Above Snakes (2022) Movie Script

(mysterious music)
(crowd grumbling)
- [Judge] I said, order.
(gavel banging)
I said, quiet.
Order in here or I will
clean the whole damn room
of every one of you.
Coleman William Dobbs, stand up.
Dobbs, you have been
found guilty in the
manslaughter deaths
of Elizabeth Margaret
Brecman, age 23,
and Amanda Florence
Brecman, age 17 months.
Since the law does not
allow your miserable carcass
to be hung by the neck
until you are dead,
I sentence you to
seven years hard labor
at the territorial
prison in Yuma.
And it is my personal
hope that you rot
for the heinous crimes
that you have committed.
- [Coleman] I didn't do this.
You're sending me away
for something I didn't do.
I'll return the
favor, you meater.
You can feel certain of that.
I'll see you again!
(deep daunting music)
You quim. I'll see you too.
(slow foreboding strings music)
(gentle sorrowful strings music)
- Ma'am, I wonder if'n I may
borrow a moment of your time?
- Why, sure, sheriff.
- May I come inside?
- All right.
(deep haunting music)
- [Sheriff] Hello there.
- What can I do
for you, sheriff?
- Well, it's about
Dobbs. Is he around?
- Coleman? Coleman, isn't here.
He hasn't been here
a spell, in fact.
- Well, is that so?
When's the last
time you seen him?
- Eight, maybe 10 days ago.
- Well, that makes sense.
Seems a coach from
Cottonwood was robbed
about eight to 10 days ago.
- [Margaret] Sheriff,
I don't understand.
- What don't you
understand, Margaret?
- Stagecoach was robbed
eight or 10 days ago?
You know it was robbed, but
you can't remember which day?
And what does that have
to do with Coleman?
- It doesn't matter
what you think.
It doesn't matter
what day it was.
What matter is, Dobbs did it,
and he did it without
my permission.
(deep suspenseful music)
You know, why don't I
just take my cut from you?
I hope you like it.
- Not in front of the baby.
- Come on!
(gentle somber music)
(scary music)
Well, look who decided
to come outta hiding.
I oughta shoot you down
right where you stand.
Where's my money?
- I told you I
wouldn't do it, Smitty.
I left that life
behind in California.
- I, I remember California.
You had no problem robbin'
and thievin' back then.
Now you come out to new
territory and take on sainthood?
I ain't buying it.
- We partnered a long time ago.
I thought you went straight,
being a sheriff and all.
Why couldn't I go straight too?
- You know that saying about
old dogs and new tricks?
I know you robbed that
stagecoach, and I want my cut,
and I want it now.
- If I had it,
I'd give it to you.
- Coleman!
- Margaret?
(tense music)
(dramatic bang)
- No.
What did you do?
What did you do?
- It ain't what I did, honey.
It what I'm about to do to you.
(Margaret grunts)
(slow haunting music)
(music intensifies)
(deep suspenseful music)
(glass shatters)
(deep tense music)
(music intensifies)
(gentle somber strings music)
When I got there, I found Dobbs,
drunker than Cooter Brown.
He was passed out in
front of the house.
(sighs) That house
was up in flames,
Miss Brecman still inside,
and that, that
youngin still inside.
(sheriff sighs)
- [Judge] Mighty serious.
- I'm pretty sure
it was an accident.
I don't see anyone in their
right mind doing something
so evil, him being
drunk and all.
(deep somber music)
- [Judge] I shall take
take your thoughts
under advisement.
- Thank you, Judge Bassett.
One more thing.
After this here trial's over,
I'm tendering my resignation.
I'm gonna go try my luck in
the goldfields in Alaska.
I heard a man can
make a killing.
Well, with gold.
(gentle somber strings music)
(somber classic Western music)
(gentle somber music)
- Howdy stranger.
What can I do for you?
By the day, the
week, or the month?
- Just water and some oats.
- Still gotta charge you for
a day. That'll be two bits.
- Say, you know anything
about the sheriff?
- Sure, I've known Sheriff
Tackett for a while now.
- Tackett? The sheriff's
name is Tackett?
- [Horse Keeper] Yes, sir.
- What happened to Smith?
- [Horse Keeper] Smith?
- Smith, he was a big guy.
He was, he was here before I,
he was here last time
I was in these parts.
- Now I remember, big
guy, Sheriff Smith.
He was in office
less than a, a year,
if I'm remembering rightly.
He left camp and went up
to Alaska looking for gold.
He, he didn't make it.
- Alaska? What do you
mean, didn't make it?
- Well, just like I said, son,
he got as far as Barkerville
up there in Canada.
It was one of those saloons
and he got in a bar fight
with the wrong guy, stuck
a knife in his belly.
One of those mounted police
fellas sent his belongings
down here, hopin'
he had some kin.
But he didn't, not
around here anyway.
Nothing worth anything, a
picture of his ma and sister,
and a couple of coins,
a rusty gun, from snow
and ice, I suppose.
- And you're sure of this?
- Saw it with my own two eyes.
I was with old Percy
over at telegraph station
when the package was
delivered and opened.
- I guess so then.
- What's this for, mister?
- For the information.
- Well, thank you.
- For keeping tight-lipped
about telling me of it.
That's saloon over there
still serving rot gut?
- No, sir.
That saloon, now, that's
a fine, upstanding place.
All pretty and spiffy inside.
I think you'll like it.
Hey mister, I'll take real
good care of your horse,
real good care.
Come on boy.
(upbeat swing music)
(footsteps click slowly)
- Afternoon.
Your poison?
- What're my choices?
- Well, there's
whiskey, whiskey,
might have some
whiskey in the back.
- You're a funny man.
- I do what I can.
Just passing through
or fixin' to stay?
- That matter to you?
- No, I get paid
either way. Five cents.
(whiskey dribbling)
- Truth is I don't know.
May leave, may stay.
- Depending on?
- Is that any of your business?
- Not at all. Unless you make
it my business, I reckon.
Looking for something
in particular?
Someone maybe?
- You know, you ask a lotta
questions for a tapster.
- Well, could be I might lead
you in the right direction.
Lookin' for some gambling? Could
lead you in that direction.
Could tell where the
straight tables are.
Soft company? Opium?
- What about people?
See, I was looking
for a certain person.
- Maybe I could
help with that also.
- Even if that
person was a judge?
- I can't help with that.
- Can't help? Why
don't I believe that?
- I don't know.
I guess it's on you, stranger.
(tense suspenseful music)
- [Grace] Hold on
there, Catherine, I
want a word with you.
- What, Grace? What is it?
- I don't like the way you
seem to be showing interest
in Thaddeus.
- What are you
going on about now?
- I saw the way you
were looking at him
at last night's social.
- What are you talking about?
I have zero interest
in Thaddeus.
- Oh, really? Then
explain to me--
- I do not feel the need
to explain anything to you.
Now, get away from me.
- You stay away from him.
I'm warning ya, or else.
- Or else what, Grace?
- Or, or else--
(Cathryn chuckles)
- That's what I thought.
- Or else this. (hand slaps)
(Cathryn gasps)
- Why, you little ...
(Grace and Cathryn yelling)
- Uh, Ladies. Uh, hold on.
Ladies, what the Sam
Hill's goin' on here?
Break this up, girls.
- Wait till my daddy
hears about this.
- Break this up.
Just break this--
- That's enough. Hold on.
Now, ladies, what
started all this?
- Oh, I can
tell you what happened.
- She was looking at Thaddeus.
- She came up--
- Well we ain't gettin'
nowhere here.
- Outta nowhere.
- That's enough.
Miss Cathryn, you get on home.
Miss Grace, you come with me.
(gentle music)
- What was that all about?
- Oh, just a cat fight
over a fella, I'd guess.
That one over yonder,
that Cathryn Bassett,
that's the judge's
spoiled-brat kid.
- Judge's kid?
Bassett, Judge Clarence Bassett?
- Yeah, that's him. Spoils
that girl to no end.
You know him?
- I've heard the name.
- Like I was saying,
the other girl,
the one the sheriff's takin'
away, I ain't too sure,
Grace somethin'
or other, I think.
My money says brat
Bassett was making eyes
at the other girl's, beau,
and the other girl
done had enough of it.
She seems to catch the eye
of most of the young men
around here, but her
daddy seems to run 'em off
if they try to know her
more, if you get my meaning.
- Is that so?
- Ah, it's the rumor at least.
The old judge probably
threatens the family
or some other thing
and the boy stays away.
- So she doesn't have a steady?
- Why? You interested in her?
Darling, I got what
you need in here.
And they'd be a lot
less of a challenge.
Maybe even better
for your health.
- I enjoy the challenge.
- Where you going?
- I was just gonna
go take some air.
- I know where
that air leads you.
Listen, I know
you're sweet on him.
And if he wasn't always
a threat to shut me down,
I'd tell you to
stay the hell put.
- Well, Bud needs to
know about Cathryn.
- Don't you be gone
long, and I mean that.
- I won't.
- Say, you all right, miss?
- I'm fine.
- Well, that was a pretty
good shot she gave you.
- (scoffs) I said I'm fine.
- Well, I was just checking in.
It looked to me like
she got the best of you.
- Excuse me. What
did you just say?
- Just that she got
in some good shots.
It seems to me she won.
- I beg your pardon, that
little tramp did not win.
There was certainly
nothing for her to win.
- Okay, okay. I was
just concerned for you.
- Well, I definitely don't
need your concern, sir.
- Okay, fine.
Now where we going?
- I am attempting to go home.
I don't know, nor do I
care, where you were going.
- Well, I'm attempting
to follow you,
just to make sure you're okay.
- Okay? Trying to keep me safe.
From what? From strange
young men, perhaps.
If that's the objective,
you're failing miserably.
- Well, I could try harder.
- What do you want?
Do I need to summon the
sheriff? Or my daddy, perhaps?
Do you know who my daddy is?
You have no idea
who I am, do you?
- Well, seems the sheriff
has his hands full
with your adversary
right now, and no,
I don't know who you
are, but I'd like to.
What I do know is you
have a wicked left hook.
Maybe I should call you Lefty.
- Do you always act this
bold with strange girls?
- No, you don't seem
so strange to me.
And only when it
works. Is it working?
- Maybe, but a gentlemen
would introduce himself.
- Oh. Miss, my name
is Dobbs, and you are?
- Cathryn, Miss Cathryn
Bassett. Just Dobbs?
- Miss Cathryn, it is
my very great pleasure.
Wonder if I may be so
bold as to invite you
to have a glass of tea with me?
- Oh, I must look a mess.
Perhaps another time?
- Oh, but of course, yes.
- Oh, Mr. Dobbs,
you're so persistent.
- Only when persistence
is the best option.
Say, would you be
able to recommend a
suitable establishment
where I could procure
a fine supper?
- Oh um, well yes.
The cafe has the
best food in town.
I'm slightly embarrassed to
admit, I do, shall we say,
help out there on occasion.
But, my daddy says that I'll
learn the value of a dollar
that way.
The food is quite tasty though.
- Excellent. Tomorrow at
the cafe for dinner it is.
Shall we say six?
- No, we won't, I did not say
that I would attend supper
with you, Mr. Dobbs.
- But you did not say
that you wouldn't.
Would you do me this
honor, Miss Cathryn?
- I shall see you
there at six, sharp.
- It'll be my pleasure.
It'll be my very great pleasure.
(gentle music)
(insects buzzing)
- Now, suppose you tell
me what really happened.
- I've just had
enough of that girl,
thinking she can get
everything that she wants,
who she wants,
when she wants it.
When she started showing
an interest in Thaddeus,
that was the final straw.
- On now, Grace, I ain't
got no interest in her.
None at all.
- But I saw the way
she looks at you.
- Now, when young
folks have problems
like y'all got--
- That ain't nothin'.
I promise, Grace.
- Are you sure Thaddeus?
Because, she is kinda
pretty, if you like that, uh.
Are you absolutely
sure, Thaddeus?
- Now I was thinking,
if you two--
- Of course I am.
I'm sure, Grace.
Why, that old girl? She
couldn't hold a candle to you.
- But, I'm just sick of her
getting whatever she wants,
whenever she wants it,
and it ain't even hers.
When she started paying
attention to you--
- Well, you ain't got nothing
to worry about there, Grace.
Besides, even if she did
feel kinda sweet on me,
well, you don't think that she--
- What, Thaddeus?
- I mean, she, uh--
- She what?
- Well, why would she anyways?
- She, she--
- Just hold on here. Hold on.
Now, Miss Grace, I think
I know just what happened
and what you done.
But girl, that is
the judge's daughter.
You got to know she
ain't to fool with.
- She deserves special treatment
just because of her bloodline.
- No, she don't.
She don't deserve it,
but you just need to calm
down and think this through.
- I need to what, sheriff?
- You need to be
smart, Miss Grace.
That girl can cause your
family a heap of trouble,
problems your mama and daddy
just don't need, that's all.
Listen, I'm gonna release
you on your promise
that you will give miss
Cathryn a wide berth.
Just try and steer clear of her.
- Fine. I'll steer clear of her.
And while I'm at it,
I'll steer clear of you.
And especially of you.
- Ah, now buttercup--
- Now hold on.
Let me give you a thimble
full of free advice.
Stay away from Cathryn.
You got a good, caring
girl there in Grace,
you don't need the trouble the
judge can bring down on you
for fooling with his daughter.
- Think I know my own mind.
I don't need no man telling
me how to act or what to do.
Not some old judge,
and especially not some
old washed-up sheriff.
(insects buzzing)
(sheriff sighs)
(twangy strings music)
- Kaitlyn, what are you doing?
You know you're not
supposed to be here.
- It's fine. Nobody
saw me, I promise.
- Still, you have been told.
- Never to bother
you in chambers.
I know, I know, but,
I wanted to see you.
And besides, there's
something you need to know.
- Well, you see me.
What is it now I
need to be aware of?
How was your hearing?
- Did you come all
the way over here
just to ask about lawsuits?
What is it I need to know about?
- Well it's, it's your
daughter, Cathryn.
- What's happened?
- There was a
slight altercation.
- Altercation. Is Cathryn hurt?
- No, no, she's fine.
She just got into it with
that Grace Laundry girl,
and Grace accused Cathryn of
being interested in her beau,
and well it, it got
a little physical.
- Physical? Where's
Cathryn at now?
- Well, I'm assuming
she's at home.
- And?
- And the sheriff showed up,
and he and Thaddeus
broke up the fight and--
- Great. Our no-account sheriff.
And what exactly
did he do about it?
- Well, he took Grace with him,
so I'm assuming he
took her to the jail.
Bud, you've gotta let her out.
She's gonna be frightened
in that poor old jail.
- I guess that's her
penance, isn't it?
I'm sure that Cathryn wasn't
the cause of this altercation,
as you call it.
- Look, Bud, you've gotta
let that poor girl out.
She's probably
frightened to death.
(gentle music)
- Fine.
I will talk to the
sheriff for you.
You're sure the Cathryn
went straight home
and that she wasn't hurt?
- I'm assuming so.
She's fine, really.
It was nothing at all.
- She's really all I have.
- Well you know it
doesn't have to be,
could have more.
- If you're speaking
of yourself,
you have to understand
your station and mine.
You know I care deeply about
you, but how would it look?
- I really should be going.
- [Judge] I think you
can stay a might longer.
- No, I really need to go.
- I think you can
stay a might longer.
- Okay, I will.
- Of course you will.
- You know, I'm telling
ya, this schooling stuff
just ain't worth it.
I mean, who really needs
to know arithmetic?
It's not like folks use that
stuff in real life anyways.
I ain't going no more.
- Yeah, all right.
- I ain't kidding either.
- I believe you.
- Well, you better.
You know, another thing,
reading ain't as important
as old lady Crabapple
makes it out to be.
- Who's that?
- Old lady Crabapple?
She's a schoolmarm.
Well, I wouldn't be surprised
if'n she wasn't teaching
old George Washington when
he crossed the Amazon.
- Amazon? Old George Washington
didn't cross the Amazon.
You crazy nut.
- Well, you're so smart.
What river did he cross?
- Old George Washington
crossed the mighty Mississippi
back in 1492.
- Amazon, Mississippi,
it don't matter none.
He could cross his
eyes for all I care.
Ain't nobody gonna
remember that stuff
in a hundred years anyways.
- Mr. Silas, why am I
not surprised to find you
in this company on the street
instead of being in school?
- Well ma'am, I was
at school today,
you just didn't notice me.
- Well mister, it would behoove
you to make yourself noticed
or I may have to take
more drastic action.
- Well, miss ma'am, I
think I was sick tomorrow.
- Sick, huh? (scoffs)
- Yes, ma'am.
I think I might need a shot of
whiskey from this here saloon
to cure what ails me.
- If you step one foot
in that den of iniquity,
I will pull you out by your ear,
and you will never
wanna ever touch a drop
of the devil's elixir again.
- Ma, ma'am.
- I ain't scared.
I ain't scared of
no old schoolmarm.
- Okay, pard, okay.
- You okay?
- Yeah, I'm fine.
- Kinda hard to believe,
taking into account
your melancholy appearance.
You can talk to me, you know?
- Aren't you the same man
that claims to know all,
see all, and tell all?
- [Both] Nobody listens.
- You know the story,
same as always.
- He gets to you that much?
- He's a good man,
deep inside, really is.
- (sighs) Must be awful deep.
But, just 'cause it's you,
I'll take your word for it.
- You know, he needs someone
to help with that girl,
that wild girl.
If he'd only drop that
wall he's got around him
and let someone
in, then, well...
- Someone like you?
- No.
Yeah, someone like me.
How'd I get to this
station in life, Bottles?
I came from a good
family, a strong family.
They weren't too happy
about me marrying so young
and moving out West and, then
Samuel died of the influenza,
and (sighs) they still
turn their backs on me.
What was I supposed to do?
He left me no
money, no security.
I mean, what could I do?
Well, I did what I did,
Bottles. I took care of me.
I did what I needed
to to survive.
Nobody can judge me.
Nobody's walked in my shoes,
and nobody's felt what I felt.
I did what I needed to survive.
I did what I did
and, I still do.
- Yes, you do, love.
And I hear you're
damn good at it.
- (laughs) What I love
about you, Bottles.
You're always so easy,
to talk to anyway.
- That was very
touching, you two.
Makes me all warm inside.
Problem is, I'm the
only one warm inside.
You get the tinder box out there
and make them cowboys
feel warm inside.
And you, warm their
insides with that whisky,
or I'll toss you out
in the thoroughfare,
and neither of you
will be warm inside.
(pencil scratching)
- Your honor. (clears throat)
What can I do for you?
- I'm just wondering, what
is your side of the incident
that happened to my
daughter in the streets?
- Judge, let's not
make something big
out of a simple disagreement.
- A simple disagreement?
- Yes sir, that's how I saw it.
- That's how you saw it.
That's how you saw it.
There's no chance this was
an assault upon my daughter,
because it was a
simple disagreement.
- Judge?
- Yes, sheriff?
- Cathryn is fine.
Grace is fine.
I had a talk with Grace
and she assures me
she won't cause
any more problems.
Let's just let this one lie.
- Let's just let it lie.
Let's just let this lie.
Is that how we handle law and
order in town now, sheriff?
We just don't prosecute
crime anymore?
Is that why this jail is empty?
Because we just let it lie.
- Listen, if you
wanna press charges,
I'll give you the paperwork.
If not, then this
matter is closed.
(pencil scratching)
(judge chuckles)
- Who the hell do you
think you are speaking to?
- Now, judge, I don't
mean no disrespect.
- Oh the hell you don't.
Least you forget, I
can have you replaced
(fingers snap) like that.
- Morning y'all.
- I can put him in charge,
and this town would be
served just as well.
- Oh gee sir, thanks.
- Shut up, you nitwit.
I wanna tell you
something, Tackett.
If I want his Grace
girl arrested.
You will damn well do it.
(sheriff's fist pounds)
- Is that what you want, judge?
- No, sheriff.
No, I don't.
Because I'm going to let you
live with the
decisions you make.
- Well, your honor,
if there's nothing else.
- Oh, there's one more thing.
I'm growing mighty weary
of your ways, Tackett.
(footsteps clicking)
- What's got him all steamed up?
- (sighs) Oh it's,
it's that scuffle
between his daughter
and the Martin girl.
He's just an overbearing father.
- Yeah, overbearing
is damn right.
- No, cut him some slack.
he was a good man.
Fair judge.
But, losing his wife
at her tender age
and raising that girl all alone,
(chuckles) too stubborn
to ask for help,
that'll change a man.
- Oh, you known him
awhile, sheriff?
- Quite awhile.
We served in the Jeff
Davis Artillery together
during the war.
- Wow, I did not know that.
- Yeah. Yeah, well now you do.
Ain't you got something to do?
- Oh, of course, sir.
(insects buzzing)
- You sure your
pa's okay with this?
Us be out here at night and all?
- Why Thaddeus, is
there a reason my daddy
shouldn't trust you?
- Of course he can trust
me, I didn't mean--
- Besides, my daddy's
curled up with some brandy
and the good book by now.
What he doesn't know...
- (exhales) You sure smell
mighty fine, Miss Cathryn.
(Cathryn chuckles)
Mighty fine.
- That's such a sweet thing to
say. Do you really think so?
- Why, yes sir. (clears throat)
I mean, ma'am.
(Cathryn giggles)
Mighty fine.
- You're such a sweetheart.
I can see why the girls are so
crazy about you, like myself.
Like that nasty ole Grace.
What do you see
in her, Thaddeus?
- Well, I mean, she
is nice and all.
- (scoffs) Well, I
mean, aren't I nice too?
Really, isn't it more wonderful
to be here with me instead?
You do like being with
me, don't you, Thaddeus?
Isn't it romantic to
be together, here?
It could be more
romantic, if you'd like?
- Sure would. I
mean, ra, romantic.
- (giggles) You just,
you feel so warm,
and I love how safe
you make me feel.
I bet she never felt
like that about you.
- Oh, Miss Grace, are
you sure your pa--
- Oh, let's not worry about him.
Let's talk more
about me and you.
- Um, me and you?
- Mm-hmm, you know, how
you like to be around me,
and how you long to be near me.
How you'd like to kiss me.
You would like to kiss me,
wouldn't you, Thaddeus?
- I sure would.
I mean, someday. Maybe soon.
- Soon?
- Yessum.
- Well, I mean, how soon?
There's today soon,
right now soon.
Maybe, right now soon.
(gasps) Did you hear that?
Oh, oh no, I think
it's my daddy.
- Wait, I thought--
- No, I'm certain, and he'll
be furious if he catches you.
- But I didn't hear--
- Listen, he'll kill
you if he finds out
- But, Ms. Cathryn.
- You were making
advances at me.
You have to go, please
go, check and look.
Go, go on.
(deep suspenseful music)
Go look.
(deep suspenseful music)
(tense dramatic music)
- Cathryn, I thought
you were in bed?
Where have you been?
- I wasn't anywhere, Daddy.
I, I was just...
- You were just what?
Were you outside at
this time of night?
- I was just walking, Daddy.
- With who?
with who?
- (crying) Daddy.
(Cathryn crying)
He's just a nice young boy.
- Catherine, who were you with?
- Oh Daddy, I'm
so sorry. (crying)
Oh please. I'm so
sorry. (crying)
- Is he still out there?
- He's out by the big tree
where I left him. (crying)
Oh, I'm so sorry.
(Cathryn crying)
I'm sorry. (crying)
(birds chirping)
- Morning, nice day.
Mind if I have a sit? Thanks.
My, my, my, that
looks delicious.
Having your fill, are you?
- Something I can
help you with, boy?
- Oh, yes there is.
(Coleman slurps)
- Well, comfy are ya?
Made yourself right at
home. You have my attention.
- Well, you see, sir,
I just arrived in town from
an extended stay elsewhere.
And, you see sir, I'm
just looking to make
some new friends,
meet some people, maybe
even that special girl,
someone I could spend time
with and get to know well,
real, real well.
- That kinda girl is at the
saloon that is up the street.
- No, no, no, not my type.
I already have my eye on
a pretty little thing.
She's young, sweet, innocent.
Say, you might even know her.
- Doubtful.
Now, if it's all right with
you, while it's still hot.
- Oh, not at all. Enjoy.
It's been a pleasure
getting to know you, mister?
- Bassett.
- Bassett. My name is
Dobbs, Coleman Dobbs.
I'll see you around,
Judge Bassett.
- Waitress?
(gentle somber music)
(birds chirping)
- What? What is it?
What do you want?
Sir? What're you doing
all the way up here?
- [Judge] Besides
being disrespected?
- Now look, judge, I
didn't, I didn't mean.
- You never do.
- Is that the reason you
came all the way up here?
Just to express your
opinion of me in person?
'Cause I have a
pretty good idea--
- Actually, young
man, you have no idea
how much I really admire you.
- Admire me?
- I do.
- (scoffs) You got an awfully
strange way of showing it.
- Well, let's say I
admire your talents.
I'm here because I need your
special skillset, once again.
I need information.
- Now look, I thought I told you
I was done doing
fool's errands for you.
- And I thought I told you, I
make those decisions, not you.
Least you forget
the reign of terror
I could bring down upon you
if I made one simple telegram
to a certain United
States marshal.
Or how 'bout the pain
I could inflict on you
if I was to shut
down the Chinese camp
with their opium supply?
- Now look, if I
injured your interest,
I suggest you just get to
the matter of which you came.
- Very well.
I need information on
a stranger in camp.
I need to know his intentions.
I need to know his purposes.
And I need to know his plans.
You, on the other hand, need
to procure me this information.
You will not disappoint me.
- Could I expect partial
payment upfront, per usual?
- Per usual.
(coins jangle)
Balance upon the information.
- Yes, sir.
And uh, does this
stranger have a name?
Or do I need to discover
that information myself?
- Oh, he does.
(daunting music)
Coleman William Dobbs.
24 hours.
- [Informant] 24 hours.
(daunting music)
(pounding at door)
- Dad-blasted! Yeah,
yeah I hear ya.
Just hold on.
What're you doing here at this
ungodly hour in the morning?
- I wanna know what you're
doing to find my boy.
I reported him missing
three days ago,
and I ain't heard hair
nor hide from you since.
- Just calm down. Just relax--
- Don't tell me to calm
down, you two-bit tin star.
This is my boy
we're talking about.
- If you'd let me get a
word in, you old coot,
I'll tell you all we're
trying to do to find your boy.
Now Deputy Tilman
and I have initiated
a thorough investigation--
- Don't use those $4 words
with me, you tin star.
What're you doing
to find my boy?
- Listen, I'm doing what I can.
I'm leaving no stone unturned.
Why, he probably
decided to tie one on,
and he's sleeping it
off in a barn somewhere.
Probably got a pretty
gal with him too.
Now, why don't you
go home to Mildred,
'for she comes down here and
fills out a report on you
and decides she likes
you better gone.
- Bill, he's just a boy, please.
- J.W., I'm doing what I
can, I give you my word.
Why don't you go on home,
so I know where to find you
when I get some news, all right?
Oh, god.
- Oh my. Well,
this is a surprise.
When was the last time
I saw you in here?
Yesterday, and the
day before that?
And the day before that?
- Well, it is the best food
in town, or so I'm told.
- So that's the only reason
you're in here all the time?
- No.
Quite frankly, I need to speak
with you about something.
It isn't good, the food, I
mean. I do enjoy the waitress.
- Stop calling me that.
- Cathryn, I need to speak
with you on a serious note.
Not here though. Not now.
Maybe later this afternoon.
- Why, Mr. Dobbs,
a serious note?
What could be so serious?
I've only known you
just these few days.
- When are you done here today?
- So serious. Um, today?
Well, I'll be done here
in just a few minutes.
I do have to stop by and
give my daddy his lunch,
and then on my way to
the sheriff's office.
But um, I should be
done with all of that
later on this afternoon.
- That'll be fine.
- I know just a special place
where we can have
a serious talk.
I should be getting back to
work, but uh, later on then?
- I look forward
to seeing you then.
(slow somber music)
(Coleman sighs)
(birds chirping)
- Oh, hey, Miss Kaitlyn.
- Cathryn, how are
you, sweetheart?
- Well, I'm just right as rain.
Oh, you know what?
I wonder if you'd do me a favor.
I have my daddy's lunch,
his absolute favorite.
Miss Lizzie's famous
fried chicken.
Would you mind?
- No, I wouldn't mind at all.
You sure seem chipper today.
- Me? Oh, do I?
- Yes, you.
- Really, it's nothing. I
guess I'm just in good humor.
- So who is he?
- He?
- Yes, he, the boy that's
putting that smile on your face.
- (chuckles) Miss Kaitlyn,
it's really nobody special.
Uh, it's just a nice young man.
Mr. Dobbs and I
are just friends.
- Mr. Dobbs?
- Yes, he's only been
in town a week or so.
- Oh, and how long have
you known this Mr. Dobbs?
- So many questions.
Listen, I have to get this
basket to the sheriff's office,
but maybe we can chat later.
- Listen, Cathryn,
please promise me
that you'll take things
slow and you'll be careful,
all right?
- I'm always careful.
- Alrighty.
- So, you ain't seen hide nor
hair of the Calhoon boy, huh?
- Nope, not in the
past couple of days,
but uh, he and I ain't
really been that friendly
since he started up
with Grace Martin.
Oh, a telegram on the
table somewhere for you.
- All right.
Hey, (sighs) whatever
happened to that kid
that used to run
with you and Calhoon?
- What kid?
- That kid, the, the heavy kid.
Three of you used to fish
down by the old mill.
- You mean Marcus?
- Was that his name?
- Was that whose name?
- Who do you think
we're talking about?
Is Marcus the fellow that would
fish with you and Thaddeus?
- Well, sometimes, but he ain't
really ever caught nothing.
He was always--
- And, what happened
to that kid?
I ain't seen him around
here in a while neither.
- You know, I ain't neither.
You know, last I heard, he had
a girl who was sweet on him.
(laughs) He ain't never really
had any ladies before or uh,
or really any, any
friends, neither.
He's a, he wasn't much of a
ladies man like some of us.
- Meaning?
- Well, ain't you ever noticed
that when I walk around town,
the girls always pay
special attention?
Ah, they are days--
- No, meaning, which
girl took a fancy to him?
And if he ain't
around, where'd he go?
- You're still
talking about that?
Uh, (sighs) I think he said
her name was Cindy or Katie.
Maybe Cathy?
I don't know. I just
figured he moved.
- Could her name
had been Cathryn?
- Cathryn? Like the
judge's daughter?
- [Sheriff] Yeah.
- Mm, no.
No, Marcus said that she had
long, beautiful brown hair.
Miss Cathryn is a brunette. So.
- What about Marcus' pa, is
he still around these parts?
- Of course he is.
He's down at the saloon tendin'
bar right now. It's Bottles.
- Bottles is his father?
- That's what Marcus said.
I always wondered
about it though,
'cause I didn't, I didn't
think they looked alike.
- Here, make yourself useful.
Finish these reports.
Get off your lard ass and
get over here, take my spot.
I will be back.
- Yeah, all right.
- Hey, y'all. Miss
Lizzie over at the cafe
had your lunch prepared.
You leaving, sheriff?
- Yeah, I got rounds
to do, Miss Cathryn.
- Smells like fried chicken.
- That it does. Can't
though, Miss Cathryn.
But you tell that lazy deputy
of mine to save me some.
- Okay, I will.
- Good day to ya.
- Well now, Miss Cathryn,
it's just you me.
- Well, you're half right.
- Well, hold on a minute.
You and I have some
issues to discuss.
- Issues?
- Issues.
- What kind of issues?
- Like the fact that
you ain't never realized
what a prize catch
you've got sittin'
right here in front of you.
- (laughs) A prize catch?
- A prize catch.
- Is that a fact?
- Oh ma'am, that is more than
a fact. That's a fact's fact.
- Well, now that
you've said something,
I may have missed that.
- Mm, maybe you have.
- How could I have
been so naive?
Why, just to have
this prize catch
right here in front of me.
- Mm-hmm.
- Tall and handsome,
- Mm-hmm.
- Admired by the community.
- Oh, I know.
- Any woman would
just be absolutely
fortunate to have you,
wouldn't she?
- Mm-hmm. I made that sign.
- Oh, well, handyman at that.
Truly, truly lucky they
would be, wouldn't they?
- Mm-hmm.
- Very fortunate.
But, I guess I'll just
never know what I'm missing.
- (exhales) Miss Cathryn,
you are something else.
(Cathryn laughs)
- Afternoon.
Need to ask you a few questions.
- About?
- Well, you seem
to pretty much know
the comings and
goings of this camp.
Wonder if you're
familiar with a loner
goes by the name of Jordan Tate?
He's just a young fella.
He's about my height, but
brown hair, brown eyes.
He stopped into the office,
oh, several weeks back.
He seemed like a real nice kid.
- I can't say I do, sheriff.
I don't know why you're
asking me anyway.
- Now young Jordan told me
he was gonna stay a few days
and then head up to Colorado.
But he was gonna stop
in and say goodbye
before he left town.
Now that was (sighs),
almost six weeks ago.
Then this morning, I get a
telegram from his Aunt Susan
up in Colorado.
Seems she got a letter from
him written the very day
he arrived here.
Oh, he told her
about meeting me,
told her when he thought
he'd arrive up there.
But he also told her about
meeting a friend of his, Marcus,
Marcus James.
That name seem familiar
to you, Mr. James?
- Why should it?
What are you
getting at, sheriff?
Are you saying I know something
about him disappearing?
- Who said anything
about disappearing?
- You just said that he, he--
- I said he hadn't
arrived, that's all.
In fact, I wanna ask
your boy about Jordan,
but, seems I can't
find Marcus neither.
(Bottles sighs)
He's your boy, ain't he?
- He, he ain't my son. Who,
who said he was my son?
I ain't got no kin,
especially like him.
- What's this about, sheriff?
Why you asking about
this Jordan fella?
- Simmer down.
- Instead of looking
for my boy?
- Simmer down, J.W.
Let me do my job.
- I ain't got no information
about these boys.
He ain't my son. He
ain't, I tell ya.
- Now, what're you gettin'
excited for? We're just talking.
- I don't like these questions.
I don't like having
to answer questions
that ain't got
nothing to do with me.
I ain't got no information
about these boys.
I mean, sure they were
friends, the three of 'em,
but that, that's all.
- The three of them? My boy?
- All three of 'em
knew each other,
Jordan, Thaddeus,
and, and Marcus?
- What do you know
about my missing boy?
- Nothing. Nothing.
- Simmer down.
Let him talk.
- All I know is that
they were talking about
the judge's girl.
They came in one
night, and each said
he weren't scared at all
about if the judge found out.
You know kinda brag talking,
especially the Calhoon boy.
- Look, Calhoon.
Turn loose of him.
(deep suspenseful music)
Put that thing down.
Bottles, put it down.
Calhoon, you need to back on
outta here, real slow-like.
Just back on out
and go on home now.
Bottles, nobody
wants to hurt you.
But I can't put my gun down
till you put that thing down.
You all right?
Now take it easy.
(deep tense music)
All right, Bottles.
Let's talk a walk.
You put the fear of God
in us, man. Come on.
(deep tense music)
It's gonna be okay.
(birds chirping)
(flask cap scraping)
(birds chirping)
- Ah.
(Coleman sighs)
(birds chirping)
Nevermore, you quim.
You will never see her
face again after today.
You took everything from me.
And I'm just here
to return the favor.
I'm taking her from you.
(slow tense music)
- You're taking her from who?
Hey, calm down.
Who are you taking,
and from whom?
- This is a great way to
get yourself shot, mister.
Walking into a camp,
someone you don't know.
Best you just turn around
and forget you ever
heard anything.
- I can do that, but uh,
just gonna have a
little conversation.
Now, I could leave.
But it's still gonna
leave me wondering uh,
who you're talking about.
- Oh, does it now?
- Why, yes sir, yes it does.
- Who are you?
And give me one good reason
why I shouldn't
blow you to hell.
- Okay, relax. Ponder on
this one for a minute.
I have no love for Judge
Bassett, but I know you,
and I know what you did.
Uh, uh.
I uh, I know things about
the judge, about Cathryn,
that could help you out.
- I work alone.
(gunshot blasts)
(men grunting)
(adventurous music)
(informant groaning)
(tense somber music)
(gunshot blasts)
(tense somber music)
You were right.
(Coleman spits)
This did help.
(tense somber music)
(gunshot blasts)
(tense somber music)
(birds chirping)
(gentle melodious music)
- Well, well,
well, Miss Kaitlyn.
Looks like you're turning
this into an everyday habit.
- Well, I can if you'd like.
Thought we could share lunch.
Brought you Lizzie's
special fried chicken.
Well, it's cold now.
Been here a while.
- Yeah, it doesn't matter.
You know how much I love
Miss Lizzie's fried chicken,
hot or cold.
- Well, you can thank
Lizzie for that.
- Yeah, remind me to do so.
You said it's been here a while.
When did Cathryn drop it off?
- Well she didn't, exactly.
She was on her way to the
sheriff's to drop them theirs,
and asked me if I
could bring you yours.
So I told her I could.
Reckon she was anxious to,
I reckon she was
anxious to get everybody
their food quickly.
- Kaitlyn, you have
any idea how long
I've been on the bench?
- No, Bud, but I'm
sure it's been a while.
- Yes it has.
And in all those years, I've
become very astute at knowing
when someone's
trying to piss on me,
and tell me that it's raining.
Now, why was she in such a
hurry to drop off the basket?
She get to end her
workday afterwards?
Bet she's gonna go
home and take a nap,
'cause God knows
that girl can sleep.
What's she got going on?
- Now, Bud, promise me you
won't jump to no conclusion.
- What?
- She's met someone,
someone new,
and, well she's promised
me she's takin' it slow
and she's okay.
- Where is she?
- She's fine, Bud.
- Kaitlyn, she is not fine.
Where is she?
- You're scaring me.
(slow suspenseful music)
- You know, for someone
who had something serious
on his mind, you've
been awfully quiet.
You know, I just love
this time of year.
The leaves falling and
weather changing. Don't you?
- It's not really
my favorite time.
It's just too cold for me.
I wanted to tell you
that the last few days
have been special,
real special for me.
- I just love this place.
You know, my mama
used to bring me here
when I was a little girl and,
(chuckles) we'd play
and eat cookies and milk
and sing silly songs.
And she, she used to
call me her special girl.
- Your mother?
- This was our secret place.
It was special to her,
and to me now also.
- You two still
come here together?
- Um, my mama
isn't here anymore.
You see, we were here one day,
and these men rode up.
I remember them telling
me how beautiful she was.
And then I had to sit
and watch.
I was just a
helpless little girl.
I couldn't, I couldn't save her
from the terrible
things they did to her.
- I'm so sorry.
- They had a knife.
Looked like a strange
little thing at first,
you couldn't tell what it was.
Till they opened it up.
I've seen things, things
nobody should witnessed.
- Well, you don't
have to worry anymore.
I'm here now. And I'll make
sure no one else hurts you.
- You know, I used to
wonder what my purpose was.
Why, why they kept me alive,
but, I'm here now,
and this is my
special place and,
(sighs) you're,
you're my special guy.
I'm, I'm sorry. I
just, c'mon, lay down.
I get so worked up
I, I miss my mama so.
But, I'm all right,
I'm okay now.
I'm just so happy to be
here with you. Special guy.
- Miss Cathryn, I need
to tell you something.
You once asked me if I
knew who your father was,
if I knew you.
I do know. I know
who your father is.
I know how I've come
to feel about you.
You've changed things
for me, Cathryn.
Cathryn, I'm falling
in love with you.
- Oh honey, that's so sweet.
I love you too.
(gunshot blasts)
(tense music)
- You bastard. You
shot your own daughter.
- Stop.
(gunshot blasts)
Check on Cathryn.
Bud, why?
She's your own daughter.
You shot her down in cold blood.
(judge crying)
- I couldn't stop her--
- From what, Bud?
- I couldn't stop her
from killing them!
She killed them!
She killed them all.
- Cathryn killed those boys?
- She killed 'em.
I had to stop her.
- Bud, I'm sorry.
(dramatic music)
(gunshot blasts)
- [Sheriff] Stay down.
- [Coleman] He killed
his own daughter.
- Shut up.
- She's gone, sheriff.
- All right. Check
him for weapons.
Take him to the jail
and then go get the doc.
(slow somber music)
- Get up.
- [Sheriff] How is he?
- He's gonna be okay.
He's gonna be all right.
Over there, that's where
you'll find the boys,
among a few others.
Bud told me he buried 'em there.
He did it out of love, Bill.
- I know, but, his whole
life was about the law.
(deep somber music)
Now he'll have to
face it himself.
All right.
(slow melancholic strings music)
- Oh. Well, I didn't expect
to see you awake so soon.
I told the sheriff you'd be
out for at least an hour.
- (winces) How did I,
how did I get here?
- (chuckles) Well,
when you arrived,
the sheriff and a couple
of those other fellows
was carrying ya, seems you
passed out along the way.
You lost a lot of blood
in your stomach, Bud.
Now I came over here
quick as a whip,
after I tended to
that other fellow
they took off to the jail.
I was able to get it packed
off, and it should be all right,
but that bullet
went right through.
But it uh, nicked a
vessel on the way out.
So you gotta be careful.
If you move around
too much, that uh,
that could start bleeding again,
and that would not be happy.
So you just rest right there
till the sheriff gets back.
Till the sheriff gets back
to haul you off to the jail
to wait for the circuit judge.
- Circuit judge?
- Bud, the sheriff
says you shot Cathryn!
And he says it was intentional.
Nah, I don't believe that, Bud.
You're too good a man for
that. You would not do that.
There has to be another answer.
It had to be accidental.
Something else happened.
Tell me, what happened?
All right.
Sheriff'll be along soon.
What do you think you are doing?
You lay back down--
- I do not--
- [Doc] And you stay there.
- Answer to the sheriff!
I do not answer to
a circuit judge.
I make the laws! I
pronounce judgment!
Not a circuit judge!
- Bud, come on.
You come back here.
You get in that.
What? Bud.
(Doc groaning)
(Bud cries out)
(Doc groaning)
- I
(slow somber music)
(deep daunting music)