Broken Arrow (1950) Script

[Man Narrating] This is the story of a land... of the people who lived on it in the year 1870... and of a man whose name was Cochise.

He was an Indian, leader of the Chiricahua Apache tribe.

I was involved in the story... and what I have to tell happened exactly as you'll see it.

The only change will be that when the Apaches speak... they will speak in our language.

What took place is part of the history of Arizona... and it began for me here where you see me riding.

Since getting out of the Union Army...

I'd been prospecting for gold off and on.

And one day, I got a message that a new colonel had come to Tucson... and wanted to see me.

The story started when I saw some buzzards circling in the sky.

A buzzard's a smart bird.

Something or somebody was getting ready to die.

I figured it was a hurt deer or a rabbit or a snake.

Not a rabbit, not a deer.

His kind was more dangerous than a snake.

He was an Apache.

For 10 years, we've been in a savage war with his people... a bloody, no-give, no-take war.

[Clicks Tongue]



Ah, better slow.

I could've killed you before.

[Narrating] I knew it was dangerous to keep a fire going in Apache country... but the boy's wounds were badly infected, and he was running a high fever.

He had eight pieces of buckshot in his back... and I had to dig every one of'em out with my knife.

I could hear him grinding his teeth together, but he never let out a sound.

For the next few days, I panned the stream for gold... and kept an eye on the boy.

I wanted to be on the move, and I was glad he was getting his strength back quickly.

Do your legs feel stronger today? Little bit.

You've still got a limp. Today I must leave.

No, I must go. Too soon for you.

For my legs, yes, but for my family, no. This is my novice time.

I am 14, so I learn to be a man.

I go on trips alone. But I have been away too long.

In the wickiup, my mother is crying.

My father looks for me, I think.

I am their only one now.

My brother and my sister were killed at Big Creek.

[Narrating] "My mother is crying, 'he said.

Funny. It never struck me that an Apache woman would cry over her son... like any other woman.

"The Apaches are wild animals, ' we all said.

Do you pray to Killer of Enemies?

Mm-mmm. Not even to Life Giver?

The ones up there. Oh. We have another name.

Apaches pray for all white men to die.

But now, I pray to keep you safe.

At sunset last night, I threw pollen to the four winds for you.

Well, thanks, boy.

This is very big against headache and sickness.

But now, it is yours.


They could have killed. Put away your gun.

I know my people. They have been watching us. They see I am not harmed.

This is clear talk. It says they can still kill.

This white man is my friend! [Echoing]

This white man is my friend!

He must not be hurt. When did my son become a tame Apache?

Father, look. He gave me life again when the soldiers wounded me.

Where did you meet soldiers? It will shame us to say.

An Apache should not do what others cannot know.

This one... he was with them?

No. He found me later. He healed me. It will be wrong to harm him.

You do not give orders.

Do you speak our tongue? A little.

White men pay many dollars for the scalp of an Apache. You know that?

I know. Then why did you not take his scalp?

If I kill an Apache, it'll not be for scalp or money.

Why not? My people and your people are at war.

It is not my way to fight. It is the way of all white eyes!

It is not my way! You are a woman, maybe.

It is well known that Apaches do not take scalps either, and they are not women.

He hides something.

Why are you here in our mountains? I look for gold and silver.

For what? For yellow iron.


You did not kill.

We will not kill this time, but not again.

Give him his gun.

[Narrating] They wanted to kill me all right, but they let me go.

I learned things that day...

Apache mothers cried about their sons.

Apache men had a sense of fair play.

[Shouts, Indistinct]


[Yells] Ambush! Run!

[Apaches Whooping]

[Narrating] Two men were killed, and for three others... it was much worse because they were only wounded.

But this was war, and there was terrible cruelty from both sides.

They found a pouch on one of the wounded men... and in the pouch there were three Apache scalps.

So they dug a pit in the ground and they rubbed his face with the juice... of a mescal plant... and they made me watch the ants come.

Learn it. Learn it well. This is Apache land! You have no right here.

Where Cochise lives, no white man can live.

Take your weapons. Go! Let your face not be seen again.

[Dogs Barking]

Howdy, gents. Hi, Tom.

Did you find yourself a gold mine? No.

Howdy, Terry. Just coffee for me. We have smoked turkey today.

No, just coffee, thanks.

Wipe them all out. Butcher 'em.

Jeffords? Yes, sir?

I'm Colonel Bernall. You received my message?

That's why I'm here, Colonel. What's on your mind?

I've just been given the command at Fort Grant. Congratulations.

My orders are to clean out Cochise and his Apaches from the Graham Mountain area.

A pretty big order, sir. Wipe them all out. Butcher 'em like hogs, I say.

Like hogs!

This man was in a party of miners ambushed yesterday afternoon by Apaches.

Half of'em were killed.

Whereabouts was the ambush? [Bernall]Just south of here.

He said they wounded Cochise.

Said they got 10 or 12 Apaches out of a war party of 50.

There weren't 50. There were only five, and not a one of'em got scratched.

How do you know, Jeffords? I watched it.

Watched it? Seems to me most men would have lent a hand.

I was hog-tied. The Apaches jumped me earlier.

Oh. You fought your way out, eh? They let me go.

Huh. Never heard of a thing like that happening to a white man.

Did you, John? No.

Did you, Milt? No.

I ran across a wounded Chiricahua boy. I healed him up.

I guess they thought they owed me somethin'. Apaches playing fair?

Yes. [Man] I don't understand.

You mean you found a wounded Apache and didn't kill him?

That's right. I'd like to ask you why.

Just what did you wanna see me about, Colonel?

Jeffords, I think I know how we can stop Cochise.

I have 250 fresh men from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

They're smart, disciplined troopers.

Yes, I've seen those fellows around. I have a good plan.

I want information from you, and I want you to do a little reconnoitering for me.

In six months the war will be over, and we'll have Cochise up by his neck.

No, you won't, Colonel. Listen, Jeffords, I'm an expert on open-field warfare.

I have 30 years... Cochise can't even read a map.

But he and his men know every gully, every foot of mountain... every water hole in Arizona.

His horses can go twice as far as yours in a day... and his men can run on foot as far as a horse can run.

He can't write his name, but his intelligence service knows... when you got to Fort Grant and how many men you've got.

He stopped the Butterfield stage from running, he stopped the U.S. Mails from going through... and for the first time in Indian history... he has all the Apaches from all the tribes fighting under one command.

You're not gonna string him up in six months, Colonel.

Not in six years.

Good day, gents. Terry.

Jeffords! But you are gonna scout for me?

You can find somebody else.

Maybe Captain Jeffords became too friendly with the Apaches.

Maybe he doesn't know what side he's on.

Easy, gents.

I'm not lookin' for trouble, but if you don't fight against 'em, you're with 'em.

I've got a right to say that. Who says so? What's your name?

Ben Slade. I own a ranch only a mile out from Fort Grant.

Even so, the Apaches burned my house last month. My wife was inside.

They almost got my boy too.

Seems to me a white man would want to see that sort of thing stopped.

That's right. Anybody would. Then why don't you join the colonel's staff?

That's private business, Slade.

War ain't private business, not when they're murdering our women and kids.

At Big Creek, we murdered Indian women and kids. Cochise started this, and...

Now, hold... Now, just let's get the facts straight here.

Cochise didn't start this war. A snooty little lieutenant... fresh out of the East started it.

He flew a flag of truce, which Cochise honored... and then he hanged Cochise's brother and five others under the flag.

Oh, you hear all sorts of stories.

You wanna know why I didn't kill that Apache boy?

Well, for the same reason I wouldn't kill your boy or scout for the army.

I'm sick and tired of all this killin'!

Besides, who asked us out here in the first place?

I don't know, Tom. I don't claim the white man's always done right... but we're bringing civilization here, ain't we?

Clothes, carpets, hats, boots, medicine.

Why, I got a wagonload of first-class whiskey waiting for me in the East.

I could sell that at a dollar a bottle if it wasn't for Cochise.

It's an ambush.! Run.!

Hi, Juan. Come on in.

Hi, Tom. Hi, Milt.

After all this time, one single freight wagon squeezed through with the military.

Cochise didn't show his ugly face.

You gonna send your mail riders under military guard too?

I'd take the army and the navy.

No eastern mail has gone out or come in for seven weeks.

The Apaches are shootin' my job right from under me.

Well, Milt, I kind of think maybe there's a way to get your mail through.

A new route?

Could I have the use of this office every afternoon for a while?

What for? Juan?

Juan, I've got some work for you. I wanna hire you for maybe almost a moon.

I want you to teach me to speak Apache good.

I wanna learn about Apache spirits.

I wanna learn about the Apache ways, Apache in here.

No white man asks to learn these things. Why do you?

I wanna speak to Cochise. Are you crazy, Tom?

I tell you, Milt, I'm sick and tired of being in the middle!

I'm tired of having people like Lowrie and even you and Terry... ask me which side I'm on.

I've been willing to take a chance in Cochise's territory to look for gold.

All right. Now I'll take a chance on something else.

Cochise will not speak with white men. We'll send up smoke signals.

He will not come to see you. No, no.

I want to go and see him. To his stronghold?

That's right. No white man's seen Cochise in 10 years... and lived to tell it. Well, there was a time when you could parley with him.

Don't try it, Tom. The ants'll be feeding off your eyes.

Oh, well, that could happen anytime.

Didn't miss it by very much the other day. Juan, will you teach me?

I want to speak to Cochise about letting the mail go through, maybe even about peace.

Yes, I will teach you... and for this I will not take any dollars.

But I think it will end bad. I think Cochise will kill you.

Well, Milt, can we use the office?

It's your eyes.

Good enough. Apache eyes are quick.

This says you come in peace. They will not believe it... but perhaps it'll make them want to find out.

You've learned to speak our language well.

You do not yet think like an Apache, but you are not distant from it.

Juan, you've been a good guide.

If I see Cochise, what grows from our talks will be from you too.

Last night I heard an owl, the worst of all signs.

It is not yet too late. Come back with me.

They will kill you.

I didn't hear the owl, Juan. But thank you anyway.

Remember then, if you see him, do not lie to him... not in the smallest thing.

His eyes will see into your heart.

He is greater than other men.

[Tom Narrating] I started into the canyons... that were the beginning of Cochise's country.

I never felt so lonely and so dog-scared in my life.

For three days, I climbed higher into the mountains... in which the Apache stronghold was hidden.

On the afternoon of the third day...

I was nearing the entrance to the stronghold.

Juan had told me what to look for.

I knew then that Cochise had given me permission to enter.

I kept my hands visible away from my weapons... and I tried to look at ease.

It is known that the chief of the Chiricahua Apaches is the greatest Indian leader.

I have come to speak to him about the welfare of his people.

It is known that he respects truth as he respects bravery.

You hold these for me?

I'll want them when I leave.

[Man] How do you know you will leave here alive?

I am Cochise. Speak.

When the Indian wishes to signal his brother, he does so by smoke signs.

This is the white man's signal.

My brothers far away can look at this and understand my meaning.

We call this mail... and the men who carry the mail are like the air... that carries the Apache smoke signals.

Now, they seek no trouble, yet your warriors kill them.

I've come here to ask you that you let these men travel in safety.

This mail carries war signals against us.

Oh, no. This is... This is used for other talk.

War signals are sent by the military by special ways.

How? Well, sometimes they use a thing we call the telegraph.

Other times, by men like me.

You have carried messages against us?

When I was a scout for the military, yes.

You have fought us? Yes.

In the battle of Apache Pass.

Come with me.

You're a brave man.

Now hear me.

I am the leader of my people.

They do not betray me, and I do not betray them.

We fight for our land against Americans who try to take it.

You give me no reason why I should not kill American mail riders... and kill you too.

You were not asked to come here.

Mail riders do you no harm.

There were Apaches who did your people no harm, and they were hanged.

One was my brother. My people have done yours great wrong.

I say this to you as I've said it to them.

Do you think because I am an Indian, I am a fool? You can trick me?

I would not have come here if I thought that.

A fool sees only today. It is because I respect you... as the leader of your people that I think of tomorrow.

What is it about tomorrow? The Apaches are warriors without equal.

But compared to the whites they are small in number, and tomorrow they will be smaller.

I will not talk of that with you.

Is it not possible that your people and mine... can someday live together like brothers?

That is strange talk from a white man.

Your people do not want peace. They have taught me that.

This mail can be the first step. I ask you to think on it.

Why should not the white man act first?

Do you want me to be better than the white man? A white man has come here.

Now, I ask you to think of your people and look at tomorrow.

My mind must work on it.

You will rest here tonight. It is my strong wish.

Walk with me so my people will see us together... so you will be safe here.

[Music][music] [Chanting]

What is the meaning of the dance?

The spirits of good and evil are dancing.

Not everyone can do it. If it's done wrong, they will be angry up there.

I think this must be the dance that comes before the sunrise ceremony... for a young girl.

You know about it? A little bit.

Without words, it tells me things.

Yes, you are very different from other whites, Tall One.

You learn to speak our tongue... try to understand our ways.

Well, it is good to understand the ways of others.

I respect your people, Cochise.

You know what I am thinking?

Maybe someday, you will kill me or I will kill you... but we will not spit on each other.

That is how I feel.

The girl inside the wickiup is in the holiest time of her life.

For these four days, she becomes White Painted Lady, Mother of Life.

It is good luck to visit her now.

Would you like to visit her? Yes.

Were you ever wounded? In my arm.

We will tell her. For this night only... this girl is even more holy than most maybe... because she has been away from us for a long time.

She is very old for this ceremony. It's very special.

White Painted Lady, I have old wounds.


But each scar is a mark of love for your people.

The path of your people is stretched long behind you... and you are the head and you are the heart and you are the blood.

Killer of Enemies is your father, and you are his son.

You will be well.

I have brought someone with me.

Then he is welcome.

He has an old arm wound.

Give me your arm.

Does it hurt you? Sometimes.

It will never hurt again. Your life will be long.

The good things will be yours.

The sun will shine for you.

What's her name? Sonseeahray.

It means "morning star."

Morning star.

This is called shaving.

You see, white men have more hair on their faces than Indians... so they cut it off instead of pulling the hairs out.

Maybe you'd like to come closer and watch me.

Don't be afraid, Sonseeahray.

See? I'm not afraid.

But I thought you were skinning yourself.

[Chuckles] No. Does it hurt?

No, no.

How did you know I was there? I saw you through this.

This is much better than looking in a pool of water.

And now I see you.

What a thing it is. It is yours to keep.

Well, if you had it, you could look at yourself every day.

You could see how beautiful you are.

Why do you leave? Stay, please.

It is not fitting. L-I should have run away quick before.

Why? I am not married.

Well, are you not allowed to talk to Apache men?

Old men. Never young men?

Only at ceremonies or in the dancing.

Well, I was told that Apache boys and girls... often pick those they wanna marry.

Well, how can they do that if they do not get acquainted?

Oh, they get acquainted.

There are ways. What ways?

They meet by accident where no one sees them... like my mother could see me here with you.

Mmm. Well, I understand.

Now, l-I must go. I have work to do... to pick juniper berries.



I was going to walk up that way myself... by accident.


I walk this way because I don't know when I may see you again.

When do you go? I don't know. Cochise said he would talk to me soon.

Will you come back?

I hope so.

I want to. It's important to me.


May I speak truly from my heart?

It would be all right.

All my life, I've been mostly alone. I wanted it that way.

But when I saw you in the wickiup and you touched me... and you prayed for me...

I felt bad being alone.

And I knew that I needed to see you again before I left... so that I could find out if it was the same as last night.

Is it the same? Yes.

So now when I go away...

I'll be lonely for someone for the first time in my life.


I have decided about the mail.

If I let the riders go in safety but no one else, there will be no loss.

It will show the whites what power the Apache has.

The idea makes me laugh a little. It is a good step.

The seed is small. Maybe the tree will grow big.

I'll be happy to tell my people.

Is it straight, Captain? You saw Cochise himself? That's right.

Any lad who would go to Cochise's camp alone is some pumpkin of a man.

Or a blasted liar! I believe Captain Jeffords's word.

But the word of an Apache murderer is something else.

Cochise said the mail would ride safe. I believe him.

While you were up there with him, his fighters attacked a wagon train... just 40 miles east and killed every person in it.

Another band attacked Pete Kliner's ranch and killed three men and a boy.

[Crowd Murmuring]

Now, Cochise never said anything about callin' off the war.

He just said the mail was going through.

If you're so full of faith in the word of an Indian, will you lay a little bet on it?

You name it. Will you lay $300...

[Man Whistles] That five riders in succession leave here and five come back?

You got a bet.

[Chuckles] Mail's piled up... and the route's guaranteed safe by Tom Jeffords and his pal Cochise.

Three days of riding in the sunshine at high pay.

Now, who's first?

[Chuckles] Looks like you'll have to go yourself, Jeffords.

Only that won't prove a thing.

I'll go.

That'll prove something.

[Cheering, Shouting]

Duffield's back!

It's Duffield.! He's back.!


See any Apaches? Saw a few smoke signals, but not one live Indian.

Hi, Milt. It's all right, Tom.

Why'd you take so long?

If you want the truth, when I rode in safe at Fort Bowie, I got drunk.

Took me time to sober up. [Laughter]

Well, one got through, Jeffords, but there's another four to go.

I still think my bet's safe. You wanna double it?

[Tom Narrating] A few days after Duffield returned... we sent out a second rider.

He thought he saw some Apaches trailing him, but nothing happened.

The third rider said it was that peaceful on the trail, he almost fell asleep.

And when the fourth rider went out, I was so proud of Cochise...

I was ready to bust.

The days passed quietly, and on one of those quiet days... they started a wagon train out from Mesilla Park to Tucson.

Colonel Bernall was in charge.

Spectacular country, isn't it, General?

I'm not here on active military duty, Colonel, and I wouldn't presume... to tell an Indian fighter his business... but it occurs to me that we're inviting ambush.

A lot of Apaches could be hiding over there.

I'm not only inviting ambush, I'm praying for it.

Why? We've only got a troop of 75 or so.

Every one of my mule drivers has a gun... and I've got 50 riflemen hiding under blankets in the wagons.

[Chuckles] My eyes are getting old.


[All Whooping]

Halt! Pistol attack!

No, mister! No!

Goklia, cut them off.

They're cutting off the cavalry!


Skinyay, Pionsenay, the foot soldiers.

Now we seize the wagons!

[Horse Whinnies]

Cut to pieces. Fifty dead and a hundred wounded.

Colonel Bernall killed. 5,000 pounds of grain... every wagon, every gun, every mule.

How did Cochise know we had men hidden in the wagons? He must have known.

He knows what goes on at Fort Bowie. He knows what goes on here.

Who's telling him? Who's his spy? I say find him and string him up.

Maybe I can tell you, mister. Maybe a lot of us can.

Who? Milt Duffield in here?

Yeah. What do you want?

Your last mail rider's just come in safe and sound.

Thanks. [Man] Yeah. Where's Lowrie?

You lost your bet, Lowrie. It don't pay to bet with Tom Jeffords.

He's a personal friend of that murderer Cochise.

If you ask me, this thing was fixed from the beginning.

How was it fixed? I got both hands on the bar, and I'm keeping them there.

How was it fixed? I'm a rancher. I'm no good at gunplay.

[Man] Don't worry, Slade. You got friends here.

You're looking for a chance to plug me. How was it fixed?

Cochise don't do favors for nothing. He got something out of this.

What? What'd he get? You tell us! Was it guns, whiskey...

Anybody else wanna call me a renegade?

I'll never call you a renegade, Jeffords. A man's a liar who says you are.

But why is Cochise so partial to you?

How come he lets this mail rider through on the same day... he wipes out a whole wagon train?

Because he gave me his word, and he's a man of honor.

A man of honor? No Indian's a man of honor.

The first peace move in 10 years, and you're blind to it, all of ya!

We'll have peace when every Apache is hung from a tree.

Here's your $300,Jeffords.

The drinks are on me.

I don't drink on any Indian lover!

He's a copperhead. He sold us out.! String him up.!

What are ya waitin'for? [Clamoring]

Hold him! Hold him!

Release that man. Release that man!

Don't think I'm not grateful to you, General. I don't want your gratitude.

But I won't scout for you. I won't exterminate Indians for you or anybody else.

I don't want you to scout for me. What then?

It is my hope that you'll take me to see the Indian Cochise.

I was told in Mesilla Park, New Mexico, that you could do it if anybody could.

I know you're angry. You have reason to be.

But I wish you'd sit down and hear me out.

You don't like army officers apparently.

Does this also prejudice you against me?

That depends on how you read it.

The Bible I read preaches brotherhood for all of God's children.

Suppose their skins aren't white? Are they still God's children?

My Bible says nothing about the pigmentation of the skin.

There was a general served under Grant who was called the Christian General.

I've also been known among my soldiers as "Bible-reading" Howard.

Why do you want to see Cochise?

If I can, to make a peace treaty with him. Who sent you here?

The president of the United States. With what power?

Full power to make a fair treaty. Yeah, to be changed later.

No. Any treaty I make will stand. I have President Grant's absolute word on that.

I warn you, General, I'm not gonna sell Cochise down the river.

Why-Why-Why all this change of heart in Washington?

President Grant is eager for a fair peace with the Apaches.

What is a fair peace? Suppose you tell me.

Equality. The Apaches are a free people.

They have a right to stay free on their own land.

You mean the whole Southwest? No, no.

Even Cochise wouldn't ask for that now. He's a realist.

But a clear territory that's Apache ruled by Apaches.

That's what I mean. No soldiers on it.

Yes, I'll agree to that in principle. What else?

You can talk the rest over with Cochise.

You'll take me to see him then? Will you go alone without soldiers?

Is that the best way? That's the only way.

I'll go alone. I'll leave tomorrow and see Cochise.

I'll get in touch with you.

Read your Bible for me too.

I like the way you read it.

I give you welcome.

Your signals were seen, and they have been told to Cochise.

He is in the other stronghold. He asks you to wait and be comfortable.

He will return.

I will wait.

My feet are tired from trying to find you by accident.

Waiting for you, l-I have washed my hair twice and my clothes three times.

How-How is this soap made? It comes from yucca root.

We grind it up.


There's something I need to know.

I've been away almost a moon.

Has anything changed with you?

No. When you went away... l-I became frightened.

I thought, "He won't come back.

"And even if he does, when he returns from his own people... he will look at me with cool eyes."

But then I stopped being afraid... in here.

You're trembling. You're not frightened of me?

No. Only you put such new feelings in my heart...

I am trembling inside too.

Should I hide it?




[Man] Here they come, and he rides before them.

It will be told at our campfires how the Chiricahuas fought... how the great Cochise led us.

A great wagon train destroyed, the wagons and horses taken!

Corn for the whole winter! Blankets, guns!

In battle, there are losses.

Some of our men have gone to live with their fathers.

They were brave. They died honorably.

Now, for the last time, listen to their names.

They will be angry if their names are ever mentioned again.

Ponce. Victorio.

Pionsenay and his son Machogee.


Big Chee.

No, thank you. If I make a peace with this American general... can a bigger general throw it away?

No, he speaks for the chief of all Americans. There's no one bigger.

How do I know they will keep a peace?

How do they know you will keep it?

My word is my life. I do not break it. I know that. They do not.

There can be no peace if there is no goodwill to try it.

All Americans are not like the lieutenant that broke the last peace.

You trust me, Cochise. There are Americans that I trust.

There are Indians that I would not trust.

Me too.

You should always wipe the hands on your arms after eating, Tall One.

The grease is good for them. Among white men, we wash it off.

What a waste.

[Music][music] [Chanting]

My friend, all evening, your eyes have gone to that same maiden.

You must understand, it is permitted for any man... to be friendly with a woman whose husband is dead or who has ended their marriage... but not with a maiden like Sonseeahray.

Cochise, l-l...

This girl has been asked for already.

I think she will be married soon.


You have been chosen. It will be an insult not to go.

[Music](music)[music](music)[Drums] [Music](music)[music](music)[Chanting Resumes]

We should not be seen together, Tom.

Well, if that is true, why did you choose me to dance with?

I could not help it.

With me it's the same. I'll speak to your parents tonight.

No, Tom. It will cause deep trouble. You must not.

[Cochise] It causes trouble already.

You have not acted like my brother.

This girl is a maiden. I told you this, yet you have walked away with her.

Cochise, I want her for my wife.

I will do all the things expected of a husband here.

I refused Nahilzay once. I will again.

I'm glad it is the right way.

But it will not be easy for you.

You're an American. Where will you live? Here?

There will always be Apaches... who have suffered from white men who will hate you for it.

Tucson, maybe?

Will there not always be whites who will hate your wife... because of the color of her skin?

You will go far away maybe, in new places.

But your eyes will never see anything.

Always they will be turned backwards... toward home.

And you, Sonseeahray... they will look at you as at a strange animal... and make jokes.

Hear me, Tall One.

I ask you to think on it. Your way will be filled with bitterness.

Think. Is it not better to live with your own?

Though you speak as my friend, Cochise, nothing can change it.

I will marry Sonseeahray.

What he says does not have to be. You are young. You do not know.

With him I do not tremble, even before you.

I cannot say more against it.

But it is still not easy.

Her parents... You will need the strongest go-between you can find.

Will you be my go-between? No other can do it.

I will speak for you tonight. Otherwise, it would be worse.

Already everyone knows of this.

Your secret was as quiet as the thunder.

Also I will speak to Nahilzay.

He has bad luck. It has happened before to other men.

You wait in your wickiup maybe.

Walk up and down.

It is good for people in love.

[Footsteps Approaching]


You have no luck with women. They refused.

I'll take her away from here! She'll go with me too.

They did not refuse. I make a joke. It is always a good joke.

It is all arranged. Three horses and saddles to the parents.

Good. I'll bring them back from Tucson with me.

No. You will let me give them for you. Oh, no. No.

I want to.

They're almost yours anyway.

They come from your people.

I want to do this for you, my friend.

The marriage will be at the next full moon. Why so long a wait?

The girl's mother decided. It is her right.

Listen now. Go to Tucson.

Look into the heart of this general.

Do not bring him back unless you are sure of him.

Tomorrow, I will send out runners. Apaches from all tribes will come here.

To talk of peace is a big thing. I cannot decide it alone.

My people may not want it.

I make no promises. That is not expected.

Good sleep, my brother.

Remember, no promises.

[Crickets Chirping]

[Branch Snaps]


[Object Rattles]

[Dog Barks]

I heard noise.

It is not your knife. It is an Apache knife.

To attack someone who has been given safety here is forbidden.

It is a terrible wrong. It cannot be allowed.

Nothing's changed. Go to Tucson. Return in 10 days.

I ask you to forgive me that one of my people broke my word.


In battle I have had no one like you.

Our lives were often mixed.

It is ended. You have betrayed our people.

[Fires Rifle]

[Tom Narrating] I went back to Tucson, and for a solid week...

I studied and questioned General Howard.

By the time I brought him back with me to the stronghold...

I knew why he had been nicknamed the Christian General.

I prayed that a decent peace would come from the meeting of these two men.

I wanted it for my country...

I wanted it for Cochise and his people... and I wanted it because I loved a girl.

I am told it is permitted to visit. For a short time only.

My mother is inside the wickiup. You will sit there.

And I will keep sitting here.

For we must not even touch our hands.

During the days, l... I am very busy now.

I prepare my clothes for the wedding.

I must build a special wickiup for our honeymoon... away from everybody.

Our honeymoon, Tom.

I must also build the wickiup we will live in.

In all this, my mother helps me and teaches me.

And I try to do as l...

I think she did when she was a girl.

And she couldn't have done it neater.

What is that? What does it mean?

Oh, that's something Americans say.

It means that I love you, and I'll honor your parents.

Uh, you understand, Cochise, about the signing of this map?

I will place my name upon yours. You will place your mark upon mine.

What is this signing? This is a way of showing to all people... for all time, any agreement that you make.

This is as we agreed yesterday.

You will explain it to the others.

[Tom Narrating] The peace conference had been going on for four days.

And now, for the first time, we were asked to approach the meeting place.

We were finally face-to-face... with the most important men of the Apache tribes.

They'd come from Arizona and New Mexico.

They would decide with Cochise whether there would be peace.

My white brother will tell you something.

I have in my hand here a map.

This is a sort of picture writing.

It shows the Apache territory, 50,000 square miles, that you have agreed upon.

Now, this piece of paper will go back to Washington... where the chief of all the white men lives.

If you make a treaty of peace... this will be part of that treaty.

If we make peace with the Americans, can we still raid the Mexican?

There cannot be war against the Mexicans either.

Let the white-eyed... [Cochise] Wait. We will talk of this by ourselves.

Now is the time only for questions.

If the chief of the white men dies, what will follow?

His word is a bond on the chief who follows him.

Do others wish to speak?

I have a question.

Suppose some white man wants yellow iron, and he comes into our country to take it.

Can we kill him? Such a man should be captured and given to our military.

Then he will be judged and punished.

Suppose he will not let himself be captured until he has killed one of my men?

If a white man kills an Indian on your territory, we will hang him.

That will be something for Cochise to see. [Men Laughing]

Who else?

You will go now. I will bring you our decision.

I trust none of it. Four days ago... we were given our territory on a piece of paper.

Today we cannot go into Mexico. The American general says no.

Already our territory is smaller.

Where will we get corn, blankets, horses... if not by taking them from the Mexican as we always have?

The American government will give us cattle.

We will raise them and trade them for our needs.

The answer of a woman.

I am not afraid. I speak from my heart.

[Man] You speak well. [Man #2] Speak more.

It is not the Apache way to be grandmothers to cattle.

Cochise has lost his taste for battle, and so he is ready to surrender.

He throws away our victories.

It is not this false peace we need, but a new chief.

Now I say this.

The Americans keep cattle, but they are not soft or weak.

Why should not the Apache be able to learn new ways?

It is not easy to change, but sometimes it is required.

The Americans are growing stronger... while we are growing weaker.

If a big wind comes, a tree must bend... or be lifted out by its roots.

I will make a test of it for three moons.

I break the arrow. I will try the way of peace.

I will give my word to the American general tonight.

Those who stay with me must keep my word.

Let all others walk away. They are no longer my brothers.

If more walk away than stay... then I will no longer be your chief.

I walk away.

I walk away.

[Man] I walk away. I walk away.

I walk away.

I walk away.

Who else comes?

Who else comes?

Who else?

Take your women and your children... your horses, your weapons.

Leave our territory.

I leave you my name also.

Now I am ashamed to be a Chiricahua.

I will take the name Mexican enemies have given me.

The whites will learn it, and you will learn it.

From now on, I am Geronimo.

If Geronimo or his followers come to this territory again... let them come with weapons.

I'm worried. They're taking a long time. Too long.

I'm worried too. Boy, this is delicious. What is it?

Pony. In you honor, General.

Pony? What kind of meat's that?

A pony is a small horse, General.

[Footsteps Approaching]

We will try this peace.

But there must be a waiting time, a time for testing.

Three moons. Why is it needed?

The white man has not shown in the past that he will keep a peace.

Three-month armistice. It's a good idea.

The first stone.

For every day without war, there will be another.

When three moons have passed, the pile will be high.

Then we will place a white flag on it, and there will be peace.

My heart is glad, Cochise.

I am not yet glad.

To talk of peace is not hard. To live it is very hard.

I will wait three moons to be glad.

[Tom Narrating] Not everyone was happy about the treaty.

There were those who still thought Cochise was a liar and a murderer... and that there could never be peace until he was dead.

But the 90 days of the armistice began.

I saw things and heard of things that never happened before in the Southwest.

Near Fort Grant a cavalry patrol passed some Apaches.

They didn't talk. They didn't pretend they'd become friends overnight.

But they didn't shoot.

Two days later the first Butterfield stage in five years left Tucson.

I rode with it on my way back to the stronghold.

Where's that water you said we were coming to?

Right down below. That's where I'll leave you.

[Man Shouting]

Time to stretch, gents.

Hard to believe a fellow can ride through without having his liver turned white.

Yeah. A fellow can even think about settling down, getting married.


[Groaning] Gosh almighty!

Take cover! Take cover!

What are you shooting at? I saw something move.

Save your ammunition! So it's peace, huh?

Blast you, Jeffords, you and that murdering Cochise. We'll be slaughtered!

Shut up! Shut up.

Keep down. Keep down under cover, everybody!

Now listen to me. This isn't Cochise. It's a band of renegade Indians.

There are very few of them, or they'd be rushing us.

They're very badly armed too. What they want is our guns.

Now... They got us pinned down here so we can't get across.

They're waiting for night. So what do we do?

Wait for 'em to butcher us when it's dark? Keep your mouth shut, will ya?

Who's a good shot?

I'm not bad. Here.

All right, when I yell, Maury, you and this fellow, you start firing into the hillside.

While you're reloading, Lonergan, you cover the bank.

Keep it up while I make it upstream. What are you gonna do?

Send up a smoke signal. All right, start shooting! [Gunfire]

How many rounds you got left?

Two. One.

Those signals of Jeffords did us a lot of good. A lot of good.

[Horses Approaching]


Apaches protecting Americans.

And I lived to see it!

Suppose you remember to talk about it when you get back to Tucson.

Twelve days. I think it goes well.

There are many good signals. It has gone well for 12 days.

I still wait to be glad.

Now you will forget about peace and war.

Now you will think only of your bride. Is the ceremony a long one?

No. With us, the ceremony of love takes place here.

The rest is small.

[Man] Let the woman who is to marry come here. The time has come.

[Man] Let the man who is to marry take his place beside her.

Your left hand.

Your right hand.

Now you will kneel down upon the earth.

Now your blood mixes.

Now for you there is no rain... for one is shelter to the other.

Now for you there is no cold... for one is warmth to the other.

Now there is no loneliness.

Now forever, there is no loneliness.

There are two bodies, but now there is... but one blood in both of them.

Go now. Ride the white horses to your secret place.


The evening is full and happy for us.

We will listen to the sound of the brook all through the night.

And listen to the bells.

It's as though they are singing in my heart.

Sixteen stones.

My white brother told me of the attack on the passenger wagon.

It was Geronimo. We trailed him two days, but he crossed into Mexico.

You did not follow? We wanted to, but we did not.

Good. From now on, we will protect all whites leaving Tucson and Fort Bowie.

Also we will guard Apache Pass.

If this peace does not hold, let it be the whites who break it.

It must not be Indians, not even bad Indians.

You are asleep? No.

I'm quiet because I'm so happy.

I'm afraid if I open my mouth, my happiness will... will rush out in a funny noise like...


What does that mean? It is an American word? Mm-hmm.

I think it was a word that was made by Adam when he opened his eyes and saw Eve.

Who are they? Well, don't you know?

The world is so big, and I know so little.

Sometime... will you grow tired of me and go back to your people?

Now, that is a bad thought, Sonseeahray.

Never think it again.

You are my people. Will you tell me that often?

Each day of our life together I'll tell it to you.

I'll always remember the moments of these days.

We will remember them together.

In the quiet of the nights, we will talk of them a little.

And in time to come, we will see our children ride white horses maybe.


I can do better myself.

Never mind. By the time he is a grown man, he will know how.

[Horses Approaching]

What is it? At sunrise, I found this one up the canyon.

He had this. I know this boy, Cochise.

Hello, bub. You're Ben Slade's boy, aren't you?

Yeah, Captain Jeffords. I've been praying you'd be up here.

Oh, my, how I've been prayin'.

Now don't get flustered. Nobody's gonna hurt ya. What happened, lose your way?

Not exactly. You're the one who said these Apaches wanted peace.

I don't call it peaceful when they go right on stealin'.

What got stolen?

Two young colts of mine. Beauties.

Swiped night before last by Apaches.

I tracked them all day. Followed their tracks up the canyon.

I ended up out there at dark last night.

Then that redskin jumped me in the morning.

None of my people took them. The boy lies.

Cochise, I know this boy's father.

He's one of the worst haters of the Apaches.

Now, if we can show that he's wrong, it'll be a good thing. People will hear about it.

Maybe you still have some men like Geronimo.

They talk your way with their tongues but not with their hearts.

You speak wisely. I will see these horse signs.

All right, bub. We'll mosey down, take a look.

[Guns Cocking]

See 'em yet, bub? Right around here, Captain.

You call the boy "bub." Is it his name? No, just to be friendly.

Here they are, Captain.

Don't shoot till my boy gets out of the way.

[Gunfire] They're after you, Cochise. They'll kill you. Run!

Get Cochise!

Run, Sonseeahray! Run!


The big one is Cochise. Somebody give me a gun.

Watch out, Son. You stay clear of this.

Slade, stay out of line. We can't shoot! He's out of arrows!

He got away! It's a bust! Our whole plan's a bust!

I'm heading for Mexico. The military will be after us too.

Well, what are you standing there for?

Come on. Let's go.



Oh, no!

Oh, God in heaven.

Are you bad hurt?

She's dead, Cochise.

[Man] There is one who still lives.

Give me a knife and bring him to me. It will not be done.

Bring him to me! No. It will not be done.

There are some things a man cannot bear.

You hear me? This peace is a lie! They don't want peace!

It is not a lie. And I will not let you make it a lie.

Are you a child that you thought peace would come easy... you who taught me so well?

Is it my brother who asks me to spit on my word?

Why do you speak to me?

Speak to her.

When she hears, I'll hear.

You will hear me now. You'll bear this.

This was not done by the military.

Geronimo broke the peace no less than these whites.

And as I bear the murder of my people... so you will bear the murder of your wife.

I am Cochise. I do not betray my people or their children.

And no one on my territory will open war again. Not even you.

I have given my permission. They wanted to see you.


We've, uh, come to pay our respects, Tom. Thank you, Milt.

We've rounded up every man that had anything to do with the ambush.

Th-They're gonna pay the full penalty for what they've done.


Nothing can compensate you for the terrible thing that happened.

But your friends here are trying to tell you that your very loss... has brought our people together in the will to peace.

Without that will, treaties are worth little or nothing.

[Tom Narrating] His words meant very little to me then... but as time passed, I came to know that the death of Sonseeahray... put a seal upon the peace.

And from that day on, wherever I went... in the cities, among the Apaches, in the mountains...

I always remembered... my wife was with me.