The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) Movie Script

l bet you ten bucks the steps of
that train don't stop no more than...
- foot from that line.
- Show a little respect.
- Five bucks!
- Cut it out. We're here for a funeral.
- Which way is town?
- Just follow the road. You can't miss it.
You... you know him?
No, but l know that type.
And l don't like it.
What do you suppose
he's doing here?
We'll find out soon enough.
Excuse me.
- lsn't there anybody else getting off?
- No, sir.
l guess he ain't coming.
May as well go on with the funeral.
Oh, that's a good way of putting it.
You could've won yourselves
five bucks apiece.
Did anybody else get off that train
besides yourself?
- You know a man name of John Elder?
- l know of him.
Would you be afraid of him?
No. But you must be.
That's why people hire me. They're
worried about somebody, or scared.
Don't go jumping to any conclusions.
l didn't know that John Elder
was even in these parts.
He probably isn't.
Maybe all you'll have to do to earn
your money is hang around for a while
and then go back on another train.
Look, l don't care what l have to do,
as long as l get paid.
You'll get paid.
Stow your gear in the house.
What are you hiring a gunman for, Pa?
You're too young
to remember John Elder.
- What've the Elders got to do with us?
- Not the Elders, just John.
What does he have to do with us?
When he left here,
this ranch belonged to his family.
- This is our land. We own it, don't we?
- Of course it is, son.
Sure it is. lt's just that he might
want to figure it differently.
And we need this land.
We're gonna keep it.
That's a peculiar way
to dress for a funeral.
Could turn out more than a funeral.
l don't get your point,
as John Elder didn't get off the train.
That doesn't mean he won't show up.
Even so, a man isn't likely to shoot up
his own mother's funeral.
- Not without good reason.
- He might think he's got a good reason.
Besides, there's that other one
that got off the train.
Ben, John Elder isn't wanted for
anything around here. Remember that.
He's a gunfighter. That puts him
on one side and me on the other.
And it was you
who told me that in the first place.
Almighty God, we commend the soul
of our dear and pretty sister departed,
Katie Elder, into your care,
as we commit her body to the ground
beside her loved husband.
Katie Elder, a woman beloved of all.
A hard-working, honest woman.
She helped in your work,
O Lord, in a thousand ways.
She was a friend to all,
a comforter to the sick.
She has left this world a little better
for having lived in it.
Those who knew her and loved her
are better for having lived
in the warmth of her understanding.
Katie Elder lived here in Clearwater
for many years.
All of us gathered here today
knew her well.
She raised four sons, John, Tom,
Matt and Bud, the youngest.
She was a woman
who wanted nothing for herself,
wanted only to give
rather than to receive.
She devoted her life
to helping her family, her friends.
Earth to earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
ln the sure and certain belief
in resurrection unto the eternal life.
O God, whose mercies
cannot be numbered,
answer our prayers
on behalf of thy servant's soul...
...and grant her an entrance
into the land of light and joy... the fellowship of thy saints. Amen.
You know,
she sold me a blind horse once.
A woman doing that to me.
She really suckered me good.
This is Katie.
She was named after your mother.
She's a handsome baby.
l just thought you would like to know it.
- One of you missing, ain't there?
- Yes, sir. John, the oldest.
He moves around a lot.
- lf there's anything l can do...
- Thank you, Parson, you done plenty.
Done what? Wrote a few letters?
No, sir, that was
a real nice sermon you gave.
She belonged to have pretty words
spoke over her, and l didn't do it.
l thought you spoke good,
Parson, real good.
Not good enough, not for her.
l don't suppose you'd know that.
- Billy.
- Hello, John.
You ought to have better sense
than that, coming up behind a man.
You're as fast as you used to be,
maybe faster.
- Been getting lots of practice?
- Still haven't got a newspaper here?
No, but we do have a gossip
about every twenty feet.
Why did you come into town the back
way, John? You figuring on trouble?
There's always somebody looking
for some. Clearwater's no different.
But that's one thing
l don't want, Billy... trouble.
- How long you planning to stay?
- l don't know. l just got here.
People usually let you take your hat off
'fore they ask you to leave.
l'm not asking you to leave. l'm just
asking how long you figure to stay.
ls there any reason
why l shouldn't stay?
Yes, as a matter of fact,
there's a couple of reasons.
For one, this ain't your home any more.
You gave that up some years ago.
Go on.
And two,
another man came to town today.
l understand he's real good with a gun.
- Who is he?
- l don't know. He's a stranger.
But l understand he hires out.
And three,
l've got myself a young deputy
who's real conscientious about his job.
- Am l wanted for anything, Billy?
- No.
- Then l got a good idea.
- Yeah?
You send that young deputy over
to run that other fellow out of town.
l guess that'd be one way of doing it.
The only thing is,
he's not wanted for anything, either.
l come to town to see Ma buried,
and to maybe say hello to my brothers.
- Any objections?
- No.
- Fine.
- You want to see the boys, go that way.
- You won't have to go through town.
- The ranch is over there.
Not any more.
Morgan Hastings owns it now.
Kate was living in the Lupin place
when she died.
- When did that happen, Billy?
- Your pa was killed six months ago.
- Who did it?
- l haven't been able to find out.
Don't do anything foolish.
You've been trying hard
not to tell me something. What is it?
You know that man
that didn't get off the train?
- The one we're not scared of?
- What about him?
- He's back.
- How do you know it's him?
Big fellow, about six-four,
200 pounds, tough-looking.
lf there's any trouble,
make it look like self-defence.
Nobody told me about John Elder
until l got here.
And l ain't about to let him draw first.
You do nothing unless l tell you to.
All right, you tell me.
But l'll handle it my own way.
l knew it! The Elders are going to be
coming, asking how we got the place.
You stick to your bookkeeping.
l'll handle the Elders.
- lt's not going to be easy.
- Nothing comes easy.
lf you want to own a town,
you've got to put out something.
l was so little
when you and John left that...
ls he really as fast with a gun
as everyone says?
When he was a kid, he was the fastest.
l was afraid to be in the same room.
Let me point one thing out.
That work doesn't pay well.
- l can recommend my line of work.
- Yeah, larceny.
The hours are better,
and you get shot less.
- Just the same, l wish he'd showed up.
- Stop wishing. He's here.
- John.
- Matt. Been a long time.
Time ain't made you any prettier.
Tom. lt hasn't helped you any, either.
- Don't tell me this is the kid?
- l'm almost eighteen!
- Bud started college this year.
- How about that?
When l went to school, anybody
got past four plus four is eight, l cried.
Well, Ma want...
Ma said she wanted me to go.
You got here a little late.
We just got back from the funeral.
l was watching from a hill.
Katie wouldn't have wanted any trouble.
Never stopped you before.
- How did she die?
- Doc lsdell said she wore herself out.
She had a stroke and couldn't talk.
Then the preacher wrote to you.
l came to see her
about three years ago.
A bit of money
to put into that hardware business.
At least l come back.
lt didn't matter too much to Katie.
l never was her favourite.
lt seems you two were the only ones
that saw Ma in the last few years.
Like Matt says, l've been away, too.
Yeah, well.
- ls it true what they say about you?
- Only the bad things, Bud.
How many men have you killed?
You'd better ask Tom. He seems
to know more about me than l do.
Pretty smart, considering
we haven't met for ten years.
l'm asking you. How many?
- What did Katie tell you?
- Not Mom, other people.
- Howdy, Miss Gordon.
- Hello, Bud.
Miss Mary runs the boarding house.
These are my brothers...
Hello, Matt. Tom. Hello, John.
lt's been a long time.
You're not that skinny little kid that used
to live next door to the Fergusons?
No, l'm the skinny little kid
who lived next door to the Mastersons.
l hate to break in on your grief,
but you'll need some food.
Katie asked me to look in on you,
if you came to the funeral.
That's mighty nice of you, ma'am.
l wasn't doing it for you, or any of you.
l'm doing it because Katie asked me to.
She liked that rocker.
She seemed to have confided
a great deal in you, Miss Gordon.
lf she'd had her sons around her
she wouldn't
have had to confide in strangers.
She told me what fine men you were,
never forgetting her,
sending her money, helping her
send Bud through school.
She was so proud.
Her tall sons for whom she kept making
up lies so she could hide her shame.
Blamed Texas for taking her sons.
Texas is a woman, she used to say,
a big, wild, beautiful woman.
You raise a kid
to where he's got some size,
and there's Texas
whispering in his ear and smiling,
saying, ''Come and have some fun.''
''lt's hard enough to raise children,''
she'd say.
''But when you've got to fight Texas,
a mother hasn't a chance.''
That's why she pushed Bud. She let
Texas beat her with the rest of you.
She was going
to see Bud through college or die.
Well, she died.
Miss Gordon, tell me, why did
she set so much store by this rocker?
Your pa gave it to her. She wouldn't
have swapped it for a diamond ring.
Thanks for being so nice to her.
Nice to her? More like
she was nice to me, or anybody.
She deserved better from her own.
- Miss Gordon...
- l see you're still wearing your gun.
Anybody hungry?
l'll bet you ten to one
she's a good cook, too.
l'm glad l didn't bet. l'd have lost.
How did anybody in this family
ever get to college?
l didn't want to go to college.
lt was either that or jail.
- For what?
- They said l stole a horse.
People are trying to stick me
with things like that all the time.
- Did you steal it?
- l rode him, but l didn't steal him.
Ma wouldn't back me up. There
wasn't anything else to do, so l went.
- You went where?
- To the School of Mines.
lt was September 3rd.
lt was a week before school started,
and l clumb Pike's Peak.
- Why?
- lt was there.
- You done what to Pike's Peak?
- l clumb it.
- You didn't, you climbed it.
- What's the difference? l got to the top.
- There ain't no such word as clumb.
- What about the horse?
She went to a lot of bother to get you
an education. Why don't you use it?
- Why did you steal the horse?
- l didn't.
l was in bed, and l heard someone
talking, so l looked out of the window.
And old man Hyselman
was claiming l stole his horse.
A grey horse? What did Katie say?
She was as mad as he was,
told him to go look if he wanted to.
Then he came out of the barn with his
horse, Ma behind him hanging her head.
Then she come in all scared.
- Ma scared?
- l never saw her like that before.
She said he was coming back with
the sheriff, and l'd better leave the state.
So l took off my pants, put on a suit
and left on the morning train.
- That ain't much of a story.
- l liked it where he changed his pants.
- lt was just starting to get interesting.
- Very funny, ha-ha!
Bud, how long did Ma live here?
We moved over just after Pa died.
Twelve hundred acres of the best land
anywhere. l wonder why she sold.
- A woman couldn't run it by herself.
- She must have got some money.
Why don't we go to the bank,
split it four ways?
- Three and a half is more like it.
- Bud's got to have money for college.
l ain't going to college.
l'm going with him.
There's one thing you're forgetting.
You ain't been invited.
l'd take you,
but l don't know where l'm going.
- But l ain't going any place l've been.
- l can take care of myself.
What do you say we settle everything
else first and talk about him later?
We'd better see if she left any debts.
Debts? What debts?
Her funeral for one thing.
Who paid for that?
- She probably owes at the store, too.
- That can't be much.
l'm going to Hyselman's.
You and Bud go to Peevey's store.
Matt, you talk to Dr lsdell.
We'll meet at the bank.
Howdy, Bud. You don't look any
different than when you went to college.
l expected him to come back
with a flat hat with a tassel,
wearing glasses and looking smart.
Mr Peevey, you remember
my brother Tom.
Howdy, Tom.
l was sorry to hear about your ma.
l'll miss her as much as l'd miss my own
ma if she went. God spare me the day.
- We came about Ma's bill.
- We'd like to settle up.
l think l have it inside. Come right in.
Let me see now. Here it is.
- How much is that?
- Six dollars and twenty cents.
l'll cut you for it.
High card, double or nothing.
Hey, Ma? How much for the dresses
Katie Elder made?
- l thought you paid her.
- No, l haven't paid for them yet.
The Elder boys are here to settle up.
Four dresses at two fifty,
and two guitar lessons at fifty cents.
Four dresses at two fifty,
and two guitar lessons at fifty cents.
That means that l owe you
four dollars and eighty cents.
Your ma took guitar lessons?
Yeah, l figured she could earn a living
playing the guitar in the saloon.
- Want to hear her?
- No, thank you. Some other time.
Don't forget your money.
- Thank you.
- Drop in any time.
l wish l could tell you that you owed
me a hundred dollars, but you don't.
She came in here one day
with a big grey horse to sell.
She said,
''Henry, go get your grey horse.''
They made as pretty a team
as you'd ever see.
So l said, ''What's your price, Katie?''
She said, ''One funeral.''
And l said, ''Whose?''
She said, ''Mine.''
That's the way it was.
ls that the same grey horse
that Bud stole?
You heard about that? We rigged that
up to scare Bud into going to college.
l put that horse in her barn,
and l come back later, yelling,
her screaming back at me
like she meant it.
She was a wise one, your ma.
And my dad,
you buried him, too, didn't you, Henry?
Yeah, high-spirited he was. And he
wasn't a man to back down to anyone.
l remember when he was challenged
by old Thad to a duel.
Your daddy
had the choice of weapons,
and it being the Fourth of July, says
Bass, ''l choose Roman candles.''
Well, sir,
they stepped off the ten paces,
lit the Roman candles,
then they started popping.
Thad dark as thunder, Bass laughing,
those balls of fire bouncing off him,
him laughing so hard
he was missing Thad by six feet.
Finally, one of those balls of fire
landed in your daddy's pants.
He grabbed his bottom, ran for
the watering trough, sat down in it.
lt was the funniest duel l ever saw!
l declare it was.
How did he die, Henry?
From what l could see,
he was shot in the back.
Did anybody try to find out who did it?
l don't know about those things.
You'd better ask Billy, or Ben Latta.
All right, Henry.
l figured he'd go to the bank
and the store.
But what was he doing
at Hyselman's so long?
- Do you want me to ask him?
- lt wouldn't hurt to ask. But just talk.
- Mr Venner.
- Come in.
Looks like you were expecting us.
l thought you might stop by.
Yes, sir, we came over
to settle the estate.
Nothing left to settle.
- Nothing?
- She didn't leave a dollar.
But she had money last year.
She paid for my schooling.
She must have gotten something
out of the old place.
- ls that what she told you?
- l just took it for granted.
- Where did she get her money?
- lt's a fine time to start worrying.
l watched her struggle for years,
giving guitar lessons for coffee,
sewing that paid for your clothes, Bud.
Never a word out of her,
except to praise you.
Have you looked into her closet,
at her clothes?
You'd find one blue dress for winter
and one grey dress for summer.
- What about the Lupin place?
- She didn't own the Lupin place.
The bank let her have it
for a roof over her head.
She paid rent.
Katie wouldn't take anything off anybody,
not with her sons sending her money.
lf you plan to stay on here,
you'll find that Clearwater's changed.
Big business coming in.
We don't want any bad reputations
around here.
Good day, gentlemen.
Mr Venner, what did she do
with the money from the ranch?
- l know she wouldn't just give it away.
- l wouldn't know about that.
- Do you keep records?
- We had a fire.
l can't remember every transaction.
Good day.
Every transaction, or just this one?
l'd be obliged
if you'd use the front entrance.
Your time will come
to be carried out the other way.
- What was John Elder doing in here?
- Talking.
- l don't see it's any of your affair.
- l'm making it my affair.
- Who are you?
- Mr Hastings wants to know.
- He sent me to find out.
- l don't care who wants to know.
Oh, yes, l can see where
Mr Hastings might be worried
about what l might
be talking about with Johnny Elder.
- So you tell me, huh?
- No, l won't. You get out of here.
- You all right?
- Yeah.
- Who is he?
- l've never seen him before.
l think he works for Morgan Hastings.
He asked what we were talking about.
Morgan Hastings?
He moved in and seems bent on
taking over the county.
He owns your ma's old place now.
l came back to ask if you'd see after
Mom's grave, when you have a chance.
l'd be obliged
if you'd keep your money, John.
- Looking after Katie'd be a privilege.
- Thanks, Henry. Thank you.
Take you that long
to give him a couple of bucks?
- Let's go take a look at the old place.
- What for?
Let's say l'm homesick.
Everything sure has changed.
Remember how we'd
fool around in that barn?
l was a kid when you fell
and broke your leg.
You weren't even born.
Besides, l was pushed.
- Somebody kept pushing me off.
- That's 'cause you bounced so good.
All the family bragged about how good
you bounced. Let's bounce on down.
- Howdy.
- This here is private property.
- We're looking for Morgan Hastings.
- That's my father.
But he won't be back all day.
Then maybe you could help us.
You see, this place used to be ours,
and now it's yours.
- We'd like to ask you some questions.
- l'm not going to answer.
- You'd better get off this property.
- Wait a minute. Don't get all riled.
l'm ordering you. Get off this property!
- Having trouble, Dave?
- Yeah.
No trouble. l'm John Elder,
and these are my brothers...
- l told them to leave, and they won't go.
- That's not strictly true.
l'm not putting up
with more trouble from you.
He worked a fellow over in town, and
now he won't leave this man's property.
Either you're leaving peaceful,
or l'll arrest you.
We wouldn't take too kindly
to being arrested.
That ain't going to
make much difference.
- See? Now we ain't arrested.
- You're going to be in serious trouble.
We're going in with you,
straighten this out,
but we ain't going in looking guilty.
Get on your horse.
We'll be back.
Billy. Billy! You got to see this.
Come on, come on!
- What happened, Ben?
- He got careless.
They jumped me
at the Hastings' place.
That's why we came in, to straighten
this out. He had no right arresting us.
- He's wearing a badge.
- We were just looking for answers.
Next time, it might be an idea to wait
till l tell you to light out after somebody.
All right, you Elders, take off.
- Go on. l'm going to talk to Billy.
- l'm going with you.
Since l got home someone's asking me
to leave or pulling a gun on me.
A gunfighter can't be treated like a hero.
- l'm no gunfighter!
- You're his brother.
l know how to handle unfriendly towns.
At Katie's grave you said
the last thing you wanted was trouble.
- You drive me out, l'll be back.
- That goes for me, too.
Why didn't you tell us
that Bass was shot in the back?
Does it make any difference
which direction the bullet came from?
Yes, if you're trying to find out
if he was murdered.
- What do you want to know?
- What happened to our old place?
- lf Pa sold it, there'd be money.
- Not if he gambled it away.
- ls that what happened?
- Hastings says so.
l see no reason to doubt him.
He had six witnesses.
Your pa must have been pretty drunk.
He was going to be a better provider
for Katie, win a fortune for her.
- l don't know how she put up with him.
- She loved him.
- That was good enough for her.
- We all loved him, Billy.
lt was just that when he got
to gambling and hitting that bottle...
- How long after the game was he shot?
- Same night.
Wouldn't you say
that was a little coincidental?
Even if l did, l couldn't prove it.
- We can help.
- l don't need any help.
lsn't it a little late
to be wondering what happened?
- Who shot him, Billy?
- John, stop digging around.
All it'll get you is trouble.
Miss Gordon, l want to talk to you
about Katie's things.
She didn't have much,
but we'd be pleased,
and l'm sure she'd want you
to have anything of hers that you liked,
like maybe the rocking chair,
and things like that.
Why, thank you, John.
l'd like that very much.
Fine. l'll bring them by.
l can't stand a man
that forces himself on a girl
who wouldn't be caught dead with him.
They're sure a fine pair, Mr Hastings.
The finest.
- Southern hospitality, huh?
- Sorry, gentlemen.
No offence, l was feeling the balance.
Finest duelling pistols ever made.
- You're two of the Elder boys?
- That's right.
l'm sorry about your mother.
She was a wonderful woman.
After your father lost the ranch
and passed on,
l offered to pay her for the ranch,
but she wouldn't hear of it.
- Well, now, why would you do that?
- Guilt, Mr Elder.
Yes, guilt. l wanted the ranch.
Yes, l needed it.
This town can grow
and become important.
lt needs water power for a mill.
The ranch had the water power.
l intended to buy it,
not win it in a card game.
No offence meant, could we see
the paper that transferred the ranch?
Certainly, of course.
You have every right to.
lt's right here.
Yes, here it is.
That's where
your father made his mark.
And the signatures
of the other witnesses.
- You one of these witnesses?
- Of course.
- The rest of these work for you?
- Occasionally.
What was the game
you were playing that night?
- The game? Blackjack.
- Blackjack?
- Are you sure it was blackjack?
- Of course.
Pa always told us he wouldn't
be caught dead playing blackjack.
Shoot his kids if he saw them playing it.
Thought it was a woman's game.
Mr Hastings,
you know all the people in this town.
Who do you think was the dirty,
stinking rat that killed our pa?
Why ask me?
We aim to find out.
We started playing blackjack with Pa
when we were three or four.
We know that, but Hastings doesn't.
Hey, Bud.
''Katie Duane, born Ohio.'' No date.
''Married Bass Elder,
September 8th, 1 850,''
''Clearwater, Texas.''
- We'd better keep this.
- Why? Let's raffle it off.
We'll give half the money
to the parson.
l think we ought
to get her a nice stone for her grave.
A big stone with nice writing on it.
- What do you call it?
- A monument. Do you think so, John?
- She'd like that.
- Why buy a hunk of stone?
Because there ought to be
something to remember her by.
The Ridders got their mother
an angel with her finger pointing up.
- At who?
- Nobody!
- All right, then, an angel.
- Does it have to be an angel?
Besides, some kid
shot the angel's finger off,
and it looked like
she was shaking her fist.
- We'll get a marble lamb!
- How about a horse?
- A horse? For a grave?
- Ma loved horses.
How'd you like to have a marble horse
on top of you for the rest of eternity?
- What's happened to all of us?
- You said she'd like a monument.
Yeah, but not that kind. She wanted
one of us to amount to something.
She sure drew a flat blank zero!
Not if Bud goes back to school.
That's the kind of monument she wants.
Why me? One of you
go amount to something!
- lt's too late for us.
- l won't be no monument.
l'm going with you. We'll be famous,
like the Dalton brothers.
Yeah, they're famous, but they're just
a little bit dead. They were hung!
We keep the book.
- John.
- Good evening. l brought the things.
Come on in.
- This is a nice room.
- Thank you.
How about... right here?
That's fine.
This is very thoughtful of you, John.
Whenever l look at it or sit in it,
l'll think of Katie.
l brought your things back, and...
...also we thought
you should have this.
But it's your family bible. You keep it.
No, a lot of the places that l go
it wouldn't fit in.
All right, l'll keep it. But it's yours
whenever you want it back.
These are yours, too.
They weren't meant for an outsider,
but Katie wanted me to know about you.
- l don't mind.
- You stopped writing so long ago.
She would read your old letters
as if they'd just come.
Then she gave them to me to read.
l don't know how
either of you could read them.
- My handwriting isn't a thing of beauty.
- But what you wrote was, at first.
Then l began to notice a change.
Your ma never did, but l did.
- Everybody changes.
- Not the way you did.
l began hearing things about you.
lt wasn't even the same man
who wrote those letters.
You're going to look
for your father's killer?
l sure am. Whoever killed him
probably stole the ranch from Katie.
- lt's the least l can do for her.
- Why? So you can even a score?
Kill again? Maybe do it in front of Bud
so he can be proud of you?
Don't let Bud worship you
because you're a killer.
Katie wanted Bud to go to college,
to make your name stand for something.
l'll be leaving now.
Thank you again for this.
Why wouldn't Katie
want me to find Bass' killer?
Because all that means is more killing.
And Katie hated killing.
- How much money you got on you?
- Me? Where would l get any money?
- You got five bucks from Peevey.
- Spend my own money for a drink?
Pa'd come out of his grave
like a scorched cat. Never do that, kid!
- You just watch. Two whiskeys.
- Yes, sir.
Thank you. Thank you, sir.
Well, down!
- Bartender!
- Yes, sir.
Hey, can a fellow
get a drink on credit around here?
l'll get us another drink!
Beauty! We'll get us a drink
'cause we're going to have a raffle.
- Raffle what?
- My eye! My glass eye.
Who'll take a chance
on getting a made-to-order eye?
lf you want a drink that bad,
l'll buy you one.
But you wouldn't let a man buy you
a drink if you couldn't buy him one back.
All right, sports! Fifty cents a chance,
just four bits to win a $22 eye.
l always did want a third eye.
- Are you playing poker or kid games?
- Kid games! l'm losing money.
- l'm in.
- You can look at it, but don't touch it...
- l'm in!
- Oh, yeah! Lay that money down.
- That's nine.
- l got seven.
Well, that's nine dollars
and fifty cents.
l need one more
to make it ten bucks.
- There it is. l want that eye.
- Well, all right!
Let's see. We need nineteen
white chips and one blue one,
because whoever draws the blue chip
is going to be the winner of the eye.
- Shake them up. Who was the first in?
- l was.
You're entitled to the first draw. Dip in.
Who's going to be the winner of that...?
- Let's see who's going to win.
- Get in there.
This tall, good-looking gentleman,
see what you come out with.
Seem to be all white chips.
This gentleman took two chances.
You're entitled to two draws.
Dip in and may
Lady Luck smile on you.
He got it!
- l got it! Give me my eye.
- lt's over there.
l might just have it
made into a stickpin for Sunday.
- How much would you take for her?
- l'm going to keep her.
- l'll give you three dollars.
- No, l'll keep her for good luck.
There goes my wedding!
My girl saw me with my patch once.
- She turned away.
- You look all right to me.
Pretend you're a girl, and you can see
it spoils my manly beauty. Right, boys?
- Sell it back to him.
- All right, all right, l'll sell her.
- Five dollars.
- Split the difference, and l'll buy a drink.
Whiskey for the gentleman,
give me one, and one for the kid.
Aren't you going
to put it back in again?
Put it back in?
lt'd be a little crowded in there.
Be a little crowded in there.
Maybe that's funny to you,
but not to me.
l say you're a liar and a cheat,
just like your old man.
- You knew my old man?
- Well enough. He was a drunk, too.
- Liar!
- He's only a kid.
Stay out of this! He thinks he can
ride along on his brother's reputation.
l don't think so much
of his brother, either.
- He ain't armed!
- But l am.
- Stay out of this, Bud.
- No!
l don't think he's got the nerve.
- Give him a gun.
- The boy didn't mean nothing.
He called me a liar.
All l did was tell the truth.
You can take mine, kid.
Go on, pick it up.
l say he comes from a no-good family
that don't have the nerve...
This guy just called Pa
a liar and a drunk!
That invitation to pick up a gun
still hold for Johnny Elder?
You got a chance to prove
you don't think so much of him.
Tom, get him out of here.
- Not till he eats his words!
- Tom.
Didn't you hear me?
He called Pa a liar and a drunk.
l reckon that's what he was, kid.
Now, keep him out.
...get out.
Night, boys.
Where you going, mister?
Finish your game.
- Hey, Bud, ain't you going to eat?
- No!
How can l when l think of the things
that skunk said about us?
And him, the big gun
everybody's always bragging about,
he slunk lower
than anyone in the place.
- Shut up.
- l won't!
Why didn't you let me
do something about it?
He'd have chewed you up
and spit you out.
Your hand wouldn't
have got halfway to that gun.
Katie's going to have something
to show for her life.
- You're going back to school.
- No, l ain't!
Oh, yes, you are,
if l have to carry you there.
- l won't learn anything!
- l can't make you do that.
You don't want to tag along with me
after l've muddied the Elders' name.
No, and that's for sure!
This was Ma's, now it's mine. l'm going
to get that guy. Who's coming?
- You're not going any place.
- You going to stop me?
You bet l am!
And that's for sure!
- What the hell did you hit me for?
- You stood there and let him hit me.
l got him, l got him.
l got him!
- You got him?
- Yeah!
Stay out of here.
- Howdy.
- Howdy.
l'm right sorry
l missed the start of that.
- Doing your spring house-cleaning?
- We're just getting acquainted.
We haven't seen each other
for some years.
l'm looking for a Mrs Kate Elder.
This is where she lived.
We're her sons.
- She died a few days ago.
- l am sorry.
- l extend my sympathy to y'all.
- Thank you.
l never had the pleasure of meeting
Mrs Elder, but l got a letter from her.
Since l had business in Clearwater,
l decided to pay her a visit.
l'm sorry l got here so late.
This is some letter!
Care to read it?
''Mr Charlie Bob Striker,
Pecos, Texas.''
- That's you?
- lt is.
This is Matt and Bud and Tom.
And l'm John Elder.
''Dear Mr Striker, it has been told to me
that you have a lot too many horses.''
''lf this is true,
you have my sympathy,''
''as l have been horse poor
myself in the past.''
''lf you are still
in this predicament in June,''
''l may be able to help you out and
take a hundred head off your hands,''
''provided you are
prepared to deal on credit''
''until l can resell them.''
''l am interested in good sound stock,
but nothing fancy.''
''And l would like to hear
your rock-bottom price.''
''Yours truly, Kate Elder.''
Horse poor?
Sounds like she had more brass
than the Kansas City fire engine.
lt struck me funny, and the more
l read it, the funnier it got.
Finally l said to myself,
''Striker, you've done a lot of fool things.''
''You haven't done any lately, and you're
overdue.'' l'm sorry l got here too late.
- You two would've made a lively team.
- Well, thanks!
- Why don't you come on in?
- Thank you.
But it'll be a favour to my bad knee
to stay here.
- lt's been nice meeting you.
- l've got a proposition for you.
l wouldn't blame you
if you turned me down.
- lt wouldn't hurt to hear it.
- l'd like to take those horses.
l'd run them to Colorado,
sell them to the miners.
But l've got the same trouble
Mom had. No cash.
- l'll give you half the profits.
- What about the rest of you?
- You in this, too?
- We ain't been asked.
- Are you telling or asking?
- Asking.
lt sounds crazy enough to work.
- Matt?
- l want to know one thing.
- Will the money keep him at school?
- Seems to be the idea.
ln that case,
l'll chip in a couple of weeks.
- Well?
- You know you almost broke my jaw.
l was trying awful hard to. That's what
it seems to take with some people.
- Well, l guess you made up my mind.
- How about it?
lf l was going to do a fool thing for your
mother, l might as well do it for you.
Come to my ranch,
and you can have the horses.
- When do you want to start?
- A couple of hours.
Good, l'll be waiting.
Well, come on!
lt's your move, Billy.
Harry, one of these days
l'm going to beat you.
l wish you would.
After losing eight games in a row,
l can hardly consider you a challenge.
- Where have you been all day?
- The US Marshal's office.
Take a look at this.
Maybe that'll prove
l wasn't jumping to conclusions.
Tom Elder's wanted for murder!
- What gave you the idea?
- l did.
He knew enough about Tom Elder
to send me looking.
l figured Tom for a lot of things,
but never murder.
Why not? He's an Elder.
lt takes more than a man's name
to make him guilty.
- There's your proof.
- That doesn't prove he's guilty.
You're working out of hate. That's
why they took your gun the first time.
lt seems like
l can't do anything right for you, Billy.
Ben, the trouble with you
is you're like an owl.
The more light you shine on him,
the less he sees.
- Where are you going?
- To get Tom Elder.
Not armed like that, you're not.
And go reluctant, not like
you enjoy the idea of using that.
- l'll go myself.
- They're four of them!
l can count, too, Ben.
Ben's right, Billy. You'll need help.
You figuring on coming with me?
Or are you suggesting
l take along that new man you hired?
He's a good hand.
What are you trying to keep the Elders
from finding out, Mr Hastings?
l'm just trying to help.
Sure, just trying to put us on the map,
make us all rich.
A man can grow with a town, Billy.
Or die, like Bass Elder.
Ben, you'd better come here.
- What's the matter?
- Billy's horse just came in, without him.
Let's get a posse together, Harry.
He's still breathing.
You and Roy take him to Doc lsdell.
Meet us at the river.
Go get 'em!
You were pretty good today, kid,
pretty handy.
- Where did you learn that stuff?
- Not in college.
We're just trying to make you rich and
respectable. You fight us every step.
l don't want to be rich and respectable.
l want to be like the rest of you.
- ls he sassing you again?
- l don't know what to do with him.
- Ain't you no respect for your Elders?
- That ain't funny. l heard it before.
Katie would have bloodied our
backsides with a birch for talking back.
Which one of you is man enough
to fill in for Ma?
Oh, no. Oh, no, you wouldn't!
No, hey, no!
Come on!
Fellows! l thought l taught you better
than to take a bath with your clothes on.
There's a posse up there.
What do you suppose they're after?
lt can't be us. Unless they think
we stole these horses.
- lt's Ben Latta. They must be after us.
- What are we going to do?
We've done nothing wrong.
We won't act like it.
We'll just pick up these horses and start
out like we were just passing through.
There's four of them.
lt's the Elders all right.
l told you not to fire! l want 'em alive.
- Bud?
- l'm all right.
What's this for?
- Stealing horses is against the law.
- So is shooting 'em.
We got these legal,
and we can prove it.
l don't expect you all
to believe us, but Billy will.
- Then why did you shoot him?
- Billy's shot?
Shot but not dead.
He'll tell us who did it...
...when he tried to bring Tom in.
This doesn't make sense.
lf we were running away and had shot
Billy, why pick up a herd of horses?
- And bring them through Clearwater?
- Throw your guns on the ground.
Do as he says.
More killings won't prove anything.
A couple of you tie them up.
- We've got all them horses.
- Their owner will find them.
l've got a letter from the owner.
- That don't do much for Billy.
- We didn't do it.
Billy was at the Lupin place
when he was shot.
- The Lupin place?
- Yeah. lf they try anything, shoot 'em.
l'm making you a present.
You can have all the good deeds.
What good deeds?
A good deed for Ma.
Ain't that why we're here?
We're here because
you got yourself on a wanted poster.
You make it personal for a man
that's been in a few scrapes himself.
Tell us what happened.
Some bartender got sore
because l was raffling off my eye.
Started banging away at me with a .45.
- l did the only thing l could do.
- lt was self-defence.
Why didn't you stand trial
and clear yourself?
Because it was his town
and l was an outsider.
- How's Billy?
- l don't know.
- You think we did it, too.
- l don't know what to think.
lf only you'd gone away
after the funeral.
Whiskey. Hate.
Seems like everybody in this town's
made up their mind.
Go on home, Mary. Stay home.
l don't want you around here.
Billy's dead.
Go on.
Did he say who shot him?
He never opened his mouth
to say you didn't.
- Get a rope!
- Let's hang them!
l told you to go home.
- What about that mob?
- They had a feeling for Billy.
- Tell them Billy wouldn't lynch a man.
- Four men.
Three men and a boy. How can you
be so sure they're guilty, Ben?
They're convinced.
The same that would make up a jury.
You arrest them. You don't judge them.
Get the marshal to come here.
Quit telling me how to do my job.
Did you see the way
them people are looking at us?
Yeah, l saw.
And we're getting out of here.
You figure on doing it different?
They come to feed us in the morning,
we'll get the key.
- How's it look?
- Not good, Judge.
- Better set their trial for in the morning.
- Pick a jury out of that mob?
lt wouldn't be justice. lt'd be murder.
We got enough of those, Charlie?
No, we ain't. Them guns ain't
going to stop no mob, and you know it.
- Do you want to let them in?
- Don't you talk to me like that!
Me and Billy Wilson never
lost a prisoner, mobs or no mobs.
He broke 'em up, and without no guns,
neither. l seen him do it.
But then you ain't no Billy Wilson!
- He didn't mean anything.
- Why don't he use his head?
lf he was a patch on Billy's shirt,
he'd get those boys out of town
before it's too late.
Look out there.
Them's friends of yours until now.
But pretty soon you'll be shooting
bullets at 'em. You will.
We'll move 'em.
We'll move them to Laredo
early in the morning.
Tom, somebody's coming!
l guess they changed their mind.
Yell out to one of them deputies.
Tell them you're sick.
Are you out of your mind?
You want to get your neck stretched?
- We're facing it.
- Not a lynch mob.
We're here because you ran in
New Orleans. We're not running again.
- Katie's not losing this one.
- We're the ones who're in trouble!
- l suppose she wasn't.
- She's the same as other mothers.
Her kids didn't turn out the right way.
So what of it?
Nobody's making any decisions for me.
l'll make my own.
You can buy her an angel or a lamb,
pay her off with a slab of marble.
You can make that decision.
But l'll decide this one.
lf we all get killed out of this, nobody's
going to run. Katie wins this one.
You're going to Laredo.
Make one wrong move, you'll get
the same thing you gave Billy.
Come on!
- Got the shackles ready?
- All ready.
- All right, you two over here.
- l don't want to be shackled to him!
Kind of late to be choosy
about your friends.
Get a leg up.
Make sure they're tight.
Raise your right hands.
Do you swear to act as deputy sheriffs
and uphold the laws of Texas?
- Say, ''l do.''
- l do.
Get in that wagon.
Once on the bridge, they're all yours.
- l don't trust them guards.
- The drivers are on our side.
They've got their stories straight.
''We were ambushed by the Elder gang.''
- What are you stopping here for?
- To rest the horses.
- Ned, what's the matter?
- Resting the horses.
- All right...
- Jump!
Put your hands up, Ben.
- You're wearing a badge.
- So was Billy. Drop that rifle.
- One gun won't hold them off very long.
- Ben's got some guns in that rig.
- Think you can cover us?
- Three shots worth.
- Can you keep underwater with me?
- lf l can't, you just hold me under.
Let's go. Come on.
l knew you were
going to mob those boys.
Sure you did, Ben.
But they had it coming.
Hold it.
Tom! Tom!
Use the horses to get back.
All right. Keep in step
or we'll get tangled and go down.
All right, Curley,
this is what you were hired for.
l don't want one of them Elders
to get out of here alive. Move!
All set?
They've got a hold of Ben's guns.
We'll never get them out of there.
- l'd like to blast them out of there.
- There's dynamite in the gun box.
l don't like it.
Too quiet.
Let's get back.
Cover me.
Look out!
- John.
- Let me help you.
No, please, l...
John... l wish...
Maybe Bud...
l... l wish...
Here they come!
l'm hit!
l'm hit. John!
John Elder, throw me a gun.
l'll help you.
- Ben's going to help them.
- Stupid fool!
No, Dad. That's Ben!
Come on.
- Hastings is leaving. Let's go.
- What'll we tell them in town?
What Hastings said. We were
ambushed by the Elder gang. Let's go!
Let's get out of here
before they come back.
- We're going back to town.
- They'll kill us the minute we get there!
- We ain't going to run.
- l am!
How? There's one wagon, and Bud
needs a doctor. l'm taking him back.
l'll get the buckboard.
Get Bud in the barn.
Hold it, Burr.
Go on home. Get out of here.
Wait a minute, kid. We're going
to need a doctor. Go get Doc lsdell.
Go on, Jeb.
Be quick about it.
- Take off these leg irons. Theirs first.
- Yes, sir.
- Where are you going?
- Doc lsdell's. One of them's hurt.
- What's your hurry?
- Pa's in there.
Let him go.
That's it, Harry. That's far enough.
What do you want?
l want you to surrender.
Then l'll let the doctor through.
Get the doctor,
or you'll be short of a blacksmith.
- Do what he says, Harry!
- Not till we see you out here.
- Harry!
- We can't trust him, Will.
We can trust your deputies
to shoot us up.
Your gang killed
a lot of good men doing their job.
My gang? Then who killed Matt,
shot Bud and blew up the bridge?
What about Billy?
How long does it take a man
to ride to Pecos, Harry?
Eight, nine hours.
- When did you last see Billy?
- We were playing chess at nine.
We can prove we were in Pecos
at nine o'clock.
Send for the marshal, Harry.
We'll give ourselves up.
But not to you, or anyone in this town.
You get that US Marshal from Laredo
and we'll come out.
- How will l get a US Marshal here?
- l don't know.
Telegraph him, or go get him yourself.
But get him.
Go on in, Doc.
Over here.
One of them's wounded.
l want you men to go home.
Those men are my prisoners
the same as if they were in that jail.
The US Marshal will be here. Any man
who starts trouble will answer to him.
Now, break it up and go home!
Go on!
l've done about all l can for him now.
You'd best get him over to
the boarding house as soon as you can.
- John.
- Yeah?
Don't worry about him.
He'll pull through.
We'll see he gets raised right,
you and me.
What if the marshal gets here first?
lt's their word against ours. Who'll take
the word of a gunfighter against mine?
What if one of those guards
breaks, Pa?
Only a weakling breaks.
They won't talk.
Not in here, you idiot.
Do you want to blow us all up?
Curley smoked in here.
You ain't Curley!
Dave. He never did
answer any questions for us.
- We've got all the answers we'll get.
- lt's worth a try.
You're not going! You step one foot
outside that door and you're dead.
You're not going.
Did Doc lsdell say anything
about changing the...?
You make one move and you're dead!
Do as l say.
Move! Move!
Right! There's one left for you.
Now, move!
Here's a present for you.
Now, get your answers.
l'm going to give you
some real good advice, mister.
This is no time for lying.
- Who ambushed us?
- l don't know.
- Answer me. Who killed my brother?
- l don't know!
Talk! You were there when Ben got it.
- Who ambushed us?
- l don't know. l didn't do anything.
When l let you breathe again, you'd
better come up with the right answers!
Pa! l didn't tell them.
l wasn't going to talk.
l wasn't going to talk.
Drop that gun, Hastings.
They shot at me. They got
my son Dave in there. Get him out!
- l didn't tell them!
- Didn't tell them what, Dave?
My father, he killed Ben. He killed him.
And my dad?
Your father found out
he was being cheated.
And Billy kept
getting closer to the truth.
Billy, too?
...give me that gun.
l represent the law around here now.
We'll take care of Hastings.
l don't want
any trouble with you, Harry.
l wouldn't argue with him.
This is something
l have to do myself, Harry.
Get Doc lsdell for Tom.
Bud's in here.
- ls he all right?
- Doc says he'll need lots of care.
- He'll get it. And Tom?
- Doc's with him now.
Tom said it'd take
more than one bullet to kill him.
He's in here.