L’Ape musicale

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Scene 8

[Brokeback Mountain, late summer, sunset fading. On the high sleep-with-the-sheep tent site we see Aguirre’s silhouette with binoculars to his eyes. He is looking down at the main camp. What he sees is Jack, his back pressed against Ennis’s belly, folded in his embrace. Heavy cloud is moving in, the wind rising. Aguirre turns and we hear him galloping away toward the lower main camp.]

The lower main camp. By the time Aguirre gets here it is twilight and there is a fire. Jack, eyes closed, is still leaning against Ennis. For this scene they must wear distinctive shirts.]


[half-humming his old song, half-singing, low and loving]

Time to hit the hay, cowboy. And I can’t stay down here tonight. I got to go back up to the sheep. Ain’t you sleepy? Hmmmm, hmmm. You know I got to go.


I hear his heart beat.

Why can’t we be face to face?

Why can’t it be like this for us?

I hear his heart beat

For me. For me.


I don’t want to go.

I feel his warmth.

We can’t be face to face.

That would mean something bad.

This is wrong. This is wrong.

What is happening to me?

To me? To me?

ENNIS [to Jack]

You calm me, you calm me.

You heal the ache

of loneliness.

Close to me, close, close

you calm me. You. You.


I think you love me, Ennis.



Those soft words are not mine.

You don’t calm me.

Your closeness scares me, you disturb me,.

I cannot let you close to me.

You scare me.

JACK [Confident. Laughs. Extends his arms to Ennis who cannot resist and begins to move toward him drawn by the irresistible.]

[Sound of galloping hoofs and horse drawn up sharply, sound of someone dismounting in the half-dark. Jack and Ennis guiltily move apart and fuss with meaningless chores. Aguirre strides into the firelight. He would like to physically kick them off the mountain, but has to get the sheep down.]

AGUIRRE [Angry.]

Whitlaw calls me up and says you got my sheep mixed up with his. I go up to the high camp. Nobody there. I look down. I see something I should not see.


Then don’t spy. You won’t see the things you should not see.


[Slaps his leg in frustration, turns away. Agitated and flustered. Turns back to Jack and Ennis, takes refuge in giving orders.]

One a you get up to them sheep. RIGHT NOW. Supposed to be one a you up there every night. Not down here. All right. Tomorrow. All right. [Slaps his leg again.] I got to get my sheep down the mountain. Weather comin. Storm movin in. First snow on the way.

[We hear Brokeback muttering.]

Tomorrow we get the sheep down.

Six a.m. And that’ll be it for you two—[unspoken epithet].

Pick up your checks at the trailer.

And get the hell away from here. Away from me.

This goddamn mountain…

[He spits, leaves and we hear him ride away. Jack and Ennis stand motionless in the firelight. A long pause while Aguirre’s words sink in. The mountain’s deep damaging voice is faint but its power is intensifying as is the wind.]



I better get up there, I guess. [He picks up his saddle.]


Goddamn, Ennis. Think about it. This is our last night. Stay here.



Jack, I better go.


[intense emotion]

Ennis. Don’t you go up to them damn sheep.


[moves reluctantly toward horse, suddenly wheels and goes to Jack.]

You’re right. I’m stayin. Come on.

[Puts his arm over Jack’s shoulders. They go into the tent and the fire dies, the wind screeches and Brokeback Mountain booms.]


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