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(Nigel West Dickens is talking to the doctor)
Nigel: And I can tell you, sir, with no uncertainty, that miracle cures are no laughing matter! I bid you, good day sir!
(John arrives and laughs)
Nigel: Ah, Mr. Marston, good to see you. How have you been keeping?
John: I'm well, Mr......
Nigel: Mr. West Dickens. Nigel West Dickens of East Cheap, London, New Waverly, New York, and Armadillo, New Austin. At your service.
John: At my service?
Nigel: At everyone's service. At the service of science. Of knowledge. Of life!
John: How are your wounds?
Nigel: Hmm? Oh! Much, much better. But then, they would be .
John: Would be?
Nigel: I know a cure for all ailments, Mr. Marston.
John: Ah, I'm sure you do. And I'm sure for just 2 dollars an ounce, I could live forever.
Nigel: Oh, but for you sir, I'd do a bulk discount rate of 1.95 an ounce, as long as you buy 100 ounces or more. That's a lot of immortality.
John: Ah, give it up, old man.
Nigel: That's Mr. West Dickens to you, boy.
John: Give it up, old man.
Nigel: Listen, Marston. I'm broke, but this stuff is good, it works. I need a healthy young man like you. Come along, let's ride over to my newest customer at Ridgewood, and I'll explain while we go.
(John thinks for a moment.)
West: Head for Ridgewood Farm, John. And hurry. There are people there in dire need of my tonics.
[Marston drives West out of town on his "tonics chariot".]
Marston: I heard about you, Mr. West Dickens.
West: And I about you, John Marston.
Marston: Hoodwinkin' the weak and gullible out of their hard-earned money.
West: My dear boy, it is you who is gullible, if I may be so bold, for heeding such ill-informed scuttlebutt.
Marston: You're as full of wind as a horse with the colic.
West: I have been blessed with the gift of language -- and for that, I will not apologize -- but the West Dickens elixirs speak for themselves. My thousands of happy customers attest to that.
Marston: Those men trying to kill you didn't look so happy.
West: Skepticism is the bastard child of progress, John. Knowledge makes a fool into a doubting Thomas. It's a cross I bear as a pioneer in the fields of commerce and medical research. If my tonic is such a sham, how do you explain the fine fettle in which you find me? Last time you saw me, I was knocking at Death's door.
Marston: You should thank the doctor for that. And I reckon you were acting it up worse than it was.
West: Act I can, John. A more convincing Othello there has never been. And so shall you a fair Iago or Cassio make.
Marston: I don't like the sound of this.
West: Showmanship, John. The flourish. The bow. We are operating in a competitive marketplace. Our product must stand out.
Marston: And how does this involve me?
West: We're going to use your God-given talents to our advantage.
Marston: I'm really starting to regret this.
West: I'll drop you off at the outskirts of Ridgewood. That way, it won't look like we came together. Once I'm set up, saunter nonchalantly into the crowd that is sure to be forming. Eventually, I will call you up to try my tonic. After extolling the virtues, I will have you perform a few feats of wonder to amaze and impress the paying public.
Marston: Such as?
West: Oh, nothing out of the ordinary for a man in your line of work, I assure you.
Marston: So it IS all a sham?
West: No, no. Just a little innocent ballyhoo to grease the wheels of enterprise, that's all. Do you think that buxom young girl you see on the Voyach camera posters knows the first thing about photography? Advertising, my boy, is the way of the future.
Marston: You'd best be a man of your word.
West: You hop out here, John. Follow me in on foot. See you shortly. And remember...showmanship!
(Before arriving a Ridgewood, John exits the wagon to make it look like they did not come in together.)
Nigel: Best you alight here, my dear boy, so no one sees us arriving together. See you shortly, and remember, showmanship!
(John arrives at the show)
Nigel: Friends! Hard working souls of... Cholla Springs! Gather round, gather round. Do you suffer from Rheumatism? Lumbago? Acute, chronic, sciatic, neurologic, or inflammatory pain? Well, I represent the only company that makes the GENUINE ARTICLE. That cures, headaches, neuralgia, earache, toothaches, backaches, swellings, sprains, sore chest, swelling of the throats, contracted chords, and muscles, anxieties, and ravaged nerves, stiff joints, wrenches, dislocations, cuts and bruises! And, it adds vitality and vigor to the healthy man.
Random Man: Well, can you prove it old man?
Nigel: Oh, I'm sure there's some customer here who could prove the qualities of its by taking a drink right now!
(Nigel points at John)
Nigel: You, sir! Come up here! Step right up! That's the spirit. Ladies and gentlemen, pay close attention. This poor, wretched volunteer, entirely unknown to me, will demonstrate the effects of Dr. West Dickens' Own Patent Tonic.
(John takes a sip of the tonic, and immediately coughs at the taste.)
Nigel: Be you a cowpoke, or athlete, this miraculous elixir, developed from the wisdom of the East, keeps the muscles supple, and relaxes the chords. It loosens the joints, and gives a feeling of youth and vigor to the whole system! Not possible, I hear you say. Well, doubt no longer. Faith can move mountains, but I ask not of faith, I am a man of science, and today, science will be vindicated! Your eyesight is greatly improved, is that not so, friend?
John: If you say so.
Nigel: That's right it is! You heard him! What a good sport you are sir. Now gaze over yonder at that porch, If you squint, you may just be able to make out the skull that's hanging there. Go ahead, friend. Shoot that skull, and demonstrate the miraculous eyesight you now possess.
(If John misses)
Nigel: Wait! He is still adjusting to his powerful new eyes! Try again, friend! The tonic may still be taking hold!
(If John hits the skull)
Nigel: Remarkable! The eyesight of an eagle! Granted by imbibing Dr. West Dickens' Own Patent Tonic.
Aquila: Anybody could make that shot. This man is a fraud! If your eye is so damn sharp, why don't you try shooting my hat out of the air?
Nigel: My friends, our test case has been challenged, to shoot a gentleman's hat out of the sky above our heads!
Aquila: You can fool these people, but you ain't fooling me. Right! Now let's just see how sharp you is with a moving target!
(If John misses)
Aquila: Ha! What'd I tell you?
Nigel: Do not write him off yet! He is still adjusting to the powerful tonic!
Aquila: Well you wanna try that again, sharpshooter?
John: Come on, then.
(If John hits the hat in the air)
Nigel: Have you ever seen such an eye? Behold the power of the elixir! Plucked out of the sky!
Aquila: Hey! Hey! What, you think you can put a hole in a man's hat and just walk away, do you?! Well it ain't work like that around here, mister. Come on! Are you a man, or not?
Nigel: A challenge of battle has been offered to our volunteer! Prepare for a display of herculian brawn!
(John knocks out Aquila)
Nigel: There it is, skeptics and dissenters! Irrefutable proof! Do not let this opportunity pass you by!
Random Man: Are you gonna let him get away with that? Look he's over there! Go get him!
(Aquila pulls out a revolver)
Aquila: This ends now!
Nigel: Watch out! He's got a gun!
Aquila: Who the hell do you think you are? You ain't leaving here alive, stranger.
(John shoots the gun out of Aquila's hand)
Aquila: Ow, my hand!
Nigel: Marvelous shot, dear boy! The kind of deadly accuracy that can only be afforded by the West Dickens' Elixir! Come on, I have plenty for all!
Aquila: Damn, that hurts! I nearly had him there.
Random Man: Get out of my way!
Aquila: Hey, Hey! Where are you going? No harm in trying one bottle, I suppose.
(Nigel and John meet after the show is over)
Nigel: Well, I think that went well, don't you?
John: I'm just glad my normal job involves either chasing after cattle or murderers, not the likes of you, mister.
Nigel: Don't be like that!
John: Now, if you'll excuse me, I'd like to say my goodbyes. Head on back to the real world.
Nigel: Wait, sir, I've been thinking. About your predicament, and I think I may have an idea. I've been thinking I could be your cunning Odysseus. Beware of the Greeks bearing gifts, sir. Williamson had better beware! We will make them into Trojans.
John: I don't rightly get you.
Nigel: I want you to go see my old friend, Seth. He can come across as a little curious, but I'm sure you two will get on. He's most often found at Coot's Chapel. He's very devout.
John: Why see him?
Nigel: Because, between him and me, we can get those gates to open for you, and you can walk right in! Just like in Homer's great Trojan yarn!