124-“The Tender Gun”

Season 4, Episode 7 – Original Airdate: (October 22, 1960)

<= 123 – “The Calf == The Shooting of Jesse May” – 125 =>

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Jay Simms.

JEANETTE NOLAN as Sheriff Maude J. Smuggly
(Alice, 1962) as Alice
(The Trap, 1962) as Jeri Marcus
(Gun Shy, 1958) as Ma Warren
LOU ANTONIO as Ted Greive – Gunman
STAR TREK (Let That Be Your Last Battlefield, 1969) as Lokai
TOM REESE as Yates – Land Speculator
HERBERT PATTERSON as Heck – Gunman
(Return to Fort Benjamin, 1960) as Sgt. Kern
DON KEEFER as Corcoran – Gun Drummer
(The Solid Gold Patrol, 1958) as Col. Barlowe
(Winchester Quarantine, 1957) as Kelso

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

CORCORAN – GUN DRUMMER
You just take a heft on the balance of this little beauty. The company guarantees six pheasants, six quail or nine doves an outing. Or, get this, you get your money back.

PALADIN
I can get that kind of game in any number of restaurants in San Francisco already dead and quite nicely cooked.

CORCORAN – GUN DRUMMER
But on the trail, Mr. Paladin…

PALADIN
On the trail, I’m after slightly larger game.

CORCORAN – GUN DRUMMER
Oh, well, then, you’ll like this one. Double ought buckshot in here. Nine pellets to each cartridge. Each pellet about the size of a .33 slug. Guaranteed to stop buffalo, elk, grizzly, elephant or even to attract the attention of a Missouri mule. When fired at close range,
it knocks a hole about the size of an embroidery hoop.

HEY GIRL
Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Hey Girl, don’t worry about this gun. It’s loaded. It’s the unloaded guns that kill you.

PALADIN
“Mr. Paladin, our town got run over with a covey of gunslinging water moccasins and needs your help. Pretty interesting reward if they get what they deserve. My nephew tells me you are just the man. Regards, M.J. Smuggley, Sheriff, Arroyo.”

CORCORAN – GUN DRUMMER
A man in your profession needs a gun like this, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
What do you know about my profession?

CORCORAN – GUN DRUMMER
Your reputation, your-your business card.

PALADIN
I suggest you forget what you know about my reputation and my business card.
Now be careful with this gun. It’s unloaded. Hey Girl, pack the gear.

CORCORAN – GUN DRUMMER
Bon voyage.

EXT. IN TOWN OF

PALADIN
Can you tell me where I’ll find the sheriff?

HECK – GUNMAN
You a lawman?

PALADIN
No.

HECK – GUNMAN
Well, the sheriff don’t seem to get around uptown too much anymore.

PALADIN
Well, can you tell me where I can find him?

HECK – GUNMAN
Coal and hay barn yonder. Hey, you might tell the sheriff that this town could sure use about a pound and a half worth of law and order.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Come on in. Close the door. Get on over here. Mister, you’re just a twitch from gettin’ your head blowed off, and I got a nervous tic. You better give me a hatful of words
and all at the same time. Now talk.

PALADIN
Talk? I tried to talk through that window over there and almost got a mouthful of buckshot.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
I didn’t have the edge on you then. Who are you? What do you want?

PALADIN
My name’s Paladin. I’m looking for the sheriff.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, can you prove that? Well, unfold it so’s I can see it.

P
Oh.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Paladin, eh? Why, you’re funnier than a gopher snake at a church social. I’m the sheriff. I’m Maude Smuggley.

PALADIN
Can you prove it?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Everybody knows I’m sheriff here anyways, but I don’t want to give them a nice, shiny target to sight on.

PALADIN
Who? Those two in front of the sheriff’s office?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Oh, no. Not them.
I’m talking about their boss- Yates. Them’s just a couple of teddy bears.

PALADIN
Well, what now?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
I didn’t finish reading that letter. Oh, I was only foolin’ about that nervous tic.
I’m healthier than a brood mare.

PALADIN
Well, that is the best piece of news today. Now what can I do for you, Sheriff?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, since I got the drop on you a couple of times, maybe nothing.

PALADIN
Well, in that case, this has been slightly less than charming. Uh, do you want the letter?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
No, I can’t read. The parson wrote that. I just signed it. Well, sir…You ain’t much, but I
guess you’re all I got. You’re hired. Yep, they’ve gone to tell old Yates that you’re here.
Come on, I’ll give you some coffee.

PALADIN
How long they had you bottled up here?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
A couple weeks. Well, here’s mud in your cup. Yeah, old Yates sent a fella out to my place to kill me.

PALADIN
Oh, where’s he now?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, I buried him where he fell. He was too big for me to drag off, and there wasn’t a soul to da’st come near enough to help a poor widow woman. I just dug under him, and than he sank in and I covered him over.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
See here, what’s the matter?

PALADIN
Well, that’s, uh…got a sort of a twilight taste, sort of somewhere between, uh… kerosene and hemlock.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Hmm, it wasn’t that thick last week. Oh, I didn’t put no thinner in it. Here. A little yellow whiskey, that’ll help. Now taste that. See, I only got one still. In the summer I make whiskey, in the winter I make kerosene and crude oil. Makes the whiskey taste kind of funny, but it sure keeps the lamps happy.

PALADIN
And it doesn’t seem to do badly for you, either. Now, uh, Sheriff… what is your problem?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, sir, two months ago a fella named Yates came through here and wanted to buy up all this land. No sale. A week later he come back and he says he’s from the railroad and that all this land is condemned for a right-of-way. Still no sale. Now Fred- he was my fifth husband- he was sheriff. And so he tried to organize the people not to sell. So some barns got burnt, and some poison got in some creeks, some heifers got throwed in some wells and four people got dead. Fred was one of ’em. Old Doc dug seven pistol slugs and two rifle bullets out of him.

PALADIN
Why this valley?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Oil. I don’t know what they want with it. It poisons the water and kills the fish hereabouts.

PALADIN
Well, Sheriff, a man in the East has found a way to make a steam engine run on oil. And they can make a kind of soap out of it. Why don’t you sell?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
I don’t like the way they asked me. There’s a way of doing business fair and square. Now there are five of them. I’ll give you $100 a head.

PALADIN
You’d give me $100 apiece to kill five men? What do you think I am?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
$1,000 a head. Now, we both know what you are-it’s just a matter of price.

PALADIN
Price has nothing to do with it.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
You paused a little too long for me to believe that.

PALADIN
I paused because you may double the price in a business deal, but you don’t
jump it tenfold.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, I… I meant $1,000 for all five of them.
And besides, I didn’t offer it. I just said how about it.

PALADIN
You said $1,000 apiece, and the answer is nein, nyet, no, negative. I will not be commissioned to kill a man in cold blood.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, there ain’t no law and order. Just think of it- a woman sheriff can’t even walk down the main street of her own town. Them ruffians won’t even let me. Poor widow woman. Alone in the world. Nobody cares. Nobody to help. Always before, I had somebody to turn to. There was Paisley, Yarkley, Wayne… Jonathan. Nobody knows my problems.

PALADIN
Sheriff…Mother Smuggley…

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Yeah?

PALADIN
My heart bleeds for you. But there are a few drops left over for your opposition.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, I guess you made a long ride for nothing. Could you get me as far as the bar, so’s I could buy you a drink?

PALADIN
Well, isn’t it possible that you’re exaggerating just a little bit?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Why, there’s nothing that pig swiller’d like better than to see me out there waltzing up that main street.

PALADIN
Well, uh…may I have the next waltz?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Oh, say! Come on!

PALADIN
You know, I still don’t understand why this town didn’t hire a mayor and sheriff.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, they did, but he had an attack of either under-guts or over-bribe and left.
That’s when they elected me. This was a peaceable town-they didn’t want nobody shot.
I didn’t think these boll weevils would shoot a woman. But they tried.

PALADIN
Well, where are these “boll weevils” that are after your scalp?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, they’re around, Paladin. They’re around. They just take a little time to get ‘glomerated. You’re sure you don’t want to help me?

PALADIN
Well, I don’t see any evidence at all that you need any help.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
There.

PALADIN
Yeah. That why you’ve been smiling like the queen of hearts on a stacked deck?

HECK – GUNMAN
Better get Yates. And don’t try anything alone.

TED GREVE – GUNMAN
You handle your case; I’ll handle theirs.

[Paladin walks over to Greve]

TED GREVE – GUNMAN
You, black suit, you sure buy expensive company. Unless you straddle that bay and ride out of this town, you’re gonna make a down payment on more trouble than you ever had. Just let me warn you, black suit. That old woman standing by you has a shotgun. Well, I got to admit that you got more guts than I have to be put in that spot. Do us a favor-let us solve our own problem.

PALADIN
Well, I have no intention of interfering in local politics, but if I ride out, the lady rides out with me.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Ha! I always leave with the fella which brung me, Greve.

TED GREVE – GUNMAN
Maybe you don’t know who I am. Ted Greve.

PALADIN
Greve, hm? Greve… Oh, Ted Greve! You ever go back to Abilene? Or can’t you forget how they laughed at you there? You lying in the dust, crying.

TED GREVE – GUNMAN
All right, you better use the other end of that gun, ’cause I’m gonna kill y…

[The Sheriff guns down Greve]

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Come over there.

PALADIN
You cut that man in two just like with a circle saw!
Now, I’m not gonna be a party to your settling a lot of petty grudges.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
You take cover, or you’ll find out how petty they are.

PALADIN
That was just the same as a bushwhack!

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Sure was.

PALADIN
Now, look, you can take care of yourself. You’re just as mean as they are.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
I ain’t as many as they are! Besides that, they got you grazin’ under my brand now. I don’t know what you’re gonna do, but I’m getting off of the street.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
I told you they was mean.

PALADIN
Thank you, you’re a good friend.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
What are you gonna do now?

PALADIN
I pick my own deals. I won’t be pushed, and I don’t want to be used as a catalyst or a cat’s paw.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Oh. Well, like they say, there’s only one door to a jail. You stick your head out that door, and they’ll part your nose for you. Paladin, you were gonna kill Greve, weren’t you?

PALADIN
Well, I wasn’t gonna stand there and let him shoot me.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
You remind me of my ex-husband!

PALADIN
Which husband?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Paisley. Oh, he was a real Hottentot. In many ways, he was the best of the breed.
They won’t charge in here. ‘Cause that’s what I want ’em to do, and they’re too ornery.
They think they can starve us out.

PALADIN
Well, I didn’t have any lunch. How about you?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Me, neither. You ain’t scared of them, are you, Paladin?

PALADIN
And I’m not a fool. I didn’t want any part of this, but you fixed it up now so I don’t have any choice.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Paladin, you a married man? Good. I like the way you move.
I’m going out that front door with you.

PALADIN
You’re gonna take yourself into the back of this jail and lock that door and use the shotgun on the first man who comes through there.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Oh, and you’re gonna walk out that door, and you’ll be the played ace in a whist game- there’ll be two in back of you and two in front of you!

PALADIN
How do you know that?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Have I lied to you?

PALADIN
Now, you get yourself into the back of this jail…you lock the door on the cell, you lock this door. You got two barrels in the shotgun. Use ’em both on the first man who walks through that door.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
You didn’t get nicked, did you?

PALADIN
No, I didn’t get nicked, did I? Now, go on.

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
Rushen? There was only one shot-how come there’s so many holes in him?

HECK – GUNMAN
Looks like he caught a full load of double ought buckshot.

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
Are they in the jail?

HENCHMAN
Yeah. They ain’t going nowhere.

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
I’ll call him out.

HENCHMAN
What about the sheriff?

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
After we get the man, there’ll be a lot of excitement. Now, she’ll use it to sneak out of the jail. We’ll let her. But trail her. Let her get out of town before she gets it. Don’t fire until
I go for my gun. All right, spread out.

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
My name is Yates. Come on out, mister.

PALADIN
Where are your men?

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
I’m alone. Look, mister, anybody can choose the wrong side when they don’t know the facts. Now, if you want to come out, ride on out of town, you’ve got a free pass.

PALADIN
Well, I never paid for a pass yet.

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
Well, you can’t hide forever.

PALADIN
At your convenience, Mr. Yates.

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
Come on out of the shadows so I can see you.

PALADIN
If you can’t see me, you better take off that gun belt.

YATES – LAND SPECULATOR
I’m trying to reason with you, mister. Why, she ain’t no more than a killer.
We’re walking the streets in fear of our lives.

PALADIN
You killed her husband. Maybe one of you people out there’ll get me-that won’t make
a warm grave or a shallow one for the two I’m gonna kill.

[]

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
We got ’em, Paladin! We got ’em! I… I tripped.

PALADIN
How did you get out of that jail?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Oh, I had that window fixed for that.
Never leave nothing to chance-that’s what Baxter-or was it Yarkley said that?
Well, listen, I knew if I ever had a man again we’d clear that bunch out.

PALADIN
You stopped a good one.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, not… not as good as the one that they stopped.

PALADIN
Come on.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Guess I won’t be…pitchin’ no hay for a few days.
You gonna be strong for this?

PALADIN
I’m strong enough. Come on, I’ll get you in the jail. Get you fixed up.

PALADIN
No, thank you very much.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well… it’s all over. I guess you’ll be riding out.

PALADIN
Straight as an Indian ever rode the water.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
You know, I got a feeling these local folk would like to see that sheriff’s badge on you.
You know, sheriffing’s no position for a woman.
Especially one that’s halter-broke like me.

PALADIN
Well, halter-broke or not, uh, I have a feeling that you can handle the job.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well…you’re a lot like I am, Paladin. You’re all alone in the world. I buried five husbands,
but they was all smiling. Now I got me a nice little spread and a fine house. And oil- that must be worth something, or that Yates wouldn’t have gone to all that trouble to get it. What I need is a… a man… to take care of these things for me.

PALADIN
Sheriff, are you proposing to me?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, if it, uh, didn’t work out, you could always hit the trail, no hard feelings.

PALADIN
Well, madam, I…

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Oh, I…

PALADIN
I beg… I beg your pardon. Uh, Mrs. Smuggley, while I must confess that I have seen in my life few sights as beautiful as you in that second-story window with that shotgun…I must decline with regrets.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Aw! I should’ve know’d. You’re the kind that puts a pretty, young face in front of experience. Well, least ways, you’re a mite too young for me anyway. I need a fella that’s spent a little more time on the job. Why don’t you come back in about ten years?

PALADIN
Madam, you have a deal.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Say, tell my nephew howdy.

PALADIN
Nephew?

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, you must know him-his name is Monk Bordelli. He owns a fancy place in that hometown of yours.

PALADIN
Monk Bordelli-yes, indeed, I know him. That’s the mangiest, meanest specimen in the human race.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Well, he ain’t mine; he’s my sister’s doings.

PALADIN
Mm. Good-bye, Mrs. Smuggley. It has been… charming.

SHERIFF MAUDE J. SMUGGLY
Come back! Visit! The coffee’s always on!

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