The Missouri Breaks (1976) - full transcript

Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.

(man) The first time I saw this country,

it had buffalo grass
and bluejoint up to the stirrups.

By the second year we had
8,000 Texas half-bred cattle

and over 3,500 volumes of
English literature in my library.

(man #2) We just cut out
the unbranded stock

and divided 'em up between the outfits.

There was no arguin'
over mavericks like today.

(man #3) You got it good today.

(man #1) Two per cent annual loss then.
Now it's seven from rustling alone,

not to mention winterkill, calving loss,
miring down in the spring.

How many are you?

Mr Braxton, did you see they sew old boot
tops on the saddle to hold ammunition?

Pete, don't pester him
if he doesn't wanna be pestered.

Well, it'd just be awful nice
to know the whole story.

Well... it's beautiful country.

Yes, sir. It sure is.

You especially feel that now?


(singing "Oh, Susannah")

Sh, sh, sh.

(child cries)

I sure hope them sportin' ladies
don't get sunburned.

I like 'em white as pastry.


Are we all set here?

All set, Pete.

Shall we start the horse... or will you?

I will, sir.

(man) Well, that's one of them.

His name was Sandy Chase and he came
here from Rhode Island with the army.

He was 24 years old.

We lost seven per cent of stock between
spring and fall last year, to rustlers.

You always mention the percentage.
I wonder why you do that.

This is my fourth frontier
and I know how they run.

I was in the California gold fields
before I was 18.

I was at the rush at Alder Gulch
and I went to South America.

These long ropers in the Missouri Breaks
are a mixed bag.

Barbers from Minneapolis,

failed grangers, Scandinavian half-breeds,
wolfers and woodcutters,

dishonest apprentices,
raftsmen, poisoners.

You give them a chance
and they'll waste everything.

You're astonished at my arrogance,
at not even having a trial, aren't you?

Then why don't you get over it?

Our situation has become
nearly as bad as it could be.

Honey, pull down Tristram Shandy again
for me, would you?


Excuse me.

Come on! Giddap! Yah!

Got the gate.

How'd she go, Tom?

Everybody else been back a day.

Brought in about 14 head
of the first-class order.


- Hey.
- Hey.

How was Wyoming?

It was fine.

Spent a couple of days in KC trying to
keep from associating with criminals.

Why, they've hit the Union Pacific
down there so many times

the place has begun to look like
a lawmen's convention.

They got two Pinkerton in KC

and I do believe one of 'em
was the legendary Charlie Siringo.

Did he claim to be a border cowboy?

Can't remember.
Said he could talk Mexican.

Yeah, that's him.

How'd you know it was a detective?

Rancher's wife wanting to go to bed
with him. He kept givin' her a "no".

Damned if I can understand that.

- Well, I took care of her, Cal.
- You did that, huh?

You're damn sure.
Had a good time too, thank you.

Did you?

Spent the night in Martinsdale.
Couldn't get no credit at the whorehouse,

so I picked up this chubby little girl
off some sodbuster's outfit.

Yeah... How was she?

About like a Swiss clock. Same exact
movement over and over again.


- It was Sandy, huh?
- Yeah.


Sandy's gone. He's dead.

David Braxton's foreman...
What's his name, Cary?

- Pete Marker.
- Pete Marker.

...caught him and they hung him.

Goddamn it.

I knew somebody's bunch
wasn't in that corral.

Little Tod was in town.
Everybody was at the hanging.

- How'd Sandy go out?
- Pretty good. Pretty good.

They hung him up on a cottonwood,
though, and he sort of...

He sort of what?

Sort of strangled for a while.

Braxton was there dressed in a suit.

- Lookin' like God.
- Hah!


I'll tell you, the first time I met Sandy...

Listen at this, now.

The first time I met Sandy,
he was rustling on his own.

He had a stolen cavalry pony
and he kept this dog.

As soon as he killed a steer, he'd cut
the brand off and feed it to the dog.

He said to get enough
evidence to convict him

they'd have to pick through
the dog's shit for a week

before they could find the brand.

My aunt ran a laundry in St Paul.

Got strangled by a Chinaman
while she's washing her dog.

It's easy to die. Easy!

Well, they sure killed Sandy.

He was the only comedian in this outfit.
Every outfit oughta have a comedian.

You can't run that many rustled horses
across open ground.

I know I've been saying that.
But you can't.

What do we do, Tom? Open up a stand
and sell stolen horses over the counter?

No. We gotta get a relay ranch
halfway across

so as we got somewheres
to relay 'em at.

- That's right.
- That's just really great.

Only we ain't got a ranch.

We ain't got no money!
The only horses we got are out there.

We can't move them across the breaks
without everybody knowing.

Let's just stick up the NP Railroad
and buy a ranch.

Hell, let's rob a bank.

If we're gonna get hung for rustlin' horses,
we oughta be robbin' trains.

Why don't you boys join
that Hole-in-the-Wall bunch

and you'll be around people
that think like that?

Boy, a couple of years ago they'd have
put Sandy in Red Lodge penitentiary,

weavin' bridles.

Seems like there's
something new in the air.

I bet you Marker'll bait crows with Sandy
for a week before he'll cut him down.

I worked for that son of a bitch once
on the reservation roundup.

He will leave Sandy in the trees.

When we was fightin' in Kansas,
we had relays all over the damn place.

We relayed a cousin of mine

all the way from Medicine Tree
to the hot springs in New Mexico.

He beat the telegraph.

Took the detectives two years to cover
the same ground he'd covered in a week.

And when they got there
he was in his grave up on the Chama.

Why was you havin' to move
this cousin around so much?

He did card tricks.

I get it.

He done a trick for this nigger on
the Chama. The nigger throttled him.

Mm-hm. I see.

Say, Cal...

Why don't we put that relay
in Braxton's backyard?


It beats sendin' three or four horses
at a time out into Kansas.

The law there is pretty effective now.

I get a kick out of Little Tod.
He says we oughta rob a train.


I'm tired, Cal.

I'm gonna turn in.
Tomorrow we have a nice day.

Too bad about Sandy.

(train whistle)

(cocks gun)

All right, move over there. Move, move!

I want you to uncouple that car. Hurry up!

I can't do it. I'm not sure I'm able to do it.

Just get down there and pull the pin out.

- I'm a clerk. I'm not mechanical.
- Hurry up. Hurry up.


- Get the money out. What's your name?
- Nelson.

Nelson, you do this right,

you can say you've seen Jesse James
and lived to tell the story.

You're not Jesse James.

You ain't Charlie Siringo.
Just give me the money, Nelson.

- I'm not permitted to touch this.
- Gimme the goddamn money.



- Don't start blamin' me.
- I am blamin' you.

This is it on trains. This is it.

God Almighty.

This is it. No more trains, Tod.

- I just don't wanna get blamed.
- Sh...

We got it! It's all over the place.


(Little Tod laughs) We got it.

- You need some help?
- Just pick up the money, goddamn it.


But they're all ones.
Tom, they're all ones.

- Where am I gonna put 'em all?
- I don't wanna hear that now. Just...

Ain't it just terrible?

The next time you mention trains,
it's gonna get worse.

You boys new at this?

Appreciate your concern, Nelson.



Let's get every goddamn one up.

Hey, look! There's tens in the water.

Get in there, Tod.
Get in the water. Get those tens.


(train whistle)

Little Tod...

Get out of my way.

Come on. Let's get outta here
with what we got.

Mornin', my little darlin'.

Hey, Si. We'll see 'em in church.

I think all of you working men and women

have had time now to consider
this case before us.

- There's Braxton.
- I have reviewed its details,

and now I feel secure enough
to pronounce sentence.

Subject, of course,
to your scrutiny and support.

(man) Make him confess first.

I think the kindest thing
we can do to this bird

is to send him up to the territorial prison.

He's been about as cooperative
as any prisoner we've tried around here.

- I see no direct call to hang him.
- Don't he look like God?

Who's got an opinion about
how long we might send him up?

- (man) Life is indicated.
- (woman) He'll take anything.

How would 10 to 20 sound to you?

Sounds about right to me.
How soon would I be eligible for parole?

- In about two weeks.
- (laughter)

Anything you'd like to say
before we send you to your just deserts?

And if I may speak for the court,

we would prefer
that it be something colourful,

life on the frontier being what it is.

Just that...

it may seem to you boys
like a hard way to make the papers,

but I'm not ashamed of robbing that train,

of blowing bridges, sticking up banks, or
for my careless devil-may-care gunplay.


I'm not ashamed of pissing away
the money on hard living either,

because I'm that kind of guy.

But as a concession to me
for my cooperation,

I would like you all
to refer to me from now on

as "The Lonesome Kid".

Especially in front of outsiders
here in the West.

That's enough of that! Let's all go up
to the bar and make fools of ourselves.

(music starts)


(Braxton) Whoo! I haven't danced like that
since Chicago.

I'm Tom Logan.

I'd like to congratulate you, sir,
on your treatment of that impostor.

Oh... My daughter, Jane.


People have told me
I should talk to you, Mr Braxton.

I just sold a family implement business
in the Shonkin range

and I'm thinkin' of buying a small ranch.

You done so well I'd like
a piece out by you for good luck.

Well... the Cannon Ranch is for sale.

Isn't much. Four sections and a cabin.
Pole corrals around it.

But it's well watered,
and pretty fair shelter.

The owner's living in town now.
Has a cooperage at the end of Main,

past the livery.

I understand you had
some rustlin' problems.

Seven per cent losses per annum.

You should know about that.
First year, that might just break you.


I understand
you had to hang someone here.

I did that.

Oh, that's tough.

What was this?
Some kind of a desperado?


He was a thief, with probably a million
good reasons for being on hard times.

The main thing is that
we put him out of his misery.

Don't you believe
in hangin' thieves, miss?

No, sir, I don't. Do you?

I surely do. How in the world else
are we gonna have law and order?

Well, what do you know?

Maybe you can buy that Cannon Ranch,
get started in the cattle business.

With your attitude toward human life,

you may yet get to be
one of the barons of this prairie,

and have your picture on page one,
or page three, of the Chicago papers.

And for your birthday you can have
a big barrel of fresh oysters on ice,

just the way the other hangmen
up this way do.

You sound bitter, lady.

You should have seen
that young man's face.

- He did not die quickly.
- I don't wanna hear about it.

I don't think you can really picture
the man's face.

I don't want to hear about it, miss.

Thank you for your information,
Mr Braxton.

I'll go over to the cooperage and ask
Mr Cannon about them four sections.

Pleasure to meet you too, miss.

Welcome to town, now.

Damn, I feel better now.

- Damned if I don't.
- Me too.


Oh, God! You didn't cut him down yet.

We did! That's...


- Oh...
- Oh, Pete.

My God. They've killed my man.

- Si, are we gonna go to that whorehouse?
- Where the hell you clodhoppers been at?

File that. We got it.
Let's go for a ride.

I wanna go to a whorehouse,
play cards, get drunk.

We can go to the whorehouse later.
Ain't you got no pride of ownership?

I buy you a brand-new ranch.
Do you wanna ride out and look at it?

Hell, we own it, we can go anytime.
Let's go for a drink.

- Let's play cards...
- Let's go to the whorehouse.

You're gonna have to pick and choose
on that cos the money's about all gone.

- The money can't be gone.
- Well, it is and I'm glad.

- I'm glad too.
- Why?

Because robbin' trains is...

We start a pattern of robbin' trains
and we're gonna get detectives.

From then, you can back
the calendar down till they hang us.

That's why.

I still think we should rob a bank.
Rob trains, rob a bank.

- All right, let's go to the whorehouse.
- Mm-mm.

You here for a party?

- That's right.
- What kind of a party?



You got any girls?

Go on, Si.

The girls here can show you
to the party rooms.

I like them ribbons.

Anybody want anything to eat?

Well, is he the one that I want.
You just come right on up here with me.

Where are the chubby ones?
I want a chub...

Oh, yeah.

Ain't that a match-up?
Ain't that a match-up?

Just like you and your horse, Little Tod.

- That one got away!
- You'll pay for that.

In my home town,
I'm considered a dangerous person.

Yeah? In your home town a man can get
a bad reputation for smokin' corn silk.

Cary'll stay at the breaks,
but somebody must tend this place.

I can tell you one damn thing,
it isn't gonna be me.


I got you! Told you I was gonna get you,
you son of a bitch.

Here! How about this?

I like this place, Cal.

- Yeah.
- I like it quiet.


Cary, don't throw them tools
down there like that, please.

I spent my first 18 years
on one of these goddamn things,

workin' for my uncle that raised me.

I worked myself cross-eyed too.

About the only thing I had for distraction
was this dog.

I'd had the dog since it was ten years old.

And he shot it...

for stickin' its tongue on a pat of butter.

So I stayed one more night.

And I killed his seed bull,
I rustled every damn horse he had

including a racer that I sold as
a cow pony to an Indian rancher,

and I took the whole damn remuda.

I come within a hair's breadth
of sendin' him to kingdom come.

I was that close to shootin'
that son of a bitch in the brainpan.

I never did have that kind of background.

Never had nothin' neither.
My folks always wanted a place.

They was good people,
so I always saw it with their eyes.

I can see that.

But when you think about it, you wouldn't
want the weight of a damn place like this.

Do you do alterations too, ma'am?


And I don't do
your wire-ripped shirts neither.

There you go.

Si, you're beginnin' to sound
like a real old lady.

What do you say
we just jump this pissant seamstress?

You guys are soon gonna learn
to treat me nice.

- Yahoo!
- Whoa! Watch it!

Come on! I'll kill ya.

Everybody's so scared of the Mounties
that nobody even tries.

The horses are hardly guarded.

- You talkin' to me about Canada again?
- You're goddamn right I am.

Them Mounties scares me, Cal.

Hell, they scare everybody.
That's why it'll be so easy.

The Indians won't touch them horses.

We can take all 60 of them ponies
at a walk.

All Canadian government brand?

Until we can get 'em to the breaks for
modification, and then down here to relay.

That doesn't quite
settle it though, does it?

No, it don't.

Someone's gonna have to stay here.

Well, it isn't gonna be me.

It's gotta be one of the two of us,
and I'll tell you one thing.

You had all the fun on that train
while I baby-sat these savages.

I'm going to Canada for sure.
That's settled. That's it.


I gotta stay on this
goddamn piece of ground.

Goddamn! I can't even believe this!

That is pitiful.
You assholes will just get lost.

- He was the best foreman.
- He was the only foreman I ever had.

- Pete Marker was a hard man.
- He surely was, David.

He could break a horse better than
the bronc fighters. He could do every job.

He was a great ramrod.

He personified the American West
in the days of its rowdy youth.

- Sure did.
- Excuse me.

- Lee Clayton.
- Oh, my God, you gave me a scare.

- All I could see was your horse.
- That was all you were meant to see.

Is the owner about?

Who may I say is calling?

Lee Clayton. I just said that.

I have a short memory.

Well, I'll tell Daddy that you're here,

and then I can get back
to what I was doing before.

Tell him Lee Clayton from Medicine Hat,
Wyoming. Here on business.

- You got it?
- Yes.

- Come in. I've been expecting you.
- Oh, sir.

I don't know why it would not
have tired me more than it did,

to have travelled all this distance
without more than a catnap.

You've a wonderful set of books here, sir.

- Yes, I have.
- Truly, truly beautiful.

I don't spend the time with them I should.

I'm of the opinion... I would only claim
books that was about right from wrong.

Otherwise how are we to find
our paradise among the stars?

True. Please.

Oh, sir. I'm sorry for your trouble.
I wasn't aware.

Gentlemen, Robert E Lee Clayton.

I understand that you hung a thief

and neglected to find out where they were
caching the stock. How was that?

He didn't wanna talk. He was about to die.

Oh, I see. Then you pampered him.

- No, sir!
- We hung that man.

Well, you pampered the man...
you pampered the man,

and the result of that
is the loss of this poor man's life!

- Please, this is outrageous.
- You, you, you...

- (woman screams)
- Take your hands off!

Realise the fact that as a result of that
this poor man has lost his life.

If you'd invited me into the neighbourhood
before, it wouldn't have happened.

You've got to give me some thoughts.

I'm gonna turn my horse out.
Then I'll wash my body.

And, miss...
the only thing not on my diet

would be the green top of the beet
and okra.

Ladies and gentlemen, excuse me,
but I'm under a severe attack from a tooth.

Sir. Miss.

- Where'd he come from?
- What was all that about?

I got recommendations for this man from
all the Wyoming outfits he's worked for.

- I'm assured that he's a top regulator.
- Regulator?

- You mean you asked him up here?
- You're damn right I did.

They killed my ramrod
and I want them to pay for it.

I always wondered
what Lee Clayton looked like.

And smelled like.

I always figured him to be a little fella.

He's supposed to have a Creedmore rifle
he carries as a saddle gun.

Supposed to be able
to hit out to 500 yards.

- Oh, Mr Rate. 500 yards...
- I mean it.

He never carries a side arm,
so you know he's a dry-gulcher.

But he smells like a wet-gulcher
and he dresses like a clown.

He don't have no wife,
but he sure keeps himself spruced up.

Many a rustler has said his prayers when
he got a whiff of them lavender bath salts.

(chattering and laughter continues)

- Daddy, I wanna know how...
- Not now. Shh!

- Vern, scat. Out of here.
- You betcha. I will.

- Adios, buddies.
- Send you a postal card from Canada.

Cal, why can't I go to Canada?

You gotta tend to the cabin
in the breaks, Cary.

You don't hear Tom complainin'.
See you in a few weeks, Tom.

(horse neighs)

They'll be back, Buck.
Don't you worry about it.

Well, by gosh. Good mornin' to you, miss.

Good morning to you, Mr Logan.
You bought this place already, huh?

Yes, ma'am.

I guess that kinda
makes us neighbours, doesn't it?

- Where are you headed?
- Oh, I'm gonna go over on the table.

Well, may I accompany you?


- Why not?
- No good reason. I don't want company.

Come on. Give me a chance.

Give you a chance.
Give you a chance for what?

Miss, I'm gonna take this opportunity
to be just a little damn bit offended.

Cos if there's anybody in this district

who's got a right to think of themselves
as wholesome companionship,

why, it's yours truly.

If you're such a wholesome companion,
what were you doing at the whorehouse?

Who in the world told you that?

Mary O'Connell,
that little blonde you paid for.

Well, I hope that's all she told you.

She told me everything.
We're starved for news out here.

- All I ever hear about is grass.
- What's the matter with grass?

Samuel Johnson said
"A blade of grass is a blade of grass."

- "Tell me about a human being."
- I don't understand that.

It just means that Samuel Johnson
was as bored as I am with nature.

We had a famous painter
out here last year.

That man must have painted ten square
miles of canvas, not one human face.

I wish he'd painted that boy Sandy hangin'
up so decoratively against the mountains.

Because his pink tongue and white face

would have set off
the green of Montana splendidly.

I mean, it would have made the
damnedest bank calendar you ever saw.

Well, you succeeded. This is where
I was coming to and you're still with me.

The persistence
of the young rancher, huh?

- Well, I know what I want is all.
- What do you want?

I mean, I know what it is
when I want something.

- Oh, come on!
- "Oh, come on" what?

- Why don't you just say what you mean?
- This is what I mean.

- Do you want me?
- What does that mean?

I mean you're followin' me around.
What you got in mind?

- Me?
- Sexual intercourse?

- Oh, my...
- Well, all right.

All right.

Come on. Get down off your horse.

I'm not gonna have any hesitation from
you. Not from a frequenter of whores.

All right, all right. Just back off.

I'm gonna step down at my own speed.

All right.

I'm going to lose it right here,
in all these blades of grass.

Do I have to come to you? All right.

- Hold it.
- What?

Who asked you to do all this?

- Well, your entire behaviour...
- Never mind that.

I didn't ask you.
You said that you wanted it.

- Well, do you?
- No.

- Well, you're not gonna get it.
- Keep the dang thing. I don't want it.

- I forgot. You do have your whores.
- Sure do. Like 'em too.

I'll tell you something. If you want them...

I keep tellin' ya. I want them a lot.
I don't want you at all.

Why are you bein' so mean to me?

People have neglected to tell you
what a nasty little bitch you are,

and I'm makin' up for their negligence.

I just seem mean.
I'm only being thorough.

If you're gonna start that, I'm gonna go
home and shovel manure on the pansies.

Well, you just wait a minute
because I'm gonna stop.

You gonna talk nice?

I will do my best.

You bastard.

- Can I have a kiss?
- No. I hardly know you.

Why don't we take a walk and talk about
the Wild West and how to get out of it?

Well... all right. I can talk about that.

Cal, I forgot how to tie a diamond hitch.

- A squaw hitch is all you need.
- You'll be gone two weeks?

Give or take a few days. Cary, you're
gonna move some stock to make way.

- No more than two...
- Or three at a time.

- I've been doin' this for a while.
- I reckon you have. Let's go.

Keep low, boy.

Hell of a damn way to ride off.


- Stay with your horse.
- Get a hold.

Si, stay with your horse! Si!

Goddamn it, he knows what he's doing.

Si let go of the rope.

Oh, Jesus.

- Help!
- You're gonna drown!

Help! Get me in.

We did it. We crossed
that son of a bitch, didn't we?

I couldn't swim,
but I was swimmin', right?

I can! I did it!

We deserve a lot of damn credit.

We crossed the Mighty Mo
and I want some damn credit.

Supposin' if the catfish
in that son of a bitch could eat a pig.

Or a chicken.

Get out.

- Easy, now.
- Tom!

Hey, Tom!


You're the only rancher
who hasn't met the new regulator.

Tom Logan, Robert E Lee Clayton.

It's a pleasure
to make your acquaintance, sir.

Damn near... sucked my boot off.

Pleasure to meet you.

Regulator - ain't that like a dry-gulcher?

That's not the softest term
you could use, I'd say.

Well, a regulator...
Correct me if I'm wrong.

Isn't a regulator one of these boys

that shoots people
and don't never get near 'em?

That's it.

Well, what about the binoculars?
What are they for?

Well, I've taken to watchin'
funny-lookin' birds.

I see.

Well, hell, I don't know.

I suppose if you didn't get a way off,
a mile or so to do the job,

you'd just get messy like I done here.

Easy, Tom. Don't let me down.

I've just heard this from all the other
dreamers tryin' to ranch around here.

Lee, did you ever hit a man from a mile off
while he was carryin' a pail of water?

A mile, well...

But I don't remember the pail.

No, sir.

When you hang a man,
usually he has a chance to talk,

or say goodbye, write a letter...

Besides, a Creedmore...

- It's a Creedmore, isn't it?
- It is a Creedmore, and a beautiful one.

Must make a pretty good
mess of a human.

You hit a guy from 500 yards out, say,

why, the suddenness of it, he don't have a
few seconds to make his act of contrition.

And you never have to look him in the eye.

Right there, that makes all the difference.

I would disagree, sir. The thing that
makes all the difference in the world

is the fact that it accomplishes
the task, you see.

This old boy in Wyoming...


This old boy in Wyoming, he sat down
just to pull sandburs out of his trousers,

and his skull suddenly flew into pieces
about the size of your thumbnail.

That was the first time
I ever heard the term "regulator".

- That was the first time.
- First time.

What would be your line of work, sir?

I was in the implement business
up in the Shonkin Sag,

but I started back in the ranch
south of here.

You started back in? You was before...?

My family used to have a place,
but when they lost it I hired out.

Oh, I see.

I certainly wish you
good fortune, Mr Logan.

The times are hard on a small operator.


I hope the damn horse thieves
leave you something.

- I hope so too.
- Good day to you, sir.

Bye-bye now.

This colt of yours will be all right
if you can find a wet mare.

- Is the mother dead?
- Yeah.

She got bogged down in a mire
about a mile from here.

- See you later, Tom. Thanks.
- All right, Mr Braxton.

Damn those hands of mine.

Good luck, Old Sloppy.

Must have smelled something.

The closer you get towards Canada,
the more things eat your horses.

Probably smelled a bear or a cat
or some damn thing.

Either one would go ahead
and eat your horse...


Damn! I don't know why they had
to put Canada way the hell up here.

Well, hello, Jane.

Hello, Tom.

I didn't think I'd find you here.

- Why'd you think that?
- Cos I haven't seen you.

You thought I was gonna
come courtin', didn't ya?

Maybe so. Mm-hm.

You was too harsh to me last time.
I never kick a dead horse, lady.

That sure is some garden you've started
here. Have you had one before?

No. My aunt had one
and I kinda took it over.

I ain't half bad at it though.

(chuckles) No.

Why don't you get down off your horse?

I will, thank you.

You're a lot nicer than you was before.
Why is that?

Well, you didn't come courtin' me
like I figured you would, and...


You're what?

I'm tryin' to revive your interest.

Oh, yeah?

Well... come here a minute
and I'll show you something.

All right.

Now lift that up.

(water starts flowing)

(Jane laughs)

Close her down. Garden's watered.

I admire you.

Come in the house.
I'll make you a cup of chinee tea.

Chinese tea?

Northern Pacific Railroad.
Where did you get these?

Just souvenirs.


How long does the tea take?

Five or ten minutes.

Can I come over there?

I'll come over there if you ask me to.

Let's go over there.

You sure about that?

That's right.

How do you know you're sure about that?

Well, why do you think?

Cos that's the reason why
you come out here in the first place.

That's right.

This here tea's gonna get black as ink.

We'll write somebody a letter with it.

Let's write your father a letter.

Tell him that you're the prisoner
of the chinee tea slavers.

Would you like to do this?

Yeah... I would like to.

That's what I would like to do.


(bird calls)


God, God.

(shrill bird calls)


Sniper, sniper, sniper.

(whistles imitating bird)

(bugle call)

Goddamn. They're pretty.

Yeah. They're neat
little bastards, ain't they?

(Cal) Oh, boy. There's more of 'em
than I expected.

(Little Tod) Yeah. Do you suppose
them catfish ever look up?

- Piss on them.
- From up here?


Supposed to be
the best police in the world.

- They don't scare me.
- Me neither.

Let's take these horses to the home
of the brave and the land of the free.

- Not today.
- What?

Not today!


I'm gonna have an awful lot of
explaining to do when I get home.

But I'm not gonna lie my way
out of this one.

Yes, I am.

- Which one?
- I'm gonna lie my way out of it.

- Where'd she go?
- Who?

- Your ma.
- Oh...

Well, she listened very carefully
to my father for about three years,

weighed every word,

and then she up and ran off with the first
unreasonable man that she could find.

Wait a minute. Stop. This is a nice way
to ride, but I know a much better way.

Where are you goin'?


- Well, that is clever.
- Yeah.

Would you say that this is lewd conduct?

Well, I couldn't say for sure.

My father has a library full of law books,
cos he believes in the law.

He says that we haven't got
any law up here yet.

What brings that to your mind?

Because in one of those law books of his,
there's a whole section on lewd conduct.

- What about it?
- It's against the law.

Are you an outlaw?

I'm a jackpot rancher with a milk cow and
100 square foot of root vegetables. Why?

- Why do you have so many guns?
- Because I'm a sportsman.

Why do you have a sawed-off shotgun?

Well, because I'm a sawed-off sportsman.


Well, something has sure
started in my thinking,

and I don't know why we should go on
if you're just gonna end up dead.


Can we get down here
for a while and talk?

- Yeah. OK.
- You can make it?

(distant singing)

(Mounties) ♪ When the trumpet of the Lord
shall sound and time shall be no more

♪ And the morning breaks
eternal, bright and fair

♪ And the chosen ones shall gather
over on the other shore

♪ And the roll is called up yonder
I'll be there

♪ When the roll is called up yonder

♪ When the roll is called up yonder...

Now they've locked in with Jesus.
Let's do it.

- Makes me feel real safe and peaceful.
- Well, that's what Sundays are for.

(Mounties sing
"Bringing In the Sheaves")

For the best police in the world,
Mounties are dumber than sticks.

We just left 'em nothin'.

Ha-ha! Whoo!



Shouldn't crawl up on people like that.

Well, I'm not the crawlin' kind.

I was just passin' by and I thought
I'd ask you a question or two.

There was a family of Logans
out of Kaycee, Wyoming.

There was four brothers.
The youngest was a kid named Lonnie.

They was all pretty quick,

except for Lonnie -
he was a fiddle player, and...

They killed him off right quick.

Some of the ranchers had found him
thievin' or something like that.

Anyway, I was wonderin'...
would they be kin to ya?

No. No.

Well, I didn't think so
because you don't carry a gun.

No, I never carry a gun.

I never wear a gun neither.

Oh, once in a while I carry
this little darlin' around.

She's almost like a poem.
You know, it's all hand-done.

Etched, you know, scratched in silver.

Oh, she's a beauty.
Made for the president of Mexico.

I diverted it for a hundred-dollar bill.

But it doesn't shoot worth a damn.

Some damn fool came along
and filed off the top of the front sight.

And you have to sort of play with it.

It isn't easy.

Have a look at the rope.

Not bad.

There's one left.

I doubt it.

You're smart.

Farmers ain't smart.

I don't know exactly where you came
from or what you were doing,

but I think you ought to go back to it,
because you can't farm worth spit.

Unless... unless you lost your nerve.

In that case, cabbages
is just what the doctor ordered.

Is your nerve gone?

(sings) Is your nerve gone?


Easy, easy!

We're home, boys. We'll bed down soon.

How we gonna get 'em
to swim across the Mighty Mo?

If you can get one or two to go,
they'll all go.

Here's the breaks. Come on!

Back in the USA! What a relief.


Slow, boys.



Come on. Let's get outta here.

Get down.

Let's get outta here.

Come on! Yah! Yah!



Let's go! Let's go!

Wonder where Little Tod
got himself off to.

I don't know.

I don't know where my finger is either.

Them Mounties... followed us
right into the United States of America,

got their horses back.

It's not even legal!

Tie that hand up and let's move. Maybe
we'll meet Little Tod at the Snake's Cross.



Come on.

Come on. Go! Go!

Whoa, there.


Do you always get off
your horse that way?

I'm not chasin' you.

- Who did you think was after you?
- This is the haunt of thieves and killers.

Oh, shit. Here.

This ain't the haunt of nothin' but
diamondbacks and old farts like me.

- Who are ya?
- My name's Jim Ferguson.

I'm pleased to meet you.
What's your name?

Tod La Frambois.

La Frambois.

- What's your trade, Mr La Frambois?
- Trade?

Well, I been in the...
farm implement business.

Now I'm lookin' to get on with the ranch.
Maybe down around Absaroka.

That'd be over that way.

I tell you what. I got a nice hare
on a stick over here.

Let's go have a bite to eat.

- Well... thank you.
- Come on.

(strums mandolin)

♪ Life is like a mountain railway

♪ With an engineer that's brave

♪ We must make this run successful

♪ From the cradle to the grave

♪ Heed the curves, the fills, the tunnels

♪ Never falter, never quail

♪ Never quail.

♪ Keep your hand upon the throttle

♪ And your eye upon the rail

- Sweet song.
- Yeah.

Do you believe that life is like
a mountain railroad, Mr La Frambois?

All I know, Jim, is that...

life is not like anything I ever seen before.


It's really strange runnin' into a preacher
out here, in this hellhole.

I believe that life is
like a mountain railway,

but not for the reasons in the song.

I think life is like a mountain railway

cos you don't have no idea what sleazy
son of a bitch got his hand on the throttle.

That's a real strange attitude
for a preacher.


I ain't no preacher.

What do you do?

I'm about a quarter-ass horse thief.

Anything to get some grits in my stomach.

Not doin' too good at it neither.

Otherwise I wouldn't be eatin' hare.

I'd be in Dodge City,

playin' with them big asses,
drinkin' champagne.


What about yourself there, Tod?

What do you do?

Well, there's really nothin' to say.
I'm a single man. Implement business.

- Where you got this implement business?
- It's in Big Sandy.

No, I mean the Shonkin Sag.

- No, I mean Big Sandy. Big...
- (laughs)

I was raised up in Big Sandy.

There ain't a teeny-weeny
implement business in Big Sandy,

and not in Shonkin Sag neither.

Mr Ferguson, I'm really grateful to you
for your hospitality and everything,

but my line of work is
none of your damn business.

I'm sorry, Tod. I didn't mean
to get you all riled up like that.

I'll tell you what.

Maybe one of these days, I'll get
a chance to cook your supper for you.

Hah! Hooray for a free dang meal.


Thank God.

I hope you keep my business
to yourself too.

Hey. You got my word.

That's good enough. (hums)


What the hell's goin' on here?

Goddamn. What the hell's
the matter with you?

Something... I don't know...

Tryin' to get some sleep here.

I want you to cinch up good
on the knot there.

- Yeah, I did.
- All right, now don't have fear.

This is the way my daddy taught me, now.

Easy aces, now. Come on.

Come on.

- This is the part I hate. I can't swim a lick.
- Come on.

- What do I do?
- Now slide off.

Slide off. Let her go.
Let the horse go. Don't hold on.

- That's it. Now we're doin' it.
- Whoo-hoo!

I got you now.


- Hell, this is easy.
- Up on that beast now.

You're halfway to the barn now, laddie.

- Halfway.
- Yee-hah!

Come on! We've cut that son of a bitch.

We cut that goddamn thing
slicker than butter.

Listen, you go on ahead now.

You go on over there
and I'll secure the rope here.

- You got a good hold on that?
- Yeah.

You get goin' now, and then you pull me
in case something happens to me.


Let her go now.

I don't know about this.

That's it. Go ahead.

In you go.

Damn horse won't swim. Come on.

- Dig your heels in now.
- This isn't bad at all.


I can't swim. Bring me in.

Now, you dirt turkey,
are you gonna talk to me?

You gonna tell me somethin' now?

Listen, son, you got two choices now.
Drink this muddy son of a bitch,

or tell me about Tom Logan
and your goddamn rustlin'.

You... You son...

- I'm gonna give you one...
- I'm not gonna say anything.

Mr La Frambois, one.


Adios, amigo.


That's Little Tod's horse.

Damned if it ain't.

What happened?
Did he get bucked off or what?

- I don't know.
- Cal?

- What is it?
- What the hell's goin' on?

Let's get inside.

- What's happening?
- Lee Clayton. Lee Clayton!

Come here, Sandy, old girl.
We're goin' to a picnic.

(Clayton whistling)

He never will close that gate.

It wasn't near as gloomy around here
when we only had rustlers.

Never seen nothin' like him. Come on.

Never thought Mr Braxton
would call in a man like that.


I presume you've had an enlightening trip.


Well, what kind of trip did you have?

What did you learn?

Lower your voice. I feel an attack of gas
and that could be perilous to both of us.

(farts) That's good.

What did you learn?

The one man that could have told me
something didn't tell me nothing,

and then he upped and drowned himself
in the Missouri River.

You've got no further
than we did without you.

Oh, I can track a bluebottle fly
right up your nose.

And I've taken to trackin'
what people are thinkin'.

Where's your wife?

What has that got to... Damn it!

I detest your impertinence.

You stay out of my private life,
you lilac-smellin' son of a bitch.

You ain't the first mental wizard
I ever met, you know.

I've met ranchers, outlaws,
stock detectives

who thought they was
mental wizards like yourself.

There was one thing I could
never understand and that was...

"Why can't they hang on to their women?"

You're beginning to rave.
And you're beginning to bore me.

So you're gonna stop.

You're gonna stop spying on me
and on my family.

You were never hired to do that.

I do not, and Jane does not,

and the dozen dolts who work for me
do not steal horses.

But somebody does, don't he?

(hoof beats)

Well, there's a sight for sore eyes.

- Cal!
- Long time, Logan.

Cal, I want you to meet
a good friend of mine. Jane Braxton.

- How do?
- Pleased to make your acquaintance.

She was born and bred here, Cal,
and ready for city lights.

Pretty ladies should have what they want.

- How's the ranch comin', Tom?
- You want a tour?

Sure do.

I'll see you later. Bye.

Cal, come on, I'll show you the orchard.
Come on, buddy.

This little bastard was
in sorry shape before I got to it.

These trees wouldn't have turned out
a peck of apples apiece.

No wonder that guy's makin' barrels in
town. He wasn't running this place right.

This tree was all full of scale and blight.

These limbs I dug out of here had borers
in 'em and insect eggs all over everything.

It was...

Little Tod didn't come home.

What the hell are you doin'?

What difference does it make whether
blight or borers eat up this whole ranch?

Well, Cal, I just have to say it.

I'd prefer that they didn't ruin the orchard.

Poor Little Tod.

Gimme that cartridge.

That girl's old man
hired Lee Clayton, didn't he?

Yeah. He did.

What about her? Where's her husband at?

She don't have a husband.
She don't need one.

She don't need one.

Boy, you're pretty far gone, ain't ya?

- It's the way it happens, isn't it, Cal?
- I wouldn't know.

Not since that dog of mine
put his tongue on the butter.

Where's Lee Clayton? Is he here?

You betcha. Moved right in.
Made himself at home. Boy!

Robert Lee?

(Clayton singing)

Robert Lee.

You know, the old man built this tub
for the old lady, and she ran out on him.

Wasn't that you callin' me out there?

Yes, son. That was me.

There's no way you can win, you know.


- There's no way you can win.
- Win?

It's kin of mine is all
that calls me Robert Lee.

I'm going to bust your fat ass.

How am I to get my nourishment
spending my dinner hour here with you?

You ain't gonna get no nourishment.
You're gonna dry up and blow away.

It just ain't in the cards, angel.

Can't you see that the list
is as long as my arm?

You're under the headin'
of what I do for a livin'.

Now step outside, because
my stomach has commenced to growl.

Are you scared?

Shakin' all over.

It's almost like I don't have a prayer.

But I can't lose this appetite.
What ails me?

You're floatin' there in your confirmation
dress waitin' for God to save ya.

Did it ever bother you, sittin' up there
in that cabin drinkin' coffee,

while that fiddler's wife
was screamin' in the Sandwash?

Well, first off... I don't drink coffee.

Now can I climb out?
I'm hungry for my supper.

Where's your Creedmore at, Robert Lee?

Where's your cabbage-shootin' Mexican
pistola with flowers on the handle?

Why don't you go get it?

That settles it.

I'm not that hungry

and I'll stay here till someone fetches me
who cares about my welfare.

- I deplore...
- Get up, you dry-gulchin' piece of slime.

A little bathe in the tub here...

Get up!

Get up!

I want to lie here and lose.
No dinner. No nothing.



(water dripping)

My God. You ain't even there.

Did you kill him?

No, I just emptied his tub. Somebody's
gonna have to do something about that.

What's become of Tom?

- Isn't he on his place?
- No, he's not.

Well, that's not what I call ranching.
I know what you're driving at.

All I can tell you is that things have
been nearly as bad as they could be.

If those two men have reason to look
for one another, I'm not interfering.

You find Lee Clayton and you stop him.


You can't.

I won't.

I hope that you choke on that.

You don't mean that, darling.

- Vern, scat.
- You betcha.

I wouldn't have hired Lee
if the rustlers hadn't killed Pete.

This has nothing to do with Pete,
law, or stealing horses.

- Then what does it have to do with?
- Tom Logan.

Tom Logan.

- I never even think about him.
- You can't bear me being with him.

Now, Daddy, goddamn it.
You find Lee Clayton and you stop him!

You think I couldn't bear living here alone,
don't you? Start me thinking.

No... No.

No, I won't. I won't.

- (horse snorts)
- (Logan) Whoa, Buck.

- Oh...
- What the hell are you doin'?

- Cal's got me lookin' out for Lee Clayton.
- Come on down. Old Buck come up lame.

Gimme a hand. Goddamn it.
Easy, Buck. Come on now.

Only goddamn intelligent horse.
Easy, boy.

I had him.

You think anybody could do it?
I mean... an ordinary fella?

I don't know.

Seems like somebody oughta
be able to get the job done.

Just watch it is all.

I'll tell you one thing, though.

Don't start talkin' to him.

I don't care what the plan is,
as long as you get us outta here.

That's what I'd like.
Let's just pull our socks up and get out.

We're gonna hit Braxton.

We're gonna take everything he's got.
Blooded stock an' all.

- That's the least we can do.
- And maybe flush us a regulator.

I would love to include the old man.

A .44-40 in the brain
would be my sentence for him.

I don't know why you don't want
to go along with that.

I'd just sooner we didn't.

I wanna know on what grounds
you don't wanna shoot Braxton!

We ain't gonna do it
because I said we ain't gonna do it!

Am I perfectly clear on that, Cal?

Goddamn it, let's not start that stuff.

Really, Tom, it's only
gonna wreck the whole job.


Hey, Woodruff.
Braxton got you nighthawking.

Mr Logan, what you doin'
out of bed at this hour?

Lookin' for a better life, Woodruff. What
do you know that's new and exciting?

- Same old thing.
- What do you got in here?



And I got the walkin' horse, but...

You're gonna take 'em.

You bet. You wanna get down now?

And reach me over that bird's head Colt
you got stuck in your shirt there.

Butt first, if you please, Woodruff.

- You think you're smart, don't you?
- Well, I ain't dumb and I ain't tied up.

You just lay on that soft spot.

- You're slicker than snot on a door knob.
- Thank you, Cary.

I tell you one goddamn thing.

Old Braxton's gonna be one
surprised-assed son of a bitch, ain't he?

I regret Pete Marker wasn't here
to get the news, that sorry bag of shit.

We'll see him in hell, that son of a bitch.

Shut up, Si, or you'll push these horses
all the way down to Kansas without us.

Let's push, boys. I feel eyes all over us.

That relay ranch is dead.
Anybody got a preferred district?

- Hellsgate for me.
- Big Hole.

Big Hole. I'll meet you there. Cal?

Dodge Pole. Shit, that's all that's left.

- We'll meet back at the old cabin. Cary?
- All right.

Remember, I wanna get $20 a head
for these or we're doing this job...

I could have picked off one or two of them
maybe, but we'd have lost the rest.

Supposin' you had a barn full of nasty
old bats. You wanted to get rid of them.

The worst thing you could do is just
get your gun and start shootin' around.

What good would it do you?

They'd leave and they'd be back
by 7.30 in the morning.

If you want to get rid of a whole lot
of evil bats, there's only one way.

And the way is this.
You wait till the dawn comes.

About 4.30 and you're waitin'
outside by the barrels.

Then you close the door real quick
and all the bats are inside.

Then while they're sleepin',
the lovely little sweethearts,

you have every one of the dirty
little buggers at your mercy.

- That's the only way you can do it.
- That's all very informative.

But every horse I own is gone.

The only way you're going
to get paid is if I get them back.

(laughs) Golly.

I don't care a damn about that. Come on.

Always finish the work.

And... I don't give a damn
whether or not I get paid.

And, uh... talkin' about horses, I think
I know the horse you're worrying about.

- He wears a black hat, he's two-legged...
- Shut up.

..and I think I know
where he stands at stud.

Shut up! You're out of control.
You're through.

I want you off the place. Now get!

Well, it is your place, sir.

But the work is mine
and I'll have the say about that.


Come on, Jess.
We know when we're not wanted.

Let's go out to the bat hunt now.

You lazy no-good bastards, get back
to work or I'll fire every one of you!

(bird call)

They call this country Hellsgate.

When my dad came in here, it was
nothing but a bunch of savage Indians...

and Jesuits.

Old Thomas Jefferson said that he was
a warrior so his son could be a farmer,

so his son could be a poet.

I raise cattle
so my son can be a merchant,

so his son can move to Newport,
Rhode Island, buy a sailboat

and never see one of these bastard-assed
son-of-a-bitchin' mountains again.

Who was Thomas Jefferson?

Guy back east.

I'll bet you're about done in.
You had a long day.

That's true.

Mother, you wanna show
our boy the bunkhouse?

Surely. I'll bring him a blanket.

I'll see you before
you start out in the morning.


Let me thank you again
for selling me those horses.

It's my pleasure.

My compliments to the artist
that changed those brands.

Was it you?

I learned it from a nice boy from
Newport, Rhode Island, with no sailboat.

They hung him in a cottonwood south of
the Shonkin Sag, by the neck, until dead.

- You've got five minutes.
- OK. Sh.

Wait. It would help if you got
out of your drawers altogether.

- No.
- Sh.

- What good is it keepin' them on one leg?
- Why don't you shut up?

You've only got four of your minutes left.

Besides, I'm beginning to chafe.



- Hon? Honey?
- (continues screaming)

(distant explosion)

Kid. Hey, kid.

Here's a buck. Go get me a whiskey
and the rest is yours.

- Good stuff. Go on. Hurry up.
- (distant explosion)

Hurry up.


Hold these, junior.

I won't be but a minute,
then we'll go get something to eat.


Hey! Hey!


Hey! Hey!

I ain't got but $54, mister.

But I want all three horses or nothing.

What you got to trade?

A clarinet. (laughs)

All right, I'll take it.


(squeaky notes)

I can't use it. It looks too tight.

Here. Let me try it on.

Put your arm in. You can't tell till it's on.

Oh, it fits...

I don't want the goddamn thing.



Smoked meat!


Old smoked meat.

Where's Tom Logan?

I couldn't get him to come out.


Too proud, huh?

I reckon.


I'd like about anything
but getting burned up.

Well, you're about
the last of your kind, old man.

If I was a better businessman
than I am a manhunter,

I'd put you in the circus.

You know, about this time of year -
Indian summer - gettin' there...

they say you can see
the Star of Bethlehem,

if you look real good.

I seen it once or twice. But you gotta look
away and then you gotta look at it, see?

You gotta look at it
just a minute, like that, see?

See what I mean?

Well, old Granny's gettin' tired now.

(Clayton singing)




Oh... Oh...

Oh, my God.


No. Kiss first.

Kiss first.

You have the lips of Salome,

and the eyes of Cleopatra.


(plays harmonica)

I dedicate this song
to the only woman I ever loved.

I'm too shy to turn around
and say it to your face,

but I mean it from my heart.

I don't love you, you harlot.

I'm not even speaking to you.
Do you know that?

Come on. Would you?

That for you, and your disloyalty
and your treachery.

Dear heart.


Grandma... Grandma.

Say good night to Granny.

I'll play you a tune.

(horse urinates)

Well, that's a fine thing.

You've pissed right in the middle
of my love song.


God! Pissin' over my song.



(Logan) You know what woke you up?

Lee, you just had your throat cut.


Where is he?

He's in there.

All the rest of the hands left
a couple of days ago except for Vern.

- I'm stayin'. You betcha.
- It's all right, Vern.

I told him I was leaving last night
and he... sort of came unravelled.

He's just lost himself.

Well, all I can say is
he'd better leave the room,

cos I'm gonna do it regardless.

Get out of the way, Vern.
You recognise this?

- You recognise it?
- (Vern) No. No.

Please, don't shoot him.

What are you caterwauling about, Vern?

Get out of the way
before I put one into you.

You might as well. He's all I got. No...

He's all I have. He's all I have.

Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Shoot me.

(Vern) Shoot me. Yes, shoot me.

- Praise the Lord.
- Get out! Get that son of a bitch away.

- Vern, will you get away?
- I will. You betcha.

- I'm sorry, Tom.
- What for?

For everything.

Your friends, are they...



What were you gonna do? Just take off?


What'd you expect?

To see you, for one thing.

- Did you think I'd be above ground?
- Well, of course.

- Why "of course"?
- Because I just can't imagine you dead.

My God, are you gonna make me say it?


(Vern moaning)

(buggy approaches)

You've just about done it, huh?


Well, I think I've found
a buyer for the ranch.

I'm going into Absaroka now
to see about it and find a place for Vern.


I'm glad.

I don't wanna spend the rest of my life
tryin' to get back at somebody.

Why'd you say that?

No reason.

Well, hell, neither do I.

Where do you think you'll be...
in about six months?

Well, if I was to guess,
I'd say north of the breaks.

There's the Little Rockies up there.

A lot of little valleys are supposed
to have water year round.

Sounds like a real good guess.