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Episode 17

"Complications" (formerly "Difficulties")

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DVD audio commentary by Greg Feinberg (54 MB)

(Open in Alma's room, Sofia is sleeping. Alma arrises suddenly and pukes in the bedside picher)

(Cut to Al's room, Al is in bed with Doc sitting next to him. Johnny and Dan are also in the room watching Al)

Johnny: Psst! (He motions his head to Al, who is opening his eyes.)

Al: Boys. (Johnny stands up next to Dan)

Doc: How are you?

Al: (Looks around, sees Dan smiling at him, he points at Dan) You fuck me while I was out?

Dan: Hell, no.

Al: Well quit looking at me like that.

Johnny: (Laughs) Except for talking a little cockeyed, Al is back to his accustomed self!

Doc: And what that is, speech... crisis he went through, Al's body parts are showing they're healing at different rates.

Johnny: Well, you talk cockeyed, boss, all you want, long as you want, just so you're miserable and mean.

Al: How cockeyed do I look?

Doc: Appropriately cockeyed, for one who's been through what you have, and then the fall you took.

Al: Bullock look worse?

Doc: Naming your adversary shows your memory is intact.

Dan: You're gonna have to gather all your fuckin' wiles, Al, 'cause they's developments that need interpretatin' on every front.

Doc: Al is out of the development interpretation business for the short time bein'.

Dan: Wu's got a big tall Celestial what's hauntin' him. He's invisible. W-Wu's convinced he's from San Francisco.

Doc: Goddamnit, Dan. Will you shut the fuck up and let this man harbor his resources?

Al: You look in chink's alley? You see any big unfamiliar chinks?

Dan: Well, there ain't nothing to it, Al. I just told you for a giggle. I mean, you know? Excitable Wu.

Al: So what else is new?

(Doc shakes his head and mouths "Nothing" to Johnny.)

Johnny: Nothing special—

Dan: Not a goddamn thing that can't wait till you get well, Boss. (Nods to Doc.)

Al: There is a bell... behind the bar.

Johnny: Absolutely.

Al: I know there is a bell. I'm telling you I want it brought over here.

Johnny: Absolutely, Al. (he leaves

(Doc motions for Dan to go too.)

Dan: Uh, I-I best help. If there's anybody can fuck up the gatherin' of a bell, it's Johnny. (He leaves)

Doc: (Pouring some water) You want some water?

Al: Yeah. Fuckin' water.

(Doc sets the glass on the edge of the table where he knows Al cannot reach it, Al looks at it. He looks back Doc.)

Al: Don't be a fuckin' jerk.

(Doc picks up the glass and brings it to Al's lips. Al takes a sip.)

Doc: Your right eye is filled with blood. Can you use your right arm at all?

(Al struggles to lift his right arm.)

Al: Put your nose between my fingers, you'll find how much I can use my fucking arm.

Doc: That's good. That is a good sign, Al.

Al: Don't bullshit me.

Doc: I won't. I think you've had a small stroke, guessing maybe from the strain of that stone.

Al: You keep bullshittin' them.

Doc: I will.

Al: This gets out, I'll slit your fuckin' throat. I wield a blade good with my left.

Doc: It won't get out.

Al: If I need it, you will fuckin' kill me.

Doc: You stop that.

Al: You find me no better, you will wish to hell I was fucking worse, 'cause I wield a blade good with my left.

Doc: (Shaking his head) Don't you put a fuckin' clock on this.

(Grand Central, E.B. is standing beside the staircase of the hotel, pacing, practicing his speech to Alma.)

EB: Madam, in the chambers of my heart beats a love for every crooked timber of this shitbox of a structure, this building. This building, it's warped floorboards and—(We here plates crashing)

Richardson: Fie!

EB: Why, even Richardson my chef, my eyes see a beloved household pet somehow walking upright... See in Richardson... a half-witted child, nonetheless adored. (Alma comes down the stairs) Oh, Mrs. Garret. Uh, the very subject of my thoughts.

Alma: May I borrow Richardson, please, Mr. Farnum, to escort me on an errand?

EB: (Steps closer) Would you prefer other company, Ma'am? Less mysterious?

Alma: No, Mr. Farnum.

EB: Richardson! (Richardson hurries over.)

Richardson: I saved a lot. I'll mop the rest in a moment.

EB: Go with Mrs. Garret.

Alma: Thank you, Mr. Farnum. (She proceeds ahead, Richardson following.)

EB: Eyes down. (Richardson does as told, E.B. continues practicingh) Therefore, Madam, as to your generous offer to purchase my hotel, I must gratefully decline.

(Merrick's office, Jarry enters)

Merrick: Oh.

Hugo: I take you for the man in charge.

Merrick: A.W. Merrick, Sir, owner, publisher, editor-in-chief, and for the moment, sole reporter.

Hugo: Hugo Jarry, County Commissioner appointed by Governor Pennington.

Merrick: Of-of this county?

Hugo: Yes.

Merrick: (Excited) Has our county a name?

Hugo: Lawrence County.

Merrick: Ah—Well! Well, thank you for that information, and congratulations. Lawrence, Lawrence County.

Hugo: (Crossing the room) My father was a newspaperman. "Lowell Sentinel-Bee." I was raised among these contraptions.

Merrick: Were you?

Hugo: Great respect for the fourth estate. (Pulls a paper out and holds it out for Merrick) Here's a statement to be printed.

Merrick: (reading the paper) "As to ownership of the claims in the newly constituted county of Lawrence, as annexed to the Dakota Territory, a presumption of legitimate title shall obtain for claims worked actively and continuously prior to amendment of the treaty with the Sioux Nation, September, 1876. This presumption shall be subject to qualification according to mitigating facts." Uh, if I discern this correctly, Sir, this statement could be taken to mean, uh, nothing.

Hugo: The statement continues.

Merrick: (sighs) "New title will be awarded on claims to which title is denied at set prices via lottery. As conducted by the County Commissioner."

Hugo: I would be grateful if that gets in your next edition.

Merrick: I must tell you, Commissioner, that even with that last bit added, what exactly will or won't qualify or mitigate the presumption of ownership eludes me.

Hugo: I didn't realize that was a bar the statement had to hurdle.

Merrick: Uh, with-without an accompanying explanation, Sir, this statement may work an unsettling effect.

Hugo: In any case, Sir, being the Commissioner of this county and bidding you good day, I have presented you with that to publish in your paper as organ of record in this camp. (Merrick looks at Jarry, then back to the statement... ) Front page.

(Alma is standing outside the Gem. She absent-mindedly rests her hand on a pile of antlers, picks it up not seeming to have a purpose. Richardson exits the Gem)

Richardson: Trixie's to the hardware store, (Alma looks in its direction) the big one said.

Alma: May we go there then, Richardson? Have you time?

Richardson: Yes. I only have stew to mop before lunch.

(Alma turns and heads toward the store, antler still in her hand. Richardson follows.)

Richardson: I like you.

Alma: Thank you, Richardson.

Richardson: You're purdy.

Alma: Thank you very much. And probably that's all either of us needs to say on that subject ever again. (She pauses outside the hardware store. Turns to Richardson... ) I'm uncertain how long I may be, so I'll send you back to the hotel. Would you be so kind as to return this to the pile outside the Gem? (She hands him the antler and puts some coins in his hand.) Thank you, Richardson. (he is studying the antler) Goodbye. (She turns and leaves.)

(In the store, Trixie is workin on the books)

Trixie: Oh, cunt! (She throws her pencil down. Seth looks up at her. She looks at him stubbornly, Sol smiles at her. Alma enters, looking at Trixie.)

Alma: Good Morning. (Seth stands.)

Trixie: Morning.

Alma: May we have a private word? (Trixie nods, grabs her cigarettes. Sol & Seth start to head for the back.)

Trixie: Don't flee, don't flee. I'm going outside for a smoke. (She walks past Alma outside. Alma pauses for a moment... )

Alma: Gentlemen. (She slowly backs up and joins Trixie outside.)

Trixie: You knocked up?

Alma: (pauses- stunned) Why would you ask?

Trixie: You wouldn'ta come here first, which means first you went to the Gem, which you've never yet stepped foot in.

Alma: I sent in Richardson.

Trixie: Meaning first you crossed the thoroughfare with him, opening the possibility you're only puking from the company you keep.

Alma: (Pauses) I think I'm pregnant.

Trixie: (nods) We make tea — pennyroyal and cohosh, if that's what you come to find out.

Alma: I might very well die in delivering.

Trixie: Holy cow! (Sarcastically)

Alma: I meant to say more likely than other women, I might die, because an ailment when I was little shaped me for difficulty in childbirth.

Trixie: Why not take your tale of woe to the Doc?

Alma: I feel that Dr. Cochran judges me.

Trixie: Lucky then you come to me that takes you to my bosom and smoothes your hair and tells you all will be well. (Throws her cigarette down, crushes it out) I can tell you this much, Mrs. Garret... If you take the tea, lay plenty of dope in. 'Cause I've killed seven, and every bleeding out I laced on good and tight and for a long fucking while after.

Alma: (pauses, stricken) I want children of my own.

Trixie: (Looks down, nodding) Let me finish up my Jewish lessons here, then come find you.

Alma: Thank you very much. (Reaches out touching Trixie's arm) Thank you, Trixie.

Trixie: Alright.

Alma: My name's Alma.

Trixie: I know your name.

(Trixie walks back inside the hardware store. Alma walks back to the hotel)

(Hotel, Silas is outside his own room, knocking on the door. Miss I answers, still in her bed clothes)

Silas: Miss Isringhausen.

Miss Isringhausen: Mr. Adams.

Silas: May I collect a change of clothes?

Miss Isringhausen: Of course. (He enters, pauses by the bureau.)

Silas: I hope you slept well.

Miss Isringhausen: I'm mortified to say I did.

Silas: Mortified?

Miss Isringhausen: Having done so at the cost of your comfort.

Silas: I sleep anywhere, Ma'am. I'm like a dog in that regard. We don't want you murdered in your bed.

Miss Isringhausen: Perhaps it was irrational, my being so afraid.

Silas: That ain't a test fear's got to pass.

Miss Isringhausen: I know she's had others done for.

Silas: So you've said. (He opens a drawer, taking out some clothes.) Anyways—

Miss Isringhausen: May I know your given name?

Silas: Silas—if I remember correct.

Miss Isringhausen: You have shown charity to one among strangers, Silas... (steps closer) giving her great solace.

Silas: Thank you. Or you're welcome, I guess.

Miss Isringhausen: Thank You, Silas.

(She takes his hand and puts it inside her dress, over her bare breast—holding it there.)

Miss Isringhausen: And you're welcome.

(She smiles, he pauses, puts down the clothes he's holding in his left hand and grabs her. They kiss.)

(A black man in a Union cap is on horseback in the thoroughfare outside Hostetler's livery.)

Fields: Hostetler. It's the Nigger General Fields. (He dismounts, Hostetler marches over and grabs the reins.)

Hostetler: Now, you was to have had this horse one week.

Fields: Shit, Old Nugget here is sound and spoiled. (Hostetler checks it over) He's been living on peppermints and apples in the private stables of a San Francisco dry goods big shot.

Hostetler: (Leading the horse into the livery) Making you owing 17 weeks additional!

Fields: Yeah, I was delivering emerald earrings to Mrs. Big Shot, and a diamond bracelet and matching choker to Mr. Big Shot's mistress.

Hostetler: (Picking up chalk, begins writing on a board) $4 a week, times 17... (Fields pulls out a wad of cash) is—

Fields: Here, cipher the result against this 100.

Hostetler: (Nods and takes the bill) $100 take away 68...

Fields: Put the balance toward our future trade.

Hostetler: (Pausing) Owing General Nigger—

Fields: Nigger General.

Hostetler: $32 credit. Being you was away, maybe now you got a chance to take off this half-ass uniform.

Fields: Then who's gonna know I'm the Nigger General?

Hostetler: By your own telling you never was in no Union army. This ain't the time or the place to be drawing people's attention. Even for a goddamn fool.

Fields: Yeah, well, I keep missing the place where it'd be a good time. Must be my goddamn foolishness.

(Cy's office, he is counting gold coins and seems perturbed.)

Cy: You wouldn't suppose they'd be saltin' the fuckin' find over there, now would you, Doris?

Doris: I don't understand.

Cy: I was wonderin' if maybe your new bosses Maddie and Joanie are sendin' me more than my proper share, give me a false fuckin' impression of how their pussy's sellin'.

Doris: I don't know.

Cy: 'Cus this is—this is fuckin' heavy action for an operation ahead of itself far as décor and location and every other fuckin' aspect!

Doris: It's mostly from just the one trick.

Cy: Which is who?

Doris: I don't know his name. They call him Mr.W. (Cy looks up at Doris)

Cy: ` What does he look like?

Doris: I wouldn't know how to say.

Cy: Oh, you fucking mutt. Is he tall or short?

Doris: Tall.

Cy: Thin or fat?

Doris: Thin. Good looking, I guess.

Cy: Clean shaved or beared?

Doris: Bearded. He threw me into a wall last night.

Cy: Huh. Don't tell me. (standing) On what pretext, Sweetheart?

Doris: I looked at him.

Cy: And that was against his instructions?

Doris: He had all the girls facing the wall.

Cy: And you peeked? (She nods) Now, was this—was this more or less a push to the wall, or did he fucking fling you, violent-like, with more of the same in mind?

Doris: Violent-like.

Cy: Huh. Well, that's a man with a problem, ain't it, Doris? (She nods) Mr. W. Jesus Christ, can I be that fuckin' lucky?

(Chez Amie, Carrie is bathing. There's a knock at the door, Joanie enters)

Joanie: Warm it up?

Carrie: Thank you. (Joanie enters, shuts the door.)

Joanie: How did you sleep, Carrie?

Carrie: All right, I guess. How did you sleep?

Joanie: (Lifting a pot off the stove) All right. (She dumps the hot water into the bathtub.)

Carrie: Are you guessing?

Joanie: I guess I'm guessing. Do your back? (She kneels down next to the tub.)

Carrie: Yes, thank you. (She hands Joanie the wash cloth, leans forward and turns her back to Joanie.) My trick got you upset.

Joanie: I was in with him the night before. I guessed he took to watching.

Carrie: How did that work out?

Joanie: I guess he don't. Or, anyway, not that night. Or maybe just not me.

Carrie: Do you want to know what I do with him?

Joanie: If you want to say.

Carrie: I get him off through his pants.

Joanie: Ah.

Carrie: Acting like my hand's my snatch.

Joanie: (Pauses) Reaching around behind you?

Carrie: Behind me and between my legs.

Joanie: Through his pants?

Carrie: Yes.

Joanie: You don't put your hand inside?

Carrie: (whispers) No.

Joanie: Are you naked?

Carrie: Dressed. Except for my stockings and my bloomers.

Joanie: Do you talk any special way?

Carrie: I remind him not to hit me. (Joanie pauses) Do you want to be writing this down? (Joanie chuckles.)

(Doc's place, Trixie enters)

Trixie: Congratulations, Doc, on your high and holy bullshit. It's water off a duck to some, but others still got feelings.

Doc: Of whom are we fucking speaking?

Trixie: One as might die in childbirth more likely than us lucky others, but so sponged down in your disapproval when she was kicking the fucking dope, she's afraid now to seek your care.

Doc: (pausing) I'll call on her.

Trixie: Under some other fucking pretext.

Doc: All right.

Trixie: Mighty fuckin' big of ya, Doc.

Doc: You have about as miserable a disposition as your employer.

Trixie: I ain't exclusive to him no more.

(Fields is on the street, he pauses next to Jane, who is seated on a bench with a bottle of whiskey.)

Fields: Hey now, Miss Lady. How much do you want for that bottle? (He flashes the cash in his pocket quickly, puts it back.)

Jane: What the fuck are you supposed to be?

Fields: Currency still spends, Ma'am.

Jane: Is that some dilapidated-type fucking uniform? I scouted for fucking Custer.

Fields: A great man who would have wanted you to sell me that bottle.

Jane: He was no great fucking man! (Fields chuckles) He was a long-haired cocksucker that could have saved many lives by more drinking and stop being so fucking ambitious, and many still above ground and not scalped by the fucking heathens and their guts spread over the plains. (Fields looks back at her.) You're a short nigger, aren't you?

Fields: For a fact.

Jane: My name's Jane.

Fields: I'm the Nigger General Fields.

Jane: (Holds out the bottle) Want a drink?

Fields: I want to buy that bottle, that's what I want.

Jane: Well, ya ain't buyin' it, but you can have a fuckin' drink.

(He looks around, walks back to the bench... )

Fields: Thanks.

Jane: Don't fuckin' look around! I don't care who sees a nigger drinkin' with me or drinkin' from the same bottle or how... stupid his fucking outfit is.

Fields: (He turns his shoulder to her) This here is the epaulet of a Union army General.

Jane: Oh. (Leans over and points to her ass) And this here is the ass of a drunken shitbird. (Fields smiles, chuckling. They smile at each other.) Finish this with me... (she takes the bottle) If you can sit beside someone and not stink or fart.

Fields: (He sits, looking around, she offers him the bottle back) I've been known to cut the odd fart... (drinks) but they've never stunk.

Jane: I've got the self-same gift.

(Silas' room, he and Miss I are in bed.)

Silas: If I took advantage, I apologize.

Miss Isringhausen: You took no more advantage of me, Silas, than the Samaritan did the traveler from Jerusalem.

Silas: Good.

Miss Isringhausen: I should tell you, Silas, that the Mr. Swearengen I've heard you say you work for is named by Mrs. Garret as her instrument in her husband's murder.

Silas: Named by Mrs. Garret?

Miss Isringhausen: Yes.

Silas: As her instrument?

Miss Isringhausen: Yes.

Silas: Jesus Christ. (He gets up and takes a bottle off the dresser) What's your first name?

Miss Isringhausen: Alice.

Silas: Well, Alice, your story don't get less strange the more of it you tell. (He takes a drink.)

Alice: Because Mr. Swearengen wouldn't do such a thing?

Silas: Generates the fuckin' strangeness is her saying he was her hire.

Alice: I see.

Silas: Yeah, well, that makes fucking one of us. (He takes another drink.)

Alice: Would you introduce me to Mr. Swearengen?

Silas: You're asking me to? (She nods) You want to meet him?

Alice: Please.

Silas: Why do I feel lucky we didn't meet across a poker table? (She smiles) Anyways, he ain't up to chatting just now. (She pulls back the covers, leaning back in the bed and spreads her legs)

Alice: Silas? (She motions him to join her!)

(Alma's room, Doc is looking at Sophia.)

Alma: Her bearing gives you suspicions as to her health?

Doc: No, not at all. My notes indicate that it had been a year since her last exam, and with the day-long lull between gun fights, I thought I'd have a look.

Alma: I see.

Doc: And she seems to be coming along beautifully. (He indicates to the next room, puts his instruments away and grabs his bag. They step into the study and Alma pulls the bedroom door closed. ) Since I have cared for you as well, can I ask after your health?

Alma: (pausing) I continue relieved of the weakness you treated me for.

Doc: And you have nothing else to report?

Alma: Thank you for examining Sofia. (Her arms are crossed)

Doc: Folk wisdom and remedies known to others in the camp are often quite adequate to the requirements of health. And Trixie, for example, is a stalwart and — and a reliable source of these. (Alma puts her head in her hand) However, I do have some particular competence as to the implications of anatomical anomalies, congenital or consequent of previous illness, and I would hope that you would avail yourself of this, not withstanding my idiosyncrasies and-and-and my defects of character. (He pauses, looking to Alma, she looks down. He proceeds to the door — grabbing his coat and bag. He stops at the door and looks back at Alma.) (sigh) Please.

(Cy's office, Wolcott is looking through a stack of claim titles)

Cy: My experience, Mr. Wolcott, come to makin' restitution for others' outlays, the rich can be tardy.

(Wolcott sets down a thick billfold. Cy reaches for it. Wolcott puts his hand on it,

stopping Cy from taking it.)

Wolcott: I'm just satisfying myself that my employer's getting what he's paying for.

Cy: Bills of sale, drawn good and legal, signatures genuine and witnessed. (The door opens, Tess shows Commissioner Jarry inside.) Ah, join us, Commissioner.

Hugo: Gentlemen. (Door closes) Notice about the claims is in your newspaper publisher's hands. That the Yankton statement may cause unease among local claimholders as to the security of their title, Mr. Merrick found personally distressing. He found it wrong and unfair.

Wolcott: Was he looking for a bribe?

Hugo: No, no. He was not. I have a nose for that. In any case, (he sits) he's manageable. I quite stared him down. (laughs)

(Leon opens the door.)

Cy: We're just chewing the fat in here, Leon, barge the fuck amongst us.

Leon: (shuts the door) Mr. Merrick posted that statement outside his office, Mr. Tolliver.

Hugo: Put out an extra, did he?

Leon: No edition of the paper at all. Just the statement on the outside wall, and people are fuckin' riled.

Hugo: Riled or frightened?

Leon: Riled, Sir.

Cy: That's the type of unsettlement we ain't necessarily after.

Leon: Wanting to know where he's at, who the fuck he thinks he is.

Cy: You want to manage this, commissioner, or shall I?

Wolcott: (Handing Cy the billfold) You go on, Tolliver.

Cy: (To Jarry) Maybe take another bath.

(Cy leaves, Hugo looks nervously at Wolcott.)

(Outside Merrick's office, a group of hooples, including Steve, are reading the notice.)

Hooplehead: What in fuck's that word sposta mean?

Merrick: Uh, "mitigating," as applied to a presumption, would mean to lessen or soften strength or rigor.

Steve: I ought to punch you in the fucking nose.

Merrick: (laughs) Why would you punch me? (Johnny is looking on)

Steve: You had him here, didn't you? (Johnny runs off) You give him your fucking words to print on your fucking machine!

Merrick: (Putting his hands up) Ah, which is short of saying I should have forced him to some purpose of my own? (Cy and Leon are approaching... we see Sol come out of the hardware store... )

Steve: Show me where the cocksucker's at. I won't fall short of force!

Cy: (stepping up) Who convened the meetin', boys?

Steve: New county commissioner give Merrick a statement mitigating us into an ass fucking.

Cy: Ouch. (Smarmily, with a smirk on his face.)

(Al's room, Jewel is telling a story, Dan looking on... )

Jewel: And then I yelled, "Break the fucking door down, Dan!" (Al sighs, there's a knock at the door, Johnny comes in.)

Johnny: Doc said only what would jolly you, Al, but I do believe Mr. Merrick might be in the fucking soup.

Dan: You have got one yawnin' fucking chasm of a mouth on you!

Johnny: Fucking county commissioner made Mr. Merrick post notice—titles of claims to be decided case by case.

Al: The county commissioner's in the camp?

Johnny: Yeah, and that hooplehead Steve is about to punch Merrick for posting the notice, and I know that you got a liking for Merrick.

Al: I want you to stop thinking now, Johnny, and only answer the question I'm gonna ask you.

Johnny: Yes, Sir.

Al: Where's the commissioner now?

Johnny: The commissioner or Mr. Merrick?

Al: The commissioner, Johnny, where's the commissioner?

Johnny: He's at Bella Union. He-he moved over there.

Al: Jesus-fucking-Christ! (Dan gives Johnny a thumbs up, mockingly)

Al: (Sitting up) Get Bullock.

Dan: Bullock?

Al: Bullock! Get Bullock.

Dan: Yes, Sir. (Dan gets up and leaves, Johnny nodding.)

Johnny: May call the Sheriff in, huh? Fisticuffs between Merrick and Steve!

Al: Shut the fuck up, Johnny. Help me get situated.

(Back on the street Cy is reading the announcement)

Cy: It reads to me they're inclining toward the present titleholders.

Steve: But then they start to fucking mitigate!

Cy: (Looks to Merrick, then back to the statement) Yeah, they do get to mitigatin' this last part here. I guess my question is who of us here didn't know what gov'ment was before we came? Wasn't half our purpose coming to get shed of the cocksucker? And here it catches up to us again, to do what's in its nature—to lie to us—(Dan walks by — watching) and confuse us and steal what we come to by toil and being lucky just once in our fucking lives. Heh-and are we gonna be surprised by that, boys, government bein' government? (Dan approaches Seth & Sol.) Will we next be shocked by rivers runnin' or trees castin' fuckin' shade? Look, I have said before and I still fucking say those of a mind, make a price on your claims. Get out from under uncertainty. And that's from no fuckin' goodness on my part and no fuckin' charity either. I am past pickin' up again. (Dan & Seth head to the Gem, E.B. watches from the hotel porch.) This spot might be wrong, but here's where I'm makin' my stand! And I'll also say, for bein' a fuckin' commissioner, this — Jarry - don't seem such a bad sort, under the limits of what he is. (Puffs his cigar)

Steve: Wait a minute. (Cy looks at Steve) Does that mean you've been fuckin' talking to him?

Cy: When in fuck did I say I wasn't?

Steve: I am asking you where the fuck he is, and if he's at your fucking joint!

Cy: And I am tellin' you yes, and makin' no fuckin' apologies, and sayin' one more question in that tone will collect you a broken jaw. (He nods to Leon, Leon heads for the Bella Union, the hoopleheads all watch him... )

Steve: I don't need another fucking question, 'cause I've located the fact that I was seeking, which is the whereabouts of the fucking commissioner, and whoever wants can come with me! (He leads the hooples to the Bella Union.)

Merrick: Dangerous turn, Mr. Tolliver.

Cy: Yes. Temper loosened my tongue.

(Al's room, he is sitting on the bed, Seth is standing near the door)

Al: (Chuckles) You got gall—comin' before me prettier 'an ever.

Seth: Are you all right?

Al: On the fucking mend, that's all to say on that. What do you know of this new commissioner?

Seth: His notice on the claims has people pissed off.

Al: I wouldn't want the cocksucker harmed.

Seth: I don't intend him any.

Al: Don't be fucking clever with me. He's allied with Tolliver. Are you aware of that?

Seth: No.

Al: Bedridden, I know more 'an you. The point is, if their man's allied with Tolliver and fuckin' harm comes to him, between the hoopleheads and me, who will Yankton put it on?

Seth: You.

Al: Yeah. Do they understand how most of what happens is people being drunk and stupid and trying to find something else to blame besides that-that makes their lives totally fucked? No, they don't.

Seth: Yankton.

Al: Yankton, exactly. They're too busy stealin' to study human nature. (Puts his tea cup down, Johnny enters.)

Johnny: Did you ring, Al?

Al: (Grabs the bell and starts clanging it) Now that's the sound of that fuckin' bell being rung. Did you hear that sound?

Johnny: No.

Al: No. Then get the fuck out. (Johnny leaves) And both of you being government officials... you ought to fuckin' look out for each other... (lifts his teacup in a toast.) Sheriff.

(Al sips his tea, Seth pauses, turns and leaves.)

(Bella Union, Jarry is trapped in the cashier's cage while Steve and the hooples are yelling and threatening him.)

Hugo: Had you vision as well as sight, you would recognize within me not only a man, but an institution and the future as well.

Steve: Fuck you, fuck the institution, and fuck the future!

Hugo: You cannot fuck the future, Sir. The future fucks you.

Steve: Come out from that cage, you billiard-ball looking cocksucker.

Hugo: I do not take orders from hooligans.

Steve: Come out! We'll see if them cappers choose you to look at or Tolliver's fucking money!

Con: (To Leon) That's a chancy call.

Hugo: Should you impede my progress, Sir, were I to attempt to leave this cage, you would seal your fate as irrevocably as the tyrant crossing the rubicon!

Steve: Is he asking to suck my prick?

Hooplehead: Why don't you just explain (Cy gives a sign to Con) your fuckin' statement, commissioner, (Con passes the sign to the cappers) as far as us keepin' title to our claims!? (Two cappers nod at Con and stand at ease)

Hugo: I explain nothing under duress.

Steve: Have you ever lived a day in your fucking life? (Grabs the cage) Pitch, commissioner, burning off the top of your fucking head! (Hugo grabs the cage) Is that vision or sight? (Hugo screams as the hooples grab the cage and begin to rock it back and forth.) Cunt, or duress? (The cage tips over, with Jarry clinging to it) Son of a bitch!

Seth: (entering) What the fuck, Tolliver?

Cy: The mob is an ungodly creature, Sheriff. (Seth draws his gun.)

Steve: Come on! (Cy gives a sign as the mob drags Jarry to his feet. Seth fires a shot into the ceiling.)

Seth: Stand away or be shot! He's under protection of the law. (Fires again)

Cy: You've got their fuckin' attention.

(Cy motions to a nervous Wolcott that everything is OK.)

(On the street-side bench, Fields and Jane are relaxing and drinking.)

Fields: Fuck 'em anyway.

Jane: Don't get me started. Do not get me started, Little Nigger General.

Fields: If something got to go in front of "nigger"—and — don't it always?—I prefer "short" to "little."

Jane: (nods) "Short nigger" is a deal, and I am a girl who keeps a bargain. Or I could just call you plain "Nigger General."

Fields: (nods) Call me "Just Plain Nigger."

Jane: "Short Plains Nigger."

Fields: "Nigger of the High Desert." (Chuckles)

(Fields spots the mob of hooples lead by Steve coming down the street, they are following Seth and Jarry. Fields immediately gets up to leave, Jane squints to see what's going on) Thanks for the conversatin', Miss Jane, and the whiskey. (Fields sneaks away)

Jane: I am going blind as a fuckin' bat. Who is that, the fuckin' Sheriff? Flanked by some assholes? (She turns, sees that Fields is no longer there.)

(On the street)

Hugo: (to Seth) I feel no less manhandled by you, Sir.

Seth: If they still had you, by now you'd be feeling worse.

(Steve stops the hoopleheads behind him, watching Seth escort the commissioner away.)

Seth: (Arriving at the freight building where Jane is sitting alone now) I need the lock-up.

Jane: Wait'll I take out Bill's robe.

(She sets down the bottle and looks at them menacingly, heads upstairs. Seth tips his hat to one of Tolliver's cappers who was following at a distance. Steve sees Fields scurry into the livery. Hugo and Seth follow Jane up the stairs of the freight office.)

Hugo: And now to jail, as wretched indignity accumulates.

Seth: Beating, short of murder, might have done you considerable good.

(Bella Union, Cy and Wolcott talk as Con & Leon are seeing to getting the cashier's cage upright.)

Wolcott: The commissioner meets his constituents.

Cy: A man has to work some dogs to learn how the world's tail wags.

Wolcott: Not coming to his aid, you mean to build his character.

Cy: We all ain't sound like you, Sir. Many could use some construction work. Fellas like yourself, that's hard to understand. Your foundation's sunk deep. Framework's first rate, your mason-work. Nothin unfinished in you, or rotten or damaged. Or sick.

(Cy gives the thumbs up to Leon & Con, the cage is back up. He turns back to Wolcott and gives him a smirk, then heads upstairs.)

(In Hostetler's livery, he's pitching hay.)

Hostetler: Five long years talking to nobody. "Hostetler, you got enough problem of your own. You don't need other bodies, especially a fool! (He pounds the hay with the pitchfork) A fool! Hostetler, a fool!" (panting) I hope you fuckin' strangle under there.

Fields: Mark us even on that $100. (He pokes an arm up the hay, giving Hostetler a thumbs up.)

Hostetler: If you don't get your fuckin' thumb down, I'm 'onna run this pitchfork through it.

(Steve and the hoople mob are gathered in a corner of the thoroughfare.)

Steve: We drag the nigger from the livery to our pitch pot in chink's alley. And we make a good fucking racket so that Bullock hears. He comes out, he gives fucking pursuit. Once he's across the thoroughfare, the several of us come from under the fucking stairs and go up and grab the commissioner.

Hooplehead: Well, suppose Bullock comes out shootin'?

Steve: (pauses.) Or we just grab the nigger.

(Alma's room, she's seated on the bed, Doc is sitting across from her... )

Doc: Your pelvic girdle does show the effects of your childhood illness. Your labor may be difficult.

Alma: When you say "difficult"... .

Doc: I have counseled patients on the basis of their anatomy against taking pregnancies to term. I do not make that argument with you.

Alma: Do you distinguish between difficult and dangerous?

Doc: Yes. Your shape does not add danger to the delivery such as to justify, for instance, the risks of a caesarian procedure.

Alma: It adds pain, difficult in that sense?

Doc: (nodding) Especially since you might be reluctant to mollify the difficulty's effects with — opiates. (She nods, Doc moves to his case, packing it up.)

Alma: I've been told it wasn't an alternative for me even to contemplate, so—this is new information.

Doc: I see. And now that the-the choice is within your province, do you incline in one direction or another?

Alma: (Pausing) To be honest, Doctor, I'm living into the thought that I've any choice at all.

(At the livery, Hostetler is writing on his chalkboard... )

Hostetler: You know what I'm fucking writing, fucking Nigger General. To my ingrate fucking sister Etta, who will outlast me, I am writing my fucking will. "One... " (Footsteps approach, he stops.)

Steve: What else did they teach you, Hostetler—at that school where you learned how to write? (Hostetler stands up, setting his jaw.) What else?!

Hostetler: (Hangs his head) He's back up in the stall up under the hay.

Steve: They taught you good. (Pats Hostetler's shoulder. He starts back into the livery and notices the others are faltering) Come on, you gutless cunts!

(Fields is being dragged down an alley by the mob. In the street, Charliis coming into town on a wagon, he sees the commotion)

Man: Grab that nigger!

Man2: Come on, Nigger.

Steve: Come on, Boy!

(On the balcony at the Gem)

EB: (seeing the mob, walks inside with Dan) They grabbed up a nigger.

Al: When did a fucking nigger come into this?

Dan: Hooples got him from the livery.

Al: What about Bullock and the commissioner?

Dan: Reckon they're still upstairs.

Al: You've told me nothing. You've added a fucking irrelevancy.

Dan: It wasn't Hostetler. It—it was some little nigger. (Al growls)

(At the freight building lock-up, Seth slides the latch shut on the cell door, he puts a lock on it.)

Hugo: I'll give you $20 if you'll let me use that as my bedroll.

Jane: (Rolling up Bill's robe) You got a better chance waking up looking normal. (Charlie enters) Hi, Charlie.

Charlie: Is the Nigger General back to camp?

Jane: Yes, he is.

Charlie: Don't act like you know, Jane, just 'cause you're already drunk.

Jane: You are an ignorant cocksucker.

Charlie: He come over winter when you was gone.

Jane: What's ignorant, I met him today.

Seth: Why did you ask about him, Charlie?

Charlie: It looked like he was gonna get done for. I mean, I couldn't see to be sure.

(Seth puts down the keys and he and Charlie leave. Hugo looks at Jane.)

Hugo: I'm thirsty.

Jane: Lie on your back, take aim and piss.

(In the alley, Steve is ripping off Fields' clothes.)

Fields: How did I wrong you choice gentlemen?

Steve: You want to start with me getting' drafted so my cousin got the fucking confectionery? (Steve tears off Fields' pants to his ankles, dropping Fields to the ground.)

Fields: And that's why you're going to vulcanize me?

Steve: Shut your fucking mouth! (The tar bucket is set down nearby. Men are holding Fields down.)

Fields: Your cousin, trapped east, allows you to come here to strike it rich. Ain't that so? Sir?

Steve: Get him the fuck up! (Fields struggles) Get him the fuck up! (Picking up the tar spreader) You stole my look at riches, you and your fucking monkey cousins! (Seth approaches as Steve slaps the tar to Fields' shoulder. Fields screams.)

Fields: You motherfucker!

Seth: (Fires his gun into the air, Steve turns to him.) Disperse this riotous assembly!

Charlie: (Aiming his shotgun) Let go of Nigger General.

Steve: That monkey just motherfucked me!

Seth: I'll motherfuck you and blow your head off.

(Steve throws down the tar spreader, he looks around.)

(Evening now, Alma approaches the hardware store, Richardson watches her from a distance, holding up the antlers in front of himself)

Trixie: (At her desk in the store) Cunt!

Sol: (from his bed in the back room) May I please go over those columns with you?

Trixie: What is the fucking point of you going over the columns? You know the method of this shit already, took in probably at your mother's fucking tit!

Sol: God help me for enjoying you out there, even only to abuse me. Although, I also wouldn't mind getting fucked.

Trixie: A last try at twinnin' these columns, then you'll have your fuckin' wish.

Sol: The correct answer in each instance is $127.49.

Trixie: (chuckles) You fuck.

(Sol smiles, Alma approaches the door and knocks on the glass. Trixie gets up to open the door, grabbing the keys along the way. She opens the door for Alma.)

Alma: Good evening, Trixie.

Trixie: I was coming to you once I'd done these columns and fucked a friend. Anyone else look in on you today?

Alma: (Smiling) I did have another visitor, yes.

Trixie: I'm gonna light a fucking cigarette in here. (louder) Fuck anyone who doesn't like it!

Alma: Please, do smoke.

Trixie: Thank you so much. (She starts rolling a cigarette) So how'd the other visitor's visit go?

Alma: I am, as we thought.

Trixie: And?

Alma: And he expects an uneventful course, though not without difficulties.

Trixie: I love how they fucking put it.

Alma: Well, that's my formulation.

Trixie: (lights the cigarette) Does "formulation" mean "plan"?

Alma: (pauses) My plan... at the moment, is to watch, and wait. (She smokes, Alma pauses.)

Trixie"I couldn't help noticing, Trixie, you're occupied now at the hardware store." (Alma cocks her head at Trixie, interested) Yes, Alma, I am. I'm spending time at Bullock & Star's learning to do accounts.

Alma: (smiling) I'm so delighted.

Trixie: Though, I'm also fucking one of the owners.

Alma: (laughs) Well. I'm delighted by that as well. (Alma smiles at Trixie, Trixie nods)

Alma: Trixie, can I have a puff of your cigarette? (Tentatively reaching for it.)

Trixie: You ever smoked before? (Offers Alma the cigarette.)

Alma: No. (Takes the cigarette) Hm... ( coughs.) Thank you.

Trixie: (smiling) Sure.

Alma: (looks away, turns back to Trixie) Good night. (She turns to leave, Trixie grabs the key to lock up, she grabs Alma's arm... )

Trixie: Congratulations.

(Alma nods, leaves and shuts the door. Trixie puts her cigarette out.

We next see Sol lying in bed, he hears Trixie approaching.)

Sol: Hello, there.

Trixie: $127.49, both columns-separate-verified.

Sol: Lying with aplomb, you've got the true calling.

Trixie: What you heard otherwise is none of your business.

Sol: I didn't hear anything else. (Trixie leans over and kisses Sol)

Trixie: (whispering) Let me work on your column now.

(Chez Amie, Carrie's room, Wolcott is there. Carrie's back is to Wolcott, he's reading from Wild Bill's letter.)

Wolcott: "My own darling wife Agnes... I have but a few moments left before this letter starts. I never was as well in my life. But you'd laugh to see me now, as I just got in from prospecting." He's lying. I'm told he never prospected a moment of his time in the camp.

Carrie: We must report him so he'll be punished.

Wolcott: "I am almost sure I will do well here. We will have a home yet. Then we will be so happy." He spells like a child. "Sure" is spelled S-H-U-R-E.

Carrie: Is it a very long letter?

Wolcott: No, as you're about to discover. "Here the man is, hurrying me. I have but a few moments left before the mail must start. Goodbye, my dear wife."

Carrie: Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

Wolcott: "J.B. Hickok, Wild Bill."

Carrie: Goodbye, Wild Bill.

Wolcott: There's a postscript.

Carrie: Is it a very long, postscript?

Wolcott: "Agnes, darling, if such should be we never meet again, while firing my last shot I will gently breathe the name of my wife Agnes, and with wishes even for my enemies, I will make the plunge and try to swim to the other shore." (He puts the letter back in the envelope, looking contemplative. Carrie looks close to tears.)

Carrie: Are you a man who needs his trousers rubbed?

Wolcott: I am a man... who needs his trousers taken off.

Carrie: (Pauses) I can do that. (She turns and looks at him.)

(Al's room, Doc is examining Al's eye.)

Doc: Seems to me there's reabsorption of the hemorrhage.

Al: What the fuck good is less blood in my eye. I want use of my fucking limbs.

Doc: I understand.

Al: I have spent my last day abed hearing secondhand news from imbeciles.

Doc: It strike you as overweening, Al, settin' nature to a schedule?

Al: I'm not setting' terms for nature. I'm settin' them for myself.

Doc: Who has dominion over nature? Al Swearengen, owner and proprietor.

Al: As to when he takes his leave, you're a-one fucking right. (He takes a swig of whiskey, there's a knock at the door, Johnny comes in and tries to mouth "Bullock")

Al: Well I don't understand.

(Johnny points to his chest, then holds his hands over his pockets to indicate a badge and guns. He mouths again — "Bullock" — Al sighs.)

Doc: Bullock? (Johnny nods.)

Al: Why the fuck do you whisper? (Puts whiskey bottle down.) Bullock!

Johnny: I could have said you was asleep. (Johnny leaves as Bullock enters.)

Seth: Doc.

Doc: Sheriff. (Gets up, walking in between the two, he puts his fingers up, pointing to each of them) Pithy and civil. (Doc leaves.)

Seth: The commissioner's all right.

Al: (Pauses mid-swig, offers the bottle to Seth. Seth steps forward to take it.) You wipe the rim of that bottle, I'll knock you out from my present vantage. (Seth takes the bottle, smiling, sits on the bed, lifts the bottle) They're comin' against us.

Seth: (nods) Posting notice like that, not a word even one commissioner of the three to local citizenry. (Hands the bottle back.)

Al: I'll guarantee you this too... (drinks) Politicians ain't got balls for this type unsupported move. (sighs) Someone's backing their play. Or they'd be here bending over for us.

Seth: Is it Tolliver?

Al: Tolliver is us. They ain't gonna pick Tolliver over me this early in the game. (Offers the bottle back)

Seth: I see. (drinks)

Al: There's a nigger in the fucking woodpile somewhere, someone from outside the camp.

Seth: Anyways. (Starts to get up.)

Al: That nigger the hooples grabbed, did they kill him?

Seth: Tarred his shoulder.

Al: What stopped them of that?

Seth: (Pauses) Me. (Gets up.)

Al: I get back on my fucking feet, I'll carry my share of the water.

Seth: (pauses-looks at Al) My money's on you.

(Upstairs at the freight building, Jane is tending to Fields' shoulder.)

Jane: Here comes some pain for you. (She pulls a strip of tar off his shoulder. He groans.) You ever think of screaming instead of biting through your own fucking flesh?

Fields: (He sighs, breathing heavily) It's my fucking pain. (panting)

Jane: And I am suggesting an improved way of dealing with it, which is how progress occurs.

Hugo: (Sitting up in bed) Will you two be quiet?

Jane: Not only will we not be quiet, you frog-faced fuck... (standing up, grabbing a club) I'm gonna take this stick and drag it back and forth across the bars of your cell. (She does, Hugo stands — yelling)

Hugo: I am not a prisoner! I am in protective custody!

Jane: In care of a deputy deputized by the deputy Sheriff, who orders you to shut the fuck up! (She pounds the cell with the club, Jarry sits, she tosses the club to the side as she turns back toward Fields. He's breathing easier now.)

Fields: You know Hostetler?

Jane: He runs the livery?

Fields: Taller than me.

Jane: I know him. (She goes back to tending his shoulder.)

Fields: I'd be glad if he heard I'da done just what he did, only quicker.

Jane: I guess he'll understand that if I don't.

Fields: He'll understand. I'd tell him myself except—I'm keeping indoors tonight. (panting)

Jane: Here comes some more pain.

(She tears another strip of tar off his shoulder. He yells in pain. Cut to Hostetler in the livery. He is sitting, head in hands, listening to the distant screams of Fields.)

The End

Written by: Victoria Morrow

Directed by: Gregg Fienberg

Al Swearengen: Ian McShane Dan Dority: W Earl Brown Seth Bullock: Timothy Olyphant Alma Garret: Molly Parker Ellsworth: Jim Beaver Doc Cochran: Brad Dourif Sol Star: John Hawkes Trixie: Paula Malcomson Tom Nuttall: Leon Rippy Cy Tolliver: Powers Boothe Con Stapleton: Peter Jason Leon: Larry Cedar Sophia: Bree Seanna Wall E.B. Farnum: William Sanderson Calamity Jane: Robin Weigert Charlie Utter: Dayton Callie Johnny Burns: Sean Bridgers Jack McCall: Garret Dillihunt Jewel: Geri Jewell A. W. Merrick: Jeffrey Jones Rev. Smith: Ray McKinnon Brom Garret: Timothy Omundson Mr. Wu: Keone Young Joanie Stubbs: Kim Dickens Eddie Sawyer: Ricky Jay Andy Cramed: Zach Grenier Silas Adams: Titus Welliver Otis Russell: William Russ Martha Bullock: Anna Gunn Maddie: Alice Krige William Bullock: Josh Eriksson Francis Wolcott: Garret Dillihunt Hugo Jarry: Stephen Toblowsky Carrie: Izabella Miko Steve: Michael Harney
Transcription last updated on 03/23/2007
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