Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]



The Gunfighters

Don't Shoot the Pianist

By Donald Cotton


HOLLIDAY: Well Katie, my girl... Five minutes should see the end of the man they think is Doc Holliday. And then I can start trading again under another name, what name would you fancy Kate? ...Kate?

(He walks into the back of the shop and returns in moments carrying a note reading aloud with a weary sigh.)

HOLLIDAY: "Gone back to the Last Chance Saloon." Why must women meddle?!


STEVEN: With rings on their fingers and bells on their toes...

(He breaks off for a moment, but the music continues. He addresses Phineas who is still waving his gun at him.)

STEVEN: Look, fellas please, come on please...
PHINEAS: Come on, sing! Sing up...sing up!

(The gunfighters crowd around Steven with their weapons raised.)

STEVEN: I've sung this song four times!
PHINEAS: Well then sing it again!
BILLY: I said sing it!
STEVEN: Look, couldn't we try a different song?
PHINEAS: Once more then!

(As Phineas laughs to himself Steven shoots him a look and then turns back to the piano and continues with the song.)

STEVEN: The same one...

(He begins to sing once more.)

STEVEN: ...It's the Last Chance Saloon It's your last chance of givin', it's your last chance of rye...

(A figure walks past the window.)

STEVEN: It's your last chance of livin', and the last chance to...

(Kate rushes into the bar seemingly annoyed and blatantly carrying a weapon.)

KATE: Now what's going on here? Okay now boys, you put them guns away!

(The gunmen stand their ground for the moment and watch as Kate storms over to the bar to a terrified looking Charlie.)

KATE: Now Charlie, got yerself a new singer maybe?
CHARLIE: Why..why no Kate, it's just that these gentleman...
KATE: Now Charlie, am I singin' here or ain't I?
CHARLIE: Wh-surely are Kate.
KATE: Well then, get that guy away from my piana' before we need a new barkeep real sudden!

(She waves her pistol more out of anger than threat. Charlie gestures to Steven.)

CHARLIE: Wh-you heard what she said, I-I reckon you'd better...
STEVEN: Now now... Come on now. Get upstairs and lock your door, come on.
DODO: Oh, but I was enjoying playing!
KATE: Now now! Go-on off you kid, now vamoose!
DODO: Oh well if that's the way you feel... Are you coming Steven?

(As Steven moves towards the table to collect his toy guns, the men move forward, but Kate is there first with her gun pointed at Steven's stomach and Phineas snatches the gun, and shakes his head still giggling.)

KATE: Now hold on! Stay right there Mister! This time you play piana'!
STEVEN: Me? But...
KATE: Yeah, let's take it from the top again - double tempo!

(With characteristic dunderheadedness Dodo seems to misunderstand what five itchy triggers means.)

DODO: Well thank you and goodnight!
DODO: Well it's quite alright Steven, don't mind me! Just have a good time with your new friends!
KATE: Well now, perhaps we can get a little action around here?

(There is a chorus of yeahs from the bored gunslingers.)

KATE: Okay Mr, make with the piana'!

(Seth Harper parrots the words to the others in amusement.)

HARPER: Make with the piana'..!

(As Steven plays she dances around to the cheers of the men, all except Ike who just watches.)

KATE: So fill up yer glasses and join in the song, the law's right behind you and it won't take long.

(She flicks off Ike's hat with her gun, and he stoops to pick it up as she moves to the others.)

KATE: So come you coyotes and howl at the moon, until there's blood upon the sawdust at the Last Chance Saloon!

(Billy moves a chair towards the bar and helps her up and she dances on the bartop and continues to sing as they clap.)

KATE: You've a girl at Kansas swingin', it's your last chance to hide; It's your last chance at singin' 'til your long last ride. It's your last chance of cussing at your hard-earned doom, it's your last chance of nothing it's the Last Chance Saloon!

(Harper and Billy help her down between them and they all clap and cheer, but Ike just peers from the brim of his hat where he is standing.)

IKE: Not bad, not bad.

(Just then the Doctor walks in clapping too.)

DOCTOR: Well played Steven, my boy, well played! Yes, and you too my dear, excellent. I'd really no idea...

(Steven gets up.)

STEVEN: Oh, thank you Doctor.

(Then he sees Ike's gun in his face.)

STEVEN: ...Neither had I.

(He sits down again. Seth Harper walks up to the Doctor and looks him up and down.)

HARPER: Well, if it ain't the great Doc!
DOCTOR: Oh you flatter me my young man. Yes, Reasonably accomplished I might say, er, but not great. Hm-hm!
HARPER: You can say that again.
DOCTOR: Oh really? Why? ...Oh, yes of course! We met a little while ago down at the dentist. Yes, and you so very kindly invited me to join you and your friends for a drink!
HARPER: And a little talk now...
DOCTOR: Yes, quite so, quite so. Well I'm afraid I don't touch alcohol, but a little glass of erm, milk and I shall be delighted. Erm, Won't you, er, introduce me?
HARPER: Yeah yeah, give me a pleasure. Doc, I would like you to meet the Clanton brothers.

(The Doctor Smiles.)

DOCTOR: The Clanton brothers!

(His genial smile slips down several gears as he realises who they are.)

DOCTOR: Oh dear...I mean d'you do, mm?
IKE: Recognise the name, Doc?
DOCTOR: Oher... Yes I do indeed, yes. Er...Steven, er...don't you think we were going, mm?
IKE: Er not just yet Doc, we haven't had our little talk about brother Reuben. Er, the late brother Reuben.
DOCTOR: Oh yes I know. Yes, sometimes after a bereavement it's very difficult to find exactly the right kind of words...
IKE: The right words?
HARPER: Easy! You see, Doc, the boys don't want, er...they don't want words. They want action.
DOCTOR: Oh indeed. Yesyesyes well... If you take my advice, er...I would leave it in the hands of the right people, euh...
IKE: And the right people happen be your friend Wyatt Earp?
DOCTOR: Er, he's not my friend, no. I would er, rather call him casual travelling acquaintance.

(Hidden in the shadows up on the open stairway the real Doc Holliday watches the conversation intently, one hand moving swiftly inside his jacket.)

PHINEAS: Well that ain't the way I heard it.
HARPER: Nor me.
IKE: Nor me. We heard that you 'n him were closer than fleas on a porcupine!
BILLY: Wyatt Earp'n Doc Holliday, the bottle-puncher lawman and the good-for-nothing drunken gambler!
IKE: Steady boy. Let Seth handle this.

(He moves to pay Charlie.)

DOCTOR: Wait a moment I think I can begin to see your mistake!
HARPER: It's your mistake that we're interested in, Doc!
DOCTOR: But, hahaha...but I am not the Doc. The man you're looking for is the local dentist, yes! He has a little shop here, along the street.
HARPER: It seems to me that's where I found you.
DOCTOR: Yes well I can explain that you see er...
HARPER: And ah, your gun's got his brand on it.
DOCTOR: Ah, er...well yes, as a matter of fact he lent it to me because...
IKE: Because what, Doc?
DOCTOR: Eh? well er, just until I leave the town as it were...

(Harper smiles.)

HARPER: You ain't leavin' Doc.
PHINEAS/IKE: Live, that is!
DOCTOR: Eh...excuse me gentlemen, gentlemen, you must have made a horrible mistake! Ah, Steven my boy...
PHINEAS: One word out of your friend Regret here and he gets his!
KATE: Ah for Pete's sake Doc, tell 'em you're Holliday! You can take on all four of 'em any time!

DOCTOR: Yes I'm sorry gentleman, but this is Holliday's young girlfriend, and she's only lying to protect him!

(He pulls out Holliday's pistol and waves it in the air.)

DOCTOR: Now as I've already told you about this gun!

(There is a sound of a shot and Harper cries out and hobbles away into a corner rubbing his fingers, the weapon he was drawing shot from his hand. Kate waves her gun dangerously at the others before they have time to draw their guns and they raise their hands.)

KATE: Okay don't try it fellas! Nice shooting Doc, but ya should have got him between the eyes!
DOCTOR: Between the who?
KATE: Between the eyes!
DOCTOR: Oh my dear young lady, I-I-I-I..!
KATE: Kill the next one that moves!

(She rushes to his side.)

DOCTOR: Yes-yes, quite so, quite so. Very good idea, excellent. Well, you heard - Steven get their guns!

(Steven does so, and places them all onto a central table as the Doctor "hms" to himself in satisfaction. Up on the stairway Holliday replaces the small pistol into his inner pocket just before he is joined on the stairs by a whispering voice.)

DODO: I thought I heard a shot.

(He pulls out his gun again.)

HOLLIDAY: Quiet! Now you just get right back to your room missy.

(The Doctor surveys his prisoners.)

DOCTOR: How do we proceed?
KATE: Line 'em up against the piana'.
DOCTOR: Yes, excellent idea. Well gentlemen you will move in an orderly fashion - you too! Hm hm-hm hm!

(Muttering amongst themselves they obey Steven strides from the group, but accidentally fires his gun into the ceiling causing crumbs of plaster to fall onto Ike.)


(Ike glares at the Doctor.)

IKE: You won't get away with this Holliday!
DOCTOR: I keep telling you I'm not Holliday! Well, what do we do now?
KATE: Well Doc, I reckon that's up to you now.

(She wanders off twirling her gun back and forth.)

HARPER: You shoulda killed me when you had the chance Doc, cause you're gonna pay for this!
DOCTOR: Indeed, indeed! And may I point out that I still have the chance, sir?
HARPER: Well I don't have no gun!
DOCTOR: Exactly! That's the whole point isn't it, mm?
PHINEAS: Am I hearin' right?
BILLY: If you ain't the lowest, meanest sidewinder...

(At that moment Wyatt and Masterson stroll into the Saloon, Wyatt raises a reverent hand.)

WYATT: Well, hah, howdy sinners! 'Appen you's all holding a prayer meeting? Why, I'd be proud to join you.
DOCTOR: My dear Marshall, I'm so glad to see you. You know, I was trying to explain to them...
MASTERSON: Looks like you was explaining, hand over yer gun!

(He pulls the gun from the Doctor's hand and shoves him back towards the bar.)

DOCTOR: Well, er..!
MASTERSON: Wyatt and I do that kind of explaining around here. Just easy down everybody - you too Kate.

(He takes her gun too.)

WYATT: Now who did what?

(There is a universal cry of "Holliday did it!" as if they are all no more than schoolchildren.)

HARPER: We was just having ourselves a friendly discussion.
IKE: Yeah, before we could say a word he had us lined up here like a row of..!
PHINEAS: Yeah, he'd of shot us all down in c-c-cold blood!
STEVEN: D-don't you listen to 'em Marshall, I saw the whole thing!

(Wyatt leads Steven away to the side.)

WYATT: Oh sure sure, boy. Sure, it must of been quite a sight.

(A thought suddenly occurs to him and he turns and lays a hand on the Doctor's shoulder.)

WYATT: Hahaha, now Doc...
MASTERSON: Now wait a minute Wyatt, this guy ain't... Have you gone mad? Doc Holliday's...
WYATT: Oh be quiet Bat. I reckon I can figure clear enough what must have happened.

(He turns to the Doctor.)

WYATT: I'm gonna have to take you in. You're under arrest, pop.
DOCTOR: Under arrest? And don't you call me pop! You know very well who I am sir!
WYATT: I surely do old friend.
DOCTOR: I want to see my solicitor!
WYATT: A what? Huh, a night in the Jailhouse is just about what you need.
DOCTOR: Oh very well, but I promise you, you will regret this sir!
MASTERSON: All I hope is that you know what you're doin'.

(He leads the Doctor away.)

WYATT: Oh I reckon I do. Well, goodnight sinners. I'm sorry your stay in our fair, law abidin' city has been so, er, rudely disturbed.

(He leaves and they all rush to the table to pick up their guns.)

PHINEAS: Well if that don't beat all!
IKE: That figures. He couldn't take us in until he'd got the Doc outta trouble like always!
BILLY: Yeah...

(He notices Steven still sitting at the bar.)

BILLY: Hey, what about him?

(Steven points to himself nervously and mouths "Me?".)

IKE: Yeah, what about him?

(They all stride up to Steven and surround him.)


(Dodo is at on her bed and Holliday is slouched on the end toying with his weapon.)

DODO: How long are you proposing to keep me here?

(Holliday yawns.)

HOLLIDAY: Hardly no time at all, ma'am. Just relax.

(There is a knock at the door and Holliday jumps up and raises his gun as the door opens.)

HOLLIDAY: Oh... Oh Kate.
KATE: So that's where you're hidin' Doc Holliday!

(Dodo reacts as if she'd been stung, jumping up.)

DODO: Doc Holliday?!
KATE: What's she doin here?

(She glances at Dodo.)

HOLLIDAY: Ah, she saw me fire the gun.
KATE: Yeah I guessed that was you, that's why I come a lookin'. You shoulda killed the little rat!
HOLLIDAY: Ah, that thought did occur to me, but I reckoned that in the ensuing fracas you might get hurt as well as the old guy.
KATE: Sure. Real soft-hearted ain't ya?
DODO: Look which old guy are you talking about?
KATE: Oh, a real nice old guy, lady. He came in to get a tooth fixed.
DODO: That must have been the Doctor! What happened to him?
HOLLIDAY: Wyatt Earp's arrested him.
DODO: Arrested?
HOLLIDAY: Now why would Wyatt do a thing like that?
KATE: Because Wyatt let them go on thinkin' the old guy was you, that's why!
HOLLIDAY: Oh yeah.
DODO: I must go to the Doctor, you've got to let me out of here!

(She rushes for the door, but Holliday prevents her from leaving.)

HOLLIDAY: If he's in the hands of Wyatt Earp he could-not be safer. Now then ladies, why don't all let's settle down to a nice game of chance? Hah?

(He pulls out a grubby deck of cards an laughs nefariously.)


(The local Jailhouse is a simple building with decorated windows filled with nineteenth century furniture, oil lamps and stationary. A large cluttered table sits in the middle of the floor, and against a wall is a bureau and a handful of chairs. On the walls are various "wanted" posters. To one side is a section closed off with thick bars of iron, ceiling to floor through which Masterson is talking to the Doctor.)

MASTERSON: Now, how come you got a hold of Holliday's gun?
DOCTOR: I have already told you my dear Sheriff, he lent it to me.
MASTERSON: And why would Holliday do a fool thing like that?
WYATT: Because he knew the Clantons was a-vying for him!
DOCTOR: Yes, a most unscrupulous man.
WYATT: Yeah, I think I'll go and find him.
DOCTOR: Ah, but I insist on coming with you!
WYATT: Now you'll stay right where you are. Why, you've got four of the meanest characters in the territory believing you're Doc Holliday! Hah!

(The Doctor pulls a face, furious at being incarcerated, but unable to find any argument that will enable him to be set free. Wyatt moves off, then stops for a moment and turns back.)

WYATT: You take one step outside of this Jail, friend and you're a deead man!

(Both Wyatt and Masterson leave. Reluctantly the Doctor walks over to the seat and sits down.)

BALLAD: You've a good chance of dyin',
It's your last chance to hide.
There won't be no flyin'
'Til your last, long ride.


STEVEN: Now I don't care what Wyatt Earp said, that man's not Doc Holliday.
HARPER: Well he sure enough shoots like Doc Holliday!
STEVEN: He-he never fired that shot, they've got no right to arrest him. He..he's done nothing wrong!
BILLY: Are you planning to get him out of Jail?

(They all collapse into paroxysms of laughter at this.)

STEVEN: Wh-wha-what's so funny? I gotta get him out!
PHINEAS: All you gotta do is gun down Earp and Bat Masterson. Are you all set to try that?

(They all laugh again.)

STEVEN: Oh of course not, but... Well, I know if I can get him out of jail I can prove who he really is.
IKE: Now wouldn't that be somethin'? Boys, what d'ya say we give Mr Regret here a hand?

(There is more laughter.)



(Holiday, Kate and Dodo are playing cards on the bed.)

BALLAD: There's gamblers from Denver,
There's guns from the South,
And many a Cowboy
With a dry-dry mouth.

There's a ragtime piana'
And a small back room,
For-to sleep off your troubles
In the Last Chance Saloon!

KATE: Okay Doc, so you cleaned me out again.

(He chuckles jovially and coughs drily.)

HOLLIDAY: I'm thirsty. Kate ah...take a look down in the bar to see if we've still got company.
KATE: Now Doc...

(Kate throws down her cards and flounces out of the room, Holliday turns to Dodo.)

HOLLIDAY: I'm sorry to speak sharp Missy, but... I'm gettin' to feel almost as caged up here as you are.
KATE: They're still there, still drinkin'.
HOLLIDAY: Oh well I think maybe I'll take a little walk.
KATE: Oh now Doc, you promised there'd be no more trouble!
HOLLIDAY: Now you wouldn't want me to die of thirst would you?
KATE: Oh well now, if that's all that's troublin' left a bottle back in your office. Why don't ya just crawl back there and get it?

(He chuckles and strokes her hair.)

HOLLIDAY: Now that's all a man needs - a real gentle understandin' woman! I'll be back just as soon as you've finished breaking up my character.

(He leaves the room closing the door behind him and Kate turns back to Dodo.)

KATE: Ain't it wonderful honey? What a man'll do for what he truly believes in?

(Dodo smiles at her.)


(Holliday is fumbling about for his whiskey in the semi darkness, with an oil lamp which is turned down so low he can hardly see.)

HOLLIDAY: Now where in thunder did I put that bottle?
WYATT: Right behind you Doc, right behind you.

(Holliday turns to see Wyatt covering him with his pistol and raises his hands.)

HOLLIDAY: Now that ain't friendly Wyatt, that ain't friendly at all.
WYATT: Well maybe not. I can't say as how I feel er, particular well disposed towards you right now.

(Holliday chuckles to himself as Wyatt searches his inner pockets and discovers his mini-weapon.)

HOLLIDAY: You're gettin' clumsy.

(He addresses Wyatt.)

HOLLIDAY: Do you mind if I turn this lamp up to see that you haven't got a entire posse?

(He turns up the lamp.)

HOLLIDAY: Eh... Well now, what do you want?
WYATT: Only thing I want from you Doc is to get outta town.
HOLLIDAY: Now where did I put that whiskey?

(He moves across the room and continues his search.)

HOLLIDAY: Why the hell should I get outta town? I ain't done nothing again' the law.
WYATT: Not yet, you ain't. But when the Clantons finally wise-up, why, there's gonna be shootin', Doc. And, er, I can't keep that old guy locked up in jail forever you know.

(He runs a hand over Holliday's beloved chair.)

HOLLIDAY: Er, that's my dentist's chair, that's dangerous Wyatt. ...How long can you keep him then?
WYATT: Well, I'll release him as soon as I've told 'em the truth about you - tomorrow morning. Now you can ride out tonight and er, get yerself a head-start.

(He sits down in the chair and smiles, as if he knows what Holliday is about to say before he says it.)

HOLLIDAY: But I've only just hit town! I only just set up this business!
WYATT: Well it'll still be here when you get back. I mean, don't worry. It's just 'til this thing blows over.
HOLLIDAY: Would you mind tellin' me what this is all about?
WYATT: Yeah... Old "Pa" Clanton and his boys are running the biggest rustling operation this territory's ever seen. Pretty soon they'll be takin' over the whole of Tombstone unless somebody's gonna stop 'em.
HOLLIDAY: Well, why don't you stop 'em then?
WYATT: Well Bat'n can't handle it alone. We'll stop 'em soon as my brothers get here.
HOLLIDAY: Oh, it looks like you could use an extra hand...
WYATT: Well, ah, later maybe. But in the meantime Doc, just ride out.

(Holliday finally locates the bottle and scrutinises it carefully.)

HOLLIDAY: Wyatt! Have you been drinking my whiskey?

(Wyatt gives Holliday back his mini-gun and takes the bottle.)

WYATT: Ride out Doc!

(He exits the shop leaving a sad looking Holliday alone.)

HOLLIDAY: Else you'll be gunnin' for me come sun-up...


(The Clantons are busily plotting the downfall of the Doctor and Steven seems to be assisting.)

IKE: So this is the way we'll play it, Regret. You take this gun up to the Jailhouse and slip it through the cell window to Holliday.

(Billy mimes a gun in his hand.)

BILLY: And he says: "Open the door or I'll shoot!"
STEVEN: Uh-huh. And where do you guys come in?
IKE: Well we wait outside the Jailhouse in case anything goes wrong.
PHINEAS: Yeah, sos we can prevent a misc-c-c...

(Billy slaps him on the back.)

PHINEAS: Miscarriage of justice!
BILLY: To... Welcome him back to society.
STEVEN: Oh! Not to gun him down?

(There is a volley of slightly over-enthusiastic protestations against the truth of Steven's statement from all.)

IKE: Why would we do a thing like that? You say he ain't Holliday - okay, he's got nothin' to fear! What do ya say?
STEVEN: Hoh, it sounds like a pretty foolproof idea!
HARPER: Well it sure is because you know come mornin' they're gonna ship him outta there.
IKE: Yeah, to the County jail.
STEVEN: And-and what happens after I-I give him this?
PHINEAS: You c-come back here, and then we take over.
HARPER: We take over
IKE: Yeah.
STEVEN: Yeah, I got the picture. Okay, I'll see ya in twenty minutes.
IKE: Okay, right.

(Steven leaves and Harper leads the laughter.)

HARPER: There's one born every minute!
IKE: Hold it boys... I don't think he believed us. Phin', you follow him and make sure that him and his friend Holiday don't try to escape.
PHINEAS: O..k-kay.
IKE: And Billy, you get the rope.
BILLY: Yeah.

(Phineas and Billy depart and Ike and Harper stand in silence, their plans seemingly about to come to fruition one way or another.)


(Dodo is preparing Kate's hair in front of a looking glass.)

BALLAD: With rings on their fingers
And bells on their toes,
The girls come to Tombstone
In their high silk-hoes.

DODO: You really going to marry him?
KATE: Surely am. Though over how many dead bodies I don't rightly know.
DODO: But he's an outlaw!
KATE: Ah honey, I've known them all in my time. Jesse James, Billy the kid, Johnny Ringo...hmph.

(She seems to drift into a moments reverie at her own mention of the last name.)

KATE: ...And I'm tellin' you, the Doc's the best of the bunch. He's a real gentleman. Just been a mite unlucky, is all.
DODO: In what way?
KATE: Oh...was on the the run most of the time, leastways until he met up with Wyatt Earp. Since then he's usually managed to keep the right side of the law. That's why for the first time I guess he's gonna settle down.

(The door opens and an unhappy-looking Holliday walks in.)

HOLLIDAY: Kate, seems you and I have to leave town before mornin', so go get packed.
KATE: Oh but Doc, why?
HOLLIDAY: Wyatt Earp is gunnin' for me, and you know that in my whole life I never killed a friend.

(He puffs his chest out proudly at this statement as if it is something to be especially proud of.)

KATE: Ah, you're a real gentleman.
HOLLIDAY: Go get packed.
KATE: Didn't I tell ya, honey?


BALLAD: You've a good chance of dying,
It's your last chance to hide;
There won't be no flyin'
'Til your last, long ride.

(The Doctor Surveys a wanted poster with his pince-nez. It offers a reward of $1000, has a picture of Johnny Ringo with the words "WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE IN DODGE CITY" emblazoned on the front, and "WANTED FOR THE MURDER OF RATTLESNAKE SMITH". There is a sound of knocking and as the Doctor looks up, pince-nez fall off his nose to be caught by the dark ribbon they are tied to.)

STEVEN: Doctor!
STEVEN: Doctor!
DOCTOR: Oh Steven, my boy!

(He climbs up on the seat and looks out of the window.)

DOCTOR: Good gracious I've been so worried about you! How's Dodo?
STEVEN: She's fine. She's locked in her hotel room quite safe. Look, I've brought you this.
DOCTOR: What on Earth for?
STEVEN: Use it to bluff your way out. The Clanton gang still think you're Doc Holliday, we'll be waiting for you. We must get back to the TARDIS.
DOCTOR: Yes, but my dear boy...
STEVEN: Look, there's not time to argue Doctor, we've only got ten minutes! Now good luck.

(Steven rushes off.)

DOCTOR: Yes, but Steven Oh, confound the boy! Oh dear me, it's... Hmph! Ten minutes.

(He steps down and begins to twirl the gun around his finger as he thinks, Wyatt Earp watching in mild amusement. Suddenly the Doctor reaches a decision.)

DOCTOR: Hm-hm hm-hm. Mr Werp..?

(He jumps as he see that he has been watched the whole time.)

DOCTOR: Oh, er, Mr Werp.

(He breaks off for a moment.)

DOCTOR: I say, can you do that?

(He twirls the gun again in amusement.)

WYATT: Nope. And I wouldn't try it if I were you.
DOCTOR: I have no intention of trying anything, only people do keep giving me guns and I wish they wouldn't! I wonder er, would you mind looking after it for me? Hm-hm mm.

(Wyatt smiles and bows his head in mock-geniality as he accepts the gun through the bars.)

WYATT: My pleasure. And er, who gave it to you?
DOCTOR: Oh er, that young friend of mine, you know... um...Steven. A rather impetuous lad. He said to meet him outside in ten minutes time.
WYATT: Oh did he? Well I must go and have a word with him.
DOCTOR: Oh yes I wish you would. Oh, and would you kindly explain to him that I'm quite happy where I am for the moment, mm?

(Wyatt leaves the Jail.)


(Ike is on the stairway rabble-rousing like a professional, yelling like a mad priest delivering a hellfire sermon to a rapt audience. The other members of the gang have their guns drawn and Billy is holding a length of rope.)

IKE: And I say Holliday's the meanest name that's ever polluted the fair name of the West!

(There is a ripple of yeahs from the crowd.)

IKE: And while he's around there's gonna be nothing but trouble an' bloodshed!

(There are more enthusiastic yeahs.)

IKE: And the law... The law says maybe he'll do a spell in jail, well are we going to let Wyatt Earp get away with that?!

(There is a cacophony of nos.)

IKE: Then I say we go over to the Jailhouse, get him out and string him up from the nearest tree!

(The crowd shout in the affirmative again and all stream out of the doors of the Saloon. Phineas fights his way in and approaches Ike with Steven at gunpoint, they have to shout to be heard over the sound of the rabble.)

IKE: Did he do what we said then?
PHINEAS: Yeah, Mr Regret didn't seem too k-k-keen on seein' us again. Caught him goin' away from the Saloon.
IKE: That was mighty unwise of you Mister. Okay boys, rope him!

(Phineas and Billy tie Steven up.)

STEVEN: Come on now, what's the idea?
IKE: Our idea is friend, that if Holliday don't bust out of Jail we got us a hostage. He's gotta get out to stop you swingin' in his place! Come on! Let's go!

(They lead Steven out of the bar and Harper watches swigging from a bottle and laughing.)


KATE: Okay Doc, I'm ready. Let's get going.
DODO: What about me?
HOLLIDAY: Don't you worry honey, I'll be returning you to your friends in the Jailhouse before we leave.
KATE: Hey Doc, take a look out here.

(They all look and see down into Main Street to see a lynch mob. A roped Steven is being carried along on horseback by the fanatical throng of citizens.)

DODO: They've got Steven!

(Doc Holliday remains unmoved until he spots something else being swept along by the crowd. His face livid with in anger, he pulls out his gun.)

HOLLIDAY: They got my operating chair! Wait here!

(He runs for the door and vanishes.)

KATE: Hey Doc, come back here!


(Harper is still swigging from his bottle in the bar when Kate's shouting and a wiry man running down the stairs attracts his attention.)

KATE OOV: Doc, you can't do nothin' now! DOC!

(Harper throws down his bottle and rushes over to the stairs where Holliday is standing, bag in hand.)

HARPER: Just hold on there friend! Are you Doc Holliday?
HOLLIDAY: That is my name.

(Harper goes for his gun, but the Doc is already holding his mini-gun behind his bag. Harper is sent crashing into the bar by a single shot, sliding to the ground. Kate screams from the stairs and rushes over.)

KATE: Now you've done it!

(He doffs his hat to the corpse.)

HOLLIDAY: And aim to continue.

(Charlie looks upset at the scene he has just witnessed, and is just as nervous as ever.)

CHARLIE: If you're Doc Holliday, I wouldn't go out there. The whole town's out to lynch you!
HOLLIDAY: Yeah, I reckon he's right. Erm...we'd better get outta town. You saddle a couple of horses Kate? Er, no... Make it three.
DODO: Three?
HOLLIDAY: You'll have to come with us Missy.
DODO: But what about my friends?
HOLLIDAY: Hah-ha, they're safe with Wyatt. I can't take on the whole town on my own!
DODO: But you promised to take me back to them.
HOLLIDAY: Our only hope is to get outta here alive, now will you get on!

(He pushes her roughly out of the door.)



(Outside is a noise of a large incensed crowd.)

MASTERSON: Better come over here Wyatt.

(He turns to the Doctor.)

MASTERSON: When was you gonna break outta Jail?
DOCTOR: About now, Marshall!

(For the first time we see the lock of the Jailhouse bars, as with a flourish the Doctor reaches through and turns a key that has been left in the lock all the time. He joins Wyatt and Masterson.)

WYATT: Well lookie here, somebody's fixin' up a reception for ya!
DOCTOR: What? Good gracious! And Steven's with them!

(Through the open doorway they can see the rabble in the street led by Ike, and in the centre a dejected looking Steven.)

PHINEAS: String 'im up!

(Ike shouts into the Jailhouse, past Masterson who is keeping a shotgun levelled at the doorway in case anyone tries to rush in.)

IKE: Holliday is still in there!
WYATT: Get out of the Street Clanton, Holliday's my prisoner!
IKE: Well that's too bad, 'cause if he's ain't out of there in two minutes his friend Regret is gonna swing in his place!

(The crowd roars in approval. Masterson and Wyatt look at each other and the Doctor watches in horror.)

BALLAD: You've a good chance of swingin',
It's your last chance to hide;
It's your last chance at singin'
'Til your last long ride...

Next Episode: Johnny Ringo

The Doctor
William Hartnell

Dodo Chaplet
Jackie Lane

Steven Taylor
Peter Purves

Ike Clanton
William Hurndell

Phineas Clanton
Maurice Good

Billy Clanton
David Cole

Seth Harper
Shane Rimmer

David Graham

Wyatt Earp
John Alderson

Doc Holliday
Roy Godfrey

Kate Fisher
Sheena Marshe

Bat Masterson
Richard Beale

Title music by
Ron Grainer and the
BBC Radiophonic

Story Editor
Gerry Davis

Barry Newberry

Innes Lloyd

Rex Tucker

(C) BBCTV 1966

Transcribed by


Back ] Home ] Up ] Next ]