THE CHARACTERS (MOST OF EM)
Peet Van Kleeven is a ruthless businessman and feared gunfighter. An archetype in black coat and black hat, he wears a sharp Van Dyke beard and perfectly curled mustache.
Tex is his henchman, a dim-witted soul for whom violence is a way of life, who sees opportunity for wealth with his boss.
Coyote Don is the quintessential cowboy and gunslinger: lonesome, idealistic, square-jawed and determined. Rosie is his horse.
Sanchez is Coyote Don’s sidekick, apparently dead when he first appears.
1-1 Establishing shot of a southwestern desert scene: a sagebrush plateau divided mid-panel by a steep box canyon. In the distance, gauzy mesas and buttes. In the sky, a brutish sun.
Floating TEXT, in ornate Western playbill script: PROLOGUE
1-2 Medium shot at eye-level, peering straight through the canyon. In the foreground, two sharp bends in the canyon wall provide cover for the leering Peet Van Kleeven and his schlubby henchman, Tex. Their fingers are tensed around their triggers. In the distance, right in the middle of the canyon floor, is the apparent object of their venom: a large squat boulder.
1. VAN KLEEVEN: GIVE IT UP, COWBOY. YOU’RE CORNERED.
1-3 Van Kleeven leans around the corner to get a better look at his quarry, and bullet PZEWWs over his head from behind the boulder, knocking Van Kleeven’s signature wide-brimmed black hat off. Tex cringes behind his hiding spot.
2-1 Tex, in the foreground, calls across the way to a recovering—and bald—Van Kleeven, who is crouching and rubbing his head to make sure everything’s still there.
1. TEX: YOU OKAY, BOSS?
2. VAN KLEEVEN: JUST DANDY.
2-2 Close-up of a sinister Van Kleeven, again in position peering from behind his rock wall, re-adjusting the brim of his hat. He’s smiling smugly now.
3. VAN KLEEVEN: HE’S GOT ONLY ONE BULLET LEFT.
2-3 The scene shifts perspective, and now we are peering out from the other side of the boulder. In the foreground we see the shadowy upper half of Coyote Don’s head: the perfectly curled Stetson, and the bridge of what seems to be a long nose. His gun in hand, we can’t see his eyes yet, but he appears to be listening, thinking.
4. VAN KLEEVEN: (across panels 2 and 3) YOUR TYPE IS A THING OF THE PAST, COWBOY. I AIM TO BRING ORDER TO THE WEST. MY ORDER.
5. VAN KLEEVEN: I’M WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT NOWADAYS.
6. VAN KLEEVEN: NOT SILLY ANACHRONISMS LIKE YOU.
3-1 Close-up on Tex, who joins in the jibing.
1. TEX: WHERE’S YER PAL SANCHEZ NOW, HUH? HE DON’ LOOK TOO GOOD!
2. TEX: (in small letters) DOES HE HEAR ME?
3. TEX: DO YER HEAR ME, COWBOY? MANGY “COYOTE”!
3-2 Long shot of the canyon from Coyote Don’s perspective. From behind we see a tiny glimpse of Coyote Don peering out over the boulder, rubbing his chin, looking stern. On the canyon floor, midway between Coyote Don’s boulder and the jutting cliff walls where Van Kleeven and Tex are hiding, is Sanchez, sprawled face down in the dust, his battered conical hat laying a few feet away.
3-3 Close-up on Coyote Don, sitting back against the rock in the shade. He has a long, angular face, with a square chin and broad jaw. Under his Stetson we see a few wisps of black hair plastered to his forehead. His sideburns are very short and well-trimmed. And his most obvious feature—his long, narrow nose, rounded at the tip with a slight notch, is partially obscured still in the shadow. His chin juts; his brow is lined with sweat. He is young, clean-cut for cowboy. His tan shirt is hardly rumpled—almost looks starched—but his consternation takes our attention away from this discrepancy. He grips his pistol tightly to his chest.
4. COYOTE DON: (to himself) HMPH.
3-4 The view flips: we’re looking mid-range at the boulder from the other side. Coyote Don is out of view.
5. COYOTE DON: (from behind the rock) I HEAR YE. YOU GOT ME, VAN KLEEVEN.
3-5 Same shot as 3-4.
6. COYOTE DON: I MAY BE AN OLD DOG, BUT I KNOW WHEN I BEEN BESTED.
7. COYOTE DON: I’M A-COMIN’ OUT.
3-6 A long horizontal panel spanning the page shows Coyote Don’s gun—an 1873 Colt Peacemaker with a white stock—(EXAMPLE: http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg32-e.htm) spinning through the air, motion trails originating from the right side of the panel.
4-1 Looking over Tex’s left shoulder across the canyon—maybe thirty paces away—at Van Kleeven, stepping forward but still behind the rock wall that serves as his cover. He’s a lefty: his left arm is partially raised, gun in hand, thumb on the hammer. His right arm outstretched, his hand making a “Wait” gesture. Tex is slightly hunched. We can make out the coarse bristles of his ratty, narrow-brimmed round felt hat, his matted dirt-colored hair, maybe the tip of his bulbous nose and puffy jowls.
1. VAN KLEEVEN: HOLD YOUR FIRE, TEX.
4-2 Panning right, we see Coyote Don in full now, walking out from behind the boulder, arms raised cautiously. His slight frame belies his square jaw. His narrow shoulders are squared proudly. He is wearing a tassled shirt, tucked neatly into a pair of slightly flared dungarees, also clean and made of a thin denim, vaguely elastic, as if it were part polyester—with a large gold oval belt buckle.
2. VAN KLEEVEN: I KNEW YOU’D COME AROUND, GUNSLINGER.
3. SOUND TEXT: CLICK
4-3 Wide frame takes all three characters in, angled slightly down from just above their heads: in the left foreground, Van Kleeven, stepping out from behind the cliff wall, his gun now cocked and aimed at Coyote Don, his arm bent at the elbow. In the right foreground, the back of Tex’s head again. In mid-frame, Coyote Don stands passed at Sanchez’s body. We can see a pool of blood under his mid-section. Coyote Don is looking up blankly at Van Kleeven, his arms dropped to his side.
In the background, we see the crooked curves of the canyon, though it appears somewhat flat: there’s the boulder, and behind it the scree and tufts of dry grass, sparse sage and wildflowers—but with no obvious outlet for escape.
3. VAN KLEEVEN: STUPID COYOTE.
4. VAN KLEEVEN: GOT ANY LAST WORDS?
5. COYOTE DON: (as a text box) “YEAH.”
4-4 Horizontal frame. Coyote Don leaning forward, eyes closed tightly with grim intent, sticking two fingers between his lips and blowing hard.
6. SOUND TEXT: FWEEEET!
4-5 Close-up looking straight at a startled Van Kleeven and the barrel and chambers of his gun.
7. VAN KLEEVEN: WHAT IN—
4-6 The image of a reddish-brown horse rearing on its hind legs and whinnying, demonstration rays radiating out.
8. SOUND TEXT: HNURRHHRRHNN
5-1 Facing into frame, Van Kleeven twists to the right in self-defense, right elbow raised in protection as the hooves of the horse bear down on him. His black coat flaps like a cape, and we see his clean white shirt with broad lapels, his skinny black belt and silver oval belt buckle. His gun goes flying as he loses his grip.
1. VAN KLEEVEN: UNNNGHK—
5-2 In a quick series of vertical panels, we see Coyote Don take a diving somersault—
2. COYOTE DON: I’M COMIN’, ROSIE!
5-3 Same view as 5-2, mid-somersault. Coyote Don’s hat falls off his head and blows into the foreground across panels.
5-4 Same view as 5-2 and 5-3. Finishing his somersault in a crouch, Coyote Don scoops up his gun, which is lying conveniently at his feet.
5-5 Tex looks horribly confused, his arms outstretched in front of him, both hands shakily clutching his gun, and waving it back and forth, not sure of what to aim for.
5-6 Van Kleeven, on the ground and propped up on one elbow. Again hatless, his coat tattered, He rubs his head and winces. We see Rosie’s front legs, one bent at the knee as though having just been removed from contact with Van Kleeven.
5-7 Same scene as 5-6; Van Kleeven sees his gun a few feet away and leans over to reach for it.
6-1 Coyote Don, having collected his cool, bends at his waist to casually retrieve his hat.
6-2 He brushes off his hat with his wrist, looking down and to the right, to the off-panel Van Kleeven.
6-3 Coyote Don dons his hat and adjusts the brim with his thumb and forefinger, his head tilted down.
1. COYOTE DON: YOU SURE YOU WANNA DO THAT?
6-4 Close-up shot of Van Kleeven, looking less a archetypal villain and more a foiled businessman with his baling ring of hair, baggy eyes, and crumpled moustache, looks up helplessly at the off-panel Coyote Don, his mouth agape.
2. VAN KLEEVEN: YOU WOULDN’T—
6-5 Extreme close-up now of Coyote Don. His eyebrows raised in slight, sudden surprise. He hears a new voice, perhaps one he’s heard once or twice before, but never in this situation. The voice speaks two simple, direct words to him:
3. VOICE: (text box) “DO IT.”
6-6 Still in extreme close-up, we see Coyote Don’s eyes narrow and look down and to the right again at Van Kleeven. There’s now something menacing in his eyes…
6-7 Coyote Don’s gun, close-up and angled down and to the left of panel, fires in a shaking burst.
SOUND TEXT: (jittery, large font) SNAP
7-1 Vertical panel. No longer merely “cool,” Coyote Don is now severe and commanding. His eyebrows are pinched downward in classic “mean guy” pose, his nostril pulled in a slight snarl, stray wisps of sweat-drenched hair still clinging to his forehead. His chest is puffed out, but up close we don’t see his narrow frame: only his broad jaw and square chin.
1. COYOTE DON: (balloon looms across next panel) I MAY BE AN OLD DOG, VAN KLEEVEN, BUT I GOT A WHOLE BAG ‘A TRICKS UP MY SLEEVE.
7-2 Horizontal panel. Coyote Don is now distracted: he sees Tex, looking genuinely fearful, turning quietly on his heels.
7-3 Horizontal panel. Coyote Don, in the foreground, strokes his chin and looks calculatingly after Tex, who is scampering away, somehow disappearing right behind the cliff, as though it were just a flat façade—
2. VOICE: (off-panel, large) CUT!
7-4 All of a sudden, we’re not in Kansas anymore: a wide shot of the interior of a soundstage quickly establishes the plot twist: that was all an act, a scene from a TV Western. Details reveal the time period: this is the early seventies; the stage lights with directional flaps hang from a framework of aluminum rafters. A camera, mounted on a tripod and situated directly in front of where the action was, is loaded with actual reels of film (not digital). The “canyon” is actually a painted plywood set, the rocks made of plaster and papier-mâché.
At the edge of the panel we see “Van Kleeven,” arms folded across his chest and looking on with consternation. “Coyote Don” is walking toward us, away from the stage and toward the left of panel. He looks queasy, and his arms are wrapped around his mid-section, his left hand gripping his right arm, his right hand holding the edge of his hat. He is followed closely by a pot-bellied, wide-shouldered man with a rectangular wire-frame glasses, a wide brown tie, a bad comb-over and sideburns, a pencil-thin moustache, a porcine, pock-marked face, and a short-sleeved Oxford shirt with sweat stains under his armpits. This man—director SAM WILBURN—clutches loose pages of a script in his left fist as he gesticulates with his right thumb back at the stage.
A tall, lean man—an ASSISTANT DIRECTOR—with close-cropped red wavy hair, in a too-large blazer and horn-rimmed glasses, stands in the foreground on the right side of the panel, his back to us, his own left thumb raised and pointing over his shoulder.
3. SAM WILBURN: WHAT WAS THAT, MARION? YOU SHOT HIM?!?
4. WILBURN: THAT WASN’T IN THE SCRIPT!!
5. MARION: I KNOW, SAM. YOU’RE RIGHT.
6. MARION: (mumbling) I’M SORRY.
7. WILBURN: DON’T APOLOGIZE, MARE. JUST DO LIKE THE SCRIPT SAYS!
8. ASST DIRECTOR: HEY, SLYE! SOME FELLAS WANT TO TALK TO YOU IN YOUR DRESSING ROOM.
8-1 Close-up of Sam Wilburn. He looks concerned, but stern. He peers down his wire-frame glasses. The background is darkened…
1. WILBURN: WHAT’S HAPPENING, MARE?
2. WILBURN: YOU USED TO BE MORE…
8-2 Marion is walking toward us in the foreground; we see only the top of his face as he looks over his shoulder at Sam. Sam stands back, his hands in his pockets, brow furrowed. Marion sniffles loudly. He looks dejected and weary.
8-3 Back to the darkened background, and to Sam, who’s checking his wristwatch, which looks skinny on his beefy forearm.
3. WILBURN: JEEZ, I DUNNO. LOOK, WE’LL TAKE FIVE—NO, TEN—AND WE’LL NAIL IT WHEN YOU COME BACK. REFRESHED.
4. MARION: (off-panel) YOU GOT IT, SAM.
8-4 Marion starts walking away again, toward us and the dressing rooms. We see Sam, legs askance, arms spread palms up in a conciliatory gesture. The canyon set is in the background, Coyote Don’s hiding boulder in the center of it.
5. WILBURN: BY THE WAY, HOW’S MABEL?
8-5 The darkness now envelopes Marion, the light catching just the edges of his features as we look up at him from a low angle. He is looking back over his shoulder in a daze.
6. MARION: OH!—SHE’S DANDY, I S’POSE.
7. MARION: I DIDN’T KNOW YOU KNEW MY GIRL.
8-6 Close-up again on Sam, who strokes the waddles under his chin, and squints at Marion.
8. WILBURN: WE’VE … MET.
8-7 Narrow vertical panel shows a new character: a shadowy cowboy with a broad nose and angular jaw, Stetson pulled down over his eyes. This is the “voice” Marion was hearing on set. The back of his hand is raised to mouth in a conspiratorial whisper.
9. THE VOICE: HE FUCKED HER.
10. MARION (off-panel) WHAT—?
8-8 Marion in close-up, sweating anew and clasping his temple with his fingers. The background zooms far into the distance, the silhouette of Sam with his fists on his hips gripping pages of a script.
11. MARION: WELL, IF I SEE HER,
12. MARION: I’LL TELL HER YOU SAID HOWDY.
8-9 Looking now over Sam’s right shoulder. Sam watches as Marion disappears behind the door at the back of the soundstage, and a corridor of dressing rooms beyond.
13. WILBURN: YOU DO THAT MARE. YOU DO THAT.
9-1 Vertical panel (1 of 3): Just behind the closed door, in the safe, dim light of the musky concrete corridor painted with too many layers of septic-smelling green paint, Marion leans for a moment against the wall. He wipes his brow with the back of his knuckles. He looks more meek now, the tassled cowboy shirt stretching over his narrow frame and soft midsection.
9-2 Vertical panel (2 of 3): Extreme close-up of Marion’s tilted head: his left eye and cheekbone fill the frame. Sweat is trickling now. His pupils are tiny pinpricks. We can barely make out the top of his tense neck, near his jaw line, where his artery is bulging.
9-3 Vertical panel (3 of 3): Marion is now visible only from the waist down, at an vertiginous angle: he’s wearing dungarees, cowboy boots, and a belt with a big oval buckle. He fishes inside his left pocket, using both hands.
9-4 Horizontal panel, spanning the page: a close-up of Marion’s hand, cupping a bottle of prescription pills. But the label is odd: Though it has his name and a date at the top, with an Rx, the rest of the text displays song lyrics (fit however much you can):
OH GIVE ME LAND LOTS OF LAND UNDER STARRY SKIES ABOVE—DON’T FENCE ME IN. LET ME RIDE THROUGH THE WIDE OPEN COUNTRY THAT I LOVE—DON’T FENCE ME IN.
9-5 Vertical panel (1 of 3): Marion shakes the open bottle into his left hand.
1. TEXT BOX: DAMN. IT’S …
2. TEXT BOX: … EMPTY. COULD …
9-6 Vertical panel (2 of 3): Looking through Marion’s eyes down the darkened corridor (and several dressing room doors) which ends in a left turn and darkness. The only light comes from a crack in the door midway down the hall: a dressing room door is ajar. We can make out a stenciled star on the door…
3. TEXT BOX: … USE A STIFF …
9-7 Vertical panel (3 of 3): Marion, clutching his stomach with his right hand and leaning forward, opens the door to his dressing room. Now we make out the star on the door on more detail. There’s a small placard below the star that reads in stenciled letters, “MARION B. SLYE.”
4. THOUGHT BUBBLE: ?
(That’s right, just a question mark)
10-1 This is a full-page shot of the inside of Marion’s dressing room. It’s a dingy, cramped square of about ten by fourteen feet, and looks lived in. Against the left wall, there’s a coat rack and a two-seater sofa with a high arched back. In front it, a tapered-oval coffee table (looks almost like a surfboard, but not as hip; it’s bare except for a current script and a mug of stale coffee). Against the back wall, there’s the make-up desk with vanity mirror lined with globe-bulbs. The desk is piled high with dime-store Westerns, pulp magazines, and scripts. There’s a wastebasket in the corner, to the left, filled with crumpled pieces of paper.
The right wall is dominated by a large closet with two sliding mirrored doors. The walls are decorated with posters from the TV series, as well as a couple of posters of Marion from some B-grade Westerns he appeared in. The carpet is a coarse brown shag with all kinds of ancient spills and tears.
As Marion enters from the front-left of the room, still clutching his hat, he is surprised to see two police officers—one walrus-like in long sleeves, with rust-brown hair and a giant moustache like a pair of tusks, sitting on the left side of the sofa (BARNABY); the other blonde, tall, and lean but muscular, sitting in the desk chair (CALLAHAN), turned toward the center of the room, his elbows in his lap as he looks up at the expected visitor.
1. TEXT BOX: … DRINK?
2. BARNABY: MARION B. SLYE?
3. MARION: THAT’S ME …
4. BARNABY: I’M OFFICER BARNABY. THIS IS OFFICER CALLAHAN.
5. BARNABY: WE NEED TO ASK YOU A FEW QUESTIONS.
11-1/2 A fragmented panel, as though shattering, with small splinters around the edges and at the break. We see Barnaby’s walrus-moustache and tip of his bulbous nose, bloated cheeks, and puffy lips up close. Almost every word of the last sentence he uttered (“We need to ask you a few questions”) gets its own text box:
1. TEXT BOX: WE
2. TEXT BOX: NEED
3. TEXT BOX: TO
4. TEXT BOX: ASK
5. TEXT BOX: FEW
11-3 Marion plops down on the sofa next to Barnaby, right arm on the armrest, left hand holding the side of his head (with “ouch” rays coming from it).
6. MARION: OKAY. SURE. LET ME JUST TAKE A MINUTE TO REFRESH MYSELF.
7. BARNABY: (jabbing a finger at Marion) WE’LL KEEP YOU COMPANY. IF YOU DON’T MIND.
8. CALLAHAN: (walking over to one of the posters, threateningly) I’VE NEVER SEEN THE INSIDE OF AN ACTOR’S DRESSING ROOM BEFORE.
11-4 Close-up in silhouette of Callahan, rubbing his jaw thoughtfully as he examines a poster from the TV show up close: we see big, jagged western text superimposed over the image of a pistol, reading “…starring MARION B. SLYE as COYOTE DON”.
9. MARION: (off-panel) NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT, I’M AFRAID.
11-5 Same shot of Callahan, except now he’s looking out of the corner of his eyes toward Marion, in a “we’ll-see-about-that” kind of way.
12-1 Marion gets up unsteadily from the sofa.
1. MARION: WELL, MAKE YOURSELVES AT HOME…
12-2 Callahan’s hand reaches out to block Marion, who stops short.
2. CALLAHAN: YOUR GIRL’S DEAD, SLYE.
3. MARION: I — BEG YOUR PARDON?
12-3 The stark, chiaroscuro image of the Voice (the gritty cowboy), head down, the brim of his hat still obscuring his eyes.
4. VOICE: (text box) THEY KILLED HER GONNA KILL YOU TOO
5. CALLAHAN: (off-panel) WE JUST WANNA TAKE YOU DOWNTOWN, ASK YOU A FEW QUESTIONS.
6. VOICE: (text box) YOU HAVE TO LEAVE. NOW!
12-4 Large vertical panel: Marion slides open the mirrored door of his closet, gesturing inside.
7. MARION: LET ME — I’LL JUST GRAB MY COAT.
12-5 Large vertical panel: Same angle, looking at the open closet. The open mirrored door reflects a cross-armed Callahan looking on impatiently, and Barnaby, still seated and nonchalant. In the open half of the closet, we see only the hanging costumes and some rumpled clothes on the floor—but no Marion B. Slye.
12-6 Looking back into the room after a moment has passed: Barnaby is leaning forward on the sofa, looking perplexed and about to get up; Callahan, arms still folded across his chest, raises his eyebrows. Without speaking, we know what they’re thinking: what’s taking him so long?
12-7 From inside the closet, looking out to the room: Barnaby is standing now, his mouth open. Callahan is leaning inside the closet for a better look, his face and upper body filling much of the foreground. His mouth is hanging open too.
13-1 Vertical panel (1 of 3): Looking deep inside the closet. From behind we see Callahan, pushing aside some hanging shirts. In the far back corner of the closet there’s another sliding door standing ajar. Past it we see another dressing room—that of “MACK” GUTIERREZ, the actor who plays Coyote Don’s sidekick, SANCHEZ. The two rooms are conjoined, sharing the large closet.
13-2 Vertical panel (2of 3): Callahan, half-turning with growing anger and confusion.
1. CALLAHAN: HE’S GONE!
13-3 Vertical panel (3 of 3): Barnaby, leaning slightly back, eyes squinty. No anger here, just confusion. It takes him a moment to register that their suspect has just fled.
13-4 Narrow horizontal panel: looking back out down the darkened corridor toward the door to the soundstage, which is swinging open.
13-5 Inset square panel that straddles 13-4 and 13-6. A close-up of Callahan from the right side, belly to thigh. He’s lunging forward, hand going instinctively for the gun in his holster.
2. BARNABY: (off-panel, no pointer, floating centrally over 13-4, -5, and -6) GET HIM!
13-6 Large aerial shot of the sound stage, people with random crew people—most of them have already noticed the sudden pandemonium and are turning to look, including Sam Wilburn and his A.D. From the far back wall we see the tiny silhouette of Callahan bursting through the door. Mid-ground we see Marion running toward the long stage.
Behind the wooden, L-shaped canyon set we see, a few feet back, a hanging painted canvas backdrop, partially revealing a landscape-shot of a desert with cacti and mesas and buttes, with a blistering sun overhead. Behind that is a large, half-constructed wooden frame that some workers are moving into place.
Overhead is a grid of rafters with stage lights.
There are at least two cameras aimed at the stage, but one of them will come into play later: it’s abutting the stage, aimed stage-right at the canyon and Coyote Don’s hiding boulder.
A few feet behind the camera, an animal trainer is tending to a horse (Rosie). The trainer is backing away from the commotion, but the horse doesn’t seem to notice.
14-1 Medium shot of Marion running, from right to left, in front of the stage. It’s a jarring image, since he’s crossing in front of the same canyon that appeared in the first scene, only now the action is real, and Marion looks desperate.
14-2 Same shot as 14-1, only now Callahan is running in front of the canyon set, with Barnaby huffing behind him, arms pumping wildly.
14-3 Marion in the shadows, hiding behind the leg of the “L” of the wooden frame of the set. Behind the set we see again the hanging backdrop of the desert vista peeking out. On the other side we see Callahan, gun drawn, onstage and approaching slowly.
14-4 Turning the corner, we see Marion dash behind the wooden frame of the canyon set.
14-5 Horizontal frame (1 of 2): Marion running, from left to right, through the “desert.” The vast stretches of arid badlands and rust-colored mesas and buttes look so real…
14-6 Horizontal frame (2 of 2): Callahan now running through the “desert.” Barnaby has stopped short on the left side of the panel to catch his breath, crouching with his hands on his knees.
15-1 With the wooden lattice of the canyon set behind him, Marion stops and looks around in a panic for options, having reached the edge of the backdrop, with no hiding places in sight and nowhere to run.
15-2 Marion scrambles up the lattice frame of the set. It shakes under his weight: it is not meant to hold people, especially not people coming at it with such force…
15-3 A large vertiginous panel shows Marion perched precariously on the top edge of the canyon set frame for a moment as it begins to topple with a rending creak and splintering of wood.
15-4 Low-angle shot of Marion, arms outstretched and reaching for the rafters as he falls forward.
15-5 His hands make contact with the black aluminum rod of the rafter, with emanating action rays.
15-6 Low-angle shot: he swings with huge forward momentum…
15-7 …before letting go (high-angle shot). In the upper right corner we see Marion leaping in a reclining position, his right boot in our face, the tassels of his shirt flailing. Below him we see the entire canyon set crashing down, the “L” frame splitting apart over the fulcrum of the boulder. Rosie is down below, looking up in confusion now…
15-8 …which turns to surprise as Marion lands squarely on Rosie’s back with a loud:
1. MARION: UFFF—
16-1 Barnaby in the foreground squats, out of breath and wiping his forehead. Behind him, about twenty feet away, is Sam Wilburn, looking upset, pointing after Coyote Don, who is in the background, riding Rosei as she rears up on her hind legs.
1. WILBURN: OFFICERS! HE’S GETTING AWAY!
2. BARNABY: (panting) IF YE’D JUST HOLD YOUR HORSES—
16-2 Close-up of Callahan, shouting over his shoulder.
3. CALLAHAN: BARNABY! HE’S GETTING AWAY!
4. BARNABY: (off-panel, from 16-1) I’M COMIN’, I’M COMIN’!
16-3 Barnaby trips knocks into a camera and trips, sprawling out on his chin with a huge thud.
5. BARNABY: OOOMGF!
16-4 Birds-eye of the collapsed back-drop and camera, with the collapsed Barnaby, and the frustrated Callahan, pausing to look back at his fallen partner. Coyote Don is escaping off-panel on Rosie, toward another set piece. Various stage workers look on.
6. CALLAHAN: BARNABY! YOU ALL RIGHT?
7. BARNABY: (looking up from the ground) I SAID ‘GET HIM,’ DIDN’T I?!
17-1 Coyote Don reaches the open wall of a partially enclosed SALOON set. He spots Sanchez and halts Rosie.
1. COYOTE DON: SANCHEZ! QUICK—GIVE ME A HAND HERE!
2. SANCHEZ: (walking toward us, waving him away) FUCK OFF, SLYE.
17-2 Coyote Don leans over as Sanchez turns to confront his co-star.
3. COYOTE DON: BUT—
4. SANCHEZ: (pointing his thumb at himself) AND IT’S GUTIERREZ. NOT SANCHEZ.
5. SANCHEZ: (lunging toward Coyote Don) I DON’T GOTTA TAKE YOUR CRAZYASS BULLSHIT NO MORE. I’M GOING TO BROADWAY!
17-3 Sanchez slaps Rosie’s flank hard.
17-4 Rosie’s eyes bug out in surprise.
6. ROSIE: RNHNHRHRR
17-5 Rosie rears up on her hindquarters as Coyote Don loses control.
7. COYOTE DON: (trying to hang on like a rodeo rider) WHOA, NELLY!
17-6 Rosie shifts to her front legs and bucks wildly, throwing Coyote Don into the saloon set.
18-1 Callahan catches up with Sanchez, who eyes him, pretending to examine his fingernails. Sanchez may resent the star of the show, but he hates the gringo police even more.
1. CALLAHAN: WHERE’D HE GO?!
2. SANCHEZ: FUCK OFF, COPPER.
18-2 Sanchez is looking down nonchalantly, the brim of his sombrero obscuring his eyes.
3. SANCHEZ: (coolly) THAS’ ME PARDNER YOU TALKIN’ ABOUT—
18-3 Close-up of Sanchez, looking brightly up right at camera with a sly grin.
4. SANCHEZ: SEÑOR COYOTE!
18-4 Callahan eyes the saloon set entrance, sizing it up quickly.
18-5 Callahan squints menacingly at this Mexican, thumbing the hammer of his gun, his teeth clenched with hatred and racism.
5. CALLAHAN: I GOT YOUR NUMBER, SPIC. BEST START SWIMMING BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM.
19-1 The background coloring of this page is black. Callahan enters the saloon from the right of the panel. A rafter of stage lights overhead is the only reminder that this is a fictional set. The polished wooden bar stretches off into the room forming an L shape. The wall is dark paneled wood; there are no windows in this set. The barstools are round swiveling discs on heavy steel shafts with ornate, four-legged bases. Several round tables, about four feet in diameter, fill the room. The tables in the background are surrounded by basic wooden chairs, but the two tables nearest Callahan have no chairs. The only other visible props are the liquor bottles lining the three shelves behind the bar. Callahan is alert, his back turned to us, his gun drawn and lifted in his right hand.
19-2 Callahan, from a forward angle, jerks to one side as a glass bottle shatters violently against the wall behind him and to his right with a loud KHEEEEENHK!!
1. CALLAHAN: (sharp intake of breath) AH—
19-2 Behind the bar, Coyote Don is crouched low, and quietly reaching for another bottle from beneath the counter.
19-3 As Callahan turns carefully around to look for his perp, Coyote Don peeks out from behind the bar. We see mostly just hat and nose and a corner of eye.
2. CALLAHAN: (sniffs through his snarl)
3. CALLAHAN: (under his breath) I’VE GOT YOU, YOU CRAZY FUCK.
20-1 Scene is identical to 19-3: we see the bar at eye-level. To the right of the bar at the edge of the panel we see a steep flight of stairs, presumably leading to the rooms above the saloon.
Callahan suddenly swivels, ducks and rolls, grabbing and upending the table behind him with a CRASH…
20-2 …Just as another bottle shatters against it. Crouching behind the table, Callahan grips his gun tightly.
1. CALLAHAN: THERE’S NO WAY OFF THIS SET, SLYE.
2. CALLAHAN: THIS AIN’T THE ‘ADVENTURES OF COYOTE DON.’
3. CALLAHAN: THIS IS THE REAL WORLD.
4. CALLAHAN: AND YOU’RE THE BAD GUY.
20-3 Coyote Don furrows his brow. This image mirrors the image of him in 2-3 when he was crouched behind the boulder in the shooting scene with Van Kleeven. His back to the wall, facing the back of the bar, we view him from across his right shoulder as he glances in the direction of the staircase. The bar area opens to the saloon floor just a few feet from the base of the stairs. We know what he’s thinking…
20-4 From Callahan’s perspective, we see the bar and hear Coyote Don’s voice, but don’t see him.
5. COYOTE DON: (from behind the bar) YOU GOT ME…
6. COYOTE DON: OFFICER CALLAHAN, IS IT?
7. COYOTE DON: I KNOW WHEN I BEEN BESTED. I’M A-COMIN’ OUT.
20-5 From behind the upended table, Callahan is caught off-guard as the silhouette of Coyote Don scampers up the stairs.
21-1 Vertical panel, left: Callahan leaps to his feet, both hands pointing the gun at the mezzanine now visible above the bar.
1. CALLAHAN: FREEZE!
21-2 Small panel (right of 21-1, top): up above, Coyote Don ducks in the shadows behind the banister, holding onto his hat with one hand and brandishing a stage-pistol.
21-3 Small panel (right of 21-1, bottom) Close-up low-angle shot of a panicked Callahan, his hand shaking, his gun aimed up and enlarged by perspective. It goes off with a massive BLAM.
21-4 Horizontal panel, spanning mid-page: Coyote Don crashing through the wooden stunt banister (which gives way easily) and falling in a spray of splinters and blood, his hat flying off.
21-5 Two side-by-side horizontal panels make up the bottom of the page: looking through Coyote Don’s eyes, we see the hazy outlines of the two police officers bending over him…
2. COYOTE DON: (faintly) PLEASE, OFFICERS…
3. COYOTE DON: PLEASE…
21-6 The second of the side-by-side panels: the outline of the two officers has grown hazier, nothing more than indistinct forms, looking like mushroom heads with their police caps.
4. COYOTE DON: IT’S NOT MY FAULT…
FINAL PAGE: full page overhead shot of Marion Slye curled up and shivering on his prison bed, his brow furrowed tightly in his half-sleep. The light through the barred window casts a fanning pattern of stripes across the room and his body.
END OF EPISODE ONE.