Oct. 5, 1990
A DRUM. Beating slow. And deep. Like a heart.
EXT. THE GREAT PLAINS SOUTH DAKOTA - DAWN
Something is rising from the Black Hills. A sphere of light,
too red to be the sun. A sphere of contained fire, undulating
in crimson and ochre, and rising slowly, majestically, to
the pulse. To the DRUM. It is the sun. But it is a Paha Sapa
sunrise. A Black Hills sunrise. And it is spectacular.
The DRUM, pounds deeper, bigger, as the sun gets higher.
Stronger. Igniting a vast landscape of gentle slopes and
foothills; throwing shadows on the plains that look like, as
the Indians say, an old man dancing. The grass is golden.
And high. The wind moves through it, snakes through it.
Voices; a TRADITIONAL INDIAN SONG (Lakota), summoning Wakan
Tanka - The Great Mystery.
And now, rising up over one of the small land waves, a head
comes into view. Shoulders. A man, running in ghostly SLOW
MOTION, his long black hair trailing in the wind. The INDIAN
MAN wears only buckskin pants and a bone choker around his
Legs and arms churning, the man runs with antelope grace,
backlit by the sunrise, bounding toward us. Running... his
heart pounding. SONG RISING... DRUM POUNDING... FIVE MORE
VOICES in high-pitched tremolo join the song.
And then the runner soars, like an eagle from a bluff,
airborne, flying over a small dip, arms outstretched, and it
would be a wondrous thing if there were not a fine, crimson,
mist all around him and if slow motion was not suddenly
overtaken by LIVE SPEED, revealing the brutal force of gunfire
which has slammed the Indian into the air, throwing him.
Slamming him hard into the grass. And it is over as quickly
and violently as a deer shot dead.
LAKOTA SONG ends abruptly.
LONG SHOT - THE GREAT PLAINS
the sun burns like lava at the horizon. DRUM beats like a
heart. And Somewhere off in a distant cottonwood, an OWL.
Then Silence. Deep, disturbing stillness.
EXT. CAPITAL BELTWAY - WASHINGTON. D.C - DAY
ROCK N'ROLL shatters the silence.
Cars -- a multicolored metallic criss-cross reflecting off a
building made of mirrors -- races past an electronic billboard
that blinks in red skyhigh digital: PRUDENTIAL LIFE INSURANCE.
7:59. 73 degrees.
The D.C. Superhighway. And off behind it, in the distance,
Capital Hill holds imposing vigil, the massive cast iron
dome of The Capital, catching the sun. But everything is
soon smothered by a METRO BUS, hogging the far lane of the
Beltway, leaning on its HORN.
And the rock n'roll is everybody's radio, everybody's tempo.
CARBON MONOXIDE WAVE
shimmers across the beltway hugging then releasing a solitary
vehicle that we stay with... move with... A black Nissan 240
INT. 240 SX - TRAVELING
Behind the wheel -- an intense young man with close-cropped
black hair, eyes hidden by sunglasses. Whatever he does for
a living, he does in a suit (not expensive but well-fit. But
we might also note that any extra suit cash has gone instead
into the silver-plated watch on his left wrist). Lean as a
rake, sallow in the cheeks, there is something insatiable
about him -- a hungry energy that won't let him go.
RAY LEVOI, late 20's, early 30's, pulls out of a threatening
traffic jam and races on the narrow right between thirty
cars and a cement girder.
EXT. T STREET - OUTSIDE WEST-CENTRAL
The black SX has jumped off an exit and has entered the light-
industrial section of Washington. It pulls up near a loading
dock behind an old gray building and several parked cars and
vans. Ray steps out, smooths his jacket, locks and SETS HIS
Another young man -- chubby, clean-shaven; in a nicer suit
than Ray's -- steps out from a parked Miata, and approaches
Ray. CARL PODJWICK balances a coffee, a U.S.A. Today and a
black eel-skin briefcase.
Hey. Nice tie.
Don't get too attached.
They start walking briskly toward the loading dock.
Ya got the paper?
They mount steps.
You're my hero, Carl.
Heroes ain't supposed to shake. I'm
shakin', man, look at me.
Breathe, Carl. Four, nice, deep ones.
They stop at the door of a service elevator and Carl breathes.
Expanding his chest, exhaling. Ray adjusts Carl's tie for
him, his collar. He speaks quietly. Quickly.
Anyone stops us going in, we're with
the Bowen-Hamilton Textile Company.
We have rug samples.
We are one-dimensional, boring
peddlers of fine carpet, Carl.
Carl nods. Ray hesitates, adjusts his own collar and enters
the service elevator. Carl follows. Door closes.
BEGIN CREDITS END.
INT. GRAY BUILDING - FENCING OPERATION
Carl follows Ray into the big sparse room of unfinished
sheetrock walls. There is nothing in here but cardboard boxes,
and two people; a bearded HISPANIC MAN standing behind a
counter, writing on a clipboard. The other is a middle-aged
BLACK MAN in a purple silk shirt sitting in a chair with a
newspaper held open. He barely looks over the top of the
Wall Street Journal.
Hey, look who's here.
Louis, my man, what's happenin'?
Ray walks up to the counter. Carl lingers, fidgeting. Ray
sets his briefcase on the counter and click-clicks it open.
The Hispanic fence man looks inside, and begins pulling out
stacks of treasury checks.
Ray gestures to Carl and he nervously sets his briefcase on
the counter, fumbles with the first latch. The second. He
flips it open.
The fence man casts his eyes down at a neat cache of Grade A
Treasury. A lot of it. Then his eyes rise to Carl.
What ya got there, seventy-five
A hundred and ten. Count it.
LOUIS (BLACK MAN)
Have the girl count it, we can't sit
around here countin' bonds, we got
things to do here.
The fence man pushes an intercom button and yells into a
Carl's eyes flit to Ray. Ray's eyes flit to Carl.
Louis crushes his newspaper down and lifts a big Colt Python
from his lap just as --
A section of sheetrock kicks open and THREE FEDERAL OFFICERS
bust out, each clutching a handgun, SHOUTING inaudibly.
F.B.I.! Get your face on the fuckin'
Carl startled, does an almost effeminate dip down to one
knee, but that knee is swept out from under him, slapping
him flat onto plywood where he is instantly frisked down by
the fence man who is wielding a 9 mm handgun. But the white
collar criminal is more stunned by the fact that --
Ray is walking across the floor with his hands in his pockets
over to the Mr. Coffee. He pours one, and adds some milk.
Turns and watches the bust while opening a packet of Sweet
Ray rests his weight against the coffee station, takes a
careful sip. Carl is yanked to his feet by the fence man and
he stands there, looking at Ray, baffled. Completely shocked.
Jesus Christ, Larry, what the fu--
Larry. That's not even your name, is
it? What's your real name, you fucking
Don't have one, Carl. I have a number,
man. Just like the numbers on those
treasury checks. You stole from your
own country, Carl. Shame on you.
Coffee in hand, Ray walks briskly toward the door.
Ray turns. Louis takes a few steps toward him, putting his
gun back in his waistband.
They want ya Home. Upstairs wants to
Ray stands frozen, holding the door knob, and digesting what
are apparently influential words.
Make sure ya spell my name right.
Ray just stares for a moment. Then hurries out the door.
Carl, being arm-gripped by two agents and photographed like
a trout, gazes bewildered at the door.
We just spent four months together...
I thought he was my friend... what
the fuck, man?
(even more incredulous)
He had dinner at my mother's.
CAMERA FLASHES at him, an agent on either side, striking a
EXT. J. EDGAR HOOVER BUILDING - ESTABLISHING - DAY
The huge, imposing, mausoleum-like Hoover building, bordered
by artificial turf, hemmed by cherry trees in blossom. Turning
out to be a nice day on Pennsylvania Avenue.
INT. FBI DIRECTOR'S CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
8x10 BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS dealt like cards onto a table,
one on top of another.
1 -- an aerial shot of some wasteland.
2 -- a closer bird's eye of the same, what looks like a NASA
photo of Mars.
3 -- a vast expanse of the Great Plains.
ROBERT F. TULLY, Number-Two-in-Command, deals a fourth photo
onto the table. He is an understated, fatherly man, well-
manicured in cotton pencil-striped shirt, white-tab collar
and tie. The photos and maps and files a foot deep on the
huge table are neatly organized.
SA Levoi, Sir.
Seated, at the far end of the table, engrossed in the deep
spread of information, SA (Special Agent) FRANK COUTURE is
about to break the record for longest single ash on the end
of a cigarette and the smoke forces his eyes into tight,
concentrating, slits. "COOCH" as they call him in the Bureau
has seen thirty years in some rough "provinces". He has
survived the Hoover era and is a legend in the Sessions era
but survival has honed an edge. An edge with a touch of ironic
Ray enters, walks into a firm shake.
Do you want a coffee?
No. No, no. Thank you.
Ray sits nervously across from Cooch who looks up from the
photos and studies the younger man through reading glasses
and cigarette smoke, and he looks at him like he doesn't
know who the hell he is or why he's sitting there.
Levoi, Cooch. Raymond Levoi, Criminal
Oh, yeah -- right.
Cooch sticks his cigarette in his left hand, shakes with his
Ray this is --
RAY / TULLY
The handshake is still locked. Cooch is still squinting at
the younger agent. Ray obviously knows something about Agent
It's an honor.
Tully leans back in his chair, crosses his legs casually.
Ray, we're taking you off the street.
We need you out in South Dakota.
Ray's enthusiasm suddenly deflates.
Did I do something unsatisfactory,
No, Ray. You're gonna have to blame
that on your grandmother.
Ray looks completely baffled now, swinging a look from Cooch
Interesting bloodline you have, Ray.
French, Scots-Irish, Italian, ...and
one-eighth American Indian.
Sioux Indian, right?
I'm not that sure. Yeah, I think --
-- yes, Teton Sioux. Father's side.
Ray nods, looks from Tully to Cooch. What's going on here?
Ray, there's been a homicide out in
an area known as The Badlands. Indian
It's not the first. There's been
several. And our field office in
Rapid City is getting a lot of heat...
none of the investigations have turned
up jack shit.
The main problem is, Ray, these people
are extremely distrustful of
outsiders, non-Indians. Relations
have not been amicable.
Different culture. Hard to penetrate.
The Indians don't like white cops
poking around. And that's why we're
in a position where we have to bring
in an American Indian agent.
Tully straightens the edges of a bureau memorandum.
With an Indian representative out
there, we hope to keep hostilities
dormant; this is a COINTELPRO,
Selective Operations Unit, and it'll
be easier on Agent Couture if you
can gain the people's trust and maybe --
Woh, excuse me, Sir... I see what
you're saying... I've got a little
Indian blood, that's true. But --
I am not an... an Indian. I can't
just go in and --
-- your father was part Sioux.
A beat. Ray lowers his eyes to the photos.
I didn't know him, Sir. He passed
away when I was six.
Ray looks up at Cooch. Another uneasy beat. Cooch lights a
cigarette as if lighting a cigarette was a science.
Don't worry about it, Ray. As long
as the people have proof that we
sent them one of their own, no one's
gonna ask you to weave baskets or
make it rain.
Ray sits before the files and photos, looking unsure. He has
come to garner a promotion but has just been sent to The
Graveyard. Or in the FBI argot, Indian Country.
Tully pivots his leather chair in a full circle and slaps an
assignment folder down in front of the young agent.
EXT. THE GREAT PLAINS - SOUTH DAKOTA - DAWN
The very landscape from opening image. Gentle waves of land,
rolling out to touch the Black Hills. The sun rises up out
of the distant silhouette like a waking God. HEARTBEAT DRUM.
And then a car blows by, throwing up gravel and agate and
gypsum. ZOOOOM! Right by us. Gone.
When a dense screen of red dust clears, an old, bent, metal
sign at roadside becomes visible. It reads, through punched
and rusted bullet holes: "Entering Bear Creek Indian
HEARTBEAT DRUM calls in the high-pitched, mournful voices of
LAKOTA SINGERS. The same haunting song.
INT. LE BARON - MOVING
Cooch is at the wheel. Ray, passenger. His lap is a desk for
several folders, and he works through them as they drive.
Both agents eat a sandwich as they travel.
Eight murders in less than a year.
All of them Indian. All of them
unsolved. Is the law a non-entity
out here or what?
Cooch opens a folder that sits between them, and taking his
eyes off the road for a dangerous five seconds, locates some
photos, and hands them to Ray. Ray's expression tells us
they are not pretty.
Those are two agents who went into a
reservation a few years ago to serve
a warrant. They were executed at
close range. That one there is a
police officer killed by the Mohawks
up in Canada more recently.
The agents who have worked out here
say its like going into Nam.
Unfamiliar terrain, foreign language,
foreign customs... and you never
know when you might walk into a few
rounds. They hold a lot of old anger
for the white man out here.
Ray considers this as he looks out at the unfamiliar terrain
while on the RADIO, a D.J. speaks in LAKOTA LANGUAGE. Ray...
back at Cooch, studying his face.
Were you in Nam?
Airborne. That's where they used to
get us agents from. Now we get 'em
from Carnegie-Melon, Ivy League.
Accountants and computer whiz-kids.
Yuppies with guns.
(lights a smoke)
That's scary shit.
Ray smiles, sets the AC on high.
Not as scary as a Hoover man with a
Cooch throws a quick look Ray's way. And a smile. He
appreciates the sting of a right off a left.
Hey, hey, hey. J. Edgar would've
loved you. He'd love anybody who
joined the bureau to, what was it?
"To enforce the laws of my country
and protect her interests"?
You crashed my file?
No. I consulted it. We're going into
Indian Country, I wanna know what
kind of individual is covering my
ass. Don't you?
Ray has finished his sandwich. He wipes his hands on a
kerchief while taking in the sight of chalky buttes cramming
You've been in the bureau for thirty
years. You survived The Hoov, the
Black Panthers and Abscam. I don't
see any bullet holes. That's good
enough for me.
Cooch looks at Ray, amused. He likes this guy. And then he
notices a look of growing consternation on his partner's
RAY'S POV - MOVING
as they drive through the first settlement, a little, broken
and scattered community, littered with wrecked cars on blocks,
and overpopulated with hungry dogs. HEARTBEAT DRUM softly
SIX INDIAN CHILDREN with dirty but beautiful faces and long
blue black hair run alongside the car, curious. One of them
YELLS SOMETHING we don't understand.
PAST the trading post -- a white man's store -- where SIX
OGLALA SIOUX -- four men, two women sit like wax figures,
only their eyes moving to light on the freshly waxed
A little house has a tipi erected beside it. And a satellite
dish. The house beside that one has been half chopped away
to feed the wood stove.
EXT. BEAR CREEK COMMUNITY - RESERVATION - DAY
The federal car drives out of the community and further into
vast bluffs and strange rock formations where it is swallowed,
leaving the ramshackle village in dust.
A lone dog -- all its ribs showing -- chases, BARKING.
EXT. BADLANDS - SHORT TIME LATER
We are on the Moon. Or Israel. But not America. Not any
America we've ever seen. A thirty-mile eroded landscape of
dunes and crevices, soft rock strata and fossils. Barren.
And eerie. A LAKOTA DEATH SONG underscores the otherworldly
ambiance of this place as --
SHOES scuff through the gumbo and multi-colored stones. Two
pair of black, spit-shined, lace-ups. Three. Tripping.
Scuffing. And then a fourth pair. But they are not loafers.
They are Georgio Brutini's and they belong to --
Ray, as he and Cooch follow two Special Agents from the
regional office. SA MILES is about Cooch's age, balding. SA
SHERMAN is closer to Ray's age but instead of a suit like
the rest, he favors an army-green jacket. Neither is a South
Dakota shit-kicker but transplanted field agents. All four
shield their eyes with dark glasses, and here in the Badlands
it is wise because the sun makes dunes shimmy and craters
become faces. It plays mischief on the eye, making Ray and
Sherman nearly trip on --
A DEAD BODY
lying face down in the rainbow sand. Dried blood and horse
flies cover his blown out torso. The agents stand over him,
breathless from the rugged walk.
Who found him?
Indian kids. Hunting fossils.
Cooch studies the body from where he stands. Sherman hands a
file over to Ray.
Okay. I think Agent Levoi and I can
proceed from here. What are your
PX-10 and 11. Anything we can do to
help you out, just radio.
Good. Thanks, Guys.
The agents start back through the Badlands. Ray is already
squatting a safe distance from the body, covering his nose
with a kerchief while looking in the file.
Cooch takes a bended knee on the other side of the body.
Flies buzz on and around the corpse.
Leo Fast Elk... Thirty seven...
single... Member of the Tribal
Cooch makes a note then slowly circles the body. He holds a
hand out to Ray and the younger agent turns the file over.
Looks like Fast Elk wasn't fast enough
to outrun that load. What do you
make of the damage?
Ray gets closer, swats at Flies with the folder.
Six rounds. 357.
That's what it looks like, doesn't
it? But that's what a ten gauge,
choke-bored, shotgun will look like
when it hits your lower back from
five feet away.
Ray looks up impressed. Cooch rises and walks off gingerly,
scanning the surroundings.
Somebody was serious about doing
this guy, that's for sure.
Cooch is standing ten feet away, staring at the ground. Ray
walks over, carefully. He follows Cooch's frown down at the
twisted layers of earth.
ON THE GROUND
a circle has been etched deep in the soft gumbo, and in the
center of the circle, a white eagle plume sticks straight
up, dancing in the wind.
Cooch and Ray each lower themselves to their haunches to
study the strange sight. Cooch puts his reading glasses on,
stares at it. Then lights a cigarette.
Ray hefts up a camera and begins CLICKING off shots. He starts
moving around it, taking shots at different angles. And then
the sound of a DISTANT MOTOR draws both agent's attention.
way out in the bizarre moonscape of eroded rock and earth, a
lone figure on a motorcycle bounces and grinds, born out of
a silvery heat mirage. It's fifty yards off but heading
straight for us. The HEARTBEAT DRUM.
REVERSE - RAY AND COOCH try to make the figure out.
IN THE BADLANDS
the archaic mud-caked Harley chugs and stalls, spits and
choices, and begins an incredible drive straight up the steep
side of this natural wonder. At the throttle is an imposing
WALTER CROW HORSE is a portly Indian in his late-thirties
with a black reservation hat worn low over a face that seems
to have been cast from a bust of Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull
with aviator shades. Denim jacket over checkered shirt. Faded
jeans. Well broken duct-taped boots. His hair is worn long
in tight duel braids.
The rusted bike bajas up and down slopes, finally stalling
out, twenty feet or so from the murder site. Crow Horse swings
his bulk off the bike like dismounting a horse. He looks
around suspiciously then pulls a rolled-up blanket from the
LEO LITTLE SKY
lies in death. Crow Horse's boots move in stealthily, creaking
like saddle leather.
He squats and looks at the corpse... then looks around with
animal alertness. He reaches into the front pocket of his
jacket and pulls out some Bull Durham tobacco. He pinches
some and offers it to the four directions around the body.
He then unrolls the blanket, begins to move the dead man...
sense something and wheels to see Cooch standing behind him,
one hand behind his back where his gun must be, and the other
hand holding up open wallet. The sun hits his badge.
Crow Horse hawks his eyes onto a big rock, a full second
before Ray steps out, his .45 drawn but held at ease.
Crow Horse slowly raises his arms as Ray moves up to him,
Taking ol' Leo somewhere?
Leo's been out here too long, man.
I'm taking him to ceremonial burial.
This is a restricted area.
Check him out, Ray.
Ray frisks the Indian, finds an old leather wallet, and then
a gun. A .38.
Nice piece. You come back here to
cover your tracks, Geronimo? What's
It ain't Geronimo.
Who are you?
I think maybe you guys got off the
wrong exit, yeah? This is the Bear
Creek Indian Reservation.
Cooch walks around to the front of Crow Horse, and studies
I know where I am. I'm on federal
land, doing a federal investigation,
and if you don't wanna cooperate you
can take a ride in a federal car,
and spend the rest of the day in a
little room, answering federal
questions. It's your call. Who are
I'm a full blood Oglala Sioux, born
and raised on this reservation.
You're a wise-ass. Ray check his
Who the fuck is he?
-- a fucking cop.
A pause. A long, dead of South Dakota, Badlands pause. Cooch
turns and looks at Ray who holds up the open wallet, revealing
a badge. Like Cooch's it shines in the sun.
Walter Crow Horse. Tribal Police.
Cooch stands staring at the Indian... then takes a few steps
over to Ray and grabs the wallet. He examines it. Then looks
at Crow Horse and laughs.
He's a fucking cop.
The Indian cop has plenty of time to get up on his own but
he kneels there, tauntingly, waiting for Ray to help him.
Ray walks over and offers a hand. Crow Horse takes it, and
pulls himself up, looking square into Ray's sunglasses.
Cooch walks over and hands the officer his wallet, and his
.23. Crow Horse takes the items, eyeing the older agent.
We got the wire ya was comin'. You're
the Indian official, yeah?
No. No, that's Ray, here. Ray, uh...
Ray... Little Weasel.
Ray does a take but quickly recovers, meeting Crow Horse's
scrutinizing gaze. Crow Horse nods to Ray, and Ray nods back
in case it's the Indian thing to do. Crow Horse nods again.
Ray nods again.
Leo's gotta get to burial, Brother.
He's gotta make the journey.
Tell him, Ray.
Ray stares at Crow Horse, uneasy. The wind sings through the
Leo has to take the journey, Cooch.
We'll have to give Leo a refund.
Because he's gotta go to the M.E. In
case you don't know, Officer,
violation of the Major Crimes Act on --
-- an Indian Reservation is within
the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau
of Intimidation. I know that.
Good. Thank you.
Crow Horse says something in Sioux to Ray. Ray just stares.
I said when can Leo be taken to
After we've completed our
Crow Horse is staring at Ray.
That's a nice suit.
Ray looks offended. Cooch puts a hand on Crow Horse's shoulder
and walks him toward his beat-up motorcycle.
Somebody must be doing something
somewhere in your jurisdiction,
Officer Crow Foot.
You ain't gonna cut his hands off
and send 'em to Washinton, are ya?
They done that to one of our girls
once. Leo did quillwork, he's gonna
need his hands.
Crow Horse turns and looks at Ray. Ray is quick this time.
Leo's gonna need his hands, Cooch.
He does quillwork.
I think Leo's retired from quillwork
for the moment.
Respect the dead, Hoss. Because when --
-- did you understand me when I said
-- violation of the Major Crimes Act
on an Indian Reservation is within
the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau
of Instigation. I know that.
Crow Horse appears to be getting on his bike when suddenly
he moves like a cat and lays his knife to the dead man's
head. He cuts away a patch of hair.
What the hell you doing?!
His mother needs a piece of his hair.
It's for the Keeping of the Souls
(wrapping lock of
Has to be kept for four days.
Cooch and Ray stand there, watching Crow Horse mount his
bike and push off down a nasty slope back through the
Badlands. He starts his motor. It dies. Then starts again.
Keeping of the souls. Do they still
burn their dead or something?
Beats the hell outta me.
Ray and Cooch look off across the Badlands, as far out of
their element as they can be.
CLOSE ON - THE WHITE EAGLE PLUME
in the circle in the sand, fluttering in the wind.
The gold spit-shined Le Baron eases to a crawl, passing an
old wooden sign. "Leaving Bear Creak Indian Reservation."
And immediately pulling in front of a squat old bar with a
burned out neon Miller light. DWIGHT YOAKUM croons "Youuuuuu-
Got-Your Little-Ways" on the jukebox from inside.
The Buffalo Butte bar has several cracked and sun-bleached
buffalo skulls hanging off the edge of its flat roof and big
faded white letters painted across the front read: "No Indians
(This sign actually exists today in the res-line border town
of Scenic, South Dakota). The car pulls up beside a pick-up
and parks. Ray and Cooch step out, careful to walk wide around
a PITBULL in the bed of the truck.
A WHITE LOCAL walks out of the bar and looks askance at the
suits. As the two feds approach the bar, Cooch looks up at
the warning sign. Ray sees it too.
Sorry, Ray. You're gonna have to
wait in the car. I'll bring you out
The young agent smiles, amused, starts to enter the bar but --
Ray spins quickly, paranoid about entering. But the man
calling to them is --
An Indian himself. TRIBAL PRESIDENT OLIVER CLEAR MOON, a
small man in his late fifties who peers out at the agents
through fat bifocals. He wears a straw cowboy hat, red
windbreaker and his hair is cut short, or "bobtailed" as the
Clear Moon is walking away from a parked pick-up truck, toward
the white men, eyeing the two with deep curiosity.
(heavy Indian accent)
You made it. Was-te.
Cooch discreetly peeks into a folder as he walks toward the
You must be... President Clear Bone.
(pointing to the sky)
Moon. You must be the Sioux.
He is pointing his long, skinny finger at Cooch.
No. That's Ray here. Ray...
Ray Levoi, Sir. Pleasure.
Clear Moon beholds the young agent with hopeful eyes, a smile
breaking across his flaccid brown skin. He takes Ray's hand
in a respectful double-clutch and grips him tightly... almost
It's about time they sent us one of
our own. Was-te.
He keeps pumping Ray's hand, looking into his face with great
admiration. Cooch looks on with amusement.
Things are no good here. It is like
war zone. We need an official who
understands what is good for the
Indian people. Who knows Indian way.
Clear Moon has not released Ray's arm as he leads them to a
string of seedy motel units across the street.
I thought we were staying on the
Yes. Rooms thirteen and fourteen are
on Indian land.
Are you hungry? I have some nice raw
kidney in the truck.
Oh, I'm set, Sir. I'm set.
He's starving, Mr. Clear Moon. Get
him some raw kidney. He hasn't had
any Indian food in days...
And Clear Moon guides them through the front door of room
13. Ray looks over his shoulder threateningly at Cooch who
winks and pats his back.
EXT. RESERVATION LINE - NIGHT
A lone headlight appears out of the black. HEARTBEAT DRUM.
But faster. Relentless. A "res" car, a dented, rusted, peeling
old station wagon, drives slowly toward the reservation.
Then suddenly, someone steps in front of the car. A BIG MAN
in cowboy boots and blue jeans.
INT. MOTEL - ROOM 13 - NIGHT
Ray lies in bed. Awake. He is hanging off the bed with a
file open on the floor and using the moon to light photos
and memorandums. And then he hears LAUGHTER outside. And
He gets out of bed quickly, snatching up his pants, putting
their on, and going to the window.
POV - OUT WINDOW:
SEVERAL LOCALS out in front of the bar help a middle-aged
INDIAN MAN out of the station wagon.
Where you goin'? Back to the res?
A young local bends down behind the Indian while another
shoves him, sending him tripping over the bent man and onto
his back in the dirt.
What ya doin'? You drunk?
MORE LOCALS come out from the bar, beers and drinks and
interested in what's going on.
REVERSE - RAY
at the window, observes. Cooch enters from the connecting
room, puffy-eyed but quickly buttoning his shirt. He shares
Let's take a walk.
Ray is transfixed.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE BAR - NIGHT
The Indian man, is pushed into a stumble, and caught by
another white man as a little game of catch takes place.
Cooch, stepping into the circle, shirt half unbuttoned, hair
a mess, looks on. Then steps in front of a big local and
catches the Indian as he comes stumbling. He holds onto him,
looking at the faces that turn his way. Ray steps up beside
him, looking tense.
What's goin' on here?
I can't walk across the goddamn street
without some breed-ass fallin' all
And then Cooch shoves the Indian with all his might back
across the road. The locals resume their fun, and Cooch looks
at a local man and shares a chattering laugh that makes Ray
do a serious take.
Watch out now, he wants a kiss, Ray,
wants a kiss --
The Indian ends up stumbling back toward Ray, and Ray catches
him this time. The man maintains a perfect vacant expression
and keeps acting as though nothing of the sort is happening.
But he is dizzy, and exhausted, and Ray keeps him from
Cooch looks at Ray. Their eyes meet. Ray shoves the man
forward. This time, instead of catching him, the local on
the receiving end, hauls off and punches him in the face.
The Indian drops.
Cooch runs in, grabs the Indian under the arms and drags him
back to his car.
Go ahead, skin, get your ass back on
your sacred land. Get outta here.
He shoves him behind the wheel as the locals crowd around.
They don't see Cooch throw the wheel stick in drive, and
lean into the man's ear.
Get outta here. Drive.
Cooch slams the door, and kicks it, and the vehicle lurches
forward. A beer can clanks off the rear window, and rolls
clanking into the middle of the road.
Ray stands there with the locals as they all watch the car
drive off across the reservation line. Cooch, belly sticking
out of his unbuttoned shirt, and a breathless smile on his
face, heads to the bar without breaking stride. This man has
done "underground" before.
INT. BUFFALO BUTTE BAR - NIGHT - SHORT TIME LATER
Cooch and Ray sit in a booth with DENNIS VAUGHN, a strapping
local man, ranch-raised, and gentlemanly. In fact, downright
So what type of salesmen are you
Liquor. We heard they like their
drink on the reservation, and we
were gonna see if we couldn't unload
some surplus on the way to Nebraska.
Now keep that between us, Dennis,
cuz I don't know what kinda Johnny
Law they got here.
Hey, Brooks, come over here. I want
you to meet a coupla fellas from
BROOKS, a small, older man with a feed store cap and a clean
cowboy shirt, comes over with a beer and a pensive look on
his face. He pulls up a chair and positions himself at the
end of the booth.
Liquor salesmen. Be nice to them,
maybe they'll give you a sample of
some of that gin you like.
He likes that Russian shit that --
They ain't liquor salesmen. They're
Cooch and Ray don't flinch. Dennis does. He looks between
the two, cautiously.
Brooks, what's a perceptive fellow
like you, doing in a joint like this?
Let me buy you a glass of some of
that Russian shit you like.
FBI? What you investigatin'?
A murder. On the reservation.
Again. Figures, man.
You'll never find out who did it.
You underestimate me, Brooks.
No. You underestimate these grass
niggers. They're killing each other.
That's all they do. Get drunk and
kill each other. Then cover for each
other. Who gives a damn really as
long as they stay on their
reservation. You ask me, the
government shouldn't care one
You know how in your big cities, you
got your niggers and you got your
Puerto Ricans? Well out here we got
Indians. That's just the way it is.
The only good Indian is a dead Indian,
does that old adage still hold true
Cooch laughs good-naturedly. Ray smiles. But Brooks looks
That set-to you saw out front, was
nothin' more than a message we were
sendin' to the sonsabitches that are
divertin' water from the river.
We got rights. We got a ranch just
Ray catches this. Glances a look off Cooch who works on a
cold draught beer.
Did any of you gentlemen know Leo
Both men shake their heads. Get quiet.
You fellas are here to investigate a
Indian crime, you should keep to
Indian land, and talk to them, not
us. But you wanna drink here and
shoot stick here, that's your right,
and we respect that.
Come on, Son, we're up on the table.
You fellas wanna play doubles?
Cooch shakes his head, distracted, and the two locals leave,
enroute for the pool table. Ray watches them go, curious.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE BAR - NIGHT
Ray and Cooch, cross the street back to the motel. It is
black and chillingly still.
Water. Worth killing for out here,
Get the plate numbers off everyone
of these cars.
I already did.
Cooch looks at Ray, impressed.
They stop in front of their rooms and Cooch pulls a small
tape recorder from his waistband. A micro-cassette recorder
that he examines in the dim door light.
-- out here we got our Indians. And
that's the way it is.
Cooch shuts it off.
By the time you get to the main
village, sun'll be up. I want you to
fraternize. Socialize. Penetrate.
Infiltrate. Eat some raw kidney, and
get these Indians talking. I'm gonna
Powwow with Big Chief Clear Moon and
find out more about Leo.
He hands Ray the recorder.
Cooch starts for his room but in a long, exaggerated country
step as he breaks into the HANK WILLIAMS tune that has all
but driven him insane inside the joint. Ray watches him go,
and cracks a laugh.
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING - SUNRISE
Ray's at the wheel, looks intense as he studies the vast
expanse of slopes and rock formations and the rising sphere
of flame that lights the road in strange color. He is reading
a name list that he traps against the wheel.
(a dry run)
Hello, I'm looking for Hobert Standing-
Ray pulls up a long dirt drive and parks.
EXT. OLD TRAILER - ACROSS FROM BADLANDS SUNRISE
Ray walks to the front door of a war-torn trailer that is
halfway swallowed by weeds and plants. It is static out here.
Dead still. Ray approaches the front door. There is a huge
hole in it. He knocks above the hole.
After a moment, the door opens a crack. A dark, weather-beaten
face barely shows.
Good morning. I'm looking for Hobert-
The door closes. Locks.
Ray stands there for a moment then lowers himself to look
through the huge hole in the door.
A tattered chair is pushed against the door, covering the
hole. Ray stands up, turns on the steps. And before he can
let out a flustered sigh, he spots something across the dirt
road. Something that makes him remove his shades, look again.
Whatever it is, it doesn't make him happy, and he is hurrying
across the road.
EXT. BADLANDS - DAY
A motorcycle, parked between the road and the badlands. We've
seen the ancient bike before. Ray walks past it, looking at
He pushes his shades up on the bridge of his nose and looks
down into the moonscape.
Walter Crow Horse is down there, on his haunches, "feel
tracking", laying his fingers inside tracks and reading them.
He doesn't even look up at the sound of the FBI agent's
Ray Little Weasel. FBI. I like the
way ya sneaked up on me. Must be
The wind whistles and moans through the Badlands as Crow
Horse continues feel tracking.
What are you --
Ray draws back.
You're steppin' on sign.
Crow Horse lowers his face to the ground and blows some
scattered dust out of a print. Lightly lays his fingers inside
Hey, you, listen up --
-- Leo wasn't killed here. He was
dumped here. Out of a vehicle. Bald
tread. Muffler held on with baling
Crow Horse checks out another track.
The man you want... stepped outta
the car, dragged Leo out, laid him
down. Then walked over here and made
a circle in the earth with a stick.
I can't find the stick. He stuck an
eagle plume in the circle, got back
in his car, dustin' his own prints
with a pine bough for about six feet,
but he missed a print, right here,
see. He got in his car and went Hell-
bent-for-Holy-Sunday outta here. He
ditched that pine bough three miles
across the flat, in the Little Bear
River, it floated down to
Thundershield Gap. The car hit paved
road, and was outta here.
Crow Horse rises, points down the road.
The killin' was done where Leo's
mother lives. But he was driven here
into these Badlands.
Ray is frowning at the big Indian, trying to get a fix on
Big sonuvabuck. Based on the depth
of that print, pressure releases...
I'd say he goes two-ten, two-fifteen --
-- Well, maybe two-seventeen.
You're trying to tell me you can
read all that from a track?
No. Not just a track. You gotta listen
to the trees, man. To the leaves. To
this sand, you FBI's kicked all up.
You gotta listen to the earth.
Is that right? Well, listen to this:
drag your ass. This is a restricted
No, this is the home of the Oglala
Sioux and I want the dog-fucker who
killed Leo. Whether you get him or I
get him, I just want him. Shit's
been goin' on too long.
You've got no jurisdiction.
You got no know-how. About Indian
Way. Or about Jack Shit for that
Maybe you're not aware of this, Crow
Horse, but I just flew in from a
place called the Twentieth Century
where we have such things as
electrostatic tracking methods,
psycholingusitics, DNA fingerprinting;
I don't have to crawl around with
the scorpions and talk to the fucking
trees to get answers. Leo was killed
Go back to the M.E., take a look
inside Leo's exit wounds and tell me
how chicken feed got in there. Trust
me, there ain't chickens in the
Badlands. His mother's place is --
-- his mother never lived here. She
was from up in North Dakota.
I'm talkin' his spiritual mother.
Maisy Blue Legs.
His spiritual mother...
To us Indians, our spiritual relatives
are as close as family. I've got
seven mothers on this reservation.
Sisters. Brothers. You ain't one of
Thank God. Now listen to me, asshole.
I'm giving you a break. But if my
partner finds out you're here, you're
gonna be reading rat tracks in Sioux
Falls Maximum Security.
Easy. Easy... I'm goin'.
Crow Horse walks back up toward the road.
Ray lets him leave then crouches where Crow Horse was, begins
looking at tracks.
CROW HORSE (O.S.)
Hey, Little Weasel.
Ray turns, and sees Crow Horse perched on a high bank -- the
one Ray came down -- and he's in a tracking stance.
You weigh one sixty-three, yeah? Not
a beer drinker. You're one of these
tofu and pilaf characters. Pack your
gun, under your coat -- left shoulder.
But you got backup; a little .32,
.38 maybe, in a ankle holster that
gives you a right foot drag, Shoes
are too tight at the toe but, man,
they look cool. And that's what
Ray just stands frozen, blown away. Crow Horse rises, dusting
off his hands, and heading to his vehicle.
The Indian turns. The wind moans. Ray scrutinizes him,
Crow Horse grins and waves, and ambles away. DOWN IN
Ray stands, sweating under his suit jacket, and not sure if
he's amazed or pissed off.
EXT MAISY BLUE LEGS HOUSE BLACK TAIL DISTRICT - DAY
A trailer sits off from the river in beaten solitude. There
are two junked cars and one burned black.
Wind blows across deep bald tire tracks. Ray walks slowly
beside them, surveying, following them to a place where they
become puckers and skids next to a dilapidated outhouse.
There is a shotgun blast in the side of it. Ray studies it,
enters the outhouse. Exits, and walks the rutted gumbo earth
to where it meets rolling hills of golden grass. He stands
CHICKENS scratch around in the dirt.
Like so many far-off res homesteads, this is a haunting place.
Made more so by a persistent SQUEAKING, a rusty, metallic
squeal coming from --
A WATER PUMP
across the yard, where MAISY BLUE LEGS, a Sioux elder, works
the handle. She wears thick bifocals and keeps her hair under
a bandanna. No water comes forth from the pump, and she tries
again and again until she breaks a sweat. And then she sees
the waal'cu standing out there.
Urgently, she turns and starts back to her trailer with an
empty coffee can.
Ray starts after her.
Mrs... Blue Legs? Can I ask you a
few questions --
(1/3 res speed)
-- go away. Leave us alone...
Ma'am, Please --
She mounts the metal steps. Ray is losing her. He gets a
foot on the bottom step, and attempts something he does not
want to do.
Mrs. Blue Legs. I'm Indian.
Halfway through the screendoor, Maisy turns and looks at the
young man in suit and shades.
Maisy lowers her bifocals, studies him. Then walks in, slaps
the door shut, and locks it. A towel hung as a shade folds
Ray lingers at the bottom of the steps.
And he walks around the side of the trailer, looking at the
ground. In the gaping space between the trailer blocks, and
the grass, there is much junk stored, and Ray kneels to look.
He is drawn to a pair of cowboy boots, caked with dried mud.
He picks up a boot, looks at the sole, then touches the mud.
His fingers break through the hardened crust and come back
moist and blue. He looks at this sniffs it. There is a tense,
water-torture like tempo coming from the old pump where water
barely drips onto a hub cap in the dirt. Ray sets the boot
down. Goes to grab the other boot and --
a WESTERN DIAMOND BACK RATTLER coils out from the shade of
the boot, RATTLING and HISSING from white mouth and three-
inch fangs, and Ray has done a backflip and roll, slapping
his shoulder holster and pulling lead and BLAM! BLAAAM! he
unloads two, and the reptile is so dead, there's not even
enough snake left to make a truck-stop key chain.
He kneels there, flushed in the face, holding his breath and
double-clutching his gun. The SHOTS ECHO through the Badlands
like the aftermath of dynamite. From inside the trailer, he
can hear CRYING. A low moaning. Praying softly.
Shit. Mrs. Blue Legs! It's okay!
Then his RADIO CRACKS IN.
X21, give me a 20.
Black Tail District, X22. You ready
for this? Leo wasn't killed in the
Badlands. I... I found the location.
Maisy Blue Legs place?
How'd you know?
I got one up on ya.
I've got the doer. I know who he is.
Ray looks relieved.
Meet me at base. Over.
Cooch. You're my hero.
Ray looks down at the dead snake, still rushed from it, and
he hurries out of there.
IN THE SHADE OF THE TRAILER
the snake's RATTLE moves spasmodically, still kicking with
EXT. LOOKS TWICE HOUSE - BEAR CREEK RES - NIGHT
CLOSE ON an AMERICAN FLAG, flapping in the hot night wind.
But something is wrong about the image. The flag is hung
upside lit by --
A full moon that also illuminates an overgrown field that
fronts a small, one-level house where the flag hangs. Three
old cars decorate the front yard. A busted screendoor creaks
in the wind, and somewhere off in the hills, a DOG BARKS
away his boredom.
Jimmy Looks Twice.
INT. LE BARON
SA Couture and SA Levoi sit inside the car, staking out this
little place far down a dirt road on the outskirts of the
Cooch has the suspect's file on his knee.
Who is he?
One of the leaders of the Warriors
of All Red Nations. Militant
He hands an open file over to Ray.
CLOSE ON - FILE PHOTO: a raging fire and six long-haired,
fist-raising Indians, yelling at the camera.
The progressive Indians don't like
them because they want everybody to
go back to the old Indian ways, and
the old way Indians don't like them
because they use violence to get
RAY SHUFFLES TO
PHOTO 2 -- a big Indian in a wheel chair, holding a rifle.
He is shirtless under a vest and on his muscular right
shoulder there is a clearly defined tattoo of a circle with
an eagle feather through it.
PHOTO 3 -- a Close Up of the tattoo.
PHOTO 4 -- a propaganda flyer with the letters W.A.R.N. and
the same symbol -- perfect circle, pierced by a white eagle
White eagle feather through the
circle. That's their symbol.
Ray shuffles through more of the same with great interest.
They obviously wanted it to be known
that they offed Leo. Some kind of
Jimmy Looks Twice put Leo's head
through a glass door of the tribal
offices three months ago. And
threatened him several times since.
President Clear Moon and the regional
FBI feel he made good on that threat.
Cooch takes a long, tight breath then turns around in his
seat, coming up with an M-16. Ray lifts one of his own. He
looks out the car window.
I'd just like five minutes alone
with the motherfucker who hung that
flag upside down.
Easy, Cowboy. No vendettas on my
ship. Now: remember what I told you
about Nam? Watch the grass, watch
the trees, watch the shit house, be
on your toes, and if we get committed,
don't hesitate to empty that sucker.
Cooch whacks a top clip into the M-16. Ray slams a clip in
It's show time.
Car doors open in skillful silence.
LOOKS TWICE HOUSE - CLOSER - NIGHT
and Ray maneuver toward the house, rifles ready. Cooch gets
under the picture window, sneaks a look. Nothing. He follows
Ray around the side.
off in a backfield, lit by a hot fire, a small round hut
covered in patchwork quilts, canvas and buffalo hide. A
strange mist floats around it, and from inside, voices are
heard -- A DRUMMING AND CHANTING in LAKOTA. And EAGLE SOUNDS.
Dozens of shrill whistles. Are there birds inside this thing?
REVERSE - RAY
and Cooch, kneeling in the weeds, look dumbfounded. And more
than a little unnerved.
What the hell is that?
NEAR THE INIPI LODGE
An INDIAN YOUTH DOOR TENDER with shoulder length hair falling
over a T-shirt, steps out of the dark and walks to the fire.
He prods it with a broken pitch fork.
He turns to get some more wood and walks right into an M-16,
trained chest level. Ray stares him down.
On the ground.
The boy drops boot camp fast.
Cooch moves up on the sweat lodge, looking quizzically at
it, trying to figure out how to open it. He grabs a canvas
flap at the front and after a moment's hesitation and a look
at Ray, he tears the flap away.
A BLAST OF 200 DEGREE STEAM explodes forth and Cooch dances
back, throwing up his rifle.
GRANDPA SAMUEL REACHES, a rail-thin Sioux elder, appears
through the steam like a vision. Bent in the tiny doorway,
he searches out the interruption.
Cooch aims the M-16 at the old man.
This is the FBI! Come on out of there
nice and slow. Let's move it! Hands
on your head!
Grandpa Reaches crawls out first, ignoring the "Hands on
your head" order from Cooch. His eyes move back and forth
between the two agents.
FIVE MORE INDIANS, from 16-45 come out, looking confused.
Cooch makes the towel-wrapped men spread out in a line. The
old man is speaking to the others in LAKOTA, and Ray steps
up to him, cuts him off.
Hands on your head, Sir. Come on,
The archaic figure just looks through him. Starts to walk
away. Ray takes his thin arm. He locks eyes with the old
man. Slowly, he obeys, raising his hands and laying them on
From the lodge, the last man emerges. It's Crazy Horse reborn
out of the burning sage. JIMMY LOOKS TWICE is in his mid-
thirties -- big, well over two-hundred pounds. But lean. His
braids fall nearly to his hips. His face is handsome but at
the moment, twisted in a full-blood's scowl.
What are you doing?
James Looks Twice?
That's right. What are you doing
here? This is a religious ceremony
Looks Twice shoots hawk-like black eyes onto Ray.
We're FBI, James. We just need to
ask you a few questions.
We are in the middle of a sweat lodge
ceremony. Do you drag people out of
your churches when they're in the
middle of prayer?
Let's take a walk, Jimmy. Come on.
Cooch takes a careful step behind Jimmy and cuffs him. Looks
Twice speaks to the others in LAKOTA, and they disband,
heading to a shade arbor where their clothes hang.
As Cooch starts marching Looks Twice toward the house, Ray
keeps an eye on the departing. One of them stops halfway to
the fence and turns. Grandpa Reaches looks at Ray with eyes
that have seen one hundred and one hard years in Indian
Go ahead. You can all go home.
And he follows Cooch and the cuffed Jimmy to the house.
We just wanna take a look around
your place, Jimmy. We're not here to
bust your balls.
AT THE BACK OF THE HOUSE
Cooch leads the half-naked suspect to the backdoor. Cooch
show: a warrant, tries the door but it is locked.
What's this about?
Your good friend Leo Fast Elk.
You think I killed him? Cuz he was
an apple? Well, let me tell you
something about Leo, Man --
-- don't "man" me, Jimmy. Where's
Jimmy doesn't answer. He glares with hatred into Cooch's
Ray, use the federal master key.
Ray steps up, gets ready to throw a frontkick at the door.
No. Don't do that. Don't deface the
property, man. The key's in there.
With his hands cuffed, he can only jerk his head toward a
big hole in the wall down near the foundation. Cooch quickly
drops to a knee and checks out the hole.
Inside... in the coffee can.
Cooch reaches in, probes.
There's no coffee can in --
Something horrifying happens so fast, Cooch has no time to
Whatever has taken his arm has done so with such force, his
body jolts like he's touched raw voltage. The South Dakota
BADGER rips through his leather jacket -- we get a glimpse
of its striped face and yellowed teeth -- through his shirt.
Through flesh, and deeper, GROWLING insanely while COOCH
HOLLERS in shock tries to pull free and --
Jimmy Looks Twice spins from the porch with a skillfully
executed back kick, knocking Ray off the step and to the
ground. The Indian bolts like a deer into the darkness.
Ray rolls in the grass, throwing his M-16 up. He hesitates.
But only for a moment before FIRING and decimating the corner
gutter, a junked car, several trees. But no sign of Jimmy.
Cooch falls back in the grass badly mauled. His arm has been
ripped open down to the bone.
Ray starts toward Cooch.
Ray takes off, crashing through weeds, into a stream, wading
through mud. He throws his flashlight left and right. He
crosses the river, shines the light in a field of wild sage.
Nothing. He runs like a sprinter, looking everywhere. But as
he enters an --
all he finds is Jimmy's towel. He picks it up and looks around
the area, breathing heavily.
And then suddenly, something leaps up out of the grass. Ray
swings his M-16 up, ready to blast. But it is a DEER, taking
off into a mystical blue night. THE DRUM. Beating fast. Heavy.
TURTLESHELL RATTLE. EAGLE BONE WHISTLES.
IN THE YARD
Cooch traps his bleeding arm between his knees to stanch the
blood. He speaks quietly but firm into his radio, trying to
stay in control.
Assault on federal officers. Suspect
has left the area. One officer down.
Issue a Fugitive Alert immediately.
Has the officer been shot, X-22?
No, the officer's been bitten by a
fucking badger, okay? Get a Fugitive
Alert fucking now! Over.
EXT. BEAR CREEK RESERVATION - LANDSCAPE - SUNRISE
A mind-blowing Aurora. Living clouds. The incredible mesa.
PULLING BACK slowly to the dirt road where a line of federal
aerials high, enter Indian Country.
HEARTBEAT DRUM. But a fast heartbeat. A relentless pulse
AN FBI SATURATION SEARCH
FOUR AGENTS surround a little tar-paper shack, rifles up and
ready. Two go in, and flush out an OLD WOMAN, an OLD MAN,
and some TEN CHILDREN. DOGS.
A SMALL TRAILER that has thirty junked cars in its yard and
serves as a reservation parts store is crawling with FEDERAL
MARSHALS; car doors are being opened, trunks. TRACKING DOGS
run through the cars. WARPATH DRUMS...
-- A BELL UH 1-B "HUEY" HELICOPTER chutters low over the
grasslands, over the Badlands, flattening wheat. It swings
down over the main settlement. CHILDREN gather in the street
to look up at it but then run when --
-- SIX FEDERAL CARS come down the main road. They pass by --
-- THE FRONT PORCH OF THE TRADING POST where Ray stands,
talking to the elders. A few of the same from earlier but
several new ones.
He is sweat-drenched, and has shed his jacket and tie. He is
showing them photos of Jimmy but getting no response. And
then, for a little iodine on top of that, a MOTORCYCLE ENGINE,
spitting and choking and coughing comes around the corner,
Walter Crow Horse, manning the handlebars.
He pulls up to Ray and just looks at him. DRUMS FADE.
You're an easy man to track, Ray. Ya
walk like a penguin with a hard-on.
Is that right? What are the trees
They're sayin' that nobody's gonna
talk to you cuz they don't give away
one of their own. But they did say
there's somebody way across the Little
Walking River who wants to talk to
Ray soaks sweat off his forehead as he eyes the Indian on
this one. He sees himself in the polaroid shades.
He sent me to find ya. He says he's
Ray quickly leaves the porch.
EXT. GRANDPA SAM REACHES TRAILER - OUTSIDE SETTLEMENT - DAY
Silent. The unnerving silence of the Great Plains filled
only by FLYS, big horseflies, buzzing around drying sage
that hangs from the rafters of a shade arbor. A GOAT stands
under it, just gazing across --
the vast spread of grass and dry land where an ancient
Airstream trailer sits lop-sided. Sheets are hung as curtains.
Six old cars -- two from the early 50'a -- sit stripped to
the hubs on blocks in the overgrown grass. The air is dry
and heavy and the only sound is --
FLYS. Ray swats at them as he steps over a truck seat that
lies in the grass, stuffing and springs hanging out. Crow
Horse walk. a few steps ahead, toward the trailer.
Grandpa Samuel Reaches. Heavy duty
Medicine. As in medicine man?
Crow Horse nods slowly, looking at Ray in a very serious
Why does he wanna see me?
Good question. Hardly sees anybody
anymore. Hasn't left this place in
twenty years. Did you bring some
Crow Horse stops walking, making Ray do the same.
When you go see an elder, you always
bring some tobacco as a gift.
Ray reaches into his shirt pocket and fishes out a pack of
Marlboro. Crow Horse glances at it, and shrug-nods. They
continue on toward the trailer.
INT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER
Grandpa Samuel Reaches sits in a taped and tuckered easy
chair, his alert black eyes moving from side to side. We
recognize him from the sweat lodge ceremony at Looks Twice'
although today he wears a straw cowboy hat giving him a more
youthful look despite a face like a map of the Badlands.
He wears a vest over a western shirt, baggy work slacks, old
His brown wrinkled hands run over the top of the Marlboro
pack as if he's reading braille.
Crow Horse sits across from him on a stool. Ray leans on one
of the plain green walls, looking uncomfortable. A three
foot adhesive fly strip hangs from the ceiling, thick with
dead ones. There is a black and white TV with Sesame Street
wailing, honking and guffawing through static.
Grandpa fixes his eyes on Ray for only split seconds at a
time but one gets the feeling he's doing an incredibly deep
reading of the young man. Slowly, he sits up -- focusing
intensely on Ray.
He begins to speak. A hoarse, strained, string of LAKOTA,
spoken like it used to be, gesturing toward Ray. When he
finishes, he sits back in his chair. Ray looks intrigued.
What did he say?
He wants to know if you ever watch
the Cookie Monster. He says the Cookie
Monster is not to be trusted -- a
Ray looks puzzled. Crow Horse laughs bull-wild as Grandpa
takes up a fly swatter and takes out a big horsefly. The old
man begins speaking Indian again.
He says there's something wrong with
Big Bird -- he's crazy,
He says you stopped the Inipi ceremony
Crow Horse turns a questioning look at Ray. Ray doesn't
But he is not unhappy with you because
he knows you.
He knows me?
He says he saw you in a vision some
Crow Horse stops translating suddenly even though the old
man continues speaking. Crow Horse looks concerned, and ASKS
A QUESTION IN LAKOTA. We don't know what he's asking but the
tone is absolute amazement.
This question triggers an exchange between he and Grandpa,
the old one getting angry. Grandpa wins.
I guess he had this vision some time
ago, in the Moon of the Popping Trees --
uh, back in the winter. He says you
come from Wasi'cu city in the East
but that your people... way back...
are of the Minniconjou Sioux. But
you yourself don't know that.
Ray's brow is drawn tense as he stares at the old Indian,
absorbing the translation. Grandpa speaks more fervently
now, incorporating Indian sign. Each time Grandpa does the
hard Sioux HAND SLAP, Ray blinks.
He says he knew you'd be coming to
Bear Creek. He was told. It is the
will of Tunkasilia -- the grandfather
that you come here. He says let's
smoke the caanunpa the sacred pipe,
symbol of truth. So that there will
be no lies between us.
The old man has taken a long wooden stem and a red stone
bowl from a beaded pipe bag. He joins the two together then
begins offering a pinch of tobacco to the Four Directions.
While this goes on, Ray fidgets.
What's he smoke in that?
Sacred herbs. Tobacco. Don't worry,
we don't smoke no Mexican agriculture
in The Pipe. That's a white man's
myth. This is a sacrament.
The old man is offering the pipe to Ray.
Ray looks at Grandpa. The old man offers the pipe again.
You don't smoke with him, it means
you're hiding something.
Ray takes the pipe, looks at it... then passes it to Crow
Horse. The big Indian takes it from Ray, giving him a long
eye, then offering the pipe to The Directions before smoking.
Crow Horse puffs hard, eyes closed, then slowly releases
some smoke upward. Ray watches it climb and fade. The old
man then takes up an old turtle shell rattle. He speaks.
He says Wakan. Sacred. Five hundred
year old turtleshell rattle, passed
down from the Grandfathers. Heavy
He shakes the rattle very slightly, moving it in front of
Ray. He speaks just above a whisper.
He says, it is good. The Spirits are
here. The Spirits want to know what
you're doing here?
Tell him I'm trying to find the man
who murdered Leo Fast Elk. Ask him
if he knows where he is.
Crow Horse asks the old man in Lakota. No answer. The pipe
is back to grandpa, and he offers it to the Directions, to
the Earth then upward before smoking himself. He begins to
Passionately. In long glottal Sioux sentences, adding sign,
fingers crossing, brushing an arm, a slap here and there,
He is working himself into an excited state, and Ray keeps
looking at Crow Horse, very interested in the old man's
Finally Grandpa's breath comes up short and wheezing, he
ends his oratory with a solid hand slap.
What did he say?
He said he doesn't know.
He just did the Gettysburg Address
in Sioux. What did he say?
Crow Horse ignores him. Grandpa speaks again. More hand
The old man is staring at Ray while whispering to Crow Horse.
He strokes his badger claw necklace.
Crow Horse looks at Ray and seems hesitant to translate this
new piece of information.
Uh... Grandpa likes to trade; no one
stops by here without gettin' stuck
in the old Indian barter. He, uh...
he likes your shades.
Grandpa smiles toothlessly. Ray who has his driving glasses
in hand, lifts them to say "these?" but Grandpa sees it as
an accepted deal, and swiftly removes his necklace. He holds
Ray slowly, hesitantly surrenders his sunglasses, and takes
the necklace. Crow Horse bursts into laughter and so does
Grandpa, enjoying a good trade. He draws a hand through the
air in a sort of horizontal karate chop, meaning done deal.
Ray looks confused. Out of his element. And out of his shades.
Another fly gets snagged on sticky tape.
EXT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER
Crow Horse is hurrying toward his bike, Ray with him.
What was he saying?
Why should I tell you.
Because he was talking to me.
Crow Horse keeps walking.
Does he know something?
Crow Horse stops walking and eyes Ray, deliberating.
The old man saw an owl. Over there
in the dry wash. Last week.
He saw an owl.
A silent moment. Ray tries to figure out what he's missing
The owl is a messenger. When one
shows itself to a Sioux... it means
someone's gonna die. The owl told
him about Leo.
Ray stares vacantly.
The owl told him about Leo. That's
incredible. I guess we just broke
the back of this investigation, didn't
we? Evidence doesn't get any harder
than that -- not for my money. Is
there anyway we can seduce this owl
into Federal Court?
He also said "listen to the water."
Listen to the water. Listen to the
owl. He also said, don't trust the
fucking Cookie Monster.
Go back to your DNA finger-printin'.
Crow Horse KICK STARTS his bike and burns off down the drive
Ray feels the presence of the old man, standing behind the
busted screen door. Just watching.
OVER THIS, A SCREAMING. A HIGH-PITCHED, CHILLING, SCREAM
that takes us straight into --
SLACK TAIL POWWOW GROUNDS - RES - LATER
CLOSE ON A TERRIFYING FACE -- painted in blazing red and
yellow, black around the eyes. A ridge of feathers high along
the hairline, and a mouth open, tongue trilling -- SCREAMING.
is going down. A Powow. Held in the center of a huge arbor.
This DANCER, a traditional Kit Fox dancer, is dressed in
authentic costume and is dancing with TEN OTHERS dressed in
various traditional garb and paints.
Under the arbor, TWO HUNDRED INDIANS in modern clothing sit
on blankets or in lawn chairs, watching the dancing. A group
of SINGERS sit around a big drum, beating on it, and wailing
the song that keeps the dancers hopping.
SIXTY CARS (res beaters) are parked off around the arbor,
less interested kids sitting on them, smoking cigarettes. A
few actually have MTV hair-cuts.
Drifting through the cars and people are Special Agents
Couture, Miles, Sherman and Levoi. They stroll through,
incongruously, checking out faces. Vehicles.
Ray slows his step and takes in --
THE POWWOW CIRCLE
as the dance ends. WEAK APPLAUSE. The POWWOW CALLER, a big
Sioux with a crew-cut and cowboy shirt, speaks through a
scratchy P.A. system.
Was-te Yelo! Let's have five more
veterans. Five more veterans. Hoka
An OLD-INDIAN MAN sitting in a lawn chair, removes his cowboy
hat and reaches down toward a blanket. He brings up his VFW
hat, adorned with medals and puts it on. Slowly, he rises,
and shuffles out to the center pole along with --
FOUR OTHER VETERANS who have exchanged cowboy hats for
veteran's caps. There is even a traditional dancer in there,
wearing a veteran cap. As a mournful WAR SONG is banged out
by the singers, a flag is unrolled by the veterans. An
American Flag. Unrolled, and set on the mast. And together,
all five Indian men, hoist --
THE AMERICAN FLAG
high. Slowly it climbs. Proudly. It blows in the hot South
OUTSIDE THE ARBOR
Ray stands, watching this. And then the SONG ENDS. A loud,
angry voice breaks across the P.A.
AT THE CROW'S NEST (CALLER'S BOOTH)
ANDERSON CHASING HAWK, a young Indian in ribbon shirt and
long hair has taken possession of the microphone. SIX W.A.R.N.
MEMBERS stand behind him. He speaks loud, firm, with the
sharp gestures of an old way Chief.
What is that that you honor there,
uncles? After all the Wasi'cu country
has done to you, after all he still
does to you, you honor that flag?!
That flag has been desecrated by the
United States, because they have not
honored what that flag represents!
The veterans just stand under the flag, solemn, looking at
Chasing Hawk. The flag undulates soundlessly.
CHASING HAWK (O.S.)
To them, we are the Bank of America.
Whenever they get into a little
difficulty, they go to The Bank,
withdraw a little land, withdraw a
little oil --
OUTSIDE THE ARBOR
the four FBI agents stand, watching.
Okay. Here we go.
Who's this guy?
Anderson Chasing Hawk. Second in
command behind Jimmy.
AT THE CROW'S NEST
Chasing Hawk hands the mic over to another Warrior. MAGGIE
EAGLE BEAR would be the most beautiful woman Ray has even
seen if she was not the meanest-looking. Her thick black
hair falls over a denim jacket down below her horse-hair
belt. Her faded jeans are stuffed into worn cowboy boots.
And she is full of fire. She begins speaking in LAKOTA.
Fluently. And with hand sign, like the old man.
OUTSIDE THE ARBOR
the agents stand. Cooch is writing into a small notebook.
Magedelana Eagle Bear. Eagle's claws
and a bear's balls.
She keeps an AR-15 assault rifle in
her truck. And she'll use it.
As Ray watches her, someone approaches in a less hostile
manner. It is President Clear Moon, looking very upset. He
holds the hand of a LITTLE GIRL, dressed in traditional
He approaches Ray.
Mr. Clear Moon.
Our police are afraid of them. Please
get them out of here.
Clear Moon gestures for the little girl to run off. He leans
in close to Ray.
They're going to kill me next. That's
what I hear. These new Indians are
destroying everything. Our people
are a quiet people.
They can lead us to Jimmy. Just let
them go. We're tightening the net on
him. We know he's on the reservation.
Clear Moon is looking past Ray at the Warriors. They are
approaching the agents, and Clear Moon looks at Ray with
And he slowly retreats to his lawn chair under the arbor.
Chasing Hawk, Maggie and the other Warriors strut up to the
agents. All but one who is bound to a wheelchair. We've seen
RICHARD YELLOW BIRD, the big Cheyenne who wears a Red Power
baseball cap, an earring, and thick bifocals -- in one of
the file photos. His arms are plastered with tattoos.
Where's Jimmy? We thought he'd be
The warriors make a show of not acknowledging the FBI
presence. They have walked over here just to walk by them.
That is there statement. But Yellow Bird stops cranking the
wheels of his chair and stop: long enough to look up at Ray.
Are you the Washington Redskin?
Even the agents crack grins at this bit of Indian wit. All
but Ray who just stands there, arms folded across his chest,
considering the crippled activist.
Say hello to Richard Yellow Bird,
Yellow Bird sits there, staring up at him through thick
glasses But then Maggie Eagle Bear takes the handles of Yellow
Bird's wheel chair. She looks at Ray with eyes that are choke-
cherry black, eyes that look right through him. He returns
the glare. And then she pushes Yellowbird forward and leaves
the feds alone.
Ray turns to Cooch who is lighting a cigarette, and
concentrating on the movements of this group as they wander
under the arbor, visiting people. LAKOTA SINGERS start up.
Ray, get to Jimmy's place and keep
it tight. I'm gonna get a tail on
IN THE POWWOW CENTER
the under ten year-old "fancy dance" -- TWENTY-FIVE INDIAN
CHILDREN, whirling and stomping and dancing.
JIMMY LOOKS TWICE HOUSE - NIGHT
The battered old house sits under a full moon. The upside
down flag moves slightly in the cross winds.
ACROSS THE ROAD
several junked cars. Among them a black, rusted out VW van
with a smashed windshield. A PACK OF RES DOGS sniff at its
INT. JIMMY'S VAN
In the dim light, a boot. A black cowboy boot. Up on the
dash. Bluejeans. T-shirt. Second hand leather. And a black
cowboy hat. Ray is staking out Jimmy's house.
Across the passenger seat and console is an M-16 rifle. On
his belt, a .357 Red Hawk. He yawns. From outside, he hears
POV: down below the van, a small, patchy RES DOG with a
missing leg is looking up at him with his tongue long and
RAY breaks off a piece of sandwich and drops it down to him
just as -- HEADLIGHTS catch his face. He slides down low,
watching an old pick-up truck creak onto the dirt road,
leading to Jimmy's.
POV: the truck parks. Someone jumps out, gracefully. Indian.
Long braid. Quick steps. Front door. Inside.
RAY lifts his radio.
Go ahead, Ray.
I have a pick-up truck. No plates.
Subject -- Indian -- entering
suspect's house. Over.
Okay, Ray. I'm coming in. If he starts
to leave the area, move in. And hold
Ray sets his radio down, unclips the leather guard on his
handgun. Picks up the Big Mac.
EXT. LOOKS TWICE HOUSE - NIGHT
The front door creaks open, and the subject dashes back out.
In the dark we cannot latch onto features.
Suddenly the junker van comes alive, guns onto the dirt road,
racing toward the running Indian who gets the door of the
truck open but freezes in the van's highbeams as --
Ray leaps out, M-16 in hand.
FBI, freeze, Motherfucker -- drop
it, drop it!
Ray maneuvers in Quantico fashion, keeping the rifle on the
Indian's back. The Indian drops what he's holding. And turns
around. It's not a he. We've seen her before. At the Powwow.
Maggie Eagle Bear. Her hair is pulled back tight, braided.
Ray moves in toward her, surprised at first, but still
Turn around, put your hands on the
roof of the truck.
She does what he tells her. As Ray moves in on her, he notices
an INDIAN CHILD sitting in the passenger seat, looking out
into the highbeams, frightened.
Ray toes Maggie's legs out wider, frisks her one-handed,
pats down her boots.
You're the Indian FBI.
That's right. Turn around.
Maggie turns around, looks Ray in the eye. He looks self-
conscious in the cowboy hat.
The people are glad they sent you.
They usually send in guys who come
at ya with highbeams, screamin' "drop
it, Motherfucker", stick a gun in
your face, frisk ya down. Even if ya
got a child with ya. No, it's good
to have ya. It's gonna be was-te
times on the res.
Ray is looking down at what she dropped. A bundle lying in
the grass. He bends down, starts to untie it.
I was gonna warn ya about messin'
with somebody's medicine bundle but
I forgot you know all about that
IN THE BUNDLE -- an eagle skull, tobacco strings, sage, sweet
grass, and several white eagle feathers.
You're not gonna catch him. He can
shape-shift into different animals.
Bear. Elk. Porcupine.
Is that like an hereditary thing,
Magdelana, or can one take classes?
Jimmy didn't kill Leo. Why do you
wanna do this?
He tried to kill him twice before.
That's a good place to start don't
ya think? Leo was on the other side,
-- Leo was an apple, that's right.
Red on the outside, white on the
inside. And Jimmy hated him. Kicked
his ass a coupla times. But he didn't
You're the FBI. That's your job,
isn't it? Ya know how many of our
Warrior brothers got killed out here?
I never saw any investigating then.
Why now? What's going down here?
A Fugitive Alert for a murder suspect.
Before somebody else gets a shotgun
blast in the spine.
Try the Fort Laramie Treaty. All
Ray doesn't have a clue as to what this radical bullshit is
Look. You and I can stand here in a
culture clash til the sun comes up,
talking about what's right and what's
wrong. You're from the reservation.
It's a different world.
I'm from Minneapolis. Fifth Street.
I did four years at Dartmouth before
I ever set foot on this res. So I
know about the other world, Ray.
If this information doesn't throw Ray, the use of his first
Are you gonna keep that medicine
bundle or are you gonna respect its
Ray is holding the medicine bundle. He deliberates, then
hands it over. She takes it with careful hands, casting a
somewhat surprised look up at him.
When you see Jimmy, tell him the
sooner he turns himself back into a
human being and gives himself in...
the sooner we back off this
Maggie gets in the truck, starts it up. She looks out at
him, studying him. Trying to figure him out. HEADLIGHTS are
coming fast from down the main road.
Grandpa Reaches says you come from
heavy Indian blood. I used to think
Grandpa was gettin' senile. Now I
know he is.
Move it, Magdelana.
Maggie drives forward, turning down another little wagon
road, and bumping into the black night only moments before,
Cooch's Le Baron pulls in.
SA Miles and Sherman's vehicle pull in behind it. The regional
feds fall in behind Cooch, everyone, packing rifles.
Ray, you alright?
Ray turns, nodding. An FBI van pulls in from the other
direction and FOUR AGENTS empty out, wearing FBI windbreakers
What do we got, Ray?
It was just Eagle Bear. I questioned
and released her.
What'd she say?
She talks a lot of shit. We're not
doing our job. Jimmy's innocent.
"What's the FBI really doing here."
Some shit about the Fort Laramie
Cooch nods. The agents form a tight unit out below the upside
She took something from the house.
What she called a medicine bundle.
Most likely Jimmy's.
Let's see it.
I gave it back to her.
If it is Jimmy's, she's taking it to
him. We'll have a runner. But I
borrowed a little mojo...
Ray reaches inside his pant leg, down around his boot and
carefully removes a white eagle feather. He gingerly tucks
it in a plastic bag.
Way to go, Raymond. Miles, take that
to lab. Sherman, I want you to go
back to base and produce some written
material. Something that indicates
that our girl Maggie is leaking
information to us. And make sure
that material finds its way into the
hands of the Warrior Movement.
Sherman and Miles, take off. Cooch, an impressive master of
COINTELPRO, now turns to the van squad.
You gentlemen missed that medicine
basket. Go back through the house,
and make sure you missed nothing
else. And lay some wire, too. Let's
The van squad moves toward the house, leaving Cooch and Ray
alone in the highbeams that light the yard.
That's good goddamn work, Ray. Let
the salmon run. Let 'em run Upriver.
Why we setting Eagle Bear up as an
Her own people start to suspect her,
it creates discord from within. The
Warriors don't know who to trust,
they start infighting, and Jimmy
loses his support.
Ray nods, impressed.
Cooch bends down near the road, touches the dirt.
Her oil pan is shot.
Cooch. What's the Fort Laramie Treaty?
Jesus, I don't know. You tell me.
You're the Indian.
Cooch wipes the oil on a handkerchief as he rises, smiling
playfully at Ray. He starts back toward his car. Some sort
of bird is COOING in the night.
Get a tail on her, Ray.
Ray looks up at the upside down flag. Then watches Cooch
(a quiet, tired laugh)
Where the fuck did they send us?
A long way from home. You be careful
Cooch, standing there with his glasses on and his right arm
bandaged, looks tired, too. He gets in his car.
In the yard, Ray starts for the van, the res dog, trying to
follow. He chases it away. And then as he gets closer to the
van, he looks up to investigate the COOING SOUND.
AT THE TOP OF THE FLAG POLE
there is a shadow. What looks to be a large bird. It just
hovers. In the shadows.
Ray looks up at the pole, watching. Then walking on.
EXT. BEAR CREEK RES - SUNRISE
Mind-blowing sunrise of airbrush red. Clusters of lodge-pole
pine. The spectacular mesa. PAINT HORSES graze in a field, a
few out in the center of the road.
AT GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER
the old man comes down the front steps in a frail walk,
carrying a paper plate. He steps down into the sage clusters
that grow just off his trailer, and offers the plate up toward
He then stoops, and scrapes a half-eaten English muffin,
some potato chips and half a banana onto the Earth in a neat
He straightens his back the best he can, looks up again, and
possess an otherworldly beauty at this magic hour, a maze of
shadows and rainbows. In the distance we cannot mistake the
frame of Walter Crow Horse. He's out there, long hair blowing
against the white bluffs. Stalking. Tracking.
ON THE VILLAGE ROAD
a puppy chases a hen in a klutzy, innocent manner then bumps
into the tire of a parked car. Taking a shot at doghood, he
hikes his leg, squirts a hubcap belonging to --
Cooch's Le Baron. Cooch leans on the hood, drinking a coffee
from a foam-plastic cup, and supervising SIX G-MEN who have
a map spread out over the hood and are discussing it.
MAGGIE EAGLE BEAR'S HOUSE
is way out in a remote corner of the res, a little home,
trailer and tipi right on the river. The river is rushing
hard this morning, catching the light of the sun. Maggie's
truck is parked in front.
Out at the river, Maggie, her hair long and unbrushed, and
wearing an extra large T-shirt and nothing else is hauling
water in buckets from the river.
THREE INDIAN CHILDREN are with her, helping her. Near the
house, an OLD WOMAN in bifocal glasses, feeds some chickens,
and a cat that gathers with the chickens and eats feed.
INT. OLD VAN NEAR MAGGIE'S
Ray, still in his field clothes sits, training binoculars on
the distant house. He opens a carton of milk, drinks some.
Then hears a whimpering. In the passenger seat sits the three
legged res dog. Ray has taken him with him. He drinks some
milk, then opens the carton up fully and sticks it out so
the dog can lap it up. Ray laughs in disbelief, shaking his
For all I know, you're Jimmy. And
you're just waiting for a shot at my
jugular. Drink, Jimmy. Milk is good
for you --
The dog is lapping the milk, desperately. And then a ROARING.
IN THE SIDE MIRROR: Crow Horse, racing up on the left of the
van. Ray pulls his hat down low, and sits back. The motorcycle
passes on the left, slowing enough so that Crow Horse can
flip Ray the middle finger. Then he races on, far down the
Ray sits there, shaking his head. He'll let it go. Bullshit.
He starts the car.
EXT. TRIBAL POLICE SHOOTING RANGE - DAWN
Crow Horse guns in, sliding in dirt up to the run-down, low
budget shooting range -- six plastic milk jugs on sticks,
jammed in the mud.
A moment later, the van hammers in. Parks. Ray gets out.
He's removed his hat so as not to invite any crap from Crow
Don't be mad. That was just an old
traditional gesture that means hello,
how are you.
I see. Forgive my cultural ignorance.
Ray executes a hard, slapping, "up your ass" gesture.
Have a nice day.
Crow Horse bursts into laughter in his raspy, staccato laugh.
He walks off a few steps, picks up a spent shell and pitches
it. His laughter simmers and he gets serious.
Jimmy didn't do it, Ray. I checked
it out. You can stop taggin' my
She's your sister?
RAY AND CROW HORSE
Gotchya. We just nailed a genetic
match between the eagle feather left
at the murder site and one in Jimmy's
medicine bundle. It came from a white
eagle. Same bird.
Crow Horse fingers an eagle feather that hangs from his hat
So did this one. Wambli is a rare
and sacred creature. When someone
finds a dead one, the feathers get
around the res. We share everything.
A lot of power in the eagle feathers.
But you think that's bullshit too,
(ala Crow Horse)
-- Leo Fast Elk was sitting in the
outhouse at Maisy Blue Legs when a
car pulled into the yard. He came
out, approached the vehicle then saw
that the man behind the wheel was
Jimmy. He tried to get back into the
trailer, but the car came highballing
at him. He started running for the
open grass. With the car moving,
Jimmy hung his shotgun out the window,
took aim -- missed once, hitting the
shitter -- fired again, and severed
Leo's spine. Leo fell, rolled, and
came to a stop in the grass. And
some chicken feed. Stale chicken
feed with four days mold.
Crow Horse stares, a little surprised.
Was-te. 'Cept for one thing. Jimmy
Looks Twice was nowhere near there.
Ya see, when Jimmy was twelve years
old, his mother and father was killed
in a car wreck right down there near
I don't see the connection.
The connection is, it did a head
number on him. He's petrified of
cars. Won't drive. I've known him
all my life, and he's never gotten
behind the wheel of a vehicle. He
rides passenger and he rides horses,
and that's it. The man that shot Leo
down was behind the wheel of a moving
Ray absorbs this with great interest.
That's not solid.
You want solid? That one, single,
print he left in the Badlands -- the
one the FBI missed and then stepped
all over -- it belongs to a man who
walks heels first. Like a white man.
Jimmy has a serious Ind'n walk --
ball of the foot first. The man who
murdered Leo walked like a Wasi'cu.
Ray lets a pent-up sigh escape.
You're saying a white guy did it...
Crow Horse chews this over, unable to hide a nagging
frustration. He shakes his head.
When Leo was dumped out there in the
Badlands, he was dropped on his back.
Our man made an effort to turn him
over, onto his face. It's an old
Ind'n belief that if a dead man is
turned face down, his spirit won't
leave. And in the killer's case, it
won't come back and jump all over
his shit. That's an Ind'n thing a
white man wouldn't know.
The two of them stand there, thinking this over. Ray takes
out his notebook and starts writing. Crow Horse walks away,
turns to face the propped up targets.
And that's the way it is. Write it
To punctuate, Crow Horse slaps leather, draws his .38, and
begins blasting at the milk bottles. He hits the bank. A
tree. One of the posts. But not a single target.
When he is done, he looks over his gun, disappointed. Starts
reloading. Ray starts laughing, looking at the missed targets
You laugh all you want, Breed. Sunset
tonight, I get my man.
Ray looks at Crow Horse, sees that he's serious, and follows
him toward his motorcycle.
Alright, Crow Horse. I'm listening.
I'm listening to the trees, to the
stones. Who is it?
Crow Horse turns toward Ray, and creates a long dramatic
Damned if I know.
And he hauls his bulk onto his motorbike.
But the Old One. He did a Yuwipi
ceremony last night.
Crow Horse winks at Ray as he slams the kickstart. To no
The old man? He's gonna tell you who
Go catch Jimmy, Ray. Really. He's
gettin' away. Go ahead, go get him.
Hey. Hey, those are my sunglasses
Grandpa traded with me.
(flips the bird)
And Crow Horse nails his kick start. The BIKE ROARS alive
and the Indian works the throttle hard, leaving gravel and
black exhaust. Ray stands there, drifting between logic and
instinct. He looks at his watch, then starts at a slow,
thoughtful shuffle toward his car.
EXT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER - SHORT TIME LATER
The dust-buzzard broncs and bounces down Grandpa's driveway,
coming to a stop near the wrecked cars. Crow Horse dismounts
and unhooks a carton of smokes from the back.
A moment later, the junker van pulls in, bouncing and shaking.
Crow Horse stares at the approaching vehicle, his eyes hidden
behind Ray's former shades. He cracks a slow smile because --
Ray is stepping quickly from the van, and carrying two packs
INT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER
Grandpa sits in his chair, his black eyes moving smoothly
from side to side. Smoke enshrouds his ancient face, giving
the sense of another time and place. He speaks LAKOTA.
Crow Horse, sitting on a stool across from him, holds The
Pipe. He passes it to Ray who sits in a busted lawn chair
next to him. The room is dark as the sun sets out the window
in red and purple. Ray looks at the pipe. Grandpa will not
speak until Ray smokes. And so he does, drawing on the stem,
HEARTBEAT DRUM as Grandpa speaks Indian.
He says, back behind Red Deer Table,
where the Elk-People-used-to-live...
there are strange creatures from
another world who eat stones... and
who will kill anyone who crosses
into this place.
Ray looks at Crow Horse, searching for a hint of lightness.
But there is only great reverence as he watches Ray blow
He says, in the Yuwipi ceremony last
night, he saw you... going back into
the land beyond Red Deer Table. I
was with you. But that was all the
Spirits let him see so he doesn't
know if you were killed or not. But
he thinks you probably were.
Ray smirks as he passes the pipe to Grandpa. Crow Horse looks
nervous. Grandpa offers the pipe to the directions and then
disengages the bowl from the stem. He speaks again. Crow
Go to the land where the Elk-People-
used-to-live and you will find the
answers you came here looking for.
But you must go as two. That is the
vision. I have spoken. And this is
Grandpa leans closer to Crow Horse and whispers some Lakota.
He wants to trade.
He likes your watch.
Ray looks at Crow Horse, nervous.
I can't do that,
It's a Rolex.
And Grandpa is already holding out something to offer. It is
a cigarette. Grandpa offers it again.
I'm sorry, this is --
(loud to Grandpa)
-- this is very, very expensive.
(to Crow Horse)
Tell him this is an expensive watch.
Crow Horse tells the Old Man. Grandpa speaks Indian.
He says, you need to go on Indian
time. He says your watch is ruining
your life anyway.
Ray buries his hands in his jacket pocket. No way. Crow Horse
signs to Grandpa "no." Grandpa gets up, crosses between the
two young men, up to the TV set. He turns it on.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE
explodes in PINGS AND PONGS and a WOMAN'S SHRILL SCREAM.
EXT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER - DAY
Crow Horse and Ray walk down the steps. WHEEL OF FORTUNE is
heard from within.
Red Deer Table, Ray.
Don't tell me: heavy duty.
Heavy, heavy duty. Taku Wakan. Wanagi
Spirits. It's one of those few places
we'd never go to as kids. Still don't.
Some of the old people say Crazy
Horse is buried back there. We have
to go Ray. Together. Like his vision.
They step into the yard and Ray stops, turning to Crow Horse
Walter. When I fill out my 302, do I
say that evil spirits are killing
everybody on the reservation?
-- no. No offense to the old man. I
appreciate you trying to help. But I
put my ass on the line coming out
What'd you expect to hear?
Not Native American myths and legends.
I'm with the FBI, Walter, remember?
Not National Geographic.
What you call myths, we call our
It's not real.
What's real to you? Wall Street?
Capital Hill? Now they are myths.
I can't be dicking around here. That's
all I'm saying. I don't carry
crystals, I don't wanna come back in
another life. I just wanna do my
job, and do it right, and get the
fuck outta here.
You ain't no Indian. You're a Sal
Crow Horse drives "Indian" home with a hard finger in Ray's
chest. Ray knocks his hand away, explosively. Crow Horse is
Knock it off!
The old man is standing at the top of the steps. Ray and
Crow Horse are YELLING OVER EACH OTHER, and hands are up.
Will ya knock it off? You're actin'
like a couple of old women.
Ray stands there, one hand up in defense, another poised to
throw a punch. Bewildered, he stares at the old Indian holding
onto the porch railing.
For cryin' out loud. Knock it off.
He speaks English.
Only when he's really pissed off.
Come inside. Watch TV.
And Grandpa goes back in, screendoor slapping shut behind
him. Ray is just staring, his jaw dropped. Crow Horse starts
laughing. Harder than he has yet, and Ray starts walking
toward his car in fuck-this steps.
He gets into the car, closes the door and looks out the open
window at Crow Horse. The Indian moves first.
Don't accuse nothin' of not bein'
real, Little Weasel. Cuz the only
thing around here that ain't real is
Ray lifts his arm off the door, and springs his middle finger
up at Crow Horse. He holds it there for a long moment just
looking at the big Indian.
Take care of yourself, Walter.
Ray checks the time on his watch then guns away. Crow Horse
stands there, watching him go. Eventually he shuffles back
toward the trailer.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL - NIGHT
Room 14 has been transformed into a major COINTELPRO base;
four computer terminals are set up, card tables spread with
photos, boxes of files stacked on the bed, and SIX AGENTS,
manning the computers, thumbing through files.
THE CONNECTING ROOM (RAY'S ROOM)
A meeting takes place around a table of paperwork and coffee
cups, and a .45 laid atop a file. Cooch, SA Miles, SA Sherman,
TWO OTHER REGIONAL AGENTS and Ray.
We've gotten word that Jimmy has
been trying to hook up with Maggie
Eagle Bear... but some of the Warriors
have been sending word to Jimmy that
she may be an FBI operative. So he
doesn't know where to go.
Cooch taps some ashes into an empty coffee cup. They sizzle
in cold residue.
Bingo. It's working.
He's out of room. All the reservation
exits have been watchdogged. We got
him. I give it twelve hours.
Well we better use those twelve hours
to apprehend the right man.
The agents all look at Ray. A pin can be heard falling to
the cheap carpet.
The right man? Talk to me, Ray.
Whoever dusted Leo, dusted him from
the driver's seat of a moving car
then drove those eight miles to the
Badlands. Jimmy Looks Twice has never
been behind the wheel of a car. It's
a known fact out here that he's
petrified of driving. His parents
were killed in a car wreck.
Cooch nods, lights another smoke, intrigued.
That's not very solid.
There was also a print found in the
Badlands that indicated diagetic
locomotion. Heels first. Jimmy's
walking pattern doesn't match. He
has a distinct Indian walk.
Indian walk? You been smoking hooch
in the peace pipe, Ray?
LAUGHTER. Except for Cooch who just stares at Ray, digesting
what he has said.
They don't smoke hooch in The Pipe,
Miles. They smoke something called
kinickinick, it's like a tobacco.
Sherman looks at Cooch.
Well, you're right about X21 being a
Washington Redskin, that's for sure.
What else, Ray?
You boys want a soda?
Oh, yeah, a Coke. You buying?
No, Ray's buying. Sherman? Coke?
Oh... no. No, Cooch, I'm working on
a coffee here. Indian walk?
Cooch nods to Ray and Ray follows, gathering up some paperwork
He looks determined as a terrier.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL - NIGHT
Ray and Cooch throw long, slim shadows on their way to an
archaic Coke machine.
Genetic ditto on evidence found at
the site with evidence you found in
his belongings. An incontrovertible
motive. And definite footprints on
Jimmy Looks Twice at Maisy Blue Legs
When did we get that?
Today. And now you -- there's a dog
in the van --
-- I know. I fed it, and I can't get
rid of --
You weren't sent here to go off on
your own detail, Ray. You were sent
here to assist in a Selective
Operations Unit. These regional agents
are inept -- that's why they were
sent out here to The Graveyard, to
Indian Country. I need you behind
me, Ray. Not pulling against me.
I'm not trying to pull against you,
Cooch. I've just been having
nightmares about the way Leo was
Your first homicide, that's gonna
I just wanna make sure no one else
gets done in that way because we
were in bed with the wrong doer.
Ray. I never get into bed with
somebody unless I know for sure.
Just the way I was raised.
Ray studies him with a smile building. Cooch shrugs, sips
Yeah, alright, alright -- fuck you --
give a yuppie a badge and he wants
to take over the world. Go get a
tail on Eagle Bear, and stay with
her. Cuz Jimmy's gonna show. And I
want you to make the collar.
Ray nods, starting for the van.
He turns. Cooch looks at him for a time. It is a warm look.
I'll sleep around a little.
And get rid of the dog.
Ray gets in and pulls the dog out. The dog sits at roadside,
tilting its head at him, confused. And he pulls out. It runs
EXT. DIRT ROAD NEAR EAGLE BEAR'S - RES - NIGHT
The van sits parked down the road from Maggie's dimly-lit
home. Ray sits behind the wheel, watching the house. LOCUSTS
make a steady and unnerving sound. It is black. Black under
big sky. Ray lets his head sag out the open window and he
takes in the vastness.
POV: stars. Millions of stars. And an incredible full moon.
It hangs huge over distant fields, a perfect sphere. The top
half of the moon is yellow, the bottom half a lava red.
REVERSE - RAY
stares at it, lost in thought. From Maggie's house, he hears
someone SINGING. Singing a traditional SUNDANCE SONG while
they haul water from the creek. A WOMAN'S VOICE, trilling
out the beautiful but haunting "hey-o-hey-o-hey-o-hey-ohhhhh."
Ray just sits, listening. And then something draws his
attention to his rearview mirror.
The res dog, lying in the back seat is GROWLING. Lip curled
back, growling low.
Ray looks at him, looks out the window. Blackness. Nothing
but the sound of locusts. And a slight crosswind in the wheat
fields. The dog stops growling. And Ray fixes his gaze on
the house again, lifting a pair of binoculars and --
BOOOOOOM! The rear windshield is SHATTERED by an explosion.
Ray throws himself low across the passenger seat -- BOOOOOM!
The driver's side window and part of the door explodes.
RES ROAD NEAR EAGLE BEAR'S
The federal van is HAMMERED BY GUNFIRE. All the windows,
shattered, the metal doors splayed. Someone is going for the
THE PASSENGER DOOR
is thrown open just as its window implodes, and Ray slides
out belly first, gripping his M-16 and crawling like a dog
soldier into tall wheat at roadside as the car, the road,
the wheat, the dirt, the night are slammed by gunfire.
The res dog overtakes Ray and vanishes in the wheat. Ray
vanishes, too. It is quiet for a moment, then Ray, pops up
ten feet away, and UNLOADS THE M-16, in a left to right,
clean sweep before dropping again. He lies there, listening.
The LOCUST HAVE GONE QUIET. His breath is heavy. His heart's
got to be pounding through the dirt he lays in.
LONG SHOT - THE ROAD
the decimated van, aerial still high. The distant lights of
Maggie's house. And the giant Moon, hovering over it all.
HEARTBEAT DRUM into --
SAME ROAD RES - DAWN
TWENTY FEDS comb the dirt road, the wheat fields, picking up
shells with gloved hands, scanning the vast distance.
IN THE FRONT YARD of Maggie's, FOUR INDIAN CHILDREN stand
with the Old Woman, watching.
INT. LE BARON TRAVELING ANOTHER DIRT ROAD
Cooch, flushed in the face, mans the wheel. He wears only a
T-shirt which indicates, a desperate rush to the scene. His
eyes scan the surrounding homes and fields.
In the passenger seat, Ray sits, drinking a coffee. He looks
All I could think of was... not here.
I don't wanna eat it on an Indian
Reservation, three thousand miles
He's out there. He's out there playing
Sitting Bull with us. I want the
motherfucker so bad I'm getting a
Ray turns around in his seat, looking off across dry land.
It may have been Maggie's way of
saying "get off my ass."
She's that subtle?
Eagle's claws and a bear's balls
that's what her profile says.
Well, she's running now, too. These
fucking people like to run, don't --
-- Cooch. Woh. Stop.
He does. Ray is turned around in his seat, staring off into
EXT. DIRT ROAD
The Le Baron whines backward, and off the road, into some
grass Ray steps out, keeping his gaze fixed. Cooch bails
from the driver's side, joins him.
RAY'S POV: Four-hundred feet across a flat area of sandstone
and grass clusters, something shimmers in the undulations of
the harsh morning sun. Something of pea green and rusty
metal... glass catches sunlight and makes prisms. A car. An
old res car, sitting in a long, chasm in barely a foot of
EXT. DRY WASH - SHORT TIME LATER - PAY
Ray and Cooch go through the car, around the car, with gloved
hands and grease pencils and plastic bags, sweating in the
Tread matches. It's the car.
Excited, Ray walks off, scanning the area.
But this doesn't make any sense,
Ray. If it's just been sitting in
this dry wash for seven days... why
the hell didn't we find it?
Ray picks up a handful of stones, sifts them in his hands.
Because this isn't a dry wash.
Cooch watches him slosh shoes first through a rut where the
water shimmers a foot deep or less.
It's the Little Walking River.
Ray turns, shucking up mud.
And it was full of water when I drove
by here three days ago. Full. I
mean... a river.
The Little Walking River. You're
right. This is part of it. So whoever
sunk this car didn't compensate for
Ray doesn't hear Cooch. He stares past the SAC at the long
wide chasm, wet in some places, arid in others, and what he
hears must be an echo in his head.
Listen to the water...
Cooch is listening to a TRANSMISSION across his radio and he
walks off a few feet, exchanging information with the
Ray stands, ankle deep in stagnant water, his face sweat-
soaked, his eyes transfixed on heat undulations.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL - ROOM 13 - DAY
A flat-bed tow truck drives past the motel with the killer's
car on it. Behind the truck is a fed car which stops at the
motel, and the Le Baron which also pulls in. Miles and Sherman
get out from the first car, Ray and Cooch bail from the Le
With RADIOS TRANSMITTING, the agents walk, dusty and tired,
into room 14. Ray hesitates, snagged by the sight of --
A motorcycle parked in front of the Buffalo Butte Bar. Parked
with pick-up trucks and station wagons. It's the mud-caked
old Barley. Parked right under the NO INDIANS sign.
He puzzles over this.
INT. BUFFALO BUTTE BAR - DAY
Dark. Even during the day. Cigarette smoke. Sawdust. On the
archaic juke box, RANDY TRAVIS sings "Old 8x10" while behind
the bar, the BAR OWNER, an old man with long white hair and
beard, busies himself with leather work. SEVERAL WHITE LOCALS
sit on the old water drum bar stools.
Heads lift, turn when Ray enters in his "fraternizing" clothes --
jeans and boots, leather jacket. He scuffs up thick sawdust
as he heads to the furthest booth back where --
Crow Horse sits, alone over a bourbon and a beer. Ray
approaches carefully, upset by the sight. He slides into the
booth and point blanks the Indian.
Agent Little Weasel, Federal Bura of
Jesus Christ. You're hammered. What
are you doing?
You're right about the old man. His
power's long dried up. He's supposed
to be a medicine man but he won't go
see the people. He says we changed,
and we don't listen. Well, he don't
go out and talk no more. I haven't
had a drink in three years but I
just turned my sobriety chip into
that man behind the bar, and this
Hoss is gettin' watered.
Cut the shit. You shouldn't be in
Cuz I'm a skin?
Cuz you're a cop.
Not no more.
What are you talking about?
You tell me. You tell me who went to
the B.I.A. -- Bureau of Indian
Annihilation and said I was messin'
with your case, man. I don't give a
goddamn about your case.
And I don't give a goddamn about
whether you wear a badge or not,
Crow Horse, but I didn't cut you.
Crow Horse shimmers his black eyes onto Ray.
Still after Jimmy?
They found prints at Blue Legs' place.
Yeah. Jimmy's prints are there. But
they cross over Benjamin Black Star's
prints. And he wasn't there until
six o'clock the mornin' after to get
eggs from the chickens. So Jimmy
wasn't there til the next day. Follow?
Ray just looks vacantly at Crow Horse. Crow Horse resents
Look, man... you better bust Jimmy
and get out before somebody shoots
up more than your car next time.
Ray glares at him.
Next time I'll be ready. You get the
word to who ever it is.
I can't, Hoss. I don't talk to FBI's.
Ray doesn't blink.
You think you was sent here cuz you're
a good cop?
No. I was sent here cuz I'm Indian.
And a good cop.
Crow Horse leans toward Ray and speaks more quietly.
You ever think that maybe you was
sent here cuz the FBI's need one
good reason to take out the entire
Warrior Movement. And what better
reason than one of their men, gettin'
blown away on the res. A low-rent,
expendable public servant sent in to
take a bullet for his country.
Ray is fuming. He can't believe what he's hearing, what's
being insinuated, but he's giving it thought and it's getting
him angry. He smashes a hand down on the table.
I'm sick of your shit --
I'm sick of the two of ya timber
niggers spewin' off.
Standing over the booth is a long, tall RANCHER'S SON. Rangey
with red curly hair tucked under a BLACK HILLS CLASSIC cap,
and arms built by tractor work. And behind him, TWO OLDER
RANCHERS fall in. And ANOTHER YOUNG MAN, grinning with
Ray and Crow Horse look up.
Sorry, we don't speak United States.
Yeah, well I do. Get the Jesus up,
and get the Jesus out or I'm gonna
go out to my truck and come back
with my hardware.
Woh, hold on there, Jack, you're --
-- don't "jack" me, Squanto. I'll
bury your lazy ass right here.
Ray realizes now that they think he's Indian, too. Crow Horse
sees this revelation and complicates it by suddenly speaking
LAKOTA to Ray.
The rancher grabs Ray by the cheeks.
I'm talkin' to --
Ray decks him. Backhands him in the solar plexus then, lays
a burner of a Quantico roundhouse to his ear, knocking him
across the bar, over a mop and bucket and into sawdust.
The others start to fall at him but someone has jumped in,
holding them back, and sticking himself in the way. It is
Brooks. The old timer Ray met his first night here.
No! No, you butt holes! He ain't
skin! He AIN'T SKIN!
Yeah he's In'dn. Miniconjou Sioux.
The rancher's son who is coming back with a broken beer
bottle, slows his step and shifts his eyes from Brooks to
the young fed There is a lot of heavy breathing. But no
talking just yet. The young rancher eyes Ray.
You ain't Indian?
Ray just stands tense, staring at him. And it's strange.
Because he hasn't really looked like he has any Indian blood
up to this moment. But dressed the way he is, and his eyes
glaring, face drawing tense, he might pass for a breed
although that's probably the Italian. But Ray doesn't answer
the question. Crow Horse starts laughing. Drunkenly.
What's so damn funny?
Well, it's just that the cavalry
used to always threaten the Lakota.
The cavalry ain't around anymore.
The Lakota still are.
I got no trouble tellin' where you
come from, Fat Red.
Crow Horse rises and walks unsteadily across the floor,
leaving the bar. Brooks is whispering to the others,
apparently about who Ray is. The bar man comes up to Ray,
holding a tray, on which sits a shot and a beer. Ray looks
at it for a moment.
Sorry. On the house.
Ray knocks the tray out of his hand, spilling beer and whiskey
all over the bar man and the locals around him.
And he walks out, leaving the locals confused.
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING - RES - DAY
Ray looks strung-out as he drives. If it's not the conflict
at the Butte, it's the dangerous seed Crow Horse planted,
and it is playing with his mind. He is on his RADIO.
No plates. No registration. Serial
numbers removed. And all prints washed
off by the river. That's great. This
is turning out to be a walk in the
park, do you know that?
But before he hangs the radio. IT CUTS BACK IN.
I read, Cooch.
Remember that upside down flag back
at Jimmy's house? Somebody took it
They took it down, set fire to it,
and threw it on the doorstep of room
13 at the Buffalo Butte Motel. Your
Ray seethes quietly as he drives.
We traced the number of the truck
that dumped it, and it belongs to
one Maggie Sanders, also known as
Maggie Eagle Bear. She's been all
over the res, riling up the
traditionals, telling them not to
break, and to keep Jimmy in hiding.
She's a problem now. And she's yours.
Get her off the reservation.
Ray keeps driving.
EXT. WOUNDED KNEE MEMORIAL - DAY
Maggie's old pick-up is parked near an arch gate of the tiny
cemetery where a tall monument is fenced off from other graves
There are tobacco offerings and other medicines hanging on
the fence and on the monument.
It is a quiet place. Still.
Maggie stands before the unkempt monument in her denim jacket,
her hair blowing across her face in the wind. She PRAYS IN
Behind her TEN CHILDREN from the Bear Creek School stand,
heads bowed respectfully. Two of them sit on the lap of
Richard Yellow Bird who looks on from his wheelchair, praying
quietly with Maggie. When Maggie completes her prayer, she
ties some tobacco to the monument then turns and faces the
children. One of them, a LITTLE GIRL -- heavy-set -- raises
a hand that we might note is deformed. As many of the children
we have seen on the res, are.
Are they all right under here?
Two-hundred and sixty-seven men,
women, old people. And little ones
like you. Many killed running along
that road you see there.
Where were they runnin' to?
A place called The Stronghold.
They died for a dream. But you live.
You are their great-great
grandchildren and you live. We have
to honor their dream. Of protecting
the Mother Earth. And being proud of
My mother told me that they call us
Indians cuz Columbus was lookin' for
India when he discovered our country.
Maggie smiles at the boy.
Yeah, well, let me tell you something,
Henry: just be glad he wasn't looking
The CHILDREN LAUGH. All but one boy, who isn't paying
attention. He is staring up at a hill, off in the distance.
MAGGIE'S POV: on the hill, a figure stands, hands in his
pockets, hair blowing in the wind. Ray.
REVERSE - MAGGIE
keeping her eyes on the Wasi'cu, but addressing Yellow Bird.
Richard. Sing the Honoring Song with
them. I'll be right back.
ON THE HILL
Ray stands, watching Maggie walking into the wind, toward
him. Behind her an HONORING SONG, sung by ten children haunts
the still air.
He doesn't budge as she mounts the gentle bluff and joins
We're praying at the grave. Do you
wanna join us?
A long silence. The voices carry in the wind.
No, Maggie. But you're gonna have to
join me for a ride. I'm taking you
to Rapid City.
Maggie looks at him. They lock eyes.
So much power. I see it in your eyes.
This... hunger for power. Or for
what you think is power.
As if exhausted by the thought, Maggie sits down on the bluff,
looking out at the children who are still singing the song.
As she speaks, she begins digging her fingers in the earth.
Ray stands over her.
You burned an American flag today.
And left it for me...
-- You desecrated it, it had to be
I desecrated it?
You forced an innocent man to run
like an animal. You've tried to poison
my people's hearts against me with
your manipulation, with letters I
never wrote... you've been watching
me eat, work, raise my family...
wash myself in the river. And now
you're here, arresting me at a sacred
In your eyes, that's power.
Maggie lifts herself onto her knees and looks down into the
small hole she's dug. She picks up a little pine cone.
So I plant this tree for you. And I
take all this stuff that you've laid
on me and my people, and I put it in
this hole with this pine cone.
(she covers it)
And I bury it. Cuz ya know what it
is, Ray? Bullshit. And shit is
And The Mother will turn your lies
into something that lives.
Maggie rises, dusting off her hands. She looks him in the
That's what power is, in the Indian
(holds her hands out
to be cuffed)
Take me to Rapid, Ray. I'm the enemy.
Ray just stares at her, struggling with what he's feeling,
what he's hearing. What he's supposed to be feeling. Silence
hangs between the two of them.
If I told you... that I think Jimmy's
innocent... but I'm in over my head...
would you believe me?
Maggie looks at him, considering. Then toward the long dark
silhouette of a mountain range across the plains.
See those Black Hills out there,
Ray? When the people lost the land
in 1868, the government took
everything but those hills. They
allowed us to keep those Black Hills,
to live there. Signed a treaty. Until
they found gold. Then they told us
we had to leave because of National
interest. They broke that treaty.
Anyone who fought or spoke out against
it, wound up dead or in jail. And
the people wound up here. On a
While she looks off at Paha Sapa, Ray stares at her profile.
While up there, in the Black Hills...
they carved the faces of four
She looks at Ray with an ironic smile, and she catches him
Your relatives must've taught you
My father never told anybody he had
Indian blood. But he still used a
few Indian words around the house.
He called me Washee. Said it meant...
Maggie starts giggling.
Wa-shee is like... a dumpling. Like
tallow we put in stew. I think he
was calling you chubby boy.
Maggie is laughing as she looks back at the children who are
no longer singing. Ray reaches inside his jacket and takes
out five polaroids. He shuffles them as he ponders. He hands
one to Maggie who has caught herself opening up too much to
You ever see that car before?
Maggie looks at the first photo and says nothing. She hands
it back quickly. Ray won't take it.
Who's it belong to?
Maggie ignores him. Ray studies her reaction.
Help me, Maggie...
Maggie is looking away. She picks a long blade of grass and
smoothes it in her hands.
Ray looks at her a moment longer then rises, dusting off his
jeans, and standing there. He thinks for a long moment,
pinches the bridge of his nose, then looks out at the Black
I didn't see you today, Maggie.
Maggie watches him go. Looks away. Then watches him again.
Ray stops. She stands on the bluff, her hair riding the wind
and her eyes searing. And then her lips do something that
might qualify as half a smile. A sense of humor rising up
through anger. Survival humor.
Ray looks at her for a long moment. And then he walks on,
leaving her there.
INT. LE BARON - PARKED AT WOUNDED KNEE - DAY
Ray sits behind the wheel, going through files on his lap,
photographs of Indians. And thinking hard.
Anyone who fought or spoke out against
it... wound up dead or in jail.
Ray looks out the window toward the monument.
(to himself, flustered)
That was 1868, Maggie...
Exhausted, Ray lays his head back on the seat, and lets a
long, constricted breath free. THUNDER ROLLS like the slow,
deep roar of some giant bear up in the hills. He opens his
eyes, looks out the window.
POV: rain is coming down, and Maggie is getting the children
into the back of her truck. She helps them get a tarp over
their heads. Then as Yellow Bird pulls himself into the cab
of the truck, she hefts the wheelchair and two boys load it
She gets in, starts up, and rolls off down the sloping road.
EXT. LE BARON - WOUNDED KNEE STRANGE TWILIGHT
Ray steps out of the car into the rain and closes the door.
He stares at the burial grounds. Then slowly, he starts toward
them as if magnetically drawn. HEARTBEAT DRUM.
A shroud of mist lays over the cemetery, growing thicker as
the rain falls harder. DRUM BEATS DEEPER. Ray is walking
toward the memorial, getting drenched. Then he hears something
coming down the dirt road, toward him, a HORSEMAN drives his
mount at a fast trot. The rider is only a vague image in the
mist, his face hidden. As he rides closer, we can make out a
shotgun in his hand. And he throws it up, takes aim.
REVERSE - RAY
paralyzed for a moment. And then going for his gun. But it's
not there. He's left it in the car. He breaks into a run.
But there's a shorter distance now between the horseman and
the car and Ray has no choice but to turn and flee.
His boots slap wet pavement, and his breath draws heavy and
desperate as he bounds off the road and races down a grassy
slope, looking over his shoulder, panicking.
His legs and arms churning, his face contorted. And then
someone passes him out, running just as hard. AN INDIAN WOMAN
in 1890 Winter rags, clutching a BABY to her breast and
CRYING. SCREAMING. Ray looks at her, incredulous as he runs.
But he keeps running.
The rider is right behind him. He FIRES. The GUNSHOT CRACKS
the sky like thunder. BOOOOM!
INT. LE BARON TWILIGHT
Ray jumps awake. Cooch is POUNDING on the window. And the
three-legged dog inside is BARKING. Ray quickly rolls the
window down, letting in THUNDER.
Cooch starts to say something then takes note of Ray's peaked
face. Sweat runs down his temples, beads at his nose.
Jesus, you alright?
Yeah. I... I fell asleep. I can't
believe it. I --
Never turn your radio off! I thought
I was gonna find you scalped! Damn
Sorry, Cooch. I lost Eagle Bear --
-- never mind Eagle Bear. We've got
Jimmy nailed. Let's go!
And Cooch runs to his car. Ray fires the car's big engine
and takes off behind Cooch who is driving a fed Chevy. CRAZY
HEARTBEAT DRUM INTO --
EXT. GRANDPA REACHES TRATLER - LATE DAY
The rain pelts Grandpa's little Airstream trailer, wind snaps
at sheet plastic in the windows. An ancient sewing wheel
CREAKS RUSTY in the wind.
Three clean, late-model fed cars pull down the muddy drive
as two SWAT vehicles pull in from another road. The Le Baron
pulls in, and Ray bails out with the others. When he sees
where he is, he looks distraught.
Agents are running behind junked cars, positioning themselves
around the trailer.
INT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER LATE DAY
The holy man is sitting in his chair, smacking Flies with a
swatter. Tonight he wears a black reservation hat and stares
vacantly at the TV where RONALD MACDONALD swings a giant
baseball bat, and falls on his face, bouncing back up. And
The door is open and Cooch leads Miles, Sherman and Ray
inside. Cooch has a gun on the old man.
HANDS ON YOUR HEAD!
The old man slowly removes his hat and hangs it on a knee.
Carefully he places his wrinkled hands on his thinning white
hair. His eyes seek out Ray who stands in the doorway, M-16
in hand, looking concerned. He stares at Ray.
Cooch storms into a back bedroom, Miles moves to a window.
Sherman stands over the old man.
Where is he, Sam? Where's Jimmy?
Grandpa looks at Sherman, ignores him, looks back at Ray.
He's a medicine man, Ray. The
"spiritual leader" of the Warriors.
That right, Sam?
With RADIO TRANSMISSIONS crackling through the house, Cooch
comes back down the hall, and heads to the door.
Trailer's clean, let's go.
Ray starts to follow but he sees Sherman pick something up
from near Grandpa. The 500 year-old turtleshell rattle.
Grandpa's eyes widen slightly.
You been the one making it rain like
that, out there, Sam?
Hey, put that down.
Can you make Jimmy outrun an M-16,
Sherman drops the turtleshell rattle on the linoleum floor.
Then drives his heel into it, CRUSHING the fragile
Ray grabs him and slams him into the tin wall. Miles gets
between them, grabbing Sherman.
EASY, MEN! HEY! --
HE'S ON THE ROOF! HE'S ON THE FUCKING
ROOF! COME ON GUYS, COME ON, GUYS!
They're out the door, leaving the old man to sit looking
down at the shattered rattle. He closes his eyes.
EXT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER
In a blizzard of rain, Jimmy Looks Twice in a cowboy shirt,
jeans and boots, leaps off the top of the Airstream, clutching
his medicine bundle. FLOODLIGHTS HIT him from all directions.
BULLHORNS screaming at him.
He tries to turn a corner and runs right into a fed. Ray,
having run out the back door has slammed right into him. He
has his rifle on him, and they stare each other down for a
split second before he is converged on. Guns at his back, at
He is swept off his feet, face down, and frisked. He looks
up at Ray, desperately.
Brother, the old man told me about
you. Listen to me: what was Leo trying
to tell me? He wanted to meet me at
Another fed, pushes his face into the mud, cuffs him behind
Save your speeches for prison, Jimmy.
With two FIVE MAN SWAT TEAMS swarming the area, and six agents
pushing Jimmy toward a car, Cooch stands there in the pouring
rain, looking relieved. Ray stands near him, looking abhorred.
Damn. That's one hard running Indian.
Ray watches Jimmy as he is shoved into the back of Miles and
Sherman's car and driven away. He is twisting around in his
seat to look at Ray. Desperately. The SWAT teams disband,
return to their vehicles.
It's over, Ray. I aged five years.
But it's over. At least I'm gonna
look like I'm ready for the advisory
desk. Let's go get a beer.
Cooch heads to his car and Ray starts shuffling toward his
as if he is dared by it all. He is looking at the trailer
and there on the rickety porch is Grandpa. He comes down the
steps slowly, holding his hat on against the wind. He watches
the cars pulling out.
Ray walks over to him, looking sick.
Look... I'm not who you think I am.
(a long beat)
And after a moment of locking gazes, he starts for his car,
Out back that way... is a placed
called Wounded Knee.
I was one years old there when our
people were shot down. My mother hid
me in the snow in a blanket. One of
those killed was a Holy Man called
Wakiyan Cante -- Thunder Heart. They
killed him while he was running for
The Stronghold. It is his blood --
the same blood that spilled on the
grass and snow at Wounded Knee --
that runs through your heart like a
Ray frowns, disturbed by this story.
The old man is speaking with conviction. With power.
Thunder Heart has come. Sent here to
a troubled place to help his people.
That's what I am told. Maybe you're
right and I am mistaken. Your mind
is young, mine is old. If so, so be
it. Ho Hecetu Yelo. I'll speak no
Ray stands, almost paralyzed, digesting this. He turns and
looks into the old man's sharp eyes. Grandpa has closed his
eyes, and as he is pulverized by the rain, he turns his face
toward it and from way down in his belly, he begins to SING
IN LAKOTA. And it is too much. Too weird. He wheels and
hurries to the car. Gets in, and beats a fast path out of
the old man's lonesome patch of land.
BLUE HEAT LIGHTNING knifes the sky. THUNDER ROLLS, and rumbles
into POOL BALLS --
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL AND BAR - LATE DAY
The agents have taken over both sides of the streets, gathered
in front of the bar and the motel, putting firearms into
cases, removing flak jackets.
POOL BALLS knock from inside the bar while outside, A DAKOTAN
takes a piss near a truck while his GIRLFRIEND stands at his
back, yelling at him. CHARLIE DANIELS sings country on the
juke Ray heads to room 13, starts unlocking the door. Cooch
comes up behind him.
Buffalo burgers and cold beer,
Raymond. Don't worry about the sign
out front... you don't have to be
Cooch throws a mock punch at Ray and he mock blocks, tired.
He musters a smile. But he isn't all there.
You have a fever. You okay?
Ray nods. Cooch lets a few agents walk past, LAUGHING. He
Listen: when we get back tomorrow,
you're gonna find Tully laying a
promotion on you. S.A.C. He wants to
prove that his yuppie agents are
making good. He's offering you New
York. Tell him you want Atlanta.
Cuz I want New York.
Ray tries to break a smile again. Cooch cups his arm.
Cooch. They sent us out here because
the place was being neglected. Now,
all of a sudden, there's two five
man SWAT teams out there tonight.
Bell Huey choppers flying all over
the place. Federal occupation to
catch one guy. Why, Cooch? What's
Cooch stares at Ray. The younger agent looks like he indeed
has a fever.
National security, Ray. Get some
sleep. Tomorrow, we fly.
Cooch hurries across the rain-swept street. Ray steps inside
and closes the door.
INT. ROOM 13 - BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL
Ray closes the door, and stands there. He seems to be having
trouble breathing. He looks down at his boots. There is
something on the floor. Something that has been slipped under
the door earlier. He just stares down at it. Then slowly
CLOSE ON: the polaroid of the res car he gave to Maggie
has returned it. He turns it over. Written across the white
backing of the photo, in dark black marker is the name --
Ray stares at this for a moment then hurries over to boxes
of files on the bed. He rummages like a nervous thief and
comes up with a folder. He flips through it, casting off
files and 302's and profiles and finally stopping on --
The 8x10 BLACK AND WHITE of Richard Yellow Bird seen earlier.
Sitting in his wheelchair, Red Power cap on, tattoos marring
big arms. And under it a DOUBLE MUG SHOT stamped LEAVENWORTH
PRISON. Under that ANOTHER PRISON MUG SHOT stamped SIOUX
FALLS PRISON. And under that a --
THIRD MUG SHOT stamped "PAROLED."
Ray, his eyes fixed on this one, takes a few steps and sits
on the end of the bed. He then stuffs the file back in a
box, and takes off toward the door.
EXT. RESERVATION ROAD - SUNSET
The Le Baron throws up loose rock and red dust, driving toward
a place where the sun begins a slow drop behind the Black
Hills. HORSES run out of the road. HEARTBEAT DRUM.
EXT. MULE DEER DISTRICT RES - SUNSET
A tarpaper shack. Outhouse. Clothesline on which jerked meat
hangs. No cars. A lonely, unnerving place. Le Baron pulls
in. Ray gets out, adjusting the gun at the back of his
waistband. He starts for the shack. Ray raps a fist on the
splintered plywood door. Knocks again. He checks out a boarded-
up window. The door finally opens. Just a crack. Tiny black
eyes peer out into the fading light.
I'm looking for Richard Yellow Bird.
Ray sticks his open badge, gold eagle wings, near the crack.
The door closes. Then unlatches and opens. Yellow Bird sits
there in his wheelchair, tiny tobacco bundles in his lap.
He's been tying them.
The Washington Redskin. Thought you'd
be gone by now.
He pivots his chair to allow Ray room to enter.
INT. YELLOW BIRD SHACK
Yellow Bird, in a T-shirt that reveals twenty different ink
tattoos, rolls himself across the warped floorboards to a
cheese crate where his eye glasses sit. He puts the thick
bifocals on and focuses resentfully on Ray in the ochre
flicker of the dirty room.
What ya want?
Must be a bitch getting around in
that wheelchair. How long you been
Since I got a iron pipe put across
my knees, man. Fight with three
wasi'cus, ya know.
At Sioux Falls Pen?
No, that was Leavenworth. This --
(shows a scar)
was Sioux Falls. What ya want?
Leavenworth a tough joint?
Ray walks across the room, his eyes on a covert mission.
You ever try solitary confinement?
No. Can't say that I have, Richard.
Richard do you know why I'm here?
Washington sent ya. I know that.
Yes, Washington sent me, Richard.
They sent me here because this whole
thing has been fucked. Do you know
what I mean when I say this whole
thing has been fucked, Richard?
Yellow Bird stares at Ray.
An arrangement was made between you...
and us. Do you remember that
Yellow Bird looks at Ray, strangely, shaking his head. Ray
starts to look like maybe the game's not working. Like maybe
this doesn't add up. But --
I'm here, ain't I?
Ray lets a tense breath out.
Not for long, Richard. You got early
parole under the stipulation that
you would help us in a situation,
and you didn't deliver.
What the fuck you talkin' about?
Ray sits in a busted chair, reaches down to his ankle holster
and pulls out a .38. He holds it, resting it on the arm of
the chair. He strains to look out through the boarded window.
Yellow Bird fidgets in his chair.
Get up out of the chair, Richard.
What's with you people? Why do ya
have to fuck with my head all the
time? I came through, man.
Get up out of the chair, and walk
toward the backdoor, Richard.
I get thrown in solitary until I
don't know my own fuckin' name, and
then you people tell me I can beat
nine years if I help you. I helped
Yellow Bird stands. He takes a step forward. Limping. He's
got leg problems but he can walk. Heels first. And bowed.
But he can walk. He is shaking.
They said I'd never see FBI again,
and I'm livin' with you fuckers. I
don't feed ya information on the
Warriors, it's back to the pen. I
don't do this, back to the pen. Your
word against my word. Against a con
Indian's word. I really got a chance,
They sent me here, Richard because
they said you didn't hold up your
end of the arrangement, and I have
to transport you back to Leavenworth.
What the fuck, man? What do you people
want? I did what you wasi'cu's told
me to do.
Leo Fast Elk... is alive.
Yellow Bird wheels.
No way. No fuckin' way.
How the hell do you know?
I blew his back out with a buffalo
gun, that's how I know! Now you're
gonna say I didn't, so you can throw
me back in solitary?
Ray is trying hard not to reveal his horror at this
confession, at this understanding of the machinery. He sits
there with his gun, blinking away sweat that beads at his
brow. Yellow Bird is weeping in a highpitched voice that
doesn't match his great bulk.
The men who came to see you at
Leavenworth. The one's who made the
arrangement... who were they? Maybe
I can talk to them.
Miles. Three other suits. That's all
I know 'em as -- suits. Were you
You turned Leo over on his face. But
the coyotes must've turned him back
over, man, cuz his spirit is out.
It's out, and it knows.
What do you know about spirits? You
ain't no In'dn.
Leo knew something heavy and was
trying to tell Jimmy. But you must
not know how serious it was or you
would have delivered. Do you realize
what Leo could have told Jimmy?! Do
I took him out before he got the
chance. He didn't say nothin' about
Tashka Sha. And now his spirit is in
the dirt. Forever.
What's Tashka Sha, speak English,
Red Deer Table! What's with you,
Ray grabs onto these words, rolls them silently on his lips
And now Yellow Bird is getting suspicious of the fed.
Wait a minute. Wait -- what are you
doin'? You ain't a FBI. You ain't
the law. Let me see your --
Ray snaps out his gun, straight-armed.
I'm the fucking law!
Yellow Bird jumps back, raising his hands.
Keep talking, Yellow Bird...
All I know... is I did what I did...
and I ain't in solitary, gettin'
pumped up with downer, gettin' beat
to shit. But I tell you what, Suit.
Take me back. Cuz I can't take this
shit no more.
And then HEADLIGHTS pierce the gaps in the boarded windows.
Yellow Bird collapses against the wall, bangs his head off
it. He lets a long, pained, cry escape from under his breath
and he begins a slow slide down the wall, to the floor.
Ray peers out the cracks in the boards.
Man, I don't know who the fuck I am
Ray gets up, putting his gun away and heading to the door.
He stops and looks back at the Indian, sitting on the floor,
clutching his knees, staring into the kerosene flicker.
You and me both.
Yellow Bird looks at him, his glasses foggy, his face
contorted And Ray leaves.
EXT. YELLOW BIRD'S SHACK - NIGHT
Ray steps out into the falling night. There is a car parked
there. With a high aerial. Ray raises a hand in a slight
wave, walks on. At the fed car, A REGIONAL AGENT behind the
wheel, waves a hand. Watches Ray get into the Le Baron.
Ray gets in the car and takes off.
LE BARON - TRAVELING
Ray drives like a crazy man through the dark reservation.
Through miles of open land and strange rock formations. And
he looks trapped. HEADLIGHTS flicker in his rearview. He
sees this. Slams the gas pedal.
EXT. RES ROADS - NIGHT
The Le Baron races at 85 down the dirt stretch. A moment
later a car rattles by at 90.
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING
Ray reaches over to the passenger seat and pulls up the M-
16. He lays it across his lap. Looks in the rearview again.
Then makes a sudden sharp turn.
He pulls off the road quickly, throwing up dust into the
already foggy night, the car goes out of control.
EXT. WOUNDED KNEE MEMORIAL - NIGHT
The car that was following drives right past the narrow layby,
hidden by grassy slopes and keeps flying down the long
INT. LE BARON
Ray skids through the dirt, trying to stop -- he can't --
and the Le Baron fishtails, smashing into a chain-link fence.
And coming to a stop.
Breathing as if he's been running not driving, Ray looks
behind him to make sure he lost the car. He did. When he
turns back to his wheel, he sees --
THROUGH THE CHAINLINK FENCE
lit by his headlights: THE WOUNDED KNEE gravesite. He is
right up on the arch, and the tall stone marker beyond it.
EXT. WOUNDED KNEE MEMORIAL - NIGHT
The Le Baron just sits parked, headlights making the night
fog crawl up from the base of the old tomb, along the fence.
The driver's door opens slowly. And Ray steps out. He walks
through the arch. Into the small fenced area. Up to the stone
which is overgrown with stubborn weeds, half-hidden in mist.
Ray studies the tomb.
POV: THE NAMES ON THE STONE ARE CHISELED VERTICALLY:
CHIEF STANDING BEAR
MR. HIGH HAWK
AFRAID OF BEAR
Weeds are grown up over the rest of the names. Ray's hands
clear them, grab at them and rip them away from more names:
SHERMAN HORN CLOUD
With frantic abandon, Ray is ripping weeds away. He drops to
his knees, clearing weeds.
MOVING DOWN and then suddenly back up to the name:
REVERSE ON - RAY
kneeling in the weeds, the wind getting restless around him,
screaming the way plains winds do but only these winds are
filled with a whistling. What sounds like EAGLE BONE WHISTLES,
Ray kneels before the marker, staring at the name on the
stone, his hair thrown around by the wind that drives across
the grass, whistling eagles, building to an unbearable, pitch.
Ray stares at the name as if he is looking through a small
hole into another world. A world that frightens him. He gets
up and backs away from the stone, through the gate. And gets
back in his car, quickly. He takes off.
EXT. MAGGIE EAGLE BEAR'S HOUSE - NIGHT
The little home on the river. Dark. Empty. Ray runs up the
steps, pounds at the door. No answer. Pounds again.
He keeps knocking. Nothing. He hurries back down the steps,
starts around the back of the house and something attacks
him, leaps at him from the dark, knocking him off his feet,
into the grass. Hits him again.
But as quickly as he falls, he rolls, throwing up his hands
and blocking a savage kick aimed for his face. He traps the
boot, twists it and drops the attacker onto his back. In a
matter of seconds, he is on top of the man, sticking his gun
in his throat. He grabs a flashlight from his jacket and
shines it in the man's face.
Crow Horse. Breathing like a wild animal.
Five-hundred year old turtleshell
Crow Horse, listen --
Where's Maggie? Where'd ya take her.
Nowhere. I'm trying to find her.
You got Jimmy. Let her go.
Crow Horse, listen. You have to come
Why? So you can get rid of me, too?
No. So we can do what the old man
said. Red Deer Table, Walter. We
have to go.
Crow Horse lies there, breathing heavy. Ray on top of him,
still clutching his gun.
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING - NIGHT
Ray and Crow Horse are quiet as they eat up the dirt roads.
Maybe the old man's visions are still
Ray nods, concentrating. After a time:
Do they come in dreams, these visions?
Oh yeah. Dreams. Sometimes durin'
sickness. Vision quest. Sweat Lodge.
Ya never know when.
Just before we caught Jimmy... I had
a dream that I was being chased. And
I was running with other people. Old-
fashion Indian people. I got shot in
the back. Like Leo.
When Crow Horse doesn't respond, Ray looks over and finds
him staring. He looks back to the road. And when he looks
back at Crow Horse, he is still staring at him.
Where was this?
At Wounded Knee. I mean, that's where
I was, and that's where the dream
You were running with the old ones.
At The Knee. Heavy duty.
Well, it was just a dream, I --
Sonuvabuck! What's with you, Man?
Who are you?
What do you mean?
Nothin'. Forget it.
Crow Horse looks out the window as if to avoid Ray who is
confused by the Indian's smoldering. After a moment, Crow
Horse looks at him.
You had a vision. You had yourself a
vision. A man waits a long time for
a vision. Might go his whole lifetime
and never get one. And along comes
some instant Indian with a Mastercard
and brand-new shoes, has himself a
I'm a full-blood Oglala.
We've driven a long way. Where is
Maybe it was just a dream. Ya know,
just one of them, what do ya call
'em, fitful dreams?
Yeah. Fitful dreams.
Crow Horse feels better. He looks out the window, nodding.
But it doesn't last long.
Bullshit. You had a vision. You got
sign from the old ones.
What the hell do you want me to do?!
Ray brakes. Crow Horse is looking past him. Ray turns. The
spectacular mesa that we have admired with every sunrise,
looms massive now that we are under it. Moonlight falls on
it. And the HEARTBEAT DRUM pulses from it.
EXT. WHERE-THE-ELK-PEOPLE-USED-TO-LIVE - NIGHT
The land behind Red Deer Table is Badlands. Badlands pierced
by a few rutted old wagon roads. At a place between two
grotesque buttes, Crow Horse stops, looking uneasy.
He digs into his pocket, pulls out some loose tobacco and
spills it on the ground. Then he walks on.
Ray observes this, starting forward, then stopping long enough
to fish a cigarette out from his pocket and drop it next to
Crow Horse's offering.
THROUGH THE BADLANDS
Ray and Crow Horse walk, carefully under a full moon, scanning
the area. Crow Horse stops, checks out some tracks. Ray walks
on, looking up at the table. He shines his flashlight up and
it illuminates --
A RED RIBBON, tied on stakes on a ridge. Ten stakes. Twenty
stakes. Ribbons blowing in the wind.
Ain't prayer flags, that's for sure.
Ray sweeps the light along, walking faster, and then something
frightening occurs. Something... some unseen thing snags him
by the leg, sucking him into the Earth with a horrible GUSHING
Ray is drawn into a hole up to his hips, a bluish-black slime,
oozing out around him. Crow Horse grabs him, struggling to
pull him up. He does, stumbling back and stepping into a
The two men are wheeling, throwing flashlight beams around,
slapping through a wet jelly, and finally getting their
Ray touches the ground where a blue-black chemical solution
oozes out with water from the aquifer below. His flashlight
TWENTY DRILLED HOLES IN THE EARTH. A uranium strip-mining
grid laid out in a 50 x 60 pattern. The far side is fenced
by flagged stakes.
Uranium. Test holes. Somebody came
in from the Nebraska side, and did
some shotgun testin'. They're gettin'
ready to suck this baby dry.
That's what we're doing here. National
interest. National security. Only
this time it's not gold. It's uranium.
We're standin' on broken treaty
ground, Ray. This ain't supposed to
be here. It'll poison the water.
Leo knew about it. Tried to tell
Jimmy, get the Warriors involved.
So they took care of Leo.
Listen to the water... the river
keeps goin' down then rising again.
Ray goes to another hole and sticks his arm in up to the
elbow, sniffs the solution.
They're drainin' our water table.
That's our life, man...
Ray is looking past Crow Horse at --
Something strange in the moonlight. COYOTES. Some forty yards
away, on a flat stretch of stoney ground. Six Coyotes, dancing
in the shadows of rock formations. MOVING IN ON THEM as Ray
walks forward, they circle... scatter... run back... circle
again. Look straight at Ray, eyes glowing.
REVERSE - RAY
and Crow Horse walk toward them. To the place they just left.
A place in the dirt, they were digging up. When they reach
it, they stare down into the dirt.
lies there, face down. Denim jacket and a shock of black
hair, thrown into tangles and dirt. It was buried. Until the
coyote caught wind. Crow Horse bends down, touches the
jacket... turns the body over And almost vomits when he sees
Maggie Eagle Bear.
looks down in disbelief.
Ray steps back, his boots squishing in solution and sealant
and soiled water. He covers his mouth, stopping himself from
getting sick. And then he explodes, YELLING.
LONG SHOT - RED DEER TABLE
in the moonlight. And RAY'S YELLING ECHOING up out of the
EXT. BEAR CREEK VILLAGE - NIGHT
The sordid little village the feds first drove through sits
sleepy on the rim of sunrise.
A DOG BARKS hollow as the Crow Horse motorcycle chutters
down and coasts up in front of one of the little homes --
rundown but it has a satellite dish and a decent car like so
many. The Le Baron pulls up behind it.
INT. LE BARON - NIGHT
Crow Horse walks over to Ray's window, his jeans and boots
muddy. No one speaks for a long moment, the night filled by
crickets. And that one dog.
This Clear Moon's house?
Yeah. It's time to beat the drum.
You better wait here. He don't trust
the white man.
Crow Horse crosses the street. Ray sits there, and he looks
almost hurt by this statement. But he is the white man. But
he is Indian. He lets a long breath escape, rubs at a temple.
He takes out a smoke. Tries to light it. His hands are shaking
too badly. But he gets it lit, and sits tense, looking in
INT. CLEAR MOON HOUSE - NIGHT
Oliver Clear Moon sits in a chair, his strong Indian mouth,
beginning to tighten at the jowls.
Across from him, Crow Horse sits on the edge of a couch.
MRS. CLEAR MOON, a rotund, gentle woman brings him a coffee.
A TEENAGE GIRL in a men's extra-large T-shirt stands in the
hall, looking at him.
Clear Moon in pajamas, rises, and with a coffee in hand,
starts walking in slow steps toward the kitchen. He loses
control before he gets there and hurls the cup across the
room into the sink, smashing it. He wheels and faces Crow
Horse. He SPEAKS LAKOTA. Asking questions. Crow Horse SPEAKS
LAKOTA. Answering him.
Mrs. Clear Moon, understanding, shakes her head in disbelief
and her eyes begin to well. Oliver, walking back to his chair,
sits, and thinks for a moment. MORE LAKOTA. He gets up, goes
to a drawer and rummages. He sits again, and tosses something
onto the coffee table. It is a badge. A tribal police badge.
INT. LE BARON - PARKED - CLEAR MOON'S - DAWN
Ray nervously awaits Crow Horse's words as he appears at the
window again. The Indian shows hope in his tired eyes.
Alright. Shit's comin' down. He's
callin' council fire. All the old
chiefs and the warriors, too. I gotta
be at Grandpa's place in two hours.
We need to get the tribe together.
We need to block this thing.
What we need... is Richard Yellow
Crow Horse looks at Ray who stares dead ahead.
EXT. YELLOW BIRD'S SHACK - RES - DAWN
The shack is just as Ray left it earlier, kerosene flickers
dancing yellow through the gapped boards. Ray and Crow Horse
with guns drawn, approach the front door.
I thought it was a rare case of a
brother getting a break in the courts.
We did an honorin' song for him and
He's looking at a few hundred years
in Leavenworth. He's not gonna come
out without a fight.
Crow Horse snakes around toward the rear of the shack.
Ray knocks at the front door. It is unlatched and it creaks
open a little. Ray pushes it open and sees --
INT. YELLOW BIRD SHACK
An empty wheelchair.
EXT. YELLOW BIRD SHACK
Ray steps away from the door, looking around the vast plains
as the sun comes up out of the Black Hills. He is roadblocked,
and it shows in his eyes. It's all getting too big.
Crow Horse leans against the shack, watching Ray. And then
RADIO STATIC from inside the Le Baron. Ray pivots and stares
at it as if someone is inside the car. His call signal is
being paged. But he just stands there, looking at it.
X21. Read. X21...
Ray reaches inside the car and lifts the handset. He takes a
breath before pressing it to his lips.
X21. Come back.
Ray. What's your 20?
Ray looks at Crow Horse who looks equally spooked. The agent
clears his throat.
A long, unnerving pause. No response from the other side.
What are you doing on the reservation?
I'm on my way back in. Over.
Ray holds the handset down at his side, looking over the top
of the car toward the Black Hills.
Ray. Ray, don't let go now, Man.
You go to the council fire. I'm going
Ray swings in behind the wheel, starts the car, and barrels
off recklessly down the rutted road, leaving Crow Horse
The Le Baron is already out to where sight reaches farther
than sound and silent white dust mushrooms skyward.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL - MORNING
A RAVEN is sentinel on a telephone wire that crosses the
road from the bar to motel. A few trucks remain parked in
front of the joint.
Ray approaches room 13, looking shell-shocked. His boots
leave blue mud prints all the way to the door. He unlocks
INT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL - ROOM
Ray has cast off his field clothes and is halfway into one
of his cleaner suits. He looks haggard but still buoyant,
his eyes piercing. The connecting door creaks open and Cooch
walks in. The SAC is freshly showered and he is fidgeting
with a Windsor knot. He studies his number two man, says
nothing for a moment but is obviously holding something down.
His face is a red hue.
Couldn't sleep, Ray?
Ray looks at Cooch. When he speaks, his voice is dry.
Cooch crosses the room, and picks up Ray's jeans which look
like they went through a sandlot tackle match in a mud hole.
Ray tucks his clean shirt in; watching Cooch.
I had to finish something with Crow
Cooch walks up to Ray slowly and takes his face in his hand,
turning it toward lamp light to study the bruise along his
left eye, a residual from a Crow Horse hook.
That's where you were. You had to go
back and have it out with the Indian
Ray nods, and Cooch slowly breaks a smile. An insecure smile
but a smile just the same. He starts to laugh.
You fucking hot head, we can get in
trouble for that.
Cooch laughs in amusement and Ray's face crinkles into a
grin as he lowers his eyes, wiping a paper towel over his
face. And then, suddenly, Ray lunges at Cooch.
He slams the Agent in Charge against the hollow wall, and
holds him there. His eyes wild.
Why didn't you tell me what we were
Cooch is stunned.
We're running a cover-up and you
Cooch suddenly explodes, throwing Ray off of him and sending
him reeling back against the sink. He points a finger at his
You ever put your hands on me again
and you'll be doing the books for a
baitshop in the fucking Everglades,
You didn't tell me about Red Deer
-- what the hell is Red Deer Table?
What is it? It's genocide, that's
what it is. It's a Pay Zone for some
U.S. corporation and a Dead Zone for
the people here. Uranium, Cooch.
Cooch's eyes go frighteningly cold. He can't believe what
Jesus Christ. What are you doing?
What the hell were you doing out
Ray says nothing. He just stands there, against the sink,
breathing like a fighter against the turnbuckle.
This was a Selective Operations Unit,
Agent Levoi. There is classified
information pertaining to our national
security. You don't question that,
you don't go digging into that shit --
that's insubordination. Jesus Christ --
-- if they mine uranium there, these
people will have no place left to
We were sworn in on the Constitution
to protect federal matters, Ray. I
don't know about uranium, I don't
know about Red Dog Table -- all I
know is we did our job. It's over.
We neutralized anybody with a voice.
Leo, Jimmy... Eagle Bear. Anyone who
was standing in the way of the land.
Is that it?
No. We neutralized enemies of the
United States. Anti-American radicals
who have killed federal officers out
Ray turns to the sink, turns the faucet on to get some water
on his face. The water only trickles into the basin.
Jesus, Ray. You think I don't like
the Indians? Not true. These were
noble people but their day is gone.
They're a conquered nation. They
want all of America back but they
can't even keep the garbage out of
their own front yards. It's sad,
Ray. But it's just the way it is. We
have to function as a colonial police
force out here.
Ray leans on the sink, watching the water start to spurt
free. He shuts it off. Turns to look at Cooch. And it is
then the door opens -- some knocking after the door is already
opened -- and SA Miles enters.
You gentlemen ready -- hi, Ray.
Yeah, we're ready.
Ray doesn't turn from the sink.
EXT. RESERVATION ROAD - TOWARD GRANDPA REACHES - MORNING
Crow Horse chugs along on his motorbike toward the council,
his long hair and eagle feather trailing in the wind.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL - MORNING
Two federal vehicles are waiting in front of Cooch's Chevy
and Ray's Le Baron. One is an FBI van where Sherman helps
THREE AGENTS load file boxes and computers.
Cooch walks with Ray toward the Le Baron, looking at him as
the go. Ray looks better as he breathes the morning air. As
they pass the second fed car, the back window power glides
down, and someone looks out with a friendly smile.
Ah, there you are. The Sioux.
Ray stops dead. Beholds the Tribal President who wears a
western cut jacket and a strained expression behind his smile.
He hole a hand out to Ray.
You got the troublemakers off our
land. Good, Was-te.
Ray stares at him, speechless. Horrified. What is he doing
here? What about the council fire? Ray somehow nods. Then
walks on to the Le Baron. Cooch gets behind the wheel of the
car that Clear Moon sits in. Clear Moon's eyes follow Ray to
EXT. RES ROAD - TO GRANDPA REACHES
Crow Horse guns past a little shack. As he does, he looks in
his side mirror then out across the grasslands. Then quickly
IN HIS MIRROR: a car has pulled out from behind the shack.
CROW HORSE observes this. Then twists the fuel throttle hard.
INT. LE BARON
Ray gets behind the wheel, looks at his watch. He is
panicking. He starts the car, reverses, slams into drive.
RAYS POV: swerving and reckless as he races forward. Sherman,
walking around to one of the cars has to run out of the way.
The other agents clear out, looking in confusion as Ray cuts
a hard U -- sweeps PAST THE BAR, SMASHES INTO AND THROUGH
the old hitching post -- and HEADS TOWARD the reservation
which lies vast before him.
EXT. BUFFALO BUTTE MOTEL
With agents scrambling about, looking after the car, Cooch
gets out, looking into the dust Ray left behind. HEARTBEAT
Sherman appears beside Cooch aiming a questioning look. When
Cooch quickly gets back behind the wheel, Sherman pulls his
radio up and starts yelling into it.
Cooch reaches out the window and grabs his radio arm.
No, damn it. You call teams in and
this is gonna be a fucking media
event. Get me three cars, six agents,
block all reservation exits. It's
And Cooch squeals out with a petrified Clear Moon in the
backseat, inquiring nervously.
EXT. ROAD TO GRANDPA REACHES
Crow Horse passes by an abandoned horse trailer. When he
does, another car pulls out. And follows. The first car passes
Crow Horse sees he's being followed. He cranks his throttle
and the engine grinds then dies. He heels his kickstart on
the fly, and keeps it alive. But his old horse is no match
for the big engines coming up fast behind him.
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING
Ray is leaving little transitional developments and trailers
behind. His eyes bore into the road before him, looking for
a sign of Crow Horse, and in the rearview for a sign of his
EXT. ROAD TO GRANDPA REACHES - BADLANDS
Crow Horse has the throttle open. But the two cars are coming
up on both sides, trying to sandwich him. To his right the
Badlands loom deep, a drop into a caliche netherworld of
He throws the bike right, trying to ride the thin ribbon of
THE FIRST CAR
floors it, and swipes him, and the bike goes over the edge,
launched into --
where it does a violent triple flip, throwing Crow Horse
then smashing into a tent shaped dune.
sticks out from a window and punches the Badlands with THREE
EXT. ROAD TO GRANDPA REACHES
The Le Baron rifles past the abandoned horse trailer. Black
smoke drifts in a wind ahead.
Ray veers onto the shoulder, barely gets the car in park
before bailing and running wildly down into the Badlands.
Ray runs, stumbles through the rock and gypsum, searching
the area. He runs around the burning motorcycle, looking
left and right.
lies on his back in the Badlands, eyes open, fixed unmoving
on the sky. Ray comes out of the flame-waves, running with
his .45 held high. He throws himself to his knees beside the
Crow Horse rolls his eyes toward the FBI agent. He has a
gash behind his ear, and pink sand clings to the blood. He
lifts his head, tries to form words.
Ain't no Council Fire, Brother. Clear
I know. Come on. We gotta get off
the reservation or we're dead.
Hoka Hey. It's a good day to die.
Bullshit, let's get outta here,
Ray gets an arm under the big Indian, helps him up out of a
EXT. RESERVATION ROAD
Cooch's car speeds down the stretch. Followed by Sherman's.
The FBI van. All at one-hundred and five. Gravel and dirt
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING
With Crow Horse half-passed out in the passenger seat, Ray
keeps the wheel steady. And then his RADIO STATICS.
X21, please read. Ray. Ray. X21,
please read. This is Cooch. Please
come in, Ray. Where are you?
Ray just stares down at the radio, keeps the pedal floored.
The throws the wheel left.
EXT. GRANDPA REACHES TRAILER
The Le Baron fish-tails in a cloud of dust and Ray leaps out
of the car, runs toward the little trailer, gun in hand. The
windows are all busted, and the door is wide open. Ray runs
in. Then straight back out, shaking his head to Crow Horse.
Crow Horse hangs his head out the passenger window.
He hasn't left this place in twenty
years. They got him.
Ray starts to get back in then hesitates. He looks out across
the plains to see --
THREE FED CARS in the distance, fast approaching, dust rising.
Ray gets in quickly.
EXT. RESERVATION EXIT
Cooch's car is parked in a roadblock. Clear Moon stands near
him, and addresses UNIFORMED TRIBAL POLICE as they spill out
from a van, carrying rifles and shotguns.
X21. Ray. Ray, please come in.
Cooch has torn his tie away, his shirt is open, and he is
sweat soaked. Miles gets out of a car that pulls up.
We have a renegade agent, Cooch? He
gets off the reservation...
-- he's not getting off the
And Cooch gets back in the car, drives off.
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING
With Ray driving like a maniac, Crow Horse is turned around
in his seat, watching the federal cars spreading out, the
chopper moving in.
They got us sealed. What are we gonna
We're going for The Stronghold.
Crow Horse looks at him.
Ray. Can you hear me? You are fucked.
There's no way out of this. If you
won't listen to your own laws, then
listen to this:
(static: a new voice)
This is President Clear Moon. This
nation does not want your sympathy.
You cannot use this reservation as a
sanctuary. Stop where you are now.
Ray and Crow Horse exchange a look.
Whatever you are trying to do is
futile, Raymond. You have nothing.
Ray picks up the mic as he cranes to keep an eye on the
Yellow bird... is gonna sing.
Yellow Bird committed suicide at
three o'clock this morning. Some
gung-ho agent from D.C. pushed him
into a corner. You're playing a losing
game. Pull over.
Ray takes the mic and for some reason, he's putting it inside
his jacket near his shoulder where he keeps his leather.
Crow Horse looks at him, puzzled. And then the sound comes
forth, the static crackling of a micro-cassette recorder.
How the hell do you know?
I blew his back out with a buffalo
gun, that's how I know. And now you're
gonna say I didn't and put me back
Ray keeps the tape running into the radio as he drives through
rugged Badlands. Crow Horse, stunned by the voice, eyes Ray
as the tape rolls.
INT. CHEVY - TRAVELING
Cooch and Clear Moon stare in horror at the radio.
You people tol' me I could beat nine
years if I helped you. I helped you!
I could beat nine years if I helped
you. I helped you!
Cooch is shaking his head in vitrified disbelief. He slams
the pedal almost through the floor.
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING
The tape ends and Ray now lifts the mic to his mouth.
And he too, buries the accelerator.
EXT. BADLANDS ROAD TO THE STRONGHOLD
The Le Baron burns forward and we SWEEP UP TO A MIND-BLOWING
AERIAL VIEW of the Badlands as four fed cars spread out in
INT. LE BARON - TRAVELING
Crow Horse is turned around, looking at the pursuit.
Crow Horse turns, sees what Ray is looking at.
POV: The Stronghold -- a narrow opening in hulking rock
formations. Large enough for a car to get in, and keep
That's it. The Stronghold. Get us in
there, we got a chance.
We're in there. We're in there --
just ahead, the earth is gone. A wavering heat pond turns
out to be a crevice and they nose down into it, burying the
front end in sand and rock. WINDSHIELD SHATTERS.
EXT. THE STRONGHOLD
The Le Baron is stuck, wheels spinning out. Ray and Cooch
bail. Guns drawn, they start running for the Stronghold.
AT THE EDGE OF THE ARROYO
the caravan slides in recklessly, two of the fed cars coming
dangerously close to going over the edge. The regional
officers and six Clear Moon goons empty out, running down
the dip, rifles and shotguns ready.
Three more field agents come down from another direction,
followed by Cooch. Sherman hands a bullhorn to him.
The sound of FIFTEEN PRIMING FIREARMS stops Ray and Crow
Horse in their tracks. Just twenty feet from The Stronghold.
Crow Horse, windless, stumbles to a knee. Ray turns slowly,
facing the small army.
Crow Horse, rises, sucking wind, and ditches his gun in the
Badlands. Ray holds onto his .45 a moment longer. Then drops
it. He stares at --
THE WALL OF MEN
Cooch, SA Miles, SA Sherman, Six regional officers, six Clear
Moon goons. And now, coming out of the backseat of Cooch's
Chevy, Oliver Clear Moon, walking tentatively, cautiously.
Cooch lowers the bullhorn. He takes the opportunity to stare
at Ray. To let Ray stare at him. The older agent looks broken.
Crow Horse, get your face in the
dirt. Ray... come forward. Let it
go. Let's just let it go...
AT THE STRONGHOLD ENTRANCE
Crow Horse lowers himself to a knee then lies face down. Ray
just stands there, the wind against him.
Come on, Ray. Come forward.
No way, Cooch.
Ray refuses to move.
sweating, tries to keep control. All around him, hands are
on guns. Cooch is walking toward Ray.
Ray. I'm coming to talk to you. I'm
gonna walk you out of here. And we're
gonna get the hell outta this place.
Cooch walks toward him, a gun hanging at one side, bullhorn
at the other. The agents behind him, around him, all raise
rifles, all take aim.
Sherman, looking sick, gets to a knee and sets aim. The sound
of clacking steel, all around. But Cooch seems disturbed by
the sound. Because its coming from above. He raises an eye
from the rifle sight to see --
ALONG THE EDGE OF THE BUTTE
FIFTEEN INDIANS, training rifles and shotguns down below.
looks up from his rifle, bewildered. Then alarmed.
ALONG THE EDGE OF THE BUTTE
We PAN across fifteen Indians -- old people, women, kids.
Their weapons are weak but many.
And at the end of the row, Maisy Blue Legs rises, clutching
a rifle. And PAST HER, ANOTHER. TRADITIONAL PEOPLE, many
from the trading post porch, rise to the edge, armed. Silent.
Twenty, twenty-five, thirty traditionals, forming a line
along the ridge, a line that runs in a circle, broken by the
Stronghold entrance, then starting again on the next butte.
Thirty-five, forty of them. And more, standing along the
opposite craggy rock, some wearing tractor caps, some cowboy
hats, some just long hair blowing in the wind. Fifty, sixty,
SEVENTY-FIVE RESERVATION PEOPLE forming a circle on the rocks;
it's Little Big Horn revisited. A fourteen year-old boy
struggles to keep a huge shotgun at his shoulder.
Clear Moon's mouth is as dry as Badlands soil. Cooch is
panicking, his eyes running along the high edge.
stands equally astonished, assessing the back-up.
lifts himself, stands, taking in the sight.
AT THE EDGE OF THE BUTTE
stepping stiffly but steadily through the line of armed
locals, pushing his way to the very edge so as to look down,
Grandpa Sam Reaches. The wind makes feathery tails out of
his long thinning strips of white hair.
Ray looks up at the old man, then turns to face Cooch.
You're right, Cooch. It's over.
Cooch slowly, lets the bullhorn fall. Then the rifle. He
looks back at Sherman who does the same, and all the way
down the line, everyone dropping their arms under the threat
of a lot more guns from above. And now Ray walks forward,
collecting his gun. Anderson Chasing Hawk, one of the
Warriors, runs down to Ray, breathless.
All the exits are blocked. There's
two more fed cars tryin' to get in.
And some press.
Ray notices that Cooch is staring at him, hard. He shakes
his head slowly. Strongly.
Let the press through.
Chasing Hawk takes off, running, and Cooch watches in
consternation. Ray just stands eye to eye with him, holding
UP TO ARIEL VIEW - OVER STRONGHOLD
And along the ridge, Grandpa and the locals don't budge,
watching every move.
CLIMBING HIGHER, we rise above the circle of proud Sioux to
see, on the inside of the Stronghold, thirty old trucks and
CLIMBING HIGHER into and through the fast-moving clouds that
the Lakota call The Grandfathers as the HEARTBEAT DRUM and
LAKOTA SINGERS takes over all sound.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. BEAR CREEK RESERVATION - MAIN SETTLEMENT - LATER
The HIGH WINDS of THREE MEDIA HELICOPTERS are delighting a
storm of Indian children and BARKING DOGS, running through
the streets past junked cars on blocks.
Over on a little plot of grass and dirt, a pair of hands are
digging a small hole. Ray lays a pine cone in the hole and
looks down at it for a moment... before hand-plowing the
dirt back over it and patting it flat. He rises, knocking
dirt off his knees and hands.
Crow Horse walks over, bandaged and favoring wounds, and Ray
falls in with him, walking down the middle of the village
road. His eyes are tired. But hopeful.
The people are already talkin' about
their vote for a new tribal prez.
They wanna vote for Jimmy.
Ray nods, encouraged as they walk along. His eyes follow the
What about the water...
You bought her some time, Kola. Ain't
never gonna be over... but you bought
her some time.
Some Indian time?
They reach the dusty, dented Le Baron and stand there, looking
at each other.
Crow Horse offers a hand to Ray. He takes it in a white man's
shake then follows Walter's cue into the Indian "allies"
grip and slap. They hold it there, looking into each other's
Where ya gonna go, Ray?
Ray ponders for a moment.
I'll have to see what the visions
say about that one.
You didn't have another vision...
Ray shrugs. Crow Horse discreetly gestures below his belt.
Yeah, right here.
Ray cracks a smile, a long time coming.
You take care.
If you ever need a place to come
back to and listen to the trees a
little... we'll be here.
Ray stands looking at him, searching for words.
Ain't no word in Sioux for goodbye.
Ray goes to get in his car. But he sees someone sitting across
the street on the trading post porch. The old man.
Ray considers him for a moment then walks over. They lock
eyes. Grandpa stares at Ray as if he's never seen him before,
and then arcs a brow. He touches his sleeve at the wrist.
Ray rolls his sleeve back to reveal his Rolex. Grandpa smiles
and Ray strips it off. He hands it to the old man and his
face crinkles into caliche earth.
Grandpa holds the watch up in the light, admires it then
puts it in his shirt pocket. He moves a flat hand through
the air in the "done deal" sign language. Ray, a little
surprised that he gets nothing in the trade, returns the
smile and walks away.
He gets to his car and wipes away two inches of dust from
the broken windshield.
INT. LE BARON
After THREE TRIES, he gets the engine started. He pulls his
gun off his waistband, goes to lay it on the passenger seat
and finds something there.
Grandpa's sacred caanunpa. The Pipe. Symbol of truth. Ray
looks out the window at the old man who is watching him with
those sharp black eyes. Ray lifts his hand, holds it flat,
and does the Sioux done deal sign.
EXT. BEAR CREEK RESERVATION - DAY
The Le Baron eats up the dirt road at a moderate, gravel
crunching pace. It slows as it passes Maggie Eagle Bear's
quiet home on the river. Children walk with the old woman,
carrying buckets from the river.
The Le Baron slows to a crawl, then drives on.
THE TRADING POST PORCH
where the elders sit, watching the dust blow.
CROW HORSE (V.O.)
We will be here.
CROW HORSE walking off down the road. He stops, and looks
over his shoulder, trying to glimpse the distance.
THE LE BARON driving off the res, under big sky as it ascends
a rough hill, waddles through potholes, negotiates with some
horses in the road and rolls on toward the reservation line
where the sun throws shadows that look like an old man
AT THE PLACE IN THE ROAD
where West goes to Rapid City, and East back to Bear Creek,
Ray stops like the bullet-punched sign orders. He doesn't go
West. Doesn't go East. He sits there. Fishes a smoke out
from a pocket, clicks a lighter, and fires up. He sits there,
SUDDEN CUT TO BLACK.
And after a long silent beat, A DRUM. Like a heart.
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