The Redhead from Wyoming (1953) Script

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(announcer) When the territories of the Great West were thrown open, men of all kinds rushed in.

Most came to settle peaceably, lured by free land, gold, cattle.

A man could begin a herd with a maverick:

An unbranded stray on the public range.

By putting his brand on it, he owned it.

Cattle barons had started their great herds with mavericks.

Now they fought each settler who tried to do the same.

They fought to keep the settlers off the public lands, drive them from their homes...

(bullets ricocheting)

...destroy their towns.

Vast ranges became the battlegrounds of cattle wars.

When the Wyoming big ranchers found guns were not enough, they used the Maverick Law:

A law through which they appointed themselves commissioners, With power to rule in the ownership of every maverick branded.

A commissioner's ruling could declare the settler a rustler... outlaw his brand, make his mavericks illegal to sell.

Of course, there was no shortage of sharp-witted men, who were quick to take advantage of this law.

I know what I'm entitled to!

I'm willing to fight for my rights!

And I'm willing to fight for your rights, but you've got to stand behind me.

You've got to put me in the Governor's mansion!

You've got to have someone to represent you, not just Reece Duncan.

Go ahead, Mr. Averell.

Don't let me stop you.

What brings you to town?

Your ears burning?

(crowd laughing)

What is this Maverick Law?

The Maverick Law was designed to protect us all against cattle rustling.

There is nothing in that law that says new settlers, can't pick up unbranded cattle and call them their own.

When a Cattle Commission was appointed to watch over brands and cattle, that was for our protection too!

I'd like to ask Mr. Duncan one question.

I'd like to ask him who paid bribe money, to the Cattle Commissioners to outlaw your brands?

To see to it that every time you roped a maverick it was confiscated?

(gunfire)

Just hold it still everybody, real quiet and still.

Put the gun away.

I only aimed to drill his hat, Sheriff.

Just let out some hot air.

Keep it there.

I think Mr. Duncan would like a crack at the governorship himself.

Do you reckon Wyoming will ever have a governor who'll take a shot at a man who doesn't wear a gun?

No... or anyone who carries it undercover either.

(hammer cocking)

This is a big deal, Sheriff.

You ought to step out of it.

Everybody oughta.

I'm warning you men, this range is taken.

There's no room for squatters.

You started from scratch yourself, Duncan.

That was a long time past.

For you!

But we're just beginning!

And we aim to start with mavericks, and we aim to stay.

You'll stay just so long as you stay within the law.

Which means that if I find any one of you rounding up and branding cattle on my range, I have the right to fill you full of lead.

Easy, boys, easy.

A couple of you boys have asked me if I had any ideas.

Well, gentlemen...

Here's one of my biggest ideas right now.

**

(horses clomping)

(crowd cheering)

Hello, Kate, how are you?

Same as always, Jim.

Measurements and... memory.

Keep the measurements, forget the memory.

I'm gonna make it up to you.

Folks, the newest and latest scintillating gem to greet our fair town.

Is there anyone here so young who doesn't recognize the name of Kate Maxwell?

(crowd shouting and cheering)

Hello, boys.

Pleased to meet you.

(crowd shouting and cheering)

Boys, I never was any good at keeping secrets from you, but I sure kept this one.

That place of mine I've been fixing up...

Well, it belongs to Kate from here on in.

There'll be music, high-kick dancing and the straightest card game in Wyoming.

(crowd cheering)

And you'll have money for it too!

Kate's a cattle buyer now.

She aims to buy up every maverick you can lay a rope on, so bring 'em on in.

Kate's got her own brand, and not an outlaw brand.

She'll market your mavericks for you, and there's nothing... that Duncan and his Cattlemen's Association can do about it.

(crowd cheering)

What are you up to this time, Jim?

I told you I was gonna make you rich.

I don't suppose I've got to ask my lawyer if this is legal?

It's legal, Mr. Duncan.

I've looked into it.

Miss Maxwell, you've looked into it too?

It's liable to get you in some hot water.

Why, I soak in hot water every day, Mister.

It's good for the... complexion.

(crowd laughing)

I'm glad you're used to it, just in case any of those mavericks you take in trade come from my range.

I'm just warning you.

No animal on my property, branded or not, is a stray.

Whatever you pick up on the open range is yours.

Anything you take from me has lead coming after it.

Suppose you and me have a little talk, Mr. Averell.

Wait'll you find out what this is all about.

All right boys, take the coach and the wagon over to Kate's Place.

Hoy... hyah.

Boys, make room for the lady.

Oh, Kate, this is Stan Blaine, Sweetwater's strong arm of the law.

Pleased to meet you, Sheriff.

Why don't you show me the town some night before you show me the jail?

You talk like you dress, but you don't feel that way.

Play along with him.

Play?

He's just a drifter.

Doesn't make any trouble, doesn't want any.

The job was open, so he took it.

Drifter?

Now, I... am a man with a purpose.

(crowd murmuring)

Thank you.

Mind if I give you a hand, Miss?

Why I'd be pleasured.

I'll carry you! Oh-- no!

(crowd exclaiming and laughing)

This one's a lady.

Why, thanks.

Take a look, Kate.

It's all yours.

Not bad.

In fact, pretty good.

So why are you giving it away?

Well, honey, I've got a sense of obligation.

I owe you something.

Oh, the world must be coming to an end.

Not only is Jim Averell giving things away, but he's paying his debts.

Listen, Kate.

A lot of things have changed since I last saw you.

Since I last saw you... running out of Abilene like a jackrabbit, leaving me holding the sack.

Did anybody get rough with you?

Why?

Will you go back there and gun them down?

Sorry, Jim, there's no money in it, just a poor, underpaid judge.

I guess somebody oughta give me a necktie party for what I've done to you.

Maybe somebody will.

But you came when I called you.

You didn't waste any time.

Birds of a feather.

But that doesn't mean I'll ever feel the same way about you.

You will, honey.

You will.

Believe me, that last sour deal is way behind me.

I'm going up... up and up right into the Governor's mansion.

To ask a pardon?

To be the governor.

I'm going to make the whole territory of Wyoming my own private range.

Think I can't do it?

These settlers would vote me into the White House.

I'm the only one around here who'll promise them anything.

And what's in your way?

Reece Duncan.

I got a big front, but he is big.

Sounds crazy, but it's true.

If Duncan goes, I can be Governor of Wyoming.

You will, of course, drop in sometime for a drink.

And you'll be with me.

That's what I'm trying to tell you, Kate.

I'm going to make up to you for everything.

What's this other thing about?

Why am I a cattle buyer?

You don't have to know anything about cattle.

Don't let that scare you.

I know plenty.

I was riding a cow pony before I could walk.

What's the deal?

Duncan again, but you don't have to know the details.

You just buy mavericks and sell 'em.

Look.

Here's your brand, registered and legal.

Kate Maxwell.

K-bar-M.

Honey, it won't be long before people are calling you

"Cattle Kate."

**

(cattle mooing)

These three for you, Tex.

Good!

Let's go.

**

What'll it be, Tex?

Chips or cash?

Chips.

Watch me double 'em.

That's Duncan's brand, Wally.

Let it go.

(cow mooing)

Hyah.

**

(mooing)

Here's a maverick for you, Wally!

It's a clean one.

"For value received, one maverick."

What'll it be?

Chips.

Horses coming, Matt.

**

It's Duncan!

I'll head him off!

**

(gun firing)

(gunfire)

(gunfire)

(gun firing)

(gunfire)

What's the matter with you, that's a rustler!

Matt Jessup?

I'm missing branded steers.

The Jessup boys are taking mavericks.

These weren't mavericks.

They carried the bar-double-check.

I don't say you didn't lose 'em, Duncan.

There've been reports of strange faces in these hills.

Sheriff, there's gonna be a range war here.

I suggest you make up your mind whose side you're on.

I have.

I'm on the side of the first man who gets killed.

I could knock him off right now.

Why wait?

Naw.

Save us weeks of work and put that loud-talking Duncan where Averell wants him.

I said no.

Why not?

'Cause Averell said to let him burn a while.

I told him to come after midnight.

After midnight... he better.

He does what you say.

This afternoon he could've finished Duncan off easy, but he let him go because that's what you wanted.

I don't get it, boss.

Abilene taught me something.

To wait.

We set one side against the other.

Prod 'em a little; first Duncan, then the settlers, and wait till they kill each other off.

That's the way to get things done for you.

In fact, that's the way into the Governor's chair.

How will that help you to become Governor?

Look, when times are rough, a man can make himself a reputation overnight that'll spread through the whole territory like wildfire.

That's if he's on the popular side.

And right now I've got these settlers eating out of my hand.

The way you've got it figured, there won't be any settlers left.

Now, that'd be too bad.

In that case, I'd have to take the consolation prize and all the cattle and all the land in this valley.

I might become one of the richest, most important men in the territory of Wyoming.

There's more than one way to become Governor.

Does Kate know how you're running the cattle set-up?

No.

And nobody'll know if you and the boys keep your mouths shut and do as I tell you.

Understand?

Yeah, boss.

(distant revelry, piano playing)


I don't stand on 19, my mind ain't on the cards.

Friend of yours, Kate.

**

Take over.

I've got to talk to a customer.

Go ahead.

With Jim, I can at least keep my eyes on the cards.

**

Good evening, Sheriff.

Drifting?

Mmm!

Got a nice, clean shave there.

I bet it was for me.

You're keeping the boys busy, roping by day and gambling at night.

This is a free country.

They work hard for their money and they got a right to spend it the way they want to.

None of my business.

Just wondering where some of 'em find time to do any rustling.

Duncan's on the warpath.

Somebody's taking his branded stock.

Oh, he's just talking.

He's got to say that to stir up trouble.

No, there's rustling going on.

Got it from the other ranchers.

The cows I buy are clean, unbranded mavericks.

You ever see a range war?

There isn't going to be a range war here.

A few rustled cattle--

A few rustled cattle started the bloodiest killings in Texas.

I was there.

Oh.

So that's where you hail from, Texas.

Mm-hmm.

What brought you here?

Passing through.

Drifting.

You don't like that.

A m knows where he's going.

Take a look at Jim Averell.

There's a real man!

I heard him say so.

Kate, you've got a couple more mavericks in your corral than you had a while ago.

Thanks, Hal.

Let's have a look.

Is anything wrong with it?

No.

Don't you ever forget that badge you're wearing?

No.

Feeling lucky, Hal?

No, I'd like it in cash.

I'm saving.

For any particular reason?

How'd you know?

He means it, Kate.

Oh, honey, they all mean it!

Here.

One free drink on the house and then get out.

I need the space for the free spenders.

Since you're on duty tonight, Sheriff, how 'bout coming out back... and letting me show you my stock?

It's a nice moon out tonight.

Bright enough to read a brand.

Well, there they are.

Any of them look stolen?

Nice lookin' stock.

And mavericks every one.

Lots of 'em too.

Is that suspicious, to be doing business on a big scale?

No.

Every one of those cows were taken off the free range.

You don't have to spit fire at me.

My word's good enough for everybody else, it ought to be good enough for you.

It is.

Well, then don't come with rumors of rustling and range wars.

I'm just a businesswoman giving the homesteaders their first look at some cash in two years.

And I don't want trouble.

There's trouble out in the range, Ma'am.

You'll be in it along with the rest of us.

Not if I'm playing straight and minding my own business.

My pa minded his own business.

We had a small spread down near Houston.

When the trouble came, he said he'd stay out of it.

The range war you were talking about?

I was up in the barn when the shooting started.

By the time I got down and ran for my rifle, Pa was hanging on the corral fence.

Ma was dead, lying in the front yard.

They killed my three brothers.

Who killed them?

Folks, neighbors... people who just got so mad they started killing.

How old were you then?

13.

13?

Your whole family?

Is that when you started drifting?

Drifting's not so bad.

A man sees a lot of country.

Not anything he can call his own.

Why own something if you don't need it?

What about marriage?

Have you ever thought about getting married?

Some.

You?

Kate.

Need you inside.

We'll talk some more later, huh?

(mooing)

**

Someone's coming.

Put that away.

We'll take care of him.

(grunting)

**

It's the sheriff.

Go get Averell.

You were told not to show up before midnight.

In this business, you show up when you've got the goods.

How much did he see?

There's no tellin'.

Get rid of him.

For good?

Leave him alone.

Ever since that Abilene business... every time you get called out of a room, I get an urge to follow you.

Now, what's this about?

Nothing, honey.

This drifter was interfering in something private.

As a drifter or as the sheriff?

And what jail did you boys break out of?

Do we take him or not?

You leave him alone, that's what you'll do.

And I hope you're thinking up a good story, Jim, because I'm getting awfully mad.

Don't.

You'll only come apologizing later.

He's nobody to be skittish about.

Take him and dump him someplace where he'll have a nice long walk back.

How do I know they won't kill him?

I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw a steer.

They do exactly as I tell them.

Get to it, men.

You like him?

No.

There's no money in that kind of maverick.

All right.

Who are those men?

Well, it seems they were running some cattle into your corral.

Whose cattle?

Yours.

Anyway, your brand.

There weren't that many here a few minutes ago.

That's what I'm trying to tell you, Kate.

Look at this.

Here's Reece Duncan's brand.

Bar-double-check.

Now watch.

This is clever.

K-bar-M.

Katie, somebody's apt to call you a cattle rustler.

Why you dirty, low-down, double-crossing--

It takes money to run for office.

You'll never be governor.

You'll be crow bait on the end of a rope.

I'm no rustler... but you are.

This is your brand, registered in your name.

I don't share the business with you.

I gave it to you.

You're the one who's been buying and selling cattle.

How do you get out of that?

Wait till I tell Stan about this... and Duncan!

What if they don't believe you?

Pretty big risk, isn't it?

Jim, what are you up to?

This isn't a big enough operation for you.

I've told you, we're going to the governor's mansion.

It's going to take time and a lot of money.

And meanwhile, you'll keep your pretty mouth shut.

When I'm playing for high stakes, I get awfully upset if anyone talks.


Hi, Sheriff!

Hey, maybe you can teach Knuckles how to ride.

I give up.

Come on, you stumblebum!

Where's Kate?

Went riding.

Oh, come on, Knuckles!

You're not going to throw in the towel already, are you?

I'll get a decision out of you yet!

(woman) Hold on tight, Knuckles!

Come on, ya bum.

Hi, everybody.

You look like you came off second best.

Third!

Bet you brought him in, though, whoever he was.

No, he's still kinda loose.

But you will.

I aim to.

You had a lot of stock in here last night.

Some.

How many head when we looked at them last night?

Why?

How many head this morning before you got them out in such a hurry?

Putting together that question and that tin badge you're wearing, it looks like I'm accused of being a rustler.

Two minutes after you left here last night, some cattle came up the creek headin' for the corral.

Driven by my boys, of course!

Too dark to see that.

But you did see them put that cattle into my corral!

No, I got busy.

So you've taken such a personal dislike to me that without seeing anything, without any proof whatsoever, you're willing to believe that I'm a rustler!

I haven't taken a dislike to you.

Sheriff, I go by actions, not by words... and what I feel when you talk to me--

Why, I just feel as homely as a mud fence!

Homely?

You're just about the most--

Women!

What did he say?

Oh, I gave him a line.

He won't be any trouble.

That's why he has that job.

That's why I gave it to him.

I took one look at him when he first came into town and I said to myself, "That's the kind of sheriff I need: A drifter."

I've got to hand it to you.

This time you're playing it smart, Jim.

It's nice to hear you say so... except I know you'd like to see me break my neck.

That would be nice.

Oh, Katie, you're just ungrateful.

Makes me very unhappy.

It's just that I don't like the way you operate.

You don't think of anyone but yourself.

What about the homesteaders in this thing?

How long will it be before Duncan starts taking it out on them?

What makes you think he'd do a thing like that?

You're hoping he will.

Why, Kate!

You want trouble.

You want a full-sized range war.

You want so much killing that they'd have to send troops in to keep the peace.

(laughing) What an imagination!

Duncan killed or arrested, or any way out of the running.

And the homesteaders just about wiped out and ready to listen to anybody.

And who steps up to lead them?

Jim Averell, "the poor man's hope."

It's a good phrase.

Well, I don't want any part of this.

I'm getting out of here.

You can't, Kate.

How far could you get?

It won't take Duncan long to trace his cattle to your corral and the sheriff to wire ahead.

They don't just arrest you for cattle rustling.

Jim!

This act you're putting on about not being interested in the sheriff.

Now you're imagining things.

I hope so.

I'm jealous, honey.

Can't get angry with me for that.

Sure, I want to be up there where I know I belong, but I want you with me.

I'm doing all of this for you, Katie.

I'll prove that to you yet.

But these things need time.

Yes, that's what we need... time.

(horse neighing)

(cattle mooing)

Get some of the boys and fix that north line fence.

We gotta keep the herds closer in.

Jiminy!

Look what's coming.

Good morning, Mr. Duncan.

What brings you out in broad daylight?

I wouldn't mind sitting in the shade for a while.

I'd like to be polite, but I have a lot of work to do.

My business won't take long.

Not much here to interest a woman.

It's a man's place.

Oh, that would interest a woman.

Well, it hasn't.

No wife?

No womenfolk?

I'd have thought otherwise.

I live alone.

Maybe that's why you're so successful.

Everything goes into one big ambition.

So far.

Miss Maxwell, you said you had something to talk to me about.

I have: You.

I think you're making a big mistake.

No, Miss Maxwell.

It's your settler friends who are making the mistake with your encouragement.

Oh, now, Mr. Duncan.

You're a fair man.

Why don't you admit you started the whole trouble by blacklisting their brands?

If you came here thinking that by being sweet to me and nice to look at, I would become a more reasonable man--

You are a reasonable man.

You've just never been approached in the right way.

(scoffing)

Miss Maxwell...

I came to this territory as a boy, a ragged trail hand without a penny in my pocket and my boots open at the toes.

In ten years I owned or controlled most of this valley, and if you think I'm going to sit back now...

Don't holler at me, Mr. Duncan.

If I made the mistake of thinking that you knew how to play for big stakes, I apologize.

I was wrong.

What do you mean?

I said I was wrong.

I thought you wanted to control more than just this valley.

Why don't you read the cards, Mr. Duncan?

Before long, the settlers will outnumber the cattlemen.

It has to be that way.

There's nothing that can stop it.

Cooperate.

Give them a chance to earn an honest living and you'll be the most popular man in the whole territory.

They'll put you in the Governor's mansion, not Jim Averell.

What happened, Miss Maxwell?

You have an argument with him?

Let's just say that I want to be on the winning side.

Suppose this turns out to be the winning side?

What's in it for you?

The winning side will be the one I tell the settlers to throw their weight to.

And I think I'll let you fix the reward.

You sound like a natural-born politician.

It's all in knowing how to deal.

Mr. Duncan!

Mr. Duncan!

We caught the Jessup brothers running off with some of our stock.

We got 'em holed up the other side of town... in Pitchfork Canyon.

You expect me to throw in with a bunch of outlaws?

**


I'll give you an example of how a man gets rich.

See that section there?

If I buy that up, I'll control six others around it because of the water on it. (gunfire)

It's all in knowing how.

You hear shooting?

Yeah.

It's over near Duncan's place.

Let's go!

(bullet ricocheting)

(bullet ricocheting)

I'm out of shells, Matt.

Looks like we're gonna lose this one.

(gunfire continues)

Blast 'em outta there!

Hold your fire!

Better get down, Miss Maxwell.

You don't want one of your own friends to shoot you.

Drop it.

I said drop it!

You'd better learn to take orders once in a while, Mr. Duncan.

Now start moving!

(gunfire continues)

Stop firing, men.

I keep underrating you, Miss Maxwell.

I've got to stop that.

Hal!

Matt!

Come out reaching!

Looks interesting.

Keep me covered.

What's the story?

They was rustling our cattle. That's a lie!

We found a couple of mavericks.

They're not mavericks when they're on my land.

I warned you--

We didn't set foot on your land.

You were sure comin' from that way.

Were those mavericks part of Duncan's stock or weren't they?

Where's your proof?

I don't need proof.

Them Jaspers were comin' from our herd, and I know rustling when I see it.

All you know is gunfighting.

But if that's what you want, you can have it now.

But you'll have a dead boss.

Simmer down, Wade.

What do you want, Miss Maxwell?

Have you still got your horses?

All right, get on 'em and hightail it.

Don't move, anyone.

What's this all about?

Why, it's Mr. Averell.

Glad to see you, Mr. Averell.

Miss Maxwell and I were talking about you just a while ago.

That's nice.

What did you say?

Miss Maxwell did most of the talking, but I can see she didn't mean a word of it, saying she might tell the settlers to throw in with me against you.

Two birds stick together, all the way.

I'll send this back to him.

You won't want to be seeing him again.

Evenin', boys.

Myra?

We're short-handed.

What am I?

A marriage bureau?

Every time I get a dancer trained, I lose her.

You're sure going to lose this one.

You know what you're doing, Myra?

I want to see a preacher in this, Hal, or I'm gonna get after you with a .44.

We're getting married as soon as I get some more maverick money.

See that you hide it from him when he celebrates.

Been here long?

Setting.

Can I "set" with you?

Set.

What do you think?

Nice team.

Is there going to be trouble hereabouts?

Mm-hmm.

Killing?

Can't tell.

There's something queer going on.

Got another report of strange faces in the hills.

Got another complaint from Duncan about losing cows.

What'd you see him about today?

I was trying to make peace.

How?

I wanted him to look at this whole thing sensibly.

He thinks he's being sensible right now.

I thought maybe a woman's approach--

A woman's approach?

A gun in the back?

So you know the whole story?

I know you didn't do peace any good today.

What did you expect me to do?

Let him shoot down the Jessup boys or hang them?

Listen, Jim Averell brought you out here and set you up in business.

Everything you do is tied in with him.

No you--

Duncan hates Averell.

When you held that gun in his back, it was being held by Jim Averell, who's lying to the settlers, lying to the cattlemen, and for all I know, even lying to you.

That's what I want to talk to you about.

Those men are building for a fight, and it won't take but one wrong move to touch it off, to maybe set the range on fire!

Will you listen to me?

I'm not Jim Averell's woman.

I choose my own man, whoever he is or whatever he is, kingpin or drifter.

(gun firing, woman screaming)

**

(gun firing)

(horse galloping)


(people murmuring)

It's a little early to tell anything yet.

(door closing)

He's a bit low.

Any news?

We lost him in the dark.

Spent the whole night combing the hills and canyons.

It's a waste of time, I know where to go for the bushwhacker.

Duncan or one of his boys shot my brother.

Now it's my turn.

And then it's Duncan's turn, and whose turn after that?

It's the way feuds get started, Matt, and there's no telling where it will end.

I believe in law and order myself, Sheriff, but there's also a thing called justice.

And I'm dealing some out.

The law didn't appoint you to do that, Matt.

Don't make me put you in jail.

Stan, you're holding with Duncan.

The boys ain't gonna like it.

You just sit down and cool off.

Don't try to jump a gun.

It never works.

Matt can always get another gun, and Duncan always gives us another reason.

There's a war ahead, Sheriff.

You figure to stop it all by yourself?

Not if some folks want it.

I say wipe out Duncan and his whole outfit.

It's the only thing that makes sense.

You talk too much.

It seems to me that all men want to do is fight, even when they talk about peace... like you.

It's with a gun in their hands.

It's high time women took a hand in running this world.

Duncan and his men run the Cattle Association.

The homesteaders are mad because he keeps them out in the cold.

Very well.

Let's form an association of our own!

Sure, our own outfit to do business for us.

That's for being the brainiest woman I've ever met.

Boys, Kate just had a great idea.

It's the answer to everything.

We'll form our own stockmen's corporation.

We'll register our brands with it, we'll find buyers who'll deal with us.

If the courts try to stop us, we'll have an organization to fight back with.

Now, Jim, please.

You're not a cattle raiser.

This has nothing to do with you.

Of course, this will all take money.

And it'll need leadership.

I'm going to advance you the money.

I want all you people in this territory to know that Jim Averell is with you, all the way.

Get the boys together.

Better pick your side, Sheriff.

Smartest girl I ever knew.

You make good partners, you and Averell.

What one thinks of is good for the other.

I didn't want him to be part of this.

He took it right out of my hands.

Played right into Duncan's.

(crowd murmuring)

Hey Wade, can you make it Thursday, alright?

(horses galloping)

Kramer, you and Tiny Peterson start bringing 'em in from the north range.

O'Conners, Stubbs, handle the west range.

Andrews, Elliot, Lamont.

(women laughing)

Hello there, boys, hi.

Hi.

(men shouting) Hey!

Hey, Matt, you wouldn't want the men to ride out in the blazing sun without something to line their throats, would you?

Where's Averell?

I don't know.

He left ahead of us.

Kinda slow for a man so anxious to help.

All right, men, we got plenty of work ahead.

Got it?

Couldn't you wait?

Sure.

But not the boys.

They like to be paid as they go along.

You know, it seems to me you go to an awful lot of trouble just to start a shooting war.

We could do the same thing by nightfall by riding out and throwing a little lead.

Mm-hmm.

That's why it's a good idea for you to do exactly as I say, no more, no less.

(crowd murmuring)

Good coffee.

Makes the best coffee in the whole dang world.

Learned it from Kate.

Now, there's someone who can cook.

Tell him some more.

I guess I need all the recommendations I can get.

Here comes Averell with the tally book.

Where have you been, we've been waiting for the tally book.

The horse threw his shoe.

I had to stop at the blacksmith's.

What's the matter, Sheriff?

Don't you believe me?

Just looking at the white stuff.

What about it?

You come by way of Salt Lick Canyon.

Long way around, wasn't it?

I said, what about it?

Nothing about it.

Relax.

Here comes the first bunch!

(cattle mooing, men whistling)

(men shouting)

Duncan showed up yet?

He'll be here.

Hey, Sandy, you just standing around?

I need an extra man to look for strays.

I work for Jim Averell.

You'll work in this camp or you don't eat.

There's no grub to spare for gunslingers.

I'll help you, Matt.

I said a man to look for strays!

Oh, I was cutting cattle long before I cut cards!

Get me a horse, something alive.

Tom!

Thank you.

I wouldn't get on that critter, Kate.

It ain't safe!

(horse whinnying, snorting)

(snorting)

(whinnying)

Kate!

(whinnying)

(cattle mooing)

Bet she'd be real handy on a homestead.

**

(cattle mooing)

(shouting) Hyah, ow, ow, ow!

(whistling)

Ho, oh!

**

(whistling)

Hyah, ow, ow, ow!

(whistling)

Hyah. Hyah.

Ho, oh!

**

(crowd murmuring)

Round-up could be finished before Duncan shows up.

Not likely.

Trouble is, I hold with the settlers instead of him.

Makes it pretty hard being sheriff.

It'll get harder all the time.

Duncan's not the kind who gives up.

Maybe I am.

I didn't figure on this kind of thing when I took this job.

I didn't figure on being Duncan's man, running around arresting homesteaders.

Seems to me the best thing I can do is turn in my badge and move on.

Where would you go?

Yonder.

Yonder!

Always yonder.

That's no life for a man.

Haven't you ever thought about sending down roots?

Staying in one place for a while?

Reckon so...

When I find what I want.

What do you want?

When Duncan hears how many mavericks we rounded up...

...he's gonna get a real bellyache.

(cattle mooing)

Bobby ranch, one calf.

Duncan's coming up Loma Pass!

Get your girls into that tent, and get in with 'em.

Stay under cover.

But I want to be out here.

Get into the tent!

Off your horses, boys, and into place.

You know what to do.

Get every horse outta camp!

If there's any trouble, they'll only be in the way.

Step lively, everybody!

He's on the other side of the hill.

Wade, hold the men up here.

(mooing)

I don't know how far you thought you'd go with this fool idea, Averell, but it comes to an end right now.

Where's that sheriff?

Here's a complaint signed by Judge Crawford to the effect that these men are defying the Maverick Law.

Serve it.

Seems all regular and in order.

Well, Sheriff, I just happen to have a federal injunction enjoining these men from interfering with this round-up in any manner, shape or form.

Will you serve it, please?

Looks like a stand-off.

That Jim Averell.

Did anybody ever outsmart him?

If Duncan doesn't win by brains, he'll win another way.

Here it comes.

Keep back.

That's a pretty clever trick, Mr. Averell.

I'm surprised at myself not figuring on that.

I've had it in my pocket for a couple of days, Mr. Duncan, just waiting for you to show up.

Cancelling out my court order doesn't cancel out my rights as a rancher.

You don't know of any way to stop me from staying here and keeping an eye peeled for my own stock?

I wouldn't wanna stop ya.

Get a little nervous, though, lookin' at all that artillery.

That's why we brought it here.

You won't need it here.

Pick 'em up.

Duncan, tell your boys to drop their guns off over in Kate's wagon.

I've got an idea they wouldn't do that.

I'm tellin' ya they will.

Never had so many deputies before.

Look over there.

I've got more of 'em, but you can't see 'em.

Gentlemen, peace is declared.

What about them?

All right, everybody!

Over at Kate's wagon, and drop off your hardware.

You deputies too!

All right, men, drop your guns in the wagon.

(crowd murmuring)

(men shouting, whistling)

Hey, Duncan?

Cut out a bunch of your cows a while ago.

You want the calves branded?

I'll take that as a favor.

(whistling)

Ho, oh!

Where's its mother?

Got separated somehow.

How do you know this one doesn't belong to me?

We don't, so we're dividing up the doubtful ones:

Half for you and half for us.

Can you think of anything better?

I reckon that's fair enough.

Acts just like you when you won't listen to reason.

Oh?

Seems to me if you'd settle down and talk things over, you might find there's room enough around here for all of us.

Could be.

You're the prettiest little maverick I ever did see.

How 'bout lettin' me put my brand on ya?

Thanks, I'm wearing one already.

You know, you gotta get used to sudden changes.

(woman screaming)

Hey.

**

(plates shattering)

Get outta here!

Stop it, stop it!


What's the idea?

(gun firing)

(gun firing)

(cattle mooing)

Stampede, stampede!

Mount up and head 'em off!

(mooing)

**

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

(mooing)

Whoa, whoa, whoa!

(whistling)

Whoah, whoah.

Oh, oh, oh, oh.

(pots clanking)

Duncan.

You'd better get your men together and clear out.

We've had enough trouble here.

Nobody talks to me like that.

That's a federal court order talking to you like that.

You better go.

Call the men in.

Tell them I've gone back to the ranch.

Can you finish this round-up in one more day?

There's a chance.

Well, then, get moving.

(mooing)

Well, there's the last one.

Round-up's over.

How's the round-up?

It's over, your men standing by?

Yeah, when do we move?

Averell will give us the word.

* Oh where have you been *

* Billy boy, Billy boy? *

* Oh where have you been *

* Charmin' Billy? *

* I have been to seek a wife *

* She's the darling of my life *

* She's a young thing *

* And cannot leave her mother **

Hi, Maverick.

How goes it with law and order?

Not much change.

There never is any change with you.

Don't you ever sing or dance, or feel like kickin' up your heels?

Come on.

Dance with me.

I wish I knew what to think about you.

If I ride off, it'll be too late.

Still talking about going away?

About ready to turn in my badge and saddle up.

What's holding you back?

Nothing, I reckon.

I hope it turns out to be as green as you think...

...the grass on the other side of the fence.

(gun firing)

Hold still, everybody!

Just stay like that and there won't be any trouble.

I'm taking you to the marshal at Rawlins.

What for?

For rustling cattle...

...and murdering my foreman, Wade Burrows.

That's ridiculous.

What are you trying to start here?

You keep out of this, Averell.

I'm in this all the way, and you better have plenty of evidence.

There's enough evidence to hang her six times over.

Come out to the corral.

Found him out on the range near my north section stretched out near a branding fire with two holes in his back.

They never gave him a chance.

Wade Burrows was a troublemaker.

It just caught up with him.

What's the connection with Kate?

I'll show you the connection right now.

Every time I complained to you about losing branded cattle, you'd talk about strange faces in the hills, and rustlers nobody ever sees.

I'll show you some rustlers.

That's my brand, the bar-double-check.

When we picked up Wade, there was a branding iron under him.

I reckon the killers forgot that.

Here's the iron.

And here's what it does.

K-bar-M.

I'm taking you in on suspicion of rustling and murder.

The sheriff's office is still filled, Duncan.

Don't try to do my job.

This woman is going to jail!

But I'll do the taking.

I trust you, Duncan, but you got a vigilante look in your eye.

He'd put a rope around her neck as soon as they got out of sight.

Don't worry, honey.

I'll get you the best legal representation in the territory of Wyoming.

By the time these charges are heard, Mr. Duncan'll have to eat a lot of words.

Am I right, boys?

That's right, nobody's gonna be doing any hanging around here.

Your deputies must be tired after the round-up, Sheriff so I know you'll be glad if I post some of my men at the jail to see she doesn't get away.

There'll be more in jail when I found out which of you have been taking orders from her.

**

You haven't said a word for the last 15 minutes.

You used to find it easy to talk.

Why not now?

Talking to you never helped me before.

What's the truth, Kate?

Is Jim Averell playing you, or are you both playing me?

Things were bad enough in this town before you came here, they're twice as bad now.

You think I'm a murderer and a rustler?

I don't know what to think.

What's between you and Averell?

Too much.

**

(lock clicking)

Keep your eyes peeled for trouble.

Want these gents barbecued or slow-fried?

Don't get the idea you're deputies, boys.

Anything happens to her, you'll pay for it.

You might as well catch 40 winks.

Tomorrow could be a big day.

I'll stay here.

You can't help her any.

She's locked up.

I'll stay here.

(horse galloping)

Kinda wondered why he wasn't around.

I wouldn't put it past Reece Duncan to kill one of his own men and pin it on us.

What his second move will be, I can only guess.

I-- I'm too busy thinking about Kate sitting over in that jail.

Seems to me we got nothing to go on but her own word that she's innocent.

(man) We brought in clean unbranded mavericks...

How did it work?

Fine.

She was so surprised she couldn't say a word.

Go back and tell 'em to get set.

You'll see the signal as soon as it's light enough to see smoke.

There isn't much hay over there.

You'd better drag over another bale.

Go.

I say that Kate had nothin' to do with it.

She's innocent as a newborn babe!

All right.

If nobody'll back me up to bust her outta that jail, I'll do it myself.

I don't think you'll have time.

Boys, I just got some pretty bad news.

Sandy tells me Duncan's calling in every man he's got.

He's getting set for a fight and I guess he'll find a good reason to start one.

I'm going out there and try and talk him out of it.

I never heard of Duncan being talked out of anything.

Maybe so.

At least it'll give you men a chance to get organized for a battle.

(crowd exclaiming)

**

(rustling)

**

See that nothing happens to her.

As miserable a collection of faces as ever I seen off a reward poster.

What kind of records did you gents have before you went to work for Duncan?

Smart aleck.

Don't pay him no heed.

All right, men, come and get it!

That's real cordial, but kinda sudden.

See who's outside.

How do you like that?

They got suspicions.

I've got a good mind to spill this stuff on the floor.

Quiet outside, but I'm kinda dry inside.

Gimme some of that.

Just a minute.

I kinda changed my mind about you fellas.

Gimme some of that beer, sonny.

Sonny? (chuckling)

I'm gonna like this!

Nice work, Knuckles.

Pick him up.

You got me covered.

Hey, ain't this somethin'?

A jailbreak, we're bustin' ya outta here.

Who organized it? We did.

The sheriff's outta town and Jim's ridin' up to Duncan's ranch.

Jim found out Duncan's gettin' ready for a fight.

He's gonna try and stop him.

Don't you believe it!

In ya go!

He doesn't want to stop a war.

He wants to start one.

Boys, I think it's about time you knew the truth.

I've been covering up for Jim Averell in one of the slickest rustling schemes Wyoming ever saw.

And the idea back of the whole thing is to start you and the big cattle raisers to killing each other off.

I told you she mightn't be innocent.

You didn't finish.

We're still listening.

Jim's got a bunch of gunslingers up in the hills.

And one of them, or Sandy, killed Wade Burrows to pin the whole thing on me and start this big range war that he wants.

He sure did pin it on ya.

How many times that brandin' iron been used?

I don't know, but the important thing is he wants to start a range war.

Boys, I know Jim Averell and you don't.

He wants to be governor.

He doesn't care how many people he walks over to get to the governor's chair or how many he kills to stay there.

I don't believe anything she says, good or bad.

Shut up!

Boys, you've got to believe me.

I tell you, he's got this whole thing worked out!

What's he doing at Duncan's?

Oh, Duncan's as big a sucker as any of us.

Jim made him want to fight, and he's gone up there to push him into it.

I wish somebody would get over to that case of rifles and start protecting me from what's coming.

(indistinct murmuring)

(cattle mooing)

What do you want?

I'll talk to you inside.

If you came here to talk for Kate Maxwell, you're wasting your time.

Kate doesn't need anybody to talk for her.

She's probably out of jail by now.

I don't think so.

I left five of my men there.

Hope they're alive.

Duncan, the settlers are talking fight.

They're gonna end this by wiping you out.

Wantin' to won't make it easy.

I'd hate to be around when she sends them out here.

They'll smoke you and your men out, and knock you over like rabbits.

Maybe.

Unless I crack down on them first with a few ideas of my own.

Ned!

Call the men in.

Right.

I suppose your story's pretty straight, Mr. Averell.

Now I'd like to know how straight you are.

Duncan, use your head.

Why are we fighting each other?

Neither of us really have anything in common with these settlers.

We live in a different world.

We live a different life.

When the chips are down, whose side do you think I'll be on?

Theirs or ours?

You're a real high-minded citizen to be looking for the governorship.

I'm for Jim Averell.

I see that.

So after all your big talk, you're double-crossin' 'em.

That's not a nice word.

How do I know you're not double-crossin' me?

You don't.

It's a big chance, isn't it?

Which reminds me, while we're here talking, we're giving them more time to get organized.

That time's about up.

They want a fight, I'll bring it to them.

You're comin' along, Mr. Averell.

If anything goes wrong, I'll have you right under my guns.

Ned, get all the hands in from the range.

Saddle up.

We're ridin'.

**

All set.

All right, come on.

Get on the horses, boys, let's go.

(galloping)

(galloping)

If you try to stop me now, Sheriff--

I'm not gonna stop you.

I'm gonna join you, like Averell's done.

How have you managed to keep your outlaw friends under cover so long?

What outlaws?

Wanna tell him?

I don't know what you're talking about.

The outlaws working for him.

The ones that killed your foreman and stole your cattle.

That's a lie!

If it isn't Averell--

No use arguing now.

We'll find out.

(galloping)

If there's going to be a fight with Duncan's men, we know we're going into it with clean hands.

But let's keep it clean all the way.

The first shot must come from him.

And if it does, well, you boys know how to fight back.

Here they come!

Now, remember:

Duncan's boys must be the first to start.

Duncan, you've got about a minute to make up your mind.

Throw in with the settlers, and I think we can prove our friend here has been double-crossing every one of us.

Start battling and the outlaws will wipe out the town.

Seems to me a man of your position, with all you have at stake isn't going to let your thinking be done for you by a $50-a-month sheriff, a saddle bum who rode in here from nowhere.

What's your play, Sheriff?

(galloping)

You didn't spend much time in jail.

Couldn't afford it, Sheriff.

Too many chores.

(crowd laughing)

Glad everybody's in good humor.

What's it going to be, Stan?

We're gonna have a little party.

A mite different from the one Mr. Averell planned on, but he's gonna be the host.

Get off.

What for?

The man spoke to you.

Some odd characters in the hills are waiting for him to tell them we're killing each other.

All right, tell them.

I don't know what you mean.

The smoke signal, Mr. Averell.

You're supposed to light that stack of hay as soon as we start throwin' lead at each other.

Then they come riding in to take over the town.

Light it.

The wind'll sweep the fire into every building in town.

Hal, get over in the hotel and keep a bead on him.

If he tries to move anywhere, let him have it.

Right.

Now light it.

Light it, Jim!

(glass shattering)

(match striking)

**

Let's draw 'em in close, boys.

Let 'em think we're in a free-for-all, and make it good!

(gunfire)

(gunfire in distance)

What are we waitin' for?

All right, come on!

(horses clomping)

(gunfire continues)

(bullets ricocheting)

Rise and shine, Governor!

(gunfire continues)

(horses galloping)

Listen to that battle.

This is where we split up.

Let's ride!

**

I left five men guardin' you.

Nobody hurt them.

Their pride maybe, but that's all.

You think I'm crooked and no-account.

You'd put more trust in a lead dollar.

Who killed Wade Burrows?

Do you think if I had anything to do with that I'd have left that branding iron there under him like a signed confession?

Now you're saying that Averell tried to frame you.

Why should he?

You're working together.

If I talk from now 'til Christmas, you'd still only believe what you want to.

All right, Mr. Duncan, go ahead.

Believe what you want.

But make up your mind quickly, there's a fight comin' on.

(gunfire)

**

You ain't playin' fair, Jim.

You left us no chance for fun.

They're partners, all right!

I kept trying not to believe it.

Well?

I've been with you since we rode into town.

You--

You boys better put up your guns.

Why?

Well, I, uh...

Well, look here!

Captured ourselves a sheriff!

You boys had a nice little scheme.

Don't talk, don't shoot!

It's a trap.

Not the kind of scheme that'd give anybody a chance, but I'm giving you one:

A fair trial if you drop your guns.

(guns cocking)

We're covered.

That's it, boys.

There's a bead on every one of you...

Let's go!

(gunfire)

(bullets ricocheting)

(bullets ricocheting)

Get that guy in the hotel window.

He's got me pinned down.

(bullets ricocheting)

(gun clicking)

(gunfire continues)


(glass shattering)

(bullet ricocheting)

(bullet ricocheting)

(gunfire continues)

You stay inside!

Jim, grab on!

(horse whinnying)

(bullets ricocheting)

(bullets ricocheting)

**

(bullet ricocheting)

(horse whinnying)

(gun firing)


(shuffling, rattling)

Leaving?

Pointing a gun at me again, Kate?

I ought to kill you, but I'd rather see you hang.

Now, Kate...

You lying, sneaking, murdering They'll be piling in here in a minute, Kate.

You gotta let me go.

Why?

For what you've done to me?

For what I used to mean to you.

That was an idea I had.

But you were never like the idea.

Well, uh, the good times we had.

We had good times.

Think about them, Kate.

What are you gonna gain if I die?

You'll never see me again!

You got Stan Blaine, and...

Did I kill him, Kate, when I had a chance?

When you asked me not to, Kate, did I kill him?

There's another reason you gotta let me go.

Look, Kate.

Look at this.

(hammer cocking)

How can I believe anything you've said?

The last time--

(gunfire)

(gun firing)

**

Let's listen to him, boys.

Thank you.

I think we can give credit for this to Cattle Kate.

I've come to realize that I've got to consider your interests as well as mine.

If you want to make a friend of me, think of my interests as well as yours.

The West is getting smaller, friends, and I reckon we've gotta learn to live together.

Now, I'm not the kind of man that'll throw away the things that I worked hard for...

Who gave you that?

He did.

Where is he?

Saddling up.

Where to, Maverick?

Could be California, maybe Oregon Territory.

Do you still think I was Jim Averell's woman?

That's how it looked.

Because I cried?

Sure, I cried, but not because I love Jim.

I cried because when I found you I realized I was all the things I never wanted to be, and because...

Oh, what do you know about women or the way they feel?

**

There's a piece of bottom land a few miles down.

Good for homesteading.

Let's have a look at it.

**


**