Jun 30, 2022
Lem and Fanshaw roll into a little town
just in time to stop an unjust hanging...
but can they find out who truly deserves the rope?
Written and Produced by Julie Hoverson
Lemuel Roberts / Deadeye Kid - J. Spyder Isaacson
Clarence Fanshaw - J. Hoverson
Sheriff Mortimer - Rick Lewis
Larkey Collins - J.D. Lloyd
Harp Fowler - Molly Tollefson
Maddy Fowler - Krystal Baker
Lute Fowler - Gene Thorkildsen
Amity Fowler - Kris Keppeler
Meg Pickens - Julia Lorraine
Rafe Jenkins - Reynaud LeBoeuf
Kentucky Pete - Sidney Williams (Fear On Demand)
Jeb - Robyn Paterson (Kung Fu Action Theatre)
Gabby, dead drunk - Sean Connor
Harmonica music by Jere Canote (Canote.com)
Other Music: Kevin MacLeod (Incompetech.com)
Editing and Sound: Julie Hoverson
Cover Design: Brett Coulstock
Cover Photo: Lauren Burbank (courtesy of Stock Xchange.com)
"What kind of a place is it?
Why it's a mountain pass in late spring, can't you tell...?"
A HANGING AT PICKENS ROCK
Lemuel Roberts, the Deadeye kid
Lute Fowler, accused murderer
Harp Fowler, 11
Madrigal "Maddy" Fowler, 7
Amity Fowler, dead mother
Rafe Jenkins, victim
Larky Collins, henchman
Meg Pickens, Rafe's fiancee
Kentucky Pete, Gambler
Gabby, town drunk
OLIVIA Did you have any trouble finding it? What do you mean, what kind of a place is it? Why, it's a mountain pass in late spring, can't you tell?
SOUND EARLY MORNING NOISE, WOODS, TWO HORSES AMBLING
FANSHAW So many things I miss - out in the wilderness like this.
LEMUEL What? You got air and water. Freedom. What else you need?
FANSHAW [longing] Tea.
LEMUEL There's tea all over. But you cain't even--
FANSHAW It's not the drink itself, it's the act - the ceremony, if you will, of taking tea. Tea and crumpets.
LEMUEL What on god's green earth is a crumpet?
FANSHAW It's a... a... rather like a muffin, but more... refined.
LEMUEL So you want boiled leaves and a refined muffin? Next town we roll into, I'll make sure and rustle y'up some.
FANSHAW You don't understand. Tea is a symbol. Sitting down to tea with someone - it represents refinement. Civilization.
SOUND CREAK OF SIGN HUNG FROM TREE
LEMUEL Speakin o' civilization--
FANSHAW [sarcastic] Ah. Yes. I'm certain any town out here will be chock-a-block with tea and crumpets.
LEMUEL "Pickens Rock". Makes me think of...
FANSHAW Slim pickings?
LEMUEL [agreeing] I reckon.
SOUND SLOW HOOFBEATS ON HARDPACK. SLIGHT ECHO, EMPTINESS
FANSHAW Slim pickings, indeed. No one appears to be in residence.
LEMUEL Don't look abandoned, though. Ev'thing's shut up tight. Mebbe there's a county fair or sumpin?
FANSHAW Possible, yes. Oh, there's someone--
GABBY [drunk and confused] Whaa-a-at?
LEMUEL I'm shore sorry to bother you, feller, but--
GABBY h-h-hh- who are you?
LEMUEL --where is ev'body?
GABBY They's a-a-a-all just gone off to the hangin. Who a-a-are y'all?
LEMUEL Which way? [prompting] To the hangin'?
GABBY Follow the rud, as you're goin. At the fork, take a-a-a-a left. You'll hear 'em by then. They's mighty worked up.
FANSHAW Lemuel, what are you thinking?
LEMUEL Tell me, old feller - who they fixing to set dancin?
GABBY Nice boy, thaa-a-at Lute Fowler. Never woulda pegged him for a-a-a drygulcher.
LEMUEL Figgers. We never end up nowhere, but they's an emergency awaitin us. Come on. [clicks to the horses]
SOUND HOOVES TAKE OFF
FANSHAW [calling back] Thank you very much!
GABBY [calling] D-d-d-ont mention it!
SOUND ANGRY CROWD
SOUND HOOVES APPROACH
LEMUEL Whoa, there.
SOUND HORSES PULL UP SHORT.
CROWD QUIETS, THEN BUZZ STARTS
FANSHAW I can't wait to hear this.
LEMUEL [through gritted teeth] Shut up. [voice raised] I hear there's fixin to be a hangin?
SHERIFF [off, yelling] Who's askin?
LEMUEL Y'ever hear of the Texas Rangers?
SOUND PEOPLE MOVE, FEET APPROACH
SHERIFF [Coming on, suppressed fury, trying to be civil] Well, now. This is strictly local business. We don't need no help. But I do thank you for looking in on us.
LEMUEL That feller on the horse? He's your - uh -
SHERIFF Duly tried and convicted murderer.
LEMUEL Lucky town, to have a judge handy.
CROWD BUZZ of MISGIVING
LARKY Well, we don't--
SHERIFF Put a bit in it, Larky. We didn't need no judge, ranger. We got ourselves a confession.
LUTE [yelling, very hoarse] I never did-- [gulp as noose is tightened]
HARP and MADDY [scream and cry]
LEMUEL Funny. That sounds like a denial t'me. You do realize that without a judgment from a legal court o' law, this ain't no execution, it's a murder.
CROWD BUZZ, STARTING TO FALL APART.
FANSHAW Is it?
SHERIFF I'm the law in this here town, friend. I don't take kindly to you walkin in here and trying to cause a commotion.
LEMUEL I ain't tryin to do nothin of the sort, Sheriff. I just don’t want to see a lawman like yerself let hisself get swept up by a mob and, uh--
FANSHAW --be forced to condone an injustice?
LEMUEL --be forced to condone an injustice. I know how tetchy a mob can be, and I cain't rightly blame you for not wantin a try and face 'em down - but with me at your side, I reckon we could stand.
SHERIFF [furious, but trying to stay jovial] Well, now. I guess I'll thank you very kindly, and..... [long breath, calming self, then turns away to call out] Good people! As I have long maintained, we must wait for the proper authority to conduct this properly. We'll keep Lute Fowler locked up in jail until the circuit judge comes through next month - just as we shoulda done from the start. [back] Larky, go get that - gentlemen - down and back to the jail.
LEMUEL That's right big of you, Sheriff. Now I'd be mighty honored to help you with any little thing you might need, seeing as I'm in town for a while.
SHERIFF For a while? How long?
LEMUEL Don' rightly know. Depends on how long it takes me to find what I'm looking for.
SHERIFF What's that?
LEMUEL 'fficial business. Caint go into it.
SHERIFF Very well, then. I've got to get back to town, see this varmint locked up tight. [grits teeth] Again.
SOUND FOOTSTEPS STOMP AWAY
FANSHAW A Ranger? You've never--?
LEMUEL Never said I was - just ast if they'd heered of 'em.
FANSHAW What happens when they demand to see your credentials? I somehow think that things are not so different over here - impersonating an official is bound to get you into hot water.
LEMUEL I'll cross that bridge when I get there--
LEMUEL What? Oh, hello l'il pardner. Didn't I see you standin up front--?
HARP You saved my pa, din't you?
MADDY [yes] Uh-huh!
LEMUEL Now, I just saw that justice is done proper-like. If he's proven guilty, then he deserves--
HARP He din't do none of this.
MADDY [no] Uh-uh.
LEMUEL Do either of you gotta name? [teasing] or any manners?
HARP Sorry, sir. We's just real upset, y'unnerstand? I'm Harp Fowler, and this is my little sister Maddy - Madrigal.
LEMUEL Well, I tell you what, Harp. And Maddy. I promise I will look into the case. That's all. If your pa's innocent, then I'll find it out. All right?
HARP I reckon. Well, if you need any help or anything, you can find me at the Lazy H ranch, up Blackbird Gulch. I can shoot a gun!
LEMUEL I'll keep that in mind. Y'all get on now.
FANSHAW [musing] Harp, Lute, and Madrigal? What would they have named the next child?
MADDY Viola if twas a girl. Fortay for a boy. That's what mama always says.
HARP [annoyed] Oh, c'mon.
SOUND SMALL FEET WALK AWAY
FANSHAW [shocked] I... say.
FANSHAW That child - the little girl. She's... she spoke to me. She heard me.
LEMUEL [sorry for the kid] Damn.
4 SCENE OF THE CRIME
SOUND FEET ON ROUGH GROUND
LARKY Just about here, I spect.
LEMUEL Thankee kindly.
LARKY Whatchoo specting a find? Lute kilt the Jenkins boy nigh on a week ago, and it's rained since.
RAFE Hello? You lookin fer me?
LEMUEL Jest tryin to get a feel fer whut happened. [beat] I kin find my own way back to town.
LARKY I'd be right pleased to get a chance to observe a real Ranger at work. I won't make no bother.
LEMUEL [reluctant] Fine.
RAFE Hey, I'm over here.
FANSHAW [whisper] Keep him busy. I'll see what I can find out.
LEMUEL [thinks, then] Where'd you say you thought the shooter was?
RAFE Shooter? What shooter?
LARKY Up thissaway.
SOUND FOOTSTEPS OFF
RAFE [calling] Hey! Fellers!
FANSHAW Hold on there.
RAFE What you want?
FANSHAW My apologies sir, but I'm afraid I have some rather bad news for you.
RAFE Why you talk like that?
FANSHAW There's no kind way to say this. [sigh] I'm afraid you are dead.
RAFE Dead? What're you, then, an ayngel?
FANSHAW Oh! No. We - that gentleman over there and I - are trying to find out what happened to you.
RAFE How come he ain't askin me hisself?
FANSHAW Well, he would - but that fellow with the colorful name "Larky" would probably find it odd.
RAFE I... guess I see. Tsch. Dunno what I can tell you - I guess I really didn't even ... yet...
FANSHAW Realize that you're dead? It's not uncommon, I fear.
SOUND WOODEN DOOR SWINGS SHUT
LEMUEL [quiet] Where in hell are you, Fanshaw?
FANSHAW [shocked, muffled] Lemuel! Don't you prefer some privacy?
LEMUEL [quiet] Consarn it, ya ninny. That Larky is on me like a tick on a tinhorn. I figgured this is the only way to get out from under him.
FANSHAW Well, I hope it's a two-seater. [coming on] Rafe didn't see anything - he was ambushed. Shot in the back.
LEMUEL I got sumpin more important. This.
SOUND SOMETHING PULLED OUT OF A POCKET
FANSHAW A badge?
LEMUEL A ranger's badge, and I surely didn't whittle it myself. Someone slipped it inta my pocket. I'm thinkin it musta been in that crowd at the hangin - only time anyone but Larky's been near enough. Don't reckon you saw nothin'?
FANSHAW Terribly sorry, but no. No one that stood out.
LEMUEL Seems the coach line here sees enough traffic that there's more'n a few strangers in town. I couldn't poke much more'n that.
FANSHAW But who could have given that to you, and why?
LEMUEL How's this fer a guess - there's a ranger, here in town, and he don't want no one to know who he is.
FANSHAW But to give his badge away?
LEMUEL I'm figgurin he 'preciated my stoppin the hangin and dint want them fellers to find out I weren't no ranger and start the whole thing up again. Jest acause he's hidin out don't mean he thinks we don't need no ranger in town.
FANSHAW [slight exasperatd sigh] Perhaps if you could get away from this Larky fellow, the real ranger would make himself known to you.
LEMUEL I'll see what I can do.
6 BRIGHT AND EARLY
SOUND WINDOW SLIDES UP, CIGARETTE LIT
AMBIANCE EARLY MORNING NOISES
LEMUEL [blows out a long breath]
SOUND SOFT RAPPING AT THE DOOR
SOUND CHAIR SQUEAKS, A COUPLE OF BARE FOOTSTEPS, A GUN SNATCHED UP OFF A TABLE
LEMUEL [quiet] Yup?
HARP [whispered through door] I needs to talk to you, Ranger.
LEMUEL [not quite being funny] You strapped?
MADDY [muffled giggle, through door]
HARP Shh. [very serious] Nope. I come peaceable.
LEMUEL All right then. Come on.
SOUND DOOR OPENS CAREFULLY AND QUIETLY, SMALL FOOTSTEPS ENTER, DOOR SHUTS
AMITY Thank you kindly, sir.
LEMUEL [a bit surprised] Um. Y'all have a seat?
SOUND CREAK OF WOOD
HARP You rangers see a lot of strange stuff, dontcha?
LEMUEL Strange how?
HARP My sister is a might tetched.
MADDY I ain't.
HARP She ain't rightly crazy, just thinks she sees folks as has gone and passed away.
MADDY Where's your friend?
LEMUEL He- he'll be--
HARP [to Maddy] Oh, hush. Men're talkin' here.
AMITY They grow up so fast.
LEMUEL One thing rangers always do, fella, is get to the point. You can't shock me, so come on.
HARP My sister says our dead momma is following us around to look after us [clears his throat as he tries to avoid breaking into tears] while our pa is in the hoosegow.
AMITY I really tried to teach them to speak better, sir.
HARP Maddy also says--
MADDY There he is!
FANSHAW Is... this a party?
LEMUEL Ah, hell. [comes to a decision] Look, I'm gonna tell you the whole truth, but you can't let no one else hear this. Swear?
HARP On my mama's grave.
MADDY That's not fair - she's right here.
AMITY It's all right, sweetheart. You promise too.
MADDY All right, I promise too.
LEMUEL We gotta talk quiet. Make sure no one hears.
HARP [avid] All right!
LEMUEL I ain't never told no one alive what I'm about to tell you, and I can offer you proof, afore you go off thinkin I'm foolin wit'cha, here.
HARP I'ud never think you'us foolin.
LEMUEL Firstly, I ain't a real ranger. It was the only thing I could think of t'say t'stop the hangin. See, I'm being plumb truthful here, now.
HARP [hopes dashed] Not a ranger?
LEMUEL Sorry, son, I'm just plain Lemuel Roberts - retired gunslinger.
FANSHAW He used to be the Deadeye Kid.
MADDY You were the Deadeye Kid?
HARP How you know that?
LEMUEL My pal Fanshaw just told her.
HARP Who? What's agoin on?
LEMUEL Lissen t'me, your sister aint tetched a'tall. She's ... like me. Whether it's a blessin or a curse, we both see and hear "them as has passed on".
HARP 'Zat mean our mama's truly here?
LEMUEL Is your mother a tall woman with big hands, a long plain face and a real sweet smile?
HARP [suddenly a small child] Momma?
AMITY I'm always with them both. But Maddy will have to be the one to speak fer me.
LEMUEL Ma'am. I spect you know there's a reason you're here?
AMITY Doesn't everyone remain after their clay has returned to dust?
LEMUEL I reckon the world would be an awful crowded place if t'were the case. I found it's mostly just them with unfinished business that stay tethered.
AMITY And my business--?
FANSHAW If I ain't mistaken, ma'am, they's sittin right here.
AMITY [laughs] You're a very perceptive man.
MADDY [yes] Uh-huh!
HARP [sniffles, then gets down to brass tacks] So my sister ain't crazy. Well, that's right fine, but howzit gonna help clear our pa?
AMITY He didn't do it, you know. I was with him all night, as I always am, but I doubt I could be very credible as a witness.
LEMUEL [mildly amused] No, ma'am. Spect not. Harp, from everything I've heard, your pa's innocent, but I'm better off trying to find out who done it than trying to prove he din't. What you know that I might not'a heard yet?
HARP Well, Rafe was dry-gulched around dusk, six days back. My dad was at home.
LEMUEL Why'ud the sheriff think your pa'ud done it?
HARP He wooden!
MADDY They's all sayin pa kilt Rafe cause Rafe assid-- assud--
MADDY Assidentally kilt our ma. His cart run her down when he lost control o' his team.
AMITY It was an accident, and Maddy and I have assured Lute of that, best we could. Even if I didn't already know where he was all night long, he would never have hurt that poor boy.
HARP I believe Maddy. And... and [almost breaking up] ma.
LEMUEL [sincere] Faith is a grand thing, son. Don't you never lose it.
HARP Faith ain't gonna hep save our pa. What can we do to hep you?
LEMUEL Is there anyone else in town might have a grudge against this fella Rafe?
HARP Nope. He'us a nice feller. His folks got the big spread up to the plateau.
LEMUEL Any other kin likely to get money if'n he died?
HARP I don't rightly know - reckon his folks are well off, and he got him four brothers, but they're all regular church-going folks - none'a them'ud do that.
AMITY [whispering] tell them about Meg.
MADDY Rafe was courting Meg Pickens. Her folks own half the town. [whispering] I saw 'em kissin once.
LEMUEL And someone shot this poor feller, who everyone liked, in the back.
AMBIANCE BUSY WESTERN STREET
SOUND BOOTS ON WOODEN SIDEWALK
LEMUEL [talking low] Looks like I need to scout the road out of town, figger out where they plan their ambuscade.
FANSHAW Ambuscade? I'm impressed.
LEMUEL Pshaw. I was thinkin--
MEG [challenging] Are you the Ranger?
LEMUEL [sigh] I spect I'm the one you're lookin fer. And you are?
FANSHAW She appears to be in mourning - did Rafe have any sisters?
MEG I'm Meg Pickens, and you're the one who stopped the hanging of the ki-yote who killed my ... [breaking a bit] my beau.
FANSHAW Ah, the sweetheart.
LEMUEL You so sure Lute'us the right man? I hate to orphan no children without being dead certain.
MEG Everyone knows he did it - he blamed Rafe for the accident that took his Amity!
LEMUEL Lute's children said he never spoke a harsh word agin the boy.
MEG Of course they'ud say that.
LEMUEL Now, miss, I won't never say that children ain’t known to lie from time to time, but they don't, if y'understand, always know what lies t'tell.
MEG I don't take your point--.
LEMUEL If'n I ast them if their pa killed the man, shore they'd say no, cause even if'n it was true, they'd know that was the right lie to tell. But I ast if their pa ever had harsh words agin your feller, and they said no - he was powerful torn up over their ma's passin, and was angry the boy lost control, but he never said it were no one's fault but providence.
MEG [softening] He never did?
FANSHAW Nottingham approacheth.
FANSHAW My apologies - the sheriff.
SOUND BOOTS ON WOOD
SHERIFF [coming on] Ah, Ranger. [smarm] Meg, my dearest girl. You know I have nothing but sympathy for your loss.
FANSHAW Nothing? The old letcher, he's practically salivating.
MEG Thank you kindly, sheriff Mortimer.
SHERIFF Can't you call me Henry?
FANSHAW It's rather like a wolf and a lamb.
MEG [disturbed] It really isn't appropriate, Sheriff. I -- I just have... so much respect for your office.
LEMUEL I was just explaining to [slight emphasis] Miss Pickens here that I am just as het to see Rafe Jenkins' killer hung as anyone, but the law allows every man a proper trial, and you and I both, we're sworn to that law.
SHERIFF [nearly a growl] O'course. Nothin's more important than the law.
MADDY [off] Psst.
FANSHAW What? Oh. I'll see what she wants.
SHERIFF Whuzzat? Oh, the brat-- [grinds out] little Fowler child.
MEG I do feel sorry fer her. If her father's a murderer and all.
SHERIFF If? [anger rising] If? A'course he's a murderer. I wooden'a put him away if'n he weren't!
SOUND LITTLE FEET RUN AWAY
MEG [gasp, afraid] Sir! Sheriff! I understand you feel strongly about this--
SHERIFF I'm shore sorry to let you see me in a pet like that. [deep breath] Last thing I'd ever want to do is show you the rough edge of my temper, Meg.
LEMUEL Sheriff, I'll take my leave, if'n you don't mind. [goodbye] Miss Pickens.
SOUND BOOTS ON WOOD
FANSHAW You shouldn't leave her alone with him.
LEMUEL I wooden if they'us inside, but there's folks out and about here.
FANSHAW That look in his eye - I would swear he's barely human.
LEMUEL Ayep. You thinkin we just mighta seen the start of all this ruckus?
FANSHAW The sheriff? You think he--? Over the girl--? Oh. That is a sticky wicket, indeed.
SOUND BOOTS APPROACH MEN AT TABLE
SHERIFF Gimme three.
SOUND CARDS BEING DEALT
KENTUCKY And you?
LARKY Nothin' - no, wait. Uh, one.
LEMUEL Sorry, I thought this was dinner.
SHERIFF Will be shortly, Ranger. Care to sit in for a coupla hands?
LEMUEL Don't mind if I do.
SOUND SCRAPE OF CHAIR
KENTUCKY We'll just finish here first. Won't be long. Call?
SHERIFF Three tens.
SOUND CARDS TOSSED DOWN
OTHER MEN [grumbling]
SOUND MORE CARDS, COINS, ETC.
SHERIFF And you, Kentucky?
KENTUCKY [sucks his teeth, then] Weeellll. I've got two Jacks.
SHERIFF [chuckles avariciously]
KENTUCKY And three queens.
SOUND CARDS LAID DOWN SLOW AND TRIUMPHANT
LEMUEL I believe that makes a full house.
SHERIFF [furious!] Cheater! Sharp!
KENTUCKY I did not--!
SOUND TABLE FLIPS, CARDS, MONEY, GLASSES, FALL TO FLOOR
SHERIFF We don't hold with cheatin in this here town!
KENTUCKY I assure you--
SOUND PUNCH, THEN A GRAB, and a SWING THAT MISSES
LEMUEL Sheriff, I reckon you need ta calm down.
SHERIFF [spluttering] That bastard--!
LEMUEL Larky, take your boss here and get him a shotta whiskey - I'll search this feller, and if he's holdin out, well then I'll arrest him.
LARKY [trying to be brave, but frightened] C'mon boss.
LEMUEL Up you come. [grunts as he helps K up]
KENTUCKY [groans] I think he broke my nose.
LEMUEL [amused] Musta been a good pot.
KENTUCKY Not more than ten dollars. [long juicy sniff, grunt of pain] You that ranger?
LEMUEL That's got around, eh?
KENTUCKY Hard not to, town like this. I assure you, sir, I was not cheating. Frankly, it's hardly necessary against players who... well, aren't particularly skilled.
SOUND RUSTLE OF CLOTHING
LEMUEL I'll check your sleeves and pockets anyway, just so's they don't think you're talkin your way past me.
KENTUCKY I appreciate that.
SOUND RUSTLING OF CLOTHING, PAT ON THE BACK
LEMUEL Well, that's it - nothin. Now I'll go see if the Sheriff's still colicky. I'm thinkin you should get while the gettin's good.
SOUND DRINK POURED, GULPED [SHER], GLASS SLAMMED DOWN ON BAR
LARKY Boss! He's comin.
SHERIFF [slurry drunk] I'm gon kill him. Ranger or not, he'll still bleed red.
LARKY Shh. Only works if he don' know it’s comin. [up] Ranger! You let him go?
SOUND SCUFFLE AS SHERIFF TURNS FROM THE BAR AND ALMOST FALLS
LEMUEL He wasn't holdin. I convinced him to take his stake and go. You'n yer men can go and collect your own - it's all still there on the floor.
FANSHAW Lem, that sheriff person is making no secret of his plans to assassinate you.
LEMUEL [accepting] Mm. [up to the men] I'm thinkin I'll grab some grub and turn in - even rangers can only take so much excitement in a day.
SHERIFF [dark] Reckon so.
SOUND FOOTSTEPS AWAY
LARKY Not in the hotel, boss.
SHERIFF [snarls] How dare you?
LARKY Sir, I mean - woodenit be better to get him on his way outta town? Then everyone'll know he was fine when he left - won't blame you - I mean, us.
FANSHAW Despicable blackguards.
9 SHERIFF'S OFFICE
AMBIANCE WESTERN STREET, MORNING
SOUND FOOTSTEPS ON WOODEN SIDEWALK,
SOUND SECOND PAIR OF FOOTSTEPS TROT UP
LARKY [coming on, puffing a bit] Hey, ranger!
LEMUEL [muttered] Ah hell.
LARKY You headin to Sheriff's office? Me too. Messenger just come in, said the circuit judge'll be here two-three days at the outside. Good news eh? Lute can have his trial, then I reckon the town can have its hangin.
LEMUEL [muttered] Consarn it.
LEMUEL Come on.
SOUND DOOR OPENS, WALK INTO OFFICE
LARKY Hey Jeb! Sheriff in?
JEB Uh, no - he's off to look on on Meg Pickens. He said he's worried cause her folks are away.
FANSHAW Oh, that's not good. That young lady will be defenseless.
LEMUEL [snort of agreement, trying hard not to sound anxious] How long ago did he leave? We might could catch him up?
JEB Oh, round half hour ago, but I figgered he'd stop home to, uh, spruce hisself up a bit. He's plumb sweet on that li'l lady.
LARKY That he is.
LEMUEL Larky, you kin show me how to head him off?
LARKY Cain't it wait til tomorra? I sorely doubt that this would be a good time t'interupt him.
LEMUEL I - I found sumpin he needs to see. It'd prove Lute's case.
LARKY Hmm. Sheriff'll be happy to hear that. Make the judge's job real easy.
LEMUEL [level but forced] Get me to him.
A1 RIDING OUT
SOUND HOOFBEATS, TROTTING
LARKY He ain't gon' thank you, and he ain't gon' be best pleased with me, neither.
LEMUEL I don't care a whit for whether he's pleased or not. Whoa!
SOUND HORSES PULL UP
LEMUEL [irritated] Over there. Lean this way. See?
SOUND THUMP ON HEAD
SOUND BODY SLOWLY LOWERED OFF HORSE TO GROUND, CRUNCHES ON GRASS
LEMUEL Cain't have you behind me Larky, old hoss.
FANSHAW Leveled the playing field, I see. You should take his horse - in case he recovers quickly.
LEMUEL Thick skull like that, he jest might.
SOUND HOOVES, WALKING
SOUND HOOVES APPROACH QUICKLY
LEMUEL [coming on] Sheriff!
SHERIFF What the blue blazes? You? What in hell do you want?
SOUND SECOND PAIR OF HOOVES SLOWS
LEMUEL Lute Fowler's escaped!
SOUND HORSE REINS UP, SECOND HORSE REINS TOO
SHERIFF That sheep-loving son of a bitch! I knew he'd try somethin.
LEMUEL I figgured this'd be worth trackin you down for. I got a hunch tells me where he might go, as well.
LEMUEL You and me, we can take him down.
SHERIFF [evil realization] You and me? Ye-e-e-es.
SOUND HORSES SLOW, THEN STOP
LEMUEL We'll have to leave the horses. Cain’t let him hear us.
SHERIFF [sly] Course not.
SOUND CREAKS AS THEY DISMOUNT
SHERIFF Show the way.
LEMUEL Stay here fr'a minute.
SOUND RUNS OFF THROUGH BUSHES
SHERIFF [fading off] Whatever you say, [dangerous] ranger.
FANSHAW Maddy told me of a big rock just over that rise. Quickly now - you'll want cover. He's rather agitated.
SOUND BUSHWHACKING STOPS
LEMUEL [calling] Lute? Lute Fowler?
SHERIFF [off, deliberately calling weakly] He there? You hear him?
SOUND STEALTHY MOVING THROUGH BUSHES
FANSHAW He's closing on you. He moves awfully quietly for a big man.
SHERIFF [almost a whisper, trying to sound farther away than he is] Ranger?
FANSHAW Are you going to shoot him?
LEMUEL I - No.
SOUND MOVEMENT STOPS, THEN SUDDEN NOISE AS LEM TURNS TO FACE THE SHERIFF
LEMUEL Y'coverin me, or fixin to shoot me in the back, Sheriff?
SHERIFF [tries to laugh it off] Lute's a desperate man. Surprised you're still in leather.
LEMUEL Lute ain't here. It's jest you and me.
SHERIFF Eh? If you're plannin to plant me, boy, you shoulda thought twice. Only gun to hand right now is mine.
SOUND TWO STEPS FORWARD
LEMUEL [calm and even] I see that. And I know you can shoot a man in the back. But that - uh - shake t'yer hand says maybe you cain't look me in the face and do it.
SHERIFF I can do anything I please. No one'll even ask once you're gone.
LEMUEL Oh, there's a couple. You think any ranger'd be fool enough to come out here without a man t'watch his back?
SHERIFF What I've seen from you, I ain't much impressed with rangers.
LEMUEL Huh. Well you gonna shoot me or what?
SHERIFF I... will. You gonna give me a reason?
LEMUEL Nope. I'm figgurin you'll show yellow til you get riled 'nuff. So I don' plan to rile you none.
SHERIFF [flash of anger] Yellow?
LEMUEL Rafe'us unarmed, barely old enough t'shave, and still you hadta shoot him in the back. That says yellow louder than--
SHERIFF [screaming] Yellow! I'm the damn sheriff! The Sheriff I tell you!
HARP [screams from off] Sheriff!
SOUND GUNSHOT GOES WILD
SOUND BODY HITS GROUND, ROLLS A BIT
FANSHAW Lemuel? Lemuel?
SOUND GUNSHOT FROM FAR AWAY
A3 SHOWDOWN 2
LEMUEL [spitting gravel, annoyed] I'm fine.
SOUND BODY HITS GROUND
FANSHAW But that shot?
LEMUEL Well I was biting dirt, so I din't rightly see.
HARP Ranger! Get up! He's a-coming!
SOUND SLOW FOOSTEPS ACROSS HARD GROUND
SOUND SCUFFLE AS LEM TURNS TO FACE NEWCOMER
LEMUEL Well. You do have a thick skull, don'tcha?
SOUND A COUPLE MORE SLOW STEPS, THEN
LARKY [chuckles, then sounding a lot less stupid and rough than before] Good thing too. You pack a wallop.
FANSHAW The sheriff is still breathing.
LEMUEL What happens now?
LARKY You hit the ground pretty hard. Need a hand up?
LEMUEL [beat] I - I'm a mite confused now.
LARKY I think you have something of mine.
SOUND RUNNING FEET APPROACH
HARP You stop right there, Larky!
SOUND COCKING OF HAMMER ON GUN
LEMUEL [getting it] I - I think it's all right Harp. Slowly now, let that hammer down.
HARP But he's one o' them that railroaded my pa!
LARKY I'm truly not--
LEMUEL Harp, don't be loco. He's the one goes with this--
SOUND SOMETHING PULLED OUT OF POCKET
LEMUEL Ain’t you, Ranger Larky?
AMBIANCE BACK IN THE HOTEL
LARKY You understand why I couldn't do anything - if I came forward, I would have wasted months of work, getting myself next to the Sheriff. But--
LEMUEL I still don't see--
LARKY Hold on! I swear to you, though, I would not have let Lute Fowler get hung just to keep my cover. You came in at the nick of time.
LEMUEL Reckon we're even now.
LARKY Reckon we are. So where you off to?
LEMUEL Spect I don' know no more 'bout that than you do. I jest... drift.
LARKY Ever consider takin up the star?
LEMUEL [surprised] Me? A ranger? I don' think so.
LARKY And why not? Takes grit, and you have that by the cartload.
LEMUEL I don't reckon I'd take to havin t'answer t'anyone.
LARKY [chuckles] None o'us do. But it ain't so bad when it means you got someone at yer back. [long beat] You'll let me know if'n you change yer mind?
LEMUEL You'll be the first.
SOUND PACKING THINGS INTO A RUCKSACK AS LEM TALKS
LEMUEL Now you don' forget--
MADDY I don't never talk to no one in public less'n my brother talks to 'em first.
LEMUEL Yup. And?
MADDY And if anyone catches me talkin to myself, I says I'm tryin to recall my lessons, and not that I's talking to dead folks.
LEMUEL That'll take you far. You be careful, now.
AMITY Don't forget what you brought.
LEMUEL And what's 'at?
MADDY [remembering] Oh! [grunt as she moves something heavy]
SOUND BASKET SET ON TABLE, CHAIR SQUEAKS
LEMUEL What... is it?
MADDY You sit on down, now. Where's Mr. Fanshaw?
SOUND CHAIR SQUEAKS
LEMUEL [calling] Fanshaw!
FANSHAW [off, coming on] Eh? What?
SOUND THINGS BEING TAKEN OUT OF THE BASKET AND SET ON THE TABLE
MADDY You sit rightchere.
AMITY [promptin] On my left.
MADDY [importantly] On my left.
FANSHAW [slowly realizing] Oh!
MADDY Mama, you'll have a seat on my right?
AMITY Thank you kindly.
SOUND CLATTER OF PORCELAIN
LEMUEL Will someone please explain?
MADDY Would you like one lump or two, Mr. Lemuel?
AMITY [prompting] Mr. Roberts.
MADDY Mr. Roberts.
LEMUEL One lump of what? I hate to tell you, child, but them plates and bowls is all empty.
FANSHAW [prompting] That's not the point, Lem. Say One lump, no milk.
LEMUEL I ain't sayin-- aw, heck. One lump no milk.
SOUND RATTLE OF PORCELAIN, CHING OF METAL ON CUP
MADDY And you, Mr. Fanshaw?
FANSHAW Oh, I would simply adore two lumps, and just the slightest bit of milk. And are these biscuits?
MADDY No. They's cookies. I made 'em my self.
FANSHAW Well, they look delicious. May I?
MADDY [giggles] You go on ahead now. They's plenty where that come from.
LEMUEL But there ain't-- What is it? What is all this folderol?
FANSHAW Why Lem, it's -- tea!