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Jack Bettridge

Scene Smoking  

Posted: May 18, 2008 12:39pm ET
Have Gun – Will Travel rerun, “Show of Arms” (circa 1957).

DAWN in SAN FRANCISCO’s Hotel Carlton, where the TV western’s main character, Paladin (played by Richard Boone), lives out his alter ego as a wealthy dandy (when he isn’t riding the range as a highly principled gun for hire, “the knight without armor in a savage land”).

PALADIN is playing out the last hand of an all-night poker game, which he is winning. The Chinese bellboy arrives with a box of cigar, which Paladin pays for and instructs HEY-BOY (not much politically correct about 1957) to pass out to his gambling partners.

One of the gamblers MR. BERNARD (played by character actor Ned Glass), having been particularly well-fleeced, grabs four from the box even though he is already smoking a cigar. PALADIN gives him a reproachful glance at the apparent impropriety.

BERNARD shrugs and says: “Well, I figure they’re costing me a hundred a piece, Paladin.”

PALADIN just smiles.

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