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Imagine this gang in 1850 on horses with guns, that is the Red Barber Gang

EXT.  TEJON PASS ROAD, CALIFORNIA - DAY   


Across the Tejon pass come a group of roughhewn Yankee riders. Five of them at first but soon they are joined by two more and then three more and as they ride more join at each road crossing swelling their ranks.   They are all following one man.   Jack "Red" Barber, known for his ruddy face and red beard.  This is "The Barber Party".  


COBB THE SYDNEY 

Tell me again Captain why are we going to Los Angeles when we could just head straight for Senora right now Captain, what’s so good about this place?   

  

Cobb the Sydney is second in command of this outlaw group and is a “Sydney” like others in the gang, meaning Australian.


JACK “RED” BARBER  

Cobb the Sydney, don’t call me Captain, I’m not a Captain anymore.  Just call me Red from now on.


COBB THE SYDNEY 

Okay captain.

  

Everybody laughs.  


COBB THE SYDNEY

 (CONT'D) 

What’s so good for us in Los Angeles Red?

 

JACK "RED" BARBER 

It’s the color of their money boy and the color of the skins.  Now, listen up all of you, this is how we are going to work it.  Number one is we don’t want any trouble with the Yankee authorities and don’t bother any of the new Yankees moving in to occupy the town.  We leave them all   alone right.

 

NED MICKLE 

Why do we want to footsy around, that town has one sheriff and we could take that whole town apart if we wanted to.  We are thirty strong and well-armed right now Red. That makes us the largest military power in this part of the state. Let's use it.  Take what we want and just keep going.


Ned Mickle is unofficially number three in the gang but seeks leadership. If they were still in the army the boys would have said that he was “bucking for sergeant. He comes from “The Hounds” a nativist anti=foreign gang in San Francisco that specifically targeted recently arriving Latino immigrants particularly Chileans during the gold rush of 1849. The “Hounds” were finally rn out of San Francisco after an especially egregious incident where many were killed including women and children and immigrants and Yankees alike and that was a mistake. That was when Ned Mickle with some members of the Hounds fled south into Southern California and continued to raid and eventually joined up with the larger Red Barber gang. Like a lot of men in The Hounds, he fought in the Mexican-American War.  


JACK "RED" BARBER 

Ned Mickle, you and your friends from the "Hounds" joined us after being asked to leave San Francisco, isn't that right Ned Mickle.   


Ned Mickle nods reluctantly having been put in his place. There is an underlying tension and Red Barber is going to symbolically take on his biggest rival and establish his leadership again. Red Barber is an experienced military leader and renowned “Indian fighter” and by comparison Ned Mickle is just a self-asserting bully with really nothing to offer the gang.


Nervous laughter mixed in.  The laughter and comments recede.  


JACK "RED" BARBER 

(CONT'D) 

Ned Mickle had to "acknowledge the corn" boys.  Because Ned Mickle knows it's the truth and he and his boys, they called themselves, "The Hounds" had a nice business going in San Francisco didn't you Ned, when you were just going after the Chileans nobody cared, but you boys went into extortion of practically anybody and then the authorities organized.  I was there that day they  had enough of the Hounds, and now Ned Mickle where are your leaders of the Hounds?  I'll tell you where they are in jail for ten years. That's not going to happen to me.   


Everybody laughs again.   


JACK "RED" BARBER 

(CONT'D)

We're going to play this smart and we're going to come in low and nice with the Yankees. You know what Ned Mickle's Hounds did, they formed a band and marched all over San Francisco and on a Sunday morning too, when people are in church or hung over in their beds and here's this band in all their glory like they were an invading army announcing the war and then they went and started a riot on top of that so they could raid all these Chilean tents and started beating up and shooting men, women and then these geniuses started shooting the children. That's when the citizens rounded them up and put them on a ship in the bay because they had no jail. No, we won’t be taking any Yankee money because that way we won’t get the blue coats coming after us.  We don’t want trouble with the sheriff either because that will bring the blue coats too, so be on your best behavior with the Yankees boys. I’m betting that If we don’t raid the Yankees the authorities won’t care what we do to the rest of them.


Red Barber winks broadly and the gang chuckles.   


COBB THE SYDNEY 

Who’s the rest of them, Red?  


JACK "RED" BARBER 

Red skin Indians for one, we can do anything we want to them and take what we need and the Yankees won’t do a darn thing about it.   


COBB THE SYDNEY 

Indians, what do they have that can do us any good?   


JACK "RED" BARBER 

Indian maidens for a start.   


The gang laughs lasciviously.   


JACK "RED" BARBER

(CONT') 

I can use a handful of them myself, I don't know about you, maybe you don't like Indian Maidens.   A smattering of laughter.   


JACK "RED" BARBER 

(CONT) 

Indians have provisions too, maybe some weapons and then maybe we can run into some Chinese miners back from the gold fields and those Chinese miners always have some gold hidden somewhere.  And the Mexicans, we can get a little of everything from them, Sonoran’s they called themselves down here, we can do anything we want to do to them and take anything from their kind and the Yankees will just cheer us on I’ll wager. What do you think Ned Mickle?  Do you think that the Yankees will cheer us on?

 

NED MICKLE I think that you have a powerful good idea there Red.

 

JACK "RED" BARBER 

Good, now we won't have to ship you back to the authorities in San Francisco.


The gang laughs.  


NED MICKLE 

Thanks for that Red, we surely do appreciate it.

  

All laugh a full laugh and the tension is gone the confrontation is avoided and the moment of challenge and response is past.  The gang goes on.  


 COBB THE SYDNEY 

But Red, what about the money, where's the big money come from? How are we going to get real money without marauding, you know what I mean? It's Okay to get provisions but a bunch of us need to send some of those green back home too Red.  


JACK "RED" BARBER 

I know that Cobb the Sydney.  You don't think I know that? So, that's why I saved the best till last. 


NED MICKLE 

I knew it, I knew it, I knew there was a big idea behind all of this.   


JACK "RED" BARBER 

That's the smartest thing you've said so far Ned Mickle.  The big money, the really big money, like it always is with the rich folks, and around here the rich folks are the fabulously rich Californios and we're going to take the big money from them.