101-“The Lady on the Wall”

Paladin is accused by Bonanza’s citizenry of swiping the treasured painting behind the bar of the hamlet’s last remaining saloon…

Director: Ida Lupino, Writers: Charles Beaumont, Richard Matheson

LILLIAN BRONSON as Jevanita Felton, HOWARD PETRIE as Jack Foster
RALPH MOODY as Elmer Jensen, RALPH CLANTON as Armand Boucher
HANK PATTERSON as Rafe Adams, JAMES STONE as Ezekiel Becket
PERRY IVINS as Double G. Phillips

ARMAND BOUCHER

LILLIAN BRONSON also appears in: (The Uneasy Grave, 1961) as Mrs. Johnson, (The Search, 1960) as Mrs. Kilmer. RALPH MOODY also appears in: (Long Weekend, 1961) as Valentine Collins, (The Monster of Moon Ridge, 1959) as Jake Kelly, (The Silver Queen, 1958) as Judge Howell, HANK PATTERSON also appears in: (Jonah and the Trout, 1962) as  Mr. Barton – Insurance Agent, (The Hunt, 1962) as Jesse – Old Man, (Blind Circle, 1961) as Jess Larker, (El Paso Stage, 1961) as Judge Robbins, (Unforgiven, 1959) as Ronson, (Duel at Florence, 1958) as Plainsman, (In an Evil Time, 1958) as Pappy French, (Twenty-Four Hours at North Fork, 1958) as Stage Driver, (Gun Shy, 1958) as Pete Gilson, PERRY IVANS also appears in: (Killer’s Widow, 1958) as Proprietor, (The Great Mojave Chase, 1957) as Veterinarian (un-crd)

INT. HOTEL CARLETON LOBBY -DAY

DESK CLERK
Mr. Paladin. Telegram.

PALADIN
Thank you. Let me see if there’s an answer for this. Well, there’s no answer, but…The dinner for two, will you ask the chef to cancel that? And give him my regrets, please.

DESK CLERK
Yes, I will.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL -DAY

We see Paladin on horseback, riding through the plains with a majestic view of snow-capped mountains in the background.

EXT. IN TOWN – STORMY NIGHT

We see a sign hanging diagonally in a dilapidated town that reads: “BONANZA – The Biggest Little Town in the World”

Paladin enters Jacks Saloon. Four men are at the bar with their backs toward Paladin. They are looking at a painting behind the bar.

PALADIN
Gentlemen.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Evening.

PALADIN
Evening. Whiskey?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Passin’ through?

PALADIN
That’s right.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
There was a day people didn’t just pass through. They stayed.

PALADIN
Mines run out?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Not enough silver left to fill a tooth.

ELMER JENSEN
Beautiful, ain’t she?

PALADIN
That’s a very interesting painting.

ELMER JENSEN
More than that, mister. More than that. My name’s Elmer Jensen.

PALADIN
Paladin.

ELMER JENSEN
Glad to know you, Mr. Paladin. These are my friends. Rafe Adams, Ezekiel Becket,
Double G. Phillips, And Jack Foster.

PALADIN
Gentlemen.

ELMER JENSEN
He was admiring Annie.

RAFE ADAMS
She’s our girl, Mister.

DOUBLE G. PHILLIPS
Fella that painted her had real talent.

EZEKIEL BECKET
And eyes in his head.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
What’ll he think? A bunch of fools mooning over a painting.

DOUBLE G. PHILLIPS
You think we’d stay in this town full of empty houses if it weren’t for annie?

ELMER JENSEN
There’s been no amusement here since the mines closed down. Wasn’t always that way. Used to be a lot of friends here. Oh, the good times we had. Seems like people have lost the knack of having good times. Was pretty dangerous, though, Bonanza in the old days.
I collected the first tax ever collected With my hat in one hand, gun in the other.
Now Bonanza’s a ghost town, and we’re almost ghosts.

PALADIN
But you still do have Annie.

ELMER JENSEN
That’s right.

PALADIN
Gentlemen, may I buy the drinks?

MEN AT BAR
Well, well! I don’t see why not!

JEVANITA FELTON
Mr. Foster.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Oh, here, Mr. Paladin. This is Miss Felton. She takes care of the place.

PALADIN
Miss Felton.

JEVANITA FELTON
And where are you from?

PALADIN
San Francisco.

ELMER JENSEN
Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Oh, yeah. To Annie.

MEN AT BAR
To Annie!

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
To Annie.

PALADIN
Ahh. Now, how do I go about getting a room?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Miss Felton, show Mr. Paladin the Presidential Suite. That’s a little joke we have.
The rooms are all the same. Take your pick. Six bits.

PALADIN
Thank you.

JEVANITA FELTON
Come on, Mr. Paladin.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
I’ll bring your saddlebags up in just a little while, Mr. Paladin. Boys, let’s give another toast to Annie, huh?

MEN AT BAR
To Annie!

JEVANITA FELTON
Staring at a painted woman. They’re out of their minds. Poor things. That’s happens when you get old. It’s all they have left. And don’t you criticize. You city people…We had our day.

PALADIN
Well, I’m sure you did.

JEVANITA FELTON
Come on, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Miss felton, you recommend this presidential suite?

JEVANITA FELTON
This one will suit you fine.

PALADIN
Thank you.

JEVANITA FELTON
That’s mr. Boucher. We’re just a capital of big-city culture. He leaves tomorrow.
This is the bed.

PALADIN
Oh, thank you very much.

JEVANITA FELTON
The stage to virginia city comes through Between 3:00 and 4:00. You flag it, and they’ll stop. Pleasant dreams.

PALADIN
Thank you. Good night, miss felton.

INT. PALADIN’S ROOM – MORNING
All right, boys, go to it!

82
00:07:25,311 –> 00:07:28,680
Now, let’s see…
We’ll take this place apart.

83
00:07:28,747 –> 00:07:30,548
I’ll take lookin’ over here.

PALADIN
Wait a minute! What’s this all about?

ELMER
Find anything in there? This here…

RAFE
Well, where is it?

PALADIN
Where is what?

You know what.

ELMER JENSEN
You better come downstairs.

PALADIN
First, you’re gonna have to explain to me.

RAFE
You’re gonna have to come down, or we’ll have to take you.

PALADIN
Mr. Jensen, I have a gun here.

ELMER JENSEN
It don’t matter.

PALADIN
It don’t? Oh. Well…If you boys go downstairs, I’ll come down as soon as I’m dressed.

ELMER
All right. Come on, boys.
Ah-ah.
You be on down there now.

INT. BAR ROOM -DAY

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Coffee, Double G.?

DOUBLE G.
No, thanks.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Becket? Elmer?

ELMER JENSEN
No, I couldn’t drink a drop.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Rafe?

RAFE ADAMS
No.

ELMER JENSEN
Take a look, mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
You think I stole it?

RAFE ADAMS
Stranger comes to town, sees our Annie, drinks a toast to her. Next morning, she’s gone.
What’s that add up to you?

PALADIN
Wrong answer, mr. Adams. I didn’t steal your painting. Why would I want it?

EZEKIEL
You was mighty taken with her last night.

OTHER GUY
She’s gone. Annie’s gone.

PALADIN
Did you report the loss?

ELMER JENSEN
Report to who? We ain’t got no law in Bonanza.

PALADIN
I may possibly be of some help to you gentlemen.

ELMER JENSEN
How’s that?

Paladin’s card

ELMER JENSEN
It ain’t a gun we’re after. It’s Annie.

PALADIN
It ain’t a gun I’m offering you. It’s my help. Now, which one of you first discovered that your painting was gone?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Their painting? It’s mine. I came down here about 6:30 this morning, and it was gone.

PALADIN
Anybody could’ve walked in here.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
No, they couldn’t. I put the storm doors up and locked them.

PALADIN
Well, let’s get to it. Somebody go and check for missing wagons. Check the stage office to see if any large packages have been sent out.

ELMER JENSEN
All right, come on. We’re wastin’ time.

PALADIN
They really are unhappy about this, aren’t they?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Yeah, it’s ridiculous.

PALADIN
You really believe that?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Of course. Don’t you?

PALADIN
No. That painting was about the most important thing in their lives. Who do you think it was?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
How should I know?

PALADIN
Confidentially, Mr. Foster…Between you and me, Where’s the painting?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Now get this through your head. That picture’s my own property. Why should I steal something I already own?

PALADIN
I wouldn’t know. But those four old gentlemen have asked me to return property they don’t even own, except in spirit, and I’m going to return it with your help or without it.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Everybody’s gone loco.

PALADIN
Mm-hmm.

Paladin sneaks into the back room to search for the painting. Jack enters with a gun…

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
What are you doing in here?

PALADIN
Jack, what are you trying to do? Hiding your own property’s no crime, but murder is.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
You’re leaving bonanza right now.

PALADIN
Why don’t you want them to know?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
It’s none of your business. Get moving.

PALADIN
Jack…

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Upstairs. Get your things.

PALADIN
jack, those old men are gonna think I took their painting.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
You’re wastin’ time. Come on.

PALADIN
That’s the idea, isn’t it?

PALADIN
It’s gonna be a unique experience being run out of town for discovering a man was taking his own property.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Come on. Move.

PALADIN
Now I’d like the truth.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
I didn’t think they were gonna make such a fuss over it. They got so riled up, I…I couldn’t tell them. I was afraid to tell ’em.

PALADIN
Tell ’em what?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
That I sold the painting to boucher.

ARMAND BOUCHER
I have my ticket for the stage. I’m leaving this afternoo-

PALADIN
You sold that painting to boucher? Well, For how much? I’d like to know what a lifelong friendship is worth to a man like you.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
$500. I haven’t made a dime since the mines closed. I don’t wanna hurt my friends, Paladin. Boucher will be leaving. I gotta go on living with these boys. What am I gonna do?

PALADIN
I don’t know, Foster. That’s your decision.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
All right. All right. $500. My own painting. It’s getting so a man can’t even sell his own property. You’d better come with me, Paladin. If I’m left alone with this cash, I might not give it back. What a fool I am. $500. My own cash. I tell you, Paladin, I just don’t know.

ARMAND BOUCHER
You swindler.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
What’s wrong?

ARMAND BOUCHER
What’s wrong? The painting’s been stolen.

INT. ARMAND BOUCHER’S ROOM -DAY

Paladin, Boucher and Foster are in the room.

PALADIN
Well, whoever did it didn’t come up this way. You sure you locked this door when you left this morning?

ARMAND BOUCHER
Yes. What business is it of yours anyway?

PALADIN
How do you happen to be here? Is this a divine accident?

ARMAND BOUCHER
Accident? Hardly. I’ve been ruining my health scouring the west for the paintings of Henry Sutell.

PALADIN
Sutell. Of course. I thought I recognized that technique.

ARMAND BOUCHER
Are you an art dealer, too?

PALADIN
No, Mr. Boucher. I’m from San Francisco, and we have a number of excellent museums and galleries there. Since it is Sutell, wouldn’t you say that $500 is a little bit on the low side?

ARMAND BOUCHER
Not at all. Its value is historic, not financial. I may have allowed for some slight margin of profit, But it is a minor one, I can assure you. Anyway, that’s my affair.

PALADIN
Foster. Who had access to this room?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Just Mr. Boucher and myself. Oh, and Miss Felton. She has to have a key to clean up.

ARMAND BOUCHER
Then she took it.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
That’s crazy.

PALADIN
We have to start someplace. Let’s talk to miss felton.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Boucher, why did you have to show up here, anyway? I was perfectly happy being poor.

ARMAND BOUCHER
I have nothing to say to you.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Miss felton, it’s me, jack.

JEVANITA FELTON
Yes? Yes, mr. Foster?

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Something’s been stolen from mr. Boucher’s room.

JEVANITA FELTON
Oh!

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
What’s the matter?

JEVANITA FELTON
I was afraid to tell you.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Tell me what?

JEVANITA FELTON
I lost my keys last night.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Well, then, anybody could’ve stolen the painting.

INT. BAR ROOM – DAY

Foster is explaining himself to the four old men.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
That’s the whole story. I don’t know why I’ve got to apologize for selling my own property but I’m sorry.  I’m giving Mr. Boucher back his money.

ARMAND BOUCHER
I warn you, if you help him swindle me…

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Boucher.

ARMAND BOUCHER
What now, mr. Paladin?

PALADIN (TO THE FOUR MEN)
Keep an eye on ’em. I’ll be back.

INT. OUTSIDE MISS FELTON’S ROOM -DAY

JEVANITA FELTON
Who is it?

PALADIN
It’s Mr. Paladin. I found the painting.

JEVANITA FELTON
Oh! How did you find it? Oh, that’s so underhanded.

INT. AT FOOT OF STAIRS -DAY

ARMAND BOUCHER
He’s been up there a long time. What’s he doing?

FOSTER
How should I know?

We see Paladin and Miss Felton coming down the stairs.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Well, it’s about time. What’s been going on?

PALADIN
Gentlemen, if you please. Miss felton has a statement to make.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
I thought those keys were lost.

PALADIN
That is exactly what Miss Felton wanted you to think.

ARMAND BOUCHER
She did steal my painting, then.

JEVANITA FELTON
I didn’t steal it. I took it.

ARMAND BOUCHER
I hardly see the difference. Where is it?

PALADIN
First, tell him your name Miss Felton.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
What’s that got to do with it?

ELMER
What you tryin’ to tell us, Mister?

RAFE
Yeah, come on out with it.

ezekiel
yes.

PALADIN
Miss felton.

JEVANITA FELTON
I’m Annie.

Annie?

elmer
Oh, no. Can’t be.

rafe
Not annie.

ezekiel
Oh, no.

ARMAND BOUCHER
Preposterous.
This old woman? Why…

PALADIN
When sutell was in bonanza, miss felton was not…

JEVANITA FELTON
…a preposterous old woman. Thank you, Mr. Paladin. These gentlemen don’t even know I’m alive anymore. But Mr. Sutell, He could never get enough of painting me. Over and over he’d do it. I thought they were all fine, but he was never satisfied.

ARMAND BOUCHER
Where are they? Where are they? Where?

JEVANITA FELTON
He burned them.

ARMAND BOUCHER
Oh!

JEVANITA FELTON
This one here was the last one, and he gave it to me. Then he said, “Annie, I’m not the marrying kind, and you’d be miserable.” Then he went out, through those doors. Before he’d got ten feet, they brought him back and put him in jail for owing money to your father, Mr. Foster. And I said, “Take the painting and let him go.” So they did. Mr. Foster, last night I watched you and Mr. Boucher take the painting down and carry it in the back room. And I heard everything you planned. Mr. Sutell said this would happen. He said, “Annie, men will come for that painting. Men with big-city talk and shiny boots and lots of money.” And he was right. Mr. Boucher came.

PALADIN
Well, gentlemen, as far as I can see, that painting was never available for sale at all.

ARMAND BOUCHER
What are you talking about?

PALADIN
It’s perfectly clear the painting belongs to Miss Felton.

ARMAND BOUCHER
You heard what she said. She gave it in payment for Sutell’s hotel bill.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Well, I’ll tear up that bill. It’s no good.

PALADIN
Annie, where is it?

JEVANITA FELTON
It’s locked up…In the upstairs closet.

ELMER JANSEN
Come on, boys. Let’s get it!
Yeah!

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
I need the 500 like my lungs, but…

ARMAND BOUCHER
I’ll give it to you.

JEVANITA FELTON
I wouldn’t touch your preposterous old cash.

ARMAND BOUCHER
You’re all in this together. All right, $5,000, but that’s tops.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
$5,000?

PALADIN
Boucher, why not offer what it’s really worth? You’ve proved you’re nothing but a cheap swindler. Why don’t you offer the $50,000 the painting is really worth?

ARMAND BOUCHER
All right, annie. $50,000. You’ll be famous. Your portrait will be hanging in a great gallery with thousands of people to see it.

JEVANITA FELTON
No, thank you.

ARMAND BOUCHER
You’re out of your mind. I’m offering you wealth and immortality.

JEVANITA FELTON
Oh, Mr. Boucher, you can’t offer me immortality, Because Henry Sutell gave that to me.

ARMAND BOUCHER
It’s beyond belief.

Paladin laughs,

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Paladin, $500 is one thing, But 50,000?

PALADIN
Your decision. Boucher’s still upstairs.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
You’re asking an awful lot.

PALADIN
No, I’m not asking you. The boys aren’t asking you. It’s you that’s asking it of yourself.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Her name ain’t even Annie. It’s Genevieve or something.

PALADIN
Evanita, as a matter of fact.

ELMER JENSEN
We got her. We got her. Don’t scratch it.

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Put her up back of the bar where she belongs. In her rightful place. Right there, huh? Boys, this is an occasion to celebrate. The drinks are on the house.

JEVANITA FELTON
Oh, mr. Foster! Oh, mr. Foster!

BARTENDER (JACK FOSTER)
Oh, yes. Boys, let’s toast our annie.

MEN
To annie! Oh, gosh! Ain’t she pretty?

PALADIN
To annie.

JEVANITA FELTON
Thank you, mr. Paladin. Thank you.