203-“A Miracle for St. Francis”

Directed by William Conrad, Written by Don Ingalls.

RAFAEL CAMPOS as Paco
ROBERT STEVENSON as Lundeen
DAVID GARNER as Father Clare
MIRIAM GOLDINA as Faith
TINA MENARD as Hope
NAOMI STEVENS as Maria
Victor Adamson as Townsman (uncredited)
Nick Borgani as Church Member (uncredited)
Larry Finley as Lundeen Rider (uncredited)
Foster Hood as Indian (uncredited)
Bert Madrid as Indian (uncredited)
William Meader as Dealer in Saloon (uncredited)
Hal Needham as the Bartender (uncredited)
Sid Troy as Brother (uncredited)

RAFAEL CAMPOS also appeared in: (Pancho, 1959) as Pancho Villa Doroteo.

NAOMI STEVENS also appeared in: (Cream of the Jest, 1962) as Ma Kafka, (Helen of Abajinian, 1957) as Marga.

ROBERT STEVENSON also appeared in: (Sweet Lady of the Moon, 1963) as Sheriff, (Be Not Forgetful of Strangers, 1962) as Jake, (Pandora’s Box, 1962) as Woody – Hannah’s Husband, (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.

EXT. CALIFORNIA MISSION – DAY

Arriba! Hey, come back!

PALADIN
All right, what was all that about?

PACO
They are evil men, sir, who should themselves be driven from the settlement.

PALADIN
Why are they driving you out?

PACO
Uh…Women, sir. Well, a man himself so handsome should understand.

PALADIN
Well, since you seem to be in no further trouble…

PACO
Oh, sir, for saving me…I will watch out for you always! I will be an angel hovering over you.

PALADIN
Excuse me. Where will I find the rectory?

FATHER CLARE
Through the portico and to the right.

PALADIN
Thank you. Excuse me again. I have a feeling I should have phrased that question differently. Where will I find the padre?

FATHER CLARE
What gave me away?

PALADIN
Padre, you have a certain twinkle in your eyes.

FATHER CLARE
You’re a very discerning man. Shall we talk on the patio?

PALADIN
Well, Padre, that has a very interesting bouquet for, uh, wine.

FATHER CLARE
But you have another preference?

PALADIN
Well, a friend of mine in San Francisco told me about a brandy that is so rare that finding a single flask of it would constitute something of a miracle.

FATHER CLARE
Château d’Treyne, a private stock of 1780. Uh, that would be such a brandy.

PALADIN
As a matter of fact, Château d’Treyne, 1780, is the very brandy my friend mentioned, and he said he knew of only one such flask in existence.

FATHER CLARE
Yes, its, uh, fame has spread among connoisseurs. But it’s not for sale.

PALADIN
Oh. Well, Padre…for a tired traveler who’s ridden many dusty miles…two drops.
One for the tongue, and one to roll between the fingers.
Surely, that’s not asking too much.

FATHER CLARE
My friend, that you even imply I could permit such a thing.
And from a man who calls himself Paladin?
Now, is knighthood dead, then?
Are Coleridge’s lines a fitting epitaph after all?

PALADIN
“The knight’s bones are dust, and his good sword rust. His soul is with the saints, I trust.”

FATHER CLARE
At least you don’t disappoint me. At least not yet. I want to show you something.

FATHER CLARE
These people are descendants of the Shoshonean. Maybe 2,000 of them in this area.
Tomorrow they begin celebrating the Festival of the Harvest.
It’s still about half pagan, but, uh, I’m working on that.
There is, however, another problem.

PALADIN
Father, I never for one moment entertained the idea

that you brought me out here for nothing.

FATHER CLARE
Do you know something of this place?

PALADIN
San Luis Rey…built by the Franciscans over a century ago,
closed, reopened just over a year.

FATHER CLARE
Well, those early monks brought a very old and treasured relic with them.
A statue of St. Francis Assisi, their patron saint.

PALADIN
He who loved all God’s creatures.

FATHER CLARE
And who was loved by them. That statue is also loved, Paladin, by these people.
But it’s been stolen. Now, if it were to be returned for their festival,
it would be almost like a miracle to them. I have a duty to perform in the church.
Think on it, Paladin. It would be interesting.
A miracle wrought by a man who might play Mephistopheles.

PALADIN
Aha. Mention the Devil and his horns appear.

PACO
Si, but I overheard, and I have some information.
Beyond the mountains, there is a little town called Sierra Roja,
in which there are three strange ladies. Ask them about the statue.

PALADIN
Padre…if I do find this statue, could we talk about the brandy later?

FATHER CLARE
Yes. Yes, we could talk. The empty space is also in our hearts.

PALADIN
All right, Padre, but remember, this is my first try at a miracle.

EXT. IN TOWN – DAY

INT. SALOON – DAY

LUNDEEN
About the only time we got action on our cage is weekends, but if you’d, uh, like to…

PALADIN
No, thanks. A cool drink will do nicely.

LUNDEEN
All right, mister, put it back.

PALADIN
Friend, where did you get this?

LUNDEEN
If it’s any of your business,
I bought it.

PALADIN
Well, I’ll give you what you paid for it.
I’ll even throw in a little extra for your trouble, all right?

LUNDEEN
Look, it’s not for sale. Now, put it back.

PALADIN
This is a religious relic. It has great value, but the value is purely religious.
And it would mean a great deal to a great many people

if it were put back where it belongs.

LUNDEEN
Oh, who you trying to fool?

That was found in the catacombs of a heathen temple in Mexico.

I figure it’s worth a lot of money to some museum.

PALADIN
Who told you that?

LUNDEEN
The Indian that sold it to me. Put it down. Now, put it down!

PALADIN
Now, I am walking out of here, and I hope you don’t try to stop me,
because the first man that squeezes a trigger is gonna be the man that I kill.

LUNDEEN
Looks like you’re trail-blocked, mister.

PALADIN
Oh, uh…Ladies, if you’d just stand aside, please.
En la vida, never! Senor, put St. Francis back before you drop him.
Madre mia! Por favor, senor!
Por favor!
Bestia!

PALADIN
Ladies!
Will we move? Never!
Es verdad. Every step will be on our bodies.
Please, put him back against our holy wall.

PALADIN
Friend, I better find him right there when I get back.

PACO
Ooh, is this the way you treat the angel who protects you?

PALADIN
No. This is the way I treat a thief, a stealer of statues with a double-forked tongue.
How much did you get for that statue?

PACO

20 pesos.

PALADIN
Mm-hmm. That, we’ll do something about later. As for now…you can be very… useful.

PALADIN
Ladies. Ladies, the statue in the cantina…that statue belongs to a mission over the mountains. And it seems to me that three such persons would want to see the statue returned to the mission where it belongs.
Senor, the mission, we have heard, has many statues. We have only one.
Si, it is our shrine.
Now you understand, we can be friends. What do they call you?

PALADIN
Paladin.

CARD

FAITH
I am called Faith.

HOPE
Hope.

MARIA
Maria.

PALADIN
And this is Paco, who you have to thank for bringing you the statue.
We know him!

PALADIN
How much did they pay you for the statue?

PACO
Only a few pesos.

PALADIN
Ladies, if you will excuse us, Paco is about to volunteer for a very dangerous mission.

PACO
Muy bien, senor.

PACO
I misunderstood. Did you say that I was to volunteer for some dangerous act?

PALADIN
That’s correct.

EXT. TOWN SQUARE – DAY

LUNDEEN
It’s the Indian I got the statue from.

PACO
Si, si. Oh, that man, you must catch him!

LUNDEEN
What man?

PACO
The one with evil eyes and the mustache. And the black shirt to match his heart.

LUNDEEN
Oh, yeah, the stranger.

PACO
Si, si! Oh, he… he lashed me! I just got away from him! Look. But at first, I did not tell. And, oh, how he bit me till even I could no long resist. Oh, forgive me, sir, for telling him. Forgive me for telling!

LUNDEEN
Telling what?

PACO
About the other statues, sir. Where I hid them.

LUNDEEN
How many?

PACO
Oh, ten, I think. At least ten, and they’re each worth a fortune. Like yours.

LUNDEEN
Where’s the stranger now?

PACO
Oh, he’s in his hiding place. But I can show you where it is.

LUNDEEN
You heard him.

PACO
Well, follow me.

PACO
Follow me! Shh. If you waste time with the words, the men will be back.
Senor Paladin, if St. Francis is to go, we will go with him.

PALADIN
Uh, the trail to that mission is a rugged one. Angry men with guns will be hunting for us, and it won’t bother them one bit to shoot three women if they get in the way.

PALADIN
Giddap! Whoa.
Uh, how far to the mission now, Senor Paladin?

PALADIN
Well, with any luck, just a few hours.

PACO
Senor! Senor, wait for me! Un momento, senor! Senor Paladin! Un momentito!

PALADIN
Where did you get that animal?

PACO
When I escaped from the bad men, my horse is shot. Later, I borrowed this one.

PALADIN
Well, it belongs to the Pimas.
Now, how far are those Indians
behind you?

222
00:17:45,611 –> 00:17:47,135
I do not look back. I fly to find you.

PALADIN
Do you speak English? Do you understand English? All right, behold.
This is a man who is not the thief you think he is.
Now, wait. Are you not the children of Soho and Sivano, famous for your just actions?
There on the wagon is the image of a Sivano of the white man, stolen from a sacred place,

and this man has risked his life to see that it was safely returned.
He meant no harm to you or your possessions.
It is the time of the Harvest Festival, a time of peace.
To see proof that my words are straight, ride with us to the mission.
Let the old God and the new ride together in peace and harmony.
Your water ditches will run full, your mesquite will hang heavy with fruit.

PALADIN
All right, friend, what do you want?

LUNDEEN
You know what I want. That little cheat sent us off on a wild goose chase.
Now, I want my property.

PALADIN
Well, these children of Soho also want their property,

and they’re willing to go to any means to get it.
I told you that that statue meant a great deal to a great many people.
You should see that I spoke the truth.
Besides, you’ve got your money back. I left $20 on the bar.

LUNDEEN
$20? I gave that little crook $50.

PALADIN
Well, there are eight of us and only six of you still.
Why should you die for a paltry $30?

LUNDEEN
How do I know you’re not gonna steal that statue yourself?

PALADIN
Very simple. You ride to the mission with us and see with your own eyes.

LUNDEEN
Oh, we don’t ride with Indians.

PALADIN
Friend, they understand English. You don’t come with us now,

they’ll consider it an insult and insist on staying here with you.
I leave it to your imagination what will happen one second after I’m out of sight.
All right, Paco, you ride ahead and tell the padre.

WOMAN
We are not going to ride with that evil man.

PALADIN
Now, I am going to the mission. And you and you and you and you…can go to wherever you like.

FATHER CLARE
Converts, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Father, I leave
that miracle to you.

FATHER CLARE
Welcome, everybody. Come in. Please come in. Go in, please.
Mr. Paladin, cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shall find it again thousandfold.
Be careful. The container is very old. Paco, your people will be very proud of you.

PALADIN
Hmm. Well, we might as well join them. And I’ll forget about the extra $30.

PACO
I have guarded you well.

PALADIN
I still live.

PACO
And I show that you can trust me. Not to mention the return of St. Francis.

PALADIN
So?

PACO
So why don’t I get half the ransom?

PALADIN
That you would imply that I would allow such a thing to happen…
This is not ransom. It’s merely a bottle of Château d’Treyne!

PACO
Well, that is something.

PALADIN
It is nothing!

PACO
Oh, well. There is still the festival.

PALADIN
Yes. At least praise be for Brother Wind and for the sky and for the clouds…
and all thy creatures.