60-“Hunt the Man Down”

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Harry Julian Fink.

ROBERT J. WILKE as Walt DeVries
JAMES DRURY as Tony DeVries
MADLYN RHUE as Elizabeth DeVries
RIC ROMAN as Morales
RALPH REED as Jesse StarrettJESSE STARRETT
MARK TAPSCOTT as Tom Semper
IAN MACDONALD as Homesteader
ROBIN RILEY as The Boy
CHANTAL NOEL as French Woman

You sent your men out to hunt me down and hang me, Walt.
They didn’t succeed. It’s your turn to try now. I’m through running.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

FRENCH WOMAN
Five minutes. Just give me time to change. You haven’t forgotten my room?

PALADIN
Mademoiselle, I shall count the seconds.

FRENCH WOMAN
Did we really meet in Paris? I’m sure I would’ve remembered you.

PALADIN
Well, if we didn’t, It’s an oversight which has been much too long uncorrected.

HEY BOY
Oh, Mr. Paladin, Uh, the latest.

PALADIN
Thank you, hey boy.

PALADIN
“Brothers threaten range war. Amanda, Texas, June 12th. A five year old estrangement between brothers Walter and Anthony Devries now threatens to turn into a full-scale range war. Anthony Devries, a homesteader, has stated that he will place barbed wire around his land. Other homesteaders will follow suit. The older Devries has avowed that he will burn out and kill if necessary, the first man who raises wire on the contested land.”

HEY BOY
You look disturbed, Mr. Paladin. Something wrong?

PALADIN
Hey boy, the young lady I was just with…Will you tell her that regretfully, I will not be able to keep our appointment this evening?

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

TOM SEMPER
You were a fool, boy. You couldn’t have needed work that bad.

BOY
I can work for anybody I want to. Anybody that’ll pay me.

TOM SEMPER
Not putting up wire. Nor working for a turncoat and a cheap woman.

BOY
Don’t you talk that way about Mrs. Devries.

TOM SEMPER
A cheap woman, boy! Don’t kill him. I don’t want the others to know. Let this be a warning.

MORALES
Whatever you say, Mr. Semper.

PALADIN
All right, leave him be.

TOM SEMPER
Mister, beating of this boy gives me no pleasure. But it’s a thing that’s going to be done. Now, you go on doing whatever you were doing, And don’t get yourself hurt for something that doesn’t concern you. I want it finished.

MORALES
Like I said, Mr. Semper, whatever you say.

TOM SEMPER
Looks like we’ve got a gunfighter among us, Jesse. Don’t give him an excuse to kill you.

PALADIN
All right, son. Wanna go home?

EXT. RANCH HOUSE

INT. RANCH HOUSE

TONY DEVRIES
Ten years. Eleven. It’s been a long time.

PALADIN
Tony, you’ve grown. You’re filled out.

TONY DEVRIES
And you look twice as tough to chew, I’d say. Paladin, it’s good to see you. I’m sorry you’re getting involved in this, but I need your help. I need it badly. This is my wife, Paladin.

PALADIN
Mrs. Devries.

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
Tony has talked of you often, mr. Paladin. And I understand that you do like southern fried chicken and hot biscuits.

PALADIN
Mrs. Devries, you are a fine cook. An excellent cuisiniere. I am most appreciative.

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
And I, mr. Paladin. You’re a gentleman of discernment, and great capacity. I’m most pleased.

TONY DEVRIES
Gotta see to the guards. Yeah, we do have guards, Paladin. Just like the war. Sentinels. To keep alive.

PALADIN
May I?

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
Please.

PALADIN
Mrs. Devries, do you want to tell me what’s happened here?

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
Thought you already knew, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
No, I only know that two brothers, Both of whom I remember with respect and affection, Are about to start a range war that could kill 100 people.

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
What have you heard about me?

PALADIN
Only a single sentence, spoken in anger, nothing more. I have a definite impression that you could help me stop this.

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
How? By telling you the facts of life? I was eighteen. And I was in love with Walt. We were going to be married.

PALADIN
And then Tony came back from the war?

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
Yes.

PALADIN
And Tony was young, and Walt was…almost twice your age.

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
He found us together, about a week before the wedding. He almost killed Tony. First with his fists, and then with a whip. It’s taken Tony five years to get the strength to come back. And I don’t think he’ll stop until he’s either beaten his brother into the ground, or killed him.

W
Excuse me.

TONY DEVRIES
Mostly, she tries to forget.

PALADIN
And you don’t? You try to keep remembering?
Hating?

TONY DEVRIES
No, I did him a wrong. He should’ve killed me then. He had a right to. But not beat me that way. Not have him tie me to a fence post and beat me ’til I cried. Begged him to stop. Not do this to me, Paladin. Not do this, Or this. Now I’m gonna put wire across my land. And when my brother tries to stop me, I’m not gonna back away.

PALADIN
He is your brother. Tony, it could mean a killing.

TONY DEVRIES
He’s got twenty men and I’ve got three. Can I depend on you?

PALADIN
To fight Walt Devries? He’s as good a friend as I ever had in my life. And that’s not exactly why I came here. I hoped I could arbitrate this thing between you two.

TONY DEVRIES
That won’t do. It’s your gun I want.

PALADIN
You ask a lot.

TONY DEVRIES
I thought I had a right to. Doesn’t saving you life count for that much?

PALADIN
You saved my life. I owe you a debt.

TONY DEVRIES
Then pay it.

PALADIN
I’ve had a long, hard ride. We’ll talk about this in the morning.

TONY DEVRIES
Paladin! When you go to see Walt tomorrow, Look around you on the way. You’ll see what my brother’s “no wire” edict And his cattle have done to the homesteaders in this valley. Maybe it’ll give you a stomach for what has to be done.

EXT. AT ANOTHER RANCH – MORNING

PALADIN
I wonder if I might have some water?

HOMESTEADER
Do you work for Walt Devries?

PALADIN
I’m a friend of his.

HOMESTEADER
I have no water.

EXT. WAGON CAMP – RANGE

PALADIN
I was told I could find Walt Devries out here. My name is Paladin. Call off the dogs, Walt. Don’t make me hurt them to show my status.

WALT DEVRIES
I’d heard that he’d ask you to come. I hoped you wouldn’t. Now that you’re here, what do you want?

PALADIN
Walt, I’m not here to fight you.

WALT DEVRIES
Not unless I leave you no choice. Isn’t that what you mean? Ride out, paladin, now. It isn’t your fight. You don’t owe my brother that much.

PALADIN
I passed some of your neighbor’s places on the way here. They might be able to raise a crop with wire around their land So your cattle couldn’t trample their crops down. They might be able to live. This is a big country. Let them in, and your brother tony. Cost you nothing but a little pride.

WALT DEVRIES
Pride is all a man has. You want to destroy someone, Humiliate ’em, beat ’em as you would a child. Tear away his pride and he’ll never be a man again.

PALADIN
Forget the woman. She’s married to your brother.

WALT DEVRIES
You listen to me, and you believe me. If you give your gun to my brother, I’ll tie you to a post and beat you ’til you whimper. If you use your gun on one of my men, I’ll hang you for it.

EXT. ON THE RANGE – DAY

PALADIN
Go on home.

TONY DEVRIES
Walt’ll know now for sure.

PALADIN
This all the wire on the place?

TONY DEVRIES

That’s it. Let’s go home. It’s the house! Beth! Beth! I’ll kill him for this!

ELIZABETH DEVRIES
Tony! He’s still here.

WALT DEVRIES
Semper, burn him out. I’m the man you want, tony, he just works for me. Now, burn him out.

TONY DEVRIES
No!

MAN
Save your life, friend.

TONY DEVRIES

I made you a promise, paladin. Did you think I wouldn’t keep it?

PALADIN
Now, you back ’em up. I’ll take my gun now, friend.

WALT DEVRIES

Semper. Hunt that man down and hang him.

EXT. RANCH HOUSE

JESSE STARRETT
Walt Devries is looking for you. That makes you a friend. I didn’t have time to cover your tracks. So they’ll be back.

PALADIN
Well, this is as good a place as any for them to find me.

JESSE STARRETT
I left my shotgun in the house. I better go get it.

PALADIN
Where’s your family?

JESSE STARRETT

They’re up there, too.

PALADIN
Now, you take your family and you keep out of this.

JESSE STARRETT
I’d like to stay.

PALADIN
Hold it.

PALADIN
Thank you.

INT.

JESSE STARRETT
I brought you some food…

PALADIN
I told you to stay out of this!

JESSE STARRETT
But you’ll…

PALADIN
They been out there for four hours. Get back to the house.
Go on back to the house!

INT. HOUSE

203
00:19:14,986 –> 00:19:17,288
Go in and get him, morales.

204
00:19:17,290 –> 00:19:19,390
Just one time, Semper. One time I’d like you to try and take a man.
Morales!
All right.
Paladin! Paladin!

PALADIN
Come on in, gentlemen.

PALADIN
To save your life, friend.

PALADIN
Now, you tell Walt devries I’m through running. I’ll be in town.

MORALES
You’re right. Mr. Devries can do his own fighting.
Come on.

WALT DEVRIES
Where is he?

PALADIN
Over here, Walt. Get down.

WALT DEVRIES
I thought you wanted a gun fight?
Or did you lose your stomach for it?

PALADIN
Your brother asked me for your life.
I give it to him.
Drop the gun belt.
Walt, I give it to him unless you don’t let me.
Drop the belt.

PALADIN
Now, the people in this valley are good people. They have a right to live. You live by your word. And I want your word that you’ll let them.

WALT DEVRIES
I’ll give you my word, to kill any man who puts wire across my land.

PALADIN
Last chance, Walt.
Your word.

WALT DEVRIES

I give you nothing.

PALADIN
Walt, please. Just let them live!

WALT DEVRIES
What else can you do to me? I give you my word.

TONY DEVRIES
Paladin. It was the thing that had to be done. Someone had to do it.

PALADIN
I owed you a debt. I paid it.

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