53-“Something to Live For”

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by John Tucker Battle and Don Ingalls, Story by John Tucker Battle.

Rayford Barnes as Harleigh Preston
Nancy Hadley as Elaine Evans
Malcolm Atterbury as Hugh Evans
Tom Brown as Bob Pelley
John Anderson as Martin Wheeler
Don Megowan as Wichita Walker

If I left you here, you’d be dead in four days.
I don’t have a choice, and neither do you, preston. Get started. Now!

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

HARLEIGH PRESTON
And now we are ready for the party. Are you enjoying yourself, Sir Bedley?
Excellent. Excellent. Oh, I beg your pardon, lady whatever your name is.
Hey! You, what…So, you finally decided to come back? I’m going to teach you a lesson.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
What is it?

PALADIN
Coffee.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
You aren’t Walters.

PALADIN
No, my name is Paladin.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Mr. Paladin, I’m Harleigh K. Preston. At your service, sir. Well, that’s better. To your health, Mr. Paladin. And to my rescue from the merciless breast of mother nature.

PALADIN
You mentioned someone named Walters.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Walters? My guide. My erstwhile guide. This was a hunting trip, you know. Big horn sheep, trophies, everything. Seemed like a very good idea at the time. But, like everything else I’ve tried, a complete failure.

PALADIN
What happened?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
He brought me out in this wilderness, Got me roaring drunk, took my money, and vanished. He left my liquor cabinet and a horse without a saddle. That doesn’t make any difference, he knew I couldn’t find my way out of here. If you don’t mind…

PALADIN
I do mind.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
What…See here, paladin. You have no right-

PALADIN
I have the right. You’re 500 miles from a city without food or the ability to provide for yourself.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
What concern of that is yours?

PALADIN
If I left you here, you’d be dead in four days. I don’t have a choice whether or not you or I like it, You’re riding with me. Sober.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
You’re wrong, paladin.
I am not riding with you.

PALADIN
All right, we make camp here. Here you go. Looking for anything in particular?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
My liquor. I had three bottles in here.

PALADIN
I took them out.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Out?

PALADIN
I left ’em under a bush at the other camp.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
But, I need a drink.

PALADIN
You can have all you want to drink. As long as it’s coffee or water. That’s all we have. It takes awhile to condition to this kind of living.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
I’ve never been in condition for anything in my whole life. Mr. Paladin, you don’t know it, but you’re traveling with a man who’s been a successful failure at everything he ever tried.

PALADIN
Ohh?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
That’s right. Money, I never had to work for it. Inherited it. And liquor, I inherited my appetite for that, too. I’ve been a candidate for reform By friends, relatives, And sanctimonious crackpots of both sexes. Well, they all gave up after awhile. And I gave up before they got started.

PALADIN
You’re going to have to delay giving up for a little while. If you don’t mind, we need some firewood.

PALADIN
It’s a big country. Better have something to eat. We’ve got a long way to go tomorrow.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Eat? I can’t eat. I need a drink. You know, it’s funny. I never asked you before but Just where are we going?

P
A place called the evans ranch. I have a job to do there.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Job? What kind of a job?

CARD

HARLEIGH PRESTON
This is the forest primeval. Very impressive.
However, I’m not impressed.

PALADIN
I doubt these trees were put here for that purpose. However, this does happen to be the trail to the evans ranch. Looks like we have company.

MARTIN WHEELER
Heading anywhere in particular?

PALADIN
I have a destination, if that’s what you mean.

MARTIN WHEELER
My name’s Wheeler. Martin wheeler. Most of the land from here on belongs to me. Soon will. It’s a good country to keep moving in. Especially for strangers.

PALADIN
Thank you very much for the advice. And now, if you’ll excuse us…

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

Gunshot

HUGH EVANS
You’re covered. Don’t move.

PALADIN
Evans?

HUGH EVANS
Who are you?

PALADIN
Paladin.

HUGH EVANS
All right, stand up.

HUGH EVANS
Was hopin’ it was you. All right, Elaine. Here’s Mr. Paladin from San Francisco. My daughter Elaine. And this is?

PALADIN
Mr. Preston. Harleigh Preston, my traveling companion.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Sir. How do you do, Miss Evans?

ELAINE PRESTON
How do you do?

PALADIN
You’re well-prepared for trouble.

HUGH EVANS
We’ve had to be. We camp by the spring. Won’t take long to get some grub cookin’ if you ain’t choosy. Deer meat.

PALADIN
Deer meat, and cool mountain water. Now who could ask for more?

HUGH EVANS
So, when wheeler and his bunch burned me out
Of house, barn and hills I figured I was licked.
That’s when I got your card.

P
Thank you, elaine.

PALADIN
What about the law?

HUGH EVANS
The law? Like I wrote you, My deed’s been filed at the courthouse at Eagle’s Bend for over a year. Now, it seems like there ain’t no record of it. But there is a deed in Wheeler’s name. He’s a high bindin’ land grabber, With enough crooked know-how to figure things out All nice and legal for him. He brought in two gunslingers: Pelley and Wichita, he calls them. Killers, I call them. You say you bumped into them on the trail, you know what I mean. Your fee will depend on how successful you are.

PALADIN
I’ve informed the government land office about your disappearing deed. Wheeler may be in a more compromising mood When he finds that out. How do we find him?

HUGH EVANS
At eagle bend. The three of us can ride in in the morning.

PALADIN
Well, perhaps it would be better If we left mr. Preston here, so elaine wouldn’t be alone.

HUGH EVANS
Might not be a bad idea. Anyways, makes me feel better just having somebody around here on my side. How ’bout a drink to things changing around here pronto?

PALADIN
Mr. Preston and I don’t want to be impolite, but it so happens that neither of us is imbibing right at the moment.

HUGH EVANS
Well, I hope you don’t mind if I drink to it myself then.

ELAINE EVANS
Want to start notching some logs, while I clean up this breakfast mess?
You been working for paladin long?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Work? No, I don’t exactly work for mr. Paladin.

ELAINE EVANS
Just looking the country over?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Yes, you might say that.

ELAINE EVANS
It’s none of my business, but…You on the run?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
On the run?

ELAINE EVANS
Well, you know, the law. I mean, you seem so…Well, you know…

HARLEIGH PRESTON
You think maybe I’ve been in prison?

ELAINE EVANS
What’s so funny about that?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Well, now that you ask, nothing. I guess maybe you’re right. Maybe I have sort of been in jail. Let me try it again.

ELAINE EVANS
You’re strong enough, just a little out of condition.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Yes, a lot out of condition.

ELAINE EVANS
I’ll get us some water.

Elaine screams.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Hold it! Hold it! Take your hands off her.

m
Now, why should I do a thing like that? Miss Evans is quite a gal.

169
00:15:21,819 –> 00:15:24,188
I’m kinda sorry she isn’t on our side.

170
00:15:24,289 –> 00:15:26,623
Why…

m
Now, you just relax, hero. I got a job for you. Get that brush and pile it against the logs. Hurry it up! All right, we haven’t got all day. Light it. Now!

HARLEIGH PRESTON
No. I won’t do it. You light it and I’ll get the horses. Goodbye, wildcat.

PALADIN
That’s from your place, and it’s too much smoke for a campfire.

ELAINE EVANS
Help me.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Too late.

PALADIN
For the first time in your life, you may be right. It may be too late for you.

EXT. UP ON THE RIDGE

m1
Well, our little chore for the day is already done. What brings you out?

MARTIN WHEELER
Plans have changed. Got no more time for smokin’ them out slow like.

M2
What’s the matter?

MARTIN WHEELER
A land agent was nosin’ around the courthouse this morning.

M1
What are you going to do?

MARTIN WHEELER
I want this land. And I’m going to get it. Evans ain’t around, There’s no witness there ever was another deed. Nobody’ll miss him. Just look like they moved on to someplace else.

EXT. EVANS CAMP

ELAINE EVANS
You all right? I mean…
I’m all right.

PA
We got to get those rifles.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
Miss evans. I’m sorry about what happened.

ELAINE EVANS
I’ve already forgotten.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
I didn’t put up much of a fight, did I?

ELAINE EVANS
How could you? All you really need is to toughen up. Some good, healthy food and hard work.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
A reason for living, that’s the important thing. Something to live for.

M1
What are they doing down there?

M2
They’re moving a log, but don’t ask me what it means.

M1
Can’t you get a shot at him?

M2
I can’t really see him, just some movement now and then.

213
00:20:50,715 –> 00:20:52,082
Pelley, keep firing.

214
00:20:52,183 –> 00:20:54,651
Wichita and I’ll go up higher for a better look.

EXT. EVANS CAMP

PALADIN
Can Elaine use a rifle?

EV
Good as me.

PALADIN
I’m going to go first. I’ll toss a rifle back to you, and drop the other one with her.
I’ll go out the other side.

PALADIN
Drop it!

E
Harleigh! You’re coming back with me right now.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
It’s going to take a lot of good food and hard work to get me into condition.

PALADIN
That accounts for all of them.

HARLEIGH PRESTON
He had it pointed right at me. Now I know why he didn’t shoot.

PALADIN
You didn’t know why when you jumped him?

HARLEIGH PRESTON
No.

PALADIN
Courage is the price life exacts for granting peace. The soul that knows it not, knows no release from little things. We better get moving. We have a prisoner to deliver, A deed to reestablish, and you’ve got a fee to pay.

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