177-“Dream Girl”

Original Airdate:  (February 10, 1962)

Buddy Webster has spent five years away from civilization, building up a fortune in gold dust. He asks passer-by Paladin to escort him to Jackson City to cash it in. Once there, he plans to find the saloon girl he met years before. The girl in question has no recollection of Buddy, but is willing to revive her memory for the sake of Buddy’s wealth. Paladin elects to stick around and help Buddy face up to reality.

Directed by Richard Boone, Written by Peggy O’Shea.
Lou Shaw (writer)

Peggy Ann Garner as Virginia ‘Ginger’ Adams
Hal Needham as Wilber Buddy Webster
Fred Hakim as Joe Becker
Joseph Dimmitt as JewelerJEWELER
Chuck Couch as Saddlemaker
Stewart East as Barber
John Barton as Barfly (uncredited)
Jaye Durkus as Barfly (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes asBar Owner (uncredited)
Sid Troy as Townsman (uncredited)
Sailor Vincent as Barfly (uncredited)

 Ginger wasn’t on her way to church when you met her, Buddy.
She was taking a shortcut to the saloon.
She wants your money, and she’s ready to kill for it.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL – DAY

BUDDY WEBSTER

Help, mister, help! Please help me.

PALADIN
What’s the trouble?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Give me a hand, would you, mister?

PALADIN
This what all the shouting was about?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Try and heft that and you’ll see what the shouting was about. Excuse me. I been out of sight and smell of folks so long, I kinda forgot my manners. Name’s Buddy Webster.

PALADIN
Paladin.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Mighty glad to meet you, Mr. Paladin. I been alone most part of five years, ain’t heard nothing but the sound of my own voice. Gotta get this on them horses out front

PALADIN
All right, what’s in it?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Gold dust. That’s right. Ain’t that about the prettiest sight you ever seen?
Came out here to make my strike and by golly, if I didn’t go and do it.
Aim to lug this into Jackson City so I can turn it into money.
Boy, I sure am doing all the talking, ain’t I, though?

PALADIN
Yes, sir, you are.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Boy, oh boy. Wait’ll I get to town with all that money in my pocket.

PALADIN
You keep talking about money, and you might not get to town at all.

BUDDY WEBSTER
I never thought about that. Maybe you’d be good enough to give me a hand, would you?

PALADIN
Every instinct I have is telling me to go on to San Francisco alone.

BUDDY WEBSTER
I’d sure hate to lose what I got now after all I went through to get it.

PALADIN
Well…All right, Buddy. Let’s divide the gold up. Put some of it in each of those sacks. We’ll load it on the horses, and then I suggest we go into Sacramento instead of Jackson City. It’s closer.

BUDDY WEBSTER
It’s gotta be Jackson City.

PALADIN
In Sacramento, you can convert the dust into money, put it safely in the bank, then go anywhere you want.

BUDDY WEBSTER
It’s gotta be my way, Mr. Paladin. I’ll tell you why if you’d like.

PALADIN
I have a feeling I’ll be happier not knowing.

EXT. IN TOWN – DAY

PALADIN
Here. Get yourself a room in that hotel. I’ll find the assay office and convert this dust into money, with a minimum of fanfare.

BUDDY WEBSTER
I’ll just mosey around.

PALADIN
You wait in the hotel room.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Okay, you sure are taking the fun out of it.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Just as long as I get the best, that’s all. As long as it’s the best. I don’t care.
No, no, no. Hey, listen, listen. I’ll leave it up to you guys. I’ll leave it up to you, only talk one at a time. I only got two ears. Listen, hey, listen. You gotta talk one at a time.
Please, please! I’ve only got two ears. I only got two ears! Hey, wait, wait, wait, wait.
There’s the man with my money. Pay these gents for me, will you, Mr. Paladin?

BARBER
Yes, do so, would you, please?

PALADIN
Well, I’m delighted we had that little talk about discretion, Buddy. All right, gentlemen. Who’s first? Is this your saddle?

SADDLEMAKER
Yes, sir.

PALADIN
How much?

SADDLEMAKER
He’s offered me $300 for it. Thank you, sir.

JEWELER
$5,000, if you please, sir.

PALADIN
A ring? Which ring did he select?

JEWELER
That’s the one the boy picked. The one he wanted. He wanted the biggest and the best. Of course I have another one here, little smaller, but a better cut.

BUDDY WEBSTER
No, siree. I want the big one.

PALADIN
All right, Buddy. There you go.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Look at that. Pretty?

JEWELER
That one’s real. Scratch it. Scratch it. Go on, scratch it on the window.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Two rings? What do I need two rings for?

PALADIN
Buddy, I don’t even know what you need one ring for, but that gentleman at the door, that smiling gentleman he made you a present of one of those rings.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Look at that.

PALADIN
Well, Buddy, here’s your money. Got a saddle, two rings and heaven help you, you’re on your own.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Mr. Paladin, I wonder if you’d do me one last favor?

PALADIN
Name it.

BUDDY WEBSTER
This ring, it’s for a girl. That’s why I had to come here instead of Sacramento.

PALADIN
I see. I thought you told me you were in that mine for five years.

BUDDY WEBSTER
That’s right, five years. Five years since I seen her. I met her one time. Just one night.
Just one time and we both knew it was the real thing. Right then and there, I knew I’d come back and marry her.

PALADIN
You’ve written, kept in touch?

BUDDY WEBSTER
No, I’m not much at writing. But when I left, I told her I’d gone to make my fortune and I’d be back for her. What’s the matter now? You don’t look right.

PALADIN
Well, I guess it’s just the look of a cynic when he’s confronted with too much youth and hope and faith and what do you want me to do, Buddy? Find her?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Would you, Mr. Paladin? First time I see her, I don’t want to be in front of a lot of folks.
I want to be alone with her. You understand me?

PALADIN
You make me feel very ancient.

BUDDY WEBSTER
When you find her, just you ask her if she’ll meet me where we met before.
She’ll know what I’m talking about. Her name’s Ginger. Ginger Adams.

PALADIN
Well, Buddy, I think you might brace yourself for the possibility that she hasn’t waited.
Five years is a long time.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Mr. Paladin, you don’t know what this means to us. She told me she’d wait, and she will.

PALADIN

Innkeeper, I’ll have a whiskey on him.

SADDLEMAKER
It’s fair enough, but that wasn’t no bad saddle I sold him.

PALADIN
You’d have sold it cheaper.

SADDLEMAKER
Well, maybe, but enjoy your drink.

PALADIN
Thank you. I’d like a favor if I haven’t run my credit out.

SADDLEMAKER
Well, that depends.

PALADIN
I’m looking for a girl named Ginger Adams. She was here in Jackson City five years ago.
And this drink’s on me.

BUDDY WEBSTER
What’s going on, Mr. Paladin? I waited and waited for you.

PALADIN
Sit down, Buddy.

BUDDY WEBSTER
I thought you was lost or something. Then I saw your horse outside. Where is she?

PALADIN
Can you manage to be a little less cavalier with your money? She’s in here, Buddy.
Mm-hmm.

PALADIN
Buddy.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Ginger. Ginger. It’s really you. Oh, Ginger. I dreamed of you night and day, Ginger. I lived it over and over and over again.

GINGER ADAMS
Did you, honey?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Oh, Ginger, didn’t you?

GINGER ADAMS
Why, sure, sure, baby. Night and day over and over.

BUDDY WEBSTER

My Pa had just passed on and I’d gone to church to pray, you know? When I came out, I was walking down the dirt road in back of the church down where my horse was tied.
That’s where I met her. On her way to church. Remember?

GINGER ADAMS
How could I forget? Let’s have some drinks, honey.

BUDDY WEBSTER
I don’t need no drink, Ginger. All I want to do is just look at you. Just hold you. Ginger, I did it. I made my fortune. Just like I said I would. Look, hundreds of thousand of dollars, Ginger. And I got something for you. You say the little one’s the best?

PALADIN
Give her the big one.

BUDDY WEBSTER
That’s what I thought. Ginger, it’s a wedding ring. We’ll be married, but I want you to wear it now, just like we were already married.

GINGER ADAMS
That ain’t real, is it?

PALADIN
If it cuts glass, it’s real.

JOE BECKER
Drinks are on me, young fella. My name is Joe Becker.

PALADIN
Thanks. We’re not drinking.

Paladin gives him his card. He sits back down.

GINGER ADAMS
Well, I can’t tell you how happy I am that we’re gonna be married at last. What’s my name, honey? My married name. Go on, say it, so I can hear how wonderful it sounds.

BUDDY WEBSTER

Mrs. Wilbur Webster.

PALADIN
You call him Wilbur, do you, Miss Adams?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Gosh no. Nobody calls me Wilbur.

GINGER ADAMS
Go on, honey. Tell him what I call you.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Calls me Buddy of course. Among other things. Let’s get out of here. I wanna be alone with you. I gotta be alone with you.

GINGER ADAMS
Well, I don’t want people staring at us. I want it to be just us. You go on.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Tell me where you’re gonna be and I’ll come to you.

BUDDY WEBSTER
– No…

GINGER ADAMS
Oh, please, honey. That’s the way I saw it in my dreams. Are you staying at the hotel?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Yeah, but hurry. Will you hurry, please hurry?

GINGER ADAMS
Okay.

PALADIN
Wait a minute. What happened to our romantic? I thought this reunion was supposed to take place on the hallowed grounds of your first meeting.

BUDDY WEBSTER
That’s right, Ginger. That’s the way it oughta be.

PALADIN
Buddy, Buddy, she knows where you first met. You don’t have to remind a woman of the place where she fell in love. You do remember, don’t you, Miss Adams?

BUDDY WEBSTER
Of course she remembers.

GINGER ADAMS
Sure. Sure I remember it. It was…

BUDDY WEBSTER
Virginia…you couldn’t have forgotten.

GINGER ADAMS
Virginia. Yeah. I remember you calling me Virginia. And I remember telling you how it was my mother’s name, and how my pa could never bring himself ’round to calling me that because he hated her so for leaving him. Buddy Webster. There was a new moon. Yeah. Yeah, there was a moon shining on the water and… And there were willow trees.
Look, you go on ahead. I want to change. I’ll meet you at the willow trees. Say, you forgot your saddlebag. If there’s anything of value in it, you don’t wanna leave it here.

PALADIN
I’ll take care of these till he’s ready to leave town.

BUDDY WEBSTER
All right.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Mr. Paladin, I just came to get my things and to thank you for all the help you’ve been to me.

PALADIN
Where are you meeting her, Buddy?

BUDDY WEBSTER
How’d you know that? She told me not to tell nobody and here you went and guessed it.
Let me tell you the rest of it since you know that much. We’re gonna be married.

PALADIN
Buddy. Ginger was not on her way to church when you first met her. She was taking a short cut down the back road to the saloon.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Aw, cut it out.

PALADIN
Buddy, she works in that saloon. She’s what is politely known as a saloon girl.

BUDDY WEBSTER
You’re trying to rib me, but even as a joke, I wish you wouldn’t use her name like that.

PALADIN
She wants your money. And she is amoral enough to kill you for it.

BUDDY WEBSTER
If I didn’t owe you so many favors, I’d be tempted to make you eat them words.
But as it is, I just hope I don’t see you no more.

PALADIN
Well, there’s a pretty good chance that you won’t.

GINGER ADAMS
He’s coming.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Ginger? Is that you, Ginger?

GINGER ADAMS
Yeah, honey. I’m here. My lamp just went out. That’s all. I didn’t know you was gonna kill him.

M
Do you know any other way to shut him up?

GINGER ADAMS
He’s just a kid. I thought we was just gonna take the money.

M
That’s the only way I know of keeping it, baby.

PALADIN
You stand there and you listen.

PALADIN
Well, sweet princess, hurry. Your knight impatient waits without.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Here it is. Five years and a half million dollars. Now tell me what good it is to me, will you? That was for you, saloon girl. I was gonna buy you the world.

GINGER ADAMS
A better one than this, I hope.

BUDDY WEBSTER
I could have given you a new life.

GINGER ADAMS
Thanks, Buddy, but you’d had to start me over from a newborn baby to do that. I gotta go to work.

BUDDY WEBSTER
Not here you won’t. What do you want for this dump, bartender? What do you want?
Speak up, man. Don’t stand there. Money talks. Money’s God! What’s your price?
How much you want? That’s the answer, ain’t it, Paladin? Money! Money’s what makes
the world spin. Money. And I’m rich! Rich, you hear me? Now get outta my saloon, everybody. Get out! Go on, don’t just stand there. Get out. I bought it! Didn’t you see me? Go on, get out! Everybody. Go on, get out. Don’t just stand around. Go on!
Not you, saloon girl. You stay here.

GINGER ADAMS
You ain’t got money enough to buy me, you whining rabbit!

BUDDY WEBSTER
How’s that, Virginia? How’s that for a new life?

PALADIN
All over.

BUDDY WEBSTER
No, it ain’t. ‘Cause I’m gonna ruin her.

PALADIN
Are you? Why? Because you’re young and inexperienced? ‘Cause you imagined a girl to be something she isn’t? She was a saloon girl when you met her, Buddy. And she’s still a saloon girl. She hasn’t changed a bit. You want her to pay for your lack of reality? She didn’t ask you to pin this dream on her. She didn’t even remember you.

BUDDY WEBSTER
But I loved her.

PALADIN
You loved a picture in your mind. Look at her. Go on, look at her. Now what kind of a life do you suppose she’s had? Do you think a woman chooses this line of work if she doesn’t have to? I’ve got an idea this world’s hurt her just about enough. What do you want? You want to deliver the coup de grace? The final act of brutality? Is that what you’re looking for?

BUDDY WEBSTER
I’m sorry, Virginia, about everything.

GINGER ADAMS
Yeah, I guess I am too.

BUDDY WEBSTER
But I’m willing to try and forget it and still make an honest woman out of you.

PALADIN
Well, I was thinking a little bit less romantically.

BUDDY WEBSTER
What was you thinking, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Well, I don’t have to be married to be honest.

BUDDY WEBSTER
What, Virginia?

GINGER ADAMS
Well, it’s not in much shape now, but…

BUDDY WEBSTER
Well, then it’s yours! It’s yours!

PALADIN
Romeo.

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