(GABBY, BOZE, PYLES and PAULA also have lines.) SCENE: The year is 1935. The interior of the Black Mesa Filling Station and Bar-B-Q— a rustic diner/gas station in the middle of the eastern Arizona desert, known as the Petrified Forest. It’s midday and very hot and humid. This is rattlesnake country. Tumbleweed and hot gusts of wind swirl outside. JACKIE swaggers into the diner, brandishing a Thompson submachine gun. She’s a hard woman, her face drawn and full of suspicion. She’s dressed in the style of Bonnie Parker of Bonnie and Clyde—a tilted beret, ill-fitting jacket and dress. JACKIE steps to the side of the door, clears her throat and makes an announcement. JACKIE
This is Duke Mantee, folks. He’s the world-famous killer and he’s hungry.
(DUKE MANTEE enters. He’s well-built but stoop shouldered, with a vaguely thoughtful, saturnine face. He is about thirty-five and, if he hadn’t elected to take up banditry, might have been a fine leftfielder. There is, about him, one quality of resemblance to ALAN SQUIER: he too is unmistakably condemned. He is hatless and unshaven and wears an ill-fitting suit with a gray prison shirt. MANTEE carries no visible arms.) DUKE
What’s in there and in there? (He speaks quietly, even gently, with an effortless ferocity.)
That’s the kitchen, and in there’s our bedrooms.
Anybody else in?
My grandfather’s in there and the cook. There’s nobody in there.
Bring ‘em in, Jackie.
(He calls offstage.)
Hey, Pyles. (Pyles’ voice is heard to reply: “Yeah, boss.”) Back that car into the shadows and stay with it.
PYLES’ VOICE: Do I get to eat?
You’ll eat. (DUKE takes his coat off, revealing a harness over his waistcoat with two revolcers in holsters under either arm-pit. He folds his coat neatly and lays it on the bench, then turns to RUBY. BOZE lowers his hand.) Keep ‘em up.
How long do we stay here?
Until they get here.
You’re going to wait for that blonde?
You sit down there. Football player, eh?
Yes. And you better not get close enough to take a sock at you.
I used to be quite a fan. What’s your school?
Never heard of it.
So you’re Mantee, are you? You’re the killer!
Yes, Pop. That’s the greatest killer alive today. Did you hear what happened in Oklahoma City?
All right. Cook the chicken and four hamburgers. And plenty of onions.
Boy, that was some massacre!
Take a look around outside. Tell Pyles not to hit that horn unless somebody comes up that really looks like trouble, and then to hit it plenty. Bring us beer for the bunch, sister. (He addresses Boze and Gramps.) You fellas like to join us? The cops ain’t likely to catch up with us—not tonight. So we can all be quiet and peaceable, and have a few beers together, and listen to the music—and not make any wrong moves. Because—I may as well tell you, folks—old Jackie there, with the machine-gun—he’s pretty nervous and jumpy and he’s got the itch between his fingers. So let’s everybody stay where they are. Here’s happy days.