-- by Debbie Dunlap --
Chanel bursts into tears, "At least
in New York, the red light district wasn't right next door!" She jumps up and
rushes toward the barn.
Lucy jumps up and cries, "Oh!
Daddy!" and, also bursting into tears, races into the house.
"Mighty skittish mare you got there,
stud." Bertha motions toward the barn.
Preston looks at Bertha, puzzled; looks
toward the barn, concerned; looks back at Bertha in exasperation before heading off toward
Preston enters the barn and quietly
He hears Chanel's broken voice speaking
quietly at the back of the barn. He tip-toes toward the sound of her voice.
"... and I think he's having an
affair right under my nose with that ... that ... trollop!"
Preston, unseen by Chanel hears all.
"How could he fall in love with
someone so vulgar?" Chanel begins to weep audibly.
Preston, looking sheepish and ashamed,
starts forward to reveal himself and confess his cruel plot to make her jealous.
"Oh, Loverboy, you're the only one
who understands," Chanel cries.
Preston Stops. Fury replaces shame.
He marches in to confront Chanel and her lover, caught in the act.
"AH! HA! I've caught you
in the ..." Preston's voice loses its momentum when he sees his wife, not in
the embrace of Tex, but with her arms wrapped about the neck of a horse, her face buried
in its neck.
Chanel looks up, rivers of mascara
evidence of her very real grief.
Preston is overcome with remorse and
reaches out to comfort and explain.
"Don't you touch me you two-timing,
tree-hanging, would-be cowboy!" Chanel seethes.
Preston reaches toward her, "But
Chanel, it's all just a joke, a misunderstanding!"
Chanel backs away from Preston, trips
over a bale of hay, falls with hands flailing and is sprawled very
unlady-like on the barn
Preston reaches down to help her up.
Chanel grabs his hand, but instead of allowing him to help her up, she yanks
Preston's arm and causes him to tumble face first over the same bale of hay.
Reaching beside her, Chanel grabs the nearest weapon she can find - Loverboy's bucket of
oats - and dumps its contents, as well as the bucket, on Preston's head.
Very graciously Chanel rises from the
barn floor, brushes away bits of straw and hay, raises her chin and elegantly walks away.
Tex and Mack are entering the barn as
Chanel is exiting. Chanel acknowledges them with a slight nod, but doesn't make eye
Mack nudges Tex, "Gee, I 'd hate to
see what the other guy looks like!"
Tex looks over his shoulder at
but decides it's safer to let an angry filly have a little extra rope at times like this.
"Preston?" Tex calls out.
"Over here," comes a muffled
Mack and Tex find Preston sitting on a
bale of hay, both elbows resting on his knees, a dejected look on his face, looking quite
the worse for wear.
"Well, now I know what the other guy
looks like!" chirps Mack with a subdued chuckle.
" I beg your pardon?" Preston
asks and looks up.
"Preston Suits, ah'd like ya to meet
mah new foreman," Tex introduces, "Mack. His name's actually Magillicuddy
Murphy, but some kind soul decided long ago that wuz too big a handle to hang on a man, so
he's just plain, ol' Mack."
Preston doesn't rise, just sticks his
hand in Mack's direction, "Pleased to make your acquaintance."
Mack grabs Preston's hand. Preston
winces as Mack gives his hand one good shake. Preston massages his hand afterwards.
"Ah didn't want ta tell ya before,
cause Ah wasn't too sure it'd all work out. Ya see, Ah had to find me a good foreman
before Ah could make 'OH'-fficial."
"Make what official, Tex?"
Preston stands, grimaces at all the aches and pains, old and new.
"Ah'm tired of this
It's too tough and Ah'm gettin' too old. Ah want me an easy life! Ah'm
movin' to the city!"
Preston wonders if he's just been
insulted, but before he can reply, Tex continues.
"And since Ah'm a man used to big
places, Ah'm movin' to a big city: New York City!"
"New York?" Preston asks.
"Yup! Well, actually it's a
little cottage in Connecticut, but it's just a stone's throw from New York City."
"Connecticut?" Preston asks.
"Yup! Just bought me a place
in Connecticut a coupla weeks ago. Never even saw it! Ain't that a hoot?
Seen it in an ad-ver-tise-ment and just fell in love with it. Had my lawyer
call their lawyer and got it all settled real easy."
"You never saw it?"
"Nope! Kinda like how you
bought that little caretaker's cottage from me. Lawyer's did all the
Ya know, Ah thought about sellin' the whole ranch at first, even put an
of mah own in one of them papers."
"You advertised this place?
"Yup! In the Rancher's
Monthly Digest of Timely Tips and Journal of Useful Information. Ah guess my
ranch woulda been under the "Useful Information" category!" Tex
"Rancher's Monthly Digest?"
"Yup! Page 43."
"This is MY ranch, then!"
"Your ranch?" Tex asks.
"I saw that ad!" Preston
explains. "But when I called about it, I was told it was taken off the market.
Your ranch was what made me start dreaming of coming west, Tex!"
"Well! Ah'll be run through a
fresh cow patty bare-footed! Ain't that somethin'!" Tex turns to Mack,
"Ain't that somethin' Mack?"
"Yeah, that's something alright,
Tex," Mack smiles.
-- by P.J. Thum --
"What's more, ah got mahself one of them
cushy jobs behind a desk! Imagine that! Me! Ah just showed them mah
mah ranch and they hired me on the spot! Said ah would help 'em appeal to those burned out
businessman looking to go back to nature!" Tex lets out a guffaw. "Imagine that!
Burned out of *sittin' behind desks*! Going back to *nature*!"
Preston has an odd look on his face. "And what's the name of this company you're
going to work for, Tex?"
"Ah believe it's run by some guy named Twitman, ah think." Tex frowns, then
brightens. "Anyway, now that ah'm a-moving out East, this ranch is yours to buy if
you want it, Preston! She's a beaut, lots of fine steer, hundreds of acres of prize land,
and," he claps Mack on the shoulder, "You'll have Mack here to help you!"
Preston mutters to himself disbelievingly, "My house... his house. My job... his job.
My life...his life." He makes an odd little noise to himself, shakes his head in
disbelief, then addressing Tex, "Well.... I accept your offer, Tex. I hope you have
the greatest success out East!"
Preston extends his hand, and they shake. "You'll love mah farm, Preston. Ah'll sure
miss her." Tex says.
Behind Tex, an odd, malicious grin appears on Mack's face. "It'll be a pleasure
working with you, Mr. Suits. A real
"At last!" trumpets Suits gleefully. "I have my chance!" He is talking
on the phone. "Not only will Chanel be mine, but I'll get even with that
goody-two-shoes Preston Suits!"
Cut to Mack, who is talking on the other end while cutting his nails. "Say Case,
(snip) you never told me (snip) why we're going to all this (snip) trouble." (Listens)
"Sure, I know what's in it for me (snip) , but I like to know something about my
victim (snip) before I move in for the kill (snip). Helps me work (Puts down
Cut back to Suits, "You want the truth? I'll tell you the truth! When I
was a kid, it was just Preston and me-" (Pause) "Fine, Preston and I. We had no
other cousins. Life would've been fine, except for the fact that Preston was so damn good
at everything! I was older, but he had the looks, the girls, the grades. He
had everything. I had to live with the shame of being the slow one, the ugly one, the
stupid one, the lonely one. It was always Preston THIS and Preston THAT and (mimics
Mother's high pitched voice) 'Suits, dear, why can't you be more like PRESTON????'
QUIET! Don't interrupt! [By this time, Suit's face has turned a bright red] In third
grade, we had a melon seed spitting contest, and I was the undisputed champ of the
playground! No one could come close to me! Then along came this young first grade upstart,
we proceeded to outspit me and humiliate me in front of my entire gang! Even worse, he had
the gall to say to everyone that if it weren't for me, he wouldn't have known how to spit
a melon seed properly! Then next year-
Cut to Mack, who is listening with a pained expression on his face, obviously regretting
his question. He quietly puts down the phone, and tiptoes off. After an incredibly long
wait, while we listen to the phone squawking away, Mack returns with a drink in his hand.
He sets the drink down, pulls over an easy chair, and settles down with a resigned look
upon his face, before finally gingerly picking up the phone.
Cut back to Suits, "-and then, the next year, he not only had a BETTER mousetrap, it
also looked nicer and caught more mice! But then, the worst thing happened the year after
that. That's when I met Chanel. I saw her in college, she a simple freshman from Ireland
at Radcliffe, and we were seniors at Harvard. That's another thing, him skipping THREE
grades to my one along the way! So we were both in our senior year and she comes along. I
saw her first! I chased her and pursued her until she agreed to a walk along the Charles
River with me. Then we ran into.... HIM!!!! She promptly fell for his charm and his looks.
She was mine! Until he stole her away!!!! For years I've hidden the hate and resentment
deep inside me, but now.... now I will ruin him. I will make him come begging to me
for my help in getting him back on his feet. Chanel will hate him and she'll come running
to me! HAHAhahahaha!!!!!" (maniacal laughter) "You hear me Mack? Mack?
Cut to Mack, who jerks awake. "Yeah, yeah Case, I'm here, just, er, knocked over
my... drink, that's all. Yes, yes, I hear you. Preston's farm will be ruined in
weeks. He's such a greenhorn he'll never figure out the animals or machinery anyway. I'm
sure I can get that Arkana girl to run interference. She doesn't look very bright, I'm
sure I can easily trick her, or maybe convince her to join us for a small payment. No,
that dumb old farmer isn't going to be a problem. He thinks he's going out East to a cushy
job! Yes, yes, will do Case. You'll get your cousin. Just be sure I get my money." He
puts down the phone, does a *phew* to himself, wiping imaginary sweat off his brow.
-- by Jenny Curtis
Later that evening
Preston is watching
the sun set, sitting on the front porch of what he now realizes is HIS ranch. We hear the
creaking of the porch swing as he rocks in the evening breeze. The camera pans across the
horizon to a beautiful sunset, Preston sighs, exhausted from his long, crazy day. His
eyelids close and he slumps in his chair, asleep. The camera pans inside the kitchen
window and we see Chanel sitting at the kitchen table while Cook scrubs out an empty pie
Cook: Sorry about dessert. Tex never met a pie he didnt like.
Chanel: (listlessly) Mmm hmm.
Cook: But thats men folk. All appetite and no sense.
Chanel: Mmmm hmm.
Cook: Take my Gil, God rest him. If you stood between him and a dessert, hed turn
into an ornery cuss. He once shot a man in Reno just to catch some pie.
Chanel: Mmmmm hmm.
Cook: That was a joke honey. You know the song
.Oh never mind. Whats wrong with
you? You look like a bull just trampled your best handbag.
Chanel: Oh its Preston. Hes been acting so darn strange since we left
Connecticut. I mean he was always a little flighty,. O.K well, Condors are a little
flighty compared to Preston. But this is the worst hes ever been. One minute
hes jealous of Tex, half-killing himself with rage and the next minute hes
exchanging winks with that Bertha woman. Maybe hes having a nervous breakdown.
Cook: Well Bertha Arkanas broke stronger broncs than Pres. If she gets her hooks in
him, he wont stand a chance
(Shes interrupted my quiet sobs from Chanel)
Cook: Oh whatd I say? Im sorry. Look youve got nothing to worry about.
If I know Bertha, this is just her way of making a last ditch play for Tex before he
leaves town. She has always wanted move out East.
Chanel: But why my husband? Why pick on him?
Cook: Hes wearin boots and hes breathin and thats enough for Bertha.
Chanel: What can I do?
Cook: Well dear, if it was me. Id beat that hussy at her own game. Heres what
(camera pulls back as she leans in conspiratorially).
Meanwhile on the front porch
As Preston dozes, Bertha saunters up, wearing a Dale
Evans get up with a pink silk kerchief tied around her neck. She pats Preston on the
forehead, removes her kerchief, revealing the monogram "BA", and places it in
Prestons breast pocket. Then she sits down on the swing with a creak, startling
Bertha: (purring) Yes, you certainly are.
Preston: No, no. (scooting away from Bertha on the swing) Thats the name of the
horse. Ohh, what have I done Bertha? Shell never take me back.
Bertha: Swell-lookin cowpoke, like yerself. Sure she will. You just follow our plan
and shell loose interest in Tex in no time.
Preston: But thats what I mean. I made a huge mistake. She wasnt having an
affair with Tex, it was the horse!
Bertha: Well, now, I aint easily shocked, but you city folk are something else.
Preston: No, Bertha. You see, I heard her calling for Loverboy (imitating
"Ooohh Loverboy, come back here so I can climb up on you. All the while it was the
horse. Then I hit my head and passed out. Or was it the other way around. I
Anyway, I did myself an injury and I didnt see that Loverboy was the
horse and not Tex!
Bertha: Take it easy there, youll do yerself another injury. Just relax. Unbend.
(Pushing him back in the swing).
(Just then Chanel walks through the door. Spotting Bertha with her "hooks" in
Preston she begins to burn with anger. Then she gains composure.)
Chanel: Oh hello, Bertha. Its so good to see you. Did I ever tell you that Preston
has an elderly Aunt named Bertha? Well, elderly is perhaps too strong a word, shes
not much older than you at that. Of course shes no where near as resourceful as you
are with your
(Chanel sits down in a chair next to Bertha. Preston looks perplexed, letting out a
stifled cry, he pulls out Berthas kerchief to dab his brow. He examines it quickly,
and utters another, louder stifled cry when he sees the monogram. He quickly shoves the
kerchief back in his pocket before Chanel can notice.)
Chanel: What is that noise?
Preston: I think it was the horses. Tex must be back in the barn with them.
Chanel: (returning her attention to Bertha) I
mean youd never dream that you and Tex had a boy almost my age. Why Tex was just
telling me today about your son, whats his name?
Chanel: Yes little Clint, the outlaw. Not so little now, of course. Putting him through
college out East. Now that must have cost a fist full of dollars. But there you have it -
raising kids: the good, the bad, the ugly, the expensive prep schools. Whats
Clint up to these days.
Bertha: Last we heard he was in Iowa. Madison County I believe.
Chanel: You must be so proud. And I hear his wifes expecting soon. You gotta ask
yourself everyday. Do I feel lucky?' To be a Grandma! I sure would.
(Berthas eyes shrink in anger to narrow slits, her nails dig into Prestons
Chanel: What was that dear?
Preston: Ahhhh, have a suggestion. Why dont we all go give Tex a hand with the
horses, before we turn in.
Chanel: Well you dont have to bellow like Foghorn Leghorn. Im right behind you
(swatting him on the butt, she turns and winks at Bertha). Get along little doggie!
(Preston and Bertha look truly puzzled by her strange change in attitude.)
Bertha: Well, I really must be getting along myself. These arent my manure mucking
pumps. Ill see you tomorrow Pres. (looking sourly at Chanel) Goodnight, Armani. I
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