Play #55: The Silent Man

The play is set in the “Hello Thar” dance hall in the desert town of Bakeoven.  Into the town comes a weary prospector, Silent Budd Marr, and his donkey, Nicodemus.  Marr heads for the Hello Thar dance hall, in search of a long, cold glass of water.   It is somewhere in the middle of the 19h century.

NOTE: The Title, The Silent Man, the names “Silent Budd Marr” and “Nicodemus,” the name of the dance hall—the Hello Thar—and the name of the town, Bakeoven, are all taken from the 1917 silent classic western, The Silent Man, starring and directed by William. S. Hart.

Silent Budd Marr (tying up Nicodemus in front of the Hello Thar dance hall):  Well, Nicodemus, I’ve been dreaming about a long cold glass of water for three months, and now I aim to have it! [he enters the dance hall and walks up to the bar].

Bartender:  What’ll it be, stranger?

SBM:  A long, cold glass of water.  About THIS long [he shows the bartender the distance between his upraised hands, as if he were describing a fish that got away].

Bartender (plunking an exceedingly tall glass of cold water in front of him).  There you are.

SBM (draining the glass):  And another!

Bartender (giving him the second glass of water):  Go easy stranger.  You ain’t had water for awhile!

SBM:  That’s true, but I have a powerful thirst!

Bartender (suddenly suspicious at hearing the word “powerful”):  How you fixin’ to pay for this here water?

SBM Incredulous):  Water ain’t free?

Bartender: Not in a rattlesnake’s eye it ain’t!

SBM:  Then I’ll pay for it with a pinch of this here gold dust!

[The dance hall’s manager, Handsome Horace, steps up next to Silent Budd Marr and examines the dust closely]

Handsome Horace:  Good quality stuff, stranger!  Where did you say you got it?

SBM (suddenly looking very wily and coy):  I don’t remember saying anything about where.