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An Excerpt from
"The Girl of the Golden West."
OHNSON. (In a low voice). One word -- only one word ... I’m not going to say anything in defense of myself. It’s all true -- everything is true, except that I would have stolen form you. I am called Ramerrez -- I have robbed -- I am a vagabond -- a vagabond by birth -- a cheat and a swindler by profession. I’m all that -- and my father was all that before me. I was born, brought up, educated, thrived on thieves money -- but until six months ago, when he died, I didn’t know it. I lived in Monterey -- Monterey where we meet. I lived decently, I wasn’t a thing I am today. I only learned the truth when he died and left me with a rancho and a bad of thieves -- nothing else -- nothing for us all -- and I ... I was my father’s son -- no excuse ... it was in me -- in the blood ... I took to the road. I didn’t mind much after -- the first time. I only drew the line at lying. I wouldn’t have that. And that’s the man I am - the blackguard I am (With feeling.) But, so help me God, from the moment I kissed you to-night, I meant to change. I meant to change.
GIRL. (Sniffling) The devil you did!
JOHNSON. (Advancing a step). I did, believe me -- I did. I meant to go straight and take you with me -- but honestly ... when I could do it honestly. I meant to work for you. Every word you said to me to-night about being a thief, cut me like a knife. Over and over again, I said to myself: “She must never know.” Now ... (A slight pause.) Well, I’ve finished.
GIRL. Is that all?
JOHNSON. No. Yes. What’s the use. That’s all.
GIRL. (Half crying). Well, there’s jest one thing you overlooked explainin’, Mr. Johnson. It shows jest exactly what you are. It wasn’t so much bein’ kissed by a road-agent I got against you -- it’s this: you kissed me. You kissed me. You got my first kiss.
JOHNSON. Yes, damn me!
GIRL. You said you’d been thinkin’ of me ever since you saw me at Monterey -- an’ all the time you’d walked straight off and been kissing that other woman. You’ve got a girl. It’s that I’ve got against you. It’s that damned Nina Micheltoreña that I can’t forgive. But now you can git -- you can git. (Rushing to the door and opening it.) If they kill you, so much the better. I don’t care -- I don’t care!
JOHNSON. You’re right. You’re right. By God! You’re right.
(He takes out his pistol, but, not much caring whether he lives or dies, he looks at the pistol, puts it back in his pocket and goes out empty-handed -- head bowed.)
GIRL. That’s the end of that -- that’s the end of that. (She goes to the door, closes it.) I don’t care. I’ll be like the rest of the women I’ve seen. I’ll give that Nina Micheltoreña cards and spades. (Wipes her nose.) There’ll be another hussy around her. (At that moment, we hear a shot outside, close at hand.) They’ve got him ... (With a bravado toss of her head.) Well, I don’t care -- I don’t care. (Johnson falls against the door outside. The Girl, with a revulsion of feelings, rushes to the door, opens it, and he staggers in, her arms about him. Johnson eans against the wall. The Girl closes the door.)
JOHNSON. (Holding his hand to his right side) ... Don’t lock the door .. I’m going out again ... I’m going out... (He swings round, lurches and nearly falls as The Girl pushes him onto a chair.) Don’t bar the door. Open it ... Open i ... By God! I won’t hide behind a woman.
GIRL. (Leaning over Johnson). I love you an’ I’m goin’ to stand by you. You asked me to go away with you. (Crosses for the whiskey bottle and a glass.) You get out of this, an’ I will. If you can’t save your own soul -- (There is a rap on the window. Rance is peering through, but he cannot see Johnson. The Girl sets down the bottle and the glass and pauses. She looks at the ladder to the loft, gets on a chair and lets it down. Rance goes from the window to the door.) -- I’m goin’ save it for you. You’re the man who had my first kiss. Go up there!
(In a lower voice she urges Johnson to the loft.)
JOHNSON. (His handkerchief pressed to his side). No - no - no - no -- Not here.
GIRL. Do you want them to see you in my cabin? Hurry ... Hurry ...
JOHNSON. No -- No --
(There is a rap on the door. She gives him a push, and with an effort Johnson gradually climbs up the ladder, reeling asww he goes.)
GIRL. Yes, you can do it -- you can -- you’re the man I love. You’ve got to show me the man that’s in you. Go on ... Go on ... (There is a second rap on the door.) Just a step -- a step.
JOHNSON. I can’t ... I can’t.
The Girl of the Golden West
The play takes place near a miner’s camp in old California during the gold rush. Sheriff Jack Rance is in love with Minnie, "the Girl," and plans to marry her. He becomes jealous when a stranger, Dick Johnson, comes to "Minnie's Polka Saloon."
Minnie is taken by Dick, and invites him to dinner in her cabin. After dinner, a snowstorm forces him to stay the night.
Rance arrives to inform Minnie that her friend Dick Johnson is in reality the infamous outlaw "Ramerrez".
After Rance leaves, Minnie confronts “Dick Johnson” with the
Sheriff's accusation. Johnson admits the truth of the charge and asks her to understand. She refuses, however, and orders him to leave.
As Johnson exits the cabit, he is shot by the Sheriff, who has been lying in wait outside. Minnie drags Johnson back inside her cabin and hides him. When Rance enters to investigate, Minnie lies to him, telling Rance that she is alone. Johnson's Blood dripping from the loft betrays her, and shows Rance that "the Girl" is lying.
Desperate to save Johnson from hanging, , Minnie challenges Rance to a game of poker. If he wins, she will marry him. However, if she wins, Ramerrez is to go free. She wins by cheating, and, a gentleman, Rance departs.
Thereafter, Ramerrez is captured by Ashby, and is turned over to be hanged. As Johnson awaits his hanging, Minnie arrives and begs for his life. The miners give in because of their affection for Minnie, and the couple depart to begin a new life together.
The Girl of the Golden West
(2 women & 21 men)
The Girl Blanche Bates
Wowkle, the Fox, Billy’s squaw Harriet Sterling
Dick Johnson, a stranger
(Ramerrez, the road-agent) Robert Hilliard
Jack Rance, gambler and sheriff Frank Keenan
Sonora Slim John W. Cope
Trinidad Joe James Kirkwood
Nick, bartender at the “Polka” Thomas J. McGrane
The Sidney Duck, a faro dealer Horace James
Jim Larkens Fred. Maxwell
“Happy” Haliday Richard Hoyer
“Handsome” Charlie Clifford Hipple
Deputy Sheriff T. Hayes Hunter
Billy Jackrabbit, an Indian J. H. Benrimo
Ashby, Well-Fargo agent J. Al. Sawtelle
ex padrona of the bull fights and horse-
breaker, now with the Ramerrez’s band Roberto Deshon
Rider of the Pony Express Lowell Sherman
Jake Wallace, a traveling camp minstrel Ed. A. Tester
Bucking Billy, from Watson’s A. M. Beattie
The Lookout Fred Sidney
A Faro Dealer William Wild
The Ridge Boy Ira M. Flick
Joe H. L. Wilson
Concertina Player Ignazio Biondi
Citizens of the Camp and Boys of the Ridge
Don’s Other Plays
Free previews of all of Don’s plays are available at his web site: http://www.osheasplays.com/
Don’s plays with other publishers can also be previewed as well as purchased at their websites:
Big Dog Plays http://www.bigdogplays.com/
Brooklyn Publishers https://www.brookpub.com/
Norman Maine Plays http://www.normanmaineplays.com/
Drama Source http://www.dramasource.com/
Pioneer Drama Service http://www.pioneerdrama.com
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