85-“Fragile”

Season 3, Episode 7 – Original Airdate: (October 31, 1959)

<= 84 – “Pancho == The Unforgiven” – 86 =>

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Teleplay by Shimon Wincelberg, Story by Frank Pierson.

WERNER KLEMPERER as Etienne Ledeaux
(The Uneasy Grave, 1961) as Leander Johnson
JACQUELINE SCOTT as Claire Ledeaux
(Cage at McNaab, 1963) as Nora Larson
(Crowbait, 1960) as Amanda
(The Wager, 1959) as Stacy Neal
(Twenty-Four Hours at North Fork, 1958) as Tildy Buchanan
ALAN CAILLOU as Roy Cooney
WILLIAM BOYETT as Rancher
GREGG PALMER as Drunk
(Trial at Tablerock, 1962) as Sheriff Matthew Tyler
(Fight at Adobe Wells, 1960) as Ben Mattock
(The Misguided Father, 1960) as Brogan
KUNG FU (Pilot, 1972) as Henchman Guarding Caine
STAR TREK: TOS (Spectre of the Gun, 1968) as Rancher
GEORGE DOUGLAS as Fred
DOUGLAS BANK as Duck

The writer of this episode, Shimon Wincelberg later wrote for Boone on his “Hec Ramsey” series.

Etienne, I am truly sorry. I may have to shoot Roy Cooney.
I may even have to shoot him through your plate glass window.

PALADIN
Hey boy, what’s happened to my dinner?

HEY BOY
It’s no good?

PALADIN
Well, taste it.

HEY BOY
Too much salt?

PALADIN
No, it’s delicious.

HEY BOY
Come. I will introduce you.

PALADIN
Hmm.

HEY BOY
This is Monsieur Paladin.

PALADIN
Mr. Etienne.

MR. ETIENNE
Etienne Ledeaux, Madame Ledeaux.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
How do?

MR. ETIENNE
She’s native. No polish, but excellent character. Uh, you will join us, yes?

PALADIN
Thank you. Now, Monsieur Ledeaux,
What inspired you to tamper with my dinner?

MR. ETIENNE
Tamper with his dinner. This man is an original, did I not tell you so?
Any ordinary man would have kissed my feet.
But no, not this one. He’s made of irClaireon.

PALADIN
You still haven’t answered my question, Monsieur Ledeaux.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Oh, Etienne. Call me by my Christian name. I insist on it.
You are the man I’m looking for.

PALADIN
Is that so?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I have a mission for you. What would you call a job.
A mission of such gravity, of such delicacy…

PALADIN
Well, hadn’t we better talk in private?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Oh, shoot, he’ll talk your fool head off. He wants a man to help him
Take a plate glass window back to Panamint. We own a kind of a, a hash house there.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Hash house? Mon Cheri, if you were a man, I would shoot you down like a dog.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Excuse me. A restaurant.

PALADIN
The Frenchman’s. Of course, I’ve heard of your place.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
A thousand dollars?

PALADIN
A what?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I offer you a thousand dollars, monsieur. Why? Because I must have this window.

PALADIN
Why must you have this window?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I have money, I have a wife. Oui? Oui. Now that gives meaning to my body, hmm?
Now, for my soul, You understand, I’m a frenchman.
For my soul, there must be a touch of civilization. That is, a touch of Paris.

PALADIN
That is a plate glass window. The only plate glass window In all of Eastern California?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Ah, you understand me.

PALADIN
Yes.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
And you will help me?

PALADIN
No. No.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Well, there you are. Now, will you stop fussing about it So we can go back home?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Three times I tried to bring in the window. Once it was broken by a slide of rocks, Once by a drunkard. Once by a strong wind, As though the good Lord himself did not wish me to have it.

PALADIN
And you still haven’t given up?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Monsieur, I alone, in this entire section, Hold up the banner of civilization.
If I surrender, well…

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Did you ever see such a durn fool in your life?

PALADIN
Many times. I hate to think what the world would look like without them.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Monsieur, a thousand dollars.
And a meal such as you have never eaten.

PALADIN
Done.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
And they call us the weaker sex.

ext.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Please, go gently, I beg of you.

DRUNK
You trying to tell me how to do my job?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
You almost dropped it!

DRUNK
Hey, you trying to make a fool out of me In front of my partner here?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I have no desire to improve upon what nature has already accomplished.

DRUNK
Was that an insult? Oh! Never seen a man get so wild over an ordinary piece of glass.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Neither did I.

PALADIN
Brace the glass, Etienne.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Yes, of course. But please, do not break it.

PALADIN
Now Claire, take them out of there. Hah! Hah!

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Do not break it, please.

PALADIN
Get up, hyah. Hah! Giddyap there. Whoa.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Men. Is that what makes you men?
Risking your life ten times over for a piece of foolishness like that?

PALADIN
Madame, will you join us?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Men.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Come on. I’ll help you. Claire, I think you’re angry.
Listen. I know you. Once this window is put in place, you will feel as proud of it as I am.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Don’t hold your breath.

PALADIN
Hyah. Here we go. Hyah.

PALADIN
Would you like me to stop a while?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
No, go faster. The sooner that fool piece of glass gets broken,
The better chance I’ll have of getting home in one piece.

PALADIN
You sound like a jealous wife.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Listen, I’d rather he did chase another woman. I’d know how to handle that.
Go ahead, laugh. You don’t care if I get busted. Nobody’s paying you a thousand dollars to see That I don’t get smashed to pieces.

PALADIN
Whoa, now. Whoa.
You know, I think we better rest a while.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
What for?

PALADIN
Well, take a look at your wife. She’s a beautiful woman of noble character.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Why do you stop the wagon?

PALADIN
Well, I thought her, uh…Her character might use a little rest.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Nonsense. She will rest when we get home, Eh, mon cheri?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
She’ll rest in a wooden box, I’m thinking.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Oh, please, Cheri. Do not joke about such things.
I know you love civilization as deeply as I do. Or else why did you marry me, huh?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Right now, Etienne, I ain’t real sure.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Now, monsieur, let us go on. Civilization does not rest.

PALADIN
Indeed, it does not. Look over there.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Get down, Etienne. Will you…? Will you get down?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Etienne, get down from there! You’ll get hurt!

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Do you think it was a trick?

PALADIN
I don’t know. They were yelling something about the sun.
About our having captured the sun.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Claire! Over there!

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Etienne, I think you may have the wrong, id… Idea.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Monsieur, I’m not blind.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Do you mean that you thought me and that hatchet-faced gunslinger was…

PALADIN
Etienne, would you put the gun away.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Calm your fears, Monsieur. I’m a Frenchman. I hired you to guard my window.
My wife, I think, I must guard myself, huh?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
I have just never…

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I warn you, monsieur, in the future, keep your mind on the job, eh?

PALADIN
Well, monsieur, I will do my very best.

EXT. ON THE TRAI

PALADIN
Hyah. Giddyap.

MAN
Morning.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Bonjour, monsieur.

m
Hey, where do you think you’re going With that great big sheet of glass?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
To Panamint. I have a restaurant.

PALADIN
You have heard of The Frenchman’s, of course?

m
No, home cooking’s good enough for me.

PALADIN
Well, it’s not good enough for a lot of hardworking miners.
Do you mind getting out of our way?

M
Well, you see, I just built me a house. It’s about the nicest little house in these parts.
But for one thing. There’s no glass in the windows. Now I’m getting sick of squinting through oil paper. Makes me feel like I was going blind. You tell me what you want for it
And I’ll give you a fair price.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I’m sorry, monsieur. That is out of the question.

m
Mister, I don’t think you understand. I’m buying that glass, Either in one piece or in little ones.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
This is what you Americans call the bluff, huh? I too can bluff like an American.
Monsieur, I will not sell you one splinter of this glass. Now what are you going to do, huh?

m
You show him what I’ll do, Ben. Save me some for my windows.

[Paladin]

PALADIN
Now let’s go. Hyah! Whoa. Whoa.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
This is a disaster. It is Roy Cooney. I thought he was mining elsewhere.

PALADIN
You know him?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Only too well. He’s a man of barbaric impulses. When drinking, he must smash this window. He cannot help himself.

PALADIN
There’s no other road?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
None. Only this one. He’s a friend when sober.
I cannot bear to hurt him. But he will break the glass.

PALADIN
Well, he certainly looks drunk enough To do it.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Alas, he does.

PALADIN
However, if claire will be good enough to help us, I may have a plan to harness Roy’s destructive impulse. Claire. Etienne.

m
Whoa.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Panamint. Aha! First, we install the window by tomorrow,
And then your dinner: A bisque de crevettes,
A truite au chambertin, And then a filet de poulet aux beurre noisettes.
Oh, it is a simple dinner, but difficult to cook.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
I wouldn’t count on the filet de poulet Until they’re hatched.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
She’s happy because she’s home. She’s making a joke.

PALADIN

Oh.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
No, the joke’s tomorrow. You know what it is?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
What?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
It’s Saturday night in a mining town.

PALADIN
Hyah!

m
Woo-hoo! Hey, fellas, I just came from Frenchy’s.
He’s put in his new window!

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
This is a duckling bird with seven vegetables.

PALADIN
Ooh! Etienne, so far, I have had oeuf poivre,
Caviar, consommé, bisque, trout, shad roe,
Chicken, peas, calves’ brains,
Quail…And now duckling.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
And to come, a salade to cool the palate. And then soufflé ilda.
That is a lemon soufflé With the strawberries and the raspberries…
A little purée of raspberries. Oh, it’s very good.

PALADIN
Men laugh and cry when they hear great music.
It’s just a shame we can’t applaud your husband.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Not bad, but he’s done better.

PALADIN
I don’t believe that.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
You just wait till that window gets busted,
And he gets his mind back on his business.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
And remember, for all the world to know: “the frenchman.”

m

yes, sir.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
And make it fancy.

m
Yes, sir.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
What are they waiting for?

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
He’s ready for the soufflé.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
You serve it to him yourself. I’m busy.

m
See? There it is.
You wouldn’t shoot a man
Over a piece of glass.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I do not know, sir, but I would not
Want to try, either. Would you?

m
Why, you might at that.

m
Hey, frenchy! You must have gone to a lot of trouble to get that thing.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I have faced a succession of the most unspeakable dangers To bring to this excellent community a small measure of progress… Of civilization.

m
We’re uncivilized? Ain’t this town good enough for you?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Even in Paris, there’s room for improvement.

Uh-uh-uh! Any attempt to inflict the slightest bestiality Upon this unique window of glass Will engender a massacre of heroic proportions.

Wait! Roy cooney wishes to break it himself. And what he will do to the man
Who deprives him of this pleasure- That will make history
Even in this sink of barbarism.

m
He’s right, fred.
Roy will go wild.

FRED
Yeah, I guess you’re right. The only pleasure roy gets is busting things.

m
He’s coming for sure, frenchy. And what are you going to do then?

PALADIN
Etienne, there is kirsch in this soufflé.
Now, where did you find a bottle of kirsch in this country?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Do not talk to me about food at a time like this.

PALADIN
Well, Etienne, what are you going to do?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I have saved it from them. Now there’s only Roy Cooney.
If we can save it from Roy tonight, They will become bored with it.
Tomorrow, they will find something else to destroy.

PALADIN
And Roy?

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
I know. He will break it. It has all been a complete failure.

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Now you’re talking sense.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Paladin, what am I going to do about Roy?

PALADIN
The kirsch is really delicious. And I’ll see what I can do about roy cooney.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Do not shoot Roy! You will break the window!

PALADIN
I may have to shoot Roy.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Oh, and my window-an innocent bystander.
Roy, do not shoot paladin! You will break my window!

CLAIRE LEDEAUX
Now, there you are. That’s all you mean to him. That’s all I mean to him.

PALADIN
Tell him to holster his gun. I’ll do the same.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Roy, he will not shoot you. Holster your gun.

m
Roy, you cannot do this. Please, my friend. Come and have something to eat, huh?

ROY COONEY
A man’s peace of mind.
That’s all a fella’s got for a grubstake in life.
I was thinking of this all night long.
I couldn’t sleep a wink.
I thought it was a dream when I saw it
Come up the pass.
I lost my peace of mind!
Knowing it was here,
I just couldn’t sleep right. Ah!

m
Break it, roy! Go on. Break it! Break it, roy! Go on! Smash it, roy!
Go on! Don’t be afraid! We’re backing you!

PALADIN
You Roy Cooney?

ROY COONEY
I’m sorry I almost killed you In the middle of your dinner.
I wasn’t drawing on you.

PALADIN
But you were going to shoot through the window.

ROY COONEY
I thought of it. And then I decided…I decided I’d like to break it up with a rock instead.

PALADIN
But Etienne’s your friend. Now, doesn’t it matter to you that he wants to keep the window?

ROY COONEY
Why, sure, and he knows I’m sorry, But it’s something I’ve got to do!

PALADIN
What about my peace of mind? It shatters with the glass.

m
Go on. Get him! Hit him again!

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Oh, roy, I am sorry I had to do this to you.

ROY COONEY
Aw, it’s all right. It was a fair fight, and you won.

m
You ain’t a-givin’ up, roy?

ROY COONEY
Do you want to fight him?

m
Uh-uh. Come on, roy.

MR. ETIENNE LEDEAUX
Well, paladin,
it is done.

m
Busted, ain’t she?

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