83-“Shot by Request”

Winston Ainslee, an aging and well educated gunfighter, employs Paladin to help him, gracefully and with honoras

Director: Buzz Kulik. Writers: Frank Pierson (teleplay), Howard Seay (story)

JOHN ABBOTT as Winston Ainslee, ROBERT GIST as Matt Baker

SUE RANDALL as Anna Ainslee, MALCOLM ATTERBURY as Sheriff

SAM EDWARDS as First Man, GREGG DUNN as Sam – Barkeep

C. LINDSAY WORKMAN as Tom – Driver (as Lindsay Workman)

JOHN HOLLAND as Cortwright, BARBARA ENGLISH as Girl at Hotel Carlton

Winston Ainslee, an aging and well educated gunfighter, employs Paladin to help him, gracefully and with honor, end his career. But the last person he killed has a brother seeking revenge; and he just arrived in town on the stage with Paladin.

Don’t men die fast enough in this town?
Ainslee’s worth a dozen of the best of you people.
And if I kill him, I won’t be proud.

HEY BOY
Mr. Cortwright looking for you.

PALADIN
Hey Boy, he hasn’t seen me yet, has he?

CORTWRIGHT
Come out of the underbrush, Paladin.

PALADIN
Cortwright!

CORTWRIGHT
I just got in from Carson City, Paladin.

PALADIN
Mr. Cortwright buys and sells books.

CORTWRIGHT
Can’t understand it. Never catch you reading a book.
You’re always out with beautiful women or chopping up outlaws.
I don’t understand how you got to know so much.
Take a look at that.

PALADIN
Well. That is interesting. Keats. 1817 edition. Mm, it’s beautiful.

CORTWRIGHT
If anyone had told me I’d go to a gunslinger to authenticate a rare book,
I’d say he was crazy.

PALADIN
It’s inscribed by Keats himself, “To my friend, Joseph Severin.”
Old tannic and iron ink. Beautiful. Beautiful. Give you $500 for it.

CORTWRIGHT
It’s not mine. Ainslee gave it to me to give to you.

PALADIN
Ainslee? Now, who’s Ainslee?
CORTWRIGHT
Ainslee’s a gunslinger. He reads books.
He looks like he’d die of excitement at a faculty tea.
And he’s killed nearly a dozen men in Carson City.
But gunfights sort of to cheer the people up on dull Sunday afternoons.

GIRL
Paladin.

PALADIN
Why, why…? “Please accept this book as a token of my sincerity in an unusual request. Winston Ainslee.”

CORTWRIGHT
You gunfighters are turning classic, paladin.

PALADIN
Either that, or the bookworms are turning. Hey boy!

HEY BOY
Yes, mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
A ticket on the stage to Carson City.

gi
Paladin?

PALADIN
Hm?

GIRL
When you find out what it’s all about, write me a letter.
CORTWRIGHT
Ah…When you find out what it’s all about, write me a letter!
PALADIN
“Woman, I behold thee flippant, vain, inconstant, childish, proud and full of fancies.”

HEY BOY
That’s very good, Mr. Paladin. Keats.

EXT. STAGECOACH TRAIL – DAY

DRIVER
Whoa, whoa! Aah! Carson city!

PALADIN
Driver, you tell me where I can find a Mr. Ainslee?

MATT BAKER
Ah!
Let me get my…
The lousy four corners, isn’t it?

PALADIN
yeah.

MATT BAKER
Andy! Andy baker!

DRIVER
What do you want with Andy Baker?

MATT BAKER
My brother. He’s my brother. Andy!
You know, he’s supposed to meet me.

DRIVER
Listen, you better come inside for a minute.
Oh, what was it you wanted?

PALADIN
I want to see a man named Ainslee.
DRIVER
Bring him inside. Ainslee will be looking for baker here.
Speak with him. Ainslee will find you.
MATT BAKER
Andy! Hey!

DRIVER
Didn’t know what to do with this stuff.
Just holding it here ’til somebody called for it.
Storage. Cluttering up the place.

PALADIN
What is this?

DRIVER
His brother’s dead. These are his things.

MATT BAKER
Andy. What happened to you, Andy?

DRIVER
There’s money due on these. For storage.

PALADIN
What happened to his brother?

DRIVER
Fellow you’re looking for shot him.
Andy should never have called him out.
MATT BAKER
Who?!

DRIVER
Ainslee. Mr. Ainslee. I didn’t shoot him!
I just gotta collect for storage.
MATT BAKER
I want ainslee!
DRIVER
And I got to have $4.28, plus coach fare.

PALADIN
I’ll give you the $4.28 plus coach fare.
WINSTON AINSLEE
I’ll pay the charges, Tom.

MATT BAKER
I’ll pay for my own brother’s things!

WINSTON AINSLEE
I’m sorry, Baker, you’ve had to have this terrible shock.

MATT BAKER
I want Ainslee. Well, who’s this Ainslee that shot my brother?

WINSTON AINSLEE
I’m ainslee.

MATT BAKER
You’re ainslee?

WINSTON AINSLEE
Your brother forced me to defend myself.
We’ll talk when you’re sober and have thought about things.

PALADIN
How’d you kill him?

WINSTON AINSLEE
Outdrew him. I know it’s difficult to believe, but…
Don’t try me.
MATT BAKER
Come on. Draw. Come on, draw!
WINSTON AINSLEE
You’re drunk. I’d just murder you.
MATT BAKER
You…! What’s the matter with you?

WINSTON AINSLEE
I’m not gonna kill you until you’re
in a fit state to defend yourself.

MATT BAKER
You…!
PALADIN
That’s all.

MATT BAKER
This is my business.

PALADIN
That man is doing his best not to murder you with a gun
And he’s obviously no match for you with his fists!
MATT BAKER
I’m gonna break his back and you ain’t gonna stop me!
He killed my brother. Andy.

PALADIN
Don’t you get up.

AINSLEE
Sheriff, put him on the stage out of town. I’ll pay the ticket.

SHERIFF
Ainslee, anything you do is on your head.
You don’t like it in Carson City, you get on the coach.

AINSLEE
Thank you, sir. Reward him, anyway. Will you do that much?
SHERIFF
You, you awake?

MATT BAKER
Yeah.

SHERIFF
That man there don’t look like much. But he’s a clean shot. Faster than 11 other fellows.
Including your brother. You wanna try him in a fair fight, You’ll have the long end of the odds. That all right, Mr. Ainslee?
AINSLEE
Well, thank you, anyway, mr…?

PALADIN

Paladin.

WINSTON AINSLEE
Paladin?

DRUNK
I’m gonna kill you,
ainslee.
I’m gonna kill you.

SHERIFF
Looks like we’re gonna have us a sure attack, don’t it?

PALADIN
What’s the matter, sheriff? Don’t men die fast enough for you?

SHERIFF
Come on, get up. Come on! Show him where to get something to eat.

D
I want some coffee, too! Hey, barkeep! Hey! Hey! Barkeep!
Hey! Hey, could I have some coffee, please?

BARTENDER
You got money? coffee costs you.

D
Won’t anybody feel sorry for
andy baker’s poor old brother?

You’re andy’s brother?

I just want some coffee, please. Black.

Sure, sure. Plenty of it. Plenty of it.

You come here to kill ainslee?

What do you say?

You come here to kill ainslee for sure, huh?

Ainslee?
Ainslee, for sure.

COMMERCIAL BREAK
WINSTON AINSLEE
My oasis, paladin. Walls of books to keep out the wild animals.

PALADIN
Ainslee, what’s wrong with that sheriff? Why doesn’t he like you?

WINSTON AINSLEE
Like all the rest of ’em, he waiting for the day
When I get too slow, or just give up.
Carson city’s a shooting gallery, paladin,
And I’m the hardest target and the biggest challenge in it
For any fool with delusions of grandeur.

ANNA AINSLEE
Oh, he got here.
AINSLEE
Mr. Paladin, my daughter, Anna.

P
How do you do?

ANNA AINSLEE
How do you do?
Well, he looks like he could do it.
Who was it this time?
WINSTON AINSLEE
Ah, matt baker. Brother of that andy baker, or whatever his name is.
The one I killed last month.
P
Ainslee, what’s wrong?
Why won’t one man in this town help you?

ANNA AINSLEE
He likes to play games and they like to watch.
Mr. Paladin?

P
Miss ainslee?

ANNA AINSLEE
I think it’s very clever and sensible of you to make a business out of gun fighting.
It’s, uh, it’s sort of like butchering hogs.
P
Well, I didn’t come here
to butcher hogs.
ANNA AINSLEE
No? Oh, of course.
Paladin.
Your business is to
slay dragons?
P
Well, I’m not sure
I like the choice you give me.
ANNA AINSLEE
Oh, how arrogant you all are.
Pretending there’s justice and a fair way to kill man.
PALADIN
Instead of a shooting gallery, you’d prefer Carson City as a slaughterhouse?

ANNA AINSLEE
Oh, there’s no hypocrisy in a slaughterhouse.
And a lot more honesty and usefulness. you’re done.

WINSTON AINSLEE
You’re a back-shooter and a dry gulcher.
ANNA AINSLEE
Oh? Oh, and mr. Paladin is a man of honor?
How can you be sure he’ll stop at what you pay him for?

PALADIN
Ainslee, what is it you want me to do?

WINSTON AINSLEE
Stop me from killing matt baker. Today, he’s humiliated.
Tomorrow, he’ll burn with revenge, and a day after, he’ll demand justice.
And I’ll sacrifice him on the altar of my own instinct for self-preservation.
And there’ll be others. Save him! Save the others.
I want you to shoot me in this blasted hand.

PALADIN
Wha…?
Well, there is a stage coach
for san francisco.
You could join me on that.

WINSTON AINSLEE
My reputation would follow me.
There’d be other matt bakers and more after them.
PALADIN
You could change your name.
It’s not too hard to lose yourself in a big city.

WINSTON AINSLEE
I have asthma. Do you think I wouldn’t trade all this to be back in the east
Cold and sick and poor and drilling latin into wet-nosed school boys?
Another winter in a cold climate would kill me.

ANNA AINSLEE
Why couldn’t you hire paladin
to kill baker?

WINSTON AINSLEE
Anna’s so sure she knows all the answers.
I’ve asked myself over and over,
Why should they die so that I can live?

PALADIN
If I agree…?

WINSTON AINSLEE
We stage a gun fight. You shoot me in the hand,
And you walk out of here with my reputation.

PALADIN
No. No. If I was a little off, I could kill you.

WINSTON AINSLEE
Ah. Unless I drew a little faster than you.

ANNA AINSLEE
Why the charades? Why don’t you
just shoot him in his hand now?

PALADIN
Oh. Well, put your hand on the book. Now, miss Ainslee.
Take the gun. Now, let’s see how coldly realistic you can be.
Go on, pull the trigger. Pull it. Go ahead, pull it.
Oh, no!
No? Well, so much for youthful realism.

WINSTON AINSLEE
You’ll do it? Before baker gets here.

PALADIN
Well…
I’d have to be sure I could outshoot you first.

WINSTON AINSLEE
Indeed.
Would you like to take a little side bet on it?
I have a little test in mind.

PALADIN
Now, what sort of a test?
As you well know, any ten-year-old school boy
Can hit a target if nobody’s shooting at him.

WINSTON AINSLEE
I have a target, paladin. One that kills.

INT. SALOON -DAY

M
Matt. Tomorrow, daylight. I can show you where he shot your brother.
Crying there in the dirt, he was, whilst I went to get the doc.

BARTENDER
You show him where the sun comes up.
Ainslee get it full in the face round about 11:30.
Matt here’d have it over his shoulder.

M
He gotta catch ainslee by surprise or he won’t know when it hits him.
MATT BAKER
Now, you don’t have to do that.
I know what’s right. And I’ll kill him in my own way.
But I’m doing this for andy. I’m doing it for him.

M
Yeah? How you gonna do it?

Well, I’ll-I’ll kill him. That’s all. I made up my mind and I’ll kill him.

BARTENDER
Well…I’ll get more coffee.

MATT BAKER
I’ll kill him any way I can.

EXT. DESERT -DAY

WINSTON AINSLEE
The rattle snake strikes by heat and sound, paladin.
Kick over a rock, and if you see one,
Draw and shoot
before it strikes.
All right?

PALADIN
All right.
WINSTON AINSLEE
The target that has a fair chance of killing you, paladin.

PALADIN
After you.

WINSTON AINSLEE
You can do it, paladin.

PALADIN
How did it come to this?

WINSTON AINSLEE
Oh, when I first came here,
It was considered funny to make
the little man with the goatee
Stand up on the bar
and spout latin.
It was considered
even funnier
If a man took more than one
punch to knock me unconscious.
I’m a scholar, paladin.
I taught myself to shoot.
Same way I learned
Greek and Latin.
Stopped being funny.

PALADIN
Well, I’d have to have the same story.
You say that you’ve discovered I came here to kill you.
You throw me out of the house, And then you ask the sheriff for protection.
WINSTON AINSLEE
Well, he’ll refuse.

PALADIN
Of course. And then…We’ll fight. Ainslee, you have a beautiful daughter.
It’s really a shame we can’t all three of us Get on that stage to san francisco.

COMMERCIAL BREAK
SHERIFF
I’ve been looking for you.
Oh?

297
00:17:24,593 –> 00:17:27,260
Mr. Ainslee’s got a complaint you come here gunning for him.

298
00:17:27,262 –> 00:17:28,595
If I did?

299
00:17:28,597 –> 00:17:30,514
Well, if it’s a fair fight,

300
00:17:30,516 –> 00:17:33,500
You’re safe as far as the law in carson goes.
We don’t tolerate bushwhacking.

302
00:17:35,338 –> 00:17:37,671
Hey, you’re a professional, ain’t you, mister?

303
00:17:37,673 –> 00:17:40,558
Ainslee asked for your help this afternoon.

SHERIFF
Mr. Ainslee’s been getting a little slower every year.
He’s taken to consulting us plain mortals lately.
Like he’s beginning to feel mortal himself.

PALADIN
He asked for your help, but you won’t give it to him.

308
00:17:53,339 –> 00:17:56,239
You won’t help him until he begs.

SHERIFF
Ainslee’s killed men without waiting for the law.
And they all ain’t been bad. Some had families, children.
You did come to kill him?
PALADIN
If I did, I came here with a decent regard For the fact that ainslee’s
worth 12 of any man in this town. And if I kill him, I won’t be proud.

315
00:18:27,955 –> 00:18:31,124
Hey! The dude on the stage is gonna shoot ainslee.

BARTENDER
Ainslee’ll pop the fellow before
he gets off the hotel steps.

Don’t be too sure. He’s professional. I tell you what.
I got it in my bones. I’ll bet you five the dude takes ainslee.

Done.
Where’d you get this?

Well, the sheriff.

Ainslee wanted to
get the fellow run off.
B
Looks like we been wasting good coffee on you, baker.

Don’t be too sure. Give me a shot.

You got money?
Give me a shot!

Gonna be a fight tomorrow!

There’ll be whooping it up
some tonight, to be sure.

I’ll kill him myself.

But, why?

Just let the gunfighter
do it.

I’ll kill him for andy’s sake. With the gunfighter on our side, The odds’ll be evened up a little.

Even?

They’re gonna be all against ainslee.

Hey, sam!
I’ll double the bet
that ainslee gets it tomorrow.

338
00:19:29,752 –> 00:19:32,620
You that sure the gunfighter
will take ainslee?

I’m just betting
ainslee dies, that’s all.

Another two high will make it more comfortable.
Man, this’ll be something to tell your grandchildren…

PALADIN
That what you want
your children to hear?
Coward stories
about men dying?

I- I wish you good luck anyway, mister.

PALADIN
Thanks.
Come get it, ainslee!

I asked the sheriff to tell you to leave.

PALADIN
I refused. My employer hired me to do a job here.

You got him nervous, gunfighter!
Ain’t nobody scared ainslee before!

A
Yes, well,
let us proceed.

Neither one of you fellas
can lose your cover

Without I get a shot at each of you
a piece! Now, you just watch this.

Soon as that water runs out, ain’t gonna be nothing between you and me
But a couple old boards, ainslee!

I wanna get you first, old ainslee.
And we’ll wait just a little while for you, gunfighter.
We can afford to sit you a while. You ain’t even got any water.

PALADIN
Reach for it!
A
I can’t, paladin.
I can’t reach it.

PALADIN
You’ll only expose
your arm.

363
00:22:58,342 –> 00:23:01,344
He’ll have the sites of his rifle on that gun. He’ll shoot my…
PALADIN
It’s what you wanted, ainslee.

366
00:23:06,885 –> 00:23:09,018
Yeah.

367
00:23:09,020 –> 00:23:10,253
Reach for it!
W
Daddy!

A
Thank god.
It’s over!

371
00:23:51,045 –> 00:23:53,864
You won’t shoot with that hand no more, mr. Ainslee.

PALADIN
You’ve still got a left hand, ainslee.
I’ll fight you
left-handed, if you want.

Paladin…

Let him alone, please.

Get up.

Why, left-handed, he couldn’t hit the floor with his hat.

You’d murder him.

PALADIN
That’s right.

SHERIFF
Get on that stage coach tonight.
I don’t know if I could take a professional killer.
But there are a hundred other people in this town. You can’t take ’em all.
Just cause we don’t like a man, Don’t mean we let him get murdered.

PALADIN
I see. I’ll tell my employer that Mr. Ainslee’s shooting days are over.

A
Think that’ll satisfy him?

PALADIN
I think so.