116-“The Trial”

Original Airdate: (June 11, 1960)

Morgan Gibbs hires Paladin to bring his son in alive for the murder of his fiancee. He tries to but a bounty hunter is there first and shoots him in the back. Now Morgan wants Paladin to have a kangaroo style trial for his son’s murder.

Director: Ida Lupino, Writers: Robert E. Thompson, Herb Meadow.

ROBERT F. SIMON as Morgan Gibbs
RAYMOND HATTON as Perce Weber – Bounty Hunter
BUD SLATER as David Gibbs
JAMES BELL as Charlie – Judge
HAL SMITH as George – Desk Clerk
WILLIAM HUNT as Freighter
HARRY ANTRIM as Merchant
RICK SILVER as Frank – Guard
BARRY BROOKS as G.L. Stevens – Drummer
THOMAS E. JACKSON as Doc Richardson
ANGELA STEVENS as Young Woman at Hotel Carlton

ROBERT F. SIMON also appeared in: (One, Two, Three, 1962) as Samuel Keel, (Young Gun, 1958) as Frank Wellman, (The Colonel and the Lady, 1957) as Colonel H. P. Lathrop. RAYMOND HATTON also appeared in: (The Tax Gatherer, 1961) as Mayor Trevor, (Full Circle, 1960) as Eph Trager. JAMES BELL also appeared in: (Bob Wire, 1963) as Anderson
HAL SMITH also appeared in: (The Siege, 1961) as Sol Werner, (The Marshal’s Boy, 1960) as Howard – Barber, (The Great Mojave Chase, 1957) as Bartender. BARRY BROOKS also appeared in: (The Day of the Bad Man, 1960) as Agent, (A Sense of Justice, 1958) as Boak – Ranch Hand

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

PALADIN
That is Chateau La Tour ’68. This wine comes from the half acre on the steepest slope just north of the Chateau water tower. And the perfume comes from someplace I remember. Oh, well. Hey Boy. Hey boy, what do you think now?

HEY BOY
I think what for all those years I drink water.

PALADIN
Well…Oh. Terribly sorry. Will you wait?

YOUNG WOMAN
I do not think you would like to hear yes or no. So we shall see.

PALADIN
Well…”$500.00 reward will be paid by Santa Ynez county for the capture, dead or alive, of David Gibbs. I will pay you $5,000 if you guarantee to bring my son in alive. Morgan Gibbs. Santa Ynez.”

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

INT. SALOON – DAY

Paladin, Morgan Gibbs and Charlie (the town drunk) are at the bar drinking whiskey.

MORGAN GIBBS
You take the right fork out of town through Yellow Creek Pass. It’s an Indian hut. You’ll be able to see it from there.

PALADIN
Mr. Gibbs, you’re sure your son’s up there?

MORGAN GIBBS
He’s there.

PALADIN
Well, why don’t you get him yourself?

MORGAN GIBBS
If I did, I’d kill him. Or him me.

PALADIN
If I bring him back here, It’ll be to the law.

MORGAN GIBBS
Don’t trouble none about the law. The boy killed a woman. The woman I was set to marry. And he’ll hang for it. But no Gibbs is gonna be drug skin through the rocks like a savage. Not even him. You make sure that you ain’t followed. Nobody in this town’s got the nerve to buck me, but there’s liable to be bounty hunters in from out of state.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL -DAY

PALADIN
whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa, easy.

PERCE WEBER
You wouldn’t shoot a defenseless old man, would you, Mister?

PALADIN
I might, you make one more move for that blunderbuss.

PERCE WEBER
Just habit. Man livin’ to hisself. But that ain’t no blunderbuss. That’s a cap-and-ball Sharpie.

PALADIN
It’s a what?

PERCE WEBER
That’s a cap-and-ball Sharpie. Best killin’ piece ever made. I couldn’t get paper cartridges up there at santa ynez, So I had to take “tobacky” paper and stick-’em gum
From the general store. Oh. Would you have a little bit of salt beef? It’s all I got. Well, I guess you figured out by now that I’m a bounty hunter. You believe me?

PALADIN
Well, I…

PERCE WEBER
Well, I’ve done other things, too. The Deaf Welshman’s strike. Well, I found it again.
And I woulda had enough gold to have bought out that whole town of Chicago.
You see that? Darn near got myself scalped. Leading trail for Fremont.
And went right on my head just like that. You lookin’ for the Gibbs boy, too?

PALADIN
That’s right.

PERCE WEBER
Well, I got him staked. I’ve done most of the flushin’. You got to admit that, ain’t you?

PALADIN
Mm-hmm.

PERCE WEBER
Well, now, I tell you what. I ain’t one to be a hog, And if you’ll spell me, well, then we’ll split the shares. 500. Half of 500. Now, that’d be…

We hear gunshots.

PALADIN
$250. There a back door to that shack down there?

PERCE WEBER
Nothin’ but the front. And I figured that he’s got some food in there, But no water. Oh, it might last, say two, maybe three days. And then when he comes out, we get him…And he’s ours.

PALADIN
Well, I was figurin’ on bringin’ him in alive.

PERCE WEBER
Alive? You ain’t figurin’ on goin’ in there after him, are you?
Why, his ma was a full-blooded Pima. He ain’t civilized like us.

PALADIN
Oh. Well, you take this…And start firing.

PERCE WEBER
At what?

PALADIN
Fire at the front of the shack.

PERCE WEBER
He’s bird. Just plain bird.

PALADIN
You hold your fire, old man!

DAVID GIBBS
My father sent you.

PALADIN
To bring you in alive.

DAVID GIBBS
He couldn’t even let me die decently. At least my mother wrestled that much from him.

PALADIN
That’s the Pima death rite. Why are you doing that to yourself?

DAVID GIBBS
Ask my father that.

PALADIN
I will.

DAVID GIBBS
Knife. Bone knife. I can’t. I can’t even do that.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY

MORGAN GIBBS
Fifteen two, fifteen four. Did you bring him in? George will give you your check. It’s in the safe.

PALADIN
Not necessary.

MORGAN GIBBS
Where is he?

Paladin motions towards the door. Gibbs runs out.

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
You planning on dinner, Mr. Paladin?

MORGAN GIBBS
Paladin!

PALADIN
Mr. Gibbs.

MORGAN GIBBS
You’ve got $500 coming for that dead body you brought in. Wasn’t figurin’ on leavin’ without collectin’, was you?

PALADIN
I’ll be here until morning.

MORGAN GIBBS
Good.

INT. HOTEL LOBBY – DAY

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
Good morning.

PALADIN
You’re still serving breakfast?

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
Breakfast?

PALADIN
Yes. You do eat a morning meal in this part of the country?

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
Oh, y-yeah. Breakfast.

MORGAN GIBBS
There’s two more out back. Take his gun belts, George.

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
But, Mr…

MORGAN GIBBS
Go ahead. He’s covered.

PALADIN
All right, Gibbs. Now, what are you tryin’ to prove?

MORGAN GIBBS
You think I was gonna let you pick up your blood money And just ride off? You murdered my son and you’re gonna stand trial for it. Right here.

PALADIN
“lynch”? That the word you were looking for?

MORGAN GIBBS
I said a trial. And just as fair a trial as you got any right to.

PALADIN
“I am the law,” said Louis.

MERCHANT
Good morning.

FRANK
Good morning.

MERCHANT
Them high-topped boots come in that you ordered.

FRANK
I’ll come by for ’em little after noontime. It’ll be all right, Mr. Gibbs?

MORGAN GIBBS
Sure. Take him in there, Frank.

PALADIN
Frank, I don’t think you better fire that might spoil Mr. Gibbs’s little farce.

MORGAN GIBBS
Hello, doc. I’m gonna need you. Charlie, you be the judge.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Oh, not me.

MORGAN GIBBS
You’re always braggin’ about how you read the law, ain’t cha?

CHARLIE – JUDGE
That was almost 30 years ago.

MORGAN GIBBS
Just do like I tell you.

MORGAN GIBBS
Give him another bottle. Put it on my bill. Joe and you two and you. You be the jury. You. You’re on the jury.

G.L. STEVENS
Now look here, I’m not from this town. I’m a drummer. G.L. Stevens. Ladies wear and cloth and…And notions.

MORGAN GIBBS
Get in there. Charlie, call the court to order.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
All right, men right down this way. Court’s gonna go in session. Gonna start the…

PALADIN
Excuse me, Frank.

FREIGHTER
Nice morning, ain’t it? It’s the kind of day makes a fella wish he was lazin’ on a bank cat fishin’. Uh, you the fella that mr. Gibbs is gonna hang? They don’t give you time to do a job right. Rush. Always rush.

PALADIN
Work before pleasure.

MORGAN GIBBS
You’re all sworn in and ready. Pay attention to me ’cause this is a very important piece of evidence. This piece of paper here is a bank draft. This bank draft is made out to…
What is it you call Paladin legal?

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Defendant.

MORGAN GIBBS
Yeah. It’s made out to the defendant for $5,000. Did you ever see it before?

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
Yes, sir. You gave it to me to put in the hotel safe.

MORGAN GIBBS
And what did I tell you about it?

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
You said it was to give to paladin when he brought your son in alive.

MORGAN GIBBS
Any questions? That’s all. Doc Richardson. Wait a minute. Swear him in. I want this done legal.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
You swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, And nothing but the truth?

DOC RICHARDSON
I do.

MORGAN GIBBS
All right. You’re a regular doctor, ain’t you? I mean, you’ve got a license to practice.

DOC RICHARDSON
You know that.

MORGAN GIBBS
But you’re supposed to tell the jury.

DOC RICHARDSON
I’ve been working under a license for 22 years.

MORGAN GIBBS
You got a good look at my boy’s body After paladin murdered him and brought him in?

DOC RICHARDSON
Yes, I did.

MORGAN GIBBS
Where was he shot?

DOC RICHARDSON
In the upper lumbar region…

MORGAN GIBBS
Oh, say it out plain, doc.

DOC RICHARDSON
In the back.

MORGAN GIBBS
Yeah. I guess that settles it pretty clear, don’t it?

JURY
It sure does.

PALADIN
Wait a minute!

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Out of order! The defendant’s out of order.

PALADIN
That law you read 30 years ago, Defendant has no right to cross-examine a witness?

MORGAN GIBBS
Well, let him ask anything he wants, Charlie. I’ve got no objections.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Sure, Mr. Gibbs.

PALADIN
Thank you, your honor. You take the bullet out of David Gibbs’s body?

DOC RICHARDSON
No. Mr. Gibbs didn’t ask me to.

PALADIN
If you had, you’d have found that the bullet That killed David Gibbs did not come from my gun.

MORGAN GIBBS
What’d he do, shoot himself in the back?

PALADIN
He was killed by a bounty hunter.

MORGAN GIBBS
What bounty hunter?

PALADIN
Man come into your store asking for paper cartridges For a breech-loading Sharpe’s gun?

MERCHANT
Well, uh…

PALADIN
I’m asking the questions, not Mr. Gibbs.

MERCHANT
What sort of a looking fellow?

PALADIN
How many men clutter up your store each day Asking for paper cartridges For a gun that hasn’t been in use for 30 years?

MERCHANT
Old fella? Wears a dirty old buffalo jacket? Is that the man you say is the bounty hunter? Why, that’s old Perce Webber. He’s been out of his mind for 20 years. Bounty hunter? Why, he couldn’t hit a cow from the inside shootin’ out. Where’d you say old Perce was?

PALADIN
You’ll find his body at the bottom of yellow creek gorge.

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
Did you kill old Perce, too?

PALADIN
Old Perce. Sweet, lovable, old Perce. He put a mini-ball right into David Gibbs’s back. And you can prove that, too, if you’re interested. But you’re not interested in the truth, are you? What are you frightened of? You just want a scapegoat To pay for your driving your son to his death? That’s the raw nerve, isn’t it? Your honor, I call Morgan Gibbs to the stand.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Motion denied.

MORGAN GIBBS
That’s all right, Charlie. Have yourself another drink.

FREIGHTER
Excuse me, Mr. Gibbs.

MORGAN GIBBS
Yeah? What is it?

FREIGHTER
Mr. Antrim give me these little, bitty old nails
And I ask him for spikes.

MORGAN GIBBS
Try to make ’em do and we’ll see how it works out.

FREIGHTER
Yes, sir. It might take another ten minutes.

MORGAN GIBBS
All right, Charlie. Swear me in.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
You swear to tell the truth…

MORGAN GIBBS
Yes, I do. Sure.

PALADIN
Now, Mr. Gibbs, you own the largest trading station in this part of the country.
Plenty of land. Lot of cattle. You’re a wealthy man.

MORGAN GIBBS
I guess.

PALADIN
How’d you get it all?

MORGAN GIBBS
I built it.

PALADIN
That’s not true, mr. Gibbs. You were a hide scrounger. You were saved from an apache scalping by the pima indians. And you’d still be a hide scrounger, But you married the daughter of a pima chief And you had all their trade thrown your way.

MORGAN GIBBS
That’s a lie.

PALADIN
Mr. Gibbs, the jury knows it’s true. Look at ’em. And your son knew it. That why you hated him?

MORGAN GIBBS
Hated him? I sent him to the best schools back east. Did you know that? I gave him the best of everything. He turned against me anyway.

PALADIN
Why? Why, mr. Gibbs?

MORGAN GIBBS
Because I couldn’t breed the savage out of him, that’s why. Because I couldn’t school it out and I couldn’t beat it out.

PALADIN
No. No, sir, Mr. Gibbs, that is not why. Your son came home from school To find his mother gone And you all dressed up to marry another woman. He came home to find you repaid his mother For everything you owed her by killing her.

MORGAN GIBBS
I never killed her.

PALADIN
You drove her out.

MORGAN GIBBS
No. I told her straight out that another woman was coming. She just stared at me like a totem. How was I to know that she’d run off and cut herself to death In some savage indian rite? What’d she wanna do that for?

PALADIN
Shame. Or is that too civilized for you to understand?

MORGAN GIBBS
All right. So she run off and killed herself. That don’t bring back my boy or the woman I was set to marry. David killed her.

PALADIN
Did he? Did David kill her?

MORGAN GIBBS
Sure he did. Right here. He busted into this room I fixed up like a bridal suite And started shootin’.

PALADIN
Did David kill her? You’re on your own stand. You can’t hide here. Did he kill her?

MORGAN GIBBS
Everybody here knows that he did.

PALADIN
I don’t know it. You were here. You see David kill that woman?

GEORGE
Well, uh…

PALADIN
You’re still under oath.

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
I didn’t see it exactly, but I heard the shots.

PALADIN
Shots? More than one shot.

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
That’s right. Like they were firing back and forth.

PALADIN
The newspaper account says the woman was felled by one shot. One.

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
There was more shots. See, Mr. Gibbs was nicked in the arm.
I guess David was hit, too, because there was blood on the window where he went out.

PALADIN
That boy came back into the room to kill you, not the woman. That’s the truth, isn’t it?

MORGAN GIBBS
He come in that room like he’s crazy. Marrying her didn’t mean I was cuttin’ him out, But he wouldn’t listen. He started shootin’ and…

PALADIN
And you shot back and the woman was killed. Well, it really doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter whether the bullet that killed the woman was fired by you or by David any more than it matters whether the mini-ball that landed in David’s back came from my gun or from Perce Webber’s, because you really pulled both those triggers. What you’ve bred into your son, you’ve bred into this town. Fear and hate. And sooner or later, They’ll have enough of you. Sooner or later.

MORGAN GIBBS
You figure so? Charlie, tell them to give the verdict.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
One of you’s got to say off the verdict.

MERCHANT
We find the defendant…

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Just a minute. The defendant will please rise and face the jury.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Now?

MERCHANT
We find the defendant guilty.

PALADIN
Guilty?

CHARLIE – JUDGE
It is the sentence of this court That the defendant be hung by the neck…Before or after lunch, Mr. Gibbs?

MORGAN GIBBS
Now.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
Court’s adjourned.

MORGAN GIBBS
March him out, Frank.

GEORGE – DESK CLERK
Well, he won’t be needing these anymore.

DOC RICHARSON

No.

MERCHANT
It’s a good thing, too.

MORGAN GIBBS
Paladin, It was David’s shot killed her, not mine. It wasn’t…I didn’t…

PALADIN
If it was David, why try to hang me?

MORGAN GIBBS
My son is dead. Someone’s got to die for it. The guilty must die.

PALADIN
That’s right, mr. Gibbs.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
You can’t just walk away. You already been sentenced to hang.

PALADIN
That presents something of a problem, doesn’t it? Perhaps out of all your years of selfless devotion to the law, You’ll be able to think of some technicality that covers it.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
I remember something about a dying declaration
That takes precedent over something.

PALADIN
That’ll do nicely.

CHARLIE – JUDGE
The only thing is, I can’t remember exactly what.