THE PROSPECTOR & MISS KITTY
Kitty Cattrall – The Town School Teacher
(Bill stumbles down the sidewalk, dirty and tired, disheveled with only one boot on, carrying a small bag (sock, actually) filled with gold! He approaches Miss Kitty, who has been crying and is obviously upset.)
Miss Kitty: Bill? Dakota Bill? Is that you?
Bill: Hiya, Miss Kitty. How’s my favorite teacher?
Kitty: Well, okay, I guess, but I haven't seen you in over four months! What happened? You look plain awful!
Bill: Well, Miss Kitty, you just ain’t gonna believe what happened to me. I was up in the Black Hills diggin’ for gold, an’ havin’ a bit o’ luck, too. I stuffed some gold in my lucky sock here (pulls out his lucky sock filled with gold). So I was diggin' a big hole, and it got purty deep, so deep that I couldn't dig no more, so I had ta blast. Well, my pack mule, ol' Bessie, she don’t like it none when I use dynamite, and she goes runnin’ off ever' time. I figured I oughta tie her up around my ankle, thinkin’ that would keep her from runnin’ away. Well, I lit the fuse and it made an awful explosion. It scared poor Bessie so bad she took off on a full gallop. Scared me, too, after realizin’ I still had her tied around my ankle... She was draggin' me along with her. That mule didn't stop for three days! I kept praying to God that she would trip or get tired or somethin'. I was real worried since she was carryin' about 50 pounds of dynamite on her back. I's afraid it might explode and blow us both up! Well, finally, my boot slipped off an' I slid to a stop. Ol’ Bessie kept on goin’! She must be somewhere's in the Oregon Territory by now! But I had to walk 40 miles back to town! The Good Lord shoorly was takin' good care of me, though, cause, even after all that, I still had my gold! I kept thinkin' about bein' able to buy a big ol’ cattle ranch, eat steak ever'day, wearin' some spiffy threads, y'know? One o' them big tall hats, some new boots, new drawers.... And I could live like a king for the rest of my days!
Kitty: Wow, Bill, that sure is quite a story! And now you’ve got all that….(tears start coming)...gold! (starts to sob)
Bill: Why, Miss Kitty, why are you cryin’? What’s wrong?
Kitty: Oh, Bill, it’s just awful! Just plain AWFUL! Last night, just after the sun went down, some...CREATURE...came gallopin' through town like a runaway train, making all kinds of noise. It must've run through the hotel's clothesline, because it was covered with a white sheet, so no one got a good look at it. But it ran right past the saloon, right into the front door of the barber shop, out the back door, slammed right into the side of the schoolhouse, and exploded on contact!!! It was like Independence Day and New Year's Eve all rolled together. It was a huge commotion! The schoolhouse was completely burned to the ground! There's nothing left. The sheriff thinks it must've been some kind of prank, like maybe somebody tied a bunch of dynamite to some poor animal. But now we’ve got 25 kids in this town with nowhere to go to learn how to read and write and add (sobs).
Bill: Oh, Miss Kitty, that’s so awful. (Suddenly it dawns on him that it was Ol' Bessie, the pack mule, who caused the school to burn down. He guiltily looks at his gold.) I...uh....I want you to have this gold. Use it to build a new school house.
Kitty: Oh, Bill, I couldn't do that!
Bill: Please take it. I never got no education, and those kids need a place to learn (hands her his lucky sock, filled with gold).
Kitty: (Taking it from him) But, Bill, what about your ranch, and eatin’ steak everyday, and all that? You’ve gone through too much to give this gold away.
Bill: Don’t worry about me. I’ll find some more…I hope. (Under his breath) Soon’s I find Ol’ Bessie.
Kitty: Oh, Bill, thank you! Thank you so much! Now we’ll be able to build a brand new school house! (She begins crying tears of joy, and gives him a big hug, though stops abruptly after smelling him.) Is there, uh, anything I can do for you? (They begin walking offstage.) Like, offer you a bath?
Bill: No, no, just knowing that the money will be going toward something worthwhile is good enough.
Kitty: (Exiting) Well, thank you, Bill. You're a good man. (Exits)
Bill: You’re welcome, Miss Kitty. (Looks up) Thank You. (Exits)