Tomahawk (1951) - full transcript

In 1866, a new gold discovery and an inconclusive conference force the U.S. Army to build a road and fort in territory ceded by previous treaty to the the disgust of frontier scout Jim Bridger, whose Cheyenne wife led him to see the conflict from both sides. The powder-keg situation needs only a spark to bring war, and violent bigots like Lieut. Rob Dancy are all too likely to provide this. Meanwhile, Bridger's chance of preventing catastrophe is dimmed by equally wrenching personal conflicts. Unusually accurate historically.

This is the Territory of Wyoming

the year 1866.

On this soft sunlit day
of early Summer,

men of two different worlds
have come together to talk.

There is bitterness,
suspicion and distrust.

You remember your friends and
loved ones who have been killed.

You've seen the bones of
settlers on the trail

and the bleached ribs
of their wagons.

And still they come, pushing West
with a vision.

A vision of farm and town
on land they can call their own.

They come to reclaim the
wilderness under your protection:

the Army of the United States.

And in your hearts and minds
there is also bitterness and hate

because you also
have a vision

of sacred hunting grounds
silent and empty

of buffalo, elk and beaver.

Your food, clothing and shelter

vanished forever.

Of starvation and sickness
where once there was plenty.

This is the Laramie Conference

a powder keg that may
explode at any moment.

It would take little
to light the fuse.

There are important
and powerful men here.

On one side,

The leaders of the Sioux Nations.

On the other side,
representatives of the US.

On this day, it will take
a great man to see both sides.

Jim Bridger, pioneer,
trapper and scout

is such a man!

If I remember right this is the
4th time the American government

has talked treaty with the Sioux.

The first treaty pushed the Sioux
back into Wyoming,

then we pushed him back further.

Last year we shoved him back
some more into the river basin,

in the country east
of the Big Horns.

That was supposed to be final.

Mr. Bridger, we're not discussing
previous treaties.

I am Mr. Davis.

I'm sorry but I am talking
previous treaties.

I rode over 200 miles to say my say
and it'll get said my way.

You're planning to build a road
over a trail Bozeman mapped out

that runs through the middle of
the Sioux's last hunting lands.

Gold has been discovered in Montana.
Thousands of people are waiting.

But if wagons and troops start
moving up that road,

that's the end of the buffalo
in Wyoming,

and that's the end of the Sioux.

The buffalo means everything
to these people. Their food,

their clothing, skin for tipis,
bones for weapons.

We've been told it's
the only feasible route.

You've been told wrong Mr. Davis.

Last year Bozeman and
I ran a race with wagons.

He went over his trail, I over
one they call the Bridger trail

west of the Big Horns,
outside Sioux Territory.

34 days to get to Virginia City,
just two days longer than Bozeman.

If we want peace with these
Indians it'll cost us something.

The Sioux has already paid plenty
we can pay 2 days extra travel.

Sounds feasible.

- Now we'II...
- One moment gentlemen.

Before you're swept off your feet
you should consider

where Mr. Bridger's sympathies lie.

Monahseetah is Cheyenne.
She's from Kansas.

The Powder River country
is of no concern to her.

But she is of great concern to you.

And your friend Sol Beckworth,
hasn't he lived among Indians?

Chief Two Bears asks,
if no one will listen to Bridger,

will they listen to anyone else?

The purpose of this conference
is to reach an agreement.

Tell him we're here
in all good faith to...

In all good faith?

That the American Cavalry's
been ordered to build a fort

above the Powder River?

Are Col. Carrington and his men
here to prove your good faith?

- Who told you?
- Mr. Bridger,

one of these chiefs
may know English.

I am Sioux Chief.

I am called Makhpiya Luta,
which means "Red Cloud".

I understand and speak your language.

I understand even
what you do not say.

We certainly didn't expect
to keep the fort a secret.

No, we would have learned of it
after we signed the Treaty.

See this warrior of
the Great White Father.

You pretend to parley with us
for a road through our lands,

but soldiers are here to steal
a road before we say yes or no.

- What did he say?
- What did he say Mr. Bridger?

He said the white man's promises
are written in water.

In other words, he said
you're a pack of liars

and this peace conference is a fake.

- Does this mean they'll fight?
- Not exactly.

Though the Sioux have been betrayed
Red Cloud said they want peace.

- But if war is forced on them...
- Forced? Meaning the Fort?

No, you can put through your road
and you can fortify it,

but if one white man kills one Indian,

that road's gonna come
unraveled in your face.

Jim! Beckworth!

Jim, how did you know
about the fort?

We put a few rumors together.

They didn't order your outfit
out of Kansas for nothing.

- How many going altogether?
- One cavalry troop,

a squad from the Quartermasters,

four officer's wives including
Mrs. Carrington and six young ones.

Don't you know Red Cloud has
the whole Sioux Nation under him?

- The Oglalas, the Brules...
- 4,000 fighting men easy.

It's not a military expedition.
We're going to maintain a fort.

We'll provide escort for wagons,
carry mail and things like that.

I still need good scouts.

- What about you two?
- I'm through scouting for the Army.

Can't make a living at it.

Five dollars a day and your keep?

Five dollars? It'll cost you more
for whiskey to drown the boredom.

Beck's afraid I'll back out
on our fur trading deal.

We're expecting a lot of
Indian villages this year.

Why not join us later?

Fur trading's pretty slow
by the middle of summer.

Sergeant, get those wagons rolling.

- You know the Lieutenant?
- No.

Monahseetah likes his horse.

He's Lt. Rob Dancy,
just been transferred to my command.

- About that scouting job...
- Well if you can't, you can't.

I don't want to let Beck down but...

Chances are we wouldn't do any
trading from June to the first snow,

I think we could join you
by midsummer.


Exactly where is the fort
going to be?

Say this is where we are

just west of Fort Laramie here.

The North Platte runs here,
Bozeman's trail is here

and the Powder River
branches off here...

- Never seen skin like this year.
- The cold winter that did it.

No, Beck, let it go.
He's drunk.

You ought not let that buck
get away with that Jim.

- Now he thinks you're scared.
- Let him think.

Now is no time to start a fight.

All battened down Jim.

It's good you showed no anger,

Sit down.

Not one of our chiefs
signed the treaty.

Yet the fort has been built
and my young men are angry.

I know but for the sake of your people
you must keep them from war.

Today there are a hundred soldiers,
tomorrow there'll be thousands.

You can't hold back a flood.

But if something happens,
if blood is shed on the road,

I may have to go to war.

I see what lies ahead.

I would teach my people to change
from the ways we have lived

and to learn the ways
of the white man,

if the white man would
only give us time.

They push us too fast.

What is it Corporal?

I been telling him there's nothing
from here to Virginia City

except the fort and Indians.

He should wait until more
wagons come along.

You didn't say how long
that might be?

Caravan might roll up tomorrow
or a month from tomorrow.

Can't we have cavalry escort now?

There's only one cavalry troop
at Fort Phil Kearney.

We haven't got the men to escort
every contraption that comes along.

The rule is no escort
for less than five wagons.

Every day I'm not in Virginia City
it's costing me 500 dollars.

If you are riding into the fort
why can't we come along with you.

We're the mail detail.

This wagon can't do 30 miles a day
and we have to ride fast.

You could likely
get through all right alone

if you're a good shot.

You better take the long way round...
Go back to Laramie, cut due north.

- That would take a month longer.
- Well as he said, we're in a hurry.

Sergeant, who's commanding
this detail?

I decide how fast we travel.

We can escort you as far
as Fort Kearney.

Why that's...

That's acting like
a perfect gentleman.

Cavalry men are well known
for their gallantry.

We'll return the favor
by giving a free show at the fort.

The Colonel will be glad
for the diversion Ma'am.

If you're ready?

We're ready.

Think we'll get to the fort soon?

I'm in no hurry. Are you?

No, but Uncle Dan thinks that
gold in Virginia City

is melting away like butter.

It's not just that.
I have to keep moving.

I got iron in my blood.
If I sit still I rust.

Somebody's messing
with the horses.

Come on.

Don't shoot Lieutenant.

You shouldn't have done that.
You know the Colonel's orders.

Just a kid.

Just a scrawny little kid.

If anyone asks Sergeant
it was a fox.

A fox was scaring the horses.

I shot and I missed.

Now let's get him out of sight.

Get your ropes!

I'll take the lines.

Dan and I would have just sat here.
We wouldn't have known what to do.

Tricks of the trade.

How long have you been in the army?

Seven years off and on.

I was wounded in '63
and got a medical discharge.

I joined up again last year.

And got shipped out to
this howling wilderness.

I asked for this assignment.

I got a taste for Indian fighting
while I was out of the army.


Ever hear of Chivington?


He was a preacher who had
a volunteer Indian fighting outfit.

I served with him for
two solid years.

We really cleaned up
that part of the country.

Chivington was quite a man.

We had a high time.

All ready Lieutenant.

Giddy up!

Hold it!


What do you make of that?

Indian sign of some sort.

Warning do you think?

We're too near the fort.

Looks like there's gonna
be a little trouble.

Julie, it's awful nice of that
young lieutenant to escort us.

- You mean Rob?
- So it's Rob now, is it?

- The lieutenant's crowding you.
- He thinks he is.



Stay with the wagon.
Come on, Sergeant!

They never went down there.

Where'd those Sioux go?

I didn't see anybody.

How about you Beck?

You must have seen them.
They made off behind those rocks.

Gully on the other side?

Sheer cliff. They couldn't
have gone down there.

The Sioux are good horsemen.
They can ride where you couldn't

or I couldn't.

Is she Sioux?

No. She's Cheyenne.

Sure don't know
your Indians, do you?

Let's get back to the wagon.

We'll push on.
There's a doctor at the Fort.

Take it easy with that wagon.

That's a fool thing to do.

Likely kill that old man to
bounce around with an arrow in him.

Rob, maybe he's right.

- There's nothing we can do.
- You can take that arrow out.

That's a job for a doctor.

Go on. I'll ride behind.

We can manage from here.

The Colonel hired us as scouts.
We'll ride along with you.

Is the Colonel expecting her?

I think so. She was with us
when we were hired.

I doubt it'll go down with the men
to have an Indian in the Fort.

That Sioux arrow should
have got him.

No, I wouldn't want any Indian
to kill that pretty soldier boy.

Oh, he's the one.

He's the guy Monahseetah
spotted in Laramie.

He looks so young. She was
just a kid when this happened.

- She could be wrong.
- I know that.

That's why I'll wait
until I'm sure.

After all these years,
you still trying to track him down?

Wouldn't you be?

Come on. Let's beat it.

Mail detail approaching.

Open the gates.

Mail detail approaching.


- Jim! I'd about given up on you.
- Hello Colonel.

Major, you know Jim Bridger.

Is that Jim Bridger?

My mean have done
a good job here Jim,

and a fast one.

- What do you think of it?
- It's well placed Colonel.

We built this fort in 34 days.

Hurry up with the mail Parr.

We had a brush with the Indians.
A man in the wagon was wounded.

- How many Indian casualties?
- None. They all got away.

I want a full report.
Go to my office. You too Sergeant.

Parr, Lt. Brown will help you
sort the mail and distribute it.

- Yes sir.
- Major, take care of the wounded man.

Right sir.

There's not much I can do Miss.

- Doctor, please.
- I won't risk an operation.

If the doctor's brain was put
in a jaybird, he'd fly backward.

- Say, you THE Jim Bridger?
- That's right.

What's that Indian name I heard?
"Techa" something?

- Techahngpe.
- "The chump"?

No, "Techahngpe". That's
Sioux for Tomahawk.

You must've been in this country
quite a while I reckon.

- I've been out here a while.
- Yeah, Jim says that

when he first came west them hills
was nothing but holes in the ground.

The Adjutant said you men can bunk
in the Quartermaster Barracks.

He couldn't figure what
to do about the squaw.

We'll wait here until
he can figure.

She can't sleep in the barracks
and the wives in the fort...

Mr. Bridger?

The Colonel says you should
report to the office.

They kept hidden until
we were nearly past.

They made a fast attack and ran.
There was no provocation.

I left Red Cloud's village
four days ago.

He said they wouldn't fight
unless they were pushed.

And an Indian's word
is Gospel?

In fact Indians don't lie.
It's part of their religion.

Lieutenant, were you with that
wagon all the way from Laramie?

All the way from the outpost.

- And nothing happened?
- To the wagon? No sir.

And no other incident
was reported to us.

- And you Sergeant, hear anything?
- Not a thing.

What about it Jim?

Let the Lieutenant have it his way.
They attack out of pure cussedness.

Let's have it now.
Let's have the whole story.

Don't lie. I can read your face
as plane as that buffalo skull.

Those Indians had a reason
for making that attack.

Something happened on the road,
something Dancy didn't tell.

I got to serve under Lt. Dancy.
If I make him out a liar...

The Colonel will nail your hide
unless you spit it out now.

Let's have it.

Dancy killed a Sioux.

One of the horses whinnied and
we went to have a look see.

Two Indian kids were trying
to steal the horses.

Dancy went and shot one.

I told him he hadn't ought to.

It was just two puny,
scared, little kids.

What are you telling the Colonel?


Lights been flashing out there
all last night.

Never seen them before.
Now smoke signals.

The Sioux are having a conversation.
They're calling in the hunters.

Maybe you'll get an invitation.

Misery loves company?

Or maybe you'd rather be alone?

No, you're very welcome company.

What's your misery? The old fellow?
How you call him? Dan?

I imagine he'll be all right.
He'll pull through.

The doctor says Dan's going to die.

He won't operate. He says the
arrow is too close to his heart.

That doctor...

- He could be wrong.
- You said you could take it out.

I had before. I said he shouldn't
be left the way he is now.

Would you?

Do you think the old fellow
is game?

- I can't promise anything.
- But you'll try.

I'll try.

I won't be responsible.

Dan's willing.

As long as I can't stop you.

Drink as much of this as you can.

I never turn down a free one.

When we get this over with
I'll have one with you.

Hold on Dan.

That's it.

Nothing to do now but wait until
the shock wears off.

Don't worry. He's tough.
He'll make it.

Hold it!

- Williams, James!
- Here.

- William, John...
- Morning assembly.

Come on, maybe we can get
some coffee in the mess hall.

You're a strange man.
The things you know!

Like what you did for Dan.
You were better than any doctor.

You don't have to live wild
like you do.

You could be a big man.

I have my idea of bigness.

Then why do I somehow
feel sorry for you?

You shouldn't. I live
the way I like to live.

But you miss so much.

For every way of living
something has to be given up.

What do you give up?

Crazy notions like...

- Miss.
- Yes?

There's something you could do
that I'd take as a favor?


It's for Monahseetah.
She's just a kid and she's scared.

I'll be away scouting.
Would you look after her for me?

Well, Dan and I are leaving
as soon as he's able.

That'll be weeks.

- But don't you see...
- Yes. I think I do.

I'm sorry Miss Madden.


Has he been bothering you?

No, not really.

They say he cut
the arrow out of Dan.

He saved Dan's life.

If he lives he can thank
his own toughness, not Bridger.

Has that sqaw man been asking
any questions about me?

No. Why should he?
What do you mean, sqaw man?

Why a man who marries a sqaw.

Is she...

Is she his wife?

I doubt if any preacher
mumbled over them.

The Colonel is worse than innocent
to bring him here to the fort.

Bridger is a spy for Red Cloud.

- No.
- He saw where the Sioux went.

He lied to save their skins.

Any trouble we have with Indians
from here on out

I'll bet a month's pay can
be traced right back to Bridger.

Jim, over here.

- Jim.
- Colonel.

Someday I'll get it through
my head you always get back.

- Beck get in alright?
- Rode in three days ago.

He scouted as far south
as Red Fork.

I'll finish with Dan here
and I'll be right with you.

- How do you feel Dan?
- Fit as a fiddle.

- Alright?
- Fine.

Dan, the show would be good
for the men. It'd cheer them up

and make them forget their worries
at least for an hour.

That's if you make it
good and lively.

We'll do our best, of course
I can't do my juggling yet

but I'll figure out something
else to do

and Julie's singing here will
liven things up plenty.

I'm sure it will.
Is that alright with you Miss?

- Oh yes. That'll be fine.
- Good.

I'll tell them at assembly.

- Jim, you cover a lot of country?
- I got as far as Montana.

A lot of them, an awful lot,
camped along the Big Horn.

Winter is months off and they're
already storing away meat.

Those young braves seem to be
getting kind of impatient.

It doesn't look very good.

Dancy claims you load
the reports to scare us.

What do you think?

You can't make me think it's
any worse than I know it is.

Every day there's another incident.

While you were gone
we lost three more troopers.

Trail wagon escort.

They sending reinforcements
up from Laramie?

They haven't answered. They did
close the road to settlers.

- That's good.
- Last week I sent another request.

If they can't send men I asked
for ammunition and rifles.

Mail detail's due now.

Hold it!


Open up! It's Hanna.

- Where's the Colonel?
- In his quarters.

The other men sacrificed themselves
so Hanna could bring us the mail.

Including the latest answer
from Commissioner Davis.

"Our informants"...

"have convinced us that you
exaggerate your situation.

Additional forces are
unnecessary at Fort Kearney.

However we have dispatched some
of the equipment you requested.

Signed: Russel E. Davis
Commissioner for Indian Affairs."

Three men died to bring me that.

- At least we're getting equipment.
- Let's hope it's rifles and powder.

It could be a new mowing machine
for the parade ground lawn.

I'd like to speak my piece again.

Davis is right.
We don't need reinforcements

considering the caliber of our men.
They're all seasoned veterans.

One Cavalry troop, a handful
against 4000 Sioux.

The only answer to these Indian
outrages is an immediate campaign.

I agree with Capt. Fetterman sir.

Send out every man we can spare,
surprise the Sioux in his camp...

What's so funny?

I imagine he's laughing at the idea
of surprising the Sioux camp.

That camp stretches more than
20 miles along the Big Horn River.

We've only your word for that.

Your own experience should tell you
that I'm right Lieutenant.

You've done a little
Indian fighting, haven't you?

Weren't you in that
Colorado campaign in '64?

In 1864 I was in
a Military Hospital in Washington.

- Let's have your advice Jim?
- I don't know.

Prayer and those chuckleheads
like Davis find out this fort

has no business being here and
maybe you'll be ordered out in time.

Shouldn't somebody ride down
and hurry that equipment?

If it is on the road.

Otherwise they'll take their
own sweet time.

- Jim?
- I'll go if you want me to.

And pay your friend Red Cloud
a visit?


It was my idea Lieutenant.

Jim's friendly with the Indians.
He's sure to get through.

- Maybe I ought to go instead.
- You seem anxious to volunteer.

Meaning I might pay a visit
to Red Cloud?

Could be.

But that's a gamble.

Less of a gamble to send a soldier
down the road.

But that's up to you Colonel.

I'll take a chance on you Beckworth.
I'll come back to it later.

Dan, you think you're
fit enough to travel?

I am but the Colonel won't let
us leave before it's safe.

I'm sick of this fort.

The Lieutenant getting
hard to handle?

- Rob Dancy?
- Or is that Jim Bridger?

You don't think I'm so blind
I don't know what ails you?

- What ails me?
- The way you've been banging around.

There's no special reason.

Yes there is honey.
A man's got you surrounded.

Only he's a man who can't be
harnessed to your kind of life,

who won't go near
the big, bright cities.

That isn't what's wrong Dan.

Even if it breaks your heart I'd
rather Bridger than that Lieutenant.

That isn't what ails me.

Only I never could say
I'm sorry.

How does a girl go about
saying she's sorry!

If she's really sorry,
it'll get said.

I'm going out for a while.

- Out where?
- Riding.

They won't let you ride
outside the fort.


Come here dear.

I want you to go the Commissary.

Bring this food from the store.

Do you understand?


Bring food from store.

That's right.

I'd never have the patience
to teach her English.

And I'd never feel safe.

I bless the Christian impulse
I had to take her in to my home.

She's really a very sweet girl.

I only wish someone could adopt her
and see to her schooling.

But isn't she that
Mr. Bridger's squaw?

Or... wife I guess I should say.

Rubbish, she's no such thing.

- You ain't aiming to ride outside?
- No, just around the parade ground.

Shouldn't you wait until night?

Dark don't mean nothing to Sioux.
Even the kids are half bloodhound.

Besides I can make 20 miles by night.

If they sent those breech loaders,
every hour counts.

- Goodbye Colonel.
- Goodbye.

- Beck.
- What?

If you're not back tomorrow
I'll be out looking for you.

You know Jim, I haven't
looked at a calendar in months,

but I got a feeling
tomorrow'll be an awful day.


what is it between you
and Lt. Dancy?

You went after him like a mink
going after a chicken.

I can't say that I care for him.

I think it goes deeper than that.

You were gonna turn down the job
until you saw Dancy.

Alright Jim, I won't press you.

It's your business as long as
there's no trouble on the post

but there are a few questions
I don't dare let die.

In the case of a showdown,
which side are you on?

You mean yours or Red Cloud's?

I mean your country's
or it's enemy's?

This is Red Cloud's country
and yours and mine.

It takes facts to make a word
like enemy real.

- Too late to argue that.
- Too late for you, but not for me.

I've tried to do the job
you hired me to do and...

I'm a fight. If it comes,
you can't be on both sides.

I'll cross that bridge
when I have to.

I'll promise you one thing though

when I decide you'll
be the first to know.

Present sabers!

Let's go after them sir.
We're all saddled up.

Don't be a fool. That's what
they want. It's an ambush.

Open up!

Don't open that gate.
Nobody's to leave the fort.

Get that man to the hospital.

Alright. Detail dismissed!

Open up!

- Nobody is to leave the post.
- Open up. I'm not in this army.

- But the Colonel's orders...
- Get that gate open!

Get off! Get off and hurry up!

Let's hope they track that horse
and not us.

Come on, get down in here
and keep quiet.

If we shake those Sioux
we can start hiking.

If we're lucky enough
to shake them.

We'll wait here a while.

- I'm very grateful to you for...
- Forget it.

I owe you a lot. You saved Dan
and mine.

I said forget it.

Don't you know this is no country
to go pleasure riding in?

This isn't like your big cities.
A lot of trouble because of you.

Because I had to kill
that young brave.

Not knowing what side you're on
must make things complicated.

In fact it does.

Anyway it's Monahseetah
that saved your life.

She saw you riding out like a fool

and saw the war party riding
the same way and told me.

Then please thank your wife for me.

My what?

Your wife. What do you call her?

She's not my wife.

- But I was told that she...
- You talk to the wrong people.

There's some at the fort that
could have told you different.

I imagine the people you talk to
call me a sqaw man, don't they?

- Yes.
- I am a sqaw man.

My wife is dead.

I'll tell you a story to help
you pass the time.

There was a Cheyenne Chief,
Black Kettle, a great chief.

A few years back he signed a treaty
with the American government.

He put an American flag on his tipi
to show he meant to keep it

and the US government kept it.

Then four years ago,
a bunch of drifting, no good scum

god up what they called
the Colorado volunteers.

They were very brave,
big heroes.

They were gonna make the West
safe for the white man.

Their leader was a sanctimonious,
blood-thirsty, so-called preacher

named Chivington.

I've heard of him somewhere.

The only good thing you could
have heard is that he's dead.

Well this...

Chivington and his volunteers

rode out to Black Kettle's village
early one morning,

and had themselves a little fun.

More than 200 of them charged down
on a sleeping Indian village.

They rousted the people out and then

they shot and hacked and killed
until they'd had enough fun.

Men, women, old people

and kids.

Monahseetah was Black Kettle's
youngest daughter.

She saw her mother and father shot,

her sister cut down with a saber
along with a baby she was holding.

Her sister's name was Nantah,

and Nantah was my wife.

And the...

The baby was my son.

I was away trapping.

When I came home I buried them

and then I started hunting
the butcher who did it.

I'm sorry.

You're sorry the way you'd be

if I told you my pet dog was killed,
for me but not for her.

She was only an Indian.

Come on.

Let's start hiking.

It's Bridger and Miss Madden.

Miss Madden's horse
came back hours ago.

Then those drums started up.

The Colonel was going to send out
a scouting party at daybreak.

Maybe there's no use in my saying so

but I'm not like you think I am.

Don't bother yourself over
what I think.

You're as blind in your way
as the others are in theirs.


Julie, we were heartsick.

I was worried about you Jim.
What about those drums?

That Sioux war party caught up
with Miss Madden.

I tried to get her without a fight
but I had to kill one of them.

I killed Lone Elk.
He was Red Cloud's favorite son.

My leave starts in ten days

so I might ride with you to
Virginia City.

Looks more like you'll spend
your leave here in the fort.

We'll have our show down with
Red Cloud before the week's out.

It'll be over as soon as it starts,
now that Bridger lit the fuse.

The Colonel is not happy
about it.

Carrington's been ducking a fight
ever since we got out here.

He's a good officer but too
squeamish for an Indian campaign.

They're asking for it.

He's up against the Indians.
He's too old to learn new tricks.

Like you learned
from Chivington?

I thought all my chatter had gone
in one of your lovely ears and

right out the other.


- what's the matter?
- I'm tired.

- I'll see you to the wagon.
- No, don't!

Don't you touch me.

I'm sorry.

You better go to bed.

You took an awful sudden fancy
for sewing Julie?

It keeps me from hearing
those drums.

How long have they been going now?

About four days I reckon.

- It didn't get said, did it?
- What?

You asked me how a girl says
she's sorry.

No, it didn't get said.

And now there's something else
I can't say.

You want to tell me?

I know what you'd tell me
because you're a man.

But this is something
that might cause a killing.

Well, then talk to a woman.

- Where are you going?
- To fetch firewood from the pinery.

I thought nobody was supposed
to go outside the fort.

We got to have firewood.
We got to cook.




I wish I could tell you.

I wish you could understand.

Listen, do you know "thank you"?

Jim, your Jim, told me

and I thank you.


Thank you.

- It's lovely to hear you laughing.
- You're so pretty Monahseetah!

I wish the pin was prettier.

I didn't know Monahseetah
was learning English.

She's learning wonderfully fast.

Did you ever notice trouble
seems to make us women

forget differences?

With men it seems to turn them
into snapping dogs.

I haven't seen my wife in a year.

It'll be doomsday before
any of us see our folks.

What's the Colonel waiting for?

Bridger claims we haven't
got a chance outside the fort.

He wants us penned up here where
Red Cloud can push us over.

I wish they'd attack!
I want to see some action.

Anything new from our
Indian friends Mr. Bridger?

Nope. Nothing new.

When you don't see Indians,
that's when you have to watch out.

There's a lot of truth
to that old saying.

I say you have to watch out more
when they got spies sneaking around.

- What's that supposed to mean?
- That you shouldn't snoop around.

And your friend Beckworth.

Funny how the drums began
the day he left.

And he ain't been heard of since.

Listen! They've stopped!

What does that mean?

Rifle fire.

That wood detail's in trouble.

May I go? It may be my last chance
for action before my leave.

- Go ahead.
- This may be a trap.

They should go and come straight
back, and not over that ridge.

Nobody over that ridge Captain,
that's an order.

Yes sir.


I have to tell you something.
You have a right to know.

It's no proof but when you
told me about Chivington,

I knew I'd heard his name before.

Later I remembered.

Traveling from Laramie, Dancy said
he'd served in his volunteers.

You sorry now you warned them?

No, there are other men out there
besides Dancy.

Looks like Hanna bringing
the good news.

We figured the Colonel was
sending help.

We held off about ten charges then
they sort of skedaddled up the hill.

- How many?
- About 20.

We got two of them and not
one of us was even nicked.

Look Captain.

Let's take a crack
at those up there.

I want to get one scalp

Sitting ducks Captain.

You've been in the Army long
enough to follow orders.

Wait Captain.

If we take care of them Carrington
couldn't bring charges against us.

The way they feel in Laramie
we'd get a promotion.

It's the oldest rule in the Army.

Don't disobey orders
when you can't win,

But when you can't lose!


I'd have bet my life on Fetterman.

I wouldn't have bet mine
on Dancy.

Sitting ducks.




Jim! Jim!

- Laramie didn't send equipment.
- Three wagons full.

They sent
the breech loading rifles too.

Now they send the ammunition.

Well their wagons will be
useful to carry back our dead.

Get a stretcher.

Colonel sir...

Son, why did Fetterman
countermand my order?

- Is the Captain dead?
- Everyone but you.

It was Lt. Dancy sir.

He ragged the Captain.
He wouldn't take no.

He said they'd get promoted.

Dancy got away.

He threw away five men to give
himself that one chance.

Which way? Which way?

Up through those hills.

Chivington said I should
kill that sqaw.

I had to follow orders.


He told me she was
the one you married.

Get up! Get up!

- What happened to Dancy?
- A kid got him.

A little Indian kid.

- Only one?
- There'll be more.

You better get ready.

Keep the ammunition wagons here
and the others back to the fort.

Sergeant. Dismount!

Distribute the rifles,
behind the wagons.

Yes sir. Dismount men!
Get those rifles!

- What are they singing?
- Death chant.

They always sing that just before
they start a ruckus.

- What are they waiting for Jim?
- Red Cloud.

Waiting for him to give the orders.

It's a pity. These
new breechloaders will wipe him out

- he hasn't got a chance.
- What do you think he'll do?

How will he attack?

Probably come at you in waves.

He'll try to draw a volley
with the first and keep hitting you,

before you get a chance to reload.

He doesn't know with these breech
loaders reload three times as fast.

Thanks Jim.

At my command fire by volley and
reload as fast as possible.

It's Red Cloud.

That means back to earth.
They'll fight till they die.

Get ready.






Well, it's finished.

Red Cloud's coming down
to pick up his dead.

You had him in your sights.

I know.

Red Cloud is a great man.

We'll need great men on both sides
when this ruckus is over.

It's a mixed up business.

Red Clod wins his in Washington
after we beat him on the field.

We didn't beat him.
It was those breechloaders.

- It was a mechanical thing.
- But he is getting a new treaty.

We're closing the road
and giving up the fort.

Maybe you're right.
Maybe this treaty will be kept.

For the sake of the Sioux Nation
I hope so.

Victory for the Sioux and
their great leader, Red Cloud.

The year, 1868.

Fort Kearney is abandoned

and the US government
signs a peace treaty.

The offiicial document reads:

"From this day forward all war
between the parties

shall forever cease.

The white man is leaving
and the red man is left with

a bitter memory of dead
and wounded.

So now he moves to destroy
that memory,

to destroy the last
remaining symbol of another world.

There will be dances,
feasting and singing.

The sacred hunting ground
has not yielded to the plow.

For another 30 years the sun will
rise on the world of the Sioux

the world of Red Cloud
and Sitting Bull,

the world of Jim Bridger,
pioneer, hunter, scout, American."