The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 3, Episode 1 - The Night of the Bubbling Death - full transcript

The United States Constitution is stolen by a revolutionary and agents James West and Artemus Gordon are sent by the government to recover it. Arriving at a Mexican border town, the agents penetrate an installation under a fortress to find the priceless document. When the agents find the revolutionary, he demands one million dollars for what is later discovered to be a forgery of the Constitution. Before forcing the revolutionary into a pool of acid, they are told a riddle that leads them to the hiding place of the real document.

( western theme playing)

MAN: Oh, dear.

Th-this seems rather
unwise, Mr. West.

Why don't we wait until...

Mr. Grigsby, we're wasting time.

( western theme playing)

A Welcoming delegation.
Panhandle Strip style.

All right, hold it.

I said hold it!

(slurring): I never thought
I'd live to see the day

a federal man would
dare to show his face

in the Panhandle Strip.

Move on, friend.

Oh, no.

Not until I ventilate your hide.

Get down off that horse.


I told you to move, mister.

(quietly): Hello, James.

Nothing special, just
mind your manners

around a big man
named "Cartwheel."

Thanks, Artie.


MAN: Hey, you
with the fancy specs,

you trying to rattle me?

I-I'm sorry. I-I
certainly didn't mean to.

Sorry ain't good
enough for me, mister.

Sir, the man apologized.

MAN: Maybe Vance ain't in
no apology-accepting mood.

Now if you gentlemen
just take your hats off

and bow respectfully,

that just might
soothe old Vance.

Some other time, fella.

WOMAN: Clint.

( dramatic theme playing)

Welcome to Panhandle, Mr. West.

( upbeat western theme playing)

( action theme playing)

WOMAN: Mr. West!

You and your friend are
here on official business.

Besides, you're
a day late as it is.

Took a slow train.

We're waiting, Mr. West.

Some other time... fella.

Give me the gun.

( upbeat theme playing)

There's a Gatling
gun in my left boot.

Here we are, arm in arm.

I don't even know your name,

but I'll never forget the
fragrance of your perfume.




I never cared for
the smell of acid.



MAN: You may remove
your blindfolds, gentlemen.

Well, it's Mr. Silas Grigsby,

the celebrated curator of
the United States Archives.

We're honored...

and delighted at your
choice of expert, Mr. West.

Uh, where is the document?

If-if I may be permitted to
touch the actual surface?



Oh, genuine.

It's quite genuine, Mr. West.

(sighs): There's no question.

That is the constitution
of the United States.

Why, thank you, Mr. Grigsby.

What is it you
want for its return?

For myself, nothing,
but for my country...

Your country?

Size is no yardstick of a
country's greatness, Mr. West.

Panhandle Strip is more than
a modest parcel of territory,

for whose sovereignty
your country

and Mexico are contending.

It is a national entity

with a great sense
of national purpose.

Exactly what are your terms?


Very well.

They are as follows:

one, your country
will immediately

cease negotiations with Mexico.

Two, your country will
immediately recognize

Panhandle Strip as
a sovereign enclave,

situated between the
borders of the two nations.

I can hardly wait
for number three.

A gift of gold bullion in
the amount of $1 million.

You, Mr. West,

will communicate our
terms to President Grant.

You, Mr. Grigsby,
will remain with us.


B-but why? You
have the constitution.

Yes, but you see,

Mr. West might dawdle
in presenting my terms.

If he doesn't reappear
with the money,

you will be punished

Uh, p-please, m-my influence...
I-I can do you much more...


Uh, Mr. West, don't
let them do this, please.

I'm sorry, sir, but under
the circumstances,

we have no choice.

( dramatic theme playing)

You're going to get
your little tattoo job, West.

Free of charge, for nothing.

Without cost.

This must be my lucky day.

You're going to be walking
proof that we mean business.

MAN: Hold it
right there, partner.

What do you want?

I want a crack at
that coyote there.


He's mine.

I'll give you $20
for him... American.

What makes him
worth money to you?

I spent five years
rotting in a jailhouse

because of that...

All I want is five
minutes with him.

Make it $50.

But don't kill him, you hear?

Not a chance.

All I wanna do is make
sure I give old West here...

an old-fashioned Laredo rubdown.

( dramatic theme playing)


All set, West?

Ready to bleed? Huh?




Yahh, boy!


( action theme playing)

(crowd yelling)




(horses whinnying)

Don't suppose you
were able to find out

who's behind all this?

Course I was.

His name's Victor Freemantle.

A year ago, he fired
three badly aimed shots

at the president of Argentina.

Six months ago,

he led an abortive
revolution in Venezuela.

Future plans include
annexation of Texas

and Baja California.

Sounds like you could
write a book about him.

Well, he likes girls,
and girls like to talk.

Yeah. From what I
saw, he has good taste.

You're talking about
Carlotta Waters.

Lovely, but lethal.

Artie, what do you
know about this place?

Aesthetically, historically,
or architecturally?

All of it, Artie.


it was built by the
conquistadors in 1557.

At one time, it held more gold

than the United States Treasury.

Aesthetically, terrible.

It's got more dungeons,
passageways and vaults

than the Tower of London.


it's as perfect a mixture
of Herrera, Baroque,

and Mexican Colonial as
you're likely to find anywhere.


I went in this door,


And down this
corridor for 22 steps.

Then a 90-degree
turn, 26 more steps,

and then down these
stairs to an elevator.


The only place they could
possibly have built that

would have been
the old mine shaft.



Then what?

Well, they, uh...

unfortunately, they
spun me around.

That was it.

I don't know where
I went from there.

You mean you lost
all sense of direction?

Mm-hmm. That makes
it a little bit awkward,

don't you think?

We're just gonna
have to go through

every single one of them.

(honky-tonk music playing)

(indistinct conversations)


And stay out.

Hey, Brad, you got competition.

Batten down the hatches, mate.

Looks like stormy weather ahead.

Come on, boys.

Very good evening to you, sir.

Traveling groggery.

Does that mean all the whiskey
you can drink for 50 cents?

Oh, oh, yes, indeed,
sir. Yes, the very finest.

Pima, you remember what we did

to that last whiskey salesman

who went into
competition with us?


A-and that, sir, if you please,

is not merely your average,

run-of-the-mill redeye
or rotgut, as it were,

but, uh, that, th-that is, uh...

that, th-that is, uh...

( dramatic theme playing)


(clears throat)


( suspenseful theme playing)

(crowd laughing)

E-e-excuse me, sir,

but your torch is
getting just a mite close

to the canvas of my wagon there.


(men laughing)

Well, I hope that
you don't mind...


Uhh, now, as I was saying,

before the danger
of combustion arose,

I represent a
line of peerless...

No, indeed, let me say
superior merchandise which...



All right, all right, all right!

Okay, all right!

(crowd becomes quiet)

We had us a good laugh.

Now you, turn your rig
around and drive on out.

Oh, s-sir, please,
you don't understand.

All this is merely to introduce

a new line of refreshment

which will have people
from miles around

flocking to your emporium.

Well, I don't buy nothing
without I taste it first.

(to himself): I thought
you'd never ask.

Well, that seems like
a fair request to me, sir.

Now, sir, prepare yourself
for a rare experience.


(crowd gasps)


All right, little friend,

you wanna explain what happened?

I-I-I'm terribly sorry, sir.

That bottle must
have gone bad on me.

All right, I'll take another
one of those bottles.

Oh, of course, of course.

I-I just don't
understand that, sir.

Now, I-I'm sure that you'll find

that this bottle is
infinitely superior

to the other one...

You taste it first.

( suspenseful theme playing)

But I-I have been
trying to explain to you

Mr., uh, Mr. Big Brass
Bar, that as a member

of the Wichita
Temperance League,

I couldn't poss... (cocks gun)

Drink it or get ventilated.

Y-yes, sir. Of course. Course.

I'll be happy to drink it.

There's... uh, i-it's
marvelous merchandise.

As a matter of fact, I
have great b-belief in...

(rapid popping)



(popping continues)

Boys, shoot him!

Hold it, hold it, hold
it! That's enough.

( whimsical theme playing)

Artie, why stand on ceremony?

Just not used to coming
through the front door,

that's all.

(footsteps approach)

(footsteps approach)

Move away from
that window, please.

I was all wrong.

The boots, the riding crop...

you were made to wear silk.

And you were made
for a form-fitting pine box.

You wouldn't be silly enough

to think I wouldn't
shoot, I hope.

No, I would never
jump to that conclusion.

(knock at door)

MAN: Carlotta?

You wouldn't be silly enough

to think I wouldn't
shoot, I hope.

You're dressing.

I'm dressing, Victor.

There's been some ridiculous
disturbance in the square.

You'd better stay in your room.

All right, Victor.

(doorknob jiggles)

(sighs): Excellent
performance. My compliments.

Maybe it wasn't a performance.

Maybe I am different
when I wear silk.

That's too bad, because you're
going to have to get used to

wearing prison denim
for a long time to come.

You're not going to send
me to prison, Mr. West...

not with all the
help I can give you.

You'd sell out Victor?

A girl's got to
look out for herself.

Besides, I've known all along

that when the government
moved in, bye-bye Victor.

A couple of questions,

where are they holding Grigsby?

Victor hasn't told anyone.

But you could find out.

Make it worth my while,
and I'll do better than that.

I'll deliver him to you.

Next question: at the
foot of the elevator,

there are four passageways.

Which one do I take?

The one on the right.

You better do as
your boyfriend says

and stay in your room.

Mr. West...

( romantic theme playing)

he's not my boyfriend.

( suspenseful theme playing)

Did you see that?

Like I told you,
never trust a woman.

Well, the story of my life,

I touch them and they faint.

Artie, how long will
that stuff hold her?

About an hour, give or take.

Poor Carlotta has
a drinking problem.

Mr. Cartwheel? Did
you find anything?


(chuckles): You're too
jumpy, Mr. Cartwheel.

Like I told you,

this thing is going
to come off real easy.

Come on.

( suspenseful theme playing)



Oh, that's cute.

Shaft turns, this must coil.

Yeah. Five'll get you ten

something goes
ding-dong upstairs.

Yeah, that takes care
of the other elevator.

That's not good, Jim.

Carlotta's going to
be coming out of that

in a little while.


( mysterious theme playing)


Are you asleep?

( melancholy theme playing)

After you.

Thank you, Artie.


Artie, Carlotta
says to the right.

Then may I
suggest left or center

or even straight up?

I don't think so.

She tried to shoot you.

How can you believe
a word she said?

I don't, you wanna go left?

No, no, no. Let's
go right. Right.

Let's go.

Should be getting close.

Yeah, if it's the right path.

(glass breaks)


( mysterious theme playing)


Was it there?

It was there.

What is it?

Remember that whiskey drummer

that made a monkey
out of Brad Logan?

Go on.

He's the same one who
helped West escape.

Of course. Mr. West
has a partner.

And I guess we know
where we'll find them both.

( dramatic theme playing)

( dramatic theme playing)

( western theme playing)




That parchment's
been cleverly treated.

But it's a forgery, all right.

We went to a lot of trouble
for a fake constitution, huh?

MAN: My sympathies, Mr. West.

I rather imagine this is
the many-faced Mr. Gordon.

Oh, spare me your
compliments, please.


I'm sorry your heroics
were in vain, gentlemen,

but you see, the purpose

of this rather elaborate
little subterfuge

was not the concealment
of a precious document,

but rather, the ensnarement

of those who would lay
larcenous hands upon it.

A Freemantle's mousetrap.

And you, Mr. Gordon,
are holding the cheese.

I know this must
sound terribly naive,

but you do have the
original, don't you?

(chuckles): Of course I
do... as Mr. West will attest.

You know, Jim, it's probably
in the most obvious place

we can imagine.

Why, Mr. Gordon,
that's quite bright.

Quite bright.

It's where milady fair
can stare at it for hours.

I'm impressed. How
about you, Artie?



( action theme playing)

( melancholy theme playing)


He said it was something

milady fair could
look at for hours.

It's the real thing, all right.


Give me a hand with
this coat, will you, Jim?

You going to slip into
something more comfortable?

Yeah, my smoking jacket.

(crowd chattering)


Artie, telegraph Washington

and tell them we've
got the constitution.

Right. What about you?

I'm going back for Grigsby.

Won't be necessary, Jim.


I owe a great deal
to this young lady.

If it hadn't been for her,

I'd still be in that,
that slimy dungeon.

I told you I'd
deliver him, didn't I?

You certainly
did, Carlotta, yes.

As you remember,
we were talking a deal.

Never mind that, young lady.

I'll guarantee you
immunity from prosecution.

Now, gentlemen, what
about the constitution?

Oh, you'll be most
pleased to learn

that we have it right here, sir.

(sighs): May I see it, please?

Of course.

The President will be
most grateful when...

but, but this is the forgery.

That's curious.

That's the one you
said was authentic.

We want the real one.


Jim, do you kind
of have the feeling

that these two are old friends?

At the count of
three, gentlemen.

Well, if you can
shoot like you can kiss,

I'm in real trouble.

It's in a secret compartment.


No, you don't.
You get it, Silas.

Mr. West.

You'd better let
me. It's a little tricky.

Yes. You see, Mr. Grigsby,

unless you turn
that knob just so,

you're going to be dead
before you hit the floor.



You're frightening
me, gentlemen.

( dramatic theme playing)


Ah, that ought to do it.

Got it all set for you.

That's it.

What you got in the box, anyway?

A model of the Taj Mahal.
Guard it with your life.

Can you manage?


Thank you very much.

(bell rings)

Hello there, Arabella.
Welcome home, sweet baby.

Well, a little message.

Ah, what good news

did Arabella bring us this time?

It's on the mantle. You tell me.

The congress just ceded
the Panhandle Strip to Mexico.

Oh, poor Mexico.

Two companies
of Mexican soldiers

on their way to
Monterey right now.

Well, a soldier's life

was never an easy one, James.

Oh, Grigsby's the real loser.

How so?

Oh, curator of the National
Archives for 20 years.

Twenty years of loyal service.

He just got tired
of recording history

and decided to make
a little of his own.

Artie, is the women's
penitentiary in Texas

in Waco or in Houston?


Oh, because I promised
to write Carlotta a letter.

( dramatic theme playing)

( upbeat western theme playing)

( western theme playing)