The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 1, Episode 20 - The Night of the Whirring Death - full transcript

Jim and Arte serve as couriers, delivering bribes to save California from bankruptcy. Problem is, Doctor Loveless is killing the benefactors and stealing their money.

Look at what you're doing.

Be careful, you clod.

What is the matter
with this country?

I have found more civilization
crossing the Gobi Desert.

My only pleasure in arriving
at this misbegotten village

is to be rid of you.

No one has insulted Rosa
Montebello as you have,

no one, you hear? No one.

To the stupid, dull,
ignorant women

of your country you
may be a gentleman,

but to me you are
nothing but a... A farmer.

A bisonte, a clod!

Well, what are you
standing there for, fool?

Help them.

Do not think you have
heard the end of this.

The whole world will know

how you have treated
Rosa Montebello.

American men.

Hi, Artie.




Hey, buddy.

Ha-ha. How are you? Let
me look at you, will you?

Oh, you look great, just great.

Well, you look pretty...
Oh, wait a minute.

I can't hear a word
you're saying. Hold on.

Now, what?

I was saying you
look great yourself.

Oh, I don't know
how that could be.

I tell you, I feel as though
I've spent the last four days

inside a bass drum with
ten men pounding on it.

Artie, who was that woman?

Oh, that was no woman.
That was Rosa Montebello.

That name sounds familiar.

Yeah, opera.

Oh, of course, the
famous Italian diva.

That's the one.

What's she doing in your car?

You better help
yourself to a little wine.

I tell you this is a long story.

First of all,

La Bella Montebello
happens to be the niece

of the minister from Italy.

In the second place,
President Grant found out

that you were gracious
enough to send the car up,

pick me up in Washington,

deliver me down
here to New Orleans,

and in the third place,
by a happy coincidence,

Miss Montebello
happened to be booked

to sing in New Orleans,

so, naturally the, uh,
president suggested

that it might be a very
nice gesture on my part

if I just kind of gave
her a ride down here.

Of course, I agreed.

James, from the minute that
woman set foot on this car,

life has been
absolute purgatory.

"The food wasn't good,
the train was too noisy,

the wine was too cold, the
wine wasn't cold enough."

She did nothing
but scold, complain,

scream, yell, nag, nag, nag.

I may have nightmares
about her for as long as I live.

Well, Artie, at least
you're rid of her now.

Oh, I wish that were true.

You mean you're not rid of her?

The president
suggested that in view

of the delicate negotiations
between Washington and Italy,

it might be a very
nice thing on my part

if I would act
as official escort

to Miss Montebello during
her three days down here

in New Orleans, and
I have to start tonight,

taking her to the opera house

for her performance in
Lucia di Lammermoor.

I come all the way

across your miserable
country, and what do I find?

Nobody here to greet me.

Arriving at this
miserable village.

My luggage has gone on
ahead. The carriage is late.

So that is Rosa Montebello.

The beloved Montebello.

Is everything ready

at the opera house for tonight?


Very well. I've seen enough.

Drive on.

Oh, and then there
was this daughter

of this congressman
from Arkansas.

From Arkansas.

Oh, I learned a
great deal from her

about Arkansas.

It's a very progressive state.

You have no idea.

Excuse me.


I have a letter for
Mr. Artemus Gordon

from Governor Turnbull's
office. Will you sign for it, please?

Yeah, sure.

Thank you very much. Thank you.

Ah, thank you, Jim.

I wonder what the
governor wants.

"My dear Mr. Gordon,

"I have just learned of
your arrival in New Orleans,

"and Mrs. Turnbull and I
would consider it a great honor

"if you would attend
a small dinner party

"in honor of our daughter Nancy

"to whom you were so kind

"during her recent
visit to Washington.

"We will look
forward to seeing you

at the executive
mansion at 8:00..."

What's the matter, Artie?

The... The dinner's tonight.

Well, that's...
That's too bad, Artie.

Here I have to give up a
dinner with Nancy Turnbull

at the executive
mansion in order to escort

Rosa Montebello
to the grand opera,

and all you can say
is "That's too bad"?

Oh, you're a real
pal. Thank you.

Oh, that's too much.

I'm as patriotic
as the next man,

but there are some sacrifices

that nobody should be
asked to make for his country.

This is rubbing
salt in my wounds.

Artie, why don't I
take Miss Montebello

to the opera in
your place tonight?

Hey, do you mean that?

You really mean you'd beard
that female Genghis Khan

in her own den, and
after you've seen...

Boy, you really are a pal.

There's just one thing.

I mean, uh, what if
the president finds out,

you know, after he told me
specifically to look after her?

I don't think the president
would want you to risk

insulting the governor of
Louisiana, either, do you?

You're right. You're
absolutely right.

Oh, what can I say?

What can anyone
say at a time like this?

You are a brave man, James,

and a true-blue friend,

and I'll never forget you
for this, never. Never.

Uh, Artie, uh, I'd better dress
before you have me in tears.


you are a truly great man.

Go. Go now.

What is the meaning of this?
Why has the curtain come down?

The performance
is over, signorina.

Bring her along. Hurry!


The ring.

The ring.

The ring? What about the ring?

How are you, colonel?
Nice seeing you.

Yeah, fine, Jim. If
you're looking for Artie,

he's on his way to
see Miss Montebello

to tell her she's still
in protective custody.

I don't envy him that job.

Oh, on this ring you gave me,

there is a code
on the inside band.

It's in Italian,

"Ordine de Lucia."

Order of Lucia.
Lucia, that's the role

that Rosa Montebello
sang last night.

Come in.

Oh, Miss Collingwood,
come in, come in.

Miss Collingwood
is the secretary

to the chief of our bureau
here in New Orleans.

This is, uh, Jim West,
Miss Collingwood.

It's a pleasure meeting
you, Miss Collingwood.

Thank you.

The local police
have finally identified

the man who was
killed last night.

He was Pierre Deluc.

He's been employed at
the opera house for years.

He's in charge of wardrobe

and fills in as a
supernumerary when needed.

Anything else?

Nothing. No home address,
no friends or relatives.

Then all we know about
him is he was a member

of the Order of Lucia
here in New Orleans.

The Order of Lucia?
That's strange.

What's strange?

Well, something has happened
to every diva who's sung

Lucia di Lammermoor at that
theater in the last five years.


There have been three.
Two have disappeared.


Vanished completely
without a trace,

and now the attempt to
kidnap Rosa Montebello.

Anyway, a lot of people believe

that the opera house is haunted

by the ghosts of
the missing divas.

A ridiculous
superstition, of course.

Of course.

Pierre Deluc was apparently
a member of that order.

Do you know where we
can find any other members?

Yes, you could try the Club
Musique on Royal Street.

It's sort of a gathering
place for singers.

I'd better head
over there, colonel.

Would you have Artie
meet me there, please?

Uh, Jim, I'm afraid you'll
have to do without Artie.

President Grant made it
quite clear that he wants Artie

to escort the great
Montebello personally.


Well, there's a
reception being given

in her honor tonight,

a reception being given by
someone named Crenshaw.

At Willow Manor? The
Crenshaw brothers?

Well, yes, that's right. Why?

I don't know,

just some strange
rumors about one of them.

About one of the brothers.

Do you think it's
safe to let her attend?

I think New Orleans
would be declared

a disaster area if we
tried to keep her away.

Well, from what I've heard
about Miss Montebello's feelings

towards the Secret
Service in general

and Mr. Gordon in particular,

he may save New Orleans,
but what about himself?

Well, I don't think you have
anything to worry about.

He's indicated
he has a solution.

Max, darling.

Rosa Montebello,
welcome to Willow Manor.

Thank you. May I
present my escort,

Colonel Vladislav
Dirasha, the Duke of Corba.

Mr. Max Crenshaw.

An honor, sir.

Is it not a charming
house, Vladislav?

Hm? Oh, yes, yes.

Yes, it reminds me of
my gardener's cottage,

uh, in my estate
outside of Budapest,

but of course this
is much, uh, smaller.

♪ He's gone ♪

♪ He wants another ♪

♪ How I long ♪

♪ To discover ♪

♪ How a love ♪

♪ Once given freely ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ It turns to stone ♪

♪ Leaving me ♪

♪ In misery ♪

Another wine, monsieur?

Yes, please, and
an introduction.

An introduction?

Yeah, that's right.

I'd like to meet
some of the members

of the Order of Lucia.

The Order of Lucia, monsieur?

I do not believe
any of the gentlemen

are here this evening, monsieur.

Well, I'll wait.

Maybe one of them will come in.

Who are you,

and where did you get that ring?

Well, my name is James West,

and I'm not sure I know
what ring you're talking about.

Please do not play games.

The ring you showed Armad.

I got that ring off a
dead man's body.

He was killed at the
opera house last night.

Pierre Deluc.

You know him?

He was my uncle.

Well, my sympathies, Miss...


May I have the ring, Mr. West?

Why do you want it?

He was my only relative.
I'd like it as a keepsake.

Angelique, did you
know that your uncle

was involved in a plot to
kidnap Rosa Montebello?

May I have the ring, Mr. West?

Did you know about
that kidnapping plot?


No, not about that.

About what, then?

Only that my uncle

was involved in something wrong,

something he didn't want to do.

He was afraid, I could tell,

but he wouldn't talk about it.

We can't talk here.

Then where?

The opera house. There's
no performance tonight.

I'll meet you there at 10:00.

Ten o'clock.

♪ Buffalo gal ♪

♪ Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance By the
light of the moon? ♪

♪ Oh, buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Gonna dance By
the light of the moon ♪

Hey, you sing pretty good.

Yeah, you play the guitar?

No, I don't.

Well, stick around
and sing with us.

I'd like to, fellas, but
I have to get to work.

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance By the
light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance By the
light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance By the
light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance By the
light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance By the
light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal Won't
you come out tonight? ♪

But just a short while ago

I had occasion to be with, well,

a world-renowned coloratura,

and indeed I found
her to be vain, rude,

arrogant, shrewd...

Oh, completely the opposite
of what you are, dear lady.

Oh, Vladislav,

I cannot tell you
how meraviglioso

it is to be in the company of
a... A real gentleman again,

a galantuomo.

Those American men have
the manners of, um... uh...



You have not
forgotten your promise

to allow me to show
you the grounds,

have you, signorina?

Of course not, Max.

Uh, why do I not get
you some champagne?

Oh, that would
be divine, carino.

Oh, it is a bit warm, is it not?

All the more reason
for a stroll in the garden.

Charming idea.

Shall we go here? Yes.

Champagne, sir?


Oh, belle giardino, signor.

Oh, you have a
beautiful home, signor,

fit for a king,

but, uh, do you
not have any family

to enjoy it with you?

No, signorina.

Of course, there is my brother.

Your brother? Karl.

But why have I not met him?

Is he away?

No, he's here,

but he... Well, he
stays to himself.

A virtual recluse.

He's only permitted
myself and his man Igor

to see him since he
suffered an affliction

which... Forgive me, signorina.

I know you'll understand

if I prefer not to talk about it

on such a happy occasion.


Tell me, signorina.

I've seen you in
many of your roles,

but do you not consider
Lucia the most difficult?

Oh, si.

This room is too hot,

and the dinner you
brought to me tonight

was utterly without imagination.

Where does Max find his cooks?

They would be better
serving pigs in the barnyard.

I tell you, the situation

is getting to be insufferable.

Why is he not here
at this moment?

I'll tell you.

He is more interested
in entertaining his stuffy

little provincial friends
with his miserable music.

Every time I need him,

does he worry about me?

No. It's only himself
that he cares about.

The fact that I remain
here in this room

is of absolutely no
importance to him.

He doesn't think of me.
Max never thinks of me.

He goes his own way,

indulges in his own pleasures.

That isn't true. Max...

Don't tell me!

Look at them down there.

Tell Max I wish to see him.


Someone in this
house is spying on us.


This way.

This is where my uncle lived
the last five years of his life.

Before that, he was in
the personal entourage

of Caroline Mason.

Caroline Mason?

Isn't that the singer
that died in that fire

at the Palace Hotel
in New Orleans?


Uncle Pierre was never
the same after her death.

What did he have
against Rosa Montebello?

I don't know.

All I know is my
uncle's strangeness

had something to
do with this room.

In what way?

The fact that he slept here,
that he would never leave it

unless he had to,

and once I remember that...

Who could that be?

Night watchman?

But there is none.

After the fracas
at the opera house,

I returned to the club

to find out if anyone
knew where the girl lived.

Mm-hm. The bartender
had disappeared,

and no one, absolutely no one,

ever heard of a girl
named Angelique.

Well, one thing
we're sure of now

we didn't even know
at this time yesterday.

This whole thing
pivots around a woman

who's been dead for five years.

Artie, are you sure

that was a portrait
of Caroline Mason?

Oh, absolutely, Jim.

I saw her do Aida in Boston,
La Traviata in Chicago,

Carmen in San Francisco.

That's her portrait in
the Crenshaw Home,

no mistake about it.

Come in.

Will I be drawn and quartered
if I say good morning?

You'll be drawn and
quartered if that's all you say.

"532 River Street,
first floor, rear."

What's this?
Angelique's address.

Artie, pour the
lady some coffee.

I'm way ahead of you, Jim.

I hear you're taking
Rosa Montebello

to a society bazaar
this afternoon.

That's correct. Sit
down, won't you?

Thank you.

Mr. Gordon, if you'll
excuse me for saying so,

I think you and Mr. West
should forbid Miss Montebello

from stepping foot
outside her hotel room

until you've found the
men who tried to kidnap her.

With a bazaar in her honor?

She wouldn't listen.

But you must make her understand

that her life is in danger,

that whoever tried to kidnap her

is undoubtedly
watching and waiting

for another opportunity.

They undoubtedly
are, Miss Collingwood.

In fact, uh, Miss Collingwood,

that's exactly what
we're counting on.


Mm-hm. Since her
would-be kidnappers

are watching her every move,

I plan to set her
out as a target

in order to draw
them out into the open.

Mr. Gordon, you're not serious.

I most certainly am.

But don't you realize
what would happen

to this country's diplomatic
relations with Italy

if you were to use
Miss... Miss Montebello

as a... A cat's-paw and
something went wrong?

I know, Miss Collingwood.

I'm aware it is
very, very risky,

but I have no other way for
drawing them out into the open.

I have no other alternatives.

But that's awful.


Unless, of course,

we can find someone else
in place of Miss Montebello.

Someone else?

Yes, you know, as a decoy.

Sort of draw them out and
at the same time protect her.

Of course. How marvelous.

Some young lady who's,
uh, professionally accustomed

to placing herself
in physical jeopardy.

Oh, that's a brilliant
idea, Mr. Gordon,

an absolutely brilliant idea.

Thank you.

But where will we go to
find such a young lady?

Oh, now, wait a
minute, Mr. Gordon.

You said yourself it was
brilliant, Miss Collingwood.

Yes, but Mr. Gordon...

And I have no
other alternatives.

You remember that?

But, Mr. Gordon,
you must remember

that my duties with
the Secret Service

do not include my
jeopardizing my...

Thank you, Miss Collingwood.
Thank you for volunteering.

Oh, you look
ravishing, signorina,

absolutely ravishing.


Heaven must have wanted to prove

it could achieve perfection

when it put such
a beautiful voice

in such a beautiful woman.

Get in.

Are we being followed?

Oh, no, not yet.

Maybe the fish we're after
are too smart to take the bait.

Well, patience, Miss
Collingwood, patience.

Is something wrong?

No, not a thing.

The fish have finally
risen to the bait.

We're being kidnapped.


Of course, the trick is to
act like we didn't expect it.

Driver! Driver! You're
going the wrong way!

Stop this carriage!

Oh, there we are.

Mr. Gordon, I have the
uncomfortable feeling

the fish are on the wrong
end of the line this time.

Oh, nonsense. Everything's
working out perfectly.

It is?

Yes, everything's
just fine, believe me.

That's asking a lot,
under the circumstances...

I have heard squeaking wheels

that sound better than you.

You're not an
artist, you're a fraud.

You don't sing, you croak,

both of you.

And you had the temerity
to try to sing Lucia.

Caroline Mason was
beautiful. She was divine.

If you had heard
Caroline Mason as Lucia,

you would have gone
back to doing the only thing

that your voices are fit for,

calling hogs!

They say the mad scene
is the most difficult aria

for a coloratura in all opera,

yet Caroline Mason sang it

with beauty and ease,

sang it as it was
never sung before.


Or will ever again.

What made me think I could
create another Caroline Mason?

I was a fool to think
they could ever match

her technique, her tonal
quality, her adroitcity.

Get rid of them.

But, Karl... I don't care how,

but make sure,

since they cannot sing for me,

they do not talk to the police.

Buongiorno, Signorina
Rosa Montebello.

We are so glad you came.

I saw you in Lucia recently.

You were not great, but not bad.

If you had been, I would
not have gone to the trouble

of having you brought here.

Uh, these.

Oh, I don't know why I've
troubled for such a long time

with these braying jackasses,

but I shall not be as
patient with you. Come.

Look at her, signorina.

Look at her and pray

that I can make you
the singer that she was,

for if I can't,

Igor will dispose of you
along with these two frauds

who blaspheme the
memory of Caroline Mason

every time they
open their mouths.

Lucia was Caroline's
favorite role.

She sang it over 100 times,

and she always
carried this dagger

in the mad scene after
she has killed her husband.

And that is the part you
shall sing for me now.

Please, remove your veil.

I said remove your veil.

You cannot sing with
a rag over your face.

This is not Rosa
Montebello, you fools.

How could you have made
such a horrendous mistake?

Get rid of her.

All right, stay right
where you are.

Caroline Mason.

Max, I...

I'm sorry.

This time she is dead.

What about the hotel fire?

I was with her. I rescued her.

It was her maid's body

that was identified
as Caroline's.

And you just let it go at that?

You heard her voice,
that hideous mockery

of what had once been
the greatest coloratura

in the whole history of opera.

The vocal cords were
irreparably damaged

by the heat and smoke
inhalation from the fire.

He must have
loved her very much.

Not nearly as much
as she loved him.

She knew that without her voice,

she was but half a woman to him,

and she wanted
to be whole again,

to give him back the one thing
he had loved most about her.

Her voice.


Even if it was the
voice of another.



I can't help thinking how stupid

and unnecessary it all was.

If Caroline Mason
could only have accepted

what happened to her voice.

But she couldn't.

Someone once said,
"Nothing exceeds

the vanity of our existence
but the folly of our pursuits."

Oliver Goldsmith in
The Good-Natured Man,

Volume 1, 1759.

Someone also once said,

"A thing of beauty
is a joy forever."

Oh, Monsieur West
and Miss Collingwood,

how nice of you to come.

I am sure that with you here,

now every nationality in
the world is represented.

Do enjoy the buffet
and mingle, huh?

Oh, and, uh, all these people

are most charming
and understanding,

so don't worry for a
moment about feeling a bit

provincial, shall we say.

Do enjoy yourselves, and, uh...

Is something the matter?

I was just wondering if
that Monsieur Gordon

is coming tonight.

Oh, I... I'm terribly sorry,

but Mr. Gordon
can't attend tonight.

Ah. Oh, I am so sorry.

Do enjoy yourselves, eh?

Oh, carino mio, I
have wonderful news.

That horrid man Artemis
Gordon cannot come tonight.

Oh, I am so happy for you.

Of course, I'm terribly
disappointed for myself.

You see, I have
been standing here

dreaming up exquisite insults

to hurl at that villain.

Indeed, I was
prepared to meet him

on the field of honor.

Oh, Vladislav, my love,

don't waste one moment thinking

about that rustic
American peasant.

Tonight is ours.