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Red River 1948

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What's wrong, Campbell? We got three hours yet before we stop.
Dunson here says he's leaving the train.
- Is that right? You leaving? - I am.
You can't do that. You signed on.
- You agreed-- - I signed nothing. If I had, I'd stay.
If you'll remember, I joined your train after you left St. Louis.
Wait. You know this is Indian country. You might be walking into trouble.
For two days past and this day we've seen smoke and signs.
We know.
They're around somewhere. I can feel them.
The Comanches are welcome to you, but not to your bull and cows.
We need the beginnings of herds in California.
You're right about one thing. The beginning of herds.
But I'm starting my own herd.
I watched the land south of here since we left the Salt Fork.
It's good land. Good grass for beef. I'm going south where it is.
You're too good a gun for me to let you leave the train now.
Then I'm too good a gun for you to argue with.
If I was you, Colonel, I'd ponder on letting him be.
He's a mighty set man when his mind's made up. Even you can't change it.
He'll be heading south. Mind he don't stomp on you on the way out.
- Are you leaving too? - Colonel, me and Dunson--
Well, it's me and Dunson.
- Tell him I wish him luck. - Good luck to you, Colonel.
- I decided last night. - I decided too. I want to go with you.
- I'll send for you-- - I know you've work to do, Tom.
I want to be part of it. I love you. I want to be with you.
- Not now. - I'm asking you, Tom. Please take me.
I'm strong. I can stand anything you can.
- It's too much for a woman. - Too much for a woman?
Put your arms around me, Tom.
Hold me. Feel me in your arms.
Do I feel weak, Tom? I don't, do l?
You'll need me. You'll need a woman.
You need what a woman can give you to do what you have to do.
Listen to me, Tom. Listen with your head and your heart too.
The sun only shines half the time, Tom. The other half is night.
- I've made up my mind. - Once in your life, change your mind.
I'll send for you.
Will you come?
Of course I'll come, but you're wrong.
My mother's.
Oh, go, please. If you're going to go, please, go now.
I want to be with you so much, my knees feel like--
like they've knives in them.
Bye.
Team! Giddap!
What river do you reckon that is?
The Red River, I think.
If it is, that's Texas on the other side.
How about calling it a day, huh?
All right. Wheel your wagon--
All right. Wheel your wagon--
That's too big for a signal smoke, ain't it?
Yeah.
It's just about where the wagon train would be.
Why do Indians always want to be burning up good wagons?
Take us hours to get back there.
Yeah. We should have took her along.
They'll most likely send some out after us.
If they do--
This is as good a place as any.
Swing the wagon around. We'll keep the river to our back.
We could have been wrong about that smoke. She might have got away.
Oh, I wish it--
There they are.
I hope they ain't too many of them.
Give me your rifle!
- You all right, Tom? - Yeah.
I got two more of them. Near as I can figure, there's only one of them left.
They got the two cows, but--
That's too bad. We should have took--
That's him.
- Answer him. - Huh?
Answer him.
Let's get out of here.
Yeah, and give them buzzards a chance.
Shooting and screaming and people dying...
and burning the wagons and shooting and screaming and burning.
- People dying and wagons burning-- - Where'd you come from?
It was all burning. Only Indians around.
- Just all burning and smoking-- - How'd you get away?
- They were burning everything. - He's plumb out of his head.
It was plain. I could see it. They were burning the wagons. People screaming--
- I wouldn't do that again. - Put that gun down.
Don't do that again.
All right, sonny. I was just asking where you came--
Don't ever trust anybody till you know them.
I won't, after this.
Thanks for telling me.
All right. Now, how'd you get away?
I was following my cow. She got away in the brush.
Miles it seemed like.
Up a long hill she went.
Then I heard them.
And then I saw them.
And I wish I hadn't.
It looks like we'll have to take you along.
Are you going to use it?
But don't ever try to take it away from me again.
He'll do.
Tie 'em up short.
Get up on the seat.
Let's go.
- We're in Texas! - It feels good to me!
This is it. This is where we start growing good beef.
Sure looks good, Tom. Worth coming 2,000 miles for.
Everything a man could want. Good water and grass. And plenty of it.
- Who this belong to? - Me!
Someday that will all be covered with good beef.
I'll put a mark, a brand, on 'em to show they're mine too.
What kind of a mark?
I've been thinking about that.
It'll be two lines. Like this.
Like the banks of a river.
It'll be the Red River brand.
We'll start now. Get a fire going, Matt. Heat the iron.
There's the first one.
First Red River D.
You going to put that on my cow too?
- Why not? - She's mine.
I see a "D" for Dunson, but my name's Matthew.
- We'll talk about that later. - I don't see any "M" on that brand.
I'll put an "M" on it when you earn it.
That's fair enough. I'll earn it.
Never liked seeing strangers.
Guess it's 'cause no stranger ever good newsed me.
Hello.
- Saw the smoke of your fire. - Yes?
- Where do you travel? - Nowhere.
Remain here on Don Diego's land. You are welcome for a night, a week--
- Are you Diego? - No--
- Where is he? - At his home across the river.
Six hundred kilometers south.
- How far is that? - About 400 miles.
That's too much land for one man. Why, it ain't decent.
Here's all this land aching to be used and never has been.
It is for Don Diego to do as he chooses. This land is Don Diego's.
What is that river you were talking about?
The Rio Grande--
Tell Don Diego all the land north of that river is mine.
Tell him to stay off of it.
- But the land is his. - Where did he get it?
Many years ago by grant and patent, inscribed by the king of all Spain.
You mean he took it away from whoever was here before.
- Indians maybe. - Maybe so.
I'm taking it away from him.
Others have thought as you. Others have tried.
And you've always been good enough to stop them?
It is my work.
Pretty unhealthy job.
Get away, Matt.
I'm sorry for you--
How about you? You want some of it?
It is not my land. I will wait until Don Diego tells me what to do.
Go tell him what happened. Tell him what I said.
Take your friend's horse. We'll bury him. Move!
Matt, I told you to get away. You might have got hurt.
He went for his gun first, but you seemed to know--
Next time, do what I say.
- How'd you know he was gonna draw? - By watching his eyes.
- Remember that. - I will.
Get a shovel and my Bible.
I'll read over him.
"We brought nothing into this world, and it's certain we carry nothing out.
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen."
Turn 'em loose.
They're going to get away.
Wherever they go, they'll be on my land.
My land. We're here, and we're going to stay here.
Give me 10 years. I'll have that brand on the greatest ranch in Texas.
The big house will be down by the river, and the corrals and the barns behind it.
It'll be a good place to live in.
Ten years and I'll have the Red River D on more cattle than you've ever seen.
I'll have that brand on enough beef to feed the whole country.
Good beef for hungry people.
Beef to make them strong, make them grow.
It takes work, and it takes sweat.
And it takes time, lots of time.
It takes years.
Well, we've had our ten years and more.
- About 14. - Near to 15, and we've got the cattle.
- About 14. - Near to 15, and we've got the cattle.
Thousands of heads of good beef.
And there as they stand there isn't a head worth a plug three-cent piece.
Three-cent piece? That's more silver money than I've seen since the war.
That's right. It all happened while you were away, Matt.
More cattle than a man could gather elsewhere in two lifetimes.
And I'm broke. Unless we can move them, I'm broke.
Figured that's why you rounded them up.
I'm not going to take it haunch-backed like the rest around here.
- If there's no cattle market in Texas-- - And there ain't.
Then I'll take them where there is a market...
if it means driving them a thousand miles.
- Missouri? - Yeah.
That's what I figured.
Seems you two have been doing a lot of figuring.
While you were at it, did you figure out the best way to get them there?
Which trail to take? Yeah. San Saba, then Meridian, then along the Brazos--
That's the long way around.
Along the Brazos and up Palo Pinto--
- I said that's the long way. - I know it's the long way.
But there's good water clear all the way up to the Red.
But going that way, we'd get two extra crossings.
- You're not going. How do you know-- - I'm not?
No, you're not. How do you know the water's good?
- I led a patrol that way. - You think it's worth--
You think it's worth-- What are you mumbling about?
Where are those store teeth Matt brought you?
- In my pocket. - Why don't you use them?
They whistle. I use them for eating.
- Can't understand you. - Everybody else can.
What did you say?
I said, there's a lot of things you don't know about, Mr. Dunson.
- What? - First, about me going on this drive.
Go ahead.
- It's a thousand miles to Missouri? - That's right.
You figure me and my bad leg couldn't ride a horse that far.
-That's it. -It might be I could ride a chuck wagon.
We've already got a cook.
That is right, Mr. Dunson.
But might be Old Cookie might not like grubbing the trip all that way.
You heard me good that time, didn't you?
It might be the time of year when old Cookie would like a change of scenery.
Might be I already persuaded him, 'cause he up and quit this morning!
Well, then, it might be we could persuade you to drive the chuck wagon.
Might be, Mr. Dunson. Might be.
That's a pretty nice gun you're scratching those matches on.
- How is your gun arm? - I've used it a lot the last few years.
- Get me my horse, will you, Matt? - Yeah.
Funny thing about guns-- Draw!
I haven't heard that in a lot of years.
He beat you. You knew it was coming. He beat you.
I'd say he was just a little faster, just a mite faster than you was.
Matt, draw up a map of that country we were talking about--
I did. It's on your desk.
Mite faster about a lot of things.
I'll see you later.
That's the first time in one year I see the grin on his face...
except the other day when you come home.
- Didn't you see anything else? - Huh?
That look on his face when he was talking about the cattle.
- He's afraid. - Afraid?
- You're crazy. You're looney-- - Am l?
Sure, sure. I'm scared too.
But I've been here watching and seeing--
- Seeing what? - Seeing a man fighting.
Fighting with his soul and gut to hang on to this place.
Fourteen years of it, and it cost him dear too.
Cost him a woman. The only woman he ever wanted.
- Yeah. - Yeah. You know about that.
Cost him the killing of them seven graves.
Men who tried to take the place away from him, but that weren't hard.
He knows that kind of fighting. What else?
Then come the war while you was away.
He learned a lot of things for himself.
He learned that a ranch ain't only beef but it's money.
But the war took all the money out of the South.
He didn't know about money. He never had none. He didn't know what to do.
You mean he just doesn't know who to fight.
That's all right.
He's just been waiting for you to head the herd north in a full drive.
It's never been done before. Ten thousand cattle clear to Missouri.
- We could make it. - We--
I'm glad you come home, 'cause--
Well...
I'm glad you come home.
Let him go!
Hey, Matt. It's a Diego.
Let him go.
Another Meeker.
- Turn him loose. - Hold it!
- Put a brand on him. - It's a Meeker steer.
- I said brand him. - He's wearing a Meeker iron.
I can't see it.
Brand him.
All right, but the next one up is another Diego.
Brand him.
Put the iron on all of them, Teeler.
Anything you see, slap it with a Red River D and burn it deep.
Why not?
You're going to wind up branding every rump in Texas except mine.
Hand me that iron.
- You don't think I'd do it, do you? - No, I don't.
I'm going to Missouri with every steer, cow and bull I can lay my hands on.
I think Meeker might be real pleased to see our brand on his stock.
That I'll argue with Meeker.
And now might be a good time. He's even got some people to back him up.
I want to see this.
Howdy, Dunson. Matt.
I hear you're making a drive, Dunson.
News travels fast. Yeah, we're going to Missouri.
That's what I heard. I also heard something else yesterday.
Cumberland, a neighbor of mine, drove 3,000 head to the Red River.
When he got across, the Missouri border gangs jumped him...
stole the herd, killed all his men.
- Hard luck. - You know about it then?
I know about Cumberland and Shriver and a lot of others...
but nobody's gonna take my cattle.
I don't want anybody to take mine either.
I hear some of my brand wandered over this way.
- Mind if we look your herd over? - I do mind.
- You'd stop us? - Yeah, we would.
Can't you hold that horse still?
Well?
- Shall we take that look around? - You must be new around here.
- I told you we'd stop-- - I heard you.
Well, Mr. Meeker?
Maybe I should introduce you two before you--
- Who are you? - Some call me one thing, some another.
- What do they call you most? - By my name, Cherry Valance.
- Of Val Verde? - Val Verde way.
- We've heard of you. - Thanks.
They say you're good with a gun. How good?
- I manage to stay alive. - You've been doing pretty good.
- Still want to stop us? - Yeah.
Well, Mr. Meeker, what do you say?
At one time, I would have said yes. But now-- Look, Tom.
- Everything I've got-- - Yeah, I know. Me too.
We rounded up some of yours, Diego's and everybody else's around here.
And?
I haven't got the time or inclination to cut them out.
I'll drive them to Missouri and give you two dollars a head when I get back.
- And if you don't get back? - That's your gamble.
I reckon it is. Not a bad one either. All right, suits me.
Mr. Meeker, I changed my mind about working with you.
Can you use another hand?
- We're full up. - I'd like to go with you to Missouri.
- I told you-- - I heard you. I care to go along.
Might find it harder to stay alive along the Missouri border.
I might at that.
Wages are $10 a month.
Triple if the steers bring $15 at the railroad.
- We lose the herd, you lose your wages. - Fair enough.
All right, good luck.
Good-bye, Mr. Meeker.
- Take care of him, Matt. - Sure.
I take it I'm hired.
You're hired.
Brand them all. Everything that can walk.
Yes, sir! Brand them all, boys! Get going!
You ought to stick around back there.
- What for? - See the shooting.
- You reckon they're going to fight? - Not yet.
They'll just paw at each other, find out what they're up against.
Worth seeing.
Could be.
Let's give 'em a hand here.
Sure. That's a good-looking gun you were about to use back there. Can I see it?
Maybe you'd like to see mine.
Nice. Awful nice.
There are only two things more beautiful than a good gun.
A Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere.
You ever had a good Swiss watch?
Go ahead. Try it.
Hey, that's very good.
Hey, hey, that's good too. Go on. Keep it going.
Yeah, now I know who you'd be.
- You'd be Matthew Garth, wouldn't you? - That's right.
You're as good as they say you are.
Maybe as good as me.
That puts two of us at the head of the list.
I'd leave room for a third.
- Yeah? Who? - Dunson.
- Is he that good? - He taught me.
- How are you doing? - What was all that shooting?
That shooting was two of the best men with a gun anybody had ever seen.
- Who? - Matt and Cherry Valance.
- From Val Verde? - Yeah.
- What happened? - They was having some fun.
Peculiar kind of fun. Sizing each other up for the future.
Them two is gonna tangle for certain. When they do, it ain't gonna be pretty.
They got a thousand miles to do it in.
- How much flour you got? - Twenty-eight.
- Beans? - Twelve.
- Plenty sugar? - Yeah.
You know, Bunk, I always figured Matt was better--
I could take that personal.
Yeah, and I could take the end of your nose off just as easy.
Man of your age stealing sugar. Go on. Get the rest of that stuff.
All right, Pop.
Lapping up sugar before we even started--
- Hiya, Matt. - Hi.
- Your bet, Teeler. - Check.
- Quo? - Me bet one silver dollar.
One silver dollar? Why, that's three days' pay.
Bet one silver dollar. Put up or keep face closed.
"Keep face closed"? Why don't you talk English?
- That's too much for me. - What about you, Groot?
Look at him. Anything I hate's a happy Injun. Look at that gaping puss.
How's a body to tell when an Injun's running a bluff?
- Think he's bluffing. - Will you call or fold?
Matt, how about loaning me a silver dollar?
- No. - Why not?
- Is it table stakes? - Yeah.
Quo's right. You bet what you've got on the table. That's all.
Doggone, and me with a good hand and nothing to bet.
What in bag?
The bag? Oh, them's my store teeth. Couldn't bet them.
Now, look, Quo.
Them teeth is worth a heap a lot more than your silver dollar.
- Got any more money? - No.
No more money? I'll tell you what I'll do.
I'll bet you a quarter interest in my teeth against your silver dollar.
A half interest against your dollar.
You heard him. It's a bet.
There it is, boys. Back to back.
- Three men. - Three men.
That Cherokee betting a silver dollar against half interest in my teeth...
and him with a set fitting to chew the brand off the tough end of a longhorn.
Are you going to take a man's only set of teeth?
- I got to use them for eating. - Come grub, you get 'em.
- What are you going to do with them? - My name now Two Jaw Quo.
Two Jaw Quo. That's what I get for playing with an Injun.
I've worn this hat a long time. I'm gonna continue to wear it.
If you got any objections, I'd like to hear them now.
- It's your hat, brother. - You made a wise decision.
Would you be wanting to get up now?
Well, we start tomorrow.
We're going to Missouri with 10,000 head.
Most of you men have come back to Texas from the war. You came back to nothing.
You found your homes gone, your cattle scattered...
and your land stolen by carpetbaggers.
There's no money and no work, because there's no market for beef in the South.
But there is in Missouri, so we're going to Missouri.
- I hear tell Cumberland-- - Cumberland didn't make it.
No one else has. That's the reason I'm here.
I want you all to know what you're up against.
You probably already know, but I want to make sure you do.
We got a thousand miles to go.
Ten miles a day will be good. Fifteen will be luck.
There will be dry country, dry wells when we get to them.
There will be wind and rain.
There's going to be Indian territory. How bad? I don't know.
When we get to Missouri, there will be border gangs.
It's gonna be a fight all the way, but we'll get there.
Nobody has to come along.
I'll still have a job for you when we get back.
But remember this: Every man who signs on for this drive agrees to finish it.
There will be no quitting along the way, not by me and not by you.
There's no hard feelings if you don't want to go, but let me know now.
- M-Mr. Dunson, l-- - It's all right, Dan. Go ahead.
- My wife-- - You don't have to explain, Bill.
- Thanks. Good luck. - Go on, Joe. Taylor.
Thank you, Mr. Dunson.
- It's all right, Dan. Go ahead. - No, sir. I didn't mean that l--
- You mean what, Dan? - I-l-l--
I just wanted to say I want to go.
Fine. And the rest of you?
That means you're all coming along. Good.
Matt here will sign you on. We'll start at sunup.
All right, come on. Sign your name or make your mark.
Let me sign first, Matt.
- Ready, Matthew? - All ready.
Take 'em to Missouri, Matt.
All right, Quo! Let's go to Missouri!
There they are, Matt. Fourteen years of hard work.
And they say we can't make the drive.
They could be wrong.
Better be.
Teeler, you and Walt and Simms are on the next watch.
Breakfast at 4:30, Groot. Trail at 5:00.
All right, Tom.
Hey, Quo, when you're finished there, get some--
What's the matter?
- Grub finished? - Sure. I ate.
- Give 'em tooth. - Teeth, I told you.
It's only a few hours until morning. I'll be using them again.
Come morning, you get them.
This is getting to be plumb crazy. We been doing this all day.
By the time we get to Missouri, we'll have them all wore out...
passing them back and forth and back and forth.
Tell you what I'll do. I'll give you 100% profit.
I'll give you two dollars for your half interest.
Not now. When I get it. When we finish the drive.
I get money, you get 'em tooth.
Teeth, you dumb heathen. Why do I always have to--
Oh, what's the use?
The way we worked it, along the Brazos, the Palo Pinto...
up to the Red, then north to Sedalia.
You make that drive to Sedalia look very easy.
There are a lot of rough boys along the border. I just got back from there.
You want to stick your nose back in that country?
Cherry, how come you joined the drive?
Just a notion I had. Then Matt turned me down.
Made me want to go. Besides, I've taken a liking to that gun of his.
Fat chance you got of getting that, bub.
I've been wondering. Why'd you turn me down? You're not afraid of me.
You know what happens if this drive doesn't get to market?
According to Dunson, we lose our wages.
You've been all through the state. What did you see?
Yeah, I know. Cattle running wild. Carpetbaggers reaching with both hands.
Ranchers roasting grain and calling it coffee.
- I've been doing it for two months. - I saw a man swap a steer for flour.
I know why you want to get through. Maybe I do too.
But why to Missouri? Why not turn west at the Red and head them for Kansas?
- Kansas? - What?
Fine "howdy-ma'am" that would be when the railroad's in Missouri.
- Railroad in Kansas too. - Where?
I saw the one in Topeka, and there's one in Abilene.
Abilene? That's further west.
Did you see it in Abilene?
I didn't get there. I met a girl in Kansas City.
She fancied she could sing, but she had other--
If we could head west at the Red--
- We'd save ourselves a heap of-- - We're going to Missouri.
I've seen buyers and cash in Sedalia. What have you seen in Abilene?
Not a thing. Just a girl told me.
- A girl with hair the color-- - Seems to me, Mr. Dunson--
- I didn't ask you, Groot. - No, that's right.
You didn't ask me, Mr. Dunson.
We're going to Missouri.
Suppose if I tangled with him, I'd have to take you on too.
You'll find him a handful by himself.
- How much further we going today? - About four miles north. There's--
Hold that horse. There's a good stream and bed grounds.
Cinch him up.
That old ankle's sure puffing up.
Yeah.
We're going to have to paint it tonight.
Keep 'em moving.
It's a good thing we got a big remuda.
He's been wearing out three, four horses a day.
- All the same, I don't like it. - What don't you like?
Everything's going too good. We're bound to have a hat full of trouble.
- Always yammering, I tell you. - Well--
I don't like to see things go good or bad.
I like them in-between.
Groot, what's Dan riding in Quo's wagon for?
- I was wanting to discuss that myself. - What?
- I was wanting to discuss that-- - I can't understand you.
Why don't you use your teeth?
My teeth is just what we was discussing.
Well, talk on your own time. Dan should be working.
If you was half human, you'd give them back to me. I could use them.
Besides, they'd help keep the dust out of my mouth.
Keep mouth shut. Dust not get in.
Bet I ate 10 pounds in the last 16 days.
Before this shenanigan's over, I'll probably eat enough land...
to incorporate me in the Union, the state of Groot.
That hurt!
Teeth or no teeth, I can still use me a whip, and you keep out of that sugar.
Too late, Pop. I already got me some.
Having a sweet tooth is almost as bad as having a whiskey tongue or liking women.
A hundred days. Well, all I got to worry about is feeding them.
Come on! Giddap!
Hey, Buster. How is it down there?
This water is really fine. Nice and cool.
Man could take himself a right good bath.
What's the matter?
What are you stopping them for?
This water here looks pretty good.
There's water three or four miles on ahead.
The men have had a pretty tough day.
- I think in all fairness-- - I'll do the thinking.
Keep them going.
Hey! Buster, we're moving on.
Come on. Get going!
I knowed this was too good to be true.
- We're moving on! - Why does he want to--
We're moving on!
Get up from there, you!
Groot! We'll bed down here!
All right, Matt.
- Hi, Laredo. Just get in? - Yep. Got any coffee?
- I'll get you some. - What'd you find?
Good water ahead for the next three days.
- Where's Dunson? - He and Matt are out with the herd.
* They graze in the coulees *
* They water in the draw *
* Their tails are all tattered *
* Their backs are all raw *
* Ride around little dogies *
* Ride around them slow *
* For the fiery and the snuffy are a-rarin'-- **
- Hello, Dan. - Hello, Mr. Dunson.
- How they doing? - Kind of uneasy.
That coyote ain't helping them none.
- No. - Whoa, cattle.
Just keep quieting them. They'll be all right.
Sure hope nothing happens.
I've been thinking about the drive and what it means to everybody.
- Me too. It means that-- - What does it mean, Dan?
Well, one thing...
when we get there, I'll have over $100 coming.
That's more than I ever had before, and l--
- What are you gonna do with it? - A whole lot of things.
I'm gonna buy the old Chapman place, and then I'm gonna--
- I'm gonna-- - What are you gonna?
It's my wife. She--
She always wanted a little pair of red shoes.
I kind of figured I'd get them for her.
Is that such a fool idea, Mr. Dunson?
It's a good idea, Dan. I'd do it.
I will.
* They graze in the coulees *
* They water in the draw **
Don't make too much noise putting them pans away.
I don't like coyotes.
I had a little roan horse once, and they--
I wish he'd quit a-yowling.
Bothering the cattle. Making them spooky.
The dust and wind today put them on the prod.
Wouldn't take much to stampede the whole outfit.
I was in a stampede once. Don't want no more.
Nighthawk sneezed-- just sneezed-- and the whole bunch was off.
They run for six miles before we got them headed.
That's when old Whizzer White and them three other fellas got it.
- I remember. - You knowed Old Whizzer, didn't you?
Yeah, no stampedes for me. I--
- I don't like them. - I don't like coyotes.
Use your head.
One shot on a night like tonight is apt to start the whole herd running.
Sure. I wasn't thinking.
Kenneally!
Stampede!
They're heading for camp! Cut them off!
Whoa, cattle! Whoa!
- Round 'em! Round 'em, Matt! - Don't let them split!
Cherry, come here!
- Turn them in! - Over this way, Simms!
Come on! Head 'em down the coulee!
Turn them!
All right, Laredo! Hold them right in there!
Get them a hand back there, will you? They're too tired to run anymore.
Have you seen Teeler or Dan Latimer?
Teeler's right over there on that high ground.
I saw Dan riding among them back near camp. Next look, I didn't see him.
- Buster, you seen Latimer? - Not since they started.
Where'd you see him last?
Dan was wearing checkered pants, wasn't he?
Yeah, and he was riding a little buckskin mare.
I'll stay here till morning.
- Did you find him, Tom? - Yeah.
We'll bury him, and I'll read over him in the morning.
And, Matt, about his wife.
See that she gets full pay for the whole drive.
- Just as if he'd finished it. - Sure.
And get her a--
Well, anything else you can think of.
Like a pair of red shoes maybe.
The way he wanted it, wasn't it?
"We brought nothing into this world, and it's certain we carry nothing out.
The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen."
Bunk Kenneally!
You started all this, didn't you?
Yeah, I did. I know it, and I'd do anything--
By tally, it's sure we're 300 or 400 head short, and you killed Dan Latimer.
Sure, sure, I did. I know that too.
I know it. I know it. And I'd give my right arm--
Stealing sugar like a kid. Well, they whip kids to teach them better!
- They what? - Tie him to that wagon wheel.
No, they won't. Nobody's going to tie me to no wagon wheel.
Then you'll take it without a wheel to lean against.
I was wrong, awful wrong, but nobody's going to whip me.
- Turn around. - Don't do it.
Turn around, or you'll get it in the eye.
Don't do it!
You'd have shot him right between the eyes.
Just as sure as you're standing there.
You shot him. You can take care of him.
And the rest of you. You got a couple of thousand head to round up.
Get at it!
Go ahead. Say it.
You was wrong, Mr. Dunson.
Thanks, Matt. He would have killed me.
Yeah. You going to be able to make it home all right?
Won't be no party, but he'll make it.
- Groot will fix you up with some food. - Sure.
Take along an extra horse, huh?
This might hurt.
You're fast with that gun, Matt. Awful fast. But your heart's soft.
Too soft. Might get you hurt someday.
Could be. I wouldn't count on it.
- Beef again? - I was figuring on sow belly and beans.
Got a mite of that, but it takes time to cook up a tasty meal.
I can't whip up "patty foy grass"...
with 30 hungry drivers breathing down my neck.
I could eat something else.
You gotta bed down earlier, or you're gonna have beef. I don't like it myself.
- Me neither. - Who asked you to talk?
I was saying the same as you.
You wait until you're as old as me before you talk like me.
- What's the matter with you? - This stuff tastes awful.
Me and nature done the best we could.
You can't make burnt grain taste like coffee.
Lousy muck! I'd like to tell that Dunson--
Give me some coffee.
What was it you wanted to tell Dunson, Teeler?
A man can't eat this kind of food.
After we lost that other grub wagon, we should have turned back.
We didn't turn back, and we're not going to.
Even if we had, I couldn't replace what we lost.
I'm broke! Got nothing to buy it with.
So you're on short rations and bad coffee.
You're going to be until we finish the drive. You're going to finish it.
- Teeler, I like what the man says. - Like it or not, that's it.
Come on and get it, you hungry hounds.
My name's Sutter. Been riding point for old man Carwood.
Over 2,000 head of--
My neck-- It hurts.
They put a rope around it and--
Then they--
That food sure looks good.
Haven't had anything in over four days, and I'm--
Fella gets--
Grab him.
Bring him over here.
That's better. I was nearly all in.
- Want to hear about it now? - Go ahead.
We had nearly 2,000 head of cattle. Belonged to old man Carwood.
Everything went fine until we crossed the Big Red. Then it happened.
We got as far as the Ouachitas when they jumped us.
How many were in that bunch that jumped you?
Maybe 100, I guess.
They stampeded the cattle, then picked us up one by one as we came out.
We didn't have a chance, not a chance.
- Why'd they put a rope on you? - They did worse than that.
They nailed Carwood's feet and hands to a wagon wheel.
He was dead when I got to him.
- How'd you get loose? - Just luck.
Rope they put on me was frayed and broke.
We should never have gone that way. We should've gone north at the Big Red.
Why do you say that?
A fellow named Jess Chisholm, an Indian trader...
he told me he blazed a trail all through the nations.
Said we could follow it clear to Kansas. That way our only worry is Indians.
- Where in Kansas? - Abilene.
- Said there's a railroad there. - Railroad?
- Railroad in Abilene? - That's what Cherry said.
Did he say he saw it?
Well, l-- I--
I can't remember.
Get me a razor.
- Want to come along with us? - Where to? Missouri?
- Yeah. - No, I've had enough.
- If you could spare some food though? - Sure.
I've had enough too.
- What? - We started a drive we'll never finish.
- What? - We started a drive we'll never finish.
We'll finish the drive, Mailer, and I'll sell my beef in Missouri.
- What do we eat on the way? - Beef!
What do we drink?
Rainwater, if we have to.
Not me. I'm heading south.
I've had enough, Dunson, unless we try for Abilene.
And you, Fernandez?
Me, I think this way. If I'm going to die, I go south to die.
At least my people can find my grave and maybe put flowers on it.
There was an agreement made when you signed on.
You agreed to finish this drive.
I'm going to hold you to it.
How?
- I don't want to have to kill you. - With what?
All right, anybody else?
Say it now, because I don't want to ever hear it again.
I don't like quitters...
especially when they're not good enough to finish what they start.
Speak up! Say it, and you can join your friends here.
All I want is-- Where are you going?
- I'm going to sit down. - You got work to do.
Watch it.
I was just getting myself a drink of water.
I'm just listening.
Well, there's quitters to be buried. I'll--
I'll read over them in the morning.
Planting and reading. Planting and reading.
Fill a man full of lead, stick him in the ground and then read words at him.
Why when you kill a man, why try to read the Lord in as a partner on the job?
Well?
You didn't have to do that back there.
- You joined in. - Yeah, and I thought you were wrong.
- Then why didn't you-- - Don't try and tell me what to think.
I'll take your orders about work but not about what to think.
- You think I'm to blame for that? - Just as sure as you're sitting there.
- And so? - So I'll take your orders.
- Got you in the leg, huh? - Yeah.
- Ain't bad. - Went clean through.
Ain't as bad as it should be.
You too? What do you got to say?
Nothing. If I did, you wouldn't listen to it.
- You find them? - No. They're gone, all right.
That's a pretty howdy-do.
You ought to-- No, I better tell him myself.
Teeler, Laredo and Bill Kelsey are gone.
- What? - They up and left.
-How do you know? -I went to wake them. They wasn't there.
- When did they go? - During the night.
They was on second guard. It could have happened anytime.
Anybody know anything about Teeler, Kelsey or Laredo?
There ain't no doubt. I checked the wagon.
We're shy some cartridges, flour and a mite of salt.
- How many cartridges? - This side of a hundred.
- Flour? - One sack.
Sneaking yellow--
Well, they're not going to-- Matt, get--
No. Cherry, get mounted, and take Grant here and Bill--
- Grant will be enough. - They'll probably head straight south.
Find them, and bring them back.
- Supposing they won't come? - Bring them!
We'll catch up with you.
From now on, this outfit's going to move.
Get them going.
Keep your point moving. The drag's catching up.
Sure.
The Red River ahead!
Hey, it's the Red River!
Red River ahead!
- Well, here's your Red. - It's quite a river.
We sure had a lot smaller herd the last time we crossed.
One bull and a cow.
Well, this looks like as good a place as any.
This will take us the rest of the day and part of the night.
- Why not cross fresh in the morning? - We'll put them across now.
-You got a pretty tired bunch behind us. -Tired men don't run away.
We can't keep them this wore out the rest of the drive.
No, but we can keep them this wore out until Cherry gets back.
Then nobody will want to run away.
- Mark for us, will you, Leather? - Sure enough.
Quicksand out in here! Mark it!
More of it in here! Mark it from the stump to the tree!
From the stump to the tree!
- How is it up there, Matt? - Firm all the way!
Bring them on in! Keep them downstream!
Bring them on!
- Matt, watch for strays! - Right!
Come on, cattle! Get in, cattle!
Come on, cattle. Come on. Get going.
Get over there!
Straighten out that line!
Keep downstream!
Keep them coming!
Bedroll's right down there, Tom.
Have some coffee, Tom?
Picked up a few.
We just picked up a few strays downstream.
All told, we lost 30 to 40 head.
Better than 9,000 head across in less than 4 hours. That's awful good, Tom.
- Boys did all right. - Yep.
Why don't you tell them so?
That's their job.
They're awful tired.
We won't have to count noses in the morning.
- That leg bothering you? - Yeah.
I hooked it on a horn. It opened up a little.
- I'll take a look at it. - Wait till morning.
You need sleep, Tom. You need it bad.
Some nights ago we lost three men.
I haven't slept since, and we haven't lost any more.
We're not gonna lose any tonight nor from now on.
Why'd we have to cross today? Wouldn't tomorrow have been just as good?
Dunson's orders. Ask him.
We could have waited till morning instead of finishing after dark.
It don't make sense. We got a long way to go yet.
He's getting worse every day.
Sometimes I think he's going plumb out of his head.
Why tell me? lf you feel that way, what do you tell me for?
I-- I'm sorry. I--
Here.
You know, Matt, things ain't right.
It's him. He's got to get some sleep. If he don't, something's gonna happen.
All the sleep he's had in the last three nights wouldn't fill a mouse's ear.
He won't sleep until--
Yeah.
When do you expect Cherry back, if he comes?
Tomorrow sometime.
Looks like Cherry.
Get down off them horses. I don't favor looking up to the likes of you.
That's better. You should be crawling.
Cherry, I sent you out after three of them. You brought back two.
Bill Kelsey figured he'd rather fight. Made a good one of it for a while.
You signed on for the drive, and you signed on to finish it.
- That's right-- - You stole beans, flour and cartridges.
Besides being deserters, you're common thieves.
- The law might see it different. - I'm the law. You're a thief!
You too, Teeler. Anything more?
I know what you're gonna do to us, but first I want to tell you something.
- Go ahead. - You're crazy.
You've been drinking and not sleeping. If you ain't crazy, you're close.
- You through? - No.
You want to get this herd to market. So do all of us!
There's a good way to Abilene, but you won't listen to that.
You want to drive them to Missouri, when you got everything against you.
I ain't through yet.
This herd don't belong to you.
It belongs to every poor, hoping and praying cattleman in the state.
I shouldn't have run away. I should have stayed and put a bullet in you.
I signed a pledge, sure, but you ain't the man I signed it with.
- You finished? - Yeah.
Now you can get your Bible and read over us after you shoot us.
I'm gonna hang you.
No. No, you're not.
- What? - You're not going to hang them.
Who'll stop me?
I will.
Give me that gun. Somebody give me--
I'll kill him! Let me go!
He was gonna kill me. He wasn't gonna give me a chance.
Turn him loose.
Cherry, give me that gun. Here's what you've been crying for.
All right. Use it!
Go on. You got what you wanted.
What are you waiting for? lf you don't want to live, all you have to do is--
You're a lucky man, Teeler.
That's how close it came.
Matt, we're getting as crazy as he is.
Keep it. You want to finish the drive?
- Where we going? - Abilene.
- Who's heading it? - I am.
What about Dunson?
He stays here.
We're taking the herd.
- That's good enough for me. - I'm with you, Matt.
I'll go along.
Groot? How about you?
You was wrong, Mr. Dunson.
I've been with you a lot of years.
Up till now, right or wrong, I always done like you said.
Got to be a habit with me, I guess, 'cause that's why I'm staying with you.
- Go on with them! - Thanks.
Thanks for making it easy on me. All right. I'll be coming with you.
Throw them on the trail. Start driving.
Buster, you wait here till I get back.
You come looking for me, Mr. Dunson, I'll be in Abilene.
All right, Groot. Get going.
If there's any chance at all, we'll get your herd to Abilene.
Cherry was right. You're soft.
You should have let them kill me, 'cause I'm going to kill you.
I'll catch up with you. I don't know when, but I'll catch up.
Every time you turn around, expect to see me.
'Cause one time you'll turn around, and I'll be there. I'm going to kill you.
- It's only me. - I thought--
- I was scared it was-- - Yeah.
- Got some coffee? - Yeah.
I'm an idiot. Jumping at every sound I hear.
He wouldn't be coming back yet, would he?
I don't know.
You know, Matt. I've been figuring.
He'd be a fool to come alone. Then again, he might.
- Yeah. - Yeah.
Most likely he'll ride back and get men and cartridges.
You took all of his before we left, didn't you?
Let me see now. Nearest place is San Felipe.
With that bad leg, he'll have to take it easy.
It'll take him at least four days.
He'll pick up men and start after us.
That's four more. That's eight days.
Then at the rate we been traveling, it's eight days to the river.
Nearer ten. I've been figuring some myself.
Four more. That's sixteen.
That's 22 days altogether.
We've been gone four days.
Four from twenty-two is--
That's 18 days from now.
He couldn't get back quicker than that, could he?
If that's the way he does it, that's figuring pretty fine.
Men are figuring pretty fine too.
Snarling and snapping and jumping at their own shadows.
What do you think will happen when he does come back?
Yeah, I've been wondering too.
The way he looked when we left him. It all happened so fast.
I hadn't-- I hadn't started out--
I couldn't let him hang Teeler and Laredo.
You sure he'd have done it?
I don't know.
He was wrong.
Hope I'm right. Hope there's a railroad in Abilene.
Hey, Matt! Come here!
Matt, look at this.
- About a day ago. - Not over a day as I make it.
- Comanche. - You sure?
- Comanche arrow. - That's trouble.
Tracks lead north.
Well, do we go on?
Which would you rather have? What's behind, or what might be ahead?
You and Buster, go on ahead about 10, 12 miles.
Enough to give warning.
Get Groot to give you food. Take your rifles.
Teeler, see the rest of the men have theirs.
You ought to get yourself some sleep, Matt.
Yeah, I'd like to.
When do you expect to hear from Cherry and Buster?
- How much grub did they take? - Only enough for three days.
Gun, gun. My gun. My gun.
My gun! Where's my gun? Somebody give me my gun.
Wake up!
You were having a nightmare. You all right?
I was dreaming. I thought he was following us.
Forget it. Try and get back to sleep.
How can a man sleep with Indians ahead and him behind us?
He won't reach us for two weeks.
How do you know?
I don't.
We'll start an hour early in the morning.
Funny. Funny what the night does to a man.
They're all right during the day.
During the day they can see.
It's Buster.
Women! Women and coffee, I tell you! I seen them! I had some!
I had pie and biscuits and beans and coffee and whiskey.
I had it all in the same day. I can show you.
- Where was all this? - About 15, 18 miles north of here.
A whole wagon train of them heading for Nevadee.
- No fooling? - I ain't fooling. I seen them.
They belong to the Donnegal.
He went to Nevadee and sent back to New Orleans for his whole outfit.
They got a big long bar and dice tables--
- That's for me. - They got dancing girls--
Hold it!
Buster, you say about 15 miles away?
- Maybe a little more. - Yeah, about a two-day drive.
Well, who's going to stay behind and drive the herd?
Nobody. I don't blame you.
We're going together and taking the herd with us.
- Fair enough. - Two days, we'll all have coffee.
You might tell the rest of the men. Maybe they'd like to hear.
- Where's Cherry? - Cherry?
He figured there was no need in the two of us coming. One was--
- Is she pretty? - Do you remember that filly I owned?
That's what I figured.
Come on.
I ain't never seen such a bunch of men in all of my born days.
Everybody wants to ride point so he'll get in sooner.
I'll bet there ain't a man back in the drag.
I--
- What's the matter? - I thought I heard something.
- How much further to your coffee? - It ain't so far.
Any of that water left?
Cherry and me rode over this part at night.
I'd say it was nearer than further.
What's he want?
I don't know. Let's find out.
Team, giddap! Giddap!
- I hear gunfire! - Where?
Seems like it's coming from right over that next ridge.
- I hear gunfire from up ahead! - I know, Laredo.
- What do they always yell for? - I don't know.
- I make it a few past a hundred. - That's my count.
We're going to need the rest of the men.
While you get the men, the four of us will go on in.
What about the cattle?
The herd will go sage-belly without the men. It'll take days to gather them.
I know, saving a bunch of gamblers and women.
Laredo, when you get the men, split them up.
Half go in from over there, half from behind the knoll.
As you go in, we'll come out from the wagons and meet you.
- You got that? - Yep.
Don't leave any of them alive, or they'll come back and hit the herd.
Well, Buster, you want some more coffee?
All righty. Don't shoot until you have to.
Over here, Matt!
Spread out! Buster, yell when you see them coming!
Glad you got here. They hit us about an hour ago. The others coming?
Yeah. It shouldn't take long. They're coming in--
Coming in from both sides of that slope.
We're going out when they get here. Tell them, will you?
Sure.
There's some extra guns and a rifle. Help yourself.
You're shooting high. Aim lower.
You're standing in a lot of mud. The water barrel got hit.
You're still shooting high.
I probably am. I'm no good.
Stop wasting powder. Load for me. Keep down.
What are you so mad about?
I asked you why you're angry.
Is it because--
Is it because some of your men might--
might get hurt or killed maybe?
Why don't you stop talking and load--
That's fine. Thought I told you to stay down.
- You did. - Why didn't you?
'Cause I got up.
Not so bad. Hold still.
- All right. It's free. - Here they come, Matt!
You'll have to wait. Ma'am. Ma'am, over here.
Watch her, will you? See she doesn't move until I get back.
All right, thanks. Leave the cloth, will you?
I'm going to have to cut your dress away.
- That shouldn't bother you. - It doesn't.
I asked you before why you were so mad.
Is it because your cattle-- the cattle Cherry told me about-- might run off?
Or maybe you don't like the idea of helping a bunch of--
A bunch of what?
That's what I thought you thought.
This is going to hurt.
Like they say, this will hurt you more than it does me.
No, this will hurt you.
You were right. It did.
Sometimes they're poison.
It's too bad to put you to so much trouble. I--
- Here. Hold this. - You got blood on your cheek.
- Is it going to make you faint? - I hope not.
At least not until I've done something I've been wanting to do.
- Well, I saw the slap. - Come on. Lift her up.
- What happened? - She's going to be all right.
- Where does she belong? - Over here.
- Were any of your men hurt, Cherry? - Not enough to count. We were lucky.
We were-- I said we were lucky.
I'm sorry. I was just--
I know. There's no use looking, Millay. He won't be coming.
I didn't really think he would. I just-- Where is he?
Out with the herd, watching.
- What's his name, Cherry? - Matthew Garth.
- Shoulder hurt much? - A little.
I made a mess of things, didn't l?
I don't know. I wasn't there. What happened?
Took one look at me and made up his mind I was one of a bunch of--
One look. That's all he took.
- Got mad. Wasn't any excuse. I just-- - Yeah.
Tell me why he did that.
There's a lot to it. I don't know the whole--
Hey, Groot, come here.
- This is Miss Millay. - Howdy, ma'am.
Groot knows more about Matt than anyone else.
She'd like to know about him.
Just what did you want to know?
- Anything you can tell me, Groot. - Why?
See, I met Matt today just after he rode in.
We didn't get along very well, and I want to find out why.
See, he thought I was one of a bunch--
Hold it. Right there.
It's all right, Buster. It's me, Matt.
I thought it was--
Look at me. Fog's got me jumpy.
Wish it would rain.
He wouldn't pick you off in the fog, Buster.
I know it.
But I ain't seen a thing till you come by.
I'll be back at midnight.
Get Groot to fix you some food. We're starting in the morning.
That's the story. Now you know more about him.
Yeah.
What would you do if you were me?
If I was you?
Now, ain't that just like a woman? I ain't you.
How far do you think you'd get with a puss like mine?
I'd like to talk to him if he'll talk to me.
We ain't going to be here but a few more hours.
- I know. - Morning, at the latest, we'll be gone.
I know that. I still want to talk to him.
That's the way you want it, huh?
That's the way I want it.
All right. I'll go see where he's at.
Over here.
Groot said I'd find you here. I wanted to talk to you.
Is it all right? I wanted to--
You're shaking. You thought I was Dunson.
Yeah. Hey, how did you know--
I know a little bit about it. Groot told me.
It's funny. I didn't imagine you being scared. It doesn't seem to fit.
- It fits. - I guess it does.
- It makes things clearer. It helps. - Helps what?
I know how you feel. I'm scared too.
That's why I'm talking. It's the best thing to do when you feel that way.
Just talk and keep on talking.
Really it is. I talk to myself even if I have to sit in front of a mirror--
- I can see myself-- - You don't have to do that.
You can talk to me. I'm right here. If it would help--
You can tell me to mind my own business if you'd like.
If it would help any, you can hit me, like I did you, right across the mouth.
It'd be good for you to talk, and I'd like to talk to you--
Please, I'd really like to talk to you.
I'd like it better than talking to a mirror.
I want to know more about him. Why does he think that way?
Because he got to a place where--
See, he'd taken empty land used for nothing...
made it the biggest ranch in the state of Texas.
Fought to keep it.
Flat-nosed bull and one cow. That's all he started with.
- And, well-- - Well, what?
After he'd done all that, gotten what he'd been after for so long...
it wasn't worth anything.
So he started this drive.
Everyone said, "You can't make it. You'll never get there."
He was the only one who believed we could. Had to believe.
So he started thinking one way. His way.
He told men what to do and made them do it.
Otherwise, we wouldn't have got as far as we did.
He started for Missouri, and all he knew was he had to get there.
I took his herd away from him.
You love him, don't you? He must love you.
That wouldn't be hard.
Did you like that?
I've always been kind of slow in making up my mind.
Maybe I can help.
I don't need any more help, but will you do that again?
That was sure good.
Anybody can fix good vittles, if they have something to cook.
I'm so hungry, I could eat anything.
- Why don't you eat then? - Quo's out gathering wood.
Sent him out before I thought about eating.
It's raining hard in the hills. The river's rising.
If it gets any worse, we'll have a bad time crossing.
- Don't want to get stuck on this side. - That's what I was thinking.
-Somebody ought to tell Matt. He's out-- -I'll tell him.
Matt, Cherry was saying it's raining hard up--
Yeah, I heard it. I was figuring that way myself.
We're leaving now. Let's get started. We're crossing tonight.
Cherry, take the point. Buster, start the bunch down on the flats first.
- Get going as soon as you can, Groot. - Anything else?
- We can't take her with us, can we? - Well, we could--
- What? - No, I don't suppose we could.
Where you been? It took you long enough! Now we're moving. I ain't had dinner!
Come on. Start packing.
- Be anything else, ma'am? - Thanks, Danny. That's all.
Hey, we've got visitors.
- Hiya, stranger. Where you from? - Texas.
-What can we do for you? -A trail herd through here a while back.
- That's right. - When?
Over a week ago. They helped us out when the Indians hit us.
We've been patching up our wounded and damage before moving on.
- How far ahead are they? - They're gone 9 days tomorrow morning.
We're about ready to eat, mister. You and your men can split a round.
We'll feed you.
- Well, thanks, l-- - I'll take care of Mr. Dunson.
- You two boys-- - A couple of you come with me.
- Two of you boys follow me. - Couple of you come with me.
- How did you know my name? - We can talk about that later.
Sit down.
I believe it's your beef we're eating.
- Who told you that? - The man you promised to kill.
He tell you that too?
You're tired, aren't you? Tired, hungry and just a little bit irritable.
You'll feel better after you eat. We'll talk then.
- How'd you get that away from him? - I stole it.
So you stole that bracelet.
- How did you get it? - Would you really like to know?
- How did you get it? - I got it in the rain...
eight days ago...
before he took your herd across that river and left.
I'm wondering whether to believe you.
- I don't care whether you do or not. - I believe that.
- Want to hear more? - Go ahead.
It was raining. If it hadn't rained, I wouldn't be here talking to you.
He wouldn't be where you could find him to kill him.
- Still intend to kill him, don't you? - Nothing you can say or do--
I didn't say anything.
I'll get you another drink.
So he went off and left you.
I didn't give him that much credit.
- You in love with him? - I thought you'd ask that.
Can a woman love a man who'd go off and leave her?
Well, she-- She shouldn't.
I wanted to go with him, but he had work to do.
He had to get your cattle to market. Said I wasn't strong enough to go.
Nothing I could do or say would change his mind.
But I wanted to go with him.
I wanted him so much that--
That you felt like you had knives sticking in you.
How did you know that?
I suppose other people have felt that way before.
- I have. - Tell me something, Mr. Dunson.
- What? - Why do you want to kill him?
- Because he's a thief. - Do you think he thinks that?
He should! I picked him up in the brush leading a cow. That's 14 years ago.
Taught him all I could.
He knew what I was planning, saw what I was building.
He knew that someday it would all be his.
His land, his cattle. The whole thing.
Even talked of a woman, as men will talk.
A strong woman who could bear him sons. A woman like you.
- Why did you want him to have a son? - Because I'd built something.
Built it with my owns hands, and I can't live forever.
I'd live to see it grow.
I thought I had a son.
But I haven't, and I want one.
I'm sorry for you.
Very sorry.
Very sorry.
- Stand up! - Hmm?
- Stand up and turn around. - Don't tell me what to do.
All right.
Well, Miss-- I don't even know your name.
Millay. Tess Millay.
Well, Miss Millay, what would you say if--
If I offered you half of everything I own for a son?
- Your son? - You can have a son, can't you?
By Dunson out of Millay.
Half of everything you've got.
That's right.
I'll have your son, if you'll stop now.
Stop now and go back where you came from.
- I'll have your son. - I thought so.
When did you--
- Did you really hurt that arm? - I hurt it. It's almost well.
You can take that gun out of the sling now.
Wouldn't of done you any good.
Now, when did you fall in love with him?
It was under a wagon. Six inches of mud.
When did you--
- What? - When did you fall in love with her?
Who?
The girl you told me about. The one you left, walked out on.
- I told you about? Did he tell-- - You told me.
You knew how I felt when he left me.
She must have felt the same way when you left her.
That's right, isn't it? Well, can't you remember?
I can remember.
I hope so because--
Because I want you to think about her while I ask you something.
- I want you to think hard. - What?
- I want to go on with you. - That won't do any good.
- Nothing you can say or do-- - I know, you told me.
Please, I want to go with you.
Please.
All right.
Thanks.
Thanks a lot.
Why don't you use it?
Oh, you mean--
Would there be any use going if I did?
We'll start early.
I'll be ready.
I been thinking that Abilene just ain't.
We probably missed it.
We'll probably keep going clear to Canada.
We'll be driving the herd up and down icebergs yet.
We'll find it.
If we do find it, it'll be awful tough if the railroad ain't there.
- It's gotta be there. - But if it ain't?
We'll keep driving till we find it.
Or until Dunson finds us.
Hey, hold it a minute.
What was that?
- You hear something? - I didn't hear nothing.
I heard it. It was nothing I ever heard before.
Hey, they're yelling down on the point.
We made it!
- Hi. - Howdy.
We're looking for Abilene.
Mister, I sure am glad to see you.
- Do you go to Abilene? - You're a sight to behold.
If you'll just tell us where Abilene would be, we'll get out of your way.
Mister, let me set here and feast my eyes.
If you knew how much we been waiting for cattle and how welcome you are...
you can sit on them tracks till Kingdom come.
All we want to do is get to Abilene.
Don't rush me, mister.
If you want to get there, you can take the shortcut there about 12 miles.
Or you can follow the track. It's a little longer.
I reckon we'll take the shortcut.
I'll wait here all day for you to cross.
- Take your time. - See you in Abilene!
Can you blow that whistle one more time?
Sure can!
- Just look at that. - Son of a gun.
They even smell good!
- Well, there she is, Matt. - Yeah.
There's times I thought we was never gonna make it.
Hey, it looks like they're as glad to see us as we are them.
- Howdy do? - Hi.
Welcome to Abilene. Who's in charge?
- I am. - My name's Melville.
Garth. Matthew Garth.
We're sure glad to see you, Mr. Garth.
And that goes for all of us.
Man, don't stop them.
Keep 'em coming.
Everything's ready and waiting for you.
- Engineer told us you were coming. - He gave us a fine welcome.
What's the best way to the stockyard?
- Drive 'em straight through town. - They're not exactly housebroke.
That's all right.
We been waiting a long time for this.
You just drive them straight down that main street...
and let the folks have a look at them.
- We'd like to ride along with you. - Sure. Come on.
Keep 'em coming!
It's a great sight, Mr. Garth.
I don't believe you realize what a great sight it is.
- Cherry, hold 'em there. - Right.
I'd like to have a business talk with you.
Can these boys handle things?
They been doing it for over a thousand miles.
Oh, Pete!
You stay here.
Anything those boys want out there, you give it to them.
Buster.
- Cherry, watch things, will you? - Sure.
Come on in, boys.
What's the matter?
The roof is funny. We haven't been under one in three months.
Sit down.
Let's talk a little business.
Mr. Garth, I'm-- Say, what is your first name?
- Matthew. - Matt.
I'm the Greenwood Trading Company of Illinois.
I'd like to buy your beef.
That's why we came.
- How many you got? - I don't know exactly.
We started out with well over 9,000.
Man alive!
We've lost 600 or 700 on the way.
We won't have them all in here till 8:00 or 9:00 tonight.
We haven't got corrals enough for half that number.
We could leave them in the streets.
They're good and tired. They should stay where they're put.
Sure, that'd be all right.
What's your price?
Well, uh--
I'm kind of new at this.
Would you make me an offer?
All right, 20 dollars.
You-- A head?
Twenty dollars a head.
Well, uh--
How can a man deal with someone who's done what you've done?
I'll give you top price that anyone else offers...
for a lot of 500, and I'll take the whole herd.
Looks like you're gonna buy yourself a lot of beef, Mr. Melville.
If that engineer was here, I'd get him to blow his whistle again.
All right. I'll draw up a contract and have it ready tonight.
Buster and I'll ask around and find out what you're going to have to pay.
We'll be back in a couple hours.
You need anything else? Need some cash?
I sure could use some. I'd like to pay off the men.
All right. It'll be ready and waiting for you tonight.
All right. Thanks, Mr. Melville.
- So long. - So long.
They crossed here, all right. Not over four or five hours ahead.
Here you are, Matt.
You'll have to sign this.
This is a check to Thomas Dunson for $50,000.
The rest will be paid when the tally's finished at $21 a head.
You see, I've taken a credit here for...
the money you wanted to pay off your men.
I suppose--
I suppose they'll be celebrating.
- They've got a right to. - Of course they have.
There's three times in a man's life when he can yell at the moon.
When he marries, when his children come...
and...
and when he finishes a job he had to be crazy to start.
Well, when do you expect to be leaving, Matt?
I don't exactly know.
You're gonna wait for Dunson, huh?
I've been talking to some of your men.
Isn't that check and the fact that you got here--
Isn't that gonna make any difference?
I don't think so, Mr. Melville.
I suppose I'm crazy, but--
- You want me to run away? - No.
Of course not.
Couldn't--
Couldn't I talk to him?
I'd still have to talk to him after that.
Good night, Mr. Melville.
- Get a good night's sleep. - Yeah, I could use some.
Good night.
- Evening, Mr. Melville. - Evening.
Well, work's not done yet, huh?
No, sir.
Well, you fellas see you get her done.
I like that boy too.
I'll buy the drinks when it's over.
He's camped two or three miles outside of town.
He says he'll be here just after sunup.
He says he's going to kill you.
What's the matter? Is something--
I must look like I'm in mourning.
I didn't mean it that way, or I wouldn't have--
No, Matthew.
I know you've only a few hours, but--
but listen for just a minute, that's all.
Then I won't talk about it anymore. Just a minute.
He hasn't changed his mind, Matthew.
- I didn't think he would. - We saw the railroad, and I thought--
I thought it might make a difference, but it didn't.
Nothing would. He's like something you can't move.
Even I've gotten to believe it's got to happen, your meeting.
I was going to ask you to run, but--
No, I'm not. I'm not! It wouldn't do any good.
You're too much like him.
Oh, stop me, Matthew. Stop me--
God bless you, Matthew.
- Morning. - Morning.
Got a match?
I told you all where you stand in this.
See that you remember it.
Hey!
He's got plenty with him.
- How many? - Oh, ten or twelve.
- I'll be telling Matt. - Right.
He's coming in now. Got about ten with him.
You know that young man isn't going to use his gun, don't you?
Yeah.
But I haven't any such notion.
Mr. Dunson.
Mr. Dunson. I'll say it just one more time.
Go on. Draw.
I said, "Draw."
Then I'll make you.
You're soft!
Won't anything make a man out of you?
You once told me never to take your gun away from you.
You yellow-bellied, chicken-livered--
All right!
For 14 years I've been scared, but it's going to be all right.
Get up. Come on. Get up!
Stop it!
Stop making a holy--
"Stop it," I said! I'm mad, good and mad, and who wouldn't be?
You, Dunson, pretending you're going to kill him!
It's the last thing in the world--
Stay still! I'm mad, I told you.
And you, Matthew.
Getting your face all beat up and all bloody!
You ought to see how silly you look.
Like something the cat dragged-- Stay still!
What a fool I've been.
Expecting trouble for days when...
anybody with half a mind would know you two love each other.
It took somebody else to shoot you. He wouldn't do it.
- Are you hurt? - No, just nicked the fat.
Then stay still! No, don't stay still.
I changed my mind. Go ahead. Beat each other crazy.
Maybe it'll put some sense in both of you.
Go ahead! Go on! Do it!
Use this. No, you can't. It's his.
You'd better marry that girl, Matt.
Yeah, I think I'd--
When are you going to stop telling people what to do?
Right now. At least as soon as--
When?
As soon as I tell you one thing more.
What?
When we get back to the ranch, I want you to change the brand.
It'll be like this.
Red River D...
and we'll add an M to it.
You don't mind that, do you?
You've earned it.
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