Red River (1948) Script

You see, the story of the Red River D started this way:

Along about August of 1851...

Tom Dunson and me left St. Louis...

And joined a wagon train headed for California.

After about three weeks on the trail...

We was close to the northern border of Texas.

What's wrong, Campbell? We have three hours yet till we stop.

Dunson here says he's leaving the train.

Is that right, Dunson? Are you leaving? -I am.

You can't do that. You signed on. You agreed...

I signed nothing. If I had, I'd stay.

You'll remember I joined your train after you left St. Louis. -Wait, Dunson.

This is Indian country. You might be walking into trouble.

For two days past and this day, we've seen smoke and signs. -Yeah, we know that.

They're around somewhere. I can feel 'em.

The Comanches are welcome to you, but not to your bull and cows.

We need the beginnings of herds in California.

You're right about one thing: the beginning of herds.

But I'm starting my own herd.

I watched the land south of here since we left the Salt Fork.

It's good land. Good grass for beef.

So I'm going south where it is.

You're too good a gun to let you leave.

Then I'm too good a gun for you to argue with.

If I was you, I'd ponder on letting him be.

He's a mighty set man when his mind's made up. Even you can't change him.

He'll be heading south. Mind he don't stomp on you on the way.

Are you leaving too? -Colonel, me and Dunson...

Well, it's me and Dunson.

Tell him I wish him luck.

Good luck to you, Colonel.

I decided last night.

I decided too. I want to go with you.

No, I'll send for... -I know you've work to do, Tom.

But I want to be part of it. I love you. I want to be with you.

No, no. -I'm asking you, please take me with you.

I'm strong. I can stand anything you can. -It's too much for a woman.

Too much for a woman?

Put your arms around me, Tom.

Hold me. Feel me in your arms.

Do I feel weak, Tom? I don't, do I?

Oh, you'll need me. You'll need a woman.

You need what a woman can give you to do what you have to do.

Listen to me, Tom. Listen with your head and your heart too.

The sun only shines half the time, Tom. The other half is night.

I've made up my mind. -Change your mind, Tom.

Just once in your life, change your mind.

I'll send for you.

Will you come?

Of course I'll come. But you're wrong.


My mother's.

Go, please. If you're going to go, please go now.

I want to be with you so much, my knees feel like...

Like they've knives in them.

Bye.


All that day, Tom didn't do much talking, and by night, we'd left the wagon train a good piece behind.

Whoa. What river do you reckon that is?

The Red River, I think.

If it is, that's Texas on the other side.

How about calling it a day, huh?

All right. Wheel your wagon...

It's too big for signal smoke, ain't it?

Yeah.

It's just about where the wagon train would be.

Why do Indians always want to be burning up good wagons?

Take us hours to get back there.

Yeah. We shoulda took her along.

They'll most likely be sending some out after us.

If they do...

This is as good a place as any.

Swing the wagon around. We'll keep the river at our back.


Tom...

We could've been wrong about that smoke, or she might've got away.

Well, I wish...

Here they are.

I hope there ain't too many of 'em.


Give me your rifle!


Tom!


You all right, Tom? -Yeah.

I got two more of 'em. Near as I can figure, there's only one left.

They got the two cows, but...

Oh, Tom.

That's too bad. We should've took...

That's him.

Answer him. -Huh? -Answer him.


Next morning there weren't a sign of an Injun...

But the buzzards had come before we was ready to start.

Let's get out of here. -Yeah, and give them buzzards a chance.

People dying, and burning the wagons...

And shooting and screaming and burning.

People dying and wagons burning. People dying...

Where'd you come from?

It was all burning. Only Indians around.

Just all burning and smoking and smelling... -How did you get away?

They were burning everything... -He's plumb out of his head!

Just plain. I could see it. They was burning the wagons, and people was screaming...

I wouldn't do that again. -Put that gun down.

I said don't do that again.

All right, son. I just wanted to find out where you...

Don't ever trust anybody till you know 'em.

I won't... After this.

Thanks for telling me.

All right. Now, how'd you get away?

I was following my cow. She got away in the brush.

Miles, it seemed like.

Up a long hill she went.

And then I heard 'em.

And then I saw 'em.

And I wish I hadn't.

Yeah.

Well, it looks like we'll have to take you along.

Well, are you gonna use it?

No.

No.

But don't ever try to take it away from me again.

He'll do.

Tie 'em up short.

Get up on the seat.

Let's go.

We're in Texas. -It feels good to me.

And that was the meetin' of a man and a boy...

And the beginnin' of a great herd.

We traveled south through Texas.

We went through good country, but Tom always found it wanting.

In three to four weeks, we was through the Panhandle...

And kept on goin'.

Another month and we was past the Pecos...

And the country begun to change a mite.

Near the Rio Grande, the land looked good. Tom liked it.

All day, he'd been gettin' off his horse...

And feelin' the grass and smellin' of it.

Matt and me could tell somethin' was comin'.

This is it.

This is where we start growing good beef.

Sure looks good, Tom. Worth coming 2,000 miles for.

Everything a man could want:

Good water and grass, and plenty of it.

Who does it belong to? -To me.

Someday that'll all be covered with good beef.

I'll put a mark, a brand, on 'em to show they're mine too.

What kind of a mark?

I've been thinking about that.

There'll be two lines, like this.

Like the banks of a river.

It'll be the Red River brand.

And we'll start now. Get a fire going, Matt.

Heat the iron.

There's the first one.

The first Red River D. -You gonna put that on my cow too?

Why not? -She's mine.

I see a D for Dunson, but my name's Matthew.

We'll talk about that later. -I don't see any M on that brand.

I'll put an M on it when you earn it.

That's fair enough. I'll earn it.

Never like seeing strangers.

Guess it's 'cause no stranger ever good-news'ed me.

Buenos dias, senores. -Hello.

Saw the smoke from your fire. -Yes?

Where do you travel? -Nowhere.

To remain here on Don Diego's land, you are welcome for a night, a week...

Are you Diego? -No, senor, I...

Where is he?

At his home across the river, 600 kilometros south.

How far is that? -About 400 miles.

That's too much land for one man. It ain't decent.

Here's this land achin' to be used. It ain't decent!

But senor, it is for Don Diego to do as he chooses.

This land is Don Diego's. -What is that river you were talking about?

El Rio Grande, but I told you... -Tell Don Diego...

All the land north of that river is mine. Tell him to stay off of it.

But the land is his. -Where did he get it?

Oh, many years ago, by grant and patent...

Inscribed by the king of all the Spains.

You mean he took it away from whoever was here before. Indians, maybe.

Maybe so. -Well, I'm taking it away from him.

Others have thought as you, senor. Others have try.

And you've always been good enough to stop 'em?

Amigo, it is my work.

Pretty unhealthy job.

Get away, Matt.

I'm sorry for you...

How about you? Do you want some of it?

It is not my land, senor.

I will wait until Don Diego tells me what to do.

All right, go tell him what happened. Tell him what I said.

Take your friend's horse.

We'll bury him. Move! -Muy bien, senor.

Matt, I told you to get away. You might've got hurt.

He went for his gun first, but you...

Next time do what I say. -How'd you know when he was gonna draw?

By watching his eyes.

Remember that. -I will.

Get a shovel and my Bible.

I'll read over him.

We brought nothing into this world, and it's certain we can carry nothing out.

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen.

Turn 'em loose.

They're gonna get away.

Wherever they go, they'll be on my land.

My land.

We're here, and we're gonna stay here.

Give me 10 years, and I'll have that brand on the gates...

Of the greatest ranch in Texas.

The big house will be down by the river...

And the corrals and the barns behind it.

It'll be a good place to live in.

Ten years and I'll have the Red River D...

On more cattle than you've looked at anywhere.

I'll have that brand on enough beef...

To feed the whole country.

Good beef for hungry people.

Beef to make 'em strong...

Make 'em grow.

But it takes work, and it takes sweat...

And it takes time.

Lots of time.

It takes years.

Well, we've had our 10 years and more.

Be about 14. -Nearer to 15.

And we've got the cattle.

Thousands of heads of good beef.

And there as they stand, there isn't a head...

Worth a plug three-cent piece.

Three-cent piece? That's more silver money than I've seen since the war.

That's right. It all happened while you were away, Matt.

More cattle than a man could gather elsewhere in two lifetimes...

And I'm broke.

Unless we can move 'em, I'm broke. -I figured that's why you rounded 'em up.

I'm not gonna take it haunched back like the rest around here.

If there's no market for cattle in Texas... -There ain't.

Then I'll take 'em where there is a market...

If it means driving 'em a thousand miles. -Missouri?

Yeah. -That's what I figured.

Seems you two been doing a lot of figuring.

Did you figure out the best way to get 'em there?

Which trail to take? Yeah.

San Saba, then Meridian, then along the Brazos... -That's the long way around.

Along the Brazos and up Palo Pinto... -I said that's the long way.

I know, but there's good water clear all the way up to the Red.

But going that way, we'd get two extra crossings.

You're not going. How do you know... -I'm not?

No, you're not. How do you know the water's good?

I led a patrol that way.

You think it's worth... You think it's worth...

What are you mumbling about? Where are those store teeth Matt brought you?

In my pocket. -Why don't you use 'em?

'Cause they whistle. I use 'em for eatin'.

I can't understand you. -Everybody else can.

Well, what did you say?

I said there's a lot of things you don't know about, Mr. Dunson. -What?

First off, about me going on this here drive. -Go ahead.

It's a thousand miles to Missouri, ain't it? -Right.

You figure me and my bad leg couldn't ride that far. -That's it.

It might be I could ride a chuck wagon. -We've already got a cook.

That is right, Mr. Dunson.

But might be old Cookie might not like...

Grubbing the trip all that way.

You heard me good that time, didn't you?

It might be old Cookie would like a change of scenery.

It might be I already persuaded him, 'cause he up and quit this morning!

Then it might be we could persuade you to drive the chuck wagon.

Might be, Mr. Dunson. Might be.

That's a pretty nice gun you're scratching those matches on.

How is your gun arm?

I've been using it a lot the last few years.

Get me my horse, will you, Matt?

Funny things about guns... Draw!

I haven't heard that in a lot of years. -He beat you.

He sure did beat me.

I'd say he's just a little faster, just a mite faster than you was.

Matt, draw up a map of that country we were talking about, and...

I did. It's on your desk.

A mite faster about a lot of things.

I'll see you later.

That's the first time in one year I've seen a grin on his face...

Excepting the other day when you come home.

Didn't you see anything else? -Huh?

That look on his face when he was talking about the cattle.

He's afraid. -Afraid?

Why, you're craza, you're loony, you're... -Am I?

Oh, sure, sure. I'm a-scared too.

But I've been here watchin' and seein' and...

Seein' what? -Seein' a man fightin'...

With his soul and gut to hang on to this place.

Fourteen years of it. And it cost him dear too.

Cost him a woman, the only woman he ever wanted.

Yeah. -Yeah, you knew about that.

Cost him the killing of them seven graves, men who tried to take the place from him.

But that weren't hard. Not that.

No, he knows that kind of fighting. What else?

And then come the war, while you was away.

He learned a lot of things for hisself. He learned a ranch ain't only beef, but it's money.

But the war took all the money out of the South.

He didn't know about money. He never had none. He didn't know what to do.

You mean, he just doesn't know who to fight. -Yep.

That's all right.

He's just been waiting for you to head the herd north...

In a fool drive that's never been done before.

Nine, ten thousand head of cattle clear to Missouri.

We could make it. -We?

Well, Matt, I'm...

I'm glad you come home, 'cause...

Well...

I'm glad you come home.

Let him go.

Hey, Matt, it's a Diego.

Let him go. -Let him go.

And another Meeker.

Turn him loose. -Hold it.

Put a brand on him. -It's a Meeker steer.

I said brand him.

He's wearing a Meeker iron.

I can't see it.

Brand him. -All right, but the next up is another Diego.

Brand him.

Put the iron on all of them, Teeler.

Anything you see, slap it with a Red River D, and burn it deep.

Why not?

You're gonna wind up branding every rump in the state of Texas except mine.

Hand me that iron, Teeler.

Don't think I'd do it, do you? -No.

Matt, I'm going to Missouri...

With every steer, cow, and bull I can lay my hands on.

I think Meeker might be real pleased...

To see our brand on his stock.

That I'll argue with Meeker.

And now might be a good time.

He's even got some people to back him up.

I want to see this.

Hiya, Dunson, Matt.

I hear you're making a drive, Dunson.

News travels fast. Yeah, we're going to Missouri.

That's what I heard. I also heard something else yesterday.

Cumberland, a neighbor of mine, drove 3,000 to the Red River.

When he got across, the Missouri border gangs jumped him...

Stole the herd, killed all his men.

Hard luck. -You know about it?

Yeah, I know about Cumberland and Schreiber and a lot of others.

But nobody's gonna take my cattle. -I don't want anybody to take mine either.

I hear some of my brand wandered this way.

Mind if we look your herd over? -I do mind.

You'd stop us?

Yeah, we would. -Can't you hold that horse still?

Well? -Shall we take that look around, Mr. Meeker?

Say, you must be new around here.

I told you we'd stop... -I heard you.

Well, Mr. Meeker?

Maybe I should introduce you two before... -Who are you?

Some call me one thing, some another.

What do they call you most? -By my name: Cherry Valance.

Of Val Verde? -Val Verde way.

Yeah, we've heard of you. -Thanks.

They say you're good with a gun. How good?

I manage to stay alive.

You've been doing pretty good. -Still want to stop us?

Yeah.

Well, Mr. Meeker, what do you say?

Well, at one time, I would've said yes. But now...

Look, Tom, everything I've got's... -Yeah, I know. Me too.

All right, we rounded up some of your stock...

Some of Diego's, and some of everybody else's around here.

And? -I haven't got the time or inclination to cut 'em out.

I'll drive 'em to Missouri and give you two dollars a head when I get back.

And if you don't get back? -That's your gamble.

I reckon it is. Not a bad one either.

All right. Suits me.

Mr. Meeker, I changed my mind about working with you. Can you use another hand?

We're full up. -I'd like to go with you.

I told you we've... -I heard you. I'd care to go along.

Might find it harder to stay alive along the Missouri border.

Yeah, I might at that.

Wages are 10 $ a month. Triple if the steers bring 15 $ at the railroad.

We lose the herd, you lose your wages. -Fair enough.

All right, good luck.

Good-bye, Mr. Meeker.

Take care of him, Matt. -Sure.

I take it I'm hired.

You're hired.

Brand 'em all, Teeler. Everything that can walk.

Yes, sir. Brand 'em all, boys! Get going!

You ought to stick around back there. -What for?

See the shooting. -Why? You reckon they're gonna fight?

No, not yet. They'll just paw at each other.

Find out what they're up against. Be worth seeing.

Could be.

Let's give 'em a hand over here. -Sure.

That's a good-looking gun. Can I see it?

Maybe you'd like to see mine.

Nice, awful nice.

There are only two things more beautiful than a good gun:

A Swiss watch, or a woman from anywhere.

You ever had a good Swiss watch?

Go ahead, try it.

Hey, that's very good.

Hey, hey, that's good too.

Go on, keep it going.

Yeah, now I know who you'd be.

You'd be Matthew Garth, wouldn't you? -That's right.

You're as good as they say you are. Maybe as good as me.

That puts two of us at the head of the list. -I'd leave room for a third.

Yeah? Who? -Dunson.

Is he that good?

He taught me.

Yeah?

How we doing? -What was all that shooting a while back?

Two of the best men with a gun anybody'd ever see'd together.

Who? -Matt and Cherry Valance.

From Val Verde? -Yeah.

What happened? -They was having some fun.

Peculiar kind of fun.

Sizing each other up for the future.

Them two is gonna tangle for certain, and when they do, it ain't gonna be pretty.

They got a thousand miles to do it in. How much flour?

Twenty-eight. -Beans?

Twelve. -Plenty sugar?

Yeah.

You know, Bunk, I always figured Matt was better than...

Say, I could take that personal.

I could take your nose off just as easy.

A man of your age stealing sugar. Get the rest of that stuff.

All right, Pop.

Lapping up sugar afore we even started.

Hiya, Matt.

Your bet, Teeler. -Check.

Quo? -Me bet one silver dollar.

One silver dollar? Why, that's three days' pay.

Bet one silver dollar. Put up or keep face closed.

Keep face closed? Why don't you talk English?

It's too much for me. -What about you, Groot? What do you say?

Look. Anything I hate, it's a happy Injun.

That gaping puss! How's a body to tell whether an Injun's running a bluff?

Think he's bluffing. -Look, will you call or fold?

Yeah. Hey, Matt, how about the loan of a silver dollar? -No.

Why not? -Is it table stakes? -Yeah.

Quo's right. Bet what you've got on the table and that's all.

Doggone the luck: me with a good hand and nothing to bet. -What in bag?

The bag? Oh, them's my store teeth. Couldn't bet them. They...

Now, look, Quo.

Them teeth's worth more than your silver dollar. -Ah.

Got any more money? -No.

No more money, eh?

I'll bet you a quarter interest in my teeth against your silver dollar. -No.

A half interest against your dollar. -Ah.

You heard him. It's a bet.

There it is, boys, back to back.

Three men. -Three men.

Dumb Cherokee! Betting a silver dollar against a half interest in my store teeth...

And him with a set fitting to chew the brand off the tough end of a longhorn.

You ain't gonna take a man's only teeth?

Ah. -But I gotta use 'em for eatin'!

Come grub, you get-um.

What are you gonna do with 'em? -My name now Two-Jaw Quo.

Two-Jaw Quo.

That's what I get for playing with an Injun.

I've worn this hat a long time, and I'm going to continue.

If you got any objections, I'll hear 'em now.

It's your hat, brother. -You made a wise decision.

Would you be wantin' to get up now?

Well, we start tomorrow.

We're going to Missouri with 10,000 head.

Most of you have come back to Texas from the war.

You came back to nothing. You found your homes gone...

Your cattle scattered, and your land stolen by carpetbaggers.

There's no money and no work...

Because there's no market for beef in the South.

But there is in Missouri, so we're going to Missouri.

I hear tell Cumberland has... -Cumberland didn't make it.

No one else has. That's the reason I'm here.

I want you all to know what you're up against.

You probably already know, but I want to make sure you do.

We got a thousand miles to go.

Ten miles a day will be good. Fifteen will be luck.

There'll be dry country, dry wells when we get to 'em.

There'll be wind and rain.

There's gonna be Indian territory... How bad, I don't know.

When we get to Missouri, there'll be border gangs.

It's gonna be a fight all the way...

But we'll get there.

Nobody has to come along.

I'll still have a job for you when we get back.

But remember this:

Every man who signs on for this drive agrees to finish it.

There'll be no quitting along the way... Not by me and not by you.

There's no hard feelings if you don't want to go, but just let me know now.

Mr. Dunson, I...

It's all right, Dan. Go ahead. -Mr. Dunson, my wife...

You don't have to explain, Bill. -Thanks. Good luck.

Go on, Joe, Taylor.

Thank you, Mr. Dunson. -It's all right, Dan. Go ahead.

No, sir. I... I didn't mean that... -You mean what, Dan?

I... I... I... I just wanted to say I want to go.

Fine.

And the rest of you?

That means you're all coming along.

Good.

Matt here will sign you on.

We'll start at sunup.

All right, come on.

Sign your name or make your mark.

Let me sign first, Matt.


Ready, Matthew? -All ready.


Take 'em to Missouri, Matt.


All right, Quo, let's go to Missouri!


There they are, Matt.

Fourteen years of hard work...

And they say we can't make the drive.

They could be wrong.

They'd better be.

First night out, we had a good place for camp, 'cause...

Well, 'cause we knowed the country.

Teeler, you and Walt and Sims are on the next watch.

Breakfast at 4:30, Groot. Trail at 5:00.

All right, Tom.

Quo, when you finish there, get some...

What's the matter? -Grub finish?

Sure, I ate. -Give-um tooth.

Teeth, I told you.

It's only a few hours till morning, and I'll be using them again. -Come morning, you get-um.

Now, look, Quo, this is getting to be plumb craza.

We been doing this all day. By the time we get to Missouri...

We'll have 'em all wore out passing 'em back and forth and back and forth!

Tell you what I'll do.

I'll give you a hundred-percent profit: two dollars for your half interest.

Ah.

Not now! When I get it. When we finish the drive.

I get money, you get-um tooth.

Teeth, you dumb heathen.

Why do I always have to...

Oh, what's the use?

The way we worked it:

Along the Brazos, the Palo Pinto...

Up to the Red...

Then north to Sedalia.

You make that drive to Sedalia look very easy.

There are a lot of rough boys along the border. I just got back.

And you want to stick your nose back in that country?

Cherry, how come you joined the drive?

Just a notion I had, and then Matt turned me down.

Made me want to go.

Besides, I've taken a liking to that gun of his.

Fat chance you got of getting that, bub.

I've been wondering, Matt: Why'd you turn me down? You're not afraid of me. Why?

You know what happens if this drive doesn't get to market?

According to Dunson, we lose our wages.

You've been through the state. What did you see?

Yeah, I know: cattle running wild...

Carpetbaggers reaching with both hands...

Ranchers roasting grain and calling it coffee.

I've seen a man try to swap a steer for half a sack of flour.

I know why you want to get through. I do too.

But why Missouri? Why not head 'em for Kansas?

Kansas, he says. Fine howdy-ma'am that'd be...

Heading 'em for Kansas when the railroad's in Missouri.

Railroad in Kansas too. -What? -Where?

I saw the one in Topeka, and there's one in Abilene.

Abilene? That's further west.

Did you see it in Abilene?

I didn't get there. I met a girl in Kansas City.

She fancied she could sing. But she had other...

You know, if we could head west at the Red...

We'd save ourselves a heap... -We're going to Missouri.

I've seen buyers and cash in Sedalia. What have you seen in Abilene?

Not a thing. Just a girl told me.

It appears to me, Mr. Dunson...

I didn't ask you, Groot. -No.

No, that's right. You didn't ask me, Mr. Dunson.

We're going to Missouri.

Suppose if I tangled with him, I'd have to take you on too.

You'll find him a handful by himself.

And so we drove north...

10.000 cattle crawlin' through hot, dry country.

The dust made things bad, and it was hard work...

But by the end of the first two weeks, we'd come over 160 miles.

How much further we going today?

Oh, about four miles north of here, there's a good... Hold that horse!

There's a good stream and bed grounds.

Cinch him up.

That old ankle's sure puffing up.

Yeah.

We're going to have to paint it tonight.

Keep 'em moving.

It's a good thing we got a big remuda.

He's been wearing out three, four horses a day...

All the same, I don't like it. -What don't you like?

Everything's going too good. We're bound to have a hat full of trouble.

You're always yammering, I tell you.

Well, I don't like to see things go good or bad.

I like 'em in between.

Groot, what's Dan riding in Quo's wagon for?

I was wanting to discuss something with Quo. -What?

I was wanting to discuss... -I can't understand you. Why don't you use your teeth?

Whoa!

My teeth is just what we was disgustin'.

Well, talk on your own time. Dan should be working.

If you was half human, you'd give 'em back. You can see I could use 'em.

Besides, it'd help keep the dust out of my mouth. -Keep mouth shut, dust not get in.

Bet I ate 10 pounds in the last 16 days.

Before this shenanigan's over, I'll probably eat enough land to incorporate me in the Union.

The state of Groot.

Ow! Hey, that hurt!

Teeth or no, I can still use a whip. Keep out of that sugar.

Too late, Pop. Already got me some.

Having a sweet tooth is almost as bad...

As having a whiskey tongue or liking a woman.

A hundred days.

Well, all I got to worry about is feeding 'em.

Come on, giddyap! Hey!

In three weeks we got to San Saba.

The further we went, the longer the miles and the days.

Tom... Well...

Tom couldn't think of nothin' but to get there.

Tom had changed.

He'd always been a hard man...

But now he was harder.

Anyways, we needed a rest and come to a good place to take it.

Hey, Buster, how is it down there?

This water's really fine. Nice and cool.

Man could take himself a right good bath.

Matt!

What's the matter?

What are you stopping 'em for?

This water here looks pretty good.

There's water three or four miles on ahead.

The men are beat. They've had a tough day.

I think... -I'll do the thinking.

Keep 'em goin'.

Hey!

Buster, we're moving on.

Come on, get going!

I knowed this was too good to be true.

We're moving on. -Why does he want...

We're moving on!

Thirty days and we reached the Brazos.

The herd was gettin' tired.

They was spooky and restless, and it was hard to keep 'em together.

Groot! We'll bed down here!

All right, Matt.

Hi, Laredo. Just get in? -Yep. Got any coffee?

I'll get you some. -Hi, Laredo. What'd you find?

Good water ahead for the next three days.

Where's Dunson? -He and Matt are out with the herd.


Hello, Dan. -Hello, Mr. Dunson.

How they doing? -Kind of... Kind of uneasy.

That coyote ain't helping 'em none.

No. -Whoa, cattle. Whoa.

Just keep quieting 'em. They'll be all right.

Sure hope nothing happens. I been thinking about the drive...

And what it means to everybody.

Me too. It means... Means... -What does it mean, Dan?

Well, one thing...

When we get there, I'll have over a hundred dollars coming.

That's more than I ever had before, and I... I... I...

What are you gonna do with it? -A whole lot of things.

I'm gonna buy the old Chapman place, and then I'm gonna... Gonna...

What are you gonna?

It's my wife. She...

She always wanted a little pair of red shoes.

I kind of figured I'd get 'em for her.

Is that such a fool idea, Mr. Dunson?

It's a good idea, Dan. I'd do it.

I will.

Don't make too much noise putting them pans away.

I don't like coyotes.

I had a little roan horse once, and they...

I wish he'd quit a-yowlin'. Botherin' the cattle.

The dust and wind today put 'em on the prod.

Wouldn't take much to stampede the whole outfit.

I was in a stampede once. Don't want no more.

Nighthawk sneezed... Just sneezed... And the whole bunch was off.

They run for six miles before we got 'em headed.

That's when old Whizzer White and three other fellas got it.

I remember.

You knowed old Whizzer, didn't you?

Yeah, no stampedes for me. I...

I don't like 'em. -I don't like coyotes.

Use your head, Teeler.

One shot tonight is apt to start the whole herd a-running.

Sure. I wasn't thinking.


Kennelly!

Stampede!

They're headin' for camp! Head 'em off!


Ho, cattle! Ho!

Round 'em! Round 'em, Matt!

Don't let 'em split!

Help! Help! -Cherry, come here!

Turn 'em in! -Over this way, Sims!

Head 'em down the coulee!

Head 'em into the canyon!


Let 'em mill! Let 'em mill!

All right, Laredo, hold 'em right in there!

Give 'em a hand back there, will ya? They're too tired to run anymore.

Have you seen Teeler or Dan Latimer?

Teeler's right over there on that high ground.

I saw Dan ridin' among 'em back near camp.

Next look I didn't see him.

Buster, you seen Latimer? -No, not since they started.

Where'd you see him last?


Sims.

Dan was wearing checkered pants, wasn't he?

Yeah, and he was riding a little buckskin mare.

I'll stay here till morning.


Did you find him, Tom? -Yeah.

We'll bury him, and I'll read over him in the morning.

Right. -And Matt, about his wife...

See that she gets full pay for the whole drive...

Just as if he'd finished it.

Sure. -And, uh, get her a...

Well, anything else you can think of.

Like a pair of red shoes, maybe.

That's the way he wanted it, wasn't it?

We brought nothing into this world, and it's certain we can carry nothing out.

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.

Blessed be the name of the Lord. Amen.


Bunk Kennelly!

You started all this. -Yeah.

Yeah, I did. I know it, and I'd do anything.

A tally would show we're 300 or 400 head short.

And you killed Dan Latimer. -Sure, sure, I did.

I know that too.

I know it, I know it, and I'd give...

I'd give my right arm... -Stealing sugar like a kid!

Well, they whip kids to teach 'em better! -They what?

Laredo, Teeler, tie him to that wagon wheel.

No, nobody's gonna tie me to no wagon wheel. No, sir.

Then you'll take it without a wheel to lean against.

I was wrong, awful wrong, but nobody's gonna whip me.

Turn around, Bunk. -Don't do it.

Turn around, or you'll get it in the eye. -Don't do it!

You'd have shot him right between the eyes.

Just as sure as you're standing there.

Well, you shot him. You can take care of him.

And the rest of you...

You got a couple of thousand head to round up.

Get at it.

Go ahead. Say it.

You was wrong, Mr. Dunson.

Thanks, Matt. He... He'd have killed me.

Yeah. You gonna be able to make it home all right?

Won't be no party, but he'll make it.

Groot will fix you up with some food. -Sure.

Take along an extra horse, huh?

This might hurt.

You're fast with that gun, Matt. Awful fast.

But your heart's soft. Too soft.

Might get you hurt someday.

Could be.

I wouldn't count on it.

And then we got rain.

It was 10 days later, 40 days in all...

And the dust turned to mud.

We had over a solid week of rain...

And rain does things to men...

Rain and Tom...

'Cause by now, the boys were scared of Tom.

Beef again? -Yeah, I was figuring on having sow belly and beans.

Got a mite of that left, but it takes time to cook up a tasty meal.

I can't whip up no "patty foy grass" with 30 hungry drivers breathing down my neck.

I could eat something else. -You're gonna bed down early or have beef.

I don't like it myself. -Me neither.

Who asked you to talk? -I was just saying the same as you.

Wait till you're as old as me afore you talk like me.

What's the matter with you? -This stuff tastes awful.

Me and nature done the best we could.

You can't make burnt grain taste like coffee.

Lousy muck! I'd like to tell that Dunson...

Give me some coffee.

What was it you wanted to tell Dunson, Teeler?

A man can't eat this kind of food.

After we lost that other grub wagon, we should've turned back.

Well, we didn't turn back, and we're not going to.

And even if we had, I couldn't replace what we lost.

I'm broke. Got nothing to buy it with.

So you're on short rations and bad coffee...

And you're gonna be until we finish the drive.

And you're gonna finish it. -Teeler, I like what the man says.

Like it or not, that's it.

Come on and get it, you hungry hounds.

Sixty days and we was bedded down near the Ouachitas...

Tired cattle and tireder men.

And rations was gettin' mighty low too.

The men was gettin' awful near mutiny...

And Tom knew it, 'cause... Well, 'cause he just kept watchin'...

Watchin' 'em all the time.


My name's Sutter.

Been riding point for old man Carwood.

Over 2.000 head of...

My... My neck. It hurts.

They put a rope around it, and...

And then they...

That food sure looks good.

I haven't had anything in over four days, and a...

A fella gets... A fella gets...

Grab him.

Bring him over here.

Yeah, that's better. I was nearly all in.

Want to hear about it now? -Go ahead.

Well, we had nearly 2.000 head of cattle...

Belonging to old man Carwood.

Everything went fine till we crossed the Big Red...

And then it happened.

We got as far as the Ouachitas when they jumped us.

How many were in that bunch that jumped you?

Maybe a hundred, I guess.

They stampeded the cattle...

Then picked us off one by one as we came out.

We didn't have a chance. Not a chance.

Why'd they put a rope on you? -They did worse than that.

They nailed Carwood's feet and hands to a wagon wheel.

He was dead when I got to him. -How'd you get loose?

Just luck. The rope they put on me broke.

We should never have gone that way. We should've turned north at the Big Red.

Why do you say that?

A fella named Jess Chisholm, an Indian trader...

He told me he blazed a trail all through the Nations.

Said we could follow it clear to Kansas.

That way we only have Indians to worry about. -Where in Kansas?

Abilene. Said there's a railroad there.

Railroad? -In Abilene? -That's what Cherry was saying.

Did he say he saw it?

Well, I...

I... I can't remember.

Ah. Get me a razor.

Want to come along with us? -Where to? Missouri?

Yeah. -No. No, I've had enough.

If you could spare a little food, though... -Sure.

I've had enough too. -What?

We started a drive we'll never finish. -We'll finish the drive, Mailer.

And I'll sell my beef in Missouri. -What do we eat on the way?

Beef. -What do we drink?

Rainwater, if we have to.

Not me. I'm heading south.

I've had enough, Dunson, unless we try for Abilene.

And you, Fernandez?

Me, I think this way:

If I'm going to die, I go south to die.

My people can find my grave and put flowers on it.

There was an agreement made when you signed on.

You agreed to finish this drive.

I'm gonna hold you to it. -How?

I don't want to have to kill you, Mailer. -With what?

All right, anyone else? Say it now, 'cause I don't want to ever hear it again.

I don't like quitters, especially when they're not good enough...

To finish what they start.

Go on! Speak up! Say it, and you can join your friends here!

All I want... Where are you going?

I'm gonna sit down.

Well, you got work to do, you...

Watch it.

I was just getting myself a drink of water.

I'm just listening.

Well, there's quitters to be buried.

I'll...

I'll read over 'em in the morning.

Plantin' and readin', plantin' and readin'.

Fill a man full of lead...

Stick him in the ground, and then read words at him.

When you've killed a man...

Why try to read the Lord in as a partner on the job?

Well?

You didn't have to do that back there. -You joined in.

I thought you were wrong. -Why didn't you...

Don't tell me what to think! I'll take your orders about work, but not about what to think.

You think I'm to blame for that? -Just as sure as you're sitting there.

And so? -So I'll take your orders.

Got you in the leg, huh? -Yeah.

It ain't bad. -Went clean through.

Ain't as bad as it should be.

You too? What do you got to say?

Nothin'. If I did, you wouldn't listen to it.

Did you find 'em?

Nope. They're gone, all right. -That's a pretty how-do-you-do!

You ought to...

No, I better tell him myself.

Tom. Tom.

Teeler, Laredo, and Bill Kelsey are gone.

What? -They up and left.

How do you know? -I went to wake 'em, and they wasn't there.

When did they go? -During the night.

They was on second guard. It could've happened anytime.

Anybody know anything about Teeler, Kelsey, or Laredo?

There ain't no doubt about it. I checked the wagon.

We're shy some cartridges, flour, and a mite of salt.

How many cartridges? -This side of a hundred.

Flour? -One sack.

Sneakin', yellow...

Well, they're not gonna... Matt, get...

No. Cherry, get mounted and take Grant here, and Bill...

Grant will be enough.

They'll probably head straight south. Find 'em and bring 'em back.

Supposing they won't come. -Bring 'em!

We'll catch up with you.

From now on, this outfit's gonna move.

Get 'em goin'.

And move we did, with Tom drivin' every step.

Matt.

Keep your point moving. The drag's catching up.

Sure.

The boys hoped Teeler, Laredo, and Kelsey'd get away...

But didn't give 'em much chance.

Cherry and Grant was too good, too fast with their guns.

And so we kept on drivin' until... -Red River ahead!

Hey, it's the Red River!

Red River ahead!

It's the Red River!

It's the Red River! -Red River ahead!


Well, here's your Red. -It's quite a river.

We sure had a lot smaller herd the last time we crossed.

One bull and a cow.

Well, this looks like as good a place as any.

This'll take the rest of the day and part of the night. Why not cross in the morning?

We'll put 'em across now. -We've got a pretty tired bunch behind us.

Tired men don't run away.

We can't keep 'em this wore out the rest of the drive.

No, but we can keep 'em this wore out until Cherry gets back.

Then nobody'll want to run away.

Mark for us, will you, Leather? -Sure enough.

Quicksand out in here! Mark it!

More of it in here!

Mark it from the stump to the tree! -From the stump to the tree.

How is it up there, Matt? -Firm all the way.

All right, bring 'em on in, but keep 'em downstream!

Bring 'em on, boys!

Matt, watch for strays.

Right.


Come on, cattle! Get in, cattle!

Come on, cattle.

Come on, get going.

Keep 'em coming.

Hyah, cattle! Go!

Come on, cattle!

Hyah! Get over there!


Straighten out that line!

Keep 'em downstream!

Hyah! Keep 'em comin'!

Your bedroll's right down there, Tom.

Have some coffee, Tom?

We picked up a few. -Hi, Matt.

Hi. We just picked up a few strays downstream.

All told, we've lost 30 to 40 head.

Better than 9.000 head across in less than four hours.

That's awful good, Tom. The boys did all right.

Yeah. -Why don't you tell 'em so?

That's their job.

They're awful tired.

Then we won't have to count noses in the morning.

That leg bothering you?

Yeah, I hooked it on a horn. It opened it up a little.

I'll take a look at it. -No, wait till morning.

You need sleep, Tom. You need it bad.

Some nights ago, we lost three men.

I haven't slept since, and we haven't lost any more.

We're not gonna lose any tonight, nor from now on.

Why did we have to cross today? Wouldn't tomorrow have been just as good?

Dunson's orders. Ask him.

We could've waited till morning instead of finishing after dark.

It don't make sense. We got a long way to go yet.

He's getting worse every day.

Sometimes I think he's going plumb out of his head.

Why tell me?

If you feel that way, what do you tell me for?

Next mornin', while I was fixin' Tom's leg...

Cherry come back, just like I knowed he would.


Get down off them horses. I don't favor looking up to the likes of you.

That's better. You should be crawling.

Cherry, I sent you out after three. You brought back two.

Bill Kelsey figured he'd rather fight. Made a good run of it for a while.

Mm. Laredo, Teeler...

You signed on for the drive, and you signed on to finish it.

That's right... -You stole beans and flour and cartridges.

Besides being deserters, you're common thieves.

The law might see it different... -I'm the law. You're a thief.

You too, Teeler.

Anything more? -I know what you're gonna do, but first I want to tell you something.

Go ahead. -You're crazy.

You been drinking and you ain't been sleeping. If you ain't craza, you're close.

You through? -No.

You want to get this herd to market. So do all of us.

There's a good way to Abilene, but you won't listen.

You want to drive 'em to Missouri when you got the high, low, and jack against you.

I ain't through yet. This herd don't belong to you.

It belongs to every poor, hoping-and-praying cattleman in the whole wide state.

I shouldn't have run away.

I should've stayed and put a bullet in you.

I signed a pledge, but you ain't the man I signed with.

You finished? -Yeah.

Now you can get your Bible and read over us after you shoot us.

I'm gonna hang you.

No. No, you're not.

What? -You're not going to hang them.

Who'll stop me?

I will.


Give me that gun.

Somebody give me...

I'll kill him! Let me go!

He was gonna kill me. Wasn't gonna give me a chance!

Teeler!

Turn him loose.

Cherry, give me that gun. Here's what you've been crying for.

All right, use it! Go on. You got what you wanted.

What are you waiting for? If you don't want to live, all you have to do is...

You're a lucky man, Teeler.

That's how close it came.

Matt, we're getting as craza as he is.

Keep it. You want to finish the drive?

Where are we going? -Abilene.

Who's heading it? -I am.

What about Dunson?

He stays here.

We're taking the herd.

That's good enough for me. -I'm with you, Matt.

Groot?

How about you?

You was wrong, Mr. Dunson.

I been with you a lot of years...

And up till now, right or wrong, I always done like you said.

Got to be kind of a habit, 'cause that's why I'm staying with you.

Go on with 'em. -Thanks.

Thanks for making it easy on me. All right, I'll be coming with you.

Throw 'em on the trail. Start driving.

Buster...

You wait here till I get back.

You come looking for me, Mr. Dunson, I'll be in Abilene.

All right, Groot, get going.

If there's any chance at all, we'll get your herd to Abilene.

Cherry was right. You're soft.

You should've let 'em kill me, 'cause I'm gonna kill you.

I'll catch up with you. I don't know when, but I'll catch up.

Every time you turn around, expect to see me...

'Cause one time you'll turn around, and I'll be there.

I'm gonna kill you, Matt.


So they took Tom's herd away from him...

And we went on with everybody looking over their shoulders...

Watchin' for Tom.

It's only me. -Oh, I thought...

I was scared it was... -Yeah. Got some coffee?

Yeah.

I'm an idiot.

Jumping at every sound I hear.

He wouldn't be coming back yet, would he?

I don't know.

You know, Matt, I been figuring.

He'd be a fool to come alone. Then again, he might.

Yep. -Yeah.

Most likely he'll ride back and get men and cartridges.

You took all of his before you left.

Let me see, now.

Nearest place is San Felipe.

With that bad leg, he'll have to take it easy.

It'll take him at least four days.

He'll pick up men and start after us.

That's four more. That's eight days.

At the rate we been traveling, it's eight days to the river...

Nearer ten. I been figuring some myself.

And four more... That's 8, 16, 20...

That's 22 days altogether.

And we been gone four days.

Four from 22 is, uh... Uh...

That's 18 days from now.

He couldn't get back quicker than that, could he?

If that's the way he does it, that's figuring pretty fine.

Yeah. The men are figuring pretty fine too:

Snarling and snapping and jumping at their own shadows.

What do you think will happen when he does come back, Matt?

Yeah, I been wondering too.

The way he looked when we left him...

It all happened so fast.

I didn't...

I hadn't started out...

I couldn't let him hang Teeler and Laredo.

You ain't sorry you done it?

I don't know.

He was wrong.

Hope I'm right. Hope there's a railroad in Abilene.

Ten days after we left Tom...

The herd was drivin' good, and the only bad thing... well, Tom was out behind.

Hey, Matt! Come here!

Matt, look at this.

About a day ago. -Not over a day, as I make it.

Quo?

Comanche.

You sure? -Comanche arrow.

That's trouble.

Tracks lead north.

Well, do we go on?

Which would you rather have: what's behind...

Or what might be ahead?

Cherry. -Yeah?

You and Buster go on ahead about 10, 12 miles.

Enough to give warning.

Get Groot to give you some food. Take your rifles.

Teeler, see the rest of the men have theirs.

Buster.

Three more days pass.

Each day, we found more Injun signs...

But not a word from Buster and Cherry.

It's Buster.

Women!

Women and coffee, I tell you! I seen 'em!

Trail-craza! -No, I ain't.

I tell you, I had pie and biscuits...

And beans and coffee and a bottle of whiskey...

Hey, hey, hey, hey. Where was all this, Buster?

About 15, 18 miles north of here.

A whole wagon train of 'em heading for Nevady!

No foolin'? -I ain't foolin'. I seen 'em!

They belong to the Donegal. He went to Nevady...

And he sent back to New Orleans for his whole outfit!

They got a big long bar and dice tables... -That's for me!

They got dancing girls. -Let's go!

Hold it!

Buster, you say about 15 miles away? -Maybe a little more.

Yeah, about a two-day drive.

Well, who's going to stay behind and drive the herd?

Nobody.

I don't blame you.

We're going together and taking the herd. -Fair enough.

Two days, we'll all have a cup of coffee. -Bueno!

Tell the rest of the men. Maybe they'd like to hear.

Buster, where's Cherry?

Cherry? Well, he figured there was no need in the two of us coming.

Yeah. -One was...

She pretty?

Matt, you remember that little filly I used to own?

That's what I figured.

Come on.

Buster's news made a heap of difference in the boys.

Nobody had to tell 'em to hurry now.

I ain't never seen such a bunch of men in all my born days.

Everybody wants to ride point so's he'll get in sooner.

I'll bet there ain't a man back in the drag!

What's the matter? -I thought I heard something.

Oh, hi, Buster. -Hi.

How much further to your coffee?

It ain't so far. Any of that water left?

Cherry and me rode over this part at night.

I'd say it was nearer than further.

What's he want?

I don't know.

Let's find out.

Matt, I hear gunfire. -Where?

Seems like it's coming from over that next ridge.

Hey, I hear guns poppin' up ahead! -I know, Laredo.

What do they always yell for? -I don't know.

I make it a few past a hundred. -That's my count.

We're gonna need the rest of the men.

Laredo? -Yeah?

While you get the men, four of us will go on in. -What about the cattle?

Herd'll go sage-belly without the men. It'll take us days to gather 'em.

Yeah, I know, saving a bunch of gamblers and women.

Laredo, when you get the men, split 'em up.

Half go in from over there, half from behind the knoll.

As you go in, we'll come out from the wagons and meet you.

You got that? -Yep.

Don't leave any of them alive, or they'll come back and hit the herd.

Well, Buster...

Want some more coffee?

All righty.

Don't shoot until you have to.

Over here, Matt!

Spread out! Buster, yell when you see them coming!

Glad you got here. They hit us about an hour ago. The others coming?

Yeah, shouldn't take long. They're coming in...

Coming in from both sides of that slope.

We're going out when they get here. Tell 'em, will you?

Sure.

Some extra guns and a rifle. Help yourself.

You're shooting high. Aim lower.

And you're standing in a lot of mud. A water barrel got hit.

You're still shooting high!

I probably am. I'm no good.

Stop wasting powder. Load for me. Keep down.

What are you so mad about?

I asked you why you're angry.

Is it because...

Because some of your men might...

Might get hurt, killed maybe?

Why don't you stop talking and load...

That's fine.

I thought I told you to stay down. -You did.

Then why didn't you? -'Cause I got up.

Not so bad.

Hold still.

All right, it's free. -Here they come, Matt!

You'll have to wait. Ma'am, over here.

Watch her, will you? See she doesn't move till I get back.

All right, thanks. Leave the cloth, will you?

I'm gonna have to cut your dress away.

That shouldn't bother you. -It doesn't.

I asked you before why you were so mad.

Is it... Is it because your cattle...

The cattle Cherry told me about, might run off?

Or maybe... Maybe you don't like the idea of helping...

Helping a bunch of...

Bunch of what?

Yeah, that's what I thought you thought.

This is gonna hurt.

Like they say: "This'll hurt you more than it does me."

No, this'll hurt you.

You were right. It did.

Sometimes they're poisoned.

It's... It's too bad to put you to so much trouble. I...

Here. Hold this. -You got...

You got blood on your cheek. -Is it gonna make you faint?

I hope not.

At least not until I've done something I've been wanting to do.

Well, I saw the slap.

Come on, lift her up. -What happened?

She's gonna be all right. -Where does she belong?

Over here.

Were any of your men hurt, Cherry? -Not enough to count. We were lucky. We were...

I said we were lucky.

I'm sorry. I was just...

I know. There's no use looking, Millay. He won't be coming.

I didn't really think he would. I just... Where is he?

Out with the herd, watching.

What's his name, Cherry? -Matthew Garth.

Matthew Garth.

Shoulder hurt much? -A little.

I made a mess of things, didn't I?

I don't know. I wasn't there. What happened?

Took one look at me and made up his mind I was one of a bunch of...

One look... That's all he took.

Got mad. Wasn't any excuse. I just...

Yeah.

Tell me why he did that, Cherry.

Well, there's a lot to it. I don't know the whole...

Hey, Groot, come here.

This is Miss Millay.

Howdy, ma'am. -He's Groot. He knows more about Matt than anyone else.

She'd like to know about him.

Just what did you want to know?

Anything you can tell me, Groot. -Why?

See, I met Matt today, just after he rode in.

We didn't get along very well...

And I want to find out why.

See, he thought I was one of a bunch...

Hold it. Right there.

It's all right, Buster. It's me, Matt.

I thought it was...

Oh, look at me.

The fog's got me jumpy.

Wish it'd rain.

He wouldn't pick you off in the fog, Buster.

No, I... I know it.

I ain't seen a thing till you come by.

I'll be back at midnight.

Get Groot to fix you some food.

We're starting in the morning.

And that's the story. Now you know more about him.

Yeah.

What would you do if you were me?

If I was you?

Ain't that just like a woman? I ain't you.

How far do you think you'd get with a puss like mine?

I'd like to talk to him if he'll talk to me.

We ain't gonna be here but a few more hours.

Morning at the latest, we'll be gone. -I know. I still want to talk to him.

That's the way you want it, huh? -That's the way I want it.

All right. I'll go see where he's at.


Matthew?

Matthew Garth?

Over here.

Groot said I'd find you here. I wanted to talk to you.

Is it all right? I wanted to...

You're shaking. You thought I was Dunson.

Yeah. Hey, how did you know...

I know a little bit about it. Groot told me.

But it's funny... I didn't imagine you being scared. It doesn't seem to fit.

It fits. -I guess it does.

It makes things clear. It helps. -Helps what?

I know how you feel. I'm scared too.

That's why I'm talking. It's the best thing when you feel that way.

Just talk and keep on talking. Really, it is.

I talk to myself even if I have to sit in front of a mirror.

I can just see myself... -You don't have to.

You can talk to me. I'm right here, and if it'd help...

Please, you can tell me to mind my own business...

And if it would help any, you can hit me...

Like I did you, right across the mouth...

But it'd be good to talk, and I'd like to talk, so there's no...

Please, I'd really like to talk to you.

I'd like it better than talking to a mirror.

I want to know more about him. Why does he think that way?

Because he got to a place where...

You see, he'd taken empty land used for nothing...

Made it the biggest ranch in the state of Texas.

Fought to keep it.

A flat-nosed bull and one cow... That's all he started with.

And, well... -Well what?

After he'd gotten what he'd been after for so long, it wasn't worth anything.

It wasn't worth it.

So he started this drive.

Everyone said: "You can't make it. You'll never get there."

He was the only one believed we could.

He had to believe.

So he started thinking one way his way.

He told the men what to do and made 'em do it.

Otherwise we wouldn't have got as far as we did.

He started 'em for Missouri, and all he knew was he had to get there.

And I took his herd away from him. -You love him, don't you?

And he must love you.

That wouldn't be hard.

Did you like that?

I've always been kind of slow making up my mind.

Maybe I can help.

I don't need any more help, but will you do that again?

That was sure good. -Yeah.

Anybody can fix good vittles if they have something to cook.

I'm so hungry, I could eat anything.

Why don't you eat, then? -Quo's out gathering wood.

I sent him out afore I thought about eating. Hi, Cherry.

It's raining hard in the hills. The river's rising.

If it gets worse, we'll have a bad time crossing.

Don't want to get stuck on this side. -That's what I was thinking.

Somebody ought to tell Matt. -I'll tell him.

Hey, Matt, Cherry was just saying it's raining hard... -Yeah, I heard.

I was figuring that way myself.

We're leaving now.

Let's get started. We're crossing tonight.

Cherry, take the point. Buster, start the bunch down on the flats first.

Get going as soon as you can, Groot. -Anything else?

We can't take her with us, can we? -Well, we could, uh...

What?

No. No, I don't suppose we could.

Where have you been? It took you long enough!

Now we're moving, and I ain't had nothing to eat!

Come on, start packing.

In the meantime, Tom had found men and ammunition...

And started after us.

I don't exactly blame Tom myself.

He'd been 14 years gettin' him somethin'...

And figured somebody'd taken it away from him.

Maybe you'd have thought the same as him.

Will there be anything else, ma'am? -Thanks, Andy. That's all.

Hey, we've got visitors.

Hiya, stranger. Where are you from?

Texas. -What can we do for you?

A trail herd through here a while back. -That's right.

When? -Over a week ago.

They helped us out when Indians hit us.

We've been patching up wounded and damage before moving on.

How far ahead are they?

They're gone eight days now. Nine tomorrow morning.

We're about ready to eat, mister. You and your men can split around.

We'll feed you. -Thanks. I...

I'll take care of Mr. Dunson.

You two boys follow me. -A couple of you come with me.

Two of you follow me. -One of you come with us.

How did you know my name?

We can talk about that later.

Sit down.

I believe it's your beef we're eating.

Who told you that?

The man you promised to kill. -Did he tell you that too?

You're tired, aren't you?

Tired, hungry, and just a little bit irritable.

You'll feel better after you eat.

We'll talk then.

How'd you get that away from him?

I stole it.


So you stole that bracelet.

How did you get it? -Would you really like to know?

How did you get it? -I got it in the rain...

Eight days ago, before he took your herd across that river and left.

I'm wondering whether to believe you. -I don't care whether you do or not.

I believe that.

Want to hear more? -Go ahead.

It was raining.

If it hadn't rained, I wouldn't be here talking to you.

He wouldn't be where you could find him to kill him.

You still intend to kill him, don't you? -Nothing you can say or do...

I didn't say anything.

I'll get you another drink.

So he went off and left you.

I didn't give him that much credit.

You in love with him? -I thought you'd ask that.

Can a woman love a man who'd go off and leave her?

Well, she... She shouldn't.

I wanted to go with him, but he had work to do.

He had to get your cattle to market. Said I wasn't strong enough to go...

And nothing I could do or say would make him change his mind.

But I wanted to go with him.

I wanted him so much that...

That you felt...

Like you had knives sticking in you.

How did you know that?

I suppose other people have felt that way before.

They have. -Now, will you tell me something?

What? -Why do you want to kill him?

Because he's a thief. -You think he thinks that?

He should! I picked him up in the brush leading a cow.

That's 14 years ago. Taught him all I could.

He knew what I was planning, saw what I was building.

He knew that someday it'd all be his.

His land, his cattle, the whole thing.

Even talked of a woman, as men will talk.

A strong woman who could bear him sons.

A woman like you.

Why did you want him to have a son? -Because I'd built something...

Built it with my own hands... And I can't live forever.

Can't live to see it grow.

I thought I had a son.

But I haven't. And I want one.

I'm sorry for you, Mr. Dunson.

Very sorry.

Stand up. -Hmm?

Stand up and turn around. -Don't tell me what to do.

I'll...

All right.

Well, Miss...

I don't even know your name. -Millay. Tess Millay.

Well, Miss Millay, what would you say if...

If I offered you half of everything I own for a son?

Your son? -You can have a son, can't you?

By Dunson, out of Millay.

Half of everything you've got. -That's right.

I'll have your son, Mr. Dunson, if you'll stop now.

Stop now and go back where you came from, I'll have your son. -I thought so.

When did you... Did you really hurt that arm?

I hurt it. It's almost well.

You can take that gun out of the sling now.

Wouldn't have done you any good.

When did you fall in love with him? -I fell in...

It was... It was under a wagon.

Six inches of mud.

When did you... -What?

Fall in love with her?

Who? -The girl you told me about.

The one you left, walked out on. -Did he tell you...

No, you told me.

You knew how I felt when he left me.

She must've felt the same way when you left her. That's right, isn't it?

Well, can't you remember?

I can remember.

Oh, I... I hope so...

Because I want you to think about her while I ask you something.

I want you to think hard. -What?

I want to go on with you. -That won't do any good.

Nothing you can say or do... -You told me, but I want to go.

Please.

All right. -Thanks.

Thanks a lot.

Why don't you use it? -Hmm?

Oh, you mean...

Would there be any use going if I did?

We'll start early.

I'll be ready.

A hundred days and we hadn't seen nothin' human...

Or signs of nothin' for two weeks...

And everybody was beginnin' to believe there weren't no railroad.

I been thinking that Abilene just ain't.

We probably missed it.

We'll probably keep going clear to Canada.

We'll be driving the herd up and down icebergs yet.

We'll find it. -If we do, it'll be awful tough if the railroad ain't there.

It's gotta be there. -But if it ain't?

We'll keep driving till we find it.

Or until Dunson finds us.

Hey, hold it a minute.

What was that?

You hear something? -I didn't hear noth...

I heard it, but it was nothing I heard before.

They're yelling down on the point.


We made it!


Hi. -Howdy, howdy, howdy.

We're looking for Abilene. -Mister, I sure am glad to see you!

You go to Abilene? -You're a sight to behold!

If you'd tell us where Abilene would be, we'll get out of your way.

Mister, let me sit here and feast my eyes.

If you knew how much we been waiting for cattle and how welcome you are...

You can sit on them tracks till kingdom come.

All we want to do is get to Abilene. -Don't rush me.

But if you want, you can take the shortcut there about 12 miles.

Or you can follow the track. It's a little longer.

We'll take the shortcut. -I'll wait all day for you to cross.

Take your time! -See you in Abilene!

Mister, can you blow that whistle one more time? -Sure can!

That 12 miles didn't take long.

Funny how different you feel when you know you're goin' somewheres.

There she is, Matt. -Yeah.

There was times I thought we was never gonna make it.

Hey, it looks like they're as glad to see us as we are them!

Howdy do. -Hi!

Welcome to Abilene. Who's in charge? -I am.

My name's Melville. -Matthew Garth.

We sure are glad to see you, Mr. Garth.

And that goes for all of us. Man, don't stop 'em.

Keep 'em coming. Everything's ready and waiting for you.

Engineer told us you were coming. -He gave us a fine welcome.

What's the best way to the stockyard?

Drive 'em straight through town. -They're not exactly housebroke.

That's all right.

We been waiting a long time for this.

You just drive them straight down that main street...

And let the folks have a look at 'em.

We'd like to ride along with you. -Sure. Come on. Keep 'em coming.


Come on in, boys.

What's the matter? -The roof is funny.

We haven't been under one in three months.

Sit down. Let's talk a little business.

Mr. Garth, I'm...

Say, what is your first name? -Matthew.

Matt, I'm the Greenwood Trading Company of Illinois. I'd like to buy your beef.

That's why we came.

How many you got? -I don't know exactly.

We started out with well over 9.000.

Man alive! -We've lost 600 or 700 on the way.

We won't have 'em all in here till 8:00 or 9:00 tonight.

We haven't got corrals for half that number.

We could leave them right in the streets.

They're tired. They should stay put.

Sure. That'll be all right. What's your price?

Well, uh, I'm kinda new at this.

Would you make me an offer?

All right. Twenty dollars.

You... A head?

Twenty dollars a head.

Well, uh...

Oh, how can a man deal with someone who's done what you've done?

I'll give you top price that anyone else offers...

For a lot of 500, and I'll take the whole herd.

Looks like you're gonna buy yourself a lot of beef.

If that engineer was here, I'd get him to blow his whistle again!

I'll draw up a contract and have it ready tonight.

Buster and I'll ask around and find out what you're gonna have to pay.

We'll be back in a couple of hours. -Need anything else?

Some cash? -I sure could use some. I'd like to pay off the men.

All right. It'll be waiting for you tonight.

All right. Thanks, Mr. Melville.

So long. -So long.

They crossed here, all right. Not over four or five hours ahead.

That night ended a day when history was written in Abilene.

August 14, 1865. was the date.

That was the end of the first drive on the Chisholm Trail.

It was just the first of thousands of such drives...

Bringin' beef to the world.

Here you are, Matt.

You'll have to sign this.

Here's a check to Thomas Dunson for 50.000 $.

The rest will be paid when the tally's finished at 21 $ a head.

You see I've taken a credit here for the money you wanted to pay off your men.

I suppose...

I suppose they'll be celebrating. -They've got a right to.

Of course they have.

There's three times in a man's life when he has the right to yell at the moon:

When he marries, when his children come...

And... And when he finishes a job he had to be craza to start.

When do you expect to be leaving? -I don't exactly know.

You're gonna wait for Dunson, huh?

I've been talking to some of your men.

Isn't that check...

And the fact you got here gonna make any difference?

I don't think so.

I suppose I'm craza... -You want me to run away?

No.

Of course not.

Couldn't... Couldn't I talk to him?

I'd still have to talk to him after that.

Good night, Mr. Melville.

Get a good night's sleep. -Yeah, I could use some.

Good night.

Evening, Mr. Melville. -Evening.

Well, work's not done yet, huh?

No, sir.

Well, you fellas see you get 'er done. I like that boy too.

And I'll buy the drinks when it's over.


He's... He's camped two or three miles outside of town.

He says he'll be here just after sunup.

He says he's going to kill you.

What's the matter? Is something...

Oh, I must look like I'm in mourning.

I didn't mean it that way, or I wouldn't have...

No... No, Matthew.

I know you've only a few hours, but listen for just a minute...

And then I won't talk about it anymore... Just a minute.

He hasn't changed his mind, Matthew.

I didn't think he would. -We saw the railroad, and I thought...

It might make a difference, but it didn't... Nothing would.

He's like something you can't move.

Even I've gotten to believe it's got to happen... Your meeting.

I was gonna ask you to run, but... No, I'm not, I'm not.

It wouldn't do any good. You're too much like him.

Oh, stop me, Matthew, stop me.

God bless you, Matthew.


Morning. -Morning, Matt.

Got a match, Walt?


I told you all where you stand in this.

See that you remember it.


He's got plenty with him. -How many?

Oh, 10 or 12. I'll be telling Matt.

All right.

He's coming in now.

He's got about 10 with him.


You know that young man isn't going to use his gun, don't you?

Yeah.

But I haven't any such notions.

Mr. Dunson...

Mr. Dunson, I'll say it just one more time!


Won't anything make a man out of you?

You once told me never to take your gun away from you.

You yellow-bellied, chicken-livered...

For 14 years I've been scared, but it's gonna be all right!

Get up. Come on, get up.

Stop it! You fools, stop it.

Stop making a holy... Stop it, I said!

I'm good and mad, and who wouldn't be?

You, Dunson, pretending you're gonna kill him.

It's the last thing in the world... Stay still! I'm mad, I told you!

And you, Matthew Garth...

Getting your face all beat up and all bloody!

You ought to see how silly you look...

Like... Like something the cat dragged... Stay still!

What a fool I've been, expecting trouble for days...

When anybody with half a mind would know you two love each other.

It took somebody else to shoot you. Are you hurt?

No, just nicked the... -Then stay still!

No, don't stay still. I changed my mind.

Go ahead, beat each other craza.

Maybe it'll put some sense in both of you.

Go ahead! Do it! Use this.

No, you can't. It's his.

You better marry that girl, Matt.

Yeah, I think I'd...

When are you gonna stop telling people what to do?

Right now. At least, as soon as...

When?

As soon as I tell you one thing more. -What?

When we get back to the ranch, I want you to change the brand.

It'll be like this.

Red River D...

And we'll add an M to it.

You don't mind that, do you?

No.

You've earned it.