The Narrow Margin (1952) Script

Your attention, please.

Now arriving from Los Angeles at Track 3...

Central Pacific train number 10... the Forty-Niner now arriving from Los Angeles.

You handle the bags. I'll meet you at the taxi stand.

Yeah, sure.

Redcap. Yes, sir?

Those two there. Yes, sir.

You going on East or staying over?

Neither. Going back tonight. Golden West Limited, Los Angeles.

Why, that train leaves in an hour, sir. Yeah, I know.

Just be sure those two are aboard. Yes, sir.

Car 10, rooms A and B.

Okay. Thank you.

9417 Water Street, South. Okay.

Yeah, and if you know any shortcuts, driver, take them.

Relax, Walter. We'll make it okay.

If we don't, I know a couple of suitcases that are going to be awfully lonesome.

Your cigar is dead.

Thanks. I'm thinking of changing brands.

Something with a self-starter on it.

Bet you're wondering the same thing I am: What she looks like.

I don't have to wonder. I know.

Why, that's wonderful, Walter.

Nobody's seen her, but you know what she looks like. What a gift.

Come off of it. You're just making talk.

Well, we'll get there just as fast talking.

What about this dame, Mr. Crystal Ball? A dish.

What kind of a dish?

Sixty-cent special: Cheap, flashy, strictly poison under the gravy.

Amazing. Now, how do you know all this?

Well, she was married to a hoodlum, wasn't she?

What kind of a dame would marry a hood?

All kinds.

Oh, Gus, at heart you're still a boy scout.

Maybe it's just old age coming on.

Anyway, I got $5 that says you're wrong this trip.

What can I lose? $5. You're on.

Slightly out of the high-rent district, isn't it?

Well, nobody tailed us. You hope.

Wait here, driver. Douse your lights, will you?

Number 10.

You want to double my bet?

Who is it? Forbes.

It's okay.

Det. Sgt. Brown. All right.

What's the music for? A welcome?

You don't know how welcome.

Turn that thing off.

Your escort's here.

Forbes and Brown. Los Angeles.

How nice. How's Los Angeles?

Sunburn wear off on the way out?

If you don't mind, Mrs. Neall, we're a little short of time.

Our train leaves in half an hour. Just a minute.

I can pack my own things.

First, I want to know who I'm going with.

You're going with us. Don't be too sure of that.

How do I know you're cops?

Was I right? Don't rub it in.

I owe you $5. Better show her your orders.

She's afraid of a trap. You bet I am.

Getting killed sort of runs in our family.

They got Frankie, and his widow's next. I'm taking a big chance.

Okay. Here's the DA's signature.

We're taking a big chance, too, you know.

If we don't get you to the Coast, it'll cost us our jobs.

You're breaking my heart. You satisfied?

All right, I'll get my things together.

So long, mother. Have a nice trip.

She's all yours, boys. Okay, Wilson.

"Rumor of grand jury to hold special session.

"Hint slain ganglord's widow...

"may testify in graft probe."

The word gets around, doesn't it?

That's what's worrying me.

Frankie carry any life insurance, Mrs. Neall?

Quit hinting.

Well, I thought he might've left you an annuity.

Not cash exactly, but something just as good.

Like that payoff list they talk about.

I heard you the first time. You'd like a look at that list, wouldn't you?

Well, I like to feel I'm in the know.

Buy a paper, the first thing I turn to is the gossip column.

I'll read them off to you sometime. When?

When the grand jury asks me and not before. So quit making a pest of yourself.

And get your hands off my baggage. All right, let's get out of here.

I'm ready.

After you.


Your friend's dead, mister.

You heard him. He's dead. Get me out of here.

Well, what're you waiting for? Shut up.

You saw this.

Did you get a look at the man in the hall? Not his face.

I was trying to remember.

He was about your height. Had on an overcoat.

Go ahead. I'm a police officer. Sgt. Brown, Los Angeles.

What else about him?

Well, there was something about that overcoat.

That guy may be back.

Are we going to hang around here all night?

Cabbie, get her bags. Yes, sir.

You better call the police.

Hey, I know what it was.

That coat had fur on it. Dark fur around the collar.

Well, get them on the phone. Tell them what you know.

Say I'll wire a report. Yes, sir.

Back where you came from, only faster.

Charley horse?

The one time I let him go first, it happens.

Forbes?

Yeah, he was getting old and slow.

You could put a live bomb in his hand and count 10 before he'd drop it.

I'll never forgive myself.

Well, this is fun. Some protection they sent me.

An old who walks right into it, and a weeper.

How you expect me to feel? He was my partner for six years. He broke me in.

Why, he and his wife and I were...

What am I going to tell her?

What're you doing? Keeping score? Yeah, one down, two to go.

Well, don't kid about it. Whoever that was, they were trying to get me.

How long will my luck last?

As long as there are cops like Forbes around to get killed for you.

Like you, I suppose. Yeah, like me.

Well, my taste doesn't usually run to cops... but you might not be such dull company at that.

Mrs. Neall, we better get one thing straight.

You're just a job to me. A COD package to be delivered to the LA grand jury... and there's no joy in it.

I don't like you any more than Forbes did, but he got himself murdered for you... and maybe I will, too. That's what they pay me for.

Do we understand each other? Relax, Percy, your shield's untarnished.

I've changed my mind.

I wouldn't want any of that nobility to rub off on me.

It won't, if you keep your distance.

All the way to the Coast?

Poor Forbes. What about poor Forbes?

He owed me $5.

Driver, about two blocks from the station, let me out.

What's the idea? You're on your own till the train starts.

Tickets, money. You pay the driver.

I don't get it. Just do as you're told.

They haven't seen you yet, they don't know what you look like.

But they've seen me. If they shoot in my direction, I don't want you hit.

You're sure it isn't the other way around? When you get to the station, walk... don't run to the platform. Carry your own bag.

Go straight to car 10, room B, and lock yourself in.

If the lights are on, turn them off and leave them off.

Don't forget to pull the shade. Suppose I stand you up?

I'm not too keen on this grand jury business.

You've forgotten about the guy with the fur collar. You can't stand him up.

In the morning they'd be fishing you out of the Chicago River.

I'll see you aboard.

Keep the change.

May I carry your bags? No, thanks, I'll carry them.

... now ready for occupancy on Track C.

Leaves in five minutes. Okay, I'll tell him.

Densel had bad luck. He got winged, too.

Up to us, huh?

Tail Brown. She's with him.

What's she look like?

He never saw her face. Just keep your eye on the cop.

They'll be on the train together someplace.

Better get started. Who covers us? Just in case.

Leave that to Densel.

I'll be in the club car.

Central Pacific, train number 5...

Golden West Limited for Kansas City...

La Junta, Albuquerque and Los Angeles... departing on Track D in five minutes.

Conductor C. Arnicob, please report to the stationmaster's office.

Central Pacific, gate number 5, Golden...


Your bags are inside, sir. Okay, fine. Thanks.

It's me, Brown. Open up.

Well, are we okay? I'll tell you in a minute.

All aboard!

The answer is no.

They know I'm here, don't they? Take it easy.

Who followed you? The man in the fur collar?

No, but someone from the same stable, I guess.

Some creep with a one-track mind.

Well, what're you going to do? How are you going to handle it?

Why did you let him follow you? They promised me protection.

Shut up.

They said it would... Shut up, do you hear?

I got enough on my mind.

It's a rotten detail. I don't like it. I didn't like it from the start.

My partner's dead and it's my fault.

He's dead and you're alive.

Some exchange.

Lock it.

This gentleman's lost a briefcase.

We thought the redcap might have put it in here by mistake.

I don't think so. These are mine.

It was a pigskin case.

Well, we'll keep looking. Sorry to bother you.

I'm sure it's in this car.

What about this next room?

The room's empty.

As a matter of fact, conductor, I was going to speak to you about that.

My partner was held over in Chicago. We won't be needing this space.

Both rooms are paid for through to the Coast. I'd like a rebate.

I'll wire the passenger agent in Kansas City.

We'll try to sell it for you there. Much obliged.

I hope you find your case. I will.

It's all right.

That was the one, wasn't it?

Yeah, he seems to have me spotted anyhow.

I haven't got a chance. He'll be back. Once he finds me, goodbye.

Maybe not. Are you kidding?

I can't hang out the window. And the upper berth's too small.

What are you going to do? Measure it? You gave me an idea.

Well, I don't like it already.

I'm in a spot, Brown, and it's your job to protect me.

It's your move. You're wrong, it's his.

We're going to let him make it, Mrs. Neall.


Care for something, sir? What?

Yes. The same as hers.

I'll finish this at another table.

I'm terribly sorry. That's all right.

Here, let me. It'll dry.

I'm sorry.

Don't I even get a chaser?

I'm really sorry. At least let me pay for your drink.

No, this one's on me, too.

Fix her another, please. The same as his.

So sorry.

Some day they'll get around to paving this track.

Then these accidents won't happen.

Here's to better tracks and steadier nerves.

Mine or yours? Yours.

You know, you'll get there just as fast if you relax.

That sounds familiar. You're right.

I am a bit on edge tonight.

Excuse me.

Wait! Your...

I'm sorry. Thank you.

Pardon me. I'd like to get through.

Sorry. This train wasn't designed for my tonnage.

Nobody loves a fat man, except his grocer and his tailor.

Yeah, how about that?


You're Mr. Kemp, aren't you? Joseph Kemp?

That's right. There's a wire for you.

By the way, this isn't your space, is it?

No. I was looking for that briefcase. I thought it might be in the other room.

Only I was wrong. I'm afraid you were, Mr. Kemp.

Can't blame a guy for trying, can you?


There's somebody in here.

What do you want? Who are you?

I know. He's a train robber.

No, just a passenger. I must have gotten into the wrong compartment.

Indeed you did. Mine must be in the car ahead.

Do you carry a gun? Let the man be.

He made a mistake, so let him go about his business.

Thank you, madam.

But if his business is robbing people, we ought to call the police or something.

Good night, son. Terribly sorry. Good night.

Hey, the next car doesn't have compartments. It's a day coach.

I bet you he is a robber. Come back here. This instant.

Close that door.

All right, but I'm going to lock it.


It's all clear. Give me your bag.


Well, did he go for it or didn't he?

He bit. Searched both rooms.

You're the little girl who wasn't here.

Lucky me.

Chances are they will look for you here again.

What do you mean "they"? Oh, it's just a hunch.

These birds travel in pairs sometimes.

Don't worry about it. You're still a mystery to them.

It's a long train, you're not the only woman passenger aboard.

I'm the only one who won't sleep tonight.

I know a woman who won't sleep for a lot of nights.

Who?

Forbes's wife.


Mr. Brown, I have a business proposition you might be interested in.

Never carry one. Got no stomach for it.

Okay if I put my hands down?

My name's Yost. Vincent Yost.

So? I'd like us to have a little talk.

We're ready to make a deal.

You have her. We want her. How much? It's as simple as that.

You're under arrest.

For what? Attempted bribery.

Bribery? You'd never make it stick.

I'm a sales executive for the Midwest Equipment Company, Chicago.

I've never even gotten as much as a parking ticket.

We'd like to settle this reasonably.

Is that why you killed Forbes? Forbes?

Oh, I didn't know. I'm sorry.

We got word of your coming so late that we had to improvise.

Believe me, my company doesn't like to do business that way.

I know his wife would be happy to learn that. Also his two daughters.

And the bank that holds the mortgage on his house.

It's to our own interest. That's why I'm here.

I know that there can be a meeting of the minds if you'll listen.

I'm not interested.

Not in $25,000 or $30,000?

You name your own figure, Mr. Brown.

I'm sure that we can strike a favorable agreement.

My friend has a heavy investment in this matter.

Several of our key personnel are involved.

Not at any price.

You dismiss it so lightly.

I can see you've never known what it feels like to have that much money of your own.

May I put my hand in my pocket? Go ahead.

$5,000. A sample.

How much does a policeman earn? $300, $400 a month?

We offer you a fortune.

And what do we ask in return? What?

That you point her out and turn the other way.

You go through the motions of guarding her, until the accident occurs.

No.

Now why do you say that? I don't like murder.

A gangster's wife?

Believe me, the world's better off without her.

Just think it over. Think what you could do with a lot of money.

Of course, if you're really concerned about the Forbes family... you could give it to them.

Meanwhile, we'll keep looking.

We'll get her whether you give her to us or not, so don't take too long.

It would be a shame if you missed your opportunity.

I'm sure you'll find me when you make up your mind.


What're you going to do? Shoot something for breakfast?

Sure. Name it.

Eggs, bacon, toast, a bucket of coffee and some cigarettes. I'm famished, Brown.

Okay, I'll share it with you. I don't want them counting trays.

Here's some cigarettes. Get your appetite under control while I find a waiter.

This is a modern train. Why don't you ring for him?

I want to look around first. Get in there and keep the door locked.

I like my bacon crisp and lots of butter on the toast, please.


It's all yours. Thanks.


I know you, I saw you sneak out of there. You said you had a compartment.

Take it easy. Take your hands off me.

He's a robber. Last night he snuck in on us and I just saw him sneaking out of...

That's a good boy. Let's go, son. Let me go!

Say, he's some little scrapper.

Yeah, we're training him that way. Put me down!

Put me down!

Take your hands off me.

Help! Here's your boy, madam.

Tommy, where on earth have you been?

He got lost. I did not.

He's got a gun under his arm. I felt it. Call the police.

He's very excitable. You're probably feeding him wrong.

Too many oats. The police will lock him up... and they'll take his gun away. Come along, Tommy.

Find your case? No. But I'm still looking.

Good morning.

Oh, hello. How are you? I was just on my way to the dining car.

So am I. Still rushing, I see.

Yeah, I'm kind of busy this morning.

One, sir? Yeah.

This way, please.

Rushing around the way you do must work up quite an appetite.

What did you say? I said you must be hungry.

Oh, I can always eat.

You people together? No, I'm not eating.

What?

Don't mind me. I have something else on my mind.

Not food, obviously.

Your change. Remember?

You went off and forgot it last night.

I guess I forgot something else, too.

No, I took the tip out. Your reputation's first-rate... in the bar.

Meaning it's not so good here. All right, consider yourself apologized to.

But I'm really not hungry.

Excuse me. Just a wire to the home office.

And I wish you'd get those nerves quieted down.

Yeah, I'm working on it.

Toast and coffee. The gentleman's not having any.

Yes, ma'am.


Pardon me.

I beg your pardon, sir.

Always meeting in a tight place, aren't we?

This makes twice.

As a matter of fact, I'd like to speak to you, if you'll pardon the intrusion.

My name is Jennings. Sam Jennings. What's on your mind?

A little deal. Possibly an accommodation for both of us.

Certainly for me.

The gentleman at the other table says that... you want to dispose of a spare compartment.

I'd like to take it off your hands.

That's very kind of you, Mr. Jennings, but I've decided to keep the compartment.

May I ask why? You can't sleep in two rooms at once.

Sorry. That's my business.

But this is preposterous.

Yours is the only available space on this train and I'm in an upper berth.

Young lady, does that seem fair and equitable?

Me at 265 pounds in a hatbox... while this fellow monopolizes two spacious compartments.

Well, maybe he has his reasons.

I'm sorry, but that's the way it's got to be.

Possibly not.

We'll see what the conductor has to say about this.

I guess I have some explaining to do.

Explain it to me sometime, too, will you?

Excuse me.

Steward. Yes, sir?

Send me some breakfast, car 10, room A.

Bacon, eggs, toast, let's see... Coffee, sir?

Yeah, that's right, plenty of it.

Thank you, sir.

There he is. If you don't believe me, search him. The gun's under his arm.

If you're a good boy, I'll show you the gun sometime.

Show it to me now!

Come on, son. You're blocking traffic. Attaboy.

Then you have got a gun!

All robbers carry guns, madam.

I don't believe it.

I told you, didn't I? He never fooled me.

How's my little boy this morning?

Swell. We caught a robber, but he got away.

Nanny wouldn't believe me, would you, Nanny?

It was a little mix-up, Mrs. Sinclair. This man got into our room by mistake.

Who was he?

Just a passenger. I'm sure it was an accident.

It was not. He's sneaking all over the train.

That is odd.

I'd like to hear more about this, Tommy, but not now.

What would you like for breakfast?

Tommy, you heard your mother. What do you want to eat?

I'm not hungry.

All right. We'll just have to order for you.

Waiter.

We'd like some orange juice, oatmeal, and milk for the boy.

Yes, madam.

Mr. Brown, I'd like a word with you.

Okay. I might as well tell you I don't want to sell that compartment.

Isn't there some rule about this?

Not that I know of.

If a passenger pays for space and doesn't use it, that's his business.

The point is I may be using that space, or my partner will.

I thought he stayed in Chicago.

He took the plane. He'll join me later. We're going on to LA together.

All right, let's drop it. I'll see what I can do for you at La Junta.

Oh, conductor.

I was gonna ask him how long we stop over there.

La Junta is a 12-minute stop.

We ought to be pulling in there in two minutes.

Thanks.

I could've sworn I heard dishes rattle and smelled coffee.

It's on the way. It'll be here any minute.

I may not last that long.

The train is stopping.

Where are we? La Junta, Colorado.

Don't peek at the sights. Why don't you go in and play cards?

I can't.

I ate the deck.

Central Pacific train number 5.

Golden West Limited... westbound for Albuquerque and Los Angeles... will remain in the station for 12 minutes.

Passengers may obtain sandwiches at the newsstand... and souvenirs inside the depot.

Good morning. Your breakfast. Fine.

Is a table ready? No, I'll set it up myself.

I'll be glad to do it. Don't bother. I'll do it.

All right, sir.

What're you giving me this for?

It's your breakfast, sir.

You said... Nothing of the kind. I never eat breakfast.

Hello again.

For a man who's not hungry, you get your food in strange ways.

Me? I didn't order this. There must be some mistake.

Begging your pardon, sir. It says, "Room A, car 10.

"Bacon, eggs, toast and extra coffee."

Somebody ordered it! Not here they didn't.

Why don't you try the next car? Everybody makes mistakes.

I guess so. Excuse me, ma'am. Yeah.

I'm never hungry before noon.

But you said you could always eat.

Not on trains. I always eat light. Sandwiches...

What's the matter? That man on the platform.

He keeps staring.

At you or both of us? At me mostly.

He probably thinks I'm somebody else. It's funny.

Sometimes it's not so funny.

I'm not going to worry about it. Life's too short.

Yeah, isn't it? I want to get something in the station.

Wait, I'll go with you. I have a wire to send.

Might even work up an appetite and grab a sandwich.

I think I'll find what I want in there.

I'll be with you in a minute.

A couple of sandwiches.


Did you see this?

Sad, isn't it?

Makes you wish you could do something.


Straight wire. Urgent.

That'll be $1.69.

Thank you.

Well, can I see the gun now?

Son, I'm going to need your help.

I bet you can keep a secret, can't you? Well, maybe.

It's all right. I'm just letting him in on a secret.

You'd better come with me. You've bothered this man enough.

No, I want to hear it. You go buy your magazine.

Very well, but we've got to get right back on the train.

Come here.

Where's our wandering boy?

I've got him in sight, Mrs. Sinclair. He's talking to his train robber.

So that's who it is.

Tommy. Yes, Mother!

I thought the other lady was your mother.

Nanny? She's my nurse. Come on. I won't tell them anything.

We've solved one of the mysteries about you.

I understand you rob trains for a living.

No, he doesn't. I just thought he did.

I'd believe anything. I'm surprised you don't.

I'm surprised, too, about Tommy being your son, I mean.

Anyway, he's on my side now.

We've got a secret. Is that for me? Yes, darling. You're going to like this.

An Indian hat.

That's a genuine headdress, darling. A real Indian chief made it.

Gee, thanks, Mom.

Look what I've got, Nanny. Don't forget. No one knows but us.

That's a promise.

You're very persuasive.

A while ago, he was all for having you locked up for armed robbery.

That's before he knew I was on a secret mission.

Oh, I see. That would explain anything. You're quite inventive.

Oh, he's a very sensible boy. He didn't press for details.

In that case, I guess I should take a hint.

At least you're one up on me. You know I'm not a train robber.

All I know about you is you're a married woman with a young son.

Is that so unusual? No, not unusual. Just unexpected.

I hadn't figured on it.

That sounds like you've given it some thought.

I didn't know I'd made that much of an impression.

Maybe you're like the train. When it's moving, everything is a blur.

When it slows down and stops, you begin to notice the scenery.

I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're right.

It's too bad we've got to start moving again.

Yes, we'd better be getting back.

Your change, sir.

Mark that right, will you? Yes, sir, thank you.


Aren't you coming in?

I have business to attend to first, but I'll be back.

Please don't feel you have to because of me.

Excuse me.

Maybe I want to.

Because of you.

It's your turn to make way, my friend.


Come on, open it.

You took your time. What's the idea of playing that?

You want them to come in here shooting? I'll apologize later. Where's the sandwich?

Well, take the paper off first.

Cheese. How thin can a sandwich get?

Here, take half of mine. Take it all. I can't eat.

That's because you've been packing away steaks behind my back.

Stop it. I've got more on my mind than food.

Would it be that girl that beat me out of my breakfast?

You're pretty sharp, aren't you? It's not what you think.

It's exactly what I think.

Why don't you admit you put her on the spot and let me congratulate you?

How'd you figure that out? I heard you through the door.

That hood wasn't looking at her big blue eyes.

He thinks she's me, and I think that's dandy.

What's the matter with it? Nothing.

Nothing from your standpoint. You're doing...

Sure, I'm still breathing. The food stinks and so does your company.

I'll hand you one thing, though, Brown. You're showing real genius.

Will you smooth that out a little?

Making this dame the target shows you're using your head.

I didn't rig it that way.

If you didn't, the DA is entitled to a refund.

Sister, I've known some pretty hard cases in my time.

You make them all look like putty.

This is not a sack of gumdrops that's going to be smashed... this is about a dame's life.

It may seem funny for a woman with a kid to stop a bullet for you... only I'm not laughing!

Stop being so superior.

Why shouldn't I take advantage of her? I want to live.

If you had to step on someone for something you wanted... would you think twice about it?

In a pig's eye. You're no different from me.

Shut up!

Not till I tell something, you cheap badge pusher.

When we started on this safari, you made it clear...

I was just a job with no joy in it, remember?

Yeah, it still goes. Double.

Okay, keep it that way. I don't care whether you dreamed up this gag or not.

You're going right along with it, so don't go soft on me.

Once you handed out a line about poor Forbes getting killed... because it was his duty.

Well, it's your duty, too, even if this dame gets murdered.

You make me sick to my stomach. Well, use your own sink.

And let me know when the target practice starts.


Get up.

Okay. What's the muscle for?

You broke a tooth.

You want to try for none? No, thanks.

Let's cut a couple of corners, then. Who's the fat guy?

I wouldn't know. And Densel?

What's he got to do with it? Never heard of him.

Do you hear any better now?

All right, copper, I'm not in this alone, but you are.

You're just one guy bucking a big company.

Don't matter if you beat my brains out or not. We're in business for keeps.

So am I. So talk straight.

The payoff list and the little lady with the boy.

Calls herself Mrs. Sinclair. That straight enough for you?

You're off your stick, way off.

Her name's Neall, but that doesn't matter. It matters plenty.

Why don't you get wise yourself and give her a break?

What's the use of making that kid an orphan?

Maybe you like trouble.

I love it. So get to the point.

Give us the list and nobody gets hurt. No grief, no mess.

Except for Mrs. Neall, who gets double-crossed 10 minutes later.

What am I? A jumbo-sized sucker?

That list is no good while she can talk, so make some sense.

You're not going to do business with us. No.

Trying to up the price?

I don't fix. Yeah, we'll get her anyway.

You'll get nobody.

Neither the right Mrs. Neall nor the wrong Mrs. Neall.

You'll get nobody. Do you understand?

Where is Densel? Never heard of him.

All right, talk.

You can't beat it out of me. Talk.

They'd kill me.

Look at me.

If anything happens to her, I'll find you even if you're in jail... and I'll kill you.

You're under arrest.

This ain't your territory. What's the charge?

Soiling towels, for one.

Put your hands behind your head and face that window.

What's going on here? I'm an officer making a pinch.

Mr. Jennings, will you step in here a moment, please?

This man claims he's an officer.

I'll take over, conductor. On what authority?

Special agent for the railroad.

We'll handle this. There won't be any trouble.

All right. I'll wire Albuquerque.

Your credentials won't be necessary. I checked on you last night.

What do we book this man on? Take your choice.

Attempted bribe, resisting an officer, concealed weapon.

I want him held in technical custody until the next stop.

Also pick up his partner, Vincent Yost. He's somewhere on board.

The pleasure's all mine. You can take your hands down now.

There'll be a report to make. Where do I find you?

Up front, baggage car.

I should've tumbled to you before this.

Flashing that big railroad watch and talking like a timetable.

Walk ahead of me real close and everybody'll think we're old friends.

It's a big company, copper, with branches all over. Don't forget that.


One moment, madam.

Don't move, mister.

Get his keys.

Had about given you up. I didn't see you get on back there.

Nobody else did, either. You're lucky.

Brown threw the hook. He ain't on the take.

Who needs him? I'm here now.

You tell Yost? I put him off at La Junta.

Take care of him. I got nicked in the shoulder.

You look pretty.

What have you been doing? Falling off the train?

Yeah, off and on.

I just tangled with one of your chums.

The one who thinks the other girl is you.

He's cooling off in the baggage car with a pair of handcuffs.

What was his top bid?

Whose? Don't play dumb with me, Brown.

You want that list because you've got a cash customer for it.

That hood, am I right? You're a good judge of crooks.

The only place you slip up is with cops. I turned the deal down.

Then you're a bigger idiot than I thought.

Get it through your square head that this is big business... and we're in the middle. So you'd like to sell out.

With pleasure and profit, and so would you.

What are the odds if we don't?

I sing my song to the grand jury... and spend the rest of my life dodging bullets if I'm lucky... while you grow old and gray on the police force.

Wake up, Brown.

This train's headed straight for the cemetery.

There's another one coming along, the gravy train. Let's get on it.

I'd like to give you the same answer I gave that hood... but it would mean stepping on your face.

Are you trying to say it's no deal?

I just said it without the trimmings. If you want those, keep talking.


Mr. Brown, you haven't seen Mr. Jennings, have you?

No. What's wrong? The crew hasn't, either.

He's not up front. No sign of his prisoner.

Well, this rattler hasn't stopped. They're still on it.

We picked up four at La Junta. Two sections and one compartment.

That compartment interests me.

But you'd better go through the entire train.

You see that car? Yeah. He's really moving.

He's been with us for some time.

I want you to give a message to the highway patrol.

Tell them where we are and have them intercept that car.

I'll be right with you. I want a word with Mrs. Sinclair.

Drop this off at Cerillo.

Won't you come in?

If you can spare a minute. Of course.

You have a choice of one chair.

Thanks. I'll have to borrow a cigarette. I seem to be out of everything.

Everything except the jitters. I see they're back again.

Maybe this secret you're carrying is a little too much for you.

It's the secret I came to talk to you about.

I feel like I'm intruding on your conspiracy.

After all, whatever this is, it's between you and Tommy.

Not quite. You're in it, too, and I wish you weren't.

I think you're serious. I am.

You've heard of innocent bystanders being hit by a car or bullet... when it was none of their affair?

This is one of those. You're an innocent bystander.

But nothing's hit me.

Or is it you're afraid something will?

Yeah, that's the general idea.

And it might be a bullet? It could be anything.

You've been mistaken for somebody else and that somebody isn't popular.

Nothing will happen to you...

'cause in a way this is my fault, and I'll see that it doesn't.

I just want to put you on your guard. It'll work out all right.

I'm not so sure.

Would it help if I told you I'm a detective and this is routine for me?

It would help if you told me the truth, Mr. Brown, which you haven't.

You're right.

It wasn't easy telling you this much.

Hello, Tommy.

Are you going to tell her our secret? I may have to, son.

Little boys have big ears, and he has a long memory.

We can trust your mother. Shall we try her out?

Okay.

Darling, it's bedtime. Excuse me. Surely.

If you need me, just knock on the door.

All right, Tommy. I won't let you down. Sleep tight.


Is this the cop's compartment? Yeah, but I already looked there.

That was yesterday. I still want that list.

I thought you said no one was in there.

Who is it? It's Brown. Let me in.

Like fun it is.

You've got a nerve barging in like this. What...

Where do you think you're going? Stay there and don't make any noise.

All right, boys, I guess it's time for a showdown.

So before you make any mistakes let me...

She's been here all the time. That cop was too smart.

You're mixed up. Who asked you?

I got my lines crossed. Where's that payoff list?

That's what I've been trying to tell you. I haven't got...

Hurry up, tell us.

Go ahead, break it off.

You won't get what you're looking for. Why not?

Tell this muzzler to let go of me and I'll show you.

You had it all figured out, didn't you? Well, you're wrong.


I went through the cop's stuff. Go through it again.

We don't want to miss any bets.

Is that it? Yeah. Holding his own, too.

Tommy says good night. Thanks.

I guess I'd better level with you.

I've got an important witness, and she's got a lot of enemies.

You wouldn't have heard of her.

She was married to a gangster who was killed, Frankie Neall.

Yes, I've heard of her.

Just trust me, will you? Why should I?

What would you say if I told you that I'm Mrs. Neall?

You're what? I'm Frank Neall's widow, Mr. Brown.

Now do you see what you've done?

You couldn't be. The DA would've told me.

Well, obviously he didn't.

He told me to get to the Coast and not to attract any attention.

It hasn't worked out that way.

Who have I got back there in that compartment?

A policewoman from... I think they call it Internal Affairs Division.

I've been played for a sucker. Why?

Why did they stick me with a decoy? They've been testing you.

There's a grand jury investigation of graft and payoffs, remember?

I never took a bribe in my life.

Maybe your price was never met.

It never was and never could be.

I don't say I've never been tempted.

Of course I've been tempted. I'm human like anybody else.

To spend the rest of my time worrying when I'll be caught up with... by some hoodlum holding a first mortgage on my life... payable on demand? No. No kind of money is worth that.

My record's clean. The Internal Affairs Division knows it.

Maybe with the way things are, they can never be sure.

When I married Frankie Neall, I was pretty sure of him, too.

Then I found out how he made his money and I left him.

I only saw him once again before he was killed.

The payoff list was in his things.

You better let me have it.

I couldn't if I wanted to.

I mailed it to the District Attorney.

It's a funny thing.

I once asked my partner, Forbes... what kind of a woman would marry a gangster.

He said all kinds.

I didn't believe him then, but he was right.

Who is it? The conductor.

May I see you a moment, Mr. Brown?

Privately, if I can. Okay.

Don't worry, I'll get you there. Keep the door locked.


What do you know? I was right the first time.

Policewoman, huh?

My apologies to you both.

Let's get the real Mrs. Neall. Where is she?

Up front. A pair of rooms, C and D.

Button this up fast.

I heard what happened. Who was the second guy?

I don't know. He didn't leave his calling card, only that coat.

That's his calling card.

Let me have your gun.

This is it.

All right, I'll handle this. You go ahead.


Tommy, what is it? It's all right. I know who it is.

What are you doing? Let him go. Let me go!

Better open it, Mrs. Neall. Let me go!

Tommy! Don't open it, Mother. He's got a gun.

Hurry up. It's your kid.

Where's that list? He's a real train robber.

Open this door or we'll open it and come in shooting.

The keys.

Listen, copper.

The first door that opens, I'll put a bullet through this dame's head.

Give me the list, Mrs. Neall, and I might give you a break.

Douse those lights.

Ann, listen to me.

He knows that you've got that list.

You're in a tough spot. There's no use holding out on him.

The cop's right. Come on, hand it over.

Just play ball with him. Do as he tells you.

All right. I'll get it for you.

Stop stalling.

Ann, we can't help you.

Don't stall him. Give him the list.

In the medicine cabinet. Medicine cabinet.

You all right?

Mom! Tommy!

Take over here.

Come on.


There's the car, boys!

We're looking for a Mrs. Neall.

Is this her car? I wouldn't know.

She's with a cop named Brown. Where are they?

Sorry, I can't answer that. It's all right. He's expecting us.

Well, they're on to us.

Reporters? The works. Cameras, too.

How do we beat this rap? By size alone. This way.

Take Tommy with you, Mrs. Troll. I'll meet you at the hotel.

Yes, Miss Ann. Goodbye, darling. I'll see you later.

Can you get away from them?

I don't know. They're on the warpath. It's up to the big chief here.

I'll go first, Brown. The rest is your department.

Good luck, and take care of yourself, Mrs. Neall.

That's my department, too. Much obliged.

Thanks, Mr. Jennings.

Well, here we go.

What about the payoff list? All we want is a statement.

It'll take a minute.

Come, Mrs. Neall. Give us a break.

What will you tell the grand jury? Come on, Mrs. Neall. Let's go.

Gangway, boys, you're blocking traffic. Come on. Gangway.

Come on. Gangway, boys.

What're you trying to do, keep an elephant out of a job?

Keep going.

All right, boys, let's go. Come on, boys. Let's go.

Like I always say, nobody loves a fat man.

Hello, Allen. Everything under control?

I've got a car waiting, the DA's waiting, and a big crowd out front.

We'll get you out the side way. They won't see you.

But they'll have to see me sometime.

I can't keep running and hiding all my life.

Right now, I think it's a safe idea.

No. Right now is a good time to stop.

Where is it we're going? Hall of Justice, a couple of blocks.

Then these gentlemen will have to excuse us.

We're going to walk.

You heard what the lady said, boys.

Your attention, please.

The Forty-Niner, Central Pacific train number 8... eastbound for Albuquerque...

... La Junta, Kansas City, and Chicago, now ready for...

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