The Savage (1952) Movie Script

I was born James Aherne, Jr.
This is my story,
The story
of how I became War Bonnet,
Son of Yellow Eagle.
A white boy who grew up
to be an Indian.
My hair is dark now.
When I was 11,
it was sandy yellow.
1868 was the year.
Our wagon train was passing
through the Black Hills,
Indian country.
There were buffalos,
great herds of them.
But I could only look.
I mustn't reach for a gun.
For this was Sioux country,
the scouts said.
And the Sioux had signed
a peace treaty
With the government.
We were free
to pass through their land
Only if we obeyed the rules
made by these hostiles.
That's what the scout called
My father
was a schoolmaster.
A good man, kind and brave.
We'd come west
to build a new home.
There wasn't much left
of the old one after the war
Between the states.
But even here,
2,000 miles from Virginia,
Dad never forgot
the importance of books.
The wagon
was his classroom.
there were regular lessons.
Reading, writing
and arithmetic.
But most of the time,
he would read to us.
Maybe because he knew
we liked it better.
Old poems,
stories of great adventure,
Over and over.
Some of them I still know
by heart.
I guess
I'll never forget them.
Nor the sound of his voice
as he read.
This was the last time
Dad was ever to read to me.
(Crows screaming)
(Dramatic theme playing)
I didn't know then
that these Indians
Weren't the Sioux
who had made the treaty.
They were Crows
raiding Sioux territory.
They hated the Sioux
For having made peace
with the white man.
(Ominous theme playing)
(Sioux Indians screaming)
More Indians came.
Many more Indians.
Sioux Indians.
And they chased
the murderers away.
The Crow had done a good job
in the wagon train.
I was the only one left.
I wasn't trying
to be brave.
I was just scared enough
to fight back.
It was the Sioux chief,
Yellow Eagle,
Who came at me first.
He grabbed the spear,
then he began to talk to me.
I didn't know what he was
saying because at that time,
I didn't understand
the language of the Sioux.
I was really frightened.
But there was something
in his voice,
Something that said maybe
he wasn't going to harm me.
Then an argument started.
I was sure it was about me,
That the others wanted
to kill me.
Running Dog had taken a scalp
from the Crow
Who laid dead
next to my father.
Did he want mine next?
And that's when Yellow Eagle
did a strange thing.
He made Running Dog
give the scalp to me.
It was mine
because I had killed the Crow.
In his eyes,
I was a warrior,
And he gave me the name
War Bonnet.
I wasn't frightened
All I wanted to do
was to bury my father.
(Melancholic theme
"So be it written
in the Book of Love,
"I care not
about the Book Above.
"Erase my name
or write it as you will.
So be it written
in the Book of Love."
By Omar Khayyam.
(Upbeat theme playing)
If the council says war,
Will you fight against
the white men, War Bonnet?
Only women
ask foolish questions.
Am I not Yellow Eagle's son?
I am your friend.
It is my right to ask.
If it were two days journey
from a mountain,
Would you ask what you will do
when you get to the mountain?
You wait to get there.
To cross a mountain,
you can go two ways.
Up or around.
If the council says war,
There is only one way
a Sioux can go.
I will follow the way
of Yellow Eagle.
I am glad.
While you two talk and dream
in the sunlight,
Others have gone after
a herd of wild ponies.
Running Dog will catch
the best ones for himself.
And who will teach Running Dog
which are the best?
before they're all gone.
And remember,
You must catch a white one.
You promised that.
I will capture
a white one for you, Luta.
The white pony
will be yours.
Now you have two promises,
little sister.
Little sister.
Man of stone.
Man who sees no woman.
Man of no love.
Blind one.
(Horses neigh)
(Horses neigh)
(Horse neighs)
War Bonnet always gets
the best.
Because he is the best.
Is that how Luta feels?
Luta will smile on you
Like the moon smiles
on the snow.
The pony is yours.
I give you back
your own words.
I am your friend,
I have the right
to give you this gift.
Take him.
But you promised Luta
that you would...
Could a brother bring gifts
to his sister?
It will come better
from you.
When you give him to Luta,
make certain I am not near.
Because when I see you looking
like a lovesick calf,
I will laugh out loud
And Luta will take a stick
to me.
Tomorrow's council will be
the biggest in memory.
No bigger
than the one 15 summers ago.
I was there.
White Thunder himself
will speak tomorrow.
I learn words
from greater chiefs.
They say even the white men
fear him.
They say.
Small men easily give
the name of greatness
To feel less small
My Pehangi speaks wisdom.
And I do not like
stupid talk of war.
My Pehangi also
talks too much.
That is a fine shield
you make for War Bonnet.
Will he use it
against the whites?
War Bonnet is my son.
My enemies are his.
He is ready to fight.
To fight Crows.
His heart does not forget,
they killed his father.
I am his father.
Does his heart forget
that his people were white?
You speak like Running Dog
who hates him.
That is not true.
But my eyes are clear.
I say
War Bonnet will not fight
Against his own people.
(Dramatic theme playing)
My shield will be the finest
at the council.
We will be there soon.
I have words to say to you
before the council sits.
It is said the white soldiers
have broken the treaty.
If we go to war,
I would want you
to ride at my side.
That is why I made you
this shield.
My son,
I ask only one thing.
Do not bring disgrace
to my name.
The white men are our friends.
Have they not told us so?
In our treaty,
They said our people could live
forever in peace and friendship
In the Black Hills.
They said we could hunt
in peace and friendship
As far south
as the great river.
They said their soldiers
would protect us
Against other white men
Who might seek
to steal our land,
Spoil our hunting.
Those are the things
they promised.
This is the treaty
I, White Thunder,
signed in blood.
But the white men
found yellow iron
In the Black Hills.
They built an iron road
across our land
And brought the iron horse.
Some of our people
try to stop these white men.
The soldiers came
as they had promised.
But they were not the soldiers
who made the treaty.
Their chiefs
were not the chiefs
Who signed the treaty.
They punished our people
who try to stop these invaders.
They drove our people
from our hills.
But do not be angry
at the white men.
they are our friends.
Soon they will be coming
to protect you.
To take you
to the reservations.
They will give you cow beef
and white flour to eat.
You will hunt no more.
They will take away
your weapons and ponies.
In peace and friendship,
You who were once
great warriors
Will sit by the fire
and mumble stories
To your grandchildren.
And they will laugh
behind your bent backs.
But the grandchildren
of White Thunder
Will not laugh.
They will know that
White Thunder and the Oglalas
Stayed behind to hunt and fight.
Let Yellow Eagle speak
for the Miniconjou.
I am chief
of all the Miniconjou.
I too was at Horse Creek
at the signing of the treaty.
And before that,
My lance was hurled in battle
against the soldiers.
White Thunder has said
he and the Oglalas will fight.
That is good.
It is better to fight
than surrender your land.
The Oglalas are a proud part
of the great Sioux nation.
And so are the Miniconjou.
Our boundaries are marked
By the blood and bones
of our fathers
Who fought to hold our land.
But I say to you...
Let us be certain
the treaty has been broken
Before we take
to the warpath.
Does Yellow Eagle speak thus
because his son is a white man?
Will War Bonnet speak
for himself?
Is it the pigment
of a man's skin
Which makes him
a Miniconjou?
A member
of the mighty Sioux?
Is it the color of his eyes?
No, neither of these things.
It is the beating
inside his body.
The throbbing inside
which tells him
How great is the love
he has for his father.
For his mother, his sister.
For all these blood brothers
and friends.
And it is this same love
Which demands the truth
for his loved ones,
Which demands that he does not
spill their blood,
Sioux blood,
Because of rumors.
How do we know
the treaty has been broken?
Which of you
with his own eyes
Has seen the white soldiers
on the warpath
Against the Sioux?
White Thunder has said it.
White Thunder has said it,
But White Thunder
has not seen it.
We must first know the white
soldiers are our enemies
Before we spill blood.
He speaks with the smoothness
of the white man.
But I fight with the courage
of a Sioux.
At the council
it is said
All may speak
their minds openly.
And it is said
that the coyote speaks
From the protection
of the pack.
My son has spoken wisdom
that is old.
Now I speak
for all the Miniconjou.
I say we wait and learn
if the white soldiers want war.
I say to fight now
Would be to the liking
of our enemies, the black Crows.
It is so. We must
not fight two enemies.
How will the Miniconjou learn
if the white soldiers seek war?
Will you go to them and ask?
My son will go.
He knows the tongue
of his childhood.
He will go to the fort
beyond the big river.
He will listen
and see with his eyes.
And he will learn.
How long must we wait
for this knowledge?
We will not wait too long.
Two moons?
Two moons.
We will wait two moons.
No more.
(All speaking
(Gunshots and Crows
shouting indistinctly)
Get down! Come on, get down!
Go, lads!
(Firing stops)
Them Crows are tricky.
What do you think?
They're still out there,
Well, we just have to try
and hold out till dark
And then
make a run for it.
If we last that long.
Sarge is right. They'll
cut us down one at a time.
Comes dark, it'll be more
than one at a time.
They can see real good
in the dark.
(Indian screams)
We got friends in there.
I'm Lieutenant Hathersall.
Fort Duane.
Here, let me fix
that cut for you.
Here, use this.
Where are your friends,
I'd like to thank them for
pulling us out of this hole.
I'm alone.
It ain't possible.
They're gone, Lieutenant.
What's left of them.
There's dead Indians
all over the woods.
All with a knife and arrow.
Who are you, mister?
My name is Aherne.
Jim Aherne.
I'm taking some ponies
to the fort to sell.
Just a minute, Mr. Aherne.
White men don't take scalps.
I do.
I take Crow scalps.
So you can imagine
my surprise, sir,
When he said he was alone.
Well, let's have a look
At this one-man army,
Do we keep our hair covered?
A lot of white trappers
take scalps, Vaugant.
Out there with the Indians,
They learn
to keep their own scalp
And take the other fellow's.
No different than our own
souvenir-hunting soldiers.
Let him in, orderly.
Will you come in, sir?
I'm Colonel Ellis,
Mr. Aherne.
Captain Vaugant.
You have our thanks
and compliments, Mr. Aherne.
I intend sending a full report
to the War Department.
You'll receive
a proper commendation
Through official channels.
Won't you sit down?
What can I do for you
to show our gratitude?
There's talk you'll soon go on
the warpath against the Sioux.
You'd like some action
with us, is that it?
I'm sorry,
I can't promise you that.
See, we have a treaty
with the hostiles.
The Indians.
We're waiting to hear
from Washington
Whether the hostiles
are willing
To let civilization
move further west.
This is Sioux country.
We can't let a mob of savages
hold back progress.
Oh, remember, Captain,
we have a treaty.
We'll sit here
and twiddle our thumbs
Until Washington
tells us otherwise.
Oh, from what Hathersall
tells me, Aherne,
We could use a man like you
If Washington orders us
to march.
When will you know?
Soon I hope.
We have to wait
through official channels.
That's the way of the Army,
you know.
Oh, Hathersall,
See that Mr. Aherne gets
whatever he needs.
All the comforts
of the post.
Yes, sir.
Tally, if you'd rather not
go through with it...
Fine time to tell me.
Come here, Arnold,
and make yourself useful.
That big dish.
And two of the small ones.
Now take them
into the kitchen.
I can always make
some kind of explanation.
Well, you invited him.
Besides dinner is cooked.
I refuse to be cheated
out of one of your dinners.
That chair too, Arnold,
Does he eat
cooked food, Wes?
Tally, after all,
he's a white man.
How do you know?
You'd have to scrape off
some of that dirt to see.
You think we can trust Weston's
dinner guest with a knife?
Oh, I think
maybe we can take...
Civilized people
don't listen in
On private conversations,
Mr. Aherne.
Savages speak their insults
to a man's face.
Arnold, please.
I'm Tally, Mr. Aherne.
Weston's sister.
Come in, Aherne. Come in.
Weston, maybe Mr. Aherne will
have some port before dinner.
You bet, some port it is.
I'm sorry,
but we'll be busy this evening.
Good night, Captain.
If you'd prefer to have dinner
with that savage.
TALLY: Let him go. Let him go.
WESTON: Aherne, stop it.
Stop it, you hear me?
I'll have you in a cell
for this.
No, Captain.
If you try that,
I'll have to tell the entire
story to Colonel Ellis.
I'm sorry, Aherne. Jim.
Vaugant didn't mean
all that.
Then he speaks things
only to please his friends.
I think we need
some port.
Well, you see, so little
ever happens here in the post.
Well, you're coming here
and all,
It's just something
to gossip about.
Makes so-called
smart conversation.
Well, I mean...
I'll see to the dinner.
I eat cooked meat,
Miss Hathersall.
Yes, of course.
I deserved that.
You see, I was just as guilty
of making smart conversation.
Thanks for what you did for us
this morning, Jim.
Berry juice.
(Melancholic theme
Just a few minutes now.
Have you read it,
Mr. Aherne?
A long time ago.
"I care not
about that Book Above.
Erase my name
or write it as you will."
(Slow theme playing)
It is not long
until the second moon.
He will come.
Sometimes I think War Bonnet
has found new friends,
New blood brothers,
among the whites.
You do not speak
as his friend?
I do not mean it
to sound that way.
When I am with you, Luta,
The thoughts inside my head
has to be told.
You do not feel the love
I have for you.
It is a love
which wants to share all.
Even the smallest thoughts.
I do not feel love
For one who speaks
of War Bonnet as a traitor.
All jump up
And never come down
Swing that pretty girl
Round and round
Swing her feet
Right off the ground
Now, men, left...
Wes, do you like Jim Aherne?
When you ask
an offhand question like that,
I need time
to weigh my answer.
Why is Tally asking me?
What's she after?
Should I commit myself
or no?
You better commit yourself.
Ow. I confess.
I like him.
I have reason to.
But you, you have
your pick around here.
Why Jim Aherne?
It's gonna be
a lovely evening, won't it?
Oh, ladies to the center
Back to back
(Square dance music
Drop that gait
And make it eight
And the men left
With the old left hand
Right to your honey
With the right-left band
Here we go
With the old man's wagon
Five wheels off
And the axle draggin'
Meet your honey
And you pat her on the head
If she don't like that
Speed to code red
Promenade home
Two by two
Bow to your partner
Corners all
That's it, boys
That's it, that's all
(Indistinct chattering
and cheering)
Where do you suppose he is?
I haven't seen him.
I don't know.
I haven't seen him.
(Indistinct chattering)
(Upbeat waltz music
May I have the next dance,
Mr. Aherne?
"Why, yes, Miss Hathersall.
You may have this next dance."
(Upbeat waltz music
continues playing)
That's it.
Just forget your feet.
You dance on wings.
It's a beautiful night,
isn't it?
The Sioux have a saying
That a beautiful face
is more wonderful to look on
Than all the sights
in the sky.
We'll be missed inside.
We better go.
If we don't go,
There'll be all kinds
of gossip.
Well, you do have to help me,
you know.
No, Jim. Not like that.
put your hands together.
Bend down
then take my foot.
Now, when I say go,
give me a boost.
Now go.
Thank you.
Now put my foot
in the stirrup.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
Here, I'll take that, Jim.
Fine chaperone you are.
Well, blame the colonel.
He's worried.
Anything wrong?
There was a three-man patrol
due in at dawn.
They haven't come in yet.
The colonel may want you later
to help pick up their trail.
After the picnic,
Mr. Hathersall.
How do you pick up trails?
Well, the prints of a horse
tell you about the rider.
The soldier's horse is shod.
Indian's is not.
If the prints are deep
in the trail,
The horse was carrying
a heavy load.
The spacing of the prints tells
you how fast it was going.
we get going.
The best spot for a picnic's
the foot of the hill.
Close to the fort.
(Ominous theme playing)
What is it?
A smoke signal.
Can you tell
what they're saying?
I have to leave.
Jim, will it be for long?
I don't know.
You will come back?
Yes, I'll come back.
(Suspenseful theme
I'm here, Long Mane.
This is Luta's necklace.
Where is she?
Crows, 14 graves.
They took Luta
from the soldiers.
She was going to the fort
to find you.
Your friends,
the white soldiers.
Was is not you
who said,
"Which of you
with his own eyes
"Has seen the white soldiers
on the warpath
Against the Sioux?"
You are a man
of too many words.
We will have to ride hard
through the night
To reach the Crow camp.
When the sun rises tomorrow,
Luta will die.
But we are so few.
We are enough.
Dogs will smell us
and bark.
They have no dogs.
They would bark at the moon.
I can see the white pony.
I say we go home
and make up a big war party.
She's my sister,
I say we will not wait.
And I say
we will not wait.
What's is it we must do?
You and Jumping Calf
will come with me
To stampede their ponies.
Help me get Luta away.
We will come back this way.
Your guns will covers us
from here.
We are fools
to be led by fools.
We risk death
from the darkness.
For a woman.
They'll never leave
the Crow camp alive.
We wait here to die.
What would we say
to Yellow Eagle?
Say that Long Mane
and Jumping Calf
Followed Luta to the fort
and were killed by soldiers.
Who will be alive
to say this is a lie?
She must be
in the medicine lodge.
Cut the hobbles
on those ponies. Be ready.
(Horse snorts)
Luta. Luta.
Here. Here.
War Bonnet.
I prayed for you to come.
(Shouting indistinctly
and horses neighing)
(Suspenseful theme playing)
(Crows shouting indistinctly
and horses neighing)
(Horses neighing)
(Ominous theme playing)
(Crows shouting indistinctly)
Take the forest trail, go.
(Shouting indistinctly)
Where are Running Dog
and Standing Bear?
Ask the wind.
Those great warriors
of the big voices.
(Dramatic theme playing)
(Shouting indistinctly)
The Crows chase shadows.
Come, we've far to go.
To the fort?
We're going home.
(Melancholic theme
will keep on pussyfooting
With these savages
until we're all wiped out.
There's only one solution,
Burn out their villages.
It's the only way to bring
civilization to these parts.
Four of them, with guns.
Take all but the detail
into the woods.
No shooting
until I give the order.
There may be more of them.
All but the detail
into the woods.
They have found their dead.
(Gun cocks)
There is nothing to fear,
I will tell them what happened.
No, please.
They will not listen.
They will recognize me,
they will listen.
They are not our friends.
They took Luta.
Not all soldiers
are like those three.
Do not fear, little sister.
(Ominous theme playing)
You men right here,
prepare to fire.
To the woods, quick.
(Melancholic theme
(Pehangi whimpering)
Soldiers did this.
I led her to them.
I told her to have no fear.
I did this.
The soldiers fired their guns
though we came in peace.
Take her. She's cold.
(Pehangi whimpering)
(Pehangi sobbing)
From this day forth,
let no man call me white.
Let no man say to me
the white man is his friend.
You must rest, my son.
I do not rest
till I have done that
That shall cool my blood.
Nor do I.
It's our fight, Long Mane.
It is the law
of our people.
You who ran away.
Hear me.
I call you traitors.
I call you cowards!
You who ran home and lied.
You now hide
with the women?
Must I drag you
from your lodge
And beat you
from the camp?
(Dramatic theme playing)
Get your lance and pony
and face me.
May you...
He who has lived without honor,
must die without honor.
It is the law.
It is just.
Now do you give the word
for war, Yellow Eagle?
May I speak, my Father?
At the great council,
I talked against war
with the soldiers.
Now I know
my tongue was foolish.
My eyes were blinded
Because of the pigment
of my skin.
Now I know
they come to kill.
And I say
the killing to be done
Shall be done
by the Miniconjou.
By all Sioux.
ALL: Yeah. Yeah.
I am ready.
And I.
My son speaks
for all the Miniconjou.
It is good.
Now hear me.
It is the cunning wolf
who lives to old age.
The soldiers
have many horses.
They will come fast,
they have powerful guns.
I say hear me!
Many of these horses
and guns can be ours.
I have thought long
about this,
And I have thought well.
With no paint
and no feathers,
The soldiers see you
as one of them.
Tell them you will guide them
to the Sioux camps.
Then bring them to where
we will be waiting.
(Crowd murmuring)
(Military bugle playing)
Tally, put those things
in my saddle bag?
They're all fixed
on your bed.
Oh, Jim's back.
He's going with us.
Where is he?
With the colonel and Vaugant.
And no time to work
any more charm on him, sis,
We're moving out
in a few minutes.
All but two platoons
are going along.
Ah, there's nothing
to this one.
It shouldn't take long.
Catch Jim outside.
He knows where to find me.
Aren't you gonna say goodbye?
Of course I am.
What kind of souvenirs would
you like from the savages?
Just come back safely.
All of you.
Excuse me.
(Horse neighs)
All right, Captain, I'll read
the orders to the formation.
march your troops.
Platoon, come out!
I thought you might wanna
take this with you.
When did you return
to the fort?
Last night.
Without coming to see me?
It was late.
Men, I want you to hear
this dispatch
From the general and chief
of the Army.
Colonel Robert Ellis,
Commanding officer
of Fort Duane,
On receipt of this order,
You will take proper steps
To move all Indians
within your territory
To the confines
of reservations
Set aside for this purpose
By the Congress
of the United States.
It is suggested that whenever
and wherever possible,
Peaceful means
should be exercised.
in the event of refusal
Or difficulty
of any nature,
The commanding officer
will use
Any and all force
at his disposal
For the enforcement
of this order.
You may move out,
Captain Vaugant.
Good luck.
(Officer shouts indistinctly)
(Military bugle playing)
Why, Jim?
Why are you fighting
against the Indians?
Didn't you once tell me
primitive people
Have to give ground
to civilization?
(Upbeat theme playing)
What is it?
Better hold up a minute
while I scout ahead.
How much further?
About two hours riding
and another two on foot.
This is a cavalry outfit,
Mr. Aherne, we ride.
Sure, if you want every gun
in the camp waiting for you.
Aherne knows his business,
Just what is his business?
Well, I'd stake my life
on him.
That's what you are doing.
All of us are.
You just don't like him.
But I'm stuck with him.
And if he does any faking,
I'll hang him
from the nearest tree.
(Suspenseful theme
Their camp's just over
that ridge.
Have your men
stand by their horses
And keep them quiet.
All right, Sergeant.
It's an order.
There it is.
Now, if you'll give me
half your men,
I'll go round to the rear
and cut them off.
You can rest your mind.
Whatever strategy is necessary
will come from me.
the Army is too civilized
To attack from ambush.
Personally, I'd like nothing
better than to open fire
And start shrinking the mighty
Sioux nation down to size.
Mr. Stanley,
check your sights.
Yes, sir.
Aherne, take a white flag
and ride into their camp.
Inform the chief
of the order from Washington.
Tell him he's got two minutes
to surrender before I attack.
Captain, you've overlooked
one thing.
I don't plan
to get myself killed.
You refused
to obey the order?
It's a stupid order.
Roger, place this man
under arrest.
May I respectfully remind
the captain
That Mr. Aherne is not a member
of the United States Army?
He is not compelled
to serve as an emissary.
I stand corrected.
Never mind, Sergeant.
They teach the book
Of rules and regulations well
at West Point, don't they?
I imagine you qualify better
as an emissary.
Don't you agree,
Mr. Hathersall?
Is it an order, sir?
Let's make it an order.
As soon as they see him,
they'll kill him.
Sounds logical.
Sergeant, get a white flag
for the lieutenant.
Sir, may I have
the captain's permission
To go with the lieutenant?
You see, Aherne, the Army
is just filled to overflowing
With noble souls.
Yes, Sergeant,
I think we can spare you.
Get another flag
for yourself.
Don't be a fool.
He's in command.
He's not fit to command.
He knows they won't give you
a chance to speak.
As soon as they attack,
he'll open fire.
Isn't it true these Indians
understand some French, Aherne?
I hope West Point
didn't neglect
Teaching you that language,
Mr. Hathersall.
Hurry it up, Sergeant.
Using him for live bait,
He knows they haven't got
a prayer.
Yeah, and that Norris
has a wife and two kids.
When the shooting starts,
Vaugant better not
turn his back my way.
Not you.
Sergeant Norris and I
look out for each other.
(Horses neighing and
Crows shouting indistinctly)
Who fired that shot?
I don't know, sir.
I didn't see a thing, sir.
It seemed to come
from over there.
I was looking the other way.
Sure scared me, though.
(Crows shouting
Lieutenant Stanley,
commence firing.
I want that village leveled.
Battery. Fire!
How do you like that,
Mr. Aherne?
Destroying the village
won't help.
That's just a temporary
war camp.
They'll only fall back
in the woods
And wait for you.
Typical Crow trick.
That isn't a Sioux camp?
Were you looking for Sioux?
I thought just Indians.
Any kind of Indians.
Keep Mr. Aherne company.
I want him here
when I get back.
I'll be here.
Mr. Hathersall.
Yes, sir.
Take your men around
to the south side.
I'll work in from the north.
We flush them out into range
for Stanley to get.
Yes, sir.
Mount the troops.
Take over, Mr. Stanley.
Be ready to fire when I drive
them out of those woods.
Yes, sir.
(Stanley shouting orders
Forward! Ho!
(Military bugle playing)
Where do you wanna be
kept company?
don't you ever smile?
You ain't mad all the time,
are you?
You did a lot of smiling
the night
You and Miss Hathersall
were dancing.
Aw, don't let Vaugant
worry you, Aherne.
He doesn't.
Every one of those men
will be picked off, one by one.
You can't flush those Crows
out of the woods with rifles.
You'd have
to blast them out.
Sounds like a good way
to me.
Captain didn't say
we couldn't keep company
On that ammunition wagon.
You see, you can crack
that face of yours
When you want to.
Come on.
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.
What are you doing,
Captain wants the wagon.
Come on. Come on, come on. Hey!
(Horse snorts)
(Shouting indistinctly)
(Horse neighing)
(Gunshots continue)
Fight on foot.
Lieutenant. Lieutenant.
Aherne sent me.
Says don't go into those woods.
It's an ambush. He says
for you to try to keep them
Pinned down in there. He
and Martin will flush them out.
All right. Cover those thickets
and fire at will!
(Gunshots continue)
We're getting short
of ammunition, sir.
Where the devil
is Hathersall?
Give me the rope.
Them that live through this
We'll be coming out
of the woods real quick.
Let 'er rip!
(Shouting indistinctly)
(Military bugle playing)
The captain's got it
in the shoulder.
Tanner. Get that sawbones
down here on the double!
That's not too bad, Captain.
You can thank Aherne
if there's any of us left.
Go ahead, Aherne.
Why don't you gloat?
Now you can be
a great big hero.
A man who feels hatred, Vaugant,
isn't looking for glory.
(Gun cocks)
Well, a man like me
can hate enough
To wanna see you dead.
(Dramatic theme playing)
Liable to hang me
for this.
If I live that long.
Your fella's mighty interested
in those smoke signals
Over that mountain peak.
Company, halt!
Company, halt!
Those are Crow signals.
(Speaking in French)
My French isn't so good.
They're just signaling news
of the battle.
Telling those who escaped
to return home.
See if you can get any more
out of there, huh?
Company! Forward!
I have not told
the white leader
I understand French.
I haven't said
I understand the word Crow
When spoken in English.
You do well not to tell.
You do well
to still be alive.
I have not spoken.
But my mind asks
an answer.
It asks why you fight
by the side of soldiers.
And now from the hills,
Signals call you
to meeting with the Sioux.
A knife
will find your throat,
Before you can ask
this question
Of the white leader.
I have not asked.
But now I ask.
How will you repay
for my silence?
Will I and my people be given
our freedom and our lives?
Will you and your people
return to your homes
And never come back
to the land of the Sioux?
I agree.
In the late darkness,
I will release you.
Find out anything?
No. Take him up
with the others.
Come on. Come on.
(Suspenseful theme
The knife.
You do not permit us
this one weapon?
It is a long march south.
Weapons will not help Crows
in the land of the Sioux.
The knife.
Perhaps we'll meet again.
I am War Bonnet,
son of Yellow Eagle,
Who will not have
to remember too long
That he was forced
to let a Crow live.
(Suspenseful theme
(James cooing)
(James continues cooing)
You have done well,
my son.
You know about the battle?
Our scouts watched.
Good to hear that the thieving
Crows were destroyed.
The soldiers suffered
many losses.
Not as many
as they will tomorrow.
Not one will escape
our ambush.
I know it's not easy,
my son.
You're fresh from fighting
side by side
With these soldiers.
Tomorrow you must turn
your weapons against them.
They have big guns.
They were not harmed
in the battle.
After we take them,
You will show our braves
how to make them shoot.
We will easily take the fort
with those big guns.
There will be scalps enough
for all.
Our plan is good.
We've talked it through
in council.
While White Thunder's Oglalas
attack beyond the great river,
We will march
against Fort Duane.
No one must escape
to carry word of our victories
To the other forts.
The women and children
will be taken prisoners.
We take no prisoners.
We are not Crows.
We do not kill
women and children.
Was not Luta a woman?
We cannot take prisoners.
We do not stop with Fort Duane.
We move on to new battles.
To the forts in the south.
That is your order?
To kill women and children?
Since the day
when you spoke words
Over the grave
of your father,
Since that day when I took you
for my son,
I've understood
the hate you bear the Crows.
I've understood it,
and I've shared it
In my heart and my lance.
Now I ask you
to understand.
I ask you to share
the hate I bear those
Who've killed my child.
It will be as you ask.
It is a long way back
to the soldier's camp.
We better talk quickly of where
and when you will attack.
In Moon Pass.
A half day's journey
from here.
We'll wait until you lead
the enemy well inside the pass
Before we attack.
Oh, Lieutenant.
They must have gone that way.
Found this down below
on the rocks.
Call in the rest of the men.
SOLDIER 1: Yes, sir.
SOLDIER 2: They all got away.
Yeah, they cut themselves loose.
The lieutenant found
the pieces of rope.
Mr. Aherne,
Lieutenant wants you.
The prisoners escaped,
every last one of them.
Oh, Jim.
You didn't do a very good job
of searching them.
They got a knife or two.
Lucky, they didn't take
a few scalps before they left.
We can track them down,
Aherne and me can find them,
can't we?
I'm afraid they'd be
a long ways off by now.
Forget it. We've gotta get
our wounded back to the fort.
Get the men started
on breakfast, Sergeant.
Yes, sir.
I got some good coffee
on the fire for us, Aherne.
Looks like you're stuck
with the corporal, Jim.
From now on, you'll be
finding him close by.
Old-time soldiers
like Martin have a knack
For picking partners
they can trust.
You know, one thing
I don't wanna miss,
Corporal and Tally
are liable to have trouble
Dividing you up.
And Tally
isn't the kind of girl
That'll let you spend much time
with anyone else.
Sergeant Cumming, sir,
5th Cavalry, Fort Holland.
What are you doing
this far south?
Sir, I have orders
to escort these civilians
To Fort Duane
for protection.
Fort Holland's under attack by
the Sioux Chief White Thunder.
All right, Sergeant.
Give your folks a stretch.
Anyone's hungry,
breakfast is ready.
Thank you, sir.
Dismount, men.
All right, everybody,
stretch and breakfast.
(Indistinct chattering)
(Upbeat theme playing)
Mister Scout,
here's some cookies.
Thank you.
Aren't you coming?
What have you got there?
One of the ladies...
Don't mind if I do.
Where you from, Aherne?
I mean, originally.
Well, these are pretty good.
Whereabouts in Virginia?
Near Richmond.
I hear they built that place up
nice and pretty since the war.
I started soldiering
in that one under Grant.
You must have been
pretty little
When we rode through your part
of the country.
Do you remember any of it?
Shooting, burning.
Burning is right.
Burned out
a lot of good crops,
Burned out
a lot of nice houses.
You know,
wars don't make sense.
You burn, you kill,
Then come peace, you have
to rebuild what you burn.
Take it away.
Even this kind of a campaign
don't make good sense.
You mean the Army's wrong?
Well, about half and half,
my way of figurin'.
We ain't got the right to push
these Indians onto reservations.
But they ain't got the right
to claim all this land either.
They gotta move over
And give the next fellow
a little room.
They won't move over.
That's the general trouble
with people.
They won't give elbow room.
We won't budge,
they won't either.
So the Army's gotta do
some pushing
With bullets and bayonets.
No matter how many forts
the Sioux attack and burn,
They can't win
an all-out shoving contest.
They can't do it.
We got the most men.
The most ammunition,
the most know-how.
We're bound to win
in the long run.
Simple arithmetic.
Yeah, I guess it is.
Trouble is, though,
a lot of people,
Indians and us too,
Gonna get themselves
Hey, mister,
how much further to the fort?
We'll be there soon
after sundown, sonny.
Kids like that
are gonna see things
They shouldn't have to see.
Maybe even
get themselves butchered.
(Ominous theme playing)
(Suspenseful theme
There is yet time.
Even better than I,
you know the wisdom of battle.
But is this wisdom?
You have braves to spare.
Why do you refuse to place
some along the lower trail?
You do not speak to me
of wisdom.
You tell me
you do not trust my son.
But I only ask...
Why do you still question?
Your aging eyes can see farther
than your doubting mind.
You will see War Bonnet
bringing the enemy to us.
(Suspenseful theme
All is well, Yellow Eagle.
And my son brings them.
Prepare to attack.
(Dramatic theme
Attack! Attack!
(Shouting indistinctly)
Hey, guard, here.
(Sioux Indians shouting
Hey, Aherne's hit.
Quick, break that arrow.
Get him on his horse.
(Sioux Indians shouting
"Is it the pigment of man's skin
which makes him a Miniconjou,
"Member of the mighty Sioux?
"No, it is the throbbing inside
which tells him
How great is the love he has
for his father."
These were the lying words
he spoke at the great council.
With the lying smoothness
of the white man.
We attack Fort Duane!
(Indistinctly shouting)
(Suspenseful theme
(Horse snorts)
Hello, sis.
He's in the third wagon.
Now, don't worry,
it's not a bad wound.
Frank, get a stretcher.
He's all right, miss.
He lost some blood.
Once the doc gets that
hunk of arrow out of his arm,
All he'll need's a lot
of red beef, good strong beef.
Nothing like beef and tea
for growing the blood.
No reason he won't be up
and around pretty soon.
You did a nice job
with your tourniquet, Corporal.
Seems like I've been putting
tourniquets on the soldiers
All the way from Bull Run
to here.
More than 20 years of it.
They tell me Aherne saved
the outfit from ambush.
Yes, sir.
What is it?
Some sixth sense?
How could he spot the ambush
a half mile up that pass?
Well, he's the best
Indian scout I ever ran into.
Sioux arrowhead, isn't it?
Yes, sir. Tough people.
They won't push around
very easy.
Afraid not.
When he comes to,
Tell him Colonel Ellis
wants to talk to him.
Yes, Doctor.
I'll wait in the other room,
if you need me.
(Door closes)
(Melancholic theme
Jim. Jim.
You're home, Jim.
You're home.
What happened at Moon Pass?
Well, if it hadn't been
for Aherne,
Not one of us should be back
here at the fort tonight, miss.
And that's gospel.
You think a lot of him,
don't you?
So do I.
That's why
because you like him,
You're trying to talk around
what you're thinking.
I'll have to ask him.
I've got to know how he knew
that ambush was there.
No matter what happened
or how it happened,
He led you out of it.
I've got to know.
Were them Sioux waiting there
by appointment?
Are you going to say anything
to Colonel Ellis?
There's over 20 years
of army training,
Army thinking,
and loyalty behind me, miss.
You don't boot a mess of years
like that out the window.
You just don't.
At least
you'll talk to Jim first.
Won't you?
I won't put the smell
of renegade on him
Without being sure.
Or without telling him
that's what I was gonna do.
(Military bugle playing)
What now? Come on, snap it up.
Come on.
(Men indistinctly
SERGEANT: Hurry up, now!
What's happening, Sergeant?
The Sioux are out there, ma'am.
You better keep inside.
SERGEANT: Come on. Snap it up!
Excuse me, miss.
You're always the last one.
I want the area outside
well lighted.
Just in case they forget
their superstition
And make a night attack.
Yes, sir.
Stanley, keep the Howitzers in
the center of the parade ground,
So they'll be in easy position
to maneuver.
Yes, sir.
Please dim your lights,
Miss Hathersall.
Only one light permitted.
On the double!
(Indistinct shouting)
(Men indistinctly
Come on! Pull it!
Ho, he comes.
The friend of our enemy
(Indistinct shouting)
Kill him! Throw him!
(Indistinct shouting
Give the white man a lance.
What is to be done,
I will do.
I ask a moment to be heard.
Hear me.
To all my people.
I confess my shame for having
warmed you at my fire.
I do not ask for sympathy
or a pardon for myself.
I am here to stop you
from destroying yourselves.
I call you traitor.
I call you coward.
Listen to me.
Inside that fort
are big guns.
Their cannon will kill most of
you before you reach the wall.
Because of the traitor,
The big guns
are pointed this way.
You're right, I did this.
Today, I could not destroy
the soldiers,
The women and children
in the wagons.
Now, I cannot let you or you,
You, Long Mane,
You, my mother,
My father, I cannot let you
destroy yourselves.
The white man can forget
How his white brothers
killed my child.
No, I do not forget.
I will never forget.
But I have learned much.
My heart no longer
quickly grows hot with anger.
My head tells me
to wait, think,
And remember these things
I have learned.
From your white brothers?
My sister, Luta,
was killed by white men.
But all whites
are not killers.
I have lived among them.
I fought at their sides.
I know this is true.
Running Dog killed
and lied and stole.
Are all Sioux killers, liars,
thieves? It cannot be so.
These are things I have learned
and I believe.
Even that there are good
and evil among Crows.
How long must we listen to
the lying words of a traitor?
Let the white man take his turn
with the lance.
If the duel
is not to the liking
Of the chief
of the Miniconjou,
Let another take his place.
I will.
It is for me to do.
I say this final thing.
No matter
how many fort you burn,
No matter
how many scalps you take,
The end of the war
is plain to see.
More soldiers will come.
More guns, as many as there
are stars in the heavens.
For every soldier you kill,
ten will come.
And they too will kill.
We Miniconjou do not have
ten for one.
The once proud name Miniconjou
will become a forgotten name,
Because its people
were too proud to sit down
And counsel
with the soldiers.
The white man has spoken.
Now let him fight.
(Indistinct chattering)
I refuse my turn
with the lance.
Remember, Yellow Eagle,
you have said it many times.
He who has lived without honor
must die without honor.
It is the law of our people.
(Ominous theme playing)
The law of the Miniconjou
has been carried out.
The white man
still lives.
I say it is the wish
of the Great Spirit
That he live.
He will live.
Hear me, Iron Breast.
I am chief
of the Miniconjou.
I say I have taken my turn
with the lance
And carried out the law
of our tribe.
Now I say
return to your fires.
(Melancholic theme
Why did he force me
to do this?
Why did he return?
Has he not told you why
so many times?
Has he not told you
the love he feels in his heart
For you, his father?
Has he not shown you
this love all these years?
I had to do this.
If I had not,
it would long be said
There are laws for all,
Except the chief
of the Miniconjou.
You know this is so,
I only know he is my son,
That he came to speak truth
and wisdom to protect us,
And that his father
spilled his blood.
I did not throw the lance
to kill. He will live.
I pray he will live.
(Dramatic theme playing)
A whole flock of Indians
out there, sir.
Some of them coming this way.
There's a woman on one
of those horses, Colonel.
Hold all fire.
Hold your fire.
Hold your fire.
There's somebody
in that travois.
I think
it's Aherne, sir.
TALLY: May I look, please?
SOLDIER: Sure, ma'am.
It is.
Get a detail
ready to ride out.
Tell them to be careful.
This may be a trick.
Yes, sir.
Corporal Martin.
Corporal Martin.
Get a detail ready to ride out.
Yes, sir.
Freed, Will.
We part now.
Remember that we, Sioux,
Are but a small number
in this great river of whites.
Make a place for yourself
and for us among the white men.
This is the only way
We will not be swallowed up
in this great river.
It will be done.
There are men of understanding
among the soldiers.
They will help me return
so that I can serve my people.
I want to believe this.
Oh, husband of little faith.
If you love him,
you must not doubt him.
I know sometimes
there is a great separation
Between father and son.
Like the empty space
between two mountaintops.
But I also know
there is love between us.
While this love lives,
The empty space grows
very small.
Even the silence
in these moons
I will be away,
it will not count.
We will have this love.
Grow well, my son.
Grow well.
And you my parents,
keep well.
I will return.
(Dramatic theme playing)
Are you all right, Aherne?
I'm all right.
Hey, don't tell me
them Sioux are running away.
No, they're not
running away.
Just moving over
to give the other fellow
A little elbow room.
All right, Holmes,
let's go nice and easy.
(Upbeat theme playing)