96-“The Pledge”

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen, Writers: Shimon Wincelberg, Herb Meadow (creator), and 1

ROBERT GIST as Ike Brennan, BRAD WESTON as Esteban – Indian Leader
CHARLES H. GRAY as Cavalry Lieutenant (as Charles Gray), JOSEPH HAMILTON as Father
SUSAN DAVIS as Maureen Brennan, CYRIL DELEVANTI as Speedy Deliverer

Plot holes: Paladin is driving a wagon with a spare wheel tied to the side. The wheel is larger than any of those used by the wagon. Paladin and his passenger happen across a family stranded with a broken wheel on their wagon. That broken wagon does require the larger wheel. The wheel is installed on the wagon, the family is rescued, and Paladin goes on his way. Notwithstanding the improbability of carrying the unneeded wheel, this incident has nothing at all to do with the main storyline of the episode.

Quotes

Paladin: You hired my time, Brennan. Nobody hires me.

This is kind of a bad episode all around, a rare clunker for the series. Paladin is summoned by Ike Brennan (Robert Gist) to help him no questions asked. Of course, Paladin passes, until Brennan confesses a tribe of Piyoutte Indians are holding his wife hostage and will kill her (or worse) unless he delivers a wagon load of goods to them. Paladin signs on. On the way there, he insists they stop to help some travelers change a broken wagon wheel (yes, giving them their spare which is WAYto big for their rig, but fits perfectly on the one that has a broken wheel!). Paladin discovers that among the goods Brennan is bringing to the Indians is a Gattling Gun, complete with ammunition. Now where and how a civilian like Brennan would have been able to acquire such a weapon, no questions asked is not answered. But Paladin manages to rescue the woman (Susan Davis) and keep the Indians from getting the gun and slaughtering the cavalry.

This is a combination of a bad script (the incredibly dumb ending where Paladin asks the Indians to “stand over there” while he fixes the Gattling Gun is just unworthy of this usually smart series), bad acting (Brad Weston as the Indian Estebahn is particularly unconvincing) and bad producing (that wagon wheel really is too obviously large for their rig. It’s only purpose is to be there for when the strangers’ rig breaks down).

There is a nice scene between Paladin and Brennan on the ride there where Brennan reminisces about fighting the father and brothers of his bride to be, and a nice visual gag with the aged Cyril Delevanti as a “Speedy” deliveryman in San Francisco, but that’s about it.
Brennan, what kind of a man are you?
You whipped Fred, Theodore, Louis, and John,
And then you beat up Tim.
What are you doing now?

SPEEDY DELIVERER
Speedy messenger service.

PALADIN
Oh?

SPEEDY DELIVERER
Yours?

PALADIN
Yes.

SPEEDY DELIVERER
He’s waiting for you on the Kaibab Forest Road.

PALADIN
Wait a minute. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who’s waiting and why?

SPEEDY DELIVERER
Do I ask him why? Do I ask him who? Speedy’s my business and questions slow me down.

PALADIN
Do you always deliver loose money like this?

SPEEDY DELIVERER
I told him he ought to wrap it. But he was in a hurry. So am I. There’s a city out there
waiting for its bills, Its invoices, checks, messages-lifeblood of the nation.
All right with you if we get on with it?

PALADIN
Oh, I beg your pardon. Excuse me.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL -DAY

IKE BRENNAN
You paladin?

PALADIN
I am.

IKE BRENNAN
Well, what took you? When I pay a man, I expect him on the job.

PALADIN
I don’t have a job. I don’t know who you are or what you want.

IKE BRENNAN
I haven’t got time to explain it to you now. Climb up here.

PALADIN
You explain it now or you won’t explain it at all.

IKE BRENNAN
All right. I’m Ike Brennan. I’m in the furniture business in New York And I’m here buying timber. I’m told you’re a good man with a gun and a team. I sure need a man like that.

PALADIN
I’m not a shotgun guard.

IKE BRENNAN
I know that. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have hired you. Now, the Indians have got my wife.

PALADIN
You need the cavalry, not me.

IKE BRENNAN
They’re gonna kill her. And if they see the cavalry, they’re gonna kill her. Climb up here, man. Let’s get going.

PALADIN
I don’t understand this.

IKE BRENNAN
All right, I’ll explain it. I was up in the Kaibab Forest Buying lumber for my factory. And we were captured by this little gang. They killed the drivers. And one of them speaks English. And he kept Maureen. He sent me back to get a wagonload of food and blankets And like that. If I’m not there in two days, they’re gonna burn her.

PALADIN
Why me?

IKE BRENNAN
I’m a city man. I need a guide. I’m told that you know the Indians.
Two days from here to the Kaibab Forest? It’d be close.

IKE BRENNAN
Maureen is up there with him. You make up your mind, man.

EXT.

PALADIN
Hyah! Hold it.

IKE BRENNAN
What you stopping here for?

PALADIN
We got to rest these horses sometime. What are you looking for back there?
No Indians around here.

IKE BRENNAN
I’m looking for the blasted cavalry who are.

PALADIN
Why?

IKE BRENNAN
If the Indians see that cavalry first, What do you think they’ll do to Maureen? Pass the water. Eh, boy, it’s hot. You know, I’m her father’s age. It drove her dad right out of his mind. “you’re an old man,” he said. “and she’s a young girl.” So I beat him up to show.

PALADIN
You don’t give up easily, do you?

IKE BRENNAN
No, I don’t. I beat up the man who became my father-in-law. And the lord bless him for that. Then I beat up Tom, her oldest brother. And a sweeter man you never met in all your life. And then I beat up Fred, Theodore, Gene, and John.

PALADIN
Why did you do that?

IKE BRENNAN
Then I beat up Tim. The biggest and the youngest. Well, by that time, we were so tired,
We decided to postpone the wedding till the next afternoon And devote the rest of that one to drinking and singing. Ah, Maureen sang like a bird. All right, come on, man.

PALADIN
Let me get over on my side
where I belong, huh?
Now, devil.
Ha! Get! Giddyup there!

EXT. ON THE TRAIL -DAY

PALADIN
Whoa.

FATHER
Howdy. I’d take it kindly if you’d lend us a hand. We ain’t got no tools for that wheel, And the old woman’s suffering something awful from the heat.

PALADIN
We’ve got a spare wheel on the side of our wagon.

FATHER
Much obliged.

IKE BRENNAN
You ain’t gonna gamble my woman’s
life on this. Get her moving!

PALADIN
Go ahead, sir. Unstrap it.

IKE BRENNAN
You touch that wagon, They’ll have to scrape you off the ground. Now, let’s get going.

PALADIN

Brennan, You wanna get to the kaibab forest? Come on! You hold that for us?

FATHER
Yes, sir.

PALADIN
Miss, will you put that box under the axle, please?

IKE BRENNAN
Good samaritan, huh?

FATHER
Hope you folks ain’t thinki” On heading up into the pass. There’s a score of bad indians up there. Cavalry patrol warned us most particular.

IKE BRENNAN
What kind of a man are you anyway? Willing to risk a woman’s life so you can play good samaritan To a bunch of nesters, huh? Who hired you anyway, I’d like to know.

PALADIN
You hired my time, brennan. Nobody hires me. Give me the nut.

EXT.

121
00:08:18,664 –> 00:08:20,430
Giddyap!

PALADIN
Yah! Yah!
Yah!
Slow down. Whoa.
Here we rest them
a little bit.
Whoa now, mare.
Hold, black mare.

IKE BRENNAN
Ah, I should have
listened to maureen.
She didn’t wanna come
out here in the first place.
She’s too tenderhearted
To even take the hook
out of a fish.
Boy, when I think of what those
savages might do to her…

PALADIN
Look. It’s a cavalry. Ten or twelve of them.

IKE BRENNAN
What are we gonna do? Think we ought to try and outrun ’em?

PALADIN
Outrun ’em? Why?

I
I’ve got no business with them.

PALADIN
Maybe they’ve got some with us.

IKE BRENNAN
They’ve got
no right to stop us
When the loss of a single minute
might cost Maureen her life.
Let’s get going.

PALADIN
Lieutenant.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
How do, sir?
You folks ain’t thinking on
going up to that pass, are you?

IKE BRENNAN
No law against, is there?

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
No, sir, but you might just wish there was. There’s a gang of cutthroat Piutes running wild up there. They just about paralyzed all traffic going through. You all quite sure you got some urgent business up that way?

PALADIN
We’re sure.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
Well, I can’t force you to turn back. Though I reckon you might thank me if I did.

IKE BRENNAN
Come on. Let’s get going.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
You sure in a great sweat to get yourself scalped.

IKE BRENNAN
Well, it’s my hair, ain’t it?

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
What you got in there anyways that’s so all-fired important?

IKE BRENNAN
Food and blankets. For a mining camp.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
Mining? Up that way? Now, mister, I may be just a little old farm boy, But I ain’t that big a fool. Sergeant, take two men. Robeson, Dimmert, dismount and unload the wagon.
This gentleman’s got me plumb curious now.

IKE BRENNAN
I told you we should have kept going. By heaven, I’ll blast the first man that takes…

PALADIN
Ah!

IKE BRENNAN
What kind…What kind of a gunman are you anyway? Looking by without a peep from you While they’re throwing away the last chance I have To save Maureen.

PALADIN
Lieutenant!

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
Sir?

PALADIN
You really wanna catch those piutes?

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
I sure ain’t out here for my health.

PALADIN
How about just letting us be the bait?

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
How so?

PALADIN
You’d stay two
or three miles behind us.
When you hear the gunfire,
come catch ’em from behind.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
Hold on a second. No need to strip it. That’s a might chancy for you folks, isn’t it?

PALADIN
This gentleman’s got a personal score to settle. He’s willing. So am I, as long as
he pays me. You got any objections?

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
Well, if the good lord chooses to create durn fools, I reckon it ain’t my business to interfere.

PALADIN
You better give us about an hour’s head start. Wouldn’t wanna scare ’em off.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
All right, you men. Fold up those blankets good. Put ’em back. I don’t care if it takes all day.

192
00:12:24,309 –> 00:12:26,543
Please, lieutenant,
just leave ’em be.

193
00:12:31,917 –> 00:12:33,684
Come on. Whoo!

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
We’ll just stay right on their trail, sergeant, Whilst we figure what they’re really up to.

B
The indians will have them spotted before we even get close.

PALADIN
Brennan, what’s in the wagon?

198
00:13:21,967 –> 00:13:24,235
What are you carrying to the indians?

B
Food and blankets, just like I said.

200
00:13:26,305 –> 00:13:28,739
That’s a pretty big pile of food and blankets.

201
00:13:28,806 –> 00:13:30,741
That’s their business, not yours.

PALADIN
Start cutting.

203
00:13:35,347 –> 00:13:37,781
We’ve only got
about three hours.

PALADIN
I wanna see what’s in
the wagon. Start cutting.

B
You know, the cavalry
will be here soon.

206
00:13:57,902 –> 00:13:59,503
All right.

B
All right, I lied to you.
It’s mining equipment,
just like I told the lieutenant.

PALADIN
That’s what you’re carrying
to those renegade indians?
A gatling gun?
How much are they
paying you for that?

B
It was the only way I could
bargain for maureen’s life.

213
00:14:31,436 –> 00:14:33,704
It was the one thing
they wanted bad enough

214
00:14:33,771 –> 00:14:36,207
To trade for the pleasure
of burning us alive.

PALADIN
You’re trading two lives for the
hundreds they can kill with that gun?

216
00:14:39,277 –> 00:14:40,744
That sounds fair.

217
00:14:40,812 –> 00:14:42,313
What are you gonna do?

PALADIN
I’m not gonna do anything.
I’m gonna wait for the cavalry.

219
00:14:45,217 –> 00:14:47,017
It’s their responsibility now.

220
00:14:47,084 –> 00:14:50,854
It’d be like you murdered
my wife with your own two hands.

PALADIN
Ah.

222
00:14:52,757 –> 00:14:55,025
What about you? Hmm?
You think that lieutenant’s
gonna pin the medal on you
’cause you turned me in?
I’ll tell him that you knew
they were catching up with us.
And you figured to hang me
to save yourself.
They’re having
drumhead court-martial
Right here in the fields.
Sure, I’ll hang.
But you’ll hang
right there beside me.
They’re getting closer,
aren’t they?
Oh, please, mister.
Please, will you do it
for maureen’s life?
Isn’t there some way we could
do something to save her?

PALADIN
It’s an ammunition canister
for that gatling gun.
Yeah. Maybe we can still
make that delivery.

237
00:16:14,255 –> 00:16:15,522
Let’s go.

238
00:16:15,590 –> 00:16:18,675
That lieutenant may not
see things the way we do.

239
00:16:25,350 –> 00:16:27,618
Now, mare.
Giddyup. Giddyup!

240
00:16:47,738 –> 00:16:50,340
They’re probably
watching us right now.

PALADIN
That cavalry’s less than
a half hour behind us.

242
00:17:02,520 –> 00:17:05,122
What are you gonna do
with that battered canister?

243
00:17:05,190 –> 00:17:07,791
Them indians may wanna test it
before they let us go.

PALADIN
Probably.

B
Oh, the lord help us, paladin.
We’re a pair
of flamin’ jack-asses.
I’m gonna get her away
from those murderin’ savages
Even if they skin me alive.
Let’s go.

PALADIN
Hyah!

251
00:17:50,235 –> 00:17:52,169
Whoa now. Whoa.

252
00:17:57,943 –> 00:17:59,209
Where is she?

ESTEBAN
You have
the killing machine?

254
00:18:00,945 –> 00:18:03,213
It’s in the wagon.
Now, where is she?

ESTEBAN
She is yours.

256
00:18:10,055 –> 00:18:13,490
Oh, my. Oh, my.

257
00:18:15,593 –> 00:18:17,361
Are you all right?

258
00:18:17,428 –> 00:18:19,530
I’m fine. I’m fine.

259
00:18:19,597 –> 00:18:21,198
Oh.

260
00:18:21,266 –> 00:18:24,368
Look at your lovely ol’ face.

261
00:18:24,435 –> 00:18:27,371
What about the cavalry?
Where are they?

262
00:18:27,438 –> 00:18:29,373
I fought them to get here.

263
00:18:29,440 –> 00:18:32,142
And it was a pleasure
all the way.

264
00:18:32,210 –> 00:18:35,011
But what do we do now?

265
00:18:35,079 –> 00:18:36,680
Come on.

266
00:18:56,801 –> 00:19:00,570
Out of the way, man. I’ve
kept my part of the bargain.

ESTEBAN
This is a very difficult machine to master. Surely, you will give us a demonstration.

PALADIN
All right. You wanna waste ammunition And alert every cavalry patrol within 30 miles.

ESTEBAN
Let them come, huh? With a machine like that, I can kill enough cavalry to have all the munitions I want. I see one fired in vera cruz. I dream of it since that day. You show us right now. Then we be ready. If maybe you tell the cavalry where you come, huh?

PALADIN
All right. Miss brennan, wait up here in the wagon, Please.

280
00:19:43,180 –> 00:19:44,781
What’ll we do?

281
00:19:44,849 –> 00:19:48,785
Don’t think about me.
Do what you must.

PALADIN
We’ll give them the demonstration.

ESTEBAN
Load it.

PALADIN
Now, gentlemen, what you have here Is a gatling gun, model 1862. It’s a crank-operated,
fully automatic weapon. A gun like this, properly placed, Can wipe out an entire wave of cavalry. All you have to do to cause this weapon to fire Is to place this canister of ammunition In this position.

ESTEBAN
Enough talk. Now you see how it spits fire. The cavalry. She comes, huh? This machine
is no good!

PALADIN
Well, let me see what I can do to fix it. You take your men over there.

299
00:21:56,748 –> 00:21:58,348
Paladin.

300
00:21:58,416 –> 00:22:00,617
Look over there.

ESTEBAN
Now maybe you fix the machine, huh? I give you one finger width of time.

PALADIN
All right, brennan, go over and stand by your wife.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
I’m gonna tell you the truth, mister. If I’d have caught you two earlier today with that gun, Court-martial’d have strung you up in the morning.

PALADIN
Maybe that’s why I prefer the civilian way of doing things, lieutenant.

CAVALRY LIEUTENANT
I’ll, uh… We’ll
escort you as far as kanab.

PALADIN
Much obliged, lieutenant. Miss brennan, you can do me a great favor.
Will you try and keep your husband in the city for a while?

312
00:24:36,340 –> 00:24:37,774
Giddyup.

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