Track of the Cat (1954) Movie Script

Listen to wind.
Maybe I'm just hearing things.
Hey, what's going...
Look out you don't get
a fist in the teeth.
Cattle's bawling.
Something's at them.
Is that what you woke me up for?
Wait till the wind changes.
How long has this been going on?
Joe Sam just now told me.
Thinks it's the cat, huh?
The black panther that's big as a horse,
and you can see right through him.
Shoot at him,
and he keeps on coming.
So what are you gonna do,
just stand there and listen?
Thought you'd like to know.
Thinking's about all
you do around here.
Get your clothes on.
He ain't gonna wait for us.
What do you see, Joe Sam?
You see the black panther?
Look at him seeing it.
Snow come.
Black panther come.
Let him be!
You get him out of here, or I will!
I'll finish it today.
Go on back to bed.
Joe Sam's personal medicine man.
Well, I've got the proper medicine
for that cat.
A.3030 slug right between the eyes.
That'll kill him for sure.
Unless he's black.
Yeah, unless he's black.
Hey, wake up!
I had a dream
I was trying to remember.
Cat's out there,
and he had a dream.
Well, they were here when we came...
and there were more deer
than there are now.
So don't kill him, huh?
Just let him kill stock.
The old man and his com stock,
and you and the good old days...
and that old Indian with his cat.
Well, we woke the old lady.
Now there'll be two of you.
We'll never get out.
Well, I'm all set. I'll go.
No, you won't do, kid.
Got to take Art
in case the cat's black.
I wouldn't know what to do
if it was black.
You could take Joe Sam.
No, he'd be for the cat.
I don't know if
I'd trust you, either.
Better let me come along Curt.
A million to one it ain't black.
Now, you know better than that, kid.
You know
how Joe Sam gets with the first snow.
You're the white hope of the Bridges.
You stay right here
and tend to the future.
Don't mess around
cooking anything, Ma.
Got to get out in a hurry.
Panther's at the stock.
Are you going alone?
No, ma'am. I'm taking Art.
In case he's black.
He'll be like that all the way.
You get so you don't hear him.
Seems to me
you could wait until daybreak.
Won't be many tracks
left in this snow.
That won't stop Curt. Never has.
Well, I asked for a medicine man,
and what do I get? A monk.
Did you know
we had a monk in the house, Ma?
Don't blaspheme.
No need to hurry as I can see.
I'll be a few minutes yet.
Art dreamt it was a panther.
Had a notion it might be black.
I had a dream, myself, and it
ain't left me in no mood for jokes.
The place is just crawling with dreams.
Did you have any, kid?
No, I wouldn't waste my time dreaming
either, if I had a girl like Gwen.
Watch your mouth!
Now, what'd I say, Ma?
All I said, with a girl like Gwen,
who'd waste his time dreaming?
Curt likes a dream
he can lay his hands on.
Yes, sir.
I said, watch your mouth!
Hal ain't like Art, Ma.
Old Art's a monk.
Hal, he's just a kid,
and already he's got...
You hear me, Curtis?
Well, I'm no kid, either.
I'm 37, Art's 43, and the old man's
nobody knows how far past 70.
You go bossing the bunch of us
like we was kids.
Can't even make a little joke.
The girls is awake in there.
You want Gwen Williams to hear you?
Now what did I say, Ma?
Just tell me one little thing I said.
Wouldn't take any fancy guessing
to know what you mean.
Well now,
if we're gonna start guessing...
anything I said about Gwen Williams is
brotherly love compared to what you...
Let it go, Curt.
Just thought maybe the kid might like
to know what his ma thinks of his girl.
If you're in such an all-fired hurry
to get out after that cat...
you'd better be
getting them ponies saddled.
And don't go taking holy names in vain
every time you open your mouth.
They're likely to be a long time,
if you was figuring on waiting.
Ask her what she thinks of your girl.
They're having a good time in there.
Yeah. Ain't they, though?
Don't you think it'd be better
if Harold would go instead of you...
the way Curt's taking on this morning?
He can't very well with Gwen just come.
Her first visit, too.
She's gotta be broke into the rest of us
kind of gradual, and he better do it.
Harold, have you thought any how
you're gonna live when you get married?
Well, it hasn't gone that far, yet.
Well it's what you want, ain't it?
It's for sure
what the Williams think you want...
all the time
you've been sitting in their kitchen.
Well, I guess so, if she does.
You needn't worry too much about that.
Not with all the money
this ranch could make...
and that gopher hole
the Williams live in.
She's not that kind, Ma.
What kind is she?
Have you got a name for her
I haven't got?
Was you expecting to bring her
in this house to live?
No, I don't think so.
Well, then,
what was you figuring on doing?
Does it have to be settled
right now, Mother?
Now is just as good a time as any.
She don't think
she was asked over here...
just to keep an old maid
like Grace company.
Harold's too young to get married,
and to an older woman at that.
You talk like she was 50!
She's not two years older than I am!
Two or 20,
you're a child compared to her.
You couldn't even support a wife...
even if she was proper for you,
which she ain't.
What do you want, Mother?
One of these days,
the Bridges are gonna die out.
Is that what you want?
Harold's found a girl.
You think you'd be glad,
instead of turning against her.
It's been a long time
since Grace laughed like that.
And your pa primping himself,
just for her.
They wouldn't have to live here.
We could have
an old-fashioned house-raising.
I thought that was just about
where we was heading.
Well, why not?
This is a big valley.
It can hold a lot more stock
than we've been running.
We could have one drive, one roundup,
same as ever.
Only let Hal take out his share.
Splitting things.
- Once the splitting starts,
it never stops.
- Dad owes him the start.
It's been a long time since your pa's
had any say about anything.
Have you spoken to Curt?
That's where it sticks, doesn't it?
That's where everything sticks.
Well, one of these days.
One of these days.
That's the Bridges motto around here.
Harold, why don't you go with Curt?
If you're waiting on Arthur...
the only one he really stands up for
around here is that no-good Indian.
Now's your chance
to stand up for yourself.
Go along with him,
and then you could talk to him...
while you're hunting the panther.
Well, don't think I won't.
Of course, you will.
Then you'll have something
to tell your girl when you get back.
Come on, Ma.
You know what Curt will say.
Besides, he might need me
if the cat's black.
What are you carving that thing for?
I have a mind to throw it in the stove.
Joe Sam likes a god he can see.
You and your heathen nonsense,
your godless jokes.
Keep it up, and you'll be believing them
the same as that no-good Indian.
If I had my way,
I'd throw him off the place.
Come on, here!
What's the matter with you? Move!
What's bothering you, Kentuck?
Take her out!
And quit spooking Kentuck!
The girls up yet?
No, not yet, but any minute now.
Fine, then I can get my shaving done
before they come out.
Letty, some hot water, if you please.
Letty, I asked you!
Just who do we think
we are this morning?
John Mackey seeing Paris,
or Leland Stanford on his private train?
It must seem evident that with company
in the house it wouldn't do any harm...
- for one member of this family to put it...
- Here you go, Dad.
- To put in a decent appearance.
- Thank you, son.
It's gratifying for a man to receive
any consideration...
at all in his own house.
Seventy-one this last summer.
You'd think a man that old
wouldn't have enough head left to turn.
Well, shaving, Mr. Bridges?
Shaving himself raw just for her.
Those young ladies are certainly having
the time of their lives in there, huh?
I told you not to bother cooking, Ma.
- Horses are ready, Art.
- Where are you going?
You can't go
without some food in your belly.
Well, the storm's letting up.
We got a pretty good chance
of getting him...
if we get up there before daylight.
Get what? What's he talking about?
What makes you so sure it's a panther?
What else would make the cattle bellow
the way they was?
- It's a panther all right.
- Maybe it's a bear.
The snow could be worrying them.
No. I know it's a cat.
Probably the same one
that got my dogs last year.
I'm gonna get him this time, if I have
to chase him clear to Placerville.
I'll tell you one thing.
You ain't gonna nail
the next hide up on the house.
- Not even if it's black?
- Not if it's red, white, and blue.
Such a stink
every time the door was open.
Yeah, but a black one, Ma.
Might bring some good luck
to the house.
Well, I'll take less luck
if it'll make less stink.
Sit down. I'll get you some breakfast.
You better take Hal's rifle.
That old Sharp's of yours is about
as much use as throwing rocks.
No use taking a gun
if it's Joe Sam's kind of cat.
- Better take your snowshoes.
- Won't need them.
We'll get him up on the north draw,
if we get him at all.
He'll be in there.
He can't be anyplace but there.
The bellowing come from the north.
He's got to be in there.
Too bad that ain't finished.
If a bullet don't stop him,
we might need it.
I hope it snows for
a whole week, then.
Good morning, my dear!
Good morning! Come.
Come sit down beside me. Right here.
Letty will have breakfast for you
in no time at all.
Thank you, Mr. Bridges.
Cup of coffee for Miss Williams,
And my bottle and the glass
from the cupboard, if you don't mind.
Nothing like a little cheer
on a cold, cold morning, huh?
Better watch the old goat.
He'll steal your girl.
I must apologize for my sons,
Miss Williams.
If they were gentlemen, they'd apologize
for waking you at this unseemly hour.
But gallantry is dead.
I sure hate to break up this little party
just when it's getting so good...
but we got a call to make, Art and me.
Old friend of Joe Sam's.
It's only a foolish joke, Miss Williams,
and a worn-out one at that.
We're in kind of a hurry, so Hal will
have to explain it to you the best he can.
Which is too bad in a way, because
Arthur's the one that really knows.
He talks to the thing.
Come on, Curt, let's go.
Joe Sam's freezing out here.
Why are you going?
You don't think I could handle a black
panther by myself, do you, Gracie?
An ordinary yellow one, maybe,
but not a black one.
You don't have to go.
If he's so set on going, let him go alone.
It doesn't take two to shoot at a shadow.
Grace, you're getting yourself
all worked up.
Why do you do whatever he wants?
You know you do. You always do!
I'll bring your little Arty back home safe
and sound, Gracie. Don't you worry.
If it was just you, I'd wish it was black.
Yes, I would!
You and your cheap sneer
and your self-importance.
- Always judging others by yourself.
- Grace!
He does. He always does!
He's a cheap, dirty-mouthed bully!
Well, if there's a cat out there,
Curt will get him.
He's just about the best hunter I know.
He has a gift for it.
I remember one year...
I don't guess Gwendolyn's so crazy
to hear about Curt's fancy shooting.
It's getting so it's impossible to have a
little sociable conversation around here.
Eat your breakfast, Miss Williams.
Go ahead and eat.
We've lost even the most ordinary
consideration in this wilderness.
All sense of the
amenities of civilization.
You have no idea the pleasure it is
to have you under this roof.
It reminds us of ourselves.
A little.
Heaven knows we need
to be reminded.
The true pleasure, of course,
is your presence.
- Thank you.
- No, thank you.
Come on in, Joe Sam.
Joe Sam, get over by the fire.
Don't mind him, my dear.
He's seeing things.
Always happens with the first snow.
Drink this coffee.
It'll make you warm.
Not cold.
Him and his black panthers.
Every year
we go through the same nonsense.
He claims it comes with the first snow.
That's what the carvings are about.
Medicine, help him fight it off.
Only Arthur missed this year,
with the snow coming early.
That's why he's this way.
"Oh, that I were as
in the months of old...
"as in the days
when God watched over me...
"when his lamp shined upon my head...
"and by his light,
I walked through darkness."
- You never told me about him.
- Well now...
when a young man has to ride
all that way to get in a little courting...
you'd hardly expect him to waste
any words talking about the hired help.
- Arthur's the only one he ever talks to.
- Pack of lies, that's what he says.
He was a brave
when Fremont camped at Pyramid Lake.
He remembers the brass cannon...
the kind of buttons
Fremont wore on his coat...
a lot of other little things
that couldn't be lies.
Things he says would make him
more than 100 years old.
He was a war chief
when they had that fight on the Truckee.
He spoke at the last council
before that fight.
His sons were all killed in that battle.
That was way over 60 years ago,
so he must be pretty old.
They took an awful licking, and after
that they scattered all over the country.
Joe Sam took his family...
Well, just his wife and daughter
left by then.
They went up
into the mountains around Shasta.
That's where
the black panther got started.
They were camped up in the woods
in the high country.
His wife and daughter went down
the creek to get some water.
He heard them screaming.
He got down as fast as he could...
and saw the cat
going off through the willows.
It happened during the first snow.
Arthur thinks that the cat is
Joe Sam's personal spirit.
It stands for the whole business
of being run out by the whites.
Sit down, Grace.
Do you want something to eat?
If I could have a cup of coffee, please.
What is it?
The Indian, he was right there.
He's been here all right.
His stink is still in the air.
He's a big one.
Maybe not as big as Joe Sam's cat.
He's big.
Look at that, will you?
Look what he's done.
Trail's still fresh as a daisy.
There's blood on him.
He must've got horned.
- He'll be mean.
- Yeah. He's been feeding.
He's eating mighty high for a cat.
Hold him down, will you?
Keep him quiet!
It's the steer.
Blood's spooking him.
The steer?
What do you mean "the steer"?
You got three of them. Count them.
Two of my best year-olds
and the cross...
that bull I been planning on.
He's finished, too,
by the look of him.
Your steer?
You're always talking about this
valley like it was your valley.
The only plans that mean anything
around here are your plans.
Well, other people have plans, too.
Not me, but Harold might.
He's thinking of getting married.
No ordinary cat to break up
a bunch like this.
Must have been the bull horned
him, by the look of it.
It's gonna be a mean cat.
We've always worked together.
Put everything together in one pot.
You're the only one
who's ever done any taking.
I imagine Harold will want to
do some taking for a change.
- Yeah, we'll talk about it.
- That's what we're doing right now.
Talking about it.
I'm telling you how it's gonna be.
How is it gonna be, Art?
We're gonna work together,
same as we always have.
Only Hal's gonna get his share
without asking for it.
Without waiting
for you to hand it out.
If it wasn't for me, there wouldn't be
any valley, wouldn't be any stock.
The cats would have it all.
The Indians would have it.
You'd have given it back to them
a long time ago.
I built this all up.
It's Hal's, too. He's worked.
Gonna get married, huh?
Gonna get him a wife
and settle down.
Well, she's a nice girl.
She'll make a fine wife,
married to that no-man kid.
Why didn't he come to me,
talk to me himself...
instead of getting you to
stand up for him?
I stand up for you, too, Curt.
Have you ever thought how things would
be around here if you had your way?
No. How would it be, Arty?
Tell me how it would be.
First thing,
I'd run that Indian off the place.
Anybody else that didn't carry
his weight would clear out, too.
I'd whip this valley into shape.
In no time at all,
you'd have nothing left to shoot...
nothing left to fight,
nothing left to flatten.
You wouldn't have anybody to yell at.
There wouldn't be anybody but you.
Then what would you do, Curt?
Well, there's one thing I'm gonna do,
and I'm gonna do it right now.
There's a cat been killing our stock.
I'm gonna walk up there
and take a look...
and if I see him, I'm gonna put
a bullet right between his eyes.
That is, if you don't mind.
He was up there all right,
but he ain't now.
Lit out
while you were shooting off your face.
Cleared the rim rock,
and up the north side.
He'll be back.
Oh, sure.
It would've been
an easy shot in here, too.
We could take the horses
over on the other side...
where he wouldn't get wind of them
and wait him out.
You could wait till kingdom come,
couldn't you?
Well, I can't.
I'm gonna track him down.
You can't go a mile in those boots.
You'll need snowshoes and some food.
You'd like to go back to the house,
wouldn't you?
So you can tell them all
how you told me off...
playing the loving priest.
Thanks. I'll go myself.
Get what I need, and get it now
instead of sometime next week.
Fine. You can forget
I said anything.
Talk to Harold yourself.
Here. Careful, it's loaded.
Be sure to snap the safety off
if you have to use it.
You hold trail till I get back.
Be sure and drag a deep track
in case it snows and you get lost.
If he's still around, you'd better
see him first. So don't get to mooning.
The girl means a lot to Harold.
Don't go cutting him down,
making him look foolish in her eyes.
- Was it a panther?
- Big one.
Made tracks the size of a horse.
Are you going after him?
Sure gonna try.
Get some grub ready, Ma.
Bread and jerky's all I'll need.
What's she trying to do,
make a pet out of Kentuck?
First thing you know,
she'll have all the Bridges tamed.
The only one
she's interested in taming is Harold.
Shouldn't have too much trouble there.
He's got about
as much spirit as a gelding.
What's the matter, Joe Sam?
Where Arthur?
Poor, old Art.
Doesn't anybody think
he can take care of himself?
He even got the half-wit worrying.
Don't you want to ask me
about the cat, Joe Sam?
He killed four of my stock.
Ran them like a wolf.
But he got horned, and he left tracks,
so he can't be black.
Where is Arthur? Why didn't he come?
Now, don't worry, sis.
If he's black, he'll be for Art.
If he's yellow, I left him my gun.
Get on.
One thing, if he's black, he's gonna
make a fine blanket for your bed...
with a hard winter coming on
and that bashful kid for a husband.
Don't mind him, Gwen.
We are gonna have a wedding,
ain't we?
We don't have to listen
to his foul mouth.
Hey. You saddle Kentuck...
and see to it that
you don't forget to soap his hooves.
I hear you're gonna build your house
right here in the valley.
- Did Harold discuss it with you?
- No, but Arthur did.
The kid sure got everybody
digging for him.
I'm wondering who he got to pop
the question for him. Grace maybe?
Don't answer him, Gwen.
Bet he hasn't even kissed you yet.
Waiting for somebody
to do that for him, too.
Hey, Ma?
Hey, Ma, if that panther's black,
I'm gonna skin it...
and give it to Gwen
for a wedding present.
She can lay it
right on top of her at night.
Make him stop, Mother.
Why don't you make him stop?
He's trying to spoil everything.
The black panther's the cause
of all the trouble in the world.
He's the evil in everybody.
Joe Sam says so...
Arthur says so, and Grace says so.
Even Hal out there.
I believe he'd say so, too,
if he had half a mind.
It's all right, Grace.
Why, sure, it's all right.
Just think how peaceful
you're gonna sleep...
if you ever get around to sleeping.
With the end
of all the troubles in the world...
right there over you
to prove that nothing can go wrong.
Here's your grub.
I put in just what you told me.
But I think you ought to have more.
No, that's plenty, Ma.
Why don't you dress
in your own room?
Wouldn't want me to freeze,
would you?
All right, Miss Williams,
you can turn around now.
Of course,
if it's just an ordinary panther...
it wouldn't be big enough for a blanket.
Might make a costume out of it, though.
You could give us
a special wedding dance.
I'm not much of a dancer.
Well, I'll show you.
You'd learn in no time.
- Harold's here with Kentuck.
- Is that so?
The times that kid picks to be fast.
He may even get around to telling me
his plans one of these days.
I thought Arthur told you.
What did he say?
Just that there's gonna be a wedding.
There can't be no wedding
till Harold asks her...
and he ain't asked her yet,
that I know of. Has he asked?
No, he's probably waiting on that, too.
Frisky, ain't he?
Well, what do you say, Joe Sam?
You think it's the black panther?
Joe Sam!
What say?
That's better.
You speak quick when you're spoken to.
You think it's the black panther?
Snow come.
Much snow.
Just plain snow
is all he's got on his mind...
and here I was hoping it was the cat.
Don't you play the fool, Curtis.
If it starts to snow then you get
yourself home fast as you can.
You wouldn't want me to come home
without a present...
for Gwen 's wedding bed, would you?
I'm gonna shoot him right in the eye,
so as I won't spoil the pelt.
Now, what's on your mind, kid?
Tell him, Harold. Don't be afraid.
Tell him.
Ain't a thing on his mind.
The mare must've thrown him.
Must've spooked and threw him.
Come on.
He waited on that rock.
He jumped him from the rock.
Boo, Kentuck.
Easy, boy.
It's Art, boy.
Now hold, you hear?
The cat-stink's on him.
Is that it, boy?
Boo, Kentuck.
Boo, boy. Boo, now.
Boo, boy.
Boo, now.
Boo, boy.
Boo, boy.
Get on home, now! Get!
I'm gonna get him, Art.
I'm gonna get him.
It's Curt!
- It's not Arthur. It's Curt.
- Get back to the house.
It's Curt, Mother. It's Curt.
No, it's Arthur.
Mother, get back to the house.
Where's Curt?
Why didn't Curt come?
Take his feet.
Put him in the north bedroom.
I gotta lay him out proper.
You better let me help, Ma.
You go along.
And you better take the whiskey
out of the cupboard.
Your pa's drunk enough.
Gwen will fix you some supper, Dad.
No hurry. No hurry at all.
A very attractive,
young woman, Gwen.
You're a lucky boy
to get such a woman.
His neck's broke.
There are claw marks on his shoulders.
Where's Curt? It's dark out there.
He should've come home with Arthur.
You'll have to hole up, too.
I'll get you in the morning.
Come on out and get some supper.
It's so cold in here.
You better put on your shawl.
Fetch me my Bible.
He used to talk such foolishness.
I was always letting it go in one ear
and out the other...
like you got to do
with Curt's swearing...
knowing it don't mean a thing.
But Arthur did mean something,
didn't he?
It was mostly Curt and me.
Just the two of us against him.
The rest of you was always going
along, letting him fight your fights.
Him alone...
against us.
He was a strange son
for your pa and me to have.
Like the Lord put something in him...
that wasn't in either of us.
I been trying to pray.
But it don't come right.
How's Grace?
She just sits there.
She was so foolish fond of him.
Curt come home yet?
He wouldn't even try in this snow.
He probably holed up somewhere
till it's daylight.
He must've got a long way out...
a long way.
Let me alone, please.
This morning,
I think I hate the Bridges.
Especially that old man over there.
The things he said to me.
What did he say?
What did he say?
He's worried about Curt, that's all.
It doesn't matter what he said.
Yes, it does! What did he say?
He thinks I'm to blame for Arthur
dying, for Curt not coming back.
He said
none of it would have happened...
if I hadn't made eyes at Curt.
He's so drunk,
he doesn't know what he's saying.
You better go in to your mother.
Is the snow gonna stop?
It's let up some.
Is there enough boards for the coffin?
The lumber Curt got for the tack room.
There's the grave to dig yet.
You young fool, chasing out
after panthers in a blizzard.
And was it black?
Would you like some breakfast,
Mr. Bridges?
Who is this woman?
What's she doing in my house?
It's Gwen, Dad.
- Gwen?
- Gwendolyn Williams.
I have no recollection of a Gwendolyn.
Her name strikes no chord.
Oh, yeah.
Lou Williams' daughter.
She's a charming girl.
I'm surprised at you, Curt,
letting a young whippersnapper like...
Where's Curt?
You know where he is.
Where's my bottle?
Thieving women.
The place is crawling with them.
Curt's out hunting. That's where he is.
He's a great shot.
I remember once,
when he was only a youngster...
thirteen, fourteen,
somewhere around there...
down on old Jay Haley's ranch
on the Carson River...
he won a turkey shoot!
You should have seen old Jay's face.
Always gets what he's after, that boy.
Never gives up till he's got it
right there in his hand.
That's a thing for you
to keep in mind, Miss Williams.
I beg your pardon, young woman.
I apologize.
Inexcusable, absolutely inexcusable.
It's all right, Mr. Bridges.
You hear that, Curt?
It's all right, she says.
You're a lucky boy, Curt.
You know,
I keep forgetting he's not here.
He's out hunting.
A panther killed Arthur.
Only I thought it was Curt.
Why did he take Curt's coat?
You keep things from me,
hold secrets in my own house. Why?
I know.
I saw him on the bed in there.
A black panther.
Dad, why don't you go to bed?
Yes, indeed.
And get some sleep.
Only first, a drop to keep me warm.
Next thing,
you'll want to carry me upstairs.
Poor, little fellows.
I wanted to go, and you stopped me...
all by yourself.
Nobody did it for you.
Why don't you do that in everything?
You'll kiss me if
I make the first move.
You'll be alone with me
if I lead you by the hand.
You keep standing back with me...
with your mother, and with Curt.
Arthur used to speak up for you,
but Arthur's dead now.
What do you want?
Isn't there anything
you want enough to ask for it?
Are you afraid to ask Curt
for what's rightfully yours?
There wouldn't be any ranch
if it wasn't for Curt.
Squatters would have
taken it away from us a long time ago...
but he drove them out.
It was all finished
by the time I grew up.
He did it all by himself.
It just doesn't seem fair for me
to get married and move in on him...
and demand my share.
He's got to offer it to me.
Joe Sam, take that end.
Joe Sam!
I seen you up there with her.
I couldn't help seeing her forcing
herself on you, right there in plain sight.
And your brother ain't in his grave yet.
Little mucker's brat!
And that ain't the least of what she is.
I never been one to mince words, but
I wouldn't dirty my mouth naming her.
You bring her into this house
knowing what she is.
I'd send her packing this minute...
- bag and baggage, only I won't...
- Take me home!
You'll do no such thing.
You'll finish the coffin.
With Curt gone,
you'll dig the grave, too.
She can make the...
Never mind.
I'll go, and I won't need his help.
Mother, you're making
a filthy lie out of nothing.
What's she done, anyway?
You're always talking
as if you were God around here.
Don't blaspheme!
Me, blaspheme?
This house is rotten with
the gods you've made.
Yours and Curt's.
With pride and money and greed.
See here, Grace.
You can squint your eyes at me,
but you can't frighten me.
Think how happy Curt was
when he found Arthur out there.
He's been robbing him for years...
taking his share,
time after time with your blessing.
"To improve the ranch," he says.
His ranch.
They've got you believing in it, too.
You believe them.
Arthur's dead.
You don't seem to know
what that means.
It was Arthur who kept Curt from selling
this place right out from under us.
Curt was afraid of him,
but now he's dead.
And Curt has everything his way.
And all with the blessings of Mother's
wicked, selfish, ugly gods!
What's going on down there?
What's going on, I say?
All this screaming.
Ask Mother. She's the one.
Your daughter's screaming
blasphemous nonsense.
Holy, holy, holy!
We've listened to
about enough of this.
You get back in that bedroom...
and stay there until you can
keep a decent tongue in your head.
Listen to her,
with her righteousness.
She's sending Gwen home.
Grace, get back in that room,
you hear?
- Sending her home?
- Yes, yes, yes.
What are you sending her
home for, Letty?
Ask her.
Go on, ask her. She's the eye of God,
she sees everything.
What did you see, Letty?
Awful things.
Let me go. I want to go.
Please, let me go.
You and your Bible.
For all your reading,
it's amazing how little you understand.
You dirty everything
with your nasty mind.
I seen you.
The little one.
Curt's intended.
He's out hunting cats, and he's got
one right here waiting for him.
What did you see?
Tell him, Mother.
You're the one who saw them.
What did you see?
They was acting up in the shed.
Acting? Like what?
She was kissing him
the way no decent...
Kissing him? She was kissing him!
Hot diggity! I wish I'd seen that!
Now, you listen to me, old woman.
Kissing's what we need around here.
Lots of kissing!
The more kissing, the better.
I could use a few myself.
Never had enough,
far back as I remember.
Clear beyond recollection,
that's how long the need's been.
You with your stingy little purse
of a mouth.
Did you watch them?
Did you learn anything?
I wish you thieving females would
leave my bottle alone.
Clothespin, that's what you are.
Always have been a clothespin,
always will be a clothespin.
I've got to keep drunk to forget
I'm married to a clothespin.
Is that all it means to you?
After a lifetime of slaving and looking
after you and bearing young ones?
That's all it means.
You want a woman
like that in your house.
Why not?
You're here, aren't you?
- Make her apologize, Father.
- Oh, shut up.
Clothespins, both of you.
You're not human.
She's human.
No clothespin at all.
If she is,
she's a mighty pretty clothespin.
Curt's bride.
We mustn't let Mother
send Gwen away, Father.
She has to apologize,
or Gwen will go away.
Of course not. I said so, didn't I?
Curt's intended.
Harold's, Father.
That's right. Not Curt's, Harold's.
Too much woman for Harold.
I'm going away,
and you can't stop me.
If you don't let me
take a horse, I'll walk.
When your back is turned,
I'll get away.
Is that all you can say?
You're not going anyplace,
not even when my back's turned!
I've had enough trouble
without any more out of you!
You're staying till I dig the grave.
Get over in the bunkhouse and wait.
When I'm finished, I'll take you home.
Well, what do you know?
I beat you here, didn't I?
You bet I did.
You're not dealing
with Art this time.
He just never could learn
to stop mooning.
I'm gonna put one
right between your eyes...
and I'm gonna skin you...
and I'm gonna lay
your pelt cozy in her lap.
She'll get her blanket, all right.
And I'm gonna charge her for it.
Don't you think I won't.
My own price, and no tricks.
I got all the time in the world.
I got lots of time.
I got enough grub
to last me for a week...
"When I have fears
that I may cease to be"
I've gotta get home.
I've gotta get home.
Now just take it easy.
You'll get home.
You're all right.
You've got a good fire.
You're not out there in the cold.
It's bound to let up soon.
You're not lost.
I'm worried about
your father and Grace...
and your mother,
alone in that cold room.
They'll be all right.
Somebody has to take care of them.
Not you. It'll only cause trouble.
You wait here.
I'll get your things.
We're going now.
He's taking Gwen home.
Mother, tell him he can't go.
Have you finished the grave?
- Up on the hill.
- No, you can't go.
Tell him, Mother.
Bring her here.
If that's what you want.
She wants to go home.
Mother, I said a lot of terrible things.
I'm sorry. I'm very sorry.
Oh, I am.
You'll say that much to Gwen,
won't you?
That you're sorry.
Then Harold won't have to go.
No, Harold! Please!
I'll go get Gwen.
Mother will tell her she's sorry.
You will, won't you?
Yes, she will!
You'd leave us
with everything the way it is.
I'm half out of my mind...
thinking something's happened to Curt.
I got the coffin lined...
ready for Arthur.
- I'll be back tomorrow.
- It can't wait.
You can't put it off until tomorrow.
You've got to do it now.
Joe Sam...
help Harold.
Evening, everybody!
- Good evening. Good evening.
- Go to bed.
Oh, this decrepit old body
is already galled with sleep.
What I want is a drink.
Where's my bottle?
Some thieving female's
stolen my bottle.
The one true friend of man.
Warm, too.
Wrap him...
in that black-and-white spread.
He was always partial to it
when he was a little feller.
He used to...
run his fingers over the trees
and the birds and beasts.
Like he was drawing them himself.
I'd like we should have a preacher.
Not much chance of that.
You should do the talking by rights.
Where is Curt? Where is that boy?
He should be back.
When is he coming back?
Joe Sam.
Joe Sam!
You done real good,
picking this spot, Harold.
It's close to home.
I guess you'd better put him in.
Everybody pray
according to your own heart.
Can't preach no proper sermon.
Don't seem much use if I could.
He was a hard one to know.
Even if I could make out clear
every last thing about him...
body and soul...
had words to tell...
don't know as it would help.
If the Lord won't judge him...
surely ain't my place to judge.
He was a good man...
like he was a good boy.
Not a mean streak in him.
All the things I could say...
seems to me I could've said them
when he was alive.
we're going now.
When will you be back?
I've decided to stay
with Gwen's folks.
They want me to.
Oh, I'm glad! I'm glad!
What will you do in Aspen?
Work in the mines, like her pa?
Bury yourself in the ground
before your time?
He's buried here.
We all are.
But you'll be happy,
that's what counts.
You'd better go before
she changes your mind.
Dad, I...
Look at me blubbering.
Because Arthur's dead?
If I could shed this garment flesh
and die, too, I'd rejoice.
Yes, I would.
This body of mine hangs on, festering.
my little congregation.
In the Good Book...
Psalms, 63rd chapter,
seventh verse...
David said:
"Therefore in the shadow of thy wings
will I rejoice."
And Arthur is in
the shadow of his wings.
Curt, too, for all I know.
You never thought I read
the Good Book, did you?
Well, I do...
and not with the
tip of my finger, either.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,"
David said.
And that's what I'm going to do,
make a joyful noise.
I will sing!
Ev'ry time I feel the spirit
Moving in my heart, I will pray
Hush up!
Ev'ry time I
you do.
One son dead...
maybe two.
The last one abandoning us...
and you sing.
What's that you say?
We're being abandoned...
that's what we are.
Harold's going to live in Aspen.
Don't listen to her, Harold.
If Curt ain't back by this afternoon...
somebody's got to build a fire...
to guide him home.
Let Joe Sam do it!
Oh, sure.
Joe Sam's so fond of Curt.
Then Dad will do it.
It's not up to Harold.
Of course.
Why didn't I think of that myself?
Dad will do it.
Ev'ry time I feel the spirit
Moving in my heart
Shut up!
You're free to go.
We're no concern of yours...
If you don't go now, you never will.
You know that, don't you?
I could've gone once. I never did.
Look at me now.
If he had the courage, he'd tell you he
doesn't feel any different than Joe Sam.
Why don't you tell her
you don't want to build a fire?
But he will.
Come on, Joe Sam.
Thieving women.
Easy, boy.
Nothing will start a cat
quicker than running.
"When I have fears"
"When I have fears
that I may cease to be"
The only time any good ever came
of your mooning, boy.
Do you have to answer?
What do you want?
Go put some more wood on the fire!
All right!
Some bedspread...
The black-and-white one
we put around Arthur.
Wake up, Harold.
Darling, you were talking
in your sleep.
What did I say?
Your mother wants to see you.
She's worried about Curt.
I dreamed we were up in the valley...
you and Arthur and me.
It was beautiful.
Curt wasn't with us.
Then he was...
and everything changed.
Did you want me, Mother?
Sit down.
The fire's gone down.
You let it go down.
It's getting daybreak, Ma.
Getting breakfast all ready,
young woman? That's fine!
I can do with a good breakfast.
Where's Harold disappeared to?
Has he gone out looking for Curt?
I just keep wondering.
Seems like I ain't seen a thing
clear for what it really was.
Your pa didn't want
to come out here...
clear in the middle of no place.
Sometimes I think
it's worse for Grace.
A woman's meant
to have her man and children.
Without she's got them, she ain't
able to come to herself rightly.
Why doesn't he go if he's going?
His own brother out there,
lost God knows where.
He sleeps all night on the table
like some drunk in a backroom.
Curt's the only man in the lot.
I've done wrong.
Curt has to come home.
He can't die with my sin on his soul.
It was my doing.
Whatever he done...
he done to please me.
Don't worry, Ma.
I'll go out.
I'll find him.
"Behold, thou art fair, my love...
"behold, thou art fair...
"thou has doves' eyes within thy locks."
Please, Mr. Bridges, eat your breakfast
before it gets cold.
Not only can she cook,
she's a comfort to an aging heart.
She's the rose of Sharon.
It's daybreak.
I'd better get started.
Before it gets too late.
I thought I'd take a run up
Creek Canyon.
Maybe take a look up top.
- You'll get lost in all that snow.
- Take Joe Sam with you.
He can read signs where nobody else
would see a thing.
Now you take Joe Sam.
I'll rest easier in my soul.
And what do you think you'll find?
Well he's gonna find Curt
and bring him back.
You want him to find Curt,
don't you, Grace?
It's so peaceful here without him.
Things will be the same as always
when he gets back.
Yes, I want Harold to find him.
Of course, you do.
He's your born brother.
But now, you got to believe.
You got to believe
the same as I believe...
that Curt's out there somewhere...
or you won't half look.
You're the same as Dad...
only you use hope instead of whiskey.
He's been out there three days.
I been thinking pretty near all night.
I got a feeling...
he's alive.
He might have gone way back in.
The cat would head for the high
country with somebody after him.
Well now, don't you go looking
for that panther, Harold.
Don't get led on past sense.
Start back with enough daylight
to get you home.
If you ain't done no good by noon,
you head on back.
No good risking yourself, you hear?
Panther not kill Curt.
Curt afraid.
He run.
What was he running from?
In him.
You want I go?
Curt not kill.
You kill.
Him devil.
The black panther?
Not black...
black panther.
Whole world.
Got good blanket...
for bed now.
You get married, huh?
Maybe. That's up to her.
She marry.
No more trouble.
You boss man, now.