The desert's a killer.
Hundreds of miles of burning, blazing sand, and a few scattered water holes.
None of them reliable in the dry season.
My name's Logan Cates.
You wonder why I'm out here.
A man just drifts when he's without illusion, without purpose in life.
I'm on my way to Yuma.
This is the only way to get there.
But you don't move too fast, not if you want to live.
Vigilance is the price of life in Apache country.
Even if you find water, you're only half out of it.
You still have to get through the Indians.
Wagon burned. Everybody killed.
You'll be all right, now. You'll be all right.
What's your name?
I'd better get you away from here before they come back.
We'll head for Apache Wells.
Stay there. I'll be right back.
Go back! I just want to see if it's safe.
Don't shoot, mister.
Looks like somebody already took care of that.
How did it happen?
Apaches ambushed me and my friends back at Bates Water Hole.
We heard a shot and tried to get away.
I was the only one who made it.
Yeah, I know.
I saw it happen from up on a hill. I fired those shots.
You saved my life. Thanks, mister.
What's your name?
Lonnie. Lonnie Foreman. What's yours?
Sure glad to have met up with you, Mr. Cates.
What's the matter with her?
Apaches killed her folks.
You're safe now.
She sure is pretty.
How old are you, son?
So you think she's pretty, huh?
I was hoping I could find someone here that'd take care of her.
Guess I'll have to take her on to Yuma.
Mind if I trail along?
Glad to have you.
I'll fill the canteens, so we can get started.
Better wait till after sundown.
It's safer to travel at night.
My name's Lonnie. What's yours?
Junie. Junie Hatchett.
That's a pretty name.
See my harmonica? Want to hear me play it?
I'm Grant Kimbrough.
And my fiancee and I are on our way to Yuma to take the stage East.
May I ask your name?
Cates. Logan Cates.
Mr. Cates, may I present Ms. Jennifer Fair.
Well, you two have met before, huh?
We've known each other a long time.
I never heard you speak about Mr. Cates before, Jennifer.
There was nothing to say about him.
What happened to the girl?
Mr. Cates found her out in the desert. Apaches killed her folks.
Apaches? Yes, sir.
We haven't seen any.
You don't see 'em, Mr. Kimbrough. You feel 'em.
Ms. Fair's been out here long enough to know about Apaches.
Well, we'd better water our horses and be on our way.
I'd wait till after dark.
We want to catch the morning stage.
There won't be another one till late in the week.
You can always get another stage.
You can't get another skin.
Mr. Cates, I led a whole cavalry detachment through the war.
Now, I believe that I'm perfectly capable of taking care of Ms. Fair and myself.
But you don't have that cavalry now.
I'm sure that whatever Mr. Kimbrough decides will be right.
Whatever you say, Ms. Fair.
Me and Mr. Cates are going to take her to Yuma after it gets dark.
He said it's safer than moving around out there in the daylight.
You like Mr. Cates, don't you?
Sure. He saved my life, and hers, too.
We'll be ready to leave in a few minutes now, Jennifer.
Don't you think it would be wiser if we wait until dark?
Oh, no, dear. We should leave right now if we expect to catch that stage in Yuma.
But it'll be much safer to travel at night.
I thought you were going to abide by my decisions.
Well, under the circumstances, I think we should listen to him.
Jennifer, how well did you know this Logan Cates?
Grant, there is nothing for you to be jealous about.
I'm sorry, darling, but you know how much you mean to me.
Thought you were leaving.
No. We're going tonight, along with the rest of you.
That is, if you can tolerate my company.
I always liked your company, you know that, Jen.
You had a strange way of showing it.
I told you once, Jen, I... I didn't like to be tied down.
Like to keep moving.
What kind of life is that for a woman?
Why didn't you let me decide that?
I thought my way was best.
As it is, it turned out best for you.
At least Grant Kimbrough knows what he wants in life.
He's a man a woman can depend on.
I'm glad you found that kind of man, Jen. I...
I know you'll be happy.
I wanted that for both of us, Logan, but you wouldn't have it.
Well, it's over and done with.
I was hoping I'd never see you again.
After tonight, you won't.
Looks like a dust cloud.
No, a dust cloud doesn't hug the desert that way.
I heard that Injuns sometimes dress in Army uniforms.
No, it's Cavalry, all right.
And the way they're riding, somebody's after them, and that could only be Apaches.
Fill your canteens and we'll be on our way!
I'm Sergeant Sheehan of the 5th Cavalry out of Fort Yuma.
We were testing dry wells and were ambushed by the Apaches.
They hit us from all sides. I lost 10 men.
Where'd it happen? About 10 miles south.
Probably Churupati. He's on the loose again.
Churupati? He's a renegade chief.
Do you think they followed you?
I didn't look back.
Sergeant, would you mind if we rode along with you?
Very well but it'll be hard riding. We won't stop until we hit the Fort.
Oh, we don't mind. I'll get our horses.
I think we got a good start on those Apaches. We'll make the Fort all right.
Fort Yuma is 30 miles, Sergeant.
I know that.
You couldn't ride those horses five miles. They're beat.
We can't stay here. We'd all be massacred.
You stand a better chance here than you do out there in the open.
There's a lot in what you say.
What do you suggest?
Spread your men out across these rocks.
We can stop any charge that Churupati makes.
It's a good idea.
How's your ammunition? We got enough.
A couple of kegs of black powder.
Conley! Webb! Spread out on these rocks.
Zimmerman, tie down the horses.
What for? To stay here and be slaughtered like the rest of the troop?
I say we ought to keep on moving.
I'm not taking any more orders from you.
You take another step, soldier, and I'll kill you.
As long as I'm in command, you'll do as you're told!
Now tie down those horses!
You should have stayed back at that desk in Saint Louis, Sergeant.
Sergeant, do you think it's advisable to make a stand?
What Cates says makes sense.
We've got a better chance staying here than making a run for it.
Of course, Sergeant, whatever you think is best.
How do you fight them? They're like ghosts.
Like I told you, Mr. Kimbrough, you don't see 'em, you feel 'em.
Awful quiet out there.
I wonder what they're up to now.
Churupati's got us boxed in.
He can afford to wait.
Well, if I were back at my desk in the adjutant's office I'd know what to do.
But this is my first skirmish with Apaches.
When, do you think, they'll attack again?
Your guess is as good as mine.
What should we do?
Keep a sharp lookout at all times.
Graves, get back up there!
We'll build a corral and tie the horses down, and we'll ration what food we have between us.
Zimmerman, you and Webb bury Styles.
Conley, give me a hand with the corral.
You seem to be expecting to stay here quite a while.
Of course, you have some plan for getting us out.
My only plan is to stay alive.
Styles was a nice fellow, a good soldier, too.
I wonder if he had any family.
Yep. A wife and kids back East.
It's going to be rough on them, especially the kids.
You got a couple of kids yourself, ain't you, Webb?
Yeah, two boys.
Do you expect to see 'em again?
Of course I do.
What are you getting at?
You'd better start thinking about how you're going to get out of here and not depend on that pen-pushing desk Sergeant.
Zimmerman, you've been sore at Sheehan ever since they busted you down to private.
Why don't you let up on him?
He got us into this trap and now he thinks that saddle tramp's going to get us out of it.
Well, why not?
Cates knows what he's doing.
So do I.
And I'm not waiting around here for an Apache arrow in my belly, soldier.
Tie this end off over there.
That ought to hold them.
Conley, unsaddle the horses.
Oh, Sergeant, I'd just unloosen the cinches and leave the saddles on.
All right. Just loosen them up a little, Conley, instead.
This is all the food we've got between us.
I'm putting you in charge of it.
How long do you think we can hold out?
I don't know.
Lonnie, bring some firewood.
Now don't you worry about a thing, Junie.
Me and Mr. Cates will take care of you.
It's a new experience for you, isn't it, Logan, taking care of people?
Apache! One of Churupati's scouts!
This man's no Apache, he's a Pima.
Apache or Pima, he's a stinking red skin.
Cut his throat and toss him out in the desert for buzzard meat.
You're right. He belongs out there with the rest of those heathens.
Oh, the Apaches hate the Pimas as much as they hate the whites.
Why did you sneak in here?
Many days, no water.
I go. Wait!
What's your name?
Will you stay and help fight the Apache?
Are you crazy? He'll stick a knife in the first back that's turned.
You talk too much, Zimmerman.
We need every gun we can get.
This man is wanted for murder.
By the United States Army. He killed a soldier.
He's on the wanted list in every fort west of the Mississippi.
Let's finish him off right now.
Is that the truth, Lugo?
I kill in self-defense.
The soldier tried to steal my gold.
That's one to swallow. An Indian with gold.
Where did you get that?
Then it belongs to you. Let's get back to our posts.
You're taking on quite a responsibility, Mr. Cates.
I hope you know what you're doing.
You can bet on one thing.
I'll sleep with my eyes open tonight.
All that gold on a mongrel redskin.
You look at sky and wish it turn black.
You want storm.
That's right. But there's not a hatful of wind.
It will come.
It's the time of the year for it, but when?
I hope you're right.
Apache won't fight in storm.
That's the chance I'm gambling on.
Why you wait for storm?
Why you stay? You can go.
Yeah. But they can't.
You can go if you want to, Lugo. You don't have to stay.
You my friend. I stay.
I wonder why Cates keeps looking up at the sky.
Maybe he's expecting a miracle.
If we keep on listening to him, it's going to take one to get us out of here.
I ain't waiting for no miracles. I'm getting out.
You have some idea of how to do it?
Yep. I got it all figured.
Tell me about it.
I'm not telling you anything.
Grant, you're not going to get involved with him, are you?
Well, why not?
If he has some way of getting us out of here alive.
But what about the others?
I'm sorry about the others, darling, but we have to think of ourselves.
If there was a way out of here, Cates would have found it.
Jennifer, I wish you'd stop depending on Cates and trust me.
We have a whole life ahead of us.
We're not going to die out here.
Anything going on out there?
Do you expect Churupati to attack soon?
There's always a chance of that.
But we can hold off till help comes.
Yeah. I figure your C.O. sent out a scouting party to look for you.
You figured wrong. Fort Yuma is undermanned.
Every available soldier is needed to defend the Fort.
Now we really need that storm.
How old are you, kid? Fifteen, 16?
What do you mean, 16?
I'll be 19 in September.
You know, I got a couple of boys.
You kind of remind me of the oldest.
He's younger than you, but he's big.
Someday he's going to be bigger than his old man.
I bet you two have a lot of fun together, don't you?
Yeah. Yeah, we sure do.
I ain't got no family.
You know, I wish I'd done what I started out to do in the first place.
Go out to California and get myself a little homestead, get married maybe.
There ain't nothing like a family.
Sure hope we get out of here.
We gotta get out of here, kid. We just gotta!
Lonnie, water the horses and then get something to eat.
Zimmerman! Take over the kid's watch.
I've had about all I'm going to take out of that drifter.
He's all right. He's smart, Cates is.
Smart enough to get us all slaughtered.
Get away from me, Zimmerman.
I'm not going to listen to you.
You don't have to listen. You can see, can't you?
Desert full of Apaches in front of us and a murderin' redskin behind us.
That Pima happens to be friendly.
There's no such thing as a friendly Indian, Webb.
You've fought them long enough to know that.
Sure. And I'll fight 'em again.
My kids need me. No heathens are going to kill me.
They will. You just stay here long enough.
I hear I have some grub coming.
Well, what little there is of it.
Here, Junie, you do it.
Better eat your food or it'll get cold.
Say, this is good. Did you make it yourself?
I... I helped.
This is just like coming home after a hard day on the range and finding all your vittles ready, and a woman fussin' around, all comfortable like, makes you feel real warm inside.
You'll have all that someday, Lonnie.
You will too, Junie.
Well, Cates, you got all the answers. What're we going to do now?
Just what we've been doing.
Conley, Graves, get back on those rocks.
Wait! You've given your last order around here, mister.
I'm taking over.
The first thing we're going to do is get ready to move out of here, tonight.
I think Zimmerman's making sense.
Nobody's leaving. We're all staying right here.
Oh, you saddle tramp! I'm going to shut you up, right now.
Like I said before, nobody's leaving here.
We're all going to stay and fight this out together.
It would be a losing fight.
Those Apaches could massacre us any time they want.
If Churupati had enough men to attack us, he'd have done it a long time ago.
We're better off than he is, we've got water, he hasn't.
What if he becomes desperate and charges us anyway?
Then he'll come out in the open where we can see him, just like he wants us to do.
Our best bet is to wait here and let Churupati make the next move.
Webb, Lonnie! Take care of the Sergeant.
We'll get through, all right.
That is, if your lady friend don't slow us up.
Don't worry about that.
I'll have the horses ready after dark.
I've worked out a plan with Zimmerman.
We're getting out of this pesthole tonight.
But Grant, we can't do that.
We must depend on Logan Cates.
Why? What has he done but keep us here?
We've got to move out, Jennifer, and he won't do that, but Zimmerman will.
We're going with him.
But how can you be sure of your plan?
And when I get out to California I'm going to find me a piece of ground. Not a very big piece, just maybe 10 or 12 acres on a slope.
And I'm going to build me a ranch house.
I'm going to build me a big bay window in the parlor so I can just sort of sit in there and look out over my whole spread.
And watch my cattle growing fat and sassy.
Aren't you going to get kind of lonely in that old house all by yourself?
Oh, no. I'm going to have me a wife and a whole passel of kids.
And when the kids grow up, they can help me work my spread.
You make it sound wonderful, Lonnie.
You ever been to California, Junie?
I'd sure love to go, though.
You know, I always had trouble talking to girls, ever since I was knee-high to a tadpole.
But I don't have any trouble talking to you.
Oh, you're just spoofing with me.
No, honest. I mean it.
Well, you're just different, that's all.
And, what I mean to say is...
I better be going on watch.
You take care of yourself.
What made him do a fool thing like that?
I don't know. What I do know is we got one man less.
Well, why don't we make a break for it?
Why? So we can all join Zimmerman out there?
Do you think they'll attack?
I wish I knew.
There'll be no sleep tonight.
Get back to your posts and keep your eyes on the desert.
I'm sorry Zimmerman stole your gold, Lugo.
He not steal gold. I hide it.
You save my life. You my friend.
Zimmerman had a plan to get away.
Grant and I were going with him.
You think I'm a coward, don't you, to have thought of doing such a thing?
Well, I'm afraid, Logan. We're all afraid.
There's nothing against being afraid, Jen.
You're not afraid. You're not, are you?
A man's not afraid of what's ahead of him, only what's behind him.
Things are worth living for, he's afraid of losing 'em.
Me? I got nothing.
It's the way you wanted it, isn't it, Logan?
You're like a rock. Immovable.
You're like a man who barricades himself from everyone.
I never could get past that barricade, Logan.
A man can't help the way he is, Jen.
I was sorry for that once, but now I'm glad.
I'm glad you're strong and immovable, because we need that strength.
It's all we have.
We'll have to depend on a lot more than that.
Like ammunition, water and what food we have.
There isn't any food. We've used it all.
Where you go?
We need food.
Hold it! It's me, Cates.
That ought to last us for a little while.
Take care of that, will you?
It's just a flesh wound.
It's deep enough to be dangerous. Sit down.
You know, Mr. Cates, a good commander never leaves his post under fire.
I had the feeling that you'd deserted.
That's a natural conclusion for you to draw.
Well, you must admit that it's irregular.
After all, you didn't warn us you were going.
If you'd taken the trouble to look in the corral you would have found my horse was there.
Thank him for what?
For risking his life so we could have food.
Oh, yes. So we can stay alive for Churupati and his renegades to kill us.
You see nothing, huh?
It will come.
The well is drying up.
As soon as that water's gone we can't hold out much longer.
Oh, good morning, Mr. Cates.
What are you going to do with the water?
Ms. Fair and I are going to make some stew.
Tell her to forget it.
Get all the canteens and bring 'em over here.
Now listen. We've only got enough water for a couple of days.
So we're going to ration it.
First to the horses, and then to us as we need it.
So make your thirst last before you drink.
Lonnie, fill those canteens.
You're in charge of them from now on.
We don't stand a chance here.
If those Apaches don't kill us, we're going to die of thirst.
Stop it, Webb! We'll get out of this.
Yeah. We've been in tougher spots than this.
No, we haven't.
We're going to die.
We're going to die right here.
I'm never going to see my kids again.
Maybe you better go back there in the shade, Webb.
Try to rest. We'll call you if we need you.
Don't worry, Junie.
Trust Mr. Cates. He won't let any harm come to you.
I know. He saved my life.
He'll get us out of here.
He's the only one who can.
You like Mr. Cates, don't you, Ms. Fair?
I always have.
But you're going to marry Mr. Kimbrough.
Well, you see, Junie. I want a home and a family, so does Mr. Kimbrough.
I'll stick these canteens over here where I can keep an eye on 'em.
We sure can't afford to waste any water.
Here's your food, Lonnie.
It won't taste as good as the stew Junie was going to make, but as you say, we can't waste any water.
You know, I bet you could make about the best stew in the whole doggone world.
Thank you for saying so, Lonnie.
I guess I won't get a chance to make any for you, though.
Oh, when we get to California...
That is, if you wanna go.
Oh, yes, I want to go.
You want a bite?
Here, Logan. Take this coffee.
How long can you go on like this, without any sleep?
Why don't you get some rest?
I can't chance it.
You took on a responsibility that you didn't have to. You could have left us.
Do you regret it now?
I've only regretted one thing in my whole life, Jen.
Was I part of that regret, Logan?
You were all of it.
Well, then why? Why? Don't I deserve an explanation?
I don't know if I can.
I've never been able to explain it to myself.
You see, Jen, all my life I've been a loner.
Had to fight for everything.
No one cared for me and I learned not to care for anybody else.
So I grew up without any responsibilities, except myself.
I became a drifter.
What were you looking for, Logan?
I don't know. I never did know.
I only know one thing, I've never been able to settle down.
There was always that other hill to ride over.
But you told me that you loved me.
I didn't want to hurt you, Jen.
You did, Logan. When you went away.
Not as much as I might have later.
You see, I didn't know what might have happened if I'd stayed.
There might have been that other hill to cross over.
Why didn't you tell me all this, Logan?
I would have crossed those hills with you.
Get some blankets. Quick!
Webb, get back up here!
It's Graves. He's dead.
Never mind him!
Webb! Come back! Come back!
Come out, you heathens! Come out where I can see you!
Come out. I said, come out!
Come out, you heathens! Come...
They're dragging him away.
Save your ammunition. They're out of your range now.
What'll they do to him?
They'll torture him until he's completely mad with pain.
Then they'll let him die slowly.
Let's bury that trooper, Conley.
Do you know if he's got any family?
Yeah, a wife and kids back in Illinois.
They should be notified.
You do that when you get back to the Fort.
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.
"He leadeth me beside the still waters.
"He restoreth my soul.
"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, "I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me, "thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, "thou anointest my head with oil.
"My cup runneth over.
"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life."
Why don't they kill him and have it over with?
Churupati's in no hurry.
He'll torture Webb till we all break.
Logan, isn't there something we can do?
We can't let him suffer this way.
We'll have to put up with it, or we'll all wind up like him.
Everything's going to be all right.
Daddy! That's what they did to my daddy.
They tortured him like this.
Try not to think about it, Junie. It's all past now.
Storm will come now.
Conley! Get the blasting powder.
Lonnie! Get four canteens and empty 'em.
Empty them? That's right.
Those are too wet. Dry 'em out over the fire.
They should be dry enough now, Mr. Cates.
Gather up a bunch of rocks small enough to go through the necks of these canteens.
I don't understand, Cates.
What do you expect to gain by all this?
That miracle Zimmerman mentioned is about to happen.
This is nonsense.
You're wrong, Kimbrough.
It's still a miracle. You feel that wind?
In a couple of hours it'll blow into a storm.
Churupati's got no cover.
He'll have to dig himself in.
He can't run and he can't fight.
When the storm is over, Churupati will still be out there waiting for us.
When the storm is over, Churupati and his Apaches will either be dead or scattered.
You mean, you intend to attack them during the storm?
I'm going to blow them up, with these canteens.
It's impossible. It'll never work.
It worked before.
We can go in a few minutes.
When we go, stay close together.
We don't want to get separated in that storm.
What if they see us coming?
They won't see us.
They'll have their faces buried in the ground.
When we get there, we'll spread out.
We'll hit 'em at four different points at one time.
I'll throw the first canteen, and you throw yours as fast as you can.
How are we going to light the fuses in this wind, Mr. Cates?
Put your hat over the canteen and light the fuses under it.
And throw it fast before it blows up in your face.
Conley, Lonnie, Kimbrough.
No. The whole plan is too risky.
We don't have a chance.
You trying to say you won't go with us?
Well, there must be other ways of getting out of here.
There's no other way.
What about the Indian? Why doesn't he go?
He's staying with Jennifer and Junie.
You mean you're going to leave an Indian alone with the women?
Well, I'm not going to leave Jennifer with him.
I think we'll be safe with Lugo.
If we don't get back, I'm depending on you to get them out of here safely.
What is it, Lugo?
Grant, what happened?
We're getting out of here right now! But the others!
I'm not concerned about the others. Let them go on with their fool plan.
Why did you leave them? They needed your help.
I'm not going to risk my life.
How could I have been so wrong about you?
Will you try and understand?
I only want to get us out of here alive.
What about the others? Don't you think they want to stay alive, too?
I'm not concerned about the others. Let's get our horses and go.
I'm not going with you.
You can't mean that.
I don't want to spend the rest of my life with a coward.
We belong together.
Get away from me! Jennifer!
Get out of my way!
I want my horse!
All horses stay here.
No heathen's going to give me orders.
I said, get out of my way!
All right, have it your way.
There they are.
I don't know. Maybe he got lost.
Want me to go look for him?
No time for that.
Now remember I throw the first canteen.
Are you all right? Yeah.
I think we got most of them. Let's get back.
Conley? Conley's dead.
And Kimbrough's wandering around out there someplace.
Probably hole up until the storm's over.
He came back here. Lugo killed him in self-defense.
He didn't have the courage to fight.
He wanted me to leave here with him.
Why didn't you?
I couldn't live the rest of my life with that kind of a man.
You sure did trust me, Lugo.
This for you.
Lugo, you... You shouldn't give me this.
You my friend. You save my life.
You and girl buy house in California.
I go now.
Goodbye, Lugo, and thanks.
Well, I guess this is it, Mr. Cates.
If you ever get out to California, I... I hope you'll come visit Junie and me.
If I ever get out there, I will.
She'll make a fine wife, Lonnie.
I know you'll both be very happy.
Goodbye, Ms. Fair.
Goodbye, Mr. Cates. Goodbye, Junie.
Be good, Lonnie.
Thank you, Mr. Cates.
It's so quiet and peaceful and yet the desert can be so cruel and unfriendly.
It's not unfriendly when you know it, Jen.
You know, you're like the desert, Logan.
You keep your secrets deep within you.
There's a part of you that I... I never knew existed.
I don't think you knew, either.
Goodbye, Logan. I hope you find what you're looking for.