219-“Sweet Lady of the Moon”

Season 6, Episode 26 – Original Airdate:  (March 9, 1963)

<= 218 – “The Walking Years == The Savages” – 220 =>

Paladin is hired to protect a murderer who was declared criminally insane but has been pronounced cured.

Directed by Richard Boone, Written by Harry Julian Fink.

CRAHAN DENTON as Carl Soddenberg
(The Trap, 1962) as Marshal Jim Buell
(The Puppeteer, 1960) as Jack Burnaby (Dr. Humbug)
RICHARD SHANNON as Dr. Weiser
(Alice, 1962) as Morgan
(A Knight to Remember, 1961) as the Escort
(The Ledge, 1960) as Cass Richards
(Alaska, 1959) as Carl Grimes
(The Moor’s Revenge, 1958) as Ben Jackson
(The Ballad of Oscar Wilde, 1958) as Jim Rook
(Bitter Wine, 1958) as Tim Gorman
HARRY CAREY JR. as Ben Murdock
(Face of a Shadow, 1963) as Earl Tibner
(Taylor’s Woman, 1962) as Thad Taylor
(Jonah and the Trout, 1962) as Jonah Quincy
(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
DOROTHY DELLS as Mary Murdock
(The Fifth Bullet, 1962) as Emmy Bartlett
(One, Two, Three, 1962) as Girl
(A Knight to Remember, 1961) as Rita – the Woman
(The Campaign of Billy Banjo, 1960) … Mrs. Fred Wade
(Fight at Adobe Wells, 1960) as Madge Mattock
(The Golden Toad, 1959) as Jacqueline
ROBERT STEVENSON as Sheriff
(Be Not Forgetful of Strangers, 1962) as Jake
(A Miracle for St. Francis, 1962) as Lundeen
(Pandora’s Box, 1962) as Woody – Hannah’s Husband
(Squatter’s Rights, 1961) as Clemenceau
(The Gold Bar, 1961) as Patrolman
(The Last Judgement, 1961) as Cutler
(The Night the Town Died, 1960) as Sheriff Howard
(The Colonel and the Lady, 1957) as Steve
HAL NEEDHAM as Jimmy Traynor (uncredited)
JOAN SWIFT as Woman (uncredited)

INT. HOTEL CARLTON – PALADIN’S HOTEL SUITE – EVENING

[Paladin is entertaining a beautiful woman who apparently becomes angry at him]

PALADIN
But I assure you…I, uh, um, assure you…Hey Boy, do you know what an emancipationist it? A feminist?

HEY BOY
Yes, she want to vote.

PALADIN
Exactly, exactly, she wants to vote.

HEY BOY
You insulted her?

PALADIN
No, I said…I merely explained to her that women are the heavenly roses of our earthly existence, the most precious flower in the universe, and that being the case, I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why she wanted to waste the entire evening discussing universal suffrage.

HEY BOY
Oh.

PALADIN
“MAD-DOG KILLER FREED. EDITORIAL. Today, the Supreme Court of this state freed a lunatic murderer on the grounds he didn’t know what he was doing when he cruelly killed Charles Trainer, his wife and eight-year-old son. Well, this newspaper says hogwash. Doctors at the lunatic asylum have announced that murderer Carl Soddenberg will be transferred from prison to the state asylum for a voluntary arrest before being returned to society again, before being sent to another unsuspecting community. Maybe so, but maybe the kin of Soddenberg’s victims will have something to say about that.”

EXT. ON THE RANGE – DAY

PALADIN
Dr. Weiser?

DR. WEISER
Paladin?

PALADIN
Where’s Soddenberg?

DR. WEISER
He’s still with the Sheriff.

PALADIN
Doctor. You have a personal interest in this.

DR. WEISER
No more than anyone else concerned with the advancement of mental medicine. Carl Soddenberg is a symbol. He’s the first murderer in the history of this state to respond to therapy and be adjudged cured of a mental disorder and be returned to society. It is important that he does not revert.

PALADIN
Well, I hope he doesn’t.

DR. WEISER
I’ve arranged a meeting with the Sheriff. Shall we start?

SHERIFF
Weiser. This Paladin?

DR. WEISER
That is right.

SHERIFF
All right, let’s just make sure we understand each other. I give you Soddenberg, you take him across the county line. After that, I have no more responsibility.

DR. WEISER
That is right. I’ll pick up supplies and meet you at Murdock’s.
Murdock will guide you through the mountain.

PALADIN
And I am to take Soddenberg directly to the hospital at Marysville.

DR. WEISER
That is right.

PALADIN
Any sign of trouble?

SHERIFF
You want to start now?

PALADIN
Now, the family of the man that Soddenberg killed, the Trainers, are they friends of yours?

SHERIFF
Friends enough. But friends or no, this isn’t the kind of a job I’d take for money.

PALADIN
Nor I. It just happens that I don’t believe in lynch law. Now, where is he?

[]

PALADIN
Is this where you’ve been keeping him?!

SHERIFF
Better than having my jail burn down with him in it and me in it. We let him out for a half an hour every night.

PALADIN
How long has he been in here?

SHERIFF
Since the court freed him.

PALADIN
Give me the key!

CARL SODDENBERG
I purely need a shave and a bath. How are you, Doctor?

DR. WEISER
How are you, Carl?

CARL SODDENBERG
I feel pretty good.

[]

CARL SODDENBERG (SINGING)
She dressed herself in scarlet and red And rode on over to town. Now, that was good. The shave was good, the bath was good. In the asylum, they used to make us take a bath once a month, whether we needed it or not. I thank you for knowing that…if I have got something, whatever it is, it isn’t catching. You have chains.

PALADIN
Not for you. I have sometimes hunted men, so I have sometimes carried chains.

CARL SODDENBERG
Would you feel better if they were on me?

PALADIN
Some.

CARL SODDENBERG
I’m willing.

PALADIN
No. Mr. Soddenberg, I’m here to help you, not to hurt you.

CARL SODDENBERG
We’re going to Ben Murdock’s.

PALADIN
That’s right. We’ll meet Dr. Weiser there. He’s bringing supplies.

CARL SODDENBERG
The old doctor.
He’s done a lot for me in his own way.

PALADIN
Ben Murdock a friend of yours?

CARL SODDENBERG
Ben Murdock’s a friend of the world. They burned his house down once because he hid me before the trial, before they caught me. I’d purely hate to go back.

EXT. MURDOCK RANCH HOUSE – DAY

CARL SODDENBERG
Hello, Ben. Trouble’s come back.

BEN MURDOCK
I’m glad to see you, Carl. Step down and come on in and eat with us.

CARL SODDENBERG
If you’ll pardon us, Ben, we’ve already had dinner.

MARY MURDOCK
Ben…I’d rather he stayed in the shed. I want you to have this shirt of Ben’s.

CARL SODDENBERG
I thank you.

MARY MURDOCK
I’m scared of you, Carl. I can’t help it. I’m afraid for my baby. I’ve already lost one.

CARL SODDENBERG
I understand that.

MARY MURDOCK
You’re welcome in, Mister.

PALADIN
No.

MARY MURDOCK
Mister? I ain’t as bad as you think. He’s two men. One of them I like real well, but…the other one done those things they said he did, and if he’s here to stay, I want you to put chains on him.

BEN MURDOCK
Go in the house, Mary. Now, the Trainers are in these hills. There’s a brother, cousins and uncle. They’re hot; they’re angry. There ain’t no telling. You sleep light.

PALADIN
Murdock, why are you helping him?

BEN MURDOCK
‘Cause he needs help.

INT. SHEDD

CARL SODDENBERG
You afraid of the Trainers
or me?

PALADIN
Both.

CARL SODDENBERG
That’s honest. Plain honest. I like that.

PALADIN
Honest like the woman.

CARL SODDENBERG
Yes. Like her.

PALADIN
She’s honest because she’s built that way. I’m being honest with you because if I weren’t, it’d show and there wouldn’t be any point to it. Now, you, every man wants to be loved, appreciated. It takes a very reasonable man to understand that…that can’t always be the case.

CARL SODDENBERG
Yes. A very reasonable man. Or a…a madman.

PALADIN
Well, Dr. Weiser has a lot of hope, belief in you.

CARL SODDENBERG
It’s important to him to believe in me. He took me a long way. He took me a long way. Did he ever tell you about me?

PALADIN
No, not much.

CARL SODDENBERG
I got the feelings when I was about 12 years old. I had to kill things. Once it was a cat. Another time a dog. A cute woolly lamb. Finally a man. His name was Bert Sydney. He liked the kids. He gave me an old rusty pen knife. I slit his throat with it. Before long, that old town was all up in arms. They were scared to death of the… mad dog that was roaming free. I don’t blame them. Golly, I-I felt so…You can’t understand what unhappiness is, what it is to lose hope, to despair…unless you’ve had what I had. When I killed something, I…I felt better. I was… I was relieved. The whole world smelled sweet again. The whole world smelled sweet again.

PALADIN
And does the whole world smell sweet again now, Soddenberg?

CARL SODDENBERG
If you don’t believe me, you can put the chains on. But-but don’t push me. I am a human being, and I’ve got a bad temper. I’d hate to be put away again because I lost my temper. I’ve kept steady for…eight years and six months.

[]

PALADIN
Mr. Soddenberg, I thank you.

CARL SODDENBERG
It is my war, too.

BEN MURDOCK
Paladin!

[]

BEN MURDOCK
That one dead?

PALADIN
Yes, sir.

BEN MURDOCK
And these two. This one. Jimmy Trainer, age 19.

PALADIN
Well, that charge was a foolish thing, but in some ways, you can’t blame them.

CARL SODDENBERG
Do you blame them, Ben?

BEN MURDOCK
We’d better bury them.

CARL SODDENBERG
I asked you, Ben…do you blame them?

BEN MURDOCK
Carl, I got no warmth in me for any man today.

CARL SODDENBERG
I ask too much.

BEN MURDOCK
Paladin. Carl and I are old friends. He’ll come back with me.

PALADIN
Murdock, you don’t find him by nightfall, you come on back. There was a rifle on that horse.

DR. WEISER
I saw the fresh graves out there. What happened?

PALADIN
Step down, Doctor, and I’ll tell you all about it.

[]

PALADIN
Soddenberg, bring that rifle in with you.
And bring it in easy.

CARL SODDENBERG
Guess there’s no place for me to go, Doctor, but back to you.

PALADIN
You see Ben Murdock?

CARL SODDENBERG
No. I didn’t see him.

PALADIN
I’ll go look for him.

CARL SODDENBERG
You’d better chain me up first.

DR. WEISER
No. That’s not necessary.

CARL SODDENBERG
You chain me. With her condition and all, Mary will feel better. And I’ll feel better.

PALADIN
You got enough water to last you tonight, tomorrow morning? I’m gonna chain him to that pump out there. Would you hold this for me?

MARY MURDOCK
I’m afraid for Ben.

DR. WEISER
He shouldn’t be chained.

PALADIN
You want me to turn him loose? You that sure? Or are you just playing a calculated risk?

DR. WEISER
Carl Soddenberg is harmless.

PALADIN
You believe that?

DR. WEISER
Yes.

PALADIN
Do you know that?

DR. WEISER
One does not know…

PALADIN
And you want me to turn him loose?

[]

PALADIN
Hyah! Doctor? Dr. Weiser? Doctor?

DR. WEISER
Carl?

CARL SODDENBERG
Dr. Weiser, I’m no animal. Did he leave the keys with you?

DR. WEISER
Is it coming back, Carl?

CARL SODDENBERG
No, no. But I’m no animal. I’m no animal.

DR. WEISER
I don’t have the keys, Carl. Carl. Carl? Carl.

CARL SODDENBERG
Run away. Please run away. Run away. Please run away. Please run away.

[]

CARL SODDENBERG
Please go away. Please.

[Paladin shoots Carl dead]

DR. WEISER
Next time. Next time.

PALADIN
Doctor, Ben Murdock is dead.

D
We shall try again and again.

PALADIN
I’ll bury Soddenberg. Then I’ll go get Ben. Is there anything else I can do? Money? Anything?

MARY MURDOCK
You can stay till I get a hired man.

PALADIN
I’ll do that.

MARY MURDOCK
I hope he looks like his father. Ugly as a scarecrow, tall as a mountain and strong as an oak.

PALADIN
He was a brave and gentle man.

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