186 – “Coming of the Tiger”

Season 5, Episode 31 – Original Airdate:  (April 14, 1962)

<= 185 – “Hobson’s Choice == Darwin’s Man” – 187 =>

Paladin’s friend, Takara, who is a leader of San Francisco’s Japanese community, is worried about two insurgents, a priest and a Samurai, who are coming from Japan to cause unrest among the Japanese-Americans. Paladin heads for the Mexican border to capture the pair, accompanied by Takara’s son.

Directed by  Andrew V. McLaglen & Anthony Wilson, Written by Anthony Wilson.

FUJI as Samurai
JAMES HONG as Priest
MARC MARNO as Minoru Takura
GERALD MILTON as Sam
BOB OKAZAKI as Osata
BEULAH QUO as Mrs. Osata
TERU SHIMADA as Takara
WILLIAM WELLMAN JR. as Billy
SETSUKO YAMAJI as Tikara Osata

 
We can’t last eight more miles, Minoru, so we’re going over the cliff.
The last ten feet won’t be pleasant, but neither is the alternative.

PALADIN
Seki.

s
In defeat, I shall comfort myself with the conceit that the game of Go should remain exclusively Japanese. The Western mind is far too devious for our simple talents.

PALADIN
Well, the East yielded chess to us.
Perhaps you should go back to Japan and tell them send us teachers of Go.

s
I shall never return to Japan.
The teachers they send us will not be of Go.

PALADIN
I have heard of the new leadership in Japan.

s
The sleeping tiger of war is never far from us. It waits only to be awakened.
Two men have been smuggled into Mexico from Japan.
They are to slip across the American border to seek the converts I have refused them.

PALADIN
Just two?

s
Two. One is a priest of Japan’s new state religion.

PALADIN
And the other?

s
A warrior, samurai.

PALADIN
A cross and a sword. Historically, very effective. But there are people to deal with those
who would cross our borders illegally.

s
That I cannot do. I can come to you, but no further. Yet, they must be stopped.
If you do not choose to go, I will understand.

[Paladin presents his card]

PALADIN
Where do they cross and when?

32
00:03:04,564 –> 00:03:06,691
Father.

s
My son Minoru. He will lead you to the appointed place. I have again presumed on our friendship and have allowed him to make all the preparations for your journey.

PALADIN
And the time to depart is now. Leave the game to be finished.
Paladin, they must not awaken the tiger.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL

M
This is the place I was telling you about.
That’s where most of them sneak over.

PALADIN
What about the border patrol?

M
They got one man to cover 50 miles of border.
They say there’s a fellow in Nogales who made $30,000 just sneaking people across.

PALADIN
– Mexicans?

M
– No, Chinese.
Maybe a few Japanese.
Half of them died out there in the desert, but he didn’t care.
He always collected in advance.

PALADIN
They usually do.
No investigation?

M
What, for a few Chinese?
Not in this section of God’s country.

PALADIN
That’s the Mexican side.
How much desert out there?

M
Oh, 30 miles to the nearest town, Comparsita.
That’s where we heard our two men were coming in from.

PALADIN
Oh? Well, let’s camp here and wait for them.

M
Uh, there’s a family named Osata who lives in a little border town near here.
Maybe we should go by and check them and see if they’ve heard of anything.
Well, I mean we’re still two days in advance.

P
Is that why we rode all night last night,
so we could be two days early?

M
Well, I mean I just thought they might be able to help.
Besides, there is somebody I sort of would like to see.
What I mean is I thought they that might be able to…

INT.

S
I have enough English.

67
00:05:57,971 –> 00:05:59,836
You have come a long way.

PALADIN
A little longer than I had anticipated.

S
He will grow to be a strong man like his father, now that he has learned.

PALADIN
Learned?

S
Yes.
You see, when he first came, he had much pride.
He did not understand.

PALADIN
Can a man walk without pride?

S
This is not your lovely city of San Francisco, Mr. Paladin.
This is Quinta County. It’s different here.
We must move slowly, softly…and wait, always wait.

S
You will share the evening with us?

PALADIN
You do me honor.

S
Minoru has told me the reason for your journey here.
It is not of importance.
The men you seek are dead…or will be soon.
They were left in the desert
by the men who brought them across the border yesterday.
They will die in the desert to the north.

PALADIN
How far from here?

S
Oh, less than one day’s ride.

PALADIN
No one’s gone after them?

M
Welcome to Quinta County.

PALADIN
Osata, do you have spare horses?

O
Two can be spared.

M
Are we going into the desert after them?

PALADIN
– Would you rather stay here?

M
– No, I just thought…

R
Hey, Chinese boy!
Hey, Japanese boy! Where are you?
How about some service?
Hey, we got a big order for you!

M1
Oh, he ain’t hurting her none, Wong! He ain’t hurting her at all!

PALADIN
Over here.

M1
He didn’t mean no harm, just fooling. You want to live around here, you gotta learn to take a joke. Ain’t that right, Wong?

O
Humor is gold to the poor.

M1
That’s right, Wong. Here’s a list of the stuff. You ought to marry that pretty little girl of yours off to some nice Japanese boy, keep her out of trouble.

PALADIN
As you say, this is Quinta County.

M
You’ve traveled around. Is it different?

PALADIN
Well, that’s not our primary concern.
Those two we came after?
We’ll go and get them,
bring them back here.
Osata will have notified
the border patrol.

M
– Is it different?

PALADIN
– It will be.

M
Oh, sure, sure. Look…That pair we came for, let’s go after them tonight.

118
00:10:18,965 –> 00:10:21,126
They couldn’t have come this far.

PALADIN
Well, they’re nowhere between here and the border.
Let’s give it a try.

PALADIN
Tell him no, we did not come to help him.
Tell him he’s made a long journey for nothing. He’s going back.

D
You are Japanese?

M
Nisei, born in America.

D
Where do you take us?

PALADIN
Back to the border and to the authorities.

127
00:11:39,412 –> 00:11:41,107
Nothing.

PALADIN
Yeah. It’ll be sundown within an hour.
We should make it back by dawn.

D
Water, please.

M
Hey, that’s enough!
Look at that! He finished over half of it!

133
00:12:11,110 –> 00:12:13,442
Hyah! Hyah!

PALADIN
Samurai!

M
You may shoot him. His life has no meaning but to die for a purpose.

PALADIN
And you?

137
00:12:35,401 –> 00:12:39,303
I am nothing, death is nothing.

PALADIN
Oh? Well, I hope you remember that when the temperature hits 120.

D
We will not die. You will die. We shall survive.

M
Paladin?

PALADIN
All right. We’ll rest here.
Well, all right, you’ve proved your point, now sit down.

D
As you wish.

D
You I understand. The master is always happy in his own home.
But you I do not.

M
Yeah? Well, that makes two of us, ’cause I don’t understand you either.

D
You are a slave that pretends to walk like a man.

M
I used to have a number of good answers to that.
I guess I must have forgotten them.

PALADIN
Minoru, when a change comes, sometimes it comes slowly,
but it will come.

D
How long to come? 20 years to be, as you say, equal?

PALADIN
20 years? Perhaps.
Maybe more, possibly less.

D
I see. That is to be equal. 20 years more. Is it possible, then, he could be superior?

PALADIN
His opportunity will be equal. What he does with it is up to him. Can we go?

M
Paladin? Nothing. I’m ready.

167
00:15:59,071 –> 00:16:01,403
Half.

D
Arigato. I understand your conflict. You wish us dead, but cannot kill us.

PALADIN
How far is it now?

M
Eight or ten miles, five as the crows flies.

PALADIN
Well, we can’t make eight. We better try for five.

PALADIN
All right.

D
What are you called?

M
Takura. Minoru Takura.

D
I see.
I have heard of your father.
It is all clear.
The name Takura has much honor in my country…our country.
The samurai Secki Takura live with much honor and is still worshipped among us.
Your father must have spoken of him.

M
No, never.

PALADIN
Cover me.

PALADIN
All right, send the priest down.

D
There is a divine destiny to be fulfilled with us, but the spirit must be strong.

PALADIN
Minoru! Come on.

D
Takura, be proud.

D
– We have much further?

PALADIN
– Less than a mile. And don’t count on me getting any weaker.

D
I see. The wise hawk conceals its claws.

PALADIN
And the wise man his wisdom.

D
– I suppose it would be useless to…

PALADIN
– Useless.

D
So I thought.

PALADIN
Well, with that in mind, shall we proceed on our way to Osata’s?

D
Osata. Another countryman.
Does he, too, enjoy the elusive fruits of equality?

PALADIN
That’s about enough selling for today.
– Minoru.

M
– I heard you, every word.
And just what do you have to sell, Paladin?

PALADIN
Put the gun down.

M
You toss yours out.

PALADIN
It’s less than a mile to Osata’s.

M
A nice Japanese boy for a nice Japanese girl.
Don’t bother, Paladin.

PALADIN
And your father?

M
He made his choice, now I’m making mine.
I listened to every word he said.
Speak soft, speak low and wait.
For what?
For a life in the shadows, hoping for one day
to be equal?
Equal!
Just for a moment, think, Paladin!
Think about the possibility that I might be
better than you!

PALADIN
I’m thinking, Minoru, and I believe it.
I think under the proper circumstance,
you might be just about equal to those two
back in the store.
You might be just as superior, just as bigoted and just as frightened.

D
It is necessary that you kill him.

PALADIN
Oh, that’s right.
You’ll have to kill me.
You can’t let one man stand in your way.

M
We’ll tie him up and leave him there.
He won’t find us.

PALADIN
I’ll find you.
Go ahead, pull the trigger.
It’s just the beginning for you.

D
– Hai.
– Aaagghhh!

Aaagghhh!

M
I’ve been very foolish.

PALADIN
Well, someday the idea of equality will be a fact.
Until then, we’re all a little bit foolish.

D
When I return to Japan,
I will speak of a man named Paladin.

PALADIN
Up!

S
And so the tiger returns to it lair.

PALADIN
For now.

S
Then like I, you think it will not pass?
There will be more?

PALADIN
Much more.

S
Are you afraid for your country?

PALADIN
Our country? No.

S
As long as there is a painting to contemplate, a book to study or…even a game to finish.

 

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