Ride the High Country (1962) Script

Come on, kids, out of the street. Come on, kids, get back there.

Hey, you. Get out of there!

Get out of the street!

Get out of the street! Clear the street!

Get away from there!

Get out of the way, old man. can't you hear? can't you see you're in the way? Get out of here!

All right. Out of the way!

Watch out, old-timer.

You got a good horse, but not good enough. I'll have that dollar.

I'm beginning to figure these races smell bad.

That thing never loses.

You had your chance. Well, let's just say I'm a poor loser.

So if you want this dollar...

...you just come right on over here and get it, sonny boy.

Right this way, folks. Come one, come all.

Step right up and try your luck. Everybody welcome.

See the Oregon Kid in person.

Right this way, folks. Come one, come all.

Step right up and outshoot the famous Oregon Kid.

The last of the Western town-tamers.

Fatten your wallets and be a hero to your family. Everybody welcome.

Step up. Try your luck. All you gotta do is hit the plates, and you win the money.

Quit the sermon and turn her loose. One dollar on the yellow.

Shooting against you is like sneaking licorice from a baby girI.

Care to try again?

Mister, could I make a 10-cent bet?

A whole dime? You're a plunger, sir.

Well, I ain't so altogether sure I could hit a moving target without buckshot.

I used to be fair with a scattergun...

...but then that was when the bird wasn't too far away or flying too fast.

Them plates, I just don't see how you manage.

Well, I'll be damned.

How are you, GiI? No great complaints.

How long has it been? Lordy, I'd hate to say.

Quite some time.

Where you been all these years?

Here and there. Quite a little enterprise you've got.

Well, Steve, it's easier than punching cows...

...and it pays off with free drinks when I walk into a saloon.

Would it surprise you that the Oregon Kid is the envy...

...of every small-minded ribbon clerk and shirttaiI towhead from here to Pocatello?

Well, why not? All these single-handed exploits.

Tell me, GiI, who was the Omaha gang? I don't seem to recollect them fellers.

Flagstaff, Monterey, Hondo, I remember we worked them places.

Dodge City and Wichita. Did you ever run with the Earp boys, GiI?

You gotta allow for exaggeration. That's part of playing the game.

That's not much of a game. A blind man couldn't miss using buckshot.

It must be something important to bring you here.

Looks like you've been riding a long time but not getting far.


You mean you're still at it? FederaI marshaI?

No, working for the bank.

You, a bank guard?

I'm transporting gold from the mining camp up there to the bank down here.

Gold bullion, $250,000 worth, the way the letter put it.

A quarter of a million.

And I could use some help. Can you recommend anyone?

I'll give it some thought. You do that, will you?

And let me know. I will, Steve. I surely will.

What do you figure we're gonna do?

Drink champagne, kid, and only the best.

About $250,000 worth.

I'd like to see Mr. Samson, please. He's busy.

Would you tell him it's Mr. Judd. Stephen Judd.

Just one minute.

Excuse me, sir.

Mr. Judd.

Have him come in, Abner.

Mr. Samson will see you.

Thank you.

How do you do, Mr. Judd?

I'm Luther Samson, and this is my son, Abner.

He's the vice president. I'm pleased to meet you, Mr. Judd.

Well, I must say, Mr. Judd, I expected a much younger man.

Well, I used to be. We all used to be. Yes. Yes, of course.

Mr. Judd, we're more than familiar with your reputation.

But that was made many years ago, and we're dealing in the present, not the past.

What's the problem?

The Coarsegold strike is on the crest of the Sierras.

There's only one traiI. One in, one out.

Six miners have been killed trying to get their gold to us.

Six miners killed and robbed, Mr. Judd.

SeveraI weeks ago we petitioned for a marshaI, but nothing happened.

The only law there is too drunk to hit the ground with his hat.

The man we send must be completely reliable, to say nothing of being honest.

We're speaking of gold, Mr. Judd. Twenty thousand dollars worth.

Twenty thousand?

Why, I thought your letter said 250,000.

Our originaI estimate was overly enthusiastic.

The strike isn't a mother lode, but it's productive. Slow and steady.

And we intend to get our share. The days of the forty-niners are past...

...and the days of the steady businessmen have arrived.

My usuaI fee is $20 a day. I'll have to charge you 40.

Forty dollars a day? For what?

For two extra men. I don't intend to go four days without sleeping.

The question is- Can I do it?

I can't answer that by talking, only by doing it.

If you two wanna talk about it, you go ahead, and I'll read the contract.

Well, I guess that'll be all right.

In private, if you please. Well...

...you can go in there.

Well, the contract's all right. How about me? Any doubts?

If not, I'll sign it.

Well, I guess it's all right.

That old man is Steve Judd? He don't look like much to me.

Son, I wore a star for six years with that old man.

I was his deputy most of the time. Once he was mine.

Don't ever play him short.

I just don't figure him to be any trouble, that's all.

I hope you're right, boy. I surely hope you're right.

I'll be at the lion. You demonstrate how impressed you are, with your mouth shut.

Hi, Mr. Westrum. Evening, honey.

Hello, Heck.

Stop that! What did I do?

Never mind what you did. Don't do it in here.

Can I pick you up in an hour? I think so.

Too bad, because Heck won't be there.

Why not? Because if I can't, you won't.

Still keeping records, eh? You know me. Creature of habit.

Somebody else wants to know you. My partner, Heck Longtree.

You'd blush to hear the way he admires you.

How do you do? Howdy.

Have a chair.

Showing your age, aren't you?

Interfering in a young man's love life.

He's got more important things on his mind. Haven't you?

Haven't you? Yes, sir, and so have I.

Been considering your problem. Think I can solve half, perhaps the whole thing.

I know a fellow who's got an overwhelming hankering...

...for a little old-time activity.

A man would have to be pretty hard up to want to risk his life for $ 10 a day.

Ten dollars a day?

Not hard up. Just fed up.

Outshooting rubes for nickels and dimes. Takes free drinks to put me to sleep.

My partner feels the same way.

Don't you? Yeah.

I don't think I'd wanna hire a boy. What do you mean, a boy?

Steve, this boy's a good deaI less than green.

He can't have much behind him. That's where you're wrong.

He's been dogging after me for better than three years.


Too bad he can't keep it clean.

Boys nowadays. No pride. No self-respect.

Plenty of gall, but no sand.

Now, you take that race today- What about that race?

Well, at that distance, no horse in the world could beat a cameI.

Are you calling me a cheat?

Well, if he don't, I will.

Go get them, tiger. You're doing fine. Just fine.

What do you think, Steve? I think he's wonderfuI.

He'll do. He'll do just fine.

What's the matter, partner? Your rheumatism bothering you?

I'm used to working with my brain, not my backside.

You think you can talk him into it? One way or another.

I'd just as soon we'd split it two ways instead of three.

Kid, you've got an awfuI lot to learn.

Good afternoon. Good afternoon.

Joshua Knudsen's the name.

This is GiI Westrum and Heck Longtree.

My name is Judd. Stephen Judd.

I've heard the name. We're on our way to coarsegold.

Could you furnish accommodations for the night?

I've got no room in the house, but I won't object if you wanna stay in the barn.

Thank you, sir. If you could spare us a few eggs, we'd be glad to pay for them.

Well, one you can have. Because the Lord's bounty is not for sale.

The rest are a dollar each. A dollar each?

How do those short-legged chickens lay eggs so high?

Levity in the young is like unto a dry gourd with the seeds rattling around.

My daughter, Elsa.

How do you do? Pleased to meet you.

Likewise. Go start supper.

And change that dress. Change it? What for?

For the good reason I told you to. Did you hear what I said?

I think it's a reaI pretty dress. Thank you.

Put your horses in the corraI yonder.

Supper will be ready in an hour. No charge. The Lord's bounty-

Is not for sale. Thank you, sir.

Think of all that going to waste up here.

Like the fellow said, gold is where you find it.

And if it's not yours, don't covet it.

Don't worry. The Lord's bounty may not be for sale...

...but the deviI's is, if you can pay the price.

There's a lot of truth in those words, Heck.


Yeah. Supper's ready.


Heavenly Father, we thank thee for the food on this table.

Teach thy children to be gratefuI for thy goodness...

...to walk in thy path...

...that they may not suffer thy wrath and thy vengeance.

Bless us, O Lord, and these our guests...

...and forgive them the mercenary desires which brought them here.


Thanks for entering a plea on our behalf, but what's this about mercenary desires?

You're on your way to coarsegold. Them that traveI there do so for one reason.

To traffic in gold.

Which to possess is to live in fear, to desire, to live in sorrow.

But we're not trafficking, sir. Merely transporting.

It says in the Book, Gold is a stumbling block to them that sacrifice to it...

...and every fooI shall be taken therewith.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches.

A loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Proverbs, chapter 22.

Into the land of trouble and anguish come the old lions...

...and they shall carry their riches on the shoulders of young asses...

...to a people that shall not profit them.

Isaiah, chapter 30, verse six.

That mining town is a sinkhole of depravity.

A place of shame and sin.

According to Father, every place outside this farm is a place of sin.

That'll do. You don't have to preach at everybody.

That will do.

You cook a lovely ham hock, Miss Knudsen. Just lovely.

Appetite, chapter one.

Give me a toweI, and I'll dry.

Thanks just the same. You hadn't better.

It must be pretty lonely living up here.

Sometimes I think there's nobody left in the world but my father and me.

It's a crime. A girI like you being stuck up on this old stump ranch.

A girI like you ought to be living in the city.

San Francisco, say.

You've been there? Plenty of times.

I never been anywhere.

He won't even take me to town when he goes after supplies.

He says the men would stare at me.

Suppose on the way back, I was to pick you up...

...and take you to San Francisco...

...or Denver.

Chicago, even. Elsa, who you talking to in there?

To myself. You'd better go.

I'll meet you outside. I can't.

I'll wait for you by the corraI.

That boy you trained personally shows a substantiaI lack of judgment.

Showing your age, aren't you?

Interfering with a young man's love life?

Well, I'm not paying him $ 10 a day to go mooning after some girI...

...whose old man's about to hind-end him with a load of buckshot.

Know who she reminds me of, Steve? No.

Sara Truesdale.

There's no resemblance at all.

Oh, maybe not in the features, but the way she smiles.

There's the same look in her eyes when you talk to her.

The kind of look that makes you feeI you've said something reaI important.

You and Sara always looked so right together.

I can't say I blamed her for not marrying you.

Forgetting the lousy money we made, what woman wants to sit around...

...waiting for her husband to be brought home with his head shot off?

I wonder if I can get these fixed in Coarsegold.

I guess losing Sara is what you might call a hazard of our profession.

That rancher she married... Stacey, is it?

He's doing fine up in Idaho. Got a big ranch there.

Raises blooded horses.

And children too, I hear. Grandchildren now.

Three of them.

That right, Steve?

Yep, that's right.

Three grandchildren. Think she's happy, Steve?

If my sleeping bothers you, don't you bother to let me know.



You surely took your time. I shouldn't be here at all.

Well, why? Does the night air bother you?

If it does, come on up in the hay.

I love the night air.

The thing is, I'm what you might call engaged.

Sure you are. It's the truth.

His name is Billy Hammond.

He asked me to marry him.

SeveraI times.

I said I thought I probably would.

You'll see him in coarsegold. He's a miner at the strike, doing reaI well.

Well, if he's in coarsegold...

...and you're here...

...I don't see any harm in talking.

You! Get in the barn and stay there!

And you, go to the house.

The mouth of a strange woman is a deep pit...

...and him that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.

Won't you never learn any decency? We were only gonna talk. Talk.

The likes of him don't stop at talking. The likes of him.

Every man I meet becomes "the likes of him. "

He's no good. I see it in his face. That's all you see.

Billy Hammond came here twice. You said he was eviI.

I'm your father. I've got to keep the dirt away.

Protect you from the wrong kind of men. That's everyone.

Every single man is the wrong kind of man. Except you.

I promised the next time you hit me, you'd be sorry for it.

For my mouth shall speak truth...

...and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

All the words of my mouth are in righteousness.

Elsa, I'm sorry.

Receive my instruction and not silver...

...and knowledge rather than choice gold.

For wisdom is better than rubies.

In about 30 years, you'll like the feeI of it too.

Pick that up. These mountains don't need your trash.

Dandy pair of boots you got here.

Juan Fernandez made those boots for me in San Antone. SpeciaI order.

I had a hell of a time getting him to put that hole in there.

A fine craftsman, but he never did understand the principle of ventilation.

I remember Juan. Always felt the boot should cover the foot.


Remember Doc Franklin, the fancy boots he wore with the flaps over the toes?

Had them made in Boston.

Old Doc. Know what happened to him? I heard he died.

That's right. Old Doc.

Gave 30 years of his life to make the West safe for decent people.

You'd have wept to see the way they turned out to pay tribute. Three of them.

The mortician, the gravedigger and me.

Well, when I'm buried, I won't much care who comes to the funeraI.

I was commenting on the fairest flower that grows within the human heart:


The only gratitude I expect is my paycheck. Twenty dollars' worth.

That satisfies you? Well, I guess that's all I can hope for.

Is it?

According to my contract, it is. come on, let's get moving.

He don't know what you're talking about. He will, in time.

When we're ready, let's bend a gun over his head and take the gold.

You couldn't get close enough to Steve Judd to saddle his horse.

Well, you could.

Yes, I could, but I won't.

Unless I have to.

I hope heaven forgives us for earning this easy money.

I seem to remember a man hankering for some old-time activity.

I'd like to see some old-time mountains.

As I recall, they sure were a lot easier to get around in.

You sure complain a lot in your old age.

Well, I got something to complain about.

You're earning twice the money for taking the same risk.

Plus possessing all the other rewards you've gathered...

...during your years of loyaI service.

A bluegrass thoroughbred, silver-mounted saddle...

...magnificent wardrobe. I'm envious.

What more could a man expect? What more can a man hope for?

You forgot to mention my two-dollar watch.

Waste of breath.

What else could a man expect?

I got to thinking about that one time.

I keep records. When I became a lawman, the world lost a first-class bookkeeper.

So to pass the time one day, I calculated what it was worth getting shot at.

I figured it at about $ 100 a shot.

You'd have earned quite a sum by now.

Getting hit, I figure that's worth anywhere from 1000 on up.

That's 3000 I know you got coming. Four brings it up to date.

And when you tally up all those fights and bushwhackings and cold camps...

...that time in Lincoln County, five weeks in the hospitaI...

...six months out of work. You add them all up, and I'd figure...

...I was owed about all the gold we could carry out of these mountains.

That's something to dream about.

It sure is.


Mind if I keep you company on the trip? I don't mind.

I do. I'll second that.

My advice is turn the horse around and ride back where you belong.

I'm not going back to my father. I'm going to Coarsegold to marry Billy Hammond.

Why do you wanna do a foolish thing like that?

That's my affair.

She's right, Heck. Our business is transporting gold, not girls.

Thanks for paying back our hospitality. Those ham hocks and everything.

I'm a strong believer in love and gratitude...

...but not strong enough to bring you under these conditions.

I'll ride by myself.

We can make three miles before it gets dark.

Right. Got to cover ground.

Got a gun? No, I don't have a gun.

Too bad. This is certain mountain-lion country.

It sure is.

Well, build a good fire. It will scare them off.

You both go on ahead.

I couldn't sleep tonight with the thought of Elsa by herself.

I'll stay with her and meet you in Coarsegold. Go on ahead.

Those mountain lions, some don't scare so easy.

Come along, girI.

Do you remember old man Teaford? Oh, yeah.

All night, Logan.

Way up, Logan.

You know, the way you do your hair looks reaI nice.

You think so?

Pa had me cut it short.

It sort of fits the shape of your head, when you see it from the side.

Yeah. Like that.

You know, most girls don't know the first thing about their hair.

I guess you're an authority on what most girls do.

Well, I've studied the subject.

Not just what they do, but why.

Now, you take this getting married.

Do you think that's such a good idea?

If I didn't, I wouldn't be here.

My guess is, you're doing it to get away from your pa. To get even, maybe.

I guess your guess is as good as anybody's.

Well, if it's wrong, how come you ran away?

Because my father doesn't want me to get married.

Always says he does.

If I can find a decent young man.

But nobody's decent, according to him.

You included.

He said you were no good.

He said the likes of you don't stop at talking.

You know, he has a point there.

Don't move!

Don't move, Elsa.

No! Heck, no! Let me go! No! No!

Let me go!

My, oh, my.

When I questioned you about him...

...I should've gone more into the subject of character.

I hope that's a mistake I won't live to regret.

Good fight. I enjoyed it.

That old man?

That old man is about half rough.

You learned a lesson, didn't you? I surely did.

Got room for another?

Let her fly.

We're not here for romance. Understand me, son?

Yes, sir.

I hope Mr. Judd didn't hurt you too bad.

I guess it's kind of my fault. What do you mean, "kind of"?

I acted silly. I'm sorry.

I do like you, Heck.

Save the sugar talk for your Billy boy. I don't need it.

What you need's the kind of girI who'd go with you to San Francisco or Denver.

And there's plenty of them.

I changed my mind. You got just what you deserve!

You got something to say?

No, I think she about covered everything.

Lovely place. A beauty spot of nature.

A Garden of Eden for the sore in heart and short of cash.

We didn't come here to enjoy the scenery.

The High Sierra Crochet and Garden Society...

...seem to be having their weekly meeting.

When we get located, pass the word that we're in camp and ready for business.

And you, find out where the Hammond claim is and take her there.

Why me?

Because Steve and I are gonna be busy collecting gold.

Not too late to change your mind.

I came to Coarsegold to be married. And that's what I'm gonna be. Married.

Well, good luck, then. All the happiness in the world.

Welcome to Coarsegold.

This seems to be the place to find it.

You might be in for a big surprise.

How do you know Billy boy still wants to marry you?

What do you care? I don't.

This the Hammond claim?

Who wants to know? I do. I'm looking for Billy Hammond.

You found him.


Howdy, Elsa!

I can't believe it, honey.

Looks like the girI he's been going down the mountain to see.

I'll say one thing, she's sure worth the trip.

Wish I'd got there first.

Looks like a warm one.

Hey, where's your pa at? Back home.

You mean you run off and come all the way up here just to see me?

See you?

I brought my mother's wedding dress.

If you still want to. If I want to?

If he don't, you got four others to choose from.

Sweet thing like you ought to have the pick of the litter.

No rush about making up your mind. Don't listen.

We're gonna get married tonight.

I guess that will be all, Mr. Longtree.

By the way...

...just who is Mr. Longtree?

I rode up with him from the farm.

That's a couple of days on the traiI. That's right. Two days, two nights.

A couple of nights.

A couple of nights on the traiI.


There were two other men with us from the bank in town.

Besides, Mr. Longtree was a perfect gentleman.

How come? Something wrong with him?

Well, now, I don't think I ever met a perfect gentleman before, Mr. Longtree.

You come back and see us reaI soon now, you hear, Mr. Longtree?

Jimmy, Sylvus, Elder, come on down here. I want you to meet my woman.

Come on.

Elsa, honey, this is Jimmy. He's the baby of the family.

And that's Sylvus. He's been doing our cooking, as you can see.

And the one on the end is Elder. He's the head of the clan.

I want you to meet my favorite brother. Henry! Get down here now! Come on.

Henry's sort of our banker, you might say. come on, honey, I'll show you my tent.

It looks like you've got a pretty good claim.

It's a gold mine. Why don't you come over and take a look.

You're invited too.

Find Billy Hammond? Yeah.

What's he like?

What difference does it make? She wanted him, now she's got him.

I don't want a shave.

Well, Jimmy, you're gonna get shaved whether you want to or not.

You've been running around with that peach fuzz long enough.

We want that girI to know she's marrying into a family of men.

Hey, Billy.

Thank you, Sylvus.

Now hauI it.

What's that for?

You're leaving.

I see no sense in moving out just because you're honeymooning.

I don't have time to explain it to you, brother. Just get out.

I ain't going.

You just did.

Takes care of him.

I gotta clean up in here. Plenty of time for that later.

No. I wanna do it now. No, you don't.

But the place is filthy. It'll wait. It'll wait.

Let go, Billy.

Billy, let me go! All right.

Calm down.

Come on, honey.

See you later.

If you need any help...

...fastening up your wedding dress, you just holler, you hear?

I'll manage.

First drink is best, east or west.

Let him go. Turn him loose. There we go.

Jimmy, we're gonna make a man of you now.

Say, Henry.

I've been wanting to ask you something. Something's been on my mind.

Was you planning to bathe for the wedding?

No, sir.

You ain't gonna clean up for your brother's wedding?

No, sir, I ain't.

I didn't wash when cousin got wed back home.

That bride didn't seem to mind none. Did she, Billy?

Now there'll be none of that.

None of what?

You know something, Sylvus?

Billy is getting small-minded about that woman.

And a might feisty.

A few drinks under his belt, he'll change his mind.

Now, liquor always did have a softening effect on Billy.

I hate to get married with one of my brothers...

...smelling bad enough to gag a dog.

Yeah, that so?

You wouldn't want that sweet thing to think we're less than quality, would you?

The only thing I know is that after tonight...

...she ain't gonna be able to think enough about me.

Get him in there.

All right, let him up.

Henry. Henry. Henry.

Come on now, Henry. Easy now.

We're just funning you, Henry. Come on, Henry.

Easy. Come on, Henry.

Put the knife up now. You're gonna cut yourself.

Is that a smile I see on his face?

Easy now, Henry.

Come on, boys.

Drink to the bride!

Let's have a drink.

Stand up, judge. Here comes the bride.

Come on. Steady now.

Here she is, folks, my bride-to-be. Elsa, this here's Judge Tolliver.

Pleased to make your acquaintance, my dear.

And that there's Kate. She's your bridesmaid.

Welcome to Kate's Place, honey.

And these ladies over here are Sam and Rose and Belle and Candy.

We're your flower girls, honey. You're beautifuI, girls. BeautifuI.

Aren't they beautifuI, Elsa?

Let her roll, Charlie!

Drinks on the house!

You come on over and sit down, honey. You must be tired. Poor baby.

We'll all of us have a little drinkie before the formalities.

Now, you take this. Don't be afraid. It'll do you good.

Cheers, Elsa.


Eleven thousand, four hundred and eighty-six.

That's a far cry from a quarter of a million.

Fortunes of war.

Hardly worth it.

All depends on where you stand.

I guess that's right.

To a poor man, 11,000 is just as far away as 250,000.

Where are you going? Out for some fresh air. Any objections?

We're gathered here in the high mountains in the presence of this august company...

...to join this man and this woman in matrimony.

Now, I'm not a man of the cloth, and this is not a religious ceremony.

It's a civiI marriage.

But it's not to be entered into unadvisedly...

...but reverently and soberly.

A good marriage has a kind of simple glory about it.

A good marriage is like a rare animaI. It's hard to find.

It's almost impossible to keep.

You see, people change.

That's important for you to know at the beginning.

People change.

The glory of a good marriage don't come at the beginning.

It comes later on.

It's hard work.

Billy, do you take this woman to be your lawfuI-wedded wife...

... until God, by death, shall separate you? I do.

And do-?

What's your name again?

Elsa Knudsen.

Do you, Elsa, promise to take this man to be your lawfuI-wedded husband...

...until death does separate you?

I do.

Do you have a ring?

Then, by the authority vested in me, I hereby pronounce you man and wife.

All right, girls, change your clothes.

Henry! Henry, Henry!

No, no. Sylvus, Sylvus. Now that's enough, Sylvus.

Hey, bartender, pour a little more.

No use standing here tormenting yourself, son. come on, I'll buy you a drink.

What a party!

Come on, Billy. Come on, get over there and get acquainted around.

Let me in there. Let me in there.

Have fun, honey. Billy!

Billy! come on, now. It's my turn, Sylvus.

I told you not to do that! Now, wait.

You had your turn.

It looks like Jimmy's making a man out of himself.

I told you not to do that! Now, don't be like that, Sylvus.

Oh, come on now.

Now, Sylvus, we got a nice party. Why don't you behave yourself.

You can't hit my brother!

Don't leave me.

I wish I'd known more about those brothers.

It's too late now.

She's married. Glad they didn't invite me.

I always cry at weddings.

The more I am around you, the more I can do without your sense of humor.

Come on, break it up! Boys, get over there!

Now I said, break it up, and I mean it. Get over there.

Come on, Sylvus, get over here and behave yourself.

Get over there!

No, Billy. Come on.


Well, now, get on in there!

Easy now, Elsa.

Listen, Elsa, you come here! No, Billy!

No, Billy! No! Not here!

No, Billy!

Now, you straighten out, you hear me?

Where's Billy?

I've got some prying brothers.

You stay here.

She's mine. She's mine. Let go, Henry.

Elsa! Henry, turn loose of me!

I'm gonna get you.

Come back, Elsa. Come back. Come back, girI.

Come on, get your bride. Billy, get your bride.

Hold it!

Let her go.

Where are you going with my wife? She'll stay with us.

I'm taking her to her father tomorrow. Like hell she will.

You can't take a wife from her husband. Clear case of breaking and entering.

Elsa's legally married to Billy. Right? I now pronounce you man and wife.

And don't you forget it. Go along, Elsa.


You're not leaving this camp with her. I'll promise you that.

Go home, Billy.

What happened? You all right, Billy?

Where is she? Where is she? I'll kill him. I'll kill him.

Billy! Where'd he go with her?

Come on. Why'd you let him get away with her?

The marriage didn't work. We have to take her to her father.

We've got our hands full already. I don't like it any better than you do.

Too big, huh?

What are they doing there?

We're willing to abide by the court's decision if you are.

We'll abide.

Don't be scared.

What's wrong? Billy Hammond wants Elsa.

They appointed a miners' court to decide it.

Miners' court? That's the law, places like this.

Who says? They do.

And there's a lot more of them than there are of us.

Billy's very sorry. Swears it won't happen again. I believe him.

I wouldn't believe Billy- I don't wanna go back.

You were legally married of your own free will.

Please. You can't let him take me back. You can't.

But whatever they decide, that will have to be it.

That don't have to be it. She's not going with him. She stays with us.

She stays here! We're packing gold, not petticoats.

If she stays, I stay.

Well, let's hope the court lets her go with us.

Otherwise, we'll be a little short-handed.

All right, gentlemen, we can proceed.

In the first place, I married this gaI here last night, up on the hill in Kate's Place.

You saw Judge- Where can I find Judge Tolliver?

At the end of the hall, mister. He married us legaI and proper.

Easy. Sit up.

A little more.

Thank you, sir.

What can I do for you?

Clear up a little technicality, if you will.

About that marriage last night.

They're holding a miners' court. They'll wanna know if it was legaI.

Of course it was legaI. Well, I believe that.

But the court may want proof, in the form of a license.

You got one?

Signed by the governor of California.

Yes, sir, there's no question at all about the legality of this document.

Now, when you testify before that miners' court...

...I'm gonna ask you one question:

"Do you possess a license to marry people in california?"

And you're gonna answer, "No. " Am I clear?

That's a lie. No, it isn't. You don't possess it. I do.

Now, see here- Listen to me!

You're gonna do as you're told. Understand?

Now, do you recall the question I'm gonna ask?

And what do you answer?


Very good.

Let's go.

According to the law, she's still married to Billy Hammond.

You and the law. She can get it nullified.

Will that satisfy your ironbound code of ethics?

My code satisfies pretty easy, partner.

Would it surprise you to know that I was once a lawbreaker?

Well, bless my stars.

About the age of that boy back there. Skinny as a snake and just about as mean.

Ran with the Hole-in-the-Wall bunch.

Gun-happy, looking for trouble or a pretty ankle.

Had the world by the taiI, so to speak.

Then one night, PauI Staniford picked me up.

He was sheriff of Madera County then.

There'd been a fight, and I was drunk. Sicker than a fat dog.

He dried me out in jaiI, and then we went out back...

...and he proceeded to kick the bitter hell right out of me.

That took some doing.

Not much. You see, he was right, I was wrong.

That makes the difference.

Who says so?

Nobody. That's something you just know.

Anyhow, when I was able to walk again, I realized I'd learned a lesson from him.

The value of self-respect.

What's that worth on the open market?

Nothing to some people, but a great deaI to me.

But I lost it.

These last years, the only work I was able to get was places like Kate's.

Bartender, stick man, bouncer, what have you.

Not much to brag on.

Now I'm getting back a little respect for myself.

I intend to keep it with the help of you and that boy back there.

Good to be working again, GiI. Yeah.

You know what's on the back of a poor man when he dies?

The clothes of pride.

And they're not a bit warmer to him dead than they were when he was alive.

Is that all you want, Steve?

AII I want is to enter my house justified.

Thank you.

Will you stay in town when we get back?

I'm not just certain. Why?

You're right, kid. I've been wasting my breath. Tonight we move.

I don't know. You don't know what?

I started out thinking he was an old mossback...

...but I changed my mind. Kind of hate to turn against him.

Are you with me or not?

What will happen to Elsa? He'll deliver her.

The thing for you to remember is that we made a deaI.

Yes, sir.

It all pointed this way.

All that talk about old Doc Franklin, ungratefuI citizens.

What we had coming but never got paid. It's the truth, isn't it, Steve?

I knew in my bones what you were aiming for, but I wouldn't believe it.

I kept telling myself you were a good man.

You were my friend. This is bank money, not yours.

And what they don't know won't hurt them.

Not them. Only me!

Take off your gun belt and toss it over here.

What are you gonna do?

You always fancied yourself faster than me.

Go ahead, draw.

Draw, you damned tinhorn!

That was your second mistake...

...and the last chance you'll ever get from me.

I'm gonna put you behind bars, GiI.

You'll play hell getting it done.


My, oh, my, will you look who's here.

Howdy. You made pure fools out of us, stealing that license from Tolliver.

The judge says there's another one on file in Sacramento.

That means she's still my wife. come on, honey, let's go home.

She stays with us.

Looks to me like you been having some trouble.

Looks to me like somebody got their finger caught in the cookie jar.

You're short-handed, old-timer, but she's all we want.

All we want, provided we get her now.

You heard me. We'll get her, sooner or later.

Like hell you will!

You better cut yourself a switch, Mr. Longtree.

I don't think you could handle me barehanded.

You all are gonna get yourself a chance to try, directly.

Come on.

I have your word you'll return your gun when this is over?

Yes, sir, I reckon you do.

I'll go along. You bet you'll go along.

We're moving into the rocks. Steve!

Shut up! Move!

Move out!

You're really showing your age.

Back in the old days, you'd have checked those rifles before we left camp.

I'll get around behind them.

Don't waste your time. They're too far away.

He's going around behind us. Cut me loose and give me a gun.

I'll get a rifle for you.

Start shooting.



He was carrying a rifle. Let's get out of here!

Looks like they got Sylvus. I know that. come on! We're getting out.

You got two brothers dead, you talk about running?

Come on!

I wonder where those other three went.

I hope they're not still following us. Calm your fears, honey.

My guess is, they gave up and went back to Coarsegold.

Assuming that's so, I'll have your gun back.

Do you hear me, boy?

I'm sorry, Mr. Judd. I guess I was showing off.

What happens when we get to town? It's up to the sheriff.

He's turning us in. You know that. So do I.

Ever hear of Folsom Prison, Heck? No.

Well, it's solid rock.

During the years we spend there we'll discuss...

...the events of the past few minutes at great length.

And by the time you get out, you won't like him any better than I do now...

...which isn't one hell of a lot. Where do I sleep?

Up there. I don't wanna see you till breakfast.

Cut me loose, Steve.


Because I don't sleep so good anymore.

Good night. Good night.

My father says there's only right and wrong...

...good and eviI.

Nothing in between.

It isn't that simple, is it? No, it isn't. It should be, but it isn't.

What's gonna happen to him?

The boy? I'll testify for him. They shouldn't be too hard.

Will you testify for Mr. Westrum?

No, I won't. Why?

Because he was my friend.

How come he don't tie us up? What for?

No place to go.

He's got the horses, and he's got the guns.

And it wouldn't take long for Steve Judd to find us.

Wait a minute, kid. I just had a thought.

Well, keep it to yourself. I'm fed up with you and your ideas.

That's all right.

That's all right.

Morning. Morning.

Where's GiI? Gone.

Why didn't you go with him?

Because I didn't see any future in our partnership.

Come on.

Get up there!

You wait here.

I'll go down and take a look around.

The old gent's taking quite a chance. I don't think so.

Neither does he.

I never figured it would turn out this way. chances are I'll be locked up for a while. I've got no call to bring it up.

But maybe when I get out- I'll be there.

I saw your father. Everything's all right.

What are you doing?

That's strange. What?

He goes to her grave every day but always in the morning.

Never in the afternoon.

We're going to the ditch.


I walked right into it.

I'm gonna try for the corraI.

I got him.

Well, where's the rifle?

On the horse.


Not yet.

Partner, what do you think?

Let's meet them head-on, halfway, just like always.

My sentiments exactly.

You, Hammonds! What do you want, old man?

He wants a shoveI and six feet of dirt.

You redneck peckerwoods.

You're too chicken-gutted to finish this thing out in the open.

Two old men against all three of you boys.

And if them odds ain't enough for you damned dry-gulching Southern trash...

- ... we'll send out the girI. We're coming!

You hear me, Henry? Yeah, I hear you.

You don't have to ask me twice!

Now, you hold on, Billy.

We'll catch them when they raise up. Ain't you got no sense of family honor?

Start the ball, old man.

How'd we figure?

A thousand dollars a shot? Yeah.

Those boys sure made me a lot of money.

They put them all in one spot.

I don't want them to see this.

I'll go it alone.

Don't worry about anything.

I'll take care of it, just like you would have.

Hell, I know that.

I always did.

You just forgot it for a while, that's all.

So long, partner.

I'll see you later.