Cattle Empire (1958) Script

Drag it!

Up and down the street.

Drag it out of town.

Get rid of him. Drag him out of town.

Drag him outta town!

That ought to help skin him up!

Drag him!


What are they doin'?

Who is it?

It's John Cord.

They're draggin' him.

Are they killing him?

Are they?

Are they?

Yes, Ralph, they're killing him.

Make them stop it.

You hear? All of you, stop it!

You make them stop it.

What about your eyes?

That's enough! That's all!

Who's on the horse?

Me, Mr. Hamilton.

Tom Powis.

Is he still alive?

Yes, sir.

But a couple more runs up and down this street...

Where's Brewster?

Right here, Mr. Hamilton.

You're the law here.

I put you in office myself.

What kind of a lawman permits a thing like this to happen in the streets of Hamilton before his eyes?

Mr. Hamilton, do you know who that is lying there?

My brother told me.

Maybe Douglas didn't tell you right.

That's John Cord, Mr. Hamilton.

John Cord.

You're right, Mr. Hamilton.

You put me in office.

Everybody here owes you something, one way or another, for the good we used to have.

But John Cord came riding down the street, bold as daylight.

Why shouldn't he, Brewster?

He served his time.

The town don't feel that way.

When he wouldn't leave, they wanted him hanged.

I told 'em I'd let him off with a dragging, then strap him to his horse and head him out.

That's John Cord, Mr. Hamilton.

If it hadn't been for him, you'd be able to see it's me on this horse.

He's responsible for my little daughter never walking...

Never walkin' again, Mr. Hamilton.

You forgot?

I forget nothing.

I want Cord lifted into my wagon.

I'm taking him to my place.

Put him into my wagon now.

Is that clear?

Do you hear me?!

Do I have to do it myself?

I will.

No, Ralph. Don't, Ralph.

I wouldn't, Mr. Hamilton.

Douglas.

None of you knows what's good for you.

Help me get this man into my wagon so I can keep him alive.

So I can keep you all alive.

Better let me strap him to his horse and head him out of town.

If none of you will help me, my wife and my brother will.

Janice, Douglas.

I wouldn't do that!

That goes for me, too.

He took this from me, Mr. Hamilton.

Up. I mean it.

I'll kill anybody that tries to help him.

I'm with Tom, Mr. Hamilton.

My wife's in the cemetery because of him and his men.

My brother's out there, too.

You can't see my store, Mr. Hamilton.

It was over there.

His horsemen ran through it.

They wrecked it!

Like you could see, if you could see.

I've never been able to get it started again.

I'm doing this for your own good.

Go ahead, Douglas. They won't shoot you.

I'm afraid they will, Mrs. Hamilton.

Your husband refuses to realize that's John Cord.

I know who he is, Brewster!

I sent for him!

All right, Janice.


Lie still, John.

Otherwise, you're bound to get dirt fever.

Janice Wilson.

You got your hair done up.

Please lie down. You might have a concussion.

Seems like you're always worried about some kind of concussion.

Heads like mine don't get broken.

Please lie down till the doctor comes.

You know, you'd think a girl so good at worryin' about a man's health could be able to worry a little bit about his spirits.

Don't. You'll make it worse.

A man's in prison, eatin' gall and gettin' madder every day for five years... a letter from his girl'd do a whole lot for his spirit.

I'm not your girl.

I married Ralph Hamilton.

A new bride?

No, we've been married five years.

Didn't waste any time.

I owed you nothing. You saw to that.

I don't know about... that.

Do you think after what you did to Ralph you can walk in here and help yourself to his wife?

You used to wear my ring.

Should be my privilege to kiss the bride.

When a man blinds another man, he loses his privileges.

You think I didn't remember that?

Every day, every night for five years?

I'd better go find out what your husband wants.

Who is it? Who is it?

Walk so I can hear you.

Cord?

My ears have eyes, Cord.

So does my memory.

Douglas, get out and stay out.

You might need my help, Ralph.

When I need you, I'll send for you.

No use to me any longer, this Winchester.

I fiddle with it just to keep my hands busy.

The territorial prison at Yuma is underground.

Before I even got used to the daylight, they handed me your message.

You still had eyes. Did you read it?

Oil is...

It's, uh, it's a good rifle.

Yeah, well, you didn't ask me to ride 300 miles to talk about your rifle.

I've got a herd for you to move.

You've got a herd for me to move?

I'm John Cord, remember?

I remember.

Nobody in his right mind would ask John Cord to move a herd now.

Nobody but John Cord could move a herd this size.

There are 5,000 head of 4 ringers.

I'm lookin' at this room.

It doesn't make me think you're desperate.

Doesn't make me think movin' 5,000 head of cattle is life or death.

Rooms don't change much. Bank accounts do.

Yeah, but a man with 5,000 head of cattle...

They're not all mine.

Almost everybody in Hamilton owns some of them.

That herd can make a dying town come to life again.

Well, that makes my heart bleed.

It's a long time now I've been hating you, too, Cord.

Can't we let that be over and done with?

Why? Because that's the way you want it?

Because you can't find anyone else crazy enough to move a herd for you at this time of year?

If you get them to Fort Clemson, you'll be a top trail boss again.

I'll pay you $15,000 in advance.

$15,000?

Your conscience bother you that much?

I need you that much.

What's the matter with Garth?

He began to deal from the bottom the year this happened.

By the time I was able to take hold again, he had half my cattle and was in business for himself.

He'd like to see the name of the town changed from Hamilton to Garthville.

Well, there's always little brother Douglas.

He's a green kid.

He'd bring a hundred head to Fort Clemson... if he got there at all.

Nope.

You're the man, Cord, if you'll do it.

The army needs beef for the troops and... the Indian reservations.

They're paying good.

I'll pay you good.

I'd be in a position to ruin you myself without half tryin', wouldn't I?

Yes. Yes, you would.

Well, I'm not gonna do that to you, Ralph.

So I'll just take my torn shirt and my reputation...

Forget the past, Cord!

Nobody else has forgotten it.

Nobody helped 'em forget it.

You've got to ride trail for me, Cord!

You got Janice, Ralph. The score is even.

You can make it.

You try.

Mr. Cord.

Where do you think you're goin'?

That's my business. You turned him down?

What'd you expect? Do you know...

Do you know what it cost my brother to ask you?

I know.

I hate you so much it burns my guts.

But if you have to see all of us Hamiltons crawl... well, I'll crawl, too.

I don't care what you Hamiltons do.

You can't turn him down, not after what you've done to him.

You might sleep a little better, Mr. Cord, if you squared part of your account.

I spent five years in prison squarin' that account.

I sleep fine.

You're not goin' anywhere!

Even?

You wasting your time, little brother.

I can't get mad at a kid I taught to ride and shoot.

Well, I'm not a little kid anymore.

Then why don't you take the herd?

I... You know why.

You like hearin' me say it... Because I'm not good enough.

Now, take the gun.

I'll shoot anyway.

I wouldn't want to kill you, Junior.

You've got so much learnin' ahead of you.


Why, there's Little Johnny.

Well, Little Johnny.

Why, George Washington Jeffrey.

I ain't seen you for some time, Little Johnny.

Where you been?

You remember my kid brother.

Thomas Jefferson Jeffrey.

Where he's been is his affair.

How, uh... how's your daddy?

Well, he's been dead for some years now.

Oh, no. Now, I knew he'd been ailing, but...

Well, I'm sorry, Little Johnny.

Looks like you've been ailing, too, eh, Thomas Jefferson?

What he looks like's his affair.

Thanks, Thomas Jefferson.

Who you boys workin' for now?

We ain't.

We just quit Garth and his place.

Crazy fool thinks he can take his herd to Fort Clemson this time of year.

He ain't got a chance.

Most of them rivers is bone dry.

For once, George Washington's right about somethin'.

Only one trail boss I ever heard of might make it.

And he wouldn't try, would he, John?

I thought when I laid eyes on Little Johnny that maybe that's what he come back for.

We ain't seen you for some time, Little Johnny.

What he come back for is his affair!

You know, I was thinkin' of havin' a drink.

Either of you boys interested?

Interested? No.

The only thing he's interested in is when you're gonna ask us.

George Washington? Thomas Jefferson?

Gettin' worse every time you set foot in it.

Just like everyplace else in town, waitin' for the undertaker to come along and bury it.

Whiskey.

Cork the bottle.

You're not drinking in my saloon.

There ain't no trouble, Mr. Grainger.

These fellas just came in.

I said, cork the bottle.

We're fed up with your troublemakin'.

I'm havin' a drink with two of my friends, Grainger.

Maybe we'll have another.

When I'm finished, I'll leave here, just like anybody else.

Now, listen, Cord...

Wash off the war paint, Grainger.

You were glad enough to have his business when his trail herders were droppin' their wages in your till.

That was before he got his men dead drunk and turned 'em loose to ruin us all!

A trail town should be prepared to take care of itself.

Wouldn't you say?

Yeah.

Yeah, I'd say.

Heard you were back. Glad to see you.

Hello, Garth.

Set up a bottle for my old cooks.

Join me.

I've something to say to you.

Just a minute.

Roughed you up a little, huh?

Is that what you had to say to me?

No.

You turn Hamilton down?

Maybe.

I suppose he told you I'm movin' herd tomorrow.

He mentioned it.

A lot of trails we rode together, Cord.

A lot of things I learned from you.

You can forget 'em.

Some things a man doesn't forget.

Like John Cord's rule for a herd-drinking special.

"Always carry your own keg of whiskey.

"Let the men break it open in camp to let off some steam.

It keeps 'em from wrecking an innocent town."

No one seemed to remember that at the trial.

My herd gets to Fort Clemson...

Ralph Hamilton's ruined, and the town with him.

You askin' my help?

I believe in buying insurance, plenty of insurance.

What do you say?

No end to it, Cord.

Between us, we could build the biggest cattle empire this country's ever seen.

I'm not interested in cattle empires.

But for the Fort Clemson drive, you got yourself a trail boss.

You can write your own contract.

I'm not interested in money, either.

Let's invite the boys over to celebrate the partnership. No.

I want to keep it quiet.

Well, we move tomorrow.

I won't be leavin' with you.

What are you givin' me?

I'll join you in about three days.

Trail boss rides with the herd.

You hit the trail tomorrow.

Head for Horsethief Creek.

I'll stay behind to see we have no competition.

Fair enough.

You going trail-herdin' again, Little Johnny?

Look out!

Don't turn around, John Cord...

'cause you're gonna get it the way your men gave it to my daddy... in the middle of the spine.

I just squeeze the trigger... and I'm the biggest hero in Hamilton!

Little Johnny ain't got a gun!

Keep pourin', Tom.

I'm gonna pick up my horse at the sheriff's.

I'll see you.


Whoa, whoa!


Who's there?

It's Cord.

You got yourself a trail boss, Ralph.

What changed your mind?

You sound as if you were followin' a coffin, Douglas.

Garth has started movin' his herd.

He was supposed to, wasn't he?

We've got us a trail boss that can feed the herd on burned tumbleweed, water it on dry mud, and get us there with more cattle than we had to start with.

Is that all right with you, little brother?

How many men have you got for the drive?

Ten good men on the ranch.

We'll need some to tend the homebodies.

I'll need all the good men I can get.

We can line up some vaqueros. Good.

Oh, and I'll want these men to ride with me, too.

My husband doesn't read anymore, John Cord.

Let's hear the list.

Tom Powis, Rex Cogswell, Jim Whittaker, Paul Corbo, Dan Quince.

These are the men that dragged you through town.

What do you want, Mr. Cord?

To get back at 'em? I want those men.

Some of them were once good men on the trail, Douglas.

Yeah, that's right.

When Tom Powis had both his arms, when Whittaker...

Cord's your trail boss! What he says goes.

You want those men, we'll get them.

It's their herd, too.

I want you, too, Douglas.

Oh, you're makin' a big mistake, Mr. Cord...

'cause I got both my arms... and both eyes, and I'm still young.

I want you to ride with us, Ralph.

I should've shot you when I had the chance.

No.

I think it's an act of great kindness.

Do you know how long the months would be waiting here for news?

I'll ride with you, Cord.

May even be of some use riding night herd.

Darkness is a great equalizer for a blind man.

Cord... You're going, too.

Three days be enough time for you to get ready?

Three days?

We're not taking our herd for exercise, Cord!

We've got to get there first!

Is this my show?

It's your show.

To the herd... to the drive... to John Cord.

Mr. John Cord.

Don't worry about him.

Trail driving is like breathing to him.


What are you two doin' here?

Uncle John, don't you know me?

Ain't she growed and stuff some?

Sandy Jeffrey.

Well. You might grow into somethin' a man could be interested in after all.

Somethin' you could be interested in?

Don't you remember, Uncle John?

You were gonna wait for me, and I was gonna grow up real fast.

Yeah, well, I thought you boys thought this was too late in the year for a drive.

With you, we'd set out in the dead of winter.

And you know, John, we can't leave this little granddaughter of mine stranded in Hamilton.

I can carry my weight on a drive.

That's blackmail. You better take her on as cook's louse.

But I'll... I'll eat dust all day and ride the drag.

I got somebody else pegged for that job.

I guess you're still pretty fond of horses, aren't you?

Oh, Uncle John.

You can work in the remuda with the wranglers.

Just like old times, Little John.

Ho, now!


Hold it!

Down there.

Do as he says.


Cord?

Here.

All the men you wanted.

Douglas?

Boys from our ranch.

Aruzza's vaqueros.

I am Juan Aruzza, Se? or Cord.

My men and I have agreed to ride with you and will follow your orders.

I know your people. They'll do.

Gracias, se? or.

And these are... [I know.

The pride of Hamilton.

All of you know the rules of the trail.

I'd like to say something, Cord, for all of us.

On the trail my men call me Mr. Cord.

I haven't thrown in my bedroll yet, Cord.

Say your say, Powis.

We agreed to ride with you...

For me.

For Mr. Hamilton's sake.

It isn't hard to figure why you picked the lot of us.

But we'll take anything you can hand out... as long as you do your level best to beat Garth to Fort Clemson.

If you have any other notions...

Finish, Powis. The day's short.

If you have any other notions, we'll kill you.

Is that all?

Anybody else itchin' to make a speech?

All right. Let's get going.

Bedrolls in the wagon, line up for work orders.

Mr. Cord?

Ma'am.

Will you give me my assignment now?

You've got your assignment... takin' care of your husband.


Butcher that one.

That's one of the finest cows in the herd.

Shy, a stampede-maker.

Let the chuck wagon have him.

That's the lead steer for us.

Ah, a most majestic animal, se? or.

I'll take him up to point.

All right, get ready to move.

Just a moment, son.

You've forgotten something.

I didn't forget.

All right, get it over with.

Almighty God...

Thou knowest these men who bow their heads before Thee.

Hard-working, God-fearing, they beseech that Thou go with them on this arduous journey they are about to undertake.

We ask for guidance and blessing for man and beast.

Amen.

All right, Thomas Jefferson, let her roll!


One hundred!

Hundred it is!


You drag riders, tighten up the gap!

Want us to choke to death?

Move up where you can head off trouble before it starts.

Move up!

Well, we've got 'em off to a good start.

Have your riders trim the flanks.

It's widening out.


I expected to ride drag and eat dirt all the way.

Well, nothin' says we won't eat dirt... one way or another.

Maybe he just remembered that we, both of us, used to ride point.

Uncle John?

I can't tell you what it means to me.

I mean, all my life I've dreamed about ridin' trail with you all grown-up.

Ridin' with me means doin' your job.

You belong with the remuda.

You better forget about the "uncle."

You're gettin' too grown-up for that.

All right!

Mr. Cord?

What is it, Mrs. Hamilton?

Would you speak to Ralph? He insists on riding.

Why shouldn't he?

A man needs to feel the wind and the sun on his face.

That all?

Mr. Cord?

Do you think we'll make it?

Who can tell?

Boy, you sure picked a cozy spot for our midday rest, Little Johnny.

We'll bed down here for the night.

We've hardly trailed half a day.

If I'm not back by dark, see that they don't scatter or crowd too much.

Try and get 'em to lie down.

Mr. Cord, just how much time you plannin' to donate to Garth?

You, Aruzza, take charge till I get back.

S?, Se? or.


Excuse us, boys.

Sit down.

Missed you.

Been lookin' for you all day.

Hamilton herd's a good three days behind you.

Who's takin' 'em?

I am.

You?

Got your rump in two saddles at once, huh?

Aren't you spreadin' your influence a little too far?

Keep your herd pointed due east.

You should hit Horsethief Creek in about 10 days.

Where you takin' them?

Northeast.

Dismal River.

It's bone dry, isn't it?

No. They'll be able to smell it.

It'll be too thin to plow and too thick to drink.

Those cows will go berserk.

That's a sight a man would enjoy seein', huh?

You stick with your herd.

I'll be able to join you after the Dismal.


As I walked out In the streets of Laredo As I walked out In Laredo one day I spied a poor cowboy All wrapped in white linen All wrapped in white linen As cold as the clay

Ralph.

What lies ahead, John?

Due northeast.

The herd seems to be civil.

They still like my voice.

John, I...

I was wondering.

Is it a starry night?

Yeah, there's plenty of stars.

The moon's comin' up.

You better put this on.

It's gettin' cold.

Good night.

Night, John.

Oh, beat the drum slowly And play the fife lowly And play the dead march As you carry me 'long Take me to the green valley There lay the sod o'er me For I'm a poor cowboy I know I done wrong

Wrangler?

Wrangler!

Looks like he's been ridden hard.

Feed him.

Like he's, uh, covered a lot of territory.

And rub him down.

Wrangler?

That you, Little Johnny?

Thomas Jefferson, what are you doin' up this time of night?

Waitin' to see if you're hungry.

No, thanks.

I put your bedroll over there.

George Washington built you a fire.

You wantin' to be off by yourself like that, we figured you'd need it.

You know, John, there's nothin' much George Washington and I wouldn't do for you.

What's the matter, Thomas Jefferson?

We'd stick by you till hell froze over and you could skate on it. Sure.

But if you're aimin' to do what it looks like you're doin', if you're plannin' to lead them fine steers to ruination, we're walkin' out.

So help me.

When I need a preacher, Thomas Jefferson, I'll send for him.


Did you find trouble ahead?

What are you doin' out here?

I want to talk to you.

Seems like everybody has somethin' to say to me tonight.

John, it was a mistake for me and Ralph to come along.

I want you to send us back home.

Why?

I'm afraid.

I'm beginning to... to remember things.

And what's wrong with remembering?

Do you think we'll make it?

Who can tell?

Boy, you sure picked a cozy spot for our midday rest, Little Johnny.

We'll bed down here for the night.

We've hardly trailed half a day.

If I'm not back by dark, see that they don't scatter or crowd too much.

Try and get 'em to lie down.

Mr. Cord, just how much time you plannin' to donate to Garth?

You, Aruzza, take charge till I get back.

S?, Se? or.


Excuse us, boys.

Sit down.

Missed you.

Been lookin' for you all day.

Hamilton herd's a good three days behind you.

Who's takin' 'em?

I am.

You?

Got your rump in two saddles at once, huh?

Aren't you spreadin' your influence a little too far?

Keep your herd pointed due east.

You should hit Horsethief Creek in about 10 days.

Where you takin' them?

Northeast.

Dismal River.

It's bone dry, isn't it?

No. They'll be able to smell it.

It'll be too thin to plow and too thick to drink.

Those cows will go berserk.

That's a sight a man would enjoy seein', huh?

You stick with your herd.

I'll be able to join you after the Dismal.


As I walked out In the streets of Laredo As I walked out In Laredo one day I spied a poor cowboy All wrapped in white linen All wrapped in white linen As cold as the clay

Ralph.

What lies ahead, John?

Due northeast.

The herd seems to be civil.

They still like my voice.

John, I...

I was wondering.

Is it a starry night?

Yeah, there's plenty of stars.

The moon's comin' up.

You better put this on.

It's gettin' cold.

Good night.

Night, John.

Oh, beat the drum slowly And play the fife lowly And play the dead march As you carry me 'long Take me to the green valley There lay the sod o'er me For I'm a poor cowboy I know I done wrong

Wrangler?

Wrangler!

Looks like he's been ridden hard.

Feed him.

Like he's, uh, covered a lot of territory.

And rub him down.

Wrangler?


Aruzza!

Aruzza!

Hold it.

Nobody cuts out without my permission.

If you've lost your stomach for trail drivin', you can go home, but the cows stay with the herd.

I signed to deliver 4,000 head of cattle, and I'll deliver 'em with or without you.

Aruzza, get those cows back in the herd.

The food stays with the drive.

You want us to starve?

You wanna go home, that's your business.

All right, we can't spend the day here eatin'.

We got a herd to move.

Little brother, you take charge while I'm gone.

Direction is due north. Due north?

We've been headin' for the...

Keep movin' till midnight and drive 'em.

All right, don't anybody get too comfortable tonight.

We're gonna start tomorrow before sunrise.


That's a good way to get shot.

You were joining us at Horsethief Creek.

I'm not gonna join you.

Oh, somethin' up?

I'm gonna do my best to get my herd to Fort Clemson before yours.

What changed your mind?

I don't know how to lead 5,000 head of cattle to their death, no matter how I feel about the people who own 'em.

That's mighty noble of you.

Somebody'll write a ballad about you.

What am I supposed to do?

Fold my arms and let you pass me?

If I can pass you fair and square, I'll pass you.

From here on, it's up to each of us.

You got no complaints, Garth.

With the head start you got, the odds are all in your favor.

I guess you're still headin' for Dismal River.

There's no water in the Dismal. I told you that.

We're headin' for Horsethief, same as you.

Thanks. Thanks for tellin' me, Cord.

We can ride out and cut him down.

Doesn't matter if he gets back to his herd.

He told me all I need to know.

You notice how set he was on us goin' to Horsethief Creek?

Yeah.

That's why he joined up with me in the first place, to make sure we headed there.

And he came tonight to make double sure.

You know what I think?

I think he knows that Horsethief Creek is dry.

All right.

We're headin' for Dismal River.

First we crawl, then we gallop.

Makes no sense.

Agua.

We should have quit him this afternoon the way you wanted to.

He'll kill us all, and the cattle, too.

As long as you're on the trail, he's the boss.

Well, I for one wouldn't mind stringing him up and relieving him of the job.

You flaunt a good deal of courage behind my back, wrangler.


Are you callin' me a coward?

Read your own meaning.

We hit the trail in three hours.

Aruzza? Se? or?

I checked the Dismal. It's dried up since I came through a while back, so we'll take 'em to Horsethief, even though it's a lot farther.

He's lying.

He hasn't been to the Dismal or Horsethief.

He's been cookin' up some kind of a deal with Garth.

I know...'cause I followed him.

Next time you leave the herd without permission, don't come back.

That all you got to say, Mr. Cord?

No. There's somethin' I think you should all understand.

The real tough herding's ahead of us, so if any of you think it's been hard up to now, any of you want to quit, now's when you speak up.

I've had all the Cord herd drive I want.

Thomas Jefferson... get him his bedroll.

When you get back to Hamilton, will you tell my wife...

Hamilton's a dead town.

I'm ridin' on to Fort Clemson.

Maybe I can get a start there.

At least one of us will get there.

You were workin' into a good man, Whittaker.

Let him go.

Anybody else?


Could be I was wrong.

Maybe that gun I saw in Garth's hand wasn't an act.

Maybe it wasn't.

A beautiful sight, se? or.

You think maybe we got two days to give them?

I don't know.

Remember, we got to get the herd to Fort Clemson first.

You notice there's no sign of Garth watering his herd here.

If he took 'em to the Dismal after I warned him against it, we've got our two days and more.

Come on.

Come on.


Isn't she beautiful?

Very beautiful.

So, what are you gonna do about it?

We'll talk about that at the end of the trail.


Cord? Gettin' so I know your horse.

Something's worrying you.

Worryin' me? No, nothing.

A man could be worried about the stake claims and not be ashamed.

The cows are fit. They'll make it to the Pecos.

Funny thing how a man can't stop doin' what he's born for.

Not a man like you, anyway. A man like me, either.

I've been thinkin'. When we get to Fort Clemson, I'll keep right on goin'.

What are you talkin' about?

A blind man's no use on a ranch.

You and Douglas run it.

Run it and share it.

Don't you understand?

I'm offerin' you everything I've got.

Just make sure the cattle get through.

There are some things a man is born for... some things that don't rightfully belong to him.

You don't have to bribe me, Ralph.

I'll get the herd through.


These make 27.

You want me to...

No, that's my job.


What's the matter? Nobody hungry?

Too tuckered out.

Hang on. We'll make it.

You, uh, mind if I eat with you?

Sit down.


Do you see, se? or, what I see?

The Pecos! We made it!

The Pecos! The Pecos!

Water! Water!


I never knew you fiddled, Cogswell.

Why didn't you break it out before?

I didn't feel like it before.

But I fell like it now, you can bet!

It's only a mile to Tumbleweed and two saloons.

Aren't saloon keepers entitled to some of our money?

That's right! They sure are!

But the orders are we give Tumbleweed the wide bunk.

Time he stopped givin' orders, Mr. high-and-mighty Cord!

Shall we tell him what to do with his orders?

You said the word. It's all right with me.

And about time!

Hey, trail boss?

We wanna have some words with you.

We figured that you didn't mean the order that we can't go into town.

I meant it.

You can let us go peaceful... or do we have to shove you out of the way?

We'll do it. Believe me.

For five years, you've been rememberin' a drunken spree that wrecked your town.

Now you want me to turn you loose to tear some other town apart.

We ain't gonna hurt Tumbleweed.

We're decent people.

Decent people wrecked your store.

Decent people, every one of 'em.

They didn't want to hurt Hamilton.

They were just blowin' off steam, just like you.

These men are different!

I can vouch for every one of 'em.

After two months on a trail drive, nobody's any different.

You wanna drink? Here!

Soak up all you want.

Now, get out of our way.

Next man that steps forward...

All right, Cord... we're comin'.

Wait, you crazy fools!

Listen to me!

Listen to me!

Don't do something you'll all be ashamed of for the rest of your lives.

All we wanna do is go to town.

Let Mr. Hamilton have his say.

When I picked John Cord as trail boss, I told you one thing... he'd get our herd through.

Now let me tell you something else.

John Cord always carries his own whiskey, special, to keep a bunch of worn-out, trail-crazy, saddle-tramps like you from wrecking a town like Tumbleweed.

Well, he forgot his brandy barrel and his preacher feelings when he hit Hamilton five years ago!

I'll tell you what happened five years ago.

It was a time like now, when there were more cows than buyers.

John Cord was driving somebody's herd from the south.

He camped outside of Hamilton after six weeks on the trail, broke open a barrel, gave his men a chance to let off steam.

There I was with a herd of my own ready to start.

And no man who raced John Cord stood a chance if he raced him fair.

I was desperate.

So while his men were having their bout with the whiskey barrel... and while he and I were having a friendly drink, I had one of my men, name of Garth, crack him over the head.

We scattered his herd.

And we... not John Cord... we turned his drunken crew loose.

He was the man that made you blind, wasn't he?

Yes.

He was the one that gave me the blow that cost me my eyes.

I'll tell you how.

It doesn't matter anymore, Ralph.

It's time they knew about it.

It's time everybody knew about it.

John Cord came storming into Hamilton later that night, too late to stop his rampaging crew.

He came looking for me.

He was suspicious.

I was the one he had trusted.

Now he was suspicious.

I had to get mad or else admit he was right, so I got mad.

I taunted him about losing control of his men, his herd!

That's what the fight in Grainger's saloon was all about.

You... let him go to prison?

Yes.

I was the guilty one.

But... I felt sorry for myself.

At the time of the trial, I'd just found out that I'd be blind for the rest of my life.

I was bitter, vengeful.

He should'a killed you.

There've been plenty of times I wished he had.

Now, if you want to drag me up and down the camp, no one will stop you.

Mr. Cord.

If you want to belt me in the face, I'll hold still.

What I want is a drink.

Who'll join me?


Ralph's back there, Janice.

He...

Well, I... I think he needs you.

The men at least are big enough to say they're sorry.

You love him very much, don't you, Sandy?

That's none of your business.

He doesn't even know I'm alive.

What is it?

At the beginning, when you wouldn't let me go home, you wanted to hurt me, didn't you?

That's all there was to it.

Wasn't it?

I deserved it.

That was in the beginning.

And later?

And now?

Mr. Cord!

Hey, somebody's comin'!

It's Whittaker!

What'd you come back for?

Changed your mind?

Mr. Cord. Where is he?

Well, Whittaker?

I made it to Fort Clemson.

I ran into Garth in the saloon there.

He took his herd to the Dismal and lost it.

Just like you said.

He's hiring gunmen.

He wanted me to join with him.

Join with him for what?

He's planning to wait for you with 40 men at Indian Pass.

He wants the Hamilton herd.

I hope he wants the small war that goes with it.

This is gettin' to be a real herd drive, Little Johnny.

I take it you're back with us, Whittaker.

Thanks, boss.

Let's get ready for Garth.


Get down.

Get down and keep down.

Bein' real smart.

Waitin' for us in a gully.

All right.

He wants to play games... we can play games, too.

Let's get at it.


He's up there some place.

I think he spotted us.

Well, I've done all I could.

I need your help, Douglas.

You know what you're supposed to do.

Yes, sir. Lead out!


Cut 'em down!


Senor, over there! Garth!

Come on!

Throw your guns down.

Let him go!


Put your gun away.

Now, turn around.

Do you wanna put your hands up or you wanna try me?

You don't make sense, Cord.

You're a cattleman, not a gunman.

I've been around, and you know it.

You wanna try me?

Yeah.

You'll live.

It's a pity you had to figure everybody as crooked as you are.

You could have beat us easy if you'd believed me about the Dismal.

You know, we could've had that empire.

That's the way it goes.

Here's the trail log, Ralph.

To date, we've lost 182 head.

Out of 4,000?

That's the usual Cord miracle.

But why the formal report?

I'll let you know where you can send my pay.

I'm leaving, Ralph.

Before the herd is delivered?

We're almost there now.

Douglas can take you the rest of the way.

Next year, he'll be takin' 'em all the way.

He's a full-fledged trail boss now.

Why the hurry to leave us?

I hear there's a lot of grass in the northwest.

I offered you a partnership, John.

Somebody's waitin' for me. I'm plannin' to settle down.

First choice?

Well, you seem to know what you want, John.

You know best what's right.

Well, the end of the trail for us, Ralph.

Trail boss, say good-bye to the men for me.

Tell 'em they're as good a bunch of boys as I ever rode with.

Janice...

I wish you could see what a pretty little face she has, Ralph.

It's a good thing for her you were on this drive.

John Cord!

That was no way to say good-bye to old friends.

I'm sorry, Sandy.

Someday you'll understand.

I understand... and so does Janice.

Only she can't do anything about it, and I can.

I mean, you don't play uncle to a girl for practically all her life and let her think... and think about you, and then just ride off.

It's only proper to give her a chance.

What kind of a chance?

I'd like a chance to go to the free grass with you.

I'd like a chance to get to be first choice.

But you've got so much growin' up to do, Sandy, and between now and then so much forgettin', too.

Oh, I'll never forget.

We'll see.

Will we?

Will you come back and see?

I'll come back.

You promise?

I promise if it gets to that.

It'll get to that.