Monday, November 15, 2004

Meating of the Mines, scene 3

This is a continuation of the screenplay Heroes for Hire Episode 2 -- A Meating of the Mines. The meaning of the title should become clear in the next scene (unless I decide I need more build-up).

Zantar is alone at the tavern imbibing his evening meal. There is a mug and an empty chair for Rolf who is not there. Buck Cannon approaches.

BUCK: Good evening sir, do you mind if I join you and your friend? (he pulls up a third chair to sit backward on it)

ZANTAR: It’s kind of a small table…

BUCK: (half the way to sitting on the chair) I’d like to buy you each a drink.

ZANTAR: …but there’s always room for a pal.

BUCK: (sitting the rest of the way down and shouting across the table) Bring three more of whatever my friends here are drinking. (he looks at Zantar and smiles) My name is Buck Cannon, I run one of the local mines.

ZANTAR: Zantar. Rolf is doing some kind of a constitutional thingie.

BUCK: Constitutional thingie...

ZANTAR: I think that means he’s draining the lower level.

BUCK: Er, ah…

ZANTAR: You know. Taking a whiz.

BUCK: Ah. No doubt. I hear you had a bit of trouble earlier today.

ZANTAR: Yeah, that sheriff don’t have no sense of humor.
A waitress lays down some drinks and Buck tosses her a coin during the following exchange.

BUCK: I meant earlier.

ZANTAR: Earlier?

BUCK: With the Barkleys.

ZANTAR: Don’t ring a bell.

BUCK: Five or six ruffians?

ZANTAR: Oh, them. They had some trouble today. All I had was a little exercise.

BUCK: (grinning) Excellent point. I salute you. (he raises his drink and takes a swig).

Zantar joins him.

BUCK: So, do you know why they attacked you?


BUCK: Do you want to know?


BUCK: (surprised) Oh… Well, it’s … Well. Ah… It’s because we employ only dwarven miners at the Cannon mine and the Barkleys would like to drive us out of business by chasing away our miners.

ZANTAR: That’s smart all right.

BUCK: Employing only dwarven miners?

ZANTER: No, chasing away the dwarven miners.

BUCK: Ah, yes.

ZANTAR: A dwarf must pull in four or five times the ore of a human. They chase away the dwarves, they take away your edge.

BUCK: Ah, yes. That’s the reasoning… So are you interested in helping out your brethren by doing some work for us?


ROLF: (just returning to the table and sitting down) What sort of remuneration are you offering?

BUCK: A silver per week. Each.

ROLF: We shall discuss your offer, sir.

BUCK: Of course. Allow me to buy you another round while you talk. Waitress! Another round for my friends!
Buck tosses a coin on the table then gets up, nods to the heroes and leaves the bar.

ZANTAR: A sliver per week. Not bad pay.

ROLF: My thoughts exactly. Yet it is hardly the big money that our ranger friend so cryptically alluded to.
A voice speaks from the background:

JEROD: No. I wouldn’t call it big money. You gentleman are worth twice that.

ZANTAR: At least. (Neither hero turns around)

JEROD: (moving around in front of the heroes) Allow me to introduce myself …

ZANTAR: Are you going to buy us a drink?

JEROD: Oh. Well, I suppose I could…

ROLF: Well then, by all means sir! Have a seat. Introduce yourself. My name is Rolf and my surly compatriot here is Zantar.

JEROD: Well. Pleased to meet you. My name is Jerrod Barkley. I run the Berkeley mines around here.

ROLF: And you pay very well, I presume?

JEROD: Yes, of course. But first I’d like to clear the air about that little misunderstanding this afternoon.

ROLF: What? The thing with the sheriff?

JEROD: Ah, no…

ZANTAR: He means those guys we trashed when we got here.

ROLF: Them? I felt that by the end of the encounter everyone understood one another quite well.

JEROD: Yes. No doubt. Anyway, I hope you harbor no ill will toward the Barkleys just because a few of our boys got out of line.

ZANTAR: Haven’t thought much about it.

ROLF: Nor have I. But now that you bring it up, I suppose a certain dose of resentment might be in order.

ZANTAR: Yeah! They were pretty rude and all.

JEROD: (clearly bewildered) You mean you were fine about until I came over to apologize? Now you’re getting upset?

ROLF: Well, if the incident merits an apology then it takes on greater weight, don’t you think so Zantar?

ZANTAR: Yeah! I mean I thought it was no big deal, but that shopkeeper at the dry goods store thought it was a big deal, that Cannon guy thought it was a big deal, …

ROLF: The ranger mentioned it as well.

ZANTAR: Yeah. And now here you are apologizing over it. I’m starting to feel insulted.

JEROD: Then I withdraw my apology. If you two pussies can’t handle a little bit of rough fun, who needs you?

ROLF: Excellent riposte, sir! Are we men or mice, Zantar?

ZANTAR: Well, I’m a dwarf and you’re an elf. Elves are kind of squirrelly, but I wouldn’t say they’re micey.

ROLF: No one ever has. And squirrels are certainly not mice.

ZANTAR: Nope. They’re sort of rats with bushy tails.

ROLF: Very agile and intrepid rats with bushy tails… Hey! Elves aren’t squirrelly! We’re just a bit arboreally inclined!

JEROD: Excellent, excellent. And of course I can assure you that the Barkleys have no hard feelings over the matter either.

Closeup on Zantar staring bemusedly at Jerrod. Pan to a closeup on Rolf staring bemusedly at Jerrod. Pan around to Jerrod shifting his eyes bemusedly between Rolf and Zantar.

JEROD: I mean… There is no need for you to apologize or anything.

Closeup on Zantar staring bemusedly at Jerrod. Pan to a closeup on Rolf staring bemusedly at Jerrod. After a moment:

ROLF: OK. Whatever. So, you’re offering us two silver per week each?

JEROD: (sighs) That’s right.

ROLF: And what opportunities will there be for auxiliary compensation?

JEROD: Auxiliary compensation?

ROLF: Yes. You know: bonuses, benefits, bounties, commissions, cuts, gratuities, honorariums, percentages, perks, premiums, prizes, rake-offs, rewards, royalties, supplements and subsidies.

ZANTAR: He means, like extra money we can make for doing stuff.

JEROD: I believe your weekly salary should be adequate compensation.

ROLF: You, sir, are obviously confused.

ZANTAR: The two of us cleaned clocks on six guys and didn’t take a scratch doing it.

ROLF: Quite. So each of us is worth at least three as you know. And besides that, I am a famous wizard.

JEROD: I’ve never heard of any wizard named Rolf.

ROLF: The opinions of small-time bumpkins such as yourself are hardly relevant.

JEROD: Well, famous wizard and all, I’m afraid lead mining is a bit mundane for that kind of extravagance.

ZANTAR: Lead mining?


ROLF: I’m afraid your compensation terms are…

ZANTAR: We'll take it.

ROLF: … inadequate to … What, Zan?

ZANTAR: We'll take it.

Fade out on Rolf, staring at Zantar in consternation.

UPDATE: continued.

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