Friday, January 13, 2017

Frederick Douglass -- Birth of an Abolitionist
 
Established as a lay preacher, Douglass was beautifully positioned to be a leader in the honorable, relatively safe, correct black community of New Bedford.  By 1841, the Douglasses had moved from a small house in the rear of 157 Elm Street into a larger house at 111 Ray Street.  Secure employment, even of an almost dignified sort, could be counted on in the prosperous town, which provided schools for black children.  The Douglasses already had two; by the summer of 1841 a third was on the way.  Anna had her garden, Frederick his violin on which to play the Handel, Haydn, and Mozart in the music books he had brought with him.  This was a world, shorn of slavery, … a world into which she fit comfortably.  Her husband, already respected in the black community, could have reasonably aspired to being the second African American member of the library society.  The Douglasses had the makings of an exemplary American family, one that was getting on well.
 
But soon Douglass was restless for something more than the respectability of black New Bedford.  The churches not only gave their members religious nourishment but also provided them with the opportunities to raise their confidence by talking together of both personal and public concerns.  … Temperance … was among the chief of the public concerns.  So was antislavery, but many proper black church groups shunned it as too controversial.
 
This refusal to face what he knew from experience to be an evil troubled Douglass.  … On March 12, 1839, at a church meeting where the respectable subject of colonization was being debated, Douglass had risen and, assailing the idea of shipping slaves to Africa, had spoken of what slavery was like and why slaves should be set free, right here in America.
 
If making the speech felt good, reading the notice of it in William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator may have been even more exhilarating.  With this brief item, the world took note of Frederick Douglass.  At another meeting, attended largely by white antislavery New Bedford people, Thomas James [minister of the New Bedford Zion church] was making an address when he spotted Douglass in the audience, and he called on him to “relate his story.”  This time Douglass did not simply assail colonization, but told of his own experiences as a slave (McFeely 82-83).
 
A few months after Frederick and Anna had arrived in New Bedford, a young man had come to the Douglass house “selling subscriptions to William Lloyd Garrison’s Liberator.
 
Douglass tried to get rid of the agent.  When the fellow persisted, he had to reveal that he had just escaped from slavery and was still hard pressed to earn enough money to support himself and his wife.  On the strength of this the young man decided to enter a subscription for the foundry worker without payment of the fee.
 
Douglass was entranced by Garrison’s paper.  Not only did he pour over it in his spare time at home, but at the foundry he devised ways of propping a copy before him as he worked the bellows.  The picturesque denunciations of oppressors, the passionate cries for human brotherhood, the rebukes to hypocrisy in church and state, … everything about the Liberator stirred Douglass’s blood.  Garrison became his teacher, his hero, his idol.  When he finished with a copy of the Liberator, its contents had been practically memorized (Bontemps 24).
 
On April 16, 1839, Garrison came to New Bedford to speak to an integrated audience in Mechanics Hall.  Seated well back in the gallery, Frederick saw Garrison for the first time.
 
Here was the young crusader who had been thrown into a Baltimore jail for accusing a ship owner of carry slaves in his vessel, who ten years ago, while still in his twenties, had begun publishing the Liberator in a dingy third-floor in Boston, setting the old secondhand type himself and running it on a press he had bought at a bargain.  Here was the American who for his convictions had been dragged through Boston streets and with a rope tied around his neck and for whose arrest and conviction the state of Georgia was ready to pay $5,000.  He it was who had given words to ageless human agony when he put the following paragraph in the first issue of his paper:
 
I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity?  I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice.  On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak with moderation.  No!  No!  Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; … I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—AND I WILL BE HEARD.
 
 
Douglass was thrilled.  It seemed to him that Garrison was uttering “the spontaneous feeling of my own heart” (Bontemps 27-28).
 
Garrison returned to New Bedford six weeks later to speak at Liberty Hall.  Douglass again attended.  The meeting was thrown open for discussion, and the twenty-four-year-old Douglass stool up.  Somehow he had begun to feel that he too must be heard.  His words on this occasion was not preserved, but in the report of the meeting which Garrison sent back to the Liberator, he took occasion to mention “several talented young men from New Bedford, one of them formerly a slave whose addresses were listened to by large and attentive audiences with deep interest” (McFeely 85).
 
Frederick had attracted the attention of William C. Coffin, a bookkeeper in the Merchants Bank, a trustee of the Social Library, a Quaker, and a member of the vast Coffin family of Nantucket.  A staunch abolitionist, Coffin wanted many people outside of New Bedford to heard Frederick speak of his experiences.  Consequently, Coffin persuaded Frederick to attend a great mid-summer meeting of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society on Nantucket Island.
 
Now, when Coffin spotted the young black man among the people walking in from the packet, he made his way through the crowd to welcome him, defying the unwritten rule of social separation of the races.  As they walked along, Coffin invited him to rise in the meeting and, in the tradition of the Friends, to speak if it seemed right to him to do so.  Coffin had already alerted the organizers of the meeting that the remarkable young runaway might be so moved.  … Several of the great luminaries of the American Anti-Slavery Society were to be seen at the front of the congregation; Garrison … and Wendell Phillips, the patrician orator whom some thought greater than Garrison, and a host of other abolitionist leaders… (McFeely 86-87).
 
The summer evening’s light was failing as Frederick sat summoning his courage to rise, to speak.  It was a moment of great importance, of great emotion, for him when finally he did so.  Everyone in the room strained to make out the chiseled features of the young man’s face and to hear his words, which, in his unease, he was stammering.  Some later recalled that he had been confused; others spoke of his embarrassment.  He himself said in retrospect that of the hundreds of speeches he had made, it was the only one from which he could “not remember a single connected sentence.”
 
His first phrases were the apologies of the novice, but then all that he had taught himself with The Columbian Orator, all that he had had within him from the start, poured forth.  The Quaker quiet in the room was cut through with an electricity of excitement that everyone from twelve-year-old Phebe Ann Coffin to her most somber, senior relative would never forget.  With intense concentration, these New Englanders heard Frederick telling them about his life.  It was the story of a runaway slave, yes, but it was his story.  He was telling it, he was calling himself into being, and people—people he had never seen before, white people, important people—were listening (McFeely 88).
 
William Lloyd Garrison, deeply moved by Frederick’s words, rose to speak when the young man had finished.  For a time he could not be heard above the commotion in the hall.  Finally, he gained the attention of the animated audience.
 
“Have we been listening to a thing, a chattel personal, or a man?” he asked.  “A man!  A man!” the audience shouted with one accord.  “Shall such a man be held a slave in a Christian land?” called out Garrison.  Anna Gardner, who was to be Douglass’s loyal friend for the rest of their long lives, remembered the whole scene. ”No! No!” shouted the audience.  Raising his voice to its fullest note, he again asked, “Shall such a man ever be sent back to bondage from the free soil of old Massachusetts?”  With a tremendous roar the whole assembly sprang to its feet and continued shouting, “No!  No!  No!”  Garrison’s voice was lost in their vehemence.
 
 
As he sat there in the Big Shop, surrounded by standing, cheering champions, Frederick knew a triumph so intense, so total, that he would spend his entire life seeking to sustain it.  He had spoken, he had been heard.  What was more, the man in the world he most admired, “taking me as his text,” had spoken words “of unequaled power, sweeping down, like a very tornado, every opposing barrier.”   And great men pressed forward to shake his hand—Garrison, Phillips, knew him, and he knew them.  Never again would he be anonymous (McFeely 88-89).
 
 
Works cited:
 
Bontempts, Arna, Free at Last, the Life of Frederick Douglass, New York, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1971.  Print
 
McFeely, William S.  Frederick Douglass.  New York, W. W. Norton & Company, 1991.  Print.
 


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Frederick Douglass -- New Bedford Life
 
Frederick Douglass was surprised at what he saw of the houses and the docks of New Bedford.  He had been taught that those who did not own slaves were of the lowest economic station.  In the slave-free North he had expected to “meet with a rough, hard-handed, and uncultivated population, living in the most Spartan-like simplicity, knowing nothing of the ease, luxury, pomp,, and grandeur of southern slaveholders.
 
In the afternoon of the day when I reached New Bedford, I visited the wharves, to take a view of the shipping.  Here I found myself surrounded with the strongest proofs of wealth.  Lying at the wharves, and riding in the stream, I saw many ships of the finest model, in the best order, and of the largest size.  Upon the right and left, I was walled in by granite warehouses of the widest dimensions, stowed to their utmost capacity with the necessaries and comforts of life.  Added to this, almost every body seemed to be at work, but noiselessly so, compared with that I had been accustomed to in Baltimore.  There were no loud songs heard from those engaged in loading and unloading ships.  I heard no deep oaths or horrid curses on the laborer.  I saw no whipping of men; but all seemed to go smoothly on.  Every man appeared to understand his work, and went at it with a sober, yet cheerful earnestness, which betokened the deep interest which he felt in what he was doing, as well as a sense of his own dignity as a man.  To me this looked exceedingly strange.  From the wharves I strolled around and over the town, gazing with wonder and admiration at the splendid churches, beautiful dwellings, and finely-cultivated gardens; evincing an amount of wealth, comfort, taste, and refinement, such as I had never seen in any part of slaveholding Maryland.
 
Every thing looked clean, new, and beautiful.  I saw few or no dilapidated houses, with poverty-stricken inmates; no half-naked children and bare-footed women.  … But the most astonishing as well as the most interesting thing to me was the condition of the colored people, a great many of whom, like myself, had escaped thither as a refuge from the hunters of men.  I found many, who had not been seven years out of their chains, living in finer houses, and evidently enjoying more of the comforts of life, than the average of slaveholders in Maryland. 
 
I found employment, the third day after my arrival, in stowng a sloop with a load of oil.  It was new, dirty, and hard work for me; but I went at it with a glad heart and a willing hand.  … It was the first work, the reward of which was to be entirely my own.  … I worked that day with a pleasure I had never before experiences.  I was at work for myself and newly-married wife.  It was to me the starting-point of a new existence (Douglass 115-116, 117).
 
Two days later “He saw a pile of coal that had been unloaded in front of an attractive home.  Douglass … dressed for dirty work … went around to the back door and asked the woman in the kitchen if he might put the coal away for her.
 
“What will you charge?” she asked.
“I’ll leave that to you, madam.”
 
 
When the work was finished, the Reverent Peabody’s housekeeper placed two silver dollars in Douglass’s blackened hands, and he drifted away on a cloud. …
 
... Someone mentioned a ship which Rodney French, a wealthy antislavery men, was fitting out for a whaling voyage.  A big job of calking and coopering remained to be done on the vessel, work for which Douglass was amply qualified and for which the prevailing wage in New Bedford was two dollars a day.  The owner, to whom Fred applied, agreed to hire the newcomer and directed him to the float-stage where the work was in progress. …
 
Heads began to wag ominously as he approached the ship.  Though no objections were raised in New Bedford when Negro children attended public schools with whites, though a warm and friendly attitude existed toward black people generally, though a Negro who informed on a runaway slave had recently found it advisable to leave town to escape public indignation, and though many of the most influential citizens were outspoken of the slave’s cause, another attitude—less talked about in public, perhaps—came to the surface when Douglass met the white men of his trade in the shipyard.  He couldn’t work there as a caulker, they informed him bluntly.  He couldn’t do any skilled work on French’s vessel or any other.  If he struck one blow at his trade, every white man engaged on the ship would walk off and leave it unfinished.  They had no personal objection to the black men, but he would have to do unskilled work for which the wage was one dollar a day instead of two (Bontemps 19, 20-21).
 
… Having been taught a lesson about bigotry in the free North, Douglass took the dollar-a-day mob.
 
More day-labor jobs followed: “I sawed wood, shoveled coal, dug cellars, moved rubbish from back-yards, worked on the wharves, loaded and unloaded vessels, and scoured their cabins.”  The Douglasses were desperately poor the first winter.  There was little work then for a male day laborer, and Anna, pregnant, was not working.  In the spring, the docks grew busy and jobs were plentiful.  For a time, Frederick worked the bellows in Richmond’s brass foundry.  Finally, he reached out again to the Quaker merchants and obtained a steady job with set wages in the whale-oil refinery of one of his companions on the coach [which took him and Anna to New Bedford that first day], Joseph Ricketson.  Moving the casks of oil “required good wind and muscle,” which Douglass proudly remembered, he had in full measure.  He felt pride in his body as he gained the respect of his fellow “all white” workers:  “I soon made myself useful, and I think liked by the men who worked with me.”
 
 
Children are born; dates are given—Rosetta on June 24, 1839, and Lewis Henry sixteen months later on October 9, 1840—but we are told little about the events. 
 
Frederick and Anna Douglass seemed to be settling permanently into New Bedford’s black community.  Initially, maintaining his commitment to the Methodist Church, even though he had to sit in the galley.  But one Sunday, having come downstairs and waited while the white communicants took the sacrament, he saw how the unctuous Revered Isaac Bonney, looking toward “the corner where his black sheep seemed penned,” called them forward separately and condescendingly.  Thomas Auld’s hypocrisy seemed on display once more.
 
Frederick then turned far in the other direction; he was drawn to the “deep piety” and the ‘high intelligence” of the Reverend William Serrington at New Bedford’s Zion chapel, a congregation in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion denomination, founded by black Methodists in New York City late in the eighteenth century.  The Zionists … had broken away from the white Methodists churches because they were relegating blacks to back pews and generally and increasingly making them unwelcome.  The Zion chapel, which held its meetings in a schoolhouse on Second Street, was to be the Douglass family’s anchor in New Bedford: “the days I spent in little Zion, New Bedford, in the several capacities of sexton, stewart, class leader, clerk, and local preacher … [were] among the happiest days of my life” (McFeely 80, 81, 82).
 
 
Works Cites:
 
Bontempts, Arna, Free at Last, the Life of Frederick Douglass, New York, Dodd, Mead & Company, 1971.  Print
 
Douglass, Frederick.  Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  New York, Penguin Books USA inc., 1968.  Print.
 
McFeely, William S.  Frederick Douglass.  New York, W. W. Norton & Company, 1991.  Print.


Thursday, December 29, 2016

Shootout at Garsen's Saloon
Part Three, Scene Five
 
Cast of Characters
 
            Joe Garrett, leader of the homesteaders
            Marian Garrett, Joe’s wife
            Johnny Garrett, dim-witted 17 year old son
           
            Cannonball Stone, fiery-tempered homesteader
            Opal Stone, 16 year old daughter
            Rocky Stone, 14 year old son
            Mrs. Stone, Cannonball’s wife
 
            Ebenezer Erp, town preacher
            Alley Erp, Ebenezer’s wife
            Hannah Erp, former bad-breathed, 16 year old daughter
 
            Big Bill Wretcher, cattle boss of the valley
            Rachael Wretcher, flirtatious 16 year old daughter
            Kurt Jergens, Big Bill’s German, bully-boy foreman
 
            George Garsen, owner of Garsen’s Saloon
            Tina Tintinnabulation, saloon girl
            Digger Phelps, undertaker and barber
            Widow Winslow, man-hunting, 35 year old widow
 
            Shane, gunfighter trying to escape his past
 
            Stark Verisimilitude, gunfighter
 
Time: 1880s
Place: Shoshone Hole, Wyoming
 
Scene Five
 
(Garsen’s Saloon.  At a table at the far right are Big Bill Wretcher and Kurt Jergens.  Behind the bar is Garsen with his ever-present towel.  Widow Winslow is seated at a table to the left of the bar)
 
Jergens: Garsen!  You vill come here!
 
(Garsen crosses to the table)
 
Jergens: Ve vill order now.
 
Garsen: What’s your pleasure?
 
Big Bill: Martini and Rossi on the rocks.
 
(Garsen returns to the bar to get a bottle and glasses)
 
(Digger Phelps enters right)
 
Digger (eagerly): Is Garrett here yet?!
 
Widow: No, dear, he isn’t.  That gunfighter hasn’t come in either.  I hope he gets shot!
 
Digger: It matters not who wins, Widow.  (pause)  Just that a lot of them lose!
 
(Mrs. Stone and Opal enter left.  Opal sees Jergens and waves to him.  Jergens acknowledges her greeting)
 
Opal: Oh, Ma.  Can’t I go sit next to Kurtie?  He’s a much nicer boy than you think!
 
Mrs. Stone: No!  There’s something about him I don’t like.
 
Opal: But, Ma.  Look at him.  Just look at him!  Don’t you just love that cute, pudgy face?!
 
Jergens (gets up, goes to the bar, tastes the liquid in the bottle that Garsen has produced): Garsen, you doomkopf!  This isn’t Martini and Rossi!  This is Ripple!  (He whips the bar with his riding crop)
 
Garsen (cowering): I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!  Forgive me!
 
Jergens: Svine!
 
Garsen: Here!  (handing Jergens another bottle)  This is on the house!
 
Jergens (after giving Garsen a hostile stare): Dat ees better!  (He returns casually to his table with the bottle)
 
Opal: See?  What did I tell you?!  He could have beaten Garsen to a pulp, … (admiringly)… but he didn’t!
 
Mrs. Stone: Mother’s intuition, dear.  There is something about that man I don’t like.
 
(Cannonball Stone and Rocky Stone enter left)
 
Opal: Oh, there’s Pa!
 
Mrs. Stone: And your darling brother.
 
Cannonball (after looking about): How come there aren’t enough chairs here?!
 
Rocky: I, for one, would like to sit down.
 
Jergens (standing, to Cannonball): So.  You vish again to protest?!
 
Cannonball: Uh, … not at this time.
 
(Jergens sits)
 
(Stark Verisimilitude enters dramatically left)
 
Stark: Stand easy.  Just wanted to say, before the shooting starts, you can buy glossy five by eight autographed photos … of a great gun fighter.  Me!  (He shows a picture of himself)  Just … three bucks.  Who’s first?  (Nobody gets up.  He draws his gun) I said, “Who’s first?”!
 
(Joe Garrett enters left.  Stark, seeing him, smiles and puts the photo on the bar)
 
Joe (staring across the stage at Big Bill Wretcher): Wretcher!  I’m here!  Wearing a gun!
 
Cannonball (stepping forward): Yeah, Wretcher!  Joe’s wearing a gun!
 
(Jergens draws his gun and shoots Cannonball)
 
Jergens (looking down at Cannonball): You vill please not interfere!
 
Digger (stepping forward): Widow!  Rocky!  Help me carry him out!  (to Cannonball) Told you this would happen!
 
Rocky: Poor Pa!
 
Mrs. Stone (following Widow and Rocky): I knew there was something I didn’t like about that kraut!
 
(Digger, Rocky, and Widow Winslow drag Cannonball out left)
 
Joe (to Big Bill): No more side-shows, Wretcher!  Draw!
 
Big Bill: All right, Garrett.  If that’s your play.  (to Jergens)  Take him!
 
Jergens (to Joe): So, farmer.  You vant to play rough!
 
Joe: After I shoot your hand off, I’m going to split that helmet with an axe!
 
Jergens (to Stark): You vill please take him now!
 
(Stark struts over to Joe)
 
Stark (laughing): You’re facing the fastest gun in Wyoming!
 
Joe: Shane and I had a fast draw contest on the way over here.  He lost!
 
Stark (to Big Bill): Take him, Wretcher.
 
(Reverend Erp, Mrs. Erp, and Hannah Erp enter right)
 
Erp: Thank heavens I am in time!
 
Mrs. Erp: Yes.  There is never a need for gun play.
 
Erp: Indeed not!  You will all remove your gun belts, place them on this table, and amicably settle your differences.
 
(Digger Phelps, listening at the left entrance, draws a pistol and fires a shot into the air)
 
Erp: On the other hand, if you refuse, I am only one man and certainly cannot stand in the way!
 
Digger: I want more action!  I’ve got three coffins in the other room collectin’ dust!
 
Mrs. Erp: Ebenezer!  I think it wise that we retire to the far wall.  (They, including Hannah, move to the back wall, partially behind the bar)
 
Big Bill: Verisimilitude!  I’m payin’ you top dollar to do a job!
 
(Shane enters left)
 
Shane: And I’m here to see he stays out of it!
 
Big Bill (after a pause, to Stark): Well?!
 
Stark (nervously): You heard the man! (indicating Shane)
 
Digger: Come on!  Come on!  Get with it!
 
Big Bill: Jergens!  You get what I’m paying Verisimilitude!  Do it!
 
(Jergens gets up and faces Joe)
 
Jergens: Garsen, you vill count to three.  (to Joe)  Then we draw.
 
(After a pause, Garsen starts counting, slowly.  After “two,” Opal fires a shot at Joe, who falls to the floor.  Everybody is transfixed)
 
Opal: Nobody shoots my Kurtie!  Nobody!  (waves her gun)  Kurtie and I are getting married, aren’t we?!
 
Jergens (staring at the gun): Ja vo, mine strudel!
 
Erp: In that event, you may step this way (motioning toward the left exit) and I will perform the ceremony immediately)  Alley?
 
Mrs. Erp: Coming, Ebenezer.  I do love weddings!  (Reverend Erp, Mrs. Erp, Jergens, and Opal exit left)
 
Digger: Widow.  And you, Garsen.  We’ve got another one here!
 
Widow: My heavens!  There aren’t enough men in this town as it is!  They’re just droppin’ like flies!
 
(The three of them start to drag Joe off left as Johnny Garrett enters left)
 
Johnny (seeing his father): Had one too many, Pa?
 
Digger: In a manner of speaking, yes.
 
Hannah: Oh, Johnny!  (coming to him)  Your father!  He’s … dead!
 
Digger (leaving with the body): Two down, two to go!  (He laughs)
 
Johnny (looking about the room, emotionally) Somebody give me a gun!
 
(Garsen hands Johnny a gun belt which Johnny puts on backwards)
 
Johnny: Wretcher, I’m callin’ you out!
 
(Big Bill, slowly and confidently, gets up from behind his table, approaches, and takes a gun fighter’s stance)
 
Big Bill: Won’t need any help against you!  Garsen, start counting!
 
(Garsen counts.  After “two” Hannah draws a gun and shoots Big Bill)
 
Hannah: Nobody shoots my Johnny!  Nobody!
 
(Digger enters left with Widow.  He sees Big Bill’s body on the floor)
 
Digger: Hey, now we’re rollin’!  Widow!  You, Garsen!  (They drag Big Bill off left.  Hannah goes to Johnny and stands beside him)
 
Widow (leaving): Oh, this is terrible!  Such a waste!
 
(Reverend Erp and Mrs. Erp enter left)
 
Mrs. Erp: What a lovely wedding!  Opal was so happy!
 
Hannah: Mother.  Father.  Johnny and I want to get married, too.  Right now!
 
Johnny: We do?
 
(She nods, holding up the pistol)
 
Johnny: We do!
 
Mrs. Erp: Hannah!  No!
 
Erp: Never!  I forbid it!
 
(Hannah cocks the firing pin of the pistol)
 
Erp: Of course, I’m only one man and certainly cannot stand in the way!
 
Mrs. Erp: Hannah!  My little baby!  A blushing bride!  (They head for the left exit)  I hope you realize that your children will all look like ferrets!  (Hannah, Johnny, Reverend Erp, and Mrs. Erp exit left)
 
(Digger reappears left with Widow and Garsen)
 
Digger (rubbing his hands together): All right, who’s next?!  I got one more coffin to fill!  (no response.  To Shane and Stark) You call each other gun fighters?!  Why don’t you find out who’s best!
 
(Shane and Stark nod at each other and take gun fighter stances)
 
(Garsen counts to “two,” Shane and Stark nod at each other, and both shoot Digger)
 
Widow: Digger!  Oh no!  Who’s left now for me to marry?!
 
Garsen (coming over to her): Here, let me help you.
 
(Widow and Garsen start to drag Digger off left)
 
Widow: George, you have always been a considerate man.
 
Garsen: May I say, Widow, that … I have always … admired you from afar!
 
Widow (at the exit, after a pause): Let’s keep it that way!  (She and Garsen exit left with Digger’s body)
 
Shane (after a pause): Well, Verisimilitude.  That leaves … you and me.
 
Stark: That’s right!
 
Shane: Sooner or later we were bound to meet!
 
Stark: And, like the undertaker said, … we’re gonna have to know who’s best!
 
Shane: When do we start?!
 
Stark: How about … right now!
 
Shane: When the next person comes through that door (motioning toward the left exit), we draw!
 
(They settle into gun fighter positions, facing each other menacingly.  Ominous, tense music.  Marian Garrett enters left)
 
Marian: Shane, is it over?!
 
(Both men fire at her)
 
Shane (after a pause): Missed.
 
Stark: Ah, yes, but I missed first!
 
Marian: Shane!  You …. You shot at me!
 
Shane: Don’t get upset, Marian!  We had to prove a point!
 
Stark: Twenty years from now they’ll be tellin’ how Stark Verisimilitude outdrew that overrated Shane fellow at Garsen’s Saloon!
 
Marian (to Shane): That moment alone together … behind the wood shed … It meant nothing?!
 
(Tina Tintinnabulation enters right, walks up to Shane, and takes his arm)
 
Tina: You ready, honey?  Tina want to see Cheyenne!
 
Shane (to Marian): A man can’t escape his past!  (He tips his hat.  He and Tina exit left)
 
(Rachel Wretcher enters left)
 
Rachel: There you are, Starkie!  Gave me the slip, didn’t you? 
 
Stark: Ah yes.  The Wretcher wench!  (He picks up his photo off the bar and admires it.  To himself)  You’re too much for them, aren’t you?  (to Rachel)  Catch me, if you can!  (He exits, she chasing after him, right)
 
Marian: Men!  You can’t depend on them!  I hate them all!
 
(Joe Garrett enters left, his right arm in a sling)
 
Joe: Marian, it’s me!  I’m all right.  Well, … almost.
 
Marian: Joe, you’re alive!  (to the audience)  See what I mean?
 
Joe: The bullet.  It shattered the shoulder bone!  My stump-chopping days are over!
 
Marian: Good!
 
Joe: Johnny will have to run the farm.
 
Marian: Joe.  Shane’s gone … with Tina Tintinnabulation.
 
Joe: It’s done, Marian.  All over.  The day Shane rode into this valley … and threw up in my water bucket, … I sensed he would make a difference!
 
Marian: Let’s go home, Joe.  I want your arms around me.  Well, your good one.
 
Joe: Yes, it’s over.  Settled.  All this just goes to show what I’ve always believed.
 
Marian: And what’s that?
 
Joe: Might on the side of right always wins a fight!
 
Marian: Oh, you’re such a goodie goodie!  I may shoot you myself!
 
(They exit left)
 
 
Playwright’s Comment: My apologies.