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
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.
enters dramatically left)
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,
(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,
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
(Stark struts over to
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)
heavens I am in time!
Yes.There is never a need for gun play.
not!You will all remove your gun belts,
place them on this table, and amicably settle your differences.
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!
Ebenezer!I think it wise that we retire
to the far wall.(They, including Hannah, move to the back wall, partially behind the
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!
on!Come on!Get with it!
Jergens!You get what I’m paying
(Jergens gets up and
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)
shoots my Kurtie!Nobody!(waves
her gun)Kurtie and I are getting
married, aren’t we?!
Jergens (staring at the gun): Ja vo, mine
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!
heavens!There aren’t enough men in this
town as it is!They’re just droppin’
(The three of them
start to drag Joe off left as Johnny Garrett enters left)
Johnny(seeing his father): Had one too many,
Digger: In a
manner of speaking, yes.
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)
I’m callin’ you out!
(Big Bill, slowly and
confidently, gets up from behind his table, approaches, and takes a gun
Big Bill: Won’t
need any help against you!Garsen, start
(Garsen counts.After “two” Hannah draws a gun and shoots Big
shoots my Johnny!Nobody!
(Digger enters left
with Widow.He sees Big Bill’s body on
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!
Mother.Father.Johnny and I want to get married, too.Right now!
Johnny: We do?
(She nods, holding up
Johnny: We do!
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!
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
(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)
Digger!Oh no!Who’s left now for me to marry?!
Garsen (coming over to her): Here, let me help
(Widow and Garsen
start to drag Digger off left)
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
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
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
(Both men fire at her)
Shane (after a pause): Missed.
Stark: Ah, yes,
but I missed first!
Shane!You …. You shot at me!
Shane: Don’t get
upset, Marian!We had to prove a point!
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?!
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
Rachel: There you
are, Starkie!Gave me the slip, didn’t
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.
you’re alive!(to the audience)See what I
bullet.It shattered the shoulder
bone!My stump-chopping days are over!
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
Joe: Might on the
side of right always wins a fight!
you’re such a goodie goodie!I may shoot
16 year old daughter of Cannonball Stone
Svenson, Swedish homesteader
Erp, town preacher
former bad-breathed, 16 year old daughter
Wretcher, flirtatious 16 year old daughter of Big Bill Wretcher
Tintinnabulation, saloon girl
Verisimilitude, hired gunfighter
later.The Erps’ parlor.Reverend Erp enters at the right)
Erp: Alley, it
that you?!(He looks about the empty room)You
have returned to repent but in your shame you are hiding.I am a magnanimous man, Alley.You may ask for forgiveness.(He
strikes a righteous but patient pose.Five seconds pass.He looks about
Erp.You have time for saloon girl?Si?
Erp (taking the wrong meaning): I … (grins) … I have time for all of
His children.(pause)Some more than
Tina: You nice
man.All men nice men.Why all men nice to me?
Tina(after glancing about): Where you
wife?We all alone here.
Erp: I know!(pause)You asked about having time, Miss Tintinnabulation.(He
Tina: Tina.You call me Tina.
Erp: Only … Heh,
heh, heh, heh!…only if you call me … Ebenezer.
Tina: You cute
Erp: Before divinity
school, they used to call me … well … Heh, heh, heh!…Wewon’t go into that.
Tina: No, no, no,
no, no!You say what you want!Tina good listener!
Erp: I … wish
only to answer your question.
Erp: Why, why all
men like you.
Tina: Si.Why they do that?
(Svede Svenson enters
Erp: You are a
ravishingly beautiful woman!
tickles Erp under his chin)
Tina (tickling): Couchie!Couchie!Couchie!
Erp (surprised and embarrassed): Mr.
Tina (pleasantly surprised): Svede!(to
Erp)He fun hombre.
Svede: If I fun
hombre, what you then call him?
Tina: I call hem
Svede (after glancing from Erp to Tina and back to
Erp): I tink I better go now.
Tina: No, no, no,
no, no!Ebenezer help me with
problem.He help you, too.
Svede: Ya!That is why I come here.
Erp (irritably): Tell me.Make it quick!
Svede: No.She can go first.
Svede (after glancing at Tina and then at Erp):
I am a big liar.I no tell Cannonball I
see Opal on German foreman’s knee.Hankie pankie.
Erp: A wise
Tina: Si.Cannonball be mad.Kurt Jergens plug him in stomach.Cannonball bleed all over floor!
Erp: Indeed.Comparatively speaking, hankie pankie is
Svede: Then I not
tell Mrs. Erp what I saw here?
(Erp steps back
Tina: Here?What you see here?!
Whoopie.Couchie couchie.Hankie Pankie.
Tina: I no do
that!That not why I come here!(to
Erp)Ebenezer.Every man like me.Want hankie pinkie.What I do?
Svede (after a five second pause): I tink you
stop couchie couchie everybody but me.
Tina (impulsively tickles Svede under his chin):
Couchie, couchie, couchie!
Erp (striking a knowing pose, with an
authoritarian voice): That is the solution!You must leave the saloon forever and direct
your attentions toward one man only!Forthwith!
(Mrs. Erp enters left)
Tina: Si.Chihuahua!You make Tina so happy!(tickles
him under his chin)Couchie,
Mrs. Erp (aghast): E-ben-e-zer!
Erp(taken aback): Alley, my dear!
Ebenezer Erp!You … you … you garter
Svede: I tink I
better go now.(He exits unobtrusively left)
Tina: I do what
blows Erp a kiss and dances out left)
(Mrs. Erp, hands on
hips, glares at Erp)
Erp: This is not
what you think!
(Mrs. Erp taps her
Erp: If you don’t
believe me, you may ask Mr. Svenson!(pause)On second thought, you had better not!
Ebenezer, we have much to talk about!After we are finished, I may still go home to Mother!
Erp: Then I shall
begin!(striking a pose)When you assumed
that I, a righteous man of the cloth, ---
Mrs. Erp (interrupting, sternly): Ebenezer!
Erp: Yes, my dear
Mrs. Erp: Shut
thy trap!(Erp is silently shocked)That’s
right, Ebenezer!Pipe down!I will do the talking for once!In the other room!You will do the listening!(She
motions toward the right exit)Move!
Erp (heading toward the exit, Alley following):
Well, I never!
(They exit right)
enters left.She looks about the empty
room and then at the slip of paper that she is holding)
Rachel: What is
it that Bile Breath wants to talk to me about?(pause)Johnny Garrett, of course.She knows she doesn’t have a chance with me
around!(She smiles and smoothes down her hair and sits)Oh, Rachel, Rachel, Rachel!
enters left.He sees Rachel, stops, and
studies her with appreciation. He steps
forward.She hears the movement and
Rachel (startled): Oh!(getting
a good look at him.With appreciation) Oh!
Stark: You the
stands, turns away, and looks at him over her shoulder)Do I look like a preacher’s daughter?
Stark (with appreciation): Does a collie look
like a pit bull?!
Rachel (smiling, taking a step forward): You
have a way with words, stranger.Just
Stark: If I was,
I might just stay a week!
Rachel (coyly): Just a week?(smiles)
Stark (under her spell): Two weeks.Maybe two.What the heck, a month!
Rachel (after a pause): Somehow … you don’t
look like a churchman.You have business
with the Reverend?
Superstition.In my line of work, I like
to look in on the preacher before I do a job.
Rachel: And just
what is your line of work?
Mmmmmm.I like trouble.
Stark: You look
you.You’re not so bad yourself.
Stark: The best!
Stark (with a macho voice): Who are you?!
for me to know and you to find out.
Stark (acting cool): If I have the time.
I think you’ll … find the time.
Stark (abruptly): Reckon the preacher’s not
here!Widow lady over at Garsen’s.Think I’ll give her some time!(He
strides for the left exit)
Stark (after stopping, turning about): Aren’t
you all?(He strides out left)
Rachel (confidently): He’ll be back.(pause
– thoughtful look)What am I doing
here?Oh yes.Hannah.And Johnny Garrett.
(Hannah Erp enters
left, sees Rachel, nods, looks about hastily, and then, looking off-stage left,
motions for Opal Stone to enter)
Hannah: It’s all
right.My parents are gone.
(Opal Stone enters
Rachel (to Hannah): What’s this all about,
Opal: Hannah, my
mother is going to meet me at the general store in thirty minutes!Let’s make this quick!
Rachel (to Opal): Oh?So you can be alone with my daddy’s foreman
wrong with that?!Kurtie’s my beau.At least I don’t go chasin’ after every boy, any
boy in this valley … like some people I know.
Girls!We have important matters to
discuss.Let’s not get personal.
Rachel (to Hannah): You’re doing this just to
Hannah: Oh, shut
Opal (after a pause): If this is about that
Johnny Garrett, count me out.I’m
leaving.(She heads toward the left exit)
Wait!It’s not just … Johnny!It’s the shoot-out!
father … against (to Rachel) your father!
Rachel (after a pause): So?
either of you concerned?!
Opal (after a pause): No.I could care less.
neither.Daddy never does his own
dirty work.(to Opal)He has “Kurtie” do
Opal (worried expression): Now I’m concerned!
Hannah (to Rachel): So you should!Do you think Johnny’s going to want you after
your father’s had his father killed?!
Rachel (looking concerned): You’re … right.
Opal: Of course,
Kurtie can outdraw any man in this valley.I know it!(She smiles to reassure herself)
Hannah (after a pause): Can he outdraw Shane?
dissolves to a look of fear)
Hannah: Don’t you
see?We all have got to do
something!We can’t let our men get
Opal (after a pause, with determination): No,
Rachel(intently): I know what I’ve got
Opal: So do I!
Hannah (after a pause): What?!
Rachel: I don’t
have a minute to lose!(She heads for the left exit)
Hannah: Where are
Rachel: No time
to talk.(She exits hurriedly left)
Opal: I’ve got to
go, too!(She heads for the left exit)
Opal: Home!Fast!(She exits left)
Hannah (after a pause, paces): Oh, I hope they
can stop it!Rachel and her father!Opal and hers!Oh, Johnny!Johnny!Johnny!If we are to be man and wife, I must not let
your pa die!(Pause)Now to tell
Father!(She exits right)
kitchen.Marian Garrett is stirring
something in a pot.Grandma Garrett
dearie.Tonight’s the big night, isn’t
Marian (smiling): Oh yes.At seven o’clock guns will blaze!
Grandma (after a pause, looking inside the pot):
What are you mixing, girl?
cake batter.When Joe comes back after
all that shooting, he’s going to be hungry.
Grandma: And if
that clumsy klutz don’t come back?
will eat them!Oh, Shane, Shane,
Shane!(She twirls about like a school girl)
that sashayin’ about!‘Tisn’t right ‘n’
right, you havin’ two men!
Marian: But it’s
sure a lot of fun!
‘Tisn’tright!When I got none!
Grandma Garrett!(consoling tone)Yes, you
do.You’ve got … George Garsen, and
Digger Phelps, the undertaker.
Grandma: You call
those two men?!
from all appearances they seem to be.
Garsen’s so short he needs a periscope to see over his own bar.And Digger Phelps – he’s about as lively as
one of his stiffs!
…when you’re living out in the territories, … you just can’t be choosy!
mince words with me, girl!I want
Shane!(softer tone)Had my eye on
him the minute he first rode up.
Marian (aghast): Shane?!You?!
spells the name)S-H-A-N-E!
Marian: But … you
can’t have ---
Grandma (interrupting, pointing her cane at Marian):
And why not?!(pleased tone)Happen to
know he likes me.Always teasin’ me.
... you’re an old lady!
Grandma (shaking her cane at Marian): You call
me that again and you won’t have any toes!
Marian (after a pause): But … if Joe doesn’t come
serve the dummy right!
will marry me!
count on it, dearie!You and me may have
our own shoot-out!
Garrett!(shakes her head in disbelief)A
mother and daughter-in-law shouldn’t quarrel.If you’re so upset, find someone else to take your anger out on.
Johnny Garrett enters
closely at her face)Is that a new
wrinkle I see?
you “Grannie” me, you ferret-faced fool!(She jams the end of her cane onto
one of Johnny’s shoes.He reacts in
pain, hobbling around the room.After a
pause, smiling at Marian) You’re right, dearie.I feel much better now.(She
exits, pleased, left)
Johnny: Ma, why
doesn’t Grannie like me?
you’re a Garrett.
Johnny: But … but
she’s a Garrett, too.
Marian: No, she married
a Garrett.She’s been mad ever since.
Johnny (after a pause): I don’t
understand.There’s so much I don’t
because you’re the last of the male Garretts, which have been going downhill
like a runaway wagon!
Johnny: Like …
girls, Ma!I don’t know anything about
Marian: Go ask
Johnny: I did,
but he just said something about birds and bees, and I wasn’t interested about
Marian: Oh, all
right.Who is it you’re sweet on, Opal
Johnny: Oh, I
like Opal all right, but she doesn’t like me and for the life of me I cannot
figure out why!
Marian (nodding her head knowingly): Smart
Johnny (preoccupied): Huh?
Johnny (after a pause): Anyway, I’m not worried
about Opal.I’m worried about Hannah,
who no longer has bad breath and likes Spin-the-Bottle, and Rachel Wretcher,
who carries a bottle around with her and likes Spin-the-Bottle a lot!
Marian: So what’s
the problem?You afraid of germs?
Johnny: No.Who to choose?I’m so bad making choices.
Marian: I have a
feeling they’ll work that out between them.
good!Then I have nothing to worry
about.(He gives a dumb smile)
(Marian goes back to
stirring the contents of the pot)
Johnny (face changing to a confused look): …
Marian (wearily): Now what?
Rachel was leaving at the end of my birthday party, … she whispered to me
something about playing post office.(pause)What’s that?!
Marian: Go ask
your father.No.He wouldn’t know.Go ask Shane.(She smiles)He’d know!
Johnny: Okay, I
for the right exit)
(Joe Garrett enters
Joe: Marian, I’m
Johnny (passing Joe): Where are you going, Pa?
Joe: To Garsen’s.
Johnny: Oh, then
don’t have more than one drink.You have
two and you’re always on the floor.(He waves and exits right)
Joe (reflecting): “On the floor.”(nods
his head.To himself) I’ve got to
remember what Cannonball said.Be tough.
Marian (tenderly): Joe?
Joe (savagely): What?!
Marian (hurt): I just wanted to wish you luck.
Joe: Oh.Sorry.I’m trying to psych myself up.
Marian: Well, …
Joe(with bravado): I’m not going to need
any luck, Marian!When I come back,
there will be three notches on my gun!
Joe.You’re so brave.
Joe: But if I
don’t, tell Digger Phelps I prefer cedar wood to pine.(He
exits emotionally right)
(Marian watches him
leave and remains thoughtfully silent for five seconds)
Marian: I wonder
what Shane would like better in his flannel cakes, strawberries or plums.