Ghost Bandits Western Script
“GHOST BANDITS” By Robert Roe 503-998-2479
Hundred and twenty year old Harvard Professor JESSE JENNINGS leaves behind a wooden box holding the secret story of his youth in 1836. Just following his funeral a group of friends and professors gather on campus to open the box. A mysterious guest, DAYWIND, an American Indian, has arrived to join those gathered in the small campus theatre. Among the items found in the old wooden box is a manuscript, that when read, takes the audience on a wildest of rides into the old west- the tallest Texas tale ever told.
Now imagine a lone Ranger, JENNINGS, sent out to see if there is any truth to the story of the North Country Ghost Bandits. After days and days of wandering he hears cannon fire from the distance. Upon arriving he finds a wagon train under a vicious attack by Bandits. He manages to surprise the Bandits by taking over a cannon position. With this move he routes the bandits and rescues, JODY BARRAT, a feisty girl who proved herself with her father’s gun during the battle.
Meanwhile, an Indian, DAYWIND, propelled by a mysterious force, has brought the Bandits son, eight year old, JESSE, to the same battle to watch his parents slaughter the wagon train. Jesse watches in horror only to wake up later back at camp- thinking it all had been a dream. Daywind, who can only be seen by the boy, begins to spend time educating the young lad.
Ranger Jennings and the Jody flee for their lives. After she stops at a river to pray for father, who had just died in the wagon train massacre, a group of bandits show up. As they chase Jennings and Jody up the riverbank, a flash flood moves swiftly down stream, and after barely missing Jody and Jennings, the bandits are washed away. Now, Ranger Jennings, turns his attention to getting the girl back south to San Antonio but she was leg shot in the battle.- and it doesn’t look good- on a forced track toward home Ranger Jennings falls from his saddle- exhausted, fearing the girl will die- then he sees a strange Indian- when he awakes the girl is well, and they press on south. This girl, Jody, is spunky, and sneaks back North with her Pa’s fancy rifle and begins to pick off the bandits one by one from the distant hills- Jennings, leaves the war that has broke out with Mexico to go find her. The second time he does this, he gets captured by the Ghost Bandits. Ma has a permanent scar on her forehead from Jennings rifle when he hit her, and seeks her revenge by torturing Jennings daily with a hot iron. Virgil lauches a plan to capture the person who has been shooting his men one by one, and leaves the boy to guard the Ranger. Now comes a defining moment- when he education kicks in and a chooce becomes evident to him- to be a good man or to follow in the steps of his father- the key or the gun – one in each hand- what will he do? He chooses to release the Ranger but gets caught by Ma who sneaks back. As the tension grows, young Jesse is forced to shoot Ma- now that he know she is not his real mother, but the nanny who had raised him. The Ranger hangs Ma up and sets a trap- barrels of explosives set do go off when she is cut down- and the ride out to find Jody out in the hills. A battle takes place with five bandits where Jesse demonstrates his bravery and resolve to fight for good. Then, Virgil returns- sees Ma hanging from the porch of the house- cuts her down, and is blow away by the explosion with the remaining ones of his men. While Jesse, Jennings, Jody and Nanna watch from a hillside, a tornado sets down on the camp after the explosion, turns to fire, and when it blows out there is no sign that a camp had ever existed there- nothing left.