The Last Frontier (1955) Script

♪ Handful of hunters caught buffalo and deer ♪

♪ Back when the west was young At the last frontier ♪

♪ Snake bites, Indian fights plagued the pioneer ♪

♪ The pioneer ♪

♪ We're all at the last frontier ♪

♪ The last frontier ♪

♪ Back when the law was the law of the open spaces ♪

♪ The folks out there were fair and square ♪

♪ They paid every debt by the sweat of their honest faces ♪

♪ Snow, heat, little meat famine almost near ♪

♪ And still they struggled on hiding every tear ♪

♪ Stout hearts played their parts in that bygone year ♪

♪ Back there at the last frontier ♪

♪ The last frontier ♪


Did you ever see so many smiling faces?

I wonder what's bothering them? Ask them, Mungo.

Let them talk first.

I'm getting hungry. Let's make camp here.

Well, I guess this is as good a place as any.

You got any salt, Jed? I ate the last speck day before yesterday.

Mungo?

I sure miss a sprinkle of salt on me meat.

Right now I'd give a whole silver dollar... for just enough to sting the edge of me tongue.

You're a mighty free spender with silver dollars you ain't got, Gus?

I'm a big spender, I am. You just wait till we trade in these skins... and I'll show you how fast I can shed my share.

What you gonna do with your share, Mungo?

Whiskey.

Dollars?

Right now that appeals to me.

Don't get up, just keep eating.

He wants our rifles.

Give them to him.

He wants more.

Not one more thing. Shut up, Jed.

Give him the horses. Not the horses, Gus.

There's a year's work tied up in those packs. A year of freezing, starving, and slaving.

I know. I've got more than a year's work tied up in me... and I've no mind to lose it for some tired horses and a pack of furs.

Give them the horses, Mungo.


Red Cloud says we're no longer welcome.

We're not to shoot, fish, or set traps in the forest anymore.

We must go back beyond the river.

If we return, we die. Why?

We ain't never done him any harm. There's plenty here for all of us.

It's the bluecoats. Soldiers.

When did they come? In the spring.

They chop down many trees. Build fort. Where?

Paha Saba.

Red Cloud says they all die before snow falls... and so will any white man who sets foot in these woods.

We never fished nor killed any more than we could eat.

And we're no bluecoats. Why is he taking it out on us?

Civilisation. Civilisation?

Civilisation is creeping up on us, lads.

The bluecoats ain't satisfied... with gobbling up all the land east of Mississippi.

Now they won't stop till they've pushed us over the Rockies and into the Pacific Ocean.

It's a drowning fate awaits us all.

These are calamitous times we're living in, Jed.

Calamitous times.

They ain't pushing me off the face of this earth.

I'm going down to that fort... and collect every single thing that Red Cloud took from us.

So are you?

Oh, me big bull buffalo.

You never tangled with men like these before, Jed.

You don't know them like I do. They talk with forked tongues.

Once you set foot inside that fort... they'll snare you.

And how'll they snare me?

They got wondrous ways. No.

We'll go north to Canada.

We'll get a stake from the Bay Company. Then we'll strike out for fresh country.

You can go north, Gus.

But them bluecoats owe us for them skins and I'm collecting it.

If you want to wait for me here, you wait. No, I'd better go with you.

Somebody's got to do the thinking. All right.

You do the thinking, but I'm doing the talking.


Halt!

Halt, or I'll fire!

See, what did I tell you. Right away they want to shoot us.

We go to Canada. Not until we get paid.

It's all right, sentry. They're unarmed.

Come ahead.

Who runs this place, mister? I do.

You owe us for five horses, three rifles and a year's trapping.

What are you gonna do about it? What are you talking about?

What me friend means to say is... that on account of your building this fort, stirring up bad feelings... we was relieved of them things by Red Cloud.

You had a run in with Red Cloud? Aye.

How'd you get away? We never bothered Red Cloud.

I guess he don't think of us as white men.

I'd like to make good your loss by giving you men jobs.

The Army needs scouts.

We're too busy. We've got too many places to go.

Wait a minute, Gus.

We ain't got no place to go.

What'll you pay us? $25 a month per man.

Free room and board, guns, all the ammunition you can use... and you can keep whatever skins you hunt.

You're trying to trap us, mister? Yes, I am.

We lost our commanding officer and scout since we started building this fort... so we're a little short-handed. The Army needs men.

We get to wear those blue coats?

Only soldiers wear uniforms.

No bluecoat, no scouting.

I can't let you enlist. It wouldn't be right for you.

Why not?

You men are trappers. You're used to a lot of freedom.

There are certain restrictions a soldier serves under.

It'd be a tough life for you.

You done your thinking? Canada.

I'll promise you this.

The moment you're ready to become a soldier, I'll make you one.

You have my word on that.

I like him.

His face don't lie to me.

How about you, Mungo?

You got whiskey?

You can buy anything inside the fort you want.

I'll see that you get paid in advance. I like him, too.

It's leading us into a trap, you are.

Come on inside.


Parade, attention!

Present arms!


Order arms!

Dismissed! Dismissed.

That's me boy.

Where are you going, lad?

Whiskey! Whiskey!

Mungo, whiskey!

Okay.


Halt.


Get out.

Do you have any whiskey?

Get out or I'll call the guard.

He can't hear you.

Who's he? That's my husband, Colonel Marston.

Say.

I guess you have to dress in a fancy uniform like this...

to have a woman like you.

If you don't leave, you'll be severely punished, Mr. Cooper.

Mr. Cooper?

You know me? I saw you enter the fort.

Captain Riordan tells me he hired you as a scout... to protect us.

You don't have to worry about anything, lady.

I'll protect you... and your husband, too.

You sure you ain't got any whiskey? Positive.

You must have some whiskey 'cause the Colonel looks like a drinking man.

You've had too much to drink already. Will you kindly return to your quarters?

You know, I'm really going to be glad to meet the Colonel.

He dresses so fancy.

My husband isn't here, he's at Fort Medford.

He's at Fort Medford on the other side of the forest?

I'm sorry to tell you, lady... but you're a widow woman.

'Cause Red Cloud ain't gonna let nobody build a fort in his back yard.

Please go.

What kind of woman are you?

Don't you cry when you hear that your man's dead?

I like strong women.

Take your hands off me. You're a drunken, filthy animal.

I'm not an animal.

And I wouldn't drink your whiskey if you had any.

And I feel sorry for your husband.

Hey, bucko.

What's the matter? Somebody shove you?


If I was an Indian, you'd be a dead soldier, Luke.

Where'd you come from, Jed? Where you should have been looking for.

I haven't got eyes in the back of my head.

You've got ears, haven't you? Yes, Jed.

You'd better start using them. Yes, Jed.

'Cause if you don't, them Indians will be wearing that bluecoat.

Yes, Jed.


How do you like your fish, Captain?

Cooper, if you were in uniform, I'd lock you up.

Yes, Captain.

How do you like your fish?

You left the fort without permission. Why? It's the best time of the year for trout.

Look, Cooper, you just can't go wandering off anytime you feel like it.

What am I gonna do with you? Why don't you make me a soldier?

No, no. Why not?

Because a soldier does more than wear a blue uniform.

You mean, I'm not good enough for it.

Look, Captain, I can leave. I don't have to stay anywhere where I'm not wanted.

I want you to stay, Jed. I like you. You're my friend.

What's wrong with me, Captain?

If you're my friend, tell me.

You're just not civilised. What is this "civilised"?

Well, I guess it's the opposite of being a savage.

You know, even I have a hard time understanding you.

I understand you.

It's deeper than that, Jed. You have to belong.

Belong to what? To other people.

Me, Gus and Mungo. We've lived like that.

Ain't we people?

You gotta have a family. A wife, children.

Do you?

Oh, I hope to, if I ever get out of here. That's what I'm gonna do, Captain.

I'll find me a woman, make some children, get married and become civilised.

I won't go fool around with these fish anymore until I tell you first.

Well, I guess that's the first step, Jed.

Anything from Fort Medford?

Not yet, Phil. We've been trying to get through all evening.

Would you like a fish?

No, thank you.

I want to thank you for not telling the Captain about me getting drunk.

He might've been disappointed.

As soon as the snow falls...

I'm gonna go up in the mountains and get you a bear skin.

It will keep you warm for the winter. That isn't necessary.

How else am I gonna make friends with you?

Is that really important?

Yes.

Sorry, Mrs. Marston. We just can't get through.

I could've told you that. I saw the cut wires.

We'll know more when Gus gets back with Mungo.

Gus ain't here?

Where'd you send him? Fort Medford.

You know that Medford's done for and you sent Gus and Mungo anyway?

Why?

I wanna know why, Captain. Because they are scouts paid by the Army.

It's their job and their duty.

That's something you wouldn't understand. Gus and Mungo do.

I might not understand you, Captain, but I'm going after them.

I better find them healthy.

If I find your Colonel kicking around, I'll bring him back, too.


What kept you?

It's all right, lads.

It's just a friend of mine come to pay his respects.

Where'd you pick up our trail? Fort Medford.

So you kind of ran into some trouble there? Aye.

Red Cloud and his Tetons. Yeah, they kept coming for two days.

We couldn't hold so we shot our way out... with what was left of us.

What's the matter here? I got a rifle ball about two inches in.

It's beginning to kick up a mite. It's probably trying to get out.

Where'd you come from?

Fort Shallan.

Stand up when I'm talking to you.

Colonel Marston.

Sir, this is scout Jed Cooper. He'll see us safe to Shallan.

Come here.

Where are the reinforcements from Shallan? I requested 100 men.

I'm all there is, Colonel.

Who sent you? Captain Riordan.

You go back and tell this Captain Riordan I want 100 men.

We'll wait right here until they come. You can't stay here, Colonel.

As soon as Red Cloud buries his dead, he'll be hot on your trail again.

With 100 men...

I'll meet Red Cloud in his own front yard and crush him.

We're gonna retake Fort Medford. It's burnt down.

We'll rebuild it.

You have your orders, Cooper.

Captain Riordan won't sent a single man out of Shallan unless I tell him to.

And I ain't telling him.

Who's the Commander at Shallan? You or the Captain?

The Captain.

But he's a smart man.

I beg pardon, sir, let me talk to him alone. I'll knock some respect into him.

Never mind, Decker.

I'll give you a choice.

Carry out my order or I'll have you shot right here and now.

I gave you my answer.

If you don't move out now, you'll never get to Fort Shallan.

Corporal, how are the wounded? Some need a doctor bad, sir.

There's a doctor at Shallan.

Decker, improvise litters for the wounded. We're moving out.

If it wasn't for you and Mungo, I'd walk right out of here.

Red Cloud would really love that Colonel's uniform.

Civilisation is creeping up on us, lads.


Turn out the guard! Armed party!

Present arms!

Order arms!

Glad you got through, Frank.

Captain Clarke, isn't it? That's right, Colonel.

I'd better see to your wounded. Get those men to the hospital.

Captain Glenn Riordan, sir. At ease, Captain.

I'm glad to see you made it, sir.

Must have been pretty rough.

It was.

Hello, Frank.

Corinna.

I'll see you to your quarters, sir.

I brought the Colonel back for you.

Yes, I'm grateful, Mr. Cooper.

See that he gets rubbed down well, Decker. Yes, sir.

You know, Jed, I may not be as pretty as the Colonel's wife... but you carry me gently and I'll give you the kiss she didn't.

I'll drop you, bucko! No, Jed, you'll kill me surely!

Why don't you get some rest, Frank?

Rest?

Who can sleep?

How did I ever get out here?

You could have stayed in Washington.

Behind a desk?

Shoving a pencil?

Why did you stay in the service, then, Frank?

What else do I know?

Are you any happier being a soldier?

You're a woman.

You don't know victory.

It has a taste.

So does defeat. I've shared that with you.

Come on in, Frank.

Why did you come out here with me?

I'm your wife.

I don't want you to feel sorry for me. What do you want from me, Frank?

I want respect.

I want you to respect me.

How can you in this miserable place?

Look at the men who were at West Point with me. Look where they are.

I'll be up there with them.

I'll make you proud of me, Corinna. I don't care what you are.

I married a man, not a uniform.

And I deceived you.

I'm not a man without this.

Don't you ever sleep, Cooper?

What are you doing up, Captain? Watching you.

Are you afraid I might do something wrong?

You wouldn't do anything wrong, Cooper.

Good night.

I won't do anything you wouldn't enjoy, Captain.

Good night.


Mungo.

Report.

All present and accounted for, sir.

Present arms!

Order arms!

Good morning, Colonel.

How many men, Captain? 140. Raw recruits.

Half of them shoot each other at target practise... the other half catch cold running out in their drawers at reveille.

They can be trained.

They are only odds and ends they could spare from the war back east.

I guess most of us here are misfits. Forgotten misfits.

Shunted out here because the department wants to forget us.

But not all of us are cowards, Clarke.

If the definition of a coward... is a man who is sickened by killing and blood...

I qualify. In every sense.

Captain Clarke, check on your men in the hospital.

Find out how many can return to duty and when.

Before I was forced to abandon Fort Medford...

I telegraphed for reinforcements.

They never came.

I believe it'd be better to discuss this in my quarters, sir. Or yours.

I have nothing to hide, Captain.

Have you?

Sending out 100 men from this fort would have left us practically helpless, sir.

So you took it upon yourself to disregard my request.

Shallan is a key fort, sir. If Red Cloud takes it... there's nothing between him and Fort Laramie.

He's very tricky, sir. And clever.

The man's a savage, Riordan. Not Napoleon.

You're afraid of an ignorant savage?

The Colonel had a taste of this ignorant savage at Medford.

Yes, I did.

But I'm going back there, Captain.

We're all going back there.

I'll hang Red Cloud and enough of his men... to put the fear of the Army into every Indian in this country.

Go back?

That's what I said. You can't, without more men.

And we're not going to get any more while the Civil War is on.

There are enough men here.

We were sent out here to build this fort and to hold it.

As I told you before, these men aren't trained.

Sergeant Decker! Sir!

I want all training procedure doubled immediately.

Make soldiers out of them. Yes, sir.

This is my command, sir. It was.

Do you have orders relieving me? I don't need them.

I'm senior officer in the territory. You're subject to my orders.

You can accept that, or place yourself under arrest.

Yes, sir.

Decker, send Cooper to my quarters. Yes, sir.

Hi, Captain.

Colonel Marston wants to see you in his office. I heard him.

The Colonel does not like to be kept waiting.

I'm eating breakfast.

Cooper, someday I'm gonna take you to pieces.

Do you have anything to do right now?

Just let me know when you've finished your breakfast.

I'm finished. Come on, Mungo. Not him.

He goes where I go. He's an Indian.

Say.

You are an Indian.

How about that?

You better not go, Mungo. You might get in trouble.


♪ Do they miss me at home? ♪

♪ Do they miss me? ♪

♪ 'Twould be an assurance most dear ♪

♪ To know that this moment some loved one ♪

♪ Were saying ♪

♪ I wish he were here ♪

♪ To feel that the group ♪

♪ At the fireside ♪

♪ Were thinking of me ♪

♪ As I roam ♪

♪ Oh, yes ♪

♪ 'Twould be joy beyond measure ♪ No good.

No, Mungo. Very good.

♪ To know that they missed me at home ♪

♪ To know that they missed me ♪

♪ At home ♪

They tied the arrows. I saw them.

I sent you out to scout Red Cloud.

Why didn't you have Cooper report directly to me?

I wanted to talk to Gus first.

Cooper is a civilian scout. You know procedure.

I'm sorry, sir.

Your report, Cooper.

Red Cloud and the men are camped at the foot of the canyon.

They're having a meeting with the Assiniboin chief.

Looks like they're gonna join forces. How long will that take them?

About a week. They gotta make it by then, sir.

Why? Red Cloud's gotta beat the snow.

Otherwise he'll have to hold off till spring.

By that time maybe the war back east will be over.

Red Cloud knows that means more men here, more guns.

He's got to strike soon while he's got the chance.

How soon will it snow?

Like Gus said, the snow's overdue.

Where you going, Cooper? To get some coffee.

Is it that urgent? It is to me.

When I first came here...

Captain Riordan assured me that Fort Shallan was an important post.

How are you, soldier? Fine, sir.

Has anything happened to change your mind, Captain?

My last orders from Fort Laramie were to hold, sir.

Since communication's been cut off...

I have no way of knowing what other orders there may be.

There are orders, Captain.

Mine.

I lost Medford because my orders were to stay inside the fort and hold.

Holding actions do not win battles.

I was sent out here to build a fort, sir. Not attack Red Cloud.

How did Red Cloud become so powerful?

Because no one had the courage to move out against him.

With what?

Men who had to be shown which end of a rifle to point?

It was up to you to make soldiers of them.

Which is just exactly what they are going to become.

Don't attack yet, sir. We still have a very good chance of holding off Red Cloud... until it does snow.

And if the Assiniboins join Red Cloud first, they'll attack.

I don't intend to let them join forces.

You can't do it, Frank. It's suicide. I'll be leading the men.

I've no intention of committing suicide.

Stop him, Glenn. You know it's wrong.

Captain Clarke, I believe you're forgetting yourself.

Colonel Marston, here, is in command of this fort.

Thank you, Captain.

You were assigned here as a doctor. Not a military strategist.

Please return to your patients where maybe you'll do a little good.

Ask him what happened at Shiloh.

Ask him. And if he won't tell you, I will.

How are you feeling? I'll be all right, sir.

Think you'll be strong enough to march? I'll try, sir.

I'll tell you what happened at Shiloh, Captain.

I lost 1,500 men in a single encounter.

We were cut to ribbons by enemy artillery.

By the time the report got back to Washington... they were calling me the Butcher of Shiloh.

Yes, they called me the Butcher of Shiloh.

But reports are cold facts on paper.

I took a calculated risk. I dared where cautious men stood still.

But victory is not given to the cautious.

That's why the war back east still drags on after four years.

Because our men in command have no daring.

If I had taken the enemy artillery position, it would have turned the tide.

But unfortunately the War Department does not reward courage.

Just results.

But if I had to decide Shiloh again...

I'd do exactly what I did.


Go ahead. Go after him if you want to.

Go on.

I gotta get you out of here.

I can take you up in the mountains where you'll be safe.

I don't want to leave. But you've got to.

The Colonel's gonna get himself and everybody in this fort killed.

Why do you want to save me? Because I want you for my woman.

I don't have to ask you. I could take you if I wanted to.

Oh, you're a savage. Are you crazy like he is?

Do you wanna die, too? No, I wanna live.

I'll take good care of you.

I know these mountains like I know the fingers on my hand.

There are other women at the fort.

But they're not mine. I'm not your woman!

You think you're too good for me? But you ain't.

You're nothing but another scalp for Red Cloud to hang up in his tent.

I don't want to be saved by you, Mr. Cooper, or any other man.

I've been saved enough.

First by Colonel Marston who married me to keep me from being a spinster.

And now, you offer me the choice of dying or becoming your squaw.

You don't understand. What is there left to understand?

You're no different from him. I am.

How?

I care for you.

I need you.

How can I help you?

I can't even help myself.

I know what I am.

I know when I'm wrong.

You could make it right.


Cease fire.

Hold your fire!

Decker, turn out the guard, double the sentries. Yes, sir.

Bugler, call to arms...

Oh, that ain't no use, Colonel.

That was just one brave come in close enough to get himself a coup.

He's right, sir. It's happened before.

Some young brave wanted to make a name for himself.

They don't have much respect for you, do they?

You may be right, sir.

But I have an awful lot of respect for them.

Mr. Benton, get a burial detail.


You keep messing around with her and you'll wind up hanging.

We weren't messing around.

No? What was you doing? Showing her your buffalo hides?

She's going to be my woman.

The Colonel's lady is gonna be your woman?

That's right.

Don't laugh, Gus.

No. No, maybe it ain't so funny.

Maybe, it's kind of sad.

I want you to forget her.

I want you to get her out of your mind.

Forget her. Do you hear me? Forget her. Leave me alone, Gus.

I'm mighty disappointed in you, Jed boy.

You make me feel all the years I spent with you was wasted.

Jed.

I'd have died for you more than once as you would for me.

I feel for you like you was me own flesh and blood, lad.

Do you believe that?

Do you believe it?

I don't know what to believe, Gus. I think I got a right to talk.

And I'm asking you to stay away from her.

She can hurt you, Jed.

She can break you into pieces without making you bleed.

She ain't no squaw woman.

She can't sleep in a tree or hide out in a cave.

She's a fancy lady and she needs a fancy gent.

You can't even read or write.

And whose fault is that?

It's mine, I should have taught you them things when you was little.

Only I couldn't, 'cause I never learnt them myself.

I guess you and me... are just about two of the most ignorant men alive.

Sometimes, she looks at me like I was a bear.

There's some comfort in being a bear when you live in bear country.

But I don't want to be a bear.

Me leg's beginning to talk back to me a little. Will you give me a hand?

I told you to keep off that leg for another three days.

I'm gonna tuck it in right now, Doctor.

Good night.

Jed.

Sit down.

I'm worried, Jed.

It's the Colonel.

He's not a well man.

It doesn't show because it's locked inside his head.

He can't sit much longer.

He's got to go out and kill Indians.

Someone's got to stop him.

You got a gun.

Good luck, Mungo.

Where're you sending him? To Laramie.

To bring back orders... that will keep Colonel Marston inside this fort all winter.

For a while, Captain, you had me worried about you.

I'm still worried.

Tell me, Captain.

How can you and the Colonel wear the same kind of uniform... and still be so different?

It happens, Jed.

He's a soldier.

He's got a wife.

He's got all the things you said you have to have to be civilised.

Now, how can that be?

We have animals among us.

Why don't you kill them? That'd make us animals, too.

What's the good of being civilised?

Look, I don't have any right to judge Colonel Marston.

Neither do you.

How do you clean up such a mess? There're lawyers and judges.

I knew a lawyer once at a trading post.

He claimed that my furs were trapped on his land.

We had strong words. What happened?

Well, he was smaller than me.

Oh, I know I did wrong, Captain, but the next time I'll know better.

Next time I'm gonna find me a judge who sees things my way.

That's a little too civilised.

Good night, Captain. Good night, Jed.

You hunks of mud, now listen to me.

The soles of your shoes are half an inch thick.

By tonight, you'll be through them... and marching on the soles of your feet.

But you'll be marching like soldiers.

Anybody don't like it, speak up.

Anybody.

I'm gonna drill you till mess.

You're gonna step out and step out lively.

Calling platoons, forward march!

Left, hut!

Hut, two, three, four!

Water detail ready to leave, sir.

I should think you've stored enough water in the past week, Lieutenant.

It's best to be safe, sir. I despise that word.

It's for tradesmen, not for soldiers.

How far is Red Cloud's camp from the stream?

Not very far.

I'd like to see it.

Forward march! Hut, two, three, four! Hut, two, three, four!

If one of them don't come back, you can be thanking yourself.

Take the wagons back to the fort as soon as they're loaded.

Yes, sir.

Benton will take the water detail back without you.

I want to see Red Cloud's camp.

You won't see anything, Colonel, that I haven't told you before.

I want to see it myself.


Is this their main camp?

It doesn't look like they have more than 100 men down there.

They've got a dozen camps just like this, scattered all over the valley.

They split up. Easier to hunt food that way.

If I had the water detail here...

I could wipe out that entire camp with a single run.

We'd better start back. What's your hurry?

If we can see them, pretty soon they'll be able to see us.

I don't see any women.

When an Indian goes to war, he leaves his woman home.

Does Mrs. Marston's presence at the fort annoy you?

She should be home, too.

She'll be disappointed to hear that, Cooper.

I thought she rather liked you.

What do you keep stopping for?

What is it? Don't talk.

Cooper.

Get me out of here.

If you'd stayed behind me like you should, you wouldn't be down there.

Never mind that. Get me out.

You know, these woods are full of bear traps.

Most likely, you'll fall into two or three more before you get out of the trees.

I didn't ask you for a lecture. Now get me out.

Oh, Colonel, I feel like talking. I'm ordering you, Cooper.

Take it easy, Colonel. I ain't got much to say.

I got an idea you'll listen much better from where you are.

Look, Cooper, I'm warning you, if you don't get me out of here...

Take it easy now, Colonel.

That's better.

You know, Colonel, there's something eating you.

I've seen it before.

Mostly in Indians.

When they get so full of hate, they can't wait to kill.

I've done some killing myself... but I never went out looking for it.

I ain't sure, Colonel, that I wouldn't be doing an awful lot of people... a big favour by just letting you stay right where you are.

Get me out!

Shooting me won't do you no good.

It'll only bring Red Cloud down on you.

And won't he be surprised to find that there ain't no bear in this trap.

All right, Cooper, you've had your little joke. Now get me out.

I'm going to take you out, Colonel.

But first you've gotta promise me something.

What?

You being a fancy gent...

I guess I can count on your word.

Yes, you can, if I give it to you.

Give up this crazy notion of chasing Red Cloud off the earth... and stay in the fort until the snow comes.

I'm waiting, Colonel.

Colonel, I don't hear nothing.

I'll see you in hell first.

That's harsh talk for a man in a bear pit.

Do you wanna hear it again?

I'll make believe I didn't hear you. Now let's try it once again.

I'll see you in hell first.

Like Gus says... that's a real likely possibility.

Cooper.

Cooper.

Cooper.

Cooper, come back here.

Cooper!


I wouldn't worry, Mrs. Marston. Cooper's very much at home out there.

The Colonel isn't.

He's with Jed.

Captain, I'm very worried.

Can't you send some men out there to look for them?

I could, if I had a good reason, but... There is good reason.

What is it?

Nothing.

I'm sorry I can't help you, Mrs. Marston.


Corporal of the guard, open the gate. Jed's here.


Where's Colonel Marston? I lost him.

You're too good a scout to lose a man, Cooper.

Indians got him. Isn't that the way it happened, Jed?

No. That's not the way it happened. I'm sure it wasn't Jed's fault, Glenn.

Let Jed tell me. I already told you. I lost him.

How?

I didn't touch him, Captain. I want a full report.

You can't put that in the report, Glenn. Now, wait a minute.

I dislike Colonel Marston as much as any other man here... but he was still in command of this fort.

I'll have no part of this murder.

What do you think he was trying to do to 148 men and women in this fort?

You're not fit to wear a uniform, you never will be.

He's not coming back.

I didn't touch him.

I didn't have to.

He did it himself.

I did what they all wanted.

It's what you wanted, wasn't it?

Wasn't it?

Speak when I...

Yes, I wished for it.

But not this way. There's no other way.

You can't kill a man by wishing him dead.

Now you look at me like I was something dirty.

You hate a man, you pray the Lord will strike.

But when someone does it for you, you hate him.

I have nothing against the Colonel. He never hurt me.

What I did, I did for you... and the Captain and the rest of you.

Now, I'm not clean enough to touch you.


She wouldn't let you do it, would she? You're lucky, that's all.

Luck had nothing to do with it.

I know my wife pretty well. She's a fine person.

Fine people can make mistakes, too.


How long have these men been on punishment?

Just overnight, sir.

Release them immediately. Yes, sir.

Punishment detail, halt!

Dismissed.

Were you worried about me, Captain?

I was worried about Jed, sir. I didn't want to see him court-martialled.

If I hadn't returned, I believe you would have gone through with it.

I'd have hung him.

You're a good officer, Riordan.

I apologise if I ever questioned your integrity.

Yes, sir.

Oh, Captain. Yes, sir.

I want the entire company fully armed and assembled in three hours.

The entire company, sir? Every man.

Jed.

Where did you get the blue uniform, lad? From an Indian.

You got no right to wear it, you know that? Neither did the Indian.

Does that help any, Jed? Go away, Gus.

No, I'm not going away.

I'm not your problem, boy. No, I ain't got no problems, Gus.

I ain't got no problems. No, no.

You just like holing up here like a bear, don't you?

And drinking yourself crazy?

Sorry you brought the Colonel back. I ain't glad.

Jed, you did right.

And I'm proud of you.

Makes me feel as though I didn't bring you up too bad after all.

I didn't do it for you, Gus. She made you, didn't she?

Well, most likely, she wanted him dead just as much as you did... only she couldn't.

That'd be the Christian in her.

That's the part of your education that's most been sadly lacking.

You ain't got no Christian in you.

I ain't? No.

There's two kinds of love, Jed.

The way you love and the way a Christian does.

She can't be had your way.

How do the Christians do?

Well, to begin with, he don't pine for another man's wife.

Never? Well, maybe sometimes.

But a good Christian fights it off.

How?

Well, he gets himself another woman.

You mean, a Christian... loves a woman he don't like because he can't get the one he wants?

I call that real sneaky.

Corpsman: Reilly.

Corporals: Jennings, Langley...

Luis, Madison.

Lieutenants: Forsythe, Meredith.

Privates: Lucas, Fenton...

Davis, Wilder...

Denny, Holden...

Priar, Jenkins...

Randolf, Russell...

Ryan, Alfasson...

Groven, McKinley.

Report. All present and accounted for, sir.

We're moving out to attack tomorrow night.

Not many of you men have seen action. Maybe you're scared.

As soon as you get your first encounter behind you... you'll feel a lot better.

You'll be given orders all along the way.

So don't lose your heads.

Just follow those orders and you'll be all right.

Thank you.

I'm with you, Colonel...

I'm with you all the way.

I'm sick of being cooped up behind these walls.

I need room, Colonel. Elbow room, and lots of it!

You know what, Colonel?

You and me, we're gonna show those Tetons how to die, aren't we?

I'm gonna get 10 scalps. How many are you gonna get, Colonel?

I'm gonna get 10. I'm gonna get 10, before they get mine.

All right, soldier boys, go find your pretty ladies!

Find them and give them a kiss goodbye!

Make it a big kiss!

Because this is the last kiss you're ever gonna have!

From now on in, it's off to the happy hunting ground!

And me and the Colonel are gonna get there first!

Right, Colonel?

Open the gates!

Open them wide, Red Cloud!

Here we come!

Me and the Colonel... and all them fine soldier boys.

Open the gate, here I come!

Onward at last!

Lock the gate.

Dismissed.

Hey, Red Cloud!

Where are you, Red Cloud?


They're too close, Sergeant. What I aim at, I hit.


Open the gate!

You're drunk, Cooper. Yes, sir.

Go to your quarters and take off that coat.

Yes, sir.

What were you trying to do out there, kill yourself?

What do you care?

I do.

Why should you?

Because you were doing it for me.

You know, you get me all mixed up.

Go ahead, laugh at me. I'm not laughing at you.

Well, then, be mad at me.

I can't be angry with you.

Well, do something. Don't just stand there and look at me.

That's all I can do, Jed, is look at you.

Oh, no!

Oh, women.

The next man who mentions Cooper's name to me... can expect to walk the punishment yard.

There'll be a full inspection on the post before we leave tonight.

Any man who fails to pass it will wish he'd never been born.

That's all.

Come in.

Something troubling you, Sergeant? The men's morale, sir.

That Cooper riled them last night. We may have a little trouble.

Have any of the men refused to march out tonight?

No, sir, not yet... but Cooper's back, and I don't know what he's up to.

What could he be up to? That's just it, sir, I don't know.

But if he talks to the men again, they may refuse to go.

What do you suggest, Sergeant?

I was hoping you'd suggest something, sir.

You don't like the man, do you? I hate him.

I don't imagine it would take much to provoke him.

Very little, sir.

Provoke him.

Yes, sir.


Looking for someone?

The Colonel wants to see you.

What for?

He'll tell you.

I'll be there.

I'm supposed to bring you.

You came up the steps awful quiet.

I did.

The way you came through this door, I don't like it.

No?

I smell trouble.

And you fill the room with it.

Get going.

The Colonel doesn't want to see me, does he?

Why else would I come?

Maybe to kill me.

Why don't you try?


Hold it.


Well, Captain?

Come down here, Cooper.

What are you gonna do to him, Captain?

What are you gonna do to him, Colonel? He killed a man.

The punishment's clearly prescribed. Cooper, come on down...

Run for the mountains, Jed. They're gonna hang you.

Gus, get out of my way. Run for the mountains.

It's not his fault, Captain. I know it. It's not his fault.

Come on down, Jed.

You, too, Captain.

I would've died for this.

It's nothing but a dirty, filthy, blue rag.

Shoot him, Captain. Shoot him.

Shoot him!


Gus. Yeah.

We got a chance, ain't we? To make it back, I mean.

Sure.

It's a real likely possibility.

Aren't you gonna say anything?

What can I say?

You could wish me luck.

I wished you luck the night before Shiloh.

You didn't mean it then... and you wouldn't mean it now.

Colonel Marston... as first officer under your command, I request you reconsider your plan... for taking the troops out of this fort.

I've nothing to reconsider.

Captain Clarke, escort Colonel Marston to his quarters.

Confine him there until further notice.

Under what authority do you choose to ignore my command?

Orders from General Fisbee at Fort Laramie.

May I see these orders? They're en route, sir.

I sent Mungo to Laramie a week ago, requesting this action.

It takes a great deal of courage to go over your superior's head.

Right or wrong, I respect you for it.

But I can't turn back now.

I can't turn back either, sir.

I'm taking the men out.

You'll have to shoot me in the back.

Colonel Marston.

Stop or I'll shoot.

Corporal of the guard, dispatch rider approaching!


I could have your career for this right here and now... but I'd be doing the Army a disservice.

You showed courage and daring.

That's becoming a rare quality nowadays.

I leave you in command during my absence.

Prepare to mount.

Mount!

By twos, by the left flank!

Go!

Forward! Hut!

Close the gates.

Go to your posts.


What are you doing here?

Going with you.

Did the Colonel and the men go out?

Did Gus go with them?

The others still at the fort?

They'll be dead.

Come. Wait.

What for?

If you're in a hurry, go yourself.

No hurry.

What's the matter? Can't you carry it? You'll need it.

I'm going with you.

You can't. No more.

Why can't I?

You don't belong up there.

Why are you going? I belong there.


We'd best not leave these trees, Colonel.

We haven't seen an Indian so far, have we?

No, sir, but that don't mean they ain't seen us.

Their strategy's plain.

They're dropping back hoping we'll split up, so they can pick us off in small patrols.

Well, maybe... but I still don't like going on into that open draw.

They won't fight unless we force them into it.

We're wasting time. Go scout ahead. We'll wait here.

Aye.


Sound the attack!


Back to the trees! Get back to the trees!


Gus. Gus, bucko. It's me, Jed.

Go back to the woods!

Back to the trees! Go back to the woods!

Back to the trees.


Back to the fort! Go back to the fort!

Come on, Luke, you ain't dead yet.

Back to the fort! Pick up the wounded! Back to the fort!

Back to the fort! Don't stop for anything!


Open the gates.


Take over, Sergeant.

Dismissed!

How'd I do, Captain? Fine, soldier, just fine.

♪ Snow, heat, little meat ♪

♪ Famine almost near ♪

♪ And still they struggled on, Hiding every tear ♪

♪ Stout hearts, played their parts ♪

♪ In that bygone year ♪

♪ Back there, at the last frontier ♪

♪ The last frontier ♪

♪ The last frontier ♪