Kansas Kid by James Brosnahan | Script Revolution

Kansas Kid



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A strapping orphan makes a name for himself as a gunman and bounty hunter, while pursuing vengeance against those who killed his parents.

1867. Ft. Hays, Kansas. Colonel Cook details his men to journey to a government-owned farm
for the purposes of establishing an orphanage. Joining them are two unusual orphans — Johnny
Dice, whose parents were killed in an attack by two renegades named Preacher and Half-Breed
— and Mary Carlisle, British, whose parents were killed when Indians attacked their train. They
did it to protect the buffalo the whites were shooting for sport. Mary tried to stop the men as well
— Chief Wolf Who Never Sleeps spares her life and awards a ceremonial arrow for that act of
bravery. Small comfort to her, however.

The group arrives at Briggs Landing and takes possession of neighboring Peabody Farms. The
company restores the farm and outbuildings to good working order and the orphanage is now a
going concern. Johnny and Mary have become fast friends — maybe more — and the two take a
shine to Sissy, a guileless and innocent young girl with Down's Syndrome.

One 4th of July, Johnny winds up in a shooting contest, which he wins against more experienced
competition. The name "The Kansas Kid" attaches to him henceforth. But the Kansas Kid can't
make a life for himself or a future for Mary working at the farm — so Johnny leaves abruptly, to
pursue employment opportunities as a rider and scout.

Before too long, eager to return, Johnny ends his employment — then winds up doing some
bounty hunting for additional money, which he sends home to Mary. In this way he becomes a
formidable presence on the Plains.

One day he and friend Pete come across Lone Wolf, the son of Chief Wolf Who Never Sleeps.
Staked by sadistic buffalo hunters, the boy is dying. They cut him free and tend his wounds.
Impressed by this act of selflessness, Wolf Who Never Sleeps presents them with ceremonial
arrows and his friendship.

Johnny arrives back at Briggs Landing, in time to prevent a robbery at the trading post — and
reunites with Mary, angry at him for his sudden absence, but soon won over to acknowledging
the love she feels for him. Things seem tranquil for awhile...until Preacher and Half-Breed
savage and kill Sissy in the course of a robbery.

Johnny and the posse call upon Wolf Who Never Sleeps, who dispatches braves to all quarters of
the compass. Hideout discovered, Johnny and the posse descend upon the renegades. A gun
battle ensues. Johnny shoots Half-Breed, but Preacher escapes — Johnny manages to ride him
down and finally fires a shot to end his life. Justice is served.

Despite Johnny almost getting caught in a snowstorm, he and Mary have a happy Christmas. He
gives her a ring, and she gives him her hand in marriage. And reveals she's bought Peabody
Farms for them, saving up the money he sent home! The orphans are moved to a better facility in
Topeka, and Johnny and Mary settle down to live a happy life together.

Prestigious Awards:

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Westfield Screenplay Awards - best western
Austin Film Festival - Second Rounder
Chicago Screenwriters Festival - Semi-Finalist

Submitted: February 2, 2019
Last Updated: October 1, 2020

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The Writer: James Brosnahan

Jim Brosnahan, originally from Pittsburgh via Chicago, is a graduate of the University of Dayton, a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and a published playwright. His plays have been produced across the US and England. His screenplays have earned nominations and awards at several film festivals. He teaches writing for change leaders in the business world. Jim lives in Ohio with his wife and a son with Down syndrome who keeps alive a sense of wonder in the family. Go to bio

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