195-“Taylor’s Woman”

 

Directed by Richard Boone, Written by Gene Roddenberry.

Kathie Browne as Lydia Moss
Harry Carey Jr. as Thad Taylor
Tom Hennesy as Clyde Moss
Olan Soule as Hotel Carlton Desk Clerk (uncredited)

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

THAD TAYLOR
This your card? My name’s Thad Taylor, Mr. Paladin… Cross Bar Ranch over near Placerville. Well, last fall, right after roundup, I was telling my troubles to this fella, see, and he gave me your card. So when Lydia finally backs me up into a corner, I said, “Well, Lydia, let’s go to San Francisco and do her up right. Well, I know it’s wrong, me knowing she’s coming here for one thing, and me coming here to meet you, but, see…I got it all figured out how we can work it. We’ll say you’re a land buyer, see, interested in that back section of mine.

PALADIN
What are you talking about?

THAD TAYLOR
Well, tarnation, I just told you! See, it’s my housekeeper, Lydia, she’s gonna marry me. Now, I’ll pay you a thousand cash if you’ll get me out of it. And you better say yes fast, ’cause she ain’t gonna shop for them fryin’ pans all day. Oh, oh, no, sir, it’s nothing like that. Why, may I be dragged naked through a brambly patch if I ever done a thing wrong.

PALADIN
Well, then just say no to her and save your money, Mr. Taylor.

THAD TAYLOR
No, you don’t know Lydia.

LYDIA MOSS
Thaddeus! I warned you against talking to strangers. And you…I know your type.
A gambler, likely. Fancy clothes and a trick up both sleeves, just waiting for some poor simpleton like this to walk in.

THAD TAYLOR
No, ma’am, all we was doing…

LYDIA MOSS
Lucifer written all over his face. Or maybe that’s what attracted you.
In a town full of sin, who makes a better guide than a sinner?

THAD TAYLOR
You see?

LYDIA MOSS
Come along, Thaddeus. We have more important things to do.

PALADIN
Mr. Taylor, sit down and have a drink. Mr. Taylor…I may be interested in that
proposition of yours after all. We are agreed on the original price you mentioned?

THAD TAYLOR
Oh, sure, l-I meant what I said. See, we was talking about that back section of pastureland. I thought as long as we weren’t using it, well…

LYDIA MOSS
You thought you’d let somebody steal it? What’s he offering?

THAD TAYLOR
Well, I guess the land’s worth about… $2,500?

PALADIN
As a first payment, of course. The other $2,500 to be paid after the title is transferred.

LYDIA MOSS
$2,500… plus? You mean $5,000 for…

PALADIN
The trouble is that I will have to see the land immediately. Now, if you’re in town on some important business…

THAD TAYLOR
Well, it just so happens that Lydia and me was go…

LYDIA MOSS
No. Nothing important at all. Fact is, we were just talking about heading back home.

THAD TAYLOR
Yeah, that’s right. See, the stage we come in on goes right back in half an hour.

PALADIN
Oh, well, that’ll give me just time to pack. Mr. Taylor, I’ll meet you and your housekeeper in the hotel entry, in just half an hour. Farewell.

EXT.

THAD TAYLOR
Whoa! Oh, uh, this here’s, uh, Lydia’s brother Clyde, Mr. Paladin.
He minds my livestock for me.

PALADIN
My gear’s in the backseat. Get it out when you have a moment.

CLYDE MOSS
Just a minute. Where’s your ring, sister?

LYDIA MOSS
Just you keep quiet about that. – I’ll explain it later.

THAD TAYLOR
Yeah, besides which, it ain’t none of your doggone business in the first place!

LYDIA MOSS
Thaddeus…were you born in a barn? Look at your boots.

THAD TAYLOR
S-Sorry, Lydia.

CLYDE MOSS
My sister don’t allow no smoking in there.

THAD TAYLOR
Clyde, I’m telling you for the last time, you’re hired to mind my cattle, and that’s all!

LYDIA MOSS
Clyde, you get on about your business.

PALADIN
Madam, it’s been a long, dusty, hot journey. I wonder if you’d mind bringing me a glass of cool water.

THAD TAYLOR
Ain’t no man so big that a length of kindling won’t cut him down to size.

PALADIN
Did it ever occur to you that a length of kindling might work just as well on her as it does on her brother?

THAD TAYLOR
Oh, well, a-a man just can’t do that with a woman.

PALADIN
A theory that will probably result in their being the last thing civilized by man. When Milton declared that “Heaven’s best gift is a woman perfected,” he forgot to mention what a hellish job it is perfecting one of them. I think perhaps Homer described her better.
“A creature with the form of a goddess, the walk of a queen and the heart of a tyrant.”

LYDIA MOSS
If you rode out to the acreage now, Thaddeus, perhaps Mr. Paladin could make up his mind by the 6:00 stage out!

PALADIN
I will let your employer know, Miss Moss, when I am ready to leave. As a matter of fact…it’s so cool in here, I don’t want this glass of water. Will you bring me a cup of coffee instead?

LYDIA MOSS
You might at least wait till I got it set down.

PALADIN
Well, now, Miss Moss, I distinctly heard you tell me to wait.

LYDIA MOSS
Maybe you’d prefer to go out and eat with the hogs!

PALADIN
Miss Moss, don’t apologize to me for your cooking. I’m sure the over-seasoning was just a mistake.

LYDIA MOSS
Over what? We’ve had your cowboy friends ride three days to eat at this table.

PALADIN
It is amazing how cowboys and ranch hands develop a fondness for that peculiar flavor of chuckwagon cooking. You know, very few kitchens can reproduce it.

LYDIA MOSS
I notice you ain’t stood short at the biscuits!

PALADIN
Madam, the fact that a chicken can lay a perfect egg does not entitle her to crow like a rooster.

LYDIA MOSS
Well, now, that finally does it! You tell him to leave, Thaddeus. We are not interested in doing business with him.

PALADIN
Miss Moss, you seem to have some very peculiar idea that you have a part in this transaction.

LYDIA MOSS
Thaddeus, tell him. Well, go on! It’s time he knew about us. All right, you can just bet that I’ve got an interest in all this. Thaddeus and me was just settin’ to get married when you came along.

PALADIN LAUGHS HEARTILY

PALADIN
Ah…Thaddeus, no wonder your friends come around here. I’m sure they enjoy Miss Moss’s sense of humor. It’s authentically Western, you know, the impossibly tall story.

THAD TAYLOR
Uh, l-look, Paladin, maybe if we just, uh…

LYDIA MOSS
And what’s so tall about it, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Well, Miss Moss, I’m…I mean, really… you…and Mr. Taylor?
He’s reasonably young and attractive, and he’s a very wealthy rancher.

LYDIA MOSS
Thaddeus, are you just gonna sit there while he insults me? I’m warning you. You run him off right now, or else. It’s either him or me. I’ll leave you, so help me!

PALADIN
Well, sir? You have been asked for a decision.

THAD TAYLOR
Well, see, you’re not e…exactly playing it fair.

PALADIN
Taylor, it is her ultimatum. If she leaves now, she has her pride, she hasn’t been run off or jilted.

LYDIA MOSS
Just what does that mean?

THAD TAYLOR
Uh, look, Lydia…you finish straightening up in here, Lydia. l-I have to have a talk with Mr. – Mr. Paladin. We had an agreement!

PALADIN
Well, I am living up to my part of it.

THAD TAYLOR
You’ve done nothing but throw the whole darn thing right back in my lap!

PALADIN
A man can be hired to do anything in this world for another man but make a decision for him.

THAD TAYLOR
Listen, Paladin, if you want your thousand dollars, you get in there and make it so clear to her that she’ll never come back. Tell her that I don’t want her around. I don’t want to marry her, I don’t want to see her ugly face or hear her screeching or her nagging…

LYDIA MOSS
That won’t be necessary, Mr. Taylor. I’ll leave as quick as Clyde can arrange me a place to go. Till then…till then, I’ll be happy to keep my nagging, ugly face out of your sight.

LYDIA
Well, I heard you up.
l-I thought you might
like some coffee.

PALADIN
Well, that’s…very kind of you. Miss Moss, I’m… really sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.

LYDIA MOSS
As a matter of fact, I’m thanking you for doing me a favor.
No woman would ever be happy with a…a weakling.

PALADIN
Well, I’m sure that’s very wise of you. Good night, Miss Moss.

LYDIA MOSS
You try to be kind to a man, run to the kitchen and make him coffee, and-and a lot he cares. Well, I’ll tell you something that’ll surprise you. I saw you when we first walked into that hotel. Sitting there with that simpering, soft woman. Her lighting your cigar, and-and pouring your drink…and just begging for you to notice her. That’s what men like, isn’t it? Playing the great raja and women having to crawl to them? Well, I’ve got too much pride for that! I don’t have to beg! I just…I’ve saved my money. Over $300. Is it enough? Do I have to say it?

PALADIN
Well, I will take a guess on almost anything, but not right at this moment.

LYDIA MOSS
If you saw your own father beat your own mother into a grave, and you had five brothers just as shiftless and weak as him and you grew up the only girl, the only one
with any stomach for work, the only one to stand on her hind legs with any pride and decency, well, then, you might get a backwards idea of the place of women and men and things. I want… to be a proper female kind of woman. I want Thad Taylor to love me. Oh, he’s not like most other men, Mr. Paladin. He’s decent. And kind. And I love him so much it hurts. I’d rather die than lose this house.

PALADIN
Put your money away.

LYDIA MOSS
Oh, please!

PALADIN
Lesson number one: never touch a man in desperation, in anger, or in fear. For a real woman, a proper female kind of woman, tries to perpetuate the legend that her touch is as rare as a fine jewel, that it’s given only to a very special person at a very special moment.

LYDIA MOSS
That doesn’t make sense. It’s not even practical.

PALADIN
Lesson number two: Forget all about logic. Now, how in the world does a woman get her hair into this condition? What do you do, starch and iron it?

LYDIA MOSS
Oh, Mr. Paladin…

PALADIN
Don’t argue with me. Now, come on, get up. Up! Up, up, up! Up! Turn around. Pipe down.

T
lt, uh, smells like burning hair. Somebody branding calves in here or something?

LYDIA MOSS
I told you I don’t know how to fix hair! Look at me! And it’s all your fault!

PALADIN
You are beginning to talk like a woman now. Blame it all on the man. I grade you 100% on that.

LYDIA MOSS
I hate you.

PALADIN
That is also the correct answer, and your brows are still a mess.

LYDIA MOSS
It hurts to pluck ’em.

PALADIN
Then don’t.

LYDIA MOSS
Oh, you think you’re so all-fired sm…You are quite right about my brows. I should’ve seen it.

PALADIN
No, more conviction.

LYDIA MOSS
How wonderful of you to drop in.

PALADIN
No, it’s too bold.

LYDIA MOSS
How quickly you seem to understand…

PALADIN
No mystery.

LYDIA MOSS
Isn’t it strange how you seem to understand my little problems? I wonder what that means.

PALADIN
That’s a little better.

LYDIA MOSS
It was a lot better.

PALADIN
Was it?

LYDIA MOSS
Not if you don’t think so, Mr. Paladin.

PALADIN
Lydia, it seems to me, if you pile it higher, it’ll make your face seem more slender.

LYDIA MOSS
I don’t have a slender face. Do I have to be a liar to be a woman?

PALADIN
You’ll know when a moment for honesty comes, and it’ll make truth out of every illusion you’ve created.

CLYDE MOSS
Dad rat you, Paladin. Told you they’d laugh at me, buying all this frilly stuff. Had to knock half of Ed Bigley’s teeth down his throat. Now, I want to know what’s going on here.

PALADIN
Lydia?

LYDIA MOSS
Isn’t it wonderful how good Clyde is about helping me? He was always the sweetest of all my brothers.

CLYDE MOSS
Well, I don’t mind helping a person a little. When are we gonna leave?

LYDIA MOSS
Whenever you think we’re ready, of course.

CLYDE MOSS
Well, no, it’s…it’s whenever you’re ready. You just let me know.

LYDIA MOSS
It works. Even with him. Why, you’re all like children, aren’t you? It’s not only bad, it’s…it’s foolish to use a whip on a child.

PALADIN
Miss Moss…here are your robes. I believe you’re about ready to graduate.

INT.

CLYDE MOSS
We’ll see that somebody drives your surrey back from the stage depot.

LYDIA MOSS
Are you ready, Mr. Paladin? Oh. I forgot to thank Mr. Taylor. I was thinking only last night of how kind you were to me. Good-bye.

THAD TAYLOR
Um, don’t mention it. Fact is, you went out of your way a lot of times for me, too.

PALADIN
Well, come along, Lydia; we’ll be late.

THAD TAYLOR
Uh, Lydia, I…guess I should ought to say I’m sorry if I said anything.

LYDIA MOSS
You simply don’t want to be tied down. A lot of bachelors feel that way. I’ve learned to understand things like that.

THAD TAYLOR
Um, uh, L-Lydia…you sure you got a proper place to go? I mean, if I’m hurting you too much…

LYDIA MOSS
No. I’m leaving for San Francisco with Mr. Paladin.

THAD TAYLOR
Now, I don’t like the sound of that at all!

PALADIN
Well, I think…what Miss Moss meant was that she’s going as far as the San Francisco stage with me.

LYDIA MOSS
No. No. I didn’t mean that at all.

CLYDE MOSS
Well, now, if this is somebody’s idea of a joke…

LYDIA MOSS
Oh, I assure you, I am not joking.

THAD TAYLOR
Now, looky here, Lydia, I happen to know some things about this Paladin. She’s changed, Clyde. He’s done more than just put her in a new dress.

CLYDE MOSS
I might’ve guessed what was going on in there.

THAD TAYLOR
Oh! No! No, no.

LYDIA MOSS
Oh, but I love him!

THAD TAYLOR
N-No, you don’t. Listen, a woman like you’s gotta…gotta marry a man to love him.
Don’t you see? You’ve got to have a-a house, and a kitchen, and-and maybe children, and-and…

PALADIN
Now you’ve done it! And you’d be a fool to charge me again.

THAD TAYLOR
Paladin! Why don’t you just take this money and get, Mr. Paladin?
Unless you want what I got in this hand instead.

LYDIA MOSS
You can take my things off the carriage. Mr. Paladin will be leaving alone.

THAD TAYLOR
And I think I’m being pretty decent, considering as how I worked things out for myself.

PALADIN

Well, I think your fiancée might agree that this money was fairly earned.

LYDIA MOSS
Maybe you just should have stayed in San Francisco, and not butted in at all.

PALADIN
Now, that kind of remark calls for a very special kind of an answer, and I wish I could think of it.

LYDIA MOSS
Thaddeus. If you’re gonna track mud in, you’re gonna sweep it out, too…dear.

PALADIN

Hmm! Now I feel better. “Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. Thaddeus. Hmph!