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A TALE OF TWO BROTHERS 1983-2007 RESERVED. - WGA STEVE ENG, ANNE ENG, TED P. YEATMAN.

ALL RIGHTS

FADE IN: EXT. MONTAGE of TRAIN/INT. PASSENGER CAR - DAY 1890s steam locomotive moves through a green expanse of rolling hills covered with deciduous trees A) Men in Western garb fidget with their bandanas, guns. Act nervous and excited. Check revolvers, Winchester Rifles, shotguns and .52-caliber Smith carbines B) C) D) E) Some men show less interest. Reading Police Gazette, One reading dime novel with Buffalo Bill title One man looks at pocket watch inscribed TO FRANK JAMES, YOUR FRIENDS Man next to him sucks briefly on whiskey flask

We see these last two men, over-the-hill, sixtyish, cowboy types, heavily mustached whisper to each other, looking at the men on the train, then out the windows as train pulls into station in a big cloud of steam. FRANK Nearly time, Cole. From his POV through train window we see sign NASHVILLE as train pulls into the station. EXT. TRAIN PLATFORM SUPER: NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, MAY, 1903

A crowd of people on the platform. Dressed in 1903 clothing. FRANK Okay men, lets get going. COLE Lets show them. Lets show them real good.

MEN IN OLD West gear pour off train blasting their guns at the BYSTANDERS; WOMEN and CHILDREN scampering and screaming. Men go down but theatrically. The VICTIMS get up, laughing. INSERT: We see a banner WELCOME TO NASHVILLE FRANK JAMES AND COLE YOUNGER. FRANK and COLE, two sixty-ish cowboy types, rangy and wiry, swagger off the train; met by SHERIFF accompanied by a PHOTOGRAPHER. Flash powder ignites; Frank amused. EXT. FIELD continuing NEAR TRAIN STATION (SITE OF WILD WEST SHOW) DAY,

Sheriff walking along with Frank and Cole as they give instructions, encouragement to SIDE-SHOW STAFF as they begin setting up the Wild West Show. Wild West side show staff unloading train and setting up carnival. Snake oil salesmen, white men in Indian costumes, old-timers in scout costumes, etc. A flurry of activity. Sign on side of circus wagon reads THE GREAT COLE YOUNGER AND FRANK JAMES HISTORICAL WILD WEST SHOW. SHERIFF (ingratiating handshake) What an honor to have you and Cole here with your Wild West Show. We got a lot a folks wanting to meet you boys. The whole towns excited. EXT. FIELD NEAR TRAIN STATION (SITE OF WILD WEST SHOW) DAY, continuing EAGER BOY Hey, Mr. James? Your autograph BOY in pants hes outgrowing, rudely pushes himself in front of Frank and sheriff, hopping backward as he begs for autograph. SHERIFF Now, go on Levi. Get out of here. Leave the gentlemen alone. Frank signs the dime novel the boy pokes at him. BOY Mr. James, was you and Jesse really

in Panama? Holds up a dime novel, The James Boys in Panama. FRANK Thats what they say. Really son, you might ought to try these kinds of stories too. Pulls out a worn, curled copy of the New Testament. FRANK (CONTD) (signs Dime Novel) You can learn all you need to be successful. Even a poor boy can be famous in this great land, but by honest work BOY (bored with lecture) Erthanks Mr. James. Grabs autographed book; rushes away screaming excitedly, while his friends along the side of the crowd look enviously. INT. MAXWELL HOUSE HOTEL, LOBBY SAME DAY REPORTER How does it feel to be back in Tennessee, Mr. James? FRANK Mighty, mighty good. Always loved Nashville. Uh-ha little hot and humid here. But a good place to settle. First come here right after the war. Pulls photograph of self with Jesse out of pocket. FRANK (CONTD) See that uniform? Werent even mine, just one the photographer had in his studio. I picked out the officers uniform; more impressive. Paid for a second copy to send home to Ma, in fact. REPORTER (hammering on Frank) Did you actually wear a Southern uniform, Mr. James?

FRANK Hell, I was with Quantrills guerrillas. Wore a uniform I took off a dead Yankee mostly. REPORTER Did the gang rob any banks or trains in Tennessee? Frank stiffens and begins in a clenched-teeth growl that he quickly softens into a respectable tone. FRANK You been reading them dime novels, boy. Never broke a law in Tennessee. Worked for the Indiana Lumber Company. God loving happiest days of my life here with my wife and young Robert in Tennessee. REPORTER (continuing to bear down on Frank) Was you at the raid on Northfield, Mr. James? FRANK (bristling again) No! I certainly were not! They Never proved a thing, and for good reason. Theres nothing to prove. REPORTER Wasnt you supposed to be tried but they wouldnt extradite you to Minnesota? FRANK (irritated and angry) Politics, sheer Yankee politics! COLE (covering for Franks irritation) The James boys were just not there. Two other fellas named Woods and Howard got away. I ought to know, I was there together with them.

COLE (CONT)

(shrugging reflectively) Didnt spend twenty-five years in Stillwater Prison for nothing. Learnt my lesson. Model prisoner too. REPORTER (smugly) Crime doesnt pay, eh? Cole nods solemnly, secretly glares at the reporter. FRANK (chuckles but with a sad look) Cole, I almost believe I never was at Northfield. I told so many people so many times I wasnt. Hope God dont hold it me for not owning up to it publicly. I get nightmares about ithanging from a gallows. Wake up in a cold sweatsee them men I killed FRANK (remorseful grimace) Theyre hanging me. Sometimes I think it would have been easier to hang one time than the hundreds of times I dreamt it. Wife Annie and little Robert watchingso pitiful. Even before Northfield I was hanging every night in my sleep. Ugh! I had no where to turn but to God for peace. EXT. TOWN SQUARE DAY SUPER: NORTHFIELD, MINNESOTA, STREET, SEPT. 7, 1876

A bank robbery is taking place CITIZEN Get your guns boys. Theyre robbing the bank! A bullet misses his head, lodges in brick wall. Dives for cover. BANDIT who shot at CITIZEN, dodges back into building with painted sign FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF NORTHFIELD on front. A CONFUSED MAN is unsure which way to go for cover. BANDIT Idiot, get out of the street! CONFUSED MAN

(thick Swedish accent) Kanst nicht sprek Anglish. He falls to the ground having been shot dead in the head. INT. HARDWARE STORE - SAME DAY (continuing) We see the shotguns. peppermint Red Ranger owner issue boxes of shells over the counter with Near the end of the counter, next to a jar filled with sticks, some outlaw dime novels are displayed, such as The of the Rockies, or, The Bandits Reward.

TOWNSMAN (Townsman with gleam in his eye, and a repressed leer.) Give me another box of them shells, will you? Hurry Im going to bag me an outlaw so help me. EXT. SIDE STREET, HOUSE WITH PICKET FENCE, SAME TIME

A HUSBAND thrusts self into house. Pushes past surprised WIFE, who was going to hug him. Nearly knocks her over. WIFE Oh youre home early, Finis? Why? HUSBAND Wheres my kepi? Where the hell is it? Tearing through drawers. Grabs Civil War musket off wall. WIFE You havent worn it since last Fourth of July. Whats happening out there? Man runs out the door, nearly knocking his wife over again. Jams cap on head. Wife starts to run after him but realizes need for cover and returns home.

INT.

LOBBY OF HOTEL SAME DAY

Excited MEDICAL STUDENT rushes into LOBBY. Tosses text books down on DESK-CLERKS counter: Advanced Anatomy and Surgical Technique.

MEDICAL STUDENT Give me that Sharps rifle you keep, George. Some men are robbing the bank. DESK CLERK What the?? Heres all I got. Desk clerk hands four cartridges along with the rifle. Medical student grabs them and takes the stairs two at a time, clears the top step of the hotel stairs. INT. HOTEL, SECOND FLOOR

Medical student barges into room. A MAN WITH A BLANKET around him bursts into the hall, followed by a woman draped hurriedly in a sheet. She is heavily rouged, and it is all smeared. Dyed black hair. MAN WITH A BLANKET (to the woman he is with) Bandits! Out in the street! People are getting their selves killed! The medical student is at the window almost instantly, jamming his first cartridge in and levering it up into place. BLAST! BANDIT riding below blown from saddle. MEDICAL STUDENT (grinning) E-e-haw, I got me one! EXT. STREET OUTSIDE BANK, SAME TIME Down on the street other bandits ride by, shooting; the fire is returned from the buildings.

INT. BANK LOBBY, SAME TIME FRANK Open the safe damned quick or Ill blow your head off. Frank with gun to terrified TELLERs head.

BANDIT Cmon, lets cut his damned throat. Puts knife to Tellers throat, cuts his throat slightly in attempt to intimidate him. FRANK (angry and desperate) If you knew what was good for you, youd best open the safe!! The bank-teller has a bloody lump on his head, where he has been whacked with a gun barrelneck bloody. He is terrified: BANK TELLER (terrified and stuttering) Hon-honest! I I, I, Im t-t-telling y-y-you, th-the safe has a t-t-time l-lo-lock on i-it. Uh-hu-huh. I-it it it wont o-open f-for s-several h-hours. B-be-believe m-me.I-Im t-t-telling th-the t-truth. INT. BANK LOBBY, FRONT DOOR, Franks POV - SAME TIME BANDIT covering Frank: BANDIT Cmon, man. Weve got to get out of here, now. This here place is a death-trap! Theys shooting us all to pieces. Listen up, just cmon, man. INT. BANK LOBBY, VIEW FROM FRONT DOOR Bandit covering Frank

Townspeople mowing down the bandits. rushes out to waiting horse.

FRANK (in a rage) Damn you! You might could have saved your life you idiot! Heres what I think of your time-lock story. BLAST! The TELLER is killed, though OFF SCREEN EXT. STREET OUTSIDE BANK

They have gotten no money from the bank. The other bandits are mounted up. Some are wounded, bloody clothes, horses rearing from gunshot noise. Frank springs into the saddle, head down, riding low in the saddle. EXT. STREET IN TOWN, LEADING OUT OF TOWN, (CONTINUING) CITIZENS are deployed randomly, behind barrels, around corners, waiting for their chance to pour lead into the retreating column of outlaws. Outlaws start to fill the screen. Two men to one horse. EXT. A) MONTAGE OF STREET IN TOWN EXT. HARDWARE STORE, SIDEWALK

Hardware store owners face grinning, having shot an escaping bandit. B) MIDDLE OF STREET A CITIZEN throw rocks at the gang as they disappear in cloud of dust. Baseball style, left arm full of rocks. EXT. STREET IN TOWN, BAKERY The HUSBAND from earlier with his kepi on aims his Civil War musket across a rail, fires, misses by a mile and across the street, a large glass window explodes, glass shattering its shards into some loaves of bread in the window of the towns bakery. He scowls. EXT. ROAD OUT OF TOWN, IMMEDIATELY AFTER ROBBERY We see Cole Younger on galloping horse, bleeding all over: has been shot several times and clutches wounds as he rides low in the saddle. No immediate posse is formed. citizens dead, two outlaws dead. Town in too much confusion-three

INT. TELEGRAPH OFFICE, SAME DAY (within minutes of robbery) OPERATOR sending message in Morse, from a hand-written note: BANDITS HEADING WEST FROM NORTHFIELD. REQUEST FULL AID IN THEIR CAPTURE FROM ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. LARGE STREET BATTLE. CITIZENS KILLED. SIX OR SEVEN BANDITS AT LARGE, HEAVILY ARMED. EXT. STREET IN TOWN, IMMEDIATELY AFTER ROBBERY LITTLE CHILDREN are out in the street, gaping at the dead outlaws being drug to and laid in front of the bank. FAMILY MEMBERS hysterical over dead citizens.

FAMILY MEMBERS (V.O.) (Wailing, screaming.) Oh God! No-o-o-! Why?

CHILDREN Bang, bang, youre dead, bandit.

The children shout at each other, pointing their fingers like pistols. One boy has a crudely carved wooden pistol, another a short, broken tree limb as a rifle, and another is using a small, little girls broom as if it were a rifle. EXT. STREET IN TOWN, SIDEWALK, (CONTINUING) Bodies of outlaws and citizens have been lined up in front of the bank. PHOTOGRAPHER (Plainly irritated with children.) Where are your parents!!?? Dont you touch the bodies you hear? Go onget One of the boys grabs a dead mans hat lying nearby, and runs away with his treasure. His friends squealing with delight run after him jealously. PHOTOGRAPHERS ASSISTANT comes up with the equipment, and a photograph is taken.

CITIZEN (O.S.) The bandits got away; they headed west. SHERIFF arrives with deputies, to look over the bodies. SHERIFF (still in shock) Got to find out who these fellows were. DEPUTY (full of confidence) Probably the Sam Bass gang. You can tell from their method of operation thats who it was. The medical student has come, clutching his Sharps carbine. MEDICAL STUDENT (pointing at a body) Sheriff, I got that there one. I wonder, sir, itd be possible, eryou see Im a medical student

SHERIFF (grins and glowers at the student) And I reckon you want this here corpse to cut up and learn all about the secrets a human anatomy? You sure enough can have him. Good riddance, but you got to pay for his burial when youre through carving him up. Save the good people of Northfield the expense. Medical student beams. CAMERA FOCUSES ON THE DEAD BANDITS, FADES OUT CAMERA FOCUSES ON DIFFERENT BANDIT, FADES IN 3 weeks later SUPER: SEPTEMBER 30, 1876 Picture of bandit grows smaller as camera draws back and reveals BOYS trading Bandit cards. BOY I got two Cole Younger. They captured him. Trade you.

Cards pass around. There are six cards in the set of outlaws killed or captured. One boy is clutching a newspaper. Camera drops to focus on headline: YOUNGER BROTHERS CAPTURED. OTHER BANDITS BELIEVED TO BE JAMES BROTHERS, ESCAPE. EXT. ROLLING TREE-COVERED HILLS IN SUMMER GREEN - DAY SUPER: NORTHERN MIDDLE TENNESSEE, AUGUST, 1877 Two wagons full of belongings. Two-year old JESSE, JR. squirming at Zees feet; ZEE driving team of horses with one hand and the other to manage the child. ANNIE driving team of other wagon. EXT. FRANK AND JESSE ON HORSEBACK - DAY

FRANK and JESSE ride together off to the side of the wagons out of ear shot of wivesJesse, 30,about 58, thin, broad face with ice blue eyes that have a weird winking tick. Hair dyed black. Frank, 34,

taller and slightly darker, also sandy hair dyed black. JESSE Just one more job, Frank. Make up everything we lost from Northfield. That bank at Paducah would be easy. They stop at the junction of two roads. JESSE (CONTD) I can raise us a new gang. old days Be just like the

Jesses face is lit up; Frank looks angry at the suggestion. His wife ANNIE, 24, (petite auburn hair)who is just sensing the drift of the conversation as the brothers become almost in ear shot, looks apprehensive and irritated with her brother-in-law. Makes warning face at her husband; doesnt want ZEE, 32, (looks just like Jesse)to see. FRANK (with bitter irony) Just like the old daysHuntington, West Virginia Yeah, remember old Tom McDaniels? Found him in A cornfield, didnt we? Took him several days to die as I recall. Didnt they catch Jack Keene? FRANK (CONTD) (shaking his head) Heard hes doing twelve years manufacturing gravel for the great state of West Virginia. Free room and board, too. In these hard times of economic distress at least he has steady employment. JESSE Them men were losers, Frank. Outright amateurs. Were going to locate us some real experts. FRANK Northfield. How can you forget Northfield, Jesse? Nearly got ourselves killed. FRANK (CONTD) (Rubs his left hip.) My leg still pains me. We lost six out of eight at Northfield, eh, brother? Lets seem-m-m, Clel MillerBill StylesCharlie Pitts, getting his ass blasted by them damned

Yankees, dumb Swedes and NorskiesAnd what about the Youngers? Aint they professionals? Cole rode with Quantrill alongside me. Him and Bob have a life vacation at Stillwater Prison. Lucky to get that. Could have been hanged if they hadnt pleaded guilty. Miracle it werent us, Jess. They ever catch me, Ill stretch a rope in the Minnesota sunshine for sure. Well be lucky if we dodge Pinkertons from here on out, just lying low and working for an honest dollar. The very name Pinkertons incenses Jesse. JESSE Them swine, them devils. They blew mas arm off and killed our little brother with their infernal bomb FRANK (Franks shaking his head as he retells the story.) Never would have happened if it hadnt been for us. We got to live with that till our final day on earth. That shard from the smoke bomb drove into Archies chest. Bled to deathonly eight.. JESSE Frank, them Pinkertons are the real bandits. They front for the railroads, theyre just hired thugs. FRANK Ah,h Jesse, we talk this into the ground every time we get going on it. Politics just ripping our world apart. Causing neighbors to take sides against neighbors. FRANK (CONTD) (Rubbing his forehead) Taking our land and giving it to the railroads with the banks in cahoots. But its bigger than us. Theyre squashing us like bugs. Cant get a decent job cause we were on the wrong side. Charging us an arm and a leg to ship our grain on the trains. But they got the power and backing and its only of matter a time. Were going to get caught, Jess. Less we get killed first. Theyre never going give up. Theyll track us to South America if they have to.

Frank grabs hold of Jesses reins, trying to make his point FRANK (CONTD) You best face it. Wed just be fortunate if we can say we gone straight for a few years, and can show that were credits to the community. With that, and our families, and our friends up in Missouri government, why, we might get a light sentence when the time comes. And it will come, Jesse, as sure as anything in creation. JESSE (pleading) Dang it, Frank. Dont keep on keeping on. I just need one more good take and I will be able to leave it behind. I got to take care of my family. I could buy a farm in Alabama, or Nebraska. Without enough capital, I dont know if I can farm, brother. Without help and start-up money I be chasing a plow looking through two mules ears the rest my life. Might just well be in Stillwater with old Cole and his brothers. FRANK Jesse, you know Papa would turn over in his grave, him being a man of God and all. Hed want us to search for Gods meaning in what were doing. JESSE Cant get a job, cant hold office, cant hardly do nothing a free mans supposed to be able to do. Second class citizensless well off than a darkie. Jesse pulls his horses reins from Franks grip; gallops his horse wildly away a hundred feet or so and just as intently gallops back skidding to a stop in front of Frank. JESSE (CONTD) (looking dark and angry) Marked men, and nothing else thats all we be Besides, theyre really not going to offer me amnesty. Remember, I tried that and nearly got myself killed back in 65 up at Lexington. Breathing is more difficult with a bullet in the lungs. Trust me, brother, I got reason none to trust Yankee swine, and plenty not to.

FRANK It is your only chance, you got to make it work, Jesse. With us establishing new identities we can make it work. Thats the whole idea of changing our names. You promised Zee. Im praying to God that I can hide out long enough they forget about what we done. Annie wont stay with me if I dont change. And somehow I can make it right. JESSE I know, I-I know your right. I cant let Zee and lil Jesse down. I know the feeling. But thats why I want to make one more heist. They deserve better. So does Ma

JESSE (CONTD) (Jesses mood changes: dark and determined.) If we plan work from the cover of our farms here and never, dont never, let the wives, or nobody know, we could do it. Cmon, Frank one or two jobs. We might could go west like we talked and settle down for realin style. Take Ma with us, give her the life she deserves. They aint never going to find us; it aint going to happen. Youre talking defeat, thats not like you. I pray to God, but He helps them who helps themselves. And lookee here Frank Jesse rumbles through saddle bag and finds a much abused copy of a dime novel extolling the Robin Hood exploits of the James Boys, and waves it at Frank. Frank is disgusted. JESSE (CONTD) (trying to convince Frank) See, Frank. Were heroes from the war. Nobodys going to suspect us being farmers down here. War heroes dont farm. Were suppose to be saving Missouri from the evil bankers and train magnates. EXT. DRIVERS SEAT OF ZEES AND JESSES WAGON- DAY, SAME TIME The wagons have stopped, and pulled side by side.

Zee sees Jesse wave the dime novel; rubs face in horror. ZEE (to Annie) There he goes again. He really believes that fiction theyre passing around like moonshine. EXT. DRIVERS SEAT OF ANNIES AND FRANKS WAGON- DAY, SAME TIME ANNIE Dont you worry, Zee, Franks determined to make a new life, and bring Jesse right along with him. Frank will make him do right, you wait and see, sweetie. Cmon now dont you have no hissy fits. You know they set Jessie off.

ZEE (looking half crazed) What is Jesse saying to Frank? What are they talking about? ANNIE (trying to ignore Zees angst) Frank and hard work and your sweet loving will bring him around. I know it will. Look how good hes been lately. We been praying about it. ZEE (Zee calls to the men) You men going to talk business all day, or we going to Nashville? Jesse irritated that Frank is not budging. Spurs his horse way from Frank; rides up to his wagon sliding to a stop EXT. BY SIDE OF ZEES WAGON DAY continuing JESSE (irritatedpointing a commanding, husbands finger at Zee) Frank and Annies going to Nashville. Theres that place I want to see in Waverly, remember, Zirelda, I told you about it? Lets decide after we see it. Some good farming acres. Good price. Place for some horses, besides the farming. We aint decided, yet. Franks got hisself a job with a lumber Company on the east side a Nashville.

We got to make a go with the farming. ZEE (registering surprise) But Jesse, you said we might could find something closer to Annie and Frank. Waverlys so far. Must be eighty milesmay as well be in Missouri. JESSE (softening) Zee, we got to make our own way. We talked about this. Now lets not be making a spectacle. Wagons pulling apart. Jessie and Zee go west; Frank and Annie continue south to Nashville. EXT. FRANKS AND ANNIES WAGON, SAME DAY - EVENING Camp fire burning down, finishing eating ANNIE (pleading tone changing to sarcasm) Jesse gets such strength from you Frank. I worry about his resolve to go straight being so far from you. I think he might could have dark motives Hes got an edge to him I dont rightly trust. I seen him lie to Zee and make light of it. FRANK Nah, Annie, hes just protecting her. ANNIE But I aint seen him lie to you. I just have a bad feeling. Zee lets herself believe hes fighting for the Southern Cause. Ten years is a long time to not be getting the idea. But maybe she can change him. Be easier if we was nearer. FRANK (scowling) You know it just angers me when you bad mouth my brother. Just quit! Hes coming along just fine. FRANK - (CONTD) (reassuringly)

Lets not us go round and round about this yet again. I about got Jesse to see hes going to get caught. Well.he got the scare put into him after our narrow escape after Northfield. Did I tell you? ANNIE (looking irritated) Yes, yes , Frank, you did and I dont like To hear those details

FRANK (oblivious to her irritation) We posed as lawmen chasing the notorious James brothers through the Dakota Badlands. Was almost funny sort of.Besides, little Jesse was born in Nashville back when they lived there. Jesse didnt much like living in town thenwants to stay away from peoples so much. Not scary if you just try to blend in. FRANK (CONTD) (Frank as if relieved, turns to Annie) Anyways, Annie! Maybe peoples would think we were somehow together if we arrived at the same time. Its all for the best. For a while we got to act like we dont know each other. EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF WAVERLY, TN LATE SAME AFTERNOON Jesse, Zee and little Jesse are having a meal beside the parked wagon. Camp fire, rabbit on a spit. The proud parents are playing games like peek-a-boo with little Jesse as they discuss their situation. Little Jesse gradually falls asleep in his fathers arms. JESSE Yall will see, Zee. We really can start over. Best chances to enjoy living is to make it happen. I give you my word. Glad I got an in to sell some wheat and oats. When I get some money up, I can get another race horse or two. But first, the farm

ZEE (Zee winces at the thought of race horses.) Jesse, we live in crazy times. Good things look bad and bad things look good. I feel so confused by it all. I know youre fighting for the Cause, and all. Somehow I still be worried. Cant sleep. Wakes me up fearing theyre going towell, you know JESSE (trying to soothe Zee) Now, now, there ZEE We cant stop bankers and railroads from ruining our ways of life. You cant crush their power. Not to mention the Republicans running the country. Trying to reconstruct what they destructed. But maybe moving down here into the south and way far from all that confusion we can recreate some semblance of life as we knowed it. Your opportunity to buy and sell for the grain company is a start. I still dont much like being here so far from things when you be gone so much with the grain business. Not to mention Im already missing your Ma and my own kin folk. ZEE (CONTD) (Almost whispering and with firm resolve.) Another thing, Jesse. You got to promise me youre going to stop trying to punish the railroads and the banks. Theyre going to capture you if they just dont kill you outright. Some innocent peoples will be getting hurt. I want lil Jesse to have a dad. Lets make a go of it farming, grain dealing, something honest. Please, you are such a good man. And you mean well JESSE There you go again. Accusing me of evil. Whose side You on, Zee? I dont understand you no ways. Zee, the Unionists are wrong, false, false, dead wrong. They are the dishonest ones and deserve what ever grief we can stir up. Besides, you never seem to object when I bring home the goods. ZEE

(looks conflicted; tears well up) Jesse, Im so grateful, jest plain grateful you come back at all. Besides me and lil Jesse has got to eat, but Id as soon it were from straight honest labor. You got to keep your word to go straight. They got might on their side, Jess, you cant change them single handedly, and certainly not with your guerrilla tactics.

JESSE (pretending disdain) Oh, guerilla tactics, Really, Zee? You dont know ZEE (driving a point home) Dont need be no martyr, Mr. James. Look how much blood has already been spiltand they are winning Oh, Jesse, lets not fight. I love you so and only want us to be a family. They embrace. JESSE (sighs heavily) I know, I know.... EXT. MONTAGE, ARRIVAL IN WAVERLY, TENNESSEE NEXT MORNING

A) JESSE SIGNS FOR FARM - MORNING A sign is passed, reading WAVERLY, TENNESSEE, as Jesses family wagon proceeds into the center of a tiny town. We see Jesse enter a building and in an office, he is signing some papersclose up, his signature is JOHN DAVIS HOWARD. Back in the street, with his family waiting in the wagon (like tourists in a car) we see Jesse talking to a citizen who stretches out an arm giving directions. B) ARRIVAL AT THE FARM NOON They arrive at a ramshackle cabin. This dump of a home soon transformed by Zee, but her first reaction is horrorrevulsion at this farmhouse slum. Then romanticizes how easy it will be to fix it. C) WORK VIGNETTES DAY Hurried sequence of work vignettes. sweeping tons of dust. Jesse chopping wood, mending a fence. Zee Zee

doing hard work like digging with a shovel, with a two year-old boy playing alongside. D) MAKING A RACE TRACK DAY Jesse is scything the tall grass in the fieldthen driving posts.finally, riding a fast horse in a makeshift race track.

EXT.

JESSES RACE TRACK - DAY

Scene opens with TWO riders galloping across an imaginary finish line. They seemingly arrive at the same time. One of the two riders, JIM WARD, smiles as he brings his horse to a walk. JIM WARD Guess you owe me ten dollars Mr. Howard. HOWARDJESSE Hell, think you got that backwards. JIM WARD Now what do you mean? Voices trail off in violent dispute. EXT. ZEE CARRYING WATER FROM THE WELL DAY (CONTINUING) ZEE Dave, suppers ready. She hollers to her husband in the distance as she is walking toward house with a bucket of water. ZEE (to herself) What is he up to?? EXT. JIM WARD RIDING AWAY IN A HUFF DAY (CONTINUING) EXT. APPROACHING PORCH SAME DAY Jesse is riding toward the house, laughing. perplexed. ZEE ` Whats so funny? Zee on the porch now, is

JESSE Hah! I jest threatened to kill that Jim Ward. He believed it. Jesse slaps his leg involuntarily with mirth.

By accident Zee drops the bucket of water instantly at hearing this. Her voice high pitched. ZEE You forgetting jest who you be? A fugitive. I got permanent battle fatigue worrying whats going to happen to us. You promised things would be different. Words like kill, banks and trains set my innards on fire. Zee is not hysterical or high-strung. Quickly re-composing herself, she demands with frosty understatement: ZEE Did I hear you say you threatened to kill Mr. Ward? Jesse snaps into some kind of awareness. He tries to soothe her. JESSE Oh, Zee, dont you go getting all worked up now. Its jest in the heat of the moment. Red Fox beat his horse fair and square. Didnt Like him trying to bully me. ZEE You know youre going blow your cover and get yourself caught. Then what will happen to me and lil Jesse? Besides you made me spill a whole bucket of water. You need to go fetch me another bucket of water directly. She begins to mutter with annoyance. She looks up squeezes water out of her dress too emphatically. ZEE(CONTD) Jess, I read about half the peoples starting on a farm dont make a go of it in the first year. Lose all their savings, jest like that. She snaps her fingers; then with sweet sarcasm:

ZEE (CONTD) (sneeringly) But I know youre going to win a whole lot more money racing horses JESSE (irritated) Now, Zee. Youre jest like Ma. Im not going to quarrel with you. Then half to himself: Should never married my cousin. Too much of the same damn crazy blood. With perfect feminine timing, and before he can retort, Zee instantly smiles and out-stretches her arm with the bucket. He melts under her smile. ZEE Here, now go get some more water and get washed up. Blackberry pie bout ready to come out of the oven. She then lapses back into more heavy advice. Calls to him as he heads to get bucket of water. ZEE You ought not to be threatening one, not even as a joke, Jesse. to think wereyoure some kind I am doing my part, agreeing to Howard and even raise our lil Jesse thinks his only-est name is Tim. nobody, not Folks liable of outlaw. Now call myself Mrs, boy as a Howard.

Lil

JESSE I just slipped. I will make it sos no one will think me capable a anything but being a yella belly. Yeah, what was I thinking?

EXT.

FRONT PORCH OF NOLAN HOTEL, WAVERLY DAY, week or so later

CAMERA FOCUSES ON FRONT PAGE OF DIME NOVEL:

WILD WEST WEEKLY


All of these exciting stories are founded on facts. Young Wild West is a hero with whom the author was Acquainted. His daring deeds and thrilling adventures Have never been surpassed. They for the base of the Most dashing stories ever published.

Young Wild West,


The Prince of the Saddle
by An Old Scout Grows smallerit is seen that a FIFTEEN-YEAR OLD BOY is reading this, while sitting on the porch of the Nolan Hotel, Waverly, Tennessee. FARMERS close by are talking weather and crops. Suddenly Jesse (Mr. Howard) comes running up, winded, scared: HOWARD/JESSE Hey, ruffians, down by the bridgejest managed to escapeplease helpthey attacked me. FARMER 1 Maybe ought to go down and take a look. Goes into the store and emerges with a shotgun and a .22 rifle. HOWARD/JESSE (ingratiating) Oh, thank you. If them fellas ketch up with me I dont know what Id do. FARMER 1 Here, Mr. Howard, take this. HOWARD/JESSE (shakes head) Uh-h, Id, Id rather not. Dont like holding guns on peoples, especially when they already threatened me.

FARMER 1 (throws gun to boy) Here! Boy drops his dime novel and neatly grabs the weapon from the air on reflex. EXT. WALKING TOWARD BRIDGE INTO TOWN DAY, OLDER MAN WITH DOG This ol houndll sniff out whateer critterss there. Dogs as brave as any man of us. Maybe braver than some of us Looks with disdain at Mr. Howard. OLDER MAN WITH DOG (CONTD) Go in there and get them, General. I call him General Forrest after my old commander, because hes fearless. Barking. Sudden crash of bottle. the rear, passing the men. EXT. Dog beats retreat, yelping, toward

BY THE BRIDGE - DAY, (CONTINUING)

DRUNK 1 (O. S.) (Growls a surly voice from down under the bridge.) Who goes there? FARMER 2 (with shotgun) Come on out or well blow you out. Two local DRUNKS emerge, shabby and unkempt, five or six day old beards, grimy hands raised over heads, bottle in hand. FARMER 1 (Turns to Jesse.) Oh, hi, Henry. These fellass is local fixtures. DRUNK 2 (offers Jesse half full bottle) Here, take yourself a drink.

HOWARD/JESSE

(Jesse declines.) Let me explain DRUNK 1 We jest met him down by the bridge, wanted to be friendly, didnt mean him no harm. Feller sure spooked. Ran off real suddenlike a rabbit. HOWARD/JESSE Ha, Ha. Yeah, I guess its all funny now that I think of it. Honest, I thought you boys was out to rob me. FARMER 2 You sure scared easy, son. The teenager looks wary of Mr. Howard, and distances himself as they walk back. The boy marches with his .22 on his shoulder with soldierly affectation. Mr. Howard is still trying to explain to anyone who will listen INT. NASHVILLE FEED STORE, COUNTER DAY

A sign fills the screen: NASHVILLES LARGEST SUPPLY OF GRAINS AND FEEDS. B.S. RHEA AND SONS HOWARD/JESSE If its not one thing, its two more. Crops fail. Its now my hens wont lay. MR. RHEA Nobody among my customers trying harder than you to make a farm go, Mr. Howard. Now heres something you jest might could try. Mix it right in with the feed, Dr. Quigleys Electro-Invigorator. Invented them electric belts. My cousin Fate he uses one. Gestures to a poster-calendar advertising the electric belts, and other Dr. Quigley products. miracles of the

MR. RHEA Now this Invigorator removes impurities from the blood in man or beast. Or fowl,

you can be sure. At least, I got several farmers that swear by it. Jesse digs out two of his last dollars. CAMERA PANS BACK, to reveal back of a man who is walking up. Rhea recognizes him. MR. RHEA Dave, I want to introduce you to this here good customer a mine. Ben Woodson. Ben, this here is Dave Howard out of Waverly. Dave heres farming some land over on the Link place ten miles west of Waverly. Jesse reaches out his hand, smiling broadly. first saw is now revealed to be Frank James. WOODSON/FRANK Pleased to make your acquaintance. HOWARD/JESSE Great store here, huh? Pleased to meet you. What did you say your name was? INT. FEED STORE, BEHIND FEED BAGS, ETC. DAY The man whose back we Mr.

Jesse contrives some farm small-talk, as Mr. Rhea turns away to give an order to one of his clerks. Then Jesse grabs Franks sleeve. Nods him back of the counter, behind a pile of feed bags. Here Jesse starts in again on Frank: HOWARD/JESSE I been studying this real close. All we need is four good men. My information says theres a bank in Owensboro, Kentucky thats jest loaded with money from the steamboat tradeI was talking with a steamboat captain the other day

WOODSON/FRANK (annoyed) Will you quit, Dingus?! Not interested in planning a heist. All banks are easy, Jesse, if your lucky. But how can you tell me you

can make it happen? How can anybody know if a bank tellers going to open a safe or not? Even with a gun at his head? We couldnt get a look inside that Northfield safe, Jess. HOWARD/JESSE Them Younger boys had too much drink, Frank. Anyways, Northfield was Cole Youngers idea. WOODSON/FRANK (Changing the subject.) Hows Zee and lil Jess getting along? HOWARD/JESSE Oh, good as ever, I reckon. Were hurting, needing money. Farmings brung me down. Owe for equipment and feed and barely managed to pay last months rent. Had to sell the cattle still owe Cooley for. WOODSON/FRANK First years the hardest in anything. If you need to, come live with us. But youre good at farming, youll do fine. Come to church with us. HOWARD/JESSE (half to himself) You been talkin to Zee. HOWARD/JESSE (CONTD) (intent on making Frank agree) I dont know, Frank. Wish I was good at poker like you. I owe a few diddly-squat gambling debts. Dont tell Zee. Really. But damn it, that aint the point. We need one good haul, and then we might could buy our own land and really dig in with our families. Iwe owe it to our wives. Then I might could make me some moneysome big moneywith race horses, if I just had a nest-egg. Got to come up with it. Thats why I need one last bank job. WOODSON/FRANK Ever thought of hauling lumber? I been doing that part-time. Make good money. By the way, Annies expecting. Going to need a little help from Zee maybe. We all have to get together soon. HOWARD/JESSE

Frank, thats wonderful. Hope all goes well. Slipped my mind, but Zee jest had twins two weeks ago. Boys, born early. Both died. Buried. Zee its brung her down right smart. I stopped in the dry goods store and got her a bolt of calico to make herself a dress. Looks best in blue. Might could cheer her some. We see Mr. Rhea looking for the brothers. Shows surprise to find them hidden behind some bags of feed. MR. RHEA Your order will be ready, Mr. Woodson. For fellas what dont know each other, you sure got a lot to say back here. Why dont you come back out by the counter? HOWARD/JESSE Was looking for some feed stuff. Oh, Mr. Woodson here he knows some peoples up at Waverly. So when he heard I was from there, he wanted to fill hisself in on their doings. Mr. Rhea smiles, but then looks at them both intently again when they are not looking. Doubt is all over his face. EXT. FIELD AT JESSES FARM DAY, SPRING 1878 WILLIE, the farm hand, runs up to the house. FIELD HAND Missus Howard, Missus Howard, Mister Howard in terrble way. He fall down like he got da swamp fever. Zee and Willie, haul perspiring Jesse into the house. They struggle with the dead weight of the man. Willie is sent for DR. MONTGOMERY. As he enters Jesse is delirious, sweaty, agitated and in bed.

INT. JESSES HOUSE DAY HOWARD/JESSE (Jesse delirious, in bed) Watch your backs. We got to shoot our way out of here. Blast them blue bellies. Cant let them take us alive. Cut through their lines and into the woods. DR. MONTGOMERY

Husbands in the war, I take it? JOSIE/ZEE Who wasnt? Yes, he served with General Joe Shelby. DR. MONTGOMERY Fine Southern officer. Yalls moved down here from Kentucky, didnt you? Its a shame Shelby had to depend on scouts from Bloody Bill Anderson. Had no choice. It dont reflect none on him, hell, there were no one else but that butcher Anderson in Missouri except for Yankees. But if your husband served with Shelby, now thats different. JOSIE/ZEE Yes, were all mighty proud of Daves war record. With Gen. Shelby. DR. MONTGOMERY Ugh! That Bloody Bill Anderson, now-w-w, hes something else. Jest like that monster Quantrill, who gave him his start. Thats where them durned James and Younger brothers served, you know. Look what happened to them. Rode with savages. Still are savages. Did you ever see them up there? JOSIE/ZEE No, but them Union Jayhawkers was jest as vicious and bloody. I heard plenty of jest plain awful stories about them. Killing women, babies and old men; burning farms, poisoning wells. They say the Southern guerrillas was protecting the people, from them butchering Yankee soldiers.

West

DR. MONTGOMERY Theres some truth to what you say, Josie. In fact my brother-in-laws family was bothered by them burnt their barn. Wars never pretty. Jest the same, theyre going to get the James brothers. JOSIE/ZEE (Looking suspiciously.) Why you talkin about the James gang? DR. MONTGOMERY All you ever see in the newspaper. You dont get

a paper out here much do you? Theyre closing in on them bandits. Keep seeing where theyve put another away in prison. The bandits are giving States evidence against each othera house divided will fallyou know thats right? Every train robbery..bank..blamed on the Jameses. Its over ten years since the war ended, and theyre still robbing freely. Dont believe they think its about fighting a war anymore; their robbing seems more like big, easy money than jest settling the score. Theyre going to catch them. Like they caught them Youngers already up in Minnesota. Thousand peace officers chasing them. DR. MONTGOMERY (CONTD) (Stands to go) James boys got plumb away. Twere seen up in Sioux City, Iowa. Mighty awful bad about that bank teller. Killed. Shot right in the head. Couldnt open the safe..had a time-lock on it. Zee looks ill, tears welling up in eyes. Stays out of Dr. Montgomerys field of vision. DR. MONTGOMERY, (CONTD) Hate to see decent citizens done that a way. Just a matter of time before that James trash will be brought to justice. Disgrace to the noble Southern Cause. Doctor doesnt see Zee wince as her breathing deepens to stifle her panic.

DAVE/JESSE (Still delirious.) I need water, get me a canteen. DR. MONTGOMERY Get me a basin of cold water He continues to apply wet cloths to Jesss forehead DR. MONTGOMERY Keep him down and give him this here quinine. One, morning, noon, and another before you go to sleep. Gives Zee small bottle of quinine. As he leaves, Zee presses a

basket of eggs upon the doctor. JOSIE/ZEE Here, doctor, its jest a lil toward what we owes you. For the twins and all too. DR, MONTGOMERY You doing okay, since the twins? Come too early. Not growed enough. Sorry, not likely for babies that come that early to make it. My youve got those hens to laying again, I see. JOSIE/ZEE (Zee nods yes, shrugs shoulders.) Oh, yes, Dave got the hens back to health with this remedy. Zee shows him the bottle. DR. MONTGOMERY (reading the label) DR. QUIGLEYS ELECTRO-INVIGORATOR. GOOD FOR MAN OR BEAST (h-m-m) INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL USE. 50% ALCOHOL. Looks like high time in the hen house, tonight.

INT. SUPER:

KITCHEN OF FRANK AND ANNIES HOUSE DAY NASHVILLE, FELIX SMITH PLACE, NOVEMBER 1978 ZEE (smiling) Annie, its so kind of you and Frank to take Jesse and me in. Couldnt farm at all all summer for the malaria weakness and sweats. Getting on my last nerve worser than when I nursed him back to health after he was shot in the chest surrendering to them hateful Yankees. Thats when we knowed we wanted to marry back when wes sweet on each other. He was so brave

ZEE (Zees smile turns to anger) He near diedsuffered something awful. Now hes just aggravating the snuff out of me. Couldnt pay the rent, borrowed money from a couple of locals. So hes being sued. Hes depressed, and me right along with him. Trying to keep cheerful for lil Tims sake. If it werent for yall wed be caught between a rock and a hard place. I tell you, I am so grateful that Jesss out looking for a real job. Franks a good influence on him, Annie. I jest dont know what wed do. ANNIE Oh, Zee, you know thats what families are for. Besides lil Robert heres been so fussy, cutting teeth and all. Im glad for some help. Cutting teeth early. My granny said thats a sign of intelligence. You ever hear that? Six-month old Robert in cradle; Tim stirring with big spoon a mixing bowl half filled with walnuts in the shell on the floor by the mothers. Jesse comes in. He is buoyant, and anticipating a horse race.

INT.

KITCHEN OF FRANK AND ANNIES HOUSE DAY JESSE Red Foxs the fastest horse I ever rode. Well win that race tomorrow. Hes in rare form.

The women wince behind his back. ANNIE (To Jesse.) Hope you feel as good as youre looking. Your colors some better, Jess. INT. PARLOR FRANKS AND ANNIES HOUSE DAY

Zee and Jesse go into another room to talk quietly. They embrace, a quick but affectionate hug.

ZEE What are you going to do about Ennis Cooley? Moving away hasn't solved it at all. With him suing us. You better be lucky at the races. It's so embarrassing, being served a summons in public. Now I heard the Cooley boy can't go to medical school with the loss a that money. JESSE It's them lawyers. They all stick together. Not be surprised if mine and his was in cahoots. They get rich off bleeding the working man. Zee shudders and grimaces through this tirade; Jesse doesnt notice. JESSE Besides, Cooley's a coward. He's been calling me A crook. And he refused my challenge for a duel. Man that won't meet on the field a honor hain't even a man... Zee turns her head. Grabs her stomach. She can only listen to so much. JESSE Zee, honey, don't you worry. We going to win us some money at the race... He flashes his contagious grin. Voice trails off as scene closes. Zee looks even more devastated. EXT. NASHVILLE RACE TRACK DAY We see Jessie come in a close second on his horse. A local sheriff's DEPUTY, looks intently at Jesses horse, since it seems more wild than the average horse. Jesse handles it exceptionally well. The deputy by-stander again nods with appreciation. The deputy smiles sincerely. EXT. NASHVILLE RACE TRACK DAY DEPUTY Whoa there, nice race, Dave. HOWARD/JESSE Be better if I won. Thanks jest the same. DEPUTY You sure knows how to handle a horse. Thats an Army saddle. You in the Four Years War?

Jesse smiles, not threatened by the question. HOWARD/JESSE I was born on a horse. Cant remember ever walking no place. Oh-h-h, ye-e-s, I spent two years with Shelby. Who wasnt in the late great Unpleasantness? Or affected by it? Dangdest thing that ever happened To this country. The deputy beams. Shelby is a name to stir pride in an exConfederate. DEPUTY Yes, Shelby. Fine a cavalry officer and gentleman as any man what served under the Stars and Bars. The Southern Cause might could have flourished if he had more than trash to rely on. Them bloody butcherers, Quantrill and Anderson inflamed the Unionists with hatred for their lawlessness. Four Years War, sad times. Did you hear in the news? Last week, Jesse James was killed.

HOWARD/JESSE Not again! I hope its for real this time. Spare me the details DEPUTY (polishes the badge on his chest.) It was bound to happen. Them James boys got their start with Quantrill and Anderson. Learnt to be guerrillas and kept on these dozen years stealing under the pretext of continuing the war. I wonder what they do with all that train and bank money? I fought in Franklin, one of the bloodiest, under Hood. But when the war was over, I was grateful. Now look at me, I am an officer of the law. You cant tell me you cant get ahead even though you was a Confederate. No excuse for what that gangs doing. They are jest making it harder for us decent folk. HOWARD/JESSE O-o-h, well, now I'd hate to pass judgment. Them innocent Yankees did terrible things. Murdered peoples, dragged women and children off to prison without trial. Beat on young boys. Any government

that makes war on civilians isn't Christian, isn't even human... The deputy shakes his head and turns away. Scene dissolves in a blurry haze connoting a flash-back. EXT. MONTAGE UNIONIST 0CCUPATION OF MISSOURI DAY SUPER: "MISSOURI, AUGUST 1863." UNION SOLDIERS burn down a family farm. REFUGEES are leaving. CHILDREN cry to see their little animals being butchered. HORSEMAN pursues a chicken with his sword on foot, laughs, pulling his horse along behind him. As the families move along in wagons or on foot, worldly goods drop into the mud. A Union soldier's horse tramples a child's doll just as she reaches for it--her mother pulls her back. Another soldier throws dead chickens down a farmhouse well. A woman turns away with a look of nausea.

EXT.

FARM YARD DAY

SUPER: "THE JAMES FAMLY FARM, KEARNEY, MISSOURI, SUMMER, 1863 YOUNG JESSE (15 years old) apprehended by Union Jayhawkers in blue uniforms. They beat him savagely, then drag him and drop him at the feet of his STEP FATHER who is being pulled up and down from a tree like a yo-yo with a noose around his neck. Soldiers then cart him away half dead. Jesses YOUNGER SISTER is looking on, cries hysterically ZERELDA JAMES SAMUEL, Jesses mother who is a large woman about two hundred pounds and 510, hair in a bun. Is pushed aside by the soldiers. She tries to shield her two children from the sight. ZERELDA Jess, get me some water for your cuts. Don't jest stand there. They no kinda menbeatin on a boy. No tellin what theys goin to do to your step-dad. The young boy complies, his face in tears. She begins to bathe the cuts and scrapes on Jesses face and arms. EXT. TRAIN DEPOT - DAY

SUPER: CENTRALIA, MISSOURI, SEPTEMBER 27th, 1864 Screen fills with bullet-riddled sign outside of train depot, proclaiming CENTRALIA. In the background is heard a number of voices...singing drunkenly, whooping it up, and then another bullet hole is splintered into the sign. Camera comes down from the sign. UNION SOLDIERS lined up in front of the train station, down at the level of the tracks next to a passenger train. They are clad only in their long-johns, guarded by a group of GUERRILLAS, who are dressed in motley attire: civilian clothes mixed with Union uniform pieces, various style hats (and various colors). One man's hat is rakishly pinned back with a gaudy star. They are wearing too many" guns also, three and four revolvers a piece. Some of the other guerillas look through the pile of blue Union clothing that has been stripped from the soldiers. They search pockets for valuables, and try on Federal pants, boots, tunics. The Union soldiers have been going home on leave--this is a regular passenger train. Trunks being cast off the train; guerillas break them open. Someone shoots a lock off. One man rummages in the trunkstosses a lady's dress over his shoulder. PASSENGERS are present, also under guard and witness this vandalism of their possessions. WOMAN Thems my hats! A particularly ferocious looking BANDIT dons a lady's hat for comic effect. Many of the passengers are physically fleeced, and not with any "Robin' Hood" cavalier charm. Watches are yanked off watchchains, rings are torn off fingers. One of the guerillas struts with a cane and top-hat. Another wears a derby on top of his regular hat. Another is opens a box of stolen cigars. Hands reach in; cigars are lit ostentatiously, as if by discriminating connoisseurs. BLOODY BILL ANDERSON I warned the Yankees thisd happen. They jest wouldn't listen. They really think they could invade a sovereign state a freeborn citizens and trample on their rights? We only wanted peace and they brought us war. They violated Gods laws.

Anderson produces a small, worn leather Bible from an inside pocket. BLOODY BILL ANDERSON, (CONTD) Its the word, from Genesis 9:25. Canaan son of Ham was cursed. Indeed, he was to be a servant of servants...unto his brethren. The Jews shunned the Canaanites, and this is proper. The darkie today has his natural station in life. It's them damned abolitionists who brung the wrath a the Lord on the honorable State of Missouri. Shots are heard. There by the tracks are twenty-seven Union soldiers sprawled on the ground, dead. The guerrillas ride past. In the saddle Jesse James turns and looks back. His youthful face fills the screen....It dissolves. Then it fades into: EXT. NASHVILLE RACE TRACK DAY Jesse's face fills the screen in the same position and expression as the young Jesse just encountered. This is a dejected Jesse, still at the race-track. Zee is with him. JESSE I wonder if I shouldnt go back to Missouri, Zee? To see my ma. Jest for a visit. Got to let her see I be doing better from the swamp fever. ZEE Oh, Jesse, were jest getting settled in here. What if they want you at the mill, and yalls gone. You know we needs the job. She turns to Annie who is with them, anxious for her to reinforce this. Jesse stalks ahead somewhat, glumly, out of earshot. ZEE (to Annie) Poor Jesse, hes been discouraged of late. That place was sure hard to farm. He had such bad luck. Even the chickens got sick and died. But between me and you I worry about him getting the opportunity to meet up with some his old crowd that spells trouble. ANNIE Oh, Zee, you dont supposeOh, oh that's

terrible, its been nearly two years since, they, theychanged. Franks proof that peoples can turn themselves around. Jesse can too, even with his bad luck. ZEE Oh Annie, what am I going to do. He is so head strong. I dont want him going. Uhh! I cant stop him no how. He aint like Frank. He jest wont listen to me. Hes crazy about me, but it drives him even worse crazy that he cant take care of me and lil Tim. ANNIE (wraps arms around Zee, patting her shoulders.) There, there, Zee. Maybe hes jest wanting to see his Ma. You know how stuck the boys are on their Ma. ZEE Oh, Annie, Annie Both pull their shawls around themselves tightly. EXT. SEDALIA NEWSPAPER OFFICE - TWILIGHT, establishing SUPER: SEDALIA, MISSOURI, September, 1879 A rider is silhouetted; he reins in at a hitching post. He approaches a newspaper office. The lair and kingdom of John Newman Edwards. INT. NEWSPAPER OFFICE- EVENING, establishing On the wall is a picture of Robert E. Lee, also Sterling Price and Shelby. Edwards (fiftyish, medium build with long beard and moustache, piercing dark eyes) writes at his roll top desk. Orange cat is sitting on top of some papers. There are visible some English popular novels, such as Dick Turpin the bandit, and a dime novel or two.

EXT./INT. NEWSPAPER OFFICE- TWILIGHT, establishing Outside, we glimpse the rider who has dismounted. It is Jesse James. He pulls a bandana up over his face, and pushes open the door.

EDWARDS, writing at his desk, has hit a momentary snag--he mumbles, gropes for the right word, then turns and reaches for his nearby flask. He swigs a snort, then, inspired, re-attacks his writing assignment. Suddenly he looks up--surprised, almost stupefied at a drawn gun pointing at him. Edwards is still cool, not flinching or panicking. Raises his head slowly. EDWARDS You wouldn't rob a Confederate veteran now Would you? I'm jest a poor journalist, and I'm always starving. Like any man who tries to write the simple truth. Jesse pulls down his mask and smiles. Edwards cannot believe who he is seeing. Face expands with joy. Jumps up and pumps, his hand. EDWARDS (CONTD) By gosh! What a sight for bloodshot eyes. Heard you boys was down in Mexicothat's what I keep hearing. Personally, I would have suspected you might be in Tennessee because you always liked it so much, and they got nothing on you down there JESSE Fraid them stories are right. Mexico is something else. Got me a ranch down there. Raising a whole heap of cattle. Long horns. Zee don't much like it there. But my brother, Frank, hes real bad off; got consumption, you know. Spitting blood. Even in dry climate, I fear he ain't long for this here world. Now you keep all this to yourself, Major Edwards. EDWARDS (solemnly) If anyone can keep a secret, it's me. I guess you seen this? Holds up book, his Noted Guerillas. EDWARDS (CONTD) Almost 500 pages long. Couldnt say enough about you heroes. Here listen to this: Anderson, newly above the horizon, was flashing across the heavens as a war comet. Left to himself

that

military

and permitted to pursue his placid ways in peace, probably the amiable neighbor and working man would never have been developed into a tiger" Page 164, right there it is. Edwards thumps the page. EDWARDS (CONTD) There, didn't that set the record straight? He been so maligned by them Yankee hack writersI won't even call them journalists. Reading their lies, you'd think Captain Anderson was the incarnation of the Devil himself. Jesse looks away, to hide a grin. EDWARDS (CONTD) Look, see how I vindicated you boys. Camera focuses on a Frank and Jesse James passage. reading. Edwards starts

EDWARDS(CONTD) What else could Jesse James have done? He had been a desperate Guerrilla; he had fought under a black flag; he had made a name for terrible prowess along the border...hence the wanton war waged upon Jesse and Frank James, and hence the reasons why today they outlaws..." JESSE (Jesse dead pans.) Major Edwards, you done proud by us. Were fixing to live up to what you say about us.

are

EDWARDS (waving hand in air) Hell, I only told the truth. Unlike them Yankee scurrilous scribblers up north. Them writers is literary whores. Nothing more. Me, I hain't even really started yet. You boys, jest you and Frank, deserve a whole book a your own. I want to tell your whole story. Think youre famous now? You hain't seen nothing. You been persecuted unmercifully. It's all got to come out. People got to know how you been hounded for no other crime than serving the Southern Cause under them noble knights of the bush, Colonel Quantrill and Captain Anderson. I been fighting for you boys ten years

now, in print. Every single time they say you did a job, I refuted them. They never can prove where your at. I can usually show you were somewhere else. 'Course, I do give credit where it's due. Whoever is doing them robberies is as bold as anyone from history. Be it Rob Roy or Robin Hood, is an achievement... JESSE Boy, you sure dont spare no praise in setting facts aright. Yeah, I been reading the book. Learning a lot Major, do you think they're ever going to get me?

too.

EDWARDS Not the great Jesse James, he can slip though a thousand traps. Why, you know every back trail in three states. Every farmer, no, every person who ever wore Confederate grey or aided the Cause supports you, and will give you refuge and succor. JESSE Major, I meanreally. These Pinkertons, theyll never up. It's all political. give

EDWARDS (Edwards looks more sober.) Well, I admit, one misstep, one moment of bad luck and its all over. The thing we got to do is get the right man in, as Governor. I'm well placed in Missouri politics. If we could run General Shelby or General Marmaduke for Governor, I know I could personally secure a pardon. Got to do something. Some of them treacherous Republicans are calling our oppressed land; The Outlaw State. of them demagogues are fixing to run on a phony reform ticket. Talking about 'cleaning up' the State. I fear they'll elect someone on an anti-Confederate ticket and make a scapegoat out of some poor boy whose only crime was he fought for his homeland.... JESSE You see what you can do. But I tell you, I can't wait forever. It right smart hurts my pride and Zee'sto think that every two-bit thug who

Some

robs a train gets it blamed onto Frank and me. And we can't come forward to exonerate ourselves... EDWARDS Jess, I'll do everything in the power a my connections to swing some kind of deal. With a little maneuvering we jest might could get it set up. Reclaim your rightful reputations as Missouri patriots and let you settle into respectable lives as honored citizens. No less than you deserve... Places hand on Jesses shoulder. EDWARDS Rest assured. Whatever happens, I'll always write the truth.... INT. SUPER: GLENDALE COUNTRY STORE - DUSK. GLENDALE, MISSOURI, OCTOBER 8, 1879

MEN play checkers. A dapper, well-dressed YOUNGER MAN whittles a piece of wood - a pistol from a torn-out model in a magazine. He is proud of it. This store is about 75 feet from train depot YOUNGER MAN (admiring his handiwork) Jest like the real thing. Another man reads a dime novel titled: Red Rob, the Boy Road-Agent. Suddenly the door is kicked open. THREE MEN rush in, guns in hand. The dime novel drops to the floor. The wooden carved gun drops to the floor. INT. GLENDALE TRAIN DEPOT DUSK Inside the depot a BANDIT walks up and bangs on the metal grill of the ticket window with a pistol. He has a bandana on over his face. One CLERK is not visible to the robbers. He thinks he can escape and foil the robbers. As he turns toward the door it opens, and in steps Jesse, in the same attire that he wore visiting Edwards, and with the same bandana-mask up over his face. With him is WOOD HITE, his cousin.

JESSE Now you wouldn't want to take long, now. You could be missing an important moment in history. Yalls about to assist a robbery by a famous outlaw. You be able to tell your grandchildren you were robbed by Mr. Billy Bonney. CLERK Not--not the Billy the Kid....? JESSE (points guns) Ably abetted a course, by his two colleagues, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson. Another BANDIT comes in the back door of the depot, nervous, out of breath. BANDIT Is it all clear, here? JESSE (Jesse nods. Yells it out the back door.) All clear. EXT. GLENDALE TRAIN DEPOT DUSK A crowd is herded across the yard from the adjacent store. The dimenovel reader clutches his book which he has picked up again, and it's over his head: his hands are up. The man who had been carving the gun pleads to be spared. GUN CARVING MAN Don't kill me. You can have my money. getting married. Im

BILL RYAN (A jaded, nervous bandit, BILL RYAN, looks ready to kill.) Shut up. Yall say one more word and you will be getting your mail from the ground hog. The captives are herded unceremoniously into the freight shed. Ryan out of no necessity, just meanness, boots the gun-carver into the shed with a kick in the pants. JESSE What time this here train due in? BILL RYAN

Hour. CLOCK on the wall shows progression of an hour. EXT. GLENDALE TRAIN DEPOT EVENING JESSE (to station agent) Lower the signal for them to stop.

STATION AGENT I-I cant its broken. Jesse forces his six-shooter into the man's mouth. The man, with the pistol barrel down his throat, is forced to walk back a couple of steps. With one hand he lowers the signal. EXT. TRACK OUTSIDE STATION EVENING continuing Train screeches to a halt. Gang goes into action. Shoot at the train. Shoot into the air. The CONDUCTOR appears in a car's doorway, then is driven back by a warning shot. INT. VARIOUS CARS ON TRAIN EVENING DICK LIDDIL captures the engineer, while TUCKER BASSHAM and WOOD HITE go into the passenger car. PASSENGERS are looking up from their newspapers; headlines include: JOHNSON PLEADS INNOCENCE IN GRAFT CASE and THE STATE OF AFFAIRS 'IN THE WEST. A pistol is shoved into a LADY's face; a hand pulls a ring off her finger. An OLD CONFEDERATE VETERAN in a grey forage cap looks terrified--one bandit takes cigars out of his pocket. Another bandit takes things from the old man's pocket, tosses the loot into a flour sack. Meanwhile in the express car, ED MILLER has found a sledge hammer. Jesse is standing by. Miller swings one blow, CLANG against the door of the express car. ED MILLER So you locked yourself in, you son-of-a-bitch. If You don't unlock this door, youre a dead man. The door slides open. They rush in, intent on finding whatever is there. The EXPRESS AGENT is forced to open the safe. Then he is

shunted aside, and as the bandits clean out the safe he tries to escape. Jesse however knocks him unconscious with his pistol butt. The gang fills the flour sacks with banknotes and negotiable securities, as fast as they can; this is not a leisurely, orderly heist. EXT. TRAIN DEPOT PLATFORM EVENING Jesse is back on the platform. The flour sacks are full. Somebody on the train fires a shot, which grazes the trousers of Wood Hite. Ryan and some others return this fire. JESSE Best be going, it ain't safe around here no how. EXT. HICHING POST EVENING (CONTINUING) Bandits mount up. As they ride out, they pass the GLENDALE, MISSOURI sign. INT. FRANK AND ANNIES HOME DAY week after robbery ZEE (reading aloud from newspaper) Glendale Train Robbed: James Gang suspected. James Gang Glendale Robbery Disputed by Major Edwards. Offers evidence that Frank James is dying of consumption. Reputed hide-out in Mexico. Pinkertons skeptical. Paper drops, reveals Zee's face contorted with anger...Jesse comes in the door. ZEE (CONTD) Well, Jess. How much money did you steal this time? You went to see your Ma? Hm-m? Looks like to me you went to rob a train. Look me in the eye, Jess, and tell me it aint so. Jesse dont do this to us. You got a family. What happened to your promise? JESSE Now, Zee. Them Yankee robber barons got money coming out their ears. Thiss just restitution for the trouble theyve caused. Think how those railroads hired the Pinkertons to blow my Mama's arm off with that diabolical bomb, and kill my lil brother Archie. It's only evening the score. Besides theyre robbing honest, hard-working

Southern folks with their blood-sucking freight rates. Sheer Yankee meanness against poor Southern peoples. ZEE (Zee looks tired or the same old story.) Is that what I'm going to tell our young uns when their pas been brung down? JESSE (A funny look crosses Jesse's face.) Zee. I got good news. I'm working out a pardon with the Missouri politicians. Onlyest is a matter of time. ZEE You've been talking to that old sot Edwards. No one believes thatthat Robin Hood slop he writes about you and Frank. I don't think he does neither. He even compared you to one a the knights of the Round Table. If that's not embarrassing, youve got no shame whatsoever left. Don't tell me nothing about the 'Lost Cause' She nods toward a picture of Frank James posed with a hog On the mantle. ZEE (CONTD) Look how Frank's doing. Winning a prize for his hog. He's getting into breedingRight now, fact is, up in Kentucky exhibiting his prize Poland China hog at the fair. Hes got an angle. Eveybodys going to want his bloodlines. Hes Going to make money that way. Why cant you jest do something smart like that. You learned to rob from Frank. Jest why cant you imitate how hes fitting in? JESSE (smiles cynically) Yes, I'm right proud of Frank. He seems to be cut out to be a farmer. He's got that certain touch. Plus, jest plain good luck. Good luck. ZEE (still riding Jesse) Poor lil Jesse, Jr. He's pert near five. We can't

he's

even call him by his name. He really thinks he is 'Tim Howard. Zee pauses to mention the most important event that has escaped Jesse's mind. ZEE (pointing to sleeping baby) Jess, you hain't even asked about your new lil child. Your family heres a lil bigger now. Look there. Lil Marys born. You aint so much as looked at her nor asked how were doing. No way I could get in touch with you Jesse softens. He has been writing in a small tablet absorbed by figuring. He turns to the crib with true humility and affection. JESSE Oh, Im sorry Zee. Shes looking jest like you and Ma. Marythats a great name. Mary James. doing okay, hun?

You

ZEE Jesse, how long we got to hide? They're never going to pardon you....Especially if you keep it up. Jesse grabs Zee and holds her. He looks tormented. Camera goes back to Frank's picture on the mantle and focuses on the blue ribbon.

EXT. TRAIN, PASSENGER COACH DAY SUPER: BOWLING, GREEN, KENTUCKY, Mid October 1879 Screen fills with another blue ribbon, held in Frank James's hand. Pridefully, Frank looks at the ribbon as he boards a train. In the background a MAN cranes his neck to see better, through a crowd of people. Catches a brief glimpse of Frank James. Recognizes Frank, who is absorbed into the boarding passengers. CONDUCTOR (O. S.) ALL ABOAR-R-R-R-R-D

This Man (who recognized Frank) is visibly excited, and frustrated, not knowing what to do next. Heads back to the telegraph office, He looks madly around in the crowd. EXT. TICKET WINDOW - BOWLING GREEN, KENTUCKY He approaches a telegraph window... MAN (with great urgency) Sir, sir--is there a peace officer around? BOWLING GREEN CLERK (preoccupied with his paper work) May I help you? MAN (even more impatient) No, nono I need police--or a deputy. BOWLING GREEN CLERK (finally giving his attention) What's the problem? MAN I jest saw the infamous Frank James board that very train. BOWLING GREEN CLERK Not Frank James the outlaw?

MAN None other. I was at Samuel's Depot when that butcher Quantrill's men surrendered. If that's not him my name's Sarah Bernhardt. BOWLING GREEN CLERK (still in disbelief) You sure? You ain't been jest reading too many wild stories have you? Now here's one better than any of them outlaw ones. He holds up dime novel, Kit Carson, Jr., The Crack Shot of the West. MAN No. damn it, I knowed what I saw. I was with that unit that took the surrender of Quantrill's guerillas in '65. I told you

BOWLING GREEN CLERK (Finally the telegrapher focuses on what he saying.) Oh, you were? Say, you might could know what youre talking about.... MAN What's the next station down the line? to get through. We need

BOWLING GREEN CLERK Well, the next town a any size is Franklin, Kentucky. But the train's not scheduled to stop there. Supposed to stop at Gallatin. Let me see if I can get this telegraph key to work. Been trouble with it this morning... EXT. TRAIN SPEEDING THROUGH COUNTRYSIDE DAY A sign is visible with the train, speeding past: FRANKLIN, KENTUCKY. Frank James's face is visible in train.

INT. BOWLING GREEN, TENNESSEE TRAIN DEPOT BOWLING GREEN CLERK Never has acted this way before. 'Least not since the War. We jest keep trying. May be some work going on on the line down the way may take a while to get that fixed. I'll try to reach Gallatin--and if that don't work, Nashville. He glances up at clock while pounding on telegraph keys as if to make them work BOWLING GREEN CLERK They should be at Gallatin in just a few minutes about a ten minute stopthen they head into Nashville. INTERCUT TO INT. TRAIN COACH

Cut to Frank James in the train. Train has stopped. Sign outside the train reads GALLATIN, TENNESSEE. INT. GALLATIN, TN TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY Cut to the inside of the telegraph office at Gallatin. REPAIR CREW FOREMAN is talking to the REPAIRMAN. FOREMAN Hope we can get this cleared up. Must have been that storm last night. EXT, TRAIN PLATFORM AT TICKET WINDOW GALLATIN, TENNESSEE A MARSHALL with a badge comes up--it reads MARSHALL CITY OF GALLATIN. Holds a stack of posters. They read PUBLIC NOTICE: FOR SALE, and FORECLOSURE DUE TO TAX DELINQUINCY. MARSHALL (to clerk, while tacking up) Is this a good place to put these up? GALLATIN CLERK (peering out his window) Oh, on any of them pillars be aright. Say, ain't that old Miss Whatley's place? INTERCUT TO INT. TRAIN COACH Frank James reading the newspaper is in stopped coach with Marshall tacking up a poster outside visible through Franks window. Newspaper shows a version of the Glendale robbery, with the follow-up story: FRANK JAMES BELIEVED TO BE IN ROBBERY INT. GALLATIN, TN TELEGRAPH OFFICE - DAY More tension. Finally the key starts to work. The telegrapher writes down the incoming message with a pencil. HOLD TRAIN. ON BOARD BELIEVED MISSOURI BANDIT, FRANK JAMES. IDENTIFIED AS PASSENGER. EXT, TRAIN PLATFORM AT TICKET WINDOW GALLATIN, TENNESSEE GALLATIN CLERK (rushes to catch train) Oh, crap! Train has pulled too far away to notice his attempt to flag it down.

INT. NASHVILLE POLICE OFFICE DAY Little KID comes in, out of breath, with a telegram. KID (to the desk clerk) Hey, this is urgent. Make sure this gets to the Chief a Police. INT. NASHVILLE POLICE OFFICE DAY (CONTINUING) OFFICER takes the telegram. Looks at it. Stunned but not shaken. Beckons ASSISTANT in. Closes door. Hands him the telegram. OFFICER Frank Jamess on the train from Gallatin. Be arriving in half an hour. How many men do we got? There cant be no bloodshed. EXT. NASHVILLE TRAIN STATION SAME DAY Train is surrounded. MEN with shotguns. Winchesters, positioned behind barrels or in windows. A few WOMEN and CHILDREN are being held back--a CHILD escapes and runs across to see the train. He is stopped, and herded back by an OFFICER. EXT. TRAIN ARRIVES IN NASHVILLE Train pulls to a stop. The OFFICERS move in with military precision. Some drop behind pillars for protective cover. Officer waves hand: two Men emerge at the front and rear of each car, and board it. Thus the entire train is sealed" in each of its cars by the Nashville police. INT. OF TRAIN FIRST PASSENGER CAR DAY (CONTINUING) They start down the aisles of the cars, demand identification of male passengers--one man asks, the other as a back-up with a rifle at the end of the car. One MAN IN CHEQUERED SUIT has no identification but a good deal of money and no clear story.

MAN IN CHEQUERED SUIT I just come to Nashville to see my relatives. OFFICER Where they live? Whats their names? They search him. They find two shoulder-rigged guns, and plenty of money. The Officer gets more excited as he thinks he has captured Frank James OFFICER (excited with high pitched voice) Hold him. I got him, I got him, I got Frank James. INT. SECOND COACH ON TRAIN DAY (CONTINUING) They have arrested another character with no plausible explanations. SECOND OFFICER Nah, I think we got him prisoner, right here. INT. THIRD COACH ON TRAIN DAY (CONTINUING) CHIEF OF POLICE in another car. He holds a man. Then he notices a familiar figure and face. CHIEF OF POLICE Hey, there's Mr. Woodson. WOODSON/FRANK (looks up from reading) What's going on, Chief? Can I help in some kind of way? CHIEF OF POLICE (offering handshake) Ben. Ben Woodson. WOODSON/FRANK What yall doing? Something going on? CHIEF OF POLICE Had a little problem, Ben. Got a report Frank James was on this here train.

WOODSON/FRANK (looking surprised) Really? Didn't know them James boys come this far...Jest got back from the fair at Bowling Green. you look at this?" Displays his blue ribbon. WOODSON/FRANK (CONTD) Took a first place for my Poland China hog.

Will

Chief of police still holds a passenger, a suspicious-looking type, but nods approvingly to "Mr. Woodson." He then compares his captive to a Pinkerton reward poster of a drawing of Frank James which looks like the suspect but not like the real Frank James who stands nearby. EXT. NASHVILLE TRAIN PLATFORM DAY (CONTINUING) Frank is now out on the platform. Pushes past assorted LAWMEN. Some of them have taken at least temporary prisoners off the train. Interrogations continue. WOODSON/FRANK (nods to an officer) Howdy, Bill OFFICER Hi ya, Ben. Congratulations. get me one a your hogs. I might want to

Frank says hello to various officers, flashing his blue ribbon. Then he approaches an hysterical TRAIN CONDUCTOR WOODSON/FRANK Can you get someone to help me get my hog crate Off your train? CONDUCTOR Oh, yes, yes. 'Been so excited. There's an outlaw on the train. Cant tell you who it is, though. Confidential like, you know? WOODSON/FRANK Reckon it's Billy the Kid? Frank gets his hog in a crate. He proudly attaches his blue ribbon to the crate, and walks past. The Police Chief is issuing orders to

release some of the suspects. He has zeroed in on the one with the unaccounted-for cash. He's handcuffed. CHIEF OF POLICE Were going to talk about this down at the jail. I'm going to telegraph your description to the Pinkertons. Frank stops at the depots news stand. LADY STANDING BY What's going on? WOODSON/FRANK I reckon theyve caught Jesse James and one of them Younger boys. WOODSON/FRANK (lowers his voice) One of them Youngers escaped, you know. Ain't been in the papers...theyre trying to keep it hushed up they catch them. LADY STANDING BY (horrified) Oh. Land sakes! Western bandits in Nashville. disgrace. As if the politicians wasn't bad enough. What is this city coming to? EXT. FRANKS NASHVILLE HOME LATER SAME DAY Frank arrives home in a wagon; Jesse sees him arrive. Frank is unloading his hog to its pen. FRANK (showing the blue ribbon) Hey, Jess. Look what my hog done won. Cash prize too $5. JESSE (chuckles at own joke, then wrinkles nose) Frank, you sure been getting into them hogs, hain't Really bringing home the bacon, huh? Fine hog. What do you call that pig, Frank? FRANK His real name is 'General Ben Butler' after that Yankee swine. But I entered him in the fair under his official alias a course: FALSTAFF. Buys two dime novels.

till

That's a

you?

Frank gets serious. FRANK (CONTD) How was Ma? You did see her didn't you? JESSE Most certainly. FRANK (looks doubtful) Humph.

JESSE (showing irritation) Hey, you don't believe your own brother? That it Frank? FRANK (to change the topic) Forget it, Jess. Don't mean no harm. Hey, you read this one? He hands Jess a dime novel, The Adventures of Claude Duval, or The Highwayman's Rendezvous. Jesse softens, takes book gratefully. Then, wishing to talk some more, he leads Frank a little out of the wives' earshot (Zee and Annie having heard this up to now). JESSE Frank, we made a score. I got some new boys together and we hit the Chicago and Alton at Glendale. Best job you ever did see. One hundred per cent professional. Professional! No one hurt. No slip-ups. Think we learnt our business since Northfield. Without Cole and his bungling brothers, it was like sheep for the shearing. You'd a been proud to see it. FRANK Sure it was a storybook robbery, but damn it, theyre thinking I was there too. The papers are full a it. Jesse is impassive, not knowing how to react. Then he converts this to a new opportunity. JESSE Well, long as theyre thinking you was in on it, maybe you ought to reconsider helping, Frank.

This time--let me tell youit's all different. The whole secret is your men, Frank. Jest like in wartime. Weve got the best, bar none, this time out. FRANK (clearly irritated) This is making me ill, scared and plumb angry. Jest who did you get, Dingus? JESSE (defensively) Well, Ed Miller. Cousin Wood. Dick Liddil. Bill Ryan and Tucker Bassham. Southd won if we'd had like that in the war.

troops

FRANK (knowingly) Liddil's a two-bit horse thief. Ryan's a sot and Bassham's a moron. Theyll get you caught for sure. Wouldn't be surprised if they had Bassham already. Probably flashing money around like a soldier on pay day. Frank pulls at his hair while pacing around Jesse. FRANK (talking through his teeth) Jess, I don't care if you got General Shelby in your gang. The world's greatest bandits are going to get caught if they ride for Jesse James. You are a marked man. It's only a matter a time. The Pinkertons can make a hundred mistakes. They keep on coming. You onlyest get one. They're going to get you sooner or later...brother-r-rJESSE (irritated) You and Zee. Zee and you. Always telling me how bad its going to bring me down. Im doing this for us. You never encourage me. You both jest want to see me waste away plowing the dirt, nursing chickens or working for pennies for some fat somebody who cant afford to buy hisself another slave. I got more pride than that. FRANK (shakes head) Jess, you won't believe this.

sick

But jest today

they came onto the train looking for Frank James. Course they didn't find him. Jest found good ol' Ben Woodson. I laughed it off. It was funny, Jess. They hand-cuffed some poor con artist with no straight story and hauled him away.

JESSE (amused) That silly Pinkerton poster they got on us --no one would recognize us. FRANK (interrupting) But the point is, Jess, someone knew I was on that train. Must have been recognized up at Bowling Green. Telling you, brother, it's only a matter of time. Frank walks back to his hog. Jess standing alone, looks separated from Frank. INT. NASHVILLE SALOON AND CARD GAME ROOM - EVENING Frank and Jesse playing cards with Nashville police. It is the aftermath of their "almost" catching Frank James. Some of the same officers are playing cards with Frank and Jesse. WOODSON/FRANK Frank James really round these here parts? Someone mistook trace a he were CHIEF OF POLICE thought so. Got excited and must have somebody else to be him. We didnt find him on that train. We was thorough. If there, you can bet we'd have nabbed him.

WOODSON/FRANK I know thats right. CHIEF OF POLICE (pulls picture from vest pocket) Jest right smart till them boys get caught anyways. The latest police investigative techniques are at our disposal. This here's a current picture of the James boys we got from the Pinkerton's. Pulls out photos of two men. They look nothing like the

two brothers,

Frank and Jesse.

HOWARD/JESSE Well, if you ever get word of them boys, Id sure be proud to be in the posse. How about you Ben? Then Jesse looks down at his cards. He's been losing all night. HOWARD/JESSE (CONTD) (standing to leave) Well, that bout finishes me anyways. CHIEF OF POLICE (smiling patting his own pile of money) You sure came in with a wad a bills. Looks like your leaving with whole lot less. EXT. NASHVILLE CITY STREET - EVENING The brothers are walking down the street, after the card game. JESSE Frank, I hear Tucker Bassham's been caught. FRANK (sarcastically) Real bunch a professionals you got. Look, I'm sure somebody did see me. Bound to happen again. Too many peoples in two whole states know us. And there's a lot a damn Yankees that have been coming in, and all it takes is one. I don't want to be shipped back to Minnesota to stand trial.

JESSE (with air of desperation) Frank, what am I going to do? I jest got no luck being a farmer. Luck, Frank, LUCK. Jest like in cards. Look how it went against me tonight. I got so many gambling debts and not no money to pay them. FRANK You mean you got more lucky robbing trains and banks?

JESSE I never been caught. Not even come close, well, well, uhexcept maybe at Northfield. If the damned Youngers hadn't been soused... FRANK They came too close to me for me to like it, I don't care if the Pinkertons can't tell our faces from President Hayes's picture. We better mend our ways. How'd you like to see Zee and Annie get a bomb served through the kitchen window for breakfast? Them Pinkertons kill for money. Not even the great Jesse James is going to ride on forever. Don't believe them dime novels, Jesse. JESSE I'm going to go up to Missouri and see if I can spring Tuckeror at least keep him quiet. By the way, Frank, do you think Ed Miller could possibly be a spy? I jest wonder if the Pinkertons hain't slipped him thirty pieces of silver. FRANK (laughing) How the hell would I know? Jesse, you recruited him. You brought him down here and you both bought that damned race horse. If it is Pinkerton money, they it on the wrong horse. You had to sell that nag at half price to get home from the race at Atlanta.

bet

JESSE (non-plussed) Frank, my luck's going to turn. I can feel it. Going to pull one or two more jobs at most. Then buy myself that farm out west. Theyre never going to find me. Put all this behind me. FRANK Deal me out, Dingus. I jest want a clean slate when it all happens. I got a good record with the lumber company which cant hurt the way thingsre going. Your just going to get us caught, Jesse. It'll wipe out the good start I made in Tennessee. I jest hope I beat the

gallows and maybe even stay out a prison. I give you all the help I can. JESSE You'll see. You'll see I'm right. Heard there's good farming in Nebraska. Thats where we all settle one day. Sooner than you think. Jest leave it to me. FRANK Glad to, Jesse, glad to leave it to you.

EXT. WOODED HILLS NORTH OF NASHVILLE - MORNING Jesse and Ed Miller are riding on a road in a desolate area. JESSE Something mighty funny been happening lately. Somebody fingered Frank as being on the train Bowling Green. Almost got him caught. Got any idea about it, Ed? Horses stop. ED MILLER Hey, Jesse, youre not thinking me now...is that what youre trying to say? I never betrayed us. JESSE Why you denying it, then? I didn't accuse you. Youre guilty about something. ED MILLER Hell, Jesse, my own brother got killed thanks to the way you bungled the Northfield raid. JESSE Ho! oh-h, oh. Sos that's why youre trying to strike back at me and Frank. We called that kind of thing treason, back in the War. Jesse's gun is out. Miller reaches for his pistol. Jesse fires. Miller is blown backwards by the blast.

from

EXT. OUTSIDE FRANKS HOUSE AT THE JEFF HYDE PLACE, NASHVILLE - DAY Horsemen approach the Jeff Hyde place. Dick Liddil--Jesse--Bill Ryan. Frank is chopping wood. He turns to little Jesse. FRANK Tim, here comes your Dad. You get in the house and wash yourself up, directly. And stay in the house, you hear? Men dismount. Ryan is wobbly, and as he walks up takes a snort at a whiskey flask, then tucks it into his coat pocket. JESSE You boys go on in. Make yourselves at home. Our house is yours, right Frank? FRANK (aghast) What are you thinking, Dingus. Bringing that durned Irishman around here? Hell get us all captured and maybe killed. You think youre a professional bandit? Drinking don't mix with working. JESSE Hell, Frank, youre always misinterpreting. Were not going to rob any trains here abouts. Not in Tennessee, we're clean in Tennessee. FRANK Don't think the law cares too much about where you hain't gotten into trouble. Damn it, Jesse, think of the women. They're real scared every day of their lives that we're all going to be ambushed. Theres something loose in your head, Ryan around? Hell bring it all down on us. JESSE I got as much right to my friends as you got to your court house cronies. Mines jest as good as your friends. Hell, yours ain't even good highwaymen.... Screeching comes from inside the farmhouse. ZEE (O.S.) (screaming for Jesse) Jesse Woodson James. You get in here this here

bringing

minute. Sound of someone vomiting (O.S.) Bill Ryan emerges from farm house, wiping his mouth. Zee behind him, pushing him out the door. ZEE Get out. Out, out, out, get out. Not in my kitchen if your going to get sick. Jesse get in here and look at this. It's all over the kitchen. Its an awful mess. Ryan, staggering around, weaving, he is so drunk. BILL RYAN Sorry, ma'am. Must have been some right smart bad oysters I got from up the trail. Didnt mean to mess your kitchen up. Zee glares. Dick Liddil retreats back toward his horse. Frank turns to Liddil. FRANK What, oysters? You mean that whiskey's been going down on top a oysters? How can a man that stupid rob a train and not get caught? EXT. JESSE GOES IN THE HOUSE BUT THE VIEW IS ON THE MEN OUTSIDE LISTENING TO THE OFF SCREEN EXCHANGE Jesse goes in the house and tries to prevent Zee from reentering. But she pushes herself in. ZEE (O.S.) Jess you clean up that awful mess. JESSE (O.S.) Zee, now dont you come in. Don't come in. till I mop it up. Not

ZEE (O.S.) The idea, bringing a drunk around in front of the kids. He looks like more of that outlaw riff-raff. Jesse? How could you-u-u? JESSE (near speechless O.S.) I, I kin explain everything. ZEE(O.S.) I'm sure, but I kin do without hearing it...

Here, let me guess. He's a fine Confederate veteran whom you jest happened to meet up with. Jesse comes out of kitchen. BILL RYAN Jess, let me go in and apologize to your Missus. Liddil and Jesse hang on to Ryan to prevent him. JESSE Oh, she don't hold it against you. I explained. She knows it was jest them bad oysters. Ryan gets on his horse, rocks around in the saddle somewhat. Frank is staring in wonderment, shaking his head. He starts laughing. Gets carried away. He starts pointing at Ryan and Liddil. Jesse looks back resentfully, feeling insulted. But Frank cannot stop laughing. FRANK (with look of mock sympathy) Them oysters will do it every time. EXT. SIDE OF ROAD IN DESERTED LOCALE DAY nearly a year later In the background is a sign LITTLE HOPE BAPIST CHURCH. Church on top of steep hill. Gang in brushy thicket, on horseback. Bill-Ryan is swigging on a bottle. EXT. SIDE OF ROAD IN DESERTED LOCALE LATER SUPER: MAMOUTH CAVE STAGECOACH ROBBERY September 3, 1880

JESSE (Jesse with hair dyed black, and beard) Here they come. A stagecoach appears. The men ride out, guns drawn, aiming at the driver. Jesse dismounts in his most pleasant manner (under his bandana mask) JESSE Yall come out of the stage, please. Passengers, seven men and one lady--nervous, unarmed--are coming out. Dressed in clothing appropriate for the period. One passenger slips a wallet and a gold watch under the seat.

JESSE Hurry up. After they get out, Jesse continues speaking, very dashingly and cavalierly. JESSE (CONTD) Pray forgive us, ladies and gentlemen. Were not what we seem. Instead of bold highwaymen were but humble moon shiners, hotly-pursued by Yankee revenue agents. Were compelled to take a donation from yall to aid our exodus to the Western provinces where prejudice and harassment are not visited upon the honest distiller of fine spirits. JESSE (CONTD) Might I inquire if any of the gentlemen present served in the Southern cause during the Late Unpleasantness? PASSENGER Yes, in a Georgia regiment. One lady accidentally drops her purse into the mud. JESSE (gives it back to her) Allow me. Picks it up; wipes it clean on his trouser. Ryan looks boozey and is passing the open flour sack. He beckons with his hand. BILL RYAN Bless you, bless you, for your contribution. Jesse takes out a piece of paper. JESSE If each of you good people be so kind as to supply your name and address, we will send back a reimbursement soon as our fortunes reverse their selves, as God willing, would soon come to pass. One LADY gives her address as Lebanon, Kentucky. JESSE

Do you know Misses Pence and Shelby of Lebanon? LADY Quite well. JESSE So do I. Give them my regards when you next see them. Tell them I will make this right by yall in due time. After handing them back their railroad passes, the outlaws bow from their saddles. Jesse has an opened bottle of whiskey and makes all the men have a drink. One MAN takes a fast gulp--pauses--looks at it, then hands it back trying to conceal his distaste. Jesse and each of the gang take a swig and Ryan keeps the bottle. EXT. ROAD HOME TO NASHVILLE THROUGH WOODS DAY As they ride along, Ryan swigging on the bottle. BILL RYAN Jesse, you really going to give them back their stuff? Jesse pulls out the list, goes down the figures. JESSE Hm-m-m. Not bad. Then he crumples and starts to throw it--then catches himself. JESSE (CONTD) Must be getting careless in my old age. Burn it later. EXT.TO INT. FRANKS HOUSE AT JEFF HYDE PLACE A LATER DAY

Jesse arrives at the Jeff Hyde place in an empty wagon, which has a few packages. He comes in the door. Franks grown a beard too. FRANK Well, good to see my brother back. Looks like you been shopping. JESSE

Struck it rich up at Bowling Green. Got into a really good game. Got my luck back. Some real gamblers with some real money. I could do no wrong. That table was jest mine. Look here, Frank. Something for Annie. Bought this at the jewelry shop. Threw the box, jest didn't look good. Hands him a modest necklace. FRANK (knowingly) Why, thank you, brother. So glad the cards was good to youand to us. JESSE Hain't forgot about my brother, neither. Here. Have this. Presents Frank with a gold watch. JESSE (CONTD) Won this from a Yankee veteran. Yeah, and here's a little light reading material.

away

Opens sack, and hands Frank a dime novel, Thaddeus of Warsaw. Takes out of sack The Red Corsair; or, The Privateer of Barbary. JESSE, (CONTD) (holds pirate novel up) I got me this here one. Sort of wish I joined the Confederate Navy. Look, Frank, these privateers are jest like the James Gang. FRANK Uh, using ships instead a horses, you mean pirates, don't you Jesse? Frank glares out the window. FRANK (CONTD) Did you win that wagon, gambling? JESSE No, I jest rented it. Got some news. Don't know how to break it to you. But I got to move. In fact, I already rented a place in a rooming house near the State Capitol. Much better neighborhood for the family. Besides, I think we're in yall's way. I got to think of my family too.

FRANK (mockingly) Got to admit this rundown pig farm hain't much when your friends come to call. JESSE Now Frank, hain't nothing like that at all. Appreciate you having us nearly two years. FRANK Don't explain, brother. Makes my craw feel good, you moving up and all. That's the important thing. JESSE Yes, I fixing to go into the grain dealing business again. Going to invest this here money and resell some grain down south. Frank looks pleased that Jesse is going to do honest business. FRANK I got some good news too. Got a promotion with the Indiana Lumber Company. Up to $3.00 a day, now. Be a good future. Well probably move down to Edgefield ourselves. Nearer to town and my work jest across the river. Glad were both from the road agent business. It's getting kind a crowded. Looks like some others are stealing our thunder.

retiring

Frank hands Jesse a newspaper clipping: MAMMOUTH CAVE HOLD-UP FRANK (CONTD) It seems the bandits offered the passengers drinks. Like they was moon shiners. Even robbed a Confederate. Now I know the James Gang would never do that. Frank's dead-pan has a twinkle in his eye. JESSE (shaking head) That's terrible. Must have been damn Yankees. That's proof it werent us. Theyre going to hang it on the James boys all the same. Poor ol Jesse and Frank. FRANK

Not me, not me. I was down at the race track with Jonas Taylor the blacksmith looking at some horse flesh. Course you, Jesse, youd have your fellow card players to testify, if you ever needed live witnesses. JESSE Uh--yes--of course. Youre damned right. Well, I got to get our wagon packed up. I think things are really changing for me, Frank, I can jest feel it. The Lord helps them who helps themselves. EXT. WAGON LOADED WITH HOUSEHOLD STUFF- MORNING Jesse drives team. Zee's head on Jesse's shoulder--family unity is reinforced by this brief lyrical vignette. Sticking out of the back of the wagon is the GOD BLESS OUR HOME sign. Visible are some of Jesse's empty grain sacks. EXT. SUPER: EDGE OF A SMALL TOWN MUHLENBURG COUNTY, MERCER, KENTUCKY - October 15, 1880

Bill Ryan and Jesse are waiting on horseback when Dick Liddil comes riding back from scouting. DICK LIDDIL Everything is all clear in town. They ride toward the town. JESSE Dick, you jest wait and see. This heres Going to be another Glendale. They got the payroll for the coal company in the store safe. I been feeling lucky all day. Besides, we done lots of planning for this one. EXT. DOVEYS MERCANTILE STORE They dismount in front of Dovey's Mercantile. Ryan and Jesse go into the store, pulling up bandana masks on their faces; Liddil remains outside, on guard. There is only one CUSTOMER, a neatly-dressed black man in a suit, buying something at the counter, Jesse's gun is out, and his flour sack is open.

JESSE Gmorning, sir, taking contributions for the orphans and widows left helpless by the Late Unpleasantness. Sorry to not show my face to an honest merchant like yerself, but the Yankees are still hounding some of us, won't let us settle down. Not our fault we were caught in the Ohio raid in the summer of 1863. We were imprisoned and abandoned. Only by the greatest good fortune was we to make our way to freedom. We dug a long, secret tunnel in fact. Even though we were hounded relentlessly, we do what we can for the deserving needy. Turning to the black customer JESSE (CONTD) You like to make an offering, sir? CUSTOMER Please don't shoot. I'm jest a poor preacher man and my flock can barely afford food for theyselves. But youre welcome to all I got.

able

Produces two quarters and a dime, Jesse takes these, nodding thanks JESSE My, a man a the cloth. My father was a servant of the Lord. I taught a Sunday school class or two myself, brother. Its comforting to know that if a man but confesses his sins to his Maker, he can always be forgiven. CUSTOMER Yessuh. Jesse to the STOREKEEPER. JESSE You, please open the safe, sir?

STOREKEEPER Don't shoot me. I only got a little change in the safe. A very little money. JESSE Whatever you can contribute will be appreciated.

The safe is opened. Ryan rushes up, pushing past Jesse to see what is to be found. He paws through the safe. BILL RYAN (screaming) Wha the hell!? Wha the hell? Ryan digs through a bag and finds only loose small change. Dimes. Quarters. No silver dollars, no gold coins. BILL RYAN Wha the hell? He tosses the bag to Jesse who catches it with one hand. He can feel what it isn't. Jesse's face shows his frustration. He pockets the money, paltry as it is. Then he notices the storekeeper's watchchain. He goes over and yanks the storekeeper's watch, ripping it from the man's vest. He says nothing whatever. JESSE (turns on customer) Youre holding out on me, I reckon. Empty them pockets. It aint right for no preacher man to be lying. Jams his gun in the man's face. Scraps of paper fall out, plus a small Bible and a pen-knife--Jesse grabs these and drops them into his sack. Jesse tosses the sack to Ryan. JESSE Here, fill her up with what ever you find. BILL RYAN Right, General. He returns to container and goes back and four into the the counter, and empties the candy canes from one all the rock candy from another, into the bag. Then he gets some cans of oysters off the shelf, throwing about sack till Jesse sees this and says:

JESSE That's enough oysters. As they leave, Ryan grabs a last can and stuffs it into his pocket. And he grabs a bottle of whiskey. As they exit Ryan doffs his hat politely though exaggeratedly to the minister BILL RYAN

With the compliments of General John Hunt Morgan. The storekeeper looks puzzled. The outlaws depart. STOREKEEPER (to customer) Thought General Morgan was killed in Tennessee back in '64. CUSTOMER (nodding in agreement) Sumpin bad wrong wid dem. Real bad. I tink dem men might could use a heap a prayin. Fact is, Is fixin to do dat very thing shortly mysef. EXT. ROAD OUTSIDE OF TOWN DAY Liddil wants the gang to stop. They briefly halt. DICK LIDDIL Hold up. Now what'd we get, anyways? Jesse is silent and hesitant. Ryan produces a bottle. BILL RYAN Here, Dick, take a snort. Youre going to need it. Liddil holds the bottle but gets all the more, anxious and puzzled. DICK LIDDIL Now what did we get? JESSE Well, Bill got hisself some provisions and I got me a fine pocket-knife and Bible for lil Jesse, and you, Dick, you got a handsome gold watch in the deal. DICK LIDDIL Youre holding out on me, Jess. How much was in the safe? JESSE (extends closed fist) Im keeping this for expenses on the road.

Liddil grabs it out of Jess's hands. Spills coins into his hands. DICK LIDDIL What the hell! Ugh-h-h! Not even $15. INT. RESTAURANT IN NASHVILLEANOTHER DAY

Jim Cummins and Frank James are seated, having lunch at a small table. JIM CUMMINS Sure is good to be down here in Tennessee. Missouri is really getting hot. They think I was in on that Glendale train robbery.

FRANK Is that a fact? JIM CUMMINS I saw enough shooting when we were with Quantrill and Anderson, and I don't need no more. I jest want to live the rest of my life peacefully. FRANK Yeah, I know what you mean. Been working for the Indiana Lumber Company for over a year now. Sure beats a life on the run. JIM CUMMINS I rode down with Jesse, but I don't want to stay with him. Jesse's bound to get his ass caught. FRANK (sighing) Yeah. When he does, it'll be that drunken Irishman Bill Ryan. He puked all over the kitchen when Zee was cooking.She made Jesse clean it up. Sorry, not something to talk about at lunch. Jesse lived with us for awhile, but he moved out. Said he felt his luck was improving. I sort of wonder. After his last trip to Kentucky, he came back with a hang-dog look, wouldn't speak for days. Almost like that

race in Atlanta where he and Ed Miller had to sell the horse at half what Jesse paid for it, jest to get home. JIM CUMMINS Say, that's one reason I'm down here. Like to find ol' Ed. FRANK Last thing I heard, hes going up to Missouri with Jesse. About six months ago. That kinda puzzles me. No one's said or heard nothing about Ed, since then. JIM CUMMINS Some people say he was somewhere in the vicinity of Northbourne, Missouri. Not too long ago a corpse turned up outside a town. Too badly gone to identify positively, but some of the clothing remaining was sure enough similar to what ol Ed used to wear. No one's certain. I jest hoped you knowed something. FRANK No, I don't. Jesses been acting jumpy-like ever since Tucker Bassham got hisself captured. Even asked me once if I thought Ed Miller might be working for the law. Cummins looks ill. Waitress appears, to suggest pie for dessert. Cummins shakes his head. FRANK Some that berry you gotfine with me. Then Frank notices a man through the window on the boardwalk. The man is ill at ease and looks suspiciously at people. Frank jerks Cummins by the sleeve. FRANK (CONTD) You like to be introduced to a detective? Cummins grows pale, starts to fidget. JIM CUMMINS (more nervous than angry) Not by a damned sight, you think I'm a damned fool? Hain't you got any sense, Frank? Yall get pulled in one of these days with your

brashness. FRANK Calm down. The last place they expect to find you is right under their noses. If you sneak around and act suspicious like, thats when they notice you. Like that detective hisself. He's acting like a detective out of a dime novel. Probably less sense than God gave a goose. JIM CUMMINS Well, maybe so, but detectives make me nervous. FRANK Me too, but only when they start to win at poker. JIM CUMMINS (looking aghast) You play cards with them? FRANK Often as I can. Frankly, I think they're better peace officers than theyre gamblers. JIM CUMMINS Reckon I got to go now. Cummins gets up, and nervously leaves. As he does so, the suspiciousacting detective looks at him quizzically. Frank chuckles. EXT. SIDE WALK WINTER NIGHT Camera focuses on boots marching along a sidewalk. A large bag is swinging alongside. INT. JESSES NASHVILLE HOUSE NIGHT Present is Zee, Jesse, Jr., little Mary and Dick Liddil. Footsteps are loud on the front porch. DICK LIDDIL What's that? He slowly draws his pistol from his shoulder holster. The door knob slowly turns. The kids are huddled around Zee. Liddil is cocking his revolver as he draws it, the door opens. DICK LIDDIL Who is it?

Then the door opens SANTA CLAUS/JESSE Ho, ho it's Santa Claus. It is, and in full costume. SANTA CLAUS/JESSE Put that hog-leg away, son, you wouldn't want to hurt Santa, would you? KIDS (gleefully) It's Santa Claus, it's Santa Claus" SANTA CLAUS/JESSE (in a deep falsetto) Now, has everybody been good this year? ZEE Yes, and we hope Santa Claus has been good this year too. And that he will be good all next year. JESSE, JR. But Ma, Santa Claus is always good. Santa is now opening his bag. He hands out a small package in brown wrapping paper, with a poor attempt at a ribbon tied around it. SANTA CLAUSE/JESSE Here you be, son. Little Jesse opens his, and it is a small Bible. ZEE Oh-h, let me look at that. Taking it from Jesse, Jr.'s fingers. She runs her finger along the inside hinge of the book. The front fly-leaf has been cut out. ZEE Yes, Tim, what a wonderful place to learn about Jesus and all the Ten Commandments, like Thou Shalt Not Steal' and all the rest. Liddil stifles an embarrassed grin. "Santa" clears his throat. Dipping into his sack, he retrieves a small, equally-badly wrapped parcel.

SANTA CLAUS/JESSE Something for Missus Howard. The lady of the house who takes such fine care a these young uns. Zee softens. Opens the package. A small ring. Close-up of the ring-it will be familiar to those who remember the Mammoth Cave scene. Santa slips it onto the finger of Mrs. Howard or tries to, but it won't go. ZEE (smoothing things over) It is so-o-o pretty. SANTA CLAUS/JESSE Jest an early fitting. Santa didn't know your exact ring size. Needs a simple adjustment at the local jeweler's to set it right. ZEE Yes. Yes a course. She has awkwardly placed it on her little finger, sticking out unnaturally to keep it from falling off. Santa hands out candy. SANTA CLAUS/JESSE Santa has sweets for alls yall. He rather perfunctorily hands Liddil a stick of candy who takes it, looking non-plussed. SANTA CLAUS/JESSE (whispers to Liddil) Got a bottle outside for you, for later. JESSE, JR. (Sniffs his stick of candy.) Ma, it smells like a horse. SANTA CLAUS/JESSE Reindeer, my boy, reindeer. ZEE Oh yes, I should a known. I'll bet theyre from Kentucky, too, no. Excuse me. The North Pole I mean. Jesse looks a little confounded.

EXT. FRANKS HOUSE AT JEFF HYDE PLACE DAY Rider approaches. Frank James looks up from chopping wood; it is his brother Jesse. Frank's smile fades--something is amiss. FRANK What's on your mind, Dingus? JESSE (almost out of breath) Jim Cummins has skipped out. Left nearly all of his clothes. Hain't been seen in over a day. FRANK Told me he was looking for Ed Miller. Lot of usd like to know wheres ol Ed.

JESSE I hate to admit it, Frank. I had to shoot him. He was working for the Pinkertons. Honest... Jesse swallows hard, stretching further, he lies. JESSE He confessed. Cumminss mixed up with it somehow too, dont you jest know? FRANK Can't believe Miller worked for the Pinkertons. Not such a one who lost a brother at Northfield. And I know Cummins is trustworthy. JESSE Well, I think we got us a traitor in our ranks, Frank. Not counting my reliable friends Dick Liddil and Bill Ryan. FRANK You know what I think of your trusted friends. We ought to be making new friends, respectable people here in Nashville. You want to live the rest of your life on the run?

Frank then ponders maybe they have been detected. FRANK You know Jess, maybe it be to get out a here jest for right. We don't need to go They'd never think to look a good idea for us awhile, in case your so far. Say, Alabama. for us there.

JESSE (grinning broadly) That's a fine idea. Haint been nowhere together for right smart. FRANK Jesse, I got some time off coming. Been slow Lately in the logging business. We've got some friends down in Selma. You and me leave tomorrow. Stay away for a month or so. Maybe youre right about Cummins. He may not be working for the Pinkertons, but he sure spooks easy. FRANK (CONTD) He might could turn hisself in and bargain for a pardon at our expense. Leave Liddil to watch the women. JESSE Yeah, I kin get Liddil to stick around and watch the women and kids. Zee dont mind him too much. EXT. A LIGHTED HOUSE AFTER DARK - JESSES WOODLAND STREET HOME SUPER: 903 WOODLAND STREET, EDGEFIELD DISTRICT, NASHVILLE, February 14, 1881 INT. ZEES AND JESSES WOODLAND STREET HOUSE Zee is knitting. Dick Liddil is reading a paper. Jesse, Jr. ("Tim") is building a house out of scraps of board and tin cans. Mary is watching. NOISE (O.S.) THUD! Noise against the front door, as if a small rock thrown. Liddil looks up, puzzled. Turns back to his paper. NOISE (O.S.)

BONK! Sounds like a bigger rock. Puts paper down and glances at Zee--she looks frightened. NOISE (O.S.) CRASH! Liddil gets up and heads toward the door, hand reaching for the knob. ZEE (whispers) Wait. Could be the Pinkertons. DICK LIDDIL Well, it sure ain't Santa Claus. He turns to a hallway closet and extracts a shotgun - two hammers slip back. Zee grabs up the kids to get them out of the line of fire. ZEE Oh no. Another rock thrown by someone off camera that crashes against the door. You see three other rocks lying on the porch. As the rock arcs, and hits the door, and falls back down, suddenly--before it hits the porch--there is a blast and the central door panel explodes in a cloud of buckshot and wood splinters. The shattered door is kicked open. Liddil rushes out. Cut to the street. A man is rushing across the street, past a lamp post. Liddil fires again. CLANG! as a shot ricochets off the lamp post. Man escapes in the dark. People are coming out of houses. This is a neighborhood. stands on the porch with a smoking gun. EXT. VIEW OF FRONT OF WOODLAND STREET PORCH IN THE DARK NEIGHBOR What in Sam Hills going on? DICK LIDDIL A prowler. Got clean away. Jest about winged him when he went by that lamp post. Never did see a man run so fast. NEIGHBOR Getting to where even in a nice neighborhood like Edgefield here, you aint safe in your own home. Liddil

ANOTHER NEIGHBOR Not enough people got moral values these days. free to roam as they please. Where is the law, I ask you?

Banditss

A LADY NEIGHBOR It starts in the home, I say. If we let our nation's youth read them trashy books that glorify criminals, God help us all. NEIGHBOR Well, Ill bet thats the last time anyone tries to break into your place. Them thieves all stick together. When word gets around that at least one citizen in this here town hain't afraid to defend his home and property.... DICK LIDDIL (nodding agreement) Some ways, this town is getting as wild as Dodge City. LADY NEIGHBOR I beg to differ with you, sir. Nashvilles got no toleration for criminal types or gunplay. And never will, I assure you... INT. SUPER: WOODLAND STREET HOME DAY FEBRUARY 23, 1881

Jesse walks in. Notices repaired door, with piece of wood nailed over. Dick Liddil is sitting nearby. DICK LIDDIL Guess you got my telegram. It's safe around here I think. No signs of trouble. JESSE Then what the hell is this? DICK LIDDIL Oh, I think one a your friends played a little joke. Came by kind a sheepish. One a them fellas down at the racetrack, can't think of his name JESSE

Little joke? Looks like he shot out the door. DICK LIDDIL Naw. Jest threw some rocks at it. I couldn't take a chance. Zee thought it might be the law. I let them have it to be on the safe side. Jesse shakes his head. ZEE (sarcastically) That's right, Mister Howard. Never a dull moment. At least we're alive. What more could a woman want? I'm happy as long as no one throws any bombs into the house. I jest hope it doesn't get too quiet all of a sudden. Adventureshooting trouble--that's the spice a life! Liddil looks embarrassed. Jesse forces a smile. nervous, sarcastic laughing. Zee breaks into

ZEE (CONTD) So awfully exciting. Life is more precious, don't you think Mister Howard, when you live every second on the alert? But I know I'm safe--my childrens safebecause we're protected by Missouri's bravest warriors, everyone a dead-eyed shot, ready to kill to protect our happy home. I wouldn't trade places with Queen Victoria herself. We see the GOD BLESS OUR HOME sign up on the wall. JESSE Oh, Zee, a joke like that might could happen to anyone. Anyways, I got good news. Remember that house over on Fatherland Street? The one you liked so much. It's up for rent, and I jest came from over there. I closed the deal. It's a lot more secure a home, too. ZEE (smiles and softens a little and hugs Jesse) Oh, safe and secure. I guess all those bricks in that house would stop the bullets if we were ever surrounded. I do like that house, Jesse, appreciate you doing this for us. JESSE

Listen Zee. Soons I settle some business affairs down South, we might could buy that farm in Nebraska I been promising you. We're never going to have to worry about nothing or no body again. Zee winces at the mention of business down south, then her face becomes a stony expression. EXT. SMALL CLEARING BY SIDE OF ROAD DAY SUPER: MUSCLE SHOALS, ALABAMA, MARCH 11, 1881 Jesse James and Bill Ryan are sitting under trees in a small clearing next to a road. Horses are tethered nearby. Bill Ryan is reading a booklet The Boys of New York Minstrel Guide and Joke Book, and chuckling. He tries to share a minstrel gag with Jesse. Jesse manages a smile but his mind is on business; he looks at his watch, then closes the case. A horseman approaches--gang member WOOD HITE. JESSE Here comes Wood. Hite reins in. WOOD HITE He's coming Jess. JESSE About time. Waiting most of two hours. Jesse and Ryan jump up and mount their horses. They ride into the cover of thick underbrush out of sight. A rider is coming at a slow trot down the dirt road. WOOD HITE (whispers) Hope this is better than that store robbery in Kentucky you told me about. JESSE (a little irritated) S-h-h-h-h! They suddenly burst out into the road, pistols drawn to confront the rider. They are mounted and have pulled on their masks already. BILL RYAN Reach your hands up, you sawed-off son of a jackass.

The rider can do nothing else. Jesse rides alongside of him. JESSE Get down from that there horse. Rider, terrified, dismounts with his hands up. JESSE (CONTD) You Yankee paymasters make me sick. Drawing three times the pay an honest working man does, and not worth any of it. The gang members are also dismounting. Hite and Ryan begin searching him. Ryan removes the man's badge, U.S.SPECIAL AGENT and pins it on himself, crookedly, laughing weirdly. The man's watch is routinely lifted; a ring is pulled from a finger. Meanwhile Jesse is addressing the real loot in a saddlebag, which he removes and throws over his shoulder. It is rather heavy. He throws it across his horse. JESSE Mount up. Paymaster is taken captive. EXT. SEVERAL MILES AWAY, A SMALL CLEARING - DUSK Wood Hite is holding the paymaster at gunpoint. Everyone is dismounted. Jesse and Ryan are dividing the money. JESSE My, my. What a haul. Must be at least five thousand here. Sir, youve had the honor of being robbed by the invincible Johnson Gang. Ryan and Hite look blank; so does the paymaster. JESSE (CONTD) You never heard of us, but the world soon will. In fact, a lot of those robberies pulled by the so-called James gang was our doings. Were tired of them getting all the credit from them Eastern hack writers. Beings youve been so co-operative a guest I'm going to see that these here gentlemen return your watch and personal money. Jesse glances at his friends, who still look dumb-founded. Ryan

starts to mutter under his mask, his head tilting in bewilderment. JESSE Go on, give it back to him, I said. Reluctantly, Ryan hands over the watch, Hite surrenders the man's pocket money (twenty-one dollars). JESSE (CONTD) Let it never be said that Wild Bill Johnson takes from the honest working man. They mount up. They take the paymaster's horse which is branded U.S. EXT. A COUNTRY FARMHOUSE LATER THAT EVENING The paymaster is walking up to a farmhouse; pounds on the door. FARMER with a German accent opens door. WIFE in the background looking scared. WIFE (strong German accent) Be careful, Wolfie, it might be bandits. PAYMASTER Let me in, I'm a Federal paymaster with the Muscle Shoals Canal project. He is not allowed in, rather converse on the porch. Wife wont let him in. PAYMASTER Bandits. A whole passel of them. Surrounded me and made off with the whole payroll. Them canal diggers ain't going to get paid on time and they're going to be mad. Hell, they even took my badge. I've got to get to a telegraph office, pronto. Got some vital new information for the U. S. Marshal. How far to Florence from here? FARMER About thirty miles. Youre headed straight for Mississippi, this a way. EXT. PORCH AT JESSES NEW HOUSE

sure

SUPER: 711 FATHERLAND STREET, NASHVILLE, MARCH 25, 1881 On the porch are Jesse and Bill Ryan. JESSE Bill, you'd best be getting back up to Adairsville. My horses got a sore back and I want you to take it up with you, and see it gets plenty of rest. Here's a note to Uncle George--it explains what I want. Tell him I may be up in a week or two after taking care of some things. BILL RYAN Okay, Jesse. Tell the kids hello from Uncle Bill. Regards to the Missus, too. JESSE I do that, Bill. I'd invite you in but one of the young 'uns is sick and you wouldn't want to catch nothing. Ryan mounts up, rides away leading Jesses horse. INT. JESSES FATHERLAND STEET HOUSE-DAY ZEE What were you talking to him about? The price of whiskey or your experiences during the War? JESSE Now Zee. Bills real helpful to me. He keeps his ears open for tips on the grain market. Weren't for him, I might not of got all this money down in Georgia. Imagine. Half a warehouse full of abandoned grain. Ryan located the owner. With connections we got some credit. Resold the whole thing in twenty-four hours without touching it. Zee looks sick at his lying. ZEE Hm-m-m. Grain dealin. Jesse doesnt want to see Zees disbelief. JESSE

Listen, Zee, when he wants to, o1' Bill can put on the manners and be damned charming with strangers. ZEE (sniffs) I'm jest glad you kept him out of here. That awful man scares the kids. He's not fit to live with people. Wouldn't let him sleep in my barn if I had a barn. He'd mess it up. Bad influence on the livestock. JESSE Well, Zee let's not be blowing up that one unfortunate episode all out of proportion. You jest got to get to know Bill. ZEE No! You got to get to know me, Jesse Woodson James. I really mean it! Jesse, Jr. has been listening. Turns to his sister Mary (her real first name, which she goes by), and pretends to scare her. JESSE, JR. O-o-o-o-o-h! Here comes scary, mean o1' big bad Bill. O-o-o-o-o-h! He's gonna get you and get you good. He chases his sister who squeals in mock terror. ZEE (snaps) Children! EXT. A GENERAL STORE AND SALOON - EVENING SUPER: EARTHMAN GENERAL STORE AND SALOON. MARCH 25, 1881 WHITES CREEK, TENNESSEE.

It is that same day. A storm is threatening, and is blowing. It is about dusk. Bill Ryan rides up to the Earthman's Store, seven miles north of Nashville. Ryan walks into the main general store, past the food and the dime novels on display, toward the small bar set up in the back. He slaps down a five dollar gold piece.

BILL RYAN I want a bottle a whiskey and a can of oysters. BARTENDER (in disbelief) You want a bottle of whiskey and a can of oysters? BILL RYAN You heard correctly. BARTENDER Jest a minute. I'll see if I got some oysters over in the store. Meantime, here's a bottle a whiskey. Ryan starts drinking straight from the bottle, then goes back to a table and sits down. Bartender returns, sets down the can of oysters. Clock on the wall shows 7:00 P.M Fade. Then shows clock an hour later. Ryan is now sitting with an opened can he has just finished. He has only a half bottle of whiskey left. A couple of other MEN are at the bar talking. BILL RYAN (bellows) I reckon you fellas don't know much who I am? The men glance over, with a look of not caring who he is. BILL RYAN (CONTD) You know who I am? You should. Jabs a finger out at them, in the air. Voice thick, slurred, and loud. They look perplexed. BILL RYAN (CONTD) Rip-shnortin Tom Hill--outlaw ginst Shtate, County and the United Shtates goment. Thashs me. The bored looks from the bar anger him. The men go back to talking. BILL RYAN (rages) Yoush don't believe me.

He pulls a Colt Navy revolver and rushes--then trips, and stumbles into the bar and jams the muzzle into the face of one of the customers. SCARED CUSTOMER Oh, yes, Mr. Hill. I heard of your dashing exploits. Please put your gun away. Yalls among friends here. BARTENDER Please, Mr. Hill, another bottle of whiskey on us. It's not every day a celebrity honors our humble establishment. BILL RYAN (mumbles in a slur) Thash's more like it. He snatches the bottle, clutches it and stumbles drunkenly back to the table. He sits down too hard. The empty oyster can tips over. Ryan knocks it away as if it has always been in the way. He opens the new bottle and downs two swigs. Then he notices his first bottle--with a drunk's fickleness, he reaches for it instead of the new one. The clock is shown. Another hour has passed. Ryan looks ready to pass out. The first bottle is empty on the floor. The second is two-thirds gone. Suddenly three men pounce on him. He barely struggles, he is so drunk. They have rope. Quickly they bind him to the chair. BARTENDER By the power-vested in me as a Constable of Davidson County, I hereby place you under arrest, on charges of carrying weapons, and assault with intent to kill. They then disarm Ryan, in the process of searching him. Two pistols are found. And money--a huge wad of paper bills, a lot of gold coins, a diamond ring. MAN (whistles) Say, he jest might be some kind of outlaw. Let's get him down to Nashville. Can you hitch the wagon out there? EXT. GENERAL STORE AND SALOON NIGHT They drag Ryan out, chair and all, onto the porch. They heave him up

into the wagon, still tied to the chair. BILL RYAN (howls) Damn! Yall regret thish, ya hog-sloppin' farmer with a tin-can badge. Ya shtink a pigs, not gun-smoke. 'Lawman' Ryan sneers then belches loudly. The men are not impressed. They move out into the darkness. The rain has let up. Horses hooves are clattering. Only the store remains lit as they recede from view. A voice is heard in the dark: ONE OF THE MEN (O.S.) Oysters and whiskey. I thought I'd heard everything. Then a vomiting noise is heard. ANOTHER MAN (O.S.) Oh, damn. These are my brand-new trousers.... Damn it to hell! INT. JESSES FATHERLAND STREET HOUSE - NEXT AFTERNOON SUPER: FATHERLAND STREET HOUSE, MARCH 26, 1881

The Frank Jamess are visiting with the Jesse James family. Dick Liddil comes into the house. Zee tolerates him, he is well-dressed and polite. Liddil looks upset; he has a copy of the Nashville Banner DICK LIDDIL Well, he's gone and done it now. Frank, you seen this?" He slaps down the paper on a table. Frank looks up. He points to a story--Frank looks down at the headline A BAD MAN and the subsequent text of the story of Ryan's capture. Rage whitens Frank's face with speechless cold fury. Finally he manages with a taut, unnatural voice. FRANK Jesse, Jesse. Cmon in here a moment. JESSE (comes from back of house) Yeah, what do you want, Frank? Frank is clutching the paper viciously tight in his hand as Jesse comes into the room.

FRANK I jest thought you'd like to hear a little local news. They caught a bandit, Jesse. Or as the paper calls him, 'a bad man'. You interested? JESSE (senses Franks rage, cowed and uncertain) Go on. FRANK Gives his name as Tom Hill, Jesse. Sound familiar? Jesse looks restive. Frank explodes. FRANK (through clenched teeth) Ryan! Jesse can say nothing, terror in his eyes. FRANK (CONTD) (in Jesses face) Ryan. Ryan. Ryan. Ryan. Bill Ryan. Frank pauses to gain control of himself, he proceeds with icy sarcasm. FRANK (CONTD) Ah, Jesse. Listen to what 'Tom Hill' had on him. Maps--of nearly' every State in the Union. Fine gold watch. Costly diamond ring. And about $980 in currency. $400 in gold. And $20.45 in silver coin. Jesse looks desperate. FRANK (CONTD) He ain't talked yet. But theyve got him in jail And it says here they're taking him to trial. Blast it anyways! We got to leave. All of us. We can't be nowhere in Tennessee when he starts to talkin. We got to pack and leave. You ruined everything Jesse. You and that drunk. Zee wanders in. ZEE Hello, Dick. Oh, am I disturbing something? FRANK

This is no time to spare you, Zee. It's all over. Finished. That damned Irishman Bill Ryan got hisself captured. Oysters and whiskey again. Not onlyest that, they got Jesse's horse, the one with the sore back what he used in the daring raid at Muscle Shoals. Only a matter a time before they tie the horse to the robbery. They're already suspecting Ryan has something to do with Muscle Shoals, though they hain't got his right name yet. They will. ZEE What's this about Muscle Shoals? What robbery? You tell me the truth Jesse Woodson James. JESSE Listen, Zee. Frank. Youve got to see. This is jest another sign. An omen from Providence. We're lucky to be rid a Ryan. Notice God doesn't reach down and pluck ol Jesse James. There's a meaning here to all a this. FRANK Youre full a more crap than a Christmas turkey. JESSE Honest, it's time to get back to our own peoples. We been in a strange land too long. You can't much trust peoples hereabouts if you haint been raised up with them. Y'all will look back and see all this is for the best. ZEE (crying to Frank then to Jesse) Youre too polite to say you told him so, Frank. Well somebody has to. You told him so Frank. And I did too. We should never trusted you to change your no good ways, Jesse. Zee's eyes flash tears streaming down her face. She turns to Jesse. ZEE (CONTD) He told you so. He told you so. You wouldnt listen. You lied to me and the kids and Annie and your brother, Frank. JESSE Oh-h, no hard feelings, peoples. The important thing is family. We Jamesesis sticking together and it

will all come out in the end. Providence in a kind of way.

I tell you it's

FRANK My horse's rump, Jesse. If you believe all that, you got less sense than God gave a goose. You ruined it for both our families. I had a good job and a clean record. Now I got to hide like a in the bush. And so does my family. Not to mention yours.

fugitive

ANNIE (weeping) Peoples here have been so nice to us. We been here pert near four years. All the children are making friends. Zee chokes, breaks into tears, and turns to run out of the room sobbing uncontrollably. We see GOD BLESS OUR HOME sign on the wall. FRANK (cold and practical) We got to get packed. Fast. EXT. JESSES FATHERLAND STREET HOME LATE THAT AFTERNOON

Jesse, Jr. is playing with a hoop from a barrel. Robert Franklin, Frank's boy, is watching, and Mary James is feeding mud pies to a rag doll. Annie's face appears at the door, tears streaming. ANNIE Come on in, children. Right this minute. You hear me, now? Cmon. EXT. NASHVILLE TRAIN DEPOT DAY SUPER: March 27, 1881 They are putting children and wives on board. Frank and Jesse pause. Some dime novels are on sale. The James Gang and the Vigilantes (an actual title published while the gang was still at large). Jesse turns to Frank - mute. The time between when their eyes meet and something said seems infinite. Jesse finally manages to break the silence.

JESSE Look, Frank--uh, Frank FRANK (firmly) Let's not talk bout it. You ruined our chances, Jesse. I am being paid back for the evil wickedness I taught you. Nothing can make that rightnot with you embracing the evil. Now Im thrown back on my wits. I have that to thank you for. Finished, ugh! INSERT: Newspaper headline fills screen from Kansas City Daily Journal: GOVERNOR CRITTENDEN VOWS OUTLAWS WILL, BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. Dissolves into: WANTED poster offering $5,000 for the capture of Frank and Jesse James. EXT. JESSES HOUSE IN St. Josephs Missouri SUPER: ST. JOSEPH, MISSOURI, APRIL 3, 1882 House fills the screen. INT. JESSES HOUSE GOD BLESS OUR HOME sign on wall. Jesse James is on a chair, straightening this. A man walks in behind Jesse. He reaches into a shoulder holster. Withdraws a small Smith & Wesson .38 revolver. Cocks hammer CLICK............ BLAST! Childrens toys in front yard.

INT. HOTEL IN NASHVILLE DAY SUPER: MAXWELL Maxwell Hotel, Nashville Tennessee, 1903

Frank and Cole Younger are still reminiscing. FRANK So anyways, it's not much of a story at all. Nothing really happened in Tennessee, lying low, trying to raise our families, Jesse never got his farm really going. COLE (shaking head in agreement)

Poor old Jesse. Sounds like he never wanted to give up the fight.

FRANK Never won much money at cards. Me, my biggest adventure the whole time was winning them prizes for my Poland China hogs. If anyone writes my life storyand it won't be meI been offered good money for it though they won't waste two pages on them Tennessee years. It's jest bank robberies and shoot-emups is all peoples want to read about them days. This here world's getting more violent all the time. Cole, you wrote your story. Don't know what's wrong with me, not wanting to do mine. I sure know that it's good money. I'd sell right smart bunch a books in person, jest like you. COLE Well, Frank, let's go downstairs and get us a drink. In the hallway another newspaper REPORTER is waiting.a very young one. REPORTER Mr. James, I wonder if I could hear a word from you? I'm from the Nashville American, a local newspaper you know. I'm a real student of the James Gang, and I have read all the true accounts not just the dime novels. I have John Newman Edwards' Noted Guerillas and FRANK (smiles) Yes, authoritative history, I assure you. REPORTER What I'd like to know, Mr. James, can you give me jest one last word? An opinion, sir? I'll print what you say. What, really sir, what was Jesse really like? If anybody know, youd know.

FRANK Well, I knew him better than anyone, except his widow, rest her soul, and I knowed him for longer. But yall never believe me if I told you what I think. REPORTER (eagerly pencil in hand) Yes, I will Mr. James. FRANK No, it's not going to be real quotable, son. Nothing you can really use. You won't believe no ways. Your readers won't give a damn. No, you might ought to jest print some a them yarns as the truth. Tales all end up as history anyways. REPORTER (frustrated) Mr. James. Ple-e-ase. FRANK Try this. Would you believe me if I told you I really never knowed my brother? Reporter looks puzzled. Good day. Tips his hat. Cole and Frank walk on down the hall. THE END He doesn't write.

FRANK

A Tale of Two Brothers: Jesse and Frank James in Nashville

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