Ah, but he's wrong.  A big fluffy snowflake floats to the ground in front of the Chateau de Mores, followed by another, then another, then another . . . all dramatically lit in the moonlight.  Before you know it, it's a full-fledged snowstorm . . .


Cattle bay in the moonlight as snowflakes drift down on their heads.  Soon, the snow is building up in drifts around the cow's feet . . .

All the animals inhabiting the Bad Lands seek shelter: birds go into holes in trees; squirrels hide under roots; coyotes huddle together.

Limbs of trees bend over under the weight of the wet heavy snow; dead limbs snap off under the pressure.


Snow coats the roof of Elkhorn Ranch, floating down endlessly.  Snow drifts have built up to the second of four horizontal posts in the corral fence.


It's still snowing profusely as Teddy and his frozen men drive wagons into Medora.  They arrive at the snowy train depot, where the hissing train sits.  The Marquis and his men are very busily unloading big sacks of feed onto their own wagons.  Given the circumstances, Teddy tries to be pleasant while he waits and speaks to the Marquis.

                                Lotta snow.

The Marquis doesn't feel any reason to be pleasant.

                                Brilliant observation.

Teddy is not to be deterred.

                                Bad weather for cattle.

                                Bad weather for everything.

                                It's a darn good thing this feed arrived
                                when it did, eh?

                                It certainly is.  My cattle are starving.

                                Mine, too

                                Have you got something on your mind?
                                Or did you ride down here through the
                                snow to make chitchat?

Teddy points at the sacks of feed.

                                Two hundred and fifty sacks of that feed
                                is mine.

                                Is it really?

                                It certainly is, all paid for, too.

                                Sadly, though, I am commandeering all
                                of the feed on this train.  The feed you
                                paid for simply hasn't arrived yet.

Teddy's pleasant demeanor vanishes.

                                That feed is all that stands between
                                life and death for my cattle.

                                I'm very sorry to hear that, Rosenfeld.  But
                                having set fire to over thirty-five thousand
                                sides of my own beef, I am not losing
                                another cow if I can bloody well help it!
                                Certainly not because of you! Is that

The Marquis waves his hands indicating his twenty burly RANCH HANDS, presently hauling big bags of feed, but watching this exchange closely.  Teddy surveys the situation cooly.  He looks the Marquis directly in the eye.

                                You, sir, are a thief!

The Marquis' crazy eyes light up.  He points straight at Teddy.

                                You and I will settle this like gentlemen
                                on another day.

                                We most certainly will, Monsieur Marquis
                                de la Nothing!

Teddy and his men turn their wagons around and leave.  The Marquis is beginning to look like a bona fide crazy man.



It's still snowing like all get out.  Teddy and his men ride the range looking for stray cows and herding them to the trees and shelter.  They continually come across frozen cows covered with snow.  Frozen cattle dot the landscape.  Gregor Lang rides up beside Teddy.

                                The Marquis is a famous duelist, Teddy,
                                he's supposed to've killed a number of men
                                back in France.  Ya don't want to be gettin'
                                into any scrapes with him then.

                                I'd say it's too late for that now, Gregor.
                                I insulted his honor.  So be it.  It's sad,
                                but the Marquis is insane.  And none of
                                this -
                                                           (he indicates the landscape)
                                - Is making him any saner.

                                All I'm sayin' is, don't be gettin' into any
                                duels with the man.  He'll kill ya without
                                thinking twice.

                                Thank you, Gregor, I'll keep it in mind.

Teddy spurs his horse riding after a stray cow stuck in the snow.  Gregor watches, shaking his head.



Snow continues to float down on the snow-covered Chateau de Mores.  The sounds of the Marquis and his wife, Medora, having a huge argument and altercation, including glass throwing and physical blows can be heard coming from within the Chateau.


Medora, now sporting a black eye, backs up to the fireplace mantel.  Her hand goes around an ornate sculpture which she picks up.  The Marquis sees this and his angry eyes widen.

                                Be careful, that's a priceless heirloom that
                                belonged to my Great-grandmother.

                                Oh, really?
                                                           (she smashes it)
                                Not anymore!

                                You'll pay for that!

                                I already have!  Remember, most of the
                                money you're losing came from me and
                                my father.

                                You'll pay for that, too!

                                I pay for everything around here!  You
                                bungle things, then come home and take
                                it out on me!  I am not the reason your
                                business is failing.

                                My business is not failing!

                                Oh, excuse me, I'm using the incorrect
                                tense - your failed business.

                                My business has not failed!

                                That's right, you still have your fences,
                                and your branding irons, and your empty
                                hotel.  If you call what you've done in the
                                cattle business a success, then you could
                                also say the south won the Civil War, right?

The Marquis advances on Medora with his fists clenched.

                                I'm going to make certain that if those
                                are the thoughts you think, at least you
                                won't be able to speak them for a while.

                                And why is that?

                                Because I am going to knock your teeth
                                down your throat!

The Marquis begins hitting Medora like she's a punching bag.

The SERVANTS watch this display of fisticuffs covering their eyes and wincing.



Medora sneaks out of the chateau carrying a single valise.  Her face is black and blue and
swollen - she's had the hell beaten out of her.  Medora quietly steps into the barn where she is met by a sympathetic GROOM who hands her the reins and helps her onto a waiting saddled horse.

                                Thank you, Ike.

                                My pleasure, ma'am.  No man should
                                treat his wife the way the Marquis treats
                                you.  You can't treat a horse that way.

                                But you be careful.  The Marquis could
                                very easily take this out on you as anyone.

                                I will, ma'am.  And someday he'll get his
                                comeuppance, you'll see.  I just hope I'm
                                there to see it.

                                You and everybody else.  If you ever get
                                to New York City, Ike, contact me.  I'll
                                give you a nice dinner.

                                Thank you, ma'am, I will.  Be careful.

Medora snaps the reins and rides the horse away through the billowing snow.



Medora comes riding up to Teddy's ranchhouse, covered with snow and nearly frozen, and pounds on his front door.  After a moment, Teddy answers the door, half asleep and pulling a warm coat around his shoulders.  Teddy sees Medora bruised face and gasps.

                                Oh my God, Medora, what happened?

                                Can I come in?

                                Of course, come in.

Medora enters and Teddy shuts the door.


Teddy shows Medora in, then he tosses a big log on the smoldering embers in the fireplace.  Medora takes off her wet coat, drops into an easy chair and begins to sob.

                                Teddy, you've got to help me get away
                                from here.

                                Did the Marquis do this to you?

                                Who else?

Teddy shakes his head sadly, rubbing his chin.

                                I'm afraid to say this, Medora, but your
                                husband is insane.

                                I agree.  That's why I have to get out of
                                here.  The next time he'll kill me for

                                The next time he sees me he intends to
                                kill me, too.

                                Then you've got nothing to lose, right?
                                Will you help me get out of here, Teddy?

                                Of course, Medora.  How can I help you?

                                There's an eastbound train in the morning.
                                If try to get on board here he'll most cer-
                                tainly stop me.  That's why I'd like to catch
                                the train in Dickinson.

                                That's a good idea, but it's over forty
                                miles away, Medora, and it's still snowing
                                quite hard.

Medora begins crying again.

                                I don't know what else to do, Teddy.  If
                                he finds me, he'll kill me.

                                Then we'll get you to the train in Dickinson.
                                It's going to be a long, cold ride.

                                My marriage has been a long, cold ride.

                                Well, here comes another one.


A buckboard bounces across the snowy landscape of the Bad Lands, lit by a cloud-enshrouded moon.  Snowflakes continue to fall.  Teddy and Medora are steated in front of the carriage, wrapped in blankets and covered in snow.  They pass many frozen cattle carcasses.  With steam billowing out of their mouths, Teddy and Medora sing Gilbert & Sullivan songs to keep their minds off how cold they are.

                                                                 TEDDY & MEDORA
                                . . . I polished that handle so carefully/ That
                                now I am the ruler of the Queen's navy/ And
                                when the cold winds blow/ I generally go below/
                                To seek the seclusion that my cabin grants/ And
                                so do my sisters and my cousins and my aunts/
                                And so do my sisters and my cousins, whom
                                I reckon by the dozens/ And my Aunts . . .

As cold as they are, they cannot help but laugh.



It's still snowing and the buckboard keeps bouncing along in the moonlight.  Teddy and Medora are still singing, through chattering teeth, but it's not very funny anymore, at least not to them.

                                                                 TEDDY & MEDORA
                                                           (singing; teeth chattering)
                                . . . I am the very model of a modern Major-
                                General/ I've information vegetable, animal,
                                and mineral/ I know the kings of England and
                                I quote the fights historical/ From Marathon
                                to Waterloo in order categorical . . .

The buckboards keeps moving along . . .



The Marquis comes stumbling down the wide staircase in his silk bathrobe, his hair sticking up.  He sees a frightened-looking, female HOUSEKEEPER scurry past and calls to her.

                                You there, have you seen my wife?

                                No, sir.  Not this morning.

The Housekeeper exits hastily.  The Marquis shrugs, calling after her . . .

                                Bring me breakfast.


The Marquis eats his breakfast.  A SERVANT brings him more food.

                                Have you seen my wife?

                                No, sir.  I haven't.

The Servant exits.  The Marquis looks befuddled, then it hits him.  She's gone.  The Marquis jumps to his feet knocking dishes on the table over.

                                Where is she?  Somebody tell me!

There's nobody there to tell him anything.  The Marquis bolts out of the dining room.


The Marquis stomps into the kitchen, where all of his help are cowering - three SERVANTS and three HOUSEKEEPERS.

                                Where is she?  You!
                                                           (points in the face of
                                                           cute young housekeeper)
                                Tell me where my wife is or I'll have you

                                                                 CUTE HOUSEKEEPER
                                I don't know, sir.  She was gone when I
                                looked in her room first thing this morning.
                                She must've left during the night.

All of the other Servants and Housekeepers quickly agree.  The Marquis' jaw clenches, his eyebrows raise up as his nutty-looking eyes bug out.

                                She thinks she can leave me?  Me?  The
                                Marquis de Mores?  No woman leaves
                                me!  Not now, not ever!

The Marquis bolts out of the kitchen. The help all sigh upon his departure.


The Marquis and his men ride the snow-covered range looking for Medora.  It still snowing and doesn't look like it's ever going to stop.  As the Marquis and his men ride over a rise who should they come across but Teddy by himself in his buckboard returning to his ranch.  The Marquis eyes him suspiciously.

                                What are you doing out here?

                                Seeing the sights, and you?

                                Uh . . . None of your business.  And you
                                and I still have a score to settle.

                                Any time you say.  How about now?


The Marquis spurs his horse and rides away, his men following after.  Teddy watches him go, then snaps his reins and continues in the opposite direction.


As the snow drifts down, a steam-powered locomotive chugs across the Bad Lands.  As our view gets closer and closer, we finally see that Medora is seated within, looking pensively out the window at the passing buttes.  Her breath steams up the window.


Out riding the snowy range, Teddy and his men, all chilled to the bone, can only find frozen cattle; one frozen cow after another after another . . . As hard as they search, they can find no living cattle.  Teddy shakes his head sadly.

                                Well, I suppose that my days as a cattle
                                rancher are officially over.

                                Gregor mutters beside Teddy.

                                At least we sold off nearly half of the
                                herd before this bloody snowstorm came.
                                It's not a total lose.

                                Close enough for me.  When things go
                                sour, they really go sour.  What else could
                                go wrong now, I ask you?

In answer to Teddy's question, he breathes on his glasses to clean them and the lenses crack.  Teddy puts them back on his nose.

                                Well, that's just bully.
                                                           (he looks up to heaven)
                                Anything else?

Just then, Lincoln Lang's horse slips on the ice throwing him to the hard frozen ground where he doesn't get up.  Teddy and Gregor quickly ride over to him, jumping down from their horses and dashing up to him.  Lincoln is half-buried in a snowdrift.

                                Are you all right, then?

Lincoln tries to sit up and can't.

                                                           (gritting his teeth)
                                I think I broke something.  I'm not sure
                                if it's my leg or my hip, or both.

                                Don't move, we'll get you out of here.
                                                           (to Gregor)
                                Stay with him.

                                Where are you going?

                                I'm going to make a sledge.  I'll be right

Teddy takes his hatchet and chops off two long limbs of a tree.  He ropes the poles together, stretches a blanket across the ropes, then attaches both poles to his saddle.  The other Cowboys have ridden up and help load Lincoln on the sledge.

                                Should we take him home?

                                                           (shakes his head)
                                Too far.  Let's take him into Medora.

They all ride away, Lincoln moaning every time the sledge hits a bump.



Teddy and his frozen, snowy men enter the Pyramid Hotel & Saloon carrying Lincoln on the sledge.  The Saloon Gal we met earlier comes over to tend to Lincoln.  The rest of the men, including Teddy, all step up to the bar and have a drink to warm up.

                                It's on me, gentlemen.

Gregor and three Cowboys answer simultaneously to the Barkeep.


                                Uh, beer, I suppose.

The Barkeep pours each man a shot of whiskey, then draws Teddy a beer.  Teddy raises his glass for a toast.

                                Well, they don't call them the Bad Lands
                                for nothing.  Here's to the Bad Lands.

                                                           (mumble in response)
                                Bad Lands.

Just as they are all about to drink, the doors swing open in come the Marquis and his men, frozen from riding the range.

The Marquis shakes the snow off his hat, stating for one and all to hear . . .

                                All of my cattle are dead.  I am ruined.

Teddy adds in . . .

                                Me, as well.

                                                           (looks sharply at Teddy)
                                Ah, you!
                                Did you help my wife get to the train last

                                I did.  I saw her safely aboard the east-
                                bound train, you need have no worries
                                on that account.

                                And what concern is it of yours, I'd very
                                much like to know?

                                It only became my concern, my dear
                                Marquis, when your wife arrived at my
                                door in the middle of the night with a
                                black eye, a split lip, and Lord knows
                                what other bruises, recently inflicted by
                                                           (everybody frowns hearing
                                                           this new information, partic-
                                                           ularly the Saloon Gal)
                                I'm not certain where you hail from, sir,
                                but where I come from, we don't hit
                                women.  And if one should arrive at our
                                door in distress in the middle of the night,
                                we help them.

Teddy casually sips his beer.  The Marquis steps directly up to Teddy

                                Do you now?
                                Then right this very minute, you and I shall
                                settle our dispute.  Choose your weapon.
                                Swords?  Pistols?  Or knives?

Teddy can't see anything clearly through his cracked glasses, as everyone else in the saloon notices.

                                Whatever weapon you choose is fine with me.

                                How gallant.  Pistols!

                                Pistols it is.

Nobody else watching seems to think this is a very good idea.  They all look at one another in anticipated dread.

The Marquis pulls out two Colt .45 pistol from his holsters, holds them up, then slams them both down on the bar in front of Teddy.  All of the onlookers in the saloon look horrified.  The Saloon Gal speaks for everyone.

                                                                 SALOON GAL
                                It ain't fair shootin' a man with busted
                                spectacles.  It's murder.

There is a chorus of "Yeahs" and "Rights."

                                Well then, how about swords?

                                I'm not much with a sword, but that's
                                fine with me, too.

The Marquis steps right up to Teddy - the Marquis is a much bigger man - and points at Teddy's broken glasses.

                                You can't fight with a sword.  That would
                                be murder.  And I'll be damned if I'll hang
                                for killing you!  Sadly, you Americans always
                                have a some pathetic way out of defending
                                your honor.  It obviously doesn't matter very
                                much to you.

                                It matters to me.

                                Does it really?  How amusing.  Well, then,
                                how about fisticuffs?  Or are you too blind
                                to defend yourself at all?

Teddy takes off his broken glasses.

                                I see well enough for that.

                                Of course, I am much larger than you and
                                I learned boxing in my years in the military,
                                so, I suppose, this still is not fair.

Teddy takes off his coat.

                                I'll take my chances.

The Marquis is pleasantly surprised.  He too removes his coat.

                                Will you?  Remember, Rosenfeld, Jews
                                can't fight.

                                Is that a fact?  Are you acquainted with
                                the Marquis of Queensberry's rules for

                                He is my cousin.  Three minute rounds
                                and a ten-count, if I'm not mistaken.

                                That's correct.

The tables and chairs are pushed back to set up an impromptu ring.  Gregor steps up.

                                I can referee, I've done it before.  Gentle-
                                men, no biting, kicking or gouging.  Find
                                a corner.

The Marquis and Teddy each step into a corner of the ring.  Joe Ferris steps up to be the Marquis' corner man.  The Cowboys step forward to be Teddy's corner men.  Gregor nods his head.  Lincoln watches from on top of a table, his leg in a crude splint.

                                Keep it clean and commence boxing.


Next Page >

1   2   3   4   5


[ Questions or Comments ]


[ Main ]  [ Film & TV Work ]  [ Screenplays [ Old Stuff ]
Reviews ]  [ Articles, Essays & Stories ]  [ Ask the Director
Favorite Films ]  [ Scrapbook ]  [ Links (& Afterword) ]  [ Web Team ]

This site is the property of Josh Becker Copyright © 2003 Panoramic Pictures, All Rights Reserved.
Panoramic Pictures Logo