These Thousand Hills (1959) Movie Script

Here comes the boss.
It's about time.
- Any coffee left?
- Sure, boss, plenty. Help yourself.
Finished branding the cattle
and got the horses all shod, Ram.
This is Lat Evans from Pendleton.
He's coming along.
Never seen a trail boss yet
could remember a name.
- Mine's Carmichael.
- I remember the name all right. It's the face that throws me.
The cook here goes by
the name of Sally.
- How do you do?
- Just don't kick no dust into my makin's.
And don't bellyache about the grub.
And don't call me Sally.
My handle's Jacob Schmidt.
- All right.
- I'm Godwin.
- Tom Ping.
- How do?
- You a rider?
- Well, I ain't walkin'.
We got 40 broncs to bust.
Mr. Butler...
which pays better,
bronc-bustin' or wranglin'?
- I didn't come all this way
for a job that pays less.
Well, then you'd better unsaddle that mule
and pick one of the string.
- You'll need a horse.
- Sure.
Hold up, boys.
Oh, I'll get the saddle.
You can shake out your rope.
Some of them are pretty rough.
Sure you want to try one?
Sure. Can't do no more
than pile me.
Give us a hand, Hunter.
That big black
with the strip- Sugar-
he'll take a heap ofbreaking.
Or that sorrel.
Which will it be?
I reckon I'll catch up
the big black?
You gentle that snorter
and he's yours.
Watch it. Easy, boy. Easy.
Steady. Steady.
Steady, boy. Steady.
Easy, boy. All right.
Steady! Steady, now.
Push him! Hard!
Hold it now, Sugar.
Hold it!
Hey, cowboy!
- Attaboy!
- Yoo-hoo! Ah-ha-ha!
Ride him, Sugar!
Look out, boy!
Got him going down!
Keep on him! Keep on!
Hey, kid, what are you doing?
Look out!
What are you doing?
You get that
crazy horse on out ofhere!
Look out!
- Why, that thing-
- Whoo-hoo-hoo!
- Hyah!
- Hang on there!
Oh, doggone!
- Nice ride.
- You sure gentled him down.
You broke yourself
a good horse there.
And ruined a good mulligan stew.
Well, the bronc job's yours, Lat.
Mr. Butler...
what'd the pay be for both jobs?
- Both?
- Yeah, I could do both.
Fighting broncs and wrangling?
You won't be getting much sleep
between here and Fort Brock.
I can't afford much sleep yet.
Don't you think I could do it?
Sure. Why not? Sleep when you're old.
That's what my pappy said.
Hey! Hey!
- Hyah!
- There's some strays out there.
Come on. Hyah!
Hyah! Hyah!
Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!
- Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!
- Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
That horse can sure fly.
- Whew!
- I wasn't even pushing him.
Oh, I don't know
why I don't steal for a living.
That's what the fella in jail said.
How do you think all those big ranches
got started? Honest?
- How did they?
- By stealing horses.
Yeah, a fella down in Gold Creek
once showed me how.
All you need is a jackknife or a hot iron,
and you just change the brand.
There must be a way
to get rich without stealing.
That's what the fella
in the poorhouse said.
Come on, Lat.
It's your watch.
- What time is it?
- Midnight.
Won't be long now.
Good-bye, cows. Hello, Fort Brock.
''What's yours?'' they'll ask.
And I'll say,
''Light, dark or a redhead.''
Did you ever hunt wolves?
- Why?
- I was listening to Chico talk.
He made a thousand dollars in one winter,
just out of wolf hides.
- That's a hard way to make a living.
- Is there an easy way?
I ain't afraid of hard work.
I just don't want to die poor.
- You lived poor, is that it?
My old man owned a ranch
along the Willamette.
Went broke.
Hard times.
That's all I remember.
I don't want to end up like he did.
A failure, hiding behind the Bible,
pretending money isn't important.
- Hate the old man?
- Naw, I-
Pa just couldn't look a fact in the face.
That's all.
Me, I'm different.
I'm gonna get me a ranch...
and I'm gonna make it work,
no matter what.
How about it, Tom?
Just one winter huntin' wolves...
and we'll have more and quicker money
than six months on the trail.
You kill a buffalo, then you
poison the meat with strychnine.
Then you wait till the wolf that
feeds on it dies of the cramps.
It's quick money, kid,
but it's dirtier.
- What's dirty about it?
- Not me.
I ain't gonna spend a winter
freezing my tail.
You'd best find yourself
another partner.
Will you two coyotes shut up?
- We're changing watch.
- Every time they spit...- they gotta
make a party of it.- Eh.
I owe you two, Carmichael,
and you know it.
- Hey, Fatty, any gals around?
- Some.
Lat, Fatty here says
they got some gals in town.
Let's you and me go calling, huh?
Aw, women.
Is that all you think about?
- My mind naturally goes that way.
- It ain't gone far.
- Thirst comes first.
- I'd cut off a yard of them whiskers.
My old pappy always said, ''Never grow
on your face what grows on your tail.''
Yeah, your pappy would.
Howdy, gents.
- Turpin show up?
- No,Jehu.
Well, that's today for you.
I can remember back when a man's word
meant something.
He didn't say one thing
and do another.
I'm sorry, gents.
I didn't mean to bust up your party.
- Have a drink.
- We were just talking women.
Well, that's a limited subject.
Anybody here talk horses?
- A little. Why?
Well, a fella named Turpin had himself
a speedy filly, or so he said.
I came in from my ranch to race him,
but he scared out it seems.
I got an Indian plug
I'll bet against all comers.
Gold or greenbacks.
Even money.
Name your figure and the day.
Oh, well. Palaver don't get
the chores done.
- So long, you gents.
- Say, w-wait a minute.
What kind of a horse
has he got, Fatty?
- It's an ''Appaloosie.''
- Fast?
Well, nobody ain't beat him yet.
Well, gents?
We got a little old horse
can run pretty good.
- Where's your animal?
- Outside.
Oh, that big bronc
I saw coming in?
That's right.
- Who's ridin' him?
- Our boy here.
How about it, Lat? Game?
Come on, Lat.
You can't weasel out.
If I ride, will you go wolfing
with me come winter?
Yeah, sure, kid. Anything.
- You swear?
- On a stack of Bibles.
All right.
Well, gents, it's your money.
What are the bets, boys?
- Six hundred yards around one turn.
- I got a hundred dollars.
- Same here.
- Me too.
- The rest of you as reckless?
- ''Recklesser''. Double or stone broke.
And what about you, rider?
You bettin', or did your money get scared?
- Fifty?
- Fifty is right. Take down their names, Fatty.
Don't cry in your whiskey, boys.
Hi. Hello, fellas.
How are you?
Warmed up?
We haven't agreed on a starter.
- It'll be a fair start.
- All right.
That Injun jockey won't weigh 80 pounds
with his tepee throwed in.
Yeah. Well, I think
I'd better shuck the saddle.
Boy, I sure wish
this course was longer.
There's a lot of money riding on you, boy.
Just keep thinking of that.
- Now, don't go wide at the turnaround.
- All right.
All right. Let's get started.
Out of the way, folks.
Move back from the course, folks.
Come on, Sugar!
Come on!
He's gonna fall!
- Tom!
- I oughta bust his head open!
Dirty, soft-belly Indian!
- That was the foulest race I ever saw run!
- Get your hands off me.
- The bronc won.
- Who says so?
I do,Jehu.
- Oh, Mr. Conrad.
- Trick and all, this boy took it.
Anything I can do for you, Miss Callie?
No, thanks, Happy. Nothing at all.
- Fifteen dollars.
- Call.
Hey, Lat, I got a big run
ofluck going here. Come on over.
Let it go, baby.
Yeah! That does it.
Hey,Jen, I want you to meet
my partner Lat- Lat Evans.
He's cute, even when
he ain't on a horse.
How about finding
a partner for my partner?
Come on.
Let's have a drink.
Stylish place.
Howdy, boys.
Fran's my name, and fun's my failin'.
- What are you gonna drink?
- What's the best in the house?
- Champagne.
- Well, like the fellow said, ''No fools, no fun.''
- We'll have a bottle.
- Happy...
bring a bottle of champagne
for these gentlemen, and hustle it up.
There's a nice table for you right over there.
Make yourselves at home.
And if you need help, holler.
I'll bring it to the table, gents.
- Hey, Ram, how you doing?
- Hey, Tom.
- Howdy, boys.
- Hi, Tom.
- Tom, you ain't going back on our deal, are ya?
- What deal?
Well, wolfing.
You're not going back on your word?
Well, I said yes once, didn't I?
Anybody knows me, once is enough.
Come on. Let's have some fun.
This is Callie. Lat, Tom.
- How do you do?
- I saw you ride today.
- Oh, did you?
- I was afraid you'd been hurt.
Nah, Sugar kicked him
in the head.
That's the only safe place to kick a wrangler.
- Champagne, gents.
- Oh, look at that.
- Mm-mmm.
- Well, here's to- to Albert Gallatin Evans.
Hadn't been for him, we wouldn't
have had the pleasure of knowing you...
'cause we'd have been broke.
- Champagne?
- Yeah.
I ordered a case once in New Orleans.
Now, there's a town.
Oh, they got nothing in New Orleans
they don't have right here.
And it's a lot closer.
- Hear your outfit's pulling out tomorrow.
- The rest ofem are. Not us.
What do you boys aim to do?
Well, first we're gonna
finish this champagne.
- And then, uh-
- Oh-ho-ho. Ain't he awful?
- I could use a rider like you.
- No, thanks.
- Eighty a month, and grub.
- A month's too slow.
- It's almost a thousand a year.
- Ayear's too long.
That win money won't last.
I've seen punchers.
They come in flush and go out broke.
It's a natural law.
Well, I might just change it.
Britches getting
a little tight, ain't they, boy?
- Oh, they fit.
- Well, watch it.
You might bust the seams.
I was figuring on a- on a quiet supper.
-Not tonight.
Well, now, that's twice today
I bet on the wrong animal.
You're having a run of luck, boy.
The thing is...
can it last?
I think it will.
Go on, Lat. You're falling way behind.
These giris want to have some fun.
- Yeah, sure. Come on.
- Happy, bring us another bottle.
You sit. I'll fix a drink.
- My outfit's pulling out tomorrow.
- I know.
Butler- he-he's the trail boss-
he's going back to Texas.
Is he?
I- I'm figuring on
hanging around for a while.
A fella in the crew says that wolf hides
is worth maybe five dollars apiece.
H- He says you can get maybe
a hundred wolves from just one bait.
- Can you?
- That's what the fella says.
Tom's going with me-
huntin' wolves, I mean.
That's nice.
You just make yourself comfortable.
I'll be right down.
Well, I guess we'd better get going.
- Mike.
- Oh, I'll ride out a ways with you. - Fine.
- Take care of yourself, Lat.
- Thanks, Ram, for everything.
Nothin' to thank me for.
Just remember, people get changed.
By what?
Men you meet.
The way the cards fall.
The chippie that rolled you.
The friend you trusted. Add them up.
Nobody ends like he started out.
The bunch is leaving, huh?
Always when the bunch left me,
I- I felt like a drink.
Drink hearty, boy.
Drink, boy.
You ain't a bird.
Yes, sirree.
That cures the miseries.
When I was your age,
it was mostly giris.
Now I'm my age,
it's mostly that it mostly ain't.
You happen to know a gal in town
by the name of Callie?
- Sure. Why?
- Is she anybody's in particular?
I wouldn't say in particular, son.
- Where you from?
- Oregon.
What was it like?
- What?
- Home.
Don't play cards.
Don't dance.
And don't drink.
I'll tell you, son...
it ain't what you do that spoils
your sleep, but what you missed.
Take it from an old man.
Now my nerves is all settled down.
I'll just catch me a little nap.
See you, son.
All day I was hoping
you'd come back.
Why did you run off
like that last night?
I don't know.
Maybe... Well...
when I was 12, 13 years old...
my pa caught me with a girl
out in the hay shed.
We wasn't doing anything-
just-just kissing maybe.
There stood Pa in the doorway.
And there was this
buggy whip up on the wall.
Well- I- I didn't mind
for myself so much, but...
h- he kept whipping her too.
And she was crying
and dodging around.
Now, every time
there's a girl- any girl- I-
I keep seeing Pa...
or something like him...
standing there in the doorway.
Mine didn't whip me.
He just sent me off far as he could.
He didn't come into the hay shed.
I haven't cared for anybody
in such a long time, Lat.
Two months. Two whole months
of being snowbound...
- wind-bound and cold-bound!
- You knew what it would be like.
A quick dollar.
Yeah, poisoning wolves.
- I must've been out of my mind.
- I don't like it any better than you do.
But we got 25 buffalo skins,
worth maybe two dollars apiece.
And almost a hundred wolf pelts,
worth five dollars each.
Money, huh?
You'd skin me if I had fur on.
It ain't just the money I want.
Not even a ranch.
I want my name
to mean something.
I heard about a fellow
named Granville Stuart-
he started with nothing.
Now he's got a big spread
over in the Flat Willow country.
He's got respect,
political influence, everything.
- If he can do it, why can't I?
- Wolfer to rancher.
- Plowboy to president, huh?
- Why not?
Because I ain't seen a man yet that didn't
step up by stepping down on somebody else!
I liked you more
when you stunk of cow, not wolf.
- The stink will go, but the money's gonna stay!
- Yeah, well I won't! I've had a bellyful.
I'm cuttin' out.
I'm going back to Fort Brock.
- You coming with me?
- Not until I got every hide I can get.
- Smoke? Drink?
- Here, no. At cabin.
Much smoke, much drink.
Much good things for empty belly.
That good fast horse.
I got to get you to Fort Brock.
You hear?
That bullet's got to come out.
What day is it?
Monday, Tuesday- I don't know.
- How much longer we got?
- A day or two, at the most.
Tom, the skins!
- Hey, Lat, you just take it easy.
- A hundred skins! They'll steal 'em!
Lat, I had to leave 'em, kid.
I- I couldn't pack you and the skins too.
Come on now.
Tom, if I die, will you bury me
under a rock so the wolves don't get me?
You just shut up now.
You're still gonna live to die rich.
- Oh, Tom, whatever happened?
- It's Lat.
He's outside. He's hurt.
- He's hurt real bad.
- Oh,yeah. Can somebody get a doctor?
Here, help me with him,
will you? Oh, Tom.
Get me some whiskey, Happy.
Oh, Tom.
Oh, poor Tom.
No. No, no. Lie still.
Lie still.
- You'll get that fancy dress dirty.
- I don't care.
I do. I bought it.
Time for breakfast.
- I'll finish up downstairs.
- All right, Happy.
I think you're
getting back some weight.
I swear I never
saw a man that thin.
I sure got it soft-
breakfast in bed.
A tray like that-what would
that cost in a restaurant?
Oh, depends what kind
of restaurant it is.
- Callie, I'm leaving here today.
- You can't.
Why not? Tom's got a job.
You want me to sponge off you forever?
- But the doctor said-
- I don't care what the doctor said!
There's only one kind of a man
that lives off a woman.
Don't, Lat.
W- Why should you
waste your time and money on me?
It's not charity, Lat.
I like taking care of you.
I never felt this way
about anybody before.
A- Aren't I good enough for you?
It's not you, Callie. It's me.
I'm no closer to getting
that ranch now than I ever was.
It's a whole winter gone by, and I ain't
got nothing to show for it. Not a dime.
You got me.
Excuse me. Who-Who do I see
about making a loan?
Pay in there.
Then you'll be at the meeting, Marsh?
- Excuse me.
- Don't stand in the door, boy. Come in.
- My name is Evans, Lat Evans.
- I know.
- Shake hands with Brother Vaughn.
- How are you?
- Mr. Evans is quite a jockey.
- Oh, the Lord loves a good rider.
Well, I ain't give him
much of a chance lately to love me.
That don't matter, brother.
He makes his own chances.
I'll see you tonight.
Mr. Conrad, uh-
uh, what-what I came
to see you about-
Sit down.
Rest that hat.
What can I do for you, Evans?
Well, I don't have a job right now
and- and I'm out of money...
and a bank loans money, doesn't it?
That's right. A bank loans money.
There's also work for anybody who's out of it.
Well, uh, I'm not
after a job, Mr. Conrad.
- What are you after?
- Ranching.
Sheep or cattle?
- Cattle.
- Hmm.
- They call sheep the golden hoof.
- I like cattle.
- Have you got a ranch in mind?
- Yep. Along the Tansy River.
It's good high grass,
and high grass is fat grass.
Could I see you for a moment, Uncle?
Oh, excuse me. I-
Notjust now, honey.
In a few minutes.
I'll wait outside.
I don't want to keep you
from anything important.
It's all right.
She's my niece.
You know, Evans,
a bank isn't a racetrack.
We can't afford to back gamblers.
Well, why not?
You gamble all the time, don't you...
on weather and grass
and- and the price of cattle?
I'm asking for a loan
as a start on something solid.
- As a stake.
- I'm sorry, Evans. It's too much of a risk.
You get yourself some security-
a piece of land...
a deed, something to put up-
then we'll talk about a loan.
Meanwhile, I will be very glad
to back any horse you race.
For nothin'.
- Is my uncle free now?
- Free?
There ain't nothing free in this bank.
- Can I get you a cup of coffee?
- No.
- What's the matter?
- Nothing's the matter. I've been drinking.
I went to the bank to ask for a loan...
for a stake on a ranch...
but they don't loan you money
at a bank unless you got money.
So I've been drinkin'.
The last time I counted,
there was more than $2,000 there.
Buy the ranch you want, Lat.
But- But, Callie,
that's your savings.
I'm investing it.
- Oh, no. I- I can't.
- Well, you'll pay it back.
But what if I go broke
like my old man?
Not you, Lat.
Maybe I'm just doing it
to keep you with me.
Well, there it is, Mr. Conrad.
It's good fat grass, just like I said.
And I'm gonna put it
all under fence.
Fence? Why, there'll be free grazing land
in Montana longer than you'll ever live.
That's what they said
in Eastern Oregon a while back.
You know, people say
that cattle do fine here.
They say that natural pasture is enough,
even in the winter. But it isn't.
Because cows get poor
in the winter.
And too many ofem die off.
And the calves are born spindly.
And the beef weighs less.
And someday, who knows, we may even
have a cold stretch here like you never saw.
And then come springtime, all them cows
will be dead that you lent money on.
- Go on.
- Well, my idea is...
I'm gonna grow hay here, and I'll store it up
in my barn during the summer months...
and come winter,
I'll hand-feed it to my cattle.
Fences, hay and homestead.
- In Montana?
- That's what I see coming.
$2,000 won't buy many cows.
Be enough to get me started,
and that's all I need.
The bank will match
whatever you've paid for the land.
A straight business proposition.
Interest, one percent a month.
That rate makes figuring easy.
- Well, you're never gonna regret this, Mr. Conrad.
- Oh, one point.
I make it as an older man.
You can take it or leave it.
Too many young fellas
start out ambitious.
Somewhere they leave
that ambition in a saloon...
or a fancy boudoir.
Evans is a good name back home.
I'm out to make it
mean something here.
Did you get what
you wanted this time, Mr. Evans?
Yes, Miss Joyce.
''For every beast
of the forest is mine...''
''...and the cattle
upon a thousand hills.''
Why not?
Come into the bank.
We'll draw up the papers.
We're in business, boy!
- Meaning what? - The loan, you
mutton-head! We got the money for the cows!
- Whoo-hoo!
- Well, I'll be.
Yeah, but, Lat,
I got nothin' to put in the pot.
- The chips is all yours.
- Eh, we're partners, ain't we?
What do I have to do, knock that
into your thick skull?
Whoo! You and me's
runnin' this ranch together.
And maybe we'll have Whitey
and Carmichael workin' with us too...
if they want jobs.
Ain't nobody ever wanted me
for a partner before.
Well, like I said,
you'd live to die rich, didn't I?
Didn't I, huh?
Come and get it!
Come and get it!
There ain't much!
- Dressed for a buryin'?
- No, dinner.
- In town?
- I ain't gonna eat it out in the brush.
- Where's Tom?
- He rode in last night to seeJen.
- Whiskey's gone.
- I'll get you a bottle.
Whitey, I think you'd better take a look
at the cows in the south pasture.
They might drift into the fence.
You know, it's a wonder to me
a cow ever lived till you got here.
A lot ofem didn't.
Well, Mr. Evans.
- And dressed fancy.
- Hello,Jehu.
- Party somewhere?
- At the hotel.
I'm invited to dinner
by the Conrads.
I hear the winter busted
nearly everybody but you, Evans.
- Did it?
- Half my herd's gone. And I got horses missing.
- Stolen?
- Looks like it.
If you're thinkin' of sellin' what's left of
your herd, I'm lookin' for some more head.
Ain't that pressin' your luck, Evans?
It's either me or the auctioneer.
Besides, you said once
my luck wouldn't last.
Maybe we both ain't waited
long enough to tell.
See me after roundup.
I might listen to your price.
- Hello, Mr. Strain.
- Oh, hello, Mr. Evans.
- I got some mail for you.
- Good.
- There you are.
- Thank you.
- A bottle of whiskey.
- Mm-hmm.
- Cash.
- Your credit's good.
Not for whiskey.
- Howdy, Lat. Mr. Strain.
- Hello, Tom.
- Tom.
- Can I have a couple of scoops of flour?
- You bet ya.
- Taking up baking, Tom?
Not me. Callie.
Yeah, she's baking you a cake.
Oh, Lat, uh, what time will I tell Callie
you'll be over?
Tonight, after supper.
Here you are.
Two bits.
- Thank you.
- Thank you.
Oh, Lat, there's something
else I got to tell you.
- Yeah?
- Yeah.
Well, you see, we want
you should stand up with us.
- What?
- Well, you and Callie, that is.
- Stand up?
- Yeah.
Well,Jen and me,
we're gonna get hitched.
- You to her?
- Well, she says I'm good enough.
- Tom.
- We're gonna make it proper.
If old Brother Vaughn's in town,
we're gonna have him tie the knot.
Oh, I know I ain't got nothin',
exceptin' our partnership.
And-And Jen-well, she ain't
never saved a dime, but-
Well, I figure between us-
Well, we got each other, and- and that's
a pretty good hand to draw to.
And what she's been?
Well, I ain't so pure myself.
Neither are you. Neither is nobody.
Now, I asked you a question, Lat.
You gonna stand up with us?
- We'd like it the best in the worid.
- Tom, she's a tramp.
Wife or not,
she'll always be known as that.
Well, uh-
Pious, ain't you, huh?
A hunk of land, a banker's hello and nobody's
respectable enough for you, huh?
Well, whose money got you started?
A tramp's!
Why, you gutless-
You're a gutless-
Come on.
And you know what you can do
with the partnership.
Blessed Lord, make us truly thankful
for these, thy bounties. Amen.
- Aha! Chicken and dumplings.
- Your favorite?
- Never get tired of chicken and dumplings.
- Just the chicken for me, Uncle.
Very well.
- A penny for your thoughts.
- There.
Oh. Two bits in this country.
- Two bits?
- A quarter. - Oh.
Are your thoughts
worth a whole quarter?
I was just thinking
how my pa used to say grace.
- At home?
- Yeah.
I'm holding a service tonight, Brother Evans.
New faces delight the Lord.
Well, uh, I was reared in the church.
- Praise be. And you see that
he don't backslide, sister.
I wish I could talk to a jury the way
Brother Vaughn hammers at us sinners.
Three things a town needs:
a good preacher...
a good lawyer
and a good school.
We've got two. In order to have
a good school, you have to have a board.
I'd like to see you serve
on that school board, Lat.
- Me?
- You, my son.
- Well, uh, I'm not much educated.
-''Much'' is a relative word.
Anybody smart enough to triple his herd
as quick as you have is educated enough.
Think it over.
But I'll tell you one thing:
A man starts in with property...
then if he's the right man,
he serves on the school board.
And after that, who knows?
I've known some me to go on
to the state legislature and even further.
You gonna ask a gentleman
in for a drink?
The house is fresh out of liquor.
- If it's Evans you're expectin', don't.
- Why?
Well, they serve mighty long dinners
over at the Conrads'.
Besides, she's a pretty girl,
that Miss Joyce.
Tidy, educated.
Been to college and all that.
Looks like I'm the only one
with a real sweet tooth tonight.
You know how it is.
When a man ain't had somethin'
sweet for a long time...
he gets to cravin' it.
- Particular with your kisses?
- I am tonight.
Oh, stop it.
Let me go!
With my compliments.
- Two bits for your thoughts.
- Hmm? Oh.
Well, I was thinking
of buyin' some more cows.
After this winter, a lot of men'll
have to sell if they can.
- It doesn't seem fair.
- I don't make the weather,Joyce.
Don't hold it against me
for being prepared.
Oh, Lat, I don't hold
anything against you.
Maybe I got a right to sit pretty.
You don't sit long enough to be pretty.
- So I'm ugly?
- As a mud fence.
I happen to like mud fences.
Well, here we are- home.
Good night, Lat.
When am I gonna see you again?
- It depends.
- On what?
Oh, on your reputation.
You know, I don't know
very much about you.
What would you like to know?
Oh, well, for instance, um,
do you gamble at cards?
All the time.
And use the Lord's name in vain?
- Often.
- And break the Sabbath?
Cows don't know when it's Sunday.
Well, when you're on the school board,
you'll have to educate your cows.
It was a lovely evening, Lat.
I'll be home whenever you call.
Lat! Lat!
What's the matter?
- Can't I be happy to see you?
- Not so happy you cry.
I'm sorry I'm late. I-
I was invited to dinner
by Mr. Conrad.
Who was there?
Conrad and his niece...
and Link Gorham, the lawyer...
and Brother Vaughn.
You liked that, didn't you?
I guess so.
Yes, I did.
But there are a lot of things
I don't like, Callie.
Like what?
Like... the way things are.
The way I am.
- For comin'here?
- I wanted to see you, or I wouldn't have come.
But to come here from dinner
with all those important people.
Mr. Conrad thinks I ought
to run for office someday.
He thinks I ought to start
with the school board maybe.
Are you goin' to?
I told them I'd think about it.
- You'll be a good one.
- I don't know about that.
But I...
I wanted to tell you.
You're the one
that's on the way up, Lat.
I owe my start to you.
But you gotta finish by yourself.
That's what you're tryin'
to tell me, isn't it, Lat?
- If I could only do something for you.
- Oh, there's nothing you can do for me.
What you want is a starched wife
and a starched home...
and a starched reputation,
and I'm spoiling your chances of getting it.
You just keep on being nice to bankers
and their nieces, and you'll get what you want.
- Stop it!
- Stop what? There's nothing to stop.
Everything goes on till it ends.
That's all.
Maybe you're right.
Maybe that is what I want.
I never lied to you, Callie.
But I'll always be grateful.
Men and their gratitude!
Don't you worry about me!
You just keep climbing, and you'll get there!
- The only place you and I ever got was right-
- Don't-
That bother you? You think your father's
gonna come in that door with a buggy whip?
- Stop it!
- And don't you dare feel sorry for me!
You think I'd marry you?
I wouldn't even marry you if you asked me!
You think I'd give up all this to scrub
and clean for you on some filthy ranch?
- All right. All right! I'll go! I'll go!
- Not on your life!
You better go! There's nothing more
for you to hang around here for!
Me- I'm unstarched!
She's your type, that little hymn singer!
-Are you going to the speaking, Tom?
- What for?
I've heard enough
four-flushers in my time.
Sure, I can hear him right now.
''Ladies, gentlemen
and horse thieves.''
I give you our next senator...
Albert Gallatin Evans!
Come on. Let's go.
No. I wanna hear
what the senator has to say.
I got a few questions to ask him myself.
- Now?
- No. Later tonight.
I wanna find out his political
views about horse stealin'.
I'm gonna give him a real chance
to serve this community.
Evenin', Lat.Jehu and I got somethin'
we gotta talk to you about.
Come in.
Sit down.
The wife's in bed.
- You boys want some coffee?
- Uh, no, thanks, Lat.
Well, it happened again last night.
The stallion's gone.
They got intoJehu's corral too.
You missin' any?
- I watch my stock close.
- Sure.
Any idea who's doin' the rustlin'?
We know one thing:
They're cabined up north in the breaks.
- We're gonna jump 'em.
- When?
Dawn. That's why we're here.
We're lookin' for you to come along.
Up there in the breaks, huh?
What makes you so sure
they're guilty?
There are no innocent men
in the breaks.
- I don't like it, Frank.
- Why?
You'll be gunnin'
for everything in sight.
- That stick in your craw?
- A little.
What do you want, Evans,
a vote from the Bible class?
Lat knows all we're doin'
is protectin'our property.
That's his side of the fence too.
And he ain't big enough yet
to go it alone.
It's our horses now.
Tomorrow it'll be yours.
All I'm saying is wait.
- For what?
- Evidence.
And then let Sheriff Slade handle it.
Slade says the breaks are over the line-
out of his jurisdiction.
Did they wait for the sheriff
over at Gold Creek? They shot 'em up.
''Vigilante'' is just a polite name
for ''murderer'', Jehu.
- You know, Lat, Jehu, me, other ranchers,
- we swing a lot of votes in this territory.
Now, wait a minute.
I'll tell you what.
I'll make you a promise.
We ride out to the breaks-
no shootin'
unless they shoot first-
and when we're sure, we'll bring 'em in
for Slade to throw into the lockup.
- Fair enough?
- Who you speakin' for?
Brice Walker, McLean, the Swede,
all of us that's goin'.
- All right. I'm in.
- I knew you'd see it our way, Evans.
We're only doin' what a man's
got to do to protect his own.
Ride over to my place before dawn.
Lat, what is it?
It's nothing.
A little trouble over at Chenault's place.
I have to ride over there before dawn.
You're pretty any hour of the day.
Do you know that?
Oh, Lat.
You're so thin.
You work too hard.
You haven't an ounce
of flesh on your bones.
Work, for the night is comin'
Rest comes sure and soon
Not that kind.
What about this kind?
You thinking?
I was just thinkin' about somethin'
my pa used to read from the Bible.
''A virtuous woman
is a crown to her husband.''
- What part of the Bible is that from?
- From Proverbs.
Are you asleep?
- Cabin's ahead, to the right.
- We'll go up on foot.
Ride closer,
and a horse'll whinny.
- How does the cabin set?
- Facing us- south.
One door in front, and no place else
for 'em to make a break.
Leave Gunderson with the horses.
- But I shoot good.
- Stay with the horses.
Here's a spot for you to angle off.
Be careful, Lat.
Now, come on outta there!
No more! Don't shoot!
We come out!
No! No, no, no, no!
Mon dieu!
No, have pity, huh?
Have pity!
Save your prayers!
You'll need 'em in hell!
- Tom!
- You're all here, huh?
Includin' the senator.
All the groundhogs, the water hogs
and the natural-born hogs.
Talk big or go beggin'
like your friend.
We got a cure for both.
Anyone in there?
Yeah, Bigsbee,
shot through the face.
McLean, have a look.
Saves hangin'.
Now, Mac, look inside.
Give me that rope.
Make it good,Jehu.
I don't wanna hang on the wrong knot.
- Tie his hands.
- Wait a minute! Wait a minute!
You gave a promise, Frank- no hangin'.
We're takin' him to the sheriff
if he's guilty.
- If?.
- Let's hear what he's got to say.
- We know he's guilty.
- Shut up!
Tom, what about them horses
in the corral?
Well, they got four legs,
ain't they, Senator?
- They're stolen.
- We're givin' you a chance, Ping.
- Talk up if you're innocent.
- Innocent?
Well, that depends
on who the jury is.
I'll tell you a couple of things
I ain't guilty of.
I ain't prayed on Sunday.
Bought cows cheap on Monday.
I ain't broke my word.
I ain't climbed up high
on somebody else's back...
or thought of myself better
than another man.
I ain't double-crossed a friend
or made a little tin god out of money.
Sure, I'm innocent.
I'm as innocent as you.
Or ain't you boys innocent?
Like he says. It's Bigsbee...
shot through the face,
and the cabin's full of branding irons.
Are you satisfied now?
Throw this rope over that branch.
Bring up a horse.
Guilty or not,
you ain't hangin' him,Jehu.
The agreement was
we take him in for the sheriff...
and he stands trial,
and that's the way it's gonna be!
- You takin' him in, Senator?
- That's right.
- Brice.
- Yeah? - Take Evans gun.
You never intended
to take him in, did you,Jehu?
We're cleaning out these hills
once and for all.
You comin' along guarantees
you won't open your mouth to the law.
Brice, I'm afraid you're
gonna have to use that gun.
Now, Lat, he told us himself
them broncs were stolen.
He's entitled to a trial.
That's what the law says.
Hey, Lat.
Neck's broke.
Let's get out of here.
I'll go on into town.
You sure you're gonna be all right?
- Yeah.
- There ain't no need to go blamin' yourself.
No, it's just like Tom said:
''Plowboy to rancher
and rancher to president.''
Maybe I'll make it yet.
Lat, I waited all day.
At Chenault's they said
you'd ridden off into the hills.
Frank's wife said she
thought you'd gone hunting.
That's right. We-
We went hunting.
When I came back,
there was a note for you under the door.
Who is Callie?
She's a... girl I used to know.
Well, the note says she needs you.
Isn't that what it says? - Yeah.
Well, is she accustomed to sending you
notes when she's in trouble?
- She has a right to.
- The right?
Were you in love with her?
- What's past is past.
- Oh, of course.
- When did you meet her?
- When I first came to Fort Brock.
- Not at a church social, I imagine.
- No, not at a church social.
Oh, you were lonesome.
A lonesome cowboy, and she was kind to you.
- More than that.
- More?
Five years ago, she lent me the money
she had saved up to get this ranch started.
I see.
Then I'm indebted to her, too, aren't I?
For everything?
Lat, if you go into town and see her,
I won't be here when you get back.
Now,Joyce, I love you.
What's past is past.
But I've been takin' a good
long look at myself today...
and I don't like
what I've seen.
I don't like what I've become.
That's why I have to go into town.
You still love her.
You know I don't.
But I owe Callie somethin'.
I owe her the right to call on me
when she needs help.
Oh, how can I believe you?
Why should you want to see her now
if you haven't been seeing her?
How do I know there haven't been
other notes on other occasions?
You'll just have to believe me.
Come in, Mr. Lat.
I've been waiting.
- Where is she?
- Upstairs.
She didn't write that note,
Mr. Lat. I wrote it.
- You?
- She ain't got nobody else but you to turn to, Mr. Lat.
She's gotJehu.
I'm out of her life now.
He's just trash.
He come here early this afternoon,
and he was feelin' ugly.
Him and Miss Callie was
in the parlor here, drinkin'.
She's been drinkin' bad, Miss Callie.
Won't stop for nobody.
I was outside on the back steps
just gettin' a little air...
when I heard Mr.Jehu cursin'...
so I run in,
and he's beatin' her.
She's up there with the door closed,
and she won't come down.
She ain't made a sound up there.
Ain't nothin' to blame anybody for.
Just maybe it would be better
if she left this town...
'cause it ain't brought her
nothin' but bad luck.
Callie, I wanna talk to you.
You didn't have to come all the way
down here to get my vote.
Don't worry.
I'll vote for you come election day.
Happy said thatJehu hit you.
Sure he did.
Why not?
Callie, open the door.
He said they-
they hung Tom Ping.
- Did they?
- Yes.
- Were you there?
- Yes.
- And I said Jehu was a liar.
- Callie-
- He didn't like being called a liar.
- Callie, open the door!
- Where you goin'?
- To find Jehu.
Don't. You don't owe me anything.
You paid off the loan.
Lat, what happens to me
doesn't matter.
it'll be some other man.
I'm not worth risking anything for.
Go home where you belong.
No, Callie. I-
I can't go home yet.
Evenin', Lat.
- Reckon we're gonna have some rain?
- Maybe.
They tell me up in Helena
they got the streets all paved.
- Is that right?
- That's what they say.
Got an opry house,
too, and gaslights.
Sure gonna be a different life
for you and the missus.
You'll be up there
with the high and the mighty.
I'll never forget the first time
you rode into Fort Brock.
You and that fella from Texas.
What was his name?
- Butler.
- Yeah, Butler. Yeah.
- And all you owned was a horse.
- That's right.
Well, a fella has to make up
his mind what he wants...
and just go right out
and get it.
That's all that counts-
gettin' there.
That's what folks in this town
admire you for, Lat.
You got there.
So I'm a success.
Is that it, George?
That's it.
People don't go around admirin' failures.
There's too many ofem.
And don't you worry none about my vote.
It's as good as cast
and in the ballot box.
Night, Lat.
Good night, George.
- Where you going?
- In there.
- I have something to settle with Jehu.
- Don't be a fool.
Joyce is at my place with the boy.
Come home with me.
That woman isn't worth
whatever you're thinking of doing.
- Isn't she?
- No woman of her kind is.
It's hopeless to think
you can do anything for her.
You'll only be ruining
your own life.
If she's in trouble,
give her some money.
- That fixes everything, doesn't it?
- You're a man with a future...
but if you go in there,
your political chances are finished.
All you'll accomplish
is your own destruction.
For the last time, Lat,
come home with me.
Howdy, Senator.
Just lookin' for a sucker.
Take a hand?
- What's the game?
- Stud.
Deal me in.
Pour the senator a drink, Swede.
Not out of that bottle.
Something wrong
with my whiskey, Senator?
I don't drink out of the same bottle
with a man who beats up women.
- King high.
- Open for a five.
I'll call.
I'm in.
Is that your own money, Senator...
or a tramp's dowry?
- Deal me out.
- Me too.
Swede, pour the senator a drink...
out of that bottle.
Come on! Hit him!
Stop it! Stop this!
Stop it! Oh!
No! Oh, stop! Whoo!
Oh, Lord!
Get him good!
Come on!
I'm trying to understand.
I guess I need educating,
like your cows.
Only with me,
it might take a little longer.
I told Link Gorham
I'm gonna testify at Callie's trial.
- It's not gonna be pleasant.
- Will it help her?
Link thinks it will.
- Will it be the truth?
- Yes.
Then you testify.
You're cold.
Come in the house.