The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 2, Episode 12 - The Night of the Man-Eating House - full transcript

Agents West and Gordon are sent to transport a prisoner to the hospital after the prisoner spent nearly thirty years in solitary confinement for treason. Looking for a place to spend the night, the men come upon a deserted mansion whose doors mysteriously swing wide open for the travelers and slam shut once they enter. As night approaches, the men begin to hear a crying woman but they can not find its source.

Artie, I hate to bring this up,

but, uh, the telegraph
key is missing.

What are you talking about?

Well, nobody's perfect.


Did you get that?

Most of it. May I?


"proceed immediately,

sheriff's office, Ocala County."

What else?

"To take recaptured
prisoner into federal custody.

Emphasize all necessary
precautions be observed."

Well, if you ask
me, it's a lot of fuss

over one prisoner.

Artie. Hm?

What was that name?

Liston Lawrence Day.

Why? Does the name
mean anything to you?

It does.

Pretty tough hombre, eh?

Oh, let's just say important,

like Simon Girty

or Benedict Arnold
was important.

Artie's sound asleep, sheriff.

Why don't you
get some rest, too?

You sure you'll be all right?

I can handle him.

Help me.

Help me.

Help me.

Help me.

It's the last time
you can help me.

I'm home now.

Home to you.

Help me.

Don't let them take
me away again.

All right, Day.

Come on.

Get moving.

It's hard to believe
an old man like him

could bust outta jail
and come all this way

into the bayou country on foot.

You'd have think
it had killed him.

It almost has.

He's dying of swamp fever.


He sure don't look
very dangerous.

Depends what you mean
by "dangerous," sheriff.

About 30 years ago,

when Texas was fighting

for its independence under
General Sam Houston,

this man, born in
Texas, turned traitor,

and caused the death of
a lot of his fellow Texans.

For that crime, he was
sentenced to life in prison.

Thirty years in
solitary confinement.

He's insane. Dangerous?

Don't you turn your
back on him, sheriff.

You listen to me, Day.

We're going back to Beaumont.

There's a doctor
there. He'll fix ya up.

And when you're well,

I'm taking you back to prison.


Forget it, Jim. He can't
hear a word you say.

I think he hears
me very clearly.

Come on.

Sheriff, bring the lantern.

It's you who are
going to die, Mr. West,

all of you.

Sheriff, bring the lantern.

Oh, yeah.

Who lives there, sheriff?

I got no idea.

I've never been this
far from Beaumont.

Looks like they've
all turned in.

Maybe they'll let us
stay the night in the barn.

Well, I suppose
we could ask 'em.


lift the lamp up,
will you, please?

No one's been here
for a long, long time.

Artie, bring him in here.

Must have been
the lady of the house.

Wonder who she was.

He's pretty bad off, Jim.

I don't think he'll
make it till morning.

It's not the Palace Hotel.

It's gonna have
to do for the night.

Sheriff, you get some firewood.

Get the blankets.

It's going to be
cold here tonight.


I don't think blankets
are gonna help him.

It's a woman...


What caused that?
There's no wind in here.




Hey, Mr. West.

What's going on around here?

Them shutters,

they're all slamming
themselves shut

at the same time.

James, my boy, if
it's all the same to you,

I'd just as soon stay
at the Palace Hotel.

Bring the lamp, sheriff.

It's no use, Artie. Step back.

That pellet should've
blasted this whole wall down.

Ohh... ohh... ohh...

Every time we hurt this house...

she cries.

It's as though they
were one and the same.

Hurt the house?

What kind of
nonsense talk is that?

Jim, lend me your knife.

Thank you.

Jim, I know this sounds insane,

but I don't think that's
just a woman screaming.

It sounds like a woman to me.

Artie, if you're telling
me you believe in ghosts,

I don't.

No, I'm not talking
about ghosts, Jim.

It's this house itself.

It seems to have
a life of its own.

There's some simple explanation.

There always is.

Whatever it is,

we're prisoners.

That's it.

All of them, like the shutters.

Think we oughta risk it?


There may be a way out up there.

Fella could starve
to death down here.

We'll wait until morning.

With this lantern,
we'd be a perfect target

for whoever it is up there.

Look at those cobwebs.

There can't be anybody up there.

No one's been down that
staircase in years, Jim.

Maybe there's
another way up there.

We'll find out in the morning.

How is he, sheriff?

Not so good.

He's still in a coma.

I think he's dying.



What is it?



Keep an eye on him, sheriff.


What was it, Jim?
It was something.

I looked at his face.

It seemed to have changed.

Maybe it was just the moonlight.

Changed how?

He seemed younger, much younger.

You know, I think she
must've been his wife.

This was home.
He's come back to it.

In his crazed state,

he thought somehow that
she'd be waiting for him.

In a way, she is
waiting, you know? This...


She's this house.


What was that?

The door.

Stop it.

Wait here.

It came through this door.

It's no use.

Jim, wait.

Look at that.

It's a velvet ribbon.

The woman in that portrait
wore a velvet ribbon, didn't she?

Let me see it in the light.

What is it, Mr. West?

It's a piece of velvet, sheriff.



Halt! Stop!

Every ounce of blood's
been drained out of him.

How is that possible?


Look at her eyes, Jim.



Yeah, I'm awake.

I was just thinking
about that sheriff up there.

I know.

He's still up there like
we left him yesterday.

Let's go on up.


Boy, I feel like I'm
90, going on 100.

I know.

I feel exactly the same way.


It's all rusted.

Last night this belt buckle
had a high, shiny gloss.

I don't believe it.

Only the weapons are rusted.

It's a set.

We'd better come up
with a theory to cover that.

I've got a theory.

This house is seeped in age,

years piled upon years.

We're intruders here.

Maybe the house
is striking back,

the only way that it can.

You mean, like,
telescoping time,

so that the effect of years
has worked on us overnight?

It's pretty wild, isn't it?

Yeah. That's a...

And while we're on the subject

of things that
are pretty wild...

Artie, look at these windows.

That's the one you heaved the
mini-grenade through yesterday.

Not a sign of the blast.

All right, how does
that fit into your theory?

I'm through apologizing
for what it does to logic.

It's almost,

like this house had the knack,

the ability to renew itself.

Tsk, well, how do you
go about handling a house

that treats you as though
you were an enemy?

I don't know.

Maybe the answer is
to treat it like a friend,

and not like an enemy.

Let's go out to the foyer
and check your theory out.

That's what I like about women,

they always tidy
up for the new day.

Did you get any on you?

What could have happened to him?

They must have gotten him.

Come on.

This must have been her room.

She wanted us to come in here.

The doors.


You tell me.

Let's go over it again.

We came here
last night with Day,

who was sick and dying.

We were made prisoners.

You were almost killed,

while he was our prisoner.

The sheriff was killed,
trying to catch him,

and now she's got him
somewhere in this house

hidden safely.

And maybe that's all she wants.

Maybe she doesn't
want to do anything to us.

"Caroline L. Day."

It's her diary.

Let me see.

She wanted us to see it.

That's why she opened that.


Hold on.

"March 3rd, 1811.

"We have named the
baby Liston Lawrence Day.

Charles dotes on him."

I was wrong.

She wasn't his wife.
She was his mother.

I'd think so, Artie.


"May 14th, 1830.

Charles says that Liston
will make a brilliant doctor,

"like himself.

"They spend hours
in Charles' laboratory.

"They're always
together, thick as thieves.

"Charles has taught
Liston to speak Spanish,

"and I must say that he is
as handsome and dashing

"a young man as
any don ever was.

"Charles says that as long
as we live here in Texas,

"under the rule of the
Spanish-speaking people,

it's only right that Liston
know the language."

I must say the lady's
spelling is atrocious.

"March 29th, 1836.

"Terrible news has come.

"General Santa Anna
and his Mexican forces

"have ambushed and
slain hundreds of our men.

"Luckily, our good
general Sam Houston

"escaped the trap.

"Charles is disconsolate.

"it was downstairs
in our drawing room

"that the movement of our troops

"was planned in secret.

How could Santa
Anna have known?"

You have an entry
for April 23rd, 1836?

That's when Day was arrested
and sentenced to prison.

Yeah, here it is.

"April 23rd, 1836.

"This morning my
husband confessed to me,

it was he who told Santa Anna."


"Liston has begged
me to remain silent.

"He said, 'Nothing must
happen to my father.'

"He's a great doctor
who will do great work.

"Earlier this evening,

"General Sam Houston
himself came with some men,

"and it was Liston, my
beloved, beautiful son

"who confessed
to the terrible crime.

"And Charles,

"Charles just stood
there in silence.

"Oh, my baby. My
precious, precious darling,

"I shall wait for you

"here at home, praying for you,

wishing for your return."

Thirty years.

We've had the wrong man
imprisoned, for 30 years.

Charles Day didn't
live long after that.

Listen to this one.

"August 7th, 1839.

"This morning my
husband Charles was killed

"in a hunting accident.

"I cannot weep for him now.

"He is released from
his own private horror.

"Oh, how cruel the irony
that my precious Liston,

"would have sacrificed himself

"so that his father

"might do great
things as a doctor,

and now the sacrifice
has been in vain."

She wants us to leave.

She wants us to take this
diary and clear her son.

I don't think so, Mr. West.

After 30 years,

I'm returning to
my ancestral home,

and I intend to stay.

She always liked me at that age.

Doesn't that surprise you?

A love like that, can
reach out of the past,

transform the present?

Put that gun down.

So far, you're guilty of nothing

but defending
your father's honor.

A terrible mistake
has been made,

but you allowed it.

Don't make a worse
one. Give me that gun.

I'll thank you to
hand me that diary.

Listen to me.

We can get you free,

arrange for a pardon.

Give me that diary!

Give it to him, Artie.



Caroline Day,

we must take him with us,

but don't worry, we
have the diary now.

He'll come back
to you a free man.

Jim, she doesn't want us
to take him out of the house.

All right, we'll leave him,

but we must take the diary.

What's that?


hundreds of them. They
must be all around us.

Behind those walls.

Look at those.

You thinking what I am?



I have a feeling
not for very long.


I hear our friends
have quieted down.

That's no way to
create an appetite, is it?

They need exercise.

Wake up! Wake up!


I don't know what
it is you're up to,

but don't do it. You're
an innocent man.

The government owes you
more than apologies, Day.

It owes you reparations, money.

Enough money for you
to rebuild this house.

Me llamo Dias!

Dias! Do you hear?

Not Day. Dias.


that was the name
my grandfather chose

because he wanted to belong
to the gringo's way of life.

He raised my
father that way, too,

but blood is stronger than
social aspirations, Mr. West.

My father was true to his blood.

To the gringo, he always
remained Charles Day,

but in his heart,
he was Carlos Dias,

a man of fire and steel,

a man of breeding!

And I am my father's son.

This house is the
hacienda of Don Dias.

Who discovered Texas?

My father's ancestors,
the noble Spaniards.

By the sacred honor
of my father's memory,

and by the memory of
my father's ancestors...

My ancestors.

This land will be Spanish again,

and the gringo
will be destroyed.



Texas has been a
state for a long time,

for 30 years, since
you were sent to prison.

American barbarians!

What do you know of
grace, of style, of manners?

I remember.

I remember,

once this house smiled,

with the sound of guitars,

in the gardens,

were courtly couples walking.

Señora, buenas noches.

Con permiso?

Que noche.

Que linda,

la luna.

Que perfecto, la luna.

There are a lot of
people in Texas, Day.

From what I've seen,
they don't die very easily.

Do you know how many rats
there are in those walls, Mr. West?

I don't know.

Thousands and
thousands of ravenous rats,

and once those
iron doors open...

Let me show you.

Those doors open automatically

the moment this
clock strikes 12.

On the 12th stroke...

Let me show you
what's in this case.

Ants, gentlemen.


carrying the bubonic
plague, the black death.

My father and I
started with six rats,

and they multiplied.

An army, gentlemen.

Thousands upon
thousands of rats,

and all of them
infected by these ants.

And behind those walls,

an army is waiting.

We've been waiting for 30 years.

Thirty years.

At noon, gentlemen.


And once their
feast here is over,

they will spread
from county to county

till all of Texas is infected.

In the middle ages,

the bubonic plague killed
almost three quarters of Europe.

No pena, madre, por favor.

Soon this land will be
free of these gringos.

Everything will be as it was.

Our hacienda alight, great
fiestas in our ballroom.



Mantillas, lace,



Caroline Day, listen.

Your son is insane.

Maybe right from the start.

You've wasted your love
on a madman, Caroline.

Paciencia, madre.

It will only be a moment or two.


Open the cell door, Caroline.


We're only here to help him.

It's for him.


Hold it.

Get him to come over

to the center of
the cell, close.

How am I gonna do that?

I don't know. Sing, dance,
recite Shakespeare, anything.

But get him over here,

then swing the lamp to me.


Peon, que paso aqui?

Silencio! Bastante,
bastante. Silencio!

A few thousand rats?

A few thousand rats

are gonna kill
millions of people?

Suficiente! Bastante silencio!

Let us take him
with us, Caroline.

If we leave him,
he'll commit one

of the most horrible crimes
in the history of mankind.

He isn't worth your loving.

Be rid of him,

and be happy with your memories.

Stay where you are!

Both of you!

I should have done
this at the very first.

It would have
saved a lot of trouble.

After all...

I don't care how you die,

as long as you die.


Once I'm rid of you,

I'll return to my laboratory...

and I'll release my army.

Mr. Gordon, I
will kill you first.

Mr. West,

I shall take my
leisure in killing you.

And now, sir, if you'll...

s-stand aside...

Stand aside from your friend...

Did you hear me?

I said...

I said...

He's dead.

What do you want to
say in our report, Jim?

That we brought Liston
Day here, and he died of...

swamp fever.

Good morning.

Good morning.


what happened?

Nothing, except you
spent half the night calling

for a girl named Caroline.

Now, whoever she is, you
didn't seem to like her very much.


It seemed so real.

Well, ahem, we'd
better get moving.

Something wrong?

Oh, no, no. Nothing.


do you believe in ghosts?

Of course not.

You know there's no
such thing as ghosts.


Nothing. No such thing.

No such thing.

Who lives there, sheriff?

I got no idea.

I ain't never been this
far from Beaumont.

Maybe he'll let us spend
the night in the barn.

Well, I suppose
we could ask him.