152-“The Cure”

Season 4, Episode 35 – Original Airdate: (May 20, 1961)

<= 151 – “Bearbait == The Road” – 153 =>

Directed by Buzz Kulik, Written by Shimon Wincelberg,

NORMA CRANE as Martha Jane Conroy
(Episode in Laredo, 1959) as Eileen Tuttle
(The Taffeta Mayor, 1959) as Lucy Kellaway
(Ella West, 1958) as Ella West
JERRY WAYNE as Ned Blackstock
JEANNE VAUGHN as Lucy Weyerhauser
CRAIG DUNCAN as Bartender
(Return of Roy Carter, 1959) as Sid
(Lady on the Stagecoach, 1959) as Man
LISA LU as Hey Girl
OLAN SOULE as Hotel Carlton Manager McGinnis
DUANE GREY as First Worker
(The Burning Tree, 1963) as Abner
(The Haunted Trees, 1959) as Paul Egert
(Birds of a Feather, 1958) as Garner
(High Wire, 1957) as Driver
GIL PERKINS as Second Worker
STAR TREK: TOS (Bread and Circuses, 1968) as Slave #3

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – MORNING

HEY GIRL
Is he dead? Be careful.

PALADIN
Ah-ah, ah-ah!

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Ah!

PALADIN
You’re Martha Jane Conroy. You don’t know me, but you’re the first person I ever saw do this.

HOTEL CARLTON MANAGER MCGINNIS
You’re acquainted with this… person?

PALADIN
Mr. McGinnis, meet Calamity Jane. And I’d like my bath prepared for her now, please.

HOTEL CARLTON MANAGER MCGINNIS
In my hotel? Certainly not!

PALADIN
It’s quite all right. Mr. McGinnis, have the clerk prepare my bill.

HOTEL CARLTON MANAGER MCGINNIS
Eh?

PALADIN
And, Hey Girl, pack my things.

HEY GIRL
Right now?

PALADIN
Right now.

HOTEL CARLTON MANAGER MCGINNIS
Uh, Mr. Paladin…

PALADIN
Hmm?

HOTEL CARLTON MANAGER MCGINNIS
Any guest of yours is, uh…more than welcome.

PALADIN
We thank you, Mr. McGinnis.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
And you! You! Who are you?! Oh, sure a body could catch its death in there.
Couldn’t they?

PALADIN
Well, it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve risked your life in a noble cause, would it?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Well, don’t be just standing there with your mouth open.

PALADIN
Excuse me.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Thank you.

PALADIN
Jane, whatever happened to one of the great ladies of the West? The name get to be too heavy for you to carry? When you were trick shooting with Ned Blackstock’s show, I don’t think there’d be more than a half a dozen men in the whole West would want to tangle with you.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
What happened to me?

PALADIN
Mm-hmm.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Well, what do you think?

PALADIN
Well, as I remember it, you never drank while you were working.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
That was before Ned Blackstock took to looking for younger women!

PALADIN
Oh. And then you resigned to the bottle, and, uh, Ned had to find himself another girl.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Well, you know, we all ain’t got but one life to waste.

PALADIN
And what about those books with your name all over the cover? Must have made a lot of money from that.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Well, I’ll tell you, I’ll sell you one for ten cents. It’s in my jacket pocket. Oh, yow! It’s hotter than Hades!

PALADIN
You know, once, on a long train ride, I translated this thing into Latin ’cause it was so unreadable in English. Still, you must have made a lot of money from it.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh. Sure, it made a lot of money. For himself! For Ned Blackstock. Why, he made more money writing about the Old West than 10,000 poor fools who lived and died in it.

PALADIN
You didn’t have any kind of a contract?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
A contract? As close as we were? Why, it’d be like, it’d be like asking your-your white-haired mother to show you her marriage certificate.

PALADIN
And what happened then?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
And then there was Lucy Weyerhauser. That was her name. And she looked as innocent as a, as a cow. With its, with its throat cut. But I tell you, that isn’t what grinds me. It’s this. This that really grinds me. Look here. Ned Blackstock’s variety show, dime museum. And he’s featuring the original, authentic Calamity Jane. Look at her. The bold and grinning hussy. Robbing a woman of her most precious possession: her honest name.

PALADIN
Now, wait a minute. You know that Calamity Jane is no more your honest name than any one of the dozen other legends that Ned Blackstock manufactured about you.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Legends, is it?! Well, now, you just listen here to me. I tell you that it was I who scouted for Custer against the Nursey Purseys. And ’twas I who rode 90 miles through Indian territory for-for General Crook and caught myself a death of cold. And when Wild Bill Hickok- my-my darling Wild Bill- when he was gunned in the back by Jack McCall, ’twas me, me and nobody else but me, who cornered him in a butcher shop with a meat cleaver! And tell me, go on and tell me, who are you to come along and take my good name away?! Why, if Wild Bill Hickok were alive, you wouldn’t dare talk to me like that! Do you hear me?! Do you?!

PALADIN
Jane, I have heard of doctors who consider drinking a sickness.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
And what do I pay them with? The grateful sigh of a, of a pure maiden.

PALADIN
Yeah. Well… let’s get you some clothes, and then let’s go and collect some money. Coming?

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

MARTHA JANE CONROY
I’m thinking a swim in that lake would put the life back into us both.

PALADIN
And you’re right. That’s beautiful.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
So that’s the kind of lady you think I am. You’re quite ready to take me cavorting in the altogether, with not so much as a tip of your hat.

PALADIN
Well, I beg your pardon, milady.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Well, Mr. Paladin, you waltz yourself over there, and then you take yourself a bathe, and then I’ll do the same after you’re done.

PALADIN
Jane. Now, when I left it to you to buy these provisions, I did not expect you to include any liquid flour. Let me have it.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
No. No!

PALADIN
Give it to me! You know why I came with you?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
To help me get my money, not to be deviling the life out of me.

PALADIN
Good-bye. I think I preferred the legend anyway.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Paladin, wait for me! Paladin, don’t leave me. You don’t know what it’s been like. It’s the pain. You see, ever since I been struck with a cannonball…at-at the Battle of Platte River, oh, there ain’t nothing that’ll take away the fearful agony but whiskey.

PALADIN
That what the doctors told you?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
The doctors? The doctors said it was a flaming miracle I could walk at all. And would I please let them carve on me so they could study the queer workings of benevolent providence.

PALADIN
Yeah.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
It’s disappointed with me you are, I’m thinking.

PALADIN
Well, I guess it’s just that I got to believing a legend myself: the Joan of Arc of the Dakotas- Calamity Jane.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
I am Calamity, mister. And don’t you forget it for a minute.

PALADIN
Where you going?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
I need a drink. That’s where I’m going.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh, I’ve seen employment advertised “It’s just the thing,” says I But the dirty spalpeen
ended with  “No Irish need apply” I’m a decent boy just landed  From the town of Ballyfad And I want A situation, yes And I want it mighty bad Oh, I seen employment advertised “‘Tis just the thing,” says I But the dirty spalpeen ended with  “No Irish need apply.”

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh, to tell you the truth, I just got here.

PALADIN
Let me have the glass.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Don’t be telling me what to do. You ain’t no husband of mine! Look at himself. Nagging the life out of me like an old hen. “Don’t do this,” says he, “don’t do that,” says he. Why, it’s enough, it’s enough to send the blessed saints in the corridors of Heaven itself screaming for the bottle. Well, here’s to you, Mr. Bluenose!

b
Here, now, here.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh. And you men are going to stand there and watch a helpless, fearful woman being battered to the ground by a fearful blackguard?!

m
We left our guns up at the camp.

b
Well, I ain’t afraid of his guns. Now, you make tracks, mister, ‘fore I wipe the walls with you.

PALADIN
You coming?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Well…at least there’s one man who cares.

EXT. BACK IN CAMP

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Paladin?

PALADIN
Hmm?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
How old do you think I am?

PALADIN
Go to sleep.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
I can’t go to sleep!

PALADIN
Why not?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
It’s my back. It’s hurting something fearful.

PALADIN
Well, I don’t have any whiskey.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Would you rub it for me? Huh? Please?

PALADIN
All right, come on.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh. Oh…Oh, that feels good. Paladin?

PALADIN
Hmm?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Would you say I still hold some attraction for a man?

PALADIN
Well, it depends on the man.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
How about you?

PALADIN
Well, if that money can buy you a cure, I’ll bet on you holding your own against any woman in San Francisco.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh, those are wild and wicked words you’re saying.

PALADIN
Now, didn’t you once announce to the assembled press of two continents that there would never be another man to take Wild Bill’s place? Or did a reporter make that up, too?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
No. No, I did say that. But you want to know the truth, the Lord’s truth? Wild Bill never so much as gave me a second look.

PALADIN
What about that story about your trapping Jack McCall with a meat cleaver after he killed Wild Bill?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Do you know what I said when I heard Wild Bill was shot? I said, “Boys, who’ll buy me another drink?” And if you ever repeat that to a living soul, I’ll…Oh…Oh, Paladin, Paladin, help me.

EXT. IN TOWN

INT. HOTEL ROOM

PALADIN
Well, now. That’s very attractive.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Sure, now, it’s a beautiful dress.

PALADIN
And a very attractive woman.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Thank you.

PALADIN
Lucy Weyerhauser’s next performance is at 8:30.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
I can’t.

PALADIN
Yes, you can.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
No, I…

PALADIN

Ned Blackstock’ll be there.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
I can’t! I can’t do it cold sober! I can’t!

PALADIN

Yes, you can. That’s the only way you can do it.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
No.

PALADIN

Now, come on, take a look. Come on.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
No.

PALADIN
Look at you. Come on. Ned Blackstock sees you looking like that, he’ll send Lucy Weyerhauser back to shilling for pitchmen at county fairs.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Paladin, I’m scared. I couldn’t bear Ned Blackstock laughing at me! Don’t you hear me? I’m scared, I’m scared!

PALADIN
All right. Maybe it is better. I’ll go and see Ned before he gets wind that you’re in town and tries to do something about it. Now, you get some rest. You promise?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Yes.

CROWD
Beautiful! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

NED BLACKSTOCK
Cheers.

PALADIN
Who’s paying for that?

NED BLACKSTOCK
Eh?

PALADIN
Your money or Martha Jane’s?

NED BLACKSTOCK
So, um, she sicced you on me, did she?

PALADIN
Yes, sir…as a matter of fact, she did.

NED BLACKSTOCK
Did she, um… did she say what for?

PALADIN
Certainly-the money you owe her.

NED BLACKSTOCK
Mister, I’ve known Martha Jane ever since she was a cheap honky-tonker. Why, she’d have too much pride than to hire a gunslinger if it was nothing but the money she was after.

PALADIN
Oh, and what do you suggest she’s after?

NED BLACKSTOCK
Me.

LUCY WEYERHAUSER
Will you listen to him?! Now, you don’t think much of yourself, do you?

NED BLACKSTOCK
She always was crazy jealous, ready to start throwing lead the second I’d so much as bat an eyelash at another female. Such as this sweet little angel here, which never hurt a fly.

LUCY WEYERHAUSER
Mm, just listen to him.

PALADIN
You want Martha Jane out of your life, pay her the money you owe her.

NED BLACKSTOCK
With pleasure.

PALADIN
And stop exploiting her name. It’s little enough she has left in this world.

NED BLACKSTOCK
Sir…I created that name. Week after week, I debased the national press with her thrilling adventures. “The Duchess of Deadwood.” “The Joan of Arc of the Plains.” “The White Angel of Mercy.” Eh! Let her hang on to her tarnished glory. Good riddance to bad rubbish. You meet me tomorrow at 10:00 outside the bank.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Where is she? Do you know who I am? I’m Calamity Jane! And if I had a mind to, I could make any of you dance until your feet dropped.

PALADIN
Now, hold it. Jane…why don’t you go outside…and wait.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Out of my way, mister. I’ve got business here.

NED BLACKSTOCK
Good. One…two…

PALADIN
Now tell them to drop the gun.

NED BLACKSTOCK
Lucy, honey…he’ll kill me if you don’t…

LUCY WEYERHAUSER
What about me?

NED BLACKSTOCK
Lucy.

PALADIN
Jane, put it away.

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh, I…I’ve been waiting a long time to catch up with that schemin’ hussy.

PALADIN
You shoot her, and I’ll shoot him.

NED BLACKSTOCK
No more, no more!

PALADIN
Only because I want you to have a firm and steady hand when you sign that check tomorrow.

NED BLACKSTOCK
Jane…Jane, you know it’s all over between us. Jane… why do you look at me like that?

MARTHA JANE CONROY
Oh, Ned…Ned, me darlin’, I’m going to take you to your room, and I’m gonna fix you all up, me darlin’. Oh, it ain’t for nothin’ they call me the White Angel of Mercy. And you writin’ the loveliest stories about me with words that come thunderin’ through…

LUCY WEYERHAUSER
Hey! Where you going?

PALADIN
Let’s you and I leave them alone, shall we? Hmm? Be a shame to waste all that champagne, wouldn’t it?

LUCY WEYERHAUSER
I think you’re right.
Oh, if I but served my God with half the zeal I serve my queen…

LUCY WEYERHAUSER
What?

PALADIN
Nothing. Um… Keep your hands above the table.

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