221-“The Eve of St. Elmo”

Season 6, Episode 28 – Original Airdate:  (March 23, 1963)

A wealthy land baron hires Paladin to find the shooter who crippled him while the townspeople pray that no more violence occurs.

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

WARREN STEVENS as Colonel Draco
(Squatter’s Rights, 1961) as Costigan
(The Yuma Treasure, 1957) as Major J. Wilson
STAR TREK: TOS (By Any Other Name, 1968) as Rojan
BRETT SOMERS as Myra Draco
(The Poker Fiend, 1960) as Sarah
CHRIS ALCAIDE as Brock March
(Lazarus, 1962) as Big Fontana
(The Bostonian, 1958) as Bill Whitney
(The High Graders, 1958) as Morgan
JERRY SUMMERS as Collie March
(Jonah and the Trout, 1962) as Orrie
(Fandango, 1961) as James Horton
PAUL L. SMITH as Sven
GEORGE KENNEDY as Brother Grace
(Don’t Shoot the Piano Player, 1962) as Big Jim
(Squatter’s Rights, 1961) as Brother Grace
(A Proof of Love, 1961) as Rud Saxon
(The Vigil, 1961) as Deke
(The Road, 1961) as Preston
(The Legacy, 1960) as Sam Tarnitzer
(A Head of Hair, 1960) as Lt. John Bryson

Trivia: Brother Grace returns again from the episode “Squatter’s Rights”

EXT. TOWN OF – DAY

PALADIN
Can you gentlemen tell me where I can find a Colonel Draco?

BROCK MARCH
So, you’re his imported butcher, are you?

COLLIE MARCH
He does have the look of an undertaker…black suit and all.
Probably uses that gun to promote his own business.

PALADIN
Friend, your assumption could be correct, but in this case I am just a man looking for Colonel Draco.

BROCK MARCH
Why don’t you find him yourself, gunfighter?

[]

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Myra. Myra!

MYRA DRACO
I’m sorry, Charles. I was just giving Sven dinner instructions…

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Never mind that now. Look out there. It’s him. It’s the man I sent for…it has to be. Mr. Paladin moves like a dancer. Myra. Watch.

BROTHER GRACE
Stop this deviltry!

PALADIN
Well, now, I did think my enemies had multiplied very quickly.

BROTHER GRACE
They call me Brother Grace. I’m a circuit minister preaching the ways of the Lord.
Whence come the wars and fighting among you and these townspeople?

PALADIN
Well, sir, I dislike being identified as a butcher, and I dislike intensely the idea of these two knocking my head in.

BROCK MARCH
He was asking for Colonel Draco.

BROTHER GRACE
Oh, then you’re the one.

PALADIN
I’m the one. Now would you mind explaining that?

BROTHER GRACE
Collie, Brock. Explain? Well, if I were versed in the use of such a tool of destruction. “At night he will ride a pale horse, but at noon he shall wear black, and we shall call him death.”

PALADIN
When I rode in here, I thought this was a nice, quiet, peaceful little town. A sane town!

BROTHER GRACE
Until you rode in, it was…a quiet town preparing to celebrate the Eve of St. Elmo.

PALADIN
Well, for a man who follows the profession you do, it seems to me you are very hasty

BROTHER GRACE
In forming your judgments. I look and I see what I see. Now hand over your weapon, and I’ll reserve my judgment.

PALADIN
Not just yet.

BROTHER GRACE
Then I’ll pray for divine guidance. Or a miracle.

BROCK MARCH
Myra.

PALADIN
Brother Grace, one question: the reception committee, who are they?

BROTHER GRACE
That’s Brock March and his son Collie. The men you were hired to kill. Miss Draco.

MYRA DRACO
I’m Myra Draco. My brother, the colonel, wishes me to take you to our house.

PALADIN
My name is Paladin.

MYRA DRACO
I know. My brother saw you fight. He was very impressed.

PALADIN
I take it you were not.

MYRA DRACO
Violence sickens me. As do those who use it.

PALADIN
Yes. Still, there are times when there is no other way.

MYRA DRACO
Men are all alike…no gentleness, no kindness. Even on a holy day.

PALADIN
The Eve of St. Elmo.

MYRA DRACO
I’m surprised you’ve heard of it.

PALADIN
Oh, yes, I’ve heard of it. Let’s see, if memory serves me properly, the belief is that if the saint receives a gift he favors, he will perform a miracle.

MYRA DRACO
And what gift do you bring, Mr. Paladin? Death?

SVEN – SERVANT
The colonel is in library.

PALADIN
Colonel Draco.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Paladin. We drink to death.

PALADIN
No, Colonel, I do not drink to death.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Death is implicit in this. And that’s a very interesting sidearm you’re wearing. Let me see it.

PALADIN
I think not.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
I like a man, doesn’t trust me. All right, take your drink and sit down. Now, we’ve spoken of death and your gun. Now, how would you define an insurrection?

PALADIN
An insurrection is an uprising against civil or military authority.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
And, uh, how are insurrections usually handled?

PALADIN
Well, according to history, they have usually been put down.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
And the leaders executed. See, I own this valley. And the river that runs down the center is mine also. The water costs the people here nothing, but the right to cross my land to get to it is revocable without notice. Recently a few have sunk wells, and now they sell the water directly to the others for a small fee, of course. But it’s not the money… it’s the challenge to my authority. Stop the leaders, and the rest will stop.

PALADIN
And the leaders would be Collie and Brock March. Well, Colonel, it seems to me if there’s been any infringement of the law, the sheriff ought to handle it.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Sheriff died over a year ago. I haven’t yet found anyone to replace him.

PALADIN
You know, I’m amazed that you haven’t handled it yourself.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Paladin, do you think I sit in that chair because I want to? Eight months ago Brock March shot me. His bullet killed my legs. Now that you’re here, your legs will be my legs, your eyes my eyes, and your gun my gun.

PALADIN
Now, Colonel, this has been a very bad mistake. I don’t hire out for hatred, I don’t hire out for revenge.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Paladin, some men buy love. I’m willing to buy hate.

PALADIN
I’ve been tempted many times to use this gun as an instrument of judgment. To be judge, jury and executioner. I have thus far resisted the temptation, and I don’t believe I’ll make an exception in this case, even for that.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Now, you don’t fool me, Paladin. Cautious, gentle of speech… not like the others. Oh, yes, Paladin, you’re the man I want, all right.

PALADIN
Colonel, the very best I’ll do for you is investigate your claims tomorrow.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
You’ll do more than that, Paladin, and you’ll do it tonight. This whole town has been warned. They want a miracle, do they? All right, we’ll give them a miracle. And an object lesson as well: the death of those who defy my authority.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Sven!

SVEN – SERVANT
Is bad, is bad you be angry.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
What? I’m all right, I’m all right. I just need a little rest. We’ll talk later, Paladin, after dinner. There’s no one on my side…unless it’s you.

INT.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Where is she?

SVEN – SERVANT
– I tell her we eat now.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
– Hmm.
Myra!

157
00:10:57,804 –> 00:11:00,170
I’m sorry.

158
00:11:00,306 –> 00:11:04,333
Well, the table is not alone in its elegance tonight.

159
00:11:04,477 –> 00:11:06,138
Thank you.

160
00:11:06,279 –> 00:11:08,270
Sven, the wine, please. Mr. Paladin. You’re late.

M
I was looking for this.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
You wear our mother’s brooch? Mr. Paladin, you would have admired our mother. She was strong. When our father died, she took the land that he left her, the poor land, made it grow wheat and corn. She had 50 working men eating her salt and bread. They feared her. And they had reason to. Yes, Mr. Paladin, she was what a woman ought to be.

[]

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Well, Mr. Paladin, perhaps your temptation to use your weapon is increasing.

PALADIN
Perhaps.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
I think that bullet was meant for you.

PALADIN
That possibility had occurred to me.

MYRA DRACO
Perhaps it was meant as a warning.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Yes, maybe it was just a stray bullet from the gun of some drunken cowboy.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Well, Brother Grace. This is an unusual honor.

BROTHER GRACE
I have come especially to invite you to the services at midnight.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
You think my presence will effect your miracle for you?

BROTHER GRACE
Your presence may itself be the miracle.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Yes, the manifestation of the divine intervention in the course of human affairs. All right, Brother. I shall be there. We’ll all be there.

BROTHER GRACE
Hmm. The man in black. There is no reason for you to be there.

PALADIN
Brother Grace, I think perhaps this might be reason enough. It was just fired through that window. I dug it out of the fireplace.

BROTHER GRACE
Until then.

MYRA DRACO
I’ll show you out, Brother Grace.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Paladin, I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me. Especially when the chips are golden, huh? We have an hour to dress for St. Elmo. Let’s not disappoint him. Sven?

MYRA DRACO
Is that why you’re going? To earn that?

PALADIN
Is it Brock, Myra? How did Brock happen to shoot your brother?

MYRA DRACO
It happened out there, in the streets. My brother called him names, then he began to hit him with a buggy whip. But it wasn’t just the water rights. Brock’s a widower. He passed a few words with me. He looked at me as though I were a woman! My brother hates me, but I’m all he’s got left.

PALADIN
Brock and his son will be there tonight.

MYRA DRACO
Oh, yes. Why else would my brother go and take you?

PALADIN
I understand that. And I believe that St. Elmo might be happier seeing you in something just a little less somber.

MYRA DRACO
I should have known. Oh.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
Now. I said, now.

PALADIN
Yes, sir, I suppose now is just as good a time as any.

BROTHER GRACE
The gunfighter gives up his guns? A miracle indeed, Mr. Paladin.

Brethren, St. Elmo has indeed answered our prayers.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
No! That was not the miracle. But you shall have one.

[]

c
Brock. Paladin.

SVEN – SERVANT
– No!

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
You cheated me. You want a miracle, huh?

V
Please.

COLONEL CHARLES DRACO
– I will show you a miracle!
– Please.

PALADIN
Sven, you fired that bullet at the house tonight, didn’t you?

SVEN – SERVANT
I only want frighten you away. All his hate…

PALADIN
Well, the Colonel had one friend, didn’t he, Sven? I’m sorry it ended this way.

BROTHER GRACE
Which was the miracle, Mr. Paladin? Your giving up your gun? Colonel Draco walking? Or the death which struck him down?

PALADIN
Brother Grace, who’s to say what constitutes a miracle? Hmm. All of these things might have been miracles, or none of them. I’ll leave that decision to you and to…St. Elmo.

BROTHER GRACE
Or perhaps is this the miracle? That these words echo clearly: “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Let us pray.

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