This is an excerpt from a completed screenplay.

       "Ambush At Apache Pass" (working title) - screenplay by Derek Paterson.

       FADE IN:

       EXT. DESERT - DAY

       Just cactus and tumbleweed, as far as the eye can see.


       EXT. ATOP A HIGH RIDGE - DAY

       View's different from up here.  Five trails of dust stream
       across the desert.  One horse, pursued by four other horses.
       Too distant yet to make out their riders.

       Watching this is TOM HANNAY, a tall man who sits motionless
       on his tall horse.  He's covered in a layer of dust.  Only
       his eyes seem alive.

       Below, the four horses gain on the leading horse.

       Tom guides his horse along the ridge, following a parallel
       course.


       EXT. DRY CREEK - DAY

       The leading horse gallops along the creek bed.  Not one rider,
       but two -- an APACHE WARRIOR, 20, and an APACHE GIRL, 17, in
       a buckskin dress.

       BLAM!  The horse screams and topples, spilling its riders.

       The dazed Warrior gets to his feet.  CAL, 18, rides up fast,
       slams his horse into the Apache Warrior and sends him
       sprawling.

       The Apache Girl springs up and runs away.  Cal rides after
       her, leaps from his saddle and throws her onto the ground.

       Cal rolls her over onto her back.  She claws at his face.
       He grabs her wrists, forces her down and ravages her neck
       and breasts.  She twists and kicks but it's no good.

       The three other riders rein up and dismount.  Their leader,
       EARL, 30s, as merciless as the noon desert sun, pulls Cal
       off the Apache Girl.

                             CAL
                 Hey!  I got her first!

       Earl signs to the other two men, JENNINGS and HANCOCK.

                             EARL
                 Get a fire started.  This's as good
                 a place as any.

       They grab the Apache Girl and pull her up.  She struggles
       and tries to bite them.  They laugh at her.

                             CAL
                 Whadda we need a fire for?

                             EARL
                 You'll see.

       FLAMES CRACKLE OVER BURNING LOGS

       Earl squats at the fire, heating up his knife.  He inspects
       the blackened blade.  Spits on it.  HISS.

       The unconscious Apache Warrior and the Apache Girl lie staked
       out on the ground, side by side.

       Hancock takes a whisky bottle from his saddlebag.  He spits
       out the cork and takes a long drink.

                             CAL
                 What are you gonna do?

       Earl takes the bottle from Hancock, drinks.  He gives it to
       Jennings who drinks and gives the bottle to Cal.  Cal takes
       a mouthful and gags, but swallows it.  Cal passes the bottle
       back to Hancock.

                             EARL
                 Gonna have us some fun.  With him.
                 Then with her.

       Cal licks his lips and stares hungrily at the Apache Girl.
       She stares back at him, her eyes filled with contempt.

       Earl signs to Jennings who gives him the bottle.

                             EARL
                 Wake him up.

       Jennings unbuckles his belt, opens his pants and pisses on
       the Apache Warrior who wakes up gasping and choking.  Jennings
       laughs.  The Apache Warrior tries to break free but it's no
       good.

                             EARL
                 Let's do it.

       Earl touches his knife to the Apache Warrior's shoulder.
       Flesh HISSES.  The Apache Warrior grimaces but presses his
       lips tight together, refusing to make a sound.

       The Apache Girl turns her head away and closes her eyes.

                             CAL
                 Why can't we just shoot him?

       Earl turns his knife, examining the smoking blade.

                             EARL
                 I can see I'm gonna have to teach
                 you how to enjoy yourself, young
                 feller.  What we got here's an Apache.
                 He'd skin you alive soon as look at
                 you.

                             CAL
                 That's no excuse for doing what you're
                 doing.

                             EARL
                 Tell 'im, Rance.

                             JENNINGS
                 You only been here a while.  Most of
                 us, we lost kin and friends to Apache.
                 You can bet they all prayed for death.
                 And didn't get none.

                             EARL
                 That pretty sister of yours, you
                 want to know what they'd do to her
                 if they got their hands on her?
                 You'd shoot her yourself--

                             CAL
                 Don't you talk about Rita.

                             EARL
                 --put her out her misery.  I'll talk
                 'bout Rita all I want.

       He touches his knife to flesh.  HISS.  The Apache Warrior
       shudders but makes no sound.

                             EARL
                 She likes me, and I like her too.
                 Maybe I'll woo her come Saturday
                 night.  Bring her some flowers.
                 Take her dancing.

       Jennings doubles over laughing.

                             EARL
                 What's so funny?

                             JENNINGS
                 You with a bunch of flowers in your
                 hand and your hair slicked down.  A
                 real Eastern gent.

       Jennings clasps his hands above his heart.

                             JENNINGS
                 "Oh my darlin' I have come to woo
                 you.  Pardon my spurs."

       Cal scowls, but Earl grins.  And touches his knife to flesh
       again.  HISS.  The Apache Warrior squirms silently.

                             EARL
                 Come on over here, Cal.  I branded
                 him.  Now it's your turn.

                             CAL
                 Just shoot him and get it over with,
                 dammit.

                             JENNINGS
                 Here, give me that knife.

       Earl stands and gives Jennings the knife.  Jennings squats
       down and grabs the Apache Warrior's jaw.  But the Warrior is
       unconscious.

                             JENNINGS
                 Wake up, you godless heathen!  Gonna
                 write my name on your face.

                             HANCOCK
                 Hey!  Leave some'a him for me.

       Hancock raises the whisky bottle to his lips -- then slowly
       lowers it, staring at something.

       Earl sees his look and turns round fast.

       Jennings stands up, drops the knife.

       Cal sees their reaction, turns round.

       Tom, sitting on his horse twenty paces away, holds his
       Winchester at waist level.  Aiming at them.

       Cal's eyes widen in recognition.

       Tom's eyes narrow as he looks at the two Apaches.  His gaze
       comes back to Earl.

       Earl grins.  He keeps his gaze locked on Tom but turns his
       head slightly to the left, then slightly to the right, warning
       Jennings and Hancock.  They stand loose, ready to draw.

                             EARL
                 Best thing you can do...

       He turns his head and spits on the Apache warrior.

                             EARL
                 ...is turn and ride out of here.
                 Leave us to our legal business.

       Tom doesn't even bat an eyelid.

       Cal anxiously looks from Earl to Tom, not sure what's gonna
       happen next.

                             EARL
                 You think you can take four of us?

       He spits again.

                             EARL
                 Mister, you got dung for brains.

       Hancock and Jennings grin.

                             TOM
                 I got a cocked Winchester, too.

       The grins slowly fade.

       Earl claws at his holster.  BLAM!  Tom's bullet spins him
       round, blocking Hancock's aim.

       BLAM!  Jennings doubles over, his knees give way, his gun
       falls from his hand, they hit the ground together.

       Hancock side-steps, takes aim.  BLAM!  His head snaps back,
       he topples like a tree.

       Tom spurs his horse toward Cal who doesn't know what the
       hell to do.

       Earl's on his knees, trying to bring up his gun.

       BLAM!  Another bullet punches Earl onto his back.

       Tom's horse slams into Cal with brutal force, knocking him
       flying.

       BLACKNESS.

       FADE IN:

       Cal awakens to find his hands tied behind his back -- and
       he's lying alongside the staked-out Apaches.  The Warrior is
       still unconscious, the Apache Girl shows no emotion.  Cal
       shuffles away from them.

       Tom's strung their horses together.  Earl, Jennings and
       Hancock lie belly-down over their saddles, tied in place.

       Tom walks over to Cal, drags him to his feet.  Cal struggles,
       Tom slaps him hard.  Cal collapses, sobbing.

       Tom pulls him over to his horse, lifts Cal's boot into the
       stirrup and physically heaves him up in into his saddle.

       Tom walks to his own horse and mounts up.

       He guides his horse over to the Apaches.  He unwraps a water
       canteen strap from his saddle horn and drops the canteen
       beside the Apache Girl.

       She looks at it, then looks up at Tom.

       He draws a knife, takes aim, throws.

       The knife thumps into the ground, inches from her.  Close
       enough for her to reach it.

       Tom turns his horse around, pulling the string of horses
       after him, Cal on the last horse.

       Cal looks back over his shoulder.  The Apache Girl cuts
       herself free, then cuts the unconscious Warrior free.  She
       opens the water canteen and holds it to the Warrior's lips.


       EXT. DESERT - DAY

       The merciless sun beats down... and Cal doesn't have his hat
       on.  He wilts under the blazing heat.

       Tom constantly looks around, always alert.

                             CAL
                 What are you gonna do with me?

       Tom doesn't reply.

                             CAL
                 You gonna shoot me too?

       No reply.

                             CAL
                 They was only Apaches.  We caught
                 'em off the Reservation, fair and
                 square.

       Tom stops.  Seems to think about that for a moment.  Then he
       turns round.

                             TOM
                 What did they do?

                             CAL
                 What d'you mean, what did they do?
                 They're Apaches.

       Tom rides on.  But he's got Cal thinking...

                             CAL
                 What are you, some kinda Indian lover?

       Tom doesn't reply.

                             CAL
                 You shot and killed three white men
                 because of heathen Apaches.  You'll
                 burn in Hell for this, Tom high and
                 mighty Hannay.


       EXT. TOWN LIMITS - DAY

       Tom approaches the town, a collection of wooden buildings
       including a jail house, hotel, saloon, and steak house.

       Cal's barely able to sit upright in his saddle, the sun's
       got to him.

       Tom stops, unties Earl's horse, and rides back to Cal.  He
       pulls a knife from his boot, cuts the ropes on Cal's wrists.
       Cal looks at him, not understanding.

       Tom rides back to Earl's horse, picks up the rope and rides
       into town, leading the horses -- and leaving Cal behind.

       Cal rubs his wrists as he watches Tom depart.  He rides around
       the town, heading for the rear of the steak house.


       EXT. JAIL HOUSE - DAY

       Tom dismounts as SHERIFF HARRY JACKS, 40s, steps out onto
       the porch.  TOWNSPEOPLE up and down the street have stopped
       and noted Tom's arrival.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Good to see you, Tom.

       Tom ties his horse to the rail while Harry examines the three
       dead men.  Harry calls inside--

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Andy, come on out here.

       ANDY, 20s, Harry's deputy, steps out.  He stares at the bodies
       and gives a soft whistle.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Go fetch Billings.  Tell him he's
                 got business.

       Andy nods and heads for the Undertaker's up the street.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 You look like you could use a drink.

       Tom follows Harry inside.


       INT. JAIL HOUSE - DAY

       Harry opens a drawer, pulls out a whisky bottle and fills
       two glasses, nudges one across his desk to Tom.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 You want to tell me what happened?

       Tom knocks the drink back.

                             TOM
                 Not particularly.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 You know that's Quinn Ryan's brother
                 out there?

                             TOM
                 I know.

       Harry stares into his glass.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Did you have a reason for killing
                 them, or did you just kill them?
                 You don't have to answer, but other
                 people are going to ask that same
                 question.

       Tom absently brushes dust off the front of his shirt,
       revealing a Texas Ranger badge.

                             TOM
                 I had plenty of reason.


       EXT. JAIL HOUSE - DAY

       A dozen townsfolk have gathered.  They keep a respectful
       distance from the bodies.

       Tom exits.  They stare at him, fearful and disapproving.  He
       ignores them and crosses the street, heading toward the steak
       house.


       EXT. STEAK HOUSE - DAY

       Tom pauses on the porch.  He takes off his hat, runs his
       fingers through his hair.  Then goes inside.


       INT. STEAK HOUSE - DAY

       RITA, 25, an attractive redhead in a checkered dress, brings
       plates of food to two COWBOYS.  She looks up as Tom enters.
       She lays down the plates and the Cowboys thank her.

       Tom takes a seat by a window overlooking the street.

       Rita straightens her dress and approaches Tom.

                             RITA
                 Did you have to bring half the desert
                 in with you?

       Tom looks abashed and brushes himself with his hat.

                             TOM
                 Sorry.

       Rita looks across the street, sees the crowd at the jail
       house.

                             RITA
                 Who are they?

                             TOM
                 Fella named Jennings.  Another fella
                 named Hancock, maybe.  And the middle
                 Ryan brother, Earl.

       Rita sucks in a deep breath.  An anxious moment.

                             RITA
                 Was Cal with them?

                             TOM
                 You can ask him yourself, when you
                 see him.

       Rita sighs with relief.

                             RITA
                 I'll fetch your usual.

                             TOM
                 Thank you kindly.

       Rita heads into the kitchen.

       MATTY, 40s, wearing a suit, hat and lace tie, crosses the
       street and enters the steak house.

                             MATTY
                 Mind if I join you, Tom?

       SIZZLING noises from the kitchen.

                             TOM
                 As long as you don't expect me to
                 talk once the grub gets here.

                             MATTY
                 I admire a man who can eat after
                 killing three men.

                             TOM
                 Maybe one day you can tell me what
                 that means.  What's on your mind,
                 Matty?

                             MATTY
                 Quinn Ryan isn't going to be happy.

                             TOM
                 What do you think I should do about
                 that?

                             MATTY
                 I don't know.  Maybe explain to him
                 why you shot his brother.  Damn it
                 Tom, why couldn't you just arrest
                 Earl?  Why'd you have to kill him?

                             TOM
                 Earl wasn't the arresting kind.
                 Neither were those fellas with him.

                             MATTY
                 That's no answer!

                             TOM
                 It's the only answer on sale today.

       Rita backs out of the kitchen with a plateful of steak and a
       pitcher of beer.

       Matty gets up and exits, angry.

       Rita puts down the plate and pitcher and watches Matty stamp
       across the street.

                             RITA
                 This means trouble for you Tom,
                 doesn't it?

       Tom tucks his napkin into his collar.

                             TOM
                 I wouldn't have thought that's
                 anything for you to worry about.
                 Not any more.

       Rita stares at him, then spins and hurries back to the
       kitchen.

       Tom cuts up his steak and eats.


       INT. STEAK HOUSE KITCHEN - DAY

       Rita leans back against the door frame, closes her eyes.

       She hears something -- moves to another door.


       INT. CAL'S BEDROOM - DAY

       Cal's stripped to the waist, washing himself from a basin.

       Rita watches him from the doorway.  He senses her, looks up.
       His face is swollen and burned.

                             CAL
                 Can't a man have no privacy?

                             RITA
                 What happened to you?

                             CAL
                 Why don't you ask your beau?

       Rita's surprised.

                             RITA
                 Tom did this to you?  He's sitting
                 out front eating my food, and he did
                 this to you?

                             CAL
                 I didn't say he did it!

                             RITA
                 Then what happened?

                             CAL
                 I fell off my horse.

                             RITA
                 You mean you've been drinking again.

                             CAL
                 You're not my mother.

                             RITA
                 No, but I'm the closest thing you've
                 got.  Cal, you have to stop this.

                             CAL
                 Stop fussing over me.  I won't be
                 home tonight.

                             RITA
                 Where will you be?

                             CAL
                 Quinn Ryan's place.

                             RITA
                 You're going to tell him about Earl?

                             CAL
                 Someone has to.  Nobody round here's
                 got the guts, that's for sure.

                             RITA
                 What really happened, Cal?

                             CAL
                 I don't want to talk about it.

                             RITA
                 I'm asking you.

                             CAL
                 And I said I don't want to talk about
                 it!

                             RITA
                 Sometimes you remind me of Pa when
                 he got the devil in him.

                             CAL
                 I've had worse things said about me.

       Cal dries himself, puts on his shirt, puts on his gun belt.

       Rita turns and leaves.


       EXT. TOWN LIMITS - DAY

       A stagecoach approaches the town.


       EXT. HOTEL - UPSTAIRS WINDOW - DAY

       CASH POTTER, 30, a slick and handsome card sharp, watches as
       the stagecoach comes into town and stops at the hotel.

       The driver, YANCY, opens the coach door and steps aside to
       let two PASSENGERS climb out.  He passes their bags down
       from the roof rack, they enter the hotel.


       INT. COACH - DAY

       BELLE CUBBINS, 25, a blonde Southern beauty, peeks out the
       coach window at the hotel.


       EXT. HOTEL - DAY

       Tom crosses the street to talk to Yancy.

                             YANCY
                 Hey Tom.

                             TOM
                 Hey Yancy.  Good trip?

                             YANCY
                 Good enough.

       Belle emerges from the coach.  Tom offers her his hand, she
       smiles, takes it and climbs down.

                             BELLE
                 Why thank you, suh.

                             TOM
                 My pleasure, Ma'am.

       Yancy climbs up and hands Bells's bags down to Tom.

                             TOM
                 After you, Ma'am.

       Belle smiles and enters the hotel.


       INT. CASH'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

       Cash watches, amused.


       INT. STEAK HOUSE - DAY

       Rita, cleaning Tom's table, looks across the street and sees
       Tom following Belle into the hotel.

       HOOFBEATS come from the back of the steak house.  Rita hurries
       to the back window in time to see Cal riding out of town.


       INT. STEAK HOUSE KITCHEN - DAY

       Rita throws dirty dishes into the sink and pumps water
       furiously.


       INT. HOTEL LOBBY - DAY

       Belle signs the register, the CLERK gives her a key.  Tom
       waits with her bags.  Belle smiles at him.

                             BELLE
                 You are too kind, suh.

                             TOM
                 Least I can do, Ma'am.  It's not
                 often we see a lady of your persuasion
                 around these parts.  Town like this,
                 doesn't have much in the way of
                 delicate refinements, if you catch
                 my meaning.

                             BELLE
                 Just what does this town have, besides
                 men who wish to pry into a lady's
                 private affairs?

                             TOM
                 Oh, I didn't mean to pry.  Maybe
                 you'll allow me to make up for it.
                 Let me carry your bags up to your
                 room, then buy you some dinner.
                 There's a chuck house across the
                 street, good cooking and it's clean.

                             BELLE
                 Thank you for your kindness, but I
                 cannot accept your offer.

                             TOM
                 The bags or the dinner?

                             BELLE
                 Both.  Thank you and good day to
                 you, suh.

       Tom smiles wryly.  He puts down the bags, tips his hat and
       exits.  She watches him go, then turns to the Clerk.

                             BELLE
                 Has anyone left a message for me?
                 Cubbins, Miss Belle Cubbins.

       The Clerk gives her a note, Belle reads it, and smiles.


       INT. STEAK HOUSE KITCHEN - DAY

       Rita's up to her elbows in soapy water, clattering dishes
       around.

       Tom comes to stand in the doorway.  He leans against the
       frame and watches her.

       Rita finally notices him and starts in surprise.

                             RITA
                 Tom!  You scared me!

                             TOM
                 What I said, I didn't say it to hurt
                 you.

       Rita keeps washing the dishes, but she calms down.

                             TOM
                 Fact is, you and me, there's always
                 been a shadow between us.

                             RITA
                 There doesn't have to be.

                             TOM
                 What happened, happened.  You picked
                 the right man.  I never doubted that.

                             RITA
                 I didn't pick him over you.  Don't
                 make it sound like I did.  They posted
                 your name out there along with the
                 others.

                             TOM
                 Sorry if my turning up breathing
                 disappointed you.

                             RITA
                 I didn't say that, why do you have
                 to keep twisting things?

                             TOM
                 Guess it's my nature.

                             RITA
                 Say what you mean and have done.  Be
                 good to hear plain words around here.

                             TOM
                 I'm thinking of turning in my badge.

                             RITA
                 Leaving the Rangers?  Lord's sake,
                 why?

                             TOM
                 You ever bed down for the night and
                 try to count the stars?

                             RITA
                 The roof kind of gets in the way.

                             TOM
                 I once talked with a Sioux medicine
                 man.  He said stars are the souls of
                 dead warriors.

                             RITA
                 What's that to do with anything?

                             TOM
                 Makes a man think, that's all.  About
                 what he's doing.  About where he's
                 going.  Before his time comes, and
                 it's all over for him.

                             RITA
                 I never heard you talk like this
                 before, Tom.

                             TOM
                 I just wanted you to know, I didn't
                 mean to hurt you.

       He turns and leaves.  Rita stares at the doorway.


       INT. HOTEL HALLWAY - DAY

       Belle knocks on a door.  Cash opens the door and grins.


       INT. CASH'S HOTEL ROOM - DAY

       Cash closes the door, Belle puts her bags down.

                             BELLE
                 A true gentleman would have met me
                 off the stagecoach.

                             CASH
                 Well don't you fuss none sweetheart,
                 this gentleman's gonna take you to
                 New Orleans, buy you everything you
                 could ever wish for.  Who was the
                 dude with the badge?

                             BELLE
                 He kindly offered to carry my bags
                 up to my room.  I naturally declined.

                             CASH
                 Not your type, huh?

                             BELLE
                 We had not been formally introduced.

                             CASH
                 Quite the lady, aren't you?  How'd
                 you come by all those airs and graces
                 anyway?

                             BELLE
                 I'm sure I told you my family owned
                 a plantation outside Atlanta.

                             CASH
                 I thought it was outside Charleston?

                             BELLE
                 Why Cash, honey, your memory must be
                 failing.

                             CASH
                 Well, we got plenty of time to kill
                 before Deuce gets here.  I got a
                 fresh deck of cards in my bag.

       Belle sits down on the bed and tests the mattress.  She smiles
       at him knowingly.  Cash raises an eyebrow.


       EXT. ATOP A HIGH RIDGE - NIGHT

       As the last light of day fades, Cal comes within sight of a
       cattle ranch.  Yellow lamplight spills from windows.


       INT. RYAN RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT

       QUINN RYAN, 40s, a grizzly bear of a man, opens the door and
       lets Cal inside.

                             QUINN
                 Where's Earl?

       Cal nods hello to MARTINS and SHEPHERD, two tough cowboys
       who stare at him without expression.

       Quinn pours a drink and gives it to Cal.

                             QUINN
                 I said where's Earl?

                             CAL
                 That's why I'm here.

                             QUINN
                 Maybe you better sit down.

       Cal throws back the drink.

                             CAL
                 Some things got to be said standing
                 up.

                             QUINN
                 You been out in the sun?

       Quinn pours himself a drink and sprawls in a big chair.

                             QUINN
                 I'm about as comfortable as I'm gonna
                 get.

                             CAL
                 Earl's dead.

                             QUINN
                 Figured as much.  Now.  You wouldn't
                 be here telling me he's dead if you
                 could'a done something about it.  So
                 let's hear your story.

                             CAL
                 Tom Hannay shot him.

                             QUINN
                 What's a Texas Ranger shooting my
                 men for?

       Cal stares into his empty glass.

                             CAL
                 We caught a couple of Apaches.

                             QUINN
                 Did you now?  Shep.  Get the man
                 another drink.

       Shepherd fills Cal's glass.  Cal hesitantly drinks.

                             CAL
                 Hannay showed up just as we was...

                             QUINN
                 Earl never did like Apaches.

                             MARTINS
                 Earl never did like anyone.

       Quinn chuckles.  Then loses his humor.

                             QUINN
                 So Hannay shows up and lays down the
                 law.  Did he kill them?

       Cal frowns, puzzled.

                             QUINN
                 Did Earl kill the Apaches?

                             CAL
                 Didn't have a chance.  That's what
                 I'm trying to say.  Earl shot it out
                 with Hannay.

                             QUINN
                 What about Rance and Chris?

                             CAL
                 He got them too.

                             QUINN
                 How many Rangers he have with him?

                             CAL
                 It was just Hannay.  He rode me down
                 like I was a dog.  Like I wasn't
                 worth a bullet.

                             QUINN
                 You rather be dead?

                             CAL
                 No...

                             QUINN
                 Then quit talking like you would.
                 Where's Earl lying?

                             CAL
                 At the Undertaker's.  Hannay brought
                 him into town.

       Quinn glances at Martins and Shepherd.  They get up and exit.
       Cal watches them go.

                             QUINN
                 Reckon you ain't done riding yet.

                             CAL
                 You gonna collect Earl's body?

                             QUINN
                 Tomorrow's soon enough.  We're paying
                 somebody a visit tonight.

                             CAL
                 I don't honestly know where Hannay
                 is.  He might have lit out by now.
                 Besides, Apache signal fires been
                 burning all day.  Looked back over
                 my shoulder so much my neck hurts.

                             QUINN
                 God damned Apache.  They're like a
                 nest of bees when they're stirred
                 up.  Wouldn't have happened if Hannay
                 hadn't stuck his nose in.

                             CAL
                 That's what I can't figure.  Why a
                 white man would choose Apache over
                 his own kind.

       Quinn gets up, claps on his hat and heads for the door.

                             QUINN
                 I aim to ask Tom Hannay that same
                 question real soon.


       INT. SALOON - NIGHT

       Piano music provides a pleasant background for a mix of
       customers, TOWNSFOLK and COWBOYS, to slake their thirst.
       Stairs lead up to rooms where a couple of popular GIRLS ply
       their trade.  Poker games are under way at tables.

       Activity is oversee'd by JAKE MACKINNON, 50s, a gold-toothed
       professional gambler who wears a pearl-handled six-shooter
       on prominent display.  He lights a fat cigar.

       MacKinnon's attention is on one of the poker tables where
       five men are playing, three of them Cowboys, the fourth man
       is hidden by the others.  The dealer, CHARLIE, waits for
       ANGRY COWBOY to make a decision.

                             CHARLIE
                 You gonna see him or are you gonna
                 fold, mister?

       Angry Cowboy throws down his cards in disgust and leans
       forward to glare at the man who's just cost him dearly.

                             ANGRY COWBOY
                 Looks like you're the only one who's
                 making any profit.

       MacKinnon shifts position so he can see who else is at the
       table.  It's Tom, in a fresh shirt and without his badge.

                             TOM
                 Guess it's my lucky night.

                             ANGRY COWBOY
                 Yep, you sure are one lucky poker
                 player.

       Tom rakes in the pot and adds the money to his stack.

                             ANGRY COWBOY
                 Twice I seen you beat the best hands
                 I ever played in my life.  I wonder
                 what cards you got in your hand now?

                             TOM
                 You folded.  That means you don't
                 get to see 'em.

       Angry Cowboy looks at his pals, soliciting their support.
       He gets it -- they've all lost money.  Charlie sees the
       volcano smoking and grabs Tom's cards, slips them into the
       pack and shuffles.  The Cowboys stare at his blurring hands.

                             CHARLIE
                 I don't mean no insult, but you boys
                 been drinking too much tonight to
                 expect to win much.  Next time, play
                 when you're sober.

                             ANGRY COWBOY
                 I don't recall asking you for your
                 advice.

       MacKinnon steps up to the table.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Gentlemen, you've been good customers,
                 let's not end the night on a sour
                 note.  Step up to the bar and have a
                 drink on the house.

       The other Cowboys think this is a great idea and head for
       the bar.  MacKinnon nods to Charlie who leaves the table.
       Just Tom and Angry Cowboy remain.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 You've had too much to drink, cowboy.
                 Maybe it's time you got on your horse
                 and rode back to camp.

                             ANGRY COWBOY
                 I still got business here.

       MacKinnon scowls at Tom.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Why ain't you wearing your badge?

                             TOM
                 Don't see the need, for a friendly
                 game of poker.

       Angry Cowboy realizes what's been said.  He gets up, real
       slow, keeping his hands above the table, and joins his pals
       at the bar.  PETE the bartender has a drink ready for him.
       Angry Cowboy knocks it back.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Tom, you attract trouble like a
                 lantern attracts night bugs.

                             TOM
                 You want me to stop coming in here,
                 you only got to say so.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 There's been times I've been glad to
                 see you.  If you get under my skin,
                 I'll let you know.

       Cash enters, and holds the door open for Belle.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Now, here's someone who might interest
                 you.  If you're looking for higher
                 stakes.

                             TOM
                 You know them?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 The man, not the woman.  He was in
                 here last night.  Won a pretty pot
                 or two.  Fellahs he was playing with
                 dropped out.  Know what he did?
                 Bought them drinks and gave them the
                 price of a steak.  Said he makes it
                 a point never to let any man walk
                 away hungry.

       Tom's eyes meet Belle's.  They hold each other's gaze before
       Belle looks away.  MacKinnon goes to meet them.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Come on in, Mr. Potter, nice to see
                 you again.  Ma'am, I don't believe
                 I've had the pleasure.

                             CASH
                 Mr. MacKinnon, allow me to introduce
                 Miss Belle Cubbins.  I was just
                 telling Miss Cubbins, you run a fine
                 establishment.

       MacKinnon's smile can't hide his puzzlement.

                             CASH
                 Miss Cubbins has more than a passing
                 interest in games of chance.  She
                 once worked as a dealer on a
                 Mississippi gambling boat.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 You don't say!

                             CASH
                 All very respectable, of course.
                 What we were wondering, Mr. MacKinnon,
                 is whether you might be running any
                 games of chance tonight?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 You might just be in luck... in more
                 ways than one, I hope.

       MacKinnon leads them to the table.  Tom stands up.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Mr. Hannay.  This is Mr. Potter and
                 Miss Cubbins.  I do believe they're
                 interested in a "friendly game of
                 poker," to use your own term.

                             CASH
                 Are you up for it, Mr. Hannay?

                             TOM
                 That depends.

                             CASH
                 We can limit betting, if you're
                 worried about losing your pants.

                             BELLE
                 Mr. Hannay doesn't strike me as the
                 kind of man who worries much about
                 anything.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 You're an astute judge of character,
                 Miss Cubbins.

                             CASH
                 We'll need a dealer.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I thought Miss Cubbins...?

                             BELLE
                 Do you object to a lady playing at
                 your table, Mr. MacKinnon?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 If Mr. Hannay doesn't have problems,
                 I see no reason--

                             TOM
                 I got no problems.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I'll go get Charlie.

                             TOM
                 It's been a while since I saw you
                 sit in on game, Jake.  Why don't you
                 make up a five?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Well.  I suppose I could.  Give me a
                 moment to steal some petty cash and
                 I'll be right with you.

       MacKinnon leaves.  Cash picks up the cards, smiles at Tom.

                             CASH
                 Do you mind?

                             TOM
                 Not at all.

       Cash shuffles, spreads the deck across the table, flips 'em
       over, gathers them up and shuffles again.

                             CASH
                 Just warming up my hands.

                             BELLE
                 You know, the first thing I noticed
                 about Mr. MacKinnon was his hands.
                 How neatly trimmed his fingernails
                 are.  The French would say
                 "manicured."

                             CASH
                 I believe the word comes from the
                 Latin, manus, hand, and cura, care.

       Cash turns the deck up so he can see the cards.  He thumbs
       through the deck, looking at all the cards.  Then he turns
       them over and shuffles them.

                             TOM
                 Just warming up your eyes?

                             CASH
                 You might say.

       Cash shuffles, cuts the deck, shuffles again, then deals
       five cards each to Belle, Tom and himself, flicking them
       across the table.  The cards fall into perfect fans.

       Tom lifts his cards and peeks at them.  He does a surprised
       double take.  He has four Kings and a Seven.

       Belle flips over her cards revealing four Queens and a Seven.
       She smiles, not in the least surprised.

       Cash flips over his cards.  Four Aces and a Seven.

       Tom lays down his cards revealing the four Kings and a Seven.

                             TOM
                 That's a real smart trick.

                             CASH
                 It's just a matter of knowing where
                 the cards are, and helping them come
                 out in the right order.

                             TOM
                 I seen men gunned down for less.

                             CASH
                 Last time I worked as a dealer, that's
                 exactly what someone tried to do.

                             TOM
                 They miss?

                             CASH
                 You might say I helped them in that
                 regard.

                             TOM
                 Why the sevens?

       Cash deals the next card, it's the fourth Seven.

                             CASH
                 Seven's my lucky number.

       MacKinnon and Charlie sit down.  Charlie nods hello to
       everyone.  He's brought a metal cashbox and a tray of painted
       chips with him, marked 5, 10, 25, 50, 100.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Ma'am, can I offer you a drink?  On
                 the house, since it's your first
                 time here.

       Tom gathers Belle's cards with his own and slides them across
       to Charlie.  Cash gives Charlie his cards and the rest of
       the deck.

                             TOM
                 What's come over you, Jake?  You
                 keep giving drinks away like this,
                 you'll wipe yourself out.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Wouldn't bother me none, I already
                 got my retirement salted away.  Ma'am?

                             BELLE
                 You wouldn't happen to have some
                 lemonade, would you?  I'm in the
                 mood for something refreshing.

       MacKinnon looks over at the bar, not sure.  Pete heard, he
       shrugs and nods, sure.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Mr. Potter?

                             CASH
                 I guess whisky's refreshing enough
                 for me.

       MacKinnon holds up three fingers, Pete nods.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Shall we get down to a little game?

       Cash shoves a bundle of money toward Charlie.

                             CASH
                 I'm in for three hundred.  Ten fives,
                 five tens, four twenty-fives, and
                 two fifties.

       Charlie puts the money into the cashbox, counts out the chips
       and shoves them toward Cash.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Gimme the same.

       Charlie does, taking MacKinnon's money.

       Belle opens her purse, takes out cash.

                             BELLE
                 Two hundred.  Never mind the fifties.

       Charlie counts out Belle's chips and takes her money.

       Everyone looks at Tom who counts his meager stack of chips
       from the previous game.

                             TOM
                 Looks like I got seventy dollars
                 here.  Somehow I don't think that's
                 serious money to you folks.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 A couple of good hands and you could
                 be walking away from the table with
                 just under a thousand dollars.

                             TOM
                 That'll be the day.  I'll play till
                 my luck turns bad.  If I ask you for
                 credit, throw me out.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I will, too.

                             CASH
                 Seems to me there's a lot of money
                 sitting in that little tin box, and
                 a lot of eyes watching.

       MacKinnon grins and slaps his holster.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 That's why I wear this, and Pete
                 keeps a loaded shotgun under the
                 counter.  Charlie here, his eyes are
                 good close up, but ask him to shoot
                 at something ten feet away, he's as
                 liable to put a hole in the roof.
                 Anyone starts shooting, Charlie's
                 job is to grab the box and run.

                             CHARLIE
                 I'd be obliged if someone could point
                 me at the door.

       Pete brings a tray, whiskies go to the men, a glass and a
       jug of cloudy lemonade to the lady.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Allow me.

       MacKinnon pours Belle a drink.

                             BELLE
                 Thank you, suh.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Now that we're comfortable, perhaps
                 we can begin.  Charlie?

       Charlie shuffles the cards.

                             CHARLIE
                 Call it out.

                             BELLE
                 Five card stud, aces high, sevens
                 wild.

                             CHARLIE
                 Lady says stud, aces and sevens.

       Charlie deals to Cash, MacKinnon, Belle and Tom.  They all
       peek at their cards.  Cash slides a card back to Charlie.

                             CASH
                 Gimme one.

       Charlie deals him another card.  Cash looks at it and picks
       a fifty from his chip stack.

                             BELLE
                 Let's not frighten Mr. Hannay away
                 just yet.

       Cash chuckles and throws in a 5-chip instead.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I'll stick with what I got.

       MacKinnon throws a 5-chip in.

       Belle slides 2 cards back to Charlie.

                             BELLE
                 Two, please.

       Charlie deals her another 2 cards.  Belle looks at them.

                             BELLE
                 I'm in.

       She adds a 5-chip to the pot.

       Tom studies his cards.  He takes such a long time over it
       that everyone exchanges glances.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Tom?

       Angry Cowboy steps away from the bar, his gun in his hand.

       A gunshot BOOMS!  The music stops.  Angry Cowboy scatters
       drinks and startled Customers on his way to the floor.

       MacKinnon draws his gun and covers the other Cowboys who
       freeze, staring at their friend's corpse.

       Tom, still sitting, slowly returns his smoking gun to its
       holster.  He notices Cash has drawn a silver six-gun and
       Belle has a Derringer cocked and ready.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Somebody get the Sheriff.

       A Customer rushes outside.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Jesus, Tom, that was fast.

       Belle de-cocks her Derringer and returns it to her purse.

       Cash spins his gun like a carnival gunslinger.  Tom stares
       at the gleaming metal as if hypnotized.  Cash slips the gun
       back into its holster, and sips his drink, unaware that he
       has Tom's full attention.

       Harry and Andy rush inside, MacKinnon makes calm-down gestures
       and indicates the dead Cowboy.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 It's over.

       Harry looks at Cash, at Belle, finally at Tom.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Mind telling me what happened?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Sore loser.  He drew first.  Didn't
                 give no warning.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Tom?

                             TOM
                 Didn't have much of a choice, Harry.

                             CASH
                 I can verify that, Sheriff.  If not
                 for Mr. Hannay, Miss Cubbins or myself
                 could have been killed.

       Harry picks up the dead man's gun and addresses the Cowboys.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 It's over.  Now you boys, I want you
                 to ride on out of here, unless you
                 want to spend a night in the cells.
                 Anyone wants to claim his body, it'll
                 be at the Undertaker's until noon
                 tomorrow.  After that, it'll be
                 underground.

       An Older Cowboy glares at Tom.

                             OLDER COWBOY
                 You know how old he was, mister?
                 Eighteen.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Old enough to carry a gun.  Stupid
                 enough to think he knew how to use
                 it.  Maybe you should'a taught him
                 better.

       The Cowboys exit the saloon, Andy follows them.  Harry calls
       after him--

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Ask them his name.  And tell Billings
                 we need another coffin.

       Andy nods and exits.  MacKinnon signs to some Customers.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Take him out back, boys.  Then have
                 a drink on the house.

       The Customers drag the corpse out through a back door.
       MacKinnon signs to the Piano Player and the music starts up
       again.

       Harry picks up a chip, flips it like a coin and slaps it
       back down on the table.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Seems the only way to make a profit
                 in this town is to open a saloon, or
                 become an undertaker.

                             TOM
                 I didn't ask him to draw.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 That you didn't.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Why don't you drop by the jail house
                 when you got a minute, Tom?  We got
                 us some things to discuss.

       Harry exits.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 What's he all het up about?  Dumb
                 cowboy could'a blown any of us in
                 half.  You did the right thing, Tom.

       Tom throws back his drink, gets up and exits.  Belle watches
       him go.

                             CASH
                 Looks like he folded.  Shall we
                 continue our game?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 If you give me a few minutes, Mr.
                 Potter, I'll drum up another couple
                 of players.  Charlie, go look for
                 Doc Halloran, will you?

       MacKinnon and Charlie leave, MacKinnon gives the cashbox to
       Pete behind the bar.

                             CASH
                 Wonder what he had?

       Cash flips Tom's cards over.  Four Kings and a Seven.

                             CASH
                 Son of a--!  He kept the hand I dealt
                 him.  Did you know?

                             BELLE
                 He gave them to the dealer.  At least
                 I thought he did.

                             CASH
                 Why, that's downright dishonest.

                             BELLE
                 Seems there's more to Mr. Hannay
                 than meets the eye.

                             CASH
                 I will remind you, Miss Cubbins,
                 that we are here to earn ourselves a
                 fortune, not to dally with strange
                 men.  Especially strange men who
                 wear badges when they're not cheating
                 at poker.

                             BELLE
                 I'll keep that in mind.  Although I
                 might question your drawing attention
                 to yourself by showing off.  "Seven's
                 my lucky number."  How gauche.

                             CASH
                 Had to scare him away.  Last thing I
                 want is some Texas Ranger sitting in
                 on my poker game.

                             BELLE
                 I think you mean "our" poker game.

                             CASH
                 A slip of the tongue.  Let's stop
                 arguing like some married couple and
                 get some practice in.  We're gonna
                 need it.


       EXT. JAIL HOUSE - NIGHT

       Harry reaches the porch steps and turns at the sound of
       HOOFBEATS from down the street.  The noise fades.  Harry
       looks around, then goes inside.


       INT. RITA'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

       Dressed in her nightgown, Rita brushes her hair by the open
       window.  HOOFBEATS come from outside.  She pulls back the
       curtain and looks out, but the sound quickly fades.

       She blows out the lantern, plunging the room into darkness.


       EXT. APACHE STATION - NIGHT

       A motley handful of buildings including a general store and
       the agent's shack.


       INT. AGENT'S SHACK - NIGHT

       POUNDING on the door.  SMITH, 40s, answers the door in his
       nightdress and bare feet, holding a lantern.

                             SMITH
                 All right, all right, hold your
                 horses...

       He opens the door to Quinn and Cal.

                             SMITH
                 Well, what do you want?

       Quinn barges past Smith.

                             QUINN
                 We're looking for an Apache.

                             SMITH
                 Then you've come to the right place.
                 You're slap bang in the middle of a
                 thousand Apaches.

       Cal enters and moves toward another door.  Smith shifts to
       stop Cal but Quinn cocks his gun.  Smith stares at the gun,
       then at Quinn.

       Cal opens the door and looks into a bedroom.  An Apache woman
       sits up in bed and stares at him.

                             CAL
                 There's one of 'em in here.

                             QUINN
                 Not the one I want.  Watch her.

                             SMITH
                 Mister, you better start making sense.

                             QUINN
                 An Apache brave took a ride outside
                 the reservation today.  He had a
                 squaw with him.  I hear tell he came
                 back with some scars.

                             SMITH
                 If it's the brave I think you mean,
                 he's at the warrior's gathering.

       Cal hears, and looks nervously at Quinn.

                             QUINN
                 I thought you were the Apache agent?

                             SMITH
                 I am the Apache agent.

                             QUINN
                 Why aren't you riding hell for leather
                 to Fort Benning and telling the Army
                 there's an uprising?

                             SMITH
                 Because there isn't one.  Put that
                 gun away.  You pull the trigger,
                 you'll never get out of here alive.

                             QUINN
                 I pull the trigger, you won't care
                 about it one way or another.  This
                 brave, he got a name?

                             SMITH
                 Paza.

                             QUINN
                 How often does he come here?

                             SMITH
                 He sticks with his own kind.  Won't
                 have anything to do with me.

       Quinn nods toward the bedroom.

                             QUINN
                 Some Apaches do.

                             SMITH
                 Not Paza or those like him.  They
                 got reason to hate whites.  It's
                 only the word of the chiefs that
                 keeps them from staking me out over
                 an ant's nest.

                             QUINN
                 What about the squaw he was with?

                             SMITH
                 She's his sister.  The way I heard
                 it, she took off with some buck Paza
                 was none too fond of.  Paza lit out
                 after them.  You can bet that
                 somewhere out there, the coyotes are
                 gnawing on the bones of a dead Apache
                 warrior.

       Smith gestures to a cupboard.

                             SMITH
                 I need a drink.  How 'bout you?

       Quinn nods.  Smith opens the cupboard, takes out a bottle
       and glasses.  He sits down at a table and pours.  The bottle
       clinks against the glasses; Smith's hands are shaking.  He
       slides a glass toward Quinn.

                             SMITH
                 Look, I don't know what this is about.
                 You seem all riled up over Paza.
                 Maybe you got reason.  But I'm asking
                 you to do the sensible thing, forget
                 about him, get on your horse, ride
                 out of here and don't come back.

       Quinn empties his glass.

                             QUINN
                 That's not so easy to do.

                             SMITH
                 It never is.

       Quinn thinks about it... and holsters his gun.  He nods to
       Cal, telling him they're leaving.

                             CAL
                 What's to stop him telling this Paza
                 you're looking for him?

                             QUINN
                 Last thing an Apache agent wants is
                 Apaches getting all moody.

                             SMITH
                 You got that right.

                             CAL
                 What about the sister?

       This startles Smith, and gives Quinn food for sly thought.

                             QUINN
                 One thing's for sure.  She won't be
                 at any warrior's gathering.

                             SMITH
                 You are asking for a bucket load of
                 trouble, believe me.

       Quinn draws his knife and rams it into the table.

                             QUINN
                 Swear to God, I'll make a hat out of
                 your squaw's tits, you don't tell me
                 where she is.

       Smith swallows hard.


       EXT. APACHE RESERVATION - NIGHT

       Four men creep through shadows to a darkened mud dwelling.

       Martins and Shepherd keep watch while Quinn opens a door and
       peers inside.  He nods to Cal who slips inside carrying a
       blanket.


       EXT. DESERT - NIGHT

       Four horsemen ride hard for the horizon.  One of them grips
       a struggling woman-sized bundle.


       EXT. HOTEL - DAY

       Dawn brings life to the town.

       Cash Potter steps out onto the porch and takes a deep breath.


       EXT. LIVERY STABLE - DAY

       Harry speaks with a STABLE BOY who shakes his head.  Harry
       heads on up the street, sees Potter on the hotel porch and
       swings to talk to him.


       INT. STEAK HOUSE - DAY

       Rita, wiping tables and getting ready for the day, looks out
       the window and sees Harry approach Cash.


       EXT. HOTEL - DAY

       Cash offers Harry a cigar but Harry shakes his head.  Cash
       lights himself a cigar.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 How long you in town for?

                             CASH
                 Wish I had ten dollars for every
                 time someone asked me that question.
                 Have I broken some law I don't know
                 about?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Not yet.  I stopped by the saloon
                 early this morning, just as Jake was
                 closing up.

                             CASH
                 That's mighty interesting.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 I asked him about you and the lady.
                 Jake seems to like you.  Specially
                 the way you took Doc Halloran for
                 everything he had, then let him win
                 some back for pride's sake.

                             CASH
                 A rare moment of weakness.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Jake says you're the best he's seen.
                 And he's seen plenty.  Which makes
                 me wonder what you're doing in this
                 one-horse town.

                             CASH
                 If you must know... we're waiting
                 for a friend to arrive.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 And that friend would be...?

                             CASH
                 Just a friend.  Once he gets here,
                 and rests up, we'll be packing our
                 bags.  This is a charming place, but
                 it's doubtful we'll ever come back
                 this way.  Does that answer satisfy
                 you?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Take my advice, keep out of trouble's
                 way, Mr. Potter.

                             CASH
                 I'll remember that.  Been nice
                 talking.

       Harry heads for the jail house.


       EXT. JAIL HOUSE - DAY

       As Harry arrives he meets Rita, carrying a covered basket.

                             RITA
                 Morning, Harry.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 You didn't have to bring me breakfast.

                             RITA
                 Thought you and Tom might be hungry.
                 Just some cold chicken and grits.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Well, I can't speak for Tom.  He lit
                 out last night.

       Rita tries to hide her disappointment -- fails.

                             RITA
                 All the more for you.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 You hear what happened last night?

                             RITA
                 No.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Tom shot someone.

                             RITA
                 Who?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 One of Lassiter's men.  Got real
                 sore over losing a hand of poker.
                 Everyone says he drew on Tom.

                             RITA
                 You believe them, don't you?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 He was just a boy.

                             RITA
                 That's awful.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 I'm thinking... I'm thinking maybe
                 Tom didn't like what he done.

                             RITA
                 Well.  Can you blame him?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 It's hard to guess how Tom feels
                 about anything.  He keeps it to
                 himself.  Reminds me of his Pa and
                 his brothers.  Yesterday he brought
                 three dead men into town.  I never
                 seen him colder than he was then.

                             RITA
                 Earl Ryan and his gang.  Tom told
                 me.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Now I got Matty and his pals, calling
                 themselves the town elders, telling
                 me to order Tom out of town.  They're
                 writing a letter to the Captain of
                 the Rangers.  Can you believe that?
                 Writing a letter.

       Rita looks past Harry.  Something's caught her attention.
       Harry turns and looks.


       EXT. HOTEL - DAY

       Cash looks too.


       EXT. JAIL HOUSE - DAY

       Rita walks past Harry and shields her eyes from the sun.
       Harry joins her and shields his eyes.


       EXT. TOWN LIMITS - DAY

       THREE APACHE WARRIORS sit on horseback, not moving, staring
       at the town.


       EXT. JAIL HOUSE - DAY

       Cash crosses the street to join them.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Now just what in the hell do they
                 want?  Begging your pardon, Rita.

                             CASH
                 Comanche?

                             RITA
                 Worse.  They're Apache.


       EXT. TOWN LIMITS - DAY

       The three Apache Warriors turn their horses around and ride
       away from the town.


       EXT. DESERT - TOM HANNAY'S CAMP - DAY

       Tom squats beside a fire.  He pours himself coffee from a
       tin pot.  His saddle and a blanket lie beside the fire.

       Something catches his eye.  He fetches a pair of binoculars
       from his saddlebag and peers through them.

       He lowers the binoculars.  Thinks for a moment.  He empties
       the coffee pot over the fire, saddles his horse.


       EXT. DESERT - DAY

       Tom rides hard, moving in parallel with a cloud of dust some
       distance away.


       INT. STEAK HOUSE - DAY

       Harry, Andy, Matty and a half-dozen MEN, the "Town Elders,"
       hold an impromptu meeting.  Rita serves coffee and fusses
       over everybody, bringing extra chairs over.

                             RITA
                 Anybody needs anything, give me a
                 holler.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Thanks, Rita.

                             MATTY
                 There's tell of smoke trails to the
                 east.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 It's been nigh on ten years since
                 there was trouble from the Apache.
                 The station agent's been living there
                 the last three years--

                             TOWN ELDER
                 Smith.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 --and he's still alive.

                             MATTY
                 The station agent doesn't concern
                 me.  It's us, this town.  If Apaches
                 have left the reservation, all our
                 lives are in danger.

       MacKinnon enters, nods hello to Rita.  Cash follows him inside
       but stays by the door, keeping his distance.  Seeing Rita,
       Cash raises his hat.

       Rita holds up the coffee pot but Cash smiles and shakes his
       head, no.  Rita wonders who this fellow with the frilly shirt
       and fancy hat is.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Seems a mite crowded in here.  No
                 reason you couldn't have come on
                 over to my place.  No offense, Rita.

       Rita gives him a tin cup and pours coffee with a wry smile.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Too much temptation over in the
                 saloon, Jake.
                      (to Matty)
                 What makes you think they'll come
                 here?  We're not the only town.

                             MATTY
                 Someone's got to ride to Fort Benning
                 and let them know what's going on.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Benning sends patrols out every day.
                 If there's trouble, they'll figure
                 it out for themselves.

                             MATTY
                 So you propose we sit here and do
                 nothing, is that why you called this
                 meeting?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 I didn't say we'd do nothing--

                             TOWN ELDER
                 Any more coffee, Rita?

                             RITA
                 Sure.

       Rita refills his cup, gives Harry an apologetic look.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 From now on, every man carries a
                 gun.  No exceptions.  We'll post
                 lookouts at each end of town, give
                 us plenty of warning.  If the worst
                 happens, we'll be ready.

                             MATTY
                 I still think we should send a rider
                 to Fort Benning.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Are you volunteering, Matty?

                             MATTY
                 I don't think that's funny, Harry.
                 It has to be a younger man on a fast
                 horse.  How about young Andy here?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Andy's staying put, and so is
                 everybody else.  No one leaves town
                 till we know what's happening out
                 there.  Is that understood?

                             MATTY
                 Well, if the town elders are agreed--

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 I'm really hoping for your support
                 on this, Matty.

       Harry's hard look hits its target, Matty backs down.

                             MATTY
                 Well of course, that goes without
                 saying, we'll do everything--

                             RITA
                 What about the stagecoach?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 She came through yesterday.

                             TOWN ELDER
                 She's due in again today.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 How do you figure that out?

                             TOWN ELDER
                 Special run.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Was anyone thinking about telling
                 me?

                             MATTY
                 Maybe someone should ride out and
                 warn them?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 They got eyes.  Besides, I thought
                 we just agreed.  Nobody's riding
                 anywhere.

                             MATTY
                 Well, I thought this was different.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 What I need you all to do is spread
                 the word, make sure everyone knows
                 what's going on.

                             MATTY
                 What about the ranchers?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 You think maybe we should send a
                 rider to warn them?

                             MATTY
                 Well, that would certainly be my
                 first...

       Matty catches on, Harry's making a fool of him.

                             TOWN ELDER
                 Sure is good coffee, Rita.

       Harry slams his hand down on the table, everyone jumps.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Look to your guns, and go spread the
                 word.  I want everyone to meet me in
                 front of the jailhouse in thirty
                 minutes.  We'll figure who's going
                 to stand lookout, and how best to
                 defend the town.

       Matty looks around and gets nods from the Town Elders.

                             MATTY
                 We're in agreement.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Do I get to say "meeting adjourned"
                 or do I need your permission?

       Looking miffed, Matty stands, claps on his hat, and marches
       to the door.  Cash politely opens it for him.  The Town Elders
       follow Matty outside.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 How serious you think this is?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 All we saw was three Apache.  Might
                 not mean a thing.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 And if it does?

       Harry indicates MacKinnon's pearl-handled gun.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Just how handy are you with that pea
                 shooter?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Why you don't expect me to fight, do
                 you Harry?  That's against my
                 philosophy.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACK
                 What philosophy would that be?

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Look after Jake MacKinnon and keep
                 his retirement fund safe.  I thought
                 Tom would be here?

       Rita turns and goes into the kitchen.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I say something wrong?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Tom lit out last night.
                      (to Cash)
                 I guess you got an interest in this
                 too.

                             CASH
                 Guess maybe I have, seeing as how I
                 can't leave town.

       Cash exits.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I've been around a mite, Harry.  Saw
                 a lot of men die in stupid fights
                 over nothing.  Yes sir.

       MacKinnon pours himself a coffee while Harry waits, curious.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 That cowboy last night.  He had his
                 gun in his hand when he came at Tom,
                 and Tom still got the better of him.

       They watch Cash cross the street, enter the hotel.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 But that Potter fellow.  He was just
                 as fast.  Maybe even faster.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 I'm glad to hear it.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 Any other time, maybe you wouldn't
                 be so glad.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 There's a reason you're telling me
                 this.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I think Tom Hannay knows him.  Not
                 in a good way.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Least of my problems.  Least of yours,
                 too.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I was wondering why you invited me
                 along.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Thought it polite to ask first.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 I'll put the boys to work, get the
                 windows boarded.  We can cover the
                 hotel, most of the street.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 That's what I figured.

       MacKinnon fishes a quarter out of his waistcoat pocket, puts
       it on the table along with his empty cup.  He nods toward
       the kitchen.

                             JAKE MACKINNON
                 There's a woman makes good coffee.

       MacKinnon exits, and Rita enters from the kitchen.

                             RITA
                 They all gone?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Me too.  Thanks, Rita.

                             RITA
                 Any time.

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 You see the fellow came in after
                 Jake?

                             RITA
                 Dude with the fancy shirt?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 Goes by the name of Potter, Cash
                 Potter.  You know him?

                             RITA
                 Not before this morning.  So the men
                 get to march around with rifles,
                 feeling important.  What do the
                 womenfolk get to do?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 First sign of trouble, you head for
                 the hotel.  Never mind bringing coffee
                 and biscuits along, just hitch up
                 your skirts and run.

                             RITA
                 All right.  Am I still open for
                 business till then?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 No reason why not.  I'm hopeful
                 nothing will come of this, those
                 bucks will ride back to the
                 reservation, it'll all blow over.

                             RITA
                 I hope so too.

       Harry turns to leave.

                             RITA
                 No word from Tom?

                             SHERIFF HARRY JACKS
                 If I see him, I'll make sure to tell
                 him to drop in, let you know he's
                 all right.  If that's what you want.

       Rita looks away, thinks about it, then nods to Harry.

                             RITA
                 Thanks, Harry.

       Harry exits.  Rita clears away the cups, finds MacKinnon's
       quarter, looks happily surprised, slips it into her skirt.


                                               02/07
end excerpt

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