115-“Ransom”

Season 3, Episode 37 – Original Airdate: (June 4, 1960)

Director: Richard Boone, Written by: Robert E. Thompson

VALERIE FRENCH as Secura Celine
(Champagne Safari, 1959) as Charity Trevington
ROBERT H. HARRIS as Schermer
(Birds of a Feather, 1958) as John Sukey
ALEXANDER DAVION as Edward
TOM PALMER as Sutton
DENVER PYLE as Col. Celine
(The Puppeteer, 1960) as Croft
(The Calf, 1960) as George Advent
(The Posse, 1959) as McKay
(The Wager, 1959) as Sid Morgan
(The Singer, 1958) as Pete Hollister
(The Colonel and the Lady, 1957) as Clay Sommers
GENE ROTH as Mr. Carter
(Young Gun, 1958) as Barney – Bartender
(Three Bells to Perdido, 1957) as Cheating Gambler
ALLISON DANIELL as Lucile Carter
STEWART EAST as Monk

INT. HOTEL CARLTON DINING ROOM – EVENING

MR. CARTER
Say, that stuff ain’t half bad. What’s his price?
I’ll buy the recipe to take back to the cook at the Palmer House.

LUCILE CARTER
Daddy owns the Palmer House.

MR. CARTER
I’ve got a job for you. You ever hear of a man named Celine?

PALADIN
Well, suppose you stop being so mysterious. Just who is Celine?

MR. CARTER
Now, you take my business empire. It’s like a house of cards. You move a bottom one, the whole thing comes down. Celine owns that card and my whole life. He can’t make a nickel outta that piece of paper. But he’ll hang on to it till he sees me ruined. Till he sees me grovel and whine and beg.

PALADIN
Why don’t you beg?

MR. CARTER
What’s the money for if I can’t hire you to do it?
You beg Celine to sign this piece of paper.

LUCILE CARTER
You were going to show me the sights of San Francisco, Mr. Paladin.

MR. CARTER
He ain’t gonna take the job.

PALADIN
And the sights of San Francisco Were not included in the deal. I’m very sorry.

MR. CARTER
You don’t like me. Well, you ain’t met Celine.

SCHERMER
He didn’t take the money, Sutton. What about the woman?

SUTTON
She went up to his room.

SCHERMER
Good. You. The man who just passed. The one in the elegant shirt. Who is he?

[Hey Boy responds in Chinese thus thwarting the man’s probe into Paladin’s identity]

SCHERMER
You find out, Sutton. I don’t want to be surprised.

[Inside Secura Celine’s hotel room]

SECURA CELINE
It’s just a thousand for his fee. Please, Edward. Trust me?

PALADIN
This your earring? It was in my mailbox.

SECURA CELINE
A little piece of the broken past. Still, it was lovely while it lasted.
Everyone came to my salon. Even the Emperor Maximilian.

PALADIN
In Mexico.

SECURA CELINE
Yes. Now it seems like a dream of rain in the desert. The mirror cracks, the music ends. The revolution. Have you ever heard of a Colonel Celine? I see you have. He was aid to Maximilian. It was thought that he was executed. But now he’s been seen alive.

PALADIN
Now, let me guess. Colonel Celine knows the whereabouts of a missing fortune.

EDWARD
No, no. The…The Winged Lion of Cortez. It’s carved out of a single piece of black diamond.

SECURA CELINE
Really, perhaps we should be more careful. We should watch outside.
Would you do that? There is no Winged Lion. But for Edward, it’s different.
He needs to believe in fairy tales and lost treasures. Mr. Paladin, I need you.
Will you believe me if I lay the truth nakedly before you?

PALADIN
How will I recognize it?

SECURA CELINE
My eyes. I am dying. A month. Perhaps a year. My life has been… Well, you read it in a glance. No, please. Look. This is Colonel Celine. He was my husband.

PALADIN
Very impressive.

SECURA CELINE
I was young when we married. Still with the scent of the provinces about me.
He was a very cold man. Some would say ruthless. But I was ruthless, too.
I deceived him, made him into a man to be laughed at. And then the revolution came and shattered our little glass world. The streets were like an asylum, but I ran through them trying to find my husband. He’d been swept away. Executed, I thought. Until now. Perhaps I was praying without even knowing. Don’t you see? It must be a miracle. But now, when there’s so little time, I can never find him without someone. Without you.

PALADIN
I’m terribly s-

SECURA CELINE
No. You mustn’t say it. It is better that we go separately. Las Cruces, and then the trail to the border. We can meet there. But there are people who choose to believe in lost treasures. So, when you come, you will be careful.

PALADIN
If I come.

SECURA CELINE
You will come. And somehow…I will repay you.

[As Paladin decends the staircase, Hey Boy informs him in a whisper]

HEY BOY
Men pretend play trick-track. They ask about you.

SCHERMER
You fool. I thought that boy spoke no English.

SUTTON
Then why’d you ask him who that fella was?

PALADIN
Mr. Carter still in the hotel? The man with the railroads and the daughter?

HEY BOY
Oh, yes. He say he wait for word from you.

PALADIN
Well, tell him I’ve decided to join the search for Celine.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

SUTTON
Sometimes you throw on black and it comes up red.

SCHERMER
Enough, Sutton. He will be reasonable. My name is Schermer. Your name is Paladin.
Profession…Gunfighter. Reputation…Deadly. Background…Gentleman.
Please sit. Where is Celine?

PALADIN
I don’t know.

SCHERMER
Why do you want Celine?

PALADIN
That I know, and I won’t tell you.

SCHERMER
Now, be reasonable, Mr. Paladin. I will tell you. When the revolutionists stormed Querétaro, Celine was ordered to burn the national treasury. But he didn’t. I was there. I saw him take the money. I’m not a greedy man, but when after all these years, I’m finally so close, I can’t let the money slip through my fingers a second time. Perhaps you feel some sense of loyalty to the lady. A past relationship? Hmm? But that would be a tragic error.

PALADIN
Schermer, there’s a stench that comes from you.
If I knew where Celine was, I don’t think I’d tell you now.

SCHERMER
He’ll hold out. Time-consuming and boring. We’ll begin with that one.

EDWARD
See here. I know nothing about this Celine.
I only gave her money. My interest in Choltec is… Purely scientific.

SCHERMER
Choltec? Ho-ho, Choltec! The monastery. Thank you, my boy.
I regret to say, Mr. Paladin, that we won’t need you any longer.

PALADIN
Ah!

SCHERMER
Please. We can come to terms.

PALADIN
Why should I? I know now where Celine is.

SCHERMER
Sutton is armed. There’s a reason.

SUTTON
Not much reason.

SCHERMER
Sutton, the Englishman.

SUTTON
I let him go. I got my own reasons for finding Celine.

PALADIN
What’s your offer, Sutton?

SUTTON
It’s hard country to Choltec. Throw in with me and I’ll take your word.

PALADIN
Secura?

SUTTON
That’s your business. But maybe you’d like to know how I got the scar.
I was detailed to guard her and Celine after we took Querétaro.
She got me off guard. Maybe you can guess how she did it.
But it was Celine that cut me. After he tied me up for his honor.
But, like I say, that’s your business. So I guess it’s check round to you.

SECURA CELINE
What about him?

SCHERMER
I’m in no position to hurt anyone. I alone can make use of Celine’s money.
What can you gain by… By killing me?

PALADIN
Only a sense of justice. Now, you get outta here.

SCHERMER
You’re mixed into something You know nothing about, Mr. Paladin.
Take care.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

PALADIN
Sutton. We better make camp here.

SECURA CELINE
It’s only me.

PALADIN
All the more reason.

SECURA CELINE
Do you hate me?

PALADIN
Hate? No. I don’t think hate’s the word.

SECURA CELINE
Then what?

PALADIN
Then… Nothing.

SECURA CELINE
You feel nothing? You’re lying. You are lying.

PALADIN
A dying woman in search of her husband?

SECURA CELINE
Perhaps I was telling you the truth.

PALADIN
Perhaps you were. You want the money. But the thing you’re really after is Celine.
Why? Was he the only man who was ever immune to you?

SECURA CELINE
You never said why you want to find Celine. It’s not only me. Nor the money.

PALADIN
No. I wanna meet the man who has one of the world’s toughest businessmen willing to crawl on his hands and knees and beg. A man who’s outwitted one of the most lethal
scoundrels I ever met. Man who has simple, straightforward Sutton so twisted with hate
That he’s willing to risk his life just to cut Celine’s throat. A man who has…One of the most fascinating women I have ever known Willing to throw her life away for him.

SECURA CELINE
Whatever it is the world wants… Or God wants… Celine withholds.
It’s simple. The desire for something beyond reach. He is untouchable.

PALADIN
You love him?

SECURA CELINE
I love him.

SECURA CELINE
paladin. Paladin! He’s gone!

PALADIN
What?

SECURA CELINE
Sutton’s gone. He’s gone on ahead. Please, quickly!

[Paladin and Secura are shot at from a distance]

SECURA CELINE
Who is it?

PALADIN
“Where is he?” is a better question.

SUTTON
Schermer! By the rock fall!

PALADIN
Now, you cover me. Both of you.

SECURA CELINE
Sutton?

SUTTON
Are you thinkin’ what I am?

SECURA CELINE
We could perhaps make it together While they kill each other.

SUTTON
Yeah.

SECURA CELINE
You’ve forgotten… Querétaro? Go on, sutton. GO…

PALADIN
You fool. You were outta this.

EDWARD
Mr. Schermer needed help. The Winged Lion, Paladin, really exists!

PALADIN
Just put it down.

EDWARD
I’m not a fool. I was an athlete. My reflexes are fast.

PALADIN
Don’t try it.

[Paladin shoots him and Shermer on the rock]

SECURA CELINE
Did I stop him?

PALADIN
You killed him.

SECURA CELINE
And he killed me. He had to kill Celine or me.
Now you’re the only one of us who’ll… See Celine. Paladin?

PALADIN
Hmm?

SECURA CELINE
How will you know him?

PALADIN
I’ll know.

EXT. IN TOWN

PALADIN
Excuse me. My name is Paladin. I’m looking for a man named Celine.

MONK
You’ll find him just there, near the shrine.

PALADIN
Thank you. I beg your pardon. My name is Paladin.
I’m looking for a man named Celine.

COL. CELINE
What do you want with him?

PALADIN
Not me. A man named Carter, A man named Schermer, and a man named Sutton.

COL. CELINE
I am Celine.

PALADIN
In those clothes?

COL. CELINE
Not yet. The brothers let me tend this little shrine, stay here. Perhaps in time.

PALADIN
What are you? I left three dead men on the trail, men whose lives you…destroyed with your own corruption.

COL. CELINE
My corruption…Or theirs? Schermer. He’s dead?

PALADIN
He’s dead.

COL. CELINE
I’ve had his money waiting here for him. I have no longer a need for it.

PALADIN
You’d give it to him?

COL. CELINE
Certainly. Do you want it? I’ll show it to you.

PALADIN
How much was it? One million? Two million?

COL. CELINE
Is that what Schermer told you? A whole treasury full? Tropical worms. Like the rest of the things of this life… So much dust that crumbles in your hand. A dream.

PALADIN
And Sutton?

COL. CELINE
Sutton.

PALADIN
The Texan. You scarred his face.

COL. CELINE
Poor Sutton. He wanted to kill me. Oh, he…He wasn’t the only one. This is my last refuge from the Suttons of the world. Monsters that I created. What if Sutton had come? What would I do? Give him…Schermer’s money? Try to make him see what my ambition and pride had brought me, too? Or hope to show him that the Celine he came to kill was already dead?

PALADIN
And Carter? Carter hired me to beg you to sign this.

COL. CELINE
Why is this important to him?

PALADIN
Oh, you forget. His pride. His ambition.

COL. CELINE
Why you?

PALADIN
He would beg like a dog, But as a man, he has too much pride to beg.

COL. CELINE
Carter is asking me to help him one more step into hell. I’ll sign it.
There was a woman. A woman named Secura.

PALADIN
Your change of heart…Comes a little bit late for Secura.

COL. CELINE
Dead?

COL. CELINE
How?

PALADIN
Defending you. Killing Sutton.

COL. CELINE
For me? She died for me?

PALADIN
The Celine she loved…

COL. CELINE
Still lives. Still lives. But for what? We’re a small order here.
Very poor. But in time, we’ll bring harmony
And order…And peace…To this little corner of the world.

Advertisements