Three plays 9783111370736, 9783111013770

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Three plays
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J.W. (CAPT. JACK) CRAWFORD An Experiment in Myth-Making by

P A U L T. N O L A N University of Southwestern




• THE H A G U E •


© Copyright 1966 Mouton & Co., Publishers, The Hague, The Netherlands. No part of this book may be translated or reproduced in any form, by print, photoprint, microfilm, or any other means, without written permission from the publishers.

Printed in The Netherlands by Mouton & Co., Printers, The Hague.

For Mrs. Buford Richardson


The author wishes to thank the University of Southwestern Louisiana Foundation for financial support in the preparation of this book.





I. The Making of a Hero II. The Raw Materials of Life III. The Form of the Myth

13 28 80


The Young Scout of the Mountains Fonda; or The Trapper's Dream


The Chief of the Black Hills Scouts The Mighty Truth; or In Clouds or Sunshine


The Wise Man from the West Colonel Bob: A Western Pastoral







John Wallace (Capt. Jack) Crawford, 1847-1917 (From picture taken about 1908)



I want a hero: an When every year Till, after cloying The age discovers

uncommon want, and month sends forth a new one, the gazettes with cant, he is not the true o n e . . . . Byron's Don Juan

One of the major obsessions of nineteenth-century America, especially during those years following the Civil War, was the making and destroying of heroes. With an insatiability that has made even such excellent studies as Dixon Wecter's The Hero in America seem slight and incomplete when measured against the subject, American myth-makers scooped up experience by the shovelful and fashioned of it a Great Man, a creature whose maimed corpse sometimes later served as part of the next shovelful. It was, then as now, an age of rankings - an age of only one first place; and if it were sometimes difficult to make absolute judgments, if one hero could not be destroyed to make way for a new one, separate Valhallas were created for each. Washington was the greatest of presidents, Lincoln the greatest of modern presidents, Grant the greatest of living presidents. Each arena of American life was allowed its own champion. In art, there was Whistler; in jesting, there was Twain; in finance, there was Carnegie; in victory, there was Grant; in defeat, there was Lee; in poetry, there was Whitman; in theatre, there was Booth; in science, there was Edison. But, as Dixon Wecter argues, "the cowboy remains to many young Americans the hero par excellence",1 and the ideal cowboy was not the Texas 1

The Hero in America: A Chronicle Charles Scribner's Sons, 1941), p. 347.

of Hero-Worship

(New York,



drover, but the multi-talented great man of the Wild West. Every serious candidate for the hero's role had to be something more than merely a successful practitioner of his craft or profession. He had to be a wise man, but simple; a man of the people with a touch of the aristocrat; a man of great accomplishments, yet with a touch of sadness, a burning memory of some tragic loss - an Ann Rutledge, "Wedded to him . . . through separation"; a "lost cause", but not one "to mourn or keep alive in the thoughts of the children under our training"; a mysterious Creole lady in New Orleans to explain why the "poet of love" never married. And he had to be a poet. It was not necessary that he write poetry, of course, simply that he live it.2 The greatest hero of the West, in the eyes not only of Americans but of the entire world, was Buffalo Bill, William F. Cody. He was, in fact, an exceptional man; but his greatest accomplishment was that - perhaps more than any other American in history - he professionalized the role of the hero and made it his lifetime work. As a public figure he was all things to all men - handsome, daring, a wit, a good fellow, a "possibility for the presidency", a "genuine war hero" with a Congressional Medal of Honor to prove it (some claim to the title of Colonel and a little more to the title of Honorable), an author, an actor, a friend of the common man, a hobnobber with kings, a protector of women, children, and the dog with a can tied to its tail.8 He was the ideal Western Hero, a pattern for all Americans. If, however, he offered a blueprint for the making of a hero, he was also a challenge. There is room only for one "best"; and whenever the word West was involved, he had the title. His success in capturing the title brought him both detractors and imitators, but perhaps no other American of his time - Henry and Dana Lee Thomas in their 50 Great Americans (New York, Doubleday & Company, 1948) give evidence that these standards still prevail. In describing the life of Eugene Victor Debs, for example, they write: "Eugene Debs was a poet. But he didn't write poetry; he lived it" (p. 303). 3 See Henry Blackman Sell and Victor Weybright, Buffalo Bill and the Wild West (New York, Oxford University Press, 1955) for a well-balanced evaluation of Cody's achievement as a public personality.



worked so long and so hard to dislodge Buffalo Bill and take his place as did John Wallace Crawford, "Capt. Jack, The Poet Scout". Crawford, however, except for minor skirmishes now and then, seldom launched his attacks publicly on the man himself, nor even on the ideal directly. Rather he sought with all the talent at his command, and all he could borrow, to create a counter-Western Hero, much like the Buffalo Bill hero in many of its particulars, yet alien to it in its basic assumptions. Buffalo Bill, it seems fair to state, is established firmly in American mythology as the central figure of the Wild West Show, a new kind of drama that anticipated the motion pictures to bring the moving image of the frontier to urban audiences around the world. He and his show were the wild man and his environment "caged" for safe viewing. Crawford, on the other hand, used the conventional forms to bring the viewer to the frontier, stopping the action so that one could see and hear the "heroic" under the rags and noise. Cody is always riding by at breakneck speed; Crawford sits by the campfire. If Cody achieved the greater popular success (and there can be little doubt that he did), Crawford gave the more detailed study, made his hero in a more consistent pattern, left a fuller record of one idea of what the Western Hero was to his age - a man of heroic deeds and modest claims, large talk and petty quibbles, spoken hopes and silent fears, action-filled performances and amazing pretensions. Crawford's hero has little of the heroic splendor of Buffalo Bill's taking "The first scalp for Custer!" He has none of the flamboyant humor of Buffalo Bill's introducing European royalty to the joys of brushing one's teeth with rye whisky. But if the Crawford hero is less attractive, less dashing, even less charitable, he is, at the same time, a more realistic human being, in spite of his pretensions. He is more nearly a reflection of the virtues and vices of mortal men, the raw materials from which heroes are made. Buffalo Bill was born in a dime novel and modified to fit the events in the life of William F. Cody. Captain Jack was an attempt to view the events in the life of John W. Crawford in an heroic manner.



Cody used the "Wild West Show" and the dime novel. Crawford used the lecture platform, didactic poetry and prose, and the nineteenth-century heroic drama to create his image of the Western Hero. It is principally in the three plays that make up this edition that one may see the most complete picture of the Crawford hero, for in his drama Crawford created a hero who was not only an actor, but a poet and lecturer as well. These plays, until recently lost and forgotten in the copyright files of the Library of Congress,4 were never published and achieved but little popularity when they were performed on the stage, and they have, until now, never been examined as a "biography" of the Crawford hero. Even a superficial reading of them, however, reveals that the central figure - Jack Crawford, Jack Wallace, Colonel Bob Danforth - is intended as a most serious attempt to create the Crawford hero, the Poet-Hero of the West. 1

The Crawford hero is introduced in the first play as a young scout and hunter, Jack Crawford. He is, in some superficial aspects, a kind of Manfred - a man of great personal powers and wide learning - but he has not yet "suffered", and he certainly has never committed any sin. In fact, there is something boyish, something simple, even innocent, about the young scout of the hills that suggests that Crawford must have had some difficulty in playing the role in later years. Crawford, the man and the actor, saw himself as appearing younger than his years. He was, however, almost thirty when the play was first produced, and he was still playing the role in his fifties. The Crawford hero of Fonda, however, is more nearly a Jack Harkaway wearing white ducks in the Black Hills or a Frank Merriwell on vacation from Yale than he is a wild, untutored son of nature, already past the first bloom of youth. It is true that Crawford, the character, describes himself as 4

For a discussion of the present state of these manuscripts, see my article, "Research Projects Waiting: The Forgotten Dramas of Provincial America", Western Speech, XXVII (Summer, 1963), 142-50.



a "careless wanderer", calls the wilderness his home, and claims the "lonely mountains" as his "abiding place". It is true, too, that from the scant evidence of the play, we are able to deduce that he has been a hunter of the hills for some time. He has built a close friendship with Bill Williams, who after thirty years in the mountains has become almost a stranger to civilized man; and it is suggested that such a close relationship could be possible only after many shared experiences. He has hunted buffalo; he has cut his way "through a gang of yelping Indians"; he has tackled an "old bar with nothin' " but his hunting knife. He has, moreover, had sufficient exposure to the lonely life of the mountain man to recognize that "home" is a place, as Bill Williams reminds him, "whar the wild flowers grow and whar leetle birds will come and sing for you". He has found in the wilderness a place of contentment, and he can ask rhetorically, " . . . where can it [contentment] be so fully enjoyed as amid the wild grandeur of the great Western Plains?" If, however, Crawford, the Young Scout of the Hills, is a free soul, a careless wanderer in the wilderness, he is also a product of a conventional educational system. In contrast to most of the other characters in the play, Crawford speaks a formal English. His description of "a true Mormon" - "a treacherous, licentious villain . . . [whose] doctrines [may] spread and flourish until they become a power and a might" - puts him at the feet of Dr. Samuel Johnson, not in nature's classroom. He is not only a poet, but he lives by the rules of rhyme and, like a Walt Whitman, seems to promise that one night spent with him will teach the secret of all poetry. He not only leads the pioneers to safety, but he also calls them to order for a "regular old country hoedown". He teaches songs to Baby, "the pet of the train". His influence on John Henry is such that John Henry catches poetry from him as "a boy catches measles"; and although John Henry's poetry, even in the judgment of the other characters in the play, is not the sort that a good teacher should desire, we are made aware that Crawford, the Young Scout of the Hills, does teach those about him to feel poetically. Even in the midst of danger, in his hand-to-hand fight



with the Indian, Piute Sam, the Young Scout, like Cyrano de Bergerac, must overcome his foe to a tune that rhymes: "Before you can crow at my overthrow, / Now at it we go, giving blow for blow." He is, finally, a man ready for civilization. He leaves the mountains happily for "this new land", in which he "will find hearts full of love and human sympathy . . . the new peaceful life". The Young Scout is no Huck Finn in revolt against civilization. Jack Crawford's virtues are assumed in Fonda. It is his "nature to assist anyone who needs a friend". All women are safe with him because of the love that he bears his "mother in Heaven"; and they may be sure of his protection because he swears on his mother's "pure name". He is beloved by children; Baby gathers "a nice little bunch of flowers for Captain Jack" because he is "her sweetheart". He is a friend of animals; his horse, Antelope, is famed for its beauty and is an evidence of his good care. He is courageous and of good cheer, much given to laughter, especially in the face of danger. He is patriotic, having faith in the future of this "great Western nation". He is ready for the age of invention; he can, for example, explain the mysteries of the daguerreotype to old Bill Williams. He is kind. Fonda, in fact, describes him as "most kind and good", a true friend. Even his enemies, the Mormons, recognize him as a man of great courage, "a daredevil". For all of his virtues and talents, however, his wants are fairly simple. He wishes a peaceful home and a girl with simple, wholesome tastes - a child of the Kentucky mountains, a "trapper's daughter". She is, however, like Jack, also capable of speaking in formal English. The Crawford hero in Fonda is totally unaware of either great fortune or fame. He is unknown except to his friends, and even a simple homestead with the pioneers is an improvement in his standard of living. 2 In The Mighty Truth-, or, In Clouds or Sunshine, the Crawford hero, at least mechanically, appears to be more a creation by



the playwright and less "simple autobiography". He is, at least, called Jack Wallace, rather than Jack Crawford. He is, however, in most respects, merely the Young Scout grown a few years older, a few experiences wiser, a bit better known. He is still Captain Jack, and now the title suggests not mere affection but also authority. He is a "government scout" in the Black Hills, the foe of the renegade white and the savage Indian, one of the advance soldiers in the "building of this great Western nation". In other respects, the Crawford hero in The Mighty Truth has become more particularized, and there is more attempt made to create a national hero out of him. Jack Crawford, the hero of Fonda, is, in the main, shown only in broad strokes. He has the conventional virtues - strength, kindliness, courage; and he has the conventional biases - antiMormon and anti-Indian, biases he holds with somewhat less force than do the lesser characters. Jack Wallace is in no way a denial of Jack Crawford, of course; and in some respects, he is merely an expanded version. In this expansion, however, as Crawford becomes Wallace, a change occurs that amounts almost to a different characterization. Wallace's diction, for example, is not so consistently formal as is Crawford's. The hero of The Mighty Truth sprinkles his conversation with ain't's, binder's, reckon's, and durn's. It can, also, be as formal - in its "flights of rhetoric" - as anything in Fonda. Wallace, for example, cautions against a show of force by Bill Wilde and his men in these terms: "An unwise show might cause a bloody war, and war to us on the frontier means death and devastation." On the one hand, the lapses in Wallace's diction seem to be partly explained in terms of his family background. Crawford, everything in Fonda suggests, has had a formal education. The hero of The Mighty Truth, however, knows two childhoods. "Back in the sunrise country", he had a happy childhood. Then his father became "a slave to rum", and he knew "want and poverty". There is here a faint suggestion of the myth of the "fallen aristocrat", a type of nineteenth-century hero best exemplified by Robert E. Lee; 5 but there is a stronger 5

See Wecter's chapter, "Lee: The Aristocrat as Hero", in The Hero




suggestion of the Horatio Alger hero of Making His Way, Shifting for Himself, or Julius, the Street Boy. In Edna's story of being "the sole support of her aged and crippled father", one can see by Wallace's response that she is describing a situation which he knows first hand. Wallace's mixture of diction reflects his "natural nobility", his years of "want and poverty", and the success of his hard struggle in "making his way". In another way, this mixture of diction is less an indication of his past years than of Wallace's broad poetic talents. He speaks the language of all men - both the formally educated and the simple children of nature. He can, when occasion demands, don a disguise and speak the language of a drunken trooper, Corporal Bill of Company D, even though Wallace is a professed and outspoken prohibitionist. The role of the hero as poet is even more pronounced in The Mighty Truth than in Fonda, for now the Crawford hero is not merely a poet by reputation. We see him in action, and it is entirely consistent that the final curtain should fall on Wallace as he recites his original poem, "Chip's God". Wallace's physical powers - in contrast to Crawford's which were used mainly for the sheer joy of conflict, for the killing of a "bar" - now have a social purpose. He is not a free hunter of the hills, but he has governmental obligations to Fort Laramie. He has, we are informed by Bill Wilde, rescued the Wilson family and "on many occasions has taken chances in his noble unselfish efforts to aid those in danger . . .". He is quick to offer not only his gun, but also his heart. He adopts the young boy Ed, and when Ed proves to be the beautiful Edna, he has heart enough to love her, too. The Colonel recognizes that Wallace is a "brave and noble" warrior, but he is also aware that Jack possesses such a "great, big heart" that he stands in danger of being betrayed by it. He is, of course, an excellent gunfighter, fast and accurate; but greater than his skill is his devotion. He has, Bill Wilde proclaims, "genuine Western grit". America, pp. 273-306, for a discussion of this aspect of American hero worship.



Wallace has, on the one hand, those qualities associated with General Custer and Buffalo Bill. He too, for example, is known to the Indians as "Long Hair", and he is feared by them as a "great warrior". This kinship with the "famous Indian fighters" is emphasized by his christening his horse "Custer". He has, on the other hand, qualities unclaimed - and probably undesired - by the other scouts. He is a professed prohibitionist, a man who can by his "pathetic tales" bring even the wildest of Western men to take the "Murphy pledge". He is more conventionally patriotic, a "member of that patriotic order"; and his choices are frequently directed by organizational associations. In Fonda, the Crawford hero is a friend to "those in need". In The Mighty Truth, he is friend to those who have in any way shared in the war: "No dead comrade's child shall know want and suffering as long as I am able to lift a hand to ward it off." He recognizes that his appeal to organizational patriotism has deeper claims than those to humanity itself. When the Colonel cautions him against charity to the young, homeless boy, Jack informs the Colonel that this boy is no mere waif. He is the child of a former comrade in arms, and the Colonel bows before his reasoning. He is, however, not a Confederate-hater. The Civil War is of less concern to him for its purpose - the freeing of the slaves or the saving of the Union - than as an experience. Those who fought in the war, and their families, have a bond of friendship not to be shared with those who were not part of that experience. Wallace is, finally, distinguished from the other Western heroes in his total disregard for wealth. He knows that Bill Wilde and his men are growing rich with their mining, but he gives no indication that he sets any value on this wealth. If the hero of The Mighty Truth suggests that he had less opportunity for formal study than does the hero of Fonda, he is still something of a scholar. In this respect the Crawford hero is closer to the tradition now kept alive by the hero of the television series, Have Gun, Will Travel, than to the tradition of Buffalo Bill, who frequently poked fun at his own "literary labors" and who considered himself less a "poet of the West"



than a "teller of tall tales" in the Davy Crockett tradition. Jack Wallace, for example, knows the ways of civilization and can instruct the young mountain girl, Tat, that the town word for trading post is store, and he knows the mysteries of the bustle. He converses easily with the college-trained Chip and with the Colonel. He is aware, too, of the march of social progress, and he explains the woman suffrage movement to Bill Wilde. He has, however, become a little more conservative. In Fonda, he applauds the women who demand their rights to be heard and defends the right of the former slave, the "Black Republican", to vote. In The Mighty Truth, however, he views the suffrage movement in Wyoming as a threat to the status quo, as an attempt to overthrow established authority: " . . . the women have all the rights of men and want more." Like the hero of Fonda, however, Wallace seems to desire only an opportunity to live simply and to serve. He seemingly will make his residence in Cheyenne, a growing town with a bright future; but there is no suggestion that he has changed his view that "the trail to the wild, free life" is the one that "the true scout loves so well". Edna, however, is a more sophisticated bride than Fonda. She is city-bred and has traveled through such large cities as Chicago and Omaha, apparently with some skill. She is, moreover, a kind of Horatio Alger figure. She knows how to work, and in her work - because of her beauty and natural merit - she attracts the unwanted attentions of the mill owner's son. Wallace does not strive for fame and fortune; but if both should come, he will have a bride prepared to preside at the tea table. 3 The West of Colonel Bob is no longer the new frontier, the land of movement, the land of the future. It has, in fact, become a retreat from the rest of the world. It is more comfortable, and less dangerous, than the new frontier, Alaska; it is less a jungle than the old civilization, the East. The Crawford hero, now promoted from Captain Jack to Colonel Bob, has become a fully



matured man; and this growth has come because of his accomplishments and because of his sorrows, which have made of him a hero, equally fit to lead in the wilderness or in civilization. The description of the Crawford hero is given in the dramatis personae: "a typical Western man who has grown up with the country and been nicknamed Colonel Bob through recognition of his services as a leader of men in the community". He is, however, more than a man of the West; his career embodies the plan of salvation for the East as well. He is the "whole American". Colonel Bob gives the most complete account of the Crawford hero to be found in any of the works. As a boy he lost both his parents, "learned his letters" at the newsboys' home, employed this education to read "cheap stories", was corrupted by his reading and influenced to leave the newsboys' home (and bootblacking as well) and go West to "scalp Injuns an' be a great man". The West remains throughout this play as the "great cure" the means of salvation for body, mind, and soul; however, the "corruption" of this image in the dime novels and the Wild West show is destroying youth. The Eastern boy, yearning for the freedom of the Western desperadoes, finds that they "are not heroes. They are just common thieves and rascals." The West is merely wild nature, a remove from civilization, that has proved the downfall of many a "romantic youth",6 unless that experience is guided. In Fonda, the guide is the old mountain man, Bill Williams; but in Colonel Bob, the only real guide is 6

At the same time Crawford was writing Colonel Bob, he also wrote a romanticized account, "How I Met Billy the Kid", a typed copy of which is owned by Mrs. Buford Richardson, Socorro, N. M. According to this account, Billy the Kid charged Crawford to tell the story of his "downfall": "Captain Jack", said Billy, "I'm awful, awful bad, but if I'd a know'd you five years ago I'd never been an outlaw. You're the only man I've ever know'd as made me feel as if I was talkin' to my girl and made me fed womanish. I want you to do me a favor. When I'm gone tell the boys— tell 'em like you talked to me an' they'll believe you! Tell 'em cigarettes was my starter, then hard cider, then a little wine given to me by a girl and then bad books and then whiskey. Tell the boys and tell 'em I asked you to afore they killed me."



the good woman, the Mother. Even Colonel Bob, himself, cannot redeem his friend, Jim. Colonel Bob, when he ran away from the newsboys' home to seek adventure in the West, found such a guide in a "big-hearted woman [who] took" him in hand "and got all the nonsense out of" him. He was a "young seed" and with the proper gardener, the Mother, and the proper soil, the West, he grew to splendid manhood and achieved the mystic gift of seeing "the hand of God" in all things. In both Fonda and The Mighty Truth, the Crawford hero gives suggestions that he knew the advantages of a "cultured home" before tragedy struck; however, in Colonel Bob, it is quite clear that the hero is a self-made man.7 He is already a full-grown hero in all the conventional terms, and his reputation is not limited merely to this Western community. He has, because the newspapers "got in the habit" of writing about him, become almost a national shrine; and his mere association with a stock company attracts "big money" and "important men". He is, moreover, not merely a man of action; he is, also, the great reformer. He saves Jim's life at the risk of his own life, dragging "him out of brawls"; and he has "spent a small fortune to sober him up and keep him sober". Above all else, however, he is the great philosopher, the natural wise man who reads the will of God in all matters. He understands the relationship of nature to God and art to nature, and in all matters, ". . . where God isn't to be seen Bob doesn't care to go, even in fancy". Although he admits that "deep" poetry is, perhaps, beyond his understanding, in truth he recognizes that such poetry is beneath his concern, for it has substituted artifice for heart. He has had little formal education; but even those who intend to dupe him are aware ". . . he's not unlearned". Colonel Bob's basic understanding of primary experiences 7

John G. Scorer wrote an introduction for Crawford's Lariattes: A Book of Poems and Recitations (Sigourney, Iowa, William A. Bell, 1904), in which he proclaimed: "Captain Crawford is a self-made man, and he has no reason to feel ashamed of the job. In gleaning for the golden grains of knowledge in the great field of education, he never had the assistance of school teacher or a school book" (p. 5).



his poor youth in the city and his growth to manhood in the wilderness - and his "vision of God" make it possible for him to understand the proper relationship between labor and capital. Unlike the Crawford hero of the first two plays, Colonel Bob is concerned with "gold". But "I don't think it's right for a man to take a million out of a hole in the ground because he happens to be the legal owner and have the man who's diggin' it out for him almost starving". When wealth comes to him, he is generous with his friends; but beyond these immediate personal uses, he sees in wealth only the means of "forgetting" his tragic loss. Any sense of "tragic loss" in Jack Crawford or Jack Wallace is little more than an immediate fear that they are to lose a loved one through separation. Crawford fears to lose either Bill Williams or Fonda; Wallace fears to lose either Ed or Edna. They suffer a good deal in contemplation, but since the audience is aware that neither is to experience any of the losses about which he is apprehensive, the "suffering" is really an exercise in humanity, an evidence that the Crawford hero can suffer manfully if he ever needs to do so. Colonel Bob, however, has had losses. His wife deserted him and took his young son, Davy, from him. These losses, he tells all, are profound, making his "heart ache with the old raspin' pain", filling his life with an abiding sense of loneliness. Both alone and in company, he often has "the blues real bad". He has wounds that never heal, "the kind that bleed and bleed in spite of all you kin do". Colonel Bob's "tragic loss" is, however, not merely the loss of his wife and child. He has been in pain for many years because of the loss of his boy, but when they are reunited, he places his son in boarding school and goes to Europe to forget another loss, the loss of Helen. There will be, we are assured, always a "tragic loss". With the conclusion of the play, for example, both his son and the woman he loves are restored to him; but as the curtain falls, the death of his first wife, although she was unfaithful, gives him a new source of "tragic loss", and only his belief in God can ease the pain. He is less a Manfred, for he has never sinned, than he is a Prometheus, suffering for mankind.



As factual biography, the three plays have some differences in the life story of the Crawford hero, differences that would almost make it appear that the hero of Fonda and the hero of Colonel Bob are basically different characters. These differences, however, seem to be less the result of a change in the playwright's attitude about the nature of the Crawford hero than the simple result of two basic necessities. Colonel Bob is still a young man, but he is older than the young hero of Fonda. It must be remembered that Crawford wrote these plays to be performed by himself, and he was almost thirty when he created the character of Jack Crawford for Fonda; he was almost sixty when he created the character of Colonel Bob. The West, moreover, had changed in these years. In Crawford's early years, the frontier was a promise of an opportunity to "grow up with the country"; but by the turn of the century, it had become a chance to "grow rich with the nation". These two basic changes in the man and his environment account for the differences in the details of the background of the Crawford hero, but in all three plays, the basic assumptions made in the creation of the Crawford hero remain the same. The Crawford hero is by nature a regal person, "a prince of men". 8 Everything in him suggests he possesses royal blood, but that he has been, by circumstances, denied the privileges of his birth. He has made his way up in the world by service to others; and, although he is a man among men, a hunter, a scout, a great warrior, his principal service is always a moral one. He gives "sermons" on art, society, child-rearing, education, language, 8

Among the Crawford papers owned by Mrs. Richardson is a typed copy of an introduction given of Crawford by Flavius Brobst, "before an immense audience, at the Citronelle Chautauqua, Alabama, on March 28th, 1905". Brobst spoke of Crawford's claims to be a "prince of men". "I would introduce him as a prince", Brobst said, "But what I have seen and known of princes of the blood in foreign lands compels me to shrink from the thought of introducing this man with such a polluted title. I would introduce him as a royal fellow — a king, but when I recall that, of the many kings I have seen, only one there was that I would touch my hat to, such degraded characters were they, that I cannot find it in my heart to address him by that besmirched title. I will cordially introduce him by a grand title. I introduce this man as one of the manliest of men whom I have met on both sides of the globe."



style. Those who listen to him - all children, brave men, and worthy women - profit from his teaching. He makes of them poets and painters; he saves them from prison and a drunkard's grave. He has, moreover, charity even for those who defy him. He saves the Mormons from a hanging they justly deserve; he saves a dishonest Wall Street promotor from jail. The source of his strength is courage and a pure heart, buttressed by the memory of a "pure woman", his natural mother or a foster mother. He falls in love with a speed that would damn Romeo as a laggard, but his love is largely platonic, a product of his need to protect rather than of any urge to possess. It is of significance that the only woman that the Crawford hero marries, Millie, is unfaithful. The Crawford hero makes it clear that he is no Buffalo Bill. Colonel Bob refuses to "tote around a lot of Indians" and call himself "a wild west show". He wishes the newspapers would stop writing about him. He views the glorification of the "Western hero" in the dime novel as a crime against truth, a betrayal of the innocent. He knows the haunting loneliness of a Manfred, but he never sins. He has the stoic courage of a Robert E. Lee, but he is never on the losing side. He has the mastery of a General Grant, but he is never duped and never drunk. He has the good humor of a Mark Twain, but he is never aware of his own absurdity. He is a man who could be a "social lion" in the East, a conqueror in the West, an educator of the ignorant, a reformer of the unsophisticated. And above all else, he is humble, modest, and unassuming - a man whose accomplishments speak for themselves, a man who neither needs, nor wants, a press agent. He is all of the American heroes of the nineteenth century rolled into one, but without a fault, without even a minor vice. He never does a mean thing, never says a foolish word. It is, perhaps, Crawford's failure to provide his hero with a flaw that accounts for the fact that the Crawford Hero is less a man than a robot and that, especially in The Mighty Truth and Colonel Bob, he is offensive in his virtues. When the Crawford hero is viewed in the context of his author's life, however, the failure is understandable.


In life he finds nothing insignificant; all tells for destiny and character; nothing that God made is contemptible.... Realism is nothing more and nothing less than the truthful treatment of material. William Dean Howells, Criticism and Fiction

Colonel Bob as a critic of art applies the literary principles of Howells to all art. The artist must show life as it appears to be - the New Mexican scene needs the burro; but the artist must also show in everything he creates "the hand of God". The artist could, of course, select the most meaningful details, but the total picture must be recognizable, and it must communicate to its audience a sense of the worth of the subject. John Wallace Crawford as an artist had a single purpose to translate his life into an artwork. In truth, he had rich material for either the realist or the romanticist. His life is the "American experiment" in brief. Born in Ireland, the son of a Scottish political refugee, he came to America as a child, worked in the coal mines, fought in the Civil War, moved West to fight the Indians and build an empire, and returned to the East to "preach" the lessons of life. He was an immigrant from Europe, a volunteer in war, an empire-builder in the West, an adventurer in Alaska, a performer and educator in the Middle West, East, and South.1 He was a "voice of old Scotland" the "poet scout of the West", a "hobnobber" with the "best people", an actor, 1

Both The Dictionary of American Biography and the various volumes of Who's Who in America, from 1899 to 1917, contain short accounts of his life.



a philosopher, lecturer, and prohibitionist, a voice crying in the wilderness against the un-American influences threatening the manliness and security of the nation. In all of his "creative work" - in his poetry, his prose tales, his lectures, his plays - he has but one hero and one experience — that hero's response to his environment. In spite of the fact that he spoke on subjects in terms of his own experiences, he neglected great chunks of his life, left years with only a slight comment. In the main outlines, the Crawford hero in these three plays has a history that closely parallels the private life of the author. In important details, however, the Crawford hero is not merely the autobiographical image of its creator. He hides his creator as often as he reveals him. For better or for worse, the Crawford hero is John Wallace Crawford as he would have been and as he wanted his public to see him.


In the "Preface" to his first book of poems, The Poet Scout: A Book of Song and Story, Crawford told his readers, "I have never figured as a hero of fiction or dime novels, and have refused to allow my name to be used in connection with that kind of literature; hence I come to you with my 'Poet Scout' in a measure unheralded." 2 Following this "Preface", a "Biographical Sketch" of Crawford by Leigh Irvine appears, an account undoubtedly sanctioned by Crawford himself. "Captain Crawford's character is unique, and his life is full of incident",3 Irvine begins his sketch; but in the description of the incidents, much is omitted. Irvine, for example, gives almost a full page to Crawford's "genealogy", but almost nothing of Crawford's experiences as a child in famine-ridden Ireland. 2

The Poet Scout: A Book of Song and Story "by Captain Jack Crawford" was first published in 1879, but the "Preface" does not appear until the 1886 issue (published by Funk & Wagnalls, New York). All citations from The Poet Scout are taken from the 1886 edition, unless otherwise noted (p. i). 3 "Biographical Sketch", p. vii.



Crawford's "genealogy", as narrated by Irvine, reads like an adventure by Robert Louis Stevenson. John Austin Crawford, the poet scout's father, was born near Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1816. At fourteen, he was apprenticed to a tailor in Glasgow and, after seven years there, went to London to "finish his trade". 4 According to family tradition,5 the elder Crawford made Queen Victoria's coronation gown, and years later the Queen herself presented the poet scout a souvenir spoon to honor that association, but Irvine makes no mention of the elder Crawford's service to the young queen. Instead he emphasizes the man's revolutionary activities. After two years in London, Crawford returned to Glasgow, made political speeches, "advocating a free form of government", and "was banished, a price being put on his head". He fled and hid in Rob Roy's cave, where he was fed for six weeks by an old Scotch lady called Granny McGregor, when a fishingsmack picked him up and carried him to the north coast of Ireland. Here he married Susie Wallace, the daughter of another refugee, and a descendant of Sir William, the Scotch chief. The elder Crawford was a fine tailor, a jolly companion, and a good elocutionist and reciter of Scotch selections. 6

John Wallace, the third child in the family, was born March 4, 1847. His sister Rebecca was then a year old, and his brother William was two. In 1848, a fourth child, Elizabeth, was born to the family; and in 1849, the fifth and last child, Austin, was born. 7 The father, according to Irvine, had been "a temperate man 4

"Biographical Sketch", p. x. I am indebted to Mrs. Richardson not only for making a number of Crawford's unpublished manuscripts available to me, but also for information concerning personal details in Crawford's life, which she secured through interviews with various members of the Crawford family. Mrs. Richardson, Crawford's great-granddaughter, had a great many conversations concerning Capt. Jack with her great aunt, Mae Crawford Brechtel, Crawford's youngest daughter, before that lady's death in Moab, Utah, in December, 1962. 6 Leigh Irvine, "Biographical Sketch", p. x. 7 Information supplied by Mrs. Richardson from family records. 5



until he married, when it seems he acquired a taste for strong drink. To escape from dissolute associates, he sailed for America in 1854, leaving his wife and five children . . . in Ireland." It was not until 1858 that the mother was able to join her husband. She left the children with an uncle, James Wallace, and went to Minersville, Pa., where she discovered that her husband had found "dissolute associates" across the sea from Ireland. "He promised to reform and partly did so." 8 Jack was seven when his father left, only eleven when his mother left, and the experiences of those years should have given him material for a dozen Dickens novels. He was proud of his Scottish ancestry and of his immigration to America, later maintaining that earlier Crawfords had come to America before the Revolution and had fought with Washington against British tyranny.9 He was, from time to time, to compose verses in the manner of Robert Burns,10 and his father's "acquired taste for strong drink" and the resultant evils were to provide valuable source material for his prohibition lectures on the platform, stage, and in print. Ireland during his years there was going through a famine that was to leave the nation crippled for almost a century, scarred and bitter, perhaps forever. In dealing with his early life there, Crawford always pictured it as a "time of childhood happiness" before his father's fall. The facts, however, suggest that from birth, Crawford saw life in its grimmest aspects. His father deserted the family before the boy was seven. His sister, Elizabeth, was not even six; and yet, according to family accounts, she could remember having worked in her father's tailor shop. Jack had, as he was often to tell his audience, no opportunity for any formal education. Seemingly his mother could read and write, but so grim was the struggle for mere survival that she had not time to teach her children even the simplest rudiments of 8

"Biographical Sketch", p. x. "Capt. Jack Crawford Dead", New York Times, February 28, 1917, 11. In his Whaf the Hand of God Is Seen and Other Poems, "By Captain Jack Crawford" (New York, Lyceum Publishing Company, 1913), p. 104, appears his tribute to the Scottish poet, "Burns' Anniversary." 9




writing. From this Irish experience, however, Crawford wrote only little lyrics, like his "In Donegal". Oh, would that I again a boy could be, Roaming barefooted by the Irish Sea; My world so small, Watching the flocks that grazed beyond the shore, Wrapped in the cast-off coat my father wore, In Donegal. I see myself, bareheaded in the breeze, Wading the shoals, salt water to my knees. The sea-gulls call In wake of passing ships that greeted me, En route to God's sweet land of liberty, From Donegal.11

2 Crawford's youth in America was a short one. The children arrived in Pennsylvania, "but the father could do little for them, and the boys were obliged to work in the coal mines . . . picking slate . . . at $1.75 per week".12 Jack twice tried to run away from home to enlist with the Union Army during the first years of the Civil War. Of this period in the mines, Crawford made little use in his 11 Whar' the Hand of God Is Seen, p. 92. In this same collection, Crawford has another poem with a slight association with this period in his life, "The Irish Lover", p. 88. These two poems, both highly romantic and pastoral, seemingly are about all the use that Crawford made of his Irish experiences in his writing. 12 Irvine, "Biographical Sketch", p. x. In another unpublished article owned by Mrs. Richardson, "Practical Patriotism and Preparedness", written by Crawford in 1916 or early 1917, Crawford maintained, " . . . I landed on American soil just twenty-one days after my patriotic daddy had gone to the front answering Abraham Lincoln's first call for 75,000 volunteers . . . " If Crawford had his dates straight, he could not have arrived in America before 1860, but other sources suggest that he arrived in 1858. "An Interesting History of Captain Jack Crawford", published in the Pueblo (Colorado) Chieftain, June 26, 1902, even reports that Crawford "was born in eastern Pennsylvania" and "in 1861, volunteered, with his father, as a member of Company F, Forty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry . . . " . It seems safe to trust Crawford's memory.



factual or fictionalized autobiographies. Generally, in the factual accounts, he merely made mention of his right to the title of miner or used the material to establish a "pathetic" background. In a pamphlet announcing his appearance on the lecture platform, for example, this period is thus summarized: "All was not a path of roses. His early years in America are a lullaby in minor chords, the careless laughter of childhood mingling with the sobs of a heart-broken mother, over the waywardness of husband and father and over the wee boy whom poverty compelled to labor in the mines." This period of his life, in fact, is generally used simply to introduce his Civil War years: "The boy marched away from the darkness of the mines into the deeper gloom of battle." 18 Crawford in his plays makes no use of his experiences as a boy miner. In Colonel Bob, for example, the hero's youth was spent as a newsboy and bootblack in New York. It is true that in speaking before Pennsylvania audiences, he made reference to his beginnings as a miner. The Scranton Truth, for example, records his speech before the Young Men's Christian Association: "He [Crawford] said he was always pleased to speak in the coal regions, for it was there he spent his boyhood days, and it was there his sainted mother died." In contrast to the pathetic treatment of the boyhood of Colonel Bob as a newsboy, however, Crawford, as a public speaker, spoke of his youth in the mines in a comic fashion. "He was early introduced into the coal industry. He was the first day introduced into a coal shute and the pocket was withdrawn. The second day he got into communication with the south side of a well-heeled mule, but there was no consequential damage to the mule as a result." 14 Although Crawford often denied that he ever willingly figured "as a hero of fiction or dime novels", he appeared more or less regularly in Col. Prentiss Ingraham's Buffalo Bill novels, and Ned Buntline, one of his personal friends, made him the hero of 13 The four-page program, "Captain Jack, The Poet Scout", is undated and unsigned. The biographical material is in a section titled "A Gist of It All". 14 February 1, 1896.



Captain Jack, or, The Seven Scouts.15 Irvine, in fact, reprints part of a letter that Crawford wrote to "Colonel Judson [Ned Buntline], who had in a story made some erroneous statements about him . . . ".16 Both this letter, dated Feb. 26, 1880, and a poem written for Buntline in the same edition, "Irene Is Dead",17 are evidence not only of Crawford's concern for Judson, but also suggest that Crawford wanted the dime novelists to be accurate in their accounts of him, although he may have preferred that they not write about him in such fiction at all.18 Everything suggests that a dime novel written by Ingraham in 1885, Captain Jack in Rocky Roost, was not only familiar to Crawford, but that he must have supplied some of the details of his life story to Ingraham, which Ingraham then used with free license.19 The first three chapters of the novel 20 deal with Crawford's experiences in the Pennsylvania coal mines, but beyond 15 J. Edward Leithead, "Buckskin Men of Forest and Plain, Part VI — Conclusion", Dime Novel Round-Up, XI (November, 1953), 87. 16 "Biographical Sketch", p. xi. 17 The Poet Scout, pp. 85-86. 18 As late as 1904, Scorer (see note 7 in Chapter I) was still describing Crawford's war with the dime novelists: "While other border characters have been known to pay handsome sums of money to these vultures which hover over the field of literature to make them the heroes of mythical adventures and hold them up to public view as dashing, fearless men who laughed at peril and who on the slightest provocation slaughtered Indians with ruthless hand, Crawford warned these conscienceless warts on the face of journalism or the vipers who scattered their venom to the youth through the pages of the flash novel that should any of them use his name in their unnatural and untruthful stories, he would call them to account in a most vigorous manner" (Lariattes, p. 7). 19 In "A Chapter for Boys", Poet Scout, p. 15, Crawford wrote, "My name has never yet figured in one of those trashy concerns with my consent . . . " His letter to Ned Buntline in the same volume (p. xi), however, simply complains that "In some of your stories you made me say I promised my mother six months ago that I would not drink, etc. ... When she was dying she . . . asked me to p r o m i s e . . . and . . . I have faithfully kept it." (The italics are mine.) There is no complaint in this letter about Buntline's use of his name, merely a request to be accurate. The entire tone of the letter is respectful, and it is clear that Crawford considered Buntline his friend. 20 Captain Jack in Rocky Roost; or The Border Boy was published in 1885 and reprinted in 1891. On February 11, 1900, it was published as Vol. V, No. 58, of Beadle's Boy's Library of Sport, Story and Adventure. All references in this study are to the 1900 edition.



the fact that Crawford did work around the mines and his "education had been through force of circumstances, wholly neglected, for his parents were poor, and Jack having it in his power to add to their income, had no time for school", 21 this novel has little relationship to the facts of Crawford's life. Captain Jack in Rocky Roost does suggest, however, the difficulties inherent in making Crawford a hero out of his early mining experience. According to Ingraham's account, Jack arrived in Pennsylvania in 1856, "A bright-faced little fellow, willing to do a good turn for any one, and . . . his great strength and activity made him the 'King of the Boys', as his little comrades called him". He found employment in the mines, not picking slate, but as "a 'runner', between the several mines and the villages, and his path was a wild, desolate and really dangerous one, especially after nightfall". Even adult men had given up the position "on account of its hardships . . . twice had messengers been murdered in some lonely defile of the mountains, for they often carried money packages with them". Jack distinguished himself by his pluck and because he would not touch liquor, "for liquor has been my father's ruin, and I will never let it pass my lips".22 He rescued two nuns from "Nick Newton, the worst man in the mines!" 23 After wounding Nick in a gunfight, he also saved the "worst man" by rushing him to a doctor "so that he lived to be hanged . . ,".24 He was, also, the hero of the mines following a cave-in. There is glorification enough in Ingraham's account, but the events that are glorified have no relationship to the facts of Crawford's life, and however favorably Crawford may have interpreted his life for his dramatic accounts, he never started with a fiction. Crawford, himself, was willing simply to pass over his early mining experiences with a single sentence; and, in truth, Ingraham uses the material largely as a background to introduce the "Boy Dare Devil" and prepare for his more exciting 21 22 23 24

Captain Ibid., p. Ibid., p. Ibid., p.

Jack in Rocky Roost, p. 2. 2. 3. 4.



adventures in the Civil War and in the West after the war. Crawford's failure to use the materials from his early Pennsylvania days was probably emotional and "artistic". As with the Irish years, the early Pennsylvania years gave him much to wish to forget and but little to remember. The boy miner, moreover, unlike the newsboy, the bootblack, the printer's apprentice, was not then, and has never become, an established figure in the popular literary mythology of America. He may, perhaps, be a pathetic creature, but a heroic one, never. 3 "The Boy Soldier", on the other hand, was a role that the events of Crawford's life and the interest of the times should have made a natural one for Crawford to use in the building of a hero. In the three plays that he wrote, however, only in The Mighty Truth is the military background of the hero given any mention; and even in this play, Wallace's exact role as a Civil War soldier is glossed over. Crawford's poetry, to be sure, deals at great length with Civil War episodes, but such poems as "The Veteran and His Grandson"25 give much more attention to the respect due the veteran than to the war itself. In none of Crawford's works does there appear a single episode in which the Crawford hero appears in a Civil War scene. Crawford's father was "one of the first men to respond to the original call for 75,000 volunteers". Serving under Captain George Lawrence, with the Ringgolds, he was twice badly wounded, once at Antietam and once at Cold Harbor. Young Jack twice tried to enlist and twice was sent home because "he was young and small". On his third attempt, early in 1863, he was accepted for service with Company F of the 48th Pennsylvania Infantry. He was twice wounded, first at Spottsylvania, May 12, 1864, and then at Petersburg, April 2, 1865.28 The first wound was the more severe, and he was taken to 25

Poet Scout, pp. 153-55. The poem is dedicated to Corporal James Tanner, a Civil War veteran and later an official with the veterans' administration. 26 Irvine, "Biographical Sketch", pp. x-xi.



Washington and later transferred to Saterlee Hospital in West Philadelphia. Here he was taught to read and write by a Sister of Charity. His "education" in the hospital was to serve as the basis for a number of his "pathetic stories" in later years when he was on the lecture platform. Always in his accounts, the first letter he wrote was to his mother.27 Crawford was a two-year veteran of the Civil War before he was eighteen years old; and, as he was to remind various readers and editors from time to time, he had paid with his blood to fight "with Abraham Lincoln to save [the nation] from disgrace and shame . . ,".28 He was discharged, according to the epitaph on his gravestone in the Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, as a private. Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage is, probably, the only nineteenth-century novel of the Civil War that has achieved much critical acclaim, but the war created a legion of heroes. What distinguishes the hero of Crane's novel from the general run of Civil War heroes is not merely that Crane dealt realistically with the war and thus made his protagonist a young man of courage not a superman, but that Henry Fleming is practically the only enlisted man in all of the nineteenth-century fiction of that war to be selected for a hero's role. Drummer boys and injured youths were, of course, treated sympathetically, pathetically; but to be a "hero" in the general opinion of the times, and in Crawford's opinion, one had to be a "leader of men". It is no mere coincidence that the nation again and again turned to Civil War generals for its presidents or that all who paraded as heroes helped themselves to military titles - Colonel Cody, Colonel Ingraham, Major Johnny Burke, Captain Jack.29 27 "While lying upon his cot he wrote the first letter of his life", Scorer wrote in the introduction to Lariattes, p. 6, "a printed epistle to his mother, and although he began it 'Der Mother' and closed 'Yure woonded Sun,' it is safe to assume that no mother ever more highly prized a missive from her soldier boy than did Mrs. Crawford that crude, uncouth, misspelled letter which came from the field of war to her cottage amid Pennsylvania's coal-bowelled hills." 28 "Practical Patriotism and Preparedness". 29 Crawford admired all the presidents from Grant to Taft, except Cleveland. His objection to Cleveland was not only that he was a Democrat, but



Ingraham in his Captain Jack in Rocky Roost recognized the problem for Crawford. In his account of Jack's war experiences, he quickly identified the young boy with a man of authority: "In 1863 . . . he enlisted as a Drummer Boy . . . , serving under the command of General Hartranft, who became afterward the Governor of the State." 30 Crawford, himself, in this novel, recognized the need of a military title. "From the day he became a soldier Jack Crawford made up his mind that he would wear an officer's straps upon his shoulders, and to do this he knew that he must do some act of bravery to bring the eye of the general upon him." 31 Jack, in fact, performs many deeds of great valor, and "Greatly to Jack's joy he found a commission awaiting him, and was assigned to duty upon the staff . . .",82 Although Ingraham plays so fast and loose with facts as to make any use of his novel dangerous, the mixture of facts about Crawford's life, which he probably got first-hand, and of Crawford's ambitions suggests Crawford's problem. Unless he were simply to give himself a military history he did not possess, a rather dangerous business for a man who was preaching "truth", Crawford had either to alter his concept of the Crawford hero or simply ignore these war years. It may be reading too much into too few facts to see in Crawford's neglect of so significant an episode in his life a conscious purpose. The Civil War, however, was during all of the years that Crawford was writing for the stage a favorite topic with American playwrights. Such plays as Bronson Howard's Shenandoah (1889) and James A. Heme's The Reverend Griffith Davenport (1899) were receiving too much of the kind of attention that Crawford desired to have been ignored by him. In such plays as William Gillette's Held by the Enemy, David Belasco's also that Cleveland used a substitute during the Civil War. Crawford "recited two new verses", The Scranton (Pa.) Truth reported on February 1, 1896, "touching on the [Cleveland] administration and substitutes". Crawford also considered Wilson a bad president, not only because he defeated Crawford's hero, Theodore Roosevelt, but also because of his stand against America's entering the war. P. 8. 31 Pp. 8-9. 32 P. 12.



Heart of Maryland, and Augustus Thomas' Alabama, moreover, these dramas had claims to performing a "patriotic purpose", contributing to "reconciling the bitter feeling between North and South . . ,". 33 Crawford's attempt to share in this purpose in his Mighty Truth speaks of his approval of such themes, and certainly Civil War plays were the surest way of dealing with the theme. A wounded boy in a hospital, a young under-sized private, however, was not the proper raw material for the Crawford hero. 4 From the end of the Civil War until his appearance on the western frontier in the early 1870's, the events in Crawford's life are somewhat hazy. They seem to have been of little concern to his biographers, and Crawford, himself, deals with the period of five or more years in never more than a general sentence or two. This neglect, however, is more easily understood than that shown to his Civil War experiences. On May 18, 1864, Crawford's father received "a severe wound in the head", from which he died shortly after the war. "Just before the death of his father, he [Jack] was called to bear the stronger bereavement of a mother's death; but before she died she asked him to promise never to drink." 34 The deathbed promise forms a "pathetic scene" in The Mighty Truth, and in one form or another, Crawford was to use the episode in his poetry, fiction, and lectures throughout his career, especially, of course, in his temperance lectures. In fact, according to Irvine, "The Captain has frequently brought such men as Wild Bill to tears by his pathetic recital of this incident in his life. Once Wild Bill said, after hearing Jack recite a poem called 'Mother's Prayer', which is based on that promise, 'God bless you, Jack; you strike a tender spot, old boy, when you talk mother that way' ".36 35

Glenn Hughes, A History of the American Theatre, 1700-1950 (New York, Samuel French, 1951), p. 296. 34 Irvine, "Biographical Sketch", p. xi. 35 Ibid., p. xi.



On September 18, 1869, Crawford was married to Anna Marie Stokes of Numida, Pa. To this union, in time, were born five children: Eva, Harry, May Cody (who died as a child of scarlet fever), May, and Elizabeth Mae.36 Crawford was, from time to time, to write poems to and about his children, especially favoring Eva, the oldest, and May Cody, the child who died. In all of his correspondence and compositions examined for this study, however, there does not appear a single instance of his mentioning his wife by name.37 Nowhere in his plays, of course, is there any suggestion that the Crawford hero has a faithful wife and children in the background. Mrs. Crawford, from the accounts of her neighbors, was truly a remarkable woman. Miss Dorothy Virgin, who as a child knew the Crawfords, remembers that although Captain Jack had the authority for the management of Fort Craig, New Mexico, it was Mrs. Crawford who had the responsibility. Captain Jack spent most of his time, during those years, in prospecting for gold in the hills and for fame in the city; Mrs. Crawford reared the family and took care of her husband's duties. During the late 1860's Crawford courted, won, and wed this remarkable woman, and there is no reason to suppose - at least during the first thirty years of their marriage - that Captain Jack was in any way dissatisfied with his Pennsylvania wife. Such a wife, however - a woman, whom Miss Virgin describes as "a typical pioneer woman, equal to any emergency" - is out of character as the wife of the Crawford hero. "Soul" is the one quality needed in a wife, Colonel Bob argues; and "soul" in a woman was better seen from a distance than across the breakfast table. Generally speaking, none of the "American heroes" of this age had a "wife heroine", a mother, yes, a departed sweetheart, perhaps; but a "wife heroine", no. Crawford, for example, 36

See note 5 above. His poem, "Little Ones Praying at Home", Poet Scout, p. 28, for example, is introduced by a headnote: "While reading a letter from m y wife, the following line appeared: 'Remember, dear boy, you have little ones praying at home'." The poem itself concerns Crawford's children and makes mention of Crawford's "dear mother", but no mention is made of his wife. 37



made the "enshrinement" of Washington's mother one of his "patriotic duties", and other hero-makers during these years discovered, without much real evidence, that Ann Rutledge was Lincoln's "abiding love"; but the "faithful wife" of the hero was, at best, a mild yoke, a well-meaning burden. Not only did Crawford neglect to use his marriage as any part of the legend of his hero; he seldom gave more than a few generalizations to describe this whole post-war period in his life. In a program used to announce his appearance at a Chautauqua meeting in the early 1900's, for example, he suggested that these were years of business success, a success which he sacrificed for his country's needs. "Then", according to the program, "a business life and peace for a time. Suddenly upon his quiet came THE WAR CRY OF THE RED MAN. The spirit of war which had been so recently born in the heart of the boy was not dead in the heart of the man, and with the patriotic fervor of the ScotchIrish blood within him, he responded to the need of men and turned his footsteps westward." 38 Some twenty years before this interpretation, however, Irvine gave different reasons: Soon after his mother's death Jack became anxious to try his fortunes in the West, stories of which had reached his ears. The death of his mother fell upon him as a heavy blow, but despondency was soon drowned in the ocean of hope that opened up to him. The future seemed rich, and its pleasing possibilities encouraged him to work like a hero. He obtained a letter from General Hartranft, which he subsequently got General Sherman to indorse. Armed with this and similar credentials, the young man started West, where he located, and soon gained the reputation of being a bold, honest, and skillful scout.39

Ingraham in Captain Jack in Rocky Roost gives the same basic reasons for Crawford's move to the West: " . . . the death of his mother about this time changed his plans [to engage in some business in Pennsylvania], and leaving the village he followed the advice of Horace Greeley, and turned his steps toward the 38 39

"Captain Jack, The Poet Scout", note 13 above. "Biographical Sketch", pp. xi-xii.



land of the setting sun." According to Ingraham's dime novel, Crawford had not yet reached "his eighteenth birthday", but was "fully capable of taking care of himself with the world before him".40 Crawford, it seems fairly safe to say, did not go West until after his marriage in 1869; and there is no specific information about his activities in the West until his exploits in the Black Hills in 1874. Such accounts as Irvine's "Sketch" and The Dictionary of American Biography merely omit these years. Ingraham's novel puts him in the Rocky Mountain region, south of the setting he used for Fonda-, and it seems likely that Crawford's apprenticeship in the West was done in the general area of Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and Nebraska. It is to be supposed, moreover, that such autobiographical materials as Crawford used for his hero in Fonda probably come from these years. 5 The Sioux War of 1876 was, in terms of the drama of the West, Crawford's greatest adventure. He arrived early on the scene, achieved some prominence in the communities of the Dakotas, Wyoming, and Montana, and gained some national attention. As a scout in the Indian wars in the mid-1870's, he was finally in the right place at the right time and in the right position. Unfortunately, Buffalo Bill was there, too; and Buntline had already started to make him the "great scout hero" of America. In a bitter letter which he wrote to Cody on September 19, 1894, Crawford told Buffalo Bill: "I am not and never have posed as a great Scout and Hero and Indian killer; and you know I have repeatedly refused to allow the men who created you a hero to do the same for me." He argued, however, that in the later Indian wars in Arizona, Texas, New and Old Mexico, "I saw more actual Indian fighting and took more desperate chances, than you ever did, and I am prepared to prove it by affidavits from prominent army officers with whom I served, and reputable citizens". 40

P. 12.



Of his adventures in the Black Hills, he wrote Cody: You know that I was Chief of the Scouts of the Black Hill Rangers, fighting, protecting life and opening up a new country which you had never seen until last year [1893] when you rode up through the Canyons and over the mountains in a palace car, where my brave boys fought Indians in what was then the wildest and most dangerous country in earthly civilization. And yet you pose as one of the Black Hills pioneers, when it is a fact that you were on the stage during the entire time and for five years b e f o r e . . . I only want to say in conclusion that n o w . . . I have gained an honest recognition — not through any association with you, for that association was detrimental and I would gladly wipe it out — but I have gained recognition through my simple songs and stories and those same temperance proclivities that at one time or another kept you straight for five months.41 No reason exists to doubt Crawford's claims of service to the community in the Black Hills, nor to doubt that he was a scout with a creditable combat record against the Indians. "He was one of the earliest explorers in the Black Hills, chief of the pioneer scouts, and one of the founders of Deadwood, Custer City, Crook, Gayville, and Spearfish. In the Indian campaign of 1876 he was second in the command of General Crook's scouts, and he superseded Buffalo Bill as chief on August 24th of the same year, the latter having resigned. As a scout his record has been signalized by singular acts of bravery. He knows almost every foot of the frontier lands, and he is fearless in the presence of danger." 42 Crawford during his years in the Black Hills had his public moments of glory. "In July, 1876, in response to a telegram, he rode from Medicine Bow, on the U.P.R.R., to Rosebud and Little Big Horn, in the Big Horn Mountains, nearly four hundred miles, through a country peopled with savage Indians. He carried 41

This letter is addressed to "W. F. Cody, Esq." and gives Crawford's return address and the date as "Hotel Metropole, London, W. C. Sept. 19th 1894". It is signed "J. W. Crawford, Late Chief of Scouts, U.S.A." Crawford considered the publication of the letter and added this "P. S.": "I hope that if you publish this you will not pick out extracts. Print it all or none." No evidence exists that the letter was ever published, and the only known copy of it is owned by Mrs. Richardson. 42 Irvine, "Biographical Sketch", p. xii.



the New York Herald's account of the battle of Slim Buttes to Fort Laramie - three hundred and fifty miles - in less than four days. For this he received in all $722.75." 48 Crawford was frequently mentioned among the now better known figures in this "frontier drama" - Buffalo Bill, Wild Bill Hickok, California Joe (Custer's old guide), Frank Gruard (General Crook's "favorite"), Colorado Charley Utter, Calamity Jane. And in spite of his denial to Buffalo Bill that such association was of any value to him, Crawford was an habitual name-dropper. In his Poet Scout, for example, he includes a poem written for Grant, and Crawford informs his readers that it "was highly appreciated by the General". 44 He has another, "California Joe and the Girl Trapper", which is intended to be a verse account of Joe's courtship and marriage, 45 an episode that Crawford uses in part in both Fonda and the Tat-Bill Wilde courtship in The Mighty Truth. In another poem, "Wild Bill's Grave", he tells his readers that he and Hickok were such close friends that "He called me his 'kid' - I was only a boy". 48 In addition to his letter to Ned Buntline in Irvine's "Sketch", he has another in the text itself, opening with the salutation "Dear Old Heart". 47 He has a poem to Buffalo Bill, "Farewell to Our Chief", with a headnote informing the reader that the poem was written on the day that Cody resigned and "I was appointed to succeed him as chief of scouts". 48 Another poem to Buffalo Bill, "Death of Little Kit", informs the readers that Crawford was one of the first people informed when Cody's son died. And the most popular poem in the collection, "The Death of Custer", was, the headnote informs, written when "I received a telegram from W. F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) which read: 'Have you heard of the death of our brave Custer?' " 49 Crawford, as a matter of 43 44 45


Irvine, "Biographical Sketch", p. xii. "The Mountain Boy's Letter", pp. 31-32. Pp. 36-44.

Pp. 49-50. P. 85. P. 88. 49 P. 106. This poem was reprinted in Levette J. Davidson's Poems of the Old West (Denver, University of Denver Press, 1951), pp. 124-125. David47




fact, was a man of some importance, and it is somewhat difficult to understand why the history of so many of his relationships is to be found only in his works. Buffalo Bill, for example, did not even mention his name in his Story of the Wild West and Campfire Chats. Crawford collected endorsements that showed his worth as a Black Hills scout. One such endorsement, for example, given to him by Col. Richard D. Williams of Lexington, Ky., was used by Crawford to advertise his appearances on the lecture platform. "Association with Jack Crawford", Williams wrote, "during the Sioux campaign in the early seventies gave me ample opportunities to know him as a genuine true-hearted frontiersman, a manly man, a gentleman in buckskin and broadcloth. He is a genius and one of God's rough riders." 50 Crawford pictured himself during these years as a man of service to humanity, much as he does his hero in The Mighty Truth. In a program used to advertise his appearance as a lecturer, he summarized his career in the Black Hills: Following the red skins ON THE TRAIL the scout learned in quieter moments the heart secrets of the birds and flowers, the call of the wild wolf and the cry of the eagle, AS SHERIFF AND OFFICER OF THE LAW he sought the hearts of runaway boys and learned the true inward secrets of their waywardness, and his heart and hand went out to save them. As CHIEF OF SCOUTS he became the friend and comrade of many an officer of high rank, for the pen may open many a door closed to others, and his rank made no difference, where his genius appealed.51

Perhaps Crawford's desire to picture himself both as a man of action and as a struggling poet defeated him in his search for fame as a hero or a writer. Captain Charles King in his Campaigning with Crook and Stories of Army Life ranked all the son comments that although Crawford "cultivated the appearance and reputation of the 'poet scout'... his poetry is quite tame" (p. 227). 60 The endorsement appeared on a one-page (both sides) poster, "A Bronco Philosopher", and advertised Crawford's availability for the 19091910 season. 51 "Captain Jack, The Poet Scout", note 13 above.



scouts - "Hualpais and Tontos in Arizona, half-breeds of the great plains . . . Custer's old guide, 'California Joe' . . . handsome Bill Hickok (Wild Bill) in the Black Hills . . . Crook's favorite, Frank Gruard . . . Nez Perces and Cosgrove . . . and 'Captain Jack' Crawford. . . . They were all noted men in their way, but Bill Cody was the paragon." 52 In describing the scouts, King used a word or phrase to point out the arresting quality in the man. Two are half-breeds; another is Custer's "old guide"; another is handsome; one was King's "trail" partner; another was a hunting partner. In describing Crawford, however, he noted that they had "listened to 'Captain Jack' Crawford's yarns and rhymes in many a bivouac in the Northwest". Of all the "heroes" of the Black Hills, Crawford alone took himself seriously as a writer; and, seemingly, others took his literary work seriously too. This minor reputation as a writer, however, may have cost him a major reputation as a "hero". Colonel Bob, it should be noted, unlike Jack Crawford and Jack Wallace, may inspire others to art, but he never personally descends into rhyme. King mentions Crawford in only one other episode. During the Battle of Slim Buttes, Merritt's Third Cavalry "under Mills and Crawford" led a charge against an Indian village. They "dashed in at daybreak" while the main force was still twenty miles away and held "the prize" until that force arrived. King's only comment beyond a simple recital of the facts is that the main force "had their hands full" when they arrived and that one of the men with the first charge, Von Luettwitz, paid "for the honor with a leg the surgeons have just lopped off". 53 No mention is made of Crawford, save that he and Mills led the charge. It is almost needless to point out that if the scout had been 52

(New York, Harper & Brothers, 1890), p. 112. Ibid., p. 125. Cyrus Townsend Brady, Indian Fights and Fighters (New York, McClure, Phillips & Co., 1904), p. 307, used King as an authority for his account of this battle; but he assumed that Crawford was an officer, "Lieutenant Crawford". Crawford had justification for complaining about liberties taken not only with his accomplishments and name, but even with his picture. In "A Chapter for Boys", Poet Scout, p. 15, he complained, "But a few weeks since in a New York publication I was pained and mortified to see an old picture of myself, published with others, and labelled, if I remember rightly, 'Bronco Billy'." 53



Buffalo Bill, a fuller, a more dramatic, a more heroic account would have resulted. Some of the writers did attempt to make Crawford a hero. The fullest account of Crawford's exploits in the Black Hills, Captain James E. Smith's A Famous Battery and Its Campaigns, 1861-1864: The Career of Corporal James Tanner in War and Peace, Early Days in the Black Hills with Some Account of Capt. Jack Crawford, suggests some of the difficulties. Smith praised Crawford, without reservation. He was, Smith wrote, "a quiet, unassuming young man, who had seen service in the Civil War, and enjoyed the unique distinction in that part of the country, of never having tasted liquor in his life, nor gambled, nor was given to profane relations of his own wonderful exploits; yet he was pretty well known as a man of iron nerves, sound judgments, and a courage that no danger could appall." 54 In selecting "representative" episodes, however, Smith pictured Crawford as a capable, pleasant fellow, with all the qualities necessary to be a "friend" of the hero, but without the "sense of the heroic" necessary for the principal role. One episode, for example, shows Crawford in the role of the man who is almost shot by mistake. When General Crook and his famished army reached Deadwood on their return, they had been subsisting on horse-flesh for many days prior to their arrival. Captain Jack had promised the correspondent for the New York Herald to deliver his dispatches at the nearest telegraph office in advance of his competitors, and so hurried on ahead of the army at the utmost speed. He came into Deadwood in advance of the column — to arrange for his eighty-mile ride to Custer and thence to Laramie. He was, needless to say, very hungry, and carried with him his share of the last army rations issued — a hind leg of colt! Entering the "I.X.L." hotel he slapped his meat on the counter and requested the man in charge to have a steak cooked from that, quick. Jack had just come off a long and fatiguing campaign, part of the time hunting Indians. He was weary and haggard, his hair unkempt and his face covered with a beard an inch long, and although no man was better known in Deadwood and the mining camps around it, it was not strange that the barkeeper failed to recognize the pleasantM

(Washington, W. H. Lowdermilk & Co., 1892), pp. 218-219.



mannered pioneer scout of the Black Hills in the wild-looking individual who wanted a steak prepared from the leg of a colt. Keeping an eye on his suspicious customer, he backed off towards the kitchen, separated from the bar and dining room by a screen door. Through this he plunged rather precipitately, almost upsetting the proprietor, Jimmy Van Danniker, who was coming in from the kitchen. "What the devil ails you?" he shouted. "There's a wild man at the counter who wants a horse cooked!" gasped the barkeeper. Van Danniker cautiously reconnoitered the situation, and slipping behind the bar, secured his revolver and then sternly demanded of the uncouth object before him an explanation. Jack, who had laid his weary head on his folded arms, was half asleep, but at the summons raised up and looked his old friend full in the face, but could discern no answering glance of recognition in the angry eyes that glared threateningly at him. Van was known to b e . . . "a bad man with a gun," and unpleasantly quick to resent any "fooling" . . . , so Crawford just quietly said, "Jim, don't you know me?" The musical voice was all that was left of Jack, seemingly, but it was enough. Down went the revolver, out the front door the leg of the colt, and Captain Jack sat down to a repast that included the best of everything in the Deadwood market.55 When Colonel Bob returns from Alaska, the stage instructions inform, he is in even more serious condition than Captain Jack was in this episode, but no one can ever fail to recognize the Crawford hero; his nobility, his commanding presence, shines through regardless of his physical appearance. 6 By 1876 Crawford's family had grown, and he needed money. As he was later to tell Buffalo Bill, his monthly wage of $150 as a scout was an impressive salary, but, at the same time, "big money" was being made by many of his associates - like Bill Wilde in the mines, like Buffalo Bill and Texas Jack on the stage. Cody's success on the stage throughout the early 1870's was attracting a good deal of attention among his fellow scouts, and 55

A Famous Battery and Its Campaigns, pp. 226-228.



he had frequently used other frontier characters like Wild Bill Hickok and Texas Jack Omohundro as "box office attractions". During the summer of 1876, Cody planned to tour with two shows - Scouts of the Prairie and Life on the Border. When the defeat of Custer turned the eyes of his audiences to the Black Hills, Cody left the stage to "return to scouting". He stayed in the Black Hills throughout the summer and found dramatic material in his duel with Yellow Hand. He also invited Crawford to join his company, and Crawford accepted the offer to "star" in Life on the Border. The play opened in Rochester, New York, and then went to the Grand Opera House in New York City, then to the Bowery Theater, then to Hooley's Theater in Brooklyn, and finally started a tour of the province theaters from the East to the Pacific Coast.56 In San Francisco, audiences packed the Bush Street Theatre for two weeks,57 and then Cody took the show to Virginia City, Nevada, to end the season. When the next season started - a season in which Cody was to have his "biggest stage success" with May Cody, or Lost and Won, Crawford was no longer with the show.58 Crawford's season with Buffalo Bill was a bitter one as he was to retell it in a letter to Cody, written eighteen years later.59 According to Crawford, Buffalo Bill had lured him away from his career as a scout, cheated him, and then left him wounded in Nevada. In addition to these injustices, moreover, Cody had also refused to help him establish himself as a star in his own right. The letter, until now unpublished, shows so much of Crawford's personality that it is probably worth quoting at length. "Do you remember", Crawford wrote, "when you wired me at Virginia City when you left me on my back and a stranger and penniless, shot through your drunkenness . . .? Billy 'the 56

Sell and Weybright, Buffalo Bill and the Wild West, pp. 127-128. Edmond M. Gagey, The San Francisco Stage: A History (New York, Columbia University Press, 1950), p. 163, says that this appearance was Cody's first in San Francisco. He called the plays in which Buffalo Bill and Crawford appeared "autobiographical thrillers". 58 Sell and Weybright, Buffalo Bill and the Wild West, p. 129. 59 Letter to "W. F. Cody, Esq.", note 41 above. 57



bear' could not wake you out of your drunken stupor and I had to rush on and kill the bear as the curtain went down. When you wired me from the East to correct slander about you in the papers, did I not write over a column article for the 'Virginia City Chronicle,' . . . and told you . . . that if the article did not suit you I would write another. You answered that it was all right and added, 'If you need any money or if I can do anything for you at any time let me know.'" "I can pile up facts since the 24th of August 1876", Crawford wrote, "when you left our command to fill theatrical engagements until you left me to die in Virginia City, and even refused to pay the doctor's bill." Crawford seems to have been especially bitter that his accident was the result of Cody's drunkenness, for as he pointed out earlier in the same letter, "I was the means of your saving the first $22,000 you ever had when I persuaded you to sign the Murphy pledge at Parker's landing, which pledge I still have got with your signature and which through my careful watchfulness, for I watched you as a she bear would watch her first cub, you kept for five months . . . " Crawford's ire, in fact, seems directed less against the man whom he accused of wounding him than against the man who cheated him. Before we went to San Francisco and after you closed your season in Omaha you went to North Platte, telling me to receive and forward mail or telegram. This message [came] from Managers Bush Street Theatre, W. F. Cody — For yourself Captain Jack and Pictorial printing will share after one thousand dollars. I re-transmitted this and added - I leave for Saint Louis to-morrow. You wired back — "Wait for my letter by conductor." In it you begged me to go to Frisco, saying you would make salary all right. When I closed with you at Omaha — because as a frontier's man I did not ask for a contract but trusted to your honor? — when you said if business was good you would pay me a good salary,... I replied — If not good you would not owe me a cent. What did you pay me after clearing over $20,000? The same as you paid your chief property man — $20 per week and expenses — notwithstanding I had given up the position of Chief of Scouts at $150 per month to go with you when, after I had made my great ride for the N.Y. Herald, you knew I was an attraction. I . . .



joined you and yet you only paid a man $20 dollars per week who was equally starred with yourself and of whom the Newark N.J. paper said on the morning after opening there: — "Cody introduced the poet scout to us yesterday, stating that the Captain was about to make his debut as an actor and not to criticize him too severely on his first appearance, but if Mr. Cody... can act his part in five years from now as well and as true to nature as did the poet scout last night, he - Cody — may hope some day to become an actor." Say Bill, do you remember how you kicked the door of my room next morning, compelled me to jump out of bed and swore by all that was good, bad and indifferent, that I was the star. Then you know the Frisco papers said Crawford can act, but Cody is a stick." Crawford saw wealth and fame as two sides of the same coin, and his complaints against Cody vary between wounded pride and lost financial opportunities. "You remember too", he complained, "that I secured tickets for you and I to Ogden, and had five hundred pounds of extra luggage to Frisco saving you about $200. In Frisco I asked you for $100 dollars per week (I get that a night now [1894]). You were making thousands, you allowed me $40. I told you to fill my place, giving you a week, finally compromised on $50." Cody made no mention of Crawford in his account of his years on the road, Story of the Wild West and Camp Fire Chats,60 but the Nevada Territorial Enterprise from June 24, 1877, to July 1, 1877,81 reported on the events leading up to the accident and on the accident itself. On June 24, the Enterprise announced that "Buffalo Bill, Captain Jack and company will appear at National Theatre Monday evening, in the five-act Western drama of 'Life on the Border' ". On June 26, the paper gave that play a favorable review, taking special note of Crawford's performance, and announced that "It will be repeated this evening". On June 27, the paper gave another favorable review and announced "To(Chicago, Thompson & Thomas, 1902). Of the Nevada episode, Cody wrote only that "Upon leaving San Francisco I made a circuit of the interior towns and closed the season at Virginia City, Nevada". The book contains several references to such "supporting characters" as Wild Bill Hickok and Texas Jack Omohundro, but none to Crawford. 61 All of the theatrical notices in the Enterprise appeared on page 3.



night . . . the 'Red Right Hand', which will no doubt crowd the house, as the piece is full of startling situations . . ." The June 28 Enterprise reported that the performance "last evening drew a perfect jam", but Crawford was not even mentioned. As the season drew toward a close, the reporters for the Enterprise grew more enthusiastic, more worshipful of Buffalo Bill. On June 29, it was reported: "This evening and tomorrow's matinee bring the final performances. From here he [Cody] returns to his command, or, possibly, will be assigned to duty under General Howard in the Idaho troubles. Be this as it may, Bill is a brave fellow, and liked by all who know him, and should the telegraph someday tell us that he has fallen, slain by an Indian bullet, many in almost every city of the country will drop a tear at the fate of the handsome scout." The "accident" to Captain Jack occurred on the night of June 29, and the accounts given of it in the Enterprise of June 30 and July 1 express sympathy for Crawford, but they put Buffalo Bill in the best light. The June 30 account is a full one, written in a fine melodramatic style. The play of the 'Right Red Hand' at National theater last evening ended as it was not begun. The last act was in successful progress, and the fight between J. W. Crawford, alias Captain Jack, who impersonated Yellow Hand, and Buffalo Bill was inaugurated according to programme, on horseback. Captain Jack, before mounting his horse, had cocked his pistol and placed it in the holster. In attempting to draw it with his usual dexterity and celerity it caught, and in the endeavor to extricate it [the pistol] was discharged. The accident put another phase on the combat at once. The wounded man dismounted... reeled and fell. Still, but few of the persons in the audience seemed to know that anything was amiss for, notwithstanding the injury which he had evidently sustained, and with the esprit de corps characteristic of all true actors, he continued to play his p a r t . . . . After the curtain fell there was a general rush of Captain Jack's friends for the stage. It was then ascertained that the discharge had made a deep and painful wound a little below the left groin. Drs. Bergstein,62 Grant and Tufts were soon in attendance, and an exami68 Dr. Henry Bergstein, who later wrote 'The Medical History of Nevada", wrote at least one play. In 1878, he copyrighted "a drama in



nation showed that the wad with which the pistol was loaded had entered at the place indicated, ranged down some four inches and there lodged. An incision was made and the troublesome intruder removed. The wound is large, ragged and painful, but not necessarily dangerous. Crawford, in his letter to Cody, maintained that Buffalo Bill had stabbed him "with the point" of his knife. The Enterprise made no acknowledgement of any stabbing, but it was reported that "There were several rumors afloat last evening as to the cause of the accident and the manner in which the wound was inflicted. Some said that Buffalo Bill had shot Crawford in the head; others that the horse had stepped on him. The foregoing, however, are the facts of the case." Although Crawford frequently suggested that if he were to make public the "true facts of the case", scandal would follow that would cost Buffalo Bill his reputation, it is to be doubted that even if Crawford's account had been published at the time, it would have made much difference. Buffalo Bill was the hero, on stage and off. Captain Jack was a supporting character, a victim of an accident. The account in the Enterprise, for example, ends with this assurance to its readers: "This affair, however much it is to be regretted, will not in any way interfere with the matinee at 2 o'clock this afternoon." The July 1 Enterprise gave a review of that performance and concluded, "Buffalo Bill played both his own part and that of Captain Jack." To the end, Buffalo Bill remained the hero, the man who not only carried his own load, but who also burdened himself with those of lesser men. In spite of his letter to Cody and of veiled references to Buffalo Bill's "fake reputation", Crawford himself helped to add to Buffalo Bill's stature as a hero throughout his entire life, and when he was dying, Crawford was reported as anticipating renewing acquaintances with his old friend when "those two great scouts" meet again "up there". five acts", The Philanthropist's Error, but no known copy of the play now exists. Dramatic Compositions Copyrighted in the United States from 1870 to 1916 (Washington, U. S. Printing Office, 1918).



Cody's desertion of Crawford and his later failure to help him establish his own show, however, were taken most seriously by the poet scout. Twenty-seven years later, Crawford gave the details to a friend who was introducing him on the lecture platform; and a copy of that introduction was kept by Crawford among his private papers.03 The account of "the accident" is not only the same that Crawford gives in his letter to Cody, but much of the language is the same; and it is to be suspected that the poet scout had a hand in its composition, but in this account, Crawford was "accidentally shot in the groin, through the carelessness and drunkenness of the man to whom he had been as Damon to Pythias", not stabbed. The author of this introduction, however, gives a great many more details about the aftermath of the accident than Crawford put in his letter to Cody. This "man" (Cody's name is never used directly) "even refused to pay the doctor whom he himself had summoned, before leaving the Poet Scout on his back in an hospital, with just $58.00 all the money he had on earth. Yet Crawford did not complain. When Sam Davis, Editor of the Virginia City Chronicle, learned all these facts while sitting at the bed side of the man who dictated poetry while suffering from the wound in his groin, Sam Davis roasted the fellow to the queen's taste." "When Jack was convalescent", the account continues, "he was over $300.00 in debt. Scotty the property boy had stayed by his side most of the time, while, after the company disbanded, Gertie Granville, the soubrette of the play, who had fainted when she saw blood spurt from the scout's groin as he stood on one foot and finished the fight, making the usual artistic fall, had come up from Frisco to help nurse him, and later appeared in a play gotten up by local talent, for the benefit of the wounded man." 63

This introduction is neither titled nor signed, and Buffalo Bill is never mentioned by name. He is called the "Big Mogul", "the Star", "The Buckskin Indian Killer", a "would-be hero", "this man", and "ingrate". Crawford is quoted, however, as saying of "this man": "Bill busted Murphy all to h—11."



This "benefit" was a performance of The Ticket of Leave Man with Hawkshaw the detective. Capt. Jack played the part of "Downey, the tiger"; a local lawyer, Col. Bob Lindsey, played the role of Hawkshaw, and the Chronicle editor, Davis, "did an old man's part". "The result of this benefit was over $600. James G. Fair, afterwards senator . . . took one hundred tickets at one dollar each . . . , threw them all in the fire, while he and his family purchased tickets at the door on the night of the benefit." Fair later sent Crawford "$250, to help him in a new play on the road which Crawford and Sam Smith, author of Struck Oil, had written in collaboration. . . ." When Crawford later sent the money back to him, Fair returned it, telling him that he intended it "as a slight token of my regards". "I especially admire you", Fair wrote him, "for your splendid temperance proclivities in which you are more heroic than you ever were . . . in Indian warfare." According to this introduction, "Soon after recovering from his wound Crawford opened with his new play [Fonda] in Frisco. . . . The play was a pronounced success. He had no money and no manager, yet with a company of fifteen people, made a ten weeks' tour through California." Alfred Dampier, the manager of the Theatre Royal Melbourne, was, according to this account, "present two evenings in succession and immediately made a contract with the Poet Scout to go to Australia to open the Theater Royal and to share after one hundred and fifty pounds". Crawford was sure that Fonda would be a financial success. Earlier, an acting company, the Williamsons, had taken Struck Oil to Australia and had "cleared over $10,000 on their first engagement". Crawford not only had the author of Struck Oil, Sam Smith, as his collaborator, but he had the assurance that Fonda "was a poem, clean and uplifting, with a pretty love story and excellent comedy". It was, in Dampier's opinion, "the best frontier picture play he had ever seen, not excepting Davy Crockett". Arrangements were made with John McCabe, Dramatic agent at Frisco, passage to be made by the Melbourne theater management.



Jack was to take five American Indians, old John Woodward, the original Bill Williams and a great character actor, his trained horse and dog. No American Indians had ever been to Australia and Dampier declared they would create a sensation. Then it was that Crawford thought of the offer of help from the man who had left him stranded and at death's door, so he wrote and asked him for a loan of five hundred dollars, sufficient to outfit. The response came by wire: "Certainly you can have it. Meet me in Denver in ten days." In ten days Jack was punctual but no man nor money was there. Jack wired and from Manchester, New Hampshire, came the reply: "Impossible to advance money until after the round up." That would be two weeks after the time set for Jack to sail and then Crawford realized this would-be friend was a deceiver, but not for a year or more did he realize his object in making the offer, was to prevent the Australian engagement being filled by the Poet Scout, where he was sure to make a hit and perhaps jump from there to Europe where the "would be" with the dime-novel, blood and thunder show had not yet been. Thus, according to one account, Crawford's career on the stage was blighted; and "Jack Crawford accepted an offer from General Hatch, then fighting the Indians with the 'fighting ninth cavalry' . . . to act as his Chief of Scouts during the Apache campaign, against old Victorio, Loco, Nana, and Geronimo". Crawford was certain his Fonda would have been successful. He told Cody, ". . . you knew that if I went, my Pure, Pathetic, and True pictures of our glorious West, which for twenty-five years you have been libelling with your blood and thunder 'red right hand" dime novel impossibilities, would interfere with your trip to Europe which you were then contemplating. . . ." From Crawford's point of view, a success in Australia was sure to lead to a success in Europe, and he knew that Cody had "played to over $800 the night before" he had written saying he had no money. "I happened to have a good friend with you who wrote me at that time." Crawford's year with Cody in show business was not a happy one, but it must have been of some value in teaching the Poet Scout some of the rudiments of stagecraft and in suggesting to him that the stage might be a good medium in which to work. There are, however, few of his personal experiences from this



period that he ever used as raw materials for his own works. The events of that year have all the elements of comedy or melodrama. They are, it would seem, the stuff of drama, and Crawford did suggest that he had the materials available to write exposés of "fake heroes". Unfortunately, however, Crawford was interested in creating the heroic, not the anti-heroic. He did not see himself as Byron's Don Juan, a rather simple dupe, a Don Quixote, more concerned with profit-sharing than with chivalry; and in truth this was his role in his adventure with Buffalo Bill in show business. Some questions suggest themselves with respect to this adventure. What happened to Crawford's company (and the loyal Gertie) when he failed to raise the money? There is no indication that Crawford felt he had failed anyone. Why did he continue to "trust" Buffalo Bill if he were certain that he had been tricked by him? Why, even ten years after this episode, did he continue to publish poetry addressed to Buffalo Bill? The answers are probably simple enough when viewed in the context of the "Gilded Age", especially in the context of the rough-and-tumble world of the American theater. It was an age of boom-and-bust, of quick disappointments, and even quicker new hopes. It was an age in which old enemies became new friends, both in national life and private enterprises. It was not only politics that made strange bedfellows. The slogan of the times was "If you can't beat them, join them." It was the last age of the unlimited physical frontier open to all classes. When the land gave out, one could always spit on the fire, whistle up the dog, and hit a new trail. A successful management of the Crawford-Cody affair would have taken a Crawford with the courage, luck, and philosophy of a Colonel Bob. His subordinate, Captain Jack, could simply change saddles and hit the trail for New Mexico. 7 By the time Crawford had accepted General Hatch's offer to return to scouting, he had written only a "first version" of one of his three "western dramas", Fonda; but insofar as these plays



are based on incidents from his own life, he already had all the material needed for his second play, The Mighty Truth. He was to work on both of these plays for the next twenty years, sometimes even announcing them as "new" plays; and he was to continue as a poet and teller of pathetic tales, publishing those he had written while a scout in the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills, and writing more about his adventures in New Mexico and Arizona. Once Crawford learned to read and write, it seems clear, he fell in love with the written word, his own most of all. Like his last hero, Colonel Bob, Crawford would admit to vast areas of literature with which he was unfamiliar, and he would parody (intentionally and unintentionally) the likeliest models that he found - Shakespeare, Poe, Bret Harte, Robert Burns, Longfellow; but he never lost his sense of awe for the written word, nor the conviction that he was intended by God and nature to be a poet. From the days when he was entertaining Lt. King in the Black Hills with his poems and tales around the campfire until his death in 1917, Crawford gave serious attention to his writing; but after the episode with Fonda, he also took most seriously his development as a popular man of letters. He had, however, a wife and growing family to support; and the Crawford hero needs an activity more earthy than letters, to show his worth. The Crawford hero needs some physical enterprise of great importance to demonstrate his manliness. The character of Colonel Bob is formed from the raw materials of Crawford's twenty-year career in New Mexico; and however restless he felt there in his personal life, in the role of the narrator, Captain Jack, which he created for his poetry and fiction, and of his hero, Colonel Bob, New Mexico was the "Sunshine State", and he was the poet who came to wisdom under its "Bright Star". James Barton Adams, a Colorado newspaper writer who helped Crawford with The Mighty Truth, characterized Crawford as "the poet of the Sunshine State" in "A Comrade's Foreword" to Crawford's Whar' the Hand of God Is Seen and Other Poems. Adams wrote:



It is as natural for Captain Jack to weave his inspired thoughts into a fabric of song as it is for the birds of the Western wilds to warble their glad greetings to the golden dawn of a summer day. I was his companion — his "pard," as we Westerners describe close friendship — for many years, and it may not be a very great exaggeration to declare that I never knew a day to pass in which he did not with rapidly moving pencil, give overflow to his poetic imaginings in running rhyme. In the rude cabin in the wilds of the San Andreas mountains of New Mexico which sheltered us for many months, in the saddle while on the trail, by the light of the campfire after a hard day's ride, and sometimes when apprehended dangers cautioned against the use of a fire which might attract undesirable attention from native Americans in gaudy headdress and hideous war paint, with saddle for seat and buckskin-covered knee for table, he would sit in the bright light of the Southwestern moon and write, and write, and write until I sometimes thought that versification was in his case an uncontrollable mania. The pad of paper and the pencil were regarded by him as being as necessary in the saddle pocket as the hardtack and jerked meat which usually constituted the scouting menu when on the trail. While in the West, his songs were all of the West. He saw poetry in everything from the awe-inspiring grandeur of the mountains to the sneaking coyotes which sang to us at night from their perch on a distant s a n d h i l l . . . . His first book of verse was printed many years ago [1879] and Such copies as are yet in existence are preserved as valued mementoes by many of his friends and companions who knew him in border life The literary polish which characterizes the work of the great poets will not be found in the productions of this picturesque son of the Borderland, but tender, soulful touches of human nature crop out in every verse. He never sat as a boy beneath the watchful eye of the old-time schoolmaster.... What education he possesses was picked up in the wild school of Nature and through association with army officers and their wives at the several military posts at which he was stationed while in the government scouting s e r v i c e . . . . Considering all of this, the work between the covers of this volume [Whar' the Hand of God Is Seen] must appeal to the educated reader as being truly remarkable. 64 The qualification that Adams felt compelled to make - "Considering all of this" - probably caused Crawford no qualms. The Crawford hero, for all of his independence, is willing to be 64

Pp. 3 - 4 .



patronized and to patronize others. To create a response both pathetic and full of admiration is the intention of the Crawford hero in all of the plays. Freedom he believed in, but like many of the modern nativists, Crawford accepted an implied caste system as supporting his concept of freedom. Undoubtedly, he preferred open admiration to qualified praise, even if he were willing to settle for the latter; but he always seemed to insist that while his audience marvelled at the miracles he wrought, they should, at the same time, understand that he was working with his left hand, his right hand having been injured through no fault of his own. Crawford, for example, insisted on his right to be heard for what he had to say, but frequently he diverted attention from what he was saying to some trick in the way he was saying it. The Grand Army Magazine of March, 1883, carried an account of Crawford's composition habits, written by an anonymous admirer of the Poet Scout. Crawford liked the article well enough to pass it on to Irvine for inclusion in his "Biographical Sketch" for The Poet Scout.™ "I asked Jack to return to town with me and talk over old times", his anonymous admirer wrote. On our arrival at Chloride, and after the usual questions as to old comrades had been answered, I said: "Well, Jack, I understand you have published a book of poetry. I'll tell you what I wish you would do for me as a favor: just prove to these friends of mine around here that you can write. They are not skeptical, yet I would like to show them what you can do, and how quick you can do it." Jack replied: "All right; give me a subject, and I'll write you a verse or two." Some of our friends replied: "Give us a song with a regular miner's chorus." I won't swear to it, but this I will say, as I had no watch, that in fifteen minutes Jack handed me a poem.

Crawford was concerned not only with the speed of composition, but with the amount. During his years in New Mexico, he wrote often, wrote quickly, and wrote on a multitude of subjects. He •5

P. ix.



described the western scene - "As I revel in Nature's seclusion"; he told comic and pathetic tales in verse and prose of miners killed, mountain boys away from home, city boys lost in the mountains, and the gambling man, Rattlin' Joe, who preached a funeral service from a deck of cards: " 'The ace, that reminds us of one God, / The deuce of the Father an' Son'." 66 His most serious literary efforts, however, went into the creation of his principal hero, the Poet Scout. Sometimes he showed him alone in the mountains; sometimes in the company of his friends General Grant, Custer, Wild Bill, or his dog, appropriately named "Hero"; and sometimes defending, and advising, his heroes all the Republican Presidents from Grant to Taft, Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie. Although writing seemed easy for him, however, getting a hearing for what he had written was another matter. His poetry, tales, and "philosophy" appeared in newspapers and small magazines across the country. Occasionally, he figured in a minor literary event. In 1877, for example, when he was in San Francisco to greet General Grant on his return from his round-theworld tour, he was given the leading role (a Tennessee scout) in the Lincoln Post, G.A.R., production of The Color Guard, "supported by T. W. Keene and the California Theatre Company". During the performance Crawford recited his poem, "The Mountain Boy's Letter" - a poem that told the "Gener'l" to remember "our boys in the ranks". This poem was telegraphed across the continent and appeared in Grant's Tour of the World. Crawford was thus able to claim that "with the exception of Bret Harte's 'Heathen Chinee'", his was "the only poem ever wired from ocean to ocean".87 During his New Mexican years Crawford had a number of book-length publications. The Poet Scout, first published in 1879, 66 In a revised edition of The Poet Scout (St. Paul, Minn., Price-McGill Company, 1891), Crawford tells of the criticism that he received for writing this poem from "J. C. Duncan, manager of the Pioneer Bank, San Francisco, who was a pillar of the church and stole $2,000,000 from the depositors". Duncan, Crawford wrote, "denounced the honest prayer of 'Rattlin' Joe' as sacrilegious". 67 Poet Scout (1886 edition), p. 31.



was followed by revised and enlarged editions of the same work in 1886 and 1891. In 1893 he published Camp Fire Sparks. In 1879 he copyrighted California Through Death Valley, a fouract version of the Fonda play that he and Smith had written in 1877. In 1888 he again copyrighted this play, now titling it Fonda; or The Trapper's Dream. In 1889 he copyrighted Tat; or Edna, The Veteran's Daughter, "A Border Drama in 4 Acts", and the first play ever to be copyrighted from a New Mexican address. In 1896 he again copyrighted this play, this time titling it The Mighty Truth; or, In Clouds or Sunshine, "A Drama in 3 Acts". Only the 1888 version of Fonda and the 1896 version of The Mighty Truth are still extant. The 1877 version of Fonda, the 1879 version, under the title, California Through Death Valley, and the 1889 version of The Mighty Truth, under the title, Tat, are neither in the copyright files of the Library of Congress, nor among Crawford's personal papers, and it is presumed that they were either lost or destroyed by Crawford. Judging from Crawford's poetry, however, one would be surprised to find any serious changes in these plays from one version to another; but it seems reasonable, since he was constantly arranging for productions of these plays, that he, at least, did enough work on the scripts to keep them "fresh". 68 Publication and production must have been expensive for Crawford. His plans for the Australian tour of Fonda, for example, failed because of the lack of five hundred dollars. He had to borrow one hundred dollars from Nate Salsbury to put out The Poet Scout, and repaying that loan proved to be such a hardship that Crawford delayed doing it. In his letter to Buffalo Bill, he spoke of the loan, for Salsbury was the manager of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and it was being said that Crawford got the money from the show itself. Crawford argued, "Salsbury is worth a million and could well afford to pay me a hundred or two and charge it to you on account of what you morally if not legally owe me." 69 68

Dramatic Compositions Copyrighted in the United States from 1870 to 1916, and see note 4 in Chapter I. 69 Letter to "W. F. Cody, Esq.", note 41 above.



With each edition of his poetry, he gave detailed instructions for ordering copies. In his introduction, "A Starter", to Lariattes, for example, he offered to autograph all copies: "The price will be $1.25 or $1.50." Even in the last year of his life, he was still struggling for "editorial appreciation". Among his old typed manuscripts is a biographical sketch, "Practical Patriotism and Preparedness", on which he had written in the top corner of the first page, "Use in any way you see fit. Jack." In another of his unpublished manuscripts, untitled and undated, he lashes out against those who, he believes, have successfully made use of "faker reputations". "And when I realize", he wrote, "that it is because I refused to allow my name to be associated with such fakery and dishonesty and unmanhood - which would have made me a rich man in a few years - then I am especially obstructious [sic] to that class of men." He complained that his "truths" were being ignored while the public accepted lies: "I could furnish food for several great plays in which the villain in each case would be a worshipped Idle [sic] of the most disreputable kind. . . . Let some great publishing house who has a record for cleanliness and decency and who has not participated in creating fakes send honest men and women to the western frontier. . . ." But no such publishing house accepted his offer, and Crawford had to make his way with the means available. During these years, The Dictionary of American Biography 70 records, Crawford did establish a reputation as a platform speaker. Dressed in the costume of the scout, he travelled across the country, seemingly accepting every invitation. He was a member of the G.A.R. and some half dozen other "patriotic and fraternal" organizations, and he appeared before any group, large or small, to read his poetry, proclaim against the demon rum, save small boys from the perils of reading dime novels or smoking cigarettes, dance an Indian war dance, or present (as a reading or stage production) one of his plays.71 After his Alaskan adven70

IV (1930), pp. 522-523. Crawford often happened, "or managed", to be "good copy" for the newspapers. Once he was saved from drowning by his faithful dog, Hero; on another occasion he and his "band of Apaches" saved an exhibit at a 71



ture and when he was enjoying a little more success as a public speaker, a Pueblo, Colorado, newspaper reporter covered one of Crawford's public appearances and contrasted it with an earlier visit that Crawford had made during his New Mexican years. "There is some reason to hope", he wrote, "that Captain Jack Crawford, after his flattering reception of the last two days, has a more pleasant opinion of Pueblo than he had one night about twenty years ago [sometime in the 1880's] when he appeared at the old Montgomery Opera House on Seventh Street. People of Pueblo refused to turn out to see his show, which was a western drama on the order of Buffalo Bill's, and he and his company played to a deplorable array of empty benches." 72 The Daily New Mexican and the Santa Fe New Mexican Review for the 1880's are dotted with items that suggest his struggles. On March 3, 1881, the New Mexican reported that Crawford was "having two border dramas" written for him 73 in which he would appear as the leading character of the mountain scout. "They will most likely be produced in Santa Fe during the celebration." On May 5, 1883, the New Mexican announced that Crawford would have a "character frontier drama ready for the tertio". On May 31, 1884, the Review reported, "Captain Jack has entered into a contract with the G.A.R. of Pennsylvania to lecture throughout the state for 100 nights beginning in September." On June 14, 1884, the Review reported that he was being advertised in St. Louis as an attraction of Dr. Carver's fair. The Scranton (Pa.) Truth, for example, in a long article titled, "He Thrashed the Fellow", gave an account of an "assault and battery charge" made against Crawford. The judge, jury, and general public all agreed that "the fellow" deserved it. Crawford explained that he did not mind personal insults hurled at him, but " . . . when he insulted that badge [his G. A. R. badge] I determined to thrash him". 72 Pueblo (Colorado) Chieftain newspaper item, unsigned and undated, found in Crawford's papers owned by Mrs. Richardson. 73 On March 16, 1880, Texas Jack Omohundro starred in a play called The Trapper's Daughter in a performance at the Adelphia Theatre in Denver. This play was Crawford's Fonda, but so little attention was paid to his authorship that Herschel C. Logan in his Buckskin and Satin: The Life of Texas Jack (Harrisburg, Penn., Stackpole Company, 1954), p. 180, after an examination of the newspaper reviews, assumed that Omohundro was the author.



"Wild West" combination. On June 8, 1885, the Review reported that he was performing in New York state. On Sept. 29, 1885, the "Round the Town" reporter for the New Mexican commented that Crawford had written him from San Marciai "that he will be in Santa Fe on October 5 to 8, to solicit subscriptions for his book of wild sketches and poems, now in print. . . ." On June 12, 1886, the same reporter announced that Crawford was scheduled "to lecture" at Raton on June 18. Crawford's official occupation from 1877 to 1886 was scouting for the army, but the work was, apparently, fairly seasonal. He was General Mills' chief of scouts during most of his campaigns in New Mexico and Arizona, and he was cited especially for Victorio's defeat. Miss Dorothy Virgin, who was a childhood neighbor of the Crawfords, remembers that Captain Jack had his detractors who maintained that he always found a safe spot in any dangerous action, but there can be little doubt - as Miss Virgin comments - that he was a superior scout and Indian fighter. Fifteen years of combat in the field against the Sioux and the Apache stand as a service record of distinction. The wars against the Indians were, unfortunately for Crawford, at best only popular at the moment. Americans had no real doubt as to the outcome of the wars, and there were serious doubts as to the justice of the military treatment of the Indians. The primitive life, it was assumed, had to make way for civilization; but as Marlow, the narrator of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, was informing English readers in 1899: "The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look at it too much." When Crawford was in the Black Hills, he wrote of the Indians as "demons" and threatened to invoke the law of "the great Judge of us all" on "these Quakers" who wanted to "talk about peace with these demons / By feeding and clothing them well " 7 4 In his New Mexican days, he spoke of them with more sympathy, as "original Americans", more sinned against than sinning, a problem for the law enforcer indeed, but not for the 74

Poet Scout, p. 107.



exterminator. In Colonel Bob, for example, Bob, the Crawford hero, is cured of his desire to kill Indians because every Indian he meets is kind and generous. Crawford seemingly performed his official duties well, both when he was a scout and later, after 1886, when he was named custodian of Fort Craig after the army was withdrawn. His officers spoke well of him; and, except for vague rumors and the personal complaint that he saddled his wife with most of the custodian duties, no evidence exists to suggest that he was not a competent military man. His appointment as custodian and another appointment as a military agent for the Indian Bureau were, in fact, rewards for his service. Government service in the West was a poor way to make a living, even for a single man; and Crawford had a wife and children. Until 1881, Mrs. Crawford and the children had lived in Pennsylvania, but during that year Crawford brought them west to live with him at Fort Craig. Crawford, undoubtedly, was not, at least in modern terms, an ideal family man. For years after his marriage, he roamed the West, visiting his family in the East from time to time. He was by necessity a man in the saddle, and he was also a man with ambitions for literary and theatrical fame. Mrs. Buford Richardson, Crawford's great-granddaughter, says that the family has always been divided about Captain Jack. Some believed him to be an interesting character, a worthy ancestor who helped to make some American history, a successful, if minor, literary figure. Others saw him as an irresponsible glory-seeker who neglected his responsibilities and disgraced the family name with his literary and theatrical pretensions. The Crawford hero never has a family that needs his constant attention, and it is difficult to judge Crawford's performance as a husband and father by conjecturing as to how his Crawford hero would have performed in such a role. Certainly the current role of the American husband-father of Blondie and Dagwood and Father Knows Best has no meaning in the age of the "rugged individualist, going west". Mrs. Crawford, moreover, did not need the "protective" husband. She was, by all accounts, an



exceptional woman - hardworking, courageous, self-sacrificing, sensible. Harry L. Marsh, who knew her when they were neighbors in Clovis. N.M., says she ". . . was one of the finest gentle-women I have ever known. . . . I can still remember her reading 'Wind of the Western Seas' to us kids at dusk." Although she was born and reared in Pennsylvania, Mrs. Crawford made the West her home after 1881, even when Captain Jack took up residence in the East. She died on March 11, 1925, and is buried in El Paso, Texas, and there is something ironic in the fact that her grave is thousands of miles west of Capt. Jack's grave in New York. The Crawford hero always takes his woman to safety while his heart yearns for the free, manly life of the western wilds. Millie, Col. Bob's unfaithful wife, is returned to her native West to die, to be sure; but Bob is there to give the requiem. Although little has been recorded about Mrs. Crawford, the main events of her life and the high regard with which she was held by all her associates give a clear picture of her. Born in Roaring Creek, Pa., November 29, 1849, Anna Marie Stokes, she was not yet twenty when she married Crawford on September 18, 1869. Within two years after their first child was born, and about the same time Buffalo Bill was moving East in show business, her husband moved to the West and she had sole responsibility for rearing the family. For a dozen years she saw Capt. Jack only when he was on leave from his scouting duties or, as with his 1877 tour with Buffalo Bill, on business in the East. When, in 1881, Crawford brought his wife and children to New Mexico, it was the first trip to the West for any of them. In 1947, Theron Marcos Thrumbo 75 interviewed Eva Crawford Rickert, Crawford's eldest child; and she recalled that family reunion of 1881. Eva remembered the meeting with great fondness, and it is apparent that Captain Jack had all the affection from his children, at least during his New Mexican years, that his hero, Colonel Bob, inspired in all children. "Any of the soldiers could have told you", Thrumbo wrote, 75

"Bronco Girl of Old Fort Craig", New Mexico Magazine, XXV (January, 1947), 17, 49-52.



setting the stage for the meeting, " . . . that the handsome, smiling man was Capt. Jack Crawford, famous Indian scout of the last frontier, now occupied chiefly with operating the posttrader's store at nearby Fort Craig. He could have told you, too, that Capt. Jack was one of the best shots in the West, rivaling even Buffalo Bill, and that there was no bronco under the sun that he couldn't ride. . . . A wide-eyed girl of ten" dashed down the steps from the train "and flung herself into the arms of Capt. Jack." Some sixty years later, Crawford's daughter, Eva, remembered the conversation word for word. "Eva!" he cried, his blue eyes dancing, "It's my little Eva. How is my little bronco girl, anyway?" "Oh, Papa, now I'm with you again, I'm fine. .. simply fine!" Crawford, Eva remembered, taught his children to ride and shoot; but he evidently also expected them to shoulder their part of the family responsibilities. Although Eva was only ten at the time of her arrival in New Mexico, she later remembered that "Life wasn't always easy for a growing young lady in a frontier post such as Fort Craig". In addition to rearing the family and keeping a pioneer home, Mrs. Crawford, also, operated "the Officer's Mess", and "Eva was often required to stay out of school to wait table, because of the scarcity of help". Eva remembered one episode in which all the officers left "a $10 gold piece" in each bowl of oatmeal as "a sort of bonus for what you've had to endure from the officers". These same officers had made Eva angry during this meal because they had looked disdainfully at the bowls of oatmeal she had served them and had refused to eat. Seemingly, she had to dig the gold pieces out of the cold oatmeal, but she remembered the episode as an act of kindness. When Crawford was in his seventieth year, he looked back on the training he had given his children and was satisfied. He wrote: I never could understand, why everyone should not have taught their children the manly and womanly art of self-defense with gun as well



as with fists. When in 1880 I was Chief of Scouts and in old Mexico on the trail of Victorio, whom I followed to his death, I knew that my wife and boy and girl age twelve and fourteen could easily stand off a hundred hostile Apaches from behind the adobe walls and portholes of the home ranch because I taught them how to do it, and they have not forgotten and I have no patience with that class of undesirables, un-Americans, incontrollable, unrighteous, unclean, unjust, and ungodly outlaws who are today opposing Preparedness . . .76 Some ten years earlier, when he was about sixty, Crawford described his theory of education: I have talked with the stones and have sung with the brook and consider myself better fitted to battle against adversity and injustice than are nine tenths of the college breads [sic], many of whom have been spoiled by over-study and overtime wasted in Languages and higher Studys which too often unfits them for the life which they are intended to pursue. The boy who is compelled to leave school in order to support a widowed mother or helpless brothers and sisters usually makes a better man than the boys whose parents starve themselves to give their boys and girls a college education just because they were deprived of it themselves. Then unless the boy or girl has got it within them to be somebody, you cannot do a thing for them. They just go along. I don't care for that sort of way of forgetting at times that other people are feeding themselves. I knew a family where the mother refused to allow her daughter to wait on the table while she herself was serving in the Kitchen and keeping boarders and while the husband was working night and day to make ends meet and even insisted on sending the daughter to school when Tuition could not be paid for — while the husband was ignored and refused assistance or co-operation, and the family finally scattered to the four winds, and for lack of sympathy and co-operation the Husband failed where he would have succeeded with the proper support and sympathy from those that were dating and dressing on his hard Earned Money.77 In some respects, this "family" Crawford describes has a history strangely like his own, especially when it is viewed from his position in the East after he has left his family to fend for them70 "Practical Patriotism and Preparedness", note 12 above. Although Crawford campaigned for military preparedness in 1916 and 1917, he saw Mexico, not Germany, as the main threat to national security. 77 Untitled, undated manuscript in Crawford's papers.



selves in the West. Whether this is autobiographical or not, however, one thing is clear; Crawford had no intention of tailoring his life to suit his family's wishes or needs. He brought them to the West, taught them to defend themselves, found them employment, and from all accounts was an entertaining fellow during the times in which he was at home. Miss Virgin describes his family life in New Mexico as it was seen by the community. The Crawfords moved back to the stage station [after the Army made Captain Jack custodian in 1886] and stayed a few years. This was not on the reservation. Captain Jack was the custodian of the fort, but Mrs. Crawford had all the responsibility. He was away on lecture tours, mining trips, stage engagements, etc. (He was criticized for this by many people. My parents were tolerant, because they understood one of his nature couldn't possibly settle down to a humdrum existence.) At night we often heard Mrs. Crawford shooting off her gun, when she thought the buidings were being vandalized. One night she called my father. She had to cross the parade ground, and she saw a fire in the south-east. The two of them found there a demented Mexican woman from a nearby village who had built a fire on the wooden floor because she was cold. The fire didn't spread much as the building was of adobe. Miss Virgin remembers Capt. Jack with a great deal of affection, but she also recalls that he and his wife were unalike. Mrs. Crawford was Pennsylvania Dutch — a typical pioneer woman, equal to any emergency, very thrifty, fine housekeeper, systematic — exactly the opposite from Capt. Jack. He was an exhibitionist, an excellent companion, venturesome (but those who didn't like him said he always found a safe place when danger appeared). He must have had some courage to be a Scout. Crawford wanted to be a writer, a public figure, a folk philosopher; but, except for those who had formal academic qualifications, there were only a few ways in which one could follow such a career and yet earn a living. Buffalo Bill showed him one way; he could try for a career as a public "hero". With poetry, playwriting, acting, and lecturing, Crawford tried to follow this method. There was, also, a slim chance that one might inherit money from a relative. Crawford traced his an-



cestry back to the fourteenth-century Scottish hero, Sir William Wallace; and, at least once, he had hopes that his family associations would be of service to him. On July 31, 1894, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported that Crawford had "sailed for Europe on the steamer Teutonic" to claim an inheritance, "to which it is believed that he is the principal heir". This estate, according to the report, belonged to William Wallace. Nothing came of this venture, seemingly. While in Europe investigating this claim, Crawford wrote the letter to Cody complaining about past treatment and explaining that he had not paid Salsbury the hundred dollars he owed him before sailing because the trip was made "for family business", and he knew that he would need all the money he had. Finally, for those in the West, there was always a chance of finding a rich claim. For thirty years, Crawford wandered about the West, surrounded by men who had "hit it rich" in the mines. He would have been more than human if he, like his Jack Wallace in The Mighty Truth, had not hoped that he, too, would one day find his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The regional papers of these years record some of his "near misses". On May 18, 1883, for example, the Daily New Mexican reported that "Near the Dripping Springs, this reporter found the Geo. Marquis, Apache Queen, Pocahontas, Victoria, and Indian Girl locations all owned by Capt. Crawford. The last two named localities show a promising outcrop, but lack development work necessary to form any definite idea of their possibilities." On February 2, 1881, Crawford reported to the Daily New Mexican "that the operations of his band of prospectors of the Lode and Placer Company, interrupted for a short while by Indian raids, are going on as usual and that they are now discovering, locating, and working valuable claims right along now". On March 3, 1883, the Daily New Mexican reported that he "has left with Hickox & Nuanez specimens of his recently discovered seven foot vein of copper ore. This scribe, by the way, is under obligation to these gentlemen for a beautiful specimen of turquoise recently taken from the old Castilian mine, Cerrilos district."



Throughout this period, Crawford always thought in terms of great wealth. The November 27, 1889, Daily New Mexican, for example, reported, seemingly on Crawford's authority, that he had just returned to Santa Fe from Denver, "having organized a company with a capital of ten million dollars, the object of which is to thoroughly prospect and develop southern New Mexico". In Colonel Bob, the Crawford hero finally comes to great wealth through his New Mexican mines; but in life Crawford found that the New Mexican hills were no more generous with their riches than wealthy patrons, grateful audiences, or Scottish ancestors.

8 In 1898, or thereabouts, Crawford went to Alaska for his last great frontier search for fame and fortune. His family remained at the fort until it closed in 1899, and then Mrs. Crawford and the children moved to San Marcial. They were, according to Miss Virgin, given some lots in town in exchange for some land near the Fort Craig reservation. Sometime later the family moved to Clovis, New Mexico. Crawford's three years in Alaska added to his store of friends, acquaintances, and memories; but he had little profit to show for the adventure. When he left there in June, 1900, he announced that he was going back to the States to join the Keith circuit to tour the "Big Cities of the Atlantic Coast" and that he would return "next spring with mining machinery". The Dawson Daily News for June 15, 1900, reviewed his career there: Captain Jack Crawford is going out and Dawson will lose for a time one of its most interesting characters and warmest friends. Probably nobody in the Klondike region has a wider personal acquaintance and fewer enemies than Captain Jack. He has traveled the country over, riding fast and riding slow, and whatever the weather or other conditions nobody ever met him without receiving a hearty greeting. The Captain hasn't got rich in keeping with his deserts in this country, but nobody may say he has not a rich heart and infinite good temper . . . . The Captain has been as busy as anybody, built his well known



Wigwam and has operated a number of schemes, but among it all has found time to write a play, and a good one . . . . Colonel Bob in Crawford's last play found that the company which had sponsored his search for gold in Alaska was headed by dishonest men. As Crawford recounted his own Alaskan history to the Dawson Daily News reporter, he, too, had his difficulties with his backers. "It may not be remembered by everybody", the Dawson Daily News reporter wrote, "that Captain Jack came into the country originally at the head, or as the active agent, of a big syndicate formed in Chicago, which got into all sorts of trouble on the Chicago end and Crawford quit it." Crawford found fewer dangers in the wilderness than does his hero Colonel Bob, but he was more active in civic affairs. "Captain Jack has appeared in nearly every entertainment for charity since he arrived here. The many friends he has made regret his going, and since, it has come to be known there is talk among them of giving him a rousing benefit by way of a send-off." Exactly what play Crawford is reported to have written while in Alaska is now not known. It may have been a first draft of Colonel Bob. In 1900, however, he opened with a production of The Mighty Truth, again titled Tat, in San Francisco. The play proved less successful than Crawford had hoped, and he returned to the Rocky Mountain region, making his headquarters in New Mexico, but traveling about the entire region, adding to his usual performances an account of his adventures in Alaska. A Butte, Montana, newspaper clipping, untitled and unsigned, suggests his disappointment with Alaska and reports his renewed intention of finding his fortune in New Mexico. "I have had all I want of the Klondike", he is reported to have told his audience. "I played freezeout there for three years and quit loser. It was the first time I ever played the game and I shiver with cold yet when I think of it." "He was", according to this report, "engaged in business at Dawson for three years and sold hay and ice cream over the same counter. 'At one time I got 35 cents a pound for hay and took



pay for it in gold dust. They used to tell me it was the first time in all their experience that they saw hay and gold dust weighed in the same scales'." Colonel Bob recovers from his lost Alaskan years with a successful strike in New Mexico; Crawford, himself, hoped he would. The report continued: Captain Jack Crawford is now located at San Marcial, N.M., and is working some copper properties in the San Andreas mountains, which he located some years ago. "New Mexico will be the great copper mining country of the future," he said yesterday. "If I had one of my claims here in Butte I would not take a million dollars for it, but at present we are handicapped there on account of the great distance from the railroads and the lack of capital. I discovered the copper deposits in 1880, when I was trailing old Victorio, and I then made up my mind to go back some day and locate the ground." He informed the Butte reporter, too, that he planned to go to Chicago to arrange for a production of a "new" play. Although he refers to the drama as "a new play . . . entitled 'The Veteran's Daughter' ", apparently he was merely planning a new production of The Mighty Truth, which was now over a dozen years old. In spite of his expressions of hope for his New Mexican mines and his play, however, it was largely as a public personality as a "famed scout" turned reformer - that Crawford spent the last seventeen years of his life and achieved what fame he knew. During these years he continued with publications of his books of poetry. Lariattes appeared in 1904; The Bronco Book in 1908; Whar' the Hand of God Is Seen in two editions, one in 1911 and the other in 1913. He continued, too, as an occasional contributor to the newspapers and the small magazines, notably the church publications. The Dictionary of American Biography credits him with the authorship of "more than 100 short stories",78 and he wrote several times that many poems. He seems, also, to have continued with productions of his two early plays Fonda and The Mighty Truth - and in 1908, he and Marie Madison copyrighted Colonel Bob, in which he also acted the 78

IV, p. 523.



title role. Such records as the Best Plays series contain no evidence of any of these productions, but Crawford gave his dramas before provincial groups, church congregations, youth clubs sometimes giving "readings" rather than productions. In 1907, he copyrighted a one-act, one-man prohibition monologue, The Dregs, which he seems to have used as an illustrated lecture on the evils of "strong drink".79 Most of all, however, he seems to have sought the approval of the "best people".80 During these years he moved about the United States at a rate that makes even his roamings days in the early West seem relatively sedentary by comparison. He performed and spoke in churches, in schools, in such institutions as the Elmira Boys' Reformatory in New York, to prohibition revival meetings in Georgia and Florida, to miners' conventions in Montana and Pennsylvania, at state fairs in Illinois and Iowa, to fraternal groups in Oregon and Ohio. In an introduction to his Lariattes (1904), Crawford confessed part of his program. "For several years, often without the least provocation, I have been in the habit of reciting my poems and singing my songs whenever I could corral a squad of friends and my old comrades yet possessing vitality enough to survive the affliction." 81 John G. Scorer, in a biographical sketch of Crawford in this same volume, credited him with great "corralling" success, both with audiences and with newspaper reporters: T h e story of his great work as a scout and chief of scouts . . . has been rehearsed in the public again and again . . . . W h i l e a f e w other scouts and a large number of "fakirs" w h o never saw a day's Indian service courted the novelist and the untruthful sensational correspondent, Crawford combatted t h e m and bitterly d e n o u n c e d their gross 79 "J. W. Crawford's 'The Dregs': A New Mexico Pioneer in the Short Drama", New Mexico Quarterly, XXXIII (Winter 1963-64), 388-402. It is the only dramatic work by Crawford in which the Crawford hero does not appear. 80 The "best" of all people for Crawford, during these years, was Theodore Roosevelt. A poster, "A Bronco Philosopher", used to advertise Crawford's 1909-1910 lecture series, carries Roosevelt's endorsement of Crawford's Bronco Book (East Aurora, N. Y., Roycroft, 1909), "I value it for its own sake and for the sake of its author." s > P. 3.



exaggerations and untruthful pictures of frontier life and character . . . . And note the result. The better class of people have become sickened of the men who call attention to their prowess by the wild whoop of defiance and the crack of blank cartridge charged sixshooter. . . . On the other hand, Jack Crawford is but entering the precincts of public admiration. . . . Captain Crawford is held in esteem by the brightest minds of the age; his friendship is prized by artists, authors and refined people generally, and he has entree into social circles which must remain forever barred to those whose reputations have been made by the fiction writer . . . . "He is", the publisher concluded for Scorer, "recognized as one of the greatest Lyceum and Chautauqua attractions in America, while in the sunny South, he is rated only second to Governor Bob Taylor." 82 During these years, Crawford maintained a residence in New Mexico. The 1899-1900 edition of Who's Who in America lists his address as San Marcial, as does the 1901-1902 edition. By 1903, however, Crawford listed "The Press Club, N.Y." as an alternate address. By 1908, his New Mexican address is dropped, and Onekama, Michigan, and Steinway Hall, Chicago, are his addresses. By 1914, San Marcial is again listed, but he has added a New York city address, 56th West 104th Street, New York. Sometime during these last years, Crawford was separated from his wife, and there were rumors that the marriage would end in divorce. Miss Virgin says, however, that Mrs. Crawford refused to consent to a divorce, and Crawford spent his last years in New York at the home of the woman with whom he had been linked in the divorce gossip. Crawford, however, kept in correspondence with his family. His autobiographical manuscript, "Practical Patriotism and Preparedness", gives his return address as "745 Thrall Ave., Woodhaven, L.I., N.Y."; and in it, Crawford includes a letter from his daughter, Eva, written from El Paso, Texas, April 9, 1916. He also comments that "she had a son six-foot one - all trained and ready to fight". When Crawford died in New York in 1917, Eva went to the woman's home and asked for her father's personal effects. She 82

Pp. 5-7.



was refused admittance and told that nothing of her father's remained. It is not the purpose of this introduction to serve as a biography for Crawford, and obviously to pay such scant attention to his career as a soldier and scout and then draw conclusions about his worth as a man would be unfair. It has been the intention, rather, simply to relate the man's public and private life to the "biography" of the Crawford hero who appears in the three plays in this edition. It is difficult, however, to read some of the accounts of his last days, after the compositon of all his plays, and not be struck by some interesting distinctions between the man and his creation. The Crawford hero is the wise, modest man who has learned resignation and who retires from the fame and glory the world has bestowed upon him to return to his mountain home to contemplate the "hand of God" in the nature of things. He is "the man of the West", "a child of nature", but he is not, as Colonel Bob makes clear, a Buffalo Bill, "dime novel", Indian killer. He is a man who knows how to live and how to die. The last illness and death of Crawford, the man, was given some attention in the press. The New York Times for January 30, 1917, reported his final illness. Captain Jack Crawford, a picturesque survivor of Indian fighting days and known as the "Poet Scout," was reported seriously ill last night at his home in Woodhaven, L.I. Although he had Bright's disease, asthma, and pneumonia, the veteran refused to believe that he would not recover. His physicians held a consultation and agreed that he could not live more than a few hours, whereupon he dismissed them. "I'll try Christian Science," he whispered. "I am not ready to give up yet." Two healers were summoned at his request, and the Captain sent out word to reporters last night that he felt much improved. Captain Crawford is in his seventieth year. In recent years he had visited many of the cities of the United States as an entertainer, and had delighted thousands by his verse, his recital of experiences on the frontier, and his stories of service with General Custer. A month later, on February 28, The Times reported that Crawford was dead, and the sub-title for the account reads, " 'Poet



Scout' Was a Friend of the Late 'Buffalo Bill'." Cody had died in January of that same year. The Literary Digest dramatized Crawford's departure with an emphasis on his career as a scout and a friend of Buffalo Bill.83 "The great scouts who led Custer and the Seventh Cavalry into the sage-lands and 'took the dust' of the wily Apache chief Geronimo are all dead now, for 'Captain Jack' Crawford has followed his friend Buffalo Bill on the long trail." The author of The Literary Digest account included an item from the New York Evening Sun to illustrate the warm friendship of the two scouts. As he [Crawford] lay in bed ill from a complication of diseases he got the news that Colonel Cody, with whom he had ridden in many a wild charge against the Sioux, had gone over the great divide. It depressed him. "So Bill Cody has gone!" said Captain Jack. "I guess they will be sounding taps over me pretty soon. Well, when we meet Tall Bull and that tough old codger, Sitting Bull, on the other side and stick up our hands, palms forward, and say, 'How, Kola!' there will be a lot to talk about." Crawford, as a veteran of the Civil War, was buried in the National Cemetery in Brooklyn, seemingly at his request. A few years ago Father F. Stanley, a New Mexican historian, suggested that the scout's body should be returned to New Mexico for reburial in that state that he had made his "sunshine" home. 84 Unlike Buffalo Bill who left a legend that still survives and a new dramatic form, the Wild West Show, Crawford has been almost forgotten, his plays unread and unseen for half a century. In 1925, Col. Charles D. Randolph, a western poet who titles himself "Buckskin Bill", issued a collection, Western Poems,85 83

"The Poet-Scout", Literary Digest, LIV (March 24, 1917), 837. Socorro. The Oasis (Denver, Colorado, World Press, Inc., 1950), p. 207. ss Privately printed by Charles D. Randolph in 1925. Col. Randolph, who now resides at 2316 Jefferson Avenue, Davenport, Iowa, has been collecting Crawford materials for the past forty years, and he has been most generous in supplying me with information concerning Crawford's appearances in various dime novels. 84



to show that, in him at least, the tradition of the western bard still lived. Included in this collection is one poem that in both subject matter and form shows that the poetic tradition of Captain Jack still lives, at least in the practice of Col. Randolph. He called his poem "Captain Jack": Captain Jack was a poet scout. He helped to blaze the way. Although Randolph admires Crawford and his poetry, his real "western hero" in his Western Poems is Buffalo Bill: The west keeps calling — For a man to fill, The empty saddle Of Buffalo Bill. Crawford, in all the ways in which a man's life can be measured with statistics, had all the necessary qualifications to become the "western hero", and as a unique creation, not merely as a "saddle warmer" for Buffalo Bill. He had more experience as a scout, and he had experiences beyond Cody's scope - his youth in Ireland and the mines, his boyhood as a soldier in the Civil War, his search for gold in Alaska, his mining expeditions throughout the West. He, moreover, had a writer's interest in the actual making of the hero-myth. Perhaps Crawford's failure to achieve the success he wanted in life and the failure of the Crawford hero to find a place in our popular mythology both stem from the same cause. The American hero cannot, or should not, take himself or his cause too seriously. Crawford, of course, was not alone in believing in his own legend; but often he was thundering his beliefs on ears unaware of its existence.


"My new drama was arranged for the stage by J. V. Arlington, the actor. It was a five-act play, without head or tail, and it made no difference at which act we commenced the performance. Before we had finished the season several newspaper critics, I have been told, went crazy in trying to follow the plot. It afforded, however, ample opportunity to give a noisy, rattling, gunpowder entertainment, and to present a succession of scenes in the late Indian war, all of which seemed to give general satisfaction." Buffalo Bill, Story of the Wild West1

Even the best of the nineteenth-century American dramas need careful argument to be defended on aesthetic grounds. They were, as Buffalo Bill indicated, frequently slapped together for quick productions. The role of the leading character - the Crawford hero of these three plays, for example - frequently overwhelmed the play itself. In this "age of the hero", the leading actor - Booth, Lawrence Barrett, or Crawford - was frequently the reason for the play's being; and, unfortunately, actors are notoriously bad judges of drama. Crawford's plays have another aesthetic disadvantage shared by much of their contemporary drama. They were not viewed as literature, but rather they were conceived of as a "truth" or "idea" mechanically arranged to fit the needs of the stage. Buffalo Bill was not alone in having "his" dramas arranged for the stage by others. Crawford, who condemned Cody for allowing others to write "autobiographical" dime novels signed by 1

P. 689.



"Buffalo Bill", recognized the need for "professional help" in making his plays ready for the stage. Fonda, The Mighty Truth, and Colonel Bob have similarities in content and form, even beyond the Crawford hero who is the central figure in each, that would make one suspect common authorship even if they were signed by different authors. Each of the plays, especially the first two, develops a single conflict: Crawford against the Mormons, Wallace against the renegade Indian agent, Colonel Bob against the forces that separate him from Davy and, later, Helen. In each play, it makes a serious difference "at which act" the performance begins. Each play is concerned with making a didactic judgment about a variety of subjects. In each play the "heroic" characters speak a language which is an odd mixture of bombastic rhetoric and folksy realism. Each play has a "supporting couple", a man less heroic than the Crawford character - John Henry, Bill Wilde, Jim Fullerton - and a woman less refined than the heroine - Betty Elden, Tat, Hettie Breen. In each play, the major villain is a man with obvious advantages in his social situation, a man who, in terms of the play, "speaks well" - Elder Force, Frank Watson, Mark Hathaway. In each play, the humor is provided by uneducated characters whose mistakes in language and social customs give the Crawford hero an opportunity to educate them and show his tolerance: Ruth, Bill Williams, and John Henry in Fonda-, Tat and Bill Wilde in The Mighty Truth; Tom Breen and Hettie Breen in Colonel Bob. According to Crawford's own testimony, he received considerable help in the writing of all three plays. Fonda was written in its first form as a joint venture by Crawford and Sam Smith, a man who had already written several plays, including one, Struck Oil, that had had some success. The Mighty Truth was "put into dramatic form" by James Barton Adams, a popular newspaper versifier and columnist for the Denver Post. Colonel Bob was copyrighted with Marie Madison listed as the "senior author", and she had written a number of plays before her one collaboration with Crawford. Crawford, however, it seems safe to assume, gave the plays



their "inherent form" - dictated the character of the hero, wrote his lines, and supplied the action. The others merely adapted his "monologue" to the conventions of the nineteenthcentury commercial stage. It should be observed, for example, that some of the dialogue of the Crawford hero is simply indicated in the plays: "Tells the dream story after which all the boys laugh heartily", the stage directions inform in Act II of Colonel Bob. It is likely, in fact, that aside from arranging for stage action, exits, and entrances, developing the action through dialogue, rather than narration, that Sam Smith, James Barton Adams, and Marie Madison were most valuable to Crawford as grammarians and practical stage consultants. Crawford, to be sure, seems to have been most grateful for this aid, perhaps even over-valued its worth. In an introduction given of him at one of his Chautauqua lectures, the speaker said of him and his dramatic compositions: . . . I do not hesitate to say that he has three of the best, cleanest and most truthful plays of Frontier American life and history that have been written. Of course Crawford has had assistance in all three of these plays, first by Sam Smith, author of Struck Oil, then in Tat, the Veteran's Daughter, he had the co-operation of one of the most versatile of newspaper poets and paragraphers on earth, who is quoted second only to one man and of whom Charles Dana said: "He is unquestionably the greatest Newspaper poet of the day and generation", but he has refused to allow his name to be used in connection with Capt. Jack's in this play, preferring to give Crawford all the credit, because twelve or thirteen years ago he was comparatively unknown and Capt. Jack had a hand in making him known, so he said. However, I am going to give the secret away that this man was none other than James Barton Adams, Paragrapher and Poet of the West. It was he who did the real literary work on Tat while as Crawford says, he did the gymnastics and hurdles with an occasional song. Crawford declares he always felt like a thief when people complimented him on the play and in confidence, he has told many that Jim and Jack did it.2 In spite of the fact that Crawford worked on his writing from the time he learned "his letters" from the Sister of Charity in 2

See note 63 of Chapter IL



1864 until his death in 1917 - a literary life span of fifty-three years - he was forever defensive about his literary work, forever certain that the "rules" of writing must, of necessity, remain mysteries to all save those who were educated in the conventional schools. It is another of the odd contradictions of Crawford's personality that while, on the one hand, he had little respect for the product of a formal education, on the other hand, he considered his own lack of a formal education an insurmountable handicap. In his letter to Cody, for example, written in 1894, he was irate and contrite about his lack of formal training in literature: I am told that your man Friday, Major? John Burk . . . has amongst other things said in the press t h a t . . . I cannot spell some simple word in the English language. Now I do not believe Johnny can create much of a sensation on that score, for it is a well known fact that I had to make my cross when I enlisted as a boy soldier at the age of sixteen and [I was taught to read and w r i t e ] . . . while wounded at the Hospital, so that I could write home to an angel mother who was with my little sisters praying for my father and me and for victory for Old Glory. Later in the same letter, Crawford returns to the subject of his literary skill. Here is another truth that suggests itself on account of Burk's references to my bad spelling [and] he might have added grammer [sic], but you know very well that you yourself never wrote a paragraph for publication in your life and that you are not in reality the author of your book or any other dime novel supposed to have been written by you. I do not claim to have any great amount of literary merit nor would I allow this letter to go to the printer without first handing it to a newspaper man for correction, but I consider at least that I use good straight American English and Mr. Burk should not throw stones, for the whole outfit are ensconced in a glass case and a real good statement with backbone and ginger in it would bust the conservatory and your noses would be all tip-tilted like the petals of a rose. Determining Crawford's precise share of authorship in these three plays is not really a serious problem. Their worth, what-



ever it may be, does not rest in their execution. Rather they are "ideas" - sometimes heroic, sometimes lyric, sometimes merely foolish. They are works as interesting for their "faults" as for their "virtues". To number the faults in these plays as dramatic literature, in fact, is to conclude that these plays were not worth the writing, let alone the preserving. The characterization is often impossible; the actions are meaningless; the language is a weapon, not a tool; and the thematic statements they make are almost offensive. The plays have no inherent unity. The plots from Fonda to Colonel Bob, in fact, seem to grow progressively worse. They have the limitations of Buffalo Bill's "gunpowder entertainments" without the "noisy rattling" episodes that make Cody's plays "great fun". Buffalo Bill's insistence that his plays were not to be taken seriously, that they were merely to provide an occasion for an exhibition of "western scenes" and hi-jinks, saved them from serious criticism. Cody seemed always to have been amused that the critics "went crazy in trying to follow the plot". Crawford, who firmly believed that his plays were "three of the best, cleanest, and most truthful plays of Frontier American life and history", would never have been amused at such criticism. His action was taken from life as he saw it, and his plots put that action into an order that he hoped Heaven sanctioned. Crawford, in one respect, failed as a "popular hero" because he took himself too seriously. Paradoxically, however, his three plays have worth - far more than Cody's more popular dramas - because of this seriousness. However much they lack as artistic statements about the nature of reality, these plays reveal a kind of "West" that, if it existed nowhere else, did exist in the minds of a sizeable segment of the American public of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The "world" of these plays is one which has as its center the Crawford hero, surrounded by the "woman who loves him", his supporters, and his enemies. It is a simple moral world. The heroes do the "right" things; the villains do the "wrong" ones; and no one is ever confused about the difference. It is a



world in which certain words - mother, nature, freedom, woman, soul - and symbols for ideals - a flag, a veteran's badge, a signed Murphy pledge - have value and permanence without regard to the context. For example, every character in every play can be judged automatically by his attitude toward children, nature, the flag, and women. Even the ex-Confederate, Bill Wilde, respects "the flag". It is a world operating under an absolute system in the simplest terms of reward and punishment. Each man is rewarded, in every respect, according to his virtues; each villain is punished according to his faults. In Colonel Bob the system of moral absolutes with its certainty of "poetic justice" has been worked out to the finest detail. The villains are not merely driven off as in Fonda, nor promised punishment as in The Mighty Truth; they are completely destroyed. The Crawford hero, Colonel Bob, is as willing as Jack Crawford and Jack Wallace to speak a good word to save them, but the playwright demands absolute justice. The world of Colonel Bob does not merely win a small victory; it is completely vindicated. The Crawford hero gets fame, fortune, and the absolute certainty of his "moral superiority". It is no dramatic weakness in the play that the curtain falls with Bob in the center of the stage, giving the final benediction for his ex-wife, Millie. If the rules of this world are narrow, they do provide a "philosophy" for men who would conquer the darkness. The Crawford hero speaks at great length about the "spiritual resources" of nature. Irvine spoke for Crawford when he wrote: We never tire of believing in the resources of Nature and in the hidden possibilities of man . . . . It has been the universal conclusion of careful observers that men who go from old settlements in the East to the mining regions or plains of the West become broadminded, good-natured and liberal if there were any such tendencies in their characters.3 Yet as impressive as nature is, the men who have learned to live in it finally come to mastery over it. Not only the Crawford 3

"Biographical Sketch", p. v.



hero, himself, but the Crawford drama in all of its aspects reduces the wilderness to the size of a "living room" for man. The geographical world of the Crawford hero spreads from Alaska to Mexico, from San Francisco to New York, but the Crawford hero keeps it in the palm of his hand. If the characters pay lip service to the broad expanses, the plays themselves reduce these expanses to the size of man. Buffalo Bill in both his plays and Wild West Show transported ' 'scenes of the West" to civilization so that they could be safely viewed like wild beasts in a zoo. Crawford, in his plays, takes man and puts him on the top of the world, making him king of all he surveys. With all of his shortcomings, the Crawford hero is, in terms of Joseph Conrad's Marlow, man "enough to face the darkness", and if he lacks profound insights and self-honesty, he has an attitude that is "very proper for those who tackle a darkness". The philosophical implications of Crawford's doctrines, as they are worked out in these three plays, certainly have moral shortcomings, but, perhaps better than economic theories, they explain "how the West was won".


The plays in this edition are copies of the typed manuscripts which Crawford filed in the Library of Congress for copyright protection. They have, heretofore, never been published in whole or in part. Except for minor corrections of obvious typographical errors, which I have made silently, these plays follow the original manuscripts in every detail.

The Young Scout of the Mountains



Written first in 1877 by John W. Crawford and Sam Smith and copyrighted by Crawford in 1879 as California Through Death Valley: A Drama in 4 Acts. This edition is based on the manuscript submitted by Crawford for copyright on November 19, 1888, under the title, Fonda; or The Trapper's Dream.



A scout and hunter.


A mountain trapper, Jack's old pard.


A secret agent of Brigham Young.


Chief of the Mormon Indian allies.


A Mormon of doubtful conversion.


An emigrant with an opinion.


Captain of the emigrant train.


A waif hunted by the Mormons.


Job's sister.


An emigrant of the African persuasion.


The pet of the train.


A Mormon]


Way over the plains we go; Our train is daily seen, Where the sun goes down at eve In a sea of waving green; Where the red man roams at will, And his tale of love is told, Our train goes rolling on To the land of hope and gold. Then gladly we will sing To cheer us on the way, For Mirth's the only thing To drive dull care away. (At end of chorus all exit, but John and Betty) H.: Miss Betty, it's John Henry's opinion that we've seen about enough of this Great Salt Lake Valley. BETTY: True, John, and it's quite time we were out of it. Did brother Job tell you where he was going when he left? JOHN H . : No, Miss Betty, but I think he has gone to swap a lie or two with those Arkansas emigrants encamped about a mile below here. BETTY: I hope he has gone to see the Arkansas emigrants and not those canting Mormons. Between you and me, John, brother Job has about made up his mind to stop here in Salt Lake. JOHN H.: Black snakes and thunder. Miss Betty, It's John Henry's JOHN



opinion that fools ain't all dead yet, or your brother Job would be a fit subject for a funeral. What, stop here in Salt Lake and become a Mormon? BETTY: That's what I fear he is thinking about, John. JOHN H.: Turn Mormon and take a half a dozen wives? Turks and turkeys, Miss Betty, it's John Henry's opinion if we would escape the snares of Beelzebub we should flee at once from this land of abomination. BETTY: True, John. We have been here more than a week, and brother Job don't hint about moving on. I declare I feel at times as if I'd like to give him a good shaming. JOHNH.: It's John Henry's opinion a good clubbing would be better. BETTY: There's one thing certain - if brother Job's fool enough to stop here, I shall go ahead if I have to walk every step of the way by myself and scalp an Indian every inch of the road between here and California. JOHN H.: Three cheers for Hail Columbia. Miss Betty, John Henry's with you. Scalping Injuns is my strong suit. (Looking off R.) Hello, here comes Job. Talking of scalping, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try our hands on him. BETTY: Who is that with him? JOHN H.: One o'them Arkansas chaps, I reckon. BETTY: Looks more like a Mormon. I can't bear the sight of them. You stay, John, and hear what they are talking about. (Exit) (John retires up. Enter Job and Chopper R. I. E.) JOB: And Elder Force is coming to visit us? CHOPPER: The Elder Force told me to tell you he'd be out to your camp to-day to have a friendly chat with you and t'other emigrants. JOB: I shall take it as a great kindness indeed. I think Elder Force a good and noble-hearted man. CHOPPER: Elder Force is just a saint, sir, and nothin' shorter. I wish you know'd him as well as I do. Why, we Mormons, sir, goes our last scad on him ev'ry time, you bet you, sir. JOB: The Mormons seem to be a happy, contented people. CHOPPER: And why shouldn't we be happy and contented, sir?



Our valley is a regular paradise, sir. It gives us all the garden of Eden over again, only a heap sight better. If you make up your mind to jine us, sir, you'll never repent it, and I knows the Elder will do all right to make things pan out all right. He's took a great shine to you, sir, you bet you. JOB: I am delighted to hear it. I'll go get my friends together to receive the good Elder, if you will excuse me. CHOPPER: Sartin I will, sir, I must be goin' myself. JOB: Good day, sir. CHOPPER: Good day. (Exit Job) Another goose to pluck. Well, it's an ill will that blows nowhere. JOHN H.: SO your good Elder is coming out to preach to us? CHOPPER: That's what the Elder's up to, my Christian friend. JOHNH.: And is that the only thing he's up to, my Christian friend? CHOPPER: What do you mean, my Christian friend? JOHNH.: What do I mean? Well, my Christian friend, it's Henry's opinion that you Mormons are a slippery set. CHOPPER: A slippery set? JOHN H.: That's what I said - slippery. CHOPPER: (BUS. with knife) I'm afraid this tenderfoot needs pruning. Then it might be you think us Mormons a lot of rogues? JOHN H.: That's about the size of it. CHOPPER: See here, my Christian friend, I don't wish to be disagreeable but if them ar words ain't unsaid, I'll cut the tongue out that said 'em. (Drawing knife) Now talk quick if you ever hope to speak again. JOHN H.: Why, you dropsical offspring of a consumptive shadow. Do you think I'm afraid of your cheese knife? CHOPPER: YOU Gentile dog, I'll stop your barking. (Bus.) (Enter Jack. Bus.) JACK: Drop it. CHOPPER: Who are you? JACK: Drop it or I'll drop you. CHOPPER: DO you mean it? JACK: Look in my eyes. CHOPPER: I'm a lookin'.




I guess I'll take your advice. There. (Bus.)

JACK: T h a n k you. CHOPPER: Oh, don't mention it. JACK: John Henry, may I trouble you to bring me that knife? (John does so) Now, John, I want you to get all the folks together. I have something particular to say to them. JOHNH.: Captain Jack, would you like to know John Henry's opinion? JACK: Not now, John, I've business with our friend here. JOHN H.: All right, Captain Jack. John Henry is off. (Exits) JACK: Now, my friend, what's the difficulty? CHOPPER: That snoozer insulted me. JACK: And you were about to murder him for it? CHOPPER: That's the way we setde sich little matters here. JACK: And for a trifling insult you would shed a fellow creature's blood? CHOPPER: We allow no one to abuse our church. JACK: Then you are a Mormon? CHOPPER: Every inch of me. JACK: Then I'm afraid that every inch of you needs - a foot. Here's a knife, and I hope you may never wield it again except in the cause of defenseless innocence. CHOPPER: See here, mister, do you take me for a gentleman? JACK: N O , my friend, I do not. CHOPPER: Well, I'm glad o'that, for I don't claim no kin with that breed of dogs. Got anything else to say to me? JACK: Only good day. CHOPPER: Good day. I'm obliged to you for my knife and I don't forget what you said about innercence. (Aside, as he goes o f f ) 'Specially if I ever gits the drap on you. Lord, how I'd like to clip that rooster's wings. (Exits) JACK: There goes a true Mormon - a treacherous, licentious villain. What is to be the future of such a creed and people? Will their doctrines spread and flourish until they become a power and might in the great Western nation? No, no. Their teachings are but bubbles floating on the tide that will soon burst



to airless nothings as onward moves the world of thoughts - like these long streaming trains of emigrants. (Enter Fonda, R. I. E.) FONDA: (BUS.) I pray you, sir, forgive me, but I overheard your conversation with the one who just left you, and as your words fell upon my ears something seemed to whisper to me, "Fear not to listen, the words you hear are from a manly heart that can assist and aid you." JACK: To assist and aid you, fair maid, or anyone who needs a friend is but in truth my nature. FONDA: Thank heaven, I judged aright, though hope had almost fled. Oh, sir, I am beset with most appalling dangers. I have but little time to speak - even now perhaps I am being watched by some of the church's minions. JACK: I fear your words bewilder me. No hearts to love - no friends to trust. Can it be that these Mormon fanatics would persecute one so friendless and alone? A curse on such people. FONDA: Hush. Do not curse them, at least not so loud. Spies might overhear, and I should lose your aid before you know my trouble. JACK: Let me know how I can aid you. Fear not to speak both bold and plainly. Your eyes have that pure look of goodness to man that's all convincing. You asked my friendship - trust me trust me for the love I bear my mother in Heaven, and I swear by her pure name, I will never betray you. FONDA: Trust you? Oh, most willingly, for a man who respects a woman for the love he bears his mother is most worthy of all confidence. I have asked your friendship and surely need it. Oh, sir, aid me to escape from this vile and wicked place. Be my friend my guide, for indeed I am most lonely. My mother died before my father came to dwell among this people. JACK: Poor girl. Where is your father now? FONDA: Alas, heaven only knows. A few days since he left to find some kindly heart among the mountains to help him and me, his only child, to leave this wicked land. JACK: He may soon return with hope. FONDA: Ah, sir, I have no hope but in you. My father is dead. They say they found him dying beyond the snowy mountains.



I saw him too - beheld him in my dreams. I will not tell you all I saw, but he is dead. JACK: And you have no home? FONDA: None - none but where wretchedness and ruin await me. JACK: I have made friends in a train - with them you shall have safe passage to a land, a golden land, where men are men and dare protect a woman. FONDA: It shall be my life's study to repay this kindness. I must join the train tonight unknown to all but you. The Mormons brought word when my father died that he gave command I should be the wife of one who has the means for my support that's the law of Utah, and only death or my escape (Music) Hush. (Looks o f f ) A Mormon spy. For your safety and my own I must retire. But, oh, do not fail me, come tonight - yonder beneath those trees - I will be there. If there's no hope, tomorrow's s u n . . . . JACK: Tomorrow's sun will find you safe - safe among friends, honest kind and true. (Conducts her to R. I. E.) Go now - trust in hope and the honor of your new found friend, Mr. Jack. FONDA: In hope and you. My mother's prayer - the angels guard my child tonight, 'twill be a brighter morrow. (Exits) JACK: Poor girl, her heart is filled with fear and sadness. I must find Miss Betty and John Henry. I know I can count on their kind hearts to befriend her. (Exits) (Enter Ruth and children and Baby Elden) RUTH: Go away I tole you. Clar out, de whole kerboodle of you. Hope I never see sich young'uns again. BABY: Well, just give us a little piece and then we'll go. RUTH: Better mine now what I tole you. I's gittin' mad and ef once I git started I'll kill some o'you and murder de ress. BABY: Oh, please, Ruth, give us a little piece of dough and then we'll go away and not bother you. RUTH: Clar to goodness, chile, you's gittin' wusser and wusser ev'ry day. Dar'll be no livin' wid you ef you keeps on gittin' wusser dan you is. BABY: I'll be ever so good, Ruth, if you'll give me a piece of dough.



RUTH: Hush you jaw, chile. Don't I tole you de flour's gittin' scarce and ef you goes on wastin' things, time-by what you gwine to do fur somethin' to eat? BABY: We'll pray to the Good Man, and He'll send us something. RUTH: De Good Man never listens to bad chillens. BABY: Oh, yes He does, Ruth, for I heard my papa read from the Good Book where it said "Suffer little children to come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." The Good Man would give me a piece of dough if He had any, for He ain't so stingy as you are. RUTH: Here took de dough. Clar ter goodness dat chile could coax de boots offen a dead mule. CHILD: Give me a piece, Ruth. RUTH: Clar out - clar out. Go to your own wagons and git a piece. Dem chillens must think I's made o'dough. BABY: Ruth, where's my papa gone? RUTH: He's gone to ax dem Mormon humbugs 'bout de road. BABY: What road, Ruth? RUTH: De road to Californy. BABY: IS he afraid of Indians? RUTH: Don't know, honey. I 'spec so. BABY: Ruth, are the Mormons any kin to Indians? RUTH: Ef dey ain't dey orter be fur dey's a heap sight wusser, heaps of it. BABY: Are the Mormons like us, Ruth? RUTH: N O indeed, honey - we's white folks. BABY: Ruth, what is a Mormon? RUTH: Why dey's a lot of heafin Hottentots dat does nuffin but go 'round hunting up wives. BABY: Wife? What is that, Ruth? RUTH: Why, honey, a wife's a woman that a man gits married to, and som o'dem Mormons got over a thousand and more, too. BABY: A thousand - oh my. They get much married, don't they, Ruth? RUTH: YOU'S right, honey, heaps o'marry, heaps of it. BABY: Ruth, would you like to be a Mormon and have three or four thousand wives?



RUTH: Hush, chile, hush. Don't ax foolish questions. You mustn't talk 'bout dem bad people. BABY: Are the Mormons so bad? RUTH: I done tole you, childe, day's wusser'n bad, heaps of it. BABY: Do they ever eat up little children? RUTH: I 'spec so, honey, dey's bad enough. BABY: Ruth, I'm going to be a Mormon. RUTH: You's gwine to be what? BABY: A Mormon. I'm going to cook this and eat it and then I'll be a Mormon. BETTY: (Outside) John, I won't stand this humbug much longer. BABY: Ruth, here comes Aunt Betty. RUTH: I hears her, chile, I hears her, and ef she gits her back up, she'll make sane of 'em stan 'youn, you hear me. (Bus, and Ruth and Baby exit. Enter Betty and John H. L.) JOHN H.: (Aside) If that Mormon Elder comes prowling around here, it's John Henry's opinion he'll be sat down on. Miss Betty, here's about the way the cat jumps at present; the men in our train have been preached Mormon and talked Mormon 'till they are half inclined to turn Mormon. Now talking is catching and that's the way we'll catch them - just out talk them. BETTY: But who can do that? JOHN H.:You can - at least that's the opinion of John Henry. BETTY: YOU know, John, I talk very little and scarcely ever have anything to say among men. JOHNH.: That's no sign you shouldn't. Now you've got sense and education and a tongue to talk to 'em. So just sail in and win. I tell you, Miss Betty, a woman's tongue's a mighty power, and power, if you can strike the purchase, will move anything. Try it, Miss Betty, try it. It'll move the train sure. BETTY: Will you stand by me? JOHN H . : As long as there's a toe to my foot, or a heel to my seal - I mean sole. BETTY: Then I'll do it. Hit or miss, they shall have a piece of my mind, John Henry. JOHNH.: It'll be a hit, Miss Betty, a hit square in the neck. Here comes Job and the rest of 'em. Begin right off, and by the



time the Elder's here you'll have your hand in - I mean your tongue, and if you don't floor 'em, I'll give 'em the opinion of John Henry. (Strikes out. Enter Job and emigrants) BETTY: John Henry, stand by me. JOHN H.: Miss Betty, John Henry's here - wade in and fear not. BETTY: SO brother, you are expecting a Mormon Elder to visit us? I should think you men had Mormon preaching enough from that old hypocrite that has been traveling with us. If you men wish to turn Mormon, why don't you do so and be done with it? Make fools of yourselves and slaves of your wives and children. JOB: Sister, what in the world ails you? You know we need advice. We are strangers in a strange land. BETTY: Yes, and it'll be strange if we're not taken in as strangers. Brother, this dill-dallying will be our ruin. We should not remain here another day. JOB: We must have advice as to the best route. BETTY: And who is to give this advice? JOB: Elder Force, a worthy Mormon. BETTY: Not much, if he's a Mormon. Brother, this road to California is not thru Mormon advice. Do not listen to these canting hypocrites. Think for yourself. Trust in the Lord and the oxen. Keep the wagons well greased and we'll reach our destination without Mormon aid or advice. John Henry, stand by me. JOHN H.: Job Elden, do you hear your sister? Can you listen to her words of wisdom and not pray to be kicked for being such a pig-headed nondescript. JOB: YOU two are enough to drive a man crazy. JOHN H.: 'Twould be a blessing to you if we should. You'd know enough then not to make a dad-gummed fool of yourself. JOB: You both know as well as I do that we should find out the best road, and Elder Force knows every route from here to California. In fact, sister, he's a thorough mountaineer. BETTY: A thorough humbug, you'd better say. The first thing he'll do will be to advise you to stop here and have a dozen wives; and your little innocent motherless child, you will bring up, I suppose, to marry some old bald-headed Elder. John Henry, stand by me.



JOHN H.: Job Elden, again I ask, do you hear your immaculate sister? An angel who is trying to save you from perdition. If you are an honest man, go drown yourself. JOB: John, you are an idiot. JOHN H . : J o b , y o u are another.

JOB: NOW listen, the Elder is coming. Do have sense enough to hold your tongue in his presence. BETTY: Sense? Well, I reckon I've got more sense than you give me credit for. CEnter Elder, L.) JOHN H.: What an ugly looking old crank he is. BETTY: This, John Henry, - you've seen Job - Job's the man that wants advice. ELDER: You are Mr. Elden's wife I suppose? BETTY: There you are wrong - I am not his wife. JOHN H.: Yes, you old Skeezicks, you're off your base - way off. BETTY: I'm his sister - you've no right to suppose anything of the kind. ELDER: I suppose not.

BETTY: YOU suppose not. There's a man for advice. A man of supposition. Doesn't know anything for a certainty, but supposes. Why, brother, he's supposed twice already and you've not had a chance to get in a word edgeways. ELDER: I d o n ' t see h o w he can.

BETTY: Indeed. That's exactly what I expected. Among your kind, a woman's reckoned a nobody - a slave of your whims and fancies. The whole pack of you ought to be kicked through a briar patch and horsewhipped out of existence. Your law is that man should govern woman through a base policy - your Mormon church policy; but in this train you will find it different. Here the women have a voice, and from this time forth I'm determined mine shall be heard. John Henry, stand by me. JOHN H.: Swallow that, you old Salt Lake flounder, and go back to your brimy depths and smother yourself. BETTY: Such as you come among us to set the men quarreling, that some may go this way and some that, so they'll be easier robbed and murdered, just to suit your high priest or prophet.



JOB: Listen, sister. Shut up. Hold your tongue. You ought to be proud that you've got a sister that will let her voice be heard. If it weren't for me and a few more like me, the whole train would stop in this outlandish place and become slaves of a religion, instead of a free people in a free country. John Henry, stand by me. JOHN H.: Oh, you old buzzard of iniquity, flop your wings and fly back to the hills of beelzebub. Vamoose. ELDER: My fair young Amazon, if you're out of breath perhaps you'll permit me to state my business. BETTY: Out of breath. I said a woman wouldn't be allowed to speak a word in her own behalf. Job, don't stand there as if you were paralyzed. Do open your mouth and say something. JOB: Thank you, Betty, I will (Crosses). We wish to ask about the roads. We've been told the emigration is so large that there is danger that stock will perish unless we take the southern route. ELDER: Oh, my dear friends, do not harbor the thought of leaving Utah. The season is too late, besides this is a much better country than California. JOB: That's what the men of our train think, but the women . . . . BETTY: Don't. The women are not such fools as the men are. JOHN H.: That's the opinion of John Henry. ELDER: (Aside) Elder Force, gird up your loins for the conflict. Now for the conversion. (To the emigrants) Oh, my friends, you have no idea of the dangers before you. Emigrants are perishing by the thousands all along the Humbolt and Great Carson Desert. People of reasonable thought would not think of leaving Utah to court the dangers of the road. Oh, my friends, think not of proceeding to California, a land of wickedness, robbery and crime. Pitch your tent with a people who by divine blessing have been enabled to build a city in the wilderness and plant a church in the desert. A people, my friends, who have raised morality to a virtue and religion to a reality. (Bus.) JOB: Sister, the best thing we can do is to take his advice. BETTY: What and turn Mormon? Turn ourselves into a pack of fools? Believe Joe Smith a prophet and Brigham Young a saint? Not much. Nobody would that had any sense and I reckon there are a few sensible heads in this train yet. BETTY:



(Enter Capt. Jack) JOHN H.: That's the opinion of John Henry. (Bus.) JOB: Sister, if you and John Henry are determined to talk me to death, I may as well die here as on the plains. ELDER: Then you will stay and become a part and parcel of our holy people? JOB: I'm willing if the train is. We'll leave it to a vote. OMNES: Yes, a vote. A vote. ELDER: Thank Heaven, the Mormon faith will triumph. JACK: Not in this instance, old Humbug. If these good people will take my advice, they will shun you and your proffered friendship as they would the poisoned fangs of the serpent. You know you would lead them, if not to destruction, at least to a fate worse than the horrid tortures of death at the stake. ELDER: Who is this adventurer? I know him not. JACK: But I know you, at least your creed - a creed that teaches abject submission to vilest deeds of corruption and dishonor. ELDER: Friends, heed not this vile traducer. All who are in favor of remaining with the Saints in this land of peace and plenty, say aye, and take your stand by the side of a Mormon Elder. (Job goes to the Elder and gives him his hand) JACK: And all who are determined to be true men and women take your stand here, beside Jack. (Emigrants gather around Jack laughing and shouting) RUTH: Hole on dar. Guv dis black Republican a chance. JACK: Hurrah for Ruth. She's on our side, too. RUTH: Yes, indeed, honey, I don't want none o'dem old Elders foolin' 'round dis chile. JACK: Now friends, as this is our last night among the Saints let us devote it to Mirth and Music. Ruth, you black nymph of the plains, sing the Elder a song. OMNES: A song - a song. JACK: NOW boys take your partners for a regular old country hoedown. (Dance, bus. and curtain) CURTAIN



ACT n Scene I (Enter Baby and Ruth, L. I. E.) BABY: Oh, come, hurry, Ruth. Yonder are some bushes full of bright red berries. Let us go pick some. RUTH: NO, honey, mustn't go no furder. 'Member what your Auntie tole us - we mustn't go out o'sight of de wagons. BABY: Oh, Ruth, Auntie won't care if we pick some of those nice red berries. And look, Ruth, see what lovely flowers. Oh, ain't they beautiful? Oh, come, Ruth, let's go. RUTH: I tole you no. We's too fur away now. BABY: Then I shan't play. RUTH: Massy sakes, chile, doan I done tole you we mustn't go no furder. It's time to turn back - you auntie scole us both. BABY: But I want some of those lovely flowers, Ruth. RUTH: Sakes, chile, you's got flowers now, heaps of 'em. BABY: Well, let me pick some of those beautiful berries. RUTH: What's de matter wid you, chile? Dem berries am full o'poison, heaps o'it. Why, eben de little birds am skeered to eat 'em. BABY: Would they kill a person? RUTH: Yes, indeed, honey, kill 'em dead, heaps of it. Come along now, It's time we's gittin' back to de camp. BABY: Oh, Ruth, I'm so tired. Can't we sit here and rest a while? RUTH: Set down, chile if you wants to, dars heaps o'time, heaps of it. BABY: Oh, ain't this nice. Now we'll fix the flowers, won't we, Ruth? RUTH: Anything to please you, honey. BABY: Ain't they lovely, Ruth? Does the Good Man make the flowers? RUTH: Yes, honey, de Good Man makes everything. BABY: Does the Good Man make the Mormons, Ruth? RUTH: No, honey, de debil makes dem - dem and de Indians. BABY: Does the bad man make things too, Ruth?



RUTH: Yes, indeed, honey, heaps o'em. He's tinkerin' at somethin' wicked all de time. BABY: Oh, Ruth, I know what I'll do. RUTH: What, honey? BABY: Make a nice little bunch of flowers for Captain Jack. RUTH: You thinks heaps o' Capt. Jack, don't you, honey? BABY: Why Capt. Jack's my sweetheart, Ruth. RUTH: Ugh. Ugh. Chile, what you gwine to do wid Miss Fonda? She cut you out shore. BABY: What do you mean by cut out, Ruth? RUTH: Why, she'll take Capt. Jack away from you. BABY: Oh, no she won't. He doesn't teach Miss Fonda nice songs as he does me. RUTH: Duz you know any o'dem songs yet, honey? BABY: I think I know one. RUTH: Sing it for Ruth, dar's a good chile. (After Song) Lord love you, honey, you sings jus like a jaybird. Now chil we must hurry back to camp. (Picks child up and runs o f f . Enter Job and John R. I. E.) JOB: John, you're just as obstinate as sister Betty. Now she contends, among other nonsense, that we should stand guard every night. JOHNH.: Job, it's John Henry's opinion your sister's head's level. JOB: John, what's come over you? You didn't used to be so confounded stubborn, but now, no matter what's up, you always take sides with sister Betty. JOHN H . : Job, you've got a sister that's as grand as any old Roman as ever roamed. She's the smartest one amongst us. There's not another man in the train that can hold a candle to her. Captain Jack says so himself. Captain Jack says she's a perfect por - por JOB: Porcupine? JOHN H . : N O , certainly not. A perfect prodigy. And between you and me Captain Jack's been writing poetry about her. JOB: Writing poetry about Betty? JOHN H.: Yes sir. Beautiful too. I heard him read it. But, Job,



that ain't all - don't say nothin' about it - I writ a pome on her myself. JOB: John Henry, you astonish me. I'd no idea ever you dabbled in such stuff. JOHN H.: Never did till Capt. Jack come among us. He's just full of it, and I reckon I took it from him, just as a boy catches measles. JOB: And you really have been writing poetry? JOHNH.: It's a pome, Job. I'll read it to you. (Bus.) Oh, Betty Elden, 'twixt you and me, You are just as good as good can be. Your voice is like a fiddle in tune, Your smile like flowers that bloom in June. Things compared to you are flimsy bosh, For you take the cake, you do, by gosh. This I say to any Miss or Mister Is John Henry's opinion of Job's big sister. JOB: IS that your first attempt, John? JOHN H.: Yes, sir, my first attempt. JOB: Then for the sake of suffering humanity, let it be your last. (Walks to L.) JOHN H.: He couldn't see it. (Bus.) Poor fellow. Softening of the brain. (Enter Betty, R.) BETTY: Job, nearly all the cattle have wandered out of sight, and as feed is splendid around the camp I don't feel we should allow them to wander so far off. JOB: I suppose Chris is with them. BETTY: Chris has gone to take a stroll with the ladies. JOB: In that case, John, we'd better take horses and drive the cattle back. Let's go saddle them. BETTY: I've already saddled the horses. JOB: Come, John, a ride this lovely morning will do us good. (Exit R.) JOHN H.: All right, (Bus.) " A n d this I say to any Miss or Mister Is John Henry's opinion of Job's big sister." (Exit R.) (Enter Fonda, L. with a bunch of flowers)



Oh see, Miss Betty, what lovely flowers. They seem so fresh and joyous. BETTY: They are beautiful. FONDA: They look as if they knew there was happiness around them. How different they are from the little household plants that droop and pine away like some poor captive souls that never taste of freedom. BETTY: I ' m glad you take an interest in flowers, Fonda, glad to see you looking so bright and happy, and so glad that fortune joined you to our train. FONDA: And how thankful I am to have found such kind and generous friends. To you I have been such care and trouble. BETTY: Nonsense. We are happy that we aided you to escape from that modern Sodom. FONDA: Oh, speak not of that vile place. I hope that fairer lands and brighter scenes will blot that wicked spot from my memory. I feel a new life since I have been among you, as if I had a soul I could call my own. Oh, I can never pay the debt I owe you all for my deliverance. BETTY: Oh, pshaw. You are the sunlight of our camp, and it's John Henry's opinion that the train couldn't get along without you and Capt. Jack. FONDA: John Henry, though an odd creature, has a kind and faithful heart, and I am very grateful for his many acts of kindness. BETTY: Yes, John's a good fellow and he's dreadfully put out about Capt. Jack's leaving us. Can you tell me what takes him from us, Fonda? FONDA: He goes, he informs me, to see an old and valued friend - an old trapper that dwelt with him in the mountains, but he has recently learned that he is now keeping a trading post not very far from here. BETTY: D O you think he will join us again? FONDA: He has pledged his word to John Henry to do so, but when I do not know. I think he expects to be gone sometime. (Looks off right.) Here he comes. Suppose you ask him, Miss Betty. (Retires up) BETTY: I will. (Enter Jack) So Captain Jack, you leave us today? FONDA:



JACK: Yes, Miss Betty, I depart in a few minutes, and I am truly sorry to leave such kind friends as you have been to me. BETTY: And must you really go? JACK: I must indeed. There is one who's expecting me - one who loves me with all the pride and fondness of a father. I fear his dear old eyes have grown weary with watching for me. BETTY: Well, you won't forget your promise to join us again? JACK: NO fear of that, Miss Betty. I stall be only too happy to do so. BETTY: Why not persuade your old friend to join us and both go with us to California? Job'll run in the same direction. JACK: I had thought of that, but I almost know that nothing could induce the brave heart to forsake the scenes of his mountain home where he has lived for the last thirty years and nearly all that time in Nature's solitude alone. BETTY: When shall we expect to see you again? JACK: Soon, I hope. A week or two at most. The boys are going to ride a short distance with me. (Crosses to L.) I see they are already mounted and waiting for me. BETTY: And Antelope, as you call your beautiful horse, is looking this way as if wondering what detains you. JACK: More likely Antelope is looking for Fonda. She has made such a pet of him. (Takes Fonda's arm) Fonda, you must come and bid Antelope adieu. (Starts to go) BETTY: Bid Antelope adieu - reckon I'll go, too. (Starts) JACK: Miss Betty, I'll say good-bye to you in the saddle. (Exit with Fonda to L.) BETTY: Just so. I'm no fool - I can take a hint. That'll be a match just as sure as my name's Betty Elden. (John Henry suddenly enters R. I.) JOHN H.: That's the opinion of John Henry. BETTY: She's a dear, sweet girl, ain't she, John? JOHN H.: Sweet? Yes, porter house molasses. BETTY: Porter? He means sugar house. John, you are a goose. (Exit L. I. E.) JOHN H.: That's the opinion of John Henry. (Exit L. I. E.) CURTAIN




Scene II (Bill's Trading Post. Dan enters cautiously, looks about, and beckons the Elder) DAN: It's all right, Elder - the coast is clear. (Enter Elder Force) ELDER: Are you sure, Daniel? DAN: This is where the old rascal holds out. I had a talk with him here yesterday, as I told you. ELDER: Daniel, you are a man to be depended upon. DAN: I've never failed you yet. Now, Elder, what about these emigrants? ELDER: Their plunder, Daniel, will be a rich haul. We must have it. DAN: Do we play the old game? ELDER: The old game, Daniel? DAN: Yes. Must they all be killed? ELDER: Yes, Daniel, that's the safest way. DAN: What's your plan? ELDER: The Indians will do the job. All's arranged - the last payment made. I've made the redskins believe the emigrants have come to the Mountain Meadows to settle, that they will spoil their country and destroy their game. DAN: Where are the Indians now? ELDER: At the Springs, under charge of Captain Sam. We will bring them here, treat them to old Bill's whiskey, have them put the old dog out of the way - quietly murder him - and then, when they've had a taste of blood and robbery, we'll turn them loose on the emigrants. Eh, Daniel? DAN: A brave scheme, Elder, and you've got the Indians well in hand. ELDER: The Indians, Daniel, are a powerful weapon in the hands of the Saints to subdue the Gentile dogs. But come, let us go to the Springs.



DAN: One moment, Elder. Is it strict orders to spare none but children? ELDER: Aye, Daniel, that's the order. DAN: Perhaps you'll break the order to save the girl? ELDER: The girl? What girl? DAN: Fonda. She's with the train. That dare devil, Captain Jack - one of Bill William's men - was her abductor. ELDER: The thieving Gentile dog. If he be with the train still, he'll never steal another Mormon flower. DAN: Will Fonda share his fate? ELDER: The order permits me to spare her. She's a Mormon. DAN: Hark, Elder - footsteps. Old Bill's returning. ELDER: Then come, Daniel, let us go away. (Exeunt R.) (Enter Bill


BILL: 'Taint him, 'taint him. It ar dus from a whirlwin'. I made sure it war Jack. Consarn it, Bill, since that ar boy went away, you ain't what you war, that's sartin, that's sartin. Comed har to watch the emigrant trail till he comed along, and I been spectin' him day after day so long that my old eyes is most wored out a lookin' for him. Couldn't stay in the mountains nohow -


narvous and itchy. Didn't used to war so. Could stay thar six months and never see a whiteman's beaver trap. It war Jack. It war Jack. I wanted that ar boy. Ah, Bill, you're gettin' ile. Got this Mormon trading post that I mout be nigh the trail when he comed along. Sich a trading post it ar, too. Barl of forty yards whiskey, four barls o'backer, three fish hooks an' a string o'beads. What will that ar boy, Jack, say? H o w he will larf. Sposen he don't come back. Sposen he git rubbed out by the Mormons. Massy creation. I never raised a white man's har, but if that ar boy don't come back - who's thar? Hello redskin, this way with you. (Enter Sam) Piute Sam, by gosh. That ar Ingin's been tampered with. Thar's mischief peeping from his eyes. Bill Williams, here ar a track, foller the trail. (Bus. with gun and knife. Sits by Sam, smokes and then yells. Sam rises, shakes hands and goes back to place) What mout it be, Sam? (Sam draws knife across his throat) Dogs or wolves? SAM: (Shakes head) No.



BILL: White man? SAM: (Nods head) Yes. BILL: Emigrants?

SAM: (Nods head) Yes. BILL: What fur kill em? SAM: All same bad Ingin. All deer, heap kill 'em. All grass eat up, wohans. Water no more - Ingins heap dead - no more deer - no more fish - too much white man come. BILL: Who talk you? SAM: Ingin friend. Give plenty beads - plenty blanket. BILL: Salt Lake man? SAM: (Nods head) Yes. BILL: When come? SAM: (BUS.) Ingin heap paint 'em face - make 'em arrow - make 'em bullet - tonight. White man kill 'em, kill 'em all. BILL: TOO much white man he come - too much will 'em deer too much Ingin dead - me Ingin friend - me kill 'em white man - me big Ingin - go fetch em Ingin, fetch 'em all - my wigwam come - all come - big dance - me plenty knife - me plenty gun - plenty powder - me big Ingin, wooah! SAM: You big Ingin - big Ingin you - wooah! Me come - all Ingin come - big dance - you big Ingin - big Ingin you - (Shakes hands) Wooah! (Exit Sam) BILL: What a good Ingin he ar. All Ingins are good, you can depend on 'em. I kin depend on him. Them ar Piutes are got ter be wiped out or fust thing Bill Williams knows his har will be raised. Got to play my hand high and see who'll win, Mormon or white man. Thar comes some 'un. Lorsy massy, I do believe it ar Jack. It ar. It ar Jack, by gosh. Thee ar safe, thee ar comed home, by gosh. What a boy he ar. (Enter Jack) You comed home, you comed home. JACK: Bless your old heart, I'm glad to see you. BILL: Ain't you tho', ain't you tho'. JACK: SO you are keeping a trading post? That's right. I'm glad you've come to the road where you can see and talk to a white man once in a while. You'll grow human again, you old bear, you. Well, I suppose you've lots to tell me. What's the news?



BILL: Jack, boy, whar on earth did you come from, and how did you cum? JACK: I came from Salt Lake - 'twas rather slow travelling. 1 came with a train of emigrants. BILL: I war skeered, Jack boy, I war, by gosh I war. I war fraid sumthin mout er happened, you war gone so long. But you look well, you look well, by gosh, how well you do look. Travel'd with emigrants, eh? Jack boy, ar them ar emigrants good people? Any babies and women folks, Jack boy? JACK: Plenty of them. You must visit the train. Their camp is just over the ridge. 'Twill do your old eyes good to see such women and children. BILL: Jack boy, they's all to be massacreed, murdered, every last one of 'em. JACK: Murdered?

BILL: The Ingins are only waiting fur night to kill the last one of 'em. JACK: The Indians? Why, Uncle Bill, you must be dreaming. The Indians have been peaceable the whole season. Besides these emigrants have not given them the least cause for hostility. BILL: That ar a fact, Jack boy, but the Ingins has been tampered with and hired. JACK: Hired?

BILL: Aye, Jack, hired, an' Ingins what'll hire out to murder ain't to be depended on. Jack boy, I'd like to talk to you a whole month, ax you who you seed, whar you bin, an' how many beaver traps you got. But Jack boy, thar's no time to spar. You must go, Jack, and go quick. Them ar emigrants mus move from the Meadows onter open ground and prepare fur a fight. JACK: If there's danger, Uncle Bill, leave your trading post. It's not worth a single drop of blood that may be shed. Return with me and we'll defend the train like men. BILL: NO - no words, Jack boy, I war never druv from my camp. I mus play my han and play her alone. Ef I win, them ar babies and women folks ar saved. If I lose, I lose my har. Jack boy, thar are no time fur explanation, thar's big danger. Go, Jack, go.



were always right, old friend, and I will do your bidding without question. The train must be saved or Jack will perish with them. BILL: Lorsy massy, what a boy he ar. Go, Jack, go. JACK: Good-bye, old friend. If anything should happen - God bless you. BILL: Jack boy - ef anything happens - ef ole Bill gits rubbed out - when them ar redskins and Mormons cum fur the train an' you see any cuss with old Bill's har in his belt, don't you trimble - don't you trimble, boy, when you aim fur the heart. JACK: I hope, old pard, there's no danger, but this I promise you. Should you fall by the hand of Indian or Mormon and I ever strike the miscreant's trail, if I don't wipe him out, he can have my scalp to keep yours company. (Bus.) God bless you, old friend, good-bye. (Exit L.) BILL: I druv him off, I druv him off. Well, I had ter. Ef I don't save them ar babies, he mout, he mout - now to prepare fur the deal, an' play her high. (Barrel.) That ar good whiskey, it ar that ar the best whiskey I ever seed in the mountains. Forty yars ain't no whar. Some folks say whiskey ar a cuss, never done nothin' no good. That ar a mistake, it ar. It ar good. It ar good fur rattle snake bites, and it ar good fur Ingins. Er Ingin would swap his red shirt for that ar, and go bar-footed. Now let the varmints cum. I ar ready fur 'em. I'll start 'em in on that ar whiskey. Three or four rounds of that ar amernition will lay 'em out cold as a wedge. I'll git 'em so cussed drunk, it mout be doomsday afore they get sober. (Yells) Thar they cum, thar they cum. Well, let 'em, I ar ready. Oh, massy on me, what ar that? Two white men - Mormons, by gosh. Oh, what's to be done now? Can't depend on whiskey. Them ar Mormons mean murder an' massacretion. I mout as well kermence the fight right, fur fight it ar, sure. Lorsy, don't I wish that ar boy Jack war here. Ah, no, no, thar's too many of 'em, he'd get wiped out sure. (Gun) The deal ar made. Here goes fur the fuss trick. Eh, the varments are skulkin' to the willers. Ah, ah, I see, a game of hide an' seek, ar it? All right, mister Ingins, I know that ar game JACK: YOU



of hide an' seek backwards. Go play seek, an' I'll play hide an' we'll see who gits cotched. (Exit l.u.e.\ Sam enters and cautiously approaches Bill's tent. Enter Jack) JACK: Why, hello, Lo - how's high? SAM: Ugh. Where's Bill? JACK: What you want Bill? SAM: Ugh. Me want scalp. JACK: Oh, you want his scalp? Why redskin dude, is there any other little thing you'd like? Don't be modest. SAM: Ugh. Where's Bill? JACK: You want scalp? SAM: Ugh. Scalp. Where Bill? JACK: How'd you like mine? SAM: Ugh. Me like 'em. No Bill - you fight knife, me take 'em. JACK: Uh ho. If I'll fight you with the knife, you'll take my scalp. Sam see - a challenge. All right, Mr. Lo, I'll give you a show, but I want you to know, I'll cause you to blow, before you can crow at my overthrow. Now at it we go, giving blow for blow, and that's the motto of Captain Jack O. SAM: Ugh. Too much damn fool O! {Fight. At end of fight old Bill enters. Bus. Then the drop rises and discovers the Mountain Meadow massacre) CURTAIN


Scene - The Desert (Enter Ruth and Baby) BABY: Let us turn back, Ruth, I'm so tired. RUTH: Is you tired, honey? BABY: Yes, Ruth, it's so very warm. RUTH: NO wonder you's tired, honey. Dis ole sand's nuff to tire en elefant.



BABY: And there's so much sand, Ruth. RUTH: Heaps of it, honey, heaps of it. I wonder what dey was thinkin' bout when dey put all dis ole san' here? Never seed sich eh dried up place. Why even er grasshopper would starve to def here so quick 'twould make his head swim. BABY: And oh, Ruth, I'm so thirsty. RUTH: Does you want a drink, honey? BABY: Yes, Ruth, but I mustn't tell auntie so. Poor auntie cries when I ask for water. RUTH: Dat's cause she ain't got no water to gub you, honey. Dar ain't a drop ter be had no whar. BABY: I know it. Oh, Ruth, what shall we do? RUTH: Am you bery firsty, honey? BABY: Yes, Ruth, my lips hurt like fire. RUTH: Honey, I'se got a leetle drap for you - jus a leetle drap. When de water got skase and we's all put on 'lowance, I cabbaged dis bottle full. Now, honey, you musn't tole on Ruth, kase it's all fur you - so you musn't tole a soul I'se got it. (Gives her a drink) Don't took too much, honey — save some fur later. Dar honey, don't swallow de bottle. BABY: Oh, thank you, Ruth, that's so nice. RUTH: Goodness, chile, yonder comes dat dar - dat ar Mormon. Must hide dis bottle again. Dat Mormon got a mouf like a hallygater. 'Member now, honey, don't you tole I'se got it. {Enter Daniel Knight) DAN: Well, Ruth, how have matters gone about camp today? RUTH: I specs dey's bout de same, sah. DAN: We're in an awful fix, Ruth. I saw some of the cattle back here and they looked so famished and miserable, that my heart ached for them. Poor things perishing for water and we've not a drop to give them. BABY: Yes, Daniel, Ruth's got a bottle full, ain't you, Ruth? RUTH: Got a bottle full of what? You's crazy, chile. Whar'd I get water? Come 'long, it's time you's gettin' back to de tent. (Stops at entrance) Never seed sich a chile as you's. What you want tole for? Your tongue's too long, heaps too long, heaps of it. (Exits with child)



DAN: Well, this is a cheerless outlook. And those poor fools out yonder digging for water makes the prospect still more dreary. What idiots to think of striking water in this sandy desert. I wonder if in this dreary world there's such a thing as an honest man? Pshaw, of course not. We are all rogues, only some are smarter than others. Now there's the Elder. What a perfect old villain he is. I used to think I was pretty much of a rascal myself, but lord, the Elder can discount me. What that old fraud don't know ain't worth knowing. Who else could have brought these emigrants into this burning desert where there's neither grass nor water. In less than a week there'll' not be one left to tell the tale of their suffering, except of course Fonda. The Elder will see that she is saved. He intended her for his twelfth wife. Twelve wives, and I haven't one yet and wouldn't have a Mormon one nohow. Now if I thought I could coax Fonda to like me I'd but pshaw, if she ever found out that 'twas I who killed her father - hello, here she comes. Now to tell her a batch of lies. A h , well, it's what I'm used to. (Enter Fonda) FONDA: Good afternoon, Daniel. DAN: Same to you, Miss. FONDA: They told me you and the Elder started this morning to find some way that would lead us out of our frightful situation. DAN: That was our object, Miss Fonda, but as far as I'm concerned, and I traveled many weary miles, I am sorry to say I found nothing but a wild waste of sand. The Elder, however, may have been more fortunate. FONDA: Did you not go together? DAN: NO, Miss, the Elder took a southern course while I went northward. FONDA: Where is the Elder now? DAN: That I do not know, I don't think he has returned. FONDA: DO you think he has also travelled many weary miles? DAN: I dare say he has, Miss. He started when I did. FONDA: YOU know, sir, that you are speaking falsely. Y o u know that neither of you has been out of sight of our camp the whole day. And you know also, Daniel Knight, that we owe our dire



distress to the base deception of that vile old wretch, Elder Force. DAN: Indeed, Miss Fonda, you are mistaken. FONDA: NO, Daniel Knight, I am not mistaken. I believe you know that Elder Force became our guide with the secret determination to destroy us. He has not yet succeeded, though Heaven knows we are in a fearful strait. And now, Daniel Knight, hear my firm resolve - if when the Elder returns, he should fail to bring us sure and speedy relief I will denounce him to the train for the dastardly villain that he is. And you know what that means. (Exit) DAN: You'll not include me, Miss - she's gone. Thunder. She's got us dead to rights. Lord, how her eyes blazed. I altaost felt the rope around my neck. (Enter Elder E.) What a wife she'll make the Elder. She'll kill him with - I wish the old scoundrel had heard her. I think the old thief would have enjoyed it. He is such a thorough old fraud ELDER: Daniel.

DAN: Oh. (Greatly startled - trembling) See - see - here. You you old vampire, don't you do that again. ELDER: Daniel.

DAN: Creeping upon a fellow like an infernal snake. Mind if you do it again, I'll ELDER: You'll what? DAN: Well, don't do it again, or you'll see what. ELDER: Slave, dare you threaten me, your master? DAN: Master? ELDER: Aye, master. You're mine - mine to do my bidding where and when I will. And there are others, good Daniel, who are bound to me by ties even stronger, aye even stronger than yours - ties so strong that death alone can sever. Others who know my every move, and if by chance I should be missed, good Daniel, they would hunt you down if they had to search the remotest ends of the earth to find you, my brave Daniel. DAN: Oh, I know you control a gang of murderers, but I do not fear them, nor you either, if you will face me like a man. I'm no coward. ELDER: I know that, my valiant Daniel, or you'd be no follower



of mine. But enough of this. I saw Fonda speaking with you. What said she? DAN: Enough, I think, to make even you uncomfortable. ELDER: Well, well, don't mince it, out with it. DAN: She has by some means discovered your object in bringing the train into this desert. ELDER: Ah, bless the sweet child, what a dear loving wife she'll make. Well? DAN: Well, when she meets you, if you do not satisfy her that you have sure and immediate relief, she will denounce you as a traitor, expose your villainy and demand your punishment. I reckon you can guess what punishment you deserve. (Bus.) ELDER: What a treasure, that dear child will be to me. Now, Daniel, the iron is hot and we must strike at once. By tomorrow's dawn we must be miles away from these Gentile dogs. Go you to yonder knoll and keep a sharp lookout. Give me signal should anyone approach, and when I wave my handkerchief immediately return. Away. (Exit Dan R. I. E.) Now, my fair Fonda, fate decrees thee mine. Can I but coax the little nymph as far as yonder ridge of sand, the game is won. So she must be satisfied I have found means of relief? Well, so she shall. It would be strange if I can't picture her some spot of easy access and teeming with all the blessings of an earthly paradise. Yes, yes, she shall be satisfied. Ah, there she is. Will she approach? Yes, yes - I thought so. (Enter Fonda R.) Ah, Fonda, my child. I am pleased to greet thee, fair one. FONDA: Let there be no compliments between us. Elder Force, I charge you with having wilfully and maliciously premeditated the destruction of these poor emigrants and unless you give me ample proof here and now that the accusation is false, I go at once to denounce you. ELDER: Your reproach, Fonda, wounds me deeply but I forgive you freely for you do not know how cruelly you wrong me. How strange it seems that you can think me such a wretch since you must know how deeply I love you. FONDA: D o not dare speak of your vile love - it contaminates the very air.



hard you are and how unjust. Think you I could plot the ruin of these poor people when I know that you would surely share their fate? Ah, no. For your sake I have been a true and faithful friend to this unfortunate train, and for your sake will still loyally serve them to their journey's end, expecting no reward, but the approval of my own heart. FONDA: Deeds, not words, will alone convince me that you have not viciously betrayed these people. ELDER: Little suspecting you thought so ill of me, 1 started out this morning to explore this trackless desert. 'Twas Heaven surely that directed my steps, for some ten miles from here I came upon a little vale hid in the bosom of the hills, a very oasis of the desert. At sight of its sparkling rills, its waving grass and beautiful flowers my heart overflowed with gratitude and I wept tears of joy. FONDA: (Aside) Is this a wicked invention, a vile fabulous story? Can this place be reached with wagons? ELDER: With care, there will be no trouble. FONDA: Elder, as you hope for Heaven's mercy you are not deceiving me? ELDER: What, you still doubt me? I have sent Daniel (Waves handkerchief) to summon the men that the train may start at once. FONDA: This is so sudden - so different from what I expected that I cannot believe you. ELDER: Why, you foolish child? See Daniel is returning. We'll soon be ready to start now. From yonder ridge you can see a proof of what I tell you. I tied a white handkerchief on a tall reed I found growing there and planted it on an eminence overlooking the valley. From yonder ridge you can see it fluttering in the breeze. Come, I'll show it to you. (Enter Daniel) Well, Daniel, did you summon the train? DANIEL: I did as you commanded, Elder. ELDER: Come Fonda, and see the flag that waves over our vale of joy. (Exit Fonda L.) Stop here till you see me disappear behind the ridge, then follow quickly. (Exit L.) DAN: Ugh, the old snake. How I loathe and despise him, yes ELDER: HOW



and fear him, too, for at times I think him the very friend of darkness. (Enter Betty R.) BETTY: Ah, Daniel, just returned? DANIEL: Just this minute. BETTY: I can see you had your tramp for nothing. DANIEL: Indeed I had. (Looking R.) Who is that coming this way? BETTY: That is John Henry. DANIEL: Poor fellow, he walks as if in deep sorrow. BETTY: John Henry, like the rest of us, knows we are in great trouble. DAN: (Looking L.) The Elder is out of sight. Excuse me, Miss Betty, I must see if the Elder has returned. {Exit L.) BETTY: (Looking L.) Poor John, he looks as if hope had forsaken him. Ah, 'twas an evil hour when we entered this desert. If brother Job had taken my advice - ah well, 'tis useless now to think of what might have been. (Enter John Henry) Well, John, I need not ask what success? JOHN H . : Betty, the bottom's dropped out, the milk's spilt, and the gate's ajar. BETTY: I own, John, the prospect is very sad, but let us not despair. JOHN H.: Betty, there's scarcely a gallon of water in the whole train; the cattle have not had a drop of water in two days, and it's John Henry's opinion that there's no use kicking when the dog's dead. BETTY: And the well you've been digging is a failure? JOHN H . : I don't think we'd strike water there if we dug plumb through to China. But I left the men still digging. I hadn't the heart to tell 'em 'twas useless. Betty, the struggle has come - a struggle for life and I'm here to ask you how the battle shall be fought - double or single? BETTY: Double or single? I'm afraid, John, I don't quite understand. JOHN H.: YOU will directly. Betty, you have known John Henry for a - well a pretty long time. BETTY: Yes, John.



JOHN H.: Have you ever seen anything in John Henry's conduct

that would lead you to think him a contemptible sneaking coward? BETTY: No, John, I have always regarded you as both brave and honest. JOHN H.: I am not sure about the honest, but I am about the brave. Betty, John Henry has been a onry, scrubby, pusillanimous coward for years. BETTY: I don't believe it, John. JOHNH.: That's because you don't know John Henry as well as I do. I've been with him, talked with him, slept with him, and confound him I know him from A to izzard. BETTY: Still, John, I don't believe you. JOHN H.: But you will - I have proof that must convince you. BETTY: Proof? What proof, John? JOHNH.: Betty, as long as you have known John Henry has he ever dared to wink at you or squeezed your hand the least little bit? BETTY: N o , John, you never did.

JOHNH.: There, I knew it, and yet to my certain knowledge John Henry has loved you for years and years. BETTY: Oh, John, what are you tellling me? JOHNH.: The diabolical truth. BETTY: A n d y o u love me, John?

JOHNH.: Yes, Betty. (About to embrace) At least that's the opinion of John Henry. BETTY: A n d y o u never told me?

JOHNH.: Because he was a coward, but the awful danger that surrounds us has made him brave and fearless, and John Henry tells you now that he loves you with a love that only crops out once in a man's life time. BETTY: Oh, John.

JOHNH.: And now, Miss Betty, that you know the outrageous truth, what has the aforesaid contemptible John Henry to expect? BETTY: You can tell John Henry that Betty Elden returns his dear love with all the fondness of a woman's loving heart. JOHNH.: (Aside, as if embracing) Jerusalem. Betty, as I said



afore I know John Henry and when I tell him this I am pretty sure that unreasonable cuss will want to hug you. Can you stand it? BETTY: Oh, John, not here where everybody can see us. JOHNH.: Why there's not a soul in sight. (Looks R.)


what's up yonder? BETTY: Why, John, what can it be? See they are leaping about like children wild with joy. JOHN H.: I give it up, Betty, I can't make it out. BETTY: Can it be that they've struck water? JOHN H.: NO, they've not struck water. More



struck that jug o'brandy you keep for medicine. BETTY: John, who's that walking with Job? JOHN H.: Tomahawks and Ingins. I know that scalp. BETTY: (Crossing) Why, John Henry, I believe JOHN H.: Hold on, Betty - it looks like him - but it can't be it's too much luck for one day. BETTY: I tell you, John Henry, 'tis he, Capt. Jack. I know that laugh among a thousand. JOHN H.: And I'd know that har among a million. You're right, Betty, it is Capt. Jack, and the dog ain't dead yet. (Enter Jack R. followed by all the emigrants) BETTY: (Both hands) Captain Jack, I'm delighted to see you. JACK: And I am truly glad to see you, Miss Betty. BETTY: Y o u find us in great anxiety, both for ourselves and our poor suffering dumb brutes. JACK: Job has told me all, Miss Betty, and I can fully understand how much you had to fear, but apprehend no further danger. Before tomorrow night I promise you peace and comfort. BETTY: Bless you, Capt. Jack. Heaven surely sent you to us. JOHN H.: That's the opinion of John Henry. JACK: John Henry. (Crossing) Why, John, old pard, is this really you? JOHNH.: TO the best of my belief and knowledge, Capt. Jack, it really is. JACK: Well, well, and you are John Henry. John, I never saw you looking so miserable and woebegone. What struck you?



JOHN H.: Happiness. JACK: Happiness? JOHN H.: Capt. Jack, I'm so indcfatigably happy, that it's worse than a toothache. JACK: Why, John, what has made you so insufferably happy? JOHN H.: Ask Betty. BETTY: (Aside)

Oh, the simpleton. Why you know, Capt. Jack,

you see John is overjoyed, as we all are, at your timely coming. JOHN H.: (Pulling Jack around) That's only half of it, Capt. Jack. The fact is, I've found out that Betty and I - (Betty makes signs for him to hold his tongue) That is - yes, yes - all right -


understand. JACK: A l l right, you understand? Well, it's more than I can do, friend John. JOHN H.: Capt. Jack, do you know where I can find a lot of red Indians on the war path? JACK: What do you want with Indians, John? JOHN H.: I'd like to tackle about a thousand single handed. JACK: John, are you crazy? JOHN H.: NO, I'm bilious - I need excitement. JACK: We must try to amuse you without the aid of Redskins. By the way, Miss Betty, some four weeks ago Uncle Bill Williams and I had come to the plains to bag a few buffalo, when I heard that you had taken the southern route to California and knowing the difficulties you'd have to encounter, I resolved to come to your aid, and with dear old Uncle Bill, who would not let me go alone, set out to overtake you. Three days ago we came to the forks of the trail - one track leading due south, the other southwest. There we parted, Uncle Bill going southwest, while I kept to the south. Last night I came across an Indian encampment. I there found an old Indian who had seen you leave the trail to cross the desert and he gave me directions how to find you. JOHNH.: Uncle Bill Williams? Where is that old mountain howitzer now? JACK: He will be at the forks of the trail tomorrow. RUTH: (Screams outside L.) Murder! Ingins! Ingins! BETTY: (Crossing to L.)

Oh, something dreadful has happened



to Ruth. (Enter Ruth screaming) Ruth! Ruth! What is the matter? RUTH: Oh, Miss Betty, I'se done killed and murdered. Dem Ingins has jus slaughtered me. BETTY: Indians, Ruth? RUTH: Yes'm, Ingins. Ingins. And oh, Miss Betty, dat blessed angel Miss Fonda. Oh, I spec dem Ingins done chawed her up long ago. BETTY: Oh, Ruth, has anything happened to Fonda? RUTH: De Ingins, oh dem Ingins, Miss Betty, has done took her off. JACK: (BUS.) Miss Betty, allow me to question her. Now, Ruth, stop weeping and answer me. Do you know me? RUTH: Yes, you's a Ingin. Go way, you's a Ingin. JACK: Hold up your head and look at me. RUTH: (Looking) Well, afore Heaven, ef it ain't Capt. Jack. JACK: NOW, Ruth, tell me all you know and saw, and mind nothing more. Now don't hurry, take your time. RUTH: Oh, Capt. Jack, dem Ingins has done killed Miss Fonda, but you'll save her, won't you? JACK: HOW can I save her, Ruth, unless you tell me what happened? You say the Indians have taken Miss Fonda off? RUTH: Yes, done took her off, but dey killed me fuss. JACK: HOW many Indians were there? RUTH: Heaps. De woods was full of 'em. JACK: Did you see Miss Fonda with the Indians? RUTH: No, sah, but I seed her runnin' from 'em and screamin'. JACK: Did you see the Indians running after her? RUTH: No, sah, I don't seed 'em, but I heard 'em hollerin'. JACK: What did you do then? RUTH: Den I run arter Miss Fonda and holler'd murder, and jus den a Ingin hit me back o'de head wid a wah club and settled it. (Putting hand to back of head) Fore Heaven, dar's a lump back o' my head big's a barrl. JACK: What did you do after that, Ruth? RUTH: What I do? Well, afore Heaven, why I didn't done nuffin. I's killed, Cap'n Jack, killed stone dead.



JACK: Well, but you came to life again. ROTH: I spec I did for arter a while I got up and doan know nuffin, doan seed nuffin. Den I member de Ingins and Miss Fonda, and den I holler murder and run here fass I kin, and Miss Fonda's doan chaw'd up and dat's all I knows 'bout it. BETTY: Oh, Capt. Jack, what do you think of it? JACK: Doubtless the poor girl has fallen into the hands of some roving band of Indians. BETTY: She will surely be killed. JACK: I am satisfied we need not fear for her life. They have taken her simply to extort a ransom, and that ransom I myself will pay, pay so fully that those marauding thieves will never again commit an outrage. JOHNH.: Geewilikines! Capt. Jack - but Betty you know what's what. Tell Capt. Jack John Henry's opinion. BETTY: Capt. Jack, it's John Henry's opinion that he ought to go with you to rescue our poor Fonda. JACK: Why J o h n -

H.: Stop, Capt. Jack — I'm not crazy - no sir - I'm bilious and nothing shorter than a dose of red Ingins will do me any good. JACK: (Taking his hand) John, old pard, you are true blue, every inch of you. JOHNH.: Betty, are you listening? BETTY: Yes, John. JACK: And as much as I would like to have you with me, I must deny myself the pleasure. Our friends here are not yet out of trouble, and your duty, John, is with them. In a few hours I shall be with Uncle Bill and he, the brave old soul, is all the help I need. And now there's not a moment to lose. Get the train ready to start at once - you must travel all night. Keep the trail due south and it will lead you into green fields and flowing streams. Good-bye and God speed you. I go to rescue your loved Fonda, and if I do not bring you back your dear pet, you can reckon Jack among the silent things of earth. God bless you all, good-bye. (Exits R.L.E.) JOHN

OMNES: Good-bye.



{Emigrants form picture. The drop ascends and discovers the wagon trains moving across the plains) CURTAIN


(At rise of curtain Captain Jack enters) JACK: This is the spot where we promised to meet, but for once Old Faithful is behind time. Well, I'll wait and think. I wonder what Uncle Bill will say when I tell him about Fonda? Will his honest old heart suspect I love her? I hope not. Somehow I don't want him to think I care for anything better than I do for him. Dear Uncle Bill, so gentle and good, so true and brave. I would not grieve him for the world. But I must tell him the Indians have carried her off. It's a ticklish job, but I've got to risk it. Hello, there's a foot step. (Look L.) No, I see no one. (Turns R.) Why, yes, it's Uncle Bill. (.Enter Bill R.) BILL: Why, Jack boy, I didn't spec you so soon. You's a orly bird this morning. Arter the worm I reckon. JACK: Then you've been here before this morning? BILL: Yes, Jack boy, got up a leetle arter daylight. See my traps over thar? Jack boy, you look sorter down in the mouth. I spec you's like - seed nothin' of them ar emigrants? JACK: Yes, Uncle Bill, I found them. BILL: What, has you seed 'em, Jack? JACK: Yes, I left them last night. BILL: Did you find 'em all right, Jack? JACK: No, Uncle Bill. I found them in Death Valley, lost in that terrible waste of sand, where they must have perished but for my arrival. BILL: Lorsy, Jack boy, ain't I glad we come. An' you put 'em on the right trail?



JACK: Well, no, Uncle Bill, I couldn't go with them, but I told them how to find it. BILL: Massy sakes, Jack boy, did you leave 'em in that orful fix? JACK: It was for their sakes I left. A short time before I found them, a new and bitter grief had befallen them. A young girl belonging to the train had been carried off by the Indians. BILL: Lorsy Massy, Jack boy, a gal took off by the Indians? JACK: Yes, Uncle Bill, a young girl that I aided to escape from the Mormons. You remember me telling you about her. BILL: No, Jack boy, you hain't never tole me nothin' 'bout narry gal as I knows on. JACK: I must have told you, Uncle Bill, or at least I - I intended to for I know, you old bear you, that you like the women. BILL: Oh, pshaw, Jack. JACK: And there's no danger you wouldn't brave to shield them from danger. BILL: Jack, I ar afraid I ain't the clar grit, I ar. Hope I never stir if I wouldn't rather chance a bullet any day in the week than face a woman. I would, by gosh. But, Jack boy, what ar it 'bout the gal the Ingins took? What ar she like, Jack boy? Game as a cattermount or meek as a young she-bar? JACK: Judge for yourself, you old grizzly - here's her picture. BILL: Pitcher, pitcher? Lorsy, Jack, whar on earth did you git that ar? JACK: The young girl gave it to me. 'Tis an exact copy of the original. BILL: Rigeral - Jack, what in human nater's an rigeral? JACK: The original is a lovely young girl and an orphan, Uncle Bill. BILL: Rigeral? Jack boy, how on arth war that ar pitcher made? JACK: That's a daguerreotype, Uncle Bill. It's a new way of taking pictures, discovered by some Frenchman. They may be called sun pictures, for it's by reflecting rays that shadows are caught, as it were, and changed into substances. BILL: What on arth, Jack, are you trying to git through me?


Drat your book talk, talk, how the pitcher JACK: All right, old explain? I have it. mirror?


Jack. Tell me square out in Bill Williams' war made. pard, I'll try. Let me see - how shall I Of course, you've beheld your face in a

BILL: In a who?

JACK: In a mirror - that is you - you've seen your face in a looking glass? BILL: Well, it mout be, Jack, but it was a long time ago, a long time ago. JACK: And many a time when you have been taking a drink from the spring or the brook you've seen your face peeping at you there, same as a looking glass? BILL: I seed my shadow in the water heaps o'times. JACK: Well now, suppose the light of the sun which forms that reflection or shadow could be caught and held fast - that is when you would turn away - your image or shadow would still remain on the glass, caught like a beaver in a trap. Eh, old pard, do you savy? BILL: Lorsy, I see, Jack, I do by gosh. They set a book larnin' steel trap and when the shadows strike the glass the shadows gits cotched. Massy on me, what vention won't they git up next? Rigeral, Jack boy, that ar picter ar an angel. No gal on arth looks like that ar. Ef thar ar, Jack boy, we must go fur her, boy, we must go fur her. Thar's no time to spar. (Goes for canteen) JACK: True, we must go away at once. It may prove a long and weary jaunt, but the thought that we may go to save a poor, helpless girl will nerve us for our tramp and bid defiance to fatigue. BILL: We'll have that ar gal, Jack boy, that ar settled. Of course I don't hanker arter them ar Ingin fights narry time, but when it ar got to be did, I reckon we know how to boss the job, Jack, I reckon we do. Ef thar ar too many on'em, Jack . . . ? JACK: Uncle Bill, it's not a question of numbers. If there are legions of them, the girl must be saved. BILL: In course, Jack, in course. But if thar ar more'n a dozen



or so on 'em, we'll sorter dervide our forces. You git on the hind side on 'em and I'll make a plunge at 'em in the front, and while I'm musen the cussed critters, you kin take 'em in the rair and save the gal, eh, Jack boy? JACK: We must find the miscreants before we can determine on our attack. BILL: That ar so, Jack, that ar so. What trail has you thought on? JACK: The one we are on now. We must cross the desert. I am almost certain the thieving redskins are making for California. So come, old pard, every moment now is precious. BILL: Hold on, Jack, hold on. Come here. Look thar, Jack, thar ar something buried in the san. Thar's a cache, by gosh. JACK: A cache? Valuables perhaps, left by some wayfaring hunter or over-loaded emigrant. BILL: It mout be. I'd sorter like ter know what ar thar. JACK: We can easily find out. (Takes out hunting knife) I'll soon unearth it. BILL: Hold on, Jack, hold on. JACK: If you don't wish to examine it, why stop? We've no time to lose. BILL: That ar so, Jack, but thar are signs here, Jack boy, I can't zackly git through my head, and er hunter, Jack, never leaves a sign till he knows what it ar a sign on. JACK: Well, let's solve the mystery - there's no harm to dig and see. BILL: Yes it ar, Jack. You musn't tich a cache unless it ar a Ingin's, and this ain't no Ingin's nor a white man's nuther. JACK: Then it belongs to some animal', a wolf perhaps. BILL: You's struck it, by gosh. That ar's what it ar, er wolf's or the same thing - a Mormon's. There's the sign. Buried in the night, too. Thar ar whar he run again a cheya - a man don't do that with his eyes open. Somethin's wrong here, Jack, thar ar the Mormon sign. JACK: If you call that a Mormon sign, Uncle Bill, what do you call that moving object on the desert? BILL: (Using field glasses) Er enemy, Jack, er enemy.



An Eastern proverb - you never meet a friend on the desert. (Bus.) BILL: And coming straight for the cache, by gosh. Here, Jack, quick, they haven't seed us yet. Now, Jack, your eyes are gooder'n mine - you look. JACK: Uncle Bill, there are three of them. BILL: Three on 'em. Ar any one er Ingin, Jack? JACK: NO, I think not. Why one - one, Uncle Bill, is a woman. BILL: Down, Jack, down, boy. Don't let 'em see you. Massy on me, one ar a woman, Jack. JACK: Yes, a woman. Uncle Bill, something's wrong yonder. Anyone who compels a woman to walk before him on the desert ain't on the square. I reckon, Uncle Bill, we've got a job on our hands we were not looking for. BILL: All right, Jack. I hope they won't grumble the way we does our work. You sartin' your pistols loaded? JACK: I'm ready for them. BILL: Mind, Jack, you don't shoot unless you's bliged to. JACK: Have no fear, I'm not the least excited. BILL: Let me take a squint and see how the land lies. Jack boy, one ar a gal. JACK: A girl? BILL: Lorsy Massy, Jack - it ar Rigeral. JACK: Rigeral - what do you mean, Uncle Bill? BILL: By gosh, Jack, it's the picter, the - the Rigeral. JACK: What, the girl Fonda? (Rising up) BILL: Down, Jack, down. What on arth's the matter with you? Thar now, don't let 'em see you - look. JACK: You're right, Uncle Bill, it is indeed Fonda. Poor girl, she looks in great distress. If they've dared to ill use her, I'll (Rising up) BILL: Down, Jack - hold on, Jack, hold on. Does yer know the cusses what ar with her? JACK: N O , I - stop - why, great Heavens, Uncle Bill, they are the Mormons. BILL: Massacreation! Mormons - are you sartin, Jack? JACK: Yes, positive. One is that old villain, Elder Force. I see it




now - they, and not the Indians are the abductors of that poor girl. I'll not hide here, Uncle Bill, like a cowardly cur - (Rising up) BILL: Down, Jack. Massy on me, you'll spoil it all. You ain't excited, is you? Lorsy, no, not a bit. Lay low now, Jack, t i l the fun begins. Still now. Ef olfe Bill Williams ain't right, you kin have his har fur a shoponch, by gosh. ELDER: Behold the fruit of the zealous in faith - the faith of a true Mormon. {Jack discovers himself to Fonda) FONDA: (Screaming at sight of Jack. Kneeling) Thank Heaven, saved. Saved. DAN: (Pointing to Fonda) There's Mormon conversion for you. ELDER: The Lord doeth all things well. (.Enter Jack and Bill. Bus.) JACK: That's so, old fraud. The Lord doeth all things well. ELDER: Oh, oh, oh. The work of the devil. JACK: True again - the work of the devil, and you are his dastardly agent. ELDER: {Aside) It is that dare devil' scout, Jack. Oh, sir, mercy. We are lost and perishing. Oh pity and assist our distress. JACK: Where are the emigrants? ELDER: All perished, but us three. That poor girl had wandered away from the train. Daniel and I found her, as you see, a raving maniac. {Bill raises gun as if to shoot Elder) JACK: {Catching gun) Uncle Bill. BILL: Thar'll be more ravin' ef she ar a manerack. JACK: Uncle Bill, see that these poor Saints are made comfortable. {Going to Fonda) BILL: I'll tend to ole manerack, Jack. Ain't you two uns tired? Set down and rest yourselves. ELDER: Set down? BILL: Down I tell you. ELDER: But we are not tired. BILL: Will be before sundown. Jack boy, thar's happy now. FONDA: Oh sir, how shall I thank you? Words seem so weak



and meaningless to express my gratitude for this immeasurable act of kindness. JACK: I am amply rewarded that we have rescued you from these ruffians. But how came you in their power? I was led to believe you had been captured by the Indians. FONDA: Indians? Oh, sir, I would rather a thousand times have risked my fate with the wildest savages on earth than trust the baseness of that sordid old wretch. BILL: That's ole Manerack. Jack boy, ax Rigeral how ole Manerack got her in his clutches. JACK: What device did the old scoundrel employ to allure you away from your friends? FONDA: One night several weeks ago, he came to the train and asked permission to accompany us to California where he was going, he said, as a Missionary. I distrusted him from the first, but he won the confidence of the men by his seeming kindness and affability. All went well enough until we were lost in the desert, where I am confident he purposely led those poor people to destroy them. JACK: I too am convinced that such was his evil design. They were in sad distress yesterday when I found them. FONDA: Oh, thank Heavens, you saved them then. JACK: By this time I feel sure they are out of danger. I was with them when Ruth brought the frightful news that you had been carried off by the Indians. FONDA: Poor Ruth. How her screams frightened me. That deceitful perjurer had enticed me with his lies a short distance from the camp, and when he knew we were secure from observation, he caught me rudely in his arms and tried to gag me. JACK: (Drawing pistol) What! You old b a s t a r d . . . . BILL: Hold on, Jack, hold on, boy. No lead, no lead, boy. It ar hemp, hemp's the stuff for ole Manerack. JACK: I beg your pardon, Miss Fonda, I forgot myself, but that old villain's brutality - well - and he - he tried to gag you? FONDA: Yes, but for a moment I seemed to have the strength of a giant. I threw him from me, saw him stagger and fall, and then fled away screaming with terror. It was soon after that I heard



Ruth scream, and then I think I must have lost my mind or fainted, for it was quite dark when reason returned and I found they were dragging me over the desert. JACK: (BUS.) YOU detestible serpents. I - an, well, you may thank the presence of this persecuted girl that your atrocious crimes are not rewarded here. But think not to escape, and don't you try it. And now up with you - up, I say. (Elder and Dan get up) You shall go back to the train you so basely betrayed and deserted. You know the road, lead the way, and hark you - one wayward step out of the beaten trail and your time has come. Now travel. BILL: Hold on, Manerack, hold on both of you. Look a har, Jack, here are marakils - I hope you's not going ter leave ole Manerack's marakils. JACK: True, I had forgotten the kegs. Doubtless they belong to the emigrants. The miracles shall return to the train; so shoulder them at once. Up with them. ELDER: Impossible. We could not bear the load. BILL: Nothin's impossible with marakils, old Manerack. JACK: Up with them or I'll hamstring you both and leave you for the wolves. DAN: Elder, he means it. (Both shoulder the kegs) JACK: NOW for tracks and long ones. Uncle Bill, will you take command of the vanguard or shall I? BILL: Jack boy, you look arter Rigeral, I'll drive the pack train, for I do love Manerack and marakik. FONDA: (Kneeling) My mother's prayer - "Angels guard my child tonight, 'twill be a brighter morrow." (Bus.) Picture. (The drop ascends and discovers a view of California, with its quartz mills in operation, ox teams, etc.) CURTAIN




(All the emigrants discovered. After chorus, all except John Henry and Betty retire) John, don't this beat all? See what a change a few days have brought? Here we are, transformed, as it were, from a barren desert to bright and beautiful lands. Hope takes the place of despair, while the changes of landscape are apparently no greater than the changes in our nature. JOHN H.: True, Betty, we have struck a good streak, or a good streak has struck us and stirred up the whole camp. The men are shouting, the women smiling, the children laughing and even the cattle have caught on in the general jubillerorium. You know that old cross-eyed ox that could scarcely drag one foot after the other? BETTY: You mean Old Brindle? JOHNH.: Yes. Well, I'm a painted Ingin if I didn't catch that old steer this morning dancing an Irish jig like a Chinaman. BETTY: The reason for all this happiness, John, is we are in a new world to us, a bright, golden land - the land of California. JOHN H . : California? Yes, just so, Betty, you remember the night we escaped from that infernal desert? BETTY: Remember it, John? Should say I do. Shall I ever forget it? JOHN H.: Well, I hope not. It's John Henry's opinion you not better forget it. BETTY: Why, John, what's the matter with you? J O H N H . : D O I look billious? BETTY: Well, John, you do look a little queer. JOHNH.: That's how I feel - queer. Betty, do you remember the promise you gave me that night we escaped from that infernal desert? BETTY: Promise, John? Oh, yes. I promised that if we ever caught that wretched old Mormon Elder and Dan JOHN H . : Now don't you bother about those two Mormons. They BETTY: NOW,



are all right, and by the time they get through cussin' about the pitch, tar and feathers we lavished on them after the cowhiding, they'll be ready to pitch their tents in the happy hunting grounds of the hereafter. BETTY: Oh, John, it was awful. But I'm afraid the wretches deserved all they got. JOHN H.: Well, they got it whether they deserved it or not, and if Captain Jack and Fonda hadn't begged so hard for them, we'd a swung 'em where the coyotes could never reach 'em. BETTY: John, do you still think Captain Jack and Fonda will make a match of it? JOHN H.: Betty, John Henry's not bothering himself about that match now. John Henry's thinking about striking a match nearer home - that is, connubially speaking. B E T T Y : NOW, J o h n


JOHN H.: NOW, Betty, you promised that when we struck the green slopes of the Pacific, you'd take John Henry for better or for worse. BETTY: Oh, John, I hope it won't be for worse. JOHN H.: Betty, matrimony's like a plate of hash - we've got to take the chances. BETTY: But, John, you're in such a hurry, and besides there's no parson near here to perform the marriage ceremony. JOHN H.: Parson, parson be blowed. Your brother Job used to be a constable. Let him boss the job. BETTY: John Henry, do you want to get married? JOHNH.: Sure thing - I want to get married. BETTY: Now do hush and be reasonable. Here comes Fonda. (.Enter Fonda L.) Why dear sakes, Fonda, what's the matter? Y o u look so melancholy. We were saying how happy the whole train appeared. Why are you not happy like the rest? FONDA: Oh, I am, or at least should be, to behold you all so joyous. BETTY: YOU look so sad, Fonda, so different from what you were on the road. FONDA: On the road I lived for excitement, hoped for the future. I felt as a prisoner striving for liberty - escaping some dreaded



doom. But when safe beyond the prison, will those who shielded still befriend me? BETTY: Why, bless your dear sweet heart, you will always find us friends. JOHNH.: Yes, and you can come and live with us when Betty and I get mar BETTY: John Henry! JOHNH.: Eh, Oh yes, I tremble. When Betty and I get Job to build a parson - I mean a house (Aside to Betty). It's all right, I won't give it away. Saved by a scratch. FONDA: I know you are friends and true ones, but there are others who have been most kind and good to me, that leave the train today. (Retires back) BETTY: She means Uncle Bill and Captain Jack. You know they leave us today. Poor girl, she feels dreadfully. JOHNH.: Captain Jack. Betty, I'll bet a brace of hogs she's got my complaint. BETTY: Your complaint? JOHN H.: Yes, she's billious. BETTY: Oh, John, don't be ridiculous. JOHN H.: How can I help it. (Enter emigrants) BETTY: Here come the folks. Now then, as we are all together, let's not forget that Captain Jack and old Uncle Bill Williams leave us today, and that we are to give them our grateful thanks as a whole train. JOHNH.: And wish them a God-speed on their weary tramp, with many happy returns of the sorrowful occasion. JOB: Come, let us make preparations. BETTY: Job, for Mercy's sake, go wash your face. (Exit Job) I'll go dress the children - Fonda is always neat. If you men were only like us girls - but that's impossible. John Henry, do try and do something. (Exit, followed by emigrants) JOHN H.: I will. I'll ask old Bill Williams if he knows the marriage ceremony. (Goes to Fonda) (Enter Bill and Baby) BABY: Auntie says you are going away, Uncle Bill, but you ain't are you?



Lorsy, what a baby she ar. Yes, honey, I reckon Uncle Bill ar goin', Baby. BABY: Then I'll go with you, and I'll help you kill bears and Indians and Mormons and everything. BILL: Lorsy Massy, and you'd help Uncle Bill kill Ingins, Baby? BABY: I'll help you kill the big ones. The little ones we'd catch and tame 'em. B I L L : Oh, we'd tame the little uns, would we, Baby? BABY: Yes sir. And then, Uncle Bill, we'd catch some little bears for 'em to play with. B I L L : Lorsy Massy, but sposen, Baby, sposen we couldn't catch the bars? BABY: Well then, Uncle Bill, you could play bear. B I L L : Lorsy Massy on me. And you think Uncle Bill could play bar, Baby? (.John Henry has come front by this time) JOHN H.: Well, that's the opinion of John Henry. (John Henry exits quickly, Baby follows) BILL: Lorsy Massy, what a Baby she ar. FONDA: (Having come front R.) Mr. Williams. B I L L : My name ar Bill - Bill Williams - call me Bill, that ar my name. FONDA: Let me call you Uncle Bill. B I L L : Lorsy Massy, yes - Uncle Bill. That sounds nicer'n a new fiddle. Yes, honey, you might call me Uncle Bill. FONDA: Well, Uncle Bill, I want you to accept a little present from me. You have been so good and kind. BILL: Lorsy Massy, honey, Uncle Bill don't want FONDA: But you are going away to leave us today and I may never see you again, and I want you to take this with you to your lonely home in the mountains, and let it sometimes remind you of the poor girl you rescued from the Mormons. (Gives him picture) B I L L : Rigeral, massy. Them ar eyes, jest like eyes I see afore some whar. But whar? It might be I seed 'em in a dream. I spec it war a dream. Honey, reckon Uncle Bill'll keep this hyar. BILL:



You give one ter Jack, but mine's heap sight pitty'n hissen, heap sight. FONDA: I think it is a better picture than the one I gave Captain Jack. This one was taken just before I left home. BILL: And whar mout your home be, honey? FONDA: In Kentucky. B I L L : Massy on me - you don't say so. In oie Kentuck. Whar 'bout in ole Kentuck you cum from? FONDA: Harrison County. B I L L : Harrison County. Lorsy, thar ar whar I cum from - way up in the head waters of Licking River. Why, honey, Lorsy Massy, what war your daddy's name? FONDA: My father's name was Preston. B I L L : Preston? Oh, by gosh, and war your daddy Luke Preston? FONDA: Why yes, Uncle Bill, did you know B I L L : I knowed it, I knowed it. I knowed I seed them ar eyes some whar. Why, Lorsy Massy, honey, your mammy, your mammy war my little sister when I left ole Kentuck to wander in the mountains. FONDA: My mother's brother. BILL: I ar, I ar - by gosh, I ar. (Embrace) By gosh, by gosh I ar. FONDA: (Putting her arms around Bill) Oh, Uncle Bill, I'm so glad, so glad. BILL: Glad, honey - I'm wuss more than glad. My ole heart's pawin' round wus nor a dying grizzly. FONDA: Oh, Uncle Bill, you and I are the only ones left, the only ones. You must never leave me. B I L L : Leave you? Not much, by gosh. Uncle Bill'll stick to you till the cows come home. FONDA: Then you will not go back to the mountains? BILL: Oh, got to, honey. Thar ar whar ole Bill lives, but Uncle Bill will take you with him, and Jack and me'll build you a home whar the wild flowers grow and whar the leetle birds will come and sing for you when me and Jack are away. Oh, by gosh, I know what we'll do. We'll make that ar boy Jack marry you and then you kin keep house fur us.



Oh, Uncle Bill. BILL: Eh, ain't that a good way, Honey? You like Jack, don't you? I do. Oh, by gosh, how I loves that ar boy. Why, honey, that ar boy knows more'n er almernack. FONDA: I am very grateful to Captain Jack, and - and - how can I do otherwise than like him, he has done so much for me? But then - Uncle Bill - I don't - think - think that - that BILL: Eh, don't Jack love you, honey? FONDA: He has never told me so. BILL: That ar boy's er jackass, by gosh, I's got to talk to him. FONDA: (Catching Bill as he starts to go) Oh, Uncle Bill, you must not do that. Promise me that you will not even tell him, at least for now, that you are my own uncle. BILL: Well, I won't, honey, ef you say so, but I know Jack'LL marry ef I tole him to. FONDA: (BUS.) But you must not tell him, Uncle Bill. Yonder he is now and coming this way I think. I'll leave you now, Uncle Bill, for a short time, and remember, not a word now. BILL: Not a dog-gone word, honey. Lorsy, my leetle baby sister's chile. (Exit Fonda) Lorsy, ef her and Jack - what on arth I wonder is the matter with the boy. He looks wuss nor a beaver cotched in a trap. Consarn my picter ef I don't believe he ar in love and don't know it. I'll set a trap for him and find out, I will, by gosh. I'll make berlieve I'm in a hurry to git back to the mountains, and see how he cuts up. Oh, by gosh, won't I larf. (Enter Jack) Well, Jack boy, you looks as ef you was gittin' kinder tired, want to be on the trail. Well, I reckon we's done all we kin, so all we's got to do ar to shake ourselves an' go home. JACK: (Aside) Go home and leave Fonda - quench the hope of life? And yet what else can I do - go home? BILL: 'Course. Whar else on arth kin we go - whar kin a hunter go 'cept home, and his home, Jack boy, ar the mountains. JACK: You are right. Home is where freedom dwells, and our home is the mountains. BILL: Of course it ar. That ar the place ter live, Jack, that ar the place ter die. Thar ar contentment and elbow room and that ar Bill Williams' home. FONDA:



JACK: Contentment is indeed a priceless boon, and where can it be so fully enjoyed as amid the wild grandeur of the great Western Plains? I am with you, old friend, we will go back to our home among the rocks and canyons where the excitement of a few weeks will wear off the foolish thoughts of the present, and bring back the old life with all' its wild mountain vigor. B I L L : {Aside) By gosh, he ar in love, he ar, sartin. Jack boy, what on arth ar the matter with you? Ef thar ar anything wrong, spit her out. Ole Bill won't be unreasonable narry time. JACK: Oh, there's nothing wrong with me. I assure you I am ready to start back immediately. All I have to do is to say goodbye, and then we're off. B I L L : (Aside) He ar in love sartin. Then we'll make tracks fer home right away. Lorsy, Jack, yonder comes Rigeral. You talk to her, boy, I'll git my traps ready to start. JACK: N O stay - I'd rather you would. It - it will give me heart and courage. BILL: Why, Jack, all you've got to do ar to shake and tell her good-bye, and, Jack boy, tell her good-bye fur me, too. JACK: Uncle Bill - old pard - as - as a friend, Uncle Bill, I wish you to stay. BILL: Friend? Why, Jack boy, ef thar war any danger, ef it war er bar fight or er Ingin fight, ole Bill'd be thar every time, but I reckon Jack this ain't that ar kiner fight. Jack, I'd better go pack my traps. JACK: I have asked you to remain, Uncle Bill. Now that the time approaches to say farewell, I fear to trust myself from your side. There is a feeling in my heart so fierce and strong that in spite of reason it tempts me to bring sorrow upon one whose happiness I would give my life to secure. B I L L : (Aside) By gosh, he ar a goner. Why, Jack boy, ef you feel that ar way, it might be Uncle Bill'd better talk to Rigeral. You jest go, Jack, and git ready. I'll tell her good-bye for you. JACK: No, no, I must see her, speak to her once more before I depart - only I need you with me. BILL: Why, Jack boy, I ar been with you when we had to cut



our way through a gang of yelping Ingins. I seed yer tackle er ole she bar with nothing but your huntin' knife, and 'fore I could swim the river to whar you war fightin', you had the tarnal varmint deader'n er door nail, and I reckon, Jack boy, you hadn't orter be skeered of a little soft-eyed beaver like Rigeral, that ar only coming to say good-bye to us. JACK: I am not afraid of her, Uncle Bill - 'tis myself I fear. (Enter Fonda) Good morning, Fonda, I hope the same spirit of gladness that beams in the faces of our kind friends is also enjoyed by you. FONDA: I do enjoy it. It makes my heart glad to hear the mirthful laugh and joy among the children, to see the smile of hope on every brow, and oh, how pleased I am to hear the praise, the heart-felt thanks we owe to you - to both of you - our generous, brave deliverers. Oh, I am so truly grateful. JACK: Not more than we are. Were it denied us to aid the distressed when occasion required, then I should say life's a failure - the less of it the better. FONDA: And the people are so grateful. They indeed have cause, but not so much as I. To you I owe all, liberty and life. Your words when first I saw you, gave me hope, your protection placing me among those who have cared for and sheltered me. How, oh how can I ever repay you? JACK: Repay me? Why, Fonda, I am more than repaid already. I see you happy and among friends, and in this sunny land you will find a home and hearts to love you as dearly as I - as the little children of the train. BILL: He like'd ter put his foot in it then, by gosh. JACK: I have something to say, Fonda, and in the presence of my dear old friend, which I hope you will hear with kindness and patience. We are about to bid farewell to each other, perhaps forever. If at times, Fonda, my eyes have betrayed to you the heart's fond love, I pray your forgiveness. I am at best but a careless wanderer, the wilderness my home, the lonely mountains my hiding place. Think of me only as a friend, a true faithful one which by chance did strew your passing pathway with some fading flowers. The struggle to me has indeed been a hard one,



but right has triumphed and I will not wrong you by claiming your love for simply doing the duty of a brother and a man. FONDA: Claim my love? 'Tis yours without claiming. If you are a homeless wanderer, what am I? You have strewn my pathway with flowers, then let me at least try to smooth life's road for you. If you must return to mountains, let me share your dangers and privations. Wheresoever you dwell, let that be my home. (Bus.) BILL: The cat's outer the bag, by gosh. JACK: Uncle Bill, the game is up. The mountains have lost a hunter, and Jack has won a jewel. BILL: High, low, Jack and the game. Lorsy Massy, it ar better en a bar fight, it ar, by gosh. Jack boy, do you love her? JACK: As flowers do the sunlight. Love her? Why, Uncle Bill, I love her even more than I do you. BILL: Jack, you ain't as big a jackass as I thought you war, but ole Bill knows a heap sight more'n than you do, don't he, Rigeral? Might I tole him now, honey? (Enter emigrants) FONDA: NO, no, Uncle Bill, let me have that pleasure - you won't leave us now will you? BILL: Lorsy Massy, no. I got to stay I reckon and Lorsy Massy, honey, it might be Uncle Bill'll help to nuss the FONDA: (BUS.) Oh, Uncle Bill. JACK: (BUS.) Oh, Uncle Bill. BILL: Help you nuss Jack when he gits sick. (Enter Baby) BABY: Uncle Bill, are you ready to start for the mountains? BILL: Baby, Uncle Bill ar goin' to stop here with you and Rigeral and Jack. JACK: That's right, old friend, remain with us. In this new land you will find hearts full of human love and sympathy, instead of those treacherous inhabitants that infest our old stamping ground. Here in the new peaceful life that will smile around, and in the happy home Fonda and I will make for you, you will soon cease to sigh for our den in the mountains, and old friend, we will still be together.



Oh, Jack. (Bus.) Oh, Uncle Bill. (Bus.) BETTY: Oh, John Henry. (Bus.) RUTH: Oh, golly gosh. (Bus.) FONDA: BABY:


The Chief of the Black Hills Scouts





Written first in 1889 by John W. Crawford "with the aid" of James Barton Adams as Tat; or Edna, The Veteran's Daughter: A Border Drama in 4 Acts. This edition is based on the manuscript submitted by Crawford for copyright on January 6, 1896, under the title, The Mighty Truth-, or In Clouds or Sunshine: A Drama in 3 Acts.



A Government Scout


Wallace's Scout Partner


Commander of Fort Laramie




Clerk at Red Cloud Indian Agency


A Sioux Indian Chief


Of Criminal Court, Cheyenne


Big Horn Mountain Hunter



A Veteran Soldier's Daughter




An Indian Girl Educated at Carlisle

Mountain Girl

Indians, hunters, soldiers, lawyer, soldiers, etc. LOCI


Fort Laramie and Vicinity


Red Cloud Indian Agency




Scene: A mining camp in the mountains, with practical sluices, pack saddles, etc. up L. Mules or burros corralled up R. Tent pitched R. Campfire L., surrounded by a group of miners. Horses tethered R. 2E. Scene should be painted to show one side of opening where gravel has been taken out. (As curtain rises men sing) Sing and shout till the mountains ring, Heigh-o, heigh-o For we're as happy as the proudest king, Heigh-o-hay. Free as the wind that sweeps the plain, Free as the waves of the ocean main, We snap our fingers at care and pain, Heigh-o-hay. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Whoop. Tell ya what it is, night of exultation, and we're goin' ter exult. Eat, merry, for tomorrow an Indian may perfunctuate and send you over the range to kingdom come. and this is our night ter howl, eh, boys? MOCCASIN J I M : That's what it ar', Bill, an' atween howls we'll kiss the mouth of the rejuvenatin' jug. The life of a hunter ar' a hard one at best, an' when we do strike some fun, we'll play it cl'ar up ter the limit. Shorty, that jug'll get stiff in the j'ints without more exercise. Start 'er around agin. (All drink)


boys, this is a drink, and be your anatomy We're wolves,



BILL: That's the stuff as warms up a hunter's soul an' makes him forget there's danger an' hardship in the mountains. Real oP Kentucky Rye, with a laugh in every drop, an' every gurgle of the jug a command to pain and sorrow to git off the trail. Now then, for a song. Jim start her up. JIM: All right, pardner. All o' you j'ine in an' help the chorus 'round the track. (Song) The Mountain Boys Oh, we are the boys of the mountains, Happy as a summer day. We camp by the dashing fountains, Casting up their silver spray. We are free as the soft breezes o'er us, Free as the birds on the wing, We care not for dangers before us, Or what the tomorrow may bring. Chorus: For we are the boys of the mountains, Happy as a summer's day, We'll laugh and we'll sing, Till the old mountains ring, And drive care and sorrow away. There's a charm in the music of the woodland, The voices in the forests are deep, Sweet as the lullabies of childhood, When mother sang her babe to sleep. We love the wild beauty of the canon, The rocking walls uprising overhead, With faithful horse alone for a companion, The twinkling stars to guide our lonely bed. BILL: Yes we are the boys of the mountains pards, an' I wouldn't give one day of this free, wild life out yar, fur a whole eternity back East. Circulate the jug agin, boys. (They pass around the jug. Bill takes it, is about to drink, suddenly puts down jug and draws revolver from his belt) Listen, pards, 'pears to me I heard



a spicious sound. To yer guns, boys, thar's somethin' comin'. {Enter Tat, running over rocks up-stage, L.U.E.) TAT: Ouch - don't shoot! BILL: Put up yer guns, boys. It's only a gal. TAT: Don't you do it, boys. You'll need 'em. A boy is running down the canon, pursued by some of Lame Dog's warriors. (Enter Ed Brown running, L.U.E.) ED: Save me - save me from those terrible men. (Stumbles and falls, just as an Indian leaps from behind rock followed by others who are covered by the rifles of the hunters. They seem surprised and run, upon seeing the white men, all except the Indian who has seized Ed by the hair. Jack Wallace rides in R.U.E. Slowly and unconcernedly, he brings his horse's nose up to Indian's face, who starts back frightened. He seems disconcerted on finding that his companions have fled, and turns and sneaks away a few feet, then runs up rocks and exits quickly) JACK: (Laughs) Run, you red varmit, run. Reckon you ain't as wide awake as you ought to be or you'd a stayed out of range of white man's rifles. Guess they didn't know you fellows were here. Kinder surprised them. Don't fire, stranger. (As Bill raises his gun to his shoulder) Those Indians claim to be at peace and on a hunting expedition. An unwise shot might cause a bloody war, and war to us on the frontier means death and devastation. We can't afford it. BILL: Guess you're right, stranger, but they deserve it jest the same. They'd a had your scalp, youngster, if you hadn't been so swift footed. JACK: Worse than that. They would have taken you captive and made a slave of you. I wish some of you men would keep an eye on those red skins; they're liable to come back and make trouble for us. BILL: Some o' you boys go an' watch at the mouth of the canon. If you see any signs of them Injuns returning, give the alarm by firin' a shot, if you haven't time to git in ahead o' them. (Exit three mountaineers) Wall, youngster, what ails you? TAT: Why, he's faintin'. You jest leave him to me. It takes women folks to doctor. (Leads Ed to rocks up R.)



BILL: Reckon he's skeered more'n hurt. Wall, git down off your hoss, stranger, an' make yourself to home. Who might you be, anyhow? JACK: I am Jack Wallace, government scout at Fort Laramie. BILL: Jac-k Wallace! JACK: That's my name. I've been trailing this same band of Indians that left Red Cloud Agency a week ago and am now on my way back to the Fort. BILL: Jack Wallace, ar' that you for sartin? Why, ol' boy, I've heard of you a thousand times, but never struck your trail afore. You're welcome, boy, you're welcome. Thar's my hand and it's the hand of a man that never desarted a friend nor turned his back on a foe, red or white. I'm glad to see you, Jack, I swear I am. JACK: Thank you, my boy, thank you. And what name do you go by in these mountains? BILL: The name my dad and marm gave me, before I war old enough to defend myself. I'm Bill Wilde of the Big Horn, hunter, trapper, an' Injun fighter, or leader of pra'r meetin', jest as duty calls. JACK: Bill Wilde, the hunter of the Big Horn Mountains! Put your honest hand back there for another shake, old fellow, for I have heard of you many a time. The officers at the fort have often spoken of you, and from their words of commendation I want no better friend. BILL: Officers will stretch things, Jack. I'm only a sort of an' on-reconstructed ol' mountain howitzer as never set the world afire, an' never done nothin' worth makin' a hallelujah roar about. Don't you believe what the officers say, Jack. Fer, I never done nothin' like you've done. Say, boys, do you know who this is? It's Jack Wallace. (All are interested) JACK: Pshaw, Bill, don't make any fuss about me. I never did anything worthy of special mention. BILL: Nothin'? JACK: Not a thing.

BILL: Now look here, boy, I know better. Who was that fellow "who rescued the Wilson family w h e n . . . .



JACK: That's a good horse over there, Bill. Is it yours? BILL: Yes, he's mine, but never mind the hoss, - when Lawton and his men war surrounded by Injuns, who was it t h a t . . . . JACK: (Getting over to horse) Bill, how old is that horse? BILL: We'll talk horse after a while. Who was it w h o . . . . JACK: Where'd you get him, Bill? Looks like a horse I stole from the Indians the time they raided Duck Valley. BILL: 'Tisn't the same hoss. You listen to me. Who was the fellow t h a t . . . . JACK: I've got a horse I'll trade for him, and he's a dandy, too. You ought to see him go. Durn his lightning hide, if he don't split the wind like an arrow. Now I'll tell you what I'll do, I'll give B I L L : YOU jest go ahead an' talk to the hoss. He'll understand you. I'll talk to the boys. Boys, who was it that on many occasions has taken chances in his noble unselfish efforts to aid those in danger, and who now bears . . . . JACK: Say B i l l . . . .

BILL: Keep still. I ain't talkin' to you. And who now bears the reputation of being one of the bravest and best men in the mountain country? ALL: Jack Wallace. TAT: YOU bet your boots, an' he's my pard. JACK: Shut up, consarn you. What right have you got to chip in and spoil a horse trade? You go tend to that boy an' don't mind this old fellow's chinnin'. How is the youngster, anyway? BILL: That's all right, Jack Wallace. I admire your modest spirit, but you see we know you. JACK: That's all right, Bill. Say, the boy does look kinder tuckered out, doesn't he? Come up here, youngster, and give an account of yourself. What are you doing around these diggings, all alone? ED: (Rising and coming down) I was going to Red Cloud Agency. BILL: Well, who are ye, and whar'd ye come from? ED: My name is Ed Brown, sir, and I have walked all the way from Cheyenne. I started for the Agency and got lost, and while coming down this great canon, I was discovered by the Indians, who pursued me with frightful yells. Oh, it was terrible.



BILL: (Kindly) You poor youngster, I should say it war terrible. JACK: You had a narrow escape from capture. Do you know anyone at the Agency? ED: I - n - no. I think not. I - I was looking for work. JACK: A poor place to look for work, my boy. Where is your home - your parents? ED: I have no home, sir, and my parents are dead. TAT: Poor boy, I'll be your parents. Wall, I don't see what you're laughing at. JACK: Forgive me, little one. Bless your good heart, such a kind and generous disposition does you honor. I wasn't making sport of your tender feelings. TAT: I didn't think you would, Jack. I know I can't talk like scholar folks, but I like thet poor boy, and them words popped out jest 'cause they war nearest the gate when I opened my mouth. BILL: 'Twar your heart that war talkin', little one. You mustn't feel hurt at my laughin', for I'm a rough, on-polite ol' b'ar an' don't know no better, but I'd cut off my right hand before I'd hurt your feelin's. Yes, I would, little gal. TAT: Wall, you did hurt me a little bit, stranger. You fellows don't know what it is to be an orphan or you wouldn't laugh. BILL: Oh, yes, we do, little one. I ain't got narry dad nor ma'am myself. TAT: Ar' that so? By Jingle, neither has Jack. Well, if this ain't a reg'lar orphan asylum, I'm a red Injun. It seems to have been rainin' poor bereaved kids 'round yar. JACK: What's this, my boy, the badge of the Grand Army? Where did you find it? ED: I did not find it, sir. It belonged to my father. It was his dying gift to me. JACK: Boy, you need never want for a friend. (Extends his hand) If nothing else in all the world would do it, this badge would open the door of my heart and let you in. I am a member of that patriotic order, and no dead comrade's child shall know want and suffering as long as I am able to lift a hand to ward it off. I'll adopt you right here as my boy, and if anyone ever



harms you, or attempts to harm you, they'll hear from me. ED: Oh, thank you - thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and God bless you. TAT: Say, kin you adopt me as your mother? ED: I'm sure we will be great friends, for I know you are a brave, good-hearted girl. BILL: She certainly are a handsome one. That pretty face o' yours would break the hearts of plenty of young fellows back East. TAT: An' this pretty fist o' mine would break some of their noses, if they came foolin' 'round me with their taffy talk. But you never mind, Ed, you kin admire me all you want to. (Holds out her hand to him) Put her thar for ninety days an' if any one harms you or attempts to harm you, an' Jack ain't around, well, they'll hear from your new mother an' that's me. BILL: An' thar's another fist that wants ter jine on your side. You jest put me into your family as your grand-dad or grandmarm or wherever else thar's a vacancy. I fit agin your dad, but I know he war a man and his boy's my friend. ED: Thank you. You are all too good. JACK: Were you in the Confederate army, Bill? BILL: That I war. (Holds out his hand) Put her thar, you durned Yankee. You licked us, but it took just sich men as you to do it. JACK: And a long time to do it, but we're the better friends for it. The blue and the gray are reunited under the dear old flag, the proudest flag that was ever kissed by Heaven's breezes. TAT: Hurrah. Say, stranger, I like you, if you war a Confederate, for I knew a feller once that fought fur the South an' he war my best friend. When my ma'am died he nussed me an' helped my dad to bring me up. I reckon if it hadn't been for him, I'd never knowed a mother's care. I ain't seen him since I war a little kid, but I'll never furget him as long as I live. BILL: Well, durn my pesky skin, let me look at you, little one. Say, you ain't Tat Benson, ar' you? TAT: Tat Benson - that's who I ar', but - you - you're Bill Wilde. Well, by all the jumpin', screamin' varmits that ever run these mountains, ar' that you? You dear old long-haired freak of



nature, I thought you war dead. (Throws herself into his arms half laughing, half crying) B I L L : Well, well, bless your pretty eyes, I never 'spected to see your sunshine face agin, an' to think I didn't know you. Look up yar, durn my gilt-edged pedigree, if it ain't Tat, and no mistake. Give me another hug, a regular old b'ar hug, you onrefined wild cat. (Hugs her) JACK: Well, Tat, you've found a friend, have you? TAT: A friend - why, Jack, after marm died, he war my stepmother. (Kisses him) Thar, take that, Bill, an' that. I dunno what it means, but that's what the ladies at the fort do when they're glad to see anybody, an' oh, Lordy, but I'm glad to see you, old he-b'ar. (Signal without) Listen, that's Chip. B I L L : Who's Chip? TAT: She's my Injun gal chum and a squarer gal never lived. {Goes up) Yar I be, Chip, come down yar, I wanter give you a knock down to some friends. {Enter Chipita L.U.E. and down run to Tat) Say, Jack, I want to interduce you ter my pard, if I can ketch onto the perceeding right. Mr. Jack Wallace, Esquire, this is Miss Chipita, Esquiress. JACK: Proud to meet you, ma'am. TAT: An' this is Ed Brown, my kid, I've adopted him, and this is Bill Wilde. Bill, this is my chum Chipita. She's Lame Dog's daughter, but she ain't a bit like her dad. B I L L : Proud to meet you, ma'am. Proud to embrace the onspeakable opportunity of becoming familiar with you. CHIP: And I am pleased to meet you. Tat's friends are always mine. TAT: What is that piece o' poetry you read me, Chip? "Two souls with but a single thought - two hearts on the same string." B I L L : Seeing Tat gives you sich a good recommendation, I'm glad to know you, ma'am. 'Cause Tat's a pretty good girl, and her word's generally kerect. CHIP: A good girl? I cannot tell you, sir, how much I owe to my little pale face sister. She is a sweet, noble little girl, and I love her very dearly. TAT: Don't fly off the handle, Chip, and talk about things that's



got nothin' to do with the case. How educationized folk will chin when they git anybody to listen to 'em. You see, Bill, she ain't accountable fur any thing she says half the time. Chip ain't like other Injun girls. The white folks sent her back to the States ter school, an' she fotched home a newspaper that said she'd gravitated at the head of her class. (All laugh) What you laughin' at? It's true as gospel. Why, Jack, would you believe it? She kin read an' write an' figger, an' can read the Bible an' knows God and - God knows what she don't know. BILL: Glad ter know you anyhow, ma'am. Jack, put up your hoss an' camp along with us to-night. Here, Shorty, put this hoss out to feed. JIM: All right. I'll tend to him, pardner. I'll stake him out in grass that'll make his teeth ache with pleasure. JACK: Thank you, and give him a sip of water at the spring before you put him out. And if you've got anything to eat, it'll be as welcome to me as the sun on a January morning, for I'm about starved. I'm as hungry as a bear after a hard winter. You boys were having a regular jubilee here, weren't you? When I first heard you from way up the canon, I didn't know whether it was a Women Suffrage Convention or an Indian War Dance. BILL: What's a woman sufferin' convention, Jack? JACK: Just a gathering of women, Bill. This is the State of Wyoming, you know, where the women have all the rights of the men and want more. I have been told that many husbands down in Cheyenne have time-lock safes near their beds where they lock their breeches up over night. (Enter Jim, who has gone out with horses) BILL: What for, Jack? JACK: TO prevent breaches of the peace, I suppose, and to keep their wives from going around in misfit clothing. BILL: Say, Jack, ar' that a joke? (Pause. Suddenly seeing the point, he bursts into a boisterous laugh) That's good. That's good. Yar's a piece of venison, cook it to suit yerself. Come over here, folks, an' jine in. TAT: Thank you, Bill, me an' Chip have dined. Reckon the boy's hungry though, ain't you?



ED: Yes, I - I guess I am. TAT: Guess you are too - 'bout starved. Ain't got onto our way of cookin' out here yet, have ye? Give me a slice of that venison Bill, an' I'll cook him a meal that'll make his mouth water for a month. {Bus. with venison) Say, Bill, what kind of a racket war ye havin' here anyway? Wonder the red skins didn't hear ye an' light out 'fore they got so near to ye. BILL: Reckon they war making so much noise themselves they didn't hear us. But it's jest like this, Jack. We've been cooped up in the Big Horn Mountain all season with dead oodles of hard work and no fun, so when we found a trader back thar at the fort with plenty of fire water, we corralled a jug of it an' camped here to celebrate last Fourth of July, which we missed on account of havin' lost track o' the dates. JACK: (BUS. with meat on a stick) Ah, that's a piece of royal meat. Do you catch the odor of it, Bill? BILL: That I does, Jack, an' it makes my nose twitch with pleasure. But durn it, boys, where's our patriotism gone to? Circulate the jug again. Yar, Jack, take a swall'er. It'll make your soul feel like it had angel wings, an' war on the trail to Paradise. (Hands jug to Jack) JACK: Excuse me, Bill, but I don't drink. BILL: Don't drink? JACK: I'm just as much obliged to you, but I never tasted a drop of liquor in my life. JIM: Wall, that's the best joke I ever heard. A frontiersman as never took a drink. How's that, Bill? BILL: It threatens me with paralitics, by gosh. But I'll forgive you for springing such a joke on us this time, but don't do it again, Jack. Jest throw your mouth into a sort of yearnin' attitude and down her. (Forces jug on Jack) JACK: (Takes jug, stands up and looks around) I always like to do my share of camp festivities, boys, and I'll drink if you want me to, but before I do, I want to tell you a story. Will you listen to it? BILL: Sartin', boy, sartin'. Onhitch yer jaw an' turn her loose. JACK: AS I stand here looking back over the trail of my past



life, it seems to me but yesterday since I was a careless, happy youngster at my mother's knee, away back in the sunrise country. To me she was all that was good, and kind, and lovely - the best mother on the face of the earth. Our home was a happy one; my father was kind and indulgent and loved his little ones dearly, and our eyes would sparkle with pleasure when we heard his footsteps at the door as he returned from work. My mother's smile was ever a ray of sunshine in my young heart. To her I would go with all my boyish sorrows and she would listen so patiently, then brush away all my troubles with the warm, loving kiss that comes only from a mother's sacred lips. But a cloud, dark and terrible, came over our home, and happiness vanished forever. My beloved father became a slave to rum. No more loving caresses - no more smiles. Want and poverty drove peace and plenty from our fireside. My mother sank beneath the crushing sorrow. I saw her heart break. I saw her dying - dying of a broken heart. Oh God, boys, you can't imagine my feelings as I stood at her bedside and gazed upon her pale, emaciated face, knowing the cause of all this as I did. She asked me to kneel beside her, and clasping my hand in hers, said: "My son, I am dying. Will you give me a sacred promise to take to heaven with me?" I told her I would promise her anything. "Then, promise me that as long as you live, you will never let a drop of liquor pass your lips." I gave her that promise, boys, and she died with a smile on her face, holding my hand. As God is my judge, I have kept that promise faithfully to this day. I can feel her gentle spirit ever near me, on the trail, in the garrison, and in the lonely camp. Even now, I feel as if she were near me, wearing that same sweet smile that my promise planted on her dying face. Now, boys, would you have me drive away that smile, and pain that loving spirit by breaking my pledge? Shall I drink? B I L L : (Fires pistol breaking jug) No, a thousand times, no. Jack, my boy, give me your hand. I had jest sich a mother, and many a time she coaxed me to sign the pledge. She's up thar with your mother now, and when that pistol shot goes ringing through the cañón of heaven, it'll tell her that Bill has signed the pledge at last. (Seizes Jack's hand and rings it heartily)



JACK: Thank you, Bill, thank you. Those words do my heart good and I wish you'd all do the same. But, Bill, you said if I ever wanted a friend to call on you. I want one right now - one on whom I can rely in time of danger, and you're the very man. Will you join me? BILL: I'm with you, Jack, till time runs slap up again eternity, an' I'll stick to ye like a hungry steer will stick to a good range. What is it? JACK: All right, my boy, and from this time we're pardners. I'm trying to upset the murderous schemes of a white villain at Red Cloud Agency. The agent is a drunken old imbecile who trusts the management of his affairs to his clerk, Frank Watson. (Ed drops cup out oj which he has been drinking, and goes up-stage nervously) He is inciting the Indians to deeds of murder and violence - to plunder the white settlers just to get a share of the spoils. BILL: Who is this man Watson, Jack? JACK: Nobody knows. He came to the Agency several months ago. The agent seems to have the utmost confidence in him. I've rounded up several of his little schemes already, and I'm watching the cuss closely. I have a most effective spy at the Agency. A wild, harum-scarum mountain girl. BILL: Are she a genuine female woman, Jack? JACK: Yes, and a noble little creature, too, wild as a deer, brave as a lion, and with a heart as warm and generous as that campfire there. Nothing escapes her keen eyes, and when a raid is threatened, she at once hunts me up and gives me the information. TAT: Ah, say, Jack, shet up. BILL: What's her name, Jack? JACK: T a t Benson.

BILL: Why, durn my onsanctified eyes, you ain't been doin' all this chinnin' bout' Tat, have you? TAT: Well, you jest take it for what it's worth, Bill. B I L L : I will, Tat, an' that's a good deal. I don't see what the good Lord meant by turnin' you loose out of Paradise an' forgettin' to put wings on you.



TAT: Catamounts an' grizzlies, you fellows jest let up, will you? BILL: Well, I'll join ye, Jack. Count me as your pard. TAT: Whoopla, that's the best thing that's happened since old Bald Eagle fell over a cliff and drove his back-bone up through his scalp. By golly, but you two will make a pa'r that'll beat anything in the deck, Lord help old Watty now, if you onpenitent sinners git on his trail. ED: (Coming down) And let me join you also. I know I'm only a boy - and maybe you think I'm a coward because I ran from the Indians, but I'll swear to you that you will find me faithful, true, and unerring in tracking down that villain. Will you take me as one of you? JACK: Why, boy, what could you do? ED: Give me a chance and you shall see. JACK: All right. It's three of a kind, eh, Bill? We'll call you little Casino. BILL: And now, boys, for the clean-up, and if any of you want to go to the fort with some of the dust, now is the best chance you'll have, for Jack Wallace is with you to help guard the packtrain. Bring down the sluice boxes, boys. (Bus. with sluice boxes) JACK: You've been fortunate, haven't you, Bill? BILL: Can't grumble at that. (To Ed) What makes you open your eyes like that, boy? Yes, that's gold - pure gold. Guess you think that's a queer place for it. That's the way we catch our fish. Nice little trap, eh? ED: And that is gold? BILL: Taken out of yonder stream, and there on the hillside. Washed in the creek, run through the sluice boxes, where it was caught in the ripples there, and now we take it out at the end of the week. There. (Bus. of clean-up while he is talking. After all is over, mules are packed ad. lib., etc. and cavalcade gets ready to move. Several men signify their intention of going, while others remain. They start up the chorus of song, "The Mountain Boys," and the procession starts up run and off L., Jack, Tat, and Chip heading it as curtain falls.)



Scene I: Colonel Sanford's headquarters at Fort Laramie. Colonel discovered at his table looking over paper. COL. S.: Orderly. (Orderly enters door R. in F. and salutes) Take this package of papers to the Adjutant and ask if there is any news of Jack Wallace. (Enter Jack as orderly salutes and exits) JACK: Jack Wallace is here, Colonel. COL. S.: Ah! Jack, my boy, I'm glad to see you back safe. Have you anything to report? JACK: Nothing of great importance, Colonel. I trailed the band of red skins as you directed and found it but a hunting party, with no hostile intentions. On my way back, I fell in with a band of hunters from the Big Horn Range. Among them was Bill Wilde. Do you know him, Colonel? COL. S.: Yes, very well - a good man - a brave, honest man. JACK: I'm glad to hear you say so, for he's my partner now. COL. S.: YOU could not have found a better one. JACK: I think I could not have corralled a braver one, Colonel. Then, there's a boy, he's a sort of silent partner. COL. S.: A boy - what boy? JACK: A young fellow who ran into the hunters' camp closely pursued by some of Lame Dog's Indians. COL. S.: A boy - alone? What is he doing in this part of the country? JACK: He said he'd walked all the way from Cheyenne and is going to Red Cloud to try to get some employment. Poor little fellow, he's a homeless, motherless wanderer, and w-ell - to tell you plainly, Colonel', I've adopted him. COL. S.: Ah, Jack, that great big heart of yours will get you into trouble some day. How do you know but what he is some young thief, who may be . ..? (Enter Ed door R. in F.) JACK: (Bringing Ed down) Stop, Colonel, stop. That boy's clean, honest eyes are the windows of his soul through which all may look, and I haven't found anything there but honesty and integrity. Your feelings may undergo a change, Colonel, when you



see this - the badge of the Grand Army - a gift from his dying father - my comrade and yours. COL. S.: That touches a different chord in my heart, Jack. Our comrades, who have gone before at the call of the great Commander above, have left us a sacred trust in the dear ones who survive them, a trust to which we must be ever faithful. If the boy is what he represents himself to be, he need not want for friends. (Presses Ed's hand, then looks at it closely. Looks up quickly and examines his face intently. Ed lowers his eyes quickly) And now, Jack, I have a trip for you. JACK: All right, Colonel, I'm always ready for duty. COL. S.: Here is a package of papers regarding the transfer of some beef cattle to the Indians, and it is important that they be delivered at the Agency with all possible haste. JACK: I'll take the trail at once, Colonel. COL. S.: But, by the way, I understand that Lame Dog's Indians, as well as Watson, bear a deep hatred for you, for the manner in which you have been defeating their murderous schemes. I fear they'll attempt to put you out of the way, if you should be seen at the Agency. You had best send Bill Wilde on this trip. JACK: IS that an order, Colonel? COL. S.: NO, Jack, merely a suggestion. JACK: I ' m glad of that for if it had been an order, it would have been my duty to obey without a murmur, but I have never yet shrunk from danger, and I'll never relinquish a plain duty to another, through fear of personal harm. COL. S.: I did not mean to cast the least shadow of a doubt on your courage, Jack. Wait here a moment, I'll see if there is anything I've overlooked. (Exit R.) ED: Oh, Jack, must you go? JACK: Yes, my boy, I must get into the saddle and start at once. Away again over the trail to the wild, free life that the trail scout loves so well. ED: Among the Indians - but, oh Jack, won't you be in danger? JACK: The life of a scout is one of constant danger when he's on the trail. He doesn't know what moment some red-skin devil may fire upon him from ambush, or seek his life in his lonely



camp. It is best that you should know this, my boy, then if anything should ever happen to me, you will not be unprepared for the tidings. Would it hurt you so much if you should lose your adopted dad? ED: Oh, Jack, it would kill me. You have been so kind to me, that you have wholly won my affections. My love for you is so . . . . (Stops embarrassed) JACK: Well, go on. I like such talk as that. So you take a great deal of interest in your new dad, eh? ED: I should be an ungrateful creature if I did not take an interest in my noble protector. I feel that I owe my life to you, and how can I help but - but love you as I would love a brother? JACK: Thank you, boy, thank you, and I can assure you that I feel a great affection for my little waif. (Enters Bill Wilde door R. in F.) Bill, I'm going over to the Agency with some papers for the Colonel. I'll leave the boy in your hands. See that no harm comes to him during my absence. BILL: Don't let your heart get the flip-flops on his account, Jack, for I'll watch him as a she-b'ar'd watch her first cub. But look yar, pard, I don't like the idea of you goin' over thar, the way them fellows feel agin' you. They'll do you up if they git half a chance. You jest let me go, an' you stay here with the boy. JACK: N O , Bill, not if I knew that peril hung over every foot of the trail. It's my duty, and I must perform it. BILL: Put her thar, pard, that's genuine Western grit an' I like it, durn my admirin' eyes, if I don't. An' say, Jack, when you git over t h a r ' t the Agency, will you do something fur me? JACK: Anything I can. What is it? BILL: Well, when you see that little desarter from the angel camp - yer know - will you give her - will you tell her - ye know, will you - give h e r . . . . JACK: (Laughing) You mean, when I see Tat, you want me to give her your love, eh, you old rascal? B I L L : NO, no, no, Jack. Don't talk about love atween me an' that gal - me a great, rough ol' he-b'ar. It wouldn't be the square thing, Jack, for me to think o' love alongside o' her. Jest give her my respects, Jack, an' tell her I think a powerful sight o'



her - that ar' jest the same as I did when she was a baby. JACK: Yes, I understand, Bill - but she's no baby now. (Enter Col. Sanjord L.2.E.) Colonel, here's Bill Wilde whom I was telling you about. COL. S.: Mr. Wilde, I'm always glad to know a man with a record like yours. BILL: Thank you, Colonel, you do me proud. COL. S.: And now, Jack, here is a letter I want you to deliver to the agent in charge. Be careful it does not fall into Watson's hands, because it is in regard to him. I want the agent to wake up and attend to his business. If he does not, there will be a vacancy to be filled at the Indian Department, or I'm mistaken. JACK: All right, Colonel. Good-by. Good-by, Ed. Good-by Bill, I'll come back with every hair in place and without a scratch. (Exit. Seen to mount his horse as he speaks) Now, Custer, my gallant boy, for the trail once more. ED: Oh, Bill, will he ever come back? BILL: Perhaps not, little one, p'r'aps not. It'll take a good one to down him, but I feel oneasy, durned if I don't. ED: SO do I. Something tells me that he will meet with harm. Oh, Colonel, can't Bill go after him? Two would be safer than one. COL. S.: I wanted him to let Wilde go, but he would not hear of it. BILL: Thar, thar, boy, don't act like a female woman. Be a man - gosh a' mighty be a man. S'posin' he don't come back. If he falls, you kin bet your life, when you hear the particulars of the scrimmage, we'll hear that Jack Wallace went down fightin' with every color flyin', an' that he kept a shootin' till Death snatched the rifle out'n his hands. It makes me feel like takin' a hand in the scrimmage jest to think of it, durn my hostile eyes, if it don't. ED: Then why can't you go and help him? Why not mount your horse and follow him? BILL: 'Cause Jack left me here to take care o' you. ED: Leave me to myself. Your friend is in danger. Colonel, tell him to go. COL. S.: That is scarcely necessary, my boy. He is at liberty to do as he likes. Yet, I scarcely apprehend any danger.



ED: Colonel, I do. Oh, think, sir, you are sending him alone into that camp, where every dishonest Indian is his foe, where even the white men, who should be his friends and brothers in warfare, are plotting his life. Think of the helplessness of this noble man, when he finds himself surrounded by his enemies, without a friend to help him beat them back. I can see it all now. I can almost hear his dying prayer as they press around him. They call me a tenderfoot. I am only a boy, and I ran like a coward from the Indians when they pursued me - but that was a week ago - I am changed now. Jack is in danger - and, Bill, if you don't follow him, I will. BILL: I'll go. You're right, boy, I never desarted a friend, and I will not now. (Starts for door) But - (Hesitating) What in 'tarnal shall I do with you? What'll I say to Jack fur leavin' you here alone? I have it. Colonel, give me a receipt for the boy an' I'll turn him over to you. (Colonel laughingly writes a receipt which Bill puts in his pocket) Good-by. I'm off and I won't come back alone. (Exits) ED: God bless you, Bill. I knew you'd go. (He mounts his horse) He's off. Colonel, do you think he'll overtake Jack, do you? COL. S.: (Slowly) Perhaps. Your interest in Jack Wallace is rather surprising in a boy, is it not? ED: Oh, sir, he has been so good to me. COL. S.: Without even suspecting that you are not what you represent yourself to be? You are a woman. ED: Oh, Colonel. COL. S.: A woman - and a woman who would come here in disguise does so for no good purpose. ED: Oh, sir, I swear to you t h a t . . . . COL. S.: Silence. I regret this - regret that you have so completely deceived that brave fellow, whose great heart opened to you when he thought you were a boy in need. You have played a bold game, madam, but your scheme, whatever it may have been, has been thwarted. I will at once summon a guard to escort you out of the garrison. Orderly. ED: NO, no, you must not. I am not what you think, I swear it. You shall do nothing until you have heard my story. My father



was your comrade. Will you drive me out without permitting me to say one word in my own behalf? I stand here at your mercy - a soldier's child. Will you hear me? (Enter Orderly, who salutes) COL. S.: Give my compliments to Captain Lawton, and tell him that Jack Wallace has reported and that I have sent him to the Agency with the papers for the agent in charge. Now young man, follow me. (Exit R.2.E. as Orderly exits door R. in F.) Scene 2 Setting: Agent's office at Red Cloud, showing exterior and interior of the building — upper room arranged to be used as prison. Watson discovered at desk in lower room writing - Lame Dog standing near watching him. WATSON: What more do you want? The girl isn't worth it. If some of your bucks wanted to buy her, you wouldn't make half as good a bargain, and now, because I am a white man you demand an exorbitant price. L A M E DOG: Chipita no marry buck. Chipita head heap big. WATSON: Then you think she'll jump at the chance to become my wife? I don't. L A M E DOG: Injun buy wife, make um marry. WATSON: Then you advise me to woo her Indian fashion. You lock up your coy maidens until they become manageable, I believe. That's not a bad idea. I have a room upstairs which I use for the retention of unruly prisoners. If she makes a fuss, I'll put her there till she come to time. There's our contract. There's my name. Now, Lame Dog, make your mark under it. (He does so) Here's an order to the storekeeper for the goods and the horses are in my stable. I'll send them to you tonight, or as soon as Chipita is safely in my keeping. Listen, there she is now. (Chip is heard singing) Chip's Song Where the wild deer loves to play, Near the dashing streamlets stray.



In the mountain cañón wild, Is the home of nature's child. Song birds warble in the trees, Swaying in the gentle breeze Oh, I love the mountain grand, Beautiful as spirit land. Oh, I love the mountain grand, Beautiful as spirit land. WATSON: Remember Lame Dog, I shall rely on you to a certain extent to capture this wild bird. (Enter Chipita L.2.E. as Watson goes out of house to meet her) CHIPITA: Good afternoon, Mr. Watson, have you heard anything further in Washington in regard to my petition? WATSON: Not yet, Miss Chipita, but you must be patient. They are very slow in making appointments, but I have no doubt you will get your school. CHIP: Don't you think Colonel Sanford could help me? I understand he is a very good man and has the welfare of my people much at heart. WATSON: I scarcely think Colonel Sanford would help you. Wait a little while, I am certain I can arrange everything for you. You will have your own school and a good one, and also several assistants of your own race, who are also graduates of Carlisle. I have not been idle, I assure you. And if I succeed, may I be a pupil as a reward for my efforts? CHIP: What could the white man learn from the Indian girl? WATSON: (Going toward her) You could teach me the lesson of love, Chipita. I . . . . (Tries to put his arm about her. She repulses him) CHIP: What does the white man mean? WATSON: I mean that I love you and I would make you my wife. CHIP: No, no. You do not mean well by me, Mr. Watson. White men never do when they speak of love to an Indian maiden. WATSON: I do mean well, Chipita. I mean to make you my wife. CHIP: Chipita will not marry. She has work to do among her own people.



my wife you would not need to work. You could live as a queen among your own people. CHIP: I only wish to do them good - not to reign over them. I cannot be your wife. WATSON: YOU must. You belong to me already. I have bought you from your father. CHIP: (Surprised) Bought me? WATSON: He is within. Shall I call him to verify my words? CHIP: No - you need not. I could believe even that of him since you have kept him plied with liquor constantly in order to make him your slave. And now you wish also to make a slave of me. If you have bought me from my father, I fear you will lose your bargain, for there is no law to compel me to fulfill the terms of your agreement with him. WATSON: There is the law of filial duty. CHIP: There is also a law of duty for a father. He has no right to sell me as he would his horse or his dog. I have not been to the white man's school for nothing. It is true that I am but a poor Indian girl. I was born in a lodge of skins, and that lodge was my home, till the pale faces sent me away to school far toward the rising sun. There I was taught to speak your language, and I was educated as the white girls are, and I was taught by good, Christian women the priceless value of virtue and honor in a maiden. The principles thus grafted in my young heart took root and are firmly planted there. Consider all this, then say, are you a fit man to share such a life. WATSON: Oh, bosh, I can make a lady of you and you will no longer be looked upon as a poor, despised Indian. Come, give me your word and a sweet kiss to seal our betrothal. CHIP: Stop where you are, Mr. Watson. I would rather marry the poorest Indian of my father's tribe, than a white man who bears such a name as you do. WATSON: (Laughing) You don't seem to realize that you are in my power, young lady, and that your word has very little to do with the matter. You are wholly at my mercy, and I must insist upon your remaining here until you can reconsider your present resolution. WATSON: AS



dare you detain me! By the right of a master - by the right of purchase. CHIP: I am not your slave. Let me pass. WATSON: Sorry that I cannot oblige you, but you must remain here till you become my wife. CHIP: No human soul may be near to me, but the ever-watchful eye of the Great Spirit above is upon you and I place my trust in him. He, at least, will not desert me. Stand aside. (Takes dagger from her belt) WATSON: Oh, you show fight! I'm not afraid for myself, of that pretty toy you have, but Miss Chipita, I must advise you to be careful or you will hurt yourself. (Enter Lame Dog from house. He has been drinking Watson's whiskey and searching the desk while this is going on and is seen to steal several valueless articles) CHIP: Unless you permit me to leave this place, I will die by my own hand. (Lame Dog behind her and secures dagger) LAME DOG: Chipita heap big fool. C H I P : YOU are my father. It is your duty to protect me and not to assist him in his crime. LAME DOG: Me your father. Me sell you Watson. You his squaw. CHIP: HOW


CHIP: Never.

Him make heap fine lady you - heap big Chief me. CHIP: Chief! You will be the disgrace of your tribe if you sell your child to that white villain. LAME DOG: Ugh - me heap big man - plenty horses - plenty blankets - plenty 'bacco. CHIP: And plenty firewater to make a beast of yourself. (To Watson) Let me pass. You have robbed me of my only weapon of defense, but I will die before you shall keep me here. (Tries to pass him. He seizes her. She struggles to get away from him. Lame Dog goes to his rescue. They finally get her into house and up into room over office. All bus. ad. lib.) WATSON: There, you little tiger cat, I think you'll need a rest after that fight. And you can make up your mind that these will be your quarters until you can get some sense into that pretty head of yours. LAME DOG:



wretch! Leave me! WATSON: They might have taught you better manners at Carlisle. When I honor you with a call, I hope you'll be more polite. Come, Lame Dog. CHIP: Father, will you leave me to the mercy of that villain? LAME DOG: You learn heap fine things Carlisle - learn here obey. Lame Dog speak. (Exit after Watson down-stairs. Chip breaks down sobbing) WATSON: Oh, she'll come round all right. L A M E DOG: Me get horse now? WATSON: Yes. Go down to the Agency stables. I'll follow you in a few minutes. You shall have your horses. LAME DOG: Good nuff. (Exits L. singing Indian chant) WATSON: I think she'll come to her senses after a day or two. What does she want, I wonder? Perhaps she thinks she's a princess, and I'm only a low-born plebeian. She may be a princess, but I'll make a slave of her before I'm through. (Enter Jack Wallace R.U.E. Goes directly into office) Jack Wallace, you here? JACK: Yes, I'm here, but not of my own choosing, I can assure you. Here's a package of papers from Col. Sanford and there's the receipt. Sign it and I will get out of here, for the very air seems tainted. (Watson signs paper which Jack puts into his pocket) WATSON: You cannot think of starting back to the fort to-night. Although we are not friends, common courtesy demands that I should offer Col. Sanford's courier the hospitality of the Agency. JACK: Hospitality! Do you think I would trust myself to sleep beneath your roof? No. I will camp in the forest, where even the wild beasts are less to be feared than your treachery. Even the rattle-snake gives warning before it strikes. You would not. WATSON: Those are hard words, and you might live to repent them. JACK: One need never repent throwing the light of truth upon the hideous face of villainy. I'd like to be able to picture you to yourself as others see you. If my soul was so steeped in crime as yours, if my heart was so foul with the clinging slime of sin as yours, I would perform the one commendable act of my life CHIP: YOU



by going out and hanging myself by the nearest tree. I know you, Frank Watson. I know of your several attempts upon my life. You are a double-dyed villain, if ever God in his mercy permitted one to live. You not only plot against them to rob and murder them, but even the women are not safe from your corrupt nature. Does the truth sound pleasant to your ears? WATSON: You are mistaken. JACK: No, I'm not, you sleek rascal. And I want to tell you right now that I've sworn to protect the people against you and your Indians. So go slow. That's all. Good night. (Exit. Watson starts after him with hand on his pocket as if about to draw a gun. Jack hears him and throws his rifle over his shoulder clicking the trigger as he does so. Watson starts back) Good night. (Exit R.U.E.) WATSON: Damn him. (Takes off his hat and looks at it) It's lucky that bullet didn't go through my head. I believe that fellow has eyes in the back of his head. The devil take him. I'll never succeed in anything as long as he's around this Agency. If he gets wind of Chip being upstairs, he'll raze the building to the ground to get her out. There he goes, as independent as though he hadn't a foe on earth, and there's not a red skin on the reservation but would be ready to lift his scalp, if I said the word. I wonder where Lame Dog has gone? (Whistles) Drunk down at the stables, I suppose. (Whistles again) Ah, there he is. (Enter Lame Dog) LAME DOG: HOW?

was looking for you. The long-haired scout, who has been leading the soldiers against your warriors, was just here, and will camp to-night on the Fort Laramie trail. Follow him like the shadow of death, and when he sleeps . . . . (Bus. of pantomine indicating murder) LAME DOG: Lame Dog heap 'fraid Long Hair. Long Hair great warrior. Lame Dog warriors go get pale face horses. Long Hair comes - heap soldiers - kill um warriors. White Chief tell Lame Dog pay Chief come - heap money pay soldiers. White Chief speak, "You go kill um Chief - ketch um money." Lame Dog come - heap soldiers - heap warriors no come back. WATSON: I



know he has spoiled our plans on several occasions, but if you kill him now, he will trouble us no more, and we will get great riches. Go, Chief, go. Lose not a moment. He will sleep and you can strike without danger. One blow and he is forever out of your way. LAME DOG: Lame Dog go. Long Hair die to-night. (Exit R.U.E.) WATSON: SO I think that ends Jack Wallace. With him out of my way, I'll make one desperate stroke. There will be nothing to interfere with my happiness. I have had a hard pull since I came here. Of all' the cursed luck. Failure in every attempt. All my best-laid plans balked just on the eve of consummation balked by that long-haired scout. That Indian girl, too, aided by that little hell-cat, Tat Benson, has turned my every word of love to scorn. But this is my day, and woe to all who have dared to cross my path. Confound that fellow - he has set my nerves on fire and my brain in a whirl. I'll walk down the stream till these devilish nerves of mine become quiet. Wait - wait - there's no telling what the morrow will bring. If Lame Dog is swift and sure, you'll wake up in another world, friend Jack. (Exit, after locking door R.I.E. Enter Tat R.U.E.) TAT: (Imitating Watson) Oh, this cussed luck. Oh, this consarned failure to git thar. All my religious rackets are busted in the nose the evening afore consternation by that baldheaded scout. Oh, Frankie, Frankie, you dear, good scoundrel. I'm glad to see you in sich splendid spirits. I like to see people real happy. And he had the supreme gall to call me a little hell-cat - me, a refinish young lady as goes in the best society - 'cause I generally go by myself. Well, Mr. Frank Watson, you'll find me a full-grown tiger-cat, with two rows o' claws on each foot, afore you're done with me. I guess I'd better foller him up if his brain's smokin' for it might take fire through spontaneous combustification. If it does, I want to be thar to put it out, fur I don't want ter lose him now. I kin have lots o' fun with him yet. Oh, you onsanctified sinner, you'll run agin a worse fire than that when your master calls you home. (Chip sobs) I wonder what that war? CHIP: Oh, Father in Heaven, save me from the dreaded fate which awaits me. WATSON: I



TAT: Guess there's someone in the lock-up. Watson's powerful hard on any o' them poor Indians he catches stealin'. (Listens at the door) CHIP: Oh, is there no one to help me? Help - help! (Pounds on window) TAT: Gosh! That's a woman. Sounds like Chip's voice. I ain't seen her to-day. S'posin' she is in thar, how kin I get her out? Thar's no way to open that lock without a key, and I don't reckon Watson would lend it to me. If I'd ask him, he'd only refuse and hurt my feelin's by hinting that I was up to some monkey-doodle business. Oh Lor', I wish I war as strong as that Bible feller Chip told me about. Sam - Sam - something with long hair like Jack's. He took hold of a pillar and upset a whole temple. If I war that strong, I'd teach this oF jail a Bible lesson in jest two seconds. I wonder if it's Chip. I might yell myself hoarse and she'd never hear me through that wall, and I can't git up to that winder. Hoi' on. By Jehosophat, thar's a ladder back o' the office. Brace up, Miss Tat, you'll get thar yet. (Exit R.U.E.) CHIP: N O hope. No way to escape from his clutches. In this remote spot my friends will never think of looking for me. Even my little Tat will never dream that I am in this old prison. Oh, why did the white man take me from my blessed ignorance to teach me that there is a life to which I may never aspire? I was happy in my lodge of skins - my world encompassed by the wild mountains. Do they think they are doing good by dragging the savage children from their mother's breasts, to teach them to be as white men and women are, then sending them back to the reservations to learn to loathe and abhor the manners of their own people, till they are driven to worse by the taunts and jeers of those to whom education seems a disgrace and a waste of time? Why give to us hapless children of the red man glimpses of refinement and happiness, to doom us ever after to a life of slavery, as the squaw of some cruel Indian, or as the mistress of some more cruel white man? Oh, it isn't right! I wish I could die. I wish I could die! (Breaks down sobbing. Enter Tat with ladder which she places up to window) TAT: I jest honestly believe thar's a way to do anything if a body



jest tackles it at the right end and plays ter win, I do, by gosh, as Jack says. It's like that varse of poetry he wrote for me an' made me larn by heart. (Climbing up ladder) If at first you lose your grip, On anything you try. Jest keep a solid upper lip, An' ye'll git thar, bye and bye. Chip, Chip, oh, Chip, are ye thar? C H I P : Oh, Tat, my little white sister, is that you? TAT: You bet your moccasins, it's me. How're you enjoyin' yerself? C H I P : Oh, Tat, this is terrible. But the sound of your dear voice again bids me hope. I feared you would never find me and that 1 would die in this gloomy prison. How did you learn I was here? TAT: I reckon it war the Great Spirit told me, Chip. You bet your life, he's keeping cases on yer. But I'll swar I don't know how to git you out of thar. Thar's a big, strong lock on the door an' it can't be opened without a key. How's the door up thar? C H I P : It is locked, but I believe it could be broken open by a strong man. TAT: Lord, what can we do, Chip? C H I P : Oh, I don't know. TAT: It's orful, Chip. My heart's jest as near bustin' that it's liable ter fly all ter flinders any minute. Can't yer scholar learnin' figure some way to git that door open? C H I P : N O , Tat, I fear nothing can be done. We will have to give up. I shall die here. Oh, pray heaven, the end may come soon. TAT: Oh, Chip, don't talk like that. What war that you war tellin' me about in the Bible - 'bout two fellers bein' in jail an' they prayed an' the jail door busted right open? C H I P : That was Paul and Silas, Tat, but the days of miracles have passed. TAT: Why, Chip, ain't the same Great Spirit in office now? C H I P : Yes, but the world no longer needs miracles to learn His power. TAT: Well, Chip, 1 never war teached how ter pray, an' I 'spect I'd make an awful muss of it, but I've got a notion ter try it a



whiff for it might work, you know. I'd do anything, Chip, to git that cussed door open. Say, Chip, God wouldn't think it war cheeky of me ter bother Him, would He? I 'spect He's awful busy. CHIP: He is never too busy to listen to prayer. TAT: Wall, Chip, I believe I'll do it. An' you pray too. I'm goin' to git right down on my bended knees an' do my level best. (Descends to foot of ladder and kneels) Wish I had somebody ter introduce me. (Enter Jack, sees Tat, and takes off his hat) Oh, Jack, did God send you? JACK: I guess not. I come by order of Colonel Sanford. Had a message to deliver to Watson and dropped the receipts somewhere hereabouts. What's the trouble here? Why are you on your knees? TAT: Watson's got Chip locked up in the old prison room upstairs and she's goin' to die thar - indeed she is, Jack, fur she said so. Jest look at that awful lock! JACK: (Examining lock) Pretty solid lock, Tat, but I guess it could be opened. TAT: Oh, Jack, how - how - how? (Dancing with delight) JACK: I can open it, Tat, but it may raise an alarm, and the poor Indian girl must be taken away quickly. Just wait a moment till I get my horse. You and Chip mount him and get off as fast as possible. When you are safe away, turn him loose. He'll find me. (Exit R.U.E.) TAT: I believe God did send him ter introduce me an' he don't wanter own up to it. (Enter Jack with horse) JACK: NOW, Wildfire, this is a ticklish job and you must get away from here like a flash. (Bus.) Take this match, and when I tell you, strike it, and hold it near the lock so I can see. Stand out from the door as far as you can, so the flying pieces may not strike you. TAT: What's all this fur, Jack? JACK: (Slaps rifle) Here's a pretty good key, but it might be noisy for burglars to use. Do you catch my idea? TAT: By Jingo, yes. Now I know somebody sent ye. (Looks around for place to strike match, finally motions Jack to her, and



strikes it on his pants. Jack laughs and gets back to position) JACK: Are you ready? (Fires shot into lock. It flies from door. Jack runs upstairs, is heard to fire another shot, and enters room where Chip is) Come, miss. TAT: Quick, Jack, someone's comin'. JACK: There's not an instant to lose. (Descends stairs with Chip) CHIP: Heaven help me. JACK: (Helping Chip into saddle. Tat climbs up behind) Heaven helps the man that helps himself. Go, for your lives! (Slaps horse which gallops o f f . Jack brings his gun to his shoulder as Watson enters R.I.E. and comes face to face with him) And you stop for your life. For I've got business with you, right now. PICTURE CURTAIN

Scene 3 Setting: Rocky pass in the Mountains. Enter Jack leading horse by bridle, stroking his neck. JACK: Well, Custer, old boy, you found me, did you? If some men had as much horse sense as you've got, this world would be better for it. You must fill up well on grass to-night, old fellow, for we have a hard trip to-morrow. Go now, and feed upon the rich food nature has provided for you. (Starts horse off R.) This is the glorious home of the border man - the earth for a bed, the saddle for a pillow, and the starlit dome of heaven for a roof. (Moon rises) I feel a strange uneasiness to-night. I hope nothing has happened to Ed. That boy's handsome face haunts me continually. I cannot understand my strange affection for him. (Yawns) I must get some sleep to-night, for I have a long ride to-morrow. (Horse snorting) Whoa, Custer! Are you afraid of a prowling wolf? You are not in the habit of being scared at such trifles. (Lies down) Whoa! (Sits up and looks o f f ) Ah, there it goes. Nothing but a cowardly wolf. (Lies down again) Heighho! (Enter Lame Dog - twig breaks - horse snorts - Jack rises) There's danger near or that horse would not act so. (Sees Indian



and grasps knife) Ah, you sneaking red villain, you thought to murder me while I slept. Come on, you craven coward, come on. (Knife fight - Jack stumbles) L A M E DOG: Now, Long Hair, now. Me wait long time. Now you die. (Shot fired from L.3.E. Lame Dog gives exclamation of pain and runs off R.U.E.) Ah, white squaw! (Enter Tat L.U.E.) TAT: Oh, Lordy, Jack, did he cut you? Oh dear, my heart's in my mouth an' I ain't got strength to swaller it agin. JACK: In Heaven's name, Tat, how came you here at such a fortunate moment? Another instant and that red dog would have struck. Did you follow the Chief from the Agency? TAT: I warn't very far behind him, Jack. I'd a stopped the row sooner, but I was afraid I'd hit you. When you stumbled and fell over your saddle an' he raised his knife, I just turned loose. Guess I busted his wrist. I could have killed him easy, Jack, but somehow I don't want to kill nobody, if I can help it. JACK: My brave, noble girl, you most certainly saved my life. Such courage as yours . . . . TAT: NOW, Jack, you just please don't spill so much sugar talk. You saved my dad once an' you helped Chip out of a hole tonight, an' it's only the squar' medicine fur me to pay back. (Bus. - Rifle to shoulder - Enter Bill Wilde) B I L L : Don't shoot, Wildcat, it's only me. JACK: Why, pard, Bill, what brings you here? B I L L : The kid, Jack. That boy of ours. JACK: Great heavens, has anything happened to Ed? B I L L : N O , pard, he's all right; here's a receipt for him. The kid war grievin' himself inter fits, afeard you'd git done up on this trip, an' he begged so hard fur me ter foller ye, that I had ter weaken, an' yar I be. I thought myself you might need me, pardner. W'at's the racket yar? JACK: Watson sent Lame Dog on my trail to murder me while I slept, but my horse warned me, and I discovered him just in time to save my life. We had a desperate knife fight. I tripped and fell over my saddle, and he was just about to give it to me, when Tat, who had followed him, broke his wrist with a bullet. I owe my life to her.



BILL: I b'lieve yer dad's gamey spirit has come back off'n the heavenly trail an' camped in your body, Wildcat, I do, by gosh. I'm proud o' you, you little bundle o' snap light'in. I'm proud o' you. TAT: NOW, Bill, hoi' on. Your mouth's sprung a bad leak an' you're losin' too much language. I done just what you'd a done, if you'd got yar a little sooner, an' that's all thar is of it. Now let's talk sense, and my advice to you fellers is to git out of yar lively. I hurt Lame Dog's feelin's, an' he's mad, an' he ain't goin' to cry quits at this stage o' the game. It's only a little ways back to the Agency, an' he'll kick out a lot of his painted niggers an' be back yar. JACK: The little one is right, Bill. I'll go and catch my horse and we'll move at once. {Exit R.U.E. Bill and Tat seat themselves on the ground) TAT: Bill, how's that ar' boy gittin' along? BILL: Scrumptuous, little one, scrumptuous. I tell you he thinks a powerful sight of Jack. TAT: Well, w'y shouldn't he? I tell you, poor orphan kids don't stumble over new ready-made dads on the trail every day. That boy's playin' in big luck, Bill. BILL: That he ar', little one, that he ar', little one, that he ar', an' he desarves it. (Indian enters, steals guns and exits L.U.E.) He's an uncommon youngster and powerful old fur one of his age. W'y Tat, that kid talks real edicated like. I've seen him reel off words that long (Measures with hand) an' never bat his eyes. TAT: Yes, he's a nice boy. (Pause) I like Ed, I do. (Pause) (Tat turns and looks at Bill) Lor', how quiet it seems when you ain't talkin', Bill. B I L L : YOU ain't lonesome, be you, Tat? TAT: Not when I'm with you, Bill. BILL: Why ain't you lonesome when you're with me? TAT: 'Cause you're good company, Bill, an' 'cause I like you. BILL: Do you like me, Tat? Oh, Tat. (Bus. of looking lovesick) TAT: Why, Bill, what ails yer? Is your digestible apperatus out of kilter? BILL: No, Tat, 'tain't my digestion that's a sufferin'. I'm afeard to tell you what it is.



TAT: Afeard, Bill? What you skeered of? B I L L : I'm a skeered of you, Tat. TAT: Why, Bill, I wouldn't hurt you for the world. I think too much of you. B I L L : (Seizes her hand) Tat, I'll tell ye if you kill me. I love you, Tat, I do, by gosh. I want ye to be my wife for time an' etarnity, an' I'll do my level best to make you happy. Will you do it, Tat, for I'm givin' it to you on the dead squar'? TAT: Lor', Bill, I never felt so queer in all my life. Do you mean it, Bill, sure? B I L L : D O I mean it? Look in my eyes, Tat, and see if I mean it. (Bus.) TAT: Oh, Bill, Bill. (Bursts into tears) B I L L : Why, Tat, what are you crying about? TAT: It ain't a sorry cry, Bill. I'm cryin' because I'm infernal happy. I can't help it. 'Tain't me. It's jest the cryin' itself. B I L L : An' will you have me, Tat? TAT: YOU bet I will, you dear old he-b'ar. B I L L : (Kisses her) Oh, Tat! (Bus. of kissing ad. lib.) TAT: Oh, Bill, don't. B I L L : I will too. TAT: Oh, stop, Bill. (Bus. ad. lib. till Chip appears on rocks in rear and endeavors to attract their attention, looking off as if an enemy were approaching, picks up a stone to throw to Bill and Tat when Watson creeps up behind her and seizes her arm. She screams. Indians rush in. Bill and Tat miss guns. Bus. of struggle. They are overpowered and bound. Watson leads Chip down. A song by Tat can be worked into above scene before Chip appears) WATSON: (TO Tat) So, ho, my little lady, you are in league with those fellows, are you? Where is Jack Wallace? TAT: He's -he - he's gone out to get shaved. WATSON: Don't trifle with me or it will go hard with you. Where is that infernal long-haired scoundrel? B I L L : Pardner, I reckon from the description I've heard of you, that you ar' Frank Watson, clerk at Red Cloud, an' business manager fur ol' Satan yar on earth. WATSON: And who are you, sir, that shows such brazen impu-



dence? (Indian at back drops blanket. Chip steals behind him, picks it up, and puts it over her head, gradually creeps away. Exit R.U.E.) BILL: I'm Bill Wilde, pardner of Jack Wallace, an' I'm a man a claim you could never make, you sneak-eyed scoundrel. WATSON: So you are the fellow who has been aiding him in his interference with other people's business. Well, my fine fellow, you'll meddle no more - and you, you little demon - it is you who have been playing the spy on me and informing Jack Wallace of my plans. Speak, girl, is it not true? TAT: Frank Watson, I'll bet your tongue feels paralized after that spy talk, fur it's the first time you've been called on to speak the truth since I've knowed you. Yes, it war me an' I'm proud that I war able to help Jack ter block yer murderous schemes. I don't care what ye do with me nuther, an' I'll peg out a shoutin' that I war Jack's friend, an' helped him to beat your cussed game. WATSON: A nice friend you two have in Jack Wallace - a true brave friend, indeed, that runs away like a cur when he sees danger. He is a craven coward, who will desert friends, but it is well for him that he did fly, or he'd have shared your fate. BILL: You lie, you black-hearted villain. Jack Wallace ar' no coward, but what could one man do agin this gang o' murderous red dogs? You'll l'arn to yer sorrow that thar's not a drop o' coward blood in his veins. LAME DOG: White squaw heap bad. Lame Dog come, kill um Long Hair. White squaw shoot Lame Dog. (Holds up wounded arm) TAT: I wish now I'd aimed fur yer head. WATSON: SO it was she who shot you, was it? LAME DOG: Ouff. Lame Dog see Wild Cat. WATSON: Well, they are both in your hands. Do with them what you will. Your braves are out of practice with their arrows since they've learned how to use Uncle Sam's guns. Tie them to that tree yonder, and you'll find they make excellent targets for arrow practice. (Lame Dog speaks to Indians in his own language. They hold a parley in Sioux, tie Bill and Tat to trees, and range themselves in rows, getting their arrows ready. First brave steps for-



ward to fire arrow at Tat, when Jack enters, disguised as an old German soldier, drunk and singing) JACK: Hello. (Hie) Wasser matter here? Wasser matter here? WATSON: What are you doing so far from the Fort? Who are you? JACK: I'm Corporal Bill o' D troop, Fourth Cavalry, (hie) Tha's who I am. Take a drink, pardner. (Offers canteen) WATSON: What are you doing out here? Where's your troop? JACK: Troop came out to hunt for Jack Wallace. Give it up an' gone back to de Fort. I get too much tarantular on poart and lay down to shleeb - horse run off un' I get left. Vat you goin' to do mit dem peobles? WATSON: None of your business, and you'd better take the trail for the Fort. Come, move on. JACK: Don'd be in a hurry, pardner. Shay take a drink. Whoop, take a drink and let's have some fun. WATSON: N O . Curse your commissary poison. It would kill a mule. Come now, get out of here, or you may be given a place beside these prisoners. They are horse thieves, and we are going to punish them. JACK: Vat you goin' to do mit dem? WATSON: Teach them the difference between their horses and mine. Come, get out. JACK: NOW, dat ain't right. No, sir, dat's not right. If Captain Lawton was here, you vouldn't do it. By donder, pardner, I'm a soldier und I been in de service twendy years, un' I tell' you you von't harm dem peobles. I say shtop right here. WATSON: Oh, get out, you drunken fool, or I'll have these Indians tie you up with them. Go ahead, Lame Dog. JACK: Stop I say - stop right now. WATSON: Tie that fellow up! (Bus. Two braves seize Jack. He protests and rebels, gaining as much time as possible) You'll make a troublesome witness, so I'll settle you with them. Say your prayers, you little hell-cat, for nothing can save you now. JACK: (Breaks away) Yes, there can WATSON: What, you fool? JACK: (Throws off disguise and draws gun on them) Jack Wallace



and Captain Lawton's brave troopers. (Enter Chip followed by soldiers also Col. Sartford and Ed) WATSON: Captain Lawton! ED: And I. Jack, I told you I'd help you to rid the world of this rascal. See how I keep my word - (Fires shot at Watson who falls) PICTURE CURTAIN


Scene 1: Interior of Court-room. Col. Sanford and Chipita discovered. COL. S.: But why did you never come to me? CHIP: 1 had always heard that you were a cold, hard man, and would not listen to an humble Indian girl. COL. S.: DO I look like a cold, hard man, Miss Chipita? CHIP: NOW that I know you, I know that you are not. COL. S.: I always like to encourage ambition wherever I see it, and yours is most commendable. I promise you, you shall have your school if I have to build it myself. CHIP: Y o u a r e t o o k i n d .

COL. S.: And if your little red skins won't go to it, I'll send my soldiers and - egad - I'll come myself. CHIP: I'm afraid I could not teach such scholars much. COL. S.: Those eyes of yours could teach them a great deal. Don't be offended, Miss Chipita, I'm not a Frank Watson. CHIP: I'm sure of that. COL. S.: And I - I want to get better acquainted with you. (By Jove, she's handsome) I want to - er - er - be a sort of father of you. You see, I am greatly interested in Indian education. I suppose you can sew? CHIP: Yes, both plain and fancy sewing. COL. S.: And cook? CHIP: Y e s , i n d e e d .



COL. S.: And manage about the house - just - just the same as any other woman? CHIP: Yes, my education has been quite a thorough one. COL. S.: It's wonderful - wonderful. What a splendid wife you will make for some lucky fellow! CHIP: I would not marry an uncivilized Indian, and a white man would not make me his honorable wife. COL. S.: Damn it, why not? I beg your pardon, Miss, I didn't mean to swear. You've heard the story of Pocahontas and Rolfe? CHIP: That was when my people were rulers of this land, and not the scum of it and worse than outcasts. COL. S.: If they had more such women as you, they wouldn't be for long. CHIP: When they bring their schools to their reservations, that may be accomplished. It will all come in time. I can only hope and do what little I can to aid them. COL. S.: And you will succeed, I promise you. I shall often intrude on your little school, may I? CHIP: As often as you like. COL. S.: I'll be the school board, superintendent, and trustees all' in one. JACK: (Who has been standing L., watching them) I'll be hanged if the Colonel isn't getting stuck on Chipita. (Enter Bill) Hello, Bill, have you been taking in the sights? BILL: Yes, Jack. It's many a y'ar since I war in town afore an' it's all new to me. Too many people down yar, Jack. This ain't the mountains. JACK: No, indeed, Bill. This is not our own free stomping ground, and yet it is an agreeable change to come into civilization once in a while. Cheyenne is a great town. B I L L : Yes, it ar', Jack. Have you seen the boy this morning? JACK: I just left him, Bill. He was in the United States marshal's charge at the hotel and very comfortable. B I L L : Does he seem skeered about his trial? JACK: Oh, he's naturally a little nervous over it, but he'll come out all right when we show Watson up in his true colors. I can't get over it yet, Bill, the way he tried to avenge my wrong by



shooting that scoundrel. I'm glad he didn't kill him. I'd rather see him in the hands of the law. But have you seen Tat? I can't keep track of her a minute. Every time I turn my back she runs away. B I L L : N O , I haven't seen her, Jack, bless her purty face. I reckon she couldn't get lost down yar, could she? JACK: Oh, no, but she will keep running. This is the first time she ever saw a town, you know, and everything is wonderful to her. Great heavens, what's this coming? (Enter Tat, with fashionable bonnet on wrong side before, bustle and pair of corsets in one hand, pair of long red stockings and sombrero in the other) TAT: Oh, say, boys, I've had the darndest time I ever struck. Gee whiz, but ain't this town a circus? Goodness, I'm plum worn out. JACK: Well, I should think you would be. Where did you get all that truck? TAT: Ain't that scrumptuous, fellers? Jest git onto the doo-dads all over it. JACK: Where did you get it?

TAT: A woman give it to me. A genuine female woman. She keeps a tradin' post up that canon. JACK: (Laughing) Not a trading post, Tat. They are called stores in the towns, and that is not a canon, but a street. TAT: Wall, anyhow, I went in thar an' the woman axed me what she could do fur me, an' I tol' her nothing, that I war jest lookin' around and then she tuck a sort a notion to me an' tol' me I war quite a 'riginal young lady. Say, Jack, 'riginal young ladies ain't nothin' bad, are they? JACK: O h , n o , T a t , n o t a t all.

TAT: Wall, she showed me a hundred million things I never seed afore, an' she gave me this yar head-gear and said I'd look charmin' when I got dressed up an' wore it. Then she gave me these leggings. (Holding up stockings) And this - oh, say, Jack, d'ye know what that ar'? (Holds up bustle) JACK: (Laughing) Yes, I know, go ahead with your story. TAT: How'd you find out what it war? JACK: Never mind, go on with your story.



TAT: (Holding up corsets) This ar' a female pack saddle I guess. Wall, ye see I pitied the poor woman with a great big hump on her back. I didn't know no better you see, Jack, an' I axed her if she war born that way or got crippled. Holy Moses, how she did laugh! Then she told me that hump war a bustle and that all the women wore 'em, cause it was fashionish. Then she gave me this one, but good Lorsy, I'd be ashamed to wear it. (Sees Col. S. and Chip) I say, look yar, Colonel, what I got. Jest squint at that head-gear an' look at this (holding out bustle). Bet you don't know what that ar'? COL. S.: It's a bird cage, isn't it, Tat? TAT: Oh, git out, Colonel. Guess you never were in town afore, either. That cage wasn't made for no bird. It's a buster, Colonel, an' tame women wear 'em on their backs, an' it makes em look jest like a steer doubled up on a cold day. An' look at the sniptious leggin's the woman give me. (Measuring them on the Colonel) W'y they'd come cl'ar above your knees. COL. S.: (Laughing) Well, well, my little wild flower, you certainly are a good one. CHIP: T a t , T a t .

TAT: Well they do - jest look yar. (Bus. Enter Judge, Watson, Lame Dog, Lawyer, Sheriff, and veiled woman. Col. S. goes up to her and is seen conversing with her. Judge raps on bench with gravel) JUDGE: Order in the court. TAT: Say, Bill, what's he got that hammer for? JACK: Hush. He wants everybody to be quiet. TAT: (Loudly) Don't make a noise, Bill. The Judge wants everybody to be quiet. JUDGE: Order. This is the case, I believe, in which one Ed Brown is charged with shooting, with intent to kill Frank Watson, at or near Fort Laramie, a military reservation of the United States. Is the defendant represented by counsel? COL. S.: AS this is but a preliminary examination, your Honor, the accused is willing that the testimony of witnesses shall be taken without the appearance of counsel. JUDGE: Very well. Mr. Frank Watson will be sworn. ( Watson is



sworn and takes the witness chair) Now, Mr. Watson, you will state to the court what you know of this matter. WATSON: It can be done in very few words, your Honor. I am chief Clerk at the Red Cloud Indian Agency. While out on a hunting expedition and entirely peaceful, Lame Dog and his warriors were robbed of several fine horses by a girl named Tat Benson and a man by the name of Bill1 Wilde. Lame Dog captured the horse thieves and gained possession of his horses again. He then set about frightening his prisoners, though I am sure he meant no harm. In the midst of this, Col. Sanford appeared with his troops. With him was this boy, Ed Brown, who without a word of warning, shot me down, saying only that he had promised Jack Wallace to hunt me down and had kept his word. I believe, your Honor, that the whole thing was a preconcerted plot. Wallace is my sworn enemy and has often threatened to drive me from the Agency, and this boy, the prisoner, is his friend. JUDGE: Do you know of no other motive which would prompt him to attempt your life? WATSON: I do not, sir. I never saw the boy before. JUDGE: You are sure you never met him before? WATSON: Never, sir. JUDGE: On what day was this? WATSON: On the tenth day of this present month. JUDGE: Who were present? Who witnessed the shooting? WATSON: Jack Wallace, Colonel Sanford, Lame Dog, the Indians, Bill Wilde, and others. JUDGE: You can step down. Col. Sanford will be sworn. (The colonel takes the stand and is sworn) Colonel Sanford, please tell the court what you know of this matter. COL. S.: I can say very little, your Honor. It is simply this. I sent Jack Wallace to the Agency with a package of papers and a letter for the agent. After he had gone, I felt very uneasy about him. The boy, Ed Brown, added to my fears by his own and urged me to send soldiers to rescue Wallace from the Indians, who, he felt sure, would murder him. I had heard so much about this man Watson, and his villainies, that I determined to go myself and learn if he were as bad as represented. I arrived just



in time to save the lives of Tat Benson and Bill Wilde, and no doubt of Jack Wallace himself. The people Watson accuses of stealing horses from the Indians have always been found thoroughly honorable, and I am sure that had I not arrived when 1 did, Watson and the Indians would have killed them, simply because they are friends of Jack Wallace. JUDGE: Your report is certainly a strange one. How did you learn of the perilous position in which Wilde and the girl were placed? COL. S.: Through this Indian girl, sir. She met us on the trail, greatly agitated, and said that Jack Wallace had seen the dust rising from our horses' feet and had sent her to us, to ask us to make haste, and he told her that he would endeavor to delay matters till our arrival. We would have been too late, had not Wallace, in the disguise of a drunken soldier, delayed Watson in his cruel designs. TAT: Yes, Judge, that's the gospel truth, every word of it. JUDGE: Wait a while, young lady, you can have your say by and by. TAT: But I'm Tat Benson, Judge, and I know more about it than the Colonel does . . . . JUDGE: Order. JACK: Be still, Tat. TAT: But I want to tell JACK: Wait till the Colonel's through. TAT: But, Jack . . . . (Bus. Jack making her be quiet) JUDGE: Mr. Watson, what have you got to say to Colonel Sanford's testimony? WATSON: I say that it's a lie that I had any personal feelings in this matter. Thieves are often lynched in this country by white people, and nothing is said about it, but when the Indians try to redress their wrongs in the same manner, there's a roar that can be heard to the Missouri River. COL. S.: HOW can you stand there and tell such an enormous falsehood? TAT: Oh, that's a little easy one fur him, Colonel. JUDGE: Order.



am telling the truth, and I can prove it by the Chief here. Lame Dog, is it not so? LAME DOG: White Chief no lie. White Chiefs tongue straight like arrow. White man, white squaw steal um Indian horses. Indian catch 'um. Indian heap mad. TAT: Well, your tongue ain't straight like an arrow, Lame Dog. Jedge, don't you believe him. He's the biggest liar on the reservation. JUDGE: My dear young lady, we'll hear you by and by. TAT: Say, Jack, did you hear him? He called me his dear young lady. JUDGE: Order (Pause. Judge gets ready to speak again) TAT: Jack, look at Bill's face. He's mad. I swar I believe he's jealous. JUDGE: Order. Is that all, Colonel Sanford? COL. S.: Yes. JUDGE: You may step down. Jack Wallace take the stand. (Jack Wallace steps into witness stand and is sworn) Now, Mr. Wallace, tell us what happened after the capture of these people by Watson and the Indians. JACK: I had gone for my horse, which had strayed a short distance away, and heard the Indian girl's scream when Watson seized her. I ran back, quickly, but seeing I would have no chance against such numbers, I crouched behind a rock to view the situation. I heard Watson accuse Tat Benson of having divulged his murderous schemes to me, and he told her she must die for that. I then thought of a disguise I had in my saddle pocket for use in watching this villain and ran to get it, when I met Chipita, the Indian girl, whom I had seen steal away from the party. I, at the same time, saw the dust of the marching troop, and sent her with all possible speed to meet the command, for I guessed it must be the troop from the Fort. I donned the disguise and succeeded in delaying matters until I received the signal from Chipita that the soldiers were there. With them was the prisoner, Ed Brown. I had befriended him on a previous occasion, and he seemed to feel that he owed me a debt of gratitude. He knew that Watson was plotting to take my life, and he shot him, I WATSON: I



believe, in good faith, thinking that my welfare depended upon it. Whether or not he shot to kill, I do not know. TAT: Oh, yes, he did, Jack, he s a i d . . . . BILL: Shut up.

COL. S.: Your Honor, before we go any further, I have a very important witness I would like to have you question. We are wasting time. JUDGE: Very well, Colonel, call out your witness. (Colonel Sanford brings Edna forward. She wears a veil and is dressed in dark clothes. All seem surprised and expectant) Take the stand, Miss. What is your name? EDNA: Edna Howard. (Quickly) That man is trying to escape. COL. S.: YOU remain where you are sir. (Corners Watson) JUDGE: Lift your veil. (She does so, but so that only the Judge can see her face) Swear her. (Bus.) Now, Miss, what do you know of this affair? EDNA: Your Honor, in order to explain my connection with this case, it will be necessary for me to consume some little time and tell you something of my life's history. Will you grant me the time? JUDGE: YOU can have all the time you need to make your statement, Miss. TAT: Say, Jack, I wonder who she is? JACK: Hush.

EDNA: Then, your Honor, I wish to picture to you a young girl in a happy home, in a far-off Eastern village. Her life was unclouded until she reached her fourteenth year, and then cruel death snatched her mother away, leaving her the sole support of her aged and crippled father. She secured employment in a factory owned by an old gentleman and his son, the son having personal charge of the works. He was a dissipated libertine and had caused the ruin of more than one young girl in his employ. When the young girl of whom I speak had reached the age of eighteen, Paul Graham, the younger mill owner, began to pay her marked attention, and when she, knowing well his character, repulsed him with scorn, he swore to accomplish her ruin or turn her and her helpless father into the streets to starve, for he held



an overdue mortgage on her little home. The girl's father was a crippled veteran of the war and a comrade of the Grand Army of the Republic. One night he kissed his beloved child good-bye and started for a meeting of his Post. Immediately after he left the house, Paul Graham entered and attempted to renew his suit. The girl repulsed him even more determinedly than before and turned upon him like a fury when he insulted her and endeavored to embrace her against her will. At that moment, her father returned to get his badge, which he had forgotten. He ordered Graham from the house and finally, as old and feeble as he was, attempted to forcibly eject him, when Graham cowardly drew a revolver and shot that poor, crippled old man, dead before his daughter's eyes, then turned and fled in the darkness. Kneeling by the cold, lifeless form of her father, that girl took an oath that she would pursue the murderer wherever he might go, until she could overtake him and bring him to justice. She traced him to Chicago - to Omaha - to this city, and here learned that he had gone to the northwest - to the Red Cloud Indian Agency. Your Honor, I need not prolong the story. (Throws off her hat and veil, disclosing herself to be Ed Brown) I am Edna Howard, and there stands my father's murderer. (General surprise - Tat springs to her feet) TAT: I'll be durned if it isn't Ed. BILL: I'll be gol-durned if it ain't. JUDGE: This case is dismissed. The prisoner is released and court will adjourn for the day. (Comes down from bench, goes over to Edna and shakes her hands) Young lady, if I were not a Judge of a Court, and if certain sentiments, coming from me, would not sound like lawlessness, I'd like to say something about Judge Lynch. COL. S.: That isn't necessary. 1 have been working on this case and I now take pleasure in introducing Mr. Watson to a detective, who has the necessary papers in his pocket to take him back East and try him for his cowardly crime. (Detective puts handcuffs on Watson and takes him off R.I.E.) TAT: Pshaw, Why don't they lynch him? Say, Judge, kin I talk now?



Bless your sweet face, Chatterbox, talk all you want to. TAT: Much obliged. (All have been congratulating Edna. Jack stands aside disconsolate) BILL: What's the matter, Jack? JACK: Bill, I'm paralyzed with astonishment. I cannot yet believe that our boy is a girl. BILL: Neither can I, Jack, but I reckon we've got to take his her - I reckon we've got to take its word fur it. It's funny, Jack, durn my bewildered hide, if it isn't. JACK: By Jove, if she is a girl, she has pluck to be proud of. But there's one thought that breaks me all up, old pard, we must now lose our boy - lose him forever. BILL: But how about the gal, Jack? JACK: We can never hope to keep her. She has fulfilled her oath and will now return to her old home. She will be lost forever. BILL: It looks that way, Jack, it do, by gosh, but by jumpin' Jerusalem, Jack, she ain't got no folks there. You're her nearest relative. You're her adopted dad. JUDGE:

JACK: Of the boy, not of the girl.

BILL: Adopt her too, Jack, I'm going to adopt Tat. JACK: The young lady may have something to say about that herself. (To Col. S.) Ah, Colonel, so you knew our boy's secret all along? COL. S.: Yes, Jack, I knew all about it. I discovered the poor girl's sex before I had conversed with her a moment. I made known my discovery and she then told me her story. JACK: Just think, Colonel, I have hugged him - I mean her and kissed her when I thought he - or rather she - was a boy. I never treated a woman that way before in my life. COL. S.: It didn't hurt her a bit. In fact, I rather think she liked it. Try it again and see if she don't. And what do you think of it, my little magpie? TAT: (Acts as if she were waking from a dream) Say, Colonel. ar' this a dead squar' deal or a fake? COL: S.: It's a dead square deal, Tat. TAT: And ar' Ed a gal' sure enough? COL. S.: Yes.



TAT: Jerusalem, my happy home! I'll never git over it. (Takes up packages) Well, I kin jest help to harness her in bootiful style if the buster an' leggins will only fit her. (Goes up to Edna, who is surrounded by the others, except Jack, who keeps away from her) Say, Ed, I'm completely conflumigated. {Drops bundles and hugs her) Lordy, Ed, but you do look purty in gal's clothes. EDNA: Do I, little sister? Won't you come and kiss me? TAT: Sure you ain't jest gamin', fur if you're a boy, I'll never forgive you. (Kisses her) You don't b'ar on half as hard as Bill does, but then he's stronger than you ar'. Great gosh, jest look at Jack. EDNA: (Coming down) Have you nothing to say to me? JACK: (Coming toward her) Miss Howard . . . . EDNA: Now, Jack, stop right there. When you took me to your heart after finding me a poor, homeless wanderer, I was your boy, Ed. I am still Ed to you, or if you choose, you can call me Edna. JACK: God bless you, Ed - Edna. Edna - you are very beautiful. EDNA: (Laughing) Thank you, Jack, I am glad you think so. JACK: I will always remember you as I see you now, for the last time perhaps - so you must forgive me for looking at you as as i f . . . . EDNA: A S if you wanted to devour me, you ogre. JACK: I want to think of you like this when I ' m off on the trail, for I must go - go at once, where I can find excitement and forget - f o r g e t . . . . EDNA: Forget what, Jack? JACK: Forget the loss of the boy I had learned to love so dearly. EDNA: And did you really love your boy? JACK: Love him? He was all I had to love. My whole soul was wrapped up in him. I thought of him every moment while out on the trail, and my heart would beat with joyous anticipation when I thought of my return, for I knew that my Ed's handsome face would welcome me back. EDNA: And your boy loved you, Jack. Loved you fondly, devotedly, madly. JACK: But the girl, Edna, the girl?



EDNA: Does a change of heart come with a change of dress? Can such a transformation sweep away a love whose roots were so closely entwined about my heart? JACK: And will you be my Ed, my own darling Ed, through life? (She places her hand in his for an answer) TAT: (Who has buttonholed the judge up the stage, and brings him down) Say, Jack, the Jedge is going to marry me and Bill. I reckon, Jedge, from the looks of things, we'd better make it a double weddin'. JACK: It's just as Edna says. EDNA: It's just as Jack says. TAT: It's jest as I say, an' I say yes. (Begins to cry) I never felt so dad blasted happy in all my life. An' so ar' you happy, Ed, and so is Jack, an' so's Bill, an' I'll bet you my moccasins agin a pin, this is the happiest gang that ever struck Cheyenne. If I war acquainted with Chip's God, I'd git down yar on my knees and thank him, fur I believe he put up this hull job. Jack, it reminds me of that po'try you writ - 'bout Chip's God, what war it? JACK: (Taking Edna's hand) This world at best is but a hash of pleasure and of pain; Some days are bright and sunny, and some all wet with rain, And that's just how it ought to be, for when the clouds roll by. We'll know jest how to 'predate the bright an' smilin' sky. So learn to take it as it comes, and don't sweat at the pores, Because the Lord's opinion doesn't coincide with yours, But always keep rememberin' when cares your path enshroud, That God will sprinkle sunshine in the trail of every cloud. Picture: Jack and Edna, C.; Tat and Bill, L.C.; Col. and Chip, R.C.; Lame Dog, R.; Judge, L.\ others in order. Dark changes to Fort Laramie Parade Ground, showing prospectus. Old Glory waving in the rear. Col. S. on steps', Edna and Jack near him. Tat and Bill on veranda. Chip beside the Col. Grand military parade. CURTAIN

The Wise Man from the West




Written by Marie Madison and John W. Crawford in 1908. This edition is based on the manuscript submitted by Madison and Crawford for copyright on April 7, 1908, under the title, Colonel Bob: A Western Pastoral in 5 Acts.


DANFORTH: Known as "Col. Bob," a typical western man, who has grown with the country and been nicknamed with the name Col. Bob through recognition of his services as a leader of men in the community. ROBERT

JIM: In society he would be known as Mr. James Fullerton, but those who like him best call him Jim, and there are so many who do like him, few know his other name. A promoter.


His partner.

Known as the Thoroughbred.





stock holder. A New York girl. western girl.


stock holder in the Klondyke Mining Co.

Wife of Mark Hathaway.

Mildred's little son.

Stock holders in the Klondyke Forresters,

Mining Co., servants at the


Scene: A mountain retreat. A cabin is built on a plateau on the mountain side, down which a long trail is supposed to wind to the valley below, where the landscape rolls away to the mountains in the distance. The scene must be a typical landscape of New Mexico. The cabin seems to cling to the mountain side, and the whole scene is picturesque and beautiful. On the side of the cabin a piece of looking glass is nailed. Beneath it stands a beer keg on which is a tin wash basin, near-by a water pail, filled. Jim is discovered seated at an easel, on a camp stool R., painting the distant scene. He is dressed in rough clothes but in good taste, where about his neck he wears a tie, tied artist fashion. He wears a Vandyke beard, has on a large black slouch hat. As the curtain rises, a bird is heard singing shrilly. Jim paints awhile in silence, then lays aside his brushes despondently, takes his pipe from his pocket and fills it. JIM: It's no use, I can't get it, try as I will. A s Bob would say, "The picture's all right as a picture, but it ain't nature. You've got the mountain and the valley, but God ain't nowhere to be seen." And where God isn't to be seen, Bob doesn't care to go, even in fancy. I wonder if that man knows what a poet he is: not one of those who rhyme out their thoughts to the world, but like Grey's poets, "who never penned, whose inspiration is perchance the best." (Studies his picture) Well, he's an inspiration to me, bless his heart. Now, as the Thoroughbred would say, "There ain't no hoss nor cow in that aire picture." Well, so much



the better. I want nothing but the landscape and if possible that glimpse of the Diety a genius would impart. But I'm not a genius. (Looks off down the trail) Yet there are horses, or rather burros - two, and, as I live, a woman on one side of them. Upon my soul, I believe it's the Thoroughbred and his daughter, Hettie. (Springs to his feet) A woman in the Aerie, and Jim, you haven't been shaved for two months. (Goes up to side of cabin and looks into glass. Whistles softly to himself) That's the first time I've looked myself square in the face for many a day, and, say, Jim, you're not half bad looking now you've spruced up and become a man. That shows what mountain air, and a little water will do for a man, especially water. I came up here a terrible example of what whiskey will do for a fellow, and I've become a living study of the before and after. (Pours water into a basin and washes his face, drying it on a roller inside the cabin door) And here's where water is to the fore again. Some day I'm going to write a book on the uses of water. I'm going to expound the fact that it's good to drink, and I believe that there are lots of men who don't know it. (Takes comb from his pocket and combs his hair) Jim, your mother wouldn't know you. I wonder if I've forgotten my society manners. I guess not. Jim, old boy, it's ten months since you clapped eyes on the face of a girl, so keep your wits and don't make a fool of yourself. TOM: (Heard below) Git along thar, you pesky fool. Ain't never had a gal fur baggage before an' the dummy acts as if she war skeered plum out of her wits. There ain't much difference 'atween some jackasses an' some men. HETTIE: (Laughs heartily below) Pa, you're not complimentin' the jackass very much. TOM: (Same as before) Whoa, you fool. Don't you know a laugh when you hyer one? Gal, you're smarter than chain light'nin'. Git up thar. Git up. ( T o m and Hettie are seen slowly emerging up the trail through traps from below the stage. Tom is a regular cowboy, of great stature, and very thin. His feet touch the ground as he sits on the burro. Hettie is plump and pretty and is dressed in a calico or gingham frock and pink-lined sun bonnet. She has a basket on her arm and a bag thrown over the back of the burro)



TOM: (Halting C.) Hello, Jim. A m I reinin' this donkey or helping him to walk? Bless my hide, I had to use my feet half the time to help him up the trail. Reckon I'll have to git a burro built to order fur legs like mine. (Hettie jumps down from back of burro. Tom stands up and lets burro walk from under him) Say, Jim, this is my gal - image of her mother, heart, soul, and body, and there ain't none handsomer than her mother, hereabouts. Hettie, that thar's Jim. Don't know as he has another name or not, but them that likes him calls him jest plain Jim an' so many of us likes him, none of us knows his other name. HETTIE: (Curtsies and stumbles awkwardly over the front of her dress) How'dy, Mr. Jim. I 'low I know you from hearin' Pa talk so much about you. JIM: {With polish and grace) He's been extolling your beauties so ardently, it seems I've known you for years. HETTIE: (Suspiciously) You're mighty kind. (To Tom, aside) Say, Pa, what does he mean by 'stolin'. Y o u ain't been branding Mavericks or swipin' anything, have you? TOM: (Aside to Hettie) Naw. Reckon that's one of his book words. He's mighty smart, he is. Guess he means tollin' like a bell. Say, Jim, whar's yer feed? These animals air about starved. JIM: The corral is behind the house, Tom. Help yourself to anything you need. TOM: All right. Thank you, Jim. JIM: (Gallantly) Allow me, Miss Hettie. HETTIE: (Indignantly) Go 'long. Think I can't help myself? Why, I'm as tough as dad. TOM: I reckon you war surprised to see a female totin' up hyer, eh, Jim? JIM: My surprise was only equal to my pleasure. (Tom leads burros off behind house L.U.E) I believe you are the first woman to ever set foot in the Aerie. HETTIE: T h e what?

JIM: The Aerie. That's what we call our cabin. HETTIE: Law sakes. Well, I won't be the last for Pa, an' me are jest forerunners of what's comin'. JIM: What, more women? (Looks down the trail) I don't see



them. I suppose you mean your mother? HETTIE: CLaughing) Ketch Ma climbing this mountain on the back of a pesky burro. No sir, it's a city gal an' I reckon she thinks she's some pumpkin too. JIM: A city girl? Sight-seeing I suppose? Or are they friends of Colonel Bob? H E T T I E : Nope. They don't know him. Been readin' about him in the newspapers. She's one of them smart ones that has to do everything the men folks do. Wouldn't be surprised if she breaks her neck. JIM: Well, I ' m glad we're too gallant to wish a woman to break her neck. (Gives Hettie an admiring look) H E T T I E : Oh, I jest come up to see that her first visit was made pleasant. Her Pa give Dad fifty dollars so we'd come up here and help entertain his daughter, 'cause he didn't like her around whar there's no women folks an' he didn't know if you could cook a square meal - so I'm to be the cook. JIM: That's a good plan for I'm afraid she'd get slim fast if she depended on us - that is for sweet things - pies and the like. HETTIE: Don't you all know how to make pies? JIM: Narry a pie. I haven't seen the face of a pie for ten months, except one that Bob brought up from the store down't the fort and then it was a sorrowful meeting, for he sat on it all the way up the trail and it could only serve as a reminder of how good it might have been if it hadn't been used as a saddle gap by a careless man. H E T T I E : (Laughs) That's a good joke. I must tell Ma. But you shall have some pie, if I can find anything to make one out of. How's the house, clean? JIM: (Embarrassed) I - I ' m afraid not. You see we only go inside to sleep. H E T T I E : Never mind. I suppose you've got a broom. Dust never frightens me. (Throws off her bonnet and rolls up her sleeves) JIM: You're a treasure. I wonder if there's anything that could induce your dad to leave you behind, when he goes home? HETTIE: (Gives him an indignant look) Well I never! (Exit into house blushing and embarrassed)



JIM: (Whistles) Jim, you've put your foot in it now. (Enter Tom from behind cabin with two saddles which he places beside door) Well, Tom, your girl is going to clean us up a bit, I guess. (Hands his tobacco to Tom and lights his own pipe) TOM: (Filling his pipe) Well, she can do it. She's a little thoroughbred - that's what they call her down at the ranch, and last month the boys had a race to see which one was to be her beau for the next year. She's a belle, Hettie is. JIM: And who won? TOM: Jerry Britt, but Billy Low fell off'n his horse or he'd a' been it. He broke his arm. Say, that little devil turned an' nussed him till he was well an' then gave him the shake and turned loyal to Britt again. She's true blue, I tell you. JIM: I'm glad to hear it. She says some city folks are coming up. TOM: Yes. We left them back on the trail and hurried on to get things spick an' span. Whar's Bob? JIM: He's gone over toward Dripping Springs after deer. The larder was getting low and he was longing for a deer. I stayed here to keep house while he followed up the trail of some long horns he had seen grazing over near Stanton Place. TOM: (Looking down the trail) Hope he makes a killin' an' gets back quick. My - them tenderfeet air eaters. All 'cept the gal, and I reckon the mountain air will help her hold her own with the others. (Hettie sweeps dirt out through the cabin door, among which are old boots, empty cans, potato peelings, rags, etc.) TOM: (Retreating before it) Gee, reckon you ain't had a house cleaning lately, have you? JIM: I sweep once a week. She must have found some things behind the door and under the bed. TOM: Well it does look sorter queer how women folks will go pokin' behind doors, don't it? JIM: Men never make good housekeepers anyway, especially when they're so far from civilization. (Hettie sends out another lot of rubbish with a vicious sweep of the broom. An empty can almost hits Tom) TOM: Hyer, hyer, Hettie, gal, don't get so tarnation personal.



(Hettie appears panting in the doorway; she has her dress turned up and a red bandana tied around her head) H E T T I E : Well I never DID see such a bad lookin' shack. It's a wonder when men don't know no more about housekeeping than this - they - don't get a - housekeeper. TOM: Or get married. (Laughs) H E T T I E : Well even marryin' is better 'n livin' like dogs. JIM: I don't know but you're right. I'll give Bob a lecture tomorrow and see that he hunts him a wife at once. TOM: What's the matter with yourself, Jim? JIM: (Sadly) Oh, I'm not a marrying man. No woman would want me. H E T T I E : Well, he ain't stuck on himself, nohow. TOM: YOU ain't never tried, have you? JIM: NO, not yet. I - I have too much to learn before I can ask any woman to put up with me. HETTIE: Better git a woman to help you learn. JIM: (Sadly) I couldn't ask the woman to make the sacrifice. Can't I help you, Miss Hettie? H E T T I E : Help me! You must bet you kin. Get a rag and dust. Don't leave no stooks nor corners. When you git through, whistle an' I'll come an' see if you've done it right. Go 'long now. JIM: (Going up to the cabin - to Tom) Say, Tom, it's so long since I've laid eyes on a petticoat, I'm willing to stand around like a schoolboy. (Pauses in doorway looking into cabin and backing out in dismay) Lord, Miss Hettie, how do you expect me to find anything in there? H E T T I E : Why, by lookin' of course! JIM: (Shaking his head) Well, your intentions were good, but it will take a month to find anything we want. H E T T I E : Then git to work and sort them all out. Git a place for things an' keep them there. That's what mother says. JIM: (Disconsolately) You'd better come and help me. I don't know where to begin. (Aside) Lord, won't Bob swear. (Exit into cabin) H E T T I E : (TO Tom) Say, Pa, what does he mean by runnin' himself down, so? Why ain't he fit to git married? I've kinder taken a shine to him myself.



TOM: Why, Hettie, gal, I never heard you talk like that before. H E T T I E : I ain't never felt like this 'afore. TOM: Then don't let yourself feel that 'way no more, for he ain't fit for you an' you ain't fit for him. H E T T I E : I'd like to know why? TOM: Well, fust, you ain't fit fur him, 'cause he's a high-toned tenderfoot, with a head full of book-learnin' an' a high-toned man with a high-toned name back East. H E T T I E : Well, that don't phase me. TOM: Then he ain't fit fur you, 'cause he's got a weakness he ain't never been able to overcome, till he come up here away from temptation. I mean a appetite for drink that he can't corral and it makes a beast of him when he gits whar he kin liquor up. H E T T I E : (In astonishment) You mean he's a drunkard? TOM: That's what I mean - habitual drunkard. JIM: (In house singing) "There is a happy land, far, far away H E T T I E : (Looks into house, seriously) Well', that don't make no difference either. TOM: (Anxiously) Don't say that, gal. I wouldn't mind trustin' you to a good, honest cowboy, as knows how to get drunk and when to sober up, but the Lord save you from the gentleman drunkard as don't know how to get drunk and never sobers up. H E T T I E : Why he's sober now an' he don't look as if he'd ever been tipsy in his life. TOM: That's 'cause he cain't get it. Why, gal, you'll never know how Bob has worked to save that man from eternal destruction. He's risked his life to drag him out of the brawls an' spent a small fortune to sober him up an' keep him sober. Nothin' ever worked till he got him up here, away from it, an' I won't swear it'll work when he gits back, whar, he kin get the stuff. H E T T I E : That's 'cause he ain't got no one to help him. TOM: Why, Bob's helpin' him. H E T T I E : That's nothin'. Bob ain't a woman. TOM: (Tenderly, placing his hands on her shoulders) Hettie gal, I don't know as you're in earnest, but if you air, give up that notion. He never will care for you, an' if he did, you're only Tom Breen's daughter an' Tom ain't much.



(Proudly) I ' m good enough for any man on earth, if I know he cares fur me. I'd stick to him till death an' help him fight his fight. (Jim appears in the doorway, frying pan in one hand and washboard in the other) JIM: That's a good sentiment, Miss Hettie. Who is the lucky man? H E T T I E : He's a man no one has got any faith in, 'cause he's a slave to a bad habit, an' I'd like to show the world what one woman's faith in him could do. JIM: (Admirably) If he had the pluck to win the race for you and became your accepted company for a year, that's enough to make any man swear. H E T T I E : (Aside to Tom) Pa, what does he mean? TOM: (TO Hettie) He thinks you're speakin' of Joe Britt, what won the race fur you. H E T T I E : (TO Tom) Well, let him think so. It'll do him good. BOB: (Heard in the distance) Hello, hello - oh, Jim. JIM: (Throwing down pan and washboard) There's Bob now. (Makes a trumpet of his hands off up the mountain) Hello Hello BOB: (Nearer) Coming. (He is heard whistling and singing by turns. Hettie seizes the broom and sweeps the rubbish behind a box or tree. Bob is seen coming down run from L. with a deer thrown over his shoulder, gun in hand. Comes down C. and throws deer at Jim's feet) There, old pard. (Sees Tom) Why hello, Thoroughbred! TOM: Hello Bob, hello. (They shake hands) BOB: How be ye? And Miss Hettie too. Well, I'm mighty glad to see you. H E T T I E : Didn't ever expect to see me up here, did you, Bob? BOB: All the better to see you now. That's meat enough for two or three weeks, Jim. JIM: That's good for I fear our larder will be emptied today. BOB: What? You don't expect us four to clean out the shack, do you? TOM: (Jerking thumb over shoulder) Reckon not, but you've got company coming. HETTIE:



BOB: Comin 1 here? TOM: TWO he tenderfeet an' one she tenderfoot. BOB: Holy smoke! What do they want here? TOM: Jest to look at ye, I reckon. BOB: Seems as though I'm a sort of poppy show since the newspapers got in the habit of writin' things about me. They've been tryin' mighty hard to make a sort of hero of me. Wish they'd let me alone for it ain't no use. (Shades his eyes and looks off down the trail) Say, Jim, maybe, it's an angel with a grubstake. HETTIE: YOU won't find no angels among those tenderfeet. Maybe you'll think she's an angel, some men might. JIM: (Aside to Hettie) I know he'll think you're one when he goes into the cabin and can't find his neckties or shirts. HETTIE: Well, I know where they are an' I'll produce them. (Exit into house. Exit Tom L.U.E. behind house) JIM: Say, Bob, Tom's daughter is rather pretty, don't you think so? BOB: She's a handsome gal, but don't you go castin' sheep eyes at her. It won't do - for her. JIM: I wasn't thinking of myself, Bob. I thought of you. Such a woman could do much to heal the old wound. She . . . . BOB: That's long healed. JIM: SO you say, but there's a girl who could do more than that. She could make you happy, Bob. She's strong and healthy in mind and body, pretty, and a good housekeeper. Wait till you see what she's done in the cabin. BOB: (Puts arm over Jim's shoulder. Looks into his face seriously) Jim, you don't look at marryin' right. Y o u say to yourself, "Does this woman please the eye? Is her voice pleasant? Is she smart and tidy?" Y o u don't think, is she goin' to help you upward on life's journey an' make you a better man or be an ornament set upon a corner shelf to be admired. Such a woman keeps a man on his knees to her all the time, an' he never gets a chance to kneel to his maker. Never mind the housekeeper nor ornament, Jim. When you take a wife, marry a woman who has a soul. JIM: It's plain to be seen you've been off alone on the moun-



tains, old man. You always come home in this sort of mood. BOB: Because I've been face to face with Nature, an' she teaches me more than books. I've been up yonder, lookin' out over that beautiful panorama there, whar the hand of God is seen. But that ain't sayin' Hettie won't make some man a mighty good wife, Jim. When she gets the right one, but I ain't he and you would only make her miserable, if you went back to your old ways again. You can't expect to live on a mountain top all your life. JIM: I think you misjudge her when you say that. From what I heard her say a few moments ago, I think such a woman could make a man of me. BOB: Nobody can make a man of you but yourself. CEnter Hettie with two white shirts) H E T T I E : (In doorway) Here, you two, come an' git into these shirts an' neck ties. You don't have visits from real ladies every day. JIM: (Gallantly) There's one real lady here now and she appreciated a flannel one. HETTIE: (Pleased) Well, you see I'm used to it. I don't like it no other. BOB: (Looking at the shirt doubiously) Miss Hettie, don't you think the change might give us pneumonia? H E T T I E : Put 'em on top the others, then. (Enter Tom from behind corral) Say, Dad, you come along an' git me some water. BOB: (Going up) That's right, Tom, stand around. TOM: (Proudly) Say, Bob, ain't she a daisy? BOB: Better than that, Tom, she's a thoroughbred, like her dad. TOM: That's what she is. (Exit L.U.E. Bob and Jim go into house) H E T T I E : (Musingly) Now what can I make pies out of in this sky parler? JIM: (Within) Say, Bob, she's even put the collar button in my shirt. BOB: (Within) Mine too, but say, this ain't a collar button. It's a cuff button in the neck band - no wonder I couldn't fasten it. JIM: (Within) Never mind, Bob, her intentions were good. H E T T I E : I wonder if there's any berries growing up here?



(Enter Tom with a pail of water from L.U.E.) TOM: War'll I put the water, girlie? HETTIE: Down by the door, Dad. (Lapses into thought. Tom comes down in deep concern) TOM: See here, Hettie, I told you not to bother about that matter, didn't I? HETTIE: ( N o d s her head absently) What shall I do? What shall I do? TOM: YOU want to forgit all about it. It won't do any good, an' it'll only make your life unhappy. HETTIE: If I could only find something. I never was in such a fix before. TOM: (Severely) Hettie, you're a concerned fool. HETTIE: Don't bother me. I promised, Dad, and I must keep my word. TOM: Promised who? HETTIE:


TOM: What, already? Say, you two are in a hurry ain't you? HETTIE: I must have some apples or berries, or maybe a custard would do if there's any eggs. TOM: What in thunder air you talkin' about? HETTIE: Pies. Do you reckon they've got any hens or berry bushes or cows? I promised Jim a pie. TOM: HO, if it's only pies, I'll' find something. I could eat a good pie myself. HETTIE: Daddy, if there's anything to make one out of, you shall have a great big one, but go behind the cabin an' eat it an' don't shame me afore all these folks by eatin' a whole pie, like you always do. TOM: I can't help it, Hettie. If there's anything I love it's pie. (Calls to Bob in house) Say, Bob, got any canned fruit? HETTIE: Canned fruit? I never thought of that. BOB: (Within) Lots of it. What kind? HETTIE: Oh, anything.

BOB: Got gooseberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, any kind of berries, peaches, pears, plums. Just go roun' to the store room an' help yourself.



All right, Colonel Bob, I'll go. {Exit behind cabin L.U.E.) JIM: (.Appearing at window) Say, Bob, she's going to make a pie. BOB: (Within) Don't speak to me of pie. (Jim laughs heartily) (Enter Jim wearing a white shirt) JIM: Say, Tom, lend a hand with this venison. TOM: Pity it's too fresh to eat. JIM: Oh, we have enough that's seasoned. TOM: Well, hurry up, for thar's your visitors comin'. I hear them down by the boulders. H E L E N : (Down the trail) Oh, be careful, Father. JIM: That woman's voice sounds mighty sweet. TOM: And she's as sweet as her beautiful voice. (They carry the deer off L. and re-enter as Hathaway, Forrester and Helen come up the trail on the backs of three burros. The two previously used can be used again, and Helen can be on horseback if preferred) TOM: (Goes up and helps Helen to dismount then he introduces them) This is Jim, ladies an' gentlemen. You heard me speak of him, down at the ranch. I can't just call your names. You'll have to go an' shake hands an' make yourself beknownst to each other. HATHAWAY: (Shaking hands with Jim) My name is Hathaway, Mark Hathaway, in the mining business. JIM: I am pleased to know you. My name is Fullerton. HATHAWAY: (Glancing at eagle) Glad to find some civilization up here, anyway. Let me introduce my partner, Mr. Forrester, and his daughter, Miss Helen. JIM: You are welcome. (Shakes hands with Forrester and acknowledges Helen's bow gracefully) The colonel will be here presently. May I offer you a seat? (Rolls the keg C. first offers her a chair which falls to pieces) You must excuse our lack of conveniences, Miss Forrester. We're just roughing it, you know. H E L E N : (Sitting down on keg) It is delightful. And so pleasant to have a seat that is stationary, even if it is only a nail keg. JIM: (With a suspicious smile) I'm not sure it is a nail keg. H E L E N : (Laughing) It doesn't matter. It is not the back of a horse or burro, anyway. HETTIE:



(Enter Hettie, L.E.) Well you men haven't much sense anyway, when a lady's tired to death to set her down on a beer keg in the wind, with her tight clothes on as if there wasn't no house for her, to go inside of and rest. Come along, Miss. I'll take care of you, and the cabin is clean now, though the Lord knows when it was cleaned last. You kin sit on the bunk an' talk to me awhile, while I git dinner. You don't care to hear the men folks talk anyway. (They start for the cabin. Hettie steps back for Helen to enter, and just as she is about to do so, Bob's coming causes them to meet face to face in the doorway) HELEN: (Pausing) I beg your pardon. BOB: (Stammering) Don't mention it. Jest come right in. My name's Danforth, but they call me, Colonel Bob. HELEN: Oh, you are Colonel Bob? I've heard so much of you. (Embarrassed) My name is Helen Forrester. BOB: (Ingeniously) Helen? I love that name. It makes me think of Helen of Troy. Of course you've heard about her? HELEN: Every school girl has, I fancy. BOB: Well, I never went to school much, but I kin read a little and Jim thar has taught me lots. Now you just make yourself at home. We men won't disturb you. HELEN: Thanks, I am tired. (Makes a pretty nod and exits into the house) BOB: (Staring after her, to Hettie) Say, ain't she the finest critter you've ever seen? HETTIE: (Contemptuously) That's like you men. You always jedge women folks by their fine clothes. BOB: Not me. I jedge a woman like I jedge a hoss, an' that gal's got points - fine points. (Goes downstage and Jim introduces him to Forrester and Hathaway) HETTIE: Points. Let's see. If he jedged me by my points, what sort of a critter would I be anyway? Well, I don't care much. I may be short an' stocky, an' maybe I can't travel in her class, but I'm Dad's gal an' he's a thoroughbred. (Exit into house) HATHAWAY: (Shaking Bob's hand) We've heard of you and read HETTIE:



of you, but we haven't come here out of curiosity, I assure you. BOB: I'm right glad to see you, but I hope you haven't come to put any more yarns in the newspapers about me. I've had enough of that sort of thing fer awhile. HATHAWAY: NO. We came to make you a business proposition. BOB: Not to tote around a lot of Indians and call myself a wild west show? 'Cause I'm not open to anything like that, if that's what's you wants. HATHAWAY: (Laughing) Do we look like showmen? No, Mr. Danforth, our proposition is strictly this: to explain, Mr. Forrester is my business partner. We have been together a number of years and are well known in New York, where we have our headquarters. Here is our business card, which speaks for us. (Gives Bob a card) BOB: (Reading the card) Hathaway and Forrester, brokers, bankers and promotors. Mine and Mining - Wall Street, eh? Well, the only thing I know anything about on this here card is minin', and I'll 'low I know a heap about it. HATHAWAY: Just so. I surmised as much from what I read of you. Now, sir, we need the services of just such a man. I suppose you have been deeply interested in the recent discoveries of gold in the Klondyke. BOB: Yes, but I hold thar's just as good discoveries to be made in warmer places. This here mountain, for instance. HATHAWAY: That may be, but you know the old saying, "A bird in the hand is worth two in the tree." Well, Mr. Forrester and I hold the bird in the hand. That is, we own several claims in the Klondyke, and are now preparing to organize a company, capitalized at about a million dollars, but what we need, more than the money, which is easily raised by men of standing, is a man of your stamp and caliber to take charge of the working end of the proposition, to go to the Klondyke with our expedition and start the work on the claims. To such a man we are ready to make a liberal offer. BOB: YOU don't mean you want me to go to the Klondyke? HATHAWAY: Precisely. We would pay you a salary, stake you well, and give you as many good men as you would need and



with this a liberal share of stock in the concern. BOB: (Musingly) That sounds pretty fair, but lawzee, I never thought of goin' to Alaska. I've got some prospects right here in these hills that might pan out pretty good and . . . . HATHAWAY: But they are only prospects, and our claims are certain. Of course Alaska is cold b u t . . . . BOB: Oh, I don't mind cold weather, b u t . . . . HATHAWAY: The adventure would do you good. You are strong and healthy, and with proper backing and plenty of money, even Alaska can be made pleasant. BOB: It's so far away . . . . HATHAWAY: To a man of family such a proposition might be appalling but we understand you are unincumbered - that is, you have no wife or children so . . . . (A strange expression crosses Bob's face, and then Hathaway appears embarrassed) FORRESTER: You see, we have heard so much of you. Men say your word is indisputable, that you never lie and if you promise your life for sacrifice at sundown you will be there an hour ahead of time to deliver it. You can understand what it would be to have as a business associate, a man of such character. BOB: Well, I try to shoot straight and true every time, and no one need ever fear to be out of pocket or honor by knowin' me. That's jest a hobby of mine. JIM: I know by my own experience, he's a prince. BOB: NO, I'm not a prince and I don't want to be one. I'm jest a child of Nature, that's all1. Yonder is my gospel. (Points to scene) And it teaches me all men are born equal though they don't always appreciate it and often barter their honor for gold. Not that I don't like gold, but I want to earn it, fair and square. I don't believe it's right for a man to take a million out of a hole in the ground because he happens to be the legal owner an' have the man who's diggin' it out for him almost starving. The Almighty just put that gold there, and He made it beautiful so we'd prize it and so we wouldn't squander it, and He scattered it like His sunshine all over the world, so the whole world could share it, and the man who takes more than his share isn't honest to the hand that put it thar.



(Laughing) You're certainly a strong teacher. Wait until you possess a good share of the pretty metal yourself and then we'll see if your views don't change. FORRESTER: It does my heart good to hear you speak like this for it shows you are not allowing yourself to grow rusty, up here, so far from your kind. There are few in the world who wish for fortune for the good they can do with it. HATHAWAY: But tell me, what do you think of our proposition? BOB: Your offer sounds fair enough and . . . a n d . . . . JIM: (Interrupting) And we'll investigate it. HATHAWAY: (Looks annoyed) Most certainly. That is what we wish. Suppose you return to New York with us, Mr. Danforth, and go into the matter personally. BOB: Well JIM: (Coolly) It would be a splendid trip for us both, Bob. I'll go with you and lend you what business experience I have had. HATHAWAY: Perhaps Col. Danforth would prefer to go alone. BOB: I'm not Colonel Danforth, Mr. Hathaway. Colonel's a complimentary title the fellows out here gave me. I've been sort of a backer among them, fightin' Apaches and outlaws. Jest say Danforth or Col. Bob if you like, 'cause that's my name and it don't sound so much as if I wanted to impose. HATHAWAY: It is all the more honorable since it was bestowed by loving friends. Let it be Col. Bob then. BOB: All right and as far as your proposition goes, if I go, Jim goes. He's been a sort of education to me, for you can see I'm rough an' ready an' I need Jim's brains to keep me from getting into deep water. HATHAWAY: (Apologetically) By all means, if he's so close a friend. BOB: Friend? He's my brother. Not by blood but by heart, that's the strongest. FORRESTER: (Aside to Hathaway) He may be uneducated but he's not unlearned, for all that. HATHAWAY: (Aside to Forrester) Simple as a child and easily influenced. He'll be working our land if we can get rid of the other fellow. (.Aloud) And when can you give us an answer, Col. Bob? HATHAWAY:



BOB: I don't know. I never take long to make up my mind. I'll know better after I've sampled Hettie's dinner and here she is. CEnter Hettie from house, greatly frustrated) HETTIE: (Aside to Bob) I say, Bob, I ain't got no table cloth. BOB: Use a sheet. HETTIE: Your high stepper with the fine points wouldn't eat a mouthful. That's one of her points. BOB: (Laughing) Well, there ain't room in the cabin anyhow. We'll picnic out here on the ground an' ther's plenty old newspapers fer a table cloth. That's what Jim an' I use. HETTIE: Good enough. (Exit into house) BOB: Say, Hettie . . . . (Pauses in doorway and looks in) Law, if the tenderfoot gal ain't asleep. Don't she look fresh an' innocent like the youngster used to look when I'd find him asleep on the floor, after playin'. Somehow the sight of her, fine lady though she be, makes my heart ache with the old raspin' pain. She ain't like the other one though. I'll bet she's true blue. (Enter Hettie from L.I.E. with a bundle of big papers) HETTIE: Here, you two, make yourselves useful. (Bob and Jim spread papers on the ground. During the following scene, Tom enters with dishes. Hettie enters with the dinner. All ad lib till they sit down to dinner) HETTIE: (Bringing in a pie) There are pies that are scrumptious; this one is, I'll bet. (To Forrester) Say, you better wake your daughter. FORRESTER: IS she sleeping? BOB: Sound as a doorknob. (Exit Forrester into house) JIM: IS there anything more I can do? HETTIE: Get another pie from the oven, an' mind you don't burn yourself. JIM: Pie! I feel like a civilized man again. (Enter Forrester and Helen from house) HELEN: (Embarrassed, pinning up hair) I know I look just fearful. BOB: (Looking at her admiringly) You look fearfully beautiful. HELEN: Somehow that doesn't sound quite bad - so far up from the world.



BOB: Maybe it's because it's honest, Miss. (Sitting down beside her on the ground) Set right down here - that's right - this is going to be an out-of-doors mountain picnic. My, I'm hungry as a she b'ar after a hard winter. I haven't had a square meal for a week. HELEN: Why do you live way up here? BOB: Oh, I just come up to keep Jim company once in a while. My home is on the ranch you see down yonder. (Pointing down to valley) H E L E N : (Shading her eyes and looking) How splendid - like a mother bird watching over her young, you perch up here in the Aerie. I suppose your wife and children are down there waiting for you to come home? BOB: (Changing countenance) No, Miss, they're not thar. H E L E N : (Looking at him quickly) {Aside) Oh, my, I wish I hadn't said anything. (Enter Jim with a hot pie. He has a cloth folded under it, but he changes it from hand to hand) JIM: Civilization isn't always pleasant. It gets too hot for you once in a while. BOB: See what a martyr he's making of himself? {Enter Hettie with more dinner and Tom with more dishes. They all sit down on the floor and begin to eat) HELEN: Isn't this lovely? I shall never forget it. And what a delightful place to live. BOB: Sometimes it gets tiresome. HATHAWAY: D O you never long for a life away from here? BOB: Sometimes I get lonely, but I think I'd get more lonesome in them great big cities. They remind me of miles of canyons, with vultures swooping overhead and black walls of rock all around you. Nature is sweeter. H E L E N : I think you are right, and I hope my future will be cast in that kind of place. FORRESTER: Why, Helen has the spell caught you too? {To Hathaway) The first terrible storm would dispel it. H E L E N : {Enthusiastically) I should love it. BOB: 'Course you would like it. Even the storms are beautiful



here. Nature never does anything half way in the mountains. HATHAWAY: I never had such an appetite in my life. TOM: I reckon it's cause Hettie cooked the dinner. She sure kin cook. FORRESTER: Nature has supplied us with an excellent sauce. This air is health giving. BOB: After dinner you kin climb up to the crag yonder, and thar you kin see a sight worth looking at. HELEN: (Looking up) Oh, I could never climb that. HETTIE: Neither could I, in skirts, and we'd be fools to try it. HELEN: {Laughing) You gentlemen can go up and admire Nature while Hettie and I stay here and . . . wash dishes. HETTIE: {In surprise) Do you know how to wash dishes? HELEN: Yes, I should be ashamed to say I didn't. HETTIE: Well I never. Will some wonders never cease. TOM: {To Hettie) Hey, Hettie, do I get a whole pie? HETTIE: Y o u jest bet you do Pa! Scuse yourself and go 'round and look under that towel on the barrel. Your pie is under that. And don't you show your face till you've put yourself outside the whole thing. It's the biggest pie of the lot, too. TOM: {Rising) Hettie, it's a shame I have such a weakness for pie. HETTIE: A l l right, Dad, it's your dyspepsia. HELEN: Aren't you going to have any pie, Mr. Breen? TOM: Well, really, Miss, I . . . I HELEN: {Offering

him a piece) D o have some. It's lovely.

TOM: {Shame-faced) Well, since you press me, I'll take it along with me. {Takes pie and exits HETTIE: {Looking


after him) Well, I never!

JIM: Bob, you needn't tell me that one piece of pie is going to steady the thoroughbred. BOB: Hush, don't give away family secrets. HATHAWAY: I certainly enjoyed the dinner, Miss Breen. {They all rise) BOB: And now for the look out. JIM: Don't you think you'd better stay here and rest, Bob?



You've done enough climbing for one day. If these gentlemen don't mind. I'll do the honor on this occasion. FORRESTER: Certainly. We must get better acquainted with Mr. Fullerton. BOB: Yes, for remember he's the brains of this camp. FORRESTER: We'll not be long, Helen. HELEN: Don't worry about me, Father. I'll be helping with the dishes. (Exit that way up run and off L.U.B. Hathaway, Jim, and Forrester) BOB: And so will I. (Hettie places dish pan on top of barrel L. and washes the dishes. Helen wipes them, and Bob takes them into the house) BOB: What can I do? HETTIE: (Rolling up her sleeves) Y o u kin put the dishes away. BOB: Whar's Tom? HETTIE: He's . . . he's feeding the mules . . . . HELEN: The most exciting experience of my life is this! BOB: I reckon it's mighty strange to find yourself wipin' dishes on a mountain top, when you ought to be the guest of honor. I think that's what you call it. HELEN: I'd rather be the privileged guest who does what she pleases. BOB: Law, Miss, you certainly kin do as you please here. HETTIE: Well, I never knew rich girls could do anything but play the piano and dance. HELEN: Then you have a mistaken idea of rich girls. They are often very hard-working women. HETTIE: I declare. What do you do for a living? HELEN: I can't say I do anything for a living. My father provides for me, yet I work hard. I have my boys, and they are a great care. HETTIE: Land sakes, are you married? HELEN: Why no. I see I have you puzzled. Y o u see, I have grown so accustomed to calling them my boys, I think every one must understand me. M y boys are a class of street Arabs whom



I teach to read and write in the evening - when they have no papers to sell. Oh, you should see them work. You see, life would be very stupid if I did nothing. I have to do these things or be ill. (They finish up the dishes, and Hettie exits with the dish pan, etc.) H E L E N : (Looking off down the valley) I should think you would prefer to stay up here, Col. Bob, though probably duty is more urgent at the ranch. BOB: Yes, I think it best here. I wouldn't go there at all only things can't get along all the time without me. I go thar when I get the blues real bad, for there, at times, are moments when this spot can't hold me and those are the times when I want to go down thar and forget all about everything in the world but the memories shut up in the four walls of that little adobe house. H E L E N : (Moves R. and sits on Jim's camp stool) If you have a sorrow, Mr. Danforth, I am glad you at least know mother Nature will heal the wounds. BOB: NO, they'll never heal, gal. They're that kind that bleed an' bleed spite of all you kin do. They won't heal. I'd like to tell you about it, because there's something in your face that makes me trust you like - like all Jerusalem. I feel as if you could kinder help me to forget. Will you let me tell you, Miss? HELEN: Some things do one good to unburden the heart to a fellow creature, and if it will relieve you to tell it to me, I promise your confidence will never be betrayed. BOB: Thank you, Miss, thank you. The moment I clapped eyes on you I says there's a woman I'd like to call my friend. H E L E N : (Impulsively) If you only will! BOB: Did you feel1 that a way too when you seen me? HELEN: Indeed I think I did. I want you to feel sure I will be a real friend. BOB: I'm certain sure of it, Miss. You see, I was a little skeery of how to approach a fine, hand-made lady-like gal like you, 'cause I didn't want to offend, but you made me feel sure you kinder looked up to me, if I am only a rough, western plainsman, up here, without education or fine breedin', I never went to a



school much. When I was a little fellow, I lost my dad and mom and that left me a waif an' stray in this great world, an' lawzee, I'm as much a waif an' stray as I ever was, big as I am. HELEN: (Laughs) BOB: All the education I got was from readin' cheap stories. After I'd learned my letters at the newsboys' home, they didn't do me any good for I only got a wild desire to go West and scalp Injuns an' be a great man. HELEN: Romantic, even then. BOB: Yes, Miss, but I didn't know whether I wanted to be a hero or a bad man. It didn't matter much to me then. Well, I finally got whar I wanted to be, an' it wasn't a bit like what I'd read and I came near goin' to the bad, 'till the day I got work on a ranch where a good-hearted woman took me in hand an got the nonsense out of me. HELEN: That was a blessed thing. BOB: I've thanked heaven for it ever since. Well, I grew up out here and bein' a young seed I took root quick. Lucky for me it was in the right kind of soil. Then the folks that had been so good to me died and left their young darter on my hands . . . . HELEN: And you fell in love with her? BOB: NO, not exactly, but I married her. Thar wasn't too much else I could do. HELEN: I understand. It was good of you, but evidently a great mistake. BOB: Might as well mate the dove and the eagle. She war a high strung gal, educated in an Eastern school, an' she had a notion she war a born genuine. She used to write long rhymes, but somehow I reckon they war too deep for me, for I never seemed to appreciate them. She always war sayin' I didn't value her worth, and bye and bye them cussed papers piled up atween us as high as all creation and we jest grew apart. HELEN: That often happens. BOB: Does it? Well, after awhile she thought she could do better in the East where people would learn how smart she war, but I wouldn't send her till the Apaches got on the war path out here, and I had to send her somewhar it war safe. I bound myself



to Uncle Sam, gave her everything I had, and let her go. HELEN: D i d she go?

BOB: She did, and worst of all she took my boy with her. H E L E N : YOU had a child then? BOB: Yes, Miss, such a bunch of bottled up sunshine you never seen. I loved him as I loved no living creature and now, when it gits so I can't stand it anymore without him, I go down to the ranch and take out all his little play toys and set them on the floor and try to think he's there, but it's no use. I always end by bawlin' like a fool, there . . . there, all by myself. H E L E N : HOW could she - how could she! BOB: But she warn't bad. I'll never say that. She was jest cold and hard, but she loved the boy too and I couldn't have the heart to take him from her, no more than I had the heart to hold her agin her will. H E L E N : And you have never heard from her? BOB: Oh yes, she used to write, till one day she sent me papers from a lawyer and wrote and asks me to set her free. I went East then to see her, and we had a terrible time but I gave in, as I always did, and she got her divorce and the boy, but it was hard. Oh, God, Miss, but it was hard! H E L E N : (With indignation) I would like to meet that woman! BOB: But I'll see that boy someday, and he'll soon be old enough to write me letters. Why bless his little heart, he war only a baby when she war here, jest learnin' to talk but he used to write what he called letters to Papa. (Takes papers from his pocket) Look at them scrawls. They ain't words, but I can read them. They're the telegrams from his little heart to mine. Whenever I'd go away, he'd spend the whole time scribblin' little letters to Daddy, and I've kept them, everyone. H E L E N : (Holding her hand out) Dear little scratchy puzzles. Let me hold them, so that I may feel a part of your sorrow as all good women should. (Bob places the papers in her hand and holds it between his own) BOB: (Impulsively) Law, Miss, why wasn't you my wife - I - I mean why wasn't she like you? H E L E N : I wish with all my heart she had been. (Withdraws her



hand and leaves papers in his grasp. Bob replaces papers in his pocket) (Enter Tom up stage L.U.E. Looks at them surprised) TOM: (Aside) Gee, maybe Jim will git someone to keep house up hyer sooner than he thinks. (Enter Jim, Forrester, and Hathaway down run) HATHAWAY: We were repaid a thousand times. I never saw such a panorama. FORRESTER: We almost envy you, your mountain retreat, Col. Bob. BOB: You're welcome to share it anytime you like. HATHAWAY: (Looking at his watch) I suppose you haven't arrived at any decision yet? We will' have to be going, or darkness will overtake us before we get to the foot of the mountain. JIM: I think Bob had better sleep over the matter. He can write you. BOB: (Quickly) What's the use? (Looking at Helen) My mind's made up. I'm goin' to accept, an' I might as well say so right now. I'll come to New York an' investigate things myself, anyway. If your proposal stands, I'm not afraid to risk it. FORRESTER: Then I hope you will consider my house as your home until you can find a permanent place. BOB: You're awful good. But I won't go without Jim an' I reckon we'll batch it. HATHAWAY: We will leave Albuquerque for the East on Saturday. We'd like you to join us there if you can. BOB: All right, sir. I promise you. All we need is some store clothes and we're ready. We'll have to git them in Albuquerque. H E L E N : (Who has been getting ready, holds out her hand) Good bye, Mr. Danforth. I thank you very much for your hospitality. We will meet again soon. BOB: YOU just bet we will. H E L E N : (TO Hettie) I wish you were coming also. If you ever do come to New York, be sure to come and see me. I shall never forget you and the delightful day I spent. Goodbye. (After ad lib., Hathaway, Forrester, and Helen descend the mountain on the burros, which are sent to the stage off L. immediately



for the use of Hettie and Tom. Hettie sits in a brown study on door steps, chin in hands elbows on knees. Bob stands looking off down the trail) TOM: Well, Hettie, gal, I reckon we'd better go too. Ma'll think we're goin' to roost here. H E T T I E : (Sighing) I'd like to stay all my life. (With sudden energy) Say, Pa, I want to go to New York. I want to see what this world is like sometime, and I can't tell much about it from stray folks I meet out here. BOB: (Hearing and turning) That's right, Hettie, branch out. Come go with us, Tom. We'll have a regular picnic. JIM: Miss Hettie, you run the ranch, don't you? H E T T I E : Most of the time. JIM: Well, if you want to go to New York, just urge your cause. We'll back you up. HETTIE: (Resolutely rises tying on her bonnet) You jest leave it to me. I kin generally git what I want, an' jest now I want to go to New York. TOM: Then I reckon she'll get New York. (Leads on the burros from L.) H E T T I E : Good bye, Bob. Good bye, Mr. Jim. Stop at the ranch before you go. TOM: If you don't, I'll riddle you with holes when you come back. (Exit Tom and Hettie down trail) BOB: (Calling down to them) We'll come an' pick you up, Miss Hettie. You'll go to New York, you an' Tom. (Hettie laughs without. Bob and Jim stand watching down the trail, then Jim looks keenly at Bob) JIM: Say, Bob, what's the matter with you? I never saw you look so strange before. BOB: (Gives a quick glance at Jim, then looks back down the trail) You look kinder queer yourself. (Pause as they look off down the trail again) JIM: Say, Bob, is it the tenderfoot girl? BOB: (Smiling in acquiescence) How is it with you, Jim? The same?



JIM: (With a deep sigh) No. Hettie. (They reach out and clasp each other's hands, still looking down the trail as the curtain descends) CURTAIN


The drawing room of Mr. Forrester's house in New York. The room is decorated for an entertainment with rows of chairs across from front to back and a platform R. on which is a chair and table with a glass of water on it and a bouquet in a basinlike vase. Helen is discovered arranging flowers in the vase, and Mildred Hathaway is seated R. on a sofa, watching Helen and playing with a lorgnette. MILDRED: Miss Forrester, I actually believe you enjoy this. HELEN: Life would indeed be sorrowful if we did not enjoy doing our duty. MILDRED: HOW do you know this is your duty? H E L E N : It is always our duty to make others happy. MILDRED: (,Shrugging her shoulders) I fancy you could make those wretched little waifs just as happy in the Newsboys' Mission, as you do by allowing them to soil your beautiful home. HELEN: Why, Mrs. Hathaway, half their happiness is in being allowed to come into my home and in being put on an equal footing with me. Those little children call me an angel; what would they think of their angel if she always insisted on meeting them on the earth plane and never permitted them to enter her paradise? MILDRED: But, oh, what a terrible sight your paradise will be after they have gone. And sincerely, does it really make you happy to spend your money in this way? HELEN: It really does. It makes me as happy as it makes you to - to - to write poetry. MILDRED: (Discontentedly) I cannot see that there is much happiness in writing poetry when one cannot get it published. The world is certainly degenerating. SCENE:



HELEN: YOU should derive the same joy from writing that I do from my boys. M y work for them is not published. MILDRED: That is different. HELEN: Well, I enjoy living for others. MILDRED: While I enjoy living for myself? That's what you were about to say, and it is true. I think people are fools who sit wasting time and money in trying to make others happy, when it is so hard to be so oneself. HELEN: That is your policy, and you follow it. A r e you happy? MILDRED: Far from it - b u t . . . . HELEN: I am. That is proof of the fact that my policy is best. MILDRED: I think not. I am only miserable now because I have, so far, failed to gain the recognition which should be my right. When once I get a hearing . . . . HELEN: Ambition never made anyone happy. When you have won your crown, you will find it fashioned of withered leaves. MILDRED: What a thought and how poetical. I must write some verses on that line. HELEN: I would rather you wrote something about our boys. MILDRED: M y dear, my dear Miss Forrester, I can't see anything poetical in your boys. They're too dirty. HELEN: Whittier found poetry in just such boys. "Blessings on thee little man, barefoot boy, with cheek of tan." I love those words. A h , Mrs. Hathaway, Col. B o b would say your poetry wasn't the right kind, and that's why you don't succeed. Fine phrasing isn't always poetry. MILDRED: Whom did you say? HELEN: There, I've done it. (Standing off from table and surveying her work) I've given away my secret, and I meant to surprise you. I'm going to have a hero here today - a real hero. MILDRED: Gracious, how interesting. A colonel did you say? A hero of the war, I suppose. HELEN: NO, not a real colonel, an honorary colonel. He is a child of nature, transplanted by my father and your husband to our artificial element. Whether he will survive is another matter. MILDRED: Oh, another of your peculiar friends.



Yes, I found him. I didn't tell you about it at the time, because just as I was on the point of doing so, you interrupted me to read your sonnet on love, and I forgot I hadn't told you. Then you went away, and we didn't write; so I didn't think I'd say anything until you had an opportunity to meet him. We found him in New Mexico, way up in the Aerie . . . . MILDRED: (Breaks her lorgnette with her fingers in the stress of sudden emotion) Oh! (As if about to faint, presses her handkerchief to her hand) H E L E N : Oh, I hope you didn't cut yourself badly. How pale you are. MILDRED: Forgive me, Miss Forrester, I always get faint at the sight of a little blood. I'm such a coward. I'm all right now. It seems only a scratch I think. Go on, tell me your story. H E L E N : Why there isn't any story to tell. I'm not emotional, you know, but there was something about that man which set my heart thumping, even before he spoke a word. MILDRED: Of course, he is handsome. HELEN: It wasn't that. There was something noble about that man, and it seemed as if I had suddenly come face to face with an old friend. He seemed to feel the same, for he took me at once into his confidence. MILDRED: HOW romantic. Is he a prince in disguise? HELEN: A prince - but not in disguise. A prince of a man, misunderstood and deserted by one who should have loved and honored him. MILDRED: Oh, as I supposed. There was a woman in the case? H E L E N : Yes, and a child. A woman who left him desolate, with nothing but the little playthings of his boy to remind him of the little one he loved better than life. Surely God must punish her someday. MILDRED: You heard only his version of the story. Perhaps she was not all to blame. Women seldom are. H E L E N : N O one could look into his face and believe she was not. There is a subject for a poem if you want to sketch the beauties to the public. If you could depict that man's sufferings faithfully, it might make you famous. HELEN:



(Enter Mr. Forrester, D. C.) Mildred) How do you do, Mrs. Hathaway. Where's the boy? Isn't he to be here today? MILDRED: I think not. It is best for him not to come into contact with strange children. FORRESTER: Bless yourself, it would do him good. Is Hathaway coming? MILDRED: Gracious no. Mark is always too busy, you know. FORRESTER: Yes, I know. Well, Helen, will your star speaker be here? HELEN: Colonel Danforth? Oh yes indeed, he'll come. FORRESTER: A most interesting personality, Mrs. Hathaway. Hasn't your husband spoken of him? He is our new partner. MILDRED: Mark never says anything of his business to me. He knows it bores me. So you expect this Colonel what's-his-name - Danforth — you expect him here today? Dear me, I'm sorry I shall not meet him, but I really must go home. I think I must have some glass in my hand, after all. HELEN: But I won't excuse you. You promised you would read one of your poems to my boys, and we must not disappoint them. If there is glass in your hand, no one can dress it better than I. Besides my heart is set on your knowing Col. Bob. 'Though he doesn't write poetry, he is a true poet and you will enjoy every word he says. MILDRED: But won't some other time do as well? H E L E N : My boys will never forgive me if I allow you to disappoint them. Let me look at that hand. (Examines her hand) There's not a bit of glass in it, or you couldn't bear to have it pressed. Put some good adhesive plaster on it, and in a few minutes you'll forget all about it. Now do stay. Here's the first arrival. (Enter a boy about ten. He comes in with his hat on) H E L E N : What, Johnny, you're not going to sit down like that? (The boy pulls off his hat and chooses a seat) H E L E N : (Looking out of window R.) Mrs. Hathaway, look at Davy. I can see his anxious face there in the window. He is looking over here so wistfully. Do let me call him?




no, Miss Forrester, I can't think of it. (Enter more boys. Helen greets them and sends them to their seats. Mildred stands right, talking to Forrester) MILDRED: Good heavens, Miss Forrester, do you know them all by name?


HELEN: Everyone!

can't see how she stands it. (,Helen goes up to the platform and raps for order) H E L E N : NOW, boys, I'm going to tell you all about the treat I have in store for you. First, Mrs. Hathaway will read you one of her own poems, something she wrote her very own self. Then we will have music by the orchestra, and by that time Col. Bob will be here. I won't tell you much about him. He says himself he's wild and woolly, but I know you'll think he's 'Bully' as you boys say. He never spoke in public, but as long as it is boys, he is to talk to you since he doesn't think he'll be too frightened to find his voice, especially as he was once just such a boy as you and maybe he'll tell you about the time he sold papers and blacked boots here in New York. Now be quiet, like little gentlemen, and Mrs. Hathaway will read her poem. (Boys move restlessly in their seats. Mildred goes up on the platform and prepares to read. Just as she is about to do so, a little boy falls off his seat. Everybody wants to see what has happened. Some get on chairs while others crane theis necks. Helen finally quiets them and Mildred reads) (Mildred reads a very stilted and deep poem after which the boys sigh with intense relief. After the reading, Helen strikes a bell, and the orchestra begins to play a medley of popular songs which the boys whistle in chorus and Helen nods her head approvingly. Mildred looks horrified. As the orchestra is playing, enter Bob and Jim. The music changes to a plaintive air, and the boys quit whistling and stare at Bob) HELEN: (Bringing Bob down C.) I want you to meet a friend of mine who is helping to entertain my boys. You already know Mr. Hathaway, and this is his wife, Mrs. Hathaway. I want you to know Mr. Danforth and Mr. Fullerton. (A sudden argument breaks out among the boys. Helen and Mr. Forrester turn to MILDRED: I



restore order and do not see Bob's meeting with Mildred. Bob bows before her, standing erect then he staggers back as if he had received a blow on the head, and Jim catches him) BOB: Millie! Millie! You here an' married. MILDRED: (Coldly) Please don't make a scene, Bob. I'm surprised to see you and a little glad. You were kind to me and perhaps I acted badly by you, but no good can come of publicity. You have my happiness in your venture. For heaven's sake, be quiet. JIM: He's been a fool, Mrs. Hathaway. I warn you to treat him fairly this time, for I'm going to see you do him honestly. (Mildred bites her lip and turns away) BOB: I had ought to been told you were married again. It was my right to know if another man was to be - was to be the father of my boy. MILDRED: (Defiantly) Well, I married Mr. Hathaway three years ago, soon after I secured my divorce from you, and as it wouldn't do either of us any good to make the truth known, I think we had better not say anything about my having been your wife. BOB: Not say anything! MILDRED: I - I never told anyone I had a living husband. Everyone thought I was a widow - not a divorced woman, and I married Mr. Hathaway under my maiden name. BOB: That don't seem right. It wasn't honest. MILDRED: If a woman always does what's honest in the world, she will stand little chance of receiving justice at its hands. BOB: I've got nothing to do with you. You took yourself out of my life, and I've got nothing to say what you do as long as you don't disgrace yourself and your boy, but his name is mine. I never gave him to you altogether. He'll know I'm his father now. MILDRED: No, not yet, Bob. He's not old enough to be trusted with a secret and would surely betray me. It might cause trouble between me and my husband. Bob, you have always been so good, I know you would not wish that. BOB: You and your husband? Law, it don't seem right for you to have another husband and keep that boy. MILDRED: I'm very sorry you came here.



BOB: YOU knew I was in New York. MILDRED: What do you mean? BOB: I mean when I first came here I went to see that lawyer of yours, an' asked for your address, for I wanted to see the boy, and he lied to me. A man don't lie unless he's sewing and serving a mighty mean master, an' in this case he was serving you. You told him if I ever came alookin' for you to lie and send me huntin' whar I wouldn't never find you. MILDRED: D O you blame me? BOB: Blame you? Well there's no use arguin'. There's only that I'm goin' to see my boy. MILDRED: I think it best not. BOB: YOU may think what you like, but that's my right an' I'm goin' to demand it. MILDRED: And if I refuse? BOB: I kin use your own weapon - the law. H E L E N : (Coming kindly toward them) I knew you people would like each other. Two such poetic natures can find so much in common. BOB: Oh, yes, we're getting along fine. (Looks around) Say, Miss Helen, you got a mighty fine place here, but the prettiest things are them smilin' faces. I don't suppose your boy is among them, Mrs. Hathaway. MILDRED: (Indignantly) Certainly not! BOB: And why not? MILDRED: It is best not to let him come in contact with such rough children. BOB: It will do him good. H E L E N : It would certainly make the little fellow happy. Do let me send for him, Mrs. Hathaway. The experience would be something he would always remember and make him kinder to his fellows, when he grows up. MILDRED: (Coldly) You must excuse him. I cannot have him come into contact with such children. BOB: (Gives her a look of contempt and turns to Helen) I've took the liberty of askin' some friends of mine up here this afternoon. You know the Thoroughbred . . . .



HELEN: (Thinking) You mean the d o n k e y . . . . I mean the burro . . . . BOB: (Laughing) Well, he sometimes is like a donkey. I mean Tom Breen an' his darter, Hettie. They got here this morning. Tom said after he got my third letter he jest couldn't stay away. Took the first pack train over the trail, and here he landed this day. HELEN: (Enthusiastically) I shall certainly be glad to see them. So will my boys for I promised them a real western treat, and they will enjoy the addition to the . . . . BOB: (Interrupting) Menagerie. (There is a sudden comotion at the door where a little girl wants to come in and three boys are trying to prevent her) BOB: (Goes to door) Hello, what's this? A female persecuted? Don't want no girls here, eh? Is that what you Eastern boys call bein' gentlemen? (Takes little girl by the hand and leads her in) Come here, little lady. There shouldn't be any place in the world where a boy should tell a lady that she wasn't welcome. You jest sit right down in the front row and keep your peepers on me an' your ears open, and when I get through scoldin' them boys, I'll tell you a story I won't tell no one else. (Puts her in front seat and stands talking to Helen) JIM: (Comes down to Mildred and looks at her keenly) So you married Mark Hathaway, did you, Millie? You make poor exchanges. MILDRED: (Haughtily) That is my affair, Mr. Fullerton. JIM: Yes, I know, and it's a bad affair for you. You don't look half as happy as you did at the ranch with Bob and Davy. See here, Mrs. Hathaway, you did a bad act by as grand a man as ever lived and that child is as much his as he is yours. I came to New York with Bob to see that he got a square deal, and I'm going to see that the wife gives it to him as well as the husband. {Mildred shrugs her shoulders and turns away from him, goes up and sits on sofa R.) HELEN: (Has gone up on the platform with Bob and calls the boys to order) Now boys, Col. Bob is going to talk to you, and I want every one of you to be perfectly quiet. Jim, take off your hat.



BOB: Boys, I'm no speechmaker, so I'm jest going to tell you a story. The only story I think you want to hear from me - my own. It is the story of Deadwood Dick's Revenge - that's the title I gave it. When I was a little boy like some of you, I read a lot about Deadwood Dick. I was makin' my living shining boots and sellin' papers here in New York and whenever I got a chance to read I jest waded into them stories about Deadwood Dick, till I got kind of crazy over them and I imagined there was a great chance for me out west, and I was goin to become a great hero. So one day I ran away from the Newsboy's home and worked my way out to the plains, where I came near goin' to the dogs. I wanted to be a bad man, a hero's bad man, though I might become a highway robber, I would also be a protector of the oppressed, the rescuer of beautiful girls whom Indians stole and charitable to the poor. I was goin' to steal from Peter to give to Paul. I was goin' to be so gallant and noble no sheriff would hang me and society women would write me from the East for my picture an' autograph. JIM: (Goes over and sits down by Mildred) Mrs. Hathaway, if we weren't going away before a month passed, Bob would be a social lion. M I L D R E D : (Turned from him) Bosh! BOB: Well, boys, I did everything I could to find Indians but the only ones I did find were so friendly they refused to fight for my scalp and fed me when I was almost starved. The women I met were more able to protect me than I was to protect them and finally a good fanner's wife took me in hand and made a sensible boy of me. God bless her, boys, she may have been, no boys, she was one of those noble women whose influence on a man's life never dies and I hope you'll all know such a woman, even though she is not your own. (Bob glances at Mildred and she has bowed her head in shame) BOY: (In audience) Can we ask questions? BOB: Why certainly. BOY: Did you ever meet Deadwood Dick out there? BOB: NO, I never did, but I met men like him. Why, boys, most of those bad men of the west are eastern desperadoes who go



out there just to escape the vigilante officers here. They dress themselves up in big sombreros and buckskins and rob and murder in cold blood. They're not heroes! Even them who have memories of their own mothers ain't sacred to them men. They're jest common thieves and rascals, and they're only between the pages of the cheap novels. Now who wants to be a common thief? None of you, I'm certain of that. Now I know what most of you want to hear from me and that's an Indian story, a real Indian story, so I must tell you one. (Tells the dream story, after which all the boys laugh heartily) I reckon that's about all I can say to you now, but I want to shake hands with every one of you. I'll begin with the little girl. I know there's no danger of her wantin' to go west an' be a bad man. (Little girl goes up and shakes his hand) She's goin' to grow up and be a grand woman. Now come on, boys. (They make a rush toward him) Oh, not all together. I've only got two hands so come one at a time. (They come forward and shake hands with Bob, all but one boy who remains in the background. Bok looks at him sorrowfully)l BOB: Well, Little Man, if you won't come to me, I reckon I've got to come to you. (Goes and shakes hands with him, the boy submitting reluctantly. Suddenly Bob sees his pocket is bulging and reaches in it and pulls out two enormous cigars which he smells) Great goodness, why they're bigger than you and the rankest kind. I suspect you've got ambition to go West, young man' haven't you? (The boy nods yes) Deadwood Dick a friend of yours? (Boy looks sheepishly) A sort of idol, I reckon. Where'd you get that bruise? Been in a fight? (Boy nods yes) Who got the worst of it? The other fellow? (Boy nods yes) So you want to go west and be a bad man? (Boy doesn't answer. The other boys retreat from him. Bob looks at them severely) Don't draw away from him, boys, thar hid the dead spirit of your own Colonel Bob when he was a little shaver. He's me all over again and I've got to respect him. (To boy) Got any mother? (Boy nods no) Father? (Boy nods no) Got any name? (Boy nods no) Just like me again. Ned, do you know what I'm going to do with you? I'm going to send you West and give you a chance to follow your ambition,



but you've got to mind me. When Tom Breen goes back to New Mexico, I'll send you with him and I reckon the association of a few real western gentlemen cowboys and the like will take the nonsense out of your head. Now don't forget, young fellow, you're going to New Mexico. (The boy smiles happily, and the others crowd around him) H E L E N : (Calls them to order) Now boys, it is your turn to entertain Colonel Bob. We're going into the ballroom where we will have games and music. (Servant throws open large doors left, and the boys rush out through them) If you will give me your arm now, Colonel Bob. BOB: (.Awkwardly) Excuse me, Miss Helen, I've never been a society man, and I'm not used to the wrinkles, but if you'll only have patience. (Helen takes his arm smiling. As she does, enter Davy in back or blue velvet suit. He comes in excitedly and runs to Mildred) DAVY: Mama, Mama, I just had to come. Don't whip me, please. I wanted to have some party too. BOB: (Stops and breaks away from Helen) My God, m y . . . . MILDRED: Davy, you disobeyed me. DAVY: Oh, please, please forgive me, Mama. I wanted to come so bad. I did want to. BOB: Of course he did, poor little thing. (To Helen) Excuse me, Miss Helen, but he makes me think of my own little one, an' his name's Davy too. Kind of strange, isn't it? MILDRED: Davy, you have made a very unnecessary scene. You must go home at once. BOB: (Sternly, taking Davy by the hand) Excuse me, Mrs. Hathaway, he's going to stay. As guest of honor, I've got something to say about this party, and this boy's going to have some party too. MILDRED:


JIM: (Aside to Mildred) You know Bob. Best keep quiet. MILDRED: This is ridiculous. Surely a mother can do as she pleases with her own child. BOB: (Coolly) He's privileged today. He's going in the games with this little gal an' you an' me will follow, Miss Helen. Jim, you give your arm to Mrs. Hathaway.



thank you; Davy come here. BOB: (Leaving Helen) Miss Helen, will you an' the rest of the folks go ahead? Take Jim's arm. Them boys of yours are gettin' er . . . rambunctious. Jest let me talk to Mrs. Hathaway a minute. I think I can persuade her that Davy is all right here, and when I get through talkin' to her, she'll be right glad to come. H E L E N : (Laughing, takes Jim's arm) Mrs. Hathaway, I'm afraid you're in for a sermon. Don't be too severe, Col. Bob. I'll take your arm, Mr. Fullerton. (Exits with Jim, L.) BOB: (Looking sternly at Mildred) I'm not goin' to preach to you. I'm only goin' to repeat to you that I'll have my rights. That's my boy. I'm his father and I'm goin' to have him with me when I want him, or I'll know the reason why. MILDRED: (Bursting into tears) I ' m in your power. I didn't think you were such a brute. BOB: Far from it. I'm human, and I'm his father. MILDRED: All will be discovered. If you persist in your course I will be ruined. BOB: Ruined? You haven't committed bigamy, have you? Well, Mrs. Hathaway, Mr. Hathaway can't discover you and divorce you for marrying him under false pretenses, can he? A divorced woman has as much right to marry again as a widow, an' if you'll keep quiet, no one will know, but you an' me an' Jim that you ever was my wife. MILDRED: (Drying her eyes) I have nothing to say. Have your way. BOB: (Smiling) That's right. I like to see you sensible. So now Mrs. Hathaway, just take my arm, for the sake of appearance and come in thar like a sensible woman, instead of like a kickin' colt. (Exit with Mildred L.E. Enter Tom Breen and Hettie followed by servant D.C. Both dressed in the height of New York fashion, though greatly overdone, but Tom wears a sombrero) TOM: (Grandly to servant) Thank you, Colonel, jest tell Miss Forrester we are here and we'll wait. Don't be in a hurry. We can look around at the pictures 'till you get back. (Exit servant L. with a bow. Tom unbuttons his vest which is too tight, takes




a deep breath, then buttons it up again. Hettie stands C. and turns around surveying the place) H E T T I E : Looks just like a hotel, don't it, Dad? Lands alive, but they are fine, but for goodness sake, don't let's act like we war never used to anything. Jim wrote for us to take things natural as if we knew all about it, and we'd be all right. Whatever you do, don't let's show our ignorance. TOM: Trust me to know all, gal. (Sits on tabourets) There isn't a very comfortable chair in here, but Jim says he sits down on the first chair you come to, and he perfectly will be at ease. If you're not at ease, per-tend to be. Well I'm not, but I look it, don't I? H E T T I E : YOU sure do. (Tries to adjust her dress so that it will hang straight) Law, these fixins are worse than the itch. Do you think I'll ever make a lady if I have to wear such duds? TOM: Reckon you'd get used to 'em. You look fine though. Jest like one of them wax figures in the showcases down on Broadway. H E T T I E : What would Ma say if she saw me now? TOM: What would she say if she saw the bill for it all? H E T T I E : Say, Dad, do you think it would be safe for me to wear these things back home? TOM: Not often Hettie. (Enter Helen from left) H E L E N : How do you do? (Shakes hands with them) I'm so glad to see you here, and my boys will be delighted. I have been talking to them about the lovely things I did in the west and the splendid picnics we had at the Aerie. TOM: How many boys then do you have - Mrs. Oh, Mrs ? (Hettie tries to suppress her laughter) H E L E N : About fifty. Won't you come in? TOM: (Aside to Hettie) Don't you reckon this is a joke of Jim's? He says we won't be surprised at anything, and he expects us to keep a straight face when she tells us she's got fifty boys? (The boys cheer out L.) H E L E N : Hear them? They're having a delightful time. TOM: (To Hettie) That don't sound much like a joke. I'd say



there was a hundred boys. I didn't know you ever married, Mrs. - er . . . oh well, of course, I'm not surprised though. H E L E N : (In surprise) Bless you, I'm not married. Those are not really my boys, just my class at the mission, who look upon me as sort of an adopted mother. TOM: Oh, I see. H E L E N : And now, if you'll come with me, I'll introduce you. They're dying to know you, only I wish you had on the clothes you wore when I first met you. H E T T I E : (Aside) Law, she don't appreciate nothin'. Guess she wishes I had on my gingham an' sunbonnet. H E L E N : Come this way. (They exit L.E. Enter Forrester and then Hathaway. He goes to sofa R. and sits down lighting a cigar) HATHAWAY: (Speaking as he enters) Bosh, you are supersensitive. In other words, you are a coward. If it hadn't been for your squeamishness, we'd have been millionaires a long time ago. Now Danforth has made a hit here in New York, just as I knew he would. His popularity has brought men into our scheme whom we never would have landed, and the thing's going smooth as oil. What are you grumbling about now? FORRESTER: Because I'm sick of it. I don't want to be a party to it. That's why. HATHAWAY: You're a fool, Forrester. You always will' be one. FORRESTER: That may be, but I'm not such a confounded rascal as you are. HATHAWAY: Bosh, if I have to be a rich rascal or a poor fool, I would rather be rich. FORRESTER: You're getting your wish with a vengeance. HATHAWAY: And you wouldn't have a dollar if I didn't keep you in check. FORRESTER: Until I got into your clutches I was an honest man. Since you got your grip on my business and my heart, through Helen, you've made a catpaw of me. Someday I hope I'll have the courage to strike back. HATHAWAY: It is well I feel such a deep friendship for you. FORRESTER: You feel friendship for no one in the world except



yourself. You are simply using me to further your schemes, because I have had an honorable business career and my name is known and useful to you. You used me, just as you are using Danforth - as a light to draw the moths. When you get ready, you will try to crush me as you do others and take all, my share as well as your own, if you can. HATHAWAY: YOU wrong me, Forrester. FORRESTER: Wrong or no wrong, I propose to give Danforth a square deal. You must be honest to be satisfied. HATHAWAY: And if not, what will you do? FORRESTER: I will tell Danforth what you are trying to do. HATHAWAY: D O you know what the consequence will be? FORRESTER: Perhaps I do not care. HATHAWAY: Then listen. He would tell the stockholders, and there would be an investigation. Nothing could be proved just yet, but other schemes would come to light and there does not exist one vestige of proof of my part in them. I have taken care of that. But if anything is discovered, the proofs of your guilt are where they will surely be found, and you alone will suffer. FORRESTER: (Despairingly) Alone! No, you fail to mention the peril you hold over me eternally. Helen will suffer the most. You will know that when the blow strikes home. HATHAWAY: I know just where I hold you, in the hollow of my hand. I know no matter how much you cringe, you are sure to come around to my way in the end. So you might as well be quiet and follow out my plans. (Rises and goes up C.) FORRESTER: It is a plot of the devil. HATHAWAY: SO much the more reason it will not fail. FORRESTER: I only hope it will, though I am powerless to prevent it. Are you coming in? HATHAWAY: ( C . ) NO, I have no sympathy with Helen's brats. I'll see you tomorrow at the office. If this scheme doesn't grind out a million or more, it is the last I'll ever attempt to float. (Exit C.D.) FORRESTER: (Shakes his fist after him) Incarnate devil. If I ever see my way, without jeopardy to Helen, I'll crush you as I'd crush a snake. (Exit R.E.)



(Enter Bob with Davy L.) BOB: Come along, son. Let's get out of that warm room for awhile. Your mother isn't looking, an' if she is, I'll entertain her. Are you sick? DAVY: (Pressing his hand to his stomach) Got a little pain. BOB: Your mother pampers you too much. You jest come here and sit on this sofa with me. Snuggle down now and try to go to sleep, while I tell you about my own little boy. Would you like to hear about him? His name was Davy too. DAVY: (Yawning) How funny. Tell me about him. {They sit on sofa R.) BOB: He was jest like you, always a little curly-headed boy, with big blue eyes an' a smile that stole into the heart like sunshine an' warmed every corner of it. DAVY: I want to see him. Where is he? BOB: Someday you'll see him, little man, an' when you do, you won't wonder why this old heart of mine is jest a thumpin' with love for you. DAVY: D O you love me? BOB: YOU bet I do, as much as I loved him. It seems strange to you 'cause you've jest met me and don't know me very well, but it seems to me as if I'd knowed you ever since I had my own little Davy, so it ain't strange to me. DAVY: Oh yes, I do know you. It seems like I've heard you talking to me when I was asleep and sometimes I remember the picture of a man with hair like yours and eyes like yours. I don't know where it was, but I loved that picture and I thought you were that picture come to life when I ran and saw you. BOB: That's it. Let's make believe I'm the picture come to life. Let's think the picture was in your own little heart, and it was always a picture of me. Won't you, little boy? DAVY: Y O U bet. I think you're all right. My papa Hathaway never talks like you do. He's never kind. He's cross and scolds mama and me. BOB: (Clenching his fist, then with control) Never mind, little pard. A happy day is sure to come, before long. DAVY: Then tell me more about your little boy.



BOB: Well, Davy, he went away when he was a little fellow, and I never saw him, but once afterwards. But I have all his little playthings, and I keep them to play with, an' sometimes I sit down on the floor and play all by myself jest as if the boy was sitting thar before me, an' it takes the pain away, the awful pain I feel whenever I think of him. DAVY: (Yawning) Lots of playthings? BOB: Lots of playthings, and a little blue shoe that's so lonesome without its mate, it's always fallin' off the shelf, whar I try to keep it. DAVY: And where's the other shoe? BOB: Gone with the little boy that used to wear it. See here, you're gettin' sleepy. Come on, boy, lay your head down on my knee, an' see if you can't go to sleep. Nothin' like sleep to cure pain. Now, how's that? {Makes Davy comfortable with his head on his lap) DAVY: IS Mama coming? BOB: NO, you jest take a little nap. That's a dear little lad. (He strokes Davy's hair. There is a slight pause) DAVY: (Opening his eyes suddenly) Col. Bob, do you ever make pictures in your head? BOB: Lots of times. Do you? DAVY: Yes, I'm kinda making one now of you and the little play toys. I can see them, everyone. There's a little white lamb. (Closes eyes) BOB: That's right, little champ. DAVY: And a horse with a broken saddle and one foot broke off. BOB: (In surprise) Oh Lord, does he remember? DAVY: (Slowly) And a railway train with a red caboose and a little blue wagon . . . a little blue wagon and . . . . (Yawns and falls asleep) BOB: (Reverently) Oh, God, in this picture of his lost playthings, grant he may find his own dear, loving daddy. CURTAIN



ACT i n

Scene: Library of Forrester's home with large table C.; heavy leather chairs scattered about; fireplace R.E. in which fire is burning, a small ladies' desk L. where Helen is discovered writing. (Enter Mildred at rise) MILDRED: Hard at work? H E L E N : (Laying her pen aside) How is Davy? (Rises and leads Mildred to fireplace) MILDRED: Quite well again. H E L E N : YOU keep that child housed too much. MILDRED: He catches cold so readily. H E L E N : That is the reason. Naturally he has a strong constitution. MILDRED: What can I do? H E L E N : Send him to Col. Bob's ranch for six months. You wouldn't know him when he came back. MILDRED: I dare say. I suppose your curiosity is some sort of cow herder in his native environments. H E L E N : No, he is a rancher, but for some years lately has only engaged in prospecting. (Enter Hettie with another elaborate dress on) H E T T I E : Here you are. H E L E N : (Greeting her cordially) I was beginning to fear you would not come. Mrs. Hathaway, you met Miss Breen yesterday. She is one of Col. Bob's prairie blossoms, as he calls the girls in New Mexico. HETTIE: Law, Mis' Helen, I'm full blowed. MILDRED: You mean full blown. H E T T I E : (Lightly) Don't matter. Both mean the same. Got another new dress today, Mis' Helen, and another hat. Pa says I'll bank rupture him. MILDRED: (With a gasp) Oh heavens. H E L E N : I do wish you would let me go with you the next time you buy a gown. I love shopping. H E T T I E : Well, I just wisht you would. I reckon you spend most of your time in shops, don't you?



indeed. H E T T I E : Well, I'm just going to buy one more frock while I'm in New York. I want something gorgeous. I saw one in a window down town this morning I got my heart set on. It's all spangles with great big peacocks glittering all over the front of it. It made my eyes ache. Oh, but I want that dress. I want to make them greasers back home wear smoked glasses when they look at me, I do. (Mildred laughs) H E L E N : I think I saw the dress you mean. It is a ball gown, and the price is three hundred dollars. H E T T I E : Three hundred dollars! Then I reckon I won't buy it. MILDRED: If I were you, Miss Breen, I would wear only stripes. H E T T I E : Law, Mrs. Hathaway. I've got the loveliest striped dress you ever saw. It has a buff ground with red and brown stripes. They go round like this. (Indicating a horizontal direction) Ma wouldn't let me bring it. You'd be surprised if you saw it. MILDRED: I don't doubt it. H E L E N : I'm glad I can go with you the next time you make any purchases and if you'll let me use my own judgment I promise you'll look like a dream. MILDRED: (Aside to Helen) As it is, she looks like a nightmare. H E T T I E : (Sighing) But I did want that peacock dress. I'd wear it to the prize ball an' carry off ever feller in the room. MILDRED: I suppose you are very fond of balls. H E T T I E : 'Love them better than anything. My how I do hot foot it when I get on the floor with Tom Nolan. He's the crack dancer of New Mexico. Law, Miss Helen, you ought to see us. MILDRED: I don't doubt it. Have you lived long in New Mexico? H E T T I E : Only a couple of years. Moved back there from Arizona. It's a little nearer civilization, an' Pa says he wants to git me civilized. MILDRED: You should move to New York. H E T T I E : What, me git civilized in New York? Why there ain't elbow room for me here. Then them hotels. They make me homesick. This morning Pa went into breakfast with his sombrero on. He often does that at home, an' we don't think nothin' of it. HELEN: NO,



Well, after he'd sat down the waiter commences doin' like this. (Makes a motion as if to say take off your hat) Pa, he thought he was bowin' an' says to me, "Hettie, they're the politest people here, I ever saw. I bet two dollars they take me for a millionaire!" So Pa he bowed and then that darkey he commences makin' military salutes, and Dad, not to be outdid, does the same. Then that fool waiter comes over to Pa an' says, " 'Scuse me, Governor, will you please remove yo' hat in de dinin' room?" "There," Pa says, "I thought they took me fer a millionaire, but the durn fools believe I'm the governor." (Mildred and Hettie laugh) H E L E N : (Bites her lip to keep a straight face) Customs are different the world over, Miss Breen. Bye and bye you will' get used to New York ways. MILDRED: Miss Forrester, if you will pardon me, I'll go home. I have some literary work to do this afternoon, and I feel as if I were losing my inspiration. H E T T I E : Law, don't mind me, Mrs. Hathaway, you jest run right along if you want to. MILDRED: (In a cutting tone) Thank you. By the way, Miss Forrester, I suppose you will give a reception for Miss Breen before she goes, and introduce her to some of your society friends? H E L E N : I know Miss Breen would not care for my society friends. They would have the same effect on her as our crowded streets. She would feel as though there were not elbow room enough for her, that society was the most artificial element of human existence, and the society function a sort of farce she would neither understand nor enjoy. MILDRED: Indeed. (Exit D.C.) H E L E N : I hope you will pardon my friend, Miss Breen. She is not well and is sometimes inclined to be a little unpleasant. H E T T I E : I don't care, Miss Helen, but she needn't think I don't know what she means. Maybe I would be out of place in your fine society, but Pa says as long as I'm good, and honest, I needn't be afraid to go nowhere or to meet anyone from the



President of the United States to the King of England and I guess Pa knows. An' long as you're a lady, Miss Helen, I don't care whether she acts like one or not. CEnter Jim D.C.) JIM: Am I intruding? HELEN: Not at all, come in. We are glad to see you. Mr. Fullerton and Col. Bob leave for the Klondyke tomorrow and I have invited them to spend the afternoon with us. H E T T I E : Going to the Klondyke t o m o r r o w . . . . JIM: Miss Hettie, this is the first time I have had a chance to speak with you, except for a moment yesterday, since we said goodbye at the Aerie. You look dazzling. H E T T I E : Glad you like it. JIM: It's great. I never saw a greaser's widow look more glorious. H E T T I E : See here, Mr. Jim, are you pokin' fun at me too? JIM: Not a bit. I'm in earnest. (Enter servant with card on salver) H E L E N : I must ask you to pardon me a moment. A society call from a grouchy old maid, and as I know you won't like her, I won't ask her in here. I don't think she'll keep me in waiting long, so make yourselves at home and I'll return presently. (Exit L.E.) (Hettie seizes her dress as if to tear it. She bursts into tears) HETTIE: O h , oh, oh!

JIM: (Mimicking her tone) Here, here, here, what's this? Are you subject to these things often? H E T T I E : What, these kind of duds? No, thank the Lord. I've been put subject to them since I came from New Mexico. When I git back I'm goin' to make a bonfire of them. JIM: Why, what's wrong? H E T T I E : They're wrong. I thought this morning they were just scrumptious. I bought them down on Grand Street, and this was the prettiest dress in any of the windows, but people up here don't wear such clothes, and I'm not fine but queer - just a laughin' stock. (Bursts into tears again) JIM: Well, don't take it so hard, child. We learn by experience. H E T T I E : I'll never wear it again. Even you was laughin' at me.



JIM: NO, I wasn't. 'Pon my honor, but I made up my mind I'd have a plain talk with you or get Miss Forrester to do so. Fine, flashy things like these, while they are pretty, aren't refined. H E T T I E : (Bursting into tears) What an awful show I must be. I - I - knew you didn't like me - all - the time. JIM: Not like you, Miss Hettie? Do you think I'd care two figs how you dressed, if I didn't love you better - there, I've done it now. HETTIE: (Blinking at him through tears) Really, really? You don't mean that to make fun of me t - too? JIM: (Seriously) I couldn't make fun of you, Hettie. You're too true a woman. The fault of a little poor taste is so far overbalanced by your good principles, it isn't worth a tear from you. H E T T I E : You're jest sayin' that so's I won't feel bad. JIM: I'm saying that because I think it. Because I want you to feel that I'm a good kind brother to you. You will let me be a sort - a sort of brother, won't you, Hettie? (Hettie dries her eyes and looks disappointed) JIM: Of course, if you're afraid to trust me, even to be your brother, I can't blame you, Hettie. I know what you're thinking of. It's that which keeps me from marrying some good woman, who might make a man of me. I couldn't ask any woman to be my wife and now I've paid up for it, for just asking you to be my sister. HETTIE: But I don't want to be your sister. JIM: I can plainly see that. H E T T I E : If a man loves a woman better than anyone on earth, bein' a sister isn't very pleasant, 'specially when she loves him too. JIM: Hettie, don't. I love you - I can't help it. You carried my heart off down to the ranch that day you left me at the Aerie. I can't help loving you, but I can help dragging you down. They say I'm not to be trusted and I've almost come to believe it myself. Don't you think I'd ask you to marry me if I dared? H E T T I E : A man can dare anything with a woman who has faith in him. JIM: Have you faith in me, Hettie? H E T T I E : I'd trust you to eternity, Jim. I don't want to be your



sister because it would only make me miserable to think someday you might want some other woman to be your sister too. I'd git jealous. I'd rather be your wife, Jim. (Pauses then suddenly as if embarrassed) Oh, I ain't modest 'cause I talk like this, but I know jest what's standin' between us, an' I wouldn't be a true woman if I didn't come more'n half way when I know what's holdin' you back. I know what you've got to fight, Jim, an' I'd rather help you fight it right at your side, if you don't mind. JIM: (With a sob catching her in his arms) God bless you, Hettie, you'll never regret it. I'll never touch liquor again as long as I live. Why, Hettie, I haven't even wanted it, and I've been around it, since I came here. The thought of you somehow stood between me and temptation. All I ask is to trust me. H E T T I E : You bet I will, Jim. JIM: And when I come back from the Klondyke, I hope to have a little fortune. I'll buy a ranch out in New Mexico and we'll be as happy as the angels. H E T T I E : An' while you're gone I'll go to school, Jim, so's you won't be ashamed of me when I'm your wife. JIM: Ashamed of you? As if I could ever be ashamed of you. And you'll wait for me, Hettie? H E T T I E : I'll wait forever, Jim, I promise you, I'll never marry no other man, and I'll do my best to be a lady like Helen. JIM: (Embracing her) You'll never regret it. (.Enter Helen L.E.) HELEN:


JIM: (Startled) That's all right, Miss Helen, come right in. I'm going to leave this little girl in your keeping while I'm gone that is, in a way, for she belongs to me now. Not that she needs a keeper, but I believe you can help her to avoid a lot of heartache. I'm going now because I want to see Bob, besides I have something I must buy before the stores close. I'll see you tonight, Hettie. Tell your father I have something to say to him. (Exit hastily D.C.) H E L E N : (Taking Hettie's two hands) Oh, I am so glad, so glad. HETTIE: Oh, Miss Helen, I'll try so hard to please him. I know I'm not fit for him now. I'm not a lady, but I can learn a heap.



(Lovingly) I wish all ladies knew as much as you. H E T T I E : You'll help me, I know you will, and now I must see Dad before Jim sees him, 'cause Lord knows what he'll say about it and, oh, Miss Helen, I want you to go with me to buy another dress. Something like Jim's sweetheart should wear. H E L E N : That's right. We'll go tomorrow, and when he leaves you for the Klondyke, he'll carry the picture of you as you looked when last he saw you, in his heart. H E T T I E : Oh, I'm so happy - (Starts up) Say, Miss Helen, first chance you git jest tell that Mrs. Hathaway I'm engaged to Jim will you? H E L E N : I certainly shall. H E T T I E : The spiteful thing. (Exit D.C.) (Enter Bob as Hettie goes out. He stands looking after her) BOB: Well, I'll be durned, what's the matter with her? H E L E N : I think she is rather excited. BOB: Rather - what's happened? H E L E N : She and Mr. Fullerton have just entered into a sort of agreement which seems to have made them both very happy. BOB: NO - reckon they're goin' to git married? H E L E N : I think that is it. Mr. Fullerton has gone to tell you all about it. BOB: Well, well, them two lunatics goin' to git married. Jim got it bad first time he ever saw her. Say, Miss Helen, how's the little fellow? Have you heard? H E L E N : Davy? Oh, he's all right again. I saw him at the window a few moments ago. BOB: (Springing to his feet) At the window? Do they live near here? H E L E N : Just cross the way. BOB: (Going to window) And kin you see him from here? (Looks out) Yes, look, thar he is now. HELEN: So he is. He has watched our door all day. I actually believe he is watching for you. BOB: Sure enough. Look at him, Miss Helen, jest a little, delicate flower in a show case. HELEN:



Poor Mrs. Hathaway with her false ideas of life. Sometimes I think he will pass out of her grasp, like a tiny blossom blown away by the wind. BOB: Don't say that. Let me see him, Miss Helen. (Leans out of window and waves his hand) Hello thar. Lord, look at that smile. Do you think a child who kin smile like that kin die? (Calling) Come over here, youngster. I suppose his mother'd lame him if he went out without her consent, and she'd never let him come. H E L E N : Oh, he often comes over. Davy and I are great friends. BOB: Well, I'll be durned if they haven't called him away and shut the window. As if he could catch cold on a beautiful sunshiny day like this. I tell you, Miss Helen, this world is full of tragedies, even a child's life. To that little feller every act that deprives him of things he loves is a tragedy, 'cause they're dragging him into a premature grave. H E L E N : Oh, no, I hope not. Next summer the Hathaways are going to Europe. I think the change of climate will do him good. BOB: (Dumfounded) Going to Europe? Say, Miss Helen, 'speakin of Jim and Hettie, it seems kinda queer they'd be drawn together. He's got a head full of learning an' she - ain't got a common education. HELEN: Hettie can do wonders for herself before Mr. Fullerton comes back from Alaska. She will improve greatly. BOB: IS that so? Then maybe it ain't too late in life for me to change, to learn being more like other men I see about me every day. HELEN: Heaven forbid. BOB: YOU see, I'm getting to be a very rich man - a millionaire maybe, and I'll have to be thrown among people of the world. I don't want to seem queer to folks an' I know I do. H E L E N : I acknowledge that such frank, open speech and truthful, fearless principles do seem queer in this deceitful, moneygrabbing crowd, but it is only because it towers over the scheming, selfish hordes. However, you will find many like you at heart, though not so open of speech, to whom polish and fine manners do not mean as much as honest worth. BOB: (Uneasily) Then, someday, I might want to git married HELEN:



again. No lady would care to marry a rough an' ready fellow like me. H E L E N : (Embarrassed) Any true woman who loved you would see only the gold in your makeup, and there is a great deal of it visible. BOB: Why, Miss Helen, kin you see it? H E L E N : (Laughingly) Indeed I can. BOB: And would you - would you - ? Say, Miss Helen, Jim will leave me mighty lonesome when he gits married. H E L E N : It will be best for him. BOB: Yes, indeed, but the thought of those two so confoundedly happy makes my heart ache. It 'pears to me as if I'm standin' on a rock in mid ocean, all by myself. H E L E N : Oh, not so bad as that. BOB: A durn sight worse. I feel as if I was a standin' out of reach of everyone, jest a holdin' out my aching arms to someone I loved an' couldn't hold. HELEN: And why not? If you loved someone and she - and she . . . ? BOB: 'Cause she's a lady and I ain't no gentleman. You know I ain't got the polish an' fine manners. H E L E N : There are many rogues who have the polish and fine manners. After all, it is only the veneer which hides the true man beneath. If you love someone, no matter what she may be in life, don't hesitate on that account, if she loves you. If she were a princess, she should not be too good for an honest man. BOB: That's what she is, a princess. I'd hate like the old Harry for her ever to feel ashamed of me. That's one thing that keeps me from askin' her. I'd die if she ever had to blush for me, 'cause I love her better than anything in this world, except that little boy the other woman tore out of my life. If there's anything on earth could heal that wound, it would be her. If she'd give me jess one sign to know she cared for me, I'd ask her in a minute. But she never did, Miss Helen, not a word or look an' I'm too big a coward to say anything 'bout it, without some encouragement from her. I'd rather shave a grizzly. (Enter Davy D.C. with his arms full of toys and one little



blue shoe, dangling by the string from his hand) H E L E N : (Not seeing Davy) Then .. . ? DAVY: (Throwing them down at Bob's feet) There! BOB: (In surprise) Well, young man, what does this mean? (Seizes both his hands) DAVY: I thought you might be lonesome so far from home and the little sheep an' engine, so I brought these to play with. They're old, and Mama won't care. BOB: (With tears in his eyes) Well, I'm mighty obliged. DAVY: (Eagerly) And you know the little shoe you told me about? BOB: The little shoe that's so lonesome all by itself it falls off'n the shelf all the time? My little boy's first shoe? DAVY: Yes, sir. Well, Mama had this little shoe that used to be mine when I was a baby. She said she got tired seeing it around so she threw it away and I found it. Here it is. I brought it to keep the other one company. So it wouldn't fall from the shelf. (Bob seizes Davy in his arms sobbing, kisses the boy and shoe by turns) H E L E N : (Suddenly sees the truth) Oh, I see it all. I understand. Col. Bob, am I not worthy of your confidence? BOB: Worthy, but his mother? H E L E N : Deserves nothing but censure. She is cold and selfish. She has no right to keep your boy from you. Can't you see how his little heart goes out to you? Nature itself is crying for love and recognition. BOB: Hush, I promised. H E L E N : But I promised nothing. (Throws herself on her knees beside Davy and seizes him in her arms) Davy, listen, you are a "very little boy, but you can well understand what I am saying. Your Mama has told you your father is dead. She was right to tell you this at the time, perhaps, but it isn't true. Your father is living. The little boy that Col. Bob told you about is yourself. The little blue shoe is the mate to the one you have, and his own dear little boy is you. There, love him - love him with all your ieart, for he is the grandest, truest man in all the world. (Kisses Davy and runs out R.I.E.)



BOB: (Looking after her, open mouthed) Jerusalem - I wonder - I wonder if that's the sign? I wonder if she - is she - Lord, Davy, she's gone an' done it now. DAVY: Done what? She didn't tell a fib, did she? BOB: No, boy - it's the gospel truth, but your mother don't want you to know. They might take you where we'd never see each other agin. DAVY: (With determination) I won't go, now! BOB: You don't know your mother. Davy, can you keep a secret? DAVY: Lots of them. Don't I know our cook's going to marry the milkman and I never told a soul. BOB: Then if you love your daddy, don't ever let your mother know we've found each other out, 'cause if she did, I'd not be able to find you when I come back from the Klondyke. So not a word, Davy. Thanks for the toys and the dear little shoe. I'll pack them up and send them down to the ranch to keep the others company till I get home again. Davy, do you love your daddy? DAVY: (Hugging him) Indeed, indeed I do. BOB: (With a deep sigh) This is the first real happy moment I've knowd since you went away. Listen, someone is coming. You run along and be patient till Daddy gets back - I'm goin' to make a fortune for you, little one. You won't forget me will you? DAVY: Never forget you. BOB: (Lifts him up and kisses him) And remember that next to me, Miss Helen is your best friend. Now goodbye. I leave the rest in the hands of the Almighty. Run along, for Mr. Forrester and Hathaway are coming, and we don't want anybody to know. Goodbye. DAVY: Goodbye, Col. Bob. BOB: What's that? DAVY: Goodbye, Daddy. (Embraces him and runs out L.E. as Hathaway and Forrester enter R.I.E. followed by Helen, who goes to the fire and sits gazing into it during following scene) HATHAWAY: Now, Mr. Forrester, get that map and I think it will be all that's left of our preparations prior to Col. Bob's departure. Where is it?



In the library. (Goes up reluctantly. Hathaway gives him a look, and he exits D.R.U.E.) HATHAWAY: Have you your tickets to Seattle and the address of the man from whom you can purchase your dogs and outfit? BOB: I reckon I have everything but that map. (Enter Forrester R.U.E. with paper) HATHAWAY: (Taking it) Well, here's the map. The red line indicates the direction you are to take to get to the ten-mile creek. This blue mark is Bonanza, then the green line heads to our claims. BOB: That's as clear as day. HATHAWAY: Then there's nothing more to be done. Drop in at the office on your way to the railway tomorrow, and we'll say goodbye. For the present, au revoir. (Starts up) FORRESTER: Won't you stay and spend the evening with us? HATHAWAY: No, thank you. I promised to take Mrs. Hathaway to the opera. I'll see you tomorrow, Mr. Danforth. (Exit D.C.) FORRESTER: One moment, Hathaway, I want to see you. (Follows him out) (Helen sits musing) BOB: (Looking at her after placing map in his inside breast pocket) What are you thinking about, Miss Helen? H E L E N : (Pointing into the fire) See there in the midst of the hottest fire? There is a miniature arctic scene. BOB: (Leaning over her and looking) Why so it is! HELEN: And there's a ship on an ice float. See, it is crumbling to pieces. BOB: (Pointing) Yes, an' there's two men tramping over the snow. That's Jim an' me. H E L E N : And there's a bear's head in profile. Do you see it? BOB: Sure as you're born. (He lifts a tress of her hair and unknown to her presses it to his lips. Suddenly he takes a ring from his pocket, a diamond ring and sits down suddenly on a hassock at her feet) Say, Miss Helen, ain't that a fine ring? H E L E N : (In admiration) Oh, what a beautiful clear stone. BOB: Ain't it? I reckon it would about fit you. H E L E N : Why don't you ever wear it?




BOB: Pshaw, that would only fit the end of my finger. That is a lady's ring. H E L E N : (Embarrassed) Oh, so it is. BOB: I bought it for you. We - we - we've been such good friends, and you've been so good to Davy. I wanted - I wanted to give you something to - to sorter - to sorter remember me by. H E L E N : (Chokingly) How - how good of you! (Pause. Helen expectant, embarrassed) Let's put it on and see how it looks. (Helen holds out her hand, and Bob puts the ring on the engagement finger) H E L E N : (At first startled) Oh! Thank you. BOB: (Awkwardly) Don't thank me. Someday I'd like - I'd like to give you another ring - I'd like tooooo . . . . (Enter Forrester and Bob rises quickly) BOB: (Aside) That's my last chance, an' I let it go by, like a fool. Well, I reckon I must go. Goodbye, Miss Helen. It's many a long day before we'll see each other again, but I'll think of you all the time. I know you'll look out for Davy - that's all I a s k . . . . H E L E N : (Chokingly) Goodbye - Col. Bob, goodbye. BOB: If I thought anyone cared, I'd come back for a spell but not if anyone didn't. I wouldn't care if it were years before I come. What do you think, Miss Helen? What would you say? H E L E N : If I were you, I'd come home in the spring. (He holds her hand a long time gazing into her eyes) BOB: I'll come. CURTAIN


Scene: Same scene as in Act III, library of the Forrester home. Bell rings at rise. Enter servant. Goes to door and re-enters with Hettie dressed in black, much improved but very demure. She carries a travelling satchel) H E T T I E : I'll wait here. Please tell Miss Forrester it is Hettie Breen. (Exit servant L.E.) It's two years since I stood in this very room and promised him I'd marry him. Two years - it seems



like ten. I wonder what Helen Forrester can want of me. It must be something about Jim. (Enter Helen R.I.E. She is much changed, showing the traces of sorrow and seems very nervous) H E L E N : Hettie - oh, how it makes my heart awaken with the old feeling of life to see you again. (Embraces her) H E T T I E : (In awe-stricken tones) My gracious, Miss Helen, how terrible you look. You are sick. You're not a bit like you used to be. H E L E N : Sit down her beside me. Yes, I'm sick - I don't know what it is - just a sort of heart hunger, I suppose. Oh, I can speak plainly to you, and I have never dared to open my heart to anyone else, but you will understand me. H E T T I E : What is it, Miss Helen? Tell me. It must have been something dreadful to make you write for me to come all the way from New Mexico to New York. H E L E N : I wanted to see you. The mere sight of you has done me good already, and I - I wanted to ask you so many questions. H E T T I E : About what, Miss Helen? H E L E N : About Col. Bob and Mr. Fullerton. H E T T I E : (Coldly). Oh. Well, the less we say about Mr. Fullerton the better. When a man makes deliberate sport of a girl, just because she's ignorant, he isn't worth talking about. H E L E N : Makes sport of a girl? What do you mean? H E T T I E : I mean that Jim got ashamed of me after he got a few of my ungrammatical letters and quit writing. I reckon he thought it would take too much educating to make a lady of me. H E L E N : (In terror) Oh, then it was true - it was true, after all. H E T T I E : What was true - what's the matter, Miss Helen? H E L E N : He did write you? H E T T I E : Yes, three letters. One from Seattle, another from Victoria, and one from Dawson; but that's the last I ever heard of him. H E L E N : Then the man was right. Listen to me, Hettie. Only a few weeks ago a man came here asking for my father and Mr. Hathaway. He said he had come from the Klondyke. I questioned him and he told me nothing had been heard from Col. Bob and



Jim Fullerton since they left Dawson City two years ago and that the report there was current that they were lost. Probably frozen to death in that desolate place. HETTIE: (In terror) Oh, I never thought of that HELEN: Wait, dear, don't lose hope, but all this time my father has been receiving reports from Jim Fullerton of their discoveries on Copper River and Ten Mile Creek. HETTIE: What does it mean? HELEN: (In an awed tone) It means that someone is false. Either Col. Bob is false to a woman he pretended to love and Jim Fullerton is false to a woman he pretended to love, or my father and Mark Hathaway are false to the world and, Hettie - Hettie, do you know what that means? HETTIE: N o . . . . HELEN: Oh, I'm afraid to say. Do you know Jim's writing? HETTIE: I have his letters here. (Takes them from satchel) I know you'll think I'm a fool, Miss Helen, but I couldn't leave these letters behind, and I sleep with them under my pillow always. (Helen goes to desk and takes out letters in great excitement, suddenly gives a gasp and almost faints, recovering by a great effort) HELEN: The writing is not the same. These letters never came from Jim Fullerton. They have not even taken the trouble to imitate his signature. Oh, Hettie, it is true, it is true! They are lost! (Falls sobbing at table, her head buried in her arms) HETTIE: (Wringing her hands) And I didn't trust him. Oh, I don't deserve anything else. Miss Helen, isn't there any hope? Maybe you are mistaken. HELEN: (Holding out the letters) See for yourself. Oh, God, I wish I had died before I should know my father to be a forger, a liar, and a cheat. HETTIE: My gracious, Miss Helen, not as bad as t h a t . . . . HELEN: And he is dead, the great noble heart so loving toward all the world in which I sat enthroned as a very princess - that is what he said - a princess - that heart has ceased to beat murdered - murdered.



Oh, Miss Helen, don't. Don't think such terrible things. I've been taught to trust in God and I'm not giving to believe He would be so cruel to us. (Enter Forrester and Hathaway, L.E.) H E L E N : {With great control) Father, you never told me any misfortune had befallen Col. Danforth and Mr. Fullerton. FORRESTER: Misfortune? H E L E N : I am sorry, Father, but unwittingly I questioned that man who came here from the Klondyke. He told me Col. Danforth and Mr. Fullerton were never heard of after they left Dawson. HATHAWAY: Pshaw, that's a yarn. He was one of the men of the outfit who refused to obey Danforth, so they left him at Dawson City and had other men engaged. Don't you know better than to trust the word of such cattle? HELEN: But he seemed honest. HATHAWAY: That's what we thought when we hired him. He proved a rogue. H E L E N : And then Hettie had not heard from Jim and they were to be married on his return. HATHAWAY: (Smiling) Men often forget such obligations as that. It does not surprise me. It is enough that we have heard from them and our mines are prospering. Come, Forrester, let's get this work off our hands. FORRESTER: (Taking Hettie's hand) You are looking extremely well, Miss Breen. H E T T I E : I can't say as much for Miss Forrester. FORRESTER: N O , Helen is far from well. We are arranging for a trip to Europe so she insisted on sending for you to press you into accompanying us, if possible. Her heart was set upon it. H E T T I E : What, me to Europe? FORRESTER: It would be a splendid chance for you, and, believe me, Helen would appreciate it. (Exit Forrester and Hathaway, R.U.E.) H E L E N : After all, perhaps we are troubling ourselves about trifles. They may have written us both. Perhaps their letters were lost. So many Alaska steamers are lost at sea. Come, we'll trust HETTIE:



to heaven to make it right for us. I'll learn your lesson, Hettie. I believe you will do me good, after all. H E T T I E : Miss Helen, did Bob say anything to you before he went away? HELEN: No and yes. But of what use are words? H E T T I E : That's right, when a man loves a woman and a woman loves a man, words are only superfluous. HELEN: YOU are right. Come, let me show you to your room. I'm selfish and forgetting you have been traveling so long, just to come here and cheer up a miserable nervous wreck, who doesn't deserve any sympathy. Come, Hettie. Oh, I know you'll do me good. (They exit their arms about one another, L.I.E.) (Enter Hathaway and Forrester L.F. Hathaway has books of the mining company which he lays on the table C.) HATHAWAY: NOW, don't look as if you were going to a funeral, Forrester. You're the poorest excuse for a genuine scoundrel I ever saw. FORRESTER: Perhaps I am only an imitation scoundrel, after all. HATHAWAY: I'm inclined to think so. You're too weak and vascillating, too scary. In fact, as the New York news eyes say, you get cold feet too quick and you seem to take special delight in putting them up against some other fellow. FORRESTER: Well, you know, Hathaway. I've opposed this scheme of yours ever since you first broached it. I'm afraid it will turn out disasterous, and I'm frank enough to tell you. HATHAWAY: How can it? As far as we know, Danforth and Fullerton are dead. I'd swear they are. Two years lost in ice usually means that is the end. And who else is there to tell? We've lined our nest heavily, and we can afford to quit, choose a quiet spot on the other side of the world and live happily ever after. FORRESTER: What are you going to do with your conscience? HATHAWAY: (Laughing) Have you such a thing as a conscience? Get rid of it at once then, unless you want to be a poor man all your life. FORRESTER: Don't talk like that. It sounds like a common thief. HATHAWAY: Aren't we common thieves? Because we wear broad-



cloth, are we any better than the man who crawls into a window at night with a dark lantern and steals a man's money and jewels? FORRESTER: No, not one bit better. HATHAWAY: Then quit grumbling and put on a good front. The stock holders of the company will be here presently, and we must play our last trump. Monday you sail for Europe. A week later I leave, presumably for Alaska, and I'll meet you in Paris, two weeks from now. FORRESTER: YOU are too bold. You may overleap yourself. HATHAWAY: The bold hand is the one that wins. Millie will go with you and I'll follow on the next steamer, incognito. (Bell rings) Silence now. They are coming. 0Servant admits General Merrill and John Humphrey) HATHAWAY: (Greeting them) General, how are you? Mr. Humphrey, be seated. Are you alone? M E R R I L L : ( G r u f f l y ) Yes, we're alone. The laziest group of men for men wanting to get rich I ever saw. You have to pull' them to a meeting with a chain and tackle. Isn't it a little out of order to meet here? HATHAWAY: Not at all. We have more room here and more privacy, for I have something to say that's not to go beyond the knowledge of the members of the company. M E R R I L L : (TO Humphrey) Too mysterious - too mysterious. I don't like mystery. (Bell rings. Servant admits three men) HUMPHREY: (TO Merrill) Isn't it rather strange they're both going away at the same time? Even if one is going to Europe and the other to Alaska? M E R R I L L : Fishy - very fishy. I shall have them both watched, damned if I don't. HUMPHREY: And don't it look as though the stocks were jumping ahead too rapidly for an altogether safe investment? M E R R I L L : It's marvelous - marvelous. HUMPHREY: Have you seen or talked to anyone from the Klondyke who has seen our claim? M E R R I L L : Not a soul. Have you? HUMPHREY: Never. I ' m getting suspicious of the whole outfit.



Too much like a fairy story for me. (Hathaway has been listening and smiles confidently. Enter another group of men) M E R R I L L : Isn't everybody here? HUMPHREY: It looks that way! M E R R I L L : Then why the devil don't we proceed with business? HATHAWAY: (Seating himself at the head of the table R.) With your attention, gentlemen, we will. I won't detain you long, for we have not been called together for a formal1 business meeting. There is nothing quite so dry in store for you. I first want to impart some news I have lately received from the Klondyke and to suggest that we elect a president and vice president pro tem, to take our place while Mr. Forrester and I are away. M E R R I L L : Well, what we want to know is the reason for the absence of the two head members of the company at the same time. HATHAWAY: I supposed you were wondering many things since you learned of my contemplated trip to Alaska and Mr. Forrester's visit to Europe, so I have called you together to enlighten you as to both. In the first place, as many of you know, Mr. Forrester's daughter is in failing health, and it is imperative that she be taken to the south of France at once. Many of you are yourselves loving fathers and will not wonder that Mr. Forrester will not allow her to go away alone, in her present state. That I should go away at the same time is, perhaps, what puzzles you and may make some of you think me rather negligent of this end of the business. Well, gentlemen, I want you all to examine this peculiar metal and say what you think of it. (Takes a small vial from his pocket and passes it around the table) M E R R I L L : (Examining it) It's lead. HATHAWAY: N O . M A N NEXT TO HIM:



Silver. Wrong. Iron? Wrong again.



(Examining it again) Just plain sand. HATHAWAY: (Laughing) I wish I had a ton of it. M A N NEXT TO HIM: Radium? HATHAWAY: I wish it were radium. Not one of you has guessed what it really is. Here is a letter from the assayer, which enlightens us. Gentlemen, this metal is platinum. The most valuable metal in the world. My reason for going to Alaska at once is this letter from Col. Danforth in which he tells me he has discovered this precious stuff on our claims, thereby tripling their value. (They burst into sudden applause and all begin talking noisily at once. Hathaway raps for silence) HATHAWAY: If what Danforth says is true, we will all be fabulously rich. As you all know it is necessary to have very delicate machinery for mining this metal, so I propose accompanying this outfit myself, rather than entrust it to anyone else, as well as verifying Danforth's report to the fullest. I now move we elect a president pro tem. If I may make a personal suggestion, I would like to call your attention to a remarkably able and bright young man among us, Mr. John Humphrey, and to General Merrill a man of wide experience and well-known worth. HUMPHREY: (Swelling with pride) Not at all - I wouldn't be competent. M E R R I L L : I have too much other business. Let me stay on the board of directors. That's work enough for me. HATHAWAY: General, I would think you owe it to your friends to take the chair. You are the oldest and most competent among us all. MERRILL: Can't do it. HATHAWAY: Will somebody nominate a president pro tem? HUMPHREY: I nominate General Merrill. MAN ON L.: Second the motion. HATHAWAY: Shall I make it a vote? All in favor of General Merrill say "aye."




Contrary, "no." (Silence follows) General Merrill stands unanimously elected to the chair of president pro tem. M E R R I L L : I don't want it. HATHAWAY:



Very often honors are thrust upon us. Elect me treasurer, and I won't say a word. (Everybody laughs) HATHAWAY: That's the way, you old warden; you always want the fat jobs. Will somebody nominate a vice president pro tem? M E R R I L L : Mr. John Humphrey. We'll be a good pair to draw to. MAN R.: I second the motion. HATHAWAY: We'll call a vote. Mr. John Humphrey stands nominated to the chair of vice president pro tem. All in favor, say "aye." A L L : Aye. HATHAWAY: Contrary "no."




(All laugh) HATHAWAY: You're out of order. Sit down. Mr. Humphrey, you are nominated to the chair vacated by Mr. Forrester temporarily. I congratulate both, and now, before we part, I would propose a toast. Mr. Forrester, we're your guests. (Forrester rings bell on L.) HATHAWAY: I know he has more of that old wine we opened the day our company was organized. He can't take it to Europe and we might as well help him to get rid of it. HUMPHREY: Mr. Hathaway, when do you leave for the Klondyke? HATHAWAY: As soon as possible. I must get there before the cold weather and in time to do some work. You may take my word for it, I won't stay long. MERRILL: (TO Humphrey) I never saw him so jolly before. By Jove, if there is platinum there, old boy . . . . (Slaps him on back) HUMPHREY: (Cringing under the slap) I believe it. Why shouldn't there be? General, we're millionaires. (Enter servant with wine and glasses which he places on table C. and pours the wine) HATHAWAY: (Takes last glass from servant) Come gentlemen, a toast. (Bell rings and butler goes to open front door out L.)



That must be Helen back from her drive. Get this over as quick as you can, Hathaway. HATHAWAY: (Scornfully) Oh, we'll not shock the sensitive plant. She's seen men drink wine before. Besides she won't come in here. (Aloud) Gentlemen, I propose a toast to Miss Helen Forrester. May health crown her life with its blessings when she once more returns to America. ALL: To Miss Forrester. (They drink; servant pours wine) HATHAWAY: And now to the Klondyke Mining Company. May its gold and platinum fill your coffers to overflowing and good fortune smile on all for the rest of your lives. (During this speech enter Bob and Jim, D.C. They show signs of great hardship) BOB: (Quietly) What gold and platinum? HATHAWAY: (With a gasp) Danforth? (In a whisper) Alive! (In the stress of his emotion he breaks his wine glass in his hand and the contents spill on the floor. He falls back in his chair, limp and lifeless and from there slips to the floor. All turn to Bob and Jim and do not notice him. Forrester leaps over him and unfastens his collar, summoning the servant to help him. Everybody shakes hands with Bob and Jim) FORRESTER: The hour has come at last, the hour I've been waiting for, and though I fall with you, I'm glad it's here. M E R R I L L : (Turning sees him) Hello, what's wrong with Hathaway? (Exit servant quickly, D.E.) FORRESTER: Don't be alarmed, gentlemen. Mr. Hathaway is subject to heart trouble. He will be all right presently. I know just what to do for him. HUMPHREY: But surely you'll send for a physician. FORRESTER: That is already done, though scarcely necessary. If you will pardon me, gendemen, I will remain with him till the doctor comes. M E R R I L L : By all means. (Servant re-enters with another and they carry Hathaway out R.U.E.) FORRESTER:



JIM: Somebody watch the door. M E R R I L L : Watch the door? JIM: If you would prevent the escape of two of the greatest rascals in New York, yes. HUMPHREY: What do you mean? BOB: We mean you're all bamboozled. We've heard the stories of the wonderful wealth of the claims of this company. A lie all of it. (There is a groan, then silence) M E R R I L L : I felt it in my bones, by heaven! HUMPHREY: I thought there was something in the wind. M E R R I L L : (Severely) You're vice president of this company! HUMPHREY: You're president! M E R R I L L : Well, it's no joking matter. HUMPHREY: A l l a lie.

BOB: Every word. HUMPHREY: And the platinum? BOB: What platinum? HUMPHREY: (Looking at vial, taking up vial from table) This. BOB: (Looking at it closely) What about it? HUMPHREY: Didn't you write to Hathaway and tell him you had discovered platinum on the Klondyke claims? BOB: Not a word have I written to Hathaway nor anyone else since I left Dawson City, two years ago. HUMPHREY: (Taking letter from table) But there's your letter. BOB: (Taking the letter) A forgery! Gentlemen, we started for them claims, following a map Hathaway claimed he had had made for us by an expert. I know now that map was a trap to lead us to our death, for we were lost in the ice an' never till this spring have we seen the face of a white man. I don't hesitate to say I believe it was their scheme to lead us somewhar out of God's country, whar we'd never git back, but we got back and we got to the claims they said they owned and, boys, there's not a color of gold on the spot. Not one! HUMPRHEY: Then we're ruined. BOB: Well, I reckon most of you are rich enough to afford the loss.





Every dollar


had was invested in this com-

pany. BOB: (Kindly placing his hand on him) Then go slow awhile, young feller. You shall git it all back, for I want to tell you something else. When I went to the Klondyke I had some claims out in New Mexico — just copper claims but they've panned out great since I went away. Thar's riches enough within reach to make us all as rich as this foul scheme promised, an' if the stock holders are willin' I'll throw my share of that property into this company an' I reckon Jim will do the same. I don't want anyone to answer right now - but the claims are thar an' the ores in sight. All I say is investigate. M E R R I L L : That's a man for you! HUMPHREY: But, Danforth, do you think these two men knew their claims were worthless? BOB: Of course they did, and the thought that they used my good name to decoy you fellers into this is what's been a breakin' my heart, but it warmed me for the battle of life as well, for when death stared me in the face I says, "Jim," I says, "I ain't got no right to die, till I go home and square this deal an' settle with Hathaway an' his partner." HUMPHREY: It was their intention to skip too. Miss Forrester's illness is a put up job, and Hathaway's trip to the Klondyke is a scheme to get away with our money. BOB: (Staggering) Miss Forrester's illness? HUMPHREY: But of course she's shamming. M E R R I L L : N O . She's not shammin'. I saw her yesterday, and she looks as if she were in the last stages of decline. BOB: (TO Jim) Jim - Jim . . . . (Tries to keep from breaking down) JIM: Hush, we're not alone. The girl is alive, at any rate. (Enter Forrester R.) FORRESTER: (Slowly) Gentlemen, I'm sorry Mr. Hathaway cannot be here to take part in any further proceedings. I shall have to bear it all alone. JIM: We are very sorry to hear that, Mr. Forrester, for what we have to say is for both of you to hear and we prefer that Mr. Hathaway come in, if he is able to sit up at all.



It is utterly impossible. Say what you have to say

to me. (Bob comes down C. and faces him, his hands in his trousers pockets) BOB: Well, Mr. Forrester, all I want now is just to ask you a few questions an' to git the truth from you. You understand? The truth? FORRESTER: (Bowing slightly) The truth! BOB: Am I going to git it? FORRESTER: Every word. BOB: Well, then, first: when you an' Hathaway got me into this thing, you knowed your claims were worthless, didn't you? FORRESTER:


BOB: The letter you showed me from the assayer was forged? FORRESTER: NO, that was genuine. BOB: How could that be if the claims were no good? FORRESTER: The specimen reported on was not from our mine. BOB: An' you got me into this business because I had a reputation for honor, paramount to anything and everything and you thought I'd decoy men into the scheme by the true ring of metal in my good name. FORRESTER: That's true. BOB: Then your next move was to skip before you got found out. FORRESTER: That was our plan. BOB: You had all the money you hoped to git out of it without 'rousin' suspicion an' you were goin' to Europe with - you was goin' to Europe, wasn't you? FORRESTER:


BOB: Whar was Hathaway goin'? FORRESTER: T O the Kl'ondyke, he said. His plan was to meet us in Europe. BOB: And you knew there wasn't any metal on these claims? FORRESTER:


BOB: And you knowed that map you gave us would send us into the wilderness of ice an' snow whar we'd be lost and die like dogs? FORRESTER: (With feeling) No - I never knew that. I knew the



claims were worthless, but I hoped you'd strike it rich and everything would be all right. BOB: Did Hathaway know it? FORRESTER: Don't mention Hathaway. I'd rather not answer that question. BOB: Why can't I mention Hathaway? FORRESTER: Because he's not here to answer for himself. BOB: Then you acknowledge this company was jest a hoax an' swindle and you an' Hathaway jest thieves an' cheats. FORRESTER: That is plain English, but I can't deny it. Is that all? BOB: That's all. FORRESTER: Would you allow me to make a statement? JIM: (Making Bob sit in his chair) Certainly we will. You have the same right that is given to every thief and murderer, to speak in your own behalf. FORRESTER: I have little to say. For the most part I am as bad as you believe me. It ain't necessary to explain just why I became what I am today. That I was about to leave this country for Europe is true. That I was taking with me money that belonged to this company is not true. In the Deposit Vaults of the First National Bank there is a package and a letter. The key is entrusted to the cashier of the bank. I do not even possess a duplicate. That package contains my share of the spoils, as you might call' it. I supposed Danforth was dead and in my instructions to the cashier, the money was to be returned to the stock holders in this company. M E R R I L L : (Sarcastically) A likely story. FORRESTER: I do not ask you to take my word. The cashier of the bank has the key. Investigate. M E R R I L L : Humphrey, call the First National and talk with Mr. Grey. (Exit Humphrey, hastily D. C.) M E R R I L L : And now we've heard your story, we'll hear Hathaway's. (Enter Helen and Hettie at back. They stand staring at Bob and Jim in amazement, Helen holding Hettie back) MERRILL: For my own part, I don't believe a damn word. It's



a trick to gain time and maybe to help Hathaway to get out of reach. Gentlemen, this is not the way to parry words with a confessed thief and swindler. The fact remains that Forrester and Hathaway robbed us in cold blood. They're no better than any other hold-up men, and I say, send for the police. (One of the men starts R., seizing his hat to go out. Helen seems about to faint; Hettie supports her) BOB: (Stopping him) Stop. He says investigate. A man that's willing to be square has got to be trusted, till we find out he lies an' he's goin' to be trusted till we do. MERRILL: It's time we heard from Hathaway. Where's Hathaway? STOCKHOLDERS: ( I n a concerted movement) Yes - Hathaway! MERRILL: Let's hear his story. FORRESTER: Gentlemen, it will be impossible to hear Mr. Hathaway's story. He is dead. ALL: Dead? FORRESTER: He died while we were carrying him from this room. H E L E N : (Breaking away from Hettie) Don't, don't Hettie. Let me go. I can't bear it a moment longer. (Staggers down stage) FORRESTER: Helen - my God, Helen. (Jim turning sees Hettie who rushes into his arms) FORRESTER: What have you heard? H E L E N : That you are a thief, a swindler - that you have disgraced and dishonored me and yourself. Is it true? (Forrester groans) Is it true? FORRESTER: True - yes - yes. BOB: (Coming down to her) Don't be hard on him, Miss Helen. He's your father. HELEN: (With a heart-broken sob) He should have thought of that. BOB: Haven't you nothing to say to me? HELEN: What can I say to you now? What can I ever say to you again? (Sinks into chair, L.C. sobbing with her head on her arms down on table) CURTAIN




Scene: Same as Act I. Jim is discovered in the same attitude, painting the same picture as when curtain went up on Act I. Hettie is standing behind him, watching as he paints. JIM: (Studying the picture) Well, it's about finished, Hettie. H E T T I E : It is certainly true to life, Jim. Now it's done, what are you going to do with it? JIM: I think I'll send it to Europe to Bob. Maybe it will have the power to lure him home again. How much my work on this picture is like life. We begin with enthusiasm on a course that looks bright enough, when suddenly, some will-o-the-wisp attracts us and away we go, flittering from one thing to another, until some unexpected occurence brings us back to the spot where we began and we take up the old work, just as though nothing had happened to break the thread at all. H E T T I E : Gracious, Jim, now you are talking just like Bob. JIM: (Laughing) Yes, I feel poetical today. Coming up here today is what has done it. Bob's personality lingers about everything here and it's infectious. What a happy day this has been, eh, little woman? Right on this spot I fell in love with you. I made up my mind when I first saw you, if you'd marry me with all my faults and frailities, I'd marry you and no other. H E T T I E : Looked as if it was to be, Jim, (Sitting down at his feet and nestling up beside him) for I made up my mind that same day, if any woman could redeem you, I was that woman. It was to be. JIM: Yes, thank God, it was to be. (Kisses a stray lock of hair that falls over her shoulder) H E T T I E : And you're not sorry, Jim? JIM: Sorry it didn't happen sooner. H E T T I E : And you've never been ashamed of me? JIM: You were always a lady, and you're rapidly learning society manners. H E T T I E : (Laughs) I wonder what Helen Forrester and Mrs. Hathaway would say if they saw me now. (Springs to her feet) I think I could do the grand dame as well as the rest of them.



(Throws herself into the exaggerated pose often used by society women) "Ah, how do you do, Mrs. Talkback? So glad to see you. Won't you sit down? Can't stay? I'm so sorry. Oh, just stopped in to get Mrs. Spitfire's address. I have it. Here it is. Did you go to the recital last night? I didn't see you. Really it was a perfect bore and did you see the hat Mrs. Flatface had on? It was a perfect fright. She never knows a thing about dressing taste. Hasn't an idea of how to put her clothes on. Oh yes, Miss Sickly. She looks so bad. It won't be long before she's gone, poor thing. Good thing for Mr. Lovely he didn't marry her. Did you hear Mr. Lovely and Miss Moneybag were engaged? No? Well, I heard from a party who's in a position to know. To be married next month. Of course he's only marrying her for her money. He needs it, you know. He is such a spendthrift. Gone through every dollar he had and there are some ugly stories about him afloat. Oh, must you go? So sorry. Come in again when you can stay to tea. Goodby. Hideous thing! I'm glad she didn't stay. She's the worst scandal monger of our whole set. I hate her." JIM: (Laughs heartily) Good. Good. Oh, by Jove, that's rich. You must have had your eyes and ears open while you were in New York. Hettie, why did you marry me? H E T T I E : Because I was stuck on you. JIM: YOU would have made a fortune on stage. I never would have suspected it. H E T T I E : I'll let you in on a little secret, Jim. I've been making that up and practicing it ever since we were married. JIM: That's great - true to life too, but that's not the kind of woman I want you to be. I'd rather you'd pattern yourself after Helen Forrester. I always thought she was true mettle, though she treated Bob like a dog. H E T T I E : How, Jim? JIM: Went away without a word to him and when he sent a letter, she returned it unopened. H E T T I E : That was mighty queer. JIM: It was cruel; that's what sent him off to Europe. He went there just to try and forget her and I wouldn't be surprised if he marries a wife over there - just to forget her.



(With mock indignation) Jim, Jim Fullerton, did you marry me just to forget some other woman? JIM: NO, I married you so I could forget myself and because I couldn't forget you. H E T T I E : You mean so you could remember yourself. JIM: GO cook dinner. H E T T I E : But it must be a cold dinner. I won't cook or work today. If you'll be content with what we brought in the basket, a picnic you shall have. JIM: For my part, I can live by merely looking at you. HETTIE: Be careful, I may hold you to that. (Jim rises and studies his picture from a distance) JIM: It isn't half bad, is it? I think I'll make a copy of it before I send it to Bob. H E T T I E : Make one and send it to Helen. Maybe it would make her ashamed of herself. I wonder if Bob has changed much? JIM: I believed he wrote he learned a little French and German. H E T T I E : D O you think he's grown proud now the mines have panned out so good and he's so rich? JIM: Proud? Bob proud? That would be funny, wouldn't it? (Baby is heard crying. Jim and Hettie look at each other in consternation. Hettie goes to rocks and looks down the trail and seems very much disturbed) H E T T I E : Well I never - Daddy! (Enter Tom with the baby in his arms. He is panting and red in the face) JIM: For land sakes. TOM: Next time you leave the baby for Ma and me to take care of, leave word how to fix that tarnation patent food for him to eat. H E T T I E : Oh, my poor darling. Did you walk up, Daddy? TOM: Don't suppose I rode a burro up with that in my hands, do you? HETTIE: That happens to be a baby, and it has a name. His name, if you please is Bobby, and he's his mama's honey bugs. (Kisses baby) HETTIE:



TOM: (Fanning himself with his hat) 'Pears to me he's a pinching bug from the way he claws a feller. H E T T I E : Jim, I wish Bob would come back, if only to see the baby. JIM: He hasn't had time to get back yet. You see, the cablegram never reached him, for he had left Paris and then our letter lay there for a month. Besides, Hettie, you musn't think this is the only baby in the world. H E T T I E : Why, Jim Fullerton. Well I should think he'd want to see Davy. JIM: SO he does, but Davy's all right in school, and Bob's not over anxious to meet Millie, though maybe things will be patched up between them now that Hathaway's dead. H E T T I E : (With flashing eyes) Well I hope not. If Bob forgives her, he's a fool. It will be just like her to shine up to him again now that he's got that money. JIM: Bob might make up for the boy's sake, but I'd be sorry. H E T T I E : What does Helen say? JIM: The last time she wrote me, she said Millie seemed greatly changed. She has been dreadfully ill and has lost all her old ambition. TOM: Say, maybe you folks don't know that this young one's hungry. H E T T I E : (With sudden concern) Is him starved? Never mind, Mother will get him some dinner. Did you bring the food for him, Daddy? (Slowly, Tom draws the food from one pocket and the bottle from the other) TOM: (Scornfully) Thar's your newfangled grub. In my days, cow's milk was good enough for baby's bottles. How come you never give him some? He squalled so when we tried. H E T T I E : (Aghast) What? Don't you ever give this baby a drop of cow's milk. You might give him germs of some kind - cholera or tuberculosis or . . . . TOM: Or a square meal. (Hettie exits into the house) Jim, you're makin' a tarnation fool out of that girl with your newfangled ideas. That kid'll be a regular dude when he grows up, as sure



as I'm a thoroughbred. JIM: NO danger, Tom, he . . . (Looks off down the trail) Hello. TOM: (Going up to him) What is it, Jim? JIM: TWO women coming up the trail. Tourists probably. It seems Hettie and I can't have our anniversary to ourselves. TOM: (Shielding his eyes) Why Jim, it's Helen Forrester. JIM: (Looking) As sure as you're born, and little Davy is with her. Then that other woman is Millie. Wonder what they want? TOM: I reckon it's plenty. Probably what Hettie said. She's runnning after Bob now that he's got plenty of money. JIM: But she knows Bob isn't here. He always writes to the boy and they know better than I where he is. TOM: They've got lots of pluck to come up here all alone. JIM: More pluck than sense. I wonder what it all means? (.Hettie is heard singing a lullaby as Jim and Tom stand watching down the trail, and finally, Helen with Davy on one burro and Millie on the other, in some last stage of mortal sickness, come up the trail. Tom sees her condition and runs to lift Millie off the burro. He lifts her from the animal and carries her before the door where she sinks down unconscious) H E L E N : (Dismounting and advancing to Jim with her hand outstretched) Forgive this intrusion. I am sure you will when you know all. {Davy runs to his mother) JIM: There is nothing to forgive. But look at Mrs. Hathaway. {Calls) Hettie, come quick. {Gets water in a bucket and takes a dipper from barrel. Helen bathes Millie's forehead and temples and she revives as Hettie enters from the house) HETTIE: (In amazement) Well, I never. Mrs. Hathaway and Helen and Davy. Did you all come alone? H E L E N : All alone. Can I ask your hospitality for a poor sick woman? H E T T I E : Dear me, you know you can. DAVY: Here I am, Mother. Davy's right here. (Caresses her) JIM: {TO Davy) Well Davy, do you have anything to say to me? DAVY: How do you do? You're Mr. Fullerton, aren't you?



JIM: Yes. In other words, I'm Jim. The best friend you have next to your father and mother. DAVY: A n d Helen?

JIM: Oh, yes, we musn't forget Helen. HELEN: (Coming down and putting her arms around Davy) Oh, Mr. Fullerton, believe me, I wouldn't have ventured near here if I had not been sure Mr. Danforth was in Europe, but she wishes to die here. She knows there is no hope for her, though perhaps the mountain air will prolong her days indefinitely, and I have brought her here in hope you will grant her wish. If you let her stay, I promise she will be no trouble to anyone. I will take care of her. JIM: NO trouble. Do you think Davy's mother could be trouble to us? I will do as I know Bob would do if he were here. HELEN: I think the journey up the mountain has been too much for her. She seemed in such high spirits when we started, and she would come. I tried to urge her to stay at Mr. Breen's house for the night, but she would not listen to me. JIM: This is a poor place for a sick person. Better take her down to the ranch where we can help you take care of her. HELEN: (Shaking her head) She knows nothing can do her any good, so what difference does it make where she is. The memories of the ranch house would be too unpleasant for her, she never ceases to reproach herself for the way she treated Col. Bob. But she wanted to be where he loved it so and to die here, for you can see it won't be long. JIM: Well, the poor soul, I think if he could see her now he'd forgive her with all his heart. (Tom takes Hettie and Millie into the house) JIM: (To Davy) Come here, son. When did you hear from your daddy? DAVY: (Goes over to Jim) Just before he left New York. He said he might go to London and would send me a fine new watch for a birthday present, but today is my birthday and I haven't got the watch. (Tom enters from the cabin with the baby. Hettie follows. Tom puts the baby into Davy's arms)



TOM: There, what do you think of that? DAVY: IS it yours? TOM: (Proudly) Yes, it's mine - my grandson. DAVY: Can he talk?

TOM: (Laughing heartily) Land sakes, he's only two months old. DAVY: HOW many teeth has he got? TOM: Not a single tooth. Hadn't he oughter be ashamed of himself? DAVY: Gee, won't we have fun when he gets big enough to play ball? JIM: (Laughs) Won't we though. (Davy tries to pull the baby's clothes) TOM: What are you doing? DAVY: I want to see his feet. (Looking at baby's feet) He couldn't run very far on those feet. JIM: Oh, they'll grow. (,Davy almost drops the baby. Tom seizes it in consternation) TOM: Lawzee, youngster, don't drop that baby. If anything got broke about it, I might just as well jump off that cliff. (Takes baby into house) JIM: Grandfathers are sure queer people. DAVY: I never had a grandfather. Did you? JIM: You know, you never knew your grandfather. Neither did I. If he was as funny as Tom is, I'm glad of it. I don't think my delicate constitution could have born the strain. How long has your mother been sick, Davy? DAVY: Over a year. JIM: Well, remember whatever comes, your Uncle Jim is your friend, won't you? DAVY: (Smiling) Yes, Uncle Jim. JIM: And suppose we go water your horses. They're probably very hungry and thirsty after their tramp up here. DAVY: (Laughing) Horses. JIM: Come along. I'll show you how to feed them and when you go home again, I have a baby burro who will be just old enough



to travel. He hasn't a name yet, so you may find one to suit yourself. DAVY: Then I'll call him Uncle Jim. {They exit laughing. Bob is heard whistling down the trail. Finally, he stops and then is seen coming slowly up into the plateau, sees Jim's picture on the easel and utters a low whistle) BOB: Jim's here. Well, I'll be durned, if that ain't slick. Lawdee, when I look at this scene and that picture I can't believe it's four years since I stood here. I've seen the world since then, in its frozen solitudes and where the warm summer breezes almost stop the blood in its currents, but I never saw a spot more beautiful than this and that all seems like a dream. Only this is real life. (Enter Jim from corral. He stops amazed, then rushes forward and grasps Bob's hand speechlessly) BOB: Jim, Jim - it's the same old Jim. JIM: It's the same old Bob. BOB: It's just good fortune I found you here. JIM: Have you been to the ranch? BOB: NO, I haven't stopped for a minute since I left Nice. I sat down to write a letter to you, and a picture of the Aerie came up before me and I couldn't write. So I threw down my pen, hurried up to my room, packed my suitcase and jumped into a cab and rode like the wind to catch the train - then to Calais, to Dover, to Liverpool, but then I didn't stop. Took the first train through to Chicago and stopped there only long enough to change cars to New Mexico. Didn't even stop at the ranch, for my heart was swelling with that indefinable home feeling which is the sweetest emotion a poet ever sang, and when this beloved spot came into sight, I felt myself a boy again and whistled all the way up the trail. JIM: It was fate, Bob. The strong hand of fate, and we're only playthings. The strong hand of destiny has thrown us all here together again. Helen, Millie, and Davy . . . . BOB: Here? Helen Forrester, here? Then I reckon I'd better not stay.



(Turns as if to leave) JIM: Why not? Don't fight fate, Bob. We're only playthings in its hand, anyway. Let things go as they will, and as for Helen, she won't make a target of you when she sees you, unless it is for a pair of pretty eyes and maybe they'll look more kindly upon you than they did before. BOB: Don't, Jim. I've given up all hope. I don't want to see her. I couldn't stand it. I . . . . JIM: Very well. Fortunately, you have a good place behind that rock, and you can climb down the trail and get away without being seen, if you're very careful, for there she comes and you've either got to face her or run. BOB: Then I'll run. I can't face her. Jim. (Goes up to rock R.) Jerusalem, do you think I could ever climb down that? (Hides behind rock. Jim sits down at picture and begins to work as Helen enters) JIM: IS Millie better? H E L E N : NO, but she is sleeping. She looks like death. I did not think the journey would do so much to her. She is very low. JIM: You can never tell about such cases. She may be feeling splendid tomorrow. And by the way, Miss Helen, how is your father? HELEN: Oh, he seems to be a new man since Hathaway's death. For a long time after that I feared he would lose his mind. When he reached California, I had to become his nurse instead of his charge, and I do believe it was the responsibility of looking after him that gave me the courage to live and get well again. JIM: It is often so. (Bob looks from behind rock and gasps with the desire to talk to her) HELEN: For almost a year his health failed him, but after several marks of confidence by the company, he seemed to regain his hope and grow strong again. JIM: {Lays aside his brushes and turns to Helen) Miss Forrester, there's one question I want to ask you though it may be none of my business. Bob wrote you a letter before he went to Europe. Why did you return it to him unopened? HELEN: Oh, Mr. Fullerton, if you had known how I felt. I was



crushed with shame and humiliation. I thought it was the only honorable thing to do, though it broke my heart. JIM: And broke his. H E L E N : I could no longer accept his friendship under the circumstances. I . . . . JIM: He didn't ask you to accept his friendship, but his love. H E L E N : His love? B u t . . . . JIM: And you did wrong to treat him as you did. He knew your father was only Hathaway's dupe. He was ready to forgive and forget, all for your sake. H E L E N : He asked me to accept his love even after that, but you cannot understand. No one can understand what a terrible thing it was to me then. (Bob comes out from behind rock and pretends to throw Jim out. Jim retreats and exits L.) But now I realize what I have done. I could not accept his love bowed as I was with shame and disgrace. My father had been a party to a scheme to rob and cheat and even murder him, for it was murder to send him to Alaska as he was sent. I felt I was not fit to hold up my head and look him in the face again. I could not have borne it. It was not because I did not love him, but because I was so unworthy. Oh, Mr. Fullerton, did you think I did not care for him? I did. I think him the grandest, noblest, and best man in all the world.... BOB: (Seizes her from behind and turns her) You said that before. HELEN:


BOB: Yes, it's Bob. I came up that mountain trail with the emptiest heart a man ever carried in his bosom, but the higher I came, the nearer your presence got into my heart - for this was the first place I ever set eyes on you, and here - here you are. H E L E N : (Struggling to get away from him) Oh, please - please BOB: I'm trying to please. Now I've got you, I ain't goin' to let you go until you tell me you love me or you hate me or that you'll marry me or you won't. H E L E N : I won't.



BOB: All right, that's the way it ought to be, straight from the shoulder. H E L E N : (In tears) If you only knew what it cost me to answer you like this, but love must give way to duty. You know I do love you. BOB: (Joyfully) Then nothing can stand between us. (Starts toward her) H E L E N : (Lifting her hand) Millie stands between us. We must put ourselves aside for her. BOB: Did she put herself aside for me? No siree, she put me aside, broke my heart, and robbed me of my boy. Do you think because she is a widow, I ought to consider her now? HELEN: N O , but because she is ill and helpless. Bob, when you see her again, you will understand how she needs us both. She may not live long or she may linger for years. You must marry her again and take care of her for Davy's sake. BOB: Why did she come here? H E L E N : It was her desire to pass away where you loved it, for, Bob, strange as it may seem, the only thing aside from Davy she loves with a feeling of idolatry, is you. BOB: (In surprise) Millie loves me? HELEN: You are her idol, her hero, everything in the world to her. Her prayers are continually for your return. Her one hope is to see your face again. Her one regret is that she wronged you. BOB: Lord, Lord, I never think of that. I've forgiven that as I hope to be forgiven. H E L E N : Then you'll do what is right and marry her again? BOB: NO, Helen, I won't. It wouldn't be right. HELEN: It must be right. BOB: After hearin' you say you love me an' lovin' you like I do, it would be a sin - mortal sin. HELEN: It would be charity. BOB: It would be shame. H E L E N : It would be human. BOB: Then I can't be human for I can't do it. H E L E N : Bob, for my sake.



BOB: Not even for your sake. H E L E N : I will not marry you. BOB: YOU will. HELEN: I will not. BOB: Then I'll go away again, but I'll never marry Millie. Helen, Helen, how can you ask it? You're askin' me to put aside every principle I hold right - to degrade myself by actin' a lie and marry one woman while I adore another. No, no, I can't. You love me. You're mine by every natural law, and I'm goin' to hold you, by the Eternal, or I'll never look another human critter in the face again until I die. HELEN: Bob, for Davy's sake. BOB: Not even for Davy's sake, for it wouldn't do him any good. I never loved her, I know that now, and it would be wrong to both of us and to you as well. I'll take care of her. She won't never want for a thing, but to take her for my wife again . . . no, I won't. I'm goin' to marry you. You love me. Maybe it won't be while she lives, but you're mine, Helen, by a law God made Himself, and nothing can alter that. (Helen bursts into tears. Bob goes to her and puts his arms around her) Promise me you'll marry me, Helen. H E L E N : I can't. I have no right. BOB: She's not my wife. She's Hathaway's wife. H E L E N : But Hathaway is dead now. BOB: That don't make any difference. She put him between us, and he's thar, dead or alive. Helen, gal, promise me - promise someday . . . . HELEN: (Trying to escape from him) I promise - someday . . . . BOB: (Starting toward her) Gal H E L E N : (Eludes his embrace) You must not - not while Millie is alive. BOB: That's unkind, but I've got your promise anyway, and that's something to look forward to. Someday you'll be my wife, an' you'll wait, Helen, you'll wait. H E L E N : (Places her hand in his) 'Till eternity. (Enter Jim with the baby, followed by Hettie) H E T T I E : Hello, Bob. (Taking his hand) Oh, but it's good to see



you. Now Jim, I wish you would handle that baby more carefully. BOB: (Taking the baby) So that's the baby. Lord, ain't he a redfaced little cuss. H E T T I E : Red-faced! He won't always be red-faced. Wait a few months. BOB: Oh, I know that. I know all about babies. (Enter Davy from L., running. Helen takes the baby) DAVY: Daddy! Daddy! My dad. BOB: (Embracing him) Well, well, this is a genuine surprise party, ain't it. DAVY: You said you were going to London. BOB: And so I did, then I came here and found you. Here's the watch I . . . . This is his birthday, isn't it? (Takes a watch from his pocket and puts it on Davy) Now, sir, what time is it? DAVY: It's time to thank you. (Throws his arms around Bob) BOB: (To Helen) He's quicker to learn than you are, Miss Helen. H E L E N : If you don't be good, I'll take back my promise. HETTIE: Now, Jim, if you and Helen will keep watch over the baby, I'll finish getting lunch. We're going to have a quiet little picnic, just to celebrate the day four years ago when we had that other one, besides, this is our wedding anniversary and it's Davy's birthday, so we'll celebrate all around. Only we mustn't forget, and don't make any noise or you'll waken Mrs. Hathaway, and Col. Bob, tone down that 'haw, 'haw of yours or you'll be sure to waken her. BOB: I haven't 'haw, 'haw in years, but I'd like to now. Only I won't. (Exit Hettie shaking her finger at him and Helen sitting on Jim's camp stool with the baby in her arms) Say, Jim, paint that picture for me. JIM: I'd like to Bob. Why is it a suggestion of motherhood so beautifies a woman? BOB: Why is it an act of heroism so glorifies a man? That's woman's heroism, Jim. Motherhood's the highest type of courage and endurance because a mother will stand at her post through sorrow and death, without a word or without hope of reward,



where a man generally gets a medal or honorable mention or something. JIM: (Affectionately) Still the same old loyal-hearted Bob. Have you seen Millie yet? BOB: NO, not yet. Helen says she's asleep. (Enter Tom with papers to spread out on ground) BOB: Law, how it takes me back to old times. DAVY: Let me help.

BOB: YOU sit on the corner so the wind won't blow it away. DAVY: (Laughing as he sits down on the corner of the paper) Oh, this isn't helping. BOB: (Speaking as they bring the dishes and luncheon from a basket) When I look back to that time four years ago, I see how the Almighty brings things about in his own way. He always takes his time and does everything right. Only man is in a hurry. God didn't build the railroads when he made the world. He gave man a horse to carry him over the rough places, and the man and the horse were friends and comrades. They were seldom in a hurry and everywhere they passed as they went about they saw God's handwriting on the rocks and flowers and clouds. They were friends with him because they got so close to Him. But it was too slow for man. He thought he'd improve on that and he made a steam engine to pull him along so fast he didn't have time to see the hand of God and so his influence didn't come into his life so strong just because man was in a hurry. (Davy sits listening, open mouthed. Enter Hettie from behind cabin, goes to Helen) H E T T I E : D O you think she's awake yet? Maybe we'd better tend to her wants first. H E L E N : (Gives baby to Bob) She seldom sleeps long. I'll see. (Goes into cabin) BOB: Let's put the youngster in the middle of the centerpiece. HETTIE: (Protests as Bob starts to put baby in centerpiece) The idea, my darling for a centerpiece. (Davy laughs and Bob throws back his head to do so when Helen comes in from the cabin and holds up her hand solemnly)



HELEN: Don't laugh. She's gone. BOB: (Starts for cabin) Gone . . . . JIM: (Containing Bob) Not yet, Bob, not yet. (Davy sobbing, creeps into Bob's arms) BOB: (Reverently removes hat and drops to one knee at C. stage and just outside cabin) Oh, Lord, thy will be done, thou knowest. CURTAIN THE END

INDEX The Index is principally limited to the Introduction, but in a few instance the entries also include materials in the plays.

Adams, James Barton, 58-59, 8182, 143 Adelphia Theatre (Denver), 64 (note) Alabama, 26 (note) Alabama, 39 Alaska, 22, 28, 48, 63, 72-74, 79, 86, and Colonel Bob, passim Albuquerque, Colonel Bob, passim Alger, Horatio, 20, 22 America, 13, 14, 15, 16 (note), 19-20 (note), 23, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 36, 38, 65, 76, and passim in the three plays Antelope (horse character), 18 Antietam, 36 Apache campaign, 56 Apache Queen (mine), 71 Apaches, 63 (note), 65, 69, 208 Arizona, 42, 46, 58, 65, and Colonel Bob, passim Arkansas, 91 Arlington, J. V, 80 Australia, 55-57, 62 Baby (character), see Elden, Baby Barrett, Lawrence, 80 Battle of Slim Buttes, 44, 46 Beadle's Boy's Library . . . , 34 (note) Belasco, David, 38 Benson, Tat (character), 24, 44, 81, and Mighty Truth, passim Bergstein, Dr. Henry, 52 and note Best Plays, 75 Betty (character), see Elden, Betty

Big Horn Mountains, 43 and Mighty Truth, passim "Billy the bear", 49-50 Billy the Kid (William Bonny), 23 (note) "Biographical Sketch", 29, 30 (note), 31 (note), 32 (note), 34 (note), 36 (note), 39 (note), 41 (note), 42, 43 (note), 44, 60, 85 (note) Black Hills, 16, 19, 42-48, 49, 58, 65 Black Hills Rangers, 43 Blondie and Dagwood, 68 Booth, Edwin, 13, 80 Bowery Theatre, 49 Brady, Cyrus Townsend, 46 (note) Brechtel, Mae Crawford, see Crawford family Breen, Hettie (character), 81 and Colonel Bob, passim Breen, Tom (character), 81 and Colonel Bob, passim Brobst, Flavius, 26 (note) "Bronco Billy", 46 (note) Bronco Book, 74, 75 (note) "Bronco Girl", 67 (note) "Bronco Philosopher, A", 45 (note), 75 (note) Brooklyn, 37 Brown, Ed (character), 20, 25 and Mighty Truth, passim Buckskin and Satin, 64 (note) "Buckskin Men of Forest and Plain", 34 (note) Buffalo Bill, see Cody, William F.


Buffalo Bill and the Wild West, 14 (note), 49 (note) Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, 15, 62, 86 Buntline, Ned (E. K. C. Judson), 33-34 and note, 42, 44 Burke, John, 37, 83 Burns, Robert, 31 and note, 58 Bush Streeet Theater, San Francisco, 49, 50 Butte, Montana, 73, 74 Byron, Lord George 13, 57 Calamity Jane, 44 California, 55 and Fonda, passim California Joe, 44, 46 "California Joe and the Girl Trapper", 44 California Theatre Company, 61 California Through Death Valley, 62, 89 Camp Fire Sparks, 62 Campaigning with Crook . . . , 45 "Captain Jack Crawford Dead", 31 (note). Captain Jack in Rocky Roost, 34 and note, 35, 38, 41 Captain Jack, or, The Seven Scouts, 34 "Captain Jack, The Poet Scout", 33 (note), 41 (note), 45 (note) Carlisle, 144 Carnegie, Andrew, 13, 61 Cerrilos Dirstrict, 71 "Chapter for Boys, A", 34 (note), 46 (note) Chautauqua, 26 (note), 41, 76, 82 Cheyenne, Wyoming, 22 and Mighty Truth, passim Chicago, 22, 73, 74, 76 Chip (character), 22 and Mighty Truth, passim "Chip's God", 22 Chloride, New Mexico, 60 Christian Science, 78 Citronelle Chautauqna (Alabama), 26 (note) Civil War, 21, 28, 32-39, 47, 78, 79; and Mighty Truth, passim

279 Cleveland, Grover, 37-38 (note) Clovis, New Mexico, 67, 73 Coal mining, 28, 32-36 Cody, Kit Carson, 44 Cody, William F. (Buffalo Bill), 14-15, 21-22, 27, 37, 42-54, 5657, 62 and note, 64, 67, 68, 70, 71, 77-78, 79, 80-81, 83, 84, 86 Cold Harbor, 36 Colonel Bob, 22-27, 33, 66, 72, 73, 74, 81, 82, 84, 85, and full text, 191 ff. Colonel Bob Danforth (character), see Danforth, Colonel Robert Colonel Sanford (character), see Sanford, Colonel Color Guard, The, 61 Colorado, 42, 58, 64, and Fonda, passim "Comrade's Foreword, A", 58 Congressional Medal of Honor, 14 Conrad, Joseph, 65, 86 Copper mining, 74, 79, and Colonel Bob, passim Corporal Bill (character), 20 and Mighty Truth, passim Cosgrove, 46 Crane, Stephen, 37 Crawford family, Anna Marie Stokes (wife), 40, 66-70, 72, 76; Austin (brother), 30; Elizabeth (sister), 30, 31; Elizabeth Mae (daughter, Mrs. Brechtel), 30 (note), 40; Eva (daughter, Mrs. Rickert), 40, 67-68, 76-77; Harry (son), 40; John Austin (father), 30, 36, 39; May Cody (daughter), 40; Rebecca (sister), 30; Susie Wallace (mother), 30, 31, 37 (note), 39, 40 (note), 41; William (brother), 30 Crawford, John Wallace (Capt. Jack), biography, 28-79; relationships with acting, 16, 26, 28, 48-57, 70, 75, 80; with Buffalo Bill, 14-16, 42-45, 48-57, 62, 67, 68, 70, 71, 77-79; with Civil War, 28, 32, 33, 35-39, 47, 78, 79, 83; with education,



24 (note), 28, 31, 35, 37, 59, 68-69, 82-83; with his family, 40, 66-70, 78; with forts, 40, 66, 68-70, 72; with Indians, 28, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 56, 65- 66; with mining, 28, 3236, 40, 70-74, 79; with scouting, 41-48, 56, 57, 58, 65, 70, 75, 77-79; with speaking, 16, 28, 29, 31, 33, 37, 39, 63-65, 70, 75, 77. See, also various entries: Family, Dime Novels, Prohibition, etc. Crawford, Jack (character), 16-27, 46, 81, 85-86, and Fonda, passim Criticism and Fiction, 28 Crockett, Davy, 22 Crook (city), 43 Crook, General George, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47 Custer (horse, character), 21 and Mighty Truth, passim Custer, General George, 15, 21, 44, 46, 49, 61, 77, 78 Cypress Hills National Cemetery, 37, 78 Cyrano de Bergerac, 18 Daily New Mexican, 64, 65. 71, 72 Dakotas, 42 Dampier, Alfred, 55-56 Dana, Charles, 82 Danforth, Colonel Robert (character), 16, 22-27, 28, 33, 40, 46, 48, 57, 58, 66, 67, 73, 74, 77, 81, 85, and Colonel Bob, passim Davenport, Iowa, 78 (note) Davidson, Levette J., 44 (note) Davis, Sam, 54, 55 Davy (character), 25, 81 and Colonel Bob, passim Davy Crockett, 55 Dawson, 72-73 and Colonel Bob, passim Dawson Daily News, 72-73. Deadwood, 43, 47-48 "Death of Custer, The", 44

"Death of Little Kit", 44 Debs, Eugene, 14 (note) Democratic party, 37 (note) Denver, 56, 64 (note), 72 Denver Post, 81 Dickens, Charles, 31 Dictionary of American Biography, 28 (note), 42, 63, 74 Dime Novel Round-Up, 34 (note) Dime novels, 15, 23 and note. 27, 29, 33-35, 34 (note), 38, 41-42, 56, 63, 75-76, 77, 78 (note), 80, 83 and Colonel Bob, passim Dr. Carver's "Wild West" Combination, 64-65 Don Juan, 13, 57 Don Quixote, 57 Downey "the tiger", 55 Dramatic Compositions . . . , 53 (note), 62 (note) Dregs, The, 75 and note Dripping Springs, New Mexico. 71, 197 Duncan, J. C., 61 (note). East, the, 22, 23, 27, 28, 49. 50, 66, 67, 69, 85 Ed (character), see Brown, Ed. Edinburgh, 30 Edison, Thomas, 13. Edna (character), see Howard, Edna El Paso, Texas, 67, 78 Elder Force (character), see Force, Elder Elmira Boys' Reformatory, 75 Europe, 15, 25, 28, 56, 71 Fair, Senator James G., 55. Famous Battery and Its Campaigns . . . , 47, 48 (note) "Farewell to Our Chief", 44 Father Knows Best, 66 50 Great Americans, 14 Fleming, Henry (character), 37 Florida, 75 Fonda (character), 18, 22, 25 and Fonda, passim. Fonda, 16-27, 42, 44, 55-58, 62,


64 (note), 74-81, 84, 85, and full text, 89 ff. Forrester, Helen (character), 25, 81 and Colonel Bob, passim Fort Craig, New Mexico, 36, 6668, 72 Fort Laramie, Wyoming, 20, 44, and Mighty Truth, passim Forty-eightt Pennsylvania Volunteers, 32 (note), 36 Fullerton, Jim (character), 24, 81 and Colonel Bob, passim Gagey, Edmond M., 49 (note) Gayville, 43 Georgia, 75 George Marquis (mine), 71 Germany, 69 (note) Geronimo, 56, 78 Gillette, William, 38 Glasgow, 30 Gold mining, 25, 40, 72-74, 79 Grand Army Magazine, The, 60 Grand Army of the Republic (G. A. R.), 61, 63, 64 and note Grand Opera House, New York, 49 Grant, Dr., 52 Grant, U. S., 13, 27, 37 (note), 44, 61 Granville, Gertie, 54, 57 Great Carson Desert, 101 Greeley, Horace, 41 Gruard, Frank, 44, 46 Harkaway, Jack, 16 Harte, Bret, 58, 61 Hartranft, General John F., 38, 41 Hatch, General John P., 56, 57 Hathaway, Mark (character), 81 and Colonel Bob, passim Hathaway, Mildred (character), 27, 67, 85, and Colonel Bob, passim Have Gun, Will Travel, 21 Hawkshaw, the Detective, 55 Heart of Darkness, The, 65 Heart of Maryland, 39 "Heathen Chinee", 61

281 Held by the Enemy, 38 Helen (character), see Forrester, Helen Henry, John (character), 17, 81 and Fonda, passim Heme, James A., 38 Hero (dog), 61, 63 (note) Hero in America, The, 13 (note), 19 (note) Hettie Breen (character), see Breen, Hettie Hickok, James (Wild Bill), 39, 44, 46, 49, 51 (note), 61 Hickox & Nuanez, 71 History of the American Theatre, A, 39 (note) Hooley's Theater, Brooklyn, 49 Hotel Metropole, London, 43 How I Met Billy the Kid, 23 (note) Howard, Bronson, 38 Howard, Edna (character), 20, 22, 25 and Mighty Truth, passim Howard, General Oliver O., 52 Howells, William Dean, 28 Hualpais, 46 Huck Finn, 18 Hughes, Glenn, 39 (note) Humbolt River, 101 Idaho, 52 Illinois, 75 "In Donegal", 32 Indian Bureau, 66 Indian Fights and Fighters, 46 (note) Indian Girl (mine), 71 Ingraham, Prentiss, 33-35, 37, 38, 41, 42 "Interesting History of Captain Jack Crawford, An", 32 (note) Iowa, 75, 78 (note) Ireland, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 36, 80 "Irene Is Dead", 34 "Irish Lover, The", 32 (note) Irvine, Leigh, 29-31, 32 (note), 34, 36 (note), 39 and note, 41, 42, 43 (note), 44, 60, 85 I. X. L. Hotel (Deadwood), 47

282 Jim Fullerton (character), see Fullerton, Jim Johnson, Samuel, 17 Judson, Colonel E. K. C., see Buntline, Ned Julius, the Street Boy, 20 Keene, T. W., 61 Keith circuit, 72 Kentucky, 18, 45 and Fonda, passim King, Captain Charles, 45-46 and note, 58 Klondike (also Klondyke), 72-73 and Colonel Bob, passim Laramie, 47 Lariattes, 24 (note), 34 (note), 37 (note), 63, 74, 75 Lawrence, Captain George, 36 Lee, Robert E„ 13, 19, 27 Leithead, J. Edward, 34 (note) Lexington, Kentucky, 45 Library of Congress, 16, 62, 88 Life on the Border, 49, 51 Lincoln, Abraham, 13, 32 (note), 37, 41 Lindsey, Colonel Bob, 55 Literary Digest, 78 and note. Little Big Horn, 43 "Little Ones Praying at Home", 40 (note) Loco, 56 Lode and Placer Company, 71 Logan, Herschel C., 64 (note) London, 30, 43 (note) Longfellow, Henry W., 58 Lyceum, 76 Madison, Marie, 74, 81-82, 191 Making His Way, 20 Manchester, New Hampshire, 56 Manfred, 16, 25, 27 Marlow (character), 65, 86 Marsh, Harry L., 67 May Cody; or Lost and Won, 49 McCabe, John, 55 McGregor, Granny, 30 Medical History of Nevada, The 52-53 (note)


Medicine Bow, 43 Melbourne, 55 Merritt's Third Cavalry, 46 Merriwell, Frank, 16 Mexico, 42, 69 and note, 86 Michigan, 76 Mighty Truth The, 18-27, 36, 39, 44, 45, 58, 62, 71, 73, 74, 81, 85 and full text, 143 ff. Millie (character), see Hathaway, Mildred Mills, General Nelson A., 46, 65 Minersville, Pennsylvania, 31 Montana, 42, 73, 75 Montgomery Opera House (Pueblo, Colorado), 64 Mormons, 17, 18, 19, 27, 81 and Fonda, passim "Mother's Prayers", 39, 132 "Mountain Boy's Letter, The", 44 (note), 61 Mountain Meadow Massacre, 113 Murphy Pledge, 21, 50, 54 (note), 85 Nana, 56 National Cemetery (Brooklyn), see Cypress Hills National Cemetery National Theatre (Nevada), 51, 52 Nebraska, 42 Nevada, 42, 49, 51 and note, and Fonda, passim New Hampshire, 56 New Mexican Review (Santa Fe), 64, 65, 71 New Mexico, 23, 28, 40, 42, 5762, 64, 65, 67-68, 70-72, 73, 74, 76, 78 and Colonel Bob, passim New Mexico Magazine, 67 (note) New Mexico Quarterly, 75 (note) New Orleans, 14 New York City, 33, 49, 67, 76, 86 and Colonel Bob, passim New York Evening Sun, 78 New York Herald, 44, 47, 50 New York state, 65, 75 New York Times, 31 (note), 77


Newark, New Jersey, 51 Newton, Nick (character), 35 Nez, Perces, 46 North Platte, 50 Numida, Pennsylvania, 40 Ogden, Utah, 51 Ohio, 75 Omaha, 22, 50 Omohundro, Texas Jack, 48, 49, 51 (note), 64 (note) Onekama, Michigan, 78 Oregon, 75 Parker's Landing, 50 Pennsylvania, 31, 32 and note, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 and note, 38 (note), 40, 41, 63 (note), 64, 66, 67, 70, 75 Petersburg, 36 Philanthropist's Error, The, 53 (note) Piute Sam (character), 18 and Fonda, passim Pocahontas (mine), 71 Poe, Edgar Allan, 58 Poems of the Old West, 44-45 (note) Poet Scout, 15, 28, 30, 33 (note), 41, 45 (note), 49, 51, 54, 55, 56, 60, 61, 77, 78, 79 Poet Scout: A Book of Song and Story, 29 and note, 34 (note), 36 (note), 40 (note), 44, 46 (note), 60, 61 and note, 62, 65 (note) Practical Patriotism . . ., 32 (note), 37 (note), 63, 69 (note), 76 Press Club, New York, 76 Prohibition and Temperance, 19, 20, 21, 23 (note), 24, 27, 30, 31, 34 (note), 35, 39, 43, 47, 49, 50, 54, 55, 63, 74, 75 and note, 85, 112, 154-155 Pueblo, Colorado, 64 Pueblo Chieftain, 32 (note), 64 (note) Quakers, 65

283 Randolph, Charles ("Buckskin Bill"), 78 and note, 79 Raton, New Mexico, 65 Rattlin' Joe, 61 and note Red Badge of Courage, The, 37 Red Right Hand, 52 Republican party, 22, 61, 102 Reverend Griffith Davenport, The, 38 Richardson, Mrs. Buford, 23 (note), 26 (note), 30 (note), 32 (note), 43 (note), 64 (note), 66 Ringgolds, 36 Roaring Creek, Pennsylvania, 67 Rob Roy, 30 Rochester, New York, 49 Rocky Mountains, 42, 58, 73 and Fonda, passim Romeo, 27 Rosebud, 43 Roosevelt, Theodore, 38 (note), 75 (note) "Round the Town", 65 Ruth (character), 81 and Fonda, passim Rutledge, Ann, 14, 41 St. Louis, 50, 64 Salsbury, Nate, 62, 71 Salt Lake, Fonda, passim San Andreas Mountains, 59, 74 San Francisco, 49 and note, 50, 51 and note, 54, 55, 61 and note, 73, 86 San Francisco Stage, The, 49 (note) San Marciai, New Mexico, 65, 72, 74, 76 Santa Fe, New Mexico, 64, 65, 69, 72 Saterlee Hospital, 37 Scorer, John C., 24 (note), 34 (note), 37 (note), 75-76 Scotland, 28, 30, 31, 71, 72 Scotty, the property boy, 54 Scouts of the Prairie, 49 Scranton Truth, The, 33, 38 (note), 63-64 (note)



Sell, Henry Blackman, 14 (note), 49 (note) Seventh Cavalry, 78 Shakespeare, 58 Shenandoah, 38 Sherman, General William, 41 Shifting for Himself, 20 Sioux, 65, 78 Sioux War, 42, 45 and Mighty Truth, passim Sister of Charity, 37, 82-83 Sitting Bull, 78 Slim Buttes, see Battle of Slim Buttes Smith, Captain James E., 47 Smith, Joseph, 101 Smith, Sam, 55, 62, 81-82, 89 Socorro, New Mexico, 23 Socorro, 78 Spearfish, 43 Spottsylvania, 36 Stanley, Father, F., 78 "Starter, A", 63 Steinway Hall, Chicago, 78 Stevenson, Robert Louis, 30 Stokes, Anna Marie, see Crawford family Story of the Wild West, 45, 51, 80 Struck Oil, 55, 81, 82 Taft, William H., 37 (note), 61 Tall Bull, 78 Tanner, James, 36 (note), 47 Tat (see also The Mighty Truth), 62, 73, 82 Tat (character), see Benson, Tat Taylor, Governor Bob, 78 Territorial Enterprise (Nevada), 51, 52, 53 Teutonic, 71 Texas, 13, 42, 67, 76 Theatre Royal, Melbourne, 55 Thomas, Augustus, 39 Thomas, Henry and Dana Lee, 14 Thrumbo, Theron Marcos, 67 Ticket of Leave Man, The, 55 Tom Breen (character), see Breen, Tom

Tontos, 46 Tour of the World, 61 Trapper's Daughter (see, also. Fonda), 64 (note) Tufts, Dr., 52 Twain, Mark, 13, 27, 61 Union Army, 32 U. P. R. R. (Union Pacific Railroad), 43 Utah, 30 (note), 42 and Fonda, passim Utter, Colorado Charley, 44 Van Danniker, 48 "Veteran and His Grandson, The", 36 Veteran's Daughter, The (see also The Mighty Truth), 74 Victoria (mine), 71 Victoria, Queen, 30 Victorio, 56, 65, 69, 74 Virgin, Dorothy, 40, 65, 70, 72, 76 Virginia City, Nevada, 49, 50, 51 (note) Virginia City Chronicle, 50, 54, 55 Von Luettwitz, 46 Wall Street, 27 and Colonel Bob, passim Wallace, Jack (character), 16, 1927, 36, 46, 81, 85 and Mighty Truth, passim Wallace, James, 31 Wallace, Susie, see Crawford family Wallace, Sir William, 30, 71 Washington, George, 13, 31, 41 Washington, D. C., 37 Watson, Frank (character), 81 and Mighty Truth, passim Wecter, Dixon, 13, 19 (note) West, the, 14, 16, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 36, 41, 42, 45 and note, 56, 59, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 75, 77, 79, 82, 84, 85, 86 West Philadelphia, 37 Western Poems, 78-79


Western Speech, 16 (note) Weybright, Victor, 14 (note), 49 (note) Whar" the Hand of God Is Seen, 31 (note), 32 (note), 58-59, 74 Whistler, James, 13 Whitman, Walt, 13, 14, 17 Who's Who in America, 28 (note), 76 Wigwam, 73 Wild Bill, see Hickok, James "Wild Bill's Grave", 44 Wild West Show, 15, 23, 27, 62, 78, 86 Wilde, Bill (character), 19, 20, 21, 22, 44, 48, 81, 85 and Mighty Truth, passim Williams, Bill (character), 17, 18,

285 23, 25, 56, 81 and Fonda, passim Williams, Colonel Richard D., 45 Williamsons (actors), 55 Wilson, Woodrow, 38 (note) "Wind of the Western Seas", 67 Women Suffrage Movement, 22, 153 Woodhaven, Long Island, 76, 77 Woodward, John, 56 Wyoming, 22, 42, 47, 48 and Mighty Truth, passim Yale, 16 Yellow Hand, 49, 52 Young, Brigham, Fonda, passim Young Men's Christian Association, 33


Between the completion of this book and its publication, several matters relating to this book have occurred which may be of some interest to the subject. Mr. Harry L. Marsh, one of my valuable informants, died; and three works relative to the subject, which existed only in manuscript, have now been published: Life on the Border: A Border Drama in Five Acts Written Especially for William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody (Cody, Wyoming, Pioneer Drama Service, 1965, ix and 88 pp.), an edition based on a recently discovered manuscript of that play, a hand-written copy given to Crawford by Cody in 1876; "When Curtains Rise, Scouts Fall Out", Southern Speech Journal, XXIX (Spring, 1964), 175-186, an abridged edition of Crawford's letter to Cody concerning the episode in Virginia City; and "The Pursuit of Victorio, by Captain Jack Crawford", Socorro County Historical Society, I (February, 1965), 1-8, edited by Mrs. Buford Richardson.



Out: 1. John Bernstein: Pacifism and Rebellion in the Writings of Herman Melville. 1964. 232 pp. Gld. 25.— 2. Karl F. Knight: The Poetry of John Crowe Ransom. A Study of Diction, Metaphor, and Symbol. 1964. 133 pp. Gld. 14.50