Cripple Creek (1952) - full transcript

Lawmen infiltrate bandit gang to catch mining crooks.

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Gold is where you find it,
the miners say,

and this was never
better demonstrated

than at cripple creek,
Colorado,

where back in 1892
a cowboy stubbed his toe

on a strange-looking
piece of rock

and started one of
the last gold rushes

in western history.

Within a year,
50 deep shafts

were pouring out tons of
the richest ore ever found.

The town grew
fast and loud,

and, as usual,
men died faster, louder.



But along with
the customary violence

and bloodshed
of a gold camp,

something new was added
to make cripple creek unique

among all her sinful sisters

waylaying shipments
of smelted gold

was too old-fashioned
for the cripple creek gang.

These boys weren't waiting

for the ore
to reach the smelter.

Wagon load upon wagon load
of the highest-grade stuff,

some of it running as much
as $60,000 a load,

was simply disappearing

in the thin,
rocky-mountain air.

They got Sam the driver,
two of the mine crew,

and wounded four others,
besides me.



Well, couldn't you
identify any of them?

No, marshal,
they were all masked.

That's the tenth wagon load
of my richest ore

that's been hijacked
this month.

Six loads of mine never
got to the smelter.

The way they select only
the richest ore,

you'd think they had access
to my secret assayer reports.

I think you gentlemen
should appeal to your
senators in Washington.

What do you suggest,
Sullivan?

Well, as a government assayer,
i must agree with the marshal.

The loss of gold
in such quantities

is a matter of
national concern.

Gentlemen, I think
that's a good idea.

They were right about that.

It was a matter
of national concern.

This year of 1893 was one
of financial depression

and near panic.

The country's gold reserve
had reached such a low ebb

that president Cleveland
placed an embargo

on the sale and shipment
of that precious metal

to foreign nations.

Every ounce of gold

was needed
by the national treasury,

so the problem
of the wholesale looting
of cripple creek mine

became the immediate
and urgent business

of the United States
secret service.

Reach.

Turn around,
easy-like.

Larry!

Kinda jumpy,
ain't ya, Bret?

That Texas lingo
of yours had me fooled.

I thought the panhandle boys...
Well, chief brummick.

Hello, ivers.
Glad to see you, sir.

So you did get my wire
after all.

Yeah, I got it
all right,

but I had quite a time
following your instructions.

When you didn't reach
raton on time,

galland and i
started down to see
what had happened to you.

Every peace officer
in Texas

was after my scalp
for that border job.

How come you didn't clear me
with the state authorities?

It's better this way,
Bret.

Your Texas reputation
may help a lot

on that
cripple creek case.

Oh, so that's where
we're going.

It's the biggest
gold-stealing case
in history.

They're getting away
with tons of it.

Well, how can they hope
to sell tons of gold

in the United States,
here?

They don't.
They're smuggling it
out of the country.

Sounds like a big job.

Big and dangerous.

More than a dozen local
peace officers have
already been killed,

merely trying to stop
the high graders.

Is that as far
as they got?

Yes, but that's only
the first link,

and we want every link
in that chain,

but most of all,
the men who engineered
the scheme

and arranged the payoff.

Is this big bronc
the only help
I'm to have?

Now, ain't that nice?

You won't go wrong
with Larry,

but you'll also
have his brother strap.

Well, now
that's better!

Where do we
pick him up?

He's already
in cripple creek,

giving it
the once over.

Any report
from him yet?

Nothing definite,

but he spotted
one of the toughest
gangs in the west:

The muldoon outfit.

Working for
the cabeau Liberty stable.

Well, that might
be a lead, sir.

Maybe.
anyhow, strap suggests

that a couple of
new gunfighters

and outlaws might
find it easy to
make a hook up.

Well, with
Billy the kid

here as a partner,
i can't miss.

Well, don't
force your hand.

The right people
will spot you
soon enough.

Where do we find
strap?

Don't try.
He'll be watching for you.

Let him make
the contact.

Well, that's all
i have to tell you.

From here on,
you're on your own.

Thanks, chief.

But I'm counting
on the three of you.

Thank you, sir.

Which way to
the Liberty stable,
friend?

Liberty stable?

Right down there,
at the end of the street.

Holly, Jack,

three wagons to go back
to the wood cutter's camp
tonight.

Fresh horses...
And sober drivers.

Yes, boss.

You're early, muldoon.
We don't roll for
a couple of hours.

We won't roll
at all...

Till we get our
pay for those last
three jobs.

You'll get your pay
when I get mine,

but not before.

We want ours now,

or you can get
yourself a new crew.

Nobody quits
this outfit.

I'll see the boss.

Go ahead.

Stable your ponies,
gents?

Thanks.
we'll take care
of them for you.

Any ideas as to where
we can get a room
around here?

It's hard to say.
Town's overcrowded.

Might try over
the silver palace.

Much obliged.
Customers, Jake.

What'll it be, gents?

Who do you see about
getting a room here?

You can ask the boss
there, Mr. Kirby.

Mr. Kirby?

Better known as silver Kirby.
What can I do for you gentlemen?

Well, we'd like
to get a room.

Oh, I'm sorry,

but I'm afraid
we're all filled up.

Deliveryman and cabeau
figured you might be able
to take care of us.

So, I see.

And you boys must have ridden
up from the valley tonight.

Yeah, 40-mile day.

It's a long pull.

Let's see if we can't
do something for you.

Julie!

Have we a canceled
reservation available
for these gentlemen?

Why, yes, we had a room
ready for Mr. mckee,

but he's gone
back to Victor.

Well, boys, it looks
like you're in luck.

Come along, gentlemen,
I'll show you the way.

Thanks, ma'am,

and thank you for being
so accommodating.

Glad to oblige.
That's what we're
here for.

I wonder what cabeau
saw in those two
to worry about.

Maybe it's the way they
sling their artillery:

Texas style, low and handy.

I suppose you boys came here
hoping to get rich quickly,

like all the others.

No, ma'am, we just
drifted up from Texas

to take in the sights
of cripple creek.

Yeah, and we sure like
what we've seen so far.

They must have moved
the blarney stone
to Texas.

Here's the room.
We had it ready for Mr. mckee.

He owns
the gold dollar mine,

so at least
you boys'll sleep
in a millionaire's bed.

Ah, looks real cozy-like.
Thanks, miss Julie.

Not at all, it's part
of my job.

Now, if you'll
give me your names,
I'll register for you.

Ivers is mine. Bret ivers.
This is Larry galland.

Mine's Julie hanson.
Good night.

Good night, miss Julie.
Good night, ma'am.

Ya see strap down there,
dealing faro?

Yeah, looks like a real
sweet listening.

I sure hope...

Why, do you think
somebody's worried
about us already?

We're in the right place,
they'd worry about any
strangers.

Sure hope strap gets
in touch with us tonight.

Well,
we'll leave that to him.
It's his play.

Silver says, "no dice."

Everybody waits
for the big payoff.

So we wait,
is that it?

No. we make our own
collection tonight.

Now, you two stay here.
I'll get the boys
in the other room.

Okay, judge.

One dealer left.
Get the boys.

Night, gillette.

G'night, Mr. Kirby.

It's strap.
Yeah.

Hold it.

Must've gotten wise
to strap.

Wait! they're using him
as a decoy for a holdup.

Mr. Kirby!
Mr. Kirby!

All right, keep it quiet,
you two. This is a private
gold strike in the house.

Well, I'm not
waiting anymore.

I reckon it's all here,
Mr. Kirby.

You didn't give them
a chance to spend any
of it, that's certain.

Put it away, ed.

I don't like to look
a gift horse in the mouth,

but how did you happen
to invite yourselves
to muldoon's party?

Ah, I reckon it's
just force of habit.

You see, Larry and me,
we're sorta ground-floor
fellas.

Anytime we're sleeping
two stories high,
we get kinda nervous.

So, I was just
looking out
the window,

just to make sure
we could reach
the ground easy...

In case of fire.

Yeah, fire, or even
the wrong kind of
knock on the door.

Then you saw that muldoon
out to jump me.

Yeah, four guns
on one man.

We don't like
that kind of odds
down in Texas.

It's a lucky break,
all the way around.

Gentlemen, this calls
for a drink on the house.

And that's bill Tate
of Colorado Springs.

He work for you too?

Drove for me
once in a while.

Very sad affair,

but the best night's
business we've had
for some time.

I can make a very
attractive club rate
for all six.

Well, silver,
you can lock up now.

Corpus delicti's
been identified,

and Hawkins here offers
a very good club rate.

Six coffins, no flowers,
no mourners.

Seems to me
that's up to cabeau.

I'd be more careful
about my hired help
if I were you.

Look, I gotta take
what I can get.

Cutting and hauling this
town's supply of cordwood
is a tough job.

But if that's all, marshal,
I'll be rolling.

I gotta hustle up
a new crew.

That's all, cabeau.
Thanks.

I can make it easier
for you, Mr. cabeau,

if you'll furnish
one of your own wagons.

My largest hearse is only
a two-passenger job.

See Jake at
the stable.

Oh, splendid!

I'll send my decorator over
to drape it in black.

You can drape it in
red, white, and blue,
for all I care.

A patriotic idea,

but a little
too unconventional
for cripple creek.

Well, good night, all,

and thanks again,
gentlemen, for being
so cooperative.

Miss Julie?

Sure glad you weren't
down here when this
happened, miss Julie.

So am I.

Yeah, it's pretty
rough.

Couldn't be helped,
once it started.

I suppose not.

And I'm sure Mr. Kirby's
very grateful to you.

Good night.

Good night, ma'am.

I'll reckon Larry and me'll
shove off our bed. Good
night, men.

Consider yourself
the honored guests
of the house,

for as long as
you want to stay.

Well now, that's real
handsome of you.

See ya in the morning.

Good night.
G'night.

Nothing like good ol'
Southern chivalry.

Imagine those boys,

risking their lives
for a total stranger
like you.

Or am I taking too
much for granted?

I never saw them
before, boss.

And it's my hunch they
made this grandstand play

to get in your
good book,

not mine.

What do ya think,
Denver?

Well, all I say is, boss,

you better keep that
safe locked

while your new guests
of honor are in town.

I agree with Denver.
I'd not only lock the safe,

I'd change the combination.

Night, gents.

Well, marshal,

how does it check out
from the point of view

of the law?

Well,
I'd say the town

is well rid
of the muldoon outfit,

but I'm not so sure it'll
benefit by the change.

Those two gun artists
ain't here for their health.

Maybe I better contact
my old friend

sheriff summers
down in amarillo.

He's got a record of
every gunfighter in Texas.

It's a smart idea,
marshal.

We law-abiding citizens
can't be too careful.

Hmm.

Why don't you look
under the bed?

Why don't I knock
your block off, you mean.

I'm sorry, Bret.
You're dead right.

I nearly wrecked
our case.

You sure did.

Strap!

Hiya, strap.

I ought to take you across
my knee and spank you,

like I did
when you were a kid.

Oh, all right.
Ball me out.

I got it coming.

It isn't that bad,
Larry.

You just broke a plate.

I think I saved
the pieces,

but you guys'll have
to glue 'em together.

How bad
is it broken?

I can't tell
for sure.

Silver Kirby's grateful,
but suspicious.

Now, that fish-eyed killer
of his, Denver Jones,

figures you're a couple
of refugee outlaws

looking for
a soft touch.

I helped
the idea along.

Swell! if Kirby
runs things,

he might make us
a proposition.

How does Kirby
add up?

I've got nothing
but hunches so far,

but there's a tie-in
between him and cabeau.

Yeah, I figured as much,

the way cabeau's name
got us this room.

How do they work it?

Here's all I got...

Cabeau has ten
four-horse wagons

hauling cordwood.

That's the only
fuel they have here.

Where do they get it?

I don't know,
but his woodcutters' camp

runs full blast
all summer,

and his rigs roll
day and night.

Out empty,
and back loaded, huh?

Hasn't anybody ever
tried to trail them?
Yeah.

Six marshals
and ten deputies,

but they never
got back.

Hmm.

Well, it begins
to figure.

You've done all right,
strap.

For a guy anchored
to a feral bank layout

and only
here a week.

What about this gal,
Julie hanson?

All I know is she
works for a living

to keep her
old man eating.

He's an old,
hard-luck prospector

who's dug more holes

than all the gophers
in the west.

Well, we can't
overlook anybody

connected with Kirby.

I guess I'll have
to give miss Julie

my personal attention.

There he goes again,

grabbing off
the best assignment.

Mr. cordwood cabeau
himself at the reins.

Off the bed, Larry,
and harness up.
We're going for a ride.

You got it, Bret.

That wagon may put us
on first base.

I have a hunch it'll
do more than that.

May buy us a seat
at silver Kirby's table.

That's the best
night's sleep I've had

since I met up
with him.

Strap,
blow out the lamp.

That's it, boys.

Well now, how d'ya
like that?

I'll be doggone.

What do we do now?

Follow cabeau
to the second link
in the chain?

No, we haven't got time.
It's too near morning.

Besides, I've got
a better idea.

Mask up.

Hey oh.

What do we do with
the stuff we got?

Dump it in some
abandoned hole.

It'll be safe
in this dead shaft.

Well, I couldn't sleep,

so I got to the window
for a smoke,

and there's those
two buckaroos

climbing down from
the roof to the ground.

Why didn't
you tail 'em?

I'm just a faro dealer.

I haven't been hired
to tail anybody.

I appreciate your
loyalty, gillis.

Perhaps I can throw
something your way.

To start with,
take your things and move

into that empty room
next to our Texas guests.

Keep cases on them,
night and day.

I'll stick to 'em
like a brother.

Where have you been?

Sleeping in
your stable?

I've been walking
ten miles.

Can I see you
in private?

Well,
that's all right.

I've, uh,
just taken gillis

into the corporation.

Pour our roughed-up friend
a cup of coffee, strap.

What's the sad story?

Two masked gunmen
killed Ben fry

and hijacked my
wagon last night.

They get the ore?

Yeah, and the wagon's
back at the stable...

Empty, so they've cashed
the load some place.

- Morning, miss Julie.
- Morning, ma'am.

Morning, boys.

Morning, Mr. Kirby.
Morning.

Have breakfast with us.

Well, that's an invitation
we never refuse.

That belt buckle!

Why, you!

Cabeau!

These are the two yeggs
who stuck me up.

There must be
some mistake.

These men are
my friends,

they've proved it.

How 'bout it, ivers?

Well, we're mighty
sorry, Mr. Kirby.

Larry and me had no idea

you were mixed up
with cabeau's outfit.

Naturally, we'd have
laid off that ore wagon.

Naturally...

And, that being the case,
all you have to do is tell us

where you
dumped those sacks,

and there'll
be no hard feelings.

That was mighty rich
ore, Mr. Kirby.

Yeah, from what we hear,

must be worth
close to $40,000.

Gold!

Gather around!

"Canceled Polly," you called
that claim of mine, did ya?

Hey, give me that,
you gopher!

It's Julie's father.
He struck it rich.

Nonsense.
that old claim of his
isn't worth a quarter.

Never will be.
If there's any gold in it,

somebody dumped it
down the shaft.

Three count chorus
to the old Juliana,

the richest strike
this year.

The Juliana.

So, that's where
you dumped it.

Our mistake.

We thought it was just an
abandoned hole in the ground.

I admire
your nerve, ivers.

This sort of changes
your plans, doesn't it?

I don't think so.

If we can take it
away from cabeau,

there shouldn't be much
trouble handling hanson,

especially since
the old man is trying

to get away
with it himself.

Granted. lets presume
you recover the gold.

How do you dispose of it?

You can't go driving
around a mountain

with a wagon load
of stolen gold.

Larry, looks like
he's got us, there.

Yeah, we never
figured on that.

Okay, Mr. Kirby,
it's your deal.

I'd thought you'd
see it my way.

Larry, since we've
caused all this trouble,

the least we could do
is help Mr. Kirby

get that ore back.

That's straight talking.

You won't lose by it.

Cabeau, you've got
yourself a couple of men

worth a dozen muldoons.

You're asking a lot
of me, silver.

Kiss and make up with
a couple of guys who

pulled me off my wagon
and near break my neck.

Cabeau, you surprise me.

These two Texas tornados

might be just what
the doctor ordered.

One way to find out is...

Let them sit in the game,

deal 'em a few hands,

and see how
they play 'em.

If that's the way
you want it.

That's the way
i want it.

Won't be long now
before I be joinin'

that millionaire club
of yours, Mr. hatton, yessir.

My congratulations.

It's beautiful
stuff, hanson.

After I get a few tons out,
Mr. Sullivan,

will ya assay it for me,
so I know that I got a vein,

not just a pocket?

Any time.
I'll be glad to oblige.

Thanks, thanks.

Oh, dad, this is wonderful.
I can hardly believe it.

Won't be long before we have
that big house in Denver,

like we both wanted,
honey.

My gal won't have to work here
much longer, Mr. silver.

Come on, honey, I want
to talk to you alone.

Now listen, honey,
and don't jump.

That ore really
isn't ours.

A gang of high-grading
skunks dumped

a whole load of it
down the Juliana shaft.

Dad, you're going
to pass it off as yours?

Oh, now you know your
dad better than that.

But all the excitement
you started.

But I figured it
was the best way

to catch the crooks that
dumped the ore on us,

and they're sure to
hijack it away from me.

I won't have you trying
to fight off hijackers.

Then not me.
I'll get marshal tetheroe

to set a trap for 'em.

Well,
that's different.

And you're not
too disappointed?

No, dad,
and I'm proud of you.

We'll strike it rich,
someday, and it'll be

on the up and up too.
Sure, we will.

Now, remember,
don't say a word

to anybody about
this, will ya?

I understand.
And you be careful.

I will be, honey.
Don't you worry
about your old man.

It's okay. Open up.

Where's silver?

He had dinner out.
He'll be back soon.

Well, I can't wait.

Tell him
this just came in

from a friend
of mine in Texas.

He wants anything
done about it tonight,

he knows where to find me.

Okay, marshal.

1,200, gilles.

Sign the book.

Sit in for me,
will you, George?

While I run
an errand.

Sure, strap.

Good evening,
Mr. Kirby.

Evening, ed.
Nice crowd out there.

Marshal tetheroe left
a letter for you to read.

Where?
right there
on my desk.

Sounded important.
Something from Texas.

There's no
letter here.

Why, he put it
right down there.

Gillis just signed
the money book.

He was the last
man in here.

All right, men.
Get your bets down.

Get the horses.
We gotta see the
marshal right away.

♪♪

Well, I guess that
does it, marshal.

Now you wait here
while I go get energy.

Well,
uh, never mind.

We can take it
from here on.

Now, gal darn it,
marshal,

I want to see
that ore delivered

just like I promised.

Now, hanson,
let's be reasonable.

I want to make it
as easy as possible

for the hijackers.

Just me
and the driver.

Then my deputies
can ride down

from the hills
and get them all.

Well, me going
ain't gonna stop

them high-graders from...

Nah, nothin' doin'.

Besides, I promised Julie

I wouldn't let you
take any chances.

Now you just ramble
on back to town.

Eh, all right.
I'll go.

But I don't
like it.

"Hanson, go back to town."
Well, I ain't going.

This is my
business too.

Energy!
are you listening?

This is my idea,
and I ain't gonna
get froze out of it.

Let's go. C'mon. C'mon.
C'mon, energy! C'mon!

Come on!

Hiya, boys.
Marshall.

All right, cabeau,
take it over.

There's nothing like
having the law on your side.

All right,
let's get along.

Hi, cowboy.

Marshal, silver wants
to see you right away.

Did he get
that letter?

He sure did.

He said to let all bets
ride as they lie.

He'll take care
of it.

Well, boys,
have a nice trip.

Come on,
young fella.

We've been two-timed
by the orneriest critter

that ever wore
a tin badge.

Come on,
let's get to town.

Come on, energy.
I gotta go, now.

I've got business
to attend to.

Will you come on?
Come on, energy,

will ya come on?
Come on.

Ride up and tell cabeau
my horse picked up a stone.

I'll be along
in a minute.

I didn't know you were in
so deep on this play, gillis.

I wasn't,
till tonight.

That letter
put me in.

What did you
make of it?

Same as you did,
marshal.

Ivers in this town
might be government men.

I don't know why
silver didn't

wipe them both
out right there.

Reckon it's because
he never saw the letter.

Take it easy.

All right, gillis,
what is it?

Federal or state?

Secret service.

Now, ride slow.
Left turn.

Well, cripple creek's
to the right.

I'm taking you down
to Colorado Springs,

and let an honest sheriff
put you on ice

till this case
is closed.

Oh, don't do
that, gillis.

They don't give
a double-dealing marshal

like me an even break
in this state.

I hate crooks,

but most of all a sworn
officer of the law

with a dirty badge.

Get going.

Any explanations?

Give me time,
and I'll think of one.

Where's that letter?

What letter?

Let's go.

What about the marshal?

Haven't you heard?

He died in the
line of duty.

The high-graders
got him.

All right, you two.
We don't need you
any longer.

You can go
back to town.

Right.

Reckon here's where they
want to stop our education.

Yeah, I'll guess we'll have
to work our way through college.

Take it back
to the stables, boys.

Hyah!

Lead.

This slag
is full of it.

That's what you get
from processing silver ore.

Right. this used
to be a silver camp.

They've got some of
the old machinery

down there running
the gold ore through.

Yeah, but I wonder how
they ship that gold out.

Well, we haven't got
time to find out now.

We've got to beat
cabeau back into town.

This is sure the main
link in our chain.

Break this,
and we break the case.

Let's try this way.

All right,
Mr. secret service.

I know all I need
to know about you.

There's one
other question:

Are Bret ivers
and Larry galland
working with you?

Those two trigger-happy
hillbillies?

Not a chance.

I never saw 'em
before in my life.

That's a good
answer, gillis.

Let's see how long
you stick with it.

We're going to play
a little game...

My own version
of Russian roulette.

Did you ever
hear of it?

No.

Stand him over there,
against the wall, lefty.

There's one cartridge
in this gun,

and five empty chambers.

The slug with your name on it

may be in the first,
or the last.

Or, somewhere
in between.

Chief, that's one
for the book.

I'd thought
you'd like that.

I'm going to give you
a gambling chance.

If you give me an honest
answer to my question,

you walk out that
door a free man.

You expect me
to believe that?

That's another gamble
you'll have to take.

At the moment,
the odds are five to one

that this is
an empty chamber.

Ready, gillis?

How 'bout my answer?

Have it your way.

That was a long shot,
gillis.

Now it's four to one.

Same question.

Same answer.

This is getting
interesting.

One of the next four.
It may be the very next.

Any change of mind?

Here goes your
three-to-one shot.

Well,
what do you know?

With luck like yours,
a man could get rich.

I'll lay two to one
on our lucky friend
from Washington.

I'll take ten.
Me, too, boss.

Forty to twenty, it is.

Good luck, gillis.

My money's on you.

Uncle Sam has some
durable employees,

I'll say that
for you, gillis.

But now we're
down to cases.

One of the next two.

An even money bet.

Still gambling, gillis,

or do I get
my honest answer?

You had it, silver.

Go ahead. Wind it up.

What do you say, boys?
Double or nothing?

You're on.
Shoot, boss.
You're fated.

My hat's
off to you, gillis.

I've been a gambler
all my life,

and I've never
seen a better play.

As far as I'm concerned,

you've earned a break.

You don't believe me?

I'm going
to turn you loose.

That is, when my gold
investments pay off.

Take him
to his room, lefty.

Have a good
sleep, gillis.

You've got it coming.

Too bad.

He was the best
faro dealer I ever had.

That you, gillis?

Oh, hi, Denver.

Hello, gents.
Just get back?

Yeah, we just rolled in
with a roll of logs.
Where's gillis?

He isn't with us
any more.

Something happen to him?

That skunk turned out
to be a government man.

How'd you find out?

Marshal titheroe got
a tip-off letter from Texas,

from an old friend.

What does gillis do,

but steal the letter,
and shoot the marshal?

Silver and I got
there just in time.

Just in time for what?

To grab gillis
and bring him in.

We worked him over
plenty.

Finally came through
and admitted everything.

Can you imagine
a weasel like that?

How 'bout that?

What'd ya do to him?

I always give
a game guy a break.

I plugged him in the back
so he wouldn't see it coming.

See ya downstairs.

Right.

Larry.

Funny about that letter.

Nobody in Texas knew
strap's business but me.

Not even our
own folks.

That letter was
about me, Larry.

Not strap.

How do you now?

He gave it to me last night.

He wrote a message on it
that he'd have to drop off
the case

and take tetheroe with him.
Let's see it.

I burned it back
on the road when I stalled

to take care of
the horse's hoof.

It's all my fault, Larry,
for holding out on you.

You couldn't of known
they'd catch up with strap.

All he had to do
was light out for

Colorado Springs
with the marshal.

Could have hung
back long enough

to cover the road
for him.

He didn't ask
you to, did he?

No.

No. he just said,
"good luck."

You did just what
he wanted you to do.

That's why he slipped
the letter to you

instead of me.

I might have jumped in
like I did on muldoon,

and taken all three
of us off the case.

As it is, he...
He covered us good.

So...

Let's get back
on the job.

I'll wash first,
if you don't mind.

I rubbed it in good,
but it didn't seem

to mean a thing to him.
They never batted an eye.

Then in your book,
they're okay?

You know me. I don't
buy many gold bricks,

but I'm almost sold
on that pair.

Keep your wallet
in your pocket.

Till we checked with
that old friend

of the marshal's
down in Texas.

Strap's lucky gun,

and if he had
it on him,

he might be
alive today.

Strap was only worrying
about keeping the case alive.

Now that we
haven't got him
as a listening post,

we're on our own.
Yeah, nobody to tip us off

how close
we're being watched.

And time's
running short, too.

Somehow, one of us
will have to get away

and down into that
smelter in buena vista.

Got any ideas?

Not a glimmer.

Hanson,
all slicked up.

Looks like
he's going away.

Let's find out
where's he's going.

But why didn't
you explain

to Mr. Stratton
and the others?

Well, doggone it,
i tried to,

but they wouldn't
believe me.

Why, the way they acted,

you might think i
stole that ore myself,

and that marshal was in
with that gang, too.

I'm going to take
action, that's all.

Dad, I won't have you
mixed up in this.
It's too dangerous.

I ain't afeared!

I'm going to see my friend
lieutenant governor Jim black.

He and me used
to prospect together,

and when I tell him
about this ore,

he'll bust this
gang wide open.

Dad, please, don't.
You just don't...

No, Julie.
I'm going, and nothing's
going to stop me.

Don't worry about your old man.
He'll be all right.

Good bye, now.

Looks like your dad
means business.

Yes, and I'm worried
to death about him.

I don't blame you
for worrying, ma'am.

If the wrong folks
heard about that,

your dad's life wouldn't
be worth a nickel.

That's what
i told him,

but his mind's made up,

and there's nothing
i can do about it.

I wish we could do something
to help him, miss Julie.

I don't see how...

There is someone
who could help.

Mr. Kirby
likes father.

He's been
very kind to him.

Maybe he could think
of some way to stop him.

I'm sure he could.

I'll go see him
right away.

This is the
break we need.

We'll grab old man
hanson off that stage

and stash him
away somewhere.
How'll that help?

It'll put us in
solid with silver.

And while we're
guarding hanson,

I'll take a shot at
that buena vista lead.

Let's ride.

Hanson wasn't
on the stage.

A couple of guys with
masks held it up

and took
the old man away.

Well, I reckon I'm
guilty, your honor.

You make rather
hasty decisions,

don't you, ivers?

We had to.
The stage had left.

I knew you didn't want
hanson stirring things up

around Denver,
so Larry and me
picked him off the coach.

Where is he?

Larry's got him
in that old trappers cabin,

up on
tabor mountain.

I came in to tell you
and take some supplies

out to them.

Smart thinking, ivers.

After all,
you couldn't know

that Julie hanson would
be foolish enough to

tell us about
her father.

That's right. Of course
if you don't think

holding the old man
alive is safe enough...

Well, that's good
enough for now.

Besides, I owe
him a rain check

for helping me
get back that ore

that you boys lifted.

Yeah.

Am I interrupting?

Not at all.
Come in, Julie.

I was just
wondering if

you'd done anything
about father.

He's in
good hands.

He's the guest of
our Texas friend,

in a mountain lodge.

Oh, that's wonderful.
Thanks, Mr. Kirby.

And thank you,
Mr. ivers.

Only, please don't tell him
i had anything to do with it.

He'd be furious
with me.

Oh, we won't, ma'am.
Why, he doesn't even know

that Mr. Kirby
acted for ya.

He thinks we're members
of the high-graders

and kidnapped him
to keep his mouth shut.

Thanks again,
Mr. ivers.

Can't smoke until
i get something to eat.

Ain't enough you
have to kidnap me,

you're trying to starve
me to death, too.

Hey, where you
going now?

Well, there's my partner
with the grub.

Just take it easy,
pop.

Am I glad
to see you.

Hi, Larry.
How'd you'd make out?

Well, if there are
any names he hasn't
called me,

I don't know
what they are.

Coffee and bacon!

Maybe this'll soften
the ol' boy's heart.

How'd you make out
with Kirby?

Fine. we're now his
fair-haired playmates.

Better get him
to send me up some help.

I can't stay awake
another night

listening to
hanson cuss.

Well, stick with it
until I get back.

I'm going down to buena now
to smoke out link number two.

See ya pronto.

♪♪

I'll get
the wagon packed up.

We have to make
today's train to leadville.

Hey, Joe, give him
a hand over here.

♪♪

Now get back to work.

Here you are,
you grinning Texas hyena.

Only wish I had
some rats to put in it.

'Preciate that, pa.

And don't call me pop,
gall darn ya.

Like when I said
when I fought with
general ulysses Grant,

a Johnny reb is just
a no good cuss,

and never will
be anything else.

And that goes
for you too!

Now hold it.
Hold it, old timer,

- you've got us all wrong.
- Hi, Bret.

Hi, Larry.
And just to prove it,

I'm gonna send you
in this afternoon
on a train to Denver.

What kind of new
weasel-pussing
you trying now?

Eh, maybe we got religion
and turned honest.

Go pack your
valise and hurry.

Glory be,
will I!

I got down in among
the gophers, Larry.

Slickest operation
ever pulled.

You mean they're smelting
that gold underground?

Not only that,

they're plating it
to make it look like

ordinary pig lead,
and shipping it out that way.

Lead-plated gold bricks.
Well, what do you know?

Now get this:

The gold shipment's
going out on the same train

with you and hanson.

The crates are marked,
"pier 63, San Francisco."

Pier 63.
What about hanson?

Well,
just keep him pacified

until you get
him to Denver

and then turn him over
to the U.S. marshal

there to hold his...
Friendly custody.

And, at the same time,
i follow the pig lead.

Right. now, get all
the dope you can

and then meet me
back here at the shack.

I'll let you know
when I'm getting in.

One of those
"love for mother"
telegrams.

Check.

Well, what's holding us up?
I'm ready.

And if this ain't
some more monkey shines,

why, maybe I can
get the governor

to let you boys off
with 20 years.

Thanks!

Well, come on.
Lets get going, come on.

Well,
what do you know?

The laundry man
of cripple creek.

Translate this
for me, will ya?

It means, "when this
is in your hands,

fulfill all
obligations."

So, in other words,
"on receipt of this,
pay off."

Yes.

Can you tell me when this
will reach cripple creek?

- Well, uh, lets see.
- Two days.

Three.

Stage coach
to cripple creek...

It ought to be
Thursday morning.

Good.
so will I.

Thanks very much,
Mr. postmaster.

Not at all.

Your name's ivers,
isn't?

That's right.

The operator down
at the Springs

sent this up to you.

Much obliged.

Cabeau.

Silver.

What are you so glum about?
Today's payday.

The biggest
we've ever had,

set for 2:00.

Here's how the cuts
are going to run.

You're gonna...

Denver, you're just
in time for the big news.

Mine's not
so good, boss.

Well, that's what
i get for counting

my chips while the
game's still running.

Go head.
Spill it.

Sherriff summers
of Dayton county

met me halfway,
at Trinidad.

That letter he
wrote the marshal

was about ivers,
not gillis.

It said the set-up
in Texas looked like

ivers was
a government man,

working on the inside
with the border smuggler.

And gillis covered
for ivers and galland.

A three-horse
team.

Looks that way, but what
are they waiting for?

They must know everything
there is to know by now.

No. no, they can't
possible know

who pays us off
or when it's to be.

Could be that's what
they're waiting for.

Send a couple of men
up to the cabin

and bring in galland
and the old man,

and tell ivers
i want to see him.

Shouldn't take us long
to find out exactly

how much they do know.

Hey, galland.

Nobody here.
It's a cold camp.

There hasn't been
anybody here for days.

Hi.

Well, howdy.

Where's the old man?

Ran out on me
while I was asleep.

I just went
after him.

Saddlebags?

Oh, you boys get
funny ideas, don't you?

Hi, ivers.

Hi, cabeau.

I figured you
might be here.

Yeah, I was just looking
for my pal, Larry.

Oh, he's gone on
in with the boys.

Say, silver wants
to see us all there.
This is payday.

A big payoff, hey?
Sounds mighty fine.

You said it.

Look's like there's
been a fight in the cabin.

Sure Larry's all right?

Oh, sure he is.
I passed him on the way up.

Funny, I didn't.

They took the cut off.

Come on,
I'll show you.

Maybe it was
old man hanson

who put up the fight.

How did he look?

Oh,
fine and dandy.

Still cussing
everybody in sight.

♪♪

All I want to know,
galland, is, uh,

where you went
with the old man.

And whether you and
ivers sent for any help.

Keep on trying,
silver.

I may break down
any minute.

Our obstinate
young friend

has told me more
than he realizes.

If he were
expecting help,

he'd be bragging
about it.

I think it's safe to go
ahead with the payoff.

In the meantime,
keep our friend
well entertained.

Hello, ivers.

Cabeau tell you
the good news?

Yeah,
he sure did.

I'm giving a little party
in honor of the occasion.

Come on up and
join the boys.

I'll be back in
a little while.

Right.

Enjoy yourselves.

You first,
cabeau.

Hold it.

Get rid of those guns.

Left hand!

Untie him.

Everybody's payday but ours.
Is that the idea, Denver?

It's your play, ivers.

Spread your cards
on the table.

Okay, you're all
under arrest.

Hold it.

Get 'em up.

Take em down to
the miner's committee

and let them
take care of them.

All right,
get moving.

Aces full.

Okay, get up.

I'm going to save
you for the hangers.

Strap would like it
better that way.

Okay, let's go.

Come on, get up.

Gentlemen!

I'm speaking
to you as agent

of the U.S.
secret service.

These men are leaders
of the high-graders.

Mr. hatton...

I'm placing them
in your charge. Take over.

I'll be very
glad to do so.

Mort, Johnson, hibbs!

Well, kid, there's
only one chance now

to complete our case.

If silver Kirby
is still around,

he may try to
collect the payoff.

The Chinese laundry
is the spot to watch.

I learned that
in 'frisco.

Well, what are
we waiting for?

Well, at least
miss Julie

don't have to do
her own washing.

You don't get your laundry
in the back room.

Can she be
in on this, too?

You better leave, too.

There's no telling
how much they found out.

If they don't
know about you,

they couldn't have any
suspicions about me.

And my market
for unlisted gold

is inexhaustible.

Sorry, Mr. Sullivan,
but the market is closed.

I'll take that bag,
Julie.

Not a payoff, Larry!

All in brand new,
U.S. yellowbacks.

You're a prisoner
of the government

you were supposed to serve,
Mr. James c. Sullivan.

Sir, the name is
James Chang Sullivan,

and I only owe allegiance
to my mother's country.

By now the gold is
well on its way

to the dowager
empress of China.

Sorry to disappoint you,

but by now, it's in
the mint in San Francisco.

Take our oriental friends
to the miner's committee.

While I ask miss hanson
some questions.

Drop that gun,
galland.

Julie, dear,

take that bag
out to the buckboard
and wait for me.

Give her the bag,
ivers.

Julie can't stand
bloodshed.

Not a bad try for a gal
who can't stand bloodshed.

He was my husband.

All right, Larry,
take her away.

I'll get the loot.

What a foolish pair
of young men you are.

There's a half million
in that bag,

and the possibility
of much more to come.

And I'll bet he could even
get us an introduction

to the empress of China.

I'll bet he could!

That's too bad,
Larry.

We're just a
couple of chumps.

Born to die poor,
but honest.

Yeah, reckon that's
about the most money

we ever don't get
as long as we live.

Oh, good afternoon,
gentlemen.

Am I wrong, or are my
services again in demand?

You get around fast,
don't you?

It my profession,
it pays to keep one's ear

attuned to the bark
of a six-gun.

If this keeps up,
I'll really have
to put you two

on a commission basis.

And, thank you again,
gentlemen.

Well,
if we ever need one,
we got a job.