103-“The Hatchet Man”

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen. Writers: Shimon Wincelberg, Herb Meadow (creator)

Music by Lyn Murray. (a departure from the usual HGWT musical score…very oriental)

BENSON FONG as Detective Joe Tsin, LISA LU LI as Hwa
PHILIP AHN as Hoo Yee, NOLAN LEARY as Detective Inspector Clarence Magruder
KAM TONG as Hey Boy, ALLEN JUNG as Loo Sam, FUJI as Sing Chuck – Bodyguard
BEAL WONG as 1st Hatchet Man (as W. Beal Wong)
JAMES B. LEONG as 2nd Hatchet Man (as James Leong)

Actor Notes: Lisa Wu Li went on to play Hey Girl in later HGWT episodes.
Philip Ahn went on to play Master Po in the TV series “Kung Fu”

PALADIN
Hey boy.

HEY BOY
Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
What does that mean?

HEY BOY
No wanna get mix up with those person.

PALADIN
Well, Hey boy, I can’t really tell until I have this translated.
What does this mean?

HEYBOY
You brave man, Mr. Paladin.
But this evil Tong, when they put fingers on you…

PALADIN
Hey boy, I am waiting for a translation, not a eulogy.
Now, what does this mean?

HEY BOY
Oh, it says, uh, “proclamation.”

PALADIN
I understand that it’s a proclamation.
“The sum of $1,000 American is hereby offered as a reward upon the death of…”
And this is the ideograph I do not understand. What does it mean?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
Detective. That’s what it says. “the life of Detective Joe Tsin.”

PALADIN
“dishonorable traitor to his own people. this reward is offered sincerely and sealed by us.
Loo Sam, Association for Gentle Brotherhood. The day of your death is surely upon us.”

Magruder hands Paladin his calling card. Paladin reads it.

PALADIN
And this is Detective Inspector Clarence Magruder, San Francisco Police Department.

Paladin hands Magruder his calling card

PALADIN
I don’t believe we’ve met, Inspector. What happened to Brophy?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
Oh, started getting a bit greedy. Now he’s back pounding a beat on the waterfront.

PALADIN
And how does this proclamation concern you?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
Detective Joe Tsin. One of the best. The only expert we have on crime in Chinatown.
Naturally the Tong boys aren’t too pleased. If they can get rid of him, they’ll be right back having things their own way.

PALADIN
Well, surely the San Francisco Police Department can protect one of its own members.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
You, uh, know much about orientals?

PALADIN
A little.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
Well, then you know that they ain’t like you and me.

PALADIN
I’m not at all sure that I know that.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
I don’t mean to run them down. I mean they have customs, traditions, pride. I mean, Joe wouldn’t let us protect him from his own people. Even if we could. Of course, I guess Joe feels that if he can’t handle this himself, it’s a black mark against all of them. But if he doesn’t get some first-class protection at once, he’s gonna die. We thought that maybe a stranger, a man like yourself…Joe wouldn’t be so apt to catch on.

PALADIN
And if he does?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
He’d lose face. You can see that. And then heaven knows what lengths he’d go to just to redeem himself.

PALADIN
And where do I find him?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
Chinatown. Anywhere. That boy’s idea of a normal workday is 24 hours.
You might ask his father. Old Hoo Yee is quite a prominent man in Chinatown.

PALADIN
Not one of the Tongs?

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
No. Chinese Young Men’s Christian Association. All the police department can pay you is $20 a day. And, of course, a grand civic funeral if one of them Highbinders parts your hair with a hatchet.

PALADIN
Well, thank you very much. I’ll be happy to contribute my fee to the police widow’s pension fund if you can guarantee that not one cent of it will go for graft.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
Mr. Paladin, you can’t expect us to reform the entire municipal administration overnight.

PALADIN
No, I suppose not.

DETECTIVE INSPECTOR CLARENCE MAGRUDER
I’ll do my best.
Thank you.

HEY BOY
Detective Joe is cousin of my father’s cousin. But I think you are, please forgive,
A fool to get mix up in such fatal business.

PALADIN
Hey boy, you know what Lao Tze says: “A man who knows he is a fool, is not a great fool.”

HEY BOY
True. But those Highbinder all the same rattlesnakes.
When you hear warning, it is too late.

PALADIN
Will you take me to Joe Tsin’s father?

HEY BOY
Now? In the dark of night?

PALADIN
Now, in the dark of night.

HEY BOY
I’m bad Oriental. Rather lose face than die. But for you, all right.

PALADIN
Hey boy, I thank you for your sacrifice. I’ll join you here.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT

INT. OLD HOO YEE’S HOUSE IN CHINATOWN – NIGHT

HOO YEE
Your police let unprincipled Chinese traffic in slaves, opium, and other such notorious enterprises. But when your people is angered and blames all of us and commits outrages against the innocent, they turn their back.

PALADIN
The men who attack your people are just as hateful to us.
But what has this to do with your son?

HOO YEE
Your police, they say, help us destroy the tongs.
Then we can protect you. Very well. My son joins police department.
In consequence, one of the Tongs most evil chieftains, Loo Sam,
is deeply angry with my son. He says he will not live longer than this week.

PALADIN
And your son will not accept the protection of the San Francisco
police force.

HOO YEE
Do you know what kind of individuals Will be competing for that generous reward money? The Bai-Hai Doys. What your police call the Highbinders. Scientific executioners. Men, who with their hatchet, have done more destruction to the human organism of their enemy than the San Francisco police department with all their guns. Should my son lower himself to ask protection from men too cowardly or heartless to intervene when a Chinese laundryman has red pepper thrown in his eyes or is hung to a lamppost by his queue?

PALADIN
I don’t suppose your son would consider leaving town for a while.

HOO YEE
My son is a proud man. He feels the reputation of all our people is involved.
If he ran away, even his future bride would despise him.

PALADIN
Well, it’s difficult enough to protect a coward or a fool.
But a proud man…

HOO YEE
Who asked you to protect him?

PALADIN
The San Francisco police force.

HOO YEE
I warn you not to disgrace him publicly.

PALADIN
And if I see him in danger of losing his life, You still wish me Not to intercede?

HOO YEE
I know it is difficult For you occidentals to understand The meaning of restraint. I know how fond you are of the discharge of explosive weapons.
But my son has only one life. When a shot is fired, a hundred may follow.
Felling the innocent with the guilty. Then the rage against my people would be terrible.

PALADIN
Well…I will do my best to act with restraint.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT

JOE TSIN
Just a minute there, fellow.

PALADIN
Well, you’re Joe Tsin.

JOE TSIN
What were you doing in that house?

PALADIN
Ask your father.

JOE TSIN
Don’t get sporty with me, Mister. I will have an answer. What are you up to? Some kind of shakedown maybe?

PALADIN
Am I under arrest?

JOE TSIN
I’ll decide that when I’m ready.

PALADIN
On what charges?

JOE TSIN
You hoodlums think you can walk all over us, don’t you? I’m a police officer, not a laundryman. When I ask a question, I will have an answer.

PALADIN
Why don’t we just go on to the police station and straighten this thing out.

JOE TSIN
That’s exactly what we’re gonna do.

JOE TSIN
All right. Let’s go.

A fight breaks out between the officer and Chinese hoodlums.

JOE TSIN
All right. Let’s go.

HOO YEE
Mr. Paladin. Thank you for saving my son’s life.

JOE TSIN
Did my father hire you to protect me?

PALADIN
He did not.

JOE TSIN
Someone did.

PALADIN
Would you rather be dead now?

JOE TSIN
I’m grateful to you for saving my life, But not to those who showed so little faith in me.

MISS HWA
What if these people had killed you?

JOE TSIN
I would have died with honor.

PALADIN
There is no honor in a wasted death.

JOE TSIN
Perhaps 2,000 years from now, Your civilization will have learned to understand ours.

MISS HWA
You have made him lose face.

PALADIN
Well, he could have lost his head.

MISS HWA
He must do something to prove he is more brave than you.

PALADIN
Oh? To whom must he prove this?

MISS HWA
To his father. To me. To all these people. But most of all, to himself.

PALADIN
It’s going to be rather difficult to protect him after what’s happened.

MISS HWA
It’s too late. No one can protect him from what he must do now.

PALADIN
What does that mean?

MISS HWA
Come. I will show you. This is what I’ve been looking for. It is a chun-ho. A challenge from Joe.

PALADIN
To whom?

MISS HWA
To Loo Sam, the head of the Tong. The association for Gentle Brotherhood.

PALADIN
That sounds fair enough.

MISS HWA
Or any representative he may appoint.

PALADIN
Well, that’s not so good.

MISS HWA
To meet him in armed combat here tonight at 12:00. Now, what shall we do?

PALADIN
Is there any chance That Loo Sam will accept this challenge himself?

MISS HWA
No. He pays many thousand dollars a year to his bai-hai doys, His fighting men, experts, scientific killers,who eat the flesh of wild cats to give them cunning. Those men who attacked you in the streets just now, they were children compared to those fighting men who work for Loo Sam. And he will simply choose the most deadly of them all, his bodyguard, Sing Chuck. His name means, “his feet are swift to shed blood.”

PALADIN
Is there no way I can help Joe?

MISS HWA
You’ve done all you could.

PALADIN
Well, if I hadn’t provoked Joe into handcuffing us, he probably could have handled that street fight himself. But since I am responsible for this…

MISS HWA
Please. You must not even think of helping Joe. He is not afraid of death. But to be disgraced by you a second time…

PALADIN
He can still feel that way Knowing he wouldn’t have a chance in such a fight?
Between an honorable man and a scoundrel, The contest must always be uneven.

PALADIN
Perhaps we can do something to make it a little more even.

MISS HWA
How?

PALADIN
Where can I find this famous killer whose feet are swift to shed blood? There is a gambling house on Sacramento street owned by Loo Sam. But I have never heard of a stranger who valued his life so little as to venture inside.

PALADIN
Will you take me there?
Why not?

MISS HWA
The police. They hired you to save a life, not to throw away your own.

PALADIN
Well, perhaps you’re right. Perhaps I can’t expect to hurdle 2,000 years in one night.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

EXT. CHINATOWN SIDEWALK – NIGHT

Paladin and Hey boy are walking together towards the gambling house.

PALADIN
That one?

HEY BOY
You know what they do to me if they find out I tell you? I don’t have to wait?

PALADIN
No. Send a bottle of Chablis up to my room. If I don’t come out of there, use it to toast my memory.

HEY BOY
I send for rice wine. French wine make me ill.

INT. CHINESE GAMBLING DEN – NIGHT

LOO SAM
You are in the wrong place, perhaps?

PALADIN
The wrong place for you.

LOO SAM
And what is the right place for me?

PALADIN
San Quentin prison.

LOO SAM
If you are a troublemaker from the police, you had better remember the chief inspector is my very dear friend. What does he want? More money?

PALADIN
I am in no way connected with the police. If you will excuse me, I just came here to enjoy myself. Now, gentlemen, what are the rules here? And you needn’t think I’m going to show you my bankroll until I know with what I am playing.

INT. ADJOINING ROOM

LOO SAM
Sing Chuck. There’s a stranger in the other room. Go wash his body. I want to see the color of his blood.

LOO SAM
My bodyguard is a very busy man. He has a duel to fight for me this night. But I think he will enjoy this task: To wash your body in blood.

Paladin is facing a very large Chinese bodyguard. The Chinese gamblers clear the way to the sidelines anticipating a fight.

PALADIN
Well, I just came here looking for a little action, But if this is the only kind
of action you care to provide, There’s not very much I can do about it, is there?

Paladin and Sing Chuck engage in a heated battle. Many martial arts blows are exchanged until Sing Chuck is thrust against the wall by Paladin.

SING CHUCK
(Yelling in anger at Paladin) Ah!

Sing Chuck then pulls a revolver on Paladin who responds with his trusty belt-derringer. Sing Chuck falls dead and then Loo Sam draws a gun on Paladin who quickly responds.  Loo Sam wisely drops his gun.

PALADIN
(speaking angrily) I should have shot you. But you’ve got an appointment tonight in person with Joe Tsin. Now, let your enemies and your friends see how bravely you fight your own battles.

EXT. STREET – NIGHT

PALADIN
Well, it’s getting late.

JOE TSIN
I warn you, this is my fight and no one else’s.

PALADIN
I wouldn’t change places with you for anything in the world.

JOE TSIN
It’s midnight. He has not accepted my challenge.

JOE TSIN
From this night, he and his association Will be the mockery of all chinatown.
But I don’t understand it. His hatchet man could have beaten me easily.

PALADIN
Well, perhaps you underestimate yourself.

JOE TSIN
I have a suspicion you had a hand in this somehow Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Joe, you’ve been trying so hard to be a 200% American, that you haven’t understood what really makes this country. What makes this country is not its great men standing alone trying to do the impossible. It’s men of all kinds, large and small, Trying to do a job together. Not for their personal honor, but for the honor of their country. Am I forgiven?

Paladin bows to all Chinese persons present.

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