DAVID RUSH
Writer

Scene from "LEANDER STILLWELL"

Before he left home, Leander’s father told him that he wanted Leander to bring home with him from the war the name of one Confederate Soldier.  Leander doesn’t understand.  His travels through the war gradually wear away his innocence.  Now he has killed his boyhood friend and superior officer and runs away.   At the top of a hill, Leander meets a mortally wounded and suffering Rebel soldier who is slowly and painfully dying.  Leander finally gets up enough courage to ask the man’s name.  This is what follows:

 

 

 

                                                                BOBBY LEE

What the hell do you wanta know my name for?  I'll be dead before night.

                                                             (Another sharp spasm of pain. HE calls out; catches HIS breath. 

Stillwell, I'm cold; can't you help me?

 

                                                                LEANDER

                                        (HE takes his coat and and drapes it over BOBBY LEE)

Why do you keep saying you been waiting for me?

 

                                                               BOBBY LEE

You're the bastard that shot me, ain't you?  Hiding in that tree, when I rode past?  Bastard.

 

 

                                                              LEANDER

It wasn't me.

 

                                                              BOBBY LEE

Look at yer arm.  You were running off, Stillwell, weren't you?  You were damned running off!

 

                                                             LEANDER

                                              (a moment)

Yes.

           

                                                            BOBBY LEE

Hell.  You're a piss poor shot AND a damned desertin' coward.

 

                                                           LEANDER

That's right. Damned desertin' coward.

                                      (HE can't say any more.  HE falls silent)

 

                                                         BOBBY LEE

What do you know...

                                       (HE starts to laugh)

 

                                                         LEANDER

Stop it; what the hell are you laughing about...

 

                                                        BOBBY LEE

Because I was doing the same damn thing. Running off fast as a hound after a 'coon.

 

                                                         LEANDER

                                    (A MOMENT, then HE starts to giggle)

Ain't that amazzing!

 

                                                       BOBBY LEE

                                     (laughs with HIM)

Amazing as shit!

 

                                                        LEANDER

You're a rebel bastard.

 

                                                        BOBBY LEE

Yankee... fucker ...

 

                                                         LEANDER

Damned son of a bitch ...

 

                                                         BOBBY LEE

Pig-fucking devil...

 

           

                                                                        (THEIR laughter continues.  It            

                                                                        suddenly stops in a sharp spasm of pain for BOBBY LEE)

 

                                                          BOBBY LEE

You got to help me, Stillwell.

 

                                                          LEANDER

Tell me your name.  For your stone.

 

                                                          BOBBY LEE

            (a moment)

Bobby Lee The Other One.  That's what I go by.  That's because when I tell folks my name, they always say, "Robert Lee?  You mean THE Robert Lee?" And I have to say, "Naw, the other one."  Got to be I started adding it as a matter of course.  Bobby Lee The Other One.

            (a moment)

Jesus, I'm gonna lay here and scream and spill my insides on the weeds like some ... damn ... pig.  Ever slaughter a pig, Stillwell?  Ever hear 'em holler?

 

                                                          LEANDER

Yes.

 

                                                         BOBBY LEE

A feller should die better 'n that.

 

                        (Another jab of pain.

                          LEANDER crosses behind him and aims the rifle. 

 

                                                       BOBBY LEE

Come around, Stillwell.  I can't be facing Jimmy with a bullet hole in my back.

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