167-“A Drop of Blood”

Original Airdate:  (December 9, 1961)

Paladin is hired to find Don Esteban, who has disappeared. When he finds him he is dressed as a knight in armor and thinks he is Don Quixote.

Directed by Richard Donner. Written by Shimon Wincelberg.

MARTIN GABEL as Nathan Shotness
ROXANE BERARD as Rivka Shotness
MILTON SELZER as Rabbi Reb Elya
NOAH KEEN as Billy Buckstone
REGINA GLEASON as Viola Nasby – Paladin’s Love Interest
BOYD ‘RED’ MORGAN as Frank
RAY HOBACK as The Fiddler
MIKE KELLIN as Faivel Melamed
FRANK BAKER as Diner Patron at Hotel Carleton (uncredited)
STEWART EAST as Waiter (uncredited)
BERT MADRID as Wedding Guest (uncredited)
‘SNUB’ POLLARD as Messenger (uncredited)
SHIMON WINCELBERG as Rabbi Reb Eyla’s offscreen voice. A very prolific writer of teleplays (64 credits total). He wrote 23 episodes of HGWT.

MARTIN GABEL also appeared in: (The Fatalist, 1960) as Nathan Shotness.

ROXANE BERARD also appeared in: (The Fatalist, 1960) as Rivka Shotness, (Les Girls, 1959) as Cecile.

MILTON SELZER also appeared in: (Hobson’s Choice, 1962) as Dr. Alfred Nobel.

NOAH KEEN also appeared in: (The Gospel Singer, 1961) as Harry Durbin

REGINA GLEASON also appeared in: (Silent Death, Secret Death, 1962) as Beatrice – Burgess’ Sister, (The Fatalist, 1960) as Viola Nasby.

BOYD ‘RED’ MORGAN also appeared in: (The Brothers, 1961) as Barfly with Girl (uncredited), (The Haunted Trees, 1959) as Lumberjack (uncredited), (The Prize Fight Story, 1958) as Tom, (The Teacher, 1958) as Gang Member (uncredited)

MIKE KELLIN also appeared in: (The Siege, 1961) as Alvah Brent, (Shadow of a Man, 1961) as Logan Adcock, (The Solid Gold Patrol, 1958) as Sgt. Major Siebert.

FRANK BAKER also appeared in: (Ben Jalisco, 1961) as Poker Player (uncredited), (The Princess and the Gunfighter, 1961) as Member of Princess’s Court (uncredited), (The Gladiators, 1960) as Club Member (uncredited)

‘SNUB’ POLLARD also appeared in: (Cream of the Jest, 1962) as Townsman (uncredited), (The Kid, 1961) as Townsman (uncredited). He began his acting career in silent films beginning in 1915 and has appeared in over 593 films!! HGWT was his last gig.

BERT MADRID played bit parts in 22 HGWT episodes and 167 episodes of Bonanza.

Whatever happens, Nathan, we let nothing disturb the wedding.
And remember this. It isn’t you who is on trail today,
it’s your neighbors.

EXT. HOTEL CARLTON – EVENING – A STORMY, RAINY NIGHT

It is raining outside. We see an old man messenger in a rain suit peering inside the hotel dining room windows. Hey Boy draws down the blinds on each window in succession after the messenger stares into each one.

HEY BOY
For Mr. Paladin, huh? I take it.

The man holds out his palm in expectation of a tip.

HEY BOY
You expect a tip for a message not delivered?

The messenger nods.

HEY BOY
Excuse me.

PALADIN
All right, Hey Boy, let’s have it.

HEY BOY
What?

PALADIN
The message, come on, come on.

HEY BOY
Oh. Almost forgot. Here.

PALADIN
Thank you.

Paladin gives a coin to Hey Boy. Hey Boy then thanks Paladin in Chinese.

PALADIN
Hey Boy.

HEY BOY
Yes.

PALADIN
That’s for the messenger, and you better run if you’re gonna catch him.

PALADIN
“With the aid of the Lord, the 12th day of Tammuz, in the year 5639 from the creation of the world to the beloved Mr. Paladin, beacon of learning, defender of the orphaned, lover of peace, and hired killer, may his light shine for 120 years. In the first place, may I say that I am well, praise be the Almighty.”

VIOLA NASBY
Is that a telegram, or one of the Lost Scrolls of Isaiah?

PALADIN
With the aid of the Lord, the message will follow very shortly. Nathan Shotness is a man who likes to do things in proper style.

VIOLA NASBY
What things?

PALADIN
You remember Rivka?

VIOLA NASBY
Oh, the pretty little girl that sat down with us here and wouldn’t have anything to eat,
but a drink of water?

PALADIN
That’s right. Rivka is going to be married this Sunday. And since the bride groom has no family, Nathan Shotness would like me to be best man.

VIOLA NASBY
Well, aren’t we going to eat?

PALADIN
Well, if I leave right now, I’ll just make it in time. Excuse me.

VIOLA NASBY
But…

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

PALADIN
Nathan. What a way to greet a friend.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Excuse me, my eyes are so bad I can’t tell a guest from a rustler.

PALADIN
You carrying a gun… Now, am I that late for the wedding?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Wedding. What wedding? I thought you were that low-life, Billy Buckstone. You remember him?

PALADIN
Buckstone? I thought your testimony got Billy Buckstone hung six months ago.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Oh, yes. The judge was an honest man. He sentenced him. But there was higher judge, and I don’t mean the Almighty. He let Billy go free for insufficient evidence and $5,000 cash.

PALADIN
Well, what’s happened to the wedding?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Billy Buckstone invited himself to the ceremony. He and his Cossacks. Why kill a man when you can worry him to death?

PALADIN
Nathan, surely your neighbors are not gonna allow Billy Buckstone to come in here and wreck your celebration. Six months ago, you were the hero of this whole county.NATHAN

SHOTNESS
So what does that make me, a saint in a fur coat?

PALADIN
Nathan, have you asked your neighbors to help you?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
My neighbors? Mr. Paladin, you know this country better than I do. When an outlaw goes free, does every man in town strap on his gun and go chasing? Or does he say,
“It isn’t my cow that stolen. It’s not my brother that was killed.” Of course not. Why scratch where it doesn’t itch? A peasant is a peasant, the world over. That’s why there’ll be no wedding. Not here. I’m sending them to San Francisco to get married.

PALADIN
And you?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Mister, it took me two years to build this house with my own hands and with my own sweat. If I where to go away from here for one day, I would come back and find it a pile of ashes. I’m too old a man to start over again.

PALADIN
Nathan, I know your daughter Rivka and I have great picture of her going off to San Francisco or any place else and getting married without you being there.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
What do children know? Rivka says, “Here is my home. Why can’t I be married where I belong?” Sit down.

PALADIN
Thank you.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
American children, you say something is blue, they say it’s green. American children, eh?

PALADIN
What about the bridegroom?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
A young man of silk, but a golem, a fool. Anything Rivka wants is all right with him.
Fine way to start a marriage.

PALADIN
Sounds like an excellent way to me.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Since when are you such an expert?

PALADIN
Where are they, Nathan?
I’d like to meet this ‘golem’.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Faivel Melamed of Ostropol. A golden character, but how is he gonna survive in a place like this? A man who can’t slaughter a chicken, can’t control a woman. I wonder what’s taking them so long. It’s three hours since they went to town in my wagon. The shlemihl,
I told him to take my rifle.

PALADIN
Nathan Shotness, you know as well as I do, a rifle is a very dangerous piece of equipment if you don’t mean to us it.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
I’m worrying about my daughter and he gives me philosophy. Come in the kitchen. We’ll have a glass of tea.

PALADIN
No, sir. No, sir, I will not drink with a man who is worried about the time. You keep the water boiling. I’ll go see where they are.

EXT. IN TOWN – DAY

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Faivel! Faivel! Faivel. Oh, Faivel.

FAIVEL MELAMED
Excuse me.

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Hey, leave him alone.

FAIVEL MELAMED
Let me go. What is this for?

BILLY BUCKSTONE
This is for nothing. And the next time it’ll be grabbing off the juiciest gal in the county.
And the time after that, well, that’ll be for making you wish that you was back where you come from.

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Pig!

BILLY BUCKSTONE
Now, you gonna start even. Now you boys all seen how I give him an even chance.
Come on. Come on, Faivel. I ain’t got all day. I might have me a young widow woman to console.

PALADIN
Now, Buckstone, you want to start over from beginning?

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Oh, you remember that fellow I tell you about? Paladin.

FAIVEL MELAMED
The hired killer?

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Oh, but a very decent fellow.

PALADIN
Mazel tov, you’ve got yourself a fine girl, and I am not a hired killer.

INT. HOUSE OF NATHAN SHOTNESS – EVENING

FAIVEL MELAMED
First the Midrash says, “Anyone may slaughter animals in foul,” and at once, in the same breath, it makes difficulties. “Anyone, except the deaf, the idiot, and the child.” Why disqualify the deaf and not the blind?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Eat, eat your soup. The Law won’t get cold.

FAIVEL MELAMED
You’ve actually killed people with that?

PALADIN
When I had to.

FAIVEL MELAMED
How did you feel afterwards?

PALADIN
Very bad at first.

FAIVEL MELAMED
Ah, but after that, it became easy, no?

PALADIN
No, it’s never easy.

FAIVEL MELAMED
I’m glad to hear you say that.

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Mr. Paladin, will you teach him?

PALADIN
No.

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Why not?

PALADIN
Because I don’t believe in a man having to imitate his neighbors in order to justify his existence, especially when he has neighbors like you people have.

FAIVEL MELAMED
Excuse me, please. May I see this? You use a lighter grade of oil on the trigger assembly
than on the hammer stud. That is interesting.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Very nice, but you’re still going to San Francisco to get married.

RIVKA SHOTNESS
And leave you here alone to wait for Billy Buckstone to come some night and burn you alive?

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Oh, Mr. Paladin, you talk to him. He will not listen to us.

PALADIN
Nathan, if I may quote Hillel?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Go ahead. It costs money.

PALADIN
“Al tif-rosh…”

FAIVEL MELAMED
“Min he-tzee-bur.”

PALADIN
Exactly.

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Do no separate yourself from the community.

NATHAN SHOTNESS
She’s just as stubborn as her mother, rest in peace. Boychick, you better take a strong hand to her before she’s be dancing around on your head.

FAIVEL MELAMED
What can I do? I happen to agree with her.

PALADIN
Well, then it’s all settled. We’ll hold the wedding right here. And if Billy Buckstone…

NATHAN SHOTNESS
No. It’s very easy to put out a fire with a hand of another man. I invited you here as a friend, not as a gunfighter. Billy Buckstone won’t try to kill me in front of two dozen witnesses. He’ll try to spoil the wedding, to destroy the property, to drive me away.
Very well. If my neighbors will stand in silence to see that…

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Papa, eat your soup. It shouldn’t get cold.

EXT. WEDDING DAY – DAY

PALADIN
Might be a good idea to keep that thing handy.

FRANK
What? Carry a gun at sacred thing like a wedding.

PALADIN
Well, there is some kind of a chance that Billy Buckstone will try to get some of his own
back here today.

FRANK
Why, there’s no bad blood between me and Billy.

PALADIN
Well, you were pretty happy when Nathan’s testimony sent him to jail, weren’t you?

FRANK
Yeah, but when a man makes his bed, he shouldn’t start crying for help when it comes time to lie in it.

EXT. IN FRONT OF HOUSE – DAY

PALADIN
Any sign on Buckstone?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
They’ll come all together from up there. A small bunch on high ground can dominate a whole company of infantry. Even in the army the Czar’s army, may a black ear take him, they taught us that much.

PALADIN
A dominating position isn’t much use without a covered line of retreat. Even at West Point they taught us that much.

INT. NATHAN SHOTNESS HOUSE – DAY

RABBI REB ELYA
Can we start? I still have a dying man to visit tonight.

N
Why not?

RABBI REB ELYA
You’re expecting a disturbance, aren’t you?

PALADIN
Now, Nathan, remember, you’re not on trial, they are. No matter what happens that ceremony is not to be disturbed, all right?

N
I’ll call the witnesses. Witnesses.

RABBI REB ELYA
Perhaps you will take this off until after the ceremony?

PALADIN
Rabbi Elya, you have a lot of faith.

RABBI REB ELYA
Not enough, not nearly enough. Faith seems to come only when we have no other choice.

PALADIN
Well, they say that no choice is also a choice.

RABBI REB ELYA
You have a good head. If you gave up your unfortunate profession and grew a beard, who knows what great things you might yet achieve.

PALADIN
Well, they also say that a head with no beard is better a beard with no head.

N
Have a heart. My daughter is rapidly becoming an old maid.

Rabbi starts the ceremony.

BILLY BUCKSTONE
Nathan. Howdy, huh? Welcome to the party. Come on in.

BILLY BUCKSTONE
Well, let’s join them. Why not? Nathan! Nathan, you got guests. Nathan, come on out. Out, Nathan. You got you some guests. Come on out, Nathan, and join your party.

FRANK
Aah, come on, Billy, you and your friends go someplace else and have your fun.

BILLY BUCKSTONE
Now, you just stay out of this. This is Nathan’s party. If he wants to ask to leave, he can do it himself. All right, Nathan, come on out.

RABBI STARTS

BILLY BUCKSTONE

All right, Nathan, coming out?

FAIVEL MELAMED
Amen. Amen. Amen.

RABBI REB ELYA
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, ruler of the universe who has sanctified us
with thy Commandment of chastity.

BILLY BUCKSTONE
Let me have that apple. Come out, Nathan, and join your party.

N
The ring. The ring.

RABBI REB ELYA
Ha-ray ott m’ku-desh-es lee b’ta-baas zu…

BILLY BUCKSTONE
Come out, Nathan.

RABBI REB ELYA
H’dos moshev’yisroel. Once more shall it be heard in the cities of Judah and the courtyards of Jerusalem, the voice of gladness and the voice of joy, the voice of bridegroom and bride.

BILLY BUCKSTONE
All right, Nathan, if you don’t come out we’re gonna burn you out. Nathan! Nathan.

RABBI REB ELYA
“With the aid of the Lord, on the 16th day of Tammuz, in the year 5639 from the creation of the world, the bridegroom Faivel, son of Yitzhak Moishe, made the following declaration to the maid Rivka, daughter of Nathan.”

BILLY BUCKSTONE
All right, touch off the house. I’ll cover you. Nathan, Nathan, they’re burning the house.

BILLY BUCKSTONE
All right, Nathan, you coming out?

FAIVEL MELAMED
“I faithfully promise that I will be a true husband unto thee, to honor and cherish thee, and provide all that is necessary for thy due sustenance.”

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Nathan, they’re burning the house.

RABBI REB ELYA
“He who shames his neighbor in public, is as though he had shed his blood.”

BILLY BUCKSTONE
All right, Nathan.

PALADIN STARTS A FIGHT

CROWD

That showed them! They won’t come back here no more! Let’s get ’em!

NATHAN SHOTNESS
Well, Boychick, it’s time to get married.

RABBI REB ELYA
“And the said bride has plighted her troth unto him in affection and sincerity.”
And now, in our moment of joy, let us also commemorate the destruction of our holy temple.

Mazel tov. Hey!

RIVKA SHOTNESS
Come on.

PALADIN
Now, wait a minute, shouldn’t she be dancing with him?

NATHAN SHOTNESS
She’ll be dancing on his head for the rest of his life. Come on.

PALADIN
Hey! Ho!

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