Friday, August 26, 2016

Shootout at Garsen's Saloon
Part Two, Conclusion of Scene Three
 
Cast of Characters in This Scene
 
            Joe Garrett, leader of the homesteaders
            Marian Garrett, Joe’s wife            
            Johnny Garrett, dim-witted 16 year old son
            Bonnie Garrett, 12 year old daughter
            Big Bill Wretcher, cattle boss of the valley
            Kurt Jergens, Big Bill’s German, bully-boy foreman
            Shane, gunfighter trying to escape his past
            Stark Verisimilitude, gunfighter
 
Time: 1880s
Place: Shoshone Hole, Wyoming

 
(Joe Garrett enters left,)
Joe: Johnny, what do you think you’re dong?!
Johnny: I’m growing up, Pa!  Growing up fast!
Joe: So I see!  I didn’t kiss your mother until we were married!
Johnny: You’re such a goodie goodie, Pa!
Joe: It’s time you had another licking behind the wood shed!
Johnny: Oh, Pa!
Joe (grabbing Johnny by the back of the neck): When I’m done with you, you aren’t  going to sit down for a week!  (He starts directing him toward the right exit.)
Girl Who Is Left: Poor me!  (She exits dejectedly left.)
(The scene shifts to behind the wood shed)
(Shane enters right, puts a foot up on a log, and looks wistfully over the heads of the audience.)
(Bonnie Garrett enters left.)
Bonnie (shyly): Hello, Shane.
Shane: Hello, Bonnie.
Bonnie (after a pause): I was watching you just now.  You looked real serious.
Shane: A man has to be alone sometimes … to sort things out.
Bonnie (looking away from him and then at the ground): I … like you, Shane.
Shane (a fatherly smile): And I like you too, Bonnie.
Bonnie (looking him straight in the eye): Would you play Spin the Bottle with me?!
Shane: Whoa there!  Who … who put that idea in your head?!
Bonnie: I like you, Shane.  Isn’t that what a man and woman do when they like each other?  Kiss?
Shane: Who told you that, little lady?
Bonnie: Mom.  And she said she wondered when was the last time somebody kissed you.
Shane (somewhat embarrassed): Well, that was … awhile back.
Bonnie: I think she likes you, Shane.  You’d better watch out!
Shane (after a pause): Your mother’s a fine woman, Bonnie.
Bonnie: You like her, don’t you?
Shane: Uh, well … do you see that hawk up there?  (He motions over the audience.)
Bonnie: Changing the subject, aren’t you?
Shane: A hawk can’t stay in one place.  Just like me.  I thought I had changed, could settle down, being here.  Now maybe it’s time I was moving on!
(Marian Garrett enters left.)
Marian: Shane!  There you are!  I was … (sees Bonnie) … Oh!  Bonnie girl!  (She looks flustered.)    Go see your father.  Heaven knows wherever he may be!
(Bonnie looks from Marian to Shane and back to Marian)
Marian (forcefully): What are you waiting for?!  Go see your father!
(Smiling, Bonnie exits left.)
Shane (after a pause): Hello, Marian.
Marian (shyly): I feel like a school girl.
Shane: You’re a warm-hearted woman, Marian.  Joe is a lucky man.
Marian: Oh, Shane!  (emotionally)  Shane!  Shane!  Shane!  (Five seconds pass as she gazes fondly into his eyes.)  That first time we met and you held my hand, … even though you burped on it, … I knew you were someone special!
Shane: If it weren’t for you, Marian, I’d be bending over some horse trough right now emptying my stomach!
Marian: No, that’s not true.  It was your past that drove you to drink!
Shane: Yes.  I’ll never strap on a gun again!
Marian (fondly): Or empty another bottle.  And the fact that I am an irresistible woman who hasn’t had a man’s arms around her in two years had nothing to do with it.  (She puts her hands impulsively on his shoulders.)
(Joe Garrett, still holding Johnny by the back on the neck, enters right.)
Joe (stopping short): Marian!
Marian (jerking her hands away): Joe!
Johnny: Ma!
Marian: Shut up, Ferret Face!
Joe (after a pause): Johnny!  Go … hide in the barn!  I don’t want you to see this!
Johnny: Right away, Pa!  Seventeen is much too impressionable an age!  (He exits hastily right, and then sticks his head back in as Joe and Shane try to stare each other down.)  Now to find Hannah and Rachel!  (His head disappears)
Joe (after a pause): I never told you how much your being here has helped me, Shane.  But I reckon now’s the time you’d better leave!
Marian: Joe!  No!
Shane: A man’s got to pay his debts.
Joe: And letting you kiss Marian is the way I pay mine?!
Marian (bright-eyed): It’s okay with me if it’s okay with him!
Shane: I meant you gave me a warm meal and straw to sleep on when I needed it most.  That’s why I stayed on!
Marian: Then you aren’t leaving?!
Shane: Marian, I reckon a man can’t escape his past!
Marian: Shane, no!  (He starts for the left exit.)  Where are you going?
Shane: To get my gun … a bottle of booze, … and  (John Wayne swagger) shove off!  (He exits left)
Marian: Joe!  Stop him!
Joe (looking off at right entrance): Can’t!
Marian: Can’t?!  Won’t!  Because you aren’t half the man he is!  If you were, you’d put a bullet through Big Bill Wretcher right now!
Joe: Looks like I’ll get the chance.
(Big Bill, Jergens, and Stark enter right on “horses” (saw-horses).  Joe and Marian back off toward the left exit.  The men dismount)
Marian: Joe, who is that ugly one?
Stark (overhearing): Ugly?  You don’t mean me, do you?!
Joe: From his looks, I’d say he’s a hired gun.  A good one!
Stark: The best!
Marian: Joe, get Shane!
Stark: Uh … hold it!  That won’t be necessary.
Joe: It’s … too late.  He left.
Stark: Good.  (boastfully)  I would have had to pistol whip him.
(Shane reappears at the left.)
Stark (seeing Shane): Oh boy!
Jergens: Garrett!  You vill listen vun last time!
Big Bill: I’m giving you ‘til sundown to pack up and leave, Garrett!
Joe: Mighty considerate of you, Wretcher!
(Shane circles around behind them and takes a position facing Stark, who has turned to face him)
Big Bill: If you stay, we burn you out!
Joe: I’m not leaving!  (pause)  And you aren’t burning me out!
Jergens: Of course, if you don’t like der choice, you can do something else.
Joe: What’s that?
Jergens (motioning to Big Bill): Ask him.
Big Bill: We’ll be at Garsen’s ‘til seven.  Stark here feels guilty drawing pay.  And the undertaker wants business!
Shane: So you’re Stark Verisimilitude.  I’ve heard about you!
Stark: Whatever you’ve heard you can double!
Shane: I’ve heard you’re a dry-gulching back stabber!  And when you draw, you go, “Blleeeeww!”
Stark: What’s wrong with that?!  It catches ‘em off guard!
Shane: Ride out of here now, Verisimilitude!  The fight’s between Garrett and Wretcher!
Stark: Blleeeeww!
Big Bill: Garrett, what’s it going to be?!
Joe (after a dramatic pause): I’ll be in to see you … at seven!
(Big Bill mounts his saw horse. Jergens and Stark mount theirs.  Silently, they ride off and out the right exit.)
Marian: Joe, if you go into town to face them, you’ll get killed!
(Bonnie and Hannah enter right, unseen by the others, and listen)
Joe: Marian, I’m not going into the saloon with my hands over my head saying, “Shoot me!”  But if they do. … (long look at Shane) … I know you’ll be well cared for!
Shane: You’d better believe it!
(Marian smiles.)
Joe: And if I do come back, …
Shane: We’ve got a problem!
Marian: You’d better believe it!
Joe: Of course, …  I could use some help!  (He looks at Shane)
Marian: Joe, that’s not fair!  Shane will start hitting the sauce again, and what if both of you are killed?!  Where does that leave me?!  That’s really, really not fair!
Joe: All right then.  If I have to make this valley safe for homesteaders all by myself, I’ll do it!
Marian: You’re so noble!
Joe: I’m just going to ask one thing.  (pause) Give me one minute alone with Old Ironwood here.
 
Marian: That stupid stump again!
Shane: Let it go, Marian.  (He and Marian exit left)
Bonnie (to Hannah): I’m going to tell everybody!  Shoot Out at Garsen’s Saloon!  Wowie!
Hannah: And I’ll tell Father!  Maybe he can stop it!
(Bonnie and Hannah exit right.)
Joe (putting a foot on the stump, smiling down at it): You and me have had some good times together, haven’t we, stump?  Well, it’s all … (breaking down) … just … about over!  (recovering somewhat)  I won’t be coming back!    So, I want you to know … you’re free!  (He looks forlornly at the stump, then straightens, and exits resolutely right)   
(Shane enters left, carrying his gun belt._
Shane: Heart-rendering!  Poignant!  (He puts on his gun belt and straightens his hat.)  I can’t let him do it!  (He practices his fast draw, holsters his gun, and exits decisively right)