The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) Script

'This picture is based on a little-known episode in American history.

'After Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo, 'his officers and their families were exiled from France

'as punishment for devotedly following an adored leader.

'Bewildered, they turned to the one country

'they thought would sympathize with their plight.

'And the United States welcomed them.

'By Act of Congress, they were granted four townships in the territory of Alabama, 'and in 1818 a brave band, once the most influential in France, 'began to carve a home out of the American wilderness, 'clinging to their rich uniforms as a last reminder of their former glory.

'The story begins a year later, in Mobile, '200 miles downriver from the French settlement at Demopolis.'


Colonel Geraud. Mademoiselle?

You could dismount and walk with me to see what's in the shops.

The shops, mademoiselle, as you call them, are mostly taverns.

Besides, Blake will be out any moment now.

Oh, but just sitting here. And the sun...

Perhaps an ice or maybe a cool drink.

Do you think we could find one? I'm sure I could find one.

But please do not leave the carriage.

There's a militia regiment in town... All right, Colonel Geraud.

I promise I shall not leave the carriage.

Promise? Mm-hm.

Only 800 miles more to go Only 800 miles more to go More to go And if we can just get lucky We will wind up in Kentucky...

All right, Kentucky. Here we go. 800 miles more to go Oh, we fought with the 7th over creeks And we ain't had a bridge...

2nd Kentucky, outside. On the double.

We will make it to Kentucky Only 800 miles more to go... Goodbye, honey.

You didn't kiss me!

Lady, he's busy.

2nd Kentucky, outside.

Is that you, Colonel Geraud? No.

If you'll just let on like we're old friends.

2nd Kentucky? Yes, ma'am.

Breen's the name. John Breen.

Deserting? No, ma'am.

They're leaving. I'm staying.

Only 800 miles more to go More to go And if we can just get lucky We will wind up in Kentucky Only 800 miles more to go

Thank you, ma'am.

Uh-oh. It's Willie Paine.

Come on!

He's sure to recognize me.

Mind if we drive around the square?

Buck, take charge of these mules.

Hank, you and Beau's coming with me.

This has been right neighborly of you, ma'am.

Sorry I can't wait to pay my respects to your menfolk’s.

Uh-oh.

Sorry.

You fellas better catch the regiment. This may go on all day.


Ma'am, this is downright inconvenient for you.

Uh-oh.

Willie again.

Hyah!

Thank you, ma'am.

You've been mighty patient.

I sure appreciate your kindness to a total stranger.

Uh-oh.

I was afraid he wouldn't make it. Huh?

I said I was afraid he wouldn't make it.

Now, if we were to head that way, at a nice spanking trot, I'm sure Willie couldn't keep up.

Yes, ma'am.

Hyah!


Rest the team before we turn back.

Ma'am, you're uncommon gracious. I'd sure admire to meet you properly.

May I come a-calling?

I'm leaving Mobile tomorrow. Oh. That's bad.

Well, there's tonight.

I shall be busy getting ready for tomorrow.

That narrows it down to this afternoon.

Short time to make a lasting impression. You will try though, won't you?

What's that, ma'am? I say you will try, won't you?

After all the trouble you and your friend Willie took to get me out here, surely you'll compliment me with an effort?

You're downright discouraging to romance, ma'am.

Couldn't you act just a little frightened to sort of save my pride?

Now, would you and your pride please take me back to Mobile?

You look beautiful with your eyes shining. Monsieur John Breen, please...

You're also inclined to talk too much.

What is it? Somebody in a hurry.

Do you know 'em? The man in the lead is Blake Randolph.

The one in uniform is Colonel Georges Geraud.

One of the others is Mr. George Hayden.

But the fourth I don't recognize. I do. It's the sheriff.

Are the rest of 'em friends of yours?

Yes. This is Mr. Randolph's carriage. You see, I...

You're not Mrs. Randolph? No, no...

Don't bother. Nothing else matters.

There he is, Sheriff. You take my horse, I'll go back in the carriage.

Step down, please. You're under arrest, soldier.

I thought he was sheriff.

Blake, it's all my fault. Don't trouble yourself, mademoiselle.

Your concern is natural but needless. The charge has nothing to do with the carriage.

Then what am I being arrested for? Assault.

Who did I assault? Did you hit a man at the tavern bar?

Oh, that. Yep, that.

It was a political argument. A fellow said Henry Clay was a scoundrel, so I hit him.

We had a drink afterwards.

You're wasting your time, Sheriff. Take him away.

Wait a minute, you fellas can't be serious.

Things like that happen every day in Kentucky.

I don't doubt it. Now, if you'll be good enough to step down.

Did my opponent sign a complaint?

Well, no. But he will.

Oh.

Mr. Randolph, I'm prepared to apologize for taking your carriage.

I heard yesterday that you control the river.

Now I learn that you control most everything else hereabouts.

We'll discuss that later. Now, if you wouldn't mind...

Oh, we've marched and skedaddled back and forth And we've been everywhere in the north So we thought we'd quit a-roving and we started home-sweet-homing Oh, there's 800 miles more to go Only 800 miles more to go More to go Only 800 miles more to go More to go And if we can just get lucky We will wind up in Kentucky Only 800 miles more to go Kentucky...

Halt!

Breen! We've been looking for you.

Trouble? No, sir.

This lady and these gentlemen brought me to wait for you.

May I present Captain Carroll? Ma'am.

Colonel Geraud, Captain Carroll. Colonel.

This is the sheriff of Mobile. Sheriff.

And this is Mr., uh... Hayden, isn't it?

And this, sir, is Mr. Randolph.

Mr. Blake Randolph? Yes, sir.

Who wouldn't let us use the riverboat? Yes, sir.

Mm-hm. I see.

Well, fall in when you're finished.

Mademoiselle, forgive me.

Colonel Geraud, my respects, sir.

Sheriff, sorry.

And you, sir, if you ever get up Kentucky way, drop in and see us.


Forward, hey!


Oh, we thought we were gonna go by boat And we went to Mobile to have a talk But the man that owns the water said he thought we hadn't oughta So it looks like a long, long walk Only 800 miles more to go More to go Only 800 miles more to go More to go...

Monsieur Blake, that Breen business was actually my fault.

You mean you knew him? As one soldier to another.

Colonel Geraud is very gallant in trying to relieve me of embarrassment.

The truth is I was bored and acted very foolishly.

Forgive me. Perhaps the fault is mine.

I shouldn't have kept you waiting for so long. Let's forget that it happened.

Howdy, everybody.

Glad to see you back home, Miss Fleurette.

Folks, General De Marchand has asked me to take charge of this soirée.

That's French.

And it being a special occasion, announcing the coming wedding of Miss Fleurette and Mr. Blake Randolph, ain't nobody barred from having a good time.

That includes you and the river men, Carter Ward.

I don't know any better way to get started than with a little singing.

Oh, this war is mighty hard on feet And we sure never get enough to eat And a belly full of colic doesn't help a man to frolic When there's 600 miles more to go...

Soldiers coming!

Round up the strays!

Only 600 miles more to go...

Oh, excuse me, Mama.

And if we can just get lucky We will wind up in Kentucky Only 600 miles more to go Only 600 miles more to go More to go Only 600 miles more to go More to go And if we could just get lucky We will wind up in Kentucky Only 600 miles more to go...

Column ranks... ho!

Kentucky... halt!

Forward right... turn!

Kentucky... halt!

Shoulder... arms!

At ease!

Phew.

Sorry to interrupt you this way, gentlemen, but...

Mr. Randolph, isn't it?

John Breen is a friend of yours.

Howdy, Mr. Randolph.

May I present Captain Carroll and John Breen, sir?

Gentlemen, your host - Paul De Marchand, general of a division of the armies of France, lately commanding the Emperor's Guard.

Emperor Napoleon, sir? Yes, Captain.

Kentucky, hut!

Present arms!

Order... arms!

Thank you, Captain, and welcome.

The bar is right over there. Dismissed!

Thank you, sir.

Here's something for your throat.

Well, thanks, Willie.

Ahh. Mmm, that's right soothing.

Yeah, considering how far we've marched.

But for downright drinking, we've got something in Kentucky...

Here.

Take care of Betsy-Anne for me, will you?

Miss De Marchand?

Why, of course! Monsieur Breen.

I should have recognized the song.

Yes, ma'am. That's why I was singing.

Hello, you.

Hello, John Breen.

Oh, Mama, may I present John Breen of Kentucky?

How do you do, monsieur? Charmed, ma'am.

Meet another Kentuckian - Captain Carroll.

Captain, Madame De Marchand. My pleasure, ma'am.

Are you two gentlemen old friends of my daughter?

Well, not exactly.

We met in Mobile. 10 days ago.

You both know Monsieur Randolph?

Yes, ma'am.

Seems like the wrestling's been decided in a hurry.

There being no other contestants, this gallon of rum is awarded to Jacques.

Hold it right there, mister.

Did you say "gallon of rum"?

Yes. The first prize for the wrestling is a gallon of Jamaica rum, donated by Mr. Blake Randolph.

What do we have to do to win it?

Just throw Jacques.

If one of you gentlemen would like to try it, just step this way.


Let's get in on this.


Oh, they're just horse playing, General.

All right, ladies, here come the broken heads.

Captain Carroll? Captain Carroll?! Yes, sir.

Your men. Yes, sir!

Kentucky, come on, break it up!

Have you any idea who you were hitting?!

Stop them, John Breen, please. They'll spoil everything.

Oh, it's nothing but a little...

Excuse me, ma'am.

Willie! Willie!

Blow!

No, the bugle. Blow!

Come on, Kentucky!

What in the world was that? Mess call.

What? Mess call.

Mess call?! Mess call!

Kentucky, get in line!


Let me down, oh, hangman Please let me down a while I think I see my lover comin'

Ridin' many a mile Oh, lover, have you brought me gold?

Enough to set me free?

Or have you come to see me hangin'

On the gallows tree?

Who, uh... who is she?

Oh, that's Ann Logan. She arrived during dinner with George Hayden.

The big fella that rode with you and Blake Randolph?

That's the man. I saw him over there.

She works for him at the Hawk and Horn.

That's a tavern. Oh.

I, uh, notice that the ladies didn't crowd around.

I don't suppose she has a very good time, yet Hayden takes her everyplace.

Does he go everyplace? Oh, yes.

He is a very important man.

He's in charge of the river traffic and the men who handle it.

Those river men can be annoying when in large groups.

Yes, I thought that little scuffle over the jug developed mighty fast.

It's exactly what I mean.

I understood that, uh, Randolph owned the riverboats.

He does, but Hayden controls the men.

Yes, we get along very well with the settlers, the people who live around here, but, you know, those river men just seem to resent us.

You were quite a handy man with that bugle this afternoon, John Breen.

Too bad you're not here permanently. But I am, sir.

I'm arranging to get mustered out here.

Oh, I know this is not Kentucky but it's mighty fine country.

And I know I'm gonna like the people.

That's fine, John Breen. That's fine.

We need friends like you. Have the people heard about it?

Well, not yet. Excuse me, then. I will go and tell her.

'Made up your mind in a hurry, didn't you?

"'Lt's not Kentucky but I know I'll like the people."

'Who do you think you're fooling?

'You're leaving the regiment and everything you've known

'just because you kissed a girl in Mobile.

'Uh-oh, here she comes.

'Tell her. Tell her the Colonel misunderstood.

'Blame it on Captain Carroll, anything. Only get out of here.

'Go on, now. Tell her.

'Tell her goodbye. She's just another girl.

'What are you shaking about? '

Good evening, ma'am.

Good evening, John Breen.

Your Willie Paine's a handy man in the kitchen.

Did you see Colonel Geraud?

Yes. You mustn't do it.

Mustn't do what? Stay here.

Have you talked to Captain Carroll? No, but I will.

No, don't. Leave with your regiment in the morning.

But Maam, I thought... Let's not talk about it tonight.

Not talk about it? We've got to.

I couldn't wait to find you. And today I know you were glad to see me.

Tonight here you are close to me, wanting to be kissed, and tell me to march away in the morning - we gotta talk.

All right, then, listen to me.

John Breen of the 2nd Kentucky passing through, you are adventure, romance.

Day after day, what will you be? Adventure, romance.

You can't come charging into a well-ordered life...

A well-ordered life?

From the way you hold your head, the shine in your eyes, everything hollers for...

I'm going to marry Blake Randolph. You are?

He's building our home.

The furnishings are chosen.

My whole life is arranged, settled.

Does that mean so much?

What else is there?

There's this.

I hope you know what you're doing.

Hope so. Nobody back in Kentucky.

Gotta make a fresh start someplace.

Well, we'll be in Catawba for the next three days.

Andy Jackson's gonna make a speech.

And if things don't pan out the way you expect, you come a-running.

Thank you!

Good luck, Breen!

Tell those Frenchies they're all right.


Drat the luck.

Five years with Andy Jackson and look at me - late for formation.

Phew.

I was laying up under that big sycamore just as comfortable as could be.

Didn't even hear first call.

You can catch them if you hurry.

That's what I'm fixing to do.

Soon as I catch my wind.

Maybe we could chase after them together.

Maybe.

No hurry, though.

I reckon not.

Willie, you old dog-robber, how'd you fix it?

Well, Captain Carroll thought I'd better stay here to see that you didn't get into too much trouble.

You got your wind, Mr. Paine?

Just about, Mr. Breen.

Shall we go? After you, Mr. Breen.

Together, Mr. Paine.

We have 600 miles more to go We have 600 miles more to go But these people want to pay here So we think we'd better stay here We have 600 miles more to go Sister Hattie told me about those Kentuckians.

She says they act bashful and man you all over the place and the first thing you know...

Chérie, don't worry about it.

Leave everything to Papa.

You must admit that there is no comparison between Blake Randolph and your penniless John Breen.

Yes, Mama.

There is no comparison.

Was Papa always a general?

Was Papa what?

Was Papa always a general? I seem to remember you...

The first time I met your father, he was rushing through the streets of Paris wearing a funny little hat and shouting of liberty, equality and brotherhood.

Then he wasn't a general.

He wasn't even working.

No one was working in Paris those days.

When the mob stormed into Versailles I got separated from my mother, who ran to defend the Queen with the other ladies-in-waiting.

All of a sudden, I was surrounded by a dozen ruffians all brandishing pikes.

Your father happened to be one of them.

He grabbed a hold of my arm and he shouted, "Citizens, we better get out of here."

What did you do? I put on a funny hat and went with him.

Fleurette, you are the one!

Oh, Mama!

How do I look?

Mmm, fine.

Mr. Breen?

Where are you going with my hat?

Well, a fella can't wear a coonskin cap with an outfit like this.

Takes a beaver.

That's my putting away hat.

Your what? My putting away hat.

Three generations of Paine have worn this hat right to the brink of eternity.

Be careful of it, will you?

That hat was given to me by my great-great-great-grand-uncle Daniel.

Daniel Boone?

He got it for outrunning a bear.

Whoa, oh, oh.

Willie.

Say, uh...

You don't think I'm too dressed up? Oh, no.

People like the De Marchands dress up every night like that.

Good luck.

Don't forget to wipe your boots off on your pants before you go in the house!


Good evening, sir.

John Breen to see Mademoiselle De Marchand.

Sorry, Mademoiselle De Marchand is not at home.

You mean she's not in? I mean she's not at home.

Then General De Marchand. Family is not at home.

I will tell them you called.

Good evening. Good evening.

Nobody home. Thank you.

Monsieur Randolph, the General is in the library.

Thank you.


Try that sometime.

'Well, now you know how you stand, don't you?

'You gonna let them get away with it?

'Why don't you take off those fancy clothes and go back and get her? '

I said Kentucky whiskey and that's what I want.

Seems a shame that when a man's away from home, he can't get the kind of drink he orders.

I've been five years running around this country with my tongue hanging out and that's long enough.

Double-distilled chain lightning, Kentucky corn!

Not this Alabama river water.

Take it easy, soldier. Take it easy. Get rid of him!

Easy, boys, easy.

What's going on here? What difference does it make, mister?

This man's a friend of mine. He's a mite hot-headed.

If he's offended you, gentlemen... Offended nothing.

He looks mighty like the bucko that laid me out in that scuffle yesterday.

If he is... If he is what?

Gentlemen, I'm sure yesterday's fracas was all in fun.

As for the liquor, you'll have to forgive a man for pride in his own state.

My friend and I haven't seen Kentucky for five years.

Naturally, you... Well, this'll pay for the... excellent Alabama rum that was spilled.

This'll buy a drink for the house.

What do you say, gentlemen?

Will you join me? No.

Put your money back in your pocket.

Got it all on, haven't you?

Nobody's drinking with you. Why not?

You're not gonna be here long enough for sociability’s, Mr. Breen.

We've met before. I remember.

You had a difference of opinion with my friend.

I remember that too.

Stay out of this, Willie.

Where's your regiment, Mr. Breen?

Well, a day's march from here - Catawba, I guess.

Nobody hangs around Demopolis unless they've got a job.

Nobody's got a job unless they work for me.

So you're not hanging around Demopolis. I told somebody I was.

You won't like it. It can get awful unpleasant.

We just went through five years of unpleasant.

That's why I'm bothering to tell you.

You're a man that knows trouble when he sees it.

So why don't you pack your things and get out of here?

By morning, you'll be back with the other solider boys.

I'm sure they miss your singing.

What do you think, Mr. Paine?

I don't know. Mr. Hayden's a mighty convincing talker.

I see what you mean.

Any more talking would be a waste of time.

It sure would.

Hold it.

Don't touch those men.

Come on. Break it up. Blackie, stop it.

Hello, John Breen.

Hello, uh...

Oh.

You sing nice.

What are you doing?

I'm trying to help you.

I know this man.

Why don't you tell them who you are?

Why don't you tell them, ma'am?

Six years ago in Kentucky, wasn't it?

You have a wonderful memory.

Just a moment and I'll tell you exactly where it was.

Lexington, that's it.

You were working for Calvin Buford, locating boundaries or something.

That's right - you're a surveyor.

Don't be a fool, George Hayden.

This man's here on business.

All right, solider, now you can buy.

Come on, everybody. Belly up.

I tell you, I don't know her at all.

The only time I saw her before was last night at the festival.

You sure made a lasting impression.

She come charging down them stairs like a scared doe.

If you don't know her, what's all this talk about Lexington and surveying?

Willie, you know I don't know anything about surveying.

Well, it looks like you'd better start learning.

It's real. It sure is. Who sent it?

United States Department of War, Washington, D.C.

Nice of 'em.

Goes to show you what kind of service us heroes can expect from our government.

If we knew how to use it, we can go to work.

I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Nobody else around here knows about them either.

Evening, ma'am.

Been hoping you'd call.

Would you have a chair? No, thanks.

Mmm, but I'll have a cup of that good-smelling coffee.

Yes, ma'am.

I couldn't leave you dangling after you carried it off so beautifully at the tavern.

I did nothing, ma'am.

You handled the whole thing... beautifully.

Here you are, ma'am.

Excuse the mug. We ain't very fancy here.

You're talking to a girl who learned to drink Alabama rum out of a jug.

Mmm. That is good coffee.

It oughta be. I started with coffee this time.

Willie's used to making coffee out of hickory nuts.

Well, why don't you go see about the horses?

I'll go see about the horses. Excuse me, ma'am.

Your friend is a tactful man.

My friend is a Kentuckian, ma'am.

And how about those surveying instruments?

They belonged to someone I knew.

He surveyed most of this country before the French arrived.

Where is he now?

Gone. He lost his life when his cabin burned down.

Oh.

Drunken negligence was the verdict by Hayden's jury.

Well, that's too bad, ma'am.

It is, considering he never took a drink in his life.

We met in Kentucky.

We were to be married in Mobile.

When I didn't hear from him, I came to Demopolis.

George Hayden had these instruments and turned them over with the story of the fire.

I didn't believe the way he told it.

I stayed around to find out what really happened.

And doesn't Hayden ever suspect that...

When he's with me, no.

At other times, there's a man named Beau Merritt who is his watchdog.

The man on the stairs at the Hog and Horn?

Yes. Uh-huh.

But as his name implies, Beau has his weakness.

I manage to slip away occasionally.

Perhaps the presence of another surveyor will bring the truth out in the open.

It's likely to, ma'am.

But if what you suspect is true, I'm in a little trouble.

I realize it isn't your fight.

If you'd rather not help, I'll understand.

I didn't mean it that way, ma'am.

You rescued me and my friend from a very unpleasant situation tonight.

The least we can do is repay that obligation.

And besides, as Mr. Hayden says, we do need a job.

Thank you, John Breen.

Good night, ma'am.

Good night, ma'am. Good night.

You reckon you've got a weakness?

If I have, I don't know what it is. Well, I do... women.

We don't know enough about them things to fool anybody.

Well, sure we do. You've seen army surveyors work.

You grab that stick and go out that way and I look through this thing and wave at you.

Why don't you grab that stick and I'll look through here and wave at you?

Kind of silly, isn't it? Kind of.

Well, I still don't like Hayden.


How much longer have we got to do this?

Till something happens.

Whoa!

Well, it happened.

Aaargh!

I'll get out. Go on.

Did you know Breen is surveying the French grant?

Of course.

I've got Beau keeping an eye on him.

Who's he working for?

That should be plain enough - Geraud found him a house, gave him horses.

Drink? Uh, no, thanks.

You came to me with a great idea.

"Let's move the boundary stakes on the Frenchmen," you said.

"Let them settle on the wrong land, clear it and build.

"And we'll take it away from them."

Yes, but I changed my mind.

But I didn't change mine.

It's still a great idea.

And I'm ready to move in.

I don't want to cause you any trouble, Blake, but if Geraud and Breen get together, you'll have trouble.

I'll be out in the cold.

Now, look. I promised you wouldn't lose anything by waiting.

I meant it.

Soon Alabama becomes a state and I'll see that the French get title to the land they've settled.

And in the meantime?

In the meantime, I'm paying you to make sure that nobody finds out what happened.

Better? Some.

Where's the regiment?

They'll be at Catawba for the next three or four...

Why? Oh, I was just thinking about Kentucky.

The grass is knee-high to a yearling.

The blue jays are pecking at the persimmons and everything is peace and quiet.

Ma's baking bread and you can smell it all through the house.

Down in the barn, Pa's sitting up with an old red mare that's groaning way down deep.

Tomorrow morning, the neighbors will come riding in to see the new foal.

It's no use, Willie. I got my neck bowed.

Well, can't we just stop this foolishness and sit under a tree?

The sun ought to feel mighty good on a bowed neck.

Now you're making sense.

I'll go gather up the tools.

Now what?

Some kind of a marker.


Good thing you had your neck bowed. Yeah.

A fella oughta carry a gun around here.


Hi, wrestler. Hello, Kentucky.

Hunters.

Papa, Papa! What is it?

It is nothing, child. Go inside.

Your arm, monsieur. Papa, he is wounded.

Come. Come, monsieur. This way.

Mademoiselle Fleurette! The gown for the wedding - she didn't forget.

But, Marie, you forget - my arm, my sore little wound.

Oh, monsieur.


Mademoiselle Fleurette, poor John Breen has the wound, but I can fix him up.

I'm sure you can.

Here's the dress I promised you, Marie. Mademoiselle!

It’ll have to be altered. Go in the cabin put it on. I'll be there in a few minutes to help you.

It's beautiful. Thank you, mademoiselle.

So, you turned little Marie's head, huh?

As she says, I have the wound.

Oh, you're hurt.

How did this happen? I fell down a hill.

You must be careful, John Breen.

I tried to see you last night.

I told you it would be difficult.

My father and Blake Randolph are settling the marriage contract.

You can't marry him!

Marriages have been arranged this way in France for hundreds of years.

But think of the road outside Mobile, the carriage, the festival.

You can't marry him. But I must, unless...

Oh, Blake Randolph!

You were going to tell me something. No, not now, please.

Perhaps my mother...


Have a shot?

Had one.

That is wonderful.

That's nothing, ma'am. Sometimes I take just a pinch of s...

Oh, good afternoon, Monsieur Breen. Good afternoon.

Your friend and I are exchanging recipes. Go ahead, Monsieur Paine.

After the pinch of salt.

You mix it good, put it in the oven and bake.

Leave out the wheat flour, fry on the stove, and you've got cornpone.

Excuse me, Madame De Marchand. May I talk to you? It's important.

Of course, Monsieur Breen.

Well, go look after the horses. I'll go look after the horses. Excuse me.

Fleurette was going to tell me something when Blake Randolph rode up.

She said that perhaps you would...

You will admit that Blake Randolph is an exceptional man.

Wealthy, considerate... Yes, ma'am.

For instance, tonight he's bringing some fiddlers to the house just because I happened to like the American music at the festival.

By the way, Monsieur Breen, what is the difference between a violinist and a fiddler?

I don't know, ma'am, except a violinist tucks it under his chin and a fiddler braces it against his arm.

Are you a fiddler or a violinist?

Neither, ma'am. I don't know one note from another.

Willie's a fair hand with a bow. Fiddled his way through the last five years.

Too bad we won't be seeing you. But, ma'am...

Please, my daughter and Blake Randolph are ready. Excuse me.

We'd better pick up that surveying stuff. Sure.

I wonder who's chasing who.

You reckon somebody's trying to scare you?

Huh! You're acting like a hooked trout, flapping your tail and getting no place.

Why these Frenchies got you hog-tied and kitty-holed.

They do things different in their country.

Maybe. But they ain't in their country.

Now, if you was in Kentucky and you sure enough wanted that girl, what would you do?

Mr. Paine, you're wonderful.

We're going to a party!

Yah!


Uh-uh. Fiddling gentlemen through the side door, please.

Good evening, Charles. Evening, sir.

Good evening, Charles. Good evening, Colonel.

How do you do, gentlemen? I'm Knox Brown from up Tuscaloosa way.

I'm Willie Paine from Kentucky, and my friend here...

Abner Todd's about to introduce us. Get your fiddles out.

Well... We're all gonna play this first.

No... Don't worry. Shh!

What I'm trying to tell you...

Ladies and gentlemen, for a starter, the whole kit and caboodle is going to warm up on Devil's Hiccup.

I've gotta get out here... Don't worry.

That happens to everybody the first time.

Ready?


I'd like to get you all a dancing.

Extra men, help clear the chairs, please.

Monsieur Breen, you are to go to the summerhouse, sir.

Thank you.

This'll be might different. You'll soon get the swing of it.

Pair off - lady and gent - four pairs together in a square, with room for dancing.

Good evening.

Oh.

Yes, I sent for you, to tell you Mademoiselle Fleurette and I are going to be married tomorrow.

You forced your way into this house tonight.

That's between you and your host.

Any further attempt on your part to contact Fleurette, however, is a personal affront to me.

Is that clear? Quite.

At the same time I'll be just as frank.

I'm not only contacting Fleurette the first possible moment but I'm gonna do my darnedest to keep you from marrying her.

You know, I wondered about you - a solider one day, a surveyor the next.

You're upsetting a very delicate situation in Demopolis, Mr. Breen.

I'll have a little to plainer than that.

That's plain enough.

Just don't crowd your luck too far.

Just a minute, Mr. Randolph.

We haven't settled anything, have we?

I honestly didn't think we would.

We could, mighty easy.

I don't threaten good.

Looks like you're one shot up on me.

I'll concede that.

Now... any time you're ready, just grab for that gun or the one you've got in your pocket.

I don't carry a gun, Mr. Breen.

Well, then, that makes it what we call a Kentucky stand-off.

Let's see how lucky you are.

I, uh, never trust to luck. I'm a businessman.

That's bad business. If it's bad for you, it's good for me.

But you won't press your advantage.

You see, Mr. Breen, you're a hero.

In the heroic tradition, you wait for me to make the first move.

Personally, I think that's rather foolish.

In your position, I wouldn't hesitate.

Strange, isn't it?

The very thing that makes you a hero is the very thing that makes you vulnerable to a man like me.

You and I never will understand each other. That's too bad, in a way.

Together we could... Oh, well.

I was prepared to offer you a year's contract, to leave immediately, for more money than Geraud is paying you.

Geraud? Yes.

I should have known you'd be heroically obstinate.

Too bad, soldier.

Who were you gonna shoot?

The winner.

By the way, whose side are you on?

Mine.

Good luck.


Thank you, Major. My pleasure, mademoiselle.

May I have a cool drink, please? Certainly.

Come on out here.

I wanna talk to you.

Now, you're not marrying Blake Randolph. You're marrying me. Is that understood?

Yes, John Breen, now it's understood.

I have been waiting for you to come for me.

You know I've been trying to see you. Why didn't you send word?

Did you need word?

Supposing I hadn't shown up.

Then I would have been wrong in waiting.

We're gonna get out of here tonight.

I'm coming back for you after the party.

Where are we going?

Does that matter?

No, I... I thought perhaps my mother...

Are you frightened, Fleurette? A little.

Don't be.

Forget old times and traditions.

This is a new country, a new world for you.

That's better. Now you're smiling.

Yes, John Breen.

I'm thinking about a funny little hat.

Good evening, Mr. Breen.

Good evening, sir.

That is a good-looking team.

Yes, sir. Borrowed.

Of course. Geraud always had an eye to good horseflesh.

And then, a cavalryman - why not?

One of the first paragraphs of the Emperor's Field Service Regulations went something like this -

"In the absence of reliable information to the contrary, "always assume that the enemy will act with good judgment."

And though you and I are not enemies...

No, sir, of course not.

I feel that we should be better acquainted.

I'd like that, sir. Good.

I have a small cabin over there where I spend a great deal of my time.

Would you care to see it? I'd appreciate it, sir.

Thank you.

By the way, your General Andrew Jackson has translated the Emperor's Field Service Regulations into English.

Yes, sir. I know the quotation, sir.

The bust you recognize, of course. My favorite study of the Emperor.

I used the stump of the first tree cut down.

This is the first cabin built.

We call it the sanctuary.

Some member of every family in the colony had a hand in the building or contributed to its furnishing.

That was wielded by a Cossack hetman at Borodino, Russia.

Ugh! Makes me cold to think of it.

Moscow - a frozen, bloody retreat.

The beginning of the end.

Then Elba, Waterloo followed in quick succession.

That was the symbol of revolt.

Hundreds like it were worn by the people of Paris during the French Revolution.

Well after Waterloo, Saint Elena for the emperor Exile for his followers.

So you find as here banded together In a last desperate effort to live.

I say desperate because we have so much to learn.

Land-hungry men are watching us with envy as we try to raise grapes and olives in this rich soil.

Ever thought of other crops?

Cotton or tobacco?

Of course, but we don't know anything about cotton or tobacco.

Our only chance to last long enough to learn is by cementing relationships with influential American friends.

Which brings us, in a rather roundabout way, to you, John Breen.

I'll do everything I can to help, sir.

Then don't run away with my daughter.

Sit down, please.

Two weeks ago, you didn't know her.

Hadn't even heard of her, nor she of you.

You want to ruin my plans and jeopardize the happiness of people who are looking to me for guidance.

I´m sorry general. But I try to see you to tell you It was necessary I saw you with her the night of the festival You let her marry Blake Randolph after that?

I´m not only let her. I do my best to force her

Where is your home Mr. Breen?

Kentucky And your parents?

My mother died when I was born My father passed away, well I was in New Orleans with Jackson.

Was he also a Surveyor?

No Sir, he hadend worked in years As a young man he spend a hard winter At a place called Valley Forge.

Never recovered If you worried about my prospect there the same as any man in this times I just came from 5 years in the army.

You're a soldier you know what that means I do indeed That's why I'm appealing to you.

Look at it as I see it. Here you are, penniless but in love.

On the other hand is Blake Randolph - wealthy, also in love, perhaps not so passionately, yet enough to throw his important influence on the side of my people.

Give me time, sir. I'll match his influence.

In another place, under different circumstances, perhaps.

But here and now, it is impossible.

Why is it impossible? Why are you rushing her into this marriage?

Just a minute, Mr. Breen.

I'm not rushing her.

Blake Randolph met us when we first landed in Mobile.

He and his friends entertained us lavishly.

His people, his boats, helped us move upriver and build.

For the past year, he devoted himself to our interests - unselfishly - when he could very easily have been concentrating romantically upon Fleurette.

Against his record Your sole argument is that a young impressional girl kissed you and liked it.

General when you pulled that way I Ah, maybe you're right.

Maybe I have been rushing her.

Maybe I should give her more time.

Maybe we should both give her more time.

I'm just doing what I believe is best for the happyness my daughter and the wellfare my people.

If you love her, love her enough to stop what you are doing and leave Demopolis.

If you'd locked her up, I'd know what to do.

I don't know how to fight these other things.

My habit of obeying is too strong after these last five years.

Perhaps I should take Fleurette. I could, you know.

Yes, I think you could.

But you won't.

You won't see her or talk to her, will you?

No, I won't. At least, not tonight. But don't you marry her off tomorrow either.

I can't very well postpone the wedding.

But until then, I'm willing to listen to anything you have to say.

I guess that'll have to do for now.

But I'll be back.


Yeah.

Crown it.

I don't know why.

Maybe I am rushing her.

Maybe the General's right.

All those people.

But Blake Randolph...

Why am I supposed to be working for you?

Well, I don't know. Are you?

Randolph seems to think so, Sir.

Well that's funny. I was going to ask you to do a little job for me.

Here's a copy of the grant for this land and a letter from the man who surveyed it originally.

"An act of Congress to set aside..."

When did you get this letter, Colonel? About two days ago.

I was afraid that some of our people might have settled outside the boundaries.

And well you been on the ground You might save me time and expenses if you'll check for me.

But... We'll do everything we can, Colonel.

Here, Willie. We'll get right on it. ...tell him.

Good night, Colonel. Good luck, gentlemen.

Why didn't you let me tell we're not surveyors?

That letter was written by the man who original surveyt this ground. I heard that... but we're not The Colonel received it two days ago. I heard that too but...

Are you beginning to smell something, Mr. Paine?

Yes, Mr. Breen, and it don't smell like a cabin full of burning surveyors either.

Let's make a little call on Miss Ann Logan. Yes, Sir.


It ought to be a big day. Sure, Sure.

I've got my mademoiselle all picked out - that little Marie.


You packed, Annie? We'll have a day's start while Hayden's busy at his french business.

Don't think we're shouldn't we see how it turns out? You know how it'll turn out.

Come on, get going. Wait a minute, Beau.

We've stood it this long.

Blake Randolph paid off tonight. There's a lot of money in that safe.

We can stand it another day. Can't we?

We can use that money, can't we? Yes.

$100,000, Beau.

London, Paris, New York, Mobile.

Just you and me, Beau.

All right, honey. You can have tomorrow to get the money.

But tonight, let's concentrate on us.

Hold it, Beau.

John Breen!

Now, what about this business with the French?

Don't do it, Beau.

She's making a fool out of us.

Us? Sure. What do you think I'm doing here?

You don't believe him, do you, Beau?

Sit down, Annie. Leave him alone.

What do you wanna know? Everything.

What's the matter with the French? Don't tell him.

He won't shoot. Will you, John Breen?

Well, I don't know.

But now's a good time to find out.

The French are on the wrong land.

Hayden and his river men are gonna moving in on tomorrow.

No more, Beau. Don't tell him any more Ann are you wasting my time How that the frech get on the wrong land? The stakes were moved.

Ann?

Ann?

Couple of you men, up here!

Hayden, Hayden!

I may need you.

Guess I'll have to leave you.

Willie!

Carter, Joe, couple of you men, come on!


Get Colonel Geraud and bring him to De Marchand's.


The General is not at home, Sir.

Sorry to break in on you like this, General, but you're in trouble.

I am, huh? You French are on the wrong land.

Impossible, Mr. Breen.

The land has been staked out by government surveyors.

Somebody moved the stakes on you. Why didn't tell you this before?

I didn't hear about it myself until a few minutes ago.

You gotta believe me, General. You're in real trouble.

Geraud? Colonel Geraud? Yes, sir?

Here, Mr. Breen claims that we are on the wrong land.

You mean all of us? Yes, sir.

The river men are moving in on you in the morning.

How do you know that, Mr. Breen? Beau Merritt told me.

Beau!

I'll handle this.

Evening, gentlemen.

I'll take that, Mr. Breen. It's all right, General.

Haven't had time to reload it anyway.

Well, Mr. Hayden?

This man broke into my tavern and shot a couple of my men. I want him.

Is that when he found out about tomorrow?

What's that?

Mr. Breen says we French are on the wrong land.

Where'd he get that idea? Mr. Merritt told him.

Do you say anything like that, Beau?

No. Breen is crazy. I caught him in Ann's room and tried to get rid of him.

Satisfied, General? Not quite.

I'd like to have your assurance about the land.

After all, Mr. Breen is a surveyor. Him a surveyor?

He's nothing but a rear rank private trying to run a bluff.

Mr. Breen, are you a surveyor?

You satisfied now, General?

Well, Mr. Breen, are you a surveyor?

No, sir, I'm not, but... That's enough!

Bring him along, Beau.

The reason... Bring him along!

Colonel? Colonel Geraud?

Mr. Breen, I've tried to get you to leave this country once.

Yeah, I remember. Same night you sent Ann Logan to get me to stay.

Funny thing about that. I didn't send her. Was her own idea.

Turned out mighty good too. Yeah, it did.

You got Randolph's money. Tomorrow you'll get the French land.

Beau told you all about it, didn't he?

Too bad you weren't five minutes later at the General's. Might've convinced him.

Oh, don't worry about that. I'll convince him for you tomorrow.

Good night, Mr. Breen.

You mean I can go? Any time.

What makes you think I will? Because that way you get a chance.

A small one, but a chance.

Well, never let it be said I didn't take it.

Mind if I ride with you?

Not at all, not at all. We're glad to have you with us.

I'm not intruding, am I? No.

We weren't going to do anything we can't do later.

Aren't you afraid to keep him overnight?

Afraid not to since Geraud made such a point of it.

Bring over a couple of glasses.

A special - big night.

Mmm.

Beau, you came through real nice at the General's.

Well, I just told what happened.

Sure, I know. Pour yourself a drink. Thanks.

I've been thinking that maybe you ought to take a little trip.

Why? Save answering questions.

Here's 500. Go burn it up.

Thanks, Hayden. Thanks a lot.

Forget it. Drink hardy.


Fleurette. Blake.

I know it's against all tradition to see the bride before the ceremony but I did wanted to talk to you.

Well, of course, Blake. We haven't had much time together, have we?

My father and... Your father and I have been very busy.

But now that's all settled.

I'm going to devote the rest of my life to making you happy.

I just left my house for the last time.

When we get back, our new house will be finished on the bluff overlooking the river where I first saw you.

You have made a very bad bargain, Blake.

We could never be happy.

Breen?

I think I can make you forget him.

I was going to go away with him last night.

I'd go with him now if he came for me.

I'm sorry but that's the way it is.

You, Father, nothing can change it.

I said I can make you forget him.

No, please.

Take it inside, please.

Geraud, you can send those people home. The wedding's been postponed.

Those people are not interested in weddings, Mr. Randolph.

Then what are they doing here?

The General has ordered the French to assemble here in case Breen is right.

But the dress, it is not finished.

Lots of time after we get there. Oh, my needles.

Oh, your needles. Here! Jacques, hurry!

Why must we hurry so? General's orders.

It's straight ahead! Hyah! Ya!


Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!


This is perfect. Can you think of anything we've overlooked, Ann?

Yes - Willie.

Willie? Willie Paine, Breen's friend.

You mean Fatty. Why, he wouldn't...

Hello, Blake. Come in, come in.

What's this about you moving in on the French land?

I dont know? What is it? That story Breen told last night.

Oh, Breen. Yes.

He wasn't working for Geraud like you said.

Could've been wrong. Who was he working for?

Search me. Why don't you ask him? I will.

Where is he? Back there.

You're just in time. He's gonna be shot trying to escape in a few minutes.

Brought you company, Breen.

We know you weren't working for Geraud.

Who hired you?

Why don't you ask Hayden?

Holler if you need me.

Hayden! Hayden!

Oh, you don't need me that soon.

You beginning to understand, Mr. Randolph?

I tried that.


Running fight from Jacques's cabin, sir. We lost one man - Armand Grandis.

Gentlemen, to your posts.

Mademoiselle, the dress, it is not finished.

Oh, don't worry about it, Marie.

Madame, we run?

No, Marie, we fight!

I thought we were gonna stay away from the General.

Well, we're here, aren't we? Round 'em up!

Why am I locked in here?

What was that firing all about? Tell him, Ann.

Tell him Ann tell what the river men are doing to the french.

Why? You told him, didn't you?

How could I let myself get in a fix like this? I walked right into it.

A fool, that's what I am. A complete idiot.

Why don't you say something? You seem to be covering the ground.

Coffee? No, thanks.

I thought I had some influence in this territory.

Sure, I moved the stakes.

Then I met Fleurette.

Breen, we've got to get out of here. Hayden! Hayden!

Oh. This what you call an Alabama stand-off?

Mm-hm.

Looks like a job for a hero. Or a fool.

At any rate, it's no job for a businessman.

No, sir.


Hello, hero.

Hello yourself.

I guess I should've stuck to business.


Crystal!

Stop that Kentuckian.

Hah! Hah!

Thank you, ma'am!

Lady, we'd better get out of here.

That's what Papa said to Mama.


John Breen, Mademoiselle Fleurette.

Now, Geraud.


Colonel Geraud!


Come on, you Kentucks!


Good shot, Breen!

What kept you? Andy Jackson couldn't find his pants.

John Breen! John Breen!

No, wait a minute!


Willie... thanks.

Give way.

Right and left face.

Left trail, forward!

Hut!


We can't take him with us an our Honeymoon, can we? - Uh-uh, John Breen.

Only 600 miles more to go Only 600 miles more to go We have buttoned up the drama So goodbye to Alabama