-- by Tricia Hindermann --
(Bertha pivots and slithers down the path without another
word. Complete silence)
Chanel: Armani? (Her eyes widened as the name
registers.) Armani Hastings Renquist? (She gasps as Bertha continues toward
her home) How did she know her name? (Turning white.)
Preston: (frantic) Relax dear, well figure it
out. Oh my, this really doesnt make any sense does it?
Chanel: Just when ... sob..we put ... sob..that part of our
life ... sob..behind us. Have you been seeing her again?
Preston: No dear, I havent seen or talked to her
since you and I ended our separation. I made it clear to Armani that I was beginning
anew with my wife and child. Lets just forget this day ever happened. Well go
inside and turn in
Chanel: (ignoring Preston) Uh, that woman is pure
evil! I just wish I knew how she knew about our past. It makes me uneasy that
people around here know personal things. Think about Lucy I want her be
protected from that ... (moving her hands in circles)
ANIMAL. Preston, someone
around here is communicating with someone back home.
Preston: Who could it be?
(Scene cuts to Mack on the phone with Case.)
Mack: Hi there Case, its Mack. Ya, Ill be there. 5:00
pm flight. Sky Chief. Yep. See you there. I know, well get it done tonight
dont you worry. So long.
(A rainy day greets Chanel as she makes her way to the
kitchen for some morning tea. She passes a mirror on the way and grunts at the sight of
her puffy eyes. A sopping wet stray puppy is pawing at the kitchen screen door as Chanel
turns on the stove. She feels badly and lets the pup in as Tex appears from nowhere.)
Chanel: Oh, Tex, you scared me!
Tex: Sorry sweet-pie, didnt mean to startle
you. Thats Berthas mangy dog, Tumbleweed. You better shoo him
away. He has fleas and chiggers something fierce.
(Chanel feels a pang of sadness for the little guy and lets
him in anyway.)
Suit yourself. Anyway, Im hear to tell you about a
big shindig were having down at the Lucky Lady Saloon tonight. To
celebrate my new life in Connecticut and this here ranch of yours. Macks idea.
Chanel: I dont feel like celebrating that much
Tex: Oh darlin, come on, it will be fun. Mack throws quite
a bash. He wants yall to feel welcome here. Plus well have some rotgut
whiskey, razor rash pints and square dancin till mornin. (Chanel winces but
then shrugs and smiles)
(Preston bursts in looking disturbed.)
Preston (disapprovingly) : Sure is a lot of commotion in
here for 7 a.m.
Chanel: Good morning dear.
Preston (filling the coffee pot): Its barely 7 a.m.
What is he doing here so early and smelling like a wet dog no doubt.
Chanel (laughing to herself): Mack and Tex are throwing us
a party tomorrow night at the Lucky Lady Saloon.
Preston: Lucky Lady? (scrunching his eyes together) Sounds
like a whorehouse.
Preston: Well it does. Im not in the mood for a
party. I barely know this Mack character. Things are too weird around here. Too much
Chanel: The Lucky Lady saloon at 7pm. We will
be there Tex.
(Chanel and Tex nod at the same time as the scene dissolves
(Scene dissolves in as Channel and Preston are entering the
Lucky Lady Saloon through the swinging doors.)
Preston: These boots hurt my feet. My pants are too tight.
Why do I have to wear this piece of fabric around my neck?
Chanel: You wanted to move out west Preston, this is your
chance to be western.
Preston sulking): I miss my wingtips.
(As they saunter up to the bar, a banjo starts playing and
makes it hard to talk. Preston begins stuffing his face with crab cakes on boot-shaped
napkins while Chanel makes small talk with a drunk local.)
(All of the sudden, out of nowhere, Mack grabs Chanel and
spins her tripping on the dance floor causing her to loose her footing. The music seems to
get louder. Out of nowhere Bertha pulls Preston by the arm and leads him outside to the
rear of the building. Chanel doesnt see Preston leave)
Preston (looking over his shoulder): What are you
Bertha: Youve been drinking havent you
like a man who not afraid to down some liquor. Gets me all riled up.
Preston (now behind the saloon): Bertha listen
this (trying to unhook Berthas nails from his arm)
how did you know about
(Whispering coming from the entrance interrupt his
I hear footsteps
quiet (Holds his
finger up to his lips)
Bertha: Kiss me Preston, I know you want to (Holding on for
Preston: Shh, Bertha, enough already!
Chanel: Suits, why are we out here?
Suits: I have a little something to show you
(The footsteps get closer.)
(Chanel and Suits turn the corner to see Bertha holding
Preston next to stacks of beer barrels, looking like deer caught in the headlights)
Chanel (covers her mouth and almost faints): Oh Preston!
Preston (in shock): Armani, I mean dear, oh dear,
-- by Derna Simpson --
Preston: (still gibbering) Oh!
dear, oh dear. Oh...
Chanel: (visibly gathering up her energy for an explosion....EXPLODES!) Preston Suits!
Don't you dare ever, ever, EVER associate me with THAT woman! And while we are about it
(she points at Bertha) THAT one either!
Preston: (weakly pointing at Chanel) No...no...no...n...o, you don't understand.
Chanel: I think I understand perfectly! And to think, after everything you did, after
everything you said, after everything...
Preston: But Chanel.
Chanel: You are just a two-timing, double-crossing, heart-breaking, home-wrecking,
forever-philandering, nasty, horrible...(fighting for a fittingly derisive noun eventually
spits out) man!
Preston: (pointing more steadily) Chanel!
Chanel: (starting on Bertha) And YOU...!
Preston finally disengages himself from Bertha, dashes across to Chanel and attempts to
lead her back indoors, still animatedly deriding him, as the remainder of the crowd close
in around them.
Chanel: (stops short) ...Let go of me Preston!
Preston shrugs as his line of escape is finally cut off, sits down and holds his aching
head in his hands waiting for the second explosion. It comes.
Chanel: (turns around to take in the group that has formed and looking directly behind her
where Preston was pointing earlier she halts) Good gracious! What is this? Reunion of the
Preston Suits dying flames club? Or should I say still very much brightly burning flames?
Preston, not twenty-four hours ago you promised me you hadn't seen
Armani: (posing with a cigarette in a holder and smiling sweetly) Well, and it is such a
delightful pleasure to meet you again too Chanel dahling.
Chanel: What are you doing here?
Armani: But Chanel sweetie...
Chanel: No, don't answer that. I don't want to know. Preston, I'm sick of this party, I'm
sick of this ranch, I'm sick of this whole Wild West adventure of yours and I'm sick of
YOU! Lucy and I will be leaving for civilization in the morning. Good night.
Chanel stomps out leaving Preston still holding his head (having given up trying to get a
word into the preceding tirade), Bertha doing her best to get her claws into an
unresponsive Mack, Suits smiling smugly, Tex a tad confused and Armani affectedly filing
Preston looks up, takes everyone in, groans and lowers
his head again.
Preston: Will someone please tell me what is going on?
Armani moves over to perch next to Preston and rubs his head soothingly whilst making
appropriately comforting noises.
Tex: Shouldn't we be asking you that partner?
Armani: (continually stroking Preston's head, she purrs) Don't worry Pres
everythin's goin' to be just fine. Suits has explained everything very simply to me and
I'm not a woman to hold a grudge. Especially not against such a charmingly sweet creature
Tex takes this scene as his cue to leave and sidles back round the side of the building.
Bertha: A-hem...aren't you two forgetting something?
Armani: (assuming a look of catty innocence) Sorry dear, what WAS your name?
Bertha: (rising to the bait) No, maybe you're right, I'm sure ranch life is going to Suit
you down to the ground. Those pink heels will look just charming with a matching apron.
And charcoal's good for your teeth Pres.
Preston: (hitting Armani's caressing hand away in annoyance) Will you both please just
STOP! I don't know what's the matter with everyone all of a sudden. (looking at Suits) I'm
sure this has all got everything to do with you.
Suits: (all innocence) Me!
Preston: (to Mack) And where do you fit into the picture? (he notices Bertha fawning over
Mack and his voice takes on a derisive tone) Oh, I'm beginning to see.
Bertha: (remembering her role she leaves Mack and moves
towards Preston) Preston, he doesn't mean anything to me, it's you I want. You know there
could never be anyone...
Preston: (stopping her short) Oh Please! Just stop now. There are far too many ulterior
motives in this scene for me to deal with at once.
Preston dashes back through the party, leaps on his
horse and gallops off into the night.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Chanel is furiously throwing things into a suitcase with the
help of Lucy, who is actually being a little more of a hindrance than a help.
Chanel: (muttering continuously through the following) THAT man...notorious
philanderer...untrustworthy...I'll teach him...not one, not two, but three! Who does he
think he is...living out here in the middle of nowhere.
Lucy: (holding up a negligee while she bounces on the bed) Mum look!
Chanel: (grabbing the garment) Oh Lucy, will you please go to bed! Go on...go on...Bed
Lucy skips off to bed and Chanel resumes her furious packing. Chanel continues her tirade
and only breaks off when she hears Tex's familiar holler from the porch.
Tex: Heeeeelo, anyone around? Helooooooh. Chanel, where are you?
Chanel: In here Tex.
Tex: (sticking his head round the door) You alright girl?
Chanel flops exhaustedly down in a chair and bursts into angry tears. Tex moves forward
and holds her awkwardly as she sobs into his shoulder.
Tex: There now don't cry. He ain't worth it doll. Don't you worry about a thing. You can
both come back to Connecticut with me tomorrow and we'll sort you out there. We'll be just
Chanel isn't really listening, she just wants comforted, but as they draw apart and Tex
looks into her bright eyes, she looks passed him into the tortured eyes of Preston as he
watches them from the shadows of the porch.
-- by Aileen Mackintosh --
As they draw further apart Chanel then sees the
tortured look in Preston's eyes go blank then an indefinable, almost accusing look, fills
them. He then turns smartly on his heels, yelps as some of his bruises are still
and disappears into the gathering gloom.
Chanel is left staring into the darkness with an awful empty feeling in the pit of her
stomach, until she becomes aware of Tex still making comforting noises.
Tex: .....so you see darlin' you'll be fine. You can go beck east, find someplace that is
suited to a lady of yo' stature. Mr. Yewell told me he'd find you a grand place to stay.
Chanel: (in a distracted way) Oh, oh yes, right.
She wanders across the room and sits down on the sofa. At this point she suddenly jumps
Chanel: Mr Yewell what's HE got to do with this.
Her mind slips into overdrive, and just as Tex is about to answer...
Chanel: Hold on...hold on... it's all coming back to me... Armani, Suits - THAT incident
in Little Rock. OOOOhhhh no.
At this point we see her rush out of the house in the direction that Preston was last seen
heading, calling his name.
The scene fades and we see Preston sitting in the middle of nowhere, on a large boulder
muttering to himself.
Preston: The horse indeed, who does the floozy think she's fooling, trying to make me
think it was called Loverboy. And I thought Tex was my friend. Hrrrmmph. Dying flames
club. Pah. Faithful all these years and this is what I
get, I'll show her.
He gets up and looks around, for the first time realizing that he is well and
Reality catching up with him he sits back down on the boulder, groans and puts his head in
his hands, a picture of dejection. In the shadows a
figure is seen dressed in dark clothes with a black hat shadowing the upper part of the
face. A triumphant smile lights the face and the figure moves away into the night.
Cutting back to Chanel, we see her headlong dash after Preston. As she rounds the cowshed
she runs straight into Suits Yewell, who grasps her arm.
Suits: Hello there Chanel, darling.
Chanel looks into his face and then suddenly the awful truth hits her like an express
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