Air Date 01 April 1969
Directed by: Donald Richardson
Written by: Penrod Smith**
The Script labeled “Final” and Dated January 10, 1969 identifies Ken Trevey as the writer. In this transcript of the show as filmed, changes from the script are noted in italics and parentheses.
Rex Holman as Luke Sickles
Johnnie Whittaker as Andy-Jack
Virginia Christine as Hannah “Ma” Sickles
Patty McCormack as Pearl
Opening: ominous music plays as we scan a desolate, barren rocky outcrop. Camera continues to pan underneath the credits, Written by Penrod Smith appears and below the words we can see a figure in the distance, someone walking slowly towards us.
Close up on Scott in silhouette, wearing a hat, carrying his saddle over one shoulder and his saddle bags low in the other hand. As he comes closer, we can see that he looks hot and tired. Music increases in volume as he glances up at the sky, then stops and drops the saddle. He adjusts his hat, squinting in the bright sun. He’s wearing his gloves and a beige shirt. He sits down on the saddle as the credits continue and starts to fish something out of his shirt pocket. Close up of his gloved hands show them holding a compass. Close of his face shows how tired he looks. He sighs, rubs one eye and looks up at the distant outcroppings. He doesn’t seem to have an easy road ahead.
He closes up the compass, pockets it, picks up the saddlebags and the saddle and moves off screen. The saddle is laden with all of the usual: a rifle in a sheath, a coil of rope, etc.
Fade out and then back, Scott in front of a wall of light colored rock. Hatless, he seems to have ditched the saddlebags but for some reason is still carrying the saddle. He’s walking with a great deal of difficulty, then he actually falls to the ground. He gets up very slowly, camera is on his hands as they wrench the canteen off of the pommel of the saddle, then loops the strap of the canteen over his wrist. Shot of his feet as they stagger off screen.
(according to the script, this is the opening scene. The script also indicates that Johnny is signing the register “John Lancer and Father” and that this would be visible to the viewer.)
Close up of Johnny signing something. Camera pulls away, to show that he is leaning over a counter and there is a older woman standing on the other side watching him. In the background is a staircase and a man in a hat is seen coming down the stairs.
JL: “You know, I was supposed to meet my brother here. Couple days ago. His name’s Scott Lancer.” Johnny finishes writing and looks up at her. “He been in?” He pushes the guest book to her, she turns it, shaking her head.
(script calls for him to turn back a page and search the list of names. The hotel clerk, identified in the script, but not in the show as “Widow Maude Bigelow”, asks him if something is wrong.)
“Lancer? Nobody by that name.”
Johnny is not happy to hear this news. He lowers his head and looks away. “Any other boarding houses?”
Hotel Clerk: “It’s this hotel or nothing.”
Camera shifts to her: “Unless he’d be sleeping on some pool table?”
Close up on Johnny again.
JL:” No, I don’t think so.” He lowers his head all the way, grinning. Reaches for the front of his hat brim with his right hand.
(Johnny’s line in the script: “Not hardly. It’d be contrary to his Boston upbringing.”)
Camera back to the hotel lady, as she seems to be looking at someone or something behind Johnny.
Murdoch: “Scott here?”
He enters the front door of the establishment, carrying his saddlebags. He is wearing his hat, a dark shirt and a leather vest.
JL: “No, not yet.”
Johnny turns around to face him. He has his own saddlebags hanging in his left hand. He’s wearing his rose colored shirt under his black bolero jacket and his usual pants.
Murdoch walks over to the counter. In this shot we can see that the hotel is well outfitted: overhead candle chandelier, tall wrought iron candleholders near the door. Furniture, curtains at the windows, a fireplace off to the side.
Clerk: “Where’s he comin’ from?”
(Johnny’s line in the script: “Up north. Been checking out a mining property near Tonopah.”)
ML, scratching his chin with one thumb: “He’s supposed to have taken a Wednesday stage down, at least that was the understanding.”
Close up on hotel lady. “Oh, that’s it then. They changed the schedule last month. Stage from Tonopah’s not due in til sometime tomorrow.”
Lancers do not look very happy.
ML mutters under his breath: “Well, Johnny, looks like we’re stuck in this bake-oven here.” They both look around unhappily, Johnny flicks at the brim of his hat.
Hotel Lady: “I’ll get your rooms aired out.”
JL: “You mind takin’ care of these?” He puts his saddle bags on top of the counter. Murdoch does likewise. The Hotel lady takes possessions of the saddlebags while the two Lancers turn to exit the hotel.
JL, to Murdoch: “C’mon, I’ll buy you a drink.”
(in the script, Johnny comments that “the saloon’s generally the coolest place in any town.”)
They start walking towards the door, Johnny slightly ahead of Murdoch, walking with bowed head and holding a rifle in his right hand. . They are both back to the camera. ML continues talking. “Johnny, he would have taken the stage down,” he says with a note of uncertainty in his voice. “He wouldn’t have gotten impatient and tried to make it by horseback?”
Johnny pauses near the door, turns to face Murdoch. “Oh, Murdoch. That’s some of the meanest desert I’ve ever seen.”
(Johnny’s line in the script: “Through the desert? It’s forty miles of the meanest, emptiest country this side of Hell.”)
ML: “I know that, and you know that, but would he know that?”
Ominous music plays. No answer from Johnny. They exit and the camera shifts to the skull of a steer hanging on the wall.
(Script calls for Murdoch to be staring at a mountain sheep’s skull hanging on the wall behind the clerks desk while he asks the question about whether or not Scott would wait for the stage.)
SCENE 3Shot of a rock edge and hands reaching up over. Scott appears, hatless and squinting badly now. He wipes at his mouth with one now bare hand and then tries to look up into the sky. Shot of clear sky—no clouds—and then we are looking up a very steep and high rock wall.
(according to the script, we don’t see Scott until after the scene with Johnny and Murdoch. Our first glimpse was written to be his canteen abandoned on the ground, with footprints leading away. Hatless, Scott’s clothing is scuffed and “his face is tortured by pain and thirst”. He kneels in a path of shade and pulls out a compass and a map—shots of compass in his hand, blurs, comes into focus, then blurs again. Close up of Scott: “For a moment, he lets his features reflect his knowledge of just how precarious his situation is. He’s slow to react to a pair of sounds: the soft clanking of a bell and the low “baaa” of some goats.”)
Camera back to Scott who looks as if he is in pain. Camera pulls back to show us some goats in the foreground. One large ram has a chain around its neck and a bell. With a determined expression, Scott struggles to his feet. He moves after the goats, swinging the canteen that is still strapped to one wrist. SL, to goats: “Go home . . . lead me.”
He falls to the ground, gets back up and continues after them. “Go home . . . lead me.” Shot of goats crossing a bare rocky outcropping. They start moving downwards, Scott struggling to clamber after them. Even the goats are having difficulty in some spots, sliding, hesitating, jumping.
Camera angle looking up at Scott who is still attempting to follow them. Shot of goats leaping and then we are looking down and see a young boy climbing up, carrying a canteen. He looks up and we see Scott high up the bare slope. Scott loses his footing and starts to fall, losing his canteen. He rolls over and over and over all the way down the slope. (the stunt man does a good job here; the same falling sequence will be used in the episode “Splinter Group”)
The boy hurries up over the rocks and arrives just as SL comes to rest on his back on the ground at the bottom of the slope he’s just descended.
The little boy tosses off his hat, and places one ear to Scott’s chest. “Your heart’s loud enough.”
(Notations in the script indicate that Andy-Jack shows a “strangely detached curiosity” rather than compassion. And that he is fascinated by the compass “to the point of shutting everything else out.”)
He reaches across Scott’s chest to pull the compass out of his shirt pocket. He sits back to examine it. “What’s this? What does it do?”
Scott’s head moves slightly. Close up on his face as he tries to figure out what’s going on.
Camera shifts to the little boy we will learn is Andy-Jack, who is still studying the compass. “It ain’t a clock! I had one of those once.” Shift to Scott. Who tries to raise his hand. He’s trying to speak, but no words come out. Finally the boy turns to look at Scott. “What’s it called?” Scott: “Water. . . .water.” He’s struggling, his lips look convincingly parched.
AJ: “I’ll give ya some, but you’d better close your eyes, or they’ll hurt more.”
Scott reaches to accept the canteen that AJ pushes to him, opening it and drinking it with his eyes closed. He takes a good long gulp, grasping the canteen with two hands. Andy-Jack looks on. Scott finally lowers the canteen, only to begin coughing.
AJ: “Did you ever go to school?” Scott keeps coughing. The camera shifts back and forth between them.
Andy-Jack repeats the question, a bit more insistently. Scott keeps his eyes closed, he can be heard breathing heavily. Finally the question registers and he shakes his head “yes”. AJ: “A long time?”
Camera to Scott again, who nods in the affirmative once more.
AJ: “Years and years?”
Scott fails to respond this time, his head slips to the side.
Andy-Jack puts his hand on Scott’s chest and shakes him, sounding a bit frantic: “Please don’t die, I wanna ask ya things!”Scott seems to hear this, but isn’t able to respond. Andy-Jack reaches for Scott’s hand: “C’mon, I’ll take ya home.” The boy puts his hat on and tries to help Scott up. Placing his left hand over his eyes to shade them, Scott starts to move into a sitting position.
Abrupt shift of scene: we see a small shack with the goats in the foreground. Close up of a doorway, then we are inside. It’s dark and Andy-Jack is seen walking along carrying a kerosene lantern. He is wearing his hat. The boy is dressed in denim overalls and a denim long sleeved shirt. He’s carrying something we can’t immediately identify in his other hand.He sets the lantern down on the ground beside Scott. He also seems to be carrying a plate of food, which he also sets down. Camera close up on Scott’s rather dusty looking holster. Andy-Jack slips Scott’s gun out of the holster. Camera moves up to show Scott’s profile, eyes closed, apparently asleep. Andy-Jack walks carefully and quietly away, crouches and considers one hiding place before standing and lifting up the cover of some sort of box and placing Scott’s gun inside.
A voice calls out “Andy-Jack!”
Outside, we see a close up of an older woman wearing a shawl and striking a large iron triangle, calling the boy’s name. Camera pulls back to show the shack-like house and the yard around it, including a few outbuildings and some laundry hanging on the clothesline. Back to the woman once more. This is Hannah “Ma” Sickles, Andy-jack’s grandmother. She is wearing a skirt, long sleeved blouse with a cameo pin at the neckline and is standing on the front stoop of the house. She puts down the stick and places her hands on either side of her mouth: “Andy-Jack, I’m callin’ you!” We can hear the goats in the distance. A man walks on screen towards her, his back to the camera. She calls out once more: “Andy-Jack!”As the man steps up alongside her, she speaks to him, “Where’d you get that?” causing him to turn so that we can see his face. He has sharp features and a mustache, with dark hair showing under a black hat. He wears a buckskin jacket and has a gun in a holster. He is holding a strange–looking contraption. This is Luke Sickles, Andy-Jack’s uncle and Hannah is his mother.
Ma Sickles, to Luke: “That belongs to Andy-Jack, you take it back.” She gestures towards the direction from which he has come.
Luke: “What if I don’t?”
He starts to enter the house. The camera moves inside, showing us the closed front door and a few furnishings— a pie-safe and a table with a pitcher and washbasin. The door opens and Luke enters, still holding Andy-Jack’s contraption, with his mother tight behind him, trying to reach around him to grab the object. “Give it here, give it here!” He turns towards her and she slaps his face.He looks at her, hands her the item in question and says “Thanks, Ma.” Looking angry, he removes his hat and moves over to place it on a peg beside the door. He moves off camera for a moment. Hannah puts the object down and then follows Luke, speaking in a quiet, but intense tone: “How many times have I warned you against going outside in the daytime?” Luke is about to sit in a chair drawn up to the table, while she stands with her hands on the back of another chair, back to us, looking down at him. There is a kerosene lamp on the table and a bed in the background.Luke looks at her, but does not answer, instead he sits down and places one foot up on the table. He loops something around his boot, apparently a strop which is using to sharpen a rather large knife. Close up on Hannah’s face; she is not happy.Luke: “I went out to kill a goat for supper. I want a little red meat in my belly.” He looks up at her challengingly. Behind him, another woman enters the room.
The other woman, young, with very dark hair, comes up behind Luke. (the script identifies her as his girlfriend, Pearl, but later we will see that she is wearing a wedding ring.) “Can’t expect him to stay cooped up here forever.” She puts her arms around Luke, leans down and kisses him full on the lips.
While they kiss, Hannah’s voice is heard off screen: “And what if some lawman was snooping around outside hereabouts?”
Shift to show her face: “You’d have lead in your belly!” She pushes his foot off of the table to punctuate her statement.
(in the script, she pokes him in the midsection)
Luke wrenches away from Pearl’s kiss; Pearl straightens up, keeping her hands on Luke’s shoulders.
LS: “No body’s gonna track me way out here.”
HS: “You ever think of bounty hunters?”Pearl, with a concerned expression, to Luke: “She’s right about that, Honey. You’ll never be safe anywhere, not as long as there’s a price on your head.” Pearl wears her dark hair in a low ponytail. She has on a short sleeved, scoop necked print blouse and a blue skirt. Luke considers this, looking from one woman to the other. Ma Sickles pulls her shawl more tightly about her shoulders as she stares down at him grimly. He stands up and gestures defiantly towards the door with his knife. “I’m gonna go kill me a goat. And nobody’s stopping me.”
As he walks towards the door, Hannah Sickles turns abruptly and follows him. She’s angry. “If you don’t take caution, you’re gonna end up just like your Pa and your brothers—in prison or in a graveyard!”While she is speaking, Luke is concentrating on putting his knife into the sheath at his waist. The camera shifts to Pearl, who is listening with a worried look on her face, then back to the Sickles. As his mother finishes, Luke looks up at her.
LS: “You don’t give two pins for me. The only one you care about . . . is that precious (he picks up Andy-Jack’s contraption). . . grandchild of yours.” Luke tosses the object to the floor. Ma Sickles cries out “No!” away after the object, while Luke reaches up for his hat and then opens the door and walks out. Pearl follows him out, and closes the door behind her.
(The scene in the mine where Andy-Jack hides Scott’s gun is not in the script, instead, the first time we see the boy after he finds Scott is here, after Luke and Pearl exit the shack and Andy-Jack enters. Hs grandmother’s face lights up. The follwoing exchange was not include dint eh episode as filmed. Here is a “missing scene” as described in the script:
HS: “Andy-Jack? Where’ve you been?”
AJ: “No place.” He turns away and spots the pieces of his “sun-thing”. This gets a reaction, a cry of shock and outrage.
AJ: “Who did it?” He drops to his knees and collects the pieces of the “sun-thing”, his body shaking with impotent fury to the point where he is virtually weeping. Ma Sickles comes into the picture behind him, towering and Spartan-of-face.
HS: “You mustn’t blame your Uncle Luke. . he wasn’t watching where he was going.”
AJ, flatly: “He done it on purpose.”
HS: “You crying?”
Andy-Jack shakes his head in response.
HS: “Show me.” He turns his face up so she can see.
Ma: “Good. This world’s got no place for them that whimper and whine.”
AJ starts trying to fit together the broken pieces of his machine. “What makes him like that? Always stomping things.”
Hannah, after a pause: “It’s Luke’s way, that’s all.”
AJ: “He’s ignorant! He don’t know nothing and don’t want to.”
His grandmother sighs: “Luke can’t help his faults. . not any more than you can help building things, and asking questions and feeling empty for want of the answers.” She cups his chin in her hand. “Have patience, Child! We’re gonna move to town before long. Then you’ll go to school with other children, and learn every word in every book—
AJ: “Yeah.” Apparently he’s heard this before.
Next in the script is a version of the following scene between Scott and Andy-Jack in the mine, where Scott reacts in pain to the light of the lantern the boy is carrying. In the script, Scott is conscious, draws his pistol at the boy’s approach, and then allows him to take it from his hand.
Scott realizes that he is in an old mine, and asks if the boy dragged him in here alone.
AJ: “Not this far. You shouldn’t have tried to crawl out. You went the wrong way.”
SL: “I waited for somebody to come, Seemed like hours. . ..”
AJ: “Are you afraid of the dark?”
SL: “No more than most. Now, look, where’s your father? You must have told him?”
AJ: “He’s dead. If you’re not scared, I’m gonna wrap this around your head so’s the light won’t hurt your eyes.”
While he does this, Scott continues to ask questions: “Your mother then, Get her!”
AJ: “She’s dead too.”
SL: “Well, who? You can’t live out here all by yourself?”
AJ says no and then tries to change the subject by offering some goat’s milk. Scott insists on leaving, gets up and is hit over the head by Luke Sickles. )
As filmed, this is what happens after Luke and Pearl leave the shack::
Scene shifts back to Andy-Jack and Scott. Andy-Jack is holding the lanterns, and has his other hand on Scott, saying “Hey, Mister. Hey, Mister.”
Scott reacts, holding his arm up in front of his face: “Get the light away from my eyes.”
Andy-Jack obediently sets the lantern down some distance away. Scott reaches out with one hand, but apparently he can’t see exactly where the boy is standing. “Who are you? Answer me, who are you?”
Andy-Jack picks up the tray he was carrying earlier: “I brought you some food.” His voice echoes.
Scott reaches out to touch the tray, then reaches up the boy’s arm to place his hand on Andy-Jack’s shoulder.
Close up on Scott, with his eyes closed: “Now listen to me, Son. I need your help. I want you to take me out of here right now, to wherever you live. Do you understand that?”
Close up on Andy-Jack. He blinks, but doesn’t speak. Back to Scott: “Right now.”
Andy-Jack: “But it’s safe in here. And I’ll hide you until you get better.” Scott shakes his head slightly.
AJ: “And you can tell me about going to school. And answer questions.”
SL, emphatically, gesturing with one hand: “No, I want you to take me out of here, right now. Now, let’s go.” He starts to rise. “Let’s go, c’mon.”
Andy-Jack sets down the tray of food. Scott stumbles forward.
AJ: “Watch out, you’ll hurt yourself!” Scott walks into a wall, there is a very low ceiling here and he has to hunch over. Andy-Jack reaches for Scott’s arm and urges him to come back and sit down.
Scott starts to say “no”, then grunts as he is struck on the head by Luke Sickles. As Scott slumps to the ground, Andy-Jack stands silently looking up at his uncle.
Luke shoves Andy-Jack aside: “Get outta here, Kid.”
Pearl comes in behind Luke and Ma Sickles is following along as well.
(in the script, Luke points the pistol at Scott and cocks it, but Andy-Jack throws himself in between.)
LS, to Pearl: “Go through his pockets. See if he’s carrying a badge—or a wanted poster on me.” Pearl picks up Andy-Jack’s lantern and moves it closer to Scott as she crouches down beside him. Luke keeps his gun on Scott—apparently it is what he used to strike SL on the head.
Hannah Sickles, to Andy-Jack: “Shame on you child. I should punish you for havin’ secrets.” Luke looks over his shoulder at them, but doesn’t say anything.
Hannah, to AJ: “Did he tell you who he was?”
AJ: “No, but he went to school.”
HS: “Did he have a horse, or a gun?”
AJ: “No, just an empty canteen. (shot of Luke, looking skeptical) He doesn’t mean us any harm. Please, Gran, don’t let Uncle Luke kill im.”
Camera shifts to close up of Luke, shaking his head as he listens to the conversation between his mother and nephew.
HS: “Now, don’t you worry about that, you just go on up to the house.”
AJ: “He’ll kill him, just like he did the last stranger!” Angry reaction shot of Luke. His grandmother puts her hand to Andy-Jack’s face, shushing him and physically closing his mouth. She sends Andy-Jack on his way. “Go on, now.”
Ma Sickles crouches down next to Luke.
LS: “Kid’s got no stomach— in addition to bein’ simple in the head.”
Pearl handing a few items to Luke: “All he’s got’s a little money and some papers with writing on it. No badge or nothin’.” She passes the lantern to Luke.
Luke hands the papers to his mother: “Here, read it.” He holds the lantern in position for her.
Hannah Sickles studies the papers. “Looks like a a rancher. . .there’s a shippin’ order here for cattle.” Shot of Pearl listening. Apparently Ma Sickles is the only one of the three who can read. She continues, hesitatingly. “Some . . . three thousand. . . I can’t make out no more.”
(in the script, Ma Sickles reads the name “Scott Lancer”, and at the end of this scene, Luke refers to him as “Mr. Lancer”)
Luke looks down. “He’s gotta be rich.”
HS: “He didn’t see nothin’. So you take a horse, and drop him off at the edge of town tonight. “
LS: “Wait a minute, Ma. Now, we kinda saved his life. So he owes us something.”
HS: “Yeah. Here’s eleven dollars, that what ya want?”
Luke, accepts the money, but shakes his head: “He’s worth a lot more’n that . . . . to his family All we gotta do is keep him here under wraps, til they pay up.”
His mother shakes her head in disagreement.
Close up of Pearl: “How you gonna find out who he is?”
LS, shifts his eyes towards his mother: “Ma will talk nice to him and he’ll tell us.”
Ma Sickles pulls her shawl more tightly about her shoulders and says “no.”
Camera back to Luke: “Just think what that money could buy. What you want most in the whole world–(camera on Hannah’s face as Luke finishes his statement) –school, for Andy-Jack.”
She considers this as he continues speaking off camera: “This could be his chance, the only one he’ll ever get.” Close up on Luke again. “And you could give it to him.”
Camera shifts from Hannah to Pearl to Luke and back to Ma again as they all wait to hear her response.
HS: “Ransom money.”
Luke, off screen: “What difference does it make? It’s money that’ll get Andy-Jack to school.”
Close up on Luke and he closes the deal. “Now you go fix up a bed. And Pearl and me we’ll get him to the shack. Go on. Well, go on.”
Despite still looking doubtful, Hannah leaves the mine. Pearl gets up and moves beside Luke.
Luke lowers the lantern. “You think he looks like me?”
Pearl: “Not really.”
LS: “But he’ll do. He’ll do fine.”
Pearl: “How much ransom you figure we’ll get?”
LS, shaking his head, speaks very softly: “Ransom, I ain’t planning to get any ransom. I got a better idea for him.”
Ominous music builds and Luke sets the lantern down to illuminate Scott who is still lying there unconscious.
End of ACT ONE
Opens with the same shot of the shack and surroundings, it’s daylight. Then we move inside to see Scott lying on a bed, fully clothed and wearing a blue printed bandanna as a blindfold. He has a couple of pillows under his head, but is still fully clothed. His shirt is very dirty. He seems to be just waking up/regaining consciousness. He reaches up to feel the blindfold, then starts to sit up. He reaches out with his right hand and comes in contact with the bedpost. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he tentatively touches the blindfold again. Just as he brings both hands up to try to unfasten it, the door behind him opens and Ma Sickles enters.
(in the script, he is still fully clothed but covered with a ragged blanket. He gropes around and knocks over something that crashes to the floor. In the script, Hannah Sickles pushes aside blankets that are hanging up to form a sleeping alcove, but in the show, Scott is in a separate bedroom behind a closed door.)
HS: “Uh ah, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” She approaches the bed carrying a bowl, Pearl enters the room behind her. “Your eyes were good and scorched by the sun yesterday. Give ‘em time ta heal up.”
She moves a chair into position so that she can sit in it facing Scott. He slowly lowers his hands from his face.
SL: “I suppose you’re right. May I ask where I am?”
HS: “In good hands. Here, let me give you a little hot broth.” She dips a spoon into the bowl. Behind them, Pearl is standing and watching while brushing her hair.
SL: “Thanks, maybe it’ll help put things together.” He reaches out and touches the napkin she is holding beneath the bowl that she extends towards him to catch any drips from the spoon. He opens his mouth to accept the first spoonful.
(in the script, when Scott asks where he is, Ma Sickles is directed to “force a smile just as if Scott could see it, but the effort only makes her appear more menacing.” Instead of feeding him, this conversation takes place as she gets up and fills a bowl of soup, then hands it to him, telling him it “ain’t too hot to pick up,” and asking if he thinks he can manage. Sl says that he can, but when he starts to pick up the bowl, just as Andy-Jack enters, his hands are too shaky and he all but spills it, prompting the boy to offer to feed him.)
HS: “I take it . . you don’t ah remember much about what happened to ya.” She’s fishing for information. She still has a pin on her blouse, but is no longer wearing her shawl.
SL: “Well, I was riding down to meet my family, and my horse stumbled, and broke his leg. (camera shifts to Pearl, holding the hairbrush and listening to Scott) I just kept walking.”
Close up on Ma Sickles. “Then it was just by . . . chance, you found your way here.” Shot of Scott taking another spoonful of broth.
Scott shakes his head, swallows the broth. “Pure luck.”
Shot of Pearl, brushing her hair. A ring is visible on her left hand. Scott’s voice continues off screen. “I saw some goats and I followed them. And I met a little boy, strange little boy.”
HS: “That’s my grandson.” She feeds Scott another spoonful of broth. He swallows it and looks down then gestures with his hand, smiling awkwardly as he tries to recover. “Well, uh, the strangeness was, uh, more than likely it was in my own head, I uh . . .”
Hannah interrupts him. “No, no, no, no, you seen ‘im right.” Shot of Pearl brushing her hair, Scott being fed another spoonful of broth.
HS: “See, Andy-Jack’s spent his whole life up here, with nothing for company ‘cept the rocks and the sunlight, and it’s turned ‘im in on himself. Made ‘im solitary.” (Scott on camera again, opening his mouth for another spoonful of broth as she continues speaking) But all that’ll change, once he’s in school.”
Scott swallows quickly. “I remember him saying something about, uh, school . . . had I been there, something like that.”
Close up on Ma Sickles. “That’s his dream. (pause) And mine.”
SL: “Well, nobody’s asked me my name—it’s Scott Lancer. And I want you to know, I’m very grateful for your kindness.”
Andy Jack appears at the foot of the bed.
HS: “We’re all God’s children. Where abouts you from?”
SL: “Near Morro Coyo, we have a ranch there.”
AJ: “Can I help feed ‘im?”
HS: “No, no, that’s a woman’s work.”
SL: “Well, I’d be much obliged for the boy’s help. I think we should get to know each other.”
HS: “Well, all right, Andy-Jack. (she gets up from the chair) You sit up here.” The boy sits on the bed beside Scott. She tells him “Don’t you spill it,” and hands him the bowl and napkin. Hannah Sickles leaves the room, gesturing for Pearl to exit ahead of her.
Scott shifts on the bed so that he is facing Andy-Jack. “Andy-Jack, my name’s Scott Lancer.”
AJ: “What was that machine, like, kinda like a watch, in your pocket?”
SL: “You must mean the compass.”
AJ: “What makes the black thing point the same way?”
AJ: “What’s that?’
SL: “Now, wait a minute, are you going to starve me, or are you gonna give me some of that broth?”
AJ, with devilish grin that Scott can’t see: “But I wanna know everything you know.”
SL, smiles: “All right, we’ll make a deal. One spoonful of broth, one answer. Fair enough?”
AJ nods: “All right.” He looks down at the bowl and takes up the spoon. “Here we go.”
Shift outside to Pearl and Luke walking away from the shack towards a saddled horse.
Pearl: “How you figure on getting away with all this?”
LS, checking the cinch: “This time, when the Sheriff’s posse comes looking for Luke Sickles, they’re gonna find him .”
Pearl: “They ain’t never gonna believe he’s you.”
LS: “By the time I leave the right trail they will. Just remember, all we gotta do is fool some lawman with a faded old “wanted” poster.”
Pearl: “But Lancer don’t even look like you.”
LS: “Honey, he ain’t gonna look like much of anything by the time I get finished with ‘im.” Ominous music plays as Luke mounts his horse and rides away. Shot of Pearl watching him go.
In town. Stage pulled by four horses pulls up.
Inside, Murdoch hurries down the stairs, carrying his saddle bags. Hotel Lady approaches him “Oh, I was just comin’ up to tell you the stage pulled in.”
ML: “I know. I saw it from the window. We’re leaving now, thank you ma’am.” As he speaks, he reaches into a pants pocket, pulls out a coin that he holds up and then hands to her. She says “You’re welcome,” and he hastily exits,, or tries to, only to be met by Johnny coming through the door following a man in a suit with a bowler hat.
(according to the script, this man is a salesman named Arthur L. Sloane)
JL: “Murdoch. . . (to the man in the suit) Tell ‘im what ya told me.” Johnny removes his hat. The man in the suit stands in between the two Lancers.
ML: “Wasn’t Scott on that stage?”
JL, holding his hat: “Nope.”
Sloane: “Well, no, he changed his plan.” Shot of Murdoch, looking concerned.
JL, to the man in the suit: “Tell ‘im.”
Sloane pauses, then suddenly brightens, setting down his suitcase. Meanwhile, Johnny is wiping out the inside of his hat with a bandanna, then lifts it to his face to wipe his chin. “You’re Scott’s father?” Murdoch is speechless. “Well, Sir, this is a pleasure.” He reaches out with both hands to shake ML’s hand. “You can sure be proud of that young man . . got real democratic ways.” He brings both hands to his waist, spreading his jacket apart to show his vest and watch chain, slipping his thumbs into the pockets of the vest. Meanwhile, Johnny has put his hat back on his head and is tucking his bandanna into a pocket.
ML: “You say that he changed his plan, what way did he change his plan?”
Sloane: “Well, heh,, he was in a hurry to meet you, so he bought himself a horse.” He chuckles.
(in the script, Murdoch is directed to exchange a glance of foreboding with Johnny, then his eyes continue to the sheep’s skull hanging on the wall. )
ML: “When did he leave Tonopah?”
Suit: Long pause. . . well, umm two days ago. But I cautioned him, I said ‘Boy, that desert ain’t Boston Common’. . . .”
ML, to JL: “Let’s go. “ They exit, leaving the man still talking. “Yeah, well, he had a compass with ‘im for directions. And a world of grit!” He picks up his suitcase and heads towards the counter.
back at the shack
Same long shot showing the goats in the foreground.
Close up on the front door, with Pearl exiting.
Scott’s voice: “Well Andy-Jack, I’ll be ready to go tomorrow.” Camera stays with Pearl as she steps into position to see Scott and Andy-Jack in front of the entrance of the mine, talking. Scott is sitting on a rock and AJ is standing facing him. Pearl stops, clearly listening.
SL: “Do you think your grandmother will lend me one of your horses?”
Close up on the two of them.
AJ: “No, Gran won’t trust ya.”
SL: “Now, it’s very important that I get to town.”
Camera shifts to close up of Pearl standing in front of Ma Sickles’ triangle.
Scott’s voice: “I’ve got people there that will be worried about me.”
Shot of the two of them again.
AJ: “But I don’t want ya ta go.”
Scott glances downward, then up at the sky, before looking into the little boy’s eyes.
“Well . . . I won’t be leaving til morning.” He looks down again, before looking back up and continuing.
SL: “So, ah . . why don’t we find ourselves a little spot and you can fire some questions at me.”
Scott smiles at the boy and he smiles back.
AJ: “Okay, come on.”
Andy-Jack leads the way into the mine, Scott follows him and Pearl moves in that direction as well. When she pauses in front of the mine entrance, the scene shifts to a close up of the boy’s “contraption”, the object that Luke Sickles and his mother were arguing over earlier. Andy-Jack is making it move up and down. Camera pulls away to show Scott sitting and studying another one of AJ’s creations, and spinning the cross pieces that form sort of a windmill.
AJ: “You wait til the sun catches this shiny part here, and then you go like that.” He lifts up the arm of the instrument.
SL: “Who helped you make this?”
AJ: “Nobody. I thought it up all by myself.”
SL: “The idea just came to you?”
Close up on Andy-Jack, who nods his head yes.
AJ: “By blinking my eyes.”
Close up on SL, who raises his own eyebrows: “Oh?”
Back to AJ: “You don’t believe me.” Camera shifts to Scott, who looks away, while AJ explains: “You see, I saw how the mirror thing catches the sun and makes it brighter.” Scott is picking up another invention to examine. But he’s clearly listening.
AJ: “Except when you blink. So I thought of building an eyelid, to make the machine blink too.”
Scott is starting to nod in response to this, when we see Pearl enter in the background. Scott notices her too, and starts to get up from his seat.
(in the script, she lets out a derisive snicker and asks “You ever hear such a thing?”)
AJ, to Pearl: “This is my place. Now you stay out.”
SL: “Now, wait a minute, where’s your manners? I’d like to meet the lady.” He sets down the object he was holding.
Pearl approaches, while AJ turns away from them: “Name’s Pearl.”
SL, to Pearl: “Andy-Jack’s sister?”
Pearl: “No, we ain’t related.” (she glances at the boy, who is standing back to them) “Thanks be.”
Scott stares down at her as she continues. “I think he has pack rat in his blood. Have you ever in your life seen such a junk pile?”
Close up on the boy. AJ, to Pearl: “That’s all you know.”
SL: “Well, you know what they say, one man’s junk’s another man’s treasure.”
Camera returns to AJ, showing him with downcast eyes and a smile. He looks up as we hear Scott’s voice continue. “Take for instance, this machine right here.” Camera returns to show Pearl and Scott.
SL: It’s pretty much like a heliograph that the uh soldiers use to send messages.” He nods at Andy-Jack with approval.
Close up on AJ again: “How do they do that?”
SL’s voice: “They have a special code.”
AJ: “Will you teach me?”
Back to Pearl and Scott; Scott starts to answer, but before he can say anything, Pearl interjects: “Who’re you gonna send messages to, the snakes and the lizards?”
Quick shot of Andy-Jack, looking downcast. Then Scott intervenes: “Well, it might be nice to know the distress signal, the SOS. In case you ever needed help.”
AJ looks up, brightens: “How does it go?”
Scott reaches over to the machine and pauses after each phrase to demonstrate: “Three short. Three long. And three short.”
Pearl: “Now what are ya wasting your time teaching him things for? Well, can’t ya tell he’s. . .well, to put it kindly, he’s simple?”
Scott looks at her with disbelief, exchanges a glance with the boy. “Well, I’d say it’s just the opposite.”
Off screen, AJ is heard making “Baaing” sounds. Pearl turns to look at him.
Close up on the boy. AJ, to Pearl: “You’re dumb enough to eat grass. “
Pearl, to Scott: “There, see?”
To AJ: “If you ever go to school, Andy-Jack, the other kids’ll know you for an idiot. And throw rocks at you.” She gives Scott a meaningful look, then departs.
AJ, to Scott: “I hate her.” He tosses something to the floor. “I hate living out here where it’s all empty.”
Scott picks up the item, then moves across to lean against the wall and face the boy. “Well now, Andy-Jack. What’s the sense of that, huh?”
AJ: “I can’t help it. There’s never anybody around here to talk to. And tomorrow, you’ll go away. And everything will be just like always.”
Scott has had his head bowed, studying the object in his hand while the boy has been speaking.
SL: “Now, your aunt didn’t mean what she said.”
AJ: “Yes, she did. And I ain’t cryin’, I never cry.” He turns away, snatching up his hat and putting it on as he departs, leaving Scott with his head bowed once more.
(direction in the script: Camera tightens on Scott’s expressive face, showing his affection for the boy and his awareness of the tremendous frustration within him.)
Ma Sickles enters the shack, carrying a bucket of firewood. She shuts the door behind her and crosses to deposit her load in front of the fireplace. In the foreground we see Pearl standing over a large basin. Steam is rising from it. She has a wooden spoon in her hand and an odd expression on her face.
Ma: “Now, what’re ya doin’ there?”
Pearl: “Nothin’.”Ma Sickles comes over to stand next to Pearl, adjusting her apron at her waist. “Why’re ya dyin’ that shirt?”
(in the script, Pearl is dying both a shirt and a pair of pants)
Pearl, without looking at her: “Luke told me to.”
Hannah, smiling in disbelief: “Well, Luke hates that green shirt, why’d he want another one just exactly like it?” She starts to remove her shawl, then suddenly places her hand on Pearl’s shoulder: “What are you and Luke cookin’ up?”
Pearl: “It ain’t me. Right from the start, it was Luke’s idea.” She is looking down at the basin, rather than up at her mother-in-law.Hannah pushes at Pearl’s shoulder: “What idea?” When Pearl doesn’t respond or even look up, she reaches over and grasps her chin, forcibly turning her face towards her. “What idea?”
Pearl delivers her next lines looking right at Ma Sickles, with the older woman’s hand still holding her face.
Pearl: “Luke’s gonna have a posse follow him here, and drop the stranger in a place–they’ll think it’s him.”
Hannah lets go of Pearl, sighing as she reaches across her chest to the shawl across her opposite shoulder. ”Plain stupid.” HS walks away, then continues speaking as she shakes out her shawl behind Pearl. “All Lancer’d have to do is identify himself.”Pearl is staring at the basin again, but she looks up at that statement, biting her lip.
Pearl: Luke didn’t figure he’d be able to do that.”
Ma Sickles freezes, staring at Pearl’s back for a long moment before speaking. Ominous music plays. “You mean. . .kill ‘im?”
Pearl shakes her head slowly up and down.Hannah sinks into a chair next to the table. She is stunned.
Pearl had been looking uncertain, but now she turns around to bend down and address the older woman.
Pearl: “You don’t understand, Ma Sickles, it’s the only way we’ll get out of here.”
Camera shifts to a position behind Ma, facing Pearl, who stands with her hands on the tabletop: “With the Law off Luke’s back, we could start all over again. Wh. . . Luke can settle down, and get a job and support all of us!”
Camera shifts to behind Pearl once more, showing Ma Sickles’ unhappy expression.
Pearl: “Well, Andy-Jack will even be able to go to school! That’s what you wanted, isn’t it?”
Ma Sickles shakes her head. “Not at that price.”Pearl is near tears, she crosses over to lean against the mantle: “It’s the only way we’ll be able to live decent and free like other people!” She sobs.
Close up of Hannah Sickles looking troubled.
(script has Pearl add the following lines: “It’s him or us. If we don’t do it, Andy-Jack’ll just dry up and rot away like everything else out here. . .”)
Shot of the back of Scott’s head as he sits on a bed in the other room, playing a game of solitaire. There is a knock on the door, he says “Come in,” and Andy-Jack enters, closing the door behind him.
AJ: “You promised to teach me how ta read.” He picks up a very large book from the top of a dresser near the door. “Here.”
SL, gets up off of the bed and moves to sit in a chair in front of the dresser. “Whoa, now. I promised to give you your first lesson. And that means ten words.”
He accepts the book from the boy.
AJ: “I already know those two on the front: ‘Holy Bible’.”
SL: “Well, we won’t count those two.” He sets the large volume on his lap and unfastens the straps binding it closed.
As he starts to flip through the pages, Andy-Jack has a question: “Have you read it all?”
Close up on Scott as he looks over his shoulder at the boy: “Well, I’ve read some of it. But I know a part you’d like. Cause it happened to us. The Parable of the Good Samaritan.”
Close up on Andy-Jack, who wears a very puzzled expression: “What’s a . . .?”“What’s a parable?” Scott’s voice asks, and the boy smiles. SL’s voice: “A parable is a story.”
Close up on Scott: “But it’s more than just a story, because it tells. . . how man ought to behave to each other.”
Shot of Andy-Jack reacting with understanding. Scott smiles at him and then turns his attention to the Bible. He turns a few pages and comes across some papers that he picks up. One attracts his attention, and he unfolds it.
Camera shows a clipping of a news story from the Tonopah Sentinel. The headline reads: “Sickles Brothers Captured” with the sub title “Desperadoes Apprehended in Daring Daylight Raid.” Ominous music plays. Shot of Scott’s profile—he doesn’t react to what he’s reading. Then camera shifts to Andy-Jack:
AJ: “Better put those back. Gran will be mad if they get lost.”
(in the scrip, instead of a newspaper article, there are three wanted posters- AJ identifies the first one as his Uncle Joseph, the second one as his father and the last one as Uncle Luke.)
Scott’s hands fold up the article and then unfold a second sheet of paper. “There’s Uncle Luke,” Andy-Jack’s voice announces.
There is a photo of Luke Sickles. Above the image, the words “$500 REWARD DEAD OR ALIVE.” Below the picture, his name and “Wanted for Bank Robbery and Murder”, his age, weight and height are also listed.
Scott looks concerned now, but trying not to show it. “The same Uncle Luke who went to fetch the wagon?” he asks without taking his eyes off of the poster.AJ: “Scott. . . you’re my only friend. So will you teach me how to read?”SL: “Well Andy-Jack, my eyes are a little tired right now, so why don’t we begin in the morning?” (he starts to close up the Bible while he’s speaking) “Now, I’ll teach you all I can, but I can only teach you so much. After that, you’re gonna have to go some place. . to a school, where you can learn more. Fair enough?” Scott hands the Bible to Andy-Jack, who replaces it on the dresser.
(The part about his eyes being tired is an addition. In the script: Scott also says: “Some people can’t exist without learning. I think you’re one of them.”)
AJ, in a discouraged tone: “Sometimes I figure like we’re never gonna leave here.”
SL: “You will, because you have to.”
AJ walks back over to Scott, who is still sitting in the chair: “That’s my only hope.”
Scott reaches out to stroke the boy’s hair, saying “Then you’re going to have to, no matter what it costs.”
Camera shifts to Hannah, who has entered the room in time to hear the last of this conversation. She is carrying something.
HS: “Mr. Lancer, I. . I thought ya might want a . . a fresh shirt for tomorrow mornin’.”
SL: “Thank you very much, ma’am. That’s very kind.”SL, to Andy-Jack: “C’mere, you!” He lifts the boy up and sits him on his lap. “Aaah, you’re gonna be all right, Andy-Jack, you’re gonna be fine!” He musses up the boy’s hair, and they are both smiling.
Camera shifts to Ma Sickles, still holding the newly dyed shirt and looking pained. She looks at the shirt, then lays it down across the Bible as ominous music plays and the scene fades.
(the script does not include this scene of Ma Sickles giving Scott the shirt.)
END of ACT TWO
Shot of Murdoch and Johnny on horseback. They speed up when they see something lying on the ground. Both dismount and Murdoch reaches the object first, lifts it up, Johnny follows, holding the reins of both horses.
Murdoch sets the saddle back down on the ground. Johnny steps over it, walks away a few more paces to pick up a rifle that is lying on the ground.
ML, puts his hands on his hips: “Well, we can’t be sure it’s his.”
(script adds: “He’d have bought a saddle along with the horse.”)
JL walks back towards Murdoch, looking around: “That carcass we found is about. . . forty eight hours old. The timing’s right.”
ML, adjusts his hat: “Traveling alone, on foot, in this heat.”
JL: “You know, I think the best thing we can do, is do what Scott musta done. Taken a southwestern direction and just keep going.”
(In the script, Johnny prefaces this by saying “Not much chance of picking up tracks.”)
(script: instead of a simple “yeah”, Murdoch says: “And be prepared for. . . well, whatever we find.” Johnny is directed to grasp his arm in a silent offer of consolation)
They both move towards their horses, mount up and ride out. Johnny is riding his palomino and Murdoch is riding his usual horse with the very wide white blaze on its face.
Inside the Sickles’ shack, Ma Sickles is sitting on the bed in the outer room. The small table is set for breakfast for one person. She apparently hears a sound from the other room, gets up quickly and moves to the table to snatch up the napkin that she starts to refold.
The door opens and Scott enters.
SL: “Good morning.” He is still in the process of buttoning his new shirt.
HS: “Well, now, good mornin’. My, don’t that shirt fit nice. I could take you for Luke himself. Sit down and have your breakfast.”
Scott has finished the buttons and starts to tuck the shirt in—his belt is already fastened.
SL: “Where is Luke, I’m anxious to thank him. You did say he was coming back with the wagon today.” Scott sits at the table, and starts to fasten the buttons at the cuffs of the shirt.
HS: “Oh, he’ll, he’ll be back.” She smiles and moves around the table towards the stove, carrying a bowl in her hand. “Round about noon,” she adds as she reaches a very large pot of oatmeal and begins to spoon some into the bowl.
SL: “Where’s Andy-Jack this morning?”
HS, still back to Scott: “He’s out . . .tendin’ the goats.”
We can see Scott at the table behind her, taking up his napkin.
SL: “Oh, I thought he might be looking after the horses. He said you had a couple.”
Close up of Hannah, looking apprehensive: “He did?”
Camera on Scott: “Yes. But I didn’t notice them outside.”
Ma Sickles and places the bowl in front of Scott on the table. “Here, eat this while it’s hot.”
She turns back to the stove. “Well, Now, don’t you concern yourself none with them horses. Pearl took ‘em up to the canyon.” She picks up the coffeepot and turns back to the table. “There’s a patch of forage up there.”
Scott is starting to look a bit concerned by her responses. Close up on him as he looks at her, and barely nods. hannah finishes pouring a cup of coffee and replaces the pot on the stove. Once she is back to him again, Scott speaks to her, with his head lowered.
SL: “I thought I might borrow one, save Luke the trouble of driving me back town.”
HS: “Oh, it’s no trouble. Besides, you don’t know your way.”
He looks up at her. “I’ve got a map and a compass.”
Close up on Hannah. “Oh, well, now, I wanted to talk to you about that.” She turns to face Scott, who hasn’t looked up at her. He sips at his coffee while she continues speaking. “Andy-Jack broke that compass-thing.”
Scott looks up at her now. The camera swings around behind his head and we see Hannah Sickles standing with her hands clasped in front of her. She is wearing a high collared print blouse and a dark solid colored skirt. The broach is at her throat, as always.
HS: “He, uh, he took it apart to see what makes it work, and, uh, well, you know how the child is. I sure hope you don’t hold it against him. He takes to you something fierce.” She folds her arms across her waist, she is smiling but it’s a strained smile.
Camera shifts behind her to show Scott seated at the table looking up at her.
SL: “I’m very fond of him too. (pause) Let’s be honest, Mrs. Sickles. Luke isn’t coming back, is he?”
Scott’s pov again, and we see Hannah freeze. She is speechless. Then soft, ominous music begins to play and she starts to back away.
HS: “Well, now whatever made you think a thing like that?”
SL: Because I saw the wanted poster in your Bible.”
(in the script, he says “These “wanted” posters . . . they were in your Bible,” and then pulls them from inside his shirt. )
Tight close up on Hannah’s face, her eyes widen.
Shift to Scott. He has an angry expression. He takes the napkin from his lap and gets up out of the chair. He moves towards Ma. “Now you don’t expect me to believe that Luke’s in town, borrowing a wagon.”
Hannah is standing against the pie safe cabinet near the door. Scott comes to stand directly in front of her.
SL, gesturing towards his own chest with one hand: “You don’t have to be afraid of me, you saved my life.”
(in the script, she bolts for the shot gun now, then he takes it from her and delivers his line about her not having to be afraid of him— while he unloads the weapon. In the next line, the script uses the word ‘civilization’ rather than family. )
Tight close up on his face: “I wouldn’t repay you by telling the Law about this place, and turning your son in. All I want to do is get back to my family.”
Tight close up on her face and she considers this. She swallows.
HS: “Without a horse and a compass, I . . I expect you’ll just have to make the best of things here.”
Close on Scott: “I’m sorry, I can’t. My father and my brother are waiting for me right now in Panamint. (pause) If they haven’t started tracking me down already.”
Tight on Hannah, who is frightened by this suggestion. Her eyes widen even more. She starts edging towards the corner of the room. We see her from SL’s pov, the back of his head. “You never said they were nearby.”
SL: “You never asked.”
(in the script: she says “You never mentioned kinfolk.” He replies “Neither did you!”)
Ma Sickles makes a move for the shot gun standing in the corner, Scott comes after her and immediately takes it out of her hands.
We still see only his back. SL: “Now I’ll just hold on to this. Just for a little while until I find out why you want to keep me here.”
He backs towards the door and exits the shack, carrying the gun. She stands near the pie safe for a moment, then hurries to the door, opens it and peers out.
Scott goes outside and we see Pearl standing in the yard peering through a telescope.
He is still carrying the rifle. He sits on a rock behind her.
SL: “See anything?”
She lowers the telescope to look at him, says “No,” then raises the glass to her eye and resumes looking.
SL, to her back: “How far is it to town, Pearl?”
She turns to face him: “Luke says thirty miles, as the buzzard flies.”
He shifts the position of the gun. “Any people ever come out this way, prospectors, like that?”
Pearl: “I think they know better, not to come snooping around.”
She uses the spyglass again, reacts as she spots something..
SL: “What is it?”
Music plays as we see a circle—Pearl’s view through the glass: Two men on horseback.
Pearl: “There’s two of ‘em.”
Scott stands up beside her, says “Let me see,” and takes the telescope from her. He looks through and we see the same circle as before, but now the two men are closer.
SL, lowering the glass: “That’s Johnny and Murdoch.”
Pearl: “Maybe they’ll go on by.”
Scott hands her back the spyglass and looks around. “They’ll never know about this old mine. We need a signal.” He turns and runs into the mine.
Pearl stands there a moment, watching him, then turns and yells towards the shack: “Ma Sickles!”
Cut inside to show Scott running through the mine. He jumps over fallen beams and then pushes aside the curtains to enter Andy-Jack’s special room. He comes back almost immediately, now carrying the boy’s version of a heliograph.
Outside the mine, we see that Hannah has joined Pearl; the two women watch as Scott exits the mine and runs by. Pearl sets the telescope down and runs after Scott, Hannah Sickles picks up her skirts and follows. Camera cuts to Scott who is still running, up the rocks. He sets down the rifle and sits astride a rock to begin manipulating the heliograph. Ma Sickles and Pearl can be seen coming up behind him.
Shot of Murdoch and Johnny. Murdoch says “whoa”. From their point of view, we see off in the distance the flashing light of Scott’s signal. They exchange a look, then ride off towards the light. (this shot is not mentioned in the script)
Back to Scott, still sending the signal, with the Sickles women coming closer behind him. Quick shot of Andy-Jack running up to see what is going on.
Back to Scott, and Pearl bends down to pick a rock up off the ground. She holds it in one hand and clonks Scott on the back of the head. Scott never sees it coming. Great reaction from WM here, as he slowly falls backwards, drops the heliograph and tumbles to the ground.
Shot of Andy-Jack’s bewildered face as he watches this happen.
(In the script, it is Hannah Sickles who strikes Scott on the head. According to the script: he’s too intent on what he’s doing to hear Hannah’s approach. Only when her shadow falls over him does he turn—the instant she brings the stone down on his head. He sprawls on the ground, unconscious. Pearl moves in and helps Hannah drag him toward the tunnel.)
Scene shifts to inside the barn and a pair of feet that we assume must be Scott’s. Ma Sickles is putting something in the box.
(script: they put Scott under a workbench. Pearl says: “I shouldn’ve known everything’d go wrong!” Hannah tells her : “Shut up! You started this. Now you’ll finish it!”)
Pearl: “It’s no good, Ma Sickles, if those men look around—“
HS: “ They can’t know he’s here. Now keep your wits about ya and go out there and stall’em.”
Pearl leaves and Hannah clambers over some beams and boxes. Suddenly, Andy-Jack peeks his head around.
AJ: “Gran, why’d you let her do it? He’s my friend.”
She reaches around to pick up the boy and set him down in front of her. “Then you’d best be careful who you call friend. He’s a bounty hunter.” Close up of Andy-Jack’s face, then back to Ma Sickles. She has drops of perspiration on her forehead. “Like the one that killed your Pa. And two of his men are ridin’ this way.”
Tight close up on Andy-Jack: “He couldn’t be a bounty hunter.”
Back to Ma: “I’m tellin’ you, he is.”
Shift to AJ: “But he’s teachin’ me.” We hear her voice: “Teachin’ ya what?” then the camera is back on her face. “What was it he was blinkin’ out with that sunthing of yours?”
AJ: “He said a call for help.”
Ma: “Now, ya see, ya believe what I’m tellin’ ya. C’mon.”
They exit and the camera shows us Scott’s feet.
(in the script, after Andy-Jack delivers his line about “a call for help,” the conversation goes as follows:
Hannah snorts derisively. She finishes hiding Scott and then turns to Andy-Jack, employing a patronizing manner to undermine the boy’s confidence.
HS: I thought you’d be too smart for his trickery, but I reckon little boys fool easy.”
AJ: “If he’s . . . what you say, why did Uncle Luke run away instead of killing him?”
HS, conspiratorially: “’Cause we got a plan working! But those men coming—they’ll spoil everything unless we can make them go away.”
AJ: “What kind of plan?”
HS: “Never you mind for now. Just keep your mouth shut!”
AJ, fearfully: “You’re gonna hurt Scott?”
HS, grasping the boy’s shoulders: “He’s a bounty hunter, child! Scum like those that butchered your poor father! He deserves whatever happened to him!”
Camera tightens on Andy-Jack’s boyish face and the dreadful conflict there.
HS: “Believe what I’m telling you!”)
Murdoch and Johnny ride in, scattering the goats.
Pearl comes out of the front door of the shack to stand on the porch. “Hello there, gents.”
Camera shifts to Murdoch and Johnny. ML says “Ma’am.” The two of them do a perfectly synchronized dismount.
Pearl: “O-offer you some water?”
ML: “Much obliged, ma’am.”
They follow her inside. She gestures towards the bucket and ladle sitting just inside the door. “Help yourself.”
Johnny has entered first and he reaches for the ladle, while Murdoch, behind him, adjusts his hat.
JL: “Got any trouble here ma’am?” He takes a drip from the bowl of the ladle while ML moves behind him to stand next to the girl.
Pearl: “Trouble? Where’d you get a notion like that?”
JL pauses in his drink: “We saw some light flashes. Looked like a signal.”
Pearl: “I wouldn’t know anything about that.”
Johnny looks at her, then hands the ladle to Murdoch. Murdoch moves over to the bucket, while Johnny crosses and walks off screen.
ML: “I, ah, hope you’re not afraid of us Miss. You see, our name is Lancer. We’re looking for my other son. We figure he might’ve gotten into trouble crossing this desert.”
Camera follows Johnny, who is in the doorway of the bedroom, checking things out. Meanwhile, Pearl and Murdoch are heard.
Pearl’s voice: “I ain’t seen anybody.”
ML’s voice: Well, maybe he’s holed up somewhere nearby, you mind if we scout around?”
Camera back to them. Pearl smiles and says “All right, surely.”
ML moves out the door. “We’re obliged. Johnny!” He exits.
Pearl stands there holding the door, then looks back over her shoulder towards Johnny.
Johnny turns around and leans against the doorjamb. “You got a man around? (pause) I mean, a husband, or a . . .father?”
Pearl: “What’re ya askin’ for?”
JL walks towards her: “Well, I kinda figured if he was out huntin’ or prospectin’, . . .he woulda come across somethin’.”
Pearl: “No, my father woulda mentioned it.”
Johnny looks down at her, barely nods. Then he raises his hand to the front of his hat brim and walks out past her. Close up on Pearl’s worried face.
Outside, we follow Murdoch as he walks away from the shack. Ma Sickles and Andy-Jack are standing side by side outside the mine entrance.
ML: “You, ah, mind if I take a look around inside there?”
For a moment, no one answers. Then Hannah turns around and picks up a lantern, saying “I’ll show you the way.” While her back is turned, ML flips up the front brim of Andy-Jack’s hat. The boy is standing there staring up at Murdoch. Hannah leads the way inside the mine, followed by Andy-Jack and then Murdoch.
HS: “I got no other men folk here, just Andy-Jack.” She stops and looks down at the boy. “You seen any thing of a stranger, Child?”
Andy-Jack shakes his head.
ML: “A boy like you must know every inch hereabouts. You know, all the caves and shafts where a man could hide, if he was sick. . or hurt. From the sun, huh?”
AJ: “No, I aint’ seen any body.”
ML, quickly: “But you’d tell me, if you had.”
HS, just as quickly: “The child’s no liar.” She places her hand on the boy’s shoulder.
Murdoch looks around behind him. “What’s in there?”
AJ: “Oh, that’s my special place. There’s all kinds of things in there, even a lizard that crawls around and knocks things over.”
Murdoch moves towards the room, but when Andy-Jack tries to follow him, Ma Sickles grabs his arm to hold him back.
ML: “I see.”
He enters the room, but without the benefit of the lantern, he walks right past Scott’s boots sticking up out of the bin he’s been stashed in. He looks around, then just when he turns back towards Scott, we hear Andy-Jack’s voice. “Mister, wait, I done it!” ML exits and the camera zooms in tight on Scott’s boots again.
( in the script, Scott’s boots are not visible, since he is hidden under a work bench, but he is starting to regain consciousness and his movements make noises that attract Murdoch’s attention and require Hannah and Andy-Jack to then deliver their lines as distractions. )
Back out in the mine, Andy-Jack is holding his heliograph. “Oh, Mister, it was me made those flashes. See.” He demonstrates how the machine works. “I was just playing around.”
ML: “Well, what we saw was no playing around.” He takes the contraption from Andy-Jack and examines it.
AJ: “Well, you see, I learned how to spell S O S—in case Gran got sick or somethin’.”
HS: “Shame on you, Boy, bringin’ those men so far outta their way, for nothin’.”
AJ: “I’m sorry, Mister, real sorry.”
(in the script, Hannah says “Sorry ain’t enough!” and starts to spank the boy. Then she tells him: “Don’t you go hollering! The louder you holler, the harder I’m gonna whip you!” Andy-Jack takes his cue and Hollers Bloody Murder. Again, they are masking sounds that Scott is making, as his movements cause an old glass bottle on the workbench to fall to the floor and smash.)
ML: “Oh, that’s all right, Son.” He hands the boy the heliograph. “Much obliged, Ma’am.” He leaves the mine.
HS, to AJ: “Go on outside, Grandma’s busy.” She heads back towards Andy-Jack’s special place. Close up on the boy, watching her.
Back outside, Johnny is sitting and waiting with head bowed. We see ML emerge from the mine entrance behind him.
Johnny hears him, gets up to face him. “Find out anything?”
ML: “Yeah, a little kid made those light flashes we saw.” They both mount their horses and ride off.
(Script: Johnny delays long enough to flash a smile at Pearl, then rides after Murdoch. Camera follows them as they leave—and with them Scott’s hopes for rescue.)
END of ACT THREE
(In the script, Act Four opens with a shot of Johnny and Murdoch riding away, then the camera pulls back to show Luke Sickles on horseback, with a rifle trained on the two Lancers. “They continue through picture, unaware of their danger. After a moment of hesitation, he jams the rifle back into its scabbard and kicks his horse into motion, going in the opposite direction from the Lancers.” This scene was not included in the episode.)
(in the script, this scene opens with a close shot of Scott’s hands, as Hannah finishes knotting a rope around them. Then the camera widens to show her rolling Scott over onto his back. His feet are tied too, and he’s painfully regaining consciousness. In background, AJ stands watching. Hannah examines the back of Scott’s head.
HS: “Paining you much?”
SL shakes his head. He looks up into her face, then says one word: “Why?”
Hannah starts to reply, but becomes aware of the boy watching and listening in the doorway.
HS, to AJ: “I thought I told you to keep a lookout with Pearl?”
Andy-Jack reacts, his face showing that he is still plagued with doubt. Scott puts an end to the boy[s hesitation.
SL: “Do like she says.” AJ leaves, grudgingly, then Scott addresses Hannah: “Well?” and she responds that she is “Sorry for what’s got to happen.”)
Here is the scene as filmed:
Camera shows us Scott’s feet, now his ankles are bound. Ma Sickles is seen entering the special room, carrying a bucket. She squats down beside Scott, who is seated and tied to a post. She reaches into the bucket and sprinkles some water onto his face. Just as he starts to stir, we see Andy-Jack enter. He is wearing his hat and he stands and watches with his hands behind his back.
HS: “Mr. Lancer?”
He looks up, at the same time recognizing that he is tied.
HS: “Brung some water. If you promise me you won’t make no noise, I’ll give ya some.”
Scott looks and her and nods.
When Ma Sickles shifts position, she notices Andy-Jack standing there watching. She points off to the left. “I thought I told you to keep a lookout with Pearl! Now go on!” He leaves.
Hannah reaches around to untie the bandanna tied across Scott’s mouth. “I’m sorry for what has ta happen, Stranger. I like ya. But I can’t let that stop me.” She folds the bandanna in her lap.
SL: “Stop you from what?”
She puts the bandanna aside. “Telling you would serve no purpose, none at all.” She dips a ladle of water from the bucket.
Close up on Scott as the ladle approaches his mouth. “Don’t you think I have a right to know?”
Close up on Hannah as she considers this. Finally, she nods. “I expect you do. Here, have some of this.”
Scott takes a drink. Ma places the ladle back in the bucket then gets to her feet.
You see. . .we got a plan workin’.” She wrings her hands and wets her lips as she speaks. “We’re gonna make the Law believe that you’re Luke.” Shot of Scott as he begins to realize where this is going. Ma’s voice: “He went into town to rob the bank, and he’s makin’ sure that a posse will chase him out here.”
She moves back towards the curtain. “Matter of fact, should be along shortly.”
Close up of Scott, looking stunned.
She moves back into the center of the space, but doesn’t say any more. Scott prompts her: “What then?”
Ma: “And then, Luke’s gonna draw ‘em down into the mine, and hide. . (close up on Scott) and it’ll be your body they’ll find.” Close up on Ma. “Then there’s bounty money—that’s five hundred dollars. And I intend to claim it.”
She is standing behind Scott, out of his line of vision, but he turns his head at this. He glances down, then stares straight ahead again. “You’re not up to taking part in murder.”
Close up on Hannah, but before she can respond, we hear the sound of the triangle. Scott hears it too. Ma Sickles runs out.
(most of the above is consistent with the script, except that there is no mention of the water. However, the script gives additional dialogue after Hannah explains that it will be Scott that the posse will find.
SL: “You can’t believe it’ll work.”
HS: “It’s a good scheme! Nothing’s gonna go wrong!”
SL: “Suppose they don’t kill me?”
HS: They won’t. . I will. You see, there’s the bounty money. Three hundred dollars. I intend to claim it.”
SL: You’re not up to murder.”
HS: “I’ll have to be. Won’t I?”
SL: “Even if you are, that posse won’t be fooled! I don’t look that much like Luke.
HS: “Won’t nobody question if I use a shotgun. Besides, there’ll be the bank loot right beside you. That’ll convince them.”
SL: “Of what? That a mother could shoot her own son? Nobody’s gonna believe that!”
HS: “They will! They’ll believe an old woman’s tears. I’ll cry for you, Stranger. . . and mean it. Know that for the truth. Your dying won’t be for nothing, either. Good’ll come from it. I promise you that. With the money, I can give Andy-Jack his chance. He. . well, he’ll be like a monument to you.” Her eyes appeal for him to say he understands.
SL: “Does he know about this?”
HS: “Not all. But he’ll go along. Lord, how that child craves learning! Like a sinner for salvation. . .”
Both of them react to the ringing of the triangle, Hannah moves to the door and there is direction for a reaction shot of Scott: “his face reflects how desperate his situation is.”)
Camera shows Pearl, ringing the triangle and calling for Hannah: “Ma Sickles! It’s Luke! He’s comin’!”
Interior shot shows Ma Sickles running out, then Andy-Jack is seen. He watches her go past, then heads in the opposite direction.
Shot of Scott, straining at the ropes holding him. He looks up, sees something, and painfully slides up to his feet. Once standing, he looks at the shelf in front of his face, and uses his head to knock a bottle onto the floor. Quick shot to show that Andy-Jack is watching him, then close up of Scott as he tries to reach a knife on the shelf. He moves another object with his head, to try to shift the knife.
Cut outside to show Luke Sickles arriving on horseback. He dismounts and ties off the animal. Ma Sickles and Pearl stand on the porch watching him. He grabs the saddlebags and heads towards them, then the camera cuts back to Scott who has managed to take the knife handle in his mouth, knocking a glass mug off the shelf as he moves it. He twists around and leans over to drop the knife to the ground. Quickly, Andy-Jack moves in and picks it up.
(in the script, Scott is lying on the floor, and inches over to the workbench, which holds the knife and other objects. He bumps against the table legs. Andy-Jack reveals his presence by saying: “Don’t! You’ll break things.”)
SL: “Andy-Jack, cut me loose.”
AJ: “Why should I?”
SL, looks over his shoulder at him, with disbelief: “Hey, we’re friends.”
AJ: “You’re just a dirty bounty hunter like killed my father.” Shot of Scott, looking stunned, then back to Andy-Jack. “And whatever happens to you, you deserve it.” The camera shifts back and forth between them during the following exchange.
SL: “Did your grandmother tell you that?’
AJ: “It’s true.”
SL: “It’s a lie and you know it.
AJ: “My grandmother wouldn’t lie. Not to me.” He moves behind the post and Scott turns his head to try to keep the boy in sight.
AJ: “She wouldn’t!”
SL: “Now look, I don’t have any time to argue. Your grandmother and your uncle are planning to ki—“
AJ: “I heard her. I was outside.” He lowers his eyes.
Close up on Scott: “Well, then?”
Tight on Andy-Jack’s face. “But I wanna go to school.”
Reaction from Scott, he closes his eyes and turns away, then: “Look, I know you do. But this isn’t the way to get there, and you know it!”
AJ: “I’ll never get another chance.”
SL: “Andy-Jack, I’ll do everything I can to help you—everything! But I need your help!”
Andy-Jack stares up at Scott for a moment with sad eyes, then looks down at the large knife he is holding in his hand.
(in the script: after Scott promises to do everything he can to help, if Andy-Jack will help him, the boy “turns to him with a bitter, skeptical look that makes Scott withdraw the appeal immediately.”
SL, shaking his head: “No. I’m sorry. No bargains, no promises. You make your own decision. Right or wrong—-it’s up to you.”
Script directs a close up of Andy-Jack with the “dilemma etched in his boyish face,” then a reaction shot of Scott “in an agony of impatience knowing his life is resting on the child’s decision.”)
Murdoch and Johnny are riding along. They pull up.
ML: “It’s hopeless, Johnny. It could take weeks to find a trail down there.”
JL: “I think we oughta head back to that mine shack.” He takes a drink from his canteen. “That girl’s father mighta come back by now.” He screws the cover back on the canteen.
ML: “Father? Are you sure? The old woman said there were no other men down there.”
They wheel their horses and start to ride back in the direction from which they came.
(this scene with Johnny and Murdoch is not in the script.)
The Sickles are on the porch. Luke hands his saddlebags to his mother and then turns to Pearl.
Luke: “It’s done. The bank’s been robbed and the posse’s following me here.” They embrace and kiss.
Ma stands behind Luke, clutching the saddlebags: “How far behind?” She reaches out to tap his shoulder. “I said, how far behind?”
He slowly turns back to her. “Oh. . .maybe ten minutes.”
HS: “That close?! Come on, help me get the Stranger out of the cave and fix things up.” She takes Luke by the hand and leads him off of the porch, Pearl follows.
Cut to shot of Andy-Jack working the knife to cut Scott’s hands free.
SL: “Come on, give me the knife.” He bends down to cut the ropes on his ankles.
AJ: “Uncle Luke, he got here.”
Scott goes to the entry to listen–still has the ropes around each wrist, and the knife in his hand. He crouches down beside the boy. “I need a gun, now what’d you do with my gun?”
AJ, pointing: “Out there.”
The go back out into the main part of the mine.
SL: “Tell me where it is, you stay here.” Scott sticks the knife, point end down, into a piece of wood and starts to remove the ropes on his wrists.
AJ: “I wanna go with ya.”
SL: “No, you could get hurt.”
AJ: “But I helped you. And you promised that you’d take me away with ya.”
SL: “Look, I can’t run and watch out for you at the same time. Now where’s the gun?”
AJ, backing away from him: “I’m not gonna tell you, you lied to me.”
SL picks up the knife. He looks around, then points at Andy-Jack. “You stay put.” He moves off. Andy-Jack follows him. Shot of Scott moving quickly through the mine, then Andy –Jack comes around a wall after him, only to be stopped by an outstretched hand. It is Luke, who looks down at the boy, calls him “Judas” and then takes him by the arm and drags him outside.
(in the script: Scott “unceremoniously gives AJ a push backwards” and exits. ]
AJ: “You didn’t mean it. You lied! You’re gonna leave me here!”
According to the script: “As his emotions build, though without tears, he must give vent to them. He lashes out at some of his stuff and knocks it to the floor. This unlooses a floodgate of destruction as he smashes everything within reach, breaking not objects, but every dream he’s ever dreamed. Then, it’s over. A moment of silence. Now, he reacts as Luke Sickles stands there.” Luke calls the boy “a little Judas” and then drags him along.)
Luke brings Andy-Jack over to the porch of the shack, where Ma and Pearl are standing. Suddenly, Pearl says his name and points. Camera shows Scott who has just emerged from the mine entrance.
Luke turns and fires, Scott runs back inside.
Pearl ducks under the railing and steps down off of the porch. She puts her hands on Luke’s chest. “It’s gone wrong, Luke, you’ll have to keep runnin’.”
Luke: “No, there’s still a chance to work our plan—he’s in the mine, ain’t he?”
Pearl: “But he can hide—and wait.”
Luke: “Half them shafts is blocked off, he won’t be hard to find.” He runs towards the mine entrance, leaving Ma clutching Andy-Jack.
Inside, Luke stops and listens. Camera shows us Scott running, he still has the knife in his hand. He pauses to catch his breath. Close up of Scott as we hear Luke’s voice. “Stranger. . every side tunnel is blocked. Now you’re trapped, Stranger!”
Camera back to Luke, gun in hand, as he starts running again. Then back to Scott, who is also on the move.
Back outside, Andy-Jack turns to his grandmother. “Gran, if you let this happen, I ain’t never gonna go to that school of yours, never!” He picks up a rifle off of the porch and starts running towards the mine entrance. He is carrying the weapon upside down and his hat falls off. Hannah calls after him “Andy-Jack, you come back here, boy!” He falls to his knees before he makes it to the entrance.
Ma Sickles runs after him, holding her skirts. “Don’t your family mean more to you than this Stranger?”
Andy-Jack stands up to face her. “Gran!”
HS: “All right, it’s gonna be all right. We’ve taken enough from you already.”
Shot of Pearl, watching them with a concerned expression. AJ’s voice: “What’re you gonna do?”
Hannah is seen picking up the rifle with one hand, while she holds onto the boy with the other. “It’s best that I do what has to be done. Now you go on back to the house. Go on.” She gestures with one hand, then gives him a little push, and Andy-Jack begins to head towards the shack, still looking over his shoulder at his grandmother. Ma Sickles heads into the mine, carrying the weapon.
Shot of Scott, running in the dark. He hold up, listens as Luke moves past in the background. Then Hannah enters the scene. Luke moves in behind her and tries to take the gun out of her hands. “Keep out of it Ma, keep out of it.”
Scott takes advantage of their struggle to move past them. Luke raises the gun to fire at Scott, then lowers it when he realizes it is too late. He hurries after Scott, while Hannah stands with her back against the wall of the mine shaft.
He fires one shot. Scott keeps running. He sees a lantern hanging over head, reaches up and flings it behind him, and there is a burst of flames. Luke manages to get past them.
Outside, shot of the entrance to the mine. Scott runs out. Luke is not too far behind him. He raises the gun, then lowers it again, apparently not having a clear shot. Shift to show Scott, clambering up some rocks. He keeps running, Luke fires this time and misses. Quick shot of Hannah emerging from the entrance of the mine shaft. Then Luke is seen running again. Quick shot of the shack, the door opens and Pearl comes out onto the porch.
Scott is seen high up on the rocks. He turns and hurls the knife at someone behind him, then comes running and jumping down the face of the rocks. Luke appears up above, following him.
Shot of Scott’s foot hitting a rock and he falls down. He turns to face Luke, who raises his weapon to fire. Meanwhile, up above another person appears, it’s Johnny, who says “Hold it.”
Luke whirls and is about to shoot JL, but Johnny finishes him off first, and Luke drops.
Reaction shots of Scott then Ma Sickles who closes her eyes and leans against a post. Pearl ducks under the porch railing and runs.
Scott gets up and heads towards Johnny who says “Hello, Brother.”
SL: “Johnny, how did yo—“
JL, uses his pistol to push the brim of his hat up: “Oh, we put a few pieces together.”
SL: “Well, where’s Murdoch?”
JL: “On the way back we ran into the Sheriff’s posse.”
Cut to show Pearl sobbing as she reaches Luke’s body, then back to the brothers.
JL: “He’s bringin’ em along.” Scott climbs back down over the rocks and Johnny follows.
Ma Sickles looks stricken. She stands with her arms hanging by her side, then moves forward mechanically. Scott enters the screen and stands and listens as she delivers her next line.
HS: “That’s my son. . . Luke Sickles. (pause) I’m identifying ‘im. And I’m claiming the reward.”
Same shot of the shack and surrounding. Then camera moves inside to show Scott coming through the door.
SL: “Andy-Jack! Andy-Jack?”
There is the sound of a chair moving across the floor. Scott turns and then heads towards the corner of the room, where the boy is hiding .
Scott turns the wicker chair around so that he can sit in it facing the corner.
SL: Well, well, well, now what do we have here?” He lifts the hat off of Andy-Jack’s bowed head.
AJ: “I ain’t cryin’.”
Tight close up on Scott, who nods slightly: “Well, maybe you’d better.”
AJ: “I never cry. My father never. . my uncles. . . and I’m gonna be just like them.”
Camera is behind Scott, who sits with his arms resting on his thighs, looking down at the boy.
Andy-Jack stands up. “I’m gonna rob banks, bang, bang! And kill people—bang, bang, bang, bang! And never care about nothin’.”
Scott reaches out to grasp Andy-Jack’s arm. He draws him closer and puts his other hand on the boy’s other arm, studies him for a moment. “No, it’s not in you not to care, Andy-Jack.”
Camera shifts to AJ’s pov as Scott tells him: “You’re special.”
Close up on the boy’s face, as Scott’s voice continues: You’re very special.”
Shift to tight close up on Scott: “But your grandmother’s got great hopes for you, great dreams. And we’re gonna make those dreams come true.” Camera shifts back and forth between their faces—one looking very cute and the other awesomely handsome. Andy-Jack cracks first, as he starts to sob, then puts his arms around Scott’s neck. Camera shows Scott’s face as he pats his back.
SL: “That’s good. You’ve gotta learn how to cry and when to cry, Andy-Jack.”
Shift to show AJ’s tearful face: “Those tears will wash away the bad things you’ve seen . . . and help you see the world through clean eyes.”
Camera on Scott again as he releases the boy and holds him at arm’s length, reaching up to touch his face with both hands. Camera swings around to show side view. Scott ruffles his hair, then reaches down for AJ’s hat. He puts it on his head and then turns up the front brim. Putting his hands on the boy’s arms again, Scott gets up, moving Andy-Jack back as he does so. SL stands and looks down at the child.
SL: “I’ll see you soon.” He holds out his hand for a handshake.
AJ: “You promise?”
SL: “I promise.”
They shake hands, and the camera closes in on their hands. Then Scott’s hand moves ujp first to hold Andy-Jack’s chin, then to touch the side of his face. Scott moves off screen and Andy-Jack turns to the window behind him.
Outside, Scott stands on the porch. Hannah is standing in front of the shack. They look at each other without speaking, then Hannah folds her arms across her chest and looks away. Scott steps down from the porch and walks over to where Murdoch and Johnny are waiting with the horses.
Shot of Andy-Jack wiping at the windowpane so that he can see out. Scott mounts up and the Lancers ride away.
HERE ARE THE FINAL SCENES AS THEY WERE SCRIPTED:
Luke brings Andy-Jack over to the porch of the shack, where Pearl is standing. Suddenly, Pearl says his name and points. Camera shows Scott who has just emerged from the mine entrance.
Luke turns and fires, Scott runs back inside.
Pearl ducks under the railing and steps down off of the porch. She puts her hands on Luke’s chest. “It’s gone wrong, Luke, you’ll have to keep runnin’.”
Luke: “No, there’s still a chance to work our plan—he’s in the mine, ain’t he?”
Pearl: “He can hide. And wait. . .”
AJ: “Scott won’t let you kill him!”
It draws Sickles malevolent attention.
LS: “Yeah? Well, now, do you think he’ll let me kill you ?
He grabs Andy-Jack and hauls him forward out of the frame while the camera tightens on Pearl’s look of foreboding.
Cut to Scott inside the mine as he stops to catch his breath, then pushes deeper into the murky old mine workings. He picks his way forward into the dark, precarious depths. Rotting timbers creak, dust filters down and he stumbles over the fallen debris.
Sickles’ voice echoes: “Stranger!”
Scott ducks behind a rusty ore-cart and looks back. The camera shows us Scott’s pov: the lamp winks on with a pale light. Sickles and the boy are shadowy figures beyond it’s circle of light.
LS: “Hear me good, Stranger! I want you out here in the light before I count ten!”
Scott is motionless and silent as a cornered possum. The lamp light casts ominous shadows and shows that Sickles has his pistol menacing the boy, whom he is holding by the hair.
LS: “You don’t, I’m killing the boy!” One! Two . . . .”
Scott’s Voice: “You’re running a bluff!”
LS: “Three! Four! Five. . . “
Scott’s voice: “He’s your nephew!”
LS: “What of it? I don’t care about nothing or nobody—not when I’m saving my own skin!”
He gives Andy-Jack’s hair a painful twist and the boy can’t help crying out involuntarily.
Reaction shot of Scott. There is only one decision he can make and he knows it. He rises from concealment and moves forward. Sickles and the boy stand immobile as Scott moves toward the slowly, emerging into the lamplight and stopping a couple of yards away form the muzzle of the outlaw’s pistol.
SL: “Let the boy go.”
Sickles releases his grip on AJ’s hair.
Close up of Scott: A look of resignation and inner peace comes into his face. If this is it, well, so be it.
Reaction shot of Andy-Jack. The emotional pressure on him nears its zenith as he looks from Scott up to his uncle, whose pistol is seen in the frame near the boy’s face. A flush of ugly triumph is glowing in Sickles’ features.
LS: “Now where’s that old woman with the shotgun?”
The boy acts. He grabs at Sickles’ pistol hand and tries to bite his wrist. His teeth sink in and Sickles howls in angry pain, knocking the kid reeling and, in a burst of mindless animal retaliation, bringing his gun to bear on the defenseless child.
Reaction shot of Scott and then the sound of two gunshots, almost simultaneous, the deep rumble of a shotgun and the sharper crack of the pistol.
Camera shows Hannah. With a soul-wracking cry, she lets the weapon fall from her hands and moves forward. Camera pans to frame full shot disclosing the results fo the action: Luke Sickles lies dead and Andy-Jack is unharmed. Scott is also in picture. Hannah throws herself on her knees, touching Luke to confirm what she has done.
HS, looking upward: “Oh Lord, why? Why did you make me choose between them?”
Andy-Jack turns and runs out of the tunnel.
Full shot, featuring Scott. His face bears eloquent witness to the tragedy. Then he hears somebody coming and turns, reacting as Johnny approaches with gun drawn.
SL: “Johnny! How . . . ?’
JL: “Ran into a posse. Sheriff’s outside. He’ll be wanting an explanation.”
Scott nods and continues on toward the sunlight. Hold in full shot as Hannah gets to her feet and, with a superhuman effort at control, turns to Johnny while indicating her slain son.
HS: “That’s my son, Luke Sickles. I killed him and . . I’m claiming the reward. (her chin goes up) My grandson’s going to school.” Her eyes don’t waver. Fierce, defiant, indomitable.
Cut to the workshop, with Andy-Jack huddled here amid the destruction of his stuff, his body shaking as if he’s beyond consolation, but refusing to permit himself tears. Scott enters and surveys the wrecked “inventions” knowing them for wrecked dreams, and comes forward to stand towering over Andy-Jack. The boy won’t look up.
AJ: “I ain’t crying.”
SL: “Maybe you’d better.”
AJ: “I never cry! My father never, or my uncles. . . and I’m gonna be just like them. I’m gonna rob banks and kill people and never care about nothing.”
SL: “It isn’t in you not to care.”
Scot kneels to speak directly to the boy.
SL: “No, you’re special. And you’re going to be worth the sacrifice your grandmother made.”
AJ, fighting tears: “Why’d she do it? She loved him.”
SL: “But she had dreams for you. . .and we’ll make them come true!”
Andy-Jack looks at him, desperately needing to believe, and Scott offers affirmation with quiet authority.
SL: “We’ll find a way!”
Now, AJ succumbs to his tears. Scott gathers the boy into his arms comfortingly as the camera tightens to close shot of the two of them.
SL: “That’s good. Learn how to cry, Andy-Jack. . . Tears wash away the bad things—let you see the world through clean eyes.”
Andy-Jack’s face takes on a look of new hope.
Close up of Andy-Jack’s “sunthing”. It catches and reflects the sunlight. The camera widens to a full shot including a broad vista of the barren and uncompromising landscape.