Wagon Tracks (1919) - full transcript

Buckskin Hamilton guides a wagon train across the wasteland, caring well for the pioneers he escorts, but hoping to solve the murder of his brother by one of the travellers.

William S. Hart in

Director: Lambert Hillyer

Cast of Characters:

This is the story of Santa Fe Trail,

where marched the pioneers,

build a new empire in the sand...
rimmed wilderness.

Returning alone from Santa Fe,
despite the great danger of the trail.

Buckskin Hamilton, desert guide
and true son of the New Empire.

The Eastern gateway of the trail.

Wesport on the Missouri
River in the year of 1850.

With moonlight on the river...

And on the plains.

The reason for his lonely trip
across the desert to meet...

... His young brother Billy. Just graduated
from and eastern medical school.

Donald Washburn,
a crooked gambler,

who has found Saint Luis unsafe
for further operations.

His sister, Jane. Journeying with her
brother to their uncle at Santa Fe.

Guy Merton, her fiance
and her brother's tool.

"You're cheating!"

"I've... I've killed him!"

"There has been an accident!"

Jupiter, you old hoss thief, I'm claiming
the boys going to be glad to see us! "

"Did I hear you
denying it?"

"She shot him.
It was an accident,

but at same time she
was defending herself."

We heard her scream and rushed in.

They were both struggling for the
pistol when it was discharged."

"Is this all true?"

"Oh, you can't believe
I meant to do it! I... liked him... I!

"Why did you lie?"

"It was the best way out for you.

He followed you here...
there was no card game,

No card game! "

... Weep no more, My lady..."

The landing...
but with one stilled boyish heart,

unheeding the Bugle call of the West.

a event like this has got to be dedicates by

the smoking of expensive
cigars by both parties.

"Anybody seen a good looking
young fellow... a doctor? "

"Waiting for the captain's
permission to leave the ship. "

Convinced that she's was
sure enough broke up over

something and feeling mighty sorry for her.

"Ain't no use of you folks waiting longer.

It was a justifiable accident. "

"Somebody been hurt?"

"A young man was shot
this boat last night."

"Does my brother know?
He's a doctor."

"Do you know that boy?"


"Wake up, Billy... It's me!"

"Who killed him?"

"I did it!
I shot him!"

"Don't say that, Miss. Women like
you don't kill boys."

"Damn your souls!
Say something!"

"Will you believe me?

With the boy there listening
and knowing if I'm lying."

"She did it."

"If that's the truth,
why did she do it?"

"The boy must have been drinking,
I guess, and wasn't himself."

"I'm believing the accident
part of it...

... but Miss, there must be a
mistake about the rest. "

"I brought Billy up,
ever since he was trailing

along on his hands and knees...
and he was white.

Miss, say you was mistaken.

"I... I was afraid of him."

"I know you, Billy...
I know you're clean

and I'm going to prove
it to the whole world. "

In the sunlight by the river,

as the days drift ever onward.

Council Grove - the starting point

of the lumbering wagons trains.

Brick Muldoon, a veteran of the Frontier.

"All in favor of Buckskin Hamilton

for captain of this wagon
train raise their hands.

"I'm thanking you and
accepting at the same time.

I'll do my best for all of you."

Into the West...

The white-sailed Armada
of an unconquerable race.

In supreme Command with the lives of

his followers resting in his hands.

Brazen Days...

Flaming Sunsets...

In the Indian country...

The Circle, a vital precaution for defense.

Velvet nights and purple...

"Miss, you must stay inside
the circle at night."

"But it's so wonderful..."

"Yes, Miss, it's like one of them old hymns,
soft but mighty...

like and bringing God right close."

"And the same moon is
shining back there there

on the river too. That's so ain't it, miss?"

The first serious mishap of the long trip.

"This accident's cut our
water supply in half.

The nearest water-hole is
ahead and we've got to push on."

"It' going to be a hard drive,

but if we all hold together, we'll make it.

and I'm asking you to be cheerful
and to think of each other."

The race against the sun,
with the toiling,

blistered wagons seeming to
slip backward thru the sand.

"It's time to drink again, ain't it?"

Understanding for the first
what true manhood means.

the Merciful coolness of the night.

"Yes, Ma'am, I'm used to babies.
I brought up one... my... "

"I... I heard you singing."

Please, Miss, don't think
too hard of that

boy sleeping back there by the river.

"I've got to tell you...
I lied to you... I... I... "

"But I killed him, although
I did not mean to do it. "

"I still believing about the accident,

but why did you lie about him afterwards?"

"Because my brother wanted me,
to say what I did. "

"Tell me again how
it happened, and tell it slow!"

Gambling for their next
day's water allowance.

Unalterably convinced that his
brother was murdered by one of the two men.

"I'm leaving tonight with two men.

Maybe we'll come back and maybe we won't.

"Keep pushing on.

The water hole must be about
eighteen miles ahead."

"You're both coming with me."

Into the dawn.

"I reckon they're looking for water.
They'll be back."

"Were going to keep on marching

till one of you tells the truth."

"Maybe it will be in Hell,
but somewhere one of you is going to talk,

and it'll be the innocent one."

Blinding heat!
Billowing up from the

gasping desert in suffocating waves.

"Which one of you killed him?"

"When your faces is raw and your tongues

going to hate each other...
it'll be then I'll learn the truth!"

"You're getting to hate
each other now."

"Into the Sunset..."

Another dawn... burnished dawn,
harbinger of a heat... crazed day.

The judge... suffering equally
with the accused.

"As soon as one of you talks,

we'll go back to the wagons.
There's water there."

"That's a mirage...
there's no water here."

"Which one of you killed my brother?"

"I... I didn't kill him."

"You dirty sneak!
You dirty liar!"

"You can't kill me
like you killed him!"

"You can't shoot me
when I'm not looking!"

"He killed him! He did it and made

her believe she was the one."

"Your killing days are over.
We'll be going back now."

At last!
The water hole.

"There's Kiowas and there's
a whopping lot of them."

Insolent, but inclined to be friendly.

Attracted by the shawl.

The ultimatum of the "friendly" Chief...
a life for a life.

The alternative...
an attack at dawn.

Across the borders
of the night.

"Where go?"

Lost. Find again
Very sick. Can't walk."

"Go! White man's camp there."

"You got here just in
time for the finish."

"We can't fight.
They'd clean us out in half a day."

"One of us will have to go out to them."

"We'll have to draw straws.
I reckon."

"Take the women away!"

"This man killed my brother!"

"He killed him and made is sister
believe that she did it."

"This man saw him do it!"

"... and then he shot him from behind!"

"This man's life belongs to me
and God knows I want it... "

"... but you all have got a bigger claim...
and I'm giving him to you. "

One of us has got to die and your claim

to live ain't honest no more."

"You'll go out to the
Indians in the morning."

"Not that!.. Not that!.. Kill me yourselves,
but not this!"

"They told me! I know!"
Oh! I know!

"Jane, help me!
Help me!"

"The torture stake! I can't stand it!
Help me! Help me!"

"I... I came to you...
not ask justice, but mercy."

"Don't let him go out to them."

"Be merciful
Let him die here!"

I lied to you, but then
I told you the truth,

because I couldn't bear to
see you suffering. Now...

"I'll give him a chance...
It"ll be him who'll do the deciding."

"You've got until
dawn to decide."

"It's no use talking... he'll do it...

And I'm going out at sun-up.

You can get the train through."

Indian strategy.

The first faint ribbon of dawn.

"If I do happen to go up there.

and there ain't space for you two,

I won't want to stay."

"I reckon we'll be starting now."

Santa Fe! The Threshold
of the Promised Land.

"No, I don't hate you.
I'm only sorry for you."

Her uncle.

"Goodbye, Miss."

"I am coming back."

"Back by the river there's
more people waiting,

and maybe they'll be needing me."

"Then some day...
you'll come back?"

"Maybe, Miss."

The Santa Fe trail...

where marched the pioneers.

build a new Empire in the
sand-rimmed wilderness.

The empire builder...
riding alone, through the frontiers

of the morning to meet the
future and bid it welcome.