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At Home with Dutch/dialogues

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[ Harold MacDougal stares into his microscope.]

Harold: Incredible. Simply incredible.

Marston : Hello, Professor.

Harold: Hello, sir! Mr. Marston, sir. Good day, good day. How are you?

Marston: Well, my family's health and wellbeing are being threatened by some unscrupulous government agents and my own hard-won freedom is under duress, but these problems aside, I suppose I'm fair.

Harold: Yes, the problems of civilizing nomads. Tell me, sir, are you of from Norse stock?

Marston: Not as far as I know. I was raised in an orphanage. My father was Scottish.

Harold: Unfortunate. You'd make an interesting case for my theory of natural population characteristics.

Marston: Really?

Harold: Why yes, a white man obviously, but, but, but with a savage spirit. Trust me, sir, I mean savage in the best possible sense. Natural nobility, but also simple. Pure. I've been looking at some blood samples through my microscope and you know what?

Marston: No.

Harold: Ah, well of course you don't. It's a remarkable breakthrough. I've been looking at the blood of both natives and white men of corresponding height, weight, and age and you know what?

Marston: Again, no.

Harold: They're exactly the same! It's remarkable. It completely refutes my last book, but I'll tell you what, sir, this sabbatical in the field may have been somewhat forced upon me by circumstance, but my scholarship has benefitted enormously! Would you, like to partake of a syringe of cocaine? I've quite enough for two.

Marston: Not right this minute, no.

Harold: It's a remarkable drug. It entirely restores the ego. Takes one back to a primal state. Helps my thinking enormously. Oh, Nastas! Come on. Come in, sir. (enunciating) Would you like to take off your slippers? Or skin a rabbit? I know we cannot see the stars, but still my heart is pure, and we meet as equals! (to Marston) These savages must be spoken to simply in metaphors.

Nastas : No, sir. I grew up on a reservation and attended school.

Harold: Oh. Lovely.

Nastas: But I can show you what you want to see. I know where the group of bandits you seek are hiding. Both of you. Van der Linde has attracted a following of young men on the reservation. They are turning to bad things.

Harold: The savage heart cannot be conventionally civilized! I was right all along!

Marston: Where is Dutch van der Linde based?

Nastas: In the hills in Cochinay . Let's go. I know a way there that is not guarded.

Harold: Marvellous. Simply marvellous. Time to do our bit for humanity, Mr. Marston.

Nastas: Come. Let's hurry. Stay close.

[They get on their horses.]

Harold: So I understand we have a mutual interest in Mr. Van der Linde?

Marston: You gonna kill him too?

Harold: Kill him? Good God, no. What is it with your people out here? No, Van der Linde fascinates me. A white man living among natives. A civilized mind turned savage. It's 'reverse integration'...or 'regressive acculturation'... I don't know, I haven't found a name I like yet.

Marston: He was never that civilized.

Harold: Ah, but of course! Edgar Ross mentioned your unique history with the man, although I was away with the fairies at the time, I must admit. Surfing great waves of euphoria. Well anyway, yes, some kind of Robin Hood-Oedipus-communist tale of naivety and betrayal, if I remember correctly?

Marston: We ran in a gang together, Professor. I wouldn't try to read too much into it.

Harold: It's my job to read too much into everything, dear boy.

[They arrive at Tall Trees.]

Harold: These trees are quite foreboding, Nastas. A-A-A-Are you sure this is the right way?

Nastas: Yes, sir.

Harold: It's rather dark.

Marston: Ain't you never seen trees before? I thought you were a brave cultural explorer.

Harold: Good lord, no. I rarely leave my room. I explore with the mind, Mr. Marston.

Nastas: Enjoy it while you still can. Soon you will have cut down all of these trees.

Harold: Me? Or are you making a sweeping statement about the white man in general?

Nastas: There is no respect for the land anymore.

Harold: I'm sensing some hostility, Nastas. Some anger. Talk me through this primal emotion, where it's coming from.

Nastas: Don't worry about it, Professor.

[They arrive at the place.]

Nastas: Here's the cliffs. We'll leave the horses here and climb the rest of the way.

Harold: Remarkable...I'm afraid I don't really have much of a head for heights. More of a head for highs...well, well anyway. I'm sure Nastas will help you. I must be on my way. I've got work to do.

Marston: Thanks for the help.

Harold: Goodbye, gentlemen. Enjoy yourselves.

[ MacDougal rides back to Blackwater .]

Nastas: Come on. I see a spot where we can climb up.

[They ascend the cliff. At a gate, the scaffold breaks, leaving Marston below.]

Nastas: See if you can find another route, Mr. Marston. I will have a look around.

[They regroup.]

Nastas: I think there is a path through this cave. Yes, look at this. A mine shaft. This way.

[A miner jumps out of the woodwork and is killed by Nastas. They escape the cave before a cart full of dynamite blows 'em up.]

Nastas: I'm hurt pretty bad.

Marston: I don't think you should go any further.

Nastas: I'll be fine, but you go ahead. I don't want to slow you down.

Marston: Are you sure you're alright?

Nastas: Just need to take it slow. Go on. I'll catch up, or see you on the way down.

[Marston climbs up, kills a scout, and steals his binoculars to spy on Dutch. But Dutch gets the better of him, shooting the binoculars and knocking him unconscious in the fall backwards. He wakes up back in Blackwater.]

Harold: Mr. Marston. Mr. Marston. Mr. Marston. Here you go, Mr. Marston.

[He pushes the smelling salts away.]

Marston: Put that stuff away.

Harold: You banged your head. Nastas and I carried you down.

Nastas: (grumbles)

Harold: Well, Nastas heard the shots and he hurried up to rescue you, and he carried you down. I improvised an escape plan. I'm more of a planner than a man of action.

Marston: Thank you, gentlemen.

Nastas: Friends of mine are with Van der Linde.

Harold: We must try to reason with them, sir. Van der Linde's gang contains several natives. We must meet with them and try to save them from disaster.

Nastas: My people have already endured many disasters. Before, this was all our land.

Harold: And now we have brought you civilization. Well sure it hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been easy for anyone, Nastas. Why, I knew a man in Yale whose father once shot 18 natives in one afternoon out in Wyoming. The man was quite, quite traumatized. He took to lying with choirboys.

Nastas: For a wise man, you are a very stupid man, mister.

Marston: Gentlemen, I'm going to leave you to figure out right from wrong.

Harold: You are simple-minded, sir. Thus, I do not blame you for not understanding reason... (timidly, as Nastas approaches) Then again...

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