The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 3, Episode 17 - The Night of the Headless Woman - full transcript

When a lady passenger on a stage turns out to be a mannequin full of boll weevils, agents West and Gordon investigate. West finds the man behind the operation - Abdul Hassan - who reveals he is spreading the weevils throughout the country to ruin the nation's cotton crops and replace them with his own, thereby controlling the cotton market. The abduction of the San Francisco Commissioner of Harbors' daughter complicates things further, and West and Gordon search the docks for clues to the syndicate's secrets.


Yeah, probably taken on

to make it look
like any other stage.

If those two on
top start trouble,

we'll have to be
careful of the lady.

Oh, I'd be delighted

to look after the lady.

Always gallant.


Federal marshal.

I have a warrant from the
United States government

to inspect your stage.

What are you
looking for, marshal?

Weevils, mister.

Boll weevils.

You all right, marshal?

Yeah, fine. Fine.

You killed him, marshal.

This one's dead, too.

All right, ma'am, you
can come out now.


That's what the
ruckus was all about.

Boll weevils?

Sure you can make it to town?

I'll try.

I tell ya, I don't know nothing

about boll weevils.

I never even heard
of them before this.

You're lying.

I'm a stage driver.

It's what I do for a living.

That doesn't mean I have
to know what I'm carrying.

All right.

I was hired to make a delivery.

From where?

I picked up the
stage in Sausalito.

Before that, I got no
idea where it came from.

Where were you headed?

Where were you headed?


Never even heard of it.

Who has?

It's a settlement
southeast of here.

Made this trip before?

A few times.

Who was the lady's
date in Mesquite?

I never got that far.

There's a fork in the road
about five miles north of town.

Bunch of acarreos meet me there

and take the stage.

I stay in Mesquite
until they contact me,

then I pick up the stage at
the same spot and head back.

Neatly organized
operation, all right.

Who hired you in San Francisco?

A guy named Cass.

Cass, huh?

Well, that gives us
two starting points, Jim.


I'll see what happens
beyond Mesquite

at the fork in the road.


I'll ride back to San Francisco,

turn this one
over to the police.

I think I'll look up
that man named,


Come on, you, and
help me bury these men.

Thank you, Swanson.

Now, Mr. Gordon, we followed
your department's memorandum

to the letter.

All ships coming
into San Francisco

will be searched
from stem to stern

before unloading cargo.

But what I don't
understand, if...

Well, if I may be frank,

I get the feeling that you
think my department, uh...

Well, may have
been lax in this matter.

Oh, not at all, Mr. Jeffers.

It's just that, uh...

Boll weevils are rather
unusual contraband, that's all.

They're very
difficult to detect.

We thought your
department should be alerted.


Boll weevils.

If they'd been smuggling
whiskey or guns

I could understand
that, but bugs?

Have you ever seen
what they can do

to a field of cotton
in just one day?

They're unbelievably
destructive, Mr. Jeffers.

If the current rate of
infestation continues,

in five years, there
won't be a cotton field

left standing in the country.

If what you say is true,

if they're smuggling
them in for this purpose,

why, uh... Why do
you suspect my area?

Well, it isn't that we
suspect it, Mr. Jeffers.

We had a tip that brought us

to the Sausalito stop.

That is your area, isn't it?

I see.

If there's anything else I
can do to help, I'd be glad to.

That's very nice of you.

I tell you, there is something.

The only link we have to
the case is a man named


Cass? You mean Tom Cass?

You do know him?

Know him? He's one of
my harbor supervisors.

I'd like to talk with
him right away.

Could you get him
here for me, please?

Of course. Swanson.

Contact the harbor police.

Have them pick up Tom
Cass and bring him to my office.

Yes, sir.

Well, you've got your first
break in this case, Mr. Gordon.

We hope.


Hello, señor.

Who are you?

Where's the regular driver?

Oh, he's sick.

Cass hired me to take his place.

And the others,

where are they?

Uh, Cass was afraid

he might be watched,

so he sent out a decoy.

But he, uh... He
put the lady with me.

Look, if you don't believe me,

take me to your
boss, I'll explain.

No one gets to the boss.

You ride to Mesquite.

Wait in the hotel.

We'll bring the stage
to you tomorrow.

Well, suit yourself.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Hasta mañana.



I do not trust that one.

Make sure he gets to Mesquite.



you're gonna tell me
where that stage is headed.

I cannot talk, señor.

You'd better talk, amigo,

and now.

So that's Tom Cass.

I don't understand it.

He just disappeared.

House is deserted,
office deserted,

papers gone.

He was your only
lead, too, wasn't he?

Yes, he was.

Well, there's a chance

I can come up
with something else.

Thank you, Mr. Jeffers.

I'll keep in touch.

Uh, Mr. Gordon,

I'm sorry about Tom Cass.

That's all right.

These things never
seem to come easy.


You don't belong around here.

Come on. Let's go.

He's very inquisitive,

isn't he, Fatima?


and clever to have got this far.

We go to great pains

to prevent such penetration.

What is your name?

James West. And yours?

Abdul Hassan.

And now I suppose
you're going to tell me

that our San
Francisco operatives

actually hired you

to make this delivery today?

No, I'm with the United
States Secret Service.


Oh, that... That is
most unfortunate.

I was afraid of
something like that.

Now I shall be
obliged to kill you.

Uh, since my curiosity

is going to cost my life,

do you care to
indulge me further?

Our operation interests you?

Fascinates me.

You hear that? From...

From a Secret Service man, huh?

Well, as in any
endeavor nowadays,

given a sound
manufacturing system

and a good dependable product,

the success of our venture

has relied mainly on, um...

Now, what would you say?



Which is the, uh...

The specialty in which I...

If I may say so... Have
been most effective.

In developing a chain
of smaller operatives,

who, for a consideration,

move the weevils

further and further inland,

through the western states

into the deep south,

where today a majority

of the world's cotton is grown.

You plan to destroy
this country's cotton

and replace it with your own.

Uh, in simple terms,


Our syndicate has had
the great good fortune

to seize control

of the rest of the
world's supply.

Cotton from Africa,

South America, the near east,

and the Orient.

Then your syndicate will control

the markets and the prices.

Well, you, uh...

You understand the
economics, at least.

If we supply the
world's only cotton,

you can appreciate the
tremendous advantage we enjoy.

But cotton is only a small

and very thin slice of the pie.

In these two containers,

we have what someday

may give us an
even greater slice.

Anthonomus grandis.

Boll weevils.

Yes, but, um...

Examine these two specimens,

male and female, Mr. West,

with greater attention.

Are they not somewhat

larger than those
you've seen before?

Now that you mention it,
they're a great deal larger.


Poor dears,

they're separated
from each other now

in their glass prisons,

which may seem cruel to you,

Mr. West, when you
realize that these two

magnificent weevils are...

They're in love.

Mm-hmm, yes.

They adore each other.

But the dictates of
genetics and breeding

require that we postpone

their mating until
warmer weather.

All of which means something

in some larger plan.

Oh, that's very acute
of you, Mr. West.


You see, um...

Hybrid weevils have
a unique aspect.

They're bred to take delight

not only in cotton, but, uh...




Imagine, Mr. West,


eventually the whole world,

will be dependent upon us

not only for their cotton,

but for their basic food.

I would explain further,

but pleasure calls.

Dispose of him as
quietly as possible.

Tom Cass.

What are you doing here?

I get the feeling

you don't really expect
an answer, do you, friend?

Over against that wall.


Checked the
warehouse, top to bottom,

Tucker's place,
place next-door...

Both registered
legitimate businessmen.

And no sign of Tom Cass's body.

Well, there you are.

I don't think you gentlemen
know one another, do you?

Mr. James Jeffers,
Mr. James West.

How do you do? It's a pleasure.

I've got bad news, Jim.

Cass was murdered
before I could get to him,

And now his body
has disappeared.

Any news from
Mesquite, Mr. West?

I think I met the
man that's the power.

His name is Abdul Hassan.


And I'm lucky to be alive.

Hassan got away.

Well, that's not
much help, is it?

Not altogether futile, sir.

I've got the route

and the name of his field men.

Oh, fine.

I'll wire that information
to Washington

and have the territory
police close it down

within 12 hours. It's a start.

That will be fine.

Come in.

Daddy, I... Oh, excuse me.

Hello, Betsy.

Betsy. Gentlemen,

Mr. Gordon, Mr. West,

my daughter, Betsy.

How do you do?

This is a pleasure for me.

Daddy said such nice things
about both of you gentlemen.

I can see why now.

Oh, believe me, he's
been much too kind.

I hope he's not
working you too hard.

He can be quite a slave-driver.

No, he's been
most helpful, ma'am.

Oh, uh, Daddy, before I forget,

would you fill out
this application for me

so I can open a charge
at the emporium, please?

Excuse me a moment, gentlemen.

Of course.

Uh, do you plan on being
in San Francisco long,

Mr. West?

Well, right now it's a little
hard to say, Miss Jeffers.

Well, I'd count it an honor if
you'd allow me to show you

and Mr. Gordon our lovely city.

Oh, I'm afraid we're
on too tight a schedule

to allow for any sightseeing.

Oh, well, uh...

How about dinner
at our house tonight?

Really, I insist.

We'd be delighted to
have you, gentlemen.

We'd be delighted
to come, Miss Jeffers.

Betsy, please. Betsy.

I hope you can find it in
your heart to forgive me,

but I have another
engagement for tonight.

Oh, I am sorry.

You will be there,
won't you, Mr. West?

Right, 8:00. Now,
Betsy, if you'll excuse us,

we have to get some
information to Washington.

Very nice meeting you.

Nice meeting you.

Bye-bye, Mr. Jeffers.

Artie? Hm?

It's hardly like you

to give me a clear field
with such a lovely lady.

What is it?

Well, as much as I
hate to that miss dinner,

I saw something over at Tucker's

that I think is
worth another visit.

Which was?

Mr. Tucker's lobster boat

is a shallow draft flatboat.


Hardly the type a lobsterman

takes into the bay.

It would be if he was
going to leave the bay

and go up one of
the shallow inlets.

It's an interesting thought.

As soon as I get this
off to Washington,

I'll go on over
to Tucker's place

and have another look at it.

It's not that I'm complaining,
you understand Jim,

but why is it I'm always
the one who sends

these long-winded,

wordy messages to Washington?

Because, Artie, you have
such a marvelous command

of the English language.

Oh, that's good.

That's... That's very good.

I thought you'd like that.

Well, let's see here.

Aaron Addison, age 68.

Businessman, white
wig and eyebrows,

deep wrinkles,
slightly shaky voice.

Died by an unknown
assassin's bullet.

Paolo Martinez,

Portuguese fish skipper,

age 33, curly hair,
slick mustache,

very proud type.

Put out to sea,
never found again.

Lieutenant Jonathan Greeley,

Seventh Cavalry. Remember him?

Hooked nose, flowing
hair... A real leader.

Artie, Hm?

You know, here's
something that I bet

most people don't realize.


The female boll
weevil burrows inside

the boll of cotton to lay eggs.

It's the larvae which
destroys the cotton.

Just like the clothes moth.

Jake the piano
player in Deadwood.

Oh, what a handsome devil.


Artie, that's quite
a rogues' gallery.

Yeah, it's kind of nice
to have, you know?

A record of all the
disguises I've had to assume

in the course of our work.

You never know. It
comes in quite handy.

I've got to cook one up now.

Oh, why don't you surprise me?

I'll check with you later.


See you.

Let's see.

They've already
seen me at the docks...

so this should be
somebody who just...

blends into that

kind of environment.

Crotchety old visitor, huh?

A nice...

vinegary old...

salt of a man.

The kind that just loves

to sit at the docks...

and watch the ships coming in.

♪ Me way hey ♪

♪ Blow the man down ♪

♪ A pretty young thing ♪

♪ I chanced for to meet ♪

♪ Give me some time ♪

♪ To blow the man down ♪

♪ She was... ♪

Ahoy, mates.

♪ And encountered a bluff ♪

♪ In the bough ♪

♪ Way hey ♪

♪ Blow the man down ♪

♪ Saw a soaking-wet sailor ♪

♪ I rightly don't know ♪

♪ Give me some time ♪

♪ To blow the man down ♪

Hey, old man!

You're gonna croak like that,

go somewhere else.


That's a shanty, you landlubber.

Call yourselves sailors.

You're clam diggers,
that's what you are.

What would lobstermen be doing

going out in deep water

in a shallow draft flatboat?

That's what I'd like to know.

You'll drown, the both of you.

Not that anybody's
worrying much about that.

Old man,

might be healthy if you

went fishing someplace else.

It's a public wharf, ain't it?

I'll catch more
with that one pole

than you two will take

in that whole flat-bottomed scow

with all your fancy rig

and them fancy lights, too.

Why you cover them up

when you're getting
ready to pull up anchor

is a lot more than I know, too.

Maybe it'd be healthier
for you, grandpa,

if you didn't have
such sharp eyes.

Now, don't give me
none of your sass,

you young whelp.

Take my cane to
the back of your skull.

Old man,

I'm gonna count to three.

He's had schoolin'.

Ha ha ha.

I bet you can't
make it up to five.

All right, all right.

Put away that pigsticker.

I'm moving.

Fellow can't make

a little time for himself.


push him around.

Don't even get to fish no more.

Lot of folks making
sure you can't

enjoy your free time.

By the time the
troopers had arrived

at Hassan's hacienda,

the whole place had been
completely cleared out.

Sounds like a difficult
operation to break up.

Not that difficult.

Because of that information
we sent to Washington,

his field men in the South

are being picked up now.


I didn't ask Mr. West here

just to hear you two
talk about boll weevils.

I'm sorry, darling.

Betsy, you were right.

It's been a delightful dinner.

Thank you.

The best is yet to come.

I've had a marvelous
meringue glacé prepared for you.

Grooves, whoever it is,

I don't wish to be disturbed.

Yes, sir.

Maybe next time you'll
convince Mr. Gordon to join us.

I'm sure that Mr. Gordon
would be delighted to come.

Let me go!

Let me go!

Let me go!



Got to help...

I'll go after her.

When I got up off the floor,

I got a glimpse of him
getting into the carriage.

I lost the carriage
on Pacific St.

Near the waterfront.

I got a feeling they
may be coming here.

Poor Betsy.

Boat's coming in, Jim.

Any idea who took her or why?

Not so far. What's
been happening here?

A lot of strange comings
and goings, you know.

A couple of things...

A couple of things need
more looking into, I'd say.

Like what?

Well, you know
that lobster place

I was telling you about

near the warehouse,
Tucker's landing?

The ones that
fish in the flatboat?

The same.

Now, if you were
going into a channel

as people to San Francisco Bay,

would you be apt to cover

your running
lights with oilskins?

Definitely sounds fishy.

Channel's clear.

The little lady's waiting.

Tell Joe to shove off.

They're shoving off now, Jim.

I better tail them.

Right. I'll wait until the
foot traffic dies down

then have another
look-see at that warehouse.

I'll meet you back here, Artie.

Hey, you young whelp, come here.

Better look after your nets
over there by the wheel.

Someone's been
tampering with the floats.

Come on, man,

put your back to it.

Fight the bit of tide.

There you go.


Find a new home for you.

All right. Hurry, hurry up.

There you are, my darling.

♪ Oh, ho ♪

♪ Blow the man down, Please ♪

♪ Blow the men Down to me ♪

This is no place for you

this time of the
night, old timer.

I'll be moving along soon
enough, young whelp.

You got a light?

♪ Way hey ♪

♪ Blow the men down ♪

♪ Oh blow ♪

That thing never
did draw too good.

Ready to give the
little lady a ride?

Put her aboard.

Here's your route.

When you get to Fresno,

check into the Royal Hotel.

As soon as we get
a new field man,

he'll contact you.

Let's go, boys.


Where are you headed?




Presidio Police Station.

Keep your eyes on the road.

Hold that for me, sweetheart.

I'll be back for it later.



Betsy, wake up, honey.


Betsy, I'm gonna take you home.

You understand me?

I'm going to take you
home to your father.

Take him, Lance.

Stay right where you are.

You're all under arrest.

Mr. West,

I appreciate all
you're trying to do.

But please try to understand.

This ransom note

is very clear.

We've all got to stop
investigating this case,

and you and Mr. Gordon
have got to leave it right away,

or Betsy's going to be killed.

I understand how
you feel, Mr. Jeffers,

but they're not going
to release Betsy.

By now, she probably
knows too much.

What they want is
time to reorganize.

Let's give them time.

Betsy may not be killed.

Believe me, I do
know how you feel,

but I have to take my
orders from Washington.

Mr. Jeffers, you're
gonna have to trust me.

I'll get Betsy back.

Welcome to the club, Mr. West.

You were much too thorough

for your own good, Mr. West.

Not really.

I fell for you and
Betsy's kidnapping act.

That was no act on her part.

She's next door at
Tucker's place right now,

genuinely scared.

Betsy knows nothing
of what's going on here.

She'll find the truth out soon

if Tucker hasn't
told her already.

Tucker takes orders from me.

And he just might be useful

in this final move.

I'll order him

to burn this warehouse down,

you included. At
just the right moment,

as a desperate father

and an outraged citizen,

I'll shoot him,

rescue my daughter
Betsy amidst the cheers

and congratulations of
San Francisco citizens.

Burning all your bridges
behind you, so to speak.

Tucker is expendable.

Gentlemen, you've caused me

considerable inconvenience,

but I shall meet with
Hassan within an hour,

and we shall
reorganize the operation.

Now, if you'll excuse me,

I must leave you.

I don't think so, Mr. Jeffers.


Expendable, am I?


I was just talking.

You picked the wrong
words, Mr. Jeffers.

Never did trust him,

ever since he
killed his old man,

Tom Cass.

But Jeffers idea about
the fire is a good one.

By the time they discover
which one of you is which,

I'll be in New Orleans

setting up a new
boll weevil operation.

Hassan's syndicate

will do business with me

just as well as he
did with that scum.


go on out to the
carriage and wait for me.

As soon as I make a bonfire

out of this warehouse,

I'll join you.

What about Betsy?

She'll burn as well as
the rest of you dummies.

She can't hurt you, Tucker.

Not when she's dead, she can't.

When you're done on one side

be sure and turn over.

You'll make
better-looking corpses.

Boy, he really burns me up.

Artie, come on.
Let's get out of here.


You're right.

You know, it's no wonder that

that smuggling operation

worked as well as it did...

with Jeffers the
commissioner of harbors.

Yeah, Artie, but the question is

how do we tell his daughter?

First thing's first.

We got to get her out of here...

from next door.

You go get her, Artie. Yeah.

I'm going to Jeffers'.
That's probably where

Tucker's gonna meet Hassan.



Oh! Oh!

Oh, Mr. Gordon, may I say

I'm awfully glad to see you.

Betsy, you may say
anything you wish.

Can we get out of here?

You have just said
the right thing, Betsy.

Here's to our partnership.

We'll build a new network,

stronger than ever.

My syndicate has never

doubted your value, Tucker.

Jeffers was weak,


Let me show you the cornerstone

of our future success.

Thanks, Artie.

Where's Betsy?

I dropped her off at her aunt's

on the way over here.

Did you tell her the news?

Yeah. She took it very bravely,

but it's a rough shock

to hear about your father.

Especially at her age.

I think Betsy will
come through it

with flying colors.

Well, Artie,

what are we gonna
do with these two?

You know,

I was told that San Francisco

held more delights

than any city west
of Saint Louis,

and here you are

proving that claim a reality.

Well, it's not every visitor

who brings his own
train, Mr. Gordon.

Oh, it comes with the territory.

And now...

Hi, Artie.


Good evening, miss.


I thought this was
supposed to be dinner for two.

Artie, I've got something

to give this evening
real meaning.

Oh, fine.


Hassan's boll weevils.

Samson, Delilah.

Joanne and I find
that utterly fascinating.

Now, if you just be good
enough to take that and...

Uh, Washington wanted them

to have tests.

I got to thinking about them

looking longingly at each other.

Yeah, and you decided that

before they meet
their eventual doom,

they ought to get to
know one another better.

That's very kind of you, James.

Now, if you just
be good enough...

Oh, look.

They do like each other.

Yes, they do.

They really do.

Joanne, the wine is
getting warm, dear.


have you no
romance in your soul?

Yes, I do.

That's why I only have
enough pheasant for two.

Who could think of food

at a moment like this?

That's right, Joannie.

You think just like I do.