Springfield Rifle (1952) Movie Script

"Four thousand horses
lost to raiders in three months.
Need for more men to protect herds
desperate. Repeat, desperate.
John Hudson,
Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Cavalry."
More men, more men.
There isn't a command in the Army
that doesn't want men.
He'll have to do with what he has.
Well, Colonel Sharpe?
Hudson's tried to reach the railhead
by every route available.
Yet our forces have always
been intercepted by raiders.
Our spring offensive depends
on the strength of our cavalry units...
...and that means horses.
Fort Hedley's in the center
of all the great southwestern herds.
It was your idea to establish
a purchasing depot there.
Now, what are you doing about it?
We've known that the Confederacy
has a well-organized spy system.
They know the importance
of horses to us.
Their men may operate
even in our own fort.
All I was permitted to do was to send
a private detective out there, a civilian.
Everyone spotted him right away.
General, as I've told you many times...
...the only answer to their espionage
is an espionage system of our own.
- Taken it up three times with the Cabinet.
- Don't they want to win?
They won't stand for our men in uniform
being secret agents.
They stand for enemy agents
knocking the war out from under us.
They think spying is beneath the dignity
and honor of an Army man. That settles it.
How do you expect me
to get those horses here?
Colonel Sharpe, there's a war going on
a few miles south of here.
If we are to mount a successful offensive
in the spring and end the war...
...we must have horses.
Thousands of them.
That's why Hudson's out at Fort Hedley,
and why you're chief of planning.
I don't care how you handle it, but don't
come to me with it again. Just get horses.
It isn't that they know
the route that's important.
You can't hide the trail
of hundreds of horses.
But they know in advance
what pass we're going to cross.
That's their advantage.
They don't have to spread their men so thin.
You must have some idea
how the information's getting out.
The whole town's full of people
trying to sell horses and information.
I can't do it all alone.
George, I know, officially,
you're here on a routine inspection.
Unofficially, you're probably
looking for a chance to replace me.
Well, if they don't send me enough men
to do the job, let them replace me.
It'd be much easier
leading a bayonet charge back there.
Mr. Quint, will you excuse us?
I have a confidential matter
to discuss with Colonel Hudson.
Certainly. Certainly, sir.
I wasn't able to get you more men.
But before I came, I stopped at the arsenal
at Springfield, Massachusetts.
Without orders, I may add.
John, some gunsmith is trying
a new idea with the Springfield rifle.
I saw a demonstration that was amazing.
No more muzzle loading.
It operates with a new bridge action.
That rifle can be loaded and fired so fast,
it'll make each man equal to five.
When can I get them?
May be a long time
before they're ready.
- Springfield people experiment in secret.
- Then what good are they to us?
Maybe I can convince them
to let us experiment in action.
If not, I'll have to wait
until they aren't looking.
Can't get them any other way.
In the meantime, I'm supposed
to use magic to get the horses through.
Magic and that incompetent you sent me
who calls himself a detective.
Now I'll let you in
on a little secret, George.
I think we have the raiders
fooled this time.
I've sent the drive out under Lex Kearny,
the new major just assigned me.
He's taking a route those raiders
will never anticipate.
Right over the highest peaks
in the range.
Snow, the year round,
through Grey Rock Pass...
...which is 9000 feet above sea level.
- Major Kearny?
- Yes, sergeant?
That's Grey Rock Pass, just ahead.
I told you we'd make it this time.
What are the orders, major?
Those raiders outnumber us
at least 4-1, Captain Tennick.
Let them have the herd,
make a run for it back to the fort.
That's desertion. Give me the men.
I'll delay them
while you get the horses through.
Captain, we're leaving the herd.
Form up at the rear, now.
Form up at the rear, sergeant.
If I wanted the sergeant
to carry out the order, I'd issue it.
Get in form, captain.
Form up at the rear!
Form up at the rear!
- Is Colonel Hudson alone?
- No. But you can go in, Mr. Quint.
Troop's back, colonel.
You've got another "no delivery" dispatch
to send to Washington.
- Casualties?
- Nope.
Just the herd this time.
Great beginning for the new major.
I thought Kearny could get
the herd through if anyone could.
They told me you're the best detective
the Army could hire.
Why don't you find out
who the raiders are?
First things come first with me, colonel.
I don't care who the raiders are.
I wanna know
where they get their information.
I don't like the way you say that, Quint.
That's my plan, colonel.
If you don't like that way,
you can always make a change.
- Major Kearny, sir.
- Send him in.
Sit down, Lex.
Shall I make my report in front of him?
Don't be bashful, major.
I already made it for you.
Go ahead, Lex.
As instructed, I didn't open the sealed
orders until we arrived at Taos Wells.
The orders said to take the herd
by way of the Dundalk Flats route.
They were waiting for us
on the other side of Grey Rock Pass.
Did anyone have access to the orders...
...from the time you left
until you reached Taos Wells?
No, sir.
After you opened the orders,
who saw them besides you?
Captain Tennick and Sergeant Snow.
After they learned which route,
were they ever out of your sight?
Here and there,
but then I was out of theirs.
Did you get a look at any of the raiders?
- We didn't put up a fight.
- Why not?
- Permission to see the colonel, sir.
- Captain Tennick.
I request a court-martial.
- Against whom and on what charges?
- Against Major Kearny.
Charges of willful disobedience
of orders...
...and misconduct
in the presence of the enemy.
Quite some charges from a man
I could arrest for insubordination.
Sir, the orders were, "Defend the herd
with force against enemy attack."
Major Kearny ordered us
to desert the herd.
I've known Lex Kearny for a long time.
I was his duty officer at West Point.
He couldn't commit such an act.
I'm sure his reasons for the retreat
were honorable.
I recommend you withdraw your request.
I respectfully decline
your recommendation, sir.
You're certain
you have sufficient grounds?
I'm certain, sir.
Request granted.
Thank you, sir.
Has he sufficient grounds, Lex?
Yes, sir.
He wants these gold leaves.
Charge: Violation
of the 52nd Article of War.
"Neglect of duty and cowardice
in the face of the enemy.
Sacrificing war material, specifically
a vitally needed shipment of horses."
How does the accused plead
to the charge and specifications?
Not guilty by reason of circumstances.
This is his official service record.
"Major Alexander Kearny
was born in Virginia.
At West Point,
before the declaration of war...
...he openly sympathized
with his home state.
At the outbreak of the war, he submitted
his resignation from the Army...
...giving reason as reluctance
to fight against the South.
He later withdrew his submission.
Kearny led a troop
in three engagements this year.
He was removed from his command because
of indecision in the presence of the enemy.
Official comment: Untrustworthy.
To be transferred to duty at Fort Hedley."
Our orders were to defend the herd
and drive them to the railroad.
Kearny's action was in violation
of these orders.
In the face of a far-superior force,
it is my judgment...
...that it was better to sacrifice horses
and save the men.
Then we retreated, leaving the herd
unprotected, without even firing one shot.
Did you hear Major Kearny tell
Captain Tennick he wouldn't fight?
The major said we were outnumbered
4-1, ordered us to the rear.
- That's all, thank you.
- Can I say something?
Certainly, sergeant.
I served with Major Kearny.
He was a lieutenant then,
at the First Battle of Bull Run in '61.
Our troop covered the retreat that day,
and we were the last to withdraw.
We didn't have to be the last...
...but the lieutenant
was stubborn as a mule...
Sergeant Snow.
Let him tell it in his own way.
Well, sir, I never saw such an onerous...
...cuss in my whole life.
But he's certainly no coward.
The whole troop was sighted
for that action, sir.
But the action he speaks of
was a retreat, wasn't it?
Everybody knows we lost
the First Battle of Bull Run, sir.
It was right after I enlisted.
We were out on patrol.
Major Kearny, two mules,
and 10 more of us.
Well, all of a sudden, about 25...
Maybe it was 50.
Anyway, they were Stand Watie's men.
They came charging out of the rocks,
screaming like wildcats, firing as they come.
I gotta admit, I was so scared,
I couldn't fire my gun.
Couldn't even move.
Next thing I know, the major was standing
alongside me, firing and loading.
When he was loading,
he talked to me real quiet.
Major saved my life that day. I know it.
This court finds Major Alexander Kearny,
5th Cavalry, United States Army...
...guilty of gross neglect of duty by reason
of cowardice in the face of the enemy.
Alexander Kearny, you are warned
that you are liable to the death penalty...
...if you trespass upon the grounds
of any United States Military post...
...or reservation henceforth.
Conduct the prisoner through the gate.
Sergeant Snow will give you
a receipt for these, Mr. McCool.
And bring in more next time.
- My spread's not too big, colonel.
- I'll buy all you can get me.
How can they buy stock like that?
That's the sorriest-looking
bunch of jackrabbits I ever saw.
You ain't got nothing to say
about what the Army buys anymore...
Never could understand why you were
particular with us ranchers, major.
Unless you were making sure those raiders
got good, sound horse flesh.
Sir, Kearny's giving the Army a bad name,
hanging around like this.
I know we don't have
jurisdiction over him.
I wish there were some way
to get him out of town.
He'll be leaving soon, lieutenant.
Captain Tennick.
Captain Tennick, I see you haven't got
my gold leaves yet.
You're mighty brave
with that whip, captain.
I'll be back without my whip
when I get my herd through the railhead.
There's something eating that fella.
I'm not so sure he's yellow.
What in the world are you doing here?
Hasn't a wife a right
to come and see her husband?
Colonel John wrote me.
I like you in civilian clothes.
What did Hudson say?
Oh, Lex, I don't care
what happened here.
You hated this war in the first place.
You've given enough of
your life to the Army.
Let's just be grateful it's over
for you at last, and you can come home.
You've been gone so long, darling, your son
hardly remembers what you look like.
What does he look like?
You see?
You don't remember him either.
Jamie's grown up.
He's a man.
Yes, and he needs a father.
Erin, I'm not going home with you.
Until this war is over,
I have to do what I think is right.
Else I'll never be able
to look at you again.
Or Jamie, or myself.
Why don't you trust me?
Men have to do strange things sometimes
that they don't like to tell their wives about.
There's nothing to do
with not trusting them.
When do you want me to go back?
Stagecoach leaves in the morning.
In the morning.
There's another one in a couple of days.
And when you pay your respects
to Colonel John...
...tell him to mind his own business.
And I'll mind mine.
That new whiskey, Old Crow.
Pour it.
Pour it yourself, Copperhead.
I'll do the honors.
Another glass, bartender.
- I assume you're treating.
- Help yourself.
To the Union.
He won't drink to that.
I'll bet you 10 he will.
To the Union.
Why didn't you go home with your wife?
Is that any of your business?
I got enough to worry about here
without you.
Maybe this drive will get through,
and you'll have less to worry about.
The drive didn't get through.
I guess maybe you already know that.
A scout brought the word in
about an hour ago.
Over half of them were killed.
- Tennick?
- I don't know.
Troop's back.
Caught two raiders,
they're bringing them in.
The rest of them got away,
but they shot the horses from under two.
See you.
Captain Tennick,
what's that on your blouse, dirt?
Or is that the blood of some of the troopers
who died out there for you?
Are you proud of yourself,
Captain Tennick?
Do you feel like a brave man now?
Lieutenant Johnson, take over the detail.
Go for the guard. Post number one.
Guard detail, over the gate.
Look out, Mr. Kearny, don't come inside.
Arrest him. He's on military property.
The death penalty can go at this,
did you forget?
I did, but you didn't.
Take him to the guardhouse.
Open up, guard.
- Was it bad?
- We can hold out.
They might not hang you
if you tell them what they wanna know.
They ain't gonna hang us.
Give me your belt too.
Tie them together.
Nice, thoughtful friends you got.
- You ain't in on this.
- Get back there.
Just sit tight and you won't get hurt.
This ought to warm
your ivory dome, baldy.
Yeah, thanks.
Feels good on top of my head,
but it don't penetrate. My insides are cold.
I'm about to bust out crying.
You can have these two 10's
if you'll get us whiskey.
What is it, Confederate money?
U.S. Treasury, it's the real thing.
Sure, what's he gonna do with it
where he's going?
Twenty dollars.
One 10 now and one 10
when you bring the whiskey.
Give me the money.
Where's the other 10?
- Right here.
- Stick a bottle through first.
Don't break it, open the door.
Give me that 10
and get back to your bunks.
I will when you give me
the bottle of whiskey.
Do it my way, you won't never get it.
Straighten up.
Drop that gun.
Through the main gate.
Kearny, what are you doing here?
Wait here.
You stay with him.
Good evening.
How come?
- He helped us break.
- Let him tell it.
We shared the same cell, we were gonna
share the same appointment in the morning.
So we shared the same breakout.
- Where's Elm?
- Last time we saw him...
Let him tell it.
I guess he's looking for a horse,
I borrowed his.
Why did you come out here with them?
Well, we just naturally all ran
in the same direction.
You didn't have to run, major.
Once you were off military property
they couldn't touch you and you know it.
Why did you come here?
- Hadn't been for him, we couldn't make it.
- That's right.
You've got 20 miles to cover tonight.
Kind of late, can't we bunk here?
No, the Army's wise
to your little secret now.
This ranch and the town's
off limits to you both.
Water your horses and get going.
Well, I came out here to ask you for a job.
Of course, I didn't know it was you.
If I had, I'd ask you for it in town.
So you want a job.
Well, I wouldn't have gone
to all this trouble if I didn't.
What kind of trouble?
Soon as I heard they got raiders...
...I got arrested
and thrown in the cell with them.
None of them seem to stay
in jail too long before.
Well, if you don't wanna hire me, just forget
all about it, and I'll mosey on back to town.
You can't go back, major. Not now.
You're either in or you're through.
Where's Sims and Mizzell?
I'm gonna fix those...
I told you never to run a horse like that.
Look at him. Where'd you get him?
Rented him in town from the blacksmith.
What's so funny?
That's one thing
they got plenty of, is horses.
- And you had to rent one.
- What's he doing here?
I don't know yet.
Rub down those animals
and hit the bunk.
His too?
It's your horse.
Unless you're making him a present of it.
Come along with me, major.
All right, Mr. McCool.
Pick yourself a horse.
And use this outfit.
- Any one?
- Suit yourself.
I'll take the black.
You ain't giving it to him.
You got one horse you can ride,
do you want another you can't?
Morning, Mr. McCool.
How do you like it?
What Yankees wouldn't give...
...to know about this.
It's a wonderful hideout, but you can't
keep these horses here forever.
You joined up just in time
to get the answer to that one, major.
Those horses represent five raids.
There's close to 1000 head
down there.
We're gonna drive them
over the mountains.
From there on, they don't go north,
they go south.
For the right price too.
All right, Pete, stir them up.
Follow me, major.
Come on, Rebs, stir it up!
This ain't no cotillion.
Come on, boys, pack and saddle up.
We're heading south.
Money in the sock, boys.
When I say move, I mean move!
He knows how to handle
those kind real well.
They're no-goods,
deserters and freebooters.
But the boys in gray,
they're patriots like you, major.
Those Southern gentlemen
are great fighters.
There isn't anything they won't tackle.
What's to keep them from breaking out
and going it alone?
After all, there's no corner
on the raiding business these days.
Maybe not,
but there's knowing where to raid.
They're ready.
Men, this is the major that got himself
cashiered out of the Yankee Army...
...for having Southern sympathy
which they couldn't prove.
Now, he'll have a chance to prove them.
- Come on, boy.
- Ride by twos.
Major Kearny? My name's Jim Randolph.
Ex-major, please, Mr. Randolph.
Nice to have you with us, sir.
- You're from Virginia, I hear.
- That's right. You?
South Carolina.
You know, sir,
I had you in my sights once.
Used to ride with Stand Watie.
And now, I'm right glad I missed you.
Well, I'm glad you did too.
How come you left that outfit
for this one?
Some of us were sent over here
to join McCool.
I reckon horses are almost
more important than men these days.
- All the rest of you from Stand Watie?
- Oh, no, sir. They come from all over.
Some had their commands smashed up,
drifted out here.
They're all fine folk. Not like Elm's trash.
Aren't there enough of us to work alone?
Do we need big Pete Elm?
No, but we need McCool.
Without him, we'd never know which way
the Yankees were sending their herds.
We ask him how he gets his information,
he just laughs at us.
McCool likes Elm, so that's it.
Sims! Mizzell!
You two still here?
Hightail it over that hill
and roust out the commission boys.
And no drinks. If they're ready for us,
get back here pronto.
You know we've got a feeding problem.
Quicker you get back,
quicker we get rid of it.
We can't sell them dead horses.
Now, get going.
Where's he sending them?
South Fork. Bear Creek.
Some of our people are down there.
They pay off McCool
and take the herd from there.
May I borrow your mirror
when you're finished with it?
I've quite finished, Mr. Kearny.
It's yours.
Why, thank you, sir.
McCool, think I can cut
our feeding problem in half.
See that hill up there? Mizzell?
Post yourself on top
and wait for Sims' signal.
- What signal?
- Let him talk.
Sims, when you get to South Fork,
if everything's all right...
...shine your mirror steady at Mizzell's
position like this for a half a minute.
We'll move the herd on down.
If there's something wrong...
...flick it like this. We'll stay put
till we get your go-ahead signal.
Was that clear?
This means "come on down,"
this means "stay where you are."
Right. Save all that time
riding back and telling us.
- Go ahead, men.
- Any questions?
What if it snows?
I'll send the major down.
He can teach you another trick.
Come on.
Kind of used to giving orders, aren't you?
What's worse, I'm used to being obeyed.
Well, don't overstep yourself, major.
Don't ever ride that horse again.
Easy, boy, now.
Put it away.
Let them fight.
Make him throw away
that Arkansas toothpick, Mr. McCool.
I said, let them fight.
Now you won't ride my horse,
or any other horse, for a while.
It worked, boys.
Mr. Kearny, you're right. It worked.
He gave me the signal to go ahead.
All right, boys, let's move!
Payday's just around the corner. Let's go!
Let's go!
Let's go.
Get going.
Let's go.
Well, they're all yours,
Mr. Commissioner.
One thousand head to take down
to the old Mississippi.
Nine hundred and eighty-four
by actual count, Mr. McCool.
And here, I already have
the money for them.
I was instructed to tell you, gentlemen,
that if you keep these horses coming...
...any offensive the Yankees
might try to start will be smashed.
We'll keep them coming
as long as this good hard cash holds up.
The Army doesn't approve of horses
from an outfit that hires a man like Kearny.
I don't care what the Army approves.
I'm a civilian. A neutral civilian.
I hire who I want. Come on.
What's going on here, captain?
That rancher McCool has hired
the escaped prisoner Kearny.
- He ought to be back in the guardhouse.
- I don't approve any more than you do.
But neither do I approve of the way
you had him arrested. You started the fight.
I would have been forced
to dismiss charges against him.
You tricked him onto the post.
Certainly was no premeditated action
on his part.
You're lucky I didn't
press charges against you...
...for brawling with a dishonorably
discharged officer.
- How many head have you got here?
- Eight.
I got some more
coming off the range Friday.
Four and a quarter.
Six hundred and seventy-five dollars.
- For all eight?
- That's all they're worth.
- Looks like the Army made a deal, major.
- I'll see you at the bar in about an hour.
I've got a little banking and some
personal business to attend to. Come on.
Sir, I'm sorry to see you
in a position like this.
Thanks, sergeant.
You made a grave mistake
in not going home, Lex.
Erin has come back.
Did you write her again?
Your boy ran away from his school.
Mr. Ramsey, Sergeant Poole.
I'm wondering if you and Kearny
can still shake hands.
Let's continue with your report, major.
The raiders are led by this horse rancher
named McCool...
...the one who sells a few horses
to the Army as a blind.
Got nearly hundred men.
A third of them are Confederate soldiers
on assignment for this.
And the rest of them are a bunch
of jayhawkers led by a man names Elm.
The captured horses are kept
in a canyon 45 miles east of here...
...and about once a month,
they run them to Bear Creek...
...where they turn them over
to the Confederate agents.
That's the picture.
Good job, major.
Thank you, colonel. And now, sir, I request
that I be relieved of the assignment.
That calls for an explanation, major.
I consider myself a bad risk.
It'll take just one mistake
to smoke us out.
Colonel, permit me
to speak for the major.
He has a personal problem.
His wife's here.
What's that got to do with it?
Because I had no idea what the effect
of this would be on my family.
Kearny, all these men have problems too.
Excuse me, colonel,
it's a little different with Lex.
His boy ran away from school because
he couldn't stand the disgrace of his father.
Why'd you volunteer
for this assignment, Lex?
Because I wanted to see
this war ended quick...
...and I thought the idea
of counterintelligence...
...was the best way to help it.
Then get on with this job.
If you don't, you'll spend
your days with a brand on you:
Traitor and coward.
It's in your record. We had it put there.
To reinstate you now would expose us.
I can't change your record back.
Very well, sir.
What do you want me to do?
Find out how McCool's getting
his information to intercept the herds.
How do you stand with him?
About as well as anyone, I think.
But he confides in no one.
If he were removed, could you work
into a position of authority?
- It's possible.
- Then McCool must be removed.
Give me permission
to pick a fight with him?
It has to be done so his contact
won't be scared off.
This is the way.
The Southern spy ring is widespread.
They undoubtedly have a man out here.
We must get to him
and destroy him through McCool.
The best way to do that is on a raid.
- Who's leading the detail on the next drive?
- I am, sir.
Good. Then your job is to kill McCool.
He rides a big pinto.
It's the only one in the outfit.
I'll flash you a signal before the attack
and maneuver him into position for you.
Thanks. I'll get him.
After you're top dog with that outfit...
...if the key man wants to do business,
he'll get in touch with you.
When you know your man,
get word to Poole.
Poole will tell Ramsey,
and Ramsey will send for me.
- Any questions?
- No, sir.
Leave one at a time at intervals
of two minutes. Dismissed.
- Sir, may I be the first to leave?
- Yes, Poole.
Sorry about your boy, Lex.
Wish there were something I could do.
There is, sir. Here's his picture.
You try the recruiting offices
near Philadelphia...
...I think he can be located.
His mother and I will be very grateful.
- lf he's in the services, I'll find him for you.
- Thank you, sir.
What a licking that man's taking.
- He'll stand up.
- I'm sure he will.
Because he has faith. Faith in people.
Faith in a strong Union.
I hope someday his family will understand
and appreciate what he is doing.
I found out just after
I got back to Philadelphia.
The news of you was in all the papers.
I tried to keep it from Jamie,
but his schoolmates...
You know how cruel children can be.
His whole world crashed, I suppose,
and he ran away.
- Where?
- I don't know. I've tried everywhere.
I thought he might have come out here
to you to see if it were true.
Colonel John thinks he may have
joined the Army.
But he's too young, isn't he, Lex?
Drummer, bugler, dispatch runner...
They take them now
if they pass for 15. He'd pass.
Colonel John's tracing all enlistments.
He said he'd do everything he could.
Jamie will change his name.
Wouldn't use Kearny.
Then we'll never find him.
Lex, you've got to do something.
Staying here, what you're trying to prove,
is not worth our son's life. Nothing is.
If you hadn't come in the first place
you might've stopped him.
If you were a good mother,
that's where you'd be. At home. Now.
Kids get scared when they
go out on their own.
He might come creeping back,
and you ought to be there to help him.
What good does it do
to come wailing to me?
With Jamie gone,
I thought I belonged with my husband.
You can't be with me.
I've got things to do right now
which you're interfering with.
Lex, I'm afraid. Please, let me stay.
I've said everything I can say.
I wish you'd go back,
but I can't make you.
Just think, Mr. Kearny...
...I might've plugged you that time.
Been a downright sin.
We ought to be up on the ridge
where we can see the herd coming.
Why be on that ridge freezing?
The lookouts will signal us.
I don't like all this looking-glass
monkey business.
Well, it worked before, didn't it?
It's working now too.
On your horses, men!
Not yet. They're still too far away.
Who says so?
It's a code, Pete. It spells out words.
I'll ride on up there to make sure
of Sims and Mizzell.
All right, stay put.
But be ready to move out.
All right, major. Go ahead.
You go back and signal McCool
to get the men into position.
Sims will flash you when to attack.
This is it.
- Assemble at the rear.
- Yes, sir.
Assemble at the rear!
Assemble at the rear!
They must have seen
them stinking looking glasses.
Well, it's a perfect spot for an ambush.
After all, they've had some experience.
They're getting cagey, aren't they?
Well, if this is what they want,
we'll give it to them.
Come on!
Drive them. Move them fast.
Get after that herd!
Catch me a horse.
Dirty double-crosser.
You sure got even with that fella.
They got Mac
because of your looking glasses.
I ought to put a bullet through your head!
Be careful you don't get one in yours.
Now, get after your men! They're scattering
the herd all over the mountain.
Fool, are you all right?
- Yes, sir.
- Can you make it?
Pick up a stray horse
as soon as we've left.
McCool's dead and so is Tennick.
There you are. Count it up quick.
- Next.
- Yankee dollars, Jim.
Send them home to your family.
May come a time they'll be useful.
If you're smart, you'll take them home, boy.
This outfit's finished.
We're not finished. Long as Yankees try
to get horses over the mountain...
...we'll try to stop them.
- You know who Mac's friend was in town?
- No.
But we'll follow the herds to the hills
and take our chances.
You'll get picked off like flies, brother.
Gotta know where they're heading, be there
first with the most. Only way it'll work.
Just a minute, men.
Captain Spencer has the right idea...
...but I believe he's going about it
the wrong way.
If we sit tight here and have patience...
...McCool's friend will let himself
be known to us.
Whoever he is, he must know
that Mac trusts us.
Especially Pete here.
And he'll get in touch with him.
Meantime, Pete and I will continue
at the ranch near town...
...and sell a few horses to the Army.
But keep quiet about McCool being dead.
Informers scare easy, and he may never
show his nose here again.
- And I think we ought to give it a try.
- That's right, men.
Me and the major got the same ideas.
We ain't quitting.
You can't make money like this
no place else.
All we can lose is a little time, boys.
Thank you, Mr. Kearny.
We're with you, of course.
All right, come on.
Step up here and get your money.
Count it out.
Sir, will you take a look over there?
Where's McCool?
Down in Texas,
bringing back a string of mustangs.
We're kind of taking care of things
while Mac's gone.
- I see. How many?
- Dozen head.
Four hundred and twenty...
...eight hundred and forty...
...nine hundred...
...ten hundred and sixty-five dollars.
All right.
Sergeant Snow,
give the receipt to Mr. Elm.
Anybody talk to you?
Me neither.
This idea of yours ain't working.
Give it a chance.
We already lost one herd.
First thing you know,
we'll be losing another.
May be all right for you la-di-da boys
from the South...
...to be hibernating around camp
like a bunch of she-bears.
But it ain't easy for me to keep my men
from hightailing out of there.
What are you doing in there?
Found one of McCool's maps.
He's made penciled crosses
where he intercepted every one of the herds.
Ain't that nice.
The Army's coming!
If they think they got something on us...
- We'll give them a welcome.
- Put those guns away.
Let me handle it.
How do you do, sir.
Sit down.
So McCool's dead.
Where'd you find out about that?
McCool would never go to Texas.
His business is all here.
- Listen, Mr. Army, if you're trying to...
- Wait a minute, Pete.
I thought McCool had taken you two
into his confidence before he was killed.
Maybe he did.
If he had, about 500 more horses
would be in Confederate hands today.
Did McCool have a map around here?
- Well...
- Not that I know of.
Well, he had one like this someplace.
How much did I pay you
for that last string?
- Ten hundred and sixty-five dollars.
- Forget the 10.
Let's just deal with the last two digits:
Six and five.
Notice on the map, the longitudinal sides
are all numbered from one to nine.
The latitudinal, the same.
Now, let's take our numbers...
...the longitudinal six
and latitudinal five as coordinates...
...and see where we cross.
Right about here, isn't it?
And where are we?
- Yellow Rock Pass.
- Exactly.
That was the route taken
by the last herd.
Well, I'll be.
You've been telling us all the time.
Remember when I bought your horses?
The price never came out in round numbers.
That was because the last two digits
had to indicate the route of the drive.
Simple, but effective.
I advised McCool to take someone
into his confidence...
...in case anything happened to him.
But he wanted to play it alone.
Well, partner, we're in business again.
Yes. You better get up to the canyon
and tell the men we've made contact.
But no names. This is our deal.
Right, major. You and me's the brains.
- He has his uses.
- Yes, so I understand.
I didn't like telling him,
but I couldn't speak to you alone...
...without making him suspicious.
And my own men too.
What are they thinking now?
That I'm stirring you up
to bring in more horses.
I was careful to visit
several other ranches today.
Lex, I can't tell you how glad
I am to have you with us.
Wasn't sure of you at the court-martial.
And I was afraid that Erin
might influence you.
But when you refused to go home
and stayed on with McCool...
I feel for you with Erin.
I know what she means to you.
- Is she still in town?
- Yes, but don't worry.
I put out a tracer for your boy.
When he's been located, at least Erin
won't be staying close by.
And after the war, well...
...bitterness loses its taste,
many things are forgotten.
- I hope so.
- I must go.
Can't stay too long.
We'll work well together, Lex.
Oh, by the way...
...there's a shipment coming in.
A new kind of rifle.
The South could make good use of it.
When the time comes, I want you to
organize a little raid on our supply wagons.
I'll be glad to, sir.
John Hudson, their key man.
It's hard to believe, isn't it?
I might be able to get his ledger.
It'll have entries of all his purchases...
...and correspond with the
locations on that map.
Yeah. There's a better way
to do it, I think.
Kearny, get horses,
bring them for Hudson to buy.
I'll be at corrals when he names his price.
When you have the receipt, I'll arrest him.
If he has a ledger,
that'll be so much the better.
Take him to Washington,
confront the staff...
...with the proof that the only way to
fight espionage is with counterespionage.
I'll bring some horses with Elm,
and you can arrest him with Hudson.
Before I left Washington, Halleck
gave me high-command opinion...
...on organizing a group like ours.
They laughed at the general.
Said since counterespionage
wasn't in the dictionary...
...it seemed ridiculous to try to create
something that couldn't be defined.
Well, we're defining it for him.
And in great big capital letters.
- Any questions?
- Yes, sir.
What about those rifles you said you had
brought in the hard hardtack boxes, sir?
I packed them that way. In case the wrong
man got to snooping. Lucky, isn't it?
I was supposed
to steal those when they arrived.
That's how I got them, but we'll upset
your plan. Thank goodness they're here.
The firepower in these Springfield rifles will
multiply the strength of our garrison by five.
It'll give us the equivalent of 250 men.
We'll outnumber
the raiders and outfire them.
Any further questions?
The major won't be
the first to leave today.
Your son's been found,
Lex, safe and sound.
He'd enlisted under
the unusual name of John Smith.
Held at Chestnut Hill recruiting station.
- You'll want to tell your wife, I know.
- Yes, sir.
- Erin?
- Lex?
Jamie's been found.
And he's safe, and he's well.
How do you know?
I can't tell you, but he was at Chestnut Hill
recruiting station a few miles from home.
- Did Colonel John tell you this?
- No.
Please don't ask me any more,
but it's true, believe me.
What do you think I ought to do?
Go home to him, of course.
The stagecoach leaves in the morning...
...and you'll be home within a week.
That's what I thought.
You'd do anything
to get rid of me, wouldn't you?
- Erin, you don't think...
- Yes, I do.
I'd put nothing past you,
the way you've acted...
...none of your friends understand you.
Even Colonel John
won't talk to me about you.
- Erin, listen to me...
- Let go of me. Now get out.
And don't come creeping back
to me with any of your tricks.
I'm staying here until Colonel John
tells me my son's been found.
I hope it'll be soon.
I hope many things will be soon.
Get out.
Get out!
- Mrs. Kearny to see you, sir.
- Oh, send her in, sergeant.
Yes, sir. Mrs. Kearny.
I was thinking about you
this moment, my dear.
I've just received a long,
official document from Washington.
Which translated into one sentence says
"Young James Kearny has been found."
Oh, Colonel John.
Well, he's in the best of health.
Army grub seems to agree with him.
- So it's true.
- Well, what's the matter, Erin?
Lex came to see me last night
to tell me Jamie's been found.
I didn't believe him. I sent him away.
How did Lex know about Jamie?
I don't know, he wouldn't tell me, that's
one of the reasons I didn't believe him.
He acted so strange,
so mysterious about everything.
That's why I came to you.
I thought you could see him, talk to him...
...and get him to stop
this thing he's doing, whatever it is.
Erin, you worried for weeks
about Jamie, didn't you?
It didn't help matters any, did it?
He was found, and all your worries
were for nothing.
Now, you know what I'd do
if I were you?
I think you
ought to go home to your son.
This is a man's world out here,
and you don't belong.
But just remember this...
...people don't always act
the way you expect them to.
It doesn't mean that they aren't
fond of you or they don't love you.
It simply means they may have a star to
follow that's stronger than any personal tie.
Colonel John, I don't know
what I would have done without you.
Now run along, my dear.
- Good morning, John.
- Good morning, George.
- When did you get back?
- Last night.
It was late,
I didn't want to roust you out.
I congratulate you
on that herd getting through.
Everyone in Washington is elated.
- It was a surprise, wasn't it?
- It certainly was.
Mind if I use your telegrapher?
I'd like to wire General Halleck.
Well, help yourself.
- Ramsey?
- Yes, sir.
I was just getting ready
to bring you some horses.
Yes, I know. You almost had me,
didn't you, Lex?
I'm afraid I don't understand.
You were out to get me, but by a
rare stroke of fortune, I got you first.
It's the accidental things that sometimes
change the course of history, isn't it?
For instance, if you hadn't told Erin
that Jamie had been found...
...our positions might be reversed.
- I still don't understand.
- You made a mistake.
Your information about Jamie could
only have come from George Sharpe.
And he made a mistake too.
He called Ramsey by name, when by
all odds, he should never had known him.
What does all this prove, colonel?
Nothing. But I got curious.
I took Ramsey riding with me yesterday.
We happened to run on to Pete Elm.
As you said, he has his uses.
Ramsey talked.
One of the things he admitted was that they
know nothing about you in Washington.
You're doing this thing alone.
Against orders.
All you've got to do is get rid of me,
and you're in the clear?
Yes. Raise your hands.
Stand up.
Face that wall.
Open that door.
Colonel Sharpe?
Yeah. And that gin-pot bartender...
...and your trooper friend
Ferguson are pushing up daisies.
- Just like you're gonna be if l...
- Hold it, Elm.
I'm sorry this had to happen, Lex.
Good men fall when mistakes are made.
Nothing gained,
and all of them dead now.
You're in an unusual predicament.
One that can be of great service to me.
You're a Northern agent,
but nobody's alive to prove it.
With your record, everyone believes you
are a Southern agent.
I'll have to hang you for that
in the morning.
That and the murder of Colonel Sharpe.
Then our clever Mr. Quint
can report to Washington...
...that the rebel spy ring
has been smashed...
...and its leader, you, executed.
That will leave me free
to go on taking your horses.
And when the spring comes, instead
of the North mounting an offensive...
...it'll be the South.
I'm sorry, Lex.
Get going.
Are they starting the drive today?
Kind of wish you were in them hills
to stop it, don't you, Copperhead?
Open up the door, guard.
I'm supposed to ask you
if there's anything you want.
Is there anything you want?
- Let's get at it.
- Turn around. Hands behind you.
Sweet dreams, Copperhead.
At trail. Right, left, face.
Detail, halt!
We'll have to go in with you, sir.
- You'll all be court-martialed for this.
- Yes, sir. Follow me.
Get in the wagon.
- Go to the warehouse.
- Sir, our plans were to go north...
...into the hills.
- We gotta stop the drive...
...before it's shot up.
Follow trail of the herd.
- Major Kearny...
- There's new Springfield rifles...
...in the warehouse.
Enough for the troop.
If we get them in time,
we'll have a chance.
Never exactly doubted you, sir.
That raw deal they gave you at your
court-martial gave us a pain in the collar.
Where do you suppose it gave me a pain?
What's going on around here, major?
We can't figure it out.
It's lucky for me
you figured out what you did.
There's no time to go into details...
...but I'm working to uncover
the rebel spy leader.
And the trouble is it turned out to be our
own commanding officer Colonel Hudson.
- Colonel Hudson?
- Yes, but he'll be taken care of.
We've got to stop an ambush and keep
the lieutenant's men from being cut down.
What can the six of us do, sir?
If these rifles are everything Colonel Sharpe
hoped for, we'll have plenty of firepower.
No more muzzle loading. Breaks open at the
breach like this. Cartridge is inserted here.
When fired, it ejects the empty.
Load and fire in a matter of seconds.
That's all there is to it.
Let's get moving.
What are you doing here, Private Larsen?
Oh, mess sergeant sent me down
to pick up some rations.
- See Sergeant Snow and Kearny?
- Prisoner?
Yeah, the prisoner Kearny.
He's escaped.
No, sir.
- Who's that from back there?
- Me, sergeant.
I'm just wrestling the hardtack boxes.
I'll take beans any day.
Horses to gallop!
Watch out for yourselves!
Hold them.
Bring the rifles down.
Sergeant, Lieutenant Johnson.
It's like we had all our trouble for nothing.
We're too late.
Maybe not. First go over and straighten out
Lieutenant Johnson about me.
Sir, we were coming to help you.
- Major Kearny's in command.
- Major Kearny?
Yes, Major Kearny, lieutenant.
If you want that one bar on your shoulder
to turn into two...
...I suggest you hear me out.
Sir, the lieutenant may not believe him.
We might as well be going back anyway.
We won't be going back, Olie.
- I'm sorry we weren't in time, lieutenant.
- What are your orders, sir?
Equip every man that can ride
with these new rifles.
We're going to the south fork of Bear Creek
and get your herd back.
- Riley, get the rifles and ammunition.
- Yes, sir.
Sergeant Snow, lieutenant,
come with me.
Seems like everybody's here today.
There's Colonel Hudson
with my green jacket.
Now, this is the only way they can get out,
and we can catch them in our crossfire.
You go back and bring up the first section
on this side.
You deploy the second section
on the far side.
And a shot from me will be the signal
to open fire.
Colonel, instruct your men
not to shoot at Colonel Hudson.
I want him brought back
with every hair on his head.
- Yes, sir.
- Yes, sir.
How'd you let a thing like that happen,
Kearny had help. Probably on his way
to Washington right now.
My usefulness at the fort is finished.
Well, it would take about a week
to plant someone in your place.
Can't let the Yankees have horses.
There must be a couple hundred men
up there.
Somehow they got hold of
those new Springfield rifles.
I guess Kearny didn't go to Washington.
We'll have to wait until dark
if we're going to get out of here.
Cease fire!
Cease firing.
- Cease firing.
- These things get hot, sir.
- Hold your fire.
- I feel like a whole army, sir.
- Hold your fire.
- We got them trapped all right, major.
They can stay under cover
of those trees all day...
...and they can slip out tonight.
We got to smoke them out of there.
That's right, major, we'll smoke them out.
With your permission, sir.
- All right, sergeant.
- Hamel.
Torch some brush,
and we'll put it on the wagon.
It's gonna be a beautiful fire, major.
They'll be coming out soon.
- Get your men ready.
- Yes, sir.
You should have let me finish Kearny
when we had him.
I can't say I disagree with you, Pete.
Your hindsight is great.
It's Colonel Hudson.
Why don't you shoot me
and be done with it?
I need you for living proof
that five good men didn't die in vain.
Major Kearny...
...sometimes it may appear
that the Army is blind...
...to new methods of operation.
That's because we are dealing with
countless lives placed in our trust.
Fortunately, in times of emergency...
...men arise with a brand of courage
and fortitude...
...that go far beyond the call of duty,
and you are one of these.
And so were Colonel Sharpe,
Captain Tennick...
...and those other brave men
who willingly sacrificed their lives.
Major Kearny...
...you have been returned to duty with the
commendation of the general...
...of the Army of the Republic.
And I'm recommending
that you be transferred...
...to head the newly-formed Department
of Military Intelligence in Washington.
...the most important accomplishment
that came out of this entire operation...
...was your successful demonstration
of an experimental weapon.
You proved on the field of action...
...its superior effectiveness
over our older firearms.
And as a result, the Springfield rifle
has been made standard equipment...
...of the United States Army.
I'm sure it will play a large part
in ending this war...
...and bringing peace and unity
back to our country.
Right forward! Form right!