Swamp Water (1941) Movie Script

Look. There's the boat.
Let's get over there.
- We won't have to look no further.
- Aye-yippety-aye.
They was gator-ate.
You spoke the truth, Sheriff Jeb,
ain't no doubt about it.
A mighty big wet place, Okefenokee.
I'll say she is, Thursday. 700 miles of nothing.
700 miles ain't gonna see
hide nor hair of me, Marty.
Come on, let's get out of here.
It'll soon be duskdark.
We can't get losted, Jeb, not as long as
we can keep sight of that cross.
Maybe not, Tim,
but I can get mighty nervous.
Come on, shove her off, Hardy. Let's get.
Trouble. Come back here.
Trouble, come back here.
- Morning, Miss Hannah.
- Morning.
- Seen my dog?
- No, I ain't.
I swear, Hannah, you're a right pretty woman.
I don't know how come you ever married
an old man like me.
You ain't no old man.
I wish you wouldn't
go fox-hunting all the time.
Always going off with them dogs at duskdark
and leaving me here alone.
Hannah, I've been doing it
ever since I was old enough to own a dog.
You just can't change us swamp folks.
Look at Ben and that dog of his.
I get lonesome.
Why, I told you,
your sister could come and live with us.
It ain't my sister I'm lonesome for.
- Going trapping, son?
- No, sir.
My dog ain't back. I'm going at him.
Come here, Ben.
Yes, sir.
You be careful and keep clear of that swamp.
How can I keep clear of Okefenokee?
That's where my dog is.
- You heard me, son.
- When are you coming back, Ben?
When I find that fool dog, Miss Hannah.
You be back by tomorrow night
and keep clear of that swamp.
You know where I gotta go to find my dog.
You'll be back here by tomorrow night
or not at all.
- I'll try to get back.
- Don't try. Get back.
- I don't care whether I get back or not.
- That's up to you.
Goodbye, Miss Hannah.
You ain't never been that hard-minded.
He ain't never headed for
that swamp before, neither.
You've been like
a second mother to him, Hannah.
Surely you know how I feel.
Sure I know.
A woman don't need no telling.
Trouble with you menfolk is you're afraid
to let on to each other how you feel.
Hello, Ben.
- Howdy, Mabel.
- My goodness. You look like a thundercloud.
- I just had a big fight with my father.
- Whatever for?
- My dog's losted.
- That's nothing to fight about.
- We fit about my going to get him.
- Oh, Ben.
What are you laughing about?
I got a right to get my dog, ain't I?
Don't fight with me about it.
Go get your dog if you want.
- That's what I aim to.
- Ben?
- Guess you are upset.
- I've got old Trouble on my mind.
Well, for heaven's sake, go look for him, then.
That's just what I'm gonna do.
A box of 12-gauge shells, Marty.
- Who's a-winning, Dave?
- Well, it's kind of give-and-take.
That old mule of yours
is getting pretty lame, ain't she?
Yeah. She's got a nail in her foot.
If I ever get time, I'm gonna pull it out.
- You got time to work on me a little?
- I'll take time.
Where you heading for, Ben?
- You're going into that swamp?
- Yes. I gotta find my dog.
You're going in alone?
- Lessen you want to go with me.
- No, not me.
Hot dang, I can just see you
a-sashaying into that swamp.
Yeah, then come hauling-tail outta there
with a bull gator snapping at your britches.
- I ain't afraid of no swamp.
- Neither was them trappers we looked for.
- What you trying to do?
- I wanted to see if your hat would fit me.
That's all we're ever gonna find of you.
Doggone that she-housecat.
She throws a litter every time I turn my back.
I'll tell you what we'll do.
You give us a bottle of that red whisky,
and Bud and me'll put all them cats
in one sack and throw 'em in the creek.
Sure will.
- Be dogged if you ain't made a deal.
- Catch 'em. Get a sack.
Hurry up, Bud.
- That yellow hyena.
- Kitty, kitty.
Behind that barrel. Move.
- Don't let 'em get away.
- No, he ain't here.
- Well, I'll be doggoned. Where did he go?
- He went over there someplace.
- Here he is.
- Gimme that cat.
You, young 'un.
Fetch it back.
You hear me?
Why don't you let her have it, Marty?
Give him the cat, you.
Maybe we ought to put you
in that croker sack, you little fighting cat.
- Fork over that bottle of red-eye, Marty.
- Hurry up.
If you aim to rassle them bull gators,
you'll need a swallow of this.
No, thanks, Bud. It might taste of cats.
Cold-out crazy about that dog,
bless Katy if he ain't.
Can't nobody stop him now.
Old Trouble.
Who are you?
Ain't you Tom Keefer?
- I'm mighty sorry, bud.
- Sorry you gave me that lick on the head?
I'm mighty sorry
you turned out to know I'm Tom Keefer.
You come at me?
No, I come at my dog, that's all.
I didn't even know
you was a-hiding in Okefenokee.
Old Sheriff Jeb figured you got away
to Savannah after you escaped.
If you was to let me take my dog and go,
I wouldn't never tell nobody.
I don't expect I could do that.
You wouldn't never
find your way outta here anyways.
- You could tell me how to get out.
- I don't expect I could.
I reckon I know what happened
to them trappers now.
They was cottonmouth-bit.
I found them dead, all swole up.
I buried 'em up yonder.
- What's your name, bud?
- Ben. Ben Ragan.
Thursday Ragan's boy?
Thursday was on the jury
that tried to get me hung.
Well, why don't you go ahead?
You done killed one man, ain't ya?
I figured I'd cut the throat
of anyone come at me.
You ain't gonna do it?
But you're in Okefenokee for good, bud.
If I were to let you go back,
you'd tell it on me.
- Not if I said I wouldn't.
- Your word don't mean nothing to me.
Not when my living or hanging
is depending on it.
Oh, Trouble.
Well, I ain't gonna stay, Keefer.
You ain't man enough to keep me here.
There ain't but one way
to find your way out of this swamp now.
That's with me a-showing you.
Sure am proud to have me a dog like that.
You ain't got him, yet.
We'll get out, Keefer, if I have to bash you
in the head when you ain't looking.
Bud, there ain't no man living
can catch me when I ain't looking.
Don't you move, Keefer.
I told you I'd get ya.
Now get in that boat.
Take me out of this swamp.
I dropped that knife a-purpose, bud.
I figured it was time to learn you a lesson.
Get moving.
I hope I didn't hurt you none.
I tried to throw you easylike.
Don't need to do me no favours.
Next time I'll kill you,
and get out by myself.
I never seen no one so butt-headed.
You're a good man, bud,
but you've gotta give it up now.
You're in here for life.
Reckon you got plenty to think about.
Shep Collins with a load of buckshot
in his heart, and the like of that.
Sometimes I get to thinking about
my poor girl and what's gonna happen to her.
You mean to say you got
a woman outside this swamp?
I had me the finest woman that ever lived.
Couldn't be no other woman for me
after she died.
Not even if I could leave this swamp
and live like folks.
What do you mean, then?
I told ya. My young 'un.
That's how come I took to the swamp instead
of getting away where I could live like folks.
Couldn't bear to be that far away
from my Julie.
Marty McCord took her in after I was arrested.
She does chores and Mrs McCord
gives her rations and a place to sleep.
Sure, I seen her.
- Lately?
- Sure, I seen that gal young 'un.
- She doing all right?
- I reckon so.
How come she don't go by the name
of Keefer if she's your young 'un?
Ain't a good name to bear, is it?
My wife was a Gordon.
When they was gonna hang me, Mrs McCord
promised she'd raise Julie by that name.
Purely fine woman, Mrs McCord.
Don't nobody know?
Sure. Didn't Thursday never talk about it?
you know, there's a lot of fine folks
outside this swamp.
Most people's a whole lot better
than we think they are.
And some men's a whole lot worse.
What do you mean?
What's got into you?
What's wrong?
Man, you're cottonmouth-bit.
I'm going to get him now, Lord.
There's a dead soul coming,
it ain't nobody but Tom Keefer.
But he died without no hollering
nor cutting the fool.
I ain't gonna hold nothin' against him, Lord,
even his trying to steal old Trouble.
So if you want to go easy on him for
killing Shep Collins, it'll be all right with me.
Come on, Trouble.
Never thought to see you
around here no more.
I sort of stayed to bury you.
Looks like I worked all night for nothing.
If I let them things kill me,
I'd have been dead a long time ago.
You got some kind of snake cure?
I just make up my mind to get well,
think hard on it, and...
maybe do a little praying.
I bet I've been cottonmouth-bit a dozen times.
When I found my knife was took,
I figured you'd lit out.
No. No, I took it to cut that snake bite,
to make it bleed.
Reckon you can have your gun back
if you want it, Ben.
You ain't a-listening, Miss Hannah.
You better go now, Mr Wick.
How come you can't call me Jesse
like you used to 'fore you was married?
- You better go.
- How come, Miss Hannah?
You know how come.
Thursday'd kill any man he catched here now.
He ain't a-catching me. I'm safe
as long as I hear them hounds a-baying.
- He won't come back till they catch their fox.
- He ain't fox-hunting, he's hunting Ben.
He's working his way around Okefenokee,
blowing his horn till Ben'll hear it.
Thursday holds hisself to blame
for letting Ben get losted.
Ben don't never come back,
I reckon it'll just about kill him.
Somebody's coming.
Don't run.
- Ben.
- Miss Hannah.
- Guess you all about gave me up.
- We feared you was dead.
- Howdy, Jesse.
- I was passing by. She asked if I'd seen you.
How come you were away so long?
We feared you was gator-ate.
I told you I'd be back when I got ready.
I just got ready.
- I just happened to be passing by.
- You've been in that swamp all this time?
Yes. Me and that darn dog
has travelled ourselves half to death.
I told her I ain't seen you.
I was just passing by.
- Be sure, Jesse.
- I better be a-rambling.
Good night, Jesse.
You forgot your guitar.
Thanks, Ben. I was just passing by.
- I'll get you something to eat.
- I could sure eat it, Miss Hannah.
It's Thursday.
Evening, Thursday.
I told you I'd get back, sir.
And I found old Trouble.
You took your time about it.
No, sir, I come back as soon as I could.
I catched me a lot of hide animals.
I told you to be back here in two days.
I was losted.
Just getting too biggety. I'm still the man
that can slim you down, you hear me?
- I might have been dead.
- You're butt-headed. Just gonna show me.
- You wouldn't care what happened to me.
- I said to be right back.
To show me who's boss.
If that's what you think,
that's what I aim to show you.
- Come here.
- I ain't gonna fight my father.
- You're gonna stand there and take it.
- No, I ain't.
I'm my own man.
I won't do everything you say.
- Don't be hard on him.
- Quiet.
Many a man's gone into Okefenokee
and not come out.
Promise me you won't go near that swamp
no more and I won't romp on you.
There's coon and otter in that swamp.
I'm gonna go trapping there.
Not and live under this roof with me,
you ain't.
He's been worrying himself half-crazy
over you, Ben.
Well, he won't have to no more.
Please don't go thisaway. He'll get over it.
You ought to see I gotta do it.
Ain't right for you to go.
Your father needs you, Ben.
I need you too.
I can't tell you why.
I'm scared of something here.
Oh, Ben. I love you like you was my own boy.
- Don't go and leave us.
- Don't you worry none, Miss Hannah.
Marty McCord's got an old empty shack
on his place I can get.
I reckon this just had to happen,
so's I could really be my own man.
Goodbye, Miss Hannah.
Come here, young 'un.
Come here. I've been looking for you.
Come on. I ain't gonna hurt ya.
Get inside.
Go on. I got something to tell you.
I seen your father in the swamp.
- We nearly killed each other before I got out.
- My father ain't hiding in no swamp, he ain't.
What you scared of? I ain't gonna tell.
Me and him's gonna be partners.
We're gonna trap together. Look here.
I already sold Marty some of the hides
we catched. Half this money's yours.
You ain't gonna tell on him?
Of course I ain't. We gonna make a raft
of money trapping that swamp, Tom and me.
You get enough money saved up,
Tom wants you to get you some schooling.
He don't want you to be no little stray cat
like you are now, dependent on other folks.
I ain't no beggar. I work for my rations.
You needn't get mad about it. Here.
- I ain't no place to hide it.
- Tom says I was to give it to you.
I'd be scared to hold all that.
I ain't never had no money.
I'll keep it for you till I see what Tom says
when I go back into Okefenokee.
Is he all right? Is he sick or anything?
Tom Keefer? Can't nothing hurt him.
You better scoot
before Marty's wife misses you.
- You keep your mouth shut, mind.
- I mind.
Now, get.
Can't I straighten up for you?
I reckon you can at that. If there's one thing
I don't get the hang of, it's making up a bed.
But don't you let nobody see you
a-running over here.
No, you don't, boy. You stay here.
Don't let him out,
or he'll go buck-chasin' again.
- Can I feed him?
- Sure. Trouble's like me, he can always eat.
Trouble. That's a fine name, ain't it?
Oh, Ben, I thought
you was never coming back.
Go on thinking if it makes you act thisaway.
Don't guess this is no way
for a nice girl to behave.
That's the way I want my girl to behave
when I come to see her.
- Mabel. I got something to tell you.
- What?
- I run off from home.
- You did?
- Moved into Marty's old shack.
- That old place.
I aim to fill that shack with hides
come wintertime.
There ain't nobody in this town
I'll have to say "sir" to.
- I'm my own man now.
- You're just talking big again.
No, I ain't. Gonna get me a saddle horse,
and a fine hound so I can breed old Trouble
and raise some little Troubles.
And not long after that, maybe I'll be
around here with a proposition to make you.
- What kind of a proposition?
- You'll find out.
I'm going into Okefenokee. You never seen
the like of hide animals in there.
- You'll lose yourself. I'll never see you again.
- No, I won't.
Yes, you will. Please don't go in there again.
- You'll get gator-ate, like those two trappers.
- They was snake-bit.
Man knows his way around like I do
ain't gonna get snake-bit.
How come you know they were snake-bit?
How come you say that?
How come?
- Well, I seen where they's buried.
- Who buried 'em?
Who could bury 'em in that swamp?
You can ask more doggone questions.
Don't get mad about it, Ben. Why don't you
tell me who's a-hiding in the swamp?
There ain't nobody a-hiding in the swamp.
If you was to find men that had been
cottonmouth-bit, you'd bury them.
Well, that's what I done.
- Promise me you won't tell nobody.
- Why?
They might try to keep me
from going back there.
Then my trapping would be over,
and I couldn't make you that proposition.
You know I won't tell nobody, Ben.
After all, I got reasons
for wanting you to make good, ain't I?
Yeah, you sure have.
When you going in the swamp again?
Two or three days.
- Supposin' you ain't back for the dance?
- Well, I'll be back.
Yeah, but supposin' you ain't?
A girl can't settle down to one, Ben.
Especially when he don't show up
unless the notion strikes him.
Why, I told you I'd be back.
You better be.
- Howdy, Ben.
- Howdy, Tom.
Hadn't ought to be carrying Trouble
in a boat with you.
Gator'll turn over a boat to get at a dog.
You ought to leave him here with me.
I ain't leaving him nowhere.
- I'd take care of him like he was my own dog.
- Yeah, I reckon you would.
Got a present for you here, mister, see?
- You'd steal my dog if I gave you a chance.
- I'd like to, Ben.
But I reckon I can't now,
seeing as how you're my partner.
Like another world in here, ain't it?
I heard tell that stars is other worlds too.
Big, shining rafts
a-floating in the ocean of God's night.
With living things on every raft, just like
there is on this one they call the Earth.
Living alone in this swamp's
just like living on another star.
This swamp ain't dangerous as I can see,
like they say.
If you know it, it ain't. But you can get lost
and go crazy trying to find your way out.
You got to know things that live here
to get along with them.
Just like you got to know people on the
outside afore you can get along with them.
Speaking of people outside, Ben,
you ain't told me yet how my Julie looks.
Well, she looks all right, I reckon.
Kinda raggedy.
I know how come you could make it
out in this swamp without no gun or nothing.
It's cos you know Indian ways.
I heard tell you knowed a lot about Indians.
I used to hunt with a half-breed
afore my trouble.
Indians knowed a heap of things, Ben.
They buried their dogs with them cos they
figured a dog had a soul just like a man's.
I don't see no sense in a thing like that.
You say a dog is dead when he dies.
I don't see how come that should be.
Don't he breathe like you? And ain't he got
a heart, and feelings, and a heap of sense?
Look at this skeeter
trying to get his sticker into me.
Ain't he got life in him, just like me?
Not now, he ain't.
You ain't killed him.
His life's just gone somewheres else.
If you're so sure you're gonna go on living
after you're dead, Tom,
what about that man you killed?
Ain't you gonna be kinda feared
to face Shep Collins up yonder?
I never killed Shep Collins.
Why, he was shot dead with your own gun,
wasn't he? I remember that.
Sheriff Jeb tell how you bashed
him in the head and escaped,
just afore he was gonna hang you.
Sure. I wasn't gonna hang
for something I never done.
Ain't there no way
to make Sheriff Jeb get at the truth?
No, Ben.
I'm gonna live and die in this old swamp.
But I don't mind,
if my Julie ain't left
to run wild and shift for herself.
You're gonna help me take care of her.
I wish you'd smile at me, Miss Hannah,
like you used to.
I waited for Thursday to go fox-hunting.
As soon as I heard his dog sound off,
I sneaked over here.
The more little foxes they chase,
the better I like it.
I'd rather you worry about me this way
than about that old man.
I ain't worried about you. Thursday
could break you in pieces with one hand.
The Dorsons might say something about that.
Somebody might get killed.
Why, I seen them once
with my own eyes when...
- You seen what?
- Never you mind. They don't like Thursday.
They'd be purely pleased if they had
a good reason to do something about it.
- That's what I'm afeard of.
- Shucks, this ain't no way for us to talk.
I'd rather die than quarrel with you.
I'm cold-out crazy about you. You know I am.
Go away, Jesse.
Go away and don't never come back no more.
- Hannah, don't go away.
- No.
Go away and leave me alone.
Go away. Please.
- Go away, please.
- Hannah.
- Thursday.
- You stop, sir. Stop, sir.
You hear me? Stop, sir.
Hannah, where are you?
- Are you all right?
- I'm all right.
Who was it?
Who was it, Hannah?
- You're limpin'. How'd you hurt yourself?
- Never mind my limpin'. I asked who it was.
Why, I...
- You know you it was, don't you?
- No. No, I don't know.
What do you mean you don't know?
He had hold of you.
I don't know.
I didn't reckon for you to lie to me,
Miss Hannah.
I can't tell you, Thursday, I can't.
I kind of begin to see.
- You told him when to come.
- No, I never. He just knowed.
This ain't the first time.
I can't hardly believe it, Miss Hannah.
You gotta tell me who it were.
- I can't do that.
- You've got to.
I can't. I know what would happen -
you'd go at him with your gun.
Well, there ain't so many men in this country
I can't figure it out for myself.
Tell me how you hurt yourself. I can help you.
No, you can't, Miss Hannah.
Si, Si.
Come on inside if you want to see
something you never did see afore.
Ain't that a leather-headed old rip?
That's the biggest panther skin I ever seen.
- Where'd you catch him?
- In the swamp.
- How'd you get him?
- We got him with buckshot.
- You was with somebody?
- I mean, me and my dog.
I knowed you had a smart dog, Ben,
but I never heard he could handle a shotgun.
- You know what I mean.
- No, I ain't certain, Ben, yet.
- I ain't neither.
- That panther ain't nothing.
If you think you're big trappers, you oughta
see the rest of them hides Ben brung in.
Honest to Katy, he's got that old shack
of Marty's just plumb full of otter skins.
He sure has. I declare I never seen the like.
You'll see a sight better
when we go trapping Okefenokee with Ben.
Bud and me's got more traps than you, but
we'll just share and share alike. How about it?
- I ain't taking no partners.
- What you got against us?
- I run my traps alone, that's all.
- That's all you're telling.
Never mind. We'll trap that swamp alone
and keep the third share for ourselves.
It can't be so hard to find your way around,
not if you done it.
It took me two weeks to find my way out.
Even my dog didn't know which way to turn.
So you gave him your shotgun to tote
and you found your own way out.
I wish you would go into that swamp.
I just wish you would try it.
I'm thinking you would find a big surprise.
Marty, gimme a bottle of that red liquor.
I want to buy Ben Ragan a drink.
Give him a bottle of that panther water, Marty.
Two drinks of that and they'll go
into the swamp and rassle a bull gator.
- Guess.
- Couldn't be nobody but you, Ben.
- Howdy, Mabel.
- Where you been at so long?
I told you two weeks ago.
Or have you forgot already?
- Two weeks is a long time.
- I told you I'd get back for tonight.
I got us a loan of Marty McCord's horse
to take us to the dance.
I'm going with somebody else.
I told you you'd better get back.
- I told you I'd get back, and here I am.
- Ben, you ain't the only pebble on the beach.
You just expect a girl
to sit around and wait for you.
Well, I waited, waited, and yesterday
when you didn't show up I said yes.
To who?
Good friend. You might as well know who.
It's Miles Tonkin.
- Him.
- You sound mighty jealous to me.
Why should I getjealous?
I got me a somebody I can take to that dance.
All right, get mad about it.
Who else can you take?
That's all right who.
Ain't no other girls in town
that ain't got a man.
I got me a somebody all right.
You're lying, Ben Ragan.
You can't get another girl for that dance
within a day's horse ride, and you know it.
Maybe I'll let you dance with me.
Well, if my friend don't mind.
I can't make no promises.
I'll let you know tonight, Ben.
- Why, hello, Miles.
- Howdy. Howdy, Mabel.
What time do you want me to be coming
around to take you to the dance tonight?
Hello, Ben.
Mrs McCord.
- Is this a pretty dress?
- It's a beautiful dress.
- How much?
- It's a dollar and a half.
Well, I want it.
What did we come for, Thursday,
if we ain't gonna dance?
We'll keep on coming, Miss Hannah,
till you point him out.
All right. I'll know who it was when I see him.
Howdy, Ben.
Why, Julie. I hardly knowed you.
- She looks pretty.
- Hello, Julie. Hello, Ben.
- Hello, John. Howdy.
- That's a mighty pretty outfit.
Come on back, Julie.
- You sure look pert, Julie.
- How come you're here, young 'un?
- I brung her, Marty.
- Why, Julie.
Howdy, Mabel.
It's no use, Ben. I can't.
Well, let's sit down for a minute, Julie.
- Howdy, Miss Hannah.
- Evening, Ben.
- Howdy.
- Howdy.
This here's Miss Julie... Miss Gordon.
Sure. I seen you at Mrs McCord's.
You look pretty.
I've been a-watching you with Ben.
Thank you.
Ain't you Tom Keefer's young 'un?
Yes, sir.
I ain't gonna have nobody running her down.
I don't aim to have words
with none of my kin in public.
I didn't mean no offence. You're the one that
seemed ashamed to say her name, not me.
Don't quarrel with him, Ben. He ain't hisself.
He's just mad cos I won't take his bossing.
Now, Ben. You go cool off outside
and leave us womenfolk together.
- Good evening, Ben.
- Howdy, Sheriff.
- Ain't dancing, Mr Ragan?
- You know the reason why.
Can't you leave her alone neither?
Thought you was supposed to be
a-courting me, Ben.
So did I.
Hope you don't expect me
to just sit around the house and sew
all the time you're monkeying around
in that old swamp.
I expect nothing from you
but a bossified tongue and a cussing out.
You ain't felt my tongue yet, Ben.
- That's no way to talk.
- I suppose Miles wouldn't talk like that.
No, he wouldn't. He's a gentleman.
Why don't you get back in there and do-si-do
with him so I can dance with my girl?
- You little cat.
- You leave me alone.
Leave her alone, Ragan.
Guess he won't bother you no more.
Look out!
Stop them! Stop them!
Excuse me.
Come on, Ben. Get him.
Get away from me, will you, Mabel?
For the love of Katy, what are you boys
a-fighting about? Who started this ruckus?
Me and Ben was just arguing.
Miles didn't have no call to come butting in.
He fit for you. He can have you.
Take care, Ben.
I got a good idea what you're up to.
You get on home.
Hardy, you go on back to the dance.
Miles Tonkin.
Wish I'd have come out sooner -
I'd have kicked him.
I reckon he ain't to blame.
Now I know why
you took me to the dance, I guess.
Cos Mabel McKenzie's your girl.
Not any more she ain't.
Maybe I did so, Julie,
but I'm right proud I took you.
It's funny, I never noticed,
you're a heap prettier than Mabel is.
- If you was a little bigger.
- I could grow more, maybe.
From now on I ain't gonna court
nobody else, Julie.
If you've got no objection.
I've got no objection.
I never in my life asked for no kiss,
I always just took 'em.
But dogged if I ain't asking you now, Julie.
Do you mind?
I don't mind.
- That come from Marty's pigpen, didn't it?
- Yes, Ben.
You wait here.
Hurry up, boys. We've been a-waiting for you.
- Howdy, neighbour.
- Howdy, boys.
- Where's Thursday?
- His horse went lame.
Turned back to get his gelding,
said to go ahead with the meeting.
Well, most of us is here.
Go ahead, Tulle. Let's get down to cases.
Well, men, I hate to say this, but it looks
to me like we got a hog thief amongst us.
It sure does, Tulle. Kiss Katy if it don't.
Howdy. I reckon the somebody you've
come to see is out in the kitchen.
I didn't come to see nobody. Heard you all
was meeting on account on them hog thieves.
Don't know nothing about no thieves. We was
aiming to catch just one of them scoundrels.
- Hope to Katy there ain't two of 'em around.
- Maybe there is.
- Hot dang, what you driving at anyway?
- What do you know about this business?
I got me a good idea them missing hogs
is within ten miles of here.
If they ain't been rafted
down the river and sold.
If you know so much about it, maybe you
had a finger in it. You been away a lot lately.
Yeah. I been away trapping, like you and Bud.
- Why...
- Hold on. You know Ben don't mean nothing.
Don't cut the fool.
This ain't no fooling matter.
I tell you it ain't.
You're getting too big for your breeches.
- Now, now, Bud.
- All of you for coffee?
- Coffee, Mr Ragan?
- No, thanks, ma'am.
How's your friend getting on in the swamp?
Well? Why don't you tell Sheriff Jeb
who's a-hiding in the swamp?
Might be the hog thief
you've been looking for.
- Coffee?
- Thank you.
- What does she mean?
- I don't know.
- We knew you had somebody in that swamp.
- That right?
That's the place a hog thief'd hole up,
in Okefenokee.
Who's a-hiding in that swamp, son?
- Couldn't be Tom Keefer, could it, Ben?
- Tom Keefer.
She's cold-out crazy.
Seems to me you're kinda crazy, Ben,
taking up with that young 'un of Keefer's.
I wouldn't have knowed
who was helping you but for that.
- Be dogged if she ain't right.
- Sure she is.
Now I guess you know
where your hog thief is.
Them hog thieves is right here on this porch,
and you know it.
- You'd better shut him up.
- Lookit here, Ben.
Is Tom Keefer in the swamp?
- Answer him, boy.
- Ask her, she knows so much about it.
- We done heard from her, we asking you.
- Is it Keefer in that swamp?
Listen to me, Keefer done a murder.
Are you sticking by him or us?
- He didn't do no murder.
- You gotta tell us where Keefer's at.
- You figured it out for yourself, go get him.
- I will, but you're gonna show us the way.
- I got something to say about that.
- I don't think so.
Don't you get in my way, you Dorsons.
Don't you get in my way.
Either you tell or you're gonna get ducked.
Wait a minute. Come on, Ben, give up. Make it
easy on yourself. Now's the time to do it.
It's only right we catch that murdering Keefer.
We need your help.
- We aim to have your word afore we leave.
- You sure won't get it.
- Ain't no use argufying with him.
- Let's put him under.
Leave him up, Dorson. Leave him up.
- You ready to talk?
- You'd better say something.
- Say something, Ben.
- Are you gonna say it?
You can't make me.
Let's drown the rat.
Bless Katy, I never see a body so stubborn.
Where's everybody?
Down at the crick.
You Dorsons, get that boy out of there.
Get away. Get out of the way.
You hear me? Get him out.
- He knows where Keefer's hiding.
- And we're making him tell.
Get him out.
Get him out.
- Untie him.
- We wasn't aiming to harm him none.
Get away, all of you.
Ben. Ben.
You're gonna be all right, son.
If you'd have minded me and kept
out of that swamp like I told you, Ben,
you wouldn't be in no fix like you're in.
What's the matter, boy?
If you'll be giving me my clothes,
I'll be taking myself off your hands.
You be quiet now.
You're sick, Ben.
I ain't so sick I have to lay here and
listen to you giving me down-the-country.
I knowed that was all
you drug me out of that crick for.
I drug you out because you was my boy.
You're home, Ben.
You and me ain't gonna have
no more disputes.
Howdy, Matt.
Howdy, Mrs McCord. Marty here?
- Take them out of here.
- I've brung 'em to sell, same as always.
- Take 'em out.
- What's wrong with them hides?
I can smell Tom Keefer on 'em.
I figured you wouldn't hold
nothing against me.
If you aim to have truck with such as Keefer,
aim to sell his hides somewheres else.
- Where else?
- Take 'em to Savannah like I have to.
I ain't got no way to get to Savannah.
That's too far.
Well, you'll have to get them out of here.
- How am I gonna make my living?
- Well, that's up to you.
My wife says to tell you
to clear out that shack too.
I'm fixing to clear out.
- Marty?
- Yeah?
Are y'all going fox-hunting tonight?
Yeah. We're a-hunting.
I'm sure gonna miss that dog of yourn.
Goodbye, Mrs McCord.
Howdy, Sheriff.
Oh, Julie.
You told 'em. You told on him.
You told on my father.
- I didn't aim to...
- You didn't have no right to do it.
Now they're gonna catch him.
I heard Sheriff Jeb tell it.
Them Dorsons is gonna help.
- You're worse than that Miles Tonkin.
- You don't know how it happened.
I ain't gonna speak to you again.
I won't come to the shack.
I ain't gonna cook your food
or make your bed. I ain't.
Ain't nobody gonna catch your father
because I ain't gonna leave them.
Oh, Ben.
I ain't never gonna
believe you again. Never.
You gotta trust me.
Ain't I always told you the truth?
Ain't I kept money for you?
I ain't gonna touch it. Keep the money
or throw it away. I won't never touch it.
I was only a-saving it for him.
Now you've killed him.
No, I ain't neither, I tell you.
Down, Dorcas, down.
Listen to them, Trouble. That's
a stomp-down good race they're having.
That old grey fox is leading 'em
on a run now, ain't she?
Let's me and you slip and go, irregardless.
Best stay here tonight.
Don't reckon you need
to wait for no invitation.
Miss Hannah.
- What's wrong 'tween you and him?
- I can't tell you.
How come?
I couldn't stand it if you got down on me too.
Is it something you done?
Maybe it'll make me feel better if I tell you.
Ever since then, Thursday don't go nowhere.
Just sits around here watching me,
waiting for that man to come back.
I told him it wouldn't happen no more,
but he won't listen.
I've been wishing I were dead.
I didn't ever reckon
it was nothing like that, Miss Hannah.
I wish I hadn't a-told you.
It's not Thursday, Jesse. It's me.
- Oh, Ben.
- Were you expecting Thursday?
Why should I?
Course, if you got anything to say to him,
Jesse, I know where you can find him.
- I ain't got nothing to say to him.
- Maybe he'd have something to say to you.
I ain't never done no harm to Thursday.
I never done nothing to him.
What do you think he'd say
if I was to tell him where I found your guitar?
Go ahead and tell him.
He won't come near me, he'd be afraid.
He'd break you into a thousand pieces.
I got friends looking out for me. You know
what they'd do. They gave you a taste of it.
The Dorsons. I was forgetting about them.
Yes, siree. The Dorsons ain't
gonna let nothing happen to me.
What are you looking at me that way for?
What are you saving that for, Jesse?
I got lots of things.
Yeah, that's right.
You was quite a big man at that trial,
wasn't you, Jesse?
There was only three witnesses
agin Tom Keefer.
There was Bud and Tim Dorson, and you -
all telling the same story, word for word.
Three agin one, that right?
- We only told what we saw.
- Yeah. Maybe you did and maybe you didn't.
I know Tom Keefer,
I know he couldn't commit no murder.
But you could.
And so could Bud and Tim Dorson.
- You're crazy. I wouldn't kill a kitten.
- No, well, maybe you didn't.
But now I'm beginning to see the light.
I'm beginning to understand why
them Dorsons always stand up for you,
and why you always trail around after them.
No, Ben. There ain't nothing like that.
You're wrong, Ben.
No, I'm not wrong, Jesse. You killed him.
Or the Dorsons done it and you seen 'em.
That's it.
It's just as plain as the look on your face.
You're just as guilty as they are,
and if they hang for it, you're gonna hang too.
Don't talk like that, Ben. I ain't done nothing.
The only chance for you
to save your hide is to tell the truth, now.
I can't do that. I can't, Ben.
Bud Dorson would kill me.
Bud won't kill nobody. You speak your piece,
I'll get Keefer to back you up.
Then the Dorsons'll be
at the wrong end of a rope.
I can't do it, Ben. I can't do anything like that.
All right, Jesse. You just suit yourself.
But either you come with me right now to see
Sheriff Jeb or I'm taking you to Thursday.
You ain't got no other choice -
Sheriff Jeb or Thursday.
I'd choose Sheriff Jeb, make a clean breast
of it and get free of them Dorsons for good.
All right. Come on, it's one or the other.
See? Ain't no Dorsons there.
I can't do it, Ben. I can't do it.
It's too late to back down now. Ain't nobody
gonna harm you for telling the truth.
Ben Ragan, what are you a-doing here?
Jesse's got something to tell you, Sheriff Jeb.
Then it's purely up to you what I do.
Well, go on, Jesse. Don't be ascared.
Tell them who killed Shep Collins.
What I said in court wasn't true.
Julie, you inside?
Go away. You ain't got no right here.
- I gotta see you.
- I don't never want to see you no more.
But you don't understand.
I'm going in the swamp to get your father.
You're getting him so they can hang him.
No, Julie. It ain't what you think.
He's a-coming out for good.
I done fixed everything.
I made Jesse Wick tell the truth.
They wouldn't believe my father,
they ain't gonna believe no Jesse Wick.
That's why I'm bringing your father out.
Sheriff Jeb's got Jesse Wick's affidavit.
He can't go back on that.
Tomorrow he'll have Tom's.
Let me talk to you, Julie. Let me see you.
You sure he can come out?
And no one'll hurt him?
I'm plumb sure, Julie.
Bright and early in the morning
they're gonna pick you up
and take you right in Sheriff Jeb's boat
down to meet your daddy.
And I ain't gonna say a word to Tom
about you waiting there, Julie.
We're gonna surprise him.
Show him how pretty you growed up to be.
We can live on our farm again - like folks.
That's just the way it's gonna be, Julie.
All Tom's troubles is over,
past and gone and forgotten.
You know what he said to me once? Living
in the swamp was like living on another star.
Now it'll be like coming back
into the world again.
- Ben. Oh, Ben.
- Julie.
Not now, you fool.
- Howdy, Ben.
- Howdy.
Sure glad to see you. For the first time
in years I've been real lonesome.
I've been missing this old hound here.
- Get in this canoe, Tom.
- How come?
I've come to take you out of the swamp.
I got a confession from Jesse Wick.
Sheriff Jeb said that you can come out free.
All you have to do is face them Dorsons
and everything'll be like it was before.
- You ain't one to joke, are you?
- It's the God's truth. You're free.
You and Julie is gonna live again like folks.
- You mean I can just up and go out of here?
- Sure I do.
Sheriff Jeb and Marty are gonna be waiting
at the gator hole at the edge of the swamp.
There's a trick in that.
All they want to do is get their hands on me.
You must be crazy, Tom.
My own father'll be there.
And Hardy and Fred Ulm and John Dekle
and Marty McCord, like I told you.
I never figured you wouldn't believe me.
- They talked you into it, Ben.
- No, they ain't, Tom.
They done talked you into it.
All they want to do is catch me.
- They was always agin me and they still is.
- I'm telling you the truth. I ain't agin you.
If I was, I'd have brought them in here,
wouldn't I? I wouldn't be taking you out.
Maybe so, but if you're wrong, I'm the one
that has to pay for it. You know that.
I told you who'd be waiting there.
If their word ain't no good,
the word of the Holy Bible ain't, I reckon.
It's like being dead all these years.
Now you're a-telling me
to come back to life again.
I gotta be alone a minute, Ben.
You stay here, you old fool.
Won't be no more hiding now.
Afore long you'll be eating your own corn
and roasting your own shoats.
Yeah, and Julie'll roast it for me.
Do you know, Ben, can she cook?
Sure she can. Right good.
Say, Ben, tell me, how does she look?
Is she pretty?
Well, Tom, I wouldn't exactly say
she took after you.
Well, no. I don't reckon she got no whiskers.
You take Keefer.
I want that squealing shoat of a Ragan.
Around that turn,
we'll be in sight of the cross.
- Only couple more minutes.
- They'll all be waiting to tell me I'm free.
That's right. The whole lot of them.
- Did you get 'em?
- I ain't sure.
Shove over to the other bank.
Come up around behind them.
- You was lying.
- No, I wasn't.
You set 'em on me. I should've cut your throat
the first time you came at me, like I wanted to.
- Why, you're crazy, Tom.
- I was crazy to trust you.
I'd be crazy to trust anyone. I thought there
was good people in the world, but they ain't.
We can't stay and talk.
Them Dorsons is coming.
You know who it is?
That proves you sicked 'em on me.
It couldn't be nobody else.
Jesse must've told 'em.
- You mean you told 'em.
- They hate me as bad as they do you.
I'm your friend, Tom, I swear it.
I wouldn't do nothing like this to you.
- We'll find out.
- What do you mean? How?
We'll prove it. Show yourself to 'em.
Show yourself to 'em, and if they don't shoot,
I'll know you're on their side.
Trying to get me killed?
I'm trying to find out if there's anyone
in the world that can speak the honest truth.
You needn't be afraid. They ain't gonna shoot
at you. Because you're in cahoots with 'em.
Now, go on. Show yourself.
Go on. Show yourself.
All right, Tom.
If that's what you think, I'll show you.
- Are you hurt, bud?
- I don't reckon so.
I'm sorry, Ben.
We gotta get them cooters. This way, Ben.
When they shoot again,
make out like you was hit, then follow me.
Got him, Tim. We can rush Keefer.
No, Ben. Around.
Leave something here. Drop yourjacket.
That's a bog hole. It'll suck you right under.
Look. There ahead, yonder.
Tim, hurry.
I'm sinking. Get me out of here. Hurry.
Here. Hold the rifle butt. Hang onto that gun.
Tim. I'm sinking in this mud. Hurry. Hurry.
Stay out there, Tim. Pull. Go on, pull.
You ain't pulling, Tim. Tim, darn it.
- Don't let me die in this mud.
- I'm pulling you.
Don't you understand?
Don't let me die in Okefenokee.
Pull me out.
Tim. Tim.
All right, Ben.
He ain't gonna do nothing. Get up.
Get up.
It's too bad about Bud, Tim,
but maybe it's better that way.
- Reckon he won't have to hang, anyway.
- No.
Don't sound so good to you, does it, Tim?
Didn't sound good to me when the judge said
I had to hang for a murder you and Bud done.
And all this time you been living free in
the outside world, along with all the people.
I never done no murder, Tim,
but you sent me in here to live.
700 miles of swamp and wilderness.
And not a human being.
But I lived.
Maybe you'll be able to live too.
Cos that's where you're heading
right now, Tim.
If you can learn to live
with cottonmouths and gators and panthers
and places where there ain't
a bit of ground to stand on,
I reckon you're welcome to your life.
Now get going.
Get going.
And if you ever find your way out, Sheriff
Jeb'll be waiting with a rope to hang you.
Come on, Trouble.
Our boat's up beyond a-ways, Tom.
I've been thinking, Ben, maybe
you'd better take me back to my island.
What for, Tom?
You're coming with me to your Julie.
I ain't sure I can live out there again,
and this is my home.
Maybe I'd better make sure
Tim Dorson is good and losted.
You can't do that, Tom.
Julie's waiting for you,
and all the folks you used to know and love.
That's them. Come on, now, Tom.
Julie. You want to see her, don't you?
You wouldn't want to hurt her.
There they come.
There's Julie.
Daddy. Daddy.