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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8376 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2009 :  10:31:52  Show Profile
GARRISON PRODUCTIONS
CBS-TV




THE WILD WILD WEST

“The Night of the Gypsy Peril”

by

Ken Kolb






#0319
FINAL DRAFT
October 25, 1966




THE WILD WILD WEST

“THE NIGHT OF THE GYPSY PERIL”

PRODUCER
BRUCE LANSBURY

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
LEONARD KATZMAN

STORY CONSULTANT
HENRY SHARP

WRITTEN BY
KEN KOLB

SETS:

INT. SULTAN’S SUITE
INT. WEST’S RAILWAY CAR
INT. TENT
INT. ANIMAL WAGON
EXT. ROCKY CANYON
EXT. BANDIT HIDEOUT
EXT. TRAIL
EXT. WAGON ROAD
EXT. GYPSY CAMP
EXT. TOWN STREET
INT. BAGGAGE CAR
EXT. ROCKY LEDGE
EXT. WOODED LANE
EXT. WOODS

CAST:

JAMES WEST – ROBERT CONRAD
ARTEMUS GORDON – ROSS MARTIN
ZOE ZAGORA
SULTAN OF RAMAPUR
GOMBAL
SCULLEN
HILLARD
MIKOLIK
AKBAR (elephant)
GYPSY

SILENT:

HOURIS (4)
OUTLAWS (2)
GYPSIES (10-12)
ARABIAN GUARDS (3)



WILD WILD WEST

THE NIGHT OF THE GYPSY PERIL

FADE IN:

1. INT. SULTAN’S SUITE – DAY

We open on a MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT of GOMBAL, an immense, muscular specimen of indeterminate far-east origin. He has olive skin, piercing dark eyes, and a coldly dignified manner. He wears a turban and loose, flowing robes.

GOMBAL
Mr. West… Mr. Gordon… please follow me.

CAMERA PULLS BACK to a THREE SHOT, including JAMES WEST and ARTEMUS GORDON, both in formal, diplomatic day wear, as they start to move in slow, stately procession after Gombal, crossing a luxuriously decorated room toward a curtained doorway.

2. NEW ANGLE – TOWARD ARCHWAY

On each side of the arch stands a VEILED HOURI, wearing harem-style costume, concealing, but suggestive. As Gombal nears, the Houris reach in from each side to part and pull back the heavy draperies to open the archway. Gombal passes through into the next room.

3. TIGHT TWO SHOT – WEST AND ARTEMUS

as they pass the archway, each casing appreciative glances at the veiled girls.

ARTEMUS
(sotto voce)
What does it cost to furnish a place like this?

WEST
(ditto)
It’s not the cost – it’s the upkeep.

They pass through, and the Houris let the draperies close.

4. INT. ADJOINING ROOM – MEDIUM FULL

An even more luxurious room, with the SULTAN OF RAMAPUR seated in state, being gently fanned by two more Houris. Gombal, West and Artemus move to a position facing the Sultan.

GOMBAL
(announcing)
Gentlemen… his most exquisite majesty, ruler of the sun and moon, the Sultan of Ramapur.

West and Artemus both make diplomatic bows, which the Sultan acknowledges with a regal gesture of his hand. The Sultan is built along the lines of the late Aga Khan, suggesting a skin stuffed with goodies over the years. His chubby face is that of a mischievous—and spoiled—little boy. He speaks always with a measured cadence, a voice conscious of its royalty.

SULTAN
Mr. West… Mr. Gordon.

5. ANGLE FEATURING WEST

WEST
Your highness… we bid you welcome to the United States, on behalf of our government. And we bring you the personal good wishes of President Grant, who awaits your visit to Washington.

SULTAN
Thank you… You gentlemen have met my chief minister Gombal, bearer of the State Seal of Ramapur, guardian of the royal personage of the Sultan and scourge of our traitorous enemies.

Gombal (rhymes with home ball) steps forward proudly to introduce himself. He draws a scimitar and holds it at present-arms position.

WEST
(brief smile)
Our welcome extends to all of the Sultan’s royal party.

SULTAN
I understand it is a long – and perhaps hazardous – journey to Washington. Is this true?

6. ANGLE FEATURING ARTEMUS

ARTEMUS
It is long. But we will spare no effort to insure that the journey is safe—and pleasant.

GOMBAL
The Sultan is safe – so long as Gombal lives.

By way of demonstration, Gombal plucks a small feather from the ornament of his turban, tosses it lightly in the air, then makes three WHISTLING *****es at it with his machete as it falls. Artemus bends to pick up the feather, and CAMERA ZOOMS IN TIGHT to show Artie displaying four pieces of chopped feather.

7. MEDIUM FULL

WEST
Impressive. But suppose something were to happen to Gombal?

SULTAN
(a slow smile)
In that case…

The Sultan makes a small gesture. The two lovely Houris fanning him suddenly produce guns from the folds of their costumes, holding them trained on West and Artemus. CAMERA PANS QUICKLY toward archway, to show that the two Houris who pulled the drapes are now stationed inside the room – likewise holding leveled guns.

8. ANGLE FEATURING WEST AND ARTEMUS

They glance around at the armed Houris, then at each other.

ARTEMUS
Gee – and all-girl army.

WEST
(to Sultan)
They surprise is effective… but how is their aim?

SULTAN
The last intruder into the royal palace had fourteen bullets removed from his body—the laughable part was, he was only a harmless messenger.

West and Artemus exchange glances, then dutifully paste smiles on their faces as the Sultan rocks with lighthearted laughter at the remembrance, during which Gombal thrusts his truculent face toward them:

GOMBAL
You’re not laughing!

WEST
(diplomatically)
Only because I was thinking about the possible effect your troops might have on our troops, when we get to Washington…

ARTEMUS
… especially since our troops just might try to fraternize with your troops.

SULTAN
(thoughtfully)
I see what you mean –
(decisively)
Very well; I will travel alone with you to Washington. But one thing must be understood…

WEST AND ARTEMUS
Yes, your majesty?

SULTAN
That you guarantee the safety of the priceless gift I bring to your President… a gift symbolic of international friendship.

WEST
I believe we can guarantee that.

SULTAN
Do not speak hastily… for this treasure I bring has a value beyond all price. It involves our national honor, and it must be guarded with your very lives.

ARTEMUS
Perhaps, if we knew just what it is we’ll be guarding…

The Sultan makes a gesture to Gombal, who moves to a screened alcove. With a sweeping gesture he removes the screen and –

9. ANGLE ON ELEPHANT

A baby elephant, white as snow, curls his trunk and PIPES A SHRILL GREETING.

SULTAN (O.S.)
Behold Akbar… tenth in the royal line of sacred white elephants of Rampur!

CAMERA HOLDS Akbar for a moment, then WHIP PANS to catch the reactions of West and Artemus, as we:

FADE OUT:

END TEASER

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

10. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

OVER THE SOUND OF WHEELS CLICKING OVER RAILS, an OCCASIONAL TOOT from the ENGINE WHISTLE, OPEN on an elaborately laid dinner table—candles in elegant candelabra, crystal and silverware, and the remains of what has obviously been a very formal dinner

,,, attended by the Sultan on one side, and West on the other. West extends a long-necked wine bottle toward the Sultan:

WEST
May if re-fill your glass, Highness?

SULTAN
(dabbing at his lips)
Thank you, no.
(getting to his feet)
Amazing; I never realized before how enjoyable roughing it could be…

WEST
Thank you, sir.
(getting to his feet)
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll relieve Mr. Gordon in the other car.

SULTAN
I’ll join you—I can’t help but worry about Akbar.

West has gotten to his feet and picked up a large silver platter covered with a dome—he manages to hold open the corridor door for the Sultan to pass through, then follows…

11. INT. BAGGAGE CAR – NIGHT

We see Akbar occupying a silk-lined, tufted stall, with a striped, silken canopy overhead. Artemus is leaning over the stall railing, holding an open bag of peanuts. (NOTE: across from Akbar is another stall, convention, occupied by a horse.)

ARTEMUS
(to Akbar)
No, no, Akbar, old pal, you don’t seem to get the idea—watch me…

He shells a peanut, tosses it into the air, and catches it expertly in his mouth.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
See? It’s easy; now try it again…

Artemus tosses a peanut in the direction of Akbar’s mouth, but the baby elephant makes no effort to catch it. Artemus shakes his head, laughs softly, then scratches the elephant’s head affectionately.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
You’re lucky you’re sacred—because you’ve got no talent.

The door at the end of the car opens, and the Sultan enters, followed by West. (NOTE: TRAIN SOUNDS are LOUDER until the door closes again.)

12. ANOTHER ANGLE

as West and the Sultan come up to Akbar’s stall—and now we see that West is carrying a large silver platter covered by a dome.

WEST
Dinner time…

ARTEMUS
(“washing his hands” happily)
Welcome words were never uttered.

WEST
(continuing speech)
… for Akbar.

ARTEMUS
(down)
Oh.

He watches as West lifts off dome, disclosing a large pan filled with grain and other elephant goodies. Artemus takes it from West and transfers it to stall, where Akbar proceeds to attack the dish with gusto, during which the Sultan looks him over critically.

SULTAN
Is Akbar standing the trip well, do you think?

ARTEMUS
Seems fine to me.
(to West)
Jim, I’m famished—as long as you’re here to relieve me, I think I’ll whip up a soufflé in the galley…

Artemus exits. West has joined the Sultan in watching Akbar munching at his dinner when SEVERAL WHISTLE TOOTS ARE HEARD and (indicated by passenger’s reactions) the train reduces speed. The sultan instinctively puts a protective arm around Akbar and looks uneasily at West.

SULTAN
Mr. West—am I imagining it, or is the train slowing down?

WEST
(nodding)
It’s standard for trains to reduce speed when going through Round Rock Canyon.

SULTAN
Oh. Is there—danger?

WEST
Nothing serious. But it’s a slide area, and there’s an occasional boulder on the track.

13. EXT. ROCKY CANYON FULL SHOT – DAY

Four tough-looking MEN on horseback are checking their guns. SOUND of train is heard chuffing along in the distance, and the TRAIN WHISTLE TOOTS TWICE. Another man, HILLARD, rides INTO SCENE and reins up beside the others. Hillard is somewhat younger and less hardened in appearance.

HILLARD
All set. The tracks are blocked.

The largest and most brutal-looking is the gang-leader, SCULLEN, who signals the others to move, as he says:

SCULLEN
Let’s go. You’ve all got your orders.

Scullen spurs his horse, leading the others as they ride OFF.

14. EXT. ROCKY CANYON – PASSENGER TRAIN (STOCK)

To establish the train rolling through the winding canyon at relatively slow speed.

15. INT. WEST’S CAR – MEDIUM

Train SOUNDS SEGUE from previous SHOT. West is tending to Akbar.

SULTAN
I am amazed at the extreme ruggedness of your countryside.

WEST
It flattens out later. This is some of the roughest part.

Abruptly three sharp WHISTLE BLASTS are heard, and simultaneously the SQUEAL OF WHEELS ON RAILS as the brakes lock. CAMERA JOLT simulates car’s sudden slowing. West and the Sultan are thrown off-balance, clutching at the furniture to keep from going down.

SULTAN
(alarmed)
What is happening?

WEST
(soothingly)
Probably just a rock slide—nothing to worry about.

Akbar TRUMPETS his dismay, adding to the din, as SOUNDS and CAMERA JOGGLE establish the shuddering halt of the train. There is an instant of utter silence, then TWO SHOTS from o.s. The door at the end of the car is hurled roughly open.

16. ANGLE FEATURING WEST

West’s gun appears suddenly in his hand as he ducks for cover, ready to shoot it out. But the Sultan leaps in front of him, waving his arms and crying:

SULTAN
No! No! No shooting. You may injure Akbar!

West tries to maneuver his way clear, but the Sultan seizes his gun arm and effectively blocks him.

17. ANGLE DOWN CAR TOWARD DOOR

Scullen, Hillard and one other thug have ENTERED and are moving down the car toward West and the Sultan, guns drawn. The lower part of their faces are masked by handkerchiefs.

SCULLEN
That’s smart advice, fatty. Tell our friend to drop his gun and nobody’ll get hurt.

West hasn’t much choice, with the Sultan blocking his aim and the other three guns on him. He lets the gun fall and Hillard retrieves it. Scullen sticks his pistol right in the Sultan’s face, with the third thug standing by.

SULTAN
(badly scared)
Please—don’t kill me… I have money…

SCULLEN
There’s a coincident for you—hand it over.

The Sultan brings forth a wallet form the folds of his robe and passes it to Scullen, who flips through it. Meanwhile West’s foot unobtrusively pushes the door of Akbar’s stall shut blocking the baby elephant from view.

SCULLEN (CONT'D)
(to Sultan)
Now get those rings off -- fast – unless you wanta lose a set of matching fingers…
(turns to Hillard)
Go see how the boys are doin’ in the other car.

Hillard turns and starts to go, then stops, staring into Akbar’s stall through the imperfectly closed door.

HILLARD
(excitedly)
Hey, look at this…!

SCULLEN
(savagely)
I said get going!

During the above the Sultan is fumblingly struggling to get all the rings off his pudgy fingers—now, as Hillard hastily complies with Scullen’s order and moves out of view, the Sultan tremblingly extends his cupped hand filled with his rings and other accessible jewelry…

… which Scullen snatches away from the Sultan and jams into his shirt pocket—unaware that one of the rings escaped during the transferring and has dropped to the floor…

18. CLOSE SHOT – RING

rolling along the floor and coming to light under a chair.

19. BACK TO SCENE

as Scullen arrogantly waves West forward with his gun—with the other gunsel still standing by alertly, gun at the ready.

SCULLEN
Now you, Friend—cash on hand, and don’t take too long delivering it.

West’s expression is deadpan as he reaches into his jacket, extracts his billfold, and hands it to Scullen…

… who snatches it roughly away from West, then does a massive take, reacting in confusion to the unnervingly unexpected RATTLING SOUND that BLASTS OUT from the billfold. (NOTE: this will be seen as one of those rattling, vibrating devices that practical jokers conceal in their palms when shaking hands with their victims.)…

… and West’s billfold goes flying from the recoiling Scullen, during which West has flashed into action with a kick from his right foot that lands on the other gunsel’s wrist, sending his gun flying off into the far recesses of the car…

… followed almost simultaneously by a backhanded Karate chop with his left that crunches into Scullen’s wrist, sending his gun clattering to the floor…

… and now West methodically right-and-left’s the other gunsel into a jarring crash against the wall, from which he groggily slides down into a sitting position…

… then, dodging the vicious left and right that comes whistling his way from Scullen, he methodically beats him to his knees…

… and West has darted off a few paces and stooped to pick up one of the guns when he HEARS:

HILLARD
Hold it!

CAMERA ANGLES to show Hillard at the blind doorway, his gun leveled at West, who has paused in his reaching position.

HILLARD (CONT'D)
Now straighten up—without the gun!

West straightens up, with his usual deadpan, philosophical acceptance of fortune’s turns…

… as Scullen gets unsteadily to his feet (and during the following, the other gunsel will also get to his feet and retrieve his gun) and approaches West with a malignant hate mirrored in his eyes.

SCULLEN
All right, Friend… you just earned yourself a working-over.
(drawing back his fist)

He stops, whirling around as a TRUMPETING SOUND BLASTS out from Akbar’s stall; he darts over and peers cautiously into it, flips the stall door open and feasts his eyes on Akbar… (NOTE: convulsive, restrained reaction from the Sultan follows.)

… then he swings back to West, a leering, delighted smile mutilating his lips.

SCULLEN (CONT'D)
Well, well! What can this be?

HILLARD
(eagerly)
That’s what I was trying to tell you! It’s…

SCULLEN
(eyes still on West)
Shut up; I’m asking the questions…
(a beat)
What is it, Friend?

WEST
It’s a big dog with a long nose.

SCULLEN
That so? From the color I’d of thought it was a hairless polar bear –
(takes a clasp knife out—flips blade out)
—Y’know, I’ve always wondered what an elephant steak would taste like…

An INARTICULATE CRY is wrung from the Sultan as he hurls himself at Scullen.

SULTAN
No, no, in the name of all that is holy, I won’t let you…!

With undisguised zest at the opportunity, Scullen brings the butt of his gun down on the Sultan’s skull, collapsing him in a huddled heap, then he whirls around, snapping of a SHOT at West, who has gone into the small crouch that precedes a thrust into action…

20. SHOT – WEST

his usual deadpan expression fraying around the edges as he slowly straightens up against the gas-lamp shattered by Scullen’s bullet.

SCULLEN
Next one’ll be right between your eyes.

A beat, as locks eyes with West’s, coldly drilling into his, then he shrugs and jerks a head at Hillard.

SCULLEN
Get the elephant outta the stall—we’re taking it along.

HILLARD
Huh? Why?

SCULLEN
As a keepsake to remember our friend by—
(a beat)
—and because elephants are worth money—lots of it. Drive it out.

Hillard moves around the stall and prods Akbar out.

HILLARD
(prodding Akbar)
C’mon little dogie—move out!

21. ANGLE TOWARD DOOR

Hillard gets the elephant squeezed out the door, and EXITS. Scullen backs toward the door, still keeping the gun on West.

SCULLEN
(to West)
You just stay right where you are till we’re long gone. Anybody fires one shot at us, and I’ll kill the elephant.

Scullen EXITS. SOUND of horses’ HOOVES CLATTERING, and a few YELLS, diminishing in the distance. With Scullen’s exit, West moves quickly to the Sultan’s side, rolling him over.

22. TIGHT TWO SHOT – WEST AND SULTAN

The Sultan’s turban has been knocked off, and there’s a gash on his head. West rips his fresh handkerchief to improvise a bandage. The Sultan GROANS in pain.

WEST
Easy your highness. You’ll be all right.

CAMERA ANGLE WIDENS TO INCLUDE ARTEMUS, who comes hurrying into the car. Artie looks dirty and battered, and alternately relieved as he spots West, and concerned as he sees the Sultan.

ARTEMUS
How bad?

WEST
Knock on the head. He’s out cold, but he’s coming around.

Artemus drops down beside West, helping him to dress the Sultan’s wound.

ARTEMUS
Two of them were on me before I had a chance –
(a beat – sees Akbar missing)
Thersoy Akbar! [Not sure what this word is supposed to be! “They stole…”?]

West has already straightened up and gone to his horse stall, followed by Artemus, who automatically falls into the routine of helping West saddle the horse. (NOTE: the saddle is suspended above—it is smoothly lowered into place on the horse by a line)—Artemus and West working like the proverbial “well-oiled machine” in cinching it into place…

… as West goes to a cabinet, from which he takes another gun, during which:

WEST
I’m taking off after them, Artie.

ARTEMUS
(grimly)
… leaving me to handle the really dirty end of the job—
(gesturing at Sultan)
facing him when it comes to.

WEST
I can only say this, old friend—I’m very, very glad it’s you, instead of me.

He walks the horse down the ramp, stirrups himself up, waves and THUNDERS OFF.

Alone, Artemus looks unhappily down at the Sultan, who makes MUTTERING, GROANING SOUNDS indicative of his coming to. Artemus sighs, glances at his feet, where something attracts his attention. It is a ruby ring, which he picks up and he examines. We see his admiration change to incredulity and downright puzzlement…

FLIP TO:

23. EXT. BANDIT HIDEOUT – MED. FULL – NIGHT

The bandit hideout is a bowl-shaped clearing amid the surrounding rocky ledges. It is protected by high ground on three sides, with an entrance shielded by trees and brush. The gang of train robbers (four men in all) are gathered in a semicircle around Scullen, who is handing out the divided loot.

SCULLEN
Here’s your share, Luke… Same for you, Marty.
(hands money to Hillard)
That’s your cut, kid.

Hillard flips briefly through the bundle of currency, looking dissatisfied.

HILLARD
It’s don’t amount to much, for the risk we took… How about them rings and jewels you took from the fat guy in the robe?

SCULLEN
You’ll get your part of that as soon as we get the stuff sold.
(beat; challenging)
Unless you got a better idea.

HILLARD
(uncomfortably)
Naw… I guess not… What about the elephant? How we gonna collect on that?

SCULLEN
Suppose you leave that to me, huh? I’ll work out a way to get the ransom—and plenty of it.
(brief pause)
Meantime, you get rid of it.

He makes a “throat slitting” gesture.

HILLARD
(shocked)
kill it? We can’t do that!

SCULLEN
(looks him over coldly)
Y’know, Hillard, sometimes I get the idea you ought’a be behind a ribbon counter.

HILLARD
(hastily)
I mean—how we gonna collect any ransom for that thing if—if we kill it?

SCULLEN
You got a lot to learn about kidnapping, little fuzzy friend. They pay the money first, don’t they? By the time they find out they’ve shelled out for a corpse—who cares?

HILLARD
(a beat)
I still don’t like it.

Scullen hauls off and sends Hillard slamming to the ground with a vicious punch—then, as Hillard gets groggily to his feet, Scullen whips out his gun and takes a bead on him.

SCULLEN
How do you feel about it now?

HILLARD
I—I like it—honest I do…

SCULLEN
Get going, and whatever you do, don’t miss!

Scullen and the other gang members LAUGH raucously, and Hillard turns to stalk off toward the horses and Akbar.

24. ANGLE FEATURING AKBAR

Hillard walks up to Akbar, takes the rope halter rigged around his neck and unties him from the tree to which he is tethered. He tugs mightily at the rope, slowly maneuvering the reluctant Akbar over toward his horse.

HILLARD
C’mon you little trouble-maker!

He swings up on his horse and takes off, with Akbar trotting after him.

25. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

A harassed-looking Artemus is sitting down before his telegraph key, while the Sultan (his turban perched on a bulky head bandage) strides up and down the car, obviously in a state where his volcanic anger is barely kept from erupting.

ARTEMUS
(incredulously)
One million dollars?

The Sultan swoops down on Artemus and shakes a fat fist under his nose.

SULTAN
That’s exactly what I said! One million dollars—American!

ARTEMUS
For a baby elephant? That’s about a thousand dollars a pound!

SULTAN
You cannot buy sacred white elephants by the pound—not at any price… That is a ridiculously small price to demand price to demand for damages; but it is what my ministers have decided, so send the telegram to your President!

ARTEMUS
(reading a copy before him)
… the sum of one million dollars in cash from the United States government to insure the safety—
(beat; strong reaction)
—safety of American citizens in Rampur!

SULTAN
(shrugs it off)
What are a few mere citizens—even an ambassador and his family—compared to a sacred white elephant.
(sternly)
Send that telegram!

Artemus braces himself, prepares himself to start tapping out the message, when the telegraph key starts CLATTERING.

ARTEMUS
(a beat, then:)
It’s from President Grant… he says… take all possible steps to calm Sultan and recover elephant… Remain firm on question of damage payment. Our government will not be threatened with extortion…

SULTAN
Extortion?... He calls our just claim for damages extortion? He insults my ministers?

ARTEMUS
No, no your highness—you misunderstand our position…

SULTAN
You misunderstand my position!
(slams fist on desk)
Take a wire—to my Chief Minister Gombal in San Francisco.

ARTEMUS
Sir—your highness—may I suggest that you think twice—maybe even thrice—before doing anything hasty…!

SULTAN
Say to him… I am returning at once to San Francisco, to disembark for Rampur… Official visit to Washington is canceled.

ARTEMUS
Your highness…!

SULTAN
Prepare to break off diplomatic relations… and seize Americans in Rampur as hostages.

ZIP PAN TO:

26. EXT. BANDIT HIDEOUT – MEDIUM FULL – NIGHT

There is a small campfire going, around which Scullen and the two gang members are playing cards.

SCULLEN
All right, boys—ante up for a little three-toed Pete.

27. EXT. ROCKY LEDGE – CLOSE ON WEST

West is creeping along one of the rocky ledges which surrounds the outlaw camp. He holds still, waiting until the MURMUR of card-game conversation starts up again around the fire. Then he moves quickly along the ledge.

28. UP ANGLE

West scrambles along until he is at a point overlooking the campfire, which casts flickering shadows on his face. Below him the rocky wall drops away steeply to the clearing below…

… whereupon a figure suddenly emerges behind him and engages him in a short, vicious fight. The two bodies roll DOWNHILL.

29. ANOTHER ANGLE – ON SCULLEN AND HIS MEN

Scullen has dropped the deck, rolled aside and come up with his gun while his slower-witted colleagues are still fumbling for theirs.

West and one of the bandits roll into view, battling furiously. West punches his man into unconsciousness, only to face Scullen’s revolver.

SCULLEN
Well, look who’s here—the elephant boy has come for his pet!

FADE OUT.

END 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
8376 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2009 :  10:33:08  Show Profile
ACT TWO

FADE IN:

30. EXT. TRAIL – HILLARD AND AKBAR – DAY

Hillard is riding along slowly, with Akbar following behind his horse on a lead rope. In a small clearing he reins in.

HILLARD
Whoa, boy… this looks like it might do.

Hillard ties his horse to a tree, then takes down a short-handled shovel tied behind his saddle. He moves over to Akbar, who is stripping leaves with his trunk, then uses the shovel handle to measure him off, first length, then width.

30A. ANOTHER ANGLE – FEATURING HILLARD

He lays out a rectangular plot, measuring off the ground with the shovel handle and scratching lines in the dirt. Then he surveys the size of the hole he will have to dig.

HILLARD
… sure is gonna be a job.

He lifts the shovel and stabs it down for the first attempt. The shovel CLANGS against rock. Hillard grimaces, moves over a step and tries again. CLANG again. Irritably he stoops and scrapes away rapidly with the shovel, revealing a bed of almost solid rock beneath the thin layer of dirt. He rises, sighing.

HILLARD (CONT'D)
There ain’t enough dirt here to bury a rat.

CAMERA PANS with Hillard as he moves back toward his horse, passing Akbar on the way, to whom he says:

HILLARD (CONT'D)
Looks like you got another reprieve.

Akbar TRUMPETS briefly, as though he understood.

HILLARD
Don’t thank me – it ain’t my fault. And quit eatin’ – you’re too big already!

Hillard unties his horse and mounts as we:

WIPE TO:

30B. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – DAY

CLOSE ON SULTAN, lolling at his ease on one of the sofas, alternately popping grapes into his mouth and sipping at the ever-present glass of wine at his side.

SULTAN
(speaking off)
… and in addition to the full damages that your government will pay, I am also demanding an abject apology that will be publicly…

He stops, staring off, as CAMERA ANGLES to show Artemus shrugging into his corduroy coat and adjusting his hat before the mirror.

SULTAN (CONT'D)
You weren’t even listening to me!

ARTEMUS
No, no, Highness, I was hanging onto every word.

SULTAN
Are you going someplace?

ARTEMUS
(as he heads to the door)
Yup. It occurs to me that old Jim just might be in a little jam—so I’m going to make myself available.

SULTAN
(snorting)
Preposterous! You’re not even armed.

ARTEMUS
Sure I am…

As he speaks he draws a strand of long, dangling strand of firecrackers from his pocket, all tied together.

SULTAN
Firecrackers! That’s just a lot of noise!

ARTEMUS
Right. But you’d be surprised what you can accomplish with some well-timed noise…

On Artemus, as he heads for the car door…

ZIP PAN TO:

31. EXT. GYPSY CAMP – FULL SHOT – DAY

The gypsy encampment is comprised of about four wagons and a couple of tends ranged around a campfire. The horses are grazing nearby, and a few of the GYPSIES are seen moving around the fire on various chores.

32. INT. ANIMAL WAGON – MIKOLIK

A dark, brawny, glowering gypsy called MIKOLIK is feeding the few animals ranged in cages along the walls of the wagon. They are a rather sorry lot—an old bobcat, a couple of coyotes, a bear cup, and a cage of monkeys. Mikolik finishes his feeding chores, then moves to leave by the back of the wagon.

33. EXT. ANIMAL WAGON – MEDIUM

As Mikolik comes out of the wagon, he is met by ZOE, the ruling force of the gypsy band. She is very attractive, sly, clever – a brilliant con-artist of the endearing type, so her victims are charmed even when half-aware they are being fleeced. Mikolik is very warm for Zoe, but she hold shim off with a teasing, ironic manner.

MIKOLIK
You are looking for me?

ZOE
No. Just seeing how the animals are doing.

MIKOLIK
Come into the wagon – I will show you.

ZOE
(a bored sigh)
I know Mikolik – you’ll show me how you wrestle a grizzly bear.

MIKOLIK
(thoughtfully)
A grizzly bear – too bad we don’t have one; it would make a great act.

ZOE
Stupid. You shouldn’t have crushed that brown bear we had.

MIKOLIK
The audience wanted an encore—I got carried away.

34. TWO SHOT – ZOE AND MIKOLIK

ZOE
(mad)
So did the bear… That was bad enough, but the last straw was when the zoo repossessed the lion.

MIKOLIK
Zoe… the circus is in a bad way. Let’s get out of here—run away, just you and me.

He makes a clumsy effort to grab her for a clinch, but Zoe easily twists out of his grasp.

ZOE
Things aren’t that bad yet… Besides, it’s my responsibility. All we need is some new attraction, something unusual—big…

She breaks off, staring o.s. with incredulous wonder.

MIKOLIK
What is it?

ZOE
I think I’m getting psychic.

MIKOLIK
Well, gypsies are supposed to be psychic.

ZOE
I know—but I think I really am!
(pushing him away)
Go find something to wrestle…

35. FROM ZOE’S POV – MEDIUM LONG – HILLARD AND AKBAR

Moving toward them along the trail come Hillard and the elephant, pausing wearily at the sight of the campfire.

36. CLOSER ANGLE – ON HILLARD

He peers through the trees toward the encampment, thinking himself still hidden from the gypsies. He jumps with surprise as:

ZOE (O.S.)
Hello, cowboy.

CAMERA ANGLE WIDENS SUDDENLY to INCLUDE Zoe, as she steps from the bushes beside Hillard, who turns to stare in surprise at her.

HILLARD
Oh, hi – you scared me!

ZOE
Oh, I’m sorry. You were looking for a place to camp, of course…
(beat; warm smile)
May we offer you the hospitality of our fire? We are the Zagora Family Circus… renowned throughout Europe, now on a triumphant tour of your American west.

HILLARD
(uncomfortably)
Well, us… thanks anyway, but I’d better keep ridin’ on…

37. ANGLE FEATURING ZOE

She glances from Hillard to Akbar with charming surprise, as though she truly had not seen the elephant until he showed it to her.

ZOE
You Americans are such marvelous eccentrics!... Who would have thought a cowboy would be leading an elephant instead of a…
(peering closely)

HILLARD
He’s supposed to be; he’s very valuable, rare kind.

ZOE
Oh, oh. Now I can see what you want.

HILLARD
(puzzled)
What are you getting at?

ZOE
You’ve been hearing stories about what easy marks we Gypsies are, so you think you can get me to buy your elephant from your for a big price, eh?

During the above Hillard has been listening to Zoe with an open mouth – then we SEE eyes widen with an expression that clearly says, “The answer to all my troubles!”

HILLARD
Well, might be, Miss…

ZOE
Call me Zoe. And not a penny over five hundred dollars.

HILLARD
Five hundred dollars!

ZOE
All right, seven hundred and fifty – and I’ll throw in a free fortune; but that’s my final offer…

WIPE TO:

38. INT. ZOE’S TENT – DAY

Zoe and Hillard are seated across from one another over a small table bearing a crystal ball. Lighting is low-key from a flickering lamp in one corner. Hillard is open-mouthed.

ZOE
I feel the spirits calling very strongly. They have a message for you.

HILLARD
For me? You sure?

ZOE
Positive. You must help me. Concentrate now – and look deeply into the crystal!

Hillard leans forward and peers earnestly into the crystal

HILLARD
I don’t see nothin’.

ZOE
Concentrate!... The spirits are coming closer…

39. CLOSE ON ZOE’S HAND

She reaches under the edge of the table and turns one of two small valve fittings there.

40. BACK TO TWO SHOT

The crystal ball begins to glow brightly. Hillard reacts, impressed.

ZOE
Ahhh… now the spirits are at head… now the future will be made clear to you. Look deeply into the crystal…

HILLARD
Sure is awful bright.

41. CLOSE ON ZOE’S HAND

as she reaches under the edge of the table and turns the other valve.

42. TIGHT TWO SHOT OVER CRYSTAL

ZOE
I see that you have recently been through an unusual experience…

HILLARD
You could say that, all right…

Hillard blinks his eyes and grimaces slightly, as though feeling unpleasant symptoms, but he’s too interested to hardly notice.

ZOE
I see in the future… perhaps in the very near future… a great surprise awaits you.

Hillard starts to answer, but his voice is just a CROAK. He COUGHS, CLEARS his throat, then blinks heavily again as he says:

HILLARD
What is it?

ZOE
You are going to lose a very large, very valuable object.

Hillard looks up to respond, but instead his eyes roll up then he slumps forward onto the table, unconscious. Zoe reaches under the table, turns the valve closed, reaches an expert hand into Hillard’s shirt pocket, extracts a small wad of bills, then moves quickly toward the tent flap, CAMERA PANNING with her. She COUGHS and fans the air with her hand as she moves. Mikolik appears.

ZOE
Mikolik – where is the elephant?

MIKOLIK
(coming forward)
He is already in the animal wagon.

ZOE
The drag this fool out. Tie him to his horse and send him on his way.

43. SUN RISES OVER MOUNTAINS (STOCK)

44. EXT. BANDIT HIDEOUT – MEDIUM – DAY

The campfire has nearly died out. Two of the outlaws are seen asleep in their bedrolls. West is seated on the ground, his ankles tied together and his back against the tree. His hands are pulled around behind the tree and tied at the wrist. We HEAR yip and howl of COYOTE in the distance.

44A. SHOT – WEST

As he reacts to coyote with a small smile.

45. CLOSE ON WEST

He glances over to be sure the outlaws are asleep, then:

46. CLOSE ON WEST’S HANDS

We SEE his right hand flexing and twisting, and suddenly we SEE why—an open knife pops out of the holder inside his sleeve. He gets his hands around the knife and quickly saws through the rope at his wrist.

47. WIDER ANGLE – ON WEST

He brings his hands out from behind the tree, flexes his stiff muscles, then bends to use the knife on the ankle rope.

SCULLEN (O.S.)
That’s real clever.

West whirls and CAMERA ANGLES to SHOW Scullen, on the other side of the tree, his bun held on West.

WEST
I bet now you say… “Drop the knife – or else!”

SCULLEN
You’re a mind reader… and I’ll add— get ‘em up.

WEST
How trite.

Scullen moves in closer, gesturing menacingly with the gun; West shrugs, drops the knife and raises his hands.

SCULLEN
What else have you got up your sleeve?

WEST
Just this…

And with a shrug of one shoulder, West FIRES a small metallic sphere out of his other sleeve.

48. UP ANGLE

It ERUPTS against the early morning brightness with a cascading crimson cloud.

48A. TRAIL AREA – ARTEMUS

As he is busy simulating coyote, he reacts to smoke.

49. BACK TO SCENE – MEDIUM FULL

Scullen moves in quickly as if to club West with his gun butt, then stops at the SOUND of HORSES’ HOOFS approaching.

SCULLEN
Luke! Marty! Somebody’s comin’ up the trail!

Both outlaws spring to their feet, guns in their hands; they get to positions of cover as the HOOFBEATS grow LOUDER. Scullen gets behind West, holding his gun barrel to the base of West’s skull.

SCULLEN (CONT'D)
If that’s someone you brought down on us with that signal, you’ll never live to say hello to ‘em.

Tension mounts as the HOOFBEATS reach the camp, then a rider – unrecognized in the darkness – gallops into the camp.

SCULLEN (CONT'D)
Get him, boys!

50. ANGLE FEATURING HILLARD

Hillard is the unknown rider. His horse REARS as the outlaws close in fast from both sides, guns drawn.

HILLARD
Whoa, boy – down! … What’s all the ruckus here? Who shot off the signal fire?

The outlaws relax, holstering their guns.

SCULLEN
(heavily)
I did. I thought maybe you needed some help to find your way home.
(to others – gestures at West)
Keep your guns on our friend – I’m gonna tie him up this time – and I’ll rip his sleeves off.

During the above, Hillard dismounts and ties his horse.

SCULLEN
What’d you do with the elephant?

HILLARD
(pantomiming)
Pow! Pow! Pow!

SCULLEN
(narrowly)
You sure?

HILLARD
Sure I’m sure! You think I got him in my back pocket or somethin’?

SCULLEN
We never heard no shot.

HILLARD
(shrugging)
The wind was blowing the wrong way I guess.

Suddenly, from several different points of the compass, seemingly surrounding them, a SERIES OF SHOTS RING OUT, causing Scullen and the others to whirl around, looking for something tangible to shoot back at…

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
Hold your fire, boys, till I say different!

A beat, then the shrubbery parts and Artemus steps out, carelessly twirling a gun.

ARTEMUS
(sternly – to Scullen and others)
Drop your guns, fast! You’re surrounded!

SEVERAL MORE SHOTS are HEARD from various points and Artemus shouts off:

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
I said hold your fire!
(a beat – to Scullen)
Well, what’s it going to be?

Reluctantly, Scullen drops his gun, followed by the others. West and Artemus exchange fast glances of relief, that are quickly dissipated as the SHOTS CONTINUE TO BE HEARD.

ARTEMUS
(loudly – trying to cover up)
All right, all of you over here, with your hands up!

SCULLEN
(the light dawning)
Those aren’t gunshots – they’re firecrackers!

He lashes out a right, catches Artemus flush on the chin, sending him hurtling back in a heap, his gun flying into the underbrush…

… during which West engages with the other three gunsels.

The fight is on… and during it we find Scullen seeing his chance to escape, which he does. Hillard also takes his cue to leave, but Artie is on him in a flash.

… West is finishing his adversaries, as Artie, seated atop Hillard, gun drawn, applauds the action.

ARTEMUS
You heard my coyote call, eh?

WEST
That was a coyote?

ARTEMUS
I got answers from three female coyotes proposing marriage.
(looking around)
Hey, where’s Akbar?

WEST
(indicating Hillard)
Ask him – he’s an authority on the subject.

West and Artemus close in on Hillard, who looks around with unconvincing bravado.

HILLARD
You heard what I told Scullen –
(pantomiming)
Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!

WEST
The last time I heard the routine there were only three pows!

Hillard shrugs indifferently and lapses into silence. West has lost his patience. He grabs Hillard roughly.

WEST (CONT'D)
Alright, we’ve had about enough of t his!

HILLARD
(hurting)
Don’t! It wasn’t my idea. It was Scullen’s orders.

WEST
Scullen took off – he can’t hurt you now. Admit you didn’t shoot Akbar!

51 THRU 53. OMIT

54. BACK TO SCENE

HILLARD
Alright, you might as well know – the elephant isn’t dead!

Artemus and West exchange fervently grateful looks, then:

WEST
So where is he?

HILLARD
I – lost him.

ARTEMUS
You lost an elephant? That takes talent.

HILLARD
Well, it was like this… I met up with this Gypsy Queen…

FLIP TO:

55 THRU 56. OMIT

57. EXT. WAGON ROAD – FORKS

At a fork in the trail a fairly well-worn road leads off to the right. To the left is an overgrown fork nearly covered by low brush and tree branches. West rein in, dismounts, then checks the branches and undergrowth of the left fork. Then he mounts, riding off onto the little-used trail.

58. EXT. TRAIL – ON WEST

West slows, dismounts again and ties his horse. Then he moves ahead silently on foot, peering through the trees.

59. EXT. GYPSY CAMP – DAY

Deserted, apparently. West sizes up the wagons scattered about, interspersed with tents – and as he looks around uncertainly, he reacts to the SOUND OF AN ELEPHANT TRUMPETING…

60. ANOTHER ANGLE – AT TENT

West cautiously approaches, carefully parts the flap of the tent, peers in.

61. OMIT

62. STILL ANOTHER ANGLE

Zoe emerges from the tent holding one of the largest pistols ever seen in his face. As she looks at West:

ZOE
Looking for something?

WEST
I… uh, thought I might get my fortune told here.

ZOE
Of course. I’d say for you, the future is very… very… short.

FADE OUT

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
8376 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2009 :  10:34:28  Show Profile
ACT THREE

FADE IN:

63. EXT. GYPSY WAGON – TWO SHOT – WEST AND ZOE – NIGHT

The SCENE as before, seconds later. West still staring down the muzzle of the immense pistol held in a firm and businesslike way by Zoe. She cocks the hammer. West tries on his most charming smile.

WEST
You wouldn’t actually shoot one with that cannon, would you?

ZOE
Only one thing holds me back… nothing’s more irritable than a band of gypsies waked out of a sound sleep.

WEST
(whispering)
Then let’s not wake them. You put the gun down, cut me down and I’ll go away very, very quietly.

ZOE
First, tell me why you were snooping around. Gypsies are very sensitive about their privacy.
(pause)
Speak up—I hate to shoot a handsome thief.

WEST
(quickly)
All right, I may as well level. I’m on the run from the law. I figured maybe I could join your circus and blend in with the scenery, see?

Zoe stares narrowly at West for a moment, but he meets her gaze successfully. She lets down the hammer on the gun, though she still holds it on him.

ZOE
I like your spirit—but we don’t have many job openings. We’re just a small operation.
(a beat – sighing)
If we get any smaller, we’ll be a flea circus.

WEST
(rubbing his wrists)
I can do a few simple stunts—if you could use an acrobat.

ZOE
Let’s see a free sample.

64. ANGLE FEATURING WEST

West looks around, sees a tree not far from the end of the wagon, and moves over under a stout branch. He leaps up, grabs the branch and goes through a brief gymnastic routine. (Say, a kip, a giant swing, and a flyaway—or whatever Bob can work out for maximum effect in a brief period.) Then he drops lightly to the ground and returns to the back of the wagon.

65. TWO SHOT

Zoe is only mildly impressed.

ZOE
Not bad. What’s your name?

WEST
Jim. The last name varies.

ZOE
Jim – that’s a great name for a gypsy.

WEST
It can be changed… Think you can get me an audition with the head man?

ZOE
I’m the head man.

WEST
Then that’s a great disguise. What’s your name—Ralph?

Zoe chuckles, adjusting her shawl to emphasize her engaging femininity.

ZOE
I’m Zoe Zagora… Queen of the Zagora Gypsy Circus… seeress and sorceress, infallible reader of cards and tea leaves…
(beat)
an bail bond expert.

West makes a sweeping, graceful bow, as for a stage entrance.

WEST
Your highness… Then I am Gregorio the Great… acrobat extraordinary… titan of the trapeze…
(beat)
and peanut vendor…

Zoe laughs softly, then puts the gun down. West grins in relief.

ZOE
You know, Jim – I think you might fit right in with us. There’s one problem – gypsy men tend to be insanely jealous – especially of outsiders.

WEST
I can take care of myself.

Zoe finds herself standing almost against West. There’s just a brief hesitate, then they take the natural course—each melting into a clinch and a kiss that is brief, but earnest.

WEST
Is my fortune improving?

ZOE
I don't know. You just fogged my crystal ball.

ZIP PAN TO:

66 THROUGH 68 OMIT

69. EXT. GYPSY CAMP – ON WEST – DAY

West is stripped down to acrobatic practice garb. He’s on a low platform, doing headstand pushups. A gypsy WOMAN strolls slowly past, giving him a friendly smile. After her comes a gypsy MAN, giving West a distinctly unfriendly frown.

West lowers his legs and resumes a standing position, looking around. SOUNDS of the gypsies are HEARD as they run through their arts – the CRACK of a whip, sharp SHOUTS, etc.

70. ON WEST – MOVING

West strolls across the clearing, CAMERA PANNING with him, until he comes to an area where the animal cages have been set out. There Mikolik is working with an elephant—quite obviously Akbar, but gray instead of white.

MIKOLIK
(to come)
Come… come… this way, this way—around the circle so…

Mikolik CRACKS the whip and prods Akbar with a stick to move him.

[Scenes 71-73 are missing.

73. EXT. GYPSY CAMP

As before. The gypsies are tying West’s and Mikolik’s “fighting” hands together with a bandana. Around them, the other gypsies appear to relish the idea of contest.

74 THRU 75. OMIT

76. SHOT – WEST AND MIKOLIK

MIKOLIK
I give you this final chance to leave us. Everyone will know you are a coward… but at least you will have saved your life.

WEST
Even when I go to the theater, I always stay for the full performance. I like to see how it ends.

MIKOLIK
Then… begin!

The struggle begins with a vigorous thrust by Mikolik to force West against the banner… and an equally determined resistance by West…

77. THEY FIGHT!

78 THROUGH 79. OMIT

80. TIGHT TWO – WEST AND MIKOLIK

Mikolik is desperate, but he glares fiercely at West, prepared to die rather than speak.

WEST
Isn’t there an alternative ending to this contest?

MIKOLIK
Why would you show mercy?

WEST
The circus needs you, Mikolik.

There’s a glimmer of truth in this, enough to help him save face.

MIKOLIK
You are right… very well, I yield.

81. EXT. OUTSIDE OF MIDWAY BANNER – DAY

West and Mikolik emerge, arm in arm…

82. SHOT – THE WAITING GYPSIES WITH THEIR DAGGERS

reacting amazedly—then they surge toward West and Mikolik.

83. SHOT – WEST AND MIKOLIK

MIKOLIK
Now that it’s over, tell me the truth; why did you spare my life?

WEST
Well… because I didn’t want your job. I could do the strong man act… but I wouldn’t like to clean those cages.

By this time the gypsies are milling around West and Mikolik.

WEST (CONT'D)
(to Gypsies – blandly)
It was a tie.

There is a BABBLE OF VOICES repeating “Tie!” “Tie!” “Tie!”…

… then, from a point farther off, but very LOUD AND DISTINCT WE HEAR:

ARTEMUS’ VOICE
Tie, you say? My friends, I’ve got hundreds, nay, thousands of ties, in every conceivable color, pattern, texture and weave!

During the above CAMERA ANGLES to show Artemus, dressed in the sharpest salesman suit imaginable, with a huge pack resting on his back on an ingeniously engineered framework, a large number of nested hats nesting on the hat he is wearing, and carrying a large suitcase, then he sets down as the gypsies swarm around him…

… during which Artemus has set his pack on the ground, flipped open his suitcase, which opens up into a bewildering series of trays and display panels, of them displaying a fantastic array of ties, socks, yard goods, kitchenware, etc.

… and while some of the gypsies are thumbing through the merchandise displayed, another gypsy inquires:

GYPSY
How you fixed for precious jewels?

ARTEMUS
You say you’re interested in precious jewels…

As he speaks, he flips open his jacket, revealing that the inside is a display section on which is hung a dazzling array of pearl, diamond and emerald necklaces, clips, brooches, tiaras, etc.

ARTEMUS (CONT'D)
… well, I have here a dazzling array of the rarest pearls of Araby, diamonds from the Kimberly, emeralds from King Solomon’s mines—and I can make you a very attractive price on gross assortments of necklaces, earrings, and claps—for this week only…!

CAMERA HOLDS on West, struggling to keep a straight face as he watches this, as we:

FLIP TO:

84. EXT. WOODED LANE - NIGHT

West and Artemus are strolling along, as they talk, CAMERA FOLLOWING.

WEST
… and what’s the news from Washington?

ARTEMUS
All bad. The Sultan was as good as his word. The Americans in Ramapur have been seized as hostages.

WEST
Then the Sultan means business.

ARTEMUS
He’s issued an ultimatum. Either he gets his sacred elephant back, or a million dollars—at once.

WEST
Or?

ARTEMUS
Or he sails back to Ramapur and gives orders for the Americans there to die. Including our ambassador and his family.

85. REVERSE ANGLE – CAMERA LEADING

Artemus and West continue walking slowly as they pass a gypsy man and woman coming from the other direction. The gypsies give them just a casual glance, then pass on.

WEST
The gypsies have Akbar, but they’ve painted him gray.

ARTEMUS
That figures. White is such a conspicuous color for an elephant.
(beat)
Why haven’t you taken him back?

WEST
Because I can’t run very fast while carrying an elephant.

ARTEMUS
That’s a point. We could call in the cavalry, I suppose, and retake Akbar like Bunker Hill.

WEST
That would mean a lot of useless shooting—and killing… I haven’t been able to find out how the gypsies got Akbar, but I do know they’re determined to keep him. He means a lot to their circus.

ARTEMUS
By the way, how are you getting along with the gypsies?

WEST
Fine. I’m learning a lot.
(smiles)
Here’s your watch and wallet.

And West hands them over to a startled Artemus, as we

ZIP PAN TO:

86. EXT. GYPSY CAMP – FULL SHOT – NIGHT

To establish. Wagons and tents all dark.

87. NEAR ANIMAL WAGON – AKBAR AND GUARD

Akbar is staked out in a small grazing area. Near him a fierce-looking gypsy sits with his back against a tree, a pistol across his chest.

88. CLOSER ANGLE – ON GYPSY GUARD

The gypsy looks all around alertly, then checks the loading of his pistol. All’s well. He settles back against the tree, takes out a fresh cigar, inhales it lovingly, the lights up. Immediately a dense cloud of smoke spews from the end of the cigar, enveloping his head. As the smoke clears, the gypsy’s eyes roll up and he keels over, unconscious.

89. WIDER ANGLE

West and Artemus drop from the branches of the tree, landing beside the unconscious gypsy. West quickly checks him, and takes the pistol.

ARTEMUS
I’ll bet he’ll never accept another cigar from me.

WEST
(stretching stiffly)
I’m glad he finally used it. I was afraid he had quit smoking.

West and Artemus move quickly to Akbar, untying his rope from the stake, pushing and pulling to get him moving.

WEST (CONT'D)
C’mon Akbar—we’ve got to get out of here!

QUICK WIPE TO:

90. EXT. WOODS – ANGLE ON ARTEMUS – NIGHT

Artemus has his shoulder to Akbar’s haunch, shoving for all he’s worth to move the balky elephant ahead.

WEST (O.S.)
Artie… you can stop shoving now.

Artemus stops pushing and looks ahead. CAMERA ANGLE WIDENS TO FULL SHOT, showing West ahead of Akbar, holding his rope. In a semicircle before West, emerging from the trees, are all the gypsies, led by Zoe, holding the immense pistol.

ARTEMUS
I see what you mean.

Mikolik steps forward from the group, draws a dagger and seizes Artemus by the shirt-front, holding the blade to his chin.

MIKOLIK
Where are you going with that elephant?

ARTEMUS
Elephant?... what elephant?
(as Mikolik shakes him)
Oh--that elephant. Well, I was just walking through the woods minding my own business, when—

MIKOLIK
Never mind, you are going to die!

He raises the dagger to plunge it into Artemus, as we:

FREEZE FRAME.

91. OMIT

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
Go to Top of Page

California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8376 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2009 :  10:35:31  Show Profile



ACT IV

FADE IN:

90. EXT. GYPSY CAMP – WEST AND ARTEMUS – DAY

It is now early morning. West and Artemus are seen staked out on the ground, arms and legs spread-eagled and tied at wrists and ankles to pegs driven in the ground. Mikolik is rigging up a wooden framework about two feet above Artemus’ head—then as he moves off, Zoe approaches from another direction, and stands looking down at West more in sadness than anger.

MIKOLIK
Let us kill them – now!

ZOE
No. They will die slowly—by the most horrible of gypsy tortures.

ARTEMUS
(interested in spite of himself)
Hey, what torture is that?

ZOE
I don't know. I’m still thinking.

Akbar lifts his head and TRUMPETS mournfully.

WEST
Zoe, you’ve got to listen to me—

Zoe raises her hand in an imperious gesture.

ZOE
I wish to know only one thing… how could you prefer an elephant to me?

WEST
I’m trying to tell you. I’m a government agent, and it’s my job to return the elephant to the Sultan of Ramapur.

Zoe shakes her head sadly.

ZOE
You’re no gypsy. You don’t know how to lie convincingly.

WEST
It’s not a lie! Believe me.

ZOE
But… if this is true, why didn’t you tell me before?

WEST
Because I had to find out if you were involved in the plot to hold the elephant for ransom—the train robber we caught said he made a deal with you.

Zoe sighs, looking doubtful. This is not to believe. She turns to look down at Artemus.

ZOE
How about you?... I suppose you’re the Sultan?

ARTEMUS
I’m another government agent—and Jim’s telling the truth. That elephant can cost us a million dollars—or a lot of American lives.

ZOE
(thoughtfully)
That sounds so stupid, you must be telling the truth.

93. ANOTHER ANGLE – FEATURING WEST

Zoe turns back to West as he speaks.

WEST
That’s not just any elephant, Zoe. It’s a sacred white elephant named Akbar. You’ve painted him gray.

ZOE
We did no such thing!

ARTEMUS
Let us prove it! … if we’re not telling the truth you can go ahead and kill us!

MIKOLIK
I think that is only fair, Zoe. Let them try it.

94. EXT. GYPSY CAMP – FULL SHOT – DAY

The whole gypsy band is gathered in a circle to watch West and Artemus preparing to scrub Akbar. They have a pail of soapy water and two stiff brushes. Artemus soothes the elephant.

ARTEMUS
Easy now, boy… this won’t hurt a bit. Just come clean, and we’ll all be home free.

West and Artie dip the brushes and start to scrub.

95. CLOSER ANGLE – WEST, ARTEMUS AND AKBAR

They scrub… and scrub… and scrub… and—no results. They pause, breathing hard from the exertion, exchanging a look. They talk sotto voce.

ARTEMUS
Jim… I’m getting the most uncomfortable feeling…

WEST
I know just what you mean.

ARTEMUS
You suppose this elephant could be an imposter?

WEST
Uh-uh. This is Akbar, and he’s not painted now…

ARTEMUS
So that means he was painted before!
(beat)
And the sultan is a royal con artist!

96. ANOTHER ANGLE – FEATURING THE GYPSIES

The gypsies are watching with increasing impatience and irritation. Zoe looks worried and disappointed. There is a growing MUTTER of disapproval, then Mikolik steps forward from the group.

MIKOLIK
Enough of this farce! If Queen Zoe is too soft-hearted to kill these thieves—I am not! I say we must do it now!

97. FULL SHOT – WEST, ARTEMUS AND AKBAR IN F.G.

The gypsies close in menacingly behind Mikolik, the men drawing weapons of various sorts. West and Artemus spring into action as the gypsies fall back, momentarily blinded by the suds.

98. ANGLE FEATURING WEST

West grabs Mikolik and flips him in a judo throw into two other gypsies, knocking them flat.

99. ANGLE FEATURING ARTEMUS – ON GYPSY WAGON

Artemus, pursued by a burly gypsy, leaps into the front of a wagon. The gypsy leaps in after him. Artemus emerges from the front.

100. (?)

West has hold of one of the gypsies’ horses. He mounts with a running leap, wheels the horse around and rides at his pursuers, scattering them in every direction. Then he turns his mount toward Artemus.

101 THRU 102. OMIT

103. ANGLE FEATURING WEST

West slows just slightly, leans to give Artie a hand, and Artie springs up behind him.

104. FULL SHOT

West and Artemus ride out of the camp clearing and into the woods, easily outdistancing their running pursuers.

105. ANGLE ON ZOE AND AKBAR

Zoe walks over and puts a friendly arm over Akbar’s neck, or the place his neck would be if he had one. They both look off sadly after our vanished heroes.

ZOE
Well… he’s gone.
(beat)
But we’ll never forget him, will we.

ZIP PAN TO:

106. INT. SULTAN’S SUITE – INNER ROOM – DAY

The Sultan is seated in his usual splendor, being fanned by two houris, eating grapes from the point of a dagger, as Sultans do. Facing him in an attitude of aggressive demand is Scullen, the leader of the train robbers. Scullen’s garb is modified for this appearance in San Francisco, but he’s still obviously an outdoor westerner, uncomfortable in these surroundings.

SCULLEN
Look, I did the job just the way it was ordered—now I wanta get paid!

SULTAN
(imperturbably)
You will be paid… when I am paid.

SCULLEN
When’s that going to be?

SULTAN
Very soon now. I have given the United States government until tonight at six o’clock to meet my terms… I am sure they will pay, rather than create an international incident.

SCULLEN
(suspiciously)
Sultan or no sultan, you better not welsh on the deal.

SULTAN
(still calm)
Do not harbor gross suspicions.
(beat)
For that matter how do I know you have fulfilled your part of the bargain?

SCULLEN
I told you! The elephant is as dead as a dried herring!

SULTAN
You have proof of this?

SCULLEN
Whattaya want—an obituary? Now you get off your over-stuffed high-horse, and…!

During the above, Scullen starts to draw a gun from under his coat. But before he can clear the holster both Houris are holding small but deadly pistols aimed at his heart. Scullen reacts with natural surprise. The Sultan smiles, raising his voice to call:

SULTAN
Gombal… come here, please.

107. ANGLE TOWARD ARCHWAY

The curtains covering the archway part, and Gombal enters, wearing the costume we saw in the teaser, including the huge machete at his waist. CAMERA PANS him across to the Sultan.

GOMBAL
You called, Excellency?

SULTAN
Mr. Scullen has become obstreperous and insulting… I wish to sever our connection with him.

On the word “sever” Gombal quickly draws the huge machete. He stops forward and relieves Scullen of his gun. Scullen’s eyes are wide in disbelief, his jaw working silently.

108. ANGLE FEATURING SULTAN

He turns to each of the Houris.

SULTAN
You have done well.

The Houris each bow, return their guns to holsters beneath their robes, then resume work with the fans. The Sultan plucks and eats another grape.

109. ANOTHER ANGLE – FEATURING GOMBAL AND SULTAN

Gombal kicks a cushioned footstool in front of Scullen, then makes a threatening gesture with the machete.

GOMBAL
Down! Your head on that!

Scullen starts to protest, but a whistling slice past his ear stops his words. He drops to his knees and puts his head across the footstool, facing the Sultan.

GOMBAL
Would your Excellency like to avert his eyes?

SULTAN
No… I just remembered the nasty blow on the head which I received. I believe I would enjoy watching this time… Proceed.

Gombal puts his foot and Scullen’s shoulder, then raises the machete high over his neck. SOUND of a muffled THUMP is heard from the outer chamber beyond the curtained arch. Gombal pauses, looking toward the noise.

SULTAN
(weary gesture)
What a country—always some interruption. See what it is, Gombal.

Gombal bows, starts to stride toward the curtained archway when Scullen darts to his feet and starts to plunge away in the opposite direction…

… until Gombal wheels, whirling the flat of his machete at Scullen, making contact.

… and Scullen crumples inertly into the lush undergrowth of cushions.

110. INT. SULTAN SUITE – OUTER CHAMBER – MEDIUM

West and Artemus have entered through the tall windows. There is a guard’s body on the floor. Gombal’s heavy stride is HEARD approaching. West and Artie spring to each side of the archway just as Gombal thrusts his way through the curtains.

111. ANGLE BY ARCHWAY

West seizes Gombal’s machete arm, twisting the weapon out of it and flipping Gombal over his back in a judo flip…

Gombal goes flying. The previously inert guard flings himself at Artemus, forcing him to the ground.

… While West and Gombal (who has gotten to his feet and rushed West), locked in each other’s grip, surge through the archway into the inner chamber…

112. INT. INNER CHAMBER

as West, struggling with the fanatically fighting Gombal, spots the Sultan, still imperturbably eating grapes…

WEST
(even as he struggles with Gombal)
The party’s over, Sultan!

SULTAN
Hardly, Mr. West.

He reaches out, taps a gong – and almost immediately, out from the recesses of the draperies and wall hangings, two huge Arabian guards appear, and rush at West, still pretty much occupied with Gombal…

… but now, with the sudden appearance of the Sultan’s reinforcements, West is galvanized into further efforts, that start with a sudden flip of Gombal over his back, a long sail through the air and into a cluster of vases that disintegrate under his impact…

… and West finds himself occupied with the two muscular Palace guards, who, for awhile, occupy themselves with slamming West vigorously back and forth between them, until West lashes out, sending first one reeling back then the other, then as the two rush fiercely back into the fray, he dodges each by the scruffs of their necks and slamming both heads hard together…

… and that does it—they drop inertly to the litter of cushions, leaving West alone among the combatants…

… with the exception of Artemus, who reels briefly into the inner chamber, still locked in a struggle with the two houris…

WEST
Hang on, Artie, I’ll be right with you!

ARTEMUS
No hurry, Jim, I’ll manage!

He reels out into the outer chamber, still part of a milling mass of lovely female legs and arms and West turns into the outer chamber and straightens up to find that the Sultan is pointing a gun at him—a gun that gleams and glitters with inset jewels. (sequins, to us) As West slowly walks toward the Sultan:

WEST
Beautiful gun, your Highness

SULTAN
It fires a beautiful bullet, Mr. West.

WEST
I’m sure it does.
(beat)
There are two points I’d like to make…

SULTAN
Yes?

WEST
The first is, Mr. Gordon is behind you, covering you with his gun.

The Sultan whirls around in a reflex action, and simultaneously West leaps in, grabs the Sultan’s gun as he discovers that he’s been had and whirls around to West again…

…and in the struggle (West is very restrained with his Highness, of course) the gun is discharged harmlessly. As the Sultan relaxes philosophically and allows West to disarm him.

SULTAN
And the second point, Mr. West?

Sir—by virtue of the power vested in me—you’re under arrest.

On the frozen tableau,

FACE OUT

THE END

EPILOG

FADE IN:

113. EXT. GYPSY CAMP – WEST AND ZOE – DAY

West and Zoe are strolling across the gypsy camp, passing various performers rehearsing their acts. CAMERA PANS with them.

ZOE
You mean there really is a Sultan of Ramapur?

WEST
Was… he abdicated in favor of an elected president.

ZOE
How come?

WEST
The Sultan had already emptied the royal treasury, and his government was bankrupt… That’s why he tried to sell us a phony sacred elephant for a million dollars.

They pause a moment to admire a gypsy juggler doing his stuff, then they stroll on together. Zoe is troubled.

ZOE
We’ve all gotten very fond of Akbar… But now I suppose we’ll have to give him up now.

WEST
Artie and I are supposed to find a good home for him…
(pause; grin)
So why don’t you keep him.

Zoe reacts with delight, giving West a brief kiss of thanks.

WEST
Just tell me how he happened to change color.

ZOE
Right after we found him we had to cross a stream – and Akbar stopped to take a bath.


WEST
Found him…?

ZOE
Well… obviously that cowboy didn’t own a white elephant. He was embarrassed about having it following him… so I decided to help him out.

WEST
You’re all heart.

114. NEW ANGLE – WEST, ZOE, ARTEMUS AND GYPSY

West and Zoe pause beside a long table where a gypsy magician has his apparatus set up, with Artemus watching him. The gypsy is attempting to produce something from a top hat on the table. He covers it with a colorful kerchief, makes several magical gestures over it, then whips aside the handkerchief. Nothing happens.

Artemus steps up, covers the hat with the kerchief, and makes a few slightly different passes. He whips the kerchief off – and out fly a half a dozen pigeons, followed by an owl (and whatever else the prop man can squeeze under the fake table). The gypsy magician applauds. Artemus bows modestly, steps down and joins West and Zoe as they move on.

115. MOVING THREE SHOT – WEST, ZOE, ARTEMUS

WEST
Sorry we have to leave now.

ZOE
So am I… If you ever get tired of your jobs, we’ve got openings for you.

They pause; West and Artie each take one of Zoe’s hands, and there’s a general round of AD LIB GOODBYES. Then:

ZOE
By the way… here’s your wallets.

And she hands them over, as we

FADE OUT

THE END

Rev. 11/28/66

FADE IN:

116. INT. WEST’S RAILROAD CAR – NIGHT

A duplication of the scene as presented in act one—an elaborately laid table, candles in elegant candelabras, crystal and silverware, and the remains of what has obviously been a very formal dinner…

… attended, as before, by the Sultan and West, but with the addition of Artemus, also.

West extends a long-necked wine bottle towards the Sultan’s empty glass.

WEST
May I refill your glass, Highness?

SULTAN
Just a soupcon, dear friends…
(wistfully)
How well your Book of Proverbs says it… “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, given him water to drink…”

Here he reaches out to take the filled glass and now for the first time we see that his wrists are bound by a set of manacles that mars the grace of his movements.

SULTAN (CONT'D)
… for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.

He drinks appreciatively from the goblet, then sets the glass down and looks reproachfully at West and Artemus as he JANGLES his handcuffs.

SULTAN (CONT'D)
Surely this piece of—jewelry—is in rather bad taste.

WEST
Not as far as our government is concerned.

ARTEMUS
Specific orders from our State Dept: “The Sultan of Ramapur to be returned to Washington, under maximum security conditions.”

SULTAN
Such a bore—and all for what? To see to it that I am “deported,” I believe the word is, back to my own country!
(with a winning smile)
Gentlemen, we’re all men of the world, aren’t we?

West and Artemus exchange a quick “here it comes” glance then nod pleasantly in reply.

SULTAN (CONT'D)
Admittedly I was indiscreet in the little incident of Akbar—but surely, men of good will, such as we, can reach an accommodation…

Here he loosens several of the huge, glittering rings encircling his fat fingers and allows them to drop onto the table, as if by accident.

SULTAN (CONT'D)
I pose this hypothetical situation – Suppose you gentlemen were to absentmindedly unlock these restraining bracelets—order the train stopped, then look the other way as I stroll off—what harm would there be?

West and Artemus exchange an innocently wide-eyed look, then:

WEST
And after you’re gone, we discover these priceless rings you’ve left behind…

SULTAN
(beaming)
It’s a pleasure to deal with such understanding gentlemen!
(to Artemus)
Then, it’s agreed, Mr. Gor…?

He stops, reacting, as CAMERA ANGLES to show Artemus taking a jeweler’s loupe from his pocket and starting to examine the rings; for one frozen moment the Sultan stares at him, then he lunges forward, outraged, sending the rings flying, just as the TELEGRAPH KEY starts CLATTERING. During the following, Artemus will get up, go to the telegraph and operate it.

SULTAN (CONT'D)
(angrily—winning smile gone)
Very well, then! Go through with this ridiculous charade! What do you imagine will happen when I am deported back to my own country?

He rises, tosses an imaginary robe over his shoulder then, in pantomime, acknowledges the tributes of thousands of his cheering subjects as he continues:

SULTAN (CONT'D)
I will be overwhelmed by the love and happiness on every side as I…

He stops, as Artemus comes back into view, waving a sheet of paper: (NOTE: there should be evidence of the train slowing down about this point.)

SULTAN (CONT'D)
Well, Mr. Gordon? You have the look of a man with a loathsome secret.

ARTEMUS
Just a dispatch that came over the wire—
(reading)
“Monarchy in Ramapur overthrown—stop—constitutional government decreed—stop—waiting to try Ex-Sultan.”

A long silence follows this, then the Sultan droops and comes up with a sigh from way down under.

SULTAN
As you put it so well in your country, “You can’t win ‘em all;” eh?
(steadying himself as brakes are applied)
And does this mean that we’re…

WEST
… arriving in Washington.
(unlocking handcuffs)
You won’t need this any longer.

With a FINAL HISS OF STEAM BRAKES, the train comes to a halt. Off stage NOISES of door opening, then a BURLY DETECTIVE TYPE comes into view, extending a sheet of paper to West. (during the following West and Artemus both sign paper)

DETECTIVE TYPE
I’m here to take delivery of the Sultan of Ramapur.

SULTAN
(wryly)
Ex-Sultan, my dear fellow—haven’t you heard?
(to West and Artemus)
Well, Mr. West—Mr. Gordon; the curtain has rung down. I hope you will permit me a final, gracious gesture—
(pointing off)
A parting gift to both of you. Adieu, adieu…

W exit in the company of the burly detective type. Alone, West and Artemus exchange raised-eyebrow glances, then CAMERA ANGLES as they go to a large vase-like rattan case.

WEST
(shaking his head regretfully)
Nice gesture; but the old boy doesn’t realize we can’t accept gifts.

ARTEMUS
Still, there’s no harm in looking at the merchandise, is there?

117. CLOSE – ON WEST AND ARTEMUS

as they unfasten the cover of the rattan carton, flip it open, then we see both react, flabbergastedly at what they see…

118. ANOTHER ANGLE

One of the Sultan’s Houri guard has emerged from the basket and another is in the process of doing so—and West and Artemus are both backing away from the gorgeous soldiers advancing on them with outstretched arms, as we

FADE OUT

THE END

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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