Paladin: Beef stew. How is the beef stew?
Barkeep: Well, that depends. How hungry are you?
(A well-dressed young lady enters the lobby)
Miss Kirkland: I say! Would you please notify Mr. Paladin that Miss Kirkland is in the lobby?
Hey Boy: Mr. Pa--(notices a newspaper shaking at him) Uh, uh, hmmm, he, uh, out just now. Gone to Los Angeles, or maybe Denver.
Kirkland: Well, uh, I could wait.
Hey Boy: Uh, I think maybe he's in Chicago, or Detroit.
Kirkland: I just don't know.
Hey Boy: I will tell him you call. (Second well-dressed lady enters as the first leaves.)
Lady: Mr. Paladin's expecting me. You may tell him Miss Amesworth's arrived. (Miss Kirkland freezes in her tracks; Hey Boy peeks over the newspaper.)
Hey Boy: You go?
Paladin: (Whispering)Hey Boy, I go to Detroit, Chicago, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Calcutta, and possibly Bangkok. (To a young boy with a lollypop who has been an interested onlooker) And you, young gentleman, someday you too may be in trouble. (Sticks his card on the wet lollypop and makes a hasty exit.)
First man: Which way did he go, Mister?
Paladin: Which way'd who go?
Second man: Boise Peabody. Well, I never knowed a critter could move so fast without the aid of buckshot.
Paladin: What's he done, this--Boise Peabody?
First: Ain't what he's done, Mister. It's what he ain't done!
Second: Yeah, see these? (Holds out some frilly garments) Big Fontana won 'em off a drummer passin' through. "Fetch Boise," says he. "And we's gonna have ourselves some entertainment". Eh?
Paladin: Well, you mean to have Boise Peabody wear those?
First: Aw, look, sonny, some of the men back at the camp ain't looked at a woman since the Boom, if ya catch my meanin'. (Chuckles)
Paladin: Well, it's a kind a a cruel sport for Boise Peabody, isn't it?
Second: Hey, hey, that ain't Philadelphia up ahead. "Fetch Boise," says Big Fontana, and when Big Fontana says "jump" you'd better not be caught with your feet on the ground.
Boise: Well, Doc?
Halsop: Boise, you know, that, uh, medicine's still an infant science. So many things we don't even have a label for yet, let alone a cure for.
Boise: Uh, don't tiptoe with me now.
Halsop: Look at it this way, son. At least it's dying with a bed under you.
Halsop: Well, the mortality statistics the way they are in most mining camps, you realize what the odds are against you getting a break like that?
Boise: Doc, uh, ain't there nothin' you can do? Nothin' at all? Well, to come so sudden-like, with no warnin'!
Halsop: Well, that's the way it goes sometimes. A man's walking around full of vinegar, and next thing he knows, they're shoveling dirt in his face.
Boise: Oh, when I was a sprig, how I was gonna set the world on fire! Now look at me. I ain't even struck the first match yet.
Halsop: It's a handsome pair of boots. You know, it just seems a downright pity to leave 'em here for just anybody to make off with.
Boise: Help yourself, Doc.
Halsop: Thank you kindly. Uh, how about the mac?
Boise: I'd just done one thing. Made a mark of some kind. This way, it's like I passed through life, didn't even leave a footprint. Who's to even know I'm gone? (Halsop has been helping himself to more of Boise's valuables.)
Halsop: Well, it's too late now, that's water under the bridge.
Boise: There's the inscription for my tombstone. "Too Late".
(Paladin has been forced into a drinking contest with Big Fontana, and lost. As the crowd heads for the bar, Paladin grabs Fontana's bottle and tastes it.)
Paladin: Hey! That's water! I drank whiskey, he drank the chaser; here! Champion. You're not a champion, you're a four-flushing fraud, Fontana.
Fontana: I said I was champ of everything. Well, there's another game I like to play, Shorty. Loser gets to ride through town in a pine box! (Tosses coins on the table) Now, there's fifty dollars. You match it, Shorty! That way, who comes in second best, his funeral's paid for in advance!
Boise: Don't do it, Mister! He'll gun ya with your hand in your pocket!
Fontana: I surely hope you got your burial money saved up, Boise.
Boise: I didn't come here for to die, Fontana. I come here to watch you die.
Fontana: I'm thinkin' some deck's shy a joker!
Paladin: Boise. Boise, do you know what you're doing?
Boise: Stick around and see.
Fontana: You do like the little fellow says, Shorty. You just wait your turn. Now, tell ya what, Boise. Since you're so all-fired anxious to kiss the sawdust, you draw first! (Fontana's grin fades as Boise looks steadily at him, then draws his gun and fires. Men crowd around the fallen Fontana) I don't get it! His eyes! He wasn't even scared! (Dies)
Onlooker: Here. I ought to tell you, Boise. You just bought yourself a part interest in an earthquake. That's only 'alf the Fontana clan lying there. You wait til you meet the little brother.
Boise: Should he come lookin', he won't have any trouble locatin' me. (To Paladin) Little Fontana won't have any trouble findin' me. On account of by the time he gets here, I'll be sleepin' off the eternities on Boot Hill. The doc gave me till mornin', Mister. And that's stretching the blanket some.
Paladin: Ah. And that accounts for the foolishness here.
Boise: Tell ya something, Mister. There ain't but a little bit of difference between being' dead and bein' foolish. I've been dead all of my life. Tonight, with one little bit of foolishness, I come alive for the first time.
(Boise wakes up after a good night's sleep.)
Boise: Oh, no!
Paladin: Well, good morning.
Boise: Good? What's good about it? I'm alive!
Paladin: So I see.
Boise: But I'm supposed to be dead! Doc Halsop promised me! Not only I ain't dead, I never felt better in my life! What am I gonna do?
Paladin: Change doctors.
Boise: Look. You're an expert in this field. Now, if I was to hire you to stand up for me-
Paladin: Boise, when you gunned down Big Fontana, you killed the incumbent champion, and that makes you the new champion. You've gotta defend that crown against all comers whether you want to or not, and I am not gonna stay here in Hell and Gone and protect you from all challengers.
Boise: Can't I resign my championship?
Paladin: That crown will not come off without a bullet.
Boise: Then I--I'm runnin'.
Paladin: Boise. No matter how far you run, that legend'll catch up with you sooner or later, and that's a sober fact I've learned to live with.
Boise: You've gotta think of something. You owe me that much. For savin' your life!
Paladin: Well, I don't wonder that you're still alive. You've got too much brass to die.
Paladin: Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. I don't believe any man here can really say in which category the deceased belonged. One thing is clear. The world has lost a brave, a valiant heart. A humble man. A man of small pretensions. Boise Peabody's dying wish was that--
Little Fontana: Boise Peabody! I come to see my brother buried. Not the little sneak that killed him. Fill it up!
Paladin: Now, wait a minute. After the ceremony, all right?
Little F.: Fill it up!
(Boise pushes through the crowd)
Boise: Stop! Stop! The proudest moment of my life. The whole mining camp turned out to pay their last respects, and you ain't gonna spoil it for me.
Halsop: Boise? Ain't you dead?
Little F.: He is now.
Once again, Paladin turns to his favorite author, Shakespeare. His graveside quote comes from Twelvth Night, Act 2, Scene 5, line 159:
"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them".
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