Snowy River: The McGregor Saga (1993) s02e06 Episode Script

The Dry Argument

(gentle music) Come on, little fella.
Well done, McGregor.
Aren't you a bit old for mudslides? The game's open to anyone, Frank.
You can give us a hand if you like.
I don't think so.
No point in both of us getting all muddied up.
I don't know what the country's coming to, grown men mud wrestling with their cattle.
Is that what you came here to tell me? No.
I just wanted to draw your attention to the fact that since this creek started drying up, Llangower cattle have been crossing to feed on Balmoral pasture.
Well there's nothing we can do about that, is there? I'm just saying that if I see a Llangower beast mingling with my stock, I'll have no option but to shoot it.
(calf moos) And what happens if some of your cattle cross onto our land? Why on earth would they want to do that? I've given you fair warning.
I think the heat's getting to you, Frank.
You're not gonna leave the poor animal to perish, are you? Probably not.
But you better think again about getting some mud on your boots.
He's one of yours.
(gentle music) Jimmy, perfect timing.
I can use your unusual talents.
Not this time, Stacey.
Come on Jim, for old times' sake.
[James] You're not getting me into trouble again.
This is different.
Just leave me out of it, okay? Jimmy! Is that any way to talk to me after all we've been through? I didn't see you go through much.
It's just the way things work out sometimes.
But here we are together again with the world our oyster and us just waiting to pluck out the pearls.
No way.
Trying to repay a debt, can't you see that? You're trouble, Stacey.
That's something I promised myself I'd stay away from.
(dramatic music) Yes, can I help you? Mrs.
O'Neil? Yes? They told me over at the livery stable you might have some work going? Oh, I'm afraid not here in town, no.
I'll put it to you straight, Mrs.
O'Neil.
I'm cold stony broke.
But I can turn my hand to anything.
Well there may be some work for you at my farm.
Why don't you drop by later? Everyone knows where I live.
Thank you.
What's your name? Duncan, James Duncan.
[Kathleen] I'm not sure I like surprises, Danni.
Oh, well you'll like this one.
[Matt] Okay now.
Oh, she's beautiful! Just beautiful.
Oh Matt.
She must have cost you a fortune.
Yeah well, you're worth it.
What's her name? Moonbeam! Moonbeam, oh I like that.
Yes and look at her shoulders, she'll be perfect in the sulky.
Good confirmation, good temperament.
Only a little headstrong but she'll respond to gentle handling.
He thinks he'll strike water before our last dam goes dry.
Well I'd say he's got about a week.
Must be hard work.
I've got someone coming to help him.
How's it going, Jack? Oh, not a worry in the world.
Got an instinct about these things.
And my rheumatism is backing my judgment all the way.
Well, if you'll excuse me, we've got work to do.
[Kathleen] Do you think we'll get any rain before winter? Well, we've survived these conditions before, we will again.
I hope so.
Leave you to it, Jack.
[Jack] Alright.
(gentle music) [Man] Nice shooting, Miss Blackwood.
Not bad for a first day.
A bit on the lean side.
I suppose the wildlife have been hit by the drought too.
What on earth have you been up to? Rob McGregor refused to help me with a bogged calf.
It was all I could do to free the thing on my own.
By the time I'm finished with him, he's gonna wish he'd shown a little more respect.
Where's the black gelding? Where's he gone? I'm sure I don't know, Frank.
I thought you had him.
He's been gone all morning.
(tense music) Polly, when I ask you to draw a bath I mean a bath, not a cat lick.
Fill it up, there's a good girl.
Victoria, we're running short of water.
We all have to make sacrifices.
Yes Frank.
How far down do you think you'll have to go? Hard to say lad.
But one thing I do know for sure, whatever water's down there right now is what's been pouring out of me.
Yeah, Jack and Michael, I'd like you to meet Mr.
Duncan.
He's gonna give us a hand for a couple of days.
Do you sleep out in the open, Mr.
Duncan? Sometimes.
Biggest bedroom in the world.
Mind you, I don't mind a mattress either.
[Kathleen] Michael, show Mr.
Duncan where he can wash up and fix him a bed in the barn.
This way, Mr.
Duncan.
You need the help, Jack, and he needs the work.
Emily, I appreciate you wanting to help, but in this heat, shouldn't you be resting or something? Colin, I can manage.
How was it? The only water to speak of's on the boundary creek.
Balmoral and Llangower cattle are both depending on it.
Should be enough for the time being.
What about the creeks the other side of the ridge? Drying out fast, not much feed about.
It's the same everywhere.
They've already started handfeeding out of a saddlebag.
We might have to start handfeeding too.
Yeah.
I suppose you're up from the gold fields, then? Not exactly.
Not from the mines? No.
You be off one of them coastal cutters? [James] Never liked boats.
Not that I'm one to pry, mind.
Of course not.
It gets a lonely life out here, sometimes.
I've known worse.
What town did you say you were from? I didn't.
Well better get on with the digging then.
Wedge the lever over here! Behind the large rock over here! (cows mooing) Steady with your sledgehammer, fool! We've only got one chance to block up this river.
Watch it! Where's the lever? In there, put it in there! Ready, push! What am I paying you for? Come on, push! (suspenseful music) (gentle music) Stopped flowing altogether now.
But you said it was flowing freely yesterday.
[Rob] Looks like somebody's turned the tap off.
How would it do that? I don't know.
Got a nasty sort of smell about it though.
This is great.
Yes, delicious.
Oh, some more Jack? It's not too fancy, I'm afraid, but then there's nothing very fancy around these parts.
I wouldn't say that.
Would you like a cup of tea, James? That'd be nice, thanks.
Oh, Jack? Oh, thank you very much Mrs.
O'Neil.
Oi! Mrs.
O'Neil? It's none of my business, but you're wasting your time digging for water there.
Oh, you sound pretty positive.
Well I can find water for you.
I'm a dowser.
[Kathleen] Are you now? It's not as stupid as it sounds.
No, I never said it was.
On the other hand, I've yet to see it actually work.
I've done it before.
So you think you can divine water with a stick? With a rod, yeah.
Something you can either do or you can't.
It's a gift.
And you have that gift? Yes I have.
What sort of guarantee do you give? Guarantee? If I contract you to find water and you don't? You'd owe me nothing.
Food and lodging for a week.
It won't take that long.
But I will need some gear from town.
Not a lot in the scale of things, but I'll need to be staked until the water flows.
How much do you think? (pensive music) 10 pounds, you said? Yeah, more than enough.
Tell the storekeeper I said to look after you.
I will.
And thank you Mrs.
O'Neil, thank you very much.
Giddy up.
Mrs.
O'Neil, I saw you giving some money to that fellow.
I don't trust him.
Not so fast, Jimmy.
You haven't heard my proposition.
Whatever it is, I'm not interested.
You're not listening to me, Jimmy.
This is something completely different.
Hear me out, that's all I ask.
I'm busy and I'm running late.
Giddy up, ya.
A dowser! You'll be asking me to do a rain dance next.
All I'm doing is giving it a try.
We haven't had much luck with that well, have we? We've hardly given it a fair go.
Look, face it Jack.
That hole is getting deeper but it isn't getting any wetter.
Now I'd like to give James a chance.
I'm asking you to help him.
Will you do that for me? Thanks, Jack.
But I won't be held responsible for the consequences! Oh, I'll bear that in mind.
Where'd you get this? I found it.
What is it? It's for unlocking leg irons.
Prisoner's leg irons? Sometimes if a jailer had half a heart, he'd give you this as a memento after he's turned it in the cuff for the very last time.
At least so I've been told.
Where'd you find it? I found it in the barn, next to Mr.
Duncan's bed.
Did you now? That's interesting.
Isn't it? Yeah.
Well that'll do for now.
Gotta go and help Kathleen with that new filly.
Can't let her down.
No, of course not.
What do you think Dad? Any chance of rain? I don't think so.
Head out.
Just looking out for Rob, he should be back by now.
G'day, Frank.
Black gelding of mine's gone missing.
Couldn't shed any light on that, I suppose? No, sorry.
It was securely stabled, I've questioned all the stablehands.
No doubt he's been stolen.
Well I'll notify the men, they can keep an eye out for him.
[Frank] I'd appreciate it.
Well no worry, he'll turn up.
That's easy to say.
That was a very valuable animal.
Gee up.
Go on, go on, go on, go on, get up, get up, come on.
Move, move, move.
Good girl.
She's coming along nicely, don't you think? Yeah, she's pulling a bit to the left but she'll be just fine, eh, good as gold.
Well I think that's enough for one day.
Light work and often.
I'll give her a rub down and a drink.
She'll be able to swim in it when your dowser finds water.
You can mock but there's something about this man.
You'll see when you meet him.
So everyone seems to say.
Look I just don't think you should trust every stranger that comes along, that's all.
I don't.
But I do trust this man.
Alright.
Come on.
Kathleen.
Hello, Matt.
Thought I'd tell you I think this is a complete waste of time.
Oh, doesn't look very scientific.
It isn't.
I don't know how it works, all I know is it does.
Every time? Most times.
This looks like a good place to start.
It has something to do with invisible forces flowing through the earth.
Oh and I thought it was the pixies.
I don't expect you to believe it.
I can hardly believe it myself.
Even if I do find water you'll just say it's a fluke.
But I'm willing to have a go anyway.
If this works, I'll eat my hat.
Dust and all.
(gentle music) Did you find something? Nothing yet.
What he needs is a broomstick and a black cat.
Don't be too hard on him, Jack.
I imagine these things can't be hurried.
Give the man a chance.
Well maybe there's nothing down there.
Sometimes it's a very narrow stream waiting for you.
Sometimes pigs might fly.
(dramatic music) Yes, I knew it! Good strong flow, too.
1000 gallons to the hour, I reckon.
(laughing) What happens now? We put down a bore.
We can't expect it to come jumping up out of the ground.
No, no, of course not.
Well, I reckon me hat's safe for the moment, but I'll give you a hand with the pick and shovels.
We won't be needing 'em.
But I'd appreciate it if you gave me a hand to fetch the gear.
(light music) (ominous music) Hold it right there, fella.
Take it easy, I'm just looking into a problem with the creek.
And we're just looking into some horse thieving.
You must be new around here.
I'm Rob McGregor from Llangower.
Family's been in the district for years.
And I don't like guns being pointed at me.
Mr.
Blackwood don't like trespassers.
Move it.
(gentle music) (hammering) Here we go.
Got it? Whoa, whoa! So how's it going? Alright.
Is this yours? (dramatic music) I should have told you.
Hmm.
Stretch in jail isn't something you shout from the rooftops.
Then why keep the key? I would have thought you'd want to put prison and everything to do with it behind you! Forget everything.
When that shackle falls off your ankle it's like you wanna fly.
I never wanna forget that feeling.
I appreciate your kindness, Mrs.
O'Neil.
I'll be on my way now.
There's water down there alright, another 30 feet would have done it.
Jack knows how to work all the gear.
If there's water there, I want you to find it.
We had a deal.
Thank you, Mrs.
O'Neil.
I won't let you down.
[Victoria] I think we know this man, Frank.
Of course I know him, he's our neighbor.
Don't hold it against him, Robbie, our men were only doing their job.
I'm not holding anything against anybody.
Frank, we all know this is a tough time in tough country but I think it's pretty stupid having armed men ride around the boundaries.
Not stupid, prudent.
With horse thieves around you can't be too careful.
What happened to the water in the creek? Yesterday there was plenty and today there's hardly a drop.
It's called evaporation.
All the water dries up.
Well I think it's called something else.
And I intend to find out.
I suppose you find this all very funny.
Does have its moments.
Victoria, water is a precious commodity.
We're managing quite nicely.
Well only because Frank's up to something.
If you spent a bit more time at home you'd understand what was going on.
I beg your pardon? Well instead of careering around the countryside shooting at everything that moves.
For your information, Rob McGregor, I'm extremely selective about what I shoot.
Though you sorely tempt me.
(upbeat music) We're getting there.
Whoever heard of a well this big? I've spoken to James and he's promised to survey Llangower as soon as he strikes water here.
(chuckles) Don't you mean if? I wouldn't place too much store on this dowsing business.
He believes it and I do too.
When I gave him a job I thought I was doing him a favor.
Now all our hopes are resting on him.
Well I just don't want you wasting your money, that's all.
(dramatic music) Well that is a fine looking filly if ever I saw one.
Well worth a pound or two.
How did it go? Did you find out what happened to the water? Not yet.
[Danni] You're going out again? Yeah.
Well do you want me to tell Dad where you're going? Oh, I'm not sure really.
I should be back by nightfall.
(dramatic music) Pretty sneaky, Frank, even for you.
(gentle music) (machinery clattering) We'll need more extensions.
Alright, Jack can take the cart to town in the morning.
But I think we should call it a day, don't you? We're almost there.
We're so close I can smell it.
Well I don't care whether you're close or not, I don't want anyone dying trying to reach it.
I mean look at the two of you! You look like you're on your last legs.
We'll strike it tomorrow, guaranteed.
[Jack] I'll believe that when I see it.
I don't believe what I'm seeing here.
I mean where did all this stuff come from? [Jack] He hired it in town.
I just hope you're not being taken advantage of, that's all.
Yes, well desperate times call for desperate measures.
There are stranger things in the world than dowsing.
(gentle music) What are you doing here? I thought I'd drop by to see if you'd be interested in a little business.
You don't understand, do you? These people have treated me better than anyone I've ever met.
And they will, while it suits them.
She took me in and gave me a job.
No questions asked.
And now I'm here to help you if you'll let me.
You've never helped anyone in your life.
Mrs.
O'Neil's giving me the chance to start a whole new life.
And what's Mrs.
O'Neil going to think when she finds out that you've been a guest of Her Majesty? She already knows, I told her.
(rooster crowing) Now that is a shame.
What do you mean? What will she think when she finds her very best horse gone missing? Who do you think will cop the blame? You're not gonna steal that horse.
Who's gonna stop me? Little Jimmy Duncan? (laughing) You! (horse neighing) (punching) (crying out) Listen to me, Jimmy.
We gotta stick together, you and me.
Jimmy! We're not gonna do it! Not gonna do what, exactly? Who is this, James? I didn't know he was coming, I swear.
Put the gun down, missus.
You stay right where you are, you are trespassing on my property.
And you've assaulted one of my men.
Now I have the right to shoot you, and I will do it.
One of her men, is it? The champion dowser of the whole world.
(laughing) Did you tell her about the ones that didn't come in? We always had to leave before I had a chance.
For him it was just an excuse to thieve horses, I was the one that got blamed! Poor little Jimmy.
He really believes all that mumbo jumbo.
You take one more step and they'll be patching you up in prison.
(gun cocks) No don't shoot him! (gun fires) I'm sorry Mrs.
O'Neil, I couldn't let you shoot him, he's my brother.
You're stuck with me now, Jimmy.
Come on, we got a big day ahead of us.
We? I'm not going with you? Maybe this'll persuade you.
[James] She's hurt, what if she dies? She isn't going to die.
But we should get help! Oh great idea, Jimmy.
We could get them to reserve a prison cell for us while they're at it.
I'm staying.
No you're not.
Get moving! (suspenseful music) [James] Whoa whoa whoa whoa.
Come on, keep going.
The horses are getting tired, we should rest for a while.
When I'm ready.
I thought we agreed you're staying with me.
I have to go back! In a box.
Now get riding! (coughs) (banging) Jack! Jack is that you! (muffled shouting) [Jack] Matt, get me outta here! Yeah, just hold your horses.
Thought I was a goner.
Why, what happened? I dunno really.
[Michael] Matt, Jack! [Matt] What is it? It's Mum! Quickly! Oh Kathleen.
(moaning) Kathleen.
Oh Matt.
[Matt] You alright? James, James.
Did he do this? No.
I don't know, there was another man with him.
Moonbeam, is she alright? I'll find her.
Michael, go and get Dr.
Cameron.
It's alright, you'll be fine.
Well hurry! - I'll get some water.
- Yeah.
(exciting music) Stacey, I've gotta go back.
No! (shouting at horse) Jimmy! (gun fires) Come back here, Jimmy! Jimmy! Come back! Jimmy! Jimmy! That way.
We can head him off here! Keep your hands where we can see them and don't try anything stupid.
[James] Is Kathleen alright? She'd better be, mate.
The doctor's with her now.
She hit her head when she fell.
I didn't want her to get hurt, I wanted to stay and help her.
Yeah, then why didn't you? Why'd you steal Moonbeam? It was my brother! Where is he? Let's go.
(dramatic music) (punches) (cries out) On your feet, fella.
You have a lot of explaining to do.
Rob, take him to the troopers.
They can deal with him.
(gentle music) Victoria! (suspenseful music) (exploding) It was too late to put it out.
You did that? Well Frank dammed the river, I was just putting it back.
I might have been killed.
Sorry.
(screams) I'm sorry but Blackwoods aren't really my favorite people at the moment.
Then why did you bother risking your life for me? You're mad! I would have done the same for anyone.
(gun fires) (cries out) You shot me! (clinks) (wincing) I don't think this is such a good idea.
It's better than lead poisoning.
Mrs.
O'Neil seems to have recovered.
Knowing Kathleen you shouldn't be surprised.
She's fine Matt, no damage at all.
Good.
I think you've done enough for today.
You're still under doctor's orders, remember? (clicks) Mrs.
O'Neil, I'm sorry.
I let you down.
You put your trust in me and I betrayed it.
Risking getting yourself killed isn't exactly betraying my trust.
The water's there, you know.
I think it could be.
But there's only one way to find out, isn't there? (upbeat music) Can't help feeling sorry for him, being in jail.
He is my brother.
He brought it on himself, James.
It was none of your doing.
If someone had done for him what you did for me, things might have been different.
I didn't do anything much.
I needed water and you said you could give it to me.
Well I needed your trust, and you gave that to me.
Then I guess we're square.
James.
You've wiped out your past, you've served your time, you've proved your honesty in everyone's eyes.
I know what you're gonna say.
But all I did was give you the opportunity.
Every man's responsible for his own redemption.
It is possible that your brother can change too.
I hope you're right.
Now get on with it.
(light music) Ah.
What's wrong with you? Just a bit saddle sore, that's all.
Victoria said something about a hunting accident.
But who'd believe a Blackwood? Hang on Jack, hang on Jack, come on.
We've got something.
Hey, come and look at this! (rumbling) (machinery clattering) We did it! (laughing) Yes! I don't believe it.
I don't believe it! You'll have to eat that now, Jack! Well at least it's clean! We did it! I can't thank you enough, James.
You have already.
Believe me, you have.
(triumphant music) (gentle country music)