Missing scene from Warburton’s Edge. (Some of Johnny’s thoughts about who is he really.)
Started in 2014 completed in 2015
L * A * N * C * E * R
Johnny leaned against the headboard, yet he found no comfort this night and sleep still eluded him. The hacienda was so quiet that when the chimes of the grandfather clock signaled midnight it seemed as loud as church bells. Startled by the noise, Johnny ran his hands through his sweaty hair, and stared at the bedroom door. Did he belong here, he wondered, could he be what Murdoch wanted for a son?
This was his room, his bed, his home, at least it was Johnny Lancer’s home. He sighed and slid over to sit on the side of the bed. He bowed his head and stared at his hands. Again Tally’s question, ‘who are you more?’ forced its way into his thoughts. His right hand bore the calluses of a gunfighter from his constant practicing. Madrid didn’t have the luxury of hanging up his gun; there were still gunfighters looking for a chance at his reputation.
When they were in the cantina and she asked the question it took him a moment before he answered Lancer. Was his answer Lancer because he thought that was what she wanted to hear? He wasn’t sure. Tally was such a romantic and she loved the idea of a lost prince. Was that really him or just her invention?
Why had he had answered Lancer, was he being truthful to himself? He had been Madrid longer than he’d been Lancer. Madrid had kept him alive all those years; as Lancer he would have been killed when he was still a kid. Now he wondered, how to explain that he was and he is - both.
Johnny understood his family’s fears about the danger that Madrid brought to Lancer, after all he had warned them. He also realized that as much as he wanted to be Johnny Lancer for his family, he wanted and needed to keep Madrid. Why couldn’t they understand?
When Warburton sent Isham and Preacher to kill Murdoch he had been so afraid for his father; that was a new and strange emotion for Madrid. Johnny’s chuckle lacked any mirth. His father, the word still felt strange to him. It also shocked him, the way he wanted to protect the man.
His race back to Lancer was torture, what if he was too late… what was he going to do...
Those fears were forgotten when he heard the gunshots. Without a second thought, he had jumped off Barranca and ran toward Murdoch who was hidden behind an arch. His father had folded him into his arms, the man had actually hugged him. Johnny would never be able to explain the feelings running through him at that moment, but he would treasure them forever.
Preacher and Isham were dead at Madrid’s hands. Isham had been a friend and Madrid had killed him. Kneeling by the dead body, he told his father they had only wanted to be good at their jobs. What did Murdoch think about that statement? Good at his job, good at killing, unable to face his father he kept his head bowed. Finally he hesitantly asked Murdoch if he still wanted him for a son. When Murdoch reached out and touched his shoulder he had felt such relief.
Now exhausted yet unable to sleep, he stood and walked to the window. He searched for a fleck of gold in the corral and found it, Barranca was where he belonged.
Again he remembered the feel of Murdoch’s hand on his shoulder.
His father had accepted him, he belonged.