Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Lux Radio Theater
Show: Westward the Women
Date: Dec 29 1952

CAST:

The Lux Team:
ANNOUNCER, Ken Carpenter
IRVING CUMMINGS, your host

The Drama:
ROY WHITMAN, middle-aged valley owner
BUCK WYATT, captain of the wagon train
FIFI DANON, spirited chorus girl from France, heavy French accent
LAURIE SMITH, cynical chorus girl from Chicago
ROSE MEYERS, mousy school teacher from a little farm village
PATIENCE HAWLEY, tough, extroverted ship captain's widow from New England
MAGGIE, a crack shot
JEAN, Maggie's pal, also a crack shot
ITO, diminutive cook from Japan
WOMAN, on the wagon train, accosted by--
RILEY, one of the men on the train
KATT, another man on the train
SID CUTLER, who falls in love with Rose
1ST MAN, on the train
JESSIE, woman on the train
BABY
2ND MAN, in the valley
3RD MAN, in the valley
and various crowds of MEN and WOMEN

ANNOUNCER:

From Hollywood! The Hollywood Radio Theatre!

MFX:

LUX THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Starring Robert Taylor and Denise Darcel in "Westward the Women." Ladies and gentlemen, your producer, Mr. Irving Cummings!

MFX:

THEME ... UP AND OUT

SFX:

APPLAUSE

CUMMINGS:

Greetings from Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen! It's sometimes nice to look back to the trails blazed by our ancestors and take heart from their courage. In tonight's play, I think you'll be fascinated by the unusual situation of one man bossing a wagon train of a hundred women, intended as wives of the California settlers. And, as our stars of this intriguing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture, we have Robert Taylor and Denise Darcel playing their original roles ... in "Westward the Women," starring Robert Taylor as Buck Wyatt and Denise Darcel as Danon.

MFX:

BRIEF WESTERN-FLAVORED INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

CUMMINGS:

California, a hundred years ago. A settlement called Whitman's Valley. It's early morning but the saloons are open, and Roy Whitman knows where to find the man he's looking for. [X]

WHITMAN:

They tell me you just came up from San Diego, Buck.

BUCK:

Yeah. Sit down, Roy.

WHITMAN:

Thanks. Brought a party all the way there from Missouri, huh?

BUCK:

I'm gonna get drunk for a week tryin' to forget about it.

WHITMAN:

(CHUCKLES) You got plans for the week after?

BUCK:

No.

WHITMAN:

Then I got a job for ya, if you're interested.

BUCK:

Well, I don't run cattle and I don't grow wheat and--

WHITMAN:

You ever really look at this valley? Wheat and cattle and horses and ranches. And the men who own 'em? Well, now they know that what I told 'em about this valley was true.

BUCK:

You want me to pat you on the back?

WHITMAN:

No, not yet.

BUCK:

(CHUCKLES)

WHITMAN:

You see, in all my planning, I forgot one thing. Women. Good women, to be wives and mothers -- to make this valley a place that'll last forever.

BUCK:

What's that got to do with me?

WHITMAN:

The men want wives. They put up the money to get 'em here. They're just as sick of this as I am -- saloons, gambling. Well, you know.

BUCK:

Yeah, I know. And I like it.

WHITMAN:

I want you to go to Chicago with me, Buck. I'll recruit the women; you'll guide us back across the country.

BUCK:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, no, I won't.

WHITMAN:

How much pay did you get to bring those folks to San Diego?

BUCK:

Plenty.

WHITMAN:

Whatever it was, I'll pay a thousand more. (BEAT) Well?

BUCK:

You're really crazy, aren't ya?

WHITMAN:

Mmm, maybe.

BUCK:

All right, you got a deal. How many "good" women do you figure on bringin' here?

WHITMAN:

Well, there's a hundred men put up the money.

BUCK:

Better recruit a hundred and fifty women then. If we're real lucky, you'll only lose one out of three.

WHITMAN:

Well, I'm kinda anxious to get started, Buck. Do you still figure to stay drunk for a week?

BUCK:

You start lookin' for me day after tomorrow. I'll be real mean, but I'll be ready.

MFX:

BRIDGE

BIZ:

MEN MURMUR ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

WHITMAN:

(TO THE MEN) So, we're on our way to Chicago, me and Buck Wyatt. And we'll bring the women back!

BIZ:

MEN CHEER

WHITMAN:

(TO THE MEN) Now - now, just remember. I don't guarantee the looks, but this much I promise -- they'll be good women. And they'll be your fortune. And God help ya, if ya don't treat 'em right. Because you'll answer to me. (BEAT) All right, Buck. Let's get started.

BIZ:

MEN CHEER ... THEN MURMUR IN BG, AS--

SFX:

ROY AND BUCK'S HORSES START WALKING ... THEN IN BG

WHITMAN:

Yeah, they're fine men, Buck, fine men.

BUCK:

Let's get one thing straight, Roy. Whether you get your "good" women or not, I get my money.

WHITMAN:

That's right.

BUCK:

And you really think these "fine" men will marry those "good" women, if they ever get here?

WHITMAN:

Yes.

BUCK:

They're crazy, too.

WHITMAN:

Sure. Crazy enough to build a home out of the wilderness. That kind of crazy I like.

MFX:

BRIDGE

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR NOISILY ... THEN GROW QUIET BEHIND--

WHITMAN:

(TO THE WOMEN) All right, ladies. Ladies, please! We been months gettin' here to Chicago, Mr. Wyatt and I, and if necessary we'll spend months pickin' out those of you we want to take back, so just simmer down and fill out those application papers. We'll meet you upstairs in the hall at one o'clock. That's it for now, ladies. And thank you.

BIZ:

WOMEN RESUME MURMURING ... THEN IN BG

LAURIE:

We're wasting our time, Cherie.

DANON:

Why?

LAURIE:

Why? Didn't you see the look he gave us? The way we're dressed, that's why.

DANON:

But we had no time. We come straight from the theater.

LAURIE:

And we'll go back to the theater.

DANON:

Oh, Laurie, no, no. We'll go to the boardinghouse. We change our clothes, we fix our hair; we take the rouge off our faces, and we come back like two little angels.

LAURIE:

You think Mr. Whitman won't recognize us?

DANON:

We won't even recognize ourselves.

LAURIE:

Oh, it won't work, Danon.

DANON:

Then we'll have nothing. Oh, Laurie, please! It's a chance for a whole new life! For that, I will try anything.

LAURIE:

(WON OVER) Me, too, honey. Come on, we'll have to hurry.

MFX:

BRIDGE

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR ... IN BG

WHITMAN:

All right, next application. Miss, uh, Rose Meyers, please.

ROSE:

(OFF) Yes, sir?

WHITMAN:

You're a school teacher?

ROSE:

(OFF) Yes, sir.

WHITMAN:

Good. I'll need someone like you to keep a journal of our trip. Go to the desk, sign your name, please. Uh, Patience Hawley?

PATIENCE:

(OFF) Aye, aye, cap'n!

WHITMAN:

New Bedford, Massachusetts, huh?

PATIENCE:

(OFF) That's mah home port, cap'n, but I figgered it was time to scrape muh hull and weigh anchor!

WHITMAN:

Yeah. Uh, you've stated your age on your application, but lookin' at you--

PATIENCE:

(OFF) Smokin' oakum! You can't ask a woman to state her age right! But I can ship mah tonnage; and extra, to boot!

WHITMAN:

Yes, ma'am, I would say that you could.

PATIENCE:

(OFF) Yes, sir!

WHITMAN:

Uh, go ahead and sign on.

PATIENCE:

(OFF) Thank ye.

WHITMAN:

Well, that should do it, Buck.

BUCK:

How many, all told?

WHITMAN:

One hundred 'n' thirty-eight. And I just as soon we get started--

DANON:

(APPROACHES) Mr. Whitman, please?!

WHITMAN:

Well?

DANON:

I am Mademoiselle Fifi Danon and this is Miss Smith, my friend.

BUCK:

(CURT) Look, girls -- go home, huh?

DANON:

Oh, I am sorry we are a little late, but it was very necessary.

WHITMAN:

Yeah? Why do you want to go to California?

DANON:

(HESITANT) Well, er, we--

BUCK:

(STERN) He said, "Why California?"

DANON:

(DEADLY SERIOUS) We want a change, monsieur.

BUCK:

Of what?

DANON:

Of scenery.

WHITMAN:

Would it be a permanent change?

DANON:

Oui, monsieur. A permanent change.

WHITMAN:

Well -- your applications look all right to me. Sign the book, ladies.

LAURIE:

Oh, thank you.

DANON:

Oh, merci, monsieur. Merci.

BUCK:

(UNHAPPY, TO WHITMAN) You got any idea what you're doing?

WHITMAN:

Oh, they'll be all right, Buck. They'll do fine.

BUCK:

Well, it's your train.

WHITMAN:

Well, you ready to talk to 'em?

BUCK:

I'm ready, and I got plenty to say. (ADDRESSES THE WOMEN) Now, listen close!

BIZ:

WOMEN GROW SILENT

BUCK:

(TALKING TOUGH) We go from here by boat -- St. Louis, then to Independence. We jump off from Independence, cross the Big Blue River, the Little Blue, the Platte and the Sweetwater. We take the South Pass over the Rockies down to the Big Salt Lake. Then over the desert. It's a long, hard grind with no let-up. Rain, hail as big as eggs, breakdowns, prairie fires, sand storms, dust storms, alkali water, no water. There'll be cholera, Indians, drownings, stampedes, and stupid accidents. We'll pass old graves and leave new ones everywhere along the way. So, if you're smart, you'll get up now and leave and forget all about California! That's my best advice! Follow it!

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

BUCK:

(IRONIC, SKEPTICAL) Nobody wants to quit, huh? All good, brave women, huh? Well, you've made Mr. Whitman real happy. (BEAT) Now, can any of ya handle a horse?

BIZ:

A FEW WOMEN STIR AND RESPOND AFFIRMATIVELY ... "I CAN!"

BUCK:

I don't mean just ride. I mean handle. (BEAT) Seven of ya? Eight? Eight. All right, give your names to Mr. Whitman. (BEAT) Can any of ya handle mules? A team of mean, iron-mouthed mules?

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

BUCK:

Four courageous ladies. You'll be a big help, I'm sure. Now, what about firearms? Any of ya shoot a gun? I mean, shoot it and hit what you're aimin' at!

MAGGIE:

(OFF) Jean can. And so can I.

BUCK:

All right, here's my gun. Catch.

MAGGIE:

(BEAT, OFF) I caught it, mister.

BUCK:

This is a three-foot map of Whitman's Valley. Let's see ya hit it.

JEAN:

(OFF) What's that in the middle of it, Mr. Wyatt?

BUCK:

That's the Adams ranch on the left and the Warren ranch on the right.

MAGGIE:

(OFF) Jean'll shoot first, mister.

BUCK:

Mr. Whitman, would you care to join me on the floor?

WHITMAN:

(CLEARS THROAT NERVOUSLY)

BUCK:

When you're ready, ladies!

MAGGIE:

(OFF) We're ready.

SFX:

BANG! GUNSHOT

JEAN:

(OFF) Your turn, Maggie.

SFX:

BEAT ... BANG! GUNSHOT

WHITMAN:

(SURPRISED) Holy Moses! Well, look, Buck, look! (IMPRESSED) Ladies, it appears you've blown two ranches right out of Whitman's Valley.

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR AND CHUCKLE BRIEFLY, IMPRESSED

JEAN:

(OFF) Is that what you meant us to do?

BUCK:

(TO JEAN) That's just what I meant. You're a real comfort to me. (TO ALL) Now, about those frilly, fluffy clothes you're wearing! Get clothes and boots that are rough, tough and comfortable. Wouldn't hurt any of ya to wear pants.

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR ... "PANTS?"

BUCK:

I mean, pants. ... And, speakin' of pants, I got men waiting for us at Independence -- fifteen men to help me get you through to California. Just one thing about those men -- stay away from 'em! Don't ever forget that! (LOW, TO WHITMAN) All right, Mr. Whitman, they're all yours.

MFX:

BRIDGE ... FOR A TREK WESTWARD

SFX:

MULES AND HORSES SHUFFLE AND WHINNY, IN BG

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR, IN BG

WHITMAN:

Well, Rose -- still takin' care of our journal, huh? Good girl.

ROSE:

Seven full pages, Mr. Whitman -- the boat trip to St. Louie, then here to Independence. Now a fresh page for our real start.

WHITMAN:

Good, good. Now, just write in the book that I've taken great heart with the conduct of the women -- the way they're all learnin' to shoot and handle the wagons and drive the mules.

ROSE:

We can't wait to get started, Mr. Whitman, and Mr. Wyatt's terribly upset. He wanted to leave at daybreak.

WHITMAN:

Well, upset or not, Mr. Wyatt's gonna wait a mite longer. Get all the women together, Rose. We're gonna kneel on this Missouri ground and pray.

MFX:

BRIDGE ... FOR A PRAYER ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

SFX:

WAGON TRAIN UNDERWAY ... HORSES, MULES, CREAKY WOODEN WAGONS, JANGLE OF HARNESSES, CRACK OF WHIPS ... WHOOPIN' AND A-HOLLERIN' OF FIFTEEN MEN AND 140 WOMEN, ET CETERA ... THEN IN BG

WHITMAN:

Well, Buck, we're on our way.

BUCK:

Yeah. Get ready to run for your life.

WHITMAN:

You don't think they've learned how to drive?

BUCK:

I think they have. But let's find out. (CALLS) Streeeeeeeetch out! Stretch your wagons!

WHITMAN:

(CHUCKLES) Ya see, Buck? All these weeks of preparation, you've missed one thing.

BUCK:

Have I?

WHITMAN:

The will of a woman when there's a weddin' ring in sight!

BUCK:

(CHUCKLES) Maybe so. You better get forward, Roy. I'll hang back and watch for the stragglers.

SFX:

WAGON TRAIN UNDERWAY ... UP, FOR A TRANSITION, THEN IN BG

PATIENCE:

All right, Rose. Who is he? He's been ridin' off our bow all day.

ROSE:

He - he seems very nice, Patience. His name is Sidney. Sidney Cutler.

PATIENCE:

Now, you listen to me, Rose. On this voyage, there's gonna be no he-in' and she-in'.

ROSE:

Oh, I know. (QUIETLY) I know.

PATIENCE:

Well, then you'd better let him know because he's taken an interest -- or hadn't you noticed?

ROSE:

Patience, you've been married, haven't you?

PATIENCE:

Aye. Mah man's dead. Him and muh three boys with him. They all went down together off Cape Horn. Took the biggest storm in fifty years to sink my men.

ROSE:

I'm sorry.

PATIENCE:

Oh, that's all right, child, that's all right. (CALLS) You mules! Mind your course there! Heave a-port! Heave!

SFX:

WAGON TRAIN UP, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

MFX:

BRIDGE ... FOR WIDE OPEN SPACES OF KANSAS

BIZ:

WOMEN LAUGH AND CHATTER ... THEN IN BG

SFX:

SPLASH OF WATER AS WOMEN BATHE

BUCK:

(DISGUSTED) Look at 'em, Roy. Scrubbin', washin', splashin' all over. Don't they know we're in the middle of nowhere?!

WHITMAN:

(CHUCKLES) You don't know women.

BUCK:

Me? I don't know women?

ITO:

(CACKLES)

BUCK:

What's so funny?

ITO:

All the time, boss, you make me laugh.

BUCK:

Get in the cook wagon. See that we get some decent grub for supper.

ITO:

Yes, sir, boss. Very good. All the time, very good grub. I fix.

BUCK:

Oh, wait, I got another job for you.

ITO:

What, boss?

BUCK:

Roust around and see if you can find the grave of a Jim Quackenbush.

ITO:

Jeem Quacka-bush?

BUCK:

You heard me.

ITO:

Jeem Quacka-bush! (MOVING OFF) Very good. I roust!

BUCK:

(CALLS) Hey, Danon?!

DANON:

(OFF) Yes?

BUCK:

Get some of these women to look for clover!

DANON:

(OFF) What for?

BUCK:

Cut off the tops and cook 'em up! That's what the Indians do and they don't get scurvy!

DANON:

(OFF, CALLS) Laurie?! Jean?! Come and help me! We need clover for supper.

SFX:

SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND OF CRICKETS

MFX:

GENTLE ORCHESTRA AND GUITAR ACCOMPANIMENT FOR A SAD VIOLIN SOLO PLAYED BY ROSE ... CONTINUES IN BG

LAURIE:

Listen, Danon. Why must sad music be so beautiful?

DANON:

That's Rose playing that song. Last night, she play the same song, too. She said it is from her home -- some little farm village. What's she got to be so sad about, Laurie?

LAURIE:

Mm, I don't know.

DANON:

Maybe she's in love. That Sidney Cutler, you think?

LAURIE:

Oh, come on. Let's get to sleep.

MFX:

UP BRIEFLY FOR THE VIOLIN SOLO'S CONCLUSION ... THEN OUT, LEAVING ONLY--

SFX:

CHIRP OF CRICKETS ... IN BG

BUCK:

Hey -- Ito?

ITO:

Yes, sir, boss?

BUCK:

Well?

ITO:

No Jeem Quacka-bush, boss. But why you look-a for grave, please?

BUCK:

(LIGHTLY) Well, 'cause me and Jim, we've been pals for years. I couldn't live without him.

ITO:

But, uh, if he die, you got to live without him.

BUCK:

(LAUGHS) No, I don't.

ITO:

Please -- is boss all right in the head?

BUCK:

Boss all right in the head; now go to sleep. (SEES SOMETHING) Oh, wait a minute.

ITO:

You see something, boss?

BUCK:

Yeah, second wagon there, on the far side.

ITO:

That's a woman's wagon, boss. That is woman there.

BUCK:

Yeah, sure; only a man's with her.

ITO:

(SUDDENLY TENSE) Boss, no! No gun!

BUCK:

(MOVING OFF, CURT) You stay where you are and shut up.

SFX:

CRICKETS ... UP FOR TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG

WOMAN:

(LOW, URGENT) But - but you can't come here! You know what they--

RILEY:

(LOW) If ya just keep quiet, who's gonna know?

WOMAN:

No! No, I won't let you!

RILEY:

That's not what you said when you talked to--

WOMAN:

(INTENSE WHISPER) Someone's coming. It's Wyatt!

BUCK:

(OFF, CASUAL) Pull a gun, Riley, and I'll kill ya.

BIZ:

WOMEN AND MEN GATHER AND BRIEFLY MURMUR DURING FOLLOWING--

RILEY:

(NERVOUS) Oh, oh, Buck. Look, I - I know I broke orders, but all I was doin'--

BUCK:

(OFF) Get on your horse and get out.

RILEY:

Oh, now, take it easy. It's a long ways back. Nobody can make it alone.

BUCK:

You can try.

KATT:

You're makin' a mistake, Buck.

BUCK:

You're right, Katt. I should kill him.

KATT:

No, we need every man we've got.

BUCK:

This kind of fun will rip a train wide open. On most trains, the law calls for thirty lashes. On my train, from here on, it's a bullet! Now, use your heads and stay alive. Get goin', Riley.

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR AND MEN GRUMBLE

BUCK:

(CALLS) All right, ladies, settle down! We gotta get up with the birdies!

DANON:

There is not much you miss, is there, Mr. Wyatt?

BUCK:

I thought you'd be in on this, Danon.

DANON:

Me?

BUCK:

You.

DANON:

(TAUNTING) Don't you ever shave?

BUCK:

(MOVING OFF) Go to sleep.

DANON:

You always look so dirty!

LAURIE:

Cherie, look -- don't you go getting ideas.

DANON:

It is not me that get ideas -- it is the ideas get me!

LAURIE:

Oh, you sure forget easy, don't you?

DANON:

Huh?

LAURIE:

All that big talk! We go to California; it's a new country, a new life!

DANON:

(SERIOUS) That is what I said; that is what I mean. (BEAT, SUGGESTIVE) But ideas -- they still get me.

SFX:

CRICKETS UP FOR TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG

WHITMAN:

Buck? Buck, wake up.

BUCK:

(WAKES) Hmm? Oh, hello, Roy.

WHITMAN:

I just got back to camp, Travers and me.

BUCK:

Ya find water?

WHITMAN:

Found Indians -- across the river; forty, fifty of 'em, a-headin' this way.

BUCK:

They see you?

WHITMAN:

I don't know. I - I'll rouse the women.

BUCK:

You'll say nothin' to any of 'em. It's three hours till daylight; let 'em rest. They'll be hysterical soon enough.

WHITMAN:

They'll be dead soon enough if--

BUCK:

(FIRM) On the trail, I'm boss. Or did you forget?

WHITMAN:

Sorry.

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... BUILDS

BUCK:

They'll rush us at daybreak. We'll be ready for 'em. Now, give me a hand and we'll round up the stock.

MFX:

UP, FOR A FINISH

SFX:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

We'll continue with this week's production of the Hollywood Radio Theatre in just a moment.

Make a friend and you make an ally. There's a thought for you to keep in mind as many another American has, like Fiorello LaGuardia, the busy little mayor of New York who found time to get on the radio and read funnies to the kids. There was a man who loved children and, through his love, saw the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund come into being. To start such a fund, LaGuardia went to Europe, not as a representative of the U. N., but as an American citizen. He traveled from country to country, investigating conditions, speaking to the people, and making friends. In his native land, Italy, he helped hand out food to the needy and won their admiration. On his return to the United States, LaGuardia worked day and night to sell the need for a children's emergency fund and, finally, the General Assembly of the U. N. adopted his proposal unanimously. In a resolution which stated that as many children as possible to the age of eighteen would receive help from the fund on the basis of need without discrimination because of race, creed, nationality or political belief. Workers all over America donated a day's pay to the fund, as did children in all kinds of schools, organizations and churches. But LaGuardia didn't live to see the full success of the great work he helped to start. His big heart stopped the night before the U. N. announced aid allocation to over three million, seven hundred thousand children and mothers in twelve European countries and China. But others picked up where Fiorello LaGuardia left off -- people like him, who knew that by helping others, you help your country.

Now, our producer, Mr. Cummings.

CUMMINGS:

Act Two of "Westward the Women," starring Robert Taylor as Buck and Denise Darcel as Danon.

MFX:

BRIEF WESTERN-FLAVORED INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG

CUMMINGS:

It's the following morning, but the Indian attack has failed to materialize -- too many wagons, too many rifles. For the time being, the wagon train is safe and, by way of celebration, Roy Whitman persuaded Buck to call a day's holiday.

MFX:

CHANGES TO UPTEMPO FIDDLE TUNE ... THEN IN BG

BIZ:

WOMEN CHATTER, LAUGH AND DANCE ... THEN IN BG

BUCK:

(UNHAPPY) I thought you asked me for a day o' rest.

WHITMAN:

Oh, let 'em dance, Buck, 'cause they've a mind for it. It'll keep their spirits up. Um, what about the men joining 'em?

BUCK:

(STERN) The men are where they belong -- out scoutin'.

WHITMAN:

You figure the Indians'll be back?

BUCK:

(SHARP) How do I know what they'll do?! (SUDDENLY APOLOGETIC) Aw, no hard feelings; I'm just uneasy, I guess.

WHITMAN:

(MOVING OFF) You'll feel better when we're movin' again.

BUCK:

Yeah, sure.

MFX:

FIDDLE TUNE UP, TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG

DANON:

(APPROACHES) No, no! Don't shoot! It's just me!

BUCK:

Oh. Danon, huh?

DANON:

Why can't you call me Miss Danon, like you call all the others?

BUCK:

That what you came up here to ask?

DANON:

If I'm still "Danon" when we get to California, California won't be any different for me than Chicago.

BUCK:

(CHUCKLES) Don't worry. Not all the men in California want to get married.

DANON:

You, for instance?

BUCK:

Me, for instance. (BEAT) That's, uh, good perfume you use.

DANON:

The best. (BEAT, SEDUCTIVE) Does it bother you, Buck?

BUCK:

(SHARP) Get back to your wagon! That rule goes for you and me, too. I told Roy Whitman back in California--

DANON:

(DISMISSIVE) Oh, now you tell me the story of your life. Let me tell you mine. It's much more interesting.

BUCK:

(CHUCKLE) I know yours. (FIRM) Now, go back where you belong.

MFX:

FIDDLE TUNE UP, TO FILL A PAUSE ... THEN IN BG

ITO:

(APPROACHES) Boss? Is me, Ito! I look-a for grave, boss. No Jeem Quacka-bush!

BUCK:

Keep lookin'.

ITO:

Boss, men come back now. They say no more Indian.

BUCK:

Good.

ITO:

Nice perfume, huh, boss? Very pretty lady?

BUCK:

Why, you little--!

ITO:

(SCARED, MOVING OFF) Is all right, boss! I go! I go!

MFX:

FIDDLE TUNE UP, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN FADES OUT

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN FADE IN NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND OF CRICKETS WITH MURMURING WOMEN WHO FADE OUT DURING FOLLOWING--

PATIENCE:

(HUSHED, URGENT) But, Rose, it don't make sense, child. If you're sick, why shouldn't--?

ROSE:

There's nothing anyone can do. Please, Patience--

PATIENCE:

Rose? You don't mean you're--? (SHARP) Smokin' oakum! Who else knows about this?

ROSE:

Nobody here. Back home, they all know. That's why I'm going west, Patience.

PATIENCE:

A baby--

ROSE:

I've done wrong. I've suffered for it; I don't want my baby to. Out there, he'll have a chance.

PATIENCE:

Aw, now, don't you worry, Rose. He won't run aground.

ROSE:

You won't tell? Promise me you won't.

PATIENCE:

(AMUSED) Oh ho, they'll know soon enough without me tellin' 'em. (CHUCKLE)

ROSE:

It'll be months yet.

PATIENCE:

Aw, sure, honey, sure. Now, you lie down and let me cover ya.

SFX:

CRICKETS UP, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN FADE OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... THEN FADE IN CRICKETS AGAIN ... MEN MURMUR, IN BG

BUCK:

(TO THE MEN) All right, boys. We'll stand two-hour watches during the night, same as usual. Keep the fire going here by the corral, but don't let any of the-- (HIS VOICE TRAILS OFF, FOR A BEAT)

SFX:

MEN FALL SILENT

BUCK:

Where's Katt? (NO ANSWER) I said, where's Katt?

1ST MAN:

(EVASIVE) I - I don't know, Buck. Likely somewheres around.

SFX:

CRICKETS OUT WITH--

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... UNEASY ... BUILDS IN BG

BUCK:

I thought he was with you.

1ST MAN:

Well, yeah. He - he was. Maybe he went to the cook wagon for coffee or somethin'.

DANON:

(FAR OFF, YELLS DESPERATELY) Buck?! Buuuuck?!

MFX:

UP, FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SFX:

BUCK AND THE OTHER MEN'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS APPROACH ... THEN STOP

BUCK:

You and Danon, huh, Katt? You kill her?

KATT:

(NERVOUS) Kill her? What's the matter, you crazy? All I did was -- just rough her up a little.

WHITMAN:

(OFF) Looks like she just fainted, Buck. She'll be all right.

KATT:

Sure! I didn't do nothin'!

BUCK:

You were with her.

KATT:

All right, I was with her, Buck. Now, is that such a crime?

BUCK:

You remember what I told ya?

BIZ:

MEN MURMUR A NERVOUS PROTEST ("Oh, Buck!") AND GRUMBLE

KATT:

The boys don't like the rules you make, Buck.

BUCK:

I'll take care of them later.

KATT:

Now, Buck, you - you're gonna give me a chance to draw, ain't you? (NO ANSWER) Buck, you wouldn't just--?

BUCK:

Go ahead. Draw.

SFX:

BANG! ... BANG!-BANG! ... THREE GUNSHOTS

BUCK:

(CALLS) Maggie?! Get Laurie Smith and take care of Danon!

WHITMAN:

(OFF) Buck?

BUCK:

I'm all right. (BEAT) It's gonna be awful tough getting to your valley, Roy.

MFX:

BRIDGE ... DARK, FOREBODING

SFX:

WAGON TRAIN UNDERWAY ... THEN IN BG

1ST MAN:

So, make up your mind, Sid. Why, was Buck to see you ridin' next to Rose here, he'd shoot ya down the same as he did Katt.

SID:

Yeah. Maybe so.

1ST MAN:

Wyatt's gone crazy. He'll kill any one of us next.

SID:

When are ya leavin'?

1ST MAN:

Tonight. (MOVING OFF) So make up your mind.

SID:

(LOW, PLEADING) Rose? Come with me. We'll make it back all right.

ROSE:

No. No, I can't, Sid.

SID:

I'll take care o' you, Rose. Honest, I will.

ROSE:

I can't.

SID:

Look, if it's that-- Rose, I know. Patience told me.

ROSE:

And - you still want me?

SID:

Listen to me, honey. If there was time, I wouldn't be talkin' like this. There isn't any time. I love you, Rose. I - I want to marry ya. Come back with me and we'll--

ROSE:

(TEARFUL) I can't. I can't.

SID:

You think it's wrong to leave the others? Is that it?

ROSE:

Yes. I've done enough wrong for a whole lifetime.

1ST MAN:

Hey, you comin' or not?

SID:

I-- I'm not leavin' Rose.

1ST MAN:

Suit yourself. And good luck.

MFX:

FURIOUS BRIDGE

SFX:

NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND OF CRICKETS ... GALLOPING HORSE APPROACHES

WHITMAN:

(CALLS) Buck! Wait! Wait!

BUCK:

Roy?

SFX:

HORSE SLOWS TO A HALT

BUCK:

Well?

WHITMAN:

The men are gone. And eight of the women with 'em. Must have waited till we rode out to scout. When I got back to camp, they were gone. Only two of 'em left -- Sid Cutler and the Japanese cook.

BUCK:

Well?

WHITMAN:

Well, we - we turn back.

BUCK:

We do?

WHITMAN:

We've come nearly half way. Thank God it's the easy half we'll face goin' back.

BUCK:

We're not goin' back. My job is takin' trains through. If you lose a train, nobody ever hires ya again. I've seen it happen too many times. Well, it's not gonna happen to me.

WHITMAN:

I don't care what happens to you! It's those women. You can't get 'em through. It can't be done with women alone.

BUCK:

Then I'll make men out of your women, Roy. You breed cattle in that valley of yours; you kill off the weak ones. By the time we get to that valley, you'll know that the women who are left are fit stock! Now, get back to camp, and rouse 'em out. By the time they get their big blue eyes open, I'll be there to talk to 'em.

MFX:

BRIEF BRIDGE

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR AND GRUMBLE ("... get us out o' bed at this hour?") ... GROW QUIET BEHIND--

BUCK:

(ADDRESSES THE WOMEN) Yes, I've got a surprise for ya. It seems that during the night, the men left. And with them went eight very wise ladies. Now, was I to give you time to think, you might feel sorry for yourselves; you might get a little envious of those eight very wise women. So I'm gonna drive ya till you're too tired to think! You're gonna start by fixin' breakfast. It'll be daylight by the time you're through eatin' and I'll be waitin' for ya! You're gonna learn to shoot! You're gonna learn to ride! You're gonna learn how to handle your wagon! That goes for you, too, Danon -- so get that dumb cow look off your face! ... Now start moving, the lot of ya!

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR AND GRUMBLE

BUCK:

Cup o' coffee, Roy?

WHITMAN:

Huh? Oh. Oh, yeah.

BUCK:

Bring the coffee, Ito.

ITO:

(MUTTERS, IN JAPANESE)

BUCK:

What did you say?

ITO:

I say, in Japanese, boss, all you do is make them hate you.

BUCK:

Well, you can say it in English because I hope they do.

MFX:

HOPEFUL BRIDGE

SFX:

WAGON TRAIN UNDERWAY ... THEN IN BG

PATIENCE:

Come on aboard, Mr. Whitman. Set for a spell.

WHITMAN:

Thanks, Patience, I will.

SFX:

WHITMAN CLIMBS INTO WAGON

WHITMAN:

Feel any better, Rose?

PATIENCE:

Who says anything's wrong with Rose?

ROSE:

(WEAKLY) I'm - fine, Mr. Whitman. Just kinda tired, I guess.

WHITMAN:

Oh. Well, I want it put in the journal, Rose. Just write it down how the men deserted, and how we're gonna push ahead just the same. And, uh, you can say that, this afternoon, we faced a new disaster.

PATIENCE:

This afternoon? But it's still morning.

WHITMAN:

Yeah. Mr. Wyatt and I been ridin' ahead. Been a landslide. Boulders as big as this wagon - cover the trail for two hundred yards.

PATIENCE:

And what's he got to say about it; Mr. Wyatt?

WHITMAN:

He says we'll have to roll those boulders and clear the trail.

PATIENCE:

Then I guess we're gonna.

SFX:

CRACK! OF WHIP, BEHIND--

PATIENCE:

(YELLS) Come on, you mules! EEEEE-YOOP!

SFX:

SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON A BOULDER ROLLING, RUMBLING AND CRASHING DOWN HILL

BIZ:

WOMEN CHEER HAPPILY ... THEN MURMUR BEHIND--

BUCK:

Stop wastin' your breath cheerin' about it! That's just one o' these boulders! Now, come on, get to it! (BEAT) What's the matter, Danon? That rock too heavy for ya?

DANON:

I do ze best I can!

BUCK:

Why don't you do better than "ze best you can"?

DANON:

(EXPLODES) Me -- all the time! Toujours après moi! (MUTTERS, IN FRENCH)

LAURIE:

Take it easy, cherie! Don't let him get you all upset!

DANON:

Oh, keep yourself shut up!

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... BUILDS BEHIND--

PATIENCE:

(GIVING ORDERS) Come on, ladies! Get behind that rock!

DANON:

Oh, you shut up, too!

PATIENCE:

I'll shut up when the trail's clear! (CALLS) Now, heave! Heave!

MFX:

UP, FOR A SATISFYING, BOULDER-CLEARING, WESTERN-FLAVORED BRIDGE

SFX:

HORSE WHINNIES ... CLATTER OF WOMEN EATING LUNCH

BUCK:

(ADDRESSES THE WOMEN) And I've got more news for you, ladies. You did pretty well clearing that trail yesterday, but there's a hill ahead of us. Only it's much too steep to drive wagons down. So, if you want to get to California, the wagons will have to be eased down the hill; lowered down.

BIZ:

WOMEN REACT ("Lowered?") AND FALL SILENT, BEHIND--

BUCK:

That means block and tackle, and ropes, and every ounce of strength you can muster! (BEAT) Eat a good lunch, ladies. Any mistakes this afternoon, it may be your last.

SFX:

SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON RUMBLE OF WAGON LOWERED DOWN STEEP HILL ... THEN IN BG

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR, IN BG--

BUCK:

(YELLS) Hold those mules back! You're goin' down too fast!

JESSIE:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) We're pullin' across with ten now!

PATIENCE:

Hang on there, Jessie! We'll get you down!

BUCK:

Hold back on that rope -- it's getting away from us! Put on your wheel brake! Your wheel brake!

SFX:

RUMBLE OF WAGON ROLLING OUT OF CONTROL DOWN HILL DURING FOLLOWING--

SID:

Buck! Look! The axle's tearin' loose! The axle's broken!

BUCK:

Let go of the rope! Let go of it!

JESSIE:

(DISTANT, SCREAMS AS--)

SFX:

THE SPEEDING WAGON CRASHES AT BOTTOM OF HILL

BIZ:

THEN WOMEN MURMUR UNEASILY, IN BG

WHITMAN:

(APPROACHES) Buck? Buck?

BUCK:

(LOW) It's no use, Roy. But get to 'em, if you can. Who was in that wagon?

WHITMAN:

(MOVING OFF) Mary Saunders, Jessie Toler.

BIZ:

UNEASY WOMEN FALL SILENT BEHIND--

BUCK:

(YELLS) All right! Get the next wagon up here! Sid! Ito! Get that other block and tackle! (BEAT, TO WOMEN) I said, who's next?! Come on! It's been done before! The only difference was, it was done by men!

PATIENCE:

By men, huh? All right. I'll take the next wagon down!

SFX:

PATIENCE CLIMBS INTO WAGON WHICH STARTS TO ROLL

PATIENCE:

Easy there, mules! Mind your helm!

BUCK:

Hold 'em back! You're givin' 'em too much head!

PATIENCE:

Just get these bullies on the prod. I can handle 'em!

BUCK:

All right, ladies! Get on that rope! And pay it out easy!

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR AND SHOUT IN BG

BUCK:

Set your brakes, Patience!

PATIENCE:

Set your own brakes, mister! And turn me loose!

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... BUILDS

SID:

(OFF) Tackle's set!

BUCK:

All right, start her down!

MFX:

UP, FOR A VERTIGINOUS BRIDGE

SFX:

RUMBLE OF WAGON LOWERED DOWN STEEP HILL

PATIENCE:

(CALLS) Turn me loose, up there! (BEAT, RELIEVED) I made it! I made it!

BIZ:

FROM OFF, WOMEN CHEER

SFX:

WAGON ROLLS TO A STOP

BUCK:

(LAUGHS) If you weren't so big, I'd kiss ya!

PATIENCE:

If you weren't so puny, I'd let ya! (DOUBLE TAKE) Hey! How'd you get down here?

BUCK:

(AMUSED) Horseback -- I wasn't pullin' any wagon!

PATIENCE:

(CALLS) All right, up there! Who's next?!

MFX:

STIRRING BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

SFX:

SCRATCH PEN ON PAPER, THEN IN BG

ROSE:

(WRITES) "July twenty-fourth, Eighteen Fifty-One. Our journey has been halted now for two days. We have buried our dead -- Mary Saunders, Jessie Toler, and the two Abbott sisters. But we have conquered the trail. Many of the women are sick with fever, but Mr. Wyatt says we must go on. God grant they be spared."

MFX:

UP, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN OUT

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR, OFF

LAURIE:

Better get in the wagon, cherie. They're rounding up the mules. They'll be hitching in a minute.

DANON:

But, look, Laurie. Look over there!

LAURIE:

Oh, it's just a rabbit.

DANON:

Dig out my spice box while I get the rifle. For supper tonight, we shall eat rabbit à la Danon!

LAURIE:

(LAUGHS) Just be careful. I don't trust you with a rifle.

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... RUNNING MULES, IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

SID:

Giddyup! Giddyup! Giddyup!

BUCK:

Run 'em in there, Sid! The wagon circle!

SID:

Giddyup!

BUCK:

Keep 'em coming, Roy! Get those mules in here!

SFX:

BANG! LOUD RIFLE SHOT, FROM OFF ... MULES SPOOKED

WHITMAN:

Who fired that rifle?!

SFX:

MULES STAMPEDE, NEARLY DROWNING OUT THE SHOUTING MEN

WHITMAN:

Hey, you lop-eared critters--! Turn 'em, Sid!

SID:

Stampede!

WHITMAN:

Turn 'em!

SID:

Stampede!

WHITMAN:

Turn 'em!

SFX:

MULES UP, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN TOPPED BY--

MFX:

BRIDGE ... FOR A STAMPEDE ... THEN MOURNFUL ... OUT BEHIND--

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR WORRIEDLY, IN BG

DANON:

Buck? How is he -- Mr. Whitman?

BUCK:

How do you think he is? Tromped on by a herd of stampeding mules. Oh, he'll live but he can't thank you for it. You see what you started?

LAURIE:

It wasn't her fault. It could have happened to--

BUCK:

What do you mean it wasn't her fault? Who fired that gun? Mules are crazy, but there isn't one on the train you couldn't learn from!

DANON:

(PROTESTS, IN FRENCH)

BUCK:

(ANGRY) Don't talk to me in that lingo; I don't know what you're yapping about and I don't want to know.

DANON:

(PROTESTS, IN FRENCH)

BUCK:

Shut up! Roy was out of his mind to sign you on. From now on, stick to that wagon, both of ya. Don't move from it. Everything you touch is that much more grief.

DANON:

Sale cochon!

BUCK:

Don't "Sale cochon" me!

ITO:

(SAYS SOMETHING IN JAPANESE)

BUCK:

You, too, huh? All right, what did you say?

ITO:

I say, you're wrong, boss. Too much, boss. This lady, she do two, three time more work than ever'body.

BUCK:

Don't tell me I'm wrong! Even if I am.

ITO:

(SERIOUS) When you wrong, boss, I tell you. Even if you am.

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN ON--

DANON:

(ANGRY, HYSTERICAL) And this time, Laurie, you don't stop me. No one stop me! Not you! Not him! Not anybody! (RAMBLES ON, IN FRENCH)

LAURIE:

What are you trying to tell me?

DANON:

That I'm leaving. I'm going to try to reach that fort back there. Maybe I will, maybe not. Laurie, if I stay here, I will kill him! I'll kill him!

MFX:

AN ACCENT, FOR A QUICK TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG

LAURIE:

Mr. Wyatt?

BUCK:

I told you to stay in your wagon.

LAURIE:

That's exactly what I intend to do. I just thought you might like to know that Danon's taken one of your horses. She's run away. She's gonna try to reach that fort back there. (BEAT) Well, are ya just gonna stand there?

BUCK:

Sid?

SID:

(OFF) Yeah, Buck?

BUCK:

Take over. I'll be back as soon as I can.

MFX:

UP, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN OUT

SFX:

BUCK AND DANON SCUFFLE IN RIVER WATER ... CONTINUES IN BG

DANON:

(GRUNTS WITH EFFORT)

BUCK:

You little fool! Stop fighting, will ya? You could have drowned yourself trying to cross that river.

SFX:

SLAP! BUCK SLAPS DANON

BUCK:

I said stop fighting!

DANON:

I'll kill you! I keel you!

SFX:

SLAP! SLAP!

BUCK:

You crazy, no-good--! Riding that horse to death!

DANON:

(STOPS SCUFFLING, BREATHES HEAVILY)

BUCK:

Well, did I knock any sense into ya?

DANON:

(CALMLY) Yes. Thank you. I'll be all right now.

BUCK:

I was on your trail for two hours. Where'd you think were going?

DANON:

I didn't care.

BUCK:

Oh. Well, let's get back. My horse'll have to carry both of us. May not make it now till morning.

DANON:

But you did.

BUCK:

Did what?

DANON:

You came after me.

BUCK:

Your - your mouth, it's bleedin'. Hit you harder'n I thought.

DANON:

Wipe it off. (BEAT) Buck?

BUCK:

Well?

DANON:

Get ready.

BUCK:

For what?

DANON:

I'm crazy, yes? All right. I give you some craziness. I tell you something. I will tell you that -- I love you.

BUCK:

(CHUCKLES) Yeah?

DANON:

From the first time I see your beautiful face in Chicago.

BUCK:

My what?

DANON:

It's beautiful to me. It's a nice, rugged face -- beard and all. I love it! (BEAT) Did you like to hear that?

BUCK:

Yeah.

DANON:

Well, I like to hear it, too.

BUCK:

All right. You've got a nice, rugged face -- beard and all.

DANON:

(LAUGHS) Ha, ha, cherie! C'est très drôle.

BUCK:

You want me to tell you I love you, huh?

DANON:

Is it so difficult?

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... ROMANTIC

BUCK:

Well, don't you think it's a little too quick for a man to--?

DANON:

(ANNOYED) Oh, first time anything has been too quick for you, isn't it?

BUCK:

Come back here.

DANON:

(BEAT, MOCK SUBMISSIVE) Yes, boss. Like thees?

BUCK:

Like thees.

MFX:

UP, FOR AN UNSENTIMENTAL BUT ROMANTIC BRIDGE

SFX:

HORSE'S HOOF BEATS .. THEN IN BG

DANON:

How much further to the camp?

BUCK:

Well, soon as we reach the top of this riser, you ought to be able to see it. What's the matter? Been travelin' too fast for ya?

DANON:

Much too fast. I did not care if we ever reached it.

BUCK:

We'll be there in half an hour. And when we are, just remember that you're--

DANON:

(BEAT) Well? I am what?

BUCK:

(GRIM) Look.

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... UNEASY

BUCK:

Down there.

DANON:

Oh! The wagon train. It - it's burning! On fire! Buck! On the ground, those - those are bodies.

BUCK:

(DARK) They came back, Danon. The Indians came back.

MFX:

UP, FOR AN UNHAPPY FINISH

SFX:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

Make a friend and you make an ally. There's a thought for you to keep in mind as many another American has. ... By helping others, you help your country.

MFX:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

We pause now for station identification.

MFX:

THEME FILLS THE PAUSE ... THEN OUT

CUMMINGS:

The curtain rises on Act Three of "Westward the Women," starring Robert Taylor as Buck and Denise Darcel as Danon.

MFX:

A WESTERN-FLAVORED INTRO ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

CUMMINGS:

Danon and Buck have reached the encampment of the wagon train, the tragic shambles of the Indian raid. The surviving women are silent, exhausted, stunned. [X]

BUCK:

(LOW, DISCOURAGED) Roy? Roy, I'm sorry.

WHITMAN:

(WOUNDED, WEAK) Stop saying you're sorry.

BUCK:

But if I hadn't left camp--

WHITMAN:

(DYING BUT DETERMINED) What difference? There was more than a hundred of 'em. I've been waitin' for ya, Buck. So listen careful. When you said you could get the women through without the men, I didn't believe it. But now, I - I know they can make it. Take 'em. Take 'em - to the valley. Now, leave me be.

BUCK:

(SIGHS) Roy, I can't. The supplies, the wagons -- how many are left? (NO ANSWER) I said, how many are--?

ITO:

He's dead, boss. He's dead.

BUCK:

He said the women can make it, Ito. (DECISIVE) But not after this. He was wrong.

ITO:

(DISAGREES) Some horses left. Some mules, wagons. Mr. Whitman right.

BUCK:

(CALLS) You women! Well, he's dead. Mr. Whitman is dead. The last thing he said was to take you through to the valley. I'm sorry, but I can't do it.

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR UNHAPPILY

BUCK:

You've fought and you've died. Sickness, floods, accidents. Now this. There's just too much against ya. We'll start back in the morning.

DANON:

(PASSIONATE) No! No!

PATIENCE:

I won't turn back! Not me!

MAGGIE:

Not me!

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR -- "NOT ME!" "I WON'T EITHER!" -- THEN FALL SILENT

BUCK:

(BEAT) All right. If that's the way you want it, that's the way you'll get it! Ito, what about Cutler? Where's Cutler?

ITO:

Dead.

ROSE:

(TEARFUL) He's here, Mr. Wyatt. He never left my side. (WEEPS)

BUCK:

Rose -- please.

DANON:

Laurie? Where's Laurie? I can't find Laurie.

PATIENCE:

She's under that wagon, Danon.

DANON:

(GASPS)

PATIENCE:

She didn't suffer none. She was one of the first.

DANON:

Laurie. My poor Laurie.

BUCK:

Who else?

PATIENCE:

Eighteen. We did what we could.

MFX:

SNEAKS IN ... SOMBER

ROSE:

(THROUGH TEARS) I - I'll put the names in the journal. Oh, but not now. Please not now.

MFX:

UP, FOR A BRIEF, MOURNFUL TRANSITION

SFX:

HARSH STORM WITH HEAVY WIND AND RAIN AND THUNDER ... THEN IN BG

BUCK:

(MISERABLE) Six days since the Indian raid. Do you know how many miles we've gone?

ITO:

No, boss, no. But, uh-- I find something!

BUCK:

Forty miles, maybe. Fifty, at best. Nothin' but rain, day and night.

ITO:

Sure, boss, sure. But, I tell you, I find--

BUCK:

Have you checked the wagons? Everything all right back there?

ITO:

Everything good, boss. Women - sleep - baby.

BUCK:

Mm, it'll be a long, wet night.

ITO:

Yes, sir, boss. Boss, please, you listen. Jeem Quacka-bush! I find grave. Jeem Quacka-bush!

BUCK:

(NO LONGER MISERABLE) Where?! Where?!

ITO:

Come, I show. In dark, I fall over something. I hold up lantern. It say "Jeem Quacka-bush"!

BUCK:

Dead of cholera?

ITO:

Oh, yes, sir, boss. Yes.

BUCK:

Get a shovel. Get two shovels and show me where!

ITO:

Shovel, boss?

BUCK:

(CHUCKLES) Why, man, you couldn't have picked a better night for it!

SFX:

SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... FADE IN STORM AGAIN ... BUCK AND ITO DIG UP GRAVE WITH SHOVELS

ITO:

(TIRED, NERVOUS) Boss, I think I dig enough, huh? I go back to camp.

BUCK:

You stay right where you are. But take it easy. Don't jam that shovel so hard.

ITO:

Boss? Why we be so careful?

SFX:

SHOVELING STOPS ... SHOVEL TOSSED ASIDE, BEHIND--

BUCK:

Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait. Give me that lantern. (BEAT) Well, Ito? You see what I see?

ITO:

Is a jug down there.

BUCK:

Is two jugs down there. Rum.

ITO:

Rum?

BUCK:

Whiskey! Saki! Only it's rum.

ITO:

Sign on grave say "cholera."

BUCK:

Well, that's one sure way o' keeping it safe. I buried these jugs five years ago.

ITO:

(UNDERSTANDS) Oh! (LAUGHS HARD, MUTTERS IN JAPANESE)

BUCK:

What'd you say?

ITO:

(LAUGHS) I said, "Good ol' Quacka-bush!"

BUCK:

(LAUGHS)

ITO:

Oh, gonna be very wet night, boss, huh? Wet tonight! (LAUGHS)

BUCK:

(LAUGHS)

MFX:

UPBEAT BRIDGE

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR UNEASILY ... THEN FALL SILENT BEHIND--

BUCK:

(ADDRESSES THE WOMEN) Yeah, that's something brand new out there, ladies! That's desert! And it's like walkin' through a furnace. I said walking because that's just what I mean. What mules and horses we got left, well, they - they just won't make it with a full load. So you're gonna walk and you're gonna strip the wagons. Junk everything you don't absolutely need. Everything. And guard the water barrels with your life. For the next week or so, they're gonna be your life. All right, start unloadin'!

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR UNHAPPILY

PATIENCE:

You mean the furniture we brought? Our clothes? Our nice dresses?

BUCK:

I said everything, didn't I?

MAGGIE:

But we come out here to be married. How're we gonna look? How're we gonna look when they see us?

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR

DANON:

Oh, Buck, listen. These poor women. What do you think they do at night when we camp? They open their trunks. They see the pretty things. They touch silk again. Silk! Oh, what do you think has kept them going?

BUCK:

These "poor women," huh? You buried Laurie in a silk dress. Do you want to live or do you want--? Aw, I don't care what you do. (TO ALL) We'll be startin' across in an hour!

PATIENCE:

Come on, ladies. Let's dump the trunks.

BIZ:

WOMEN GROAN

PATIENCE:

Rose, now, just don't you go tryin' to push any trunk around. I'll give ya a hand--

MFX:

SNEAKS IN BEHIND--

ROSE:

Doesn't matter. Throw it all away. Just save what the baby might--

PATIENCE:

Rose? You mean now?

ROSE:

I - I think so. Just don't tell him. Please. Please!

PATIENCE:

Oh, now, don't you worry, honey. We'll take care of ya.

MFX:

UP, FOR A BRIDGE

SFX:

WAGON TRAIN UNDERWAY ... THEN IN BG

BUCK:

What do you think you're doin'?! Get her out of that wagon!

DANON:

It's Rose! She's going to have a baby!

BUCK:

Out here?

DANON:

Yes, out here! Because she knows you won't stop. Not even for a baby.

BUCK:

When did I say I wouldn't--?

DANON:

Oh, please. Just leave us alone. Just let her ride in the wagon and then-- Oh, go away!

ITO:

(MUTTERS IN JAPANESE)

BUCK:

What'd you say?

ITO:

I say, poor little woman. Poor little woman.

BUCK:

Get up to that lead wagon. We're gonna stop.

MFX:

BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR AND BUSTLE, ATTENDING TO ROSE

BUCK:

(MILDLY DISGUSTED) Look at 'em. Like it was home, sweet home.

BABY:

(STARTS TO CRY)

ITO:

It is, boss! Listen!

BIZ:

WOMEN REACT TO CRYING BABY

BUCK:

(CALLS) Well, ladies? Can we start moving again?

DANON:

Go right ahead, Mr. Wyatt! It's a boy!

MFX:

UP, FOR A BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

SFX:

PEN SCRATCHES ON PAPER ... THEN IN BG

ROSE:

"It has been more than a week since I have made an entry in this journal. Yesterday, we reached the end of the desert. Thanks to Providence and Mr. Wyatt, we survived the crossing -- even my tiny baby boy. Mr. Wyatt says that if all goes well, we will be in sight of Whitman's Valley in three days. We cannot believe it. We just cannot believe it."

MFX:

UP, FOR WARM, EXULTANT PUNCTUATION ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR ... THEN IN BG

BUCK:

What the devil are you doing?! Who said you could stop here?! Get back in the wagons! Keep 'em movin'! Stretch those wagons out!

DANON:

Oh, leave us alone! Go to sleep or something!

BUCK:

Have you all gone crazy?! What do you think you're doin'?!

DANON:

We have agreed it's a good place to stop. It is shady; there is a stream. We can wash, we can mend clothes, we can--

BUCK:

But I told you you're here! Whitman's Valley is right over that hill. Or is somebody else havin' a baby?

DANON:

No baby.

BUCK:

Well, then what?

DANON:

We're not going into the town.

BUCK:

You're not what?

DANON:

Look at us! Our clothes are rags. We don't go in looking like this -- like tramps. You go to the town. And when you come back, bring us things that makes us look like ladies.

PATIENCE:

You heard her, Mr. Wyatt.

DANON:

Frou-frou feminine things! We don't move from here until you do. And if ze men come near us before we're ready -- they never go back.

PATIENCE:

And we mean what she says!

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR AGREEMENT

BUCK:

All right, ladies. If that's the way you want it.

PATIENCE:

Spread your sails, ladies! There's a freshening breeze and I smell men ahead!

BIZ:

WOMEN CHEER

MFX:

BRIDGE

BIZ:

MEN MURMUR BOISTEROUSLY ... THEN FALL SILENT BEHIND--

BUCK:

Now, if - if you'll stop askin' questions, I'll try to give you some of the answers. First of all, about Roy Whitman. He's dead. Indians.

BIZ:

MEN MURMUR UNHAPPILY

BUCK:

We left a lot of the women buried there, too.

2ND MAN:

Well, what about the rest of 'em, Wyatt?

BUCK:

The women are camped just over the hill.

BIZ:

MEN MURMUR HAPPILY

BUCK:

Oh, no, no, no -- you're not goin'! None of ya are goin' anywhere.

BIZ:

MEN MURMUR CONFUSED

BUCK:

This is the way the women want it and this is the way it's gonna be. They won't come into town until they look their best. You get within range of 'em now and they'll blow your heads off.

BIZ:

MEN LAUGH

BUCK:

I got some idea of what most of you went through to get to this valley. But none of ya came through the hell these women did. So just make sure you're good enough for 'em. Make sure ya treat 'em right. Because God help ya if you don't. Whitman's gone, but I'm still here.

3RD MAN:

Well, these here must be some females, Buck!

2ND MAN:

What do they want us to do?

BUCK:

Well, they gave me my orders. I want a wagon and I want it loaded with things they can wear. Nice things. Until then, you stay here and they stay there.

3RD MAN:

Ha ha! You're gonna have a time roundin' up petticoats in Whitman's Valley!

BIZ:

MEN LAUGH

BUCK:

Yeah, but you've got stuff for tradin' with the Indians. Bolts of cloth, blankets, any kind of crazy trinkets that'll make a woman look like a woman. Sooner you get 'em, the sooner they'll be here!

BIZ:

MEN CHEER AND HURRY OFF

MFX:

WARM, WESTERN-FLAVORED BRIDGE

BIZ:

WOMEN MURMUR HAPPILY, TRYING ON CLOTHES AND TRINKETS ... THEN IN BG

BUCK:

Well, ladies, now that you've quit clawin' each other and fightin' over what I brought back, let me take a look at you. (BEAT, CHUCKLES) Well, Ito, what do you think?

ITO:

(MUTTERS IN JAPANESE)

BUCK:

What'd you say?

ITO:

I say, "Let's go, boss!"

BUCK:

You're sure a sorry lot of females, but they ain't seen one of your kind for so long that even you'll look good.

DANON:

Sneer and talk if you want to; we're leaving for town.

BUCK:

Just one more thing.

BIZ:

WOMEN GROW QUIET

BUCK:

They've been building a big pavilion in town all these months while they been waitin' for you. That's where you'll go. Got a big spread o' grub and there'll be music and dancin'. That's how you'll meet the men. From there on, ladies, it's up to them and it's up to you. Now, start movin'! Streeeeeeeeeetch out!

BIZ:

WOMEN CHEER

SFX:

WAGON TRAIN GETS UNDERWAY

MFX:

BRIEF BRIDGE

BIZ:

TOGETHER AT LAST, MEN AND WOMEN MURMUR ... THEN IN BG

PATIENCE:

(A SPEECH, TO THE MEN) Well, gentlemen, here we are! Likely as not, we're about as handsome as a school of mackerel. (CHUCKLES) But we done the best we could.

BIZ:

SOME OF THE MEN LAUGH AND CHEER

PATIENCE:

Now, you can look us over, but don't think you're gonna do the choosin'. All the way from Independence, we had your picture in our minds. We could either shut our eyes and dream what you was gonna look like -- or we could open our eyes and look at the rump of a mule!

BIZ:

MEN LAUGH

PATIENCE:

Well, ladies, I guess even this bunch is prettier than them mules! (LAUGHS) So, come on, gentlemen, we're choosin' partners for the dance!

BIZ:

MEN CHEER ... THEN MEN AND WOMEN MURMUR ... CONTINUES IN BG

MFX:

DANCE TUNE ... FIDDLES ... THEN IN BG

DANON:

Buck? Where are you going?

BUCK:

No place special. There's a preacher ridin' into town. I want to make sure he gets here safe.

DANON:

I go with you?

BUCK:

Yeah, you go with me.

DANON:

A preacher out here? He has not made any marriages.

BUCK:

Likely he'll be awful rusty, yeah.

DANON:

Maybe we let him practice on us?

BUCK:

Yeah. I guess that's the least we could do for him. I, uh-- I shaved.

DANON:

Oh, yes. So nice and smooth. It's a beautiful face and I love it. (KISSED BY BUCK, INHALES, LOVINGLY) Oh, cherie--

BUCK:

Uh, just between you and me--

DANON:

Yes?

BUCK:

We better get that preacher, 'n' fast!

MFX:

TO A BIG WARM WESTERN FINISH

SFX:

APPLAUSE

MFX:

THEME ... THEN IN BG TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

The Hollywood Radio Theatre is produced by Mr. Irving Cummings. Our orchestra is under the direction of Rudy Schrager. This is Ken Carpenter inviting you to join us next week at this same time for another presentation of the Hollywood Radio Theatre.