EXT. END OF STREET – NIGHT
Paden runs up. Down the street in front of the Hollis house a mass of men and horses, lit by the growing flames, thunders away into the night. Paden races toward the house, as neighbors rush about raising the alarm.
EXT. HOLLIS HOUSE – NIGHT
Paden runs up to the open front door and is momentarily stopped by the heat.
INT. LAND OFFICE – NIGHT
In among the flames a bleeding Kate is desperately trying to drag J.T.’s inert bulk to the door. Paden reaches her, picks
her up, and runs out. Two neighbors pass him on their way to J.T.
INT. SALOON – MIDNIGHT STAR – NIGHT
Word of the fire has not reached here, and normal, noisy activity reigns. Slick is dealing a three-man poker game.
Rae watches him from across the room, then takes a drink over to him. When she places it before him, he looks up
appreciatively, then goes back to his game. She puts her arms around him from behind and kisses his neck, then slides
sensuously into the empty seat beside him. He ignores her adoring look and roaming hands, but smiles as he plays.
BENEATH THE TABLE. Rae’s left hand roves excitingly high on Slick’s thigh. Now, so smooth and quick we barely see it,
her right hand lifts his trouser leg and slips the custom-made dagger from his boot.
Slick deals a hand. Rae watches him thoughtfully. The swinging doors behind them crash open, and a TOWNSMAN bursts in.
Fire! The land office is on fire!
Most of the patrons rush out, including the players in Slick’s game, who grab their chips first. Slick peeks at one of the thrown-down hands out of curiosity.
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF HOLLIS HOUSE – NIGHT
A chaotic scene as the fire-fighting is organized. Several Neighbor Women help Paden ease Kate down on a blanket.
Her boy must be upstairs!
Paden rises as if to go back in, but stops at —
No, no… they took him. They took my Augie.