VIEWS: 118 PAGES: 39 POSTED ON: 7/7/2011
The Life & Times of Bass Reeves Script by Ron Fortier Pencils & Letters by Rob Davis Inks by Richard Scott CHAPTER ONE RUNAWAY SLAVE Okay, Rob, here we go. Our story opens up on Texan cattle ranch/farm, owned by the Reeves family. Its lots of hard, rocky land, wilderness, forests and rivers. Mostly settled by pioneers and already inhabited by Mexicans and various Indian tribes. This is a tough country that freezes in the winter and bakes in the summer. PAGE ONE Panel (1) Long establishing shot of this land. Show long horn cattle moving about scrub on a small hill. Sun is high overhead and a single hawk flies through a cloudless sky. CAPTION - West Texas, the late summer of 1857. A tough land sculptured out of rocks and dirt under mighty blue skies. Splash Panel (2) Now up on that hill, behind the old longhorn steer, we look down on a big ranch. This is an affluent homestead includes grouping of structures around an open area. Biggest building is ranch house with twin chimneys. It is a big structure with a front porch. Flanking it to either side are two smaller houses. One is the bunk house, to the right, and the other is a small barn where there are tools and a blacksmith forge. Behind this work area is a square corral where half a dozen horses are kept. There is also a buckboard wagon nearby. Dead center of the property is a well and beside it a water trough. Behind the main house is a small orchard to one side and a planted field to the other. Note, scattered about the hill itself are other cattle grazing freely. CAPTION – The Reeves cattle ranch and farm. George Reeves senior moved his family from Tennessee ten years earlier looking to make his fortune on the frontier. Panel (3) Front shot of the barn/shed where we see a gray haired black man, bare-chested, working the hot bellows of the forge, while holding a horse-shoe over the flame. To his right, looking on, is a young, barefoot black boy of about 13, wearing blue-jeans with a bib, but no shirt, and a beat up straw hat on his head. This is our first glimpse of Bass Reeves. We know for a fact that by the time he reached adulthood, he was an imposing figure, standing 6‟2” and weighing 190 lbs of hard, lean muscle. So at thirteen, he would have been tall and gangly. At the moment he is trying to wrestle a stick from the mouth of a mangy looking dog. The smithy‟s name is Otis. CAPTION – Old Man Reeves took with him his wife, two sons, six head of cattle and seven negro slaves. OTIS – Bass. Stop lazing about and go fetch me some more wood. My fire‟s dying out. BASS – Right away, Otis. Come on, Tag! I‟ll race yah to the wood pile. Panel (4) Overhead shot of the dog racing after the boy across the yard. Note, the woodpile is located against the right side of the main house. As they run to it, pass the covered well, they scatter several chickens, as the dog is barking happily. DOG – Ruff! Ruff! BASS – I‟m gonna beat yah! PAGE TWO Panel (1) At the wood pile, we see there is a window above it to the left. This looks into the kitchen. There is no glass, just an open square with wooden shutters to either side. The woodpile is about three feet high and Bass begins to take pieces off the top, as Tag starts sniffing around to the right of the pile, at something in the shadows beneath the shack. Appearing the window is Bass‟s mother, Paralee. She would be a stout woman, only 28 years old, wearing a cotton shirt, and a kerchief tied over her hair. Her hands are covered in baking flour. PARALEE – What you up to, Bass Reeves? BASS – Just fetchin‟ wood for Otis, mama. He‟s shapin‟ new shoes for the Colonel‟s mare. DOG – Sniff! Sniff! Panel (2) From behind Paralee as she looks down at her son, now with three good size chunks of wood in his arms…all smiles. BASS – Gosh, what smells so good, mama? PARALEE – I is baking a cake for Master George Junior, it being his birthday today. Panel (3) From ground level, with Bass‟s legs to left foreground of panel, we see tag now bend forward towards the end of the woodpile, something clearly agitating him. BASS – I like cake, mama. Almost as good as your pies. DOG – Sniff…grrrr…growl. Panel (4) Full shot of them, as Bass realizes something has got the dog‟s attention. The dog is starting to bark at the shadows under the porch. Paralee is leaning out the window at his commotion. PARALESS – What‟s got that flea-ridden dog goin‟ now? BASS – I don‟t know, mama. TAG! What is it? What you doin‟? DOG - RUFF! RUFF! GRROWL!! Panel (5) Okay, Rob, what is under skirt is a rattle snake, now coiled up, its rattle humming. Perspective under house crawlspace, the wood pile to the right. Do the snake‟s outlie, blackened in…and looking past it to the dog‟s head barking at it. SOUND FX – Crick…Crick…Crick….Crick! DOG - RUFF! RUFF! PAGE THREE Splash Panel (1) Close up shot as the snake strikes, biting the dog on the neck, as it rears back in shock and alarm…pulling the big snake out into the open. Behind them, Bass and his mother look on in shock! Bass drops the wood he‟s holding. SNAKE SOUND FX - SNICK!! SOUND FX DOG - GR…YEEEE! BASS – TAG! PARALEE – AGH! Panel (2) From behind Bass, looking at the dog, now standing stock still on wobbly legs, as behind it the snake is slithering away to panel right..and the open area of the yard.. Note Bass managed to hang onto one piece of wood. BASS – Tag! DOG – Rrr… PARALEE (off panel left) – Sweet Jesus, save us! He‟s snake bit hard. Panel (3) Switch perspective from behind the dog, as it keels over onto its side dead. Behind it, Bass, still gripping the wood…Paralee is pointing at him. PARALEE – Bass! Don‟t you do ankees‟ stupid! BASS – He killed my dog! Panel (4) From behind Paralee, as Bass, raising the log over his head, races after the fleeing snake. PARALEE – Bass…NOOOO! PAGE FOUR Panel (1) As Bass runs up to the sliding rattler, from behind, it turns to confront him…and he comes up short. In background Paralee is beside herself calling for help. SNAKE - HISSSS! PARALEE – Leave it alone! Somebody come help! Panel (2) Shot of snake now coiled, its rattle going crazy, as it looks up Bass knowing he is a threat. Note, Bass‟s face is cold and hard. His eyes locked on to the snake. SNAKE – HIS…CRICK..CRICK..CRICK…! Panel (3) Close up the snake‟s head springing up at out, fangs out. SOUND FX - SWIT! Panel (4) Front shot of Bass, as he swings the wood down and it hits the snake directly. SOUND FX – WAPP! Panel (5) From behind Otis, the black smithy, as he runs to see what is going on. In middle ground, Bass is stooped over hitting the dead snake again hard. He has his forge hammer in his hand. OTIS – Boy! What‟s is it? BASS – Lousy snake killed my dog! Got no right bein‟ in our yard. Killed my dog. Panel (6) Perspective looking up at Bass and Otis, as Otis grabs the stick and stops the boy from swinging it again. OTIS – Enough, boy. It‟s dead. No need to keep stompin‟ it. BASS – Got no rights bein‟ in the yard. Snakes belong in the grass. PAGE FIVE Panel (1) With Otis and Bass in lower right foreground, Paralee comes charging out of the front door of the main house followed by her daughter, Jane, a small girl of about seven and a white woman. This is Martha Reeves, a woman in her fifties with gray hair, wearing fine clothes, and finger-less lace gloves..one hand holding a knitting needle. DOOR FX – SLAM!! PARALEE – Bass! Are you bit? JANE – Why you yellin‟, mama? MARTHA – Land sakes alive, Paralee, what‟s wrong? Panel (2) Midshot of Paralee coming up to Bass and grabbing his arm to turn him around. Otis looks at her, nodding to the ground. PARALEE – Did that snake bite you? BASS – No, mama. OTIS – He killed it good. He sure did. Panel (3) Front shot of looking up from the ground, as Martha and Jane come crashing in between Otis (to right) and Paralee (to left). Martha looks down and her eyes go wide with surprise. MARTHA – Paralee, please. What is goin…OH, MY! JANE – That sure is one big old rattler. Panel (4) Long shot of the yard as two riders on horseback arrive. One is the elder Colonel George Reeves, a Jack Palance type, only with a beard, and the second rider is his son, George Junior, looks like his dad, only younger with a mustache. They are dust covered, and haggard. They ride up to the group standing around the snake. COLONEL – Hello? What‟s this all about? Panel (5) Two horse stop in front of the group, as Otis holds up the dead snake by the taile. Colonel‟s horse rears up at the sight of it. Women move off, while Bass just stands there still in a daze somewhat. OTIS – Snake was hiding by the woodshed, Boss. It killed the boy‟s dog and he killed it. COLONEL – Whoa, there. You say Bass killed it. Panel (6) From above and behind the riders, looking down at Otis, the snake and Bass, with Paralee next to him. OITS – Yes, sir. He crushed it with a log. COLONEL – Good for him. Boy‟s got sand. GEORGE JUNIOR – That‟s biggest rattler I ever did see. PAGE SIX Panel (1) Colonel Reeves jumps off his horse, in front of Otis and Bass. He is addressing Bass. COLONEL – How are you now, boy? BASS – Mama says I‟m thirteen, Master Reeves. Although she ain‟t really sure. COLONEL – Thirteen, huh? I guess that makes you a full grown man now, don‟t it? BASS – I suppose it does. Panel (2) Mishot of Colorel putting his hand on Bass‟s shoulder and looking up at his son, still on horseback. He is address his son, who is grinning from ear to ear, as he mops dust off his face with a bandana. COLONEL – Junior, I think it‟s high time Bass here learned to hunt and shoot. Don‟t you? COLONEL – Starting tomorrow, I want you to take him out with you and teach him those things. GEORGE JR. – Sure thing, Colonel. I reckon it will be good have someone else helping with the hunting. Panel (3) Profile midshot of Bass looking up at Colonel, who had now removed his hand from his shoulder. With Paralee between the both of them, looking very, very happy at what just happened. BASS – Thank you, Master. I promise, I‟ll learn hard. PARALEE – Bass is a smart boy, Master Reeves. You‟ll see. COLONEL – I‟m sure I will, Paralee. Now, let‟s get out of this infernal sun and into the house. I‟m thirsty for some of your tasty lemonade. Panel (4) Overhead shot of the group, as Colonel and his wife, head for the house. Junior, holding the reins to his father‟s horse, turns towards the corral behind the barn, leaving the slaves together near the well. Paralee is looking at Bass, hands on her hips. MARTHA – There‟s a fresh pitcher just made, Colonel. Come along. PARALEE – Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, the Master is going to show you how to hunt. Ain‟t that something! OTIS – Seems to me, Paralee, the boy already knows how to hunt, by the looks of this here snake. Ha, ha, ha. Panel (5) Midshot of all of them, as Otis hands over the snake to Paralee, while Bass and Jane look on. Jane is biting her lower lip nervously, tugging on Bass‟s wrist. PARALEE - Here now. Give me that. I‟ll be using it in my son-of-a-gun stew tonight. Lots of good eatin‟ on that fellah. BASS – Jane, stop tugging on me. What you want? JANE – But Bass, …. Panel (6) Shot of dead dog in the dirt by the woodpile, its tongue hanging out, eyes wide with gnats and flies buzzing around. Caption is end of Jane‟s dialogue from last panel. CAPTION – “…what about Tag?” PAGE SEVEN Panel (1) Long shot of the top of the hill we saw in the opening scene. Near a copse of trees. Otis is standing to the side as Bass pats a mound of dirt with a shovel. The sun is sinking behind them and we see them as blacked out silhouettes. CAPTION – “We‟d best bury him, Bass. I‟ll go fetch the shovel in the barn.” SOUND FX – SLAP! SLAP! BASS – That‟s it, Otis. I‟m done. OTIS – Just one more thing to do. Panel (2) Close up shot of Otis laying a good size rock on the small mound of dirt, with Bass leaning the shovel on the tree behind him. OTIS – We‟s got to cover it up with rocks so them coyotes won‟t be digging him up after we‟s gone. Panel (3) Show them both adding rocks, and the grave almost finished. OTIS – That‟s better. Now we‟s finished. Let‟s get on back. Paralee should have supper waitin‟ on us. Panel (4) From behind Bass and Otis as they start down the grassy slope, Otis with the shovel on his shoulder. Note, there are a few longhorns around them, paying them no mind. In distance below them, the lights are on at big house, smoke rising from the twin chimneys. BASS – Can I ask you a question, Otis? OTIS – Sure thing, boy. What‟s on your mind? BASS – Going hunting with Master George Junior tomorrow. What if I‟m no good at it and he gets mad at me? Panel (5) Long shot of both of them halfway down the hill, from over the corral post behind the barn. OTIS – Bass, all any man can do is try his best. He can‟t do no more than that. You just listen sharp when the Boss speaks to you. Watch every thing he does and you do the same. BASS – You think I can do it, Otis? OTIS – Sure I do. Sides, once you know how to shoot good, you‟ll never be afeared of any other man. That‟s what guns do, boy. Panel (6) Full shot of the hill, with a half-moon floating overhead. Caption is the end of Otis‟s dialogue. CAPTION – “They make men equal.” PAGE EIGHT Panel (1) Okay, now we show a graphic montage of Bass‟s education. First shot, of him and young George Reeves Junior waiting through cat-o-nine-tails reeds near a river bank. Reeves is carrying a Winchester. Beyond them, we see ducks on the water. Reeves is holding one finger up to his lips to caution silence. Note, Bass is wearing the exact same clothes, straw and all as before. Whereas Reeves has a cowboy hat, a shirt, vest and jeans. CAPTION – Thus began Bass Reeves‟ education in the great outdoors. SOUND OF DUCKS – Quack! Quack! Panel (2) From another angle, with ducks in foreground, as a shot rings out hitting one of the birds, the others take flight. SOUND FX – POW! Panel (3) Bass and Reeves wade out into the water, it comes to Bass‟s middle. Reeves is lifting wet duck out of the water, a happy smile on his face. CAPTION – There was much to learn. GEORGE JR. – He‟s a fat one, heh, Bass? BASS – Yes, sir. Sure is. GEORGE JR. – Now why do you think I didn‟t use the scatter gun on him? Panel (4) Both of them wading out of the water, side by side, Reeves still holding both the duck and Winchester. Bass is scratching the back of his head, puzzled by the question. BASS – I don‟t rightly know, Boss. GEORGE JR – Because a shotgun would have filled this beauty with dozens of lead pellets for Paralee to have to dig up before she could dress it. GEORGE JR. - The Winchester put a single bullet right through it. Clean as a whistle. Panel (5) Under a stand of trees by the river, the two approach their mounts. A sorrel mare and mule, but have saddles and are their reins are tied to the same tree. Reeves is handing Bass the rifle. GEORGE JR – Now, it‟s your turn. Let‟s go find us some black tail squirrels. BASS – Yes, sir! PAGE NINE Panel (1) In foreground, a couple of squirrels munching on acorns on a limb a good ten feet off the ground, in a small wooded area. Perspective looking down past the creatures to Bass and Reeves in far background, Bass holding the rifle up to his shoulder, with Reeves raising the barrel up to his eyes. GEORGE JR. – (Whispering) Hold the barrel with your other hand. BASS – (Whispering) Yes sir. GEORGE JR. – (Whispering) Look right up the barrel at your target. Good. Now pull the stock tight into your shoulder. That‟s it. Panel (2) Tight close up of Bass‟s face, his left eye shut as he squints with the right, the rifle angled upward sharply. Behind him…just a few feet away, Reeves leaning down into him. GEORGE JR. –(Whispering) Now just squeeze the trigger back. Nice and easy. Panel (3) Full shot of both of them, as the rifle discharges, knocking Bass backwards into the air. SOUND FX – KAPOW! BASS – AAGHH! Panel (4) From behind Reeves, as he looks up to the tree as sees Bass‟s shot knock one of the squirrel to the ground. SOUND FX – WACK! GEORGE JR. – Well, I‟ll be damned! Panel (5) From above and behind Reeves looking down at a dazed Bass, his hat knocked off, sitting on his butt on the ground, rifle still clutched in his hands looking up and grinning. BASS – I got it! GEORGE JR – Boy, that was either pure dumb luck or you‟re a natural born shooter. Panel (6) Reeves gives Bass a hand up, the boy clutching his hat with the rifle. GEORGE JR. – What do you say to that? BASS – I don‟t know, Boss. But I do like shooting that there rifle. GEORGE JR – You do, huh. Hahahaha. PAGE TEN Panel (1) Close up of group of dead squirrels tied together and hanging off the pommel of the saddle Bass is riding on. We see them and of course part of Bass‟ leg as they ride along. CAPTION – George Reeves words proved prophetic that day. Bass had a talent for hitting what he aimed at. Panel (2) Front shot of both of them riding along, into a field, the woods behind them. Reeves is smoking a cigarette as they ride along. Of course Bass is way lower, riding atop the mule. GEORGE JR – Wait till I tell the Colonel about this, Bass. He‟s gonna swallow his pipe when he sees all them squirrels you shot. BASS – I bet Momma‟s gonna be happy too. Splash Panel (3) Full shot of field as Reeves and Bass ride into a small depression to find several Indians on foot surrounding a cow and jabbing at it with spears. Another Indian on horseback, waits off to the side watching them. The cow is trying to get away from the Indians. Rob these are Commanches…I leave it to you dress them accurately. CAPTION – Some lessons were more important than others. BASS – INJUNS! COW – OOOHHH! ONE INDIAN WITH SPEAR - EYAYY! Panel (4) From behind Bass and Reeves, as he holds up his horse. In background, over the other Indians, the one on horseback looks at them and holds up a spear, tip to the sky. CAPTION – Lessons about those who came before the white and black man. BASS – They‟s stealing our cattle! GEORGE JR – Shush up, boy. You want to get us killed? Panel (5) Front mid-shot of Indian brave on horseback, as he makes an eating gesture with his empty left hand towards his open mouth…pantomiming to eat. Caption is Reeves‟s dialogue. CAPTION- “See. He‟s telling us they‟re bad hungry. They want to cow to feed their people.” PAGE ELEVEN Panel (1) From over the seated Indian‟s right shoulder looking over at George and Bass. George is making a sweeping gesture with his left hand, palm downward…away from his body. It is a let-it-pass kind of non-violent motion he knows the braves will understand. GEORGE JR (whispering) And we‟re gonna let them have it. GEORGE JR. - Take it. Feed your people. BASS – Gulp. You think they‟ll let us go? Panel (2) Tight shot of Indian Leader‟s face. Rob we need you to really show the strength of character here, plus the humanity. This man has no love for those who‟ve invaded his homeland, but in his heart, he wants to live in peace. All that in just one image of his face. As he mulls over what to do with them. Panel (3) Almost same shot as Panel 1, only move in tighter behind the seated Indian as he drops his spear so that it is pointing to panel right. This indicating to George and Bass they can go. Show George kicking his horse to move and Bass doing the same with the mule…in the direction the spear is pointing. GEORGE JR. – There‟s your answer, boy. Let‟s clear out of here fore he changes his mind. BASS – Yes, sir! Go, mule. Go! Panel (4) From behind Bass and George Jr. as they gallop away, dust kicking up from their animals. Bass has one hand up to hold on to his straw hat. GEORGE JR – This is a savage land, Bass. Don‟t you ever forget that! It will kill you three ways to Sunday if you aren‟t careful. BASS – Yes sir, Master Junior. Panel (5) As if to add a final visual score to that last statement, show the head of the dead cow, falling to the ground, its eyes wide and tongue sticking out of its mouth…an Indian spear in its neck. Caption is last of Bass‟s dialogue. CAPTION - “I ain‟t never gonna forget…that!” PAGE TWELVE Panel (1) A few days later, show George Jr. and the young Bass standing behind the barn/stable…Junior is shooting a Navy Colt revolver at cans on the fence with Young Bass watching closely. The bullet misses all the cans by a wide margin. CAPTION – Thus began Bass Reeve‟s education in firearms. That he had a natural aptitude was soon apparent. GEORGE JR – Again, you have to squeeze the trigger real fine. SOUND FX - BLAM! Panel (2) From behind young Bass, as with two hands, he fires the Colt and sends one of the cans flying. George Jr. is scratching the back of his head in amazement. SOUND FX - BLAM! SOUND FX - (Can being hit) BING! GEORGE JR – Gal-dang it, boy, don‟t you ever miss? Panel (3) Old man Reeves comes from around the barn, carrying newspaper in his hands, as Junior is in the process of reloading the pistol. Behind the Colonel is his youngest son, Billy, a little older than Bass. Tall, thin, wears a vest and wide bandana around his neck. COLONEL - That‟s some nice shooting, Bass. BILLY – Yeah. You shoot better than Junior. BASS – Thank you, Colonel and Master Billy. Master Junior is a fine teacher. GEORGE JR – The boy is a natural, Pa. Panel (4) Junior, while handing Bass the revolver again, looks at the folded newspaper which the Colonel slaps in the palm of his free hand. Billy is looking on. GEORGE JR – What‟s the latest from back east? SOUND FX – WAP! COLONEL – Damn ankees are stirring up a ruckus in Washington. Those trouble making abolitionists won‟t stop till they make having slaves a crime! BILLY. – Can they do that, Pa? I mean, doesn‟t the Constitution grant us state sovereignty to make our own laws. Panel (5) Tight shot of Bass holding the pistol facing front, his tongue on his bottom lip as he squints one eye over the barrel. Behind him the three men are still talking. COLONEL - Well that‟s the issue and the damn fools want to start a war over it. BILLY. – Let‟em try it. We‟ll show them not to stick their noses where they don‟t belong. Having slaves is our God given right. Panel (6) Long shot as Bass fires and once again hits another can. COLONEL – Amen to that. SOUND FX – BLAM! SOUND FX – BING! PAGE THIRTEEN Panel (1) Midshot as George Jr. takes back pistol, the Colonel hands Bass the folded up newspaper. GEORGE JR – That‟s enough for practice for today. You go tend to your chores. BASS – Yes, sir, Master Junior. COLONEL – Here, throw this rag in the outhouse on your way to the fields. Panel (2) Bass walking along toward the rear of the main house with the newspaper now opened in his hands. The small outhouse, with the half-moon cut out in the door is to his right. Voice comes from off panel right. VOICE OFF PANEL – Bass Reeves, what you be doing now? Panel (3) From behind Bass, we see his mother hanging just washed clothes on a line affixed to the back of the house. Note there are several chickens walking under the clothes making a nuisance. Bass holds up the paper. BASS - The Colonel told me to throw this in the outhouse. PARALEE – Then do it and get about your work. BASS - Mama, how come we can‟t read? Panel (4) Paralee rushes over to Bass and puts a hand on his shoulder, she looks frightened. PARALEE – Hush your mouth, boy. Don‟t you be talking such things. Black folks don‟t read cause that‟s the way it is. Whites don‟t want their slaves to be smart like they is. BASS – Why is that, Mama? What are they feared off? Panel (5) Over Bass‟s shoulder, looking at Paralee. PARALEE – Sometimes I think they afraid of everything, white folks is. And don‟t you be asking me why no more. That‟s the way it is. PARALEE – Sides, reading don‟t make a person smart. It‟s what‟s between your ears that counts. BASS – You think I‟m smart, Mama? Panel (6) Profile as Paralee bends down slightly and takes Bass‟s chin in her hand and smiles down at him. PARALEE – Learn to keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open, Bass, and you‟ll grow up to be the smartest man in all of Texas. BASS – Aw, Mama. Now you just joshing with me. PARALEE – That‟s „cause I love you. Now run along. I got a heap more washin‟ to get done. PAGE FOURTEEN Panel (1) Full shot of Bass running through a field with a stick in his hand, driving cattle before him, including a small calf. In background we see Billy on horseback, using his lariat to push the steers. CAPTION – Life on a cattle ranch was always busy, demanding hard work from everyone, young and old alike. BILLY. - YAHHH…MOVE ALONG! BASS - SHOO…SHOO..Go on now! Follow your mama! CALF - Braahhh. Panel (2) Show Bass now a few years old, chopping wood with an axe. He is both shirtless and hatless so that we see he‟s grown and his body is no longer skinny, but filling with muscles over his arms and torso and his face is becoming rounder. Otis walking behind him leading a couple of horse by their bits…they do not have saddles on them. Otis has a bit more gray around his temples. CAPTION – As the years passed, the tall and lanky boy began to fill out as his body grew with the hard tasks demanded of it. OTIS – When you done with that, come into the barn and help me shoe these horses. BASS – Alright, Otis. Be right there. Panel (3) Inside the barn, Bass is seated on a wooden stool, holding one of the horse‟s rear legs on his lap, as he drives in nails through a horse shoe…other nails in his mouth. Note, Bass now has on an old shirt with the arms torn off. Otis is left foreground starting to fire up the forge. CAPTION – He was a quick learner, eager to master all the skills required of frontier ranching. OTIS – Always take care of your horses. You treat them well and they will always do good by you when the time comes. BASS - Hmm…mmmm. Panel (4) On the open range, Bass is holding down calf, its legs tied by a lariat, as the Colonel is approaching with a hot branding iron in his gloved hands. While behind him is the blazing fire with other brands cooking in it. In background Billy is on horseback roping another cow. Rob, put both the Colonel and Billy in leather chaps, and give Bass a floppy old cowboy hat…clearly something handed down by Billy. CAPTION – It was a daily school of sweat and blisters. BASS – (to calf) Easy girl, just you relax here. COLONEL – That‟s it, Bass. Don‟t let her jump. This will only take a second. Panel (5) Show Bass now 18 sitting on his mule, with a big deer draped across it, his rifle comfortable in the crock of his arm. He‟s wearing a jacket with elbow patches as he rides up to the main house where Paralee, with a broom in her hands, and his sister have come out to greet him. Jane, now also three years older is running up to look at the dead deer. CAPTION – Still, it was at hunting he found the most pleasure and success. JANE – Mama! Mama! Bass shot a big old deer! PARALEE – Stop your shouting, girl. I ain‟t deaf or blind. PARALEE – That‟s a fine deer, son. You go get it all dressed up and ready for the smoke house. Panel (6) Front shot of Bass now with the heavy deer hoisted over his shoulders, as he walks along with Jane beside him. She‟s holding the mule‟s reins in one hand and the rifle in the other. They are walking towards panel front, with Paralee in background sweeping off the porch steps. Rob..the point of this panel is to now fully show how big and strong man Bass has become. That deer weighs close 200 lbs and he carries it with relative ease. CAPTION - By the time he was seventeen, Bass Reeves was a man to be reckoned with. BASS – Will do, Mama. Come on, little sister. You take old Roscoe back to the barn for me. JANE – I just love deer stew with sweet potatoes and greens. Bass, are you the best shot in Texas? BASS – Ha, I don‟t know, Jane. Maybe some day we‟ll find out. PAGE FIFTEEN Panel (1) Long shot of the ranch house with a lantern light over the porch so that we can see the Colonel and his wife seated on rocking chairs. George Jr. is seated on the top steps. The Colonel is smoking his pipe while his wife knits. Junior has on a jacket, his cowboy hat (something really nice) and his six gun strapped to his right hip. CAPTION – Life on the range was often a lonesome affair. MARTHA – My, but the nights are starting to get cold, Colonel. COLONEL – Yes, dear. It would seem summer is at an end. Panel (2) Move in closer as Bass comes from around the side of the house, his hat in his hand, as he approaches George Jr. Note, Junior is holding a box of cards now being held up in his hands. MARTHA – Evening, Bass. It‟s a wonderful night, isn‟t it? BASS – Yes, Ma‟am. It sure is that. BASS – You wanted to see me, Master Junior? JUNIOR – You bet. Billy‟s in town another night, so I thought we‟d play some cards. You, me and Otis. Panel (3) From the side, as the Colonel points his pipe at his son, now on his feet, while Bass looks on. COLONEL – Don‟t you be up all night, here. Soon as Billy gets home tomorrow morning, I want to get an early start on that new well out by the cutback. GEORGE JR. – Yes, sir. We‟ll only play a few hands. That‟s all. Panel (4) Midshot of George Jr. and Bass, as Bass puts on his hat, Junior drapes an arm around his shoulder ..as they walk off towards panel front. Behind them his parents till on the lantern lit porch. MARTHA – You heed your father, Georgie. GEORGE JR. – Yes, mama. Good night mama. Colonel. Panel (5) Inside the stable/shack, again lit by a lantern hang on a support beam, Otis is setting a wooden table in the middle of the building, near the light. Behind him are several stalls with horse in them. Rob, this is a typical barn like affair, with stacks of hay, barrels of oats, etc. And iron tools ala a scythe, etc. hanging off support beams. In background, George Jr. and Bass are walking in the open front entrance. CAPTION – People filled the empty hours with whatever diversions they could find. GEORGE JR. – Ah, getting things ready. Good man, Otis. OTIS – Thank you, sir. But I like I told you, I ain‟t no good at them cards. Panel (6) From over Otis‟s shoulder looking at George Jr. as he suddenly pulls a silver flask out of his pocket and holds it up for all of them to see. Bass is by his left side. GEORGE JR. – Don‟t you worry none about that, Otis. See, all we‟re going to do is have a little friendly game, is all. GEORGE JR. – And I brought us some refreshments. Ha. PAGE SIXTEEN Panel (1) Long shot outside showing the shack with a full moon rising up over the roof to left rear of panel. VOICE FROM INSIDE SHACK – Alright now. Bass you go ahead and deal first. do it just like I taught you. SECOND VOICE FROM SHACK – Yes, sir. I will. Panel (2) Almost same picture, only now with the moon dead center of the shack, to show the passage of time. CAPTION – Poker was a popular game among ranchers. It was fast, challenging and easy to pick up. VOICE FROM SHACK – I got two pair! How about that, boys? Can you beat that? Panel (3) Inside the shack, all three men are seated on wooden barrels around the table, with deck there, and the already turned cards. George Jr. having laid down his hand, two 4s and two 7s. Is taking a long pull on his flask. Otis is dropping his hands and looking very concerned at Junior, while Bass, his cowboy hat cocked back over his head is still holding his hand up to his face. OTIS – No, sir, Boss. Them cards just don‟t like me. GEORGE JR – Glug…Glug…What about you, Bass? Panel (4) Looking down at the table, Bass lays out his hand to show three Queens. BASS – I got me three fine ladies. GEORGE JR. – What! That‟s the third hand in a row you‟ve won, boy! Panel (5) Profile of both them over the table, with poor old Otis between them in the background, looking really scared now. There is an alcoholic sneer on Junior‟s face. BASS – I guess I‟m just lucky. GEORGE JR. – I don‟t think so, boy! You know what I think? I think you‟re cheating! Panel (6) Over Junior‟s shoulder looking at a very serious Bass. Junior is drunk and getting out of control. BASS – I don‟t cheat. And no man can say I do! GEORGE JR – Well I say you‟re both a cheater and liar! That‟s what I say! And when I tell the Colonel, he‟s going to tan your sorry black hide! PAGE SEVENTEEN Panel (1) Full shot as all three men get to their feet. Otis trying to calm down Junior. Note, Reeves has his fist balled…at his side. BASS – Nobody is gonna lay a hand on me! I did nothing wrong. OTIS – Please, Boss. It‟s all that whiskey making you like this. GEORGE JR – Don‟t you dare back talk me, boy! Maybe you need to be taught your… Panel (2) Okay, Rob, do this to maximum dramatic impact. This little fight was the turning point in Bass‟s life, ending forever his subjective mindset. With one single blow, he would liberate himself. So here, without warning, a drunk Junior hauls off and takes a swing at Bass, knocking over the card table. But Bass easily jerks back and the blow never connects….while it does leave Junior wide open. GEORGE JR. - …place! Whuuu…! Splash Panel (3) Bass hauls off and nails Junior with a hard right cross to the chin that knocks him unconscious. Otis in background looks on in sheer horror at what he is seeing. OTIS – BASS….NO! SOUND FX PUNCH - WHACK! Panel (4) Junior comatose at Bass‟s feet, Bass with his hands still in fists, looking down at him with a startled expression of his own, as Otis steps around the overturned card table. OTIS – Sweet Jesus, Bass! Sweet Holy Jesus! BASS – Otis! Help me. BASS – I killed the master! PAGE EIGHTEEN Panel (1) Otis begins dragging Junior under the arms to one of the empty stables, with Bass scooping up Junior‟s hat off the sawdust covered floor, slowly coming to the realization of what he‟s done. OTIS – He‟s still breathing, so he ain‟t dead. But you will be if you don‟t get out of here quick. You hit a white man, Bass. They will hang you for that. BASS – But where will I go? This is my home. Panel (2) With the knocked Junior on his back, in the stable, Otis is kneeling by his feet starting to tie them up with a rope. Bass still looking on, holding Junior‟s hat. Note, Rob, they are away from the light, so the action is happening in shadows. OTIS – Not anymore it ain‟t. Go north, up into that Indian country. Nobody ever find you up there. OTIS – Now, hurry. Go saddle the Colonel‟s horse. BASS – What? You mean steal it? Panel (3) From over Bass‟s shoulder looking down at Otis, who is now removing Junior‟s gunbelt from around his waist, still directing Bass as he does son. OTIS – Boy, they can only hang you one time. What‟s stealing a horse and stuff compared to what you already done? OTIS – Now take this here gun and belt and go saddle that horse. We ain‟t got no more time for jawing like this! BASS – Alright, Otis. Panel (4) Show Bass leading the saddled mare back into the barn from the back corral, as Otis stands up handing him another rolled rope. CAPTION – The next few minutes became a blur. Bass found himself acting without thought. Following the blacksmith‟s directions quieted the fear gnawing at his belly. OTIS – Hurry up, Bass! You got to tie me up now along side Junior. Tell them you put that gun to me and I was too scared to stop you. BASS – What about Mama and Jane? Can‟t I see them? Tell‟em what happened. Panel (5) Midshot profile as Otis shoves the rope into Bass‟s hands. OTIS – I‟ll tell them after you is long gone. Now you had got to tie me up good and tight and then hit me over the head. BASS – I can‟t do that, Otis. Don‟t ask me to do that. Panel (6) Tight front shot of Otis, as shadows play over his face. OTIS – The time for games is over, Bass. You has got to be a man now and do what needs doin‟. OTIS – Or else the Colonel will hurt all of us. Even Paralee. Is that what you want? PAGE NINETEEN Panel (1) Full shot of Bass on the mare charging out of the barn at a full run. Note, Bass is now wearing the Junior‟s cowboy hat, he has on his gun belt. There is also a Winchester in the scabbard on the saddle bag. CAPTION – Otis‟s words echoed in his ears long after he rode away…. Panel (2) Back inside the shack, to show a comatose Otis, all tied up, lying beside the unconscious George Jr. Note, on the ground by Junior‟s head it is Bass‟s old hat. CAPTION - ….from the only life he had ever known. Panel (3) Rob, mirror that first panel on page one, showing the hill overlooking the ranch. Now as seen from above and behind Bass on the mare. He‟s stopped at the crest of the hill for one last look at the Reeves ranch. CAPTION – He was free now. Whatever that meant. And the road ahead would lead to a future of his own choosing. BASS – So long, Mama. I‟ll be back some day. I promise. Panel (4) Long dramatic shot of Bass on the mare galloping away along the ridge line with that big old moon as a backdrop behind them. It fills the sky with silver grace and majesty. BASS – EYAHHH!!! Run girl! As fast as you can! YAHHHH! PAGE TWENTY Panel (1) Long shot of Bass riding through rugged territory, clearly this is months later, and Bass looks older, more relaxed, he has on a heavy jacket. It‟s snowing and the white stuff covers the ground around them, a heavy wind blowing. CAPTION – For the next few years, Bass Reeves rode the back trails of the American south-west, avoiding towns whenever he could. He was a runaway slave and thus fair game to bounty hunters. Panel (2) Draw out the map of the Indian territories. With the words…Circa 1860 at right bottom corner. CAPTION - The Oklahoma or Indian territories, as they were commonly called, were were home to the Five Civilized Tribes. CAPTION UNDER MAP – The Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole. All had been transplanted in the early 1800s from their homes east of the Mississippi, by President Andrew Jackson. Panel (3) Show a Civil War battle, with Rebs and Yankees, their flags unfurled, charging each other across an open field. CAPTION – When the Civil War broke out, the Tribes side with the Confederacy, having been mistreated time and again by the Washington Policy Makers. CAPTION – Still, a small number among the Seminole and Creeks, known as the Muskogee chose to fight with the Union. PAGE TWENTY-ONE Panel (1) A clearing by a small creek, lots of trees, it is a wooded area. Bass, his horse is unsaddled by a tree, is spitting two big fish on a stick to put over his campfire. It is early afternoon. Rob, he has his single gunbelt on, his saddle off to the side with his rifle. He is wearing his gunbelt the normal way, it resting on his right hip. He won‟t use the cross-draw until later on as a police officer. He is singing to himself as he gets his fish ready over the flames. When lettering here, apply musical notes to indicate he‟s singing. CAPTION – Although aware of the war back east, in the Spring of 1961, it was the furthest thing from his mind. BASS - Come to town the udder night, I head de noise and saw the fight… BASS – De watchman was running round… Panel (2) From behind Bass as he hears a female scream and then a gunshot coming from the woods across the creek. He snaps his head in that direction. BASS - …crying Old Dan Tucker‟s come to… SCREAM - AAIEEEEE! SOUND FX - BLAM! BASS – Wha..da..hell!? Panel (3) Bass is on his feet straight away, right hand on his pistol butt, looking towards where the sound came from…and hears another scream…and a man‟s voice. SCREAM - AAYEEEEE!!! VOICE FROM WOODS - DAMMIT! HOLD ON TO HER! BASS‟S THOUGHTS ( That was a woman yellin‟ out there!) Panel (4) Bass is untying his horse from the tree with his left hand, with the carbine now in his hand. BASS – Come on, girl. Let‟s go see what all the ruckus is? Panel (5) Full shot of Bass racing over the small creek into the woods. PAGE TWENTY-TWO Splash Panel (1) Here‟s the action we need to convey in the next two pages. A group of four rebel soldiers, a grizzled Sergeant and three privates, have come upon two Indian teenage girls, out looking for herbs, and are trying to rape them. This is happening in another clearing, on the edge of field. The Sergeant is on horseback, along with one other man, (Zeke) who is laughing watching his two pals (Luther & Randall) wrestling the girls on the ground. One girl is punching Luther in the face and is about to break loose. First Indian Girl - NO…AIEEEE. RANDALL – Hey, come on, squaw. Don‟t be like that. We only want to have some fun. ZEKE – Hey, they sure are wild little fillies, ain‟t they. LOOK OUT, LUTHER! GIRL PUNCHING – WAP!! SERGEANT – Ha, ha, ha, ha. Panel (2) Indian girl breaks free and starts for the woods, with Luther right behind her. Neither of them see Bass riding out of the woods in their path..yet. Others urging Luther on. ZEKE – Hey, you‟re losing her, Luther. Don‟t let her get away. LUTHER – You come back here or else… Panel (3) From behind Luther and girl, as the girl is almost run over by Bass‟s horse, but moves swiftly up to his leg…Luther looking up in stunned surprise, as Bass, rearing up on the reins, points his carbine at Luther. BASS – Or what, soldier boy? What you aiming to do, Johnny Reb? LUTHER – SHEEET! Who the hell are you? Panel (4) Over Bass‟s right shoulder, looking primarily at Sergeant and Zeke on their horses. Sergeant is going for his holstered pistol. SERGEANT – He‟s a runaway! That‟s what he is. GET HIM, BOYS! PAGE TWENTY-THREE Panel (1) Bass blows away Luther with one shot of the carbine, as Luther has no chance to pull out his pistol. CAPTION – Four against one. Bass pulled the trigger and prayed. SOUND FX – BLAM! LUTHER - AGKKK! Panel (2) Profile of Sergeant and Zeke, pistols out, firing from their mounts. Behind them, Randall is now entangled with the other Indian girl, who is stopping him from getting his own pistol. SERGEANT – SHOOT HIM!!! SOUND FX - BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Panel (3) Looking down the barrel of Bass‟s carbine up to his eye, aiming over it…and the gun firing…shot slugs zipping past his left ear. FX – POW! Panel (4) Bass‟s hits the Sergeant in the chest and knocks him off his horse…while Zeke keeps firing away. SOUND FX – BLAM! BLAM! SERGEANT - AGHH! ZEKE - SARGE!!! Panel (5) One of Zeke‟s bullets hits Bass‟s horse in the neck..causing it to start to collapse. SOUND FX – BLAM! BLAM! HORSE - NEEEE…! BASS – WHA….??? PAGE TWENTY-FOUR Panel (1) As the horse falls to the ground, Bass manages to throw himself to the ground. But in doing so flings his carbine away. SOUND FX - THUMP! BASS – ARGHH! Panel (2) Randall slaps the Indian girl to knock her away from him, as Zeke spurs his horse forward. RANDALL – GET OFF ME! SOUND FX – SWAPP! ZEKE – I‟m gonna shoot me that darky! Panel (3) From behind Zeke has he rides up to Bass still on the ground, clawing for his pistol as Zeke‟s bullets pepper the ground next to him. The dead horse in background. SOUND FX – BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! Panel (4) Bass rolls over on his backside…gun in hand and pointing it up…fires. SOUND FX - BLAM! Panel 5 Profile as bullet catches Zeke in neck…knocking him back off his horse… ZEKE – GKKK! Panel 6 From behind the forgotten fourth reb, Randall, as he takes aim at Bass know getting to his feet in front of Zeke‟s body. The Indian girl who ran into Bass is coming up behind him, still cautious. Randall has gun aimed at him where he can‟t miss. RANDALL - You‟re turn, boy! PAGE TWENTY-FIVE Panel (1) Full shot of Randall as suddenly he is blown off his feet by a shotgun blasts from behind..where the fields are. SOUND FX - KABLOOM! RANDALL - AGHHHH! Panel (2) Midshot of Bass spinning around to face panel front…gun out, with the Indian girl standing just behind his left side. They are both looking at who shot Randall and the girl is quickly stopping Bass from shooting. BASS – HUH…! GIRL - NO SHOOT! SPLASH PANEL (3) Here we go, Rob, the big wrap up of chapter one, all with one little panel. You can do this one of two ways. Either keep Bass in the panel…or not, I leave that call to you. If you keep Bass in, then shot is over his right shoulder, with Bass in lower left hand corner. If you don‟t want to do this…then shoot edge of field to show five Indians coming out of the field. These are Creek/Muskogee…please, find some proper references to dress them as they would have looked. There are three warriors, they are in the back or to the side of the two main figures…in the middle. The first, standing to front, is the Chief..a middle-aged, strong long man with gray hair…he is holding a smoking shotgun in his hands. He is Chief Opotheleyattolo…a wise leader who would become Bass‟s good friend and mentor. Now we need to convey how the Creeks allowed blacks to become full members of their tribe, when others tribes did not. We do this by having the warrior brave standing to the Chief‟s left, armed with a carbine, in the same regalia as the other braves…only he is clearly an African American freedman…named Joe Wally. The Chief looks stern, while Joe is smiling broadly. CHIEF – *(I am Opothleyattolo of the Muskogee. You have fought for our women and so we welcome you.) Joe Wally - Howdy, brother. I‟m Joe Wally. This here is the Chief of the Creek Nation and he just done welcomed you to the family. CAPTION UNDER PANEL - (* Translated from the Creek.) THE END OF PART ONE BASS REEVES PART ONE – RUNAWAY SLAVE He‟s born in Arkansas as a slave to the Reeves family. Moves to Texas when a boy. Learns to handle horse from a blacksmith, learns to hunt and shoot and ride. Is a big, strong young man. But remains illiterate. His mother is Christian named Pearalee, she had Bass when she was 15 years old. Would outlive him in the end. Is familiar with local Indian tribes, ala the peace Cherokee of the Five Civilized Tribes and the murderous Comanche. Seminoles driven out of Florida also reside in the Oklahoma badlands. During a camp fire card game, his master accuses of him cheating and Bass knocks him cold. Anther slave tell him to take the man‟s horse and escape before they lynch him. He travels alone for several years before being taken in by the Cherokees where he is taught Indian skills at both riding and tracking. He becomes fluent in their language. Meets Jenny, marries and near Muskogee begins to raise a family while working his own cattle farm. +++ PART TWO – LAWMAN After the war, hundreds of freed blacks migrate to the Indian Nations (now Oklahoma) and many join Indian towns and are called Indian Freedmen. It is a lawless land filled with renegades and outlaws of every color. Letters to the government in Washington demanding courts to bring law and order result in the assignment of Judge Parker to the territory, operating out of Ft.Smith, Arkansas. He deputizes some twenty-five men as Deputy Marshalls and gives them the job of policing the this no man‟s land which starts at the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad line. In 1875, Bass is recruited at the age of 37 by U.S.Marshall Thomas Boles. He trained under several well known marshals, including Heck Thomas. He would be a lawman for 32 years, retiring in 1907, three years before his death in 1910 at the age of 72. JIM WEBB Part # 1 (1882) A Texas cowboy came up to Chicksaw Nation in 1883. Became foreman of the Washington-McLish ranch with 45 cowboys under his supervision, most of them black. When a small ranch neighbor, a black circuit preacher named Rev.William Steward started a brush fire to clear his land, the blaze spread to the bigger spread, enraging Webb. He and his men rode over to chastise Steward..in the ensuing argument, Webb pulled his gun and shot Steward in the head. Reeves got the writ to bring Webb and took along white posse-man, Floyd Wilson and rode out from Ft.Smith. They reach the ranch several days later around 8 AM. Webb is there with his best friend, Frank Smith and bunkhouse cook. Reeves and and Wilson posed as wandering cowboys, and asked to have breakfast. Webb was suspicious and told Wilson to stay sharp. After the meal, Reeves showed Webb the writ and said he had to bring him. Webb went for his gun, Reeves grabbed him by the throat, threw him against the wall and with his own gun, knocked Webb‟s from his hand. At this point, Smith went for his own pistol to help his friend. Still holding Webb with one hand, Reeves fired and shot Smith in the gut. They headed for Ft.Smith, Webb in handcuffs and the wounded Smith in the wagon. Smith died of his wounds by the time they reached the Chickasaw capital of Tishomingo. They buried him there and traveled on to Ft.Smith. Webb was brought before the U.S. commissioner and bound over for trial. After a year in jail, two of his wealthier friends, store owner Jim Bywater, and Frank Smith‟s brother, Chris, raised $17,000 to pay for his bond and had him released. Webb wasted no time heading for the nations and freedom. BELLE STAR Part # 1 The famous female spy for the Confederacy had an unheard of friendship with the black Bass. They compared shooting and how to wear their guns for a fast draw. Once, when Bass was called upon to serve a writ on Belle, he merely told her she wanted for questioning and asked her to turn herself in. Belle promised to do so, complied and the charges were proven false and she was released. At her house was one Doctor Jesse who witnessed the exchanged DISGUISES When an outlaw family, three notorious brothers, rob a trading posts, the posse is afraid to go after them in their badlands stronghold. Bass commandeers an flea-bidden oxen team and wagon from a nearby farmer, dons the man‟s coveralls and beat up hat and proceeds to ride right up to the cabin. He gets the wagon stuck on a tree stump and the outlaws come out of the cabin, angry at his loud cussing. As they are trying to free the wagon and get him on his way, Bass pulls his twin .45s from under his coveralls and arrested them. Then he handcuffed them and had them march in front of the team, 30 miles to Ft.Smith. JIM WEBB Part # 2 (1884) Bass finally heard that Jim Webb was hiding out at Jim Bywater‟s general store on the south side of the Arbuckle Mountains. Located where the Whiskey Trial entered the mountains where a spring supplied large quantities of water and was called Woodford, Oklahoma. Reeves took along posseman John Cantrell. Cantrell dismounted and slipped up to the store‟s front entrance where he spied Webb sitting at the back of a store by an open window. Upon seeing Cantrell, Webb jumped out the window and started across the backyard to reach his horse. He was armed with a hand gun and Winchester rifle. Cantrell called to Reeves, who immediately run around the building to cut off Webb from reaching his mount. Seeing him, Webb ran to a clump of bushes for cover, at the same time firing his ran. The first bullet grazed the horn of Reeves‟ saddle horn. A second took off a jacket button. Hurried, knowing he was a sitting target, Reeves jumped off his horse, Winchester in hand just as a third bullet took off his hat. Frustrated at not being able to kill the marshall, Webb threw aside his rifle, whipped out his handgun and shooting, charged Reeves. Reeves fired his rifle and hit Webb squared, but the man kept coming and Reeves fired two more shots in him to finally drop him. Then Reeves approached him cautiously, kicked the .45 away from his open hand and heard him mumble. By now the others had emerged from the store and were gathering around. “Give me your hand, Bass,” said Webb, as he extended his own with an effort to grasp it. “You are a brave man. I want you to accept my revolver and scabbard as a present and you must accept them. Take it, for with it I have killed eleven men, four them in Indian Territory, and I expected you to make the twelfth.” Bass accepted the present, and stored it away. Mr.Bywater took wrote down the dying man‟s decleration. THE MEDICINE MAN Bass went to pick up an Indian Medicine Man named Yah-kee who lived in North Fork. Chasing Indian horse thieves who paid Yah-kee to make magic to make them invisible. Having a writ, he also arrested Yah-kee. That night at camp, he felt stiff and sore. Next day was miserable on the trail and lagged behind. That night, feeling like he was at death‟s door, Bass managed to crawl over to the sleeping medicine and steal his “conjurbag”, a mole-skin bag filled with bits of roots, pebbles and tiny rolls of short hair, tied with blue and red strings. He tossed it into nearby creek where it floated away. Yah- kee begged Bass to retrieve it, but he refused. “I don‟t conjur any more,” said the old man. “Take these chains off and I‟ll follow you like a dog.” Yah-kee admits that if Bass had not gotten ridden of the his conjur bag, he would have died before they reached Ft.Smith. TOM STORY (1884-1889) Story and his gang were a well-organized bunch of horse thieves operating in the Indian Territory. Included Peg Leg Jim and Kinch West (who rode with Quantrill during the war) and Long Henry. They‟d sell their stolen horses in Texas. They made their headquarters somewhere on the banks of the Red River in the Chicksaw Nation. Stole horses and two mules from Texan George Delaney. He contacted marshal‟s office in Paris, TX and a warrant was issued for Story. Bass got the writ and Delaney told him he know which likely trail Story would take on coming out of the nations. Bass and Delaney waited in ambush. They fished and hunted small game. On the third day they heard horses moving through the brush and his. Story came riding out of the trees leading two of Delaney‟s finest mules. Half-way across the ford, Bass stepped out and confront him. Refusing to surrender, Story let go of the reins and went for his side-arm, Bass out drew him and shot him dead. They buried Story by the river, Delaney went home with his two mules and Bass returned to Paris to file his report. BOB DOZIER (1892) Was a highly successful farmer who was tempted by the life of an outlaw. Considered himself smarter than the average law-breaker and eluded the police by diversifying his career. He robbed banks, stagecoaches and travelers, sold whiskey to the Indians, stole cattle and horses and in the process murdered several people. But since he operated in the Indian Territories, he always stayed one step ahead of the law, and Bass Reeves. Reeves studied his habits for over two years and then kept on his trail. At one point Dozier sent Reeves a message warning him, if he kept hounding him, he would soon end up dead. To which Reeves replied, for Dozier to kill him, he‟d have to stop running away from him. As he was ready to make the fateful confrontation any time Dozier was. He finally came across his tracks in the upper Cherokee Nation. He was being accompanied by an accomplice. Deeper the trail led into the Cherokee Hills, as the afternoon wore on, a steady rain fell, with lightning and thunder added as the evening wore on. By daybreak, the posse entered wide, heavy timbered ravine. Suddenly gunshots rang out, nearly missing Bass‟ head. The posse dismounted took what cover they could find. In a lightning flash, Bass, saw a man slipping between two threes, and fired off a couple of shots. The man fell. But Bass‟s gunfire had revealed his position and suddenly lead was coming at him. Bass jerked, stumbled out of the shelter of the trees and went down face first in the mud. Dozier, thinking he‟d killed Bass, came out from behind his tree and began to approach cautiously, his gun cocked to fire another shot. When he was only a few yards away, lightning flash and Bass saw it was Dozier. Bass rose up on one knee and ordered to stop and drop his gun. Dozier fired, as did Bass. Dozier was hit in the neck and died instantly. The elusive outlaw had been brought to justice. BELLE STAR Part # 2 (1888) Doctor Jesse was called to a saloon shooting, where he found Bass with a bullet wound above the knee. On the floor of the saloon was a young gunslinger who had tried to take on Bass in a duel, and proved to be the fool. Jesse reminded Bass of their previous encounter at Belle Star‟s ranch and after patching him refused to take any money for his services. Later, Belle‟s son, Eddie Reed became Bass‟ protégé. BELIEVED KILLED IN ACTION (1891) Van Buren Press Jan 31 – 1891 “Muskogee, Indian Territory, Jan. 25 – Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves was killed yesterday by Ned Christie near Tahlequah…Reeves is well known in Van Buren, having lived here for a long time. His death was not unexpected to those that knew him. EDDIE REED (1893) Eddie Reed was Belle Star‟s son. He served to short terms in prison. During the second one, his half-sister, Pearl Younger, became in prostitute in Van Buren and Ft.Smith to raise money to have him pardoned. Judge Isaac C. Parker took pity on the lad and had him paroled. Then he made him a U.S.Deputy Marshall and requested he be trained under Bass Reeves because he knew of his friendship with the boy‟s mother. Bass is said, over the next four years, to have grown a personal attachment to the young man, becoming his friend and mentor. 1843 Song OLD DAN TUCKER Come to town de udder night, I hear de noise and saw de fight. De watchman was running round, crying Old Dan Tucker‟s come to town. So get out de way! Get out de way! Get out de way, Old Dan Tucker your too late to come to supper.
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