Boom Town (1940) Movie Script

There you are. One dollar.
Big oil strike in California. Read all about it.
Read all about it for 2 bits.
Big oil strike in California.
There's a plenty big one here, bub.
Yeah, if I could only get me a string...
...of equipment, I got a piece
of ground that's a honey.
You got ground? You got ground.
Here, take a look at the core
from my lease.
Smell it. Down 800 feet
and run out of pipe.
Well, if it's pipe and tools you need,
there's Luther Aldrich now.
That tightwad.
Luther Aldrich? Where?
Where is he? Wh...?
Hey, 6 bits, please. Thanks.
Get around the side of me, fella, will you?
- Come on, I'm getting out here.
- Come on, mule.
Hello, Luther, old boy. Well, I haven't
seen you since the Kansas boom.
- I don't think I quite...
- We made a lot of money there, didn't we?
- Sand. John Sand? You remember me.
- Sand? I don't think I...
I'm spudding in my first well down here.
I'm going down about 1700 feet... I'll need quite a lot of equipment.
- Oh, equipment?
Yes. Mr. Sand, of course.
Well, come right over here.
What section are you thinking of drilling?
Well, my lease is in a new section
about 30 miles south of here.
- Thirty miles. A wildcat, huh?
- Some fellas might call it that.
Casing tools and lumber...
...will cost you about $ 7000 in cash.
- That's fine.
That's fine, fine. We'll just carry that
in an open account against my name...
...and then when the well comes in...
- I thought so, another deadbeat.
- These boomtowns reek with larceny.
- I may be down to my last couple bucks...
...but do you think I'd do it
if I didn't think there was oil?
You're an oil man, aren't you?
All oil men are crazy.
I've been swindled and hijacked
and I'm practically naked.
Mr. Aldrich, there's a million dollars in this.
Now, you know me.
I don't know you.
I don't know why I said I did.
What do people think I am, a good fairy?
Hey, brother. Four bits if you want to cross.
Or take it the hard way.
That's the way I take everything else.
Shorty, do you mind backing up
and letting me by?
Yeah, I do mind. Suppose you back up.
And don't call me Shorty.
Shorty or sonny,
what difference does it make?
You know, you're liable to get all muddy
if you don't put it in reverse.
- Move over, bud.
- I'm wearing Justin Boots with 4-inch heels.
They'll sure make big dents
in that little frame of yours.
Stop, or I'll shoot.
Put that six-shooter down.
I'm John McMasters.
I never heard of you.
And I got no time to start now.
Nice shooting, Harmony.
Right above the nose.
Sorry his nose was so close to you,
big feller.
What did he do to you? Talk back?
No, nothing personal. Just, he's been
around hijacking tools and equipment.
Hijacking? Yeah, that's bad business.
Ain't it awful?
I was just trying to arrest him.
Why can't folks be more law-abiding?
I'll go home and won't sleep good
again tonight.
I guess he will.
Hey, what do you...? John.
Hi, Evie. How's my
barrel of sweet Spanish crude?
Where you been hiding, honey?
Hey, what happened?
You jump out a window?
You know I wouldn't
turn my back on a lady.
- Hi, Larry.
- Hi, John.
- You been holding out on me.
- You ain't been around.
She just come over from New Orleans.
Lots of laughs.
Never been away from home.
Hey, 50 bucks. You'll spoil the kid.
You can't spoil baby lamb.
Besides, I got 800 in my poke.
Just brought in a gusher
for old man Wilson.
I'm here for laughs
and checking out in the morning.
You darn prairie jack.
Where you hopping to now?
I hear they brought in a big wildcat
out in California.
Wildcats. Always looking for wildcats.
When you gonna settle down, darling?
What the heck, Evie?
Travel and brag, brag and travel.
Maybe I'll hit oil where there ain't.
Throw a steak on the fire for me, will you,
with all the fixings. I'm gonna wash up.
Hey, Whitey.
I'll be back down like a spring breeze.
Don't let those apes
steal your peanuts.
They say that with diamonds
where I come from.
Yes, sir, Whitey.
A brass band in a bathtub.
Oh, excuse me.
Whip those mules, brother,
there's a run on the bank.
Say, listen, fella...
Well, well, it's Shorty again.
A man can get pretty sick
of running into a guy like you.
Yeah, you don't wanna get sick, though.
I might have to hold your head, Shorty.
I guess you didn't hear me the first time.
Don't call me Shorty.
Why not, Shorty?
Okay. Why should you and me
have an argument?
- One of us might get hurt.
- Yeah, that's right. One of us might.
You wanna use the bowl? I'm through.
Wait a minute, I'll fix it up for you.
- Well, thanks, Shorty.
- There you are. Put a little of that gin in it.
Cut right through that oil.
- Cheaper than water, anyway.
- Yeah.
- Yeah. Not bad.
- Quite a roll of scratch you got there.
Wouldn't be as much as 6 or 7 grand,
would there?
Supposing it is. You think you're gonna
pull a gun out of your rudder?
No, no, no. I just thought you
might be interested in spudding in a well... it up to a million.
- Oh, no. Nothing doing, Shorty.
I'm heading west. California.
I like them wild.
I hear a guy might do all right out there.
You don't want them
any wilder than this.
Look at this. All unproven, virgin lease.
Thirty miles south of here.
- So you think there's oil there, huh?
- You put up for the rig and the tools...
...and you're in for half. There's oil there.
- How do you know, Shorty?
- You don't get them dealing cards.
- The old bunion, huh?
- You're a driller too, huh?
- That's it.
- Come on, what do you say, fifty-fifty?
- Nope.
I've been planted here too long anyway.
Me for over the Rockies.
Stick around, though,
and I'll buy you a drink, just for luck.
Okay, Whitey. Diamonds or doughnuts?
- Hey, wait a minute. Where you going?
- Let go. I pick my own posies, jughead.
- Sit down and eat your steak, John.
- Come on, Whitey, honey...
...throw your little derrick up right here.
And happy days.
- Who's your cheerful friend, John?
- Him? That's Shorty.
- Name is Sand. John Sand.
- Well, John. Two Johns.
We gotta do something about that.
Get all mixed up.
- First I'll find a nice girl for you to talk to.
- If you don't mind, I'll just stick to whiskey.
- I'll bet he's got a girl.
- Maybe he's married.
- Got an Oregon Boot back home, Shorty?
- Who, me? No.
- No, not exactly.
- You mean you got a girl, eh, Shorty?
Sure. And he's on the square and I like him.
That's your name. Square John.
Square John, Big John.
That fixes everything.
Well, blood on the moon.
Whitey, if I was to tell you
that I was the Mississippi River... high tide,
what would you think, huh?
Hey. We thought this over.
You was with us first.
- She was?
- Yeah.
Well, I didn't...
- Looks like we got company, Shorty.
- You got company.
That's what I thought.
I beat you by four feet, Shorty.
Wait a minute. I got another chance.
- I give you a tie.
- Hey, lke. Ed. Break it up. Break it up.
Say, John, stop it. You're giving
the place a bad name.
Shorty, you sure can go.
Here I am thinking you're all gab.
Yeah, he pulled a cutting knife on me.
- Makes you mad.
- Yeah.
Hey, where'd you say
that lease of yours was?
- Thirty miles south of here.
- Well, okay, okay.
We'll drive out and take a look at her.
In the morning.
- So you think you got a field here, huh?
- I know it. Take a look.
The bigheaded geologists in town
say it's only surface gas, but I say it's oil.
- Shorty, I think we got something here.
- I know we have.
And we're plumb center, right here.
Now, wait a minute, wait a minute.
I think more over by that old skull
will hit the peak of the dome.
No, no. Don't be fooled by false jogs.
This pay structure, it's right under here.
You're gonna fool yourself
down to salt water if you...
I'm an oil man too, you know. I haven't
been drilling all my life for gophers.
Wait, I was pulling oil out of the ground
when your ma was giving it to you...
...for your health.
- If you think...
- All right, all right, take it easy.
Somebody's gotta be the boss.
You got a hard dollar on you?
- Kind of light, ain't it?
- Yeah, it's counterfeit.
- It's the only kind I can hold on to. Call it.
- Heads.
Okay, you're the boss.
We'll spud in by the skull.
Now, listen, Shorty.
My betting on you is just as good
as betting on that skull.
- We'll spud in here.
- Okay, boss.
Hey, now, how about that dough?
How much is in that bankroll of yours?
Well, let's see. I had 800
when I went in the joint last night...
- That Whitey, she's all right, isn't she?
- You told me you had 7 grand.
No. You told me, Shorty.
That'll only put up the derrick.
I'm the boss.
Getting the equipment is up to me.
Just put yourself in my hands.
Hey. Wait a minute, John.
You better keep them eyes peeled
for hijackers.
I lost two loads last week.
You hired me when I was broke,
Mr. Aldrich. I won't let you down.
I'll look after your merchandise
like it was my very own.
Yeah, well, I think we'd better not
take any chances. Come on.
Get down off there, Eddie.
Hey, Harmony.
Come away from that cookbook.
Come on.
- Coming a-running.
- Now, look, Mr. Aldrich, I don't need any...
No, no. If any hijackers start anything,
Harmony will take care of them.
Go ahead.
Well, it's the big feller.
I didn't recognize you at first.
Nice day for the race, ain't it?
- What race?
- The human race.
"You add a pinch of salt to taste
and serve piping hot... the delight
of your family and friends."
- Don't that sound pretty?
- If you're so interested in cooking...
...why do you go around killing people?
I hate shooting folks. I had a fine job
cooking over at the Parsons' ranch.
A bunch of horse rustlers popped in,
and when the sheriff come...
...he kind of liked the way they was laid out
and he deputized me for this here business.
Say, here's a "reskipe"
for lemon "meringoo" pie.
I expect that's just plain old lemon pie
for foreigners, don't you...?
Danged if I like them big hawks.
All the time killing little turtledoves.
Put them up.
Come on, pull up there.
- No monkey business, now. Climb down.
- Climb down in front of me, son.
But don't worry,
I'll plug him right between the eyes.
No, no, I can't. I'm shaking all over.
- Come on, you guys. Quit stalling.
- Turn the gun loose.
No, don't shoot.
Maybe he'll shoot back.
All right, keep walking now
and keep reaching.
Yes, sir.
Get up there.
Please don't say anything
to anybody, will you?
I'm not used to guns.
My knees just turn to water.
I nearly passed out, I guess.
Now, just simmer down, big feller.
Think of something else.
Hey. We're getting close.
Try that last stuff.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Now who wanted to spud in
by that steer skull?
We'll be reaching for her tail
in a few feet.
We sure had a break with Aldrich.
I thought he'd have spotted us by now.
We'll pay Luther back double.
Come on, you wild kitty. Spit.
- Begins to get you about now, don't it?
- Yeah, like sparking around some dame.
I forgot about that gal of yours, Shorty.
Don't worry, she'll be in platinum garters...
Hey. Listen.
Get back. She's coming in now.
- Come on, honey. Come to us, baby.
- Let's cap her in.
No, let her flow.
Let her open up her mouth and holler.
Look out!
Salt water.
The Gulf of Mexico.
Well, at least we can smoke now.
Take it easy, Shorty.
They say you'll get rich
if you drill enough holes.
We'd have been all right
if we'd spudded in by that skull.
Must be the water from the side structure.
Well, I guess that's that.
You're thinking about that dame, huh?
Hey, what's her name? What's she like?
She's nuts about you, huh?
I wish I could be sure.
She likes me, I guess.
We've known each other quite a piece.
You know, it ain't exactly set yet...
...but I figured if this well came in,
why, she'd come out here and we could...
Forget it.
Pick up your chin. We'll spud in
over there someday. Somehow.
Who's that coming?
- That's Luther's car. We'd better travel.
- Travel or jail.
They're getting away.
They're getting away.
Hey, hold it.
Take it easy,
I'm gonna get me a pigeon.
For heaven's sake, they're escaping.
Come on, you're the sheriff. Do something.
I wonder what they done
with my Barbara Fritchie cookbook.
Shut up, you blithering seagull.
Thousands of dollars' worth
of equipment lost, and in a dry hole.
If they ever come back here, I'll have
them boiled in oil. In their own oil.
They didn't strike any.
Once more won't hurt them. Seven, dice.
There she is.
Seven out of the field
and pay the line.
Six-one, babies. Right back at them.
That's it, babies.
- Eleven. Pay the line.
- Ten passes.
I can't lose. I'm knee-deep in clover.
Just for luck, Shorty.
Come on, babies, once more. Oh, yeah.
- Pay the line.
- There you are, sir.
Two thousand.
Watch me double it.
Wait a minute, wait a minute.
That's enough.
Those dice got snake eyes, you know.
Okay, Shorty.
Shorty here, he's the warden.
That's right, you tell him, Shorty.
Make him take...
- Don't call me Shorty.
- But, Holy Moses, he called you Shorty.
That's all right. That's him, not you.
Here, buy him seven or eight drinks.
Come on, Shorty, let's go.
Hey, where are we going with all
this fancy scratch, little man?
Right back to Burkburnett.
And we're gonna spud in that well
right by the old steer skull...
...where a fella tried to get me
to do it once before. Remember?
Hey, wait a minute, chump.
Do you think Luther is foolish enough
to take $2000 for all we owe him?
You just act like I said.
Do as the boss tells you.
Just check over that balance.
It was wrong again yesterday.
- Hi, Luther. Long time no see.
- Well, gentlemen, what can I...?
It's them. It's them.
Do something, quick. Get Harmony.
Wait a minute. Easy.
We're just here on a little business.
Don't stand there trembling
like a pen-wiper. What business?
We wanna pay our bill.
Course, if you don't want the money...
You wanna pay me? Well, why didn't
you say...? Come in, gentlemen. Sit down.
I was only saying yesterday, I wonder
what happened to Mr. Sand and...
Let go of Mr. McMasters, you idiot.
- Well, it's the big feller.
- Hi, Harmony.
- It's all right, Harmony, there's no...
- Here you are, Luther.
- Well.
- Two thousand on account.
Two thousand?
But you owe me $ 7000.
That's for good faith.
We still got our lease.
We'll pay the rest
when our new well comes in.
- New well?
- Sure.
You're gonna give us
tools and equipment.
I give you what? Harmony, get the sheriff.
I'll give you jail sentences...
Wait a minute, now, take it easy.
All right, he's got us where it hurts.
- We gotta give him a sixteenth of the well.
- What? We'll do no such thing.
Certainly not. I... I... What's that?
A sixteenth?
Well, I... I... No, I run
a strictly cash business here.
All right, all right.
Then we'll give you an eighth.
- Give an eighth of a million dollars away?
- A million dollars? Are you...?
You mean 10 million dollars.
We can afford a measly eighth.
- Come on, Luther...
- No, no, no. Over my dead body.
Where do you get off mooching your way
in for an eighth, you old cow thief?
- I'm going over to the bank on my own.
- Wait a minute. Wait.
I don't know what to say.
You said enough, trying to let
this crook in on a sure thing.
I worked my hands raw
to earn that money.
Now, wait a minute. Wait a minute.
I might consider an eighth.
But an eighth of what?
What makes you two maniacs
think you're gonna find oil this time?
Say, do you think we'd be
sticking our necks in a noose...
...if we didn't know there was oil?
Come on.
- No, no, I still think an eighth is...
- Well, all right. All right. I'll do it.
But it's got to be an eighth.
And we'll sign the papers right now.
Harmony goes out with you
to see there's no monkey business.
And if you two fellas
don't bring in a well this time... go to jail. Both of you.
I'm not gonna... I'm...
For heaven...
I'm stuck again.
Hot groceries.
- Hey, Big John, come and get it.
- Okay. I'm ready for it.
Here she is, boys.
Another Barbara Fritchie special.
Hey, what's that for?
We gotta have a name for the well.
You mind if we call it that?
"Beautiful darling Betsy."
Well, I'll be doggoned.
Okay, Shorty. Say, when are we
gonna get a load of this gal?
Maybe you'll see her one day,
if the well comes in.
We're due, all right. Take a look
at the sand from that last bailing.
What's that? Rabbit again?
Rabbit stew la "modee."
Shot two nice fat ones this morning.
Couldn't go out and shoot a can of beans
for a change, could you?
Let's drive to Eva's for a steak.
- We got 13 or a dozen bucks left.
- No. Rabbit's okay by me.
We're due for a bust. Five weeks of this
ain't natural, fella. I got the jumps.
You and Harmony go in. I can make
a few more feet of hole before dark.
- Besides, I got some letters to write.
- Oh, okay, okay. Me for town.
You work out your nightlife
with water on the side.
But that gal may stand you up, so just
don't turn out to be Henry the Hermit.
I'll pick up the groceries
and meet you over at Eva's.
- Hey.
- Careful, my dear.
- Let the deacon help you.
- Thank you.
Looks like Aunt Molly's got
a new visitor.
Yeah. Kind of looks that way.
But I'm not sure.
You'll like the other place better, dear.
Not a hotel, more like a boarding house.
More homelike for a girl like you, dearie.
We have evening get-togethers,
and the nicest Southern cooking.
- You're very kind, but I...
- Ma'am, I'm about to speak a piece.
You're new here, so you don't know
Aunt Molly and the deacon.
Molly's done a little time.
And the deacon...
...well, he can squirm under a
water moccasin with a high hat on.
And you, Auntie,
keep that knife in your corset.
It might not look nice if I'd have to
kick you in the stomach. Now, get.
Well, thank you very much.
You see, where they wanted
to take you...
Well, a girl like you
might not have liked it.
You mean I'd wake up in a gilded palace
and be afraid to go home?
Oh, you were wise, huh?
Well, they were pretty obvious.
You know, the first time I voted... mother broke down and told me
all about the big, bad world.
- Thanks anyway.
- You know...
...I still think you need
somebody to keep an eye on you.
- This is a pretty rough town.
- Oh, dear.
- What?
- I thought it was Galahad.
Galahad in boots and a Stetson, come to
rescue the fair Elaine from the dragons.
- But underneath you're just Modred.
- What do you mean, Modred?
Sir Modred. Of all the knights,
he was the wicked one.
I'm very sorry.
She kind of rustled her bustle at you,
didn't she?
Modred. Say, what do you know
about those guys Modred and Galahad?
Let me see. I know Pete Galahad.
Sheriff over in Whizbang.
No, no. Two different guys.
Could you tell me where I might find
Mr. Jonathan Sand?
He's drilling out in the south section.
About a 30-mile ride.
I could get you a jitney.
Oh, no, not tonight. Thank you.
I'll have supper and go in the morning.
Yes, ma'am.
- Well, I take your order now.
- Let's see. How's the chicken?
Don't order fried chicken,
it's three-year-old jackrabbit.
- Saved again from a fate worse than death.
- Come on, Lena...
...tell her John McMasters
is just a babe in the woods.
I bring your soup,
but don't go in no woods.
Lena's dizzy from dollar tips.
- Are you Big John McMasters?
- Yeah.
You've heard about me, huh?
Well, I certainly have.
Doesn't that surprise you?
I'm pretty well-known in these parts.
I heard about you
long before I arrived here.
On the bus, huh?
Yes. That's right. They were saying,
"Big John McMasters...
...there's a fellow to be heard from."
- Really?
Come on, now, stop kidding me
into a bear trap.
A lot's going on tonight.
What am I going to call you
for the rest of the evening?
The rest of the evening?
Yeah. All I know now is Elaine.
What am I gonna call you when I
take you to that rodeo, for instance?
Well, maybe I just better be
the Lady Elaine for a while.
I don't wanna give you any surprises.
You look delicate.
Lady Elaine, nothing you could tell me
would surprise me.
Wait and see, Sir Modred.
- You want to order?
- Sure. What are you doing here, at that?
Are you one of those lady drummers?
No, I'm much more important than that.
If I like it here, I might open a shop.
- What kind of a shop?
- Lingerie.
- Come again?
- Underwear. Ladies' underwear.
Ladies' underwear?
Well, I don't know. Now, you see...
...the girls in this town... Well,
what I mean is there's not much call for...
- You'd better order.
- Yeah.
Now, Lena, my love,
I want a steak, 32 ounce, rare.
Same racket.
Hasn't changed since I was a kid.
Knock down the milk bottles
and they give you St. Vitus.
Stop it, you'll wear him out.
Mr. Summers, just a minute.
I want you to meet Lady Elaine.
- And Mrs. Summers.
- How do you do?
Mr. Summers runs the Emporium,
the biggest store in town.
Lady Elaine is selling women's underwear.
I want you to buy till it hurts.
Don't pay any attention to him,
Mr. Summers. He's crazy.
Yes, I'm Sir Modred, the wicked knight.
Wicked knight? You're drunk.
Oh, look, it's started.
Ride him, Henry.
Sit still and sing to him.
I guess Henry can't sing.
Why, that's just like sitting
in a rocking chair.
All right, folks. Who else will ride
the Missouri Angel?
That's a cinch. All you have to do
is wrap your legs around him.
All right, go ahead.
Who, me?
Here's your next rider,
Big John McMasters.
Wait a minute. I was just...
Big John McMasters is our next rider.
You see how happy you've made them?
Yes, yes. Sir Modred is stuck.
Here, take the colors of the fair Elaine and
wear them bravely in the joust, Sir Modred.
I don't know what she's talking about,
but look after her.
She's something pretty special.
- Whoa, mule.
- He's just looking you over.
Sir Modred is up.
Hey, what do you got the balloon for,
Big John? Going up in the air?
- Everybody likes Big John, don't they?
- Yeah. He's high-test, ma'am.
Hey, Big John!
Sir Modred is still up.
Modred is down.
You know, I've never had so much fun
in all my life.
What do we do now?
I guess there's not much more
you can do in this town.
- Hiya, Big John.
- Oh, hi, Tom. Hi, Ed.
- Well, we'll be seeing you next summer.
- Yeah? Hey, where are you headed?
- Off to Arizona for a little wildcatting.
- Yes, sir.
And when we come back,
we'll be driving a Rolls-Royce.
Attaboy. I hope you bring in a cat
that'll really howl.
Happy days.
Tom and Ed Murphy.
I hope they get lucky and strike it.
They've been knocking at the gate
a long time.
Say, this sounds very gay.
What's in here?
No, you don't wanna go in there.
That's just a dance hall.
A bad dance hall?
Well, no, but it's a place
where fellas go on payday...
- Have you been in there?
- Sure, but...
- Well, then, you can take me.
- No, no, it's liable to be kind of rough.
Now, look,
I'm not really Little Red Riding Hood.
I came down here because I wanted
to see if... Well, I want to see all the sights.
Now, please.
Well, I'm agin it.
So holler when you've had enough.
Hello, Big John. Whitey was just asking
me where... I beg your pardon.
Hi, Hank. Good old Hank.
Well, look at all the pretty girls.
Do you know them?
Yes... That is, I mean,
not all of them, but...
- There's the dance floor. Do you dance?
- Look, here's roulette over here.
- Well, I'd rather...
- Did you ever play roulette?
Say, which one is Spanish Eva?
She's home, taking care of the kids.
Hi, lke. Five bucks on 17.
Me too. A quarter. Two bits on 17.
- Sorry, ma'am, but the limit is...
- Just this once, lke.
Hey, where you been,
you big bag of sugar?
I've been cooling my lily-white heels
for three hours waiting for you.
- Seventeen odd.
- That means we won, doesn't it?
- Yeah.
- Who's that?
- Why...
- You new here?
Yes, I arrived this evening.
She with you?
- Whitey, this is the fair Elaine, Lady Elaine.
- How are you?
Oh, yeah? And I'm Lady Astorbilt.
She's just his sister, kid.
- Give it to her, blondie.
- Come on.
Holler when you've had enough.
Come on.
After that it was just bumming around...
...logging a bit up in Alberta...
...a few years mining here and there,
then France.
Now I'm in the oil game
for good, I guess.
A woman always gets a chump
to blow his own horn, doesn't she?
Not unless she wants to hear it.
I've never been very close-hitched
to people.
That is, until I met my partner.
Right down the street there...
Say, isn't that a wonderful moon?
Yeah. That's moon enough for everybody.
- Say, what's this?
- That?
That's just oil
being pulled up out of the ground.
Here? But it looks like a church.
Sure, used to be. Look.
When the boom came,
the congregation got excited...
...and spudded in a wildcat
right under the pulpit.
Now there are churches all over the state
spreading happy days and hallelujah...
...right out of these holes.
- And ye shall rise out of the earth.
- Well, why, who's there?
- Why, glory be, it's Big John.
- Hello, Springtime.
You're out late.
I was just finishing my supper.
- How are they pumping?
- Deep and sure, John. Deep and sure.
They'll be pumping long after
I'm spudded in and part of the flow.
- Well, good night to you.
- Good night.
You know, funny guy, Springtime.
Two times a millionaire...
...once in the Pennsylvania field
and once in Louisiana.
Hired the top deck of an ocean liner
just to go to Paris.
Now he's here in Texas, broke.
But he might hit it again tomorrow.
- He seems happy, though.
- Yeah. It's a funny business.
You get away from it for a while,
go on a bust.
Then one night, you try to sleep...
...those darn pumps
start pounding in your ears.
I don't know.
Like a heartbeat.
Yeah. Sounds kind of silly, doesn't it?
Nothing is silly in church.
You sure can talk straight to a fella
and ball him up at the same time.
I'll have to sic you on my partner.
You'll like Shorty.
Everybody calls him Square John,
and he's as square as the Constitution.
But, you know, Elaine, he's been
mooning around about some dame.
Keeps writing her letters, won't talk
about her, like it was a 20-1 shot.
If I thought that much about a girl, I'd...
But it'd have to be a girl like you.
I'd want her right where
I could take ahold of her and tell her.
Right here, for instance.
I'd like to go back to the hotel.
What's the matter? What's wrong?
If you don't mind, please,
it's getting a little chilly.
Yes, it is a little, at that, I guess.
All right, come on.
- Well, good morning.
- Good morning.
Well, thank you. It's been awfully nice.
- I'll see you some more, won't I?
- No, I'm afraid not.
I just realized I have to
take the bus in the morning.
Hey, wait a minute.
- Is there another guy?
- Yes.
- You love him, huh?
- No, not this...
- Not that way, but...
- Then what are you leaving for?
Because... Goodbye.
Come down here.
I make up my mind quick.
I made it up
when I first saw you, I guess.
You aren't ever gonna leave.
She drilled herself in.
You're rich, mister.
There's yeast in the buckwheat.
Boy, ain't that a beautiful black cloud?
Let's cap her.
She'll run all over the state.
Boy, listen to her.
She's just a-puffing and a-blowing.
Hey, wait.
Go and dig up Big John
and then find Luther.
- Hey, Shorty. What's up? Did she...?
- She blew herself in.
Five thousand barrels is a cinch.
Come on up here.
I'll be right back.
I gotta go down and send a telegram.
Honey, did you hear that?
That was Shorty.
- You married a millionaire.
- John...
...please sit down.
What? What is it? What's the matter?
I was gonna tell you later,
before we went out to the well...
...but I can't put it off any longer.
What is it?
I'm the girl he's been writing to, John.
The beautiful Betsy.
Elizabeth Bartlett, sure.
This is no good.
Why didn't you tell me?
Oh, darling...
...when you came to that table last night,
you were so fresh and sure of yourself...
...I thought it would be a surprise
and a big joke when you found out.
You see, later, it wasn't a joke anymore.
I tried to leave, knowing what you two
meant to each other.
- I would have gone to him, explained.
- No, you wouldn't have, John.
Darling, I was so afraid.
I was afraid I'd lose you.
- But you told him you would marry him.
- No, I didn't.
Oh, no, I haven't been that unfair.
Listen, I've known Jonathan a long time.
I knew that he wanted to marry me but that
he felt that he should have more to offer.
Oh, John... see, back home,
life was piling up on me.
Teaching poetry to a lot of
high school kids that didn't like it...
...and didn't like me
because I made them learn it.
Furnished rooms, cafeterias
and men you wouldn't shake a stick at.
Don't you see? Like any other girl...
...I wanted a new life
and a home of my own too... when Jonathan wrote me about
the life out here and the excitement...
...I just packed up
and took the first train.
I like Jonathan. I admire him...
...and I came out to see if perhaps
we could find a life together.
It's still no good.
- Well, I've knifed him in the back.
- Oh, no, John. Please believe me.
If I had left you last night,
I never would have married Jonathan.
I'd have gone away
without seeing him...
...because I knew I'd love only one man
the rest of my life.
Hey, open up and buy me a drink.
It's Cornelius Vanderfeller.
Come on, open up.
I love you, John.
And I love you.
Come on, hurry up. Open up. Open up.
Boy, did you miss it.
We were pounding the old...
- Bet...?
- Jonathan.
We were married last night, Shorty.
Wait a minute. I don't get this.
He never knew about us. I just told him.
She wanted to go,
but I couldn't let her.
I couldn't let her go, see, Shorty?
It happened just that way,
so I dug up Judge Martin.
Well, say something, Shorty.
Take a sock at me or something.
- You sure this is the way you want it?
- Yes, Jonathan.
You see,
when I came out here last night...
Okay, Betsy.
Thank you, Jonathan.
Well, I guess that's the way it is.
I gotta get to the well.
I got a lot of things to do.
No need in you coming out right away.
I'll see you both out there later.
Honey, that's a guy.
Okay, everybody.
Come on and have a drink
with the Murphy boys from Arizona.
Ed, a Rolls-Royce.
You must be in the money.
- We are.
- Welcome home.
- Lucky Ed.
- Hey, Big John.
Big John! Pull over with that horse.
Come on over, we're setting them up.
Tom, Ed, you long-lost Comanches.
I heard you hit it.
- Yeah, we hit it, and we're spending it.
- Tom, Ed.
Oh, am I glad to see you.
- Well, I see you brought a stranger.
- Hi, honey.
Stay away from him, baby.
He's an old married man now.
I never hurt you, did I?
How's the fireplace and slippers?
- Everything's fine. How you been?
- Just dandy.
Swell. Hey, two wildcats,
they tell me. Give me an earful.
How deep did you have to go?
Wouldn't mean nothing
to a big producer like you.
- Is there any more good-looking...?
- A million acres of it.
- Let's all have a drink. Come on, baby.
- Say, I can't.
- My wife called and wants me home...
- We heard you got lassoed.
For life. And it's okay, pal.
But she wants me home early.
Something about the new house.
Don't go away, I'll be back.
- We'll be waiting for you.
- Not for long, brother.
Hey, honey.
Behold the bridegroom.
Here, congratulations, my boy.
Have a drink.
- One year married and he can't believe it.
- Used 14 eggs.
- Angel grub, they call it.
- Honey, I forgot.
Well, that proves
I've really got a husband.
But I ought
to have a present or something.
I've got my present right here,
all around me.
Darn it, we ain't got much time
for that sparking.
- We'll be ready, Harmony.
- Come on, everybody.
- To Betsy.
- Yes.
To beautiful darling Betsy number one.
Hey, who do you think's in town?
Tom and Ed Murphy.
Just brought in
two wildcats up in Arizona.
What do you say we all go down
and meet them after dinner at the hotel?
Sure, we can go...
...if you think they'll be interested
in a couple of old married people.
Honey, I'm sorry.
To heck with them.
Say, I gotta wash up.
That must've been something, though,
right out of nothing.
A new wildcat and the moose
goes right into high gear.
Doesn't he?
I'm all set to carry on
our cutthroat heart game after dinner.
- And, boy, will I give you the black queen.
- Oh, no, you won't.
There's gonna be no heart game tonight.
You two boys are eating
and then running, if you don't mind.
- But I haven't got anything to do...
- Well, Luther, you see...'s this way...
Why don't you just stop thinking
and go and pour me a drink.
I'm always mixing drinks or something.
Oh, they're such lovely flowers, Jonathan.
Thank you.
Place sure looks high-toned.
I guess that's the woman's hand
does that.
Well, it's not exactly the way I planned it,
but he took such an interest in it.
The horns from your well
over the mantel, and the guns.
Oh, and that armor over there,
he calls it his Sir Modred suit.
Well, that's the way it is,
and that's the way I want it to be.
It's where I want to live forever and ever
and never move away.
- That was a great dinner, Betsy.
- Thanks.
- See you in the morning.
- Shorty...
...why don't you see Tom and Ed
and get a line on that Arizona setup.
No, I better run out to the field. I wanna
take a look at number five. She's close.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- It's an invitation every year for you two.
- Thank you.
- Good night.
- Good night.
I still don't see why we couldn't
have had one hour's heart game.
Now I know you're over 60.
You do want to hear all about it,
don't you?
- What?
- Those Arizona wildcats.
- No, honey, really.
- "No."
You're about as convincing
as a little boy refusing a chocolate soda.
All right, come on. I've got some things
to do around here anyway.
Only, it'll take about an hour,
for your information.
- Sure you don't mind?
- No.
You go see the Murphy boys and sit around
and lie a little bit to each other...
...and have a good time, see?
Only, just remember, you've got
another wildcat waiting for you at home.
Oh, will I.
- I won't be more than a hour, darling.
- Right.
- John. John. Betsy.
- What's happened?
- Number five caught fire. Where's John?
- Well, he went into town.
You wake Harmony, I'll get a coat.
Harmony, go over to the firehouse.
Get Wilson and his nitro truck.
Tell him to bring 100 quarts.
Swing that wildcat.
Everybody's a wildcat in Arizona,
huh, Ed?
Betsy, honey.
- Get out, Betsy. You don't belong in here.
- The Murphy boys.
- Do you hear me? You don't belong.
- Wait a minute.
- Why did you bring her here?
- I'm not spying on you to spoil your fun.
You're free to go on with it.
We just came to tell you
that number five is on fire.
- Number five on fire?
- Yeah, you coming?
Harmony, take the missus home,
then come right out.
- How did it start?
- Who cares? It started.
You get a hose on that tank.
If it goes, the whole field will go.
Everybody get back.
Hurry up with that shield.
- Where's that nitro truck?
- Listen, boss.
This is too dangerous for you fellas.
Three cans of nitro will
blow her out like a birthday cake.
But that's wild oil and gas.
Let's wait for them fire dogs from Ranger.
We haven't got time to wait for them.
This baby's way ahead of us.
She's too hot. You can't get
the nitro in close enough to blow her out.
You just unload it.
We'll get her close enough.
We're taking a shield in first.
We'll take in the nitro on the next trip.
All right, hit the water.
The top casing's split.
You can't tell where she'll shoot now.
Put more pressure on those lines.
If it was my durned well,
I'd let her burn herself out.
Quit yapping. Tell Jim
to put another hose on that tank.
All right.
- Hot work, huh, Shorty?
- Lay off the Shorty.
Oh, behave. What did I do?
I just met Tom and Ed,
got a little high, that's all.
I saw enough and heard enough
I didn't like.
Okay. If you see anything or hear
anything you don't like from now on...
...don't go running to Betsy with it.
Just keep your nose...
What the dickens is the matter
with you two fellas?
Never mind about this.
Get that battery ready.
Boys. Who's responsible
for this catastrophe?
Watch where you're going, buddy.
You kick that can of nitro
and you'll blow us to Alaska.
We'll touch it off after this trip,
so get the truck away.
Hang that wire on me.
Somebody must have
fallen asleep on the job.
Get the water.
They're using too much nitro.
They'll blow up the whole field.
I'll lose a fortune.
Give me the wire!
If that oil gets there first, the two Johns
will blow back on us like fried hamburger.
- Hug the ground back there.
- Get back.
She's out.
Wonderful, boys. Marvelous.
I knew we'd do it. Look at her.
Here, come on, fellas.
Do something, will you?
- We're wasting a lot of oil.
- It's the biggest gusher yet.
Isn't big enough.
Call it. For the works.
- Okay, the whole outfit.
- Call it.
You're on my land.
- Now, listen, Big John...
- Come on, everyone.
Look, big feller.
I'll fix you some nice, fresh coffee.
Forget it. All I need is some sleep.
Did you put out the fire?
- So you're calling it quits, huh?
- No, I'm afraid you did that.
You've always been straightforward
and direct about things...
...and this like everything else.
Oh, don't worry.
There isn't going to be a scene.
I'm just no good at picking wildcats,
I guess.
As you'd say, the land was pretty
attractive, but the structure fooled me.
And now I'm down
to clay and salt water.
Not that I blame the clay and salt water.
Some people might like it, but I don't.
You sure got in way over your head,
didn't you?
I'll be out of here in a minute.
Harmony can take me to the early train,
if you don't mind.
- Unless, of course, there's an explanation.
- No.
You got it all figured out.
You do it the way you want to.
Harmony, will you come
and get my bags, please?
My God. God, did old Square John
sure give him what he deserved.
He broke him flatter
than a can on a railroad track.
You mean they had a fight?
Fight? They flipped for the whole field,
Miss Betsy...
...and now that big, dumb
pit dog you're leaving...
...ain't worth much more than
that lead dollar that they tossed with.
Yes, sir.
Long as you're gonna go, why... sure picked a nice morning for it.
Oh, my darling. You and Jonathan
mustn't fight about this.
- You've been such good friends.
- He and I have our own fight.
That's my business.
You and me, well,
that's your business, and mine.
So, what about it?
I don't want to leave you.
All the time I was in here
packing like an idiot...
...I was just wanting you
to come and put your arms around me...
...and tell me nothing happened.
Nothing did.
I'm such a fool.
Oh, you're my gal.
But we're broke.
Gotta start in all over again.
- We'll go wildcatting, huh?
- It means selling this house.
Oh, who cares about this house?
I was just thinking this afternoon,
well, here we are, tied down to it.
It's a millstone.
We're just buried under
a lot of plaster and 2-by-4s.
- Honest? Do you feel that way?
- Sure I do.
Oh, you are my gal.
Well, wildcatting it is.
Our house will be wherever we are.
If there's oil at the North Pole,
we'll live in an igloo.
And you won't freeze to death either.
Harmony, Harmony. Come on.
There's a big ruckus over at Eva's.
All right. Come on, come on, come on.
Does anybody else wanna say anything
about McMasters?
Disturbing the peace, huh?
Let's go to the calaboose.
Two agin one, it ain't manly.
Look, sonny boy. Two weeks of this bust
is about enough.
- You're getting to be Huckleberry Finn.
- You don't understand.
Big Moose is no good,
but I'm the only one's got a right to say so.
Well, why don't you start traveling
and hunt him up.
- He's no good.
- Oh, I thought so.
Here again. Now, look here, my boy.
You've got to sober up
and get back to the field.
I've got my business.
I can't handle your work and mine too.
- I've got a...
- Do you wanna buy me out?
I couldn't. I'd...
- For what price?
- Wait a minute, honey.
Any price you say.
Well, now, that might be arranged, John.
That's a good idea. I'll have
the papers in my office in half an hour.
All right. I'll be there.
You can't go into a deal
with this vulture when...
I'm through. I'm gonna go away.
I never wanna see another oil derrick
as long as I live.
Evie, you're a good kid,
but keep all your teeth.
Oh, Square John.
I'll see you on the slab, Evie.
Listen, Square John,
I've been trying to tell you all the...
Why, I...
It wasn't your fault, was it?
You were just doing your job.
You're probably stuck on him too.
All right, here's your percentage
for this month.
Good American dollars.
Business is getting a little better, see?
But look... What is it?
That new batch of men off the boat
are signing up now.
All right, I'll be right out.
General, you tell your boss
I gotta have a little cooperation.
These lollipop guards of yours
are drunk half the time.
What happens to my layout if that crowd
throws you boys out of office?
Mr. Sand, everything is in the bag.
- Good day, my friend.
- What's good about it?
Sign there, Fadden.
Sign there, McMasters.
That's at 50 bucks a day.
Hello, big man. Long time no see.
- He run this outfit?
- He's the owner, pal.
Mr. Sand.
Well, tell Mr. Sand
he can ram his 50 bucks a day up his nose.
I don't need the work.
Hey, you...
- Why don't you let me bust him, boss.
- I'd rather have you keep your health.
Come here. Hello. Hello.
- Why, Jonathan.
- Hello, Betsy.
- I kind of thought you'd be here.
- Come on in, Jonathan.
I guess you heard about
me being here too, huh?
Yes. John's down at the wharf
seeing about...
He's getting the tickets,
you know, we're going on south.
- How's everything, Betsy?
- Oh, fine.
You'll have to excuse
the way we look, you know.
What with repacking and everything.
Oh, you look well, Jonathan.
Oh, yeah, sure.
I'll last till the rains come, I guess.
- No.
- What?
You mean you didn't know?
Well, of course you didn't.
Come and look.
- Look.
- Holy suffering water lilies.
- When did this happen?
- Ten months ago in Oklahoma.
We just made it to the hospital.
Little Jack.
Don't you think he looks like his pop?
He does around here.
I don't know.
We'd better leave him.
He wants to be picked up.
You know, he has to be asleep
when we start for the boat.
So long, partner.
Well, I've got to get on
with my packing, Jonathan. Sit down.
- You must be doing big things down here.
- Oh, okay, I guess.
I could use somebody
to smoosh these candy politicians, though.
- You couldn't get that ornery, no-good...?
- I'd give anything if I could...
...but he won't even talk about it.
You know, you're still up, and he's...
Well, it's pride, I guess.
This place you're going to
is worse than this layout.
It's double wages, though.
He's got his eye on a wildcat back
in Oklahoma, and we're saving every nickel.
It's no good, dragging you around like this.
You having to...
But, Jonathan,
I'm the happiest woman there is.
Don't you see? He needs me.
But now, with Little Jackie and all...
...we really need each other
for the first time because it's a struggle.
Happiness comes out of a struggle,
Jonathan. I found that out.
Still no reason
why you and the kid should...
I never would've taken you
around like that...
You aren't taking her anywhere.
John, we've got to stop this.
We aren't children.
Get out.
- Good luck, Betsy.
- Goodbye, Jonathan.
You haven't finished
your packing yet, have you?
I'll see what
the guy in the back room will have.
Here, here, here.
Hold it, pal, hold it.
Here, here, here. Take it easy.
Yes, yeah. There.
Everything's gonna be all right.
The Indian I leased the land from
gave a dance last night...
...and they all took a bath in it.
You know, McMasters, we've been talking
about you quite a lot in New York.
With the other fields falling off fast, we can
give you quite a nice deal for next year.
Mr. Compton, I'm not ready
to sign for next year just yet.
- No?
- No.
The refining and distributing end
sounds like quite a game.
I was thinking maybe
that I might move into New York myself.
- What?
- Sure, why not?
But... But you have a perfect setup here.
What do you want to
step into our end for?
Oh, I don't know.
From where I'm standing,
your end looks like the big leagues to me.
- Daddy.
- Hi.
- Daddy, I steered it all the way.
- You did, huh?
- Hi, honey.
- Hello.
- I want you to meet the president.
- How do you do?
How do you do, Mr. Compton.
I'm sorry to interrupt.
Mr. Smith and I want you
to look over the plans.
Our new house.
You know those last minute mix-ups.
When you've planned for so long,
you want to be sure.
A new house, Mrs. McMasters?
But your husband was just telling me
you were moving to New York.
New York? What?
Oh, pipe dreams, honey.
Pay no attention.
- Now, let's see.
- It's this end of the living room.
Look, I want to stop off at the car first.
Expecting a long-distance call.
- See you at the convention. Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
Wait a minute. I'll be right with you.
All you've got to do is to bring the study
wall right out to here and you've got it.
Honey, I gotta beat it.
- See you tonight.
- Yes.
So long. So long, speedy.
- No, no. No hurry.
- Well, here we are.
Look. Your name
plastered over every other tank.
- What more do you want?
- It'd look just as good on a pipeline.
Well, well, well. So you'd build
your own pipeline. Come in.
Well, where would your pipelines go?
To whose refineries?
I guess I'll have to
put up my own refineries.
Your own refineries? Sit down.
But then how would you
sell your gasoline?
Where's your distribution?
Looks like I'll have to put up
my own filling stations.
All over the East, eh?
Right kitty-corner from mine, maybe?
- Maybe.
- Why, that almost sounds like competition.
- Yeah, it does, if I did it.
- New York office calling, Mr. Compton.
I'll take it in there. Oh, Karen.
Come here, old man.
I want you to meet McMasters.
Miss Vanmeer.
- How do you do.
- Big John McMasters.
You may have heard me speak of him.
Thinking of moving into New York.
Get him a drink or something.
He's a big oil man out here.
Don't mind Harry.
He likes to insult people he respects.
- What kind of a drink will it be?
- Nothing, thanks.
Little too early in the day for me.
You know, you're much younger
than I thought you'd be.
What'd you expect, stranger?
A bald head and a breadbasket?
Well, stranger, they told me
you were an oil baron.
Is that the way they grow them
back East?
In spite of all their steam baths.
Say, this is quite a caboose
he's got here.
- This one of his nags?
- Yes.
- Interested in horses?
- Sure, everybody goes for a good horse.
Harry's just bringing back a string
from Tijuana.
They're in the next car.
Would you like to see them?
- Sure, fine.
- All right.
And this is Green Devil by Blue Star.
You've heard of him, haven't you?
Oh, yeah, yeah, sure.
"Yeah, yeah." Where did you go
all of a sudden?
- Sorry.
- It wasn't New York, was it?
Yeah, I'm afraid you got me.
You look very happy right here. Why do
you really want to go to New York?
Oh, I don't know.
I remember when I was in short pants,
a big redheaded kid had two apples...
...and dared me to take one
away from him.
- Did you do it?
- Yeah. It was fun.
Harry's not a redheaded kid.
He is grown up, and in New York,
you'd be running right into his backyard.
Sounds good.
I don't like to stay in one place
too long anyhow.
Well, partner?
New York's a rough town, partner.
I guess you've never been in
Burkburnett or Whizbang or Ranger.
Oh, no, I mean quietly rough.
No shooting from the hip.
Just stab in the back
with white kid gloves.
Take it from one who knows oil,
Big John.
What does a girl like you
know about oil?
I know the men that control it.
I hear things at dinner parties,
...anywhere where men are off guard
and wives talk.
You're sort of Harry's
private-detective agency, huh?
- Sort of.
- Well, thanks for the tip.
But I still think that
Harry's my redheaded boy.
All right, but don't start crying
when they put you against the wall...
...without even a blindfold.
Well, at least they'd know
they'd been in a scrap.
I guess they would, at that.
- What's the matter?
- You in New York.
Did you buy that yourself?
Sure, 5000 bucks' worth. Why?
I thought it might have been
your mother's or something...
...and you were wearing it
for sentimental reasons.
I don't get you.
That's all right.
Well, Big John,
I may be a little crazy...
...but if you move to New York,
I'll be cheering for you.
Will you save me a ringside seat?
Well, come on, old man.
We'd better go up to the meeting.
How did he like my gee-gees, Karen?
I hope he thought they were nice.
- Goodbye.
- So long.
Be back this afternoon, Karen.
Clever girl, isn't she?
Oh, yeah, yeah, sure.
We met in the Dutch West Indies,
at the Maracaibo field.
She was married to a young geologist.
She didn't like it down there.
Hey. Hey.
- Going to town?
- Sure. Hop on in.
Nice car you got here.
You bet. Got three more, same kind,
red, yellow, green.
Sometime one run out of gas.
You know this fella John McMasters?
Yeah. Him fine man.
We shoot crap together.
Him like me very much.
- Yes, sir?
- Corner room.
Yes, sir.
So long, Mr. Compton.
Glad to have had you.
Fine. A very informative meeting,
Well, I have to pull out this afternoon.
If I were you, I'd forget
that New York idea.
Yeah? Well, who can tell?
Well, so long, Big John.
Yeah, so long.
Your... Your luggage, Mr. Sand?
Oh, no, no luggage.
I came in my private car.
I won't go up right now, but have
the chef fix dinner for six tonight.
- I'll leave everything to him.
- Yes, sir.
Hey, Shorty,
didn't you forget the wine?
Well, well, well. How are you?
Fine, fine.
Sorry to hear they took you
to the cleaners down there.
Well, the other side took over...
...but you know me.
I came out with twice what I put in.
Well, that's fine. I might have known it.
Sure, sure.
I was way ahead of them all the time.
If that's so,
I got a big proposition for you.
A lot of dough in it for us.
What do you say?
- Well, now, I don't know.
- You don't have to provide cash now.
For a long time,
I've been looking for a guy who...
No, no, I don't think so. I got too
many things in the fire right now.
How are things at the convention?
Anything interesting?
Nothing much. Harry Compton and the
crowd just dropped in from the East.
- Is Harry in town?
- Yeah.
Well, like to see the old boy.
Might have a big deal on.
Well, there he is, right over there.
The guy on the phone.
Oh, yes, yes, I didn't see him.
- Well, I'll be seeing you.
- Yeah, so long.
- Yes, that sounds all right to me.
- Only one Corona Perfecto.
Darn that doctor.
- There you are. The 4 bits is yours.
- Hi, John Sand.
Well, if it ain't John Sand.
You old maverick.
- Well, Tom and Ed.
- How are you, John?
- Well, how goes it, boys?
- We're lucky we run into you.
Real oil men in this town
are scarcer than poor Indians.
Yeah. You and us have gotta
have a deal right off, John.
Look. We got us a cinch
wildcat lease here.
It ain't near any proven stuff, but...
Sit down here a minute.
The anticline runs right through here.
We know there's oil five miles over here.
We know there's oil
five miles in this direction.
And that's the whole thing.
Now, look, John...
...if you'll just stake us to the tools
and equipment, you'll be in it for half.
- Now, don't that sound good?
- Sure does. Sure does.
All you need is some tools
and a string of pipe?
We've been over to see Luther Aldrich.
- He sat there...
- Is Luther Aldrich in town?
Yeah. Moved his main office up here.
He's got the money, but you couldn't
blast a cent out of him with nitro.
Well, I don't know.
I got so many things in the fire.
But I'll tell you what I'll do.
Give me 24 hours to think it over.
- Well, my boy, my boy.
- Luther, old boy...
...good to see you again.
You haven't changed a bit.
Thanks. It's like old times.
You know, I've been following your
sensational career with great interest.
Luther, I came to get a string of tools.
Oh, of course. Well, here it is.
Take your pick.
You see, the trouble is,
it'd be a couple of months be...
My money's tied up in the foreign
banks. You know, politics and...
Well, don't give it a thought.
All you want, and all the time to pay.
Sky's the limit, up to 50,000,
if you want it.
Here, wait a minute.
I'll get my order blank.
Well, I take it all back, Luther.
You have changed.
Well, you know,
a fella mellows with age.
Why, even back in Burkburnett,
I wasn't really sore, remember...
...when you two fellas stole that pipe?
No. You and Harmony and the sheriff
were just out hunting quail that day.
Yeah, quail. Yes.
Well, Big John's doing fine now.
- Yeah, yeah. I'm glad to hear it.
- Yeah, you are?
Why don't you two fellas
bury the hatchet.
We'll bump into one another
one of these days.
No time like the present.
He's in my office right now.
Why, we were just talking about you.
He isn't sore.
- He said that he...
- I get it. I...
- No wonder I thought you'd gone nuts.
- Why?
How would you like to eat that pipe?
- You slaphappy windbag.
- What?
Okay, Shorty,
I was trying to stake you.
But stop being like a mule ready to kick
himself when he's down and...
I don't need any handouts from you.
Here, now, wait a minute.
Wait a minute, my boy.
To err is human, to forgive divine.
- That's sharp.
- Now, just a minute, Shorty.
Simmer down, will you, Shorty.
- You know you always did better with me.
- Oh, so that's it.
Who was smart enough
to grab off that first lease?
Yeah, who was smart enough
to get the tools?
What happened when I left?
You turned up your toes and went loco.
Then you let those tin soldiers take you
for everything but your drawers.
Oh, come on back in with me, Shorty.
Let's make it happy days again.
I don't need you, never did.
Don't hold your breath until I do.
- And don't call me Shorty.
- Okay, little man.
Play hard to get. Just don't change
your mind, I won't be here.
I'm moving East. I'm walking in on
New York, on the real show.
So when you whistle for me,
I'll whistle back with a blowpipe.
Boy, who said the big city
is no place in the spring?
Isn't it great? Smell that fresh air.
Carbon monoxide.
I'd rather smell fresh oil.
Why? You're in the consumer's end
of the business now.
Oh, jokes?
Feeling pretty chipper for a man who
got home at 3:00 in the morning.
That's the way they do business
in this town, 24 hours a day.
Looks like you're
taking the town by storm.
Compton and his gang know I'm here,
I guess.
Honey. You're happy, aren't you?
Yes, if you are.
Hey, of course I am.
Are you sure?
- Hey, what's the matter?
- Oh, nothing.
I'm just kidding.
Go on up and slave, only let's have
dinner together tonight for a change.
I'll try, honey.
Look, I thought I'd have a few people in
Sunday night, and I need an extra girl.
- Whom do you suggest?
- Search me. I don't know.
Well, I thought, perhaps,
what about Karen Vanmeer?
We haven't seen her for ages...
...and she was so nice
when we first came here.
- She still works for you, doesn't she?
- Sure...
...but I don't know.
She changes crowds.
Get somebody else.
- Goodbye.
- Bye.
- Good morning.
- Mr. McMasters.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Mr. McMasters.
- Morning.
- Girls, I want you to understand...
- Girls, the boss is here.
- Good morning, Mr. McMasters.
- Morning.
That will be all.
- Yes?
- He's here, Mr. McCreery.
- You can come in now.
- What's that?
Mr. Felton with Mr. McCreery and
Mr. Ward about the Lynbrook refinery.
Great day for the race, Miss Barnes.
- What race?
- The human race.
- Yes, of course.
- Good morning, J.M.
- Morning.
- Hi, fellas.
We took the plans and
went through the plant yesterday...
...with Mr. Laughlin and the engineers.
What did you find?
Is it up to specifications?
Yes, we think it's a great buy, J.M.
- Get me Miss Vanmeer.
- Here are the final purchase contracts.
- What's the whole nut?
- Refinery and cracking plant together...
...about 500,000.
Hello? Oh, hello, Miss Vanmeer.
How are you?
I'm fine and half asleep and wonderful.
Just hoping you'd call.
So formal.
Why don't you call
when you're not in a crowd.
I'll bet McCreery's peering at you
over his glasses like an owl.
Yes, you're very right about that.
And I can see from here that
you have got your coat off...
...and your vest unbuttoned.
And shame on you.
Okay, okay.
Say, we've got a chance to buy
Henderson's Lynbrook plant...
...for 500,000. I wanted to know
if you'd heard anything.
Careful, now. I had Willie Henderson
at the Bromleys' the other night...
...through about two quarts
of champagne.
Halfway through the second,
he dropped a hint.
Those Lynbrook gentlemen
are facing bankruptcy.
Thanks, Miss Vanmeer.
I thought as much.
Say, on second thought...'d better meet that gentleman
for dinner tonight.
Is this gentleman tall and dark,
and with a Texas accent?
He is.
Well, then start all over again
and ask me nicer than that.
I'm sorry, but that's an order.
Darling, you give the nicest orders.
Goodbye, Miss Vanmeer.
Well, boys, I...
- Shorty's in town.
- Shorty?
Yeah, yeah. My old partner,
John Sand.
Oh, yes? He certainly struck it big
in Oklahoma, didn't he?
What did Miss Vanmeer say, J. M?
Oh, yes, yes.
We'll wait. I think we'll be able
to pick it up a lot cheaper.
Now, wait a minute, J.M.
Miss Vanmeer may be right...
...but there's a possibility
of losing this. I think...
Her tips are right from the barn, Mac.
She's never failed yet.
All right. After all, it's your money.
You've quite a lot of mail to answer.
I haven't had a phone call this morning
from a Mr. Sand?
You know, John Sand from Oklahoma?
No, you haven't.
Get him for me, will you?
He's at the Waldorf.
Well, Mr. Sand is registered here,
but he won't be back until this evening.
Why, he said he was going
to the races.
A huge crowd is out here today...
... for another running of this
classic under ideal conditions.
As I look over this line of
the nation's finest thoroughbreds...
- ... I can see number five.
- I like number three.
- Three?
- Yes.
He's got a little age on him.
Nine years...
- Well, well. Hiya.
- Well, how are you?
- Fine.
- John. What do you know about that.
Luther, old man.
We were just saying
on the train yesterday...
...we'd probably run into
the big moose in New York.
- Weren't we?
- Yeah.
Hey, I heard about you stumbling onto
that big field out there.
Yeah, I was pretty lucky, I guess.
The biggest field in Oklahoma now.
- I bought out the Murphys.
- Yeah?
Yeah. I guess I was always
supposed to play the lone wolf.
One head is better than two, I say.
Yeah, sure, sure.
You know, I find it that way here.
Sun Helmet to the front.
Faraday, second. Blue Comet, third.
I made the bets.
Moonray to win, number nine.
- Good.
- If it isn't my old friend McMasters.
- Hi.
- Moonray is moving up fast...
... between horses. It's Moonray
and Sun Helmet, neck and neck.
Moonray is going away.
It's gonna be Moonray.
Well, gentlemen, that's us.
Come on, come on.
So you're going in with Compton?
He's liable to make you a big guy.
I been doing well on my own,
if anybody should ask.
Jonathan, just because you and I
are going in with Harry against him... no reason to...
- What?
Hey. Is he in with you?
Well, I'm interested in a small way.
Luther broke down and staked me
to the first string of tools.
I only had to give him
10 percent of the field.
What? He staked you?
- You dirty double-crosser.
- Wait a minute.
- Don't fly off half-cocked. I...
- I'll fly a kite down your windpipe.
- Well...
- Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
Did you guarantee
that equipment for me?
Well, he didn't have to put up
any money. Our oil well came in.
- Everything's perfectly...
- lf it hadn't...'d be in my checkbook
like a pressed pansy.
Are you insinuating that
I'm an unethical character?
- No. You're just a crooked old jerk.
- Jerk?
Why, back in Burkburnett,
you two fellas stole half of my...
- Scotch.
- Hey, Shorty...
...back in my office,
I got me two quarts of red liquor.
Bourbon. What do you say?
- Let's go.
- Well, that's fine.
- I'll wait for Harry and he'll...
- No, no.
What? Why?
Here, now, wait a minute.
What are you doing? You can't rustle
me around like one of the horses.
I didn't come here to be insulted.
Get back, or we'll have the warden
take away your candy allowance.
I'm gonna have this settled,
once and for all. When I first met...
When I first met you two thugs,
you were over here...
I'm sorry, Mr. McMasters...
...but Mr. Compton is on the phone
again for Mr. Sand and Mr. Aldrich.
- Tell...
- Say Mr. Aldrich is having a baby.
- But this is outrageous.
- Look.
I've got a big office next door
just waiting for your name on the door.
I knew that when we left the racetrack.
But wait a minute.
We told Compton that...
- Where's my office?
- Right underneath the warden's.
Mr. McMasters, your tailor is here.
Tell him to go away.
Come back next year when I...
No, wait a minute. Bring him in.
We got work to do.
When you two fellas sober up... can call me at my hotel.
- Mr. Luther.
- Better fit them both for straitjackets.
- Bonjour, Monsieur McMasters.
- Hi, Ferdie. Never mind my stuff.
You got a new customer, Mr. Sand.
What goes on here?
You're buying a couple dozen suits.
- I got two suits.
- Two suits?
It's New York. You look like
a Houston house detective.
You got anything
that you think Mr. Sand might like?
That wonderful new, striking
Harris tweed you ordered.
Oh, yes, yes.
Say, that ought to look
all right on you, Shorty.
- Don't you think so, Ferdie?
- Let me see.
Yes. The buff brings out
the ruddiness in his complexion.
Wait a minute.
Is this guy on the level?
That's imported stuff. Old women
weave it in cottages over in Scotland.
Let Mr. Sand smell it, Ferdie.
Get that intriguing aroma
from the peat fires?
- Smells a little gamy.
- You fellows kill me.
Get a load of those shoulders,
- Could you do something with them?
- Let me see.
What a nice modeling.
We should get a perfect drape.
- Would you mind stepping over here?
- I'm gonna let this guy...
Yes, yes.
All right, all right.
Just a moment.
Just a moment, please.
- Forty-four.
- Forty-four.
Am I interrupting?
Or are ladies allowed?
Hello. Hello, Karen.
Come in, come in.
Shorty, this is Karen Vanmeer.
John Sand, Karen.
- Pleased to know you, I'm sure.
- So you're Square John.
I've heard a lot about you.
Yeah? Running me down again, pal?
I was just passing by and took
a chance my boss might be in.
- Can you talk to me for a moment?
- Sure, sure.
- Excuse us, will you, Shorty?
- Yeah.
Eighteen. Hold out your arm.
Bend it, please.
- Thirty-one.
- Thirty-one.
Turn around, please.
Looks as if I'm going to be
a very lonely girl tonight.
Sorry. But Shorty and I have got
a lot of old times to talk over.
But you mustn't forget
there are new times too.
Look, you've got to learn to take no
for an answer once in a while.
I wouldn't let you give me that answer.
- Thirty-two.
- Thirty-two.
Turn around, please.
Now we take the trouser length.
I'll be running along.
Nice to have met you, Square John.
I'm happy to hear we're
going to see a lot more of you.
- Sure. Thanks.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
- You like them snug?
Yes, come on. Get on with it, buddy.
Get on with it.
- Goodbye.
- Goodbye.
Get me Mrs. McMasters.
Hey, who is this Vanmeer dame?
She'd stop a stampede, if you ask me.
Yeah, smart girl. She works for me.
- Where? Here in the office?
- No, no.
She knows everybody here
in New York.
Gets around and hears everything.
That's the way you work in this town.
Hello? Yeah, hello, honey.
Yeah, I'll be home for dinner.
Yeah, yeah, and I'm bringing
a guy with me.
Yeah. Oh, yes, yes, business.
Yes, John. All right.
Goodbye, dear.
Now, Jack, play like this is an Apache
Indian and he's sneaking up on you.
You broke one of your
pappy's thingamabobs.
Another vase.
Mr. McMasters will hear about this.
Mr. McMasters.
Mr. McMasters...
...this sort of thing goes on
all the time.
It'll toughen you up, Parker.
Cans of catfish and dang my tired eyes.
Harmony, Harmony, how are you?
How are?
Why is your pajama top on?
I don't know. It's his idea.
- Daddy.
- Jackie.
- Pal, this is your uncle Square John.
- Hello, sport.
Hello, Uncle Square John. Do you
wanna play Shooting Indians with me?
Partner, you and your old uncle
are gonna play plenty from now on.
I'm sorry, dear.
I didn't expect you so...
Well, well, well. Just as I knew her.
Still much too pretty to walk and talk.
- Jonathan.
- Betsy.
Oh, Jonathan.
Well, if I cry now, don't blame me.
You two idiots. All this time.
Yeah, yeah, we buried it
in a bottle of bourbon.
Pardon me, Mrs. McMasters.
It's time for Jackie's supper now.
- Mommy...
- No, no, now, darling.
- You can come down later.
- Yeah, come on, son.
You know, he looks exactly like you.
I'll buy him a football helmet.
He's much too young
for a football helmet.
Oh, I don't mean to play in,
I mean to sleep in.
Okay, okay.
Jonathan... Come on in.
Jackie's a great kid.
They're both great kids.
And this is a swell layout.
It's you all over, Betsy.
You and the big moose
must really be happy here.
Yes, of course we are, Jonathan.
...everything is going great guns,
isn't it?
Oh, Jonathan.
...something's the matter. What is it?
Oh, nothing. It's...
It's just now that I'm so happy
to see you two together again...
I'm so happy that you're here.
Well, I'm sorry,
I warned you I might cry, though.
Please let me a little.
See, honey, this bank of blowers
first heats the crude oil in those coils... about 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dante's Inferno has nothing on this.
- No.
It's carried up to that fractionating tower,
where it's heated to about 900 degrees.
That's what we mean by cracking.
That's where the crude is condensed...
...and evaporated into gasoline,
...naphtha and paving asphalt,
medicinal oils.
Oh, hundreds of byproducts,
and all points west.
All that? Hey, Jonathan...
...l'll bet you're glad that I talked you
out of going with Compton.
If we buy a couple more of these,
we'll run Compton ragged.
You haven't signed that contract.
It's been on your desk since yesterday.
- I'll get around to it.
- Make it snappy.
Over there is our crude-oil
storage-tank farm.
These ball-shaped pressure tanks
are for butane and casing-head gas.
- Well, if it isn't the man I...
- Hello, Karen.
Hello there.
How do you do?
- It's nice to see you again.
- Thanks. Hello, you two.
- Hi.
- How do you do?
Where have you been hiding
all this time?
- Here and there. You're looking well.
- I feel fine, thank you.
I heard something frightfully important.
I couldn't get you at the office,
so I dropped by.
- What's up?
- The independent operators'...
...convention in Washington
begins tomorrow.
I just heard there's something
in the air about price-cutting.
I thought you might want to be there.
Those independent operators
might come in handy, Shorty.
Shall we go and see
if we're getting kicked around?
You better go alone. You know
how to smoosh those get-togethers.
I'm gonna stay here.
Maybe Luther and I can get Betsy... show us some of the hot spots.
- Okay.
- You'd like that?
- You bet.
- Fine.
- Well, I have to hurry back.
- So long, everybody.
- Goodbye, Karen.
Don't be such a stranger.
- Thanks.
- Couple of things to talk about.
I'll be right back.
You know, it is interesting,
all that superstructure.
Yeah, yeah.
Say, I got an appointment downtown.
I better grab a cab, I'll see you later.
Tell him, will you?
Yes. It is, it's interesting.
I know a couple of bootleggers
in Oklahoma who'd like to have this.
You know, Betsy, bathtub gin?
Children make a lot of difference,
don't they, Luther?
Listen, Betsy.
Don't jump to conclusions.
I wouldn't have stood for this
back in Burkburnett.
Darling, I'm a kind of an old fool
now and then...
...but I love you and John so much...
...and I've watched fellas like him
in my time.
- Don't worry. They'll always...
- You're very sweet, Luther.
Come on, show me around some more.
- Is your boss in?
- Who will I say is...?
That's all right. She knows me.
- Hello, Karen.
- Well, for heaven's sake.
I just left you on Long Island.
You know you're the prettiest gal
east of Frisco in that little rig?
Get me a little drink of whiskey,
Why, of course.
Scram, you. I'll buy you
a diamond day bed for Christmas.
- Where's John?
- I ducked him.
Yeah, sure. I didn't want him around
when I talked to you.
Certainly is a nifty little joint you got.
Thank you. I'm glad you like it.
- Bourbon, straight.
- Thank you.
You know, I always wondered why John
never brought you up here before.
Karen, you're a pretty smart little gal.
Yes, sir, you're a smart little gal.
This income-tax thing
is getting to be a heck of a note.
Would you believe that
I'll pay 220,000 this year?
Well, I'd say you're very lucky.
You know, Karen, I may not
look much like a lady's man...
...but many a gal has cried when I left.
If I were a man, I'd consider that
a great compliment...
...but why tell me?
- Well, I'll get to the real point.
I'll skip my better ones,
like my not snoring...
...and knowing when
a dame needs a walloping... be sure that I'm in love with her.
And that I've got all the money
in the world, outside of some change.
I got an idea.
I'm asking you to marry me.
I don't get it.
I simply don't get it.
You don't want to marry me, of course,
but you meant what you said.
I'll tell you what I'll do with you.
I'll sign a paper stating
I'm in my right mind.
So you're bound to get most of my
dough if the thing don't work out.
I see.
Greater love hath no man
than to lay down his life for his...
Why, it's even more than that.
It's Betsy. You're in love
with John McMasters' wife.
What do you say? Let's go to
the Hall of Records and make it legal.
- You obviously dislike me.
- Ain't it the truth.
I don't like poachers, male or female.
I rang a buzzer when I came in here...
...but as far as I'm concerned,
it's an old-fashioned brass bell.
And all these lovely flowered curtains
around here are red plush, for my money.
Besides, you can't horn in on a setup...
...that the world thinks
is pretty good: A family.
- My, all of that.
- All of that and a little more...
...but I think you get my drift.
What do you say?
It would be intriguing,
trying to change your mind.
The offer still goes.
What's she got to deserve two such men?
What's she got that I...?
Square John, she'll be free
to marry you soon...
...because I'm going to marry
John McMasters.
- Oh, no, you're not.
- Has he told you so?
- Has he said he's in love with you?
- No, not in so many words...
...but there are certain times, being
a woman, that I might believe he was.
What's more, I'm going to get him,
because he needs me.
It must be awfully boring, listening to
a woman who knows what she wants.
Well, looks like I brought in a duster.
- Thanks for the drink, anyway.
- Not at all.
I'm going to Washington
this evening...
...and all this will make a very
amusing topic of conversation... case I meet anybody on the train.
I wouldn't say anything to him.
- Well, I certainly...
- I wouldn't do that if I were you, Karen.
I wouldn't say a word.
Big John gets back to town
on Tuesday, doesn't he?
He should have left Washington
before that was taken.
Hello. It's Harmony, for you.
Yes, Harmony?
I'll be right over.
- She gonna be all right?
- Yes, yes, I arrived in time.
I can't imagine where she got
the prescription for a sleeping potion.
- Can I...?
- Certainly, Mr. Sand.
But not too long, please.
Trying to get funny, huh?
I feel just like a Swiss tunnel.
Did you ever have to swallow
a stomach pump?
Not like our Betsy.
You weren't thinking very much
of Little Jack, were you?
Yes, the minute after I did it.
That's why I changed my mind.
It's a heck of a fuss to make
over a Dutch daffodil.
I've lost my pride, I guess.
Why not? I've lost everything else.
You don't know how it is
to love someone so much.
When being in love like that
is stopped...'s worse than your breathing
being stopped.
- Take it easy, honey.
- But it's true...
...because if you stop breathing...'re dead and you don't
have to feel anymore...
...but when they stop your love...'re alive and you keep on feeling.
Oh, Jonathan, it's horrible
being in love like that.
Yeah, I guess it is.
But as you say,
I wouldn't know about that.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I've never been so sorry.
We gotta do something about
you and the moose, huh?
No, I don't think he needs me
anymore, Jonathan.
You see, when we left Burkburnett...
...he needed me then, and all those years
working and planning.
Here in New York,
he's doing it all by himself.
It's his world and I'm no part of it.
But I wanna be.
You and him and Little Jackie,
you're all part of each other.
I don't care if he owns
all the oil in Hades.
I got an idea.
May be a little rough...
...but you just leave everything to me
and things will be all right.
I'll leave everything to you.
But don't you peep.
You just go on like
nothing had happened, will you?
Whatever you say, Jonathan.
- She'll be all right by tomorrow?
- Yes, I think so.
I don't want anybody
to know about this.
No, no, Mr. Sand.
Mr. McMasters will pay my bill...
...and there will be no gossip.
Mr. McMasters won't pay your bill,
and there won't be no gossip.
And that 2 grand gives me the right
to break your neck if there is.
But... I...
Listen, Square John,
this ain't no good for us here.
We ought to go back down
to Oklahoma or Texas.
You're going back.
You and him and her and Little Jackie.
- How we gonna pry him loose?
- I'll pry him.
I'll bring him back where she can
love him without any complications.
He'll suffer like a bull with his legs broke.
He won't have any dough left,
but he'll be back where he belongs.
I called the Compton offices.
Mr. Sand's secretary says...
...he's in conference.
- Try again.
Have a little pride, friend.
It's obvious you're being snubbed.
- That double-crossing sump rat.
- I don't quite get it all...
...but there is one thing certain.
He's out to break you.
So he and Compton think
they can stretch me over a barrel, huh?
Get my car hooked onto
the first train leaving for Tulsa.
They're hanging the wrong boy
up to dry.
You probably know what you're doing,
but be careful.
- They must have been planning this...
- This is a barroom fight.
The man that hits first wins,
and that's me.
I'm gonna beat them to every
independent operator left in the West.
I got a brand-new idea.
When I get though
telling it to those babies...
...they won't be able to buy
enough oil to lubricate a kiddy car.
Frank, it's the only thing.
I'll maintain the price, your well
will produce twice as long...
...and in the end,
you'll make more dough.
- Sounds kind of good, all right.
- It is good.
Here's another reason why.
The joker in their setup is this:
You sign with them...
...they'll make you overproduce
and then drop the price on you.
- Never thought of it that way.
- It's time you got to thinking about it.
I tell you, if you sell
to Compton and Sand...
...or anyone under the old setup...
...they'll have you behind the eight ball.
I'll tell you why.
They'll have you force-pump
your wells for quick money...
...then you'll lose your gas pressure,
and then suddenly one day...'ll find half your oil still
underground, right down there...
...and no way on this man's Earth
to get it out.
Look what happened to Burkburnett.
Whizbang. Desdemona.
Dead holes before their time.
Gentlemen, as a geologist,
I agree with Mr. McMasters.
- The compound ratio of substrat...
- That's high-forehead stuff.
The main thing is, boys,
if you stick with me...
...l'll contract and guarantee you
the present price...
...and you'll make more money.
- Boys, Big John is right.
Oh, you did?
But I understood you were
all set to sign with us.
McMasters, huh?
Evans has signed with him.
That means the entire
Elk Creek crowd will follow.
- What's the matter with us?
- Him.
He's got a great line of smoosh
and he knows the oil business.
I'm heading for a drink.
I don't know why you got us into this.
I'll be ruined.
You can always say you were
a big man once.
Big once? That's a bit...
McMasters is likely to sink us, at that,
at the rate he's going.
Say, he doesn't know it...
...but maybe Uncle Sam will be
interested in what he's doing.
Get me Senator Grayson in Washington.
What? That's terrible.
Well, unload all my Compton-United.
I'm closing out.
- Yes?
- Mr. Aldrich calling.
Tell him I'm out of town.
Tried to put me against the wall, huh?
Now who's asking for a blindfold?
It's nice to see you so happy about it.
Sure I'm happy. On top of the world.
See what happens when a simple-minded
guy falls in with a man like Compton?
- Turn him into a crook.
- Everything considered, it's a little odd...
...making excuses for Mr. Sand.
- What do you mean, excuses?
He was a burglar,
and I licked him down to his size.
Pretty expensive victory, J.M.
Selling oil for half what you paid for it.
- Cost you about $5 million.
- We'll make that in two months.
I'm sorry to interrupt,
but Mr. John Sand to see you.
Sand, here? You fellas clear out.
- Send him in.
- Yes, sir.
You think this is wise?
I'd like to see him alone, Karen.
Of course.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Well, I see you took a bath.
Anything more I can do for you?
You can give your wife a divorce.
- What?
- You can give Betsy a divorce.
You almost cleaned me out, but I saved
enough so we can start over again.
Oh, yeah, and she wants the boy too.
Have you gone daffy?
That's the best way all around.
That'll leave you free to marry Karen.
Still poking your nose into
other people's business?
- Why not? She's a smart, good-looking...
- Wait a minute.
Do you mean to say that...
That Betsy's in love with you?
Well, what do you think?
What do you think I'm doing here?
What do you think happens
to a woman, anyway?
She's a little human too, you know.
And prettier than the day you married her.
I've noticed that even if you haven't.
And you don't have to worry about
Little Jack, you know.
You can drop around and see him
once in a while, if you get time.
- You got it all fixed, haven't you?
- Sure I have.
Back-dooring me, that's what you're doing.
Sneaking in my back door.
- So what?
- You're not gonna get away with it.
You and I started a fight once
and never finished.
Now I'm gonna beat your brains out.
Boy, am I gonna enjoy this.
What are you backing away for?
Oh, my goodness.
There must be something we can do.
- Can't we do anything?
- Call the police.
Don't do that.
They might get mad.
Get your hand out of that birdcage.
What is all this? What's going on here?
Are they in conference?
Well, we'd better... They'll...
Kind of soft, ain't you, big boy?
I'll talk to them.
I started them in business.
- I thought you looked like a fight promoter.
- That door's locked too.
Come on, come on.
- Take it easy.
- What are you doing?
Come on, get out.
Boys, this is disgraceful.
Come on, get out. The bunch of you.
Honey, buy me a ticket for Europe
on the first boat and keep the change.
Yes, Mr. Sand.
What are you laughing at?
We've lost a fortune.
Luther, I've just done the best
afternoon's work of my life.
If you hadn't pulled this, we might've
talked ourselves back with him.
I wouldn't go back with him if he was
the last thing in the world to eat.
Send the tickets over to the hotel,
will you?
- I want to see Mr. McMasters.
- He's busy right now.
So are we. I'm Stebbins, U.S. Marshal,
Federal District Attorney's office.
Feeling clean again?
Yeah. Yeah, I guess I'll live.
A man always worries about his tie
when he's in love, doesn't he?
Karen, there's something
I want to tell you.
You don't have to. I'm a high-class
eavesdropper, partner.
Don't you know that's my business?
You never got much out of this, did you?
I got plenty. All I asked for...
...except the frosting.
And I knew in my heart
I'll never get that.
A man told me so once.
Yeah, you said it. You're high-class.
This may not be, but I'm going to do it
because I want to.
High-class or not,
I'm going out the back way.
Just to begin to see how it feels.
Goodbye, stranger.
Okay, stranger.
Are you John McMasters?
- Yes, but I'm sorry, I got...
- I've got a warrant for your arrest.
- Arrest? I don't get you.
- Federal indictment.
Heard of the Sherman Antitrust Law,
haven't you?
I don't know what this is about,
but first I have to see my wife.
I don't know why not.
A wife's swell when you're in a jam.
That's not the idea.
- Daddy.
- Hiya, son.
How's my boy?
Hey, you got hurt.
Hello, dear...
Look, son, you go upstairs and play,
will you?
- I want to talk to Mother.
- Okay.
- He's a great kid.
- Yeah.
Come in here.
- You're hurt. Who's that man?
- Never mind that.
You're not getting away from me.
You know that?
- What?
- I'm not blaming you, maybe...
...but you aren't walking
with him or anybody else. Understand?
- Him? What do you...?
- Sand.
He told me all about it.
I had to give him a licking
to show him that's out.
You're my girl, see?
And you always will be.
Even if I have to lick you to prove it.
I'm your girl.
You can lick me if it'll help.
I'll save it for when you need it.
You did say that you got the money
to drill your second well... shooting craps in a honky-tonk.
- Right?
- I said part of the money.
- How did you get the rest?
- It was a deal...
How did you get the money
to drill your first well? Wasn't it by...?
- I object...
- Naturally he objects.
What is the government's object
in this questioning?
Your Honor, we are trying to prove,
and I believe we have...
...that this man was a lawbreaker
from the start.
That Big John McMasters,
in full knowledge...
...willfully conspired to break the laws
of the United States.
That he is typical
of the economic royalists...
...and bourbon industrialists who,
for self-indulgence... to ride over the laws
and commonplace securities...
...of the citizens of this country.
And for that...
...the people of the U.S.
Will demand for John McMasters...
...the maximum penalty
of 10 years in a federal penitentiary.
For the last time,
the spectators will preserve order.
The statement of the government's attorney
is stricken from the record.
Now, Mr. McMasters... it true that for the first well, you stole
$ 7000 of tools from a Mr. Luther Aldrich?
- I took the tools, but he was paid for them.
- Then you did steal the tools.
You can call it that in your language...
...but I borrowed them in mine.
Borrowed like people did in those days.
- We wanted to find oil.
- Now, Mr. McMasters... have admitted that you deliberately
set out to break Compton and Sand.
- I did.
- What was your reason?
They were trying to break me.
I see. Self-protection.
- But wasn't Mr. Compton a friend of yours?
- Not exactly.
- But John Sand was your very best friend.
- He was.
Isn't it true that Mr. Sand
started you in the oil business?
That it was his lease that started you
on the way to your fortune?
That's right.
Yet you expect the jury to believe that
a friend and benefactor tried to break you.
- He did.
- Why?
Why did he try to break you?
- I can't answer that.
- You mean can't or won't?
Take your pick.
You don't understand my language?
That's right. Your Honor, I don't
understand this man's language at all.
He calls me a bourbon. What's that?
I always thought it was whiskey.
- Then you refuse to answer?
- That's right.
- And I'm getting tired of your face, sonny.
- Sit down.
And if you refuse to answer,
I'll hold you in contempt of court.
I wouldn't want that to happen,
Your Honor.
I withdraw my question. That is all.
- I have witnesses in rebuttal, Your Honor.
- Very well.
- Mrs. McMasters, take the stand, please.
- Any objections?
We waive any objections, Your Honor.
Do you swear to tell the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but... help you God?
- I do.
Now, Mrs. McMasters,
I won't keep you long.
I only want to ask you a few questions.
How long have you been married
to Mr. McMasters?
Seven and a half years.
Are you acquainted with a woman
named Karen Vanmeer?
- Yes, I am.
- Does she work for your husband?
- She did.
- In what capacity?
- Just a minute. I'm on trial, not her.
- I object to this line of questioning.
- What connection...?
- I'm only...
Objection sustained.
Mr. McMasters and Miss Vanmeer went
to Washington, D.C., on May 14th last.
Do you know whom they visited,
and what the purpose was?
Whether I do or I don't,
that doesn't matter.
I do know that you're trying to blacken
his character by trying to prove...
...something between
him and Miss Vanmeer.
What I know about that
doesn't matter either.
I know I am, and I always will be,
in love with my husband.
That is all, Mrs. McMasters. Thank you.
Court will adjourn until 10:00
tomorrow morning.
- Yeah, Mac?
- Stock's down to seven.
We don't have to worry about that now.
What about the notes?
I just left the bank.
The board took the collateral.
- I'm terribly sorry, J.M.
- That's okay, Mac.
Put a want ad in the paper.
A guy with your brains will be all right.
- Thanks for everything.
- Thanks, J.M.
Well, honey, we're broke again.
What do we care?
We can always go back to...
Forget it, honey. We're not down yet.
- That's a lie.
- Order, order. Proceed.
No cross-examination, Your Honor.
- I have one more witness, Your Honor.
- Very well. Call your witness.
John Sand.
Raise your right hand.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole
truth and nothing but, so help you God?
Mr. Sand, you used to be bosom friends
with Mr. McMasters, didn't you?
- We were pals, if that's what you mean.
- Are you pals now?
- No, we don't get on at all.
- Why?
I don't know.
I just don't like him, I guess.
Mr. Sand, you and Mr. Compton were
competitors of Mr. McMasters, right?
Not for very long.
You were wiped out because this man,
who suddenly turned into an octopus...
- I object.
- Sustained.
Prosecution will confine itself
to the issues.
You failed in your business because
Mr. McMasters formed a monopoly... defiance of the antitrust laws.
- Your Honor, please.
Now, you haven't got that
straight either...
- Answer yes or no.
- Wait a minute, buddy. Take it easy.
You subpoenaed me, but after all,
I'm just here to try to straighten out...
Mr. Witness, you're here
to answer questions.
Judge, I'm getting as mixed up
as anybody in this hot seat.
And he's all balled up,
asking a lot of questions.
Would it be all right if I stood up
and relaxed to spiel my piece?
Maybe I can straighten things out
around here.
- I object to allowing this witness...
- The court is always interested in truth.
I'll admit it, subject to a motion to strike.
Proceed, Mr. Sand.
Well, as I get it...
...McMasters is on the hook
because he broke the antitrust laws.
He signed up a bunch of oil operators and
formed a monopoly in restraint of trade.
I know that he signed them
to make more money...
...but he's not exactly original with that.
A lot of us have got those ideas.
But what he was doing,
although he didn't know it... a way, he was working
for these here United States too.
Am I out of line yet, judge?
Proceed, Mr. Sand.
He wanted these guys
to produce less oil... that their wells would flow
years longer and not ruin the fields.
That way they'd get all the oil
there was to get.
Don't you get the idea?
He was for conservation.
How can he be breaking laws when he's
trying to save the resources of the country?
He didn't know that he was doing
anything that you might call noble...
...but being one of the best oil men there is,
he's got the right hunch about oil.
He knows that it took billions of years
to put it here...
...and if we keep taking it at this rate...
...before long, there won't be any oil left
in the good old U.S.A.
Won't be any left for him
or men like him... break up into lube
and fuel and gasoline... that people can get their stuff
moved around in trucks...
...and so that you can light furnaces
and homes and schoolhouses.
If that time comes, what'll be the good
of American schoolhouses, anyway?
What'll be the good
of your two oceans?
What are you gonna run airplanes
and battleships on? Tomato soup?
- I only got a couple more words, okay?
- Proceed, Mr. Sand.
He's got a lot of ham in him,
hasn't he?
Well, just this:
McMasters is a wildcatter.
If it wasn't for automobiles,
he'd be driving a covered wagon.
It's always been his breed
that has opened up the country...
...and made it what it is.
So now I'm wondering... it out of line, in these United States,
for a man like him to make a million...
...with his brains and hands?
If that's true, we'd better rewrite this
land-of-opportunity stuff.
I admit that he's ornery
and he's mean...
...but he's an oil man with the right idea
of what to do with our oil.
And he's always met the payroll,
and you can put his word in the bank.
Now, that's all I got to say.
Now you talk.
- I move to strike this entire answer.
- Motion denied.
Court adjourned until tomorrow.
We may beat this yet.
- Hi.
- Hi.
That was quite a speech.
Well, I got kind of wound up, I guess.
Say, I was thinking, if I beat this...
...I got a section of wildcat stuff
left out in California.
I don't know much about it...
...but how'd you like
to take a whirl at it with me?
No, no, I guess not.
I'm through with the oil game for good.
It's too tough.
Well, I'll be seeing you.
Welcome to McMasters' camp.
Come in here.
I'm sure glad to see you, Miss Betsy.
Yes, sir.
- Hi, old boy.
- Hi, big feller.
Well, here it is, honey.
This'll be where we're gonna live for...
- Well, for a while, anyway.
- It's beautiful here, darling. I love it.
Luther, you're crazy to sell this.
This is great stuff.
There's Jonathan.
I'm gonna spud in right...
- Well, my goodness.
- Hello.
Fancy meeting you here.
- Hello, Uncle Square John.
- Hello, sport. How are you?
- Shorty.
- What are you doing here?
This is the half-section
I talked about in New York.
You told me you had a whole sec...
Now I see why you sold me
this half for $ 100. It's a handout, huh?
Listen, Shorty, I though we could put down
one test well and prove both properties.
What do you say?
Where do you figure on drilling?
Well, I figure the main structure
is up here.
Oh, no, down by the hollow
is the main structure.
- I've been all over this...
- So what? If you don't know...
Come and get it. Rabbit la modee.
Rabbit la modee, Shorty.
We might as well get this straight.
I'll give the pipe and equipment...
...but I want cash in 90 days.
Shorty, how about giving Luther
an eighth interest instead?
Oh, no, you fellas go broke
on your own this time.
There's a dry hole
in every foot of this stuff.
What's the name
of this sucker's paradise?
- Came from some guy named Kettleman.
- They call it Kettleman Hills.
Kettleman Hills?
Doesn't even sound like oil.