BLACK RIVER GOLD (screenplay)

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    BLACK RIVER GOLD

    screenplay

    by

    Sam Bass

    and

    Jillian Bass

    Registered Sam BassWGAw 2018 Broadway

    Little Rock AR. 72204

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    501/240-3253 501/952-2056sambass155@sbcglobal.net

    BLACK RIVER GOLD

    FADE IN:

    EXT. CARLSBAD NEW MEXICO COURTHOUSE, CIRCA 2010 EVENING

    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.

    INT. CARLSBAD NEW MEXICO COURTHOUSE LOBBY AND HALL

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

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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.

    INT. CARLSBAD NEW MEXICO COURTHOUSE ELEVATOR

    Carter turns to the elevator buttons to select his floor.

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

    INT. CARLSBAD NEW MEXICO COURTHOUSE BASEMENT LIBRARY

    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.

    CLOSE ON THE OPEN BOOK

    DISSOLVE TO:

    EXT. BLACK RIVER NEAR ARTESIA NEW MEXICO, CIRCA 1430 - DAY

    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.

    MENDOZA(continuing)

    Break camp. Harerra close themine.

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

    INT. SPANISH MINE

    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