The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 4, Episode 17 - The Night of the Sabatini Death - full transcript

Johnny Sabatini makes a dying request of his adversary James West: ensure a special young woman receives the gift he is bequeathing her. The mission of mercy takes West and able assistant Ned Brown to the spooky ghost town of Calliope, Missouri.

( mysterious theme playing )

( man coughing )

It's Johnny Sabatini.

Now you're going to tell me
that you're the Mr. X

that has, um, vital
information for me.

I'm not usually
so dramatic, Mr. West,

but it did serve
to get you down here.

Well, what does the "King
of the Rackets" want with me?

I want to have a private
little talk with you, West.

Private little talk, uh,

Now we're alone.

Now I can tell you
why I got you here.

Because I need your help.

( laughs )

Sabatini, what makes you think
I'm gonna help you?

I'll think of a reason.

( coughs )

Because you see, Mr. West,

I'm dying.

( suspenseful theme playing )

( upbeat western theme playing )

( mysterious theme playing )

Brandy, Mr. West?

France's best.

So why should I come
to you for help, eh?

That's easy.

You scratch my back,
and I'll scratch your back.

My back isn't itching,

I think maybe you could
develop an itch

for, uh, Harry Borman

All right, Sabatini,
you know I want Borman.

Are you telling me
you can arrange it?

Let's start with what
I want from you, okay?

Clarence, the box.

( sighs )

There's someone's
name and address

on this piece of paper

whose life could be in danger
when I bow out.

A woman?

You were always pretty good

at filling in
the empty spaces.

And you want me
to protect her against who?

Let me tell it my way.

To begin with--

( coughing )

what good is brandy

without a cigar?

( coughs )

All right, now, Clarence,
beat it.

( wheezing )

To begin with,

I'd like you to go to a place
called Calliope.

Calliope, Missouri?

I thought maybe you heard of it.

You look up a man
in Calliope

named Swanson,

and you give him this key.

He gives you back,
let's say, a gift.

Sabatini, why me?

Why not
one of your own boys?

West, you and I have been

on opposite sides of the fence
a long time,

but you're the only one
I can trust.

That's more than I can say

for most of my associates
and friends.

A-all right, Sabatini,

now how does Borman
figure into this?

He's going to try to stop you.

And that's how I find him?

That's the only way.

Now, the woman,

she knows me as Mr. Caroline.

I'd like it kept that way.

This key, there's more to it

than just giving
it to Swanson.

You'll find that...

( choking )

The key...


The Madonna...


Look at it...

Look for...

( somber theme playing )

( upbeat theme playing )

You were right, Jim.

Sure enough,
it's poisoned.

Why, there's enough
curare in there to kill a moose.

But, you know,
I can't understand,

who'd wanna murder a man
who was already so near death?

For openers, what about someone
who doesn't want Jim

to go to Calliope
to pick up that gift?

Calliope, Missouri,

where a half a million dollars
of army payroll was stolen

and never recovered.

And where
a finance officer,

Captain Nolan,

who engineered
the operation,

was murdered for cheating
on his own gang.

Rumor has it

that the loot
is still stashed away

somewhere in Calliope,


Half a million dollars.

That's quite a gift

to just hand over to your lady
friend. Ha-ha!

If that's what
Sabatini's gift is.

Yes, if.

And, uh, we won't know
anything about that

until you meet
the, uh, late Mr. Sabatini's

light of love, will we?

Sir, if you don't mind,

I'd like to go
directly to Calliope

and see what Swanson
has to say.

All right.

Ned, uh, you've been
complaining for a long time

how dull life
is in the chemical section,

how would you, uh, like to
interview the young lady for us?

Why, sure, eh-- Why not?

You know, Jim,
I keep thinking,

we don't really know
what this Borman looks like

except that he had
a leg injury.

Second, we-- We've only got
Sabatini's word for it

that Borman will show up
in this at all.

That's true.

For some strange reason,

I think he was
telling the truth.

All right.

Anything that might
lead us to Borman

is a chance worth taking.

I'm on my way
to Calliope, sir.

Bon voyage, Jim.

I'll drop by and see

Sabatini's little lady
while you're gone.

I'll report
to you there.

( upbeat theme playing )

Yes, come in.

Keep a sharp eye
out here, Walters.

Oh, I'm sorry. Eh,
my name is Ned Brown.

I'm looking for a woman
named Sylvia, but I--

I'm Sylvia, Mr. Brown.

Oh, I'm afraid not.

You see,
the Sylvia that I know,

eh, well, she knows
Mr. Caroline.

And, uh, he asked me to come--
You're from Mr. Caroline?

I knew there was something
special about today.

I felt it the first thing
I woke up this morning and--

I'm sorry.
I'm forgetting my manners.

Will you have
a cup of tea?

Tea? Eh--

Oh, well, yes, of course.

That's just what I need.

How long
have you, uh...?

How long have you known
Mr. Caroline?


My first happy memory
is of him and the way he...

I'm sorry. I really
am forgetting my manners.

How is Mr. Caroline?

I knew the last time
I spoke to him

he wasn't
feeling very well.

( melancholy theme playing )

He was everything
that was...

kind and thoughtful
and generous.

It wasn't that he just
provided for me

or gave me this lovely house
to live in.

It was knowing
that he cared for me

as no one else
ever did.

Even in death
he cared for you, Sylvia.

There is a very special gift
he left for you.

( ominous theme playing )

You look a might lost,

it's the journey's end.

That so?

Not many folk
arrive in Calliope

saying things like that.

But it happens to be
the way I feel too.

Is this, uh, town
always so lively?

Like I said,

there ain't many folk
left in Calliope.

But they're quiet,
peace-loving folk.

Something or someone you
looking for in particular?

I'm looking for a man
named Swanson.

You'll find him
at the edge of town.

That little brick building.

Thank you, sheriff.

( chuckles )

( hooves clopping )

( organ playing )

Though your heart be heavy
in your hour of trial,

it is not the end,

for she has gone on ahead

and lovingly awaits
you around the bend.


He or she,
as the case may be.

It's my way of
comforting the bereaved

who pass through the portals

of the Fabian Swanson

Uh, Mr. Swanson,
the reason--

Yes, I-I know, dear sir.
I know.

And believe me,

in providing
only the finest

can you be comforted
for him or her,

as the case may be.

Mr. Swanson--

Will you just caress
that quilted duvetyn?

Go ahead.

Feel the straight grain
of the Oregon hickory.

And grasp if you will

these genuine simulated
bronze handles.

Sometimes, I tell you,
I feel I could crawl in...

That's a very interesting

Where did you get it?

You tell me.


I give you this key,

you tell me
where to find--

Uh! Notice the-- The--
The Oregon shell--

Still ain't got rid
of that old pine casket,

hey, Mr. Swanson?

Pine? It's the finest
Oregon hickory

and the highest-quality

I'm just spoofing you
a little bit, Mr. Swanson.

I just dropped by
to make certain

you were able
to find your way.

Oh, no problem at all,

thanks to you, sheriff.

Well, that's what
a sheriff is for, ain't he?

To help out folks

and to keep law and order?

Now, you
take your time, sir,

and, uh, think about which one
of these you want.

Here are the--
The figures.

Oh, thank you,
Mr. Swanson.

Funny, ain't it? Hardly enough
live people here,

let alone bodies to keep
old Swanson's mortuary going.

Except for those
misguided folks

who come here searching
for Mr. Nolan's treasure,

which any fool knows
is just a heap of talk,

right, friend?

I wouldn't know anything
about that, sheriff.

About time to put on
the feedbag, Mr. Swanson.

What say we head
for the hotel,

some dinner?

Oh, no, thank you, sheriff.
I've had a long ride.

I think I'll freshen up
and change clothes.

( door closes, footsteps )

( thump, man grunts )

( knock on door )

Yes, come in.

It's Clarence.

Did I do wrong
dropping by like this?

No, no, Clarence.

It's good of you
to call on me.

Well, now that
Mr. Caroline is gone,

I just wanted
to come by

and see that
you were all right.

Clarence, you're very kind.

Well, I can't forget

when-- When Mr. Caroline
was taken badly,

no matter
how painful it was,

all he could talk about
was the gift

that he wanted you
to have.

That's what's been
troubling me, Clarence.

He's given me so much already.

Is there something
I've forgotten?

You still remember nothing
of your early life?

Nothing before
the age of 6 or 7.

My memories start here
in this house

with Mr. Caroline
so kindly taking care of me.

Well, things
will be happier

when you receive
the gift

that Mr. Caroline
wanted you to have

from Calliope.



I've heard
that name before.

Well, go on, my dear.

I'm sorry.

I saw something in my mind,

but it's gone now.

Clarence, do you know
where Calliope is?

Oh, yes,
it's downriver, not very far.

Would you take me there?

I, take you to Calliope?

Well, of course, I could,
but don't you--?

I have a feeling
it's very important.

It could bring things
back to me.

Please, Clarence.

Well, of course,
if that's what you want,

I'll take you there.

( suspenseful theme playing )

( ominous theme playing )

( laughing )

And, of course,
there was them two brothers

who came into town
a couple years back

to find Captain Nolan's
hidden treasure.

What was their names? You
remember, Mr. Farnsworth.

They bought enough supplies
in your store for ten men.

Kellum, I think.

Yeah, that's right.

I never saw two fellows
more bound and determined

to find a hidden fortune
somewhere here.

( laughs )

But they just disappeared
right into thin air.

You know, Calliope
has a lot more to offer

than a lot of half-baked
rumors about treasure.

Actually, we've got

a mighty fine little town
here, Mr., uh...?

Oh, West, sir.

Yes, there are quite
a few attractive things

about this town.

And, of course, it don't show
too much right now.

Not more than ten people

drift into the town limits
in a month.

Yes, but
you mark my words.

One of these days,

Calliope's going to be known
as the jewel of the Midwest.

Why, when I was
in Denver last year,

I saw plans drawn up

to-- To bring the railroad
through here

on its way
to St. Louis.

Don't you worry,

your hotel's gonna be
full of customers once again.

You don't have to tell me.

I got rooms upstairs

I ain't even so much
as opened the door to

for longer than I can remember.

Sheriff, I declare,
it's a positive disgrace

how dusty the streets
of Calliope have become.

Now, you promised me
on your honor

you would have them
watered down

so a person didn't come
close to suffocating

every time she-- Oh!

I declare, to goodness,
I didn't realize we had a guest.

Miss Nolan,
this here is Mr. West.

He's got business
in our town.

Well, I declare,

it's been eons
since we had visitors

in our little town,

and a lot longer than that

since we had one
so good-looking.

Thank you.

You know, Mr. West,
it's things like tea, hm,

and our little gatherings here
every evening

to share a common repast

that bolsters the spirits
of we few

who still call
Calliope our home.

Of course, this was once
a magnificent town.

Dancing, excitement.

Oh, my. People used to come
from miles around just to--

Just to see
where your brother lifted

a neat half million dollars

from the United States Army.

Sheriff, I get the impression
that remark was uncalled for.

Are you putting me down,
Mr. West?


Well, heh,
enjoyable as it is,

I have to get back
to my duties,

though they may be.

You gotta tend to that
land office business

you're doing, Mr. Swanson?

The devil finds work
for idle hands.

I-I always say.

Miss Melanie.

He's a dear man,

but with that unfortunate smell
of formaldehyde

forever about him.

( sighs )

Well, if you'll
excuse me.

You leaving so sudden,
Mr. West?

We usually sit and have
a few friendly whiskeys

after dinner,
Mr. West.

I hate to miss it,

but I do have a horse
to bed down.

Gentlemen. Ma'am.

Oh, Mr. West?

I am embarrassed
to confess this,

but my harness traces
don't feel quite right,

and I was wondering,
would you be so kind?

Be a pleasure.

Mr. West, you really make
a lady feel like a lady.

( door closes, crack )

I must say, Mr. West,

there are a few folks
in this town

who could stand
a few brush-up lessons

in manners and gentility.

( chuckles )

Thank you.

Well, everything seems
to be all right, ma'am.

Mr. West,
I've been thinking,

you must come visit me
at my home, Sans Souci.

It's just around the rise,
right outside of town.

I'd like to do that,

Years back, you know,
on Sunday afternoon,

people used to just pour in
from all over the county,

just to be at Sans Souci's
garden parties.

I'd be honored, ma'am.
Good night.

Good night,
Mr. West.

( crunching )

( suspenseful theme playing )

( suspenseful theme swells )

( door closes )

( action theme playing )

( grunting )

What is it, Jim?
Who were you after?

Whoever he is,
he's gone.

Come on, Ned,
there are two in the alley.

Well, there were
two bodies here, Ned.

Ned, there goes
our main lead.

He's now a customer
of his own establishment.

Swanson's dead?

A small matter of murder,

and before he could tell me
what the key opens.

That leaves us
with Sabatini's girlfriend.

She's not
what we expected, Jim.

She's a lovely young girl
of 18, and she's blind.

Well, what about
the Madonna statue?

It would seem a logical place
to look for a Madonna

would be in a church.

The local church
burned down years ago.

Which would leave the cemetery.
Might be on a headstone.

Why don't you
try the cemetery?

I'm gonna take a ride
out to the Nolan home.

Mrs. Nolan should know
quite a bit about this old town.

( footsteps approaching )

I thought I heard
a ruckus going on here.

Who are you,
if you don't mind my asking?

Not at all.

My name is Tobias.

You don't say?

On the contrary,
I do say, sir.

Eh, good evening to you, sir,
and, uh, sheriff.

Good evening.

What's his business

It's your town,

Did you finish your business
with Mr. Swanson?

It was finished for me.

( chuckles lightly )

What exactly does that mean?

He's dead.

( mysterious theme playing )

( mysterious theme continues )

( distant howling )

( howling )

( howling )


Now it's the furniture.

It's this house--

There's a special smell.

It brings back
scattered memories,

but nothing
makes sense.

But it's as if this
lovely, warm, old chair

were somehow
a dear friend.

Yeah, well, Sylvia,
tell me about the chair.

Does it bring back
any particular memories?


I'm sure I've been
in this very room before.



Well, Sylvia,
my dear, go on.

There's a room. I remember
a room in the other wing.

Something frightens me.

Oh, why, Mr. West,

what are you
doing here?

Clarence, what are
you doing here

with this young lady,
whom I assume is, uh, Sylvia?

Mr. West,
you're Mr. Brown's associate.

That's right, Sylvia.

Clarence, what are
you doing here?

Well, I-- I-- I...

Like you, Mr. West,

I'm merely trying to help her
to find the present

that Mr. Caroline
wanted her to have.

The name Calliope sparked
something in her mind,

and she insisted on
coming to the town

and to this house.

Well, she's on her way
back to St. Louis now.

Back? Well, no.

Oh, I think so, sir.

I promised Mr. Caroline
that I would protect Sylvia,

and I don't believe
that Sylvia's safe here.


Back to St. Louis?

No, she isn't yet!

( screams )

( harpsichord playing )

( music stops )

Why, Mr. West,

how kind of you to respond
to my invitation,

and so quickly.

I am honored.
Won't you--?


( whimpers )

What happened?

( suspenseful theme playing )

( suspenseful theme swells )

( distant howling )

( cat meowing )

Hello, pussycat.

( laughs )

By any chance,
you haven't seen

the statue of a Madonna
around here, have you?

( meows )

No, I'm sure you haven't.

( meows )

( grunts )

( meows )

A Madonna statue?

( cat screeching )

Aylmer E. Nolan.

( blowing )

Johnny Sabatini.

( door creaking )

MAN 1:
You sure he's in here?

MAN 2:
I thought I saw a shadow.

( loud popping )

Oh, I'm-- I'm just sorry.

I-- My goodness,

I don't know
what came over me. I--

Well, I do know
what came over me.

It was such a shock.

It's Sylvia, my--

My brother Captain Nolan's
little daughter.

All these years,
I thought you were dead.

You don't remember me though,
do you, darling?

I'm your Auntie Melanie.

No, I'm sorry, I don't.

So many things seem
to be coming back to me,

but it's all
so confusing and... frightening.

Oh, now, now, now,
now, don't you worry.

Don't you worry about a thing.

Oh, you were such a dear,
delightful little girl.

And all the fun
we used to have.

Packing picnic baskets

And those times that
you used to stand up there

with your eyes
as wide as saucers

watching me pretty up
for some dance or something.

Oh, the lovely times
we had here.

The whole country,
everybody would come.

What made you think
she was dead?

Well, I...

Well, oh, my goodness, I...

I thought at least you'd
remember that, darling. I--

But I mean...

Her mother was killed
in the fire.

The fire.

That's what frightened me.

And something else.

A man's voice, angry and brutal.

My mother and me,
we're running to the church.

He's there,
he's pushing in the door,

demanding to know
where some hidden money is,

stolen money.

Oh, please go on, Sylvia.

He thinks
we know something.

He says he's been
cheated out of his share.

Yes, I remember now.
It's the fire.

He burned down the church.

I feel the heat and the flames
and my mother screaming.

This man that
you were so afraid of,

do you remember
what he looked like

or what his name was?

Nothing. Ex--

Except he dragged his foot.

Oh, it's clear
to me now.

I remember that awful
scraping noise he made

when he dragged
his foot.

He dragged his foot?

Harry Borman.

( knocking on door )

Please don't let her
out of your sight.

( knocking continues )

( door closes )

( scary theme playing )

Mr. West is right.

I remember that name.

The man who dragged his foot,
it was Harry Borman.

Was it, child?

( knocking continues )

Jim, Captain Nolan and Johnny
Sabatini are one and the same.

There's a crest of his face
on the crypt in the mausoleum.

( suspenseful theme playing )

Harry Borman was the one
who was after the money?

Is that what you mean?

( suspenseful theme swells )

It's dark,
so it must be night.

I can
see my mother now.

There used to be a picture
of us in this room.

I'm asking her to play
the harpsichord for me

before she puts me to bed.

She's frightened.

Mother's frightened.

What frightened her, darling?


She's crying.

I can hear his voice.

It's about the money.

He's threatening us.

We're running upstairs...

to hide
in this room.

Go on, child, about the money.

Did you know
where it was?

I can't think.

All I remember is somehow

we escaped through the yard
to the church.

I hear my mother screaming.

I'm running through the night
and the weeds.

And the branches hurt.

Keep talking, child,
it'll do you good.

Why'd you go
to the church?

I'm frightened.

Try, child.

What was there?
What was hidden there?

The money maybe?
I don't know.

All I remember is that
dragging foot following.

But, first...

a passage of some kind.

A tunnel.


( suspenseful theme playing )

( screaming )



It's your Auntie Melanie.


Honey, where are you?



Honey, if you hear me, plea--


No one wants
to harm you, honey.

( footsteps approaching )

( screams )

Quiet. It's me.
It's all right.

Harry Borman,
he's after me.

It's Harry Borman.

Come on, I know
where you can be safe.

Mr. West,
where are we?

We're in the Nolan Mausoleum.


Yes, of course,
the mausoleum.

Think back, Sylvia.

Has there ever been
a statue in here?

A Madonna.

Madonna, where?

There's a tall man
with gray hair.

He's telling me about
the Madonna statue.

He's showing me.

What does it look like?

The Madonna,
can't you see it?

The statue, it was right here.

( rumbling )

What was that?

Thanks for finding it
for me, Mr. West.

( foot scraping )

Harry Borman.

Quite right.
Harry Borman.

I want to see it...


Laura Samples,

my dear good friend.

Efficient, dependable,
but somewhat greedy.

Now would you kindly
get away from that crypt?

( crash )

I wouldn't do that,
Mr. West.

( grunting )

And don't you make
no funny move neither.

So the whole town's in on it
except for Swanson.

Think of it as a corporation,
Mr. West.

And before
we take care of you,

I want you and Captain Nolan's
lovely little daughter

to share
in my happiness.

Joe, Carson,
give me a hand.


All right, go!

( grunting )

( mysterious theme playing )


That's right, Borman.

You didn't find it before,
and you won't find it now.

( action theme playing )

Watch your step,
little lady.


That's it.

There you are.

( sighs )

( blows )

For Sylvia.


Would you read
it to me, please?

Yes, certainly.

( paper rustling )

"To all whom it may concern,

"here, before God,

"let it be known,
the attached document

"hereby entitles
Miss Sylvia Nolan

"to her rightful heritage

"as owner of
all Nolan properties

"in and about
Calliope, Missouri,

"including the Nolan home

"and the extensive
acreage on file

"with the territorial
governor's office,

"east and south of the town,

"as indicated
on the documents.

"By orders of
Captain Aylmer E. Nolan."

This is what
he wanted her to have, Jim.

( mellow theme playing )

Well, that's it,
huh, Ned?

That's it, Jim.

I pulled your chestnuts
out of the fire for you,

covered myself
with a little glory,

and rescued a little lady
from a fate worse than, well...

Ha-ha-ha! By the way,
how is Sylvia?

Uh, she's fine now,
thanks to Sabatini's gift.

Back to Washington,
huh, Ned?

Nope. I'm off on
a well-deserved vacation.

London, Paris, or Rome?

I'm gonna make
a big dream come true.

And you know
what my big dream is?

I'm gonna spend
a vacation all alone...

on a desert island.

( both laugh )

Jim, see you.

Good luck.

( upbeat theme playing )

( upbeat western theme playing )