88-“The Golden Toad”

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen, Writers: Gene Roddenberry, Herb Meadow (creator)

DAVID WHITE as Webster, LORNA THAYER as Doris, KEVIN HAGEN as Everette
WILLIAM WELLMAN JR. as Bob (as Bill Wellman Jr.), STEWART EAST as Simms
PAUL SORENSEN as Herb (as Paul Sorenson), DOROTHY DELLS as Jacqueline
JAN BURRELL as Caroline, EILEEN WILK as Willodean, NANCY VALENTINE as Beverly

*William Wellman Jr. was the son of the World War I flying ace and silent film era director William Wellman. Wellman Jr. most recently played the character Charlie Evans in the Star Trek fan video “Star Trek: Of Gods and Men” (2007). Wellman Senior’s other children later became the actors: Michael WellmanMaggie Wellman, and Cissy Wellman.

Stewart East Picture

STEWART EAST also appears in the following HGWT episodes:

The Walking Years (1963) … Bartender
The Treasure (1962) … Waiter (uncredited)
Penelope (1962) … Waiter (uncredited)
Place for Abel Hix (1962) … Man
Dream Girl (1962) … Barber
A Drop of Blood (1961) … Waiter (uncredited)
The Brothers (1961) … Rider – Passerby (as Stuart East)
The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs (1961) … Mullaney
The Race (1961) … Checker
Broken Image (1961) … Townsman
The Tax Gatherer (1961) … Morton
The Princess and the Gunfighter (1961) … Hotel Carlton Waiter (uncredited)
The Marshal’s Boy (1960) … Hotel Carlton Waiter (uncredited)
The Poker Fiend (1960) … Stewart – Waiter
The Calf (1960) … Cowhand
Ransom (1960) … Monk
The Campaign of Billy Banjo (1960) … 2nd Miner
The Gladiators (1960) … Club Member (uncredited)
Return to Fort Benjamin (1960) … Soldier
The Day of the Bad Man (1960) … Townsman
One Came Back (1959) … Townsman
The Naked Gun (1959) … Rex
The Golden Toad (1959) … Simms
Unforgiven (1959) … Servant
Comanche (1959) … Lt. Bradley
Incident at Borrasca Bend (1959) … Swede
Death of a Gunfighter (1959) … Man

DOROTHY DELLS also appears in the following HGWT episodes:

Sweet Lady of the Moon (1963) … Mary Murdock

The Fifth Bullet (1962) … Emmy Bartlett

One, Two, Three (1962) … Girl
A Knight to Remember (1961) … Rita – the Woman
The Campaign of Billy Banjo (1960) … Mrs. Fred Wade
Fight at Adobe Wells (1960) … Madge Mattock

LORNA THAYER also appears in the following HGWT episodes:

Pandora’s Box (1962) … Hanna – Woody’s Wife
Love’s Young Dream (1960) … Augusta
The Prophet (1960) … Serafina

I promised you’d be a rich man, Webster.
You’re standing ankle-deep in your treasure.
Or would you rather be dead?

PALADIN
There’s a very interesting article in the Arizona press.

PALADIN
“Ancient ruins uncovered in Yavapai valley. Discovery increases likelihood that legendary indian treasure might be…”

WOMAN
I should have listened to the warnings about you. Just when things are…Well, most pleasant, you up and take some ridiculous trip.

PALADIN
Apparently the discovery was made by a homesteader.
There’s been some trouble about it already.
Legend has it that tribe-which is no longer there-Was enormously wealthy.

WOMAN
And you call yourself a gentlemen. Leaving me now is scarcely a compliment to me.

PALADIN
Well, in a way, Perhaps it’s the greatest compliment I could pay you.
As Cicero said, “Omnibus in rebus voluptatibus maximis fastidium finitimum est.”*
Excuse me.

*”In everything satiety closely follows the greatest pleasures.”

HEY BOY
Good morning, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Good morning, Hey Boy. Oh. Hey boy, I want this letter to go on the stage through Tucson.

HEY BOY
I think we can just make it.

PALADIN
Well, that’s fine, And have my usual gear waiting for me in front of the public library. I have some things to look up.

EXT. HOMESTEAD IN ARIZONA -DAY

GOOFS: The dark-haired *Willodean is calling after the blonde-haired Jacqueline in the house!  I guess some of the girls forgot their character’s names!
WILLODEAN WEBSTER
Pa?

BUD WEBSTER
I told you them chickens and ducks eat better than I do. They’re faster.
WILLODEAN WEBSTER
There’s a man coming, papa.

BUD WEBSTER
Maybe another newspaper man.

WILLODEAN WEBSTER
*Willodean, Caroline, there’s a man coming.

BUD WEBSTER
You keep your jaws lax this time, hear?

PALADIN
My name’s Paladin. If you’re Bud Webster, you probably got a card of mine.

BUD WEBSTER
You took a long trip for nothing. You know how these writer fellas get things all mixed up. They all chew loco weed.

PALADIN
Well, this one came up with some remarkably accurate hallucinations.
They all sort of fitted The Yavapai legend.

BUD WEBSTER
Four-stitch boots, Fancy clothes…Your business must pay pretty well. Hmm?
Married?

PALADIN
On the contrary.

BUD WEBSTER
Guess I forgot my manners. I’d like you to meet my girls. Jacqueline.
This one can make chow bean soup taste like it came off a hog.
Cooks just like her mama, God rest her soul.

PALADIN
Jacqueline.

BUD WEBSTER
Willodean…She can read, tell jokes, sing. Keep a man laughing day and night.

PALADIN
Willodean.

BUD WEBSTER
And Caroline. Rides like a man. Shoot the eye out of a jack rabbit at 50 paces.

PALADIN
Caroline.

CAROLINE WEBSTER
How do?

JACQUELINE WEBSTER
Why don’t you go get Everett, papa? Lunch is about ready.

CAROLINE WEBSTER
We’ll entertain Mr. Paladin for ya.

JACQUELINE WEBSTER
Care to come in and set a spell?

BUD WEBSTER
Good idea. Take me about an hour to walk up and fetch my boy.

PALADIN
Well, as a matter of fact, there’s probably no reason for me to stay, since everything that was in the newspaper wasn’t true.

BUD WEBSTER
Well, the fact is, We get downright lonely, Mr. Paladin. Especially the girls.
Man rides past here once in a blue moon.

PALADIN
I understood there was a cattle town only five miles from here.

BUD WEBSTER
Nothing but cheats in that town. They charged me every cent I had for this no-good,
dried-out land. Now they expect me to share my…My daughters.
You think I’d let my girls mix with that sort?

JACQUELINE WEBSTER
They ain’t all cheats, papa. Take that young Herbert fella.

BUD WEBSTER
I ever catch you talking to him again, I’ll strap you good, hear? That goes for Simms and Waters, too. Their cattle looks like they were bags on bones. It serves them right, too.

PALADIN
Well, this country is known for drought conditions.

BUD WEBSTER
Well, why didn’t they tell me so when they sold me this land? Raining like cats and dogs the day I bought it. Not a drop since. I should have stuck to shoemaking.
Looks like I won’t have to fetch Everett.

EVERETT WEBSTER
More trouble?

BUD WEBSTER
No. Meet Mr. Paladin. You saw his card.

EVERETT WEBSTER
Pa, I got to have more…I got to have a better plow.

BUD WEBSTER
I told you to go easy on it.

EVERETT WEBSTER
Well, you know how hard the sun bakes those fields. It’s like rock. Understand? Like rock.
Now maybe you can get some credit at the store On your next crop.

BUD WEBSTER
We can’t take a chance.

EVERETT WEBSTER
I can’t work those fields with my bare hands.

BUD WEBSTER
All right. Hitch the wagon.

PALADIN

(quoting Cicero again, perhaps the same quote at the Carleton Hotel)
Ladies, as Cicero once remarked, and I translate very freely,
“There can be too much even of a good thing.”
I think I’d better accompany your father into town.
Excuse me.

EXT. TOWN OF TUCSON, ARIZONA -DAY

BOB
We heard Bud Webster was thinking of hiring a gun. Take a seat, huh?

DORIS
Serve us a drink, Gene. No hard feelings.

PALADIN
No, no hard feelings. Whatever gave you that idea?

DORIS
I ordered drinks, Gene! And don’t tell me how much I already owe.

PALADIN
Perhaps I could…

DORIS
Keep your hands above the table, mister. My name’s Doris. Doris Golomon.
My family owned this valley since ’32. I branded the first steer that walked this range,
Built the first line of barbed wire. I buried two husbands.
What do you think of that? You got a name?

PALADIN (throat seared by strong whiskey)
Paladin.

DORIS
That’s Herb. That’s Bob.

PALADIN
Herb. Bob.

DORIS
And I just sent Bill Simms on an errand. You’ll like him, too.

PALADIN
Well, I’m sure I will. May I give you a piece of advice?

DORIS

Here’s some advice for you, mister…”don’t mix in.” This time we’ve had enough. Our cattle are so dry their bones rattle when they walk. Just like this town, hear? Most folks long since run. Now we got two choices: Deep wells, as far down as we got to go, Or we run, too. Start all over again. Either way, it takes money. You get the idea?

PALADIN
I think so. But Bud Webster told me he hasn’t found a thing. And even if he had,
that’s his property, isn’t it?

DORIS
I kept the mineral rights to this property When I sold him that land!
I ain’t that crazy.

BOB

We wouldn’t sell a dirt clod from around here without keeping the rights. There’s a whole storehouse of Yavapai gold somewhere around here.

PALADIN
Fabulous Yavapai valley. Even the Aztecs heard of it. Sent a great expedition north.
Then there was a tremendous earthquake.

DORIS
I want to know what you learned. What did bud tell ya?

PALADIN
Bud told me the names of his three daughters.

HERB
Don’t you say nothing about those Webster girls, mister.

DORIS
Now he don’t mean anything. They’re the only three marrying gals left around here now.

BUD WEBSTER
Get your grubby hands off me, Bill! He was trying to get credit for a load of blasting powder. Every place I go they follow me. I’m hiring you as of now.

DORIS
You don’t need a gunman, you stupid old clod buster. I offered to split it with ya.

BUD WEBSTER
What right you got to make offers?

DORIS

This is my valley.
If it wasn’t for me none of you’d be here.

HERB
Just a minute now, doris. We’ve got a share coming, too.

BUD WEBSTER
You see, everybody’d end up with some but me.

DORIS
I kept the mineral rights, blast ya!

BUD WEBSTER
You can keep the mineral rights.
This comes under treasure.

BOB
Treasure’s right. Have a look at what he was showing trying to get credit.

DORIS
Gold toad. Solid gold. Where’d you find it?

BOB
The story was true, huh? He really did find an Indian ruin.

DORIS
Show us the way in and we’ll give you a hand.

PALADIN
Put them away. Put them away!

BUD WEBSTER
I’ll have the law on you for this, woman. I’m complaining to the sheriff of Tucson.

PALADIN
No, you’re not. Not unless you want half this state digging with you.

DORIS
See?! As stupid as you are ugly.

BUD WEBSTER
Listen to who’s talking. I’ve seen prettier features on a cobbler’s bench.

DORIS
All you know about is shoes.

BUD WEBSTER
At least they keep their tongues laced in place, which is more than I can say about some other…

PALADIN
All right. Pack your blasting powder. I’ll catch up with you later.

DORIS
What’s he paying you? I’ll pay you double. Cut you in for one-fifth.

PALADIN
You people are going to end up killing each other over a treasure that may not even exist.

DORIS
Better chance that it does.

PALADIN
All right. But why argue about dividing something that may be nonexistent. Let him dig.

DORIS
Hey, whose side you on, paladin?

PALADIN
My own.

DORIS
At least ya ain’t a liar. I’ll take a chance on you.

PALADIN
Why thank you, ma’am.

DORIS
But just in case I’m wrong, you follow Bud Webster to his diggins. And don’t let him shake you this time.

EXT. OUT ON THE DIGGING SITE -DAY

EVERETT WEBSTER
Lots of them rocks around. They don’t mean nothing.

You sure got a funny way of helping us:

Snooping around the valley, Digging holes while we work. Where’d you disappear to yesterday?

PALADIN
Land office in Tucson. How’s the blasting coming along?

EVERETT WEBSTER
Well, pa thinks It’s time you come over there, Give us some protection.

PALADIN
Oh?

EVERETT WEBSTER
We broke through to something.

Paladin saddles up to go to the diggings. After inspecting the dig site in the cave, he stands outside to reports what he found.

PALADIN
An altar of some sort. A place of worship.

BUD WEBSTER

Was buried almost out of sight.

EVERETT WEBSTER
Stumbled onto it while I was out rabbit hunting.

BUD WEBSTER
Dug down, found this here stone path At the base of it. Kept digging, Found that path led right into the mountain there.

EVERETT WEBSTER
Right into the mountain. That’s when we decided to dig that shaft there, Follow that
stone path right in. We hadn’t dug down ten feet, We found the gold toad.

BUD WEBSTER
Indians must have had
an opening there once.

PALADIN
Yeah, until a mountain caved in on it.

BUD WEBSTER
So the gold mine is still in there. Or maybe a treasure store, or maybe both.

EVERETT WEBSTER
Mr. Paladin. Uh, you know how the rest of that story goes?
They used to worship a dragon or something.

PALADIN
An animal of some sort. Probably a gold image as a replica, or possibly a giant toad.
Their grandchildren would remember that as a dragon.

BUD WEBSTER
Heard about a toad
That was accidentally walled up
for years.
It was still alive when they
tore down the building.

EVERETT WEBSTER
How long you figure a big one might live?

PALADIN
Guarding the treasure?

EVERETT WEBSTER
Well, you won’t think it’s so funny When you go in there.

BUD WEBSTER
You see, we ain’t cut through that last few feet of stone slab Because everett once thought
he heard something Through that slab. Follow me, mr. Paladin. Stay here, boy.

INT. INSIDE THE CAVE

BUD WEBSTER
Our last blast broke through to this.

PALADIN
Must be part of the original indian tunnel.
Look how smooth those rocks are.

BUD WEBSTER
It’s something, huh?

PALADIN
Yeah.

BUD WEBSTER
Come on. This is as far as we got.

PALADIN
Oh, I can see Where that block of sandstone slipped down years ago
And blocked the passageway.

BUD WEBSTER
Notice how it’s all cracked up there? We go through this careful, by hand.
In about three feet, I’ll be a rich man.

PALADIN
That’s very likely.

BUD WEBSTER
If it’s the devil hisself you hear in there…Earthquake?

PALADIN
Gunshots.

BUD WEBSTER
Come on!

BUD WEBSTER
Doris, you gone crazy?!

DORIS
Your boy shot at us first!

EVERETT WEBSTER
You was comin’ in on me, guns drawn!

DORIS
All we want is our share! You fight us and we’ll take it all!

BUD WEBSTER
That gold belongs to me, woman! Another step, sims, you too, herb,
I’ll shoot to kill.

PALADIN
Now hold it, all of ya!

DORIS
You stay out of this, paladin.

PALADIN
There’s no gold in that tunnel! You’re going to kill each other Over something
that doesn’t even exist!

DORIS
I wouldn’t trust any gunman
of yours, bud webster.
PALADIN
You give me three minutes And I’ll show you what’s inside that tunnel.
24 sticks of blasting powder. Put a bullet in this, I’d say it’d close that shaft permanently.

BUD WEBSTER
Don’t shoot!

DORIS
Stop him!

EVERETT WEBSTER
Don’t let him go in there
with that powder, pa.

BUD WEBSTER
Don’t shoot, bob!
DORIS
Put your guns away, boys. We could work this out.

BUD WEBSTER
All right. I’d rather have half a share than none.
You got nerve, woman. I like that.

BUD WEBSTER
Paladin!

PALADIN
I cut that fuse in half. You’ve got 30 seconds to get out of here. I promised you you’d be a rich man, Or would you rather be a dead one?
25 seconds!

BUD WEBSTER
Come on.
When we get out of here I’m gonna kill you!

PALADIN
Go on!

BUD WEBSTER
Get out of the way! Get down!
It’s gonna cave in. I said I wanted to be rich.
I was wrong. All we wanted was a decent chance out of life, just once.
You took that from us.

PALADIN
Let’s have a look at that gold image. If you lived in a green valley, your whole life depended on water which flowed to you through stone aqueducts. If you were an indian
And wanted to pick one animal to worship, Which one would you choose? It’s the webbed feet and long swimming muscles.

DORIS
A frog…a water frog.

PALADIN

I thought I recognized these stone patterns. At one time, this aqueduct system probably crisscrossed that entire valley down there. I guess after the tunnel was closed up by the earthquakes. The yavapai tribe just disappeared. Almost as if they dried up. And I guess that’s just about what happened. Well, this is the yavapai wealth. It’s the kind that brings you crops and cattle. You’re standing ankle-deep in gold, Mr. Webster.

DORIS
It’s flowing down clear through the valley. Nobody owns that land in between.
I’m gonna file on it.

BUD WEBSTER
Nobody diverts my water.

PALADIN
The new owner filed on it two days ago in Tucson. Be a slight charge for water shares,
I’ll think we’ll all find it a very profitable arrangement.

BUD WEBSTER
All that fancy talk…

DORIS
He’s a crook! A fancy-talking crook! He’s taking our water And I’ll bet
you’re in with him!

BUD WEBSTER
Me? Boy…

PALADIN
The Yavapai Water Company has a further announcement. In order to promote peace
and increase the population in the valley, which, of course, will serve my interests also,
additional water shares will be given each married family at no charge.

BOB
I’ve got over 700 head to water.

HERB
Your daughters home, old man?

BOB
I saw them earlier. Let’s go!

EVERETT WEBSTER
I think I’ll, uh, go pay a call on Wanda.

DORIS
That ain’t fair!

BUD WEBSTER
We got the largest holdings of all. Nobody our age left in the valley.

DORIS
We need water, lots of it!

PALADIN
Funny, I don’t see any problem at all.

BUD WEBSTER
Thought you’d come this way. Look, my wife and I, We figured up that water will bring you only about A thousand a year. That’s pretty reasonable for a double-crossing crook.
PALADIN
Well, a thousand here and a thousand there.

BUD WEBSTER
We figured you might, uh…Kinda like sort of a Souvenir.

PALADIN
Thank you.

BUD WEBSTER
I’m going to have real frogs, shade trees, corn. With this old woman, I might even have
some more kids.

DORIS
Oh!

PALADIN
Mr. Webster, in this country, Fresh water works miracles.