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VIEWS: 118 PAGES: 39

									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

PARALESS – What‟s got that flea-ridden dog goin‟ now?

BASS – I don‟t know, mama. TAG! What is it? What you doin‟?


                                        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!

                                     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.





                                         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.

                                      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.


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.


                                         Panel (3)

Close up the snake‟s head springing up at out, fangs out.


                                         Panel (4)

Front shot of Bass, as he swings the wood down and it hits the snake directly.


                                         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

                                         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 hand holding a knitting needle.


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

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
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

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

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.”


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

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

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.


                                         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.



                                          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.


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

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.




                                       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

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.


                                         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 - (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?


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.



                                   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.


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

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

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

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 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

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.

                                        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

                                        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
                                         Panel (6)

Over Junior‟s shoulder looking at a very serious Bass. Junior is drunk and getting out of

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.


                                         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

                                   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

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…



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!!!


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

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!


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.



                                        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



                                        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.


                                        Panel (4)

Bass‟s hits the Sergeant in the chest and knocks him off his horse…while Zeke keeps
firing away.



                                          Panel (5)

One of Zeke‟s bullets hits Bass‟s horse in the neck..causing it to start to collapse.



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.



                                          Panel (2)

Randall slaps the Indian girl to knock her away from him, as Zeke spurs his horse



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.


                                          Panel (4)

Bass rolls over on his backside…gun in hand and pointing it up…fires.

                                          Panel 5

Profile as bullet catches Zeke in neck…knocking him back off his horse…


                                          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.



                                         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.



                                  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


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.



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 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.

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

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

“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.

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

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.

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.


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 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


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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