Season 3 Episode 5

The Cats of Paradise

Aired Sunday 6:30 PM Oct 11, 1959 on ABC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

The Cats of Paradise
Bret Maverick falls for a soft-spoken girl with an angelic face named Modesty Blaine. They enter into a partnership to sell cats to a mining camp overrun by rats. But while Modesty might have the face of an angel, she has the soul of a rattlesnake which causes our hero numerous undue hardships.moreless

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    Buddy Ebsen

    Buddy Ebsen

    Sheriff Scratch Mannon

    Guest Star

    Wendell Holmes

    Wendell Holmes

    Mayor Uli Bemus

    Guest Star

    Lance Fuller

    Lance Fuller

    Faro Jack Norcross

    Guest Star

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (1)

      • There really is a town in California named Paradise, as depicted in the episode. It was originally called "Pair o'Dice" by miners. Over the years, the name morphed into Paradise.

    • QUOTES (23)

      • Pappyism: A man who sticks his head in the sand makes an awfully good target.

      • Pappyism: A fox isn't sly, he just can't think any slower.

      • Pappyism: You can be a gentleman and still not forget all you know about self-defense.

      • Bret: You were planning on buying $500 worth of cat?
        Modesty: That's right. That's why I sold my gold claim in Paradise. They need cats in Paradise, Mr. Maverick, need them desperately.
        Bret: To join the heavenly chorus?
        Modesty: No, silly. Paradise is a small mining town and they're havin' terrible trouble with rats.
        Bret: Some of 'em are probably friends of mine.

      • (Bret and Modesty are buying cats)
        Modesty: But why only boy cats?
        Bret: They travel smoother.
        Modesty: I thought they always fought?
        Bret: Only in mixed company.

      • Hanrahan: Uh, say, Maverick, 'course I'm not a nosey man, you know, but do you mean to stand there bare faced and tell me that you're goin' up into the mountains with 200 of them screamin' felines in that thing?
        Bret: Bare faced, Mr. Hanrahan.
        Hanrahan: I'd rather shave the devil with a toothache.
        Bret: Well, I got a pretty girl to ride with me.
        Hanrahan: Oh?
        Bret: (handing over a barrel) My partner. Here.
        Hanrahan: Smells like a swamp with the sun on it.
        Bret: Smoked catfish.
        Hanrahan: Eh. Nobody but a woman could make a man this foolish.

      • Hanrahan: Hey, $2 for a cat?
        Bret: $2 a fair price, wouldn't you say?
        Hanrahan: I'm glad I got my money first.

      • Bret: Do you ever notice how nice the evening smells when there's money in the air?

      • Modesty: I have $20 and … well, I'd like a man disposed of.
        Bartender: Well now, would ya like both his legs broke or have his body thrown in the river?
        Modesty: Well, I'm not quite sure, which is cheaper?
        Bartender: For money, huh? Say, maybe the two of us can both make a few dollars. The sailing masters in San Francisco are pleadin' for help. Seems like when their sailormen hit these golden shores, they lose their taste for the sea. A good, strong body brings $40, and he gets a nice slow voyage to Singapore under healthy ocean breezes.
        Modesty: You can do all that for $20?
        Bartender: Oh, yes ma'am. You pay me the twenty, and when the men pick him up from you, they pay you forty. I make money, you make money - and a lost soul gets a chance at a new life.

      • (just before Bret passes out from the spiked "tonic")
        Bret: Grandma Otis really mixes a tonic.
        Modesty: Oh, little of this, little of that.
        Bret: Wonder how she got so many tigers in one bottle?

      • Capt. Puget: You could make your fortune in the land of spice.
        Bret: Well, I never turn down money, your honor, but, well, I've sort of made my fortune in the land of mice.
        Seaman: Careful, bucko.
        Bret: No, I'm serious. You made a bad choice, Captain. I'm no sailor, I'm a businessman.
        Capt. Puget: In what line?
        Bret: Well, right now I'm in cats.
        Seaman: Cats, is it? Ever meet one with nine tails, bucko, me lad?

      • (Modesty "faints" at the sight of Bret)
        Mayor Bemus: She must'a took a spell.
        Bret: Uh, she'd take anything that wasn't nailed down.

      • Bret: How is business lately?
        Faro Jack: (chuckles) Boomin', Bret. (taps his gun) They don't hardly keep cool. What you doin' away from a card table?
        Bret: Well, I got stopped at the pearly gates. Uh, Sheriff didn't even bother to look me up in the book, he just threw it at me.

      • (words on tombstone)
        Here lies JASPER SKEECH. He stole a rope - there was a horse at the end of it.

      • Faro Jack: (referring to Bret) Him, ah, he couldn't hurt nobody.
        Modesty: Oh well, of course he could. Well, you know a girl alone is - is so defenseless. Well, Mr. Norcross, if-if he comes back to town, would it be imposing on you too much to ask you to …
        Faro Jack: … take care of him?
        Modesty: Well, at your regular fee, of course. Now, I-I just happened to have brought with me $200 today. One, two …
        Faro Jack: Oh, uh, thank you, ma'am. I'd be proud to oblige ya.
        Modesty: Mr. Maverick's a real trustin' soul, quite sweet, actually. Oh, I don't think he'd give ya any trouble.
        Faro Jack: Don't you worry about a thing, Miss Modesty. He's as good as dead

      • Faro Jack: (to gambler) You ain't big enough to bluff. That pair of deuces wouldn't get an angel a free lunch in heaven. You're just wastn' the little woman's money.

      • Modesty: I've got a man waitin' to buy me a drink.
        Bret: Faro Jack? He's a real old friend of mine.
        Modesty: An old friend? Well, then I-I've wasted my $200.
        Bret: You never wasted a dime in your life. He'll shoot.
        Modesty: But a real old friend? What kind of principles does the man have?
        Bret: Modesty, my dear young lady, the same as yours.

      • Sheriff Scratch: Mister, them cards got a liken for you that ain't normal.
        Faro Jack: You wanna quit, Sheriff? Cash in?
        Sheriff Scratch: One of us is like to cash in 'fore long.
        Faro Jack: Meaning?
        Sheriff Scratch: Meaning you been dealin' off the top, off the bottom, and off the in between.

      • (Bret hides at the graveyard with the undertaker)
        Bret: Heavy traffic tonight.
        Gimbel: Ah, sooner or later you see everybody you know out here.

      • Bret: Mayor, you're just gonna have to face up to Scratch.
        Mayor Bemus: Me? I'm so slow with a gun, I stand in front of a mirror and my reflection will beat me to the draw.
        Bret: Better death than dishonor.
        Mayor Bemus: Why?
        Bret: Why? I'm not quite sure.

      • Bret: Well, Mayor Bemus, I had plans for the two of us. Eh, it might work, it might not, but what'a we got to lose - Scratch'll shoot us anyway. Gimbel: Sure, what'a you got to lose?
        Mayor Bemus: Would you shut up, you can't lose!
        Bret: Uli, you, uh, you just stay right here. I'll be back in about a half hour.
        Mayor Bemus: I just don't understand it. I tried the best way I know how to raise a town proper - and what happens? I end up hidin' in a cemetery - with an undertaker.

      • Bret: Here, Gimbel, take off my boot. Bemus, you get the other one.
        Mayor Bemus: What for?
        Bret: To shine it.
        Mayor Bemus: Shine it? I'm the mayor of this town. I don't go around shinin' shoes.
        Bret: The only thing you're mayor of right now is Boot Hill - and if I'm gonna die with mine on tomorrow, I want 'em nice and shiny. So I want you to mix plenty of catnip and smoked fish with the polish.

      • (Bret "saves" Modesty from "drowning")
        Modesty: Oh, Bret, I really never met a man like you.
        Bret: Not even in books? You know, knights in armor would'a sunk out there.

    • NOTES (3)

    • ALLUSIONS (2)

      • Bret: (on being ordered out of town) Paradise lost.

        John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost, first published in 1667, is about the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Bret's reference to the poem is sarcastic, since he hardly views himself as an innocent.

      • Modesty: Oh, Mr. Maverick, Bret, I reckon I have known men like you - but they were in books and they clanked in armor and they ate at round tables.

        Modesty is referring to The Knights of the Round Table, those men awarded the highest order of Chivalry at the Court of King Arthur. Although based in shadowy fact, the legend of Arthur and Guinevere and Sir Lancelot and Sir Galahad, et al, has graced literature and art since the 9th century - from opera to drama to comics and movies and video games. One small but popular literary example would be Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Of the thousands of examples of modern media keeping the Arthurian legend alive, a brief sampling includes : Camelot (1967), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), First Knight (1995) and even Stargate SG-1 (2006-2007).