The War Wagon (1967) Script

Sheriff. Taw Jackson's back in town.

Are you sure?

He's ridin' down the street right now, big as life.

Goin' huntin'?

Don't do anything real fast, now, Taw.

You fellas seem real jumpy.

– How'd you get out? – Parole.

What, after only three years?

Good behavior.

This paper says I have to report in to the local law officer wherever I am.

Well, check-in day is every Monday.

Figurin' on stickin' around, are you?

For a while.

Your old spread belongs to Mr. Pierce, now.

I heard that.

Well, it's his legally, and he doesn't allow trespassin', so you stay off from it.

Oh, I'll sure do that.

Maybe prison took some of the starch out of you.


– Where's Lomax? – In Randado.

At the Oriental Palace.

Billy Hyatt's in Chubisco.


He's down by Mesquite with Calita's gang.

What about the shipment?

The big one's four days from now.

Doesn't give us much time.


Put back the salt!


The salt! Pierce catches you stealin' now, you won't be worth a damn to me!

– Mr. Pierce. – Did it get here yet?

No, not yet, but it'll be in time for the trip after next.

That's when we want her.

All right, let's clean her up.

And check the rim on that left front wheel.

Yes, sir.


Mr. Pierce?

Taw Jackson's in town.

– What? – He's out on parole.

– Where is he? – I don't know.

I haven't seen him since this mornin'.

You mean you let him go?

Don't you know he could take a shot at Mr. Pierce?

Get Hammond and Brown.

Think he'll try somethin'?

Wouldn't you?

Mr. Pierce.

Get fresh horses. I want you in Randado before sunup.

Yes, sir.

Find Lomax.

I want him to kill Taw Jackson.

I'll pay him anything he wants.

You'd pay him anything, sir?

I'll go for $10,000.

Hell, Mr. Pierce, we'd be willin' to do it for a lot less than $10,000.

If you could.

Lomax is the one man that can, so get movin'.

Yes, sir.

Boss, you know the way they feel about each other.

Lomax would probably ride all the way over here and kill him for nothin'.

Unless there's money in it, Lomax ain't gonna do nothin' for nothin'.

And I want Taw Jackson dead.

What'll you have?


Understand, un, Lomax is around.


I wanna see him.

Yeah? And who are you?

Taw Jackson.

Enjoy your drink. It'll be your last.

Well, that'd be a shame.

Kind of hoped that my last drink'd be a big one.

Bottle's in front of you. Pour all you want.

Gonna shoot me in the back?

You deserve it.

You caused me a lot of embarrassment.


You're the only man I ever shot and didn't kill.

Well, if it makes you feel any better, that slug you put in me kept me in the hospital for six months.


What made you think I wouldn't kill you?


Well, you're still alive.

Now what's to keep you that way?


How much?

Your share'll be over $100,000.

That's what I've always said the world needs.

More simple understanding to bring people together.

Lhotse! Khaloo!

We can talk upstairs.

What I have to say is private.

Can't get more private.

Neither one of them speaks a word of English.

Come on.

Come on in.

Well, I hope this meeting is a lot friendlier than the one three years ago.

Couldn't be much unfriendlier.

Did you know why Pierce wanted you to kill me?

Sure. So he could legally steal your land once he found there was gold on it.

You were a hard-working rancher defending your property, yet it's you who gets shot, framed and sent to jail.

I always thought that was kind of amusing.

It's nice to find a fella with a keen sense of humor.

Old Pierce found a lot of gold on your land.

That ore assays out at $643 a ton, normally.

But they've hit the mother lode, which'll be 1,200% richer 'till the load runs out.

For a man who's been out a short while, you know a lot about Mr. Pierce's business.

He's important to me.

You thinkin' about his gold?

– My gold. – Forget it.

At town or at the mine, you can't get within a mile of it.

– Have some grub. – No thanks.

How 'bout out of town?

I guess you don't know 'bout his new toy.

A little iron-plated thing he calls "the war wagon."

Takes an average shipment of 50,000 in gold from Emmett to the railhead in El Paso, 43 and a half miles away.

There are a few guards.

Thirty-three of 'em.

Twenty eight outriders and five in the coach.

Each man is armed with a Henry repeating rifle, two Colts, and 200 rounds of ammunition.

What's this all got to do with me?

We're gonna take that wagon.

We are?

You taken a look lately at the cemetery at Emmett?

There's a big bunch of cheap wooden crosses in one corner, all kind of crowded in together.

That's the tribute to the last fools who tried to stop the war wagon.

You like facts?

$1. 15 for the casket, 12 cents for the crosses.

Pierce foots the bill.

$1. 27 seems a poor price to pay for a man's life.

Especially mine.

In four days, Pierce is gonna make the biggest gold shipment ever made out of the territory.

A half a million dollars.

Haifa million?

How we gonna take it, with the Prussian Army?

With three other fellas. Five of us.


I'm kind of glad I didn't kill you tonight. You're funny as hell.

Wanna hear how?

How we end up in jail, hanged or on the run?

– Not if we do it my way. – No chance.

$100,000, Lomax. That's your share. You ready to listen?

– Why me? – You're good with guns.

Besides, you're the only safecracker I know.

How'd you ever find that out?

– An old friend of yours in prison. – Mmm.

For the last time, are you gonna listen?

All right, let's hear it.

Stony Flats.

The war wagon.


– One condition. – What's that?

My time, from now till the robbery, costs you $100 a day.

If I fire my gun, $500.

Haven't got that kind of money.

I'll take a marker against your share of the gold.

It's a deal.

You always wear a gun over your underwear?

Just lately.

– Good morning, Mr. Lomax. – Hello, Smitty.

You want I should saddle your horse for you?


Yours is in the third stall, on the left.

There he is.

– Lomax. – Mornin', Lomax.

What do you want?

Well, Mr. Pierce would like to talk with you.

What for?

It's about Taw Jackson.


What about Taw Jackson?

Well, Mr. Pierce said that he'll go all the way up to $10,000.

– Hey, Taw, you hear that? – I heard.

You're worth a lot of money dead.

Taw, this wasn't our idea at all.

We're just deliverin' a message for Mr. Pierce, that's all.


What's your answer?

Tell him I'm interested in his offer, and I'll be thinkin' about it.

Yes, sir. We sure will. Come on.

The boss ain't gonna like that answer.

I know it.

Why don't we do it?

That would make Mr. Pierce very grateful to us.

Ain't no better time. Now!

Mine hit the ground first.

Mine was taller.

Yes, sir, a good way to start our partnership.

– How's that? – A $500 day.

I didn't ask for your help back there.

Well, I can't afford to let you get killed.

Unless I do it.

Hey, why are we headed south?

To pick up Levi Walking Bear.

– Levi who? – Walking Bear.

He's running with Calita's gang, down on the border.

Pretty rough outfit.

Yeah, well, we need him.

He's worth $100,000 to you.


Welcome, – Tequila? – Sure.

Thank you.

You're a pretty little girl.

Little girl?

Well, you're not a little boy.

– We don't know. – Are you sure?

Well, then, how 'bout a drink?

Where did you get that?

I sleep on this ring.

Yes, every night, like this.




For the tequila.

Do you not want anything else?



– Let's go. – Go where?

Calita's. Third canyon south, two miles up.

You have to appeal to their intellect.

Let me guess which one's your friend.

– Well… – Yeah.

Come on, boy.


– Who in the hell are you? – Shut up.

– Don't drop your arm. – What?

Where you goin'?

Another target.

Get out of here!

Looks like we made it.

Yeah. Thanks, Taw.

You might say I owe you fellas my life.

Yeah, you might.

Lomax, Levi Walking Bear.

So you're Lomax.

Say, what was that all about back there?

We were playin' poker.

– So? – I was cheatin'.

Hey, you got a bargain, big man.

How's that?

Two $500 days for the price of one.


Hey, why'd you stick your necks out for me?

We got a job for ya.

Lomax, I want you to swing over to Chubisco.


Pick up a kid named Billy Hyatt and bring him out to the old mission.

Sure hate being away from you.

Well, I'm afraid that's how it's gonna have to be.

Don't let anything happen to you.

Not likely.

Beautiful thing to see.



Have you seen a fella around here named Billy Hyatt?




Billy Hyatt?

Huh? What are ya doin'?

You Billy Hyatt?


Stand up.

I can't even sit up.

Come on, now, I said stand up!

I'm doin' my best!

– Got a horse? – Huh?

– Have you got a horse? – No!

Come on.

I ain't goin' no place. Let me alone…

Let me off, mister.

Not yet, sonny.

My head's splittin'.

You stink.

Tell me, kid, what are you good for?

– Good for? – You heard me.

Nothin'. I'm good for nothin'.

I believe it. Taw must be Taw Jackson? Is he out?

Yeah. We're on our way to join him.

Doggone! Me and him spent two years in prison together.


Well, that means that Taw must be ready to… Yes?

A thing we talked about.

Listen, mister. This has gone far enough. Let me down.

I will, sonny. I will.

What'd ya do that for?

You sharin' my horse, I want you sober.

And cleaner.

You can walk yourself dry.

What's that?

The war wagon.

So that's it.

– Mister? – Huh?

You in with Taw?

More or less.

Then I reckon I could tell you what I'm good for.



Hammond and Brown get back?

– No, sir. – What about Lomax?

Lomax? Not again!

Hello, Jackson.

It's Monday morning, and I'm reporting in.

That's no concern of mine.

Why don't you tell the deputy here or the sheriff?

Same thing. You own 'em.

All right, Taw, you're duly reported in.

I understand you're stayin' out at my ranch.

What used to be your ranch.

Why not? It's the nicest place around.

I ought to know. I built it.

And you did a real fine job.

I'll be out there one day this week.

You thinking of tryin' to get it back?

Think about it all the time.

You wouldn't stand a chance.

Tell you what I'll do for you, though.

I'll see that you get buried on that land.

Well, between then and now, I'm comin' out to pick up my personal possessions.

Are they still there?

How would I know?

They all disappeared, somehow.

There ain't nothin' left out there that belongs to you.

This man's wearin' my gun.

You're mixed up about that.

My pa give me this when I was a kid.

If you want it back, Taw, why don't you just take it away from him?

It's mine.

What's goin' on?

Just collectin' somethin' that belongs to me.

– Who started it? – Well, Sheriff, I guess you could say I did.

The shells in here belong to him.

You tell him he can come and get 'em anytime.

Throw some water on 'em.


I heard.

Hey, Taw.

Hello, Billy.

How ya keepin'?

You look worse than you did when you were in jail.

Oh, it's nothin' a drink wouldn't fix. You got anything?

– He's a drunk. – He drinks.

The way he's been shakin', I wouldn't trust him with a firecracker.

Is that true, Billy?

I reckon some folks look at it that way.

But I'm all right, Taw. I can handle my end.

There's a lot at stake here, Billy.

I can handle it. Good enough.

I don't trust drunks.

Neither do I.

But Billy stays here, and there's nothing around this place stronger than that cowboy coffee you're drinkin'.

You're sure he knows explosives, huh?

He handles 'em like you do a gun.

I hope you know what you're doing.

That'll be Wes.

Come on, come on.

Sit down!

– Wes? – What's she doing here?

She goes every place I go.

Lomax, this is Fletcher.

He's gonna haul the gold away.

– Why him? – I work for Pierce.

Ain't nobody figurin' on findin' half a million dollars worth of gold in Pierce's own flour barrel.

Half a million? When do we split it up?

Wouldn't be too smart to flash gold around right after a robbery.

I think we should wait about six months.

Six months?

Let's don't spend it before we get it.

Keep your eyes off of my wife!

Your wife?

I thought she was your daughter. Well, she ain't!

– Billy. – You keep away from her!

Great! A drunk kid and a crazy old man. How the hell… Cut it out, all of you!

I didn't bring you here to be the best of friends.

We got a lot of things to do, and three days to do it in.

Come on over here.

This map shows the run from Emmett to El Paso.

First thing in the morning, Billy, I want you to ride it and check these two places.

Find out how much dynamite you're gonna need.

The wagon takes five and a half minutes to cross Stony Flats.

That's where we'll hit it first.

Well, see you later, partner.

– Where you goin'? – To town.

I got another business associate there, remember?

I remember.

We wouldn't want him to be impatient, now would we?

Maybe hire somebody else, huh?

Take good care of him.


We walk from here.

Dumb Indians.

Looks like they're gettin' ready to move out.

They are.

Squaws, old men, children.

Pierce has starved them out.

He'll have all the land now.

What about Wild Horse?

He and the warriors are staying.

But Pierce'll hunt them down, too. Dumb Indians.

– And you're smart? – Sure.

'Cause I've learned to live in the white man's world, do what they do.

Grab all you can anytime you can.

Wait here.


Chief Wild Horse, Jackson.

He says your enemy is his enemy.

– Good. – No.

He says he will lose too many braves.

Ask him, does he ride with warriors or women?

He will do it.

But he wants more of everything.

He does or you do? Bargain with him.

He wants 600 bullets.

Twenty rifles.

A dozen blankets.

And 30 pounds of salt.

Tell him he drives a hard bargain, but we'll agree.

It is done.

And he wants me to stay for dinner, but you're not welcome.

Having a white man in his camp offends him.

– Well, you can tell him… – What?


Three sixes.

Beats me.

Hello, Lola.

It's been a long time, Lomax.

– May I, gentlemen? – Sure.

Looks like you're still a winner, huh?

Oh, I lose every once in a while.

How's your laundry service?


Oh, they can't even speak English.

A pity.

Any limit?

If there was, you wouldn't play.


I'm out.


Hello, Mr. Pierce.

Too rich for me.

Two cards.

– You get my message? – Yeah.

Took you long enough to get here.

I had things to do.

Those two men I sent for you, what happened to them?

Last time I saw them, they were on the main street of Randado.

Three ladies.

You win, precious.

Let's go someplace private.

I like it here.

– Hey, bartender. – Yeah?

How much you get for whiskey around here?

Two bits.

That's two cents.

You gonna give me an answer or not?

I'm thinkin' about it.

– How much is that? – Twenty-seven cents.

Set it right there.

– And keep the change. – Thanks.

I'll go $12,000.


I changed my mind about the tip.

Give me another two cents' worth.

Why don't you go out and walk it off?

Listen, I figure on bein' an important person someday.

You ought to think about treatin' me right.

Oh, I will. I will, yeah.

Well, what do you say?

I'm still thinking about it.

Come on, bartender.

Not for two cents, no.

But I done told ya, me and my friends, we're gonna be rich.

Oh, sure, well, you come back then, will you?

Hello there, cowboy.


You havin' a little trouble gettin' a drink?

I'm gonna buy this place. Hey…

What's goin' on down there?

Sheriff, this drunk insulted the lady.

Lock him up 'till he sleeps it off.

What'd he do?

You didn't notice?


You been working saloons too long.

What'd you do that for?

I hate bad manners.

My deal?

Look, I'm gettin' tired of this runaround.

Just give me a yes or no on the $12,000.


– And I want it done quick. – Don't push me.

– Look… – I'll do it when I'm ready!

What's your pleasure?


Who's there? It's me.

We may be in some trouble.

– Billy's missing and… – He's in jail.

– In jail? – Drunk.

– Why, that miserable… – You know how close he came to namin' off all his soon-to-be rich friends in front of the whole town?

– No. – That close.

Well, I'll guarantee ya, he'll never take another drop.

You guarantee that when he gets his shaky hands on some dynamite he won't blow us all sky-high?

As far as his work goes, he knows what he's doin'.

I don't care what he knows.

I've stayed alive this long by what I know, and that's not to rely on anybody.

I always go it alone.



Is anything wrong?

No, baby.

You just straighten out that kid.

You know, Pierce upped the ante on you.

You're worth $12,000 to me, dead.

And $100,000 alive.

One's a gamble, the other's a sure thing.

Lomax, nothin's a sure thing.


Well, I didn't feel much like shooting you this morning, anyway, partner.

Neither did I, precious.


I haven't got time to tell you what's on my mind.

Get out to Wes' place and wait for me.

Supposed to meet Taw here.

How's your hand?

I said, how's your hand?


Wes is due back anytime.

You'd best wait in the house.

Don't he let you talk to anybody?

To nobody.

Reckon you can talk to me, then. I'm nobody.

How old are you?

Eighteen, I think.

Me too. Far as I know.

Say, un… How come you're married to Wes?

I ain't, really. He bartered me.

Bartered ya?

My folks traded me for $20 and a horse. They's poor.

Me, I'd call that a lot worse than poor.

Ain't much never mind.

'Bout the same here as it was with them.

Get your work done, keep your mouth shut.

Twenty dollars and a horse.

Seems to me you'd be worth

a little more than that.

Hey, how come you're in on the stealin'?

For the money.

I'm gonna have me $100,000.

That'll make me a very important person.


'Cause it will.

Get up in there!


What are you doin' here?

Taw told me to meet him here.

Did he tell you to hang around my wife?

Well, what do you expect me to do, wait up on top of a mountain someplace?

– Don't sass me, boy. – He ain't done nothin'. He just… Will you get back to work? Go on… Leave her alone.

Come on, boy. Fletcher!

Put it away.

Come here, Billy.

Billy, from now on, you're not gonna say a word, you're not gonna make a move unless I tell you.

You get that?

Did you go over the route?


What are you gonna need?

First I gotta know, uh, how long's the war wagon?

From lead horse to back end?

Forty seven and a half feet.

Then I'll need about 500 feet of two-ounce hemp twine, four bottles of gin… – Gin?

You said timin's the most important thing, didn't you?

That's right.

So I ain't figurin' on dynamite.

Fuses don't burn that dependable.

– What are you figurin' on? – Nitroglycerin.


– Wes? – Yeah.

He's figurin' on usin' nitroglycerin. You know where there is any?

Yeah. Pierce has got some. He uses it at the mine.

Where does he keep it?

In the tack room at your ranch, in a safe.

– A safe? – Yeah.

– You know the combination? – Nope.

Let me show you somethin'.

Did you ever see a shell like this before?


Well, I took in 10,000 rounds to Pierce last week.


A Gatling gun.


Mr. Pierce.

I just seen Taw Jackson goin' into the Lucky Deuce, and Lomax is in there.

Well, get the sheriff.

I want this whole thing to be legal.

Bartender, set him up on me.

I buy my own.

Are you refusing my hospitality?

I'm ignoring it.

Well, I take that as an insult.

Well, now, you take it any way you want.


I said whiskey!

We don't serve Indians.

I serve myself.

– Have one with me. – Sure.

No thanks.

You too good to drink with Indian?

That's right.



Oh, no!

You might say I saved your life.

What did you do that for?

Get the horses!

Pierce, I'm the one you hired to kill Taw Jackson.

You trying to go back on our deal?

Why didn't you shoot him when you had the chance?

What chance? He never went for his gun.

What are you gonna do?

I'm goin' after him.


What kind of a stupid stunt was that, walkin' into the saloon that way?

We need you tonight.

I wasn't supposed to join you 'till morning.

Well, the plans have changed.

The kid wants to use nitro.


Which is in a safe that you'll have to open.

Forget it.

I'm not gonna be anywhere near that drunk kid and nitro.

Lomax, that cuts it.

Nobody takes a half a million sittin' on their backside.

Either quit acting like a prima donna, or we'll call the whole thing off.

All right. It'll cost you $2,000 more of your share.

– Not mine, it won't. – Then let's forget it.

You can have $2,000 of mine.

You're a good Indian.

All right, Levi.

Go pick up Wild Horse. We'll get the kid.

Hey, Taw?

For a minute back there at the saloon, I thought you were ready to draw on me.

For a minute back there, I was.

It'll be that shack off to the left.

What a place!


Well, might as well relax 'till dark.


Whoa, boy. Whoa, boy. Hold it, son.

Good boy. Move.


You got five minutes.

Get going.

– Is that you, Frenchy? – Yeah.

What's up?

You want a cup of coffee.

I want a cup of coffee!

Yeah, me too.

Just leave it right there.

You sure you know what you're doin'?

That's far enough. You two, get over in the corner.

Now, Shack, get rid of that gun nice and easy.

What are you doin' here?

Just visitin'.

And I've gotta give you credit.

For what?

For your good taste.

You haven't changed a thing.

What do you want?

My belongings.

Everything in here belongs to me.

How 'bout my clothes?

I burned them.

Even those in the attic, in the trunk?

There's nothin' up there but an old pair of… Why don't you go get 'em?

We'll wait here.

Do what the man says.

Just exactly.

Yes, sir.

Might take a little time. Why don't you make yourself comfortable?

I'm comfortable.




Does it always smoke like that?


Does it always smoke like that?


These what you mean?

That's it.

You'd risk your neck for those old rags?

Whose neck?

Got two minutes.

Get going.

Thanks for your hospitality.

Glad you got what you came for.

So am I.

Oh, uh… Don't anybody get too anxious to go out this door.

Well, don't stand there. Go get him!

Yes, sir. Come on.


It's Taw Jackson! Get him!

Giddy up, there.

Where are they goin'?

Pierce has run 'em out, all except Wild Horse.

Come on and get 'em.

Bring her on out!

That's really somethin', Mr. Pierce.

She's practically a piece of heavy artillery.

All right, load her up, and let's get movin'.

Yes, sir.

Load her up!

Everything set with Wild Horse?

He's on his way.

It's that time.

– Come on. – Yeah.

Hold it steady.

I'm tryin'.

How hot's it get around here?

Oh, ninety, 95, sometimes more.

Well, maybe you better get me a canteen then, so as I can wet 'em down a little.


You need any more help?

I can rig the twine. I just want to wet 'em down once more.

I'll see you later.

I got it.

It's the next ravine, Wes!


We're running a little late.

It's that extra weight, Mr. Pierce.


How's it going?

I'll be ready.

What's that?

The Kiowa Tribe.

Pierce has got 'em beat. They're moving out.

Looks like Wild Horse's men are ready.

You think Pierce is gonna fall for that old dust routine?

Well, you better hope so.

You got $100,000 ridin' on it.

Mr. Pierce!


We're bein' followed.

Looks like the whole Kiowa Tribe, Mr. Pierce.

Have the riders drop back!

Everybody pull back!

Hold it!

Let's get back to the wagon!

– Well… – Yeah.

What's goin' on back there?

I don't know, Mr. Pierce, but it looks like the boys are comin' back.

Indians don't blow bridges!

Knock on it!

There's a crossing upriver.

Well, that's three miles away!

We've got no choice. Let's go!

Mr. Pierce, look!

Give me a hand here!

That ought to hold 'em!

We're goin' the wrong way, Mr. Pierce!

Here they come.

We're on the wrong road!

What the…

Let's get out of here!

You were hired to guard this gold.

Not me, I've had it!

He's right, Mr. Pierce.

You too?

I'm gonna dump it in this gulch!


Looks like you'll get your ranch back.

Get those barrel tops off.

That looks mighty pretty.

All right, give me a hand.

Taw, that's the last of it.


Well, get goin'. Take it easy.


He says to keep our hands away from our guns.

Dirty double-crossin'…

You leave that be!

– Hey, Lomax. – Hmm?

Know what you're always saying about me?

Yeah! If we're gonna die, let's all have one last drink.

– Is that… – Yep!


After you, Taw.


Don't mind if I do.

Get that wagon!

Indian expert.

They're picking it clean. Why didn't you stop 'em?

Well, just how do I go about that?

I'm afraid Taw's right, Lomax. They'll fight you.

Shut up, you Indian.

I know my people. To them, it's flour.

Flour? What about the gold?

As far as they know, it's just food.

Oh, great. Just great.

I'm out $100,000 on my share, $2,000 from Levi, and… Where are you goin'?

Back to my people.

Now what am I supposed to do?

Live with the Indians for the next year and open up a bakery?

And with Pierce dead, it don't even pay to kill you anymore!

Wait a minute.

You owe me $100 a day, plus $500 when I used my gun.

That's $1,200. I'm callin' in your marker.

Now? Now!

Well, I haven't got that kind of money.

The only thing I own is standin' right there.

– I'll take it. – My horse?

You're damn right!

You'd leave me out here, 30 miles from nowhere, without a horse?


That's your problem, partner!

What happened?

Well, we lost part of it. Toss me those saddlebags.

We'll still meet in six months and divide it.

In the meantime, you'll have to have somethin' to live on.

Be careful where you spend it.

We will.

Thanks, Taw.

Oh, Billy!

When you catch up with Lomax, tell him where you got it.

He's gonna be mad.


How much is there, and what'd you do with it?

– $100,000. I hid it. – Where?

I'll let you know in about six months.

Six months?

I want it now!

Well, it wouldn't be very smart to start flashing gold dust around right after a robbery, would it?

What am I supposed to do in the meantime, huh?

Well, for one thing, you better make damn sure I stay alive.

That's a 24-hour-a-day job.

That's your problem, partner.