Review of Characters for Act 2:|
Ellie Chatsworth Town Gossip/Narrator
Ida Simpson Town Gossip/Narrator
John Shane The Hero
Shorty John's sidekick
MaryAnn Claussen The Heroine
Mr. Cole Black The Villain
Martin "Big Marty" Lewis (Hired Gun on Outlaw Side)
Sam "The Rattlesnake" Sweatt (Outlaw)
One-Eyed Willie (Female outlaw)
Ivan "The Famous" Starvski (Outlaw)
Sneaky Pete Wilcox (Outlaw)
Sheriff Richard Moore
Inside COLE BLACK's office. SAM, IVAN, and PETE are standing uneasily, shifting their weight. PETE takes off his hat and scratches his head, then puts it back on. COLE and BIG MARTY enter hurriedly. COLE sits down at his desk, lays a ring of keys on top, and starts opening drawers as if searching for something, then pulls out three pieces of paper, two of which say MINING CLAIM TITLE and MORTGAGE at the top. He takes the pen from his desk set and starts writing a letter on the third paper.
(Takes his hat off and hesitantly approaches COLE.) Uh, boss?
(Irritated.) Yes, what is it?
We, uh, ran MaryAnn's cows off like you asked. Every last one of them!
Oh, you can do somethin' right then. (Looks up.) Say, where's Willie?
(Looks at IVAN and PETE as if for reinforcement.) Uh, she got taken prisoner by the big man who's stayin' at the Claussen farm. He roped her just like a stray cow!
(Laughs, ending in a snort.) Huh, that was funny, Sam.
So, he got Willie? And you three just left her? Well, congratulations. You have just won the world record in stupidity.
(Claps IVAN on the shoulder.) All right! I knew we could do it!
(Removes PETE's hand from his shoulder as if it were covered in mud.) Don't touch me.
(Stands, shakes finger at ALL.) Don't you know what's at stake? What if Willie talks?
(Trying to calm COLE.) Now, Mr. Black, I'm the only one who's in on your plan, remember?
Yeah, Boss. We just tried to do what you said.
Yes, and anyway, Willie would not betray you.
Yeah! You can trust her more than all of us here put together, including yourself! (Pauses.) Wait, that didn't sound right. (To BIG MARTY.) Say, what is at stake anyway? (To COLE.) What does Big Marty know that we don't?
(Rolls his eyes.) Believe me, that could take all day.
(His turn to be indignant.) Humph! Who do you think you are, a big smarty?
(Calm and quietly ominous.) Nope. Just Big Marty. And don't you forget it.
(Sigh of exasperation.) Oh, never mind. I've got work to do. I want you -- Sam, Ivan, and Pete -- to hightail it back over to MaryAnn's ranch and rescue Willie. Then all of you lie low. Take a few hours off tomorrow morning.
(Delighted.) Oh, boy! We get time off for good behavior!
(To BIG MARTY.) Big Marty, I may need your, shall we say, "talents" if something goes wrong tomorrow. First thing in the morning I'm on my way over to file some papers, but if anyone gets wind of you-know-what, you have my permission to take matters into your own hands. Feel free to take an hour or two off for yourself, but I'd appreciate it if you would stick close to my office to help me wrap up my plans tomorrow.
It's all right by me. But I'm gonna turn in for the night over at the hotel. (To SAM, IVAN, and PETE.) Any of you need me to help you cross the street? No? I'm on my way out, then. (Exits Stage Right.)
(SAM, IVAN, and PETE also exit Stage Right.)
(COLE sits back down at his desk, opens his silver cigar box, and takes out a cigar but only twirls it in his fingers as if he is mulling something over in his mind, then freezes. Lights down.)
It's so hard to get good hired help. Or literate help. Or just plain help.
Full name again is: The Legend of John Shane: Tale of the Rustlers' Trace