The Way West (1967) - full transcript

In the mid-19th century, Senator William J. Tadlock leads a group of settlers overland in a quest to start a new settlement in the Western US. Tadlock is a highly principled and demanding taskmaster who is as hard on himself as he is on those who have joined his wagon train. He clashes with one of the new settlers, Lije Evans, who doesn't quite appreciate Tadlock's ways. Along the way, the families must face death and heartbreak and a sampling of frontier justice when one of them accidentally kills a young Indian boy.

Best not be looking, Brownie.

I ain't looking.

As hard as I can!

- Howdy.
- Well, howdy!

Them pretty peach trees are sure
a long way from Georgia!

Yeah, and I expect to plant 'em
where the ground is 40 feet deep,

black as charcoal and soft as a woman.

Now whereabouts would that be? Heaven?

Oregon, mister, haven't you heard?


- I'll tie up, Pa.
- All right, son.

It feels just like a holiday.
I think maybe I'll have me a little drink.

I hope I'm not disturbing you too much?

No, but you're disquieting the fish.

They're a sensitive race.

Dick Summers.

I've heard about you ever since
I crossed the Ohio River,

and about as often as God Almighty.

Well, I hope he doesn't
hold that against me.

I've come to ask your advice about a guide
to take us to Oregon.

If you want my advice, don't go.

Especially if you've never been there.

Now, people think a lot
of Jim Bridger as a scout.

What's your opinion?

Pretty good man.

What do you think of Mr. Sublette?

He's the best by far. He's the best.

Sir, you're a liar.

Mr. Tadlock, I believe you're beginning
to get a little bit personal.

No, sir, because the best man,
bar none, is you.

Well, I've got a nice place to live here.
I got breakfast in the river,

dinner out there in the woods.

This child's just too fat and lazy
to want to move.

A man who's hunted
and trapped from here to the Pacific,

not once but a dozen times?

That's right. That's why.

I've made inquiries
about you, Mr. Summers.

You're not lazy.

You're sick.

Sick with grief,
and you have been for two years.

Ever since your Indian wife died.

You can get out now, Mr. Tadlock.

You've been here just about long enough.

Mr. Summers.

My woman died, too.

Listen to me.

I've got many families coming with me.

Honest men, women and children.
Good people.

For their sake, leave this place,

ride your horse again
and take my wagon train

to the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

I can't guarantee I'd leave anything
behind me except a string of graves.

Why? Do you think
we're as weak as all that?

No, not weak. Unfit.

Greenhorn storekeepers,
tenderfoot farmers,

people that never slept in anything
bigger than a barn in their lives,

and never looked at the frost
on the side of a tree

to find out which way to go. No, no.

Worse than us
have done better, Mr. Summers.

We're mere men,
but a man's nature's enormous.

It contains both the great and the small.

Even the meanest of us
can be as large as this whole continent.

We can do without you, Mr. Summers.

We'll lose more, we'll suffer more,
but by God Almighty,

we mean to plant a new Jerusalem
in the Oregon wilderness.

By God Almighty, that is a pretty speech.

You poor, miserable, female-haunted man.

It's hard to believe that your grief
has so corrupted your guts.

God dang it, Becky,

where'd you put the bed?

Oh, Becky.

All I've been thinking about is you
all the time I was in town.

Quit it. Now do you hear me?

You hear me? I said, quit it!

What the devil's the matter with you?

You're going to Oregon.

- What?
- You already made up your mind

and you're trying to change mine
by getting me onto that bed.

Why, Becky, I wouldn't be...


I wish you'd stop walking around
in my mind.


Lije, we had a nice farm in Pennsylvania.

Too many stones, you know that.

Lije... Lije, stay home this time.

I wish I could, but I can't.


I don't know why, Becky.

It's just that I. . .

I gotta go where I've not been.

And where I can say, "'This far I've come.

"'I can't go no farther."'

Do you understand that?

You're no good, Lije.

But you're the only no-good man I got.


Well, get up and go.

The sun's risen.

- Giddyup!
- Oregon!

Giddyup there!

On the 16th of April, 1843,

the sun rose in the east and headed west...


That's good shooting.

That was you who got him. I missed him.

It's just because I'm a little
more hungry than you, that's all.

- You want him, Mercy?
- Lord, no! Looks like Ma's dog.

What is it?

He's a red fox kitten,
Mr. Summers tells me.

Lost his mama, he thinks likely.
Five weeks old, Mr. Summers said.

Mr. Summers, Mr. Summers!

Tell your Mr. Summers he smells
a lot older than that to me.

What are you laughing about now?

That sweet good-looker there, Mr. Mack.
New married man.

He fetched her flowers. Imagine that.

Love. Oh, I just can't wait. Can you?

Oh, I could. Don't know if I will, but I could.

And what if the right woman, like me,

just fell plump, warm
and happy in your arms?

I don't know.

I figure I could manage if she did.

Well, come knock on my porch,
say two or three years from now.

Darn you!


You're to stop your flashing
and a-fluttering every time

a three-legged boy runs by.

Now, you hear me?

If we don't get that girl hitched
before we get to Oregon,

she's going to run off
and marry the nearest buffalo.


I think it's best we ford right here.

Mr. Summers,

can you make that out?

I can't see it too well.

It's probably a cattle train
coming up from Santa Fe.

I see a wagon, Mr. Summers.

No cattle train.

What I see is Steve Brady out of St. Joe
and bound for Oregon.

Well, maybe.

We'd best camp here
and make the crossing in the morning.

In the rain, Mr. Summers?

Well, now, it might rain. Might not.

It might be a wagon train, might not.

Least ways, it looks like they're gonna
beat us to the river.

No, sir, Mr. Summers.

They will not.

Speed, Mr. Evans, speed!

Or you and your wife
will be eating the dust

of Steve Brady's wagon train
all the way to Oregon.

Move up and keep the lead.

Blow your bugle, son.
We'll breathe some life into these people.

- Blow it loud!
- I will, Papa, as loud as I can.

Smartly, Saunders!
No laggards on the Oregon Liberty Train!

Giddap in there!

Move, before you're trampled underfoot.
Speed, Mr. McBee, speed!

- He's so hard, so hard.
- But handsome too, hear me, Mercy.

She could do worse than cast eyes
on the Senator.

He's rich as sin.

Yeah, a man his age
is inclined to wed virgins.

- Hear me, Mercy?
- I hear you and I hate you.

I mean the both of you.


They're trying to head us off.

- Becky...
- Where are they going?

We're here first and we're crossing first.

You're wrong, mister.
You think you're crossing first.

- Bring 'em up!
- Giddap there, mules!

By God,

we'll still cross first.

Whoa, mules!

- Do you think I should help, Ma?
- You just stay here.

Don't drown him.

Grab the rope!

Well, gentlemen,

we made it first, didn't we?

By God, we did that, Mr. Tadlock.

Now, Mr. Evans, we're going to cross.

- First!
- Right!

Pretty pleased with yourself,
aren't you, Mr. Tadlock?

It was a cattle train.

You knew it all along.

Mr. Summers, I pay you to point the way.

Just point the way,

and don't gall me with
your truthful opinions.

Come on, son.

Come on, Becky, let's take 'em across.

- Are you sure you're all right, Pa?
- I'm fine.

All right!

Let's go! Go, mule!

Dear God, save this sinner.

I'm drowning!

A stowaway on a prairie schooner.

A man of God!

Tadlock, look at this!

We got us a new volunteer.

The name is Weatherby.

- Occupation?
- A slave, brother, to the Holy Ghost.

Brother Weatherby, we're all traveling
under a signed contract and a set of rules.

Now, what do you have
in the way of supplies?

The spirit of Christ
and the shirt on my back.

- You're a wee short.
- The Lord will provide.

Well, we can use a preacher, can't we?

To overcome the natural calamities
of human nature.

Such as weddings, babies...

- Funerals?
- Amen!

- We need religion, sir.
That's right, we need religion.

Sure, he'll put God on our train.
Let him stay.

Well, God hasn't seen fit to furnish him
with even so much as a mule.

I'll take him on, Mr. Tadlock.
I'll look after him.

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

You can't take that as an answer.
You know the rules.

I heard them.

Two hundred pounds of flour
for each man and his mate.

Well, I got the flour.

Will you have me, Brother Weatherby?

I'm yours.

I told you the Lord would provide.

Now, you sinner,
you see how quickly.

Let's go! Move 'em along.

All right, stay in line.

We're sailing, Becky. Sailing.

Ain't it glorious?

I wish I was home in my rocking chair,

if I knew which home I wished I was at.

Steady there, steady.

Get in line there!

Easy now. Steady.

Giddap, there!

That's it, preacher, ride 'em.

Giddap, there!

Saunders, remember,
we want no laggards!

You're doing a man's job, son.

Get in line there!

- Keep moving, Mr. Calvelli.
- When I'm ready.

You've got to keep moving, Mr. Calvelli,
or you'll be left behind.

Come on then.

Keep them going!

You're drifting!

Hang on, Mr. Calvelli, hang on there.



Hang on, Mr. Calvelli. Stay with it.

The Lord sayeth in Lamentations,
Chapter 4, Verse 11...

- McBee!
- Yes, sir?

You and Moynihan get shovels
and bury that man.


His soul's in the balance, Mr. Tadlock.
Heaven or hell!

There'll be no sermonizing.

A man's dead, Mr. Tadlock.

We need to pray over him.

The fool's dead by his own hand.

It was speed killed him, plain speed.

I ain't thinking there'll be another life
given up to it.

Not speed.

Hear me, all of you.

It was not speed that sent his soul
to hell, but panic.

Panic and greed!



Heavy as a stone.

Dead man's money!

Who wants it?

Who wants it?

Look at that.

It was cattle.

Those are emigrants out of St. Joe.

They've been eating
off the hoof for so long,

they just naturally grew a set
of extra long horns, that's all.

Her eyes are like stars in the night

The eyes of Mercy McBee

Her smile is the dawn's early light

The smile of Mercy McBee

It seems she stepped out of your dreams

The face of an angel you see

Mercy McBee, Mercy McBee

Beautiful Mercy McBee

So sweet and so gentle, so lovely is she

I sure can't stand to wait much longer.

You'd think he'd be sick and tired
of being pent up in there,

wouldn't you, Mrs. Fairman?

How do you know it's a him, Mr. Fairman?

Leave it, please.

Please leave it, don't turn it out.

Have patience with me, Mr. Mack.

I'm just so awful afraid.


you were all so warm
and so sweet when I courted you.

God, how I loved you.

I can't.

I can't.


Because I gotta bear the baby, not you.

Oh, God, please.

If we just had a house
or a place of our own...

And we will when we get to Oregon.


Nothing's gonna change in Oregon.

You know that.

And now I know it, too.

I'm gonna take you.

With you or against you.

And if you scream, you're gonna have to
scream through my hand.

Well, here's a pretty girl.

What are you doing?
Spying on us, pretty girl?

I guess there's no crime when there's
nothing to spy on, is there?

A boy! It's a boy!

I got me a boy!

Ride right over on him.

Just ride the front end, Brownie.

Hey, I noticed that.
A mighty handsome possession.

Did you get it off a dead Indian?

Yeah, my wife.

I'm sorry.

It's just about the nicest possession
I ever seen.

Well, it's about the only possession
I've got.

That and my bad name.

Well, look-a-here.
If it ain't Mr. Evans' growed-up son.


Shucks. Go away, will you?

Well, go on, Brownie. Go on after her.

Don't let a pretty girl ask you twice,
or an ugly one once.

I ain't her mule.

Brownie, when are you going to carve
my name on the mountain?

I'd rather die first!

What's the date today?

June the 5th, 1843.

All right. On your feet.

We've sat here long enough.

We'll roll some miles tonight

or my name's not William J. Tadlock!

You hear me, you. ..

Get off those fatty asses and march!

I'm gonna walk your legs
right down to stumps.

You've been drinking.

Drinking is against the rules.

Did you ever see me
break the rules, Becky?

You've been guzzling it!

- Sit, wife.
- I don't wanna sit.

Well, that's what you've been asking for.

When we crossed the river,
you asked to sit in a rocker.

And that's what you're gonna do
on this here Fourth of July.

So sit.

Very patriotic gesture, Mr. Evans.

Fourth of July is four weeks
from next Wednesday.

I know it, Mr. Tadlock!


But you'd better get some strong coffee
inside of you.

We still got two good hours of daylight.

We move out in 15 minutes.

A boy child's been born!

Nothing new about that.

Been done a million times before,
will be again, I expect.

But these people,

such is their miserable nature,

these people are gonna sit down
and celebrate

like it was the first day of the world.

Mr. Fairman.

Don't get up.

This seems to be the moment for peace
and relaxation.

It's good for people sometimes.


Mrs. Evans,

you think your husband would make
a better captain of this train?

I don't know.

Spoken truly.

Will you come with me, please?

Well, Mrs. Evans, I suppose
I am too hard on them sometimes,

but please...

Please sit down.

What do you make of this?

Is it a map?

It's a city,

the drawing of a city.
It's a city that's never yet been built.

Can't you see it?


Here's the opera house.

United States post office.

The railroad station.

Look, this is the grand plaza.

Now all the streets radiate from this point

like the spokes of a wheel
toward the edges of the city.

Oh, and from here,

parades come marching down the avenue,

past the steps of the churches,

past the wide columns

of the governor's mansion.

And the children will play in a park
covered against the rain by a crystal roof.

Such will be Oregon.

You're not afraid of me,

are you?

You don't know anything about me, really.

Do you?

I was a senior senator
from the state of Illinois.

And I might have become president
of the United States,

but for a woman.

The woman I chose for my wife
killed herself.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for her, too.

It almost ruined me.

But I rose up like Samson in his blindness,

and I came west with my son
to make a new and better life

in a new and better country.

There's so few people in this company
who understand.

None, maybe.

But it seems to me that. ..
That you do.

You're an extraordinary person.

You know, it's. . .

It's no easy matter to share a vision.

Particularly for a man and a woman.

Thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Tadlock.

If in the awful peril of this journey,
you should lose Mr. Evans...

- Don't say that.
- You need never lack consolation,

for I shall be your tower of refuge,
and a new city we shall build.

If you choose.

I told you, Brownie, you're a fool.
There's nothing to be scared.

Don't show 'em you're scared, Brownie.

- Mr. Summers, sir?
- What's that, boy?

I did poor. I was scared pukey.

Shoot, hoss, every man gets scared in a fix.

What are they gonna do?

Well, whatever they do,
it's going to be highly educational.

You know, the Sioux, if they take a fancy
to you, are inclined to be generous.

Likely as not,
they'll present you with a wife.

Maybe two.

Or three.

Stop there, sir. Three is my limit.

Could you go a bit deeper
into that subject, sir?


Are they...

Excuse me for asking the question,
but are Injun women built any different?

Why, I don't rightly know, boy.

I never been with a white woman
but once, and I disremember.

He'd appreciate it
if we'd move a little faster.

- You all right?
- Yeah, Pa.

All right, you get back to your mother.

He doesn't like what you're giving him.

- What does he want?
- Whiskey.


Get 'em liquored up,
maybe we could sneak off.

You've got a choice,

you can give it to 'em or they'll take it.

I agree that the first one
might be a little dangerous,

but the second one could prove fatal.

You're beautiful.

Mr. Mack.

I've been waiting since Missouri
to tell you that.

Have you?

You sure got the right name.


That's what I'm needing now.

It's dangerous.

Who are you afraid of?

My wife or me?

Mr. Mack,

I don't know very much.

You know my name.

She's pretty.

Mrs. Mack.

You're pretty.

Why don't she love you?

She's got iron corsets in her skin.

And what do I have, Mr. Mack?



and sin.

Lead me to it.

- Come on, Pa.
- Come on.

You can do it, Pa.

You're sorry now, ain't you?

Well, I'm not.

You'd better get back to your ma and pa.

Please, what is it?

They'll be looking for you. You'd better go.

Mr. Mack, when will I see you again?

When will I. . . You and I . ..


Please go.

I love you, Mr. Mack.

I do.

Go on.

What is it?

Dead wolf.

It's that Sioux boy.

Dear God.


I'll get Saunders to bury him. That leaves. . .


If they don't find him,
they'll follow us, teeth to tail.

We'll leave him here for his friends.
It might give us some kind of time.

How much time?

I don't know.

Depends on his kin.

They'll spend one day grieving,
that's for certain.

And another day smoking and talking.

And if we're real lucky,

one more day of dancing around
and firing up their courage, but...

But then for sure,

they'll paint those horses and they'll ride.


What's best to do?

- Run or fight?
- Neither one.

That ain't the Sioux.
They're still back over yonder.

What in the hell is that?

That's a nice big herd of buffalo
just feeding as they go along.


That's right, Mr. Tadlock.

What would you say if we was to grow
hair and hoofs and join them, huh?

What are you talking about?

Mix right in with 'em.

That way if nobody shoots
or shouts real loud,

we might have a chance.

Those animals will wipe out
all traces of our wagons.

We can travel right on with 'em
up to the big pine country

where the Sioux never ride.

- You're sure, Mr. Summers?
- Unless he's lost or drunk or crazy.

Meanwhile, I'll see if I can keep them busy.

Oh, you're never gonna make it, Dick.

Oh, I don't intend to do it alone.
I want you to come with me, Lije.

We're gonna look alike
and we're gonna ride alike.

We're gonna make 'em chase us
around in circles

till they catch us or quit.

With Mr. Tadlock's very kind permission,
we'll see if we can go get ourselves killed.

You want to?

- Come on.
- Come on.

Never known that a clock
could be scared before.

Not that I blame it.

Go to it, Lije! Get!

Come on.

You want to stampede them?

- Quiet.
- Can I kill one in the morning?

Maybe, if there's time.

We'll camp right here.

I surprise you?

- Smell like heaven, don't they?
- Mercy, they'll see us.

Oh, let 'em. I hope their eyes bug out
as far as their ugly noses.

Let's run away, Mr. Mack.

Where to?

Poor Mr. Mack,

going back to that pinewood plank
you call your wife?

I sleep alone.

Mr. Mack,

I've been thinking over and over
about that night.

I don't want to think of heaven or hell.

You don't look the same, Mr. Mack.

You look a thousand years older.

It's no use, Mercy.


No use.

Bye, then.

Bye, dear friend.

Hey, stop that, you little idiot!

What's the matter with you?

What do you think, Sioux or Blackfeet?

Let me try to do something.

I'll ride up there and talk to them.

Give me some room, will you?

- You said they would never come this far.
- Well, they've never been known to.

Not in my lifetime anyway.

That's the big chief
of the whole Sioux nation.

What does he want?

He wants justice.

We'll give him justice, hey, Mr. Tadlock?

The Chief said he had seven sons.

Now he has only six.

We killed the youngest.

He says he may die of grief.

However, he wants no blood of ours.
We may go unharmed.

But this is his son, and he can't bury him

until the boy sees the man
who murdered him killed.

We're loaded and ready to fight.

- Tell 'em that, Captain.
- Fight! That's the word, fight!

Fight, before they attack us.

What say, Mr. Summers?

I'm not your captain.

Mr. Tadlock, I think you'll find, sir,

that there's not a coward amongst us.

I am!

We got men to do the fighting, not you!

Well, I got a man here in my arms.

He can't fight, but I believe
he can manage to die.

No, no, we can't give up any human.

I guess we'll have to fight, Dick.

All right, but some of us
are gonna have to settle

for a piece of ground
a little short of Oregon.

Mr. Summers, tell them
that we'll punish the man ourselves,

and that in accordance with our own rules,

he'll be hung by the neck until he's dead.

Mr. Tadlock,

who are you gonna sacrifice
if no man here admits to the killing?

Your son, Mr. Evans.

My son?

Your son, who left the train in violation
and brought the Sioux down upon us.

- Hold it!
- Hold it, hoss.

Yes, Mr. Evans, your son,

if the man who did this killing
doesn't step up and confess.

No! No!

You try to take my boy with your rules,
I'll bury you

right here where we stand.

We shall see who will live and who will die.

What you're doing is terrible cruel,
Mr. Tadlock.

Mr. Fairman,

you carry a shotgun?

It was a shotgun that killed that Indian boy.

- Well, do you carry a shotgun?
- No, sir. No, sir!

McBee, do you possess a shotgun?

No, sir.

No, sir!

Well, I see that you
carry a shotgun, Masters.

Yes, sir.

Me and my sons and five or six other men.

Will every man who owns a shotgun
please step forward.

Which one of you has the courage
to admit to this...

This killing?

All right then,

if it must be,

it must be the Evans boy.

- Lije.. .
- Damn you! Damn you!

Johnnie. Johnnie!

- Johnnie, don't!
- Johnnie, that's my name.

Ain't it, Amanda?

Seems good to hear it for once.

It weren't you.

It's 'cause of me.

But I don't want you to die.

I want you to live.

He was with me all that night.

All that night!

Every night.

Is that true, Mr. Mack?

No, sir.

I killed him.

Do we have any volunteers
to carry out the hanging?


No. No.

Well, Mr. Mack,

that leaves just you and me.

All right, son.

I can't, Papa.

I can't.


even if you can't,

you must.

Whoa, there. Ho, ho!

- Whoa!
- Ho, ho. Hold up.

Whoa, there! Whoa!


I ain't dead, am I?

No, I can see I ain't.

Didn't even bust a little finger.

She's all right, ma'am.

We'll catch up!

Think you could learn to hate me, Mercy?

It'd help me tremendous.

Hate you?

I don't know.

I hadn't thought about it.

I could, I suppose.

If I tried.

Oh, Mercy.


I'm most desperate in love with you.

I'd marry you a million times
if I thought you'd say yes just once.


Lord, Brownie, marriage is for married folk.

I'll talk to the preacher as soon as I can,
and your folks and mine.

If they say no,

I'll do it anyway.

Brave boy.

But there's just one person
you can't marry without.

And that's me.

Would you tell me why not?

'Cause I . . .

I don't love you, Brownie.

Criminy, wish I could say the same.

But I...

I'd marry you even so, Brownie,

'cause I. . .

I'm carrying a dead man's child.

You all right, hoss?

Nothing wrong with me.

I'm going crazy, that's all,
and don't try to stop me.

Oh, I never tried to stop anybody
from doing anything.

That's about the only principle I've got.


That's what's driving me crazy.

That's been known to happen
once or twice.

It is rare, though.

Mr. Summers,

supposing there's a girl
and a man aimed to marry her.

That's a pitiful case.

But he found out something about her,

which is

she'd have a baby which wasn't his.

Now how in the world
would he find out a thing like that?

She told me.

Do you mean to tell me you've been
talking about yourself all this time?

- Yes, sir.
- Brownie, you astonish me.

That ain't all.

She said she'd marry me if I ask her,

but don't expect her to love me.

Said it with tears in her eyes,
Mr. Summers.

Sounds like a right smart honest girl.

Can you get along without her?

I tried, but I don't feel
I ever could, Mr. Summers.

Well, in that case, you answered yourself.

How so?

Seems to me a gal needs a husband.

She could make out like she liked you
instead of saying she didn't know.

But a baby?

A baby ain't too hard to take up with,
no matter whose it is.

But she didn't have to tell you
about that, now did she?

Did she?
She didn't have to tell you at all.


You'd better hang onto this for a while.

It brought me luck in love, anyway.

It does stretch on.

You'll find forever.

It's all right, Mr. Summers,
I've known for quite a while.

Known what?

That you're going blind, sir.

But you'll see to take us
through to Fort Hall

and on to Oregon.

Of that I'm certain.

Where do we cross, Dick?

Well, the best way is to follow the edge.

It meanders, but there's good water
and plenty of it

end of each day's march.

You're thinking of something else.

It ain't easy, Mr. Tadlock,

not even for hardcase hunters
and light-packed horses.

But with oxen and wagons
and farmers and town-livers, it's...

It's a terrible chance.

But you do know another way.

There's a shortcut right straight through
the heart of it.

Yeah, do you think we could make it?

There's no water.
There's not one single place to drink

for man or beast.

What will we save?

It's a world of sand, remember.

Days that are sunstroke-hot

and nights that are snow-cold.
You think about that.

Mr. Summers, what will we save?

Oh, a week, maybe more.

By God, I'd give my soul for a week.

All right, get ready to move on now.
Get those oxen up.


why did you take it away from me?

- What, son?
- My bugle.

It's where you left it,
in the back of the buggy.

- Can I go get it?
- Maybe tomorrow.

Maybe tomorrow
I'll let you drive the buggy.

I know, Papa.

A drop at a time.

Why are we in the middle of this? Why?

'Cause Tadlock wants it.

If you're so much against it,
why don't you do something about it?

What are we stopping for?

What's wrong?

By God, there it is.

Look, Mr. Summers, look!

Look, you brought us to water.

And not a soul lost.

Everybody! Water!




Come on, Pa!


Billy, jump!

We had to destroy all traces.

The wolves would dig it up,
or thieving Indians looking for scalps.

I'm sorry, Mr. Tadlock.

I can always come back
and find it for you any time you want.

Whip me.


Lay that whip across my back.

But, sir. ..

Do it, damn you!

Do as I say.

Yes, sir.

There it is, Fort Hall.

Now you can rest your bottom.

Fort Hall!

Glory be.

We're there, Mama.

Hooray for Fort Hall!

Fort Hall, here we come!

Will you, Mercy?

It just ain't fair to you, Brownie.

It ain't fair to you.

You don't have to cry
on account I want to marry you.

You'll make a right smart wife.

And you don't have to love me back now.

You'll learn to.

And if you don't,

I can always shoot myself and die famous.

Fort Hall!

Come on, Mercy. Fort Hall.

Fort Hall!

Colonel, how are you?

- Mr. Summers.
- It's been a long time.

Colonel Grant of the
Hudson's Bay Company,

this is Senator Tadlock
of the Oregon Company.

- Sir.
- How do you do, sir?

Whatever I have in Fort Hall
is at your instant disposal.

- Thank you, sir.
- Stay as long as you like.

The longer, the better.

The fact of the matter is,
I offer 50 English pounds

and a pair of willing mules to any family
that will settle right here forever.

On behalf of the Oregon Liberty Train,
I thank you for your generosity.

But we'll be leaving in the morning.

In the morning?

- How do?
- Mr. Tadlock, sir,

I'd like you to meet my father-in-law.

Oh, how do you do?


Dearly beloved,

we are gathered here in the sight of God,
in the face of this company,

to join together this man and this woman.

How old are you, Brownie?

Old enough, preacher.
Now go on and marry me.

If any man can show just reason

why this young couple
should not be joined together,

let him now speak
or forever hold his peace.

It's blasphemy!

Step forward, woman.

Well, come on, Mrs. Mack,
speak your piece.

The girl is pregnant, Mr. Evans.

How would you know, Mrs. Mack?

Ask her to deny it.

I don't deny nothing.

No, she don't.

And I don't.

I'm the father, Mama.

I'm the father!


Now get on and marry us
before everyone here dies of thirst.

Mercy McBee and Brownie Evans,

in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Ghost,

I now pronounce you man and wife. Amen.

I said "amen." You're married.
You can kiss her, even if you have before.

Thanks, Pa.

- Congratulations, Mr. Evans.
- Thank you.

- You got a good man, Mercy.
- Congratulations.

He's a good man.

I've knowed him since the day he was born.

I just hope, Mercy, that. . .

That you're as lucky as me.

Thank you, sir.

Brought me all the luck
I'm ever gonna need.

I knew it, son.

They're all part Injun.

Go on.

Now don't despair.

No other wagon train ever tried
to get through to Oregon before,

and that's where they were smart.

Who's paying you, Caleb?

Yes, siree! I been to Oregon.

It's not too bad.

Along the way,
my good companion cut off his leg

and parboiled it, boot and all.

Ate it for supper.

Course, he was half Indian.

I said, who's paying you, Caleb?

Well, it may be a hard way to Oregon,
but what about California?

Truth of the fact is,
I don't want you fellers in California.

Oh, there's room, but it ain't fitting.

I mean, you're altogether so lean,
dry and hungry.

Everything in California is so fat
and ripe and juicy.

I don't believe you'd like it.

Well, it sounds mighty appetizing.
Tell us more about it.

Mr. Masters,

your signature's affixed
to a document in my possession.

- You're all signed to go to Oregon.
- Signed? I'll sign anything.

If it ain't written in holy Irish,
it ain't legal anyhow.

And if I choose to go to California,

I'll go to California.

Well, I can't stop you, can I?

Go on, Mr. Greenwood.

Spin out your lies,
so I can see where they catch.

Gold, Mr. Tadlock.

There's a lake in California of pure gold.

That there is just a little boulder
off of the bottom.

Gold. Fool's gold.

I'd like to see you prove that ain't gold.

If it were gold, would I throw it away?

Well, Mr. Turley, will you be ready to leave
in the morning?

No, no, sir.

Nor can you make me, sir.

- It's my wife.
- Yes?

She's ailing.

She should never have come, Mr. Tadlock.

I'm sorry, Mr. Turley.


were you expecting
to leave in the morning?

I doubt there'll be many
who'll go on with you.

I appreciate your concern, Colonel Grant.

Now if there's anything
I can do to help you,

don't hesitate to ask.

There is something, Colonel Grant.

- A sick woman needs tending.
- Of course, what's wrong with her?



She seems to be the only one
at the moment.

Your people must go immediately.

- I don't want them in the fort.
- What do you mean?

Ten years back, it killed off
two out of every three Blackfeet.

Six years ago, it wiped out
the entire Mandan nation.

Get your people out. Fast.
Unless you want a massacre.

Hear! Hear!

Listen, listen, listen to me!
I have something to say to you!

You must leave, all of you.
There's smallpox among you.


- Smallpox?
- Who's got the pox?

- It ain't true!
- Who is it?

Now try to stay calm. Please.

All of you, while there's still time!

What is he talking about?
Who has the pox?

Mrs. Turley.

All right, everybody to your wagons.
To your wagons!

We must leave immediately.

Find Brownie. Hitch up the team.

Start moving or we'll all be massacred!

Come on!

We must leave immediately.

Lighten all wagons!

Lighten the load!

McBee, didn't you get the word?

- I got nothing.
- Well, get that nothing off your wagon.

Well, they're my fortune, these peach trees.

My whole life. I can't do it.

Well, I can.

It's like killing a child.

Damn it! God damn it!

I wish he was my husband.
I'd hound him in his grave!

Push, push!

Get up in here! Get up! Get up in here!

Get up in here! Get up in here!

Good to see you, Mrs. Turley.

Mr. Summers.

Let's go!

Where you been?

Turleys are moving up to join us.

- Mrs. Turley's ailing with the smallpox.
- She never had the smallpox.

Then what was Tadlock braying about?

He lied.

Come on.

Throw off everything you can!

Keep only what you need to stay alive!

Get up there!

Mr. Evans, hold up there.

Get it off.

It's my wife's inheritance.

Then let her be rid of it.

- I told you it was. . .
- Let him have the damn clock, Lije.

Get it off.

Give me the clock, Brownie.

The Evanses ain't gonna do
what he says no more.

Start 'em up, Beck.

Giddap, mule. Giddyup! Come on, mule!

- Giddap. Giddap, mule.
- Giddyup!

Well, you're strong enough, hoss.
You just ain't brainy.

I'm learning.

That's enough, Lije.

Come on. Come on, Lije.

Now you did what was needful
and that's enough.

We're very glad. You're great.

Let me fix your face.


Hang him!
Hang him the way he hanged Mr. Mack!

Let he who has raised his hand
with murder in his heart,

let him be put to death!

No. No, Lije, they mustn't.

You stinking dirt farmers.

Ragtag mongrel immigrants!

And I picked you to make into a colony?

Does anyone here have the courage
to come up here and hang me?

Step up!

Now what about you, Captain Evans?

Do you have the courage
to come up here and do it?

Or must I take this rope
in my own two hands and do it myself?

Must I?

There's been enough.

Let him go.

You coward.

You coward!

You're cowards! You're cowards!

You're all cowards!

- Yes, sir?

I tried to make men out of them.

You was wrong, sir.

What's that?

You can't get nothing with a whip,

on yourself or nobody else either.

Dick, do you think
maybe we could go around?

Before we got
to the Willamette Valley,

we'd all be dead under the snows.


I guess we could lower the wagons
by rope.

Animals, too.

Well, I'm ready, Captain.

Now who picked you to go first?

Me, Moynihan, that's who.

I want the Irish to have the honor
of placing the first foot

in that grisly place of deliverance.


All right, let her down!

Easy now.


Beats being drunk, don't it?

Hold it!

I know it can work.

I just hate to take another chance.


What do you want here?

I want to go on. Lower my outfit.

I'll pay good wages.

You'll have to ask 'em yourself.

I'm for California. Head south.

We could go back to the fort, maybe.

Yes, and let them see your wife

- - as healthy as she be.
- Right!

Mr. Summers, do you think
they'd take us in?

You've got that smallpox mark
on your wagons.

They'd meet you with fire.

- - Thank you, Saunders.
- Now hold on,

- - let's hear from Lije.
- Right.

Well, Lije, it's for you to say.

- What do you think to do?
- Well, it's no matter of my own feelings.

It ain't for me to say a body's to live or die.

The man said ain't no wagon train
ain't never made it to Oregon.

We have to at least try.


- Lije, look at this.
- What is it?

Well, it's a city.

A city that ain't been built yet.

You see here, Lije, is the US post office,
and here's the opera house.

And all the streets come together,
here at the grand plaza,

where the parades
go marching down the avenues.

And the children will play in the park,

covered against the rain by a crystal roof.

- Such could be Oregon, Lije.
- Where'd you get this?

It's Mr. Tadlock's,

his vision of what could be.

Here, you'd best have it.

It's no good to me now.

A city can't be built by one man
any more than

one man can whip a wagon train to Oregon.

If any of you people go to California,
or back to the fort now,

that's the end of the Oregon Liberty Train.

Take all of you,

working together to get
those wagons and oxen

down to that river road to Oregon.

- How far to the Willamette Valley?
- From up here, I don't know.

But from down there, 30 miles flat.


I can't speak for the others,

but Becky and me,

we think to go with you.

Steady does it.

Easy now, easy.

Hang on, mule.

- Hey. . . Hey, look at that.
- Hang on.

Trying to get away.

Over here.
Lend a hand with the wagon, boy.

Come on. Come on.

Flag them down.

All right, come on, Becky.

We ain't had this much fun
since the county fair at Ashland.

Yeah, but that was Kentucky!

Tell Ma I'll be down directly.

Be careful, Brownie.

Get off your bottoms
and hitch up those wagons!

We still got three hours of daylight

and the Oregon Liberty Train
keeps moving!

Now, let's start rolling!

- Come on, Mr. Tadlock!
- We'll get moving.

- No laggards on the Oregon train!
- Hooray for Oregon!

I did it for you!

Now you're done with him.
You're done with the devil!

And make those left behind know
thy healing ways with the passage of time.



Thank you, Mercy.

Drink slow now, you been sweating.

You know, sometimes I think I just
changed one mother for another one.

Don't say that.

Almost as pretty, too.


I'm beginning to like you.

In 10 or 20 years,

I might even grow passionately
fond of you.

Don't look away from me, Brownie.

Oh, Mercy.

Make the sun go down, Mercy.

Make it go down right now.

It will.


You know, Dick,

you could have a home with us
just as long as you wanted.

And double welcome.

I've found my own paradise, Lije,
thank you very much.

You go on to yours, I'll go to mine.

It ain't easy for a man to live alone.

At my age, nothing comes easy.

Those Blackfoot women,

they've got the longest hair
and the softest, warmest hearts

either side of the Bay River and hell.

Is that a fact?

Well, maybe I'll come with you.

But damn it, Dick, what about your eyes?

How are you gonna see or do
what you're gonna do?

Well, I've got me a few dim years left.

After that, I'll get myself
a couple of young wives,

a fishing pole, and make camp
alongside the waterfall.

You know, for a smart man,

you ain't got a lick of sense.

Not a speck.

I'll talk to you about it in the morning.


I know.

That's what he wanted, son.

Can't change that in a person.

Come on.

There you go.

Thanks to the unknown original translator & uploader.
Synchronisation for VETO version by HookyB.