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The Story of Print Olive

Killing Cynthia Ann

Kicking Horse Casino



The Story of Print Olive

Logline: After the War Between the States, Print Olive became a leader in rounding up the wild Longhorn cattle of Williamson County, Texas, and trail-driving them to markets in Kansas. But thieves and rustlers soon drove him to become a ruthless killer.

Synopsis:

Print Olive, just home from the Confederate Army, goes into the cattle raising business with his brothers, Jay and Ira. Williamsom County, Texas, is infested with thousands of wild cattle, as well as cattle thieves. Print makes a business of running down the wild cattle in the brushy thickets, penning them, and driving them to Elsworth and Dodge City for sale. He marries and starts raising a family, at the same time he begins a series of gun-fights with members of the Yegua and Knobs gangs. He is wounded a number of times, but always comes out victorious. He announces that "anyone caught driving Olive cattle or horses will be shot," and keeps his word. The cattle-raising courts and county are on his side, so he does not get convicted. He is a leader of the community and its fight against rustler and thieves.

He is a pioneer in trail-driving: to Elsworth and Dodge City, and other cities in Kansas, where he is in a number of shoot-outs. He brings home the gold coin that such drives society, thus giving the community an economic shot in the arm, but this methods are ruthless: Once when he caught two men butchering Olive cattle, he sewed the men in the raw skins of the cattle they were butchering, then lay them in the sun so the rawhide would shrink. His dirt tank was said to have nameless skeletons by the score in it, all submerged with weights.

The Yegua and Knobs gangs attack one night. Print is on the watch and shoots some of them, but they wound Jay, seriously. Jay dies about ten days after that. Print now has revenge on his mind. Brother Bob is gun-happy and kills Cal Nutt, the leader of the Yegua Gang. Print discovers that an old friend, Fred Smith, was with the gang that attacked. He tracks him down and kills him. Bob is sent to Nebraska to escape the law; Print and his family soon follow.



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The Story of Print Olive

a film script
by Charles Brashear

based on
The Ladder of Rivers
The Story of I.P. (Print) Olive
Denver: Alan Swallow, 1962



Charles Brashear
1940 Neotomas Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95405
707/569-1335


Logline:

After the War Between the States, Print Olive became a leader in rounding up the wild Longhorn cattle of Williamson County, Texas, and trail-driving them to markets in Kansas. But thieves and rustlers soon drove him to become a ruthless killer.

TITLE: "The Story of Print Olive," superimposed over an aerial photo of a two-story farm house and a great deal of flat and rolling land.

INT. JAMES "JIM" OLIVE HOME. DAY.

A wood frame house, whitewashed and in good repair, surrounded by barns and large pastures well-fenced for 1865. The men of the family come into the living room from the dining. Over the door is a large sign:

"WELCOME HOME, PRINT"

ISOM PRENTICE OLIVE, called PRINT, comes out. Print is 26 years old, lean like his father, a little thin and short of stature, but strong-boned, like all his brothers. He's wiry and dark complected, like his part-Cherokee mother.

JAMES "JIM" OLIVE, the patriarch of the family comes next. He is 61, tall and lean, well-dressed, light complected. He is semi-retired: has let two of his sons take over the operation of the ranch.

THOMAS JEFFERSON "JAY" OLIVE, 23, the best liked of the sons. He's easy-going, but can be pretty awful in a fight.

IRA OLIVE, 18, the quiet one, stutters in crowds, but is decisive and dangerous in a fight.

                     JIM OLIVE
Well, Print. What say, we ride out and count cattle.

                     PRINT
I've been chasing cattle through the thickets since I was ten years old. Can't you find something more exiting?

                     JAY
I think you'll be surprised, Print.

                     JIM OLIVE
They've been multiplying since then. I'm sure you'll be surprised.

                     PRINT
Well, Okay. I'll just call Nigger Jim to go with us.

                     IRA
I think he was in the ki-kitchen with his folks.



EXT. ENROUTE TO THE BARN. DAY.

Jim Olive, Print, Jay, Ira, and "Nigger Jim" Kelley go out, pulling on coats, adjusting hats, buckling on gun belts, etc.

                     JIM OLIVE

The boys was real excited about your coming home. Ira wanted to be in The War.

                     PRINT

He wanted to be bored most of the time?

JIM OLIVE

Why, your commanding officer said you acted with courage and duty.

PRINT

Walking guard in Galveston the last two years required a lot of courage!

JIM OLIVE

But Vicksburg!

PRINT

Yeah. Let's not mention Vicksburg.



EXT. THE CORRALS AT THE OLIVE RANCH. DAY.

Jay and Ira lead out the horses. The men swing easily up into the saddles. Print fingers the strings on his saddle, which they use to tally the cattle.

PRINT

A hundred cattle get one knot. Think I'll have enough string?

JIM OLIVE

We'll see. We'll see.



MONTAGE

EXT. ALONG THE CREEKS IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS. DAY.

TITLES BEGIN.

They ride west through the brushy thickets along Yegua (Yay-wah) Creek. They are counting cattle. Print ties a knot in his saddle strings.

PRINT

Did you count a hundred, Jim?

NIGGER JIM

Yas-suh, Mistah Print. They's shore of lot of 'em.

ANOTHER VIEW

Print counts, ties another knot in his saddle strings.

A THIRD VIEW

Print ties another knot. He now has four knots in his saddle strings.

PRINT

(Shaking his head in surprise)

That's four hundred cattle within three, four miles of home.

JIM OLIVE

That's right. And whoever catches them and brands them owns them.

PRINT

And they're every color of the rainbow!

JIM OLIVE

Every color.

PRINT

They're worth how much?

JIM OLIVE

Next to nothing hereabouts. The rustlers usually take them south. If you've got cattle at the railroads in Kansas, you can get anywhere from 12 to 30 dollars per head. I've heard of buyers that will give 50 dollars.



MONTAGE

EXT. ALONG DRY BRUSHY CREEK. DAY.

TITLES CONTINUE as they turn north-east along Dry Brushy Creek, where Print ties more knots.

PRINT

It's hard to believe.

Print ties another knot in his saddle strings. He has several knots in the strings.

ANOTHER VIEW

Prints ties a knot.

PRINT

I've got 26 knots. How about you, Jim?

NIGGER JIM

Yas-suh, Mistah Print. 26 knots.

PRINT

That's two thousand, six hundred more cattle.

JAY

There's more to come.

PRINT

At 25 dollars per head, that's 75,000 dollars!

TITLES CONTINUE

MONTAGE

As they ride, in heavy brush,

across openings where the prairie sedge grass is a foot high.

into stands of post oak trees

and through large groves of hardwood trees that seem to reach the heavens.

TITLES CONCLUDE as they get home again. Print has forty knots in his saddle strings.



EXT. THE JAMES OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Print, Jay, Ira, Jim Olive and Nigger Jim Kelley, dismount and lead their horses to the pen.

PRINT

By God's blood, Father! I counted four thousand cattle. Most of them didn't have a brand of any kind on them.

JAY

That's right, Print. If you want to catch them and brand them--

PRINT

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn't have believed it.

JIM OLIVE

Print, we have several hundred branded under my old brand, the "L.B." But there's thousands more to be branded and claimed.

JAY

You'll share and share alike with the rest of us, Print.

IRA

Just like bef-f-fore The War. And you'll be the leader.

JIM OLIVE

But the country is aboundin' in thieves. Since The War, the Brushy is overrun with 'em. There's deserters from both armies, there's bummers of all kinds, there's renegades and scallywags 'til hell won't have 'em.

JAY

What father says is true, Print. These fellows are tough, too. Professionals. Gunmen. They'll run off a hundred head while we're watching them.

JIM OLIVE

It'll take a heap of watching, 'cause down in Austin these scallywags got the Union folks believing that they're loyal and faithful subjects of their'n.

(Jim Olive spits on the ground)

Makes me sick!

PRINT

How many head we got-- already branded?

JAY

Near four hundred head. We sell the old bulls to a tallow man and stag the younger ones. The bull calves have been cut.

JIM OLIVE

"The man that's got the money

is the bee that sips the honey."

PRINT

Yeah. You've said that many a time. In Vicksburg, I saw civilians pay seven, eight dollars for a small cut off a beef-roast. If we could get the cattle to the east, we could make a lot of father's honey.

IRA

We-- c-could drive them, Print.

PRINT

We'll keep right on branding cattle, Ira. We'll mark every damned cow in the country that's got a pair of horns and a tail.

JAY

And what about the rustlers?

PRINT

(Patting his gun that hangs at his hip)

I know a way to discourage them. We'll make it known that anyone caught driving a cow with an Olive brand on it will be challenged.

(He looks at Nigger Jim, who nods)



EXT. THE JIM OLIVE CORRALS. DAY.

Print squats, drawing pictures in the sand with a stick. Jim Olive, Jay, Ira, and "Nigger Jim" stand watching.

PRINT

We'll need more land, Father. Jay and I have been talking and we think what should be done is to build some large pens north on the prairie, up where they may build the new railroad.

JIM OLIVE

Umm-Hmmm.

PRINT

But we also need some more land here on the creek, a larger place to work these cattle. There's thousands of head of un-branded cattle within a day's ride of here-- a fortune for men who will ride for them--

JAY

And risk breaking his neck.

IRA

In the b-b-br-brush.

JIM OLIVE

Don't forget the rustlers on the Yegua. And The Notchcutters down at the Knobs.

PRINT

We can put the cattle pens here, on that high area north of the Georgetown Road. We'll build her stout, bull-strong, horse-high, and hog-tight.

Jim Olive now squats on his hams beside Print.

JIM OLIVE

Yeah. Go on.

PRINT

It'll be dry up there in all weather. We'll sink a well and build a ranch-house, so we can spend time there. We can water cattle on the Brushy, or put in a reservoir at the base of the hill.

JIM OLIVE

You boys go ahead, work it out.

(Jim Olive stands; looks at his sons)

but God he'p you if you ever get as rich as Print thinks you can be!

PRINT

We'll take all we can get, won't we, Jay?

JAY

(Nodding vigorously)

Yeah. All we can get.

IRA

All we can g-get.



EXT. NEAR THE LAWRENCE CHURCH AND CEMETERY. DAY.

Print is riding with his Dad and several others.

JIM OLIVE

If you want land, here on the Brushy, go see Adam Lawrence. Ad told me t'other day that he stepped out of his house and saw seven smokes going up in the air from other cabins, women-folk cooking their family breakfasts.

Scene: panoramic view of cabins with smoke going up from the chimneys.

JIM OLIVE (Cont'd; v.o.)

Ad says, "Jim, that too damn many people in one place for me. Gettin' so a body cain't find elbow room anymore. I'm leaving for Californy."

Back to regular scene:

JIM OLIVE

So you boys go talk to Ad. He'll sell you land in the Simon Miller Tract and take cattle for pay. It's good grazing land and well-sheltered for winter.

PRINT

C'mon, Jay. We're riding over to uncle Ad's.

JAY

I'll say.

PRINT

Too bad Ira's not old enough to own land. But we'll cut him in just the same.

JAY

Sure.

PRINT

On picket duty, I decided it was better to be a cattle-raiser, rather than a cattle-chaser. Not just a market man. This'll be our chance.



EXT. THE LAWRENCE PLACE. DAY.

ADAM and SARAH LAWRENCE are sitting on their porch, drinking a cool glass of apple cider. When the Olive boys ride up, Aunt Sarah goes and gets them a glass each. Drinking apple cider, Print comes right to the point.

PRINT

I heard you were about to sell your land and go to California.

AD

Print, it's getting so crowdy here a body cain't find a place to go stand in the sun any more. Saray n' I are shur fixin' to go to Californy. Our land is shur nuff for sale.

PRINT

Well, Jay and I want to buy it, or some of it.

JAY

That's right, Uncle Ad.

AD

Well, how much do you want?

PRINT

We've got a thousand cattle. We could give you a cow or steer for each acre, and throw in twenty range bulls.

AD

Sounds fine. You bring your cattle around; I'll deed you an acre for each head I accept.



MONTAGE

EXT. THE OLIVE PENS, NORTH OF THE OLIVE COMMUNITY. DAY.

In various scenes, Print, Jay, Ira, Nigger Jim, and the others round up cattle.

about a thousand head, milling about, bawling.

Some escape. Nigger Jim, Jay, and Ira race to head them off.

Uncle Ad rejects some of the cattle in the pens. A few are branded, which Print cuts out to the reject herd.

Print and Ad Lawrence sit on their horses, counting cattle. They end up with 955 head.



INT. COURT HOUSE IN GEORGETOWN. DAY.

Uncle Ad is signing a deed.

AD

Well, there you have it. 955 acres.

PRINT

Make the deeds to Isom Prentice Olive and Thomas Jefferson Olive.



INT. JIM OLIVE'S HOUSE. DAY.

JIM OLIVE

Not too high a price for good bottom land. Two dollars an acre.

JAY

It sure puts us in business, eh, Print?

PRINT

Sure does.



SUPER: A MONTH LATER.

EXT. ON THE RANGE. DAY.

Print Olive and Ray Bumpus are riding range. Through field glasses, they spot two cowboys, driving at least a hundred head of cattle southeast along the Yegua Creek bottom. Many of them are branded "L.B.", Jim Olive's old brand.

PRINT

(Studying the cattle with field glasses)

I'd say that at least a third of those cattle carry an Olive brand, the "L.B.," wouldn't you?

BUMPUS

(Taking the field glasses from Print)

Yeah. At least a third.

PRINT

Let's go and talk with the fellow.



EXT. YEGUA CREEK BOTTOM. DAY.

Print touches up his horse with his spurs and canters even with the fellow riding drag on a spotted horse. The fellow's name is ROB MURDAY,

Print notices Murday wears his pistol, carried near his left hand, on the left side of his body, cavalry style, butt forward. Print wears his pistol on his right hip, conventionally, but he has cut away the flap for a fast draw.

PRINT

Howdy, friend. That's a nice bunch of cattle you got there. Where you taking them?

MURDAY

South to Hogeye.

PRINT

A lot of them carrying Olive brands, I see.

MURDAY

I wouldn't know an Olive brand, if I saw one.

PRINT

You buy them from Olives?

MURDAY

I didn't buy them from anybody. I'm just helping to move them.

Murday shifts in his saddle to face Print. He looks at Print insolently.

MURDAY (Cont'd)

I can't see it's any of your business, mister, where we got them or where we're goin with 'em.

PRINT

I'm making it my business.

At that moment, Bumpus rode up at a gallop behind them, shouting:

BUMPUS

Print! You'd better keep an eye--

As though acting on a signal, both Print and Murday draw their guns and fire point blank at each other.

Murday drops from his saddle to the ground, a bullet in his shoulder, another in his chest. The other herder departs through the brush--fast.

Bumpus's horse bucks a little, frightened by the gunfire, but he joins the shooting as soon as he gets control of his horse.

Print looks at Bumpus.

PRINT

You hurt?

BUMPUS

Nope.

The two men step down from their saddles. Murday lies on the ground, face down, moaning. Print rolls him over.

MURDAY

Am I going to live?

PRINT

You'll live. Only the good die young. What's your name?

(Print lays aside Rob's gun. Then starts opening his shirt to treat the wound.

MURDAY

Rob Murday. What's yours?

PRINT

Print Olive. And by God I own a good part of those cattle you're driving. You got anything to say for yourself?

MURDAY

Really? Them's your cattle?

(Murday tries to get up on one elbow)

By God, I swear I wasn't stealing them cows. I was hired to move 'em. That fellow-- Turk Turner-- said them was his cows, that he bought them.

PRINT

(Working to stop Murday's bleeding)

Lay back and be quiet. We'll talk about cow stealing later.

(To Bumpus)

We'd better try to get him to a doctor. You go over to Shiloh Crossroads and get a spring-wagon.



INT. DR. DOAK'S OFFICE IN LEXINGTON. DAY.

Dr. Doak pulls a bullet out of Murday's shoulder and drops it in a pan. He binds the wound with bandages.

DR. DOAK

I recommend you leave him with me for a week or so.

PRINT

Sure, Doc. I can't take care of him anyhow.

DR. DOAK

Just till he can ride. I'll send him back to you.

PRINT

Okay, Doc. Whatever you say.



EXT. AT OLIVE RANCH. A WEEK LATER; DAY.

A bandaged Murday shows up. Print sits on his porch, cleaning his Navy Colt .45.

MURDAY

I swear I wasn't stealing cows, Print. I was just hired to move 'em toward Hogeye.

PRINT

Go on.

MURDAY

What can I say? I'm telling you the truth. I ain't no cow-thief.

PRINT

Then what are you?

MURDAY

Jist a cowboy. I was just working for this fellow, Turk Turner.

PRINT

Yeah. I got a bone to pick with him, too. Go on.

MURDAY

They ain't no more to say. I was jist hired to move some cattle, and I was doing it.

Print studies Murday a long moment. He clicks a couple of parts into the pistol he was cleaning.

PRINT

All right, I believe you. If you weren't innocent, you'd have cleared out, without so much as a howdy-do.

(Print re-loads his pistol)

In fact, I'll hire you. You'll get 75 cents a day till your wounds heal. Twice that on the trail. You can stay in the bunk house and eat with the other hands.

MURDAY

Well. Thanks. I-- I don't know what to say.

PRINT

You'll be okay after a few days of convalescence. You'll be dancing with the rest of us.



EXT. IN FRONT OF THE METHODIST CHURCH. SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

Some parishioners, DUD SNYDER and his son, MARCUS, are talking with Rob Murday, who is bandaged.

DUD SNYDER

I like Print. And his brothers, too. But I prefer him as a friend, not as he is to the Yegua gang-- an implacable enemy. Print Olive is one tough hombre.

ROB MURDAY

Does that mean he's a mean son of a bitch.

DUD SNYDER

In my church, we don't use that kind of language. But, yes, you get on the wrong side of him, and he's a mean man.

ROB MURDAY

He's a killer?

MARCUS SNYDER

If you're on the wrong side of him, he'd as soon shoot you as invite you to dinner. He can be a tough and harsh man.

ROB MURDAY

Anyone ever seen him afraid of anything?

MARCUS SNYDER

His dad says, Print wears his gun like he wears his courage. And he's never without either.

DUD SNYDER

The thing is, Print Olive don't scare.



INT. JIM OLIVE HOME. TWO WEEKS LATER. NIGHT.

In the two-story home we saw earlier, a square dance is in progress. Furniture is stacked in the hall way and in other rooms, to clear two rooms for the squares. The colored folk who work for the Olives and the children are dancing in the kitchen area. The place is crowded with neighbors.

The MUSIC is supplied by Jim Olive and JOHN SAND on violins, an accordion, and a guitar, who huddle against one wall to be out of the way. The dancers do the movements in the calls.

CALLER

Swing your partner, and do-si-do.

Then promenade. . . all the way home.

Kiss your partner. Thank you for the dance.

The people file out in two's and four's, wiping their brows. The men wear light suit coats; the women wear party dresses. Gun-belts are stacked on the parlor table in the hallway.



EXT. FRONT PORCH OF JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

Jay Olive and his wife, ELVIRA, come out first, followed by JIM SHAW and his wife, NANCY.

JIM SHAW

Jay, I'm getting too young for this kind of exercise. You know what I mean?

Print Olive and his wife, LOUISA, are coming out, wiping their brows.

PRINT

That's my line, Jim Shaw.

JIM SHAW

No offense, Print. I haven't danced so much, since your wedding.

INSERT

Louisa, in a modest wedding gown, and Print Olive, in a light suit, swing partners with Jim Shaw and Nancy.

LOUISA

That was hardly enough to talk about.

JIM SHAW

We've danced the last four squares. Time to let some of these other people get a chance on the floor. Besides, we gotta be getting home.

Print gestures toward the yard, where several wagons are parked. Under each one is a pallet. People are standing around talking.

PRINT

Spend the night. There's lots of room.

JIM SHAW

Now, Print. You know as well as I that Nancy's old cow won't milk herself. Nor my mules and horses won't pitch themselves any hay. Nor will my fields plow themselves. They need my help.

PRINT

You ought to be out chasing wild cows with us. Now, that's something that's fun.

JIM SHAW

I'm too old to break my legs in the brush. Naw, tell our daughters and our nigger wench in the kitchen that we got to be going.

PRINT

(Handing Jim Shaw a bag of gold)

I want you to "borrow" some money from me. For a week or so.

JIM SHAW

Why, sure, Print. Always glad to help a neighbor with a good deed.

PRINT

Keep it out of sight. Don't let the Yegua Gang hear of it.



EXT. FRONT PORCH OF JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

Jim Shaw buckles on his six-gun.

Two teen-aged girls in modest dresses come out, followed by a black woman. They say their good-nights and thanks-you's on the porch. Then climb into the wagon to go home. Before they're out of the light, Jim Shaw checks his six-gun, finds it okay, holsters it.



INT. JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

In the house, the MUSIC starts again. New squares are forming.

CALLER

Choose your partners. All around. We need three men and two women for one of the squares.

PRINT

I'm bushed. Chasing them old cows gets to a man.

LOUISA

Well, I'm not. I'm going to see if I can dance another square.

PRINT

Be careful, Louisa. You know there's two of you dancing.

LOUISA

Oh, Print. The baby needs the exercise.



EXT. IN THE DARK IN FRONT OF THE JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

Print Olive is walking, saying hello to the campers. At the end, he comes upon BOB OLIVE, Print's 15-year-old brother, who wears a pistol almost as large as his thigh. Bob (Bobby) swaggers in imitation of Print.

PRINT

Hello, Bobby. What's the hardware for.

BOB

I was just out practicing my fast draw. Besides, someone has to keep guard on you fellows.

PRINT

But, these are all our friends. There's nothing here to protect against.

BOB

You never know, do you? Friends can turn.

PRINT

Well, go take that thing off and join in the dancing.

BOB

You know I don't dance.

PRINT

You've danced since you could walk. You could learn, if you tried.

BOB

Are you after me, because Louisa is after you? Not to wear a gun, I mean.

PRINT

No. That has nothing to do with it. Louisa is against guns altogether. She doesn't want me to carry one, ever. I don't agree with her.

BOB

But you carry. And you pistol-whipped Curley Walker.

PRINT

It's like I said to Louisa. Men respect a gun. It would have been impossible to argue with that drunken Curley Walker.

BOB

D'ya think Curley is part of the Yegua Gang?

PRINT

Naw. He ain't get brains enough to steal a steer. Nor to rob a man.



EXT. IN FRONT OF JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

Print walks along toward the house, overhears a conversation in the dark. When he hears the voices, he backs up into a shadow. We HEAR snatches of the square dance music.

FIRST MAN

I hear Print came home with $70,000 from Kansas this last time. I wonder where he carried it.

SECOND MAN

Well, the men's money belts contained $20,000. I know that for a fact, 'cause I was here when they took them off. So many $20 gold pieces I never seen in my life.

THIRD MAN

I can vouch for that. And so much weight! But no one can trust the paper money.



INT. THE JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

CALLER

Do-si-do and come right back.

Allemande left. All the way home.

Do-si-do. And swing your partner. We're almost done.

Kiss your partner. Thank you for the dance.



EXT. YARD IN FRONT OF JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

Print is still hiding in the shadow. The men are still talking.

SECOND MAN

I hear they "borrowed out" five thousand, to two or three men.

THIRD MAN

Yeah, I heard the same thing.

SECOND MAN

Safest thing they could do. Under the circumstances.

THIRD MAN

I'd bet the rest, or some of the rest, was hidden on that wagon. They were awfully careful to get it out of sight in the barn.

FIRST MAN

Well, I don't know. But Print was mighty generous afterwards. Gave all the men ten of them gold pieces. Reward for loyalty, he said.

THIRD MAN

Jim Whitehead got more. And Nigger Jim Kelley. Those are the most trusted of his wranglers.

SECOND MAN

Even gave Rob Murday his share. And everyone knows he shot at Print, and Print shot him.

FIRST MAN

Print has let by-gones be by-gones. Rob failed to show up at the Grand Jury hearing to testify against Print. That's why they dropped the charges.

THIRD MAN

The Grand Jury couldn't make a case for Curley Walker, either. So that charge was dropped, too.

SECOND MAN

Just goes to show you, which side the courts are on. It'd be damned hard to find twelve men that would convict an Olive.

FIRST MAN

Some one ought to shoot that Curley Walker. He's the dregs of mankind.

SECOND MAN

Well, maybe they will.



EXT. FRONT PORCH OF JIM OLIVE HOME. NIGHT.

The party is breaking up. People putting on coats, hats, buckling on guns, saying good-night, see you on Sunday at church, take care. And so on.



EXT. IN FRONT OF THE JIM OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Jim Olive hands Print a paper, a subpoena from the attorney for the Knobs Gang, which goes by the name, Notchcutters, from their practice of cutting notches on the stocks of their pistols and rifles for each man they have killed.

Print reads from the Grand Jury subpoena to Jim, which accuses Jim of

PRINT

"unlawfully taken and used an estray colt."

JIM OLIVE

Ever hear of a thing so preposterous?

PRINT

You're not making any preparation whatever, to answer the charge in court.

JIM OLIVE

The charge is so flimsy. Most ranchers I know are laughing at it.

PRINT

You'll cause more trouble than it's worth to us, staying away. Folks that don't know may think you're guilty. There aren't twelve men in the county that will believe the charge against you if you appear in court.

JIM OLIVE

Print, this new county attorney is trying to build hisself a reputation. This charge is aimed more at you than me. They're trying to give you a bad name.

PRINT

I know they are.

(Print stuffs the bond money in Jim Olive's shirt pocket.

JIM OLIVE

(Spits on the ground at Print's feet)

You're their main opposition in this area. You're the only one trying to catch them. So I won't dignify their damned lies by my presence in the courtroom with those lying bastards sitting there in front to see.

PRINT

You feel mighty sure of yourself. But will you be so fighty when the Yegua Gang gets to you? when old man Crow and those thieving boys of his, and that ratty Turk Turner, takes a crack at you in the courtroom.

JIM OLIVE

(Stuffs the money in his pants pocket.)

That whole pack needs hanging. Them thieves and their damned rascal lawyers.

They walk toward the barn, where the horses are.

JIM OLIVE (Cont'd)

But we'll need allies, Print. I don't like the way things are drifting. Cattle's big money these days. Big money draws sharp men like honey draws bears.

PRINT

I know they do.

JIM OLIVE

The sheriff's office at Georgetown hardly knows what we're up again. We're too far from the county seat. As bad off as we were in '48.

PRINT

We've got friends: Fred Smith and his brothers. The Shaws; the Kuykendalls; Tom Smith, my brother-in-law; and others that have ridden the cow-hunts with us.

JIM OLIVE

Don't look too much outside for help. Most of our neighbors 're not too interested in cattle any more. They're just small farm folk.

They have reached the barn, put saddles on some horses, and ride out, toward Georgetown.

PRINT

Nothing wrong with small farm folk. Salt of the earth, you know.

JIM OLIVE

They're a sign that times are changing. The country is a-changing.

PRINT

Yeah, I guess you're right.

JIM OLIVE

Thing to do is hire good help. Get men that can fight and will fight for you. If they won't fight for you, then they'll steal from you.



EXT. OLIVE CATTLE PENS. NIGHT.

Several nights later, men of the Yegua Gang ride into the pens, which cover nearly 20 acres, leave the gates open, and drive out the 2,000 steers.

1ST GANGSTER

Too bad, we didn't get here earlier. These steers are all road-branded.

2nd GANGSTER

Yeah. We can't sell 'em. But we can cause Print Olive a lot of trouble.

1st GANGSTER

Let's set fire to the hay barn. That'll be even more trouble for him.

As the barn burns, the steers, only half-tamed, run off in all directions, a big "E" on their sides.



EXT. OLIVE CATTLE PENS. MID-MORNING.

Print and his foreman, Jim Whitehead, ride up.

PRINT

Son of a bi--

WHITEHEAD

I'll bet it was the Yegua Gang.

PRINT

Yeah. Send back to the bunk house. Call all hands out. We've got to catch those steers again.



MONTAGE

EXT. THICKETS ALONG YEGUA CREEK. DAY.

Print and several of his riders have rounded up about 50 head.

PRINT

Bobby, can you herd these back to the corrals?

BOB

Please call me Bob.

PRINT

All right. Bob. Take one man and herd these cattle back to the pens.

EXT. ANOTHER VIEW. DAY.

Bob gallops through thick brush. A shot rings out. It misses Bob by only a little. Bob spurs his horse, leans away from the ambush, and escapes.

EXT. THE OLIVE CATTLE PENS. DAY.

Bob and his helper manage to get the cattle in the pens, and close the gates.

EXT. ANOTHER VIEW OF THE THICKETS. DAY.

Print and his crew have rounded up several hundred steers. They take them to the pens.



EXT. A THIRD VIEW OF THICKETS. A DIFFERENT DAY.

Print and his crew have cornered several hundred steers. It is beginning to rain.

PRINT

Just what we need. Rain.

WHITEHEAD

Yeah. Makes the trails slick as owl shit.

PRINT

Well, get out your slickers.

As they drive the cattle in, the rain is driving, hard. They get the cattle in the pens, and Print heads out again, in the rain.

MURDAY

Jist what I always wanted. Rain to work in.



EXT. THE OLIVE CATTLE PENS. ANOTHER DAY.

A group of cowboys are bringing in several hundred cattle. It is a cloudy day.

PRINT

Well, that's pretty well it. Let's ride through the brush once more to make sure we've caught them all.



EXT. THICKETS ALONG YEGUA CREEK. ANOTHER DAY.

It's a bright, sunny day, but the brush is all wet, as are the men who have ridden in it. They find a few cattle here, a few there, about forty in another place.

PRINT

Pass the word. Everybody is to meet at the cattle pens tomorrow, 'bout ten o'clock.



EXT. AT THE OLIVE CATTLE PENS. THE NEXT DAY.

Print has just finished a count of the steers.

PRINT

Well, that's all but about 50 of 'em. Damned Yegua Gang, anyway.

Print, Jim Whitehead, and Nigger Jim Kelley ride to the head of the group.

PRINT

(Making a speech to assembled men)

I want every man who rides for me to wear a six-gun on his hip and carry a repeating rifle in his saddle boot.

Print and Nigger Jim pull their own Spencer carbines from their scabbards and wave them.

PRINT (Cont'd)

If it takes guns to keep the peace in this goddamn country, then we'll use guns. I'll shoot the man who stampedes, or tried to steal my cattle.

Print looks around at his men. He gets nods of approval.

PRINT (Cont'd)

From this date on, the Olives will be known among Texas cowmen as a gun outfit.



EXT. PRINT OLIVE'S NEW HOME. DAY.

Print brings Louisa to his new, two-story, wood frame house.

LOUISA

I wish you wouldn't carry a gun all the time, Print.

PRINT

I'd be happy to leave it off... If the gangs would go away.

They kiss on the porch, then go in.



EXT. A DRY CREEK BED IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX. DAY.

Print Olive and his foreman, Jim Whitehead, through field glasses, watch a small herd passing, followed by two riders. Print recognizes the man on the left at the rear.

PRINT

That fellow back there is David Fream. He's about as unsavory as you get in this area. He owns a brand in Lee County under a different name.

WHITEHEAD

Well, he's driving a herd that includes some Olive cattle. Let's cut them out.

PRINT

Naw. You go around on the other side of the herd to keep anyone from running away. Bob says he's connected with the Yegua Gang. I'll go and talk to the sum bitch.

WHITEHEAD

Be careful, Print.

Print canters back to the drag-riders.

PRINT

Hello, Fream. I see you've got a herd with Olive brands on 'em.

FREAM

What's that to you, you sum-bitch?

PRINT

I'm Print Olive. I own a lot of those cattle.

FREAM

The hell you do. Try to take 'em, I'll shoot you.

PRINT

Was it you that took a shot at my brother, Bob, the other day?

FREAM

No, but I'd damn well like to take a pop at you.

Without further words, both Fream and Print draw their revolvers and fire at each other, point blank. Print's first shot hits Fream in the body, just as Fream's bullet strikes Print in the chest. Print manages to fire once more. Print's second bullet strikes Fream in the throat, ripping out his jugular vein. Fream drops to the ground in a pool of his blood.

Print slumps in the saddle. Fream's companion makes a hole in the brush, just as Jim Whitehead comes racing up.

Whitehead only glances at Fream to tell that he is dead. He then supports Print in the saddle. He wads up his vest and thrusts it under Print's shirt, to stay the flow of blood.



EXT. THE TRAIL TO PRINT'S HOUSE. DAY.

PRINT

Was he dead?

WHITEHEAD

Yeah. How do you feel?

PRINT

Numb. But we'll soon be there.



EXT. THE VERANDA OF PRINT'S TWO-STORY HOUSE. DAY.

Louisa stands, leans on the rail anxiously, watches them approach, then rushes out to meet them.

LOUISA

What happened? He's shot, isn't he? I knew it would come to this.



INT. BED ROOM. DAY.

Jim Whitehead carries Print in. Louisa helps to lay Print in bed.

LOUISA

(She's brave, semi-silent, sensible)

We'd better get a doctor, right away.

WHITEHEAD

Yeah. I'll change horses and go for one.



INT. PRINT'S BEDROOM. DAY.

Dr. Doak from Lexington probes the wound in Print's left shoulder, extracts a .36 caliber bullet from Fream's Leech & Rigdon pistol.

Jim Olive, Print's father, arrives. The doctor nods at him, while washing and binding the wound.

DR. DOAK

He'll be dead tonight, Jim. Or he'll survive. If he had been hit with a forty-four--

JIM OLIVE

But he wasn't, was he?

DR. DOAK

--it would have gone in and pierced his heart. He's lost a lot of blood. But I've taken these little thirty-sixes out of a lot of men still living today. So have faith.



INT. PRINT'S BEDROOM, OLIVE HOME. THE NEXT MORNING

Jim Olive has kept a vigil all night by Print's bedside, while Louisa cat-naps now and then in the chair nearby.

Print opens his eyes, sees his father, and grins.

PRINT

When will we have breakfast?

JIM OLIVE

He'll live. Feed him, Louisa. I've got to get home and do some chores.

LOUISA

See what carrying a gun gets you?

PRINT

You want me to get gunned down, without it?



INT. PRINT'S BEDROOM IN THE OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Two weeks later, Print is sitting up in a chair next to the well-made bed. His left shoulder has a large bandage on it, and he carries the arm in a sling. Jim Shaw delivers a sack of gold which Print had "borrowed out" to him.

JIM SHAW

There's your bag of gold, Print.

PRINT

Thanks, Jim. I appreciate it. Let's take out five gold pieces for your troubles.

JIM SHAW

Warn't any troubles. Glad to be of service.

Louisa comes in with a tray of drinks and snacks. She sets down the tray, leans over and kisses Print's forehead.

LOUISA

Your father and Samson Connell are here to talk about Bobby and his problem.

PRINT

Let's tidy up a bit and show them into the parlor.

LOUISA

They're already there.

JIM SHAW

(Shaking the five gold pieces in his hand)

Well, I'll be going, Print. Thanks for the gold.



INT. PARLOR IN PRINTS OLIVE'S HOUSE. DAY.

Print comes in, greets Samson Connell and his father with a nod.

PRINT

I appreciate the way you've softened the blow on Bobby, Samson. That was mighty nice of you.

SAMSON

Well, it was all an honest mistake.

PRINT

I'm not so sure of that. Bobby still doesn't make a distinction between thine and mine. He just took your horse and ran.

SAMSON

His horse showed up in a day or so. I think it was an honest mistake on his part.

JIM OLIVE

Print put him to work with Jim Whitehead-- tailing up cattle in the bogs on the creeks.

SAMSON

I hear the Grand Jury brought in an indictment against you, Print, for killing Dave Fream.

PRINT

My lawyer, Mackemson, will show that Fream was a Yegua Gang leader, but got dropped in favor of Cal Nutt. He went into business on his own.

JIM OLIVE

He just picked the wrong set of cattle to rustle. They'll dismiss the case.



EXT. THE McCOY PENS IN ABILENE, KANSAS. DAY.

Print has just delivered two big cattle herds to McCoy.

McCOY

Well, Mr. Olive, I count a few less than 1400 in this herd that you've driven in and a few more than 1000 in the herd your foreman, Jim Whitehead drove in.

PRINT

That's close enough for me.

McCOY

Fine. Come on up to the office. I've got your gold ready. Though not quite all of it. I'll have to give you part of your pay in Yankee paper money.

PRINT

Fine. Just as long as most of it is gold. We'll want to spend the paper here in Abilene.

McCOY

I've got to get in more gold. I expect close to 600,000 Texas cattle this year.



INT. OFFICES OF McCOY IN ABILENE, KANSAS. DAY.

Print receives the money: $70,000, in gold in stout canvas bags and Yankee currency in money belts.

PRINT

Thank you, Mr. McCoy. It's always a pleasure doing business with a man like you. Cash basis all the way. Seventy thousand dollars!



EXT. STREETS OF ABILENE, KANSAS. DAY.

Print, Jay, Ira, Bob, Jim Whitehead, Nigger Jim Kelley walk down the streets of Abilene. They pass a number of saloons; stop under a sign: WILKINS CLOTHING. Jay is peering in the narrow display windows.

JAY

There's a dress I think Almira would like. I think I'll buy it for her.

They go in.

PRINT

My brother wants a dress. And I'll take three bolts of your best cloth.

CLERK

Yes, sir.

NIGGER JIM

'N Ah'd like seven ya'ds of this here cloth. My daddy, Uncle Arnos, will like it.

CLERK

I'm afraid we don't serve nigras in here.

Everyone stops, starts moving toward the door.

JAY

The sale is off, then.

PRINT

Let's find another store.

BOB

I'd like a drink. Could we stop in a saloon, Print?



EXT. THE SIX OF THEM ON THE STREET AGAIN. DAY.

Bob stops in front of THE ABILENE CATTLEMEN'S ASSOCIATION:

PRINT

Here's a saloon. We'll have one drink to tide us over.

They go in. Nigger Jim stays outside.

NIGGER JIM

'Ah don' want to cause no trouble, Print. I'll wait out here.

PRINT

Nonsense. You'll come in and drink with us.



INT. THE BAR OF A SALOON. DAY.

BOB

Drinks for the house! We've just sold a herd of cattle.

PRINT

Don't advertise it, Bob. We don't know these people.

The bartender sets up drinks for everyone; comes to Print to collect. Print pays with paper money.

The men at the bar down their drinks in one gulp, as do the six men.



EXT. THE SIX ON THE STREET AGAIN. DAY.

They are in front of BROWN'S JEWELRY.

IRA

Look at this. That's a pretty pin. Isn't it? I'm going to get some.

PRINT

Just take everything they've got. We'll all want something for our women folk.

They come to SMITH'S DRY GOODS.

JIM WHITEHEAD

I hope they serve colored folk. I see a "pretty" I want.

NIGGER JIM

You-all go ahead, Mas' Jim. Ah don't want to be no trouble.

PRINT

Any place that serves us will serve you, Jim. Come on.

He links arms with Nigger Jim and drags him into the store. We see the negotiation through the window. After a time, they come out with their arms full of packages.

JAY

I got so much stuff, I'll have to go to the hotel and unload.

IRA

Me, too.

PRINT

That goes for all of us.

BOB

I'll get the wagons and start loading for the trip home.



EXT. JIM OLIVE'S 'OLD STORE' IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS. DAY.

Jim Olive and Print are having a drink on the Old Store's veranda.

JIM OLIVE

Great wealth brings greater responsibilities. I'm not certain I've raised you boys to take keer of it right, not certain at all.

PRINT

Forget about responsibilities, Father. It's our money. We earned it, honestly, and by ourselves. See how much better we fare than in your father's time. Yankee gold's the answer.

JIM OLIVE

I'm thinking of what money does to people, Print. The cattle money has already made you boys targets for every cow thief's pistol. So much money will create jealousy in your own families if you let it-- and among your friends. Just be careful.

We HEAR THE CLIP-CLOP of someone coming. JOHN SHAW, a friend of Jim Olive's from Lee County steps up on the veranda. Jim pours him a glass of whiskey from a jug. Then pours himself and Print glasses.

JIM OLIVE

Get your cattle moved all right, John?

JOHN

Jim, I bin hearin' so many damned fool things it made a fool of me, too. I sent my cattle up the trail with some fellows named Brymer and Townsend.

(drinks)

That's good whiskey.

(drinks again)

I ain't seen hide nor hair of them since-- or got a cent of pay for my livestock.

PRINT

Just what had you heard about us, Mister Shaw, that made you and others decide against us earning the cabstraje? The commission?

JOHN

I'd rather not say.

JIM OLIVE

We're friends, John. We wouldn't hold it agin you.

JOHN

Well, Jim, there's been talk of the boys getting a brand or two mixed up, now and then, and such things as that.

PRINT

And you believed 'em.

JOHN

Fact is, Brymer and Townsend both spread them stories all over when they was makin' up a herd. I jis shouldn't have believed them. I jis acted the fool.

PRINT

Mr. Shaw, father has been worried about his own sons, but for a different reason-- our success in the cattle business. He says people are jealous of anyone's success.

JIM OLIVE

Maybe that's so. But let me say this-- my boys worked for what they got, went out and rode the brush and bottoms for cattle when they was children, eight, ten, twelve years or age. Nobody was jealous of them then.

PRINT

We been gathering the old mossy horns while others sat around the card rooms and saloons. They said, "cattle too cheap to ride for."

(drinks and points toward John Shaw)

Now the same fellows-- like that Brymer and Townsend-- not only want to steal your cattle, but take our good name, too!

JIM OLIVE

We know what they say. We know who says it, too. Some of our shirt-tail relations 's as bad as the rest. They lay around the cabins and eat snuff while we work.

PRINT

And scallywags like that Yegua mob--

JIM OLIVE

In Texas, a cow in the brush is anybody's cow until she's branded. That's what the law says. That how we got our cattle.

PRINT

And men who won't ride for cattle got no cows no more.

JIM OLIVE

What Print means is that when my boys take cattle to market, they always bring the owner back his money. It don't make them happy to have others now thinking ill of them about their business, distrustin' them.

John Shaw stands up, puts on his hat, shakes hands with both Jim Olive and Print.

JOHN

You can sho' depend on me to have my cattle to move from now on.



EXT. CANYONS AND HILLS NORTH OF THE SAN GABRIEL RIVER. NIGHT.

A stampede is in progress. Print and his cowboys are riding hard to head them off, to turn the cattle into a circle. The stampede is led by one big steer, a roan and white mix.

PRINT

It's that spooky steer, leading 'em again.

NIGGER JIM

He's more trouble than he's worth.

WHITEHEAD

Yeah. But that's 25 dollars in Ellsworth.



EXT. ANOTHER CANYON AND HILLS. ANOTHER NIGHT.

Another stampede, lead by the same spooky steer. Suddenly, twenty or so big steers cut behind Print, Nigger Jim Kelley, and the other wranglers. The steers crowd up and push their leaders over an embankment, where about 20 die in the fall, including the troublesome, spooky steer that had been the instigator and catalyst.

PRINT

It's worth fifty head to get that bastard out of the herd.



EXT. CAMP AND CHUCK WAGON. NIGHT.

They manage to bring back the rest of the herd to their camp, where the chuck wagon is. The men are preparing to go to bed.

PRINT

Trouble with cattle means trouble with men.

NIGGER JIM

Ain't that the truth, Mistah Print?



EXT. MEN SITTING AROUND CAMP FIRE. NIGHT.

WHITEHEAD

You did a good job of rounding up the saddle stock that had strayed, Nigger Jim.

BUSHY McGUIRE

Hey! I was out there, too.

WHITEHEAD

No one said you weren't.

BUSHY

Well, I hate it when all the credit goes to some sum-bitchin', black nigger, is all.

WHITEHEAD

Watch yer language, Bushy.

BUSHY

Who ses so? I'll say what I want when I want and no sum-bitchin' nigger can tell me any different.

NIGGER JIM

(sticks his forty-four in Bushy's face)

If Mista Print don't say "take it down", I'se goin' to blow the haid off youah shoulders, Bushy.

(We HEAR the click of cocking the pistol.)

Print allows enough time to pass for the significance of the black man's action to sift into Bushy McGuire's thick head.

PRINT

(Quietly)

Take it down, Jim.

Nigger Jim lowers his pistol, lets down the hammer, holsters the gun.

PRINT

Some day you're goin' to cuss up the wrong man, Bushy.



EXT. NORTH OF THE KANSAS/CHEROKEE STRIP BORDER. NIGHT.

Ranny Johnson has gone back into Caldwell, OK. He comes and wakes Print.

RANNY

(He's more than half drunk)

You gotta gi' me shome money, Print. I need it.

PRINT

What for?

RANNY

I wazsh at Gold Nugget. Having great time. But Sarah won' screw, if I don' have no money.

PRINT

Go to hell.

RANNY

I got it comin'. Gimme shome of them gold coins you got.

PRINT

No. I'm not giving you anything. Especially to waste at the Gold Nugget.

RANNY

I quit. Here and now. Pay me off.

PRINT

When your money's gone, they'll toss you out like an old piss-pot. Sober up and hit your sleepin' bag.

RANNY

I'm quit. Right here 'nd now. You goin' to gi' me m' pay?

PRINT

No. You drunken sum-bitch. Get on out o' camp. Before I get mad enough to do something serious.



EXT. THE CAMP 3 MILES NORTH OF THE KANSAS BORDER. DAY.

The herd is on the trail, moving along in good order. A stranger rides up with Ranny Johnson; the stranger introduces himself to Print.

G.D. FREEMAN

I'm G. D. Freeman, Deputy Marshall of Cox's Crossing-- town name of Caldwell. I have a warrant for your arrest.

Freeman shows Print a hand-written warrant for Print's arrest, signed by Judge J. W. McGirth, the Justice of Peace at Caldwell.

PRINT

I have no desire to return to that place. Suppose I pay Johnson in full-- here and now, and in gold coin-- so he can go ahead and blow it.

G.D. FREEMAN

I'd think that would settle the matter. Don't you, Mr. Johnson?

RANNY

Yeah. Okay.

G.D. FREEMAN

Then Mr. Johnson can withdraw the charges.

They all start for the chuck wagon. A disturbance midway in the herd causes cattle to jump out of the trail, scattering on the prairie. Print sees two white puffs of smoke, followed by the SOUND of gun-fire.

A Big Sorrel horse breaks through the herd, a body swaying on it. The body falls and lays still in the grass. From the horse, Big Sorrel, Print knows the man that has fallen is Bushy McGuire. Print rides over and dismounts, but Bushy McGuire is dead.

Print shouts to the swing and drag men:

PRINT

Bring up the herd. Don't let them start grazing again.

WHITEHEAD

Keep 'em bunched up. Don't let the herd split.

Then Print rides though the hole in the herd. The swing man on the other side tells him.

ALBERT HERRERA

Bushy forced the fight onto Gene, Print. Gene's usually as peaceful as a dove, but McGuire was rough and ready for a scrap.

Nigger Jim Kelley rides up on Chowder, his bald-faced black horse.

NIGGER JIM

Dat Bushy know it's bad luck to split a trail herd. He sho' done picked on the wrong man dis time.

They meet Gene Lyons.

GENE

I'm sorry to cause you trouble, Print. But no man can talk to me the way Bushy talked.

PRINT

(To Freeman when he rides up)

Looks like I got real trouble now. I'll ride back to town with you. We'll take Gene along and see if we can make bail for him after he talks with the judge. I'm getting short-handed again.

G.D. FREEMAN

The swing man talked like you got a good case.

GENE

Mac wasn't a bad fellow. He was just a damn fool.

NIGGER JIM

He always pressin' fo' trouble. I'm sho' proud he didn't press me too far.



INT. JUDGE McGIRTH'S SODDY OFFICE. DAY.

The Judge leans back against the soddy wall while Freemen gives him the facts.

FREEMAN

... And that's the way it was, Your Honor.

PRINT

I'll be willing to sign a statement concerning McGuire's death, and to place gold coin up as bond for Mr. Lyon's return, if Your Honor will allow him to help us finish the drive to Ellsworth.

The judge scratches away with a quill pen on a short piece of paper, while Print talks. Then he holds the paper over the smoked lamp chimney to dry the ink; then hands the sheet to Print.

JUDGE

Sign here.

Print scans the paper quickly. It contains a few scratchy phrases mentioning

PRINT

(Reading)

"the shooting of an unknown cowboy, a trail driver, by another."

JUDGE

The bond will be three hundert dollars-- gold.

Print pulls the bag of gold coins from his shirt front, counts out three stacks of five coins each, then adds a sixteenth coin.

PRINT

Could the court provide a gravedigger? We want McGuire's body to have a Christian burial.

JUDGE

We can get a digger-- but there's no preacher here.

The Judge hands Print a small, leather-covered Bible.

JUDGE (Cont'd)

You can read from this. But send it back. I'll need it again.



EXT. McGUIRE'S GRAVE SITE ALONG TRAIL. DAY.

PRINT

(Reading from Bible; Samuel, 14)

"For we must die, and are as water spilt on the ground. Which cannot be gathered up again. Neither doth God respect any person."

(He closes the Bible and just talks)

Mac seems to have given his Maker some previous trouble. But we won't try to judge him. We'll just commit his body to earth and the Lord can do with his soul what has to be done. Amen.

Print picks up a handful of moist dirt and sprinkles it on the body.

A chorus of "Amen" from the men. Afterwards, the men start moving away.



EXT. STREETS OF ELLSWORTH, KANSAS. DAY.

As Print and his crew ride the length of the town, they HEAR hammers, saws, the noise of a building boom. The town is built around the railroad, which runs through town, with a siding that goes to the cattle pens south of town. By "spotting" the loading areas, they can load seven rail-cars at once.

Four new saloons have recently been erected.

Nine other stores handle "wet goods." The court house and jail a block to the west round out the town.

The three-story "Drover's Cottage" has been moved on railroad flat cars from Abilene to Ellsworth. Print had stayed at it in Abilene; decides to stay there again, and greet J.W. Gore, his wife, and M.B. George, the owners.

PRINT

Hello, Mrs. Gore. You're hard to keep up with.

MRS. GORE

Why, hello, Print. And welcome.

(calls to the back)

Print Olive is here.

Two men come out and shake hands in welcome.

J.W. GORE

Good to see you, Print.

M.B. George

Stay out of trouble.



INT. THE CARD TABLE IN NICK LENTZ'S BAR. DAY.

Print, Gene Lyons, two businessmen, and James "Jim" Kennedy, the son of Miflin Kennedy, a well-known cowman from Texas, are playing cards. Like many crooked gamblers, Kennedy trusts no one to deal but himself.

PRINT

You're a rat-eyed son-of-a-bitch. I would shoot you if you were armed. You been cheating for an hour or more.

KENNEDY

(Stands up; he does not have a weapon)

What? You can't talk that way to a man.

PRINT

The hell I cain't. Cash in your chips and leave. I won't play under any conditions with chicken-hearted cry-baby that calls himself a gambler.

KENNEDY

(Stomps from the room, angry.)

There'll be another day.

PRINT

Come on, Gene. Let's get away from here before something happens.



INT. A ROOM IN "DROVER'S COTTAGE". DAY.

In a room shared by Gene and Print, Print is lying on the bed, resting

PRINT

Gene, did it ever occur to you that it would make a man happy to kill me-- maybe a man that never saw me before?

GENE

Print, we've all thought of it-- every man in this outfit's talked about it but you. But we try to watch out for you. Fact is, we're just like a goddam bunch of Guardian Angels.

PRINT

Well, if that's the way it is, it'll be a hell of a life to live out to a ripe old age.

GENE

It'll take some doing, some doing. Print, don't ever let that kind catch you without your six-gun-- and alone.



EXT. THE ELLSWORTH BAR. AFTER LUNCH.

Print and Gene wander in. It's one big room, with a bar about three-quarters of the way down one side, several card tables along the other side, and a wire-mesh "bull pen", where obnoxious drunks are kept. Everyone who enters is required to check his six-gun and skinning knife.

Print and Gene sit in when two men leave.

PRINT

Mind if we sit in?

PLAYER

No. No. As long as you've got money.

LATER

The play has progressed about an hour, when Nigger Jim Kelley and Albert Herrera walk along the board walk, squint in the window, notice Print at play, and sit down outside.

Within a few minutes of their sitting down, Jim Kennedy comes along. He cups his hands to shield his eyes, sees Print and Gene, and enters.

Kennedy goes directly to the stack of six-guns, picks one up, spins the cylinder, heads for Print, and commences firing.

KENNEDY

You son-of-a-bitch, now you can cash in your checks.

Kennedy's first bullet hits Print in the hand, dashing the cards to the table. The second strikes him in the groin. The third bullet hits Print in the thigh.

Nigger Jim sees what is happening, draws his gun from the sitting position, and fires it at Kennedy, hitting him in the thigh, knocking him off balance and saving Print's life. A drover's fist brings Kennedy down.

DROVER

(Holding Kennedy down)

Call the Sheriff. I'll hold his sum-bitch.

PLAYER

(Clearing off glasses, etc)

Bring Print over here. Lay him on this table.

The wounded Print is lain out on a table-top.

PLAYER

Call the Doctor!

There is some confusion, with everybody talking at once. "What happened?"

"Did you see?" "Is the Doctor coming?"

The Sheriff arrives; Kennedy is taken to jail. His thigh-wound is ignored.



EXT. ELLSWORTH STREET. DAY.

Print is being carried, one man on each limb, to "Drover's Cottage," a nearby boarding house. Dr. Duck and Dr. Fox arrive.



INT. BOARDING HOUSE. DAY.

Print is lain on the bed. The Doctors start working on him.

LATER

The two doctors have worked on Print for half an hour, getting out a part of the watch chain, but none of the bullets.

PRINT

You sum-bitches are about as awkward as they get. You're both fired. Get out of here.

(To landlady)

Get me a real doctor.



INT. PRINT IN BED. DAY.

The new physician, DR. MINNICK, arrives, starts work. Mrs. Gore acts as his nurse.

DR. MINNICK

(Probing Print's wound)

What's your name?

PRINT

(Winces with the pain.)

Easy there, Doc. Isom Prentice Olive. But people just call me Print.

He pulls one bullet from Print's wound, drops it in the pan.

DR. MINNICK

Well, that's one. You're lucky these bullets didn't hit more vulnerable spots.

He probes the second wound, the wound in the thigh. Hits a vulnerable spot. Print yells. Doctor pulls another bullet from Print's wounds, drops it in the pan.

PRINT

Don't talk so much, Doc. These wounds could kill me.

DR. MINNICK

Well, I've got the flow of blood stopped. You can just lie back and die now, while I try to get this gold watch chain out.

PRINT

Don't bother--

(But Print has passed out)

DR. MINNICK

(Drops third bullet in the pan.)

He's unconscious now. I guess I'll have to stop at this point.

MRS. GORE

But you're not finished!

DR. MINNICK

I know. But I need a patient who can yell. Let me know when I hit something bad.

(Doctor packing up to go)

I'll check back some hours from now. See how he's doing.



INT. PRINT'S BED SIDE. DAY.

The next day, Gene Lyons, Albert Herrera, Nigger Jim Kelley arrive to see Print.

GENE

How you doin', boss?

PRINT

I can't kick.

ALBERT

What we supposed to do now?

PRINT

Hang around for a day or two. Then load the wagon with the gold and take it home, to Louisa and my Dad.

NIGGER JIM

No, suh, Mista Print. I'se stayin' with you.

GENE

Albert and I can take care of the trip home.

ALBERT

Sure. Jim Whitehead is ready with the remuda.

PRINT

Have a good and safe journey.

Dr. Minnick arrives.

PRINT

These are my best vaqueros, Doc. I'd trust them with my life.

DR. MINNICK

Fortunately, that won't be necessary.

PRINT

Came to get the rest of my watch chain, eh, Doc.

DR. MINNICK

Don't know whether I can or not. That wound in your groin is serious. But we'll try, we'll try.

GENE

We'll be going, Print. Take care.

The Vaqueros leave.

Dr. Minnick works on Print's groin wound several minutes. Gets out another part of the chain, drops it in the pan.

DR. MINNICK

That's most of it. There's about an inch of chain still in there. Makes the wound doubly dangerous. Danger of infection. Good thing it's gold.

PRINT

Yeah, good thing!

DR. MINNICK

The rest will have to stay in the wound until such time as a skilled surgeon can operate under the best of clinical conditions.

PRINT

I agree. I'll leave it alone-- for now.

DR. MINNICK

You are still in danger of the wound being poisoned by gunpowder. And complications setting in.



INT. PRINT'S BEDROOM. DAY.

A few days later, Print is propped up on two pillows, reading a big Bible that Mrs. Gore has lent him. Dr. Minnick comes in, examines Print.

DR. MINNICK

Your injuries are healing well, with the exception of the wound in the groin. I suspect we shall have to change your name from Isom to Jacob to effect any real progress.

PRINT

Well, I don't know, Doc, whether this groin wound will cause me a limp or a change of name, but I'm goddam sure of one thing-- I'll be the first cowboy to straddle a gold watch chain up the Chisholm Trail.



EXT. THE PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

A few weeks later, Print and Nigger Jim arrive. Louisa meets the buggy. She's quiet, reserved. We see her wringing her hands, under her clothes. Uncle Arnos and Nigger Jim help to get Print down from the buggy seat. Print and Louisa kiss. Print leans over painfully to kiss two-year-old Tommie. Billy runs from the ranch-house and clings tightly to Print's knees, until Jay picks him up and lets Print kiss and nuzzle him. Louisa leads Print to the house, hanging on to his sleeve all the way.

LOUISA

It's good to have you home, Print.

PRINT

Good to be home.

LOUISA

I was worried. That you might die.



INT. PRINT'S HOMECOMING. DAY.

Louisa indicates the cradle in the corner. Print leans over and kisses the baby.

PRINT

Sure is an Olive. Looks like his grandpa.

LOUISA

He is a lovely child, and I never cease to be awed by it all.

Print runs his hand across her shoulders and draws her to him. They embrace long and silently, great sobs shaking Louisa.

LOUISA

I'm so grateful that you came home again, dear. In one piece. Even if you limp.



EXT. BRAND REGISTRATION GEORGETOWN. DAY.

In November, Print and Louisa register his personal brand:

PRINT

There you are. "IPL." My own initials with Louisa joined at the end.

LOUISA

Is this necessary?

PRINT

Well. First it was Jay. Then Ira followed. Then Bob. Now, I've registered my brand. I guess it will soon be every man for himself.

LOUISA

Is that so bad, Dear? Miria and Lou just love it that Jay and Ira have their own cattle.

PRINT

There's power in numbers. Solidarity against the Yegua and Knobs Gangs is a powerful weapon. It's our best.

LOUISA

Well, do it any way you want. God's will be done.



INT. PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

A herd of cattle are passing outside, all branded with the "IPL" brand.

BOB OLIVE

(Teasing)

What I can't see is why you don't just write on their hides with a hot iron "Prentice loves Louisa."

PRINT

(Grinning)

You mean like a lace valentine? With an arrow running through the heart?



INT. JIM OLIVE'S HOME. DAY.

A Christmas Party is in progress. Betty Olive Wynn, Print's oldest sister, plays the organ, such old favorites as "My Old Kentucky Home," "Jingle Bells," "It Came upon a Midnight Clear," "Adeste Fidelis."

Uncle Arnos, Nigger Jim's father, is invited from the kitchen to play his banjo: such lively concoctions as:

Up and down de city road, in and out de Eagle,

Dat's de way de money goes-- Pop goes de weasel!

All about de hominy pot, the monkey chase de weasel,

And dat's de way de money goes-- Pop goes de weasel!

Jim Whitehead brought in his "squeaker," a tiny accordion and played such tunes as "The Bonnie Blue Flag," "Dixie's Land," "The Unlucky Dog," "Black Jack Grove," and "My Old Kentucky Home."

Jim Olive's fiddle, with John Sand as a quick back up, played for two tight square dance groups, who swayed and stamped and whirled.

CALLER

Allemande left and go all around.

Swing your partner, and kiss the little lady.

Neighbors drop in for an hour or so at a time: the Marvel Madison Olives, distant kinfolks but close neighbors. The Kuykendall's. Greenups. W.T. Averys family from up Brushy Creek. Members of the Lawrence, Gardner, and Abbout families. Fred Smith came by, wearing a gold watch chain that reminded Print of his own.

FRED SMITH

How're you doing, Print? Is that wound healing?

PRINT

Mighty slow. It just won't fill in. That watch chain is still giving me troubles.

FRED SMITH

Well, some things take a lot of time.

PRINT

I'll make it through to grass.



EXT. JIM OLIVE HOME. DAY.

The Olive clan has gathered at Jim Olive's for a Sunday Dinner. It is early in 1873; a Depression and Economic Panic are in progress in the nation.

The Olive men stand around on the porch, discussing the economic situation.

BOB

I wish I could get a shot at some of them sum-bitches. Before eighteen-damned-seventy-three is over. I'd teach them a thing or two.

JIM OLIVE

Wouldn't do any good, Bobby. The economy has got to cure itself. But they got more of the same sort of skunks lined up and waiting, jist to stink up the world.

JAY

What? To let another bank fail? I'm glad our money is in gold and well-hidden. That'll keep us solvent this year.

JIM OLIVE

In spite of some of our "borrowing" failing. We've still got plenty of gold coin. That'll see us through the hard times that are on us now.

PRINT

But there's not a way to make more money. I understand that Credit Mobilier has failed. What do you do when something that big goes belly flop?

BOB

You catch those sum-bitches that ran the thing. I hear they still got the cash. That's what the paper says, anyway.

JIM OLIVE

Them bastards need killing, I'll agree.

JAY

Killing all of them won't bring cattle prices up again. They're rock bottom now.

BOB

Yeah, I don't understand how that can happen. Isn't a steer as eatable now as he was then?

PRINT

Prices 'll come up soon. I'm going to get a herd together and get ready. I'll be the first one in Ellsworth.

JIM OLIVE

You're feeling pretty spy? You think you can ride to Kansas? I've sold 2,000 head to John Iliff in Colorado. Think you can deliver them?

PRINT

Sure! I just have to sit a little crooked in the saddle.

Everybody laughs at Print's remark.



EXT. A CATTLE-DRIVE, SOMEWHERE IN OK. DAY.

Print and Nigger Jim Kelley are on a slight rise, watching the cattle move.

NIGGER JIM

You making out okay, boss?

PRINT

Yeah, but I'm sure proud that John Gatlin is the trail boss this time. It's about time I turned back. I just hate to do it.

NIGGER JIM

Hate to or not. Dat's the agreement you make before starting. You'se gotta go.

PRINT

I know. I know. But seems I'm letting down those neighbors that sent their cattle with this herd. J.M. and Sally Kuykendall, C.B. Lawrence, Tom Smith, Greenup Kuykendall, and others. That's a fourth of this herd. I ought to stick with it, right?

NIGGER JIM

Wrong. John Gatlin is a good man. If you don' turn back, I'se gotta turn you back.



EXT. STREETS OF GEORGETOWN. DAY.

Print and Nigger Jim meet Jim Olive in the street.

PRINT

Hello, father. What're you doing in town?

JIM OLIVE

What do we usually do in town? Going to court, of course. Bobby's been wearing his six-shooter openly.

PRINT

I talked with him about that. He promised to be more -- more hidden. But then the Legua Gang took a couple of shots at him. He says: "If you can't get to it, no use in having it." I sort of agreed with him.

JIM OLIVE

Well, the sheriff had a warrant for his arrest. Sheriff says there'd been a complaint filed again Bobby-- "for carrying a six-shooter." It was that old German farmer Bobby's been quarreling with.

PRINT

How much did it cost you?

JIM OLIVE

Three hundred dollars. I said to Bobby: "Let there be no more of this work. You might have killed that Dutchman."

PRINT

Lulubelle's snout is pretty deadly, all right.

JIM OLIVE

And Bobby says: "That was pure oversight on my part. I tried as hard as I could."



EXT. TRAIL NEAR OLIVE RANCHES. DAY.

Print and Jay Olive come upon three men driving a herd of Olive cattle.

JAY

Let's get 'em.

PRINT

Sure. You take the one on the right. I'll take the one on the left. The one in the middle is anybody's.

JAY

Best place is that narrows down a ways.



EXT. AMBUSH SITE. DAY.

Print and Jay waiting for the thieves. The herd passes through; Print and Jay wait for the best shot.

PRINT

Now!

Print and Jay fire almost at once. Two riders fall. The third one takes off in the other direction. Both men fire at him. He falls from his saddle.

Print and Jay ride up, weapons ready. They make sure the first two are dead. Then they go on toward the other man, who is badly wounded.

JAY

I say, let's take him out. We need no survivors. Nor witnesses.

PRINT

No. Let's take him to your house. It's closest. And patch him up.

JAY

You're too soft in the head, Print. That'll get us in trouble one of these days.

PRINT

What's your name?

McDONALD

McDonald. William H. McDonald.

PRINT

If we patch you up, will you promise to leave the country as soon as you can ride?

McDONALD

Sure. Don't want to be around you guys at all.



INT. GEORGETOWN COURT ROOM. DAY.

Print and Jay are here to stand trial for shooting McDonald.

BAILIFF

I'll swear, these Olives are in and out of court more than I am.

JUDGE

And not always for trouble. They're here on the Grand Jury quite often.

BAILIFF

Well, W.H. McDonald charges Print with "assault with intent to murder," and Jay with "assault and battery."

JUDGE

Bring them in. The court of 17 September 1875 is in session.

BAILIFF

Jay agrees to plead guilty to simple assault.

JUDGE

One dollar!

BAILIFF

And Print is accused of -- what? I can't seem to find the papers. The indictment papers are missing.

JUDGE

Let the record read: "papers lost or stolen."



EXT. OUTSIDE THE COURT ROOM. DAY.

Print is being interviewed by the Austin Statesman.

PRINT

There isn't a jury in Williamson County that will convict a cowman for killing those attempting to steal his cattle.

REPORTER

More men have been killed over rustling in Texas this year than were killed in The War. Twenty-one men have been murdered in Williamson County this year-- 1876.



INT. BACK ROOM OF JIM OLIVE'S 'OLD STORE.' DAY.

A family meeting is in progress: Print, Jay, Ira, Bob, and their father, Jim Olive, plus a few men from the area.

PRINT

Henry Hoyle sends word that a meeting of the leaders of the Yegua Gang is planned at Rock Saloon in McDade, down in Lee County.

BOB

What an opportunity! With a little help, we could walk in, shoot the leaders, and our problems would be solved-- a least with the Cal Nutt gang.

JIM OLIVE

We've talked it over, Bob. It's best we avoid any bloodshed-- if we can.

JAY

Besides, we can't be sure the Lee County Courts would be on our side.

A NEIGHBOR

Bob's got a point. If you go in and stamp out the leaders, once and for all, that'll be a big plus on our side.

PRINT

We'll scout the territory and see what course of action is best. Maybe we can scare 'em.



INT. ROCK SALOON IN LEE COUNTY. DAY.

The meeting of the gang leaders has just started in a smoke-filled room. In walks the four Olive brothers: Print, Jay, Ira, and Bob. Nigger Jim Kelley is with them.

PRINT

We know who you are. And you know who we are. We're here to give you fair warning. Any man caught driving an Olive-branded cow or riding an Olive-branded horse will be shot on sight-- wherever he happens to be on the range.

Print, Jay, Ira, and Nigger Jim turn and walk out. But Bob backs out, his hand on his six-shooter.



EXT. ON THE WAY HOME. DAY.

The four Olive brothers riding abreast of each other.

BOB

The big one in the fancy vest was Cal Nutt. The gotch-eyed feller on his right was Gus Zeitler. Dock Kelley was at Zeitler's right, and his brother, Lawson, was the one standing at the end of the bar, pickin' his nose.

IRA

That Lawson Kelley looks like a nigger,

BOB

He is. He passes. So's Dock his brother. And there's a third one. Frank. Looks mulatto. He has a small ranch down west Yegua, but he don't run with this pack.

JAY

Is that one of the Zeitlers that live northwest of us?

BOB

No. He's just another outlaw-- a Dutchman, though.

JAY

I hope that none of these are the ones we lost some "borrowed out" money to, during the panic of 1873.

IRA

No. I don't think so. They never have any money.

JAY

But they always get some. Y' never know. We might have "borrowed" money to some of our worst enemies. And now it's flown away.

PRINT

Can't do anything about that now. Besides, some of those who defaulted needed the money more than we do.



INT. GEORGETOWN COURTROOM. DAY

Print and Jay are in court to answer to charges- Attempted murder of William H. McDonald.

PRINT

This fancy-pants, damned-Yankee lawyer is trying to make a name for himself. When we get a new assistant District Attorney, that's what they all do.

JAY

And at our expense. I don't think William H. McDonald has sense enough to charge us with anything, much less "assault with intent to murder."

PRINT

Yeah. He's probably just doing what he's told.

District Attorney enters, with his retainers. Judge enters and takes his seat.

JUDGE

Case of W.H. McDonald accusing Print Olive with "Assault with intent to murder" and Jay Olive with "Assault and battery." Call your first witness.

D.A.

The state calls Allen E. Wynn.

There is no response.

JUDGE

(Calls D.A. over to bench)

That's Print's nephew. His dad died in a prison camp in Illinois. He's been like a son to Print ever since. You don't expect him to testify, do you?

D.A.

Well, shii-- shoot.

(Aloud)

The state calls James Williams.

JUDGE

(Calls D.A. over to bench again.)

That's one of Print's best friends and neighbors! Also an old Confederate Soldier.

D.A.

Holy Cow! You mean I can't get anyone to testify against an Olive. Sum-bitch!

JUDGE

Maybe you'd better negotiate a lighter indictment.

The D.A. doesn't like that. Fumes a moment, then approaches Print and Jay.

D.A.

Would you fellows go for that?

PRINT

We might. Depends on the terms.

D.A.

Suppose we drop the "intent to murder," leaving it as "Assault and Battery."

PRINT

Nope. Simple assault is all we can take.

JUDGE

So be it. The charge against Print Olive and Jay Olive is "simple assault." I find you guilty and fine you each one dollar. Court's adjourned.



INT. GREAT ROOM OF PRINT OLIVE'S NEW, TWO-STORY HOME. NIGHT.

A square dance is in progress:

CALLER

Do-si-do. And come right back.

Swing your partner

And promenade. All the way around.

Swing your partner, and kiss the little gal.

Print stands at one side and watches. He nods, smiles, says "hello" to several of the people: The sons and daughters of the Pumphreys, Laynes, Simmonses, Lawrences, Abbotts, Kuykendalls, and other neighbors.

Print's sisters are always there: Betty Wynn, a 30-year-old widow; Alice, married to Tom Smith; Lulu or "Bug" as the family called her, being wooed by Arthur Layne; Isabelle, the youngest at thirteen but easily the best dancer.

Print talks to a group of men of various ages.

PRINT

The traffic going past the Olive pens has doubled this year.

FIRST NEIGHBOR

Well, it's your own fault. You've got the trail here cleared of thieves and rustlers.

PRINT

Not quite. You hear about Bob's gun-fight with Lawson Kelley? They say it was a fair fight. Bob was just faster and shot straighter.

SECOND NEIGHBOR

With Lawson dead, his brother, Dock, is going to be out for Bob's hide.

FIRST NEIGHBOR

I hear he's traveling with the Johnny Ringo gang now. That's a dangerous development.

PRINT

That's why I've put a four-man guard on Bob. But that's a thumb in the dike; we need some place for Bob to go.

FIRST NEIGHBOR

Up the trail is always good.

PRINT

Maybe. I'd like to hear from someone I trust about that grass in Colorado and Wyoming. Maybe I'll send Bob on a fact-finding mission.

Louisa comes through in a flurry of petticoats. She grabs Print, saying

LOUISA

Come on, Print. They are forming the last squares of the night. Let's dance.

Print looks contritely at his audience, as if to say "what can I do?"

CALLER

Form your squares. It's getting light in the east. This will be the last square tonight.

All hold hands, and promenade.

Get on home, swing your partner.

Allemande right. Now you know everyone.



EXT. PRAIRIE IN LEE COUNTY, JUST SOUTH OF OLIVE'S HOLDING. DAY.

Print and Jay riding down Yegua Creek, come upon two men who have killed two Olive beefs. The Olives watch them through field glasses.

PRINT

You recognized either of them?

JAY

Sure. The one on the left is Turk Turner.

PRINT

Right. He's mine. The one on the right is James Crow. Father of those bad Crow boys. You get the one on the right.

They pull out their rifles, get off their horses, aim and shoot. Both Turk Turner and James Crow are hit, fall to the ground.

JAY

Nice shot.

PRINT

Let's go see what we got.

The two ride down to the wounded men, who are unconscious.

PRINT

Let's finish skinning out these beefs. And wrap the rustlers in the rawhide.

JAY

That's pretty severe, isn't it, Print?

PRINT

That's what we need. A severe message. These are the leaders in their gangs. They need to be taught a lesson.

JAY

You're getting to be awfully hard, Print.

PRINT

That's what these guys need.

JAY

But wrapping them in raw-hide...

PRINT

These scallywags don't seem to understand anything less. I'm just learning their language.

Print and Jay finish skinning out the beefs, make some rawhide thongs, roll the men into them, and sew them up. The men come to during the process.

TURK

What're you doing, Print? You sum-bitch.

PRINT

Jist making you comfortable. You want the Olive brand; we're going to give you one. See? I've turned it out, so ever'one can see.

TURK

That's wicked, Print. You can't leave us out here in the sun, wrapped in rawhide.

PRINT

Sure, I can.

JAMES CROW

That's diabolical.

PRINT

We're damned tired of people killing a couple of our cattle and selling the meat down south.

JAMES CROW

That's not us, Print. I swear it ain't.

PRINT

But you fellows know who it is.

TURK

That's Bill Smothers and Oliver Jones. No connection with us.

PRINT

Well, when the Sheriff comes, you can tell him that you're all tied up.

TURK

You're going to leave us wrapped up like this. When the sun gets hot, it'll shrink these hides.

PRINT

That's right. I don't mind so much if someone kills a cow or two for his own use. When they're hungry. It's you market hunters I hate.



EXT. THE 1876 TRAIL-DRIVE TO DODGE CITY, KANSAS. DAY.

Print and Ira are moving their first stocker herd north.

PRINT

These cattle will be good to start over again. In Kansas.

IRA

Jay sure was ad-adamant about not coming.

PRINT

I'll say. He's satisfied where he is. Owns his land. Family lives there. He's not budging. Says, "I'll live here and die here-- with my boots on, if necessary."

IRA

He seemed to think we were run off.

PRINT

Even he doesn't believe that. My eyes never lay on a thief my heart feared. But think of the possibilities up north, if we expand our operation.

IRA

That's what got me in so quickly.

PRINT

Why stay down there, and be fenced out by a small farmer-- or wither on the vine?

IRA

But then he backed our decision so strongly. Helped with the branding, straightening out our tangled affairs.

PRINT

Well, it's Print and Ira must go it alone. And get Bob out of Texas, too.



EXT. CROSSING SMOKY-HILL RIVER, NORTH OF DODGE. DAY.

TOM WRAY, from Dodge City, rides up to Print, gives him a message. Print unfolds and reads the message, as Ira rides up. He hands Ira the message.

PRINT

It's from Jay. He wants me back in Texas. Bob must be in trouble.

IRA

No. I think it's what it says. Jay's the one's in trouble.

PRINT

But why couldn't he just say, "I need help."

IRA

Too damned proud.

PRINT

Hire this man-- Tom Wray. He's been all over these hills and prairies, and he knows cattle. You'll need all the help you can get. I'm heading for Texas.



EXT. TRAIN STATION. DAY.

Print steps down from the train, into a scene of busy construction. The railroad has come to town. The sign on the depot says: "Taylorsville, Texas." SOUNDS of hammers and saws everywhere. Frame buildings are going up. Near the Olive Pens, a rail siding is being constructed by the Stiles Brothers. Tracks now connect the town with the coast and the north (though it's still cheaper to drive your cattle).

Jay meets Print, with a horse and buggy.

PRINT

Last time I see so much activity was in Ellsworth. The country is changing, Jay. Maybe it's time to get out.

JAY

A few modern conveniences won't drive me away.

PRINT

They're going to have a regular town here in no time.

They drive out of town.

JAY

I'll get right to the point, Print. Bob and Sam Carr's two-man vigilance committee has stirred up a wasp's nest. The Yegua Gang is swarming. Bob is crazy mad. Roams around at night.

PRINT

And.

JAY

The Yegua Gang hired a nigger kid to kill any Olive. Five hundred dollars, in gold. The kid went to Bob's place. Bob had heard of this. And was ready.

PRINT

What did he do?

JAY

Sent the kid out to the granary with a sack to get some corn. Then lay in wait with his rifle. Drilled the kid right through the skull.

PRINT

This could be trouble.

JAY

Naw. They found a loaded pistol on the kid. Bob told the neighbors he had caught the nigger in his corn crib. Bob wasn't even arrested.

PRINT

Crazy kid. We've got to get Bob out of Texas, Jay.

JAY

Henry Hoyle thinks this next is the most important piece of news he's come up with since spying on the Yegua mob.

PRINT

What's that?

JAY

The entire Yegua mob, with some help from the thieves holed up on Dry Brushy, will attempt

a mass raid on the Olive ranch at an unknown date. But soon.

PRINT

Hope to find as many of the Olive men as possible in one place, and systematically wipe them out.

JAY

You've got the picture!

PRINT

Just what I would have done in their place.

JAY

Henry Hoyle thinks they'll wait until they catch the greatest number of Olive men working at one ranch. Then they'll strike.

PRINT

The best place to meet them is at the Pens. The old log house can be used as a fort. We'll be together when they attack-- And we'll be armed to the teeth up there.

JAY

We better put a heavy guard around our families.

PRINT

Sure. We'll make 'em four deep. That should protect the families.

JAY

Wouldn't want anything to happen to my four boys, nor Elmira.

PRINT

They want us all together to kill. All right, here we'll be. They're staking everything on one raid, just as Grant did at Vicksburg. The general learned his lesson the hard way. That's the way we'll teach the Turner and Crow rustlers.



EXT. YARD IN FRONT OF CABIN AT OLIVE PENS. NIGHT.

Print, Jay, Bob, Bill Wells (a colored man who was top shot with a rifle), W.P. Butler, Ray Bumpus, Henry Strain (the black cook, who has buried his Dutch oven outside where it's cooler to cook), Lee Moore (sixteen year old neighbor), and several others. Guards are out in all directions.

Saddles and other gear are on the fences. The men sit around a dying, pine fire.

LEE

I 'member when I fust worked for the Snyders, Print. Never saw a man use sugar in his coffee til then. And Old Dud never allowed a drap of liquor in his camps. Nor even a deck of cards.

PRINT

I worked for them a trip or two. Made the drive to New Mexico. Them blue noses were like working for a bunch of Methodist preachers!

RAY BUMPUS

Did you hear about those two men wrapped in raw-hide? The Methodist preacher was up in arms about that.

BUTLER

I understand the dried raw-hide was like iron. Then the swelling of the bodies made it even tighter. I heard that when the sheriff cut them out, those bodies and their stench whistled out all at once.

BOB

Serves the bastards right.

A challenge from one of the guards. And Fred Smith's voice in the dark:

FRED SMITH

Halloo-oo-o! It's Fred Smith. May I ride in?

BOB

(Yelling)

Sure. Come on.

Fred Smith rides up beside the dying fire.

PRINT

What keeps you out so late, you old crowder?

FRED SMITH

Looking at some cattle up San Gabriel tomorrow morning. I'm late, and there's something here that bothers me.

(Tosses a bag of gold down beside Print)

Wish you'd borry this 750 dollars from me until I get back. I'll pick it up in a day or two.

PRINT

(Hefting the bag of gold)

Quite a bit here

FRED SMITH

(consulting his watch)

It's late I gotta go.

PRINT

(Tossing the bag of gold to Henry Strain)

You better light; sleep with us tonight, Fred.

FRED SMITH

Cain't. I gotta go.

(Lopes away toward the rail siding.)



EXT. IN FRONT OF CABIN AT OLIVE PENS. NIGHT.

It is rather later, darker. A JACKASS BRAYING wakes Print. He gets up, goes to the fence to relieve himself. Suspects something. Has premonition of being watched.

He drops to a crouch, crawls back to where is rifle is. SOUND of rattle of bridle and a booted foot as it softly touches the ground near the rear of the cabin.

PRINT

(Whisper)

Bob!

SOUND of blast of a shot-gun, which lights up the yard for a brief instant.

Jay is hit where he lays, a serious shot-gun wound.

Print quickly jumps to one side, levers a cartridge into his rifle, and fires at the man, three times.

HEARS the wump of a bullet hitting, and a man cries out in pain. The man's gun clatters to the ground.

Then from both ends of the building come BLASTS of shot-guns, rifles, six-shooters, in an ear-breaking din. The firing lights up the yard, almost like it was day. The Olive men grab pistols and fight back.

Print continues firing until his rifle is empty, then grabs his six-shooter near his pallet and continues shooting. Print gets a load of buck-shot near his hip, which takes him down to his knees.

Print sees two men drag the colored man Henry Strain into the cabin to look for the gold. The revolver of another man belched flame into the face of the other colored man, Bill Wells. Wells rolled from the gallery into the yard.

PRINT

Over this way. Let's get behind the wagon.

The Olive men turn the wagon over for protection, using the double-thick bottom as a shield. Buck-shot pelts the wagon bottom.

Bob's rifle fire now comes in from the side, making the raiders run for their horses.

LEE MOORE

I'm out of bullets, Print.

The cabin bursts into flames, lighting up the whole yard. Print sees the night raiders, riding away, supporting three men who had been hit.

Bob comes running in from the side, carrying an empty rifle and swearing furiously.

PRINT

Quiet down and load your pieces. They may take a notion to attack again.

But the raid is over. The Olive men turn the wagon back on its wheels, harness a team, and fill the wagon half full of hay. In it, they load Jay, blood pouring from his chest in a dozen places. Print stuffs his own shirt under Jay's to slow the flow of blood from the wounds.

The Stiles brothers show up with another wagon, half full of hay. Lee Moore had run toward their house, told them what had happened, then saddled one of their horses and rode to Lexington for Doctor Doak. They put Wells and Butler in the second wagon and, at day-break, the caravan starts for the Olive Ranch.



INT. BACK ROOM OF JIM OLIVE'S OLD STORE. DAY.

Jim Olive and Print enter, pour themselves glasses of whiskey, sit and wait for Bob.

PRINT

I wonder why Bob called a family meeting.

JIM OLIVE

Beats me. We should know in a little while.

PRINT

Jay is better one day, worse the next.

JIM OLIVE

The next few days should tell for him.

PRINT

He said the other day to tell you that he died with his boots off. Don't sound like he's got much hope.

JIM OLIVE

Well, with twenty-two "Blue Whistlers" in his chest, he has reason to be pessimistic.

Bob shows up, comes in, pours himself a drink, and sits down.

BOB

Print, you want to lay a bet that Grip Crow and the Turners were responsible for the raid on the ranch the other night.

PRINT

I'll believe it until I learn otherwise.

BOB

Then you're on a cold trail. Take a look at this.

Bob takes from his vest pocket an object, wrapped in his blue silk handkerchief, and carefully unwraps it.

Print takes the object. It is a worn but beautifully engraved, heavy gold watch. The crystal has been shattered, leaving the hands at 12:20. Two inches of gold chain dangle from the watch.

PRINT

Where did you get this and what does it mean?

BOB

I found it at the burned ranch house yesterday. Where did you ever see that watch before?

PRINT

I never saw it before.

Jim Olive now grasps the watch and studies it, turning it over and over in his hand.

JIM OLIVE

(As if reading)

American Horologue Company, Waltham, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

(After a short pause)

It isn't reading, boys; it's just remembering.

Jim Olive unscrews the back of the watch and, without looking, hands it to Print.

JIM OLIVE

After The War, a man came in here and stood there where the counter used to be, and told me that he needed groceries. He had no money. But he left this gold watch as security.

PRINT

And?

JIM OLIVE

I gave him food, and the following spring, he redeemed his watch by paying his bill. I was curious about the printing on the watch and he told me what it said.

PRINT

Yeah?

JIM OLIVE

A man can't read well has a powerful lot of remembering to do, boys. I never forgot the writing on the watch.

PRINT

Well. Whose watch was it?

BOB

Just read the inscription on the back.

PRINT

(Reading)

"To Fred from Mother-- Christmas, 1860." Well, whose is it?

BOB

(To their father)

Tell him! Go ahead and tell him!

JIM OLIVE

By God's blood! I cain't.

Jim Olive picks up the watch, looks at it again.

JIM OLIVE (Cont'd)

Print, cain't you see who it is?

(Pause)

It's Fred-- Fred Smith, our friend.

Print sits in stunned silence, as Bob picks up the watch, screws the back on it again. After a pause, Bob goes on.

BOB

I'd heard these things about Fred through Henry Hoyle, Print. But goddammit, I couldn't believe them either.

PRINT

Go on.

BOB

He said Fred was gettin' to be the big bull of the Brushy, and ever'body knew it but us. Even Cal Nutt's taking orders from him. But it seemed too far-fetched to me, like stories you hear.

Bob makes a gesture: opening the right hand quickly, as though tossing an object into the air.

BOB (cont'd)

What a damn fool I been to not believe Henry. He never lied. If Fred hadn't dropped his watch, he'd still be our "best friend." Just wait til I poke Lulubelle's snout into his fat belly.

JIM OLIVE

Now, remember, Bob, we've known Fred Smith many years and his watch could have been stolen or worn by another. He's still deserving of our confidence until facts show otherwise. Betrayal-- that's a terrible word.

PRINT

You're dead wrong, father. I saw that watch on Fred Smith the night he stopped at the Pens to borrow me that gold. Fact is, I've seen it on him many times. I just couldn't connect it-- at first.

Print goes on, as if talking to himself:

PRINT (cont'd)

He hasn't been to see us since that night, never even came to see Jay. One of his men told me he had been skinned up in a fall from a horse.

(Pause)

Now I know how he got skinned up, why he hasn't been around.

BOB

I'll make him a present of this watch in the morning. I'll teach that puke-faced son-of--

PRINT

You'll do nothing of the sort. I'll make my own settlement with Fred in my own damned way-- and for all of us.

JIM OLIVE

That's right, Print. We got evidence that will send him to prison for life.

PRINT

Evidence, hell. I'm not talking about waggin' those lawyers' jaws any more. I'm talking about Jay-- and if the dies.

(Pause. Print is in throes of emotion)

JIM OLIVE

I never seen you so hard, Print.

PRINT

I'm soft enough. But I want to look Fred in the eyes and have him tell me what he has to say.

BOB

Good! That leaves me Cal Nutt!



EXT. SMITH RANCH. DAY.

Print and Bob view the Smith Ranch the next morning through field glasses.

PRINT

Another issue, Bob. You seem to know a lot about the criminal class hereabouts. What have you heard about Bills Smothers and Oliver Jones?

BOB

They 've been selling fresh meat down south. At McDade. And even all the way to Austin.

PRINT

They're selling our beef, you know? Any one of the sales seems pretty small potatoes, but they 're taking twelve or fourteen a week. That amounts up pretty fast.

BOB

You want me to take care of it?

PRINT

No. But it's not like they were taking the beef for their own family.

They see figures come out of the house and go to the wood pile. They start chopping wood. One of them has a bandage of his right shoulder.

PRINT

That looks like Fred to me. The one with the bandage on his right shoulder.

(Hands the glasses to Bob)

BOB

Yep. And the other one is his brother.

PRINT

Well, let's go down and talk to them.



EXT. YARD OF SMITH RANCH. DAY.

The Olives ride in.

PRINT

Hallooo-oo-o. Anybody home? Can we ride in?

FRED'S MOTHER

Hello, Prentice.

PRINT

' Morning, Ms. Smith. Is Fred at home?

FRED'S MOTHER

(Glancing at her hands, the ground)

No, Prentice. He's-- He's in Georgetown for a day or two. Business.

PRINT

(Glances around for a long look)

Well, could you take a message?

FRED'S MOTHER

Yes.

PRINT

(Handing her a bag of gold from his own hoard)

This gold he borrowed to me the other day. I'm sure the wants it back.

(Takes out the damaged watch)

Here's another item in gold your son left at the ranch. We're sorry it got broken, Mrs. Smith, but I feel sure Fred will be happy to have it returned and learn where he lost it-- up at the Pens.

Print tips his hat to Mrs. Smith, reins his horse to go. As they ride away,

BOB

I can just feel a bullet in my spine.



INT. LAWRENCE CHAPEL. DAY.

Jay's funeral is in progress. Elmira, the widow, and her little brood sit in the front row, listening to the preacher. Print, Louisa, and their four sons sit in the second row. Though his arm is across Louisa's shoulder, Print is obviously uncomfortable.

PREACHER

Thomas Jefferson Olive was a good man. The Lord giveth and The Lord taketh away. Dust thou art, dust thou wilt be. The Lord's will be done.

LOUISA

(Whispering)

Where's Bob?



EXT. THICKET ACROSS FROM LAWRENCE CHAPEL. DAY.

Bob watches through field glasses.

PRINT (v.o.)

He's watching. They put him on the Texas Ranger's Fugitive List. The Rangers are looking for him. He can't come in.



EXT. LAWRENCE CHAPEL CEMETERY. DAY.

They carry the oak casket to the grave, lower it. The preacher says a few words. And it's over. Print stays a while, bent over the grave.



INT. THE PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Sheriff Strayhorn and his deputies, Milt Taylor and Jim Myers, are waiting for Print. Print invites them to supper, prepared by his colored woman. The sheriff shows Print a warrant for Bob's arrest.

PRINT

Sam, today Bob couldn't attend the funeral of his own brother, killed by outlaws while sleeping at his own ranch. Now, you come, showing me what the laws of Texas say.

Print is visibly shaken up-- and angry.

PRINT (Cont'd)

I want to tell you something, Sam. I say to hell with the laws of Texas! We told you our trouble. We went to you and begged your help. You couldn't raise enough help to keep Jay from being killed, could you? Can you raise enough help to protect Bob and me? I doubt it.

Print pauses a while; goes to the window; turns back to face the men.

PRINT (cont'd)

Well, Bob and I can take care of ourselves. We plan to leave Texas, Sam. When we do, we'll leave it in better shape than it's been in for some time. So if you will leave Bob and me alone for a short time, until we get our cattle together and underway, we'll never bother Texas again!

SHERIFF

(Handing Print the warrant for Bob's arrest)

What about this?

PRINT

I know all about it. Bob and Sam pistol-whipped Malone and Haskell, but couldn't make them admit any part in the raid. Wouldn't you have felt the same?

SHERIFF

Well, we might as well be on our way back to Georgetown, boys.

PRINT

You'll do no such thing. You'll stay right here overnight, and you can ride back in the morning after a good breakfast.



EXT. LAWRENCE CHAPEL CEMETERY. DAY.

Print rides up, sees Bob bent over Jay's grave. Print ties his horse at the gate, enters. Bob stands up, awkwardly fingering his hat.

Print walks over, drops down on one knee. He straightens the earth, tamps it down with his palms.

Bob does the same on his side of the grave.

At length, Print speaks.

PRINT

You want to start north with us, come spring?

BOB

(Nods first, then adds)

I got a job to do first.

PRINT

You mean Fred Smith?

(Bob nods again.)

PRINT (cont'd)

Forget Fred. He's my business!

BOB

Then Cal Nutt's mine.

PRINT

(Holding a fistful of dirt up in Bob's face)

So help me God, Bob, I'll put Fred Smith under this same earth, if it's the last thing I ever do!

Print walks away, toward the gate where he left his horse. He does not look back.

PRINT

Goodbye, Jay. Viaje con dios.

EXT. A WOODS NEAR LAWRENCE CHAPEL. DAY.

A week later, Print finds Bob in the woods.

PRINT

Going north has got to wait. Let's find Jay's killer, and get our revenge.

BOB

Okay. And we can look for Cal Nutt and Fred Smith and the market hunters all at once.

PRINT

Yeah, let's start the looking in Clear Creek Valley. I heard a story a few days ago that made my blood boil.

BOB

Yeah. What was that?

PRINT

Some new settlers met a wagon headed for a butcher named Gerhardt, near Austin. The wagon was loaded with beef halves and quarters.

BOB

I'd bet they were from Olive cattle. We've lost a lot down that way.

PRINT

The fellow's name was Oliver Jones. He works a lot with Bill Smothers.

BOB

I've heard of those fellows.

PRINT

But what boiled my blood was the settlers stayed the night with Bill Smothers. Bill's wife served them meat for dinner. Bill kept asking if the couple had ever eaten elk.

BOB

I'll bet the couple said, No.

PRINT

"Well," said Bill, "You're eating slow-elk meat now."

BOB

I'll bet the couple said the meat didn't have the taste of wild game.

PRINT

You're right. A couple of our friends saw a big old cow with an Olive brand, bawling her heart out at a fresh calf-skin, hanging on Smothers' fence. Old man Smothers said they had just butchered one of their own calves.

BOB

Humpff. These people don't butcher their own sucking calves to eat. They're butchering our stock.

PRINT

A sod-buster like Smothers don't know that you can't fool a longhorn mother. I've seen them after a stampede when they're all mixed like dice in a cup. It takes a day or two sometimes, but those old cows will have their own calf walking at their side. You can't fool a longhorn about her own smell.



EXT. THE TRAIL TO LAWRENCE CHAPEL. DAY.

Bob meets Henry Hoyle.

BOB

What's the news?

HENRY

Not much that you don't already know.

BOB

Try me.

HENRY

Well, for starters- Old man Smothers has shot three men in the stomach and laughed while they died.

BOB

Yeah. We've got him on our list.

HENRY

Dock Kelley says he's gunning for you.

BOB

Expected as much.

HENRY

Says you should meet him in any of those villages south of Georgetown, any time.

BOB

I'll put him on my schedule.



EXT. OPEN RANGE IN LEE COUNTY. DAY.

Print and Bob come upon Bill Smothers, Oliver Jones, and four others butchering six cows with Olive brands on them.

BOB

Shall we take them?

PRINT

Naw. The odds are too much against us. I count six on the ground. They've probably got at least two more with the horses. And maybe one or two with the wagons.

BOB

That's only eight or ten. We can take them.

PRINT

No. We'll go down to McDade and get Sheriff Jim Brown's help. Surely, he'll send enough men to take care of this, especially with us.

BOB

With a rifle, I could take out Smothers and that damned Ollie Jones, and two or three others.

PRINT

We'll try it legal, first. If that don't work, then...



EXT. SHERIFF JIM BROWN'S OFFICE. DAY.

Sheriff Brown holds a paper out to Print.

JIM BROWN

This is the warrant. Sign here.

PRINT

Right. And I'll offer a $500 reward for the capture and conviction of Smothers and Jones. But you'll have to catch them with the Olive brands showing.

JIM BROWN

I wish more of our ranchers were as forthcoming as you, Print. We'd wipe out the rustlers pretty quick--

BOB

Damned right.

JIM BROWN

--but most of them are afraid. For their wives. Their children. For themselves.



EXT. A VILLAGE SOUTH OF GEORGETOWN. DAY.

Bob Olive and Dock Kelley are riding toward each other. Sam Carr and several men watch.

BOB

I hear you've been looking for me, Dock.

DOCK

Yeah. I mean to kill you.

BOB

Draw when you're ready, Dock.

DOCK

You killed my brother, Lawson.

BOB

In a fair fight. Just like I'll kill you.

Several men on the sidewalks watch, listen.

DOCK

Nothin's fair, but bullets.

Dock goes for his gun; so does Bob. They shoot almost at the same time. Docks bullet puts a hole in Bob's coat, under his arm. Bob's bullet hits Dock, knocks him crooked in his saddle. Bob fires again, Dock falls from his horse, an exit wound the size of a grapefruit in his back.

Bob dismounts, strips Dock of his two, bright, shiny six-shooters. On the handle of the right gun are eight notches. Bob hands the guns to Sam Carr, saying,

BOB

Here's a present for you, Sam.



INT. PRINT OLIVE'S RANCH. NIGHT.

Bob is reporting to Print.

BOB

I got the names of several of the witnesses, Print. They all say it was a fair fight.

PRINT

Still, it's trouble, Bob.

BOB

I immediately rode to Georgetown and surrendered to Sheriff Strayhorn. I requested a hearing in Judge Morrow's court.

PRINT

You're lucky that Sam let you go on your own recognizance. Texas Rangers still want you. Sam passed up a chance for the reward by letting you go.

BOB

Sam's a better friend than that. Besides, I've got a score to settle with Cal Nutt and Oliver Jones.

PRINT

You ought to leave Texas, Bob.

BOB

You hear anything about Fred Smith?

PRINT

Nothing. He's lying pretty low. I've put a watch on his house. Something will turn up.



EXT. YARD OF PRINT OLIVE'S TWO-STORY HOME. DAY.

Two Blacks ride up, demand of Louisa:

RED BANKS

Wheah's yo' husband?

LOUISA

Sleeping. He was up late, loading cattle at the Stiles' siding.



INT. GALLERY OF PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Print hears them, gets up, takes a rifle from its pegs on the wall, quietly levers a cartridge into the chamber. Then he steps out into the living room.

Red Banks has shoved Louisa aside and is coming in. But when he sees Print, he turns and runs toward his horse.

PRINT

Stop!

(Red Banks runs faster)

Halt, or I'll shoot.

Just as Banks tugs at the rifle in his scabbard, Print shoots him, dead.

The second man is running for his horse. He is armed. Print shoots him in the hip.



EXT. YARD OF PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Coming out into the yard, Print recognizes the wounded man, a black named Hendrickson, who had lived with a family of that name before The War. Print makes sure he has no weapons.

PRINT

Well, Hendrickson. I haven't seen you since before The War.

HENDRICKSON

I'se bin round, Mistah Print.

PRINT

Don't think I've ever seen that other fellow.

HENDRICKSON

Naw, Suh. He purty new in these parts.

PRINT

Unusual to see a colored man with red hair, ain't it?

HENDRICKSON

Sho' is. That's why we calls him Red Banks.

PRINT

What you fellows up to?

HENDRICKSON

No good, Mistah Print. You see, Red was hi'ed to kill you. They say they pay him $500 in gold when you dead. I'se jist traveling along.

PRINT

Well, let's see what the sheriff at Georgetown has to say about that.

EXT. PRINT OLIVE'S FRONT YARD. DAY.

Print is instructing a negro:

PRINT

Tell Deputy Tucker the story. The body is Red Banks. Hendrickson is for the sheriff in Georgetown.



EXT. IN FRONT OF PRINT OLIVE'S HOME. DAY.

Several friends on horses.

TOM SMITH

It seems someone got hold of Hendrickson and talked him into swearing out a warrant for your arrest.

STILES

Hendrickson doesn't have sand in him, enough to think in terms of a warrant.

PRINT

I'll get ready. Ride with you.

TOM SMITH

That's why we're here.



EXT. ROAD TO GEORGETOWN. DAY.

Print rides to answer the charges "murder of Red Banks," and "assault with intent to kill" Hendrickson.

About 25 of Print's neighbors ride escort-- The Kuykendalls, Abbotts, Lanes, Pumphreys, Stiles, Littins, Morrows, Tom Smith and his riders. They have come out because the Yegua gang has about 40 men, a rare show of force for the outlaws.

TOM SMITH

Print, these people are here to see that everything goes okay. Don't want my brother-in-law stepping in crap.

STILES

Yeah, there's a good supply of bad guys here-abouts. I hear that they threatened the jury.

LANE

They want to see an indictment. Say that if none comes, they'll take the law into their own hands.

TOM SMITH

'Bout here the gang did its demonstration yesterday. They clogged the road for an hour or more.



EXT. THE COURT HOUSE IN GEORGETOWN. DAY.

Print sees about 15 of the Yegua gang, standing across the street. He yells,

PRINT

Yegua! Yay-w-a-a-ah-h! All right, you sons of bitches-- I know you!

ATTORNEY

Jesus Christ, Print. How do you expect us to get an acquittal when you act like that?

PRINT

(More quietly now)

Aww. Sons of bitches need to be put in their place.

ATTORNEY

Let's let Sheriff Strayhorn do that. He's deputized a dozen men or more to keep the peace while you're here.



INT. COURTHOUSE IN GEORGETOWN. DAY.

It's two weeks later, trial date.

JUDGE

We find the defendant NOT Guilty on both the charges: The murder of Red Banks and assault with intent to kill Mr. Hendrickson. As for the charge, "the assault with intent to kill Fred Smith," the court finds the charge with no substance or foundation. There is no body, and the charge is therefore dropped.



EXT. JUST SOUTH OF THE LEE COUNTY LINE. DAY.

Sheriff Jim Brown has surrounded the Smothers and Jones gang while they were butchering Olive cattle. Smothers has a rifle leaning up against each cow. Brown has several deputies with him.

JIM BROWN

(Yelling from a little distance)

I have a warrant for the arrest of William Smothers and Oliver Jones.

BILL SMOTHERS

The hell you do! Well, I've got a bullet for you.

With that, the gun-fight is on. Smothers grabs a rifle and fires at Brown, hitting him in the right side, a serious but non-fatal wound. Brown fires his six shooter and hits Smothers in the right arm. Jones fires a couple of times, but hits nothing. The sheriff's posse is too strong for the Smothers-Jones crowd, who quickly surrenders.

JIM BROWN

Well, well. Who wants to ride in and tell Print Olive that we've arrested the Smothers-Jones gang?



EXT. THE FRONT OF THE PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Print is up on the porch. Several men on horses are reporting.

PRINT

So, Jim Brown has caught the scoundrels. I'll get ready and ride with you.

KUYKENDALL

No need. The sheriff was planning to turn them over to Deputy Tucker here in Taylorsville.

PRINT

Well, I guess we can wait for that.

LANE

Several of the men are expecting to receive the reward. You'd better have that along.

PRINT

Yeah. I've got it in a wallet. I'll get it. It's just paper money. Hope they'll take that.



INT. JAIL IN TAYLORSVILLE. DAY.

Jim Brown's posse delivering Smothers and Jones to Deputy Tucker.

TUCKER

I hear Jim Brown took a bullet, while arresting these men.

FIRST MAN

He's in bed, still. But going to be all right.

TUCKER

That's good news. I've sometimes wished I was in some other line of work.

FIRST MAN

So get out. It's a free country. Lots of things a good man can do.

TUCKER

Can't. This is in my blood. Only thing I've ever done.

FIRST MAN

Smothers' wound needs attention. Do you want or need an escort to Georgetown?

TUCKER

No, thanks. I think we've got enough men to handle that.



EXT. ENROUTE TO GEORGETOWN. DAY.

Tucker and two others, escorting Smothers and Jones to jail.

Shots ring out from the brush along the creek. They recognize that the shots are high, still they urge their horses into a run.

SMOTHERS

Slow down, you sum-bitches. This riding hurts my arm.

TUCKER

That's tough. Your buddies are trying to break you out. We're goin to resist that.

Suddenly, more shots ring out from behind the "rescuers." It is Print Olive and some of his workers. They chase away the "rescuers."

PRINT

Wouldn't want the prisoners to escape.

TUCKER

Thanks, Print. We needed the help. The outlaws are so well organized around here.

PRINT

We're going to break them yet.



INT. THE JAIL AT GEORGETOWN. DAY.

Print is counting out ten fifty-dollar bills into Sheriff Strayhorn's hands.

PRINT

There's the reward money I promised for the arrest and conviction of Smothers and Jones. I'll leave it in your hands, Sheriff.

STRAYHORN

Thanks, Print. I'll see that the right people get their share.

PRINT

That was for the conviction, as well as the arresting.

STRAYHORN

I understand. I'll see that the deserving people get theirs.



EXT. THE FRONT PORCH OF PRINT OLIVE'S HOME. DAY.

Print and his wife, Louisa, are serving cool drinks to Bob and his new wife, "Mink"

PRINT

It's about time to start for the north, don't you think, Bob? The land around here is completely depleted.

BOB

I guess so.

PRINT

I want you to find us fifty or sixty square miles of good grass.

A rider comes up pretty fast.

PRINT

It looks like Kuykendall.



EXT. THE OLIVE FRONT YARD. DAY.

KUYKENDALL

Bad news, Print. A gang broke into the jail in Georgetown and freed Smothers and Jones. They are thought to be heading this way.

PRINT

Thanks, "Kuyk." Bob and I will be ready for them.



EXT. MAIN STREET IN McDADE, LEE COUNTY. DAY.

Print meets Jim Brown, Sheriff of Lee County. The men shake hands.

PRINT

Smothers and Jones broke out of jail. Have you seen them? Or heard of them?

JIM BROWN

Yeah. They came gunning for us. Smothers was killed; he couldn't move his arm as much as usual. Jones was pretty badly wounded. In the chest. We don't expect him to live.

PRINT

The rest of their gang? That's the dangerous part.

JIM BROWN

Four were taken. The rest melted into the background. Wish we had more men like you around. We'd wipe up the gangs in no time.

PRINT

I see your belly wound is mending okay.

JIM BROWN

Yeah. I hear the Olives have decided to move on.

PRINT

That's right, Jim. Country's used up. No place to graze a herd anymore. Why, you can't throw a rock without hitting a small farmer trying to settle.

JIM BROWN

We'll miss the likes of you boys, Print. Too few cowmen fight back any more against the thieves. If folks don't wake up, the scallywags will take over the country.

PRINT

Thanks, Jim. But we've done our part. But there's no land anymore. And the thieves are still pretty thick. They're your problem now.

JIM BROWN

There's not enough law men to stop them. We need your help and others like you. Why don't you reconsider and stay and fight?

PRINT

Some of these damn fools are putting us in with the Ringo Gang and Gladdens, right now. But we've had enough. We ride north with the first green grass. Bob and I. Meet up with Ira.



INT. DINING ROOM OF PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

Print and Bob have just finished a huge breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast, jam, and plenty of coffee.

PRINT

We're starting earlier than we expected. In fact, Bob is leaving today.

BOB

(Surprised)

I am?

PRINT

There's some nice pasture in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming. I want you to take a look at it, and tell me what you see.

Print goes to the desk, gets a map that is wrapped in water-proof oil skin. He spreads the map before Bob.

PRINT (Cont'd)

Show this to Ira and tell him to scout that range on the Republican Fork

Bob is getting interested.

PRINT (cont'd)

I want you to work down the Platte from the north fork. Look over the Loup Forks if you get a chance, there in central Nebraska, east from the Sandhills country.

BOB

Yeah. And then?

PRINT

Go down the Dismal from its forks. The buffalo grass in Sixty-nine was up to our horses' fetlocks on Ash Creek.

BOB

You want grass?

PRINT

Find a range like that on Ash Creek, a big one, where we can run plenty of cattle-- fifty to sixty square miles, good live water-- and grass, grass, grass.

BOB

I'll plant it, if I have to.

PRINT

But we'll need a new name for you. To help hide you from the Texas Rangers.

BOB

But I like "Bob."

PRINT

(Laughing)

Take old Bob Stevens' name. He'll never need it. Dead, down there on the Yegua.

BOB

(Laughing, too)

That's a good one. Just call me Bob Stevens.



EXT. COMMERCE STREET IN AUSTIN. DAY.

Print and Bob are recruiting cowboys for the spring drive. They go into bars, have a drink, and ask,

PRINT

Anybody here looking for work?

FIRST COWBOY

What outfit?

PRINT

Olive outfit. From up near San Gabriel county. We're taking 9,000 head through in spring to Colorado and Wyoming. Stay with us in the north, if you like.

SECOND COWBOY

Olive outfit? Wow! That's a gun outfit, ain't it?

BOB

We have that reputation.

THIRD COWBOY

Nine thousand? That's a lot.

PRINT

We'll break them into about nine herds.

FIRST COWBOY

Makes sense.

PRINT

We've got the best cooks on the trail with us-- Uncle Willie Teabolt, Jobless Frank Wilkerson, Tom Hamilton.

SECOND COWBOY

The hard-riding, hard-fighting, whiskey-drinking Olives have got me. I'll sign on.

FIRST COWBOY

Me, too. Guess I'll have to get one of those Olive holsters.

THIRD COWBOY

What's that?

FIRST COWBOY

Got the top cut off. So's it don't get in the way when you're trying to draw fast.

SECOND COWBOY

Like that one, Mister Print is wearing, right?

PRINT

I reckon. Bob'll sign on anyone who wants to go. I was up all night last night in a poker game. I'm bushed. I'm going to bed.



EXT. THE COWBOYS' FAREWELL BALL ON OLIVE CREEK. EVENING.

A large area has been scraped off and smoothed out for the square dance. A raised platform has been constructed to accommodate the five-piece band and the two female entertainers. Tents have been pitched all around, where ranchers and their families will stay. Ira has sent riders in the four directions to invite the ranchers, their wives, daughters, and hands to the dance.

Print and Ira beam as they bring each new arrival to a tent. From the barbeque pit, the aroma of Roasting Beef invites everyone. Wagons had gone to the caves near the river and brought back ice to cool the beer. Rye Whiskey and a few cases of Bourbon found their way to the party.

Women had brought pies, cakes, jellies, and jams-- things so missed by the men on the trail.

CALLER

Choose your partners. All around. Let's dance.

All hold hands. Allemande left.

Swing you partner.

Do-si-do.



EXT. ON CONGRESS STREET. EVENING.

Bob looks up at sign: The Iron-Front Saloon.



INT. ON CONGRESS STREET. EVENING.

Bob, the day's work done, goes in for a night-cap. He sees Cal Nutt standing at the near end of the bar, in his fine brocaded vest, a gray felt hat, black boots freshly polished, and a pair of Mexican spurs. Nutt is apparently alone.

Bob goes up to Nutt, smiling. Nutt returns the smile.

CAL NUTT

Hello, Olive. Care for a drink?

BOB

Sure. Don't mind if I do.

CAL NUTT

Two whiskeys, barkeep.

(Pause)

The bartender brings the drinks. They toss them down with their right hands.

BOB

Well, are you about ready?

CAL NUTT

I'm as ready as you are.

BOB

It's best we don't do it in here. Break up the bar.

CAL NUTT

Okay. Outside, then.

Bob moves toward the door. Nutt follows on Bob's right side. As they reach the door, Nutt draws his pistol and fires at Bob, putting a hole through Bob's coat.

Bob draws his pistol at the same time as Nutt and fires. He hits Cal Nutt in the right shoulder.

BOB

I thought you wanted to go outside.

CAL NUTT

(Shifting his gun to his left hand)

You sum-bitch.

Bob fires again; hits Cal Nutt this time in the face. Bob fires again; hits Cal Nutt in the throat this time.

Cal Nutt falls on the boardwalk.

Bob kicks away his gun. Looks closely at Nutt, to make sure he is dead.

Cal Nutt's eyes go blank.

Bob straightens up. Turns to defend himself against anyone else coming from the bar. No one shows. Bob backs away into the street. When he is in the middle of the street, he straightens up, holsters his pistol, and turns to walk away.



INT. PRINT OLIVE HOME. DAY.

A vaquero, Ricardo Moreno, it reporting to Print.

RICARDO

Sí, Señor Preent. He ees packing everytheeng. He go west from Lawence Chapel. He cross the Brushy not far from here.

PRINT

Good work, Ricardo. Let's ride.

Print checks his six-shooter and loads his rifle, stuffs it in the scabbard on his saddle.



EXT. A SHALLOW CROSSING OF BRUSHY. DAY.

Ricardo conceals himself in a thicket 50 yards from the crossing; Print waits on the bank.

Presently, Fred Smith, wagon loaded helter-skelter, shows up. When he is in the middle of the stream, Print urges his horse out.

Fred sees Print, but continues up the bank, then stops. His revolver is hanging on his right hip, but he has no chance to get at it. Fred clears his throat, but does not speak.

PRINT

Draw whenever you're ready, Fred.

FRED

(Shifting the reins to his right hand.)

We been friends now a long time, Print.

PRINT

Just quit talking and draw, Fred.

FRED

(Shifting the reins to his left hand)

I don't want to fight you, Print. I just want to leave the country, peaceful like.

Both men draw at once. Fred's bullet cuts a hole in Print's vest and shirt, right under his left arm. Print's bullet hits Fred in the nose. Fred is thrown backward onto his canvas-covered load, dead.

Print rides up, takes a closer look, is satisfied that Fred is dead. Print ties the reins to the wagon, then goes to the lead horse, takes him by the bridle and leads him up the bank, just as Ricardo comes loping up.

PRINT

Let's leave the wagon where his family will find it.

RICARDO

But, no the body?

PRINT

No. I'll take care of that.

RICARDO

Sí. I say: Fred he was plan to leeve the countree for a leetle trip-- poco jornado. But Preent he send heem farther than Fred he plan to go! Where ees Fred? Quien sabe?

PRINT

You just don't know anything about it.



EXT. ON THE TRAIL. DAY.

Print is on a ridge on his favorite horse, "White Flanks." Nigger Jim is with him on his horse, "Chowder," his bald-faced black horse.

PRINT

They all ready, Jim?

NIGGER JIM

Yas-suh, Mistah Print. All's ready.

PRINT

Then, let's head em out. For Nebraska.

Print waves his hat around his head three times, the signal "Throw 'em on the road, boys."

MONTAGE

We see thousands of cattle on the trail, bawling, hooking at each other with their long horns, but going toward Nebraska.

THE END




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           Killing Cynthia Ann

a screenplay by
Charles Brashear

Based on his novel, published by
Texas Christian University Press, 1999.
ISBN 0-87565-209-3.

Logline: She wanted to be a Comanche. But her family was unconsciously determined to psychologically torture her.



At age 9, blonde, blue-eyed Cynthia Ann Parker was captured by Comanches near Groesbeck, Texas, and taken to the high plains of the Llano Estacado in the Texas panhandle. She assimilated quite completely, married a noted war leader, Peta Nocona, and had three children, including Quanah Parker who would become the last and greatest of Comanche Chiefs. She refused to be ransomed and lived with the Comanches almost 25 years.

Then in December, 1860, a troop of Texas Rangers recaptured her and returned her to her Parker relatives near Fort Worth. For the next ten years, all Cynthia Ann wanted was to return to her Comanche family, but the Parkers would not allow it. (This is the central, controlling issue in this script.) Essentially, they held her prisoner for the rest of her life, shuffling her from relative to relative until she finally died of a "broken heart," complicated by involuntary bulimia, mal-nutrition, and pneumonia.

There is a sense in which the unconscious does things deliberately, in spite of what the conscious thinks; the Texas psyche of the 1860s was intent upon killing the spirit of Cynthia Ann.

This story is about the last ten years of Cynthia Ann Parker's life. It is not an "upbeat" story, for Cynthia Ann dies a tragic, poignant death.




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FADE IN:

EXT: FORT PARKER, DAY

SUPERIMPOSE: Near Groesbeck, TX, about noon, 19 May 1836.

Comanches stream in at the open front gate of the fort. A white man reaches for his flintlock rifle; a lance pierces his chest. An Indian hits an old man on the head with a tomahawk; the old man falls. Another white man fires a rifle; an Indian falls. A grandmother is on the ground; an Indian hits her on the head with a stone axe. Several white men are running. Several Indians run after them.

A woman and four children creep out the back gate: the woman is LUCY PARKER; her children are CYNTHIA ANN, 9; JOHN, 6; SILAS JR, 3 and ORLENA PARKER, six-weeks old, in her mother's arms. They run across an open field of grass and wild-flowers, trying to escape.

CYNTHIA ANN

Wait, Momma! I can't keep up.

LUCY PARKER

Hurry. They steal children.

A Comanche WARRIOR, about 19 or 20, decorated with several vertical stripes across his upper chest (symbolizing many followers), sees the children and races on horseback after them. He scoops up Cynthia Ann in one arm.

Lucy makes a move toward the warrior. He raises his war club, ready to bash out her brains.

Lucy backs off: holding baby Orlena close against her chest.

Silas Jr hangs onto a fold of her skirt, sucking a thumb.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Screaming)

Momma! Don't let him take me!

The warrior scoops up John.

Again, Lucy makes a move toward the warrior; again he raises his war club.

Cynthia Ann's point of view: Lucy backs off.

Cynthia Ann stares at her mother a long moment, then turns away, settling in front of the warrior and holding John in front of her on the warrior's horse. She does not look back.

LUCY PARKER

(Screaming)

Cynthia Ann! Cynthia Ann!



BEGIN JOURNEY SEQUENCE(MAIN TITLES)

EXT. COMANCHE ENCAMPMENT. OKLAHOMA. DAY.

SUPERIMPOSE: Three years later.

Cynthia Ann, now 12 years old and wearing a doeskin dress with a yoke of cowrie shells, stands with PAHA-YUKA, chief of the Tenawish Band of Comanche Indians.

TWO WHITE MEN offer a string of 19 mules in trade for Cynthia Ann. One of them brings up a mule, showing it. The other holds the lead rope of several others.

Start in Comanche, continue with voice-over translation in English

PAHA-YUKA

(Shaking his head.)

Never! We will never give her up! We will fight, rather than give her up!

Cynthia Ann, envisioning a ghost-like image [from the prologue] of her mother failing to protect her, lifts Paha-yuka's arm and folds herself into his protective embrace.

PAHA-YUKA

(Continuing)

We call her Náudah. "She-Walks-in-Dignity-and-Grace."



EXT. COMANCHE CAMP. OKLAHOMA. DAY.

SUPERIMPOSE: Two years later: 1841

Cynthia Ann, now 14 and wearing a doeskin dress with a yoke of cowrie shells, sits under an oak tree, where TWO WHITE MEN talk to her.

Cynthia Ann shakes her head.

When one of the white men tries to take her hand, she jumps up, runs into the bushes and hides.



EXT. COMANCHE CAMP. OKLAHOMA. DAY.

SUPERIMPOSE: Three years later: 1845

Cynthia Ann, now 17 and wearing a doeskin dress with a yoke of cowrie shells, stands beside Paha-yuka.

PETA NOCONA, the warrior from the prologue, with vertical stripes across his upper chest, now 28, offers Paha-yuka the lead rope of 24 horses.

Paha-yuka takes the lead rope and places Cynthia Ann's hand in the hand of the warrior.

Cynthia Ann looks down, blushing.

The warrior leads Cynthia Ann away toward a marriage teepee.



EXT: PALO DURO CANYON, TEXAS. DAY

Cynthia Ann, now in her mid twenties, wearing her cowrie shell dress, works in front of a teepee. She scrapes out a depression in the soft earth and lines it with a buffalo paunch. She pours prepared vegetables into the pouch, then water. She lifts hot stones from the fire with forked sticks and drops them into the stew, which sizzles.

The warrior of the vertical stripes is asleep on the ground. Two young boys are playing around her feet.

A young white man, her brother, JOHN PARKER, comes up and speaks to her in Comanche.

JOHN PARKER

(Start in Comanche; continue in English voice-over)

Hello, Cynthia Ann. Do you remember me? I'm your brother, John.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

John? I can't believe it. ...

They embrace.

... I thought you were dead.

JOHN PARKER

Our mother has sent me to talk you into coming home.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(shaking her head; start in Comanche, continue in English voice-over)

No. My husband, my children, everything I hold dear is right here with the Indians. And here I will remain. I will never return.

Camera pulls up for a shot of Palo Duro Canyon. The Comanche teepees are thick. Plenty of wild turkeys, deer, antelope, and the canyon sheltered from the strong winds of the prairie. Make this scene last until titles have finished.

END PROLOGUE:(END MAIN TITLES)

FADE



EXT. PEASE RIVER, DAY.

SUPERIMPOSE: DEC 18, 1860

Náudah (Cynthia Ann Parker, age 34, dressed in a doe-skin tunic with a cowrie-shell yoke) scrapes a buffalo hide with her adoptive, COMANCHE SISTERS. They gossip about hair-do's.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE, her toddler daughter, plays with an extra scraper.

Náudah looks up and sees a skirmish line of TEXAS RANGERS, charging toward the Comanche camp.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(Screaming)

Enemies!

She drops her scraper, scoops up her daughter, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, and runs for her horse. She leaps on, holding Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne close, and dashes across a stream and a field, as the Rangers charge through the Comanche camp, killing as many as they can.

TWO WAR-WOMEN get their horses between them and the charging Rangers; they fire their guns too quickly and cannot re-load.

Troopers swish past them, shooting them with their pistols. A warrior falls, hacked by a saber. Women are running toward the Pease River; a volley of pistol and carbine fire; several of them fall.

EXT. A FRESH-WATER STREAM. DAY.

SUL ROSS, Captain of the Ranger Company, and his Lieutenant, TOM KELIHER, see Náudah and AN OLD MAN racing away across a freshwater stream on their ponies. They give chase.

Sul Ross shoots his pistol at the man, who falls from his horse with a broken arm. Ross rides up to the man. The man gets to his knees and thrusts his lance at Sul.

EXT. FURTHER ALONG. DAY.

Tom Keliher chases Náudah (Cynthia Ann) a good distance and is almost within saber-striking distance, when Náudah suddenly stops and whirls her horse

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(holds up the baby, shouting)

Americano! Americano!

KELIHER

(Disgustedly curses for chasing)

A damned squaw!

EXT. APPROACHING SUL ROSS. DAY.

Keliher brings Náudah back toward the Comanche camp. He uses his horse to haze her pony. He cocks his pistol. Pushes her to hurry.

EXT. COMANCHE CAMP. DAY.

As they arrive back at the camp, the Rangers strip the sixteen Comanche women and two men of their clothing, jewelry, weapons, utensils (anything that will make a souvenir).

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(Searching among the dead)

Mis hijos! Mis hijos! ¿Donde están mis hijos?

The rangers stack the naked bodies like firewood.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(tugging at Ross's sleeve)

¿Mis hijos? ¿Donde están mis hijos?

He is about to slap her away, but notices her blue eyes. He stops, frozen for a moment, then asks,

ROSS

Are you a white woman?

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

¿Mis hijos? ¿Escondin Ustedes mis hijos?

ROSS

(Signals his Mexican interpreter, Antonio, to come over)

Ask her who she is.

ANTONIO

(speaks to her in Spanish, then reports to Ross)

She is wife of Peta Nocona. She want to know what to happen with her sons.

ROSS

Damn me, boys. I think we've got a white woman here.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Capitán! Por favor, Capitán. ¿Mis hijos no son muertos? ¿No?

ROSS

Damn me, boys. I think we've captured Cynthia Ann Parker.

A new urgency comes to Cynthia Ann. She turns to Ross, slaps her chest with the flat of her hand and cries

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Me! Cynthia Ann! Me Cynthia Ann!

Ross takes a moment to absorb this information, then takes off his hat, makes a gesture like a bow

ROSS

Well, Ma'am. Would you mind accompanying us back to Camp Cooper? We'll have your uncle come out from Fort Worth to get you.

Fade out

EXT: ESTABLISHING SHOT, CAMP COOPER. DAY.

A tent-city Army post, shortly after a snow-storm.

INT: MESS HALL AT CAMP COOPER. DAY

ISAAC PARKER (age 72) and HORACE JONES (50) wait for Cynthia Ann to come in. OTHERS await.

ISAAC PARKER

So, you speak Comanche, Mr. Jones? I understand that's all she will speak. That, and some Spanish.

HORACE JONES

I can try to speak with her. That's my job.

(Beat)

You'll have to watch her ever single instant, or she'll try to get away.

MRS. EVANS comes in with Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Cynthia Ann has been bathed and now wears a skirt and a blouse that is a little too small for her; Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne is dressed in a Bo-Peep child's dress. Cynthia Ann's hair has been cut, very ragged.

MRS. EVANS

She insisted on cutting her own hair. Which was all right by me. I didn't exactly cotton to the idea of washing that greasy mop.

HORACE JONES

Cutting the hair is a Comanche sign of mourning.

MRS. EVANS

And she won't let go of that grimy little purse she wears on a thong under her dress. Nastiest thing I ever saw.

HORACE JONES

That's probably her medicine bag. Where she keeps little tokens of her most sacred experiences.

ISAAC PARKER

Well, Mr. Jones, let's try your tongue at talking with her.

Jones offers her a bit of corn bread, brought in as a ritual to open conversation

HORACE JONES

Meeku takwuh Ta-ahpuh makaaruju. (Let us together nourish the Great Spirit.)

Cynthia Ann breaks into a rush of mixed Comanche and Spanish

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Don't let them kill me. Where are my sons? These are Texans, aren't they? They've killed all my relatives. Don't let them kill me, too.

Jones gets her to calm down, so they can proceed with the questioning

HORACE JONES

Toquet, Preloch.

ISAAC PARKER

What did you say to her?

HORACE JONES

I told her things will be all right. And I used a term of honor, Preloch, which is used with queens and princesses.

ISAAC PARKER

Queen?

HORACE JONES

That's right. She is Preloch, a queen in her own land.

ISAAC PARKER

Well, let's get on with the questioning. Does she remember her father, Silas? He was killed in the Comanche raid on Fort Parker.

Jones talks with Cynthia Ann aside for a moment.

HORACE JONES

No, she doesn't remember.

ISAAC PARKER

Does she remember her mother, Lucy? No finer woman ever lived.

Again, Jones talks a moment with Cynthia Ann.

HORACE JONES

No, she doesn't remember her.

ISAAC PARKER

Her brother, John, then? He also lived some years with the Comanches, before he was ransomed. Came out to the prairie once, to try to get Cynthia Ann to come home.

Jones, after a short conversation with Cynthia Ann

HORACE JONES

She can remember a boy named John, but she doesn't know what relation he is, nor where he is now.

Cynthia Ann (Náudah) talks with Horace Jones a moment.

HORACE JONES

She remembers that she once had white-faced parents, but she can't picture them in her mind any more.

ISAAC PARKER

(Nearly out of patience)

Does she remember when she was captured by the Comanches?

HORACE JONES

(After a short conversation)

Yes, she remembers that, but not much. She remembers a big house built of upright logs, in a big open field, across from a thick woods.

ISAAC PARKER

That's Fort Parker! By God! She is! She's my niece, Cynthia Ann Parker.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Me! Cynthia Ann! Me Cynthia Ann! ¿Quando puedo ir a mi esposo y mis hijos?

HORACE JONES

She asks, "When can I go back to my husband and sons?"

ISAAC PARKER

You're with your real family now. We'll take care of you and love you, as if you'd never been captured.

Suddenly, Náudah jumps up and runs out of the mess hall, into the snow, pulling Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne in tight against her body.

EXT. PARADE GROUND. DAY.

A view of the corral with several horses in it.

Several men chase after her and catch her in the middle of the parade ground. One of them tackles her, sending Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne rolling ahead in the snow.

First, Náudah hits her tackler hard in the mouth with a strong right fist, knocking him backward; then she runs for the screaming Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Several of the men now stand on all sides of her, hemming her in. Isaac Parker comes out in his shirt sleeves.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(Trying to speak English)

O, Oncle Isaac...

She falls on her knees in the snow in front of him and embraces his legs with the now-quiet Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne at her side. Breathing too fast, she pours out a string of mixed Spanish and Comanche.

... Por favór, tio mio. Take me to my sons. Tu puedes. You can do it. When Our People see me with you, they won't hurt you. When they see Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, they will lower their weapons. I won't let them hurt you. Toquet, oncle. You'll be safe. Mea-dro. Kee-mah. You know the way. Please, please, mi querrido oncle, if you have any feeling for a mother's love in tus corazón, please take me to my sons.

ISAAC PARKER

(bends over and lifts her and the baby by the shoulders)

Look, my dear Cynthia Ann. I understand that you love your sons very much. But it's out of my hands. I don't know where they are.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

O, mis hijos! Mis hijos perdidos!

Isaac talking through the interpreter and leading her back to the warm mess hall.

ISAAC PARKER

Listen. We'll send out messengers to look for your sons. We'll have them go everywhere. When they find them, if they find them, we'll bring them to Birdville to be with you. I have a big house. We have plenty of space. You, your sons, and Topsannah can live in the other part of my house.

When the interpreter explains that to her, Náudah falls into another of her silences. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne stands at her feet, waiting. Náudah stares at the strange white man who says he is her uncle.

Fade out

EXT. MRS. EVAN'S QUARTERS, WITH HORACE JONES TO INTERPRET. DAY.

Cynthia Ann gets a hammer-lock on Mrs. Evans. Start her speech in Comanche and continue with English voice-over

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

I must have my dress! What have you done with my cowrie-shell dress? ...

Sheepishly, Mrs. Evans takes the dress from her own trunk at the foot of her bed

... And Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's little antelope sheath, also!

MRS. EVANS

(To Horace Jones)

They're jist too purty, just to burn. I thought I'd keep them as a souvenir. Mr. Jones, can't you talk some sense into her head? Clara and I-- Mrs. Palmer and I-- have fixed her a nice travel frock, as nice as anybody in these parts can get these days.

She brings out a full-length, wide-skirted dress: a dark, heavy, wool gown, fitted tight in the bodice.

MRS. EVANS

(Continuing)

And we've fixed her a beautiful, red brocade traveling bag.

Which she holds up

Cut to

EXT: THE STAGE COACH ON A DUSTY ROAD. DAY.

Isaac tries to make conversation.

ISAAC PARKER

Do you remember Rachel Plummer? She was captured at the same time?

(Beat)

Do you remember Elizabeth Kellogg, your grandmother's sister?

Cynthia Ann tries to sleep to avoid conversation.

FLASHBACK:

She remembers her husband, Peta Nocona, the warrior with the vertical stripes across his chest. She sees his hands giving her the little fire opal as a token of his love, and the Christopher medal he brought her from Santa Fe.

BACK TO SCENE:

She pulls her medicine bag from under her dress and opens it. She takes out the opal and Christopher medal and fondles them a moment.

EXT: FORT WORTH. A PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO. DAY.

In Fort Worth, Isaac guides Cynthia Ann along a street. A sign: "A.F. Corning, Photographs". They go inside.

INT. THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S STUDIO. DAY.

Corning takes the famous photo of Cynthia Ann while she is nursing Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne.

INT. AT ISAAC'S HOME AT BIRDVILLE. DAY.

Only a few miles from Fort Worth (The actual house is extant-- in the Frontier Village in Fort Worth). Isaac and his wife, BESS, show Cynthia Ann around: the room where she and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne will stay, etc. She is still trying to communicate in Spanish and Comanche.

ISAAC PARKER

And that's another thing. You've got to forget those heathenish tongues and learn English again.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Tosi-taivo rekwaruh? (White man talk?)

Fade out

INT: HER ROOM IN THE PARKER HOUSE. NIGHT.

As soon as she is alone that evening, Cynthia Ann puts on her cowrie-shell dress and puts the antelope sheath on Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Cynthia Ann slips out

EXT. THE PORCH. NIGHT.

and walks quietly down the porch, carrying Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. The moon is very bright.

Isaac's voice in the dark. He is standing in the shadow of the porch in his night-shirt.

ISAAC PARKER

Cynthia Ann? Is everything all right?

Cynthia Ann turns and walks to him, puts her free arm around his body and pulls him to her. He is shivering with the night chill.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Oh, tio mio. Querrido tio, yo estoy el mejor triste. Pido una poca lástima. Quiero ir a mis hijos, a mi familia. [Oh, uncle, dear uncle. I am the saddest person. I need a little pity. I want to go to my sons, to my family.] ...

Then she shifts over to Comanche [and English voice-over].

... I am so sad. Nothing looks right to me here. The moon tells me that I should be with my family. Por favór, uncle, let me go to my family. I need mis hijos.

ISAAC PARKER leads Cynthia Ann back to her room, and this time latches the door on the outside.

Focus on the latch, as the scene fades out



EXT. MORNING. DAY.

The porch of the Parker house after church on Sunday, many people follow the Parker clan back to Isaac's house in a parade of buggies and hacks. Other people begin arriving from other places: women in long gowns whose sleeves are as white and round as mushrooms and whose dark skirts go down to the ground like tree trunks; men come in black coats and white shirts, standing around, smoking cigarettes and sucking on grass stems.

ISAAC PARKER

(gives a little speech):

We are gathered here today, to welcome our Cynthia Ann back from perdition and into the fold of her rightful family. She has suffered long-- unprotected and undefended-- in ways that none of us can come close to imagining.

(He bows his head.)

Thank Thee, O Father, for restoring Cynthia Ann to us. In Your wisdom, You looked down and saw what was right. You saw the soul that was groveling in sin and filth. Lead us into the right, that we may glorify God and all His wonders. Amen.

"Amen," echoes the audience. Then all eyes turn toward Cynthia Ann, who is dressed in a long skirt and cotton bouse. She is holding Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(To Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne)

It's a Comanche victory dance, Little One. They are getting ready to torture their captives. (Beat) But I don't know what they will do to us.

ISAAC PARKER

(taking Cynthia Ann by the arm and leading her to a woman)

This is your sister, Orlena. She was a babe in arms when you and the others were captured.

Orlena smiles, but does nothing more.

FLASHBACK:

(from the prologue and Cynthia Ann's point of view): Lucy backs off: holding baby Orlena close against her chest.

BACK TO SCENE:

ORLENA

(As if remembering her manners)

This is my husband, Ruff O'Quinn. His name is Rufus, but we call him Ruff.

Ruff is a tall, raw-boned Texan, who talks through tight, pursed lips, hardly moving his mouth.

RUFF

Good to have you with us, Ma'am.

ISAAC PARKER

(Leading Cynthia Ann to a man)

This is your brother, Silas Junior. He was three years old when you were captured.

FLASHBACK:

(from prologue) from Cynthia Ann's point of view: a small boy hangs onto a fold of his mother's skirt, sucking a thumb.

BACK TO SCENE:

SILAS PARKER, JR

(Taking her hand)

Hi, Sis. Good to have you back.

ISAAC PARKER

And this is Amelia, Silas's wife.

AMELIA PARKER

Here, let me hold the baby.

Cynthia Ann (Náudah) pulls back, protecting the baby.

ISAAC PARKER

Oh, come, Cynthia Ann; viene, viene. Este es su familia. We mean you and Topsannah no harm.

He takes Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne from her arms.

Cynthia Ann (Náudah) reaches for Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, but Isaac takes hold of her shoulders and guides her to another couple.

ISAAC PARKER

This is your cousin, Billy Parker, who lives only a few miles south of Birdville, and his wife, Serena.

The couple is young and open. Billy smiles a lot (it is his trade-mark), so that Náudah finds herself smiling back.

SERENA PARKER

(Touching Cynthia Ann's arm)

If there's anything you need, just let us know, and we'll see if we can't get it.

Isaac Parker hands the baby to Amelia.

AMELIA PARKER

Thank you, Uncle Isaac. We've got to do everything we can to save the child from the demons of barbarianism.

Not understanding the words, but fully understanding the intent, Cynthia Ann races for the horses, leaps on one. She yells to Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, in Comanche.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Get down, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne! Come to me!

The child squirms loose, evades Amelia, and toddles toward the horse. Cynthia Ann grabs a handful of the horse's mane in one hand, hooks her heel on the cantle of the saddle, and leans low to scoop her daughter up from the ground. Before anyone knows what is happening, Náudah and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne are racing away, down the road toward the west.

The assembled whites stare after her for a good moment, before the men realize Cynthia Ann is escaping. Then they run to their horses and give chase.

EXT. ROAD. DAY.

Billy Parker catches her first. As he leans down to grab her horse's reins, his back is close enough that she could stab him. She hits him on the back.

BILLY PARKER

(His trade-mark smile)

Lo siento. Yo no quiero ... to do this, Cynthia Ann. If it was up to me, I'd let you go.

The horsemen surround her, preventing any chance of escape. Isaac's horse is a big white stallion, one of the best horses there, one that could run for miles before tiring.

ISAAC PARKER

That was quite a run you gave us.

SILAS PARKER, JR

She's sure a good rider.

FIRST VOICE

Don't you wish you were as good.

SECOND VOICE

If some of our hands were as good a rider as she is, we'd get a whole hell of a lot more work done.

Silas lets his horse fall back, then comes up between Isaac and Cynthia Ann/ Náudah.

SILAS PARKER, JR

We just want you to fit in, Sis. We want to help you fit in with your friends and relatives.

CLOSE SHOT: Cynthia Ann trembles uncontrollably, for she understood Silas's words.

CYNTHIA ANN (V.O.)

So that is the torture they have planned for me: to be loved by these friends and relatives.

Fade out

EXT. PORCH OF ISAAC'S HOUSE. DAY.

Cynthia Ann sits on the porch in a rocking chair, weeping. She has wet the whole front of her print dress. Issac Parker comes up to her, places a straight-back chair nearby.

ISAAC PARKER

Por favór, Cynthia Ann. Por favór, probir a-- Won't you please try to learn English again? We all know that you have suffered greatly at the hands of the heathens, but you are safe now. You do recognize, don't you, that I am your uncle. I am your father's brother, and these are the family that love you.

CYNTHIA ANN

Sí.

She bursts into a wail.

Bess Parker and ANNA (a granddaughter, aged 18) come out, carrying a tray with coffee and sweet cakes. Cynthia Ann clings to Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. She refuses the coffee and sweet cake that Bess offers.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

Why are you doing these things to me? If you love me, why are you doing these things?

BESS

You'll have to speak English for me to understand.

Anna coaxes Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne to sit with her on the step. She has a child's book with pictures in it. She points to the pages and says the names of the animals there.

ANNA

Dog.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Dog.

BESS

I'll swear, Cynthia Ann, you've got to do something more than just sit here like a turnip. You'll just dry up.

She touches Cynthia Ann's forearm and lifts her chin, to get her attention. Bess coaxes Cynthia Ann to stand and leads her toward the kitchen.

INT. IN THE KITCHEN. DAY.

BESS

Would you wash and scrape these carrots?

Cynthia Ann/ Náudah does not react.

Bess dips water from the cistern bucket and pours it into a basin. She takes a small brush and swishes at a carrot.

BESS

Wash.

CYNTHIA ANN

(nodding)

Wash.

BESS

(Holding the vegetable up)

Carrot.

CYNTHIA ANN

Crut.

BESS

(Takes a knife and scrapes away the outer skin of the carrot.)

Scrape.

Cynthia Ann /Náudah nods.

BESS

Good. Now, these carrots

she points to the pile of dirty carrots

wash

she makes the motions in the basin

and scrape.

she makes other motions and points to the cleaned carrot.

Cynthia Ann nods and sets to work rapidly, studiously, absorbed in having something to do.



FLASHBACK:

EXT. COMANCHE CAMP. DAY.

Wearing her cowrie-shell dress and kneeling on the ground, she scoops out a hollow and lines it with a buffalo paunch before pouring in the water, meat, and roots. Then with forked sticks, she drops clean, hot stones from the open fire into the stew, making the water boil. Peta Nocona smiles and rubs his stomach. Quanah, the older of their boys, sneaks a morsel out of the paunch with his buffalo-horn spoon even before the stew was cooked. She only tousles his hair.

BACK TO SCENE:

Náudah finishes scraping the carrots and stands, staring at the nothing that is outside the window.

BESS

Wonderful! Thank you, Cynthia Ann. That was wonderful!

Cynthia Ann (Náudah) slips the knife into her pocket, then turns and walks out onto the porch.

EXT. PORCH. DAY.

She is crying again. She slumps into the rocker and stares at the nothing on the porch floor.



EXT. PORCH. EVENING.

Cynthia Ann has been sitting there all afternoon, crying. She gets up and takes the knife from her pocket. She goes to a small juniper bush at a corner of the yard, snips several small twigs and branches from it, makes a thatch.

She goes back inside her room. She lights her thatch at the fire in the fireplace and wafts the smoke over herself. She brushes the smoking thatch up and down, close to her legs, across her head and down her back as far as she can reach. Then she smokes Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne the same way.



EXT. ON THE PORCH. ANOTHER DAY.

Cynthia Ann has been crying in her rocker again. On the stoop, Anna points to a picture in a book. Bess watches, approving.

ANNA

Cow.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Cow.

ANNA

Topsannah really learns fast.

BESS

Maybe we should try it on Cynthia Ann, too. Maybe that would be a way to get through to her.

Cynthia Ann (Náudah)springs up from the rocking chair, almost knocking it over, and picks up Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. She runs toward the meadow.

EXT. MEADOW. DAY.

She carries her out into the meadow, talking rapidly in Comanche.

CYNTHIA ANN

This is the sky we were born under, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Don't forget it. There on the high plains, we have a home. We don't have to have books, because we have dogs to look at and play with.

Their book is just part of their power-medicine. That's how they do it, a tiny step at a time. They get you to do their work, to say their words, think their thoughts, and then they have your heart. Your mind will be made out of their ideas. Your heart will think like their hearts, want what their hearts want.

At home, we have buffalos to hunt and eat the flesh of. We have horses. One of your uncles will give you a pony when it is time for you to learn to ride. We don't need these people. We have a life of our own. Oh, I wish we could escape and go back there.

We will.

(getting excited.)

Like the squirrels, we'll save back things we'll need. We can hide bits of food; this knife I took-- we'll need matches and some kind of weapon, too. We'll collect everything we need. And the next time the moon is full, I will break the latch of our prison-- I've noticed where the latch-bar is weak-- and we'll run away into the night. If we only had a good horse. Maybe we'll be able to get one from Uncle Isaac, or maybe from the next farm.

Don't forget the color of the Comanche sky, Little One. So big, so clear, so blue, so full of good fortune. And not so many trees and hills to keep you from seeing it. It is better than any book to look at, and it will teach you about the harmony the world had in the beginning and how you can keep it in balance.

Bess is on one side of Cynthia Ann; Anna is on the other

BESS

Cynthia Ann, my dear. You've got to try a little harder. We're your family. Please try to behave.

They lead her back to the porch and gently sit her again in the rocker. Tears stream down Cynthia Ann's cheeks. Her mouth is pulled out into a wide grimace of pain.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

(Spanish, followed by voice-over)

No me mate. Pido su lástima. [Don't kill me. I beg your pity.]

BESS

And look. You've soiled the hem of your dress. We'll have to find you another one.

CYNTHIA ANN (NáUDAH)

No mate mi corazón, por favór." [Please, don't kill my heart.]



EXT. COMANCHE BERRY-PICKING EXPEDITION. DAY.

Peta Nocona (vertical stipes on his chest) talks to Quanah, about 14;

PETA NOCONA

No, I don't know where she is. They know me. If I went among them, they would be on the defensive.

QUANAH

They don't know me. I could go.

PETA NOCONA

You're too young, Quanah. Too inexperienced.

QUANAH

That's just your excuse.

PETA NOCONA

Excuse or not. I don't want you to go looking for her. ...

Peta Nocona pricks his thumb.

... Ouch.

QUANAH

When I'm old enough, I'll go. You just wait and see.

DISSOLVE

INT. KITCHEN. ANOTHER DAY.

Cynthia Ann helps out, peeling carrots. She takes a knife and goes out.

EXT. OUTSIDE. DAY.

She goes out into the yard, making sure no one is watching (but the husband of a relative is peeking around a corner of the house). Cynthia Ann smooths off a place in the sand, draws a circle with her finger, then places objects from her medicine bag at the cardinal directions-- her opal at the north; a pewter St. Christopher medal at the south; a cured rabbit's foot at the east; the medicine bag itself at the west. She builds a small fire of finger-sized sticks in the center of this "circle of the universe." She lets down the top of her dress, slashes her chest, then leans over the fire, so that her blood dropping into the fire sizzles and goes up in smoke. It is a prayer. Her blood is to mingle with the spirit of the universe, the All Spirit. She lights a small pipe and tobacco she had in her bag, puffs smoke in the four directions, and chants:

CYNTHIA ANN

Náudah is dead, Great Spirit;

She walks no more in dignity.

'She-Mourns' is her name.

Let the sacred smoke go through the world and tell all:

Náudah is dead, Náudah is dead: she weeps no more.

She Mourns.

ISAAC PARKER (V.O.)

Well, someone else will have to take her. Bess and I are too old. We can't stand it. It would be better if she lives with you, Silas. It will be better, if she is with her brother.

DISSOLVE



INT. SILAS PARKER JR'S HOME. DAY.

In Van Zandt County, Texas, Silas tries to make Cynthia Ann welcome. Shows her the room she will stay in.

SILAS

We don't understand why you would want to go back to those-- to that--

CYNTHIA ANN

Son mi familia. Mi esposo y mis hijos. My husband and my sons.

SILAS

Yeah. Well-- We-- We want to make a deal with you. You've exhausted us with all your sadness. I mean, we're all tired out; we're at our wit's end. We've talked this over, and we're-- we're ready to make a bargain.

Cynthia Ann does not understand the word. She shakes her head.

SILAS

Bargain. Deal. It's sort of like a treaty. You work harder at trying to fit in, you try to learn English again, you make a better effort to conform to our ways,

(he pauses, as if checking in his mind that he has got it all)

And, in the Summer, when it's easier to travel.... In the Summer, I'll take you ... I'll get up a party and we'll take you ... back to the high plains and see if we can't find your Comanche friends.

CYNTHIA ANN

(falls on her knees, hugs his legs.)

Grácias, grácias, hermano mio. ...

O, thank brudder. Thank. I try. I try. Yo probaría.

SILAS

Yeah, well, you see, these are troubled times. The Yankees are making more and more trouble. Everybody is talking about war. If we have to go to war, we'll ... have to go to war. And that may change everything.

CYNTHIA ANN

(does not understand.)

I try. I try Engrish. Yo quiero muy muy mucho ir a mi esposo y mis hijos.

SILAS

This I'll promise. If-- If you'll make a better effort to learn English again and conform, I'll-- I'll do my best to help you visit your Comanche friends.

INT. SILAS'S KITCHEN. DAY.

Silas and Cynthia Ann, sit at the table.

CYNTHIA ANN

¿Podemos ir ahora? [Can we go now?]

SILAS

Sorry, Sis. It's rained up on the Plains and the Brazos River is flooded. No one can go anywhere right now.

INT. THE BARN. ANOTHER DAY.

Cynthia Ann helping Silas repair the harness

CYNTHIA ANN

¿Vayamos pronto? [Will we go soon?]

SILAS

No, the Yankees have cut off the supply lines.

EXT. PORCH. ANOTHER DAY.

Silas responding to a different version of the same question:

SILAS

No, the Comanches are raiding right up to the edge of Weatherford.

Transition to

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S ROOM. NIGHT.

When the moon comes full again, Cynthia Ann gets out the red brocade bag and pulls out her cowrie-shell dress and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's antelope shift. She dresses and dresses the baby, going frequently to the wall to press her ear against it, listening for the Parkers. She puts bread she has taken from the kitchen, the matches she has saved, the knife she took from the kitchen, etc into the bag.

CYNTHIA ANN

It's not nearly enough, Little One. But I can not stand it one more day, here in the white-man's "love," among a family that will not understand my sorrow.

She listens at the wall one more time. Then with the iron poker from the fireplace, she breaks the latch on the back door of their cabin and creeps out, holding her little bag of supplies. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne does not even have to be told to be quiet.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Continuing)

We are out of their camp, Little One; now if only we can keep them from tracking us in the moonlight.

EXT. NEIGHBORING FARM. NIGHT.

Cynthia Ann creeps along the double rail fence toward the barn. She can hear horses stamping in their stalls. When she opens the gate, a big German Shepherd begins barking and growling with bared teeth. Almost at once, a man comes to the door and looks out. Cynthia Ann crouches low, behind some weeds growing in the fence-row. In a moment, the man returns with a lantern.

NEIGHBOR'S VOICE

Whatcha got, Fritz?

The lantern in the neighbor's hand more blinds him than allows him to see in the bright moonlight. The dog stops barking and begins wagging his tail when his master approaches.

NEIGHBOR'S VOICE

You got a spooky imagination, Fritz.

The man goes back to the house.

EXT. DIRT ROAD. NIGHT.

In bright moonlight, Cynthia Ann is walking along a dirt lane, carrying Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne.

EXT. DIRT ROAD. NIGHT.

The moon is lower in the sky. Cynthia Ann still walking.

EXT. DIRT ROAD. NIGHT.

The moon is setting. Cynthia Ann goes off the road, finds a thicket, creeps in. She and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne lie down to sleep.

EXT. SILAS'S HOUSE. DAY.

The whites get up a posse, led by bloodhounds and vicious dogs. Fritz remembers the smell of the disturbance last night and leads the pack.

EXT. THICKET. DAY.

Cynthia Ann hears the commotion and figures out what is happening when the dogs are still a quarter of a mile away. She breaks cover and runs for a small tree, leaving her red brocade bag of supplies. She puts Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne up as high as she can.

CYNTHIA ANN

Hold on to the branches, Little One. Hold on!

She too is trying to climb the tree when Fritz hits her a glancing blow on the hip. If she weren't wearing leather, he would have torn a wad of flesh from her leg. The blow causes her to fall on top of the dog, bringing down a limb the size of her wrist with her.

The dog is up at once, but so is Cynthia Ann. She holds the branch by the small end and shoves the bush part into the dog's face. He growls and gnashes at the leaves, but is unable to get forward. He lunges again. She manages to keep the branch between herself and the animal.

He lunges again, like a wolf. The impact carries her backwards into the tree trunk, and she half loses hold of the branch. Many other dogs are around her now, some nipping at her, some confused by the presence of a human being and just waiting to be petted. The big dog is coming at her again, snarling.

Something white hits the big dog and pushes him aside. At the same time, the man on the white horse leans down, grabs her under her shoulder blades, and sweeps her up onto the white horse. Only then does she realize that it is her brother, Silas. He has saved her.

Silas goes back and gets Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. In spite of herself, a tear forms in Cynthia's eye. She pulls herself in tight against Silas's shirt.

SILAS

It will work out. Here, let me-- Let me carry Topsannah.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Mumbling into Silas's shirt)

Lo siento, lo siento. ¿Porque no puedo te amar, y los llanos in la misma vez? [Why can I not love you and the prairies at the same time?]

INT. AT SILAS'S HOME. DAY.

Orlena and ELIZABETH try to clean Cynthia Ann. Amelia indicating Cynthia Ann's cowrie-shell dress,

AMELIA

You may not wear that dress around here, Cynthia Ann. I won't have it. Maybe Uncle Isaac couldn't scrub your heathenish ways out of you, but I certainly will.... And my sister, Elizabeth, will begin by giving you and the Little Barbarian a bath.

CYNTHIA ANN

Yo probaría. I try. I try fit in.

Amelia and Elizabeth lead Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne into an adjoining room, where a bath tub is on the floor. After a moment, Amelia comes out, carrying Cynthia Ann's cowrie-shell dress and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's little antelope shift.

EXT. BACK YARD. DAY.

Amelia goes into the back yard, puts the dresses in a burn barrel, and set fire to the trash under the cowrie-shell dress, as well as Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's antelope shift.

She watches a moment with great satisfaction, as the dresses burn.

Cut to:

INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

When Cynthia Ann realizes what has happened, she lunges at Amelia, hits her with clenched fists, knocking the breath out of her.

CYNTHIA ANN

You-- you--

Silas and Elizabeth have to each grab one of Cynthia Ann's arm, to keep her from beating Amelia unmercifully.

SILAS

Calm down, Sis. We can't be fighting like this in the family.

AMELIA

(Sprawled on the floor, gasping for breath)

Get her out of here. And that Little Barbarian, too.

ELIZABETH

(Leading Cynthia Ann away)

Peace. We make peace now. Okay?

CYNTHIA ANN

(nods reluctantly)

I-- shame.

(a tear is forming in her eye)

I-- shame.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S ROOM. ANOTHER DAY.

Cynthia Ann sits on her bed, talking rapidly to Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne:

CYNTHIA ANN

They are trying to kill us, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Not with lances and war-clubs or bullets, but with sweet talk. They think we will forget the medicine power of the high plains and the Palo Duro at Prairie Dog Fork. They will have captured us completely. Then we won't know anything about Nuhrmuhr-ne, or about where we lived. When Our People are gone from our minds, they will have killed the Comanche in us.

We can't let that happen. We have to talk the language of Our People. We have to refuse to listen to their sugar talk. They are World Destroyers. They read their black book and convince themselves that they are the only people who deserve to live. All the rest are animals. We must fight back; we must shield everything about us from them.

EXT. PORCH. ANOTHER DAY.

Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne are sitting on the porch swing at Silas's house.

CYNTHIA ANN

Your father, Peta Nocona, is leader of the Noconis. When all the Quahada get together, Peta Nocona's voice is strongest in council. I will tell you about them; so that you won't forget that you are a Comanche and know that you have a right to live with freedom and honor and integrity.

EXT. FIELD. ANOTHER DAY.

Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne are walking in a field.

CYNTHIA ANN

Remember your brothers, too. Quanah is sixteen now; he has gone on his first raid. Perhaps he has come home to the victory dance with a scalp hanging from his lance.

I wish we could go to them. Surely, someone will come and ransom us, or kill all the Parkers, and take us back to Prairie Dog Fork. I thought I could find my way home from brother Silas's house, but I was wrong. I don't know where I am.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. PORCH. DAY.

Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, sitting on the porch swing.

CYNTHIA ANN

But I know what I am. I am Preloch, the wife of the leader. We are both princesses. We are Comanches. We can be proud of that. We have our own path and do not have to set foot in the white man's road.

AMELIA

(Bursting from the house, screaming)

I've told you and told you, Cynthia Ann. You ... may ... NOT speak that barbarous language. You've got to learn English. You're a white woman. You've got to talk like one.

CYNTHIA ANN

No! No!

Words fail her

Amelia takes Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne back into the house. Cynthia Ann pulls sticks from the picket fence and breaks them across her knee.



EXT. COMANCHE CAMP. DAY.

A Comanche funeral. Quanah is about 16.

QUANAH

Who would have thought? Who would have dreamed that...

COMANCHE MAN

We have to be careful, Quanah. You never know...

QUANAH

But a man like Peta Nocona. A great warrior should die in battle, not by the prick of a berry bush.

The funeral proceeds.

QUANAH

I'm going to find Cynthia Ann. Anyone want to go with me?

But no one volunteers. Murmurs of "too young" and "no experience" among the Comanche warriors.

QUANAH

I'm not too young. You just watch.

COMANCHE MAN

Yes, when you've grown up.

QUANAH

I am grown. I'm going to find my mother.

DISSOLVE

INT. KITCHEN. ANOTHER DAY

Cynthia Ann peels potatoes in the kitchen, alone with Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Asking the ceiling)

Ha-itska Noconi? Ha-itska Peta Nocona?" [Where are the Wanderers? Where is Peta Nocona.]

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Ka taikay, Pia. [Don't cry, mother.] Toquet, Pia. [It will be alright.]

AMELIA

(Bursting into the kitchen)

Here, here! I've told you both a dozen times, you can't speak that foul language around here. You've got to speak English. I'm going to have to wash your mouth out with soap.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(screams in Comanche)

Pia, don't let her take me. She's a bad woman. Don't let her take me.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne squirms, trying to get out of Amelia's arms.

AMELIA

(shrieking)

I said don't speak that language!

Amelia spanks Topsannah on the butt and legs.

CYNTHIA ANN

No! No!

(grabs Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne.)

No hit. No hit Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne!

(restrains herself from hitting Amelia. Continues in Comanche:)

Our People never hit their children. They tell them what is right and then disapprove when they do wrong, but they never hit a child.

Elizabeth and Silas come in and stand in the doorway, watching. Cynthia Ann sits Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne in a chair and goes on, talking rapidly to her daughter in Comanche:

CYNTHIA ANN

See, I told you, Princess. These whites don't know how to live. They're barbarians. Savages.

AMELIA

(Yelling)

Silas! This can't go on. I don't care if she is your sister, this can't go on. When I try to correct her and the child, you've got to take my side.

SILAS

(rubs his forehead)

We've got to make-- make a go of it, Amelia. There's no where else for her to go.

AMELIA

Send her back to those savages she loves so much!

SILAS

You-- You know we can't do that, Honey. After we've saved her from her long night of suffering, we-- we can't do that. Uncle Isaac can't take her, nor Uncle James. And just about everyone else has gone to the war. We've got to make a go of it. Try to have more patience.

AMELIA

Well, I'm going to spank her every time she calls Cynthia Ann 'Preloch,' or calls herself a princess. Do you hear? If I have to, I'm going to beat it out of them.

CYNTHIA ANN

Kwasinabo nabituh! [Snake Eyes!]

AMELIA

You witch! I've told you, you may not use that savage talk in this house.

She draws back her hand, ready to slap Cynthia Ann.

But Cynthia Ann sees the gesture and sweeps up a knife from the kitchen work, ready to meet the blow.

CYNTHIA ANN

No, you listen! [she goes on in Comanche, with English voice-over.] You are an evil woman. You are the enemy. I will not give up. You were trying to kill me and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, but I will not let you.

Amelia backs away, fear expanding her eyes, which never leave the knife blade.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Continuing)

I will not let you kill us. I will fight. And if I ever see you touch Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne again, I will slit your throat. You thought you had us, lying still and bloody on the battlefield, but you were wrong. We are strong. We will fight.

Amelia, urgently, scrambles to get a straight-backed chair between her and Cynthia Ann.

AMELIA

Silas! Get her out of here. Get her out of my house.

SILAS

Geez, Amelia, I can't. There's no place to send her. Maybe-- Maybe if you just eased off a little. Maybe if we go slower, she'll ...

AMELIA

That woman has got to go, do you hear, Silas? She's not your sister. She's a savage. I won't have her in my house another single day, do you hear? I try and try, but she just won't learn. She ... is ... hopeless. A hopeless savage.

SILAS

But Amelia. There's no place-- no place to send her.

AMELIA

Yes, there is. Let your cousin Billy Parker and Serena take her for a while. Even if he is wounded, they can damned well do their part.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. AT A RURAL TRAIN STATION. DAY.

Isaac Parker gets off the train, leading Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. He carries Cynthia Ann's red brocade travel bag.

Billy Parker, smiling, and his wife, Serena, come up to meet them. Billy can hardly walk, even on two crutches.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Touching one of the crutches)

Billy?

BILLY

Yeah, Cynthia Ann. It's me. What's left of me, anyway. The Confederates drafted me to fight in their army. But, I'm not going to let it happen again. I gotta go to Illinois, where I'll be safe.

CYNTHIA ANN

You hurt?

BILLY

Yeah. They sent me to Shiloh, and I stopped a bunch of shrapnel with both legs.

SERENA

We're lucky to have him alive!

BILLY

Well, let's get on home. That work around the place won't do itself.

Isaac helps Billy to get into the seat of his buckboard, then gets into his own buggy.

ISAAC

Just let me know if you need anything, Billy.

BILLY

Sure, Uncle Isaac. We'll manage. We'll get along okay.

They drive away, in different directions.



EXT. ROAD. DAY.

Billy Parker drives his buckboard home. Cynthia Ann sits beside him on the front seat. Serena and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne sit on the back seat, talking with animation. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne holds up her foot; she is wearing a new patent leather shoe. Serena admires it. Cynthia Ann's red brocade bag is behind the back seat.

EXT. THE SAME, ANOTHER ANGLE. DAY.

Farther along the road. Close on Billy and Cynthia Ann

BILLY

I heard what Amelia was trying to do to you, Cynthia Ann. I don't know how, yet, but-- when I'm better-- When I can get around better, I'm going to help you get back to your Comanche family.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Unable to believe it)

¿Vamanos a la Comanchería?

BILLY

Yeah. I gotta get around better. I can't do any work yet. But, when I'm better, we'll see-- We'll figure out a way--

Grabbing his arm in a quick embrace, she tries to smile a Billy Parker smile.

CYNTHIA ANN

Oh, Billy! Billy! Billy!

EXT. BILLY'S HOUSE. DAY.

They come to a yellow cracker-box house-- small, but there are several good-sized trees around it, with benches and tables under them, where people can work outside in the shade.

Billy lets the women out at the front door, then drives on to the barn to put away the horses and the hack.

SERENA

(Helps Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne take off her shoes and stockings)

You can run barefoot around here, dear. It'll be a lot cooler. We don't have to bring home all of the Baptists' Bite.

(Serena turns to Cynthia Ann.)

Toatsy-Ann and I had such a good visit on the way home. Did I get her name right? It was so hard to understand what she was saying, because I'm not used to children's voices. She's such a sweet little girl. I'm just going to love having a little one around the house.

CYNTHIA ANN

Tengo dos hijos.

SERENA

I know. I've heard about them. Your heart must ache to see them.

CYNTHIA ANN

Sí. Mi corazón está llorando todo el tiempo.

(She tries it in English)

I ... cry. I cry ... them.

INT. KITCHEN. ANOTHER DAY.

Serena and Cynthia Ann working.

SERENA

And let's go outside, where we can catch the breeze-- if there is any.

EXT. BILLY'S YARD. DAY.

She takes a bowl of green peas outside with her, puts them on the table under a tree, and starts shelling them.

SERENA

There's always work to do around here. Since Billy's so crippled up, I have to do a lot of it. But that keeps me out of meanness. 'Idle hands are the Devil's playground,' says Uncle James. Have you met Uncle James, yet? Now, there is one mean preacher. He can preach a hellfire and brimstone sermon that has you so worked up, you want to go right out and commit suicide, but then he tells you that suicide is a terrible sin. So there you are.... between a rock and a hard place. But he's saved a lot of souls.

Oh, me. Here I am talking a mile a minute, and I'll bet you don't understand half of what I'm saying. I'll try to slow down.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Indicating the peas)

I help? ¿Puedo ayudar?

SERENA

Yes, of course, dear. Here, you take this bowl, and I'll get another. We have so many of them to do. Your Uncle Isaac came over and helped me with the planting, but then I've had to do the hoeing and the praying for rain all by myself.

(She laughs lightly at her own little joke.)

With Billy limping around the way he is, it's sure good that we have such a big garden. But, crippled or not, I'm just so glad to have him home. At least, that limp brought him back to me.

Billy comes up from the barn, each step a lurch on his crutches.

BILLY

You got enough fire-wood?

SERENA

No. I'd appreciate it if you could cut some more. But sit down and rest a bit in the shade, first. You deserve a little pause, the same as the rest of us.

BILLY

I'll rest when we're safe from the Rebels.

He continues hobbling toward the house on his crutches.

SERENA

(Making chopping motions)

Billy ... chop wood.



EXT. YARD. ANOTHER DAY.

Cynthia Ann chops wood, while Billy watches.

INT. THE KITCHEN. DAY.

Cynthia Ann carries water

EXT. IN A CLEARING IN THE WOODS. DAY.

Cynthia Ann helps Billy at his whiskey still

SERENA (V.O.)

It's as illegal as Uncle James's sin. But it's the best way to convert corn to money. Billy sells it in Fort Worth. That means we can buy some of the things we'll need, like flour and sugar.

CYNTHIA ANN (V.O.)

No compren-- No understand.

INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

SERENA

Billy ... make whiskey. He's turning a lot of our extra corn into liquor so he can sell it.

CYNTHIA ANN

Wis-key? ¿Aqua tonto?" [Fool water?]

SERENA

You've got that right. Turns men into fools quick enough. But Billy, thank goodness, doesn't use the stuff. He just makes it and sells it.

CYNTHIA ANN

Never trust. Anyone who make wis-key.

INT. THE KITCHEN. ANOTHER DAY.

Serena and Cynthia each carry a bucket of water to the kitchen. Billy is starting a fire in the stove.

SERENA

Lord knows, this is no day to have a fire going, but we have to process these peas in boiling water.

CYNTHIA ANN

Hakai? What?

SERENA

Oh, forgive me. I just thought you knew already. See,

(taking a jar and making signs of filling it)

Summer. We fill with peas.

(Then she put the jar on a shelf)

Winter... you understand winter?

(Serena shivered and huddled to keep warm)

Snow, ice, cold. Mucho frío.

Cynthia Ann nods.

Serena takes the jar from the shelf again, opens it, and makes signs of eating.

CYNTHIA ANN

Ah--

FLASHBACK. EXT. COMANCHE CAMP. DAY.

Comanches eat preserved food.

RETURN TO SCENE:

I help. Okay? I chop wood.

SERENA

Good-- And then you can help me stuff the jars and cook them off.

CYNTHIA ANN

Es bueno. Tu estas bueno.

SERENA

Well, I try. I try to find a little good in everyone.

INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT.

Evening meal is finishing in the Billy Parker house.

CYNTHIA ANN

Por fávor, Billy. Vamanos a la Comanchería. We go to Comanchería, no? My heart so crying por mis hijos y mi esposo.

BILLY

I know, Cynthia Ann. And I know I said I'd help as best I can; and I will, too. It's just that I need to get around a little better, and we need a plan.

SERENA

He's walking better every week. Don't you think so, Cynthia Ann? I'll bet he'll be able to walk without crutches in another couple of months.

CYNTHIA ANN

We go--

but language fails her. She makes motions to indicate wheels and pantomimes riding in a wagon.

BILLY

Now, that's an idea. We could go in the hack.

CYNTHIA ANN

Sí, Sí. Cuando la luna es brillante.

SERENA

Yes, when the moon is full. Yes, it might work.

CYNTHIA ANN

I stand--

(she gets up in a chair, cups her hands to her mouth, and yells:)

Nuh-nuhmuh kiamah! Nuh-nuhrmuhr-ne kiamah! And they come. Comanche hear

(she cups a hand to an ear)

and they come.

BILLY

Sounds pretty crazy to me. But I just gotta get out of here, before they draft me again.

EXT. ROAD. DAY.

Billy Parker, Cynthia Ann, and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne travel west in a buckboard. Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne are dressed in their "white-man" clothes, so that the three of them resemble a family of Texans. The wagon ruts in the wild grass get smaller and smaller.

EXT. ROAD, WITH RUTS. LATER THAT DAY.

The wagon ruts are now little more than a horse trail.

EXT. ROAD, WITH WORSE RUTS. SAME DAY

not long before sundown. They stop to make a camp for the night. Cynthia Ann gathers firewood.

EXT. THEIR CAMP. NIGHT, BUT THERE IS A FULL MOON.

They now have a comfortable fire. The buckboard is nearby. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne has already gone to bed in it. Billy sits by the fire, his crutches on the ground beside him. Cynthia Ann is out a way from the camp, yelling into the night:

CYNTHIA ANN

(Cupping her hands to her mouth)

Nuh-nuhrmuhr-ne kiamah! Nuh-nuhmuh kiamah!

She gets hoarse; comes back to the fire

FIVE HORSEMEN appear in the edge of the fire light, led by JAKE. The group includes HENRY, who coughs badly, a SCAR-FACED MAN, and two or three others. All have full, droopy mustaches. All are lean and wear six-guns and slouchy felt hats. They are Texans. Night Riders.

JAKE

Ye oughta keep yer woman in better tow, mister. Keep the noise down. They's Injuns likely to be out in these parts on a bright night like this.

FIRST FOLLOWER

(Voice in background)

Don't see no saddle horse, Jake.

BILLY

(Getting up on his crutches)

I don't sit a horse so well, any more. A bombshell bunged up my legs at Shiloh, so I just don't have the strength to hold myself on.

Jake waits, his hands crossed loosely over his saddle horn, his reins hanging slack. Two men ride up close enough that Billy and Cynthia Ann can see their faces in the firelight. One has a nasty, three-inch scar on his right cheek.

BILLY

(showing his crutches)

I'm getting better every week, though. Why, I can already follow a plow with one crutch, by holding on to the handle.

HENRY

(coughing badly)

Sod's awful hard to bust out here.

SCAR-FACED MAN

You better get something for that cough, Henry. You sound like death warmed over.

HENRY

I know. But I didn't wanta miss any of the fun.

FIRST FOLLOWER

(Voice in the background)

Little girl, asleep in the buckboard, Jake. Don't look like they got anything worth takin.

JAKE

(Dismounting, his saddle creaking with stress)

We ain't goin to take nothin, then. We'll jist visit with these folks fer a minute, and then move on.

BILLY

(Sitting down again)

I'd offer some coffee, but I don't think we've got enough water to make some.

JAKE

Tha's all right. It'd jist make us stop and piss. Oh, 'xcuse me, Ma'am. ...

He touches the brim of his hat. He squats on his haunches and pretends to warm his hands at the fire.

... Ye seen any Injuns?

BILLY

Fraid not. Haven't even seen any buffalo.

JAKE

They's further west.

HENRY

(Voice in the background)

I hate a damned buffalo.

FIRST FOLLOWER

(Voice in the background)

Me, too. They ain't even worth the powder 'n lead to make 'em drop.

Some of the men are already reining their horses away, getting ready to continue their ride in the night.

JAKE

You folks a fur piece from home?

BILLY

We lived over by Birdville. We're looking for a new homestead.

FIRST FOLLOWER

(Voice in background, ignoring conversation at the camp fire)

I've killed a few buffs, though, in my time. It's kind of fun to git 'em in a surround. Ye c'n shoot 'n shoot, till yore gun barrel is melted.

SCAR-FACED MAN

I kind of like something that'll fight back a little.

JAKE

(Stands up, getting ready to mount his horse and ride away.)

I'd recommend you folks pack up tomorrow 'n go on back to Birdville.

BILLY

But, this is a free county, ain't it?

JAKE

No. Not quite free. We's still fightin fer it. 'N, ye know, if Injuns come along and kill you and yore family, then we'd all have to ride out on a vengeance raid. 'R, it might happen that some bad men 'd come along, kill you, 'n take ever thang you got; then lay it on the Injuns. Either way, it's trouble fer us. ...

He gets on his horse, turns a complete circle.

... We'll come back this way tomorrow, jist to see that you're gone on home....

Looking at Cynthia Ann, he touches his hatbrim.

... Ma'am.

HENRY

(As they ride off.)

I sure hope we find some Injuns.

SCAR-FACED MAN

Me, too. Ain't nothin quite as good as huntin Injuns. I've fought ba'rs and I've fought paint'ers, boys, 'n I'll tell you, they ain't nothin to make the blood boil quite like fightin a Injun. Specially, if ye c'n catch one by hand.

Billy and Cynthia Ann sit by the fire, dejected.

DISSOLVE

EXT. TOWN. DAY.

On the boardwalk outside a saloon. Billy's buckboard and horse are tied at the hitching rail. The sign on the building says:

First and Last Chance Saloon

Where Fort Worth Begins and Ends

ED TERRELL and Billy Parker come out.

ED TERRELL

(Counting out money for Billy)

You make good whiskey, Parker. I'll take another six gallons, as soon as you can cook off another batch.

BILLY

(holding up a crutch)

Not as nimble as I used to be.

He gets down the step, into his buckboard

ED TERRELL

I wouldn't put too much sand in what that feller, Coho Smith, says. He don't always keep his word.

BILLY

(as he drives away)

I'll watch him.

EXT. BILLY PARKER'S. DAY.

Back at Billy Parker's home near Birdville, Serena and Cynthia Ann watch Billy approaching in the buckboard.

BILLY

(Talking excitedly, before buckboard stops)

Guess what! I met a man in Fort Worth, named Coho Smith. He's a Confederate cotton agent. He's lived among the Comanches and speaks the language.

(Serena and Cynthia Ann wait)

Here's my idea. I think a person could hire this Mr. Smith to guide me and Cynthia Ann to one of the Comanche villages. She can stay there, and I can hire some Comanches to guide me into northern territory, then I can make my way to Illinois and be safe. Once I'm settled and have a place, I can send for you. We'll just move away from the Rebels and their conscription.

SERENA

(glad to see his smile again)

Oh, Billy, that's a wonderful idea. When can you start?

BILLY

Hold on. We'll have to convince this Coho Smith to act as guide first.

SERENA

Well, go get him. Bring him here, and I'll cook up a big dinner. Then we can work on talking him into it.

BILLY

He's gone to Mexico. He'll be back in a couple of weeks.

(Turning to Cynthia Ann)

Un hombre... En la cuidad...

CYNTHIA ANN

I get ready. I make clothes.



EXT. NEAR THE BILLY PARKER HOME. DAY.

Cynthia Ann tanning some leather, scraping, washing, working it to be flexible.

INT. BILLY PARKER'S KITCHEN. NIGHT.

Cynthia Ann making herself and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne new dresses, sewing them with thick cotton thread and a steel needle. She decorates their dresses with knotted thongs, fringes, and natural pigments of red earth and charcoal.

EXT. BILLY PARKER'S. DAY.

Cynthia Ann laying in supplies, using her red brocade traveling bag.

INT. BILLY'S KITCHEN. DAY.

Cynthia Ann, Billy, Serena, and Coho Smith, at dinner in Billy's house.

BILLY

Well, Mr. Smith, have a nice slice of this beef.

COHO SMITH

Don't mind if I do.

BILLY

And help yourself to the beans and vegetables. We won't stand on any ceremony around here.

Smith serves himself and starts eating

SERENA

Well, Mr. Smith. I haven't heard you talk to our cousin yet. I hope you're not like numbers of people that have come here professing to speak Comanche or Spanish, and after two or three words, they are done.

COHO SMITH

I reckon I can talk all you want me to.

He says the first thing that comes to his mind in Comanche

ee-wunee keem. [Come here.]

Cynthia Ann springs up with a scream and knocks about half the dishes off the table, startling Billy. She runs around to Coho, falls on the floor, and embraces both his legs, crying in Comanche, fading to English voice-over.

CYNTHIA ANN

ee-ma, mi mearo, ee-ma mearo. I am going with you. It's true, I was so afraid you'd be just another cheat-- and not be able to speak. But I can tell, you can talk the language of Our People. Oh, I'm so happy to hear something I can understand. You must talk more. Here, I'll sit by you.

Limping, Billy gets the table and dishes to right, then places a chair for Cynthia Ann beside Coho. They begin to eat again, but Cynthia Ann holds Coho by one arm and talks persistently to him in a mix of Comanche and Spanish.

CYNTHIA ANN

I want to go back to my husband and sons; I'm so lonesome for them. No one can tell me if they are safe. My heart is so empty; it cries all the time por mi esposo y mis hijos. But Billy there has told me by signs and words that he wants to go to my people also. He wants to take me to my family and all my relations.

Coho Smith puts down his knife and fork and looks at them, realizing: So this is their plan. They want him to do something for this lonesome Comanche woman. He sympathizes with her. He's been lonesome a time or two himself.

COHO SMITH

Billy, do you want to go to the Comanches?

BILLY

Yes, I do, and that's why I sent for you. I want you to guide and interpret for us. I'll pay you as best I can, whatever price you set. I've got to get out of here before they draft me into the army again. I want you to take me and Cynthia Ann to the Comanches. I can stay with them until this awful war is over.

CYNTHIA ANN

(In Comanche, with English V.O.)

Oh, yes. That's our plan. You will take us, won't you?

COHO SMITH

But ma'am, the Texas legislature has granted you a league of land. You can't just walk away from that.

CYNTHIA ANN

Oh, that. It means nothing to me. You can have it. I'll give it to you if you help us.

COHO SMITH

Well, that'd make me mighty happy, except if I was to take you to the Comanches, I could never come back to Texas. They wouldn't let me in, and then even a league of land wouldn't do me any good.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Hugging his arm)

You could sell it and buy a piece of land somewhere else.

COHO SMITH

And you ain't got no horses. That pony I got ain't fit to go on a journey to the upper branches of the Arkansas River.

CYNTHIA ANN

Horses! That is nothing! There are some first rate horses running here. Every day, they lick salt out there by the gate. Just let me get my hand on their mane, and they are mine. Don't hesitate a moment about horses. Oh, I tell you, my heart is crying all the time for my two sons, mi corazón está llorando todo el tiempo por mis dos hijos.

(Grips his arm even tighter)

Please, please. You will take us to the Comanches, won't you? You'll be well paid, and it's not far. You can do it. Tu puedes. Please say you'll do it

COHO SMITH

Well, you know, I just married a nice young woman. What would she say if I left her?

CYNTHIA ANN

That doesn't matter. Only take me to my people and they will give you as many wives as you want. Our people are not like the white man. They take as many wives as they wish.

COHO SMITH

But I like this one.

CYNTHIA ANN

You can take her with you. And you can learn to like as many as you wish. She'll like having other wives to help with the work.

Coho Smith looks around. This woman is sure insistent. How in the world is he going to get out of this?

COHO SMITH

Why don't just you and your cousin go?

CYNTHIA ANN

Billy doesn't know anything about Indians. We might start, and, when we got up in the Indian country, we might be staking out a horse or getting wood, and he would be killed by Tonkawa, and I would be made a slave, and I would never get to see my boys nor my people, never.

COHO SMITH

You'd be alright. Ain't nobody out there now but Comanches. All the others have been put on reservations, or they moved on out to New Mexico.

CYNTHIA ANN

You don't understand. I'm not sure I could find my way. They've turned me around so many times, I'm lost before I start.

COHO SMITH

Jist get going in the right direction, and you'll find your way.

CYNTHIA ANN

Maybe. We could go first to the Pease River, and then from there to Prairie Dog Fork. But I could not go alone. Billy can't hunt with a crutch, and I couldn't hunt game like a man to feed us. You must go. Say yes, and I'll give you par-lin pe-ah-et, par-lin tehe-yah, par-lin esposas, [ten guns, ten horses, ten wives.] My people will be so glad if you bring me to them, they will give you anything I would ask.

BILLY

Here, Mr. Smith. Have another sip of my whiskey.

COHO SMITH

(sipping)

That's good stuff, Parker.

BILLY

Is it? I never know if I'm doing it right or not.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Irritated with the delay)

¿Cuándo vamanos a la Comanchería? [When can we start for the high plains?]

COHO SMITH

(eyeing her over the rim of the tin cup)

I don't know. I'd have to arrange my other affairs. Make time in my schedule.

(He takes another sip of the whiskey)

I'll have to let you know.

CYNTHIA ANN

My heart cries all the time for mis hijos.

COHO SMITH

Well, I'll have to think about it.

EXT. BILLY'S STILL. DAY.

Billy and Coho Smith loading whiskey kegs into Billy's buckboard.

EXT. ROAD. DAY.

The buckboard on a dusty road.

EXT. BEHIND THE FIRST AND LAST CHANCE SALOON. DAY.

Unloading the buckboard at the "First and Last Chance Saloon." On the other side of the street is the Cattleman's Hotel.

EXT. CATTLEMAN'S HOTEL. EVENING.

Billy and Coho Smith, entering the Cattleman's Hotel and getting a room.

INT. ROOM IN CATTLEMAN'S HOTEL. NIGHT.

Billy stands at the foot of a bed, where Coho Smith is lying down.

BILLY

Don't you see? They're trying to kill her.

COHO SMITH

Who? No one's trying to kill her.

BILLY

The family, the neighbors, everyone she meets.

COHO SMITH

Nonsense. She's got every thing she needs: clothes on her back, food on the table, a roof over her head. They's nobody trying to hurt her in any way.

BILLY

Not that way. There's something underneath, that has a mind of his own. Call it a devil or a demon in us. It's different- can be different- from what we think we think. And that demon in us causes things to happen. It's capable of acting, even when we think we hate what it's doing.

COHO SMITH

You're not making sense, Parker. You daft or something?

BILLY

Haven't you ever heard of the better angel in us? Well, we've got a worser devil in us, too. And sometimes, in some cases, that devil is the real us. He takes over and we don't even know it. Don't you see? The devil in the Parkers is trying to kill the spirit of Cynthia Ann.

COHO SMITH

You drinking your own whiskey? Come on, straighten up!

BILLY

And they're doing it deliberately, as if they knew in the tops of their heads just exactly where they were sticking the knife. They're trying to kill her. They don't know it, but they're doing the meanest thing they can to her. That's why you've got to help us. We've got to get out of here, her and me both.

COHO SMITH

Sorry, Parker. I can't do it.

FADE

EXT. AT BILLY PARKER'S. DAY.

The autumn is turning to winter. Billy is walking with only one crutch.

INT. BILLY PARKER'S KITCHEN. DAY.

Cynthia Ann takes a jar off the shelf, pours the peas into a pan, and puts them on the stove to heat.

EXT. OUTSIDE BILLY PARKER'S. DAY.

Billy talking to a couple of men. He is using only a walking cane and getting around much better.

INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

Serena and Cynthia Ann sitting at the kitchen table. Serena is downcast, can only stare at her cup.

EXT. BILLY PARKER'S. DAY.

Cynthia Ann carrying water to the house. A light snow covers the ground.

INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

Cynthia Ann takes a cup of coffee and sits at the table with Serena.

CYNTHIA ANN

Where Billy?

Serena only breaks down crying.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Continuing)

Men take Billy? Some bad men take Billy?

SERENA

(Still crying)

No. No. He's just gone.

CYNTHIA ANN

I lose mi familia, tambien. Bad men take me away.

(She comforts Serena and murmurs)

Lo siento. Lo siento mucho. I so sorry.

Serena smiles weakly and withdraws to the bed to sob.

INT. BEDROOM. DAY.

Cynthia Ann bringing a plate of food to Serena. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne lies on the bed beside Serena and strokes her shoulder.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Don't cry. It will be alright.

EXT. BILLY PARKER'S. DAY.

Cynthia Ann carrying water to the house and entering the kitchen.

INT. KITCHEN. DAY.

Cynthia Ann brings water to Serena. Serena is still withdrawn.

EXT. COMANCHE CAMP. DAY.

Quanah (about 17 now and looks adult) leads a horse. Several teen-aged boys walk along Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River.

FIRST TEEN

But, where would you look?

SECOND TEEN

Yeah, Quanah. You don't know where she is.

THIRD TEEN

Do you seriously think you can find her?

QUANAH

You're right. But I have to look. With Pecos gone-- and Peta Nocona-- I'm all alone. Don't you see? I have to look.

THIRD TEEN

Where will you start?

QUANAH

I thought I'd start near Weatherford.

SECOND TEEN

Yeah. And then what?

QUANAH

You're right. They'd kill me if they saw me. I don't speak the language. I don't know my way around. Everything is against me. But I have to start.

FIRST TEEN

There is such a thing as being hopeless.

QUANAH

Hopeless? Perhaps. But I'm a man now. I have to try.

(Gets on his horse)

No one wants to come with me?

(No one responds)

Well, I'll see you around.

SECOND TEEN

Be careful, Quanah. Don't take chances.

A murmur of assent.

QUANAH

Thanks. You're the only ones who would care. With my Dad gone, my brother gone, my mother captured, my sister captured, I have to go.

FADE

EXT. BILLY PARKER'S. DAY.

Isaac Parker drives up in his buggy. He has a letter for Serena.

ISAAC

It has no return address on it. So I didn't know if it--

SERENA

It's Billy's hand-style! ...

She runs her finger under the sealing wax to rip the letter open. She has read no more than a few lines, before she shrieks with happiness.

... He made it! He got through. He got past the blockade! Everything is okay.

CYNTHIA ANN

No compren-- I no understand.

SERENA

(Crying and hugging Cynthia Ann)

Oh, Cynthia, Cynthia Ann! He's safe! He got through.

She ignores Cynthia Ann and Isaac and reads the rest of the letter.

Cynthia Ann stands back, hanging on to Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, too tightly, until the little girl squirms out of her arms.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

You're squeezing me too tight.

CYNTHIA ANN

Billy no leave? No leave you?

SERENA

Oh, Cynthia, Cynthia! We hired a group of men to smuggle Billy out of the South. They do it as a business, sort of like the Negroes use the underground railroad. They've taken him to Illinois. He's safe, and he has a place for us to live, and he has work. I'm going to him, as soon as I can get a ticket. I'm so happy, I could scream.

CYNTHIA ANN

I happy, too.

And now, there are two of Cynthia Ann, one beside the elated Serena; a semi-transparent Náduah, in her cowrie shell dress, at the kitchen door.

NáUDAH

So you see how foolish you were, letting them capture your heart.

Coho Smith will not come to guide you to the Comanchería.

Billy Parker will not return.

Serena will leave.

You will be alone again.

You will be bundled off to some new unfamiliar place, to be handed over to some insensitive new strangers who will say they love you.

None of your white relatives want you.

CYNTHIA ANN

Why, why won't they let me and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne simply go back to the Comanchería?

NáUDAH

Yes. Why?

DISSOLVE

EXT. ROAD, WITH TREES ALONG THE WAY. DAY.

Isaac Parker driving a buggy along a road. Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne are in the buggy with him.

EXT. THE RUFF O'QUINN HOME. ANOTHER DAY.

They come to the home of Orlena, whose husband, Ruff O'Quinn, has a farm on Slater Creek in Anderson County, a few miles south-east of Palestine, Texas. Ruff and Orlena meet them.

ORLENA

(laces her arms across her chest)

Silas is her guardian. Amelia got the Legislature to appoint him. Let him take care of her.

ISAAC

We tried that. Amelia couldn't seem to get along with her.

ORLENA

Yeah, I heard from Amelia how it was. It's not like we don't ever see each other, you know. Silas and Amelia only live about thirty miles from here. She said that woman is too much trouble.

RUFF

Why don't we let her go back to the savages?

ISAAC

I'd rather see her dead, than let her be an Indian. Any Texan would rather see her dead.

ORLENA

I don't know her. She's nothing to me.

ISAAC

She's your sister! All the rest of the family have taken a turn at trying to make a go of it. Now, it's your turn.

ORLENA

I don't even remember when she was taken from us. And now, twenty-five years later, she wants to be a sister. I don't have any feeling for her. She's no sister of mine.

ISAAC

She's been through unimaginable tortures out there among the savages. It's our duty to help her readjust and recover.

ORLENA

It's good that you have come here to tell me what to do, Uncle Isaac.

(Beat)

I mean, it's good of you to remind us of our Christian duty. We have a tendency to forget, or get so wound up in our own affairs that we need good family leaders like you and Uncle James to remind us of our ethical and moral duties.

Transition to:

INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT.

Orlena and Ruff sit at table.

ORLENA

We may have to take her and the baby in, but that don't mean I have to have anything to do with her.

RUFF

At least, they say she hasn't been trying to run away, lately. That ought to make it a little easier.

EXT. PORCH. DAY.

A Sunday. Cynthia Ann sits in the porch swing, very dejected, holding Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne, now four years old, close in her lap. Orlena is dressed for church.

ORLENA

(lifting Cynthia Ann's chin)

She's got to go to Sunday School. Aren't you concerned for her soul?

CYNTHIA ANN

(pulling Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne closer)

No. No. I--

Semi-transparent, her other self is present:

NáUDAH

Tell her that you can take care of your baby's religious instruction. Oh, I see. You don't even know the word for teach. Nor for religion.

Orlena standing straight and clasping her hands in front of her church dress.

ORLENA

We can't let her grow up in perdition and sin.

(She turns to Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne)

Don't you want to go to Sunday School, Topsannah? And look at the pretty picture books? And learn about Jesus?

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne nods and squirms to get down from her mother's knee.

ORLENA

See? She's got better sense than you have, Cynthia Ann. Come along, dear. I'll help you get dressed.

(Looking back at Cynthia Ann)

You'd better come along, too, Cynthia Ann. No sense in staying cooped up here all the time. You need to get to know other people.

EXT. AT THE CHURCH. DAY.

Service is just ending. Dozens of people standing around, just waiting to meet the strangers. Ruff and Orlena introduce Cynthia Ann and Topsannah to them all. Cynthia Ann always looks down quickly whenever anyone looks her straight in the eye. One young couple seems more interested than the rest. They are T.J. CATES and his wife, FRANCES.

T. J. CATES

Jist call me T.J. Don't call me Tom, and don't call me Jeff; T.J. will do nicely.

FRANCES CATES

(Taking the child into her arms)

And is this little Topsannah? How old are you now, dear?

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(Holding up three fingers)

Four. Wanta see me dance?

FRANCES

Why, sure.

She puts the child on the ground. She begins whirling, chanting a little rime:

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

I'm a little Injun, Whoop, Whoop!

I can run and I can dance...

FRANCES

(Hastily picking the child up)

Oh! Maybe we'd better not do that one, now. Maybe later.

(To Orlena)

Wherever did she learn such a vulgar thing as that?

ORLENA

(Straightening up and pulling back)

Don't ask me. I'm not responsible.

T. J. CATES

She's certainly a bright little girl. You must be very proud of her.

Cynthia Ann can only smile and look down. Her semi-transparent other self is present:

NáUDAH

Why don't you tell him that, yes, you are proud of a daughter that learns rapidly; and, no, you are repelled by what the child is learning.

EXT. PASTURE. DAY.

Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne walk in the pasture, near the O'Quinn's house.

CYNTHIA ANN

Your father is Peta Nocona. He is leader of a band called the Noconi, the Wanderers. They are part of a group called Quahada, The Antelope. Do you know what an antelope is? He's an animal about this high

(he makes a gesture)

and he runs around on the open prairie. He can run very fast, and bounce and jump even more than you can. When you meet one of them, he stops, lifts his head, and looks at you. His horns curl like this:

She curls her forefingers above her head to imitate prong horns.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne giggles and puts her fingers up to become an antelope also.

CYNTHIA ANN

That's right. When they see a person, they bounce away, like this:

(hops imitating antelope)

But they're so curious. They don't know what's good for them. They have to stop and look at you. ...

She turns, fingers still up as prong horns, imitating an antelope investigating the approaching hunter

... If the hunter makes a big motion to scare them, they will run, of course. Or if the hunter just stands still, the antelope will get bored and bounce away, showing his big white rump. They've got big patches of white hair on their backsides ...

She bends over, rubbing her hands along her buttocks, to draw the white patches of an antelope:

... and they bounce away, showing the hunter their white rumps.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne bounces away also, in imitation of her mother.

CYNTHIA ANN

So the hunter has to do something to make the antelope curious. Flashing a mirror is good. The old antelope sees the flash and says to himself, 'Now, what in the world could that be? I'll just have to get a little closer look.' So he walks slowly, creeps, toward the hunter

(she creeps toward Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne)

and, all the time, he's saying to himself, 'I'm about to get into trouble. My curiosity is about to get me in trouble. I'd better run away.' So, he'll run back, just a little way. But his interest won't let him run very far.

Toh-Tsee-Ah giggles as Cynthia Ann acts out the part of the antelope.

CYNTHIA ANN

So he comes right back. He comes right up close, to see what all that activity is. Then the hunter draws his bow

(she straightens up to became the hunter)

and, thunk, the arrow finds its mark, and we all have food to eat tonight.

She folds her arms and drops the pantomime. She stands dead still, tears forming in her eyes.

FLASHBACK:

Peta Nocona handing her the fire opal, he had brought back from Santa Fe

BACK TO SCENE:

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(Jumping up and down)

Then what?

CYNTHIA ANN

(Pulling her consciousness back)

Oh, we'll cut some of the meat in strips and dry-roast it for later. We'll hang some on sharp sticks before a fire and let them cook. Oh, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne,

(suddenly sitting in the grass and drawing her daughter to her)

I want to be there; the need sits in my chest like a big wolf who is eating my heart away. I want to be there on the prairie ... and hunt the antelope ... and cook ...

Her voice trails off. Her eyes lose their focus. Tears roll down her face.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(hugging her mother and beginning to cry with her)

Toquet, pia. Ka Taikay. It will be all right, mother. Don't cry.

But Cynthia Ann is not responding. Her semi-transparent other self is present:

NáUDAH

That's the trouble. It won't be all right. They will keep us here, in these stupid clothes, and we will go to their church, and they will never let us go back to the Comanches where all is right.

CYNTHIA ANN

It won't be all right, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. It won't be all right.

EXT. ROAD. DAY.

in autumn. A democrat buggy (two-seated) pulls into the yard of Orlena and Ruff O'Quinn. T.J. and Frances Cates get out.

T.J. CATES

We thought it would be nice to take Cynthia Ann and Topsannah for a drive in the countryside. The fall colors are so nice now.

ORLENA

That's good. It'll be good for both them and us to look at something besides each other's ugly faces for a while.

She reaches up and brushes her hair with the palm of her hand, an indication that she certainly doesn't consider herself ugly.

EXT. A LANE ALONGSIDE A RIVER. DAY.

T.J. Cates is driving the democrat buggy. Cynthia Ann sits beside him, Frances Cates and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne are in back, playing the pat-a-cake hand game.

T.J.

Ruff's sawmill is not far from here, Cynthia Ann.

Cynthia Ann does not respond.

T.J.

You know. Sawmill. You understand sawmill?

CYNTHIA ANN

Make sticks. Make house.

T.J.

That's it.

CYNTHIA ANN

Not see.

(She makes a gesture around, taking in the many trees.)

No puedo ver. Muchos, muchos arboles.

Continue in Comanche, which Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne will translate

T.J.

What's she saying, Topsannah?

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Too many trees. She can't see. She is afraid. An enemy could shoot us.

T.J.

What does she want? An open prairie?

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Yes. She wants someone to guide us to the open prairie.

T.J.

Maybe. Maybe later. The war has things pretty well shut down right now. But maybe later. Besides, the Comanches are on the war path again.

CYNTHIA ANN

Comanche ... war?

T.J.

I'll say they do! Not a moment's slack. Can't say as I blame them. So many white people moving into their territory.... If it was me, I might feel like I had to fight, too.

CYNTHIA ANN

Quahada fight?

FRANCES

(In the back seat, playing with Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne)

There was an old woman,

Who lived in a shoe

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne is delighted

CYNTHIA ANN

Comanche fights? Quahada war?

T.J.

I don't know any details. All I know is what I read in the papers, and the Yankees don't give us a lot of news about what they're doing.

(Beat)

Course, the Rangers are doing what they can.

CYNTHIA ANN

Rangers bad. Rangers kill people.

T.J.

They do what they can. If we didn't have them, I don't know what would keep the Indians from taking over everything again. I read in the newspaper that the government has moved some of the Comanches to a reservation in Oklahoma. The Confederate government is supposed to give them $25,000 in presents and some sort of annuity, if the Comanches will stop plundering and terrorizing on the Santa Fe Trail.

CYNTHIA ANN

Santa Fe trail? Donde? Where?

T.J.

(Drawing an imaginary map on his knee)

Across Kansas, and a corner of Colorado; then along the Canadian River and across country to Santa Fe. I don't know what they want it for. With the war on so heavy, there aren't many people wanting to go anywhere. In fact, I heard that a lot of settlers are giving up and moving back to civilization.

(Beat)

But I hear they've made a treaty.

CYNTHIA ANN

Treaty? Noconi?

T.J.

No. The newspaper said the Noconis would not sign. They are still running free.

CYNTHIA ANN

Noconi? Run free? I so happy! Es mi gente. Mi pais. Mi Corazón es feliz, muy feliz por los Noconi! Por favór, puedo ir a los Noconi?

EXT. RIVER. DAY.

T.J. stops the democrat buggy, the people get out and walk along the river bank. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne runs ahead, plucks a wild flower, a purple daisy, and comes running back to Frances.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

What is this one?

FRANCES

Why that one is a daisy, I believe. Can you say 'Daisy'?

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(In sing-song)

Daisy, daisy,

And she is off again, running. Almost at once, she is back with a crooked stick that had been washed bare by the river.

T.J.

That's a piece of driftwood.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Save it for me.

And she is off again. Soon she is back with a colored rock for her mother.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

See, Pia! It's the color of a buffalo!

CYNTHIA ANN

Yes. Color, buffalo, in spring.

EXT. ON O'QUINN'S FRONT PORCH. DAY.

Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne sit in the porch swing at the O'Quinn house and each braid a sisal rope

CYNTHIA ANN

(Comanche with English voice-over)

Long before your grandfather was born on the high prairie, long before even his grandfather was born, Our People lived far to the north, with a people called The Shoshoni.

These are Our People, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. We are strong and proud and--

ORLENA

How many times do we have to tell you, you may not jabber? Besides, Cynthia Ann, you've got to pull your own weight around here. You're not a lady-of-leisure, here. You've got to do some work.

CYNTHIA ANN

(holding up the rope she braids)

I work. I teach Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne work. I teach Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne make rope.

MONTAGE:

Cynthia Ann cutting wood for the stove and fireplace

Cynthia Ann carrying water for the kitchen, two buckets at a time

Cynthia Ann spinning thread and sitting beside a piece of cloth she is weaving.

BACK TO SCENE:

CYNTHIA ANN

You no work. You teach Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne be lazy.

ORLENA

It's good that you have come here to teach me how to live, you barbarian!

She huffs, turns, and leaves.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Comanche with English voice-over)

No one on the high plains would have acted that way, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Among Our People, many important men have two wives, or maybe three or four. Then the first wife has less work to do. The wife gets to lie on a buffalo robe and lose all her muscles.

I have become Orlena's slave, and she doesn't even know it. She is becoming like some termite, eating away inside a log and never doing anything that is good. The birds don't even like the taste of them.



I never let Peta Nocona buy me a slave, because I do not want to become like a termite.

(She lays aside her rope and sits, crying.)

So little, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. It takes so little-- and, flip, I am back in the pit of sorrow. Will I ever see Peta Nocona again? Or Quanah, or Pecos? I can still see them as clearly as before, but they seem farther away. They almost seem to have been transported beyond the sunset.

Tears ran down her face.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Don't cry, Momma. Please don't cry. It makes me sad to see you cry.

EXT. O'QUINN HOUSE. DAY.

One Sunday, T.J. and Frances arrive in their democrat buggy. Tethered behind it is a pony hardly higher than a man's waist. On it is a child's saddle, with short stirrups.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Ride! I want to ride!

T.J.

Why, sure. That's what we brought the pony for.

T.J. puts Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne in the saddle and leads the pony around the yard, holding her close to catch her if she slips or falls.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Momma! Pia! Look at me. I ride the horsey.

CYNTHIA ANN

Good. When I little. I ride, too.

FRANCES

And we've brought her a pair of little cowboy boots. Let's see if they fit.

They put the boots on her. They fit perfectly. She kicks the pony with her little boot heels and wants to go faster. T.J. jogs around and around the house, so the pony trots. He watches Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne closely, to catch her if she slips or falls, but she already has a good sense of balance on a horse. They come back to the porch, T.J. sweating with the effort.

T.J.

(Ripping off his coat)

Whoooo! I've got to take a little rest.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(Kicking the pony again)

I want to ride. I want to go.

T.J.

She acts like she was born on a horse. She'll make some chap a real sweetheart.

RUFF O'QUINN

(Who is watching)

Ain't that the truth. She's a real Texian.

FRANCES

I'll lead him around the house a time or two, but I'm not going to trot. Come on, Tecks-Ann, and we'll have a little fun. I'm going to call you Tecks-Ann, because you're a little Texian. Won't that be fun?

Tecks-Ann nods her agreement.

EXT. WOODED ROAD. DAY.

Another Sunday, T.J. and Frances Cates have taken Cynthia Ann and Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne on a horseback ride. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne sits in the saddle in front of T.J., his arms around her loosely. Frances carries a big picnic basket.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Go fast! Go fast!

T.J.

Is that okay, Cynthia Ann? Shall we gallop some?

For answer, Cynthia Ann kicks her horse to make him gallop.

EXT. PICNIC SPOT BY RIVER. DAY.

They stop at a picnic spot by the river.

CYNTHIA ANN

Good! Good feel ... wind in face. Good feel legs horse. Even poor horse.

T.J. removes a blanket from behind his saddle and spreads it for a picnic. Frances lays out the food.

FRANCES

(To Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne)

Show your mother how you can sing that nursery rhyme we taught you.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne doesn't remember

FRANCES

(Continuing)

You know. "Jack Spratt..."

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(with a piece of fried chicken in her hand)

Jack Spratt could eat no fat;

His wife could eat no lean.

So betwixt and between them both,

They licked the platter clean.

T.J. punches her round little belly to tickle her and make her giggle.

FRANCES

And we taught her to sing "Dixie." Can you sing "Dixie," Tecks-Ann?

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne doesn't remember.

FRANCES

(Singing to prompt her)

Oh, I wish I were in the land of cotton...

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne will not sing.

FRANCES

Can't you sing it, dear?

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

(Shaking her head)

Momma doesn't like that one.

She runs down to the edge of the water and picks up a stick, throws it, picks up a rock and throws it in the water.

FRANCES

She's such a lovely child!

T.J.

We also taught her to give the Rebel Cry when she's chasing the geese in our pasture at home.

Cynthia Ann is unable to respond to this conversation. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne comes back, sits in her mother's lap. She is very sleepy.

CYNTHIA ANN

Tired. Need sleep.

FRANCES

Well, she's only five. Of course, she needs a nap.

T.J.

If you ran off half as much energy as she does, you'd need a nap, too.

FRANCES

She told us the other day that, when she grows up, she wants to be a Texas Ranger.

CYNTHIA ANN

No. No! Rangers kill. Bad. Rangers kill. All my relations. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne ... not Ranger!

INT. A BEDROOM IN THE O'QUINN HOUSE. DAY.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne is in bed with a bad cold.

ORLENA

That's what you get for letting her nap without a sheet. I always say, don't come in hot and sweaty from a hot day-- or a lot of play-- and lay down in a draft. You'll catch a cold ever time.

CYNTHIA ANN

(hand on Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's brow)

Hot. Mucho caliente.

ORLENA

You mean she's got a fever?

CYNTHIA ANN

Sí. Infermo. Need medicine.

ORLENA

It's probably 'La Grippe.' Some kids at church had the flu.

CYNTHIA ANN

Bad?

ORLENA

Yes. It's bad. It can develop into pneumonia. I'll get a hot rag to put on her head.

Orlena goes out to the kitchen; returns momentarily.

ORLENA

Here. Bathe her forehead with this. Keep it as hot as you can.

CYNTHIA ANN

Thank. I thank.

ORLENA

(puts her hand across Cynthia Ann's shoulder in a little hug)

I'll fix her a toddy. That's supposed to sweat out the fever.



INT. SAME BED IN SAME BEDROOM. ANOTHER DAY.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne lies in bed, her face flushed and puffed.

ORLENA

(her hand on the child's brow)

She's hot; too hot. I'd better fix her a hot toddy. That seemed to help the other day.

Cynthia Ann tries to soothe Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's forehead with a warm cloth. She can't keep a tear from coming to her own eye.

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Ka taikay, pia. Don't cry, mother.

She turns her face to the wall and closes her eyes.

ORLENA

(Coming back into the room with a steaming glass held in a towel)

Here you go, Little ... one. Drink this right down, and you'll feel better in no time.

She pulls the child upright and holds the glass to her lips.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne turns her face away and refuses to drink.

ORLENA (contd)

Come on, Little Tecks-Ann. Don't you want to get better?

Still, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne will not drink.

ORLENA (contd)

Here, Cynthia Ann. You'd better take the glass. Maybe she'll take her medicine from you.

Cynthia Ann, eyes glistening with tears about to fall, holds the hot glass to Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's lips. The child takes a sip, then makes a face at the bad taste and whispers

TOH-TSEE-AH-NE

Too hot.

ORLENA

That's what does the good. Drives the fever out. Now, drink it all down, like a good girl. And pile on the quilts when she lies down, to make her sweat all the more.

CYNTHIA ANN

Too hot? Mucho, mucho quilts?

ORLENA

That's what does the good. You've got to sweat the fever out.

When the glass has cooled a little, Cynthia Ann holds the glass to Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's lips again, and the child drinks.

ORLENA

That's a good girl. Now, cover up real good and sweat it out.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne sits up straight in the bed, begins to murmur something, and vomits at once.

ORLENA

Oh! Piffle! Now, we'll have to change the bed.

Orlena dabs at the spume with the towel she holds. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne lies back and turns her head away.

ORLENA

Maybe I made it too strong.



INT. SAME BEDROOM, DIFFERENT QUILTS. DAY.

T. J. and Frances Cates visit. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne twists and turns, making the bed into a mess.

CYNTHIA ANN

She not get better.

T.J.

Come on, Little Tecks-Ann. You gotta get well.

CYNTHIA ANN

Need medicine woman. With Puha. With medicine power.

FRANCES

Come on, Little Tecks-Ann. How you gonna become a Texas Ranger, if you don't get over this?

CYNTHIA ANN

Need medicine man. You go, get shaman? Get Comanche shaman?

T.J.

Oh, I'm sorry, Cynthia Ann. I'd really like to, but it's too far away, and there are still too many raids out there. The Comanches are on the war-path again. The agency at Fort Cobb couldn't make good on their promises to the Indians; so the Indians are mad again.

FRANCES

She's such a sweet child.

T.J.

Give her some quinine tablets. That's supposed to bring the fever down.

FRANCES

Such a sweet child. Our neighbors have noticed that she speaks English more than Comanche nowadays.



INT. SAME DISHEVELED BED. ANOTHER DAY, EARLY MORNING.

Cynthia Ann, lies on the bed with Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. When she awakes, she knows immediately that something is wrong. She touches Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's arm, then picks it up. It is limp and cold.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Screaming in Comanche)

No! No! Wake up! Wake up!

She shakes the child by the shoulders; they are cold. She pushes the child's cheeks, slaps her face gently, lifts one eye-lid as if she could help the child come back to consciousness.

CYNTHIA ANN

Come on, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Wake up! Wake up!

There is nothing she can do. She holds the limp body of her daughter to her breast and weeps.

CYNTHIA ANN

Aaaiiieeeee, don't leave me, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Don't leave me! Wake up, now. Wake up; the game is over. Wake up and we'll laugh.

But though she holds the little body erect, no life is in it to hold it straight.

CYNTHIA ANN

No. No. No. No. No. This isn't happening. I'll wake up, and it won't be happening. It's a trick my mind is playing on me.

Orlena and Ruff come in.

ORLENA

Oh, Cynthia, I'm so sorry.

And she reaches to comfort Cynthia Ann with an arm across the shoulder.

CYNTHIA ANN

No! It nothing. She is play game. She not dead.

Ruff reaches to take the child's body, but Cynthia Ann turns her back, refusing to let him touch the child.

CYNTHIA ANN

(In Comanche, with voice-over translation)

She's mine! You can't have her. She's mine. No es una Tejana.

Cynthia Ann runs with the child in her arms through the door into another room and slams the door.

INT. ANOTHER ROOM. DAY.

The little body draped across her arms.

EXT. PORCH. DAY.

Cynthia Ann goes out on the porch and lays Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne's body in the porch swing, then kneels on the porch floor, leaning over the child. She listens at the little chest, but hears nothing. She beats on it gently, afraid she will hurt her daughter and make her cry.

Cynthia Ann beats her forehead against the porch swing and makes it bleed. The blood drips on the child's chest and shoulder. Immediately, Cynthia Ann rubs the blood as if she could rub its life back into the child.

CYNTHIA ANN

(In Comanche, with voice-over translation)

You'll be well. This blood will make you warm. I'll give you my blood. I'll give you all of my blood. You'll stand up, and run, and play. You can even be a Texas Ranger if you want to. Oh, don't leave me, Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. Don't leave me.

ORLENA

(Coming out of house)

Look what a mess you've made. We'll have to clean her up before we can bury her. Let me take her in the house and wash her.

CYNTHIA ANN

No! No take. My baby.

Orlena stands for a while, her hands on her hips, then leaves.

The little body is getting stiff. Cynthia Ann molds it into a sitting position in the swing, and, when she releases her grip, the body stays. She looks like a child, waiting to be entertained.

Cynthia Ann claps her hands and chants:

CYNTHIA ANN

I'm a little Tecks-Ann,

See me run...

But the child will not dance. Cynthia Ann lays her head in the child's lap and cries. The tears wet the little girl's legs and night-gown.

CYNTHIA ANN

What I do without you? Whatever become of me?

She cries until she can cry no more and the sun has moved half way across the sky.

EXT. PORCH. EVENING.

RUFF

Look, Cynthia Ann. T.J. and I made a little casket.

T.J.

Won't you let us wash her and lay her out?

CYNTHIA ANN

(pulls the body closer and turns away)

No. No. Not bury.

RUFF

That's not very nice to her. You've got to lay her to rest.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Wails and releases the body)

You right. Not bury, soul not rest. Soul walk around, crying. I selfish to hold soul prisoner.

EXT. AT ASBURY GRAVEYARD. DAY.

Eight miles south of Ben Wheeler, Texas. Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne is clothed in a ruffled party dress and the patent leather shoes, and she is arranged her in the coffin, as if she were only sleeping.

Ruff and Orlena O'Quinn; T.J. and Frances Cates; a few other couples from church; and Cynthia Ann. The men carry the little casket.

At the graveside, Cynthia Ann feels detached from her own body; there are two of her. Her mind (Náudah, wearing the cowrie-shell dress) stands over there, by a cypress tree, and watches her body. The body makes motions, but they are baffling to her. She sees the men slide straps under the little coffin and lower it into the hole.

She feels herself lurch when the coffin lurches.

The grave is as large as Palo Duro Canyon, its sides straight up, like the cliffs at the Cap Rock. The sky whirls above it, tipping on its edge and flowing down the sides of the grave to form a puddle at the bottom, like a river of tears as big as Prairie Dog Fork. A fever burns in her mind like a hundred campfires. Náudah watches as her body collapses in a faint. Too much. The heart surrenders. Unconsciousness is the only balm.

EXT. ROAD. DAY.

Quanah, alone, rides slowly. He wears old, "white-man" clothes, a ribbon-shirt, nothing in his hair, and beaded moccasins. His horse and tack look like Indian items, disguised to look like "white."

He approaches Weatherford, TX. He sees four men on horses approaching. At first, he is afraid of detection. Decides he'll chance it.

The men pass him by. They are so busy, talking to each other, they hardly notice him.

FIRST MAN

Howdy!

QUANAH

Ummm...

SECOND MAN

Hello.

EXT. THE EDGE OF TOWN. NIGHT.

Quanah looks in windows. Sees nothing.

He goes farther into town, looking back to see if anyone sees him. He creeps up to a window, peeks in. A couple sit in their living room, the man reading, the woman darning a sock.

He backs down, walks along the street. He see a saloon, goes up close to the door to look in.

INT. THE SALOON. NIGHT.

There is a great deal of revelry in the saloon. Many people wear items of Indian gear-- moccasins, shirts, or bead-work jewelry.

EXT. THE SALOON. NIGHT.

A man comes up behind Quanah.

MAN

Well, are you going in? Or are you going to stand here in the way?

Quanah is frightened by the man, backs up and stumbles over a chair, gets up and runs into the night.

The man laughs.

FADE

EXT. A SANDY PLACE NEAR THE CREEK. DAY.

Cynthia Ann thinks she is alone, but T.J. Cates is watching. She smoothes off a place in the sand and draws a circle of the universe with a crossroads of the four directions in it.

At the north end, she places a dull fieldstone.

At the south end, she lays two twigs which she had tied in a cross to represent the Christopher medal Peta Nocona had once brought her from Santa Fe.

She stares long at the eastern fork of the diagram on the ground. She sees nothing in her future but tears and sorrow.

Cynthia Ann feels the grief in her grow and she cries in great sobs. She catches the tears in her hands and sprinkles them on the eastern part of the circle.

She has less trouble with the western fork. She takes the butcher knife she had brought with her and hacks off her hair, as short as she can cut it, and piles it in the west.

She looks around for some of the sky-people to participate in her ceremony of sorrow. It is mid-December; they have all gone somewhere.

Nor does she see any squirrels to carry messages, no bugs, no snakes, no creepers. Nor were there any of the burrowing people out. The place is deserted.

Still, she whittles shavings and lights a small fire in the center of the circle. She feeds it with little sticks, then bigger ones, until she can feel its warmth.

She opens her dress, takes the butcher knife, and hacks at her chest. She catches the drops of blood in her hands and sprinkles them on the fire. They sputter. She hacks diagonal gashes among the scars on her forearms and holds them over the fire so the blood falls into the flames. It turns to smoke and goes up, up into the All-Spirit.

She takes from a pocket a corn-cob pipe that belonged to Ruff O'Quinn and stuffs it with the tobacco she had saved when the men threw away their cigarette butts. She lights the pipe with a bloody stick and puffs smoke in the six directions, sing-song chanting:

CYNTHIA ANN

Your universe is dead, Great Spirit.

It shines no more with beauty, dignity, and grace.

Your Sacred Smoke is absent from the Universe:

Still-She-Mourns has become She-Has-No-Name.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. RUFF O'QUINN'S SAWMILL. DAY.

Near the river, Ruff and Orlena O'Quinn deliver Cynthia Ann to a board and batten cabin. Though small for a family that might work at the sawmill, it is spacious for one person.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY.

It has a pine table with three chairs, an old bed in one corner, an oak chest of drawers beside it, small windows in three walls, and a homemade door in the fourth.

ORLENA

You're so gloomy. You turn everybody's disposition sour. So you can just live alone out here.

Orlena leads Cynthia Ann into the room and shows her the flat-topped cast-iron stove for warmth and cooking, with a bare metal flue going up through the ceiling and roof.

ORLENA

You do know how to make a fire in a stove, don't you?

Cynthia Ann nods absently.

Well, that's good. We never seem to know what you know and don't know.

Orlena returns to the buggy to get more supplies.

The stove seems to grow larger, looming up to bend over Cynthia Ann, so she puts a hand on it to hold it off and protect herself. It burns her hand slightly, taking her breath, smothering her. She begins breathing too fast; she can't seem to take a deep breath. They-- who are they?-- are trying to get her, capture her, take her away? She jumps to run.

Ruff and Orlena came back with coffee, sweets, bacon.

ORLENA

What's wrong, Cynthia Ann? You're white as a ghost. Are you okay?

Cynthia Ann's POV. Orlena emerges from a cloud of nothingness in the middle of the room. She is coming toward Cynthia Ann.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Jumping back)

No me mate. No me mate, por favór.

ORLENA

Silly, no one's trying to kill you. We've just brought you some things to eat.

(She turns to go out)

I'll go get Wilma.

Ruff puts his hand into a paper sack and comes out with a sweet.

RUFF

Here, have a piece of candy.

Cynthia Ann's POV: She allows him to come into focus. She tries to smile at him, but the smile is caught in a tic at the edge of her cheek.

CYNTHIA ANN

Thank. I thank.

Orlena returns with a middle-aged woman.

ORLENA

This is WILMA PAGITT. Her husband, JOE, is one of the sawyers. She'll help you, when we're not around.

Cynthia Ann's POV: She tries to look at the woman, but the woman's face and arms dissolve in a dark shadow.

WILMA

Hello, dear. We'll get along just fine. We're going to be the best of friends.

Cynthia Ann's POV: Wilma comes into focus. She is a friendly person. Cynthia Ann manages a smile.

ORLENA

Now, that's better. Here, Wilma will fix you something to eat. Would you like some bacon and eggs?

MONTAGE:

A series of small scenes: There are two Cynthia Ann's again. One, semi-transparent Náudah, wearing the cowrie-shell dress, is in control, watching the other one. The dissociated Cynthia Ann wanders around the room, unable to make sense of things. When Wilma has cooked bacon, eggs, and coffee, Náudah stands by the door and watches as Ruff leads the body of the dissociated Cynthia Ann to the table and helps it sit in a pine chair.

First Orlena, and then the faceless woman, pick up bits of the food on a fork and put them in the mouth of the dissociated Cynthia Ann. Without interest, Náudah watches the mouth chew the food.

WILMA

Look, we've only got three bites to go.

(She touches the gashes on Cynthia Ann's arms)

We've got to do something about those nasty cuts, too. How in the world did you get them?

ORLENA

(Turning away and sobbing)

My own sister. My own sister.

RUFF

There's nothing we can do. Except comfort ourselves that we know she's in good hands here at the mill.

WILMA

We'll all do the best we can.

MONTAGE:

series of scenes (continuing): Wilma putting Cynthia Ann to bed.

Cynthia Ann's POV: Wilma putting food in her mouth.

Wilma washing and combing Cynthia Ann's jagged hair.

Cynthia Ann's POV: A woman leans forward in front of her, the one with the dirty teeth, washing Cynthia Ann's arms with a wash cloth.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S ROOM. DAY.

Wilma offering a glass of milk.

WILMA

Come on, dear, and drink this milk. Maybe it'll help you get some sleep. Lord knows, you need it.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Hesitantly, points to Wilma, then to herself)

You. Me. ¿Amigos?

WILMA

That's for sure. Amigos. It's sure nice to see you coming around.

Cynthia Ann smiles at Wilma and drinks the warm milk.

EXT. OUTSIDE CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY.

Ruff and Orlena visit the sawmill. Wilma's hand rests on the rounded end of the dash board of their buggy, as if holding it in place. Ruff and Orlena sit in the buggy, ready to return to their home on Slater's Creek.

WILMA

She's getting better. Some days, she almost seems like she's getting well.

ORLENA

Getting well? Has she been sick?

WILMA

Oh, no. Not sick in any way a doctor could treat with a pill or a potion, anyway.

ORLENA

Good! You had me startled there.

WILMA

But she hasn't been right. You know that. There's something that's eating at her, even if it don't show like a sore would.

ORLENA

But she's getting better, you say?

WILMA

Yes. I do believe she's getting better.

Orlena glances at Ruff, a signal that they can start when he is ready.

ORLENA

Well, that's good.

WILMA

She likes to bring one of her kitchen chairs outside and sit in the sun, like a squirrel, soaking up the sun.

ORLENA

I never did understand how she could tolerate the sun so much. And it as hot as it is this summer.

WILMA

Sometimes it helps, and sometimes it don't. Sometimes, she'll seem as normal as every day, and other times, she just don't seem to be there. It's like her mind is off somewheres else.

EXT. SAWMILL. DAY.

On a warm, sunny day of false spring, T.J. and Frances Cates arrive in a hack, with an extra horse in lead. It is a fat, gray, sluggish animal.

T.J.

We thought you might like to ride a little.

FRANCES

And we brought a picnic.

CYNTHIA ANN

Yes. I like.

She runs her hands over the rump and withers of the horse.

EXT. NEAR RIVER. DAY.

At a picnic spot near the river, they build a fire and eat. Cynthia Ann stands in the smoke to "smoke" herself.

FRANCES

You're standing in the smoke, Cynthia Ann. You'll smell like burning wood.

CYNTHIA ANN

Smoke good. Soul clean.

T.J.

Food sure tastes better in the outdoors, doesn't it? Something about the woods and the feeling of freedom gets mixed in with the food and makes it better.

CYNTHIA ANN

Hungry, too. Hungry make better food taste.

FRANCES

That's for sure.

MONTAGE: several small scenes of them eating and drinking coffee. Frances is packing up the picnic.

EXT. RIVER. DAY.

T.J.

I have a proposal for you, Cynthia Ann. So many men are away at the war, that there's a shortage of just about everything, and in every trade. There are several men in town that need some harness mended-- and a couple who want new harness made. Would you be willing to work on their harness?

CYNTHIA ANN

Fix harness?

T.J.

Yes. They'd pay you just like you were a regular tradesman. Standard rates.

CYNTHIA ANN

Pay?

T.J.

Yeah. They'll give you money for the work. It'll be your very own money, and you can use it for whatever purpose you want. Buy whatever you want, if you can find anything to buy.

CYNTHIA ANN

Good. Good ... work.

EXT. AT SAWMILL. DAY.

When they get back to the sawmill, T.J. does not tether the fat gray horse to the hack.

T.J.

We're going to leave this horse for you. You can ride it whenever you feel like it. Getting out in the fresh air a little more will do you good.

Cynthia Ann's mind works over the possibilities. With money, she can buy supplies; with a horse, even a bad horse, she can make her way west and find the Comanchería. It would take some time to get ready, but ...

CYNTHIA ANN

Which way-- Which way-- north?

EXT. TREE-LINED ROAD. NIGHT.

Cynthia Ann tries to escape again. She is confused, can't find her way. There are too many trees. She can't find a way out.

Quanah appears in the lane. He is hesitant, stops his horse, looks and listens. He, too, is bothered by so many trees.

Cynthia Ann goes this way up the lane. She turns back upon herself. She sees Quanah, hesitates. Decides to ride past in silence.

Quanah, too, decides to ride past in silence. They separate, without so much as "unmmm."

Cynthia Ann can't seem to see through the trees. She goes north.

She goes south. Finally, she gives up, weeps, turns back.



EXT. A GARDEN PLOT, DAY.

Wilma and JOE PAGITT come up to Cynthia Ann, who is sitting in the sun in a straight-back chair. Joe leads a horse, who is pulling a garden plow.

JOE

Would you like us to plow up a little garden patch for you?

WILMA

They ain't nothin' quite as encouragin' as watching yer own garden putting out. 'Sides, it'll keep your mind occupied; keep it off of your griefs.

Cynthia Ann does not respond. Joe starts plowing.

WILMA

She's had a big set-back lately. Don't know why. She's jist not all there, like she was for a while.



EXT. NEAR THE GARDEN, DAY, SOME MONTHS LATER.

Much like the last scene, except the garden plants are wilted.

Cynthia Ann sits in her straight-back chair, a fragment of un-mended harness across her lap. She is gazing in the distance at nothing.

T.J.

Looks like the harness mending project isn't working. I guess I'll just return these pieces to the folks that own them.

He picks up the pieces of harness and carries them away.

FADE OUT

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY.

Wilma comes in with a comb and a pair of scissors.

WILMA

It's time we tried to even up your hair a little. Let's go outside, so's we don't have a lot of sweepin' t' do afterwards.

EXT. OUTSIDE CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY.

They move outside and Cynthia Ann sits in her straight-backed chair, near the garden plot, which has not been tilled this year.

MONTAGE: several small scenes. Wilma cutting Cynthia Ann's hair.

Wilma combing her hair.

Wilma cutting some more.

EXT. CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY.

WILMA

There, now. It's still short enough to be a man's haircut, almost, but we c'n call it a new bob. Maybe we'll start a new fashion.

She holds up a mirror for Cynthia Ann to look into.

CYNTHIA ANN

Who? ¿Quién es?

WILMA

Why, that's Cynthia Ann Parker. Don't you even know her?

Cynthia Ann looks at her image. At first, she is worried. Then she gets a wild look. Then her face goes slack. Camera holds on Cynthia Ann's blank face.

WILMA (V.O.)

Oh dear. We're going into another one of your spells.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY.

Ruff and Orlena O'Quinn have come on a visit. Joe and Wilma Pagitt show them around.

ORLENA

Doesn't she know us?

WILMA

Of course, she does. She's jist a little distracted.

JOE

She hasn't been real right, since before the war was over.

ORLENA

Do you think she even realizes that the war is over?

JOE

Not much sign of it.

RUFF

Does she eat right? She's nothing but skin and bones.

WILMA

I get a little bit down her. She won't hardly eat by herself.

ORLENA

She's probably trying to starve herself to death. There ought to be an institution for people like her.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY, 1867.

T.J. and Frances Cates have come for a visit. There are two Cynthia Ann's in the scene-- one is dissociated, the other semi-transparent Náudah, wearing the cowrie-shell dress.

T.J. reads from a newspaper. The dissociated Cynthia Ann sits at the pine table.

T.J.

The Comanche, Kiowa, and Kiowa-Apache have all signed a Treaty at Medicine Lodge Creek.

NáUDAH

(Speaking to the dissociated Cynthia Ann)

You heard that, Cynthia Ann? You should be curious.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Sits up straight and questions)

Who? ¿Quién?

T.J.

(looks at the newspaper again)

The Comanche, Kiowa, and Kiowa-Apache all signed on 21 Oct 1867-- all but the Quahadi and Katsoteka bands of the Comanche. Chief Ten Bears of the Quahadies has taken his people back to Palo Duro Canyon.

The dissociated Cynthia Ann slumps back in the pine chair.

NáUDAH

You know, you were once enthusiastic enough to exclaim, 'Quahada! Es me gente! Palo Duro es mi país!' or 'Ten Bears, Paruacoom, is War Chief now?' Now, you can't remember suitable words to say either.

T.J. shows her the map of the Reservation.

CYNTHIA ANN

(Puts her finger on the map)

Quanah... born ... there.

NáUDAH

The Blue-Coats have made a little island, a part of the prairie around Cache Creek, where Quanah was born...

T.J.

Where the Comanche will be safe from the settlers, the cavalry, and the Texas Rangers. There's going to be peace, at last.

The dissociated Cynthia Ann falls forward onto the pine table. She beats her forehead against the boards until she bleeds. Tears stream from her eyes. She wails and beats the table with her forehead.

T.J.

What are you doing, Cynthia Ann? Stop! You'll hurt yourself.

NáUDAH

Now, all Comanches will sit in houses, just like you do, and stare at walls.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY, 1869

T.J. Cates reads Cynthia Ann the news:

T.J.

The U.S. Government has established Fort Sill on Cache Creek, right next to the Comanche-Kiowa-Apache Reservation in Indian Territory and staffed it with cavalry.

Cynthia Ann frowns at the word.

T.J.

Cavalry. Horse soldiers. You know, they carry their own supplies and ride all over. They're there to protect the Indians from white encroachers and keep them in line.

CYNTHIA ANN

Ride all over? Kill people?

FLASHBACK:

The Texas Ranger skirmish line at the Pease River.

BACK TO SCENE:

CYNTHIA ANN (contd)

Kill women... child... when hunt buffalo. Kill horses. Burn lodges.

T.J.

Oh, no. You've got it all wrong.

Cynthia Ann falls to the floor and weeps, crying the funeral wail.

CYNTHIA ANN

Peta Nocona ... dead by now.

Quanah ... dead.

Or killed in war with whites.

Pecos ... dead.

Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne ... dead.

All my relatives ... The Real People ... nuhrmuhr-ne, dead.

Nothing ... live for.

Tosi-taivo finally win:

I no want return to Comanchería.

Nothing to return to.

Semi-transparent Náudah goes off, walking slowly away into a fog, turning now and then to see if Cynthia Ann is watching. She disappears, at the same time as "just gone to pieces" below.

T.J.

Don't take it so hard, Ma'am. You've still got lots of good friends and relatives that loves you.

T.J. (V.O.)

I don't have any good news to report, Orlena. It's like she's just gone to pieces.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S CABIN. DAY.

Cynthia Ann watches Wilma cut the chicken into little pieces and lift it to Cynthia Ann's mouth with a fork.

She spits the chicken out.

WILMA

Don't do this to yourself, Cynthia Ann. Don't let 'em win.

Cynthia Ann watches the strange woman, who is crying. She can not decipher the woman's words. Her hair has grown long in the six years she has been at the cabin near the sawmill.

WILMA

Well, let's comb your hair. You like it when I comb your hair, don't you? I can tell you're more-- more 'here' while I'm combing your hair.

Cynthia Ann does not respond.

WILMA

You've got to eat more, Cynthia Ann. You're getting down to jist skin and bones. And, I declare, your hair don't look good. It jist ain't healthy. It's missing something.

INT. CYNTHIA'S ROOM. DAY,

Wilma reporting to Orlena. During this report, insert footage of Cynthia Ann doing the things Wilma describes in voice-over

WILMA (V.O.)

She acts like her mind has jist gone blank. Her eyes will follow the edge of the door, up the side, across the lintel. She acts like she's trying to understand the lines on the wall. As if-- If she could understand that, it would clear up a lot of things. She'll stare at her hands for hours, like she don't know what they are. Or like she's wondering why they're there on the ends of her arms.

The other day, I put a nice spoonful of green beans in her mouth. 'Swallow now, Dear,' I said. She tried, but her stomach contracted, her face turned red, and the food came spewing out, all over my arms and the floor. 'Oh, my goodness,' I said. 'Must've been something in that disagreed with you.' I smelled the beans; they seemed all right to me. Then I tasted a bite. 'They seem okay,' I says. 'Let's try another bite.'

INT. ORLENA'S ROOM. DAY.

WILMA

(Continuing)

But her stomach revolted again, and she threw up. 'Well, we'll try again later,' I says. 'Your stomach seems to be upset now.'

But it was the same with fried meat, boiled eggs, baked goods-- ever thing swirled in her mouth and came right back out. It's like her throat will not let them pass.

Sometimes, it seems like someone else is vomiting for her.

ORLENA

And she acts like that don't matter?

WILMA

She acts like nothing matters. She jist looks at the wall, like the only interesting thing in the universe is the line that runs along the edge of a board, then up the door facing. And even that soon loses its interest. She jist fades out, like a lamp that has run out of coal oil and goes dark. Every thing goes blank.

ORLENA

I don't know what to do.

INT. CYNTHIA ANN'S ROOM. DAY.

WILMA (V.O.)

(Continuing)

Next day, I came in with warm bread and peach jam. She's liked things like that real well, has a sweet tooth. 'Fresh from the oven!' I says. 'I thought maybe you'd like some.'

But she jist laid there. Her eyes were watering, not from tears, and her nose was runny. I felt her forehead and she had a high fever. 'Looks like you've caught the flu,' I said. And I tried to get her to eat a few bits of the bread and jam. You know: 'Feed a fever.' But it jist wouldn't go down.

Her bowels have been running yellow and thin. And her vomit is foamy. The fever burns her whole body. I bathe her in cold water to try to bring the fever down. I sent Joe to the store, to see if we can find some lemon drops. Cause I thought she needed a good toddy.

But she vomited that out too. For days, she has been throwing up ever thing we give her, except plain water.

Then she started having paroxysms of coughing and spitting up phlegm. 'And now her lungs are beginning to clog up,' I said to Joe. And Joe said, 'We'd better send word to Mr. and Mrs. O'Quinn.' So that's what we did.

INT. ORLENA'S ROOM. DAY.

ORLENA

You think she could keep a quinine tablet down, if we had any?

WILMA

I don't think so. I don't think she wants to live.

MONTAGE:

A series of small scenes:

Wilma sleeping upright in a pine chair, or resting her head on the table, while Cynthia Ann sleeps.

Joe brings wood and keeps the fire burning.

Wilma rubs Cynthia Ann with menthol and puts camphor in hot water on the stove to make the air contain some relief.

She heats old dish-towels and makes hot mustard plasters.

JOE

It don't look like she's gonna make it.

WILMA

Don't say that. She's getting better. You just can't see that.

But one morning, sometime in the fall of 1870, Wilma awakes in the pine chair to find Cynthia Ann Parker dead.

Wilma lifts Cynthia Ann's arm. It is limp. She feels and listens for a heart-beat. She licks her own hand and holds it in front of Cynthia Ann's mouth. Nothing.

Wilma goes to the door, opens it and yells,

WILMA

Joe! Come quick! Cynthia Ann's dead.

Joe Pagitt comes running in, then stands still. What can he do?

JOE

Don't look like she thrashed around in her death throes, at all. She simply quit living.

Joe Pagitt stands silently at the foot of the bed, while Wilma cries and cries. But Wilma is so exhausted from sitting up with the sick for so many nights, that she soon cries herself to sleep.

INT. BEDROOM AT THE O'QUINN HOUSE ON SLATER CREEK. DAY.

Orlena is sick in bed with pneumonia. Ruff is with her. Wilma is visiting.

WILMA

She died of 'La Grippe,' complicated by pneumonia.

ORLENA

Will you Pagitts go bury her? I'm ill. I can't go to any funeral. Ruff and I will buy a stone later.

RUFF

I'll come out, when the funeral is ready.

ORLENA

So, the poor thing finally managed to starve herself to death, hunh?

RUFF

Looks that way.

INT. AT THE SAWMILL. DAY.

Joe Pagitt builds a plain, pine coffin.

Wilma Pagitt prepares the body for burial. She coils Cynthia Ann's hair into a ball and fixes it in place with two hairpins. Her tears fall on Cynthia Ann's breast.

WILMA

You poor thing. None of them could forgive you for wanting to be with your husband and children-- even if they are Indians.

EXT. AT FOSTER CEMETERY. DAY.

The Cates, the Pagitts, Ruff O'Quinn, and a small party of mourners haul the coffin to the Foster Cemetery, four miles south of Poyner, Texas, near the Anderson-Henderson County line. The men have shaved and washed their faces and water-combed their hair. They wear the dark suits they save for weddings and funerals. The women have put on clean dresses. The men lower the coffin into the ground on ordinary farmyard ropes.

During the following scene, a semi-transparent Náudah walks west. Her family comes to meet her. First is Peta Nocona. They embrace. Then Pecos. Then even Toh-Tsee-Ah-ne. It is a reunion.

JOE (V.O.)

I can't say I take any pleasure in having to do this. At least, her soul ought to be happy. Her bones being properly buried 'n all will let her heart go on to the afterworld and rest.

WILMA (V.O.)

Oh, I don't think so. I think her spirit is going to haunt us for many generations to come.

Náudah and the family begin as transparencies, but become more "solid" as the scene progresses. Finally, Quanah appears, wearing his moccasins, leggings, and ribbon-shirt. They all link arms and look back for a few moments, then disappear over the hill to the west.


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Kicking Horse Casino

A FILM SCRIPT

BY CHARLES BRASHEAR

Logline: Billy Duc-Doc, manager of the Kicking Horse Casino, threatened by a BIA plan to locate a garbage dump on the reservation, by Las Vegas types intent on taking over, and by attitudes in surrounding community, organizes his resistance and a song-and-dance act on the casino stage.

Synopsis:

Billy Duc-Doc barely gets to work one morning, when three goons from Las Vegas invade the casino to beat up people and break up the machines. Billy, his partner, Hokai, and the armed guards challenge the goons and manage to capture them. "You've got to be more careful," says Diane, Billy's secretary, who is in love with Billy.

Billy returns to the day's business. He hires a new dealer, Gary Fitzgerald, who used to come up behind Billy in the hall, tug at his braid, yell "Duck, Duck, Goose," and run away laughing. Billy goes to a tribal council meeting, which makes grants to the local symphony, library, and sister casinos. The day's work involves BIA men, who seek a place to put a garbage dump.

"Do you still sing?" Billy asks Hokai, because he is planning a musical review for the casino restaurant. Billy interviews Karen Fitzgerald for a song-and-dance job and gets Hokai to sing with her.

Billy enlists the town's help in combating the BIA and Las Vegas invasions and faces the opposition in Anglo population. Billy dodges several ambushes by Las Vegas types, negotiates a settlement with BIA, and discovers how to live with the Anglos. Hokai reports that the tribe has bought three city blocks from Ed Fitzgerald, and Billy immediately asks the BIA to take the land in trust (so it can be used like a reservation). The tribe plans to build an Indian Health Center on the site.

Amid celebrations at the casino, Diane is kidnaped by the Las Vegas types. Billy and the guards trace where she is being held, go there and confront them. The police arrive in time to arrest the goon-squad. Billy and Diane, arm in arm, return to the casino restaurant for the closing song: "Indian Love Call" by Hokai and Karen.




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KICKING HORSE CASINO
A FILM SCRIPT

BY CHARLES BRASHEAR


BEGIN TITLES: Kicking Horse Casino

EXT. HIGHWAY -- DAY.

A seven-year-old car moves along a back-road. The dust-plume is visible for miles. It comes to a place where the road is paved.

INT. BILLY'S CAR - MOVING - DAY.

BILLY DUC-DOC is on his way to work. He is 30, dark complected, wears a bolo tie and braids which are bound at the ends by beaded clasps, and a silver inlay watch band. He is obviously Indian, but he looks rather Caucasian, like a young Russell Means.

EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY.

He drives past a sign which is partly obscured by vegetation, but the words "Kumeyaay Indian Reservation" are visible at the bottom.

He drives on, coming to a Casino around a corner. The casino has a seventy-foot tower in front, in which many-colored, thirty-foot neon feathers rotate in a Chief's bonnet, like a windmill. A similarly gaudy neon sign proclaims: "Kicking Horse Casino."

INT. BILLY'S CAR - DAY.

Billy pays no attention to the signs, but drives on around the Casino and parks in the back, in a spot marked:"Reserved for Manager."

He takes out his cell-phone and punches in a number. When the other party answers, he says:

BILLY

Hello, Hokie. Where are you?

INT. ANOTHER ROAD -- HOKAI'S CAR -- DAY.

HOKAI YELLOW-STICK is also 30 and very Indian-looking, with bronze skin, a prominent nose, and braids. He looks like a young Red Cloud-- in a business suit.

HOKAI

Over on Reservation Drive. I'll be

there in a moment.

BILLY (V.O.)

Check.

EXT. HOKAI'S CAR -- DAY.

Hokai, driving a new, expensive car, comes up a rut-strewn road, passes junky tattoo parlors, sex shops, souvenir shops-- the whites' concept of Indian entertainment. He continues toward the Chief's neon feathers, passes some older, junkier houses and some obviously new, tract-type houses.

EXT. BEHIND CASINO -- DAY.

After a moment, Billy gets out of his car and stands on the sidewalk. He looks at the city, which is nearby, across a half-mile no-man's-land of junky shops. The sky is clear, with a few clouds in the west.

Hokai comes to his parking place beside Billy's, marked:"Reserved for Co-manager." He takes a thick briefcase from the front seat, gets out, and goes to meet Billy.

BILLY

You got the papers?

HOKAI

(pats his briefcase)

Sure.

They go on toward the Casino, enter at a back door.

INT. CASINO GAMING ROOM -- DAY.

They go though the gaming room and pass bank after bank of slot machines of several sorts; black-jack tables; craps tables; a poker room. It is a Las-Vegas style casino. They occasionally nod and greet various people who are operating the tables.

ELMER COOPER is a uniformed guard, 52, bulky, like a professional football lineman.

BILLY

Hello, Elmer.

Elmer nods.

HOKAI

Nice dress, MaryJane.

MARYJANE

Hello, Billy.

JOEL BISWICK, a uniformed Caucasian guard, 48, at cashier, a big man, armed with a big pistol.

BILLY

Hello, Joel.

INT. STAIRWAY TO BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

They go through double doors at the side of the cashier's kiosk, and up a stairway, into Billy's office-- a glass-enclosed mezzanine, with a view of the whole gaming floor.

END OF TITLES

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

Billy and Hokai go to a table toward the back of the room and Hokai lays out some papers.

HOKAI

You have to sign these. It's the

offer to buy the Fitzgerald property.

BILLY

How much did we decide to offer?

HOKAI

About ten percent more than market.

BILLY

Ten percent? That's great.

(Signing)

It'll be good to get rid of those

junky tattoo parlors.

HOKAI

Even nicer when we get the Indian

Health Clinic.

BILLY

Yeah. What else?

HOKAI

This application to the Federal

Indian Gaming Commission. The one

that protects us against Las Vegas.

BILLY

(Signing)

Let's hope this works. Las Vegas guys

can be dangerous.

HOKAI

This one to the BIA; we're asking

them to take the Fitzgerald

property in trust.

BILLY

Aren't we getting the wickiup before

the travois?

HOKAI

A little. But they're so slow.

Nothing will happen, till we're

certain.

BILLY

(Signing)

Okay. We'll have a ten-story

building up, before you hear from them.

Hokai gathers up the papers. He starts out. Billy goes with him.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE - STAIRWAY -- DAY.

BILLY

And to think that when you and I

were kids, the people lived ...

FLASHBACK - EXT. -- RESERVATION - DAY.

Kids playing in scene Billy describes. The kids are dressed very raggedly. Billy's and Hokai's voices continue V.O. in flashback.

BILLY (V.O.)

... in unpainted ramshackle huts

and decomposing masonite trailers.

HOKAI (V.O.)

Ah, yes. The life of a happy boy on

the Res: throwin' rocks, hittin' dirt.

BILLY (V.O.)

(faked nostalgia)

And it looked like it would last forever.

BACK TO PRESENT

HOKAI

Well, things change. Thank The

Great Spirit for bingo!

BILLY

The way the casino is taking off,

bingo is going to look piddling in

no time.

DIANE GOING-SHIRT, a nice-looking Chocktaw transplant; 32 years old), Billy's secretary meets them on the stairway. She has a crush on Billy.

DIANE

You're not answering your intercom,

Billy. I can't get in touch. Some suits

just came in.

HOKAI

Las Vegas types?

DIANE

I don't know. Just suits, Billy. You

don't see many in the casino.

BILLY

Thanks, Diane.

Billy and Hokai rush off to see about the suits. Diane is left standing, looking after Billy.

DIANE

Be careful, Billy.

HOKAI

(As they go out)

I'd like to give that chick more than

the time of day. But she only has eyes

for you.

BILLY

Me?

HOKAI

Don't tell me you haven't noticed!

INT. CASINO FLOOR -- DAY.

Billy rushes down stairs and across casino floor, signaling Elmer and Joel to follow.

It's a Las Vegas GOON SQUAD, who carry night sticks, ready to beat up people and smash machines.

BILLY

Elmer! Over here. We need you!

Elmer rushes over, drawing his revolver.

GOON #1 hits one of the door guards with his night stick. The door guard goes down.

Billy grabs Goon #1's night stick. They wrestle with each other.

GOON #2 hits Billy with his night stick, but it's a glancing blow and doesn't knock Billy down.

Billy manages to get #1's night stick in his hands and parries the second attempt from #2.

GOON #3 is wrestling with one of the door guards.

ELMER

That's enough. Quit it. This gun is

loaded.

Goons #1 and #2 start running for the door. The door guards chase after them, tackle them just outside the door. Goon #3 is still wrestling with the door guard, inside.

EXT. IN FRONT OF CASINO -- DAY.

Elmer and Billy run out the front door, in time to help pull the goons to their feet.

BILLY

Arrest them, Elmer.

ELMER

(Pulling out hand-cuffs)

This 'll hold you.

Goon #1 starts to run. Elmer shoots over his head. Goon #1 stops. Holds his hands up in surrender.

Goon #2 sees this and surrenders also.

Elmer is putting hand-cuffs on them, when the door guard who was wrestling with Goon #3 comes out the front door. He's is badly beaten, barely able to walk.

GUARD

He got away.

BILLY

Which way did he run? We'll get him.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE BACK OF THE CASINO -- DAY.

Goon running out back door.

GUARD (V.O.)

Out the back way.

BILLY (V.O.)

He can't get far on the Res. You

two, go this way; the others go

that. Bring him in.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE. LATER SAME DAY.

Billy is questioning one of the three goons, who are hand-cuffed to straight-backed chairs. He looks at the goon's identification cards.

BILLY

This says you live in Las Vegas.

GOON #1

What of it? It's a free country.

BILLY

Who do you work for?

GOON #1

Stone. Oliver Wendell Stone. The

Rock of Nevada.

BILLY

So you were sent here to break up

the place?

GOON #1

We'll turn you into gravel.

GOON #3

Don't say anything.

GOON #1

Don't look in your rear-view mirror. You'll see us coming after you.

INT. ANOTHER PART OF THE ROOM -- DAY.

Hokai is questioning another goon.

HOKAI

This one is from Reno.

GOON #2

Four score and seven years ago...

HOKAI

Who sent you?

GOON #2

... Our forefathers brought forth...

HOKAI

Who hired you?

GOON #2

... Upon this continent, a new nation...

HOKAI

Well, we'll turn you over to the

cops in town. They're not as nice

as our door guards.

GOON #2

... conceived in liberty...

Billy goes to his desk, punches the intercom.

BILLY

Diane, call the town cops. We've got

three guys that need to be on ice.

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO - BILLY'S OFFICE - ANOTHER DAY.

Billy Duc-Doc is working in his office at the Kicking Horse Casino. His secretary, Diane, shows in one of Billy's high school classmates

GARY FITZGERALD is 30 (like Billy and Hokai), handsome, jock, liked by all; he looks like a young Paul Newman. Billy comes energetically from behind his large, walnut desk, and extends his hand to shake.

BILLY

Gary Fitzgerald! I haven't seen you

in--- Come on in. Have a seat.

Billy indicates one of the padded guest chairs, seats himself in the other, not behind the desk. Diane hangs around, close by, until Billy dismisses her.

BILLY

Thanks, Diane. That will be all.

GARY

Jeez, who would've thought it?

Billy Duc-Doc, manager of the

Kicking Horse Casino!

BILLY

(Gesture of dismissal)

Co-manager. I've got a partner. Hokai

Yellow-Stick. You remember him? The one

that sang "Old Man River" at graduation?

GARY

Yeah, that was great, wasn't it?

BILLY

He's our accountant. Does most of

the business and money side; I work

on personnel, advertising, public

relations, things like that.

GARY

(Gesture with both hands)

Hard to grasp. The Kicking Horse

Casino. Where'd you guys get a

name like that?

BILLY

My great-grandfather. The council

thought everybody would recognize

it as a generic Indian name.



GARY

Sort of a brand-name recognition?

Billy gestures vaguely toward the front of the building.

BILLY

Same thing for that windmill of

neon feathers, rotating in the

chief's bonnet out front.

They stand up, go to Billy's mezzanine window. Camera surveys the casino floor; it's still morning, so there aren't many customers.

GARY

Uh-- You guys advertised for black-

jack dealers.

(Returns to guest chair)

BILLY

Yes. We're putting on five new dealers,

this round of expansion. You think

you'd like to try your hand at dealing?

GARY

Yeah, I thought I'd like to give it

a try.

BILLY

I heard you were driving truck for

Simpson's Hauling?

GARY

I worked for them a little over two

years. Made pretty good money, too.

BILLY

Did you get fired or quit?

GARY

I quit.

BILLY

Why?

GARY

Oh, y'know. I was just driving

around. Going nowhere.

BILLY

And you think dealing blackjack is

a job that will go somewhere?

GARY

Hey, Chief, uh-- Billy. I got a wife

and a kid to feed. The Kicking

Horse Casino is the only place in

the county that's hiring people.

He faces Billy, appealing

GARY (CONT'D)

Come on, Billy, gimme a job. For

old time's sake.

BILLY

Okay, I'll give you a job, but not

for old time's sake. Our two

cultures have got to do something

different. Get together, somehow.

GARY

You will?

BILLY

To be truthful, I'll give you a job

because you're a handsome buzzard

with a good line of b.s.

GARY

Auggh-- That's not-

BILLY

(Waves off Gary's protest)

You always were popular with the kind

of people we expect to come in here and

leave seventy-two percent of their money.

Gary is bewildered; has no idea what Billy it talking about.

BILLY (CONT'D)

We can teach you to deal cards, but

we can't teach you to be handsome

and popular.

Billy stands, turns toward the door; Gary stands and does the same.

BILLY (CONT'D)

Report on Monday at 8 o'clock.

You'll get ten days of training, and

we'll put you on the day shift.

GARY

Hey! That'll be great!

BILLY

Commissions aren't as good on days,

because the crowd is mainly Anglo

seniors who want to play bingo.

Billy puts his arm across Gary's shoulder, escorting him out.

INT. STAIRWAY TO BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

BILLY

I'll go out with you and tell the

money people to put you on the payroll.

GARY

You're a buddy.

Billy stops, tugs at the back of Gary's hair.

FLASHBACK; INT. CENTRAL HIGH'S HALLWAY -- DAY.

Young Gary comes up behind young Billy and pulls his braid.

BILLY (V.O.)

Remember how you used to come up

behind me in the hall between

classes, jerk my braid, and yell

'Duck-Duck-Goose'?

GARY (V.O.)

Yeah, I'm sorr--

BILLY (V.O.)

And all those bad jokes in the

locker room about my being a duck-

doctor? And Chief Duck-fucker?

GARY (V.O.)

Kids are crazy. Cruel.

BILLY (V.O.)

Yeah? Well, I guess it couldn't be

helped. Given the situation as it

was then.

BACK TO PRESENT:

GARY

Times change.

BILLY

Seeing you again just made me think

of it. That's all. You just made me

think of it again.

Billy turns back toward his desk, leaving Gary. He punches the intercom.

BILLY (CONT'D)

Diane. Put Gary on the payroll. And

give him a promo paper. Give him an

idea of how we operate in this

world of illusion and deception.

Gary stands a moment, baffled, then shrugs. Diane shows up, to escort him out.

BILLY (CONT'D; V.O.)

Revenge. Ah, revenge!

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

The intercom buzzes. Diane's voice says

DIANE (V.O.)

Billy, some suits just came in.

Billy runs to the mezzanine window, looks.

BILLY

(To intercom)

Call Hokai. And the guard, Diane.

INT. CASINO FLOOR -- DAY.

Billy and Hokai approach the "suits," whose names are JOHN BROWN and VIRGIL BRIGHT.

Billy signals a COUPLE OF PLAIN-CLOTHES GUARDS, who drift along casually, ready but not making any moves.

BILLY

Good morning, gentlemen. What can I

do for you?

JOHN

Nothin. We're jist looking.

HOKAI

Maybe we can show you around?

VIRGIL

Maybe drop a few quarters. Hunh,

John?

JOHN

Shut up, Virgil.

VIRGIL

Just making conversation. We're

from the BIA.

JOHN

(Perturbed that their cover

has been blown.)

Show him your ID, Virgil.

They show their IDs.

JOHN

We're just lookin around.

VIRGIL

We just came to look things over.

JOHN

Shut up, Virgil.

HOKAI

We-- I-- thought you might be from

Las Vegas.

VIRGIL

Washington, DC.

JOHN

You got a lot of land here?

BILLY

You mean, on the Reservation? Not

really. Each time a white man has

found a use for Reservation land,

it has shrunk.

VIRGIL

Shrunk? How could that happen?

BILLY

In the original treaty, we started

with thirty miles, square, but that's

been reduced to less than one.

JOHN

That's not much.

VIRGIL

We're here to find a place to put a

sanitary dump.

JOHN

Shut up, Virgil.

VIRGIL

Well, we are.

Billy and Hokai are non-plussed. Caught totally off-guard.

BILLY and HOKAI

Sanitary dump?

JOHN

Well, the cat is out. The Agency sent

us to locate a site for a Sanitary

Land Fill on this Reservation.

BILLY

Sanitary Land Fill?

VIRGIL

Yeah, a garbage dump.

JOHN

We'll just look around a little.

EXT. IN FRONT OF KICKING HORSE CASINO -- DAY.

They go out the front door, get in their car, and drive away. Billy and Hokai stand, dumbfounded, watching. Diane is standing in the glass mezzanine, watching.

BILLY

Hokai, you follow them. Find out

what they're up to.

He signals one of the guards to go with Hokai. Hokai goes out, gets in the car, and drives away with the guard.

EXT. BACKROAD ON RESERVATION -- DAY.

They pass new tract housing, as well as older, ram-shackled houses and masonite trailers-- some of scenery we saw in the flashback.

EXT. BACK SIDE OF THE RESERVATION -- DAY.

Hokai and the guards come to the back of the reservation on a dirt road and pull up behind the BIA car. They get out. John and Virgil are out of their car, looking around.

VIRGIL

Looks like a garbage dump already.

HOKAI

You can't do this, can you?

JOHN

Ever see anything the BIA wanted

that it couldn't get?

VIRGIL

That's the town over there? In

clear sight?

CAMERA FOLLOWS where he's looking. We are on a slight rise; the town is clearly visible, with its three- and four-story office buildings, a few high-rises, and the junky, tattoo-parlor section. The other way, some Indian houses are nearby.

JOHN

Yeah. Looks pretty close.

HOKAI

Too close.

JOHN

We'll just have to look further.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

A tribal council meeting is under way. Six men, in various stages of Indian dress, sit around the table in Billy's office. Diane, Billy, and Hokai are present.

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN

So? Down to business. We've got to file suit in Federal Court, to keep the BIA out. Billy will take care of the details.

There is a murmur of assent.

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN (CONT'D)

In another matter.... You know how all

the media have been bitchin and moaning

about the city's symphony going broke?

SECOND COUNCIL MEMBER

They say it's all but bankrupt.

BILLY

(whispering to Hokai, putting the

back of his hand to his forehead.)

What? Doesn't the town have culture

enough to support the arts?

HOKAI

(matching Billy's gesture)

Not this week.

THIRD COUNCIL MEMBER

I say we should give them some

money. Can we afford it, Hokai?

HOKAI

We're in pretty good shape, money-

wise. My report is in front of you.

SECOND COUNCIL MEMBER

(Looking at report)

I say, let's give them two hundred

thousand dollars.

FOURTH COUNCIL MEMBER

That's a little steep, isn't it?

SECOND COUNCIL MEMBER

Hell. We've got the cash. This paper

says-- Let's act with a little--

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN

Public service grant? Great for the

tribe's reputation.

THIRD COUNCIL MEMBER

Then, let's give a hundred thousand

to the city library system, to make

some of those repairs that the city

can't, or at least won't, fund.

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN

Any objections?

(He looks around; sees none)

Then, it's settled. Billy, you

coordinate the press releases. Plan

a media campaign.

BILLY

(whispering)

There goes my golf on Thursday! And

my trip to the races.

HOKAI

(whispering)

Be serious for a minute, Goose.

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN

Our sister tribe down the way is

wanting to start a casino. Any

objection?

SECOND COUNCIL MEMBER

They've got the population and the

backing. Why don't we help them a

little? Say, a hundred thousand?

THIRD COUNCIL MEMBER

Your wife's from down there, isn't

she?

SECOND COUNCIL MEMBER

What of it?

THIRD COUNCIL MEMBER

I was just thinking, you ought to

recuse yourself, when things

concerning them come up.

SECOND COUNCIL MEMBER

This is so piddling. I didn't think

it would make any difference.

FOURTH COUNCIL MEMBER

There's not a one of us who doesn't have

a few relatives down there. I say, we

can't avoid it. We've got to help them.

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN

Let's give them seventy-five thou

as seed money.

There is a murmur of assent.

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN (CONT'D)

Anything yet on the Fitzgerald offer?

HOKAI

Not yet. They're studying it.

TRIBAL CHAIRMAN

Well, I guess that pretty well does

it for today.

The meeting breaks up. The council members go out, leaving Billy, Hokai, and Diane.

DIANE

I'll have the minutes printed out

shortly, Billy.

BILLY

Do you ever think of singing again,

Hokai?

Hokai is caught off guard. He had been looking at gaming floor.

HOKAI

What?

BILLY

Singing. Do you ever feel the urge

to sing? You know-- the way you sang

"Old Man River" at graduation.

DIANE

I remember that song. Do you still

sing, Hokai?

HOKAI

Sure. I sing to my bathroom walls

all the time.

HOKAI (CONT'D; Sings)

"When I'm calling you,

oo-oo-ooo, oo-oo-ooo...."

BILLY

You know, Hokie, it's a great day

to be alive!

HOKAI

I thought that was supposed to be

'It's a great day to die!'

DIANE

It is.

BILLY

Five hundred years, and we never

had it a thousandth-part this good.

I'll bet it won't last.

Hokai gathers up the financial reports, makes a stack of them.

HOKAI

You're too pessimistic. Let's dance.

BILLY

Some politician or preacher will find

a way to pop our bubble. 'Indins'

weren't meant to own land that produces

income.

Diane nods her head in agreement.

HOKAI

You're hopeless, Chief. You know that?

BILLY

We need to broaden our economic base,

so that we don't depend entirely on one

thing that can evaporate at any time.

DIANE

(Trying to be helpful)

Buy a farm. Or put in an orchard.

HOKAI

Some of the council are inquiring

into the possibility of buying the

Municipal Bank.

BILLY

(starting to dance)

Hee-yuh, Hey-yahh.

Hokai lays the financial reports on the floor, and the three of them do a little Indian dance around them, singing, "Hey-ya. Hey-Yahh. Hey, Hey, Hey, Hee-yuh, Hey-yahh."

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

Billy picks up his ringing phone:

BILLY

Hello. Kicking Horse Casino.

CARLA FITZGERALD, 55, a stylish Angela Lansbury, Gary's mother, is on the phone in the den of the Fitzgerald home.

INTERCUT telephone conversation.

CARLA

Mr. William Duck Dock, please.

BILLY

This is he.

CARLA

What? Oh. Ah. Excuse me. I just didn't

expect you to answer your own phone.

BILLY

Diane is out of the office.

CARLA

This is Carla Fitzgerald.

BILLY

Hello, Mrs. Fitzgerald. Long time,

no see.

CARLA

Actually, I've seen you. Off in the

distance. Out at the casino

restaurant. You always seem so busy.

BILLY

Well, we busy bees think we have to make

honey while the grasshoppers fiddle.

CARLA

Speaking of money and fiddles, I

understand you've made a gift to

the symphony.

BILLY

Not me, Ma'am. The tribal council.

CARLA

And that's gambling money?

Billy holds the receiver out and looks at it, like he can't believe what he's hearing.

BILLY

Oh, no, Ma'am. We saved that out of

our annuities and reparations.

CARLA

Reparations?

BILLY

Yes, Ma'am. Didn't you know the

government supports the Indian

tribes with annuities? It's to pay...

CARLA

You said reparations.

BILLY

... for the land they took away

from us ages ago. We each get forty

cents a month. It's all in the treaty.

CARLA

Well, I want to make an appointment

with you. I want to talk about this

grant to the symphony.

BILLY

(Consulting his calendar)

Say, Tuesday at three?

CARLA

Okay.

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- BILLY'S OFFICE -- ANOTHER DAY.

Billy and Diane have been working, Billy dictating a letter. They finish and Billy says:

BILLY

Well, that ought to put the

Federal Indian Gaming Commission

onto the trail of the Las Vegas types.

After a moment...

BILLY (CONT'D)

Diane, get Ed Fitzgerald on the phone.

DIANE

Sure, Billy. Anything you say.

But she doesn't go out at once

DIANE (CONT'D)

You ought to slow down, Billy. Smell

The flowers along the way. Notice...

She can't say "me."

BILLY

Go on and get Ed Fitzgerald on the

phone.

She goes out. After a moment, Billy's phone buzzes. He picks it up.

BILLY

Hello. Mr. Fitzgerald.

INTERCUT -- telephone conversation.

ED FITZGERALD, 53, successful, prominent businessman, Gary's father, an Ed McMahon type.

ED

Hello. What can I do you for?

BILLY

This is Billy Duc-Doc, out at the

Reservation. Something has come up.

Do you have a few minutes? I could

come over right away.

Ed looks at his appointment calendar

ED

Sure. Do you know the way?

BILLY

Yes.

They hang up. Billy shakes his head.

BILLY (V.O.)

Sheeze. A garbage dump.

EXT. THE WHITESIDE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY -- DAY.

Billy parks in a visitor spot, gets out, goes in.

INT. HALLWAY -- DAY.

Billy, looking for Ed's office, finds it.

INT. ED FITZGERALD'S OFFICE -- DAY.

ED

Come in, Come in.

BILLY

(Extending his hand.)

Hello, Mr. Fitzgerald.

ED

Hello, Billy-- uh, Mr. Duck-- uh-- Just

what are we supposed to call you now,

now that you're a big success?

BILLY

Call me whatever you want. Call me

Billy, like you never bothered to.

Call me Chief Duck, if you like.

Names don't matter any more.

ED

If this is about your offer-- We're

still studying it.

BILLY

No. And I don't know if you're the

right person to be asking--

The idea hangs.

ED

Asking what?

BILLY

Well, you see. The BIA is-- The

Bureau of Indian Affairs is--

ED

Is what?

BILLY

Is looking for a place to locate--

for a place to put a Sanitary Land

Fill.

ED

A Sanitary Land Fill?

BILLY

A garbage dump.

ED

A garbage dump? On Reservation land?

BILLY

Yeah. It would seem so.

ED

Can they do that? I mean, just--

BILLY

The BIA can do just about anything

it wants. Including steal our land.

Eminent domain, you know.

ED

But there's no place for it.

BILLY

Exactly.

ED

And it stinks.

BILLY

Exactly.

ED

And it creates so much clutter.

BILLY

Exactly.

ED

And traffic.

BILLY

Yeah.

ED

And the Reservation is so close to

town. Where do they want it?

BILLY

I don't know. They're out looking.

There's no place for it.

ED

Can they do that? Just dump it on you?

BILLY

I suppose you know that Indians are

practically powerless. If the BIA

decides something, that's it. We're

going to sue.

ED

I should hope so.

BILLY

You and the town have an interest

in this, too. I was wondering if

you and some of the businessmen in

town could intervene.

ED

How?

BILLY

Well, first, I'm going to file suit

in Federal Court. We'll need your

help and testimony.

ED

Yes, and then?

BILLY

Tell them you don't want a garbage

dump in your back yard. Tell them

that it would ruin business. Tell

them that it would create all sorts

of security problems. Tell them it

would be an eye-sore. A traffic problem.

Tell them the Ladies' Auxiliary objects.

ED

Yes, all those things are true.

I'll see if I can do anything. I'll

make a few calls.

BILLY

(Getting up to leave)

Thanks. We're in this together. I

think our two cultures have to

cooperate more. A sort of joining

of our efforts. A marriage if you

will.

EXT. STREET IN CITY -- DAY.

Billy pauses to watch a wedding that is in progress across the street. A white man is marrying an Indian girl. Then he notices two suits, Goon #2 and Goon #3, closing in. He rushes to his car, gets in, drives away.

EXT. ANOTHER ANGLE ON STREET -- DAY.

The suits rush to a Black Ford that was parked in front of the wedding, get in, and pursue Billy's car, backing around illegally in street.

EXT. A ROAD ON WAY TO RESERVATION -- DAY.

The suits are too fast for Billy, get in front of him and force him to the side. But Billy backs up, goes behind them, jumps the curb, and bounces across a field.

INT. BILLY'S CAR -- DAY.

Billy punches in a number on his cell phone.

BILLY

Diane! Call out the guard.

I'm in trouble. Being followed.

DIANE (V.O.)

Be careful, Billy.

EXT. ROAD WAY -- DAY.

The suits back up, too, try to follow, but hang up on a drain built into the curb. They back up. Billy's car disappears.

EXT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- ENTRANCE -- DAY.

Billy skids to a halt, gets out and rushes into the casino, just as the suits' car comes around the corner.

INT. CASINO -- INSIDE THE MAIN ENTRANCE -- DAY.

Billy rushes in, calls out

BILLY

Elmer! Over here! Someone is chasing

me. Let's find out who.

Elmer immediately calls to several guards.

ELMER

Joel. Over here!

Billy steps outside again, just as the suits are coming up.

EXT. ENTRANCE TO KICKING HORSE CASINO -- DAY.

Suits are approaching, one carrying a billy-club, the other adjusting his bass-knuckles.

EXT. ANGLE ON DOORS-- DAY.

A semi-circle of casino guards come out of the casino doors, run around to cut off the suits' retreat.

But the suits have seen what is happening. They run for their car, get in, and speed away.

ELMER

Shall we chase them, Billy?

BILLY

No. They're too clever for one car.

And they'll be out of town by the

time we get up a posse.

DIANE

(Running up and hugging Billy)

Thanks goodness you're okay. You could

have been hurt.

BILLY

(His arms around her. Responding)

It's okay. Okay, now.

DIANE

We're going to have to get you a body-

guard. Someone to look after you. Those

people are from Las Vegas, aren't they?

BILLY

Yeah. Maybe so.

DIANE

You could have been knocked on the head.

BILLY

Yeah. Let's go talk to Elmer. Get him to

organize an escort.

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- RESTAURANT -- NIGHT.

Ed Fitzgerald, Carla Fitzgerald, his wife, Gary Fitzgerald, their son, and KAREN (JOHNSON) FITZGERALD, Gary's wife, are celebrating Gary's employment with dinner at a table for four.

Karen Johnson is 30, blonde, blue-eyed, voluptuous, ex-cheer- leader who still has "it," a talented Marilyn Monroe, married to Gary Fitzgerald.

Hokai Yellow-Stick greets them.

HOKAI

Good evening, folks. Hope

everything is to your liking.

GARY

Hello, Hokie. How they hanging?

ED

Gary! Show more respect for Mr.

Yellow-Stick.

GARY

Ahgg, Dad. We were classmates in

school.

HOKAI

It's okay, Mr. Fitzgerald. I'm used

to being called just about anything.

Karen stands, reaches out to take Hokai's hand.

KAREN

Hi, Hokie.

HOKAI

Hi, Karen.

His eyes hold on Karen, too long. Her eyes hold on him.

CARLA

Hello, Mr. Yellow-Stick. Nice place

you have here.

HOKAI

Thank you, Mrs. Fitzgerald. We try.

And our sister tribe is starting

one also.

CARLA

Anything besides gambling?

HOKAI

The restaurant-dinner theater.

(Smiles; looks at Karen)

We may even get some performers

soon.

CARLA

I mean, any recreational facilities,

other than gambling.

HOKAI

Well, we're--

ED

(Interrupting)

Now, Carla. Let's not get into

criticisms.

CARLA

I'm not criticizing. I'm asking.

HOKAI

We're working on it. A casino isn't

just for gambling any more. Our

education program is important.

CARLA

As important as the gambling?

HOKAI

Believe me, Mrs. Fitzgerald. If any

thing but gambling was open to us,

we'd take it.

ED

(Trying to change subject)

I hear you've hired Gary. Dealer in

blackjack.

GARY

Possible dealer, Dad. We don't know

if it will work out or not.

KAREN

It'd better.

ED

When are you going to open a golf course?

CARLA

It's a scourge. A hoax.

HOKAI

It's been a great thing for the

tribe. Alcoholism is down. Suicides

are down. Economy is picking up.

CARLA

I hear that only one-sixteenth of the

people benefit from casinos.

ED

Now, Carla. Don't bad-mouth the casino.

HOKAI

It's okay, Mr. Fitzgerald. We've

got to get used to honest criticism.

CARLA

And the people who lose are those

least able to afford it.

ED

(Sharply)

Carla!

HOKAI

She has a point. In a traditional

economy, you try to reduce your

risks to a minimum. But gamblers go

for risk for risk's sake.

CARLA

Risk for risk's sake?

HOKAI

Yes. It's like riding the roller

coaster. Or the whip. You tempt

disaster, court catastrophe, but hope

you're safe.

ED

Trying to beat the odds, eh?

HOKAI

Recreation, education, everything else

goes. The gambler courts the risks,

maximum risks. That's what makes it fun.

EXT. DOWNTOWN -- WHITESIDE CONSTRUCTION OFFICE -- FOLLOWING DAY.

Billy parks in a visitor spot, goes into Ed's building.

INT. ED FITZGERALD'S OFFICE -- DAY.

BILLY

They were there to break up the

furniture. And maybe beat up some

people.

ED

They're Las Vegas types?

BILLY

Yeah. They admitted it.

ED

You know who they work for?

BILLY

(Taking out a paper)

We got that out of them, too. Here's

the name of their boss.

ED

Oliver Wendell Stone. Never heard

of him.

BILLY

Our information is that he is known

as "The Rock of Nevada." They say he

stays out of sight.

ED

I'll call him.

BILLY

(Getting up to leave)

Thanks.

ED

The goons are in jail?

BILLY

Not any more. They were being held

without bail. That obviously didn't last.

ED

I'll do what I can.

BILLY

Thanks. We've got to work together

on this. Stick together. Like a

husband and wife.

EXT. FEDERAL COURT HOUSE -- DAY.

The court house has broad steps and "Federal Court" inletters above the entrance. Billy, wearing a business suit, goes up the steps, into the building.

INT. CLERK'S WINDOW -- DAY.

Billy at the window.

BILLY

I want to file a suit against the BIA.

CLERK

Have you filled out the proper papers?

BILLY

I think so.

CLERK

(Scanning the papers)

Well, actually. Since this is an

eminent domain question, you have

to go to State Court.

BILLY

No. State doesn't have jurisdiction

here. This is an Indian tribe.

CLERK

Well, you still have to go to State.

BILLY

No. This is a federal case. The

United Kumeyaay Tribe is suing the

BIA, a federal Agency. State

doesn't have any authority here.

CLERK

Window 22. Down the hall and to the left.

BILLY

Thank you.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE. ANOTHER DAY.

Karen Johnson timidly sticks her head in at the door of Billy's office, tapping on the door facing.

KAREN

Hello. Billy?

BILLY

(Coming around to greet her

with a warm handshake)

Karen! Karen, doll! Come in, come in.

Billy indicates a chair for her to sit in. He goes to the intercom and says:

BILLY

Diane, have Hokai come up.

He returns and sits in the other chair himself.

BILLY (CONT'D)

You're looking as smart and

beautiful now as you were then.

KAREN

You're just lying. I feel stupid and

haggard. And I'm almost a grandmother.

BILLY

Hey, it can't be that bad?

KAREN

Can't it? Gary never gets all the

grease from under his fingernails.

And his mother-- Do you know Carla?

Billy nods.

KAREN (CONT'D)

She always just looks right through me.

You'd think we committed the first and

last sin her lousy priests ever thought of.

Billy waits.

KAREN (CONT'D)

But she's nice to Jennifer. I will

say that. She's a good grandmother.

She pauses. Looks at Billy, who smiles his encouragement.

KAREN (CONT'D)

But she's the world's worst, most

sanctimonious, self-righteous,

evangelical mother-in-god-forsaken-law.

She just loves to make people

feel guilty. Oh----

She catches herself, is suddenly very embarrassed

KAREN (CONT'D)

Why am I telling you all this? I

haven't even seen you in-- what is

it?-- ten years, or more.

BILLY

It's okay. I'm safe. You've got it

all corked up. If you need to blow

the cork, blow away.

She pauses, fidgets, looks at Billy to test whether or not she can say what she wants, then goes on.

KAREN

But Ed's got an eye that'll undress

me every time I come into the room.

His eyes-- It's like he has fingers

all over me.

BILLY

That can be pretty bad.

KAREN

I don't even like to go over there.

I've even thought of leaving Gary,

but I don't know what I'd do with

Jennifer. She's only nine, you know.

BILLY

And you have no place to go?

KAREN

Oh, I don't know where it's all

going. Did you ever get married? Do

you have problems like this?

BILLY

No. My problems. . .

ANOTHER ANGLE.

Billy looks at the floor, clears his throat

BILLY (CONT'D)

. . . have always been of a different

sort.

He stands, goes to the mezzanine window

BILLY (CONT'D)

And I've been so busy making up for

what the public school and

mainstream America didn't do for

me, that I still haven't married.

ANGLE ON KAREN.

She isn't paying attention.

KAREN

I don't know why I let myself get

into this mess. I was going to get

an education and do big things. I

was going to be a song-and-dance

star.

BILLY

That has something to do with why I

called you to come over. Have you

ever thought of going back into

singing and dancing?

KAREN

What do you mean?

BILLY

Well, you know we added a dinner

theater to the casino last year. I

know you've seen it when you and

your in-laws have been here to eat.

KAREN

It's the nicest place in fifty

miles to have dinner. People all

say 'Meet me at Kicking Horse.'

BILLY

The way we have it calculated, it's

about time to start adding a few

dinner numbers on the stage ...

KAREN

Yes?

BILLY

... and maybe something more

riotous for the after-dinner show.

Billy walks around her, sizing her up.

BILLY (CONT'D)

Considering audience appeal, we're

thinking of a crooner in a low-cut

gown for the first, ...

KAREN

Low-cut gown?

BILLY

... and, for the second, a hoofer

who can show a lot of leg and a

little bit of breast ...

KAREN

Breast. Yes?

BILLY

... nothing actually dangerous, you

understand. It just has to look at

every moment like the next move is

going to be absolutely disastrous...

KAREN

You're offering--

BILLY

... I remember, in high school, you

were good at both.

KAREN

You're offering me a job? I can't

believe-- I couldn't--

She fidgets with her purse.

KAREN (CONT'D)

What would I do with Jennifer?

Geez, Billy, I haven't danced since

I was pregnant.

BILLY

Is it something you forget?

KAREN

No. Yes. No.

She pulls her skirt up six inches and looks at her legs, as if they contain the answer

KAREN (CONT'D)

I don't know.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE. DAY.

Hokai comes in.

HOKAI

Am I interrupting something?

BILLY

No. No. I just want you and Karen

to sing together.

KAREN

Sing together?

Hokai is obviously pleased with the development.

BILLY

Yeah. Let's try "Make Believe,"

from Showboat.

KAREN

Without music?

HOKAI

(Reaching out to Karen.)

No. No. Billy's got a recording.

KAREN

I can't remember the words.

BILLY

I've got the sheet music.

HOKAI

C'mon, Karen. Let's go down to the

casino stage. And sing.

They all go down the stairs. Hokai is holding Karen's elbow.

INT. CASINO STAGE -- DAY.

Billy puts a disk in the machine and hands both of them sheet music.

BILLY

I've arranged these words in solos

and duets. You'll see.

HOKAI

(sings)

We could make believe

I love you

KAREN

(sings)

Only make believe

That yooough love meeeg

Karen's voice has faltered. She's timid, reserved.

BILLY

Come on, Karen. You can sing better

than that. Clear your throat and try

again.

KAREN

I'm so rusty.

BILLY

I know. Give it another try.

HOKAI

Maybe if we- I put my arms around you.

Start acting the parts out.

BILLY

Good idea!

KAREN

Okay.

She snuggles in against Hokai. Billy starts the music again.

HOKAI

(sings)

We could make believe

I love you,

KAREN

(sings)

Only make believe

That you love me,

HOKAI AND KAREN (DUET)

Others find peace of mind

in pretending,

HOKAI (sings)

Couldn't I?

KAREN (sings)

Couldn't you?

HOKAI AND KAREN (DUET)

Couldn't we

Make believe our lips are blending

In a phantom kiss, or two or three?

Couldn't I make believe I love you,

dear? For to tell the truth, I do.

At the end, Hokai kisses Karen. She obviously doesn't mind.

BILLY

That was much better.

HOKAI

(Still hugging her)

You need to sing more to your bath

room walls.

KAREN

Something. I haven't sung on stage

in years.

BILLY

Do you want to try it for a while?

KAREN

Yes. No. Wait a minute.

She grabs her own forehead

KAREN (CONT'D)

Stop the world. Job, that means

independence; that means I can hire

baby-sitters;

BILLY

Whoa. Hold on. You're swinging a little

far and fast. Going for the grand slam ...

KAREN

That means I can leave the Fitzgerald

clan; that means I'm free. I could actually

be my own person again?

BILLY

... in the first inning. We were thinking of

trying it for a month or two.

HOKAI

We'll do some slick photos, run a

bunch of local-girl-does-good stories,

BILLY

Hype you up on radio and TV.

Karen nods.

HOKAI

Take out big ads in all the papers

and magazines...

BILLY

In a month, if the elders like what they

see, the tribe will send you to the

theater program at Valley College.

KAREN

Valley College? Yes?

BILLY

And what we've outlined requires

that you get over an "if" at every

turn. So what do you say?

KAREN

God, Billy, I'd roll over and play

dead for half of what--

BILLY

Are you the casino's first song-and-

dance girl?

KAREN

Why me? Why Karen Johnson? Why not

a dozen girls that are younger? Who

don't have any stretch marks?

BILLY

You're local. You're good. You're

squeaky clean. You could play the

Lawrence Welk show.

HOKAI

Well, I'll leave you two to haggle it out.

He goes out. Billy and Karen go back to his office.

INT. STAIRWAY TO BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

BILLY

We're thinking you'd bring in a kind of

person that hasn't been in before.

KAREN

Things sure change fast nowadays.

I'm changing too, you know.

standing up so she can look him eye-to-eye

KAREN (CONT'D)

I don't see-- people the same way I

used to.

BILLY

So, are you our song-and-dance girl

for thirty days? Or should I call

in the next girl?

KAREN

God, Billy, let me think a moment.

If I leave the Fitzgeralds, I'll

never be able to go back. At least,

that's a plus.

Billy waits.

KAREN (CONT'D)

But then it's me and Jennifer, sink

or swim. That's scary.

BILLY

You've got to take a first step.

KAREN

Am I good enough to make it? I

don't see any safety net.

BILLY

After the first step, they're easier.

KAREN

Oh, I don't know, Billy.

(Impulsively)

Yes, I'll take it. Oh, yes, yes,

I'll take it.

BILLY

Good for you! I'll walk out with

you and tell the money people to

put you on the payroll.

KAREN

Sometimes, when Jennifer and Gary

are gone, I pull on that frontier

dance-hall costume I used to dance in.

BILLY

I remember that costume.

KAREN

I ooze out like toothpaste at both

ends, but the men used to love it.

BILLY

You've got the idea. You still have

that strapless, black-velvet sheath

you wore to the prom? That would be

good for the torch song.

KAREN

The one I have to wear without under-

wear? Yeah. I always felt sexy and--

and-- beautiful, in that dress. I just

couldn't throw it away.

BILLY

Good. I'm sure Carla will be happy to

keep Jennifer. After the first week,

you'll be able to manage on your own.

Billy puts his arm across her shoulder to escort her out. They meet Diane, who has been on the stairway, spying on them.

DIANE

Oh, I didn't-- don't--

KAREN

I'll leave you to your business, now.

We can take care of the payroll stuff

later, Billy.

BILLY

Leave your Social Security number

with Diane.

KAREN

You're a prince, Billy, you know

that? Why wasn't I born a princess?

BILLY

Ask your grandmother. It wasn't the

Indians that laid down the terms of

the relationships between your people

and mine.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

Billy's grandfather, WOODROW WILSON KICKING-DUC, 73, is entering. Grandfather is an elder of the tribe who wears conventional working man's clothing and uses a walking cane.

GRANDFATHER

I come to talk.

BILLY

Grandfather! How nice to see you!

You honor me with your visit.

Karen, this is my grandfather,

Woodrow Wilson Kicking-Duc.

Karen puts out her hand to shake. Grandfather takes it, holds on.

BILLY (CONT'D)

Grandfather, this is Karen Johnson,

uh, Karen Fitzgerald. She's going

to do a song-and-dance for us evenings.

GRANDFATHER

Then I'll have to go against my

principles, even if I am seventy-three,

and come to the casino in the evenings.

KAREN

You're too kind, grandfather, but

I'll do my best, just for you.

GRANDFATHER

You hear that, Billy? Why don't you

find a princess like this and

settle down?

KAREN

You're sweet, grandfather.

She tiptoes, kisses his cheek. Karen goes out.

GRANDFATHER

She sure turned into a beautiful

young woman. I was in love with her

grandmother in grammar school.

BILLY

I didn't know that.

GRANDFATHER

Her grandmother didn't either.

He waddles toward the guest chair, tapping his cane on the

floor, and sits.

GRANDFATHER (CONT'D)

She only had eyes for Kyle Johnson.

No way, she was ever going to kiss

an Indin on the cheek. Times sure change.

BILLY

I'll bet you were a handsome kid. Any

girl would have kissed you on the cheek.

GRANDFATHER

Nope. I was bright-- bright enough

to catch a half-breed wife. Bright

enough to have become a mechanical

engineer, if I'd had the opportunity.

But not handsome. Your gradmother

says I'm the ugliest man on the Res.

BILLY

How is grandmother?

GRANDFATHER

Same. Grouchy as ever, God love

her. I don't know what I'd do if

she ever quit grumping. Probably

start digging her grave.

BILLY

Grandmother's not going to stop.

GRANDFATHER

I know. Can you stop someone from

gambling for me?

BILLY

I didn't know anyone in our family

gambled, except, of course, for the

Indian guessing games we've always

had.

GRANDFATHER

It's not one of ours. Since we've

been getting the per-capita

distribution from the gambling

profits, things are sure looking up.

Grandfather shifts to look more directly at Billy. Billy waits.

GRANDFATHER (CONT'D)

Anyway, Your grandmother and I decided

we'd like to have our little house

plastered, both inside and out. Buy

some new furniture. You know? Sort

of raise our standard of living.

BILLY

Last time I was by the house, it

looked real good to me.

GRANDFATHER

Yes, they're doing a fine job. We

hired that Whiteside Plastering

Company that Ed Fitzgerald owns. His

Dad and I were kids in school together,

you know.

BILLY

Yes. But I'll bet he doesn't remember it.

GRANDFATHER

You're right about that. Anyway, he

hires illegal immigrants to do his

work. They do good work, but he

gets to pay 'em less.

BILLY

Always pays cash, so there's no way

to trace him, and doesn't withhold

any income tax or social security,

or offer any benefits.

Both he and grandfather continue to talk as we see scenes they are referring to:

FLASHBACK: EXT. GRANDFATHER'S HOUSE -- DAY.

GRANDFATHER (V.O.)

It's Jorge and Jaime. They no

sooner get their money in hand than

they head straight to the casino.

Jorge and Jaime, heading for casino, begin stuffing money in the

slot-machines.

BILLY (V.O.)

Greed and Capitalism, those two go

together. It's the American Way. I

don't see what the problem is.

GRANDFATHER (V.O.)

If they do take a pot, they shove

it right back in the slots. Don't

even stop to send part of it home

to their kinfolks in Mexico.

Jorge wins a pot, puts it back in right away.

BILLY (V.O.)

That's pretty bad. When they forget

their folks back home.

GRANDFATHER (V.O.)

Then someone like me has to lend them

money to eat on the rest of the week.

Next pay day, it's the same little game.

Grandfather handing money to Jorge and Jaime.

BILLY (V.O.)

Haven't you told them the machines

are programmed, so that the house

wins in the long run?

BACK TO PRESENT:

GRANDFATHER

Oh, sure. But they always know

someone, who knows someone, who

knows someone, who struck it rich.

BILLY

Hearsay by relay. Long distance.

GRANDFATHER

It's never any of them, or anyone

they know personally. Their dreams

are built on very long shots.

BILLY

That's the way it works for everyone.

At least, they don't bet on horses.

GRANDFATHER

We want to know, your grandmother

and I, is there anything you young

people can do about it?

BILLY

Young people?

GRANDFATHER

Yeah. Used to, when I was a kid,

most of the young people died, or

moved to town to starve, ...

Billy makes a gesture of protest, which Grandfather waves away.

GRANDFATHER(CONT'D)

...and that left the old folks on

the reservation to run things and

make decisions and all that.

BILLY

You did well. You did what you could.

GRANDFATHER

Well, nowadays, it's not the same.

Somebody besides a white man finally

discovered a profitable way to use

Indian land, and it was our own young people.

BILLY

Believe me, grandfather, if there were

any other way to get rid of ringworm and

bubonic plague, I'd take it.

GRANDFATHER

You young fellows are running the

show now, but some of us old-timers

don't much like this 'economic

development.'

BILLY

Plague can be cured with a thirty-five

cent shot of penicillin. But it takes

a bunch of people and money to deliver

that thirty-five cent shot.

GRANDFATHER

Anyway, we were wondering, your

grandmother and I, if there's any

way you can keep Jorge and Jaime

from coming in here?

BILLY

I don't see how, grandfather. We

can't close the door selectively to

anyone, not even the Devil himself.

GRANDFATHER

He gets in without doors. Piggybacks

on anyone that'll carry him.

BILLY

I'll talk to them.

GRANDFATHER

Thank you, Billy, I'd appreciate it

if you can nudge their personal

liberties in the direction of good

sense.

INT. STAIRWAY TO BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

He gets up and follows the old man toward the door.

GRANDFATHER

I'll tell you, Billy, this casino

gambling business is going to be

the death of the Indian. I don't

think the Indian will come out of

this one.

BILLY

Sure, he will. But he'll be changed.

That's what always happens. We were

changed by defeat in the frontier wars.

A different shot for each of these lines:

BILLY (CONT'D)

We were changed by the reservation

system.

Focus on Grandfather:

BILLY (CONT'D)

We were changed by the denial of

social and economic opportunity.

Back to Billy:

BILLY (CONT'D)

But the people always survived.

We'll come out of this thing, too,

but we'll be different. Some on the

tribal council call that progress.

GRANDFATHER

I know they do. Time marches on, and

all that. Like they used to tell us

on Guadalcanal and Borneo. But I don't

think I'm going to like the Indian that

survives the casino gambling wars.

He goes out.

INT. CASINO -- ROOM BACKSTAGE -- DAY.

Karen, Billy, and a PHOTOGRAPHER at work on publicity photos.

Karen wears her frontier dance hall costume, oozing out at both ends. Her clothes and dressing gown are on a chair nearby. Photographer poses Karen with a lot of cleavage showing. Snaps the picture.

PHOTOGRAPHER

Well, that ought to do it. I'll

have the prints ready shortly, Billy.

He takes out the film pack and goes toward the dark room.

BILLY

Well, that was nice. You're gorgeous,

Karen.

KAREN

(smiling knowingly)

You've been watching me.

Karen reaches around, undoes her bra-strap so that her breasts pop out.

BILLY

No, Karen. You've got it all wrong.

(looks directly in her eyes)

You're gorgeous, but this is

strictly business.

KAREN

You wanted me then, and I think you

want me now.

BILLY

In high school, every time we made

eye contact, I saw something, a

steel curtain, something close in

your eyes. You didn't look through

me; you just never saw anything.

KAREN

That's not true.

Billy hands her her dressing gown, which she reluctantly puts on.

BILLY

If the Anglos 'd done something then

about the poverty and hunger that

were on the reservations, I might

see things differently....

KAREN

What? What could they do?

BILLY

... But they didn't. You didn't.

And now I don't.

(He stands, turns away)

This is strictly a business proposition.

INT. CASINO STAGE -- DAY.

Billy, going back toward his office.

BILLY (V.O.)

Geez! And to think I was about to try

to get even with Gary.

INT. CASINO FLOOR -- CASHIER'S KIOSK -- LATER SAME DAY.

Billy, Diane, and Elmer, the uniformed guard, are chatting. Billy is ready to leave for home.

DIANE

I worry so much about you, Billy.

You will be careful, won't you?

ELMER

She's right, you know. You ought

To be more careful.

BILLY

When there's a need, Elmer.

Billy goes out the back way, toward his parking place.

EXT. BEHIND KICKING HORSE CASINO -- DAY.

Billy gets in his car and drives away.

EXT. ROADWAY -- DAY.

Billy passes the Reservation boundary and sees FIRST MAN beating SECOND MAN on the ground with a baseball bat. Billy stops, gets out of his car.

BILLY

Hey! What's going on?

First man looks at Billy, then reaches down with his free hand to give the one on the ground a lift. Second man also has a club. Billy now recognizes them as Goon #1 and Goon #2.

BILLY (CONT'D)

How'd you guys get out of jail?

Billy turns to go back to his car. But there is Goon #3 between him and his car.

Billy runs to the road-side, away from the three, who chase him.

They have him surrounded. He ducks through their line and runs toward the Reservation. The three men chase him. Billy dodges behind his car. Runs around it.

Goon #3 tackles Billy. The others are there with their clubs. They begin to beat Billy on the ground. Billy puts up his arms to defend himself.

They hit Billy on the arms and body several times. Billy writhes in pain.

EXT. ROADWAY -- DAY.

A car is racing toward them. It is Hokai, Diane, Elmer, and two other guards. When the three see them, they run. They had a car hidden behind bushes; they get in and make their escape.

HOKAI

Are you okay, Billy?

BILLY

(accepting Hokai's hand)

Yeah, I think so. They bruised my

arms some. May have broken my arm,

but other than that, I'm fine.

DIANE

(Hugging Billy)

Thank Goodness, you're okay.

BILLY

Don't hug so hard. I think this arm

is broken.

DIANE

Sorry. I didn't mean to--

BILLY

How did you guys find me?

HOKAI

The phone connection was stuck open.

Diane over-heard their plans.

BILLY

Lucky for me.

(Hugging Diane)

It's good to have you around.

(To Elmer)

We'd better get me a permit to carry

a gun.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE -- LATE IN THE EVENING.

Billy is working.

Elmer sticks his head in at the door and says,

ELMER

Diane is missing.

BILLY

Whatta ya mean, missing?

ELMER

Nobody can find her. She's disappeared.

BILLY

You've tried her home number? No one

just disappears.

ELMER

She left the recording device "on" at

her desk. That's what alerted us.

BILLY

What's on it?

ELMER

Voices. It sounds like she's being

taken against her will. We want

someone else to listen.

BILLY

Okay.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

Billy and Carla Fitzgerald. Billy's left arm is in a sling.

BILLY

It's just cracked. I'm supposed to

take it easy a couple of days.

CARLA

I'm sorry.

(But doesn't let it get in the

way of what's on her mind.)

Money taken from gambling is

tainted money. Ill-gotten money.

BILLY

What do you mean, 'ill-gotten'? Is

it any more ill-gotten than church

bingo money?

CARLA

Bingo is okay. It's not gambling.

BILLY

Or money from the Las Vegas Nights

your church sponsors to raise money?

CARLA

Why, uh-- you know. The scriptures

say money got from gambling is

ill-gotten money.

BILLY

I never heard of that in scripture.

CARLA

You ought to read the Bible sometime.

BILLY

My understanding of the Bible is that

scripture is quite ambiguous on casting

lots and all forms of gambling.

CARLA

You're not reading it right. Our

Priest says...

BILLY

My reading may be faulty because

I'm not a Christian. In fact, I'm

anti-Christian--

CARLA

Anti-Christian?

BILLY

My understanding is that your church

does not condemn gambling as such,

but only the abuse of gambling.

CARLA

Everyone knows about it. How you take

advantage of the Indian's weakness

for booze and love of gambling.

BILLY

I don't quite understand, Mrs.

Fitzgerald. Are you against gambling

out of moral indignation or because

it's happening in your neighborhood?

CARLA

Well, uh-- People are going to gamble

whether we want them to or not. I just

say, let them go somewhere else to do it.

BILLY

Like Las Vegas?

CARLA

Yes. Exactly. I certainly don't want a

casino right across the street from me.

INT. CASINO. DIANE'S OFFICE -- DAY.

Billy, Elmer, and others are listening to Diane's telephone-recorder.

ELMER

Does that sound like she's being

taken against her will?

The telephone rings.

BILLY

"Taken against her will?" You mean

it sounds like she's being kidnaped?

ELMER

Sure does.

The telephone rings again.

BILLY

See if you can trace this call.

Elmer nods, goes out. Billy gives Elmer time to put in a tracer call. The phone rings a third time. This time, he picks it up.

BILLY

Billy Duc-Doc, Kicking Horse Casino.

INTERCUT: telephone conversation.

The party on the line sounds rather like Goon #1. He has several handkerchiefs over the phone, to disguise his voice.

Goon #1

We got yer girl friend.

BILLY

Diane? You've got Diane. Where?

Goon #1

Wouldn' you like to know?

BILLY

I don't believe you. Let me talk

to her.

Goon #1

Now, wouldn' you like thet? We

might let you hear her scream.

BILLY

Don't hurt her.

Goon #1

The boss says we can let you talk

long enough to identify her.

They bring up Diane. Her hands are tied behind her back. They take off the gag and hold the phone up so she can talk.

DIANE

Billy?

BILLY

Diane. Where are you?

DIANE

I don't know. They blind-folded me.

It only took less than five minutes--

Goon #2 slaps her, takes her away. Diane is SCREAMING. Goon #2 gags her again.

Goon #1

The boss wants a talk wit you.

INT. JUNKY HOUSE -- BACK ROOM -- EVENING.

Oliver Wendell Stone is sitting at a desk in the back room. He has a number of handkerchiefs over his phone.

STONE

We've got a business proposition for

you, Bill.

BILLY

Stone? Ollie?

STONE

We want twenty-two percent of your

take at the casino.

BILLY

Twenty-two percent?

STONE

In return, we'll give you our protection.

BILLY

We don't need your protection.

STONE

Oh, but you do. Your girl-friend could

go walking in the river, wearing cement

boots.

BILLY

You're threatening her?

STONE

Oh, no. But you know how careless some

people can get.

BILLY

That's murder!

STONE

Look, Bill. I'm trying to be nice to

you, nice and peaceful. Twenty-two

percent is measly. Very reasonable

under the circumstances.

BILLY

It's robbery! You can't get away with

this.

STONE

Why not? It's the take we get at

casinos all over.

BILLY

Not at Kicking Horse. I'll have the

cops on you.

STONE

Oh, dear. What size cement boot do

you wear?

Stone hangs up.

INT. DIANE'S OFFICE -- EVENING.

Diane is not there. Billy runs into office where Elmer is.

BILLY

Did you hear that?

ELMER

Yeah, I got it on tape.

BILLY

Great! Evidence!

ELMER

But the phone company couldn't

find the line. We don't know

where it came from.

INT. CASINO -- DAY.

Billy and Gary are walking around among the slot machines, craps tables, card games.

BILLY

So the council picked me and Hokai

to go to the university's business

school. Majored in casino and

restaurant management.

GARY

That's how you got on here, then?

BILLY

The tribal council had it in mind

for some time to do more than bingo

on the Reservation, but they didn't

want to call in a bunch of professional

gamblers from Las Vegas or New Jersey.

They think they're all crooks.

GARY

They're probably right.

BILLY

Some gaming companies take fifty, sixty

percent. And then expect the casino to

take living expenses out of what's left.

That's not skimming, that's scooping.

The tribe didn't want that to happen.

Billy reaches up with his good hand, pulls the arm of a one-armed bandit. Nothing happens.

BILLY (CONT'D)

The council trained me and Hokie

to run this show. We've turned it

into a pretty successful affair.

GARY

I bet Las Vegas couldn't even match it.

BILLY

Oh, no. We don't even try to compete

with Las Vegas. The big difference is

we're honest.

They come to the blackjack tables.

BILLY (CONT'D)

This is where you'll work. And here's

A script of patter for you to consider.

GARY

Just like Las Vegas. I've studied

their line of talk. I'll match that.

BILLY

Las Vegas has got people whose

only business is schmaltz and

glitz. We'll never match them.

GARY

Sure, you will.

BILLY

Just when you think you're getting

close, Las Vegas will do something

really off the scale, ...

FLASHBACK: EXT. LAS VEGAS -- DAY (STOCK FOOTAGE) of casino being destroyed. The whole building implodes and crashes down.

BILLY (CONT'D; V.O.)

... like they'll blow up a twenty-five

story casino-hotel and build

something that looks like a megaton

mushroom in its place.

SUPER: "Another project of The Rock of Nevada."

BILLY (CONT'D; V.O.)

Or they'll rip out a street and

put in a boulevard, with talking statues

all along.

BACK TO PRESENT:

BILLY (CONT'D)

(He shakes his head)

We don't even try to keep up with

them.

INT. DOWNTOWN -- SANITATION DEPARTMENT -- DAY.

Billy opens the door and goes in. The CLERK is an air-head.

BILLY

I need to see to see the head of the

Sanitation Department. I need a place

to locate a Sanitary Land Fill.

CLERK

Do you have an appointment?

BILLY

Do I need one?

CLERK

Mess'cans always need an appointment.

BILLY

I'm from the Reservation. Outside

town. The Kumeyaay Reservation.

CLERK

What's that?

BILLY

The Indian Reservation. I'm manager of

Kicking Horse Casino.

CLERK

I thought you'd have red ski-- I mean,

Uh -- I've never seen an Indin before.

BILLY

Look. I need to talk to the head of this

Department.

CLERK

Well, I don't know...

CHARLES WILLIAMS comes out of his office.

CHARLES

What is it, Maisy?

CLERK

This fellow needs a Sanitary Land

Fill.

CHARLES

Well, come on in. We've got land

fills going to waste.

BILLY

The BIA needs one.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

Carla and Billy

CARLA

You ought to be ashamed. Gambling

is evil. You ought to be ashamed,

all of you.

BILLY

Of course, I'm glad to see improvements

in the standard of living on the

Reservations and the per-capita

distribution, but this improvement

comes at a terrible price to the Indians.

CARLA

A terrible price? How so?

BILLY

We Indians are participating in our

own corruption by feeding the

gamblers' illness. We're helping them

in their self-destruction.

CARLA

Those mothers that come--

BILLY

(Ignores her)

On the other hand, hunger, illness,

poverty, unemployment, segregation

are not good for the Indian soul either.

CARLA

Of course, not.

BILLY

They tend to encourage alcoholism,

irresponsibility, indigence, even

mental illnesses like anomie and

de-personalization.

CARLA

If gambling is so bad, why don't

you quit it?

BILLY

I'm ready, Ma'am. I'll quit in a

wink of a gnat's eye,...

CARLA

Well, do it.

BILLY

... as soon as your church or your

nation offers Indians a tenth of

the opportunities for economic

development that gambling does.

CARLA

Economic development? That's crazy!

BILLY

Because with economic development

comes all the rest: education,

housing, health care, the will to

live with the dignity that

Americans think is their birthright.

Carla doesn't have an answer to that.

BILLY (CONT'D)

We are Americans, you know. We're

Native Americans.

CARLA

Oh. Well, I'm a native, too.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE. ANOTHER DAY.

BILLY

(On phone)

That's right. Owl Creek Canyon. The

Sanitation Department says they've got

Land Fills to spare out there.

JOHN

I check it out.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE. ANOTHER DAY.

Hokai enters Billy's office with a sheaf of papers in hand.

HOKAI

The BIA Sanitary Land Fill issue is

dead, with Ed Fitzgerald's help.

BILLY

What? And I just negotiated a new spot

for it. Out twelve miles. In Owl Creek

Canyon.

HOKAI

The BIA withdrew their search for a

Sanitary Land Fill site.

BILLY

(Slapping papers)

Which makes this suit moot. Meaningless.

HOKAI

I guess Ed told John and Virgil

that there wasn't space enough.

BILLY

That's part of what we said.

HOKAI

But this Las Vegas man. He helped.

(Looks at his papers)

Oliver Wendell Stone. He wants in.

BILLY

He sprung the goon squad?

HOKAI

Yes. They're gone. And now, he wants

a cut.

BILLY

Can't we just tell him "no"?

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- QUITTING TIME.

Billy is making his way to this car, through the casino floor, saying "goodnight, Joel," "g'night, Elmer," etc, as he walks through the casino.

EXT. BEHIND CASINO -- SUNSET.

Billy pauses at his parking spot; looks toward the town, which is barely visible in the sunset; notices Hokai's car is gone; looks the other way.

HEARS a car starting; waits a moment for it to pull out; nothing happens, and he can't see in the near darkness. Billy turns and goes back into the casino.

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO. A FEW MOMENTS LATER.

BILLY

Joel. Elmer. Come here.

ELMER

Sure, Billy.

BILLY

Something's wrong. I want you guys

to get in your car and follow me.

Be ready to interrupt something.

ELMER

Sure, Billy.

EXT. BEHIND KICKING HORSE CASINO -- MOMENTS LATER -- EVENING.

Billy comes out of casino, goes to his car, gets in and starts to drive away.

INT. BILLY'S CAR -- EVENING.

He sees, in his rear-view mirror, a car pull out behind him. He stops. Puts his car in reverse, and backs into his parking spot.

EXT. NEAR BACK DOOR OF CASINO -- EVENING.

He gets out; rushes to the back door; goes in, as if he forgot something.

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- EVENING.

Billy watches through a crack in the door; sees a late-model, Black Ford drive by-- no lights on; goons #4 and #5 in the car.

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- EVENING.

Billy talks with Elmer and Joel.

BILLY

It's a Black Ford, new. Two goons.

ELMER

Okay. We'll check 'em out.

Billy goes out again. Elmer and Joel follow.

EXT. BEHIND KICKING HORSE CASINO -- EVENING.

Billy comes out, goes to his car. Elmer and Joel turn the other way, go to their car, and start it.

INT. BILLY'S CAR -- EVENING.

Billy pulls out his cell phone, punches in a number.

BILLY

Thought it would be good to be in

touch.

ELMER (V.O.)

Check.

EXT. BEHIND CASINO -- EVENING.

Billy pulls out, going the opposite way from the Black Ford. He passes Elmer and Joel, who are waiting. Billy turns the corner, toward front of Kicking Horse Casino.

EXT. BEHIND KICKING HORSE CASINO -- EVENING.

Elmer and Joel, in car, see Black Ford coming with no lights on. The Black Ford passes them, turns the way Billy turned. When the Black Ford has turned the corner, Elmer and Joel follow, lights out.

EXT. FRONT OF KICKING HORSE CASINO -- EVENING.

Billy driving by.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Black Ford with two goons, follows.

EXT. ROADWAY, NEAR "KUMEYAAY INDIAN RESERVATION" SIGN -- EVENING.

Billy turns left, toward town.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Two goons turn left also.

INT. GOON'S CAR -- NIGHT.

Goon #2

We got him now. We c'n overtake

him before he reaches town.

Goon #3

Yeah.

Goon #3 starts adjusting his brass knuckles.

EXT. ROADWAY TOWARD TOWN -- EVENING.

Billy's car begins to cough and sputter.

INT. BILLY'S CAR -- EVENING.

His fuel gauge says "empty."

BILLY

I'm out of gas. Come on, Elmer.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Two goons.

Goon #3 (V.O.)

I thought he'd get farther than this.

Goon #2 (V.O.)

What the hell! We'll take what we can

get.

Goon #2 speeds up his Black Ford; pulls around in front of Billy, so that Billy is forced to stop.

EXT. ROADWAY TOWARD TOWN -- EVENING.

Billy on phone.

BILLY (V.O.)

They've made their move. Where are

you, Elmer?

ELMER

Right behind them. (V.O.)

EXT. ROADWAY TOWARD TOWN -- EVENING.

Two goons are getting out of their car, heading toward Billy.

Billy gets out of his car; runs toward the rear.

Elmer and Joel pull in behind Billy's car; get out to meet the goons, who are illuminated by Elmer's car lights. Billy runs to join Elmer and Joel. It's now three against two.

Which doesn't slow the goons down. One has a club like a large night-stick; the other wears brass knuckles.

Elmer and Joel draw their pistols.

The goons stop, hesitate.

Goon #2

They won't shoot. Not this close

to town.

ELMER

Oh, yeah.

He fires two shots into the ground at the goons' feet.

Goons hesitate.

Goon #3

Hey! That's too close for comfort.

JOEL

Yeah? The cops in town will make

you comfortable.

Goon #3 grabs Billy's sling, pushes Billy into Joel, while Goon #2 hits Elmer over the head with his club. Elmer goes down. Billy and Joel fall.

Billy SCREAMS in pain.

Goon #2

Let's get out o' here.

The goons run for their car. Get in and lock the doors. Joel and Billy get up and chase after them, but the Goons get their car started and drive away.

BILLY

(Holding his left arm)

Shoot his tires!

Joel gets off one shot, which misses.

JOEL

They're too close and too lined up

with the town.

The goons drive off. Billy and Joel turn toward Elmer, who is beginning to come around.

BILLY

You okay?

JOEL

(helping Elmer up)

Lemme see that knot on yer head.

ELMER

What happened?

BILLY

They got away. We've got to have

better security, especially in the

rear parking lot.

JOEL

You okay, Elmer?

ELMER

Yeah. I think so.

BILLY

We can't have hoodlums coming in

like this. Elmer, you and Joel get

your heads together and organize

patrols. For the parking lot.

ELMER

How come you ran out of gas?

BILLY

They must have punched a hole in

my tank. Let's take a look. I'll

probably have to have another car

for a few days.

Billy, with difficulty, and Joel kneel at Billy's back bumper, looking at gas tank in the light of Elmer's headlights.

JOEL

And get this one towed.

BILLY

Yeah. Las Vegas must be getting very,

very mad.

ELMER

And you'd better start carrying a gun.

INT. CASINO -- BILLY'S OFFICE -- DAY.

Billy hangs up phone. Nurses his left arm.

Hokai Yellow-Stick comes into Billy's office with a sheaf of

papers in his hands.

BILLY

Hi, Hokey. What's up?

HOKAI

Quite a bit, Goose. I thought we'd

better go over what my half of the

partnership has been doing lately.

BILLY

Okay. Shall I close the door?

HOKAI

You'd better.

Hokai half sits on the edge of Billy's desk and shuffles

through his papers.

BILLY

Did we get the Fitzgerald land?

HOKAI

That's the biggest item. We closed

with Ed Fitzgerald yesterday.

BILLY

Good!

HOKAI

We paid twenty percent over market,

but the tribe is now owner of the

300, 400, and 500 blocks between

State Street and Reservation Road.

BILLY

That's great news.

HOKAI

Our architect thinks the 400 block

is the best site for the Regional

Inter-Tribal Health Center,...

BILLY

Sure is.

HOKAI

... and the council has budgeted

two million to get things started.

BILLY

It's about time!

HOKAI

We'll demolish that junky honkytonk

and the three souvenir shops right

outside our gate. Break ground for

the clinic within the week.

BILLY

What's taking us so long?

(Billy makes a melodramatic gesture)

I'd better put that scholarship

plan into action.

HOKAI

Yep.

BILLY

If we don't start training some Indian

doctors and nurses right now, we won't

have anything but palefaces in the

building, not counting janitors and

accountants, of course.

HOKAI

You're a wise-cracking duck-fucker,

you know that?

Elmer comes in.

ELMER

Something on Diane's telephone recorder

you ought to hear.

INT. DIANE'S OFFICE -- A LITTLE LATER -- EVENING.

Billy, Hokai, and Elmer are listening to Diane's telephone-recorder.

ELMER

"Willy's Place." That place east of

here used to be called "Willy's Place."

BILLY

A half-mile east of the casino?

Anything out there?

ELMER

Just "Willy's Place" by the road.

But that's hardly big enough to

hold a hostage. It's pretty junky.

HOKAI

Is there more to it than we see? Is

there a basement, or something?

ELMER

Could be.

BILLY

Let's call the cops, tell them what

we have, and then go out there.

ELMER

That's pretty risky.

HOKAI

We've got to take a few risks, now.

He picks up phone and dials.

INT. BIA HEADQUARTERS -- DAY.

John Brown's BIA office. Billy wears his sling.

JOHN

The reason I called you down here is to

thank you for the tip on Owl Creek Canyon.

BILLY

Don't mention it.

JOHN

But, the real reason I called you down

here is to tell you the news.

BILLY

I'm all ears.

JOHN

We've approved your application for

us to take the Fitzgerald property

in trust.

BILLY

You've ... what?

JOHN

Yes. We've approved the tribe's application

to take the land in trust.

BILLY

I'm-- We-- So soon? We only signed

the papers a couple of days ago.

JOHN

Well, it's done now...

(Handing Billy some papers.)

... It's all in the papers.

BILLY

I can't believe--

(Skimming the papers)

It's for real.

JOHN

And something else--

BILLY

Oh, Oh. Here comes the worm in the apple.

JOHN

I think you'll like this worm. The

Las Vegas issue is dead.

BILLY

Dead?

JOHN

Yeah. Dead. I talked with Ollie

Stone. He's pulling out.

Billy waits.

JOHN (CONT'D)

I suggested to him that the BIA has

some "power." That we might get IRS

to look into his taxes.

BILLY

And he bought that?

JOHN

Not exactly. He knows how government

works. He's been around enough to

know that the left hand doesn't know

what the right hand is doing.

BILLY

But he says he's pulling out?

JOHN

Yes. He's pulling out.

INT. CASINO FLOOR -- DAY.

Billy and Hokai

HOKAI

And you believe him?

BILLY

No. I think it's a ruse. He's up to

something.

HOKAI

Think he's got a card up his sleeve?

BILLY

More likely, he's got a gun.

HOKAI

Well, you've got a gun, too. You may

have to use it. Get that right hand

working.

BILLY

That's something that bothers me. You

have a gun, you may be tempted to use

it. That's a sort of problem best avoided.

HOKAI

You can't hide forever.

BILLY

Stone isn't one of pull out. I think

he's fooled John completely. He's up

to something; I wish I knew what.

HOKAI

Well, we'd better get started on this

other thing, that Indian Health Center.

BILLY

I suppose you're right. When you

have something going, it's harder

to tear it apart.

HOKAI

That's true.

BILLY

I'll send the carrot to all the

reservations, all the medical schools,

and all the universities where Indians

are thinking about going into pre-med.

HOKAI

Don't forget the urban Indian centers.

BILLY

Right. I'd better make a note of that.

(Takes pad from pocket, does so.)

HOKAI

We're going to leave the 300 and

500 blocks the way they are for the

present. Except for those tattoo parlors

on the ground floor. Eventually, the

council is thinking about a factory-outlet/

shopping mall.

BILLY

Good.

HOKAI

They gave Steve Ochoa ten thousand

to start a feasibility study.

BILLY

Steve's a good man.

HOKAI

But, for now, those are fairly

decent buildings, and we have good

tenants. Other than the ground floor.

BILLY

Really? I thought ---

HOKAI

Those rents will make the payments

on all three of the blocks and

leave about thirty grand a year.

BILLY

(puts on an imaginary shawl and

holds it at his throat)

Oh, my, my. Whatever will yawl

redskins ever do with that much

money? Drink it all up?

HOKAI

(Hokai responds in kind)

We got plenty of rat holes, Ma'am.

(but immediately drops the game)

Actually, the council also started

the planning stages on another tract...



FLASHBACK: EXT. RESERVATION TRACT -- DAY.



Scenes of contract work. Billy and Hokai continue V.O.



HOKAI (Continuing, V.O.)

... of low-mortgage, three-bedroom

houses on the Res.

BILLY (V.O.)

That's good.

HOKAI (V.O.)

Now, that things are looking up,

Indians are actually moving back

home. Bungalows, lawns, the whole

nine yards of picket fence.

BILLY (V.O.)

The people are coming home.

BACK TO PRESENT.

HOKAI

Tribal enrollment is up over fifty

percent.

BILLY

Time for some expansion.

EXT. WILLY'S PLACE -- JUNKY PLACE NEAR THE HIGHWAY -- NIGHT.

Billy, Hokai, and two guards approach from three directions. Billy goes down the stairs to take a look in the window in the door. A crooked sign over the door says "Willy's Place."

STONE (O.S.)

Good afternoon, gentlemen. We've been

expecting you.

Three Goons had been hiding in the grass, behind bushes. They now come out, guns drawn. Billy opens the door and slips in.

STONE (CONT'D; O.S.)

The big guy has a weapon. Get it.

And search the others.

Goon #1 reaches over and lifts Elmer's gun.

INT. BASEMENT ROOM OF JUNKY PLACE -- NIGHT.

Billy wedges a chair under the door and flips the latch on the door. Diane is in a chair across the room, tied and gagged. Billy rushes over, takes off his sling, takes off the gag, and kisses her.

DIANE

You don't have to tie me down to

kiss me.

Billy takes out his pocket knife. He has difficulty with his arm, but saws the bindings around her wrists, ankles, and chest.

BILLY

Come on, Diane. Can't you help a

little? Those guys are coming soon.

DIANE

What can I do?

As soon as her hands are free, she grabs Billy and kisses him.

STONE (O.S.)

Where's the other one? Where's Bill?

Goon #1 (O.S.)

He was here a moment ago.

EXT. AT BASEMENT DOOR -- NIGHT.

Goon #2 rattles the door to the basement, finds it blocked.

Goon #2

This door is locked. He couldn't

get in here.

STONE

You dumb bunny. He could have latched

the door after he had gone in. Break

it down.

Goon #2 throws his weight against door, which holds. Again; it holds. He decides to shoot it open: Takes out his weapon and shoots the lock, which still holds. Shoots a second time. It still holds.

INT. INSIDE THE BASEMENT ROOM -- NIGHT.

Meanwhile Billy has gotten Diane un-tied. They run into the next room, a store room with all sorts of junk in it.

Goon #2 (V.O.)

My gun is too small. Let me see that

guard's gun. It looks big enough.

EXT. OUTSIDE WILLY'S PLACE -- NIGHT.

Goon #2 shoots the lock with Elmer's gun. It shatters. But he can't open the door because of the chair there. He reaches around the door to pick up the chair.

INT. THE JUNK ROOM -- NIGHT.

Billy has found a table leg. He hides Diane behind some debris, and Billy takes his position beside the door.

When Goon #2 comes through the door, Billy cracks him across the skull with the table leg. Goon #2 goes down. Billy grabs Elmer's gun and shoots into the other room. He scoots Goon #2's gun toward Diane. She picks it up.

INT. THE FIRST ROOM WHERE DIANE WAS TIED -- NIGHT.

Goon #1

The bastard's got a gun.

He runs out. Billy fires up the stair way. We HEAR a "wump" which indicates he hit something.

EXT. WILLY'S PLACE -- THE JUNKY HOUSE -- NIGHT.

STONE

Hit him in the leg. Pull him up, so

he can't be hit again.

Goon #1

I'm okay. Prop me up so I can shoot

the bastard when he comes out.

Hokai and his two guards take advantage of the confusion, rush up, and fight with Stone and his Goons. One of the guards attacks Goon #1, hitting him with his fists, so that Goon #1 drops his gun. Another guard goes for Goon #3, surprises him and manages to dis-arm him. Hokai whacks Stone with a stick. Stone falls; drops his gun.

Billy and Diane come up the stairs, in time to help tie up these goons.

HOKAI

Where are the police when we need them?

EXT. WILLY'S PLACE -- EVENING.

Just as Hokay and the others get them tied up, in comes three police cars, with sirens screaming. Billy runs out to greet them.

BILLY

There may be more of them in the house.

POLICE CHIEF

We'll get 'em. Don't worry.

Police chief waves to his men, who run around the house, ready to cut off any escapees. They come up with one man, the man who owns the house. He comes out with his hands held up beside his ears.

OWNER

What's going on?

POLICE CHIEF

Hello, Wilbur! What's going on here

with these men?

OWNER

I don't know. Three guys came in with

their guns drawn. Took the place over.

POLICE CHIEF

Well, that's one charge. Armed assault.

BILLY

We've got more. Kidnaping. Armed

assault with intent to kidnap.

Kidnaping with intent of murder.

Threatening with intent to murder.

And all done with dangerous weapons.

POLICE CHIEF

Well, that sounds like enough to put

these guys away for a while. A good

long while. Don't you think so, Billy?

He turns, but Billy is involved with something else: he and Diane are in an embrace, kissing like their lives depended on it.

INT. BILLY'S OFFICE -- THE NEXT DAY.

Billy and Carla

CARLA

Couldn't you find something else to

build?

BILLY

I see. You'll be relieved to know

that it's a medical clinic we're

building on State Street.

CARLA

Oh?

(Beat)

Do we need another clinic?

BILLY

Maybe you don't, Ma'am. But we do.

That's to be an Indian Health

Clinic, for the benefit of Indians

of all tribes.

CARLA

Oh?

(Beat)

Whites won't be able to use it?

BILLY

Not in the beginning. Maybe later,

if our two cultures ever come to

understand each other.

CARLA

And it's being built with gambling

money?

BILLY

That's right, Ma'am. Every ten million

that goes into that Indian Health Center

came right out of the casino's ill-gotten

gains.

INT. KICKING HORSE CASINO -- GAMING ROOM -- EVENING.

Gary Fitzgerald is shuffling cards at a blackjack table and trying to keep up a line of patter.

GARY

Step right up, gentlemen. Place

your bets. Two red jacks get you

five thousand.

Ed Fitzgerald comes up to Gary's table. His brother, Tom, is with him.

TOM FITZGERALD, sixty-five-ish, bigoted, Ed's brother, is a Walter Mathau look-alike.

ED

Hello, Gary.

GARY

Oh. Hello, Dad. Hello, Uncle Tom.

TOM

Hi, Gary.

GARY

You two gonna try your luck?

Special this week is Indian Redjack.

The prize is five thou.

ED

Maybe later, son. Have you seen

Karen's act?

GARY

Yeah. She's good. I sure wish she'd

come home. She's filed for divorce.

ED

You're taking it pretty lightly.

GARY

I've decided it doesn't do any good to

get mad. Karen doesn't act mad. She's

just-- She's like a person I never met.

ED

When's she come on?

GARY

Her torch song has already passed,

but her duet with Hokai comes in

about a half hour. You could catch

it from the bar.

ED

Good idea. We're supposed to meet your

mother there anyway. See ya later, son.

INT. CASINO RESTAURANT -- EVENING.

Ed and Tom thread their way through the tables and chairs to the

back of the restaurant

TOM

I hear them damned Indins are

buying up all the land around the

reservation, Ed.

ED

They made me too good an offer,

Tom. Way above market. I couldn't

afford not to sell.

TOM

Do they have the right to do that?

To own land off the reservation?

ED

Why, I don't know. I guess they do.

I hope they do. I made a killing.

TOM

I mean, do they have the right to

buy our land? Our land that we've

got clear title to, fair and square?

Can they just take our land like that?

ED

I reckon so. That's how we go it.

TOM

And do they have the right to hire

a white man? I mean, a man like

Gary, and pay him good wages, too?

ED

What do you mean?

TOM

Do they have the right to hire a

man to wear a tux and deal blackjack

in as ritzy a casino as you'll find

anywhere?

ED

He's doing better than he's ever

done in his life. Taking some

responsibility. Beginning to settle

down. This job's been good for him.

There's Carla at that back table.

INT. TABLE AT THE BACK OF RESTAURANT -- NIGHT.

Ed and Tom thread their way through the tables and chairs; meet

Carla Fitzgerald.

ED

Hello, dear.

CARLA

Hello, Ed. Hello, Tom.

(to Tom)

What are you up to these days?

TOM

Just complaining about everything,

as usual, Carla. Have to keep my

curmudgeon's license active.

CARLA

Well, sit down and teach me how to

gripe.

He sits beside Carla and stretches his neck to look around.

TOM

D'you think we'll be able to see

the stage from way back here?

CARLA

It'll be hard.

TOM

They sure have a lot of cocktail

waitresses, don't they? Almost one

for every table.

ED

(Ed beckons to a waitress)

Two Scotch and sodas, honey. Do you

need a refresh, Carla?

CARLA

No. I can nurse this one for a

while yet.

TOM

This damned casino sure hired a

bunch of people.

ED

They've certainly been a shot in

the arm to the local economy.

TOM

Getting so a honest man couldn't

find a able-bodied man to work for

him, even if he had a job to offer.

ED

They've put on more than eleven

hundred people in all their

activities here. Biggest employer

in the county.

CARLA

And worst!

ED

Their tract-house building 'll give

another couple dozen jobs.

TOM

I hear from Denver Perry's boy that

the Indins take income tax out of

the employees' checks, but that

they don't have to pay any themselves.

ED

That's because we're on an Indian

res ...

TOM

And no property tax either.

ED

... ervation.

TOM

That ain't right, Ed. Them damned

Indins ought to have to pay taxes,

just like the rest of us.

ED

I think they do.

TOM

They're getting filthy rich. They

ought to have to pay taxes, just

like the river boats in Illinois,

or the casinos in Las Vegas and

Atlantic City.

ED

I don't think those places pay

taxes, Tom.

INT. FITZGERALD TABLE -- NIGHT.

Billy Duc-Doc and Diane Going-Shirt come up to their table, holding hands. Diane is subdued.

BILLY

Hello, Mr. Fitzgerald, Mrs. Fitzgerald.

I hope you folks are enjoying your

evening.

TOM

How come you Indins don't have to

pay taxes?

BILLY

Some we pay, some we don't. As

citizens, we all pay individual

income tax.

TOM

'S that right?

BILLY

The treaty says we're a sovereign

nation, with the right of self-

determination.

CARLA

What's that mean?

BILLY

(patient lecturer tone and voice)

It means we're a little country in

the middle of your country. It's

like the Mexican or Russian embassies.

TOM

Russian embassy? Don't they pay?

BILLY

You can't tax them, because those

embassies are considered a part of

Mexico and Russia,...

TOM

It ain't right.

BILLY

... and those countries' laws apply

within their boundaries.

TOM

I tell you, it ain't right.

BILLY

We wouldn't want the Russians to tax

the American Embassy in Moscow, would we?

TOM

They wouldn't dare! Them damned Russians

better not try to tax the American

Embassy in Moscow. That'd be war!

BILLY

Well, the whole mess is like a Ninja

star. No matter which angle you try to

pick it up, you're sure to get lacerated.

TOM

I guess so. What's a Ninja star?

ED

Well, you've certainly made this

into a ritzy place, Bill. A real

credit to the county. Nothing like

it within a hundred miles.

BILLY

(smiling wryly)

Except those other Indian casinos,

eh? Like the one at our sister

tribe down the way.

CARLA

Looks like we're goin' to have

wall-to-wall Indian casinos before

long.

BILLY

(holds up his palms in a

what-can-I-do gesture)

Well, whoever has the most toys at

the end, wins. Right?

CARLA

There is such a thing as too many

lights.

BILLY

We didn't learn that by ourselves,

now, did we?

CARLA

Gaudy.

BILLY

Yes, Ma'am. But that's the idiom of

the white world we're imitating.

When in Rome, speak Roman.

CARLA

Well, I--

BILLY

Would you folks like to join me and

my grandparents at my table up front?

TOM

Can you see better up there?

BILLY

Karen and Hokai are about to sing a

suite from Rose Marie. Karen's a

nightingale on 'Indian Love Call.'

You know: 'When I'm calling you-ouou-ou…'

ED

We'd be honored, Billy. Can I buy

you a drink?

BILLY

No, thanks. I don't drink. Or gamble.

TOM

Don't drink or gamble? Whatta ya

Indins do for fun?

INT. CASINO -- ENROUTE TO BILLY'S TABLE -- NIGHT.

They stand, start working their way toward the stage area.

BILLY

(smiling wryly again)

Play with rubber bands.

TOM

Play with rubber bands?

BILLY

(Turns, acts out this little lesson)

It's just a little joke, Tom.

Remember in one of the Peanuts

comic strips, years ago. ...

Tom nods.

BILLY (CONT'D)

... Linus is sitting among a pile

of toys, playing delightedly. Lucy

comes through; swish, there are no

more toys, and she says 'You can't

play with those.'

CARLA

I remember that one.

BILLY

Then she tosses him a rubber band,

and says, 'Here. Have fun with this.'

CARLA

And in the last frame.... What

happened in the last frame?

BILLY

Linus is having a ball, jerking

that rubber band up, down, back,

every way you can imagine.

(Pause)

BILLY (CONT'D)

Indians have been calling out for

love and 'toys' for over a hundred

years, but no one has answered that

call.

Ed, Carla, Tom all look at him.

BILLY (CONT'D)

Now, that we've found a lever to

lift ourselves up with, everyone

wants to take it away from us.

INT. AT BILLY'S STAGE-SIDE TABLE -- NIGHT.

They arrive at the table, where Billy's Grandparents are seated.

BILLY

And to finish that story-- the next

day, Lucy came back and took away

the rubber band, saying 'You weren't

supposed to have that much fun.'

He pauses, to let that sink in.

BILLY (CONT'D)

That's the history of Indian/White

relations in America in two comic

strips.

TOM

I'm sorr--

BILLY

We won't settle the question today,

will we?

TOM

No, I guess not.

BILLY

Let's sit up close and see if that

Mountie and Indian princess ever

get up courage enough to marry and

start respecting each other's

culture.

CARLA

Karen is really cute.

GRANDFATHER

She sure is!

BILLY

That's what has to happen in the

long run. White Americans have to

become more aware of Indian values,

maybe even adopt some of them into

their lives.

CARLA

Hokai is handsome, too. Sort of.

GRANDMOTHER

Yes, isn't he?

BILLY

And Indians have to merge their

values with the trash they have to

accept from the white culture.

TOM

Is that so tough?

BILLY

Some of it: metal pots, flushing

toilets, and so forth, aren't hard

to live with.

DIANE

To me, it's not really a question

whether or not this is a happy or

unhappy marriage.

(Beat)

It's the only alternative we have,

and we have to make it work.

BILLY

We have to make it work.

INT. CLOSING SCENE ON CASINO'S STAGE -- NIGHT.

Hokai, a Royal Canadian Mountie with braids and bronze skin, is singing with a very blonde, blue-eyed, very voluptuous Indian Princess, Karen.

[Situation and Lyrics modified very slightly from Rudolf Friml, Rose Marie, 1923.]

KAREN (sings)

When I'm calling you,

oo-oo-oooo ooooo-oooo,

HOKAI (sings)

I will answer you,

oo-oo-oooo ooo-oo-oooo,

That means I offer my love to you,

To be your own,

HOKAI AND KAREN (DUET)

If you refuse me, what shall I do?

Just waiting all alone?

KAREN (sings)

But when I hear

your love call ringing clear,

oo-oo-oooo ooooo-oooo,

HOKAI (sings)

And I hear your

answering echo so dear,

oo-oo-oooo ooooo-oooo,

HOKAI AND KAREN (DUET)

Then we will know

our love will come through;

HOKAI (sings)

You'll belong to me.

KAREN (sings)

I'll belong to you.

HOKAI AND KAREN (DUET)

That means I offer my love to you,

To be your own,

If you refuse me, what shall I do?

Just waiting all alone?

HOKAI (sings)

But when you hear

my love call ringing clear,

oo-oo-oooo ooooo-oooo,

KAREN (sings)

And you hear my

answering echo so dear,

oo-oo-oooo ooooo-oooo,

HOKAI AND KAREN (DUET)

Then we will know

our love will be true:

You'll belong to me.

I'll ... belong ... to ... you.

THE END


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