painting by Marcia Baldwin
“Everything before the ride is preface--everything
after it is appendix; love is the story.” --Glenn B.
1(two-shot) Johnny: Hey--none of that now--you
know me. You can smell the past on me. I have oats
for you, and gentle hands. So calm down fierce one.
Forget about all these bastards on the fence. Just
see me and the Buck. Come to me, eat.
2(sound cue) piano and harmonica--gentle riff.
3(medium wide shot) the Eagle extended his handful
4(cut to overhead drone shot) the man and horse
still as statues
5(close up) the Appaloosa showed his teeth.
6(sound cues) horse nickering softly, harmonica,
mild buzz of the crowd.
7(two shot) Johnny remained rock-still. The stallion’s
ears came up. He moved slowly toward Johnny, but
while watching Buck. Chatawa began muzzle down
into Johnny’s big right hand, chomping at the oats, but
picking them up delicately with his lips, careful to bite,
chewing around the bit.
8(medium close-up) Johnny: That’s right, thank you,
eat--it’s good for you, makes your coat shiny. Now,
come over here, boss--stroke his shoulder.
9(three-shot) Buck moved up slowly: Yes, easy, my
stippled boy. We are here now.
The oats were consumed. Johnny rubbed the horse’s
face. Buck reached out and stroked a muscular
freckled shoulder. The stallion turned his head and
looked at the hunter. He shivered a little to the touch,
stamping one of his shapely legs.
10(close up) A little girl can pet a horse, Breed--but
it takes a man to ride one”, taunted Graff.
11(two shot) The Eagle unlatched the thick black
bridle, and carefully slipped the cruel Spanish spade
out of the stallion’s mouth. Hey, Valiante--we don’t
need this, do we? Johnny worked the rope not
lashed to the breaking post free, and tossed it to
Buck. The hunter recoiled the rope, took the bridle
and draped the both over the sawhorse. Johnny
rubbed the horse’s forearms. The stippled stallion
calmed. The Eagle turned to the rails: Ryker, have
you got a halter in your gear?
12(medium close-up) Ryker: Yeah, I do--but Jesus
Christ, don’t tell me you going to ride this devil
without a saddle or a bridle with a bit?
13(two-shot) over Ryker’s shoulder. Johnny:
Get it for me. please.
14(medium close-up) Bronson: Come on, Johnny,
this ain’t no rodeo. I want this animal saddle-broke.
15(two-shot) Johnny turned to face Bronson, and he
spoke evenly and unemotionally.
16(close-up) Johnny: Mr. Bronson, this is a
magnificent medicine horse, but still he is an Indian
pony. He can run like the winds of hell. but who
knows how long he’s been running wild. He’s never
had a saddle on him, so the first ride now must be
Nez Pierce style; bareback and bold. Once he gets
used to the weight of a man again, then we can
introduce him to a saddle.
17(two-shot) Ryker handed him the chest halter.
Shit, we all see the fucking split ear, but Mr. Bronson
wants it broke today. Indian horses respect authority.
You are just wasting our time here.
Johnny paused a moment, and stared a hot hole in
Ryker’s forehead: A man who beats a horse can
never understand them. For me, Ryker, you have
no opinion. I will break him properly and he will have
a saddle on him in an hour.
18(medium close up) Good enough, boomed Cash
Bronson, ending the conversation.
19(sound cue) blues guitar slide, harmonica, & banjo
20(medium close up) Thor was leaning against the top
rail, his chin on his crossed arms, watching Buck. His
dark eyes were like slits of coal in this lean face. His
golden buckle flashed in the sun.
21(medium wide shot) Johnny took the halter from
Buck, and let the marbled stallion smell it, then he
slipped it on smoothly; without a bit, Chatawa
accepted it as Johnny deftly buckled it. He lay the
reins gently on the horses back. Buck handed him a
lariat surcingle, with a hand-hold loop at the top. He
wrapped it slowly around the belly, cinching it up
Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub OLN