Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Blackthorne Episode 108

image from


Cinemagenic 108

Help Arrives

“Not for ourselves alone are we born.”

1(sound cue) A pair of wagons and several horses.
2(medium two shot) a night choked with stars, a full
moon, everything dipped in silver clinging to their
long shadows.
3(tight two shot) Buck woke up, and he could hear
help coming for a long time. The night was very
still, punctuated by cicadas. 
4(sound cue) piano and harmonica.
5(medium wide shot) They rolled in out of the darkness.
First came Doc. Sweeney’s carriage; Salina rode with
him, her hair wind-blown, her eyes damp. Bob Hart, 
the blacksmith followed them, with silver road dust
swirling on the freight wagon’s metal wheels. Henry
Wallace and sheriff Joe Hop rode alongside. Hop’s
skinny deputy rode in the bed of the freight wagon,
holding onto a shotgun, sitting on a colorful pile of
blankets and pillows. Johnny lie unconscious, as if
peacefully sleeping, the small smile still on his lips.
6(tighter medium shot) Buck did not stand up to
greet them. He sat up, his arms still around Johnny.
Salina leaped down from the black carriage and
rushed to Buck’s side. She knelt down, and Buck
stroked her cheek. She hugged his hand to her
breast. They did not talk.
The doctor reined up, and stepped down. He was
an elderly man, short and stoop-shouldered,
sporting white bushy mutton chops under his
battered derby
7(Three-shot) Doctor, whistling: Holy Christ, it’s like
Lincoln County all over again. Billy (to the deputy),
light that lantern and get your bony butt over here!
The doctor put down his satchel and opened it.
Wallace held up Buck’s lantern. Christ in a wheel
burrow, shake a leg, Billy.
Buck: He’s still alive. I can feel him breathing.
Doctor: Sam Sweeney’s the name. I’m the 
sawbones here. I was going to meet you
Wallace squatted down alongside Buck: How many
of the sonsabitches were there?
Joe Hop stood behind them, staring at the smoking 
embers left of the house and barn. Billy came over
with the new lantern, and the Doc began examining
8(sound cue) guitar and clarinet.
Buck: I don’t know, a half dozen or so. I think a 
couple of them are Texas Toast in the fires.
Joe Hop: Did you recognize any of them?
Buck: No, but I was kind of busy killing them.
Actually I got here when it was almost over. 
Johnny dealt with most of them by himself.
Wallace: This was all Bronson’s doings.
Hop: You know, we’ll have to prove that.
9(two-shot) Buck, to the doctor: How is he?
Doctor: He’s in a coma, but damn, I have never
seen a man so shot-up and still breathing. He
must be one tough hombre.
Buck: Can we move him?
Doctor: We’re going to have to. He needs an
operation and I can’t do it in the yard.
Buck: Are you positive? We could take him into the
bunkhouse, and send for the things you need.
Doctor: Try to calm down, son. This man is in shock,
and for now the bleeding has stopped. Yes, he’s
packing more lead that most men could stand. But
he has a much better chance at pulling through if
we can get him to my surgery suite.
Buck: My mind is shell-shocked, but my heart tells
me to trust you.
Doctor: Good decision. I'll give him something for
infection, and we’ll put him in the wagon, and wrap
him in blankets. I’ll ride in the back with him to make
sure he doesn’t get too jostled about.
10(sound cue) snare drums and coronet.
Joe Hop: Light up a torch, Billy. Let’s locate all
these bodies, and drag them all out into the yard.
Let’s line them up like cord wood, and see what’s
The deputy went to the wagon to get a torch.
Johnny moaned as the doctor examined the wound
in his solar plexus.
Doctor: Let’s move him now.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets Pub


brudberg said...

I love how you turned the disaster into hope. I also hope that they can trace it back to Bronson... maybe there will be a happy end somewhere. I was almost crying at the end of last episode.

Kim M. Russell said...

As soon as I saw the words ‘Help Arrives’ I thought, ‘Thank goodness!’ I love the way you described the setting as ‘a night choked with stars, a full moon, everything dipped in silver clinging to their long shadows’, and the way you used sound in ‘The night was very still, punctuated by cicadas’. But oh, the action, with everyone arriving to find Buck cradling Johnny. I was glad Salina got there to comfort him, and that he decided to trust the doctor.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Thank goodness for the doctor and the quick decision made to treat Johnny's wounds. I love how you started off with "a night choked with stars, a full moon, everything dipped in silver clinging to their long shadows." What a gorgeous backdrop for ushering hope in!💝

Jade Li said...

Such beautiful prose describing the scene. I'm glad Salina (guessing) exerted pressure on the doc not to wait til morning to tend to Johnny. I fear for Johnny with all of the jostling on the trail -- hoping doc's surgery location isn't too far. The cushy blankets, etc. will help, but... I love the intimate way Buck and Salina greeted each other. Sheriff Hop better get his sh*t together and make sure the proper justice is served.

Colleen Looseleaf said...

A dramatic scene that I could see played out. Love the inclusion of music.

Gina said...

tense scene with so much sound, the clatter of emotions were loud and clear

Frank Hubeny said...

Glad to hear Johnny is still alive. I thought from the last past he wasn't.

Dwight L. Roth said...

I loved watching all these stories on TV when I was a kid! Brings back many memories.

Grace said...

Good turn of events. So relieved that the doctor is there Glenn. Have a good weekend.

Gayle Walters Rose said...

I seem to show up as you're sharing the next segment of your story...lucky me. I too was horrified by the ending of the last posting. I thought for sure Johnny was gone. We'll see what the Doc can do to pull him through.

Misky said...

I'm glad you pulled the plug on my "this is getting very tense" button.