The Patriot Resource - Tombstone

EXT - CAMP - MORNING

Wyatt sits by the fire, sipping coffee. Vermillion and Johnson approach. Johnson drops a wad of money on Wyatt's bedroll. Wyatt looks up in surprise:

VERMILLION
Talked it over. We decided we
Don't need the money. Took out 13
Dollars each, though. Federal
Posseman's fee. That all right?

WYATT
Sure...

JOHNSON
One thing. We come through this
Alive, can we keep the badges?

Wyatt nods, picks up the money and quietly moves off toward the stream by himself. Moments later, McMasters approaches:

MCMASTERS
Where's Wyatt?

DOC
Down at the creek. Walking on water.

EXT - COWBOY CAMP - NIGHT

Ringo crouches by the fire with the other Cowboys, his face a deeply shadowed mask. 2 Iron Springs survivors stand before him:

1ST COWBOY
We hit him half a dozen times but
He just kept comin', walked right
Up to Curly Bill with that 10
Gauge and blew him up!

RINGO
Curly Bill? He killed Curly Bill?

Ringo starts making strange little inarticulate sounds, inhaling and exhaling like an animal, eyes swimming in panic....

2ND COWBOY
He didn't just kill him, he
Burned him down! Blew him in
Half! I mean all the way in half,
Like a melon! Then he turned
Around with that big Colt and
Killed Johnny Barnes, shot up a
Couple more 'fore we got out of
there. But it was his face, you
should've seen his face.

RINGO
He's just a man.

1ST COWBOY
You didn't see his face

Ringo looks up at them, suddenly dead calm, his face a blank.

RINGO
You see my face, don't you?

Out of nowhere, Ringo draws and FIRES 2 shots so quickly they sound like one. The 2 survivors drop with bullets through their brains. The others jump, transfixed by the insane brutality of what he's just done. Ringo draws himself up, in full possession of the situation, the new leader, fearsome, matchless:

RINGO
Everybody get this through their
Heads. Wyatt Earp dies. I'm
Running the show now and I'm
Telling you, Earp dies. His men
Too. They all die. Understand?
We're gonna kill 'em. For what
They did to Curly Bill we're
Gonna ride 'em into the ground
And slaughter 'em like rabbits.
'Cause this is my time, children.
This is where I get woolly.

EXT - COWBOY CAMP - NIGHT

Later. Most of the others are asleep or talking among themselves as Billy Grounds turns to Zwing Hunt, whispering:

GROUNDS
What d'you think? I didn't think
Curly Bill could be killed. I'm
Tellin' you, this whole thing's
Gone sour. We got hands droppin'
Like flies and Ringo's flat out
Of his mind. I mean, hell
Brother, you feel like ridin'
Against Wyatt Earp?

HUNT
Hell no, brother.

GROUNDS
Then brother let's you and me cut out.

HUNT
Right with you, brother.

They steal away toward the horses as....

INT - ALLEN STREET - DAY

Ringo faces Behan, grim, intent, while Behan sputters, holding up a San Francisco newspaper:

BEHAN
Are you crazy? It's front page
News all over the country. It's
Getting out of hand, Ringo. If
Things don't settle down soon-

RINGO
You heard me, Behan.

BEHAN
Ringo, you don't understand-

Ringo glares at Behan, his eyes burning, implacable:

RINGO
No, you don't understand.

EXT - COWBOY CAMP - DAY

Ringo rides up with Behan and dismounts. A 3rd Cowboy steps up:

3RD COWBOY
Billy Grounds and Zwing Hunt ran
Out. Four, five others, too.

RINGO
Who cares? Separate the wheat
From the chaff.

Behan looks worried as Ike and the other Cowboys gather around. Just then Breakenridge rides up.

BEHAN
What're you doing here, Billy?

BREAKENRIDGE
Curly Bill was my friend. I'd
Like to come with you.

RINGO
Sure, why not?

Ringo slaps the little deputy on the back and turns to his men. His unaccustomed good humor is very troubling.

RINGO
I told you it was time to get
Woolly. Now gather 'round,
Children, gather 'round. And
Raise your right hands.

EXT - DESERT - DAY

Now we've come full circle as Ringo rides across the desert at the head of his men 30 strong, armed to the teeth, full of fight-and all wearing Deputy Sheriff's BADGES, a posse of outlaws, a miserable Behan bringing up the rear....

EXT - DESERT PLATEAU - DAY

Wyatt and his men watch from a plateau as far out on the horizon, the Cowboy Posse rides out of the sun, drawing closer:

MCMASTERS
That's Ringo out front. And
There's Behan. Must be 30 of 'em.
What the hell... they're wearin'
Badges.

They all exchange looks of disbelief, then:

WYATT
Mounts're getting jaded. We're
Gonna have to find a place to
Rest 'em up.

Suddenly looking very sick, Doc sways dizzily in the saddle. Wyatt dismounts, reaching for him. The others do the same:

WYATT
Doc...

DOC
Don't touch me, God damn it! Just
Don't touch me! Come on...

Doc turns his horse, as if to ride on, then faints dead away.

WYATT
Grab him.

They all catch him, easing him to the ground as....

EXT - HOOKER'S RANCH - DAY

Wyatt's group rides over the hill overlooking the ranch house Vermillion keeping Doc in the saddle. Hooker and 3 of his hands rides out to them:

WYATT
Horse're pretty well fagged and
We got a sick man with us.

HOOKER
You can put up at my ranch if you want.

Wyatt nods. Hooker motions down the hill toward his house....

INT- BEDROOM, HOOKER'S RANCH - LATE DAY

Doc lies in bed, semi-conscious, white as a sheet, drenched in sweat. The others look on, worried. Hooker shakes his head:

HOOKER
I'm no doctor but he looks pretty bad.

His face creased with worry, Wyatt sits down next to Doc. McMasters motions to the others. They file out, leaving Wyatt alone with his friend....

EXT - HILL OVERLOOKING CROSSROADS - SUNSET

Grounds and Hunt ride up and stop on the top of a hill overlooking a mountain crossroads somewhere in the Whetstones.

HUNT
What's it gonna be, brother?

GROUNDS
I don't care. Colorado, New
Mexico, 'long as we're out of the
Territory.

Suddenly a STAGECOACH comes into view, making its winding way through the crossroads below. Hunt points, grinning:

HUNT
Just what we need. Travelin' money.

They spur their horses down the hill, drawing their guns....

EXT - COWBOY CAMP # 2 - NIGHT

The Cowboy posse is camped in a draw up in the Whetstones. They look up as the stage rolls up and stops. Shouting and commotion as Behan and Breakenridge approach and confer with the driver, then Behan turns to Ringo:

BEHAN
Robbery. 2 men stuck 'em up and
Killed a passenger. One of 'em
Rode a Mexican saddle, the other
Had a Mother Hubbard. Billy
Grounds and Zwing Hunt.

Behan opens the door. Mr. Fabian lies inside cradled in Josephine's arms, surrounded by the other actors in the troupe. Reclined at full length, head back, he looks like the dying Hamlet, even more beautiful than in life. Breakenridge gasps:

BREAKENRIDGE
Oh, no...

JOSEPHINE
We're headed for a booking in
Denver. They tried to take my
Watch. He cursed them for cowards
And they shot him. He may've been
Vain and an actor but he was
Better than all of you. And
Gentler and braver. I don't
Understand any of this, I only
Know it's ugly. You're all ugly
And he was beautiful, he tried to
Put something fine into your ugly
World and you killed him for it.
Anyway the ones who did it are
headed north. Not that you care.

Ringo shrugs. His soft face suddenly turning resolute. Breakenridge goes to his horse and mounts.

BEHAN
Where're you going? Get back here!

The little deputy straightens his spectacles, turning to Behan:

BILLY
I'm sorry, sir, but we got to
Have some law.

And he rides off alone into the Whetstones. Behan sputters, but:

RINGO
Let him go. Who cares?

EXT - HOOKER'S RANCH - NIGHT

The stage is stopped out front. The driver waters the horses and the actors mill around silently. Wyatt and Hooker walk out:

HOOKER
Had a holdup. Came her to water
Their horses before pushin' on.

Seeing each other, Wyatt and Josephine freeze. Wyatt approaches:

WYATT
Sorry about your friend.
(pauses)
And I'm sorry about...

JOSEPHINE
I forgave you the moment you said it.

WYATT
You did. Well... thank you.

The driver jumps back onto the stage, motioning to the others.

JOSEPHINE
I have to go.

WYATT
Wait!

She stops. Wyatt falters. There's so much he wants to say, but... Finally:

WYATT
Goodbye.

Wyatt opens the coach door for her. She gets in. It pulls out with a crack of the driver's whip. She and Wyatt hold each other's gaze as the stage recedes into the distance. Then:

WYATT
Damn... Damn!

Creek Johnson steps up next to him. Wyatt looks at him:

WYATT
See how she breezed out of here.
Like she had wings. Funny thing
But I can't really remember how
She looked. I can remember parts
Of her clear as crystal, her
Mouth, her walk, how she shut her
Eyes when she laughed, little
Bits and pieces, but not the
Whole package. Can't put it
Together for some reason.

JOHNSON
Good God, you're really-

WYATT
Cards in spades. I'm in love with
Every second of her life. Hell,
I'll probably love her when I'm dust.

EXT - COLD CAMP - NIGHT

A cold camp in the hollow of a mountain. Wrapped n blankets, Grounds and Hunt sip cold coffee. Grounds shivers. Hunts pats him:

HUNT
No fire tonight, son. Too many
Riders out.

Grounds grunts. Suddenly there's an O.S. SOUND. Both jump up.

HUNT
Who's that?

Breakenridge steps from the shadows, Winchester at his shoulder, squinting through the dark with his spectacles.

BREAKENRIDGE
It's Deputy Breakenridge.

They relax and lower their pistols, heaving sighs of relief.

HUNT
Sister Boy! Thank God, we was afraid-

BREAKENRIDGE
You shouldn't've killed Mr.
Fabian. You shouldn't've done
That. It was wrong. I'm takin'
You both in for it.

HUNT
What? You gotta be kiddin'. Look,
Just go home 'fore you get hurt.

BREAKENRIDGE
Don't want to kill you but I will
If I have to. I'm warning you.

GROUNDS
No, I'm warning you, Sister Boy!

Grounds steps forward menancingly. Breakenridge tenses:

BREAKENRIDGE
Don't try it!

GROUNDS
Sister Boy, just go to hell!

Grounds raises his pistol. Breakenridge recoils in fright, stumbling backward in the dark, and his rifle accidentally FIRES. Grounds drops like a stone, a look of utter disbelief on his dying face. Hunt looks at him in shock then turns on Breakenridge, raising his gun and snarling. Breakenridge FIRES again. Hunt grabs his midsection, dropping his gun and falling to his knees. He looks up at Breakenridge who shrugs timidly:

BREAKENRIDGE
Sorry.

Hunt falls over, dead. Breakenridge stares at the bodies, hardly believing it himself....

EXT - FRONT PORCH, HOOKER'S RANCH - MORNING

Wyatt and his men are on the porch, listening to Hooker:

HOOKER
...brought 'em in draped over
their saddles. Little Billy
Breakenridge. Sister Boy. He done
It. So I guess the law's finally
Arrived in southeast Arizona.

Wyatt shakes his head, hardly comprehending what he started....

EXT - COWBOY CAMP #3 - DAY

The Cowboys are camped on a mountaintop overlooking Hooker's ranch in the valley below. A messenger rides up with a letter for Behan as Ringo paces, studying the set up with Ike.

RINGO
Hooker's got around 15 or 16
Hands. We could take 'em right
Enough but it might be a mess.
Keep the place bottled up for
Now, see if we can figure a way
To flush 'em.

Behan suddenly steps up, beside himself, holding up his message:

BEHAN
It's too much! It's completely
Out of hand! Governor Gosper's
Talking about asking the
President to send in the Army!
Listen Ringo, you've got to get
This over with and you've got to
Do it now. One way or another.

EXT - FRONT PORCH, HOOKER'S RANCH - LATE DAY

Wyatt stands on the front porch, looking through the front door to the back bedroom where Doc lies unconscious while Hooker and the others look on:

WYATT
We should get moving.

VERMILLION
Doc's just in no kinda shape.

HOOKER
Don't have to bother about that.
Took a vote. Cowboys or not, you
Can stay here as long as you want.
Anyway maybe you done enough. I
Mean you whittled 'em down
Considerable, now there's talk of
Sendin' the Army in here. Ask me,
You done enough.

RANCH HAND
(rides up, points)
Rider comin' in under a white flag

They look up as the 3rd Cowboy rides up with a white kerchief.

3RD COWBOY
Got a message. Ringo wants
McMaster to come over to our
Camp for a parley.

MCMASTERS
He didn't figure on all the stink
This is causin'. Might be he's
lookin' to strike a bargain. If
So, he probably figures he needs
Somebody like me who talks his
Language. Could be we got him.

WYATT
I don't like it.

MCMASTERS
Might as well hear him out.
Anyways, what choice we got?
(Mounts horse, whispers)
But no matter what happens, see
It through to the end. If you
don't I'll curse the day I ever
laid eyes on you.

Before Wyatt can answer, McMasters rides off with the Cowboy....

EXT - HOOKER HILL COWBOY CAMP #3 - LATE DAY

McMasters rides up with the 3rd Cowboy. Riding through camp, all his former comrades flares at him with pure hate. Only Ringo smiles, stepping up as McMasters dismounts.

RINGO
Well hello, Sherm.

MCMASTERS
You wanted to talk?

RINGO
Yeah, kinda, wanted to see if
you'd join back up with us.

MCMASTERS
That what you got me up here for?

RINGO
You're a Cowboy, you're a
Brother. Come back, no hard
Feelings.

MCMASTERS
Forget it, Ringo.

RINGO
Isn't there anything I can say
That'll change your mind? You're
Gonna stay with your new friends?

MCMASTERS
'Least they don't scare women.

RINGO
You're the boss. One thing, though.

Ringo moves closer, looking him in the eye and smiling:

RINGO
How you gonna get back to 'em?

EXT - HOOKER'S RANCH - LATE DAY

The 3rd Cowboy rides up to the ranch house, dumps a large SOMETHING in front, and gallops back to just within earshot as Wyatt and his men run up. The object is a human corpse and though we can't see what was done to it, the expressions on their faces are plain enough.

VERMILLION
Why couldn't they've jus killed him?

3RD COWBOY
(shouts)
Ringo wanted to be sure he got
Your attention, Marshal. He wants
A straight-up fight, just you and
Him, settle this thing once and
For all. You win, we quit the
Territory; Ringo wins, your
Deputies get safe conduct to the
Colorado line. Sundown today in
The oak grove at the mouth of
Sulphur Springs Canyon. Ride out
With your escort, we'll meet you.

WYATT
You tell Ringo... just tell him
I'll be there.

JOHNSON
Wyatt, are you crazy?

WYATT
I made a promise.

VERMILLION
Wyatt, listen, you can't beat
Him. You're good and God knows
You got the courage, but you
Ain't in Ringo's class. Hell,
He's the best that's ever been.
'Cept maybe for Wild Bill.

JOHNSON
He's right, Wyatt. Ringo could
Put five into you before you
Could even get one into him.

WYATT
But I'd do it, I'd get that one
Into him. So help me God, I would.

JOHNSON
All right Wyatt, maybe you can.
But you gotta die to do it.
Understand? You gotta die!

In tight on Wyatt as these words sink in and....

INT - BEDROOM, HOOKER RANCH - LATE DAY

It's late and the last rays of the sun come through the window, falling on the bed where Doc lies, awake but looking like hell. Wyatt sits next to him, staring at the floor. After a moment:

WYATT
What makes a man like Ringo, Doc?
What makes him do the things he does?

DOC
A man like Ringo's got a great
Empty hole right through the
Middle of him and no matter what
He does he can't ever fill it. He
Can't kill enough or steal enough
Or inflict enough pain to ever
Fill it. And it drives him mad.
Sick mad. Cold and dirty.

WYATT
So what does he want?

DOC
What does he want? He wants revenge.

WYATT
Revenge? For what?

Doc looks at him, a look of purest sadness in his sunken eyes.

DOC
Being born.

Wyatt looks down again and it's a long time before he speaks:

WYATT
Remember how I said it all
Happened so fast with Curly Bill
I didn't have time to think about it?
Well I've had plenty of time
To think about this. I spent most
Of my life since I was born not
Knowing what I want out of life,
Just chasin' my tail. But now,
For the first time I know exactly
What I want. And who. And that's
The damnable misery of it.
(pauses, looks at Doc)
I can't beat him, can I?

Doc shakes his head. Wyatt nods then stands, ready to exit, but:

DOC
No, wait, I'll go with you...

Doc struggles to sit up, sweating and trembling, finally falling back down, almost passing out. Wyatt puts a hand on his forehead.

DOC
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Wyatt. God,
I'm so sorry.

WYATT
That's all right, Doc. Don't worry.

DOC
Never got to wear one of those.

Doc points to Wyatt's badge. He takes it off, pressing it into Doc's hand. Doc smiles then does pass out. Wyatt exits....

EXT - FRONT PORCH, HOOKER RANCH - LATE DAY

It's late, almost sunset. Wyatt steps onto the porch where Hooker and the others wait. He glances back into the house, looking at the unconscious Doc through the open bedroom door.

HOOKER
Don't worry. They want him
They'll have to go over us first.

Wyatt nods gratefully, offering his hand. Hooker takes it, abashed. Wyatt mounts up with Johnson and Vermillion. They ride off at a slow gallop, 3 figures against the twilight sky....

EXT - HOOKER HILL/COWBOY CAMP #3 - LATE DAY

Ringo waits atop the hill with Ike and the 3rd Cowboy watching as Wyatt's group rides out:

RINGO
Only three. They left somebody
Behind. Let's go take a look.

EXT - HOOKER RANCH - LATE DAY

Ringo and the others ride up. Hooker steps up with several hands.

HOOKER
What're you doin' here?

RINGO
Who's in there?

HOOKER
It's Holliday. He's sick. Imagine
He's dyin'.

Ringo squints through the front door of the house to the open bedroom where Doc lies unconscious, chest heaving, sweating.

R
INGO
Drag him out here, let's have a look.

HOOKER
I looked the other way when you
Did a lot of foul things but I
Ain't lettin' you torment a dyin'
Man. Not as long as he's under my
Roof. I draw the line there.

Hooker and his men look resolute. Ringo smiles, nodding:

RINGO
All right, Hooker. I'll be back
In about an hour. We'll see how
Brave you are then.

HOOKER
I'll be here.

Ringo and his men ride off. At the crossroads they stop, Ike peeling off.

RINGO
Soon as I'm through with Wyatt,
Swarm down with the whole bunch
And finish off Creek Johnson and
Texas Jack.

And they gallop off in opposite directions as....

EXT - SULPHUR SPRINGS CANYON - LATE DAY

2 Cowboys, Ringo's seconds, ride up to where Wyatt and his men stand dismounted, waiting. One points to a thicket nearby:

3RD COWBOY
He's waitin' for you by the big
Oak, quarter mile up that trail.

EXT - NORTH ROAD - LATE DAY

Behan and the other Cowboys wait at the road above the canyon. 30 strong, mounted and ready. Ike rides up, full of anticipation:

IKE
Get ready. Soon as Ringo's done
We're gonna take care of the others.

BEHAN
Aren't we giving them safe conduct?

IKE
Sure we are. All the way to hell.

EXT - SULPHUR SPRINGS CANYON - SUNSET

Sunset. Ringo's seconds wait nearby as Wyatt whispers to his men:

WYATT
They're not givin' you any safe
Conduct. Soon as the shooting
Starts kick east for the New
Mexico line. Well...

Wyatt shakes hands with Vermillion who turns away with emotion, hiding his face. Wyatt turns to Johnson.

JOHNSON
Wyatt, I... I ain't got the words.

WYATT
I know. Me neither.

Wyatt pats his shoulder and walks off alone into the thicket, the only sound the musical clinking and chiming of his spurs....

EXT - THICKET - SUNSET

A gorgeous sunset, yellow and red and magenta. Making his way down the trail, Wyatt looks up at the sky. A flock of wild geese fly overhead in V-formation, oblivious to the human drama below. Wyatt stops, drinking it all in, as if trying to grab all he can in the time left. Suddenly he closes his eyes, falling to his knees, trembling, afraid for the first time. He clasps his hands:

WYATT
Dear God, this is the last
Battle. I worked it out in my
Head every which way and I know
There's no way I'm comin' through
This alive. You've preserved me
This far so I only ask one more
Favor: just let me live long
Enough to kill that man. Thy will
Be done and there's an amen to it.

Wyatt stands back up, his fear gone, replaced by calm, his face luminous, almost angelic. He walks on, spurs still chiming as....

EXT - OAK GROVE - SUNSET

A clearing by a creek with a cluster of small oaks. Ringo leans against a tree, sipping from a hip flask, smoking a slim cheroot. We HEAR the CHIMING spurs approach. Ringo looks up as the tall silhouette of his enemy emerges from the shadows of the thicket.

RINGO
Well, didn't think you had it in you.
(smiles, sets himself)
Shall we?

DARK SILHOUETTE
I'm your huckleberry.

Ringo stiffens as the silhouette steps into the waning light. It's DOC, pale and drawn, looking like death itself, but awake and ready just the same:

DOC
Why Johnny Ringo, you look like
Somebody just walked over your grave.
(sees his shock)
Oh, I wasn't quite as sick as I
Made out.

RINGO
My fight's not with you, Holliday.

DOC
I beg to differ. We started a
Fight we never got to finish.
Play for blood, remember?

RINGO
I was kidding about that.

For the last time, that Cheshire cat smile comes over Doc's face:

DOC
I wasn't.
(pins on Wyatt's badge)
And this time it's legal.

Ringo nods, his hock replaced by a growing malice. As they set themselves, once again their eyes begin to blaze, boring into each other, their concentrated rage focusing on each other, about to reach critical mass....

RINGO
All right, lunger. Let's do it.

DOC
Say when.

A long tense moment then both grunt in unison. Blurred movement, the FLASH of a GUNSHOT. Doc slaps his gun back in it's holster as Ringo stumbles, a bullet hole in the side of his head....

EXT - THICKET - SUNSET

Back in the thicket, Wyatt HEARS the gunshot and starts running...

EXT - OAK GROVE - SUNSET

Blood coursing from the hole in his head, frenzied messages flickering all through his shattered brain, going only on pure hate, Ringo stumbles and jerks, struggling to raise his pistol. Doc dances in front of him, urging him on:

DOC
Come on! Come on!

But finally Ringo falls over into the crook of the oak tree, his pistol firing into the air harmlessly. Doc looks down at him, shaking his head:

DOC
Oh Johnny. You're no daisy, no
Daisy at all.

Just then Wyatt appears, looking at Doc in total shock.

WYATT
What happened?

Doc looks at him like he's a fool then points to Ringo:

DOC
Poor soul, he was so high-strung.
Afraid the strain was more than
He could bear.

Suddenly we hear HORSES crashing through the brush toward them.

DOC
Let's go! My horse is over here.

They dash off into the thicket. Moments later Ringo's seconds ride out into the grove. Seeing Ringo's body, their jaws drop....

EXT - CANYON MOUTH - SUNSET

Vermillion and Johnson practically jump for joy as Wyatt and Doc emerge from the thicket, Doc leading his horse.

VERMILLION
Praise Jesus!

JOHNSON
I'll be dipped in shit. I will, too.

EXT - NORTH ROAD - SUNSET

Alert by the shots, Ike turns to Behan and the others.

IKE
All right, get ready...

EXT - CANYON MOUTH - SUNSET

Vermillion and Johnson are mounted, watching while Doc tries to climb up into the saddle with excruciating slowness. Though on his feet, it's clear Doc is as sick as ever, sweating and panting, running on sheer animal courage. Wyatt stands behind him, his hands poised to help, trying to will him into the saddle, jerking his hands behind him every time Doc looks back. Finally, with a last grunt, Doc throws a leg over his horse and drops into the saddle. Wyatt mounts, turns to his men, pointing:

WYATT
All right, what's it to be? New
Mexico's that way.

JOHNSON
Colorado's closer

WYATT
So're the Cowboys. They're up
That road right now, waiting to
Jump us.

VERMILLION
We're the law, ain't we? Well the
Law don't ride around vermin-

JOHNSON
It rides right at 'em. Like
McMasters said, see it through to
The end.

Wyatt looks at Doc, who shrugs. Wyatt swings his horse alongside, suddenly noticing his badge on Doc's chest. Doc smiles wanly:

DOC
I just wanted to see what it felt
Like. Here...

He starts unpinning it but Wyatt stops him, pressing his palm onto the badge over Doc's heart. A last look around each other then Wyatt signals and they start up the north road at the lope, four abreast, the last charge of Wyatt Earp and his immortals....

EXT - NORTH ROAD - SUNSET

From a lookout position above, a COWBOY calls down to the others:

4TH COWBOY
Riders comin'.

Behan heaves a sigh of relief, glancing around at the others.

BEHAN
Well I guess Ringo did it.

But suddenly Ringo's seconds gallop up from the flank:

3RD COWBOY
Ringo's dead

BEHAN
What?

Straining to see in the falling light, the cowboy on the rock shouts excitedly:

4TH COWBOY
That's Wyatt Earp's bunch!

The word starts to spread, the crowd of horsemen BUZZING. Suddenly, off in the distance, the horsemen come into view, coming straight at them at a lope.

3RD COWBOY
They're comin' right at us!

Down the road, Wyatt asnd his men pull their shotguns, holding them at the ready as they break into a gallop. The Cowboy on the rock jumps down, mounting his horse.

4TH COWBOY
Here they come! Get ready...

The Cowboys line-up on a rise, blocking the road. They draw their guns. Wyatt and his men keep coming, now 200 yards away. Behan groans, panic sinking sour and heavy, churning his bowels:

BEHAN
Oh, no...

Now Wyatt's men break into a dead run, hurtling toward them at top speed, their thoroughbreds eating up the distance, now only 100 yards away. The Cowboys tense up more and more, biting lips, grinding teeth. The 4th Cowboy turns to the nearby 3rd Cowboy:

4TH COWBOY
What d'you think?

3RD COWBOY
I think it's time to start
Workin' for a livin'.

BEHAN
Me too!

They break and run. So does another. Suddenly the whole mass of them EXPLODES in panic with horsemen riding in all directions, scurrying away like cockroaches from a light. Ike looks around, screaming at them, beside himself as the 4th Cowboy rides by:

IKE
Kill 'em! Kill 'em! It's only
Four men! Why don't you kill 'em?

4TH COWBOY
Why don't you?

The others keep going, leaving him behind. But seeing Wyatt bearing down on him, Ike finally bolts himself, pounding off hell-for-leather into the hills. Wyatt and his men keep coming at a full gallop and as they crest the rise, suddenly, as before, the ground seems to fall out from under them and for another burning moment they once again appear airborne, grim-faced avenging angels on winged horses, now even more majestic in the twilight, like a myth made flesh, awesome, superb, and unutterably beautiful. As they approach, only Breakenridge remains, giving them a tentative wave. Wyatt points a finger at him as they ride by in a flash, cresting another rise and passing into legend....

INT - HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY

The CLOCK on the wall of this private DENVER hospital room ticks gently but inexorably as Doc lies in bed with FATHER FEENEY, a Catholic priest, sitting at his side. Painfully emaciated, his breathing shallow and labored, Doc is so weak it's all he can do to even move his eyes. But he brightens as Wyatt enters:

DOC
Well hell, Wyatt. Wyatt, I want
You to meet Father Feeney. Father
Feeney's just been initiating me
Into the mysteries of the great
And ancient Church of Rome. You
See, it appears my hypocrisy
Knows no bounds.

WYATT
How you feelin', Doc?

DOC
Rather an obvious question under
The circumstances, don't you
Agree? A better one might be how
Do you feel?

WYATT
(sits down, sighs)
Hurts. Hurts pretty bad.

DOC
I imagine it would, yes. So now
We can add self-pity to your list
Of frailties.

WYATT
All right, Doc...

DOC
You think I'm kidding. You're the
Most fallible, wrong-headed, self-
Deluding, just generally
Benighted jackass I've ever
Known. Yet, withal, even at your
Worst, you're the only human
Being in my entire life who ever
Gave me hope.

WYATT
All I ever wanted was to live a
Normal life.

DOC
When will you wake up? You
Wouldn't know a normal life if it
Bit you in the ass.

WYATT
That's great coming from you.

DOC
I played the cards I was dealt,
Wyatt. Your problem is you're
Always trying to play someone
Else's. Allow me to tell you the
Truth and thus set you free:
There is no happiness, Wyatt
There is no normal life. There's
Only life, that's all. Just life.
The rest is relative.

WYATT
Then what do I do?

DOC
First you can grab that black-
Haired woman and make her your own.

WYATT
All right. Then what?

DOC
Run. Take that girl and start
Running. Run and don't look back.
All your life you been running
And looking back and just barely
Existing and calling it getting
By. This time run and don't look
Back and call it living. Live
Every second, live it right up to
The hilt. Live, Wyatt...
(pauses, takes his hand)
Live for me.

Wyatt stares into his eyes, letting this sink in. Just then, Doc looks up, as if something were pressing on him. Then:

DOC
Wyatt, please, if you were ever
My friend, if you ever had even
The smallest feeling for me,
Leave. Leave now. Please.

They look at each other and something passes between them, something so personal and powerful it transcends emotion. Wyatt starts to speak, but:

DOC
Never mind, Wyatt. I know. Just go.

Doc turns away. Wyatt exits. Doc looks over at Father Feeney:

DOC
Now let's see, Father. What was
That monkey show you were talking about?

FATHER FEENEY
You mean Extreme Unction?

DOC
That's it. Better start that ball rolling.

Father Feeney nods, picking up his Missal. As he starts to intone the Last Rites, Doc looks down at the end of the bed and sees his feet poking through the sheets. They are bare. Doc smiles:

DOC
I'll be damned...
(looks at Feeney)
This is funny.

INT - DENVER THEATER STAGE - NIGHT

A lively road company production of "H.M.S. Pinafore". Josephine and 3 chorus girls, all adorable in outsize sailor suits do the seamen's hornpipe to the resounding applause of the audience....

INT - DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT

Josephine and her fellow chorines, including the 1st Actress from before, all in various stages of undress, sit at the long mirror, removing their make-up and chatting:

1ST ACTRESS
I can't get used to this thin air
Here in Denver. I thought I was
Going to faint on that last buck-
And-wing.

JOSEPHINE
I know, it's-

Suddenly the door bursts open. Screams and stunned reaction. Wyatt rushes in and goes to Josephine who sits in stunned silence. He falls to his knees and grabs the hem of her robe.

JOSEPHINE
Wyatt! My God...

WYATT
Did you ever see the sun come up
Over the Rockies? It hits all of
A sudden and below there's
California and you swear you're
Looking at heaven.

Wyatt stands, pulling her close, clasping her hands in his:

WYATT
I have nothing left. I have
Nothing to give you. I have no
Pride, no dignity, no money. I
Don't even know how we'll make a
Living. But I promise I'll love
You every second of your life.

JOSEPHINE
Don't worry, Wyatt. My family's rich.

INT/EXT - TRAIN - DAY

Brilliant sunlight, clean, crisp air as a train hurtles through a pass high up in the Rocky Mountains, blowing its whistle and sending a giant plume of steam billowing up over the sheer, towering, snow-topped mountain walls into the crystal-clear sky above. Wyatt leads Josephine by the hand through the parlor car, both hardly able to contain themselves, brimming over with excitement and anticipation, like children waiting for Christmas morning and trying to ignore the group of REPORTERS dogging their footsteps, swarming around them, calling out to Wyatt:

1ST REPORTER
Mr Earp! One minute, please! You
And your four men have just
Accomplished in one week what it
Took the Texas Rangers four years
To do. Please, do you have any comment?

Wyatt and Josephine hunch down and duck through a knot of porters into the next car. Only the 1st Reporter gives chase. Moving into the passenger car furthest forward, Wyatt leads her through the door to the platform over the coupling between cars. Chugging up a steep grade toward a high crest, the train is immersed in shadows. Wyatt points ahead to the approaching crest:

WYATT
There. It'll come up over that ridge.

Inside meanwhile, the 1st Reporter comes through the car and spots them up. A business-type PASSENGER tugs on his sleeve:

PASSENGER
What's the commotion? Who are they?

1ST REPORTER
Don't you know? That's Wyatt
Earp, the Lion of Tombstone, and
His lady fair.

Outside, still bathed in shadows, Wyatt and Josephine hang onto the railing and lean out, watching in as the train nears the top.

WYATT
Get ready, here it comes! Here it comes!

Then, as if on cue, they crest the mountain and are suddenly bathed in golden sunlight, their heads leaning from the train, Wyatt's blonde hair and Josephine's black tresses flowing in the breeze, their faces luminous, looking straight ahead toward their future. Hold on this image as the sun gets brighter and brighter, finally making the frame white-out as we....

FADE OUT:

EPILOG/DESERT : an OLD MAN and WOMAN walk arm-in-arm through the Mojave, tiny figures in a vast landscape, Sierras looming in the distance.

V.O. NARRATION
"Wyatt and Josephine embarked on
a series of adventures throughout
the west, making and losing
several fortunes, always living
the high life, spending every
winter, just the two of them,
prospecting for gold in the
desert foothills of southeastern
California. Up or down, thin or
Flush, in 47 years they never
Left each other's side."

The figures of the old man and woman fade away, leaving only the desert and the mountains which are eternal....

V.O. NARRATION
"Wyatt Earp died in Los Angeles
in 1929. Among the pallbearers at
his funeral were early western
movie stars William S. Hart and
Tom Mix."

Flickering images from early Hollywood silent films split the frame: on one side the grim but impassioned figure of William S. Hart, the original western good-badman crouched menacingly behind a pair of sixguns, his costume dusty and severe; and on the other side Tom Mix, the original western fantasy hero, so light-hearted and optimistic with his sunny grin and fancy white outfit....

V.O. NARRATION
"Tom Mix wept."

HOLD on these two images as the music swells and we....

FADE TO BLACK.




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