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The Ox-Bow Incident

Screen Guild Theatre

The Ox-Bow Incident

Jan 12 1950



CAST:


The Camel Team:

SMITH and BARCLAY, the announcers

and a singing QUARTET 


Dramatis Personae:

DAVIES, who narrates

MAJOR TETLEY, smooth

GERALD, Tetley's bookish son

REV. SPARKS

MARTIN 

GREENE (1 line)

DARBY, saloon owner

JUDGE

FARNLEY

SMITH 

MA 

MAPES 

MEXICAN (2 lines)

DAD (1 line)

SHERIFF


(NOTE: SCREEN GUILD broadcast a version of this play on Sep 18 1944. This script includes some dialogue from the earlier broadcast in brackets.)




OPENING COMMERCIAL:


SMITH: (COLD) The Camel Screen Guild Theatre!


MUSIC: FIRST PHRASE OF "HOW MILD".


SMITH: Our stars tonight...William Eythe, Edward Arnold, Charlie Ruggles and Henry Morgan.


MUSIC: SECOND PHRASE OF "HOW MILD".


SMITH: Our play....."The Ox-Bow Incident".


MUSIC: COMPLETE "HOW MILD". 


SMITH: Our hosts....the makers of Camel Cigarettes.


QUARTET: How mild, 

How mild,

How mild can a cigarette be? 

Make the Camel thirty-day test 

And you'll see!


SMITH: Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels -- that's what noted throat specialists reported in a coast-to-coast test of hundreds of people who smoked only Camels for thirty days! That's how mild Camels are!


BARCLAY: Make a note. Remember your throat. Try Camels today!


MUSIC: FULL INTO PLAY THEME AND FADE OUT INTO: 


SMITH: And now, while you discover the smoking enjoyment of Camel Cigarettes, for your listening enjoyment the Camel Screen Guild Theatre brings you one of the greatest pictures ever made in Hollywood. A gripping and realistic study of what happens to men when they become a mob...The Camel Screen Guild Players are proud to present "The Ox-Bow Incident" starring Edward Arnold, Charlie Ruggles, William Eythe and Henry Morgan.


MUSIC: FULL INTO PLAY THEME AND DOWN TO HOLD UNDER


DAVIES: I don't suppose many people remember it now. It was back in 1885, you see. A small thing. Not much. You might say -- just an incident. 


MUSIC: (ACCENTS SOFTLY...AND CONTINUES UNDER:)


DAVIES: The town looked almost deserted that day.....A few wooden shacks. A blazing sun. One dusty street, and nothing moving -- just an old tired mongrel dog...(GALLOPING HORSE) Until that cowhand came pounding down the road, pulled up his horse in front of Darby's saloon -- (HORSE CUTS) -- and yelled -- (MUSIC CUTS)


GREENE: (YELLS, EXCITED) Hey, men! Where's everybody?! Where are you, men?!


MUSIC: (ACCENTS...AND CONTINUES UNDER:)


DAVIES: The boys came piling out of the bar. (FADE IN LOW GRIM VOICES....HOLD OFF MIKE) And pretty soon, the way they sounded, I could tell that something was wrong. So I left my place -- I ran the General Store, you see, and went right over to find out....Darby was the one who told me. Standing behind the bar and polishing a glass. (MUSIC CUTS) (MENS'S VOICES HOLD IN BACKGROUND...LOW AND GRIM)


DARBY: (QUIETLY) Someone got Larry Kinkaid last night. They found him layin' in a dry wash this mornin'. 


DAVIES: Dead?


DARBY: Shot right through the head.


DAVIES: (WORRIED) But who? Kinkaid didn't have any enemies. Who'd do a thing like that?


DARBY: (SLOWLY) Been a lot o'cattle stolen this year. 


DAVIES: You mean rustlers?


DARBY: Mebee...(A PAUSE) Jeff Farnley's takin' it pretty hard. Him an' Kinkaid were buddies.


DAVIES: (TROUBLED) Yes, I know... 


DARBY: Them other boys are kinda hot too.... They find them rustlers, they might do somethin' about it. 


DAVIES: (QUIETLY) A hangin'?


DARBY: (QUIETLY) I wouldn't be surprised. 


MUSIC: (ACCENT CHORD...AND CONTINUE UNDER:) 


DAVIES: I'd seen things like that happen before. One minute just a crowd of men, the next minute a mob....You know, it's a funny thing about mobs. No one wants to be first--and no one wants to be last. But just let someone start it off, and the madness spreads like a prairie fire... I knew they wouldn't listen to me, so I sent a lad running to get Judge Tyler...(FADE IN LOW SULLEN MURMUR OF MEN) And pretty soon he was there -- up on the steps -- facing the crowd -- (MUSIC CUTS)


JUDGE: Believe me, men, I know how it is! My old friend, Larry Kinkaid, one of the finest and noblest gentlemen that --


FARNLEY: (SLIGHTLY OFF, QUIETLY) Cut the stumpin', Judge. We got a job to do. All we want is your blessing. (CROWD MURMURS GRIMLY


JUDGE: (WEAKLY) Now, Farnley, of course you can't flinch from what you believe to be your duty. But this is something should be left to the Law.


SMITH: (OFF) By the time the Law gits ready to act, them rustlers'll be over the Rio! (MEN MURMUR)


JUDGE: One more word out of you, Monty Smith, and I'll have you up for impeding justice!


MA: (OFF, GRINNING) Judge, you can't impede what don't hardly move. (MEN MURMUR ASSENT


JUDGE: And you, Jenny Grier -- a woman! To lend yourself to a thing like this! 


MA: (OFF...A CONTEMPTUOUS HORSE LAUGH)


SMITH: (OFF) That's tellin' him, Ma! (MEN MURMUR


DAVIES: Listen, men! The Sheriff is down at Kinkaid's right now!....Judge, is that true? 


JUDGE: It sure is, Davies. He went down this morning. 


DAVIES: You see, men! Everything's being attended to -- legally! You'd just have a long hard ride for nothing! (MEN MURMUR, UNDECIDED) It'll be dark soon, and mighty cold. My advice is to come inside -- have a drink and wait till we hear from the Sheriff....What do you say? (MEN ARE WAVERING)


DARBY: (SUDDENLY) Drinks on the house! One round on me! 


DAVIES: I'll up that, Darby! I'll make it two!


JUDGE: And I'll make it three! For everyone but Jenny Grier! (BURST OF LAUGHTER FROM MEN, AS:)


MUSIC: (ACCENT CHORD TO COVER...AND CONTINUE UNDER:)


DAVIES: We had them laughing! I was sure we'd won!....Only just then we heard another voice -- level, hard, and cold as ice -- (MUSIC CUTS


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) What's the matter, men? Disbanding? (MEN MURMUR AWKWARDLY)


MA: (DRILY) Looks that way, Major Tetley. Brother Davies here, just about convinced us. 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) Of what, Mr. Davies?


DAVIES: (FLUSTERED) Why -- why, it's useless to follow those men, Major. They could be over the Rio by now.


TETLEY: (THIN SMILE) But they aren't. As it happens, they went east -- by Bridger's Pass. (MEN MURMUR)


FARNLEY: (QUICKLY) Through the mountains? 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) That right, Farnley. By way of the Ox-Bow. 


DAVIES: But that's eight thousand feet up! They'd be crazy to go that way! 


TETLEY: (VERY QUIETLY) Not so crazy, Mr. Davies -- knowing how crazy it would look to us. (MEN MURMUR


MA: How come you're so sure, Major?


TETLEY: One of my riders saw them....He hid in the woods and let them pass. (SLOWLY) He thought it strange they should be driving cattle up there. 


FARNLEY: (SHARPLY) Cattle!..Any marks?


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) Yes, Farnley. They carried the B-Bar-H. 


FARNLEY: (HARSH) That's Kinkaid's mark! The dirty rats!...How many were there? 


TETLEY: Three of them. Strangers. My rider says he'd never seen them before. (MEN MURMUR ANGRILY


DAVIES: But Major -- why were you so long bringing us this word?


TETLEY: (THIN SMILE) My son was out on the range. I knew he'd want to go along....Gerald, is that correct?


GERALD: (TAUT, BITTER) I'm here, Father. Isn't that all that counts? (MEN MURMUR, BUILDING


FARNLEY: (GRIM) It counts for me!


JUDGE: (QUICKLY) Farnley, you stay off that horse!....I'm not asking you, Farnley, I'm telling you! 


FARNLEY: (QUIET, GRIM) Telling me what, Judge? 


JUDGE: (WHEEDLING) Now look, Jeff, you don't have to worry. This business will be taken care of.


FARNLEY: (COLDLY) Yeh -- and I know who's gonna take care of it. Me. 


JUDGE: Now, Jeff --


FARNLEY: Whoever shot Larry Kinkaid ain't comin' in here -- for you to fuddle with your lawyer's tricks for six months! Kinkaid didn't have six months to decide if he wanted to die!....(MEN MURMUR) You ready, Tetley?


DAVIES: Major Tetley, you mustn't let this be a hanging!


TETLEY: It's scarcely what I choose, Davies.


DAVIES: Promise me you'll bring them in for a fair trial!


TETLEY: I promise I'll abide by the majority will of the posse.


JUDGE: Look here, Tetley, you know what's legal! You can't have a posse without a Sheriff!


MAPES: (SLIGHTLY OFF) What about me? 


TETLEY: (TRACE OF EAGERNESS) What about you, Mapes? 


MAPES: (COMING IN, SWAGGERING) I'm a deputy. The Sheriff swore me in before he left this mornin'. 


TETLEY: (PLEASED) In that case, Mr. Mapes, suppose you deputize the rest of us. 


JUDGE: You can't! It's illegal! No deputy can deputize! 


MAPES: What do you think, Major?....(NO ANSWER) Well, that's good enough for me.


SMITH: Me too, Butch. Go ahead an' pray. (MEN MURMUR


JUDGE: (SHOUTING) Butch Mapes, you're violating the law!


MAPES: (TO MEN) Raise your right hands!...(LOW MURMUR FROM MEN) I hereby solemnly swear that I am sworn in as a deputy in the case of the murder of Larry Kinkaid, and am willing to abide by the decisions of the majority -- so help me God. Say I do. 


MEN: (AS ONE) I do.


TETLEY: (CRISP) All right, men -- check your guns and horses. We leave from here in exactly ten minutes.


SMITH: (DELIGHTED SHOUT) Necktie party! Yippee!


MUSIC: (SHARP ACCENT CHORD...AND FADE OUT INTO:)


(LOW MURMUR OF MEN...TO HOLD IN BACKGROUND


SMITH: (GRINNING) Ain't every day we get a hangin' in a town as dead as this'n...You comin', Sparks? 


SPARKS: (QUIETLY) No suh, Mistuh Smith, ah don' guess so. 


SMITH: Why not? We oughta have a reverend along. Gonna be some prayin' to do. (FEW MEN LAUGH)


DAVIES: (QUIETLY) Lay off him, Smith. (LAUGHTER STOPS)


SPARKS: 'Scuse me, Mistuh Davies. Mebee he's right. 


DAVIES: (GENTLY) He's joking you, Sparks.


SPARKS: Yes suh, ah know. But mebbe someone oughta go that feels the way ah do. 


SMITH: (JEERING) Sure -- Davies can lend you his Bible, so's to keep the burial fit an' proper.


SPARKS: (DIGNITY) Thank yuh, suh, but ah knows mah text without the book.


DAVIES: (QUIETLY) You can take a horse from my shed, Sparks. Come along, we'll get him out. 


SPARKS: Thanks yu, suh. (STEPS...MEN FADE TO LOW BACKGROUND)


DAVIES: (LOW) Sparks... 


SPARKS: Yes suh?


DAVIES: (LOW) Can that kid of yours ride? 


SPARKS: (LOW) Sure can, Mistuh Davies. Jes' like a Indian.


DAVIES: (LOW) Then he's the only one who can go. 


SPARKS: (LOW) Where, suh? Where to?


DAVIES: (LOW) Down to Kinkaid's -- to get the Sheriff. 


MUSIC: (IN FOR BRIDGE ... AND FADE OUT INTO:)


(HORSES MOVING AT FAST WALK...SPARKS IS SINGING A SPIRITUAL SOFTLY, IN BACKGROUND)


DAVIES: (GENTLY) Gerald -- wouldn't your father want you to be riding up with him?


GERALD: (BITTER, TAUT) Sure. I suppose so. (MOCKING) Major Tetley and son -- riding out at the head of the pack! 


DAVIES: (QUIETLY) You don't like this thing, do you?


GERALD: How can you like it? Going out to hunt men -- like coyotes or rabbits...(BITTER BURST) We're very brave, aren't we? Twenty-eight of us! Sticking together -- trying to tell ourselves we're noble and right -- not one of us willing to cut and run, because we're afraid somebody might think we're yellow!


DAVIES: (GENTLY) If you feel that way, why did you come? 


GERALD: Because I'm weak -- and my father's strong. (IN ANGUISH) And that's hell! Can you understand how that's hell?


DAVIES: You didn't start this. It isn't your fault, son. 


GERALD: (LOW, FIERCE) If we get those men and hang them, I'll kill myself! I won't go on living -- remembering I saw it and was part of it myself! 


DAVIES: (QUIETLY) You could still go home.


GERALD: (DULLY) No...I can't...And even if I could, it wouldn't matter. I don't count.


TETLEY: (OFF, CALLS) Gerald -- 


GERALD: (CALLS, GRIMLY) I'm coming, Father. (HORSE GALLOPS OFF


DARBY: (COMING IN) Say, Davies, I just heard that Tetley kid soundin' off. What's feedin' on him, anyway? 


DAVIES: (THOUGHTFUL) Lots of things, I guess...You know, he's not much like his father, Darby. He's soft...Besides, he's been sick a lot -- likes to stay by himself and read.


DARBY: Don't sound right bright in the head to me. 


DAVIES: Maybe not...(QUIETLY) But how would you feel if you knew your own father hated you? 


MUSIC: (IN FOR BRIDGE...AND FADE OUT INTO:)


(LOW MURMUR OF MEN'S VOICES...IN BACKGROUND)


SPARKS: (SLIGHTLY OFF, HESITANT) Mistuh Davies...


DAVIES: That you, Sparks? 


SPARKS: (COMING IN) Mind if ah sit with yu a bit while we're stopped? 


DAVIES: Not at all. I was feeling rather lonesome myself.


SPARKS: (SLIGHT PAUSE) Mortal cold now, ain't it, suh? 


DAVIES: (GRIM) It'll be worse later.


SPARKS: (SOBERLY) Yes suh...Mistuh Davies, ah sure wish we was out of this business.


DAVIES: So do the others, but they're afraid to admit it.


SPARKS: It's man takin' on himself the Lord's vengeance.


DAVIES: (BITTER) Do you think the Lord knows what's happening up here tonight?


SPARKS: (QUIET FAITH) Yes suh. He marks the sparrow's fall.... [I saw my own brother lynched, Mr. Davies. I was just a little fella then.


DAVIES: Had he done what they - what they picked him up for?


SPARKS: We didn't any of us ever know.


DAVIES: They lynched him without being sure?


SPARKS: Oh, they made him confess. But it wouldn't have done no good if he didn't. Confessin' just made it shorter, that's all.


DAVIES: Yes. It happens that way sometimes.]


TETLEY: (SLIGHT PAUSE...OFF) Time to move, men! Let's get going! (MEN'S VOICES UP...OFF MIKE)


SPARKS: (QUIETLY, GENTLY) We gotta have faith, suh. We gotta wait for a sign. 


DAVIES: (HOPELESS) I know, Sparks.....But how long? How long? 


MUSIC: (IN FOR BRIDGE...AND FADE OUT INTO:)


(LOW EXCITED MURMUR OF MEN'S VOICES


FARNLEY: (LOW, EXCITED) That must be them up ahead! You can see their campfire!


DAVIES: Would they be showing a fire if they were on the run? 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) They would if they thought they weren't being followed, Davies...Now, men, let's not have any shooting or rough work until they've had a chance to tell it their way. 


FARNLEY: (GRIM) The one that got Kinkaid is mine. Don't forget that, Major.


TETLEY: (EVENLY) I won't, Farnley. He's yours when we're sure....(CRISP) Gerald, you come with me...Mapes, you take six men and work around from the back. We'll close in simultaneously....Mr. Davies, would you like a gun? 


DAVIES: No, thanks. 


TETLEY: Sparks? 


SPARKS: No suh, Major -- thank yu just the same. 


TETLEY: As you choose...(CRISP) Let's go, boys -- and good luck.


MUSIC: (SHARP CHORD...AND CONTINUE UNDER:


DAVIES: There were three of them -- camping right along the Ox-Bow. A young fellow, an old man, and a Mexican.....They were sound asleep when we rode in on them. But it didn't take them long to wake up. (MUSIC CUTS) (MURMUR OF MEN'S VOICES


MARTIN: (PUZZLED) What is this? What's the matter? 


TETLEY: Don't move, young man. And put your hands up.


FARNLEY: The rest of you too! You, Mex -- ! 


MEXICAN: No sabby. 


FARNLEY: That's all right, brother. You will. 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) Gerald -- collect their guns. 


MARTIN: What are you trying to do? What do you want from us? 


MAPES: We don't want nothin'....This ain't no stickup, Mister. This is a posse. 


MARTIN: But we haven't done anything.


TETLEY: That remains to be seen....(SHARPLY) Gerald -- ! 


GERALD: (VAGUELY) What?.... 


TETLEY: (HARSH) You fool! Don't get between him and my gun!


MARTIN: (ANGRILY) What's all the mystery? Why don't you tell us what we're being held for?


TETLEY: (THIN SMILE) I'd rather you told us. 


MARTIN: Told you what? What are you talking about? 


MAPES: (GRIM) Rustlin'. Ever hear of it? 


MARTIN: Rustling -- ? 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) And murder. 


MARTIN: Murder -- ! 


FARNLEY: (ANNOYED) Ain't we had enough palaver? Let's get it done and go home!


TETLEY: (SHARPLY) That will do, Farnley!


FARNLEY: (ANGRILY) Who says so? Who picked you to be boss, anyway?....We got 'em! I say let's swing 'em -- before we all freeze to death!


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) There's a fire over there. If you're cold, warm yourself.....(QUIET AUTHORITY) All right, men -- bring the prisoners over by the fire. (FADING) I'll question them there. (MEN'S VOICES FADE TO LOW BACKGROUND)


SPARKS: (LOW) Mistuh Davies.... 


DAVIES: (WORRIED) Yes, Sparks?


SPARKS: (LOW) You think the Sheriff's gonna get here in time? 


DAVIES: (LOW, TROUBLED) That's what I've been thinking about. Suppose he doesn't get here at all? 


MUSIC: (IN FULL FOR CURTAIN)


(APPLAUSE)


SMITH: Now a brief intermission and time for a smoke. Are you enjoying a mild cigarette?


QUARTET: How mild,

How mild, 

How mild can a cigarette be? 

Make the Camel thirty-day test 

And you'll see!


SMITH: Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels -- that's what noted throat specialists reported in a coast-to-coast test!


BARCLAY: Hundreds of men and women in various cities across the country made this test. They smoked only Camels for thirty days, averaging one to two packs a day. Each week, their throats were examined by noted throat specialists. These specialists made two thousand, four hundred and seventy examinations -- and their findings were the same every time: Not one single case of throat irritation due to smoking Camels! That's how mild Camels are!


SMITH: Try Camels yourself....in your "T-Zone" -- T for Taste and T for Throat. You'll see how rich and flavorsome, how cool and mild a cigarette can be!


BARCLAY: Make a note. Remember your throat. Try Camels today!


SMITH: Camel Cigarettes now present the Screen Guild Players in Act II of "The Ox-Bow Incident" starring Charlie Ruggles, William Eythe, Edward Arnold and Henry Morgan.


MUSIC: (FULL INTO PLAY THEME...AND DOWN, TO HOLD UNDER:)


DAVIES: It was Major Tetley who questioned the prisoners -- very formal and very quiet...Too formal. Too quiet. There was something unhealthy about it -- something horrible. Deep down inside he was enjoying himself!... He took the young fellow first, the one who seemed to be the boss...(MUSIC CUTS)


TETLEY: What's your name, young man? 


MARTIN: Donald Martin.


TETLEY: Where are you from? 


MARTIN: Pike's Hole.


SMITH: (SLIGHTLY OFF) That's a lie! (MEN MURMUR, LOW


TETLEY: (EVENLY) Mr. Smith? 


SMITH: (COMING IN) I get around Pike's Hole a lot. I never seen this fella before. (MEN MURMUR


MARTIN: I just moved in three days ago! Dave Baker's place! I bought it in Los Angeles last month -- I gave him four thousand dollars, sight unseen!


SMITH: (GRINS) Then, brother, you been robbed.


MARTIN: But my family's there right now -- my wife and kids! Why don't you take me back and let me prove it! I'm entitled to a trial!


TETLEY: You're getting a trial. With twenty-eight of the only kind of judges murderers and rustlers get in this country...Do you have any cattle up here with you? (NO ANSWER) I won't ask you again. 


MARTIN: (LOW) Yes...I've got fifty head. (MEN MURMUR)


TETLEY: Where'd you get 'em? 


MARTIN: From Mr. Kinkaid. 


MA: (DRILY) That's what we figured, son. 


MARTIN: (EARNEST) I didn't steal them -- honest. I bought and paid cash for them. 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) Got a bill of sale?


MARTIN: Mr. Kinkaid was out on the range. He said he'd mail the bill of sale to me. 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) Farnley...


FARNLEY: (COMING IN) Yeh? 


TETLEY: How long have you known Larry Kinkaid?


FARNLEY: Ever since we were kids. 


TETLEY: Ever know him to sell any cattle without a bill of sale? 


FARNLEY: (GRIM, LEVEL) Never. (MEN MURMUR


MARTIN: But he did! He'd tell you himself! Why don't you go and ask him! 


FARNLEY: (HARSH) Quit bluffin'! You know that Larry Kinkaid can't tell us anything!


MARTIN: Why not?


FARNLEY: (GRIM) He's dead.


MUSIC: (SHARP CHORD...AND CONTINUE UNDER:)


DAVIES: That wasn't enough for Tetley. He had to have his fun with the other two -- the old man and the Mexican..... But the old man just kept blubbering -- (MUSIC CUTS


DAD: (BLUBBERING) I didn't do nothin'....I don' wanna die...I don' wanna die in the dark! (MUSIC RESUMES


DAVIES: And the Mexican kept insisting stubbornly -- (MUSIC CUTS)


MEXICAN: No sabby, Senores. Me no sabby. (MUSIC RESUMES


DAVIES: And still young Martin stuck by his guns -- refused to change his story a bit -- (MUSIC CUTS


MARTIN: I tell you Kinkaid was alive yesterday afternoon! He sold me those cattle to stock my place! (A PAUSE) Don't you believe me? (A PAUSE, ANGRILY) Why do you have to blame it on me? Who gave you the right? Who sent you up here?


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) The sheriff. 


DAVIES: (QUICKLY) That's not true, Major Tetley! The sheriff didn't even know we were coming!


MAPES: (OFF) No -- but I did. 


TETLEY: (THIN SMILE) That's right, Mapes...Mr. Davies, perhaps I should have said the deputy sheriff. That makes it quite legal, I believe. (MEN MURMUR)


DAVIES: Listen, men -- I'm not trying to obstruct justice! But this lad is only asking what he's entitled to -- a fair trial!...Martin, you say you're innocent-- and I, for one, believe you!


MA: (DRILY) That makes you the only one, Davies. 


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) All right, men -- tie them up. (MEN MURMUR)


MARTIN: (HUSKILY) You don't mean you're going to?...(DESPERATELY) You can't!..I've got some kids! One of 'em is just a baby!...Just give us some time! That's all I want -- a little time!


FARNLEY: (HARSH) You've had too much already!


MARTIN: (PLEADS) Just time to write a letter, that's all. I've got to write a letter. If you're human you'll give me time for that.


DAVIES: Major Tetley, that's not so much to ask. 


TETLEY: I believe you may have a point, Mr. Davies...Mapes, what time is it? 


MAPES: (SLIGHTLY OFF) Five after three. (MEN MURMUR)


TETLEY: Gentlemen, we don't want to give anyone cause for complaint. With your permission, we'll wait till daylight...(FAINT SMILE) That will give Reverend Sparks the time to settle his business at leisure.


MUSIC: (IN FOR BRIDGE...AND FADE OUT INTO:


(MURMUR OF VOICES IN LOW BACKGROUND...SPARKS SINGING A SPIRITUAL SOFTLY, OFF MIKE)


DAVIES: (PLEADING) He gave the letter to me, Major Tetley -- asked me to take it to his wife...If you'd only read it. It's such a fine letter... 


TETLEY: I'm not disputing that, Mr. Davies. But if it's an honest letter it's none of my business to read it. And if it isn't, I have no interest in it.


MUSIC: (ACCENT CHORD...AND FADE OUT INTO:


(LOW MURMUR OF VOICES, ON MIKE...SPARKS SINGING A DIFFERENT SPIRITUAL, IN LOW BACKGROUND)


DAVIES: (HOPELESSLY) Won't any of you read it -- any of you? (MEN MURMUR, UNCOMFORTABLY) Why not? Is it because you don't want to know the truth?...(PLEADS) It's a beautiful letter. If you'd just read it, you'll know he's not the kind of man who could steal or kill.


FARNLEY: That kind of argument don't stand up against branded cattle and no bill of sale! (MEN MURMUR)


DAVIES: (SADLY) I was just hoping...


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) Gentlemen -- it's daybreak. 


DAVIES: Major Tetley, I'm warning you! If we hang these men and they're innocent, we're due to be hanged ourselves! (SINGING ENDS, IN BACKGROUND)


TETLEY: (EVENLY) Then I suggest we act as a unit, so there can be no question of mistaken reprisals. Mr. Davies, are you willing to abide by a majority decision?...(NO ANSWER) How about the rest of you? 


MEN: (AD LIB) "OKAY WITH ME"..."GO AHEAD"..."MAJORITY RULES"


TETLEY: Very well. All who agree with Mr. Davies for putting this off and turning it over to the courts, step over here...(SLIGHT PAUSE) Mr. Davies -- one.


SPARKS: (COMING IN) And me, suh.


TETLEY: Sparks -- that's two. 


DARBY: (EMBARRASSED) Well -- me, too, I guess.


TETLEY: Mr. Darby... 


GERALD: (SUDDENLY) Count me! I'm with Mr. Davies! 


TETLEY: (HARSHLY) Gerald!...(CONTROLLED) Anyone else?...(NO ANSWER) Four of you, Mr. Davies. Hardly a majority.


FARNLEY: (HARSH) Come on -- what're we waitin' for? 


TETLEY: (SHARP) Farnley, we'll do this in an orderly manner!...(QUIETLY) Tie their hands behind them -- put them up on their horses...The second limb on that oak will hold them all. Smith, you get up there and tie the ropes...(SMITH AD LIBS) Farnley will whip one horse out. [FARNLEY: You bet I will.] Mapes will whip the second. [MAPES: Right, Major.] (SLIGHT PAUSE) And Gerald -- you'll whip out the third. 


MUSIC: (SHARP ACCENT CHORD...AND CONTINUE UNDER:)


DAVIES: I could see it now. The terrible quiet cruelty of the man, forcing his son -- a boy like Gerald -- to be an executioner...But it was fate, I thought, that Gerald should fail him this once again. At the very last moment the boy turned away, sobbing and choking -- until Tetley stepped forward, struck him down with his gun, and whipped the third horse out himself...Then, as those three figures kicked convulsively in the air, he turned to Farnley very quietly -- (MUSIC CUTS


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) Finish them, Farnley.


FARNLEY: (GRIM) Right...(THREE SHOTS, SPACED DELIBERATELY)(AFTER LAST SHOT, MEN MURMUR...SPARKS STARTS SINGING SPIRITUAL SOFTLY)


MAPES: (HAPPILY) Well, that's done with. Now we can --  


SHERIFF: (OFF, SHOUTING) You, there! What's going on?


FARNLEY: (QUICKLY) Hey, it's the Sheriff!


SHERIFF: (COMING IN, ON HORSE) What's up, eh? What's all the shooting for? 


MAPES: (PROUDLY) There they are, Sheriff. We got 'em, all right. 


SHERIFF: Got who, Mapes? What're you talkin' about? 


MAPES: Kinkaid's murderers! We got all three of 'em!


FARNLEY: And hung 'em too!


SHERIFF: (SHOCKED) You must be loco! Larry Kinkaid ain't dead! (MEN MURMUR, BEWILDERED


FARNLEY: (STAMMERING) Not dead?


MAPES: (BEWILDERED) But -- but we thought --


SHERIFF: I just left Kinkaid with the doctor. And I got the fellas that shot him, too. (CROWD IS DAZED


MAPES: But Sheriff -- these fellas -- they had Larry's cattle -- and no bill of sale and -- 


SHERIFF: (GRIM) Give me your badge, Mapes...


MAPES: (DAZED) Sure...sure... 


SHERIFF: Mr. Davies, I know you well enough to know you didn't have anything to do with this. I'm depending on you to tell me who did.


DAVIES: (QUIETLY) All but four.


SHERIFF: (GRIM) Well, God better have mercy on the rest of 'em, because they ain't gonna get any from me. I'll meet you at Judge Tyler's in the morning. (HORSE GALLOPS OFF) (LOW UNCOMFORTABLE MURMUR FROM MEN)


TETLEY: (SLIGHT PAUSE, THEN VERY QUIETLY) Gentlemen, under the circumstances, I think we'd better return to our homes.


MUSIC: (IN FOR BRIDGE...AND FADE OUT INTO:


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) I'm going into my study, Gerald. I wish to be alone. 


GERALD: (QUIETLY) I want to talk to you first.


TETLEY: (QUIETLY) I have no desire to discuss anything with you.


GERALD: (SOFTLY) No...because you've got an idea what I want to say....(SUDDEN BURST) You loved it, didn't you? I saw your face! The face of a depraved and murderous beast!... You knew in your heart those men were innocent, but you were cold crazy to see them hanged! To make me see it too! (DOOR OPENS) Go ahead --- go into your study! (DOOR CLOSES) Go and hide behind your door, Major Tetley! That won't do you any good! Because I know the truth about you now! I'm not the coward in this family! You are! You're the coward! You're the--- (BREAKS OFF WITH MUFFLED SHOT...A FRACTIONAL PAUSE IN DEAD SILENCE, THEN BODY FALLS OFF MIKE...ANOTHER SLIGHT PAUSE, THEN:) Go ahead! Put a bullet in yourself--that doesn't change anything! You're the coward! You! You!


MUSIC: IN FOR BRIDGE...AND FADE OUT INTO


MURMUR OF MEN'S VOICES...LOW, UNCOMFORTABLE


DARBY: (GROWLS) What's the matter, don't nobody want to buy a drink? (NO ANSWER) I ain't runnin' this saloon for my health, you know. 


FARNLEY: (GRUFF) I don't feel like a drink right now.


MAPES: (WRY) Funny thing -- me either.


DAVIES: (QUIETLY) Would some of you boys like me to tell you why? 


FARNLEY: (GRUFF) Lay off, Davies.


DAVIES: Because I asked you to read a letter, and you wouldn't. You wouldn't even listen to it...But you're going to listen. You're going to listen to it now. I'm going to read it to you...(MEN MURMUR, MISERABLE) It says: "My dear wife...Mr. Davies will tell you what is happening here tonight. He's done everything he can for me...I suppose there are some other good men here too, only they don't seem to realize what they're doing. They're the ones I feel sorry for. They'll have to go on remembering this all their lives... A man just naturally can't take the law into his own hands and hang people without hurting everybody in the world. Because then he's not just breaking one law but all laws...Law is a lot more than words you put on a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It's sort of like the conscience of the whole world, and when you hit at that, you hit at everybody -- everywhere."...(SLIGHT PAUSE) There's more, but it's kind of personal. I don't think he'd want me to read it. Besides, I think you've heard enough.


FARNLEY: (HUSKILY) Yeh...I -- I gotta be goin' anyway.


MAPES: (MUMBLES) Me too. 


MEN: (AD LIB) (MUMBLING, MISERABLE AND ASHAMED) "GETTIN' LATE." ... "LET'S GO" ... "GOTTA GIT HOME" ... "COME ON" ...


MUSIC: (IN, TO COVER...AND FADE OUT SLOWLY, UNDER:)


DAVIES: (SOFTLY) They've gone now. The town looks almost deserted again...a blazing sun. One dusty street, and nothing moving -- just an old tired mongrel dog...It won't be remembered very long...A small thing. Not much. You might say -- just an incident.


(SPARKS STARTS SINGING SPIRITUAL SOFTLY...HOLD FOR FEW BARS, UNTIL)


MUSIC: (IN FULL TO COVER...FOR CURTAIN) 


(APPLAUSE)


SMITH: Our stars William Eythe, Edward Arnold, and Charlie Ruggles, will return to the microphone in just a moment.


QUARTET: How mild, 

How mild,

How mild can a cigarette be? 

Make the Camel thirty-day test 

And you'll see...


SMITH: Yes, it's Camels for mildness...and flavor, too. Camel's costly tobaccos are properly aged and expertly blended for your smoking enjoyment!


BARCLAY: Among the millions who enjoy Camels are many, many doctors. More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette, according to a nationwide survey. One hundred thirteen thousand, five hundred and ninety-seven doctors were asked what cigarette they smoked. The brand named most was Camel!


SMITH: Friends, buy your Camels by the carton -- it's thrifty and you always have Camels when you want them. 


QUARTET: So mild,

So mild, 

So mild that you're bound to agree 

That Camels suit you to a T, 

To a T...

Smoke Camels and see!


SMITH: Now, before our final curtain falls, one final word of thanks to our stars, Edward Arnold, Charlie Ruggles, William Eythe, and Henry Morgan, for a magnificent story magnificently told. Believe me, you can all be proud of this wonderful half hour you've given us.


RUGGLES: Thank you, Verne. But if we're proud of anything in this industry, it's the Motion Picture Relief Fund and its Country House and Hospital. They're largely supported by this radio series, and we count it a privilege to be invited here.


ARNOLD: Very true, Charlie - and for more reasons than one.


EYTHE: The other being our sponsor, of course? 


ARNOLD: That's right, Bill. Each week, the makers of Camels send gift cigarettes to servicemen's and veterans' hospitals. This week, the Camels go to Veterans' Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio and Oakland, California...U.S. A.A.F. Station Hospital., Mitchel Field, New York...U. S. Naval Hospital, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. More than one hundred ninety million free Camels have now been sent to servicemen, servicewomen and veterans.


EYTHE: Happy smoking, fellows. Your free cigarettes are on their way to you now with the compliments of Camels.


RUGGLES: And by the way....Here's a hearty welcome to the Camel Family, to my old friend Ed Wynn, and his new television show. 


(APPLAUSE)


MUSIC: THEME


SMITH: Remember, every Thursday night -- the Camel Screen Guild Theatre! Next week, a hilarious comedy - the rib tickling story of a man who marries a lady doctor and practically has to make an appointment to get kissed!...It's the delightful farce "You Belong To Me" starring Lucille Ball and Don Ameche, and really, if you like to laugh, this is just what the doctor ordered. Be sure to listen!


BARCLAY: And for more fun and hilarity, don't miss Camel Cigarettes other great show over these same stations. Tomorrow night - the Jimmy Durante Show with Don Ameche and Vera Vague. 


The Camel Screen Guild Theatre is directed, by Bill Lawrence. The adaptations are by Harry Kronman.


SMITH: "The Ox-Bow Incident" was presented through the courtesy of 20-th Century-Fox, producers of Darryl F. Zanuck's "Twelve O'Clock High". 


BARCLAY: William Eythe can soon be seen in the Columbia picture "Custom's Agent". Edward Arnold's next release is the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production "The Yellow Cab Man". Charlie Ruggles can be seen each week on television starring in "The Ruggles."


SMITH: And remember, next Thursday night - the Camel Screen Guild Theatre presents "You Belong To Me" starring Lucille Ball and Don Ameche. This is Verne Smith speaking.


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