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“It is better to die on your feet than to live on
your knees.”--Emiliano Zapata.
1(medium wide shot) Hop struggled to his feet,
swaying back and forth to keep his balance,
biting a hole in the center of his pain. He
shuffled over to a cupboard near the stove. He
rummaged around in some canned goods, and
came up with a new bottle of whiskey. Returning
with difficulty to his desk, he plopped into his
chair with his broad back to the brick arch.
2(sound cue) harmonica.
3(medium close-up) He pulled the four six-
shooters from their battered holsters, and lay them
all in a line. He checked their loads, their cylinders
spinning and their hammers clicking. He picked up
one of the shotguns and cradled it on his lap. He
bit into the whiskey cork, jerked it out, and spat it
across the room. It hit the steel door, making no
4(cut to the darkened cell) Buck had his back to the
adobe wall. The rough edges of the fresh bullet holes
poked through his shirt. His flat-brimmed hat was
pulled low over his eyes. The cell door remained wide
open. The fancy clock on the northeast wall read
Buck: I wonder how Johnny is?
5(sound cue) soft piano chords and Voice Over:
Hop: He’s the toughest goddamn Indian I’ve ever
known. He’ll pull through. I’d worry about myself if
I were you.
Buck: Fuck you very much, constable.
6(cut back to the Sheriff, close-up) Hop: Not tonight,
sweetie. You better get some shuteye. We will get
on top of things in the morning. I might could swear
ole’ Bob Hart as deputy for a while, and the
Marshall will be here one of these days.
7(voice-over) Buck: Good night, Joe.
8(cut to close-up) Buck opened his eyes. It was a
pewter-gray dawn, those last few moments of
darkness before morning usurped it. Damp air
blew in from a small barred window. Acrid fog
mixed with horse and chicken droppings wafted
9(camera dollys out slowly revealing the cell)
Buck slowly raised his head. He listened
10(sound cue) a wagon passing by, horses
milling about, a distant rooster crowing, over
soft guitar chords. The old clock ticked.
11(close-up) the clock read 5:00 a.m.
Buck walked quietly out of the cell.
12(cut to wide-shot) Hop was slumped over in
his tattered chair. His body rocked gently with
the rhythm of his breathing. His white ex-cavalry
hat hid his eyes.
13(close-up) Buck reached into the back of his tight
leather britches, and his hand closed on the snub-
nosed Derringer. He extracted it, and pointed it in
14(medium wide shot) He moved stealthily toward
the desk. He was abreast of the stove, three yards
from the sheriff, when Hop said clearly without
looking up: You get your butt back in that cell.
15(sound cue) the clack of a hammer being cocked.
Buck: I don’t think so.
Hop: You bastard! waking up.
Buck: You just sit easy. I don’t want to shoot you. I
figure I owe you for last night.
16(two-shot) Buck moved to within a yard
Hop: I don’t want to get shot again neither--even
with a girlie pea-shooter like that. Where the hell
did you find that?
Buck: In my boot.
Hop responded by pumping a shell into his shotgun.
17(sound cue) coronet bleat and drumbeat.
Buck: Don’t be a damned fool.
Hop: You’re the damned fool if you really think I’m
going to just let you walk out of here.
Buck: If you don’t, I will plug you.
Hop: I think you’re bluffing.
Buck: Put yourself in my place. Would you be bluffing?
The two men were motionless for a long moment.
Hop dropped the shotgun onto the desk. It clattered
against the Sharps. Hop snarled: You really piss...
Buck struck him on the side of the head.
Posted over at d'Verse Poet's Pub OLN