Come experience the life of the famous outlaw Butch Cassidy.
by Lord Anthony Richard Van Dyke
Cast of Characters:
NARRATOR: A storyteller who has a tell to tale to all who would listen about the Old Wild West.
ROBERT LEROY PARKER: Butch Cassidy’s real name.
MIKE CASSIDY: Fast with a gun & good with a rope. Teaches Robert LeRoy Parker everything he knows about shooting and roping.
BUTCH CASSIDY: Famous Outlaw who was known from the West as “The Robin Hood of the West”. Robbed trains and banks from western United States as well as up into Canada and down into Mexico and even South America. Best known for the “Hole in the Wall Gang.”
MR. PAT RYAN: Owner of the ranch where Robert LeRoy Parker works.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Just doing his job.
MR. MILLER: Harsh owner of the store.
MATT WARNER: Butch’s partner in crime.
TOM McCARTY: Matt’s bank robbing brother-in-law.
MR. BENNION: Teller at the telluride bank.
SHERIFF WASSON: Has some bank robbers to catch.
CUSTOMERS: Customers in the store.
POSSEE: Lets catch some crooks.
SCENE 1: (Miller’s Store)
(Curtain is closed between center stage and downstage. Stage lights are brought up to 20%. Spotlight on the at 50%. Mr. Miller is in the store helping a customer. The customer walks out of the store through the door and exits stage right as the Narrator enters stage right. Spotlight opens on the Narrator. Narrator slowly walks to downstage left as he speaks. Passing the Post Office Center stage with an American Flag over the door way.)
NARRATOR: I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of Butch Cassidy and I’m sure that many of you have been too. But, did you know this his name wasn’t really Butch Cassidy? This is the story of this bold, young cowboy from Circleville, Utah. His real name was Robert LeRoy Parker and he was born in 1866. (Sits down on the pickle barrel near the store door.) LeRoy later changed his name to Butch Cassidy, and then put together the longest string of successful bank and train robberies in the history of the American West. Our story begins when he was just a boy.
(Mr. Miller walks through the door and locks it. He then turns the ‘Open’ sign to ‘Closed’ and exits stage right.)
NARRATOR: LeRoy had been saving his money that he had earned at Mr. Ryan’s ranch for weeks to get him a new pair of overalls. Finally, after riding all the way to town to buy some at Mr. Miller’s store, (hears horse trotting) he finds that the store is closed.
(Stands up and exits left behind the store while LeRoy enters stage right. Spotlight is switched from the Narrator to LeRoy. LeRoy brushes off his overalls and walks over to the store.)
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Closed! It can’t be closed. I need them overalls bad. Why I’m showin’ parts of me ain’t used to seein’ daylight. Why does the store have to be closed today? I wonder if maybe the back door is unlocked. Someone might be in there stockin’ shelves or cleanin’ up. (Runs around off stage left behind the store.) Ah shucks! This one’s locked too. (Walks back to his previous position.) Maybe the window’s open. (Walks to the window.) Imagine that, ol’ man Miller leavin’ his window open, lucky for him I ain’t no thief. Now I can get me those overalls.
(LeRoy climbs through the window. When LeRoy gets inside the store, he walks over to the overalls and holds them up to his self to see which ones fit. He takes off his old pair and puts on the new pair. LeRoy has a pair of long john’s on under is overalls.)
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: This pair fits rather smartly. (Looking around for a price.) I wonder how much these cost! It don’t say. I don’t know how much to leave. I’ll go ahead and leave a note for Mr. Miller. (Picks up a piece of paper and pencil that is laying next to the cash register. LeRoy reads as he right.) I.O.U. for one pair of overalls… Robert LeRoy Parker. I am working at the Ryan Ranch and will pay for them next time I am in town. (Carefully places the note on top of the cash register.)
(LeRoy climbs out of the window, carefully closing it behind him and exits stage right with a big grin on his face.)
SCENE 2: (Ryan’s Ranch)
(Stage lights are brought up to 30%. Mr. Ryan is setting on a log at center stage with a bridle in his hand. Spotlight on Narrator. Narrator enters stage right and crosses over to the hay wagon which is center-right. There is a whip leaning next to the back wheel. The Narrator picks up the whip and gives it a load crack.)
NARRATOR: The next day, Roy went to work for Mr. Ryan at his ranch in Hay Springs, (puts the whip back next to the hay wagon wheel.) but found himself confronted by a situation he never expected, (crosses to center stage next to Mr. Ryan and pats Mr. Ryan on his back) for he had meant no wrong in taking the overalls. (Exits up-stage left.)
(Spotlight off and stage lights are brought to 70%. Curtains open to reveal a barn stage left, a stack of hay center stage behind Mr. Ryan, and a gate right stage behind the wagon.)
MR. RYAN: Here’s that bridle, Roy. (Throws the bridle to Roy who is behind the wagon working.) Will you get them two mares hitched to the hay wagon too?
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Sure thing, Mr. Miller!
(Hears two horses running towards the stage. Mr. Ryan looks over toward the hey wagon as the Sheriff enters stage right and is followed by Mr. Miller. Mr. Ryan stands up and crosses the stage to the hay wagon to talk to the Sheriff.)
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Are you Mr. Ryan?
MR. RYAN: Yes sir, what can I do for you?
MR. MILLER: (Angrily) He’s here! He said he would be.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: (Turns to Mr. Miller.) Shut up Miller! (Turns back to Mr. Ryan.) Does a Robert LeRoy Parker work for you?
MR. RYAN: He does! Want me to get him for you?
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Yes!
(Mr. Ryan exits behind the hay wagon.)
MR. RYAN: LeRoy, the Sheriff is here to see you.
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Oh, ok! Will you finish getting those mares ready to be hitched to the wagon?
MR. RYAN: Sure!
(LeRoy enters from behind the hay wagon and crosses to the Sheriff and Mr. Miller. Stage lights are dimmed to 50% and spot is on the Sheriff, Mr. Miller and LeRoy.)
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Are you Robert LeRoy Parker?
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: That’s me!
(Mr. Ryan walks from behind the wagon and crosses over to the log he was originally sitting on.)
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Looks like you’ve got on some new overalls! Mr. Miller here says you broke into his store and took them and didn’t pay for them either. That’s stealin’.
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: I didn’t break into his store! I climbed through an open window. I didn’t steal the overalls neither. I left a note sayin’ I’d pay for them later. If I was gonna steal’em would I leave a note with my name on it sayin’ I took’em?
MR. MILLER: (Loudly & Angrily.) That’s not the way we do business around here. Especially not with strangers and children.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Can you pay for the overalls?
(Mike Cassidy steps out of the barn and watching LeRoy, the Sheriff, and Mr. Miller.)
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: How much?
MR. MILLER: Two dollars!
(LeRoy reaches into his pocket and pulls out two silver dollars, and gives them to the Sheriff. The Sheriff then turns and gives them to Mr. Miller.)
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Can I go now?
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Are you now satisfied, Mr. Miller?
MR. MILLER: The boy has to be taught a lesson. He can’t just go around takin’ people’s property.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: What do you think I ough to do, arrest the kid? You got your money, don’t you?
MR. MILLER: The boy should spend a night in jail.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: How old are you, boy?
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Thirteen!
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Look Mr. Miller, the boy’s paid for the overalls. As far as I’m concerned, this matter is finished.
MR. MILLER: Well, it ain’t finished for me. That’s not quite good enough.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: I’m not locking p a kid. Not when he’s paid for what he took.
MR. MILLER: How about givin’ him a lickin’? He at least deserves that don’t he?
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: I’m not givin’ the kid a lickin’.
MR. MILLER: If you won’t, then I’ll do it.
(Mr. Miller steps over to the wagon wheel, reaches out, and picks up the buggy whip. Roy looks over at Mike Cassidy.)
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: (Shrugging his shoulders.) Turn around and grab that wagon wheel, boy. (To Mr. Miller) Let him have a couple of licks, then this whole thing will be over.
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: I didn’t steal the overalls! (Roy’s fists are clinched, and his eyes are narrowed to where they look like knife slits.) I will not be whipped for something I didn’t do.
MR. MILLER: We’ll just see about that.
(Mr. Miller brings the whip back as Mike Cassidy aims his gun at the whip and shoots. The whip flies out of Mr. Miller’s hand and lands behind him. Everyone looks at Mike Cassidy to see who had fired that shot.)
SHERIFF OF MLFORD: Who are you?
MIKE CASSIDY: (Walking towards the Sheriff.) Cassidy, Mike Cassidy! Sheriff, I’d like to report a crime, a theft. Mr. Miller here stole four bits from my friend, Roy.
MR. MILLER: I did not!
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: What are you talking about?
MIKE CASSIDY: I was in Miller’s store a few days ago. He said I could have any pair of overalls in the place for a dollar and a half. He just took two dollars from Roy, and didn’t give the boy any change. Four bits is a lot of money to a kid. Stealin’ from a kid is still stealin’. I demand you arrest Miller for stealin’. It’d do him good to spend a night in jail.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: I can’t do that!
MIKE CASSIDY: Then maybe we ought to give the fat man a thrashin’.
(Mr. Miller takes off running across the stage toward the barn. Mike whips out his rope, twirls it over his head and lasso’s Miller as he is almost to the barn. Mike Cassidy then drags him back and pulls out his Cult .44 and points it straight at Miller.)
MIKE CASSIDY: Now Miller, turn around and place both hands on the top of the wagon wheel. Now Roy, go get me that whip.
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Stay right where you are, boy. Miller, give me four bits.
MR. MILLER: I aint…
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: (Cutting him off.) Shut up, and just give me the money.
(Mr. Miller reaches into his pocket and hand a fifty-cent piece to the Sheriff, who then tosses it to Roy. Roy has a big grin on his face.)
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: (To Mr. Miller.) As far as I am concerned, this matter is finished. I’m getting on my horse and riding back to town. You can come along, Miller; or you can stay here and take your chances with Cassidy.
(Mr. Miller runs off-stage right.)
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: (To Mike Cassidy.) Cowboy, I’ve heard about your shooting, and it’s just a matter of time until you get into trouble with that gun or yours. I’d just as soon it didn’t happen around here.
MIKE CASSIDY: I’ll behave myself, Sheriff!
SHERIFF OF MILFORD: Why don’t you behave yourself somewhere else? (Exits stage right.)
(Hears two horses run off into the distance.)
MIKE CASSIDY: (To self.) Always wanted to see the country east of Beaver. Maybe I’ll take the man’s counsel and move on.
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Can I go with you? My family has a homestead in Circle Valley. I want to go home.
MIKE CASSIDY: Then we’ll ride together. I’ll take you home. We’ll leave in the morning.
(Mike Cassidy, Robert LeRoy Parker, and Mr. Ryan walks toward the barn. Curtain closes!)
SCENE 3: (Rope Training)
(Stage left was some bones and a skull of a bull. Center stage were some logs for a fire. Narrator enters left stage. Stage lights are at 20%. Spotlight on Narrator.)
NARRATOR: The next morning Mike and LeRoy set off towards Beaver, Utah. After Mike treated LeRoy to a nice steak dinner they headed towards the mountains.
(Narrator walks over towards the logs and builds a fire.)
NARRATOR: They became great friends, enjoying each others company so much that Mike began to teach LeRoy so that he would be able to get along in the west.
(Narrator exits stage left behind the trees. Mike Cassidy and Robert LeRoy Parker enter stage left carrying their things.)
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Why did we head into the mountains?
MIKE CASSIDY: We need to get you a saddle.
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: There are no saddles in the mountains.
MIKE CASSIDY: No, but there is the means to get saddles!
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: I don’t know what you mean.
MIKE CASSIDY: Mavericking!
(Mike Cassidy and Robert LeRoy Parker cross over to the fire and each grab near by logs to sit on.)
MIKE CASSIDY: It’s been a long ride, you hungry?
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Yea!
MIKE CASSIDY: Throw me that bag then.
(Robert LeRoy Parker throws Mike Cassidy his bag. Mike Cassidy pulls out two nice big slabs of meat rapped in some hide. Then throws them on a metal plat and onto the fire.)
MIKE CASSIDY: That should be a good breakfast. (pauses in thought) Can you throw a rope?
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: A little!
(Mike Cassidy looked over at the bull skull left stage and crossed over to it. Propping the skull up right walked about 10 to 15 paces toward Robert LeRoy Parker.)
MIKE CASSIDY: Grab that other lasso and come here Roy.
(Robert LeRoy Parker picks up the spare lasso and crosses over to Mike Cassidy.)
MIKE CASSIDY: Lets start by making a loop.
(LeRoy starts making a loop but it is a bit sloppy.)
MIKE CASSIDY: Wait! Like this.
(LeRoy eagerly watches Mike.)
MIKE CASSIDY: (dimonstrates as talks) Lets make a loop. Extend the hondo about two feet from the hand holding the loop.
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Excuss me sir. What is the hondo?
MIKE CASSIDY: Well boy it’s the eye through which the rope passes. (pause) Now you try!
(LeRoy makes a loop in his rope.)
MIKE CASSIDY: Good! Ok now take your loop and swing it around in a few full circles. This is to take out all the kinks.
(LeRoy swings his loop about 5 times.)
MIKE CASSIDY: Now start swinging the loop over your head. (dimonstrates) See how I turn my hand upside down as the loop passes over the left shoulder?
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Yes Sir!
MIKE CASSIDY: Most beginners use too much wrist in a short jerking motion. But to be a good roper uses the entire arm, plus the wrist.
(LeRoy practices swinging rope over his head.)
MIKE CASSIDY: That’s good. Remember entire arm. Turn that hand when you pass your shoulder. Good, good! (pause) Ok lets move on.
(LeRoy stops swinging his loop.)
MIKE CASSIDY: When you throw your rope do it as if you’re trying to reach out and touch that critter.
(Mike demonstrates to LeRoy.)
MIKE CASSIDY: I’m going for the horns.
(Mike lasso’s the horns.)
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Wow! That’s pretty good sir.
MIKE CASSIDY: With me teaching you Roy, you’ll be good too. I want you to throw one hundred loops every morning, and another hundred every night. In a week you’ll be pretty good with a rope. In a month, with me teaching you, you’ll be as good as anyone in these parts.
ROBERT LeROY PARKER: Then can you teach me to shoot?
MIKE CASSIDY: Once you master the rope then we will think about a gun.
(LeRoy starts throwing loops at the skull but misses most of them.)
-- To Be Continued --
This is an unfinished script. I have been working on it for some time. I encourage everyone to please let me know what I can do to make this script better and will add the rest as it is written.