The Patriot Resource - Tombstone




EXT - COTTAGE ON EDGE OF TOWN - DAY

Virgil and Wyatt walk down a quiet, tree-shaded lane on the outskirts of town. Suddenly a rubber ball rolls into their path. A small BOY plays in the front yard of a nearby cottage. Virgil and Wyatt approach, Virgil returning the ball:

VIRGIL
What're you up to today, son?

The boy stands stock still, staring at the men in silence.

WYATT
Cat got your tongue?

He turns and walks back to the street without another word.

WYATT
Wait a minute, Virgil! Where you goin'?

Virgil keeps going. Wyatt starts after him, leaving mother and child in confusion as....

DELETED

INT - VIRGIL'S PARLOR - DAY

In tight on a gleaming silver shield, "Town Marshal, Tombstone, A.T." PULL BACK to reveal it pinned to Virgil's breast. He sits by his parlor hearth with Morgan at his side. Wyatt sits opposite with his head in his hands.

VIRGIL
I couldn't help it, Wyatt. I
Looked at that woman and it was
Just like somebody slapping me in
The face. I mean these people're
Afraid to even walk down the
Street and I'm trying to make
Money off it like some kind of
God damn vulture. That's not me,
That's somebody I don't even know.

WYATT
Virgil, please. Don't do this to me.

VIRGIL
It's got nothin' to do with you,
Wyatt. It's-

WYATT
Nothing to do with me? I'm your
Brother for Christ's sake. God, I
Don't believe this.
(turns to Morgan)
Talk to him, will you? Or hit him.
(no answer, pauses)
Oh no, don't tell me...

Morgan looks down in sheepish silence. Then he pulls back his coat, revealing the Deputy's badge on this vest. Wyatt groans.

MORGAN
Like you said, Wyatt. We're
Brothers. Gotta back your
Brother's play. Just did like I
Figured you would.

WYATT
Listen to me, both of you. This
Is no good. This is trouble we
Don't need. For the first time in
Our lives we got a chance to stop
Wandering and finally be a
Family. Do this and you throw it
All away. You saw what happened
To Fred White.

MORGAN
Come on, we're not about pickin'
Fights. Just gonna keep a little
Order, that's all.

WYATT
Yeah?

MORGAN
Like you said, just gotta know
How to handle 'em. Old Fred
Wasn't up to it. We know that
We're doin', Wyatt.

WYATT
All right, say you're right, say
You don't get yourself killed.
There's something else.
(turns to Morgan)
It's too late for Virge, he
Already rolled his bone. But it's
Not too late for you, Morg.

MORGAN
What're you talkin' about?

Wyatt exhales wearily then crouches down in front of his baby brother, looking deep in his eyes, his voice soft, plaintive:

WYATT
All the years I worked the
Cowtowns, I was only ever mixed
Up in one shooting. Just one. A
Man got killed. Wasn't my fault,
Just doin' my job. I don't even
Know if it was my bullet that
Dropped him, but... I don't kno,
It's sort of hard to explain. At
First I just felt funny, you
Know, kind of clammy inside. But
When it finally sunk in what I'd
Done... Believe me, boy, you
Don't ever want to feel that way.
Not ever.
(pauses)
Didn't even make a dent, did I?
(stands, exits)
You're both makin' a big mistake.

EXT - DESERT, HOOKER RANCH - DAY

Armed with a borrowed pistol and carbine, Wyatt gallops through the desert on one of his other big blacks, eyes scanning the tracks beneath him. He rides up and stops at a well near a large ranch house. He dismounts, studying tracks as rancher HENRY HOOKER rides up, strong, noble-looking, like something from a Frederic Remington canvas. Wyatt nods. Hooker nods back.

WYATT
This Hooker's ranch?

HOOKER
That's right. And I'm Hooker.

WYATT
You seen anything of a man on
Horseback leading a black
Stallion?

Hooker suddenly falls silent, looking at the ground nervously.

WYATT
Well you must've seen somethin',
The trail runs right by your
Waterhole.
(no answer)
Oh, I see. So it must've been a
Cowboy, right? Really got you
People treed, don't they?

HOOKER
Look, Mister, it's fine for you
Boomers to court trouble, you're
Just passin' through. Us
Cattlemen gotta live here. Best I
Can do's point you up to the cut.
That's their roost.

Wyatt nods his thanks. Hooker looks down, ashamed. Wyatt stares at him a moment. There's something genuinely troubling about so strong a man living in fear. Wyatt rides on, shaking his head....

INT - DESERT CAMP - DAY

A small camp near a clump of trees. Pony Deal brews coffee while McMasters leans against a fallen oak log feeding an eager pack of mongrel pups from a block of jerky as Wyatt rides up.

MCMASTERS
Run for your lives, boys! It's
That great two-gun dog-catcher
From Kansas!

WYATT
McMasters, isn't it? Listen, you
Seen a black stallion with-

MCMASTERS
Look, I got a rule. I don't talk
To lawmen. Dog-catchers neither.

WYATT
I'm not a lawman, I'm just a
Private citizen getting' my
Property back

MCMASTERS
Well in that case, I saw your
Horse. Billy Clanton was takin'
Him up to the Cut to show him
Off. The boys're all up there
Right now, branding. And in a
Mood. Still want your property
Back, Mr. Private Citizen?

EXT - MOUNTAIN ROAD - DAY

Wyatt and McMasters ride along side-by-side through the hills.

WYATT
So what about you Cowboys anyway?

MCMASTERS
If I had to explain it you
Wouldn't understand. Just say
We're brothers to the bone.

WYATT
Yeah, but some of the things they
Say your brothers've done...

MCMASTERS
There's all kinds of horses,
Ain't there? Same with Cowboys.
What they do's their affair. I
Don't preach and I don't judge. I
Ain't no dog-catcher.

EXT - RUSTLER'S PARK - DAY

A wide plateau in the mountains dotted with tents, water and fee troughs, rope corrals, etc. Cowboys cut out steers while others crouch around fires, cooking, looking up with naked hostility as Wyatt rides up. McMasters points to the edge of camp where Billy Clanton is currying Wyatt's stallion.

MCMASTERS
You seem like a nice fella. Like
To've know you better. Had you lived.

Wyatt rides on, making for Billy. Ike steps up with INDIAN HAWK SWILLING, the giant half-breed. They walk alongside Wyatt.

IKE
Hey, law-dog. The hell you doin' here?

SWILLING
How 'bout I just drag you off
That horse and eat you blood raw?

Wyatt ignores them, riding up to within 20 feet of Billy and dismounting. Billy looks up, supremely confident and unconcerned.

WYATT
Where'd you get that horse?

BILLY
Beauty, ain't he?

WYATT
I asked where you got him.

BILLY
Where do you think? I stole him.

Everyone laughs. More cowboys gather, jeering. Wyatt steps closer.

WYATT
Look, I don't want any trouble
With you but that's my horse and
I mean to have him back. One way
Or another.

BILLY
Come and get him.

WYATT
Look kid, I know what it's like,
I was a kid, too. Even stole a
Horse once. But you can't--

IKE
Don't sweet-talk him, make a move.

SWILLING
Yeah, go ahead, Mister. Make a move.

Billy steps back, poised. Ike and Swilling do the same. 3 more Cowboys move up behind him. The scene seems on the brink of explosion when Curly Bill suddenly STREAKS into frame on his buckskin mare, majestic and 10 times life size as he pulls back and SKIDS to a stop in front of Wyatt, raising a giant roostertail of dust, making everyone but Wyatt recoil.

CURLY BILL
Give him his horse, Billy.

IKE
Come on, Curly! Don't let him-

CURLY BILL
Shut up.
Give him his horse, Billy.

Billy reluctantly hands over the leadline. Wyatt mounts and rides off with Dick Nailor in tow, Curly Bill riding alongside.

CURLY BILL
Feel bad about ol' Fred. Just
Can't hold back when I'm feelin'
Woolly. Still, feel kinda bad.
But now we're square. Anyway no
Use for holdin' a grudge. I
Deserved a rap in the head.

WYATT
Make you a deal. My brother took
Over the Marshal's office in
Tombstone. Got it in his head
He's gonna make the place safe
For widows and orphans. You and
Your boys stay out of his way,
I'll make sure he stays out of yours.

CURLY BILL
Fair enough. You know I got to
Admit, you got a lot of bark on
You comin' up here like this.

WYATT
They were all gonna jump me back
There. What ever happened to one
Against one?

CURLY BILL
Ain't our way. We go all on one,
One on all. Fight one of us, you
Fight us all. That's the Cowboy way.

WYATT
And how come you call yourselves
Cowboys? Cowhands ride for the brand.

CURLY BILL
Oh, we ride for a brand all right.
(gives Wyatt the finger)
This brand. How 'bout you?

WYATT
(points thumb at self)
This brand.

CURLY BILL
We're gonna get along just fine.

EXT - ALLEN STREET - DAY

A lazy afternoon. The Earps and Clum lounge in front of the hotel.

CLUM
I can't thank you enough. Since
You took over there hasn't been a
Single problem. We're finally
Becoming a civilized town.

VIRGIL
Nothin' to it.

WYATT
Maybe I jumped the gun. Maybe
Those Cowboys aren't near as bad
As they're painted. You know I
Was thinkin', there's a lot of
Money in the cattle business...

VIRGIL
Wait a minute, you thinkin' of
Getting in bed with the Cowboys?

WYATT
Business is business. Don't have
To love 'em to work with 'em. Not
If there's money in it.

VIRGIL
You are the one, Wyatt. You sure are.

EXT - GUADALOUPE CANYON - MAGIC HOUR

Old Man Clanton leads 4 other Cowboys with a herd through the rocky canyon, slipping a flask and singing as the first shot RINGS OUT from the rocks above, becoming a FUSILLADE. When the dust settles, all are dead except the Old Man who lies pinned under his horse, semi-conscious. FIGURES emerge from the shadows. It's the Rurales led by the same Young Rurale from before. He bends down to the dazed Old Man, speaking carefully:

YOUNG RURALE
The old one you kill. This was my father.

OLD MAN CLANTON
(sits up suddenly)
What, and I'm supposed to
Tremble? Kiss my ass, Messican.

Hissing gleefully, he jams a derringer under the Young Rurale's chin and FIRES, blowing off his sombrero as he falls. The other Rurales fire, emptying their guns into the Old Man as if he were some monstrous rattlesnake that might bite them....

EXT - RUSTLER'S PARK - NIGHT

Curly Bill, Ringo, and the others are by the fire, passing a bottle, as Frank Still well gallops up and dismounts, breathless:

STILLWELL
Old Man Clanton's dead! Ambushed
In Guadaloupe Canyon. Messican's
Got him.

In tight on Curly Bill as the news sinks in. He clenches his fist in rage, then bites a knuckle, getting his control back.

CURLY BILL
All right, first thing's first:
It's my outfit now, I'm runnin'
The show. Ringo's number two man.

IKE
Your outfit? I'm next in line.

CURLY BILL
You ain't got enough in your
Britches. Think you can prove
Otherwise, go ahead.

Seething with humiliation, Ike mounts up and rides off.

CURLY BILL
Anybody else?

No takers. Curly Bill turns back to business:

CURLY BILL
All right. Billy, go after Ike
And cool him off then go find the
McLaurys, tell 'em what happened
And keep an eye on things. Wes
Fuller and Bill Claiborne, too.
Rest of you come with me. We're
Goin' to Mexico.

They mount in a bunch and take off south like the wind....

EXT - DESERT - DAY

Wyatt is up on his stallion, riding along the foot of a high hill. Coming to a cut, he suddenly stops. Josephine is 100 yards up ahead, gorgeously impressive in a black velvet riding habit, riding side-saddle through the cut on a pretty mare.

WYATT
Oh, hell...

Looking for an escape, Wyatt turns up a narrow trail on the side of the cut. He follows it as it winds around the hill then abruptly drops back down and comes out on the other side of the cut right in front of Josephine. She waves. He groans:

JOSEPHINE
Well, hello.

WYATT
We've never actually met. My
Name's-

JOSEPHINE
Wyatt Earp, I know. I was
Beginning to think we'd never
Meet. This is fortuitous. That
Means lucky.

WYATT
I know what it means.

Suddenly Wyatt's stallion groans nervously, throwing its head, aroused by the presence of the mare.

JOSEPHINE
What is it?

WYATT
Easy now... That mare's in season.

JOSEPHINE
Oh...
(calms her horse)
Now she's starting. How do they know?

WYATT
They know. It's the scent. We
Better split 'em up.

JOSEPHINE
I have a better idea, let's run
It out of them!

Before Wyatt can stop her she's off at a full gallop. Wyatt pauses, debating with himself. Finally:

WYATT
Yeah, I'm an oak all right.

He takes off at a dead run. Catching up, the horses find their rhythm, breaking into a smooth gallop, flying over a jet black plain of volcanic ash into a rolling meadow carpeted with yellow desert poppies, so bright it almost hurts your eyes to look at them. Coming off a rise the desert floor shears off into a wide crevice. Josephine heads right at it.

WYATT
You're not that crazy, are you?

JOSPEHINE
Oh, yes I am!

A crack of her crop and she streaks toward it. Wyatt grits his teeth and follows suit. The sound of their hoofbeats stops for a long instant as they take the jump together, sailing through the air side-by-side, Josephine giggling like a little girl. They light on the other side and gallop on....

EXT - DESERT - MAGIC HOUR

They pull up at a huge desert stone formation, a canopy of white sandstone with vermillion streaks swirling through it looming over them like a giant oyster shell. Wyatt dismounts, helping Josephine. He takes his long duster from his saddle and lays it on a wide, table-shaped rock for them to sit on.

JOSEPHINE
That was lovely!

WYATT
You know you almost got us both
Killed back there?

JOSEPHINE
Fun though, wasn't it?

WYATT
You'd die for fun?

JOSEPHINE
Wouldn't you? You're laughing! I
Was sure you never laughed.

WYATT
I laugh sometimes

JOSEPHINE
Yes, but how often? Tell me, are
You happy?

WYATT
Am I happy? I don't know. Happy
As the next man, I guess. I don't
Laugh all day long like an idiot,
If that's what you mean.

JOSEPHINE
You're a little touchy about it.

WYATT
I'm not touchy, I just, it's a
Silly question, that's all. Am I
Happy? Are you happy?

JOSEPHINE
Of course, I'm always happy.
Unless I'm bored. That blonde
Woman, is that your wife?

WYATT
What about her?

JOSEPHINE
Nothing... Tell me, what do you
Want out of life?

WYATT
Where do you get these questions?

JOSEPHINE
Just answer.

WYATT
I don't know, make some money,
Have some kids, you know.

JOSEPHINE
Doesn't suit you.

WYATT
How would you know?

JOSEPHINE
Just doesn't, that's all.

WYATT
Well I ought to know my own mind
And I'm tellin' you what suits me
Is a family and kids. That suits
Me right down to the ground. In
Fact, that's my idea of heaven.
(pauses)
All right, what's your idea of heaven?

JOSEPHINE
Room service.

Wyatt laughs, almost in spite of himself. Josephine beams.

JOSEPHINE
See? You're laughing again. But
That's what I want. Go places and
Move and never look back and just
Have fun. Forever. That's my idea
Of heaven. Need someone to share
It with, though.

WYATT
You mean Behan?
(sees her shrug)
Then why are you with him?

JOSEPHINE
Well he's handsome and he's
Charming. He's all right. For
Now. Don't say it, I know, I'm
Rotten. I can't help it. I've
Tried to be good but it's too
Boring.

WYATT
The way you talk. Never heard a
Woman talk like that.

JOSEPHINE
Oh look, I haven't got time to be
Proper, I want to live. I'm a
woman, I like men. If that's
Unladylike then I guess I'm not a
Lady. At least I'm honest.

WYATT
Well you're different, no arguing
That. But you're a lady all right.
I'll take my oath on it.

He looks at her, enchanted, but suddenly his face clouds.

JOSEPHINE
What's wrong?

WYATT
I don't know, doesn't make any
Sense. I almost can't look at
You. Like it hurts.

JOSEPHINE
I know, me too. What should we do
About it?

He takes her in his arms and kisses her. She sinks in his arms. He kisses her again then falls to her knees, throwing his arms around her legs and pressing his face into the folds of her skirts.

WYATT
God...

She runs a hand through his hair. He stands, lifting her with him until they are face-to-face and she can feel him pressing into her. After a beat:

JOSEPHINE
You know this is adultery. You
Burn in hell for that.

WYATT
Then let's make sure we get our
Money's worth

EXT - DESERT - MAGIC HOUR

They loll on the rock, facing each other, clothes in disarray.

JOSEPHINE
I must say this certainly has
Been an unexpected little
Windfall.

WYATT
Fortuitous even.

JOSEPHINE
And I don't even know your full name.

WYATT
Easy to fix. Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp.

JOSEPHINE
And I'm Josephine Sarah Marcus.
My friends call me Josie.

WYATT
Josie... No, I'm gonna call you
Sadie.

JOSEPHINE
I hate Sadie.

WYATT
Well you'll always be Sadie to me.

JOSEPHINE
Always?

WYATT
Getting late. We better get back.

He looks away and stands, helping her up. They go to their horses. He lifts her up into her saddle and stands awhile, arranging the folds of her skirt. After a beat:

JOSEPHINE
So I assume we're regarding this
As just a kind of interlude.

WYATT
Look, it's too much of a tangle.
I already cast my lot. I can't go
Back and I can't sneak, feel bad
Enough as it is.

JOSEPHINE
You feel bad about this? About me?

WYATT
I didn't mean it that way.

JOSEPHINE
You know you don't have to sneak.
You could stay with me. I know
Things, Wyatt. Sweet things. I
Could make you so happy.

WYATT
I can't, I'm sorry. Forgive me.

He mounts and rides off with a wave. She watches him awhile....

INT - FLY'S PHOTOGRAPHIC GALLERY - DAY

A Victorian photographer's studio behind the O.K. Corral. A large skylight overhead illuminates the backdrop as CAMMILIUS S. FLY, the prosperous-looking owner prepares his camera. Josephine is o.s. in the dressing room on the left:

FLY
What mood would you like for this
Picture, Miss Marcus? Any
Particular occasion you're
Commemorating?

JOSEPHINE O.S.
I want to remember exactly how I
Looked on this day so I want you
To take a picture of me...

She steps out wearing a diaphonous veil shrouding her from head to toe. Though it partially obscures her form, we can see that she's completely nude underneath. Fly gasps.

JOSEPHINE
...all of me.

Fly fumbles with his camera, his composure gone. She turns to a nearby mirror, studying herself-black tresses, rounded lips, maddening curves, and smokey eyes-a dark angel. She smiles:

JOSEPHINE
Because I'm wonderful.

INT - WYATT'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Mattie lies in bed, lost in an opium dream. She snaps out of it and sits up as Wyatt enters and gives her a kiss, glancing at the half-empty laudanum bottle on the nightstand.

WYATT
That the bottle Lou gave you?
Better go easy on that stuff.

MATTIE
I know what I'm doing. Where have
You been?

WYATT
Out ridin'. So... how you doin'?

MATTIE
I don't know. I'm all right.

WYATT
Really? You sure?

MATTIE
Sure I'm sure. What is this?
Wyatt sits down on the bed, suddenly intent, his face alight:

WYATT
Well, I was thinking, we've
Already made a pile of money.
Maybe we should just pull up
Stakes and move on. And we could
Stay on the move, you know? Just
Keep going, see the world. Live
On room service the rest of our
Lives. How'd that be?

MATTIE
Wyatt, what're you talkin' about?

WYATT
Just thinkin' out loud. Forget it.



Copyright © 1999-2014; Scott Cummings, All Rights Reserved. Privacy Statement. http://media1.dfw.swagit.com/s/wbrz/The_Advocate/01032005-6.high.asx