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An Ace Called Spade Recap

Yancy is walking down Bourbon Street and stops to chat with a flower seller, Madame Marie. He says that he's dealing with a small problem, and asks Marie to send the woman white roses. Marie says that she used all of her white roses for a funeral piece: a wreath made out to John. A messenger placed the order and asked her to deliver it to the Green Acre cemetery, and Yancy tells Marie that John is still alive. The stonecutter, Jackson, has a contract for the same funeral.

After visiting Jackson, Yancy and Pahoo to John's office where he's meeting with Lavinia Lake. Yancy insists on talking to John privately, and tells him about the funeral arrangements. He shows John a headstone with his name on it, saying that he died in a duel the next day. John dismisses it as a daily threat and there's nothing he can do about it, and invites Yancy to meet Lavinia. Lavinia arrived from Boston and is a complete stranger in town, and is a friend of John's sister Agatha in Boston. Lavinia says that she's been looking forward to see New Orleans, and heads back to her hotel. Join agrees to meet her there for lunch.

When Lavinia goes into the antechamber, she comes face-to-face with Pahoo and calls for John. John and Yancy come out and Yancy introduces Pahoo to Lavinia. Once they leave separately, Yancy gives John some dating tips. John says that he's already forgotten about the headstone, and Yancy wishes him luck.

Later at her hotel room, Lavinia meets with duelist Spade Stuart and his second Crane, and pays them $2,000. Spade tries to charm her, but Lavinia says that she wants him to kill a person legally. When she refuses his advances, Spade threatens to blackmail her and she tries to withdraw the contract. Spade and Clark tell her that isn't possible and Lavinia warns them about Yancy. She doesn't want Spade to kill Yancy, but Crane says that he's heard of Yancy and he's no fool. When Spade asks if she really wants John dead, Lavinia says that he'll run and that's what she wants to see. Spade promises that he won't let Join run... or Lavinia.

Later, Spade and Crane are drinking at the Sazerac. The bartender, Willy Nilly, is admiring his dueling pistols. Mai-Ling comes over and tells Stuart to remove his pistols from the bar. She warns him that any attempt to create a scene will result in her calling the authorities. Yancy comes in and deliberately interrupts, and Spade takes offense. Crane advises Spade to let it go, Mai-Ling calls him over by name, and Clark recognizes him.

Mai-Ling asks Yancy not to make any trouble, and tells him that John and Lavinia went to another restaurant. Spade confronts Yancy and says that he's almost as famous as Spade is. Yancy taunts him and Spade figures that he's trying to anger him. He invites Yancy to a duel and Yancy mocks him again, but Spade refuses to lose his temper and give up the advantage of weapon choice.

Later, Yahoo and Pahoo find John and Lavinia at the Charter House eating. Yancy shows him an ad in the paper saying that John dies in a duel the next day, and John insists that he's not going to fight a duel. As Yancy leads John away, Spade comes over and lays hands on Lavinia. Join pushes Spade away, and Yancy knocks Spade out while Pahoo takes out Crane. John complains that Yancy interfered, showing that he's a coward. He has his men arrest Yancy and Pahoo for disturbing the peace and tosses them in the calaboose for 24 hours.

That night, Spade and Crane visit Lavinia in her hotel room. She tells them that the duel is off and they can keep the money. Lavinia admits that she's made a mistake and John won't run. Spade agrees on his honor, an d tells Lavinia that they're taking a night boat out that night. Outside, Spade tells Crane to follow Lavinia, see where she and Join go, and if Yancy is with them. He assures his second that he's never left New Orleans without fighting in at least one duel.

In the calaboose, the jailer brings Yancy an answer to his telegram. Reading it, Yancy says that he has to leave. The jailer points out that Yancy and Pahoo have 14 more hours to go, and Yancy offers to "overpower" him to make their escape look convincing. When the man reluctantly agrees, Pahoo knocks him unconscious The two men leave the cell and jump out the window before the soldiers on guard can stop them.

John and Lavinia are sharing champagne at the Sazerac, and Lavinia says that she's leaving the next day. He says that he likes her very much, and Lavinia says that she's Mrs. Lake and her husband is Paul Harmonlake. John presided at Paul's court martial that found him guilty of cowardice, and had him shot. John points out that Paul led his men into enemy gunfire and deserted them at Gettysburg, and she's going back to her hotel alone. Spade and Crane come over and Spade starts addressing Lavinia familiarly. John intervenes just as Yancy and Pahoo comes in. When Yancy tries to interfere, John takes offense and Yancy knocks him out. Spade tells Yancy to stay out of it, and Yancy says that Agatha responded to his telegram and has never heard of Lavinia. He figures that she hired Spade, and says that they'll both spend time in the calaboose.

When Yancy takes Lavinia's arm, Spade slaps him. Yancy smiles and asks if he's challenging. He reminds Spade of what he said earlier, and Spade tells him to pick his weapon. Yancy says that they'll fight there and now with knives, He provides a knife, but Spade kicks him away , grabs the knife, and goes at him. Yancy knocks him back and Pahoo tosses Yancy his knife. As they fight, John wakes up and Lavinia tells him to stop the fight. Yancy finally breaks Spade's left wrist, and invites John to accept the duel since Spade is left-handed. Spade says that he's had enough, and John tells him that he has an hour to get out of town. The duelist admits that Lavinia paid him, and Yancy shows John the telegram. Crane slides a derringer across the bar to Spade. Lavinia shoots him before he can shoot John, and Pahoo knocks Crane out. The woman admits that she was wrong to want John dead and faints.

Later, John, Yancy, and Pahoo meet with Lavinia in John's office. She wonders what John is going to do with her, and he says that he's taking her out for a midnight supper and they can talk over new times. Lavinia agrees, and Yancy says that he has to see a man about a tombstone and correct the name. John calls in a lieutenant and has Yancy placed under arrest. Yancy goes along willingly and says that he'll see Lavinia again... in 30 days.

Written by Gadfly on Jun 16, 2017

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