AIRED : 08 October 1968
Director: Walter Grauman Teleplay by: Paul Playdon
Guest Stars: Stryker: Robert J. Wilke Wes: James Gammon
Johnny is seen digging a hole. He is wearing his “stud pants“, gloves and no shirt. Johnny takes a post off wagon and puts it in hole, then picks up a sledge hammer and starts pounding on the post.
Wes takes a board of the wagon, leans against wagon taking off his hat and wipes his face with handkerchief saying, “Hold up, Johnny. Man I’m wore out I gotta rest.”
Johnny keeps pounding post saying, “Later”.
Wes: “I work any more and I’m gonna rest in my coffin.”
Johnny puts down sledge hammer and picks up shovel filling dirt in around post.
Wes: “I swear Johnny now we keep this up we’re gonna be too tired tonight to hit that town. You listenin Johnny?”
Wes walks over to Johnny.
Johnny: “Yeah Wes, yeah, I’m listenin.” Johnny keeps filling in dirt.
Wes: “We been goin’ at it hard the last two hours.”
Johnny keeps working: “I know.”
Wes: “Then how come, what’s the blasted rush, huh?”
Johnny: “To get done early.”
Wes says scratching his head, “I must be missin somethin somewhere.”
Johnny pauses saying, “Look the only way to beat the system around here is
to get ahead of it, now is that right? Is that right Wes?”
Johnny: “The only way to do that then is to work fast.”
When Johnny goes back to shoveling dirt, Wes asks, “So, where’s the sense? The town ain’t gonna start jumpin til tonight. And we just bust our backs to get done early. And for what? What do we do?”
Johnny pauses saying, “Anything. Just anything. Long as it don’t have a deadline.” Johnny
goes back to work saying, “Now, come on. We ain’t got much more left”
Wes says, “Man, they really broke you to the plow.” Wes pauses, closeup on Johnny, he stops working and listens to Wes saying, “Now you just think of all them things out there you’ll never see. You’ll never again go ridin’ over a hill without knowin’ what’s on the other side. You sold it all out for a row of post holes.”
Lancer sign is laying on the ground with rolls of wire behind in. Three men go slowly by on horseback looking around for cattle. Davy says, “I know I seen them stray cattle around here somewheres.”
Samuel Stryker is his father: “How many were there, Davy?”
Davy: “Ah, five maybe six head. It looked, looked to be Lancer beef just south of their line.”
Samuel says, “Five maybe six head. You don’t ask much out of life, do you boy?”
Davy: “Well, it’s more than we’ve been able to scrounge up in the last weeks Pa.”
Samuel: “Yeah, it ain’t like it used to be. Lousy land’s been picked clean.”
Horse whinnies and Eli, the other son, says, “Pa.”
Camera shows a black stallion with a herd of horses, black stallion rears up on hind legs. Samuel: “Now, there’s something‘. What do you make of ‘em?”
Eli: “About a hundred and fifty for the stallion, forty a piece maybe for the stringers.” Samuel: “I make that ‘tween four and five hundred dollars.”
Davy pulls out shotgun and shoots at stallion. The horses start running.
Samuel: “Now, why’d you do that?”
Davy: “Pa, I figured we bring down the stallion it’d be easier to round up them others.” Samuel: “You got a small mind, boy. You ain’t even growed up to that yet.”
Samuel pauses saying, “Now let’s go get em.”
Eli looks at his father, “Pa, that’s Lancer land.”
Davy: “We ain’t got no chance of gettin em out of there.”
Samuel: “You got any idea of what chances I’d take for that kind of money?”
Samuel pauses saying, “No, you got no ideas, boy, you got no idea at all.”
Samuel hits his horse with reins and they take off after horses.
ML comes riding down the road in horse drawn wagon. He pauses looking at JL and Wes working on fence line. He urges horses forward and continues up to where they are working, Wes goes and sits on their wagon. ML stops the team, saying, “Looks good!” Johnny is pulling wire around post and replies, “Thank you.”
ML gets down saying, “Come on now, take a breather.”
Johnny drops sledge hammer: “If you don’t mind I think I’ll have some water.” Taking off his left glove, JL walks over to wagon, hops on, picks up canteen. ML walks over to fence line looking at it saying, “Sure, help yourself.”
ML leans on post, watches Johnny bend over stretching says, “Sore, huh?”
JL, taking cover off the canteen: “Oh boy, I ain’t worked so hard in my life.”
ML : “Well, it shows it. You’ll have this gully all fenced in by noon.”
ML looks up and down fence line.
JL pours water over face breathing hard: “Ahhhhh! Well, I thought I’d push hard, you know and try and get a couple hours off before town tonight.”
ML looks uncomfortable: “Ah, Johnny.” And he starts walking over.
ML: “A couple problems have, have come up. I’m sorry.”
JL looks at ML: “Like what?”
ML: “Well at two o’clock this afternoon you have to help your brother with the surveying. That report has to go in by next week. Then tonight we’ve got bookkeeping to do.”
JL looks disappointed: “Two o’clock, huh?” and he puts his glove back on.
Getting down JL asks: “And just how am I supposed to know when it’s two o’clock?”
JL faces ML staring at him, ML pulls pocket watch out, opening it, saying, “Here. It’s old” Closing timepiece. “but it’s still a good timepiece. Keep it.” Tosses watch to JL and JL stares at it.
ML: “I ah…”
JL: “What?” JL glances up very briefly at ML.
JL says, “You just said…”
ML gets on wagon: “Be back at the ranch at two o’clock. Scott’ll be waiting for you.”
ML rides away, JL watches him go, watch in his hand. He puts watch in his pants and picks up the sledge hammer, turns towards wagon, Wes hops down, JL throws sledge hammer on wagon and pulls off gloves, putting them on wagon, picks up shirt wiping his arms off.
Wes: “Maybe we can go next week, Johnny. That town ain’t goin nowhere.”
JL looks at Wes, “It ain’t the town, Wes.”
Wes, touching JL’s arm: “I must be missin’ something’ again somewhere.”
JL. putting his shirt on: “Come on, let’s get back to work.”
Wes hears horse looks and sees a black stallion running across the field.
Wes: “Hey, look at that!”
JL looks up, but continues to put on his shirt.
Wes: “You gonna pass that up?” He points at the stallion with his finger, JL starts buttoning his shirt.
Wes: “Givin all your life to work! Where you gonna find horse like that!”
Wes looks at JL who continues to button his shirt. Wes walks over to his horse unties him, mounts horse and rides off.. JL watches him, smiles, grabs his hat and puts it on following Wes. JL yells: “Ya hoo”.
JL and Wes chase the black stallion with lassos in their hands. JL catches the black stallion while Wes chases the stringers. The stallion resists but JL has him secured. JL gets off Barranca securing the stallion’s rope and walks over to the animal, still holding rope. The Strykers come riding up to JL.
Samuel: “Howdy. Names Stryker. Samuel Stryker. These are my boys, this is Eli and
this is Davy.”
JL : “Howdy.”
Samuel: “Well, we sure are obliged to ya.”
JL asks smiling, “For what?”
Sam: “Why, for catchin our herd. You know that…that black, he’s a real cagey animal. He’s more fox than horse. He’s been given us the runaround for the last two weeks…Well, we’ll just be takin him off your hands now and sayin’ thank you.”
JL: “Well, these horses are mine.”
Samuel: “I don’t think you, ah, heard me correctly. Now, we been chasin’ these animals for the last two weeks. Wild horses don’t belong to nobody…Why we were just getting’ ready to drive them into a box canyon ‘fore you showed up. Ah, I’ll figure that I just didn’t hear you right the first time and say thank you again.”
Eli starts moving up beside JL. JL says to Samuel, “There ain’t nothing’ wrong with your hearin.” JL turns head looking at Eli saying, “You havin’ a hard time keeping’ that horse still?” Eli looks at JL and Samuel says, “You know, you’re beginning to grit me, so I’m gonna lay it on the barrel head. I ain’t looking’ for no trouble. But I want what’s mine.”
JL looks at Samuel, glancing at Eli every now and then saying, “They’re not yours for three reasons. One, they’re on Lancer land. Two, I broke my back getting’ ‘em. And three, you’re lying. You see there aren’t any box canyons around here. Now, I don’t know who you are, but…” Wes rides over towards them. JL continues: “I got a pretty good idea what you are.”
Wes pulls out his rifle, Samuel looks at him.
JL : “So, you just better ride.”
Eli pulls gun and points it at JL saying, “Seems there’s only one way to settle this.” The click of the hammer of a shotgun is heard JL looks at Wes, Eli turns and looks at Wes who has rifle pointed at him. JL smiles and waves at Wes saying, “Hello, Wes.” Wes touches his hat and smiles. JL smiles and says, “Well, like I said before. You better ride. Before you have to bury the only thing around here that is yours.”
Samuel: “Well, you’ve been real kind. We won’t forget it.”
Stryker and his boys ride off. JL smiles and walks horses.
Clock shows three o’clock. ML looks at clock: “What’s keeping Johnny! That job on the south gully shouldn’t have taken this long.”
SL wearing a tan shirt is sitting on table: “Listen I can do that surveying without him. It’s not that rough a job. Tell him to forget it.” SL stands up holding his gloves.
ML : “Scott, stop trying to cover for him.”
Knock on door, ML:, “Yeah!”
Ranch hand comes in: “Mr. Lancer, some cattle strayed through a hole in the fence line down by the south gully.”
ML: “How many?”
Ranch hand: “Can’t tell for sure but at least fifty got caught in the gully.”
ML: “Fifty! That’s where Johnny was working! All right, take the men off their jobs, start pulling them out.”
Ranch hand: “Yes, sir.” Ranch hand leaves.
SL : “Now, I know what you’re thinking but it shouldn’t take that long.”
ML, walking away: “Try pulling nine hundred pounds of scared beef out of a sand gully. It’ll take days and most of the hands we’ve got.”
SL turns towards ML puts hands on hips: “We don’t know what happened out there.”
SL is toying with gloves and ML says, “Scott maybe you better start that surveying by yourself.”
SL nods slightly: “Right.” He grabs his hat, puts in on and leaves.
Scene ends with ML staring.
JL and Wes are coming home leading horses. JL leads the black stallion into the corral and the stringers follow.
Teresa is talking to a ranch hand: she says, “And get six bolts of cloth.”
ML comes out of hacienda, Teresa asks: “Do you need anything? He’s going into town.” ML: “No, nothing…I”
ML sees JL in corral and yells, “Johnny!” Wes and JL are tying up horses,
Wes: “Ouch, oh um boy, you gonna get it now! He left you with a row of post holes and here you show up with a bunch of wild horses!”
JL : “I think he’ll understand”
JL smiles, leaves the corral and walks towards ML.
JL walks up, putting gloves in hat, hands hat to Teresa, saying her name.
ML: “Where you been Johnny?”
JL walks back smiling and says, “Look at that stallion, huh! I tell you he’s gonna outrun any horse on this ranch.”
While JL washes hands and face in a water bowl, ML says, “I asked you where you’ve been.” JL comes back over drying his face with towel, asking, “How long since you
seen a horse like that?”
ML, crossing his arms: “What about the fence?”
Smiling, JL pulls out timepiece, opening it saying, “We’ll wrap it up tomorrow morning. I’ll tell you what, when that little hand’s on six and big hand’s on twelve, bright and early!” JL shuts timepiece.”
ML shakes his head: “That’s not good enough, Johnny. You had a job of work to do here and you didn’t do it.”
JL looks down, upset, “I told you I’d do it tomrrow.”
ML: “This is a cattle ranch we’re not in the business of catching and selling wild horses.” JL : “Well, we could be. Now I caught that horse and I want to break him, you mind?” ML not looking at JL: “You can do that on your own time.”
JL says looking at ML: “When’s my own time?”
ML: “When you’ve done your day’s work the same as everyone else. Just because your my son doesn’t mean you don’t carry your own weight around here.”
JL looks at him and walks away into the house.
Teresa says to ML, “Well, you can’t blame him! He—He’s never had to run his life by a clock before. Well, he probably didn’t even know he was late.”
ML : “He knew what time it was.”
Horse is heard and ML looks up to see Samuel and Eli Stryker riding up. JL comes out of door.
ML walks up to the Strykers and Samuel asks: “You Murdoch Lancer?”
ML : “Yeah.”
Samuel: “Samuel Stryker.
ML : “What can I do for you”
SS: “You can give me what’s mine!” Samuel points at Johny: “One of your hired hands stole them from me.”
ML turns looking at JL: “He’s my son.” Turning back to Samuel, he asks, “What do you want here?”
SS:” Give a man a fair hearing.”
ML: “Well make it quick.”
SS: “We been doggin’ those horses hard for the last two weeks. Was all set to trap ‘em when your son shows up and took ‘em. Like I told him, I don’t want any trouble just them horses.”
Ranch hand rides up, (it’s Lloyd Haynes from Room 222!) : “Mr. Lancer, you want the men working on the bridge pulled off?”
ML : “What?”
Ranch hand: “To help pull out the cattle.”
SS: “What’s it gonna be?”
JL: “They’re mine.”
ML looks at Johnny.
Ranch hand: “Mr. Lancer?.”
ML: “All right take them and get off my land.”
JL :”Look, I caught those horses, they’re mine!”
ML pauses: “Leave the stallion, take all the rest of them.”
Eli looks at Samuel says, “Pa.”
SS, to Eli: “Shutup.”
Samuel lifts hand to hat and smiles, the Strykers ride over to corral to get horses.
JL: “What’d you let them get away with that for?”
ML : “There are more wild horses on this range than you can catch and break in a lifetime. Right now we’ve got more important things to think about.”
JL walks away and ML says to ranch hand, “Pull the men from the bridge. Take off the work crew from the north line camp.”
Ranch hand: “Right.”
ML walks away and JL watches the Strykers entering corral.
Seeing that they are going to take the black stallion, JL runs over there with a hand on his gun. He grabs Eli Stryker and pulls him away from the stallion throwing him on the ground. JL says, “I said nobody’s taking that horse.”
Samuel looks at Eli, Eli gets up and goes after JL. JL hits him knocking him down again. Samuel says to Eli, “You started it boy, now finish it.” Eli gets up picking up hat and when JL turns his back, Eli draws on him!!! JL spins around and shoots him before he can get a shot off. Samuel gets off horse and goes over to Eli kneeling down to check on him. ML comes up and JL puts his gun away hurrying over.
JL: “Let’s get him to the house.”
Samuel looks at JL saying, “Nobody touches him.” Samuel says to Eli, “Can
you make it to the horse?” He helps Eli up and says, “Davy’s bringin’ the boys. You hang on. We’ll make ‘em sorry!”
Samuel looks at ML: “It don’t end here Lancer. You’ll see. Not here. Not yet.”
The Strykers ride away, Eli leaning over his horse. ML and JL are watching them leave, JL looks at ML and looks down.
JL is sitting in great room with arms crossed looking down. ML walks over to him.
JL looks up: “What do you keep looking at me for?” Looking down again, he adds: “You saw what happened. He drew on me. What’d you expect me to do?”
ML walks a little away.
JL: “What’s the matter, isn’t that good enough?”
ML turns around: “Scott’s still waiting for you to help him with that surveying job. Maybe you better go join him.”
ML starts to walk away and JL drops arms: “I asked you a question.”
ML keeps walking and stop as JL says, “If it’s about that fence I told you I’d finish it tomorrow morning didn’t I?” Johnny looks down and then up saying, “Look, there’s only a small section left. If it makes you happy I’ll go finish it right now.”
ML is looking out the window, turns to JL and says, “Now is too late. About 50 head of cattle strayed through that…that little hole in that section you didn’t finish. What’s left of them is now at the bottom of the south gully. That’s what your time off cost.”
JL: “How was I to know that was gonna happen?”
ML : “Maybe you never will know. Maybe it takes twenty years of just living with this kind of land. Maybe it’s not for you Johnny.”
Upset JL gets up saying, “Look all right, I…I’m sorry about the cattle you lost!”
ML : “We lost….Johnny” ML starts walking toward Johnny. “Not you. We! And all the responsibilities that go with it.”
JL: “I’d do fine. I’d just do fine if you wouldn’t push so hard.”
ML: “I wish I had a chance to break you in easily but I don’t. You’ve got to make up your mind who you are and where you belong and if it’s not going to be here I want to know it now.”
The door opens and Wes comes in taking off his hat: “Johnny! Just stopped by to say goodbye.”
Johnny walks toward Wes: “You leavin for town, huh?”
Wes, looking from Johnny then to ML: “Nope. Quit. I figure two months is long enough to be locked up anywhere. I’m just gonna go out and catch hold of something’ and go where ever it takes me. You know what I mean, Johnny? Just kinda go out and ride free.”
ML has back to JL. JL thinks about what Wes has said and says, “Wes, you do me a favor? Get my gear together and wait up for me outside?”
Shot of ML’s face as JL says, “I’m goin with you.”
Wes, smiling: “You bet!” He puts hat on and leaves closing door.
JL turns to ML not looking at him saying, “Well, I guess you heard.”
ML not looking at JL: “You’ll need some money.” and walks towards the desk.
JL walks over and picks up his hat, absently playing with it, “Only what you figure I got comin.”
ML picks up ledger book marking in it saying, “Haven’t drawn anything in two weeks. I make that to be twelve dollars.” ML puts book down and says, “You better sign it. Receipt of wages.”
JL walks over and signs book, hat in his hand. ML pulls money out of his pocket,
counts out twelve dollars and throws it on table in front of him: “Count it.”
JL picks up, money not counting it and puts it in his pocket, looks at ML for a minute and walks out of house, shutting door.
ML says, “Johnny” but JL is already gone.
JL is outside the door, paces a little and then walks over looking down and putting hands on the wall of the hacienda.
SL : “Johnny”
JL looks and SL walks toward him: “Wes tells me you’re leaving.”
JL walks towards Scott, then leans on the post: “That’s right, brother. Guess you own fifty percent of the ranch, huh?”
SL : “Don’t do it. This’ll all blow over in a couple days. Give it a chance. I’ll talk to Murdoch, square things.”
JL : “Nah, forget that.”
Hacienda door opens, Teresa comes out, JL continues saying, “I got a lot of places to go before they box me in. You belong here.”
Teresa runs over saying, “Johnny, I don’t want you to go.” JL holds her, Teresa is crying, JL: “Teresa, you gonna shed a tear for me?”
She pulls away and JL takes money out of his pocket: “I tell you what, I want you to go out and buy yourself a new dress.” He counts out money and puts it in her hand. “Get yourself out of those jeans.”
JL smiles at her saying, “And wipe your nose, will ya.” He kisses her on the forehead and starts to walk by SL slapping him on the stomach saying, “Scott, I’ll see you later.”
Scott grabs his arm and JL turns, SL says, “Johnny, think about it.”
SL lets go of JL and JL says, “I already have.” He takes money out and says, “You give this to the old man. It’s for the stallion’s halter.” He hands money to SL puts rest in pocket and says, “I’m gonna start livin again.” JL walks off with SL and Teresa watching him go. JL goes into the corral, SL puts his arm around Teresa and they watch JL and Wes leave, JL leading the stallion.
Davy Stryker comes along with more men and runs into his father leading Eli on his horse behind him bent over the horse. Davy asks, “What happened?”
SS: “I’ll tell you later. Let’s get him down.” Looking at other men, he adds: “You give him a hand.”
Davy gets down and quickly goes to his brother saying, “Paw, he needs a doctor!”
SS: “Nearest one’s two days from here. You try to move him like this, he’ll bleed to death before we even go a mile.”
Davy and two men get Eli off horse and lay him down. Samuel gets off his horse. Eli moves his head and coughs. Davy yells, “Hey, Paw! Paw!” Samuel runs over kneeling down yells, “Eli! Eli” Davy says, “Paw. He’s dead!” Samuel looks at Davy and then down and stands up looking really angry.
Johnny and Wes are taking off their boots both smiling.
Wes: “Bet you can’t!”
JL : “I betcha I can.”
Wes: “Alright. How much? “
JL : “How about a dollar?” Wes : “You’re on.”
They both stand up and get ready to run, Wes hits JL’s arm and says, “Go!” They both take off running for the water, JL takes the lead and Wes falls. JL jumps in water and
Wes follows. Wes and JL are swimming in water fully clothed.
Wes is on the stallion trying to break him. Wes says, “Yippee! Woo hooh”
The horse throws him, Wes groans and the stallion runs off. JL is by their horses and walks over, picks up Wes’ hat and helps him up, laughing says, “Wes, I tell you you’re gonna break your back
before you break that horse.”
Wes says, “Well, I’m gonna break him.”
Wes starts to go after the stallion and
JL holds him back. JL says, “Come on. Come on. Forget it. Let’s go to town.”
Scene opens with ML alone in a darkened room, deep in thought. SL enters taking off his hat. SL walks slowly over, putting his hat down.
SL: “Well, what do you plan to do?” and begins to take off his gloves.
ML:, “After the strays are taken care of, we go over to the East Mesa for ah surveying and there’s that wooden foot bridge that was washed out last winter.”
SL throws his gloves on table: “You know what I mean. About Johnny.”
ML : “He made his decision.”
SL: “Oh, did he?” SL rests hand on gun. “Now, the way I heard it, he got some help.”
ML: “Anyway the matter is closed. It’s not open for further discussion.”
Slight sarcastic laugh from SL: “You don’t give at all, do you? All pride and Johnny’s cut from the same mold. Not one inch of give.”
ML gets up walking away and turning around: “You want me to go after him? Beg him into coming back here?”
SL: “Is that so bad?”
ML : “And how long do you think it would last? If he’s willing to let go that easily. If nothing here has gotten through to him. If he hasn’t learned anything. If what he’s running to out there is so important, then let it happen. Let it happen now.”
Outside the saloon doors, a couple comes out and wanders down the street. JL and Wes come down riding down the street with the stallion between them. JL and Wes ride to the stable and get off their horses. They enter the stable. JL says, “Howdy.” The stableman is polishing a saddle, he stops, walks over and asks: “Evenin. Wanna bed em down?”
JL :”That’s right. Just for tonight.”
Stableman looks at horses: “It’ll cost you four bits.”
JL is getting money and the stableman says, “Oh, ah, you goin to the saloon?”
JL : “Sure.”
Stableman: “Then it’ll be in advance.”
JL hands him money, stableman looks at stallion saying, “That’s fine lookin horse flesh. Wild, huh?”
JL: “That’s right.”
Stableman :”You ever think of sellin him?”
JL : “Oh,no! Uh uh. He’s not for sale.”
Stableman: “I’ll give you fifty dollars.”
JL : “Nope.”
Wes: “Wait a minute, Johnny. How much money you got?”
JL : “I got about five, six dollars.”
Wes: “Well, I ain’t got more than three. We’re gonna need some cash.”
JL : “I’m not gonna sell him, Wes.”
Wes: “Well what about the watch?” Takes watch from JL. “Here, Johnny.”
Wes hands the watch to the stableman. “Here, it’s gold. How much?”
Stableman looks at watch: “Kinda old.”
JL takes the watch back and says, “That’s not for sale either.”
Stableman says, “Ten dollars.”
Stableman: “All right! Fifteen, that’s as high as I’ll go.”
Wes: “Better shut up, Johnny. Now, you can’t force him up no more.”
JL: “I’m not tryin.”
Wes:, “You mean you really don’t wanna sell it?”
JL: “That’s right.”
Wes: “Well I swear, sometimes you just don’t make no sense, now. When you
ever gonna need a watch? When’s it ever gonna be worth more than fifteen dollars for you to know the time? Come on, Johnny! You ain’t never gonna need it.”
JL looks at the watch, sees the stableman is counting out money.
JL: “Fifteen, huh?”
Stableman: “Uh, huh.” He hands over the money.
Wes puts out his hand and JL pushes it away. Stableman walks away with the watch, JL watching him.
Wes asks, “What’s wrong?”
Wes says, “Well, come on!”
JL looks at stableman once more and then follows Wes to bed down horses. Stableman looks at watch, smiling.
In the saloon, music is playing. Wes and Johnny are sitting at table with a stranger. Two saloon girls come up, Wes pulls them on his lap saying, “There’s plenty of room for everybody” He yells, “Three whiskeys!” Man gets up chasing a saloon girl and another saloon girl sits down by JL,
Wes yells, “Oh, make that four!” She reaches over to JL and he hands her his drink. Wes has obviously been drinking quite a bit, says to JL, “Ever seen so many hot tamales in your life, Johnny? They got more life than them jugglin beans? Just like old times eh?”
JL : “That’s right, Wes.”
Wes looks at JL who doesn’t look happy says, ” Ha ha!…… Hey, Johnny! You all right?”
JL picks up his hat and gets up, “Yeah, listen, I tell ya…I’m ah…I’m gonna get some air. You’ll be all right, huh?”
Wes :”Sure, Johnny! Old Wes ain’t gonna be lonesome.”
Laughing Wes yells, “Where are those whiskeys bartender?” JL is walking away from saloon, outside, he leans against post.
Scene shifts to the ranch:
ML is standing by fireplace. He walks over and sits on a sofa, seemingly lost in thought.
Back in town:
JL walks across town and goes into stable. Walks by Barranca and stallion and sits down in empty stall. Wes comes staggering out of saloon saying, “John” And heads to stable yelling, “Johnny! Johnny! Woo hooh” JL smiles slightly. Wes says, “Woo hooh” JL gets up walking over saying, “Well, look at you.”
Wes: “Woo hooh. Oh, good old Wes have himself a time, oh !”
Wes looks at stallion, adding: “Oh, now’s as good a time as any.”
JL :”For what?”
Wes : “To break him.” Wes starts walking towards stallion and JL puts
his hands on his shoulder steering him away saying, “No, no. Come on. Come on.”
Wes : “But…I … I wanna break em, you hear Johnny? I wanna break him.”
JL : “You can break him in the morning. Okay?”
Wes :”You gonna be here in the morning‘, huh?”
JL laying Wes down: “I’ll be here, Wes. Come on now, let’s sleep.”
Wes : “Oh, all right. All right. I’m gonna break him in the moring, I’m gonna break him.”
Wes continues mumbling about breaking the stallion for a few seconds. JL puts Wes’ hat on top of him and just looks at him. He gets up and walks over looking at the stallion.
A ranch hand named Walt walks out of the corral leading horse. ML walks over
saying, “Hey, Walt! See that more wire and posts get over to the East Mesa.”
Walt : “Yes, sir.”
ML grabs reins as Walt starts to shut gate but hearing riders, ML lets go. He sees the Strykers and their men riding up.
Samuel yells, “Lancer. Seen one of your boys headin’ into town. Where’s the other?”
ML : “Johnny?”
Davy pulls his gun as Samuel says, “The one that shot my son.”
ML: “He’s not here. Why?”
SS: “My boy died. Now I want your boy. And I want him fast.”
ML: “He’s gone. He’s not coming back.”
SS: “You’re lying.”
Walt : “I’ll get the boys, Mr. Lancer.”
SS: “Do it.”
Davy shoots Walt, ML goes to help Walt, looking at Samuel. Samuel says,
“When your boy gets back, we’ll be waitin.”
Scott rides into town. JL is sitting at table in the saloon, alone, drinking a beer. Wes and some saloon girls are at the next table. Through the window, he sees SL ride by and stop at the stable. JL watches him walk to saloon, he puts down beer, rubs at his face with his hand . SL walks in, sees JL and nods.
JL straightens his chair: “You came a long way for nothing‘, brother.”
SL takes off hat and walks toward him gesturing, “Then you won’t mind if I ah sit down for a while.”
JL: “No, go right ahead.”
SL puts his hat down and takes a seat–Johnny actually pushes it out for him.
SL looks around the room: “Yes, sir. I see what you mean.” Nodding his head, he takes off his right glove. “This is really a great life.”
JL looks to his right and back: “This place does really good at night.”
SL: “Oh, I bet it does.” SL moves glass over and picks up bottle of whiskey.
JL: “You get those cattle back yet?”
SL : “No, it’ll take a couple of days.”
SL takes top off of the bottle.
JL : “So, what’d the old man do, let you off for good behavior?”
SL holding open bottle: “He didn’t send me.”
Pause, JL swallows: “Oh, yeah before I forget you know that small creek on the south side? You know where it narrows there?”
SL nods as JL continues. “Well, there’s undergrowth been pilin up. It’s gonna dam up on ya if ya don’t clear it. I guess it’d take ya about….about a week.”
SL, holding glass of whiskey: “It’d take us a lot less time if you were there to help us.”
JL smiles and SL quickly adds: “Never mind, I know. Forget it. You’ve got everything you want right here.”
JL looks down saying, “No, Scott. I got it other places.”
SL smiles: “Hey, it’s a funny thing. I was just riding through town, I never expected to find you here. I mean with all that talk about freedom, it’s a funny thing to find you all jammed in between these four walls.”
JL, looking over at Wes: “Well, Wes and I we’re gonna take off tonight.”
Wes looks at JL smiling, SL takes a drink: “Just ah…just takin off.”
JL nods: “Yeah.”
SL: “Got any plans?” He starts to take a drink repeats, “I said have you…”
JL interrupts: “Yeah, I heard you…. Yeah, we’re gonna head south. There’s a range war
brewin and ah…. well we heard they were hirin guns.”
SL , glass in his hand: “Just gonna kill time. Amonst other things?”
JL : “That’s right.”
SL, looking down at his glass: “You’ll be dead before your thirty.”
SL takes a drink, and JL smiles back saying “That comes to us all don’t it brother?.”
SL : “But when you go you won’t even leave a small ripple.” SL sets down glass, picking up his glove.
JL : “That it, brother. I mean ah…the sermons over ain’t it?”
SL leans forward saying, “It’s the only good thing that’s ever happened to you in your whole life and your gonna get up and walk away from it. And all for nothing. But I guess that’s all you got going for you from now on.”
SL stands up, he has both gloves on and puts out his hand saying, “It was nice
to have met you, brother.” JL looks at hand and takes it, smiling and shaking his hand. SL says looking at him, “Good luck.” He lets go of his hand, walks around the table, picking up his hat and walks out, stopping at door to put his hat on. He doesn’t look back.
JL is still sitting in his chair, SL walks across the street to the stable.
Wes gets up and comes over saying, “Don’t let him bother you Johnny.” He slaps Johnny on the arm. JL says, “Wes, would you mind leavin’ me alone for a little while?” Wes says, “Sure, Johnny. I-I-I think I’ll go out and have me that fun we talked about,
hmm?” Wes leaves and JL sits staring at his hands. Through the window, we see SL ride quickly out of town.
JL looks up, hearing a horse, neighing across the street.
Wes is in the corral pulling on reins and the stallion is rearing up. Wes says, “Get! Get down here!….Woah” Horse rears up and hits Wes, knocking him down. Horse stomps on Wes. Wes screams. JL comes running out of saloon and jumps corral fence saying, “Hey, Wes!” He grabs the stallion. Townspeople all run to fence as JL ties stallion to it. Wes is laying on the ground not moving, JL runs to him saying, “No, Wes!” Stableman
comes out. JL checks out Wes. Stableman says, “Is he dead?” JL says, “Yeah, I think so.” He unbuttons Wes’ shirt, stableman says, “Somebody go get the undertaker. Ah, we’ll keep his horse, it’ll help pay for the burial.”
JL gets up and walks to stallion and pulls out his gun, pointing it at the stallion. Townspeople collectively gasp and back away. JL stands there pointing gun, drops arms down. He puts his gun away saying to stableman, “You still want the horse? You said you’d pay fifty dollars for him.”
Stableman: “That was before he turned killer. Better put a bullet in him. He’ll
always be wild.”
JL : “What if I broke him?”
Stableman: “Hm, he might be worth somethin, but no fifty dollars”
JL : “I don’t want the money.”
Stableman: “What then?”
JL: “The watch.”
Stableman smiles, “You feelin all right mister? That horse’ll break your back before you even get a saddle on him?”
JL : “Well, you let me worry about that. Gotta deal?”
Stableman nods says, “Yeah. Sure.”
JL is on stallion getting ready to break him. Man says, “Watch out. Watch ‘em Johnny!” He nods his head and they let him out of small area into corral. Stallion bucks and bucks, shows JL thrown off horse. Stableman laughs. JL gets up, pats stallion and gets back on. Stallion starts bucking again, stableman is watching. Stallion stops bucking, JL has broken him.
He rides up to stableman and says to the stallion: “Now, you’re just another horse.” Stableman: “Yeah, but now he’s of some use.”
JL gets down and stableman pulls out watch: “Ah, there’s your watch. You earned it.
JL takes the watch, opens it and looks at it, looks at stallion and walks away.
SL is riding across Lancer towards Hacienda. Davy has gun trained on SL and Samuel stops him saying, “No, let him come in, just don’t let him leave.”
Teresa comes out of Hacienda saying, “Scott, Murdoch wants to see you!”
SL is tying up horse says, “What is it? What’s wrong?”
Teresa: “That man. The one Johnny shot. He died.”
SL looks at Teresa and heads in hacienda with Teresa following. ML is loading gun,
SL comes in hacienda, ML turns to SL: “She tell ya?”
SL : “Yes. I better go get some help.”
ML and Scott stare at each other, Scott turns to go and ML asks: “Scott. Did you find Johnny?”
SL turns back saying, “Yes, I found him.”
SL leaves. ML returns to loading his gun.
Lancer Ranch sign is laying on ground. JL picks it up and puts it in ground. He gets on horse and rides toward Hacienda.
SL gets on horse to leave and Davy shoots him off of his horse, SL is lying on ground. ML heads for door with shotgun in his hand saying, “Teresa, you stay right there.”
Teresa is looking out window yells, “Wait! It’s Johnny!” ML goes to window and watches JL riding up saying, “We’ve got to keep him away from here.” ML heads for door, JL comes in yelling, “Murdoch!”
ML: “How did you get in here?”
JL : “I heard a shot I came around the side,”
ML : “Who told you to come back?”
JL : “I wanted ta talk to you.”
ML: “I thought you did all you’re talking when you left. Now get out of here.”
JL : “Where is everybody?”
ML : “Out making up for all the work you refused to do I suppose.”
JL : “Somethin’s wrong.”
ML : “The only thing wrong around here has always been you. So, get out while you still can.”
ML grabs his arm saying, “I thought I made myself clear but in case I didn’t listen and listen hard. I don’t need you, now or ever. Now, get off my land.”
JL says yanking his arm away angrily, “All right!” He walks toward back door, opening it he sees SL hurt says, “Scott!”. He helps SL through door saying, “Come on, sit down.” Teresa and JL help SL to couch, SL is holding left shoulder. ML says, putting pillow on couch, “Here. Teresa get some hot water and bandages.”
SL says unbuttoning shirt, “I’m all right!”
Teresa heads out of room.
JL: “What happened?”
ML: “It’s no concern of yours.”
JL : “Look, I have a right to know.”
Teresa turns around: “Sam Stryker’s boy died.”
Teresa : “He has a right to know.” To JL. “Stryker and his men are out front, just waiting for you to come back.” JL stares at ML.
Gene runs up to Sam Stryker saying, “He’s in the house. Went in the side door. I couldn’t get a shot at him.” Sam Strykers voice is heard while camera is on
Lancers in the Great Room, “Lancer! Now listen to me. We know he’s in there. Now send him out and the rest of you won’t get hurt. Well, what’s it gonna be?”
The Lancers all just stand there, ML and SL staring at each other, finally JL starts to head for the door and ML grabs his arm saying, “Johnny!” JL says, “Look it’s my responsibility. I have a right to handle it in my own way.” Taking off his hat, he walks by Teresa saying, “Thanks Teresa.” Teresa looks at ML and JL leaves.
Stryker’s men are all lined up behind a wall waiting. Davy says to Samuel, “He ain’t comin out.” JL looks out from behind shed. Samuel says, “Gene, get around the back of the house, see if you can flush him out.” Gene leaves. JL sneaks out and dives under a wagon. Slowly crawling, gets up and dives behind water trough. SL and ML come out with rifles firing. Men behind the wall fire back. JL with gun drawn dives into corral. Samuel seeing JL aims gun saying, “There he is!” Davy stops him saying, “No, Paw! Let me take him.” JL runs across the corral. Samuel says, “You out of your head boy?” Davy puts down rifle and pulls gun out saying, “Not so long as your there with that rifle I ain’t.” Davy runs toward barn. Samuel yells, “Davy!” Men continue to fire at SL and ML and they fire back.
Horses in corral start running. JL runs and Davy yells, “Lancer!”
JL turns firing hits Davy in left shoulder, Davy yells, “Paw! Paw! Kill him, Paw!”
JL runs over to Davy while Samuel is shooting at him and grabs him holding gun on Davy.
JL yells, “Stryker! You lost one boy, you want to try for another? Tell your men to
drop their guns.”
Samuel says to men, “Drop em.” They drop their guns.
JL : “Now, get on your horses and get out.”
Stryker and his men head for horses. JL has gun on Davy looking at him, Davy asks, “What ya gonna do?”
ML : “Johnny!”
Johnny pulls gun back and shoves Davy watching him go. Davy goes out fence and gets on horse and they ride away. JL stares and camera switches to ML staring.
JL is digging hole for post. ML rides up saying, “Hey,” Getting off horse he continues saying, “I missed you when the rest of the work crew came back.
JL : “Yeah, well I figured I’d pass up chow, get a little jump on the job.”
ML : “Nice day.”
JL : “Yeah.”
ML : “I saw a stand of wild horses out by the Black Mesa this morning. How much longer do you think you’ll be working here?”
JL ,leaning on shovel: “Well, I’m just gonna lay out a string line. That way it’ll keep the crew busy until dark.”
ML : “Good thinking.” ML walks towards fence line picking up post leaning on it saying, “You know a man’s life can be laid out like a row of post holes. Sometimes maybe that’s not all good. Maybe there’s a time when a man has to listen to the sound of a far away train whistle. Kind of break the pattern. Maybe there’s even a time when the most important thing in the world is to go out after a wild horse.”
JL : “Up by Black Mesa?”
ML : “About forty, as near as I can figure. No telling’ how long they’ll be there. You know how a wild horse will move on.”
JL smiles saying, “Yeah, a wild horse can really move fast, once he’s got a mind to.”
JL and ML both smile, head for their horses and ride off.