Cheat the Hangman (2018) Movie Script

Jesse Boardman, you
have been found guilty... a court of law of the
capital crimes of armed robbery,
murder, and assault on
an officer of the peace.
For this, as stipulated by
Honorable Judge Harlan Parker,
you'll be hanged by the neck
until dead at 12:00 noon...
...this day, 3rd of October,
year of our Lord 1867.
Or, about five minutes from now.
Careful, Jesse,
we don't want you...
...fallin' and
breakin' your neck.
I knew this day would
be comin', Jesse.
It was only a matter of time.
They knew, too.
But I don't see your
brother here now, do I?
Do you have any
final words, Jesse?
Y'all know me.
You know my family.
They gonna be comin'
for ya, every last one o' ya.
Don't worry, Jesse.
If they do, I've got
plenty o' rope for 'em.
There we go.
Now, Eli, you've gotten real
good with those six-shooters.
Now, we to need to
work on situations...
...where you'll need
a different weapon.
Remember how good
you were at this last time?
Now, the
lever-action rifle has...
...several advantages
over your six-shooter.
You got real good at that, son.
I'll bring you out tomorrow.
We can try some
more practice, all right?
Get your pistol.
Let's go wash up for dinner.
You know them, Pa?
Yeah, I gotta talk to 'em.
Why don't you go
back in the house...
...and don't come out
until I tell you, okay?
All right, boy, I want you
to take these rifles inside.
Don't come out 'til I
come get you, you got it?
Yes, sir, do you
need this pistol?
Yeah, probably.
Go on now.
Afternoon, Jericho.
Didn't see you at
your brother's hanging.
Why in the hell would
I want to see that?
My brother and me, we was close.
I understand that, but
even old Judge Parker...
...knew that
Jesse's time was up.
You can toss it up
any way you want.
If you wasn't around,
he'd still be here.
How long was I supposed
to let your brother... roughshod
all over this town?
Him and that band of
cutthroats he called the Masque.
You never seen my
brother do anything.
He bragged about it, Jericho.
Yeah, well, Jesse was
always the boastful type.
That's your boy back
in the house, ain't it?
Let's get out of here!
You're dead, boy!
You're lucky that
bullet only grazed you.
Removing it would
require surgery,
and the only doctor
we have isn't...
...sober long enough
to bandage a cut.
There now.
It still hurts like hell.
Oh, sorry, Reverend.
It's quite all right.
A minister is very
familiar with the term hell.
We're lucky to have you.
Of course, no man would
come out here and preach to us.
Then maybe I'm lucky, too.
I do have something
that may relieve the pain.
Here, just don't tell some
of those church ladies.
I sure am glad you ain't
one of them teetotalers.
I believe that all the grain...
...of the earth is
sacred to the Lord.
Now, you must tell
me what happened.
You don't think they
shoulda hanged Jesse, do ya?
Of course not, everyone
deserves a chance at redemption.
That's kinda what I thought.
We went out to
talk to the sheriff.
Him and his boy went
crazy and started shootin'.
Luke fired back
to defend himself.
He killed Ethan,
but the boy got him.
Ethan's dead?
Yes. Where's the boy?
Still out there, I reckon.
I need to borrow
Walker and go get him.
You rest here.
I'll send a message to bring
the wagon and get you home.
You be careful out there.
Jericho, I wasn't
always a minister.
Eli, Eli, it's okay.
I'm here to help you.
I had to bury my Pa right
here 'cause I couldn't move him.
You come on back to
town and stay with me.
You'll need some food and rest.
I'll send some men
out to get the bodies.
To love our enemies,
that is why we are here,
and these shootings
were not necessary.
Let us bring an
end to this tragedy.
We must come together as a
community and love each other... the eyes of God
as we were meant to be.
As people who have
been chosen by Him,
by the law of mercy and
justice and righteousness.
We are here, and let us
now pray for their souls.
As newly-appointed
deputy here in Monument,
I'm here to arrest Eli Herald
for the murder of Luke Kindle.
Charlie, when did
you become a deputy?
Judge swore me in this mornin'.
Trial's this afternoon.
We don't want no
trouble in this nice church.
This is man's law.
It is not the work of God.
But I will get the boy.
Sophia, what are you doing here?
Eli's my friend.
Papa said I could come.
All right, just stay by me.
Order in the courtroom.
Shut your damn bleedin' gobs!
This court will now hear the
case against Elijah Herald,
who is charged with murder in...
That is a false accusation!
Eli is a 13-year-old boy.
His father was
shot in front of him.
Order in the court!
He was defending his home.
No more interruptions
or I'll have... removed
from the premises.
Now, bring in Elijah Herald.
Who's prosecuting this case?
I am.
The court recognizes
Jericho Boardman,
a prominent businessman
and an upstanding citizen... this community
for a number of years.
Mr. Boardman, were you
an eyewitness to this event?
I was.
Are there any other
witnesses for the prosecution?
I'm one, Your Honor.
Are there any witnesses
for the defense?
Just the defendant,
Your Honor, just the boy.
Mr. Boardman, would you
please give an account...
...of what you saw at the
Herald residence yesterday?
Me and a few of the
boys, that includes...
...Luke Kindle and
Russell here, we rode up... the Herald's
place to get account...
...of why my brother
Jesse was hanged.
This town has too many hangings.
And then?
Ethan Herald come
up and started talking.
Well, things got
heated up, and Luke,
you know, he always
was a hothead.
Ethan said something Luke
didn't like, and Luke shot him.
Well, Ethan was
fixin' to draw on him.
Anyhow, right
after Luke did that,
there was a shot fired
from inside the house.
Well, the shot hit Luke in
the chest, and down he went.
Of course we opened
up on the house,
not knowing how
many guns was in there.
We heard Eli here call out,
then another shot
from the house.
This one hit me.
At that point, we
hightailed it outta there.
Russell, would you
say that's the same way...
...that you saw these
events unfold?
Yes sir.
Eli, why don't you tell me
what happened yesterday?
Go on, Eli.
Tell him what really happened.
These men shot and killed my pa.
All of these men shot your pa?
No sir, just one.
Just the one, Luke Kindle,
the one that you killed?
So why did you shoot Luke?
On account of he
shot down my pa.
Did Luke Kindle shoot at you?
No sir.
Did you know Luke Kindle?
No sir.
Eli, did Luke
Kindle provoke you?
What does that mean?
Did Luke say
anything that made you...
...mad enough to want to kill him?
He shot down my pa,
and I got plenty mad.
I understand.
What happened after that?
They shot at the house.
So what did you do?
I shot him.
All right, well,
Mr. Boardman's still with us... he's not so much
a part of this case.
So you, Eli, meant to
shoot and kill Luke Kindle?
Is that the man that
shot down my pa?
Yes, Eli.
Then yes.
Eli, when you fired your
pistol in his direction,
was it your intent
to kill Luke Kindle?
I, I...
Let me
put that another way, Eli.
Did you want to see
Luke Kindle dead?
Yes sir.
There'll be a short recess
while I retire to my chambers...
...and make a
decision on this case.
I'll be back in 20 minutes, and
in the meantime, bar's open.
That judge isn't being fair!
You're right.
Who's there?
Come on in, Jericho,
and sit yourself down.
So what do you think, Harlan?
What I think is all those people... that courtroom
out there want me... be lenient on this young man.
Is that where you're headed?
Something tells me that's not...
...the direction you
want this to go in.
Well, he killed one of my boys.
These fellows look up to
me, and I need this set right.
You know, Ethan Herald
was the sheriff in this town,
And... know he pushed
through that case on your brother.
And he wasn't gonna rest
until your brother Jesse hanged.
So have you made your
decision on this case?
Jericho, I made my
decision when that young man...
...looked me straight in
my eyes and admitted...
...that he wanted to
see Luke Kindle dead.
It became obvious
to me that there was...
...bad blood between
him and you and yours.
Now, at some point in time,
maybe five years, maybe 10
years, he's gonna want revenge.
I certainly would appreciate
swift justice on this.
I haven't learned
much in all my days,
but one thing I have learned is...
...that bad blood doesn't go away.
Elijah Herald, you
have been found...
...guilty of murder of Luke Kindle.
Eli's just a boy.
No, no, no!
Order in the court.
Now, in regards to the
sentencing in this case,
now I understand that the
crowd wants me to show mercy.
Well, I'll remind you
that I was appointed... this position by
President Andrew Johnson,
and I was appointed to
provide law and order.
In this area, 13 is
considered an adult.
Lady Justice wears a blindfold.
She does not know age,
color, religion, et cetera.
The concern is
justice being served.
As judge and
justice of the peace,
my aim is to preserve the
peace now, along with providing...
...for justice and also to
preserve peace in the future.
Elijah Herald, you
have been found...
...guilty of the murder
of Luke Kindle.
You are hereby sentenced
to hang by the neck until dead.
That is an
abomination of justice!
You'll burn in hell!
Shame on you!
Order in the court!
Listen to the Reverend!
I decree that this order will... carried out tomorrow at noon.
He's just a boy!
Let's hang Jericho instead!
That's all I got to
say in this matter.
Court is dismissed.
All out, at once.
Are they really gonna hang Eli?
We shall do all in our
power to prevent that.
Where's his mama?
Why can't she help him?
She died three years ago
during the cholera epidemic.
That's when Eli's
father became sheriff.
What about the
rest of his family?
They're too far away
to be of any assistance.
We must appeal to the governor.
I hope he'll help Eli.
I hope so, too.
Hello, Reverend.
Sophia, this is for Mr. Mason.
Can you to take
it to him please?
Of course, Papa.
Why does Mr. Jericho
want to hurt Eli?
When you get back, I will
explain to you all about Eli.
Just deliver the message
to Mr. Mason, Sophia.
What happened, Reverend?
Judge Parker just
sentenced Eli Herald to hang.
First the sheriff, now Eli?
This town just don't
have any justice anymore.
I need to send a telegram
to the governor immediately.
I can send it, Reverend,
but I have to tell you,
this may not work
out the way you want.
The governor is a very busy
man, and a message like this...
...would have to go
through many hands.
If we had a week or two...
The hanging is
scheduled for tomorrow.
Fortunately, I know
Governor Davis.
He has championed the
rights of our Negro brothers...
...and sisters, and I believe
he will help us right this wrong.
I'm ready.
Please dictate.
Dear Governor Davis, stop.
Request immediate stay of
execution for Elijah Herald, stop.
13-year-old boy
accused of killing... who shot his father, stop.
Very suspicious
circumstances, stop.
Only you can prevent grave
miscarriage of justice, stop.
Sincerely, Reverend Fox.
Transmitting now.
Thanks for looking after Sophia.
I have a lot to explain to her.
Tell her not to give up.
We're still fighting for Eli.
Eli is not sentenced
to hang until noon.
We may still hear
from the governor.
I know me job, and I
know what time it is.
Hear ye, good people
of Monument, Texas.
Eli Herald, having been
duly convicted in a court of law...
...for the crime of murder
in the first degree,
is hereby sentenced to hang
by the neck until dead this day,
7th of October, year
of our Lord 1867.
May the Lord have
mercy on his soul.
Why are you doing this?
Come on, Eli.
Five minutes to noon.
O'Reilly, get him ready.
Watch your step, Eli.
Shoulda hanged Jericho instead.
This isn't fair.
It's okay, Annie.
The quality of
mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain...
...from heaven upon
the place beneath.
It is twice blest.
It blesseth him that
gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest.
It becomes the throned
monarch better than his crown.
His scepter doth show
the force of temporal power,
the attributes of
awe and majesty,
wherein doth sit the
dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above
this sceptered sway.
It becomes the crowned
monarch better than his throne.
It is an attribute
of God himself.
Look, Sophia's coming!
Is this gonna help, Reverend?
Yes, it will.
Thank you, Sophia.
Damn it!
By executive order of
Governor Edmund J. Davis,
a permanent stay of execution...
...for Elijah Herald
has been granted!
It's a stay of
execution, not a pardon.
Back to the courtroom
for another hearing.
Order in the court.
Ladies and gentlemen, I
represent the law in this area.
We have received a
decree from the governor...
...of the state of Texas.
Monument is within
the boundaries...
...of the great state of Texas.
We must abide by his decree.
Elijah Herald, the
guilty verdict stands,
but I've changed my mind
as far as the sentencing.
You will not hang
today, but believe me,
where you are going, at
some point in the future,
you may wish you
had hanged today.
I hereby sentence you
to 20 years in prison.
That is 20 years... the Texas State
Penitentiary without parole.
May God have mercy on your soul.
What's parole?
That means he
ain't never gettin' out.
He's gonna rot in prison.
Come on, Eli.
It's time to go.
I was just a youngin'
When the Boardman
gang killed my old man
I was just 13 when
I made a stand
I had no choice,
it was self-defense
On my daddy's
part, I did defend
My innocent Texas
youth just ended then
Cheat the hangman
His soul is way too
heavy, cheat the hangman
The burdens that he
carries, cheat the hangman
He's just an
ordinary kind of man
The bottle, his
closest friend
They're hanging men and
women for the wearin' of the green
Hello, Michael.
Evening, sir.
Do I know you?
It's Eli, Michael.
Eli, I've known
a few Elis, Eli...
Eli, Eli Herald!
When did you get into town?
Just now, got out of the
penitentiary yesterday.
What on earth made
you come back here?
Well, for one thing, I wanted... thank you for not
hanging me 20 years ago.
Aye, they say you cheated
the hangman that day.
Well, I'm the hangman,
and I didn't feel cheated at all.
It's hard to believe
you're still doin' this.
Aye, for 25 years of killin'...
...people for a
livin', it's enough.
So can I ask you
a couple things?
Well, I'm stone-broke.
- Oh, here. No,
- no, it's all right.
They don't give you every
much when you get out of there,
and it cost me a
little piece to get here.
I managed to inherit
this shirt from an inmate...
...who was a little bit too
heavyset to outrun his pursuers.
You know that place on the
edge of town that my pa had?
I know it wasn't
much to look at,
but do you think
it's still there?
Well, aye, it is.
Is it taken over or sold?
No, no, it's nothin' more
than a bag of rusty old nails.
It's been left to
rot for 20 years.
Think anyone would
mind if I headed that way?
I don't see why.
The powers that be are
still the powers that be.
However, the Reverend
has a new church.
Still tryin' to save
all those bad eggs?
That she is.
People come, people
go, and some people go...
...and come back
again, like Sophia.
The girl from the
telegraph office?
Aye, she grew up just like you.
What happened to her?
Ah, near as I can tell,
'bout five years after you left,
she got married, a
soldier, cavalry feller.
They had a daughter, but he
was killed in the Indian Wars.
Well, she came back here,
and after her father retired,
she took over running
the telegraph office.
Think she would
mind if I pay her a visit?
I think that would be fine.
Where you holin' up, lad?
Well, I figured I'd go home.
Hell, I wouldn't let a
rat stay in that place.
Gets cold here at night.
You got a coat in that sack?
I think after the last
20 years I'll be all right.
Well, suit yourself, then.
What the hell happened here?
A lot happened when
you were gone, my friend.
It became a boom town.
What kind of boom?
Cattle drive, used to move 'em...
...right through town, right there.
Brought in more
people, more businesses,
more money, like
the bank over there.
Looks like the boom turned bust.
Aye, I've seen it happen before.
For about 10 years, things
were pretty good here.
Then from the cattle
drives came the railroad,
but the railroad decided
that Monument wasn't...
...worth their while so they
didn't put any stops around here.
Well, the people got word of it,
and one night, the banker
vanished with a lot of money,
a lot of the
townspeople's money.
Hm, I guess it's better
I wasn't around for that.
Good to see you, Michael.
You too, lad.
May the rest of your years
be better than the last.
I know.
I can't believe how much she's...
...grown in the last couple years.
Mama, please.
You know, I can still remember
you riding up on your horse...
...with that message from the
governor, my future in your hand.
I never rode so fast in my life.
And now Maria's doing exactly...
...what you were doing when I left.
Yes, as the French
say, "C'est la vie."
You speak French?
I know one phrase in
French, and you just heard it.
So, Michael tells me that
the powers that be are...
Are still in power,
yes, they are.
Judge Parker,
well, I think maybe...
...he's eased up just a little bit.
Doesn't hang quite
as many as he used to.
Maybe the ghosts
are getting to him.
What about Jericho Boardman?
Jericho, if anything,
he's worse.
When ranching hit hard
times a few years back,
he reorganized
that band of outlaws...
...his brother started
a long time ago.
He calls them the
Masque, just like Jesse did.
That's spelled
M-A-S-Q-U-E, not M-A-S-K.
Is that French?
I don't know.
Like I said, I only know
one phrase in French.
What kind of mischief they into?
Worse than mischief,
robbing coaches, trains,
banks, whatever they feel like.
Never here in Monument, though,
otherwise Judge Parker
might do something about it.
They're bad people.
Somebody should stop 'em.
You're right, Maria.
Seems like things around
here haven't changed.
Oh, here we go.
That machine dictates my life.
Maria, why don't
you try this one?
All right.
Sophia, can I ask you something?
Do you mind if I came back
around and talked to you?
When you have time, of course.
Of course I wouldn't mind.
Afternoons about this
time are usually best.
So, talk to me
about this painting.
Oh, I got that in Mexico.
It's about 75 years old.
What do you think about it?
I think it's a nice
addition to these walls.
Lord, hear my
soul, forgive my sin
An eye for an eye
and a tooth for a tooth
That's what I did
You know I'm
tellin' the truth
I stood accused, I
was sentenced to die
But my angel,
she was by my side
I was spared my
life, but I lost it still
Cheat the hangman
His soul is way too
heavy, cheat the hangman
The burdens that he
carries, cheat the hangman
He's just an
ordinary kind of man
Passin' through
this world of sin
There's talk goin' round
about trouble downtown.
What's this about?
Well, if I go downtown,
Old Man Brunson's...
...gonna challenge me to a duel.
Well, why?
Brunson blames the Hawk
for the death of his son Joshua.
Why would he blame you?
On account of I
recruited his son.
I take it that's the man
we lost on the bank run.
That's right.
Well, hell, you
didn't shoot him.
That don't seem to matter much.
Brunson's hot for revenge.
Well, Brunson knows
not to stand up to us.
He's always had a bad temper... far back as I can remember.
You gotta do what you gotta do.
Eli, are you here lad?
Yeah, I'm here.
I brought you something.
It's one of the old ones.
Don't worry, I've got others.
That'll keep the weather off ya.
Smells like horseshit.
Yeah, it does need a
wee bit of a cleanin'.
Thanks, I'll pay you when I can.
You'll do no such thing.
I'll be askin' around town,
see if I can find you a job.
And if you ever need to,
you can always borrow old Maxie here.
Why are you helping me?
Prison teaches you
not to trust people,
now doesn't it lad?
Yes, it does.
Eli, you had a
lot taken from ya,
more than anyone
can ever give ya back.
And in my heart, I
never felt you was guilty.
I've done a lot of
things in me life,
things I'm not proud of.
I figure in maybe some small
way I could set them right.
This is one of 'em.
You plannin' something?
Aye, I've got plans.
What you want, old man?
I hold you personally responsible
for the death of my boy!
He wasn't a boy, he was a man,
and he rode with us
on his own free will.
After you filled his
head with nonsense...
...about fast and easy money.
That's bullshit!
He didn't know anything
about the ways of the world.
The only thing he knew about was...
...this little town
and cutting lumber.
And you had no right, no
right, to make him a thief.
You better stand down, Brunson.
And you best go to hell!
I hope we all...
Learned a lesson here today...
Afternoon, gentlemen.
You want to talk to
me before the meetin'?
So we're not here to
cause you any trouble.
I hope not.
Thing is, we've always
been loyal to you.
Our fathers were loyal to you.
Yeah, and they
both were good men.
So, we were wonderin',
why aren't we next in line?
Next in line for what?
Well, it seems
lately Wade's been...
...doing all the
planning around here.
He ain't from around here.
Y'all know that.
We don't know where he's from.
Wherever it is, he's got
connections I ain't got.
So what if this deal of
his doesn't work out?
I guess we'll see what you
two can put together then.
Well, my wife's gone to
town with some friends.
Is everything set for tomorrow?
I think we're all set.
What you thinkin', Strothers?
Look, I'm not tryin' to put
a lid on all this excitement.
After all, I helped
find this information.
But why do we have to
strike at the stage stop...
...when all this money is gonna
be under the heaviest security?
Well, Wade put
this deal together.
All right, I'm just
saying it might be...
...a hell of a lot less risky if
we hit the money wagon...
...on the way in or on the way out.
I gotta agree with
that, less chance...
...of innocent people gettin' hurt.
Christ, what are we here?
We're robbin' the damn place.
Someone gets in the
way, they're rubbed out.
Wade tells us the way it is.
However, why do we have
to wear these damned things?
I just about choked
out on the last job.
Well, this goes back to
when my brother ran this outfit.
Yeah, well, that's sweet
and reminiscent and all,
but what's the real
point of this mask?
Well, if the marshal
happens to be there...
...and we're seen,
we're in trouble.
Shit, that marshal's gotta
cover half this damned state.
Wade's right.
That's a needle in a haystack.
Well, all right,
whoever doesn't want... wear the mask,
don't wear the damned mask.
So, how much money
are we talking about here?
$200,000, brand spanking
new bills from the U.S. Mint.
There's no vault
in the stage station.
So we play this right, we'll
all be set for years to come.
Pickup shoulda done
been here by now.
Our orders are to
stay here regardless.
We'll keep it safe.
Ever lost one of these?
One, not as much money
but we lost two men.
Who was security
on the load you lost?
Private firm.
Well, there you go.
Nobody wants to go
up against the army.
You hear something?
I don't hear anything.
I hear it, horses.
I feel it.
I'm hit!
Well, I see you got yourself... a bit of a
situation there, boy.
Hand over what we want,
and you won't get hurt.
I don't think so.
How do I know you'll
keep your word?
He's got us there.
All we want is the money.
Whoa, everybody
back at the house?
You know, Wade,
this is, uh, this is gonna...
...set us all up for a good while.
Mm-hm, we gotta
think about the future.
What do you mean by that?
I mean, who's gonna
run this operation...
...once Jericho's gone?
Where in the hell's he goin'?
Look, I respect the man.
All the boys are loyal to him.
Problem is, he does a
lot of livin' in the past.
Yeah, well, we do
gotta think about our future.
Yes, we do.
What can I do for you?
Lookin' for Jericho Boardman.
What do you want with Jericho?
I just want to talk,
friends from a while back.
Show me you got no guns.
What do you call yourself?
Eli, Eli Herald.
You've been gone a while.
Wait here.
I heard you got out.
Couple days ago.
You here to cause trouble?
No, I'm not.
Come on in.
Damn, where'd
you get that jacket?
Smells like horseshit.
Ain't gotten around
to cleaning it yet.
Kinda got it secondhand.
We're not in the best
of mood around here.
We lost one of
our boys yesterday.
Oh yeah?
Found him out on the
range, shot through.
What are you doin',
showin' up on my front door?
I just wanted you to
know that you don't have... worry about any
trouble from me.
I ain't a danger to no one.
You mean to tell me you don't...
...hold a grudge after
20 years in prison?
I do not.
Well, hell, that sure don't...
...make you much of a man, does it?
I don't see how that's possible.
You ever been to prison?
Well, no, I seem to
have avoided such things.
After a while in
there, you either...
...stop being mad or you go crazy.
All you can do is think
about one day getting out.
I ain't never gonna do anything...
...that's gonna put me
back in that place.
Well, that's good to hear.
Now, here's my advice for you.
Get the hell out of town.
There's nothin' here for you.
It's what I'm planning, soon
as I get my affairs in order.
Well, if you would excuse
us, we have a funeral to plan.
You better be careful out
there if you're travelin' alone.
Of all the towns
in the whole world,
he comes back here after prison.
This situation's gonna
need takin' care of.
What would you
suggest, Strothers?
I suggest you open
that damn door...
...and shoot him in the back,
before he gets too far away.
I give him 'til
tomorrow to get gone.
Otherwise, we take action.
It's Like you told
us many times,
bad blood don't just go away.
Where's the other fellers?
Out trying to recruit more men.
He'll report to you
when he gets back.
Make sure they do.
Are you sure you want to
hold a party at the church?
Why not?
We're celebrating
our new building...
...and the growth of
our congregation.
As the Psalms say, let us
turn mourning into dancing.
If there is no
joy in the church,
people will turn to wickedness.
We shall have music, and
the ladies are making cookies.
Bring your daughter.
Saturday night should be
a time for families to rejoice.
I believe we have
some cause to rejoice.
Look who's here!
Eli, welcome back!
Where else could I go?
Monument is still your
home, and you'll need a job.
I'll ask around and
see who's hiring.
Thank you, Reverend.
What about Jericho?
I went and talked to him.
I think we buried the hatchet.
Well done, we are
having a gathering... the church this
Saturday night.
Please come.
I don't think I have
anything to wear.
That doesn't matter.
Some people will dress up,
and some will be
in their work clothes.
Our church is a place for all.
I invited everyone, including
Jericho and his boys,
as well as our
illustrious hangman.
Now, he says that
people don't want... be around him
because of his occupation.
I do hope he'll change his mind.
I don't imagine your celebration
has any room for liquor.
Not within the church
walls, of course.
You know I'm
not a strict pastor,
but we must maintain
some decorum.
I'll talk to him.
Why do you drink
so much, Michael?
Well, I'll tell you, lad.
There's a coupla reasons.
First, there's the war.
I got sick in it, not sick
like typhus or cholera...
...but sick up here
and sick in here.
I can't look at a gun, let
alone touch one anymore.
And the drinkin' helps keep
the ghosts away at night.
The other is me job,
and I'll tell you, lad,
this job'll be the death o' ya.
Well, ya see when I hang
a man who I know is guilty,
as guilty as Old Scratch,
when I see him danglin' there,
I drink because I've
earned it and I enjoy it.
But when I hang a
man who I'm not sure of,
whose only crime
might be he was born...
...with the wrong color skin
or was in the wrong place... the wrong time,
well, then I drink...
...twice as much
'cause then I need it.
So, I guess you
heard about the dance... the church on Saturday.
Now, did the Reverend talk ya...
...into comin' round here
to bring me to that thing?
Ah, she may have mentioned it.
I figured you could
use a change.
I ain't goin' anywhere me
best friend isn't allowed.
She said not inside the
church, so you leave it outside.
Sneak off once in a while.
People in this town need
to get to know you better.
Who in their bloody right mind...
...would want to get
to know a hangman?
I know the hangman,
not such a bad fella.
Well, let's see now.
An ex-convict, the
hangman, I know.
Let's invite the undertaker.
Oh, and while we're at it,
let's invite the town drunk.
Oh, pardon me, I forgot.
I am the town drunk.
Why do you like being alone?
What makes you ask me all
these bloody stupid questions?
It's the way it's always been.
I came here after the war.
Texas was part of
the Confederacy,
and me being from Ohio,
well, I fought for the Union.
That's the way it
was in prison, too.
Plenty of gangs,
almost all was broke up... whether you were
from the North or the South.
Pretty much had to
join one to survive.
I was a 13-year-old
kid who killed a man...
...who killed his father, so
they pretty much left me alone.
So tell me what
other reason ye have...
...for invitin' me to this soiree?
Ladies, that's
the only reason I need... know to make
it worth my time.
I'm too bleedin' old for that!
Still breathin'?
Whoa, you're still breathin'!
Michael, you're never too old.
Says the young feller...
...with half his life
still ahead of him.
So you're gonna
be there Saturday?
Ah, very well, I suppose.
All right, what's goin'
on in town, fellas?
Well, Reverend's got a
goin's-on down there at the church.
What you mean a goin's-on?
A dance.
A dance?
And none of y'all was invited?
We ain't goin' to no church.
Eli's goin' around invitin'
outcasts like the hangman.
What are you thinkin', boss?
I think it's a good time
to call on the Masque.
Looks like we're
goin' to church after all.
I see what Eli's doin'.
He's putting together
a group of people...
...that thinks just like him.
Soon, he'll be thinkin'
about runnin' for sheriff...
...or maybe takin'
over for the judge.
That arm still hurt...
...from when he shot
you 20 years ago?
Believe it or not, I
feel it once in a while.
What do you want done?
Be a perfect time
to take care of Eli.
Plus some of those other
lowlifes that I don't care for.
And that meddlin'
preacher woman,
always stickin' her
nose in our business.
We'll be makin' this
town a lot better place.
Clean the slate.
Get rid of the bad blood.
Sophia, Maria, it's nice
to see you dressed up.
Well, tonight just
seemed special.
Oh, Maria, we're over here.
Eli, we've missed you!
It's good to be home.
Come on in, you'll see some familiar faces.
The ladies have made
cookies and lemonade.
Eli, you're a sight
for sore eyes!
Cliff, you remember me?
How could I forget?
Remember that Sunday
we went out fishin'?
Didn't catch any fish,
caught a lot of frogs, though.
Put 'em in the old schoolhouse.
I remember Miss Winters
shrieking like a banshee.
How did she find out it was us?
You two were the
biggest troublemakers,
but you were the
smartest boys I ever taught.
Miss Winters,
you still teachin'?
As long as there are
children need learnin'.
Did Cliff tell you he now
owns the general store?
Thank you.
If you need any
assistance, Eli, let me know.
I really would like to help.
Your father was a good man.
Thank you.
Eli Herald, welcome back.
I'd like to introduce
you to my daughter.
Good evening.
Excuse me, ladies, I'm
not used to large crowds.
The matrons have
sensed an eligible bachelor.
Maybe not that eligible.
I suppose it's my duty to
protect you from the daughters.
I could use your help.
Well, you
clean up nice, Mr. Herald.
I think this is the cleanest
I've been in 20 years.
Well, what did you
do in all that time?
Did a lot of thinkin', about
my Pa, about that day,
about what I would've changed,
if I would've changed anything.
That's a lot of thinkin', Eli.
Well, since I was so
young, the prison sent...
...the local schoolmarm
to teach me.
She would bring
books, and I'd read 'em.
Like what?
Math, writing, how to read
properly, you know, the basics.
So you can read good.
No, ma'am,
I know how to read well.
She was a spiritual woman.
When she could,
she took the time... teach me about the Lord.
Mostly learned
about forgiveness.
I forgave Jericho
a long time ago.
The past is the past.
That's where I wanna leave it.
What are you all looking at?
You all know who I am.
You all know what I do.
Hangman, hangman,
gets you in his noose
Hangman, hangman,
never lets you loose
Hangman, hangman,
gets you in his noose
Hangman, hangman
There's Grady the undertaker.
Hangman, hangman
He takes care of
what I leave behind.
You all believe in
the Great Beyond.
Well, I'm the one
who sends 'em there!
O'Reilly, I take
pride in my funerals.
All of your leavings
end up in Potter's field.
Dead is dead, Grady.
It don't matter where
you put 'em after that.
Gentlemen, this
is a celebration.
Tonight is a time to dance,
and this is ladies' choice.
And I never knew an
Irishman who couldn't dance.
Sunshine shinin' down on me
It feels so good to
have my soul set free
Like the rain in the
spring on a cottonwood tree
Sunshine shinin'
down on me, yeah
La la, oh yeah
Sun shine your light
on the morning dove
Listen to his cry
outside your window
Wonder what he
places his wishes on
You know there's gonna
be a harvest sometime
Like a sweet mornin'
Walkin' by the
riverside, yeah
La la, mm-hmm
Sow what you reap
and reap what you sow
Journey, I was lost
and now I'm found
I try to do the right,
lead others there too
Gonna save a soul,
maybe one or two, yeah
The wrath of God is revealed...
...from heaven against
all ungodliness!
Mama, Mama!
Is Sophia all right?
Eli, we'll tend to her later.
The ladies need help
with the wounded.
You know how to tie a bandage?
I'll show you.
How many'd we lose?
How many did we lose?
One dead.
Who's hurt?
I'm hurt.
Did any of y'all
put a bullet in Eli?
I didn't even see him.
Damn that bitch of
a preacher woman!
We need to show
that woman what real fear is.
I will if it's the
last thing I do!
There is a time
A time to be
There is a time
A time to be
Eli, I'm glad you
finally got some sleep.
Do you want some food?
No, ma'am, is she all right?
That poor child
is scared to death.
I had to give her some
laudanum to help her sleep.
You have any coffee?
There's some in the sanctuary.
I think she's
startin' to wake up.
Hi, Maria.
Where am I?
You're at the church.
A time to forgive
There is a time
Eli, you were a
great help last night.
Have some coffee.
There is a time
A time to forgive
How many dead?
Seven, two were children.
Grady has the bodies.
We got all the wounded out.
Never knew you could shoot.
Never thought I'd
have to, not again.
I once told Jericho I
wasn't always a minister.
What were you?
Didn't you come
from New York City?
I did.
My mother ran a sporting house... Five Points, amidst
the gangs of New York.
We learned how
to protect ourselves.
She refused to
pay the constable.
In short, we were raided,
there was a scandal,
and I was adopted by
one of the reform ladies.
She was a suffragette, who
made sure I had an education...
...and encouraged me in
my call to the ministry.
As our Lord said,
I have not come... call the righteous, but
sinners, to repentance.
Will you be able to forgive me?
What have you done?
It's what I'm planning.
I need a good gun-cleaning kit.
Seeing you handle
those six-shooters,
I figured you might
have one around.
I do.
What are you planning?
If I tell you, you'd probably
try and talk me out of it.
Our Lord is merciful
and gracious,
slow to anger, and
plenteous in mercy.
But now, I truly believe
that he has become angry.
You do what you need to do.
I need to talk to Judge Parker.
A time to be
Oh, time
A time to be
Oh, time
Time to be
It's been a long time
since I talked with you, Pa.
Used to talk with
you every night...
...when I first got to prison.
Thought maybe you'd protect me.
I don't know.
Maybe I was right, just, well...
Don't think too bad
of me on account...
...of what I'm about to do.
I know it ain't what
you woulda done.
I ain't pretending
this doesn't go...
...all the way back to
what happened to you.
You know it does.
Everyone knows.
The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures.
He leadeth me
beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul.
He leads me in the
path of righteousness...
...for His name's sake.
Yea, though I walk
through the valley...
...of the shadow of
death, I shall fear no evil.
For Thou art with me.
Thy rod and Thy
staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table for me
in the midst of mine enemies.
Thou annointest
my head with oil.
My cup overfloweth.
Surely goodness and mercy shall...
...follow me all the
days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the
house of the Lord forever.
This man is in the hands
of the Almighty now.
May God have mercy on his soul.
Mr. Boardman, do you have
any words that you would like... say about the man that
we are burying here today?
These men hadn't been
with me all that long.
We'll see that the families
are notified of what happened,
and we'll make sure that
the families are taken care of.
Okay, you want to
make a run for the house?
Hell no, too far, how about
the woods to the right?
I think he's headin' out.
Did we get him?
No, I don't think so.
We better split up.
I got you next, son of a bitch.
Afternoon, Eli.
You should have seen that
preacher hightail it outta here.
That was quite a sight.
I'm guessin' Jericho's inside.
Eli, your best bet is to
follow that preacher fella.
Just walk away.
Just keep on walkin'.
It's too late for that.
In that case, I'll take leave...
...of the situation and
walk away myself.
What the hell are you
doin' with her?
She ain't got nothin'
to do with this.
Mr. Remington and I
persuaded her to come with us.
I think it's time to
go see the judge,
with my pistol on your
friend's head the whole way.
Jericho, what in tarnation
do you think you're doing?
Eli, Eli who cheated the
hangman all those years ago?
I heard you'd gotten out.
I heard you was comin' back.
Damn, son, you look a mess.
Harlan, I got this girl
here to protect myself.
Me and my men were buryin' two...
...of our own, and
Eli here showed up.
He shot everyone
down at the funeral.
Jericho, all your men
are dead, aren't they?
Well, yes sir, but it was him!
I didn't do nothin'!
You know I never miss.
Now, move your piece
away from her and holster it.
The clock goes forward.
Time marches on, as they say.
More and more people
are movin' into this area,
and with that, there's
a whole lotta changes.
Now, I had a good meetin'
this mornin' with the Reverend.
It was long overdue.
While she and I don't see
eye-to-eye on a lot of things,
maybe we don't see
eye-to-eye on most things,
but we do see
eye-to-eye on this.
We both agree.
Jericho, it's time
for you to leave.
It's time for you to move on.
Maria, sweetheart, you
don't need to be afraid.
Move on over there
towards the Reverend.
Jericho, I could
put you on trial,
and we could do
everything legal and proper,
but you know I've
gotten too old and too lazy...
...for all of that, so this
is the way it's gonna be.
You got 24 hours to leave town.
Your estate is gonna be
liquidated by this institution.
Once all that's finished,
half the proceeds...
...will be forwarded to you.
Wait a minute.
Once that's finished,
half the proceeds will be...
...forwarded to you,
less court costs,
administrative fees, and
commissions, of course.
The other half will be
used to make reparations... the families of
those you killed.
This is thievery!
Thievery, thievery.
I almost take offense at that.
Makes me think of
another word, contempt.
Unless you gonna
arrest me, I'm leavin'!
That sounds like a good idea.
Might as well start packin'.
You got less than 24 hours now.
Eli, your daddy did a
lotta good work for me...
...when he was sheriff
all those years ago.
He believed in law and order.
He was a just man
and a good man.
You know that, don't you?
Yes sir.
This town is gonna
need a sheriff.
You want the job?
What's it pay?
Shoot a monkey in the toe.
Fresh out of prison and
already askin' about the pay.
Ah, we got ourselves
a businessman here.
I like that.
Pay is $75 a
month to start with.
Don't think about this too long.
I'm not gonna offer it again.
One condition, you keep
O'Reilly on as hangman.
That's a given.
He's a good man.
And pay him better.
It's a deal.
You have endured well, Maria,
and the Lord has protected you.
I must make the arrangements now...
...for your mother
and the other victims,
so I'll take you back
to Mrs. Bennett's.
- Reverend?
- Yes?
Mama showed me how to
work the telegraph machine,
and you'll need
someone to run that office,
and I'm the only one
in town who can do it.
The Lord has commanded us
to be strong and courageous.
You may go back to the
telegraph office for a few hours.
I'll stop by to pick
you up before dark.
I tried to clean up
best I could, Reverend.
I may need a stichin'
up if you don't mind.
All right then, come
on back to the church.
Guess it's time to
eat supper, ain't it?
That reminds me.
Miss Lilly said to
come by and see her.
Well, we should, you wanna go?
Well, let's go see if
Miss Lilly's cookin'.
Come on, William.
Let's go do that.
Never done so many
funerals in one day.
You sure you still
wanna be sheriff here?
Reverend, why is
there a rope on the gallows?
I don't know.
You can reach
for that piece, boy.
You couldn't imagine
this'd be over, Reverend.
Eli, nice and easy,
get your hands up.
Clarissa, I want you to slowly...
...move one hand down and
take that pistol from his holster.
There's only room for
one hangman in this town!
She okay?
I'm fine.
She'll need patchin' up.
Well, for once, I
cheated the hangman!
Hey, hey, hey, hey, Jericho
Ain't from the River Jordan
He ain't from Mexico
We don't know
where he come from
We know he's
full of bad blood
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Well, that hangman
noose is hangin' loose
Don't know what to say
It's what I know
and what I see
Can't make myself believe
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
The cards we deal
on the devil's will
Will someday make us owe
more than we will care to give
Sometimes that river flows
Hey, hey, hey, hey, Jericho
Ain't from the River Jordan
He ain't from Mexico
We don't know
where he come from
We know he's
full of bad blood
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Ain't nobody talkin' bout
the debts we have to pay
A little bit of this
and a little bit of that
Will go a long, long
way, hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, won't you
punch me now, my dear
Make sure I'm awake
Never thought I'd see the
day my troubles go away
Hey, hey, hey, hey, Jericho
Look there out your window
every night and say your prayer
Pray your soul's salvation
and trust in Him and obey
Hey, hey, hey, hey, Jericho
Leader of an outlaw
gang, livin' on the edge
Meaner than a viper
snake strikin' his prey
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey
Little bit of this
and a little bit
Of that will go
a long, long way
("Cheat the Hangman"
by Jennifer Dyches)
To those of us
who live to die
And those of
us who die to live
Whatever the
choice, we live it alone
The good Lord
said He'll come again
Just lay our burdens
and heartaches down
Be humble, be kind,
love one another
Cheat the hangman
His soul is way too
heavy, cheat the hangman
Oh, the burdens that he
carries, cheat the hangman
His soul would
have no rainbow
If he never shed a tear