165-“Ben Jalisco”

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen
Writing Harry Julian Fink

Charles Bronson as Ben Jalisco
Coleen Gray as Lucy Jalisco
John Litel as Sheriff John ArmstedderSHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
Chuck Roberson as Carly
Rick Silver as Will Tay
Lane Chandler as John Tay
Frank Baker as Poker Player (uncredited)

Ben, you’re bleeding and you’re sick
and you will make a mistake.
The first time you blink, I’ll kill you.
The first time you forget, I’ll kill you.
Kings up!

HEY BOY
Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
No, Hey Boy, no.

HEY BOY
No luck, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
No luck, Hey Boy.
Oh, I wouldn’t say that. You had luck all right. I’ve never seen anyone with luck like yours. Two days.

PALADIN
High card? Gentlemen, I am now broke.
Sit down, Mr. Paladin. Your credit’s good.

PALADIN
Thank you, no, sir.

PALADIN
Hey Boy, I need a vacation. I must need a vacation.
“Murderer escapes.Huntsville, Texas. Today, Ben Jalisco, notorious murderer and one-time bounty hunter escaped from a state penitentiary. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Jalisco, age 35, murdered a guard, George Tay, while escaping. Surviving Tay are his wife, his sons James and Michael, and two brothers. Jalisco’s capture six years ago was based on information supplied by his wife. The capture itself was affected by a professional gunfighter with a strange calling card and the romantic name of…”

We see Paladin’s card.

EXT. STAGECOACH DEPOT – DAY

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
Can I help you?

PALADIN
I’m looking for Lucy Jalisco.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
I’m John Armstedder.
Well, I guess you ain’t her husband.
Friend of his?

PALADIN
No.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
She waits table, hustles drinks, like that.

PALADIN
In there?

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
You seem surprised.

PALADIN
Well, Armstedder, she didn’t always have to hustle drinks in a bar.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
You know her a hundred years ago, mister?

PALADIN
I guess it was that long ago.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
The fall of innocence is a melancholy event. Ain’t that the sour truth? Still, she looks sweet enough to be honey for Jalisco. I understand she turned him in. Is that right?

PALADIN
She told me where I could find him.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
I think he’ll come around for honey and then kill her. That’s what I think.

PALADIN
You got men watching the other side of that place?

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
A deputy in the daytime. Me at night. There’s a reward of $500 for Jalisco. Are you here to kill him, gunfighter?

PALADIN
I’m here to take him back to prison.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
I never had any doings with him, but they tell me Jalisco is the kind of bounty hunter that never took a man alive. Is that right?

PALADIN
That’s right. By conservative estimate, he murdered 34 men.

CARLY
Hey, Birdie, come on out here. Sit down, Birdie. What are you drinking?

LUCY JALISCO
Whiskey.

CARLY
I don’t think I want any more whiskey.

LUCY JALISCO
I’ll get you your whiskey.

PALADIN
Lucy?

LUCY JALISCO
Hello. I guess you heard, huh?

PALADIN
That’s why I’m here.

LUCY JALISCO
To stop him from killing me?

PALADIN
If I can.

LUCY JALISCO
Don’t put yourself out.

PALADIN
I owe it. I talked you into helping me take him.

LUCY JALISCO
I made a mistake. Never mind about him.

PALADIN
Lucy, why this?

LUCY JALISCO
Well, I’m still his wife. There’s nothing else for me to do. Not around here.

PALADIN
You could have left.

LUCY JALISCO
How?

PALADIN
You still love him. And he’s coming here to kill you.

LUCY JALISCO
Looks that way. Funny, huh? You’d do well to move out before he kills you, too. Ben’s a holy terror when he’s mad.

CARLY
Hey, Birdie, you’ve got my dollar. Don’t I get something for it?

LUCY JALISCO
You’ll get your whiskey.

EXT. NIGHT TIME

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
Son, you’re only teasing yourself. It don’t taste the same as when you put a match to it.

PALADIN
Mr. Armstedder, this is a kind of a compromise. It’s not as good as a smoke, but then again, it’s not as bad as lighting a match and getting shot.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
Now I chew. It’s good for your health, your disposition, and your life expectancy, and it don’t have any unbeneficial side effects, like on a night like this.

PALADIN
Well, I have heard of a couple of fellas that got frightened and swallowed it.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER
Yes, sir, I’ve done that myself a couple of times, but I consider it very beneficial
to the digestion. Now my wife, though, she never did like my chewing. I gave it up while she was alive. That seems about 700 years ago. I got a boy somewhere. Last letter he wrote me was from Montana where he was punching cows. I’m glad of that.
I know a lot of boys go wrong nowadays. You married? You’re missing a fine thing.
That and having children. It’s a rich thing in a man’s life. And becoming a sentimental
old man is a bad thing.

PALADIN
Armstedder, Jalisco moves like a cat, and I’m just beginning to take a liking to you.

SHERIFF JOHN ARMSTEDDER

You chew your cigar. I won’t make a fool of myself again.

EXT.

PALADIN
All right, Ben, what now?

BEN JALISCO
You blow a hole in me, gunfighter, this Greener can’t help going off. You know that. Too good to talk to a jailbird?

PALADIN
I know that.

BEN JALISCO
My old Greener. I guess I could have busted loose without killing that prison guard,
but I wanted my Greener. I had to go look for it all the way to the warden’s office. Wife, light the lamp. Come here. On your knees, as close as you can get. I killed one man out there. Any more good men around?

LUCY JALISCO
I guess you killed them all.

BEN JALISCO
Lucy, my wife. Lucy, my life. Lucy, I love you. Do you remember how I used to say that to you? Authentic Western poetry. Do you remember how I used to say that to you?

PALADIN
Jalisco, you gonna scare us to death or just shoot your wife?

BEN JALISCO
Lucy?

LUCY JALISCO
I remember.

BEN JALISCO
Do you remember when we lost our baby, how there wasn’t a woman around for 300 miles, and how I did for you?

LUCY JALISCO
I remember that, too.

BEN JALISCO
And how you nursed when I was snake bit and gun shot?

PALADIN
Ben. I’m gonna put this gun down. Because the next time I just won’t care.

BEN JALISCO
I let you have your gun for a reason, gunfighter. Do you have one of those good cigars
you used to smoke six years ago, gunfighter? Just one. I ain’t a thief. You maybe know what living means to a man like me. Never even comfortable sleeping under a roof. Been a hunter all my life. Was born in Tennessee. There’s deer, quail, possum there. Eating pigeons in New Jersey before the war. I wasn’t even 15. Buffalo, Indian hunting, scalp hunting. That was good. Then bounty hunting and that was good. I put my skills to a good purpose. Do you know what being chained up like a bull to a water wheel meant to me? Why did you give me away, Lucy, my wife, why?

PALADIN
Because I told her about you.

BEN JALISCO
Because he had a pretty mustache?

PALADIN
Because I told her about you.

BEN JALISCO
Because you liked the way he smiled? They was bad men all of them, the ones I took. Murderers, horse thieves, spoilers. The Indians had no souls, like animals have no souls,
and the men I took had lost their souls, Lucy. And I hunted them alone. I got close enough so that they could smell me had they had the nose for it, and then I killed them. No, that was honest and clean. Oh, honey, he shot a big hole in my leg. Would you put a tourniquet on it for me?

LUCY JALISCO
Ben, I’m going to Mexico.

BEN JALISCO
Yes. We’re maybe 10 miles from the border, and I think my leg is broken.
You’re gonna have to take me there. You may have to kill for me, gunfighter, before we get to Mexico. You don’t want me to pull the trigger.

PALADIN
I’ll take you, Ben, but you’ll never make it. You’re bleeding. You’re sick. You’ll make a bad mistake. And the first time you blink, I will kill you. The first time you forget, I’ll kill you.

BEN JALISCO
We’ll see.

LUCY JALISCO
Paladin, he’ll kill me anyway.

PALADIN
We’ll see.

BEN JALISCO
Lucy. Getting tired, Lucy?

LUCY JALISCO
No.

BEN JALISCO
She’d say no whether she’s tired or not. She was always a long suffering woman. I had nothing against that man. He tried to kill me. I killed him.

PALADIN
You feeling tired, Ben?

BEN JALISCO
Not yet, gunfighter. Not yet.

PALADIN
Yeah, I’ll go water the horses.

BEN JALISCO
Get down. How many? Paladin, you think you could take the bullet out of me? I’m gonna get gangrene.

PALADIN
I can try. You wanna chance it?

BEN JALISCO
No. He was the reason, wasn’t he, Lucy?

PALADIN
I was not the reason. You convince him of that, Mrs. Jalisco?
He may let you live.

LUCY JALISCO
No, Paladin, believing what he does, he’ll tie us together, he’ll shoot us with one cartridge, and he’ll bury us together. I know my Ben. And I still love him.

BEN JALISCO
I would rather see you dead than see you work at a saloon. Why, Lucy? To spite me? To spite me?

LUCY JALISCO
To eat, Ben. Just to eat. I don’t sew good, and I’m not free to marry, am I?

BEN JALISCO
Did you ever notice, Paladin, what sad stories these saloon girls tell? Gonna kill them for me, gunfighter?

PALADIN
I don’t know, Ben. Why don’t you let her go?

BEN JALISCO
For what? To go back? You want that for her?

PALADIN
I want her to live.

BEN JALISCO
Then you shoot straight, gunfighter. Lie still, girlie. You’re close to dying.

JOHN TAY
I’m John Tay. Are you Paladin?

PALADIN
That’s right.

JOHN TAY
Are we gonna have to kill you to get to him?

PALADIN
You know who that woman is and what he’ll do to her?

JOHN TAY
I know what he did to my brother.

PALADIN
I know what he did to your brother in a prison. I know what he did to Armstedder in that weigh station. And I know what he’ll do to her right now.

WILL TAY
I don’t believe it.

PALADIN
It’s true.

JOHN TAY
It’s no matter. True or not, we’re gonna kill Jalisco. Now do we have to kill you first? You take Jalisco, Will.

PALADIN
I’m sorry I had to shoot you.

JOHN TAY
I would have killed you. Will, do you want to bury him?

PALADIN
What now, Lucy?

LUCY JALISCO
I guess I’m free. I guess I can go anywhere now, can’t I?

PALADIN
I guess so.

LUCY JALISCO
I guess I should thank you.

PALADIN
No.

LUCY JALISCO
Well, thank you anyway. All the worst that can happen to me is behind me, isn’t it?
Now something good has got to happen.

PALADIN
I hope so.

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