Crazy Willie script (converted)


 Take the Tour                    Biography of D. R. Nelson                    History of Haven Publications                           My Books               My Scripts

Commission Your Biography (at affordable rates)                        Mission                  Research               Contact



Revisionist Western            Crime Thrillers            Horror            Strange/Avant-Garde        Dramatic-Soul               Action Thriller/Holiday            Science Fiction            Conspiracy Thriller


      1     HOLD CREDITS                                                1

      2     EXT. PRAIRIE -- DAY                                         2

            We open through the POV of a spyglass's round lens, coming
            into focus on a man hung from a tree. It is JASPER, the
            village idiot, as far as social hierarchy goes. Lynched.
            Apparently quite dead.

            The bearer of the spyglass is WILLIE, wearing a priest's
            black frock. 

            Through his POV via the spyglass, we see in CU that the hung
            man still has his boots.

      3     EXT. PRAIRIE/THE HANGMAN'S TREE -- DAY                      3

            On foot, Willie approaches the dead man hanging from the tree

            Different angle: from behind the hanging man's body, we can
            see he's actually suspended from the tree branch by a
            makeshift rig which his own body is concealing.

                      Jasper Godwin. You did this to yourself.
                      Otherwise they'd have taken your boots.

            The dead man, all at once, is quite alive, and he raises his
            head to eye Willie as he pulls a six-gun he was concealing
            behind his leg. 

            Willie doesn't so much as flinch.

                      Empty your pockets, priest.

                      Fool. Have you no concern for your
                      eternal soul?

                      You're no priest. And you ain't from
                      around here neither. You ain't kin to
                      nobody I know.

            Willie considers this, and how he's going to handle this con

                      I make you a deal, Jasper. Right now, I
                      have twenty-five cents on me.
                      If you'd care to earn fifty cents, I'd
                      have you do a job for me.

                          (suspicious; still aiming the
                      What kind of a job?

                      Some men are comin' to town to find me.
                      They're bringing me a purse for the
                      betterment of the community, as it were.
                      From the Franciscan church in St.
                      Augustine. Poor box money, as it's

                      How much?

                      None of your damn business how much! You
                      meet them out on the prairie and bring
                      them to me, and you'll get enough for a
                      bottle. I'll see to it.

            Jasper remains suspicious, but seems to be accepting the
            terms of the situation.

                                                                 CUT TO:

      4     EXT. CHURCH -- DAY                                          4

            We see the one-room church, where...

      5     INT. CHURCH RECTORY -- DAY                                  5

            Willie is asleep on his cot in the rectory/priest's room, the
            back room of the church. 

      6     INT. CHURCH -- DAY                                          6

            We see the door crack softly open, and Jasper carefully pokes
            his head inside, cautious.

            We see Willie's black priest's frock hanging on a hook at the
            back of the church somewhere, and Jasper's hand creeps into
            frame to pull it free.

      7     INT. CHURCH RECTORY -- DAY                                  7

            Willie cracks an eye, listening. He turns his head and
            notices Jasper sneaking out of the church again, the frock in
            his hands. Willie smiles, and drifts back to sleep.

      8     EXT. PRAIRIE -- DAY                                         8

            Jasper, now wearing Willie's priest's frock, looks down into
            a gulley from his perch on a higher ledge of rock. 

      9     EXT. GULLEY -- DAY                                          9

            His POV shows us O'FALLON for the first time, and the rest of
            the POSSE. They are just riding into the gulley from the far

     10     EXT. GULLEY -- DAY                                         10

            A few minutes later. O'Fallon and his posse ride into the
            gulley and stop, seeing something ahead.

            Their POV shows us Jasper, wearing Willie's stolen frock and
            carrying a Bible, appearing to be reading it.

            Ahead in time a few minutes, our group of riders approaches
            the "priest", who looks up at them from his Bible.

                      Who you preachin' to, son, the daisies?

                      Walking in contemplation, sir, of all
                      that Gawd doth give.

                      We're looking for a man, name of Willie.
                      Folks say he's a might tetched. Crazy, we
                      hear. You seen him?

                      Yer them boys we been waitin' fer, ain't
                      ya? Willie's my name, for sure. They call
                      me crazy sometimes, but that's cause I
                      speak to Jesus. You've...uh, brought
                      something for me?

            O'Fallon eyes Jasper closely, as do the other members of the
            posse. Then he pulls his Colt six-shooter, and...

            ...the smug look on Jasper's eyes dissolves.

                      You think I'm a fool, boy?

            Jasper, a little scared.

                      No, sir.

                      Then make better use of this second
                      chance than you did the first.

                      Ahead, then. To the town up yonder,
                      Amarill'a. He's stayin' at the cat-house
                      since Tuesday. 

     11     EXT. GULLEY -- DAY                                         11

            We see Willie, peering through a spyglass, as we hear a

            Willie's POV through the spyglass (the round lense), as
            Jasper falls before the men, shot.

     12     EXT. GULLEY -- DAY                                         12

            O'Fallon looks down at...

            ...the body of Jasper, as we hear O'Fallon's O.S.

                      That's in case you're lyin' again. If
                      you're not, I surely do apologize.

            The men LAUGH.

     13     EXT. GULLEY -- DAY                                         13

            Willie's POV: O'Fallon and the posse head onward, leaving
            Jasper's corpse without another word.

            Willie watches them go, and after a beat, he rubs his hands
            together as though anticipating something very fun is about
            to happen.
                                    Roll Credits

     14     EXT. AMARILLO -- DAY                                       14

            We see the whorehouse and the one-room church are the only
            buildings that make up the town.

                            15     AMARILLO, TEXAS                     15
                                  (words on Black)

     16     INT. WHORE HOUSE/PARLOR -- DAY                             16

            The town whore house. An old FARMER is heading for the door,
            crossing through the parlor. Passing the MADAM, he tilts his
            hat and she slaps him playfully on the back. He grins and
            continues out, passing over the threshold and out of sight.
            Just as quickly, he is returned to the interior of the whore
            house, propelled back by a right hook from someone out on the
            porch, unseen by us. 

            The Madam looks up from the unconscious farmer in stunned
            confusion, quickly turning to silent rage.

            O'Fallon and his men enter the room, O'Fallon leading them.

                      I'm gonna ask you once, ma'am...

                                                                 CUT TO:

     17     INT. WHORE HOUSE/UPSTAIRS HALLWAY -- DAY                   17

            A moment later. One shot: The riders ransacking the whore
            house, moving in and out of rooms, upsetting several
            afternoon trysts. We hear the surprised SCREAMS and YELLS to
            accompany this as O'Fallon heads back toward the stairs that
            lead down into the parlor, walking calmly down the hallway
            after his men have done the barging in.

     18     INT. WHORE HOUSE/PARLOR -- DAY                             18

            He passes one of his men, PHILBURN, (the scout) holding the
            madam by the hair. Passing the window, O'Fallon suddenly
            stops on his way toward the back of the house, his attention
            caught by something outside. 

                      I know who you are, you're those boys
                      come lookin' for that crazy rascal. The
                      card player. 

            O'Fallon's POV: the one-room church across the road. We see
            Willie entering the place from the back, carrying his black
            priest's frock.

            On O'Fallon, considering this.

            He turns from the window finally, and faces her.

                      Word gets around, don't it, ma'am? Not
                      too much for people to do out here but
                      pass on the news.

            He pulls a long hunting knife from a sheath at the small of
            his back.

            The Madam sees this, and her eyes go wide with terror. 

                      'Course, if a man's got a mind, he can
                      always find something thrillin' to do, I
                      [alternate line: "...He can always find a
                      way to put the spring back in his step."]

     19     EXT. WHORE HOUSE -- DAY                                    19

            O'Fallon strides purposefully back outside, pausing on the
            verandah to look across the street. Carlson is standing
            watch. O'Fallon seems to notice him as an afterthought, and
            hands his blade, covered now in blood, to the younger man. 

                      Clean that up, boy. 

                          (nodding toward the church)
                      Ain't you gonna need it?

            Their POV: the church, unassuming, maybe or maybe not as
            innocent as it looks.

            O'Fallon looks to him, says nothing, turns his head only
            slightly, and lets loose a long stream of tobacco. We then
            follow him as he descends the stairs and heads toward the

     20     INT. CHURCH -- DAY                                         20

            Willie kneels at the alter, removes his rosary, kisses it.
            Past his shoulder, down the center aisle, the doors open,
            letting in a flood of sunlight around the silohuette of
            O'Fallon. Willie's eyes lift to look into camera, O'Fallon
            visible over his shoulder. 

                      You Willie?

                      So my Momma tells me.

                      I'm here to to take you back to Oklahoma.
                      Mr. J.T. Earnest, Jr., doesn't appreciate
                      horse-thieving, and especially not when
                      the horses are his own.

            Willie turns now.

                      And whom do I have the pleasure of

                      To you, I'm the Man with the Blade. Get

            Willie lets his gaze drift to the right.

            Willie's POV: nothing but the wall, an open window, and a
            sycamore tree outside.

            Reverse: A slow smile creeps onto his face, as he considers
            the situation he has found himself in, and how he will derive
            some amusement out of it. 

                      I have made my peace with God, 
                          (change of tone; reverting to
                           his own voice instead of his
                           voice in character as the
                      and I am ready to make my peace with Mr.
                      Earnest, too.

            He stands, proceeds away from camera, toward O'Fallon.

     21     EXT. PRAIRIE -- DAY                                        21

            We see the same shot we saw to establish the riders earlier.
            Over the horizon they approach again, five men in black, but
            now they are joined by one who is not. This is Willie, riding
            somewhere in the middle of them.

            Closer now, among them ourselves. We see that Willie's hands
            are bound firmly behind him. Craggs holds the reigns of
            Willie's horse, riding alongside him.

            Ahead, we see stormclouds on the horizon.

                      That's one wild bender comin' on.

                      Don't worry none, boy. We won't let you
                      blow away. Trust me on that one. See that
                      barn yonder?

            Willie's POV: The barn, in the mid-distance. It resides next
            to a small cabin, or adobe structure.

                      You'll sleep nice and dry tonight. Comfy.
                      Just like the outlaw gets a last meal
                      before they hang him.

                      Stop. You're spoilin' me.

                      Hell, boy. Just 'cos I've killed women
                      and children don't mean I ain't got any

                      Well, I'm sure they had it comin'.

                      A real hard-timer, eh? We'll see, boy. We
                      get you back to Oklahoma, then we'll see
                      how tough ya are. Mr. Earnest will see
                      how tough you are.

            O'Fallon nods to Willie's rope-holder, and everyone starts
            forward, except for O'Fallon, who watches them go.

                          (to himself)
                      We'll see. That we will.

                            22     DALHART, TEXAS                      22
                                  (words on black)

     23     EXT. DALHART FARM -- NIGHT                                 23

            We come back into frame in the middle of the night. It is
            hours later. Rain pounds the prairies and THUNDER is a
            constantly rolling entity. Through this, we can see lights
            signifying the barn and main house.

     24     INT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 24

            The gang's all here: each wasting time in their own
            particular way, waiting out the night and the storm. NEWAYGO,
            the Indian; O'Fallon, the leader; CARLSON, the young one;
            CRAGGS, the mercenary, rolling a cigarette; and HENRY CULVER,
            the old, grizzled veteran. 

            Philburn, the scout, is brushing his horse.

            Willie is tied to one of the supports at the head of the
            room, facing them all, standing.

            Newaygo is looking at Craggs, a bit like a starving man
            looking at someone else's steak. 

                      You gonna give me a hit off that?

                      Damn it, Red. You go on the trail, you
                      bring enough to last ya. 

                      Can I help it Amarillo has no tobacco?

            Craggs shrugs like he doesn't care about Newaygo's plight.

            O'Fallon is distracted by a woman's call from outside.

                                MRS. BLAKEMAN
                      Able! Let us in! Our house is gone!

            O'Fallon approaches a crack in the board wall and peers
            outside to see what's going on.

     25     EXT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 25

            O'Fallon's POV: The BLAKEMAN's (MA, PA, DAUGHTER, SON) are
            admitted inside by ABLE, the manager of the farm. We see them
            all from the lamplight cast through the doorway. 

     26     INT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 26

            O'Fallon is still looking through the crack, while the other
            men begin to converse behind him. 

                      Who is it, boss?

                      Neighbors. Flushed out by the bender.
                      Maybe a twister out there somewhere.

                      How long will that keep us down, boss?

                      I don't reckon we'll get out of here
                      tomorrow neither. Damn rain'll keep the
                      slopes too slick for horses. Be like
                      hangin' from our own rope to head out

                      I don't believe your name is boss,
                      Philburn. I ain't stayin' in this damn
                      outhouse more'n a day. I can tell you
                      that sure enough.

                      Well, I figure we'll be building you a
                      pyre when you go a'slidin' down a gully.

                      You all act like it's up to you.
                      O'Fallon's the only one that has the
                      final say. Ain't that right, boss?

                      I ain't losin' this ol' boy to some steep
                      gulch. Done come too far to lose him out
                      here. Ain't that right, Willie?

            Willie, tied to the support, raises his head as though he
            were napping, which is impossible since he's standing.

                      Right that it's up to you whether we ride
                      in the rain, or right that you've come a
                      long way? 

                          (ignoring that)
                      How much you pull in from those horses?

                      Few thousand. 

            Off-screen, we hear a couple of the men whistle and hoot with

                      Sixteen horses. Not a bad haul for a two
                      bit rattlesnake like yourself. What did a
                      scallywag like you spend all that nickel

                      Who says I spent it all?

            The boys look at each other. Interested. Even more interested
            in Willie now.

                      Even a mangy bastard like me can shine a
                      good thought now and again. Startin' to
                      look up in years now.
                      A bit less clear when I don't have a warm
                      fire in the belly, 'course, but still and
                      again, I know to put a little somethin'

                      Not in a bank, I hope.

            The men laugh at this.

                      No, sir. Who can trust such places in
                      these ever-changing times?

                      That's a smart move. I bet you tucked it
                      away under your old granny's sycamore,
                      didn't ya?

            Again, the men laugh. 

            Willie doesn't.

            They notice this, and gradually their own laughter dies, as
            well. It would seem he isn't laughing because the accusation
            is not so far-fetched.

                      Only some. I hid some under the ocean,
                      too. I hid some in the desert. I hid some
                      in the mountains. Some in the sky. Some
                      in the flesh.

            The men digest this with bewilderment. 

            O'Fallon realizes his men are confused, but he doesn't seem
            so, himself. 

            He steps forward, slowly, calmly, and pulls the knife from
            its sheath. He approaches Willie.

            ...who shows no fear, whatsoever.

            O'Fallon reaches Willie, and leans in close, whispering too
            low for the others to hear.

                      Mr. Willie, sir, I wonder if you can
                      appreciate the gravity of your situation.
                      You are being taken to Oklahoma to die,
                      sir. Mr. Earnest wants to try some of his
                      own tricks on you beforehand, I believe.
                      You seem in very good spirits. I do
                      applaud your moxie.

                      What have I to fear of death? If death
                      wanted me, she would have taken me by

                      You seem like an intelligent man, Mr.
                      Willie. I must say, I had hoped for more
                      of an animal. A dog, I think, because
                      dogs are good for kicking even when you
                      aren't particularly angry. Dogs are good
                      for that, I think.

                      I disagree, sir. Dogs don't worry about a
                      thing. I'd say that makes 'em kings of
                      the world.

            The boys laugh. 

            O'Fallon's expression falls, not appreciating the laughter in
            his honor. 

                          (Still quiet)
                      Few thousand. 

                      Come on, boss, we want to know what the
                      ol' bugger plans to do with his coin.

                          (now louder)
                      You mean, planned to do, don't you,

                      I was thinkin' a farm, some stock, a
                      world of my own. What we all desire, I
                      suppose. Or maybe enough to build my own
                      business. A saloon, perhaps. A saloon and

            O'Fallon backs away, his interest in terrorizing Willie lost.

                      I s'pose I'd live life as it should be. I
                      will be able to surround myself with
                      peace and prosperous growth.

            O'Fallon now faces the men again, perusing the tip of his

                      I think maybe you will only promote the
                      growth of Mr. Earnest's daisies.

            The boys laugh.

                      I suppose such a fate is more prudent
                      than what will grow above the ground that
                      holds my fortune.

            The men abruptly stop laughing. Once again, they're intrigued
            by Willie's every word. 

                      You've buried it then.

            Willie's eyes fall to Carlson, and a shrewd smile takes root
            in his eyes.

                      I have.

            Willie looks to the other direction and sees...

            Craggs, looking back at him, curious. We can see the gears in
            his mind working.

                      Craggs, right?

                      Pipe down, now. We ain't supposed to be
                      gabbin' with him, boss.

                      Pipe down? Am I doing more to keep you
                      awake than these destructive rains?

                      He's right. You're a prisoner. It's
                      against our ways to know anything more
                      about you than what you done wrong.

                      Or where I hid what I got out of it, eh,
                      sir? Enjoy your ways. A man must always
                      follow himself, first and foremost.

            O'Fallon turns back on Willie slowly.

                      Is that who you follow, Willie?

                      No, sir. I spend far too much time
                      waiting for myself to catch up.

                      Why do they call you Crazy Willie?

                      Folks sense that I have no reason for
                      doing some of the things I do. I find
                      enjoyment from any other man's favorite
                      past times, but also in some that men
                      have never known existed. Any time you do
                      something different, you are different.
                      Different ain't always crazy, but not
                      many folks know that. "Crazy" and
                      "Different"; the words mean the same
                      thing, but they don't. The truest
                      knowledge is that all things have more
                      than one meaning. To know this is to be
                      different from most. I know this, which
                      makes me different from you. Therefore,

            After a beat, we hear a BUMP on the doors of the barn. 

            The men turn, as one body, guns drawn.

            The doors open a crack, and a CHINESE MAN with a ponytail
            peeks in, then raises a jug like a white flag.

            His POV: the men relax, looking at each other, chuckling.

            We go out on Willie, watching the boys as they have a good
            time. He has gone the first step toward getting them to think
            he's harmless.

     27     INT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 27

            Later that night. The boys practice throwing knives, but of
            course O'Fallon is the patron saint of this art. 

            Willie is still tied to the support, but Carlson is helping
            him to sit down, moving the ropes down for him.

            Philburn is tipping the jug, drinking long, then he wanders
            over to Willie and offers him a slug, as well.

            Culver throws the blade. 

            On the door is drawn in coal a rough approximation of a
            chicken. The blade connects somewhere north of its head. The
            men BOO.

            O'Fallon is next. He throws.

            The blade lands dead-center, between the thing's mishapen

            Newaygo takes the jug next, drinks long, and eyes Willie
            intently from afar, contemplating.

                                                                 CUT TO:

     28     INT. DALHART BARN -- DAWN                                  28

            Newaygo comes into view near the same crack through which
            O'Fallon eyed the house hours earlier. He stares through,
            presumably at the same thing.

            The others, including Willie, appear to be asleep. The barn
            is full of their SNORING.

     29     EXT. DALHART BARN -- DAWN                                  29

            Newaygo's POV: the house. We can now see a small pen with a
            cow in it. Maybe a donkey. Wreckage in the distance to
            indicate the earlier activities of a tornado. It's still
            raining. As he watches, the Blakemans come outside and begin
            the long walk across the fields. At the same time, so does
            the Chinese Man, this time carrying a basket. He heads toward
            the barn.

            Newaygo watches this, then departs the spot, heading toward
            the doors before the Chinese Man can get there. He opens them
            first, pulling his six-shooter, which he puts up toward the
            open crack, awaiting their visitor. The Chinese Man almost
            runs into it, stopping just short, at once stunned.

            Newaygo lifts a finger to his lips, then gestures for the

            The Chinese Man looks down...

            His POV: the basket is full of biscuits.

            The Chinese Man hands it forward slowly, putting it in
            Newaygo's hand, and then backs away as Newaygo closes the
            door quietly. 

            He walks among the sleeping men as silent as wind. We hear
            the occasional FART, constant SNORING. Newaygo eyes them all,
            and helps himself to the biscuits as quickly as he can.

            His POV: eyeing the men, making sure everyone is asleep.

            He is trying to finish every biscuit before anyone knows they
            were here.

            His POV: passing Willie, whose head is down, apparently
            asleep, and continuing around to face the doors again. 

            Newaygo suddenly stops looking at the others, and his eyes
            return to Willie. He must turn back around to look at him.

            Willie's head slowly rises, and we see he's been awake the
            whole time. He's wide awake, and now completely aware of
            Newaygo's greed and potential for deception.

            Newaygo returns the stare, and raises the finger to his lips
            just like he did for the Chinese Man.

            Willie watches him, waiting to see what steps the man will
            take to hang himself.

            Newaygo approaches Willie, still tip-toeing.

                      You tell me where it's buried and I'll
                      see that you get let go, first

                      When I see the chance, I'll let you know.

                                                                FADE TO:

                                30     DAY TWO                         30

                                  (words on black)

     31     EXT. DALHART BARN -- DAY                                   31

            The rain continues.

     32     INT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 32

            O'Fallon stands at the open door now, staring outside,
            extremely bored. 

            The other men play dice, YELLING, in decent spirits. The roof
            is leaking like a sieve.

     33     EXT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 33

            Later in the night. THUNDER. Rain, rain, more rain. The
            Chinese Man comes out of the house carrying a stew pot,
            hurrying to keep from getting wet.

     34     INT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 34

            A couple of the men nap. A couple play cards. Newaygo rests
            against the wall, eyeing Willie. 

            Willie appears to be in a different place, eyes staring at
            the floor. Then, just as suddenly, he's right there, eyes
            shooting up to stare at Newaygo. 

            Newaygo, despite his inherent meanness, looks away, slightly

            Willie looks to the others.

            Carlson is talking to O'Fallon, but we can't hear what
            they're saying, until the shouting starts.

                      I told you. I ain't tellin' you again.
                      That's the damned agreement you signed up
                      for. We have him back by a p'ticular day,
                      we get the bonus. But I ain't ridin'
                      through this territory in a bender like

                      Well, maybe the agreement needs to be ...
                      fixed! Changed! We shouldn't have to lose
                      out because of the damn weather! You need
                      to talk to Earnest, Boss...

                      The only talkin' I'm gonna be doin' is to
                      your widow, when you don't come home with
                      the rest of us. Too bad, Mrs. Carlson,
                      but the ol' son of a bitch met a cougar
                      that didn't take a shine to him, and
                      well, you know...


            The men all turn and stare at Willie, shocked by his sudden

                      Carlson, tell me something. Is it true
                      what they say about married life?

                      What's that?

            Newaygo's eyes flick to Carlson, to see how he'll react.

                      That conjugal matters become a thing of
                      duty more than enjoyment?

            Newaygo stands, slowly. 

            O'Fallon also looks to Carlson, eyes narrowing as he prepares
            for the worst.

                      What are you sayin'?

                      I hear the woman and the man lose
                      interest in each other. The spontaneity
                      is gone and the splendor has evaporated.
                      How does one, at such a point, expect
                      that his mate will not seek happiness

            Newaygo moves closer. Listening. 

                      Boy. I think you should start speakin'
                      English right about now.

                      I guess what I'm askin' is ... Does she
                      take it from the neighbor's kid? I
                      suppose that's the question I'm asking.

            Carlson seethes with blinded rage for two seconds, then draws
            his six-shooter.

            Newaygo is faster. He pulls his own, and his bullet...

            Blows Carlson backward a few steps. As he does, O'Fallon
            grabs Carlson's jacket, twists him out of the way, and hurls
            the blade back at Newaygo.

            Newaygo's eyes are now stunned, as he looks down at the hilt
            of the knife sticking out of his chest.

            O'Fallon watches this, as beside him, Carlson slips to the
            ground. Dead.

            Newaygo does the same.

            O'Fallon looks to Willie.

            The rest of them look to Willie, as well.

            Willie appears to be as surprised as they.

                      Who gets their cut?

                                                                 CUT TO:

                               35     DAY THREE                        35

                                  (words on black)

     36     EXT. DALHART BARN -- AFTERNOON                             36

            The skies are still gray but the rains have stopped. The men
            are leading their horses out of the barn. Willie is already
            atop his, hands tied behind him, Culver leading the horse. 

            O'Fallon, holding his horse's reins, approaches Philburn, who
            is atop his horse. 

                      Don't go far. This ol' boy might have
                      friends waitin' out there for us. I'll
                      need every man if we hit a snag.

            Philburn nods, then lights out. He's the scout, as stated
            earlier, and usually rides a good mile ahead.

            O'Fallon mounts his horse. He turns to regard Willie, who
            sits on his own horse. 

                      We all ready, boys?

                      Yes, sir. 

                      You lead the way, boss.

                          (to Willie)
                      I do hope you don't try anything fancy,
                      Willie-boy. I've about had my fill.
                      Anything hits us out there, Culver takes
                      you out first.

            Willie nonchalantly looks over his shoulder, at Culver, atop
            his horse...

            ...looking back at Willie with a sincere look of agreement.

                      Ride 'em out, boys!

            He begins to ride, the others follow.

     37     EXT. WILDERNESS -- TWILIGHT                                37

            The men ride still, many hours later. 

            Culver rides beside Willie, eyeing him closely.

            O'Fallon rides behind, relaxed, like the grim reaper awaiting
            his cue.

     38     EXT. RIVER -- DAWN                                         38

            The men are breaking camp, loading horses. Willie sits
            waiting, tied.

     39     EXT. PRAIRIE -- DAY                                        39

            Later. The men ride. Various close-ups, scenic shots, etc.

     40     EXT. PRAIRIE -- DAY                                        40

            More time passed. We see another small farm. Barn and main

     41     EXT. SECOND FARM -- DAY                                    41

            KREEGE is the proprietor here. He crouches beside the house,
            absently picking at his own hair. He is deeply sunburned.
            Apparently insane. 

            The men approach.

            Kreege sits up, instantly coherent, even if he's still as
            loony as a hatter. He begins to run down to the edge of the
            falling fence to meet them.

            Willie, Culver, and Philburn pass out of sight. Kreege is
            only interested in O'Fallon.


            O'Fallon looks down at him, nonplussed.

                      Have you brought word? The man's ready to
                      move me, is he not?

                      Mr. Earnest will send for you when the
                      time is right.

            Kreege watches them pass, and we see his disposition go from
            ecstatic to enraged. 

                      Damn you! Messengers have been saying
                      that for the past eight summers--

            O'Fallon reigns in his horse and dismounts.

            Willie and Culver both turn in their saddles to see what's
            going on behind them.

            O'Fallon rushes Kreege, and takes him by his lapels.

            Willie's POV: As a slow distance is gained, he strains to
            hear O'Fallon's quiet words to Kreege.

                      --no messenger. I am the Angel of D--

            Culver smacks Willie upside the head, and Willie faces
            forward again.

     42     EXT. SECOND FARM -- NIGHT                                  42

            We see the moon is full, providing ample light on the
            proceedings that will take place this night.

     43     INT. SECOND BARN -- NIGHT                                  43

            Willie, strapped to a new pole, is able to see...

            ...through a chunk of board missing from the wall, the main
            house. There are no lights inside of it.

            The barn is dark, as well. Over everything, we hear the men's
            SNORING. Willie is the only one awake right now.

            Or so it would seem. Suddenly, we are joined by Kreege's
            Voice-over, but we never see him. He's behind Willie, totally
            concealed by shadows. When he speaks, Willie doesn't jump,
            but a slow smile crosses his lips, impressed as he is with
            Kreege's talents for stealth.

                          (O.S. whispering)
                      I've been saving a bottle of fine English
                      sherry for such a time as this. I can
                      tell you it will make the night pass much
                      faster. But I want a little something in
                      exchange, of course. They won't say a
                      thing to me, and they never will. Why are
                      there only four of them?

                      Two were killed.


                      One was killed by O'Fallon. That was
                      Newaygo. Newaygo killed Carlson.

                      But, how did Newaygo kill Carlson when
                      O'Fallon killed Newaygo?

                      Newaygo killed Carlson before O'Fallon
                      killed Newaygo. O'Fallon killed Newaygo
                      because Newaygo killed Carlson. 

                      I see. So, why then did Newaygo kill

                      To protect the secret of my money.

            Kreege comes forward, and we see only his face emerge from
            the shadows behind Willie.

                      Your money? What secret would that be?

                      He was hoping to learn the secret of
                      where my fortune is buried.

                      Ah, your fortune. Of course. Let me
                      guess, you incited Carlson to make an
                      attempt on your life.

            Willie nods in agreement.

                      You're crafty, Willie. My name is Elmer
                      Kreege. I've watched this place for Mr.
                      Earnest for twenty-five summers. Twelve
                      of those back, he came through here with
                      two other men and promised me one day I'd
                      run one of his banks in the city. He said
                      to me himself, 'Elmer? I bet you could
                      run my bank better'n those damn bankers
                      do!' I haven't heard a word of it since.

                      I'm sure he's just waiting until the time
                      is right.

            Kreege looks to the men, hopefully. He chuckles.

                      Say, Kreege? How about a gentleman's

            Stone silence.


                      Bring it to his attention?

            Willie doesn't answer, only shrugs a little.

                      What would you want in return?

            Willie pretends to ponder this. His gaze strays to his left,

            Willie's POV: the doorway on the side of the barn. 

                      The first thing I want you to do is take
                      five steps to your left and five steps
                      forward. I can't bargain with a man who
                      stands behind me.

            Kreege does as he's told, almost too readily. But he is still
            quiet as a churchmouse. 

                      Now, I want you to open that side door
                      and let some moonlight in here. I can't
                      bargain with a man whose face I can't

            Kreege approaches the doors, cracks them, letting in
            moonlight, and we see his silhouette turn around to look
            behind him, toward where the other men are sleeping.

            We see Willie look in the same direction, expectant.

            Kreege, facing the door again, continues to push it wider,
            and, of course, the doors eventually SQUEEK.

            Willie's eyes rise to Kreege, as if anticipating exactly what
            will happen. 

            We are on Kreege, frozen, waiting to see if he was heard, and
            abruptly, all the snoring ceases. Kreege's eyes rise to

            Who is staring back at him, as if to say "Bon Voyage, my

            Kreege's hand falls to his holster, and as he pulls it, we...

            POV of O'Fallon's blade, WHISTLING through the air, toward
            Kreege as he turns to face it. He begins to YELL...

            The blade, when it connects, pinning his other arm to the
            door, turns that yell into a scream.

            Willie's head jerks away, as if he is too disgusted to look
            at what is coming next. 

            Kreege turns with his drawn six-shooter, still screaming,
            still pinned to the doors, and pulls the trigger, filling the
            barn with BLASTING GUNSHOTS.

            Kreege's POV: We see, briefly illuminated by their own muzzle
            flashes, three of the posse: Culver, Craggs, and O'Fallon.
            All three are firing at Kreege. Culver, hit by Kreege's
            bullet, flips over backward during one of these flashes,

            Kreege slumps from the blade that pierces his arm to the
            door. The blade gives way under his weight and he collapses
            in the doorway.

            Philburn struggles to light a kerosene lamp, hands shaking.
            He's lit by full moonlight from the wide open doors now.
            Light finally illuminates them all. 

            O'Fallon is standing, gun drawn now, Craggs beside him, gun

            Willie's POV: O'Fallon approaches the doors. Philburn seems
            to be on the verge of panic, rooted next to the lamp. Just
            behind Philburn, we see Craggs has been hit as well. When he
            slumps to the ground, a spreading redness on his chest, both
            O'Fallon and Philburn are caught off-guard, spinning around.

                          (voice shaking)
                      He got 'em both. Craggy and Culver. He
                      plugged 'em both. 

            O'Fallon looks down at Kreege's body, then crouches to
            retrieve his knife. 

            Willie's POV: O'Fallon turns to face Willie, considering
            whether to make him pay for this or not.

            Willie appears to be as surprised by the whole thing as
            He stares down at Kreege as though he's never laid eyes on
            him before. Slowly, his gaze raises to meet O'Fallon's.

                      Crazy bugger, sneakin' in here like that,
                      with you boys loaded for bear like you
                      are. Good shootin', though. First-rate. 
                          (nodding toward Kreege, then
                           the ones whom Kreege killed)
                      Course, nothin' to do out here but shoot
                      at target.

            O'Fallon looks at him uncertainly, but he's starting to get
            Willie's game. He turns back to the others and walks back, as
            though to lay down again.

                          (to Philburn)
                      Drag that sorry sumbitch out of here. He
                      smelled back when he was alive. 

            We end on Willie, looking at "us" (the direction of the
            posse), with that mischevious smile creeping across his
            features once again. We linger on it only briefly, before... 

                                O'FALLON'S V.O.:
                      And get that light off before you do it,
                      so's I can get some rest. 

            The light goes out on Willie's quietly victorious smile.

                            44     ONE WEEK LATER                      44


                                  (words on black)

     45     EXT. RIVER PRECEDING THE VALLEY RIM -- DAY                 45

            Philburn, Willie, and O'Fallon ride through a low stream and
            advance up the hill after it, to the rim of a valley beyond.
            Down there is home, at last.

     46     EXT. VALLEY RIM -- DAY                                     46

            O'Fallon, Philburn, and Willie sit mounted on their horses
            above a valley, all looking down at a vast expanse of rich
            farmland. The birth of a prosperous and proud nation laid out
            below them. 

                          (to Philburn)
                      Go on now. Earnest wants the scout to
                      continue on, get the news home.
                      Tell him we're comin'. We got the
                      sumbitch that took his horses, and...
                          (looking to Willie, who returns
                           his look)
                      let him know the sumbitch is quite ready
                      to pay the debt with his own flesh and

            Willie looks away, non-plussed, unintimidated, even serene.

            Philburn nods, and takes off down into the valley. 

                      I'm gonna cut you loose to make us a
                      camp. You run and I'll gut you before
                      your feet know they ain't runnin'

     47     EXT. VALLEY'S RIM -- NIGHT                                 47

            Later that night. In moonlight now, we hear O'Fallon SNORING,
            but the camera's on Willie, tied once again, to a tree this
            time. We see his outline near the light of a dwindling fire.
            THUNDER rumbles in the near distance.

            On Willie, watching...

            ...O'Fallon, who is apparently fast-asleep next to the fire. 

            Willie looks to the skies, trying to predict the nearness of
            the coming rainstorm. We hear more THUNDER.

                      You know, sir, I have always identified
                      men by their nature, not by the names
                      their Mamas gave 'em.

            O'Fallon's snoring stops, and his eyes instantly open.

                      Such tags as Jimmy, Billy Bob, and Roy do
                      nothing to tell you who you're talking
                      to. I say, sir, that you are a man of
                      desperate urges. You are known by what
                      you do. You are a tool, yet not as
                      reliable as a tool, because you are only
                      a man.

            O'Fallon's eyes narrow, anticipating, even amused, by the
            moves that Willie will try and pull, to outwit him on the eve
            of his own destruction.

                      Is that your lot? To be the unreliable
                      tool of others?

                          (not moving)
                      I see that you've prepared yourself to
                      leave this world.

                      Yes, I have. And there's no reason to
                      keep quiet tonight is there? Why should I
                      let you sleep? You can't kill me because
                      that would mean I was right. That you
                      can't control yourself. That you are
                      flawed, as a man always is. You would
                      have failed to bring me back alive to Mr.
                      J.T. Earnest, Jr. Men are controlled by
                      their urges. Yours, sir, are most clearly
                      controlled by desperation.

                          (sitting up slowly)
                      You're right. I can't kill you, 
                          (bringing out his knife)
                      but I can make the time between now and
                      tomorrow most unbearable just the same.

            O'Fallon stands, in no hurry, ready to play the game.

                      And I can tell Mr. J.T. Earnest, Jr. that
                      you know the location of the money I made
                      from selling his horses. 

            O'Fallon approaches slowly, meandering around behind Willie
            in order to unnerve him. At Willie's words, he pauses, all
            semblence of amusement gone abruptly.

                          (conversationally, almost
                           discussing the weather; also
                           listening for O'Fallon's exact
                      I can tell him that you tortured me into
                      telling you on this very night. And every
                      mark you leave on me will prove it.

            O'Fallon advances, eerily lit by the dying fire. As he
            approaches, the RAIN starts to fall.

            He nears Willie, standing closely now in full intimidation
            mode, just behind him.

                          (leaning into a two-shot)
                      Such a thing might not be so easy if your
                      tongue was removed from your body.

                      Such a move would be a dead giveaway as
                      well. Why would you remove my tongue
                      unless you didn't want me using it? 
                          (mock surprise)
                      To tell whom and to tell what? My, my,
                      what could the crazy man have to say?

                          (considering this, changing
                      I like forcing people under water.
                      Doesn't leave the slightest mark, yet you
                      can take them right to the door of death

            Willie's eyes reflect the rememberance of something...

     48     EXT. RIVER PRECEDING THE VALLEY RIM -- DAY                 48

            Earlier in the day. A different angle of the same stream
            crossing on their way to this valley-rim.

     49     EXT. VALLEY'S RIM -- NIGHT                                 49

            Willie's eyes reflect a nervous apprehension for the first

                      Care to go for a swim, Willie?

                      No, I would not. Would you like to know
                      what I did with all that money?

                      I suppose I am curious.

                      I had a very good time, and I slept very
                      well when I was done."

                          (introspective; almost envious)
                      Was it worth dying for?

                      You should ask yourself the same
                      When I am delivered, I will cast such a
                      shadow of suspicion on you that they'll
                      have no choice but to look inside you for
                      answers as well. By the time I'm done,
                      it'll be just like you were the one who
                      took them horses.

            Different angle of Willie: Slowly, insidiously, O'Fallon's
            blade comes around from behind Willie, and encroaches itself
            against his throat. Willie freezes, the fear setting in all
            at once.

                          (barely calm)
                      You can't kill me, unless you plan on
                      staying out of Oklahoma tomorrow, and
                      forever after. 

            On O'Fallon: Listening to Willie, considering the words.

                      You've done your job, now your pay is
                      right around the corner. 

            On Willie:

                      You are helpless. Your blade, my friend,
                      has grown dull.

            O'Fallon's blade comes in close now, pressing against the
            flesh of Willie's neck, forcing him to tilt his head back to
            pull back uselessly. 

                      You are valuable to Mr. Earnest because
                      you have no soul, no moral ethics. He
                      sends you after people he wants because
                      he knows they can't pay more for their
                      lives than he can. 

            On O'Fallon:

                      He doesn't worry about your loyalty
                      because he knows you don't have any �
                      except to the good ol' U.S. dollar. When
                      we stand before him tomorrow, what will
                      make him believe that you had absolutely
                      no interest in procuring for yourself the
                      money that I stole from him?

            O'Fallon leans in close now.

                      How does this go, Willie? I let you go
                      because maybe Mr. Earnest will believe
                      you over me? Do you really see that

                      People listen to me when I talk because
                      they are curious as to how I will shock
                      them next. They think I don't have the
                      capacity to organize lies. People listen
                      to you only when you make them do so by

            Uncertainty comes into O'Fallon's eyes for the first time.

                      Except you won't have that opportunity
                      with Mr. J.T. Earnest, Jr. Without force,
                      I say you would be left without any
                      powers of persuasion whatsoever.

            O'Fallon is locked now in a test of wills against himself. He
            wants to kill Willie because that's what he always does to
            people who pose a threat to him. We can see his newfound

            Willie stands with the blade against his throat, waiting to
            see if he's talked himself out of the fire once again. 

                      What methods are you employing to
                      influence me now?
                          (waiting an uncertain but
                           hopeful beat)
                      Tomorrow, you'll be trying to convince
                      Mr. Earnest that I'm lying and you'll
                      have nothing but words to do it. Are you
                      willing to bet your life on the
                      persuasion of your words?

            O'Fallon struggles with the realization that Willie is dead

                      It'll be like walking into a gunfight
                      without a piece, while words are the only
                      weapons I've ever had. Trust me,
                      tomorrow, you don't stand a hog's chance
                      of runnin' for mayor.

                      If I'm a dead man tomorrow, then what's
                      to keep me from takin' you out right now?

                      Mr. Earnest is a smart man. He'll assume
                      for himself what I aim to tell him
                      tomorrow: you squeezed the location of
                      his money out of me, killed me, and went
                      off after it. He'll send three times as
                      many goons after you as he sent after me.

            O'Fallon, visibly, cedes his own impending failure. 

                      So you see there's no real choice now. We
                      have a few more hours to daylight and
                      when we don't show, Philburn will lead
                      them back here. You've got a good head
                      start, but every minute might be the one
                      that could have saved you.

                          (sighs audibly)
                      Mr. Willie, You're right. 

            Willie silently lets out a very relieved breath.

                      Earnest will believe you--which presents
                      us with an interesting situation. The
                      posse he sends after me ain't enough
                      reason to keep you breathing. I can't
                      take you in, and I sure as hell ain't
                      leaving you free and clear, either.

                      There's another choice.

                          (considering, then realizing
                           with widening eyes)
                      You said the money doesn't exist.

                      I buried it, under a lone sycamore about
                      a mile out of Amarillo."

                      You're lying.

                      Sir, you can see I don't threaten the
                      flies that follow me down the trail. I've
                      not gotten by in this life by anything
                      but my wits. So I ask you, would a man
                      who lived by his wits be stupid enough
                      not to bury at least most of his money?

                          (making his decision finally)
                      If you're lying, I will peel your skin
                      off of your body before I kill you.

            The blade, as smoothly as it appeared, is retracted. Willie
            lets an exhausted sigh of relief now.

            Close-up on O'Fallon cutting Willie's ropes instead of his

                                                                 CUT TO:

                                 50     DAWN                           50


                                  (words on black)

            (Possibly start end-credit song here.)

     51     EXT. PRAIRIE -- DAY                                        51

            Broad daylight now. We come in fast, on O'Fallon and Willie
            riding one horse, Willie still tied, across an open prairie,
            as if being pursued. 

            Reverse angle: They ride toward camera from a distance.
            Behind them, in the further distance, is another POSSE. We
            never see them in close-up.

            Wide angle/extreme distance: Willie and O'Fallon are specks
            in the distance, riding hard across the frame. Gradually, the
            posse chasing them also comes in, at the opposite side of the
            frame, riding just as hard. 

            O'Fallon and Willie pass out of sight of the posse on their
            trail, and we see them from a...

            New distant angle: O'Fallon reigns in, the horse abruptly
            stops, and he throws Willie off the horse.

            Much closer: O'Fallon pulls his six-shooter as though to put
            one in Willie after all.

                      You might need every bullet you got in

            O'Fallon thinks quickly, looking up and behind him in the
            direction of the new posse, curses, and rides away at a full

            Willie stands and runs, tied, to a (fallen tree, other
            natural hiding place, whatever's available) and we watch,
            over Willie's shoulder, O'Fallon making his desperate escape
            off into the horizon. Soon enough, the posse rides past, hot
            on his trail.

            Willie watches them go...

            Over a hill and out of sight.

            On Willie, hands bound, as he proceeds to walk off in the
            opposite direction. There's nothing out here to cut his
            ropes, and so he doesn't worry about it. 

            Cue end-MUSIC here, (if not at the beginning of the scene),
            or Willie's voiced-over sermon as it leads into the next
            scene, as he walks away in the opposite direction from which
            O'Fallon is being pursued.

                                WILLIE V.O.
                      We begin with the Book of Daniel, Chapter
                      Six, verses 19-27: "Then, at break of
                      day, the king arose and went in haste to
                      the den of lions. When he came near to
                      the den where Daniel was, he cried out in
                      a tone of anguish and said to Daniel, "O
                      Daniel, servent of the living God, has
                      your God, whom you serve continually,
                      been able to deliver you from the lions?"

                                                                 CUT TO:

     52     INT. CHURCH -- DAY                                         52

            Much time later. Willie's voice carries over into this scene.
            The pews are reasonably full of the local POPULACE, listening
            to a sermon being bellowed by Willie from the pulpit.

            Once again, he is in his priest's frock, and coke-bottle
            glasses, looking exactly as he did when we saw him in the
            first scene. 

                      Then Daniel said to the king, '...My God
                      sent his angel and shut the lions'
                      mouths, and they have not hurt me,
                      because I was found blameless before him;
                      and also before you, O King, I have done
                      no wrong." Then the king was exceedingly
                      glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken
                      up out of the den. 

            Willie's POV:

            The CONGREGATION (7-10 extras), in the pews, listening.

                                WILLIE (cont'd)
                      So Daniel was taken up out of the den,
                      and no kind of hurt was found upon him...

            On Willie:

                                WILLIE (cont'd)
                      ...because he had trusted in his God. And
                      the king commanded, and those men who had
                      accused Daniel were brought and cast into
                      the den of lions...

     53     EXT. PRAIRIE -- DAY                                        53

            Brief flashback: O'Fallon riding hard, trying to outrun the
            new posse. 

                                WILLIE'S V.O.
                      ...they, their children, and their

            We see them hot on his trail.

                                WILLIE'S V.O. (cont'd)
                      ...and before they reached the bottom of
                      the den the lions overpowered them and
                      broke all their bones in pieces.

     54     INT. CHURCH -- DAY                                         54

            Present time. Willie preaching to the congregation.

                      Then King Darius wrote to all the
                      peoples, nations, and languages that
                      dwelt in all the earth: 

     55     EXT. CHURCH -- DAY                                         55

            Brief flash-forward: Willie walking the congregation out
            following the service. He chats with them, but we hear
            instead his continued V.O.

                                WILLIE V.O.
                      ..."Peace be multiplied to you. I make a
                      decree, that in all my royal dominion men
                      tremble and fear before the God of...

            At the door, he waves them off casually... 

                                WILLIE V.O. (cont'd)
                      ...Daniel, for he is the living God,
                      enduring forever;

            Willie closes the door after waving and immediately removes
            his clerical collar, begins to unsnap the priest's frock. 

                                WILLIE'S V.O.
                      His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and
                      his dominion shall be to the end.

            We follow Willie back to the alter, to the back door beyond
            it, next to which is resting a shovel propped up against the
            wall, not easily seen from where the congregation was

     56     INT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT                                 56

            Brief flashback.

                      That's a smart move. I bet you tucked it
                      away under your old granny's sycamore,
                      didn't ya?

     57     INT. CHURCH -- DAY                                         57

            Back to the present. Willie grabs the shovel, opens the door,

                                WILLIE'S V.O.
                      God delivers and rescues, he works signs
                      and wonders in heaven and on earth,...

            ...walks out through the door, closing it behind him. From
            there, we pull back to the window which looks out at the
            sycamore tree that Willie looked at when O'Fallon arrested
            him. Willie now walks toward it, carrying the shovel. 

                                WILLIE V.O.
                      ...he who has saved Daniel from the power
                      of the lions."

                                                           CUT TO BLACK:

            End Credits.