SCENE 7: "The Buffalo Hunt" SETTING: On the plains with men on horseback CHARACTERS: Joe Frink, Abraham Williams, John Hill, Wyatt West, Henry Woodson, Martin Pringle WYATT: Okay men. We need meat, and buffalo is our only choice. JOE: I've never hunted before. ABRAHAM: Well, can't be any harder than hunting for anything else. We'll get one. I killed a bear once. Can't be no harder than that! JOHN: I bought this rifle for this trip. It's never been fired. It would be great to get a buffalo on my first try. HENRY: Watch out with that thing. You're pointing your rifle at me! I'm not a buffalo! JOE: Look over there. What's all that dust? WYATT: That's buffalo! There's thousands of them. Let's try to get as many as we can. MARTIN: But, I thought you said we only needed one or two. WYATT: Well, the rest will be for fun. Besides, the sooner we kill all the buffalo, the sooner the Indians will starve! MARTIN: That's an awful thing to say. WYATT: You are some kind of radical, aren't you? JOE: Are we going to sit here and talk all day or what? WYATT: Yeah, let's go, but watch out for quick sand over there by that creek.
SCENE 8: "Short Tempers" SETTING: At camp in front of the Pringle wagon CHARACTERS: Henry Woodson and Martin Pringle HENRY: Hey, Martin. Have you seen my water barrel? MARTIN: No. HENRY: Well, you've been riding behind me all day. It seems to me if it fell off, you would have seen it. MARTIN: Sorry, I haven't seen it. HENRY: You stole it, didn't you! MARTIN: Henry, I'm no thief. HENRY: I heard you say you were short of water. I bet you took mine! MARTIN: I'm not a fighting man, but those are fighting words! HENRY: Is that so? (takes a swing at Martin) MARTIN: No one calls me a thief! (swings at Henry) HENRY: And, I thought you were a gentleman! (the men tumble on the ground and continue to wrestle)
SCENE 9: "The Capture" SETTING: At a creek near the camp CHARACTERS: Cynthia Williams, Susie Williams, Umapine, Willouskin, Mato-wanagi Wyatt West, Abraham Williams CYNTHIA: Now, Susie, let's wash up a little. SUSIE: But, I'm not dirty. CYNTHIA: (laughing) After two weeks without a bath, I think you might be a little dirty. (begins washing Susie) [HIDDEN IN A GROVE NEARBY, THREE DAKOTA WARRIORS ARE WATCHING] UMAPINE: Look, there's a woman from that wagon train. WILOUSKIN: That's the train that brought the men who killed all those buffalo and left them to rot! MATO-WANAGI: I don't understand. Why would they just kill the buffalo and leave them? UMAPINE: Yes, it is a mystery. We ought to teach them a lesson! WILLOUSKIN: They took what was our's. We ought to take what is their's. MATO-WANAGI: Do you mean we should take that woman and little girl? UMAPINE: Why not? The woman can take care of our old people. We can raise the child to understand us. WILLOUSKIN: Let's do it before any of the others in the train see us. MATO-WANAGI: I don't know about this. These women are always such a problem. The wives don't like it. Let's just take the little girl. UMAPINE: Are you afraid of women? We can sell her to the Kiowa if she causes trouble. Let's go! [UMAPINE AND WILLOUSKIN MOVE TOWARD CYNTHIA AND SUSIE; MATO-WANAGI RIDES OFF IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION] WYATT: (Approaching) Mrs. Williams, be careful. Our scout sighted some Dakota in this area! CYNTHIA: Thanks, Mr. West. I'll be careful. We are almost finished. (To Susie) Now, don't you feel better? SUSIE: No! [SUDDENLY, UMAPINE AND WILLOUSKIN APPEAR; THEY SHOOT AN ARROW THAT STRIKES WYATT IN THE CHEST; HE'S DEAD.] CYNTHIA: (Screams) Help! Help! It's Indians! ABRAHAM: (running toward his wife's screams) Cynthia, Cynthia! Where are you? Oh, no! She's gone! Where's my wife and baby? (begins sobbing)
SCENE 10: "More Bad News" SETTING: The Williams's wagon CHARACTERS: Abraham Williams, Liza Williams, John Hill LIZA: What are you doing Uncle Abe? ABRAHAM: I'm fixing this wheel so I can go look for Cynthia and Susie! LIZA: Be careful! You're all upset! We can get John to go look! ABRAHAM: It's my responsibility. Ny beautiful wife (sobs), my baby... gone...gone... LIZA: Uncle Abe, that wagon doesn't look safe. It's just barely perched on that rock. ABRAHAM: Don't worry! I can take care of it! I've got to look for... LIZA: Watch out! It's falling! Help! Help! The wagon fell on my uncle! JOHN: (rushing over to the scene) Move back, Liza! I'll help him! LIZA: How is he? JOHN: (standing up) I'm sorry, Liza. He's dead. LIZA: (crying) Oh, why did we ever come?
SCENE 11: "Life and Death" SETTING: At camp CHARACTERS: Margaret and Joe Frink, Rebecca and Minnie Woodson [AT THE FRINK WAGON] MARGARET: Joe! Joe! It's time! The baby is coming! JOE: Now, you lie down. I'll get Mrs. Woodson. She's a midwife. [AT THE WOODSON WAGON] REBECCA: Now, Granny, you rest for awhile. JOE: (running toward Rebecca) Mrs. Woodson! It's time! Margaret needs help with the baby! REBECCA: I'll be right there. You go get some clean rags and water. I'll be along in in a few minutes. (turns to Minnie) Now, Granny, I've got to go check on Mrs. Frink. She's having a baby. Isn't that wonderful? MINNIE: Don't worry about me. (Rebecca leaves; Minnie starts to pray) Oh, Lord, I'm ready. Take me. I just can't go on. I'm old and tired! Give me my final rest. (Minnie loses consciousness and dies.)
SCENE 12: "It Gets Worse" SETTING: The Pringle wagon CHARACTERS: Catherine, Charity, Charlotte and Martin Pringle CATHERINE: Charity, where's Chance? CHARITY: How should I know? CATHERINE: Charlotte, have you seen your brother? CHARLOTTE: He went to play. CATHERINE: Where? CHARLOTTE: I don't know. He said he was going to play like he was a hunter. MARTIN: Well, I've looked everywhere I can think of. CATHERINE: Something has happened! I just know it! MARTIN: Now, Catherine, calm down! I'll get some of the men to help me look. CHARITY: What's that sound? CATHERINE: (screams) It's wolves! Oh no! (faints) [A FEW MINUTES LATER] MARTIN: (returning to the wagon) I can't find anybody to help. Seems like everyone is having troubles. We'll have to do it ourselves! CATHERINE: Do you mean leaving the train? Do you mean we're going off alone? Everyone says that's dangerous! And, you said you felt like you were getting sick. Maybe we should stay put. MARTIN: Well, we have to look for Chance. What else can we do? He may be hurt or lost or something.
SCENE 13: "Discoveries" SETTING: Several miles from the wagon train CHARACTERS: John Hill, Catherine Pringle, Mato-wanagi, Cynthia Williams [SEVERAL DAYS LATER, JOHN IS ON HORSEBACK LOOKING FOR THE PRINGLE FAMILY WHO HAVE NOT RETURNED FROM THEIR SEARCH FOR CHANCE] JOHN: (to himself) What's that? Looks like the Pringle wagon. (rides toward the wagon) CATHERINE: (seeing John) Mr. Hill! Mr. Hill! Over here! JOHN: Mrs. Pringle, where's Martin? CATHERINE: He's dead. It was some kind of fever. And, now the kids are sick! We never did find Chance! Please, help me! JOHN: Of course. We need to get you back to the wagon train. CATHERINE: Wait! Look over there! It's an Indian! He's got a woman with him. [MATO-WANAGI RIDES UP WITH CYNTHIA WILLIAMS] MATO-WANAGI: I come in peace. I brought her back. It was wrong what my brothers did. JOHN: Mrs. Williams! Are you okay? MATO-WANAGI: She won't talk. She quit talking when the little girl died. JOHN: (helping Cynthia) I'm sure you will be just fine when we get back to the wagons.
SCENE 14: "Things Are Not Fine" SETTING: The Woodson wagon CHARACTERS: Rebecca Woodson, Cynthia Williams, Sarah Pellet, Loreta Valasquez, Margaret Frink, Liza Williams, Catherine Pringle [THE WOMEN ARE HOVERING OVER CYNTHIA AND CATHERINE] REBECCA: You poor dears. You have both suffered so much. Take something to drink. CATHERINE: Thank you for your help. I think I'll be okay. And, thank goodness, Charity and Charlotte are safe and sound. (sobbing) But, my poor Chance, my poor Martin.... SARAH: You have to stay strong for Charity and Charlotte. We'll help you get to Oregon. LORETA: Cynthia, don't you want to talk to us? It will make you feel better. CYNTHIA: (almost whispering) There's nothing to say. MARGARET: Don't you want to tell us what happened to you? CYNTHIA: I can't. I can't. My Susie is gone. Where's Abraham? Oh, Liza, where's your uncle? LIZA: Aunt Cynthia, you've gone through so much. I don't want to be the one to tell you. (she runs away) REBECCA: We hoped to put this off. But, Cynthia, Abraham was killed when the wagon fell on him. I'm so sorry. He's gone. But you still have little Sam. You must stay strong for him. CYNTHIA: (crying) I never wanted to come on this wagon train to begin with. Now my life is ruined.
SCENE 15: "Lost" SETTING: The wagons CHARACTERS: Margaret and Joe Frink, John Hill, Liza Williams, Rebecca Woodson, Molly, Martha, and Michael Woodson, Henry Woodson MARGARET: I don't feel good. The baby is sick, too. JOE: We had to keep up with the train. JOHN: Well, I don't know why. We're lost. LIZA: What? JOHN: With Wyatt dead, we got ourselves lost on this so-called "short cut." REBECCA: And, we're almost out of food. MOLLY: I'm hungry, and I don't feel good. I'm sick. MARTHA: I'm sick, too! MICHAEL: I'm hungrier and sicker than either one of you! HENRY: Now, now, it will be okay. I'll go find some food. REBECCA: No! It's almost dark. HENRY: I'll be fine. I'll be back before you miss me.
SCENE 16: "Dinner is Served" SETTING: The wagons CHARACTERS: Rebecca Woodson, Joe Frink, John Hill, Mato-Wanagi REBECCA: Has anyone seen my Henry? He never came back last night! JOE: What's that? (pointing) REBECCA: It's an Indian! And, he's got someone with him. It's Henry! MATO-WANAGI: Hello. I'm a friend. REBECCA: He's dead! He's dead! JOHN: (whispering to Joe) It looks like dinner is served! JOE: What do you mean? JOHN: We can eat Henry! JOE: You are kidding, aren't you? JOHN: Meat is meat. And, that's all we've got. Do you want to sit here and starve and watch all these children starve, too?
SCENE 17: "In Oregon" SETTING: Oregon CHARACTERS: John Hill, Liza Williams, Rebecca Woodson Loreta Valasquez, Sarah Pellet JOHN: At last! The land of milk and honey. California is just a few miles away! I can feel the gold in my hands already! LIZA: I don't see any milk and honey for me! Aunt Cynthia is crazy with grief. I'll have to take care of her and Sam. REBECCA: I sure don't see any milk and honey either. What chance do I have...a widow with three children. SARAH: Well, I see a great future! Just think of all those available men! And there are even jobs for women if I need one. LORETA: And, with God's help, women like us can purify this wilderness. It will be a Garden of Eden someday. JOHN: That's the way I see it! We'll all be rich and live happily ever after! THE END