THEATER OF THRILLS AND HIGH ADVENTURE!

"Christmas for Marshall John Stone, Gunman of the West,!"

                                                               by Richard Nathan

 

Before the lights come up, a voice introduces the story:

                                                            VOICE
                                    The American West was a wild and
                                    dangerous place, which needed wild and
                                    dangerous men to enforce the law... men
                                    like Marshall John Stone, Gunman of the West!!!

Lights come up on a saloon.  There needs to be at least one chair, where MARSHALL JOHN STONE is sitting.  Stone orders a drink from BILL the bartender.

                                                            STONE
                                    Another whiskey, Bill.

                                                            BILL
                                    You sure, Marshall?  Usually, you don't
                                    have more than one.

                                                            STONE
                                    I'm sure.

                                                            BILL
                                    Something bothering you, Marshall?

                                                            STONE
                                    Yeah.  I'm tired of killing people. 

                                                            BILL
                                    I'll go pour you one.  This one's on me. 
                                    Merry Christmas, Marshall.

Enter SAM, a drunken cowboy.

                                                            SAM
                                    I'm calling you out, Marshall Stone.

                                                            STONE
                                    Oh for the love of....  It's Christmas Eve, Sam! 
                                    Shouldn't you be home with your family?

                                                            SAM
                                    My Christmas present to my family is gonna be
                                    one dead U.S. Marshall.  So you better draw at
                                    the count of three.  One...

Before Sam can get past "one," Stone shoots him in the arm.  Stone grabs his wounded arm.

                                                            SAM
                                    You cheated!  We were supposed to draw at three!

                                                            STONE
                                    If I'd waited 'til three, I'd have shot you in the head! 
                                    Shooting you in the arm was my Christmas present. 
                                    Go home to your family, Sam, or I'll throw you in
                                    jail.

Sam exits.  Enter MR. JOHNSON and MRS. JOHNSON, a young couple.

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    Marshall, we saw what you just done...

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    And...

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    And we want to tell you, we think you're a good
                                    man.

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    And we've decided we want to settle here and raise a 
                                    family.  With a man like you as Marshall, we reckon this
                                    town is gonna be a place we'll be proud to call home.

                                                            STONE
                                    I'm afraid you're wrong about that.  Most of the men
                                    in this town are crooked gamblers and most of the 
                                    women in this town are whores.

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    That's fine with us.  I'm a crooked gambler and she's
                                    a whore.

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    I prefer the term "dancehall gal." 

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    But we aim to change our ways. 

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    That's right!

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    We've made enough money so's we can give up
                                    our sinful ways.  We're gonna buy us a ranch,
                                    raise cattle, bring up a family and go to church
                                    every Sunday. 

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    Be respectable.  Stop associatin' with poor folks.

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    Except we'll hire them to work for us, and once
                                    a year, on Christmas, we'll throw them a Christmas
                                    party.

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    We'll get rich!

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    Maybe go into politics.

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    Make sure out children marry into high society.

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    We figure we're like the West, Marshall.  We've
                                    been a little wild, but we were young.  Now we
                                    aim to grow up and put all that behind us, obey
                                    the rules, providin' we make the rules, and be 
                                    looked up to as decent folks!

                                                            MRS. JOHNSON
                                    Merry Christmas, Marshall!  You done good.

                                                            MR. JOHNSON
                                    Merry Christmas!

They exit.  Enter Bill with a glass of whiskey for Stone.

                                                            BILL
                                    Here's your scotch, Marshall!

Stone swallows it in a gulp.  Bill is worried that Stone is deeply depressed, so he tries to cheer him up.

                                                            BILL
                                    Honest Marshall, I don't think you've killed too
                                    many folk.

                                                            STONE
                                    Neither do I, Bill.  Neither do I.

BLACKOUT!

 

THE END

 

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2005 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.