IN “HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER”, IS THE STRANGER THE DEAD MARSHALL’S GHOST?

No. Even though the sheriff has a bullet hole in the middle of his forehead, that doesn’t stop him because he’s a tough guy. The real ghost is the sheriff’s horse. Because of this, the sheriff is forced to steal his nephew’s toy horse and to pretend that he is riding through High Plains. But if you look closely, you’ll see that the thing between his legs is not a horse but a horse-headed stick. (The reason why he continuously moves his lips is that he is banging the tongue against the palate to mimic the sound of the hooves.) In High Plains, the sheriff runs into the stranger, who lets out a nervous giggle at seeing the horse-headed stick. That’s when the sheriff becomes enraged and shoots the stranger. But, at that moment, he realizes that it’s he who should be dead due to the hole in his forehead. So he blushes and, before someone notices the mistake, throws himself to the ground. The stranger does not understand anything since he has not even fired. Anyway, he takes advantage of the occasion to flee: gets hold of the horse-headed stick, and rides towards the setting sun before anyone discovers the nonsense of the whole thing.

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