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FADE IN: 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 limb. 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. WILLIE 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. JASPER Empty your pockets, priest. WILLIE Fool. Have you no concern for your eternal soul? JASPER 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 man. WILLIE 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. JASPER (suspicious; still aiming the pistol) What kind of a job? WILLIE 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 called. JASPER How much? WILLIE 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 end. 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. O'FALLON Who you preachin' to, son, the daisies? JASPER Walking in contemplation, sir, of all that Gawd doth give. O'FALLON We're looking for a man, name of Willie. Folks say he's a might tetched. Crazy, we hear. You seen him? WILLIE (thinking) 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. O'FALLON You think I'm a fool, boy? Jasper, a little scared. JASPER No, sir. O'FALLON Then make better use of this second chance than you did the first. JASPER 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 GUNSHOT. 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. O'FALLON 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. O'FALLON 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. MADAM (O.S.) 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. O'FALLON 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. O'FALLON 'Course, if a man's got a mind, he can always find something thrillin' to do, I suppose. [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. O'FALLON Clean that up, boy. CARLSON (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 church. 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. O'FALLON You Willie? WILLIE So my Momma tells me. O'FALLON 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. WILLIE And whom do I have the pleasure of addressing? O'FALLON To you, I'm the Man with the Blade. Get up. 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. WILLIE I have made my peace with God, (change of tone; reverting to his own voice instead of his voice in character as the priest) 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. WILLIE That's one wild bender comin' on. O'FALLON 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. O'FALLON You'll sleep nice and dry tonight. Comfy. Just like the outlaw gets a last meal before they hang him. WILLIE Stop. You're spoilin' me. O'FALLON Hell, boy. Just 'cos I've killed women and children don't mean I ain't got any class. WILLIE (sarcastic) Well, I'm sure they had it comin'. O'FALLON 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. O'FALLON (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. NEWAYGO You gonna give me a hit off that? CRAGGS Damn it, Red. You go on the trail, you bring enough to last ya. NEWAYGO 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 (O.S.) 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. CRAGGS (O.S.) Who is it, boss? O'FALLON Neighbors. Flushed out by the bender. Maybe a twister out there somewhere. CARLSON How long will that keep us down, boss? PHILBURN 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 tomorrow. NEWAYGO 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. PHILBURN Well, I figure we'll be building you a pyre when you go a'slidin' down a gully. CRAGGS 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? O'FALLON 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. WILLIE Right that it's up to you whether we ride in the rain, or right that you've come a long way? O'FALLON (ignoring that) How much you pull in from those horses? WILLIE Few thousand. Off-screen, we hear a couple of the men whistle and hoot with admiration. O'FALLON Sixteen horses. Not a bad haul for a two bit rattlesnake like yourself. What did a scallywag like you spend all that nickel on? WILLIE Who says I spent it all? The boys look at each other. Interested. Even more interested in Willie now. WILLIE 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' away. CULVER Not in a bank, I hope. The men laugh at this. WILLIE No, sir. Who can trust such places in these ever-changing times? NEWAYGO 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. WILLIE 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. O'FALLON 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. WILLIE (resigned) What have I to fear of death? If death wanted me, she would have taken me by now. O'FALLON 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. WILLIE (louder) 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. O'FALLON (Still quiet) Few thousand. CULVER Come on, boss, we want to know what the ol' bugger plans to do with his coin. O'FALLON (now louder) You mean, planned to do, don't you, Culver? WILLIE 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 brothel. O'Fallon backs away, his interest in terrorizing Willie lost. WILLIE 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 blade. O'FALLON I think maybe you will only promote the growth of Mr. Earnest's daisies. The boys laugh. WILLIE 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. CARLSON You've buried it then. Willie's eyes fall to Carlson, and a shrewd smile takes root in his eyes. WILLIE 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. WILLIE Craggs, right? CRAGGS Pipe down, now. We ain't supposed to be gabbin' with him, boss. WILLIE Pipe down? Am I doing more to keep you awake than these destructive rains? O'FALLON He's right. You're a prisoner. It's against our ways to know anything more about you than what you done wrong. WILLIE 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. O'FALLON Is that who you follow, Willie? WILLIE No, sir. I spend far too much time waiting for myself to catch up. CARLSON Why do they call you Crazy Willie? 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, crazy. 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 eyes. 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 basket. 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. NEWAYGO You tell me where it's buried and I'll see that you get let go, first opportunity. WILLIE 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 rattled. Willie looks to the others. Carlson is talking to O'Fallon, but we can't hear what they're saying, until the shouting starts. O'FALLON 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 this! CARLSON 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... O'FALLON 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... WILLIE Carlson! The men all turn and stare at Willie, shocked by his sudden yell. WILLIE Carlson, tell me something. Is it true what they say about married life? CARLSON (suspicious) What's that? Newaygo's eyes flick to Carlson, to see how he'll react. WILLIE 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. CARLSON What are you sayin'? WILLIE 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 elsewhere? Newaygo moves closer. Listening. CARLSON Boy. I think you should start speakin' English right about now. WILLIE 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. PHILBURN 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. O'FALLON 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. O'FALLON We all ready, boys? CRAGGS (O.S.) Yes, sir. CULVER You lead the way, boss. O'FALLON (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. O'FALLON 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 house. 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. KREEGE O'Fallon! O'Fallon looks down at him, nonplussed. KREEGE Have you brought word? The man's ready to move me, is he not? O'FALLON 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. KREEGE 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. O'FALLON --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. KREEGE (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? WILLIE (whispering) Two were killed. KREEGE How? WILLIE One was killed by O'Fallon. That was Newaygo. Newaygo killed Carlson. KREEGE But, how did Newaygo kill Carlson when O'Fallon killed Newaygo? WILLIE Newaygo killed Carlson before O'Fallon killed Newaygo. O'Fallon killed Newaygo because Newaygo killed Carlson. KREEGE I see. So, why then did Newaygo kill Carlson? WILLIE To protect the secret of my money. Kreege comes forward, and we see only his face emerge from the shadows behind Willie. KREEGE Your money? What secret would that be? WILLIE He was hoping to learn the secret of where my fortune is buried. KREEGE Ah, your fortune. Of course. Let me guess, you incited Carlson to make an attempt on your life. Willie nods in agreement. KREEGE 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. WILLIE I'm sure he's just waiting until the time is right. Kreege looks to the men, hopefully. He chuckles. WILLIE Say, Kreege? How about a gentleman's agreement? Stone silence. WILLIE Kreege? KREEGE Bring it to his attention? Willie doesn't answer, only shrugs a little. KREEGE What would you want in return? Willie pretends to ponder this. His gaze strays to his left, to... Willie's POV: the doorway on the side of the barn. WILLIE 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. WILLIE 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 see. 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 Willie... Who is staring back at him, as if to say "Bon Voyage, my friend." 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, SCREAMING. 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 lowered. 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. PHILBURN (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 anybody. He stares down at Kreege as though he's never laid eyes on him before. Slowly, his gaze raises to meet O'Fallon's. WILLIE 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. O'FALLON (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 OKLAHOMA (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. O'FALLON (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 bone. Willie looks away, non-plussed, unintimidated, even serene. Philburn nods, and takes off down into the valley. O'FALLON 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' anymore. 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. WILLIE (loudly) 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. WILLIE 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. WILLIE Is that your lot? To be the unreliable tool of others? O'FALLON (not moving) I see that you've prepared yourself to leave this world. WILLIE 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. O'FALLON (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. WILLIE 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. WILLIE (conversationally, almost discussing the weather; also listening for O'Fallon's exact location) 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. O'FALLON (leaning into a two-shot) Such a thing might not be so easy if your tongue was removed from your body. WILLIE 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? O'FALLON (considering this, changing tactics) I like forcing people under water. Doesn't leave the slightest mark, yet you can take them right to the door of death itself. 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 time. O'FALLON Care to go for a swim, Willie? WILLIE No, I would not. Would you like to know what I did with all that money? O'FALLON I suppose I am curious. WILLIE I had a very good time, and I slept very well when I was done." O'FALLON (introspective; almost envious) Was it worth dying for? WILLIE You should ask yourself the same question. 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. WILLIE (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. WILLIE (O.S.) You've done your job, now your pay is right around the corner. On Willie: 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. WILLIE 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: WILLIE (O.S.) 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. O'FALLON (hollow) How does this go, Willie? I let you go because maybe Mr. Earnest will believe you over me? Do you really see that happening? WILLIE 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 force. Uncertainty comes into O'Fallon's eyes for the first time. WILLIE 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 helplessness. Willie stands with the blade against his throat, waiting to see if he's talked himself out of the fire once again. WILLIE 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 right. WILLIE 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. O'FALLON If I'm a dead man tomorrow, then what's to keep me from takin' you out right now? WILLIE 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. WILLIE (o.S.) 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. O'FALLON (sighs audibly) Mr. Willie, You're right. Willie silently lets out a very relieved breath. O'FALLON (O.S.) 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. WILLIE There's another choice. O'FALLON (considering, then realizing with widening eyes) You said the money doesn't exist. WILLIE I buried it, under a lone sycamore about a mile out of Amarillo." O'FALLON You're lying. WILLIE 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? O'FALLON (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 throat. CUT TO: 50 DAWN 50 KANSAS (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. WILLIE You might need every bullet you got in there. O'Fallon thinks quickly, looking up and behind him in the direction of the new posse, curses, and rides away at a full gallop. 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. WILLIE 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) (O.S.) 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 wives... 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. WILLIE 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 sitting. 56 INT. DALHART BARN -- NIGHT 56 Brief flashback. NEWAYGO 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, and... 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.