This is an excerpt (first 20 pages) of a WIP screenplay.

    "Lone Justice" - screenplay by Derek Paterson.


    FADE IN:


    EXT. ROCKY CANYON - DAY

    BLAM! a gunshot rings out, echoes off the canyon walls.

    A dented tin can, sitting on top of a rock, doesn't stir.

    BLAM! another shot, the tin can remains untouched.

    BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! in rapid succession, they miss too.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN (O.S.)
              How many times I told you, squeeze
              the trigger gentle?  You're not
              choking a turkey, dammit.

                          HANK (O.S.)
              It's this old gun of Pa's.  It don't
              shoot straight.

    Sheriff BILLY HAWTHORN takes the smoking six-gun from HANK
    PIKE, 18, who peers through wire-rimmed spectacles.  Billy's
    older and wiser, touches of silver at his temples, eyes
    crinkled with amusement.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Well now let's see...

    Billy thumbs back the hammer, sights along the barrel and
    BLAM! he shoots, ZING! the tin can flies into the air.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Yep, pulls to the right and up.  The
              trick is let the bullet leave the
              barrel first.  How's your wrist?

    Hank's been absently rubbing his wrist.

                          HANK
              It's okay.

    Billy gives Hank his six-gun.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Let's leave it for today.  I gotta
              see if my prisoner woke up.

                          HANK
              I ain't hit anything yet.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              That's 'cause you ain't listening to
              what I'm telling you.

                          HANK
              Is he a desperado?

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              What?  No, just a drunk.

                          HANK
              Let him sleep it off.  Just once
              more, Billy, please?

    Billy sighs, resigned.  He gestures, load 'er up.  Hank breaks
    the six-gun open and reloads.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Hope you paid for those cartridges.
              Didn't just sneak 'em out without
              telling your Pa.  'Cause then I'd
              have to arrest you.  Take you before
              the judge next week.

                          HANK
              Where's them cans?

    Billy opens an old saddlebag at his feet, pulls out three
    tin cans.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Keep your gun in your holster and
              your finger off that trigger till I
              say so.

    Hank holsters his six-gun.

                          HANK
              Okay.

    Billy walks twenty paces and balances the tin cans on three
    separate rocks a few feet apart.

    Behind him, Hank adopts an exaggerated gunfighter's stance,
    feet apart, knees bent, hand hovering near his gun holster,
    fingers twitching with anticipation.

    Billy turns and sees.  Hank sheepishly straightens and makes
    a fuss of adjusting his belt.  Billy shakes his head, he
    returns and stands behind Hank.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Reckon this is the safest place to
              be today.

                          HANK
              You're even funnier than my Pa.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Let's see what you got, boy.  And
              remember.  Squeeze the damn--

    Hank quick-draws and BLAM! a tin can ZINGS! into the air.
    Hank gapes in surprise.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              That the one you was aiming for?

    Hank gulps, it's hard to confess the truth...

                          HANK
              Yeah.

    Billy stares at him, suspicious.

                          HANK
              No.

    Billy rolls his eyes at the heavens, why me?

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Hold the gun with both hands.

    Hank does this.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Line the barrel up on the target.

    Hank closes his left eye and sticks his tongue out, he's
    concentrating so hard.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              You aiming at the target?

                          HANK
              Yeah.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Open both eyes.

                          HANK
              What for?

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Stops you losing your sense of
              balance.  And nobody can sneak up on
              you from the side.  You got both
              eyes open?

                          HANK
              Yeah.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Put your tongue in.  Don't want to
              bite it off.

    Hank pulls in his tongue.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Take a deep breath.  Hold it.  Hold
              it.  Now let it out slow.  Squeeze
              the trigger, real gentle.

    Hank gently squeezes the trigger -- and shuts his eyes!
    BLAM!  He squints through the smoke.  The tin can is untouched
    on its rock.

                          HANK
              Dammit.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              I think I see what the problem is.


    EXT. TOWN OUTSKIRTS - DAY

    Hank and Billy slowly ride home side by side.

                          HANK
              You ever think about marrying?

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Sure I did, once.  Had my eye on the
              prettiest girl in the whole county.
              She was sweet on me, too.  Then the
              shooting started, 'n I volunteered.
              Couldn't have been much older than
              you.  Dumbest thing I ever done.

                          HANK
              How long was you away for?

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              They told us it would be over in six
              months.  Took a mite longer'n that.
              By the time I found my way home she
              was already married and raising two
              young 'uns.  Anyways, that's enough
              about me.  What about you and the
              Morgan girl?

                          HANK
              Whaaaaat?

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Uh-huh.  Guess you don't know what
              I'm talking about.

    Hank clamps his mouth shut.  Billy chuckles.



    EXT. WIDE VIEW OF DESERT - DAY

    Beautiful, rugged, deadly.  Baking under the blazing sun.


    EXT. ROAD INTO TOWN - DAY

    THE COLONEL, 50s, rides tall and proud in his saddle.

    Alongside him, a one-horse buggy driven by his daughter
    ANNABEL MORGAN, 17, an unspoiled beauty.

    MRS. MORGAN sits beside Annabel, an attractive older version
    of her daughter, holding a parasol to protect them from the
    sun.

    They pass a faded sign that says "GABRIEL, POP. 300."

    And sure enough, up ahead, the town.


    EXT. RIDGE ABOVE ROAD - DAY

    Looking down on the Colonel and the buggy.

    Watching them, a group of men on horseback.

    SARGE, a huge Negro in Union Army uniform.

    JAMIE, a young gunslinger with a sneering grin.

    PECOS, a lean Texan who don't say much.

    SANTANA, an Apache renegade.

    THE MEXICAN, once a proud nobleman, now reduced to stealing
    and killing to survive.

    NED GATLING, the cold-eyed leader of this motley gang of
    desperados.

    None of them move a muscle.  They just watch.


    EXT. TOWN MAIN STREET - DAY

    The Colonel and his family ride in and exchange friendly
    hellos with TOWNSFOLK who tip their hats and smile.

    The Colonel rides on to the Bank while the buggy makes for
    Pike's General Store.


    INT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Stacked full of vittles.  Hank sweeps up.  He looks out the
    window, sees the buggy approaching.  He's hypnotized by
    Annabel Morgan.

    Hank's FATHER, 50, comes to stand behind him.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              She's too good for the likes of you,
              boy.

    Hank swallows hard, disappointed.

                          HANK
              You think so?

                          HANK'S FATHER
              That's what they told me about your
              mother.

    Hank gets it.  A slow grin.  Outside, the buggy pulls up.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Lady might appreciate a hand, don't
              you think?

    Hank thrusts the broom into his father's hands and heads for
    the door.  He skids to a stop in front of a mirror, slicks
    down his hair with spit, and runs outside.

    His father chuckles and shakes his head.


    EXT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Hank runs up to the buggy and offers Annabel his hand.  But
    Annabel indicates her mother instead.  Hank hurries around
    the buggy and helps Mrs. Morgan down.

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Why thank you, Hank, your daddy raised
              a gentleman.

    Hank grins, abashed.  He's disappointed to see Annabel has
    climbed down by herself.

                          ANNABEL
              Thank you, Hank.

    Annabel takes her mother's arm and they climb the steps.

    Just as they enter, Annabel glances back and sees Hank
    standing there, watching her.  Annabel quickly looks away
    and smiles to herself.

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Don't play with the poor boy.

                          ANNABEL
              I'm not!


    INT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Hank's father greets the ladies.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Good day to you, Mrs. Morgan, Miss
              Morgan.  Nice to see you again.

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Good day, Mr. Pike.  We thought we'd
              pay you a visit and purchase material
              for a new dress for Annabel.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              You couldn't have timed it better,
              ladies.  I just got new bolts of
              cloth delivered, all the way from
              Boston, Massachusets.  Finest quality.

    He leads the way and Annabel eagerly follows him, dragging
    her mother after her.

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Land sakes, what's the hurry?


    EXT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Hank holds a bucket of water for Annabel's horse to drink.

                          HANK
              I'll change jobs with you any time
              you like.

    Hank notices Ned Gatling and his gang ride into town, slow
    and easy.  They amble toward the Saloon and dismount there,
    tying up their horses.

    The gang enters the Saloon but Gatling stops, as if sensing
    he's being watched.  He stares across the street at Hank.

    Hank stares back.

    Gatling lights a cheroot.  Still staring at Hank, he flicks
    the match away.  Gatling turns and enters the Saloon.


    INT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Annabel wraps blue cloth from a bolt around herself and
    admires her reflection in a long mirror.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              I'd have to say that color matches
              your eyes, Miss Morgan.

                          ANNABEL
              You think so, Mr. Pike?

    Hank's Father looks outside.  He sees Hank staring across
    the street, intent on something.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Would you kindly excuse me for a
              moment, ladies?

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Most surely.

    Annabel's so taken with the cloth she doesn't even notice
    him exit.


    EXT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Hank's Father comes outside and joins Hank.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Never thought I'd live to see the
              day.

                          HANK
              What's that?

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Miss Annabel Morgan's in our store
              and you're not interested.

    He sees Santana and the horses.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Boys from the "Lazy L"?

                          HANK
              I never seen any of them before.

    Hank's Father stares at him, waiting.

                          HANK
              Those posters Billy hangs on his
              wall?  That's where they belong.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Sometimes you can't judge a man by
              how he looks.  Especially when he's
              been in the saddle a few days, maybe
              longer.

                          HANK
              I guess not.

    Hank's Father goes back inside.

    Hank claps Annabel's horse, looks over at the Saloon again.

    After a moment's thought, Hank sets off up the street, towards
    the Sheriff's Office.


    INT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Annabel admires another cloth, imagining the dress.

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Why, this time last year you only
              charged five cents a yard.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              I am subject to the whims of my
              suppliers, Mrs. Morgan.  I did
              consider cheaper alternatives, but
              such low quality would never be
              acceptable to persons of your taste.

                          ANNABEL
              We're fortunate to have a man of
              your discernment, Mr. Pike.  Aren't
              we, Mama?

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Oh, we surely are.

    But she's smiling, enjoying Annabel's happiness.


    EXT. TOWN MAIN STREET - DAY

    Hank hurries along.


    EXT. SALOON - DAY

    Ned Gatling stands in the doorway.  He looks up and down the
    street.


    EXT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    Hank knocks on the door.  Billy opens the door and scowls at
    Hank.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Hank Pike.  You back for another
              whupping?

    His scowl becomes a grin, he steps aside, invites Hank in.


    INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    A rear door leads to the cells.

    Billy opens a desk drawer and pulls out a checkers board and
    a worn wooden box.  He sets up the game.

                          PRISONER (O.S.)
              Hey, when am I getting out of here?

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Shut up!

    Billy shakes his head at Hank, just ignore him.

                          HANK
              There's riders in town.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Riders.

                          HANK
              They're over at the Saloon.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              They brawling and kicking up a ruckus?

                          HANK
              Can't say that's the case.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              If they were, I could lock them up
              for breach of the town's peace.

                          HANK
              I don't rightly know if they'd take
              to being locked up.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Never met anyone who did.  What's
              got your nose twitching?

    Hank examines the "Wanted" posters on the wall.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Recognize any of them?

                          HANK
              Nope.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              So they're not wanted by the law and
              they're not doing anything particular.
              That about the size of it?

                          HANK
              Guess so.  Just thought you should
              know, that's all.

                          PRISONER (O.S.)
              I demand a fair trial!

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Shut up!

    Billy selects a rifle from the rack.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              I could use a walk anyway.  Drunk's
              making me crazy.

                          HANK
              You want me to come with you?  I can
              get my pa's gun.

    Billy stares at him.  Hank lowers his gaze, abashed.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              Town's not paying you to be my deputy.
              Not yet, anyways.  Make yourself
              comfortable.  I'll be back soon
              enough.  Ten cents a game.

                          HANK
              Ten cents!

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              What's the matter?  Scared to play
              for real stakes?

                          HANK
              Ten cents suits me just fine.

    Billy grins and exits.  Hank sits down in Billy's chair.  He
    puts his feet up on the desk, makes himself comfortable.

                          PRISONER (O.S.)
              I never been drunk an' disorderly my
              life!

                          HANK
              Shut up!


    EXT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    Billy Hawthorn closes the door, turns--

    Ned Gatling stands there, his six-gun already drawn.


    INT. BANK MANAGER'S OFFICE - DAY

    The Colonel signs papers.  The BANK MANAGER blows on them to
    dry the ink, and inspects them.

                          BANK MANAGER
              Everything's in order.  Anything
              else I can do for you, Sam?

                          COLONEL MORGAN
              That's about it.

    The Colonel rises, they shake hands.  The Bank Manager escorts
    him to the door, opens it.

                          BANK MANAGER
              You'll give my regards to Mrs. Morgan
              and Miss Annabel?

                          COLONEL MORGAN
              I surely will.


    EXT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    Gatling's got the drop on Billy Hawthorn.

    Billy looks past Gatling and sees four gang members hurry
    into the Bank.  Santana the Apache stays on his horse, holding
    the other horses' reins.

    Billy licks his lips as he weighs his chances.  He's got his
    rifle but Gatling has the drop on him.

    Gatling smiles.  Daring him.


    INT. BANK - DAY

    CUSTOMERS scream in panic as the four Gatling Gang members
    enter with their guns drawn.

    Pecos mercilessly clubs the elderly BANK GUARD who falls,
    dropping his shotgun.

    Jamie grins hugely and keeps everyone covered.

    Sarge kicks open the door to reach the frightened CASHIER.
    Sarge smashes his rifle butt against the Cashier's head, the
    Cashier goes down hard.

    The Mexican smiles charmingly at an attractive YOUNG WOMAN.

                          THE MEXICAN
              Buenos dias, senorita.  Please do
              not worry.  We are only making a
              withdrawal.

    She cringes in fear.  Jamie laughs, enjoying this.

    The office door opens.  The Colonel and the Bank Manager
    gape at the robbery in progress.

    Sarge turns but The Colonel's gun leaps into his hand, BLAM!
    and Sarge is spinning, his face twisted in agony.

    Pecos SHOOTS, woodwork around The Colonel comes apart, The
    Colonel grimly weathers the storm and BLAM! Pecos staggers
    back into the Bank Guard's empty chair and sits down,
    relaxing.

    Jamie and The Mexican SHOOT, The Colonel grimaces, grabs the
    door frame, holds himself up and BLAM! Jamie's gun spins
    from his hand, Jamie YELPS and clutches his arm.

    Sarge aims his rifle.  The Colonel glares at him, tries to
    bring up his gun but his hand's shaking, his strength is
    failing--

    BLAM!  Sarge blows The Colonel back into the Bank Manager's
    office.  The Bank Manager cringes in terror.


    EXT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    Billy winces at the shooting inside the bank.

                          GATLING
              Sounds like someone got uppity.

                          BILLY HAWTHORN
              You'll hang for this.  All of you.

                          GATLING
              Well.  That's a matter of opinion.

    Hank opens the door, Gatling's eyes flick onto him, Billy
    brings his rifle up and around--

    BLAM!  Gatling's bullet punches Billy through the open
    doorway.  Billy takes Hank down with him.


    INT. BANK - DAY

    Customers cower and sob as the smoke clears.

    Jamie shakes Pecos.  No reaction.

    Sarge grabs Jamie, pushes him toward the cashier's desk.

                          SARGE
              Get the damn money!

    Sarge exits carrying two money sacks, not even slowed by the
    bullet he's carrying in his bleeding side.

    Jamie runs behind the desk, stuffs all the money he can find
    into a sack one-handed, stumbles outside.

    The Mexican backs toward the door.  He glances at Pecos,
    crosses himself.

                          THE MEXICAN
              Va con Dios, mi amigo!

    He politely tips his sombrero to the surprised Young Woman,
    and runs outside after the others.


    INT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Hank's Father, Annabel and Mrs. Morgan have all heard the
    shooting.  The ladies are alarmed.

                          HANK'S FATHER
              Stay here and keep your heads down,
              ladies.

    He leans over the counter and snatches up a rifle.


    INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    Hank lies on the floor, stunned, with Billy Hawthorn lying
    unmoving on top of him.

                          PRISONER (O.S.)
              What's going on out there?  Hey!

    Hank rolls Billy off.  He shakes Billy, and realizes his
    friend is dead.

    Hank scrambles to his feet, snatches Billy's six-gun from
    its holster.


    EXT. BANK - DAY

    The gang including Gatling mount their horses.  Gatling
    notices Sarge's and Jamie's wounds, and Pecos's empty horse.
    The Mexican shakes his head, Pecos ain't coming.

    The Bank Guard stumbles out of the Bank, face covered in
    blood, fumbling with his shotgun.

    Santana the Apache leans down, SHOOTS the Guard in the chest
    at point blank range, and WHOOPS in triumph.

                          GATLING
              Let's get outta here!

    They dig in their spurs and ride hell for leather.  Santana
    abandons Pecos's horse, it wanders across the street,
    confused.


    EXT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    Hank runs outside, takes aim and tracks Gatling as he rides
    away.

    Hank pulls the trigger -- BLAM!

    An oil lamp shatters.  Hank missed by a mile!

    Customers spill out of the Bank, shouting and screaming.


    EXT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    On the porch, Hank's Father aims his rifle at the robbers.

    Gatling sees him and SHOOTS on the gallop.

    Hank's father grimaces in pain and collapses clutching his
    chest.


    EXT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

    Hank lowers his six-gun and stares in disbelief at the sight
    of his father lying on the porch.

    He runs to the General Store.


    EXT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    By the time Hank gets here, all that's left of the gang is a
    cloud of dust.

    Hank kneels and cradles his Father's head and shakes him.

                          HANK
              Pa?  Pa!

    His Father doesn't respond.  A blood stain over his heart.

    Hank looks up in anguish as Annabel and Mrs. Morgan come
    outside.  Mrs. Morgan covers her mouth and looks away.
    Annabel stares, wide-eyed.

    The Bank Manager runs up, red-faced and out of breath.

    Annabel looks toward the Bank, wondering where her father
    is.  Mrs. Morgan wonders the same thing.

    The Bank Manager lowers his gaze, he can't look at them.

    Realization dawns on them.  Annabel hitches up her skirts
    and runs toward the Bank.

                          BANK MANAGER
              Miss Morgan!  No!

    Mrs. Morgan grabs the Bank Manager's arm.

                          MRS. MORGAN
              Tell me what happened.  Tell me!

                          BANK MANAGER
              Your husband, ma'am...  They shot
              the Colonel.  He tried to stop them
              from robbing the bank, and they shot
              him.


    EXT. BANK - DAY

    Townsfolk watch in silence as Annabel runs up.  She stops,
    stares at the dead Bank Guard.  She steels herself to go
    inside.


    INT. BANK - DAY

    Annabel enters.  She stares at Pecos, dead in the chair.
    Then she sees The Colonel's boots sticking out the office
    doorway.  She covers her mouth and sobs in anguish.


    EXT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Hank lets go of his Father and stands up.

                          BANK MANAGER
              Where's Sheriff Hawthorn, why isn't
              he doing something?

                          HANK
              Billy's dead.

                          BANK MANAGER
              Black day.  You had them in your
              sights and you missed!  How could
              anyone miss at that range?

    Hank ignores him and heads for the Bank.


    EXT. BANK - DAY

    Annabel exits.  She closes her eyes, lets out a long sigh.

    She opens her eyes and watches as Hank marches up the street
    and enters the Sheriff's Office.

    He comes back out a moment later carrying a rifle.  He goes
    after Pecos's skittish horse and grabs the reins.  Annabel
    runs up to Hank and grabs his arm.

                          ANNABEL
              Hank!  What are you doing?

    Hank shakes her hand off, mounts the horse, and gallops off
    down the street.

                          ANNABEL
              Hank!


    EXT. PIKE'S GENERAL STORE - DAY

    Mrs. Morgan and the Bank Manager gape as Hank rides by.

                          BANK MANAGER
              Damn fool, he'll get himself killed!
              We need to raise a posse!  That's
              what we need to do!



    EXT. DESERT OUTSIDE TOWN - DAY

    Ned Gatling and his gang ride hard, leaving the town behind.

    Hank rides hard, eating their dust.


    EXT. HIGH VIEW OF DESERT - DAY

    Five riders leave dust trails... and a sixth trail follows.


    EXT. FOOTHILLS - DAY

    Gatling and his gang head for high ground.

    Gatling looks back over his shoulder.  He sees that trail of
    dust, following them.

    He nods to Santana, who looks back into the dust.

                          SANTANA
              Hey oh na dey.

                          SARGE
              One rider.

                          GATLING
              He leading a posse?

                          SANTANA
              Na dey koo ta.

                          SARGE
              Don't see nobody else.

                          JAMIE
              Must be some kind of fool.

                          GATLING
              Don't matter.  We can't have someone
              bird-dogging our trail.

    Gatling draws a finger across his throat.  Santana nods
    understanding.


    EXT. BROKEN-WALL CANYON - DAY

    The gang gallops into the canyon.

    Santana stops and dismounts.  He drags his horse out of sight,
    ties it up.  He takes his rifle and starts climbing.

    Santana reaches a ledge that gives him a commanding view of
    the canyon mouth.  He lies down and waits.

    Hank rides into the canyon, determined to catch up--

    Up on the ledge, Santana takes aim.

    BLAM!  Hank's horse collapses and Hank is thrown, he lands
    heavily, lies unmoving.

    Santana slides back down to his waiting horse and slips his
    rifle into the saddle holster.

    Hank wakes up.  He raises his head, sees his dead horse lying
    nearly.  He looks for his rifle, sees it.  He crawls toward
    it.  His leg's hurt, every movement brings a stab of wincing
    agony.

    Hank sees Santana coming.  He crawls as fast as he can.
    Santana walks casually, as if he's in no hurry.  Hank grits
    his teeth and keeps going.  He's almost there!  He touches
    his rifle--

    Santana stamps his foot down on the rifle.  He grins at Hank
    and draws his knife, sunlight gleams off the big blade.

    Hank swings a fist-size rock into Santana's knee!  Santana
    ROARS and slashes at Hank but Hank rolls away, the knife
    bleeds his shoulder instead of his throat.

    Hank throws the rock, it slams into Santana's face, the Apache
    staggers, half-blinded.  Hank launches himself at Santana,
    bowls him over.  They sprawl on the hard ground, rolling
    over and over until Santana gets on top.

    Santana forces his knife down until it's an inch from Hank's
    throat, but Hank grabs Santana's wrist with both hands.
    Santana forces the knife closer.  He grins, tasting victory.

    With a huge effort Hank pushes the knife to one side, the
    point scrapes against rock.

    Hank's hand quests blindly for his rifle -- he grabs the
    barrel -- swings the rifle up and round like a club, the
    butt smashes into Santana's head, he pitches over.

    Hank rolls on top of Santana's back, grabs Santana's wrist
    and jerks Santana's own knife up into the Apache's throat!
    Santana gurgles and relaxes, dead.

    Hank rolls off him, gasping for breath.

    The blazing sun beats down upon Hank without mercy as he
    lies there bleeding, unable to move.

    The Mexican's big hat blots out the sun.

                          THE MEXICAN
              Ay.  A terrible way for a man to
              die.

    Hank tries to rise.  The Mexican pistol-whips his head.

    BLACKNESS.


    EXT. ABANDONED MINING CAMP - DAY

    Hank opens his eyes.  He's standing tied to a wooden frame,
    arms and legs spread wide.  He looks around.  Broken dusty
    shacks.  A mine entrance closed off by a rockfall.  Only
    ghosts live here now.

                          JAMIE
              Hell, I'm not gonna miss him.  Damn
              Apache gave me the creeps.  Never
              knew if I'd wake up dead.

                          GATLING
              Shut up.

    Gatling and Sarge sit by a fire, Sarge is stripped to the
    waist.  Gatling lifts an iron out of the flames, inspects
    the glowing red tip.  Sarge eyes the iron warily.

    Jamie's right arm is in a sling, he draws his gun with his
    left hand, over and over.

                          JAMIE
              My daddy always told me, never trust
              an Apache.  They don't think like
              us.  They're animals.

                          SARGE
              Your daddy say anything 'bout Negroes?

                          JAMIE
              They sing real good.

                          GATLING
                   (to Sarge)
              Take another drink.

    Sarge swigs from a bottle of whiskey.

                          GATLING
              You ready?

                          SARGE
              As I'll ever be.

    Sarge passes the bottle to Jamie.  Gatling brings the iron
    to Sarge's side.  Sarge steels himself.

    A HISS of cauterized flesh.  Jamie winces, turns away.

    Gatling puts the iron back into the fire.  He gets up and
    walks over to Hank.

    Hank glares at him, eyes full of hate.

                          JAMIE
              Cut him loose and give him a gun.

                          GATLING
              Sure that left hand of yours is up
              to it?

                          JAMIE
              Let's find out.

                          GATLING
              I'm sore tempted.
                   (to Hank)
              That old man would've put lead in me
              if I didn't do for him first.

                          HANK
              That old man was my father.

                          GATLING
              Gave me no pleasure to shoot him.
              But it happened.

                          HANK
              What about the sheriff?

                          GATLING
              Well now.  That's different.  Never
              did like the law.

                          HANK
              You shot him down in cold blood.

                          GATLING
              He had a gun in his hand.

                          HANK
              He didn't stand a chance.  That makes
              it murder.

                          JAMIE
              Watch out, Ned.  Dude's some kind of
              lawyer.

                          GATLING
              I let you go, you're gonna come after
              me, and keep coming, till I'm dead.

                          HANK
              You got that right.

    Gatling shakes his head, sighs.

    The Mexican rides in, Gatling goes to talk to him.

                          THE MEXICAN
              No one else.  Just him.

                          GATLING
                   (to Sarge)
              You good enough to ride?

    Sarge pulls on his shirt, wincing in pain.

                          SARGE
              I'm good.

    Jamie steps up to Hank, sticks his gun into Hank's face.
    Hank doesn't even flinch, he's too full of hate.  Jamie thumbs
    back the hammer.

                          GATLING
              Save your bullets.  You might need
              them.

    Gatling and Sarge mount up.

                          JAMIE
              You go on ahead, I'll catch up.

    Gatling, Sarge and the Mexican ride off.

    Jamie holsters his six-gun.  He walks to his horse, opens a
    saddle bag.  Takes out a coiled bullwhip.  He lets it play
    out, swings it experimentally, then CRACKS! it.

                          JAMIE
              You, my friend, are going to wish
              I'd used a bullet.

    Hank glares at him.

    Jamie CRACKS! his whip, the leather slashes Hank's shirt
    open, leaves a bloody welt across Hank's chest.

    CRACK! another terrible welt.  Hank groans and squirms, but
    will not cry out!

    Jamie whips him, again and again and again, a sadistic
    outpouring of vicious anger that leaves Jamie panting for
    breath, and Hank hanging limp on the wooden frame, a bloody
    unmoving mess.

    Jamie's had enough.  He coils his whip, returns it to the
    saddlebag.

                          JAMIE
              What's the matter?  Cat got your
              tongue?

    Jamie mounts his horse and rides out, trailing Santana's
    horse after him.

    Hank hangs limp and unconscious.


    EXT. CANYON EXIT - DAY

    The Mexican waits for Gatling and Sarge.  They pull up and
    wait.  They examine the beautiful painted landscape ahead.
    Jamie rides to join them.

    Gatling gives Jamie a quizzical look.  Did you do it?

                          JAMIE
              Forget about him.

                          GATLING
              Mexico!

    The Gatling Gang rides, a-whoopin' an' a-hollerin'.


    EXT. ABANDONED MINING CAMP - DAY

    The blazing sun hangs in the sky.

    The heat tortures Hank who sags on the frame, head bowed.

    A breath of wind blows dust through the mining camp.

    Hank raises his head... his strength's almost gone... his
    eyes try to focus... on a blurred shadow... a ghost.  It
    doesn't seem real.

    Hank lets out a dry croak, then his head drops again.

    A wizened, shrunken old INDIAN stares at Hank.

    FADE TO BLACK



End excerpt

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