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                               EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES

                                        Written by

                                       Gus Van Sant

                                   Based on a novel by

                                       Tom Robbins

                                      SHOOTING DRAFT



               INT. CAVE NIGHT

               There is a huge ancient hourglass made of animal skins, and 
               acorns plop through the waist of the hourglass one by one. 
               It sits in a pool of water. In the water swim EYELESS CATFISH 
               in geometric patterns. An underground stream feeds the pool 
               of water and then flows into a huge underground crevasse 
               that on occasion emits a LOW RUMBLE.

               INDIANS with torches surround the hourglass, which now we 
               can see is in a cave. And as soon as the acorns have finished 
               passing through the hourglass, a crew of Indians turn it on 
               its opposite end. One of the Indians appears to be JAPANESE.

               ONE INDIAN stands at the wall of the cavern in front of a 
               series of symbolic carvings and scratches, with stone in 
               hand he makes a few hatchmarks, and keeps an eye on the 

               THE CREVASSE RUMBLES once more, loosening a few chunks of 
               rock from the cave.

               The earth begins to shake.

                                     THE CHART KEEPER
                         She is restless tonight.

                                     ANOTHER INDIAN
                         She dreams of loving.

                                     STILL ANOTHER
                         She has the blues.

               View of the chartkeeper's drawings. One is of a crane with a 
               very long neck. Another is a primitive drawing of a naked 
               girl, who has long flowing hair. She also has, pointed out 
               from her sides, thumbs that are three times normal human 
               proportions. A MUSICAL CHORUS sounds at the sight of this 
               drawing of a girl with the thumbs. The chartkeeper puts the 
               finishing touches on the drawing.

               And the song "Happy Birthday to You" strikes up on country 
               and western guitar and polka-like accordion. title

                                        BIG THUMBS


               We see CANDLES burning on a cake. It is somebody's birthday. 
               And there are six candles on the cake.

               SISSY HANKSHAW is six years old.

               Her DADDY and a visiting UNCLE, finishing their rendition of 
               Happy Birthday, are staring down at Sissy and looking at her 
               young THUMBS, WHICH ARE UNUSUALLY LARGE and twitch with a 
               mind of their own.

               She manages to blow out all six candles.

                         Well, you're lucky that you don't 
                         suck 'em.

                         Sissy couldn't suck 'em, she'd need 
                         a mouth like a fish tank.

               Sissy is negotiating a fork full of birthday cake, dropping 
               it because of her thumbs.

                         The poor little tyke might have a 
                         hard time finding herself a hubby. 
                         But as far as getting along in the 
                         world, it's a real blessing that 
                         Sissy's a girl-child. Lord, I reckon 
                         this youngun would never make a 

                         Nope, and not a brain surgeon, 

                         Course she'd do pretty good as a 
                         butcher. She could retire in two 
                         years on the overcharges alone.

               Laughing, the men walk to the kitchen to fill their glasses. 
               Sissy is left to feel sorry for herself in front of her cake.

                                     UNCLE (O.S.)
                         One thing, that youngun would make 
                         one hell of a hitchhiker...

               This startles Sissy. A new word that tinkles in her head 
               with a supernatural echo. Sissy looks at her thumbs.

                                     UNCLE (O.S.)
                         ...if she was a boy, I mean.

               INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE DAY

               Dr. Dreyfus looks over Sissy's thumbs.

                                     DR. DREYFUS
                         She is, if I may speak frankly, 
                         somewhat of a medical oddity. Due to 
                         impaired dexterity, her life 
                         activities and career potentialities 
                         will be reduced. It could be worse. 
                         Bring her back to me if there ever 
                         is pain. Meanwhile, she will have to 
                         learn to live with them.

                                     MRS. HANKSHAW
                         That she will. That she will. The 
                         Lord made them things big for a 
                         purpose. God don't never git tired 
                         of testing our kind. It's a punishment 
                         of some sort, for what I don't rightly 
                         Oh Doc, if a young man ever shows up 
                         here with, a young man with ugly 
                         fingers, you know, something similar, 
                         a similar case, Doc, would you 

                                     DR. DREYFUS
                         Remember the words of the painter 
                         Paul Gauguin, dear lady. "The ugly 
                         may be beautiful, the pretty never." 
                         I don't suppose that means very much 
                         to you.

                                     MRS. HANKSHAW
                         It's a judgement. She's gotta bear 
                         the punishment.

               Sissy beams serenely like a Christ figure.

               INT. SCHOOL LIBRARY DAY

               Sissy looks up "thumb" in the dictionary. It says: the short, 
               thick first or most preaxial digit of the human hand, 
               differing from the other fingers by having two phalanges and 
               greater freedom of movement.

               Sissy mouthing the words: "Greater freedom of movement."

               EXT. ROAD DAY

               Sissy very timidly ventures a pass with her gigantic right 
               thumb in the direction she is walking.

               She is passed by...... BUT NO!

               BRAKE LIGHTS! A Pontiac skids ever so slightly on the 
               snowflakes. View of the Pontiac insignia on the hood of the 

               Sissy runs, actually sweating, to its side. She peers in.

               OUTSIDE a palmist's trailer is a sign with a red silhouette 
               of a hand.

               Directly under the wrist where the watch band would be is 
               written MADAME ZOE.

               Madam Zoe in kimono and wig lets Sissy and her mother in the 

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         I am the enlightened Madame Zoe.

               Inside. Madame Zoe begins stubbing a cigarette in one of 
               those enlightened little ceramic ashtrays that are shaped 
               like bedpans and inscribed BUTTS. The trailer is cluttered, 
               but not one knick-knack, chintz curtain or chenille-covered 
               armchair seems to have come from the Beyond.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         There is nothing about your past, 
                         present or future that your hands do 
                         not know, and there is nothing about 
                         your hands that Madame Zoe does not 
                         know. There is no hocus-pocus 
                         involved. I am a scientist, not a 
                         magician. I, Madame Zoe, chiromancer, 
                         lifelong student of the moldings and 
                         markings of the human hand. I, Madame 
                         Zoe, to whom no facet of your 
                         character or destiny is not readily 
                         revealed. I am prepared to...

               Then she notices the thumbs.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         Jesus fucking Christ!

               Mrs. Hankshaw and the fortune-teller turn pale and uncertain, 
               while Sissy recognizes with a faint smile that she is in 

               Sissy extends the thumbs as an ailing aborigine might extend 
               his swollen parts to a medical missionary. Sissy's mama draws 
               a neatly folded five-dollar bill from her change purse and 
               extends it alongside her smiling daughter's extremities.

               Madame Zoe returns to her senses, and takes Sissy by the 
               elbow to sit at a For mica-topped table of undistinguished 

               Madam Zoe holds Sissy's hands while she appears to go into a 

               She opens her eyes momentarily.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         You have a strong will. Will power 
                         and determination are indicated by 
                         the first phalanx. The second phalanx 
                         indicates reason and logic. You 
                         obviously have both in large supply. 
                         What's your name, dearie?


                                     MADAME ZOE
                         Hmmm. I'd say that you have an 
                         intelligent, kindly, somewhat artistic 
                         nature. However, Sissy, however, 
                         there is a heavy quality to the second 
                         phalanx- the phalanx of logic -- 
                         that indicates a capacity for foolish 
                         or clownish behavior, a refusal to 
                         accept responsibility or to take 
                         things seriously and bent to be 
                         disrespectful of those who do. Your 
                         mama tells me that you're pretty 
                         well behaved and shy, but I'd watch 
                         out for signs of irrationality. All 

               She pulls her thumb to her breast.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         I guess the most important aspect of 
                         your thumbs is the, ahem, over all 
                         size. Uh, what was it, do you know, 
                         that caused...?

               Mom speaks out from the couch she is sitting on

                                     MRS HANKSHAW
                         Don't know; the doctors don't know...

                         Just lucky I guess.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         Do you study history in school? 
                         Galileo, Descartes, Newton? Lebinitz 
                         had very large thumbs; Voltaire's 
                         were enormous, but, heh heh, just 
                         pickles compared with yours.

                         What about Crazy Horse?

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         Crazy Horse? You mean the Indian? 
                         Nobody that I've ever heard of ever 
                         troubled to study the paws of savages. 
                         Well, I guess that about covers the 
                         three-fifty charge...

               Madame Zoe lets go of Sissy's thumbs and wipes her hands on 
               her kimono.

                                     MRS. HANKSHAW

               Mrs. Hankshaw withdraws a bill from her rat-skin bag.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         Beg your pardon?

                                     MRS. HANKSHAW
                         Husband. Will she find a husband?

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         Oh, I see.

               Madame Zoe takes Sissy's hand and gives it the old tall-dark-
               stranger squint.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         I see men in your life, honey. I 
                         also see women, lots of women.

               She raises her eyes to meet Sissy's looking for an admission 
               of the "tendency", but there is no signal.

               Mrs. Hankshaw does not approve.

                                     MADAME ZOE
                         A husband, no doubt about it, though 
                         he is years away. There are children, 
                         too. Five, maybe six, but the husband 
                         is not the father. They will inherit 
                         your characteristics.

               Mrs. Hankshaw, aghast, has heard plenty, and she ushers her 
               daughter out of the trailer as if she were leading her from 
               a burning cocktail lounge.


                                    COWGIRL INTERLUDE

                                    (Delores del Ruby)

               EXT. BADLANDS DAY

               Views of vast vistas of arid grasslands, open and unmodulated, 
               thirsty and exposed.

               At the western edge of the DAKOTAS, the monotony of the 
               landscape, now gradually tilting toward the Rockies, is 
               interrupted by the Badlands -- sculptured canyons so deep 
               and chaotic they can break a devil's heart.

               Between the grasslands and the eerie badlands ruins, there 
               lies a narrow band of humpy hills, green and pastoral. The 
               hills are carpeted with midlength prairie grass.

               The Rubber Rose buildings are clustered at the badlands end 
               at the base of a butte, higher, broader and longer than any 
               in its vicinity, known as Siwash Ridge. a sign over the entry 
               of the ranch reads:

                             Welcome to the Rubber Rose Ranch

                         (the largest all-girl ranch in the west)

               Delores del Ruby arrives at the Rubber Rose Ranch, carrying 
               a whip at her side and batting an educated lash at the 
               surrounding sights.

                         I've traveled through the Yucatan 
                         with a circus, popping false eyelashes 
                         off a trained monkey with a bullwhip. 
                         When I ate peyote one night and had 
                         a vision. NiwetŁkame, the Mother 
                         Goddess, came to me on the back of a 
                         doe, hummingbirds sipping the tears 
                         she was shedding, crying 'Delores, 
                         you must lead my daughters against 
                         their natural enemy. You must come 
                         to the Rubber Rose Ranch and prepare 
                         for your mission, the details of 
                         which will be revealed to you in a 
                         third vision....' That night I whipped 
                         the shit out of my black lover and 
                         ran away. For a while I drove around, 
                         making a living selling peyote buttons 
                         to hippies, until I made my way 

               A snake crosses the road in front of her, and she takes her 
               whip and whirls it around her head. The snake that is crawling 
               across the dusty road that leads to the ranch is carrying a 
               card under its forked tongue.

               Delores snaps her whip at the snake and picks the card out 
               of his mouth and lets it fly in the air.

               Delores catches it..... The card is the Queen of Spades.

               EXT. ROAD DAY

               Sissy is thirty years old now wearing a trademark colored 
               jumpsuit. She is saying these words still: "Greater freedom 
               of movement."

               Sissy sticks out her thumb, even though there is no traffic.

               A plane is flying overhead. Sissy hitches it; and the plane's 
               flight path curves with in response to her gesture. A squirrel 
               running by stops to look. The bus on the other side of the 
               road skids to a stop and two cars coming her way stop as 

               INT. CAR DAY

               The man driving looks over the back seat to the hitchiker 
               behind him.

               INT. BUS DAY

               The bus driver does the same.

               EXT. ROAD

               From the look of her Sissy is a very seasoned hitchhiker, 
               and she turns around relatively unimpressed with the fact 
               that a car has stopped for her.

               SISSY'S VIEW. The man driving is black-skinned, beret-topped 
               and he has four smiling gold teeth and six shiny brass 
               saxaphones in the back seat. He wears a gardenia in his lapel 
               and tokes on a short joint.

                         Going north?

                         You bet your raggedy white ass I am.

               Sissy gets in.

               He turns up the volume of his radio and rockets north.


               Sissy ventures into her pocket and pulls out a slice of cheese 
               and offers it to him. He now gets a better look at her unusual 
               thumbs. They are elegant, but large boned, and 
               disproportionate. They are banana shaped boats that makes it 
               a little awkward to hold onto the cheese.

                              (taking an alarming 
                              interest in her thumbs)

                         American Cheese. The king of road 

               He eats the cheese, and worries about the thumbs. He tokes 
               on the joint between his fingers.

                         Are you in show business?

                         I was a successful model once.

                         For magazines?

                         I was the Yoni Yum feminine-hygiene 
                         Dew girl from 1965 to 1970, but got 
                         laid off.

                         So now you're bummin' around?



                         I'm the best.

                         You're the best?

                         When I was younger, I hitchhiked one 
                         hundred and twenty-seven hours without 
                         stopping, without food or sleep, 
                         crossed the continent twice in six 
                         days, cooled my thumbs in both oceans 
                         and caught rides after midnight on 
                         unlighted highways.


                         As I developed, however, I grew more 
                         concerned with subtleties and nuances 
                         of style. Time in terms of M.P.H. no 
                         longer interested me. I began to 
                         hitchhike in something akin to 
                         geological time: slow, ancient, vast. 
                         When I am really moving, stopping 
                         car after car after car, moving so 
                         freely, so clearly, so delicately 
                         that even the sex maniacs and the 
                         cops can only blink and let me pass, 
                         then I embody the rhythms of the 
                         universe. I am in a state of grace.

               The man listening to her takes another toke on his joint.

               EXT. ROAD DAY

               A view down the road of the Lincoln Continental going swiftly 
               in its direction.

               CREDIT INTERLUDE featuring the song "Even Cowgirls Get the 
               Blues" as sung by (an undetermined country or pop star like 
               k.d. lang or Bob Dylan) in an old television Kine-scope piece 
               of film like you might see on early 1950's television sets.

               Between Sissy watching this image on old motel televisions, 
               there are also IMAGES of roads, cars, trucks, highways, 
               thumbs, gas stations and deserts gliding by in a flow of 
               natural hitchhiking beauty.

               EXT. POST OFFICE DAY

               Sissy gets out of a large eighteen wheel truck and walks 
               into a United States Post Office.

               INT. POST OFFICE DAY

               Sissy at the window picking up some mail, and opening a 
               lavender colored letter that reeks of perfume, she is 
               surprised to read this:

               Sissy, Precious Being, How are you, my extraordinary one? I 
               worry so. Next time you are near Manhattan, do ring me up. 
               There is a man to whom I simply must introduce you. Thrill!! 
               -The Countess

               Sissy looks at the envelope and return address. Elaborately 
               embossed is the Countess' logo...


               The elaborately embossed envelope is now being sealed.. The 
               Countess gives it a licking... Beside him is a young 
               watercolorist named Julian.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         I will send this out to Sissy, she 
                         should get it in a week, and you 
                         will be able to meet her. When I 
                         send a letter to Sissy, duplicates 
                         must be sent to U.S. Post Office 
                         Boxes in LaConner, Taos, Pine Ridge, 
                         Cherokee and that other place, for 
                         her to pick up... Why she's probably 
                         out there right now in Hibbing, 
                         Minnesota, or Deluth, Montana... 
                         hitching her way across the country.

               INT. TRUCKERS CAB NIGHT

               Sissy is talking to a trucker as they pass down the road.

                         Right off, I don't remember how old 
                         I was when I found out I was part 
                         Indian. My mamma's family, a lot of 
                         them, had lived out West, in the 
                         Dakotas, and one of them had married 
                         a squaw. Siwash tribe. My pleasure 
                         in Indianhood and my passion for car 
                         travel might be incongruous if not 
                         mutually exclusive........ After 
                         all, the first car that ever stopped 
                         for me had been named in honor of 
                         the great chief of the Ottawa: 

               In the distance, Sissy spies her destination. NEW YORK CITY.

                         NEW YORK CITY. It's still a helluva 


               Sissy gets out of the truck and looks up at a large building.


                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Sit down dear, do sit down.

               Sissy Hankshaw takes a seat. The Countess lifts a dusty 

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Take a load off those lovely tootsies. 
                         Yes, sit right down. Would you fancy 
                         some sherry?

               The decanter is empty, a stiff fly lies feet up on it's lip.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Shit O goodness, I'm all out of 
                         sherry; how about some Red Ripple?

               He reaches into a midget refrigerator beside his desk and 
               pulls out some pop wine.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         You know what Red Ripple is don't 
                         you? It's Kool-Aid with a hard on. 
                         Tee Hee.

               Sissy manages a polite smile. She looks at a heavily finger 
               printed glass.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                              (he toasts)
                         To my own special Sissy. Cheers! And 
                         welcome. So my letter brought ya 
                         flying, eh? Where were you? Salt 
                         Lake City? La Conner? Well, I may 
                         have a little surprise for you. But 
                         first, tell me about yourself. It's 
                         been six months, hasn't it? In some 
                         circles that's half a year. How are 


                                     THE COUNTESS
                         That's the very first time in the 
                         eons that I've known you that I've 
                         ever heard you complain. And now 
                         you're tired, poor darling.

                         A born freak can only go uphill.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Freak, schmeek. Most of us are freaks 
                         in one way or another. Try being 
                         born a male Russian countess into a 
                         white middle class Baptist family in 
                         Mississippi and you'll see what I 

                         I've always been proud of the way 
                         nature singled me out. It's the people 
                         who have been deformed by society I 
                         feel sorry for. I've been steady 
                         moving for eleven years and some 
                         months. Maybe I should rest up for a 
                         spell, I'm not as young as I used to 

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Shit O goodness, you won't be thirty 
                         for another year, and you're more 
                         beautiful than ever.

                         Does that mean you might have an 
                         assignment for me?

               The Countess taps his monocle with his cigarette holder. He 
               looks on his wall, and on a poster advertising a feminine 
               hygene product, Yoni Yum Dew Spray, stands Sissy Hankshaw, 
               her thumbs neatly hidden, chopped off by the borders of the 

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         You were the Yoni Yum girl from, 
                         let's see,
                              (peruses the ad layouts 
                              on the wall)
                         from nineteen sixty-eight through 
                         nineteen seventy. You've always 
                         smelled so nice. Like a little sister. 
                         The irony has just killed me. You, 
                         the Dew Girl, one of the few girls 
                         who doesn't need Dew. I loath the 
                         stink of females! They are so sweet 
                         the way God made them, then they 
                         start fooling around with men and 
                         soon they're stinking. Like rotten 
                         mushrooms, like an excessively 
                         chlorinated swimming pool, like a 
                         tuna fish's retirement party. They 
                         all stink. From the Queen of England 
                         to Bonanza Jellybean, they stink.

                         Bonanza Jellybean?

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         What? Oh yes. Tee-hee. Jellybean.

               The Countess's jaw muscles calm down, his dentures ease into 
               a samba...

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         She's a young thing who works on my 
                         ranch. Real name is Sally Jones or 
                         something wooden like that. She's 
                         cute as a hot fudge taco, and, of 
                         course, it takes verve to change 
                         one's name so charmingly. But she 
                         stinks like a slut just the same.

                         Your ranch?

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Oh my dear yes, I bought a little 
                         ranch out West, sort of a tribute to 
                         the women of America who have 
                         cooperated with me in eliminating 
                         their odor by using my vaginal 
                         products, Dew spray mist and Yoni 
                         Yum spray powder. A tax write-off, 

               He looks out his window as a squirrel crosses Park Avenue.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Sissy, Sissy, blushing bride, you 
                         can desist from wearing paths in 
                         those forgotten highways. The Countess 
                         has arranged a job for you. And what 
                         a job...

                         A job for me?

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         I am once more about to make 
                         advertising history. And only you, 
                         the original Yoni Yum/Dew Girl, could 
                         possibly assist me.

               The Countess hands Sissy an article that she reads clenched 
               in her fist.

                         The Food and Drug Administration 
                         said Wednesday female deodorant sprays 
                         may cause such harmful reactions as 
                         blisters, burns and rashes. Although 
                         the FDA judges that the reported 
                         reactions are not sufficient to 
                         justify removal of these products 
                         from the market, they are sufficient 
                         to warrant the proposed mandatory 
                         label warnings.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Shit O dear, that's enough to make 
                         me asthmatic. The nerve of those 
                         twits. What do they know about female 
                         odor? Don't interrupt. Here's my 
                         concept. My ranch out West? It's a 
                         beauty ranch. Oh, it's got a few 
                         head of cattle for atmosphere and 
                         tax purposes. But it's a beauty ranch, 
                         a place where unhappy women -- 
                         divorcees and widows, mainly -- can 
                         go to lose weight, remove wrinkles, 
                         change their hair styles and pretty 
                         themselves up for the next 
                         disappointment. My ranch is named 
                         the Rubber Rose, after the Rubber 
                         Rose douche bag, my own invention, 
                         and bless its little red bladder, 
                         the most popular douche bag in the 
                         world. So get this. It's on the 
                         migratory flight path of the whooping 
                         cranes. The last flock of wild 
                         whooping cranes left in existence. 
                         Well, these cranes stop off at my 
                         little pond -- Siwash Lake, it's 
                         called -- twice a year, autumn and 
                         spring, and spend a few days each 
                         time, resting up, eating, doing 
                         whatever whooping cranes do. I've 
                         never seen them, understand, but I 
                         hear they're magnificent. Very big 
                         specimens -- I mean, huge mothers -- 
                         and white as snow, to coin a phrase, 
                         except for black tips on their wings 
                         and tail feathers, and bright red 
                         heads. Now, whooping cranes, in case 
                         you didn't know it, are noted for 
                         their mating dance. It's just the 
                         wildest show in nature.
                         It's probably the reason why 
                         birdwatching used to be so popular 
                         with old maids and deacons. Picture 
                         these rare, beautiful, gigantic birds 
                         in full dance -- leaping six feet 
                         off the mud, arching their backs, 
                         flapping their wings, strutting low 
                         to the ground. Dears, it's 
                         overwhelming. And picture the birds 
                         doing their sex dance on TV. Right 
                         there on the home screen, creation's 
                         most elaborate sex ritual -- yet 
                         clean and pure enough to suit the 
                         Pope. With lovely Sissy Hankshaw in 
                         the foreground. In a white gown, red 
                         hood attached, and big feathery 
                         sleeves trimmed in black. In a very 
                         subdued imitation of the female 
                         whooping crane, she dance/walks over 
                         to a large nest in which there sits 
                         a can of Yoni Yum. And a can of Dew. 
                         Off-camera, a string quartet is 
                         playing Debussy. A sensuous voice is 
                         reading a few poetic lines about 
                         courtship and love. Are you starting 
                         to get it? Doesn't it make the hair 
                         on your neck stand up and applaud? 
                         My very goodness gracious! Grandiose, 
                         lyrical, erotic and Girl Scout-
                         oriented; you can't top it. I've 
                         hired a crew of experts from Walt 
                         Disney Studios, the best wildlife 
                         cinematographers around. You're my 
                         eternal favorite. Princess Grace 
                         herself couldn't be better, not even 
                         if she had your personality which 
                         she doesn't; Anyway, dear, I'm out 
                         of photography now and into water 
                         colors. Ah how circuitous conversation 
                         is! We're back at the beginning. The 
                         exact man I've wanted you to meet is 
                         my artist the watercolorist.

               Sissy dares a sip of Red Ripple.

                         If you don't want me to pose for 
                         him, why do you want me to meet him?

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Purely personal. I believe you might 
                         enjoy one another.

                         But Countess...

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Now, now. Don't get exasperated. I 
                         realize that you've always avoided 
                         all but the most rudimentary 
                         involvements with men, and I might 
                         add, you've been wise. Heterosexual 
                         relationships seem to lead only to 
                         marriage. For men, marriage is a 
                         matter of efficient logistics: The 
                         male gets his food, bed, laundry, 
                         TV, pussy, offspring and creature 
                         comforts all under one roof, where 
                         he doesn't have to dissipate his 
                         psychic energy thinking about them 
                         too much, then he is free to go out 
                         and fight the battles of life, which 
                         is what existence is all about. But 
                         for a woman marriage is surrender.

               The Countess refills his glass. The squirrel starts across 
               Park Avenue again but doesn't make it. The uniformed chauffeur 
               gets out of a limousine and holds the crushed animal up where 
               it can be seen by an elderly woman passenger.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         But here you are, still a virgin -- 
                         you are virginal yet, aren't you?

                         Why, yes, technically. Jack Kerouac 
                         and I came awfully close, but he was 
                         afraid of me, I think...

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Yes, well, what I'm getting at is 
                         that there comes a time when it is 
                         psychologically impossible for a 
                         woman to lose her virginity. She 
                         can't wait too long, you know. Now, 
                         there's no reason why you must lose 
                         yours. I mean, just ponder it a bit, 
                         that's all.

                              (her brow spaghettied)
                         What makes you think this 
                         watercolorist and I would develop a 
                         romantic relationship?

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         I can't be certain that you would. 
                         But what have you got to lose?

                         Well, okay. I'll try it. I don't see 
                         the point in it, but I'll try it. 
                         Just for you. It's kind of silly, 
                         actually, me going out with an artist 
                         in New York City. However...

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Good, good, good... you'll enjoy it, 
                         you'll see. Julian is a gentleman.

               Suddenly the Countess swivels in his desk chair and leans 
               forward. Lowering his wine glass, he focuses directly, 
               intensely into Sissy's blue eyes. His smile widens.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         By the way, Sissy... he's a full 
                         blooded Indian.

               A title:

                                    COWGIRL INTERLUDE


               The Outhouse Radio is playing "The Starving Armenians Polka" 
               and Bonanza Jellybean and Delores del Ruby are in the privy, 
               caught in the rain.

                         Well, I'm not scared of a little 

                         Me neither.

                         Might as well brave it.

                         Right. I don't know about you but 
                         I'm sure not sweet enough to melt.

               Delores flicks her whip at a sweat bee that has taken refuge 
               in the privy and hits the photograph of Dale Evans upon which 
               it has lit.

               Jelly looks out the door of the outhouse across a cut green 
               lawn to a bunkhouse where we can see a gathering of other 

               There is a fly buzz and a distant polka yip. Way off horse 
               lips flutter.

               Bonanza spies a picture of Sissy Hankshaw, an advertisement 
               for Yoni Yum Dew Spray mist, on the privy wall.

                         Someday...... if that Sissy Hankshaw 
                         ever shows up here, I'm gonna teach 
                         her how to hypnotize a chicken. 
                         Chickens are the easiest critters on 
                         Earth to hypnotize. If you can look 
                         a chicken in the eyes for tens 
                         seconds, it's yours forever.

               INT. BUNKHOUSE DAY

               A meeting is in progression in the bunkhouse that morning. 
               Mary is addressing the group.

                         I want to complain that some of the 
                         cowgirls have been sleeping two to a 
                         bunk again, in violation of the 
                         agreement that "crimes against nature" 
                         are to be confined to the hayloft.

                         I don't care who lay with whom or 
                         where or how, but the moaners, 
                         groaners and screamers ought to turn 
                         down their volume when others are 
                         trying to sleep or meditate.

               Some of the younger cowgirls blush.

                                     BIG RED
                         I want to complain about the food 
                         around here! It's rotten to the core.

               A round of support from the other cowgirls in the form of 
               cattle calls.

               INT. OUTHOUSE DAY

               Jelly and Delores are getting ready to run through the rain, 
               when all of a sudden, Jelly spies a barefoot cowgirl -- it's 
               Debbie -- run across the yard in her karate robe, jump on 
               the Exercycle that is rusting in the weeds and begin pumping 
               the pedals furiously in the yammering rain.

                         My sacred crocodile! She's flipped.

               But in a minute, others follow Debbie, everyone of them, in 
               fact; the entire bunkhouse load of them, some thirty young 
               cowgirls, squealing, giggling, They slide and roll on the 
               wet grass, push each other into the mud that is forming by 
               the corral fence, chase one another in and out of the thick 
               folds of rain draperies, stamp their cute feet in puddles 
               and do bellyflops into the overflowing horse trough.

               The cowgirls frolic until, as suddenly as it has come, the 
               rain goes away. Play ceases. They are panting like puppies 
               as they lean against one another or pick clods of mud from 
               one another's hair.

                         I move that the meeting be adjourned.

                         At the end of the endless game, there 
                         is friendship.

                         What the heck did she mean by that!

                         Just that in Heaven all business is 
                         conducted this way.

               INT. HOTEL LOBBY NIGHT

               In the lobby, the doors of an elevator open revealing Sissy 
               inside wearing a buttoned up dress. Very formal looking for 

               There is Julian standing in the lobby. He turns and walks 
               toward Sissy. He is wearing a rather formal looking plaid 
               sport coat with blue cummerbund. He extends his hand to meet 
               her, and (perhaps at the sight of Sissy's thumbs) Julian has 
               an asthma attack, doubling over in front of her.

               Sissy doesn't know whether to assist Julian or flee.

               From the other side of the lobby, two WELL-GROOMED COUPLES, 
               white, mid-thirties and upper middle class come to the rescue. 
               The younger of the men, RUPERT, takes charge. He breaks an 
               inhaler of dinephrine under Julian's nose.

                         We'd better take you home.

               In the red of embarrassment, Julian looks more Indian than 
               he had previously. Wheezing, he speaks:

                         I beg your pardon. I've been 
                         enthralled with your photographs for 
                         years. When the Countess hinted that 
                         you might like to meet me -- he never 
                         explained why -- I was ready to paint 
                         for him free of charge. And now I 
                         had to go and spoil it.

               EXT. STREET NIGHT

               Rupert is helping Julian to the street. Rupert is a salesman 
               for a publishing house. His wife Carla, a homemaker, as they 
               say. The other couple breaks down into Howard and Marie Barth, 
               both copywriters for an ad agency.

               Howard hails a cab and Carla and Marie flutter around Sissy.

                         This is dreadful.
                              (lowering her voice 
                         You know, asthma attacks are brought 
                         on by emotional stress. Poor Julian 
                         is so high strung. The excitement of 
                         meeting you -- my dear, you look so 
                         stunning! -- must have upset his 
                         chemical balance.

               Carla nods. Everyone is piling into the taxi.

                         Come on, Sissy, don't be afraid of 

                         I've never ridden in a cab. The whole 
                         idea of paying for a ride makes my 
                         thumbs hurt.

               Sissy is forced to suffer the indignity of riding in a vehicle 
               she wasn't responsible for flagging with her own thumbs.

                         It'll be all right, dear. It isn't 
                         as serious as it sounds.

               INT. CAB NIGHT

               Carla starts to pat Sissy's hand, then decides to leave the 
               thumbs to themselves.

               The six of them are squeezed into the taxi. Sissy looks out 
               the window of the taxi:

               SISSY'S VIEW as the taxi stops at a light, she can see a 
               newsstand headline on the front page of the New York Daily 



               THE TAXI stops in front of Julian's building. It discharges 
               its passengers.


               INSIDE Howard mixes Scotch and sodas, Rupert fills a syringe 
               from a vial of aminophylline he has taken from its place 
               behind a gelatin salad mold in the refrigerator. He gives 
               Julian an injection.

                         There, that ought to beat them 
                         bronchial buggers into submission.

               He turns to Sissy.

                         I was a medic in the Army. I really 
                         should have become a doctor. 
                         Sometimes, though, I feel that pushing 
                         books is a whole lot like pushing 
                         medicine. Think of books as pills. I 
                         have pills that cure ignorance and 
                         pills that cure boredom. I have pills 
                         to elevate moods and pills to open 
                         people's eyes to the awful truth...

                         Too bad you don't have a pill for 

               Carla smiles as if she were joking, but she'd said it tartly. 
               Rupert glares and takes a big bite of Scotch.

                              (changing the subject)
                         Where do you live, Miss Hankshaw?

                         I'm staying with the Countess.

                         I know, but where do you reside when 
                         you aren't visiting New York?

                         I don't.

                         You don't?

                         Well, no, I don't reside anywhere in 
                         particular. I just keep moving.

               Everyone looks a bit astonished including the recumbent 

                         A traveler, eh?

                         You might say that, although I don't 
                         think of it as traveling.

                         How do you think of it?

                         As moving.


                         How... unusual...


               Rupert bites into his Scotch again. Julian issues a watery 
               wheeze. Then, silence.

                         Rupert, before you get too engrossed 
                         in your research on Scotch as a cure 
                         for aging, don't you think you'd 
                         better phone Elaine's and cancel our 
                         dinner reservations?

               Sissy leaves her chair and wanders about the apartment. Which 
               is full of books and shelves.

                                     RUPERT (O.S.)
                         What would we do without you, Carla? 
                         Without our little efficiency expert, 
                         Carla, everything would just go to 
                         hell. Carla is thinking about running 
                         for mayor next year, aren't you, 

                                     CARLA (O.S.)
                         Up yours, Herr Doktor Book Salesman. 
                         Will the demands of your medical 
                         practice allow you to call Elaine's 
                         or shall I?

                                     MARIE (O.S.)
                         Oh let me do it.

               Sissy is intrigued by an antique here and an object d'art 
               there, but she knows she is in an alien environment.


               Sissy enters a bedroom There is a covered birdcage. She sits 
               upon the bed listening for a 'cheep' from the birds.

               And gradually she reclines. Then turning her head to the 
               side against the bedspread:

                         No Indian blankets... no Indian 

               And she blacks out. And the sound drifts away in waves, so 
               there is only the whistle of a distant wind through the mortar 
               of the apartment building...

               ...Until one by one, we see button necks freed. Soon Sissy 
               can feel it.

               Someone is undressing her. In a voice webby with sleep she 
               lifts her head up, and sees Howard and Marie.

                         Where are the others?

                         Oh, Rupert and Carla had a little 
                         hassle and went home.

                         Julian fell asleep on the couch; we 
                         covered him up.

                         We thought that we should make you 
                         comfortable too.

               Sissy thinks this is nice, but wonders, however, why they 
               are both in their underwear.

                         Yes, thanks...

               Between the two of them, they have gotten Sissy out of her 
               dress in no time. Sissy feels she should apologize for not 
               having on a brassiere.

               Marie slips out of her own brassiere and moves her bare bosom 
               close to Sissy's.

                         Mine are fuller but yours are more 
                         perfectly shaped.

                         Highly debatable. I'll wager they're 
                         the exact same size.

               Howard cups his left hand about a Marie breast and his right 
               about one of Sissy's. He weighs them in his palms, squeezes 
               them the way an honest grocer squeezes excess water from a 
               lettuce, and spreads his fingers to sample their 

                         Hmm. Yours are larger, Marie, but 
                         Miss Hankshaw's -- Sissy's -- are 
                         more firm. You'd think they would 
                         have started to droop; I mean, from 
                         not wearing a bra.

                         Howard! Watch your manners. You've 
                         made her blush. Here, Sissy, let me 

               Marie seizes Sissy's free breast, quickly, like a monkey 
               picking a fruit, rolling it about in her hungry little finger, 
               rubbing it against her chin and cheeks...


      was like her earlier days as a hitchhiker.... 
               nostalgic..... tropical plums.

                              (in ecstasy)
                         This place is finer than the place I 

               Like a disc jockey from Paradise, Howard flips Marie over 
               and plays her B side. Every now and then she reaches for 
               Sissy to include her, but the laws of physics insist on being 

               Over and over Marie calls Sissy's name with half-closed eyes.

               The Barths are really going at it, Marie yowling like a cat.

               The POODLE in the kitchen begins to growl.

                         So this is what it's like... so this 
                         is what it's really like.

               INT. LIVING ROOM NIGHT

               Sissy bounces out of the bed and patters through the living 
               room and crawls under the cover with Julian. Julian stirs 

                         Oh, Sissy. I am sorry about all the 

               Julian and Sissy embrace and go at it under the covers But 
               suddenly: Julian stops after a brief climax.

                              (with downcast eyes)
                         I apologize.

               Sissy cradles Julian and comforts him.

                         It is the measure of Western 
                         Civilization that it can encompass 
                         in harmony, balance off, as it were, 
                         such divergent masterworks as A 
                         MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and THE 
                         AMERICAN DREAM, as the dome of the 
                         Sistine Chapel and the ceiling of 
                         the Paris opera.

               Sissy sits up, her eyes moping about the apartment, looking 
               but not seeing the macrame wallhangings, the volumes of Robert 

                         What's the matter?

               After a while Sissy answers.

                         I'm cold.

                         Here. I'll turn down the air 

                         It's not the air conditioner that's 
                         making me cold. Nothing moves in 
                         here. Not even your birds.

               Sissy gets out of bed and begins to dress.

                         What are you doing?

                         Getting dressed. I've got to go.

                         But I don't want you to leave. Please 
                         stay. We can go to dinner. I owe you 
                         a dinner. And tonight... we can... 
                         really make love.

                         I have to go, Julian.

                         Why? Why do you have to go?

                              (somewhat frantic)
                         My thumbs hurt. I've made a mistake. 
                         I've been negligent. I haven't 
                         exercised. I have to hitchhike a 
                         little bit every day, no matter what. 
                         It's like a musician practicing his 
                         scales. When I don't practice, my 
                         timing gets off, my thumbs get stiff 
                         and sore.

               EXT. CITY DAWN

               Sissy trembles while she kisses her thumbs.

                         I will hitch with you, out where 
                         tall birds wade in a lake named for 
                         my Siwash kin. Out where Smokey the 
                         Bear lay down his shovel to romp 
                         with more playful beasts. Out where 
                         starlight has no enemies and the 
                         badland wind no friends. Out where 
                         the boogie stops and the woogie 

               INT. TRUCK DAY

               And Sissy is now traveling in a truck passing Fourteenth 
               Street on her way to the Geo. Washington Bridge.

               View of that Bridge as the truck crosses it to New Jersy.

               View of the wilds of New Jersey as Sissy travels to the West.

               INT. COUNTESS' OFFICE

               The Countess is on the phone.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         So she left town. Well, that shouldn't 
                         surprise you. Leaving town is what 
                         Sissy is all about. But tell me, how 
                         did she strike you?

               Julian is on the other end of the phone.


                                     THE COUNTESS
                         She's obviously that. Jesus! Which 
                         would you rather have, a million 
                         dollars or one of Sissy's thumbs 
                         full of pennies?

                         Oh, you! I'm not talking about her 
                         hands. They're difficult to ignore, 
                         I confess, but I'm speaking of her 
                         whole being. Her whole being is 
                         extraordinary. The way she talks, 
                         for example. She's so articulate.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         It's high time you realized, honey 
                         babe, that a woman doesn't have to 
                         give the best years of her life to 
                         Radcliffe or Smith in order to speak 
                         the English language.

                         Countess. I'm really in a dither. 
                         She's turned my head.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Ninety degrees to the left, I hope. 
                         How does she feel about you?

                         I think she's disappointed that I'm 
                         not more, ah, sort of atavistic. 
                         She's got some naive, sentimental 
                         notions about Indians. I'm sure she 
                         liked me, though; but.... then she 
                         left town.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         She always leaves town, you dummy. 
                         That doesn't mean anything. What 
                         about in bed? How does she like it 
                         in bed?

               Julian pauses for a very long moment.

                         How does she like what in bed?

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Like what?

               The Countess' teeth chatter in his mouth.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         What do you think?

                         Well.... er...

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Shit O dear, Julian. Do you mean to 
                         tell me you didn't get it on?

                         Oh, we didn't get it all the way on.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Whose fault was that?

                         I suppose it was mine. Yes, it 
                         definitely was my fault.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         What do they do to you boys in those 
                         Ivy league schools, anyway? Strap 
                         you down and pump the Nature out of 
                         you? They can even press the last 
                         drop of Nature out of a Mohawk buck. 
                         Why, send a shaman or cannibal to 
                         Yale for four years and all he'd be 
                         fit for would be a desk in the 
                         military-industrial complex and a 
                         seat in the third row at a Neil Simon 
                         comedy. Jesus H.M.S. Christ! If 
                         Harvard or Princeton could get hold 
                         of the Chink for a couple of semesters 
                         they'd turn him into a candidate for 
                         the Bow Tie Wing of the Hall of Wimps. 
                         Oogie boogie.

                         If we Ivy Leaguers aren't earthy 
                         enough to suit you hillbillies, at 
                         least we don't go around indulging 
                         in racist terms such as 'Chink.' 
                         Next thing I know, you'll be calling 
                         me 'chief.'

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Chink's the guy's name, for Christ's 

                         What guy?

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Aw, he's some old fart holyman who 
                         lives in the hills out West. Gives 
                         my ranch the creeps and the willies, 
                         too. But though he be old and dirty, 
                         he's alive, I'll bet, clear down to 
                         his toes. They don't have his juice 
                         in a jar in New Haven. Well I suppose 
                         that I'll have to write Sissy out on 
                         the road.

               EXT. ROAD DAY

               Sissy makes little puffs of dust as she walks.

               From the direction of the ranch a VW Microbus is approaching. 
               It is painted with mandalas, lamaistic dorjes and symbols 
               representing "the clear light of the void."

               When the Microbus draws alongside Sissy it stops. Inside are 
               two men and a woman. They are approximately twenty-four years 

                         Are you a pilgrim?

                         No, I'm more of an Indian The trio 
                         doesn't smile.

                         She means are you going to see the 

                         Oh, I may and I may not. But seeing 
                         him is not my main objective out 

                         That's good. Because he won't see 
                         you. We came all the way from 
                         Minneapolis to see him and the crazy 
                         bastard tried to stone us to death

                                     OTHER MAN
                         Yeah, but I no longer believe that 
                         guy's a master. He's just a dirty, 
                         uptight old mountain man. Why, he 
                         pulled out his pecker and shook it 
                         at Barbara. I'd stay away from there 
                         if I were you, lady.

               Sissy walks on leaving the people in the bus arguing about 
               whether the Chink's rock-shower and pecker-wag actually had 
               been intended as spiritual messages.

               EXT. ROAD DAY

               WALKING down the long dirt road, Sissy stops to take a 
               breather and sits down on a log.

               Sissy thinking and looking into the clouds.

               Waves of grasses whisper her name: Ssssssssss, Sssssssssssss 

               Meadowlarks squander their songs on her as she begins to 
               squirm on the log.

               A Lincoln Continental drives up suddenly. Sissy barely has 
               time to zip up.

               The Cadillac stops in front of Sissy. A teenaged girl in a 
               Stetson is at the wheel. The rear door of the limousine opens 
               and a refined matronly voice calls from the void.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         By any chance are you Sissy Hankshaw?

                         Yes I am.

               A chic middle-aged woman leans out of the car.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         My goodness. Why didn't you telephone? 
                         Someone would have driven into 
                         Mottburg to pick you up. I'm Miss 
                         Adrian. From the ranch. The Countess 
                         wrote that I should expect you. Get 
                         in, won't you? You must be exhausted. 
                         Gloria, assist Miss Hankshaw with 
                         her luggage.

               Gloria nods at Sissy amicably but doesn't make a move to 
               help her.

               Sissy swings her sack into the roomy vehicle. Before she 
               gets in she flashes her thumb to hitch a ride.

               The instant that Sissy shuts the door the cowgirl chauffeur 
               floors the Cadillac and it lurches away in a puff of dust.

               INT. CADDY DAY

               Sitting up after the bothersome lurch of the car.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         Little twit.
                              (turns to Sissy)
                         You really ought to have phoned. We 
                         were just in Mottburg escorting some 
                         guests to the afternoon train.
                         More guests leaving ahead of schedule. 
                         Three checked out today. They decided 
                         to transfer to Elizabeth Arden's 
                         Maine Chance spa in Phoenix, Arizona. 
                         It costs two hundred and fifty dollars 
                         a week less at the Rubber Rose, so 
                         why are our guests leaving and going 
                         to Elizabeth Arden's?

               Miss Adrian pushes a button that sends a partition glass 
               between her and the cowgirl driver. Gloria starts laughing 
               silently on the other side of the glass.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         I'll tell you why, it's that plague 
                         of cowgirls. They've gradually 
                         infiltrated every sector of our 
                         program. The one named Debbie 
                         considers herself an expert on 
                         exercising and diet. With Bonanza 
                         Jellybean's permission and against 
                         my explicit orders, she's been 
                         coercing the guests into trying 
                         something called kundalini yoga. Do 
                         you know what that is? It's trying 
                         to mentally force a serpent of fire 
                         to crawl up your spinal column. Miss 
                         Hankshaw, our guests can't comprehend 
                         kundalini yoga, let alone do it. 
                         Yesterday, she ordered a new cookbook 
                         by a Tibetan Negro, entitled Third 
                         Eye in the Kitchen: Himalayan Soul 
                         Food. God knows what that will be 
                         like. The little barbarians are 
                         destroying everything that I've built, 
                         mocking all that the company stands 
                         for. And there's a new one, one they 
                         call del Ruby. She has the good will 
                         of a scorpion. I've considered it 
                         prudent to avoid a confrontation 
                         that might further upset the guests. 
                         But now that the season is practically 
                         over -- we operate April through 
                         September -- and the Countess is 
                         finally coming...

               EXT. RUBBER ROSE DAY

               The limousine pulls up in the drive.

                                     MISS ADRIAN'S VOICE
                         Our Ranch has all the latest in modern 

               INT. BEAUTY RANCH DAY

               We see women having facials.

                                     MISS ADRIAN'S VOICE
                         We have a facial wing, and next to 
                         that is the Hair Barn...

               INT. HAIR BARN DAY

               Sissy is being given a tour by Miss Adrian. A variety of 
               hairdos are witnessed.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         We have a team of fifteen hair experts 
                         from all over the world.

               INT. EXERCISE ROOM DAY

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         And fanny flab flies off in this 
                         room at the rate of six hundred and 
                         seventy-five pounds a day... that's 
                         a lot of salted ham, Sissy....

               INT. MAIN LODGE DAY

               Sissy and Miss Adrian walk through the lodge lobby, guests 
               and cowgirls are conducting a variety of activities:

               A BIRD EXPERT projects slides of whooping cranes on the wall 
               and is giving a lecture about the habits of the birds.

               In the center of the room COWGIRL DEBBIE is leading a mixture 
               of cowgirls and guests in a meditative chant as they reach 
               high above their heads in a yoga exercise.

               Miss Adrian stops in front of the registration desk and Sissy 
               catches glimpses of the chaotic lobby.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         Our special guest Miss Sissy Hankshaw 
                         is with us.

               The receptionist hands Miss Adrian a key to Sissy's room.

               A COWGIRL makes a face at Sissy as she walks by carrying a 
               tray of herbal teas.

               A representative of the film crew is being intimidated by a 
               Cowgirl who is looking though his camera lenses and shaking 
               them and listening to them like you would put a shell up to 
               your ear to hear the ocean.

                         Cool! We're going to make a movie!...

               Another cowgirl, BIG RED, is lifting a piece of furniture 
               and passes it to her accomplice.

                                     BIG RED
                         Get rid of the furniture.... it's 
                         too masculine... Get rid of all the 
                         furniture and use it for kindling!!! 
                         Break away from these pig-like 
                         chauvinist masculine influences....

               Miss Adrian looks on helplessly.... she grabs Sissy and leads 
               her out of the lobby.

               EXT. CORRAL DAY

               Miss Adrian and Sissy walk out the back door of the Ranch 
               and out near a corral, to the sound of gunfire.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         O merciful Jesus! They're murdering 
                         the guests!

               One of the FILM CREW MEMBERS is hanging out in the corral 
               wearing a shiny jacket with DISNEY printed on the back.

               Miss Adrian grabs him by the shoulders and shakes him.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         Where are the guests?

                         Take it easy, lady. They went on a 
                         short ride with the cowgirls. Rode 
                         over the hill yonder. You're Miss 
                         Adrian, aren't you? We need to talk 
                         to you about the filming.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         Not now, you fool, not now. Those 
                         crazed bitches have led innocent 
                         women out and are slaughtering them 
                         at this moment. We'll all be killed. 
                         Oh! Ohhh!

               Another CAMERAMAN spits out a wad of chewing gum.

                         There's a slaughter going on all 
                         right, but it's not the fat ladies 
                         that are getting it. Your hired hands 
                         are killing the cattle.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         The cattle? They're killing the cows? 
                         All of them?

                              (interrupted while 
                              putting a zoom lens 
                              on his camera)
                         That's what they said, Miss Adrian.

               A devilish young cowgirl is sitting on a fence nearby. Miss 
               Adrian addresses her.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         How dare you slaughter the Countess's 
                         cattle! What is a ranch without cows?

                         We're going to replace them with 
                         goats. Most of the cattle are diseased 
                         and in pain. We're just putting them 
                         out of their misery. According to 
                         Bon-an-za Jellybean, the Rubber Rose 
                         is in-di-cat-ive of the Countess's 
                         values. He has purchased a cheap 
                         weak strain of cow to begin with and 
                         with improper care....

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         Oh heavens! I don't want to hear 
                         what Bonanza Jellybean has been 
                         telling you girls.... Come on Sissy. 
                         I'll show you to your quarters.


               THE CHINK, with his back to us looks down on the ranch from 
               the ridge and watches Miss Adrian lead Sissy into a small 
               guest cottage on the ranch.



               Sissy stirs in a nicely appointed guest cottage. A maid knocks 
               on the door and serves Sissy breakfast in bed.

                         Excuse me, Miss. Do you care for 
                         your breakfast now?

               Sissy sits up and rubs her eyes.

                         Yeah. I feel a bit hungry.

               The Maid puts the tray down, and the cloth that covers the 
               food is lifted away to reveal a shocking display of grease 
               and calories.

               A vase of prairie asters stands over a double-meat 
               cheeseburger, a package of Hostess Twinkies, a cold can of 
               Dr. Pepper and a Three Musketeers bar.

               Sissy is delighted.

                         Road food. How did you know?

                         Well it is a change of our usual 
                         grapefruit and melba toast, I'm sure.

               Sissy notices a card. It reads:

                             Compliments of Bonanza Jellybean

                         Bonanza Jellybean....

                         She will be up to see you directly.

               Sissy devours her meal. Out her window she can see women on 
               exercycles, women doing jumping jacks and women in beauty 

               A FIST pounds on Sissy's door.

               IN SAILS Jelly, a cowgirl so cute she makes Sissy blush just 
               to look at her. She wears a tan Stetson with an aster pinned 
               to it, a green satin shirt embroidered with rearing stallions 
               snorting orange fire from their nostrils.

               Her breasts bounce like dinner rolls that have gotten loaded 
               on helium and, between red tinged cheeks, where more baby 
               fat is taking its time maturing, she has a little smile that 
               can cause minerals and plastics to remember their ancient 
               animate connections.

               Jelly grasps Sissy's elbow and sits on the side of the bed.

                         Welcome, podner. By God, it's great 
                         to have you here. It's an honor. 
                         Sorry I took so long getting to you, 
                         but we've had a mess of hard work 
                         these past few days -- and a heap of 
                         planning to do.

                         Er, you seem to know who I am, and 
                         maybe even what I am. Thanks for the 

                         Oh, I know about Sissy Hankshaw, all 
                         right. I've done a little hitchhiking 
                         myself. Ah shucks, that's like telling 
                         Annie Oakley you're a sharpshooter 
                         because you once knocked a tomato 
                         can off a stump with a fieldstone. 
                         I'd heard tales about you from people 
                         I'd meet in jail cells and truckstops. 
                         I heard about your, uh, your, ah, 
                         your wonderful thumbs, and I heard 
                         how you were Jack Kerouac's girl 

               Sissy sets her tray on the bedside table.

                         No, I'm afraid that part isn't true. 
                         Jack was in awe of me and tracked me 
                         down. We spent a night talking and 
                         hugging in a corn field, but he was 
                         hardly my lover. Besides, I always 
                         travel alone.

                         Well, that doesn't matter; that part 
                         never interested me anyway. The 
                         beatnicks were before my time, and I 
                         never got anything outta the hippies 
                         but bad dope, clichťs and the clap. 
                         But the example of your life helped 
                         me in my struggle to be a cowgirl.

               The guests are huffing and puffing in between the pauses in 
               conversation, in the background through the window in Sissy's 

                         Tell me about it.


                         About being a cowgirl. What's it all 
                         about? When you say the word you 
                         make it sound like it was painted in 
                         radium on the side of a pearl.

                         Cowgirls exist as an image. A fairly 
                         common image. The idea of cowgirls 
                         especially for little girls prevails 
                         in our culture. Therefore, it seems 
                         to me, the existence of cowgirls 
                         should prevail. Otherwise, they're 
                         being fooled. In the Rodeo Hall of 
                         Fame in Oklahoma City there are just 
                         two cowgirls. Two. And both of 'em 
                         are trick-riders. Trick-riding is 
                         what cowgirls have almost always 
                         done in rodeos. Our society sure 
                         likes to see its unconventional women 
                         do tricks. That's what prostitutes 
                         call it, you know: 'tricking.'

               Jelly lays her hand atop the oval mound Sissy's thumb makes 
               under the covers.

                         You're political, then?

                         No, ma'am. No way. There's girls on 
                         the Rubber Rose who are political, 
                         but I don't share their views. I got 
                         no cowgirl ideology to expound. 
                         "Politics is for people who have a 
                         passion for changing life but lack a 
                         passion for living it."

               There is a moment when the two girls feel something between 
               each other.

                         Did that last comment sound too 
                         profound to be coming outta my mouth? 
                         It's not original. It's something I 
                         picked up from the Chink.

                         Really? The Chink, huh? I've gathered 
                         that you sometimes speak with him. 
                         What else have you learned from the 

                         Learned from the Chink? Oh my. Ha 
                         ha. That's hard to say. We mostly.... 
                         Uh, a lot of his talk is pretty goofy.

               Jelly pauses.

                         Oh yeah, now that I think of it, the 
                         Chink taught me something about 
                         cowgirls. Did you realize that 
                         cowgirls have been around for many 
                         centuries? Long before America. In 
                         ancient India the care of the cattle 
                         was always left up to young women 
                         they called gopis. Being alone with 
                         the cows all the time, the gopis got 
                         awfully horny, just like we do here. 
                         Every gopi was in love with Krishna, 
                         a good-looking young god who played 
                         the flute like it was going out of 
                         style When the moon was full, this 
                         Krishna would play his flute by a 
                         river and call the gopis to him. 
                         Then he would multiply himself sixteen 
                         thousand times -- one for each gopi -- 
                         and make love to each one the way 
                         she most desired. There they were, 
                         sixteen thousand gopis balling Krishna 
                         on the river bank, and the energy of 
                         their merging was so great that it 
                         created a huge oneness, a total union 
                         of love, and it was God. Wow! Quite 
                         a picture, huh?

               Sissy's thumb twitches. Jelly swallows hard. They gaze into 
               each other's eyes.

               A WHISTLE pierces the sunlight outside the window.

                         That couldn't be Krishna, could it? 
                         A bit shrill for a flute. Just our 
                         rotten luck.

               Jelly walks to the window and exchanges hand signals with 
               someone outside.

                         Gotta run now. Delores says I'm 
                         needed. Somebody's here. Maybe it's 
                         the Countess.

               Jelly spins her six-shooter in her kewpie fingers.

                         Sissy, cowgirl history is about to 
                         be made. I'm damn glad you're here 
                         to witness it.

               She holsters her gun and blows Sissy a kiss, then is gone 
               out the door.

               Sissy hops out of bed and from the window she can see cowgirls 
               gathering in a circle. Someone or something is in the center 
               of the circle.

               Sissy zips herself into a red jumpsuit and hurries outside.

               EXT. CORRAL DAY

               What was in the center of the circle was a goat. Debbie was 
               scratching the animal's ears. She was hugging it.

                         It's cute. Way cuter than a cow.

                         Goats are always testing you. They're 
                         like Zen masters. They can tell 
                         instantly if you're faking your 
                         feelings. So they play games with 
                         you to keep you true. People should 
                         go to goats instead of psychiatrists.

                         It's so loving.

               Gloria cuts in on Debbie and gives the beast a hug.

                         Look at those playfully wise eyes.

                         Ooo! It licked me!

                         More and more people are discovering 
                         that cow's milk isn't fit for human 
                         consumption. Billy West says if we 
                         can produce enough goat's milk on 
                         the ranch to make it worth his while, 
                         he'll run it into Fargo regularly.

               She pauses and looks around the group in the circle.

                         I'm aware that Tad Lucas rode broncs 
                         until her ninth month, but I don't 
                         think pregnant cowgirls are going to 
                         be any asset on this ranch. I hope 
                         you itchy clits who are sneaking 
                         down to the lake every night are 
                         taking precautions. It's bad enough 
                         we've got cranes coming; we don't 
                         need storks. I feel that those film 
                         makers should be removed from the 
                         Rubber Rose as soon as possible. Men 
                         can cause nothing but trouble here. 
                         I also feel that our guest
                              (she nods at Sissy)
                         should be excused while we discuss 
                         this matter further.

               Hurt, Sissy leaves the group.

               EXT. RANCH DAY

               Views of Sissy in her Whooping crane outfit dancing to Debussy 
               in front of the Disney film crew. The documentary being 
               directed by an effusive Frenchman.

               View of the camera crew training their long telephoto lenses 
               on Siwash Lake. They all seem to be wearing the same trademark 
               satin baseball jackets with one logo or another on their 

               Another view of the lake, from above, from the Chink's point 
               of view and our first view of THE CHINK. The Chink spies 
               Sissy and Jelly coming over a ridge.

               We cannot hear them at first, but Sissy and Jelly are talking.

                         ......Delores zonks out on peyote at 
                         least once a week, but so far her 
                         Third Vision hasn't happened. 
                         NiwetŁkame, the Mother Goddess has 
                         not gotten back in touch with her. 
                         Meanwhile she and Debbie are rivaling 
                         each other like a couple of crosstown 
                         high schools. Tension. Cowgirl 
                         tension! What a drag.

                         What is Debbie's position?

                         Debbie says that if women are to 
                         take charge again, they must do it 
                         in the feminine way; they mustn't 
                         resort to aggressive and violent 
                         masculine methods. She says it is up 
                         to women to show themselves better 
                         than men, to love men, set good 
                         examples for them and guide them 
                         tenderly toward the New Age. She's a 
                         real dreamer, that Debbie-dear.

                         You don't agree with Debbie, then?

                         I wouldn't say that. I expect she's 
                         right, ultimately. But I'm with 
                         Delores when it comes to fighting 
                         for what's mine. I can't understand 
                         why Delores is so uptight about the 
                         Chink; he could probably teach her a 
                         thing or two. Ee! That grass tickles, 
                         doesn't it? God knows I love women, 
                         but nothing can take the place of a 
                         man that fits. Still this is cowgirl 
                         territory and I'll stand with Delores 
                         and fight any bastards who might 
                         deny it. I guess I've always been a 
                         scrapper. Look. This scar. Only twelve 
                         years old and I was felled by a silver 

               Jelly takes Sissy's hand, carefully avoiding the thumbs and 
               helps her feel the depression in her belly. The depression 
               is a dimple, like another navel.

               AFTER A HUNGRY STILLNESS, like intermission at a wolf dance, 
               rhythms are established. Jelly and Sissy are socked into one 
               another now, and they arch and push and corkscrew and 
               jackknife softly but with pronounced cadence.

               Everything becomes scrambled. They rock each other in cradles 
               of sweat and saliva, until we can see nothing.

               Noisy breaths buck out of Sissy: "Jelly, Jelly" but she can't 
               hear Sissy because she is screaming. Hysterical from the 
               scalding hot softness of girl-love.

               EXT. HILLTOP DAY

               The Chink looks on from the hilltop above indifferently.

               EXT. FIELD DAY

               Sissy and Jelly are riding on the back of a horse.

               A WHOOPING CRANE is spied by Sissy as she rides on the back 
               of Jellybean's horse back to the ranch. Delores and Big Red 
               hurry to meet them.

                         He's here.

               Sure enough across the yard, in the midst of the low-cal 
               barbecue in progress, monocle reflecting sunlight, cigarette 
               holder stabbing the air, stands the Countess.

                         Look at him. Perverse as a pink 

                                     BIG RED
                         Sick as a vice squad.

                         He's in a snit. He wants to see you 
                         right after the barbecue.

               Jellybean chuckles sardonically and dismounts.

                         Get the girls. He's gonna see me 
                         right now.

               Sissy, confused, and loyalties torn in the face of an 
               impending revolution, leaves the corral and


               DOWN THE HALL

               ENTERING HER ROOM, SHE LOCKS HERSELF IN. As she locks the 
               latch she hears Jelly's voice.

               INT RANCH OFFICE DAY

               Jelly has taken over the ranch loudspeaker system and is 
               giving an ultimatum.

                         Any of you ladies who would like to 
                         join us, you're welcome to stay on 
                         as a full working podner at the Rubber 
                         Rose. Rest of you get packed -- and 
                         I mean now. You've got fifteen minutes 
                         to move your lard asses off this 


               Women are reacting to the demands.


               Some women are taking up trowels and brooms as weapons.

               INSIDE THE KITCHEN

               The help is joining the revolt.

               INSIDE THE HALLWAY

               Other women are running for their lives.

               INSIDE SISSY'S ROOM

               She hears the screen door screech open and a chaos of 
               footsteps in the hall. She goes to her window. And she can 
               see, partially cut off by the corner of the building, Miss 
               Adrian screaming.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                         You will all be rounded up and sent 
                         to prison if you take this any 
                         farther! This is not your ranch!!!!


               The Countess seems to be taking it slowly, and calmly smoking 
               a French cigarette. He observes the fighting among them with 

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         You pathetic little cutesy-poos. Do 
                         you actually suppose this exhibition 
                         of childlike melodrama is advancing 
                         the cause of freedom?

                         You owe us this here ranch, as a 
                         token payment for your disgusting 

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Then take it.

                         Go for it, girls!

               The hands, who carry axes, picks, pitchforks and shovels, 
               retreat. The Countess, still grinning, reaches for an hors 
               d'oeuvre and subjects his cigarette to a measured, self-
               assured puff.

                                     MISS ADRIAN
                              (shaking her fist)
                         Go to your bunkhouse and remain there!

               INT. ROOMS

               The guests are hurriedly packing their things.

               INT. SISSY'S ROOM

               She looks on.

               EXT. FRONT YARD

               When the revolutionaries have retreated about thirty yards, 
               they stop. With astonishing rapidity, they unbuckle unbutton 
               and unzip and step out of their jeans and underpants. Then, 
               nude from the waist down, thatched pubises thrust forward, 
               up front and leading the way, they begin to advance.

               The Countess's grin goes down his throat like bathwater down 
               a drain.

                         Better reach for your spray cans!

                         Not one of these pussies has been 
                         washed in a week!

               Rather pale, his nose twitching, the Countess drops the caviar 
               canapť he has been holding.

               ON COME THE COWGIRLS, pelvises pumping, laying down what the 
               trembling Countess believes to be a devastating barrage of 

               Miss Adrian, lost in her own hysteria, charges. A barbeque 
               fork she hurls draws blood from Heather's eyebrow.

               Quick as a frog's tongue, Delores's whip cracks. It's lash 
               curls around the ranch manager's ankles, pulling her feet 
               from under her. She hits the sod in a jangle of jewelry and 
               expulsion of breath.

               A Molotov cocktail thrown by Big Red says hello to the sexual 
               reconditioning building. Within seconds, the structure is 

               INT. MAIN HOUSE

               THE BARE-ASSED COWGIRLS storm into the beauty parlor and 
               exercise rooms.

               SOUNDS OF breaking glass and wood splintering. The air is 
               singing with cries of "Wahoo," Yippee," "Let 'er buck" and 
               "The vagina is a self-cleaning organ."

               INT. KITCHEN

               SISSY flees the house as she hunkers down out the back door.

               EXT. CROQUET COURT

               Sissy running across it. She passes the pool, and falls in. 
               Climbing out, wet, scared, she runs to the base of Siwash 
               Ridge and southward along the mountain's foot.

               EVENTUALLY Sissy comes to a place where the juniper bushes 
               are broken to reveal a crude path beginning a steep ascent. 
               Sissy decides to climb up it.

               She shoulders her way through low, slivery boughs.

               Approximately halfway up the ridge she rests on a flat rock 
               from which she can look down on the...

               BURNING RUBBER ROSE smoking away, distant yahoos and carryings 
               on can be heard. Horses whinney in the corral. A few gunshots 
               are thrown into the soundtrack if things aren't lively enough.

               MISS ADRIAN'S CADILLAC, ON FIRE, roars out of the drive.

               Sissy looks up to the quiet mountain. Pauses. Then she looks 
               back to the chaos below.

               VAN drive away.

               Sissy sits and wonders. The sun is setting on the horizon, 
               mixing well with the firelight that the Rubber Rose is giving 

               BUT SHE is aware of something watching her. Looking about 
               she sees nothing.

               VIEW of an empty trail.

               VIEW OF a quivering bush.

               Sissy turns to the sound of the CHINK.

                         Ha ha ho ho hee hee.

               AND THERE HE IS. Standing only ten yards away.

               The Chink's problem is that he looks like he rolled out of a 
               Zen scroll, as if he says "presto" a lot, knows the meaning 
               of lightning and the origin of dreams. He LOOKS as if he 
               drinks dew and fucks snakes.

               Sissy and the Chink scrutinize one another with mutual 

                         Ha ha ho ho and hee hee.

               Sissy is just about to speak, but before she does THE CHINK 
               whirls, and scampers up the mountainside.


               Warily he stops and turns, poised to flee again.

               Sissy smiles.

               SHE RAISES her ripe right thumb. And jerking it and swooshing 
               it, she hitchhikes the Chink and his mountain.

               THERE HE STANDS where Sissy's thumbs have stopped him. The 
               Chink wears the wary look of a wild animal. He's not going 
               to stay stopped long. It is Sissy's move.

                         Well, aren't you going to shake your 
                         whanger at me?

               The Chink pauses for a moment, then he slaps his thighs and 
               giggles hysterically. Ha has, ho hos and hee hees squirt out 
               of his nose and through the gaps in his teeth.

                              (laughter dies a 
                              nervous chipmunk 
                         Follow me. I'll fix you supper.

               THE TWO doggedly walk up the steep trail.

                         I'm a friend of Bonanza Jellybean's.

                         I know who you are.

                         Oh? Well, there's been some trouble 
                         on the ranch. I came up here to get 
                         out of the way. It's so dark now I 
                         doubt if I could find my way back 
                         down. If you could help...

                              (voice that wears no 
                         Save your breath for the climb.

               SISSY takes another look at the Rubber Rose, which is now 
               quiet. We can hear faintly a distant popping of washcloths 
               and girlish laughter.

               THEY make their way into a depression at the top of the 
               mountain down a ladder of sticks.

               THE CHINK lights a large fire in the middle of the depression.

               HE puts a kettle of stew over the fire, and begins to roast 

               THE CHINK'S FACE as the fire dances off it.

               A CAN OF CHUNG KING water chestnuts is opened.

               CUT TO: Sissy and the Chink eating supper on a rough wooden 

               AND AS THEY FINISH, the Chink goes into a cave and returns 
               with a tiny peppermint-stripped plastic transistor radio. He 
               switches it on and the silence is broken by "The Happy Hour 

               Still clutching the radio in one hand, the Chink hops into 
               the wheel of firelight and begins to dance.

               Sissy walks around the fire watching the old geezer heel and 
               toe, skip and hop. He flings his bones; he flings his beard.

                         Yip! Yip! Ha ha ho ho and hee hee.

               Arms swimming, feet firecrackering, he dances and dances.

               When the song ends, the Chink puts the radio down as the 
               news comes on.

                         Personally, I prefer Stevie Wonder, 
                         but what the hell. Those cowgirls 
                         are always bitching because the only 
                         radio station in the area plays 
                         nothing but polkas, but I say you 
                         can dance to anything if you really 
                         feel like dancing.

               The Chink dances a little to the news, and then lifts Sissy 
               by her shoulders and guides her onto his pock-marked dance 

                         But I don't know how to polka.

                         Neither do I... ha ha ho ho hee hee.

               The radio strikes up the "Lawrence Welk is a Hero of the 
               Republic Polka," and the Chink and Sissy dance arm in arm, 
               their shadows reel against the curves of the depression in 
               the mountain.

               Night birds fly past with fluttering feathers. A bat flies 
               out of the cave.

               The Chink escorts Sissy to a dark side of the depression and 
               sits her down upon a pile of soft stuff: dried wheatgrass, 
               faded Indian blankets and old down pillows without cases.

                         So this is how Jelly spends her visits 
                         to the Chink.

               A twanging noise sounds from the bowels of the nearby cave.

                         What was that?



               The Chink pauses to decide whether he should talk any further, 
               then proceeds.

                         The Clockworks is one reason that I 
                         am here on Siwash Ridge. I accepted 
                         the invitation to be initiated as a 
                         shaman by an aged Siwash chief who 
                         was the principle outside confederate 
                         of the Clock People.

                         Siwash, huh?

                         He was a degenerated warlock who 
                         could turn urine into beer, and the 
                         honor that he extended me gave me 
                         rights of occupancy in this sacred 
                         cave on this far-away Siwash Ridge. 
                         I came to the Dakota hills to 
                         construct a clockworks of my own.

               Sissy cradles her head in her arms, but is startled by a 
               louder noise from the clockworks. The Chink is startled too.

               Bonk! sounds the cave, and then it chimes poing!

               The Chink smiles at the noise coming from his clockworks.

                         But unlike the clockworks of the 
                         Clock People, my ticks more accurately 
                         echo the ticks of the universe....
                              (he listens)
                         ......ha ha ho ho and hee hee.

                         The Clock People?

               INT. CAVE NIGHT

               The Chink leads Sissy into the cave where we see his 
               clockworks. It is made of garbage can lids and old saucepans 
               and lard tins and car fenders all wired together with baling 
               wire. A bat flies into it making a bong noise and the 
               contraption moves a little.

                         During the Second World War I busted 
                         out of Tule Lake detention camp; as 
                         a Japanese-American, I had been put 
                         there and watched over. I found refuge 
                         with the Clock People, who discovered 
                         me in a snow bank, near dead, I had 
                         been climbing across the Sierra Nevada 

                         Then if you are Japanese, then why 
                         are you called the Chink?

                         The Clock People mistook me for 
                         Chinese. And the name stuck. In the 
                         same way that all Indian tribes came 
                         to be labeled "Indians" through the 
                         ignorance of an Italian sailor with 
                         a taste for oranges, it is only 
                         fitting that "Indians" misnamed me. 
                         The Clock People, however, are not a 
                         tribe, rather they are a gathering 
                         of Indians from various tribes. They 
                         have lived together since 1906.

               INT. THE GREAT BURROW

               A gathering of the Clock People. A woman is giving birth 
               near the Giant timekeeping hourglass.

                         The pivotal function of the Clock 
                         People is the keeping and observing 
                         of the clockworks. It is a real thing, 
                         and is kept at the center, at the 
                         soul, of the Great Burrow. Insofar 
                         as it is possible, all Clock People 
                         deaths and births occur in the 
                         presence of the clockworks. Aside 
                         from birthing or dying, the reason 
                         for the daily visits to the clockworks 
                         is to check the time.

               INT. SIWASH CAVE NIGHT

               Sissy listens to the Chink as they walk around the Chink's 

                         These people have no other ritual 
                         than this one. Likewise, they have 
                         but one legend or cultural myth: 
                         that of a continuum they call the 
                         Eternity of Joy. It is into the 
                         Eternity of Joy that they believe 
                         all men will pass once the clockworks 
                         is destroyed. The destruction must 
                         come from the outside, must come by 
                         natural means, must come at the will 
                         of this gesticulating planet whose 
                         more acute stirrings thoughtless 
                         people call "earthquakes."

               The Chink holds Sissy's thumbs in his hands adoringly.

                         The Earth is alive. She burns inside 
                         with the heat of cosmic longing. She 
                         longs to be with her husband again. 
                         She moans. She turns softly in her 
                         sleep. In the Eternity of Joy, 
                         pluralized, deurbanized man, at ease 
                         with his gentle technologies, will 
                         smile and sigh when the Earth begins 
                         to shake. I loved those loony 
                         redskins, but I couldn't be a party 
                         to their utopian dreaming. After a 
                         while it occurred to me that the 
                         Clock People waiting for the Eternity 
                         of Joy was virtually identical to 
                         the Christians waiting for the Second 
                         Coming. Or the Communists waiting 
                         for the worldwide revolution. Or the 
                         Debbies waiting for the flying 
                         saucers. All the same. Just more 
                         suckers betting their share of the 
                         present on the future, banking every 
                         misery on a happy ending to history. 
                         Well, history is ending every second - 
                         happily for some of us, unhappily 
                         for others, happily one second, 
                         unhappily the next. History is always 
                         ending and always not ending... ha 
                         ha ho ho and hee hee.

               Sissy interrupts the Chink for a second while he is 
               worshipping her thumbs.

                         What do you believe in then?

                         Ha ha ho ho and hee hee.

               Then he says nothing. And his silence makes Sissy weep. They 
               sit down on a grass floor, illuminated by the fire outside 
               the cave.

               Then the Chink, without hesitation, grasps her thumbs. He 
               squeezes them, caresses them, covers them with wet kisses, 
               telling them how beautiful they are.

               Sissy is bowled over, frightened, stunned, elated, moved 
               almost to tears.

               Sissy bends her head back and whispers.

                         If this be adultery, make the most 
                         of it.

               And as the Chink plunges into Sissy, she arches her spread 
               bottom against the blankets and rears up to meet him halfway.

               Their bodies glowing in the firelight, they cast shadows of 
               ANCIENT BEINGS, anthropomorphs making love through the night 
               under the moon.

               INT. CAVE DAY

               SUNBEAMS awaken Sissy. When she looks around she sees an 
               inscription has been freshly scrawled on the right wall.


               And on the left wall:


               Sissy hears and then sees A HELICOPTER in the sky above the 
               ranch. Sissy gets up and walks out of the cave.

               EXT. TRAIL MORN

               Sissy walks.

               EXT. RUBBER ROSE

               Sissy hitches a ride out of town.


               Countless NEWSPAPERS on countless porches, and the headline 
               of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reads:



               The countess is in a snit.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Sissy, don't play dumb with me! You're 
                         a good model but a shitty actress. 
                         The cowgirls are involved in this 
                         whooping crane disappearance. You 
                         know perfectly well they are. Last 
                         seen in Nebraska. Didn't make it to 
                         Canada. Siwash Lake is between 
                         Nebraska and Canada. The cowgirls 
                         have possession of Siwash Lake. And 
                         who else but Jellybean's wild cunts 
                         could possibly conceive of doing 
                         something so diabolical as to tamper 
                         with the last flock of some nearly 
                         extinct birds? How much do you know 
                         about it? Have they murdered those 
                         cranes the way they murdered my moo 

                         I don't know anything about it.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Sissy. You're trying to protect those 
                         scuzzy bitches. Well, let your 
                         conscience be your guide, as my mommy 
                         used to say, but it won't work. Those 
                         stinking sluts are going to suffer...

               Sissy strikes the Countess with her right thumb -- with 
               astonishing force.

               Immediately the thumb strikes again, this time shattering 
               the Countess's monocle against his eye.

                                     THE COUNTESS
                         Shit O dear.

               HIS DENTURES fall onto the shag rug.

               The left thumb strikes. Sissy is swinging her thumbs like 
               ballbats socking flaming homers over the left-field fence.

               The countess is out on his feet. His eyes are closed. His 
               legs wobble. He does a pathetic dance, like a drunken old 
               fool trying to boogie with a chorus girl.

               He topples forward and meets Sissy's onrushing thumb of 
               thunder which straightens him up, sends him over backward. 
               Motionless, he lies on the floor, a crimson part in his 
               thinning hair, a bright ooze at each nostril.

               INT. HOSPITAL DAY

               Seated on a spotless wooden bench is Sissy, staring at a 
               clock. A surgeon emerges.

                         Well, he's not out of danger, but I 
                         think we can safely say he's going 
                         to make it. I'd be pretty surprised 
                         if he didn't. However, there is 
                         evidence of injury to the frontal 
                         lobe, and I have reason to fear that 
                         this injury may be permanent. The 
                         patient may never again function as 
                         a normal human being.

                         Brain damage? You mean he's going to 
                         be a vegetable?

                         Vegetable? Vegetable? I wouldn't say 
                         that, no. We won't ascertain the 
                         extent of the injury for some days. 
                         But there is a genuine possibility 
                         of severe and lasting behavioral 
                         defects. I wouldn't classify it in 
                         the vegetable category, however.

               EXT. STREET DAY


               A conservative blue Econoline van out of the throngs of 
               traffic draws itself to Sissy as if on a string.

               SISSY HOPS IN.

               INT. VAN DAY

               The DRIVER stomps on the gas. With a sense of disgust at her 
               own failure Sissy scrutinizes his sweaty brow, his smug hot 
               leer, his starving eyes.

               Her heart sinks when she sees his gun and his knife. He is 
               also unzipping his pants.

                         I'm going to give it to you like 
                         you've never had it before. Oh, you 
                         didn't know it could be this good. 
                         You're gonna like it. You're gonna 
                         like it. You're gonna like it so 
                         good. You're gonna love it so much 
                         you're gonna cry. You're gonna cry. 
                         You're gonna cry and cry. Do you 
                         like to cry? Do you like it when it 
                         hurts a little bit? Whatever happens 
                         to you, it'll be worth it. The way 
                         I'm gonna give it to you, it'll be 
                         worth anything. Everything. Go ahead 
                         and cry if you want to. I like it 
                         when women cry. It means they 
                         appreciate me.

               EXT. STREET DAY

               The van pulls over down a dead end alley between warehouses.

               INT. VAN DAY

               Sissy looks into the back at a soiled mattress.

               The driver is taking his dick out of his pants. But with a 
               swift swoosh, Sissy's left thumb comes down hard on the penis 
               top, making the driver howl.

               His finger fumbles for the gun trigger, but before he gets 
               to it, Sissy's thumb splats between his eyes. Twice. Three 
               times. He loses control of the van.

               EXT. VAN DAY

               It lumbers into a street lamp. Sissy leaps from the vehicle 
               and runs.


               Sissy goes in and begins to cry at the counter as she looks 
               at her thumbs.


               Into a sunset hitches Sissy.

               EXT. ROAD NIGHT

               SISSY hops into a semi.

               AND ROAD SIGNS:

                                       TRENTON N.J.

                                       BALTIMORE MD

                                     WASHINGTON D.C.


                                       RICHMOND, VA

               EXT. DR. DREYFUS'S HOUSE DAY

               An older Dr. Dreyfus answers the door. Without Sissy's asking 
               he speaks.

                                     DR. DREYFUS
                         I'm afraid I can't help you.

                         But Doctor.

                         Please, child, don't be dismayed. We 
                         all have problems these days. But as 
                         the painter Van Gogh said, 'Mysteries 
                         remain, sorrow or melancholy remains, 
                         but the everlasting negative is 
                         balanced by the positive work which 
                         thus is achieved, after all.' I don't 
                         suppose that means very much to you. 
                         I have retired. A victim of a 
                         malpractice suit.

                              (embracing him)
                         Oh, Doctor! You've got to do it. You 
                         and nobody else should be allowed to 
                         take away my gift.

               In her embrace, the Doctor is presented with her thumbs.

                                     DR. DREYFUS
                         Ah, the thumb.

               LATER sitting inside his study, Dreyfus muses.

                                     DR. DREYFUS
                         The thumb the thumb the thumb the 
                         thumb the thumb the thumb. One of 
                         evolution's most ingenious inventions; 
                         a built-in tool sensitive to texture, 
                         contour and temperature: an alchemical 
                         lever; the secret key to technology; 
                         the link between the mind and art; a 
                         humanizing device. The marmoset and 
                         the lemur are thumbless; none of the 
                         New World monkeys has opposable 
                         thumbs; the spider monkey's thumbs 
                         are absent or reduced to a tiny 
                         tubercle; the thumbs of the potto 
                         are set at an angle of one hundred 
                         eighty degrees to the other digits.


                                     DR. DREYFUS
                         And so you are demanding at last the 
                         privileges of thumb that nature has 
                         perversely denied you?

                         I just want to be normal, give me 
                         that old-fashioned normality. It was 
                         good enough for Crazy Horse and it's 
                         good enough for me.

                                     DR. DREYFUS
                         Ah, yes. Very well, my dear. Here is 
                         what we can do.

               VIEWS OF Sissy admitted to a hospital Blood analyzed in a 

               Powerful lamps turn on in an operating room.

               IV tubes are inserted in veins.

               Sissy is wheeled into surgery.

               An anesthesiologist sticks a needle into a curved and creamy 

               An anesthesiologist sticks needles into a long, graceful 

               A nurse scrubs an arm.

               A body and table are draped with sheets to create a sterile 

               A tourniquet is placed on a slender right arm.

               An elastic rubber bandage is applied so tightly it squeezes 
               most of the blood out of an arm.

               A tourniquet is inflated.

               A surgeon outlines in iodine an incision around the base of 
               a thumb.

               Pale smooth skin is incised along a premarked line and 
               dissected down to the bone.

               Woman flesh is sewn shut with four-ought nylon suture.

               A tourniquet is deflated, a bloody arm bathed.

               A young woman is rolled into a recovery room.

               A nurse and two surgeons, their attention directed by an 
               intensifying pinkish glow, turn to stare into a metal pan, 
               where a huge human thumb, disarticulated from the hand it 
               has been severed from, is now flopping about like a trout, 
               or rather, arching and thrusting itself in a calculated and 
               endlessly repeated gesture, the gesture of the hitchhike.

               EXT. SKY DAY

               Two representatives of the Fish and Wildlife Service are 
               flying over Siwash Lake in a U.S. Forestry Service Helicopter.

               THEY CAN SEE the whooping cranes by the side of the lake. 
               And as they are recording this, shots from a band of young 
               women on horseback drive them away.


               the same two agents are driving in a truck approaching the 
               Rubber Rose Ranch. Two bullet ricochets spin off the hood 
               and roof of their truck and they stop to see a lone teenaged 
               cowgirl with a rifle.


               An entourage of Forest Service Rangers, a county sheriff, 
               four deputy shriffs, a state game warden and Mottburg's town 
               marshall and several of his deputies, the editor of the 
               Mottburg Gazette and a couple of bird watchers or two are 
               met by...

               AT LEAST FIFTEEN ARMED FEMALES at the gate of the Ranch. 
               Through a bullhorn, Jelly speaks out at the entourage of law 
               enforcement officers.

                         Yep, the whooping cranes are here 
                         all right. They're in fine shape, 
                         and as you musta saw from your fucking 
                         whirly machine, unrestrained, free 
                         to go as they please. But this is 
                         private property and you aren't laying 
                         a foot on it. None of you.

                         We'll be back with a court order and 
                         a fistful of search warrants.

                         Just come back with a couple of people 
                         who know what they're doing and we'll 
                         let'em in for a nice close look at 
                         the birds.

                         And make sure at least one of them 
                         is female, and you better do as we 
                         say or there may be trouble.

               AND OVER THE AIRWAVES an announcement is broadcast.

               INT. WHITE HOUSE DAY

               MICROPHONE FOR THE NEWS, and reading from a paper in his 

                         It will be my extreme pleasure to 
                         report to the President...


               Students listening...

                         ...who has been gravely concerned 
                         about the fate of our whooping 


               Two construction workers high atop the city listening to a 
               small transistor radio and eating lunch.

                         ...and to the Interior Secretary and 
                         to the American people that the entire 
                         flock of cranes is, indeed, at...

               EXT. MALL DAY

               A crowd of people listening to a broadcast in front of a 
               bandstand set up in front of the mall.

                                     UNDERSECRETARY VOICE
                         ...Siwash Lake and in apparently 
                         healthy condition.

               The crowd cheers.

                                     UNDERSECRETARY VOICE
                         ....The cranes have built brooding 
                         nests around the whole circumference 
                         of the small lake, and have...

               EXT. FIELD DAY

               Cowgirls are watching a small television.

                         ....hatched chicks there. Counting 
                         the young birds, there are now 
                         approximately sixty cranes in the 
                         flock. While this is good news, it 
                         is also quite bewildering...


               A vehicle know as "the peyote wagon" pulls out of the Rubber 
               Rose. Delores del Ruby is at the wheel. And over her truck 
               radio we hear:

                                     UNDERSECRETARY (V.O.)
                         ...Whooping cranes are territorially 
                         minded and have never been known to 
                         nest as close as a mile to one 
                         another, yet here they are virtually 
                         side by side.

               EXT. HILL DAY

               A lone FBI man sees the peyote wagon leaving the ranch through 
               his binoculars.

               INT. CAR NIGHT

               Sissy hears a broadcast over a moving car radio.

                                     NEWS REPORTER
                         The Rubber Rose Ranch has issued a 
                         communiquť that was sent to the 
                         federal judge and copies of a 
                         recording to the press, today.

               We can hear the voice of Bonanza Jellybean:

                              (over the radio)
                         THE WHOOPING CRANE HAS BEEN DRIVEN 
                         TO THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION BY AN 
                         AGGRESSIVE, BRUTAL PATERNALISTIC 
                         SYSTEM INTENT ON SUBDUING THE EARTH 
                         AND ESTABLISHING ITS DOMINION OVER 
                         ALL THINGS -- IN THE NAME OF GOD THE 
                         FATHER, LAW, ORDER AND ECONOMIC 

               Sissy recognizes the voice.

                         That's Jellybean!

                                     JELLY (V.O.)
                         FROM MEN, THE WHOOPING CRANE HAS 
                         RECEIVED NEITHER LOVE NOR RESPECT. 
                         MEN HAVE DRAINED THE CRANE'S MARSHES, 
                         STOLEN ITS EGGS, INVADED ITS PRIVACY, 
                         POLLUTED ITS FOOD, FOULED ITS AIR, 
                         BLOWN IT APART WITH BUCKSHOT.

               INT. RANCH OFFICE

               Jelly is on the telephone.

                         OBVIOUSLY, A PATERNALISTIC SOCIETY 
                         DOES NOT DESERVE ANYTHING AS GRAND 
                         AND BEAUTIFUL AND WILD AND FREE AS 
                         THE WHOOPING CRANE. YOU MEN HAVE 
                         FAILED IN YOUR DUTY TO THE CRANE. 
                         NOW IT IS WOMEN'S TURN. THE CRANES 
                         ARE IN OUR CHARGE NOW. WE WILL PROTECT 
                         THEM AS LONG AS THEY STILL REQUIRE 
                         PROTECTION --


               Sissy listens to the radio.

                                     JELLY'S VOICE
                         WHILE WORKING TOWARD A DAY WHEN THE 
                         CREATURES OF THE WORLD NO LONGER 
                         HAVE TO SUFFER MAN'S EGOISM, 
                         INSENSITIVITY AND GREED. WE REFUSE 
                         YOUR ORDER. WE SAY TAKE YOUR ORDER 
                         AND SHOVE IT. THIS FLOCK OF BIRDS IS 
                         STAYING WITH US. GET LOST, MAC.

               EXT. ROAD DAY

               Sissy is hitchhiking with her new thumb. But cars pass one 
               after another without stopping. Until Sissy finally tries 
               her left thumb, which has been spared the knife.

               With this thumb there are new maneuvers to try out. And as 
               soon as the does, a car stops.

               MOSAIC of hitchhiking brilliance with Sissy's use of her 
               left thumb. A CLOCK IS TICKING past twelve then on to six 
               and past eight.... she dances wildly around traffic, stopping 
               the hardest of drivers, THE CLOCK TICKS AWAY and within thirty 
               hours she is approaching Mottburg again.

               EXT. RUBBER ROSE DAY

               The Ranch is now surrounded by two hundred federal marshalls 
               reinforced by a dozen FBI agents with loaded guns taking 
               position outside the ranch.

               Sissy gets out of her car and walks past the posse and through 
               the gates.

               Kym carries a radio which is playing "The Day-Old Apple 
               Strudel Polka" across the corral. She carries the radio as 
               if it is a suitcase full of skunk lice.

                         Man, this is the stupidest music 
                         I've ever heard. This radio should 
                         have stayed in the privy where it 

               Kym ropes the radio to her saddle horn and prepares to give 
               it a ride across the Dakota hills. She gets on her horse and 
               rides by the Ranch bungalows and spies Sissy sitting in the 


               Kym gets off her horse and hugs Sissy.

                         You know what you're getting into if 
                         you come over to the lake...

                         Yes, but I want to be there. I want 
                         to see Jellybean. I want to see the 

               THEY RIDE ACROSS THE HILLS. Then they stop at an outlook and 
               Sissy sees the circular barricade in the field below.

                         We heard on the radio that the judge 
                         has set Delores's bail at fifty 
                         thousand dollars. Now she won't be 
                         here when we really need her.

               EXT. CAMP DAY

               A few cowgirls in the camp huddle around a radio:

                                     RADIO NEWS REPORT
                         The American Civil Liberties Union 
                         has requested an extension for the 
                         Rubber Rose Ranch. The government is 
                         aware of the inflamed situation and 
                         are afraid that all the marshals and 
                         agents might be too willing to uncork 
                         the bottle of blood...

               SISSY RIDES INTO CAMP on the back of Kym's horse the way 
               that John Wayne would have ridden into the Alamo; Heather, 
               Bonanza Jellybean, Debbie, Elaine and Linda dance up to meet 

               Before Sissy is completely on the ground, Jelly's tongue is 
               in her mouth. She stumbles out of a stirrup into a wiggly 

                         Let's celebrate!

               Debbie stokes up a big joint right now, as Jelly gets out 
               her six guns and fires them in the air. Heather twirls and 
               jumps through her rope.

               The "Unsung Hero Returns Polka" strikes up on the radio.

               Elaine rears up on her horse.

               EXT. HILLSIDE DAY

               FROM AFAR, AN FBI AGENT views the little going on.

                         Ain't that just like women.

               But as the Agent is saying this, viewing them from the ridge, 
               a large rock tumbles down the hill and grazes his head, 
               knocking him out.

               VIEW of the side of the ridge from where the rock came, but 
               there is strangely nothing where we expect to see the Chink.

               BELOW: The cowgirls.

                         Looks like every time we get together 
                         things are in a mess.

                         So be it. It looks serious this time, 
                         though. All these guns... are you 
                         actually prepared to kill and die 
                         for whooping cranes?

                         Hell no, the cranes are wonderful, 
                         okay, but I'm not in this for whooping 
                         cranes. I'm in it for cowgirls. If 
                         we cowgirls give in to authority on 
                         this crane issue, then cowgirls become 
                         just another compromise. I want a 
                         finer fate than that -- for me and 
                         for every other cowgirl. Better no 
                         cowgirls at all than cowgirls 

                         How did this business get started, 
                         anyhow? Why are the birds nesting 

                         You were aware that we were feeding 
                         them, weren't you? We fed them brown 
                         rice and they stayed over a couple 
                         of extra days. Then we decided to 
                         try something different. We mixed 
                         our brown rice with fishmeal -- 
                         whoopers love seafood, and fishmeal 
                         is cheap. Then Delores suggested 
                         another ingredient, and we think 
                         that's what did the trick.

                         You mean...

                                     DEBBIE AND JELLY TOGETHER

                         They're drugged.

                         Aw, come off it, Sissy. What do you 
                         mean, 'drugged'? Every living thing 
                         is a chemical composition and anything 
                         that is added to it changes that 
                         composition. When you eat a 
                         cheeseburger or a Three Musketeers 
                         bar, it changes your body chemistry. 
                         The kind of food you eat, the kind 
                         of air you breathe, can change your 
                         mental state. Does that mean you're 

               Sissy frames the flock with the hole in the center of her 
               cheese sandwich.

                         No, I guess not.

                         'Drugged' is a stupid word.

                         But the peyote is obviously affecting 
                         their brains. It's made them break a 
                         migratory pattern that goes back 
                         thousands of years.

                         The way I see it, is that the peyote 
                         mellowed them out. Made them less 
                         uptight. They were afraid of bad 
                         weather and humans. That's why they 
                         migrated and kept to themselves. But 
                         the peyote has enlightened them. 
                         It's taught them there is nothing to 
                         fear but fear itself. Now they're 
                         digging life and letting the bad 
                         vibes slide on. Don't worry, be happy. 
                         Be here now.

                         Fear in wild animals is completely 
                         different from paranoia in people. 
                         In the wilderness ecosystem, fear is 
                         natural and necessary. It's merely a 
                         mechanism for maintaining life. If 
                         the cranes hadn't had a capacity for 
                         fear, they would have disappeared 
                         long ago and you'd be having to get 
                         loaded with common old everyday 
                         meadowlarks and mallards.

                         This here discussion is destined to 
                         become academic. Because we've got 
                         less than half a bag of peyote buttons 
                         left and Delores's run ended up in 
                         the Mottburg jail. So any day now 
                         we'll get a chance to see how the 
                         whoopers behave when they come down, 
                         to see if the peyote experience really 
                         changed them or not. But in the 
                         meantime, I want to say this about 

               Then Sissy and Jelly hear a news broadcast on the radio.

                         Judge Greenfield, at the request of 
                         the ACLU, has granted a forty-eight-
                         hour extension of the deadline by 
                         which the Rubber Rose cowgirls must 
                         comply with his order. Negotiations 
                         between the cowgirls and the 
                         government are expected to follow. 
                         Another item in, the forewoman of 
                         the Rubber Rose Ranch, a Delores del 
                         Ruby is now free on bond after having 
                         been arrested in Mottburg with more 
                         than fifty pounds of peyote buttons. 
                         Her bail has been paid by the owner 
                         of the besieged ranch, Countess 
                         Products, Inc. Miss del Ruby's bail 
                         having come from the tycoon's personal 
                         advisor, a certain Dr. Robbins of 
                         New York City.

                         Dr. Robbins?

               EXT. PRAIRIE NIGHT

               Sissy and Jelly lie under the same stars, under the same 
               blankets. Under the same spell.

                         Every time I tell you that I love 
                         you, you flinch. But that's your 

                         If I flinch when you say you love 
                         me, it's both our problems. My 
                         confusion becomes your confusion. 
                         Students confuse teachers, patients 
                         confuse psychiatrists, lovers with 
                         confused hearts confuse lovers with 
                         clear hearts....

               EXT. CAMPFIRE NIGHT

               Delores and some of the other cowgirls are talking. A sharp 
               wind is beginning to gust.

                         It isn't for ourselves that we take 
                         this stand. It isn't for cowgirls. 
                         It's for all the daughters everywhere. 
                         This is an extremely important 
                         confrontation. This is womankind's 
                         chance to prove to her enemy that 
                         she's willing to fight and die. If 
                         we women don't show here and now 
                         that we aren't afraid to fight and 
                         die, then our enemy will never take 
                         us seriously. Men will always know 
                         that, no matter how strong our words 
                         and determined our deeds, there's a 
                         point where we'll back down and give 
                         them their way.

               Delores cracks her whip then parades around the campfire.

                         I'm prepared to win! Victory for 
                         every female, living or dead, who's 
                         suffered the temporary defeats of 
                         masculine insensitivity to their 
                         inner lives!

               A few of the cowgirls cheer.

                         I'll fight the bastards.

               Big Red opens a can of beans with a Bowie knife.

                                     BIG RED
                         I'll fight 'em with bean gas, if 

               Delores snaps her whip again.

                         The sun's going down. Let's those of 
                         us not standing watch get some sleep. 
                         In the morning we'll plan our fight. 
                         Tomorrow afternoon those of you who'd 
                         like can join me in the reeds, where 
                         the cranes and I will be sharing the 
                         last crumbs left in the peyote sack.

               EXT. SIWASH LAKE DAY

               Delores del Ruby appears from the reeds at Siwash Lake's 
               edge, asleep yet awake. She has sunk so deep into the hole 
               in her mind that gale and dust could not follow her.

               IN A TIGHT CIRCLE.

               MANY ARE TRANSFIXED as they listen.

                         It is woman's mission to destroy as 
                         well as to give birth. We will destroy 
                         the tyranny of the dull. But we can't 
                         destroy it with guns. Or whips. 
                         Violence is the dullard's Breakfast 
                         of Champions and the logical end 
                         product of his or her misplaced pride. 
                         Violence fertilizes that which we 
                         would starve. No, we will destroy 
                         the enemy in other ways. The Peyote 
                         Mother has promised a Fourth Vision. 
                         But it won't come to me alone. It 
                         will come to each of you, to every 
                         cowgirl in the land, when you have 
                         overcome that in your own self which 
                         is dull. The Fourth Vision will come 
                         to some men too. You will recognize 
                         them when you meet them, and be their 
                         steady sidekicks in equal and ecstatic 
                         escapades of poetic behavior and 

               Delores holds up a card. The prairie moon illuminates its 
               tattered edges. It is the jack of hearts.

               The forewoman seems to be tiring. Fumes of weariness stream 
               from her black hair. Her voice is leaning against the wall 
               of her larynx when she says:

                         First thing, you must end this 
                         business with the government and the 
                         cranes. It's been positive and 
                         fruitful, but it's gone far enough. 
                         Playfulness ceases to serve a serious 
                         purpose when it takes itself too 
                         seriously. Sorry I won't be with you 
                         at the conclusion. As you know, I've 
                         been sick and stupid for a long time. 
                         I have a lot to make up for, a lot 
                         to accomplish, and there's someone 
                         important that I've got to see. Now.

               As graceful as a ballet for cobras, Delores turns and walks 
               away into the night.

               EXT. RANCH GATES DAY

               THE FBI, other VIGILANTES and POLICEMEN wait in anticipation 
               of an attack outside of the boundaries of the ranch.


               Jelly is addressing the group of cowgirls.

                         Well, what we got to do is one of us 
                         has got to go up that hill and tell 
                         them boys that America can have its 
                         whooping cranes back. Since I'm the 
                         boss here, and since I'm responsible 
                         for a lot of you choosing to be 
                         cowgirls in the first place, it's 
                         gonna be me that goes...

               Small protests from the circle of cowgirls.

                         No buts about it. It's getting lighter 
                         by the second. You podners keep your 
                         heads down. Ta ta.

               The cutest cowgirl in the world stood up and stretched out.

                         Jelly! Please!

               But Jelly is already on her way.

               BONANZA JELLYBEAN VAULTS over the carcass of a reducing 
               machine and plants her Tony Lama boots in the stirrup of her 
               saddle and straddles her horse and takes off.

               EXT. COMPOUND DAY

               The posse surrounding the ranch, can see Jelly coming over 
               the hill on her horse at a full gallop.

               EXT. HILL DAY

               Jelly stops her horse, looks down at her waist, and sees her 

                         Better get rid of these. Might give 
                         those greenhorn dudes a fright.

               THROUGH the scope of an FBI rifle, Jelly is drawing her gun 
               out of her holster.

                         She's going to fire....

               He squeezes the trigger, and Jelly is caught in the stomach 
               with a bullet. She falls off her horse to the ground.

               THE CHINK sees Bonanza Jellybean cut down from a vantage 
               point on the hill, and makes a beeline for the government 
               barricades, SHOUTING.

               THE COWGIRLS scream and cry, and grab their weapons. A couple 
               of them leap from the barricade and are immediately riddled.

               EXT. HILL DAY

               The six-gun slips from her fingers.

               Twenty or thirty more sweaty triggers are squeezed on the 
               hilltop firing at Bonanza Jellybean.


               EXT. COWGIRL CAMP DAY

               A VOICE OVER THE BULLHORN directed at the cowgirls echoes:

                         You've got two minutes to come out 
                         with you hands over your heads!

               RANDOM G-MEN are sniping at the cowgirls, making it impossible 
               to surrender.

               A stray bullet SENDS THE CHINK back down the hillside, beard, 
               robe and sandals flying.

               IN THE HUSH that follows, in the echoes of the explosive 
               fire, the whooping crane flock rises in one grand assault of 
               beating feathers - a lily white storm of life, a gush of 
               albino Gabriels -- swarm into the waiting sky, and circle 
               the pond one time before flapping south toward Texas...

               ...they cast shadows over a dead Jellybean who is literally 
               biting the dust.

               Sissy lifts Jelly out of the dust and holds her. Sissy lifts 
               Jelly's satin shirt tail and pulls down the waistband of her 
               skirt. Bright red blood is running out of her scar.

                         Right in the scar where I fell on a 
                         wooden horse when I was twelve. Haw, 
                         I wasn't really shot with a silver 

               Confessing to Sissy.

                         Or was I?

               EXT. NEW YORK SKY

               The cranes fly over the Statue of Liberty.

               EXT. PARISIAN SKY

               The Cranes fly over the Eiffel tower.

               EXT. RUSSIAN SKY

               The Cranes fly over Red Square.

               INT. MORGUE DAY

               An undertaker pounding five nails into a white coffin. ON 
               THE TOP OF THE COFFIN are engraved two crossed GOLD SIXGUNS. 
               There are eleven famous cowgirls enameled on the edges and 
               in the middle it reads:

                                    BONANZA JELLYBEAN


                                "Ha ha ho ho and hee hee"

               Title card:

                                   The brown paper bag.

               A brown paper bag is sitting on the side of the road.

                                     A VOICE
                         The brown paper bag is the only thing 
                         civilized man has produced that does 
                         not seem out of place in nature. 
                         Crumpled into a wad of wrinkles, 
                         like the fossilized brain of a dryad; 
                         its kinship to tree (to knot and 
                         nest) unobscured by the cruel crush 
                         of industry; absorbing the elements 
                         like any other organic entity; 
                         blending with rock and vegetation as 
                         if it were a burrowing owl's door 
                         mat or a jack rabbit's underwear, a 
                         No. 8 Kraft paper bag lay discarded 
                         in the hills of Dakota and appeared 
                         to live where it lay. Once long ago, 
                         it had borne a package of buns and a 
                         jar of mustard to a kitchenette 
                         rendezvous with a fried hamburger. 
                         More recently, the bag had 
                         held........ love letters.

               View of a bunkhouse trunk.

                         As a hole in an oak hides a squirrel's 
                         family jewels, the bag had hidden 
                         love letters in the bottom of a 
                         bunkhouse trunk.

               Hands lift the contents of the trunk away, rope, spurs, and 
               blanket and find the hidden sack of letters.

                         Then one day after work, the button-
                         nosed little cowgirl to whom the 
                         letters were addressed gathered bag 
                         and contents under her arm, slipped 
                         out to the corral...

               We see the Cowgirl saddling her horse late in the day.

                         ...past ranch hands pitching 
                         horseshoes and ranch hands flying 
                         Tibetan kites, saddled up and trotted 
                         into the hills.

               We see the Cowgirl riding along a ridge.

                         A mile or so from the bunkhouse, she 
                         dismounted and built a small fire; 
                         she fed the fire letters.

               And this we see also, the lonely Cowgirl feeding the letters 
               to a fire in the dusky early night. We can see the cowgirl 
               is Sissy Hankshaw.

                by one, the way her girl friend 
                         had once fed her french fries.

               She is crying now and feeding the fire, close of words like 
               "always" and "forever" burning up.

                         As words such as sweetheart" and 
                         "honey britches" and "forever" and 
                         "always" burned away, the cowgirl 
                         squirted a few tears. Her eyes were 
                         so misty she forgot to burn the bag.

               INT. BUNKHOUSE NIGHT

               Sissy is sobbing.

               Big Red offers a piece of homemade fudge and shows no surprise 
               when Sissy refuses it.

               Kym kisses the lips quickly of the despondent Cowgirl, and 
               the bunkhouse lights go out.

               Delores plunks a carefree song on an old Gibson, looks up at 
               the moon.

                         You know, podner, you can tune a 
                         guitar but you can't tuna fish.

               She plunks a few notes.

                         God, but it's good to be a cowgirl.

               And the bunkhouse lights are turned off. There are some 
               giggles from the cowgirls.


               THE CHINK wakes up and is being cared for by Sissy. He is in 
               pain, but winking.

                         Is everything getting worse?

                         Yes, everything is getting worse. 
                         But everything is also getting better.

                         The Countess has come to our aid. 
                         The Rubber Rose Ranch is officially 
                         deeded to all the cowgirls. And I 
                         have been asked to oversee the ranch. 
                         For $300 a week. And as it turns 
                         out, the Countess is not going to be 
                         the vegetable the doctors thought he 
                         was... here's a picture!

               Sissy shows a picture of the Countess recovering in a hospital 
               bed, posing next to Doctor Robbins.

                         I want to go back to the Clock People. 
                         I kind of miss those fool redskins 
                         and wonder what they're up to. What's 
                         happened to Jelly?

                         She had a one way-ticket to Kansas 

                         You mean she's dead?

               The Chink mourns a bit.

                         But that's an old story now...... I 
                         can't believe that you would leave 
                         the Butte.

                         Easy come, easy go.

                         Wow, you sure have a way with words.

               The Chink looks over and sees that Delores is standing in 
               the doorway.

                         I can't help it if I grew up in an 
                         antipoetic culture. Language will be 
                         different when I'm with the Clock 
                         People though. They're from an oral 
                         tradition. And I'm not talking about 
                         what you horny hop toads do in bed 
                         every night.

               The Chink smiles.

               Delores blushes.

                         Well, if the Clock People give you 
                         any inside information on the end of 
                         the world, drop us a postcard.

                         The world isn't going to end, you 
                         dummy; I hope you know that much.
                              (he grows 
                         But it is going to change. It's going 
                         to change drastically, and probably 
                         in your lifetime. The Clock People 
                         see calamitous earthquakes as the 
                         agent of change, and they may be 
                         right, since there are a hundred 
                         thousand earthquakes a year and major 
                         ones are long overdue. But there are 
                         far worse catastrophes coming... 
                         unless the human race can bring itself 
                         to abandon the goals and values of 
                         civilization, in other words, unless 
                         it can break the consumption habit -- 
                         and we are so conditioned to consuming 
                         as a way of life that for most of us 
                         life would have no meaning without 
                         the yearnings and rewards of 
                         progressive consumption. It isn't 
                         merely that our bad habits will cause 
                         global catastrophes, but that our 
                         operative political-economic 
                         philosophies have us in such a blind 
                         crab grip that they prevent us from 
                         preparing for the natural disasters 
                         that are not our fault. So the 
                         apocalyptic shit is going to hit the 
                         fan, all right, but there'll be some 
                         of us it'll miss. Little pockets of 
                         humanity. Like the Clock People. 
                         Like you two honeys, if you decide 
                         to accept my offer of a lease on 
                         Siwash Cave. There's almost no 
                         worldwide calamity -- famine, nuclear 
                         accident, plague, weather warfare or 
                         reduction of the ozone shield -- 
                         that you couldn't survive in that 

               He begins to caress Sissy's belly. His eyes are smiling. 
               Sissy is surprised.

                         Suppose that you bear five or six 
                         children with your characteristics. 
                         All in Siwash Cave. In a 
                         postcatastrophe world, your offspring 
                         would of necessity intermarry, forming 
                         in time a tribe. A tribe every member 
                         of which had giant thumbs. A tribe 
                         of Big Thumbs would relate to the 
                         environment in very special ways. It 
                         could not use weapons or produce 
                         sophisticated tools. It would have 
                         to rely on its wits and its senses. 
                         It would have to live with animals -- 
                         and plants! -- as virtual equals. 
                         It's extremely pleasant to me to 
                         think about a tribe of physical 
                         eccentrics living peacefully with 
                         animals and plants, learning their 
                         languages, perhaps, and paying them 
                         the respect they deserve.

                         How am I going to be the progenitor 
                         of a tribe when I'm living on an 
                         isolated ridgetop with Delores?

                         That's your problem.

               The Chink coughs.

                         Listen to the way I'm babbling. That 
                         bullet must have loosened one of my 
                         transistors. Don't pay any attention 
                         to me. You've got to work it out for 
                         yourself. The westbound choo-choo 
                         leaves Mottburg at one-forty. I want 
                         to be on it. Will you drive me to 
                         the station?

               INT. TRUCK DAY

               Sissy and Delores are driving the Chink out the front gate 
               of the Rubber Rose.

                         Schedules! Ironic how I have to follow 
                         timetables in order to get back to 
                         the clockworks.

               He yells out the window of the moving vehicle.

                         Don't ever bet against paradox, 


               We hear the Chink yelling, and the Rubber Rose sign is being 
               changed to one that reads El Rancho Jellybean.

                         ....if complexity doesn't beat you, 
                         then paradox will. Ha ha ho ho and 
                         hee hee.....

               And the truck disappears into the prairie land.

               A LONG DARK PAUSE, UNTIL finally we are inside the cave where 
               the Chink's Clockworks are at work..... poing!

               It is revealed that Sissy is with Delores snug in the old 
               hermit's living quarters. She listens to the clinking of the 
               Chink's Clockworks.

               And feels her belly.

               The swell of her belly has forced her to sleep on her back.

               CLOSE VIEW of Sissy's belly, and a little foot kicks from 
               inside. Or is it a foot?

               VIEW INSIDE THE BELLY of Sissy's unborn baby. It is half-
               Japanese, one thirty-second Siwash and all thumbs.

               The moving thumbs are hitchhiking you.....

                                         THE END

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Writers :   Tom Robbins  Gus Van Sant
Genres :   Comedy  Romance  Drama

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