Broken Lance (1954) Script

A little heavier in the shoulders, huh?

Comes from swingin' that 10-pound sledge.

They all get it.

It's all there.

Do you mind if I look?

No, it's just that...

Not at all. I keep my eye on all the stuff myself, that's all.


Let's go.

Where? The governor wants to see you.

I don't wanna see the governor. I'm through here.

Let's go, partner.

Here's your grub.



Good gun.

Nice balance.

Come on over.

Joe Devereaux.

Oh, yes. It'll be just a minute.

The governor'll see you now, Mr. Devereaux.

Good luck, Joe.

Thanks, Bill.

Glad you came, Joseph.

I couldn't do anything else.

I wanted to talk to you.

The simplest way was to bring you here. Sit down.

You look different, Joseph.

More mature, I guess.

And, uh, changed.

I suppose three years is bound to bring some changes...

Look, Governor, you're not interested in what prison did to me.

Yes, I am. I'm very interested.

Barbara still hasn't married.

Anything else? Yes, there is.

There's considerably more.

Sit down.

If I told you I brought you here to keep you from being killed... you might think me hypocritical.

But for the love and respect I had for your father and your mother...

My mother?

Never mind.

There's been enough violence connected with Devereaux Ranch.

I don't want any more. I won't have any more.

Your brothers are in the next room.

They have a proposition to make to you. A business proposition.

They assure me it's a good one.

I'd like...

I'd advise you to take it.

Come in.

Hello, Joe. Joe.

I told him, and I'll tell you, Ben... I'll stand for no trouble.

There won't be any trouble, Governor.

We don't want any, and...

I'm sure Joe doesn't.

I'll give you 10 minutes. Fine.

Well, you look good, Joe.

I'm glad to see it wasn't too tough on you.

Well, naturally, I know it wasn't easy...

The governor said you had a proposition for me. He told me to take it.

What, before you'd even heard it?

He should know better than that.

Besides, this is a family matter, Joe.

We're still your brothers.

Just tell me the proposition.

All right.

You see, Joe... there have been a lot of, uh, changes since you went in.

I can see some of'em right here.

What kind of remark... I'll do the talkin', Denny!

Sure, Ben.

That's one of the changes.

Another is that we run the ranch from town now.

It's gotten too big to operate from home.

What did you do with my mother?

Well, you know, Joe, she doesn't like town.

She went back to her own people, Joe. That's all she wanted.

Anything else, we'd have done it, just as we will for you.

But, I, uh... I think you ought to realize... that we've got different responsibilities now, Joe.

Devereaux Ranch isnít just cattle anymore.

We've got oil leases, mineral rights... stockholders we have to protect.

Just tell me the deal.

All right, I'll tell you the deal.

It's Oregon. Brand-new territory.

We'll buy you a spread, stock it for you and cover your losses... for three years.

Or else?

There is no "or else."

That's it.

I, uh...

I think that'll get you started.

What if I don't like Oregon? You'll like it.

I hear it's real nice country up there, Joe.

We worked it out for you the best we could, Joe... but, uh, if there's something else...

There is something else.

Three years.

Three years out of my life.

Three years I spent in that stinkin' jail. Can you give me back those?

No. Not even if I had 'em to give you.

I lost mine sweatin' out chores for Pa before you were ever born.

I'm not crying about 'em. I'm just telling you.

All right, Joe, you've got our offer, you've got our money.

The train goes through here at 6:00 tonight. Be on it, and the deal stands.

That's not very smart, Joe.

But the rest of the deal stands if you make that train.

He's real hot, ain't he?

He'll cool down.

When he does, he'll take the deal. He's too smart not to.

Ain't that right, Ben? I don't know.

But anybody that throws $10,000 in a spittoon makes me nervous.

Pick it up.

He don't look like much, but for the price he'll get you there and back.

You sure you want that saddle?

Another couple of dollars, and I can give you a better one.

What's your hurry? Well, Ben said find out where he was goin'.

I know where he's going.

Get on your horse, fellow, and git!

Joseph, it is you? Hello, Two Moons.

The gods, they smile on us this day.

I guess they do.

You missed me by about three inches. Or maybe you're getting old.

If I want to hit you, I hit you.

You come home to stay, Joseph? I don't know.

Your mother, she is at the meeting place of our people.

How is she, Two Moons?

She is the same. She waits for you.


But there's something else I gotta settle first.

You are alone. If there is need, I have 20, maybe 30 men.

And have the rest of the tribe wiped out? No.

Where you go? Up to the home place.

Good. You talk to Running Wolf... I'm not talking to anybody.

The old man's dead. You been listening to that medicine man stuff too?

Sometime in the night I hear wolf call. You always hear wolves.

Pa never let anybody kill 'em. You know that.

You wanna ride in with me?

Well? It is fitting you go alone, Joseph.

Superstitious old fool.

Hello, Pa.

I came back.

The old men said you wouldn't rest easy until I did.


I heard the medicine men think you're running the hills nights with the wolves.

Maybe you are at that.

What do you want me to do, Pa? Have you got a sign for me, or you want me to figure this out...

Hold her still.

Just brand 'em. Don't barbecue 'em.

ŅComo esta, senor? Muy bien, Francisco.

Ah! Manuel.

Senor Matt. All goes well? Yeah.

We'll have the other camps cleaned up by sundown.

Here too.

Start driving the beef herd toward the home place tomorrow.

Now, take 'em slow, Man...

They're rustlin' stock on the east range, Pa!

Johnny Red Eagle was riding herd, and they shot his horse right out from under him!

He walked into camp this morning and told Two Moons...

Ben, get a horse.

You want I get some boys? No, no, we'll handle it.

Not a sign of'em.

They kept to the middle of the stream to cover.

You can't tell whether they went up or down.

Horse slipped, no? Which way, do you think?

Let's go.


Two, three, four... five I count, Pa.


That's Pa! Get outta here!

Let's go!

Come on! Get out of there!

Come on, get up. You're not hurt.

Cut this steer loose.

Couldn't even change the brand without blotching it, could you?

I've seen these two before.

We fired 'em last year. They're no good.



We didn't mean nothin', Pa.

Just a couple of little old steers. Uh-huh. Why?

I don't know.

We needed the money. That's why.

Money? You got money.

You mean that lousy 40 a month you give us?

Don't you ever use that tone with me, boy.

Pa, we didn't mean nothin'. No, I don't suppose you did.

You just figured you'd steal some cattle and sell 'em.

Of course, anybody within a thousand miles would know that brand, even raised.

But you figured nobody would have the guts to tell me that two of my own...

No, Pa, we didn't even think of that. No, I don't think you did.

I don't think the two of you together could've figured that out.

But somebody figured it out. Who put you up to it?


Well, it doesn't make any difference. You did it.

And just to be sure it wouldn't be a secret... you had to drag these two lunkheads in with ya.

They no talk. Let 'em be.

They're not to blame. Just these two.

Well, what do you want to do with 'em?

They were caught red-handed rustling cattle and changing the brand.

If you notify the sheriff, the whole state'll know about it.

We could hang 'em right here. Cut it out, Pa!

He thinks I'm fooling.

I guess a lot of fellas felt that way... until we taught 'em that you don't steal cattle from the Devereaux Ranch.

But the cattle are as much yours as they are mine... so the deci...

And they would've been yours too. L...

What do you think, Ben?

You don't pay 'em enough.

Or you either, huh, Ben?

They get the same as you.

And if you ask me, all three of you get twice as much as you're worth.

There ain't a man living who can say that he stole cattle from me.

But you two mushheads thought...

All right, you wanted 'em so bad, you take 'em.

Take 'em and get out. The money you get will keep you until you can steal some more.

But remember this...

Don't steal 'em from here.

We can't let him do this.

Why not? I warned 'em they were only asking for trouble.

Pa, you don't mean this.

They're your own sons!

They're a couple of cheap, tinhorn cattle thieves.

Two dead men laying there because... You just can't do it!

I did it. Let go, son.

You should have done this yesterday, my husband.

If I'd done what I should have... If I'd been half smart, I never would've let you see it.

I don't know why it is that every wife thinks...

What are you trying to do, kill me?

Finish the telling.

Nothing to tell. I told you, I sent 'em packing.

Money, they said they wanted. I pay 'em, don't I?

Besides, they've got everything they want right here on the ranch.

Well, haven't they?

Perhaps. But I do not think it is money that they need.

Well, they were stealing cattle to get...

What is it they do need?

They are not my sons.

It is difficult to say... but I think it is you, my husband.

You have never given them anything of yourself.

Oh, that's a lot of... That kind of talk...

I got a big ranch to run, the biggest in this part of the country.

Besides, I built it all up for them, haven't I?

Well, all right.

I built it up for myself. But it's still theirs when I die, isn't it?

Supposing I haven't given them time.

Does that mean they have to grow up to be cattle thieves?

You are their father.

They want to be part of you.

If you do not give yourself, they take... even if it means stealing something that is yours.

That's Indian talk. I don't understand you when you talk that way.

You understand.

That is what makes you angry.

That, and because you have sent them away. They are your sons.

Well, they're not yours, so I don't know why you're... lf Joe had done a thing like that...

It is because they are not that I have to try to love them as much as my own.

And you have too. And that must take a power that I don't know anything about.

As I say, if Joe... But Joe wouldn't do a thing like that.

He's my son, yet I do not know what he would do.

He is yours, and you do not.

Bring them back. No!

I sent 'em away, and that's that.

Let me.

Sore at me? No.

It's only because I do not understand.

You didn't get a very good bargain, did you, as my little princess?

I have never regretted it.

Not all these years, you haven't? Hmm?

How have you stayed so beautiful?

Am I?


You know, the first day I saw you... riding across the plains on that little paint pony... with the antelope-skin shirt and the beads... and the feather in your hair...

I thought there was nothing in the world so beautiful.

I didn't know the half of it.

We have guests for dinner.

Send 'em home. They're already here.

Well, then why don't you go downstairs and pacify them?

Without you?

What's the matter? You afraid they'll bite you?

No. They will bow and smile and be very polite.

They'd better. They know that too.

Are you afraid of them?

I'm afraid of no one but you, my husband. Ohh!

Oh, Princess... that sounds like it has a little of the old Irish...

Are you sure there wasn't another Irishman in your tribe before I came along?

There is no other Irishman like you, my husband.



Did you tell... No.

I, uh... Please don't.


Senora Devereaux.

We've been waiting for you. Horace, my apologies.

Clem, it's nice to see you.

Where's Grace? Couldn't she come? It's her back again.

Hasn't been out in a week. Must be two weeks since I've seen her.

I haven't met this young lady.

I certainly should never forget it if I had.

Of course you have, Uncle Matt!

It's not Barbara! Why, it can't...

Why, Barbara, when you went east you were this high.

I was a little taller than that. Good evening, Senora.

Not very much.

My, if the years had just done for me what they've done... Well, on the other hand...

You've met my sons, of course. Oh, yes. All four.

I sort of expected you two would still be out with the cattle.

I thought they oughta be here, Pa, so I brought 'em in.

I see.

Been entertaining you properly? They've been most gallant.

A fine set of boys, Matt.

Yes, Madame Devereaux has done what she could with their manners.

Of course, if they smack a little bit of the range still, that's my fault.

Oh, I think they resemble you amazingly, Uncle Matt.

So handsome and charming.

Your manners certainly haven't been neglected. Shall we go in to dinner?

May I?


Now, what about them?

It was tough, Pa, but I got 'em drunk and brought 'em in...

I'm not talking about that. You heard what I said.

You were mad, Pa, and just being bullheaded. I figured once you...

You figured? You've got more guts than you have brains.

One of these days... But not tonight, huh, Pa?

You got your good shirt on. Besides, I think I could lick you anyway.

Oh, that'll be the day, son.

Go on.

That old heifer never did come back.

That was in the days before I had a seat in my pants.

But they were pretty good days at that. Weren't they, Horace?

What are those you're eating, Uncle Matt? These?

They are pickled cactus grapes.

Cactus grapes? I don't think I've ever seen them.

They probably didn't have them in the east.

They're wonderful appetizers. Aren't they, Ben?

Yeah, if you like 'em.

They're real good, Barbara. Try it. Try it.


That's a Mexican pepper.

It'll burn the roof of your mouth out. One of Pa's funny jokes.

The Mexicans grind those things up for cayenne.

Is that right, Uncle Matt? Yes.

They're not that hot, though.

Joe has a tendency to be tenderhearted.

But you eat them. I eat anything that doesn't eat me.

Not bad at all.

Holy smoke!

Not hot?

A little.

A little?

Wouldn't admit it if it tore the roof of her mouth off.

This is quite a girl, Horace.

How come I haven't seen her before, if she's been here a month?

Well, if you came to town more often, you might have. I had to bring her out here.

He wouldn't come to town. He doesn't like us anymore.

You have to run a ranch from the back of a horse, not from the Cattlemen's Club.

You'd find out about mineral rights, though, and beef prices.

I get as good a price as the next man.

Isn't that right, Ben? No.

I can show you the figures.

The boys are giving me a really bad time tonight.

Where did you get 'em? I asked 'em.

Most of'em are averaging a cent to a cent and a half a pound better than we are.

What do you think we oughta do about it?

Open an office in town, like the rest of'em, watch Chicago prices...

Who do you figure is gonna run this office in town?

Well... What about Ben? He could do it.

Oh? Well, I don't know.

He hadn't mentioned it to me.

Well, now that we... He'd like to!

Now, wait a minute! Let Ben talk for himself. Go ahead, Ben.

Mr. Devereaux, our friends need more wine.

Ah. My apologies, madame.

And to you, Barbara.

Uh, vino.

Uh, sometimes the task of managing four sons...

They all look like they're able to take care of themselves.

They've been raised to.

Then why wouldn't you be willing to let one of them take over for you in town?

Barbara, I think we should...

Oh, no. No, no, no. She's perfectly right.

As a matter of fact, I think that Ben probably could take over in town.

That would mean giving up part of the control of the ranch to him.

Uh-huh. And you wouldn't like that a bit.

Uh-uh. And what's more, I'm not going to do it.

I keep telling myself he's not ready for it.

But that's just one of the problems you face when you raise a flock of sons.

When some fortunate man gains your hand in marriage, remember to have daughters.


And much prettier.

I think I would be better advised in the choice of who was to be their father.

Pepper was hotter than I thought, Barbara.

What's that? Cold milk.

It's the only thing that'll cool off those peppers.

They burn like fire, don't they?

I thought my teeth would melt.


Oh, heavens. Now if the rest of me would only cool off.

Would you like to walk out onto the patio? The wind's died down.

You don't have to be afraid.

Now, why should I be afraid?

Oh, I don't know.

They seem to think, in town, that we turned out to be quite a family.

That's one of the reasons you came out here, isn't it?

I suppose so. Well, do we come up to our reputation?

Your father certainly does. Does he always act like that?

Pretty much.

He's a bear cat, ain't he?

He's an old tyrant.

But you're crazy about him, aren't you?

Well... yeah, I guess I am.

You're not afraid of him either. The rest of them are.

I don't know... Well, I do.

Your brother Ben is, and the others. So is my father. It's ridiculous.

I thought it was the peppers that made you jump him.

He's stubborn, spoiled and mean, and you all let him get away with it.

But you like him too. Don't you?

They said in town you turned out to be the smartest of the lot.

What else did they say?

Oh, that you'd inherited all his charm.

But I don't see it.

Look closer.

Was that to maintain the Devereaux tradition?


Maybe we'd better go back in.

Joe, I want you.

My apologies, madame. There's something wrong with the herd.

If I'm not back in an hour, Mrs. Devereaux'll show you to your rooms.

Get out of those Sunday clothes if you're going to work.

You think loco weed, senor? Nah. They'd be all swelled up.

The tongue looks funny, though.

They got funny-lookin' tongues even when they ain't dead.

How many, do you think? Must be 38, 40.

Hey, Pa. Huh?

This water smells funny. What?

It tastes funny too.

Yeah, like when you's a kid and put a penny in your mouth.

Yeah. Kinda coppery.

They're dumping stuff in this stream. That may be it.

What do they call that stuff? I don't care.

But they're dumping it in my stream. Get your horses.

Where we goin'? To the copper works. Where do you think?

Rout some of your men and keep all the cattle away from this stream.

The copper... That's 20 miles! What of it?

Well, we ain't had no sleep, Pa.

You didn't think of that when you were on the east range, changing the brand. Get goin'!

All right, rest 'em.


It's coffee with a stick in it.

What you aimin' to do, Pa?

Stop 'em.

Big outfit. So are we.

What's the matter? You nervous? No.

I just thought we might get smart for once. How?

Get some law in. Law.

Get an injunction and stop 'em.

They're on our land. Sure, Pa. That's right.

Sure. In the meantime, we lose 500 head of... Holy smoke!

What's the matter with you, Pa? That was a lobo.

I saw him. He wasn't doing any harm.

He can pull down a full-grown steer. He won't unless he's hungry. Now, I've told you...

As long as he's around, a coyote won't come within 10 miles.

They'll pull down an animal just to be doing somethin'.

All right, let's go.

The river's full of it.

It's from the mine, all right.

Hold it.

Sorry, boys. Not today.

My name is Matt Devereaux. I want to see McAndrews.

Not today. They're paying off up there. I got my orders.

I don't care what you got. I'm goin' up there. Now stand aside!

You ain't goin' through this gate, and don't try...

Better get McAndrews.

Round up the other boys, quick. Sure, boss.

Well! Devereaux. Good to see you.

You don't get around this way very often.

I'm around here now, and I'll tell you why.

I lost 40 head of cattle last night. That stuff you're pouring into the stream poisoned them.

Poisoned? Well, now, that doesn't sound right.

The stream's supposed to purify itself every few yards.

I don't know what a stream is supposed to do... but it's killing my cattle, and I want it stopped.

Where you goin', boys?

Well, now, I can see how you might be annoyed.

Tell you what you'd better do.

Keep your herds away from that stream for a while... and I'll write a letter into the home office in Chicago.

If they'll stand still for the cost...

Ah, you listen to me.

Don't worry about writing any letters into the home office about my moving my cattle.

The river is on my land. You're on my land.

You close this operation down till you find a way to clean up that stream... or I'll close it for you.

Oh? And just how do you propose to do that?

Well, the first thing I'll do is get an injunction against you... in the United States Federal Court.

Then the next thing I'll do is get a United States deputy marshal to enforce it.


Well, that's a fair idea.

Course, if you did that you'd throw all these men out of work.

They wouldn't like that. You're breakin' our hearts.

Another thing...

You gotta remember that the government's got contracts for our ore.

Think a court would give you an injunction?

This is the second time I've wound up with a busted hand.

The first time, when I forgot to check the mineral rights... and the second time, of course, when I didn't realize... that, naturally, they wouldn't send a fool out here in charge of this...

Coming from you, sir, that's a very pleasant compliment.

Now we'll just see who's right.

Now, you listen to me, you pasty-faced Eastern tinhorn.

You close this operation down... or I'll come in here and pull it down around your ears.

And I'll be waiting right here for you.

You're right about one thing, Devereaux.

The company didn't send me out here to be buffaloed by a loudmouthed farmer... with a squaw for a wife and a half...

Go ahead. Pull it.

Draw, and I'll blow your head off.

Cut it out, Joe. Put it away, Ben.

There's not gonna be any shootin' around here.

You've been warned. Close it down, or we'll be back.

And when we come back, I'll be looking for you. Let's go.

Stay close to me. Walk slow.

Get 'em.

We ain't got a chance, Pa.

Shut up.

Rush 'em, you fools! Rush 'em!

Rush 'em, you fools! Rush 'em!

Shoot at their feet.

Make for the horses!

Giddap! Hyah! Hyah!

Keep going!

Wreck it! Tear it down!

Stay there...

Go! Hyah! Hyah!


Whoa. Whoa.

All here? Some hurt. Not bad.

Where'd you come from?

I think maybe trouble. We follow you.

We wait. Hear shooting. We come. All right, go ahead.

They're not gonna like that, Pa.

No, I'll bet they're not. Teach 'em a lesson, though.

They'll think twice before they dump in my stream.

Well, they won't think twice about startin' legal action.

That's not my worry. Let Lawton worry about that.

You'd better ride back to the ranch and tell him.

If he's not there, go into town and find him.

I'll ride with you, Joe! Hey! You two are gonna ride herd.

We gotta keep the stock away from the stream.

Holy crow! Don't he ever give up?

What are you doing here?

Looking at your horses. Isn't it allowed?

You were in there with King?

He's a stallion. It's a wonder he didn't kick your head off.

You sound as if you wished he had.

But he happens to know a lady when he sees one...

Which is more than you can say for the rest of us around here.

You're saying it, not me. Where's Lawton?

Up at the main house? No.

He went into town with Dad early this morning.

What about you?

Oh, I just didn't feel like getting up that early.

You didn't figure we might be riding in sometime today, did you?

Well, of all the gall!

For your information, I've already asked for someone to drive me in.

Oh. Yes.

Might I ask how you happen to be here? Me?

Oh, Pa wanted me to see Lawton... and I just had a sneaking hunch, for one reason or another... that you might still be here.

And you are, aren't you?

Yes. I'm here.

And you did figure that I might ride in sometime today, didn't you?


Why did you ride in?

Ma, tell Pa I'll try to make it back by suppertime.

I've got a feeling your mother doesn't approve of this, or of me either.

If she didn't she'd say so.

She never says anything.

But when she looks at you, she seems to know just what you're thinking.

I used to think that too when I was a kid. But it's only because she's an Indian.

Oh. I'd almost forgotten that.

But everyone calls her "Senora." Why?

Oh, people in town like to pretend she's Spanish.

Figure it looks better, or Pa likes it, or something.

Pa don't give a rip what they think.

What do you mean, "looks better"? You know what I mean.

Well, if I did I wouldn't have asked you.

You've been East a long time... but you still oughta know that a white man don't marry an Indian out here... even the daughter of a chief.

They call him a "squaw man" and his kids "breeds."

I'm a half-breed.

All right. But does anyone call you that?

Not since my first day in school.

It still bothers you, though, doesn't it? No. Why should it?

Yeah, l... I guess it does sometimes.

Was your mother really the daughter of a chief?

Mm-hmm. Him and Red Cloud just about ran this whole territory.

I was named after a grandfather, Tuekakas... Chief Joseph.

Mmm! I've heard of him.

Yeah, they weren't too strong on Pa marrying her either.

A wild Irishman with a few mangy head of cattle and three motherless kids of his own.

The old chief didn't figure him much of a catch. So?

Well, Pa'd tell it to you with the trimmings, how he outran an antelope... rassled a bear and whipped six braves.

So they took him into the tribe and he married the princess.

Oh, wonderful! I'll bet he did it all too.

What about his family? I don't know. I never did hear much about them.

Ellen, his first wife, she died right after they came out here.

Came out? From where? I don't know. East, I guess.

Seems to me his old man left Ireland during the potato famine.

Dirt farmer or something. Got kicked in the head by a mule when Pa was just a pup.

What are you laughing at?

I thought you were worried about being an Indian.

You just don't like being Irish.

If I were you, I wouldn't try to rush things.

Let me talk to Devereaux myself and see if...

There's one of'em now.

Yeah. So it is.

And isn't that your daughter?

Yes, it is.

Ah, you're making too much of this, Horace.

They're a little hot under the collar, but they'll calm down.

Talk to 'em real nice, and they'll settle.

They don't want trouble any more than we do. They're going to sue you.

They're mad, Matt. You wrecked a building, banged up half their crew.

Well, they killed 40 head of my cattle.

What do you want me to do, kiss 'em?

I'll pay for their damages, if they're fair... and if they put in a sump and stop pollutin' my stream.

This business of going to court, ah, it's a waste of time... theirs and mine.

They don't care about that. They're out to get you.

This is a big Eastern company.

They don't like people shooting up their property.

And to prove it, they're going to make an example out of you.

You think they can?

Well, that depends on... what happens in court... what lawyers they bring in, who the judge is, you know.

Well, you could have something to say about that.

This is a federal case, Matt.

They'll be bringing in lawyers from the East. The newspapers'll pick it up.

Uh-huh. If it was just a local thing, we could handle it.

Yeah, uh, Horace, uh...

I don't know, but, uh... something sounds a little sour to me.

I tell you, you just made the wrong move with the wrong people.

I've made a lot of wrong moves, Horace.

It isn't that. It's you, Horace.

Now, sometimes you've helped me, and sometimes you haven't been able to. That's all right.

But you're not even makin' a noise now like you wanted to help me.

You could appoint the judge, couldn't you, Horace?

Well, I suppose I could.

Wouldn't be quite ethical, but...

Never mind about that. Let's talk about you and me now.

You know you want something, Horace. What is it? What do you want?

I want your son Joe to stay away from my daughter.

I oughta kill you, Horace, right now.

Oh, no. No!

Not you, after all these years.


I don't care what the newspapers and the town say... or the fact that Lawton's wife is sick every time we...

But... you.

You never could understand why I married her, could you?

And you never liked this country out here, did you, Horace?

That's why you sent the girl back East... to get her away from the dust and the dirt and the cattle... and the Indians and the half-breeds.

Matt, don't. You know I like the boy.

But this is something that's born and bred in me.

I'm 56 years old. I've tried to change, but...

You're 56 years old, and you're governor of the state!

And who made you the governor of the state?

I took you off an accountant's stool, pulled a pencil from behind your ear... and made you a politician.

I made you a mayor, I sent you to Congress... and I put you in that chair!

Fifty-six. You're...

Fifty-six? You owe me 30 of'em.

You're right, Matt. I do.

You've done everything but change me.

I wish you had.

Then maybe I will. Maybe I will.

I can still pull that chair right out from under you.

Maybe I will.

But there's something I'm going to do first.

I'm going to tell my boy that if he wants that girl of yours... to take her... if he has to pull her out of the house by the hair of her head.


Ohh! Dead heat, huh?

Oh! Guess so!

Come on. I'll show you something.

Go on.

Mmm. It's wonderful. Cold.

Comes from a way up.

It's beautiful here. How'd you ever find it?

I've known it ever since I was a kid.

This is where Pa had his first powwow with the tribes... and where he first saw my mother.

There used to be a stone around here that marked the place... where the old Indians shook hands on the deal for the land.

But I haven't been around for a while... Don't you come here often?

No, it's sort of out of the way, and... Then why did you bring me here?

I don't know. We were out this way, and...

No other reason?

Maybe it wasn't such a good idea.

I just don't understand you.

Four days ago you behaved as if I were a girl in a dance hall... and now...

Four days ago I wasn't in love with you.

Was it that hard to say?

No. But you don't know what you're getting into. Yes, I do.

Just as your mother did.

Don't you think I oughta at least go in and talk to him?

Nope. Don't you start getting honorable.

I need time to work on him.

Unless you really want to.

I'd rather rassle a bear.


Come in here, Joe. This concerns you too.

The mining company has filed a claim against us in the federal district court.

Clem thinks we're in real trouble.

I said you were if they get a judgment against you.

I don't know that they will. Why bother with it?

Because no lawyer can guarantee what a jury will do.

As I said, if Horace were appointing the judge...

Well, he isn't! And I'm not gonna ask him to.

All right. I still think we've got a good case.

If I didn't, I'd have told you so.

But I want you to be protected against any eventuality.

You insure yourself against accident and death, don't you?

No! Well, what is it, Mr. Lawton?

Well, I'm trying to get him to split the property up between you four boys... so that he won't be the sole owner.

You're wasting your time explaining it, Mr. Lawton.

He doesn't trust any of us with more than $40 a month. Let's go.

Sit down!

Well, what about Ma? Couldn't she? No, Joseph.

Well, uh, you see, Joe, it's, uh...

The government doesn't allow an Indian to hold land.

What about me?

Well, that's different. You can.

What difference does it make? He's not gonna turn anything over to anybody.

I'll make the decisions around here. Now clear out, all of you.

I'll think it over.

Oh, Joe?

Come here a minute, will you.

Joe, there's something I want to ask you.

Yes, Pa?

Never mind. It's not important.

I take it the death of these 40 cattle was an important matter to you.

The death of one cow is important to a cattleman, sonny.

Important enough to send you riding to the copper mine... where at least a dozen men were subsequently injured?

Yep. Am I to understand from this... that you consider the lives of 40 cattle more important than the lives of 12 men...

Objection. The prosecution is attempting to discredit the witness...

Aw, let him go. I'm perfectly willing to answer any question.

You know, on the face of it, that sounds like pure nonsense... but I know the difference between cattle and people, as any man can tell you.

Thank you.

How many head of cattle does your ranch support at this time, Mr. Devereaux?

Oh, 45,000, 50,000.

Is that the closest figure you can give me?

There are the books of the Devereaux Ranch. Why don't you look it up?

I don't want to look it up. I want you to tell me.

Well, then you'd better change the tone of your voice, sonny.

Will Your Honor direct the witness to answer? I already have.

Mr. Van Cleve, unless you have a specific reason for pursuing this line... the books... I have a very specific reason, Your Honor.

The defense has continually stressed the importance of 40 animals... yet the witness is unable to tell me within 5,000 head...

Objection. Prosecution is again attempting... to discredit the witness by indirect examination.


Your Honor, I don't know about all this legal hocus-pocus... but if this fellow here wants to know about my cattle...

I'm perfectly willing to tell him.

I don't keep any books in my head... but I can tell you that every cow on my ranch is important to me.

Important to a lot of other people too.

I ship 10,000 head to Kansas City every year.

My beef goes into every city and state in the East... feeds over 200,000 people.

Now, that's my line of work, sonny.

I'm sure we're all very grateful for this additional information.

But could we confine ourselves to specific questions and answers?

Thank you.

Now, you've already stated you've built up your ranch over a period of 25 years?


And during this time, you've had other disputes over prior claims and water rights?

Plenty. Were they settled in court?

No, no. No. This is the first time I've ever been to court.

Usually the men I had to deal with... were men enough to stand up and argue it out face to face.

I see. Uh, do you happen to remember the name of Lucius Hennaberry?

Yes, I remember him.

And do you remember shooting him in White's Saloon in this city on the...

Yes, in a fair fight. He had a gun.

Object. Your Honor, I can see no possible reason for this line of questioning. I demand...

It's an integral part of the case... and if the court will allow me to proceed, I'll so demonstrate.

Proceed. Thank you, sir.

Now, the dispute between you and Hennaberry was over water rights?

No, not over water rights. Just over water.

Luke had a trail herd. Said he was gonna water it on my ranch.

He didn't.

In the light of what subsequently happened, that seems quite obvious.

Water seems to play a tremendously important part in your life, Mr. Devereaux.

I don't quite understand this.

Well, seeing as you came out here on a train, all nice and comfortable-like... why, I can understand that.

But, you see, I didn't. I packed in here with a wife and three kids.

The first year I lost half my herd... and the second year I lost my wife because there was no water.

Yes, water's important to me, just like it is to everybody else in the state... because without water there wouldn't be any state!

Your Honor, please... Now wait a minute!

You asked me a question. I'll answer it.

You can bet your hat water's important to me... as it is to everybody else in the state.

'Cause every drop that's on my ranch...

I either dug for or channeled it in.

Now when you're back on that train, ridin' out of here... over the right of way that I gave 'em, think it over.

I'm perfectly willing to concede Mr. Devereaux's contribution to his native state... but it is the contention of the prosecution that this does not give him the right... to flout the laws of this state or... Object.

Sustained. Just keep to direct questioning, Mr. Van Cleve.

I'm sorry, Your Honor.

I now ask you, sir... do you remember the names Charlie Munger, Red Dog Johnson or Carlos Ramirez?

No. The incident may be too trivial to recall.

But isn't it true that you summarily hanged all three of these men...

They were stealing my cattle.

I thought you didn't remember them! I didn't ask their names.

You just hung them. By the neck until they were dead.

They were thieves. I see.

Isn't it true that Charles Malone was sheriff of this county at that time?

I guess he was. Did you make any effort to contact him?

No. Why not?

He was 40 miles away and drunk.

Did you know this for a fact, Mr. Devereaux? I knew Charlie Malone.

And let me ask you this, Mr. Devereaux.

Have you ever, during your years on Devereaux Ranch, had recourse to the authorities?

Objection! If I've needed the authorities, I've asked for 'em.

Why didn't you ask for them two weeks ago Thursday?

I didn't think I needed 'em!

Order! Order!

Now, if there's any more of this, I'll see you two gentlemen in my chambers.

And if you can't restrain yourself, Mr. Devereaux, I'll hold you in contempt.


You say you've asked for the authorities when you've needed them.

That's right. Then may I ask, did you make any attempt... to notify the present sheriff of this county on the morning in question?

No. Why not?

Because I didn't think it was necessary.

Under direct examination, you stated that it was your intention... to discuss the affair with McAndrews and arrive at a sensible solution.

Do you still say that this was your intent? Yes.

Then may I ask how it happened that 20 minutes after you arrived at the copper mine... your foreman appeared with 30-odd armed men?

Maybe he thought there was going to be trouble.

Didn't he know there was going to be trouble, and didn't you order him to be there?

No, I did not!

I see. Is it customary on Devereaux Ranch for a foreman to proceed without orders?

No, it isn't customary, but... Yes, Mr. Devereaux?

I didn't say anything to him. I see.

Now suppose I didn't believe that?

Suppose I said that you deliberately went there to cause trouble... to bully and threaten and force McAndrews into an open fight?

Suppose I say that you're lying when you deny this, Mr. Devereaux?

Then I would tell you to get a gun or get out of town... because the minute I get off this witness stand...

I'm gonna chase you until your heels smoke!

Go get 'im! That a boy, Matt.

Order! Order!

Mr. Devereaux, I hold you in contempt.

This court will be in recess for an hour... and if there's any further disturbance... the rest of the proceedings will be conducted behind closed doors.


Well, that did it. He hasn't got a chance.

What are we gonna do? What can we do?

Well, Lawton said they had to prove him solely responsible.

Well, he was, wasn't he? I don't know. We were all with him.

Now, wait a minute. I never asked to go. Me neither.

They'll put him in jail. Look, Joe.

You know I'd do anything I could to help him. So would I, Joe.

But we can't just... It'd be perjury. They'd get us in a minute.

That's right.

Yeah. I'm gonna get a smoke.

Me too.

Hmph! We gotta do something, Ben.

Why? Ben, it's Pa.

If they put him in jail, it'll kill him. No, not him.

We gotta do something, Ben. We owe it to him.

Maybe you do, Joe, but not me.

You heard him up there te...

You heard him telling about losing his cattle... and his wife and going it alone with three kids.

Well, what do you think we were doing while he was busy building up the state?

I worked 16 hours a day for him when I was 10 years old... and all he ever did from that day to this was treat me like a hired hand.

But, Ben, listen... No, no, Joe. You don't know anything about this.

You came along later when things were good.

So you figure you owe him something.

All right, go ahead. Do anything you like.

You're his little pet. You always were.

It looks bad, doesn't it? Yeah.

I'm sorry about the judge. Yeah, he's tough.

I mean about Dad. What about him?

Well, about him having the fight with your father and refusing to appoint the judge.

Fight with Pa? What about?

Us. Well, was it?

L... I thought he must have told you.

Where are you going? I gotta see Lawton.


It's all right. I made a deal with them.

You'll have to give up the land the mine is on.

Give up the land? You'll go to jail if you don't.

Now, look... Are you gonna listen to me or aren't you?

All right. You'll give them clear title to the mine... make restitution for the injured men and pay the costs on the wrecked building.

We can work it out later. Oh, I'll bet. I'll bet.

That wrecked building is worth about... There's one more thing.

I'm gonna put Joe on the stand. Why?

Somebody has to take responsibility for that fight.

Not Joe! Not Joe! Now wait a minute! I just talked to him.

He wants to do it. He says McAndrews called him a half-breed... and he was the first one to pull a gun.

I don't care what he said. Joe is not going on the stand.

Look, Matt. This is a deal. Somebody has to do this.

You just destroyed any chance you had.

Now, if I put Joe on and they find against him, we can appeal it.

If you turn over the land and make financial restitution, they won't contest the appeal.

The worst that can happen is that Joe will be held here till we get a new trial.

I don't like this. I don't ask you to like it.

I'm just asking you for once in your life to take some advice!

The court is now in session. Please come to order.

I'm going back in there and call the boy to the stand... and if you say one word now or until after the appeal...

I'll guarantee you it'll mean at least 10 years behind the bars.

Now remember that!

Call Joseph Devereaux.

Defense calls Joseph Devereaux. Take the stand, please.

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth... and nothing but the truth?

Come on, Pa. There ain't no more we can do around here.

Get away from me. I don't wanna talk to any of you.

Get away from me!

You are making yourself ill, my husband.

Please. This will pass.

Two Moons said Lawton brought some papers.

They are here. I will get them. And food.

No, no. No food. Just the papers. But you must eat.

I sent Two Moons for Ben and the others.

They are still your sons, my husband.

Please send them to me when they come, Senora.

You wanted us?

No, I don't want you. I told you to come here. Sit down.

Go ahead.

Well, what is it, Pa?

Papers. Lawton wrote 'em.

He says it's an agreement to keep Joe out of jail.

You own the property, so you sign 'em.

Here, you can make your mark.

I can write. Uh-uh.

How much, Pa?

Eighty thousand cash and the mine property. Sign it.

No. It's too much, Pa. Get 'em to cut it down.

Why, you... This is to keep Joe out of jail.

Sign it! No!

We're not gonna sign it, Pa.

You'll sign these papers, or I'll skin the lot of you.

We decided we're not gonna sign. It's too much money.

Joe'll only get six or seven months...

Sign it!

Now, take it easy, Pa. It won't do you any good to get yourself all wound up...

Get him to bed. I'll send for the doctor.

You! Devereaux! Come on down!

You got a visitor. A pretty one.

No. Got orders to take you in, Joe.

Don't give me no trouble.

Joe? Yeah, it's me.

Get out. Can't, ma'am.

Orders are to stay with the prisoner. Get out now!

Joe, what's the matter? What are they doing to you?

Nothing. Nobody's doing anything to me.

I'm just working, and it's hot.

I don't understand, Joe. Look, I'm a convict.

I live here, and I work and eat and sleep in these stinkin' clothes.

Oh, my darling. As if that could...

You shouldn't have come here. Don't do it again.

Shouldn't have come? Why not?

Three years isn't forever, Joe, and no matter how hard it is...

It ain't hard. It's just being here and not being able to get out.

Is it your father?

He's been sick, but he's being well taken care of...

Look, look. I know all about it. Two Moons has been here.

I know what they're doing to the old man.

They're killing him, just little by little, day by day.

They're tearing him apart while I sit here in this...

Joe, stop it!

Stop thinking about your father and your brothers... and the whole crazy Devereaux Ranch.

Forget it. You've got your own life. Forget it?

That's the only thing that keeps me going.

You can't just sit here and brood for three years. It's insane.

Joe, please.

When you get out, we'll go away... just the two of us, out of the state.

Anyplace... Stop it!

You're going to be on the outside, with people, free to move around.

I can wait. Maybe you can.

But I'm not so sure about me.

When I see you...

Now do you understand? Don't come here again.

Stay here.

He's coming. I know he's coming. But when? I want him now.

He's here. Please, my husband, no more quarreling.

Try to understand him a little.

Hello, Ma.


Leave us alone, will you, Senora?

Sit down, Ben.

This is all right.

What's on your mind, Pa?

The land.

They tell me you're selling some of it off to an oil company.

That's right. Why?

We need the money to operate with.

To operate that office in town?


Why didn't you tell me?

You wouldn't like it... and the doc says it's, uh, bad for you to get riled up.

Yeah. You're real concerned about my health, aren't you?

I don't like it. I don't like selling the land.

It's good business for the ranch.

I'm sellin' it, Pa.

Well, it's yours to sell.

I spent my life building it up for you... you and the others... but...

I've been rough on you, Ben, because you were the oldest.

I guess I thought I could expect more from you.

I never did this before, but I'm doin' it now.

I'm askin' you, Ben.

Give up the sale, will you?


It figured.

I always knew there was somethin' between us.

What is it, Ben? What is it? Joe, maybe, huh, Ben? Joe?

'Cause he's smarter than the rest of you... and because he stood up to me when the rest of you were afraid to.

You hate Joe, don't you, Ben?

No. No, l... I never hated Joe.

Me then, huh? But I'm no trouble to you now, Ben.

No, not now!

Because you're old and crippled and sick!

So now you call me in and ask me something.

You're a little late, aren't you, Pa?

Did you ever ask me how I'd like an Indian stepmother after Ma died?

Or how I liked doing all the chores and taking care of Mike and Denny besides?

Did you ever ask me how I liked quittin' school... and goin' to work for you as an ordinary hand?

Did you ever in your life ju-just ask me how I felt... or-or what I thought, what I wanted?

No, you didn't.

So it's... it's just a little late for askin' now, Pa.


But the gate was always open, Ben.

You could've packed up and left. I would've understood that.

I did it myself.

I always used to think there was too much of me in you... for us to hit it off... but I know now that that was wrong.

There wasn't enough of me in you.

And now I'm tellin' you again, Ben...

I'm not askin' you. I'm tellin' you.

You're not gonna sell any of the Devereaux Ranch... because I'll stop you, Ben.

I'll stop you... Sit down, Pa.

You're not tellin' anybody anything anymore.

I run Devereaux Ranch, and I run it the way I like.

And right now I'm ridin' into town to sign a deal.


Two Moons!

Two Moons, get my horse.

Senor Matt, to ride the horse is death.

He's right. It will kill you, my husband.

What difference does it make now?

If you die, I die.

Senora, this must be done.

You understand?

Hey, Ben! Ain't that Pa?

Yeah. He's trying to head us off.

Come on!

He's got us, Ben!

Hold it still!


Is he dead, Ben?

I wonder how long.

Go on back to the ranch and get a buckboard.

You want us to stay here with you, Ben?

No, go on back. Both of you.

Make works unto his will... and work within you that which is worthy within his sight... through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.


I'm sorry it had to be this way, Joe.


No more of this. You are brothers.



Oh, Ma! Joseph. My son.

You've changed.

Oh, not much. What about you? These clothes and...

When your father died, I went back to my people.

To die too, I think.

But I knew I must see you.

What do you do with the gun, Joseph?

It's his. It's all he had when he started.

I'm starting too.

That is not a start. It is the end. To take that is blood.

They killed him. Ben did. Slow death.

You saw it happen. You know what they did.

You are speaking like a boy, my son... and the years should have made you a man.

But you don't understand. Listen to me.

He was my husband for 25 years.

I loved him more than anything in the world.

Perhaps even more than you, Joseph.

I know, Ma.

You think you take up his gun and his life.

You cannot, Joseph. It is finished with him.

You must make your own life.

Go away. Take the girl with you.


She has come to me many times.

For her, too, there can only be one.

Take her away, Joseph, and when you are together... you will know there is no need for blood... not for him...

not for that.

Give it to me.

What about you, Ma?

There is no longer need for me, my son.

Keep riding, Joe.

Get goin'.

There's no need for this, Ben.

I've made up my mind. I'm pulling out. Uh-huh.

You missed your train. I don't need any train.

I told you I was pulling out, and I am. I believe you.

But for how long, Joe?

What do you mean? Just that.

I could never be sure when you might, uh, get an idea.

Then there's that lance you threw at my feet the day of the funeral.

That was just an old Comanche sign. Oh, sure. I know that.

But, you see, I'm mighty superstitious, Joe.

I got to thinking about it, and, well, I figured...

I might not sleep good nights worryin' about you.

And I've been sleepin' awful good these past few years.

You're crazy, Ben! You... Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh!

Take it easy, Joe.

Now just swing off there. We'll get up into the hills.


You won't get away with it, Ben. You're just cutting your own throat.

Maybe. No sense you worryin' about it though.

What about Denny and Mike? You can't keep them quiet.

I sent 'em into town.

I know better than to let them in on anything like this.

I could have saved you the trouble, Joe.


It's lovely and peaceful here.

Doesn't seem to go with Pa somehow, but you can't tell.

Do you think he'd like these?

I know he would.