The Magnificent Seven
Inmate 78

Opening Scene:

Chris is standing at the saloon bar in a small town called Jericho. A salesman approaches him and offers him a Smith and Lancelot watch to buy, which Chris refuses. At that moment, the sheriff and his deputy arrive and accuse the salesman of robbing a bank in Landen a week back. Chris reveals that he has just spent three days in Landen and there was no mention of there having been a robbery. While the sheriff and deputy are arguing with Chris, the salesman starts to run and the deputy raises his gun, intending to shoot him in the back.

Chris (stopping him by forcing aside the gun as it fires): You don't shoot nobody in the back.

Chris is knocked unconscious by the sheriff and, later, he is brought before the judge, who is also the sheriff. He is accused of aiding and abetting a known felon, and resisting arrest. The Sheriff/Judge sentences him to five years hard labor with no parole... unless he can post a bail of five hundred dollars.

Chris is taken in a wagon to a prison outside of Jericho. He tries to escape immediately, leaping onto a horse, but is brought down by the guards. A guard hits him with the butt of his rifle and Chris is dragged to the Warden.

Warden: Congratulations. You just bought yourself four days in the hole for attempted escape.

Chris talks back at the man, and ends up being sentenced to a further four days - a total of eight days in the hole.



JD, Buck and Nathan are playing poker in the saloon when Mary enters. She is concerned about Chris as he said he would be gone only three days but he had been gone ten days now. Although both JD and Nathan are a little concerned, Buck remarks that Chris has probably found himself a brothel and is having fun. Mary is unimpressed, and walks away in disgust.



Chris is dragged out of the hole and frogmarched, in leg irons to the warden. He looks weak and pale and is being held up by one guard holding his right arm while another holds the back of his belt.

He is set to work breaking rocks.

At break time, he joins the queue for food, but the cook seems to recognize him, believing him to be some kind of lawman. The man spits into Chris's food. Chris walks away and finds a log to sit on. He drops the plate to the floor and lets an old convict eat it. While sitting there, he is confronted by three brothers who want revenge for the death of their cousin, Jackie Pinder, in Dodge City, several years before. Chris killed the eighteen year old in a gunfight.

Gage Lawless: He was 18, a stupid hothead. You were much better. You could have winged him. But you didn't. You shot him right through the heart. You're gonna pay. Get up.
Chris: He wasn't trying to wing me.

Chris hits out first but one of the brothers has a knife and stabs Chris in the side. Chris manages to grab the knife and then one of the brothers, threatening to cut his throat. The guards arrive to break up the fight and Chris hides the knife up his sleeve. He is taken to the bunkhouse where his left hand is shackled to the bed. Doc Simmons sutures up the wound without benefit of Laudanum, while Chris shakes with pain. Although Chris reaches for the whiskey, Simmons will not let him have any, saying it is medicinal. Doc Simmons takes a mouthful of whiskey and spits it onto a rag, then shoves the rag hard against the stitched wound.



Back in the town, Mary is leaving the Telegraph Office after making enquiries after Chris. The Livery in Landen has informed her that Chris boarded his horse there but that he left almost two weeks earlier.

Vin: How many towns between here and Landen?
Nathan: Four. He could have stopped by any one of them.
Vin: Guess we'll find out.

The six remaining members of the Magnificent Seven ride out, with Vin touching the brim of his hat in respect to Mary before riding away, telling her that they would bring Chris back.



The warden shoots at a rock close to Chris and tells Chris that he has a visitor. He is taken into the warden's office where the sheriff of Jericho is waiting. The sheriff offers to release Chris on bail if he - or his family - can hand over five hundred dollars but Chris remains silent until the warden asks if he understands what he is being offered.

Chris: You don't want my money.
Warden: We don't? Why is that?
Chris: Because, if I get out of here... I'll come back... and I'll take you both down.



Vin and the others arrive in Jericho having checked all the other towns between the town they protect and this one, as they ride towards Landen. They pause beside the deputy, who is sitting outside the jail house, and ask if he has seen a man fitting Chris's description.

Vin: We're looking for a friend.
Deputy: Well, he must be a very valuable friend if a whole posse has to look for him.
Josiah: Name's Chris Larabee. You, erhh... you seen or heard of him?
Deputy: Chris... Chris Larabee. He wouldn't be that egg-sucking, horse-thieving gutter trash from up Fort Laramie way, now, would he?
Vin: Easy, Buck. No, sir. Wrong man.

Vin has to restrain Buck, while Ezra looks on in concern for their friend.

They go to the Lullaby Inn, a boarding house and saloon, and speak to the landlady, Jessie.

Josiah: This here's Vin Tanner. And, errh... we're looking for a wandering friend.
Vin: Name's Chris Larabee.
Jessie: I'm sorry. I don't recollect anybody by that name staying here.
Vin: May have come through Sunday before last. Light hair, dressed in black.

She says she does not recall anyone by that name. The sheriff and deputy enter, and she introduces Vin by name to the man. Vin is leaning up against the bar while JD, Ezra, Buck and Nathan are talking together at a table, drinking while JD tries his three-legged dog joke on Ezra. Josiah is standing next to Vin. The sheriff wants them to hand over their guns or move on. Vin finishes a shot of whiskey and tells the sheriff that they will be moving on as soon as they have picked up some supplies.

They leave the saloon.



This time, when Chris goes to get the one bowl of food per day, he stops the cook just as he is about to spit in Chris's food. He shows the cook the knife.

Chris: You spit that out, I'll spill your guts.

The cook backs down and is about to spit on the ground instead but Chris forces the man to swallow the disgusting spit.

Chris: Enjoy.

Later, the warden walks into the compound, protected from the sun by a parasol held by a prisoner. He has ordered Inmate 46 brought out and set to work. However, it is obvious that Inmate 46 is too weak and unable to stand, let alone hold a pick or shovel. Inmate 46 collapses to the ground and the warden starts to beat him.

Chris intercedes, grabbing the warden's wrist to stop further blows from his stick. The warden tells Chris to step aside but Chris remains silent and still, refusing to move. The warden strikes him on the side of his head and Chris falls down. He tries to get back to his feet but falls back to his knees... then finally staggers to his feet. The warden strikes him again, behind the left knee and he drops to the ground with a cry of pain but still refuses to back down and climbs to his feet. He strikes Chris again, on the back.

Warden: You're crazy, boy. I can do this all day, Inmate 78.

His fellow prisoners start banging their shovels, picks etc. against rocks and other objects, encouraging Chris to stand, which he does.

Chris: Just leave him alone. Sir.

The warden realizes that he is beaten and has Chris sent to the infirmary, along with Inmate 46, but with a threat of having other plans for Chris. Back in the infirmary, Chris holds an alcohol impregnated cloth against the gash on his head but, this time, Simmons offers him a swallow of whiskey.

Chris asks about the other sick man, and Simmons recounts that many thought Inmate 46 was a Texas Ranger, come to free the innocent from the Warden and corrupt sheriff. Others thought he might be an Indian tracker, which makes Chris flick a look to Inmate 46. Simmons says that he was strong at first, just like Chris.



General Store, Jericho:

Nathan has found a medical kit in the store with a stethoscope, and is clearly amazed and delighted. Ezra has seen some linen shirts that interest and impress him.. and then Nathan looks at the display cabinet and freezes. He calls to Buck, who comes over a little unwillingly at first. Nathan points to a particular Colt Peacemaker with stag grip.

Buck is furious and orders the store owner to come over, throwing the apple he was holding at the man. When the man is not quick enough to open the glass case so Buck smashes the glass and picks up the gun. He is almost shaking with rage as he throws the store owner onto a side bench, scattering more apples, while he demands an explanation for why Chris's gun is up for sale in the man's store.

Buck has to be dragged back by Nathan as the store owner tells them that he got the goods from the landlady at the boarding house.

The four men walk off and Vin confronts the landlady while Buck, Josiah and Nathan look on, but she starts by denying having sold the gun to the store owner. Buck starts forward angrily, frightening the woman, and has to be held back by Vin and Nathan.

Josiah: Now, he's got the devil in him. Now, it's best you tell me how you came by this gun.

She makes some poor excuse that some drunken men forced her to take that gun in lieu of money. Josiah and Vin know she is lying but cannot do anything about it.



When Chris goes to pick up a shovel for a new day's work, the head guard, Philips, hands it over with respect, and the advice to take it easy. As Chris walks to where he will be working, he is confronted by the three brothers again. This time, though, they have more respect for him after what he did for Inmate 46.

Chris admits that he could have winged their cousin, but he was a different man in those days.

Gage Lawless: We all were.



The sheriff has gone to the prison to tell the warden about the Larabee Gang. The warden is looking through a book of wanted posters, having recognized Vin's name. He points to a sketch that says Vin Tanner is wanted for a murder in Texas, with a five hundred dollar reward. Sheriff asks about the others.

Warden: If the others want Chris Larabee back so bad I say we give him back.
Sheriff: Give him back?
Warden: In a box.



The sheriff is not there when Vin and Buck check in the Sheriff's Office so they head towards the saloon where JD has spotted the deputy. Ezra stops them in their tracks, telling them they are going about this the wrong way.

Ezra: Y'all are worse than General Sherman on a Georgia plantation.

He offers to get the information out of the deputy.

Ezra: Don't take this the wrong way, but you gentlemen occasionally lack the essential skills of tact and diplomacy.
Buck: What are you saying?
Josiah: I think he's saying we're rude.
Ezra: Rude? No. Rude would be a definite improvement. I'm saying you scare people.

They find the deputy in the saloon and Ezra approaches him, ignoring the disgusting way the man digs in his nose and wipes it on his sleeve. With Vin seated close by, Ezra slowly gets the deputy drunk, and the man reveals the extent of corruption.



It is raining and Chris is looking dirty, wet, unshaven and pale. The warden calls Chris over, and accuses Chris of spitting on his shoes. As anticipated by the warden, Chris will not lick the spit off his boots. Chris calls the warden a fat cow and drops as a guard strikes the back of his knees. The warden tells them to take Chris back to the hole.

Philips: Sir, you put him in the hole again he's going to die.
Warden: Back away, Mr. Philips.

When Philips continues to refuse to follow the order, the warden tells him he is fired and to be gone by sunrise.



Back in the saloon, JD is telling his awful joke about the three-legged dog to the deputy, who finds it funny. Vin is seated next to Ezra looking grim but he slaps Ezra's arm with the back of his hand when Sheriff Quince and three of the towns' men enter the saloon. The sheriff holds up the bounty poster of Vin, telling the others that he expects they were conned by 'this criminal'.

Nathan: We knew all about it.

Vin stares hard at the Sheriff and says: On the count of three.

One: Ezra gives a slight twitch of a smile while Nathan pulls aside his coat to free his gun. Two of Quince's men flee

Two: Ezra, JD and Josiah stand up and move their hands until poised over their guns. Buck flicks back his coat to free the holster/gun. The final three men backing the sheriff run away, leaving him standing alone.

Three: All draw their guns except for Vin, and Quince puts his gun down on the table.

As they walk back through town to get the horses, the landlady steps out holding a shotgun. Sheriff Quince is her son, and her partner in corruption. Josiah walks forward, trying to reason with her

Josiah: We ain't gonna hurt your boy... and we ain't gonna cut him lose. The only thing you're accomplishing is getting him killed. Put the gun down. I have faith that you will do the right thing. You do what's best for your son.
Jessie: Go to hell, preacher man.

Josiah (grabbing the shotgun to prevent her from firing): My faith only goes so far, sister.



The warden goes outside to the hole and looks through the grate at Chris. When Chris sees the man, Chris tries to grab at him through the bars. The warden drops a rattlesnake through the grate and into the hole with Chris.

Warden: Ever see a man bit by a rattler? His face gets all twisted... muscles lock up. Pretty gruesome sight.

The rattler strikes at Chris but Chris moves back in time. It strikes again and Chris jumps back. When the warden talks about the terrible death, the sound distracts the rattler enough for Chris to make a lighting lunge and grasp it below the jaws. He thrusts it between the bars and into the warden's gloating face. The rattler bites the warden's throat and then slithers off, leaving the warden thrashing around on the ground.



Vin and the others arrive but Quince yells out that it is the Larabee gang. Everyone dives for cover as the shooting starts.

In the meantime, Chris reaches for and takes the keys from the dying warden.

Buck sends Vin off to find Chris, and Nathan goes with him as they dash across the open ground with Buck covering them and Vin firing his mare's leg. Vin smashes backwards through a door, using momentum to burst it open, then ducks down. The sheriff is there, having stopped Philips from sending a telegraph call for help from Fort Yuma and forced him to open the safe and hold a bag while the sheriff empties the safe. The sheriff grabs Philips and uses him as a shield as he grabs all the money that he and the warden had extorted.

Quince goes out the back door and is caught by Nathan. However, one of the guards shoots Nathan so Quince manages to escape. Vin follows Quince and finds Nathan.

Vin: Nathan? Nathan... you hit?
Nathan: Yeah. But not bad, though.

When Sheriff Quince reaches the hole he spots the warden and starts shooting into the darkened hole screaming at Chris.

Sheriff: All right... die! You miserable bastard! You die now! You...
Chris: Looking for me?

Chris steps out of the shadows, walks up to him and guts Quince with the knife as the man attacks him. As he is walking past the dying warden, the warden speaks.

Warden: Who... are you?
Chris: Inmate 78.



Epilogue:

Josiah is reading out the names of the innocent men and setting them free. The last name on the list is Doc Simmons. Chris puts Philips in charge of the rest as he had been unaware of the corruption that had kept innocent men locked up in the prison.

Wearing a white shirt, dark pants and his gunbelt, Chris is unshaven but smiling. Vin is holding both his and Chris's horses and he hands the reins to Chris. Chris mounts up, pulls on his hat.

Chris: Boys... let's get the hell out of here.

Vin gallops off with the rest not far behind.



End of Episode 09: Inmate 78