Completing the Vigil With Muttered Asides
By ice rivers
- 76 reads
If I were to engage either artificial ghost writers Casper or Jasper, I would want to test them first. It's pretty clear that Ice has a great appreciation for Richard Boone and the 1950's adult Western teevee series "Have Gun Will Travel"
Let's see how well Jasper can recap an episode of Have Gun Will Travel called The Vigil (A lesson in charity ) in the style of Ice Rivers.
Or is it me in the style of Jasper in the style of Ice Rivers?
Unt here vee go
As always, the episode begins in San Francisco in the Clermont Hotel. An inebriated Paladin is laughing uproariously and kissing a dark haired beauty who's wearing black elbow length gloves. He's playing a game of high stakes poker. His burning cigar is in the ashtray. Overlooking the scene is Adella Forsythe, a well dressed and demure woman clearly out of place in this den of debauchery.
Adella tells Heyboy that she would like to speak to Paladin now "while he' s still standing."
Heyboy says that Paladin won't speak to her now as he has just returned from 2 months of perilous jeopardy and is so tired that he "can't even sleep"
Adella observes that he "doesn't seem too tired to debauch himself"
Heyboy defends Paladin, "He unwinds best in front of evil companions."
Adelle counters, "if he's not too tired to indulge simultaneously in four amusements anyone of which would be enough to ravage the health of an ordinary man."
"He will not do what you want."
"It takes money to live the way that he does," Adella says as she drops some money into Hey Boy's plate to bring to Paladin
Paladin is sitting at the poker table during this conversation and raising the bet $250 while snuggling with the brunette in the alluring gloves. Heyboy shows Paladin the money that Adelle has put in his plate. Paladin glances at Adelle, then he puts his cigar in the mouth of the brunette and tells her to play his cards. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
(It's unclear how much money is in the pot before Paladin's raise of the bet, so let's consider only the raise of $250. The average American worker was making about $135 dollars a year.)
Adella introduces herself to Paladin while he offers her a taste of his champagne. Adella is taken a back when Paladin presents his card "Have Gun Will Travel"
Bomp, Bomp Bomp didda didd dah
Adella turns down the bottle and reveals that she is a nurse. Her father is a preacher who considers nursing an immoral occupation.
Adella explains where she wants Paladin to take her by holding up a headline from the Weekly Nugget which reads "GOLDFIELD NEVADA MOURNS PASSING OF ONLY DOCOR WITHIN !)) MILES.
Paladin wonders if Adella's offer to help has been accepted by the town. She shows Paladin a want ad posted in the paper. Doctor desperately needed….mining accident…30 injured…. some dying….need a Doctor not a nurse.Paladin listens quizzically before asking the essential question, "Why would you press your services upon those who don't want them?"
Adella reponds " I spent 4 years preparing myself and now I find that I'm not wanted. I feel like a woman who has carried a child and is not permitted to bring it into the world. A woman still needs to care, to comfort and to protect, in short to be a nurse."
Kinda first wave feminism
Paladin is touched by Adelleas kindness and although he's still drunk and sleepless. He agrees to accompany Adella if she'll "give me one day to catch up on my sleep, I'll take you anywhere you wanna go."
Adelle looks deeply onto Paladin's eyes and insists that with men dying without a doctor she won't wait another hour much less another day. "You will take me now, or I will go alone."
After riding non stop through rugged mountains, the hungover Paladin picks a place to camp. Adelle asks Paladin if he's "too tired to continue." Paladin retorts that it's the "horses that need a rest". Adelle says that it's only 2 or 3 more hours to their destination. Paladin's got an answer for that, "distrust yourself of sleep before you fight, t'is not too late tomorrow to be brave." as he climbs down from his horse.
Adella begins to climb down from her horse and opines, "the world could come to an end but a man must have his sleep."
Ever the gentleman, Paladin helps Adella down from her horse and says, "to a tired man, the world comes to an end every night.
Exasperated, Adella goes for the last word, "if the Good Lord had entrusted men with the task of childbirth, this planet would be as empty as the moon."
Paladin interprets Adella's reluctance to camp as a fear of intimacy.
"Miss Adella, I'm well aware that a woman of your high moral standard would much prefer to spend a night with a man on horseback, I can only assure you that were you to arouse the bestial side of my nature, I'm much too tired to do anything at all about it."
They begin to make camp when they hear voices in the distance. Adella insists that they visit their neighbors as someone might need help.
The neighbors, Deke and Reamer, are putting rocks upon a freshly dug grave. The neighbors offer Adellea some fresh snow water from their canteens and wish they could offer her more but "that's all we been goin' on for three days now."
Always nurturing and concerned for others, Adella suggests, "we'd be gald to share some of our supplies with you, wouldn't we Mr. Paladin?"
Paladin isn't thrilled with the idea but remains silent.
Paladin wonders who or what has just been buried.
Deke says that it was their partner Lucifer who "took the Injuns arrow in the back."
Paladin is suspicious and starts asking questions which annoys Adelle.
Deke (played by George Kennedy) wonders if Paladin is a lawman.
Paladin assures Deke that he's not a lawman but there's surely a lawman in the next town and that he intends to make a report on the grave to the lawman and "they can send somebody after you."
Deke and Reamer are clearly upset.
"we don't know nuthin."
Deke wonders if Paladin is accusing them of foul play. Reamer takes clear offense. Paldan insists that it is no private interest to him whether or not that man has an arrow in his back but as a citizen he would bear some responsibility if he kept thie situation quiet. Reamer pushes the edge of the envelpe and insists that he's not about to let Paladin accuse him of mudering his best friend without holding Paladin to account. Adella tries to ease the tension by advising Paladin to back off because "the boy is nearly out of his mind with hunger."
Deke also tries to avoid a battle and suggests that everyone accept Paladin's apology and move forward. Paladin assures the others that he has NOT apologized and heads back towards his horse. Reamer pulls a knife and charges Paladin from behind. Adella screams. Paladin draws his gun and shoots Reamer. Adelle rushes to the aid of Reamer and accuses Paladin of trying to kill an "unarmed boy."
Paladin hands Adelle the knife that she failed to notice. She puts the knife into her medicine bag.
Deke points out that Adella shouldn't blame Paladin for shooting Reamer, "I reckon a suspicious soul who's always thinking evil thoughts about his fellow man out of sheer self-preservation better be handy with a shooting iron."
Deke casts further shade on Paladin when he recalls a grave that he once saw down in Arkansas that had a " motto carved on it in another language which translated to 'evil to him which evil thinks' ".
Adella is administering to a wounded Reamer. Deke watching over the tender care figures that Reamer hasn't been treated with such kindness since the day "His Ma pushed him out of the nest with barely enough meat on his bones that he could barely sit up although he growed up to be a mighty handsome lad."
Paladin interrupts Deke with more suspicion to which Deke responds, "blame if you don't sound like one of them lawmakers always carrying on about bits and pieces and doodads that plain folks wouldn't give a second thought to." He claims that the arrow is still in the dead man's back because if they had pulled it out, it might cause a leak and all that blood come rushin out at once."
Adella is attending to Reamer's wounded arm and says to Paladin "you're not a good shot." Paladin responds tha he hit Reamer "exactly" where he wanted to hit him.
Deke approaches Paladin who instinctively draws his gun. Adella observes, "Is it impossble for a man to feel like a man without a weapon in his hand?"
Sometimes a gun is just a gun.
Reamer grasps Adella's hand and proposes that she should disengage from Paladin and that he and Deke would take her "anywheres" she wanted to go. She declines his offer and empathizes with Paladin. "I suppose he can't help being what a life of viloence has made him."
Paladin over hearing the conversation expresses his exasperation by raising his eyebrows and shaking his head just as if he is imbibing a shot of nasty moonshine whiskey.
The next morning Paladin awakens with further suspicion. He wakes up Deke because he still wants to see that arrow. Paladin wants to make sure that the Injuns killed the partner and not his own friends. Deke agrees to open the grave and "disturbing a man's eternal rest."
Adella observes Paladin's behavior and concludes that "it must be a terrible thing not to trust anybody or anything." Reamer complains of great thirst and implores Adella to fetch him some water. Adella steps away and Reamer reaches into her medicine bag and retrieves his knife which he conceals under a blanket.
Deke and Paladin are a few yards away taking the marker off the top of the gravesite. Deke wonders what Paladin intends to do if when they reach the dead body, there is no arrow. Paladin reaches for his gun in reply and directs Deke to "pick up those rocks."
Adella returns to Reamer who immediately pulls out the concealed knife and puts it to her throat. Paladin notices this and is distracted enought long enough for Deke to disarm him. The two men begin to brawl. Paladin gains an advantage and reaches for his weapon but Reamer with his knife blade at Adella's throat tells Paladin to drop his weapon which he does. Deke grabs the weapon and points it at Paladin. Reamer assured Adella that Deke is a "peaceful man who would never kill anybody." Reamer says all they want are horses so they can get out of the area before "small minded people arrive and miscarry justice with suspicion and a noose."
Deke and Reamer begin to take the horses when Deke notices Paladin's boots and surmises they might look good on Reamer. Reamer seems to agree but wonders what they should do with Adella. Deke says "you know we ain't got time enough for THAT. She's a mighty fine woman but she ain't worth hangin' for."
Deke climbs aboard Paladin's horse, still hiding Paladin's weapon. Paladin, unarmed, bootless and unhorsed asks Deke if they will send somebody back for them. Deke says "don't worry about that because you ain't goin' nowhere." He points Paladin's gun at Paladin. Adella screams. Paladin pulls out a concealed Derringer and shoots Deke. He retirieves the knife from Reamer and slaps it into Adella's hand. Reamer falls to his knees and begs Adella, "please, please don't let him take me."
Paladin pulls Reamer from his knees and ties him to his horse.
With Reamer disabled, disarmed and tied to his horse, Paladin and Adella climb into their saddles. Paladin asks Della "which way?" Adella responds, "you think I should turn back don't you? I should stop imposing my help where it isn't wanted?" (These are of course the essential questions that this entire parable is about).
Should we all retreat from a situation in which our help is not wanted?
Should we be suspicious of strangers we meet along the way?
Do we need to unbury Lucifer's body to check for arrows?
Paladin asks, "Is Goldfield still without a doctor." Adelle nods. Paladin understands and responds, "it's not too late tomow to be brave."
They head off to Goldfield which answers the essential question.
In case you haven't guessed by now, this is me and not Jasper.
To hell with Jasper.
I don't need him yet nor do I want him. I'm suspicious.
When the time comes, I might take Casper or rather my grandchildren's children might choose Casper. My legacy, whatever it is belongs to the future. I hope the vigil helps clarify exactly what I mean.
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