A Prayer for the Damned (2018) Script

(electricity zapping)

(wind whistling)

(bell ringing)

(somber Western music)

(horse snorting)

(fly buzzing)

Oh well, guess I won't be needin' this today.

(Cole groans)

Now, the situation mighta been worse as I was scheduled to go to Tucumcari with my wife and family this mornin', (Cole groans) but that damn train was delayed again.

My fellow medical colleague in town came down with the diphtheria last week.

That woulda left you high and dry for any sorta treatment.

Fortunately for you, I am still here due to a failed railway timetable.

Oh! Oh! (groans)

I've been waitin' for the ether for three weeks from St. Louis.

My sincere apologies for the use of medicinal spirits in lieu of a stronger anesthetic.

If you wanna scream, go right ahead and scream.

The music teacher is out for recital this evening.

That calls to mind when I practiced in a tent in Abilene.

Those days the streets were so noisy, the patient could caterwaul his head off

(chuckles) noisier than a Chinese laundry.

There we go. (Cole groans)

Oh, almost, almost.

(Cole groans) Yup.

I treated them all.

Soldiers, sailors, now you shootists.

I just can't see what motivates you boys.

Seems to me to be an awful risk for such a low yield.

You usually have to split up with another Confederate.

Still, it's a livin'.

Some of these auteurs of the penny dreadfuls are tryin' mighty hard to elevate you boys to some mythic status like a noble Greek god, dispensin' kinda frontier justice through extreme acts of bravery.

I just, I can't see it.

Now, take my granddaddy.

Now, that was a brave man.

[Cole] Oh God.

He spent his youth crisscrossin' the Cumberland Gap.

In those days, injuns eviscerated the pioneers they caught, thought that would prevent their souls from enterin' the spirit world.

Yup, took some real strength and intestinal fortitude to face old Chief Draggin' Canoe.

(groaning) Jesus Christ.

Mattie, can't you tell this son of a bitch to shut up?

I think you just told him, Cole.

Easy there, fella.

You gotta stay still.

The lead will sink down deeper, just make my job tougher.

I can't dig plus patch three inches.

That's what the manual says.

Now, (Cole groans) you got yourself into this condition, let me do the repair work.

What was I sayin'?

Like I was sayin', Chief Draggin' Canoe Oh God. was a real terror.

It's a wonder any whites survived that Henderson treaty land.

That old chief declared it was to be a dark and bloody ground.

(Cole groans)

Oh, come on, that's a big, oh.

It's a big one.

Come on now, work with me, sweet Jesus.

(Cole groans)

Oh fiddlesticks.

(Cole groans)

Got it. (Cole sighs)


Now, my family left Kentucky after all that, headed further west, Texas to be exact.

Now, that was before Travis and his boys glorified that old mission. (chuckles)

[Cole] Oh Jesus.

Now, my family just kept movin' west, kept goin'.

[Cole] Oh God. After the Mexicans gave up at Vera Cruz, that was a sign to push further.

[Cole] Oh God.

You know, by Jesus, I was the first person in my family in two generations to see the East Coast again.

I went back East to get my medical education.

Yup, medical education back East, and that decision kept me behind the lines after Sumter.

[Cole] Oh God.

And now, way back in '62, no '63.

Yeah, '63.

There were so many of us bein' sent back due to lack of-- Oh God!

Can we cut the history lesson?

[Cole] Oh God. Suit yourself.

Just tryin' to apply some bedside manner, distraction, is all.

[Cole] I'll just look at her, okay?

[July] Well, she's awfully pretty.

[Cole] Oh yeah.

How did this happen to you?

(Cole sighs)

He run up against the wrong guy.

And who might that be?

Ya ever heard of The Preacher.

(July whistles)

Hardly a soul in this territory has not heard of him.

I thought he was a legend like the bogeyman.

Prester John in medieval times, a religious myth to keep the faithful in line? (chuckles)

Believe me, he exists.

(hisses) Yeah, yeah, I believe you.

I see it.

I first heard of him at a temperance union meeting in Denver.

Some fire and brimstone pastor ranted about this preacher smitin' the wicked and cleansin' the Southwest of sin.

That is his reputation, Doc.

Well, he's got his work cut out for him in this den of iniquity.

(Cole groans)

(Cole groans)

I'm so sorry.

(Cole groans)

Now, did you report this to the law?

Oh, no.

(scoffs) It seems to me the sooner you leave this in the lap of the sheriff, the better off you'll be.

I'll get you patched up and send for Sheriff Duncan.

He'll take your statement.

(Cole groans)

Now, were you trackin' this man?

No, but we're on the trail of the same thing.

(sighs) You fellas and your ill-gotten financial pursuits, I just, I don't understand it.

Whatever it is, is it worth the risk of runnin' up against a man like that?

(fabric ripping) (Cole groans)

[Cole] Oh God, oh.

Deep breath.

Here we go, here we go.

(Cole groans)

And there it is.

That's so sticky it won't come off my forceps.

Now, you know it seems to me (Cole groaning) a more stable vocation would be to be a dry goods salesman.

Fact is we need a good dry goods salesman here in Sudden.

Yeah, it's a change of pace.

(Cole groans)

A different occupation, that's for sure, but if you folks plan on settlin' down here, it might just work out for y'all.

(Cole groans)

Arcadian life-style for sure, but--

[Cole] Oh God.

These are the sacrifices we make for the ones we love.

You folks need lodgin' here in town?

[Cole] Oh God.

I'll get you patched up and I'll set you up in the Byzantium Hotel.

It's fine lodgin'. [Cole] Oh God.

Now, I'll give you a bottle, eh, down to a quarter bottle, of laudanum to quell any lingerin' pain, and then set you up at the Byzantium Hotel.

I know Rita, she'll take good care of ya.

Now, the new owners just took delivery of 15 new beds to replace to the old ticky ones.

[July] They even got a fair wheel in the lobby.

(Cole groans) Ooh.

Yep, that'll do it, almost, almost.

Bear with me. (Cole groans)

Hand me that bottle there, little darlin'.

We're almost done here.

[Cole] Oh God, oh.

[Preacher] I have seen the face of God.

I have touched the Almighty's robes.

He sends me visions, dreams in the night.

He leadeth me through the corrupted valleys of life.

Yea verily, I am the one.

I am the anointed.

He hath loosed the terrible lightnin' of my terrible, swift sword and I am the righteous appointee to spread the word and administer truth and justice.

I shall tame this wild land.

I shall instill in its people the word and the truth of the message.

Yea verily. (chuckles)

Do you hear me, sinners?

Yea verily.

Do you hear me, wicked ones?

Wicked, wicked, wicked ones.

(The Pastor cackles) (baby whimpers)

You look distraught.

Oh, do not look distraught.

Granted you are about to feel the fiery flames of the furnace as did Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego.

But first, you are about to be in the presence of Almighty God.

Do not be distraught.

Let us find comfort in the word.

Proverbs teaches us, Proverbs teaches us that if the wicked is shown favor, they do not learn righteousness.

And my personal favorite, Revelations 5:12.

(book snaps)

Worthy is the lamb that was slaughtered.

(baby whimpers)

Now, this land is in evil limbo.

Wickedness walks hand-in-hand with avarice, hm, hm?

(chuckles) You are weak, but I am strong and I am His tool that will wipe this land clean of all that is an effrontery to His holy name.

Though art weak, but I am strong.

Confess your sins.

Confess your sins.

(grumbles) "Are ye able?" said the master.

(grunts) Confess your sins and embrace my truth. (gun clicks)

(gun firing) (body thuds)

(baby crying)

(gun fires) (cradle squeaking)

(somber Western music)

All right, well he was shot back there

'cause we found all that blood.

What is this?

Wait right there.

Huh, well now look at this, Buck.

Looks like a page out of a Bible.

Like somebody done circled a verse and they crossed out words and wrote in, now who in the hell edits the Bible?

"For I am God's servant.

If thee do wrong, be thee afraid for I do not bear the sword in vain, for I am God's servant.

I carry out the wrath of God."

Well now, Buck, I'm pretty sure I always heard in the good book that "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord."

I don't like this.

You know who this sounds like, Buck?

I don't like this.

All right, amigo, let's get back into town.

(gentle piano music)

Praise the Lord and place your bets.

I'll take your money with no regrets.

Well, that plays me out.

[Emmett] Charlie, you out?

Too rich for me.

I'm out, lady.

Admire your skill.

Too good for me.

You goin', Emmett?

[Emmett] I guess.

[Mattie] Gentlemen.

(coins clanking)

Welp, looks like it's just you and me, honey.

My name is Mattie.

Don't call me honey.

Judgin' the way you were hoggin' that cash for the last hour, I believe I will address you however I feel like.

And what is that supposed to mean?

Your tricks did not escape me.

What on God's Earth are you gettin' at?

Little filly like you, guts us three?

No outside help?

Did you mark the cards?

Use the mirror?

I'm gonna forget you said that.

They tell in Santa Fe, woman card cheat.

You be her?

Again, I'm gonna forget you said that.

Ain't no tinhorn, lady.

And an Indian Affairs agent over 10 years.

Seen it all.

I know cheatin' when I see it.

So, you can cheat the red man.

I was speaking of the despicable way they treated us.


What are you drivin' at?

I believe I'll have my last three hands back.

The other gentlemen didn't seem to object.

I don't give a two-penny damn about what the other gentlemen did.

You can just walk away, mister.

Why you little bitch.

How 'bout we go get the sheriff?

Be my guest.

I hear he's a fair-minded man.

Course we could settle it another way.

Ain't nothin' to settle here except your drunkenness.

You know, you ain't got much of a body, but you do have a real pretty face.

I can overlook the fact that you're just skin and bones.

Get your hands off me.

Now, now.

You might not like it at first, but once we get into it, you get used to it.

I ain't never had any complaints.

You're some kinda tiger, huh?

A real beast.

Well then.

(man grunting)

I can't abide a man that underestimates me.

(gentle Western music)

Hey, Doc.


Harrigan. Sheriff Duncan.

[July] I see a sense of urgency in your face.

And I see a tinge of impending doom in your countenance.

I need some information and maybe an opinion.

However I can endeavor to aid my town's constable, I will humbly strive to do so.

Well this patient of yours, is he gonna pull through?

Does it look like he's gonna get all healed up?

He's doin' tremendously.

Now, I'd say it'd take a day or two, and I can't help to think it might have somethn' to do with his lady friend?

She's quite the refreshin' elixir, if ya know what I mean.

Good for him, and I admire a fighter.

But now, Doc, what do we really know about this fella?

I mean, you've been checkin' in on him regularly.

Has he said anything else about what he was doin' up there or how he come to get bushwhacked, what his plans are, anything?

Nope, no.

He's remained tightlipped since his arrival.

He's not a braggadocio.

He's not your typical shootist.

(sighs) Now, he did go on at length about The Preacher and their altercation, and they recounted that they both felt lucky to be alive, and I tend to agree with them.

Well, I didn't put too much stock in his claims.

You know, that was a pretty fanciful tale he told you, I thought, but ya know, we've both heard so many of these false fairytales about The Preacher.

I don't know, but I decided to check it out.

Ya know, it was pretty easy, I just followed those blood drops up there in the foothills.

Well, Doc, I think he's tellin' the truth.

I think I found the place where he was ambushed from.

And there was a tree stump looked almost like a pulpit.

There were some sticks on the ground that looked like a cross, and take a look at this.

I found this page outta the Bible with all these words crossed out and moved around.

Doesn't that look like a pretty twisted, warped version of scripture?

It's sendin' a chill right up my spine.

This is what I mean when I say impendin' doom.

We're headed for dark times, aren't we, Sheriff?

Now I'm afraid so.

This time it's for real.

Now I don't wanna panic folks, but you and I have gotta be ready for just about anything.

I mean, if only a fraction of those stories of The Preacher are true, yeah, our town just might be in for some pretty dark days ahead.

Now, Sheriff Thaddeus Duncan, this just came into my mind.

Now you ain't fixin' to exterminate this Bible-thumpin' vermin and collect some sort of handsome reward yourself, now are ya?

(chuckles) Doctor July Harrigan, you oughta know me better than that.

I am no bounty hunter.

Nope, I'm a little too smart to know that I'm a little too old and a little too comfortable to be in that line of work these days.

Now, Sheriff. (chuckles)

Nah, but I am kinda wonderin' if he just didn't leave those clues out there on purpose for me to find and maybe just lure me outta town, runnin' all over the territory lookin' for him, which is exactly what I'm not gonna do.

One thing I know about you, Sheriff Duncan, you ain't gonna do anything you don't want to do.

(chuckles) Yeah well, (coughs) yeah.

Now, Sheriff, your throat sounds mighty parched from the road.

Care to join me?

Belly up to the bar for a tasty libation, my treat?

(coughs) No thanks.

Nah, Doc, I gotta get over and I gotta go to the telegraph office and get a message to a marshal friend of mine.

I am gonna wanna talk to that shootist buddy of yours, though, as soon as he's up and about, all right?

[July] Alrighty, Sheriff.

All right, thanks, Doc.

I have a whiskey for ya.

[Sheriff] Oh, Doc.

Let's just keep this between you and me for right now, okay?

My lips are sealed.

All right thanks, Doc, I'll see ya later.

God speed.

(gentle music)

[Cole] Goddamn it.

Cannot leave you alone for a second, can I?

Well, the good news is the pain is subsidin'.

I hardly touched the laudanum today at all.

They say that's habit formin'.

Don't worry, I've got enough bad habits already.

I can't afford one more.

Besides, you remain my primary obsession.

That is how I like it.

The boy that brought up my meal said there was some trouble in the gaming parlor earlier.

You okay?

Oh, you know me.

I can take care of myself.

I guess that long hair, Custer, shoulda had you by his side a few years back, huh?

I doubt that woulda done that incompetent any good.

I keep seein' that local sheriff outside the window.

It's like he was out there lookin' up at us or somethin'.

Well, you are the talk of the town.


Ain't it every day that gettin' back shot by a deranged man of God?


Mattie? Hm?

Don't think that I don't appreciate everything that you do.

What makes you think I don't know that, silly?

You're good to me.

Well, it's been a week, and I am goin' crazy not havin' you.

Well, we can't have you goin' crazy.

Now, with your condition and everything, what would the doctor say?

I'm not interested in finding out.

Just take it easier than usual, okay?

Oh, you bet, honey.

Ooh, ooh.

Was that too rough?

(soft suspenseful music)

Good day, dear madam.

Might you be the proprietor of this accursed establishment?

Pearl Duvall at your service, kind sir.

What needs might I assist you with?


Might you be any kin to the Duvalls of the Vermilion Parish?

That county is in Louisiana, I believe.

My background is from the Northeast.

Oh, well, no matter.

I held no grudge against that side of the Mason-Dixon.

Now, tell me, how many pretty young flowers do you have in this here colorful den?

Mister, we have every size, color, and creed.

Well, may I view the inventory?

Well, certainly.


Oh my goodness, they are fetchin'.

Fetchin' queens, each and every one.

So tell me, what piques your gentleman from the South sensibilities?

Well, madam, as I gaze at these precious flowers, I am reminded of the sin and ugliness that afflicts our world.

We live in interesting times where things are not always as they appear to be.

What might be pure or holy to one might just be slop and evil to another.

Sufferin' wrong as the wages of doin' wrong.

They counted the pleasures that revel in the daytime, they are stains and blemishes revelin' in their deceptions.

So spoke Peter the rock, madam.

Listen, honey, my girls are God fearin' Christians.

I am the word and the light.

Maybe so, honey, but the word and the light here is between these girls' legs.

[Duvall] Now tell me, what's it gonna be before I kick your deranged ass outta here?

You are not listenin' to the word.

My purpose is to cleanse this land from carnality among many other depravities.

I shall ask you to leave, sir.

And as part of my cleansing this land I shall ask for you to deliver all cash and coin.

What the hell?

And you will not forsake me and do not convince me and do not confuse this with highway robbery.

Yea verily I am the man.

Yea verily it is my holy duty to relieve you and your whole batch of whores with this tainted money.

(gun fires)

Do as he says, girls.

And you won't get far with this, you bastard.

I have high-place friends in this county.

Madam, shut the hell up.

Now, get that box.

There's a good little lamb.

Harlots, cleanse your souls and as the widow with her mite, hand over everything to God's representative here on Earth.

I want you to quit this, Cole.

[Cole] Been all through this.

I know.

Besides, been in worse predicaments than this.

Remember Bushwhack Anderson?

I treated that knife wound for six weeks after you caught him.

And we are still livin' off of that federal reward.

The last of the Quantrill Raiders paid very handsomely.

This next score will put us in good straits for a long time to come.

We can do somethin' else.

Well, maybe I can take that dry goods salesman job.

(laughs) Oh, I can just see it.

You in a clerk's apron sortin' through a shipment of bustles.

Oh, hey, I do remember the story behind this one

and behind this one, hm?

(gentle music)

Every time you go away I just, I worry.

Hey, so much.

What if one day you don't come back?

I always come back.

If that's not to be the case, then I don't think I can abide the beatin'.

My solemn promise, this will be the last time.

It better be, you son of a bitch.

(wind howling) (suspenseful music)

Let's get in here outta the wind and have a little powwow.

I don't think I've had the pleasure.

Name's Duncan.

I'm the long-time sheriff of this fine upstanding community, and I reckon you're that hombre that's on that interesting quest.


Some say it's your own personal Holy Grail.

Well, I'd say they'd be a bit dramatic.

And I'd add, it could be your undoing.

What's this about, Sheriff?

Oh, over the years I've seen a lotta folks come and go, slim.

I've seen their hopes and dreams dashed by the beguilement of the quick fortune.

What does this have to do with me?

Well now, you're the guy with the card-playin' woman, right?

Been in town gettin' all healed up.

[Cole] And if that is true?

[Sheriff] Well,

the word is, Slim, that you're on some mythic search for a strongbox dating back to the late War Between the States.

[Cole] And if that is true?

Well, there's been a slew of fellas lookin' for that since back in '66.

Now, slim, tell me, just what makes you think that you're entitled to its contents?

Listen, peace officer, have I broken any laws?

[Sheriff] No, sir.

I'm just lookin' out for your safety, that's all.

[Cole] How so?

Obviously you ran into a little bit of trouble here recently, hence your stay in our town.

Well, I...

[Sheriff] The Preacher, right?

[July] Yeah. Isn't that it?

Now, The Preacher.

Ah, The Preacher, there's so many stories about him it's hard to tell fact from fiction.

Now some folks, they don't even believe he exists.

Yeah, the story is he was a slave catcher back down in South Carolina before the war, and I bet ya didn't know that.

I did not, no. [Sheriff] No.

And during the war, somethin' happened just caused his mind to slip, just worse than it was already.

He spent most of '65 in some lunatic house down in Lafayette 'til a bunch of drunken Union soldier boys came in, and they just turned everybody loose, I guess, just for the hell of it, I don't know.

You remind me of your local sawbones.

Does everyone give a history lesson around here?

Slim, look, this is a very dangerous man.

I mean, he is a special kind o' crazy.

Evil, thinks he was put on this earth to smite the wickedness outta the West.

Hell, even Bill Hickok couldn't do that.

You know I got news from the telegraph that there was a posse of Pinkertons and marshals after him, and they got close, oh they got close.

Close enough for him to bushwhack three of 'em.

(grunts) And he... he hung their carcasses from a white bark maple tree right outside of Lubbock.


I know the son of a bitch is dangerous.

The Preacher's after that damn box, too.

He wants that fortune to help build some sort of place of worship where he can just preach his invective, and you know what I think?


I say that there is enough cow dung all over this territory without that crazy ass preacher spreadin' his special brand of manure.

Now, slim, just what in the hell do you want with this terrible man?

I seen worse.

I've had to bury so many of you fortune hunters.

Now, slim, I'm gonna give you a piece of advice.

[Sheriff] Now you can take it or leave it.

It's free, all right, take it or leave it.

Why don't you just go out that door up the street back to the hotel, you cherish your woman, revel in life, get yourself a steak dinner and just let go.

Be done with this bad business.

Thanks for the advice.

Hey, slim?

Now what's it gonna be?

Well, I'm goin'.

I thought so.

Hey, slim?

[Sheriff] Do me a favor.

Watch your backside.

I just hate to bury an hombre that I like.

I'm startin' to like you.

I'll say a prayer for ya. (speaking in foreign language)

That is one determined crazy ass cowboy.

(ominous music)

(saloon doors clattering)

Been lookin' for you for 10 months since I got outta that hell hole Huntsville.

What does this have to do with me?

You remember me?

I can't remember every son of a bitch in the Southwest.

I remember you every time I write my name.


'Cause I have to do it with my left hand.

Again, what does this have to do with me?

Three years ago in Walker County you picked me up.

Your bullet took my arm.

Oh, I remember.

Well, I guess you shoulda thought about that before you went into the cattle stealin' business.

[Cole] I recall you boys were expert at brand changing.

Well now I'm expert at shootin' left-handed.

Get up, you son of a bitch.

I'm not responsible for some sawbones back in Texas.

[Cole] Look, you served your time.

You could just walk away grateful.

You smug bastard.

I spent two years gettin' flogged in that prison.

Again, you could just walk away.

I'm gonna walk you outta town and decide which limb you lose in exchange for my arm.

Get the fuck up.

(suspenseful music)

You know what my daddy taught me?

When you're playing a losing hand, kick over the table.

(gun fires) (table clatters)

(dogs barking)

You were in the right, mister.

You better get that Sheriff Duncan over here before this boy bleeds all over your parquet floor.

Don't bother, the sheriff's here.

It's okay, Myra, got a deputy comin' over to drag him over to the undertaker's.

I knew that fella was gonna be trouble when he first rode in.

Oh yeah?

Come into town about a week after you got patched up by Doc Harrigan, askin' a lotta questions about you.

Well, I made $750 off of his conviction.

He mighta been a little bitter about that.

They usually are.

Listen, I'm gonna talk to you about a couple of things.

First off, eh, don't worry about this.

Just let me handle the judge.

He's in Las Cruces anyway, so.

I'll just put in the report that it was self-defense.

It was.

Just sayin' you don't have to worry about this mess.

Oh, I'm not worried, Sheriff.

(chuckles) Okay.

Second, I wanna talk to you again about this business of yours.

Didn't we already?

Well... I sent a telegraph to Santa Fe askin' about you.

Interesting reply.

Ya know, you've got quite a reputation as a dangerous man.

I mean, I should thank God that you're, ya know, on the side of the law, I suppose.

I'm just careful, Sheriff.

(chuckles) Right.

I went up there where you said you got ambushed.


I found some strange things around there.

Such as?

Well, such as this.


I guess he really believes in God.

And I've done some more fact checking.

You people in this town really like to press a point.

Look, I know you can take care of yourself.

That's pretty obvious.

What I'm tryin' to do here is one last time to just ask ya to let go of this thing.

Let this thing about the legend of that strongbox and The Preacher, just leave it alone.


(chuckles) Hell, we're runnin' outta space for graves on the backside of town.

Sheriff, when it's my time, I ain't gonna go here.

[Sheriff] And what does your lady friend have to say about all this?

Did you ever contemplate atoning for your sins?


I don't have much to be proud of, but that woman in the second story of the Byzantium Hotel, she deserves the best that I can provide.

I appreciate your concern, Sheriff.

In fact, it's downright touching.

Listen, if you weren't so mule-headed stubborn you'd see that--

I can take care of myself and her, and that's what I intend to do.

(soft somber music)

Thank you, Sheriff.


(coin clattering)

And sorry about the mess.

So long.

You crazy bastard.

(suspenseful music)

(gentle Western music)

(horse hooves crunching)

What can I do for ya?

I'd be lookin' for somethin' special.

(Bonnie spitting)

It's pretty slim pickin's here.

I haven't seen a need to order goods in a coon's age, not since they took the stage away.

Well I'm not lookin' for any regular stock merchandise.

Name's Bonnie Blue Jacoby.

So what the hell ya lookin' for, handsome?

Here tell you can help me find the other half of this.

God's holy trousers.

Where the hell you get that?

My name's Cole and I'm lookin' for the other half.

Did you know my late husband?

Can't say that I did.

Well good, that's a plus in your favor, 'cause if you'd known that double-dealin' polecat, I'd thrown your sorry ass outta here.

You ain't lyin', are ya?

No, ma'am.

You got an honest face.

More important, honest eyes.

(chuckles) You hornswallowed that from Sadie, am I right?

I paid her fair and square.

Would you like to see the bill of sale?

No, I believe ya.

She's too wise to give up anything for free,

so you musta done her a real good turn.

Did ya fuck her?

Nothing of the sort.

(Bonnie chuckles)

I just helped her out of a tight spot, I guess.

(sighs) What are you, some kinda shootist?

She's the type of old gal that would need one of them.

Well, when somebody hires me, I like to keep it discreet.

Is that so?

Well then, Mr. Discreet, I suppose you know we were married to the same man?


At the same damn time.

They call it bigamy.

I call it bullshit.

(match scratching)

We were both wed to Colonel Jacoby of the late Confederacy.

You know about his role in the Knights of the Golden Circle?

I do.

Is that so?

And what do you know?

The Knights of the Golden Circle, a pre-war secessionist league mired in secrecy and steeped in codes and shadowy doings.

Their role was to extend slavery throughout Mexico and the Caribbean.

After Appomattox, they made off with quite a haul from the treasury enrichment.

This map shows the location of the Saddle Ridge Hoard, moved around a dozen or more times in hopes of financing the second secession.

And what makes you think I don't wanna get my hands on it, hm?

Fear and your hatred for the late Colonel Jacoby.

My husband was a bastard.

I had two eyes like everyone else when I started that marriage.

He beat me somethin' fierce.

It was the only way he could--

You don't need to talk about it.

[Cole] Sadie told me that you two were out to discredit his wartime legacy, and to destroy the last vestiges of that secret society.

Mm-hmm, yeah.

I hate every last thing that man stood for, so why the hell should I help ya, hm?

I can't think of a reason in the world.

You know what I say?

I say that map ain't worth horse piss.

Fact is, mister, I don't reckon there ever was any gold coins in that Saddle Ridge Hoard.

I think it was all doodley squat to keep them boys from the South hopin' for a dream, a dream that ain't ever gonna come true.


You got yourself a woman?

I do, the finest in all 37 states.

(chuckles) Then what the hell you want with this bad business?

God, you're all the same.

Couple of old timers already asked me that.

I reckon that maybe some of this ill-gotten gain can go to a worthy cause for a change, a new life for her and me.

That's an honest answer.

Now I'm gonna be honest with you.

You're too late.

I ain't got it.

Fella was here a few weeks ago, a real mean son of a bitch.

I sold it to him.

Paid me in Mexican gold coins and it's enough to get the hell outta here.

Had you come this way this time tomorrow, I'da been long gone on my way north to Chicago

where I'll be wearin' a velvet dress,

livin' like a lady again.

Was this man a preacher?

Sure as hell was, but real mean.

I ain't never heard no preacher talk like that before.

You know, I think he knew Colonel Jacoby in the war.

And I'm tellin' ya, he seems pretty damn loony now.

Well, I guess there's nothing for me here then.

Thank you, ma'am, for your time.

Hey, I'll say a prayer for ya.

Hey, son of a bitch, don't ya think I remember somethin' about that damn map?

(bright suspenseful music)

(gentle music)


The boy from the hotel said you'd be right over and here you are.

Come in, please.

The Lord and I are grateful that you are able to see me on this matter, Mrs. Jacoby.

Oh, Parson, please let's dispense with the formality.

Call me Sadie.

I'm a church goer myself.

I pride myself in it.

What did you say which denomination you represent?

Well, I have my own flock, a relatively new order here in the Southwest.

[Sadie] Oh, your telegram said you knew my husband.

Yes, yes, I served in the Colonel's regiment.

That is, until I was captured just outside of Vicksburg.

Spent the balance of the conflict in a prisoner of war camp.

Not a pretty story for such a pretty lady.

(chuckles) What may I help you with?

Well I am writing my memoirs on the late War Between the States.

Oh (chuckles), well, I think most of the generals have beat you to that, all except of course for our grand General Governor Wallace.

He wrote that fine spiritual tome Ben Hur.

Well, specifically, I am interested in a secret organization that your husband served as an officer and founding member.

Oh, that.

Well, that is a painful memory for me.

I, oh, Parson.

[Preacher] No, please, Mrs. Jacoby.

With all due respect to your emotions, I'm willing to pay you handsomely for the rights to your colonel's papers.

Please, Parson, that is a very raw subject for me.

Well, please do not disappoint me.

I have traveled at some distance at a considerable expense to gain this audience with you.

You make this sound urgent.

It may be.

Well, since you are most insistent, I shall fetch his document box.

Excuse me.

(soft twinkling music)

This box was my late husband's box of documents and correspondence pertaining to the war and that damn society he chartered.

(Sadie sighs)


Well, may I see the contents?

You said you were in a prisoner camp up North?

[Preacher] I did.


No, it can't be.

Please, Mrs. Jacoby, time is of the essence.

Is this about that Saddle Ridge Hoard of gold coins?

That damn map?

Madam, I'm sure I do not know that of which you speak.

It is you.

It is you.

My husband told me about you.

You were that slave catcher before the war.

Oh, you did unspeakable things.

You lynched seven slaves at a plantation farm down in Mississippi for collaboration with the Union patrol.

Oh, your acts were so despicable even the most hardened rebel was disgusted with your acts.

Oh, Parson, I can't believe I allowed you in my home.

(suspenseful music)

My husband was a very duplicitous man, a very dangerous man, and he taught me a thing or two about survival.

Your husband, your husband offended the Lord with his bigamy!

Now, I have come here on a specific holy purpose and I would advise you to acquiesce to my inquiry

(hand slams) immediately!

I know my life has been a sinful life, but there is nothing that can be done now.

[Sadie] You are too late.

What the hell do you mean?

There was a man... a good man.

He came here and he helped me settle my debts with my husband's other evil men from his past.

And-- Well.

[Preacher] Well, who is this man?

Who is this man and what does he have to do with the other half of this?

I gave that man the other half of that map.

Oh, milady, well that is unfortunate for you.

(Sadie gasps)

(gentle music)

(suspenseful music)

(The Preacher spits)

(spurs jangling)

(somber music)

(dramatic music)

(gun fires)

(suspenseful music)




I just doused the fire but the coffee's still hot.

Want some?

I'd be obliged.

Didn't think I'd run into anyone out here.

Yeah, not many take this trail into Sudden anymore,

ever since the Army cut that new pass through the hills.

Fact is, I'm glad to see someone, anyone, out here.

What's in the sacks?

[Cole] I guess you could say our future.

I don't think much about the future anymore.

That was some time ago,

before Martha, that was my wife,

she came down with the ague.

Died from her fever on the back of the buckboard on the way to the doc's office.

Since then, I don't think much about the future,

just the present.

Well, I guess how we conduct ourselves in the present holds the secret to our future.

(soft gentle music)

You said a mouthful there, slim.

Those of us who are alone, it's one way.

[Loner] You said "our future."

You referrin' to someone else?

My woman, Mattie.

[Loner] Fine-spirited name.

Spirited woman.

Used to run a riverboat game when I first met her.

Finest individual with a deck of cards, man or woman, I ever seen.

You've roamed most your life?

Too much.

Be weary of the easy solutions like this.

Like what?

Whatever the hell is in those sacks.

If it came from an evil place, it might bring evil with it.

Sound advice.

Why hell, mister, that's a $20 gold piece.

Best damn coffee I ever had.


(soft suspenseful music)

(soft suspenseful music)



Easy, friend. Jesus H. Christ.

You startled me.

Yeah, we live in startling times.

You know it appears you've had a visitor to this site.

How do you know that?

Tracks approachin', tracks departin' your perimeter.

[Loner] What are you, some sorta tracker?

Only for the truth and the light.

You that parson in town?

In Sudden? (laughs)

No, though I do hope to have my own parish very soon.

How so?

Now, this rider who was here earlier, tell me about him.

Fine man, good man, so far as I can tell.

Well, I'll just leave that judgment to a higher power.

Now, what the hell did he look like?

Tall, six feet tall.

Dark hair, intense eyes.

Serious demeanor.

Say, what are you, some sorta law?

Ooh, you could say that I am the law of righteousness!

Say, mister, you're beginning to scare me.

Before I found the call, I was a slave catcher.

Flies on the hoecake, snap!

(laughs) Oh yeah.

And then later, after the War of Yankee Aggression, I became a hangman, and the Lord God Almighty shone down his countenance upon me and I have been blessed with jerkin' many a bad soul to Jesus in my day.

[Preacher] Now, tell me,

which direction was this man ridin'?

(suspenseful music)

(bell ringing)

(telegraph machine clicking)


I'd like to send a telegraphic message to Sudden.

(soft suspenseful music)

[Bandit] Hold it right there you son of a bitch.

Aw, shit.

[Bandit] Ruidoso's kind of a dangerous town.

We ain't got no sheriff.

You get your telegram sent?

What the hell do you want?

[Bandit] I been watchin' you up on the ridge.

I seen you lug those sacks off your horses.

Judgin' by the way you was walkin', they must weigh quite a bit.

I'm thinkin' gold, coin, ingot maybe.

Now wait just a damn minute.

[Bandit] Now that's where you got it wrong, mister.

I'm not much for waitin'.

You don't know what the hell you're doin'.

[Bandit] Oh, mister, you are wrong again.

I just may be the most level-headed son of a bitch in this territory, now kindly drop that hog leg and kick it over here so I's can admire it.

I don't surrender my weapon unless there's an immediate threat.

Well, then consider this a threat, you son of a bitch.

[Bandit] Ah, son of a (groans).

(gun firing)

(gun clicks)

(soft suspenseful music)

(door creaks)

(gun clicks)

The Lord has hidden his face from you and you have become easy prey. (chuckles)

Now pick up that there gold and come with me and let us not disturb the gentle folk of Sudden.

Oh, you won't be needin' that.

(suspenseful music)

[Preacher] Go on over there to the livery.

Drop them bags and let me see the Lord's gold.

(chuckles) That is beautiful right there. (groans)

You son of a bitch!

You unbeliever! (gun fires)

(suspenseful music)

(Pastor groans)

You got anything else, you son of a bitch?

(groans) Now we need that Sheriff Duncan.

(Cole grunting) (dramatic music)

God of vengeance, shine forth. (bell dings)

(soft ominous music)

They found him outside the livery stable.

I don't think he suffered much.

I do believe he was dead by the time his head hit the ground.

Where's the damn box?

Now, what box?

He wired me from Fort Craig.

Said that he found the Saddle Ridge gold.

It was locked up in an old strong box.

Crazy son of a bitch.

Said it was our future.

Begged him not to go.

That business with that Preacher character?


There was no box alongst his belongings that was found.

Well then, I know what I must do.

Miss Mattie, enough people have been hurt in this matter.

It's up to me to set it right.

Miss Mattie, if you're thinkin' about trackin' this individual, I implore you to reconsider.

Besides, how would you even know where to find this Preacher fella?

It shouldn't be difficult.

He leaves dead men behind wherever he goes.

Miss Mattie, I implore you.

You do not know this man or his capabilities.

Correction, Doc.

He doesn't know me.

(wind howling)

(gentle music)

[The Preacher] Yea verily, I have seen the face of the Almighty God and he has shown me where my enemies lie in wait.

(speech drowned out by music)

Like unfaithful men.

Because of the wickedness of their deeds, I shall wipe them from the land.

I shall kill the cherished offspring of their wombs.

As they sowed the wind, yea verily, they shall reap the whirlwind.

Now listen to me, I shall kill them, and the evil shall tumble into the pit for I am the law of righteousness.

I am the truth and the light.

The Almighty God has sent me to rule from his anointed throne here on Earth.

Now, listen to me.

Bow down for I carry the sword of the Almighty God.

Stay with me and you shall prosper.

Stray and you shall perish for I, I have been sent to dispense justice to the wicked.

(ominous music)

Whosoever believeth in me shall find treasure and favor with the Lord.

Blessed are my flock for they shall inherit the Earth.

[Mattie] At last.

I find you here among your flock,

as they sit in rapture over your precious words.

(chuckles) Oh dear Lord, ignore the presence in this, thy holy house, this harlot.

Oh, tell me, misguided little lamb that you are, did you seek me out for the salvation of your soul?

I seek only one thing from you.

Backstabbin', back shootin' bastard that you are.

Your road to salvation is through death.

Did you know that, daughter of Gomorrah?

Well, I am so glad that you understand.

I trust my actions here today be justified.

(chuckles) Oh, you little witch.

Are you playin' with me?

Sure, backstabber.

Let's play.

(suspenseful music)

(gun fires)

(whimpers) Babylonian whore!

I shoulda made you feel the edge of my holy blade before I stuck it through that bastard you shared your bed with.

(gun fires) (The Preacher cries out)


Ya know, that man was the only good man I ever knew.

He was reckless, but he loved me.

He and I, we were one when we were together.

And you took that all away.

How evil, a gunfighter's harlot.

Oh, you shall be punished for your abomination.

Your uncleanliness is in your skirts.

You shall perish by the sword of the Lord God--

I presume you are familiar with the Old Testament?

Book of Judges.

You know the story of King Jabin and General Sisera?

They broke from God, raised an army of 900 chariots.

They were defeated.

And the prophetess Deborah predicted the death of Sisera by a woman.

And so... (The Preacher gurgles) for this effrontery to God,

the woman Jael was sent forth to deliver justice!

[Mattie] Come on.

Say hello to the Devil.

(ominous music)

(crickets chirping)

Ya never know where a bullet will land in this town.

Hey, Padre, you got a collection box for the poor here?

(sighs) Why yes, my child, we do.

[Mattie] I'd like to make a donation.

Does the money stay here for the poor, does it go to Rome?

It stays here.

Food and clothes for the Mescaleros, possibly a schoolhouse.

I'll take your word.

(money bag thuds)

Should be plenty there for all of it.

[The Padre] I don't know what to say.

Just make sure they get it.

I want this fortune to be purified.

Again, my child, I do not know what to say.

Say nothin'.

Young lady.

One request?


I want you to say a special prayer.

As you wish.

I will create a very, a very special prayer in your honor.

Nah, not for me.

I wish it to be for the forgotten, for those who died for nothin',

a prayer for the damned.

(somber music)

(peaceful music)

(bell ringing)

(singing in foreign language)

¶ Stardust glimmers ¶

¶ Starlight shimmer ¶

(singing in foreign language)

¶ Starlight shimmer ¶

(singing in foreign language)