The Wild Wild West (1965–1969): Season 4, Episode 20 - The Night of the Diva - full transcript

West and Gordon receive orders to protect Rosa Montebello, a famous Italian opera diva and niece of the ambassador from Italy. Artemus gets nothing but grief from the difficult diva. When ...

( train whistle blows )

( mysterious theme playing )

( woman speaking Italian )

Look at what you're doing.

Be careful, you clod.

What is the matter
with this country?

I have found more civilization
crossing the Gobi Desert.

My only pleasure in arriving
at this misbegotten village

is to be rid of you.

No one has insulted
Rosa Montebello as you have,

no one, you hear? No one.

To the stupid, dull,
ignorant women

of your country
you may be a gentleman,

but to me you
are nothing but a-- A farmer.

A bisonte, a clod!

( shouting in Italian )

Well, what are you
standing there for, fool?

Help them.

Do not think you have heard
the end of this.

The whole world will know

how you have treated
Rosa Montebello.

( grunts )

American men.

( scoffs )

( door slams )

Hi, Artie.




Hey, buddy.

Ha-ha. How are you?
Let me look at you, will you?

Oh, you look great,
just great.

Well, you look pretty--
Oh, wait a minute.

I can't hear a word
you're saying. Hold on.

Now, what?
( both laugh )

I was saying
you look great yourself.

Oh, I don't know how
that could be.

I tell you, I feel as though
I've spent the last four days

inside a bass drum
with ten men pounding on it.

Artie, who was that woman?

Oh, that was no woman.
That was Rosa Montebello.

That name sounds familiar.

Yeah, opera.

Oh, of course,
the famous Italian diva.

That's the one.

What's she doing in your car?

You better help yourself
to a little wine.

I tell you
this is a long story.

First of all,

La Bella Montebello
happens to be the niece

of the minister
from Italy.

In the second place,
President Grant found out

that you were gracious enough
to send the car up,

pick me up in Washington,

deliver me down here
to New Orleans,

and in the third place,
by a happy coincidence,

Miss Montebello
happened to be booked

to sing in New Orleans,

so, naturally
the, uh, president suggested

that it might be a very nice
gesture on my part

if I just kind of gave her
a ride down here.

Of course, I agreed.

James, from the minute
that woman set foot on this car,

life has been
absolute purgatory.

"The food wasn't good,
the train was too noisy,

the wine was too cold,
the wine wasn't cold enough."

She did nothing
but scold, complain,

scream, yell, nag, nag, nag.

I may have nightmares about her
for as long as I live.

Well, Artie, at least
you're rid of her now.

Oh, I wish that were true.

You mean
you're not rid of her?

The president
suggested that in view

of the delicate negotiations
between Washington and Italy,

it might be a very
nice thing on my part

if I would act
as official escort

to Miss Montebello during
her three days down here

in New Orleans,
and I have to start tonight,

taking her
to the opera house

for her performance
in Lucia di Lammermoor.

I come all the way

across your miserable country,
and what do I find?

Nobody here to greet me.

Arriving at this
miserable village.

My luggage has gone on ahead.
The carriage is late.

So that
is Rosa Montebello.

The beloved

Is everything ready

at the opera house for tonight?


Very well.
I've seen enough.

Drive on.

( upbeat western theme playing )

( mellow theme playing )

( both laughing )

Oh, and then there
was this daughter

of this congressman
from Arkansas.

From Arkansas.

Oh, I learned
a great deal from her

about Arkansas.

It's a very
progressive state.

You have no idea.

( knock at door )

( laughs ):
Excuse me.


I have a letter
for Mr. Artemus Gordon

from Governor Turnbull's office.
Will you sign for it, please?

Yeah, sure.

Thank you very much.
Thank you.

Ah, thank you, Jim.

I wonder what
the governor wants.

"My dear Mr. Gordon,

"I have just learned of your
arrival in New Orleans,

"and Mrs. Turnbull and I
would consider it a great honor

"if you would attend
a small dinner party

"in honor of
our daughter Nancy

"to whom you were so kind

"during her recent visit
to Washington.

"We will look forward
to seeing you

at the executive mansion
at 8:00--"

What's the matter, Artie?

The-- The dinner's tonight.

Well, that's--
That's too bad, Artie.

Here I have to give up a dinner
with Nancy Turnbull

at the executive mansion
in order to escort

Rosa Montebello
to the grand opera,

and all you can say
is "That's too bad"?

Oh, you're a real pal.
Thank you.

Oh, that's too much.

I'm as patriotic
as the next man,

but there
are some sacrifices

that nobody should be asked
to make for his country.

This is rubbing salt
in my wounds.

Artie, why don't I take
Miss Montebello

to the opera
in your place tonight?

Hey, do you mean that?

You really mean you'd beard
that female Genghis Khan

in her own den,
and after you've seen...

Boy, you really are a pal.

There's just one thing.

I mean, uh, what if
the president finds out,

you know, after he told me
specifically to look after her?

I don't think the president
would want you to risk

insulting the governor
of Louisiana, either, do you?

You're right.
You're absolutely right.

Oh, what can I say?

What can anyone say
at a time like this?

You are a brave man, James,

and a true-blue friend,

and I'll never forget you
for this, never. Never.

Uh, Artie, uh, I'd better dress
before you have me in tears.


you are a truly great man.

( dramatic theme playing )

( Rosa singing opera
in Italian )

Go. Go now.

( all murmur )

What is the meaning of this?
Why has the curtain come down?

The performance
is over, signorina.

Bring her along. Hurry!

( indistinct shouting )

( action theme playing )


( grunts )

The ring.

The ring.

The ring?
What about the ring?

( moans )

How are you, colonel?
Nice seeing you.

Yeah, fine, Jim. If you're
looking for Artie,

he's on his way
to see Miss Montebello

to tell her she's still
in protective custody.

I don't envy him that job.

Oh, on this ring
you gave me,

there is a code
on the inside band.

It's in Italian,

"Ordine de Lucia."

Order of Lucia.
Lucia, that's the role

that Rosa Montebello
sang last night.

( knock at door )

Come in.

Oh, Miss Collingwood,
come in, come in.

Miss Collingwood
is the secretary

to the chief of our bureau
here in New Orleans.

This is, uh, Jim West,
Miss Collingwood.

It's a pleasure meeting you,
Miss Collingwood.

Thank you.

The local police
have finally identified

the man who was killed
last night.

He was Pierre Deluc.

He's been employed
at the opera house for years.

He's in charge of wardrobe

and fills in as a supernumerary
when needed.

Anything else?

Nothing. No home address,
no friends or relatives.

Then all we know about him
is he was a member

of the Order of Lucia
here in New Orleans.

The Order of Lucia?
That's strange.

What's strange?

Well, something has happened
to every diva who's sung

Lucia di Lammermoor at that
theater in the last five years.


There have been three.
Two have disappeared.


Vanished completely
without a trace,

and now the attempt
to kidnap Rosa Montebello.

Anyway, a lot
of people believe

that the opera house
is haunted

by the ghosts
of the missing divas.

A ridiculous
superstition, of course.

Of course.

Pierre Deluc was apparently
a member of that order.

Do you know where we can
find any other members?

Yes, you could try the Club
Musique on Royal Street.

It's sort of a gathering place
for singers.

I'd better head
over there, colonel.

Would you have Artie
meet me there, please?

Uh, Jim, I'm afraid you'll
have to do without Artie.

President Grant made it
quite clear that he wants Artie

to escort the great
Montebello personally.


Well, there's a reception
being given

in her honor tonight,

a reception being given
by someone named Crenshaw.

At Willow Manor?
The Crenshaw brothers?

Well, yes,
that's right. Why?

I don't know,

just some strange rumors
about one of them.

About one of the brothers.

Do you think it's safe
to let her attend?

I think New Orleans
would be declared

a disaster area if we tried
to keep her away.

Well, from what I've heard
about Miss Montebello's feelings

towards the Secret Service
in general

and Mr. Gordon in particular,

he may save New Orleans,
but what about himself?

Well, I don't think you have
anything to worry about.

He's indicated
he has a solution.

( waltz music playing )
( indistinct chattering )

( knock at door )

( all applaud )

Max, darling.

Rosa Montebello,
welcome to Willow Manor.

Thank you.
May I present my escort,

Colonel Vladislav Dirasha,
the Duke of Corba.

Mr. Max Crenshaw.

An honor, sir.
( knocks heels )

Is it not a charming house,

Hm? Oh, yes, yes.

Yes, it reminds me
of my gardener's cottage,

uh, in my estate
outside of Budapest,

but of course this
is much, uh, smaller.

( suspensful theme playing )

♪ He's gone ♪

♪ He wants another ♪

♪ How I long ♪

♪ To discover ♪

♪ How a love ♪

♪ Once given freely ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ It turns to stone ♪

♪ Leaving me ♪

♪ In misery ♪

( all applaud )

Another wine, monsieur?

Yes, please,
and an introduction.

An introduction?

Yeah, that's right.

I'd like to meet some
of the members

of the Order of Lucia.

The Order of Lucia, monsieur?

I do not believe
any of the gentlemen

are here this evening,

Well, I'll wait.

Maybe one of them
will come in.

( piano plays )

Who are you,

and where did you
get that ring?

Well, my name is James West,

and I'm not sure I know
what ring you're talking about.

Please do not play games.

The ring you showed Armad.

I got that ring
off a dead man's body.

He was killed
at the opera house last night.

Pierre Deluc.

You know him?

He was my uncle.

Well, my sympathies, Miss...


May I have the ring,
Mr. West?

Why do you want it?

He was my only relative.
I'd like it as a keepsake.

Angelique, did you know
that your uncle

was involved in a plot
to kidnap Rosa Montebello?

May I have the ring,
Mr. West?

Did you know
about that kidnapping plot?


No, not about that.

About what, then?

Only that my uncle

was involved
in something wrong,

something he didn't
want to do.

He was afraid,
I could tell,

but he wouldn't
talk about it.

We can't talk here.

Then where?

The opera house.
There's no performance tonight.

I'll meet you
there at 10:00.

Ten o'clock.

♪ Buffalo gal ♪

♪ Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance
By the light of the moon? ♪

♪ Oh, buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Gonna dance
By the light of the moon ♪

Hey, you sing pretty good.

Yeah, you play the guitar?

No, I don't.

Well, stick around
and sing with us.

I'd like to, fellas,
but I have to get to work.

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance
By the light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance
By the light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance
By the light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance
By the light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight ♪

♪ And dance
By the light of the moon? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

♪ Come out tonight?
Come out tonight? ♪

♪ Buffalo gal
Won't you come out tonight? ♪

( waltz music playing )

But just a short while ago

I had occasion
to be with, well,

a world-renowned coloratura,

and indeed I found her
to be vain, rude,

arrogant, shrewd--

Oh, completely the opposite
of what you are, dear lady.

Oh, Vladislav,

I cannot tell you
how meraviglioso

it is to be in the company
of a-- A real gentleman again,

a galantuomo.

Those American men
have the manners of, um...uh...



You have not forgotten
your promise

to allow me to show you
the grounds,

have you, signorina?

Of course not, Max.

Uh, why do I not get you
some champagne?

Oh, that would be divine,

Oh, it is a bit warm,
is it not?

All the more reason
for a stroll in the garden.

Charming idea.

Shall we go here?

Champagne, sir?


Oh, belle giardino, signor.

( speaking Italian )

Oh, you have
a beautiful home, signor,

fit for a king,

but, uh, do you not
have any family

to enjoy it with you?

No, signorina.

Of course,
there is my brother.

Your brother?

But why have I not met him?

Is he away?

No, he's here,

but he... Well,
he stays to himself.

A virtual recluse.

He's only permitted myself
and his man Igor

to see him since
he suffered an affliction

Forgive me, signorina.

I know you'll understand

if I prefer
not to talk about it

on such a happy occasion.


Tell me, signorina.

I've seen you
in many of your roles,

but do you not consider
Lucia the most difficult?

Oh, si.

( speaks Italian )

( guests applaud )

This room is too hot,

and the dinner
you brought to me tonight

was utterly
without imagination.

Where does Max
find his cooks?

They would be better
serving pigs in the barnyard.

I tell you,
the situation

is getting
to be insufferable.

Why is he not here
at this moment?

I'll tell you.

He is more interested
in entertaining his stuffy

little provincial friends
with his miserable music.

Every time I need him,

does he worry about me?

No. It's only himself
that he cares about.

The fact that I remain
here in this room

is of absolutely
no importance to him.

He doesn't think of me.
Max never thinks of me.

He goes his own way,

in his own pleasures.

That isn't true. Max--

Don't tell me!

Look at them down there.

Tell Max I wish
to see him.


Someone in this house
is spying on us.


( dramatic theme playing )

This way.

This is where my uncle lived
the last five years of his life.

Before that, he was in
the personal entourage

of Caroline Mason.

Caroline Mason?

Isn't that the singer
that died in that fire

at the Palace Hotel
in New Orleans?


Uncle Pierre was never
the same after her death.

What did he have against
Rosa Montebello?

I don't know.

All I know is
my uncle's strangeness

had something to do
with this room.

In what way?

The fact that he slept here,
that he would never leave it

unless he had to,

and once I remember that--

( door creaks )

Who could that be?

Night watchman?

But there is none.

( suspenseful theme playing )

( grunts )

( screams )

After the fracas
at the opera house,

I returned to the club

to find out if anyone knew
where the girl lived.

The bartender had disappeared,

and no one,
absolutely no one,

ever heard of a girl
named Angelique.

Well, one thing
we're sure of now

we didn't even know
at this time yesterday.

This whole thing
pivots around a woman

who's been dead for five years.

Artie, are you sure

that was a portrait
of Caroline Mason?

Oh, absolutely, Jim.

I saw her do Aida in Boston,
La Traviata in Chicago,

Carmen in San Francisco.

That's her portrait
in the Crenshaw Home,

no mistake about it.

( knock at door )

Come in.

Will I be drawn and quartered
if I say good morning?

You'll be drawn and quartered
if that's all you say.

"532 River Street,
first floor, rear."

What's this?
Angelique's address.

Artie, pour the lady
some coffee.

I'm way ahead of you, Jim.

I hear you're
taking Rosa Montebello

to a society bazaar
this afternoon.

That's correct.
Sit down, won't you?

Thank you.

Mr. Gordon, if you'll
excuse me for saying so,

I think you and Mr. West
should forbid Miss Montebello

from stepping foot
outside her hotel room

until you've found the men
who tried to kidnap her.

( laughs ):
With a bazaar in her honor?

She wouldn't listen.

But you must
make her understand

that her life
is in danger,

that whoever tried
to kidnap her

is undoubtedly watching
and waiting

for another opportunity.

They undoubtedly are,
Miss Collingwood.

In fact, uh, Miss Collingwood,

that's exactly
what we're counting on.


Mm-hm. Since her
would-be kidnappers

are watching
her every move,

I plan to set her out
as a target

in order to draw them out
into the open.

Mr. Gordon,
you're not serious.

I most certainly am.

But don't you realize
what would happen

to this country's diplomatic
relations with Italy

if you were to use Miss--
Miss Montebello

as a-- A cat's-paw
and something went wrong?

I know, Miss Collingwood.

I'm aware it is very,
very risky,

but I have no other way for
drawing them out into the open.

I have no other alternatives.

But that's awful.


Unless, of course,

we can find someone else
in place of Miss Montebello.

Someone else?

Yes, you know, as a decoy.

Sort of draw them out and
at the same time protect her.

Of course.
How marvelous.

Some young lady who's, uh,
professionally accustomed

to placing herself
in physical jeopardy.

Oh, that's a brilliant
idea, Mr. Gordon,

an absolutely
brilliant idea.

Thank you.

But where will we go
to find such a young lady?

( laughs nervously )

Oh, now, wait a minute,
Mr. Gordon.

You said yourself it was
brilliant, Miss Collingwood.

Yes, but Mr. Gordon--

And I have
no other alternatives.

You remember that?

But, Mr. Gordon,
you must remember

that my duties
with the Secret Service

do not include
my jeopardizing my--

Thank you, Miss Collingwood.
Thank you for volunteering.

( sighs )

( suspenseful theme playing )

( applause )

Oh, you look ravishing,

absolutely ravishing.


Heaven must have
wanted to prove

it could achieve perfection

when it put such
a beautiful voice

in such a beautiful woman.

Get in.

Are we being followed?

Oh, no, not yet.

Maybe the fish we're after
are too smart to take the bait.

Well, patience,
Miss Collingwood, patience.

( dramatic theme playing )

Is something wrong?

No, not a thing.

The fish have finally
risen to the bait.

We're being kidnapped.


Of course, the trick is to act
like we didn't expect it.

Driver! Driver!
You're going the wrong way!

Stop this carriage!

Oh, there we are.

( sniffs )

( coughs )

Mr. Gordon, I have
the uncomfortable feeling

the fish are on the wrong end
of the line this time.

Oh, nonsense. Everything's
working out perfectly.

It is?

Yes, everything's
just fine, believe me.

That's asking a lot,
under the circumstances...

( suspensful theme playing )

( organ being played )

( distant opera singing )

( singing )
( playing )

( playing )

( singing operatic )

I have heard
squeaking wheels

that sound better
than you.

You're not an artist,
you're a fraud.

You don't sing, you croak,

both of you.

And you had the temerity
to try to sing Lucia.

Caroline Mason was beautiful.
She was divine.

If you had heard
Caroline Mason as Lucia,

you would have gone back
to doing the only thing

that your voices
are fit for,

calling hogs!

( plays )

They say the mad scene
is the most difficult aria

for a coloratura
in all opera,

yet Caroline Mason sang it

with beauty and ease,

sang it as it was never
sung before.


Or will ever again.

What made me think I could
create another Caroline Mason?

I was a fool to think
they could ever match

her technique, her tonal
quality, her adroitcity.

Get rid of them.

But, Karl--
I don't care how,

but make sure,

since they cannot sing for me,

they do not talk to the police.

Signorina Rosa Montebello.

We are so glad you came.

I saw you
in Lucia recently.

You were not great,
but not bad.

If you had been, I would not
have gone to the trouble

of having you brought here.

( laughs ):
Uh, these.

Oh, I don't know why I've
troubled for such a long time

with these braying jackasses,

but I shall not be as patient
with you. Come.

Look at her, signorina.

Look at her and pray

that I can make you
the singer that she was,

for if I can't,

Igor will dispose of you
along with these two frauds

who blaspheme the memory
of Caroline Mason

every time
they open their mouths.

Lucia was Caroline's
favorite role.

She sang it over 100 times,

and she always
carried this dagger

in the mad scene after
she has killed her husband.

and that is the part
you shall sing for me now.

( plays )

Please, remove your veil.

I said remove your veil.

You cannot sing
with a rag over your face.

This is not Rosa Montebello,
you fools.

How could you have made
such a horrendous mistake?

Get rid of her.

( action theme playing )

All right, stay
right where you are.

( Karl grunts )

Caroline Mason.

( male voice ):
Max, I...

I'm sorry.

This time she is dead.

What about the hotel fire?

I was with her.
I rescued her.

It was her maid's body

that was identified
as Caroline's.

And you just
let it go at that?

You heard her voice,
that hideous mockery

of what had once been
the greatest coloratura

in the whole history
of opera.

The vocal cords
were irreparably damaged

by the heat and smoke
inhalation from the fire.

He must have
loved her very much.

Not nearly as much
as she loved him.

She knew that without her voice,

she was but half a woman to him,

and she wanted
to be whole again,

to give him back the one thing
he had loved most about her.

Her voice.


Even if it was
the voice of another.

( sobs )

( indistinct chattering )


( speaks Italian )


I can't help thinking
how stupid

and unnecessary
it all was.

If Caroline Mason
could only have accepted

what happened to her voice.

But she couldn't.

Someone once said,
"Nothing exceeds

the vanity of our existence
but the folly of our pursuits."

Oliver Goldsmith
in The Good-Natured Man,

Volume 1, 1759.

Someone also once said,

"A thing of beauty
is a joy forever."

Oh, Monsieur West
and Miss Collingwood,

how nice of you to come.

I am sure that with you here,

now every nationality
in the world is represented.

Do enjoy the buffet
and mingle, huh?

Oh, and, uh, all these people

are most charming
and understanding,

so don't worry for a moment
about feeling a bit

provincial, shall we say.

Do enjoy yourselves,
and, uh...

Is something the matter?

I was just wondering
if that Monsieur Gordon

is coming tonight.

Oh, I-- I'm terribly sorry,

but Mr. Gordon
can't attend tonight.

Ah. Oh, I am so sorry.

Do enjoy yourselves, eh?

Oh, carino mio,
I have wonderful news.

That horrid man Artemis Gordon
cannot come tonight.

Oh, I am so happy
for you.

Of course, I'm terribly
disappointed for myself.

You see, I have
been standing here

dreaming up
exquisite insults

to hurl at that villain.

Indeed, I was prepared
to meet him

on the field of honor.

Oh, Vladislav, my love,

don't waste
one moment thinking

about that rustic
American peasant.

Tonight is ours.

( upbeat theme playing )

( upbeat western theme playing )