Northern Exposure s03e16 Episode Script

Three Amigos

My, my.
That new dishwashing detergent certainly brings out the shine in these beer glasses.
Check out this salad bar station.
Comes complete with five tubs, refrigerated bottom, and no-wipe Plexiglas sneeze guard.
Sounds like a beaut, Shelly, but lettuce prices being so dear, there'd go our profit.
Well, I was thinking more like other stuff.
- You know, fruit cup, ambrosia salad.
- Something to consider.
Or we could try these pie-case mirrors on the bedroom ceiling.
- Hi, Maurice.
- Shelly.
Holling, I just got the word.
Bill Planey's dead.
- Who? - Lord.
- Yeah.
- Bill who? Well, that's it then.
- Who? - Fraid so.
We leave at first light.
I'll get the horses ready.
Bill who? Ruth-Anne, throw in a couple of boxes of those square eggs and a pound of coffee and put in a few slabs of that reindeer jerky too.
And you'll want some of these waterproof matches.
Oh, that's a good suggestion, yeah.
You know, it's hard to believe old Bill Planey's gone.
He was such a tough piece of gristle.
Yeah, seemed like only yesterday Holling and Bill and me were out shooting caribou all up and down the Kodiak Preserve.
Well, I'm sure he was fine in his own element, but keep him out of my store if you please.
Why? What'd he ever do to you? Remember the time he threw that miner through the barbershop window? That man insulted his lead dog.
Even now, dead as a doornail, he's leading you and Holling into trouble.
Making you cart his body clear out to No Name Point.
Why can't he be buried at his cabin? Can't get much further away from civilization than that.
It's what the man wanted, Ruth-Anne.
We said we'd do it.
Forty-five miles over switchback trails, through bogs and mire, over boulders and slate, thousand-foot drops on either side.
If that isn't trouble, I don't know what is.
It's a privilege.
That's what it is.
It's your funeral.
Take this along.
Oh, no, thanks.
I'd rather have a breath mint.
This is not for you, Maurice.
It's for Bill.
Black Jack was his favorite.
Bury it with him, will ya? Yeah.
Say good-bye to the old coot for me, would you, please? Well, see ya when we get back.
All right.
Take it easy.
Almost loaded, Shel.
I've got sugar thingies for the horses, babe.
You know, to kinda make them sweet on the trail.
Plus, here's a pillow for your butt in case it gets sore.
I won't be on it long enough to complain.
Three, four days at the most, once I pick up the body.
Got your muffs? I got my muffler, honey.
Don't want Jack Frost nibblin' at your ears.
Well, don't worry.
I won't be cold.
As Bill used to say, "You don't get cold in the bush.
Either you're warm or you're dead.
" Hmm, guess now he's kinda both, huh, babe? - What's that, Shel? - You know, cold and dead.
- Yeah.
All right.
- Hi, Holling.
Hi, Shelly.
Well, here's the coffin.
Skinny and long, just like Bill.
- Nice job, Ed.
- Thanks, Holling.
All right, here we go.
- I don't know.
- One, two, three.
What's that, Shelly? Why does your friend want to get eternally rested way out in the middle of nowhere? No Name Point? It's a special place.
- I never heard of it.
- It was special to us.
We used to trap out that way, me and Bill.
- And later, me, Maurice and Bill.
- Heads up! Ha! Yep, people used to call them Porthos, Athos and Aramis.
Who, what and what? The Three Musketeers.
Yep, then, one fateful day, it was the winter of '66.
'64, Ed.
Before you were born, Shelly.
It was bitter.
A bad cold.
Storm came up, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.
Bill's mule floundered and went over the side of a bottomless crevasse.
Oh, we had to kill one of the horses.
Spent the rest of the night taking turns sleeping inside the carcass.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
The winds howled like Joshua's trumpet all night long.
An avalanche broke but 300 feet east.
When morning came, Maurice got a fire lit.
- We ate the horse's liver.
- Oh.
I was dressing Bill's wounds, and he looked at me, and he looked at Maurice, and then he said, "Boys, it just doesn't get any better than this.
" - Wow.
- Yeah, wow.
Right then and there, he decided that's where he wanted to be buried.
A place where few men had ever been and few would ever be.
- Cool.
- All set, supply side.
Hey, Maurice.
This oughta hold it.
Good job there, Ed.
Nice tight grain.
That'll keep the worms out.
Let's roll.
- Bye-bye, Shelly.
- Bye, hon.
Love you.
- Come on, Holling, let's go.
- Take care, Ed.
- Okay.
- Bye, Maurice.
- See ya.
- Watch out for black ice and avalanches.
- Bye, honey.
- Drive safely.
See you, guys.
There they go into the last great gasp of wilderness we call Alaska.
We all have our own relationship with the wild out there or in here in our hearts, in our souls.
Wheeling, West Virginia, 1983.
I'm in the joint, prison library, workin' my way back from "Z"- Stendhal, Proust.
I'm in the L's and eureka, baby- Jack London.
My main man.
If Whitman gave me poetry, then Mr.
London took me to a place inside myself that I didn't even know existed, but instantly recognized.
Like I'd been heading there my whole lost life.
There was Buck, big great civilized mutt from the Southland, slapped down in the frigid north, to redefine himself for what he truly was.
I was Buck.
Buck was I.
Buck is us.
See, folks, it's time to rekindle that mysterious and terrifying intimacy when that old psychic link between us and it is established again for the first time.
Commencing tomorrow, part one, The Call of the Wild.
She's blown all right.
Yep, sure is.
Well, you get the other tire.
I'll unload the horses.
Oh, Mary! My Lord! What is it? What's the matter? My back's spasming.
Oh, I'll be okay.
- No, here, let me help you.
- No, I'm fine.
Here, I'll get this.
It just - It just went out on me.
That's the first time that's happened in years.
Well, go over there and sit on that log and give it a rest.
- You gonna be all right here? - Yeah, I'm fine.
I'll be fine.
- I'll just - Can you make it all right over there? Just gimme a minute or two.
Dad-blang back.
I love this quiet.
You smell that? Pine.
So sweet.
When was it, '68, '69? That Swede cold cocked Bill? The man rolled out of the sack the next morning, what'd he see? Bill, sitting up there on that big Cat.
He bulldozed every tent in that mining camp.
He'd have started on the main street if we hadn't gone there and dragged him off.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Sad about Bill's passing.
Yeah, it is.
Where do you wanna be buried, Maurice? Buried? Hell, I don't know.
I haven't given it much thought myself.
It's so far off, I mean, what with my longevity genes and all.
Yeah, you'll probably live forever.
But as for me, well, there's a Minnifield family crypt outside of Knoxville.
But, uh, I never saw myself being put in there.
My father wanted his remains shipped back to Quebec.
I believe they went by train.
He wanted to rest beside my mother.
Well, there's five generations of Minnifields in that crypt.
There's one brigadier general, Civil War.
I suppose I'll want what my papa did, to lie beside Shelly when my time comes.
I laid my mother to rest in that crypt.
And my father.
My brother Malcolm, of course, wanted his ashes scattered.
Wanted to be one with nature, ridin' the wind.
I never saw much point in that.
Well, back to work.
Daylight's wastin'.
Just spare yourself, Holling.
I'll have us on the road directly.
You horses, settle down in there.
You know that Jack London story you're always telling us about? Well, Chris, what kind of pooch was Buck? Well, a mutt.
Half Saint Bernard, half Scotch shepherd.
- Why? - I was just thinking.
I mean, there he was leading this cushy lifestyle in San Francisco.
He never had to lift a finger.
And then he gets kidnapped and mailed to Alaska.
And the next thing he knows, he's pulling a sled and getting whipped, and his feet get all cracked in the snow.
Yeah, yeah.
Well, then he gets rescued by this kindly trapper, but the Indians kill the trapper.
And then he joins the wolves.
Right? Right.
Yeah, I'm sensing a question here, right, Shel? I was just kinda hoping that he'd walk to San Francisco.
You know, like Old Yeller.
Yeah, well, he could have done that.
Uh, take White Fang, for instance.
- Fang who? - Another pooch in the London oeuvre.
White Fang was a - was a wolf who lived out in the wild, and then became a house pet in Santa Clara, California.
Oh, too bad.
A house wolf.
Yep, wild to tame.
Tame to wild, either or.
Point is, Shel, both those old dogs got to go out in the world and see both sides.
Once they knew that, who they were, they could live here, there, anywhere.
Gimme another couple of days, I'll get it right.
Here, have a little more coffee.
Ah, biscuits are fine, Maurice.
You couldn't hope to find anything better than that in the city.
How's that vertebra doing? You know what you oughta do? Roll up a blanket and put it back there.
- Give it a little support.
- Oh, it should be better tomorrow.
Mm, boy, that's good.
You know, things do taste different out here.
Kinda, well, better in a way.
So quiet you can hear the smoke rise.
Stars so close, feels like you can taste 'em.
Holling? Why haven't we seen Bill in the past few years? You went to Houston that one time.
I had a speaking engagement.
Couldn't cancel.
Yeah, you know how it is.
Things happen.
Dave came down with a case of the chicken pox.
- Or was it the mumps? - It was the mumps.
I could have closed up a few weeks.
It wouldn't have broke me.
But you think there'll always be time.
How you doing over there? I'm fine.
I'm fine.
You know, years ago, before you even came to Cicely, I told Bill I was gonna buy The Brick.
Well, I thought- I thought he was gonna cry.
- Boy, he got so passionate on that subject.
- Is that a fact? You done with this? Mm-hmm.
He told me straight out, "It's gonna be the ruin of you.
You're gonna be bathing once a week and cooking for a woman.
" Well, he- he wasn't too far wrong.
You ever, uh, regret it, Holling? - What, coming in from the cold? - Yeah.
Oh, I don't know.
Well, I-I like the town.
I like the people.
I like the bar.
My life with Shelly's a good life.
But part of me is out here.
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't.
Me too.
Sometimes I think about exploding into the vast darkness of outer space.
Boy, I did blaze some trails.
- Bill would like this.
- He sure would.
The three of us sitting around the fire.
Too bad he can't be here.
Well, he will be.
Well, you know, this time tomorrow.
Yeah, I guess he will.
Well, I guess we'd better turn in.
"They pitched camp after dark, eating their bit of fish "and crawling to sleep in the snow.
"A chill wind was blowing, but Buck slept soundly and comfortably, though he growled and barked and wrestled with bad dreams.
" "Buck was glad to be gone on the hard day's run up the canyon, "through Sheep Camp, past the Scales to the timberline, "across glaciers and snowdrifts hundreds of feet deep "and over the great Chilcoot Divide, which guards forbiddingly the sad and lonely North.
"The dominant primordial beast was strong in Buck, "and under the fierce conditions of trail life, it grew and grew.
"Suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial, "instincts long dead became alive again.
"His muscles became hard as iron.
"Sight and scent became remarkably keen.
"He learned to bite the ice out with his teeth when it collected between his toes, "to scent the wind and forecast it, a night in advance.
"The domesticated generations fell from him, and Buck's restlessness came back on him "as he was haunted by recollections of the wild brother "and of the smiling land and the run side by side through the wide forest stretches.
"They came upon a path blazed through the forest, an ancient path, and the lost cabin seemed very near.
" It kinda feels unnatural, doesn't it? Coming up here and not finding Bill, hanging hides or kicking his dogs.
- Yeah.
- Hey.
About time you two showed up.
Where have you been? Well, we had a flat, and the trail was slower than we anticipated.
Excuse me, ma'am, I'm Holling Vincoeur.
Maurice Minnifield.
Oh, I'd have known you by those dog teeth of yours.
- Solvang Planey.
I'm glad to meet you.
- Planey? Yeah, I'm Bill's wife.
Or was.
The S.
Finally gave in.
Had to hold a rifle to his head.
Shut your mouth.
The flies will fly in.
I'm sorry, ma'am, it's just we didn't know Bill had a wife.
Well, I've been his wife for the last three winters.
Now, I know you'll wanna see Bill and pay your respects, so let's get on with it.
Got him out back on a slab.
How'd he go anyway? 'Tween the sheets, God bless.
Had him ready for 24 hours.
Packed him in rock salt.
You'll be wanting to get him in the ground before he spoils.
- That- - Here he is.
- That's Bill? - Yeah.
Took three potato sacks to wrap him.
Bill Planey? The man I knew was thin as a lodgepole pine.
Well, this is Bill now.
You got a problem with that skinny little coffin of yours.
We're gonna have to make some modifications.
Up and out.
Come on, eat up, fellas.
These are the best biscuits I ever tasted.
The gravy too.
Smooth as silk.
Yeah, it's not any wonder old Bill gained a few pounds.
Why, I sure do love to watch a man eat.
More squirrel? Well, I don't mind if I do.
No, stay right there.
I'll get it for you.
Appreciate that.
Yeah, that old Bill could eat, all right.
Now, my third husband, worked up on the pipeline in Barrow.
He was finicky.
Only liked fish and fried potatoes.
Nothing wrong with that.
What happened to him? Who's that, Maurice? Uh, your-your husband.
Oh, hypothermia.
Arctic Ocean.
Storm blew him right off the platform.
He didn't even have a chance.
I'm sorry to hear about that, ma'am.
Anyway, what about you two? - Either of you fellas been married? - No, I haven't.
- How about you, Maurice? - No.
How come? Well, I almost did once, a couple of years ago.
But, uh, Holling stole her away from me.
You two must be pretty tight to go through some trouble like that.
We've known each other for 30 years.
Right, Maurice? Yep.
Holling's little girl, she's adorable.
But talk about eating.
When she gets the munchies, you better watch out.
I've seen her go through a whole gallon of ice cream and a half a cup of syrup, chocolate syrup, and that sort of stuff.
You know, especially right after we've- I mean-Well, uh- "Skeet was a frisky little Irish setter who early made friends with Buck.
"She moved toward him playfully.
"He tried to sniff noses with her, but she retreated coyly.
"There was nothing threatening about her.
She looked merely with a great wistfulness.
"But Buck knew it to be the wistfulness of an equally great hunger, and he was the food.
She licked her chops with the pleasure of anticipation.
" - How's your back feeling? - Well.
No, no, it's, uh- It's fine.
- Here, let me do that.
- You go ahead and eat your grits.
Go on.
Maurice has gone out to take a look at the horses.
I saw him go.
One of them may have a stone bruise.
You know, I've wanted to have a minute with you.
- Yeah? - The fact is that I owed Bill quite a bit of money.
And I figure that it rightly belongs to his widow.
- Fifty dollars.
- Well, thank you.
Now, there's no need to, uh, say anything to Maurice about this.
My lips are sealed.
This grits and gravy really hits the spot.
You know, Holling Vincoeur, you got a fine behind on you.
Well, uh, now- About that woman that you're with, how come you never tied the knot? Well, um- It just seems to me that a man would marry a woman if he's happy with her.
Well, I'm- I'm plenty happy, Solvang.
Are you sure? A seasoned sled slides swifter than a green one.
Solvang, I love Shelly.
One born every minute.
Morning, Solvang.
Coffee perked yet? Yeah.
Go on and help yourself.
How you doing with the coffin? Oh, we're just, uh, finishing up with the lid now.
Say, hand me that can of bacon grease by the gun rack, would you? There you go.
Thank you.
Where do you keep your sugar, Solvang? We haven't seen sugar since last spring.
The last couple of years, Bill slowed down some.
Trapped us some lynx, made our groceries, but had to sell all the dogs and most of the guns.
Woods are over-trapped anyway.
You know, there's, uh, a little business I'd like to clear up.
What's that? Back in, uh, 1964, I borrowed some money from Bill.
It was 50- No, no, it was $ 100.
I never paid it back, and I think now that Bill's, uh, gone, that you oughta have it.
Since it's rightfully yours.
Yeah, with interest, of course.
- A hundred dollars? - Let's see, that's, uh- Say 10% compounded daily.
That would be, uh- That would be $ 1,643.
- There you are.
- Thank you, Maurice.
Uh, if it's all the same to you, I think we can not mention this to Holling.
Lips are sealed.
- Well, better get a move on.
- You do that.
Pack Bill up and go.
Lord, he's heavy.
I bet she's got 50 pounds of salt in there.
He oughta ride pretty steady now.
Careful, Holling.
You'll strain your back again.
I'm fine.
Just a little stiff, is all.
Well, there you go, Bill, into the breach.
Locked and loaded.
- Hey, fellas.
- Solvang.
We were just coming to thank you for your hospitality and to take our leave.
Never mind that, 'cause I'm coming with you.
- What? - With us? Yep, I'm going with you to No Name Point, help you bury Bill.
That's a-That's a very dangerous trip, Solvang.
A hard trail for a woman.
A piece of cake.
Nothing keeping me here.
What do you think, Maurice? We best get moving.
We've got a long way to travel before sundown.
Well, okay then.
As long as you don't slow us down.
Maurice, I'm coming with you.
Here you are.
Up you go.
Hop aboard.
Got it? Yeah.
Come on.
Let's go.
Move over.
Let me in.
It's cold out here.
- Solvang? - Yeah.
- What are you doing? - What do you think I think I'm doing? - Don't you like it? - Well, yeah.
You just took me by surprise.
- Feels pretty good, doesn't it? - Well, yeah, but it's just- So, oh, come on.
I didn't crawl in here to chat, Maurice.
Gimme a kiss.
- Wait a minute.
- Wait a minute? What? Wait for what? You one of them fruitcakes or something? No, I'm not a fruitcake.
- Well? - You're a very attractive woman.
It's just that- It's him.
Him? He's fast asleep.
He can't hear anything.
I'm not talking about Holling.
I'm talking about Bill.
He's a friend of mine.
He's over there lying dead.
So what? He's my husband.
You let me worry about him.
Anyway, I'm freezing my buns off.
Wait! Wait! - Oh, come on, give it up.
- Hold it! Don't - Don't you think it'd be better to wait until he's in the ground? Oh, Jesus! You two are nothing but a couple of dried up old peas in a pod.
Yeah, I slept like a baby under a blanket of stars.
Yeah, nothing like sleeping outside to take the city kinks out.
- It looks like it's gonna be a beautiful day.
- It sure does.
- Coffee will be ready in a minute.
- Good.
Yeah, I'm gonna go see Johnny.
Here, let me put another log on that fire for you, Solvang.
Yeah, it needs it.
You boys gonna want biscuits or flapjacks for breakfast? Oh, campfire flapjacks.
Mm-mmm! Then flapjacks it is.
- Is that coffee almost ready? - You bet.
- Maurice! - What? Over here! Come over here! - Maurice, over here! - What? What is it? It's what it isn't.
The horses, they're loose.
What do you mean they're loose? They're gone.
Oh, you mean you boys didn't hobble those horses? - Well, I had 'em tied right over there.
- Why didn't you hobble 'em? Why didn't you? What, bend down and put my back out again? Your back.
Your back.
"The breakdown of discipline affected the dogs "in their relations with one another.
"They quarreled and bickered more than ever among themselves "till the time the camp was howling bedlam.
"Day after day, for days unending, Buck toiled in the traces.
"Always they broke camp in the dark, and the first gray dawn found them hitting the trail.
"No lazy sun-kissed life was this.
Every moment, life and limb were in peril.
" Holling Vincoeur, you get your broken-down butt back here and help us unstick Bill.
- Holling, where do you think you're going? - Maurice.
The horses are up ahead.
They stopped at Two Forks.
Two Forks? Well, I'll be damned.
Come on, let's go.
"It was inevitable that the clash for leadership should come.
"Buck wanted it.
He wanted it, because it was his nature, "because he had been gripped tight by the nameless incomprehensible pride of the trail and the trace- "that pride which holds dogs in the toil until the last gasp, "which lures them to die joyfully in the harness "and breaks their heart if they are cut out of the harness.
"This was the pride of Dave, his wheel dog, and of Sol-leks, "as he pulled with all his strength, the pride that laid hold of them at the break of camp, "transforming them from sorrowing sullen brutes into straining, eager, ambitious creatures.
" - Afternoon.
- Hi, folks.
- Howdy.
- Afternoon, ma'am.
Those are your horses outside? Somebody forgot to hobble 'em last night.
- Oh, too bad.
- Who might that be? - Care to warm up with a round of schnapps? - Yeah, we sure do.
- Got a pot of beaver tail stew in back.
- Sounds good to me.
That would be much appreciated.
Say, wasn't this Fritz Schoelder's place? - Was.
He's dead.
- Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
- I'm his son, Reinhart.
- Holling Vincoeur.
- This is Maurice Minnifield.
- Howdy.
- Solvang Planey.
- Ma'am.
How you doin'? That's my husband out there in the box.
We're taking him to No Name Point.
He had this idea that he wanted to rest his bones in someplace obscure.
I'll get your food.
I am starved.
- Hey, what are you fellas playing over there? - Rummy.
You know the game of bridge? Two club convention? Always a nice surprise to find bridge players in the bush.
Two no trump.
I hope you counted your points right.
Just bid the hand.
Three diamonds.
Four clubs.
Four diamonds.
What do you say? - Pass.
- Pass.
- Pass.
- Diamonds it is.
Here are my cards.
I'm gonna stretch my legs.
You gentlemen don't play much, do you? We win this one, that's three rubbers in a row.
You haven't won yet.
But we will.
- That's tasty stew, Reinhart.
- Thank you.
I'm in the bar business.
Really? - The Brick in Cicely.
- That right? His wife made the stew.
Last thing she did before she ran away to Nome was leave a vat in the freezer.
Well, that was very thoughtful of her.
Took the money for the pool table and deep-fat fryers too.
Nothing I could do.
Community property.
Goddamn fool if you ask me.
This place has got a lot of potential.
Dang, you skunked me again.
You old fart, I oughta drop you like a sack of potatoes.
Go ahead.
Take your best shot.
- I'd like to see it.
- Hey, there.
"The astonished team dogs had burst out of their nests, "only to be set upon by the fierce invaders.
"Never had Buck seen such dogs.
"It seemed as though their bones would burst through their skins.
"They were mere skeletons, draped loosely in draggled hides "with blazing eyes and slavering fangs.
Dave and Sol-leks, dripping blood from a score of wounds, were fighting bravely side by side.
" I was doing okay till that rascal kicked me in the head with that fancy foot move.
Yeah, I think I broke my knuckle on that fella's chin.
Is that travois lead tight enough, Maurice? - Yeah, it's fine.
- Let's get outta here.
There you are, Solvang.
Come on, mount up.
Hold on a minute.
I got something to tell you.
- Boys - Come on, get up.
It's time to go.
No, I'm, uh, not going any further.
This is as far as I go.
- What are you talking about? - I'm gonna lay my head on Reinhart's pillow.
- Man's a cocked pistol.
- What about Bill? What about Bill? He's not gonna miss me.
He's dead.
- Are you sure? - Uh-huh.
I'm gonna buy into the bar.
Reinhart and I are gonna set up a tanning booth and a sauna with the money.
- Money? - Yeah, your money.
Unlike you two, the man knows how to treat a woman.
Well, good luck.
Good luck to you.
Oughtn't to keep such a tight grip on those family jewels, Maurice.
And, Holling, you still got a cute rear.
Maybe next time.
Yes, ma'am.
Come on.
So long, Bill.
"The general tone of the team picked up immediately.
"It recovered its old-time solidarity, "and, once more, the dogs leaped as one dog in the traces.
"The trail was in excellent condition, packed and hard, and there was no new-fallen snow with which to contend.
" - How you doing over there, Maurice? - I'm doing all right.
- Better than you are anyway.
- That eye's gonna be quite a shiner.
Yeah, it's starting to close up a little bit, but I can still see out of it.
- How's your back? - Well, it's been better.
Boy, we taught those guys a lesson, didn't we? I suspect they'll ponder a bit before they resort to fisticuffs again - with a couple of seasoned travelers.
- They gave us a shellacking.
I'll say they did.
It's funny though.
I didn't mind.
A few aches and pains, but it was worth it.
- It's too bad Bill had to miss it.
- Yeah.
When I saw how big Bill was, I didn't know as how we'd make it.
Yeah, it was like he was having the last laugh on us.
Yeah, laughing from the grave.
Like that time we were hunting out in Whitefish.
You remember that? - Whoa, whoa, easy! - Watch it, Holling.
Watch it.
Whoa, Maurice! Cut 'er loose! - Grab him.
- I got him.
That's it.
Hold him steady.
- Man, he's heavy.
- Well, pull - pull him up here.
Yeah, yeah, put him down right there.
Salt's leeching out.
- My hands.
I can't move my fingers.
Maurice, we gotta get a fire, quick.
My hands, they're turning blue.
"By the time they made Hootalinqua, Buck was played out.
"The rest of the dogs were in like condition, "a wretched state, worn out and worn down.
"Sol-leks was limping, and Dub was suffering from a wrenched shoulder blade.
"They were all terribly footsore.
No spring or rebound was left in them.
"There was nothing the matter with them except that they were dead tired.
"There was no power of recuperation left, "no reserve strength to call upon.
"It had all been used, the last bit of it.
"Every muscle, every fiber, every cell was tired.
Very tired.
" He's dry on this side.
You think maybe you could give me a hand with this? Sure.
No problem.
He could use another half-turn is all.
I'll get his feet.
You get his head.
- Easy, easy, that's it.
Okay, got it.
- Yeah, there we go.
Oh, my back is killing me.
I'm not surprised, that fall down that hill.
Can you ride? Yeah, sure.
I think so.
How far'd you say it was to No Name Point? Well, we got to go around, so I figure a week, 10 days.
Oh, well, good.
How's our food holding up? We lost most of it in the river.
Oh, well, we had too much food anyway.
Plenty of fish in the streams.
Yeah, and plenty of winter tubers underfoot.
You smell that? Fraid so.
He's taking on an odor.
Yeah, he was getting ripe when we picked him up.
You know what Bill would like? Take us with him.
Much more of this, he's gonna have his wish.
The one thing Bill couldn't tolerate was a fool.
That's true.
What do you think? I think this is a damn nice place.
Come morning, we'll put old Bill in the ground.
Right here.
- Well, that oughta suffice.
- Yeah.
Well, I guess that's it then.
Oh, wait a minute.
Ruth-Anne, uh- Oh, here- gave me this gum.
Black Jack.
Yeah, none the worse for wear.
You want a stick? Uh, no thanks.
It sticks to my bridgework.
Well, he'll be fine here.
He loves spruce.
He's got that river right there and a nice view of the foothills.
You wanna say a few words? Uh, no.
Uh, all right.
The man could skin a 10-point buck in the time it took most people to tie their shoes.
No point in living in the past.
Let's go.
"Buck heard the calls still sounding in the depths of the forest.
"And as never before, he was ready to obey.
"His master, John Thornton, was dead.
"The last tie was broken.
"Man and the claims of man no longer bound him.
"An old wolf, gaunt and battle-scarred, came forward, "sat down, pointed a nose at the moon "and broke out in a long wolf howl.
"The wolf pack had at last crossed over from the land of streams and timber "and invaded Buck's valley.
"Into the clearing, they poured in a silvery flood.
"And in the center of the clearing stood Buck, waiting their coming.
"One wolf advanced, and Buck recognized the wild brother with whom he had run for a night and a day.
" Holling, you're home! Oh.
- Oh.
Good to see ya.
- I missed you.
- I missed you.
- Hi, Holling.
- Hi, Ed.
- You guys get your friend buried? - We did.
- Good.
I missed you so much.
"Now the call came back to Buck in unmistakable accents.
"He, too, sat down and howled.
"The leaders lifted the yelp of the pack and sprang away into the woods.
"The wolves swung in behind, yelping in chorus.
"Buck ran with them, side by side with the wild brother, yelping as he ran.
" The end.
There's a fine line between the wild and the tame, between Alaska and us.
Me? I gotta have my- my music and my books.
No matter how urbane we humans become, something in us still longs for the- for the virgin forest.
So, good luck, Buck.
You're out there for me and for all of us.
Good night, Cicely.
What a time we had.
Splashed through bogs, ate like hogs, slept like logs.
I'm glad you still dig doing the wild thing, babe.
You are? Oh, yeah.
Truth is, I was afraid you were getting too domestically weird on me.
Oh, it was grand out there, Shelly.
I won't deny it.
But I'm glad to be back home.
No Name Point.
Was it as gnarly as you remembered? Well, actually, uh, we didn't get to No Name.
I thought you said you got Bill all planted.
Well, yeah, we did, but just not in No Name.
You mean, you broke your promise? Well, yes, we did, but it wasn't gonna work, Shelly.
Bill's body was- Well, let's just say it was developing a strong odor.
And, uh, the glacier had pretty near wiped out the trail.
Besides, Maurice and I are not as young as we used to be.
That part was obvious.
Well, you're young enough for me, babe.
Oh, oh, your back go out again, hon? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
We had-We had a little disagreement in a place called Two Forks.
Seemed a gentleman there took issue with Maurice's skill with cards.
- Said he was cheatin'.
- Maurice deck him? Well, only after he decked Maurice first.
It's too bad.
That happened to my boyfriend Ernie in 11 th grade.
He called strike and-