A NEW TV PLAY TO READ AND SEE
Sunday, Nov. 25, at 10.20 p.m. (EST) is the CBC’s broadcast date for George Ryga’s halfhour play, INDIAN. Maclean’s here publishes the play, a photo report on the actors and director who made it for television, and a brief but arresting argument by the producer.
INDIAN, he says, is what television drama
can be, shoidd be, but almost never is
TELEVISION has been hoodwinked by one of its own clichés. For at least five of the last ten years the salesman’s slogan. “TV is a mass medium,” has dictated the style and subjectmatter of television plays as well as the way they're sold. As a result, television drama is dead in the United States and none too lively in Canada: “mass” is usually taken to mean watereddown far enough to suit the taste of every man, woman, and child over ten on the continent.
But “mass” is precisely what good television plays are not; what they are is the most personal kind of professional drama people have ever been able to see. A small picture reaches you in private, scanned into your mind — if its drama really means anything to you — almost the way the picture itself is scanned by the tube. If I’m right, that is w'hat George Ryga’s Indian will do.
With three characters, an Indian, an Indian agent and a farmer. Ryga’s play strikes straight at the peculiar damnation our kind of world has condemned the Indian to. Ryga, who has just turned thirty, was born and raised on a small farm near Athabasca in northern Alberta. He has lived and worked
alongside Albertan Indians long enough to know them well, and before we staged the play George McCowan, the director, and Len Birman, who plays the Indian, flew to Edmonton to spend a few days with Ryga at nearby Indian reservations. The things they finally say on the screen about the wordless rage that builds inside a man who has learned by experience that most of the world doesn't recognize his existence arc true, I believe, for the Indians of Alberta. But they are also true for the other minorities and the other individuals who get the same treatment from the safe and certain majority.
Indian won't make you laugh and it won't make you love yourself any better than you do already. Unless I'm wrong, though, it will break through the cheap euphoria that most television “drama” is aimed at, and engage the fears and guilts and fantasies that are the stuff real drama works with.
We've made television drama a kind of middle-class soap opera, the television set a sun lamp bathing the suburban living room in a soft glow of contentment. We've left no time or room for special cases. But this is what a good drama is, what Indian is: a special case. DARYL DUKE.
A large, empty set in flat, gray noncountry.
One might therefore think of the set as being on sandy flat land, almost desert-type, with only a few suggested tufts of scraggy growth. A suggestion of distant horizon. A suggestion of two or three fenceposts, newly driven, still bare of wire, receding in the distance. In foreground, one fence post newly and not yet fully driven in. Pile of dirt around the post. Shovel, hammer.
When the Indian agent enters, he actually drives in — or we cut him in already — in a big-three car, vintage about 1958. In the end he must start up and drive out. Maybe he can leave tracks in the sand.
Return camera to tent and pan to right, where Indian is asleep, hat on face, in short prairie grass. As camera holds on sleeper, there is sound of footsteps, and feet of the farmer approach, stopping short, of Indian's head.
WATSON floud and angry): What the hell! Come on — ya aimin' to die like that!
INDIAN (clutching his hut and sitting up. Lifts hut und looks up, then jerks hut down over face): Hey! The sun blind me! Boss, 1 am sick — head gonna explode! (tries to lie buck)
WATSON (grubbing Indian's arm and yanking him to his feet): There’s gonna be some bigger explosions if I don't get action outa vouse guys! What happened? Where’s the fat hoy — an' the guy with the wooden leg?
INDIAN: Jus' a minute, boss. Don't shout like that. (Looks carefully around him.) They not here. Guess they run away, boss — no? Roy, he not got wooden leg. He got bone leg same's you an' me — only it dried up an' look like wood. Small, too. (Lifts up his own right leg.) That shoe — that was fit Roy's bad leg. The other shoe is tight. But this one, she is hunder times tighter!
WATSON: (squatting): Is them Limpy’s boots?
INDIAN: Yah. I win them at poker last night. Boss, what a time we have — everybody go haywire!
WATSON (looks about him impatiently): I can see. Where’s your tent?
INDIAN (pointing to ashes): There she is! I never see anything burn like that before!
WATSON: The kid wasn't lyin' — you guys did burn the tent. INDIAN: What kid?
WATSON: Yore kid.
INDIAN (jumps to his feet): Alphonse? Where is Alphonse? He run away when Sam an' Roy start fight!
WATSON: Yeh — he came to the house. Told us how you guys got drunk an' wild. So the missus fixed him something to eat an' put him to bed.
INDIAN: He’s all right! Oh. that’s good, boss.
WATSON (smiling grimly): Like I said, the missus fed the kid. Then I took him an' put him in the grainery, lockin' the door so he ain't gonna get out. That’s for protection.
INDIAN: Protection? You don't need protection, boss. Alphonse not gonna hurt you.
WATSON: Ha! Ha! Ha! Big joke! Where arc yore pals, was gonna help you with this job?
INDIAN: I don't know — they run away when tent catch fire.
WATSON: That’s just great! You know what you guys done? Yesterday you nicked me for ten dollars. I'm hungry — the fat boy says to me — my stomach roar like thunder. He's gonna roar out the other end before I’m finished with you an' him! How much you figure the fence you put up is worth?
INDIAN (rubbing his eyes und trying to see the fence in the distance): I dunno, boss. You say job is worth forty dollars. Five, mebbe ten dollars done . . .
WATSON: Five dollars! Look here, smart guy — you've got twentynine posts in — I counted them. At ten cents apiece, you’ve done two dollars ninety cents worth of work! An’ you got ten dollars off me yesterday!
INDIAN (pondering sadly): Looks like you in the hole. boss.
WATSON: Maybe 1 am, an' maybe 1 ain't. I got yore kid in the grainery, locked up so he'll keep. You try to run off after yore pals, an’ I'm gonna take rny gun an' shoot a hole that big through the kid’s head! (Rings with his fingers to show exact size of injury he intends to make)
WATSON: Oh. sure! So what say. Indian? You gonna work real hard and be a good boy?
INDIAN: Boss — you know me. I work! Them other guys is no good, but not Johnny. I make deal — I keep deal. You see yourself I stay when they run.
WATSON: Sure, you stayed. You were too drunk to move. What goes on in yore heads — ah. hell! You ain't worth the bother!
INDIAN: No. no. boss. You all wrong.
WATSON: Then get to work. It's half past nine, and you ain't even begun to think about the fence.
INDIAN: Boss — little bit later. I sick man — head she hurt to burst, an' stomach — ugh! Boss—I not eat anything since piece of boloney yesterday . . .
WATSON (turning angrily): Go to hell — hear me? Go to hell! 1 got that story yesterday. Now g'wan — I wanna see some action!
INDIAN: All right, boss. You know me. You trust me.
WATSON: Trust you? I wouldn't trust you with the time of day! <Remembering something) Hey! There's a snoop from the Indian Affairs department tooling around today — checking on all you guys working off the reserve. You're workin" for me — so if you got any complaints, you better tell me now. I don't want no bellyachin' to no government guys.
INDIAN: Complaints? Me? I happy, boss. What you take me for?
WATSON: Sure. sure. Now' get back to work. An' remember what I told you — try to beat it. an' 1 shoot the kid. Understand?
INDIAN (removing his hat and wiping his brow): Sure, boss. I understand.
Watson leaves, and Indian looks towards the fence in the fields. Still a little unsteady the Indian makes his way over to the nearest (unfinished) fence post. Retrieves an old box, finds the twenty-pound
hammer, approaches pole but sits a moment on the box, hammer across his knees and rubs his eyes and forehead.
INDIAN: Sementos! But the head she is big today. Head hurt. Stomach, she is slopbucket full of turpentine. Two dollars a quart. Sam Cardinal says — with four dollars we get enough bad whisky to poison every Indian from here to Lac-la-Biche! You get one quart wood alcohol — mebbe half-quart Formalin, an' the rest is water from sick horse! That's kind whisky they make for Indian.
Indian gets up on box and starts to drive the post into the ground. Slops after a few seconds. Winded.
INDIAN: Sementos! When you work for Mr. Watson you work hard. Oh — that party we have. Sam Cardinal sing like sick cow, an' Roy McIntosh dance on his bad leg. Funny! Alphonse and I laugh until stomach ache. I won Roy's boots in poker but he dance anyhow'. Then Sam gets mad and he push Roy. Roy push him back. They fight.
Indian hits the post a few times more, trying to summon up strength to get on with the work. Tosses the hammer down angrily and comes down off the box. Sits heavily, back to the post. Rubs stomach.
INDIAN: Boy, I hungry. Worse than yesterday. Sam talk to Mr. Watson, get ten dollars for grub. Buy whisky, buy boloney an' two watermelon. He already eat most of boloney and 1 see him give hunk to friendly dog. I kick dog. Sam get mad. Why you do that — dog do nothing to you? I say he eat my grub. He can go catch cat if he hungry. I eat cat once myself — wdnter 1956. Not much meat an' tough like rope. I never eat cat again. Sementos, but the head hurt.
Indian gels up and retrieves the hammer.
INDIAN: Scared talk. World is full of scared talk. I show scare, an" I get job from Mr. Watson. A scared Indian is a live Indian. My head don't get Alphonse out free — but hands do.
Climbs on box and is about to strike post. We hear sound of car.
INDIAN: Hello. I am big man today. First Mr. Watson — an’ now car come to see me. If 1 not get outa way, he gonna hit me, sure as hell! (Gets off box and watches. Car stops alongside him. Lettering on door reads “Department of Indian Affairs.“)
AGENT (stepping out of car): Hi there, fella! How's it going?
INDIAN: Hello mister — everything is going one hunder fifty percent! (Rises on box and lifts hammer to drive post)
AGENT: I saw a burned-out camp back at the road . . . everything O.K.?
INDIAN: Sure, everything O.K. You want complaints?
AGENT: What do you mean?
INDIAN: I just say. if you want complaints. I give you lots. My tent, she is burn down last night. My partners — they run away — leave me to do big job myself. I not got money, and boss, he's got my Alphonse ready to shoot if I try run. You want more complaints? (Drives hard on hammer and groans.) Mebbe you want know' how my head she hurts inside?
AGENT (relieved): Hey, c’mere! I'll give you a smoke to make you feel better — you're in rough shape, hoy! What do you want — pipe tobacco or cigarette? I got both.
INDIAN (drops hammer and comes down fron) box): The way 1 feel. I could smoke old stocking full of straw. Gimme cigarette! (Examines cigarette given him.) You make lotsa money from guvment boss — tobacco here, an' cotton there — some cigarette? Which end you light? (Laughs)
AGENT: Light whichever end you want — you can eat it for all I care. That's some hat — where'd you get it?
INDIAN (accepting light): Win at poker, mister.
AGENT (examining him closely): Aren't those boots tight? I suppose you stole them!
CONTINUED ON PAGE 45
from page 33
INDIAN: No boss. Poker.
AGENT: And that shirt — look at it. Have shirt, will travel!
INDIAN: 1 steal that from my brother, when he sick an' dying. He never catch me.
AGENT (laughs and wipes his eyes): That's good! I must tell the boys about you — what’s your name?
INDIAN: You think is funny me steal shirt from my brother when he die? You think that funny, bossman? 1 think you lousy. You think that funny, too?
AGENT (taken hack): Hold on now — what did you say?
INDIAN: You hear what 1 say.
AGENT (takes out notebook): Just give me your name, and we’ll settle with you later.
INDIAN: Turn around an' walk to
road. If you want see me steal. I steal wheels off your car. You try catch me.
AGENT (angrily): Give me your name!
INDIAN: Maybe I forget — maybe 1 got no name at all.
AGENT: l.ook here, boy — don’t give me any backtalk or I might have to turn a report in on you. and next time Indian benefits are given out. yours might be hard to claim!
INDIAN: So. you got no name for me. How you gonna report me when you not know' who I am? You want name? All right, I give you name. Write down—Joe Bush!
AGENT: I haven't got all day. fella. Are you. or are you not going to tell me your name?
INDIAN: No. 1 never tell you. mister. It make you scared you should know too much about me.
AGENT (slamming hook shut angrily): That does it! By God. if 1 have to go after you myself. I'm gonna find ‘out who you arc!
INDIAN: Don't get mad, boss—I sorry for what I say. I got such hurting head. I don't know' what I say.
AGENT: Been drinking, eh? What was it this time — homebrew, or shaving lotion?
INDIAN: Maybe homebrew' — maybe coffee. I don’t know. Why you ask me?
.AGENT: YOU know as well as I do. Besides, bad liquor’s going to kill you sooner than anything else.
INDIAN (excitedly): You believe that? You really mean what you say?
AGENT: What? About bad liquor — sure I do!
INDIAN: Then get me bottle good, clean Canadian whisky! I never drink clean whisky in my life!
AGENT : Come on now'—you're as . . .
INDIAN: I give you twenty dollars for bottle!
AGENT: Stop it! Boy, you must have something more than a hangover wrong in your head!
INDIAN: That car yours? AGENT: Yes.
INDIAN: How' come all that writing — but your name not on it? Why you not tell truth?
AGENT: Well. 1 work for the government. and they provide us . . .
INDIAN: Thirty dollars! AGENT: Look here . . .
INDIAN: How come you not in big
city with office job? How come you drive around an' talk to dirty, stupid Indian? You not have much school, or mebbe something else wrong with you to have such bad job.
AGENT: Shut up. you lousy--
INDIAN: Thirty-five dollars! No more! AGENT: Will you shut up?
INDIAN (defiantly): No! I not shut up! You not man at all — you cheap woman who love for money! Your
mother was woman pig, an' your father man dog.
AGENT (startled and frightened): What . . . what are you saying?
INDIAN (coming up face to face with agent): You wanna hit me? Come on — hit me! You kill me easy, an’ they arrest you — same people who give you car. Hit me — even little bit — come on! You coward! Just hit me like this (ships palms together) . . . come on. You know what 1 do?
AGHN l (looking apprehensively around hint): What?
INDIAN: I go report you tor heating Indian, and you lose joh. Come on show me you arc man! (Dances provocatively around agent)
AGI N i (turning to his c ar): I'm getting out of here — you're crazy!
INDIAN (jumps on front bumper of car): No. You not go nowhere! Maybe nobody here now to see what happen but after accident, lots of people come from everywhere. I gonna stand here, an' when you drive, I fall off and you drive over me. How you gonna explain that, bossman?
AGE; NT (frightened): I got nothing
against you, boy. What's the matter with you? What do you want with me?
INDIAN: I want nothing from you -just to talk to me — to know who I am. Once you go into car, I am outside again. I tell you about my brother, an' how he die.
AGI:NT : 1 don't want to hear about your brother or anyone else. Now get off my car!
INDIAN: You gonna listen, mister. You gonna listen like I tell you. (Jumps up and down on bumper.) Boy, you ride like in bed! Mister, who am I?
AGENT: HOW in the devil do I know who you are — or what you want with me. I'm just doing a job — saw the burned-out camp and . . .
INDIAN: How you know who any of us are? How many of us got birth certificates to give us name and age on reserve? Maybe you think I get passport an' go to France — or marry the way bossman get married! You think that?
AGENT: I don't care who you are or what you think. Just get hack to your job and leave me alone!
INDIAN (bounces car again): Boy, is like pillow on wheels! If I ever have car like this. I never walk again.
AGENT : Ciet off! I've got to get back into town.
INDIAN: Maybe you not go back at all. AGENT: What do you mean by that?
INDIAN (coming off car and walking towards agent until they are standing face to face): You know what it is like to kill someone —not with hate — not with any feelings here at all? (Puts his hand over his heart)
AGENT (stepping back in alarm): This is ridiculous! Look, boy — I'll give you anything I can, just get out of my hair. That whisky you want — I'll get it for you! Won't cost you a cent. I promise.
INDIAN: Someone that maybe you
loved. Mister — I want to tell you something . . .
INDIAN (catching hold of agent's shirt front): Listen, damn you! 1 kill like that once! You never know at Indian office — nobody tell you — nobody ever tell you! I gotta tell you about my brother — he die three, four — maybe five years ago. My friend been collecting treaty payments on his name — he know how many years now.
AGENT: YOU couldn't . .
INDIAN : I couldn't?
AGENT: There are laws in this country
— nobody escapes the law!
INDIAN: What law? AGENT: The laws of the country. INDIAN (threateningly): What law? \GENT: YOU mustn't kill.
INDIAN: I tell you about my brother
— I tell you everything. Then you tell me if there is law' for all men.
\gent: No! Leave me alone! 1 don't want to hear about your brother!
JNDIAN (fiercely): You listen! Look around — what you see? Field an' dust, an" some work I do. You an' me — you fat, me hungry. 1 got nothing, an' you got money, car. Maybe you are better man than 1, but I am not afraid — an' I can move faster. What happen if I get mad, an' take hammer to you?
AGENT: YOU . . . wouldn’t. . .
INDIAN: You wrong. Nobody see us. Maybe you lucky an" get away -who believe you? You tell one story
— I tell another. 1 lose nothing — but you gonna listen about my brother, that's for sure!
AGENT (desperately): Look boy. let's be sensible — let's behave like two grown men. I'll drive you into town
— buy you a big dinner! Then we'll go out and buy that w'hisky 1 promised You can go then, find your friends and have another party tonight. Nohodv will care, and you'll have a good time!
INDIAN (spitting): You lousy dog!
AGENT: NOW don't get excited! I'm only saying what I think is best — if you don't want to come, then let me go and we'll forget all about today, and that we ever saw one another!
INDIAN (releasing him): You think I forget I see you? I got you here like picture in my head. I try to forget you
— like I try to forget my brother — but you never leave me alone!
AGENT (trying to compose himself): I'm just a joe doing a job, boy — remember that. I know there's a lot bothers you — we all got problems — but take them where they belong.
(Ihills out cigarettes and nervously lights one for himself)
INDIAN: Gimme that!
AGENT: This is mine — I lit it for myself! Here, I'll give you another one!
INDIAN: I want that one!
AGENT: NO, damn it! Have a new one.
Indian jumps behind agent and catches him with arm around throat. Then with other hand reaches out and takes lit cigarette out of agent's mouth. Throws agent to the field.
AGENT (rising and rubbing his eyes): What's wrong with you . . . why did you do that?
INDIAN: Get up — I want to tell you something. (Agent still sits, stretching and rubbing his neck) Get up — or I kick your brains in! (Agent staggers to his feet and leans uncertainly against car) My brother was hungry
— an' he get job on farm of white boss to dig a well. Pay is one dollar for every five feet down. My brother dig twenty feet—two day hard work. He call up to boss, give me planks.
for the blue clay is getting wet. To hell with what you see. boss shout down hole — just dig. Very soon, the clay shift, an' my brother is trapped to the shoulders. He yell, an' the water rise to his chin. Boss, boss! He yell, pull me out! 1 can't move, an' the air. she is squeezed out of me! But boss on top, he is scared to go down in hole. He leave to go to next farm, an’ after that, another farm, until he find another Indian to send down hole. An' all the time from
down there, my brother yell at the sky. Jesus C hrist! Help me — white man leave me here to die. But Jesus Christ not hear my brother, an' the water she rise to his lips. Pretty soon, he put his head back until his hair an' ears in slimy blue clay an' water. He no more hear himself shout — but he shout all the same!
AGENT: 1 wasn't there! 1 couldn't help him!
INDIAN: He see stars in the sky — lots
of stars. A man see stars even in day when he look up from hole in earth.
AGENT: 1 couldn't help him — 1 don't want to hear about him!
INDIAN: Then Sam Cardinal come. Sam is a coward. But when he see my brother there in well, an' the blue clay moving around him like living thing, he go down. Sam dig with his hands until he get rope around my brother. Then he come up. an' he an' white bossman pull. My brother no
longer remember, an' he not hear the angry crack of mud anwater when they pull him free.
AGENT (with relief): Then he lived! Thank God!
INDIAN: Sure he live. You hunt? AGENT: Hunt? You mean shooting? INDIAN: Yeh.
AGENT: Sure — I go out every year.
INDIAN: You ever shoot deer — not enough to kill, but enough to break one leg forever? Or maybe hit deer in eye. an’ it run away, blind on one side for wolf to kill?
AGENT: I nicked a moose two years hack — never did track it down. But I didn’t shoot it in the eye.
INDIAN: How you know for sure?
AGENT: Well, I just didn’t. I never shoot that way.
INDIAN: You only shoot — where bullet hit you not know. Then what you do?
AGENT: I tried to track it. hut there had been only a light snow, and I lost the tracks.
INDIAN: SO you not follow?
AGENT: NO. I walked back to camp. My friend and I had supper, and we drove home that night.
INDIAN: Forget all about moose you hurt?
AGENT: No. I did w'orry about what happened to him!
INDIAN: You dream of him that night?
AGENT: What the hell? Dream about a moose? There’s more important things to worry about!
INDIAN: Then you not worry. You forget as soon as you can. Moose not
run away from you — you run away from moose!
AGENT: I didn't . . . You're crazy! (Moves to car hut Indian jumps forward and stops him) Here! You leave me alone . . . you got a lot of wild talk in your head, but you can't push your weight around with me! I’m getting out of here! Hey! (Indian catches him hy arm and rolls him to fall face down in the dust)
INDIAN: What you call man who has lost his soul?
AGENT: I don't know. Let go of me!
INDIAN: We have name for man like that. You know the name?
AGENT: NO, I don't. You’re breaking my arm!
INDIAN: We call man like that sementos. Remember that name — for you are sementos.
AGENT: Please, fella—leave me alone
— I never hurt you that I know of.
INDIAN: Sure. (Releases agent, who rises to his feet, dusty and disheveled)
AGENT: I want to tell you something
— I want you to get this straight, because every man has to make up his mind, and I've made mine up now. This has gone on far enough. If this is a joke, then I don't see the fun in it. One way or another. I'm going to get away from you, and when I do. I'm turning you in to the police! You belong in jail!
INDIAN (laughs): Maybe you are man. We been in jail long time now, sementos.
AGENT And stop calling me that name!
INDIAN: O.K., O.K.—I call you bossman. You know what bossman mean to me?
YGENT: I don’t want to know.
INDIAN (laughs again): You wise — you get it. I not got much to say, then you go.
AGENT (bewildered): You’re not going to bother me anymore?
INDIAN: I finish my story, an' you go — go to town, go to hell — go anyplace. My brother — you know what kind of life he had? He was not dead, an' he was not alive.
AGENT : You sa id he came out of the
well safely — what are you talking about?
INDIAN: No, he was not alive. He was too near dead to live. White boss get rid of him quick. Here, says boss here is three dollars pay. I dig twenty feet. I make four dollars, my brother say. Bossman laugh. I take dollar for shovel you leave in hole, he says. My brother come hack to reserve, but he not go home. He live in my tent. At night, he wake up shouting, an' in daytime, he is like man who has no
mind. He walk around, an' many times get lost in the hush, an' other Indian find him anbring him back. He get very sick. For one month he lie in bed. Then he try to get up. But his legs an" arms arc dried to the bone, like branches of dying tree. AGENT: He must've had polio!
INDIAN: It not matter. One night, he say to me: go to other side of lake tomorrow, an' take my wife an' my son Alphonse. Take good care of 'em. I won't live the night. I reach out an'
touch him. for he talk like devil fire was on him. But his head an' check is cold. You will live, 1 say to my brother, you will live, an' take care of your wife an' Alphonse yourself. But my brother shake his head. He say to me: Help me to die.
AGENT: Why . . . didn't you . . . take him to hospital?
INDIAN (laughs bitterly): Hospital! A dollar he took from dying man for the shovel buried in blue clay —hospital! Burn in hell!
AGENT: NO . . . no . . . this I don't understand at all.
INDIAN: 1 kill my brother. In my arms 1 hold him. He was so light — like small boy. I hold him . . . rock him hack and forward like this — like mother rock us when we tiny kids. I rock him an’ I cry. 1 get my hands tight on his neck, an' I squeeze an' 1 squeeze. I know he dead, an' 1 still squeeze an' cry, for everything is gone, an' I am old man now — only hunger an' hurt left now.
AGENT: Good God!
INDIAN: I take off his shirt an' pants
— I steal everything 1 can wear. Then I dig under tent, where ground is soft, an' 1 bury my brother. After that, I go on other side of lake. When I tell my brother's wife what I did -— she not say anything for long time. Then she look at me with eyes that never make tears again.
Take Alphonse, she say, 1 go to live with every man who have me. Then she leave her tent, an’ I alone with Alphonse.
1 take Alphonse, an' I come back. All Indians know what happen, hut nobody say anything — not to me — not to you. Some halfbrecd born outside reservation take my brother's name — an' you, bossman. not know.
AGENT (quietly, as though he were the authority again): We have to know
— you understand, don't you? You have to tell me your brother's name.
INDIAN: I know. 1 tell you. Was
AGENT (takes out notebook and writes): Tommy Stone — good. You know what I have to do, don't you? It’s my job — it’s the way I feel. We all have to live within the law. Ours is a civilized country — you understand, don't you? (Tarns to ear) I'm going now. Don't try to run before the police come.
INDIAN (makes no attempt to hinder agent): Sure, mister — you right. (Agent opens car door) Wait! 1 tell you wrong! Name is not Tommy Stone — Tommy Stone is me! Name is Johnny Stone!
AGENT (withdraws notebook again): Johnny Stone? Let’s get this straight
now — your brother is Johnny Stone? And you're Tommy Stone? (Indian nods) O.K.. boy. I've got that. Now' remember what I said, and just stay here. (Returns to car)
INDIAN: No. mister — you got whole business screwed up again! 1 Johnny Stone — my brother, he is Tommy Stone!
AGENT (quickly yettiny into car and starting motor. Rolls down window): Look. Indian — what in hell is your name anyhow? Who are you?
INDIAN: My name — you want my name?
Cither he comes out with notebook to yet it. or Indian suddenly opens car door and drays the friyhtened ayent out by the collar of his coat, pushiny him ayainsl car and confrontiny, teasiny him.
AGENT : Yes — that's right. II it's not too much trouble to give me a straight answer. What is your name?
INDIAN: Sam C ardinal is my name.
AGEN I (with disyust): Now it's Sam Cardinal. What do you take me for anyway? You waste my time—-you rough me up like 1 was one of your drunken Indian friends — and now I can't get a straight answer to a simple question. But what the heck the police can find out who you are and what you've done.
INDIAN: No. sementos! You never
find out! (Throws leys apart and takes a stance like man balanciny on threshold.) You go to reservation with hunder policemen, you try to find
Johnny Stone — you try find Tommy Stone — Sam Cardinal, too — mebbe you find everybody, mebbe you find nobody. All Indians same. Nobody. Listen to me! One brother is dead — who? Tommy Stone? Johnny Stone? Joe Bush? Look — (turns out both pockets of his pants. holdiny them out. showiny them empty) I got nothing — nothing -—no wallet — no money — no name. I got no past . . . no future . . . nothing. I nobody. I not even live in this world. I dead. You get it? I dead. (Shruys in one yreat yesture) I never been anybodv. / not just dead — / never live at all. What it matter? (Ayent has look like medieval peasant meetiny leper—fear, pity, haired) What matter if I choke you till you like rag in my hands? . . . Hit you mebbe with twenty -pound hammer, break in your head like watermelon, leave you dry in wind and feed ants . . . What matter if police come an' take me? Mister! Listen damn you — listen! One brother kill another brother — whv? (shakes ayent furiously by the lapels) Why? Why? Why?
Ayent suddenly really in terror summons up initiative to yet into the car and drive off. Indian just lets him yo and watches him out of frame.
INDIAN (quieter, askiny his question of the noncountry around him): What anything matter? . . . Mebbe one thing matter. One brother kill another brother. Why? Is important. Why? (Turniny away. Pickiny up hammer.) Ugh, sementos! (spits)