62-“The Return of the Lady”

Season 2, Episode 23 – Original Airdate: (February 21, 1959)

<= 61 – “The Scorched Feather == The Monster of Moon Ridge” – 63 =>

Directed by  Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by: Shimon Wincelberg

PATRICIA MEDINA as Diana Coulter
(Unforgiving Minute, 1963) as Sabina
(The Lady, 1958) as Diana Coulter
GENE NELSON as Vance – Henchman
THEODORE MARCUSE as General Beauregard Grock
(High Wire, 1957) as Wally
(A Matter of Ethics, 1957) as Folger – Salesman
(Three Bells to Perdido, 1957) as Bartender
STAR TREK: TOS (Catspaw, 1967) as Korob
PILAR DEL REY as Maria
Herman Hack as Wedding Guest (uncredited)

You want your woman back. All right, there’s only one way you can get her. Fight for her. Just the two of us. I’ll leave the choice of weapons to you.

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY

PALADIN
Hey boy. Why are you standing there? Don’t tell me you haven’t read the telegram.

HEY BOY
I read. I want to see your face.

PALADIN
Oh?

PALADIN
“Being married the 26th. Please come to give away the bride, B.G. Ranch. Ask anyone in Texas. Diana Coulter.”

HEY BOY
Plenty big shock, I bet you.

PALADIN
Haven’t you anything else to do?

HEY BOY
You know, you jealous like anything, huh? Such nice English lady. Maybe she get tired of waiting around for you. Sure enough. You go Texas? To give bride away?

PALADIN
Well Hey Boy, isn’t that what I usually do with brides? Give them away.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

PALADIN
Now then…This the way to B.G.’s place?

VANCE – HENCHMAN
Never heard of him.

PALADIN
You better get yourself better oriented, Mister. You’re on his land.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You asking directions, fella or giving ’em?

PALADIN
That depends on which one of us is more lost.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You better head along with us. We’re sorta headed in that direction.

PALADIN
You uh…Wedding guests?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You um…You might say that. Who are you?

PALADIN
I’m another guest.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You wouldn’t by chance be the one that’s come to give the blushing bride in Holy Matrimony? Well, well.

PALADIN
And who may I ask are you?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
I’m General Grafton. Most people call me B.G. I’m the groom. Mount up!

INT. GENERAL GRAFTON’S ESTATE – NIGHT

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You like it?

PALADIN
Well, I suppose you have to live somewhere.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Finest building in all Texas. I’ll accept nothing but the finest.

PALADIN
Oh, I’m sure your bride appreciates that.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Hmmm?

PALADIN
The fact that you are willing to accept her.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
San Francisco’s a long way to come just to…Stand up for the bride.

PALADIN
Now you seem to be remarkably well-acquainted With miss coulter’s private correspondence.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You haven’t answered the gentleman’s remark.

PALADIN
Some remarks there’s only one way to answer, And it’s a way I try to avoid.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You can’t deny it’s a long way to come For a little thing like that.

PALADIN
I doubt that the bride feels it’s a little thing.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You don’t mind my being personal, Seeing as how you seem to know my betrothed Better than I do myself.

PALADIN
What do you want to know?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Your business. That is when you’re not busy giving away brides.

[Paladin presents his card]

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
This card mean what it implies?

PALADIN
I think so.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You be on your Sunday behavior. We want this gentleman to feel like he’s on vacation. Welcome to B.G.’s.

PALADIN
Thank you very much, I already feel welcome.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Maria, show the man his room. He don’t look much like the giving type to me. Think my old bride’s playing me for a fool?

VANCE – HENCHMAN
I always said so, didn’t I?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You being honest with me, boy? Or are you hankering to get her for yourself?

VANCE – HENCHMAN
Could be both. Why don’t you let me take her off your hands?

INT. PALADIN’S ROOM

PALADIN
I wonder if you could tell me where Miss Coulter is? She’s the lady who’s going to marry General Grafton.

PALADIN
All right, come on out of there. Come on! Well…Anna. Congratulations.

DIANNE COULTER
You’re angry with me, aren’t you?

PALADIN
Why should I be? You don’t owe me anything.

DIANNE COULTER
Is that all I meant to you?

PALADIN
Let’s keep it in the present tense, shall we? The only reason I’m here is to give the bride away.

DIANNE COULTER
How cold and virtuous you make that sound. How do you think I felt left alone in San Francisco? While you were off slaying dragons, And liberating enchanted castles. Or saving new damsels in distress. All for a suitable fee, of course!

PALADIN
You are not telling me what happened.

DIANNE COULTER
No. I’m not. There was an advertisement in the San Francisco paper. For an English tutor. It was a most generous salary, But I didn’t realize my pupil was B.G. Himself.

PALADIN
B.G.? What was he going to study?

DIANNE COULTER
He wanted to learn to be a gentleman. An aristocrat.

PALADIN
Now that’s rather a large order, isn’t it? And you, like Pygmalion, fell in love with your subject.

DIANNE COULTER
Oh, don’t be ridiculous! Why do you think I sent you that telegram?
How else could I summon your help?

PALADIN
Help?

DIANNE COULTER
Yes, help. B.G. Is a childlike, generous man. But there’s another side to him. I have no intention of marrying him.

PALADIN
Diana…Are you being kept here against your will?

DIANNE COULTER
It’s 30 miles to the nearest town. It’s more than anyone’s life’s worth to lend me a horse.

PALADIN
Oh. When’s the wedding?

DIANNE COULTER
Noon tomorrow at the church in town. Paladin…If you turn your back on me now, I understand. I have no right to ask you to risk your life.

PALADIN
Are you willing to risk yours?

DIANNE COULTER
With you? Oh, yes.

PALADIN
Where can I meet you later?

DIANNE COULTER
Wouldn’t it be safer not to?

PALADIN
Somewhere between here and the church tomorrow, You and I have to get away. I’ll take a look at the road tonight, Then I’ll let you know what we have to do.

DIANNE COULTER
I’ll meet you here at midnight.

INT. DINING ROOM – EVENING

PALADIN
Diana not feeling well?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Diana?

PALADIN
Miss Coulter, the bride?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
No, she’s not feeling well. And we refer to her as Lady Coulter.

PALADIN
I beg your pardon, sir. I didn’t realize you were So title-conscious in this part of the world.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
She’s a lady. A real one. Not like the trash you pick up in these parts.

PALADIN
And you’ll settle for nothing but the best.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Paladin, I’m a king in these parts. Someday all of this country will belong to a son of mine. Now I’ve seen the sons of other rich men. Flabby, slack-jawed… Bloodless jellyfish. Because their fathers used less sense in their own mating, Than they would in breeding a herd of steer. Well, the B.G. Brand Is gonna be the finest breed in this state. Whether in my cattle, Or my sons.

PALADIN
Uh…What does miss, uh…Lady coulter think about your flattering intentions?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You show me the woman who turns down the chance To marry a real man. To say nothing of all this.

PALADIN
Then she didn’t say no?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
She did not.

PALADIN
Did she say yes?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Mister, you ask a lot of personal questions. For a man who’s in this house, Purely on my sufferance.

PALADIN
I beg your pardon again, sir. I trust you’ll have no objection to my having a few words with Lady Coulter? After supper this evening?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
If she wants to talk to you, she’ll send for you. I thought you wasn’t feeling well.

DIANNE COULTER
Were not feeling well. The verb always agrees with the subject. Good evening, Mr. Paladin. How very kind of you to come all this way. I’m afraid you’ll find our poor festivities Rather uninteresting.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Poor! Ain’t nothing poor about the way B.G. Takes a wife.

DIANNE COULTER
I beg your pardon, dear. How lovely to see you again. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and rest.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
A queen among women. She just has to be taught her place.

INT. PALADIN’S ROOM

PALADIN
Diana, you sure you understand what you have to do?

DIANNE COULTER
Yes, I think so.

PALADIN
Now you make a mistake, You move too soon or too late, and you and I will both end up with bullets in our backs.

DIANNE COULTER
Paladin…

PALADIN
Go on.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
That’s twice tonight. She was waiting for him in his room again. They were together quite awhile. I couldn’t hear what they were saying. I reckon they weren’t saying much though. I’m only telling you how it seemed to me.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
I never should have let her send that telegram. I thought he was some old friend of the family, The way she described him.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
I wouldn’t say they behaved like…Enemies, exactly.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Sew it up good. It’s a long ways to church.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
You mean…You still want to marry her?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You see that? Honi-soit-qui-mal-y-pense. My great granddaddy was given this sword By the Duke of Wellington. The Iron Duke. For bravery in the field. You know what it means? “Evil to him who evil thinks.” And them’s the words you live by. I’m founding a dynasty here. My great-great-grandchildren will know these words Before they’re able to stand up. That’s why I have to marry a lady. Now shine it up good. I’m going to wear it to the ceremony. And tomorrow morning, I want those men in their Sunday best. Because they’re going to be escorting a lady. A lady, do you hear!

EXT. IN THE CARRIAGE TO THE CHURCH

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
You all right? No last minute regrets? No, no you wouldn’t have. You’re getting a good man. Not many women can say as much.

DIANNE COULTER
You want to sit here, B.G.?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
No. No, thank you. Tell the men to mount up.

EXT. ON THE ROAD TO THE CHURCH

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Oh mother, mother make my bed and make it long and narrow sweet William died

[Paladin escapes with Lady Coulter]

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Hold your fire! You might hit the girl.

PALADIN
Well, it’s a stalemate. As long as I can keep them pinned down. They can’t get up here, we can’t get down. It’ll be a long afternoon for B.G. And for us.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
I could spin him around. Have them rush him from all sides at once.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
These boys are my wedding guests. I invited them here to rejoice, Not to get their fool heads shot off.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
They’re gonna start thinking she didn’t want you. They’ll be saying B.G.’s getting old. Can’t make a woman happy anymore.

DIANNE COULTER
I feel rather sorry for B.G.

PALADIN
Oh?

DIANNE COULTER
It’s the first time anyone’s made him look foolish.

PALADIN
Man who needs 20 guns to get his bride to the altar, I’d call that a lot worse than foolish.

DIANNE COULTER
He’s not a bad man, really. If it weren’t for that monstrous vanity and ambition.

PALADIN
“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” And those are the qualities I’m counting on to get us out of here. Alive.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Tell the boys to keep them pinned down. Don’t let them get too cozy.

PALADIN
Well, we can only hope B.G. Lives up to our expectations.

DIANNE COULTER
Paladin, if we do get out of here, What then?

PALADIN
You asking for a prediction or a promise?

DIANNE COULTER
You won’t change your ways for anyone, will you?

PALADIN
If I could…You’d be all the reason I’d ever need.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
What now?

VANCE – HENCHMAN
Boys are getting a bit restless. Are we staying here all day? All day tomorrow, all night?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
We’ll stay here as long as it takes. She must be suffering something terrible. Don’t he care?

VANCE – HENCHMAN
Why should he? If you don’t. Oh, I ain’t blaming you. I reckon you seen by now that woman ain’t fittin’ To be the wife of a… Man like you.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
She’s a lady! Oh, I admit she’s… She’s hurt me deeply. But I forgive her. If I can just make him pay for this.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
Wonder what they’re saying to each other right now. You reckon she’s kissing him?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Shut your mouth!

PALADIN
Here’s B.G. Coming up the hill by himself.

DIANNE COULTER
You’re not going to kill him?

PALADIN
What if I have no other choice? What if I have to shoot him or let you marry him?

DIANNE COULTER
Are you asking me to decide?

PALADIN
No, if I’m forced to kill a man, I make the decision myself. B.G.!

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Yeah?

PALADIN
Take another step and I’ll stop missing. You want your woman back?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
What do you think I came up here for?

PALADIN
You willing to fight me for her?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
I wouldn’t have it no other way.

PALADIN
All right.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
What does she say about that?

PALADIN
She’ll go with the winner. I’ve been waiting for this. He’s willing to fight for you alone.

PALADIN
Tell your men to hold their fire. I’m coming down.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Men. Put away your guns. I’ll handle this myself.

PALADIN
Name your weapons.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
What about sabers? That be all right with you?

PALADIN
That’s fine with me.

PALADIN
Wait here ’til one of us comes back for you.

VANCE – HENCHMAN
You think she’ll keep her end of the bargain?

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Pete…Get me the saber off her horse.

[They fight. Vance ravishes Anne. Paladin shoots Vance.]

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Take her and get out of my sight.

GENERAL BEAUREGARD GROCK
Mount up.

PALADIN
Diana, will you do me one favor? Before you accept any more tutoring jobs, No matter how generous the fee, consult me first.

DIANNE COULTER
That seems a fair request. And I accept on one condition. That you make yourself available, For consultation.

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