Remembering the Oregon Trail

By The 4th Grade Class, 1998-1999

 

 Scene 1

 

Characters

Roger

Mick

Albert

Norbert

Ethel

 

FIRST OLD TIMER

The hardest decision I ever had to make was deciding to move out West.  What a family argument that was!

 

(Independence Missouri, April 7, 1843.  A family is at home, trying to decide whether to go to Oregon.  Mick, Albert, Norbert and Ethel are present.  Enter Roger.)

 

ROGER

I've decided we're going to Oregon.

 

MICK

You're out of your mind, Roger!  We're sure to die!  I'm too scared of Indians.  I may get a disease!

 

ROGER

Mick, can't you see it's the opportunity of our lives?  This place is crammed with people.  There's space out there.  Yes, there may be diseases, but look at me--I'm brave and I'm a hunter.

 

ALBERT

It'll only be an opportunity if we make it there alive.  I've heard about the Donner party, Roger.

 

ROGER

Well, I've made up my mind.  I'm going.

 

NORBERT

I think I should go, too, for all that land, but I'm just not sure.  It would be very easy to die out there from yellow fever, cholera, or snakebite.  But I guess I'll go with Roger.

 

ETHEL

I'm going with my husband.  I think we'll be fine, but I'm just a little scared.  My friend wrote me a letter saying that a lot of people drowned when her wagon train tried to ford a river.  But I think you all worry too much.

 

ROGER

You're right, Ethel.  We'll be fine.

 

MICK

Roger, you're unbelievable.  There's no way I'm going.

 

ALBERT

Neither am I!

 

NORBERT

Why not?  Just think about all that free land.  Besides, this place is getting so crowded.  If you stay here you'll probably end up failing anyway.

 

ETHEL

Just stop arguing, all of you!

 

ROGER

(To Ethel) We're not arguing--we're negotiating.  (To the others) It'll be fine.  We'll have plenty of food and water.

 

NORBERT

Roger's right.  It won't be too bad.  You guys are just cowards.

 

MICK

Okay.  Maybe we should go.  But if something happens, we'd all better sleep with one eye open.

 

ALBERT

I suppose I'll go, too.  I mean, it seems like everyone in town is going to Oregon.

 

ETHEL

Well, that's great!

 

ALL

Oregon, here we come!

 

 

Scene 2

Characters

Sam

Michael

Marvin

Alan

Dan

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

I remember when we first saw Chimney Rock.  Big tower of stone.  Folks was always tryin' to climb it--see how high up they could carve their names into the thing.

 

(Sam, Michael, Alan, and some others are gazing up at the offstage face of Chimney Rock.)

 

SAM

I've been looking forward to this.  Chimney rock!

 

DAN

Looks like a factory chimney.

 

ALAN

Or maybe the chimney of a burned out house.

 

MICHAEL

It must be at least three stories high.

 

MARVIN

I'm so glad we finally made it here.  We can replenish our water in the spring.

 

SAM

Yeah, and there's a really nice campsite.

 

MICHAEL

We'll be able to rest for a few days.

 

ALAN

Wow!  Look at all the names carved into that rock.  Some of 'em must be thirty feet up.

 

MICHAEL

I betcha I can get my name higher than everyone else that's ever written on there.

 

MARVIN

What are you, nuts!  Why take the chance?

 

DAN

(Slapping at bugs) I don't know how you can even think about climbing that rock.  My body aches from all the mosquito bites.

 

ALAN

Yes, I hate those.

 

MICHAEL

Yeah, but think of the history!  I'm willing to take the risk, if I can get my name to the very top!

 

SAM

Besides, the rocks are so soft, your name probably won't last anyway.

 

DAN

Look, some of the names are already starting to wear off.

 

MARVIN

The weather must be eroding it.

 

(Michael goes off in the direction of the rock.  The others watch.)

 

He's going to fall!

 

(Scream offstage.)

 

MICHAEL

I've lost my footing!  I'm going down!

 

ALAN

He's fallen!

 

(Alan and Dan run off in the direction of the rock.)

 

DAN

Oh my gosh!  He's hurt!  He's hurt bad!

 

ALAN

He's broken his leg!

 

(They carry him on between them.)

 

MICHAEL

I don't even know if I'm going to be able to go on.

 

MARVIN

You'll have to.  We can't go back.

 

SAM

We'll have to put a splint on that leg.

 

DAN

Someone'll have to help him do everything.

 

ALAN

You won't be able to ride a horse.

 

MARVIN

I hope you're not going to get gangrene or a terrible infection.

 

SAM

If that happens you may lose that leg.

 

MICHAEL

What an idiot I feel like.  But at least my name is up at the top.  I'll bet it stays the highest one for a long time.

 

ALAN

I'm not climbing up there any time soon.  I think I'll carve my name on the bottom.

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

Miraculously, he was able to almost fully recover in time, and made a pretty good life in Oregon. Ironically, none of the names of the pioneers are left on Chimney Rock today.  Wind and rain have worn 'em all away.

 

 

Scene 3

 

Characters

Roger

Norm

Paul

Mick

Chef

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

Fort Laramie. (Shudders.)  What a place that was!  Nothin' but bad food and rattlesnakes.  Started out as a fur trading company, but became an Army post later to protect the trail from Indian attacks.  There were lots of Indians around those parts.  The fort was used as a resting place for lots of folk--Pony Express, Army, Pioneers.  It was also an Indian trading post.  Was right on the main trail.

 

(Outside Fort Laramie.  Soldiers Roger and Norm walk out of the door of the Fort.)

 

NORM

Roger, isn't the food at Fort Laramie horrible?

 

ROGER

That's not all.  It seems like my stay here will never end!

 

NORM

Yeah.  The discipline here is so strict!  My bunkmate was thrown in the brig yesterday just for dropping a tray of food.

 

ROGER

Dropping Fort Laramie food shouldn't be a crime!

 

(The Chef enters and overhears them.)

 

CHEF

Hey, it's not my fault!  Fort Laramie is just a stopping place on the trail.  Where am I supposed to get good food?  Nobody's farming around here.  This place is just here to rest the livestock and pioneers.

 

NORM

We know, Chef.

 

CHEF

I do my best!

 

(The Chef exits, offended.)

 

ROGER

Look!  There is a wagon train full of soldiers.

 

NORM

Shucks!  No it isn't.  It's more pioneers.

 

ROGER

Oh, no.  They're always so helpless.

 

NORM

Well, but it is our job. Let's go see what they need.

 

(Paul and Mick arrive from their wagon.)

 

PAUL

I don't know about this.  We got a message from up the trail to pass by this fort.

 

MICK

Yeah, but we need to rest, and the animals are tired.  We'll have to stop.

 

PAUL

And I need to repair my yoke.

 

NORM AND ROGER

Howdy. (Etc.)

 

PAUL

Is this Fort Laramie?

 

NORM

Sure is.

 

PAUL

What a relief.

 

(The Chef enters, ringing a triangle.)

 

CHEF

Anyone hungry?

 

MICK

Are you kidding?  I haven't had a decent meal in days.

 

CHEF

Come on then! (Exits.)

 

MICK

Are you coming?

 

PAUL

You bet!  But I heard the food here was terrible.

 

MICK

Yeah, but I'm so hungry I could eat anything.

 

ROGER

I wouldn't be so sure about that.  Are you sure you really want to try the food?

 

MICK

Got to.  We're starving.

 

(The Chef returns with some food.)

 

CHEF

Here is some hardtack and some dried vegetables.  We ran out of molasses.

 

NORM

Ugh!  I wouldn't eat that if I were you.

 

CHEF

How about some buffalo jerky?

 

ROGER

That might be a little better.

 

CHEF

Hey!  I bought a salmon from an Indian.  Seven or eight pounds.  Traded an old shirt, some bread and a sewing needle.  I could cook that up.  Probably better than anything else I could give you.

 

MICK AND PAUL

Yum!  Sounds good! (Etc.)

 

CHEF

(Mumbling) Hope you like it.  It'll be ready in no time.

 

MICK

Look out!  I almost stepped on a rattlesnake!

 

PAUL

This is definitely not my favorite fort.

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

Nope, Fort Laramie probably wasn't anybody's idea of a fun place to visit.  But it was an important place to rest and replace supplies and tired animals.  Plus it was a great place to learn all the latest information about what was happening further up the trail.  We just at quickly so as not to taste the food, and walked around with our eyes on the ground, looking for rattlers.  We mostly managed to get out of there okay.

 

 

Scene 4

 

Characters

Lieutenant

Captain

Private

Albert Smith--Wagon Train Leader

Pioneer

Doctor

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

When a wagon train'd reach a fort, we usually expected to find it full of people who could help us.  Especially at Fort Bridger.  That place was famous.  It was supposed to be one of the best-stocked forts on the trail.  The soldiers were supposed to be ready to help us out, sell us fresh supplies, and generally provide some rest and protection.  The trouble was that the soldiers at that fort had another job to do as well--fur trapping.

 

(Lieutenant and Captain stand outside Fort Bridger.)

 

CAPTAIN

I'm going to check our beaver traps.  Your men are coming with me.

 

LIEUTENANT

I hear the beaver market is high.  We'll make quite a bundle.  But shouldn't we leave some men behind in case any pioneers arrive?

 

CAPTAIN

Don't worry.  We'll only be gone a few days.

 

LIEUTENANT

Yes, sir. (Shouts.) Men, we're moving out.

 

OLD TIMER

I guess they often did that--went off for a few days to check on their traps.

 

(The soldiers exit.  The Wagon Train Leader, the Doctor, and another Pioneer enter, very tired from traveling.)

 

LEADER

We should be coming up on Fort Bridger.

 

DOCTOR

I've heard that's one of the best-stocked forts on the trail.

 

PIONEER

We may be able to trade for some fresh animals.

 

DOCTOR

And other supplies.  I need some new tools.  My axe is chipped so bad it hardly cuts.

 

PIONEER

I'm running out of food.  Maybe we can get some more dried meat and hardtack.

 

DOCTOR

I bet they've got some good firewood here!  I'm so tired of buffalo chips.

 

LEADER

(Perplexed)  This looks like a deserted fort!

 

PIONEER

It can't be!

 

DOCTOR

Where's Fort Bridger?

 

(The Leader looks up and sees the sign above the main gate of the fort.)

 

LEADER

(Reading)  Fifth Cavalry. . .Hey!  Doc!  This is Fort Bridger!

 

DOCTOR

That's impossible.  There are supposed to be people here to help us!

 

LEADER

I was hoping to meet the great Jim Bridger.

 

PIONEER

What do you suppose happened to everyone?

 

DOCTOR

Maybe there was an Indian attack.

 

LEADER

That can't be.  The fort would be destroyed.

 

PIONEER

Well something must have happened to them.

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

Well, that was a pretty uncomfortable discussion.  We didn't know what had happened, but we figured it must have been pretty bad.  Everything was shut up and we couldn't really get to the supplies.  We ended up waiting almost three days for anyone to show up.  It wasn't easy keeping those folks from panicking.

 

(The three Settlers settle down to rest as best they can.  After a pause, the Soldiers enter with the furs they have trapped.)

 

LEADER

(Angry) Where were you?

 

CAPTAIN

We were checking our traps.  We thought we could get back before anyone missed us.

 

DOCTOR

The government assured us that this fort was fully stocked!  We expect to be protected!

 

LIEUTENANT

(Defensively) This is the best-stocked, best-supplied fort in the West!

 

LEADER

That may be true, but we can't get the supplies if nobody's here!

 

PIONEER

We could have been attacked by Indians!

 

CAPTAIN

You're right, and I'm very sorry.  But now that we are here, let's see if we can get your wagon train outfitted and fed.

 

PIONEER

Finally.

 

DOCTOR

I'm starving.

 

LEADER

You'll hear about this one.

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

In the end, the place really did turn out to be pretty comfortable.  But they sure had us worried there for a while.

 

 

Scene 5

Characters

Chief Standing Bear

Wise Owl

Little Foot

Great Stone Wall

Stone Wind

 

FIRST OLD TIMER

I remember wondering what the Indians thought about all of us tramping all over the countryside.  I mean, government or no government, they were there first.  At the beginning I don't imagine they much worried about us.  But near the end of the era of the trail, there were so many settlers crossing the plains that I guess we did some real damage.

 

(A Native village.  A meeting is taking place.)

 

CHIEF STANDING BEAR

I've called you all together today to discuss our problems with the newcomers.  At first, we didn't really mind them coming through our land.  But there's so many of them now, and they're causing problems.

 

WISE OWL

Standing Bear, you know that the pioneers are spoiling our land.  Or even taking it.  They deserve to pay for all they've put us through!

 

LITTLE FOOT

I agree completely.

 

GREAT STONE WALL

You know, they actually aren't taking our land on purpose.  Maybe we should just tell them how they are ruining our life.

 

LITTLE FOOT

What's wrong with you, Great Stone Wall?

 

(Stone Wind enters.)

 

STONE WIND

What are you discussing here?

 

LITTLE FOOT

We are talking about what to do about the newcomers.  So you see it's an important matter.

 

STONE WIND

Yes, I do.  They've been destroying our lifestyles and are driving away the animals.  Especially the buffalo.

 

LITTLE FOOT

Yes!  I was just hunting buffalo yesterday and I couldn't find anything.

 

STONE WIND

I suggest that we finally think exactly what they've done to us.

 

WISE OWL

They've taken our land and aren't leaving us enough food.

 

GREAT STONE WALL

Listen!  That's just what they are not doing!

 

CHIEF STANDING BEAR

What are you talking about?

 

WISE OWL

He's saying that he doesn't think it is necessary to punish these newcomers.

 

GREAT STONE WALL

They don't know what they're doing.  They're not doing it on purpose.

 

STONE WIND

Well, I think we have to do something.  We can't just keep letting them trample over our beautiful land.

 

LITTLE FOOT

Absolutely!  We must stop them!

 

CHIEF STANDING BEAR

How could we settle this correctly, everyone?

 

 

Scene 6

Characters

Native People

Eric

David

Chris

Pioneers

Alex

James

Robert

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

Yep, sometimes, later on, some of the Indians didn't like it when folks crossed their land.  In the early years of the trail, we mostly traded pretty easily with the Indians.  They had a lot of things we needed, like food, and we had a lot of things they wanted, like horses and tools and such.  We really needed the Indians to help us find our way, and show us how to safely negotiate the trail.  Later on, though, as more and more folks started making the trek, the Indians started to be pretty unhappy about it.  Pioneers didn't exactly leave the land in good condition sometimes, and the government was making tricky treaties with the Indians and moving them away from some of their best hunting places.  Sometimes you didn't quite know what to expect when you encountered Indians in the later years of the trail.

 

(A group of Native People stop a wagon train.)

 

ALEX

Look!  There's some Indians.  Maybe they can help us.

 

ERIC

Stop!  Stop!

 

JAMES

Hello!  Just who we wanted to meet.  Which is the best way to go through here?

 

DAVID

You can't come this way at all!  These are our hunting grounds.

 

JAMES

But we need to get through!

 

CHRIS

Your people have destroyed too much already.  We will not let you pass.

 

DAVID

We're not going to be moved again.  We're tired of your meaningless treaties.

 

ROBERT

I don't know what you're talking about.  We always give you plenty of land.

 

ERIC

The land is not yours to give.

 

DAVID

If you want to go across our hunting land, you'll need our help.  That will cost you.

 

CHRIS

Without our blessing, you'll never make it across without being attacked.

 

ROBERT

Well, but we need to pass, because we have families in Oregon!  Please, let us go!

 

ERIC

No!  Not without payment.

 

ALEX

All right.  Maybe we can make a deal.  We can give you a few milk cows, and some horses.

 

ERIC

We want guns.  And ammunition.

 

JAMES

I don't know about that. . .

 

ROBERT

How about some tobacco?

 

ALEX

I'm sure we can work something out.  We've got some dried apples.

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

Well, they eventually worked out a trade that made everyone happy.  Well, maybe not exactly happy, but satisfied.

 

JAMES

Now can we go on?

 

DAVID

I'll come with you for a while.  That way you won't get lost.

 

CHRIS

Or shot.  Good luck.

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

With an Indian escort you were pretty safe, even after the troubles started between the Indians and the government.

 

 

Scene 7

Characters

Louisa Gaily

John Gaily

Walter Sanders

John Carter

Nathaniel Mayer

Joseph Mingo

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

I remember the day we had to send out a relief party to save some folks whose wagon train got stuck in the snow trying to go around Mount Hood.  Silly fools had left off starting out until too late in the year and Old Man Winter cut 'em off at the pass.

 

(John Carter and Nathaniel Mayer slog through the snow.  They spot a trapped wagon. Louisa and John Gaily are trapped inside.)

 

JOHN CARTER

Oh!  There they are!  I see the first wagon!

 

NATHANIEL MAYER

We'll need some more men!  (Shouts offstage.) You, there!

 

(Walter Sanders and Joseph Mingo enter and join the two men.)

 

WALTER SANDERS

Are we in time?  What condition are the people in?

 

NATHANIEL MAYER

We're not sure yet, but they've been here a while.  They must be dehydrated.

 

JOSEPH MINGO

Exhausted, too, I shouldn't wonder.  And probably hungry.

 

LOUISA GAILY

(Very weak.)  Oh, please help us!

 

JOHN GAILY

(Weak.) They're coming, honey!  It looks like a relief party.  They've got loaded pack mules.

 

LOUISA GAILY

I hope they brought food and blankets.

 

JOSEPH MINGO

Thank God!  They're alive!

 

LOUISA GAILY

We thought we were goners for sure!

 

JOHN GAILY

Our team of oxen starved a while ago.  We had to eat them.  But we're running out of that food too.

 

JOHN CARTER

Let's get them out of that wagon!

 

(The four Rescuers help the two stranded Pioneers out of their wagon and give them blankets. John Carter and Nathaniel Mayer minister to their needs as Walter Sanders and Joseph Mingo bring supplies from offstage.)

 

NATHANIEL MAYER

So what happened to you folks, anyway?

 

JOHN GAILY

Well, to start with, we probably started our trip too late.  We didn't expect it to start snowing so early.

 

LOUISA GAILY

Then we had a breakdown.  One of the wagons broke an axle.

 

JOHN GAILY

By the time we got everything repaired, we were behind our time.  Then we spent more time arguing about whether to take the mountain route or to raft down the Columbia River at the Dalles.

 

LOUISA GAILY

It seemed so easy at first.  Nobody told us it snowed in October in the mountains.

 

JOHN CARTER

It doesn't always, but the snows came early this year.

 

WALTER SANDERS

I'll get some food.

 

JOSEPH MINGO

I'll bring some blankets.

 

(Walter Sanders and Joseph Mingo return with supplies, which they help the Pioneers to eat and drink.  Joseph Mingo also quickly checks them over to see if they're safe to travel.)

 

JOHN GAILY

Thank you.  Honey, we're going to be safe.

 

JOSEPH MINGO

I'd like to get these folks out of the elements and into my care.  But I think they can travel.

 

JOHN CARTER

(To the Pioneers.) Folks, we can't save your wagons, and we can't take much on the horses and mules.  What do you want to bring?

 

LOUISA GAILY

Honey, what should we bring?

 

JOHN GAILY

I think we should bring your jewelry box and also my gun.

 

LOUISA GAILY

Oh, I don't know!  It's so hard!

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

Those poor folks had some difficult and painful decisions to make.  Which of their worldly possessions should they leave behind on that snowy mountain?  But that was just one of many difficult choices we pioneers had to make on the trail.

 

(They exit with their things, in the direction of the horses.)

 

 

Scene 8

Characters

Pioneer 1

Pioneer 2

Pioneer 3

Pioneer 4

Pioneer 5

Native Guide

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

I remember when we got to the Dalles.  Some of the Indians offered to help us raft down the Columbia River.  Lot of folks were taking them up on the offer.  The only other way was to go around Mount Hood.  It seemed like a good idea.  Rafting was definitely faster than going around.  But some folks were afraid.  Plus the Indians charged money for their help, and it would be pretty expensive and time consuming to build rafts.  It wasn't an easy argument.

 

(Pioneer 1, Pioneer 2, Pioneer 3 and Pioneer 4 enter together.)

 

PIONEER 3

I think we've got to take the river.  It's fall now.  We've got to get to Oregon before the winter storms.  We don't want to get trapped in the hills.

 

PIONEER 1

Are you crazy?  The Columbia River can be treacherous.  We'll all drown!

 

PIONEER 2

Sounds dangerous to me, too.  Besides, it'll be so expensive!  Building a raft, and paying the Indians for help.  And it takes too long.  We'll have to cut trees ourselves, you know.

 

PIONEER 1

Unless we hire someone to help--and that will cost even more!

 

PIONEER 4

I have a little money left from when I sold my household at the beginning of the trip.

 

PIONEER 1

Me, too, but not enough.

 

PIONEER 3

We can trade some gunpowder and maybe some oxen with the Indians to make up the rest of the cost.  We can afford it.  Besides, other groups are going that way, and they'll get there before us and claim the best land.

 

PIONEER 4

John is right.  Anyway, if we go around Mount Hood we'll have to go down Laurel Hill.  That's a 60% downward grade!  That's even more dangerous than the river!  I heard of a woman who got run over by a runaway wagon!

 

(Pioneer 5 enters.)

 

PIONEER 5

What's going on here?  What's all the commotion?

 

PIONEER 2

These two (indicating Pioneers 3 &4) want to raft down the Columbia River with an Indian guide, but I think we should take our wagons around Mount Hood instead.

 

PIONEER 1

So do I!  The river is just too dangerous!

 

PIONEER 5

Well, the river sounds like a good idea to me, if we can afford it.  My family really needs to get finished with this trip.  We though it was going to be easy, but it's been anything but.  They're feeling pretty frustrated, and I just want to get us settled as quick as possible.  We're all tired.  We just want to get there.

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

After a long discussion, we decided to raft down the Columbia.  I'm not rightly sure what finally convinced everyone.  Maybe it was just the idea of getting done with it all.  But we went.  It took a long time to get the rafts built, and then we had to wait our turn on the river, but we finally went.  A skilled Indian guide came with us.

 

(The five Pioneers, along with their Native Guide, mime riding in a raft.  They are shouting over the imagined sounds of the river.)

 

GUIDE

Be sure to stay away from the sides of the raft!  Someone's going to fall in if you're not more careful!

 

PIONEER 5

Hey, that's my hat floating down the river!

 

GUIDE

Yes!  Now you see how fast this water is moving!  Everyone hold on!  These currents are tricky!

 

PIONEER 2

My shoes are soaking.

 

PIONEER 1

Look, there's a waterfall in front of us!

 

PIONEER 4

Look out for that basalt rock!

 

PIONEER 3

It's as big as a bush!

 

GUIDE

I see it!  I've been down this river dozens of times!  Hold on!

 

SECOND OLD TIMER

What a ride that was!  We lost an ox, and a whole lot of clothing, and one poor fellow lost most of his furniture when the raft hit a submerged rock and broke the ropes that were holding it in.  But we made it.  We all survived.

 

(The group collapses in relief on the "shore.")

 

PIONEER 5

Whew!  We made it safely!

 

PIONEER 2

What a rough ride!  Glad we made it!

 

PIONEER 1

(To the Guide, shaking his hand.) Thank you!  We don't know how we would have managed without your help.

 

GUIDE

You're welcome.

 

PIONEER 3

Now, let's go to Oregon!

 

ALL

Yeah!

 

 

Scene 9

Characters

Paul Bryant

Dan Cotton

Sam

Mitch

Joseph

Ezra Meeker

 

FIRST OLD TIMER

'Course, lots of us made it to Oregon.  And then lots of folks up and moved on to California.  Seemed they thought they were going to find gold and get rich.

 

(Paul, Dan, Sam, Ezra, Mitch and Joseph enter, exhausted after their long trip to Oregon.)

 

EVERYONE

We made it!

 

EZRA

Barely.  I think every person in our wagon train got sick or hurt on the trail.

 

PAUL

Yeah.  You got cholera, a snake bit me. . .

 

DAN

I broke my leg.  Mitch got yellow fever, and Sam got smallpox.

 

EZRA

Thank God we had a doctor in the train.

 

PAUL

Yeah.  Thanks Joseph.

 

JOSEPH

Don't mention it.

 

SAM

Should we go on to California?

 

EZRA, PAUL AND DAN

No way!  We don't want to get involved in that again!

 

MITCH

Let's go!  There's gold in California!

 

JOSEPH

We could get rich!

 

DAN

Maybe.  But what if we don't find gold?

 

SAM

We'll trap beaver.

 

MITCH

You have to take some risks in life.

 

FIRST OLD TIMER

Well, that argument lasted until dark, when we were all around the campfire.

 

(They all sit around the campfire.)

 

SAM

My final decision is that we are going to California!

 

PAUL

I think more traveling is just too dangerous!

 

MITCH

Why?  I think it's exciting!

 

PAUL

Why?  I got a snakebite!

 

DAN

I broke my leg!

 

MITCH

So what?  I got Yellow Fever, and Sam got Smallpox.

 

EZRA

I'm not going to California either.  I'm going back.

 

SAM

Mitch and Joseph, are you coming?

 

MITCH

Yeah!  For gold.

 

JOSEPH

And to get away from Dan.

 

FIRST OLD TIMER

And that's what they did.  None of 'em ever struck gold, but they did all right in California.  Their grandchildren are still there today.  'Course it looks a little different now.

 

END OF PLAY