Love's Enduring Promise (2004) Script

[Birds Calling]


Are you really here with me?

I'm here. And you'll never leave me?


Promise? Promise.

How can I be certain?

Because the two shall become one.

[Deep Sigh]

What a wonderful life you've given me, Clark.

What a wonderful life we've made together.

[Horse Whinnies]


[Ringing Continues]

Lord, we're grateful that the soil is warm and ready to be planted.

And we ask that this season's crop be bountiful.

We thank you for this nourishment before us.

Bless it to our bodies and bless this day. Amen.

[All] Amen.

Hey, where's Missie?

[Horse Snorts]

"I thank you again and again for the honor you've done me in your proposals...

"but to accept them is absolutely impossible.

"I mean, my feelings in every respect forbid it.

Now, can I speak any plainer?" [Carriage Approaching]


Hyah! Hyah!

And I think I'm old enough to be riding by myself to school.

Charlie's a good horse, and he don't like standing around all day with nothing to do.

How do you know he don't like standing around?

From Charlie. Hyah!

Hey. That was Missie...

on Charlie.

I believe it was.



Take your seats and get out your reading primers.

Quickly, please.

All right. Daniel, please start reading from the top of page 25.

[Clears Throat]

Just makin' sure the teacher made it here safely.

Well, here I am, safe and sound. [Clears Throat]

I would appreciate it, though, if you made sure that Arnie and Aaron got here on time.

It's disruptive to the rest of the class when they enter late.

Well, I think they're gonna be here on time from now on.

You have a very nice day, Miss Davis.

All right, Daniel. Yes, ma'am.

Get on up. Ho.

How you doin', Zeke? Gettin' by.

I just took the boys to school. Late again.

I'll tell you, though, I wish they'd stay young forever.

How old's that boy of yours now?

He'll be 10 on his next birthday.

And the younger one? Arnie? He's seven.

He's got it in his head, though, that one of these days... he and Aaron are going to swap places and he's gonna be the older brother.

Yeah, well.

Boys sure are full of big ideas.

Yeah. [Clears Throat]

Any word from your boy?

[Grunts] Well, like you said... boys are full of big ideas.




[Girl] No. Get your own.

I was wondering if you'd do me a favor, Clara.

I'm just not hungry today, but I don't want my lunch to go to waste.

Maybe you'd eat it for me? I'd like to help you, Miss Davis.

Thank you, Clara.

I'll be stepping out for a few minutes.

Charlotte will be in charge while I'm gone... and she'll report to me the names of anyone breaking any class rules in my absence.


[Shutter Clicks] [Man Yelling, Indistinct]

[Man] I got it level.

[Man Laughing]

Give the men a break for lunch. I'll be back.

You're the boss. All right, that's lunch.

Is this a private lunch or can anyone dine here?

I hope I didn't startle you.


I'm Grant Thomas.

Missie Davis.

Well, Missie Davis...

I have surveyed hundreds of miles of land west of the Mississippi... but today is the first time I've ever seen anything as pretty as you... in the viewfinder of my transit.

I was picking berries.

Not a very substantial midday meal, if you don't mind my saying so.

[Chuckles] Did you say you have a transit?

Yes. It's a device used to measure the...

Horizontal and vertical angles of the land.

That's right. And you have one close by?

Would you like to see?

Would you like to look? Mm-hmm.

Allow me. Thank you.

That's amazing. Hmm.

What are you all doing here?

Follow me.

We work for the Continental Railroad Company. It's our job to survey the lines... to find the best and shortest routes for the men who lay the tracks.

That's a Vernier solar compass. It shows us which direction is true north.

I've read about equipment like this.

I know you said you're not hungry, but... maybe you'd consider joining me for lunch.

I'm sorry. I really have to go. I'm late.



Are you sure you have to go? I'm afraid so.

But it was nice to meet you, and good luck with all your work here.


Let me in.

Let me in. [Pounds On Door]

I know you're responsible for this, Brian Murphy.

Get off this door. I'm giving you one last chance.

Fine, have it your way. I'm leaving and coming back with your pa.

[Stomps Feet]

I'm sorry. I assure you it isn't my desire to startle you every time we meet.

[Laughs] No. It's fine. I was just about to go in and teach a class.

I'm the teacher.

Well, I don't mean to hold you up, but you left this.

Thank you.

I understand now why you couldn't accept my invitation for lunch.

So maybe you'll accept my next invitation to dine with me for lunch?

A week from Saturday? It's not a school day.

Unless you have a steady beau. No.

No, you won't dine with me? No. I mean, no, I don't have a steady beau.

Oh. Yes. I would be delighted to dine with you.

Wonderful. I hear the hotel dining room has the best food in town.

I could arrange for transportation.

Oh, no. That's all right. I'll meet you there.

Around noon? Noon would be perfect.

Better get back to my class.

All right. Good-bye.

Good-bye. [Clears Throat]

And this handsome and mysterious stranger rides up on this mighty steed... and sweeps me off my feet.

Missie Davis, you are making that up. I'm not.

It really happened. His name's Grant Thomas, and he works for the railroad.

On the crew? Yes, but he's different from the other men.

I mean, he was well-dressed and self-assured.

They treat him like he was the boss.

He even had his own tent filled with food.

Looks like you're imagining a little more than just food.

He invited me to dine with him at the hotel.

He said "dine"? Yes.

What'd you say? I said yes.

[Chair Creaking]

Pa, when you gonna let me do the choppin' and you do the loadin'?

When you get older. That's what you said about the plowin'.

Well, that's right. You're gonna be a big help with the plowin' someday.

But I wanna help now. You are helping me.

But I wanna do important work. A man's work.

There's all kinds of work, Son.

There's a boy's work.

There's a man's work, and there's God's work.

It's all important.

So feeding the chickens is important? Yep.

And cleaning the pig's pen? Oh, you bet.

Um, Pa, I gotta go.

Go ahead. Be right back, Pa. Be right back to help.




[Boy Screams] [Cries Out]

[Creature Screeching]



Aaron, are you hurt?

Seen 'em trapped lots of times, Pa... but I ain't never heard one do that till now.

It scared me so bad, Pa. I don't need to pee no more.


You all right, Pa?

Come here. [Gasps]

Listen to me, Son.

I need you to take off your belt... [Shudders]

I need you to take off your belt and wrap it around my leg.


Oh. Come on.

There you go. [Groans]

What do I do again, Pa?

Wrap it around above my knee. Tight.

[Grunts] [Crying] Pa, help me. I don't know what to do.

It's not your fault.

Pa. [Crying]

[Aaron Sobbing] Pa.! Pa.!

[Crying] Please, Pa.

Don't leave me.

Please, Pa.

[Horse Approaching]

[Man] Hyah.! Hyah.!



Whoa. Whoa.


Who are you?


Help him, Missie.

[Sniffles] Oh, my God. Ma-Mama!

Mama! What?

Come quick.

Oh, God. Oh, God.

The bleeding has stopped for now.

No moving around, Clark. Uh-uh.

Need to give that wound a chance to heal.

For how long? At least a few weeks. Maybe more.

That's a serious injury. Gash goes clear to the bone.

I'll see you out.

Thanks, Doc.

How's Pa? He's resting.

Thank you for coming so quickly.

It takes me a better part of a month to do my rounds... but I'll be back to check on him then.

I'll make sure he stays in bed.

Infection. That's your biggest worry now.

A bad infection could lead to gangrene.

He could lose his leg.

Or worse.

Dear Lord, you've healed the lame.


Please help this good man.

Give us the strength to endure this.

[Sniffles] He will.

[Whispers] He will.

That look of worry on your face, it hurts a lot more than this leg does.

I'm fine.

I'm right here.

[Crying] I know, but...

I'm right here, Marty. I'm not going anywhere.

And I'm figuring that, uh... [Groans]

A couple of days, I'm gonna be right as rain.

You can't work the fields, Clark.

I have to.

If we don't get a good crop this year, we're gonna lose everything.

[Crying] I know.

That's why Missie and I will do it.

You can't.

We will.


Pa's asleep.

Go on and eat your lunch.

I wanna stay here with Pa. I'll be right here with him.

Pa needs me.




[Thunder Rumbling]


Thank you. Here you go, sir.

Mm-hmm. Thank you. Looks good.


Lunchtime. [Sniffs]

Oh, no. Saturday.


What is it? What's wrong?

I'm just redressing the wound. Can you hand me that canister of yeast?

Elm bark and yeast?

This should make it all better.

And if it doesn't?



Oh, God. Please, God. Help my pa.

[Horse Neighs]

Whoa. Whoa.

Afternoon. I think this belongs to you.

You're the man that helped bring my pa home.

How is he?

He's alive.

How did you happen upon him?

I was out checking my traps.

What do you think you're doing?

I thought I might have a turn at the plow.

Why are you helping me?

Well, wait a minute. What's your name?


I thought maybe we'd met before.

I don't think so.

Got, uh, Anders and Malone working on the next quarter-mile like you asked.

I'm glad someone is where they're supposed to be.

Yeah. I know it's none of my business, boss... but maybe the lady had a good reason for standing you up.


Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

So, you've handled a plow before. Yep.

Are you from around here?

Here and there. Just passing through?

You always ask so many questions?

Just wondering on your work experience.

'Cause it seems to me you should be spacing the rows a little closer together.

Because the more rows you plow, the more seeds I can plant and the bigger the harvest is.

Do I tell you how to braid your hair?

Don't tell me how to plow a field.


How is he, ma'am? [Soft Grunt]

Mind if I take a look?

There's some water in the bowl. Missie, could you... [Sniffles]

Best if your boy wasn't in here.

Aaron, Pa needs fresh water.

Missie can. No, I want you to get it.

No, Mama. I'm not leaving Pa.

Pa will be all right. We're here to see to that.

Right now I want you to... I'm not going! No!

Aaron. No.

Go and get fresh water. I'm not leaving.

Pa needs me.! Hand me that chair.

Let me in.!

He needs me in there, Mama. Let me in.

[Crying] Please, let me in.

What didn't you want him to hear?

We're gonna have to open that wound and burn it clean.

It's the only way to get rid of the infection.

I thought the elm bark would help dry it out. Mama, please.

[Aaron Sobbing] He'll lose his leg... or his life if you let the infection get worse.

No. You're not touching my pa. [Crying Continues]

Have you ever done this sort of thing before?

Been a ranch hand for years. Seen a lot of mishaps.

So I've taken care of my share of accidents.

Mama. Can't we just wait for Doc?

The doc won't be around for another three weeks.

[Exhales] What do you need?

Take my knife and clean it with whatever you got. Brandy or iodine.

I'm gonna need some hot coals and a fry pan.

Be best if you took your brothers out of earshot.

I love you, Pa.

[Clark Yelling]


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Whoa.

Appreciate it.

The fever broke. He's awake.

He's even hungry. He's asking for my fried chicken.


[Marty] Make sure you thank him and invite him for supper tonight.

I will. Nate.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

Thank you... for everything.

Just glad I was there.

Especially wouldn't wantin' your brother watching his pa die... then living a life wondering what he could've done different.

[Sighs] Well, I hope you like fried chicken.

That's what we're having for supper.

[Clark] I'm hungry. You hear my stomach growl here?

[Marty] We're all hungry. We've been waiting all day.

So who cooked this fine feast anyway? [Marty Laughs]

Who do you think cooked it? Come on. Who cooked it?

I cooked it of course. Who put the [Indistinct] on this chicken?

The what? It's my favorite.

He's here. Can we start eating?

Patience. Nate, come on in.

[Marty] We're having a picnic. We made you a plate.

Pa's leg is getting better, Nate.

And I'll be right here to make sure you have everything you need, Pa.

Like if you need water... or biscuits. Or someone to get you a piece of ham.

Or your Bible. How 'bout you get me some help with the chores?

Pa needs me. All right, you two. Let's say the blessing...

Pa needs me. All right, you two. Let's say the blessing... so we can eat this fine meal that your mama has prepared.

Lord, we thank you for the blessings that you've bestowed on this family.

My family. And to Nate... our very own miracle... who has reopened our eyes to your enduring promise.

Amen. [All] Amen.

Eat up. All right.

Oh. [Gasps]

Marty tells me that you've done more work in that field today... than she and Missie have been able to do all week.

Well, it wasn't my first time behind a plow.

You got your own piece of land?

Uh, no. No land yet. Just plans.

Never despise meager beginnings.

Got some wheat and corn... needs to get in the ground... next couple of weeks.

I'll pay you fair price soon as the crop comes in.

But Missie here, she's young and able... and I'm sure she'd be happy to help you with the planting.

I'll be out there at sunup.

All right.

[Arnie] Do a bunny.

He has a big mouth. [Aaron] You better watch out. He might get ya.

[Both Giggling]

What I won't give for a handful of quiet.

[Laughs] Do a swan.

Do a bear. [Growls]

He has a big mouth. Better watch out. He might get ya!

[Laughs] [Chuckles]

Cut your hair for two bits.

Actually, I'm not here for a haircut. I just need a little information.

Information's two bits.

I'm looking for a young woman... a Missie Davis.

I can tell you just where to find the Davis place.

I'd be most appreciative.

You wanna head back out of town. Go south from the post office.

Get to two big oak trees. Head west. Head west.

You can't miss it. Thank you very much.

Sometimes when I'm outside like this... surrounded by all this beauty... it feels like I'm walking through one of God's paintings.

Feeds my soul.

Speaking of God... what did your Pa mean by "His enduring promise"?

That someday he'll wipe away all our tears... and that all pain and suffering and heartache will be gone.

That evening when we were all together... feeling joyful that Pa wasn't in pain... you helped give us a glimpse of that promise.

We have plenty of wood back at the cabin.

Not a sturdy piece of oak like this one.

What's it for?

None of your beeswax. [Insect Buzzing]

Are you all right? [Laughing]


You're foolish to mess with bees.

I've done this plenty of times.

Smoke puts 'em to sleep.

We'll surprise your mama with some honey.

Ouch. Hey, ouch!

[Chuckles] What's the matter? One of the bees not sleepy?


[Buzzing Intensifies]

What about the honey for Mama?

I'd, uh, stop talking and start running if I were you.

[Missie Panting] Oh.

[Screams] [Buzzing]

[Screams] Come here.

[Chuckles] [Panting]

That was close.

Smoke puts 'em to sleep.

It's always worked before. Well, throwing a rock at 'em didn't help either.

No. Oh, no.

What is it? My locket.

It's gone... It can't be gone. Missie.

My mama gave it to me.

Come on.

I can't believe it.

Someone you know?

Someone I never thought I'd see again.

Good afternoon, Missie.

Good afternoon, Grant.

I was worried when you didn't show up at the restaurant.

It took every bit of my surveying equipment to find you.

Actually, I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of asking around in town.

I had planned to be there. My pa had an accident and was quite ill.

Is he all right? He's still recovering... but I think the worst is behind him.

Well, I'm so glad.

This is Nate. He's been working for my pa since his accident.

This is Grant Thomas.

We had a mishap with some bees. I'm a mess.

A beautiful mess. If you don't mind my saying so.

Would you like to meet my folks? I mean, my pa might be sleeping, but...

Well, I don't wanna disturb them with this unannounced visit.

But if it's all right, I'd like to come back and do things the right and proper way.

Things? Yes.

I'd like to ask his permission to court his daughter, if that's all right with you?

Yes. That would be fine with me.

Then I'll look forward to my next conversation with him when he's feeling up to it.

It's nice to meet you, Nate.

I'll see you soon.

All right, John. [Clicks Tongue]

Mama sent me to get you. She's got supper ready.

I'm not real hungry.

But thank her for me anyway. All right.

I could bring you something for later. No.

But you, uh... you can do something for me.

Give this to your pa. He's gonna need it to get around.

A sturdy piece of oak.

I know how much he'll appreciate it.

Good night.

Whoa. Whoa.

Good to see you up.

I just wanted to thank you for making this fancy cane for me.

Mighty thoughtful of you. I know what a chore it can be to get around at first.

You had some experience with a bum leg yourself?

My pa. He needed a cane for months.

Best if I get the horses brushed and fed.

All right then.


[Grunting Softly]


How was your walk?

Felt good to get out for a while. Thanks to you.

I went back to that spot in the woods where I had my accident.

Woods are nice and green this time of year.

Yep. Fella could get lost in those trees if he wanted to.


[Sighs] How long have you known?

Boy does a lot of growing and changing in his teen years.

When you told me about your pa's leg, well, that kind of confirmed it for me.

My middle name's Nathan. Nate.

Been using it for years 'cause I thought if I changed my name I could change my past.


How's that working out for you, son?

Most days it seems like the past is breathing down my neck... reminding me I'm Willie.

Even in a roomful of folks who call me Nate.

Your family had a lot to deal with...

and it must've been awful hard.

When a tragedy... happens... a real family pulls together.

I mean, mine ripped apart.

My ma, she... grieved herself crazy, and she went back East.

My pa, he just quit. So I left home six years ago.

I imagine you got your reasons for coming back now.

I got some things that need to be said.

Then I came close to going home, and I couldn't face my pa.

[Crying] Not after I left like I did.

And then you found... Aaron and me.

Yes, you did.

I saw your pa today, son.

I don't know what happened between you two.

I do know you're never going to step out of the shadow of your past until you see him.

Did you... Did you tell him about me?

That's not up to me.

He probably doesn't even wanna see me.

I saw a man with a face full of regret.

Seeing you. Talking to you.

That might help him put his past to rest.

I suppose you think I'm a coward for running the way I did.

The way a man grieves, that's a personal thing.

But I do know there are times... when a man can be driven to take a trip in search of answers.

And if that man doesn't find the answer he's looking for?

Most often we're not looking for answers. We're in need of comfort.

And for me, the only trip worth taking is when I kneel to pray.

All the comfort I could ever ask for is right there.

In God.

You'll be fine, son.

Oh, yes. Of course.

[No Audible Dialogue]

What's your business here?

Pa, it's me, Willie.

Oh, my.

I guess you would be old enough to have whiskers by now.

Yes, sir.

I'm gonna make some coffee. You want a cup?

[Door Opens] Coffee would be good.

[Zeke] Maybe I'll fix some eggs.

[People Chattering]

I found your parents to be very gracious about our lunch together.

Back East, young women must often be accompanied by a chaperone.

Mothers and sisters are too busy with their tasks of the day... to spend time chaperoning.

If you don't mind my saying so, Mr. Thomas... the entire town is very happy... that your family's bringing the railroad right past our doors.

Glad to hear we have the support of the community.

Oh, um, the cook is preparing that special chicken dish that you requested.

Well, whenever you're ready for your first course, just signal me.

Very good. I thought you were a surveyor.

I am. When your family owns the business... it's only smart to know every aspect of it.

I hope you find everything to your satisfaction.

[Laughs] Well, everything's so lovely... the table linens, the crystal, the beautiful Aubusson china.

You know the pattern? Her Majesty's Filigree.

See, the scroll designs along the rim give it elegance... and the raised accents make it unique.

I spend an exorbitant amount of time reading.

[Frenzied Clucking] [Proprietor] Hey! Hey!

I believe that's our lunch. [Proprietor] Pardon. Sorry, sir.

[Proprietor Muttering]

Excuse me.

I'm terribly sorry. [Laughing]

[Clucking] Here you go, sir.

[Exclaims] [Proprietor] Thank you.

[People Chattering, Laughing]

A connoisseur of knowledge and a chicken-wrangler. [Laughs]

The advantage of being raised in the West and educated by a woman from the East.

Um, my mother died when I was just a child... and my father ended up marrying a woman from the East.

Oh, no! Oh, I'm so clumsy.

No, no. Not at all. Missie. No, Missie.

I know they're expensive. I can pay him back. Missie. Missie.

The crystal is mine... as are the plates.

They are easily replaced. Now sit.

They're yours? I wanted the table to be perfect... so I had my man, John, bring them over this morning.

Don't worry another moment. I have 20 more crystal glasses just like that one at home.

Twenty more. Yes.

And I would happily let you crack each and every one... if you'll dine with me 20 more times.

Maybe next time we'll have to have a picnic instead.

You can leave all your crystal at home.

I'm already planning the menu.

This is potatoes with scrambled eggs.

Just like you always used to have.

Oh, that wasn't me. That was Matt...


I hate to waste good food.

You know, Pa, I could probably eat some of this.

Just don't do me any favors, Willie.

It ain't gonna break my heart if you don't eat the eggs.

Really, Pa, I could eat some of that.

Well, you're gonna eat nothin' now.

I mean, six years since I seen or heard from you.

I guess I'm entitled to forget a few things.

Oh, Pa.

I'm sorry I left like I did.

Well, at least your ma had the guts... to tell me to my face she was leavin'.

You know what happened to her? No.

Then I guess you're a lot like your mama.

Well, I'm here now.

I came back to set things right.

I hope you could... What can I do? I could pretend none of this ever happened?

I'm not asking you to pretend nothin', Pa.

I'm asking you to forgive me. You want me to forgive you?

Maybe you should forget you still have a son.

Yes. We'll take three of those, okay? Yes.

Yes, please.

That will be fine.

We'll try these ones.

[Marty Chuckling] My goodness.

You make him sound like a fictional hero from one of your novels.

Grant is educated... and handsome... attentive.

He's traveled all over for his job... and seen places I've only read about.

Just remember... that God has written his own story for you.

And it's not the feelings of your heart that it should be based upon... but... rather the thoughts of your heart that you need to hear... that inner voice that tells you... that this man will care for you no matter what... that he'll still want to kiss you when you're old and gray... tend to you when you're sick, honor you.

And if the thoughts of my heart say yes, he is the one?

Then you should trust your instincts and pledge your heart to him... because a man like that is as rare as a diamond in the rough.

Like Pa.

Yes. Like your pa.

Aaron said he saw you packin' up your horse.

You plannin' on goin' somewhere?

Took your advice. I saw my pa.

I figured that's where you were.

According to him, I ruined his life.

I'm sorry that it didn't work out the way you hoped, Willie.

I really thought your father was ready to make amends with you.

He'll never be ready to do that.

He'll never forgive me.

You're his son.

Not anymore.

You wanna talk about it?

Talkin' about it don't change anything.

Sometimes, just talkin' it through... it'll help you see things in a whole different light.

There ain't no light in the world that'd make this better.

Can't hurt to try.

Unless you're afraid.

I used to set traps for Pa.

Mattie was always after me to let him come along.

I didn't want him to. I just figured he'd slow me down.

I didn't want him to.

I just figured he'd get in the way.

But Mattie had a way about him.

He knew just how to get Ma and Pa to let him have his way.

When are we gonna set the first trap, Willie?

When I find the right place.

[Wolf Howling]

When are we gonna eat the food Mama sent? When we get hungry.

How do you know when it's the right time for the traps?

Can't you hush up for just two seconds?

I can't concentrate with you yammering on and on.

[Willie Narrating] I don't know how I lost track of the day.

Guess I was just so intent... on gettin'those traps... set so Pa would know... what a good trapper I really was.

Thinkin'back, I don't know how I couldn't see... how tired and worried Mattie was.

I'm cold, and it's getting dark.

Don't you think we'd better head back?

I got one more trap to set.

Mama's gonna be worried.

Hush. Gotta make this last trap count.

Pa's dependin' on me.

[Willie Narrating] It was like a curtain dropped over the sun.

One minute, I could see where I was goin... and the next minute it got so dark...

I couldn't make out the right way to go.

I'm so sorry, Mattie. I should have listened to you.

There's no way I can get us home in the dark.


May-Maybe Pa will come find us.

Maybe. More than likely, we'll just have to wait out the night... set out home at first light.

I'm awful cold, Willie.

Here. Stay close to me, and I'll...

I'll keep you wa-warm.

Thanks, Willie.

"Thanks, Willie."

The kid was shiverin' and shaking in the cold, and he says thanks.

Then what happened?


Then he, uh...

[Sniffling] You know.

I was right.

Talkin' about it doesn't change anything.

Plowin's about done.

I think it's time I moved on.

I did what I came for. Did you?

Came home, saw my pa.

Are you sure that's who you really needed to face?

I should be on my way.

Our doors will always be open to you, Willie... and our prayers will be with you.





Mattie, wake up.

Come on, Mattie. Quit foolin'.


No. Mattie.

Mattie, come on.

Come on, Mattie. Wake up. No.

No.! Mattie.!

[Crying] Mattie!

Mattie! No!


No. Mattie.

[Crying] Mattie.

It was my fault, Mattie.

I was supposed to protect you, and I didn't.

[Continues Crying]

I didn't want it to happen.

You slipped away, and I didn't even know.

You were so brave, and I didn't even get to tell you.

I'm sorry, Mattie.

Please forgive me.

[Men Chattering]

After you. Thank you.

[Men Continue Chattering]


I've never seen anything like it.

[Chuckles] It's just like a real home.

It is my home.

The tent goes up wherever I am.

I don't see any purpose in depriving myself... of the comforts I've become accustomed to.

You travel with all these books?

Books... and music.

[music] [Waltz]

Honor me with a dance. [Laughs]

You're an excellent partner. Thank you. My father taught me.

Missie, l...

I'm not generally a man who thinks much past the next site I'm working... but, since we've met, I've found myself daydreaming about a future with you.

What do you see for us in your dreams?

Well, I see us traveling and exploring together.

Midnight picnics under a canopy of the brightest stars... or dining in the finest hotels.

A life brimming with anything and everything you could ever want.

That life sounds like a fairy tale.

That life could be ours.

You would never have to turn a spade in soil again or... or toil at planting your own food.

And if I did have to plant and plow... do you see yourself right there beside me?

You're missing my point. I wouldn't have to be there... because no wife of mine would ever struggle... if even for an hour, in a field.

I'm a very wealthy man.

What's wrong?

I just always thought my first kiss should be for the man I marry.

Then marry me.

Missie, you don't want to say no to a man... who's offering to save you from a life of adversity.

I'm saying no to a man who doesn't think adversity... is something to get through together.

[music] [Continues] It's just not real, Grant.

I'll tell you what's real.

You've just given up the chance of a lifetime.

I can have any heart I want.

Until now.

I'm sorry, Grant.

I'll get someone to take you home.

[Sneezes] God bless you.

Nate. Hi.

Actually, I'm Willie... Nathan LaHaye.

Willie LaHaye. You were the boy... that stole my hair ribbons and dipped my braids in ink.

And then when your brother...

And then you were gone.

[Clears Throat]

So, why didn't you tell me who you were?

I've been Nate for years to strangers.

Guess I wasn't ready to be Willie again... un-until now.

Well, you don't look like anything I remember.

Oh. I was just a boy when I left.

It's been a while. People change.

They do.

Well, how about your Pa? Have you seen him?

I've seen him... but he's not ready to see me.

Well, you know, I wanted to thank you for all you did for my family... but you... you left without saying good-bye.

Had some thinkin' to do, some things to get right.

I'm grateful to you and your family... for helping me put down a burden... that I've been carryin' for a long time.

[Clears Throat] Actually, I'm... I'm headed for the West.

You've got land to farm?

No. Not yet. When I do claim my land... it'll be for raising cattle, not crops.

I worked on a couple cattle ranches, and it's what suits me.

The thing is, I came by today... because I didn't want to make the same mistake.

I wanted to see you and, um...

and give these back to you.

My ribbons. [Laughing]

You kept them all these years?

Probably seems silly to you.

No, not silly.

It's sweet.

Well, anyway, that's what I came for... to give you those and... to say good-bye.


Never despise meager beginnings.



[Horse Nickers]


I was just wondering if, um...

Are cattle ranchers tied to the seasons the same way farmers are?

No, not in the same way, I suppose.

So, would it make a difference if you leave now or leave later?

I guess not.

After all the work you did plowing and planting our fields... it would be a shame for you to miss the harvest and not collect your pay.

And I make really good corn bread pudding... once the sweet corn's shucked.


I'll bet that fella Grant Thomas will really like that.

Yes, I bet he will... if he finds someone to make it for him.

It won't be me.

I guess I could postpone my trip long enough to be here for the harvest.


They named him Big Earl.

Big Earl, he... [Laughing]

Dear Father, we thank you for this harvest... for your faith in us... and for the time we spend together.

Amen. [All] Amen.

All right, pass your bowls down.

You workin' hard?

Tryin' to.

[music] [Hoedown] [People Laughing]

[music][Fiddle Stops] [Laughing, Chattering]

[music][Fiddle Resumes] [Woman] Go again.

[music][Fiddle Stops] [Laughing]

All right, you two. You know what's expected.

[Woman] Ah. [Man] Go ahead. Get on up there.

[Man #2] Time's a-wastin', boy.

[People Chuckling]

[Women] Ah.!


[Woman] Look at them two.

I love you, Missie Davis.

I always have.

I love you too.

Missie Davis, will you marry me?

[People Cheering, Shouting, Indistinct]

[All Continue Cheering, Shouting]

[Man] Happy day.

[No Audible Dialogue]

Try and send word as soon as you're settled. I will.

And walk as much as you can. It's better than riding.

You know how much we love you.


[Marty] I know it's not so far, but send word once you're settled.

I'll take good care of her.

I know you will.

You take good care of both of you.

Ever since you were just a little baby...

[Voice Quavering] I knew this moment would come.

[Exhales] You always had an independent spirit.

Pa. My heart's breaking.

Mine too.

Can you fix it? Not this time, little one.

Not this time.

You go ahead now.

Your husband's waitin' on you.

Thank you.


Remember His promise.

No tears.

No tears.

[Quietly] No tears.

[music][Symphonic: Western]