55-“The Wager”

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Denis Sanders and Terry Sanders.
Denver Pyle as Sid Morgan
Jacqueline Scott as Stacy Neal
Ken Lynch as Shawcross
Steve Gravers as Howard Gorman
Bill Erwin as Clerk
Bob Hopkins as Bartender

After a couple of days, when you two really get thirsty,
Don’t look back to find me, look up above you.
The buzzards will tell you how near the end is.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

Paladin is reading a newspaper. A beautiful woman saunters by.

PALADIN
Hmm!

Then there is a gunshot and the sound of breaking window glass.

PALADIN
Get down! Get away from that window!

HEY BOY
You are hurt?

SID MORGAN
I’m all right.

8
00:01:14,273 –> 00:01:15,607
Did you see anyone?

PALADIN
Must’ve come from those roofs
across the street.

HEY BOY
I send for police?

PALADIN
Hey boy, by all means,
you send for police.

PALADIN
Here, sir.

SID MORGAN
Thank you very much. My name is morgan. Sid morgan.

PALADIN
My name is paladin, And I may be able to be of some further service to you.

16
00:01:47,272 –> 00:01:50,208
Maybe we’d better have
a little talk.

PALADIN
All right, sir.

SID MORGAN
So you see,
mr. Paladin,
Danbury and his combine want to buy my railroad interest at any cost.
And danbury is the kind of a man that
gets whatever he wants no matter how.
Witness,
This is the third attempt
on my life.

PALADIN
Three misses and three attempts.
That’s not a very good average.
Perhaps they’re trying
to frighten you into selling.

SID MORGAN
That’s what
I thought at first.
The first two times,
but now…
Mr. Paladin.
My fianc e and I are leaving
for silver city in the morning.
I’ll pay you whatever
you think it’s worth
To see that
I get there alive.

PALADIN
Well, I think $1,000
should cover it.

SID MORGAN
Done.

EXT. ON THE ROAD – DAY

33
00:03:12,391 –> 00:03:14,192
All right.

PALADIN
It’s all right.
There, now.
Here, it’s harmless.
It’s a horn toad.
It won’t hurt you.
Here, take it.
There now.
Why don’t you refresh
yourself by the spring?

39
00:03:45,491 –> 00:03:46,958
Excuse me.

STACY NEAL
He is kind of cute.

SID MORGAN
I think stacy likes you.

PALADIN
I’m not hard
to get along with.

SID MORGAN
Stacy likes to play games.
Thinks it makes me jealous.
That’s all it is,
games.
At heart, stacy’s
a business woman.
That’s why I trust her
enough to marry.

PALADIN
Congratulations.
Let’s get out of here.

SID MORGAN
What’s your hurry?
How long has he been here?

PALADIN
Not long. Never mind the horses. Stacy. Come on.

PALADIN
Rough and ready, straight
ahead, go on into town.

SID MORGAN
Where are you going?

PALADIN
I’ll see you there.

Paladin rides off

HOWARD GORMAN
Something I can
do for you?

PALADIN
Yes, you can give me
some information.
Like who you are,
where you’re going and why.

HOWARD GORMAN
That’s a lot of information
to give to a stranger.

PALADIN
My name is paladin.

HOWARD GORMAN
You’re still
a stranger to me,
But I don’t mind telling you.
I’m howard gorman.

PALADIN
Well, now I’ve heard of you.
Twelve men, isn’t it?

HOWARD GORMAN
Yeah. Maybe I better start thinking about adding that lucky thirteenth.

PALADIN
Mr. Gorman,
why are you following us?

HOWARD GORMAN
Why’d anyone
want to follow you?

PALADIN
I’ll know
the answer to that
When I have the answers
to my other questions.
Gorman.
About that lucky 13.
There’s a legend that when the
world began, there were 13 gods.
Only 12 of them were
aquatinted with one another.
So to learn the stranger’s identity,
they invited him to a banquet.
And, to their everlasting
sorrow, he came.
The thirteenth god
was death.

EXT. IN TOWN – EVENING
Our friend looks like He might know how to handle that gun he’s wearing.

PALADIN
He does.

SID MORGAN
I’m sure danbury hired him.
Otherwise, why would
he have followed us?

PALADIN
Don’t worry, mr. Morgan,
you’re safe.

PALADIN
Do you know him?

85
00:07:59,461 –> 00:08:01,495
I’ve never
seen him before.
He probably works
for the combine.

HOWARD GORMAN
Paladin. Stand up.

PALADIN
Morgan. Get her out of here.
Mr. Gorman, you’re
making a mistake.

HOWARD GORMAN
You gonna stand up?

PALADIN
No, I think I’d rather
finish my dinner.

HOWARD GORMAN
It’s finished.

PALADIN
Very well, sir.
We’ll have it
your way.

HOWARD GORMAN
Number 13, paladin.

PALADIN
Now what do you know about this?

SHAWCROSS
I’m an agent
for mr. Danbury.
He’s changed his mind
about buying mr. Morgan out.
I tried to stop gorman.
I told him he’d get his money
anyway, but he wouldn’t listen to me.
Whoever you are, mister,
you did us all a great favor.
Gorman was a killer.
All of you saw it.
It was a fair fight.

BARTENDER
That’s right. The dead man drew first.

STACY NEAL
You’ve been too modest about
your talents, mr. Paladin.
If we’d had any idea
that you were this good-

SID MORGAN
Stacy, go to your room. I have some business with mr. Paladin.

STACY NEAL
What are you gonna do? You gonna try to talk him out of his fee to help cover…

SID MORGAN
Shut up!
I can always throw you
right back where I got you.

STACY NEAL
It’s too bad, paladin. You’re quite a man. It’s too bad you can’t use your head as well as you do your gun.

SID MORGAN
Your fee, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
You’re a very generous man Mr. Morgan.

SID MORGAN
Not generous, rich.
It won’t be necessary for you
to go to silver city with us.
Gorman’s dead.
The danger’s over.

PALADIN
What about the shot in san francisco?

SID MORGAN
What about it?

PALADIN
If gorman fired it, he wouldn’t have missed.
Unless he had some reason for missing.

SID MORGAN
It’s done.
This finishes it.
Good night, mr. Paladin.

INT. LATER ON IN THE SALOON

STACY NEAL
Give me a whiskey.

PALADIN
Bartender.
Oft times the fruit of the vine will lend surcease to the pain of the mind.

STACY NEAL
Or the pain of a punched-in face. You know, he’s quite a man with his fists around women. I’m leavin’ him. Just as soon as I can get some place so I can.
Then I’ll start lookin’ again. I’d like to find somebody else rich enough to marry.
How’s pickings in san francisco?

PALADIN
Well, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble.

STACY NEAL
It’s never any trouble at first. It’s too bad that you’re not rich. I like you.

PALADIN
Let me get you something for that
No! It’s all right. The things that he does, and he gets away with it. Tellin’ you that he’d never seen Shawcross before. That’s pretty funny.

PALADIN
Oh?
He’s his business partner. He has been for years. He still is.

PALADIN
What about Gorman?

STACY NEAL
Hired gun. Just like you. Shawcross paid him to kill you. It was a bet.

PALADIN
A bet? That’s insane.

STACY NEAL
I won’t argue with you, but I knew about it. I thought it would be exciting. It was.

PALADIN
And two men shot it out. And one of them was killed. And for what? For an evening’s entertainment.

STACY NEAL
You can’t stop them. It’s over. They didn’t do anything wrong. They didn’t break the law. They’ve been doing things like this for years, and you can’t do anything.

SID MORGAN
Stacy! Get up to your room.

PALADIN
I was very interested in what she had to say.

SID MORGAN
You’ve got no complaint Mr. Paladin, you’re well paid.

PALADIN
For what? For killing a man in a sideshow?

SID MORGAN
You get up to your room.

PALADIN
Mr. Morgan, you’ve got a gun. Draw it!

SID MORGAN
No! I’ve got no reason to draw on you, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
You’ve got an excuse now! Draw the gun!

SID MORGAN
I’m not gonna draw on you, paladin, Give you an excuse to kill me. You’re gonna have to shoot me in cold blood. Commit a real murder. Come on, stacy.

PALADIN
Stacy. You don’t have to go with him.

STACY NEAL
He’d find me again, sooner or later. It’s no use, paladin. He’ll go on and on. People will be hurt and will die, But nothing can stop him.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY

PALADIN
Miss neal come down yet?

CLERK
Come down? I guess she has. All of them did. Left in a buckboard two or three hours ago.

PALADIN
All of them?

CLERK
Well, it was that lady, like I said. Then mr. Morgan and that mr. Shawcross.

PALADIN
I see. This will cover what I owe you.

CLERK
Thanks.

PALADIN
Thank you.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

PALADIN
Stacy. Stacy. Come here. Here, stacy. Come on now, take some more. Come on.

PALADIN
Stacy, they’re just going around this point. Bring this horse on in slowly.

PALADIN
Hold it! Right where you are, both of you!

SHAWCROSS
Now don’t be hasty,
mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Just you give you me one slight excuse, Either one of you.

PALADIN
Stacy!

PALADIN
Now, morgan, you hand her your billfold. Give it to her.

PALADIN
Stacy, take my horse
into rough and ready.
Use whatever’s in that billfold and
take a stage wherever you want to go.
Go on,
it’s a long hot trip.
Stacy.
Goodbye, and good luck.

PALADIN
Now move out.

SID MORGAN
Paladin, you’re a smart man, if it’s money you want-Giddyup.

PALADIN
Hold it there.
You two gentlemen have been
untouched by any law for so long
That you’ve become dangerous
fugitives from justice.
I wonder if you really are
beyond any retribution.

SHAWCROSS
What do you mean?

PALADIN
You’re 30 miles due west of silver city. It’s about a three-day walk, and you’d better get started.

SID MORGAN
Walk?

PALADIN
I’ll take your gun, mr. Morgan. Now yours, mr. Shawcross.
You were willing to let a lone woman without any water
Try to walk 30 miles across the desert.
I’ve made myself a bet that two men carrying water could make it.
Now get down.

SID MORGAN
Why are you doing this?

PALADIN
Because it’s necessary.

SHAWCROSS
It s the same as murder.

PALADIN
I’m sure you are much better qualified to define murder than I am. Now get down. Get out of there! And good day to you, too.

SHAWCROSS
Paladin, wait!

SID MORGAN
What do you suppose
he’s up to?

SHAWCROSS
I don’t know. Well, may as well get going. He’s following.

SID MORGAN
First chance we get, we’ll figure some way to jump him.

SHAWCROSS
Every time I look back, he’s taking another drink. I’ve got to have water. Just one swallow.

SID MORGAN
All right. Just one swallow. Now I can wait. You owe me one swallow. You drank it all!

Buzzards flying overhead.

PALADIN
Gentlemen, you should’ve nursed your water better. But you had to indulge yourselves.
Well, there’s no sense in both of you dying. Here.

SHAWCROSS
Just water. Not much, but some.

SID MORGAN
I’m owed one swallow. One swallow’s mine.

SHAWCROSS
You’ll get it. I get a swallow.

PALADIN
All right, morgan. Now carry shawcross back over here to the buckboard.

SID MORGAN
He’s dead.

PALADIN
That’s too bad. We’ll need the body anyway. This time you’re not beyond the law. I’m taking you back to stand trial for murder.

SID MORGAN
You come near me and I’ll kill you.

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