166-“The Brothers”

Original Airdate:  (November 25, 1961)

 Bram Holden killed Edna Raleigh’s husband, and Edna wants revenge. Armed with an grand jury indictment, an arrest warrant, an order for arraignment, and documented evidence, she asks Paladin to travel to the outlaw town of Thornburg and either kill Holden or bring him back for trial. Paladin naturally elects to bring him back, unaware that there is a deluded old man in the offing, who is convinced that Holden is his evil brother Arnie.

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen. Written by Robert E. Thompson.

BUDDY EBSEN as Bram Holden
PAUL HARTMAN as Possum Corbin
PEGGY STEWART as Edna Raleigh
Edward Faulkner as Body Guard #1
Hal Needham as Body Guard #2
STEWART EAST as Rider – Passerby
Emile Avery as Barfly (uncredited)
Rudy Bowman as Barfly (uncredited)
Gene Coogan as Barfly (uncredited)
Mathew McCue as Barfly (uncredited)
Boyd ‘Red’ Morgan as Barfly with Girl (uncredited)
Charles Morton as Barfly (uncredited)
Murray Pollack as Hotel Patron (uncredited)
TONY REGAN as Hotel Carlton Desk Clerk (uncredited)
PHIL SCHUMACHER as Bartender (uncredited)
Cap Somers as Barfly (uncredited)
Sid Troy as Barfly (uncredited)
SAILOR VINCENT as Barber (uncredited)

Holden, two years ago in Frederickstown, you killed a man.
I’m taking you in to stand trail for murder,
even if we have to walk across that desert.

HEY BOY
Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Hey Boy. Where is E. R?

HEY BOY
The sage Yang Ti has said that a man who is blind may get scent the truth.

PALADIN
Obviously Yang Ti was a man of some discernment.

HEY BOY
Yes, maybe, but he was killed by a jealous husband.

PALADIN
Evening.

EDNA RALEIGH
Good evening.

PALADIN
Perhaps you’d share a liqueur with me,

EDNA RALEIGH
I’m not here to enjoy myself, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
No?

EDNA RALEIGH
Would you…Would you kill a man named Bram Holden for me?

PALADIN
Bram Holden? Bram Holden of Thornberg?

EDNA RALEIGH

Yes.

PALADIN
No.

PALADIN
No, I don’t take money for killing men. And if I did, Bram Holden would be one of the last I’d try.

EDNA RALEIGH
Now, listen. Two years ago in Frederickstown, he beat my husband to death with a roofer’s hatchet, and he’s never been tried for this. Here is an indictment from a Grand Jury. This is a warrant for his arrest. This is an order for arraignment. And there is documentary evidence to convict him. Now, what is Thornberg, a foreign country?
They say none of these things are any good in Thornberg.

PALADIN
Not without a passport from Bram Holden.

EDNA RALEIGH
All right, I’ll be completely honest with you. I have paid two men to try to kill Holden.
Now, one of them tried, and I have never heard from him. And the other just took my money and left. Now, Mr. Paladin, you are my last hope.

PALADIN
Thornberg is a foreign country and Bram Holden is its king. You tried to pay for the assassination of a king in his own stronghold.

EDNA RALEIGH
Then you won’t do it either, huh?

PALADIN
No. No, I won’t kill him. But I will bring him back for trial.

EDNA RALEIGH
But… Well, I must tell you I can only pay your expenses. I gave all my money to the others. There’s a very small reward posted.

PALADIN
Well, let’s do this one for you. Hey Boy? Brandy.

EXT. IN A WESTERN TOWN – NIGHT

PALADIN
Bram Holden?

BODYGUARD
Hey, are you drunk or something? This is Mr. Holden’s private office.

BRAM HOLDEN
Barber?

BODYGUARD
They must have lit out the back way.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

PALADIN
Come on.

BRAM HOLDEN
Who are you?

PALADIN
My name’s Paladin. Now get mounted.

BRAM HOLDEN
What do you want? Money? Then what?

PALADIN
Two years ago at Frederickstown you killed a man named James Raleigh.

BRAM HOLDEN
Could be, what about it?

PALADIN
I’m taking you in to stand trial for that murder.

BRAM HOLDEN
You are crazy.

PALADIN
Now, you get mounted, or you get tied over that saddle.

BRAM HOLDEN
You don’t know me, mister.

Holden attempts to ride off

BRAM HOLDEN
Ha! Ha!

PALADIN
Now, you listen to me. There’s not going to be any easy way out of this for you.

BRAM HOLDEN
I told you they’d catch up to us. Hey! If you’re going to kill me, you’d better do it right now. But you’re not going to kill me, are you? Because you got no place to run now.
Unless you want track out 80 miles across that open desert. Now, you’re making sense.

PALADIN
Now, I told you they’re ain’t gonna be any easy way out of this for you. Come on.

BRAM HOLDEN
I knew you were crazy. I knew you were crazy. A man can’t live half a day out there.

EXT. THE SEARCH PARTY – DAY

BODYGUARD 1
Way them prints blown off, it’s been three, maybe four hours, since they took off into there. And the way them dunes roll through there, you could spend half your life searching and not find a herd of elephants.

BODYGUARD 2
That’s a mean way to die, too.

BODYGUARD 1
I ain’t about to track out in there and find out. I got ideas on dying more comfortable than that.

BRAM HOLDEN
Water. Water. Gone.

PALADIN
It’s gone. Come on. Come on. Get up. Come on.

POSSUM CORBIN
That’s 100% goat milk broth. I curdle it right in here myself. You see if that don’t perk up the hairs up on you. Tasty, ain’t it?

PALADIN
Well, that does have quite a taste. You got my guns?

POSSUM CORBIN
Stowed away tight inside. I ain’t exactly the trusting type. I wouldn’t have come by the name of Possum if I was. You’d have been cooked dead before another sun fell. Him, too. He’s still ticking. You or him the law man?

PALADIN
Neither one.

POSSUM CORBIN
Ain’t make no never-mind to me. Another swill of this?

PALADIN
No thanks. Prospecting?

POSSUM CORBIN
Manner of speaking, but you wasn’t.

PALADIN
No. Possum, what’s the nearest point of civilization?

POSSUM CORBIN
Oh, Puma Gulch. A trading store there. Except I ain’t heading that way.

PALADIN
I’d be happy to pay you.

POSSUM CORBIN
No.

PALADIN
Three hundred dollars? Five hundred dollars?

POSSUM CORBIN
Well, I…Delphium Encyclopedia of Knowledge. I bought the whole set off a salesman in Tucson. I read me up to the M’s before my eyes watered out. Maybe you or him might read me along the way?

PALADIN
A thousand dollars?

POSSUM CORBIN
Said I wasn’t going that way. And I figure I owe you a reason. White Moon. Martha’s what I called her. I took her from the Chinooks when she was fourteen. Box of Georgia tobacco and two brass fancy buttons off an old lodge suit I had me. That’s what she cost, and she was worth it, every bit of it. Chinooks, they never wanted her, being she was half white the way she was. Only fourteen, but she worked that mine pulley like a husky boy, and she heeled better than any mule I ever seen. Come to feel for that woman, I did. Want some crawlie stew? Plenty of good white lizard meat in it.

PALADIN
Not right now, thanks.

POSSUM CORBIN
Well, I had me a brother, too. Arnie was his name. Blood for blood, same as mine. You best water him down, son. Winter, summer, winter again, we dug for ore. Then he just up and plain stole it, and took Martha. When she sickened up on the trail, he left her to die rather than face me. So I’ve been hunting after him ever since, and that’s just what I’m doing this very day. So, like I say, you’re welcome. Take of my food, share my wagon. Ride my way, or walk your own.

PALADIN
Which is your way?

POSSUM CORBIN
Thornberg.

BRAM HOLDEN
You hear that, Paladin, Thornberg. What’s this? Cornshine or something?

POSSUM CORBIN
Looks like we won’t be a traveling to Thornberg after all. I been a long time finding for you, Arnie.

PALADIN
Arnie? That’s Arnie?

POSSUM CORBIN
I never been a four square Providence man, but I guess that’s what it was. Something just took me and my team by the nape and set us tracking off this way. I guess I just couldn’t be cheated out of you dying before I could get to you, Arnie.

BRAM HOLDEN
What’s he talking about?

POSSUM CORBIN
I’m talking about killing you, Arnie. Only not quick. You understand me, Arnie?

BRAM HOLDEN
Stop calling me that. My name is Bram Holden and I own this country, you silly old desert coot, I own right where you’re standing. So get that gun out of my face.

POSSUM CORBIN
You ain’t gonna nerve me into killing you. Not yet. Martha was two days of dying out on that trail where you left her. You figure you can last that long, Arnie?

BRAM HOLDEN
Arnie? I don’t know you. I don’t know any Arnie. Tell him who I am, Paladin.

PALADIN
Well, the name he uses is Bram Holden.

POSSUM CORBIN
Maybe now, but he’s Arnie. Nine years, a man don’t forget his brother.

PALADIN
Well, your brother he may be, but I’m taking him in to stand trial for murder.

POSSUM CORBIN
Oh, I suspect they give him a trial. And when I’m through with him, you’re welcome to take back whatever’s left.

BRAM HOLDEN
You’re making yourself a big mistake if you do anything to me.

POSSUM CORBIN
Well, it has been nine years. You like a little huckleberry squeezings? Cut your thirst, Mr. Holden.

BRAM HOLDEN
That’s more like it.

POSSUM CORBIN
Left-handed. That’s the first test.

BRAM HOLDEN
So I’m left handed. That don’t prove nothing.

POSSUM CORBIN
Yeah, Arnie was left-handed.

PALADIN
Possum, this your trial?

POSSUM CORBIN
Well, it’s part of it.

BRAM HOLDEN
He’s just plain crazy.

POSSUM CORBIN
Yeah, I guess maybe I am. Nine years I’ve been thinking of different ways to kill you.
That’s how I go to sleep at night, just dreaming on it. Remember that Blackfoot medicine man we found all staked out just short of dead, on Turpin flats?

BRAM HOLDEN
I don’t remember no medicine man, and I don’t remember you.

POSSUM CORBIN
They skinned him alive in strips. Left just enough so the sun could get at him and the crawlies and the ants.

BRAM HOLDEN
Shut up. You hear me? Just shut up.

POSSUM CORBIN
Yeah, then I got me a book and I read about the things they do in China and lands like that. Nine years gives a man plenty of time to think, Arnie.

BRAM HOLDEN
Paladin, you’ve been paid to take me in for trial. Tell him. It’s the truth. You don’t have to do nothing to me, Possum. He gets me there, they’re gonna hang me anyway.

POSSUM CORBIN
Oh, I’m gonna give you a trial. It’s only fair, when I figure the things I’m gonna do to you. Well, Arnie’s trail went through El Paso, Nogales, Tucson. It kind of petered out on me in a town called Frederickstown. You ever been there?

BRAM HOLDEN
No. No, I never…All right. All right, so I have been there. What about it? It don’t prove nothing. I’m not his brother. I’m not Arnie! What are you gonna do?

POSSUM CORBIN
I read me a book about some Arab slave traders.

BRAM HOLDEN
I don’t want to hear about it.

POSSUM CORBIN
What they used to do when a spike got white hot.

BRAM HOLDEN
I don’t want to hear about it. I can get you money, a lot of money. You think I stole your ore? Well, you tell me how much it was, I’ll pay you three times over. I promise.

POSSUM CORBIN
Now, these Arab fellas, when they get a spike burning hot then…

BRAM HOLDEN
Why do you want to keep talking that way? Ain’t you got no decency? Why don’t you kill me outright? You got a gun. Go on, kill me, please.

PALADIN
Possum, there’s no key to these. What are you doing to do with me when you start you work on him?

POSSUM CORBIN
Oh, I ain’t got no quarrel with you.

PALADIN
Kill him you got to kill me.

POSSUM CORBIN
You know the things he’s done, and then don’t let me take my pleasure on him?

PALADIN
Possum, he’s not worth your life. I’d hate to make that the price of taking him back for trial.

POSSUM CORBIN
All right, Arnie, you better hike up your sleeve.

BRAM HOLDEN
No, you ain’t gonna chop me!

POSSUM CORBIN
Oh, don’t matter now if they hang me four times over, now that I’ve done the one thing
I’ve been living to do. You gonna take me in?

PALADIN
Yeah.

POSSUM CORBIN
Will you read to me out of my books on the way in?

PALADIN
Yeah, I’ll read to you out of the books.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

PALADIN
“The skull indicates outwardly
“the quality of the mind within.
“Calm or disturbed.
Home abiding or criminal.
“Mad or sane.
“The skilled phrenologist
can prescribe for ills,
“warn of criminal intention,
or diagnose the killer.”

POSSUM CORBIN
You reckon it’s so?

PALADIN
It’s possible.

POSSUM CORBIN
– What’s next?

PALADIN
– Phlogiston.

POSSUM CORBIN
Oh, yeah.

PALADIN
Phlogiston is the modern principle
of fire as a material substance,
derived from the Greeks.
Possum, this encyclopedia
was published in 1763.

POSSUM CORBIN
Well, science don’t change none.
Get on with her.

PALADIN
Antiphlogiston is a substance which combines with phlogiston to produce fire and heat.

POSSUM CORBIN
Whoa. Whoa. Too bad we didn’t have a few more days. We could have got through every last book, couldn’t we?

PALADIN
We need a Federal Marshall.

RIDER – PASSERBY
I reckon, you’ll find one in Elko. About thirteen miles.

PALADIN
Thank you.

POSSUM CORBIN
That’s him.

PALADIN
That’s who?

POSSUM CORBIN
Arnie, that’s him. Didn’t you see the way he’s wearing his gun? Left-handed. I finally tracked him down. Give me my…I got to kill him.

PALADIN
Possum, that guns not loaded.

POSSUM CORBIN
Oh, let me go. I gotta kill him.

PALADIN
Possum, what about the body in the back of this wagon?

POSSUM CORBIN
Who? Don’t you understand?

PALADIN
I’m afraid I do. Now get giddap. Ha!

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