Murder at Stodge City by Chris Shelstone

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent

CHARACTERS

Diamond Lil – Owner of The Rusty Spur Saloon
Ruby: – Diamond Lil’s Daughter
Peaches Divine – Barmaid at The Rusty Spur
Prospect Pete – A Local Prospector
Klondike Keith – Pete’s son
Wyatt Twerp – County Sheriff
Dirty Dick – Railroad Businessman
Milky Bar Kid – Local Cowboy
Sapphire Steele – Diamond Li’s Twin Sister
Big Chief Nokia – Local Indian Chief
Little TP Mobile – Chief Nokia’s Indian Squaw Daughter
Will Digam – Local Undertaker
Jose – Mexican Lawman

MURDER AT STODGE CITY

The scene is set in Diamond Lil's Bar, the Rusty Spur Saloon, in
Stodge City. The audience is part of the saloon bar guests. There is a
large table to represent a bar with a few bottles & glasses. Prospect
Pete and his son Klondike Keith are already sat at one of the tables
having a drink and playing cards. Diamon Lil is topping up their
drinks and cleaning the bar etc. At the appropriate starting time she
addresses the audience to introduce herself and some of the other
characters.

DIAMOND LIL: Hi everyone and welcome to The Rusty Spur Saloon. Diamond
Lil's saloon bar. As you might have guessed my name is...Diamond Lil.
I own and run this little place in Stodge City. It's a big day today.
My daughter Ruby is getting married right here in the saloon bar.
Yeah, I'm the proudest Ma in town.

Peaches Divine enters and goes behind the bar to start work.

PEACHES DIVINE: Hi Lil, how’s it going? Wedding plans going ok? I
see we got plenty of customers in tonight ready to watch the big day.

DIAMOND LIL: It’s going fine thanks. Just dandy. (To audience) This
is Peaches Divine, one of my girls, and helps around the bar. She
hasn’t been in town for long. Looking for a place to settle.

PEACHES DIVINE: I’m grateful for the opportunity to work here and
settle down Lil.

DIAMOND LIL: Now, also in town today we have Prospect Pete.

PROSPECT PETE: (standing up and approaching the guests) Hi everyone.
I'm Prospect Pete and this is my son Keith – better known as
Klondike Keith. We're the local prospectors, or gold diggers as they
say. Say Hi Son.

KLONDIKE KEITH: Hi Everyone.

PROSPECT PETE: That's my boy. Over to you Lil. I guess you're going to
tell these good folks about us? (He sits back down)

DIAMOND LIL: They may as well know. Pete and I have a bit of history
folks. We were married years back, but it never worked out. We drifted
apart - especially when he had a fling with someone. (Hits Pete over
the head sending his hat flying) He admitted it alright, but I never
found out who it was. Did I Pete?

PROSPECT PETE: And my lips are still sealed, Lil. I ain't for telling
.
DIAMOND LIL: I'll get it out of you one of these days, and when I do,
I'll do time for both of you!

KLONDIKE KEITH: Let it go, Lil. Pa has tried to move on, and so should
you. Anyway, you haven't finished introducing our other regulars to
your new customers.

DIAMOND LIL: Speaking of which, where is The Kid? Have you seen him
Keith?

KLONDIKE KEITH: No. Have you seen him Pa?

PROSPECT PETE: No. Have you seen him Peaches?

PEACHES DIVINE: No. Have you seen him Lil?

DIAMOND LIL: It's like a flaming echo in here! That's what I was
asking in the first place. Hang on, I think I hear something.

SFX – The Milky Bar Kid theme tune starts.

KLONDIKE KEITH: This sounds like he’s about to arrive.

The theme tune continues, and the Milky Bar Kid enters, suitably
dressed in a white cowboy outfit.

ALL: (in a loud voice) It's the Milky Bar Kid.

MILKY BAR KID: The milky bars are on me.

Gives out some milky bars as he comes through the audience and finally
approaches Lil.

MILKY BAR KID: How's it going Lil?

DIAMOND LIL: Well, we’ve got a good crowd in tonight, but generally
speaking business could be a whole lot better.

MILKY BAR KID: You need more passing trade, Lil. A railway through
this town would help.

DIAMOND LIL: Well I hope it comes soon. I'm struggling to keep this
place going. Money's tight - speaking of which you still owe me.

MILKY BAR KID: You'll get your money, Lil.

PROSPECT PETE: (standing up and approaching them) Oh no you won't.
You'll never see that thousand dollars he owes you Lil. I can't
believe you were fool enough to lend it to him.

MILKY BAR KID: (squaring up to Pete) You stay out of this, shorty.

PROSPECT PETE: Who are you calling shorty?

MILKY BAR KID: You, sunshine. And what are You going to do about it?

PROSPECT PETE: Plenty. We’ve been fighting since we were kids and
you haven’t won yet, so what makes you think you can win now?

MILKY BAR KID: There’s always a first time Pete, so come on. Do your
worst.

They start to get in a shoot-out position.

KLONDIKE KEITH: Pa. Don't be so stupid.

The undertaker enters.

WILL DIGAM: Just a minute folks.

MILKY BAR KID: What do you want?

WILL DIGAM: Stand exactly where you are. (To the audience) Will
Digam's the name, from Downe & Digam Undertakers.

He goes to The Kid & Pete and quickly starts measuring them up, length
& width, with cloth tape measure he usually wears around his neck.

PROSPECT PETE: Have you quite finished?

WILL DIGAM: That will do for now. I'll give you my card. I'll be back
in 5 minutes with the hearse. (He starts to exit) By the way, I've
heard that Dirty Dick, the head of the railway company, is due in
town. He should have some money to splash around.

The undertaker exits.

KLONDIKE KEITH: And from what I've heard the law is hot on his heels.
He's as crooked as they come.

Enter Dirty Dick. SFX The Good, The Bad & The Ugly theme tune.

DIRTY DICK: Did anyone mention my name?

There is an air of suspense as Dick enters in a confident manner,
eyeing up the surroundings. Lil slowly approaches Dick. Song
(optional). Diamond Lil sings Big Spender.

DIRTY DICK: You must be Diamond Lil.

DIAMOND LIL: You guessed right. And to whom do I owe the pleasure?

DIRTY DICK: My name is Richard McDonald, but my friends call me Dick.
I own the Express railway company and I'm investing in a new line to
link the east coast with the west. Thousands of jobs will be created.
And the line will be running through Stodge City.

DIAMOND LIL: That sounds great Dick.

DIRTY DICK: This town will be booming.

MILKY BAR KID: Good. Just what we needed.

DIRTY DICK: I have a proposition for you, Lil. I want to buy up your
saloon. (General murmurs of “What?” “Buy the saloon?”etc., but
Dick shouts over them to shut them up) This is an ideal route to lay
the tracks for my new railway, and right here will be the site for the
new Stodge City Rail Station.

DIAMOND LIL: But the town needs a saloon bar.

MILKY BAR KID: Yeah, you can’t have a town without a saloon bar.
That doesn’t make sense.

DIRTY DICK: Hear me out. Linked to it will be a new concept in eating
establishments. Just burgers and fries to start with and we’ll take
it from there. My partner Big Mac & I have proved it works in other
towns. The premises will still be licensed for alcohol, so those that
want a drink won’t miss out.

DIAMOND LIL: But this saloon is my life.

DIRTY DICK: It will need a huge amount of investment if this place is
to survive, Lil. The days of the old saloon bar will soon be a thing
of the past, mark my words. I want to make you an offer you can't
refuse.

DIAMOND LIL: This place is a traditional town with old-fashioned
traditional values. I'm not for selling.

ALL: Hear, hear.

DIRTY DICK: Don't dismiss it, Lil. You could make a tidy sum of money
if you sell now. The longer you hold on to this old place the more
you'll lose out. I'll make you a great offer. Enough to retire
comfortably. I hear your daughter is getting married. You'll be able
to give them a good start in life. What do you say?

MILKY BAR KID: How much are you willing to pay?

PROSPECT PETE: Stay out of this, Kid. Don't sell Lil. This is your
life. He can find another place for a station. This town needs a
saloon bar.

KLONDIKE KEITH: You tell him Pa.

DIRTY DICK: Keep out of this sunshine. All of you stay out of it. It's
a sound business proposition between me & Lil.

PROSPECT PETE: Over my dead body.

DIRTY DICK: That can easily be arranged. (Squaring up to Pete)

PROSPECT PETE: You don’t frighten me, Dick - or whatever your name is.

KLONDIKE KEITH: Pa, I wish you wouldn’t do this.

DIRTY DICK: Yeah, I wish you wouldn’t do this as well. I hate
clearing up dead bodies after me.

PROSPECT PETE: I could easily take you out at 20 paces. Blindfolded.

DIRTY DICK: (walking to the other side of the room) I’d like to see
you try. You really don’t know what you’re up against here.

PROSPECT PETE: Come on then. On the count of three. One. Two.

The undertaker suddenly enters.

WILL DIGAM: (loudly enough to stop everyone in their tracks) Stop!
Stand exactly where you are.

KLONDIKE KEITH: Oh no, not again.

WILL DIGAM: (to Pete). Oh - I've already got your measurements.

He quickly heads towards Dirty Dick and measures him up and exits.

DIAMOND LIL: Okay, you two. That’s enough. There’s not going to be
any shooting in this bar today. Let's go in the back and discuss your
deal, Dick. Away from this lot. Has anyone seen Billy? He should be
here by now ready to marry my daughter.

KLONDIKE KEITH: I saw him yesterday. We were out drinking, but not
seen him since. He seemed in a bit of a funny mood.

PEACHES DIVINE: I think I know where I can find him.

DIAMOND LIL: Well get him here quick, whilst I sort this out. Come
with me Dick.

Peaches exits, followed by Lil and Dick.

PROSPECT PETE: Did you take all that in Son? Dirty Dick McDonald wants
to buy up the saloon, turn it into Stodge City rail station with a new
eating place.

KLONDIKE KEITH: It’ll never work, but if you're right about the land
this saloon is on, we need to make our move and make our own offer
pretty damn quick. And we can't have Dirty Dick spoiling our patch.
You'll have to deal with him.

PROSPECT PETE: We're in this together, don't forget. You and me both.
There's definitely gold on this here land. We've seen the evidence.

KLONDIKE KEITH: This is would be a little goldmine for us. We've got
enough cash to make a decent offer and we know that Lil is in a
financial mess. All you need to do is get Dick McDonald out of the
way
.
PROSPECT PETE: All we need to do is get Dick out of the way you mean.
Any ideas? We need to act fast before Lil gets tempted to do the
deal.

KLONDIKE KEITH: We need a big distraction to get her mind off this
deal. Then we need to get McDonald out of the way so we can talk to
Lil ourselves.

The undertaker enters.

WILL DIGAM: Attention everyone. I've just heard that Ruby is on her
way. She's just coming round the mountain pass.
.
The undertaker exits.

PROSPECT PETE: Perfect timing. Go tell her Keith.

Keith goes towards exit and shouts for Lil.

KLONDIKE KEITH: Lil, Lil. Come out here quick. I've heard Ruby is on
her way.

Lil & Dick enter followed by Peaches.

DIAMOND LIL: What was that about Ruby?

KLONDIKE KEITH: She's on her way Lil. Just coming round the mountain
pass.

DIAMOND LIL: Great - let's get this wedding organised.

DIRTY DICK: Lil - we have this business deal to finish off? It can't
wait.

DIAMOND LIL: It’ll have to wait. My daughter is coming round that
mountain now.

Dick gets a drink and sits by himself at the table previously occupied
by Pete & Keith. A short version of the song as everyone (except Dick)
sings, She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain. As the song finishes
Ruby enters dressed for a wedding. Song is optional.

DIAMOND LIL: Ruby, Ruby, Ruby Tuesday. Well I declare - you look
lovely.

RUBY: Thanks Ma. Where's Billy? It's wedding time soon.

PEACHES DIVINE: You won't find him.

RUBY: You what?

PEACHES DIVINE: He's not getting married to you today or any other
day.

RUBY: What are you saying Peaches?

PEACHES DIVINE: Billy is not in love with you. He's with me now.

RUBY: You? How dare you get your claws in my Billy.

PEACHES DIVINE: It was Billy making all the moves believe me.

RUBY: I don't believe you. Where is he?

PEACHES DIVINE: Waiting for me in the next town. I’ve finished here
and off to meet him soon.

RUBY: Ma?

DIAMOND LIL: I’m as shocked as you are Ruby. I can’t believe this
is happening.

RUBY: (to the Kid) Did you know?

MILKY BAR KID: Well I er...

RUBY: Pete? Keith? (They shrug their shoulders)

MILKY BAR KID: We had our suspicions, but? Sorry Ruby.

PEACHES DIVINE: See what I mean? Looks like I win, and you lose. You
meant nothing to him. It's me he wanted all along.

RUBY: Get out - do you hear me? Get out of this saloon. And don't come
back.

PEACHES DIVINE: Don't worry, I'm out of here. (Goes to exit)

DIAMOND LIL: And don’t come back. By the way, I haven't forgotten
about your little secret.

PEACHES DIVINE: (coming back to Lil in a threatening manner) You keep
your mouth shut Lil before I shut it permanently.

Peaches exits.

RUBY: Wow Ma, what did you mean? What little secret?

DIAMOND LIL: You’d better tell her Kid.

[End of Extract]


Production Notes

Minimum set is required for Stodge City. Tables to represent a ba

which can either be placed on the stage or at floor level, so makes i

ideal to be performed at Village Halls, School Halls, Church Halls

Golf Clubs etc. A few Saloon Bar props and posters would add to th

theme. If a stage is used, front of stage steps will be needed as

lot of the action takes place at floor level. Cabaret style seating i

ideal with tables for the audience, as it is intended that they ar

the saloon bar customers. Different exits and entrances for th

characters will add to the fun. Songs are optional


Diamond Lil & Sapphire Steele are played by the same actor b

doesn’t need to be. Big Chief Nokia and the undertaker are smal

parts with minimum lib. Klondike Keith could easily be Klondike Kate

Jose the Mexican can be played by Prospect Pete, so there is som

flexibility to suit available cast

Minimum with doubling 7M, 4F or 6M, 5F with Kate instead of Keith


CHARACTER PROFILES


DIAMOND L

Owner of the Rusty Spur Saloon. Has lived in Stodge City all her lif

and used to be the barmaid there. Her twin sister Sapphire lent he

the money to buy up the saloon when it became available, but they fel

out big style. The money was never repaid, and Sapphire made it clea

that the Saloon really belonged to her. Lil was married to Pete but i

didn’t work out

RUBY TUESD

Diamond Lil’s daughter. Or so she thought. She was reall

Sapphire’s daughter and Lil brought her up as her own. She has ange

issues and likes a drink. Due to marry Billy but looks like she ha

been stood up as he now is in a relationship with Peaches

PEACHES DIVI

Recently arrived in Stodge City and managed to get a job at The Rust

Spur. She soon got friendly with Billy and they started an affair. Sh

was the look-out girl for Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, and th

Mexican law have been trying to track her down for some time. Diamon

Lil discovered her secret and was blackmailing Peaches under threat o

going to the law

PROSPECT PE

Local prospector and was previously married to Lil. He also had a

affair with Sapphire. Found evidence of gold on the land that th

Rusty Spur is on and wants to buy Lil out so he could have control o

it and make his fortune together with his son Keith

KLONDIKE KEI

Pete’s son and fellow prospector. He is with Pete in the quest t

secure the Saloon. Hopeless with guns but means well

WYATT TWE

County Sheriff and in pursuit of Dick McDonald who is accused o

illegal dealings and murder. Is in a relationship with Sapphire. H

has been accused of murder himself, to further his own career

DIRTY DICK MCDONA

Ruthless railroad businessman who will stop at nothing to get his ow

way. Wants to buy the saloon to use as a railway station for the ne

track that will be coming to the town linking east with west.

MILKY BAR K

Local cowboy who has always lived in Stodge City and grew up wit

Prospect Pete. They have always had a friendly rivalry. He also had a

affair with Sapphire. There is doubt on who fathered Ruby

SAPPHIRE STEE

Twin sister of Sapphire. It is intended she is played by the sam

actor as Lil. Sapphire has a claim on the Rusty Spur as it was he

money that was used to make the investment and was never repaid

BIG CHIEF NOK

Local Indian Chief that can’t speak English. Minor part that coul

be played by a willing stagehand/new recruit or someone that jus

wants a minor part

LITTLE TP MOBI

Chief Nokia’s Indian Squaw Daughter, who arrives making a claim o

the saloon as they believe it was built on an old Indian burial groun

and the new constitution allows for such land to be returned to them

WILL DIG

Local undertaker. Artful Dodger type character. Pops in and ou

whenever there is the likelihood of business

JO

Mexican Lawman. Minor comical part. Can be played by Pete.


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