Queen of Swords

Episode Transcripts


Episode 10: The Serpent

Written by Steve Roberts
Directed by Jorge Montesi
Aired: 1-20-01
Transcript revised: 12-18-08


Zzickle's Notes:

I don't own Queen of Swords - if I did, *all* the episodes would have had Dr. Helm in them! The contents of this transcript are taken directly from the episode (with help of closed captions), to the best of my ability. Special thanks to the twins for help with Spanish translations.

If you want to post this transcript on your site, please let me know where it is going so I can visit it. Also, please post it with my name (Zzickle) and website (http://www.zzickle.com/) on it.

You are more than welcome to use these transcripts in your fanfiction stories, no notification required.

Cast List:

Tessa Alvarado - Tessie Santiago
              our heroine

Marta - Paulina Gálvez
              Tessa's gypsy servant

Dr. Robert Helm - Peter Wingfield
              the town doctor

Col. Luis Montoya - Valentine Pelka
              the bad guy

Queen of Swords - Tessa's alter ego

Don Gaspar Hidalgo - Tacho González
              a wealthy man

Don Santos - Jorge Bosso
              another don

Arnaldo Santos - Domingo Beltran
              Santos' son

El Serpiente - David Carradine
              big cahuna bandit

Leandro - Pedro Bea
              one of El Serpiente's men



[El Serpiente chasing Arnaldo on horseback]

El Serpiente & Arnaldo - Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!

[Arnaldo ends up in blind canyon]

El Serpiente - It's a dead end!

[Arnaldo stops horse, dismounts and draws sword, El Serpiente dismounts, disarms Arnaldo]

Arnaldo - [holds out pouch of money] Here, take it all.

El Serpiente - [laughs] No es suficiente. [trans: It's not enough.]

Arnaldo - Please don't kill me.

El Serpiente - Kill you? Why would I want to kill you? Your father will give me ten times that. Why kill the little goose that lays the golden egg, huh?

QoS - You could try killing this goose instead.

El Serpiente - Take it easy, my friend. There's enough here for both of us. There's no need to be greedy. [draws pistol, QoS snaps whip to disarm him] Mama warned me never to meet women like you.

QoS - Maybe you should have listened to her. [to Arnaldo] Go. Get out of here.

Arnaldo - Thank you, Queen. [rides away]

El Serpiente - Why fight El Serpiente? We're on the same side.

QoS - El Serpiente, you're not even on the same planet.

El Serpiente - Too bad . . . for you. [begin swordfight]

QoS - Aren't you going to say, "Look out behind you"?

El Serpiente - Sure. Look out behind you.

[QoS looks, sees horses approaching, takes advantage of El Serpiente's distraction to slice his arm and get away]

El Serpiente - Aaaarg. [to Men] Kill her!

Man - [to El Serpiente] Where did the Queen of Swords come from?

El Serpiente - From hell. And when I find her, I'll send her back.


El Serpiente's Hideout

El Serpiente's Men - [to men on cliff] He is hurt! Make sure we weren't followed.

[Riders dismount in camp]

Leandro - [to El Serpiente] It looks bad, Jefe. Pablo was cut like that and it killed him.

El Serpiente - I'm not Pablo. I am the Serpent. [grabs Leandro's shirt]

Leandro - You are the greatest bandit alive.

El Serpiente - Damn right. [releases shirt] Damn that woman. Get me a doctor.

Leandro - We don't have a doctor, Jefe.

El Serpiente - I know that. Go to the town and find a doctor. Bring him here.

Leandro - Si.

El Serpiente - Anyway you can. But make sure he's alive.

Leandro - Si, Jefe.


Santa Helena: balcony above street

[men walk along balcony and down stairs to street]

Santos - My son is still lucky to be breathing.

Hidalgo - You must hunt down the Serpent, colonel . . . and quickly!

Santos - Colonel, if it hadn't been for the Queen . . .

Montoya - I have been hunting him, Senor Hidalgo. Unfortunately without succes.

Santos - How is that possible?

Hidalgo - You have an entire garrison at your disposal.

Santos - Which we pay for.

Montoya - We get close, he disappears into the rocks. Vanishes completely. Perhaps that is why they call him The Serpent, do you think? He just slithers away.

Hidalgo - This slithering must stop.

Santos - None of us are safe. [Santos leaves]

Hidalgo - My own petal, on the eve of her birthday, is a nervous wreck. I must watch her continuously.

Montoya - In the matter of your wife, your need for vigilance has my fullest sympathy, Senor Hidalgo.

Hidalgo - Colonel! Must we turn to the Queen of Swords to save us? It seems that even a mere woman is capable of doing what you are not. [leaves]

Tessa - Afternoon, colonel. Something wrong?

Montoya - No doubt you have heard about our latest bandit attack.

Tessa - Ah, yes, how terrible. Luckily the young man was saved by the Queen of Swords.

Montoya - It is evident to me that the Queen is now in league with the Serpent.

Tessa - I don't understand.

Montoya - This "rescue" was merely a weak attempt to impress the gullible.

Tessa - Oh, I see. My, my, that Queen sure is the clever one, isn't she?

Montoya - Not quite so clever as she thinks. But do not fear, Maria Teresa. Soon the Queen and the Serpent will be dead, and then this little pueblo of ours will once again be a paradise.

Tessa - But remember, colonel, even the Garden of Eden had its serpent. Apple? [holds out an apple from her basket, Montoya takes it] Come, Marta. I need to get some more of that lace for my new dress. [stops and looks down the street at man talking to a woman]

Marta - What is it?

Leandro - [to woman] Senora, please, tell me where the doctor lives. [the woman points]

Marta - You know him?

Tessa - I don't, but the Queen does.


Dr. Helm's Office

Dr. Helm - [to pregnant woman] Pay me when the harvest is in . . . or better still, when the fruit of your labors is out.

Lady - Gracias, Dr. Helm, gracias. [exits, Leandro enters, points gun at Dr. Helm]

Dr. Helm - And is it the inflammation or the discharge of your pistol that concerns you?

Leandro - Don't get smart with me.

Dr. Helm - I wouldn't dream of it. It'd be such a waste.

Leandro - You're coming with me. My boss is hurt, bad.

Dr. Helm - In the head, presumably, and it seems to be catching.

Leandro - Don't make me kill you.

Dr. Helm - [sighs, grabs gun, ends up holding Leandro's arm behind his back] Now, I can mend limbs, but I can also break them. It's one of the perks of the job.

Leandro - I am dead if I go back alone.


Canyon near Hideout

[Leandro hands Dr. Helm a blindfold]

Dr. Helm - [chuckles] I don't think so.

Leandro - You have no choice.

Dr. Helm - I can choose to ride back to town.

Leandro - Then my friend, Alejandro, will have to shoot you. [points out man on cliff] I think it's better you wear the blindfold, don't you?

Dr. Helm - [tying on blindfold] Lead on, MacDuff.


El Serpiente's Hideout

Dr. Helm - I think that's it. You can relax.

El Serpiente - You do good work, doctor, but you hurt like hell.

Dr. Helm - You should try having a baby.

El Serpiente - Not with you, eh?

Dr. Helm - You should watch your drinking. You've lost a lot of blood. Get some food inside you . . . meat . . . iron . . .

El Serpiente - I've got plenty of iron in me. Mostly bullets. [Men laugh] You're a strange man.

Dr. Helm - What makes you say that?

El Serpiente - Well, Leandro told me you're good with weapons.

Dr. Helm - Just scalpels, these days.

El Serpiente - Well, old habits die hard, though. You know, I could use a doctor - okay, okay okay. [pushes Dr. Helm away as he finishes bandaging El Serpiente's arm] I figure, with your talents . . . I think maybe you should stay here. Permanently.

Dr. Helm - Well, that's a lovely idea, but I have a whole town to look after.

El Serpiente - Well, that's too bad, cause now I'm gonna have to kill you. [pulls out gun and cocks it at Dr. Helm]

Dr. Helm - How amazingly unoriginal. Now why don't you put that thing away before you do something I'll regret?

[El Serpiente and his men laugh]

El Serpiente - Come here. Come on. [slaps Dr. Helm] I like you. You're kinda short on brains, but you've got plenty of guts. [to Leandro] Blindfold him, and drop him off a couple of miles out.

Dr. Helm - You don't even trust your own doctor?

El Serpiente - Doctor, I don't trust anyone. And if you tell anybody about this place, those will be the last words that ever cross your lips. Comprende? [Dr. Helm nods]


Canyon Pass back to town

[Dr. Helm blindfolded on horse, Leandro riding alongside him]

Leandro - [chuckles] It's lucky for you El Jefe was in a good mood.

Dr. Helm - The man's a real charmer.

Leandro - He could have blown your brains out. [hears horse whinnying, turns to look, sees QoS, turns horse & rides toward her, pulling gun]

[QoS rides toward Leandro, jumps & knocks him off his horse]

Dr. Helm - What's going on? Who's there? What's happening? [QoS & Leandro wrestle, gun goes off, shooting Leandro] Leandro? Leandro, untie me. What's going on? [QoS untie's Dr. Helm's hands, Dr. Helm removes his blindfold] I might have guessed. [sees Leandro on ground, grabs bag & runs to him but, Leandro is dead. Dr. Helm sighs, turns to QoS] Another one.

QoS - It was an accident, doctor. You looked like you needed the help.

Dr. Helm - I did not need help. This man was guiding me home.

QoS - Blindfolded and with your hands tied?

Dr. Helm - As a matter of fact, yes.

QoS - He's one of the Serpent's men, isn't he? Is his boss still alive?

Dr. Helm - That's a confidential matter between doctor and patient.

QoS - He isn't just any patient, doctor.

Dr. Helm - To me, he is.

QoS - He's a killer.

Dr. Helm - Then I guess you two have something in common.


El Serpiente's Hideout

El Serpiente - [to men] A boy escapes me. A woman attacks me. A doctor kills one of my best men. No one fears El Serpiente anymore! Well, they will. Soon!


Spanish village

[El Serpiente's men ride away, firing guns in the air & leaving behind burned huts and wounded villagers]

Woman - Somebody get the doctor!


Same village: short while later

Santos - Dr. Helm . . . I sent my son, Arnaldo, to bring more workers . . .

Dr. Helm - Don't worry, he's safe. He's gone to get fresh water for me.

Santos - Thank God for that. The village was poor. They had nothing, yet those devils destroyed it all. What kind of animals are they?

Dr. Helm - Don Santos, I need you to find me a cart. Some of these people will have to go back to my office.

Santos - Yes. Yes, doctor.


Canyon Pass

Dr. Helm - [riding along, sees QoS riding toward him] Whoa.

QoS - Take me to him.

Dr. Helm - I beg your pardon?

QoS - You heard me.

Dr. Helm - I'm busy.

QoS - I can see that. Busy cleaning up the Serpent's mess. If you hadn't saved his life, none of this would have happened.

Dr. Helm - I tended to an injured patient.

QoS - Who's a murderer.

Dr. Helm - I don't judge. I heal.

QoS - Then let the law judge him. Where is he?

Dr. Helm - I can't.

QoS - For God's sake, why?

Dr. Helm - Because I swore an oath to protect the sick.

QoS - And your oath is more important than these people's lives?

Dr. Helm - It's not as simple as that. This is a matter of honor.

QoS - Don't fool yourself, doctor. There's no honor in protecting a murderer. Only vanity.


Santa Helena: street

Hidalgo - These raids have outraged the entire community, colonel. I have done my best to calm the dons, but . . .

Montoya - But as their spokesman, you must be under great pressure.

Hidalgo - They ask why their colonel is not leading the search for this bandit himself. In a crisis we all must do the right thng, whatever the sacrifice.

Montoya - You may assure the dons that I will act immediately.

Hidalgo - You may assure them yourself. They are assembled in the rose courtyard as we speak.

Montoya - The dons want action? Very well. I will give them action.


Santa Helena: courtyard

Montoya - Senores, following my meeting with the most persuasive Don Gaspar, I have decided to intensify my actions against the Serpent. Consequently, I am declaring martial law, effective immediately.

Santos - Outrageous.

Montoya - A total curfew will be imposed at six o'clock tonight.

Hidalgo - But what of my beloved's birthday party here, this evening?

Montoya - Cancelled. While Capitan Grisham and his men comb the north, all able bodied men will join me in a search of the south. So, go home, arm yourselves, we ride in two hours.

Hidalgo - Colonel, most unfortunately, I am unable to ride a horse due to childhood injuries.

Montoya - Inflicted, no doubt, by too many encounters with cream buns.

Hidalgo - I only wish I could be of more help.

Montoya - We have a crisis, Senor Hidalgo. We "must all do the right thing, whatever the sacrifice," no?


Santa Helena: cafe

Tessa - I want to volunteer, doctor.

Dr. Helm - [sitting at table with head down, raises head] What do you mean, volunteer?

Tessa - As a nurse.

Dr. Helm - Sorry, am I missing something?

Tessa - All those men. I can't bear to think of them coming back mutilated, wounded, or perhaps even dead.

Dr. Helm - I would ask you to sit down, senorita, but I'd really rather be alone.

Tessa - [sits down anyway] Isn't it terrible that all of it is because of one man? They say the Serpent has a secret hideout. If only someone knew where to find him . . . put an end to all the pain and suffering.

Dr. Helm - You must forgive me. I have . . . work to do.

Tessa - Yes . . . the injured men returning from battle. You know, I envy you.

Dr. Helm - You're not serious.

Tessa - No! I really do! You have a sacred duty to save lives. There's so much . . . honor in that. You must be very proud.

Dr. Helm - Perhaps I'm just vain.

Tessa - Doctor Helm, who would dare call you that?

Dr. Helm - Someone.

Tessa - Anyone who would say such a thing is callous and ignorant.

Dr. Helm - No, she is not!

Tessa - A woman?

Dr. Helm - Just possibly the most remarkable woman I've ever met.


Canyon Pass to Hideout

Dr. Helm - Serpiente! [to men] I believe your boss is expecting me.

Man - Put on the blindfold, doctor.


El Serpiente's Hideout

Dr. Helm - Care for some professional advice?

El Serpiente - I'm always ready to listen to my friends.

Dr. Helm - Take a vacation. Go someplace no one knows you.

El Serpiente - Doctor, if I didn't know better, I'd think you were trying to get rid of me.

Dr. Helm - The whole town's out for your blood. If you go east, you'll miss both the search parties.

El Serpiente - I don't get it. You kill Leandro, but you want to spare me?

Dr. Helm - I didn't kill Leandro.

El Serpiente - Then who did?

Dr. Helm - It was an accident.

El Serpiente - Sure. Right through the heart. [to men] Take him. I'll do this myself. We'll bury him right next to our fallen compadre.

Dr. Helm - My death will serve nothing.

El Serpiente - Well, that's where you're wrong, doctor. I feel better already.

Man - Move. [pushes Dr. Helm over to open grave]

El Serpiente - Time to say goodbye, doctor.

Dr. Helm - You know, if this is about my fee, I am willing to negotiate.

El Serpiente - [laughs] Negotiate on your knees. [pushes Dr. Helm down]

Dr. Helm - Come, come, no one needs to lose their head over this.

El Serpiente - I'm gonna miss you. [raises sword, QoS throws bolero at the sword, knocks it from El Serpiente's hands] Arrg!

Man - It's the Queen!

El Serpiente - Kill her! [guns firing]

QoS - Come on!

Dr. Helm - [grabs pistol from ground, jumps on QoS's horse] Go! Go! Go!

El Serpiente - Go! After her! The grave is big enough for three. You're not going anywhere, doctor! It's a dead end! For you . . . and your Queen. Get my horse!


Open Plain away from town

Santos - This is impossible.

Montoya - Not at all, Don Santos. This is my daily work. It's what you pay me to do. As you can see, it is quite simple. Just ride off and find bandits. It's easy.

Santos - We must rest, Montoya. We're exhausted.

Montoya - Unfortunately, I have found that the wicked never rest. Therefore we who "do the right thing" must keep up without pause.

Hidalgo - But a pause is what I must have.

Montoya - No, Don Gaspar, you must not. You must dig deep and find strength. You will take the other dons and go west. Sweep the valley. I will go with my men and sweep the area to the east, towards the canyons. Remember, senores, the price of peace is eternal vigilance! [rides off with his men]


Blind Canyon

Dr. Helm - Could you have let that blade get a little closer to my head?!

QoS - I had to make sure you needed the help this time.

Dr. Helm - So you risked your life to save mine. Thank you!!

QoS - Yeah, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm not so sure anymore.

Dr. Helm - The only way out is up.

QoS - You climb?

Dr. Helm - Do you?

QoS - After you.

Dr. Helm - No, please, ladies first.

QoS - Fine. [they begin climbing, Dr. Helm grabs QoS's arm to help her up] Ow.

Dr. Helm - Let me have a look at that.

QoS - It's nothing.

Dr. Helm - Who's the doctor? I have nothing to clean it with, but it looks superficial. It'll be alright.

QoS - I told you it was nothing.

Dr. Helm - You may have nerve damage, though. Can you feel that?

QoS - [pulls arm away] I'm fine. We can't hide out here forever.

Dr. Helm - Maybe they'll get tired of looking.

QoS - Maybe the Serpent will become a choir boy. You know, I hate to say, "I told you so," but . . . I told you so.

Dr. Helm - And what choice did I have?

QoS - You could have let him die.

Dr. Helm - How is that any different from killing him myself?

QoS - Would that have been so terrible?

Dr. Helm - Yes, for me.

QoS - Why?

Dr. Helm - How many men have you killed? How many? Do you remember their faces?

QoS - Yes.

Dr. Helm - I probably remember the first forty. Husbands, brothers, sons . . . after that, they all become a blur.

QoS - During the war?

Dr. Helm - War. The enemy was evil. I was good. One day I realized they thought exactly the same of me. There was no evil. No good. There was only blood and death.

QoS - I didn't know.

Dr. Helm - [draws pistol, points it toward QoS] Now you do. [shoots gun]

El Serpiente's men - [hear gunshot] Vamanos!

Montoya - [hears gunshot] This way.

Dr. Helm - [looking at dead snake lying next to QoS] Now we're even.

QoS - But the odds have changed. We're about to have company.

Dr. Helm - Six. All armed.

QoS - And you used our only shot on a snake!

Dr. Helm - I could've just let it bite you.

QoS - How do you feel about saving the Serpent now, doctor?

Dr. Helm - I'm willing to consider a second opinion. Happy?!

[They begin climbing again. El Serpiente's men ride up, begin shooting, bullets ricochet off cliff face around Dr. Helm and QoS]

Dr. Helm - Looks like the end of a beautiful relationship.

QoS - It's been a pleasure knowing you, doctor.

[El Serpiente's men stop shooting & ride off]

Dr. Helm - They've gone.

QoS - But why?

Dr. Helm - Whatever. Let's just make the most of it. [continue clinbing until they reach the top, Montoya and his men are waiting at top of cliff]

Montoya - Out of the frying pan and into the firing line. You must forgive me, I was expecting a very different guest.

QoS - Sorry to disappoint you.

Montoya - I'm not disappointed. I have caught two birds with one canyon. The Serpent below and the Queen of Swords above. And you, doctor, scrambling about canyons so far from home . . . ?

Dr. Helm - I was abducted by the Serpent.

Montoya - [chuckles] What a glamorous life you lead, doctor. Abducted by bandits, rescued by masked ladies . . . Whatever next? Bands of angels, descending upon us from the heavens above?

QoS - While we stand here and bicker, the real criminal is getting away.

Dr. Helm - This lady saved my life.

Montoya - Touching., but irrelevant.

Dr. Helm - [pulls out pistol, points it at Montoya] Not to me. This lady is leaving us, colonel. If your soldiers fire on her, I will kill you.

Montoya - If I fall, shoot the doctor.

QoS - Don't do this.

Dr. Helm - It's already done.

Montoya - Altruism on one hand, self sacrifice on the other. Why, it's almost romantic.

Dr. Helm - What's it to be, colonel?

Montoya - Lower your weapons.

QoS - Thank you, doctor. [climbs back down cliff into canyon]

Montoya - Threatening me with a loaded pistol is uncommonly stupid for an intelligent man like you.

Dr. Helm - Who said it was loaded? [hands empty pistol to Montoya]

Montoya - [to men] Get after her! Escort the doctor into town. Place him under house arrest. [to Dr. Helm] I will deal with you later.


El Serpiente's Hideout

El Serpiente's men - El Serpiente! El Serpiente! Colonel Montoya is coming!

El Serpiente - So all the men are coming after El Serpiente. That means the town is full of women . . . and gold. [motions to men to ride off]


Dr. Helm's Office

[El Serpiente's men knock out guards, drag them off, Dr. Helm hears commotion & looks outside to see guards missing. Goes back in, finds El Serpiente in back office]

El Serpiente - I came to see you for two reasons. One, to thank you for telling me the town was empty of men.

Dr. Helm - And ripe for the picking.

El Serpiente - And second, to finish killing you.

Dr. Helm - Nothing like a one track mind.

El Serpiente - You shot Leandro, and you brought soldiers to my hideout.

Dr. Helm - I had no idea Montoya was anywhere near.

El Serpiente - You are in league with the Queen of Swords.

Dr. Helm - That's not true! That's not exactly true.

El Serpiente - Liar! Say goodbye, doctor. [points gun at Dr. Helm who tackles El Serpiente, they fight, fall out window into back alley, El Serpiente knocks Dr. Helm down, draws sword]

QoS - Hey!

El Serpiente - You again. [draws second blade]

QoS - How lucky can one guy get? [they swordfight, El Serpiente finally knocks QoS down]

Dr. Helm - Serpiente! [throws dagger, hits El Serpiente in the chest.]

El Serpiente - Aarg. [falls down, dead]

Dr. Helm - [to QoS] Damn you. I've killed him.

QoS - To save me. [kisses Dr. Helm] Thank you. [leaves]

Montoya - [from inside the office] Dr. Helm?! [sees dead El Serpiente] What happened here? [looks closer] Straight through the heart.

Dr. Helm - Years of medical training.

Montoya - It's been an interesting afternoon. You realize I have a clear duty to throw you in jail?

Dr. Helm - At which point I publicly confess to killing the bandit you were unable to apprehend.

Montoya - However, if I were to show you mercy? Undeserved though that might be . . .

Dr. Helm - Then you might claim El Serpiente as your trophy.

Montoya - And you would surrender the honor of the kill?

Dr. Helm - That would be the least I could do for my freedom.

Montoya - True. And after all, one knife is very much like another, no?

Dr. Helm - Precisely.

Montoya - I will hang the Serpent's body in the village square. Let the people see how Montoya deals with murderers and thieves.

Dr. Helm - I always knew you truly were a hero of the people. [Montoya hands him the knife & leaves]


Santa Helena: street

Montoya - You see, Senor Hidalgo? He slithers no more.

Hidalgo - Well, I congratulate you, colonel. You did as you promised.

Montoya - Let us just say I did the right thing, with your courageous help, of course.


Marta - Some men revel in death. [sees Dr. Helm at café drinking wine] Another drinks to forget.

Tessa - I should go to him.

Marta - Be careful, Tessa. He cares for her, not you.

Tessa - [walks up to café table] Well, doctor, it seems my offer of help was unnecessary.

Dr. Helm - Yes. Thank you.

Tessa - It must be very difficult to live with killing a man. [Dr. Helm looks up sharply] Colonel Montoya must be very strong, I suppose.

Dr. Helm - Yes, I suppose he must.

Tessa - I think I prefer a man who saves life rather than takes it. But I'm sure it isn't always a simple choice.

Dr. Helm - Senorita Alvarado, no offense, but what could you possibly know about life and death? [gets up and walks off]

Tessa - Nada.

Marta - Well?

Tessa - Maybe someday.


End of "The Serpent"

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