The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 2, Episode 19 - The Night of the Tartar - full transcript

By order of President Grant, Agents James West and Artemus Gordon must bring Russian prisoner Rimsky to Vladivostok, Siberia, in exchange for American Vice Consul, Millard Boyer. When he tries to escape, Rimsky falls to his death forcing Gordon to disguise himself as Rimsky to complete the exchange. The Russian contact arranging the exchange has West and Gordon imprisoned with the Vice Consul instead. There, they learn that Rimsky should have returned with 5 million dollars in extortion money from wealthy Russian immigrants. Now, the corrupt Russians are waiting for Rimsky and their cut of the ill-gotten treasure.

Sealed orders?

A special directive from
the president himself.

"Not to be opened until
arrival in San Francisco."

Well, we're almost there.

All right.


"Your instructions
are as follows.

"One: On the night of May 9,

"at approximately 10 p.m.,

"there will be delivered
to you in your private car

"by San Francisco detectives

a paroled convict
named Feodor Rimsky."

It's a bit fine.

It's exactly five
minutes to ten now.


Uh, "Two, you will
escort said prisoner

"aboard the S.S.
Thomas Jefferson

"sailing San Francisco May 10

for the port of Vladivostok."

That's in Siberia.


"That is in Siberia, gentlemen."

"Three, you will
deliver the prisoner

"to the governor general
of Amur province, Siberia,

"and receive in exchange
the American vice consul,

"Mr. Millard Boyer,

"who is being held prisoner
pending the safe delivery

of Feodor Rimsky."

Prisoner exchange,
is that... Is that all?

Uh, no. "Four, the very
best of luck, gentlemen."

I wonder why he
thinks we need it.

Ah, it's almost 10:30.

They should have been
here half an hour ago.

Oh, relax, Artie.

Don't ask me why.

I've just got the feeling
something's gone sour.


Now don't tell me
which one is Rimsky.

Let me guess.

Uh, good evening,
officers. You're prompt.

Sign here.

Who are these men? What
are they going to do with me?

What is all this?

Receipt. One body in
good condition. Passport...

I protest!

Deportation order and
personal possessions.

Gentlemen, you just bought
yourselves a Russian jailbird.

I refuse to be sold
like a Russian peasant.

I am Feodor Rimsky,

fourth cousin to His Highness

Count Nicolai Sazanov,

governor general
of Amur province,

who is second cousin
to his imperial highness

Alexander II, czar
of all the Russias.

With pull like that, he
could get the firing squad.

Oh, thank you, gentlemen.
And give your warden my best.

Why not? He sent you his worst.

Rimsky, relax.

I refuse to face a firing squad.

That was a joke.

You're going to
Siberia in the morning.

You mean I'm... I'm
not going to be shot?

Certainly not.


You all right?


Where'd that shot come from?

Hard to tell.


Now, you fools, move!

Bring Rimsky.

I wonder where he's going.

Wherever it is, he's
making a beeline for it.

Rimsky, what's
the matter with you?

Don't you wanna go home?

Of course, but there is
something first I must do.

Well, what is it?

I can't tell you, Mr. West,

but I give you my word of honor

as a distant relative
of the royal family,

I will meet you at the boat.

Not a chance.

As long as we can swap
you for Millard Boyer,

you're just a prisoner.




Jim, I've been on
the receiving end

of a lot of setbacks in my time,

but this has got to
rank way up there

with the best of them.

Colonel, do you have any idea

who those men were
that were after Rimsky?

Well, he had a character
like an outlaw polecat.

Could have been any of
the hundreds of victims.

Exactly why was he in jail?

Do you recall how the book talks

about the little
foxes and the vines,

how they spoil them?

Well, that's Rimsky,

exceptin' he's more
of a jackal than a fox,

and the vines are the
thousands of Russian immigrants

who come pouring
into this country,

lifting up their eyes to a kind
of freedom they never knew,

blessing the day they
got out from under

that yolk of tyranny,

only to find out
they just swapped

one kind of tyranny for another.

I see, an immigrant
extortion ring.

Yep, worst kind.

They threaten
killing the relatives

that are still living in Russia
so as to get them to pay,

and the poor fellas just
pay and pay and pay.


Rimsky just died on
the operating table.

There goes our bargaining power.

Yep, just how do we trade a
dead man for Millard Boyer?

Colonel, I'd like
to go to Siberia.


You wouldn't have a prayer.

Colonel, if I
may, I'd like to...

Gordon, just about
15 minutes from now,

Sazanov's man's gonna
be here demanding

to know what happened to Rimsky.

Now, what am I gonna tell him?

Tell him he's here.

You know, Artie, it,
uh... It just might work.

What? What might work?

Look, Rimsky had a very
distinctive kind of a nose.

If I can manage
to duplicate that,

I am Feodor Rimsky,

fourth cousin to His
Highness Count Sazanov,

the imperial governor
of the province of Amur.

At your service, sir.

Jim, it won't work.

Why not, colonel? Artie
speaks fluent Russian.

Kuprin just might buy it.

Maybe he will,

but he's not Rimsky's
fourth cousin.

It wouldn't fool that Count
Sazanov for five minutes.

All we need is five minutes.

We can make the
exchange at night.

Once Boyer's safely away,

Artie can get rid
of the disguise

and take care of himself.

And because I acquired
a small wound on my chin,

the idiots at the hospital
saw fit to remove my beard.

For which outrage
your government

is going to pay, believe
me. I tell you that.



Okay, it's settled.

I think there's no more
to discuss, colonel.

But the imperial Russian
ship Tushina sails tomorrow.

Bon voyage, Kuprin.
We're sailing in one week

on the S.S. Alexander Hamilton.

And arriving one week
late in Vladivostok.

Count Sazanov
will be displeased.

He'll get over it.

Very well.

If that is what it must
be, so it must be.

Come, let us be sociable

and have a drink of vodka, yes?


How clumsy of me.
I've spilled my vodka.

It certainly was,

but the bartender
will bring more. Eh.

Don't bother on my account.

Vodka doesn't
really agree with me.

I think I'll concentrate
on the caviar.

Leave some for me, eh, please.

We'll see you in
a week, captain.

Thank you for lunch.

Let's go, Rimsky.

When do we reach port?

Welcome to
Vladivostok, Mr. West.

I hope you had a
pleasant crossing.

You mean double crossing.

I had to insist you
sail on the Tushina.

Count Sazanov would never
have understood the delay.

Where's Rimsky?

He's being made
presentable for his audience.

Count Sazanov awaits you
both at his country estate.

I'll, uh...

I'll tell all my friends
about this place.

Get in the coach.


Oh, fancy meeting you here.

How'd you get here?

I was shanghaied.

Shanghaied like a greenhorn.

Oh, have a pleasant crossing?

Smooth, smooth. And you?

Well, I wasn't seasick once.

'Course I was sick as a dog

from having been drugged.

They've gone
to a lot of trouble.

Yeah, I guess my cousin
must be very anxious to see me.

Listen, just because we're
on Sazanov's home ground,

does that mean we have to
play according to his rules?

There's no rule that says so.

What's it look like
from out there, Artie?

There's one Cossack
on either side.

Must be one up
ahead riding lead.

We're outflanked,

but we can retreat.

I, um, hate to make changes
in a custom-built carriage.

Oh, nonsense.

Should be standard equipment.

Care to stop?

Thank you.

Shall we drop out?

After you.


Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha.


Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha.

Ha. Ha. Ha.


Ha! Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.


That was very good, Chekov,

but the object of the
game is to kill me.

And of course, you
realize what happens

to the person who does
not succeed in that endeavor,

do you not?

Gracious highness,

I promise you I will
never steal a grain again.

Please, highness.

I did it because I was hungry.

Nicky, Feodor is back.

The carriage is just
coming around the turn.

Nevertheless, I was not
unfair with you, Chekov.

I gave you the
opportunity to kill me

in return for which I
now have the honors.

Now, dear sister, let
us welcome Feodor.


Rimsky, come out. You are home.


Guards, the prisoners
have escaped!

Search the countryside!

Find them! Bring them back!

Listen, Millard Boyer's
probably still in the house.

I better go in
there and get him.

But you keep out of sight.

If he's not there, I may have
to exchange you after all.

Uh, there's something
you better take care of.

What's that? Him.




Surrounded by stupid Cossacks!

If they don't find
the prisoners,

I'll have them
all sent to Alaska!

Alaska's out, count.

We bought that from
you five years ago.

Permit me to introduce myself.

My name is James
West, special emissary

from the president
of the United States.

So, you give yourself up?

Not too soon.

My Cossacks would
hunt you down like rabbits.

Where's that idiot Rimsky?

He'll be returned to
you tomorrow night

in accordance with
our original agreement.

I think we should
discuss the conditions

of the exchange of prisoners.

Conditions? You
give me conditions?

I'll turn him over to you
tomorrow night at 11:00

in the middle of the bridge,
if that's all right with you.

I have counterproposal.

I shall string you
up by the thumbs

while my Cossacks
bring Rimsky to me.

You'll never find him.

Turn around!


I'm Millard Boyer,
American vice-consul.

I'm James West.

I was sent by President
Grant to get you out of Siberia.

I see.

And who is the president
sending to rescue you?

You are all idiots
and incompetents!

Rimsky is hiding
under your very noses!

I want you to go
out into the fields,

look in the house,
look in the stable,

look under your own
beds, if you must!

Dolts, if you do not bring
Rimsky to me by lunch,

I have an ear from
each one of you!

If not by dinner, I
cut off your noses!

Count Sazanov's escapades
in St. Petersburg are legend.

The drinking bouts, gambling
for high stakes, the women.

I'm sure you get the picture.

Sort of a playboy
of the Eastern world.

Nicky was the most
popular man in the capital

and a favorite at
the winter palace

till his gambling debts
reached 1 million rubles.

Then the czar
had to take action.

Action, as in Siberia?

Yes, but as governor general.

It's all through graft,
protection, taxation.

Nicky was able to get
enough money to pay his debts,

but he got impatient to get back

to the gay life in
St. Petersburg.

So he sent his cousin
to San Francisco

to shake down the
wealthy immigrants.

That's right, Mr. West.

And when Rimsky went
to prison in California,

Nicky retaliated by arresting me

on a trumped-up charge.

Sometimes I wonder
if I'll ever get out alive.

You, come.

Mr. West, look upon me
as a friend. Confide in me.

Tell me where you
have hidden Rimsky.

I'll do better than that.

Tomorrow night, I'll give
him to you at the bridge.

Mr. West,

I cannot abide
people without heads.

So that we can still be
friends, tell me where Rimsky is.

I don't remember.

Does that jog your memory?

Very well. Finish him off.

Your Highness,

I have returned.

Who the devil are you?

It's me, your cousin,
Feodor Rimsky,

but minus my beard.

It was shaved off by
those savages in America.

Rimsky! Let me
look at you! Ha, ha.

Yes, you look even
sillier without the beard,

if that's possible,

but welcome back! Ha, ha!


Guess who that
is talking, Rimsky.

Well, the voice
is terribly familiar,

but I can't place
it for the moment.

You hear that? His own wife
he can't remember! Ha, ha!


Enough, Ana, for the time being.

That's enough.

Where are my $5 million?

Y-y-your 5 million what?

I took great pains to free
you from prison, cousin.

I brought you all the
way home to Russia.

You are thousands of
miles from San Francisco.

I think you will tell me
where the money is.

B-b-but I was his prisoner.

He has all my possessions.

So, Mr. West, where is my money?

I was shanghaied. Ask Kuprin.

I string everybody
up until you tell me.

I'm being very frank
with you, Mr. West.

Until my debts are paid,

I am barred from St. Petersburg.

That is why I sent
Cousin Feodor to America,

to raise a million rubles.

Uh, didn't cousin
Feodor oversubscribe?

I think you mentioned
something like $5 million.

One million, five
million, the fact is,

I haven't seen a penny of it.

Let's not bicker over the
sordid details, Mr. West.

You tell me where
Rimsky has hidden it,

and we'll be friends, eh?

Can we be friends for $17?

Because that's all
your cousin had on him,

unless he's trying
to pull a fast one.

Never. Feodor is a cousin.

Cain was a brother.

Feodor is a coward.

Well, let's get him down
here and put it to him.

Tonight? Take him
away from his wife?

Mm. Yes, that would
be inhuman, wouldn't it?

Of course. They've been
apart for more than a year.

We Russians are sentimental.

Nicky says I can't untie you

unless you tell
where the money is.

Let him have the money, Feodor.

We have... each other.

Oh, but Anastasia,
dar... Darling...

Shh. We have the whole
night to celebrate your return.

And look, Feodor,


Oh, that was a very good year.

I remember it well.

That's very thoughtful.
You remembered.

Of course, darling.

You, me, the balalaikas playing.

I don't remember any balalaikas.

Where there is you,

there is music.


All right, Feodor.


So don't tell Nicky
about the money.

I don't care.

Oh, thank you, Anastarinka.

Just... Just tell your little
snowflake where the money is.

But Anastasinka, darling,

my purest glittering
quartz crystal,

light of my life, I can't.

Who you are, I don't
know, and I don't care.

But you know where the money is,

and you will tell me or...


They are Russian, and
they are very much in love.

They're twice blessed.



What's wrong?



He's a stranger.

Impossible. He's
only been away a year.

I mean a complete stranger.

He's not even Feodor.

Mr. West.

Mr. Boyer, I'd like
you to meet my, uh,

partner, Artemus Gordon.

How do you do?

Young man, have you
come to rescue me too?

Yeah, that, uh,
was the idea, yes.

If President Grant
sends enough men,

we may yet outnumber
the Cossacks.

How does the
situation appear now?

Bleak. Nicky doesn't
know it, but Rimsky's dead.

Artie came along in his place.

My guards tell me
there's a controversy

over some money.
Five million dollars?

That's right.

It's still in America.

It is?

Yeah, remember the last
night we were in San Francisco?

Yeah, when Rimsky
tried to escape.

Mm-hm. We didn't know
why or where he was headed.

I suspect the money
is in the back room

of the Russian-American

Have you told this
to Count Sazanov?

No. I didn't know
how he'd take it.

Well, there's only one
way he can take it. He's lost.

I'm no longer of
any value to him.

He'll release me now. All of us.

Are you sure about that?

Well, what's his alternative?

He could just kill you.

He could just kill all of us.

Nonsense. If nothing else,
Nicky is a practical man.

Once he realizes the
money is out of reach...

I'm gonna tell him.

Guard! Guard!

You think it'll work?

It's worth a try.

Open up the door.

I demand an audience
with Count Sazanov at once.

Think you can open that again?

Ah, it's a piggy bank.

Good. We'll let
him get downstairs,

and then we'll follow him.

If Nicky has a sense of
humor, we'll buy him a drink.

If not, we'll grab Boyer
and make for the border.

Any border.


Mm, I think something
a bit stronger, Nicky.

I deserve it.

For what?

Oh, for finding out

what happened to
the, uh, $5 million.

They told you?

Ha, ha. Of course.

Those nice young men
confide all their little secrets

in Uncle Millard.

And the money can be recovered?


It's hidden in the back room

of the Russian-American
import company warehouse

in San Francisco.


My friend, this
calls for a drink.

I'll go to San Francisco,
recover the money,

and send you your half.

Old friend, you have
a truly Russian soul.

Riddle inside a mystery
wrapped in an enigma.

Between us, we
could make history.

Mm-hm. Yes, we
do work well together.

Come to St. Petersburg with me.

I really should let them
have that satisfaction.

Maybe later.

I'll have my cousin
the czar request

you be appointed
ambassador to Russia.

Stay here.

Your Highness,

we caught these men
listening at the door.

How much did you hear?

Um, not a thing. Nothing.

I think they know everything.

Now you have to come
to St. Petersburg with me.


You can't go to Washington now.

Either I can't,

or they can't.

And I don't intend
to be put out.

Nicky, I think an
execution is in order.

It's only an hour till dawn.

Gentlemen, now that I
have my own resources,

I can reasonably hope for an
ambassadorship someday soon,

provided the president never
learns about my little, uh,


I don't suppose I can
rely on your silence.

I don't suppose so, no.

Then I really have
no alternative.

You do understand
that, don't you?

Oh, we understand, all right.

We're still gonna hold a grudge.

My compliments,
gentlemen. Die well.

Kuprin and Anastasia
will see that you are buried

with appropriate honors.

So much for the United
States of America.

Now to proceed to San Francisco

and explore a certain warehouse.

Boyer, that's a very good idea,

but you don't really believe

that I would actually
share $5 million

with somebody else, do you?

I eat peasants for
breakfast, Boyer.

Why should you be any different?


We shall start with you
first, I think, Mr. West.


Uh, before you bid me
goodbye, may I, uh...

May I ask a question?

If it is short.

Uh, yes. Yes it is.

There's a game that
you Russians play

with a pistol and a bullet.

Could you tell me what that is?

Yes, I'll be very happy to.

Better I will demonstrate.

First you remove all the
bullets from the chamber,

but one.


Then you spin the chamber,

and then you play the game.

Are we taking turns?

Uh, before it's my turn again,

I wonder whether I
could make a, uh...

A very small request of you.

If it is within reason.

Oh, yes, uh...

See, uh,

look, I don't know whether, uh,

Anastasia will remember this,

but last night,

uh, when we were
alone in her room,

uh, she and I... Before I was
unmasked, you understand,

when she still thought
I was her husband...

She's very beautiful.

It must have been
a beautiful moment.


Uh, I've always lived for love,

so it seems only
fitting that I...

If this has to be...

That I die with
her kiss on my lips.

How romantic, Mr. Gordon.

I'll ask her. Thank you.

Keep stalling, Artie,
I'm just about finished.


Anastasinka, you don't mind?

No, little snowflake.

If I can make the
balalaikas play for you

one last time,

it is little enough.

Cut him loose.


Come on, Annie,
we're going to the barn.

You're gonna come with us.

Get up here.


You'll have to talk
plainer than that, sonny.

I can't understand a
word you're saying.

What is that, Paiute?

No, uh, Russian.

Say, wh...? What's
a desert rat like you

doing out here in
Siberia, old-timer?


Here. Siberia.

Well, maybe that's
where you are, but me,

I like it right here where I am.

And where would
that be, old-timer?

Well, near as I can figure,

just about halfway between
the Russian river settlement

and San Francisco.

San Francisco,


Well, is there another?

Well, I told you it
would be difficult

getting to
Vladivostok from here.

Your people certainly went
to a great deal of trouble,

didn't they?

Drugging us, carrying
us aboard ship,

going through all that
complicated rigamarole

to make it seem like
we'd taken a long, long trip.

And to get the $5 million.

And why not?

It is convertible into
a lovely lot of rubles.

Artie, I think I know
where that money is.

You take the young
lady to the courthouse

in the federal building
in San Francisco.

I have to move fast.

Why don't you take me
in yourself, Mr. West?

Or perhaps I'm too much for you.

Like I said, Artie,

take the lady back
to San Francisco.

Come on, Snowflake.
Let's get out of here.

It's getting too darned
crowded for me.


You are veritably
the last person

I expected to meet tonight.

Then Kuprin isn't the
executioner you thought.

You win that round.

Now what do you propose?

I propose

to place you under arrest.

The charges?

Well, the murder
of Millard Boyer.

Oh, that.

Plus blackmail,


But did you and Artie
really get fooled into thinking

you were being shipped all
the way out to little old Siberia?

Yes, at the time, that's
what me thought. Mm-hm.

But, I mean, it's just
purely impossible

fooling you that way,

making you think you were
on a month-long sea voyage.

Oh, believe me,
dear lovely ladies,

they did it very, very shrewdly

with a complete
collection of sounds, sights,

movements, all
designed to make us feel

we were right on the high seas.

And they only
had to do their act

the few times we came
out of a drugged sleep.

But the funniest thing

was having Jim in a barber chair

when he woke up, as
though they'd just shaved off

a month-long growth of beard.

And by a barber who
could only have existed

in a place like Sib...

Uh, girls, someone once said

that a picture is worth
a thousand words.

I think that was
little old Confucius.

So it was.

Uh-huh. Well,
anyway, Artie and I

are about to show
you a demonstration,

to show both of you
how you can be fooled.

Now, girls, look at the sphere.

We are about to take you

to the greatest social
event of our time.

Now concentrate.

Concentrate on the ball.

Con... cen... trate.