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 Category:  Western Script
  Posted: January 19, 2020      Views: 35
Chapters:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 

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CRYSTIECOOKIE999 

Have English B.A. with Creative Writing Emphasis from the University of Utah. Came back to Fanstory.com after 6 years gone (so it says member since 2013) to practice wider genres of writing and get writing prompt ideas. I have written over 1400 poems - more...

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Chapter 8 of the book The Legend of John Shane
Humorous western script, Act 2, Scene 4 and 5
"Legend of John Shane A2S4,5" by CrystieCookie999



Scene 4

Town Café. Two or three small tables with chairs, red-checkered tablecloths covering each. MARYANN and COLE are sitting at one table. SHORTY is at another table, hidden behind a large menu. COLE and MARYANN already have their food and have started eating.

MARYANN
Cole, you know, I had an awful fright last night.

COLE
Is that right? What are you talking about?

MARYANN
Some cattle rustlers ran off my cows!

COLE
(Feigns surprise.) What? Why didn't you tell me sooner?

MARYANN
I didn't want to bother you. Besides, a neighbor helped me round them all up again.

COLE
(Pretending to be shocked.) Why, my poor little MaryAnn! You might have been hurt!

MARYANN
Yes, but luckily they left pretty fast. My neighbor caught one of them, though.

COLE
He did? So did you get anything out of her—or him, I mean?

MARYANN
(Gives him a sharp look, then softens.) I think the rustler is over at the sheriff's office, if you want to go see who was traipsin' around the farm last night. In fact, we could go together, if you want. I'd like to give that rustler a piece of my mind!

COLE
All right, dear, let's finish eatin', and then we can head on over.

MARYANN
(Rises.) Oh, Cole, I wasn't frightened when it happened, but now the shock of it is makin' me lose my appetite! I just don't know what to do to keep my farm safe!

COLE
(Rises also, and approaches MARYANN.) As long as I'm around, no one will harm you!

MARYANN
Uh, right. (Impulsively hugs COLE, then runs her fingers up and down his shoulders and arms, then hugs him again.) Oh, you're so strong!

COLE
(Pleased.) Why, thank you, dear. I have been gettin' muscles movin' money bags around in the bank's vault.

MARYANN
(With arm that is facing away from audience, she holds out a key ring behind her so that the audience can see it. Speaks pleadingly to COLE.) Hold me tighter. Oh dear, I don't know what would have happened if they had come after me, too.

COLE
Gladly. (Holds MARYANN tighter.) Mmm.

(SHORTY lays menu down, stands, walks over to take key ring from MARYANN, wraps it in a sound-proof cloth, and leaves Stage Right.)

MARYANN
Oh, I feel better already. (Sighs.) Shall we finish our meal? Then I should be feeling strong enough to find out what the sheriff says about all this.

COLE
Certainly. I must say, your show of affection leaves me feelin' encouraged. (Holds chair out for MARYANN to sit, then sits back down as well.)

MARYANN
(Bats her eyelashes at COLE.) Yes, well, it shouldn't be too long before I'll be ready to go anywhere with you.

(Lights down.)



 
Scene 5


COLE BLACK's office. Jangling of keys is heard offstage, then the sound of a door creaking open. SHORTY steps gingerly inside from Stage Right.

JOHN
(Offstage, in medium low voice.) Is it safe to come in, Shorty?

SHORTY
(Turns around and beckons to JOHN). Yeah, nobody's here. Hey, how is Willie doin', by the way?

JOHN
How come you wanna know about Willie?

SHORTY
Well, I got to feelin' kinda responsible for her, and we had a little time to chat last night. No sign of the other outlaws tryin' to break her out of jail?

JOHN
Nobody's shown up so far this morning. The sheriff said he'd keep an eye out for trouble, after I told him what you overheard last night. But remember, we're here to help MaryAnn. Let's see what we can find.

SHORTY
All right, then.

(JOHN and SHORTY start rummaging through the items on and inside COLE's desk. SHORTY starts picking up each silver item to
inspect, then replaces each item in the exact position as before.)

SHORTY
Say, I never met a man who liked shiny silver stuff as much as this Cole feller.

JOHN
Wait a second. I think I found something here. (Pulls out the silver ore sample and the assay paper. Whistles low.) Hey, you're not foolin' about the silver. Look at this! (Shows specimen and paper to SHORTY, who reads the paper for a few seconds.)

SHORTY
Ah, so this silver ore came from--

JOHN
MaryAnn's land! No wonder Mr. Black wants to marry her! Not only that, but this would help MaryAnn pay off her mortgage. We'd better tell MaryAnn about this as soon as possible, and the sheriff, too!

(BIG MARTY steps out from behind curtain on Stage Right, with two guns pointed at JOHN and SHORTY.)


BIG MARTY
I wouldn't do that, if I were you. Drop that silver ore, and keep your hands up.

(JOHN drops the rock and paper on COLE's desk, then JOHN and SHORTY stand side by side in front of the desk with hands raised.)

BIG MARTY
How'd you two get in here? Mr. Black's not gonna like it.

JOHN
Don't tell him, Shorty.

SHORTY
I won't, John.

BIG MARTY
John? You're John? Oh, so you're the one who caught Willie?

JOHN
And what if I am? Say, since the sheriff never told others his prisoner's name, but you know who Willie is, I believe your question helps prove the cattle rustlers who were out botherin' MaryAnn last night can be traced back to Mr. Black! And for that matter, the same can be said for you!

(IVAN enters from Stage Right. When he sees the situation, he whips out his gun to point it at JOHN and SHORTY alongside BIG
MARTY
.)

BIG MARTY
(Glances at IVAN.) Glad you're here, Ivan. We got us some trouble.

IVAN
I laugh in the face of trouble! Ha, ha, and ha!

SHORTY
Gee, I just don't feel like laughin' right now. What are we gonna do, John?

JOHN
(Matter-of-fact.) Keep breathin.'

BIG MARTY
Ivan, keep these two covered. I'm gonna find Mr. Black and see if the others broke Willie out of jail yet.

IVAN
I think they were almost done makin' a plan when I left. All right, you can depend on me. This Russian is no wimpy little girl carrying sunflowers, nyet!

BIG MARTY
I'll be back. (Backs away toward Stage Right, keeping guns trained on JOHN and SHORTY still, until he reaches off stage.)

SHORTY
(Calls after BIG MARTY.) Take your time! We ain't goin' nowhere!

JOHN
(To SHORTY.) Did you hear that? They're gonna try to get Willie out, probably while the sheriff is on his way over here. We need to start distracting them.

SHORTY
Sounds good. I'll follow your lead.

JOHN
(Nods, then to IVAN.) Hey, why do they call you Ivan "The Famous"?

SHORTY
Yeah, what makes you such a famous outlaw?

IVAN
Well, before Kid Curry took my place, I used to run in Butch Cassidy's gang. Now don't tell me you've never heard of Starvski and Butch? (Pronounce like "Starsky and Hutch" with short u vowel.)

JOHN
Nope.

SHORTY
Sorry.

IVAN
In that case, maybe I should shoot the both of you to boost my reputation, if neither of you have heard of me.


JOHN
But we're from out of state. That's why we don't know you.

SHORTY
Yeah, and if you shoot us, it would be bad for Cache Valley's peaceful reputation. Plus we might bleed all over Mr. Black's desk.

IVAN
Hmm, I guess you're right.

SHORTY
(Sighs.) Thank goodness.

IVAN
I don't care two bits for anyone's reputation except for mine, but Mr. Black might get sore at me if I let you two bleed all over his oak desk. All right then, move over to the right--away from the desk!

(JOHN and SHORTY glance at each other, then shuffle slowly to the right at the same time.)

JOHN
Shorty, next time, let me handle him.

SHORTY
(Gulps nervously.) Hey, the job is yours.

JOHN
(Speaks in low voice.) Listen, I've got an idea.

SHORTY
(Speaks in low voice.) Great! That's a relief! (Pauses.) Uh, what is it?

JOHN
(Speaks in low voice.) Play along. (In normal voice.) So, Ivan, how big a share are you gettin' when it comes to the silver on MaryAnn Claussen's farm?

IVAN
(Suspicious.) Silver? What do you mean? Mr. Black pays us a fair wage. And if we happen to get caught by the law, he guarantees he'll get us the best lawyer that stolen money can buy.

JOHN
(Shrugs. Hands still in air.) Oh, well, I guess a fair wage is your fair share of two or three million dollars.

IVAN
What two or three million dollars?

JOHN
Well, according to this assayer's report, there's a great silver motherlode sittin' on the Claussen farm. Yeah. Mr. Black should be able to retire in style, while you can keep doin' what all fine outlaws do. You know, ridin' for hundreds of miles with the dust and hot wind burnin' your eyes.

SHORTY
(Catches on.) Yeah, and holdin' up stagecoaches and trains, then hidin' out in the back rooms of saloons or in lonely canyons so nobody knows who or where you are, livin' off dry bread and beans.

JOHN
Always wonderin' where your next meal is comin' from, and never bein' able to sit anywhere in a restaurant without havin' your chair flush up against the wall just so nobody -- like some trigger-happy sheriff or deputy or bounty hunter -- recognizes you and shoots you in the back without warnin'.

SHORTY
Yeah, why have a soft and cushy lifestyle when you can keep on bein' an outlaw and a hired gun for a crooked, no-good, connivin' back-stabber?

IVAN
Uh, hey, Mr. Black has never talked about me behind my back! He wouldn't sell me out!

JOHN
Hmm. Well, you just keep thinkin' that. But there's nothin' to keep Black from turnin' on you. All he thinks about is money. (To SHORTY). Well, Shorty, this might be the last time we both see Ivan.

(Song) "Ode to Ivan (Sh'Boom, Sh'Bang)"

JOHN
(Matter-of-fact.) In the meantime, of course we'll just have to have faith that Sheriff Moore doesn't recognize you the instant he walks in here with Mr. Black. Now I seem to recall, when I was in the sheriff's office the other day, that there was a big ole 'wanted' poster on his wall with your name and picture on it.

IVAN
(Scratches his head with the end of his gun, then returns it to its original position, pointed at JOHN and SHORTY.) Uh, now, wait just a minute.

JOHN
(Casual.) Yeah, whaddya thinkin'?

IVAN
Ah, I think you're right. The sheriff is gonna recognize me. I was supposed to lie low with the others over at the hotel. The reason I came over here against orders was because I wanted to talk to Marty about his next job. Mr. Black doesn't appreciate my skills, and I was ready to move on to something bigger, get back in the class I'm used to bein' in.

SHORTY
Yeah, you are the sharpest one in the bunch.

IVAN
I can't just leave you here. But I don't want the sheriff to get a good look at me, either. What am I gonna do?

JOHN
Welllll.... It just so happens that Shorty here is an expert at masterful disguises.

SHORTY
I am? Oh, uh, sure, I am. Best in the west. Why, I could fix you up so even your own mother wouldn't recognize you at three paces.

IVAN
You'd do that for me?

SHORTY
Sure! Why, all I need is a charcoal pencil, and I can alter your eyebrows and a couple of features right here and now.

JOHN
(In a helpful way.) Hey, I bet there's a charcoal pencil or some kind of pencil that will work over in Mr. Black's desk.

SHORTY
(To IVAN.) Yeah, why don't you sit down in the chair and I'll make you over before the sheriff and Mr. Black get here?

IVAN
Well, okay. But no funny stuff now. I still have my guns ready to shoot both of you if you even start to make a wrong move.

JOHN
Sounds good to me. If you'll, uh, allow me to look for a charcoal pencil over in the drawer.

IVAN
All right.

(JOHN, keeping his hands up until he reaches the drawer of the desk, then keeps one hand up while he pulls open the desk drawer
(hand not seen by audience), starts rummaging around papers noisily. Then, while SHORTY distracts IVAN with the following
dialogue, JOHN folds the silver assay report into a fourth or an eighth of its original size and slips it into a pocket or his shirt front
so it's hidden.)

SHORTY
You know, I think we oughta make you look more Italian or Greek-looking. I will give you a mustache and some thoughtful eyebrows. I reckon you'll fool everyone when I'm done with you. That profile! Those cheekbones! You have a perfect face to disguise!

IVAN
(Pleased.) Well, I am rather handsome.

JOHN
Don't it just beat all? This Mr. Black's only got them fancy new yellow pencils. No charcoal pencils here.

SHORTY
Hey, I forgot! I have a piece of charcoal in my pocket.

JOHN
In your pocket? Whaddya carryin' around charcoal for?

IVAN
Yeah, Mister Shorty, what for?


SHORTY
Well, with your permission. (Lowers one hand to fish a piece of charcoal out of his pocket, holds it up.) See, it's just because, well, a few years ago it so happened that once when I was out in the woods takin' care of business, I, uh, got a little lost on my way back to camp.

IVAN
Takin' care of business?

SHORTY
Yeah, you know what I mean?

JOHN
Oh, takin' care of business!

IVAN
What? (Dawns on him.) Oh, that kind of business!

SHORTY
Yeah, that's right. So I figured if I always kept a little piece of charcoal in my pocket, I could mark the trees as I went, and that way, I'd always find my way back to camp from then on. (Approaches IVAN with the charcoal and his hands still in raised in the air.) May I have the honors?

IVAN
All right, Mister Shorty. You do a good job of this, and I don't shoot either one of you today.

SHORTY
(Gulps.) No problem. (Hurriedly changes IVAN's eyebrows and adds a mustache to his upper lip and a goatee to chin).

IVAN
(Smirks.) Now, then, get back over and stand by John.

SHORTY
Yes, sir. And may I say you have never looked better. (Stands by JOHN, both holding their hands up.)

(SHERIFF MOORE enters from Stage Right with COLE.)

COLE
(Points immediately to JOHN and SHORTY, ignores IVAN.) Right there, Sheriff Moore! They've been caught in the act! There they are! My employee told me their names are John and Shorty, and they're wanted men! Now they're caught in the act of breakin' into the bank! I want you to arrest them immediately!

JOHN
Now just a minute! Sheriff, I want you to arrest Cole Black here for rustlin' cattle! That is, he hired the rustlers! Remember, I brought one of them over to you last night? And I heard another one of them today talkin' about it and havin' to report to Black. It was a big feller who was in here earlier, in a long duster coat. Looked like a hired gunslingerto me. Not only that, but they're probably tryin' to break the first rustler I brought you out of jail right now!

COLE
Oh, yeah? Have you got any hard proof of what you're insinuatin'? (Throws up his hands in attitude of dismissal.) You know, I don't have time for this. I have a weddin' to attend over at the Presbyterian Church. (To SHERIFF.) I trust you'll take care of these...men?

SHERIFF
Well, I suppose, but--

COLE
All right, then. I'm on my way out. (Exits Stage Right).

SHERIFF
(To IVAN.) Go ahead and put your guns down, I got it covered now.

IVAN
(Replaces guns in holster.) Okay. If you don't mind, I'll be on my way, too. (Hurries out Stage Right.)

JOHN
He must be on his way to help break Willie out of jail.

SHORTY
Yep. He didn't waste any time!

SHERIFF
(With gun now pointing haphazardly toward JOHN and SHORTY.) Who's breaking whom out of jail? Now, John, I'm a mite confused. What are you doin' in the banker's office in the middle of the day, when it was locked tight? First you haul in a cattle rustler, then you break the law yourself. This just doesn't set right with me.

JOHN
Well, Sheriff, time's growin' short, and I suspect we're gonna have trouble at the jail and who knows where else. If you'd let me show you a piece of paper, it will explain everything. May I?

SHERIFF
All right.

JOHN
(Lowers hand and takes out folded silver ore assay report and unfolds it.) Look, this here paper shows how there's a huge vein of silver ore on MaryAnn Claussen's land. It might even be worth two or three million dollars!

SHERIFF
What? Let me see that. (Crosses over to where JOHN is standing and looks down at paper, with gun still drawn but not pointed at JOHN.)

(SHORTY lowers his hands but remains a little farther away.)

JOHN
Only thing is, it's not MaryAnn's signature on this paper. It's signed by a Charles Feldman and Mr. Cole Black. MaryAnn doesn't know anything about this silver, but Black sure does.

SHORTY
Yeah, and as of yesterday, MaryAnn had no desire whatsoever to marry Black, but she told us he sure has been pesterin' her to marry him for four months.

JOHN
And after conversin' with Black's hired gun, I think he not only hired a bunch of rustlers to discourage her, but he's gotta be plannin' somethin' else as well!

SHERIFF
Oh, my goodness! That weddin' Black said he had to go to? Why, he told me he was marryin' MaryAnn Claussen today! Reverend Cardall was gonna be there to perform the ceremony.

JOHN
Hmm, my guess is Black's over at the Presbyterian Church right now holdin' MaryAnn and the reverend by force, and if we don't hurry, she's gonna be married to a very dangerous man who will take her for everything she's got property-wise!

SHERIFF
Well, this is mighty serious! But as I recall, you mentioned the rustlers were plannin' to break my prisoner out of jail?

JOHN
Yeah. Hmm, we'll have to divide up. If'n you head back over to the jail, Shorty and I both can go on over to the church, then you can join us as soon as you check on things at the jail.

SHERIFF
Sounds good. My deputies can help me if anyone gets rough, so I shouldn't be too long.

JOHN
Yeah, let's hurry. Hopefully we'll catch Black before his entire gang shows up. I've got my faithful horse, Sterling, waitin' outside now.

(JOHN, SHERIFF MOORE, and SHORTY run off Stage Right. Lights down.)

The script continues with Legend of John Shane A2S6. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
¹ See "Outlaw Tales of Utah," by Michael Rutter, page 25, for a reference to the line "the best lawyers stolen money could buy." Used with permission of author. (michael_rutter@byu.edu). A couple of jokes in this script were also borrowed from playwright/improvisational comic/actor Bob Bedore of Utah.
"Starsky and Hutch" was an action/crime detection TV show in the U.S.A. in the 1970s.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by seshadri_sreenivasan at FanArtReview.com

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