Elkhorn (2024) s01e02 Episode Script

The Frenchman

ANNOUNCER: Previously
on Elkhorn
Well, you’re
Assemblyman Roosevelt?
Not anymore.
Time to treat, Pumpkin-lily.
MARQUIS: I am the
Marquis de Mores.
If you are to
become a cattleman,
we will soon be in league.
you’re a fine partner,
but we need managers.
COWBOY: New to town,
boys? [GUNSHOT]
I ain’t decided
whether I’m staying
not til you tell me what we’re
doing here Mr. Roosevelt.
We are here to make cattle
ranching our business.
We’ll build it here.
This will be Elkhorn Ranch.
O’DONALD: What say we
pick up the pace, Riley?
Yeah, wanna be home by supper.
Let alone the first snow.
LUFFSEY: You know what
your problem is, O’Donald?
You don’t appreciate leisure.
What’s the harm in taking
things a little slow?
MARQUIS: Monsieur Luffsey.
Of what use is an empty gun?
So then
have you given any
thought to my offer?
There’s no deal to
make with men like you.
Au contraire.
I am nothing
if not a dealmaker.
Allow me to show you.
Come now.
Let us close our final deal
and conclude our business.
No, no, no. Paddock,
wait, I- - Stop.
But he’s a witness.
Amongst three others.
I-I-I won’t tell a soul.
I-I swear. I swear.
On the contrary.
I want you to tell everyone.
This is a mistake.
The only mistake
is violence without purpose.
Then, we are no better
than the beasts.
Are we, Paddock?
As punctual as
ever, Mr. Roosevelt.
Well, if only our mail
carriage would be as kind.
I’ve gone too many days
without a word of my daughter.
Today’s your day.
I can feel it.
Well, you’ve said that
every day this week, Joe.
JOE: But today I mean it.
I’ll just check and see if
the carriage has arrived.
MEDORA: Seems I’ve caught
the gentleman staring.
My apologies,
ma’am. It was your
purchase that caught my eye.
Is your husband an avid hunter?
Who said these were
for my husband?
May I?
I had it custom
made in New York.
It’s exquisite,
but a bit of a paradox,
isn’t it?
A thing of beauty
made to draw blood.
JOE: What did I tell
you, Mr. Roosevelt?
Today’s your day.
Thank you, Joe.
This isn’t from New York.
It’s from the Marquis.
JOE: Ma’am. MEDORA: Joe.
JOE: Anything else
for you today?
MEDORA: No thank you.
What the devil?
MEDORA: Mr. Roosevelt,
your paradox.
Ah, yes.
Thank you, Miss.
I’m sorry. I don’t
believe I know your name.
Don’t be silly.
Of course you do.
ROOSEVELT: Who does the
Marquis think he is?
I’ve never read such a
ridiculous thing in all my life.
How can one claim land
from the grazing of sheep?
Sheep that have not set foot
there in an entire year.
I don’t think validity
is the point, sir.
Bleeding idiots. Sheep!
Why no rancher with an
ounce of self-respect
would ever consider raising
such a ridiculous stock!
With respect, sir, the
Marquis de Morés is not a man
to be trifled with.
Oh, I can deal with bullies.
It’s one of the first things
my father ever taught me
and I dealt with my fair
share in the state assembly.
The Marquis is not bound by
the rules of a politician.
Nor has he the power of a king.
You’re right.
He’s not a king.
He’s a titan
of industry, that is.
With millions invested here
and millions more in reserves.
Heck, he owns practically
every building in this town,
including this one.
And when money is no object,
what more is there to
fight for but power?
I wonder,
if you wouldn’t mind sending
a message to your landlord.
What about?
A meeting.
Just the two of us.
ARTHUR: There was
a similar dispute,
not that long ago.
The Marquis had begun
putting up fences
which is not to be done
here on the open range.
Putting up fences on
Riley Luffsey’s land and
Mr. Luffsey kept
taking them down.
The dispute turned
ugly and well-
If the Marquis killed Luffsey,
why has he not been
brought to justice?
Marshals launched two
separate inquiries.
The Marquis walked away
from them both and-
I just don’t want you to
have any illusions about
who it is you’re dealing with.
This is just a manuscript.
You never published it.
There are always consequences
here, Mr. Roosevelt.
Even for the published word.
Perhaps I just
wasn’t ready to bear it.
I’ll set up your meeting,
under one condition.
You don’t wear a gun.
And leave myself defenseless?
That is preposterous.
Why don’t we step
outside, Mr. Roosevelt?
ARTHUR: Hey, Jones!
BILL: What do you want, Packard?
ARTHUR: How about
a demonstration?
ARTHUR: Much obliged, Bill.
You see, Hell-Roaring
Bill Jones,
he’s good.
But the Marquis?
Well he may be the best shot
in the entire territory.
Out here,
you wear a gun,
there’s some men that are
going to make you use it.
Now if you think you can
outgun the Marquis, well,
by all means go ahead.
But if not,
maybe you should try using
something other than force
to topple a titan.
you needn’t have asked Arthur.
Shoot, every soul
for a hundred miles
knows what happened to Luffsey.
And now here we are.
Walking headfirst
into a range-war
with his executioner.
SEWALL: Well, we have to
draw a line somewhere.
Arthur has set up a parlay with the
Marquis this evening at his estate.
In the meantime, I’ve commissioned
Hell-Roaring Bill Jones
to search the ground for
sheep in case any remain.
SEWALL: Roarin’ who?
- I just need to know
if the claim holds
any kernel of truth.
SEWALL: Let me go with
you Mr. Roosevelt.
No. That’ll be alright Bill.
Mr. Roosevelt, look.
You know I ain’t
afraid of no fight,
but in a situation like this,
we should consider
sending word to Mandan.
Maybe get their
sheriff involved.
Can’t speak for your
back-country boys here.
No offense gentlemen,
but in Dakota,
in this territory, it
ain’t exactly good practice
to just walk right
into the wolves’ den,
and that’s exactly
what you will be doing.
DOW: I say we keep
it our business here.
We let that Frenchman
come and try something.
All of you.
I am going tonight,
I am going alone.
And until this affair is settled
there will be no more building.
Which will give you boys
some time for the saddle.
[SIGH] SEWALL: Mr. Roosevelt-
If you’re going to be cowboys,
you need to at least
start mastering the horse.
I’d love to see that.
Oh, well.
Splendid you said so.
Because you are to
teach them, Merrifield.
Wait a minute. That wasn’t
a part of our agreement.
Ah, we have all
our tasks at hand.
Ah, the rewards of a hardy life.
PADDOCK: Mr. Roosevelt.
Pleasure to see you again.
Paddock, was it?
A shame you won’t be joining us.
PADDOCK: Oh, don’t worry.
I’ll keep myself busy.
You enjoy the grub, now.
Bit fancy for my taste.
MARQUIS: Monsieur Roosevelt.
Marquis de Mores.
I trust I am not
Au contraire.
You are just in time.
I’ve prepared a little
target practice.
Just for sport.
Will you join me?
this here is Jezebel
Sounds swee don’t it
Make no mistake, she’s a bronc.
Still half wild.
Heck I’m the only one
that’s been able to saddle her.
Till now.
Don’t everybody get up at once.
What? Do I gotta make you
wood-hicks draw straws?
SEWALL: Till you come
up with a sensible idea.
We ain’t here to break broncos.
You’re here to manage a ranch.
And come fall, that’ll
include beef round up.
We’ll be wrangling
cattle from across
the whole range to
sell for winter.
Hopefully earn our keep.
You’ll be in that saddle
for weeks, maybe more.
Now, it’d be ideal,
if one beautiful horse, like
Jezebel could do that, but
she can’t. It takes
a string of ponies,
swapping them out.
Typically ten per cowboy.
Nine out of ten are easy.
That’s why we always
train for the tenth horse.
Let’s go. Daylight’s
a burning.
Come on.
Good boy.
hold up there cowboy.
You wanna mount that horse?
You gotta earn it.
Good luck.
Let’s see what you got.
DOW: Easy. Easy.
see what you got.
SEWALL: Let’s go
Will. Come on.
Whoa, whoa.
SEWALL: Come on.
Come on.
- Come on now, come on.
Come on!
Let’s go Will.
You got it boy. You got it.
MERRIFIELD: Okay, easy now.
Easy girl.
Come on, Dow. Get up!
Reel her in, Dow.
That’s it.
Okay, grab that saddle.
Throw it on up. Nice.
SEWALL: Let’s go!
SEWALL: Get up there! Come on!
There it is.
There she goes.
DOW: Whoa, whoa!
Don’t get too comfortable.
There she goes.
Whoa! Whoa. SEWALL: Will!
Come on!
Anything broke?
No, it’s just my pride, Uncle.
Just my pride.
one for your pride,
you gotta hang on.
She’ll tire herself out.
Okay? But you gotta hang on.
Nice work.
Forgive me, Monsieur Roosevelt.
I’m the curious sort.
How is the territory
on your health?
Seems an unkind place
for an asthmatic.
A doctor once told
me I shouldn’t
run up a flight of steps
much less brave the outdoors.
A year later, I
climbed the Matterhorn.
MARQUIS: Ah, the Alps.
Some journey,
yet somehow I find that
this place has more
effective ways of testing men.
You’ve done well
for yourself here.
MARQUIS: Some men
pass the tests.
I thrive on vision,
Monsieur Roosevelt,
and the will to execute it.
Dakota will soon be a state
and Medora
its capital.
I hear other capitals
are in consideration.
Bismarck, perhaps.
The musings of men who
whisper the future
with their lips
but do nothing to build
it with their own blood.
Or money.
As a Roosevelt would
surely appreciate,
your grandfather, one of
the richest men in New York,
was he not?
And your father, well,
the profits he must have made
after the great fire in Chicago.
My father rebuilt that city
after an unthinkable tragedy.
He was a noble man.
We are here to
discuss our business,
are we not?
Namely the $400 I paid
for the Elkhorn
property, which legally-
Another miss.
Are you not a hunter?
A darn good one,
given half the chance.
I always find that the
best hunters anticipate,
know what their prey will do
even before it does.
Another shot, if you please.
And for sport,
if you make this one,
we will call the match even.
Up there, towards the sky.
I’ve always found
the best hunters
Now, I may not have
the best sight,
but I’ve always known
when to position myself
for the best shot.
Shall we discuss business?
Of course.
Over supper.
boys gave it a go.
That first ride is
always the worst of it.
Worst is still to come.
Home sweet home.
That’s a mighty
fine piece of work.
Always fancied one similar
for myself one day.
You build that, Woodsman?
For a one, Theodore Roosevelt.
I’ll consider keeping you on
once we move him off our land.
you could build my outhouse.
It’s time for you
to be going, friend.
Cool your heels, kid.
PADDOCK: You got it wrong
more ways than one.
I certainly ain’t your friend.
And it’s you who
ought to be leaving!
This here is our property!
DOW: Not yet it ain’t.
SEWALL: Everyone
just calm down!
Long ride over I’m guessing.
Fellas must be hungry.
Why not join us for a bite?
We can talk things over.
Well, now that you mention it
I am rather peckish.
MARQUIS: Napoleon Bonaparte.
A great man.
He certainly thought so.
S’il vous plaîît.
MAID: Auriez vous besoin
d’autres choses, messieurs?
No. Pas pour l’instant. Merci.
MARQUIS: Imported from Paris.
The champagne
and the servants.
Monsieur, I forget myself.
You prefer not to drink.
Ah, I merely prefer
to keep a clear head
but when in Rome.
MARQUIS: Ah, Rome.
Napoleon held it
for only a year.
Then he returned
it to its people,
and they were so grateful.
Ah, Monsieur Roosevelt,
you must partake.
it’s delightful.
then you must take
some with you.
It’s a
recent invention of mine.
Uh a gift of sorts
for the French army.
Can last for months
on the frontline and
still maintain its flavor.
it certainly tastes
long lasting.
Tres bien.
Now, Sir.
We have a matter at hand.
So direct, you Americans.
No appreciation for
polite conversation.
Very well
regarding my land.
I believe you mean
my ranch.
If the cabin does not claim it,
the receipt of purchase
certainly shall.
MARQUIS: You could have
a hundred receipts.
It would change nothing.
We are all squatters
in the Badlands
until your government
says otherwise.
And I don’t write
laws, like you,
but I do understand
them quite well.
And out here, it comes down
to something very simple.
Who got there first?
And in that regard, the
grazing rights of my sheep,
predate your claim,
I’m afraid.
I’m afraid the grazing
days of your sheep
are well behind them.
That ain’t half bad.
Famous to Maine and back.
PADDOCK: I’ve reconsidered.
Forget the outhouse,
how bout you work
my kitchen instead?
Ah, it’s a big territory.
One might think we could
settle on being neighbors.
That ain’t up to men like us.
We follow the dollar.
I follow my friend.
PADDOCK: I used to have the
run of the lot here, you know,
before all this
beef bonanza talk.
Then the Frenchman showed up.
Money like that, well,
it’ll make your
problems disappear
or at least hire men
to make them disappear.
Men like you?
He’s a tornado.
You don’t beat a
tornado. You join it.
Get to the center.
Enjoy the peace in
the eye of the storm
while everyone
else is blown away.
But tornadoes pass,
and when it does,
I’ll still be holding on.
GUNSLINGER: You lookin’
for trouble, kid?
Found you, didn’t I?
Hey, hey! Hey!
Now. Now.
There’ll be no violence
without purpose.
Then we’re no better
than the beasts, are we?
That’s why we’ll
make a wager of it.
What are you talking about?
Your man against mine.
He wins,
we’ll clear out.
If we lose?
PADDOCK: Then we’re gonna
get real comfortable here.
DOW: I ain’t gonna lose. You
let me at this guy right now.
Not him.
Bones won’t hold your claim.
Though you strike me as a man who’d
prefer to hold it with blood instead.
Some things can only
be held with blood,
I’m afraid.
The front lines of Algeria
for example.
You never served your country,
did you?
I served in the statehouse.
A politician
is no substitute
for a soldier.
As your father could
certainly attest.
See, I once heard the
most terrible rumor.
That when it came time to
serve in your Civil War,
your father
paid a replacement
to fight in his stead.
That’s enough.
Forgive me, but I’m
the curious sort.
What was it like
to be raised
by a coward?
Take it back! This instant!
MARQUIS: Or what,
Monsieur Roosevelt?
Or I’ll-
Everything all right, my love?
Just a spirited debate.
Mr. Roosevelt,
allow me to introduce my wife,
Madame de Vallambrosa,
la Marquise de Mores.
Just Medora.
See, I told you that
you knew my name.
It wasn’t my idea to name
the town, I assure you.
My husband is a
hopeless romantic.
You deserve nothing less, cheri.
Our conversation before
was so brief, sir,
that I didn’t get to
offer my condolences
for your recent losses.
My father attended the funeral,
a moving affair, he said.
To lose one’s wife and
mother on the same day
and Valentine’s day no less.
My heart breaks for
you, Mr. Roosevelt.
Thank you,
Oh, did you bring your dagger?
You must show my husband.
It’s quite the paradox.
a thing of beauty
made to draw blood.
I’m afraid I left it at home.
Ah, shame.
Wait Medora,
would your maiden name be
Van Hoffman
as in the daughter
of Louis Van Hoffman,
the banker?
My father has been
most supportive
of our western venture.
how kind of you to
invest in your husband’s
Have you tried the soup?
I’ve interrupted.
You two had a
business matter to resolve,
I’m afraid our guest is proving
I trust you will find
an agreeable path forward.
I merely seek to
find a better path
than those you’ve dealt with.
Forgive me, Marquis,
but I am the curious sort.
Whatever happened to a man
by the name of Luffsey?
Tragic circumstances
befitting of a fool,
I’m afraid.
I was fair in all
dealings with him.
We’re here as dealmakers,
are we not?
So, let’s make a deal.
DOW: I don’t know Uncle.
I think I might have really
stepped in it this time.
SEWALL: He was the first
one in my beans. He’s big,
you can take him.
He’s a bronc, kid.
Break him.
Let’s go.
- Take him down.
- Get back in there.
Stay on your feet.
- PADDOCK: Stay down, boy.
Get up.
Okay. Okay.
MERRIFIELD: That’s it!
Oh! Hey! [GUNSHOT]
SEWALL: All that excitement,
it’s a mighty good
time to arm yourselves.
Wouldn’t you agree, sir?
Suppose, I would agree.
Let’s go boys.
You’re welcome for the beans!
Now, you were right, Merrifield.
Someone ought to
teach these boys
not to walk into wolves’ dens.
SERVANT: Merci, Monsieur.
- Merci.
MEDORA: This business
is only good to those
with the stomach to endure.
MARQUIS: Very well.
A compromise then.
I will revoke my claim
on your little ranch.
And in return?
And in return,
you will make me
sole distributor of your stock.
You will sell exclusively to me,
at my prescribed price
with cattle to be delivered
after the beef round up.
Shall we be partners
then Roosevelt?
What do you think?
I think
this feels like a
silly little game
and to even consider playing it
would be to lose.
What are you doing?
Thank you
for your hospitality.
That should have been easy.
SEWALL: They’ll
be back, you know?
You may have just
made it even worse.
You know, I didn’t come
here to make enemies.
SEWALL: You’re provin’
darn good at making them.
Might I have a word?
You left in such a hurry
that you missed dessert.
I appreciate you coming
all the way out here but.
I’d like you to reconsider
my husband’s offer.
That was not an offer.
That was an ultimatum.
You are well acquainted
with the tenement slums
in New York, yes?
I- beg your pardon?
MEDORA: In your
duties as a reformer,
I mean.
The immigrants were working
themselves to the bone,
and you became their champion.
someone had to.
Then as champions for the poor,
we must work together.
Would it surprise you
that it’s our distribution
that makes beef affordable for
those very same constituents,
doing so requires
us to bypass Chicago
and their corrupt industry.
You and my husband are reformers
in your own ways.
No. The Marquis and I
have nothing in common.
But you do.
Right down to your stubbornness
not to see your commonalities.
You men may think that
you can tame the west,
but it is us women who will
make it a place worth living.
I will guarantee
six cents a pound.
Anyone worth their
salt can tell you,
that’s a generous offer.
You have yourself a deal.
Enjoy your ranch, Theodore.
And your cake as well.
It seems Mr. Packard has
been prying into our affairs.
See to it that is
never published.
Can I help you?
Got something that
belongs to you, Arthur.
ARTHUR: Paddock. Don’t. Don’t
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