Little Big Man (1970) Script

I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers.

My name is Jack Crabb.

And I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn... uh... uh... popularly knowed as Custer's Last Stand.

Well...

Mr. Crabb, I'm more interested in the primitive lifestyle of the Plains Indian than I am in the...

Tall tales about Custer.

Tall tales?!

Are you calling me a liar?

No, no... Huh?

No, it's just that...

I'm interested in the way of life of the Indian rather than, shall we say, adventure.

You think the Battle of Little Big Horn was... was a...

Was an adventure?

Oh, shit.

Little Big Horn was not representative of... encounters between Whites and Indians, Mr. Crabb.

You see the... near genocide of the Indian...

The... the... the near what?!

Near genocide.

It means: "extermination;

the killing off of an entire people."

That's practically what we did to the Indian.

But of course, I wouldn't expect an old Indian fighter like you to agree with me.

Turn that thing on.

I beg your pardon?

I said, turn that thing on and shut up.

Now you just set there, and you'll learn something.

I knowed General George Armstrong Custer for what he was.

And I also knowed the Indians... for what they was.

111 years ago, when I was ten years old, my family... in crossin' the Great Plains... was wiped out by a band of wild Indians.


Everybody was killed or drug off by them murderin' varmints, except me and my sister Caroline.


Good-bye, Jack.

I'll see you in Heaven.

Good-bye, Caroline.


We didn't know the difference then, but it was a band of Pawnee what attacked us before.

I ain't had no use for Pawnee ever since.

But this one wasn't a Pawnee.

He was a Cheyenne brave.

I later got to know him well.

His name was Shadow That Comes In Sight.


At first sight of an Indian camp, what you think is, "I see their dump, where's the camp?"

He brought us to their chief.

His name was Old Lodge Skins, who later become my granddaddy.

What do they want, Caroline?

It's as plain as day what they want, Jack.

What?

Me.

To show good manners, Old Lodge Skins smoked with our oldest male survivor.


They didn't know I was a woman.

That explains why they didn't rape me right off.

I don't think they're gonna bother you, Caroline.

No such luck, Jack.

They'll get me tonight, for sure.

Poor Caroline never did have no luck with men.


I reckoned she figured we both couldn't get away, and she'd send help back to rescue me.

Next morning, I found myself in that Indian camp all alone.

But the Cheyenne, who call themselves the "Human Beings," had no idea to hurt me.

I was an honored guest, and they gave me a real treat for breakfast: Boiled dog.

Dog ain't bad, neither.

Now dog is greasy, I'll admit, but you'd be surprised how downright delicate the flavor is, especially when you're starving.

You see, the Human Beings adopted me as one of their own.

Shadow That Comes In Sight taught me the bow and arrow and how to stalk game.

Burns Red In The Sun showed me how to protect my pale skin from sunburn.

It's a little known fact that some Indians, like Burns Red will sunburn their own selves.

But my real teacher was my adopted grandpa, Old Lodge Skins.

He taught me to read a trail, the Cheyenne language, and lots of other things.

For a boy, it was a kind of paradise.

I wasn't just playing Indian, I was living Indian.

♪ Whoo! ♪

♪ Whoo! ♪

Only one thing bothered me.

I was small for my years.

In fact, a durn near runt.

The Pawnee stole seven of our ponies.

There's gonna be a war party.

But you can't go.

You're too little and weak like a girl.

Run away now or I'll kick you.

The Indians had never heard of fistfightin; and it plum amazed 'em.

How did you do that?

I'm sorry, Younger Bear.

I didn't mean to hurt you.

The Indian way... you should never feel sorry about beating an enemy unless having conquered his body, you want his spirit as well.

I had made the first real enemy of my life.

There once was a Human Being, and he was very small, but he won a name:

Little Man.

You've heard of him.

No, Grandfather.

He went on a war party against the Pawnees.

But the Pawnees were many.

One by one, the Human Beings were rubbed out.

Little Man was very brave.

The Pawnees called out to him, "If you will quit fighting, we will let you go."

But Little Man answered, "It's a good day to die."

Finally, they cut off his head.

But he kept fighting without his head.

He rode among the Pawnees like a whirlwind.

And his head... it was stuck on a spear... started to shout the war cry.

The Pawnees could take no more, and they ran away.

When they looked back, they saw the body of Little Man lie down among his friends.

Little Man was small, but his bravery was big.


The Human Beings don't require a boy to be a warrior if he ain't got the temperament for it, and Little Horse didn't.

If he wanted to stay behind with the women that was all right with the Human Beings.


We will leave the ponies here.

You two will hold them.

No! I don't want to stay here.

I want to go to the Pawnee camp.


You!

You aren't even a Human Being!

You're white.

He didn't believe it himself.

Younger Bear was just trying to hand me the worst possible insult.


Little white man.

Fool poor Pawnee.

Big fooling.

You want to eat?

Shit, Pawnees was always sucking up to whites.

Little white man not mad, huh?

See? Pawnee friend.

See?!

Fixes bad Injun for little white man.

I always felt kind of bad about that poor Pawnee.

I didn't mean to kill him.

I just meant to distract him.

I had made a real enemy of Younger Bear.

I give you these ponies... but...

I owe you a life.

Saving his life was the final insult.

This boy is no longer a boy.

He's a brave.

He is little in body, but his heart is big.

His name shall be "Little Big Man."


I don't understand it, Grandfather.

Why would they kill women and children?

Because they are strange.

They do not seem to know where the center of the Earth is.


We must have a war on these cowards and teach them a lesson.


This will be the first time, my son, I face the whites as an enemy.

I don't know whether you remember before you became a Human Being, and as dear a son to me as those I made with Buffalo Wallow Woman and the others...

But I won't speak of that unfortunate time.

I just want to say, if you believe riding against these white creatures is bad, you can stay out of the fight.

No one will think the worse.

Grandfather, I think it's a good day to die.

My heart soars like a hawk.

Idm sorry to say that Old Lodge Skins' war against the whites was kind of pitiful.

Not that the Human Being wasn't brave.

No warrior ever walked the earth more brave than a Human Being.

Old Lodge Skins' idea of war and the whites' idea of war were kind of different.

Half our party didn't even use weapons.

What they done was "take coup," hit the enemy with a little stick.

Humiliate them.

That was how the Human Beings taught a coward a lesson and won a war.

Shadow!

Look at 'em go!

We got 'em runnin', boys!

Go get that black bastard!

Shooting rifles against bow and arrow.

I never could understand how the white world could be so proud of winning with them kind of odds.

God bless George Washington!

Before I knowed it, them words just popped out of my mouth.

God bless my mother!

You murdering fool!

Got to cut your throat to get it through your head I'm a white man.

White?!

Sure I'm white.

Didn't you hear me say

"God bless George Washington"?

"God bless my mother"?

I mean, now, what kind of Indian would say a fool thing like that?

Lend me that to get off this paint.

Yeah.

The troopers took me under their wing and turned me over to the Reverend Silas Pendrake for moral guidance and a Christian upbringing.

Can you drive a buggy, boy?

Oh, yes, sir.

Right good.

You're a liar, boy.

If you was reared by the Indians how could you learn to drive a buggy?

We shall have to beat the lying out of you.

Oh, dear Jack.

Welcome to your new home.

Your travail is over, enfolded now as you are in Christian love.

Well, boy, are you unable to converse?

Huh?

No, I'm glad to meet your daughter, sir.

You are addressing my wife, boy.

Poor boy.

Poor darling.

Think of the years of suffering, deprivation and hardship among those awful savages.

The boy's deprivation, my dear, has been more spiritual than physical.

The Indians know nothing of God and moral right.

They eat human flesh, fornicate, adulterize, misogynize and commune constantly with minions of the Devil.

It must be our task, nay, our Christian duty, to beat the misery out...

Beat the poor boy?

Not while there's a breath left in my body.

I could have kissed her.

Well, I didn't mean beat him literally, my dear.

I meant to beat him symbolically.

Poor boy.

He hasn't even had a proper bath.

His darling neck is so...

I detect the odor of food.

I shall wash this poor, dirty boy.

It's suppertime!

Silas, it is my Christian duty to give this boy an immediate, thorough bath.

Take off your clothes, dear.

Take my clothes off?

Yes.

All... All of them?

E-Every stitch.

But I shall avert my eyes at the necessary moment.

♪ Bringing in ♪

♪ The sheaves ♪

♪ Bringing in the sheaves ♪

♪ We shall come rejoicing, ♪

♪ Bringing in the sheaves. ♪ Greatest bath I ever had in my life.

♪ Shall we gather at the river ♪

♪ The beautiful, the beautiful river? ♪

You do realize, don't you, dear Jack, that the Reverend Pendrake is not altogether wrong.

What?

What, ma'am?

Well, Jesus is your savior.

You do realize that, don't you, dear Jack?

Oh, Lordy, yes, Mrs. Pendrake.

Are you thinking of Jesus, Jack?

Yes'm. Yes, ma'am.

Yes, ma'am.

But you musn't fib to me, you know.

Oh, no, I love Jesus and Moses and all of them...

There's quite a difference.

Moses was a Hebrew, but Jesus was a gentile, like you and me.

Ain't you done washing that boy yet?

I'm giving the child important religious instruction, Silas.

I want to eat!

Looks like a pretty well-growed child, if you ask me.

All right now, dear, please stand up and let me dry you off.

I shall avert my eyes, of course.

Fine... now step out of the tub... and...

Actually, you are rather well grown, Jack.

You're small but... nice-looking.

Did you know that?

No, ma'am.

Well, you are.

All the more reason for you to receive complete religious instruction.

The girls, I'm sure, will all be after you.

And Jack...

Ma'am?

That way lies madness.

What way, ma'am?

You, you'll understand these things better when you're older.

The point is, my dear boy that we all must resist temptation.

Purity is its own reward.

Dear Jack.


Welcome to your new home.

Now dress... and come in to supper.

I went to school and learned all over how to read and write and cipher.

It was strange at first, but Mrs. Pendrake tutored me, and I learned fast.

But there was one thing I didn't know nothing about, and that was a thing called sin.

Aha! I caught you at the gates of hell!

Boy!

The hand of God must smite the carcass of man!

It's worth it, dear, Jack.

It's worth it a million times over to be pure and good.

To walk in the paths of righteousness.

There's no happiness like it.

Do you believe me, Jack?

Do you believe me?

Yes, ma'am.

I sure do.

♪ Amazing grace, how sweet... ♪ So it was I entered my religion period.

I was a great little hymn singer.

And I wasn't fooling, neither.

I'd been saved!

I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Oh, Lord, look down upon this poor boy who lived among the heathen, and cleanse him of the corruption of their foul and pagan ways.

And make him white again as the snow.

Let him be reborn and repurified in Thy name.

I baptize you in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit!

Amen.

Mrs. Pendrake was right about temptation.

Jack...

I wasn't having nothing to do with them Jezebels.

I told her all about my triumph over temptation, and we read the Bible for about an hour, to celebrate.

As the weeks went by, I fell more and more in love with Mrs. Pendrake.

Spiritually, of course.

Well...

I shall be off on my Wednesday shopping.

The boy's doing so poor these days, why don't you take him along and air him?

He'd be bored with shopping.

No, I wouldn't, ma'am.

All right, then, you come with me, Jack.

Good morning, Mr. Kane.

Ma'am.

This is Jack, my adopted son.

What's your pleasure, ma'am?

Well, let's see...

I think I shall have a sassafras flip.

How about you, buster?

Huh?

Oh, yeah, I'll have the same.

Never mind for me, Mr. Kane.

I must be off with my shopping.

It would bore you terribly, Jack, dear.

You stay here and have some cake.

I'll take care of him, Mrs. Pendrake.

Thank you very much, I'm sure, Mr. Kane.


That soda shop was something.

Especially that elephant-head spigot.

I was playing with it, and enjoying myself, then, all of a sudden, an awful feeling run through me.

Where had that fellow gone to?

Don't...

Don't...

No, don't...

Oh, yeah...

No, don't!

You beast...

Do-Don't...

Pagan beast! Oh!

Help!

Oh, oh, you devil!

You filthy, dirty devil!

Heathen!

Yes! No!

Ye... Ye... Ye...

Oh! Yeah, yeah...

Yeah, yeah...

No... Help! Help! Help! I'm dying...

She was calling him a devil and moaning for help, but I didn't get no idea she wanted to be rescued.

That was the end of my religion period.

I ain't sung a hymn in 104 years.

After starving awhile, I took up with a swindler.

Name of Allardyce T. Meriweather.

After Mrs. Pendrake, his honesty was downright refreshing.

At no cost to you, it is my mission to pass on to you Dead Man's Potion...

Meriweather was one of the smartest men I ever knowed.

But he tended to lose parts of himself.

When I joined him, his left hand and his left ear were already gone.

...might be able to see a miracle, one I have witnessed many times before.

The power of this elixir has been proven to reverse men's ills...

It'll cure your sores and...

During my years with Meriweather, he lost an eye as a result of a fifth ace dropping out of his sleeve in a poker game.

It didn't faze him, though.

Deception was his life's blood, even if it caused him to get whittled down kind of gradual-like.

Thank you.

You're improving, Jack.

You just can't seem to get rid of that streak of honesty in you.

The one that ruined you was that damned Indian, old Tepee.

You mean Old Lodge Skins.

He gave you a vision of moral order in the universe, and there isn't any.

Those stars twinkle in a void, there, boy, and the two-legged creature schemes and dreams beneath them, all in vain.

All in vain, Jack.

You hear anything?

Listen to me!

Two-legged creature will believe anything, and the more preposterous, the better.

Whales speak French at the bottom of the sea.

The horses of Arabia have silver wings.

Pygmies mate with elephants in darkest Africa.

I have sold all those propositions.

Or maybe we're all fools, and none of it matters.

Ah.

You stay with Allardyce Meriweather, and you'll wear silk.

But I don't know as I want to wear silk.

My dear boy, what else can a man of parts wear than silk?

Tar and feathers, I reckon!

All right.

Sit right there.

Don't make no moves unless you want a little daylight in your liver.

What, may I ask, brings you out into the wilds at this hour, sir?

Is them the ones? That's them.

I see'd this young 'un somewhere before.

I never been in this country.

You look mighty familiar, bub.

Oh! Sir!

What's you got in there? Lye?

Well, sir, now you can hardly expect me to reveal its constituents.

Sir, please, you're... you know you're-you're wasting precious medicine.

Seven folks are half dead because of this precious medicine.

What's in it?

Why, nothing harmful, I assure you.

What?!

Mostly water.

Whiskey, a little pepper, oil of cloves, um, um...

...ginger root...

Whew!

Ugh, what's that?

What's what?

Oh, that.

It's a dozen snake heads to give it strength.

All right, boys!

Let's burn them feathers.

Yee-ha!

Got caught, Jack, that's all.

Life contains a particle of risk.

Mr. Meriweather, you don't know when you're licked.

Licked?

I'm not licked.

I'm tarred and feathered, that's all.

All right, boys.

I reckon they've been run enough.

I know I see'd you somewhere.

What's your name, son?

Jack Crabb.

Lord above!

I've tarred and feathered my own brother!

It's wonderful, Jack.

I can give you something you never had before.

And something I never had before neither.

A real... family life.

Yeah.

You are back in the bosom of your family, Jack.

Okay, now you.

Caroline, I mean, I don't...

I don't know anything about guns.

I mean, I never even carried none.

Whoa.

Lord, what kind of upbringing did them Injuns give you?

Never carried no gun?

Why, a man ain't complete without a gun.

Go snake-eyed.

Do what?

Like this...

Like this!

All right.

Now, draw and shoot that bottle, before you touch the gun.

But Caroline, how can I draw and shoot the gun before I touch it?

Concentrate. Try it.

Oh!

Hot damn!

Yeah.

Caroline was right.

It is possible to shoot a gun before you touch it.

Of course, it takes lightning reflexes, and considerable snake-eyed concentration.

Throw up three.

Why, Hickok hisself can't hit three.

Throw up three.

Natural born gunfighter.

So it was I entered my gunfighter period.


You're crowding me.

Oh, Kid... I didn't s-see you; I'm sorry.

It's stupid of me to take up all the room.

I was just talking here.

Set me up with a sody-pop.

Yes, sir.

Right away, Kid.

The Soda Pop Kid, that's what they called me.

Sody-pop, he wants.

Anything wrong with that, stranger?

Oh, not a thing, friend.

In fact, I admire the style of it.

Might I ask who I are addressing?

I'm Wild Bill Hickok.

Well, I'm...

I'm pleased to meet you, I'm sure.

The pleasure's mutual, friend.

Bring your soda pop over here and sit for a while.


I can break three bottles throwed in the air.

That's shootin'.

How many men have you... gunned down?

I don't rightly recollect.

How many have you?

Oh, about... two dozen.

Is that a fact?

No, it wasn't a fact at all.

During my gunfighter period, I was an awful liar.

I wouldn't have estimated your total that high.

No offense intended, old Hoss, but you don't have the look of murder in your eye.

Like, for example, that buzzard over there.

Him?

Well, he's just a common drunk.


What you so nervous about?

Gettin' shot.

I got a full house!

I got a...

I got a full house.

Now you got me doing it.

Sorry.

Hold the fort a while, old horse, while I get another bottle.


Did you know the man, Bill?

Never saw the gent before.

Mr. Hickok, that man is really dead.

Got him through the lungs and heart both.

Selling your gunfighter outfit.

Turning in your gun.

Well, I'm sorry, Caroline...

There ain't nothin' in this world more useless than a gunfighter who can't shoot people.

Men!

Hyah-ha!

There went the bosom of my family.

Having tried religion, the snake oil business, and gunfightin; without no great amount of success, I took me a partner, become a respectable storekeeper, and married Olga, a Swedish girl who couldn't hardly speak no English.

Preserve the moment.

Yes.

Olga, shall I carry you over the threshold?

Ja.

It-it... it's a custom.

Ja.

Well, it ain't much now, Olga, but me and my partner, we got... we got big plans.

Free enterprise and honest sweat.

Ja. Ja.

I don't understand this bill of lading.

It looks like I'm being charged twice for the same goods.

Ja, the bills of the store.

It must be a bookkeeping error.

Honest Jack Applebaum wouldn't do that to me.

Ja, enough the bills.

Come and get some rest.

I must be making the mistake.

Ja!

The rest.

The body.

You needs it.

Yeah.

Maybe I do.


Rest!


Olga... Olga, come on.

We'll get out of this somehow.

One little thing about my new business partner... he was a thief.

25 cents for this musical instrument.

This glorious musical instrument this glorious musical instrument that I present to you now.

I want you to take a look at this beautiful musical instrument.

Who will take this beautiful instrument? Who will take it?

That is a pathetic scene.

Yes, sir.

A ruined and desolate family wiped out by economic misfortune.

I find it touching. SOLDIER: Yes, sir.

I'll never forget the first time I set eyes on General George Armstrong Custer.

OLGA: Ruined! That what we is, Jack!

Ruined!

Do you have another trade, my good man?

Well, General, I... not exactly.

Then take my advice: Go west.

West! Oh! Oh!

My wife, she... she's awful scared of Indians.

My dear woman, you have nothing to fear from the Indians; I give you my personal guarantee.

Olga! Olga!

Hit him! Hit him!

Sorry, brother.

I think we're going to get away!

...with this derringer! I got a gun! Let me at 'em!

Let me at 'em! Let me at 'em!

I got a gun here!

We must be civilized!

Hey! Hey!

"And it came to pass, after the plague, "that the Lord stayed, and then He said..."

JACK: Grab the reins! Grab the reins!

Shoot him!

Give me... give me that shotgun!

No, it's mine!


Get back in! Get back!

I'll protect you!

Olga!

Olga!

Ow!

Olga...

I covered most of three states and hundreds of square miles looking for Olga, with no luck at all.

Hey, Crabb!

Whiskey...

Crabb!

Whiskey... Whiskey...

For a drink of whiskey, they'll give you one of their squaws.

Whiskey...

Sure save you a lot of looking.

Whiskey... Whiskey...

Whiskey...

I looked everywhere for my wife but couldn't find her.

Finally, I had to go deeper into Cheyenne country.

I didn't figure for me it was dangerous... speaking Cheyenne and having once been a Human Being myself.

Let's kill him.

I didn't steal your father's ponies, brother.

Why do you keep calling me brother?

I want you to stop doing that.

I am not your brother.

I am a Human Being.

I suppose you will say you have never heard of Little Big Man.

Little Big Man was my brother, but you're not him.

He fought beside me in battle and was killed after rubbing out many bluecoats.

Did you see the body?

No, he turned into a swallow and flew away.

Let's kill him and go home.

Shadow! You were shot there.

I picked you up and put you on a pony.

I saved you.

Dirt on the Nose.

Do you still have the black pony I gave you up at the Powder River?

No, the Pawnee stole him, when we camp at the Old Women Butte, five snows ago.

It is true there is a thing here I do not understand.

There is a pain between my ears.


My son.

To see you again causes my heart to soar like a hawk.

Sit here beside me.

Grandfather, I brought you this present.

Is this the hat I used to own, except grown softer of skin and fatter?

No, Grandfather, it's another.

We must smoke to your return.

I saw you in a dream.

You were drinking from a spring that came from the long nose of an animal.

I did not recognize the animal.

Alongside his nose, he grew two horns, and the water that gushed from his nose was full of air.

I can't explain it, but he was talking about that elephant-head spigot in the soda shop.

And this wasn't the only time Old Lodge Skins had dreams that turned out true.

Don't be angry, my son, with Burns Red, Shadow, and the others.

They had many a bad experience with the white man last year.

I have thought and talked and smoked on this matter and my decision is...

Little Big Man has returned.

It was quite a homecoming.

Little Big Man.

It was Little Horse, the boy who didn't want to fight the Pawnee.

Don't you remember me?

This hurts me in my heart.

I think I'll cry.

He'd become a Heemanah, for which there ain't no English word.

And he was a good one, too.

The Human Beings thought a lot of him.


Hello, Younger Bear.

Good-bye.

It was the boy whose life I had saved, to his mortal embarrassment.

Did you catch rabbits on your hunting trip?

No.

Then don't give the rabbits you didn't catch to Buffalo Wallow Woman.

You see, Younger Bear had become a Contrary, the most dangerous of all Cheyenne warriors because the way they live drives them half crazy.

Except for battle, a Contrary does everything backwards.

He says good-bye when he means hello, yes when he means no, walks through bushes instead of on trails, and washes with dirt, and dries with water and so forth.

I thought you were dead.

Why have you come back when nobody wants to see you?

You mustn't speak to Little Big Man like that.

You owe him a life.

I'm glad I said it. Hello.

That was supposed to mean he was sorry he said it, good-bye.

But that warrior wasn't sorry. He hated me still.

Grandfather, I have a white wife.

You do?

That's interesting.

Does she cook and does she work hard?

Oh, yes, Grandfather.

That surprises me.

Does she show pleasant enthusiasm when you mount her?

Well, sure, Grandfather.

That surprises me even more.

I tried one of them once but she didn't show any enthusiasm at all.

Well, Grandfather, all the whites aren't crazy.

I'm glad to hear that, my son.

I thought they were.

Oh, no.

I know of one who is as brave as any Human Being.

I'd like to meet this man and smoke with him.

What is he called?

He's called General Custer.

General Custer.

What does the name mean, my son?

Well, it, it means... long hair.

Good name.

How did he win it?

He won it in the war of the whites to free the black men.

Oh, yes.

The black white man.

I know of them.

It is said a black white man once became a Human Being.

But mostly they are strange creatures.

Not as ugly as the white, true, but they're just as crazy.

Don't worry, my son.

You'll return to the Human Beings.

I dreamed it last night.

I saw you and your wives as you crawled from one to the other in your tepee.

Wives, Grandfather?

Oh, yes.

Three or four.

It was dark and they were hidden under buffalo robes.

But it was a great copulation, my son.

Grandfather, the Human Beings only take one wife.

How could I have three or four?

I don't know.

It worries me.


I was sure I'd never see him again.

Sir, I expect being a scout is the best way for me to find my wife, General.

She was captured by the Cheyenne due to our going west, just like you advised.

CUSTER: I advised? That's impossible.

I've never set eyes on you before.

Oh, I wouldn't figure you'd remember me, sir.

Furthermore, you don't look like a scout to me.

Not a bit.

A scout has a certain appearance.

Kit Carson, for example.

But you don't have it.

You look like... a mule skinner.

Well, I don't know anything about mules, sir.

It's a remarkable thing, but I can tell the occupation of a man merely by looking at him.

Notice the bandy legs.

Hmm?

Strong arms.

This man has spent years with mules.

Isn't that correct?

Well, I...

Yes, sir.

Hire the mule skinner!

Yes, sir.

Over here.

Come on.

Did you just hear what he said?

Supposed to hire you.

I wouldn't want no wife of mine back after she'd been with the Injuns.

Kindest thing, a bullet in the brain.

Well, I don't agree.

And I want my wife back.

Well... one of the Pawnee located a band of the vermin camped down the river.

We ride in the morning!

Is-Is there, is there any white women with them?

Now my advice to you is to get yourself a little revenge on them bucks.

All right.

Spare the females and children, if possible.

Let's go.

Not the women! No!

No!

Hey!

No!

Hey!

He said spare the women and children!

Give me that!

Let go of my rifle!

The hell I will.

You've killed the women and babies!

You bastard! You son of a bitch!

Let go of my horse!

Call 'em back! Call 'em back!

You'll hang for this!


It was downright discouraging.

If it wasn't the Indians trying to kill me for a white, it was the whites trying to kill me for an Indian.

It made me sick.

The Pawnee scouts and soldiers both was killing everything in sight.

Shadow!

Brother, let's talk.


You'll be took care of later.

I'm saving you for the hanging.

There's no describing how I felt.

An enemy had saved my life by the violent murder of one of my best friends.

The world was too ridiculous even to bother to live in it.


That was why Shadow was there, and that was why he'd fought so hard.

I sat there and watched that baby come into this world.

Except for her breathing, that woman never made a sound.

If woman she was.

She didn't look more than a girl.

I couldn't take my eyes off of that girl and her baby.

All right, let's get the hell out.

Let the Pawnee clean up.

Bugler, assemble our troop!

Listen to me.

If you are kin to Shadow... then you know of Little Big Man.

I was a friend of the Human Beings until they stole my wife.

Are you Shadow's wife?

His daughter?

Where is your husband?

Killed.

What's your name?

Sunshine.

I'm going to take you with me... and trade you for my wife.

Clear them bushes, Younger.

Move on. Nobody here.

Let's get the hell out.


Wait here, woman.

Hello, Grandfather.

Greetings, my son.

Do you want to eat?

Grandfather?

What happened to your neck, Grandfather?

It's a wound.

It cut the tunnel through which light travels to the heart.

You... you mean you're blind?

Oh, no.

My eyes still see.

But my heart no longer receives it.

How did it happen?

White man.

Where's Buffalo Wallow Woman?

Rubbed out.

And White Elk Woman, too.

And Dirt on the Nose.

And High Wolf.

And many others.

And Burns Red?

Yes.

Burns Red in the Sun?

Rubbed out.

His wife... his children... and many more.

Do you hate them?

Do you hate the white man now?

Do you see this fine thing?

Do you admire the humanity of it?

Because the Human Beings, my son, they believe everything is alive.

Not only man and animals, but also water, earth, stone, and also the things from them, like that hair.

The man from whom this hair came, he's bald on the other side because I now own his scalp.

That is the way things are.

But the white men, they believe everything is dead:

Stone, earth, animals, and people.

Even their own people.

If things keep trying to live, white man will rub them out.

That is the difference.

You will stay with us... my son.

A year later, I was still with 'em.

After wandering all over, in constant danger of being killed by white settlers or white soldiers, we come to a place knowed as the Indian Nations.

It was a tract of land by the Washita River that had been gived forever to the Indians by the Congress and the President of the United States.

We was safe there.

This was Indian land.

As long as grass growed and wind blow and the sky is blue.

Your new son's kicking a lot today.

I think he wants to come out and see his father.

Tell him to wait until I finish my dinner.

I'll tell him, but I don't think he's going to wait much longer.

It's a good thing I have a strong, brave husband who brings in so much game and food.

Mm-hmm.

My strong husband brings in much more than we need.

There are many Human Beings here.

Many bands from many places.

But it's sad.

Many husbands have been rubbed out by the white man.

It is sad because women sleep alone and cry.

Be quiet now.

I'm digesting.

Yes, but I think my sisters are here.

Your what?!

My sisters.

Digging Bear, Little Elk and Corn Woman.

I think they're here.

What do you mean, you think they're here?

I believe they are.

You bring in much more food than we need.

It is very sad.

They have no husbands and they cry.

Well, that's too bad; I'm sorry.

Digging Bear had a baby and lost it.

And so did Corn Woman.

But Little Elk had no baby at all.

All right, what do you want me to do about it?

I knew you'd understand.


It was Old Lodge Skins' dream trying to come true.

I was determined to stay out of them buffalo robes.

Three young and healthy women with no man for who knows how long. Mmm.

The very idea kind of shrunk me like a spider on a hot stove.

Why, it's Little Big Man!

Oh, Little Big Man!

Younger Bear, it's Little Big Man!

He's not a Contrary anymore.

He has a wife.

She's plump, she works hard, but she henpecks him.

Just when I think you are dead, and the buzzards have eaten you, you always come back.

Yes, and I always will till you pay me the life you owe me.

I've heard you.

Now, come to my tepee and eat.

We was caught in Cheyenne hospitality.

I'm a very important man.

More important than you.

I have a wife and four horses.

I have a horse and... four wives.

Well, that may be.

But... my wife, she's a very good one.

See?

Oh, so there you are, you crawling coyote.

What are we going to eat, huh?

This starved duck?

Oh...

Oh, who's the foolish beggar you brought to steal what little food we have?

Clean it, clean it!

Ooh!

It was Olga.

I had found her at last.

One duck.

Olga never did learn much English but she sure in hell had learned Cheyenne.

I, I, I just don't understand it.

Usually, this woman is... gentle as a dove.

My words were not the words to speak to a stranger.

You stay and eat.

You see what a good wife she is?

It's because I'm a wonderful lover.

Go in my tepee.

She will cook this duck for you.

That's all right; I'm not hungry.

You've humiliated him again.

Good-bye, Younger Bear.

You look tired, Little Big Man.

Do you want to come into my tepee and rest on soft furs?

Why don't you live with me, and I'll be your wife?

Thank you for inviting me.

Well, I've got to fix my hair to sing tonight.

Good-bye, Little Big Man.

Good-bye, Little Horse.

And so I finally found Olga.

I'd lost her long ago to the Human Beings, and I saw no good reason to reveal myself to her now.

Grandfather!

Why have you moved your tepee so far from our band?

The ponies are trying to tell me something.

Last night I had a dream.

The ponies were dying.

I heard them scream.

I'd leamed to respect Old Lodge Skins' dreams, but for once, we were in a safe place, give to us by a treaty.


Why do you hate my sisters?

I don't hate your sisters, I...

It... it's just that... the Great Spirit...

tells me...

Where are you going?

Your son won't wait any longer.

He wants to come out and see his father.

Sunshine, Indian style, was going off to have her baby.

As I watched her walk away, it come over me that the Great Spirit wanted me to go in that tepee.


Who's this here?

It's me.

Well, I... guess you'll do as well as any.

I figured she was the littlest one, and it would be easy.

But Lord help us, them young girls is deadly.

However, the Great Spirit was with me... and I survived.

Only thing was, just as I was about to drift off real peaceful...

No, you stay.

Not yet.

Maybe I can get back later.

Idle boasting, I assure you.

Who's this here?

It's me, Digging Bear.

Well, she wasn't called Digging Bear for nothing, I can tell you that.

Stay here.

Corn Woman's too tired.

Oh.

She don't sound tired to me.

That's not her.

That's Little Elk.

That's both of them.

Little Elk, you go on to sleep.

You, too.

Digging Bear!

Corn Woman, where are you?

I was lucky I come across her last.

The others, too?

Yes.

I knew you were a good man.

Here's your new son.

I reckon right then I come pretty close to turning pure Indian, and I probably would have spent the rest of my days with Sunshine and her sisters.

But sometimes grass don't grow, wind don't blow...

...and the sky ain't blue.

Something's wrong with the ponies.

Wolves.

Grandfather's d... Here!

Go inside.

Don't leave the tepee.

Grandfather, what's wrong with the ponies?

Don't you hear that, my son?


I wonder why I didn't see them in my dream.

Sunshine! Sunshine!


Grandfather, you've got to get inside.

Why bother, son?

It's a good day to die.

We've got to get to the riverbank!

I am blind. I cannot fight.

But I won't run.

If it's my day to die, I want to do it here within a circle.

Grandfather... the river is part of the great circle of the waters of the Earth.

That's true, but the soldiers will kill us before we could get to the river.

The sol...?

Grandfather, you didn't see any soldiers in your dream, and-and that means that... that they can't see you now.

You think so?

Yes, yes.

What else did your dream mean?

I think you're right.

Then let's go to the great circle of the river!

Invisible!

I never been invisible before.

It's too late.

We're cut off.

It doesn't matter.

We're invisible.

Grandfather, wait!

Grandfather!

I know it sounds ridiculous but them soldiers never lifted a hand to stop us.

I reckon it was so crazy, they couldn't figure it out.

Or maybe they thought we was prisoners or even friendlies, since Old Lodge Skins was grinning at them like a raccoon.

Or maybe we really was invisible.

All I knowed is we walked right through 'em to the river.


Circle the camp! Circle the camp, boys!

That was extremely enjoyable.

Glad you liked it, Grandfather.

Captain!

Captain... shoot the Indian ponies.

I beg your pardon, sir?

That is my decision.

I shall shoot the ponies. But, sir!

Sunshine... Go and do it!

Yes, sir.

Young man, your self-righteous piety is commencing to annoy me.

But I-I didn't say anything, sir.

You think it's shocking to shoot a few ponies?

Well, let me tell you, the women are far more important than the ponies.

The point is, they breed like rats, however, Lieutenant, this is a legal action.

And the men are under strict orders not to shoot the women.

Unless, of course, they refuse to surrender.

Isn't that correct?!

Yes, sir, yes, sir.


Sunshine!

Run! Run!

Run!

No! No!


♪ My brother was a captain ♪

♪ The oldest... ♪ Where you going, soldier?

Message for the General.

Wait a minute.

What's that on your face?

Oh, mud, sir.

That's not mud, that's Indian paint.

And that's an Indian knife.

What's your company?

My company, sir?

Yes, and the name of your commanding officer.

What's the trouble, Captain?

I think we've got a renegade, General.

He's wearing Indian paint and he doesn't know his commanding officer or his company.

Take him away and hang him.

General!

General, don't you remember me?

I'm Jack Crabb, the mule skinner!

Mule skinner? Yes, sir!

I applied for a job as scout, but you could tell my true occupation just by looking at me.

Yes, yes, I believe I do remember that.

How did you become a renegade?

General...

I ain't no renegade!

I was captured by the Cheyenne and held prisoner!

Why, they... they took cactus thorns and stuck them in me!

But I just laughed and begged them to keep on doing it!

You... laughed?

I laughed my head off!

Otherwise, I wouldn't be here.

Gentlemen, it is difficult to admit to an error.

Captain?

Captain, your summary judgment was wholly mistaken!

Now aren't you glad I saw fit to question this man more closely?

Yes, sir.

Please be more careful in the future, Captain.


I'll drink the tea now, Corporal.

Yes, sir.

What are you doing up here, mule skinner?

Nothing, I... just brought you tea, General.

And I wanted to... thank you again for sparing my life.

Why are you standing to the side?

Turn this way.


You came up here to kill me, didn't you?

And you lost your nerve.

Well, I was correct, in a sense.

You are a renegade, but you are no Cheyenne brave.

Custer was right.

I was a total failure as an Indian.

Do I hang you?

I think not.

Get out of here.

You're not going to hang me?

Your miserable life is not worth the reversal of a Custer decision.

That was the worst thing he could have done to me.

There was nothing left of my self-respect at all.

I couldn't go back to the Indians so I went back among the whites and become a drunk.

Boy, you're a sad sight, Hoss.

You should have stuck to sody-pop.

How are things with you, Bill?

Fine.

I've changed my ways, Hoss.

That's good.

Say, Bill, I need a drink worse than a breath of life itself.

Here's $20. Oh!

Get gloriously drunk.

But first, go across the street to the barber, and have yourself a bath, and buy some clothes.

Then come see me in the saloon.

One thing I do know, Hoss, any damn fool can drink himself to death.

Come on. Come on!


Bill, I want to...

Hoss, I'd like to ask you a confidential favor.

It's a delicate matter involving a-a widow.

She needs a train ticket out of town.

You give her this.

Sure, Bill.

See, my new, beautiful wife is violently jealous, and... and this widow, oh, she's quite a widow.

I think I know what you mean, Bill.

Her name is Lulu Kane.

Right now, Bill.

Good.

Get out of the way! Get out of the way!

Get out of the way!

Bill! Bill...

He killed my daddy!

He killed my daddy! He killed my daddy!

He's never gonna shoot nobody again!

Took me seven years to get him, but I got him!

Who was he anyhow?

Some boy.

Hoss...

...you know that matter we discussed?

The widow?

Yes, Bill.

Don't tell my wife.

That'd really get me in trouble.

You got me down in this gol damn water!

You quit it, right now!

Come in, stranger.

Whatever it is you want, we've got it.

Miz Pendrake?

You've mistaken me for someone else, stranger.

My name is Lulu.

Your name ain't Lulu.

You're Louise Pendrake.

Who-who are you?

Well, I am Jack Crabb.

Miss Pendrake, don't you remember me?

Jack Crabb?

Ma'am.

My God.

Jack.

Well, this is quite a pleasant surprise.

Th-this room is more commodious.

And now, wh-what have you been doing with yourself?

Lulu! What the hell are you doing in here sitting on your ass?

There's a gentleman waiting.

I have a gentleman in here, too.

Oh, I didn't see you, stranger.

Is everything all right?

Oh, everything's fine. Need anything?

If you do, just ring the bell.

Our motto here is

"Whatever you want, we've got it."

Well, Jack.

Now you know.

This is a house of ill fame, and I'm a fallen flower.

That widow hadn't lost her style one bit.

"A fallen flower."

Chokes me up to think about it.

This life is not only wicked and sinful, it isn't even any fun.

No, I reckon, I reckon not, Miz Pendrake.

If I was married, and could come here once or twice a week, well, it might be fun.

But every night? It's just boring.

Oh, I can understand that.

I can't seem to save any money.

Well, if I could just save a few dollars, I could go to visit my-my maiden aunt in Washington.

New clothes, a carriage.

And who knows, I might even marry a senator.

Oh! You'd make a good wife for a senator, Miz Pendrake.

You always were a sweet boy.

Do you know I often had wicked thoughts about you?

Huh?

Oh, yes.

Several times.

I almost gave in to temptation.

And now... here we are.

Miz Pendrake, what are you doing?

Do you know that once I tiptoed into your room, and stood over you for the longest time?

It was the most awful temptation to wake you up.

I wish that I had.

It would have been deliciously wicked.

Is anything the matter, Jack?

No.

Then I'll wait for you in the... place of retirement.


You should have woke me up that night years ago, Miz Pendrake.

This is from Wild Bill.

It was his last wish that you go to Washington and live with your maiden aunt.

His last wish was to save me?

Oh, Jack.

I must honor that wish.

You can do it, Miz Pendrake.

Yes, I can... and I will.

I gotta go now.

Good-bye, Miz Pendrake.

Oh, good-bye, Jack.

And thank you ever so much.

Oh, and Jack...

...if you're ever in Washington... do look me up.

How are things with you, Mr. Meriweather?

Splendid.

Well, now, look at that.

Buffalo hides.

There's a world of money chewing grass on those plains, Jack.

There goes Buffalo Bill himself.

Oh...

Yes, sir.

Multiply that by thousands.

Little Jack, the buffalo is getting scarce.

You were raised by Indians.

You should know how to track them.

Yeah, but...

We could make a killing, Jack.

Haven't changed a bit, Jack.

Neither have you.

You better watch out, Mr. Meriweather.

They're whittlin' you down pretty serious.

You can't afford to lose any more of your parts.

Every business has a particle of risk.

Bye, dear boy.

That was my low.

I had reached the bottom.

I'd become a hermit.

I went deep in the wilderness, as far away as I could get.

Then one day, I found something trappers see fairly regular.

An animal had gnawed off its own foot to escape from the trap.

Something snapped in my head.

I decided life wasn't fit to live and the only thing to do was to mingle with the twinkling stars.

Good-bye, Jack.

Good-bye, Little Big Man.

At that moment, I really was crazy and I was dum near off of that cliff when...


The time had come to look the devil in the eye and send him to Hell, where he belonged.

The only question was, how to get him there?

Sergeant, take this man...

...and give him some clothes.

This man will be invaluable to me, Major.

Invaluable, sir?

I almost hanged that man as a renegade.

Now, he asks me for a job as a scout.

Oh, his game is very obvious... to lead me away from his Indian friends.

I still don't quite follow you, General.

Anything that man tells me will be a lie.

Therefore, he will be a perfect reverse barometer.

Isn't that correct?

Of course, General.


In my belief, Custer's hate for the Indians and his ambition had combined on him.

He figured he needed one more dramatic victory over the Indians to be nominated for President of the United States.

That is a true historical fact.

We will take brief refreshment. Water only!

Dismount!

Water break!

Oh, excuse me, Lieutenant.

It's the celibacy of the saddle.

I had muscle spasms all night.

The poison from the goo-nads.

Poison from the what, sir?

Goo-nads.

That's medical terminology.

General, it's my duty as your...

The poison rises from the goo-nads to the throat and then seeps down to various muscles.

General... the Crows want to know if you're going down in the Medicine Tail Coulee.

Oh, they do, do they?

Yes, sir, they do.

They claim they want time to sing their death song.

Tell the Crows they're women!

But, sir... if the hostiles come in behind us, and if they're waiting for us down below, we'll never get out of there.

Hostiles behind us?

I see no hostiles behind us.

Do you see any hostiles behind us, Major?

No, sir, not at the moment...

Then, then, then...

...stop trying to cause a reversal of a Custer decision.

But, sir, wouldn't it... wouldn't it be best to send a squad down Medicine Tail Coulee?

No, it wouldn't.

But, sir... may I ask, sir, why it wouldn't?

Because Major, it would cost us the vital element of surprise.

Surprise? General, they know we're here.

Yes, but they don't know that I intend to attack them without mercy.

But, General, that's no surprise.

Of course it is.

Nothing is this world is more surprising than the attack without mercy.

General...

General, I must protest this impetuous decision.

A Custer decision, impetuous?

Grant called me impetuous, too!

The drunkard.

Sitting there in the White House, calling me impetuous!

General, General, I implore you to reconsider.

Think of the men whose lives depend upon you.

What do you think I should do, mule skinner?

Sir, that man doesn't know anything.

What do you say, mule skinner?

Should I go down there or withdraw?

I had him.

But this time what I held in my hand wasn't a knife but the truth.

Well?

What's your answer, mule skinner?

General... you go down there.

You're advising me to go into the Coulee?

Yes, sir.

There are no Indians there, I suppose?

I didn't say that.

There are thousands of Indians down there.

And when they get done with you, there won't be nothing left but a greasy spot.

This ain't the Washita River, General.

And them ain't helpless women and children waiting for you.

They're Cheyenne brave and Sioux.

You go down there if you got the nerve.

Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule skinner?

You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, but the subtle truth is, you really don't want me to go down there.

Well, are you reassured now, Major?

Men of the Seventh!

The hour of victory is at hand!

Onward to Little Big Horn and glory!


We've caught them napping!

Sound the charge!


We have them on the run, men!

Take no prisoners!


Now we've got them, men!


Don't you leave, men!

Custer's with you!

Custer's honor! Stay with me!

What are they doing?

Why aren't they charging?

There's nowhere to charge to!

Fight! Turn around and fight! Turn around and fight!

Fools! They're shooting their own horses.

Arrest them! Arrest them!

Bugler! Sound the charge!

We've got to make breast-works!

I know all about that, Major.

Don't try to tell me my business.

Make breast-works, men!

Show them no mercy!

A volley!

I said, give them a volley!

We're running out of ammunition, General.

Right!

Now, we are running out of ammunition.

I told him this would happen.

But he just sat there... in the White House and laughed at me!

That damn Cossack.

This is horrible...

We're being wiped out!

For Christian America...

Let your arrows fly, savages!

I am unbowed!

Mr. President...

Mr. President...

Distinguished visitors... honored members of the Senate!

Taking the Indian as we find him, waiting... Oh, why don't you shut up?

Mr. President, you are drunk.

We can't have a man like you in the White House!

Get on your feet, and face the enemy!

Go away, General.

All right.

The sentence is death.


All right... then you know you and I are even at last.

I paid you the life I owe you.

And the next time we meet, I can kill you without becoming an evil person.

He goes to dance his joy.

Grandfather.

I am glad to see you.

Glad to see you, too, my son.

My heart soars like a hawk.

Do you want to eat?

I won't eat with you, because I'm going to die soon.

Die, Grandfather?

Yes, my son.

I want to die in my own land where Human Beings are buried in the sky.

Well, why do you want to die, Grandfather?

Because there's no other way to deal with the white man, my son.

Whatever else you can say about them, it must be admitted:

You cannot get rid of them.

No, I suppose not, Grandfather.

There is an endless supply of white man but there always has been a limited number of Human Beings.

We won today.

We won't win tomorrow.

Snake Woman, get me my elk burial robe.

Come, my son.

We will go.

It makes my heart sad.

A world without Human Beings has no center to it.

Go where, Grandfather?

To the mountain.

To the top.


♪ ♪

Come out and fight!

It is a good day to die!

Thank you for making me a Human Being!

Thank you for helping me to become a warrior.

Thank you for my victories... and for my defeats.

Thank you for my vision... and the blindness in which I saw further.

You make all things and direct them in their ways, oh, Grandfather.

And now, you have decided the Human Beings will soon walk a road...

...that leads nowhere.

I am going to die now, unless death wants to fight.

And I ask you for the last time to grant me my old power to make things happen.

Take care of my son, here.

See that he doesn't go crazy.


Grandfather?

Am I still in this world?

Yes, Grandfather.

I was afraid of that.

Well, sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn't.


Let's go back to the tepee and eat, my son.

My new snake wife cooks dog very well.

All right, Grandfather.

She also has a very soft skin.

The only trouble with snake women is they copulate with horses, which makes them strange to me.

She says she doesn't, that's why I call her

"Doesn't Like Horses."

But of course, she's lying.

Of course, Grandfather.

Well, that's the story of this old Indian fighter.

That's the story of the Human Beings, who was promised land where they could live in... peace.

Land that would be theirs... as long as grass grow... wind blow... and the sky is blue.

Mr. Crabb, I didn't know...

Get out, get out.