|The Ponderosa Spirit - 5||Joan Sherman Markowitz|
INT. PONDEROSA – DAY
It is now the next morning and it's a beautiful day. The birds are chirping, the sun is shining and Hoss has circles under his eyes. Joe and Hoss are at the breakfast table just starting their breakfast when Kara comes down the stairs. Joe and Hoss jump to their feet. Joe reaches her chair first and pulls it out very gallantly and with a sweep of his hand and a bow seats Kara. Hop Sing enters from the kitchen and Hoss introduces Kara to him.
HOP SING: Velly pleased to meet missy. What will missy have for bleakfast? We have eggs, hot biscuits, bacon…
KARA (breaking in): Just a cup of coffee and a biscuit, please, Hop Sing. Oh, and juice, if you have it.
HOP SING: We have. Comin' right up.
He exits into kitchen.
HOSS: That's not much of a breakfast to start the day off, Miss Kara.
KARA: I rarely eat much breakfast, Hoss. I'm overdoing it eating the biscuit – but it sounded so good.
HOSS: Hop Sing makes the best biscuits in all of Virginia City and then some.
JOE (laughing): Hoss must know. He samples every one of them from here to Virginia City and then some.
HOSS (sheepishly): Aw, Joe. That's not true.
KARA: But, Joe, Hoss is a growing boy. He needs his energy. Speaking of energy… you look like you could use a little bit this morning, Hoss. Didn't you sleep well? You look a bit peaked.
JOE (interceding): Hoss had spirits chasing him all night and he didn't get much sleep trying to catch the little devils.
HOSS: Cut it out, Joe.
Hop Sing enters carrying tray of biscuits, eggs, juice, coffee, etc. He goes around the table giving the food to the Cartwrights and Kara.
KARA (biting into biscuits): Hop Sing, these are delicious. Very light and tasty.
HOP SING: Thank you, Missy Kara. If you want anything more just holler.
Hop Sing exits.
KARA: Now Joe…just what in the world were you talking about? What spirits?
JOE: I think your little séance kind of undid my older brother.
KARA: What has the séance got to do with it?
JOE: I think he thinks that you conjured up spirits to haunt him.
KARA: Oh, that's nonsense. The spirits I talk to aren't flesh and blood. They can't come through another world.
JOE: Hoss thinks they can.
HOSS: Why don't you let me talk for myself, Joe. (to Kara) Madame Kara, I don't think that there are spirits floating around. I don't know what to think. All I know is that something funny is goin' on and it just seems to be happening to me, not anybody else, and I don't like it.
KARA: What seems to be happening to you?
HOSS: Well… it's hard to explain and you probably won't believe me anyway.
KARA: Try me.
HOSS: Okay.. here goes. The horses unhitched themselves, my blankets came flying off of me. The bedspread was off the bed when I went upstairs, and I remember making the bed myself yesterday morning, and I don't remember turning the spread down last night.
KARA: Those aren't unusual things. Maybe somebody did them for you.
HOSS: Joe says he didn't. And Hop Sing wouldn't unhitch the horses – besides he was in bed when the blankets few off me. You certainly wouldn't do it… would you??
KARA: Of course not. Did you ask Hop Sing about these incidents?
HOSS: No. I just know he didn't.
KARA: why don't you go in the kitchen and get me some more coffee and while you're there you can ask him.
Hoss gets up and exits to the kitchen.
Hop Sing is at the table drinking coffee and reading a paper. Hoss sees the biscuits on the stove and as he reaches for one it jumps off the stove and lands in Hop Sing's coffee, splattering the coffee all over Hop Sing. Hop Sing jumps up from the table and knocks the cup off shattering it on the floor. He looks up and sees Hoss standing there with his mouth open and starts cussing him out in Chinese. He looks for something to grab to hit Hoss with. At this point Hoss runs out of the kitchen and makes a beeline for the door.
INT. DINING ROOM
Joe and Kara look up in astonishment as Hoss comes running from the kitchen. Then Hop Sing comes running out after Hoss with a broom in his hand. Joe tries to intercept Hop Sing to find out what happened. Hop Sing dodges and makes the door and out he goes after Hoss. Joe and Kara follow them outside.
EXT. PONDEROSA RANCH HOUSE – DAY
Joe and Kara's POV. Hop Sing is chasing Hoss around the yard with the broom hollering at him.
HOSS: I didn't do it, Hop Sing. Put that thing down and I'll try to explain.
HOP SING: You the only one in the kitchen. Biscuit didn't fly by itself.
HOSS: Yes, it did. Calm down and let me explain.
HOP SING: I'll calm down after you clean up what used to be clean kitchen.
HOSS: I'll be glad to. Now put down that broom.
Hop Sing stops brandishing the broom like a weapon and lets Hoss come close to him. Just as Hoss reaches him up comes the broom and clouts Hoss over the head. Hoss lets out a yelp and the chase is on again. We HEAR a horse in the distance and Joe and Kara look down the road. Ben comes riding in. As he rides in Hoss runs to Ben and tries to hide behind his horse.
BEN: What in tarnation is going on around here? I go away for a few days and havoc breaks out.
HOSS: Tell Hop Sing to stop chasing me, Paw.
CAMERA moves to Joe and Kara. Joe is laughing to beat the band and Kara has an amused expression on her face. She is studying Ben very carefully. CAMERA goes back to Ben as he dismounts and leads his horse up to Hop Sing who is still brandishing the broom.
BEN: Hop Sing, will you please put my horse away and give him some oats.
Hop Sing takes the horse and leads him to the barn. Hoss breathes a sigh of relief.
BEN: Now, would somebody please tell me what's been goin on while I was away.
Well, Hoss attended a …. I went to a séance and…
BEN: Now, hold on just a minute. One at a time. First things first. Will somebody please introduce me to this young lady before we all get embarrassed.
This is… Her name is Madame…
BEN: I said one at a time. Hoss – seeing as how you seem to be the one in the most trouble you may speak first.
HOSS: Paw…I'd like you to meet Madame Kara. Madame Kara, my Paw, Ben Cartwright.
BEN: It's a great pleasure – uh – Madame…Kara.
KARA: Just call me Kara. It's an honor to meet you, Mr. Cartwright. Your name is well known throughout the country.
BEN (beaming): Well, it's nice of you to say so. To what do we owe the pleasure of your visit, Kara.
KARA: Your son, Hoss, was kind enough to invite me to your home. I have a show of sorts in Virginia City and…
HOSS (interrupting): She gives seances, Paw. She knew so much about you and my mother that I had to invite her out.
BEN: Knew so much?
HOSS: Yeah. She….
BEN: I can't see staying out here and discussing it. I guess Hop Sing has cooled off enough by now to be allowed into the house. Remind me to ask you about that too, Hoss.
HOSS: Yes, sir.
They all troop into the house. Kara leading. Joe is still snickering to himself.
INT. LIVING ROOM
BEN: Please make yourself comfortable, Kara. Would you like some coffee?
KARA: I would love some, Mr. Cartwright.
BEN: Please call me Ben. Joe, would you please get Madame Kara a cup of coffee.
Joe goes into kitchen.
BEN: Now, Hoss, you have some explaining to do. Why was Hop Sing chasing you? What did you do to him?
HOSS: I didn't do anything.
BEN: You must have done something.
HOSS: I went into the kitchen to ask Hop Sing something and saw some biscuits on the stove. I reached for one and it jumped off the stove and landed in Hop Sing's coffee.
Joe returns with the coffee, hands it to Kara and sits down.
BEN: You mean one slipped out of your hand.
HOSS: No, I mean one jumped off the stove with no help from me.
BEN: Are you sure you're all right? You don't have a temperature?
HOSS: I'm all right, Paw. And I'm tellin' the truth.
BEN: Did Hop Sing see this biscuit jump off the stove all by itself.
HOSS: No. He was reading.
BEN: Then it's only your word that the biscuit jumped all by itself?
HOSS: Yes, sir.
BEN (yelling): HOP SING!!
Hop Sing comes in from the kitchen and stands in front of Ben glaring at Hoss now and then.
HOP SING: You called Mister Cartwright?
BEN: Yes, Hop Sing. Did Hoss throw a biscuit at you this morning?
HOP SING: Yes, he did.
BEN: Did you see him throw it?
HOP SING: No. But I sure didn't throw it at myself. If Hoss didn't throw it, who did?
BEN: That's what I'm trying to find out. The whole affair seems rather childish to me.
HOSS: I told you, Paw – nobody threw it. It threw itself.
BEN: This is getting us absolutely nowhere. Thank you, Hop Sing.
Hop Sing exits.
BEN: Now, Hoss. What was all this about a séance and what were you doing in town when there was work to be done?
HOSS (sheepishly): Joe did the work.
BEN: So now you're letting your brother do your chores.
HOSS: But, Paw!
BEN: No buts! You know….
KARA (interrupting): Excuse me. Maybe you would rather discuss this in private. I'll go freshen up before lunch.
BEN: Thank you. We'll call you when lunch is ready.
She exits and Ben watches her with interest as she goes up the stairs.
JOE: If you don't need me, Pa, I'll go check your horse.
BEN: Fine, Joe. (to Hoss) What's got into you? You shirk your work and expect Joe do it all.
HOSS: Paw, if you'd just listen to me. There's something about Miss Kara that's spooky.
BEN: Come on, Hoss. Kara is just an entertainer. She puts on an act and that's all there is to it. There's nothing spooky about that.
HOSS: Then how come she knows so much about my ma and you and the rest of the family?
BEN: That's not so hard to figure out. We aren't exactly strangers in Virginia City.
HOSS: I guess you're right, Paw… But besides the biscuit jumping off the stove other strange things have happened.
BEN: Like what?
HOSS: Well, my horse unsaddled itself.
BEN: Oh, come on, Hoss – you don't believe that.
HOSS: I don't know what to believe anymore. Joe said he didn't do it and Hop Sing doesn't know how to unsaddle a horse or at least he pretends he doesn't know.
BEN: Maybe one of the cowhands did it.
HOSS: I only went into the house for a few seconds. If anybody was out there they couldn't have done it in that short a time, and I didn't see anybody around. Also, the rig was unhitched and nobody, but nobody is that fast.
BEN: Where was Joe at the time.
HOSS: He was in the house.
BEN: How much beer did you drink last night?
HOSS: Not enough to imagine these weird things.
BEN: Hoss, you must have dreamt them.
HOSS: Yeah, but Paw, is it possible for a guy to dream when he's wide awake.
BEN: Hoss, you do that most of the time.
Before Hoss can answer that one Hop Sing enters and announces lunch.
HOP SING: Mr. Cartwright, lunch is ready.
BEN: Thank you, Hop Sing. Hoss, go tell Madame Kara that lunch is ready.
Hoss exits up stairs.
INT. DINING ROOM
They are just finishing up lunch. Hoss is still stuffing himself.
BEN: I hope you enjoyed your lunch, Kara.
KARA: Ben, it was just delicious. If I stay here much longer I'll be as big as Hoss.
BEN: That could never happen.
KARA: Thank you. By the way, your ranch is just beautiful. Hoss pointed out parts of it on the ride in.
BEN: There's a lot of it you haven't seen. Why don't you take a ride with me while I check over that the boys have or haven't done. (looks at Hoss). Sometimes I wonder when I take a trip whether its better for the boys to do what I tell them or not to do it.
BOYS (in unison): Aw, Pa!!
BEN: You may both be excused.
Joe and Hoss get up from the table and go into the living room.
BEN (continuing): Kara, would you like to take that ride now?
KARA: I'd love to.
BEN (calling to Joe): Joe go hitch our rig and then take the rented rig back to town.
JOE: Okay, Pa.
BEN: Hoss – go check the progress on the mare, then check the cattle on the South range.
Boys exit house.
KARA: I'll go get my wrap.
BEN: I'll be right here waiting.
Kara goes up stairs.
EXT. PONDEROSA – DAY
Joe is tying the reins to the fens.
BEN: All set, Joe?
JOE: Yes, Pa. Have a good time.
Joe looks wistfully at Kara as she crosses over to get into the rig. He jumps forward to help her into the rig before Ben has a chance to do it. Ben walks around to the other side and gets in.
BEN: Don't dawdle in Virginia City. Get back and help Hoss.
JOE: Okay. See you later.
Joe gets in other rig and rides off, his horse tied to rig. Ben cuts the horse off in the opposite direction.
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