The Silent Man

1
The region that 
God cursed and
left unfinished:
a vast mysterious
sea of wind and 
sage.

2
Primordial
desolation,
a huge waste
shunned by beast and
bird, fostering only
a poisonous life
of a hiss and fang.

3
A trackless solitude
braved only by the
superman, combating
the eternal dryness
in search of gold.

4
"Silent" Budd Marr,
 prospector, with
 years of desert
 hardship and ex-
 posure behind him.

5
"Nicodemus, I reckon
 this country was
 meant for hell, and
 then the good Lord
 got merciful and
 changed his mind."

6
"We're through, li'l
 hawse, there'll be no
 more heat and no
 more thirst. A green
 pasture for you and
 Nicodemus - and the
 wide world for me."

7
Bakeoven,
the desert town,
stewing in its
uncouth sins
beneath a brazen
 sun.

8
The "Hello Thar"
dance hall,
baited and 
set to despoil.

9
"Handsome Jack" Pressley,
 the supposed proprietor
 of the "Hello Thar",
 and leader of the
"sport" element of
 Bakeoven.

10
"Grubstake" Higgins,
 a stranger, who
 came up over the
 desert horizon one
 morning and made
 camp on the edge 
 of town.

11
"Give me the
 longest glass
 of cold water
 you have in the
 house."

12
"I'm payin'
 for it - -
 WATER, I said."

13
"Thet thar liquid,
 stranger, war
 designed by natur'
 to run under bridges
 and for the chinks
 to wash clothes in."

14
"I've been promisin' 
 myself this drink
 for three months."

15
"That's right
 pretty dust - -
 prettiest I've
 ever seen. Where
 did you say it
 come from?"

16
"I don't remember
 saying, where."

17
"Now have a man's
 size drink. What
 will it be?"

18
"I'm naming my
 own drink and
 it's water."

19
"I reckon you're
 figgerin' on filin'
 yore claim, I'll
 show yu the office."

20
Ames Mitchell,
President of 
the Southwest
Mining Company

21
The big boss of 
Bakeoven and the
real owner of the
"Hello Thar."

22
"Get him out of the
 way for a few days
 and I'll have his
 claim filed in my
 own name."

23
"I reckon we'll go
 and have that drink
 now and it won't
 be water this time."

24
"Put this over for
 me and I'll give
 you a deed to
 the dance hall."

25
When dusk fell
over the dingy 
camp and the
creatures of the
night awoke.

26
"I'm ridin' high
 and wide tonight.
 I'm goin' to pry
 the lid off the
 world, and see
 what makes the
 blame thing tick."

27
"I'm through with
 the heat, the sand
 and the tough luck
 and now after all 
 these years I'm
 goin' to live."

28
"I reckon not. Too
 much red hurts my
 eyes, and it seems to
 come right frequent."

29
Handsome Jack's high 
card, the girl, Topaz.

30
"You ought to remember
 this. It's the dress
 I wore when you
 married me, when
 I was - - good."

31
"You'll excuse me,
 ma'am but I couldn't
 help hearing.
 Can I help?"

32
"I married Handsome
 Jack in Chloride
 and he brought me
 here yesterday and is
 going to make me work
 in the dance hall."

33
"I thought you said
 I couldn't help,
 Ma'am, I'm a helpin,
 sort of an hombre."

34
"You keep out of 
 this, stranger.
This woman is my wife."

35
"You're so strong on
 stretchin' out the helpin'
 hand. Are you game
 enough to play your
 dust against my loss
 if she quits me?"

36
Five hands with 
the luck steadily
against him.

37
A fortnight 
later in the
neighboring
town of Chloride.

38
"How would you like
 to go to our own
 home; where your
 sister could take the
 best care of you
 and you would have
 a new, big brother?"

39
"I'd rather you 
 married a cowboy
 and then I could
 have a horse to
 ride."

40
"You're turned
 loose, stranger."

41
"That low flung gambler
 done left town."

42
"Git back to yore claim,
 son, I've gotta notion
 it'll take some watchin'."

43
At the claim of
Silent Budd Marr.

44
"Looks like you're makin'
 yourself plumb at home.
 This happens to be my claim
 you're taking that rock from."

45
"I located this claim
 myself. Want to look
 at my papers?"

46
"This location is
 two hundred yards
 up the canyon."

47
"I'll give you just 
 one minute to get
 off my property,
 Mister Claim Jumper."

48
      "Now
Mister Silent Budd 
Marr, I'll give you
just one minute to 
get off my property."

49
"I went through hell to
 locate this claim;
 through heat, hunger
 and thirst. You can't
 do it -- I tell you -
 you can't do it!"

50
"Every ounce you
 take from this claim
 is mine, and I'm going
 to have it!"

51
One hour after a 
marriage. The stage 
between Chloride 
and Bakeoven.

52
 Among the 
outside passengers.

53
 The first clean-up
from the stolen claim.

54
"This is my
 wife and her
 brother, Davie."

55
High up on the 
twisting mountain 
trail.

56
Bakeoven, half
hour later.

57
"Come to your
 Uncle Grubstake, 
 Son."

58
The hunted.

59
Near the close 
of day.

60
"If you'll promise
 me not to call out,
I won't put this
 on again."

61
"I'm right sorry to
 have to do this; if
 you'll give me that
 promise, just
 wink yore eyes."

62
"Did I see you
 wink, Ma'am?"

63
His story.

64
"- - and he bein'
 that kind, Ma'am, I
 was right anxious
 that you didn't go
 with him to Bakeoven."

65
"I don't believe 
      you!"

66
"You'll be believin'
 me soon, Ma'am."

67
Midnight.

68
Dawn breaks on 
the mountain home 
of "Preachin'
Bill" Hardy.

69
"Oh, Lord, me and
 the old woman
 thank Thee for
 this here grub.
 Amen."

70
Former comrades
of the sage and
sand.

71
"I took her away
 from a snake named
 Handsome Jack
 Pressley, yesterday.
 He had just married
 her."

72
"You are a minister 
 and will answer me.
 Is what they say of
 my husband true?"

73
"Pressley is a
 coyote. He's married
 already and is a
 low flung gambler
 and a thief ---"

74
"-- the dad-blasted
 onery --"

[animated flashes 
 to indicate cussing]

75
"Now, pap, you hush
 your cussin' ---
 and you a parson!"

76
"Thank you for 
 saving me from--.
 How can you ever
 forgive me?"

77
"I'm plumb glad I
 happened to be
 there when that
 holdup happened."

78
Another day.

79
An unfinished
church - the humble
effort for his
Master which was
denied a location
in Bakeoven.

80
"Gee, I'm glad we
 found sister again."

81
"They're just
 the color of
 your eyes."

82
"I'm goin' away to
 make another
 try -- Ma'am."

83
"Promise me you
 will not stop
 that stage again!"

84
"I reckon I'd
 promise you
 anything."

85
Attempting to 
outfit that he
may once more
face the dry horror
of the desert places 
in quest of gold.

86
"Take your change
 and go into that
 back room. Walk
 natural-like for
 my gun will be on
 you all the way."

87
"You made a thief
 out of me, now I'm
 goin' to make one of
 you. Go out there and
 stick up that store
 and come back here!"

88
"I'd plumb enjoy
 killin' you. My
 gun will be on
 you and it's
 loaded."

89
"Jump one o' them
 horses and get
 out of range of
 my gun or I'll
 kill you."

90
"Is -- is he gone,
   Ma'am?"

91
As the word of 
reward penetrates 
the mountain 
regions.

92
"Yank it down!
 I'll have no
 blood money
 tacked on God's
 house!"

93
"Ef that bandit
 comes this way
 throw a gun on
 him. The reward'll
 help yu finish
 yore church."

94
"If I could get
 this fellow,
 Grandpap Hardy,
 I could finish the
 church for you."

95
"That ole parson
 has been hidin'
 Silent Marr. I
 done saw the girl
 just now near his
 cabin."

96
"You've got just
 one minute to
 tell where
 you've hidden
 Silent Marr."

97
"I'll make him
 talk. Throw some
 brush in his
 church."

98
"Get the girl!
 I'll make her
 talk."

99
"Thank God I only 
 nipped you, son.
 What's yore name?"

100
"- and Sister Betty
 is lost and Grandpa
 Hardy is 'rested
 and his church and
 the cabin are
 burnt up."

101
"I'm goin' into town,
 son. You keep this
 gun on me and
 follow right along
 and the reward will
 be yours all right."

102
Dusk.

103
"I'm going to pull
 on the rope that
 swings you up."

104
"I get the reward, 
 don't I, Mister?"

105
"Yore shoutin' you
 get it, sonny!"

106
Silent Budd Marr
 - - defendant.

107
"This bandit took the
 clean-up from the 
 guard and then tore
 my wife from my arms
 and detained her. She
 has not been seen since."

108
"Grubstake"
discloses his 
real identity.

109
"As a Marshal
 of the Federal
 Government, I
 order you to take
 your seats!"

110
"This man lies! The woman
 taken from him was not
 his wife, but was intended
 for a life in his dance
 hall. She is under
 Government protection."

111
"I hold warrants
 for the arrest of
 Ames Mitchell
 and John Pressley."

112
"It's a plant to
 turn this hold-up
 loose!"

113
"Lynch him!"

114
"Arrest these men!"

115
"There's yore prisoner,
 Mister United States
 Marshal."

116
In the silence of
the mountains as
hopes and dreams
blended and
became reality.

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