BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)

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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)





    Sam Bass


    Jillian Bass

    Registered Sam BassWGAw 2018 Broadway

    Little Rock AR. 72204


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    501/240-3253 501/[email protected]


    FADE IN:


    People are gathering on the court house lawn. They are alllooking up. A few are carrying American flags.

    Some employees come out of the courthouse and also look upas they stand around the courthouse landing. CARTER FERGUSON, an average long-haired man in his twentieswalks out of the courthouse and stops on the front steps.He looks up.

    Carter can see a few of his friends in the second floorwindow above him. They wave.

    Carter smiles and waves back.

    Suddenly fireworks begin to cover the sky. The upperatmosphere is filled with loud booms and colorfulexplosions.

    Carter smiles as he watches the show. He notices the policemoving quickly through the crowd toward an Indian man andhis family.

    ALAMO GARCIA, an average middle-aged Apache Indian man withbrilliant green eyes stands in the crowd with his wife andfive year old son. Two policemen approach him. They speakfor a moment and the police grab Alamo and throw him to theground roughly handcuffing him.

    Alamo looks up from the ground at Carter with his piercing

    eyes as if he is asking for help.

    Carter sadly shakes his head and goes inside.


    Carter walks past some very seedy people and a few classypeople on his way to the elevator. He passes a couple of


    mailto:[email protected]:[email protected]
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    prisoners in handcuffs outside the courtroom waiting to beheard.

    Carter looks around the area as he pushes the elevatorbutton and waits.

    The elevator door opens and he gets on.


    Carter turns to the elevator buttons to select his floor.

    CLOSE ON Carters finger pushes the basement button andthe elevator goes down.


    Ancient court records and journals are crowded into oldhardwood shelves filling the ancient basement library toover flowing capacity.

    Carter opens a thick and heavy antique wooden door whilethe modern elevator doors close in the background. He walksinside.

    ANDY, a young and heavy-set county deputy is in the librarylooking around.

    ANDYHey Carter. There was an Indianin here trying to steal a book.I was just checking it out.

    Carter looks around and nods.

    CARTERThat must have been what was goingon outside.

    ANDYYeah, the city boys caught him.

    (turns toward thedoor)

    Gotta run, see ya buddy.

    Carter has a second thought.


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    CARTERWhat kinda book?

    Andy looks back.

    ANDYI put it right over there.

    (points toward ashelf)

    The leather one.

    Carter nods.

    CARTEROkay thanks, Andy. Check yalater.

    Andy walks out.

    Carter picks up a donut and a cup of coffee from his oldoak desk that sits next to the door. He takes a bit of thedonut and a sip of coffee. Carter balances his drink andfood as he awkwardly slams the ponderous door behind himwith his foot.

    Abruptly a single book from a badly stacked set of smallrecord books falls.

    Carter turns and looks at the book. He trips and catcheshimself on a shelf. The shelf begins to lean and Cartercatches it.

    Suddenly from the top shelf a few more books fall. He looksup and abruptly a book hits him in the head.

    Carter quickly dodges another large book and steps to theside still holding the shelf. More books fall finallycreating a small mound of journals before him. The lastleather bound book falls and slams open to a page thatshows a hand-sketched picture.

    Carter looks at the open book and then closer while holdingthe heavy shelves. He sets the almost empty bookshelvesupright and then looks up.

    Two mid-sized Gecko lizards stand on the top shelf. Theysuddenly scurry away.


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    CARTERI knew you two were involved.

    Carter looks down and reaches for the open book.

    CLOSE ON a hand sketched picture of a Spanish Cavalryofficer standing besides a working mine entrance. It has asub-title written under the picture in script (written inSpanish, sub-titled in English) BLACK RIVER, IN THE YEAROF OUR LORD-1430.

    Carter picks up the book. He begins to read and slowlymoves over and sits on the floor next to the pile ofjournals while still reading.




    CAPTAIN OBED MONTOYA, a Spanish military officer that ismiddle-aged and handsome rides his cavalry mount across therolling hills toward an army encampment.

    The Spanish armed encampment is set up in front of a miningoperation that is busy with servicemen and Apache Indiansworking the mine next to a shallow river bank.

    CARTER (V.O.)My name is Carter Ferguson andIm a county courthouse recordsclerk. Today is the fourth ofJuly and my lucky day. I amreading the Black River townshiprecords book. A book that changedmy life.

    The powerful captain stops his horse in camp and dismounts.He ties his mount to a crude hitching post and is readilygreeted by a formal salute from LIEUTENANT CARERRA MENDOZA,a young and energetic officer. Captain Montoya smiles andreturns the salute to his friend.

    MENDOZA(spoken in Spanish,


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    sub-titled in English)Captain, good to see you.

    The Captain is glad to see his friend.

    MONTOYA(spoken in Spanish,

    sub-titled in English)Thank you Carerra, hows the minegoing?

    The lieutenant smiles with pride.

    MENDOZAWe have had a lot of success.There are about twelve hundredminers bars in the mine and alot more mining to go.

    The captain becomes serious.

    MONTOYAI have news from Spain. Orderscame to me by courier about themine. We have to close itimmediately. It is to be sealedand the location mapped. We arevacating the Americas and goinghome.

    The lieutenant is happy about going home but remains formal.

    MENDOZAIll give the order. We shouldkeep the location secret tosecure the gold.

    The captain nods and walks away to go look inside the busymine.

    The lieutenant starts yelling orders to his soldiers in thecamp.


    Break camp. Harerra close themine.


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    Captain Montoya passes Apache workers and walks inside thelarge cavern to look around.


    The Captain glances across the broad cavern lit by oiltorches.

    He sees Apache people stacking raw miners bars of gold ina corner almost to the top of the ten feet high ceiling. Itis literally a mountain of gold.

    CARTER (V.O.)As I read, I couldnt believe thewealth this desert had produced forso few.

    Montoya continues to look around the big room like aninspector general.

    In the rock walls of the mine are multiple veins ofglistening gold six inches wide threaded across the expanseof the giant room and into the darkness.

    A few soldiers are stacking kegs of gunpowder at theentrance of the mine while another puts wicks in the powderbarrels.

    Montoya casually strolls outside still looking aroundwatching the activity.

    EXT. SPANISH MINE Montoya and Mendoza meet and watch the soldiers herdingApache inside the mine.

    MONTOYAGood job Carerra. Your camp isrun very well.

    The officers attention is drawn to an argument going onnear the cavern entrance.

    MENDOZAThank you sir.


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    ANTONIO GARCIA, a young handsome soldier with Spanish greeneyes is quietly arguing with the sergeant in charge.

    GARCIA(spoken in Spanish,

    sub-titled in English)You cant kill these people. Theyhave done nothing but help us.

    The sergeant is little angry with the soldier questioninghis authority.

    SERGEANT(spoken in Spanish,

    sub-titled in English)It is not for you to question theorders of our superior officer.

    (whispers to Garcia)The officers are watching. Goabout your duty.

    The soldier pushes verbally.

    GARCIASergeant, this is murder. Youknow the church forbids it.

    The strong sergeants words push back. He is angrier withGarcia now.

    SERGEANTDo your duty or be shot withthem.

    The soldier just stares at him.

    He suddenly takes an ancient pistol from his belt andpoints it at the sergeant. Everyone freezes in place.

    Garcia is staring at his sergeant while he contemplates hissituation. He looks at the Indians and the soldiers holdingthem at gun point.

    GARCIALet the Apache go.

    (no one moves)Let them go!


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    The sergeant sees Mendoza from the corner of his eye. Henods to his men.

    The soldiers relax their weapons and the Apache start tomove away.

    Mendoza takes his pistol out and unceremoniously shootsAntonio.

    Antonio is jolted and fires his pistol as he falls. Thecrude bullet hits a powder keg.

    The keg blows up blasting soldiers and Indians across thefront of the cavern.

    Most of the soldiers quickly recover from the blast andbegin to shoot the Apache.

    Another soldier hurriedly lights a fuse on the remaininggun powder kegs and signals the others.

    SPANISH SOLDIER(spoken in Spanish,

    sub-titled in English)Fire in the hole.

    They all rush to a nearby stone wall and get behind itwhile other soldiers shoot the Indians keeping them penneddown inside the cavern.

    The officers rush to follow the soldiers behind the wall.

    The mine blows up. Dust rolls across the area and all issilent. Debris falls from the sky on the officers andsoldiers.

    Out of sight a middle-aged and wounded Apache man isdragging himself behind some rocks to hide with the help ofa very young Indian boy.

    The soldiers and officers wait a moment for the air toclear.

    Antonio wakes up after being knocked out from the blast. Heweakly crawls to a nearby hiding place behind some Yuccaplants. He checks his shoulder wound.


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    The air is clearing and the soldiers quickly move to theircampsite and gather a few things.

    The company sergeant looks toward the captain.

    SERGEANTSir, what do you want us to dowith the bodies?

    The captain looks around the area.

    MONTOYALeave them. The coyotes willclean up. Lets move out.

    The sergeant turns to the men as he gets on his horse andsignals them.

    SERGEANTMount up. Form up, move out.

    They finish saddling their horses and mount up. The menform a column and ride out northbound lead by theirofficers and the sergeant.

    The wounded Apache man and the young boy quietly watch fromtheir safe place.

    The soldiers go out of sight over a small hill.

    The Apache looks at the small boy.

    APACHE(spoken in Apache

    sub-titled in English)Go to our camp. Tell the peoplewhat has happened here. We willwait for the Spaniards to returnfor the yellow metal and killthem all.

    The boy nods and runs away.

    Antonio Garcia hears the talking. He weakly stands andcautiously walks from behind his hiding place holding hispistol apprehensively.


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    The Apache casually looks at him with a sad face.

    APACHECome sit with me friend. It issafe. You are with the Apachenow. The army will kill you forwhat you did.

    Antonio smiles and nods as he sits down on the rocks anddirt with his new friend.

    GARCIAMurderers always try to covertheir deeds with another murder.

    The two tattered men stare into the distance.



    A quiet and large banquet room has about thirty peoplewalking around while talking and having soft drinkstogether. Many stroll along looking at various informationbooths and equipment displays.

    CLOSE ON - a banner on the wall tells the tale: "WELCOME2010 GOVERNMENT RECORDS CLERKS."

    JOHN HINES, a little bit nerdy thirtyish man stands with afriend and co-worker, LANE MILES, a pretty, mid-twentieswoman. They talk with their friend, Carter Ferguson thatworks with them from his archive basement office.

    The sparsely filled banquet room is quiet and reserved.John looks around the broad facility and directs a questionto Carter.

    JOHNSo, Carter you enjoying theconvention?

    Carter is a happy man and smiles

    CARTERYeah man, its too wild. This


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    government mob is rockin.Theyre so so lively.

    Carter yawns and puts his hand over his mouth.

    Lane starts to yaw but stops.

    LANEDing Dongs for everyone.

    John smiles. He understands and relates.

    JOHNYeah, I shoulda been a computertech. At least they have coolparties.

    Lane is amused at the two nerdy guys.

    LANECome on ladies snap out of it.Were here, so enjoy the quiet.

    Carter is amused.

    CARTERLets bail to the bar? Theresprobably some government doubleoh sevens in there.

    Everyone agrees and they walk out.


    Carter John and Lane walk into the quiet bar and sit at atable.

    Soft Rock music is playing. RILEY, a thirty something verypretty heavily tattooed waitress picks up empties from thetable and generally cleans up.

    RILEYWhatll ya have?

    John is confident.



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    Seven-up around, I'm buying. The waitress is friendly and speaks as she walks away.

    RILEYRight, Seven with no Seagrams.I'll be right back.

    Carter looks up as she leaves.

    CARTERThat waitress acts like we areweird for not drinking booze.that stuff taste like horsepiss. I dont get it.

    Lane looks at Carter and John.

    LANEYou guys ever find anythinginteresting in the old recordswere you work?

    John smiles.

    JOHNYeah, way in the back, some oldpantyhose and donuts.

    Riley walks up and begins to serve the drinks while Cartertalks. She slows down to hear him.

    Carter speaks up.

    CARTERDude I found a lot of stuff inthe old Americas Spanish Navalarchives that are stored in thebasement of our court house.Dont know how they got there,But those things must be fouror four hundred years old fromwhen the Spaniard were here.They show huge shipments of goldfrom this area and a report by anarmy cavalry captain about leavingbehind a massive treasure. Could


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    be B-S, but maybe not. Anyway itsa cool story.

    Riley listens while slowly sitting the last drink down onthe table.

    RILEYOkay, power drinks all around.

    She smiles at everybody and leaves.

    Johns looks at her then gets back to his conversation.

    JOHNYeah, those stories could bereal especially since they arein the court record?

    Lane is getting into the treasure hunt. Her professionalismcomes out with her high interest.

    LANEThe narratives in those archivesare real. Their court records arenever wrong. The old scribes werecompletely honest and superefficient.

    Carter is not at all skeptical. He likes treasurer huntingand gets totally into the conversation.

    CARTERYeah, thats right. They keptpremo records. Ive heard aboutpeople who found treasures justlike this one by doing the samework we do and they made aga-zillion.

    Lane is enthused. She chimes in to support the idea.

    LANEThere was a guy recently in thenewspaper that found a bigtreasure in Florida through atext message from his partner ina museum that was researching


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    I can route it to your officeJohn. Then we could compile thedata and build a map. Bingo,treasure.

    John smiles a surrender to the idea and nods. Lane isenthused.

    LANEYeah and New Mexicos the placefor it. The Spaniards foundtreasures all over the place.They always did their best here.

    John is skeptical.

    JOHNBlack River is near Artesia?What could possibly be in thatlittle town.

    The waitress still listens closely as she slowly clears anearby table.

    Carter smiles confidently.

    CARTERCome on dont be a turd, Mr., Imso glad to be negative. I want todo this. Its real, not some maybedeal. Like I said, Ill do mostof the work when I set-up thecomputer and collect the data. Allyou two have to do is build a map.We can start with Black River thatsas real as it gets. The treasuresalready found all we gotta do islocate were its stashed.

    John is more conservative.

    JOHNOkay, lets look into it. It couldbe worth a shot. Sounds better thananything else Ive heard of.

    They are all happy about their decision.


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    Riley comes up to the table again still listening veryclose.

    RILEYYou guys treasure hunters?

    Carter and Lane smile.

    CARTERNa, we work at the courthouse inCarlsbad.

    She nods.

    RILEYThat hidden treasure stuff alwaysinterested me.

    Carter smiles looking at her body as she rubs up againsthim.

    CARTERMe too.

    The waitress smiles at him and flirts while chewing hergum.

    Lane looks at her with suspicion.

    LANEYeah, I like treasure hunts.

    John smiles at the word play.



    John is standing with his tie pulled open talking on a cellphone in his office.


    A large homemade hand drawn map is on the wall behind him.The chart has directional arrows all over it with personalnotes. The top of the map is titled: BLACK RIVER.


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    JOHNCarter, how are things goingdown under? The informationhas gone wild. Its pouringin.

    CARTER (TELEPHONE V.O.)I have a few more pieces ofinfo., but Im about donehere.

    John is upbeat.

    JOHNGood, theres so much stuff inMy office I had to buy somefile buckets to hold it all.Im pretty sure this story isreal. The Spaniards were veryactive with this mine, more thanthe others.


    Carter is still on his cell phone with John. He sits behindhis make shift desk relaxed in his Van Halen concert tee-shirt with his hair back in a pony tail. One of his Geckolizards is on his deck looking at him.

    A long haired co-worker dressed in shorts, tee-shirt andtennis shoes brings in coffee and sits with him proppinghis feet up on a crate of documents.

    CARTERThats good news. I think wereready. Everything I have willwrap up today. Okay later.

    Carter hangs up and puts his phone away. He continues thework looking at his slacker friend.


    Dude, youre not the coffee girlScrewin the boss. Go ta work.


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    His friend looks at him as if he is crazy and walks outtalking.

    FRIENDWhen you got promoted to thebasement it went to your headMacGuyver. Now youre trippinin your hampster cage all thetime.

    Carter is amused and shakes his head while still working.He pets his lizard.

    CARTERThank God I got a cage ta callhome bonehead.

    Riley, the waitress from the convention walks in with asexy strut. She is dress in a low cut colorful halter-topand short skirt. She straddles Carter and sits on his lapfacing him.

    RILEYHi lover.

    She sets her purse on the desk nearly hitting the Gecko.The lizard scurries away.

    The second lizard watches from a nearby shelf.

    Carter smiles as Riley kisses him passionately. She stopsand looks at him.


    Did ya miss me wang muffin?

    Carter nods as they kiss again.


    John hangs up his cell phone. It rings and he answers.

    JOHNHello, Hi Lane. Yes, I spoketo Carter.


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    Lane gets down to business.

    LANE (TELEPHONE V.O.)Hey this treasure thing justchanged to fact. I found anold military report writtenby an American CavalryCaptain. He wrote a reportabout a battle at Black River.Some green eyed Apaches foughtwith his troops and theycaptured one of them. He toldthe exact same story as thecourt records that Carter readabout the Spanish officer thatwas in command in the fourteenhundreds.

    John interrupts.

    JOHNThat just another piece of thepuzzle. It doesnt really proveanything.

    Lane continues her report

    LANE (TELEPHONE V.O.)It does. Theres one factor. TheIndian and the Spaniard toldtheir stories four hundred yearsapart with exactly the samedetails about the mine location.Those Indians turned into a cultof some kind while waiting to killthe Spaniards and the cultdeveloped chants to hold onto toinfo. They repeat that stuff untilit sticks. Like a ritual of sorts.Theres something special at BlackRiver. Ive sent the report up toyou. We can finish the map now. Besure and secure your site, so wedont share the blessing right now,especially with the wrong people. Thisis very big.


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    Carter walks in.

    CARTERHave you heard?

    John smiles and nods yes. He points at Carter cheek andfakes a kiss with his lips.

    Carters cheek has lipstick marks all over it. He starts towipe his cheek and look at his hand. He smiles.


    Smiling is the second best thingyou can do with your lips.

    John grins listening to the cell phone.

    JOHNYeah, Carter just walked in. Ithink we should go to Artesiaand use our vacation time tofind the mine.

    LANE (TELEPHONE V.O.)Great, me too.

    The telephone hangs up.

    Carter is enthused as he whips his cheek off and chimes inwith Lanes statement.

    CARTERWhen are we leaving?

    John smiles as he puts his phone away.

    JOHNIll pick you two up as soonas we know when we can get outof here.

    (looks at Carter)Dont tell that tatooed girlanything.

    Carter points at himself.


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    CARTERMe, the man that lives in thecone of silence?

    John rolls his eyes and sits down. He leans back in hischair and relaxes.

    JOHNShes trouble. Looks good, butdamaged goods.

    Carter is amused at his friend.

    CARTERI like her, but my lips aresealed. It just that shes soso into some really gooddestructive habits.

    John is day dreaming about his possible millions.

    JOHNThese days being weird isntenough. Just focus on thetreasure. All due respect shestrouble.

    Carter sits down and joins the dream.

    CARTERIm focused. I see a Porsche inmy future.

    John smiles while being amused with his friend.

    JOHNAnd leave the lizards in thelibrary.

    Carter shrugs his shoulders in agreement with John.



    Johns loaded Suburban is speeding down a lonely deserthighway.


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    The vehicle passes Alamo Garcia. He is walking on the sideof the road at a steady pace.

    He stops and looks at them as the Suburban goes by speedingon down the road.

    Two motorcycles pass Alamo as he watches the Suburban.

    INT. SUBURBAN John is driving his Suburban watching the highway.

    JOHNI guess that guy has a homeway out here.

    Lane looks back toward the Indian man.

    LANEHes okay. Those people arenomads of the desert. Theycan handle it.

    Carter is reading a book about treasure hunting and Laneturns to look at their map with Carter.

    CARTERIsnt this great? Were on ourway to fine cars, big housesand for once in our lives cash.The tools of great success andhappiness.

    Lane looks at him and smiles.

    LANEYeah, I always liked the conceptof rich. Its much better that


    Carter chimes in.

    CARTERAccording to my calculations basedon the amount of gold stored in themine. Were looking at four hundred


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    million plus. Im buying only thebest from now on. Im on up-grade.

    Everyone is happy.

    JOHNChill, we dont have it yet.



    The Suburban is still speeding down the highway. It slowsand quickly turns on to another highway at an intersectionfollowed by two motorcycles.

    John stops on the shoulder of the road. Carter gets out andurinates behind a huge rock. He gets back in the suburbanand it starts to drive away as the two motorcycles speedpast them.


    Carter takes the map that Lane is holding and startslooking it over.

    CARTERHey, we turn right up here.

    Carter points.

    Lane appears surprised.

    LANEI think its further up.

    Carter is sure.

    CARTERRight here John.

    John turns off the highway on to a dirt road.



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    The two motorcycles with riders and one female passengerroll to a stop sitting behind an out cropping of rocks onthe side of the road.

    They watch the Suburban go down the dusty road.


    John drives for a minute and slams on the brakes.

    JOHN P.O.V. THROUGH THE WINDSHIELD Directly in front of them is a large treeless lake.


    Lane looks at Carter.

    LANEHis mind is like a steel trap.Rusty and illegal.

    The group just sits there for a few seconds staring.

    JOHNA lake in the desert?

    Lane is amused.

    LANEIts a new lake. The state putit in a few years back.

    Carter is up-set.

    CARTERThe treasures underwater. We losteverything. Were poor.

    John looks at Carter for a second and then turns his mapright side up and Lane points to a location on the map.

    LANETwo miles north Goofy. Weresouth.

    Carter smiles and shrugs his shoulders.


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    John turns the truck around and drives back toward thehighway.

    JOHNA few drink at the fountain ofknowledge. Most just gargle.

    CARTERGees, I thought we had lost thedeal before we got started. Imsorry.

    John glances back at him.

    JOHNLane, does the Maps from nowon.

    Carter rolls his eyes and gives the map to Lane.

    LANEIts cool Carter. When yourReceiving flak youre overthe target.


    The motorcycles start-up as the image of the womanpassenger looks at a map then puts it away.

    The Suburban passes by and the motorcycles follow at anundetectable distance.



    The Suburban stops and everyone gets out. Lane looksaround.

    LANEThis place is really spooky.

    They all unload their gear and start setting up camp.Carter picks up firewood.


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    Almost forgot. Watch out for themgreen eyed Apache. They dont likepeople hangin around here. Theyllcut ya, maybe just scalp ya ifyoure lucky.

    Mathews smiles. He jumps in his vehicle and drives away ina cloud of dust.

    Everyone watches as the dust boils around them.

    CARTERHe thinks hes a tough guy.

    John is more serious as he waves dust from his face.

    JOHNI think he really is.

    Lane smiles.

    LANEHes just a frustrated redneck.Whats this about green eyedApache.

    Carter is brave.

    CARTERIf the freak messes with me, I'llcall the cops and these federalplaces got Indian police.

    Lane smiles at the rhetoric.

    LANEI think I read about the Greeneyed Apache. The legend says; agreen eyed Spanish soldier, triedto save the Apache from wholesalemurder at the Black River mine andwas shot for his trouble by an armyofficer. He was taken in by theApache and finally became chief. He


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    had many green eyed babies. Thosebabies became guardians of the mineand avengers of the massacre. Theband was so obsessed it became somesort of a misguided cult. I guess thecult still operates today. I believethey kill only with knives and onlypeople that come close to discoveringthe mine, especially Spaniards.

    (she slides her fingeracross her throatdemonstrating a cuttingmotion.)

    Then they eat your liver or something.

    Alamo Garcia quietly watches the group from seclusion androlls his eyes at the suggestion.

    John bravely speaks up.

    JOHNGreat, now we have to deal withgreen eyed killer cult Indiansthat is in a rage out forrevenge.

    Carter and Lane chuckle.

    LANEProbably just a myth.

    Carter is amused.

    CARTERIf the Indians come well intro.them to Mathews and his liver.


    The sun comes up.

    Three tents are up and the campfire is still going in thecenter of the camp. Carter and John are getting up and Laneis cooking breakfast.

    John stretches.


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    JOHNDid anyone hear the wild borein Carters tent last night?

    Lane looks toward John.

    LANEI heard it. It was more like afart-a-thon.

    Lane and John are amused.

    Carter feels insulted.

    CARTERYou probably think reading in thebathroom is multi-tasking.

    Lane has stopped cooking and is unrolling their delicatemap.

    Carter and John look over at her.

    Lane changes the subject.


    Hey, I put in every old landmarkI found on the map. I thoughtthey might help us find the mineeasier. By my calculations it isdown the riverbank east about aquarter mile.

    Everyone gathers around looking at the map.

    JOHNListen, when were out huntingfor treasure look for anythingout of the ordinary because theriver has dried up and changedmany times since the mine wasfirst located here, so it couldbe any place.

    Carter is up and excited to go.


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    CARTERLets get going. Watch out forthe green eye.

    Everyone gathers their gear and proceeds up the dry river-bed.


    Suddenly a male deer cross the dry riverbed in front ofthem. He stops and sniffs the air.

    John is looking curiously at the deer.

    JOHNWhat the heck is he doing.

    Lane is cautious.

    LANEMove slow. Hes a freakin ruttingbuck and were in his nookieterritory.

    Carter is amused. He turns to Lane.

    CARTERWhat a pant load. Hes not goingto kick our asses over a littletail.

    The buck snorts and looks straight at Carter rolling hishead displaying his horns.

    John backs up a little.

    JOHNI think hes pissed.

    Carter looks at the deer and chuckles.

    CARTERI dont think so. Hes juststanding there.


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Alamo, the green eyed Apache stands confidently a hundredfeet above Mathews on a bluff un-noticed watching RancherMathews and the group.

    Suddenly a loud whistle is heard blowing without pause.John and Carter look at Lane her face is red from blowingher whistle so hard.

    The bucks ears perk up and he runs away.

    They cautiously get down out of the tree and Lane puts thewhistle away.

    LANEIf Id had a gun we couldvehad steak tonight.

    John and Carter look at each other surprised.

    JOHNId rather get mine at a grocerystore.


    Carter and Lane have fallen behind John as they walk downthe riverbed reading the treasure map, not payingattention.

    CARTERI hope we dont run into a ruttingopossum or something. Maybe a hornydesert donkey.

    Lane smiles as they walk.

    LANEThat deer was just a freak deal.Rarely happens.

    CLINTON BLACK, an average older man and a prospector issitting on a rock above the couple.

    BLACKHowdy there.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Carter and Lane nearly fall from fright. They look up andsee Black and they appear relieved.

    CARTERAh hell-o.

    Lane puts her hands on her hips.

    LANEWho are you?

    Mr. Black is kind and a little smug.

    BLACKA better question. Who are you?

    Lane gestures toward Carter.

    LANEThis is Carter. Im Lane.

    Carter shades his eyes while looking up.

    Mr. Black smiles and stands.

    BLACKWell in that case, I'm ClintonBlack.

    Lane is a little friendlier.

    LANEAre you another crazy Rancher?

    Mr. Black is amused.

    BLACKNope, people think Im just plaincrazy, but Im no rancher. Guessyouve met Mathews, Mr. wonderful.

    Carter gets down to business.

    CARTERYeah, what are you doing here?Just for the recreation I guess?


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Mr. Black continues to be patient and friendly.

    BLACKYeah, Im independently wealthyand just do this to help thelittle people.

    Lane is watching him.

    LANEYou a miner?

    Clint smiles down at them.

    BLACKYou must be psychic. I'm prospectin.Are you?

    Lane likes Mr. Black and begins to be friendly.

    LANENo, you found anything yet?

    Mr. Black is amused.

    BLACKJust a matter of time.

    Lanes curiousity is up.

    LANEBeen at it long?

    Mr. Black smiles big.


    Carter decides Mr. Black is a harmless desert prospectorand wants to make friends so he can get more informationabout the area.

    CARTERWhy dont you come to our campTonight. Well talk prospectorand you can meet our friend,John.


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    Mr. Black slides down a rock near them.

    BLACKThat would be nice Ill havemy people check my schedule.

    Mr. Black moves to a more comfortable distance from Laneand Carter.

    Carter looks up.

    CARTERYou know were our camp is?

    Mr. Black smiles.


    Mr. Black turns and walks out of sight.

    Lane turns to Carter.

    LANEWhy did you invite a perfectlyweird stranger to our camp.

    Carter radiates with over-confidence.

    CARTERInformation dense one.

    Lane smiles.

    LANESaid the serial to the killer.

    CLOSE ON - Rancher Mathews still watching from the hillsabove.

    Carter and Lane continue to walk down the rough riverbed.

    Across the ravine the two bikers and Carters waitressgirlfriend are also watching.


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    ANGELOWhat the hell is that Indiandoing.

    DAMON, a younger strong looking man and Angelos sidekickwhispers to him.

    DAMONHes probable robbinem.

    Riley shakes her head.

    RILEYYou dill weeds give it a rest.I can only handle so muchintellect. Pay attention; theIndian is one of those greeneyed Apache that wants to runthem off. We wait for theaction to start then we sweepin.

    Damon and Angelo dumbly nod their heads.


    Rancher Mathews stands and walks away carrying his leveraction rifle.



    John, Carter and Lane walk into the camp carrying miningtools. They put their tools down. Everyone is dirty fromdigging. They sit down around the campfire and begin tosnack on miscellaneous foods. Carter puts wood on the fireand stokes it with a stick.

    LANEIts going pretty slow.

    John looks up.

    JOHNNothing good happens quickly.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Carter speaks up.

    CARTERIts just the first day.

    Lane is too tired to argue the point.

    LANEOkay I get it. We gotta earn it.How about that rattler we saw.I thought they rattled. He justsat there.

    JOHNTo hot.

    Mr. Black walks into the camp from the darkness un-noticedwhile Carter is poking the campfire and putting on thecoffee-pot to warm-up.

    LANECarter and I met a prospectortoday.

    Mr. Black stops and smiles waiting to hear.

    Carter smiles at the thought of Mr. Black.

    CARTERA little loco maybe.

    Mr. Black walks on into the camp smiling. Everyone looksup.

    BLACKI heard that.

    Lane smiles at Mr. Black and casually adds another part tothe story.

    LANEThere was a wild looking greeneyed Indian we saw today too.

    John is sarcastic about making everybody feel good abouttheir hard day.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    JOHNOkay Indians, prospectors, andsnakes. Were rolling now.Tomorrow we'll do better. Maybescorpions or I know, wild assesand tame Jackasses everywhere.

    Carter is pleasantly surprised by Mr. Blacks entrance intothe camp.

    CARTEREveryone this is Mr. Black, theprospector.

    Mr. Black looks at John and Carter.

    BLACKA good prospector, could I getsome of that coffee?

    Lane gets up.


    Lane gets the coffee for him as he sits on a rock by thecampfire.


    Dont get usted to this.

    Mr. Black nods.

    BLACKThe only thing Im usted to isa hard time.

    John shows curiosity.

    JOHNAre you a miner?

    Mr. Black smiles.

    BLACKNope, been prospectin for thirty


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    years. I havent mined anythingyet, just found a few good sizenuggets.

    Carter leans forward toward Mr. Black.

    CARTERAs a pro do you think theresgold out there?

    Mr. Black fumbles in his pocket and pulls out a medium sizegold nugget rolling it around in the palm of his handshowing everybody.

    BLACKYes sir, found this a few days

    (points)ago, right over there.

    Mr. Black puts the nugget back in his pocket.

    JOHNYou mind if we ask you exactlywhere?

    Mr. Black is reluctant.

    BLACKDont mind, if you got someinformation you want to trade.

    John looks at the others.

    JOHNWe might, you first.

    Black smiles.

    BLACKNa, you first. Im the curioussort.

    John looks at the others for approval.

    They each nod assuredly.

    John gazes seriously.


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    JOHNAll right, were looking for theold Spanish mine that closed hereabout five or six hundred yearsago.

    Black slaps his knee and laughs.

    BLACKAint everybody.

    Everyone has a nervous grin. John speaks with conviction.

    JOHNI have a map.

    Black laughs again.

    BLACKEvery tradin post in the countysgot one of them.

    Lane speaks up.

    LANEShowem John.

    John turns to the backpack behind him and pulls out theirrolled up wrinkled map.

    Mr. Black takes the map and looks at it. He appearsinterested.

    BLACKYou could have somethin here.Theres an old legend aboutsome green eyed Apaches thatare guardin a mine like this.I might help ya for a equalshare.

    Carter is enthused.

    CARTERHes good.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Lane smiles.

    LANEWe know about the Indians.

    Mr. Black is confident.

    BLACKDo ya know about the markers?

    Lane smiles.

    LANENo, what markers?

    Mr. Black looks around.

    BLACKThey are large rocks that liein the river bed with codeddirections on them. They wereput there by the Spaniard andtheir Indian labor. The greeneyed Apache know aboutem, butdont how they work. The markslead right to the front door ofthe mine or at least close toit. I got a map etched on asheet of silver that came fromsome rouge Apache that didntknow what he had. If we canfigure out the code were in.

    They all look at each other with approval.

    JOHNAll right, let's pool resourcesand divide the treasure equallywhen we find it.

    Carter is upbeat and ready for the deal.

    CARTERWhat da think Mr. Black? Itspretty tempting, huh.

    Everyone watches and waits.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    BLACKWhy not. We dont know each other.What could we know that would makea difference? Maybe were all somekinda weirdo. But, Im in.

    They all look at each other a little uncomfortablewondering if they made the right decision. Then Lane breaksthe ice.

    LANEOkay Let's celebrate ourpartnership.

    She goes to the ice chest and brakes out soft drinkspassing them out.


    A toast, heres to Black RiverGold.

    Carter is serious for a moment.

    CARTERWhat about the Indian. He waspretty serious about us notbeing here.

    Mr. Black quickly speaks up.

    BLACKThats Alamo Garcia. He thinkshes the guardian of Black River.Some kind of cult deal the Apachehave. I dont think he will hurtya. Hes just scary.

    Lane appears concerned.

    LANESomebody needs to tell Mr. eeriethat.



  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Everyone is up straightening their beds and putting onbackpacks to move down the trail.

    A Sheriffs vehicle rolls into the camp and SHERIFF MARTIN,a middle aged handsome man gets out.

    SHERIFFHello folks. Im Sheriff Martin,mind if I ask what youre doingout here?

    John smiles and acts friendly.

    JOHNLooking for arrowheads.

    The sheriff smiles.

    SHERIFFJust came up to be sure you areOkay. The Rancher, Matthews thatleases the land next to this placewas in our office screamin' boutyou being here. Better be carefulhe's real mad about it and kind ofa physcho too.

    Everyone is watching the sheriff. John steps forward.

    JOHNThanks sheriff. Well watch out.

    The sheriff is getting back in his vehicle.

    SHERIFFIf there's any trouble, youfolks call me.

    (he sees Mr. Black)Hello Mr. Black.

    Mr. Black nods.

    He shuts his door and drives away.

    John turns and walks down the trail.



  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Mr. Black turns and walks up the trail to the maincampsite. Lane, Carter and John put the maps away in theirbackpack and follow Mr. Black walking up the trail intocamp with him.

    They are tired, dirty and dusty. John plops down by theburned out campfire. The rest follow suit.

    JOHNLet's go to town and get somethingto eat and take a bath.

    Everyone mumbles a chorus of agreement.

    Mr. Black speaks up.

    BLACKIll stay and watch the camp. Idont need to be in town.

    Carter likes Mr. Black and wants to make him feel good ifhe staying.

    CARTERAre you sure Mr. Black? Can webring you something? Maybe awoman or

    Mr. Black smiles. He is casual and comfortable.

    BLACKNo, Im fine.

    Everyone gets up, but Mr. Black.

    CARTERLater Desert Blacky.

    Mr. Black waves as they open the vehicle doors.

    The group gets into the Suburban and waves while the stereoplays old rock music as they drive away.




  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Carter looks back at Mr. Black.

    CARTERPoor old guy.

    Lane chimes in.

    LANEYeah, he needs somebody. I bethes really lonely.

    John is smiling looking in his rearview mirror.


    The Suburban turns into the motel parking lot. The Suburbanstops and everyone gets out.

    John is very happy.

    JOHNBoy, civilization is great.

    They all enter the Motel office.


    The MANAGER, A gray haired and elderly slim woman withreading glasses on the end of her nose looks up and smiles.

    MANAGERHello there.

    John is friendly

    JOHNWe need a room please.

    The old woman gruffly looks over her glasses at them andpushes an inkpen toward John.

    MANAGERFill out the card. The rooms areSixty-five a night for three. NoLoudness, no drinkin, no animalsNo B-S of any kind. Will it becash or card.


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    SHERIFFHi, I almost forgot. I saw Mr.Black earlier, he ask me totell you to bring a new pick.

    John is cureous.

    JOHNYou know Mr. Black?

    SHERIFFFor a long time. Gotta go.

    The sheriff leaves.

    John turns to Carter and the others while they gatheraround.

    JOHNHe just confirmed everythingwe researched, kind of.

    Rancher Mathews discretely sits in the corner of the barundetected watching.

    CARTERWhy would the sheriff know Mr.Black so well?

    Lane is interest in the question.

    LANEYeah that does seem curious.

    John looks around for a bathroom.

    JOHNProbable just because its asmall town. I gotta drain mylizard.

    Lane rolls her eyes.

    LANEDid you want to tell the otherhalf of the town when you getthere?


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    John gets up and walks toward the bathroom. Carter follows.

    CARTERMe too.


    Carter and John step inside the restroom. The two bikersfrom the campsite come in behind them. Everyone heads for aurinal.

    John is gaming around with his friend.

    JOHNCarter, better step closer tothe urinal. Dont make us thinkyou're something youre not.

    Carter smiles. John quietly laughs.

    CARTERSomebody stopped payment on yourreality check.

    Damon glares at John just being an ass.

    DAMONUrinal, looks like a pisser tame.

    Angelo joins in.

    ANGELOyou boys fags or somethin, jokinabout each others peckers?

    Carter turns to go.

    CARTERCome on man, We dont want anytrouble.

    (turns to John)Let's go John.

    Angelo pushes Carter back.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    ANGELOYou aint goin no place fag.We got some questions we wantto ask you.

    John is brave and speaks up.

    JOHNBack off, we're leaving.

    Damon pushes John back. John pushes the biker against thewall and the fight is on.

    Carter scuffles with Angelo. Carter gets the advantage andslams Angelos head against the wall. The biker falls. ThenCarter picks him up and jams his head in the commode hejust urinated in.

    CARTERLet me buy you a drink bitch.

    Damon beats on John and John falls back. He recovers andgrabs the biker. They fall to the floor and wrestle. Johnand the biker stand up still fighting. John hits the manand he falls against the tile wall and slides down.

    The sheriff and his deputy burst into the lavatory just asDamon starts to get up.

    The sheriff grabs Damon and pulls him up. The deputy pullsCarter back and jerks Angelo up from the commode. Everyonestops and gives each other mean looks.

    The deputy yells out.


    The sheriff holds the two bikers by their collars lookingat John and Carter.

    SHERIFFIm sorry for these boys badmanners.

    The sheriff pushes the bikers out the bathroom door.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    The deputy pushes the last one out slapping him on the backof the head rushing them on.


    Get on out of here and go home.

    John and Carter are wiping their faces off.

    JOHNThanks for helping.

    The sheriff is kind toward Carter and John.


    No problem, go on back and enjoyyourselves.

    They all exit.



    Everyone is loading in the vehicle. John starts the truckand drives away.

    Lane looks at Carter and John.

    LANEWhat happened in there?

    John is amused.

    JOHNCarter sure was acting tough inthere.

    Carter is smiling.

    CARTERTip toe through the tulips man.

    Lane is amused and supportive.



  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    What did those gorilla bikerswant?

    Carter is proud and embarrassed.

    CARTERDont know, bikers just like tofight when theyre drinking. Nobig deal.

    Lane is proud of her friends.

    LANEYou guy kick some serious ass.

    Carter and John beam with pride. For the first time intheir lives someone stronger was not able to put them down.



    Everyone walks into the camp.

    They see Rancher Mathews poking around their stuff.

    John steps forward.

    JOHNHey, what the hell are youdoing?

    John stands ready for anything.

    MATHEWSA little security check.

    Lane is angry about the intrusion.

    LANEGet the hell out of our camp.

    Carter looks around

    CARTERWheres the old dude, Mr. Black?


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    runs out.(he suddenly turns and

    fakes a move towardthem putting everyoneon guard)

    You better be gone light weights.

    They hear the rancher's pickup start and he drives away.Mr. Black strolls into the dark camp carrying a roll oftoilet.

    BLACKWho was that?

    Carter turns to Mr. Black.

    CARTERWhere have you been?

    Holds up his toilet paper.

    BLACKTaking a facial.

    LANEThat was Mr. special. The cowchippin rancher checking outour security and it sucks.

    She is staring straight at Mr. Black.

    BLACKThis aint a union job. I didnthave a relief person so I couldget some relief.

    Lane shakes her head. John and Carter go about theirbusiness.



    Mr. Black and Lane are driving along the riverbank lookingfor signs of the mine. They think they see something andstop. Mr. Black and Lane get out to look.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    LANEIm sorry about last night. ThatMathews get to me.

    BLACKForget about it. I should beenthere.

    Lane gets to close to the edge of the dirt bank and itbreaks off. She falls and rolls down the bank with dustboiling. Lane lands sprawled out face to face with a coiledrattlesnake.

    BLACKDon't move, don't say anything.

    The hefty rattler is hissing and coiling more, right inLanes face.


    Lanes eyes bug out of her head watching the snakes everymove. She breathes shallow as she sweats and her neckmuscles tense up.


    Mr. Black moves up the bank to come in behind the rattler.He quietly slides down the bank. Mr. Black works his waySlowly up behind the snake.

    Lanes is still very tense just staring at the snake waitingfor him to strike.

    Mr. Black abruptly grabs the rattler as it strikes inchesaway from Lanes face.

    The prospector has it by the head. He swings the big snakeover his head and lets go.

    The snake flies into the brush.

    Lane rolls over on her back breathing hard.

    LANEDamn, I'm having a heart attack.Let's get the hell out of here


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Carter rushes at the young bull to keep his attention. Itturns and charges.

    Carter spars with the bull again. The bull quickly turnsand charges.

    Mr. Black is watching from a high rock outcropping.

    Carter steps to the side.

    The bull hits the Suburban in the side and the vehiclerocks.

    The bull backs off. He appears stunned and wobble off downthe trail.

    Everyone is relieved

    Carter is confident and smiling.

    CARTERBad news bull.

    John chimes in.

    JOHNThat bad attitude was probablythe ranchers idea.

    Mr. Black is amused.

    BLACKIf he does it again well behaving steaks instead of bologna.

    Everyone gathers around the camp and starts preparing toeat and settle down for the evening. Carter is stoking thefire.


    John rolls over trying to get comfortable on his green armyblanket lying on the ground. He opens his eyes slightly andgets up slowly then puts on his boots. He looks around andmoves to the edge of the low burning fire. John sits theresleepily and throws a couple of pieces of nearby wood onthe fire.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Weve missed the mark someplace.Its gotta be here somewhere.

    Two cowboys that are driving an old pick-up suddenly blastin front of the suburban boiling dust from the road justmissing them while yelling and cussing.

    Rancher Mathews sits in his own pick-up off the side of thetrail smiling and watching his men at work. The old pick-up slides around in a nearby opening and fallsin behind them bumping the Suburbans back bumper.

    Lane pushes hard on the gas pedal and speeds around a sharpcurve out of sight from the cowboys. The race is on.

    Just as Lane turns the corner the Suburban veers off theroad a little and goes out of sight down into the ground.

    The old truck comes to a stop a hundred feet down the roadfrom the curve. The men look around for the Suburban. Thecowboys give up and speed off in the opposite direction.


    Carter looks at Lane as dust spirals in the air. Carter andLane wipe dust from their faces and spit dirt.

    CARTERThese losers are Mathews men.


    The Suburban has gotten to close to the edge of the riverbanks edge and driven across the top of an old buildingthat sits against the bank next to the front of the oldmine. The dirt and debris has made the building invisibleto people passing by. The vehicle has fallen through theroof and lodged inside.

    The Suburban has landed upright. Carter and Lane aresitting in Suburban covered in dust. They see snakes on thehood of the truck and on the walls of the ruins. Lane let'sout a deep breath.

    LANENow I know what it means when


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    They say, Life's a bitch andthen you die.

    Carters eyes follow the snake while he sits very still.

    CARTERDon't move, just yell.

    Lane start to yell.

    LANEHelp, help. We're down here.

    John and Mr. Black appear over the hole Lane and Carterfell into.

    JOHNAre you two okay?

    Carter yells up.

    CARTERGet us outta here theres snakes.

    John tries to console them.

    JOHNOkay, we saw the cowboys chaseyou and came as fast as we could.

    Lanes voice is urgent.


    John tries to make her feel better.

    JOHNDont worry Im get a ropeand pull you up.

    John goes for a rope.

    Mr. Black is looking around.

    BLACKYouve found the old pueblo that


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    sits by the mine entrance.

    Carter is blowing cob webs from his face trying not tomove.

    CARTERThe pueblo?

    Mr. Black rolls his eyes.

    BLACKYou know, the one in front of themine the Spanish officer mentionedin his report.

    Lanes voice is rushed.

    LANEGreat, get us out of here. TalkLater.

    Carter turns to Lane.

    CARTERDont weird out, Johns gettinga rope. Well be out in a minute.

    Lane ignores Carter and looks up.

    LANEHurry, we got snakes.

    John is back with a rope. He drops it down to Carter andLane.

    JOHNShouldnt have a rodent problem.

    A large snake moves toward Lanes face. She pulls back inher seat staring at the reptile.

    Carter looks and also pulls back in sympathy.

    JOHNLane, grab the rope and tie itaround your waist.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    The snake begins crawl across Carters shoulder and acrossthe back of his neck. Lane easily takes the rope through the sunroof. She ties itaround her waist then crawls out the roof staying away fromthe snake and gets on top of the Suburban.

    LANEPull me up.

    Black and John quickly pulls her to the surface as sheswats snakes away from her body.

    John quickly removes the rope and drops it to Carter.

    JOHNOkay Carter tie yourself off.

    The big snake is relaxed on Carters shoulder and neck. Carter discretely pulls the hanging rope in front of him ashe crawls out of the Suburban side window with the snakestill on him.

    He begins to climb easily up not disturbing the relaxedsnake. Carter looks up to see another snake coiled aroundthe rope above him. As he goes up so does the snake. Thesnake on his shoulder crawls up to interact with reptile onthe rope.

    Lane stands behind Mr. Black.

    John reached down and grabs the two snakes and hurls themaway as they reach the top.

    Carter crawls out and stands.


    They all smile while standing around the hole.

    CARTERThat was eerie.

    Lane chimes in.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Lane is excited.

    LANEWe're so close.

    Carter has a tired smile.

    CARTERYes, we had better find it soonor we'll be out of jobs. We'vebeen here long past our vacationtime.

    John tries to be reassuring.

    JOHNPatience we'll find it. WeMoved way past the point ofNo return.


    Everyone is up and ready walking from the camp to thedig site.

    Mr. Black meets the group and walks with them.

    BLACKGood morning.

    Carter has stopped and starts digging at the ruins.


    Morning, I think we need toblast. Theres many rocks,itll lower the work load.Im too beat to dig muchmore.

    John continues to walk as he talks.

    JOHNIf we do everyone will knowwhat were doing.

    Mr. Black is confident.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    BLACKWe can blast at night with smallcharges. Thatll cover ya.

    John is interested.

    JOHNCan you use dynamite Mr. Back.

    Mr. Black is still confident.

    BLACKYep, I have some.

    John sits near the dig site.

    JOHNWe may as well rest until weblast.

    Everyone silently agrees and sits down with him.


    The group is still sitting except for Mr. Black.

    A series of muffled booms are heard.

    CARTERI hope that does it.

    Mr. Black walks into the camp.

    BLACKThats it. We got a big daytomorrow.


    Everyone is standing holding their gear in front of ablasted hole in the river bank with rocks piled in it aboutten feet into the bank. They are watching Mr. Black moverocks away from the hole.



  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Boy arent you the early bird.

    Mr. Black sounds very confident.

    BLACKI figure we'll need transportationto carry cargo soon.

    Mr. Black stops to wipe sweat from his brow.

    Carter moves toward him and helps move the rocks.

    CARTERWhat can we do Mr. Black?

    Mr. Black is serious.

    BLACKNumber one, be careful, theserocks could slide. Number two,move the rocks and your ass.

    They all pitch in including Lane.

    Carter twist and pulls on a lodged rock. He pulls it outcausing others to begin to slide. The rocks move a few feetand stop.

    The group waits and watches. They think they are safe thensuddenly sand begins to pour in over them. Mr. Black andJohn jump back and get out of the way. Carter and Lane aretoo slow. The sand covers them to the neck before John andMr. Black can jump back in to save them.

    Mr. Black speaks up glancing at John.

    BLACKGrab Lanes hands.

    Sand still pour in over her and Carter. John grabs Laneshands and she pulls herself free with the help.

    Mr. Black speaks up as he grabs Carters hands.


    John, you and Lane hold my legs.


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Mr. Black takes Carters hands, John and Lane help pullthem free as sand continues to pour over them.

    The sand stops. More rocks are visible piled in the hole onthe riverbank. Everyone flops down on the ground and letsout a breath of relief.

    Lane is stressed.

    LANEI give up. This is too much.

    Carter tries to make her feel confident.

    CARTERWe can't quit. This is our bank,our new life.

    John is lying on the ground. He rises up.

    JOHNCarter's right. It's our chanceat a better life. We need to tryharder.

    Mr. Black almost preaches to rest of them.

    BLACKIll be here till hell freezesover. I need this. It not themoney, its a little piece ofsuccess.

    John and the others nod in agreement.

    CARTERYeah, I could use the money.



    The rancher is watching through binoculars on a ridge abovethem. He moves off the hill walking toward them.



  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)



    Everyone sits around the campfire talking.

    Mr. Black is grinning.

    BLACKWe better find the gold soonso we can go to town for abath.

    John smiles and relaxes.

    JOHNIm going to spend a week ina hot tub.

    Mr. Black is dreaming outloud.

    BLACKIm going to spend money. Lotsof it like theres no tomorrow.

    Lane is back to her old self.

    LANEMr. Black do you have a girlfriend?

    Mr. Black is amused.

    BLACKI dont know. Havent talked toher in three years. Probably not.

    John is tired of all the talk.

    JOHNLet's have a drink.

    Carter smiles and looks toward Lane.

    CARTERHey, Lane get me a coke wouldYa?

    Lane smiles.


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    LANEIf I wanted to hear from a buttholeId fart.

    Everybody laughs.

    Mathews walks into the camp.

    MATHEWSTime to go. Your permits up.

    Everyone is shocked they just look at him.

    He is packing a short cattle prod. Mathews sticks it toCarter and pushes the button. Carter is charged withelectricity. He falls back and jerks on the ground in aspasm.

    LANEStop it.

    Mathews jabs John and he goes down. The rancher turns onMr. Black and Lane attacks him. Mathews slaps her to theground and puts the prod to Mr. Black.

    Mr. Black falls back and hits the ground holding his chestas if he is having a heart attack.

    Mathews looks closer.

    MATHEWSDid you have a heart attack oldman?

    Mathews bends over to look closer. Lanes attacks him frombehind. She hits him on the back of the head. Mathews grabsher and slams her to the ground and back hands her as shetries to get up.

    He looks at Mr. Black again bending over getting veryclose. Suddenly Mr. Black hits him with his fist knockinghim back. Mr. Black stands and Mathews recovers.He moves toward Mr. Black stalking him. Mathews looks onthe ground.


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    His cattle prod is on the ground between him and therecovering Lane.

    Lane sees the prod. She and Mathews lung for it at the sametime. They collide and Lane comes up with the prod. Sheputs it to Mathews neck and he goes into a convulsion.

    Lane stands over him while he struggle. Mr. Black joinsher. She put the prod to Mathews back and pushes thebutton he begins to twitch. She puts it to his butt andthen to his ribs. He quivers and holds up his hands and Mr.Black hits him under the chin.

    Mathews weakly gets up and holds his hands up again anddisappears into the night.

    Carter and John get up tattered and dirty watching thelocation Mathews disappeared into.

    Lane and Mr. Black looks at them exhausted and dirty.



    John wakes up hearing a quiet rumbling sound that isgetting louder. He shakes Lane.

    JOHNYou hear that?

    (Lane listens)Ive heard that on TV.

    (he jumps up)Everybody get up. Wake-up.Get on the rocks, hurry.

    Everyone wakes up and rushes to the rocky hill near them.They make the rocks just as a stampede of cattle roarthrough the camp tearing up the site.

    Carter looks at the others.

    CARTERThat freakin Rancher again?

    John is angry.


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    JOHNThat S-O-B needs to be reported.

    Lane is amused at his conservative friend.

    LANEOr something.

    The cattle have passed on through.

    John, Lane, Carter and Mr. Black all look at each other.

    BLACKIsn't this a ridiculous lookingmob.

    John smiles.

    JOHNBe on the look out. This isgetting serious.


    The men are working in front of the mine with no result.

    CARTERThis is solid rock theres nomine here.


    The bikers and Riley are relaxed just watching on theirbluff above the mine. Damon glances toward the group.

    DAMONThey found anything yet?

    The woman appears discouraged.

    RILEYNo, Im sick of this. If I hadnot seen all of the maps andcrap little Carter had Idleave.


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    The bikers roll their eyes.


    Mr. Black believes they are right and speaks up.

    BLACKIts here someplace. I feelit.

    Carter wants the operation to work badly and puts in newinformation.

    CARTERMaybe it's further down.

    Black is enabling Carter so they will stay.

    BLACKCould be, theres rocks all theway down the river bank that couldsupport a cavern.

    John picks up the map.

    JOHNThis map shows the opening ofthe mine beside the old puebloand we are beside the pueblo.

    John is about to decide the mine is not real.


    I dont know

    Mr. Black sits down frustrated.

    BLACKCome out of it. I been at thisstuff for thirty years. Youbeen at it for three weeks andif you leave I dont share.

    John is trying to be more confident.



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    Hell, were probably within afew feet and cant find it.

    Carter is leaning on his shovel.

    CARTERIts here. I know its here. Butwhere?

    Lane walks up with water.

    LANEWater anyone?

    They all take water and go back to working again. Cartermoves a few rocks. He yells out.

    CARTERWe're through, we've brokenthrough.

    Everybody gathers around. They all begin to move rocksand a full opening is made.

    JOHNBring some lamps.

    Lane bring the lamps. The men go inside the cavern.

    Lane looks into the cave from the new entrance.


    The sun is going down the men have been in the cavefor a half hour and now are coming out.

    CARTERDamn, nothing, nothing at all.All of this freakin work fornothing.

    John is more skeptical now. He is negative.

    JOHNHell there probably never wasa mine.


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    Carter is the eternal optimist and loves the idea oftreasure.

    CARTERWhat about the old pueblo, thereports from the Spaniards andthe green eyed Apaches? Thereis a mine. A four hundredmillion dollar mine.

    Mr. Black has a quiet tone to his voice.

    BLACKGuess its over. We gave it ahell of a run.

    Lane directs her statement to Carter.

    LANENothing in the mine?

    Carter feels defeated. Mr. Black and John shake their headno.

    CARTERGees, okay I give up. Its justa fairy tale. A real four hundredmillion dollar fairy tale.

    Lane is upbeat with all of the negatives.

    LANENo big deal. We only lost a littletime.

    John weakly agrees.

    JOHNYeah, and our jobs.



    Everyone is sitting around the riverbank near the emptycave listening to slow country music.


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    The group shrugs off Carters idea.

    JOHNI dont know, maybe.

    Lane likes Carters idea.

    LANEI agree with Carter. I thinkits further down. Dont forgetthe markers.

    It doesnt take much to convince Mr. Black. He thinks for asecond and blurts out.

    MR. BLACKMe too. Its got to be there.The marker was put there fora reason.

    John is about won over.

    JOHNYeah youre right, but if itsnot and we stay to find out.Well all be unemployed andprobably evicted from our homes.Then what?

    (he thinks for amoment)

    What am I saying, we probablyalready are.

    Carter grins.

    CARTERThen were like Mr. Black. Freeto find the gold. Besides my momsgot a garage apartment we can bunkin.

    Mr. Black is happy and agrees.

    BLACKGreat thinkin dummies. Use yourHeads. The odds are we wont find


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    the gold. Wake up and smell thedesert.

    Carter cheers up.

    CARTERLets take a vote. Everyone infavor of staying and becomingrich beyond your wildest dreamsraise your hand.

    Everyone hesitates and looks at each other.

    Carter puts his hand in the air. Lane follows. John puts uphis hand. John looks at everyone and then Mr. Blacks handgoes up as an after thought.

    LANEThe teams on again.

    John smiles.

    JOHNOkay, I guess we can go again.

    Carter farts.

    CARTERI hear a nay.

    Everybody groans.



    The next morning the group is up. They are walking down theriver trail looking at the bank for signs of the mine.

    Carter looks around and goes to a hole in the riverbank. Heslowly sticks his head inside. Carter screams out.


    A cougar is looking at Carter face to face then runs overhim getting away. Carter falls back on his butt.


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    A nice older waitress serves soft drinks to John and thegroup and leaves. The bikers are talking and watching the group. Riley looksat Tony.

    RILEYWhats the story on the old man.

    (she hands him twentydollars)

    Does he know anything.

    Tony is casual.

    TONYLike I said hes nobody, justan old man lookin ta do better.I heard he found a little goldout on Black River but I doubtit.

    Riley takes the twenty back. He is unhappily surprised. Shegives Tony a hundred dollar bill.

    RILEYKeepem busy while I check theirtruck out.

    She smiles and walks out un-noticed.

    Carter looks around but doesnt see Riley. Tony smiles and nods looking at the money. He looks at thebikers and then toward the group.

    ANGELOHey old man Black, what are youdoing in town? Did you findsomebody to sponge off of?

    Mr. Black speaks to everyone at the table.

    BLACKIgnore him, he's just stupid.

    Tony grins and smarts off again.


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    TONEYYour daughter keeps sayin youaint crazy, but everybodythinks you are.

    Damon speaks up.

    DAMONDont worry she knows how todo her own kind of mining frommens pockets.

    They laugh together.

    Mr. Black starts to get up.

    John puts his hand on Mr. Blacks shoulder.

    JOHNIts not worth it.

    Tony and the bikers are smiling relaxed in their chairs.


    Riley is trying the suburbans doors. A back door isunlocked and opens. She begins to go through the trucklooking for anything that can help her. Riley glances backat the restaurant. A drunk comes up to the vehicleundetected.

    DRUNKHey baby, what yah doing outhere all alone.

    She is surprised and looks at him with relief.

    RILEYNot lookin for you sugar.

    The drunk smiles.

    DRUNKYou wanta hook up?

    She keeps looking in the truck.


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    RILEYYeah, you on a meat rack. Goon now baby. Ill have to cutYa if you dont.

    The drunk is indignant and walks away talking to himself.

    DRUNKCut me. I could cut you. A girlcutting. That aint right. Cutme, bitch.


    Tony is relaxed looking at Mr. Black.

    TONYWhats the matter Black. Youdont wanta know about meand your little girl.

    Mr. Black has had enough. He lungs out of his seat punchingTony. Tony falls back on the floor.

    John whirls around and attacks Angelo as he attempts tojoin Tony fighting Mr. Black. Angelo puts his hands up andDamon just stays seated amused looking at the back of theroom.

    ANGELOI dont want no trouble.

    He glances in the back of the room.

    The sheriff walks in waiting and watching unknown to John,Mr. Black and Carter. John is surprised the biker stopped. He recognizes him.

    JOHNYou keep this up and Im goingto get tire of kicking yourass.

    The biker is frustrated but smiles trying to defuse thesituation because of the sheriffs presence.


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    JOHNSorry sheriff.

    The sheriff pats John on the shoulder and walks on.

    Lane is watching the thugs move to the parking lot.

    LANEBoy John, the desert has beengood to you, Macho man.

    John is modest.

    JOHNI'm glad they didn't know Iwas bluffing.

    She looks at Mr. Black.

    LANEMr. Black, you didnt tellus you had a daughter.

    Mr. Black beams with pride.

    BLACKYeah, she's not what they Said.Shes a wonderful person. WhenI got the gold obsession it wenton and on, before I knew it tenyears had gone by, so I said Iwouldnt go back until I hadsomething to offer her and hermother.

    Lane is surprised.

    LANEYou have a wife?

    Mr. Black is sad.

    BLACKNo, she passed on after Cathy,my daughter was grown.

    John consoles his friend.


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    JOHNYou have us and you can makeit right with your daughter.


    Tony walks away toward an old pick-up and the bikers walktoward their motorcycles.

    Riley is moving toward them with something in her hand.

    RILEYI got it.

    (holds up the map)When they give up we move in andtake the stash.

    They get on the motorcycles.

    The sheriff walks up.

    Everyone is uncomfortable and Riley hides the map.

    The sheriff is cruelly friendly.

    SHERIFFI want to help you

    (everyone appearsinterested)

    If I see any of you again Imgoing to help you go back towhat ever prison you got outof. Understand?

    They all nod and ride away. The sheriff smiles and yellsafter them.

    SHERIFFEnjoy the ride, ya hear.

    The group walks from the building to the Suburban. Johnunlocks the door. Lane opens the unlocked back door.

    LANESomebodys been in here.

    (she is looking through


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    her bag.)The maps gone.

    Lane sits on the edge of the Suburban seat with the dooropen.


    What now.

    John is upbeat.

    JOHNWere so close we dont needa map. I can remember anythingwe need. I looked at it everydayfor six months.

    Carter is not so sure.

    CARTERIf this dig isnt it. We needthat map to find it.

    Lane nods in agreement.

    Mr. black is amused.

    BLACKDont worry. We can find it, mapor not.

    They all get in the truck.


    CARTERWhat are we going to use x-rayvision?

    Lane is more serious.

    LANEWe better watch out whoever tookthe map wants the gold and wedont know what they would do toget it.


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    John chimes in.

    JOHNIts probably Mathews.

    John drives away.



    Lane is down by the new mine area picking up rocks.


    The bikers and Riley are relaxed in their hiding place onthe bluff.

    RILEYLook sharp, that sheriff couldpop up anywhere.


    Cater, John and Mr. Black are on a ridge walking downtoward the pueblo. The sun suddenly shines through theclouds against the riverbank. Carter looks over towardLane.

    CARTERWhat are you doing Eggbert?

    Lane smiles and keeps picking up rocks.

    LANEIm picking up rocks to make afire break ring.

    Lane turns and pulls with one hand on a long rock wedged inthe corner of some others above it. Its stuck. The rocksabove it move as she pulls.

    Lane puts her small rocks down and pulls with both hands.She dislodges the wedged rock. A small rockslide starts.Lane falls back and scoots out of the way.


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    RILEYWait, were not sure yet.


    They all begin to throw rocks out of the way making a holeto crawl through.



    Everyone is moving inside through the hole. John walks nearthe gold and the floor creaks. The rest of the group stopswhen they hear the noise.

    Rancher Mathews suddenly steps behind them with his riflepointed at the group.

    MATHEWSI knew you were here for somethingelse.

    John is quietly reasoning.

    JOHNLook we can work this out.

    Mathews is gruff.

    MATHEWSAint no workin nothin out.You loss.

    Mathews moves a couple of steps closer. The floor suddenlygives way dropping him into a bottomless pit along withsome old timbers that the Spaniards covered the hole withso they could come and go without a problem.

    Everybody just stares quietly for a moment. A narrow ledgewalkway is still left around the hole to the gold.

    John is staring at the hole.

    JOHNGreat, how do we explain this.


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    Lane is cool headed.

    LANEWhen we get the gold out wellcall the sheriff. He seems likea reasonable sort.

    Mr. Black has a warning tone.

    BLACKBetter leave it alone and forgetwhat happened. Mathews wont bemissed for a long time. Sides hekilled himself, let it go nobodywill ever find him. Not worth theproblem.

    Carter doesnt need any advise or warnings. Hes ready toleave because he has what he came for.

    CARTERLet's get the gold and get outtahere before Mr. green eyes showsup.

    John is ready to leave too.

    JOHNCarter, go to town and rent atrailer. We'll get everythingready to load.

    Carter nods and takes off as everyone goes to work. Carteryells back as he leaves.

    CARTERBe careful there maybe morebooby traps with nipples.



    Riley and the bikers are watching the mine.

    ANGELOWhat are they doin down there?


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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    Carters hands pop over the top of the hole and he beginsto pull himself up slowly and he is out. Carter is helpingLane and John.

    Lane is half way out. Carter slips and Lane begins to fallback. Mr. Black grabs her arm and shirt pulling Lane outand Carter brings John out.

    Everyone is out of the hole. They stop and sit with a sighof relief.

    Mr. Black moves toward the gold.

    BLACKLets get this job over with.This place is dangerous.



    Everyone is standing around the Suburban and trailer. Thetailgates are open on the trailer showing the gold inside.John shuts the door.

    The bikers step from behind the seclusion of the trailerwith Riley. Angelo holds a shotgun randomly pointing it atthe group.

    Damon and Riley hold nine millimeter pistols on the group.

    RILEYEverybody freeze.

    (she glances at Carter)Hi lover, thanks for the info.I loved our little talks.

    Carter is shocked.

    CARTERI thought you liked me.

    She puts on an evil smiles.

    RILEYI do baby. Everybody get thosehands up where we can seeum.


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    (she looks atAngelo)

    Thats Angelo, my real lover.I was just on loan.

    Angelo has a big green tooth grin.


    Its okay baby well get themteeth fixed with our first bara gold.

    John is amused.

    JOHNMaybe do a head transplant too.

    Lane looks at Carter.

    LANEWay to keep a secret. Tradingour future for bimbo sex.

    Carter feels bad and looks at John, lane and then thewaitress.

    CARTERIm sorry.

    The waitress smiles at Carter.

    RILEYAhh, Its okay Carter Ill leaveyou a bar of gold so you can getanother bimbo.

    Damon is put out.

    DAMONShut up. Give me the keys to thedamn truck.

    John just looks at them.



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    Angelo is up-set.

    ANGELONo, I got the gun and Im gonnause it.

    John is firm.

    JOHNGo ahead and your millions goaway and you go to prison.

    Carter gets into the conversation.

    CARTERYeah, hey you guys could takeas many bars as you can handleon your bikes which would be alot. The big bars are worthprobably about three hundredthousand, so fill your bags andride out. Nobody gets hurt andyoure rich.

    LANEThe sheriff already knows who youare. This is the only way to getwhat you want.

    Riley slowly looks everybody over while she is thinking.She nods to the bikers.

    Damon hands her the shotgun and the two men head for theirmotorcycles.

    ANGELOYou better be right baby.

    Riley cuts her eyes at him.

    RILEYFar as youre concerned Im alwaysright.

    Riley turns back to John and the group. She smiles.


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    RILEYWe got a deal. Except, You stashmore bars so we can come back.

    John is in command.

    JOHNDeal, were moving the gold. Illleave a hundred bars for you tocome back for behind those rocks.

    (he points)Thats it, dont be greedy.

    The Waitress smiles and nods in agreement.

    RILEYCarter baby, how money is that?

    Carter thinks while calculating in his head.

    CARTERAbout thirty million.

    Riley is very pleased.

    RILEYA good days work for poor people.

    Carter nods and smiles.

    Lane is angry.

    LANECarter you dumb ass. Their cutis coming out of yours.

    Mr. Black smiles while looking at the waitress.

    BLACKHoney, I gotta give it to ya,you played old Carter and thisinto a few million. Prettygood tip for services rendered.

    Waitress smiles as the motorcycles return. The two bikersload the motorcycles saddle bags making them squat.


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    RILEYThanks pops. For the record. Iknew your wife when I was a kid.She was great and your daughteris good folks.

    The bikers both get on their motorcycles and Riley gets onbehind Angelo.

    Riley looks at Carter sweetly.


    Bye lover, it wasnt all actin.

    Carter nods embarrassed.

    Angelo glares at him as they ride out.

    John watches them leave.

    JOHNWe cant move all of this gold.I just told them we are movingit so their greedy little mindswouldnt cause them to comeback. Lets stash their barsand get out of here.

    They all move to the mine.


    John sets the last block of gold on the bikers stack asCarter covers it with rocks.

    Mr. Black and Lane quickly move to the entrance of themine.

    Carter shows up and opens a large bag. He takes out anotherdynamite charge. Carter adds it to the others sittingaround the entrance to the mine and hooks it up.

    Carter takes out a large crystal that has a prism of lightreflecting from it.



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    What the hell is that?

    Carter smiles as he places it in a safe spot just insidethe cave.

    CARTERWe brought this crystal to useas a sensor. It transmits a

    (Carter holds up asmall black box)

    radio wave and this little guyis keyed to it. When and if weneed to come back we can comeright to it, no batteries.

    Mr. Black is very impressed by his young friend. Lane issmiling with pride.

    BLACKThinkin ahead. Lets blow thething. You go ahead and Illlight the fuse.

    Carter sets the crystal in a safe place and leaves. Mr.Black lights the fuse and hurries to the Suburban.

    Alamo Gracia steps out holding an old fashioned leveraction rifle on them. He steps on the fuse and it goes outstopping the blast.

    ALAMOI just want to say thank youfor finding the treasure andloading it for me. Give methe keys.

    Mr. Black is kind.

    BLACKAlamo you dont have to do this.Theres plenty for everyone.

    Alamo is amused and cocks his rifle.

    Carter is frustrated.



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  • 8/14/2019 BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)


    over and we are finally at peacewith enough money to go to DisneyWorld and Sea Land, maybe Vegas.

    Mr. black lowers his pistol.

    Carter smiles and hands him the sensor.

    CARTERIts all yours. Theres moredynamite over there in theold pueblo if ya need it.

    Alamo smiles and nods his head in agreement.



    John, Lane, Carter and Mr. Black are riding down thehighway with the Suburban and trailer loaded heavy. Twopick-ups pull in behind them. One passes.


    John is looking out the back window.

    JOHNWho the hell could they be?

    Carter looks up as the pick-ups pass.


    It is Tony from the restaurant.


    CARTERThat's great what a time forthat asshole to want revenge.

    Lane is up-set. They all look back. Then forward.

    LANES P.O.V.


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    They see the sheriffs vehicle with his lights on blockingthe road.


    Lane is thinking.

    LANEI bet the stupid bikers toldthat ass about the mine. Hewants gold. Probably the sherifftoo.


    The two pick-ups pull off the road, turn around and headthe other way.

    The sheriffs stands in front of his vehicle.


    John is finally at his wits end.

    JOHNWhat the hell has somebody beensleeping with the sheriff?

    Carter is frustrated.

    CARTERHell were never going to getout of here.

    They stop on the side of the road near the sheriffsvehicle.

    The sheriff walks to the Suburban and looks inside.

    SHERIFFEverybody just sit tight. Mr.Black what are you doing wayout here?

    Mr. Black smiles and gets out of the vehicle. EXT. SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY


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    The sherif