192-“Jonah and the Trout”

Season 5, Episode 37 – Original Airdate:  (May 26, 1962)

$20,000 in gold bullion is stolen and dropped into a lake. Paladin decides to try to retrieve it but Jonah, a fisherman, has the spot staked out. He’s after a huge trout and doesn’t want anyone getting in his way. There’s also the three thieves watching and waiting to ambush Paladin once he gets the gold.

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen Written by Peggy O’Shea and Lou Shaw

HARRY CAREY JR. as Jonah QuincyJONAH QUINCY
(Face of a Shadow, 1963) as Earl Tibner
(Sweet Lady of the Moon, 1963) as Ben Murdock
(Taylor’s Woman, 1962) as Thad Taylor
(The Revenger, 1961) as Conlon
(The Tax Gatherer, 1961) as Jess Turner
(The Legacy, 1960) as Banker Burton
(The Marshal’s Boy, 1960) as Frank Gulley
(The Misguided Father, 1960) as Sheriff Stander
(The Posse, 1959) as Sheriff
(The Road to Wickenburg, 1958) as Sheriff Jack Goodfellow
(The Man Who Wouldn’t Talk, 1958) as Bud Sorenson
JOHN MITCHUM as Sanders
(The Hunt, 1962) as Niki – Radachev’s Servant
(Birds of a Feather, 1958) as Crabbe
(A Matter of Ethics, 1957) as McHeath
BILL MUMY as Little Boy at Carlton Hotel
HANK PATTERSON as Mr. Barton – Insurance Agent
(The Hunt, 1962) as Jesse – Old Man
(Blind Circle, 1961) as Jess Larker
(El Paso Stage, 1961) as Judge Robbins
(The Lady on the Wall, 1960) as Rafe Adams
(Unforgiven, 1959) as Ronson
(In an Evil Time, 1958) as Pappy French
(Twenty-Four Hours at North Fork, 1958) as Stage Driver
(Gun Shy, 1958) as Pete Gilson
ROSS STURLIN as Angel
(Caravan, 1963) as Lakara
(The Princess and the Gunfighter, 1961) as Carl – Second Guide
(Black Sheep, 1960) as Joaquin Jim
(The Day of the Bad Man, 1960) as Townsman
JERRY SUMMERS as Orrie
(The Eve of St. Elmo, 1963) as Collie March
(Fandango, 1961) as James Horton

How does a man get like this, Jonah? How does a fish become so important to him that he keeps a fishing pole in one hand and a shotgun in the other?

INT. HOTEL CARLTON – PALADIN’S HOTEL SUITE –

LITTLE BOY AT CARLTON HOTEL
Is that supposed to be a boat or what?

PALADIN
It is a boat.

LITTLE BOY AT CARLTON HOTEL
Don’t look much like one.

PALADIN
Well, an artist paints not what he sees but what he is.

LITTLE BOY AT CARLTON HOTEL
You mean you see yourself as a boat?

HEY BOY
Colors nice, but, uh…

PALADIN
Yes, Hey Boy?

HEY BOY
Why don’t you paint something everybody knows?

PALADIN
Like what?

HEY BOY
Like a boat. I read. “GOLD SHIPMENT TROUBLES. Crystal Lake, Oregon, July 6, 1976. Hope has been abandoned for early recovery of $20,000 in gold bullion lying on the bottom of Crystal Lake, it is announced by the Baron Insurance Company today. Although, the box contained the bullion can be seen in the clear water, the depth of the lake make it impossible to retrieve it. Bartons have sent to Baltimore for deep-sea drivers who are en route over land. Gold was thrown off stage coach during a hold-up attempt two weeks ago.”

PALADIN
Hmm.

HEY BOY
What are you looking for?

PALADIN
– A card.

HEY BOY
– Here.

EXT. ON THE RANGE – DAY

PALADIN
Mr. Barton, I realize there’s nothing on that card that particularly qualifies me for this kind of work.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Well, we’ve sent east for divers.

PALADIN
At considerable expense, I imagine.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Plenty.

PALADIN
If I can do the same work for half the price, you’ll be satisfied, won’t you?

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
I’d be delighted, but the trouble of that is you can’t do it.

PALADIN
Can you head the divers off?

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Oh, I suppose I could. I could telegraph Chicago and have them stop.

PALADIN
Why don’t you do it?

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Let me tell you something, Paladin. Every fortune hunter in the territory has had a crack at getting that gold up out of that lake. What makes you think you can do any better?

PALADIN
Mr. Barton, my partner is a genius.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Oh? Who is he?

PALADIN
A fellow named Leonardo da Vinci.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
da Vinci? I thought he was a painter.

PALADIN
Inventor as well. He had an idea that if a man took a goatskin full of air down with him, he could breathe underwater.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Did he ever try it?

PALADIN
Not to my knowledge.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
What other fine ideas does he have?

PALADIN
Well, he had a design for a boat that went underwater and a machine that flew through the air.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Mm-hmm. Well, I think I’ll wait for the divers.

PALADIN
You’re making a bad mistake, Mr. Barton. I could you save you a lot of money.

M1
Think that fella in black’s nosing around.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
All right. I’ll give you a crack at it. I’ll give you two days.

PALADIN
All right. That’s enough. Now, you tell me where the gold is?

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
There’s an old man that fishes the north shore of the lake. Name’s Jonas Quincy. He’ll show you where it is. And, Paladin, don’t turn your back on him.

PALADIN
Oh? Why?

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
He’s as big a lunatic as that friend of yours da Vinci.

EXT. ON THE RANGE – DAY

PALADIN
Your name Jonas?
You doing any good?
Barton at the insurance office told me you might be able to tell me where the gold is.

JONAH QUINCY
Next one goes in my fishing hole is gonna get a shotgun blast in the back.

PALADIN
That where the gold is, in your fishing hole?

JONAH QUINCY
There’s a fish in that hole is what there is. A fish like you or me or nobody else in this world ever seed before. Now, you just take heed, Mister. I ain’t a patient man, but I been pushed. Ever since the day that gold went over the side, the folks have been swarming around this lake, and churning up the water and scaring all the fish. Well, I have had enough, Mister. I’ve had enough. Now, if that ain’t clear, I’ll make it clearer.

JONAH QUINCY
What in blazes you up to? You stay away from my trout. I’m a-warnin’ you.
Well, I’ve heard tell it’s an easy way to go.

M1
I don’t reckon that fella’s going to come up.

M2
What do you mean?

M1
He weighted hisself down with rocks to let him sink fast. Took him down to the bottom.
And then I guess it took him to the bottom, all right.

M2
Ah, that does it. Might as well pull up stakes.

M3
You mean leaving the gold down there? Well, not me, I ain’t leaving.

M2
If we stick around much longer, Angel, they’re gonna tie us in with the hold-up.
Now you do what you want. I’m pulling out.

M1
Twenty-thousand. I sure do need a drink.

M2
Well, let’s go have one for him. He was our last hope.

PALADIN
It’s all right, Jonas. It’s all right. I saw your fish.

JONAH QUINCY
You what?

PALADIN
I saw your fish.

JONAH QUINCY
Now you just wait a minute. That… That fish is dead serious with me. I mean, don’t you be saying nothing ain’t true.

PALADIN
Jonas, how does a man get like you? Are fish the most important thing in your life?
You got a fishing pole in one hand and a shotgun in the other?

JONAH QUINCY
How big was he? That’s all I want to know is…confound it, is how big.

PALADIN
Well, he’d have to go sixty or seventy pounds.

JONAH QUINCY
Sixty or seventy pounds?

PALADIN
That’s right, Jonas. If you’re gonna catch him, you better do it soon because it’s going to be very unhealthy for fish around here before much longer.

JONAH QUINCY
No, it ain’t.

EXT. IN CAMP

M1
He come up.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
They told me you killed yourself.

PALADIN
An exaggeration. Your box is lodged under some big rocks. I’m gonna have to blast it out of there.

MR. BARTON – INSURANCE AGENT
Blast it? Whoever heard tell of blasting underwater?

PALADIN
A man named Alfred Nobel, about two or three years ago. He came up with a theory that a mixture of 7 to 10 of nitro-cotton to nitroglycerin would form a explosive gelatin that will detonate under water. I’m going to the next town to get the chemicals I need.
You meet me at the lake at dawn.
And I wouldn’t mention this
to anybody else.

M2
Come on.

INT. TENT

M2
Where’d he go? I said where’d he go!

EXT. LAKE

M2
We’ll dig in here.

M3
you reckon he’ll be back tonight, Orrie?

M2
Whenever he comes, I’m ready for him.

M3
Orrie, here he comes.

[Paladin returns with the Nitroglycerin]

M2
Get ’em ready, just in case.

JONAH QUINCY
Stirring up my fish again.

PALADIN
Better back up, Jonas.

JONAH QUINCY
And you better just keep on movin’
because you ain’t never going
near my trout again.

PALADIN
Jonas, it’ll all be over soon.

JONAH QUINCY
It’s over now.

PALADIN
Now, when I give a pull on this wire, that’s going to cause some chemicals to mix down there, and that’s going to cause an explosion which might just about knock you down
if you don’t get back from this water.

JONAH QUINCY
You’re gonna kill my trout?

PALADIN
I’m only going to do today what somebody else will do tomorrow.

JONAH QUINCY
I’ll kill you first. And I’ll kill anybody else comes down here, too.

PALADIN
You’d kill a man over a trout?

JONAH QUINCY
You heard me. Now you just back off.

PALADIN
Put the gun down, Jonas. Well, maybe you can kill a man over a trout, but I can’t.
I’m going back into town. I’m going to get a pick and shovel. Because of you, I’ve got several hours of back-breaking work down there to get that gold out. Now you stay out of my way. Old man, you put that shotgun on me again, and I’ll break it in two.

JONAH QUINCY
Keep going! Huh. Reckon I scared him that time. Fish in peace for a change.

JONAH QUINCY
What in tarnation is going on here? Get off my property! What are you…

m1
Orrie!

m2
Get with the horses.

PALADIN
All right. Jonas, it might be a good idea if you have a doctor take a look at that.

JONAH QUINCY
Do you know what you done to me? I could fish out there the rest of my life and never know whether he was down there or not.

PALADIN
Jonas, three men died here in the last few minutes. You’re gonna talk to me about a fish?

JONAH QUINCY
You’re dad-blasted right I’m gonna talk to you about a fish. Twelve years I been after him. Twelve years. I’ve made every kind of lure and gadget known to man to catch that fish. My business went to pot over that fish. My woman left me over that fish. All I asked was to be left alone. All I wanted in this world was just to catch is that fish. Now I don’t know whether he’s alive or dead.

PALADIN
He’s dead, Jonas. If that fish was what you loved, I’m sorry.

JONAH QUINCY
Loved? I hated that fish. I hated him so much, I’d just get the shakes thinking about what he done to me. I just wanted to kill him myself, was all.

PALADIN
And man must make the angels laugh.

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