200-“Memories of Monica”

Directed by Gary Nelson, Written by Don Ingalls.

JUDI MEREDITH as Monica Reagan
BING RUSSELL as Sheriff Reagan
HAL NEEDHAM as Dink Turner
GARRY WALBERG as Charlie
LARRY WARD as Ben Turner
EDWARD FAULKNER as Deputy Ed Buhl
CHUCK COUCH as Webb
JERRY GATLIN as Olin

JUDI MEREDITH also appeared in: (The Savages, 1963) as Gina August, (Bearbait, 1961) as Sally.  BING RUSSELL also appeared in: (A Sense of Justice, 1958) as Andy Dawes. GARY WALBERG also appeared in: (The Walking Years, 1963) as Homer.

EDWARD FAULKNER also appeared in: (Be Not Forgetful of Strangers, 1962) as Ben, (The Hunt, 1962) as Lieutenant Brager, (The Brothers, 1961) as Body Guard #1, (The Hanging of Aaron Gibbs, 1961) as Jim Harden, (Soledad Crossing, 1961) as Bud McPhater, (The Puppeteer, 1960) as Cavalry Sergeant, (Black Sheep, 1960) as Marshal, (Love of a Bad Woman, 1960) as Gunman, (The Black Handkerchief, 1959) as Dink, (Incident at Borrasca Bend, 1959) as Curly, (The Road to Wickenburg, 1958) as Jim Goodfellow, (The Hanging of Roy Carter, 1958) as 2nd Guard.

EXT. TOWN OF VALLEY HEART – DAY

PALADIN
Reagan.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Time hasn’t made you any prettier, Paladin. I saw him earlier today, hanging around with an old man.

PALADIN
They met me at that old way station. The old man’s dead.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Well…a man sends for help in this town, he don’t keep it secret from his friends.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Have to sooner or later. Why not now?

PALADIN
‘Cause his hands are tied and he doesn’t have a gun.

SHERIFF REAGAN
I don’t know, Paladin, maybe you like the fit of a pine box.

PALADIN
Don’t fight your friends, Reagan.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Ed Buhl, my deputy. Paladin. I’m glad you came.

PALADIN
“Paladin, if there is value in the life I saved for you that day in Claremore, I now claim the forfeit. Reagan.”

CARD

PALADIN
There is value in the life. And I do pay my debts. Reagan. You want to tell me now?

SHERIFF REAGAN
You’ve never met Monica. She’s a beautiful woman, Paladin. And she’s my wife. This is her hometown; it’s, uh…Ben Turner’s hometown, too. That’s how it started.

PALADIN
Texas Ben Turner?

SHERIFF REAGAN
Uh-huh. He’s coming home after six years in Yuma prison. Ten days ago, he…sent me this.

PALADIN
“Reagan, in ten days, I’m coming back for Monica. If you’re still there, I’ll enjoy killing you. Ben Turner.”

SHERIFF REAGAN
I took this job a couple of years back. Well, marrying me instead of waiting for Turner was her choice. I guess he can’t believe that.

PALADIN
And this one. Any more like him coming in to help?

SHERIFF REAGAN
Oh, there’ll be more. Six, ten… who knows? Texas men drifting in, waiting for Ben Turner to take up where he left off.

DINK TURNER
Well, you sure ain’t much of a start. I’ve seen him kill better than you, Sheriff, left-handed.

PALADIN
Those friends of yours…those Texas men that’ll be drifting in…will they die for Ben Turner’s cause?

SHERIFF REAGAN
Oh, all of us may die for Ben Turner’s cause. Keep an eye on him, Buhl. Come on. Even a condemned sheriff gets a last meal.

DINK TURNER
Hey, Sheriff…Ben’ll have four bullets in you before you even think about drawing.

INT. HOUSE

SHERIFF REAGAN
This is Paladin.

MONICA REAGAN
Yes, I think I would’ve known you, Paladin. Thank you for being here.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Oh, he always pays his debts. Meantime, he could stand some food.

MONICA REAGAN
It’s ready; I’ll put it on the table.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Well?

PALADIN
She is beautiful. And she’s a woman.

MONICA REAGAN
Please, sit down.

PALADIN
Mrs. Reagan? We might just as well discuss this now. Now, Reagan…with your deputy, there are three of us. Who else in this town will help?

SHERIFF REAGAN
Nobody. I told you, this is his hometown.

MONICA REAGAN
Oh, we’ve asked.

PALADIN
Well, Mrs. Reagan, your husband is the sheriff.

SHERIFF REAGAN
This town remembers Ben Turner as a pink-cheeked kid who stole apples from its orchards and kisses from its girls. Well, maybe he didn’t steal the kisses.

MONICA REAGAN
I’ll get some coffee.

PALADIN
Reagan, you say Ben Turner left this town six years ago. Now, every man in this town couldn’t possibly have known him.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Every man in this town knows the reputation of Texas Ben Turner. He killed 40 men. Don’t you understand? They’re afraid. And with reason.

He’s death on two legs…ice-hearted, walking hate.

PALADIN
You hate pretty well yourself.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Think how good I could hate if I’d known him before. Nah. You want to go back now?
Coffee would choke me.
Reagan…

PALADIN
Thank you.

MONICA REAGAN
You didn’t finish. I’ll bring some sandwiches down later.

MONICA REAGAN
Paladin…I don’t suppose you can stop it.

PALADIN
Monica, the shadow a man stands on at noon seems to rise up and meet him at evening.
I don’t know whether I can stop that.

MONICA REAGAN
Well, don’t judge him by what he appears to be now. He’s a good man.

PALADIN
Which one?

EXT. OUTSIDE SHERIFF’S OFFICE – DAY

SHERIFF REAGAN
More strangers?

DEPUTY ED BUHL
No. But they might wait outside town. Ride in with him.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Where’s your gun?

DEPUTY ED BUHL
It’s inside.

SHERIFF REAGAN
What does that mean, Buhl?

DEPUTY ED BUHL
That I ain’t begging to die.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Oh, you did pick a good time to decide that.

DEPUTY ED BUHL
Reagan, I’ve got three kids!

SHERIFF REAGAN
You took pay for wearing that badge!

DEPUTY ED BUHL
Well, this is different! This is between you and Turner! And your wife.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Now you crawl out of my sight. I mean crawl. You like to wear this badge, Paladin?

PALADIN
No.

SHERIFF REAGAN
You’re right… no man’d like wearing this badge.

INT. SHERIFF’S OFFICE – DAY

SHERIFF REAGAN
His shotgun might’ve kept us alive. Even saints must hate good-weather friends.

DINK TURNER
Hey, mister. How comes you’re so anxious to die?

PALADIN
I owe that man something. Son, what’s Ben Turner to you? Is he a relative?

DINK TURNER
Yeah, you might call him that. I never had a last name till I met him. Just Dink. Then, one night, Ben Turner picked me off a saloon floor, and patched up some bullet holes in me, and…I just sort of took his last name. Dink Turner. Texas Dink Turner, Sheriff.

SHERIFF REAGAN
So, alley cats pay their debts, too, do they? His kind sort of smells up your Holy Crusade, Paladin.

PALADIN
Do they, Reagan?

DINK TURNER
Sheriff, Ben Turner’s a wolf tamer. He don’t need no help to kill a…a puppy dog.

PALADIN
“He who sharpens the tooth of the wolf, dies by its bite.” You might think on that, Dink.

SHERIFF REAGAN
And they keep coming.

PALADIN
Well, they could just be riding through. I’ll take a walk and see.

SHERIFF REAGAN
You could just keep walking.

PALADIN
Yes, I could. What does this town pay you for wearing that badge?

SHERIFF REAGAN
$110 a month.

PALADIN
The least they could’ve done was stand with you.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Paladin…are you ever…afraid?

PALADIN
You’ve had a long ride.

FIRST COWBOY
Yeah. All the way from Texas.

SECOND COWBOY

Where’s your badge, Deputy?

PALADIN
Here.

SECOND COWBOY
I do hope you’ll be around when Ben gets here.

PALADIN
Oh, I shall be, and longer.

DINK TURNER
Hey, Sheriff…did I ever tell you about the time that three lawmen stepped out around Ben Turner, and each of them carrying a shotgun? You know, Ben had already drawed and killed the first two before that third, uh, puppy dog could swallow his surprise.
No, sir, I never seen a man as fast as Texas…

PALADIN
Shut your mouth. They’re from Texas, all right. They’re not ready to fight yet.

SHERIFF REAGAN
A man should kill his snakes where and when he finds them.
Might have saved a lot of blood out there in the street.
I can…smell it already, soaking into the dust.

DINK TURNER
Hey, mister…me and the sheriff figured you’d be about five miles out of town by now and walking pretty fast. But since you ain’t, it seems like the least you could do is go outside and practice a little bit with that, uh, pistol you got.

PALADIN
Boy, you know any reason for an old eagle to stretch his wings?

KNOCK AT DOOR

DINK TURNER
Well, now. So she’s the one?

SHERIFF REAGAN
What the devil is that?

PALADIN
That is a coffin I ordered built for Ben Turner.

MONICA REAGAN
Why in the middle of the street?

PALADIN
Because I want every person in this town to see it…and think about it.

DINK TURNER
Oh, ho, how you stink, mister. But it ain’t gonna be Ben Turner laid out in that coffin.

PALADIN
Even the Ben Turners die sometime, boy.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Four more.

MONICA REAGAN
He’s not one of them.

SHERIFF REAGAN
That’s six we know about already, not counting Turner.
What kind of a chance are we gonna have?

PALADIN
A slim one.

MONICA REAGAN
Reagan…you don’t have to be here when he comes. Neither do you, Paladin.

PALADIN
And you, Monica?

MONICA REAGAN
Well, if I’m here, he won’t have to look any further, will he?

PALADIN
Reagan, I’ve said it once before…I’ll say it again: She is a woman.

PALADIN
Well, Charlie, you are a fast worker.

CHARLIE
Well, with fear nipping at my heels, I am.

PALADIN
Like a good man and an honest carpenter.

CHARLIE
Mister…maybe this is the way you make your living. If so, it’s…it’s a sinful waste. I knew Ben Turner when-when he was just called a wild kid, and I liked him. Now I like you. I… well, I just don’t want to see you die. Well, as far as this is concerned, here. It’s… it’s for free.

PALADIN
Charlie, I thank you. Now, why don’t you get out of here.

CHARLIE
It’s a little late for that now.

SHERIFF REAGAN
Paladin…I’m not holding you to that debt. This whole thing’s stupid. You understand. It’s stupid. I’m… walking away from it. She’s not worth dying for.

MONICA REAGAN

Paladin…you said, “the shadow a man stands on at noon rises up to meet him at evening…” I guess it’s the same for a woman.

PALADIN
Monica…it’s the same for all of us.

BEN TURNER
Monica…you were a pretty girl, but you’re a beautiful woman.

PALADIN
Turner, leave this town. Leave this town and Monica in peace.

BEN TURNER
Mister…I’ve come a thousand miles to see this town. I’ve lived through a thousand years of hell with the memory of one woman keeping me alive. Now, do you really believe that there’s anything on God’s green earth that can make me turn around?

PALADIN
No. No, I suppose not.

BEN TURNER
There was a time, Monica, when you’d have come that thousand miles to me.

MONICA REAGAN
No more, Ben.

BEN TURNER
That makes it less pleasant, but it don’t change anything with me. Now, you…step aside.

CHARLIE
Mister! Mister.

MONICA REAGAN
Paladin? Don’t judge him…too harshly. He’s a good man.

CHARLIE
Mister?

PALADIN
Charlie, let him out of there. A friend of his died out in that street. He’ll want to bury him.
The memory of Monica kept Ben Turner alive for a thousand years.
I do hope you’re more fortunate, Reagan.

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