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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2009 :  18:08:57  Show Profile
THE WILD WILD WEST

“The Night of the Pistoleros”

by Robert C. Dennis and Earl Barret

REV. FINAL DRAFT
May 8, 1968
#0605


PRODUCER:
BRUCE LANSBURY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER:
LEONARD KATZMAN

STORY CONSULTANT:
HENRY SHARP

WRITTEN BY:
ROBERT C. DENNIS & EARL BARRET

SETS:
EXT. DESERT COUNTRY
EXT. RANCHYARD
EXT. FORT CHALLENGE
INT. C.O.’S OFFICE
INT. GUARD HOUSE
EXT. PARADE GROUND
EXT. TOHACHI STREET
INT. PHOTOGRAPHY SHOP
INT. HACIENDA BEDROOM
EXT. GUARD HOUSE
EXT. HOTEL
INT. HOTEL LOBBY
EXT. CEMETERY
EXT. ADOBE HUT
EXT. SAN PACO STREET
INT. CANTINA
INT. COL. VEGA’S HDQTS.
INT. KNIFE SHOP
EXT. ALLEY
INT. CELL
INT. HACIENDA LIVING ROOM
EXT. U.S. TROOPS (STOCK)
EXT. MEXICAN TROOPS (STOCK)
INT. TENT.

CAST:
JAMES WEST – ROBERT CONRAD
ARTEMUS GORDON – ROSS MARTIN
SANCHOS
LT. MURRAY
DR. WINTERICH
COL. ROPER
COL. ROPER #2
ARMANDO GALIANO
BERNAL
CHARLIE TOBIN
DUTY SERGEANT
AIDE
MARIANA
VEGA
LOPEZ
MAJOR
BARMAN
ASSISTANT
TROOPER
PISTOLERO

TEASER

FADE IN

1. EXT. DESERT COUNTRY – DAY

In f.g. is the sun-bleached skull of a steer. CAMERA PANS a broad sweet of desert revealing sand and sage, a distant line of hills, and nothing else. Then, from over a small rise, come two riders. As they come closer we see they are WEST and ARTEMUS. Reaching CAMERA they rein up and West takes out a map, studying it. Artemus looks at the terrain.

ARTEMUS
By the look of the terrain, we must be half a day’s ride from the Mexican border.

WEST
Which puts us an hour away from Fort Challenge.

ARTEMUS
We haven’t seen man or beast in over a day. I swear I don't know who would be plotting to take over this Territory.

WEST
We’ll find out when we get to the Fort and talk to Sergeant Tobin.

ARTEMUS
I think I understand now why an old soldier like Charlie Tobin would break the chain of command by writing directly to the President.

WEST
You do? Why?

ARTEMUS
He wants to get transferred out of this --

1. CONTINUED

He’s interrupted buy the CLANGING of an o.s. iron triangle used to summon cowhands for dinner.

WEST
Artie, I think we’ve just been invited for dinner.

They angle off to follow the SOUND which comes from beyond another rise. As they near the crest the SOUND STOPS.

2. ANOTHER ANGLE

West and Artemus stop at the crest and look ahead.

3. FULL SHOT – RANCH

A small house, two or three even smaller outbuildings, a corral and a windmill. Now there’s no sound except the CREAKING of the windmill and no sign of life. Puzzled, they ride on toward the ranch.

4. EXT. RANCH YARD – DAY

On closer inspection the place appears totally deserted, though not neglected. The buildings are sun struck but in good repair. Hanging from the roof of the small porch of the house is an iron triangle. West and Artemus ride into SCENE.

ARTEMUS & WEST
(ad lib, calling)
Hello, there … anybody home?

ARTEMUS
Somebody rang the dinner bell.
(calls)
Hello there!

4. CONTINUED

No response. The windmill CREAKS wearily in the hot wind. The boys dismount and go toward the house. The horses, freed, head for the water trough under the windmill.

5. MED. SHOT

Artemus stands on the porch facing out while West enters the house. The HORSES WHINNY.

ARTEMUS
(over his shoulder)
Jim --

WEST’S VOICE
Nobody here.

ARTEMUS
Must be something wrong with the water.

West reappears from the house.

WEST
What?

6. ANOTHER ANGLE

The horses are shying away from the water trough and NICKERING uneasily.

ARTEMUS
The horses won’t drink it.

West and Artemus leave the porch and come to the trough.

7. CLOSE SHOT – TROUGH

The HOMESTEADER floats face down. Pinned to his back with a knife is a note containing large hand printed Spanish words. West retrieves the note.

7. CONTINUED

WEST
(reading)
Death to the gringos. It’s signed: Los Pistoleros…

ARTEMUS
Aren’t they the ones who are plotting to take over the Territory?

WEST
(looks off)
Why don’t we ask them?

Artemus looks off.

9. MED. SHOT – PISTOLERO

Stepping into SCENE from behind an outbuilding. A SECOND ONE emerges from the other corner. They are grinning and covering the Boys with guns.

9. ANOTHER ANGLE

THREE MORE PISTOLEROS appear behind the Boys from beyond the ranch house.

10. CLOSE SHOT – WAGON

A FIFTH PISTOLERO raises up from the bed of the wagon and rests his gun on the side.

11. MED. SHOT

A PISTOLERO stands up on top of a building and commands the whole ranch yard. This is SANCHOS, a villainous mustachioed man.

ARTEMUS
Jim, it looks like we were expected.

FADE OUT:

END OF TEASER

ACT ONE

12. EXT. RANCH YARD – HIGH ANGLE – SANCHOS POV – DAY

A ring of Pistoleros encircle West and Artemus at the trough in which the Homesteader floats.

SANCHOS VOICE
(in Spanish)
Take the gringo in the blue and hang him.

13. MED. CLOSE – SANCHOS

on roof

SANCHOS
(in Spanish)
We’ll take the other one with us. Move!... Faster!...

14. TWO SHOT
West looks at Artemus.

WEST
Did I hear big mouth right?

ARTEMUS
Yep. No hard feelings, Jim, but they’re going to hang you… and take me with them.

WEST
I resent that. Wonder what they’ve got planned for you, Artie.

ARTEMUS
Don’t think I’ll wait to find out. If I put my hand in my pocket very -- very slowly -- like this -- and take out --

PISTOLERO
(in Spanish)
Stop that!

Artemus quickly takes his hand out of his pocket. He holds a small metal orb.

ARTEMUS
Sorry, amigo.

PISTOLEROS
(in Spanish)
Drop it!

WEST
You heard him. He wants you to drop it --

ARTEMUS
Then I’d better do it.

Artemus tosses the orb to the ground. It EXPLODES loudly into a blossom of smoke and sound that blankets the whole scene.

15. SANCHOS POV

Everyone below is hidden by the smoke-cloud. Then West and Artemus burst out in the clear running for cover of the ranch house.

16. MED. SHOT – SANCHOS

He FIRES down at them.

17. WIDER ANGLE

West puts a bullet past Sanchos making him dive to the roof. The Boys vanish around the corner of the ranch house.

18. INT. BARN – WEST AND ARTEMUS

BULLETS are smashing the windows and ripping into the walls forcing West and Artemus to hit the ground. They take up positions at the front and rear doors and RETURN THE FIRE. Finally:

ARTEMUS
This could go on all day.

WEST
Let’s not play with them anymore.

18A. ANGLE – WEST

He’s taken out a grenade launcher, loads it and FIRES through the nearest window.

19. EXT. RANCH YARD – DAY

The grenade lands in the lean-to and demolishes it. As the dust settles there’s a long moment of shocked silence.

SANCHOS
(in Spanish)
Let’s get back to the camp. Move!

Then the Pistoleros stream away, crowding each other in their haste to get out of range. Sanchos comes off the roof in one leap, picks himself up and joins the flight.

20. ANOTHER ANGLE

West and Artemus come on the porch and watch them go. Now we see that one Pistolero lies unconscious in the ranch yard. West comes to him and turns him over, as:

WEST
Artie… Why do you suppose they wanted to kill me and capture you?

ARTEMUS
Maybe I’m more valuable…

21. CLOSE SHOT – PISTOLERO

His name is LOPEZ. Part of the photograph protrudes from his shirt pocket. West leans into SCENE and takes the picture.

22. WIDER ANGLE

As Artemus comes over to West.

WEST
Whoever thought that, gave them your picture…

He passes over the photo.

WEST (CONT’D)
If there was a leak about our trip down here, it would have to be at Fort Challenge.

23. CLOSE SHOT – PHOTO

Of Artemus, taken in some undefined location at some unspecified time.

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
Doesn’t really do me justice.

24. BACK TO SCENE

Artemus turns photo over revealing a name stamped on the back.

ARTEMUS
Bernal’s – Tochachi, Arizona.

WEST
Know him?

ARTEMUS
Nope. But I’m going to make a point of getting acquainted.

Lopez stirs with returning consciousness. West moves over to pick up the Pistolero’s fallen gun and heave it out into the sagebrush.

WEST
Do that. I’ll take Senor Pistolero on to the fort. Somebody’s got some explaining to do.

He hauls Lopez to his feet.

CUT TO:

25. EXT. FORT CHALLENGE – DAY

ESTABLISHING IT.

25A. EXT. FORT CEMETERY

West is riding toward the fort chousing the mounted Lopez ahead of him.

26. MED. SHOT – WATCH TOWER

A Trooper on sentry duty is sighting across the approaches to the fort.

27. INT. FORT – DAY

As West signals duty officer and turns his prisoner over to the military. West dismounts and moves toward headquarters scene.

DISSOLVE:

28. INT. C.O.’S OFFICE – DAY

LIEUTENANT MURRAY, lean and young, stands back of a desk, just a bit self-conscious, as if out of place here. He is now dismissing a Private with some papers.

MURRAY
Just have these duty rosters posted, Private… I’ll check with you later… Good afternoon --

WEST
I want to see Colonel Roper.

MURRAY
He’s on patrol, Sir.

WEST
When will he return, Lieutenant?

MURRAY
Don't know, sir. He’s down on the border. The Pistoleros have stepped up their raids in the past few days.

WEST
Who’s his second in command?

MURRAY
Major Robinson, sir. But he’s patrolling too.

WEST
All right -- Who’s in charge here?

MURRAY
I am, sir, Lieutenant Murray. I’d like to welcome you to Fort Challenge.

WEST
Thanks. My name is James West.

MURRAY
Yes sir, I know. We’ve been expecting you.

WEST
Where did you get your information, Lieutenant?

MURRAY
(taken aback)
Sir?

WEST
This was supposed to be a secret mission, known only to Colonel Roper. Is he in the habit of confiding in Junior officers?

MURRAY
(floundering)
No sir. I didn’t get it from the Colonel. It’s common knowledge -- everybody in the fort knows.
(he stiffens)
After all, Sergeant Tobin never kept it a secret he’d written to President Grant. He even gave a copy to the Colonel -- after he’d mailed the letter.

WEST
In that case I’d better talk to Sergeant Tobin. Unless he’s out on patrol too.

MURRAY
No so. He’s in the guardhouse.

WEST
Why?

MURRAY
For making wild charges, assaulting an officer and conducting himself in an unmilitary manner.

WEST
That doesn’t sound like my old sergeant major.

MURRAY
He went berserk.

WEST
I’d like to see him.

MURRAY
Sir… Unless you can show me a written order giving you access to the prisoner you’ll have to wait until Colonel Roper returns.

WEST
(a beat -- he smiles)
And you don't know when that will be?

MURRAY
(he smiles too)
No sir.

DISSOLVE

29. INT. GUARD HOUSE OFFICE – DAY

A small room containing a table and chair for the Duty Sergeant and a built-in wooden bench for visitors. The cells are in the rear of the building reached through a barred door. The Duty Sergeant is a large brutal man who regards West as he enters, with no favor.

On the wall behind the Duty Sergeant is a large keyring with two keys.

DUTY SERGEANT
Sorry, mister, no civilians allowed in the guardhouse.

WEST
I’d like to question the Pistolero I brought in.

DUTY SERGEANT
Not a chance, mister. You just want to see Sergeant Tobin. I’ve had orders to keep you out.

West takes out a cheroot, takes it out of its wrapper. He balls the wrapper and puts it in an ashtray.

WEST
From Lieutenant Murray?

DUTY SERGEANT
(he shrugs)
He’s command right now. You’ll have to get out.

West scratches a wooden match and lights his cheroot. He puts the match in the ashtray igniting the wrapper.

WEST
I understand Tobin went berserk and struck an officer.

30. CLOSE SHOT – ASHTRAY

The wrapper flares up.

DUTY SERGEANT’S VOICE
Who told you that?

WEST’S VOICE
Lieutenant Murray --

The wrapper erupts in a cloud of orange smoke.

31. WINDER ANGLE

Duty Sergeant’s face is obscured by the smoke. West has stepped smartly back out of range. As the smoke clears Duty Sergeant’s head falls with a thump on the table. West moves around the table and gets the keys. He unlocks the barred door.

32. INT. GUARDHOUSE – DAY

West comes to the first cell. Lopez sits on the bunk, head in his hands. He looks up as West passes. Wet moves on to the next cell. This one contains CHARLIE TOBIN, a grizzled old campaigner. He reaches through the bars and squeezes West’s shoulders.

TOBIN
Jim, Jim boy. I got the word you’d come but I didn’t believe it.

WEST
Came as fast as we could, Charlie.

TOBIN
Where’s Artemus?

WEST
In Tohachi. He’ll be along.

TOBIN
Good -- good. I knew General Grant wouldn’t desert me. Let’s have a look at you, boy. It is Jim West, isn’t it?

WEST
You can see for yourself.

TOBIN
Seeing ain’t enough these days. That’s one thing I learned -- but not in time.

WEST
What do you mean, Charlie?

TOBIN
In starts below the border -- with the Pistoleros… and up here there’s a plot brewin’. We’re surrounded by spies and traitors. Right in the fort.

WEST
(troubled)
Charlie --

TOBIN
I’ve got to get out of here. They can’t leave me alive. I know too much.

WEST
I’ll talk to Colonel Roper about that, when he comes back. But give me something to go on. And hurry up before Murray finds out I’m in here.

TOBIN
How do you know he’s Murray?

WEST
What do you mean?

TOBIN
I said, how do you know he’s Lieutenant Murray?

WEST
Well… Because Colonel Roper left him in command of the fort. That’s enough for me.

TOBIN
Maybe you’re too easily satisfied, Jim. Or maybe you ain’t Jim at all. How do I know?

WEST
What’s the matter with you, Charlie?

TOBIN
Eyes ain’t enough anymore. I need proof. You prove to me you’re Jim West --

WEST
Charlie…

TOBIN
Remember that farmhouse -- on the road to Shiloh there was a little white farmhouse with apple trees all in bloom the time we was there.

WEST
It was spring, Charlie.

TOBIN
That’s right. And the farmer’s two daughters. What were their names?

WEST
That was a long time ago --

TOBIN
Jim West would remember.

WEST
All right, let me think… the older one, the black-haired one, that was Zedra… I’ve forgotten the other one.

TOBIN
All right, Jim. I just had to be sure. Come closer… Lieutenant Murray is a ringer. The Pistoleros planted him here.

WEST
Oh, Charlie --

TOBIN
Artemus Gordon -- he’ll know. The real Murray was in his regiment. You say he’s in Tohachi?

WEST
He’ll be along soon…

TOBIN
I can’t wait… you’ve gotta get me out of here… now --

He has to shout the last line because the Duty Sergeant and a pair of Troopers are storming in.

DUTY SERGEANT
All right, mister, you wanted in so bad, now you can stay awhile.
(to Troopers)
Lock him up!

The Troopers grab West roughly and are flung aside as West reacts angrily. They leap back to strong arm him in the narrow area between the cells. One of the Troopers is knocked back against the bar’s of Charlie’s cell.

33. CLOSE SHOT – TROOPERS GUN
The butt actually projects through the bars so that Charlie twitches it out with a quick motion and hides it behind him.

34. WIDER ANGLE

Trooper #2 is flattened by West as the first one lunges back into battle. He gets pole-axed for his trouble. As he goes down West has his back to the Duty Sergeant who takes a step forward and crashes his gun butt down on West’s head. As West falls unconscious:

TOBIN
You got no more use for it, Mulligan.

DUTY SERGEANT
Tobin --

TOBIN
Lay it down and kick them keys over here.

35. EXT. PARADE GROUND – FORT CHALLENGE – DAY

Very little activity in the heat of the day. A TROOPER is about to mount his horse. Tobin charges out from behind a building and makes a flying leap which knocks the Mounted Trooper to the ground. Tobin leaps into the saddle and beats the frightened horse into a gallop.

TROOPER’S VOICE
Stop -- Stop him!

36. ANOTHER ANGLE

Tobin his galloping for the gate. A few BULLETS zing close above his head. Then he’s outside the wall and gone.

DISSOLVE:

37. EXT. TOHACHI STREET – DAY
CLOSE SHOT – HORSES HOOVES

Plodding along. CAMERA PANS up to reveal the rider is Artemus as he angles into the hitching rail in front of a shop. As Artemus swings down stiffly, still hot and dusty:

38. CLOSE SHOT – SHOP WINDOW

bearing the sign: BERNAL – PHOTOGRAPHER. In the window are several examples of Bernal’s work. Artemus comes into SCENE and ENTERS the shop.

39. INT. PHOTOGRAPHY SHOP – DAY

A bell over the door CLATTERS and summons BERNAL from the back room. He comes to the counter.

BERNAL
Good afternoon, Senor. You wish to have a photograph?

ARTEMUS
I’ve got one.

He shows the pic of himself taken from Lopez.

BERNAL
It fails to do you justice. The photographer was estupido.

ARTEMUS
The photographer was you.

BERNAL
Impossible.
(turns it over -- sees stamp)
I remember now. A customer brought to me a negative and asked for copies to be made.

ARTEMUS
How many?

BERNAL
A dozen…

ARTEMUS
And the name of the customer?

BERNAL
It was a long time ago -- maybe two weeks -- I remember faces, not names.

ARTEMUS
But you have records and you could look up the name.

BERNAL
My records are confidential. I don’t reveal such information to strangers.

ARTEMUS
But you could make an exception.

BERNAL
Never.

Artemus raises his gun into SCENE.

BERNAL (CONT’D)
If you insist.

ARTEMUS
I’m afraid I do.

Bernal goes through a curtained arch into a back room, Artemus following.

40. INT. PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO – DAY

Posing for a portrait is a handsome and distinguished Spanish Don, ARMANDO GALIANO

BERNAL
My assistant --

ARTEMUS
Carry on.

The Assistant is behind the camera, his head under the cloth.

ASSISTANT’S VOICE
Gracias. A little more higher with the chin, Senor, please.

Bernal has opened a ledger on a small desk.

40. CONTINUED

BERNAL
Ah -- here it is.

As Artemus turns from watching Galiano, the CAMERA TURNS too, trained on his back.

BERNAL (CONT’D)
The customer was a man called Sanchos.

The Assistant holds the bulb in his hand.

ARTEMUS
Fine. Where do I find Sanchos?

ASSISTANT’S VOICE
Over here, Senor.

He squeezes the bulb. Artemus reacts.

41. CLOSE SHOT
A very thin dart is protruding from the back of Artemus's throat. He grabs for it.

42. CLOSE SHOT – ASSISTANT

As he brings his head out from under the cloth we see it is indeed Sanchos.

43. MED. SHOT

Artemus pivots to CAMERA, his eyes already glazing.

GALIANO
Sanchos’ aim has improved since this morning, don’t you agree?

ARTEMUS
I don’t believe we’ve met…

He pitches forward into Lens as we FREEZE FRAME

FADE OUT:

END OF ACT ONE


James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros

California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2009 :  18:10:20  Show Profile

ACT TWO

FADE IN:

44. INT. HACIENDA BEDROOM – DAY

On the wall is a large painting depicting the conquest of Mexico by the conquistadores. CAMERA MOVES over to a bed where Artemus lies, just regaining consciousness. As he opens his eyes a man leans into SCENE and makes a brief physical check. The man is DOCTOR WINTERICH, a European.

DOCTOR
(German accent)
Lie still, please. I wish to observe your conditions. Do you have pain?

ARTEMUS
(nods hoarsely)
My throat…

DOCTOR
A temporary impairment of the vocal chords. It’ll pass in a few days. Can you remember what happened to you?

ARTEMUS
I was in Bernal’s -- the photographer’s… where am I now?

GALIANO’S VOICE
In my hacienda.

As Artemus turns weakly to peer off, Galiano moves in so he can be seen. Artemus’ voice remains hoarse through scene.

ARTEMUS
I’ve seen you before -- you were in Bernal’s.

GALIANO
I went to much time and trouble to apprehend you, Mr. Gordon.

ARTEMUS
By passing out pictures to the Pistoleros?

GALIANO
(he bows -- admitting it)
And in the end, it was all unnecessary. You came to me.

ARTEMUS
A simple invitation would’ve accomplished the same thing.

GALIANO
Unfortunately, perhaps, I don’t have a simple mind. The intricate, the convoluted appeal much more to my nature. Possibly I feel more confident that way. A weakness, no doubt.

ARTEMUS
Would I be prying to ask why you wanted me?

GALIANO
To fulfill a function. It would be pointless to go into detail and quite dangerous. In time it will all be made clear to you.

ARTEMUS
Since I have urgent business elsewhere, I may have to leave before then.

GALIANO
Of course, Mr. Gordon, feel free to leave anytime.

He exits, followed by the Doctor. ARTEMUS lies still until their FOOTSTEPS in hall fade. Then he gets out of bed. Everything turns black. As he holds his head:

CUT TO:

45. EXT. PARADE GROUND – DAY

The cavalry is returning from its expedition against the Pistoleros. The column rides through the gates, tired, dusty, unshaven.

46. ANOTHER ANGLE

To give the effect of a good-sized contingent.

DISSOLVE:

47. INT. CO’S OFFICE – WEST AND COL. ROPER

A very tired, dusty and disgruntled COLONEL ROPER is pacing the floor.

ROPER
Who are the Pistoleros? I wish I knew, Mr. West. I wish I understood the purpose behind their excursions. They burn, they kill, they create terror, all without pattern or meaning. When my troopers take the field against them they scatter and reform below the border.

WEST
What are the Mexican authorities doing about it?

ROPER
Apparently nothing. I’ve dispatched the strongest possible protest to Colonel Vega of the Sonora garrison. So far there’s been no reply. The situation is -- worrisome. Which may explain why I have little patience with the personal pipe dreams of an unhinged non-com.

WEST
Maybe there’s a connection.

ROPER
You talked to Sergeant Tobin. Did he sound like a rational man to you?

WEST
He sounded like a frightened man. Who had something to tell and nobody to listen.

ROPER
(dryly)
No one except the President of the United States.

As they start out. The Duty Sergeant enters.

SERGEANT
Sir?

ROPER
Yes, what is it?

SERGEANT
The search party has just returned.

ROPER
Did they bring back Sgt. Tobin?

SERGEANT
So I understand, sir.

Roper crosses toward the door.

ROPER
Come along, Mr. West.

They exit.

48. EXT. CO’S OFFICE – DAY

As Roper and West come out, Lieutenant Murray strides up and salutes.

MURRAY
Sir, we overtook the prisoner near Tohachi and ordered him to surrender. Instead he began to shoot from cover.

West pushes past Roper and hurries down the steps to the rest of the search party. Tobin is slung across his saddle.

MURRAY (CONT’D)
We had no alternative but to return fire.

West examines Tobin briefly. The Sergeant is obviously dead.

WEST
(bitterly)
I assume it was your bullet that went through his head, Lieutenant.

MURRAY
(coolly)
I couldn’t say, Mr. West. We were all firing.

WEST
But you gave the order.

MURRAY
My actions are not subject to review by a civilian.

As West takes a step toward him.

ROPER
(sharply)
That’s enough. Lieutenant, you and your men are dismissed.

MURRAY
Yes sir!

48. CONTINUED

He snaps off a salute and turns on his heel. The rest of the squad moves after him.

49. TWO SHOT

as West comes up on the porch to Roper.

WEST
Does that end it, Colonel?

ROPER
I’m sorry -- Tobin should not have resisted.

WEST
It strikes me strange that the very man Tobin accused of being an impersonator brought his body back here.

ROPER
Tobin made many accusations, none of them substantiated.

WEST
Can you personally vouch for Lieutenant Murray?

ROPER
Murray was transferred here two months ago from Fort Leavenworth. His papers were entirely in order.

WEST
There’s one person who can vouch for him, and that’s my partner, Artemus Gordon. I think Tobin was trying to reach him in Tohachi when he was killed.

ROPER
Then I suggest you find Mr. Gordon and settle this question for yourself.

WEST
That’s what I intend to do -- if I can reach Tohachi without being bushwhacked.

He goes down the steps. Roper wrestles inwardly for a beat.

ROPER
Mr. West. I’ll ride with you.

West nods and waits for Roper to catch up.

CUT TO:

50. EXT. HOTEL – NIGHT

West emerges past some Drummer-types and steps down to the boardwalk.

51. EXT. TOHACHI STREET – NIGHT

This is a crowded, noisy, brawling border town and at night it comes alive. To wit:

52. CLOSE SHOT – BATWING DOOR

of a saloon. RAUCOUS VOICES, TINKLING MUSIC emanate just ahead of a DRUNKEN COWBOY who is heaved bodily onto the boardwalk. West, striding along the walk, steps over the cowboy and goes on.

53. REVERSE ANGLE

West is approached by a middle-aged lady selling flowers.

LADY
(in Spanish)
Pretty flowers for a fine gentleman… five cents…

He smiles, gives her a coin, and accepts a small posey. West turns a corner.

54. MED. SHOT – BERNAL’S WINDOW

There’s a light on inside. West comes into SCENE.

55. INT. PHOTOGRAPHY SHOP – NIGHT

The bell overhead JANGLES as West enters but no one shows up from the studio in the back. He waits a moment then goes through the curtained archway that separates the two areas.

56. INT. STUDIO – NIGHT

Bernal sits in a straight-backed wooden chair facing the archway and staring glassily straight ahead.

WEST
Are you the photographer…

Even as he asks he realizes Bernal is never going to answer. West sees he’s quite dead. Something else catches his attention. West moves around behind the chair to see the handle of a knife that’s stuck in Bernal’s back protrudes between the vertical slats of the chair back. These slats are so close together that the knife guard can’t get through and his is what holds Bernal in the chair. The knife also pins a sheet of paper to the body but the writing on it is hidden by the chair back. West pulls out the knife. Bernal slumps forward and falls out of SCENE. West has captured the paper. It reads in Spanish:

DEATH TO THE TRAITOR
(signed)
Los Pistoleros

West drops the posey of flowers upon the dead man.

CUT TO:

57. EXT. TOHACHI STREET – NIGHT

The same old Woman who sold flowers to West approaches a doorway. As she reaches it we see it’s occupied -- by Lieutenant Murray

LADY
(in Spanish)
Pretty flowers for a fine gentleman? … Five cents…

MURRAY
Get away from here. Go on -- beat it!

The old Woman goes, muttering.

58. MED CLOSE – HORSES HOOVES

plodding along the street. CAMERA PANS UP to the rider: Artemus. He has neither hat, coat nor gun suggesting he’s at the end of a long escape and flight. He’s riding toward the center of town.

59. CLOSE SHOT – MURRAY

waiting in his doorway.

60. MOVING SHOT – ARTEMUS

Hiding and looking toward the boardwalk.

ARTEMUS
Jim! Hey, Jim --

61. REVERSE ANGLE

West is striding along the boardwalk.

ARTEMUS
Jim!

West hears and turns to see Artemus angling his horse into the hitching rail. He dismounts.

WEST
Artie, I’ve been tearing this town apart, looking for you. Where the devil have you been?

ARTEMUS
(hoarsely)
In Mexico. I was shanghaied.

WEST
By the Pistoleros?

ARTEMUS
(hoarsely)
I think so. I woke up with a sore throat, in a hacienda about ten miles below the border.

62. POV – WEST AND ARTEMUS
CLOSE SHOT – MURRAY

Watching from his doorway.

ARTEMUS
(hoarsely)
-- so I went out a window, stole a horse, and headed north.

WEST
Can you find your way back there?

ARTEMUS
I think so.

WEST
We’ll start just as soon as we’ve talked to Col. Roper…

ARTEMUS
What about you… Have you found out what’s going on?

WEST
No. People keep dying on me.

ARTEMUS
Who?

WEST
Tobin. Bernal. And for awhile I had my doubts about you --

64. ANOTHER ANGLE

to include Murray standing very close behind West and Artemus. West senses his presence and wheels.

ARTEMUS
Alvin -- Alvin Murray. I didn’t know you were stationed down here.

He reaches past West to shake hands heartily with Murray.

MURRAY
Yes, sir. Mighty good seeing you again, Mr. Gordon.

ARTEMUS
Same here, Alvin. You look just great.

MURRAY
Have you met my partner, Jim West?

MURRAY
Yes sir. I’ve had the pleasure. Colonel Roper’s looking for you, Mr. West. He’s waiting for you at the hotel.

WEST
We’re headed there now.

MURRAY
Well then -- hope to see you at the Fort, Mr. Gordon.
(he salutes)
Good night, gentlemen.

He goes out of SCENE.

ARTEMUS
Good lad. He was in my regiment.

WEST
Let’s go see the colonel.

They go along the boardwalk, jostled by drunken cowboys.

CUT TO:

65. INT. HOTEL LOBBY – NIGHT

Considerable activity here too. West and Artemus enter from street. They cross to the stairs. West leading the way. They pass a man sitting in a chair reading a newspaper. The paper lowers, revealing the villainous, mustachioed face of Sanchos.

6-313:. ANOTHER ANGLE

West is nearly to the top, Artemus halfway, when Sanchos moves into SCENE near the foot of the stairs.

SANCHOS
(shouts)
Death to the gringos!

He starts SHOOTING. Artemus is hit in the head.

67. CLOSE SHOT – Artemus

revealing the shock and agony of his wounds.

68. REVERSE ANGLE

Artemus starts to fall backwards down the stairs. West draws his weapon.

69. FULL SHOT

A second Pistolero steps into SCENE and FIRES at West from the flank. West whirls and drops the Pistolero.

70. MED. SHOT – SANCHOS

vanishing through the door into the street. The guests surge toward the fallen Artemus, tying up West who has to fight his way through. He finally reaches the door.

71. MED. SHOT – ARTEMUS

sprawled, head down, on the stairs. Blood staining the steps above show his progress down. West runs down the stairs and lifts Artemus’ shoulders to get his head up.

ARTEMUS
Sanchos… it was Sanchos…

Artemus goes limp in West’s arms. Roper appears at top of stairs.

WEST
(stunned)
It’s too late. He’s dead.
(in disbelief)
He’s dead. Artemus’ dead…

FADE OUT

END ACT TWO


James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2009 :  18:11:40  Show Profile

ACT THREE

FADE IN:

72. EXT. CEMETERY AREA – DAY

The flag-draped coffin waits beside an empty grave. We SEE a bugler rendering TAPS… We SEE Roper, Murray and assorted officers and men, including Honor Guard with rifles… and finally, West, grim-faced.

DISSOLVE:

73. ANOTHER ANGLE

A Trooper is removing the flag from the coffin and folding it. As he completes this action and steps back:

DUTY SERGEANT
Firing party load. Ready… Aim… Fire.

A RIFLE VOLLEY.

74. MED. SHOT – SQUAD

As Sergeant and Squad go thru ritual a second and then a third time. As the echoes fade:

75. FULL –

SERGEANT
Firing party…
Order arms!
Right face… Forward march!

The squad moves accordingly. After the squad has departed, the officers salute, then move toward the Fort.

DISSOLVE:

76. MED. SHOT – GRAVE

A labor detail lowers the box into the hole. West watches, granite-faced, until the coffin is out of sight.

WEST
(softly)
Goodbye, Artie.

Then he turns and goes grimly away.

DISSOLVE:

77. EXT. PARADE GROUND – DAY

A Trooper leads a saddled horse over to the C.O.’s quarters where West is waiting. Roper is talking to him but West doesn’t seem to notice.

ROPER
There’s never anything that can be said at a time like this… the loss of a comrade after so many years is particularly bitter… but if there is any comfort in it, Mr. West, remind yourself, he was a soldier and he died well.

WEST
The comfort will come from getting the man who shot him in the back.

ROPER
What will you do now?

WEST
Something you can’t do, Colonel. Follow the filler across the border.

ROPER
It’s true I can’t lead an armed force into Mexico. But I can and will go myself.
(as West looks at him)
Gordon’s assassination has brought the border situation to a head. Colonel Vega has agreed to meet with me.

West takes the bridle from the Trooper.

ROPER (CONT’D)
When you get in the area, Mr. West, I would appreciate it if you’d inform Colonel Vega I’ll arrive at his headquarters shortly after dawn.

West swings into the saddle.

WEST
I hadn’t planned on any detours.

ROPER
If you operate in Mexico without Vega’s knowledge and sanction you’ll only worsen the border situation.

West wrenches his horse around and gallops away.

DISSOLVE:

78. EXT. DESERT COUNTRY – DAY

West rides steadily south.

78A. FEATURING SIGN –

It reads: “Leaving Province of Sonora, Mexico”
West gallops past sign.

DISSOLVE

79. SCENE – DAY

A sombreroed Mexican stands by his mule-drawn cart staring off as West rides through SCENE.

DISSOLVED

80. EXT. SAN PACO STREET – NIGHT

The style of building in Spanish. So are the occasional strollers and the MUSIC from the cantinas. West goes into one of them.

81. INT. CANTINA – NIGHT

Small, smoky and dim. A pretty senorita is on a table doing a dance for the entertainment of the customers, all of whom are Mexican. West makes his way past and to the bar.

WEST
(to Barman)
Tequila.

While he waits for it, he watches the dancer, MARIANA. Presently she jumps down from the table almost beside West.

MARIANA
Hello, Americano. I drink Tequila too.

WEST
Drink this one.

MARIANA
Not alone.

WEST
(to Barman)
Another tequila.

MARIANA
Who you kill?

West shakes his head.

MARIANA (CONT’D)
You on the run and you come to Mexico to hide. Because you steal much money?

West shakes his head.

MARIANA (CONT’D)
You on the run and you come to Mexico to hide. Because you steal much money?

WEST
No. I’m looking for someone.

MARIANA
Man or woman?

WEST
Man…

MARIANA
(she giggles)
So am I.

WEST
His name is Sanchos. Do you know him?

MARIANA
(closing up)
No.

WEST
Ask your friends?

MARIANA
(in Spanish)
This gringo is looking for somebody named Sanchos.

WEST
(to Mariana)
He has a face like a bad dream with a large mustache.

MARIANA
(relays this in Spanish)

No one volunteers. The Barman leans over to West.

BARMAN
Senor, leave my cantina now, por favor.

WEST
Why?

BARMAN
Because whenever there’s trouble the soldados come.

WEST
Why should there be trouble?

BARMAN
Because if you do not leave my cantina now, my friends will throw you out and that is trouble, senor.

WEST
Where’s Sanchos?

Two husky customers take West gently by the elbows and move him toward the door. He swings his arms wide knocking both of them aside. Promptly there are two more volunteers and for a minute the battle rages.

82. ANOTHER ANGLE

The fight is ended as quickly as it started by the SOUND OF GUNSHOTS. THREE MEXICAN SOLIDERS with rifles have ENTERED.

83. CLOSE SHOT – BARMAN

BARMAN
You see – now we have trouble.

83A. (STOCK) SONORA GARRISON

DISSOLVE:

84. INT. COLONEL VEGA’S HDQTS – NIGHT

VEGA is the Mexican counterpart of Colonel Roper. He considers West with some reserve. West’s saddle bags are in evidence.

VEGA
A representative of a foreign government is expected to present his credentials to the proper authority. In the Province of Sonora, Mr. West, I am the proper authority.

WEST
I know that, Colonel Vega. But I decided not to disturb you tonight.

VEGA
But I have been disturbed. My dinner has been interrupted.

WEST
My apologies. Since I’m here I’ve brought a message from Colonel Roper.

VEGA
He plans to come here.

WEST
Early tomorrow.

VEGA
Meanwhile, you’ll continue to search for this man Sanchos?

WEST
With your permission, naturally.

VEGA
Since he killed your friend, I suspect you’ll continue with or without my permission. Therefore, I grant it.

WEST
Thank you, Colonel.

West picks up his saddle bags, preparing to leave.

VEGA
Do you have any idea who you’re looking for?

From his saddle bag, West produces the knife he removed from Bernal’s back.

WEST
I know the man and I know his calling card.

CUT TO:

85. EXT. KNIFE SHOP – DOORWAY – NIGHT

An ancient Mexican, HERNANDEZ, is grinding a blade. The walls are decorated with samples of his craftsmanship. We sense the entrance of a customer -- his shadow perhaps -- before we see him. Hernandez looks up and gets a flat box, which he opens for the customer, revealing three new knives, all identical to the one West has. CAMERA PULLS BACK to show the customer is Sanchos. He nods, gives Hernandez some money, and exits with the box.

86. EXT. SAN PACO STREET – NIGHT

As Sanchos starts away down the street he passes a narrow alley. An arm snakes out and jerks him into the alley.

87. EXT ALLEY – NIGHT

West slams Sanchos against the wall of the alley, pinning him there by the throat. Sanchos’ eyes widen in recognition.

WEST
That’s right, Sanchos. Take a good look. I want you to know who killed you.

SANCHOS
No, senor -- wait -- I’m not prepared to die.

WEST
Neither was the man you shot in the back.

West smashes Sanchos with a hard right. The box flies out of Sanchos’ hand and spills its contents on the alley floor. He appears to fall under the impact of the punch but instead scoops up a knife in each hand.

SANCHOS
Now, gringo -- we will see who is to die.

He advances on West who backs off warily -- and his foot hits the third knife. West captures it.

WEST
Your move, Sanchos.

They circle and feint, the knives glistening in the half-light of the alley, a few *****es with West sustaining some non-fatal nicks. Then he kicks one knife out of Sanchos’ hand and faking the man out, slams him against the wall, knife point to his throat.

WEST (CONT’D)
Tell me, why did you kill Artemus Gordon?

SANCHOS
Spare my life, senor. I’ll tell you everything.

WEST
You know where to start.

SANCHOS
Your friend had to be killed because he was of importance. His death would bring the American colonel to Mexico.

WEST
If that’s the best you can do --

SANCHOS
But it’s true. He’s coming, isn’t he, the colonel?

WEST
What of it?

SANCHOS
I don't know why -- they never tell me the reason -- but when he crosses the border he’ll be assassinated.

WEST
Who gives the orders? Who’s the head Pistolero?

SANCHOS
Will you let me live?

WEST
Yes --

A GUNSHOT rends the stillness of the alley. Sanchos jerks and goes limp in West’s grasp. A second SHOT misses only because West has flung himself to the ground. He looks for the source of the shot but can’t find it.

88. MED. SHOT – TOWARD STREET

As West gets up and races, crouching, onto street.

88A. STREET – ANGLE ON WEST

Warily he looks in all directions. No sign of life!

DISSOLVE:

89. (STOCK SHOT) SUNRISE

89A. EXT. DESERT COUNTRY – DAY

West rides hard, going north.

DISSOLVE:

90. ANOTHER ANGLE – DESERT COUNTRY – DAY

Roper and Murray ride past, headed South.

90A. SHOT – PISTOLERO

He is situated in an elevated position, overlooking West and Roper. His hand rests on the handle of a plunger.

90B. POV – ROPER AND MURRAY

Riding hard. CAMERA PANS to West, riding to meet them.

91. SHOT – WEST

Looking ahead, can see the cavalry coming.

WEST
(shouting)
Colonel -- stop. Turn back.

92. MED. SHOT

Roper pulls up to look ahead. Murray rides alongside.

ROPER
Who is that, Lieutenant?

MURRAY
I can’t tell.

ROPER
He seems excited about something…

He spurs his horse forward, Murray following.

93. CLOSE SHOT – WEST

waving frantically for Roper to turn back.

94. MED. FULL

Roper and Murray have covered about half the distance from West when a tremendous EXPLOSION erupts almost under them. Smoke and dust completely shrouds them.

95. CLOSE SHOT – WEST

he reacts and spurs his horse.

96. OMIT

97. MED. SHOT – EXPLOSION AREA

Out of the haze come two riderless horses. Roper is stretched out, unmoving, on the ground. Murray is staggering to his feet, badly shaken. West thunders up and leaps off his horse.

98. CLOSER

West checks Roper who is alive but unconscious.

GALIANO’S VOICE
Senor --

99. ANOTHER ANGLE

to include Galiano on a white horse. On either side of him is a mounted peasant.

GALIANO
There’s a doctor at my hacienda. Both are at your service.

West comes over to him.

GALIANO (CONT’D)
May I present myself. I am Armando Galiano.

WEST
How far is your hacienda?

GALIANO
Less than a mile, senor.
(to peasants in Spanish)
Put the injured men on your horses. Hurry!

DISSOLVE:

100. INT. HACIENDA BEDROOM – DAY

The same one Artemus was in. Peasants carry in Roper and place him on the bed. Galiano, Murray and West bring up the rear. Doctor Winterich is already waiting. Roper appears to be coming out of it.

DOCTOR
Everyone wait outside, please. Quickly. This man may be seriously injured.

ROPER
(with difficulty)
Wait… West.

West goes to him.

ROPER (CONT’D)
Get to the fort. Tell Major Hudson to make no move unless he hears from me.

WEST
Yes, sir.

Everyone leaves, Galiano last and closing the door. The Doctor locks it and then crosses to the painting of the Conquistadores and swings it away form the wall, revealing a secret door. A couple of Pistoleros enter. They pick up the unconscious Roper and carry him out. Doctor waits.

101. INT. CELLAR – DAY

A large soundproof room. Roper is carried to a table and deposited on it. The Pistoleros start removing his dusty and torn tunic. Another man comes into SCENE and stares down at Roper who is reviving.

102. CLOSE SHOT – MAN

He’s a double for Roper. For identification purposes, we’ll call him Roper #2. His face bears a number of recently healed surgical scars.

ROPER #2
Uncanny -- it’s like gazing into a mirror.

102. CONTINUED

ROPER #2 (CONT’D)
Could anyone tell which is the real Colonel Roper?

103. ANOTHER ANGLE

to include none other than Artemus Gordon who is tied to a pipe. The Pistoleros proceed to tie Colonel Roper to the same pipe.

ARTEMUS
My double was so good even I couldn’t tell us apart.

Murray enters. Roper #2 turns to him.

MURRAY
I’ll be on my way to Fort Apache immediately.

ROPER #2
Good. Everything will be ready by the time you’re back.

Roper is conscious now and tries to sit up. One of the Pistoleros pushes him back.

ROPER
What’s going on? Who is this?

ARTEMUS
It’s a bit confusing, Colonel, but what it comes down to is this: a Pistolero is now commanding officer of Fort Challenge.

FREEZE FRAME:


James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8378 Posts

Posted - 10/14/2009 :  18:13:14  Show Profile

ACT FOUR

FADE IN:

103A. INT. CELLAR – DAY

Artemus and Roper are as we saw them. Artemus inspects the pipe he is tied to, has an idea. He grabs the pipe and tries to turn it.

103B. CLOSE-UP, ARTEMUS’ HANDS ON PIPE

We SEE that his intention is to screw the pipe out of its female coupling.

103C. ARTEMUS

as he strains. No luck.

ARTEMUS
Colonel… Move down to the other end and see if you can help me with this.

104. EXT. FORT CHALLENGE – DAY

re-establishing it. A Sentry peers through glasses out across the desert.

105. INT. CO’S OFFICE – DAY

For a beat the SCENE is empty. Then Roper #2 enters from the living quarters, buttoning the tunic of a fresh uniform as he comes. He sits down at the desk, trying out the chair for size. Then he commences a search of the drawers, getting acquainted with the kind of man he must pretend to be. He reacts to a picture of Colonel Roper’s wife; finds a roll of bills which he happily pockets; lights up one of the Colonel’s cigars. A KNOCK and the duty sergeant enters.

SGT.
Colonel, Lieutenant Murray has been sighted. He’ll be here in ten minutes.

ROPER #2
Very well. Round up all the officers for a staff meeting.

SGT.
Yes sir. And Mr. West would like to see you.

ROPER #2
West… Do we have anything to drink around here?

SGT.
(surprised)
Your private stock, sir. Or is it empty?

He comes back to the desk, opens the bottom drawer and from the rear brings forth a bottle, half-full.

ROPER #2
Thank you. You can send Mr. West in now.

SGT.
Yes sir.

Aide exits. Roper #2 grimaces over his near-boner and pours a shot into a glass. West comes in.

WEST
How are you feeling, sir?

ROPER #2
Nothing serious… just a slight concussion. Have you uncovered anything?

WEST
I found the man who killed Artie. But he died just before naming the head Pistolero.

ROPER #2
His identity isn’t that much of a mystery.

WEST
You know?

ROPER #2
Oh come, Mr. West, these terrorists couldn’t operate out of Mexico without the knowledge and sanction of Vega’s garrison.

WEST
Do you have any proof?

ROPER #2
Proof? Isn’t that what you were sent here to get?

The other officers begin arriving now: one major, three lieutenants.

ROPER #2 (CONT’D)
I must tell you, Mr. West, that a complete report was telegraphed to Washington from Fort Apache. My courier is now returning with, I hope, President Grant’s directive. I’m sorry I couldn’t wait to include your evaluation but, in my opinion, the situation was critical.

WEST
I see you don’t mind breaking the chain of command.

ROPER #2
This is strictly a military matter.

Lieutenant Murray enters, hot and dusty, carrying a dispatch case. Roper #2 opens it, removes a sealed envelope.

ROPER #2 (CONT’D)
Gentlemen, a communiqué from the commander-in-chief…
(skims the dispatch)
… these repeated border violations by a para-military organization, commonly known as the Pistoleros, along with the brutal murder of my own personal representative, Artemus Gordon, and the totally unwarranted attack against the commander of Fort Challenge, constitute warlike actions by a foreign power. It is, therefore, my decision that prompt and retributive measures be taken to reestablish the sovereignty and inviolability of the United States and her citizens.

Impulsive reactions from the officers. Over this:

MAJOR
That’s clear enough, sir.

ROPER #2
There’s only one interpretation. Gentlemen, we are at war.

WEST
Colonel, before you take action I think that order should be confirmed.

ROPER #2
Confirmed?

WEST
The courier who delivered the dispatch is not entirely above suspicion.

MURRAY
(faintly amused)
I had the impression that Artemus Gordon vouched for me.

WEST
Just your identity, Lieutenant. Not your patriotism.

MURRAY
I demand an apology…!

Roper #2 slams his hand on the desk.

ROPER #2
If there’s to be any fighting, gentlemen, let it be against the Sonora garrison. We will attack at dawn.

WEST
Good. That gives me time to ride to Fort Apache to confirm that telegraph.

There’s a dead silence for a moment. Roper #2 and Murray exchange looks.

ROPER #2
Fort Apache, Mr. West? Or to Colonel Vega? When you question your commander-in-chief, I begin to doubt your patriotism.

West looks [at the] unyielding faces of the officers and wheels suddenly to jerk open the door. It’s block by Duty Sergeant and two troopers.

ROPER #2 (CONT’D)
Lock him up.

DISSOLVE:

106. INT. CELL –DAY

West looks through the bars to the adjoining cell where Lopez is asleep on the bunk.

WEST
Hey, Pistolero, wake up!

Lopez lifts his hat and peers out at West.

LOPEZ
Hi, gringo, they got you, eh?

WEST
How’d you like to get out?

LOPEZ
I’ll get out, feet first.

WEST
Not if you use your head. Tell me who’s the head Pistolero and I’ll take you out with me.

LOPEZ
First you get yourself out. Then maybe I’ll tell you.

West opens his heel and produces a small capsule which he inserts in the lock. He steps back and waits.

LOPEZ (CONT’D)
That’s very funny, senor.

The capsule goes off and the door swings open.

LOPEZ (CONT’D)
Ay, carramba! That’s very good. Now do it on my door.

WEST
Give me the name.

LOPEZ
I can’t, senor. They would cut my tongue out.

WEST
You can nod can’t you?

LOPEZ
Si.

WEST
Is it Armando Galiano?

Lopez looks around furtively and then nods.

WEST (CONT’D)
I thought so.

He goes out of SCENE.

LOPEZ
Hey, Gringo, you for got about me.
(as he sags on bunk)
Never trust a gringo.

DISSOLVE:

107. INT. HACIENDA LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

A Pistolero enters with a letter which he hands to Galiano. Doctor Winterich stands by.

GALIANO
A message from Lieutenant Murray. At dawn Colonel Roper will begin the next phase of my plan.

WINTERICH
So. All we do now is wait for the Americans to invade.

GALIANO
No, Doctor, we do not wait. We permit a warning of the invasion to reach Colonel Vega so that he will march to disaster.

108. EXT. STOCK OF U.S. TROOPS – NIGHT

The cavalry moving south to border in an endless column.

109. INT. CELLAR – ARTEMUS AND ROPER – NIGHT

Still in his straight jacket, Artemus is straining at the nail, sawing at the rope throughout the following.

ARTEMUS
The Fort Challenge cavalry outnumbers Colonel Vega’s almost two to one. If he resists he’ll be wiped out; Senor Galiano simply steps in and takes control of Sonora.

ROPER
You mean he’s fighting his revolution with my troops.

ARTEMUS
It took an intricate and twisted mind to work it out. Plus time… and Doctor Winterich who created our likenesses through facial reconstruction.

ROPER
(struggles against ropes)
If I could get out of these ropes --

ARTEMUS
It won’t be too long now, Colonel.

109A. CLOSE UP – PIPE COUPLING

It is turning.

109B. EXT. STOCK OF MEXICAN TROOPS – NIGHT

They’re rushing north to meet the invading U.S. Cavalry.

DISSOLVE:

110. INT. HACIENDA LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Galiano touches glasses with Winterich.

DOCTOR
To the new leadership!

GALIANO
Today the Province of Sonora, tomorrow all Mexico.

WEST’S VOICE
At dawn, the firing squad.

111. OMIT

112. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West steps in through the French doors.

WEST
Unless you call off your plan.

GALIANO
Too late, Mr. West. According to my information, Colonel Roper --

WEST
Or whoever he is.

GALIANO
--has already reached the border. He crosses within the hour. I would welcome your opinion of my strategy.

WEST
Brilliant, using U.S. Cavalry to do your dirty work. Weren’t your Pistoleros strong enough?

GALIANO
(amused)
At no time, Mr. West, did the number of Pistoleros exceed fifteen.

WEST
Hardly enough to engage Colonel Vega.

GALIANO
And yet with fifteen men and a touch of genius one may conquer worlds.

He CLAPS his hands and the Pistoleros come into the room through every entrance until almost the entire force is accounted for.

GALIANO (CONT’D)
(in Spanish)
Take him!

The Pistoleros advance on West who explodes into action. They fight. West subdues the Pistoleros as Galiano and Winterich watch.

112A. SHOT – GALIANO

As he picks up a shotgun from a concealed place.

112B. AS BEFORE

West, puffing, has put last Pistolero out of action. There is sudden SHOT. West swings around to see:

112C. SHOT – GALIANO

He doubles over, dropping shotgun.

113. ANGLE TO DOOR

Artemus and Roper are there… Artemus holds a smoking pistol.

WEST
Thanks, Artie.

ARTEMUS
Thanks, Artie! Is that all you can say to me? Back from the grave -- risen like Lazarus -- and you interrupt your grief long enough to say, ‘thanks, Artie’!

WEST
Aw, come on… I knew that wasn’t you in the box. His feet were at least a size thirteen.

Artemus reacts as:

WEST (CONT’D)
Okay, Lazarus… Colonel… C’mon. we’ve got a score to settle.

114. NEW ANGLE

as they EXIT.

DISSOLVE:

115. EXT. STOCK OF MEXICAN ARMY – NIGHT

The Sonora garrison is drawn up to await the invasion.

116. EXT. STOCK OF U.S. CAVALRY – NIGHT

awaiting the signal to attack. Build with detail as available.

DISSOLVE:

117. INT. TENT – NIGHT

Roper #2 and his staff are huddled over a map spread out on a wooden table, illuminated by lanterns. Murray comes into the tent.

MURRAY
Colonel, it’s five-forty.

ROPER #2
Very well, lieutenant. Dawn will break at five-forty-eight. You have eight minutes, gentlemen, to reach your command posts.

West steps in.

WEST
Don’t bother. The invasion’s off.

ROPER #2
(furiously)
West, this is treason! I can have you shot.

WEST
You’re relieved of this command.

ROPER #2
By what authority?

GENERAL RIDDELL, white-haired, mustached, and in a fancy uniform walks in.

RIDDELL:
Mine.

MAJOR:
General Riddell, sir!

ROPER #2
General, I don’t understand--

RIDDELL
You understand only too well.
(to Major)
This man is an imposter. So is Lt. Murray… Arrest them both.

ROPER #2
It’s a lie! I’m in command her. You take orders from me. I am Colonel Roper. I’m the commanding officer at Fort Challenge and the Territory of Arizona! Tomorrow I’ll be commandant of Sonora.

WEST
Tomorrow you’ll be in irons.

Roper #2 lunges at West who flattens him. Murray makes a move at his gun and is immediately seized by the other officers.

MAJOR
If these men are imposters, where are the real ones?

RIDDELL
We don't know what happened to Murray. He was probably murdered. Colonel Roper is on his way to the Mexican garrison to confer with Colonel Vega.

MAJOR
It was mighty fortunate you happened along, General.

WEST
Mighty fortunate!

118. CLOSE SHOT – RIDDELL

who is seen to be Artemus. He turns away to hide a smile and winks at West.

RIDDELL
Yes, wasn’t it?

FADE OUT:

TAG TO COME



James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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