Friendly Persuasion (1956) Movie Script

This is Samantha...
... my mother's pet goose.
Mama loves her...
... just like one of the family.
But I hate that bird.
And she hates me.
She's mean and sneaky.
And full of tricks.
It seems every First Day morning...
... when we're ready to go to Meeting...
... and I got on
my best Sunday clothes...
Thee old hisser!
I'll blow thee up with a cannon!
Some day I'll drown thee,
thee old squawker!
Little Jess!
What is thee saying, child?
Samantha tried to bite my legs off.
Next time, I'll throw her down the well.
Here, Samantha.
See, Little Jess?
Speak to her kindly.
She'll not bite thee.
She's a pure pet, Samantha is.
She's a snake on stilts!
I'll put her on the chopping block
and chop her head off.
Hush, hush!
Let's have no more talk of killing.
Run upstairs now and fetch thy brother
and sister. We'll be late for Meeting.
Blackberry pie?
Yes, blackberry pie.
No need to stick thy finger in it
to find out. No dilly-dallying!
Go fetch Mattie and Josh.
This afternoon?
All right!
What's thee talking to thyself for?
I'm not talking to myself.
Who's thee talking to then?
I don't see nobody.
Thee knows what happens
to eavesdroppers?
Their ears get long as a hound dog's!
Mama says to hurry.
I am, but I have to finish
my toilet-tee.
What's a toilet-tee?
Thee wouldn't know about it
because thee doesn't wash.
Please leave my boudoir.
"Please leave my boudoir."
Does thee...
Does thee think I'm pretty?
Thee's not ugly.
I guess thee's pretty...
...for a girl.
Well, thank thee!
Thee's welcome.
Powie! I got Jeff Davis!
Powie! I got old Stonewall Jackson!
Powie! I got old Little Jess Birdwell!
Meet the real Stonewall Jackson...
...and thee won't feel so feisty.
Get up.
What would thee do
if thee met Old Stonewall?
Mama said not to talk about the war.
Mama said for thee to hurry up.
She's the preacher.
Meeting can't start till she's there.
And anyway, Caleb Cope and me
are riding our horses to Meeting.
Thee old long arms!
Look! Pa's warming up Red Rover.
How a horse can look so fast
and move so slow beats me.
Thee can hitch him up, Enoch.
You got him nice and warm this morning.
Whoa, Mildred!
Hello there.
Guess I'm lost.
Must have got on the wrong road.
My! Quite a looker, that horse.
He's a looker, all right.
Maybe you can help me. I'm trying
to find that Methodist church.
Thy first turn's at the crossroads.
Bear right for three miles.
Is thee preaching there this morning?
- Who's preaching there?
- Thee?
- Who?
- Thee.
That's a dandy!
Son, I'm not a man of the cloth.
I sell organs.
Now, what in thunderation is all this
thee-ing and thou-ing about?
Bible talk to honor the Sabbath?
No, we talk that way weekdays too.
Excuse me, but it sounds mighty queer.
Who's "we"?
Quakers! Have you folks
got a church around here?
Yes, we call it a Meeting House.
It's just beyond the Methodist Church.
Hast thou an organ in thine
Meeting House, friend?
We don't hold with music playing.
What, no organ?
Dear me! Why, a church
without an organ... like a tree without a bird.
Wait till I talk
to that minister of yours.
He'll never be content
until he buys an organ.
I wish thee luck with the preacher.
That's three miles over, take
the main road, turn right. I got it.
Thank you.
Get up!
Now look, Mildred...
...there is a horse!
- I'm going by Caleb's, Pa.
- All right, son.
Red Rover, that man
paid thee a compliment.
If he only knew.
Listen, Red, just don't slow down...
...when thee hears Sam Jordan
coming behind us...
...and, by sugar, we'll stay
out in front today.
- Thee say something, Jess?
- I was just soothing Red Rover.
If thee talked as much to the Almighty
as thee does to that horse...
...thee might stand more squarely
in the light.
Sounds like thy sermon's
already begun, Eliza.
Why, Jess!
I thought thee liked my preaching.
Now, Eliza, thee has the prettiest
pulpit voice I ever heard.
And thee says the truest words.
Especially during Silent Meeting?
And this morning,
thee looks like a girl.
Where's Little Jess? Mattie!
I'm coming, Mama.
Made the stockade in the nick of time.
- Goodbye, folks.
- Goodbye, Enoch.
Good luck, Mr. Birdwell.
Why does Enoch wish thee good luck
every First Day morning?
I guess it's because he...
He wishes me luck!
Hey, Papa, look!
It's thy friend, Sam Jordon, Jess.
No need to look. I can feel him.
Gard's with him!
Mattie, Little Jess, stop craning
thy necks at the Jordans.
It isn't seemly.
Yes, Mama.
Sure are a-coming.
Thee's not urging thy horse?
Not urging. Just encouraging a mite.
Come on, Red Rover!
Sit down!
Come on, Prince!
Come on, lazybones!
Come on, Prince! Good boy!
What's gotten into thee?
Morning, Mattie.
Morning, Eliza.
Good morning, Jess.
- Come on, Papa!
- Come on, Prince!
Come back, come back!
Little Jess, let go!
Come on, Prince!
Gard winked at Mattie.
He did not!
I saw him.
Gard wouldn't do such a vulgar thing!
I hope nobody saw us.
Me too.
I want to come to Meeting with nothing
in my heart but peace and love.
Thee gives me a pain.
One eternal day
There, God the Son
Forever reigns
And scatters night away
Filled with delight
My raptured soul
Would here no longer stay
Though Jordan's waves around me roll
Fearless I'd launch away
Last week...
...I had my 80th birthday.
And I'd like to bear witness
to Proverbs.
First chapter...
...33rd verse.
"Who so harkeneth unto Me...
...shall dwell safely...
...and shall be quiet
from fear of evil."
Amen, Emma. Amen.
I ask the prayers of everyone here
to help me be less worldly...
...less concerned about my appearance... mind my tongue...
...and especially have the strength
not to wear earrings.
I've never spoken in Meeting before...
...but I feel so happy this morning
I'd like to share my happiness...
...with everyone in the whole world.
And to thank our Heavenly Father.
God is love!
- Is this it?
- Yes, sir.
Won't thee come in, friend?
Thank you.
You're the minister of this meeting?
I am. One of them.
My name is Major Harvey.
- Won't thee sit down, friend?
- Thank you, no.
I've had the duty placed upon me of
speaking to you Quakers about the war.
It is a matter much on our minds...
...and in our prayers.
But your men don't fight in it.
Some have.
But you do not encourage them.
We do not encourage them.
Ma'am, the Union has endured
two years of bloody civil war.
Thousands have given their lives in
battle to free our country from slavery.
We are opposed to slavery.
But we do not believe it right
to kill one man to free another.
Ma'am, it's not going to be a question
of fighting for freedom or a principle...
...but of protecting our own towns,
our own homes, from attack.
Would you men stand by while others
die to protect you?
You look like a boy who could give a
good account of himself.
I've been tempted to fight.
I guess the Good Lord knows why.
I mean, sometimes I get the
sinful wish to get into a scrap.
So I got to watch myself
closer than most people.
So I'll just stay away from the war.
Because if I ever got into it,
I'd be a goner.
And you, son?
Are you ready to put up with looting
and killing without lifting a finger?
Are you afraid to fight?
I don't know.
Here, at last, is an honest answer.
I don't wish to offend...
...but how many of you are hiding
behind your church to save your skins?
Is it right to let others fight for you?
To protect your lives and your property?
Why don't you speak up?
I'll speak up.
Nothing could ever induce me
to bear arms against my fellow man.
Burn my house!
Destroy my crops! Attack my family!
And I declare to all...
...especially to thee, Josh Birdwell,
wavering in thy convictions...
...nothing can move me to violence!
It seems Friend Purdy has already
been moved to considerable violence.
I misdoubt any of us here
could say with surety...
...what we would do in case of attack.
I have my doubts as to the strength
of thy convictions too.
I have my own doubts.
I've often asked myself...
...what I would do if I saw
my family endangered... wife and children threatened.
If the test comes, all I can say is...
...I hope and pray I can be an
instrument of the Lord.
That test is coming.
It may well be so, friend.
Let us pray that the will of God
be revealed to us...
...and we be given the strength
and grace to follow His will.
...let Thy children partake of Thy love
and the love of all men...
...rendering not evil for evil,
nor violence for violence done.
Let swords be changed into
...and spears into pruning hooks...
...and children of peace
learn war no more...
Eliza, what does thee like about
that shifty-eyed bird?
Why, Jess!
She marches along so lordly-like.
Marched real lordly through two pecks
of young strawberries this morning.
- Hello, Gard.
- Hello, Josh.
- You home on leave?
- Got a week's furlough.
Hello, Little Jess, Mrs. Birdwell.
Hello, Mr. Birdwell.
I came over to apologize about
that little brush last Sunday.
It wasn't my idea.
We know that.
Jess is going to get a nice slow horse
that doesn't have any racing ideas.
Did thee shoot any rebs?
What are they like?
They're just people like us.
But did thee shoot any?
Let's have no more talk of war...
...and killing.
I'm sorry, ma'am.
- Come in and set.
- Thank you.
You folks going to the fair?
I used to like the fair...
...but it's come to be
no place for us.
They've got some fine exhibits.
Needlework, livestock, poultry.
And geese.
Eliza, it might be just the place
to pick us up a nice slow horse.
Thee go, Jess. The fair's come to have
so many sideshows, freaks, dancing...
What does thee know about dancing?
She knows a thing or two.
Did Mama ever dance?
That was 20 years ago.
Twenty years exactly, come October.
I was courting her.
But did Mama dance?
No, child.
She was tempted to lift a foot,
but she married me instead.
Did thee propose then and there?
Dinner's ready.
Stay and eat with us?
Thank you, ma'am.
I'd be pleased to.
What about the fair?
- Come on, Josh, Jess.
- Can we go, Papa?
There's no point in putting temptation
in the children's paths.
We'd resist it.
We'd resist it as well as thee did.
Why can't we go?
She'll never let us go.
Mama's so straight-laced!
Maybe I can loosen up a few laces.
Isn't it ghastly, ladies and gentlemen?
Isn't it horrible?
This shining blade,
with the razor-edged blade...
...will pass through his mouth,
through his throat...
...into his very vitals!
And here we have Flame-o...
...the Human Volcano!
Do not deprive your children
of this educational act.
Let's get away from here.
- I promised Caleb I'd meet him.
- Mattie, look at the quilting with me.
Thee wants to see quilts, Josh wants to
meet Caleb, and I want to see livestock.
Let's meet...
...over here by the harvesting machine
in one hour.
Thee stay with me.
Oh, Josh.
There's a rock exhibit I think
thee and Caleb might find edifying.
- Rocks?
- Come along.
I'm hungry. I want some candy.
Thee's had thy breakfast. Come along.
I'm thirsty.
You shoot that squirrel down
three times, you get a beautiful prize.
It's a hit!
How's that?
Got him.
Howdy, Mr. Birdwell.
Say, you're an old squirrel-shooter.
I'll treat you.
Give that man a rifle.
Another marksman here.
That squirrel sits so still
he makes me nervous.
Never mind the comments, just hit...
He did hit the squirrel!
Where's Mattie?
They're over by the quilting booth.
See you later.
Thanks, Gard.
Folks, the man's about to shoot...
He hit it again!
Thee wait right here.
You won yourself one of these
beautiful prizes here.
One of these beautiful pri...
One of these beautiful prizes.
Them prizes was made and manufactured... Pierre of Paris, France.
You heard of him?
I ain't either. The man's having a
hard time to make up his mind here.
For Eliza?
- No, thanks.
- Wait!
You won it fair and square.
I insist you take them, friend.
There! Pair of garters
for your wife to wear!
Or your sweetheart!
Just as soon as you get out of mourning.
Come on.
I want to show you something.
How about a demonstration?
I'd just be delighted.
Delighted. Step right in, gentlemen.
Nothing would please me more.
Low bridge.
Well, Mr. Birdwell, come right in.
Gentlemen, welcome to my organatorium.
Just make yourself at home.
A temple of temptations,
full of instruments of the devil.
Gentlemen, I'd like you to take
a look at this magnificent instrument.
Now, isn't that a beauty?
Just as smooth as silk,
and as fine as frog's hair.
I'll pay two to one if you guess
the shell which contains the pea.
Take your chin off the board.
You'll tip it.
As you see, there's nothing here,
nothing here.
The pea's there,
and I put the shell over it.
Now, we move the shells.
Watch very closely.
Now where is the elusive little pea?
...will you go away?
Forty-eight reeds,
plus the tuba miraballis.
How many stops?
So you know organs!
It has eight stops
and this vox humana.
Cries like a baby, sighs like a woman.
I'm partial to music, but I'm a Quaker
and they're against music.
The Quaker!
Why, certainly I remember distinctly.
Thee, thy, thou...
Of course.
But I want you to know, sir,
I honor your prejudices...
Boys, let me tell you...
...there are two kinds of music just the
same as there are two kinds of women:
The uplifting kind and the...
Now, here.
You take the banjo. Now, there.
There is an instrument that stirs up
a man's worst passions.
Speech, ma'am!
Thank thee kindly.
Watch very closely. We go again.
Beware of the owl
Who's waiting to howl
Especially beware of the crow
Of the...
... crow
Oh, fellows!
By George! That was wonderful!
This is that rare silver process.
You see the fine workmanship of
Professor Grady. He is the foremost...
Now where is the little pea?
Thank you, madam. Thank you!
Everything's back to normal now.
Now, just a minute.
Place your fingers there. That's it.
Now pump.
Why, Friend Birdwell,
you've got a real touch.
A real, natural-born touch.
Ice-cold lemonade here!
Who'll have a cold drink?
Has thee forgotten thyself?
I'm to blame.
Mattie didn't want to dance.
I made her.
Let's look for thy father.
It's my last day of furlough.
I mean, I was hoping that Mattie
could stay with me for a while.
Gardiner, thy duties as a soldier
and Mattie's as a Quaker lie far apart.
God bless thee, Gard.
Come along.
That's a mighty fine fight.
A mighty fine fight!
Here's your coat.
All right, men. Now's your chance
to get the Billy Goat.
Who'd like to give me a silver dollar?
Is there one man...
Caleb Cope!
He can throw the Billy Goat!
- Which one is that?
- There.
You mean the Quaker man here?
Come on in here, Quaker man!
Thee shouldn't fight.
This ain't fighting.
This is just friendly wrestling.
Go get him, Quaker!
All right, gentlemen!
May the best man win.
Let's go!
- Did I hurt you?
- What's wrong with you?
You didn't hurt me. Let's go.
No, thanks.
Come on. Let's go.
What's the matter with you?
The Quaker boy quit!
- Why didn't you kiss him?
- Quitter!
Hold on. I want to talk to you.
Leave him alone.
It's against his principle to fight.
Losing a bet's against my principles.
I think you're in with the boss.
- No, sir.
- So why'd you stop?
- He's a Quaker.
- Shut up! Who wants to hear you?
- Let them alone! These boys believe...
- I know.
They believe in loving their neighbor.
I'm their neighbor.
Do you still love me?
I feel sorry for thee, friend.
Thee feels sorry for me?
Don't let him talk to you that way.
Milk sop!
If thee wants to hit
someone, friend, hit me.
It'll be a pleasure.
I'll take a whack at him.
You want to fight?
You aren't showing me nothing.
What's the matter, Quaker boy?
- What's the trouble, friend?
- Another friend!
Thee needs cooling off.
My hat!
- Let me up!
- Thee not thirsty, friend?
Is thee having an altercation?
Okay, let's break it up.
Come on.
Dancing! Gambling!
Wrestling! And...
- Sleeve-holders.
- Sleeve-holders?
I never saw sleeve-holders like that.
They're from...
...Pierre, in Paris.
Listen, thee dirty...
But Mama, he took my hat.
It'll be a pretty day. Be hot
the other side of the Ohio though.
I wish thee didn't have to
make this trip.
It's too close to the war to be safe.
Now, Eliza, I have to
see my customers...
...this time of the year.
Leave Josh at home then.
He's so young to be exposed to danger.
Thee can't keep him tied
to thy apron strings.
This trip will be good for him.
Horse is hitched, bags stowed away,
we're off! Let's go!
Is thee so anxious to leave home?
I want to see Ohio.
I'll miss thee.
Come on, Pa!
Take good care of Josh.
God bless and keep thee.
Jess, see if thee can't
get rid of that horse.
- Afternoon.
- Howdy!
Man of the house around?
Ain't no man in this house
since Pa died.
And Mrs. Hudsp...
Ma's here.
Couple of men to see you!
Ma's coming!
- Mrs. Hudspeth?
- That's me.
I'm Jess Birdwell. I have
first-class nursery stock for sale.
- What kind?
- Everything in orchard fruits.
If thee likes apple trees, there's
Maiden's Blush, Ramblos and Winesaps.
In the berry line, there's
raspberries, gooseberries and the like.
- This your boy?
- This is Joshua.
Meet my girls.
This is Opal, Ruby,
she's my baby, and Pearl.
Gems, every one of them!
Girls, meet Joshua.
Don't overdo it, girls.
Come in the house.
Let's talk business in comfort.
Sit down, son.
They won't bite you.
Menfolks are so scarce here, the girls
get carried away at the sight of one.
But I keep telling them, "Easy does it."
Ain't that right?
As a Quaker, I've always been
against violence, Mrs. Hudspeth.
A Quaker, huh?
I guessed as much
from the way you talk.
All that thee-ing and thy-ing.
If I put my mind to it, I can say
you or yours if it suits thee.
No, sir.
"Pleased to meet thee.
Are these thy daughters?"
Prettiest talk I ever heard.
Makes me feel kind of romantic.
Come sit down.
Let's talk business back here.
You been on the road long?
About ten days.
Heading home tomorrow.
See any rebel raiders?
Everything peaceful all the way.
I hope you're right.
What if them ruffians come thieving
with nobody on the farm...
...but four defenseless women?
I shudder to think of it.
Now, about that nursery stock...
First look at my south 40...
...and tell me what orchard stock
would be best there. Opal!
Go hitch up Lady.
We'll drive my mare.
Give your animal a rest.
We can bed you down for the night.
That's very kind.
- But...
- Oh, now, no buts!
Glad to have some men around
for a change.
Go lay out some clean bedding,
will you?
All right, Ma.
Get going.
Pearl, take care of Josh
while we're gone.
Now, you just set right back here.
I don't want to be a bother.
You ain't no bother.
Sure is a nice place thee has here.
Want a smoke?
I don't smoke.
Want a drink?
I don't drink either.
Thee have one.
Not unless you do.
Is this a Narragansett Pacer?
You know that breed?
Thee's a favored woman.
That mare ain't got
but one real fault.
She won't be passed.
- Won't be passed?
- No, sir!
What's the fault in that?
I've got three marriageable daughters.
A man ain't got any heart for courting
a girl he can't catch up with...
...let alone pass.
It shouldn't be hard to find
a horse willing to be passed.
Hello, Abigail!
That's old Whiskey Pete.
He ain't drawed a sober breath
in 30 years.
Fool's always trying to race somebody.
Old drunk!
Why don't thee let her out?
Don't fight her. Let her go!
I'm going to learn this consarned mare
she's got to be passed!
Put my hat on!
Pull it down!
Not that far!
What are you doing?
It's all right.
Easy, Lady. Easy.
Sorry, I kind of overreached myself,
grabbing the reins thataway.
Don't apologize.
For a man, it's suitable to beat
another man in a race on a public road.
Do you ever think about getting
thy girls a horse a mite more...
I've thought of it.
You've got a stylish animal.
Red Rover's a looker, all right.
Got racing notions?
Not that he can't pick up
his heels a bit.
But racing's a thing
he's got no stomach for.
You wouldn't consider a trade, I reckon.
I don't know.
A strong-minded animal like this
can be a plaguey nuisance.
A forceful man like yourself
could learn her better in no time.
If you's a mind to.
Seems a likely exchange.
Then let's shake on it.
Don't leave it hanging.
A handsome young drummer
Came by in the spring
With beautiful laces
In cases
I'm sorry, she said
I can't buy anything
'Tis love that I need
More than laces
Won't you marry me
Marry me
Up to the altar please carry me
Give me combs for my curls
Made of silver and pearls
And a two-penny bridal bouquet
Hurry up
Hurry up
Hitch that old horse to the surrey up
And I'll vow to be true
To no one but you
So marry me, marry me, do
Dear Lady,
The handsome young drummer replied
The whole situation's bewildering
Last winter the cough
Carried off my poor bride
If you want to take care
Of six children
Come and marry me
Marry me
Pack your valises and marry me
They're coming!
They're coming!
I'm glad to have thee home.
- Thee'll break my ribs!
- I'll get the bags.
I'm glad thee's back.
I've missed thee.
I've missed thee.
Come, thee must be hungry.
- Where's Mattie?
- She'll be back soon.
Where'd thee get this horse?
Thee kept thy word.
Thee got rid of Red Rover.
Glad to see you.
Is this horse well?
There's nothing to fear on that score.
She's not much to look at.
But if thee doesn't mind that...
This is the very horse
I've been praying for.
A good, plain animal that won't fill
every man on the pike with racing ideas.
Lady'll discourage racing ideas,
I promise thee.
Come in.
Thee must be starved.
We haven't had a good meal
since we left.
I'll be in in a minute.
I'll help thee unhitch, Enoch.
This looks like the place.
Hello, there!
Good evening.
Certainly is good to see you again.
Here we are.
Good evening.
You know, it is certainly
a pleasure to see you.
This is a joy I've been waiting for.
I offer you... salutations, my felicitations
and my congratulations.
What for?
Why, ma'am, this organ.
The world's finest!
You've got a treat coming to you.
Just hold your breath.
Now look at that.
Isn't that a beauty?
Genuine walnut. Not an inch of
unornamented wood in the entire cabinet.
Good evening, Brother Birdwell!
Hello, there.
There must be some mistake.
This gentleman says thee's mixed up...
...with this musical instrument.
"Mixed" is scarcely the word for it.
It's gone beyond courting to marriage.
Your husband...
Thy husband is now the proud
and lucky owner of a Payson and Clarke.
This organ. This substitute on earth
for choiring angels.
Father Birdwell, why keep
the lady in suspense?
You just give me a hand
and we'll get it inside.
We must step delicately.
My wife is a Quaker minister.
You may know all about
Quaker ministers, but I know women.
What a woman wants is a good,
firm hand and a strong voice.
Not Eliza.
Wait until you hear your husband...
...when he seats himself
at this console.
You know, you are married to an artist.
I forbid thee to have this instrument!
For thy own sake, I forbid.
When thee asks...
...or suggests...
...l'm like putty in thy hands.
But when thee forbids,
thee is barking up the wrong tree.
- Come on, Quigley.
- I don't know what's come over thee.
Bringing a thing like this here.
And me a recorded minister!
Thee order that instrument back
to where it came from.
I bought it and I'm going to keep it.
I don't know what's come over thee.
I'm warning thee...
...if thee takes that instrument
into the house, I go out.
Make thy choice. Thee can have
that instrument or thy wife.
But both thee cannot have!
Come on, help me get it in.
Will thee please fetch my shawl...
...and my Bible?
What does thee plan to do?
If that...
...thing goes into the house...
...I go to the barn!
The barn?
Did thee have something to say to me?
Well, Jess!
Come on, Quigley!
Will thee see if there
is anything thy mother needs?
Stop it!
Will thee please stop playing?
Go sit over there.
I don't know why. Just sit.
Evening, Jess.
Come in, Sam.
Just felt like visiting.
- Evening, children.
- Evening, Mr. Jordan.
I heard you had a new horse.
Like to get a look at it.
It's kind of late.
Is this horse an early sleeper?
Oh well, anytime.
- How're you?
- Fine, thank thee.
How's Eliza?
Mama's fine.
How does thee know?
She away from home?
Thee might say so.
Church work?
Thee could call it that.
Mother needs another comforter.
That oat straw goes
right through her blanket.
Hello, Mr. Jordan.
Hello, Josh.
Thee may as well know it.
Eliza has taken up
residence in the barn.
The barn?
We had a slight difference of opinion.
Papa bought this
and Mama won't stay in the house...
...with it.
Excuse me.
I feel kind of responsible for this.
Let me take care of it for you.
Thanks very much.
I think I can take care of it myself.
Anything you say.
Good night, children.
Goodnight, Sam.
Goodnight, Jess.
Good night, everybody.
Upstairs to bed, all of thee.
May I come in?
Evening's cooling off a bit,
isn't it?
I find it very pleasant.
So do I.
And thee promises to put the organ
up in the attic right away?
Best place in the world for it.
The best place is back
at the organ factory.
Second best.
And no playing on First Day.
- Or when visitors are here.
- Never.
Let's go back there sometime.
It's Sam Jordon!
Morning, Sam!
What's thee doing around so early?
What do you mean "early"? It's 6:30.
Where's Eliza? Still in the barn?
The barn?
You're getting rid of the organ.
Well, how'd you bring her around?
Reasoned with her.
Just reasoned with her.
Want to see my new mare?
That's what I come over for.
Here she is.
Over here.
What does thee think of her?
"Reasoned" with her?
"Just reasoned with her."
Look her over.
You traded Red Rover for this?
I got a little to boot.
A little? For this crow bait?
The mare's name is Lady.
What's so funny?
Excuse me.
It's just the rift between
the name and the looks.
What is she? Half buffalo?
She's half Narragansett Pacer.
Which half?
I never laid eyes on a beast
of such dimensions!
What's this? Why aren't we
taking the surrey?
Enoch says the surrey's
missing a hub nut.
Hub nut?
I didn't say "lost", ma'am.
It's just missing.
There's no room for the children.
That's right. They must stay home.
They can have their Meeting
in the parlor.
Thee too.
I suppose thee's right.
No nonsense!
Thank thee.
Wouldn't surprise me a bit.
God speed.
What does he mean, "God speed"?
He means good luck.
With this rickety rig we'll need it.
Something wrong?
I don't know.
I thought I better take a look.
- What is it?
- Nothing that I could see.
Come on!
Here comes Sam.
I wonder how a man church-bound
can have his mind so set on speed.
I don't.
Slow down!
Now, Prince!
Come on, Prince!
Giddap, boy!
What's the matter with you?
Easy, Lady.
Come on, Prince!
Can't thee slow her down?
I'm trying to.
Look at this.
Josh, you ain't forgot
that cow's going to calf tonight?
Call me when it's time.
Look at this one.
Hello, Mr. Birdwell.
Gard, come in.
- Back from the war?
- Yes. It's good to see you.
How are you?
Thee wounded?
Good evening, Mrs. Birdwell.
Thee's wounded.
- It's nothing.
- Was it a cannon?
No, Little Jess.
It was just a rebel bullet.
Did it bleed a lot?
Did thee win a medal?
That'll do, Little Jess.
Won't thee sit down?
Thank you.
Thee didn't say a word
about it in thy letter.
I didn't want to worry you.
- When did thee get home?
- This afternoon.
I heard about
that little race this morning.
Was Sam surprised?
Surprised? He was overcome.
The Elders!
The Ministry and Oversight Committee
from our church.
Paying us a call.
Go on up to bed.
Do as I say.
Good evening, Griffith.
Friend Cope, Amos, come in.
Good evening, Friend Cope.
Good evening, Amos.
Won't thee sit down?
Very educational.
So I started over the wall...
...and the next thing I knew,
I was flat on my back.
What does it feel like...
...getting shot?
Being kicked by a mule.
Did thee kill anybody?
I did a lot of shooting.
Thee won't go back now thee's wounded?
Not right away.
With the reb cavalry heading this way...
...l'm assigned to organize
the home guard.
Would they let me in the home guard?
Well, they need men.
Gard doesn't want to talk about the war.
Does thee, Gard?
No, Mattie.
If I went to Vernon...
We'll talk tomorrow.
All right.
We've got an organ!
An organ?
In your house?
What'd your mother say about that?
She made us put it up in the attic.
And what of thy son,
Friend Birdwell?
Has thee give him proper guidance?
With the help of God, our children
must make their own choices.
So before we talk any more
of war or blame...
...shall we seek wisdom
and strength in prayer?
Let us pray.
Watch thy head.
Must be the wind coming up.
Could be.
Today's acted like a weather breeder.
Friend, thee's got
a squeaky door upstairs.
My house needs attention.
And my soul needs repair!
Friends, let us lift
our hearts in prayer.
Father in heaven,
Creator of all good things...
...Author of harmony from birdsong
to thunder roll...
...restore harmony in our lives.
Amen to that.
Behold thy servant who has
strayed from righteousness.
Behold thy unworthy creature
whose head was turned by...
...the ways of the flesh.
Forgive him for racing on First Day
and forgetting that the road to glory... a slow road.
- and let not my sins
rest upon my children.
Above all, spare my wife, Eliza.
And I pray that she shall find,
in her kind...
...and loving heart, the grace and mercy
to forgive me my grievous shortcomings.
In the name of Adam...
...who ate the forbidden fruit,
of Abraham...
...whose sin was jealousy, in the name
of Moses, who lost the Promised Land... the name of David who...
...of David who...
...hankered after
that which was forbidden... the name of Jeptha,
Jeremiah, Obediah...
...Habakkuk and Malachi...
...and Malachi...
Thee has been an instrument
of the Lord this night.
Thy prayer carried me so near
to heaven's gates...
...I thought I heard the choiring
of angel voices...
...and the playing of heavenly harps.
Thy prayer has answered our questions.
Thy flesh may be weak, Jess Birdwell...
...but thy spirit is as strong
as thy voice.
Amen to that.
Thank thee for paying us
this call, Friend.
I'll play the melody up here.
- Ready?
- All right.
Sounds like a duet.
Leave them be.
Mighty quiet up there.
What does thee suppose they're...
Silent prayer?
Like this?
What's thee doing?
Has thee forgotten we have company?
Don't thee care what people think?
It's all my fault.
I think we ought to go to bed
and let the young folks have the parlor.
Good night, children.
Good night, Mrs. Birdwell.
Goodnight, Mattie. Goodnight, Gard.
Thee ever see anything prettier, Enoch?
Except for a little human baby.
Does thee have any children?
Leastwise I did.
I don't know where they are now.
Let's get him up.
It sure wanted to live, didn't it?
He'll live now, all right.
Wonder what it feels like to die.
Just stopping breathing, I reckon.
Just going to sleep.
I reckon.
I got orders to report
to the home guard.
I came to say goodbye.
Could I see Mattie?
She and Little Jess
are down by the swing.
Thank you, ma'am.
No, I couldn't.
Oh, well, if you insist.
Thee's doing it again.
Talking to thyself.
I'm not talking to myself.
Is thee talking to Gard Jordon?
He's so brave.
If he's so "brave"...
...why didn't he win some medals?
Who cares about medals anyway?
Gard has a proud and learned face.
A face to remember.
His eyes are the color...
...of the sky... the summer.
It pleasures me just to see him walk.
He walks just like anybody else.
Hello, little Jess.
How'd you like to have
the bullet they took out of my arm?
It's wrong to take bribes.
It's not a bribe. It's a gift.
Thanks. You want a polliwog?
No, thanks.
Go on, now. Scoot!
I'm going because I want to.
- Come on out. I want to talk to you.
- I can't. I'm barefooted.
What's wrong with that?
I'm too big a girl
to run around barefooted.
It mortifies me,
thee seeing me so unlady-like.
Look, I'll shut my eyes...
...and I'll pretend you have shoes on.
Come on.
Or I'll wade in!
I've got to talk to you.
Come on out, please.
I'm really nice, you know.
I've got a nice walk.
And eyes the color of the sky.
Thee heard?
Thee heard!
Thee eavesdropped!
Thee thinks I set my cap for thee!
No, wait! Wait! Please wait!
I was only joking.
I never want to see thee again!
Mattie, wait!
Good evening, Mr. Birdwell.
Getting ready to leave us again?
Yes, sir. And I'm reporting
to the home guard tonight.
I came to say goodbye.
Come on down.
This is no way to treat a guest.
Would thee please ask him to excuse me?
I hurt her feelings.
It's the last thing I wanted to do.
I know how that is.
I was clumsy.
With women it's hard
not to be sometimes.
The rebs are coming!
Morgan's Raiders have crossed the Ohio.
1500 horsemen burning and pillaging.
They're 30 miles from Vernon.
This time tomorrow they'll be here!
No need to shout.
- Did thee see their patrols?
- No, but I saw what they've done.
Barns burned, houses looted.
Go towards Vernon and see for thyself.
Did you see the militia?
They want every man who can carry a gun.
They figure to make a stand at Vernon.
Papa, our farm is going to be
overrun for sure!
That's probably true.
You're on the south side of the river.
You better take your family into the
woods tomorrow till the rebs have gone.
This is our home.
This is where we'll stay.
Mr. Birdwell, the Raiders don't draw
a line between soldiers and civilians.
They're the toughest Confederate troops,
and there's no telling what they'll do.
If they're going to come they're
going to come, like fire or flood.
If it's the Lord's will,
there's nothing we can do.
There's something I can do.
Have you got an extra gun?
Why, sure, Enoch.
I hate to cross you like this.
Don't seem grateful.
You folks have been mighty kind to me.
But you see, sir,
a runaway slave like me...
...I wouldn't stand a chance
with those men.
So if they're going to catch me...
...l'm going down fighting.
Thee's free.
Free to choose.
So am I.
Thee can saddle up Tommy.
Thank you.
I'll go with thee.
Without asking us, son?
There's no need to go now.
Morning's soon enough.
I'll be in Vernon.
I'll meet thee there.
Better talk it over with your folks.
Tell Mattie goodbye.
Tell her when I get back, I hope to say
better what I was trying to tell her.
God bless thee.
It's true.
It's true.
Everything thee heard is true!
Thy walk does pleasure me.
Thy eyes are like summer.
Thee does have a proud, learned face.
My sweet.
My dear, sweet, precious girl.
I love you.
I love thee. I do love thee!
Martha True Birdwell...
...when I come back...
...will you marry me?
Will you be my wedded wife
forever and ever?
Gardiner Jordan...
...I will be thy wedded wife
forever and ever.
Sit down.
Thee'll feel better after thee eats.
I'm not hungry.
Might make thee a little calmer.
And a little more courteous
to thy mother.
Thee asks me to be calm when the whole
of Vernon's getting ready to fight.
And Morgan's men may
break in here at any minute.
Father, thee knows we must fight.
If thee has a sword
in thy heart, son...
...thee must pull it out and use it.
But there's no sword in my heart.
No man is my enemy.
Any man who kills innocent people
is my enemy.
My mortal enemy.
Thee's seen bad things today.
Thee's upset.
We've got more than we need here.
It's high time we shared it.
If thee gives all thee's got to
the enemy, thy friends will go hungry.
What's good about that?
Thee wants to go out and fight,
give thy life for what thee believes.
Any of us here I'm sure
is ready to do that.
But that's not what
thee'll be asked to do.
What thee'll be asked to do now... to kill.
I know that.
I'll kill if I have to.
Thou shalt not kill.
Mother, I hate fighting.
I don't want to die.
I don't know if I could
kill anyone if I tried.
But I have to try
so long as other people have to.
No, Eliza.
Don't let him go.
Don't thee care
about his living or dying?
I'm just his father...
...not his conscience.
A man's life ain't worth beans except
he lives up to his own conscience.
I've got to give Josh that chance.
...and forever...
...and forever.
Tucking thee in again. How many times
does thee think I've done that?
I don't know.
I understand thy being carried away.
But our ways are ways of peace.
And thee loves peaceful ways.
I do.
If thee turns thy back on everything
I've taught thee and prayed for...
...thee turns thy back on me.
No, Mother, not on thee.
Yes, son.
On me.
But I have to do what's right.
Thee will, son.
God will give thee the strength.
Dear God in heaven,
watch over Joshua.
Make him a witness
for the peace on earth...
...for which Thy Son died.
In His name do I ask it.
Before thee sleeps,
promise me thee'll pray.
I promise.
Good night, son.
I have faith in thee.
Thee promised... pray.
I prayed.
Goodbye, Father.
Goodbye, son.
God bless thee.
My boy!
God keep thee.
Company, halt!
This is the only shallow spot.
They have to cross here.
All right, men. Dismount!
Come on, then. Hurry!
Spread out!
Find cover!
Get those horses out of sight! Fast!
Jam a log between those trees!
Get something solid in front of you.
That won't stop a bullet.
You hold your gun that tight,
by the time the rebs get here...
...your trigger finger will be numb.
Who gave that rebel yell?
I did, sir.
Do it again and I'll shoot you!
And the same goes for
any other man here!
Chopping wood?
We burn wood every winter, Purdy.
Pretty soon thee'll have no house
to burn wood in.
Some of Morgan's thieving men
burnt my barn...
...stole my horses
and cleaned out my smokehouse.
I'm sorry to hear that.
Thee is welcome to anything I've got.
No, thanks. If thee wants to help...
...pick up a gun and fight...
...the same as I'm doing.
I'm not ready to do that.
What does thee aim to do?
Sit here and turn the other cheek?
That's what I aim to do...
...if I can.
Thee's got to face the fact that wartime
calls for another kind of thinking.
Your thinking may have changed,
but you haven't.
Last week, you told my son
he'd go to hell for fighting.
This week you tell Jess to fight.
Whatever's right for Purdy's got
to be right for everybody else?
If you're so hell-bent to fight,
get going!
If it's peace thee wants, Jess Birdwell,
thee won't get it chopping wood.
Did they hurt thy place?
No, Jess.
Just thought I'd ride toward the river,
see how the boys are getting on.
One more man at the fort
won't make a hoot of difference.
If there's any fighting to be done,
I'll do it for both of us.
I'd like to see someone hold out
for a better way of settling things.
They're coming!
What was that all about?
Get down.
You'll find out sooner than you think.
It's Lady!
Look, Papa!
Is Josh hurt?
Bring Lady to the house.
Jess, no!
Little Jess, thee's the man
on the place now.
Kill a Johnny Reb for me.
Never talk that way
about a man's life.
Mama, look!
They're rebs, they're rebs!
Would thee like some food?
There's meat in the
smokehouse by the barn.
Right. Stevens, get those chickens!
I'll get all them chickens.
Fresh vegetables and fruit and more meat
are in the spring house there.
Buster, Clem, go get it.
You bet, boss.
Cooked food's in the kitchen. If thee
and thy men will please follow me.
Yes, ma'am!
Take these horses!
Boys, give me a hand.
Roast goose tonight.
Go get him, Buster.
Peach pie!
It's rattlesnake pie.
Best rattlesnake pie I ever tasted.
Stop it! Let her go!
Let her go!
Stop it! Let her go!
Let her go! Stop!
Samantha's a pet!
She's a pure pet!
I wish I'd knowed that sooner.
Much obliged, ma'am.
Thank you very kindly, lady.
Feel much better.
Mount up!
Boys, there's enough food here
to feed us for a whole week!
Thanks for the chickens!
I raised my hand in anger.
I struck.
What a whacking!
If thy father ever knew...
Thee must never tell him.
Whoa, Black Prince.
Sam, what happ...?
Reb Bushwhacker.
He took...
...Black Prince.
I found him.
Head for war...
...and get mixed up with horse thieves.
I was training Black Prince... beat you.
Thee can beat me, Sam.
Thee can beat me any day in the week.
You finally admit it.
Tell him when you see him.
I'll tell him.
I'll tell him.
Now, go on.
Go on, git!
I'll not harm thee.
Thank God I found thee.
He's not very old.
I killed him.
Thee did what thee had to do.
I must get thee home.
I heard thee playing on the Lord's Day...
Let me look at thee.
Stand still.
Let me see if thee
is in order for Meeting.
Stay on the porch and keep clean!
I don't need any help, thank thee.
But it pleasures me to help thee, son.
Do I pass inspection?
Yes, Jess. Thee'll pass.
My Bible.
Come on, Samantha. Come on, pet.
What's come over that bird?
Little Jess has stopped
being mean to her, that's all.
That's all, huh?
Samantha's the one that was mean.
Till that reb...
Thee's not my boss!
Hush up, thee!
A reb grabbed Saman...
And he was wringing her neck...
Mama whacked him over the head
with a broom until he let...
Until he let her go.
Mama? Whacked a reb?
She sure did!
With that broom.
By sugar, that's news!
Looks like thee needs a new broom.
Why, Jess?
This one's seen lots of service.
I tried to stop him.
She shook it out of me.
Come on, veterans.
Good morning, Enoch.