114-“The Campaign of Billy Banjo”

Season 3, Episode 36 – Original Airdate: (May 28, 1960)

<= 113 – “The Twins == Ransom” – 115 =>

Billy Banjo Jones is running for state senate, supported by his rich and domineering wife, Elise. But he hires Paladin to give protection to his opponent, Jansen, because he fears that Elise may do murder to ensure his successful election.

Director: Richard Boone, Writers: Frank Pierson, Richard Baer.

JACQUES AUBUCHON as Billy Banjo Jones
(The Kid, 1961) as Moriarity
(Incident at Borrasca Bend, 1959) as Judge Wesson
RITA LYNN as Elise Banjo Jones
(Bitter Wine, 1958) as Teresa Donatello
VIC PERRIN as Sheriff Cooley
(Everyman, 1961) as Drunk
(The Night the Town Died, 1960) as Frazier
(Show of Force, 1957) as Arnold Haskins
(Winchester Quarantine, 1957) as Rheinhart
KUNG FU (The Third Man, 1973) as Eldon Riddle
CHARLES DAVIS as Jansen
DOROTHY DELLS as Mrs. Fred Wade
(Sweet Lady of the Moon, 1963) as Mary Murdock
(The Fifth Bullet, 1962) as Emmy Bartlett
(One, Two, Three, 1962) as Girl
(A Knight to Remember, 1961) as Rita – the Woman
(Fight at Adobe Wells, 1960) as Madge Mattock
(The Golden Toad, 1959) as Jacqueline
CHUCK ROBERSON as Rancher
(Ben Jalisco, 1961) as Carly
(Soledad Crossing, 1961) as Man Guarding River Crossing
(The Legacy, 1960) as Pike
BRAD WESTON as Miner
(The Gospel Singer, 1961) as Will Durbin
(The Siege, 1961) as Theo Brent
(The Search, 1960) as Messanger
(Fight at Adobe Wells, 1960) as Quanah Parker
(The Pledge, 1960) as Esteban – Indian Leader
(The Prophet, 1960) as Serafina’s Brother
(Return of Roy Carter, 1959) as Eddie Clinton
STAR TREK (The Devil in the Dark, 1967) … Appel
STEWART EAST as 2nd Miner
HAL NEEDHAM as Cowhand

INT. PALADIN’S HOTEL SUITE

PALADIN
Come in. Hey boy.

H
Mr. Paladin. Nobody know what it means. Not even mailman.

PALADIN
Turn it over. Banjo? A banjo. Of course. Pack the bags, Hey Boy.

EXT. IN TOWN

M
Let him have it.

M
That’s all.

M
Yee-hoo!

M
Come on.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Give me the gun.

PALADIN
I’m sorry.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Don’t be sorry. Give me the gun or turn around and ride on out.

PALADIN
I can’t do that, Sheriff. I just arrived here on business.

SHERIFF COOLEY
That’s exactly what I’m afraid of. We got an election going on here I’m trying to keep from turning into a war.

PALADIN
That is no way to bring about disarmament.

SHERIFF COOLEY
You don’t have to be like that. You’ll be safe.
I’ll give it back to you right after the votes are counted.

PALADIN
Take it. I’ll want it back in good condition.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Yeah. Right after the show.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Crazy grasshoppers is just flyin’ high! Flyin’ high, doin’ nothing!
But you know that you can’t catch a grasshopper, But you just step on an ant.
There’s the moral to that story.

M
Yee-hoo! Yee-hoo! Ya-ya-hoo! Yee-hoo!

BILLY BANJO JONES
I wanna tell you about the Mexican War.
The Mexican War.

M
Yee-hoo!

BILLY BANJO JONES
I have fought and I have bled and I have…

ELISE BANJO JONES
That a boy, Billy!

PALADIN
You about to say you’d died for your country?

BILLY BANJO JONES
Paladin! It’s him, honey. Meet the wife.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Hi, honey.

PALADIN
How do you do?

BILLY BANJO JONES
End of speech. That’s all there is.

M
No! No, no, no! Come on! More!

BILLY BANJO JONES
You know what this is? Him and me. It’s a class reunion. Top and bottom.
Buster, take over. Shake up the piano. Come on. Come on.

PALADIN
Billy, I gather you’re running for senator,
But do you expect to win with speeches like that?

ELISE BANJO JONES
He charms the cowhands right out of their boots.

PALADIN
He’ll have to to win any election.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Ha! Some friend you are. Rolls.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Paladin, I got tired of being a slob, you know.
It got hard to stay lazy and out of work. It’s a lost art.
You could throw a rock anywhere in the country and hit somebody
That’d make a good mother or a fine president.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Jam.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Anyways, it’s not me that’s ambitious.
It’s Elise.

PALADIN
Well, I’m certainly relieved to hear that.
By the way, is there another candidate?

ELISE BANJO JONES
Martin Jansen. We’ll bury him and his miners.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Honey, listen, you can’t push…

PALADIN
You say Jansen and his miners?

ELISE BANJO JONES
They don’t do anything they’re told anymore. That Jansen. That ex-Australian.
He’s got ’em thinkin’ they run the mine.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Elise owns the mine.

ELISE BANJO JONES
My daddy came within an ace of gettin’ killed finding and starting that mine.
You know what he’d have done. He’d have called for the ranch hands.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Elise owns most of the ranch lands hereabouts.

PALADIN
And shortly, she’ll own the state senator.

ELISE BANJO JONES
It’s better than a tavern keeper.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Elise owns the tavern.

PALADIN
Well, Billy, What do you want with me?

B
Elise.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Hmm? What?

BILLY BANJO JONES
My business with Paladin is private. Honey, I’m serious.

ELISE BANJO JONES
That’s all right, honey. Why, Billy, you two wanna talk man’s business.
Well, that’s all right. You go right ahead. You don’t have to consult me.
Hey, would you like me to bring you in some brandy and cigars?

BILLY BANJO JONES
Before you say anything, I love Elise. She’s got her faults, but I love her.

PALADIN
I know that. I don’t know why you need me.

BILLY BANJO JONES
To protect Jansen from Elise. She’s gonna get him killed.

PALADIN
What’s the matter with that sheriff?

BILLY BANJO JONES
Cooley? He’ll fold at the first sign of trouble.
Her ranch hands drove Jansen’s people off the street tonight.
She won’t listen to me, and somebody’s gonna get killed.

PALADIN
And then it wouldn’t be fun anymore. Hmm?

BILLY BANJO JONES
Well, I didn’t ask for a sermon. Will you help Jansen?

PALADIN
Well, I should consult Jansen first. If he refuses my services, I’ll return this.

BILLY BANJO JONES
One thing. Don’t tell Elise.

M
Hey, sheriff, hand me my hat.

PALADIN
Cooley, can you tell me where I can find Jansen?

SHERIFF COOLEY
What do you want with him?

PALADIN
That would be my private business.

SHERIFF COOLEY
He’s flat on his back where this fella left him.

m
Well, Mrs. Jones said not to…

SHERIFF COOLEY
Shut up, prisoner.

SHERIFF COOLEY
A bunch of hands broke up a Jansen meeting tonight.
Stomped Jansen and a couple miners.

M
How long you gonna hold me?

SHERIFF COOLEY
Till I get tired of you. I gotta chain him up here.
To keep the ballot box safe, I have to lock it in the cell.
Find Jansen yourself.

m
He’s a severe man, old Cooley.
Hand me my hat, would ya?

PALADIN
What have you got against miners?

m
Oh, nothing, except they stink.
They’re dirty and untrustworthy.
Hand me my hat here.

PALADIN
My name is Paladin. I was told I could find Jansen here.

JANSEN – MINER
What do you want me for?

PALADIN
If your name’s Jansen, I’ve been hired to protect you.
Looks like I might be a little bit late.

JANSEN – MINER
Hired? News travels fast here, Mister.
I know that you’ve come from that banjo-playing clown.
Now I wanna show you something.

PALADIN
This happened tonight?

JANSEN – MINER
That’s right. I thought I’d speak up
For these poor bloody people stopped up in their mines
Like your friends was drowning gophers.
How do you think Fred feels about my speech?
Worth it to him, do you think?

PALADIN
Billy made a deal. He hired me to protect you. I can make him stick to it.

JANSEN – MINER
The fee is that high? You’ve seen your friend’s idea of democracy in action.
Get out of here.

PALADIN
Mr. Jansen. My sole professional secret is to make profit agree with principle.
I’d like to help you.

JANSEN – MINER
Yes. Billy banjo would like to make a fool of me.
Hiring a gunslinger to protect me from his wife.

PALADIN
Billy’d like to win fairly.

JANSEN – MINER
He thinks he can do it?
His wife is smarter. She knows what she has to do to win.
That’s right. He’s dead.
Just like she held a gun to his head.
Mrs. Billy Banjo.

JANSEN – MINER
Are you fair Dinkum?

PALADIN
Fair Dinkum.

JANSEN – MINER
All right. Then do it. Give me a fair chance, and I’ll lick your friend and his fat wife and their cowhands.

INT.

M
Where do you think you’re going with him?

PALADIN
One of those miners that was stomped died a few minutes ago.

SHERIFF COOLEY
He did, huh? You’re sure pickin’ strange company.

JANSEN – MINER
I told you Cooley wouldn’t do anything.

PALADIN
Now, that man was murdered.
That changes the charge and the penalty a little, doesn’t it?

SHERIFF COOLEY
Is this your business? These are my people and I’ve never seen ’em like they are.
A murder trial now’d bust this town wide open.
I aim to wait till the election’s over and tempers cool.

JANSEN – MINER
Your people are less than half of this town.
The other half you seem to forget about.
They’re not cooling off.
They’re about to boil over.

SHERIFF COOLEY
I’m trying to keep ’em alive. When I get that solved, I’ll worry about their rights.

PALADIN
An election isn’t worth holding unless it’s a sure thing.
Jansen, will you wait here?

BILLY BANJO JONES
So old General Scott come to me and said, “Billy, we need your help.” So naturally, I…

PALADIN
What I’ve got to say to you, I’d like to say in private.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Restrain your enthusiasm. I’ll be back.

M
Aw! No. Come on. We want more.

PALADIN
You’ve killed a man. You still wanna be a senator?

BILLY BANJO JONES
What are you talking about? I didn’t touch anybody.

PALADIN
One of the men injured tonight died a few minutes ago.
The big campaign and all the fun and the cheering just stopped.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Well, what do you want? I asked you to protect Jansen.

PALADIN
The only way to protect Jansen is to quit the race.
Get a shovel and join the burying party for that man.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Elise won’t like that. I feel sorry for the man, but I’m not gonna quit.

PALADIN
Billy, you’d be a major disaster as a senator.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Well, my friends have got a right to find out. You do your job and nobody’ll get hurt.

PALADIN
I do my job and you’ll get a fair election Whether you win or lose.

SHERIFF COOLEY
So he hired this Paladin to protect Jansen, and…

BILLY BANJO JONES
That miner you stomped died.

BILLY BANJO JONES
Old Tom Moore, a relic of bygone days…

ELISE BANJO JONES
Lover. Why did Paladin come here? Hmm?

BILLY BANJO JONES
Nothing. We’re just old friends.

ELISE BANJO JONES
What did you want the thousand for?

BILLY BANJO JONES
I didn’t give him any money.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Yes, you did. You hired him. For what? You don’t like the way I do things?
Oh, you bonehead! There are three miners for every cowhand in this county.
In a fair election, they’d bury you. And they’d hang you!

BILLY BANJO JONES
Look, Elise, you can’t push people around the way you do.

ELISE BANJO JONES
No?

M
Mrs. Jones… Oh, Mrs. Jones, There’s no chance of Jansen winning, is there?
’cause he’d close down this town. Me and my herd wouldn’t be around anymore.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Grey Heart here is gonna fix everything. But just in case…Cooley.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Yes, ma’am?

ELISE BANJO JONES
You give them back their guns.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Now, Mrs. Jones…

ELISE BANJO JONES
Come on, Cooley. Who’s gonna win?

SHERIFF COOLEY
I can’t think of any other way to keep those miners
From coming in here and wrecking this town.
All right. Let’s go.

M
That’s more like it.
Let’s go.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Cooley’d be the first rat off a sinkin’ ship. But we’re all right.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Get in line! You’ll get your guns.

M
Hold it!

M
Like the man said, get in line. You’ll get your gun back.

M
About here?

M
I was in there just once, Mister.
You hit the sheriff’s office about 15 feet from that corner.
The cell should be here. The bed lets down from this wall.

PALADIN
Now. While they’re making all that noise.
Not all the way through.

M
Stay with us, Jansen.
Right.

PALADIN
The sheriff’s sitting in his office. We ready?

M
It’s almost through in two places. I can tell by the sound.

M
Did I make a hole?

PALADIN
Just a minute. It’ll be nice if they don’t notice the draft.

M
Mrs. White, we’re ready for the men to vote.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Yes, they’re ready.

M
Jansen.

PALADIN
We get ’em all?

M
Enough. Enough to win.

PALADIN
All right. The polls are open.

PALADIN
Hold it. Haven’t you forgotten something? An election isn’t legal unless there are witnesses. I wanna be dead sure this one’s legal.

M
What do you want?

PALADIN
To help keep the peace.

M
Let him. Can’t hurt.

SHERIFF COOLEY
All right. Go ahead.

PALADIN
Now you’re really pushing your luck.

M
You didn’t have to do that.

M
Only one.

PALADIN
Wait a minute. He’s disqualified, sheriff.

M
There’s no need to cross him off.

M
I took out the extra ballots.

PALADIN
He killed one vote for Jansen. Cross him off and make it even.

M
That’s fair.

SHERIFF COOLEY
You asked for that. Wrong time, wrong place.

M
Later. Boots, guns. You name it, and I’ll make you eat it.

SHERIFF COOLEY
All right. Come along.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Well…

M
Looks like your friends didn’t make it.

PALADIN
I’m ready if you are.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Bill Banjo.

PALADIN
His legal name is Jones, but I’ll let that go. One for Jansen.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Jansen? Somebody doesn’t know where his bread’s buttered.

SHERIFF COOLEY
Jansen. Jansen. Billy.
Jansen. Banjo.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Jansen. Jansen. Jansen!

SHERIFF COOLEY
Where did you get that?

PALADIN
Same place I got the ballot box. Now, Sheriff, would you like to count,
Or will you take my word that 346 miners voted?
All except Fred Wade, and he died.

M
The diggers are paradin’ in the street!

JANSEN – MINER
We’re having our victory parade and burying our dead.

PALADIN
You gonna let them defy you, Elise? This kind of story gets told over and over.
They’ll never let you forget how you let your town get away.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Go on, Cooley. They’re daring you.

PALADIN
That’s right, Cooley. This is your last chance to decide which side you’re on.

ELISE BANJO JONES
They won’t let you live. They’ll make you eat that badge.

PALADIN
Go ahead, Cooley. Let ’em break up a peaceful funeral,
Burn the ballots and leave a murderer unhung.
How long do you think you’d get away with it?

M
Wait. You can’t run out on me like this.

M
You dirt-grubbers stay put.

PALADIN
Make up your mind, Cooley.

M
If I don’t get you, Cooley, I’ll get bill Or the gunfighter or the fat lady. Come and get me.

ELISE BANJO JONES
You!

ELISE BANJO JONES
Cooley!

SHERIFF COOLEY
Come on.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Stop them. Stop them!

M
Why don’t you shut up? We don’t have to listen to you anymore.
You’re nothing but a big, fat la-

BILLY BANJO JONES
Now, you keep a civil tongue in your head.

M
You done it yourself.
You paid him to wreck her.

BILLY BANJO JONES
It’s all done now. Go on. Get out of here.
Must be plenty of saloons need a loud man on a banjo.

ELISE BANJO JONES
Billy.

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