The Big Valley (1965) s01e11 Episode Script

The Way to Kill a Killer

And you should see the work they're doing with scientific cross-breeding.
Is fantastic.
They've got a couple of Brahma bulls- Easy, boy.
You're on vacation from college.
- You haven't stopped yammering since you got off that train.
- Sorry.
Ah, don't pay any attention to him.
He's just jealous because he knows absolutely nothing about scientific animal husbandry.
Poor ol' Nick.
Just a poor ol' cowpoke.
Mariano Montoya! Nick Barkley, four years ago you gave me a calf.
This is not the same calf, but neither am I the same man.
I now repay you with deep thanks.
Muchas gracias.
All right, college boy, take him outside and tie him up.
Scientifically.
Come on, git.
Mariano, you old bandit.
Oh, I'm sorry.
You know my brotherJarrod.
- Senor.
- Mariano, good to see you.
- My brother Heath.
- Hello.
How are you? Where have you been? What are you doing in Stockton? I'm an owner now.
I have a herd.
I drove them all the way from Mexico.
- A herd? - Sí.
That calf you gave me was the beginning.
- Now I have 93 head.
- Well, then, 92 must be stolen.
You were no good when you left, amigo.
No reason to believe you've changed.
Oh, now, come on.
That was pretty unfair, Sheriff.
Well, maybe, Nick.
Maybe it was.
We'll see.
Hey, Mariano.
Les ride out and take a look at that herd, huh? Hey, I wanna see the herd.
Come on.
Okay.
Come on, Jarrod, Heath.
Buddy.
All right, college boy, les go take a look.
- Hyah! Hyah! - Yes, sir, cowpoke.
Well, I might have done something very bad to that sheriff if your brother Nick hadn't stopped me.
He's a good man, your brother Nick.
Well, that sheriff called you a thief.
Thas a pretty hard word.
Yeah.
He called me a thief once before, a long time ago.
He caught me with a Barkley calf, that sheriff He looked at me a long time, and then he said "Did you steal it?" And I said "No, I found it in some wire.
I was bringing it back.
" And he says, "I believe you.
" Then he bends down and picks up the calf and hands it to me and says "Here.
Now you have one calf.
Go and build it up into a herd.
" Then he turns around and walks away.
Didn't he ever tell you about it? No.
No, he never mentioned it.
- Well? - Fine.
But you're gonna have to fatten 'em up.
Oh, yes.
I- I drove 'em pretty hard.
Fifteen miles a day.
Fifteen? Thas movin'.
No complaints from your men? Oh, my vaqueros and I, we are all partners.
I couldn't afford to pay them wages.
Besides, I hear the cattle ranches are overstocked this year.
We wanted to be the first ones to market to get a good price.
Well, you got here with time to spare.
The market doesn't open till next week.
Gives you a little time to fatten up your herd.
All he needs is a good pasture.
He can have our north pasture.
We're not using it.
Ah, thank you, but I- I've already accepted too many gifts from the Barkleys.
But would you consider renting the north pasture to me for a week? What should we charge? You know, we really could hold him up.
What would you say to a penny an acre? - What? - Penny an acre.
Well, that sounds reasonable.
You draw up an agreement.
I will sign it tonight.
Jarrod, you're the lawyer.
Bueno.
And now, on behalf of my vaqueros I would like to invite all of you and the rest of the members of your family to a fiesta this evening to celebrate the end of our drive.
We will roast a steer, provide singing and music.
One condition: We furnish the steer.
That is acceptable.
Well, you want to try it, big brother? Now that you ask, no, little sister.
Ladies and gentlemen senoras y senores we are celebrating tonight an end and a beginning- the end of a long cattle drive and the beginning of a new life for the men who made that drive.
My men and I, we are, by profession- To be honest, we are just ordinary laborers braceros.
But we have earned, by that long drive, a chance- a real chance to be true rancheros.
Those of you who have wives and children know what this means to our families who are waiting for us in Mexico when we return, God be willing.
A few of you recognize me from four years ago when I left this beautiful California valley where I grew up.
In those days, you said to yourself "Mariano Montoya- He will come to no good end.
He is a bad one.
" No.
No.
Oh, sí, sí.
Is true.
I was.
Well, if not- not a bad one, then not such a good one.
Maybe a halfway-between one, huh? Like the rest of us, Mariano.
No matter.
You are looking at a very lucky man.
I would be in prison tonight, but I am not in prison.
I was given my chance.
And tonight I would like to express my deep gratitude to one man and to the lady who raised him to be such a man.
- Senora.
- Olé, senora.
- Amigo.
- Ah, Mariano.
- Gracias.
- Speech! Speech! No speeches.
Mother, if you will, huh? Friends, amigos, relatives first let me thank Senor Montoya for a truly exquisite gift.
It will always remind me of the day he came back to his hometown and made good.
And now, since I feel is a sin to make speeches when we could be listening to music and dancing, les- Oh, unless Nick would- The only time he makes speeches is when he's mad.
Well, then, música, danza.
Senora, will you honor me with this dance? You call that dancing? Is more like a steeplechase.
Why don't I show you around? Your cattle are magnificent, senora.
Maybe someday- Why not? You've made a wonderful beginning.
Gracias, but- : Majestuoso.
! Senor Montoya, I would like you to meet Prince Oxford the sire of the Barkley herd.
Senora, tell me-This would be an improper question but one day it might not be an impossible dream.
Maybe I could own such an animal.
- Tell me how much- - Oh, we've been offered $10,000 for him, but we turned it down.
I dare dream of such an animal.
My husband had no more than you when he started.
Sí, senora.
But your husband was not a thief.
- Neither are you.
- But I was.
- You knew I was stealing that calf.
- Mariano- No, no.
Perhaps Nick believed me, but you always knew.
Now, you listen to me.
Do you know why I kept quiet? Because it was plain you wanted to be a man more than you wanted to be a thief.
All you needed was a chance to prove it.
So you gave me that chance.
And you proved it.
Caporal.
Senora.
- Can you come to the cattle? - Why? You are needed.
Will you excuse me, senora? Thank you.
Thank you for your trust.
Ah, there you are.
May I have the honor, lovely lady? Of course.
Anthrax.
It is not anthrax.
It is trail fever.
Bury the animal and say nothing to nobody.
- Morning.
- Morning.
You, uh, lookin' for something to do? Oh, I've got plenty to do.
Want to borrow this brush? No.
You got somethin' to say? Been out to Mariano's herd lately? Not since I showed him where to pasture.
Why? I don't know.
There's something funny going on out there.
Like what? One of our hands counted Mariano's herd this morning.
- What? - I thought he was our guest.
All right, just how many of our cattle has he stolen? - Not a single one.
- I hope that satisfies the loyal hands around here.
Look, Nick, I like Mariano too.
- You wanna hear about this thing or not? - Go ahead.
- Mariano came here with 93 head, right? - Right.
Babies every one of'em.
Every one of those steers is an entry in a bankbook to Mariano and his men.
- Is that it? - Thas it.
This morning there was only 91 head in the pasture.
Could be a break in the fence.
Rode around the pasture.
The fence is taut.
No breaks or slacks anywhere.
Here, this is the best I can do with this.
Heath, come here.
Another one? Yes.
Caporal, it is anthrax.
Is in the pasture, in the wind.
It is a miasma which kills our cattle.
The men want to move out now before more cattle are killed.
Who is caporal? Is it he or me? It is not anthrax! It is trail fever! There is always trail fever after a long drive.
Look at the herd.
They are healthy.
Look at them.
This is our entire future- yours as well as mine.
The cattle buyers do not arrive in Stockton till Monday.
Tell me, where? Where will you move our cattle till Monday? Where will we fatten them for the market? Caporal, you are wrong.
There is a miasma in this pasture.
It is giving anthrax to our cattle.
We must move them out at once before they all die.
It is not anthrax.
You understand? Not anthrax! - You fellows going somewhere.
- Perdon, senor.
- No habla ingles.
- Donde está Mariano? Ah, Mariano, caporal.
Pues, no está aquí.
Fue al pueblo.
Well- Buenos dias, senores.
Buenos dias.
We've never had the honor of having you visit us before, senor.
- How are you? - We thought we'd drop by and see how you're getting along.
Fine.
Thank you.
Everything's fine.
- Planning on leaving? - Leaving, senor? I saw one of your men loading up bedrolls.
Oh.
Well, Mariano heard there was a buyer in town early today so, uh, he went in to find out.
He gave me instructions to have everything ready just in case he made a fast deal.
Haven't had much chance to fatten up your cattle, have you? No.
That is true.
But we thought- Mariano thought that if we market early we would make up the difference with a better price.
Whas that all about? Who? Oh, Diego.
Can you imagine? He actually believes that he's influencing the price of cattle with all that foolishness.
You're sure he's not trying to drive away evil spirits? - Evil spirits, senor? - Disease.
Rico, are any of your cattle sick? Sick, senor? Why, whatever gave you that idea? Look at them.
Do any of them look sick to you? Not the ones I can see, no.
What are you suggesting, senor? Senores! Senores, without Mariano's permission, I cannot permit you to- Anthrax.
Yeah.
It is not anthrax.
It is trail fever.
A few cattle die from it after every drive.
You know that.
Why didn't you tell us about it? Why were you planning to move your herd out before we found out? I want to see Mariano as soon as he gets back.
And don't move a single animal through this gate.
I want you men to check every foot of fence in that north pasture.
Don't let a single animal get out.
They're moving the cattle out.
Now.
- All right, les go.
- Hadn't we better break out the rifles? All right, break out the rifles and ammunition.
Sure.
All right, boys, les start moving them out! All right, move them out! Fan out.
Rico tell you I wanted to see you? You weren't gonna leave without saying good-bye, were you? Think I would do that? - No, I don't.
- You're right.
I was going to stop by the ranch house as I drove the herd into town.
Jumpin' the gun a little, aren't you? The market doesn't open till Monday.
Well, I figure jumping the gun- Thas a good way to get a good price.
Mariano, Rico musve told you what we saw this morning.
I know that you've got- You are wrong.
I lost a few cattle.
Nothing serious.
Trail fever.
- Long drive always gets a few that way.
- A few? How many? Two, maybe three.
- You're not sure? - Three.
You want to count them? Companero, you've always trusted me.
You started me in this business.
You think I would lie to you? I'd hate to think so.
I'd also hate to think I was wrong by giving you that first calf.
You were not wrong.
Look.
Do they look sick to you? Nick- Nick, I am moving the herd to town.
Please don't try to stop me.
All right.
Maybe you're right.
Maybe we were mistaken.
Maybe it is just trail fever.
I'll tell you what.
I'll walk through the pasture and see if your cattle are fit and if they are, you can move 'em on out.
- Nick, anthrax is- - I know what anthrax is, and so does Mariano.
He wouldn't take his cattle with anthrax through our herd on his way to the market.
He knows that an anthrax epidemic will spread through a ranch like a brushfire killing 2,000, 3,000 head in less than a week.
Have to keep the herd locked up in there.
- Nick, those cattle have to be shot.
- You're both wrong! You have no right to hold us here! It is this pasture that is killing my cattle.
You! You have no right to shoot my cattle.
- Nick, if just one of those sick cattle get loose- - Close that gate! Mariano! We have a right to protect our cattle.
If you try to move your herd out, we'll shoot to kill.
I guess we'd all feel much better if you and your men'd move into our bunkhouse.
You'll be much more comfortable.
We do not want your hospitality.
We're your prisoners.
Mariano, in a few days, we may be able to let you move your herd out.
The anthrax may not spread.
It is this pasture of yours that is giving us the fever.
There is a miasma here.
Unless I can move the cattle, they will all be dead.
Mariano, no one knows how anthrax starts.
Sometimes it stops as mysteriously as it starts.
Anyway, I won't allow 'em to shoot your cattle.
Thanks, gringo.
Thas what you want to hear, isn't it? I once thanked you a long time ago for a calf you gave me.
Then again I thanked you for this wonderful pasture at one cent an acre.
Let me tell you something, gringo.
I was stealing that calf.
I didn't find it.
Thas the only way to get anything from the gringos.
The gringos run everything, and all we do is say thank you, thank you.
Thank you for a right to breathe for the right to move about, for the right to eat, to sleep.
If one of us gets a chance to get up there where the gringos are to earn a decent place in life the gringos find a way to knock you down! I- I guess I was wrong.
Heath! Put all the men around this pasture.
Don't let a single steer loose.
Shoot anyone that tries to break out.
Shoot to kill.
I thought I saw you coming.
Dinner will be ready in 20 minutes.
Yeah.
Your mother says she wants everyone at the dinner table right on time.
I'll be ready.
Silas, where's Nick? - He's upstairs in his room.
- Thank you.
Don't worry.
Everything's gonna be all right.
I've seen anthrax come one day and disappear the next.
I've seen it when it hasn't.
Heath.
Nick told me what happened this afternoon.
- Yeah.
- Is just horrible that it had to happen to Mariano.
- That herd means so much to him.
- I know.
He drove them over a thousand miles, all the way from Mexico.
All his dreams are wrapped up in them.
- Everything he wants to be.
- Look, I know all about that.
And I know if he loses that herd, he'll be right back to what he used to be.
Now, is there anything else you wanna tell me that I already know? No, I guess not.
I'm sorry, Audra.
I didn't mean it.
Silas, better make sure there's plenty of coffee tonight.
I think we'll be doing a lot of talking.
I'll make sure.
Yeah? - Can I come in? - You're in.
Anything wrong? - You know whas wrong.
- Get to the point.
Nick, those cattle have to be shot.
Thas the way is always done.
Thas the only way to do it.
I've given my orders.
I know you have and I've passed it on to the men.
But now if you'll just let me say what I've got to say then I'll shut up.
I can understand your wanting to help Mariano- You know, I knew Mariano a year before he was allowed to talk to me? He was 10 years old.
So was I.
He used to sit in the corner in my old clothes and watch his mother scrub these floors.
Every day she came to clean the Barkley palacio.
If Mariano opened his mouth, she'd say, "Don't bother the senores!" Finally he was allowed to play with us- a little bit.
That is, uh- That is, if he was respectful and, uh, called me Senor Nick.
Two 10-year-old boys.
Senor Nick.
Do you know what that herd means to him? Do you? What if it was yours? Wouldn't you lie for it, steal for it, even kill for it? I'm sorry, Nick.
Like Mariano said my brother's a good man.
Whether they brought it up from Mexico or caught it from some miasma in our pasture doesn't really matter, does it? Either way, we can't let Mariano move his herd without risking an outbreak of anthrax among our own- just like the one we had five years ago.
How many head did we lose that time, Nick? Close to 3,000.
As I see it, we only have two choices: killing Mariano's cattle, which is the traditional way of handling the problem or keeping them contained in the pasture until they die by themselves.
They're both so drastic.
Isn't there something else? Has anyone ever heard of vaccination? - Of what? Mm-mm.
- Vaccination.
Is a new technique they're experimenting with at school.
It was developed by a Frenchman, a Professor Pasteur.
Is a new cure for anthrax.
Yes, I've heard of Pasteur and his theories.
- Anything to it? - I don't know.
Most reputable scientists seem to think is all a lot of nonsense.
At any rate, is still just experimental.
But it works.
I've seen it.
Professor Hawthorne at school is experimenting with Pasteur's methods.
- He injects some of the anthrax germs into healthy cattle- - Germs? Yeah.
They're tiny organisms visible only under a microscope.
Pasteur says they cause anthrax, and a lot of other things too.
And you can't see 'em? - No.
- Hmm.
Hmm.
Something like elves and fairies.
I've seen it work.
- Gene, I'm sorry.
- Heath.
! Heath.
Gene.
Gene, dear, don't be angry with them.
If they seem intolerant, is just because they're not used to feeling helpless.
Don't worry, Mother.
I'm not angry with them.
I'm going back to the university tonight.
There's a train leaving for Berkeley in about an hour.
So all of Mariano's cattle will have to die one by one by one.
Take your men and leave us alone! Mariano, we don't want anybody killed! Now, be sensible! You be sensible! We're taking our cattle out of here! Mariano, we don't want anybody killed! But if you force it, we'll kill! Caporal, les give up.
We will not give up! We'll fight to the end! Did you hear what he said? Yeah, I heard what he said.
They're gonna die fighting- for less than 90 scraggly steers.
- Mother.
- Gene.
Professor Hawthorne, my mother, Mrs.
Barkley.
- How do you do? How on earth- - Madam.
I got to Berkeley at 4:00 this morning.
I persuaded the professor to come with me.
4:00? Oh, good heavens.
You must be tired.
I'll get you some coffee.
Oh, is all right, Mrs.
Barkley.
Eugene seemed to feel it was urgent.
Mother, Professor Hawthorne has a cure for anthrax right there.
- It can work.
- Can? If the disease isn't too far advanced in the animals, it will work.
Massive doses have cured anthrax before.
I've seen it happen.
Is it safe? As I see it, Mrs.
Barkley, you have nothing to lose by letting me vaccinate those animals and everything to gain.
Mother, Professor Hawthorne has worked directly with Professor Pasteur.
Have faith in him.
Have faith in me.
Follow me, please.
Mother, I can't ask Mariano to go along with this- some experimental vaccine that nobody's ever heard of.
- I- - Well, I can.
Mariano has no choice, and neither have we.
Mariano! - Mariano! - I can hear you.
I can also shoot you, so be very careful.
I trusted you once.
Now you must trust me.
We may be able to save your cattle.
- You will save my cattle? - Is possible.
- You'll let us move out? - Not yet.
But if we can cure them, we'll let you move.
Cure them? There is no cure for anthrax.
Professor Hawthorne thinks otherwise.
- Professor? What are you- a schoolteacher? - Yes.
You expect me to believe a schoolteacher has a cure for anthrax? - Tell him how it works, Professor.
- Certainly.
You see, I inject the vaccine into the animal with this syringe.
Now, is painless.
From then on, healthy animals are immune from anthrax.
- Immune? - Yes, they won't catch it from other animals.
Catch it from other animals? Why should they catch it? They don't get it from other animals.
There is a miasma in that field.
If I can move out the healthy cattle, they will be safe.
- You see- - Look, you don't understand.
The professor's trying to tell you that the disease is caused by germs- tiny organisms too small to see without a microscope.
- Ahh.
- Mariano.
What if we test it with some of our own cattle? Then we could see if it harms them.
Hmm.
What difference does it make to you, senor, huh? If you lose one steer, you have thousands.
All right, we'll pay you top price for your cattle.
Now you have no risk in vaccinating them.
No, senora.
The money is important to me, yes.
But there is one thing more important.
I am the first one of my people to drive a herd to the stock sale and that you can't take away from me.
However, there is one way.
- Prince Oxford.
- No! Good faith, senor, huh? Stick that needle into that ten-thousand-dollar prize bull and then I will believe in your good faith.
Heath, bring the bull out here.
I don't usually make a request twice.
- No, no.
- Why not? You agreed.
I'm sorry, senora.
No.
Your bull is very strong.
That vaccine could be a needle full of water, for all I know.
If you use it out here, and the bull does not get anthrax it only proves that your bull is strong enough to survive a needle full of water.
Put him in there where the miasma is killing my cattle.
Leave him in that part of the pasture.
Then- Then we will see if it works.
Well? I'm sure ill work, Mother.
Muchas gracias.
Gracias, senora.
El toro es enfermo.
You really expect that bull will live now? Well, if we do lose him we can say we took a chance to prove our good faith.
If the serum works, how long will it usually take? I have seen dramatic recoveries within an hour but you can't tell.
Caporal? The bull is dead.
Dead? He is dead.
No! - Mariano, what do you think- - Let go! Please let go! - Put it down! - I have to shoot my cattle.
I cannot let them live.
- If you sacrifice your prize bull- - Put it down! Look at 'em! Look at 'em, Mariano! They're not even listening to you.
They're not as ashamed as you are.
Put it down! I'm sorry, senor.
You're the one man in the world who ever treated me with respect and I have lied to you twice.
He moves.
! He moves! He is alive! Did you see? To Mariano and his next herd.
May it be as rewarding as the one he sold today.
- Gracias, senora.
- To Mariano! I thought maybe you'd like to start your next herd with Prince Oxforïs newest son.
He's, uh, vaccinated, of course.
Oh, trouble.