The Lives of a Bengal Lancer (1935) Script

All right. 2:30 tomorrow. Thank you. Goodbye.

Thanks, sergeant.

Report of horse rations, thirtieth hussars.

Regimental and general files.

Now, each of these buttons represents troops. Do you understand?

Yes, sir. Good.

The buttons are thickest up near the northwest frontier.

Oh, yes, always.

We have 300 million people to protect.

And most of the danger is there.

It's so romantic to a greenhorn like me.

Kipling and all that, you know.

Romantic?

Well, at first, yes.

A-another button to move.

41st Bengal Lancers.

Here, near the pass.

The pass? Does that mean...

It means nothing but maneuvers.

As Col. Stone says in his report here.

You hear that firing, Hamilton?

Typical sniping fire, sir.

Yes, and Afridi muskets every one of them.

Not a shot from our detachment.

Good. Hendrickson's a good soldier.

Rough on him, having those Afridi swine popping away at his men and not able to return fire.

Well, he'll get a citation if this plan works.

Plan's good enough, sir, if it were anybody but Mohammed Khan.

He's a clever dog.

Yes, of course he is. I ought to know.

But he's nibbling at our bait this time.

And if we can once draw him down out of those hills far enough, out into the open so that we can cut off his retreat, we've got him red-handed!

And that's what I've been waiting for, for 15 years, Hamilton.


Afridi swine. When do we go into action, Hendrickson?

On no account return fire. Col. Stone's orders.

Colonel's orders.

Narain Singh.

Now can we start something?

Colonel's orders, McGregor.

But the old fool couldn't have foreseen this.

I'd like to have you with me in a war, but for peace time, you're a bit too...

Too...

Too impulsive.

Machine guns!


Forward!


Most unfortunate, the command devolved upon you.

Of course you didn't know my orders.

I did know them, sir.

Why didn't you obey them?

You call yourself a soldier?

That's all.

The colonel knows India, McGregor. You don't.

You're right, I don't.

I'm just a fool Scotch-Canadian.

Came into your outfit to get action.

He's got a ramrod for a backbone.

He's a terror for drilling, but when it comes to the real thing...

McGregor, the colonel has the right to act as he thinks best and say what he pleases.


Mount!

One more thing, sir.

Two replacements come in today from Delhi.

Paperwork.

When we came into the regiment as boys, we didn't know that this was 9/10ths of soldiering.

No.

We thought and acted rather like McGregor.

Mmm.

What about these two replacements?

What are they sending to us now?

Lt. Forsythe.

The Blues, eh? Well, that's a fashionable regiment.

All spit and Polish. Who's the other one?

Lt. Stone.

What?

From Sandhurst?

What, they're sending me a young cub, not dry behind the ears yet? Unseasoned?

Straight from, fr-from military college to the frontier?

Oh, bless me.

Hmm, what'd you say his name was?

Donald Stone, sir. Hmm.

And who asked you to interfere in my personal affairs?

Will you forget that you're my colonel for a moment, sir?

Yes.

Look here, Tom.

In about two years, you'll be retired.

So you sent for my son because you feel sorry for me, is that it?

Not at all.

The idea was to keep the name of Stone in the 41st after you're gone.

There's no room for sentimentality in the army.

Hardly fair to ship him home without a trial.

Still, he'll measure up to my standards, or out he goes.

Of course.

And at the first sign of favoritism, from you or anyone else, there'll be trouble.

And that's an order, Maj. Hamilton.

Just as you said, major.

It's the colonel's privilege to do and say what he likes.

McGregor, you'll meet the two replacement officers this morning.

Lieutenants Forsythe and Stone.

Yes, sir. S-Stone?

His son.

His what?

I said, his son.

I can't imagine old ramrod ever having been that human.

The train arrives at 10:30, Mr. McGregor.

Yes, sir.

[imitating Col. Stone]: “Madam, you'll marry me Tuesday the 29th.”

“Be at the church at 10:00. That's an order.”

“Furthermore, you're improperly dressed.” Ha, ha.

Did you want to speak to me, McGregor?

No, sir.


I hope he's a nice follow.

He won't be. Ramrod.

I beg your pardon?

One Stone isn't enough. We have to have two.

There he is, the younger ramrod himself.

Everything was all right? Thank you, sir.

Couldn't be anybody else. Just as sure of himself as...

Look at the way they jump around for him.

Look at his luggage, everything just so-so.

Well, come on, let's get it over with.

No, I've got a little business.

You get your precious replacements.

I'm McGregor, Lancers, sent to meet you.

Oh, sort of reception committee, eh?

It's nice to know I was expected.

The regiment's been practically breathless for a week.

Oh?

Traveling light, huh?

Well, you see, I did expect to stay a little while.

That is if you don't mind too much.

It's all right with me.

Goodbye.

And thank you very much for being so kind.

Not at all.

Your luggage and everything all taken care of?

Everything, thank you.

May I present Mr. McGregor, Miss Leys?

Very happy. How do you do?

Goodbye.

Goodbye. Goodbye.

Who's she?

I met her on the train, if you don't mind.

Bad business talking to strange people out here.

You know, this is India.

You don't know who they are, and you might...

Oh, I see. Beautiful spy meets the young Lancer officer, makes him give away important military secrets.

The empire goes smash.

Melodrama, my dear McGregor, melodrama.

It might not be as funny as it sounds, Mr. Stone.

I don't suppose it matters to you, but my name isn't Stone.

No? No, it's Forsythe.

Well, then, that must be Stone there.

That's very good, you know. That's really very good.

It's almost brilliant.

Stone? I'm McGregor, sent to meet you.

That's very nice of you.

Stone, meet mister, uh...

What did you say your name was?

Forsythe.

Mr. Stone, Mr. Fort.

We met on the train, and the name is Forsythe.

Too hot for Forsythe.

Fort, Stone. Stone, Fort.

Stone fort. And that's funny.

If you two will hold onto each other, I'll tend to your luggage.

Pleasant chap.

So friendly.

Isn't he?

Just what I've always imagined a real officer on the frontier would be like.

Well, my mother kept me in the states until I made her send me to Sandhurst.

I've knocked about a bit in the states.

Scotch-Canadian, myself.

What is this I'm in? The foreign legion?

I didn't even think my father knew I was at Sandhurst, until this happened.

What?

His sending for me to his regiment.

Oh?

Sort of, carry on our tradition, you know?

Naim Shah, your servant, Stone.

Ali Hamdi, yours.

The night watchman, the water carrier, the sweeper.

You can hire the rest of them later.

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

Those things hurt my ears.

That's odd.

They sound to me like a Scotch bagpipe.

Your quarters, Stone.

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

Pretty, huh? And soothing. Thought I might entertain you.

Wild Scotch airs. Remind you of home.

Your room.

Someone deeded all this junk to the South Kensington museum?

That junk represents the personal belongings of the man you're replacing.

Killed on the border last month.

Oh, I'm sorry.

Oh, McGregor, did my...

Uh, the colonel say anything about what time he'd see me?

No, he didn't. And my guess is he won't see you till Durbar.

Oh.

Don't let that get you down.

The old... the old man's a stickler for red tape.

Durbar. Bugles.

And that's an order. Ramrod.

Durbar.

Oh, a-already? I'll be right with you.

I want you to help me to keep them in good condition.

You keep then shined and I'll... uh, keep them dirty.

Durbar.

Whenever you're ready, sahib.

Thanks, old colonial.

Durbar, Barrett.

Not today, old boy.

Where to now?

Over the border.

I wish I'd taken my mother's advice and joined the church instead of the army.

I wish I had the job.

Does the colonel think you're the only one here who talks Pushtu?

Who knows what the colonel thinks?

I agree with you there. Well, good luck.

Thanks, Mac.

Left wheel, turn!

Left wheel, turn!

Good head, eh? Yeah.

How old is she, major?

Places, men.

Good morning, gentlemen.

Good morning, sir.


What's this?

An Afridi ghazi, Colonel sahib.

Caught in the quarters of Capt. Norton, with this.

Anything stolen?

He meant to kill Capt. Norton.

Said Capt. Norton slept with his feet toward Mecca.

There are trees, and we have rope.

What have you got to say?

Oh.

Take him and hang him to a tree, and then sew the dead body in the skin of a pig.

Well, that's what will happen to him if he tries it again.

You tell him that and let him go.

He doesn't seem to like pigs.

If that happened, in heaven he wouldn't get the 48 maidens allotted by Allah.

Tsk, tsk, tsk. Sad.

Capt. Norton.

Yes, sir? Have you a compass?

Yes, sir.

Change the direction of your bed.

Yes, sir.

Yes, that's all.

Mr. McGregor.

The two replacements?

Mr. Forsythe, from the Blues, Mr. Stone, from Sandhurst.

From the Blues, eh? Quite so.

Well, that's a fashionable regiment.

I am afraid, Mr. Forsythe, you'll find us different.

We have a reputation as soldiers, and we're proud of it.

Mr. Stone.

You've come to us direct from Sandhurst, without previous service.

Is that correct?

Yes, sir.

Yes. Well, you've got a great deal to learn.

And I trust that you, and you, too, Mr. Forsythe, will measure up to our requirements.

That's all, gentlemen.

Crusty old--

I'm sorry.

Is it over? Is that all?

That's all.

Lt. Stone.

Yes, sir?

The colonel forgot something.

I want you to take this to him.

Yes, sir.

What's so funny? You are.

So the rough soldier has a heart of gold.

Never mind, it comes out in all of us.

It's the mother instinct.


Is this it, sir?

What?

Where did you get this?

Mr. McGregor ordered me to give it to you, sir.

What infernal impudence!

No, uh, not you.

Not... not... not you.

How's, uh, how... h-how's your mother?

Quite well, sir.

Good, good.

She always hated the army.

I... I don't understand why she ever let you go through Sandhurst.

She had to.

I've kept after her about it ever since I was so high.

Oh? Wanted to be a soldier, eh?

We've always been soldiers, for generations.

Yes.

Still, you're not one yet, you know?

Yes, sir.

Really, you, uh, you ought not to be here.

Uh, not on the frontier.

But I am here, sir.

Yes, but, uh, don't try to take advantage.

Don't expect any favoritism.

I don't, sir.

I, uh, I... I... I'm glad to see you, of course, and I...

I'm sorry that the situation makes any sort of, uh, o-of, uh, social relation impossible.

And I... I, uh...

No, no, wait! W-wait.

Uh, come back a moment.

You see, uh, this frontier, it's not the same as home service.

No place for a cub.

A man's got to be seasoned.

You've got to start from the bottom.

Learn everything, and if you don't measure up, Out.

The service comes first.

Something your mother never understood.

Yes, sir.

Is that all, sir?

What? Uh, uh, yes.

Y-yes, that's all. That's all.

I'm very glad to see...

Poor kid.

I thought if I got them alone...

But the old man has ice-water in his veins.

You don't know the colonel, McGregor.

Neither do you.

Mr. McGregor. Yes, sir.

As I remarked to one of my other officers this morning, there is no place for sentimentality in the army.

Neither sentimentality nor impertinence, Mr. McGregor.

Stone.

Interesting, the Durbar, isn't it?

I'm sorry I sent you in there.

I should have known better.

Should have known how he'd treat you.

What's a son to him, compared to his blasted regiment?

Martinet. Ramrod.

That's what he is. Everybody knows it.

You might as well get used to it.

That's a lie.

I'm sorry, I can't keep my mouth shut. That's my trouble.

Biggest fool in the army. I'm sorry.

That's all... all right, Mac.

♪ Sure I love the dear silver that shines in her hair ♪

♪ And the brow that's all furrowed ♪

♪ And wrinkled with care ♪

♪ Oh, god bless you and keep you ♪

♪ Mother McGregor ♪

Now, when a troop wheels on the move, what do the troop leaders look out for?

Mr. Stone, I asked you a question.

Yes, sir.

Come on, come on, come on. Come on.

Got it all that time.

All right.

Bedding should be changed, Mr. Stone.

Yes, I see now, Risaldar Major.

We don't have these beastly ticks in England.

Sergeant, have this horse's shoe attended to.

Come on!

Give him a good walk while he cools off.

A good man, Forsythe.

Jump!

See the way he took that jump?

Yes, they teach them to jump in the Blues.

Yes. Yes, what?

Oh.

Good work, Forsythe.

Thank you, sir.

Mr. McGregor, you're improperly dressed.

I'm sorry, sir.

That was a nice jump you made, Mac.

Thanks. Hello, Stone.

Hello.

Remarkable man, your father.

Knows a good soldier when he sees one.

Appreciates neatness, too.

Well, how about a spot of scotch?

Thanks. I haven't finished inspection yet.

Ten minutes for their backs and five for their bellies.

That's the order of grooming.

Very touching, the lad's devotion.

Must warm the maternal cockles of your heart.

Eh, McGregor?

What about pulling a few pegs with me, huh?

I'm in favor of it. Let's go.

Well, uh, how about 10 rupees?

Make it 20.

Ready?

Whenever you say.


They should make those pegs smaller.

Be more sport to it, huh?

♪ Oh, he flew through the air ♪

♪ With the greatest of ease ♪

♪ And the daring young man owes me 20 rupees ♪


Have some tea, Stone?

No, thanks.

Call it for first in the bath.

Heads.

Right.

You fellows bathe to keep cool and I bathe because I badly need it.


Every time I do this I remind myself of my old man.

Whiskers.

He was a crabby old cuss.

Back in Alberta I had a colt once.

Lot of class and nerve.

You could tell he was no carthorse when he was a yearling.

The old man hooked him to a plow.

Took all the spirit out of him.

He broke him in, as he said he would and I never forgave him for it.

I don't think the horse ever did realize what...

What the old man did to him.

So I'm the horse.

Very subtle, Mac.

What the blazes do you mean?

I'm no two-year-old. I'm 21.

And if anybody thinks my old man's going to break my nerve...

What are you talking about? I wasn't thinking of you at all.

And let me tell you another thing, I don't need a nurse. Now you can go on shaving.

Have a little soap. You need it.

Do you have to do that?

Why, like you, I have a softer side to my nature.

It finds its outlet in music. See? The scales.

Hey, Mac, get me a towel, will you?

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Variations, one hand, Mac.

Listen, Forsythe.

This Mother Machree business has gone far enough.

Why, of course, Mac.

I'm sorry. I didn't realize it.

Well, let's, uh, just forget all about it. Hmm?

Thanks.

Hey, Mac, that soap's in my eyes.

Give me a towel, will you?

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

McGregor.

Variations, two hands, Mac.


♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

How long are you going to--

Keep playing.

Variations, Mr. Forsythe, with both hands.

Cobras have a softer side, too.

Finds an outlet in music.

Of course, if you... if you stop playing, you know, you might live a couple of hours.

I had a friend once that lived for two days.

Try it with one hand.

Mac!

Allow me. You might spill it.

For sale, cheap.

One secondhand musical instrument.

200 feet more.

Plus 200 east.

Elevation, 300.

Mr. McGregor. Yes, sir?

There's no word yet from Barrett.

We must get in touch with him. Yes, sir.

You're familiar with the roads north east of Fort Jamrud?

I am, sir. Yes, good, good.

You'll cross the frontier tonight.

Take one subaltern, one NCO, ten men, four spare horses.

And, uh, rifles.

Not lances.

I see, sir.

Ostensibly, a hunting expedition.

What subaltern shall I take, sir?

Mmm, any preference?

Mr. Stone, sir.

No service experience. Take Morgan.

He's on leave, sir.

Well, then, take Forsythe.

Yes, sir.

Here are your orders.

And this time, obey them.

Yes, sir.

Forsythe.

Huh?

We're leaving for the border immediately.

What?

Action?

Can't say.

Oh.

We leave for the border?

Uh, small expedition. Only one junior officer.

Forsythe. Yes?

One junior officer, so he had to choose...

I chose Forsythe.

I see.

Sir.

What do you mean by intruding like this?

Why wasn't I chosen to go with McGregor?

Are you questioning my orders?

Then it was your orders.

It wasn't McGregor's choice. It was yours.

Mr. Stone.

I came out to India to be an officer, and I've been given things to do I learned in my first year at Sandhurst.

I haven't asked any favors, and I'm not asking any now.

But if you meant to treat me this way, why did you bring me out here?

Why did you send for me?

I didn't send for you.

Y-you didn't?

Oh.


Are you aware we're being shot at?

We camp here.

This is no place to camp.

Are you out of your mind?

They'll rush us in the night and slit our throats.

This can't be what the colonel meant.

Easy to see how much you learned in the Blues about frontier fighting.

No firing.

He's mine.

Rapid fire!

You just missed my ear, Mac.

You're lucky, Barrett.

You got a cigarette?

Yeah.

Thanks.

What shall I tell the colonel?

Mohammed Khan, is effecting a coalition of all the tribes.

But don't forget, colonel, Gopal's a friendly state.

The Emir's our friend, as who knows better than you.

Oh, of course, I've known Othman Alli for 20 years.

Every year or so I take the regiment up to Gopal for maneuvers and pig-sticking.

He's got the best wild pig north of the Ganges.

Ah.

But two million rounds of ammunition.

Oh, no, Woodley.

Why, that's enough to start a small-sized war.

And then, who knows?

Yes, who knows?

But he asked for it.

And if we refused, well, he mightn't be our friend.

And so he gets it, eh? Yes.

McGregor, sahib.

Oh, ask Mr. McGregor to come in.

Oh, sit down, sir, won't you?

You saw Barrett? Yes, sir.

He reports Mohammed Khan is trying to stir up all the border tribes, and effect a coalition of all of them.

They're listening to him as he's promised to supply them with machine guns, and two million rounds of ammunition.

Ammunition?

Oh, that's good work. Thank you, McGregor.

Thank Barrett, sir.

Look at here, sir, I... I know it's none of my business, but couldn't we slip out of here, a small detachment of us, anyway, on our own?

Try to get a chance at him, kill him, and... and nip the whole business in the bud?

Are you suggesting that I should commence hostilities without orders?

And, uh, ahem, without reporting this to the intelligence?

Intelligence, those fools. General staff?

You know, sir, they'll send us anywhere but into action.

To Gopal to stick pigs for instance, like last summer.

An excellent suggestion.

Sir Thomas, Mr. McGregor.

Mr. McGregor, Maj. Gen. Sir Thomas Woodley.

Chief of intelligence. Army headquarters.

Mr. McGregor.

Col. Stone, your regiment will leave at dawn for Gopal.

Yes, sir.

Now, get yourself a couple of hours sleep.

We leave at 6:00.

Yes, sir.

Wish I could go with you.

I always liked pig-sticking.

Pig-sticking.

Well, I seem to remember feeling that way once.

He's probably right.

Hm.

But he brought our answer, Stone.

A plain two and two that makes a very plain four.

Mohammed Khan needs two million rounds of ammunition.

And the Emir of Gopal asks us for two million rounds...

Yes, yes, and it's not difficult to guess, that Mohammed Khan persuaded the Emir to ask for it.

He knows we'll have to let him have it, too.

And Gopal's not only remote, but far enough removed from the Khan's home fires, that we shouldn't be suspicious.

Very pretty, indeed.

And it becomes our very pleasant job, to see that the Emir really is the one who gets the ammunition.

That old pussy-footer gets paid for being intelligent.

I tell you, Forsythe, everything's going to smash.

What?

Pig-sticking.

We're going to ride all around Gopal sticking toothpicks into pigs.

Sounds rather fun.

I ought to be rather good at that, don't you think?

Hmm.

By the way, McGregor, I've got bad news for you.

Your ward needs parental control, I fear.

That is, if you can find him.

Naim Shah tells me he's been out every night since we left.

Rolling home to quarters blotto.

Tonight he's still out on a binge.

Hm. We leave for Gopal in two hours.

Oh, without Stone, it appears.

My, what will the stern father say?

You'd better do something about it, Mac.

The young fool.

Let old ramrod do what he likes with his son.

It's no concern of mine. I'm going to bed.

So am I.

What are you doing here?

The same as you are. Looking for him.

And I wish you'd be honest with yourself, and let me know what you're really going to do.

If you'd just tell me, maybe I'd get more sleep.

Now that we are here, what would you do if you were drunk?

How drunk?

Pretty drunk.

I'd go looking for that music.

Come on, speed it up, Stone, or we'll all be doing stable duty.

I can take care of myself.

Come along, Casanova, these will make a new man of you.


Forgot something.

I thought you might get lonesome.

Get yourself a cobra.

The welcoming committee from the Emir.

That's his vizier, bringing gifts for the colonel from his old pal.

His highness, Othman Ali Bahadur, Emir of Gopal, bids welcome to his friends and allies of the raj.

Thrice welcome, in the name of Allah.

Convey my thanks to your master, ahem, my old friend.

Uh, m-may he live a thousand years.

His highness orders me to express his wish, Huzoor, that you may live long enough to be present at his funeral.

Uh, oh, yes, quite so. Quite so.

He went the old man one better that time.

Wicked looking birds, aren't they?

Hunting falcons, Forsythe.

Swiftest thing in the air.

Full of fight and trained to kill, like the rest of these mangy-looking fellows.

A long-legged man is always full of wind.

Barrett.

His highness invites you, Huzoor, and all the officer sahibs, to an entertainment in your honor, tonight at the palace.

I accept on their behalf with pleasure.

All my thanks to his highness.


His highness awaits you.

Salaam, Colonel sahib.

Salaam, your highness.

May I present the officers of the 41st Bengal Lancers, your highness?

My poor hovel is yours, sahiban.

Everything here is for your pleasure.

Please enjoy yourselves.

Now, this is what army life should be.

Like the Arabian nights, isn't it?

Anything like this in Canada, Mac?

Quite a teepee, huh?

I sent to London for that, and you...

My two good friends. My guest, Col. Stone.

My guest, Mohammed Khan.

Very glad to know you Khan sahib.

At last, Col. Stone.

We almost met once before, did we not, you and I?

Yes, I... I believe we did. Just missed you, didn't I?

“A blind man wants nothing except his eyes.” That's an Afghan proverb.

And now, if you will forgive me, I must leave my two good friends together.

I must go to see my other guests.

Oh, yes, your highness.

No doubt that Khan and I will find much to talk about.

Highness.

You were not expected with your Lancers.

A hasty trip, wasn't it?

In search of, uh...

Pigs.

There's another proverb:

“The little jackal barks, but the caravan passes.” Won't you sit down, Col. Stone?

Yes.

I say, look.

I saw her first.

No, no, no, no, no, no, Mac.

A direct frontal attack?

That's the wrong tactics. This requires finesse.

I'll toss you. The loser stays clear.

Right you are.

Heads.

Now watch closely.

Well, uh, go ahead. Uh, I'm watching you closely.

Gentlemen.

Uh, two more of my officers I should like you to meet.

Mr. McGregor, Mr. Forsythe.

This is our friend and neighbor, Mohammed Khan.

A great pleasure, gentlemen.

Let me give you some advice, Mr. Forsythe.

Never make fun of military intelligence.

Thank you very much. And now...

Uh, wait a minute.

That girl and...

I've got some things to find out.

He plans to leave tomorrow morning.

I knew he would as soon as we got here.

We must keep him here if possible.

I was right.

She came here with Mohammed Khan.

Aha, so that's how it is.

Diplomatic complications rear their heads, huh?

Looks like it. We'd better find them.

Mac, I've been thinking.

I'm very fond of you, you know.

I have a feeling this is going to cost me something.

Oh, no, Mac.

Now, you've done enough for him, really.

This time, I'll take on the rescue work.

Well, that touches me deeply, but how many times have you told me he was my job?

Uh, we'll both do it, Mac. Huh?

Mr. Stone, I'm sorry, but uh, but Maj. Hamilton wants to see you.

Very important, he said.

I beg your pardon. I'll be back in just a moment.

Surely.

No manners at all, this younger generation.

Completely forgot the introductions, didn't he?

My name's Forsythe.

How do you do?

That's McGregor.

Scotch, you know. Very queer race.

Did you send for me, major?

No.

I'm sorry.

I made that same mistake once before.


How are your pigs this year, highness?

Pigs?

My land is overrun with unclean beasts.

Oh, that means good sport tomorrow.

You'll join us, Khan sahib, of course?

Oh, I'm sorry, I'm leaving in the morning.

But if you wish real sport, you must come to my country.

An invitation?

My land and all it contains is at your disposal.

Yes, yes, sahib.

Why, he gives his word, the word of a prince.

I swear it upon the Koran.

An oath?

Oh, I'll put it to the test.

He has you.

What do you demand of him, sahib?

Postpone your departure.

Join us at pig-sticking tomorrow.

I... I... I can't. My affairs demand that...

You must.

You give your oath upon the Koran.

I am honored, Bahadur.

Tomorrow, pig-sticking.

I don't believe in explaining orders, but this time it's necessary.

Mohammed Khan's men are in these hills, to seize that ammunition convoy before it reaches our friend, the Emir.

There's no need to tell you how serious one ill-advised or careless move by any of you might be in this situation.

Oh, of course, we're here for sport and maneuvers.

And as some of you who are new to India may not know, a wounded pig is a dangerous animal, so a word of advice to, uh, the younger officers.

If you wound a pig and he takes to cover, do not dismount and follow.

Foolhardiness is not courage.

It's not good soldiering and it's not good sport.

Good morning, sir.

Good morning. Good morning.

We shall ride together, sir?

It will be a pleasure.

You have the advantage of me, in years.

The older the English fox, the safer his brush.

Cunning comes with age, Col. Stone.

Hunted in the shires, I see.

And you on the border. We're fairly matched.

But I prefer your English sport to this.

You prefer hunting the fox?

Mr. Stone.

I'm worried about you.

Such a dangerous sport.

Nonsense. Why, there's no risk at all.

Good luck.


Old ramrod's spotted one. Look at him ride.

He made a direct kill.

Look!

20 rupees on the first spear. Right.

♪ Oh, he flew through the air with the greatest of ease ♪ Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.

Did you see old ramrod make that kill?

"A wounded pig is a dangerous animal."

What rot.

Pig hasn't a chance.

Think so?

Hey, look.

There's your chance to find out how simple it is.

Stone!

Mr. McGregor! Mr. McGregor!

You get back on your horse and stay there.

Mr. Stone! Mr. Stone!


McGregor, give me your tunic.

No one, you understand, no one, must know of this.

Yes, sir. Yes, sir.

Mr. Stone, you've seen fit to disregard my advice.

You will please be good enough to leave the field.

Yes, sir.

I, uh, I... I should thank you two.

Well, thank you, gentlemen.

Now, uh, help me on my horse.

And you, too, disobeyed my orders.

I distinctly told you not to dismount.

Lights out.

How do you feel, sir?

I, oh, oh, quite all right, thanks.

What?

Much better talk to them yourself, I think, sir.

He's your son, you know.

Better effect than if it came from me.

And when you talk, I happen to know there's quite a strong friendship between the boy and McGregor.

Yeah. Yes, yes, of course. Of course, yes.

Well, all right.

They're here.

Well, all right.

Come in.

Oh, yes, yes, of course, it's you. Yes, I-i...

G-good evening, gentlemen.

Good evening, sir. Good evening, sir.

Yes, I, uh, I... I...I sent for you.

I... I want to talk to you about something. Uh...

Uh, sit down. S-sit down, both of you.

No, no, no, don't go, Hamilton.

It, um, it's about, uh, um...

Are your quarters comfortable?

Yes, sir.

Just like Salisbury plain, sir.

Yes, yes.

There are three of you together, I understand.

I... I...I mean, my s...

Uh, Mr. Stone is quartered with you, isn't he?

Yes, sir.

Yes.

Well, I, uh, I... I... I want to talk to you about something.

Uh,

uh, oh, uh, oh, t-try some of my tobacco, McGregor.

I-1-it's my own mixture.

You know... you know, that fellow in Jermyn street.

Lot of perique in it.

Hm.

Too strong for me, maybe.

No. No, not for you, McGregor.

I-I-it might be for Forsythe.

Of the Blues.

Late of the Blues, sir.

Huh? Oh, yes, yes, late of the Blues.

Uh, I... I...I knew your father, Forsythe.

Oh, did you really?

Yes.

Snake charmer, wasn't he?

What? Brigadier general, a... a snake charmer?

Well, I thought...

Well, you see, his son plays one of those...

Oh, that's odd. I...I... I never heard of it.

Uh...

Oh, oh, probably, it's just as well.

Probably. Yes, probably, sir.

Yes. Yes, I... I... I knew him.

Uh...

Y-your father must be very proud of you, Forsythe.

T-T-The army a-a-and all that sort of thing, I mean.

Oh, he took all that for granted, sir.

Yes. Yes. Uh...

Uh... uh, you... you ought to make a good officer, Forsythe.

Oh, you've got a lot to learn yet, of course.

Oh, yes, sir. Yes.

W-w-where is your father now?

Cheltenham. Retired.

Retired?

Yeah.

Well, we... we come to it.

We all come to it.

Not much to look forward to then.

Not much, unless, uh...

Well, uh, we've had a hard day.

Now, you... you'd better get yourself some sleep.

Good night, gentlemen.

Good night, sir.

Good night, sir.

Good night, sir.

Yeah, good night, Hamilton.

That fellow in Jermyn street.

Pour lumps of sugar.

Not much to look forward to.

So he wanted to talk to us.

Well, whatever it was, he couldn't get it off his chest, could he?

Say, do you suppose...

Ah, is the light beginning to break?

I got it.

The old man doesn't know what to do about his kid, and wants us to help him, but just couldn't get it out.

That's brilliant, Mac.

That's positively brilliant.

That's it, all right.

I never thought he cared that much.

I never thought he was that human.

Yet the way he went after that pig when he thought his boy was in for it.

Yeah, game old cock.

Those tusks got him a lot worse than he lets on, too.

Boy's pretty bitter and ugly.

Largely the old man's fault, of course.

Partly the old man's, partly our system's.

But mostly the boy's.

Let's wake him up.

Well, no, Mac. I leave that to you. He's your ward.

Well, the old man talked to you, too, didn't he?

That girl.

Ah, youth, youth!

I trust you won't find the journey too uncomfortable, Mr. Stone.


Halt! Who goes there?

Guard, turn out.

Barrett sahib.

As he turned around, we fired and brought him down, sir.

Thank you, McGregor.

Your version, Forsythe?

Mr. Stone was not in his tent.

That's all we can say, sir.

You've both tried to shield him.

All the facts are obvious.

He couldn't have been seized in the middle of the camp without some outcry.

Just slipped out against orders.

Anyway, he can tell where they've taken him, sir.

Hamzulla, ask him where Mohammed Khan has taken my son.

I think I can make him talk, sir.

Well, try.

Guards doubled as ordered, sir.

Thank you, Norton.

Barrett?

Bad?

The eyes, and the usual...


Mogala.

Thank you, McGregor.

I learned that one from you, sir.

Hamzulla Khan, take him away.

Trial of that Afridi, 10:00 A.M. tomorrow.

Services for Barrett, at noon.

That's all, gentlemen.

But, sir. I thought that...

You thought what, Mr. McGregor?

That you were going after your son, sir.

This incident will not change our plans in any respect.

But... but knowing where he's taking your son makes all the difference, sir.

We can be at Mogala almost as soon as he is.

This regiment can ride, sir.

I'm aware my regiment can ride.

I'm also aware that I am not going to do precisely what Mohammed Khan has planned that I should do.

He took my son to goad me into pursuing him to draw the Lancers from their position.

He's mistaken his man.

But this... In our present position, the regiment holds Mohammed Khan checkmate.

The regiment stays here.

Then let me go.

I can take a small detachment...

Mr. McGregor, I cannot weaken the strength of the regiment in this emergency.

And I can't permit you or any other officer to risk their lives for Mr. Stone.

But he's your son, and we can save him, can't we?

That will be all, Mr. McGregor.

Then take a look at that.

That's what Mohammed Khan does to his prisoners.

That's quite unnecessary, Mr. McGregor.

I know what may happen to my son through his own disobedience and folly.

I'd just begun to think I was wrong about you, but I wasn't.

You haven't a human bone in your body.

There's not a drop of blood in your veins.

You're nothing but a...

McGregor.

So you'll sit here with your regiment while they kill your son by inches.

Well, I won't!

I'm going after him whether you like it or not.

Mr. McGregor!

Pending charges of insubordination you will please consider yourself under arrest.

Mr. Forsythe, you will be responsible for the prisoner.

You fool. Can't you see...

So you-- Mac!

Come along.

Well, I must say you spoke your mind, old colonial, if there's any virtue in that.

"Regiment, duty, you're improperly dressed."

That's all he cares about.

So they'll say, "Very good, Col. Stone,” and pin another medal on him.

Or else he's--

Haven't you said enough, McGregor?

The colonel's right and you know it.

You're only making it harder for him.

If you take my advice, you'll go over and apologize.

Not me. Apologize after what he did?

Oh, for heaven's sake, man, get some sense.

Do you suppose it was an easy thing for him to do?

His own son?

Why wasn't it?

He doesn't care about him.

He'd do the same thing to any of us.

But to sit here and let them pull his own son to pieces because of a few cases of ammunition...

Are you blind, man?

You think he doesn't care?

Well, I know he does.

Well, I suppose if it were your son, you'd sit here, too, like a dummy.

You would not...

No, I should probably have ordered the regiment out.

That's because I'm not the man the colonel is.

Nor the soldier.

Well, if that's what you call being a man or a soldier, I don't want any part of it.

Not me.

That kid needs him. It's his own blood, and if he cared a hang about him...

Of course he cares. But what's that got to do with it?

He loved his wife, too, but he lost her.

She was American.

Couldn't stick the service, couldn't understand.

So he chose the regiment then just as he's doing now.

But that doesn't mean he didn't care.

I know.

I ought to know. We were cubs together.

He put his whole soul into the regiment, and that's all he's had.

And he won't have that long, either. Retirement.

He'll have an armchair in the club, and a window over the rag, and that's all.

And he'll have nothing if his boy doesn't carry on in this regiment.

Then he'd have everything?

Of course he would. That's what it means to him.

But you think he'd let that make any difference to his orders, to his job?

Well, why shouldn't it?

Why can't he be a little less of a soldier and more of a man?

Why can't he forget his blasted duty for once?

Man, you are blind!

Have you never thought how for generation after generation here, a handful of men have ordered the lives of 300 million people?

It's because he's here, and a few more like him.

Men of his breed have made British India.

Men who put their jobs above everything.

He wouldn't let death move him from it and he won't let love move him from it.

When his breed of man dies out, that's the end.

And it's a better breed of man than any of us will ever make.

Good night, gentlemen.

There's a great deal of speaking of minds going on here tonight.

I didn't think the old boy had it in him, but he's right.

According to his way of thinking, maybe.

It's funny, your being out here and thinking of it in any other way.

On their side, huh?

Well, I'm not. So I'm going to do something.

There's been enough thinking and talking, too. I'm going.

Are you really, now?

You know, you put me in a rather awkward position.

Look, I don't want any trouble with you, but I'm going.

Well, when do we start?

What do you mean "we"?

You're my prisoner, you know.

I couldn't let you out of my sight.

I regret to have to report, sir.

McGregor and Forsythe have disappeared.

What, desertion?

I suppose it is, technically.

Well, what did you expect?


♪ Sure I love the dear silver ♪

♪ That shines in her hair ♪

♪ And the brow that's all furrowed ♪

♪ And wrinkled with care ♪

♪ I kiss the dear fingers so toil-worn for me ♪

♪ Oh, God bless you and keep you ♪

♪ Mother ♪

♪ McGregor ♪


Why do they want to talk so many languages in India?

It's up to you.

You'll have to be the talking merchant.

I'll be the deaf and dumb one.


Well, at least we're in.

I hope getting out is as easy.

Trying to be funny?

No, I'm not trying to be funny.

I'm scared stiff.

What are we going to do now?

Try to look and act like the rest of these merchants. Set up shops.

Sell a few doodads while we take a look around.

I don't see anything that looks like a plan.

As far as I can see, we've just stuck our head in the lion's mouth.

A very large and unpleasant lion, too.

Suppose you were Mohammed Khan, where would you have put him?

Oh, no, you play first. It'll be more fun.

All right.

You stay here and unpack these things and set up shop.

I'll take a look around.

Don't forget you're deaf and dumb.


You'd better cut your prices, Mac, before I get my throat cut.

Do you think she recognized us?

I hope not.

I don't think so.

Anyway, we won't worry about it.

Did you see anything interesting?

Not a thing.


What's that mean? Time to go?

Yes.

But we're gonna stay right here until we can...

He's in all right. No doubt about that.

And doing rather well, too.

Clicquot. I saw the label. Iced.

If that's the way Mohammed Khan tortures his victims I'd like to change places with him for 10 minutes.

That guard's got a key all right.

If we can last till night, hit the guard over the head get the kid out, try and steal some horses--

Jump them over a 40-foot wall and then that mad dash for the border.

Well, you think of something better.

Mohammed Khan sent for us.

He wants to see our rugs and laces.

Do you suppose? No, I don't suppose.

Don't forget you're deaf and dumb.

Oh, come, come, gentlemen.

It isn't everyday that two British officers prostrate themselves at the feet of a poor border chieftain.

Mr. McGregor, Mr. Forsythe.

I told you, this Mardi Gras would be a washout.

I had hoped the colonel might come himself but since he has so very cleverly refused, I welcome you to my humble home.

You remember, my dear, of course?

How could I forget?

They were such charming dinner companions.

Dinner. Yes, of course.

You will dine with me surely, gentlemen, to try my poor savage fare?

I know you must be anxious to meet my guest of honor.

I wouldn't do that if I were you, Mr. McGregor.

Yes, I've... I've seen good cricket in my time.

I was an Oxford man, you know.

But I must compliment you, Mr. Forsythe, on your delivery.

Superb.

Oh, charming compliment.

My only regret is that it wasn't a hand grenade.

A charming thought.

A charming dinner.

The mutton was, uh, excellent.

Always mutton.

We have mutton or chicken up here. But, as you say, good mutton, quite the equal of your English south down.

Now you put me in a very difficult position.

Pride of country urges me to argue the point.

But my position as, uh...

As a guest, shall we say...

By all means a guest, for the time being.

For the time being, huh?

Pass the wine.

My position as a guest for the time being, of course, inclines me to agree with you.

Well, a compliment indeed, that we can approach the excellence of anything British.

I'm fed up with this cat-and-mouse business.

Let's talk sense.

You've got us here and now what are you going to do with us?

Mac, manners, manners.

By the way, we didn't thank the Khan sahib for our charming and picturesque raiment.

Suppose we stay with the subject?

I'm quite prepared to supply you with horses to return to your regiment.

You can tell your colonel that some of my men misunderstood his son's innocent flirtation.

Of course, when I found it out, I punished them at once.

An easy explanation of how I came to set you free.

And, uh, what's the catch?

You have only to answer two very simple questions:

By what route is the ammunition train coming and just where does the regiment plan to meet it for convoy?

Well, when the furry little animal jumped out of the bag he really jumped, didn't he?

Well, gentlemen.

We have ways to make men talk.

If you'll forgive me, I... I have a headache.

Oh, I'm sorry, my dear. Madame Volkanskaya finds our methods in this part of the world a little too direct for her taste.

Your brandy, gentlemen.

Take it. We may need it.

I regret this, but thanks to your colonel's cold heart and cold brain I have no other choice, and very little time.

Now that we're no longer guests, tell him what you really think of the mutton.

Oh, yes.

As much as I regret to say this, your mutton is undoubtedly...

"Rotten" is the word.

Thanks, Mac.


Come, now, gentlemen, must I proceed to these absurd and unpleasant extremes?

Little bamboo slivers but when they're driven under the fingernails and lighted, we find them very effective.

Bring the other two gentlemen a little bit closer so they can see well.

I shall proceed first with Mr. McGregor.


I'll get you some water.

I'd rather have a cigarette, Mac.


Dentist once in Montreal hit a nerve.

It hurt almost as bad.

Well, he's been to a dentist.

Let me alone!

Come on, Tania. Don't fail me, Tania.

Come along, Mohammed Khan.

Show some speed!

Tania!

For dear old Forsythe.

Tania! Tania! Run, jump, do something!

Do anything.

That's right. Here we go.

Tania! One jump.

Come on, Mohammed Khan, take that hurdle.

Ah, Mohammed Khan, by half a length.

That makes 40 million rupees you owe me.

Another day of this, and I'm broke.

Another day of this, we'll be going around in circles like those cockroaches.

Ah, I wonder when these whiskers stop itching and begin to be a beard!

Foulest torture ever invented.

Keep us in a cell that crawls and fix us so we can't scratch.


All the Khan's horses and all the Khan's men.

It didn't take him long.

I'd like to have seen the look on the colonel's face.

It looks as if they were expecting trouble.

There's only one answer.

The colonel's after them.

And with all the ammunition here, there's nothing to keep him in Gopal.

With those machine guns and two million rounds of ammunition the regiment wouldn't have a chance.

The old ramrod's a fool to try it.

There's nothing much we can do about it.

I wish I had my toodle-oodle here.

I'd play you some wild Scotch airs.

Over my dead body, you would.

You know, that's rather clever, Mac.

Why don't you say it? Why don't you say what you're thinking?

Forget it!

I'm to blame. I told them, that's what you're thinking.

Why don't you say it? Shut up!

All right, I told them and why shouldn't I? For him?

To stand there and watch and know all the time I was gonna be next to have your nails torn off and those pincers and burning sticks driven into you until...

And things you can't even talk about.

Why should I stand all that?

For what? For him?

For a service that makes him like he's been to me?

He left me here, didn't he?

He knew what they'd do.

He wouldn't come after me, not him.

Regiment, service, duty!

Why should I stand what you did for them?

Why should I? Why should any of us? Why?

I told you to forget it.

All right, Mac.

But I still don't understand why.

Why? Well...

Well, there are some things they don't teach you in military college. Can't, I guess.

India's big, you know. There are 300 million people and run by, uh, just a handful of men.

The... the... the job comes first.

Like old ramrod, you can't let death move you, nor love.

And it's like...

How can I tell you what it's all about when I don't know myself?

“The time has come, the walrus said,”

"to speak of many things”

“of ships and shoes and sealing-wax,”

“of cabbages and kings.” Oh, shut up!

You don't like poetry?

How should I know? I never read any.

Perhaps something more rugged.

“Ever the faith endures,”

“England, my England”

“take and break us, we are yours”

“England, my own”

“life is good, joy runs high”

“between English earth and sky”

“death is death and we shall die”

“to the song on your bugles blown, England”

“to the stars on your bugles blown!”

If I had known I was going to say all this, I would have brought my violin.


You weren't by any chance thinking how nice it would be if someone spilled the fire into that ammunition, were you?

About 200 yards, I'd say.

Nearer a 100.

My last year in Oxford I won the 220.

I ran the 100 in 10 flat at Mcgill.

It's nearer 200. And where's Mcgill?

Mcgill's in Montreal.

And this is a job for a 100-yard man.

Forget I'm your superior officer?

Forget you're my prisoner?

Toss you?

The cockroaches.

If Tania gets to the wall first, I win.

It's a go? Mohammed Khan! Come on!

Tania, what's the matter?

Mohammed Khan again! It's my job.

Your luck's as good as ever, Mac.

And now all I have to do is figure a way to get out of here.

That's all.

Too late, sir.

Hopeless to attack that strength.

If we retire now and that ammunition is distributed amongst the tribes...

You know what that means.

Yes, a costly job, sir.

I know.

But it's worth the whole regiment.

Squadron, wheel into line. Gallop!

What are you doing?

I'm trying to wear a hole in the wall so we can all climb through.

It occurred to me, gentlemen that you might like to know what is to become of you.

I'm expecting a visit from your colonel in a few minutes.

I can assure you he will receive a very warm reception.

In the coming engagement, if the colonel escapes I shall send you all back to him alive.

If he is captured, you will all die.

In any case, I shall have the pleasure of bringing the colonel face to face with a son who betrayed his empire.

Very foolish, Mr. Forsythe.

You should always temper courage with judgment.

That's a fool thing to do.

We'll get it soon enough.

Did you get a gun, too?

Just about enough powder in those, I think, to blow that lock off.

It took us five days to think of that.

Us?

Take a little water and mix enough straw and mud to seal this lock.

What do we use for a fuse?

Mac.

Yeah.

This idea, I'm in on it.

It was my fault, all this, and if there's any way... I mean...

Sure, I know. Ready with that wick?

I mean, there's not much left that...

Well, I couldn't go back, like he said, not to the regiment or to England.

If anybody's going to take any chances, I'll take them.

Sure you're in on it.

Never thought of it any other way.

Just stick close and do what you're told till we get this open.

There's someone on that tower with a machine gun.

Let me get it and cover you while you make a run for it.

All right.

Look, I've got a hunch we're going to get out of this.

We can't let the old man or anybody know what's happened.


Mohammed Khan! Mohammed Khan!

This way.

All right, Mac, you keep me covered.

I can make it from here.


Bugles. Trumpets.

Man needs seasoning.

Poetry!


Mac! Mag, I... I...

He did it for me. To undo what I did!

The last thing Mac asked you...

The old man mustn't know.

It's just as good a way of paying what you owe.


Mother McGregor.


Lt. John Forsythe by command of his majesty the king-emperor, I confer upon you the distinguished service order.

Second it. Donald Stone, 41st Bengal Lancers.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.

He attacked single-handed, a group of the enemy and killed their leader thus demoralizing hostile forces at a moment when the success of our arms at Mogala was in the balance.

Second it. Donald Stone by command of his majesty the king-emperor I confer upon you the distinguished service order.

Lt. Alan McGregor

41st Bengal Lancers, deceased.

For valor.

At the sacrifice of his life he destroyed enemy ammunition supplies contributing thereby to the success of our arms in the action at Mogala.

His majesty the king-emperor has been graciously pleased to confer posthumously the Victoria cross upon the late it. McGregor.

In accordance with the custom of this regiment I place this cross upon the saddlecloth of his horse.