Escort West (1959) - full transcript

In 1865 in Nevada, former Confederate Captain Ben Lassiter and his daughter Abbey travel through Modoc territory on their way to Oregon. At Fenniman's Station they stop for a meal, a bath and supplies. Inside the way-station, a group of Union soldiers, led by Lieutenant Weeks, are enjoying a meal. The patrol escorts an Army payroll and two sisters to meet another patrol, led by Captain Howard Poole. One of the sisters, Beth Drury, is engaged to Poole. The other sister, Martha Drury, is bitter at having lost her fiance during the American Civil War. When Ben Lassiter and his daughter sit for a meal inside the way-station, Martha Drury reacts badly toward the former Confederate officer and asks the Union patrol to arrest Lassiter. However, the Union patrol commander explains the civil war is over, shrugs Martha's suggestion off and orders the patrol to move on. Unknown to them, the Modocs have already set up a nearby ambush while other Modocs have surrounded Captain Poole's troop, pinning them down. Ben Lassiter and his daughter Abbey are the last to leave Fenniman's Station. Resuming their journey, they travel all day and they set up a night camp just off the trail. During the night, Ben Lassiter scouts around and notices a group of drunken Modoc Indians carrying liquor jugs, similar to those sold at Fenniman's Station. Fearing that the Indians have attacked Fenniman's Station, Ben Lassiter decides to wait for the sunrise and warn Lieutenant Weeks' payroll escort of the danger. Ironically, a former Confederate officer is attempting to save Union soldiers' lives.

Hey, war whoop,

tell the lieutenant
I wanna eat, too.

I could starve
for all they care.


[ Chuckles ]

I've been wranglin'
around here for six months,

and that Indian still
can't figure me out.

Back up, monty.

From fenniman's here,

we'll move on
to alston's station

and be there tonight.

By leaving early tomorrow,
we won't have to push too hard

before we meet with
captain poole's company

about here at dry creek.

From there, he'll
escort US into Oregon

with only
a few days' journey

to fort klamath and
your new home, miss drury.

I don't think I could ever make
a home in this savage country.

After my sister
is settled,

I intend to continue on
to San Francisco.

I, uh, know I won't find it
as civilized as our former home,

but then one can't--

woman: Oh, I thought you'd
take all day with that water.

Now go get some wood.

Soldier outside
want food.

Burch! Relieve Vogel.

I ain't finished yet,

You're finished.
Now relieve Vogel.

Go ahead.

Yes, sir.


I'd rather have tea
if you don't mind.

Hey, elwood. We got any of
that tea left from last year?


Never mind,
I'll take the coffee.

I shall have to get used
to it sooner or later.

How 'bout you,

Oh, yes.
Thank you.

Thank you.

Weeks: Daydreaming?

Yes, I guess I was,
lieutenant weeks.

Beth will have time enough
for that after she is married.

Not if I know
captain poole.

[ Laughs ]

Um, what i--

what I mean is...

Did you water
the mounts, trooper?




What is the proper way

for an enlisted man
to address an officer?

The mounts is watered,

Vogel, sit down and eat
while you got a chance.

Another customer
for you, Kate.

I'm as ready
as he is.

The war's been over
three months.

This is what happens
to discipline.

nothing but rabble.

I suppose we do need them
to keep the Indians in line.

Still it seems a pity
that men like yourself--

officers--must associate
with men like that.

[ Bangs table ]

Relax, boy.
Eat your grub.

Ellwood's fixin'
the lunches.

They'll be ready
in a minute.

Thanks, Kate.

They told US
at salt lake

we might have
some trouble
getting through.

Not with an escort,
miss drury.

The Indians know better than
to fool with an army pay wagon.

We heard rumors
of fighting.

Perhaps an
occasional traveler

or an
unescorted wagon--

nothing serious.

We have an existing treaty
with the modoc council.

We do not infringe
on their territory
in the lost river area.

However, there are
some renegades

in the lava bed country.

Sometimes they break away
and make raids on their own.

That devil area is almost
impossible to police

with the men we've got.

Listen to Daniel Boone.

He ain't never been within
spittin' distance of a modoc.

Hey, sarge.
Look what I got.

Well, I'll be doggoned.
Clear out here in Nevada.

Vogel: Forget it, burch.
The war is over.

Don't hardly seem natural to see
a reb walkin' around free as air

and not do somethin'
about it.

Close the door
on your way out.

Still don't seem natural.

Come right in, folks.
Come right in.

Sit right over here
and make yourselves at home.

So you're one of them
confederated rebels, hey?

Well, I'm Kate fenniman,
and I'm pleased to meet you.

My name's
Ben lassiter.

This is my
little daughter, Abbey.

Hello, honey.
Hey, elwood, look.

We got a real honest
to goodness rebel here.

I hope
you don't mind.

Elwood and me ain't
never seen a reb before,

stuck way out here
and all.

How did you
get here?

Don't ask
so many questions.

How old are you,

Aren't you
gonna do anything?

There's nothing
I can do, miss drury.

Like the sergeant said,
the war is over.

Just like that.
The war is over.

For four years

these traitors kill
and loot our country,

and then, because they
decide to give up,
everything is all right.

We're supposed to forgive
and forget, is that it?

Well, I say
they should be hung.

Every last one of them.

It's all right,
Mrs. Fenniman.

We're right proud
to have you here, reb,

and anything you want,
you just holler.


Is that lady talking
about US, daddy?

What do you say
we have something to eat?

Do you have
anything warm?

Why, sure.

I wonder how proud you'd
be if someone you loved

had been killed
because of men like that.

Funny thing about runnin'
a place like this, reb.

You get the darndest assortment
of critters coming through.

The cat'll get it.

I'll wait
in the coach.

Excuse me.

Doyle, get those lunches
in the wagon immediately.

We're pulling out.

Yes, sir. All right, you heard
what the lieutenant said.

Now get movin'.
See you next month, Kate.

Sure, Doyle.
Behave yourself, now.

Good luck, reb.

Take care of the little lady.
Rough country out here.

Thanks, sergeant.
But she takes care of me.


Nice man.

Nice fella,

But that woman,

bad wrong with her.

Knowed it the minute
I laid eyes on her.

Ain't got all day, Vogel.
Ready, Nelson?

Ready and waiting,

What's the delay,

Nothing, sir.

Let 'em roll!

[ Laughs ]

That was good,
wasn't it?

Hit the spot, huh?Mm-hmm.

Try one of these.
They're good after a meal.

I sneak one myself now and then
when nobody's looking.

Only got four left.


Mmm, mild.

Ought to be. Come all
the way from San Francisco.

Say, how come you figure
to settle in Oregon, young lady?

My mommy's sister
lives there.

She's the only kin
we have now, since mommy died.

Daddy says
we'll be happy there.

Of course
you will, honey.

Things pretty bad
in the south, I guess.

They say everything's
for the best,

but I'm blamed
if I can see how.

We'll make it all right,
won't we?

we'll make it fine.

Do you think she
can give me a bath?

Do you have a place where my
little girl can scrub up a bit?

Certainly have.

I'll scrub her till she shines
like a new silver dollar.

Good. Maybe then
you'll be worth something.

Elwood, put that water
on the stove.


[ Laughs ]

Still say you oughtta
spend the night.

A good sleep in a bed'll
be hard to come by
between here and Oregon.

Thanks. But I think
we can pick up about 20 miles

before it gets dark.

Say, reb. You want
to take along

a jug of who hit John?

Who hit John?

Texas whiskey.
I just run off a pot.

That Texas stuff is
a little too strong for me.

No wonder the war
lasted four years.

All you rebs
stubborn cusses?

Ready, Abbey?Yes, daddy.

Bye, miss fenniman.

Thanks for the bath.
Ought to last me
clear to Salem.

Lord go with ya.

Say hello to that old
skinflint alston for me.

Thanks again.

What's the matter,

Nothing's the matter.
Don't ask so many questions.

Never will
understand women.


Daddy, why are
some people so nice to US

and others like that lady
who said those awful things?

Well, that lady
probably thought

she had a good reason
to say what she did.

To her way of thinkin',
I probably am a traitor.

But you didn't do
anything to her.

Not directly,
but the war might have,

and I was part of it.

The part that was
against her people.

I should have told her
you were a hero.

You have medals.

The trouble with you, miss nosy,
is you're just prejudiced.

I'm not a hero, Abbey.

I only fought for what
I felt was right.

Travis, I'll bet you
a month's pay
against a dead mule

that weeks
don't ever show up.

What makes you think so?

Them Indians
is still here.

They're waitin', and
it ain't for the escort.

Don't you figure
captain poole knows that?

Well, maybe,
but he's green,

and this type of fightin'
don't go by the book.

I sure wish the lieutenant
would tell him
the facts of life.

What do you think
our losses would be
if we broke out of here?

Day or night?Early tomorrow.

Third of the men,
half the horses.

What about tonight?

Well, our chances
would be better.

These modoc don't mind
fightin' at night,

but we'd be harder to hit.

I know what you're
thinking, captain.

It's a rough decision
to have to make.


fine-looking girl.

Yeah, I had a devil of a time
getting her out here.

She even made me let her
bring her sister along.

She's from your hometown,
isn't she?

She's from Boston.

Wouldn't mind being
back there right now.

I know what you mean.

look up there.

Well, I guess it's
about time for US

to find a place
to sleep, huh?

Well, button, let's take
a look at this place.

That smoke,
does that mean Indians?

Of course not, worrywart.
It's probably some brushfire.

Now, get down off of Gus.
Lay out your blankets.

I'll cover the entrance so...
They can't get out of here.

Did you say your prayers?


One for you...

One for mama.

[ Horse nickers ]

Stay there.

Shh. Be real quiet,
real quiet.

[ Gun clicks ]

[ Man screams ]

Oh, daddy.

Yes, baby.

What is it,

Oh, nothing, nosy.

Can we keep the horse?

I think we'd better.


Are we going back
to Mrs. Fenniman's?

They were so nice to US.

We'll go on
to alston's station.

I'm gonna try to catch up
with lieutenant weeks,

tell him what we've seen.

From now on in,

we've got to keep
our eyes open. All right?

We may as well take the road.
We can't make any time this way.

They're probably
all gone now--
the Indians, I mean.

Yeah, I hope so.

Why are we stopping,


You stay here.
I'm gonna take a closer look.

They got me in the leg.

I didn't want
to move before

until I made sure
who you were.


Bring the horses.

The others?

Looks like
they're all dead.

I haven't checked
the house yet.

Vogel and burch
left early to scout ahead.

The rest of US were
out here saddling up

when about eight of them
let go at US.

I remember lieutenant weeks
yelled to the ladies

about a cellar
underneath the house.

Where's the entrance
to the cellar?

There's a trapdoor
in the kitchen floor.

Abbey, look after him
and give him some water.

I'll be right back.

[ Knocking sound ]

somebody's up there.

Can you hear me
down there?

We're down here.
Get US out.

I'll be right there.

Give me your hand.

Thank you.

Thank you.

How's your patient?

We're no better off
than we were before.

If the other men
got away,

why isn't
captain poole here?

We'll have to rig up something,
to keep this leg from jarring.

It's more than 20 miles
to captain poole's camp.

You won't make it
dragging me along.

You let me
worry about that, huh?

How long are we
going to wait here?

Those savages
might come back.

We'll be waiting here
until his leg is fixed.

You girls
are probably hungry.

There's some food there
on the horse.

Who can eat after this?Suit yourself, ma'am.

Thank you.
Thank you very much.

Is there anything
I can do to help?

I'm afraid not.

You wouldn't believe
they were sisters, would ya?

Couldn't be less alike,
even if they tried.

Now let's see...
Abbey, I want you to get me

a couple of boards
about so long.

I'll make a splint here.

All right.

Nice girl, Abbey.
Quite the little lady.

I'm Nelson Walker.

I have a hauling contract

with the quartermaster
at fort klamath.

My name's Ben lassiter.

I saw you at fenniman's
when we rode up.

Glad you didn't
come along with US.

The bunch that hit you
passed US early last night.

They'd already been
to fenniman's.

One of 'em found US.

He had Mrs. Fenniman's
cigar tin in his pack.

God bless them.
They were nice people.

You can never tell
about these modoc outlaws.

Even their own people
hate them.

When they raid,
they split up in groups

and hit two or three places
at the same time.

And then later,
they rejoin at some point

and make a run back
in to the lava beds.

That takes quite
a bit of organizing.

Who is their leader?

A young breed called tago.

Scouted a while
for company b,

long enough to learn
what he wanted,

and then took off
with about 18 or 20 carbines.

But they've never
jumped US out this far before.

This captain poole'll
probably stop 'em.

If they don't
get him first.

It wouldn't take
too many men

to pin him down
in one of these canyons.

Captain poole
has only eight troopers,

and man for man

these Indians are better
at that kind of fighting.

These all right,


Now, this is gonna
hurt a little, but--

Abbey, you better hold
his leg right in here.

That's it. And take
this boot, now. Steady.

Look at this.

My best dress--
a filthy rag!

You should be glad
you're able to see it again.

What's that
supposed to mean?

It's just
by the grace of god

we're not lying out there
dead with the others.

And all you can do
is complain.

Have you
anything more to say?

I'm sorry. I didn't mean it
the way it sounded. But you--

I what?

The only thing between US
and whatever is out there

is that man lassiter.

Our lives are in his hands.
He's trying to help US.

Can't you be
a little grateful?

You expect me
to be grateful

to one of his kind
that killed Walter?

You expect me
to forget that?

Why don't you stop
deceiving yourself?

What do you mean?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

I said what do you mean?

Walter wrote me just
before he was killed.

He'd met a girl in
New York while on leave.

They were married.

Sorry, I hoped i'd
never have to tell you.

You're a liar.

He didn't know how
to tell you, so he asked
me to do it for him.

The day the letter arrived,

Walter's name was
on the casualty list.

I never realized it before,
but you were jealous of US.

Well, your lies
won't do you any good,

because I know
he loved me.



Is this all right?

That's fine, Abbey.

I don't want
to be rollin' off.

I was wondering--

there's a strongbox
in the wagon there.

Payroll for the fort.

This new paper money
doesn't mean much to Indians.

It's worth a look.

What's he doing now?
Why aren't we going?

Daddy's looking
for the money.

You were right.
They left it.

Abbey, get a food sack.

How much is it?

I don't know, nosy.
But there's plenty.


Now, look, one of you ladies
get up on the mule,

the other the horse.

Abbey, you take
the Indian pony.

What about you,
Mr. Lassiter?

I'm gonna walk.

Something wrong, ma'am?

That's no business
of yours.

Look, let's get
one thing straight.

We've got a lot of
rough country to go over,

and I'm not in any mood
for a nasty disposition.

What rank did you hold
in the confed?

hood's brigade. Why?

Oh, just curious.

You sure told her.

Why don't you
paddle her behind?

Abbey! Come on.

Ready? Let's go.

[ Groans ]

Did that bump
hurt your leg?

Don't worry about me,
child. I'm fine.

Do we go over that?

Yeah. I was just thinkin'
the same thing.'s the leg?

Just fine.

Good. Think we
can get through that?

The best way over
is by the wagon road.

It follows a sort
of a natural pass
through the rocks.

If it weren't for me
tied down in this rig,

you might make it

Oh, no, you don't.
You're stuck with US now.

Besides, you're
Abbey's patient.
Right, Abbey?


Well, I guess I have
to follow nurse's orders.

That settles it.

I'll go up
through the rocks

and stay as close
to the road as possible.

That'll give US a chance
to get a little rest, too.
Right, nurse?


If this was in your lap,
what would you do?

First, I'd have
to think of our men.

Don't you think
I've thought of that?

I didn't mean it
that way, sir.

You see, I don't think
that weeks and the others
are still alive.

I got this figured out
as all part of a plan.

I think that tago was
watchin' US when we split up,

and he sent some
of his men to stop them.

Now he doesn't have
enough bucks left with him

to try an open charge,
and he doesn't seem to care.

He's content
to just sit up there

and keep US pinned down here
till he gets reinforcements.

That's why the longer we wait,
the rougher it's gonna be.

Don't forget we've got
two wounded men
who shouldn't be moved.

They'll expect
to take their own chances.

Can you make 'em out?

Yeah. That's tago,
all right.

I think if we catch him,
the others'll quit.

I don't know.

Sometimes it's safer
to just chase those modocs,

not catch 'em.

How far would you
say they was?

Close to 400 yards.
You might as well throw a rock.

You keep your eye peeled.

I'll hold about eight feet
over his head.

I hope you
didn't disturb him.

He's resting now, daddy.

You better get some rest
yourself, button nose.

I will, daddy.
But I'm worried about him.

He wouldn't eat anything,
and he's awfully hot.

You're right.

I'll get some water.

Mr. Lassiter.Yeah?

I have
a suggestion to make.

Yes. What is it,

That man is obviously
in great pain,

and moving him on that thing
isn't helping any.


Wouldn't it be better
for all of US

if we made him as comfortable
as we could, and then rode on

until we find someone
we can send back to him?

I'm sure that
you mean well,

but there are a couple of things
wrong with your suggestion.

We don't know
what's ahead of US,

and even if we did,

it might take
a few days to get back here.

Now, do you have
any more suggestions?

Regardless of that,

in his condition,
he's slowing US down,

keeping US all in danger
just because he can't walk.

I don't think it's fair
to US or to your little girl

endangering our lives
because of a man who'll
probably die anyway.

Martha! How can you
say such a thing?

Don't you think
you should remember

that without this man,
you wouldn't be here today?

The lady is right.

I don't feel too steady,

and I'll just be holdin'
the rest of you up.

I think you oughtta
get on and send back for me.

Let me take
a look at that.

I knew.
I knew it this afternoon.

We've got to get going.

Mr. Lassiter!

[ Horses neigh ]

They're getting
awfully brave.

I guess they figure
there's no one behind them.


There's something strange
about that fire.

It could mean
they've got some liquor,

or they're splitting up
what they got
from the station.

Maybe both. You can never
tell what they'll pull.

I've got an idea.

What're you gonna do,

Now look, nosy, you just say
a little prayer that it works.

Now get the horses ready.

Go on.

We'll need
a couple of fuses.

that should do it.

It will. In fact, it ought
to jar their ancestors.


Here's some water.

Now this is
very important.

As soon as I throw this,

I'm gonna run in and try
to get one of their horses.

If I succeed,
I'll meet you up the road.

The minute
you hear the explosion,

I want you
to swing past them

and don't stop for anything,
regardless of what happens.

Now, is that clear?But daddy--

I said don't stop,
regardless of what happens.

Is that clear?Yes, daddy.

If, uh...Anything
should happen,

I'll take care of Abbey.

I promise.

Be careful.


[ Conversing in native tongue ]

[ Conversing in native tongue ]

[ Gun clatters ]

Why doesn't he throw it?
What's he waiting for?

[ Shouting ]

Ride, child.
Ride, Abbey.

It's now or never!


Don't stop, honey.
Keep going.

[ Shouting ]

Keep going.

What about Nelson?Get out of here!

I'll take care of Nelson.
Go ahead.

You'd better get
out of here yourself

while you still
have a chance.

I'm through traveling
for tonight.

Look, Nelson,
don't let me down now.

I can get you up
on that horse. Come on.



It's no use.
I can't make it.

Captain, I've always
wanted to give

a confederate officer
an order.

Now, will you please
get on that horse

and get out of here?

Look, I'm not gonna
leave you here.
You know that.

This is for me and...
I'll use it.

I'm through,
and you know it.

You have a little girl
to worry about.

Don't throw her life away
by draggin' me along.

I'll crawl over in the rocks
there where I can rest.

When you see
captain poole,

tell him to send back
some men for me.

If that's the way
you want it...

That's the way
it's gonna be.,
I'll give you this--

no, captain.

I won't buy that.

You just want to get
close enough to get this gun.


I'll make it.
You just get goin'.

Well, what are you
waiting for?

Good-bye, soldier.

[ Approaching hoofbeats ]

[ Gunshot ]

Who was shooting,

I don't know.
Come on.

[ Horse snorting ]

Well, it looks like we're
gonna make it after all.

Mr. Lassiter...

I wish you'd call me Ben.


I'm really very grateful

for everything you've been
trying to do for US and...

Martha is, too,
in her own way. It's--

it's just that she's always
been kind of different.

I understand.

I'm tired, daddy.
Even Gus is tired.

Won't be long now.

Soon as we get out
of this open area.

Hold it.

Looks like we've
got company.

You girls ride over
to that gully

and keep out of sight.

You may be killed.

Martha, come on.
Let's hurry.

Mr. Lassiter!

Martha, come on.

[ Neighs ]

You can stay here
if you want,

but I'm going down
and take a look.

Mr. Lassiter...

Let's go.


Who'd have thought
they'd make it?

The reb and his kid
and the women.

How in the devil
did they get through?

I don't know.

All I know is
they've got horses.

Come on,
let's head 'em off.

[ Neighs ]

Wait here.

You sure
must be hungry.

Yeah. We ain't had
no grub since alston's.

get up over there

and take over
for the reb a while.

He might want some
of his own grub before
you clean him out.

Oh, all right.

Must you do that?

Do what?

Martha, please.
Leave the man alone.

It's your fault I'm here.
Look at me.

Filthy, living like an animal,
surrounded by savages.

What's the matter
with her?

Shut up, pig.

You don't learn easy,
do you?

I remember that smart crack
you made back at fenniman's.

You hear that?

I'd like to see you wind up
in some modoc cave, duchess.

You'd be glad
to see this pig then.
You'd be real glad.

Oh, stop it.

I saved some
for you, daddy.

Ben: Thanks.

You know, if we risk a fire,
we could make some coffee.



Do you think
captain poole knows

what happened
to your outfit?

How could he know?

Me and burch hardly got
started down to poole's camp

before the Indians
shot our horses
right out from under US.

Lucky we got out.

Tago's got him sewed up...

And him sittin' there
waitin' for reinforcements.

He can sit there till winter
for all I give a hoot.

Why hasn't tago
moved in?

I figure he's
split his war party.

Half' em to keep
poole pinned down

while the rest
raid the stations.

When the others come in,
he'll get to poole, all right.

What happens
if they don't?

They'll sit there
and snipe away at each other

till one of 'em starves out...
Unless someone gets tago.

Between you and me, reb,
I don't care which way it goes.

I'm sick of wearin'
this fool uniform

and I'm tired
of fightin' for nothin'.

With that payroll gone,
it'll be six months
of drawin' vouchers

you can't even buy
a jug of whiskey with.

We saved
the money for you.

You did, huh?

How'd you happen
to do that?

The Indians left it
on the wagon.

I buried it.

Where'd you Bury it?

Near alston's.

Yes, there was no sense
in bringing it

under these conditions.

Yeah, sure.
Sure, that was a good idea.

What do you think we should do?
Take a chance and move on?

Well, ma'am,
I don't know.

Do you see something,

Don't move.

What's goin' on?

Get that crazy one
over here.

Now get over there
with your brat.


Hurry it up,

Can't you see
she's ill?

She ain't
gonna be sick long.

This here reb's
got the post payroll.

Guess he figured
he had himself
a nice little stake.

He did not.

We're gonna give it
back to the army.

Oh, sure. That's why he said
it was buried at alston's.

Where is it, reb?

Where is it?

It's in the food pack
on the horse.

I thought so.

Get his horse, burch.

Pick out one for yourself
and run the rest off.

No, no! You can't.
Gus is mine.


All right, turn around,
all of you.

Burch: Yah!

[ Horse hoofbeats ]

Hurry it up.

You got everything
you want, Vogel.

Why don't you
leave it at that?

It's easier this way.

You can't just kill US
for no reason at all.

Leave 'em be, Vogel.

We got the money,
now let's make a run for it.

Are you out of your head?
Suppose they get through.

Where does that leave US?
This way they think
the Indians got 'em.

Desertin's one thing,
killin's somethin' else.
I don't like it.

You don't have to like it.
Just do as you're told.

I won't have
any part of it, Vogel.

Maybe you're right.

Without guns or horses,

they ain't got a chance
in a thousand, anyway.

Give me my share
of the money now.

We might have to split up.

Good idea.
Keep your eye on 'em.

here's your share.

[ Neighs ]

Go away.

Hey, hey, come on.
Nothing could be that bad.

Oh, Ben, i--
I've tried to help her.

It's all been
too much for her.

I wanted to get Martha
away from Boston,

like you wanted
Oregon for Abbey.

I thought
a change might help.

Then, too, I thought I'd find
my answer at fort klamath.

Now, I don't know.

Just remember one thing.

I haven't brought Abbey
this far to be stopped now.

We're gonna get through.
All of US.

Now blow your nose
and get Martha up on that horse.

Thanks, corporal.

They're no better, sir.

Like some grub, sir?
Got some beans warmed up.

I'll get some
to the men.

Get him up
behind the rocks.

We've gotta get
out of here.

Pass the word along
we're pulling out tonight.

Yes, sir.

Ben, she's falling!

She'll be all right.

Well, he didn't get
much use out of this.

[ Distant gunshots ]

are those Indians?

Could be.

They might be lookin'
at US right now.

Yeah. We've gotta get
out of here.

We can't take the horse.
Unbridle it.

Martha, come on. You've got
to get hold of yourself.

I can't go on.Martha, we've got to go.

Let me go.Martha, stop it.

Let me go! Let me go!
Let me go!

Martha. Martha!


Come on.

Come on, Abbey.

you drive this wagon.

Corporal Wheeler
will ride guard in the rear.

Remember, they're gonna try
to kill your team,

so keep as close up
as you can.

Yes, sir.
I'll sure hustle.

Sit here.

You stay here.
I'll be right back.

[ Horses neigh ]

Did you see them?

No, but I heard
some horses down there.

Are we safe now?

Not yet, honey.

If we get in any trouble,

I'm gonna make a run for it,
lead them away from you.

Now, I want you all
to stick together.

Stay together
until you find the soldiers.

You got it?

All right, let's go.

[ Whistles ]

[ Whistles ]

[ Whistles echoing ]

Well, they're
ready for US.


Let's hold off a minute.
Wheeler, what do you think?

Ain't like 'em
to tip US off.


Are you all right?
Come on.

That's not for US.

[ Gunshot ]

What do we do now?

I'll make a run for it,
try to draw their fire.

No, Ben. You can't.

It's the only thing I can do.
It's the only chance we got.

[ Gunshot ]


[ Woman's scream ]


Come on.

[ Gunshot ]

look over there.

Ben, what is it?

Hurry up this way.
Come on, hurry up.

Over here.

[ Gunshot ]

Wheeler! Wheeler!

Get back on guard,

I don't think
it's too bad, captain.

It just nicked a rib.

Where's the rest
of the troop?

And Martha?

She's still up there,

And lieutenant weeks?

Weeks and five men were killed
in an ambush in alston's.

Nelson was still alive,
but I had to leave him.

Burch and Vogel are dead,
but that's another story.

You tell me that story.
Just how did they die?

Over the army payroll.

Where is it now?

It's not far back.
I can take you to it.

And that you will.

It's the truth, Howard.
Every word of it.

But Beth, I can't just
take the word of this man.

Won't you
believe me,howard?

Of course.

We can
discuss this later.

Let's get these folks
over behind the wagon.

Make him as comfortable
as you can.Yes, sir.

Now, keep low,
everybody. Keep low.

Come on,
let's go, honey.

You know, most of US figured
that weeks was in bad trouble,

but the captain,
he kept on hopin'.

It was quite a shock to him
to hear it right out like that.

Miss drury's sister, you--
you figure she has a chance?

Look, sweetie,
you go over

and see if you
can help miss Beth.

Go ahead.
I'll be right over.
Go ahead.

I'll need a rifle.

You know
what you're doing?

If you think I'm worried,
you're right.

Say, how many men
will tago have with him how?

They must've been
right on your tail.

I don't know, but
between Nelson and myself,

we stopped about eight.
That's all I saw.

Oh, say, that sorta
changes things a little.

He might have
a surprise comin', too.

I may be able to help you.

She was asleep almost
before I could cover her.

Better try and get some rest
yourself while you can.

I'll be
all right now.

You and Wheeler report back
to lieutenant Jamison.

Yes, sir.

Beth, there's not a thing
that we can do now.

I know.

It's just that I feel
so helpless.

I wish I could've
understood more.

You can't blame
yourself for that, Beth.

You did everything
you could for her.

Always remember that.


Howard, there's something
I've got to tell you,

you should know about.

We've known each other
for a long time.

You're really fond
of him, aren't you?

Yes, I am, Howard.

I don't know what
to tell you or how to--
how to put it, but...

So many things
happened along the way.

Have you told him that we
were gonna be married?

No, I haven't.

Oh, Howard, I'm sorry.

Really sorry.

You got enough shells?I think so.

What's this tago
look like?

He's a big fellow.
Wears a--a Garrison cap.

He's been watchin' US
from one of those
high points up there.


Didn't he leave
any word for US?

Not for me.

This is something
he and Jamison
cooked up last night.

This could work, if he gets
the right man first off.

But when?

Could be soon, now.

Come on.
Better get over here.

You'll be safe here.

Something moving
up there, sir.

Right where
they were before.

Get ready.

[ Cocks gun ]

[ Rattling sound ]

[ Gunshot ]

Thanks for the rifle.

[ Loud shrieking ]

A mule.

I know somebody who's gonna
be awfully happy to see you.

Come on, Gus.



you found Gus.

Did you have
to kiss the mule first?

Here. Be good to him.

We lost sight of you.
Did he get away?

No, sir.
Ben got him.

We found Martha.

At least it was
over with in a hurry.

I'm going back with Jamison
to pick up the payroll.

I'll catch up with you
before we get
to fort klamath.

Then I want
to talk to you.

Talk. About what?

I think maybe that...

You and Abbey
might think of something.


Ain't you
gonna water that mule?

Come on, Gus.
You're just wastin' time.