217-“Caravan”

Season 6, Episode 24 – Original Airdate:  (February 23, 1963)

<= “216 – “Cage at McNaab == The Walking Years” – 218″ =>

An exiled high priestess from India hires Paladin to escort her through the desert for a rendezvous with some of her loyal followers.

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen, Written by Jay Simms.

MIRIAM COLON as Punya
DOLORES FAITH as The Rani
CLIFF OSMOND as Koro
CARMEN D’ANTONIO as Satri
(Justice in Hell, 1962) as Cayatana
ROSS STURLIN as Lakara
(Jonah and the Trout, 1962) as Angel
(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
HAL NEEDHAM as Apache

INT. HOTEL CARLTON LOBBY – DAY

PALADIN
The answer is no.

KORO
But, sahib, that was your answer last week.

PALADIN
And next week, too.

KORO
You still choose to ignore the fact that my rajah,

KORO
Kasimundra of Kwarlal, once saved your life?

PALADIN
The rajah once refrained from executing me.

KORO
But you accepted his gift…the tooth of the killer whale.

PALADIN
It’s true.
And the acceptance in some areas implies that I must grant the donor any wish he desires…not excluding matricide.

KORO
You still choose to ignore the custom?

PALADIN
Fervidly. And here is your tooth back.

KORO
Then your heart is cold and your ears deaf to the tears of a poor, lonely pilgrim in a far-off land.

PALADIN
My friend, as I have explained to you, it would take a good deal more than the tooth of a whale…any kind of a whale…to get me to guide a person 150 miles across desert country.

KORO
I have received permission to offer you more.

W
Is it enough?

PALADIN
Enough to cool a magnum or two of champagne.
Will you be making the journey with us?

W
If you are to be our guide and protector.

PALADIN
Protector?
I should think Koro would be about the right size to handle that kind of freight.

W
My religion does not countenance violence or killing.

PALADIN
Where is that, uh, settlement you’re headed for?

KORO
Makasi. I will show you the way.

PALADIN
My friend, you have already shown me the way.

EXT. IN THE DESERT – DAY

P
This is native wine. It’s always served at room temperature.

PALADIN
110 degrees?

P
The Rajah Kasimundra. The Rajah is dead.

PALADIN
Dead?

P
As well as most of the royal family. That is why we came to America.

PALADIN
Oh?

P
They were murdered by Thuggees, fanatics who have taken over our homeland. To drive them out, the Royalists need a person of high rank about whom the people can rally.

PALADIN
And that person must be kept alive.

P
Yes. Even if it means secreting her in the remoteness of a strange land.
In her tent, resting, the sole survivor of the Kasimundras…Skiri.
We are here.
Here is Makasi, a settlement established by our loyal countrymen.

PALADIN
Well, you pinpointed this camp easily enough.
Finding a whole city should be very simple for you.

KORO
Yes, but the revolutionists may attempt the life of the Rani, even in this country.

PALADIN
And you don’t approve of violence, but you don’t object to my using it where your necks are concerned.

W
I do not think there is danger…but I welcome your company.

PALADIN
Thank you. There are about 12 miles of daylight left, and I think we’d better get started.

KORO
We can’t disturb Her Highness.

PALADIN
Oh? Well, I can.

H
Who is this lout?

[]

PALADIN
Young lady, you get your things together.
We’re leaving.

H
Hear this, boy.
We travel on my command.

PALADIN
Young lady, if you were capable of making decisions and judgments, they would not be paying me.
Now you get your things together.
We’re leaving.

H
Koro? Take this impudent clod outside…and execute him.

KORO
Is it your desire to see me hurt, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Well, I certainly don’t want anybody executing me without feeling some small twinge.

KORO
I merely removed you from the tent. You know my faith.

PALADIN
Well, it’s just that I don’t really have any faith in your faith.

KORO
What do you know of faith, Mr. Paladin?

PALADIN
Well, I’m impressed.
How much water do we have?

H
Koro, you may put away the tents.
Tell the bearer to choose smooth terrain.
I do not like to be jostled.

PALADIN
As I was saying, Koro, how much water do we have?

KORO
Four barrels.

H
Three barrels. There are three barrels of water.
While I was waiting, I used one…to take a bath.

PALADIN
I want to tell you about an old American custom.
Two wagons… one, two…comprise a wagon train.
A wagon train is run by maritime law.
I am the guide, the captain.
If you interfere with one of my whims or fancies or orders, that interference constitutes mutiny, and I can have you imprisoned or put on bread and water.
There are no yardarms out here and precious few trees.
But if I so desire, I can send a wagon tongue on in, run a rope over the top, around your neck, and run you up, is that clear?
And from now on, you sleep in the wagon!

PALADIN
Well, don’t just stand there, start loading your gear!

EXT. ON THE TRAIL

PALADIN
Whoa. You know, I can usually tell a wine by the year, but this one has me baffled.

W
You do not like it?

PALADIN
Well, a man always enjoys being baffled…temporarily.

W
In my land, we learn that very young.

PALADIN
My country has many things to learn about customs.

W
What customs?

PALADIN
Well, such as… courtesy.

W
I do not act out of courtesy.

PALADIN
Few women do.

W
A woman likes a man when he does something she would like to do but is not brave.

PALADIN
Well, who has done this extraordinary, brave thing?

W
You defied the Rani.

PALADIN
The Rani? I should have spanked the Rani.

W
And if I, uh… defied you?

PALADIN
Now, why would you want to do that?

KORO
Two days, 50 miles…this is good traveling.

PALADIN
– It’s fair.

KORO
However, we are not traveling alone… a person is following.

PALADIN
Koro, have you seen a person?

KORO
Too far away for only the eye.

PALADIN
Well, what did the person look like?

KORO
He moved quickly, but…his skin was dark, like mine.
And his face was as fierce as the hawk’s.

PALADIN
He have a saddle on the horse?

KORO
I think not.

PALADIN
Well, then he’s probably not a Thuggee.
Your people have used saddles since the third century.

KORO
Still, he is following us.

PALADIN
He’s probably a renegade Apache… they’ll follow a wagon for miles, just waiting for something to fall off.

KORO
You are not sure.

PALADIN
Well, I might be sure if you’d let me have the telescope.

H
Mr. Paladin…may I speak with you privately?

PALADIN
Your Highness.

H
Mr. Paladin, there is very little chance that I shall complete this journey…alive.
You must take these. If I am killed, hide them so they can never be found.
As long as my death cannot be proved,
I will live in my subjects’ minds and therefore…fulfill my purpose.

PALADIN
Well, you could just take these things out and bury them in the sand.

H
No.
If I should live,
I will need them to identify myself.

KORO
Paladin!

PALADIN
Well, that’s fine. In this place, now, without any water!

H
It is your job to prevent such things.

PALADIN
You said you might not survive this trip; well, it might just work out that way.
Koro…how much does one of these barrels weigh full of water?

KORO
50 viss.

PALADIN
180 pounds. Now, who among us can lift 180 pounds from this wagon down to the ground?

KORO
You and I. Or the man who is following us.

PALADIN
Koro, nobody has seen the man following us but you!

KORO
That narrows the choice, indeed.

PALADIN
I wonder…Now, if these were open and the water was allowed to drain out…well, then anybody here could’ve lifted the barrels down to the ground.

H
If they were empty, why put them on the ground?

PALADIN
To let the last inch of water drain out.

H
How far are we from water?

PALADIN
Three days, in any direction.

KORO
There are still 14 bottles of wine.

PALADIN
Well, what about the horses?
They’ve got to pull us out of here.

KORO
When they can pull no farther, we walk.

PALADIN
Koro…in this heat, over sand and rocks, you could walk about 15 miles, and with a great deal of luck, you might crawl three more miles.
Koro…

KORO
Yes, Paladin?

PALADIN
May I have the key to the wine chest?

KORO
The keys are hidden. You are a violent man, Mr. Paladin.
Still, it would be impossible to make me tell where.

PALADIN
14 bottles could be enough, if we don’t have to walk.

KORO
We could share it with the horses.

PALADIN
Animals get sick on alcohol.

KORO
This wine contains no alcohol. Intoxicants are against our belief.

PALADIN
I remember something else about your belief. In order to achieve Nirvana, Paradise, you must anoint yourself daily with water from the Ganges River.

KORO
And also be cremated and have our ashes cast into the Ganges.

PALADIN
Or you may be reincarnated nine times.

KORO
That is so. And we may come back as a tiger…a snake…or even as an ant.

PALADIN
Koro, where is the water from the Ganges River?

KORO
That water may be used for holy purposes only.

PALADIN
Life is holy, Koro.

KORO
Mr. Paladin…would you condemn yourself to purgatory?

PALADIN
Three days out here without water is purgatory.
If you die here, your ashes’ll never see the Ganges River, anyway.
You’re doomed.
How much water is there?

KORO
A little over a gallon.

PALADIN
All right, you take charge of it.
And from now on, we travel from 10:00 at night till 8:00 in the morning.

EXT. ON THE TRAIL

PALADIN
Uh, Punya…you would be safer if you made more noise.

P
I shall remember next time.

PALADIN
Shouldn’t you be asleep?

P
The night is too lovely.

PALADIN
I sometimes find it so.

P
You have known loneliness, haven’t you, Paladin?

PALADIN
Yes.

P
It leaves a mark in a man’s eyes.

PALADIN
And in a woman’s. And I thought that you and Koro…

P
Mm. Koro speaks to me only when he cannot avoid it.

PALADIN
Still..

P

Since I have seen you, Paladin, I…
I speak to no other man.

PALADIN
You are a woman of your country.

P
You’re a man of yours.

KORO
We have traveled two nights and are not halfway out yet.

PALADIN
I know that.

KORO
The horses are jading. We could leave the wagons now, ride the horses.

PALADIN
The horses will last longer pulling than carrying.

P
Paladin! Paladin! The Rani has collapsed!

PALADIN
Well, what did she do?
Did she drink all her water the first day, or wash her hair in it?

H
I did not drink any.

PALADIN
Why not?

H
I am a Rani. I have no country, but these people, they are my subjects.
If they suffer from thirst, I do not drink.

PALADIN
Well, you haven’t earned the right to be a martyr yet.
The privileges of rank mean absolutely nothing if you let the responsibility kill you.
Now, you drink this! Punya. See that she drinks half of this, and slowly.

[]

PALADIN
“Cool hands…”pink-tipped…”like lotus budsthat float on the cool water where we used to dwell.”

P
We will make it safely, Paladin?

PALADIN
We…will make it.

P
There is no chance we will perish here in the desert, hmm?

PALADIN
None.

PALADIN
Your friend is dead!

KORO
Friend? He is the one…

PALADIN
These coins! If you hired him to kill the rani, why did you tell me about him?

KORO
Would I hire a man t…to kill me?

PALADIN
Skiri.

S
I am sorry, Paladin. Truly.

PALADIN
When did you know?

H
This morning. When your hands touched me, they were hot and rough.
So were Koro’s when he served me. Punya’s hands were cool…and damp.
Whoever emptied those barrels, they would have secreted a supply of water for…personal use.

PALADIN
Cool hands…to touch the brow of a lonely man…or drop gold coins in the hands of an Apache.

H
Where is Koro?

PALADIN
Dead.

H
Poor Koro.

PALADIN
He died as he would have wished…in your service.

H
They would wish to be sent home.

PALADIN
I’m sorry, we’ll bury them here.

H
But it is our belief that if…

PALADIN
I know your belief, and I’m sorry.

 

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