Friendly Persuasion (1956) Script

♪ Thee I love ♪

♪ More than the meadow ♪

♪ So green and still ♪

♪ More than the mulberries ♪

♪ On the hill ♪

♪ More than the buds ♪

♪ On the May apple tree ♪

♪ I love thee ♪

♪ Arms have I ♪

♪ Strong as the oak ♪

♪ For this occasion ♪

♪ Lips have I ♪

♪ To kiss thee too ♪

♪ And friendly persuasion ♪

♪ Thee is mine ♪

♪ Though I don't know ♪

♪ Many words of praise ♪

♪ Thee pleasures me ♪

♪ In a hundred ways ♪

♪ Put on your bonnet ♪

♪ Your cape and your glove ♪

♪ And come with me ♪

♪ For thee I love ♪♪

This is Samantha, my mother's pet goose.

Mama loves her.

Just like one of the family.

But I hate that bird, and she hates me.

She's mean and sneaky and full of tricks.

It seems like every first day morning when we're ready to go to meetin' and I got on my best Sunday clothes..



Keep thee off, sister!

I'll blow thee up with a cannon!

Someday I'll drown thee thee-the old quacker!

Little Jess, what is thee saying, child?

Samantha tried to bite my legs off.

Next time I'll throw her down the well.

Here, here, Samantha.

See, Little Jess?

Speak to her kindly.

She'll not bite thee.

She's a pure pet, Samantha is.

She's a s-snake on stilts.

I'll put her on the chopping block and chop her head off.

Hush, hush!

Let's have no more talk of killing.

Run upstairs now and fetch thy brother and sister.

We'll be late for meeting.

Uh, blackberry pie? Yes, blackberry pie.

No need to stick thy finger in it to find out.

No dilly-dallying now. Go fetch Mattie and Josh.




This afternoon?


What's thee talking to thyself for?

I'm not talking to myself.

Who was thee talking to, then?

I don't see nobody.

Thee knows what happens to eavesdroppers? Their ears..

'Get long as hounds' dogs.'

Mama says to hurry.

I am, but I have to finish my toiletty.

What's a toiletty?

Something thee wouldn't know about because thee doesn't wash.

Please leave my boudoir.

"Please leave my boudoir."

Little Jess, does thee..


Does thee think I'm pretty?

Thee's not ugly.

Well, I guess thee's pretty, for a girl.

Well, thank thee. Thee's welcome.

Powie! I got Jeff Davis!

Powie! I got old Stonewall Jackson!

Powie! I got Little Jess Birdwell.

Thee meet the real Stonewall Jackson coming down the pike and thee won't feel so feisty.

Come on, get up.

What would thee do if thee met old Stonewall?

Mama told thee not to talk about the war.

Well, mama says for thee to hurry up.

She's the preacher.

Meeting can't start till she gets there.

And anyway Caleb Cope and me are riding our horses to meeting.

Thee has longer arms. Thee like that--

Oh, look, there's pa warmin' up Red Rover.


How a horse can look so fast and move so slow beats me.

You can hitch him up, Enoch.

You got him nice and warm this morning.

Whoa, Mildred.

Hello there.

Heh. Guess I'm lost.

Must have gotten the wrong road.

My! Quite a looker, that horse.

Oh, he's a looker, alright.

Say, maybe you can help me.

I'm trying to find that Methodist church.

Well, the first turn's at the crossroads bear right for three miles.

Is thee preaching there this morning?

Who's preaching there? Thee?

Who? Thee?


Oh, ha ha ha.

Oh, that's a dandy. Ha-ha.

Son, I'm not a man of the cloth.

I sell organs.

Now, what in thunderation is all this theeing and thouing about?

Bible talk in honor of the Sabbath?

No, we talk that way weekdays, too.

Oh, well, excuse me, but it sounds mighty queer.

Who's we? Quakers.

Oh, Quakers.

Have you folks got a church around here?

Yes. We call it a meeting house.

It's just beyond the Methodist church.

Oh, uh, hast thou an organ in thine meeting house, friend?

No. We don't hold with music playing.

What, no organ?

Ha ha. Dear me.

Why, a church without an organ is like a..

Like a tree without a bird.

You wait till I get through talkin' to that minister of yours.

'He'll never be content until he buys an organ.'

Well, I wish thee luck with the Quaker preacher.

Uh, three miles over, take the main road, turn to the right.

I got it.

Thank you. Uh, thee.


Now, look, Mildred.

There is a horse.

I'm going by Caleb's, pa. Alright, son.

Red Rover, that man paid thee a compliment.

If he only knew. Ha-ha-ha.

Listen, Red just don't slow down when thee hears Sam Jordan coming behind us, and..

And, by sugar, we'll stay out in front today.

'Thee say something, Jess?'

Oh, I was just-just soothing Red Rover.

If thee talked as much to the almighty as thee does to that horse thee might stand more squarely in the light.

Sounds like thy sermon has already begun, Eliza.

Why, Jess, I thought thee liked my preaching.

Now, Eliza, thee has the prettiest pulpit voice I ever heard.

And thee says the truest words.

Especially during silent meeting?

And this morning, thee looks like a girl.

Where's Little Jess? Mattie!

I'm coming, mama.

Thou just now came in the nick of time.

Goodbye, folks. Goodbye, Enoch.

Good luck, Mr. Birdwell.

Why does Enoch always wish thee good luck every Thursday morning?

Well, I guess it's because he he wishes me luck.

Tsk, tsk, hep!

Hey, papa, look!

It's thy friend Sam Jordan, Jess.

No need to look. I can feel it.

Gard's with him!

Mattie, Little Jess stop craning thy neck at the Jordans.

It isn't seemly.

Yes, mama.

They sure are a-comin'.

Jess, thee's not urging thy horse?

Well, not urging, Eliza, just encouraging a mite.


No, Oh-h-h!


Come on, Red Rover!

Sit down, Little Jess.

Come on, Prince!

Come on, lazybones!


Come on, Prince. Good boy.

Jess, Jess, what's gotten into thee?

Morning, Mattie.

Morning, Eliza. Morning, Jess.

Come on, papa!

Come on, Prince!

Come back! Come back! Mama!

Little Jess! Let go! Let go!

'Come on, Prince.'



Whoa, Prince.

Mama, Gard winked at Mattie.

He did not!

I saw him.

Gard wouldn't do such a vulgar thing.

I hope nobody saw us.

Me, too.

Jess, I want to come to meeting with nothing in my heart but peace and love.

Red Rover... thee gives me a pain.

♪ One eternal day ♪

♪ There God the son forever reigns ♪

♪ And shatters night away ♪

♪ Filled with delight my raptured soul ♪

♪ Will here no longer stay ♪

♪ Oh joyous waits our rendezvous ♪

♪ Fearless I launch away ♪♪

Last week, I had my 80th birthday.

And I'd like to bear witness toproverbs... first chapter, 33rd verse.

"Whoso harkeneth unto me

"shall dwell safely and shall be quiet from fear of evil."

Amen, Emma. Amen.

I want to ask the prayers of everyone here to help me to be less worldly less concerned about my appearance to mind my tongue... and especially have the strength not to wear earrings.

I've never spoken in meeting before... but I feel so happy this morning I'd like to share my happiness with everyone in the whole world.

And to thank our Heavenly Father.

God is love!


Is this it? Yes, sir.

Won't thee come in, friend? Thank you.

Ma'am, you're the minister of this meeting, are you not?

I am. One of them.

My name is Major Harvey.

Won't thee sit down, friend?

Thank you, no.

I have had the duty placed upon me of speaking to you Quakers about the war.

It is a matter much on our minds and in our prayers.

But your men don't fight in it.

Some have.

But you do not encourage them.

We do not encourage them.

Ma'am, the union has endured two years of bloody civil war.

Thousands have given their lives in battle to free our country from slavery.

We are opposed to slavery.

But we do not believe it right... to kill one man to free another.

Ma'am, it's not going to be a question of fighting for freedom or principle... but of protecting our own towns our own homes from attack.

Would you men stand by while others die to protect you?

You look like a boy who could give a good account of himself.

Oh, I've been tempted to fight.

I guess the good Lord knows why.

I mean..

...sometimes I get the sinful wish to get into a scrap.

So I got to watch myself closer than most people.

So I'll just stay away from the war...

'cause if I ever got into it, I'd be a goner.

And you, son.

Are you ready to put up with looting and killing... without lifting a finger?

Are you afraid to fight?

I don't know.

Well, here at last is an honest answer.

I don't wish to offend, but how many of you are hiding behind your church to save your skins?

'Do you think it's right to let others do the fighting for you?'

To protect your lives and your property?

Well, why don't you speak up?

I'll speak up.

Nothing could ever induce me... to bear arms against my fellow man.

Burn my house, destroy my crops attack my family.

'And I declare to all.'

And especially to thee, Josh Birdwell... wavering in thy convictions... nothing can move me to violence.


It seems friend Purdy has already been moved to considerable violence.

I must doubt any of us here could say with surety... what we would do in case of attack.

Mr. Birdwell, I have my doubts as to the strength of thy convictions, too.

I have my own doubts.

I've often asked myself what I would do if I saw my family endangered my... my wife and children threatened.

If the test comes all I can say is, I hope and pray I can be an instrument of the Lord.

That test is coming.

It may well be so, friend.

Let us pray that the will of God be revealed to us... and we be given the strength... and grace to follow his will.

Lord, let thy children... partake of thy love and the love of all men rendering not evil for evil nor violence for violence done.

Let swords be changed into plowshares... and spears into pruning hooks... and children of peace learn war no more.



Eliza, what does thee like about that shifty-eyed bird?

Why, Jess.

She marches along so lordly-like.

She marched real lordly... through about two pecks of young strawberries this morning.

Hello, Gard. Hello, Josh.

You home on leave? Yeah, got a week's furlough.

Hello, Little Jess, Mrs. Birdwell.

Hello, Gard. Hello. Oh!

Hello, Mr. Birdwell. Hello, Gard.

Mattie. Hello.

I came over to apologize about that little brush last Sunday.

It wasn't my idea.

We know that, Gard.

Jess is going to get us a real nice, slow horse... that doesn't have any racing ideas.

Did thee shoot any rebs? Little Jess!

What are they like?

They're just people like us.

Oh. But did thee shoot any?

Let's have no more talk of war and-and killing.

I'm sorry, ma'am.

Come on in and sit, Gard. Thank you.

You folks going to the county fair? Can we, ma?

I used to like the fair, Gard but I'm afraid it's come to be no place for us.

Well, they've got some fine exhibits needlework, livestock, poultry.. and geese!

Eliza, it might be just the place to pick us up a nice slow horse.

Thee go, Jess.

The fair's come to have so many sideshows freaks, dancing--

Dancing? What does thee know about dancing, mama?

She knows a thing or two.

Did mama ever dance?

Jess, that was 20 years ago.

20 years exactly, come October.

I was courting her.

But did mama dance?

No, child.

She was tempted to lift her foot but she married me instead.

'Did thee propose then and there?'

Gard, dinner's ready. Won't thee stay and eat with us?

Well, thank you, ma'am, I'd be pleased to.

What about the fair?

Come on, Josh, Jess. Can we go, papa?

There's no point in putting temptation in the children's paths.

We'd resist it, mama!

We'd resist it as well as thee did, mama!

Why can't we go, papa?

Oh, she'll never let us go.

Mama's so strait-laced.

Well, maybe I can loosen up a few laces.

Oh, papa.

Isn't that fascinating, ladies and gentlemen?

Isn't it horrible?

'This shining blade with the razor-edged blade'

'will pass through his mouth'

'through his throat, into his very vitals.'

'And here we have Flame-O the human volcano.'

'Do not deprive your children' 'of this wonderful educational act.'

Let's get away from here. I promised Caleb I'd meet him.

Mattie, I want thee to look at the quilting booths with me.

Eliza, If thee wants to see quilts and Josh wants to meet Caleb and I'd like to see the livestock.

Let's meet..

...over here by the harvesting machine in one hour.

Thee stay with me, Little Jess.

Oh, Josh, there's a rock exhibit I think thee and Caleb might find edifying.

Rocks? Come along.

I'm hungry. I want some candy.

Thee's had thy breakfast. Come along.

But... I'm thirsty, mama.

Thee's had thy breakfast.

Hit the squirrel down three times, my friends and you get a beautiful prize.

'It's a hit!'

How's that?

'Got him!'

Howdy, Mr. Birdwell.

Say, you're an old squirrel shooter. Come on, I'll treat you.

Give that man a rifle! Another marksman here.

That squirrel sits so still, he makes me nervous.

Uh, never mind the comments. Just hit the..

'He did hit the squirrel! Marvelous.'

Say, where's Mattie?

Well, they're over by the quilting booth.

See you later. Thanks, Gard.

'Alright, folks, the man's about to shoot.'

'He hit it again!'


Little Jess.

Little Jess?

Mattie, thee wait right here.

'Little Jess?'

You've won yourself one of these beautiful prizes here.

One of these beautiful prizes.

One ofthese beautiful prizes.

Them prizes was made and manufactured by Pierre of Paris, France.

You heard of him?

I ain't, either.

Alright, the man's having a hard time to make up his mind here.

For Eliza?

No, thanks. Oh, now wait a minute.

You won it fair and square.

I insist upon you taking it, my friend.

There, pair of garters for your wife to wear or your sweetheart, just as..

...just as soon as you get out of mourning.

Come on, Jess. I want to show you something.

How about a little demonstration, professor?

Well, now, I'd just be delighted. Delighted.

Step right in, gentlemen. Step in.

Nothing would please me more.

Uh, low bridge.

Well, Mr. Birdwell, come in. Come right in.

Gentlemen, welcome to my organatorium.

Just make yourself at home.

A temple of temptations.

Full of instruments of the devil.

Now, gentlemen, I would like to have you take a good look at this magnificent instrument.

Now, isn't that a beauty?

Just as smooth as silk and as fine as broad's hair.

I'll pay two to one if you guess the shell which contains the pea.


Boy, will you take your chin off the board?

You might tip it over.

Now you see there's nothing under this shell.

Nothing under this shell.

And the little pea rests right there and I put this shell over it.

Now, we move the shell.

Watch very closely.

'Now, where is the elusive little pea?'

He is mighty sharp!

Dime to quarter, your quarter, your quarter.

Boy, would you go away?

48 reeds plus the tubamirivalous.

How many stops?

Aha! So you know organs.

It has eight stops and this Vox Humana.

Cries like a baby, sighs like a woman.

I'm partial to music, but I'm a Quaker, and they're against music.

Ah... the Quaker.

Why, certainly, I remember. Distinctly.

Thee, thy, thou, they, of course.

But I want you to know, sir, I honor your prejudices uh... convictions.

Now, boys, let me tell you something.

There are two kinds of music just the same as there are two kinds of women.

The uplifting kind, and the, uh... oh, here, you take the banjo.

Now there, there is an instrument that stirs up a man's worst passions.

Come on, Mattie.

No. Come on.


Preach, ma'am!

Preach! Preach!


Thank thee, kindly.

Watch very closely. We go again.


♪ Beware of the owl ♪

♪ Who's waiting to howl ♪

♪ Especially beware of the crow ♪

♪ Of the crow ♪

♪ O-w-w ♪♪

Oh, by George, that was wonderful!

'This is that rare, silver process.'

'You can see the fine work of Professor Grady.'

'Now, here's a foremost..'

Now, where is the little pea?

'We lost more of..'

Here's yours, the quarter. Here we go again.

Jess! Jess!

Thank you, madam, thank you!

Well, everything's back to normal now.

Now just a minute. Place your fingers right there.

That's it. Now... pump.


Why, friend Birdwell, you've got a real touch a real, natural-born touch.

Ice-cold lemonade here!

'Who'll have a cold drink?'

'Ice-cold lemonade!'

'Ice-cold lemonade.'

Jess, come along.



Has thee forgotten thyself?

Oh, Mrs. Birdwell, I'm to blame.

Mattie didn't want to dance. I-I made her do it.

Come along, Mattie. Let's look for thy father.

Oh, Mrs. Birdwell, it's my last day of furlough.

Well, I-I mean, I was hoping that Mattie could stay with me for a while.

Gardner, thy duties as a soldier and Mattie's as a Quaker, lie far apart.

God bless thee, Gard.

Come along, Mattie.

Goodbye, Mattie.

That was a mighty fine fight.

That's a mighty fine fight.

Right over here, here's your coat.

Alright now, men, now's your chance

'to get the Billy Goat.'

Who'd like to give me a silver dollar here?

There's a one man here who'd like to..

Hey, Caleb Cope.

There's the man that can throw the Billy Goat.

Which one is that? Right there.

Oh, you mean the Quaker man here?

Yes, sir. Come on in here, Quaker man.

You shouldn't fight, Caleb.

This ain't fighting, Josh.

This is just friendly wrestling.

Go get him, Quaker.

Alright, gentlemen, may the best man win.

Okay. Let's go.

Come on, Caleb. Come on.




Did I hurt your arm?

Come on, what's the matter with you?

You didn't hurt me. Let's go.

No, thanks.

Come on, come on, let's go. What's the matter with you?

'The Quaker boy quit!'

Why didn't you kiss him? Quitter!


Now, hold on, you two. And I wanna talk to you.

Look, leave him alone.

It's against his principle to fight.

Well, I bet money on him. It's against my principles to lose it.

I think you're in with the boss.

No, sir. Then why did you stop for?

He's a Quaker. Oh, shut up.

Who wants to hear you?

Will you let him alone. These boys believe in--

I know! They believe in loving their neighbor.

Well, I'm their neighbor.

Do you still love me?

I feel sorry for thee, friend.

Thee feel sorry for me? Yes.

Don't let him talk to you that way.


If thee wants to hit someone, friend, hit me.

You want to be hit? It'll be a pleasure.

I'll take a whack at him.

Throwing a fight, Quaker?

Come on, show me.

What's up with you, Quaker boy?

What's the trouble, friend?

Another friend.

Thee needs cooling off, friend.

Hey, let me up!


Is thee having an altercation?

Okay, let's break it up. Come on.

Fighting, dancing, gambling.

Wrestling, and..

Sleeve holders. Sleeve holders?

I never saw any sleeve holders like that before.

They're from, uh, Pierre in Paris.

Listen, thee dirty-- Little Jess.

But, mama, he took my hat.

It's gonna be a pretty day.

Be hot the other side of the Ohio, though.

I wish thee didn't have to make this trip.

It's too close to the war to be safe.

Now, Eliza, I have to see my customers... this time of the year.

Leave Josh at home, then.

He's so young to be exposed to danger.

Thee can't keep him tied to thy apron strings all his life.

This trip will be good for him.

Horse is hitched, bags stowed away, we're off.

Let's go, pa.

Is thee so anxious to leave home, son?

I want to see Ohio, mama.

I'll miss thee.

Come on, pa.

Take good care of Josh, Jess.

God bless and keep thee.

And Jess.

Jess, see if thee can't get rid of that horse.

Afternoon. Howdy.

Man of the house around?

Oh, ain't no man in this house since pa died.

And, uh, Mrs. Huds.. Hudspeth?

'Yeah, ma's here.'

Hey, ma!

Couple of men to see ya!

Hey, ma! Men!


Ma's comin'.



Mrs. Hudspeth? Uh, that's me.

I'm Jess Birdwell, the nurseryman.

I have first-class nursery stock for sale.

Uh, what kind you got?

Everything in orchard fruits, if he likes apple trees there's maiden's blush, ram blowers, wine saps.

In the berry line, thee can have thy choice there's raspberries, gooseberries, and the like.

Uh, this your boy? Yes, ma'am, this is Joshua.

Meet my girls, This is Opal, Ruby, she's my baby and Pearl.

Gems, every one of them.

Uh, girls, meet Joshua.

Hello. Back!

Well, uh, don't overdo it, girls.

Well, come in the house, Mr. Birdwell.

Let's talk business in comfort.

Sit down, son. They won't bite you.

Menfolk's are so scarce around here the girls get carried away at the sight of one.

But I keep telling them, easy does it.

Ain't that right, Mr. Birdwell?

Well, as a Quaker, I've always been against violence, Mrs. Hudspeth.

A Quaker, huh?

Well, I guessed as much from the way you talk.

All that theeing and thying.

Well, if I put my mind to it I can say you or yours if it suits thee.

Oh, no, sir.

Pleased to meet thee. Are these thy daughters?

Prettiest talk I ever heard.

Makes me feel kind of... romantic.

Come on, sit down, Mr. Birdwell.

Let's talk business back here.

Uh, you been on the road long?

Oh, about ten days.

Heading home tomorrow. Oh?

See any rebel raiders?

Oh, everything peaceful all the way.

I hope you're right.

What if them ruffians come thieving around here with nobody on the farm but four defenseless women?

I... sh-shudder to think of it.

About that nursery stock, Mrs. Hudspeth--

Uh, first, I'd like you to look at my south 40 and tell me what kind of orchard stock you think would be best there.


'Opal!' Yes, ma?

Go hitch up Lady.

We'll drive my mare, Mr. Birdwell and give your animal a rest.

Say, uh..

...we can bed you down for the night.

Well, that's very kind, but, uh--

Oh, now, no buts.

Glad to have some men around the house for a change.

Ruby! Yes, ma.

Go lay out some clean beddin', will you?

Alright, ma. Well, get goin'.

Pearl, take care of Josh while we're gone.

Yeah, ma.

Now you just set right back here.

Uh, I don't want to be a bother.

You ain't no bother.

Sure is a nice place thee has here.

Want a smoke? Oh, I don't smoke.

Want a drink? No. I don't drink either.

Thee have one. Not unless you do.

'Is this a Narragansett pacer?'

Yes. You know that breed?

Yes, ma'am. Thee's a favored woman, Mrs. Hudspeth.

That mare ain't got but one real fault she won't be passed.

Won't be passed? 'No, sir.'

Well, what's the fault in that?

I've got three marriageable daughters.

A man ain't got any heart for courting a girl he can't catch up with, let alone, pass.

Well, it shouldn't be too hard to find a horse that's willing to be passed.

'Whoa, Abigail!'

Oh, that's old whiskey Pete.

He ain't drawed a sober breath in 30 years.

Whoa, lady!

Fool's always trying to sway somebody.

Come on, boy! Come on!

Whoa! Come on.


Whoa, Lady!

Old drunk.

Why don't you let her out?

Don't fight her, ma'am. Let her go, let her go.

No, sir. I'm gonna learn this confound mare.

She's got to be passed.


Put my hat on. Pull it down.

No, not that far!

Lady. What are you doing?

It's alright, ma'am. It's alright.

Lady, that's the girl.

Easy, Lady, easy.

Sorry, ma'am, I kind of overreached myself grabbing the reins that way.

Oh, don't apologize.

For a man, that's a suitable thing to beat another man in a race on a public road.

Mrs. Hudspeth, do you ever think about getting thy girls a horse a mite more maidenly acting.

Oh... I've thought of it.

Um, you got a stylish animal, Mr. Birdwell.

Oh, Red Rover's a looker alright.

Got racing notions? No, ma'am! No!

Not that he can't pick up his heels a bit but racing is a thing he's got no stomach for.

Oh, you wouldn't consider a trade, I reckon?

I-I don't know.

A strong-minded animal like this can be a plaguing nuisance.

A forceful man like yourself could learn her better in no time, if he's a mind to.

Well... seems a likely exchange.

Then let's shake on it, Mr. Birdwell.

Don't leave it hanging in midair.

♪ A handsome young drummer came by in the spring ♪

♪ With beautiful laces in cases ♪

♪ I'm sorry, she said ♪

♪ I can't buy anything ♪

♪ 'Tis love that I need ♪

♪ More than laces ♪ Hey!

♪ Won't you marry me ♪

♪ Marry me ♪

♪ Up to the altar please carry me ♪

♪ Give me combs for my curls ♪

♪ Made of silver and pearls ♪

♪ And a two-penny bridal bouquet ♪

♪ Hurry up hurry up ♪ Back!

♪ Hitch that old horse to the surrey up ♪

♪ And I'll vow to be true to no one but you ♪

♪ So marry me marry me do ♪

♪ Dear lady the handsome young drummer replied ♪

♪ The whole situation's bewildering ♪

♪ Last winter the cold ♪

♪ Carried off my poor bride ♪

♪ If you wanna take care ♪

♪ Of six children ♪

♪ Come and marry me ♪

♪ Marry me ♪

♪ Pack your valises and marry me ♪♪



Mama, they're coming!



Hey, Little Jess.

Hi, Josh. Jess.

Josh, I'm glad to have thee home.


Oh, you'll break my ribs.

I'll get the bags, pa.

I'm glad to have thee back. I missed thee.

I missed thee, Eliza.

'Come inside. Thee must be hungry.'

'Where's Mattie?' 'She'll be back soon.'


Papa, where'd thee get this horse?

Jess! Thee kept thy word.

Oh! Thee got rid of Red Rover.

Glad to see you, Mr. Birdwell.

Jess... is this horse well?

Well, there's nothing to fear on that score, Eliza.

She's not much to look at, I admit but if thee doesn't mind that--

Mind? Oh, this is the very horse I've been praying for.

A good, plain animal that won't fill every man on the pike with racing ideas.

Oh, Lady will discourage racing ideas, I promise thee.

Come inside. Thee must be starved.

We haven't had a good meal since we left home.

I'll be in in a minute.

I'll help thee unhitch her, Enoch.

'This looks like the place, Mildred.'

Hello there! Good evening!

It certainly is good to see you again.


There we are.

Well, well, well, good evening. Good evening.

You know, it is certainly a pleasure to see you.

Ooh! This is a joy that I've been waiting for so I offer you my salutations my felicitations, and my congratulations.

What for? What for?

Why, ma'am, this organ the world's finest.

Oh, ho. You've got a treat coming to you.

Just hold your breath.

Now, look at that.

Isn't that a beauty?

'Genuine walnut, not an inch of unornamented wood' in the entire cabinet.

Good evening, brother Birdwell.

Hello there. Well, well, well.

Jess, there must be some mistake.

This gentleman says thee's mixed up with this musical instrument.

Mixed is scarcely the word for it.

It's gone beyond courting to marriage.

Oh, ho. Your husband.. thy husband is now the owner the proud and lucky owner of a Pacemen Clark.

What? This organ.

This substitute on earth for choiring angels.

Well, Father Birdwell why keep the little lady in suspense?

Come on, you just give me a hand and we'll get it inside.

We must step delicately. My wife is a Quaker minister.

Well, you may-may know all about Quaker ministers... but I know women.

What a woman wants is a good, firm hand and a strong voice.

Not Eliza. Bah!

Oh, madam, you just wait until you hear your husband when he seats himself at this console.

You know, you are married to an artist.

Jess, I forbid thee to have this instrument.

Forbid, Eliza?

For thy own sake, Jess, I forbid.

Eliza, when thee asks or-or suggests.

I'm like putty in thy hands but when thee forbids thee is barking up the wrong tree.

Come on, Quigley.

I don't know what's come over thee, Jess bringing a-a thing like this here and me, a recorded minister.

Jess, thee order that instrument back to where it came from.

I bought it, and I'm going to keep it.

I don't know what's come over thee, Jess Birdwell.

I'm warning thee if thee takes that instrument into the house, I go out.

Thee make thy choice.

Thee can have that instrument or thee can have thy wife.

But both, thee cannot have.

Well, come on, Quigley. Help me get it in.

Joshua! Yes, ma?

Will thee please fetch my shawl?

And my bible?

What does thee plan to do, Eliza?

If that... thing goes into the house...

I go to the barn.

The barn?

Did thee have something to say to me, professor?

Me? No.

Well, Jess..

Well, come on, Quigley.

Josh, will thee see if there's anything thy mother needs?

Stop it!

Mattie, will thee please stop playing?

Go sit over there.


I don't know why. Just sit.

'Good evening, Jess.'

Oh, come in, Sam.

Just felt like visiting.

Good evening, children. Good evening, Mr. Jordan.

I heard you had a new horse.

I'd like to get a look at it.

Well, it's kind of late, Sam.

Oh. Is this horse an early sleeper?

Oh, well, anytime.

How are you, Mattie? Fine, thank thee.

Little Jess? Fine.

How's Eliza?

Mama's fine.

How does thee know?

Oh? Is she away from home?

Thee might say so.

Uh, church work?

Thee could call it that.


Papa, mother needs another comforter.

That old straw goes right through her blanket.

Oh, uh..

Hello, Mr. Jordan.

Hello, Josh.

Straw? Blanket?

Thee may as well know it, Sam.

Eliza has taken up residence in the barn.

The barn?

We... we had a slight difference of opinion.


Papa bought this and mama won't stay in the house..

..with it.

Excuse me, Mattie.


Jess, I feel kinda responsible for this.

Let me take care of it for you, huh?

Thanks very much.

I-I think I can take care of it myself.

Anything you say, Jess.

Good night, children. Good night.

Good night, Sam. Good night, Jess.

Good night, everybody.

Upstairs to bed, all of thee.

Good night, papa. Good night, papa.

Good night.

May I come in?

The evening's cooling off a bit, isn't it?

I find it very pleasant.

So do I.

And thee promises to put the organ up in the attic right away?

Best place in the world for it.

The best place is back at the organ factory.

Second best place.

And no playing on first day or when visitors are here.


Let's go back there sometime... soon.


'It's Sam Jordan.'


Morning, Sam. Morning, Jess.

What's thee doing around so early?

What do you mean early? It's 6:30.


Where's Eliza?

Still in the barn?

The barn?

Oh, you're getting rid of the organ.


Well... how did you bring her around?

I... reasoned with her.

Just... reasoned with her.

You want to see my new mare?

Oh, yeah, that's, that's what I come over for.

Well, here she is, Sam.

Over here.

What does thee think of her, Sam?

Reasoned with her, huh?

Just reasoned with her.

Look her over, Sam.

Jess.. you traded Red Rover for this?

I got a little to boot.

A little, for this crow bait?

The mare's name is Lady.


'Morning.' Morning, Enoch.

What's so funny?

Excuse me, Jess, it's, uh..

It's just the rift between the name and the looks.

Uh, what is she? Half buffalo?

She's half Narragansett pacer.

Oh, which half?

I never laid eyes on a beast of such dimensions.

What's this? Jess, why aren't we taking the surrey?

Well, Enoch says the surrey is missing a hub nut.

Hub nut?


I didn't say lost, ma'am, uh, just missing.

But there's not enough room for the children in this rig.

That's right, they'll have to stay home today.

They can have a meeting of their own in the parlor.

Thee too, Josh.

I suppose thee is right.

Little Jess.. nonsense.

Yes, mama.

Thank thee, Josh.

Alright, Jess? Mm-hmm.

Wouldn't surprise me a bit, Josh.

Godspeed, Mr. Birdwell.

What does he mean.. Thanks.


Well, he, he means good luck.

In this rickety rig, we'll need it.




Something wrong, Jess?

I don't know. I thought I'd better take a look.

What is it, Jess? Nothing.

Nothing that I could see.

Come on, Prince.

Here comes Sam.

I wonder how a man church bound could have his mind so set on speed.

I don't.

Jess, slow down!

Now, Prince.


Come on, Prince! Giddyap, boy!

What's the matter with you, boy?

Easy, Lady, easy.


Come on, Prince.

Jess, can't thee slow her down?

I'm trying to.


Hey! Come on, Prince!


'Come on, come on.'

Look at this, Josh.

Josh, did thee forget that the cow's going to calf tonight.

I know.. Call me when it's time.


Hey, Josh, look at this one!

'Hello, Mr. Birdwell.' 'Well, Gard, come in.'

Back from the war? Yes. It's good to see you.

Mattie. Hello, Gard.

Josh, how are you?

Thee wounded? Good evening, Mrs. Birdwell.

Good evening, Gard. Thee is wounded.

Oh, it's nothing. Was it a cannon?

No, Little Jess. It was just a rebel bullet.

Oh! Did it bleed a lot?

Did thee win any medals? That'll do, Little Jess.

Won't thee sit down?

Thank you, ma'am.

Thee didn't say a word about it in my letter.


Well, I didn't wanna worry you.

When did thee get home, Gard?

This afternoon.

I, uh, heard about that little race this morning.

Oh. Was Sam surprised?

Surprised? He was overcome.

Jess. The elders!

The ministry and oversight committee from our church..

...paying us a call.


Go on up to bed.

But, mama-- Do as I say.

Wait, Jess.

Good evening, Griffith. Good evening.

Friend Cope, Amos. Come in. Good evening.

Good evening, Jess.


Good evening, Friend Cope, Griffith.

Good evening, Eliza. Good evening, Amos.

Won't thee sit down?



Very educational.

So, I started over the wall.

And the next thing I knew I was flat on my back.

What does it feel like..

...getting shot?

Being kicked by a mule.

Did thee kill anybody?

Well, I did a lot of shooting.

Thee won't go back, now thee's wounded?

Well, not right away.

With the reb cavalry heading this way I've been assigned to help organize the Home Guard right here.

Would they let me in the Home Guard?

Well, they need men.

Gard doesn't wanna talk about war.

Does thee, Gard?

No, Mattie. Look, Gard..

If-if I went to Vernon--

Hey, Josh!

Uh, if..

We'll talk tomorrow, Josh.


We've got an organ.

An organ? Oh, shh!

In your house?

What did your mother say about that?

She made us put it up in the attic.

And what of thy son, friend Birdwell?

Has thee given him proper guidance?

With the help of God our children must make their own choices.

So before we talk any more of war or blame shall we seek wisdom and strength in prayer?


Let us pray.

Watch thy head.

Must be the wind coming up. Could be.

Today's acted like a weather breeder.

Friend, thee's got a squeaky door upstairs.

Oh, my house needs, needs attention.

And my soul needs repair!

Friends, let us lift our hearts in prayer!

Father in heaven, creator of all good things author of harmony from bird's song to thunder roll restore harmony in our lives!

Amen. Amen to that.

Behold thy servant who has strayed from the paths of righteous.

Behold thy unworthy creature whose head was turned by the ways of flesh.

Forgive him for racing his horse on first day and forgetting that the road to glory..

' the burden of my sins rests upon my children.'

'And above all spare my wife, Eliza.

'And I pray that she shall find in her kind..'

...and loving heart the grace and mercy to forgive me my most grievous shortcomings.

In the name of Adam who ate the forbidden fruit.

In the name of Abraham whose sin was jealousy.

In the name of Moses who lost the promised land.

In the name of David who, of David who, who, who..

'...hankered after that which was forbidden.'

'In the name of Jephthah, Jeremiah, Obadiah..'

'...Jonah, Micah..'

'...Habakkuk and Malachi..'

And Malachi..

And Malachi.


Thee has been an instrument of the Lord this night.

Thy prayer carried me so near to heaven's gates I thought I heard the choiring of angel voices and the playing of heavenly harps.

Jess, thy prayer has answered our questions.

Thy flesh may be weak, Jess Birdwell but thy spirit is as strong as thy voice.

Amen. Amen to that.

Thank you for paying us this call, Friend.

Goodnight, Eliza. Goodnight, Eliza.

Amos and Griffith. Goodnight, Friend.

Goodnight, Jess.

Goodnight, Griffith.

And I'll play the melody up here.

Ready? Alright.

Sounds like a duet.



Leave them be.

Mighty quiet up there.

What does thee suppose they're..


Silent prayer?


Like this.



'What's thee doing?'

Has thee forgotten we have company?

Don't thee care what people think?

It's all my fault, Mattie.

Eliza, I think we ought to go to bed and let the young folks have the parlor.

Yes. Goodnight, children.

Goodnight, Mrs. Birdwell.

Goodnight, Mattie. Goodnight, Gard.

Goodnight, Mr. Birdwell. Goodnight.

Have you ever seen anything prettier, Enoch?

No, except for a little human baby.

Does thee have any children, Enoch?

Leastwise, I did.

I don't know where they are now.

Let's get him up.

Come on.

Oh, it sure wanted to live, didn't it?

He'll live now, alright.


'Yeah, Josh?'

I wonder what it feels like to die.

Just stopping breathing, I reckon.

Just going to sleep.

'I reckon.'

I got orders to report to the Home Guard, ma'am.

Oh! I came to say goodbye.

Could I see Mattie?

She and little Jess are down by the swing.

Thank you, ma'am.


No, I couldn't.

'Oh, well, if you insist.'



Thee's doing it again.

Talking to thyself.

I'm not talking to myself.

Is thee talking to Gard Jordan?

He's so brave..

Ah, heck.

If he's so brave

'why didn't he win some medals, huh?'

Oh, who cares about medals, anyway?

Gard has a proud and learned face.

A face to remember.

His eyes are the color of the sky..

'in the summer.'

It pleasures me just to see him walk.

Oh, he walks just like anybody else.

Oh, no.



Hello, little Jess.

Say.. would you like to have the bullet they took out of my arm?

It's wrong to take bribes.

That's not a bribe. It's a gift.

Thanks. You want a polliwog?

No, thanks. Go on now, scoot.

I'm going because I want to.

Come on out, Mattie. I want to talk to you.

No, I can't. I'm barefooted.

Huh. What's wrong with that?

I'm too big a girl to be running around barefooted.

Mortifies me, thee seeing me so unladylike.

Well, look, I'll shut my eyes and..

...I'll pretend you have shoes on.

Come on. No.

Or I'll wade in.


Mattie, I've got to talk to you.

Come on out, please.

I'm really nice, you know.

I've got a nice walk and eyes the color of the sky.

Come on. Thee heard?

Thee heard! Thee eavesdropped!

Thee thinks I set my cap for thee!

No, wait! Wait. Please, wait Mattie.

I was only joking.

I never want to see thee again!

Mattie, wait! Never. Never!

Good evening, Mr. Birdwell.

Hello, Gard.

Getting ready to leave us again?

Yes, sir, and I'm reporting to the Home Guard tonight.

I, uh, came to say goodbye.


Come on down, Mattie. This is no way to treat a guest.

Would thee please ask him to excuse me?

I hurt her feelings.

It's the last thing I wanted to do.


I know how that is.

I was clumsy.

Well, with women it's hard not to be sometimes.

Papa, the rebs are coming.

Morgan's raiders crossed the Ohio, day before yesterday.

Fifteen hundred horsemen burning and pillaging all the way from Mauckport.

They're on their main pike now more than

30 miles from Vernon.

By this time tomorrow, they're gonna be here.

No need to shout, Josh.

Did thee see their patrols? No. No.

But I've seen what they've done.

Barns burned, houses looted, look..

Thee can go towards Vernon and see for thyself.

Did you see the militia? They're rousing the countryside.

Everyman who can carry a gun.

They figure on making a stand at Vernon.

Papa, our farm is gonna be overrun for sure.

That's probably true, Mr. Birdwell.

You're on the south side of the river.

You better take your family into the woods tomorrow till the rebs have gone.

This is our home.

This is where we'll stay.

Mr. Birdwell, the raiders don't draw a line between soldiers and civilians.

They're the toughest troops in the Confederacy there's no telling what they'll do when they get here.

If they're going to come, they're going to come.

Like fire or flood.

If it's the Lord's will, there's nothing we can do.

Oh, there's something I can do, mama.

'Mr. Jordan?'

Have you got an extra gun?

Why sure, Enoch.

Mr. Birdwell, I hate to cross you like this.

It don't seem grateful.

You folks have been mighty kind to me.

But you see, sir a runaway slave like me I wouldn't stand a chance with some of those men.

So if they're going to catch me...

I'm going down fighting.

Enoch, thee's free..

Free to choose.

So am I, pa.

Thee can saddle up Tommy. 'Thank you .'

Gard, I'll go with thee.

Without asking us, son?

There's no need to go now, Josh.

Morning's soon enough.

I'll be in Vernon.

I'll meet thee there.

You better talk it over with your folks, Josh.

Tell Mattie goodbye.

Tell her when I get back I..

...hope to say better what I was trying to tell her.


Bye, Gard. God bless thee, Gard.








Gard! Oh, God!


It's true. It's true.

Everything thee heard is true.

Thy walk does pleasure me.

Thy eyes are like summer.

Thee does have a proud, learned face.

Oh, Mattie.

My sweet.

My dear, sweet, precious girl.

I love you.

I love thee. I do love thee.

Martha True Birdwell... when I come back... will you marry me?

Will you be my wedded wife forever and ever?

Oh, Gardner Jordan...

I will be thy wedded wife... forever and ever.

Sit down, Josh.

Thee'll feel better after thee has something to eat.

No, I'm not hungry.

It might make thee a little calmer.

And a little more courteous to thy mother.


Thee asks me to be calm when the whole of Vernon's turned upside down and getting ready to fight.

And Morgan's men may break in here at any minute.

Father, thee knows we must fight.

If thee has a sword in thy heart, son thee must pull it out and use it... but there's no sword in my heart.

No man is my enemy.

Well, any man who kills innocent people is my enemy.

My mortal enemy.


Thee has seen bad things today.

Thee's upset.

We've got more than we need here.

It's high time we shared it.

If thee gives all to thee's got to the enemy thy friends will go hungry.

What's good about that?


Thee wants to go out and fight.

Give thy life for what thee believes.

Any of us here, I'm sure, is ready to do that.

But that's not what thee'll be asked to do.

No, Josh, what thee'll be asked to do now.. to kill.

I know that.

I'll kill if I have to.

Thou shalt not kill.

Mother, I hate fighting.

I don't want to die.

I don't know if I could kill anyone if I tried.

But I have to try so long as other people have to.

No, Eliza.

Don't let him go, Jess.

Don't thee care about his living or dying?

I'm just his father, Eliza.

I'm not his conscience.

A man's life ain't worth a hill beans except he lives up to his conscience.

I've got to give Josh that chance.


...and forever..

...and forever.

Tucking thee in again.

How many times does thee think I've done that, Joshua?

I don't know, mother.


...I understand thy being carried away... but our ways are ways of peace... and thee loves peaceful ways.

I do.

If thee turns thy back on everything I've taught thee and prayed for... thee turns thy back on me.

Oh, no, mother, not on thee.

Yes, son..

...on me.

I have to do what's right.

Thee will, son.

God will give thee the strength.

Dear God in heaven, watch over Joshua.

Make him a witness for the peace on Earth... for which thy son died.

'In His name do I ask it.'


Now, Joshua, before thee sleeps... promise me thee'll pray.

I promise.

Goodnight, son.

I have faith in thee.


You promised to..


I prayed.

Goodbye, father.

Goodbye, son.

God bless thee.


My boy.

God keep thee.

'Company, halt!'

This is the only shallow spot.

They have to cross here.

Yes, sir.

Alright, men, dismount!

'Come on, men, hurry!'

'Spread out, men! Find cover!'

Get those horses out of sight, fast!

'Jam a log between those trees!'

Get something solid in front of you. That'll never stop a bullet.

'Son, you hold your gun that tight' 'by the time the rebs get here'

'your trigger finger will be numb.'

Who gave that rebel yell?

I did, sir.

Do it again, and I'll shoot you, O'Hara.

'And the same goes for any other man here.'

Chopping wood, eh?

We burn wood every winter, Purdy.

Pretty soon you'll have no house to burn wood in.

Some of Morgan's thieving men burnt my barn... stolen my horses, and cleaned out my smokehouse.

I'm sorry to hear that.

Thee and thy family is welcome to anything I've got.

No thanks, if thee wants to help pick up a gun and fight the same as I'm doing.

I'm not ready to do that.

What does thee aim to do?

Sit here and turn the other cheek?

That's what I aim to do..

...if I can.

Thee's got to face the facts, Jess that wartime calls for another kind of thinking.

Your thinking may have changed, Prudy, but you haven't.

Last week, you told my son he was going to hell for fighting.

This week you tell Jess that he's got to fight.

Whatever's right for Purdy is got to be right for everybody else, huh?

If you're so hell-bent to fight, get going.

If it's peace thee wants, Jess Birdwell... thee won't get it chopping wood.

They hurt thy place, Sam? No, Jess.

Just thought I'd ride down toward the river.

Want to see how the boys are getting on.

One more man at the ford won't make a hoot of difference.

And if there's any fighting to be done I'll do it for both of us.

I'd like to see someone hold out for a better way of settling things.

They're coming!

Now, what was that all about?

Get down.

We'll find out sooner than you think.


It's lady.

Look, papa.



Whoa, lady.

Is Josh hurt?



Little Jess, bring lady to the house.

No. Jess, no.

Little Jess, thee's the man on the place now.

Kill a Johnny reb for me, papa.


...never talk that way about a man's life.



Mama! Mama, look!

They're rebs, mama! They're reb!

No, Little Jess, no.

Gentlemen! Gentlemen!

Would thee like some food?

There's meat in the smokehouse out there by the barn.

Right, Steven, get those chickens.

I'll get all them chickens!

Fresh vegetables and fruit and some more meat are in the springhouse there.

Lester, Clem, go get it!

'You bet, sarge.'

Cooked food's in the kitchen.

If thee and thy men will please follow me.

Yes, ma'am.

'Take care of these horses.'

Come on!

Hey, boy, give me a hand with this.

Roast goose tonight. Go get him, Buster.

Ah, peach pie! Move!

It's rattlesnake pie.

'Little Jess.'

Best rattlesnake pie I ever tasted.

Stop it! Let her go!

Let her go! Let her go!

Let her go! Stop!


Samantha's a pet! She's a pure pet!

I wish I'd know that sooner.

Much obliged, ma'am.

Thank you very kindly, lady. Thank you, ma'am.

We feel much better. Thank you, ma'am.

'Mount up!'

'Boys, enough food here to finish for a whole week!'

'Let her roll, boys!'

Thataway, men! Hah!

Thanks for the chickens, ma'am.

I raised my hand in anger.

I struck.

But what a whacking!

Wham! Wham! Oh, Little Jess!

If thy father ever knew.

Thee must never tell him. Never!

Oh, Black Prince. Oh, b..

Oh! Hm.

Sam, what ha..

A reb bushwhacker.

He took my, ugh..

...Black Prince.

I found him.

Head for war and get mixed up with horse thieves.

I was training Black Prince to.. beat you.

Thee can beat me, Sam.

Thee can beat me any day in the week.

So you... you finally admit it, huh?


Gard, tell him when you see him..

...tell Gard.

I'll tell him... Sam.

I'll tell him.


Now, go on.

Go on, get. I'll not harm thee.

Thank god I found thee, Josh.

He's not very old.


I killed him.

Thee did what thee had to do.

I must get thee home, Josh.


'Mattie? Jess? Little Jess?'

I heard thee playing on the lord's day.

Let me look at thee.

Stand still.

You see if thee's in order for meeting.

Stay on the porch and keep clean.

Oh, I don't need any help, thank thee mother.

But it pleasures me to help thee, son.

Do I pass inspection?

Yes, dear, thee'll pass.

My bible!


Come on, Samantha. Come on, pet.

What's come over that bird?

It's just, Little jess has stopped being mean to her.

That's all.

That's all, huh?

Samantha's the one that was mean to that reb.

Shh! Thee's not my boss.

Hush up, piggy!

A reb grabbed Samantha and was wringing her neck--


Mama whacked him on the head with a broom till he let her g..

Till he let her go.

Mama? Whacked a reb?

She sure did, with that broom.

Wham, wham, wham!


Well, by sugar, that's news.

Looks like thee needs a new broom, Eliza.

Why, Jess?

Well, because this one's seen lots of service.

I tried to stop him, mama.

She shook it out of me.

Well, um, come on, veterans.

Morning, Enoch. Good Morning, folks.

♪ Thee is mine ♪

♪ Thee pleasures me in a hundred ways ♪

♪ Put on your bonnet ♪

♪ Your cape and your glove ♪

♪ And come with me ♪

♪ For thee I love ♪

♪ For thee I love ♪♪