Teddy and the Marquis put up their dukes and proceed to box in the old style, with fists way up and out in front. The Marquis is taller, heavier, has a longer reach, and is clearly a competent boxer. Teddy, on the other hand, is short, compact, and highly energetic.

Immediately, it's Teddy on the offense circling the defending Marquis. They spend most of the first round checking each other out, throwing punches that the other blocks. The audience, like any crowd at a boxing match, starts to get antsy right away wanting to see a good fight. Teddy's compatriots still look highly doubtful.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                                           (annoyed)
                                Enough of this sparring, Rosenfeld. Throw
                                a punch.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                                           (nods)
                                All right.

Teddy fakes a punch toward the Marquis' nose. The Marquis raises his guard to block it, then Teddy lets him have a quick combination of punches: a right and a left to the Marquis' gut, then an uppercut to his chin, snapping his head back. The Marquis is momentarily stunned.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                                           (grinning)
                                Something along those lines?

The Marquis shakes his spinning head, then bares his teeth. That got him angry.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                So, you've boxed before, eh?

                                                                 TEDDY
                                I have.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                Well, I was regimental champion three
                                years running.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                I'm very pleased to hear it.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                You will be.

The Marquis attacks. He pops Teddy three times in the face with left jabs, then follows through with a hard right cross to Teddy's nose. Teddy sails backward landing on his rear. He reaches up to find that his nose is now bleeding. Gregor stands over Teddy and starts to count . . .

                                                                 GREGOR
                                One, two, three . . .

Teddy jumps to his feet and wipes his nose. As he moves back in for more, the Barkeep, with a pocket watch sitting on the bar in front of him, whacks a beer mug with a knife handle indicating the end of the first round. Teddy and the Marquis proceed to their neutral corners. Joe Ferris begins to massage the Marquis' neck. The Marquis turns to Ferris with a single raised eyebrow.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                Your hands are filthy, don't touch me!

Ferris hastily removes his hands from the Marquis' neck.

Meanwhile, the Cowboys are busily cleaning Teddy up. They wipe the blood off his face with a towel, grabbing the bridge of his nose to stop the bleeding.

Gregor looks to the Barkeep, who nods and clanks the knife on the beer mug.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                Round two. Commence.

Teddy and the Marquis step out of their corners and approach each other warily. Once again, Teddy circles the Marquis, taking the offensive.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                I've fought little bantam cocks like you
                                many times before. All your dancing
                                around won't help you now.

The Marquis attacks. In a flurry of fast jabs he pushes Teddy back against a chair, where he then begins to pummel him in the face. Teddy blocks most of the jabs, but at least one connects with his nose, and the blood starts flowing again.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                You're a bleeder, Rosenfeld. That's a big
                                problem for a pugilist.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                Luckily, I only box in my spare time.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                When I'm through with you, you won't even
                                want to box in your dreams.

The Marquis moves in on Teddy again, his fists flying. Teddy goes directly up between the Marquis' arms with a hard uppercut, slamming the Marquis' mouth shut, then follows through with a solid right to the Marquis' nose. He now sails backward onto his behind. Blood trickles from one nostril. The Marquis can't believe what's just occurred. Gregor steps up over him.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                One, two, three . . .

The Marquis shakes his head, then rises to his feet with as angry of an expression as has ever crossed his face.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                You're dead! Now I'm going to annihilate
                                you!

                                                                 TEDDY
                                Well, bully for you.

The Marquis moves in, flailing away with his fists. Teddy suddenly looks like he's in trouble. The Marquis backs Teddy up against a chair and pummels him unmercifully in the face. With a mighty right cross the Marquis wallops Teddy in the side of the head, sending him sailing onto his face on the floor with a thunk. Everyone watching looks highly disappointed as Gregor steps over Teddy's body and starts counting . . .

                                                                 GREGOR
                                One, two, three, four, five . . .

The Marquis starts to strut like a peacock, his fists raised over his head.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                I am the Marquis de Mores! Heir to the
                                throne of France! No commoner can
                                stand before me!

The Barkeep watches the sweep second hand near the twelve on the pocket watch.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                . . . Six, seven, eight, nine -

The Barkeep rings the knife handle on the beer mug.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                                           (grins)
                                Saved by the bloody bell.

The Marquis drops his fists, looking exasperated.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                Oh, for goodness sake!

The Cowboys haul Teddy into his corner and throw a mug of beer in his face. Teddy blinks his eyes, wiping beer off his cheeks. Teddy attempts to flex his right hand.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                The Marquis is a fairly good boxer.
                                                           (Teddy leans over and
                                                           whispers to Cowboy #1)
                                I think I've broken a couple of my fingers.


                                                                 COWBOY #1
                                You might wanna think about throwin' in
                                the towel there, Mr. Roosevelt. He's a
                                mean one.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                                           (calling out)
                                Perhaps you ought to consider it, Rosenfeld.
                                It shouldn't be too difficult for you, consider-
                                ing how good you are at quitting. That's why
                                your out here to begin with, isn't that correct?
                                As soon as you faced a hardship in your life
                                you fled. Well, you face a much more serious
                                hardship right now.

Teddy shakes his head, vainly trying to clear his vision. Everybody looks at him expectantly. Lincoln Lang, lying on a nearby table, holds his breath. Teddy gives his ringing head another shake. Gregor steps over him. Teddy looks up and there are two of Gregor.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                Are you throwin' in the towel, then, Mr.
                                Roosevelt?

Cowboy #1 takes hold of Teddy's middle two fingers on his right hand. Teddy pulls away hard, snapping his two broken fingers back into place. His eyes open wide and he gasps. Teddy rises unsteadily to his feet.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                No, Mr. Lang, I'll keep going, thank you
                                very much.

The Barkeep smacks the beer mug. Gregor raises his hand.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                Round three. Commence.

Teddy jumps to his feet and is out dancing around again, on the offense. The Marquis looks weary of the whole thing, but puts up his guard, stepping forward. They go around a few times, then Teddy unleashes a flurry of combinations and just won't stop: two in the gut, one in the jaw; two in the face, two in the gut. The Marquis is blocking a lot of them, but certainly not all. Teddy is indeed fighting like a bantam cock.

Then, there it is, both the Marquis' fists are low as Teddy comes straight through with a good solid right cross. The Marquis spins around grabbing the back of a chair for support. He shakes his head, turns around and Teddy is right there with roundhouse into the Marquis' gut, followed by a left uppercut to the chin. The Marquis is momentarily stunned.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                You are correct, my dear Marquis. I have
                                fled my responsibilities in the past. I can
                                assure you that it will never occur again.

Teddy steps right up to him and in the most perfectly systematic way, uses every possible combination of punches, everyone a solid connection. A right to the belly, a left to the belly, a right to the temple, a left to the temple, back to the gut, a right, a left, a right, a left - how the Marquis remains standing is anyone's guess, that military training, no doubt - another right, another left, blood is pouring from the Marquis' nose and eyebrow. The Marquis' head snaps back and forth, blood and sweat spraying. Teddy keeps switching from gut shots to head blows, yet somehow the Marquis remains standing, his fists dangling uselessly at his sides. The onlookers are getting very excited, hollering and waving their fists. Teddy drops back.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                And now, my dear Marquis, this is for
                                your abused wife, for all the maligned
                                Jews, and for myself because I simply
                                don't like you . . .

Teddy lets the Marquis have a mighty punch to the nose. The Marquis spins around and crashes down onto a table, destroying it. He doesn't get up.

Everybody cheers crazily, crowding around Teddy, raising his hands over his head.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                The winner, by a knockout.

The Marquis, blood streaming from his nose and various other cuts, is hoisted into a chair and revived. He points unsteadily at Teddy.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                                           (trembling)
                                I'll get you and all the other back-stabbing
                                Jews! You hear me?!

One FROWNING COWBOY steps up to the Marquis and says . . .

                                                                 FROWNING COWBOY
                                Y'know, I'm Jewish and I'm sick and tired
                                of hearing your damn slurs!

The Groom from the Marquis' house chimes in . . .

                                                                 GROOM
                                Yeah! Me, too!

At which point everybody hoists the Marquis up over their heads, carries him to the door and tosses him outside. The Marquis lands headfirst in a snow bank.

Everyone turns back inside, cheers and crowds around Teddy. Gregor and the Cowboys pour beer on his head. The Barkeep passes out free drinks. The Saloon Gal hugs Teddy and gives him a big kiss. Lincoln Lang looks on, smiling. Teddy grins toothily, then puts on his cracked spectacles.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:


EXT. ELKHORN RANCH - DAY

Teddy, sporting a bruised face and two fingers in splints, closes up the Elkhorn ranch. Gregor helps Teddy load his few belongings onto a mule tied behind his horse. The rest of his men, including Lincoln Lang, whose leg is in a splint, stand around silently watching.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                Well, men, I suppose this is it.

The three Cowboys all crowd around Teddy, shaking his hand and slapping him on the back.

                                                                 COWBOY #1
                                It was good workin' for you, boss.

                                                                 COWBOY #2
                                A pleasure.

                                                                 COWBOY #3
                                Yeah, it was.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                No, no, it was entirely my pleasure. And
                                I wish you fellows all the best of luck.
                                Any of you ever get to New York City,
                                stop by and I'll show you the town.

The three Cowboys all nod, wave and walk away. Teddy steps up to Gregor and Lincoln.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                Well, my friends, this is goodbye.
                                You've made my time here in the Bad
                                Lands most enjoyable. I thank you.

Teddy shakes Gregor's hand. Gregor's eyes water up. He turns away quickly, wiping away the tears.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                Aw, look at this.

Teddy steps up to Lincoln, who is balancing on homemade crutches. Teddy goes to shake Lincoln's hand. Lincoln drops his crutches and gives Teddy a big hug. Teddy hugs him back.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                Take the world by storm, Lincoln. I know
                                you can.

                                                                 LINCOLN
                                Thank you, sir. I'll try.

Teddy goes to his saddlebag and removes a slim book. He hands it to Lincoln.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                Here. This is for you. It will help you
                                identify all the birds you don't know, which
                                is all of them.

                                                                 LINCOLN
                                Thank you.
                                                           (he looks at the title
                                                           page of the book)
                                Hey! You wrote this.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                                           (nods)
                                When I was your age.

Gregor has regained his composure and steps up beside his son.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                So, what will you do now?

Teddy climbs up on his horse, then throws his hands in the air.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                I can't say for certain. I suppose I'll
                                return to politics. But, before that, I
                                have a few personal matters to clear up.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                That was the best fight I've ever seen.

                                                                 LINCOLN
                                It sure was.

                                                                 GREGOR
                                Where did you learn to box like that?

                                                                 TEDDY
                                I was a very sickly youth and spent a
                                great deal of time in bed. My late father
                                suggested that I attempt some sort of
                                strenuous exercise everyday. Boxing is
                                quite strenuous, so I've been practicing
                                it for many years. My father was a great
                                man. Also named Theodore. I'm junior.
                                Or, I was, until he died. I believe that it
                                is time for me to honor his memory and
                                try living my life again. Thank you for
                                your friendship, both of you. You saved
                                my life.

Teddy climbs on his horse and rides off. Gregor and Lincoln watch him go.

Teddy is a small man on a horse with a mule trailing behind, quickly receding into the vastness of the Bad Lands.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. TRAIN STATION/ CHICAGO - DAY

The train chugs into the Chicago train station. Several REPORTERS wearing straw hats and holding pads stand in a group awaiting the arriving train. The Marquis, his face still cut, bruised and swollen, steps off the train onto the platform. The Reporters surround him.


                                                                 REPORTER #1
                                Is it true, sir, that your enormous cattle
                                venture, the largest ever attempted in this
                                country, has gone completely bankrupt?

                                                                 REPORTER #2
                                And that you are moving back to France?

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                This was simply another small example of
                                the the international conspiracy of Jewish
                                bankers. The Jews have been hounding me
                                unmercifully from the moment I embarked
                                on this venture.

                                                                 REPORTER #1
                                                           (confused)
                                But didn't the harsh winter kill many of the
                                cattle?

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                                           (shakes his head; emphatically)
                                No, no, no! That just exacerbated the problem.
                                The Jewish bankers had already ruined me by
                                the time winter came. You take my word for
                                it, the Jews are taking over the world. That's
                                why I must get back to my homeland, France,
                                and help lead the fight against Jewish tyranny.
                                Gentiles must unite! And don't change what I
                                say! Print my words exactly as I have spoken
                                them!

The CONDUCTOR hollers . . .

                                                                 CONDUCTOR
                                All aboard!

The Marquis tips his hat.

                                                                 MARQUIS
                                Gentlemen, I bid you adieu.

The Marquis turns and goes back into the train car.

The Reporters all stand there watching the train depart. Raising their eyebrows, the reporters all look at each other, shake their heads sadly, then tear that page out of their notebooks, crumple it up and throw it away.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. THE ROOSEVELT HOME - DAY

A carriage arrives in front of the Roosevelt family home in Manhattan. Teddy peers out the window, his complexion looks weather-beaten and healthy. As he gets out of the carriage, holding a blanket-wrapped rifle, it obviously pains him just to look at the house. Nevertheless, he proceeds inside.

INT. ROOSEVELT HOME/ FOYER - DAY

Teddy enters the foyer to find his sisters and brother and uncles and aunts are all there to greet him, as well as Medora. They all part to allow a little three year old ALICE, Teddy's daughter, to make her way through. When she sees this unfamiliar man she stops abruptly, grabbing her Aunt Bamie's leg. Teddy squats down, holding out his hands. With a nudge from Aunt Bamie, Alice hesitantly approaches her father. Teddy's outstretched arms close around his daughter. He hugs Alice tightly to him.

                                                                 TEDDY
                                I'll never leave you again, my dear! I
                                promise! Never again!

Tears of joy stream down Teddy's ruddy cheeks. The entire Roosevelt family smiles happily.

EXT. THE ROOSEVELT HOME - DAY

As horse-drawn carts and wagons clip-clop past the Roosevelt mansion, a VOICE-OVER NARRATOR speaks.

                                                                 V.O. NARRATOR
                                In the next fifteen years Teddy Roosevelt would
                                become: Police Chief of New York City, Assistant
                                Secretary of the Navy, the Rough Riding hero of
                                the Spanish/American War, Governor of New York,
                                Vice President of the United States, and then
                                the youngest President of the United States ever.
                                Teddy Roosevelt was the first American to win a
                                Nobel Prize. He also wrote and published twenty-
                                eight books in the course of his life.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. JUNGLE PATH - DAY

A path winds through the dense jungle. The steamy air is filled with the screams and caws of many birds.

A TITLE READS: "Africa, 1896."

The Marquis, looking much older and distinctly crazy, leads a parade of AFRICAN NATIVES along a jungle path.

                                                                 V.O. NARRATOR
                                After ten years at the forefront of the French
                                anti-Semitic movement, the Marquis de Mores
                                went to Africa and personally attempted to incite
                                a Jihad - a holy war - uniting Christians and
                                Muslims against the Jews.

Many more African Natives holding spears appear out of the jungle, surrounding the Marquis and his parade. The Natives with the spears move in on the Marquis ominously.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. AFRICAN VILLAGE - DAY

African Natives dance around a huge cooking fire. A big barbeque is under way. Native Women slowly turn a big spit over a roaring fire. As the spit turns we see that it is the Marquis de Mores tied to the pole being roasted. He looks anything but pleased by the situation.

                                                                 V.O. NARRATOR
                                The Marquis' holy war failed miserably and
                                the Marquis was subsequently killed by African
                                Natives.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. THE TOWN OF MEDORA/ PRESENT DAY - DAY

In the present-day town of Medora, North Dakota there is in fact a small statue of the Marquis reposing in an empty lot beside a grocery store and a gas station.

                                                                 V.O. NARRATOR
                                In the present-day town of Medora, North Dakota
                                there is actually a small statue of the Marquis de
                                Mores, founder of the town of Medora, erected by
                                his heirs.

EXT. THEODORE ROOSEVELT NATIONAL PARK/ PRESENT DAY - DAY

We are looking at the entrance to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The majesty of the Bad Lands stretching out in all directions.

                                                                 V.O. NARRATOR
                                Outside Medora, North Dakota is the Theodore
                                Roosevelt National Park. Teddy Roosevelt
                                added over 125 million acres to the National
                                Forests, and established the National Forest
                                Service.

                                                                                                       FADE OUT:

THE END

 

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