Lawman (1971) Script


Ha ha ha!



Let her burn, boys!

...and I hate storekeeper's whiskey!

Have 'em mount up, Harv.

Oh, my god!

Get 'em out of here.

Gimme that!

Sober up, Choctaw!

Mount up!

We're ridin' back to Sabbath now.


Whoa. Whoa.

Aw, stay still.



It's my brother-in-law, Marc Corman.


I'm Jered Maddox.

Cotton Ryan.

You the marshal?

What can I do for you, Maddox?

Vincent Bronson, Choctaw Lee, Jack Dekker, Vern Adams, Hurd Price, Harvey Stenbaugh, Marc Corman. Know any of 'em?

All of 'em.

Well, that makes it easy.

Does it?

I want these men brought in under arrest by noon tomorrow.

I want 'em fed and ready for travel.

You got papers sworn out?

I'll get 'em if you need 'em.

Not from anybody in this territory, you won't.

You've got jurisdiction.

I've got jurisdiction, but you couldn't have reason enough to get papers from me. Nobody could.

3 months ago, Bronson took 8,000 head of cattle across the Kiowa.

On the way back, they hit a town called Bannock.

They drank their fill, had their women, shot up the town.

All just cowboy fun.

They killed an old man.



I'm just the lawman in Bannock.

Look at this town.

Nice quiet town.

Nice town to live in.

They got no railhead, no digging up in the hills, no reason to grow fat.

This town eats because Vincent Bronson puts their bread on the table.

He owns the town.

He owns the county.

People around here owe him.

Those men on your list... they stand in Bronson's shadow.

I can't move against those men.

You carry the law.

Humph. I carry nothin'.

I sit there 'cause Bronson says sit.

I've been paid for, Maddox.

You carry messages, don't you?

I'm gonna take these men back with me or kill them where they stand.

They got till noon tomorrow.

Tell 'em.

That one of them out there?


You can take his name off the list.

What happened?

He called me out.

What's the trouble?

What happened, marshal?

Better come inside, Sam.

One of you take Corman to the undertaker's and the rest of you go on about your business.

As a member of the citizens council... you can get it secondhand from the mayor.

How far from here to the Bronson spread?

I wouldn't know.

Who's he, some bounty hunter or something?

Don't make an enemy of him, storekeeper.

Step wide of him.

That's about it, Mr. Bronson.

He said by noon tomorrow.

And Marc Corman's dead?

He's dead.

How'd it happen?

Came up against the wrong man.

I don't know the details.

Marc was a good man with a gun.

He was a big mouth who thought he was a good man with a gun.

There's a cold hole in the ground between the 2 of 'em.

His family know?

I sent word.

I'll ride out there in the morning.

How do you measure this thing, Cotton?

I think you got trouble, Mr. Bronson.

Unless you say he's all mistaken.

I wish he was.

There's no mistake.

We got a little drunk, broke a bit of glass.

I didn't know anyone was killed.

Tell Maddox I'm sorry, really sorry, and I'll make it good. I'll pay the damages.

I'll fix it up with the old man's family.

Tell him I'll make it all right with him, too.

Better still, arrange a meeting tomorrow.

I'll... I'll deal straight with him.

If he doesn't want to talk?

Why shouldn't he?

Some men just go to a thing in a straight line, Mr. Bronson.

They don't bend, and they don't trade.

You're telling me Maddox is like that?

He's got the mark.

That's too bad.

Then he's going to buy himself a lot of pain.

Try him, Cotton. Talk to him.

He got you spooked, Ryan?

No, Harv. I'm not on his list.

That all, Mr. Bronson?


All right, Harv. Chew it out.

I don't like askin' favors.

No one's asking you to bend your knee, Harv.

Just to talk.

Some worn-out tin star wouldn't rate cuttin' your cigars.

Ryan doesn't rate him that low.

Ryan's a kicked dog.

Well, maybe that's what makes him a better judge of men like Maddox.

There was a time... it's in the past, Harv.

What do you want to do, ride into Sabbath and gun him down?

Those days have passed.

Times have changed.

There are other ways. You buy him.

And if he doesn't sell, you buy the man above him.

Those killing days were for younger men.

I'm on that list, Vince.

I'm not ridin' his dust back to Bannock.

Neither am I.

The others will be here soon.

I'd send Jason and Crowe.

We'll talk then.

We don't need the others.

We'll talk.

It's your land.

It's your grass.

You've never been on wages, Harv.

What's out there is as much yours as mine.

10 years too long, Jered?

Hello, Laura.

Can I come in?


It don't seem 10 years.

To me, it does.

Won't you sit down?

You look good, Laura.

You're a soft-tongued liar.

You live in Sabbath?

Near. What... what are you doing here?


That's not an honest question.

I know what you're doing here.

I was in town getting some supplies, and I heard about it.

Do you think you owe me anything, Jered?

Say it out plain, Laura.

My man, Hurd Price, he's one of the men you want.

I guess it had to be something like that.

He work for Bronson?


We have a small farm between here and the high country, and he takes work from Bronson when he can get it.

Let him go, Jered. He never shot anybody.

He stands with the rest.

Sorry, Laura.

The hell you are.

Nobody has to die.

Just tell him to come into town and give himself up.

What will happen to him then?

He'll go back to Bannock and stand trial.

Will they hang him?

Circuit judge is no hanging judge.

In fact, a man like Bronson could buy him cheap.

I don't... I don't mean just the judge.

I mean the town, the good people with the rope.

My town, Laura.

Nobody gets a mob rope in my town.

You know that. I give you my word.

If he comes in peaceful, there will be no hurt come to him.

You never did give much away.

Would you come, Laura, if your man hadn't been on the list?


There's nothing left over from before, Jered.


He has until tomorrow.

I called you in 'cause we've got trouble.

You remember last spring we took a herd over the Kiowa.

We hit a town called Bannock on the way back.

7 of us went into town. Do you recall?

None too clearly.

We shot up the town.

Seems an old man took a bullet.

We thought it was nothing but a lot of broken glass, but... seems now it's a bit more.

Now, the hard point of the matter is there's a lawman the name of Maddox in Sabbath.

Figures to take us back and stand trial for murder.

One lawman?

Ryan thinks he's enough.

Cotton Ryan.

Choctaw, you may not think much of Ryan as he stands now, but... in his day, you couldn't walk in the same sun as him.

Hey, where's Marc Corman?

Marc Corman's dead.

Corman's dead

'cause he called short on this Maddox.

Marc Corman's dead?

I called ya here to hear what you have to say.

Well, Vern?

I don't know, Mr. Bronson.

I don't want trouble, I appreciate ya askin' us here for our opinion, but it seems to me you got some choice, and I don't.

I can't go back to Bannock.

If I do, my land dries up and blows away.

My beef gets scattered into the high country.

I don't have the hands to keep my spread tied down.

You know I'd see ya right, Vern.

I'd send some of the boys, give my mark to cover your losses.

Thanks, and I know you mean it, but I have to work my own.

Well, what do you suggest, Vern?

I don't suggest anything, and I don't aim to do anything.

Just stay close and mind what's mine.

And if he comes after you?

I'll stop him if I can.

Stop him first and make sure.

I didn't kill anybody that night in Bannock.

I've got no quarrel with the law.

You, Choctaw?

You give the orders, Mr. Bronson.

I asked for an opinion.

It was an accident.

If that lawman wants to lean hard, then I say we set him running.

I go along with Choctaw, but, uh, as he says, Mr. Bronson, you give the orders.


Well, then, I'd like to hear what you have to say, Vince.

Want your say, Harv?

I say we tell the lawman to peddle his law in Bannock.

You got all the guns you need, Mr. Bronson... just for the asking.

Maddox needs a lesson taught.

Can I say something, pop?

Now, I wasn't ever in Bannock, but it seems to me if pa here is willing to pay for the damages, give the old man's family something, then this Maddox has no cause to push.

If he does, I think Harv's right.

There are 2 men dead already.

That's a bit heavy.

I don't think this Maddox runs easy, and killing a lawman is a certain way for trouble.

I'll talk with him. Maybe he has a price.

Maybe he's a reasonable man.

If not, all we've lost is a few hours.

If we decide to go back, I'll cover any of your losses.

Most we'd face is a fine, anyway, if that.

We'll try it my way.

Our food's been laid out.

Vern, Hurd, will you gentlemen be my guests?

Choctaw, show 'em where to get washed up.

When it comes down to bedrock, my word don't call much, does it, Vince?

I'm just hired help.

No man means more to me, Harv.

All I've got is you and Jason.

But you're like some yellow, dumb Ladino... all longhorn and no brains.

We've got 10,000 head of good cows, a valley of sweet grass, and money in the bank.

That didn't come easy.

We both us put 30 years of sweat into it.

I don't want to drop it on some dumb gunplay.

I don't like to see you backing off, Vince.

You're making a mistake.

I don't see it that way.

Ride into Sabbath in the morning, see Ryan.

Hear how he made out. I want to step around this.

If Maddox is open, tell Ryan to set up a meeting.

Send Jason.

I'm asking you.

Keep clear of Maddox.

Take Crowe with you.

It's a great life.

If you were some cheap gunsel with a big name running out in front of ya, they'd all be buying you drinks, rubbing up against you, fixing up what they're gonna tell the kids and the ones who weren't there.

But if you're a lawman, you're a disease.

They need you, but they hate you.

Comes with the job.

I saw Bronson.

He wants to talk.


He wants to trade.

He says he's sorry.

He means it. I know him.

He didn't know anybody was killed.

He wants to make it all good.

Something for my pockets, too.

Why not?

You could hear what he's got to say.

I just heard.

The old man was just an accident.

They'll get a chance to say their piece in Bannock.

Be reasonable, Maddox.

Good night, Ryan.

There will be some dyin'.

It'll be their doin'.

Mr. Bronson?

What are you doing out here, Crowe?

We just brought a couple of hundred head up from Bornite creek, Mr. Bronson.

I saw a rider, and, uh... who else is with you?

Uh, Hitchins and Jason, sir.

You and my son are about the same age, aren't you?

Uh, Jason's a bit younger...

5, 6 months.

Ever been up here before?

No, sir. I figured it was private.

On this high ground, you can see the whole valley on a clear day, from the sierras to white wolf pass.

Now, there was the old Comanche camp. We... we broke 'em there.

Harvey and me and my brothers.

Brother Jacob died there.

They were fine people, the Comanches.

Don't ever listen to any talk that runs down an Indian.

We buried brother Jacob here and... my other brother Aaron beside him.

They'd had enough of guns and killing.

The dead don't have much.

Crowe, did you ever feel the world turn beneath your feet?

No, sir.

You best be getting back down, son.

Choctaw, the kid had the edge.

You're sand-blind, Jack.

You take him on, Jack.

$5, Choctaw?

That's like stealing from a blind man's cup.

That's fair.

I figure Crowe's just emptied your cup, Lee.

What do you say, Crowe?

I guess about even.


Sonny, you were way behind... again.

The top man takes Dekker's money from him.

1, 2, 3.

I want those cattle down at the wolf pass tomorrow night.

Crowe, you come with me. We gotta go into Sabbath.

Sure, Harv.

Gonna fight on that lawman, Harv?

Move your ass out of here, Lee.

Wait a minute, Mr. Stenbaugh.

I fancy a bit of tin star.

I'll leave enough for you to cut your first teeth on.

You're a gentleman.


What do you think he's gonna do?

Chew the hell out of that law dog.


Mr. Maddox, Mr. Maddox, your room... what I mean is we are getting a regular... a drummer of women's goods.

And jewelry, and, well, you see, I wasn't expecting you to be staying over, and, well, to put a fine edge on things, I need your room.

You see, he always expects to get the same room, and I... I can't... oh...

Is there something you wanted?

Can't say there is, minister.

A man comes to the house of god, he comes to seek.

I'm not a believing man, minister.

Then why have you come?

A man doesn't see many churches like this... in a town like Sabbath.

The shape of the house of god is unimportant.

That's not so, minister.

The kind of church a man builds to pray in tells you a lot about the man.

Further south, there are some fine, old adobe churches.

Mexican. They're cool and dark inside to give a man peace.

They're made for kneeling.

This one's made for standing upright.

There is no easy comfort from god.

Tell me, minister, you must know all the people in this town.

Those who come to my church.

I don't see a land office.

If I wanted to see a map of the territory, a map with the deed boundaries marked on it, who might be able to oblige?

Why do you ask me?

I figured you'd be the one man in this town who would find it difficult to lie to me.

Mr. Dusaine is the legal expert.

He takes care of all such matters.

Thank you, minister. Good morning.

My, it's beautiful.

Oh! That's him!

Mr. Dusaine?

You have the deed maps for this territory.

I'd like to see them.

And who, pray tell, told you... the minister.

Well, I'm afraid that I would need written permission before I could allow you to examine such documents.

Sir! I shall call the marshal.

You do that.

Thank you, Mr. Dusaine.

Don't try to soften me up, Cotton.

Doesn't your lawman want to talk?

Take it easy, Harvey.

Yes or no?

Why do you want to push things until they break, Stenbaugh?

Let Bronson handle it.

You gonna mealy-mouth, or are you gonna tell me?

He won't trade.

You can have your say in Bannock.

Did you crawl, Ryan?

I wasn't asked to.

I told Vince you weren't the man to carry this.

Where is Maddox?

Climb down, Harvey.

You can't ride this man.

Run to hell, why don't you?


I'm Harv Stenbaugh.

Well, lawman?

What's your name, son?

Crowe wheelwright.

I've no business with you.

You've got business with me.

Drop that gun belt.

I'm taking you in.

No, you're not.

You got 2 ways to move, lawman.

Run... or take me.

Don't make me kill you, son.

What are you gonna do about this?

He's shooting 'em down in the street.

You all know why you're here.

What I want to know is what are we gonna do?

He wants to know what we're going to do.

Marc Corman and Harvey Stenbaugh were our friends.

Do we care about our friends?

Corman's widow, my sister, and the little ones, do we care about them?

Are we just gonna stand around here and talk?

Talk never moved a thing or pulled a stump.

Are we gonna stand around and wait while this killer shoots down whoever he wants in our town?

He's a lawman.

What? What?

How do we know that?

Anyway, he ain't the lawman here.

What happened in Bannock months ago is of no concern to us, but we must respect the law.

As your mayor, I say we gotta protect our own.

This man has got to be stopped.

What you got in mind, Harris?

We all go over to the hotel, all of us, and we go meaning business, and that means going armed.

And we can tell Maddox to get out of town.

Now, now, wait a minute, Luther.

That sounds like vigilante talk.

Shouldn't we stay within the limits of...

Sam, Sam. It seems to me that you, as mayor, should be giving lead, you know, not trying to keep your head on straight.

This town owes Vince Bronson a lot.

Legally speaking, there is a precedent for forming a citizens committee.

Only if there's been a breakdown in the formal law services.

Well, Ryan is broken down enough to satisfy any precedent.

Moss is right, you know.

We're all beholding to Bronson, and a Bronson man was murdered.

Now, we can talk till sundown and accomplish nothing, or we can act.

Now, I say that we call off this meeting and do what we know is right.

Now, Luther, let's... anybody here who calls himself a man who wants out better speak right now.


Well, then I think we got our work cut out for us.

Oh, dear.

You know what that man meant to me?

I held him above all other men.

Closer even than my brothers.

I want him, Ryan.

I want him broken.

I want his face in the dirt.

And I'll hang what's left of him hang him for the murderer he is.

I don't care how. I don't care who, so long as I'm there to see it.

It wasn't murder, Mr. Bronson.

I call it murder.

I was on the prod...

I call it murder... and I want something done about it.

The great Cotton Ryan, you were good with a gun once.

Oh, you were beautiful.

But Fort Bliss was a long time ago, wasn't it, Ryan?

I don't like men sweating fear in my house.

You pay me, Mr. Bronson, and I eat your dirt.

But that don't make what you say right.

Get out.

When I'm finished, Mr. Bronson.

Leave him.

Harvey was on the prod. He went after Maddox.

He put the horn in him, and then he made his move first.

Don't make the same mistake, Mr. Bronson.

Don't go to a man like Maddox with a hammer.

You want him. I understand that.

I figured that was your play.

But finish that thing in Bannock first.

Go back there.

You can buy the whole town... and the judge that goes with it.


I'm sorry.

We'll get Maddox.

Yes... we'll get Maddox.

My heart isn't in it.

God's my witness, Jace, I wanted no more killing.

I could've bought that town with a whisper.

Ryan's right.

But not now.

Harvey's death finished any chance of doing it without guns.

Damn you, Harvey.

He's in the saloon.

Who is?

Let's go.

Which one has the words?

You're the storekeeper.

Luther Harris, ain't it?

Let me say them for you.

You want me out of your town.

What happened some other time, some other place ain't your trouble.

I've seen men like you in every town in the west.

You want the law, but you want it to walk quiet.

You don't want it to put a hole in your pocket.

You take courage from each other, and you come armed.

Well, there are enough of you.

All you need is one man with enough stomach to die first.

I'm not leaving until what I came for is done.

So if you plan to do anything about it, do it now or go home.

How much?

For the meal.

2 bits.

Jesus, I thought for sure they...

good evening, Cotton.



A dollar a point?

You know I can't run that high, Lucas.

You got my note for more than I can ever pay, and still you want to play.

I'm not calling in your note.

I'm not a great believer in the milk of human kindness.

You got a rope on the man who owes you.

Hit me.


You got a weight on your back, Cotton.

Is that the gossip?

I've heard.

Besides, you've been here last night and tonight.

Now, you're not an indulging man.


A man's pleasure talks a lot.

Now, ain't that pretty?

Hit me.

May I be of service, Cotton?

I got me a mess, Lucas.

And I haven't got enough long boot to step out of it.

Let's play cards.

Well, Cottontail Ryan.

Cottontail Ryan.

You wanted something, Dekker?

Yeah, I want something.

I want some more of your cheap whiskey.

Service in your place stinks.

And you're a damn fool to come here.

He smells of trouble.

I'm all right.



I'm calling you out, Maddox.

We've no quarrel, Crowe.

I'm gonna kill you, Maddox.

I'm not gonna fight you, boy.


I don't plan on dying for no reason.

Ease up.

You cheap little gunslinger.

You set me up.

So help me god.

Go on for your gun. You want a chance?

Go ahead.

I don't know nothing about those shots.

Go for your gun.

I wouldn't do something like that. Believe me!

It came from over there.

My town, Maddox.



Drop it.

Get up.



Come on.

Oh, dear, oh, dear.

Next time I see you, I'll kill you.

God knows I got reason enough to want to see you dead, but I hate back shooters.

If you've got nowhere important to go, I got a bottle in that desk.

Dekker's on your list.

He a Bronson hand?

Yeah. Stays close to Choctaw Lee.

Choctaw's a gun hand, fast and likes his work.

Dekker's a shadow walker.

He walks big when he's with Choctaw, but a back shooter inside.

I knew it'd be him.

I saw him in town earlier.

Thanks, Ryan.

I owe you something, too.

I feel good.

I remember you at Fort Bliss.

Well, that's my trouble.

Everybody remembers me at Fort Bliss.

That's all I got, Maddox, a bunch of yesterdays.

It's a long ride down from the high country with stops all the way down.

In Abilene, I ran.

In Acadia city, I hid in a cellar.

In Monmouth, the Loring brothers made me eat dirt.

What keeps pushing you?

I've been a lawman for 20 years.

What stops you running sand inside?

I guess the question doesn't arise.

You know, after killing Stenbaugh, Bronson will come for you.

It's always the same.

You post a man, he has to come into town to prove he's a man.

You kill a man, he's got a friend or a kin, just has to come against you.

And for no reason... no reason that makes any sense.

And it don't matter a damn to the man already in the ground.

Nobody wins.

You can stop it.

Ride out tomorrow.

It's not a private matter with me, Cotton.

The law.

The honest ones carry it hard and clean all their lives.

Behind their backs, the others buy it, sell it, dirty it, tie it into knots.

Who lives longer, Maddox?

I was out bringing in a killer when the shoot-up happened.

I could have chased a few tracks and let the matter drop.

But I'm the law in Bannock.

Anybody who goes against the law goes against me.

I don't know any other way.

How many more for one old man?

I don't call the numbers.

Ryan, I never drew first on a man in my life.

That's the only way to stay clean.

You play it by the rules.

Without the rules, you're nothing.

Bronson won't come alone.

I didn't figure he would.

You think he sent Dekker. He didn't.

Well, I don't know that. Do you?

I know Bronson.

Either way, it don't matter.

Good night, Ryan.

Let me go, Cotton.

Let me go.

What's the matter with you, Ryan?

Let me out of here!

You're through, Ryan.

Bronson's gonna walk you into the ground.

You're all through, Cottontail.

Calculate you got about 10 minutes, back shooter.

It'll take me 5 to get to Maddox, and Maddox 5 to get saddled.

I think he'd appreciate a little hunting.

Or I can gun you down trying to escape... in the back.

You won't be so... back shooter, anytime you want out... you just call.

Hold on, Crowe.

You look like you got your teeth set on edge, boy. Now move!

I didn't know nothing about Dekker.

You don't even interest me, Crowe.

Where's your horse?

Tied up behind the stables.

All right. Let's go.

Listen to me, Ryan.

I didn't know about Dekker. You ask him.

Well, Maddox called my name down in front of everybody.

I ain't afraid of him, Ryan.

You would be if you had brains enough to spit.

Well, I figure I'm faster than him.

Keep walking.

In every town Maddox has worked, the ground is full of men who were faster.

Yeah. Well, I really am. I aim to prove it, too.

It makes a great epitaph.

You may be faster.

You may even be better with a gun, but Maddox will kill you.

And that's a fact.

You'd be staring up at nothing before your gun even got clear.

I know what I'm talking about, Crowe.

You might not rate me very high, but I know men like Maddox.

You'd drive a man to hell, wouldn't you, Jered?

Hello, Lucas.

Whose day for choosing is it, Price or Adams?

You know this Adams?

I know him.

What kind is he?

I wouldn't know.

But I know what you're doing is wrong, Maddox.

You were wrong in San Acoma, and you're wrong here.

Not from where I stand.

You can't see from where you stand.

I didn't want to wake you.

Where were you?

Over at Vern's place.


Where are you going?

Go back to bed, Laura.

Where are you going, Hurd? I want to know.

Go back to bed, will you, please?

You're running, aren't you, Hurd?

Do you have to, Laura?

No, I don't have to.

Damn you!

Always got to push my face in it, don't you?

You and this god-cursed land.

Yes, I'm running!

Does that make you happier?

You said you'd give yourself up.

Well, that was before Harv was killed.

I'm talking about you, Hurd.

I don't care about Harvey Stenbaugh.

He doesn't make any difference.

Harv Stenbaugh was my friend.

You hated him.

You were frightened of him, and he never cared about anything unless it had the Bronson name to it.

You lying bitch!

You are a nobody, just a little nobody to them.

I owe Vince everything I've got.

You owe him what?

This piece of dirt that wouldn't grow wheat.

And what do you owe Harvey?

He kept you on your knees saying thank you.

Hurd, they just don't care.

But you do.


That's not what I see every time I look at you.

You know what I see?

I see, "you're not much, Hurd Price."

No, not a man, like all the men you've known.

I didn't mean that.

Yes, you did.

And maybe you're right.

Maybe that is what's in my face...

I don't think so.

I've tried, Hurd.

And I don't want to see you dead.

I can't go in alone, Laura.

The others won't go in now... not to surrender.

Here's Vern.

But Maddox promised nothing would happen to you.

What did you promise him?

I'll be back.

When you turn around, keep your arms straight out from the body.

I told you the next time I saw you, I'd kill you.

I knew nothing about Dekker.

So you said.

It's true.

I just wanted you to know.

You ride for Bronson?

Yeah, I ride for him.

Does he send you out to do his killing?

No. And he didn't send me out here this morning, neither.

You just took it upon yourself.

What for, a pat on the head?

You killed Harvey Stenbaugh.

You got a bad memory, son.

Stenbaugh had it in mind to kill me.

He didn't have a chance.

You don't even care, do you, Maddox?


No, I don't care.

You say he didn't have a chance.

He went for his gun first.

When he does that, he uses up all his chances.

Do I have to keep my arms up here... till I say different.

You liked Stenbaugh?

Well, then I'm sorry, Crowe, but he had a lot of chances.

He didn't have to come into town that morning.

He didn't have to cross the street and push it to a shooting.

He could've given himself up.

You wouldn't have done no different.

You're wrong.

I wouldn't put living down on cheap pride.

You can drop your arms.

Still planning on trying to kill me?

I don't know.

But I ain't afraid of you.

I never said you were.

Any fish in that stream?

Some natives and some bullheads.


I didn't come out here... having breakfast ain't gonna make us friends.

You got another line?

In the saddlebag.

Ryan thinks you're pretty good.

Says you could've killed me any time you wanted to.

I say different.

I think I'm faster.

You asking me who's faster or whether I could kill you if I chose to?

Because if it's the second, the answer is yes.

You're pretty damn sure.

I'm pretty damn sure.

You think it's a game, don't you?

A contest between gentlemen.

You ever kill a man, Crowe?

You're a cowman.

You carry a side-gun for protection.


You learn to use it sometimes fairly well.

Sometimes you become really good.

But you're still a cowman.

I'm a lawman.

You know what a lawman is, Crowe?

He's a killer of men.

That's what the job calls for.

There are nicer ways to put it, but it reads the same.

That's the difference between us, and it's all the difference I need.


Being fast don't count for much.

It's what you learn in the trade.

You read a man.

You believe me? About last night?

I don't think you'd trail a man so hard so early in the morning just to tell a lie.

If you're heading for Vernon Adams' place, better expect trouble.

He'll be waitin'.

Good morning, mayor.

'Morning, marshal.

Nice morning.

Just a minute, marshal.

He's left town.


He rode out this morning, I heard.

We wanna make sure he don't come back.

I just come from the minister and the church-going women.

Seems y'all got the same complaint... but none of you have any reason for me to post Maddox out of town.

I told you we were wasting our time.

He's running scared of Maddox.

What we need is some real vigilante talk.

Well, I heard you tried that once... then went scuttling back to your wives.

Maybe if you keep trying, you can find some brave man to shoot Maddox in the back.

Now I suggest you fine, upright gentlemen go about your business.

If you can't keep the dirt off the street, Ryan, we can... and we will.

You're all mouth, Luther, mouth and gut wind.

You won't do much more than scratch yourself.

Look, down there.

What is it, Vern?


What are you gonna do?

End it here.

You sure it's Maddox?

I'm sure.

He hasn't seen us, Vern.

We could get through the pass.

I said if he came after me, I'd kill him.

Jesus, wait!

Come on, come on!

Come on!

Over there!

Hold him still.

Bring 'em on up hold 'em steady.

7 unmarked, with the wolf creek bunch, Mr. Bronson.

Mark 'em.

Some'll be Adams'.

Cut out his brand and give 'em to him.

What do you mean, you don't know?

I just don't know.

You knew last night.

Oh, did I?

I can't figure you, Crowe.

You ain't scared of him, so what is it?

Well, maybe I just don't think it's the right way to do things.

Maybe... I don't think it's my fight.

I just don't know.

Maybe I don't think it should take 4 or 5 guns to go against one man.

He murdered Harvey.

I know what happened, Jace.

I was there, remember?

I thought we were friends.

We are... and I didn't say I wouldn't.

I just wanna think on it.

Well, you better think right... if you wanna ride for this brand.

Your run is over, mister.

Drop your rifle.

Now the side gun.

Walk ahead.

That's far enough. Turn around and sit.

You Price or Adams?


Keep one thing in mind, Adams.

Make it difficult, you're a dead man.

Let's go.

How did you know who I was?

I was in town when you brought in Corman's body.

And you thought you were better than him.

No, I didn't.

I didn't kill anybody that night, and I can't afford the time to go back and stand trial.

I got under 100 head and nobody but a woman and my old dog to hold down that place.

If I'm gone more than a week, I got nothing to come back to.

You have no right to take that from me.

Drop it.

I told you to drop it.

What do you want, Price?

I just come by to pay my respects, Vince.

When's the buryin'?


I'd appreciate it if I could attend.

You'll be welcome.

Can I stay, Vince?

J-just for the night, I mean.

You must excuse me.

She'll show you to your room.

Thanks, Vince.

When are you going after that Maddox?

When the dead are buried.

He needs killin'!

No man needs killing.

I was only thinking of Harv.

We're all thinking of Harv.

It took guns to get this land, guns to keep it, guns to make things grow.

The guns that pride called out... and each time, we buried the cost.

I'll see you, Price, at the buryin'.

I wouldn't think a few beef and a scrub ranch would be worth dying for, mister.

We're leaving.

O, omnipotent god... alone and unbending in thy heaven, accept with mercy into thy judgment this, thy child.

Molded from the cold shard and fired with a soul warmed in thy presence comes forth man, to struggle and move unbowed through this harsh world alone, to be tested by life... to be confused by passion... to be tempted and brought down by evil... to seek for the light that the soul knows and never turns away from, and then to return from whence he came... again, alone, to stand in awed finality before thy gaze and give account.

Such is man's destiny, and from the hardness comes forth a purity that soft men can never find.

Such a man was this, our brother, who now we bury here.



Now let us each man unto his own god pray.

And now let us sing unto the lord.

we should've gone together, Harv.


He's not here. I'm alone. He's run.

Got a prisoner here needs a bit of care.

Got a hole in him.

Vern, where's Hurd?

He's run free, Laura.

Can you get the bullet out?

Not if I want to kill him.

It'll have to be cut out through the back.

Oh, gosh!

We can put him in the bed.

He goes outside.

Get up.

He's hurt bad.

Someday I'll get a second chance at you, Maddox, and I won't miss.

Don't push it, Adams.

I've got some food warming.

How do you like the Price farm?

Over there we grow corn... for the weevils, and out in back, the potatoes fried black in the ground from the sun.

We do own a few head of stock to keep the borefly happy and the crows.

It's not much, but I guess it's more than you got, Jered.

You married to this Price fella?

No preachers and no flowers... but I'm his woman, Jered.

That food will be done now.

Does he have to stay out there all night?

He does.

You haven't changed much.

Not much.

I hear Canyon City's a ghost town.

Digging's dried up.

The "golden promise."

Well, it had a good run for its money.

Remember Bucky?

Where's Bucky now?

He's dead. Charlottesville.

Somebody named Yancey, I heard.

Buck tried to take him in, gave him too much edge, I guess.

And Joe Wilmot?

Him, too. Shot in the back.

Ben Tilson...

Luther Thompson...

Bill Chrysler... all gone.

Jack Horn will never walk again.

I'm sorry, Jered.

A lot of candles to light.

Can I... take something out to Vern?

Go ahead.

Get me something to cut loose from these irons and a gun if you've got one.

Please, Laura!

No, Vern, he'll kill you.

No, he'll go after Hurd next, maybe kill him.

Now, with a gun and him not expecting it, I could stop him.

Eat your food.

I'll get you another blanket.

Promise me that you won't try to kill Maddox, that you'll just go.

He'd come after me.

It turned colder. Can I take him another blanket?

Laura... thanks for supper.

Promise me, Vern, that you'll go.

Just go.

I got no more run in me.

If you get me a gun, I have more than a better chance to get him.

He'll check me again before he beds down.

He won't expect nothing.

You've got to!

I was gonna give it to him.

Do you want to know why I was gonna give him the gun?

He's hurt, he's a friend... there are a lot of reasons.

I wanted to because of you.

Because there's nothing soft in you, Jered, there's nothing forgiving.

Even this damn land doesn't hold a man down as hard as you do.

What made you change your mind?

It wouldn't make any difference.

You'd kill him or go after him, or he'd kill you.

I didn't want that.

The sword of Gideon.

How do you see yourself, Jered?

What are you asking, girl?

For me to let Adams go?

Forget about Price, Bronson and the rest?

Would that be so terrible?

You know I can't do that.

You hold the law too high.

You always did.

Would it really make any difference if just once... you can't play with it like that, Laura.

There is no "just once."

Next time it might be a friend... or money in your hand... or maybe you get scared... and then it becomes one more "just once."

Soon you don't know who you are.

You can't break the rules, Laura.

Oh... the rules...

I forgot about the rules.

You think they change the killing.

Because you never draw on a man first, you think that really matters?

Do you know what they call you, Jered?

"The widow-maker."

I have a harsh tongue, Jered Maddox, and then I'm always saying I'm sorry, and there's no use your being out there... wanting to be in here and... me in here wishing that you'd come to me.

oh, you took a damn long time... how did you get here?


This place, I mean.

After Canyon City, there was Tombstone.

Then I went north to Ellsworth.

That's where I met Hurd, and he brought me here.

Why do you stay?

I've used up too many places.

Besides, I owe Hurd.

He's kind and tender... when there's time to be kind and tender.

He left you here.

He's frightened.

Terrible thing, to be frightened, Jered.

You wouldn't know.

You don't leave a man like him much.

Come back with me.

Would you quit?

I've thought about it.

25 years and all you've got is a gun and not enough ground to throw over you.

Come back to Bannock.


I've always loved you, Jered.

But I would rather have this dead land and Hurd Price than the cold waiting that I'd have with you.

Do you still carry that whistle thing?

You mean the flute.

Do you?

In the saddlebag.

Play me something.

Any free land around here?

I asked you a question, mister.

Only high up.

South of the river there's some for the buying.

Good land?

Men like you don't buy land, Maddox.

You don't buy it, and you don't work it.

Want me to handle this myself, Mr. Bronson?


Find Crowe?


Rode out earlier with his stuff.

This locks in with you, Hurd.

You gonna ride with us?

A man's got to stand sometime!

I'll just get my things.

Get Price an animal!



Hyah! Hyah!

You need some breakfast.

I hear you might have trouble from the citizens.


Seems he's trying to throw a lot of sand.

What does a man like that want, Lucas?

A name.

He hungers for the name in bold, proud letters.

When Maddox comes back, you could have big trouble, Cotton.

If Maddox comes back.

He'll come back.

He might need help.

I tell you, Lucas, if I had somewhere to run to, I'd run.

But I don't, so I'll stand.

And the storekeeper and his friends?

I don't know.

You knew Maddox from before?

You never said.

From where?

Claremont, Canyon City, San Acoma.


Used to be.

And now?

There's been trouble between us.

I killed a man in San Acoma.

Maddox called it against me, posting me out of town.

He called it wrong, but... that's how it stayed.

Harris and his friends don't have the tail for gunplay.

Such a man was this, our brother Marc Corman, who now we bury here.



Better get him to a doctor.

Who is that woman?

Corman's widow.


Tell Moss and Cobden to meet at my store.

How? That's what I wanna know, Luther.

The next time he steps into the street.

You and Moss, upstairs.

Totts, Hersham, and me here in the store and out in the alley.

You mean cut him down, just like that?

Just like that.

Does that bother you?

We're not gunfighters.

We can't do it straight out.

It's not as if it was murder, him a killer and all.

More like a hangin'.

He's standing on the neck of this town, that's for damn sure.

What's the matter, Cobden?

I got no taste for it.

Ah. I had you down for a man.

You talk a big noise, Luther, but Maddox put water between your legs once before, and I think maybe the mold is set that way.


Be right out.

Doc says Adams can't travel for a few days.

He's busted up inside.

When he gets better... let him go.

Tell him he can go back to his land.

The others, too.

Tell him it's finished.

I'm pulling out.


What happened out there?

Nothing happened.

A man like you doesn't let go that easy, not for no reason.

I guess I just looked around me.

Anyway, soon there'll be no more towns like Bannock, towns that need a gun like mine.

I guess yours is the right way, Cotton.

Sit out the years. Find a nice, quiet town, one that pays a better house toll.

Don't do it my way, Maddox.

Quit clean.

Buy you a drink?

No, thanks.

Bronson just rode into town.

There's 4 of 'em.

Who's he with?

His son Jason, Choctaw Lee, and Hurd Price.

I'd say you bought more than you can chew this time.

You figure you've got a say in this?

I wouldn't want to see you get it in the back.

We've done... too many towns.

You don't owe me, Lucas.

Well, let's say I need the action.

You and I sit at the same table, Jered.

The virtuous need us, but, hah!

They don't like the smell.


Damn fools!

I'll go out and talk to them.

Leave it be.

A man gets caught in his own doing.

You can't change what you are, and if you try, something always calls you back.


I can't.

I got no stomach for that kind of shootin' anymore.

Which one is Hurd Price?

The one on the end, next to the old man.

Watch Lee, on your right.

He's the gun hand.


Please let me talk to 'em, Maddox.

Jason and me were never in Bannock.

We went to Abilene.

Hear me out.

Jason and me are friends.

I'll kill you if I have to, Maddox!

No need to, son.



Oh! Ow...

there's been enough.

He's going.

He killed Harvey.

You can't let him go!


It's over, Jason.

I don't crawl.

He'll kill you.

Get your hands off of me!

I'm not afraid of him!

Harvey would walk fire for you.

He's my son, Maddox.

Don't beg him!


Ohh... ohh... ohh...