191-“Pandora’s Box”

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Archie L. Tegland.

MARTIN WEST as Billy Joe Lamont
LORNA THAYER as Hanna – Woody’s Wife
KEN CURTIS as Lucky Laski
LEWIS MARTIN as Secretary – Client
MARY MUNDAY as Decora
ROBERT STEVENSON as Woody – Hannah’s Husband
JAMES BROTHERS as Jon – the boy

MARTIN WEST also appeared in: (Bearbait, 1961) as Bunk. LORNA THAYER also appeared in: (Love’s Young Dream, 1960) as Augusta, (The Prophet, 1960) as Serafina, (The Golden Toad, 1959) as Doris. KEN CURTIS also appeared in: (Soledad Crossing, 1961) as Tom Strickland, (Love’s Young Dream, 1960) as Monk, (The Naked Gun, 1959) as Monk, (The Posse, 1959) as Curley. LEWIS MARTIN also appeared in: (Never Help the Devil, 1960) … Doctor, (Homecoming, 1959) … Will Stanhope. MARY MUNDAY also appeared in: (El Paso Stage, 1961) as Lena. ROBERT STEVENSON also appeared in: (Sweet Lady of the Moon, 1963) as Sheriff, (Be Not Forgetful of Strangers, 1962) as Jake, (A Miracle for St. Francis, 1962) as Lundeen, (Squatter’s Rights, 1961) as Clemenceau, (The Gold Bar, 1961) as Patrolman, (The Last judgment, 1961) as Cutler, (The Night the Town Died, 1960) as Sheriff Howard, (The Colonel and the Lady, 1957) as Steve.

The man you’re turning loose is a killer. Sometime before sun-up, you’re gonna want me to take him back, and you’ll have to ask me.

INT. PALADIN’S HOTEL SUITE – DAY

Paladin is seated at his desk reading documents.

PALADIN
Come in.

HEY BOY
Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Mr. Secretary, it’s a pleasure and an honor to see you even under these circumstances.

SECRETARY
Your servant, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Hey Boy.

SECRETARY
You have read the dossier?

PALADIN
Yes.

SECRETARY
Then please destroy it.

PALADIN
Mr. Secretary, there’s one point I should make clear before we go any further.
You son is a murderer. Under no circumstances will I help him to avoid punishment.
And under no condition whatsoever will I interfere with due process of the law.

SECRETARY
Mr. Paladin, I’m asking you to do one thing…bring my son to justice.

PALADIN
Why the secrecy?

SECRETARY
To protect the administration from low gossip and sensationalism. It’s not public knowledge that I once married a dance hall girl.

PALADIN
Well, I will be as discreet as possible for as long as possible.

SECRETARY
This may help you find him. He uses his mother’s name. Lemont. Billy Joe Lemont.

EXT. ON THE RANGE – DAY

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Poison, sorrow Hunger, pain A man can suffer and live again But nothing in this world Can save a man who needs a woman Who needs…

PALADIN
Don’t try it, Billy Joe. Not if you want to live.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
I wasn’t considering it. Who are you, mister?

PALADIN
Put them on, through the belt.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
You got the wrong man.

PALADIN
No.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Where to now? I’ve got friends down there.

PALADIN
Those are friends of yours, huh? Well, let’s get our horses and go and see your friends.

There is a camp with a portable saloon set up.  Woody and Decora are drinking.

HANNA
Just a minute, Missy Decora, you ain’t paid for neither of them drinks. Now, just because we’re moving off don’t mean you have to give the stock away to the hired help.

DECORA
Why, I’m awful sorry, Hanna. It must have just slipped my mind, seeing as me and your husband had so much to talk about.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Poison, sorrow Hunger, pain A man can suffer and live again But nothing in this world
Hello there, Miss Hanna, Woody.

BOY
Want me to water your horses?

PALADIN
Thank you, son, I’d appreciate it.

PALADIN
You people know him?

HANNA
Never laid eyes on him.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
You’d recognize me if I was standing on your bar top singing.

HANNA
Billy? Billy Joe! Why, you wasn’t more than that high!

WOODY
Oh, I remember now. Uh, Hazel. You’re Hazel’s little boy.

PALADIN
Well, Hazel’s little boy has learned a couple of new tricks since last you saw him.

HANNA
What you taking him in for?

PALADIN
Murder.

HANNA
Spitting in the street, more likely. This boy ain’t no killer.

PALADIN
Billy, we’ll camp on the other side of the stream tonight.

LUCKY LASKI
Trail tramp. I don’t see no badge pinned on your chest.

PALADIN
No, you don’t.

LUCKY LASKI
A bounty hunter. I can smell it the minute you rode in here.

HANNA
Laski’s run into your kind before.

PALADIN
Well, Laski, one time could be enough for any man.

PALADIN
Boy.

BOY
Yes, sir.

PALADIN
It’s for watering the horses.

BOY
Well, gosh, thanks. Decora wants you to come over and fetch back some stew. She says it’s her stew, not Hanna’s.

BILLY
Sounds awful good. It’s better than beans.

PALADIN
Tell Miss Decora we will accept her generosity most happily. And, boy.

BOY
Gosh, thanks. But you already…

PALADIN
Your boss lady did not water those horses.

BOY
Well, gosh, thanks, mister.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Uh, mister? Why’d you do that?

PALADIN
Well, to remind myself that the scales will tip both ways.

DECORA
There, that ought to hold you.

PALADIN
The aroma itself is nourishment. Thank you, Decora.

PALADIN
There’s something I can do for you?

LUCKY LASKI
I got me a sensitive nose. I know I can’t get no sleep with the stink of a bounty hunter around here.

PALADIN
You want me to fix your nose?

LUCKY LASKI
It’s your pleasure to try. There’s plenty witnesses that I ain’t armed.

PALADIN
I’ll try very hard to remember that.

PALADIN
Hanna, I have never killed a woman of your magnificent proportions and dignity, but put the shotgun down. Put it down.
HANNA
There are about two hours of daylight left. Why don’t you just pack up and move on?

PALADIN
In the morning. And in the meantime, it would be an extremely prudent idea if everybody here paid strict attention to his own business. Boy.

EXT. BACK AT PALADIN’S CAMP

Billy Joe laughs when the boy gets slapped by Hanna.

PALADIN
Well, one thing about you, Billy Joe, you do have an unquenchable sense of humor.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Yeah, they say the grin widens as the rope stretches.

PALADIN
Well, you learn fast and you learn young.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
I used to do a little song and dance on the bar top. Good for business. Don’t believe me? Ask Hanna.

PALADIN
The dregs, the bottom of the pit, the slag of society.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
They figure there’s some that’s even lower, for instance bounty hunters.
Is that what you are?

Paladin hands him his CARD

PALADIN
What do you think?

BILLY JOE LAMONT
I think there’s nothing worse than clapboard and canvas saloon people. But they’re my kind, Paladin. Maybe that’s why I hate them. Poison, sorrow Hunger, pain A man can suffer And live again But nothing in this world Can save a man who needs a woman

BOY
Mr. Paladin! Mr. Paladin! Help!

LUCKY LASKI
Hold it! Hold it right there, or I’ll break it off.

PALADIN
Turn him loose, Laski.

LUCKY LASKI
Drop your gun belt and I’ll turn him loose.

PALADIN
Laski, you’re forcing me.

DECORA
Leave him be! Pig.

PALADIN
Now, hold it!

HANNA
We’re turning Billy Joe loose.

PALADIN
He’s a killer.

HANNA
With only your word for that.

LUCKY LASKI
An your word ain’t good enough for us, bounty hunter.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Pretty salty bunch of crackers, ain’t they? How ’bout talking this off?

HANNA
There ain’t nothing you can do.

PALADIN
Yes… yes, there is. I can take Billy Joe in. I can kill one…Two, maybe three people,
and I can take Billy Joe in. You want to spend the evening with him, is that it?
Billy Joe, you want to spend the evening with your friends?

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Sure.

PALADIN
Well, before this evening is over, you may ask me to take him back and you will have to ask. Billy Joe, come tomorrow morning, I’ll snap that other cuff on you, and you and I will ride out together. Meantime, you try to ride out alone, you try to draw down on me,
and I’ll kill you.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
I wouldn’t think of it.

PALADIN
That’s very prudent of you. Now, you just go and have yourself a time.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Come on, the drinks are on ol’ Billy Joe.

DECORA
I thought it might help. Well, I don’t know what to do.

PALADIN
I’ll take him with me. Decora, you want to come with us?

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Feel like a little innocent child without this.

HANNA
Innocent you are, Billy boy.

WOODY
Here you are, Billy.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Well, I just knew we was missing something. Where’s Paladin?
Well, it’ll wait. We got us some partying to do.

EXT. PALADIN’S CAMP

PALADIN
All right, boy. Now, slip this on. Probably be sore for a couple of days.

BOY
Probably stiff, too.

PALADIN
Probably.

DECORA
Dee dee da da da, da da…

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Mind if I sit? I’m buying tonight, celebrating my freedom. Hanna.

PALADIN
You’re celebrating your freedom while you still have it.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
A bottle of your best for my friend.
Came here just in time.
That’s the bottom of the barrel.

HANNA
Is that all you had, eighteen dollars?

BILLY JOE LAMONT
That’s a fair amount of liquor! Now get that bottle! How’s the kid?

PALADIN
He’s in some pain, otherwise all right.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Of all the people I’ve ever known, you’re the only one I’m gonna hate to see dead.

PALADIN
Well, don’t let it spoil your party, Billy Joe.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
I don’t understand you, Paladin. How come you’re so cocksure of yourself?

PALADIN
Probably because I do understand you, Billy Joe.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
For a woman who can’t bake biscuits, Hanna always had a lot of flour on her hands.
A lot of years go by, but people don’t change much, do they, Paladin? Same old faces.
The same old meanness. The same old habits.

PALADIN
You keep the bottle, Billy Joe. I won’t need it.

LUCKY LASKI
It ain’t so hard, really. But you do gotta have the hands for it.

LUCKY LASKI
You bubble-headed idiot. I oughta kill you for that.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Didn’t you think it was funny?

LUCKY LASKI
No, I didn’t think it was funny.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Woody thought it was funny.
Didn’t you, Woody?

WOODY
Very funny.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
What now? Want to dance?

DECORA
No, I’m tired.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
What’s the matter? Don’t you like me anymore?

DECORA
I don’t want to dance.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
You remind me of somebody. A song l…Poison, sorrow, Hunger, pain A man can suffer And live again But nothing in this world can save a man Who needs a woman Who needs a smile

WOODY
What’s a matter with you, Billy Joe?

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Nothing. Not a thing. And you better shut up, or else I’ll take you right now!

LUCKY LASKI
Billy Joe, why don’t you try taking him?

BILLY JOE LAMONT
How much help do I get?

HANNA
We set you loose. That was enough. You should’ve been long gone by now.

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Well, I’m going. Someone keep him tied down. I’m gonna circle in back of the wagon to the horse.

HANNA
Aah!

WOODY
Hanna!

BILLY JOE LAMONT
You’re all gonna get your turn.

PALADIN
Billy Joe…

BILLY JOE LAMONT
You keep out of this! This is between me and them.

PALADIN
Why aren’t you on that horse like you planned?

BILLY JOE LAMONT
Because I don’t like these people.
I’m going, but I’m going to kill them first.

WOODY
Mr. Paladin, you ain’t gonna let him?

DECORA
I didn’t have nothing to do with it.

WOODY
Take him in, Mr. Paladin. Please, in the name of heaven, take him in!

PALADIN
Laski?

LUCKY LASKI
Please.

PALADIN
Billy Joe! Billy Joe, that gun you’ve got, it’s not cocked and it’s not aimed. You try to do either, and I’ll kill you.

LUCKY LASKI
You’re gonna take him with you?

PALADIN
No. You people killed him. You bury him. He’s back with his own kind now.