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A Tribute to
One of TV's
Finest Shows

The Lost Episode
The Masquerade - Act I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

HAVE GUN-- WILL TRAVEL

The Masquerade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1.


 

ACT I

 

FADE IN:

EXT. - HOTEL CARLTON - DAY - ESTABLISHING

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. - HOTEL LOBBY

Debonair, San Francisco PALADIN is relaxing on a SETTEE, absorbed in his NEWSPAPER. A glass of BRANDY rests nearby on an END TABLE. Various PEOPLE MOVE briskly along, in front of and behind him.

ANGLE ON PALADIN
HE STOPS reading without looking up, seems PUZZLED, lowers his paper and SNIFFS the air.

PALADIN
 (to self)
                Now, let's see... that's jasmine...
                rose, lily of the valley....

                             (a beat)
                Sofia!

HE PUTS DOWN the PAPER and LOOKS UP.

POV SHOT - WHAT HE SEES
SOFIA, a tall, well-built, red-haired WOMAN of significant BEARING, about THIRTY YEARS OLD, is GLOWERING down AT HIM with obvious IRRITATION.

ANOTHER ANGLE - PALADIN AND SOFIA
As SHE STANDS above him. PALADIN is paralyzed for an instant, then HE JUMPS to his feet.

                             PALADIN
                       (a little nervous)
                Now, Sofia...

                              SOFIA
                             (angry)
                Don't you "now" me, Paladin! We have
                some unfinished business, you and I.

                             PALADIN
                That was five years ago-- and I've
                apologized a dozen times!

 


2.

                              SOFIA
                Your letters don't mean anything to
                me! Did you think you could avoid
                this forever?

ANGLE ON PALADIN
HE MAKES a FACE as if to say "Well, maybe..."

ANOTHER ANGLE - TWO-SHOT

                              SOFIA
                Well, the answer is no!

SOFIA pulls a DERRINGER out of her HANDBAG and aims it at PALADIN, whose DEMEANOR now grows much SOFTER and more SERIOUS.

                             PALADIN
                      (a bit melodramatic)
                Sofia, I swear I have been pining
                over you ever since that fateful night.

                              SOFIA
                I don't believe you.

ANGLE ON PALADIN

                             PALADIN
                       (soft and sincere)
                Don't you?

                       (points to his eyes)
                Look here.

SOFIA AND PALADIN
As HE STARES into HER EYES, and SHE STARTS TO MELT. PALADIN inches CLOSER.

                             PALADIN
                Sofia... mi amore...

                              SOFIA
                           (weakening)
                Stay back....

THEY ARE very CLOSE now. HE TAKES the DERRINGER away with ONE HAND and CARESSES her CHEEK with the OTHER. SHE STARES hopelessly into HIS EYES and they KISS deeply.

 


3.


ANOTHER ANGLE
As THEY continue the KISS. HEY BOY is BIG in the BACKGROUND at the front DESK. HE grabs a TELEGRAM and comes RUNNING OVER.

                             HEY BOY
                Mr. Paladin! Mr. Paladin!

PALADIN and SOFIA are still LOCKED in amorous EMBRACE. PALADIN MOTIONS HIM AWAY with one hand, but HEY BOY is OBLIVIOUS.

                             HEY BOY
                     (taps him on shoulder)
                Mr. Paladin?

                             PALADIN
                          (irritated)
                Hey Boy, at the moment I am somewhat
                involv--

                             HEY BOY
                         (interrupting)
                Important telegram, Mr. Paladin--
                you needed immediately!

PALADIN sighs, TAKES THE TELEGRAM with ONE HAND, READS it briefly, LOOKS helplessly at SOFIA, TAKES HER HAND.

                             SOFIA
                Oh, no... not again!... I'm
                warning you...

HE KISSES her HAND, STEPS BACK from the embrace and STARTS to LEAVE.

                             SOFIA
                Don't you dare...!

HE LEAVES and quickly BOUNDS UP the STAIRS.

                             SOFIA
                       (calling after him)
                Come back here, Paladin! Come back
                here this instant!...

                     (furious, stamps foot)
                Ooooo!



4.


DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. - PALADIN IN THE OPEN RANGE
HE'S RIDING at a nice TROT, TOWARD US, then STOPS his HORSE at the significant INTERSECTION of FIVE dirt TRAILS, and LOOKS AROUND trying to get his BEARINGS.

POV SHOT - WHAT HE SEES
In the distance, WE SEE the small BUILDINGS of a TOWN just a SHORT RIDE away. PALADIN SWINGS his HORSE around a few times, as if trying to DECIDE which WAY to go, then HEADS for the TOWN.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. - THE TOWN
As PALADIN RIDES IN. It's a NONDESCRIPT TOWN, like so many others of the old west, with NO DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS. PALADIN PULLS UP outside a SALOON, climbs OFF his HORSE and LOOKS around.

INT. - THE SALOON
PALADIN LOOKS AROUND a bit, HEADS FOR the BAR and its BARTENDER.

                            BARTENDER
                What'll it be?

                             PALADIN
                Whiskey. Your best... and directions.

PALADIN FLIPS a COIN on the BAR. The BARTENDER GRABS a GLASS and BOTTLE and POURS.

                            BARTENDER
                Try this... smooth as silk.

PALADIN GRUNTS skeptically and DOWNS the SHOT. Then HE GRIMACES, EXHALES and SHAKES his HEAD as if he's just SWALLOWED ROTGUT.

                             PALADIN
                    (bemused sarcasm, raspy)
                Right... silk....

                            BARTENDER
                       (misinterprets, beams)
                So, where is it you're headed?

                             PALADIN
                           (recovering)
                Clines Corners.

 


5.

                            BARTENDER
                You're on the right track. You come
                in through five-points, from the west?

PALADIN NODS.

                            BARTENDER
                Just go back out that way, 'bout two
                miles past the points, turn north 'til
                you reach a patch of tall trees, go
                straight for 'em and you'll pick up the
                trail. It's around twenty-five miles
                from there.

                             PALADIN
                Thank you.

HE TURNS to leave. As HE REACHES the swinging DOORS HE PAUSES, and MAKES A FACE.

ANOTHER ANGLE
AS PALADIN TURNS and RETRACES his STEPS. HE STOPS next to a TABLE with THREE MEN, one of whom is WILSON, DRESSED AS A MINISTER. THE OTHER two are somewhat DANGEROUS-LOOKING MEN.

                             PALADIN
                You preaching temperance today,                 minister?

                             WILSON
                That I am, stranger. Perhaps I can
                show you the light as well.

                             PALADIN
                             (laughs)
                Perhaps, but I'm afraid this day is
                a lost cause.

                             WILSON
                Another time, then, friend.

PALADIN SMILES, TURNS to LEAVE and TAKES a STEP, then HE STOPS and RETURNS to the TABLE.

                             PALADIN
                Say, friend... your name wouldn't be                 Elias Wickler, would it?

 


6.


ANGLE ON WILSON
HE DOES NOT CHANGE EXPRESSION, but HIS HANDS go UNDER the TABLE. The two DANGEROUS-LOOKING MEN exchange SURPRISED LOOKS. After a beat...

                             MAN #1
                Well, how 'bout that, reverend!? He                 got your first name, at least-- dead                 on! Plucked it clean out o' thin air!

                             MAN #2
                Ain't that amazin'!

MAN #1 and MAN #2 LAUGH and CAJOLE, but WILSON SMILES WEAKLY.

                             WILSON
                Elias is my first name-- and not an                 uncommon one at that. But my last
                name's Wilson.

                             PALADIN
                          (more serious)
                Quite the coincidence, minister, wouldn't
                you agree? I look at the face of a man, a                 complete stranger, and I can divine his                 first name and last initial.

                             WILSON
                Stranger things have happened.

ANGLE ON PALADIN
HE CROUCHES, HIS RIGHT-HAND MOVES QUICKLY, and HE DRAWS his GUN.

                             PALADIN
                         (deadly serious)
                Get 'em on the table, Wickler! Get 'em                 up there before I put a hole in you!

ANOTHER ANGLE
MAN #1 and MAN #2 immediately STAND UP and BACK AWAY from the TABLE. The SALOON turns QUIET. WILSON PUTS his HANDS on the TABLE.

                             WILSON
                I don't understand.... my name's
                Wilson... just ask anyone....

                             PALADIN
                Stand up! Now!

 


7.


WILSON RISES, but his HANDS are LOW.

                             PALADIN
                Get 'em up there!

WILSON RAISES his HANDS.

                             WILSON
                You must have me confused... I'm                 tellin' you-- I'm Elias Wilson.

                             PALADIN
                         (scowling, loud)
                Elias Wickler... Quantrill's lieutenant...
                Confederate arsonist at Lawrence,
                Kansas! How many people did you murder,
                Wickler?

ANGLE ON WILSON

                             WILSON
                         (shakes head no)
                None. You're wrong.

BACK TO SHOT

                             PALADIN
                I saw your carnage and I've seen your                 wanted-poster. This how you've stayed                 free all these years? This hypocritical
                masquerade?

                             WILSON
                You've got the wrong man, friend-- I
                swear it. I was up in Canada those                 years. I never even saw the war.

                             PALADIN
                Tell it to The Law.

PALADIN MOTIONS with his GUN for WILSON to go OUTSIDE. Suddenly WE HEAR OFFSCREEN a MAN'S VOICE...

                        MAN'S VOICE O.S.
                Hold it, mister!

 


8.


PALADIN SWINGS HIS HEAD around to LOOK at the SOURCE of the VOICE.

PALADIN'S POV - WHAT HE SEES
The MAN'S VOICE belongs to LUCAS MCCAIN, a.k.a. THE RIFLEMAN, and MCCAIN is AIMING his RIFLE DIRECTLY at PALADIN from a DISTANCE of about TWENTY FEET.

                             MCCAIN
                          (continuing)
                You want something with Reverend Wilson?

                        (to an Onlooker)
                Get the marshal.

The ONLOOKER RUSHES OUT of the saloon.

                             PALADIN
                That's right. I want to bring him                 to justice.

                             MCCAIN
                Your justice? Gunfighter justice?

                             PALADIN
                This war criminal burned an entire town.
                He killed innocent women and children!

                             MCCAIN
                That's your story. To us, the reverend's                 been an upright citizen.

                             PALADIN
                For how long? And I'd appreciate                 it if you'd lower that rifle.

ANGLE ON MCCAIN
HE LOOKS DOWN toward PALADIN's GUN, still AIMED at WILSON.

ANGLE ON PALADIN
HE LOOKS at WILSON with skepticism, then HOLSTERS his GUN after a FEW BEATS.

ANOTHER ANGLE
MCCAIN LOWERS HIS RIFLE. North Fork Marshal MICAH TORRANCE ENTERS the bar, and SPOTS MCCAIN.

                             MICAH
                What's going on, Luke?

 


9.

                             MCCAIN
                Man in black over there was holding
                Reverend Wilson at gunpoint, claims                 he's a war criminal.

                       (indicates Paladin)
                Looks like a gunfighter.

MICAH WALKS up to PALADIN.

                             MICAH
                          (to Paladin)
                You'll have to turn over your gun and                 come with me.

                             PALADIN
                What!?

                             MICAH
                That's right-- I'm placing you                 under arrest.

                             PALADIN
                On what possible charge?

                             MICAH
                Firearms violation. Drawing on an
                unarmed man.

PALADIN SCOWLS in disbelief. MICAH HOLDS out his HAND. PALADIN GLANCES over at MCCAIN, who looks READY to use his RIFLE.

PALADIN SIGHS, LIFTS his ARMS and LETS MICAH TAKE his GUN. MICAH then AIMS IT at PALADIN.

                             MICAH
                          (to Paladin)
                Let's go.

PALADIN WALKS OUT of the SALOON with MICAH right BEHIND HIM. PALADIN takes a HARD LOOK at MCCAIN on the way out.

ANOTHER ANGLE
MCCAIN LOOKS at WILSON with MILD SKEPTICISM, then MCCAIN LEAVES the saloon.

ANGLE ON WILSON
Again, practically EXPRESSIONLESS.

FADE OUT.

                            END ACT I


CLICK HERE FOR ACT II

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