Dust Bowl – Chapter 5
The great Dust Bowl of the 1930′s strikes and Oklahoman Woody Loggins and his Mexican friend Pepe pack up shop and head West.
Chapter 5 – Dust Can’t Kill Me
(INS Agent Jim Pinkerton is leading a band of horses carrying the bound Pepe Alejandro Guadalupe Giuseppe Alonzo Gomez, Woody Loggins, Max Eisenberg and Rose Nightengale…)
Pinkerton: We’ve got two options, people. I can take Mr. Gomez south to Mexico, let him go and drop all charges against the three of you.
Woody: I thought we were already in Mexico.
Rose: We’re in New Mexico.
Woody: I’m not following.
Pinkerton: Or I can take the four of you to the nearest federal prison, in Southern California.
(The group exchanges a glance…)
Woody: (grinning) Oh no, don’t take us there.
Pinkerton: I’ll give you a few minutes to decide. Just know that I’m willing to drop all charges if Mr. Gomez agrees to return to his native land. If not, I’m afraid I have to file the original charges against Mr. Gomez and charge the rest of you with aiding and abetting a known fugitive.
(Agent Pinkerton hops off his horse and walks to a nearby stream to fill up his canteen…)
Woody: Jeez what’d you do, Pepe? Shoot a guy?
Pepe: Please, Mr. Loggins. Just let him take me back to Mexico. You go on to California without me. I don’t want you to get in trouble.
Woody: No. We’re friends. And friends stick together. Max, you’re a shyster lawyer. What are our options?
Max: Well first of all, I would prefer if you would stop calling me a shyster.
Woody: (nods) We’ll take that under consideration.
Max: And secondly, I would have to know more about the case so I can better represent those charged. Do you know why you’ve been arrested, Pepe?
Pepe: No, sir.
Pinkerton: (returning with a full canteen) Mr. Gomez here was holding illegal cockfights back in Okafunkskee.
Woody: (gasps) Pepe, you were fighting men with your penis? For shame!
Pinkerton: Son, cockfighting refers to a blood sport between two roosters.
Woody: Oh, is that what you were doing with all your friends and those roosters behind the barn on Saturday nights.
Pepe: (slaps forehead)
Pinkerton: (raises eyebrow)
Woody: I mean….not….doing.
(Jim Pinkerton and the foursome are heading west on horseback to federal prison. Max has trotted up next to Pepe to learn more of the case in order to better represent him. Woody and Rose are bringing up the rear…)
Woody: Still don’t get why they ran out of horses and I have to ride a donkey.
Rose: So what are your plans for California; once Max gets us out of this predicament, of course.
Woody: I dunno. Farming’s all I’ve ever known. And frankly I wasn’t that good at it, even before the dust storms. My pops was the farmer. When he died it was just me, my mom and my younger brother and sister. Ma was never really well, so I had to take over the farming duties.
Rose: Your mom was never well? What was the matter with her, if I may ask.
Woody: She had Huntington’s. She basically went mad. One day out in the fields, I saw our house in flames. It was all ashes by the time I got to it. Sheriff called it an accident, said a lantern tipped over; but everybody knew Ma did it. The Huntington’s took her brain and my brother and sister with her.
Rose: Jesus, that’s horrible.
Woody: That’s when I met Pepe. He didn’t have a family either, walked all the way to Oklahoma from a little town in Mexico. He helped me rebuild the farmhouse and he’s been with me ever since. Plus he’s one of the few who know how to handle me when I’m having one of my episodes. If keeping him with me means we have to go to the pokey together, then so be it.
Rose: My fiancee will make sure that doesn’t happen.
Woody: At least now I know why all our chickens kept dying so gruesomely. (sighs) I wish Pepe had just been fighting other men with his penis instead.
(Having arrived in Los Angeles by train overnight, President Hoover’s Chief of Staff Reginald Thorngood is meeting with Dr. Louis Pasteur in a lab at the University of California, Los Angeles…)
Pasteur: Here it is, Monsieur Thorngood. Zee polio virus. You simply inject zee needle into le victim un POOF! Very sick, legs don’t work.
Thorngood: (hands the French doctor an envelope holding a wad of bills) Merci beaucoup, Doctor. (holds syringe up in the sunlight) Merci beaucoup.
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