRAYSON
Come on, Andy.

PALADIN
Never mind about Andy, you just come with me. Come on.

JULIA GRAYSON

What are you doing? Andy! No, andy! What are you doing? He wasn’t hurting me! My friend, he’s my friend. Andy, let go, andy! You’ll kill him. It’s all right now. It’s all right. Here’s your hat, Andy.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
You knew.

PALADIN
I knew. You take andy outside.

JULIA GRAYSON
That’s it. There you go. You be a good boy.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Andy did kill him.

PALADIN
He did. I hadn’t realized until now how strong andy is.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
How did you know?

PALADIN
Well, two things: First, it didn’t make sense for julia not to confess, If it was an accident caused by briggs forcing his attention on her.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
And?

PALADIN
And Briggs was slammed into a hook higher than my shoulder. Julia couldn’t do that. It’d take a man of real strength to lift a man, as you just saw.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
But, why?

PALADIN
I suppose Andy came on them struggling and moved in to protect Julia. Don’t question your daughter about it. She wants it this way.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
We shouldn’t let Andy go free.

PALADIN
Free? Hardly. I think that hospital will take a lot better care of andy than any jail or lynch mob could. And, sheriff…I think you ought to wear that badge. You’ve done a good job for this town. A good job for your daughter, too.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Goodbye.

DRIVER
Hey!

PALADIN
Thank you.

SHERIFF NEAL GRAYSON
Thank you.