As the scene opens, two men can be seen sitting at a table, directly across from each other. One is on the left of the camera, the other on the right. The man on the left is speaking.
Sherriff: (impatiently): “So you are absolutely sure that the Darnel pass is the safest way to travel?”
Cantrell: “I would stake my life on it, as I said”
Sherriff: “All the same, I would like some extra insurance, so I believe that I will hire guards anyway. You must know how much I and my fortune mean to the government, as you also must know about the famous bandits which are reputed to roam in the area of that pass.”
Cantrell: “If you would rather travel along the coast and add a week or more to your trek in order to go by way of the Salton pass, suit yourself. But these bandits are more numerous that you seem to imagine; and they only answer to one authority.”
Sherriff: (still more impatient, beginning to shout) “And what does this one authority have to do with my travels through the country?”
Cantrell: “Only that the reason this man has never been caught is because he lives a respectable life in the city, and does not show himself in the country very often.”
Sherriff: (speaks loudly) “If that is the case, then I say before both of you here that I will not rest until this man is locked in the safest cell in Thallnorv Prison!”
Cantrell: “You don’t happen to mean the best cell, do you? Because I don’t believe that this man merits anything more that the deepest cell in that ruin.”
Sherriff: “Of course I mean the deepest! Where has your mind gone to, man?” The first speaker thunders. “And I will show you that I have full authority to put him there without further formalities! My papers!” he snaps.
At these last words, the servant who has been standing beside the door silently until this moment strides to the table and hands his master a bag which contains several papers. The man seated at the table digs out the one he wants and passes it across the table to the other.
The second man takes the paper which has been offered and reads the following:
Feared enemy of the state; believed to be disguising himself as a respectable innkeeper. Information leading to apprehension and death of this man will earn 20,000 dalnari.
Upon reading the notice, he stands up and announces
Cantrell: (scornfully) “If that is all you know of him, you will waste your life trying to catch him. I do wish that the High Sheriff of the country had more doable matters to attend to than attempting to catch a phantom.” With this statement, he leaves the table and exits the room through the door visible on the left.
The first man and his servant only remain in the room long enough for the master to say
Sherriff: (loudly, if nothing else) “Hunting a phantom am I? We’ll see how hard it is to catch one when we know how that man spends his time!” he concludes, pointing out the window at the man passing by the window, who was the same they had seen in the room moments before
The servant rushes out the door.
The master, after retrieving his notice, looks at it again and announces to the empty room “A larger prize would possibly bring real information. After all, 20,0000 pales in comparison to my own pocket.” he exits. (Fade out)