The Retrieval (2013) Script

Speak up, boy, 'fore I lay into you.

There's three of 'em. Two is men.

Any inside?

Just an old white woman.

You sure, now?

But she got a shotgun.

Well, you boys try not to piss yourselves.

Watch it! Watch it!

Okay, let's go!

Get up! Come on!

Come on.

Come on.

That's money is what that is.

That nigger's worth $600, and you ain't.

You owe that boy an apology.

I'm sorry, Burrell, for...

Don't tell me.

I apologize.

This lost property is to be protected until returned.

I got three rolled.

Pay me first. Last time you ain't pay me.

Make sure your uncle shares that.

You ain't thank me.

Thank you, Marcus.

Ain't no need to be countin', boy.

Don't I provide when no one else did?

You welcome to set out on your own.

Go on now. Feed them niggers.

It's your turn.

Y'all thirsty?

I got something for you.

Name of the man you're looking for is Nate.

He's diggin' graves for the Federals near Petersburg.

About three, four nights from here by foot.

I don't reckon I'd be welcome anyplace near.

And this nigger just gonna happily walk hisself back south?

Well, they buried his brother not two months ago down in Leesville.

News ain't made it up there.

You'll think of somethin'.

How 'bout you give me 50 for the boy?

In case I don't make it back.

Even if I do, he'd be yours.

He can cook, tend horses.

Should keep the boy.

Might need him.

Besides, you do this right, you're gonna need help carryin' all that gold.

There's a lot of country between here and there.

And to the north and south of either place.

And out west.

If a man don't want to be found, there's many places he can go.

Where you can go.

Don't matter.

If you don't bring this nigger back exactly how I say, I'll find you and put you in the ground, along with the boy... and everybody else you ever knew.

Wake up.

Why we goin' so far for just one runaway?

Can leave you here if you don't like it.

Makes no difference.

Why can't we just... Money's why.

And this one's worth more than them other three put together.

I'll take that.

Who you think used to live here? Now just keep quiet and listen.

When we get back with him, we stay the last night...

When we get back with him, we stay the last night here.

When you get up, you go get Burrell 'fore that nigger wakes.

They not a mile that way. And I don't want no talkin' about how you been here before or none of that shit. Understand?

Good. Go on.

Get down on the ground. Lay down there.


Boy, get down on the ground like you sleepin'.

Now get up and get out that door.

So I can't hear ya.


You ain't asleep. So you hear everything.

Goddamn it, boy.


If he's got a knife or something, we gotta take it from him while he's sleepin'.

This ain't like sneakin' out the other night when they was scared and they ain't had nowhere else to go.

This one's somethin' else.

Go on, now.

Your name Nate, sir?

I'm Will from...

That's my Uncle Marcus.

From around Leesville.

We come on account of your brother, Samuel?

He got consumption.

He ain't well.

Say he ain't gonna last long.

Can't go back down there.

Your brother said... he wants to see you before he goes.

He ask us to tell you that. How'd you find me?

Your brother heard you was here. I don't know how.

When was this?

Three days back.

And you just took it upon yourself to deliver the word?

His master, Pritchards, tasked us with it, and we'll be paid.

Say he ain't got long. He just wants to see you.

Should we tell your brother somethin'?

'Bout why you ain't come back for him?

Y'all from Leesville?

He in a bad way?

I'll see to it when I can.

We should all head back together.

Can we journey back with you?

The two of you make it up here on your own? Yes, sir.

Then... I figure you can make it back down on your own too.

Well, we won't be a bother.

Besides, we came all this way for you.

We'll leave before sunup.

And we stay off the roads.

I can't be liable for foolish children.

Now, go on.

You want my advice, we'll make it there in three days if we head up...

Don't want your advice.

Well, you need it, ornery bastard.

You headed that way?


You welcome to take any path you want.

Marcus know the best way.

You ain't got nothin' to worry about.

You ever seen a cannon shoot off?

I've heard 'em lots.

Just never seen 'em.

Why do you think... Didn't your mama ever teach you to shut up and listen sometime?

I never knew my mama.

So how long has it been since you run up north?

I ain't a runaway.

That's too much for you to be carryin', boy.

My father gave me that.

I don't give a damn who gave it to you.

I ain't spending it till I see him next.

Yeah, keep on rubbin' that thing.

Shine it up.

You rub that thing half as good as you was rubbin' your johnson last night, it'll shine right up.

Might even blind a man. He lyin'.

Hell, he could rub the eagle right off the back of that coin till it's smooth.

Least he's good at one thing. I was a professional at his age.

They's stuck on your back.

Why they stick like that?

Don't serve no purpose.

It's a seed.

That way they travel further than they could on their own.

But why do they... You wearin' me out, boy.

Well, I just...

Hear that?

No. What's it sound like? Keep listenin'.

Very quiet.

Was that it?

Why we takin' him back to Burrell if he ain't a runaway?


He owe Burrell money. And they might have to rough him up to get it, so stop getting all friendly with him.

Maybe he'll just pay up so they won't have to.

He made his choices.

And don't forget what we stand to collect.

Tonight, you try and sneak out in the night. See how good he sleeps.

Boy, you best get up and get some more.

We over here crackin' teeth, and this nigger eatin' pork?

You know, a man can share.

You're right.

What's it like diggin' for the Federals?

It don't seem no different from diggin' for a master down south.

You seen me ask any man's permission to leave?

You work hard, you're your own man.

I don't need no one and don't look out for no one.

Marcus and I look out for each other... ever since the army burned down the master's farm.

Doin' what it takes to get by.

We's family, you know?

I knew my ma for about two hours, and my father was a sumbitch.

Father went north two years back, but he's comin' back for me.

Boy, that's bullshit and you know it.

Comin' back down south for you is the last thing on the man's mind.

Keep quiet and let a nigger sleep.

Where you goin'?

I got to piss.

Then go right there.

You ain't got to spend 10 minutes standin' up and then walk a mile out in the woods.


Well, I can't with you watchin'.

Oh, shit, boy.

Hold on now.

Where you goin'?

Just hold up now. You stole some of my salt pork.

I'll make my own way from here on. Man, I ain't eat your food.

I knowed you was a thief.

You don't know a goddamn thing.

What, you think I stole that shit?


You smell it on my breath?

You smell it on my breath?

Come on, nigger. Teach me a lesson.

Just wait up now.

Come on, boy. Grab the shit. Let's go.

Take water if you need. The rest belongs to their kinfolk.

Damn, if you ain't an uppity nigger.

Slave for the Union is still just a slave.

He ain't like other men I seen. Yeah.

He's worth more. And don't you forget.

What if it was you?

Well, it ain't.

Look at me, boy.

Look at me.

You wanna go back to sellin' tobacco for pennies?

Now, you can live hand to mouth for the rest of your life.

Or... you can make some money.

Maybe even enough to find your daddy.

Get down, boy.

When I was your age, I was climbin' like that and broke a leg.

How's it now?

It's fine now.

Well, if it ain't a problem, I'll keep climbin'.

I always make you mad, don't I?

Can you throw that?

Show me how.

Go on. Climb that tree.

Got any other family?

Besides your brother?


I had a woman... not too far from here.

Wasn't no words spoken over us, but she was my woman.

No children?

We had a child.

Probably be a little older than you, but he ain't make it.

You don't see her no more?

Best this way.

Got nothin' weighin' me down.

So what was her name? Rachel.

There's a lot of Rachels out there.

Lord, I known a lot of Rachels in my day.

Where you say your Rachel's from?

We rested long enough.

I'll fill this up, then we'll keep on.

I'll fill it for you.

This'll do for tonight.

Come on. Let's get some wood.

No fire tonight.

We're too far from Union lines and don't need the attention.

Well, I'm makin' a fire.

So if you don't like it, you can freeze your ass on down the way.

Get up.

Let him be. The boy's feet ain't good.

Come on now, boy.

You gonna have to be your own man someday.

Maybe we can do something nice for him...

'fore we turn him in.

You think you good, but you ain't.

You'd do the same thing if you was me.

Can't we just... ask him for the money he owe Burrell?

Goddamn it, boy.

Burrell don't want money from him. Nate done killed a man, and Burrell's gonna kill him to get the bounty.

Now, I'd do it for the money myself, but Burrell will kill me and you both... if we don't deliver him exactly how he say.

Stop talkin' to that old man 'fore he figure us out and we got to kill him and drag his dead ass all the way back.

This ain't just about the money. It's about your life.

Nate's a dead man and can't nobody help him.

What is it, boy?

You ain't sleepin'?

I can't always sleep neither.

All of a sudden you quiet?

Where's Nate?

Get the boy!

All right. All right.

Get down. All right.

All right, come on.

All right, now, let's have a look.

Come on.

We'll get you right.

This just so we ain't slowed down.

You do everything I say or I'll leave you.


Come on. You're all right.

We only got two or three more nights.

There used to be some freedmen livin' out here.

We appreciate you havin' us on such a night.

Your son look hungrier than you are.

Me and your uncle didn't always get on well,

but it was kind of him to come tell me the word about my brother.

He died doin' a good thing.

When the soldiers came, he tried to save himself.

Why'd you come back for me?

What's your name?



William sounds old.

They call me Abby, instead of Abigail.

Who's that man you with? He kin to you?

Just a man.

Just a man?

That's cold, boy!

You stayin' here?

You should stay here.

How come?

Where you goin'?

There ain't much other children round here.

I ain't children.


We gettin' closer now.

I can't be seen in these parts.

All right.

When you throw it, hold your arm straight out.

Let's see how you do.

Come on.

Come on.

You used a hammer?

Hold it like that.


What's wrong with you, boy?

Come on, now.

Pick a tree, not too far.

Boy, what's wrong with you? Come on. Pick a tree.

Marcus didn't steal your salt pork.

It was me.

I'd have give it to you had you asked me.



I got to tell you...

If they see us, you just run.

Don't look back.

You got any other family round Leesville?

When we get back, what you gonna do?

I do odd jobs for a white man.

I'm savin' up to go look for my pa if he ain't back soon.

What kind of jobs?

Different things up and down the Nottoway.

I thought you said you was from Leesville.


I am.

It ain't too far from there.

I saw you talkin' to that girl back there.

You ever had a girl of your own? No.


They trouble.

Not all of 'em. Yeah. All of 'em.

But they worth it.

I'm bringin' him.

I done like Burrell said. We ain't ridin' with Burrell no more.

Son of a bitch killed Hayden two days ago.

He ain't right.

We found your boy.

Where you two headed?

I got a brother sick down in Leesville.

We headed down that way.

Ain't we?

Y'all look to be in a sorry state.

I ain't like to see men like that... niggers or not.

Might as well make our way together.

That's kind, but we'll be all right.

We'll just keep alongside, if it suits you.

I don't give a damn if it suits him.


I warned him.

We only got one more night after this.

So I guess we'll just make do tomorrow.

You saved me back there.

I was savin' myself.

You had a woman near here?


Y'all ain't never had another child together?

It ain't always that simple.

But them times was all right.

You ever killed a man before yesterday?

'Bout six years back, my master died.

His wife left for Boston and set me free when she did.

So I headed up north to earn money to buy out my woman from her master.

But a couple of pattyrollers tried to take me back.

I showed 'em my papers.

I killed one of 'em.

Maybe I ain't have to, but I did.

After hidin' out near five years, I lost touch with my woman.

She ain't but five miles down that way... or was.

Probably should've never left her.

I miss her, but it can't be helped.

I ain't never told no one 'bout that before.

Why didn't you send word to her, tell her what happened?

It ain't safe knowin' a man like me.

I'd have wanted to know what happened.

That night before my father went north,

we fought over somethin'... what I can't even remember now.

I wish I hadn't done that.

I ain't sure he'd be too happy to see me these days.

He'd be proud of you.

I got something to say.

If you gotta do something... you don't want to,

that you know is wrong, but you ain't got no choice in it,

are you goin' to hell?

I don't know.

You ain't got no choice, you ain't got no choice.

Most times, we got a choice.




You thought I left you?

I wouldn't leave you.

But I might if you don't bathe soon.

Maybe we should stop by to see your woman.

What? We gotta keep movin'.

It ain't too far.

Don't talk 'bout that no more.

I don't know what the hell I'm doin'.

Be quiet.

I should just head on out of here.

We done decided.

She don't want to see me after all this time.

And I don't care nohow.

Yes, you do.


There a woman name of Rachel around here?

Rachel live here.

Sundays she go to town with the master's wife.

Sometimes they spend the night.

I think she'll be back this evening.

You was her man?

I's her man now.

I don't think she'd be wantin' to see you nohow.

I heard about you.

What'd you hear?

Just that you was set free.

You went up north. You never come back like you said.

She kept these.

I ain't too fond of lookin' at 'em, if you want 'em.

She kept them all this time?

I don't know if I's supposed to give 'em to you.

She kept 'em so long.

A man's boots is a man's boots, but she might not like me givin' 'em to you.

I never know what she thinkin'.

Sometime her mood turn, she let me hear about it.

She used to let me hear about it.

Sometimes I think the whole county could hear about it once she got goin'.

Hell, you probably know all about that too.

Lord knows I sure do.

She's somethin' else.

Hell, you should probably stay and talk a while.

You probably got all kinds of stories to tell.

Well, I'll tell her you come by.


We can wait.

She might be back this evening.


We should push on. We could reach my brother by tomorrow afternoon.




Tell me.

Tell me. All right.

I went up north like I said. You was supposed to come back for me.

Why didn't you come back?

You could have told me something.

So you responsible for that boy now?

You ain't worth a damn.

Comin' back here now.

Come here, boy.

Look at you... all filthy.


I wouldn't expect no more from him, but somebody gotta take care of you.

We been traveling... Don't. Don't talk at me.

I'm all right. You all right?

He ain't got nobody?

If he ain't got nobody, just leave him here till they figure somethin'.

I... I got people.

You got people.



You sure you ain't his son?

'Cause you just as much trouble.

We should get on now.

Don't make me no difference.

What's wrong?

We need to eat.

There's stores at the crossroads.

Some sell to Negroes.

I can't be seen up there.

This is just enough to get us hardtack and venison for tonight.

I'll be here.

Be careful.

This too?

This ain't enough.

You got whiskey?

What's all this?

So you ain't too cold.

You spent your pa's double eagle?

I'll give this to my brother. It could be a comfort to him.

Drink some now.

We made it, didn't we?

I don't know about seeing my brother after all this time.

I don't know.

Things ain't always happen the way they supposed to with him.

Or with me.

I ain't really lived like I should.

I've wasted time.

And it ain't always been my fault.

But I'm gonna do what I need to, and things gonna be better.

I'm gonna be better.

What you think about that?

You want to hold it?

You can keep it till mornin'.

You know, I got a little saved up.

After I take care of my brother, we can go back north and look for your father.

If you want.

Hell, even if we don't find him, you can travel with me long as you want.

We can go out west.

Things supposed to be different out there.

Maybe I could do for you what no one done for me.

Ain't no point goin' it alone, really.

What you think about that?


Well... you think about it.

I was just thinking about you.

Y'all get held up?

Marcus ain't make it.

Yeah, I heard.

When we ride up, he best be waitin' for me.

But I know he will...

'cause you're coming with us.

He's here.

I couldn't get his knife.

Give me an hour.

I'll get it.

We should get movin' soon.

Come on, now.

Ain't no wind today.

Should be warmer.

Boy, what's wrong with you?


Speak up.

Speak up.

I want to get to my brother before dark.

Your brother's dead.

We was supposed to bring you for bounty hunters.

They were gonna kill you for the money.

They said they'd kill us if we didn't bring you.

You got to go far from here.

You ain't deserve none of this.

They're comin'!

They're here! We got to run or fight. We gotta go.


Come on out now.

Let us do what we come for.

Or else we can do you too.

Nothin' gonna happen to you.

You gonna be all right. Other side!

Go round back. Go on now!

Give me your other knife.


This ain't your fault, son.

You ain't like them.

You risked your own skin by tellin' me.

I'm proud of you.

Leave that there so they see it. You go north now.

Take Rachel to them people in the swamp till this war's over.

Then you go find your pa.

I'll catch up with you. Will!

If I don't,

you give half that to Rachel.


No! No!


You done good.

You done good.

You're free to go.

Don't follow us if you want to live.