The Ox Bow Incident Script - Dialogue Transcript

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The Ox Bow Incident Script



Deader than a Paiute's grave.




- That guy's awful slow getting there.



I feel sorry for him. Always in reach

and never able to do anything about it.



- I got a feeling she could do better.

- You're boasting.



- What'll you have? Whiskey?

- What you got?






You ever see such a guy?

All winter I've been thinking....



And all he's got's whiskey.



- That's rotten, ain't it?

- Rotten.



Two glasses and a bottle.



- Well, what's on your mind?

- Does something have to be on my mind?



Well, here's mud in your eye.



Friendly cuss, ain't he?



He's getting around to asking

if his girl is in town.



His girl?

If you mean Rose Mapen, no.



She went to Frisco

the first stage out this spring.



That's a lie. She said she'd wait.



It's a fact.



What a town.



It's my guess the married women run

her out. No tar and feathers. No rails.



They just righteously

made her feel uncomfortable.



Not that she ever did anything.



They just couldn't get over

being afraid she might.



- What is there to do in this town?

- Unless you want to woo Drew's daughter-



We don't.



The only other unmarried woman

I know is    blind and a Paiute.



That leaves you five choices:

eat, sleep, drink, play poker or fight.



- Or you can shoot pool. I got a new table.

- That's just great.



- I see Risley's still around.

- The sheriff?



I thought he never got closer

than Reno except on special calls.



It wouldn't be that rustling folks

were talking about last fall?



Could be.



- Getting to be a touchy subject, huh?

- They don't like to talk about it.



- Afraid it's somebody they know?

- Maybe.



- They lose some more this spring?

- Some.



- How many?

- About     head.



They got any leads?



They picked up a trail and signs

of shod horses in the south draw.



Wouldn't everybody know if

there were strangers around?



There hasn't been any, except you two.



- That ain't funny.

- Now who's touchy?



You're talking about my business.

Stick to my pleasures.



No offense, Carter.

I want you to know where you stand.



- Listen-

- Take it easy, Gil.



He's sore about Rose Mapen.



- Keep your mouth shut about Rose, see?

- Okay, Gil. I was just joking.



- You can take a joke, can't you?

- Sure, I can take a joke. Some jokes.



Lost any over your way?



No more than the winter

and coyotes would account for.



- You haven't got any ideas, Farnley?

- Except not to have ideas.



Make that clear.



There are a lot of things

around here ain't clear.



You still talking about rustling?



And strangers.



- Looks happy, don't he?

- He just needed exercise.



Whenever he gets low in spirits

or confused in his mind...



...he doesn't feel right

until he's had a fight.



It doesn't matter whether he wins

or not. He feels fine again afterwards.



Ain't that guy got there yet?



Holy cow, now I'm gonna

have to start all over again.



Somebody's sure in a hurry.



- Did Darby use his fist?

- No, a bottle.



- That's all right then.

- Lay off Farnley, will you?



- Why should I?

- You hit him pretty hard...



...made him look foolish.



- Did I really get him?

- I thought you busted his neck.



No fooling.



Why, the no-good-

- Shot through the head, I tell you!



- Where did it happen?

- Southeast corner of the valley.



- Did you see it?

- No. Olsen found him laying in a dry wash.



Shot right through the head.




About  :  .



But he must've been shot earlier. They

picked his horse up near the ranch road.



- Any cattle missing?

- Well, they couldn't tell.



- Did Olsen send you for us?

- No, he yelled at me to go get the sheriff.



Hey, Jeff. Jeff!



- Rustlers?

- Looks that way.



- Who was it they got?

- Kinkaid.



Kinkaid? Farnley's buddy?



They've been working

together since they were kids...



...from the Panhandle to Jackson's Hole.



I knew him. Short, dark Irishman.

Didn't say much. Liked to sing a lot.



These fellows will go a long way to get

that guy that killed Larry Kinkaid.



- Lynching?

- I judge.



He's crazy.

Wait, Jeff, there's no rush.



Even if they have a five-hour start.

It's     miles to the border.



Besides, there may be a bunch of them.

It won't help to get yourself killed.



That kid Greene ain't got

no idea which way they went.



We're all with you about Kinkaid.

Only we ought to form this posse right.



So if we go we're sure

to get what we go after.



Okay. Make your posse.



- Better get the sheriff and Judge Tyler.

- What do we want with old Tyler?



One good, fast job.

That's all there is to it.



- This ain't rustling. It's murder!

- Wait a minute.



Don't go and do something

we'll be sorry for.



We want to act in a reasoned manner,

not like a mob.



Davies, you've been storekeeping

too long. You don't see no profit in this.



If you fellas would offer

to buy the rope from him....



If we go, you're going

with us, fat-gut.



Brother, I wouldn't miss it.



The only thing that'd bring me out faster

would be your necktie party.



Who knows? Maybe this is yours.



I'll remember that and

see you handle the rope.



In Texas, we just go get a man

and string him up.



That's right. I say stretch him.



It ain't just a rustler,

it's a murderer.



Larry Kinkaid, one of the finest men

that ever lived...


            lying out there

with a bullet hole in his head.



If you let this go by,

there won't be nothing safe.



Our cattle, our homes, not even

our womenfolks. I'm with you, Farnley.



I'm going to get me a gun

and some rope.



If nobody else will do it,

me and you'll do it ourselves!



Count me in too.

Come on, boys, get your guns!



Listen to me, men.

Don't lose your heads like this!



You mustn't do this thing.

You must not!



Shut up, Grandma.

Nobody expects you to go.



Don't take it so hard, Mr. Davies.

You did all you could.



- Will you do me a favor?

- That depends.



I'm sending Joyce for the sheriff and

Judge Tyler. Go along and help explain.



You know how Art and I stand.

We came in at a bad time.



I've got to stop them,

till they realize what they're doing.



If I can make this thing regular,

that's all I ask.



Come on. Let's go.



- Wait. Do you know Mapes?

- The one they call Butch?



The sheriff's made him deputy for times

he's out of town. We don't want Mapes.



You said I was to be the executioner,

so I come all fixed.



Think I don't know

my business, huh?



You don't look very well, Mr. Davies.



Maybe you'd better stay home

and rest up for the funeral.



You could get the flowers.

Boys wouldn't begrudge flowers...



...even for a rustler,

so long as he's a good, dead one.



Get your hat and gun.



I'm not going, Father.



I don't wish any argument.

Do as I say.



Perhaps this will do what I've obviously

failed to do: make a man of you.



Scrape your boots, put your hat

in your hand, and straighten your wig.






- Why, is the judge at home, ma'am?

- Yes.



- Could we see him?

- You got business?



No, we just dropped in for tea.



Very funny.



Mr. Davies sent us, ma'am.

It's awfully important.



It's not regular office hours.



- That the judge's better half?

- His housekeeper. His wife's dead.



You can see why the judge don't seem

to be able to make up his own mind.



Come in. Come in.



He says come in!



- Well, Carter. How're things?

- All right, I guess, judge.



You don't appear to have been

pining away exactly.



- What can I do for you gentlemen?

- We're here for Mr. Davies.



How is my friend Davies?

Well, I trust.



Yes, but could we see you alone

for a minute, judge?



- A matter of a private nature?

- Yes.



Davies said just you and Risley.

- Risley ain't here. He deputized me.



- Where did the sheriff go?

- Down to Kinkaid's ranch.



- When will he be back?

- A couple of days maybe.



- Anything you can tell him, you can tell me.

- We know. But we're here for Mr. Davies.



- If he thinks it's your job, he'll tell you.

- Certainly, Mapes.



All right, but if it's a sheriff's job,

call me, see?






Well, what can I do for you gentlemen?



It ain't that Mr. Davies

don't want them to go.



He wants to make sure a posse's

sworn in, to bring them in for a fair trial.



- That's why I wanted you to hurry.

- Confound it. The sheriff's not here.



- Today of all days.

- They'll listen to you.



No, no. That's not my job.

I haven't any police authority.



Where are you going?



There's a posse forming.

That's sheriff's work, ain't it?



That's no posse.

That's a lawless, lynching mob!



It'll be a posse when I get there.

I'm gonna deputize them all proper.



But you can't do that. Risley's

the only one empowered to deputize.



Shall we tell Davies you're coming?



Yes, yes, of course.

I suppose I'll have to.



But, doggone it,

this is the sheriff's job, not mine.



If he don't come around,

we'll go get him ourselves.



Coming along, Sparks?



No, I don't guess so.

Better come along, Sparks.



Ain't every day we have a hanging

in a town as dead as this one.



You won't have to do nothing.



All the real work is signed up.



We ought to have a reverend along,

because there gonna be some praying.



Maybe you're right, Mr. Smith.



Maybe somebody ought to go along

that feels the way I do.



Davies'll loan you his Bible, all

the reading will be done at the burial.



Thank you, sir, but I knows my text

without the Book.



- They're kidding you, Sparks.

- I know, sir...



...but maybe Mr. Smith is accidentally

right. Maybe I ought to go along.



There's an old horse in my shed

you can use.



Thank you, sir. I'll go and fetch him.



Here comes Ma!



Come on, we're ready to go!

Hi, boys!



Come on, Jenny!

These boys are getting tired of waiting!



- Well, boys, what are we waiting for?

- Judge Tyler. Davies asked him to come.



I understand how it is, men.



My old friend Larry Kinkaid,

one of the finest and noblest-



Cut the stumping, Tyler.

All we want is your blessing.



Of course, you can't flinch

from what you believe to be your duty...



...but certainly you don't want

to act hastily...


            the same spirit of lawlessness

that begot this foul crime.



Before you get ready to act,

them rustlers will be clear over the Rio.



One more word and I'll have you up

for impeding the course of justice.



Judge, you can't impede

what don't move anyway.



And you, Jenny Grier, a woman.

To lend yourself to this....



- Ha!

Now, now, listen. Listen, men.



I've just found out that

Sheriff Risley's already at Kinkaid's.



- That right?

Yes, he's been there all morning.



So, you see, probably everything's

being attended to right now. Legally.



All you'll get out of it

is a long, hard ride.



It'll be dark before long,

and mighty cold.



My advice is to come in, have a drink.

Let's wait till we hear from the sheriff.



Drinks on the house. But only one round.

I'm not filling any bucket bellies.



I'll make it two.



If you want to stay in town,

I can take six, if you sleep double.



It's not as if you were

giving up, boys. It's just good sense.



Farnley, come back!



I'm not asking you, I'm telling you!



You don't have to worry, Jeff. This

business is going to be taken care of.



Yeah, and I know who's gonna

take care of it. Me.



I tell you now, whoever shot Larry Kinkaid

ain't coming back here for you...


            fuddle with your lawyer's tricks

for six months and then be let off...



...because Davies or some other whiny

old woman claim he ain't bad at heart.



Kinkaid didn't have six months

to decide if he wanted to die.



Disbanding, men?

Davies has convinced us, major.



- Of what, Mr. Davies?

- Why, of....



I take it you're assuming

the raiders left by the south draw?



- Why, yes, of course.

- They went east, by Bridger's Pass.



- Through the mountains?

The old stage road. Pike's Hole.



That's      feet up.




They'd be crazy to go that way.



Not so crazy, perhaps, knowing how

crazy it would look to us.



- How come you're so sure, Tetley?

- Pancho saw them.



He was coming back from Pike's

and had trouble getting by them.



Si. He not see me, I think.



It was down the hollow, and I drive

my horse out of the way.



First, I say hello, and then I think

it's funny to drive cattle there.



- Cattle?

- Why you think I get out of his road?



Well, go on.



When I see what mark

those cattle have, I be quiet.



What kind of marks were they?

- Three little whatchamacallum.



- That's Kinkaid's mark.

Dirty rat!



There's no telling

what they'll try next!



How many?

Forty head.



I mean rustlers.




Why were you so long

in bringing us this word?



I knew my son would want to go along.

He was out on the range.



- You mustn't let this be a lynching.

- It's scarcely what I choose.



Promise me you'll bring them in

for a fair trial.



I'll abide by the majority will.



Tetley, you know what's legal

as well as I do.



All we ask is a posse to act

under a proper officer of the law.



That's where I come in.

Risley made me a deputy.



In that case, suppose you

deputize the rest of us.



That's not legal. No deputy

has the right to deputize.



- How about it, boys?

Suits me. Go ahead and pray.



Mapes, you're violating the law.



Raise your right hands.



I hereby solemnly swear that

I am duly sworn in as a deputy...


            the case of Kinkaid and am willing

to abide by decisions of the majority.



- Say I do.

I do!



You bring those men in alive, or as

I'm justice of this county, you'll pay for it.



And every jack-man of your gang!




Ain't you coming?



Get my horse. I'm going with them.

Then get to Kinkaid's. Get the sheriff.



We'll stop here and breathe our horses.



Take one man, go up to the top

of that ridge and see what you can see.



Doing this in the middle

of the night's crazy.



I thought you liked excitement.



I got nothing particular against

hanging a murdering rustler...


           's just I don't like

doing it in the dark.



There's always some fool who'll lose his

head and start hanging everybody in sight.



- Us?

- Funnier things have happened.



- We didn't have to come.

- Look kind of funny if we hadn't.



- I like to pick my own bosses.

- Whether we picked or not, we got them.



That's what I don't like. That Smith

and Bartlett shooting off their mouths.



Farnley and that renegade Tetley.



Strutting around in his uniform,

pretending he's so much.



He never even saw the South

till after the war.



Then only long enough to marry that

kid's mother and get run out by her folks.



Figured there was something

fishy about him, dressed like that.



Why would he be

living in this neck of the woods...



...if he didn't have something to hide?



Let's get out of here before we all

freeze to death, or else give it up.



You'd be the laughingstock of the country

if you went home on account of the cold.



I'm telling you, this rope'll have to be

thawed out before it's fit to use.



Mind my coming in closer, Mr. Carter?



No, come on. I'm finding it

kind of lonesome myself.



- Powerful cold.

- I got a blanket if you want it.



Thank you just the same, but it takes

all my hands to stay on this old horse.



- You better have a couple of shots.

- I never use it.



I sure wish we was well out

of this here business.



It's a way of spending time.



It's man taking on himself

the vengeance of the Lord.



Think the Lord cares about

what's happening here?



He marks the sparrow's fall.



I seen my own brother

lynched, Mr. Carter.



I wasn't nothing but a little fella...



...but sometimes now

wakes up dreaming about it.



Had he done

what they picked him up for?



I don't know.

Nobody never did know for sure.



Well, a couple shots more whiskey

can't do my soul any harm.



Darby sure sells rotten liquor.



Warms you up, though.



Feels like fire creeping

in the short grass.



I guess I'll just let her

spread a little while.



Put out that light, you fool.

You want to give us away?



- Who to?

- Chuck that butt, or I'll plug you.



Start something, for every hole

you make, I'll make two.



Looks like you're gonna have

a lot of shooting to do, Mr. Farnley.



Listen! Something's coming.



Fool, stop! Stop him!



- What's the matter, Art?

I'm shot.



- Where?

- Left shoulder.



You fool. Nobody but a drunken idiot

would drive down a grade in the dark.



I thought it was a stickup.



That coach ought to be

in the bottom of the canyon right now.



Rose Mapen!



Hello, everybody.



This is my husband,

Mr. Swanson of San Francisco...



...and my sister-in-law,

Miss Swanson.



- Did you just get married, Rose?

- Just today.



No wonder you were in such a hurry.



My name's Tetley. I can

understand why Rose was in a hurry...


            show the other ladies what

could be done in the way of matrimony.



- Thank you, sir.

- What's everybody doing up here?



Why, uh....



Art's shot.



What? Bring him over here.

Give him a hand there.



You hadn't ought to come

barging out like that in the dark!



- I couldn't tell who it was, all the yelling....

- Aw, shut up.



Here, I'm good at this sort of thing.



Look, do women have to watch this?



There's room in the stagecoach

for you, Art.



- Yeah, I better get you back, get you food.

I'm all right.



Be a good boy. Don't be stubborn.



- Yeah, don't be a fool.

- Mind your own business!



- She's his wife now. And kind of new.

- Yeah, looks that way, don't it?



I take it you had the privilege of knowing

Miss Mapen before she married me?



That's right.



Possibly you imagined at the time there

was some understanding between you?



Yeah, sure.



- My wife is a very impulsive woman.

- That's what I'm saying.



I'm pleased to regard any friend

of my wife's as a friend of my own.



However, I don't need to remind you

the pleasure of such an acquaintance...



...depends upon the recognition by all

parties that Miss Mapen is now my wife.



She must be given time to become

accustomed to her new responsibilities.



As yet, I must confess that

I'm jealous of her least attention.



You'll forgive me, I know.



A bridegroom is prone to be

overly susceptible for a time.



Later, when we've had time to get

accustomed to our new relations...



...I shall be delighted to welcome you...



...and others of my wife's friends

to our home in San Francisco.



If it is still her desire.



Until then.



Why, that superior little....



Looks like Rose has took

unto herself a lot of trouble.



- Where are we?

- The Ox-Bow.



There they are, gentlemen.



I suggest we avoid any shooting or

rough work until they tell it their way.



Mr. Mapes and I will do the talking.



- The one that got Kinkaid is mine.

- He's yours when we're sure.



Ten men will go with Mrs. Grier

from behind.



Bartlett, take six men

and work through those woods.



Gerald, you and Farnley

and the rest will go with me.



- Would you like a gun, Mr. Davies?

- No, thank you.



- Sparks?

- Thank you, no, sir, Major Tetley.



As you choose.



Get up!



Drop it!



Now put up your hands.



That's all right, brother. You will.



Take it easy. Stay where you are

and put your hands up.



Gerald, collect their guns.



What do you want?

Shut up.



This ain't no stickup. This is a posse,

if that means anything to you.



But we haven't done anything.






Get 'em up!



Tie them up.



All right, get in there.



- Tell us what we're being held for.

- I'd rather you told us.



We must be pretty important,

or else awfully dangerous.



It ain't that you're so dangerous.



It's just that most of them

ain't never seen a triple hanging.



A hanging? What have we done?



Aren't you even going to tell us?



- Rustling. Ever hear of it?

- Rustling?



And murder.






Mr. Martin, what did we do?



It's all right, Dad.

There's some mistake.



Remember me?



He's talking to you, mister.



- He don't speak English.

- I got a different notion.



I'll make him talk.

That'll do, Farnley.



I've had enough of your

playing God almighty!



Who picked you for this job




We got them.

Let's swing them before we all freeze.



If you're cold, here's the fire.

Warm yourself.



I advise you to control your tongue too.

We'll get along better.



- Who's boss of this outfit?

- I am.



- And your name?

- Donald Martin.



Where you from?



- Pike's Hole.

That's a lie.



He's from Pike's Hole.

Want to change your story?



I just moved in. I'm on

Dave Baker's place, up in the north end.



Dave moved out four years ago.

The place is a wreck.



The barns are all down, and the

sagebrush is up through the porch.



Well, I bought the place from him

for $     in Los Angeles last month.



- Then, mister, you was robbed.

- That may be.



Surely it's not so far to Pike's Hole

that you can't go find out.



My wife's there right now,

and my two kids.



That's really too bad.

Just too bad.



Even in this godforsaken country

I've got a right to a trial.



You're getting a trial with the only kind

of judges murderers and rustlers get...


            what you call

this "godforsaken country. "



So far,

the jury don't like your story.



I won't say another word

without a hearing.



This is all the hearing you'll get,

short of the Last Judgment.



Have you any cattle up here with you?



Hey, Mr. Martin.



I'm not gonna ask you again.



Yes, I have.



- How many?

- Fifty head.



- Where'd you get them?

- From Mr. Kinkaid.



That's just what we figured.



I'm no rustler. I didn't steal them.

I paid hard cash for them.



Mine were so bad, I didn't bring them.

I sold them off.



I had to stock up again.



Can't you wait till you see Kinkaid

or ask about me in Pike's Hole?



That's a good one.

He wants us to ask Kinkaid.



Gotta hand it to you,

you're a cool one.



You know as well as we do

Kinkaid can't tell us anything.



- He's dead.

- Dead?



What do you think we're here for?



How should I know?

He was all right yesterday.



Why don't you just

stop this farce and take us in?



Because the law's slow

and careless around here.



We're here to see it's speeded up.



- Who sent you up here?

- The sheriff.



That ain't true.

Let's don't get started again.



- The sheriff didn't know we were coming.

- I should have said deputy sheriff.



I'm not trying to obstruct justice, but just

as this young man says, this is a farce...



...and it'll be murder

if you carry it through.



All he's asking is what

every man's entitled to: a fair trial.



You say you're innocent,

and I believe you.



Then you're the only one.



If there's any justice here...


            would only be after a confession.



They say they're innocent,

and you haven't proved they're not!



Shut up!



- Have you a bill of sale for those cattle?

- No, but Kinkaid said it'd be all right.



He was on the range and didn't

have one with him. He said he'd mail it.



- Moore.

- Yep?



- How long you been riding for Kinkaid?

- Six years.



Ever know him to sell any cattle

without a bill of sale?



No, can't say that I ever did.



Of course, I can't remember

every head he sold.



- But it's customary for him to give one?

- Yep.



Ever know him to sell cattle

after spring roundup?



- This year or any other year?

I can answer that.



I heard him say a couple days ago he

wouldn't sell a head to nobody this spring.






I know it looks bad, a dead man

as a witness, but it's the truth.



- You don't believe me?

- Would you, in my place?



I'd find out before hanging

three men who might be innocent.



If it were only rustling, maybe.

But with murder, no.



What are you trying to do?

Play cat and mouse?



I would prefer a confession, Martin.



If you've got doubts, let's call off

this party, take them to the judge.



This is only slightly any of your business.



Hanging's any man's business

that's around.



If your stomach for justice is cooling,

I advise you leave before we proceed.



Your interruptions will become tiresome.



I don't like it!

Hanging murderers is one thing...



...but to keep possibly innocent men

sweating while you mouth off is another.



Take it easy.

This ain't our picnic.



If you keep on butting in, it might be.



You called this old man "Dad. "



- Is he your father?

- No.



Speak up,

you're taking it like a woman.



Keep your chin up.

You can only die once.



No, he works for me.



I didn't do it.

I ain't even got a gun.



Then who did?



The Mexican did it. He told me so.



No.... I saw him do it.



Juan couldn't have done it.

I was with him.



Yes, he did, Mr. Martin.

He was asleep...



...and he didn't mean to tell me...



...but I was awake, and

I heard him talking about it.



He doesn't know

what he's talking about.



He invents things.



If you've got to go through with

this comedy, let him alone.



- Shut up!

Lay off, Mapes!



First he won't talk.

Now he talks too much.



What's his name?



Alva Hardwick.



- And the other?

- Juan Martinez.



No, it ain't.



Still don't remember me, eh?



I'm talking to you, mister.



The devil you don't.



Your name's Francisco Morez.



The vigilantes would

like to get hold of you.



They want him for murder.



How about that?

- I don't know.



Stick together nice, don't they?



Why question me when you

don't believe anything I say?



There's truth in lies too,

if you can get enough of them.



What do you know about the old man?



- He was in the Army.

- Confederate or Union?



He's not clear about it himself.

Maybe both, at different times.



A half-wit in the Army?






He's forgotten.



Not that.

I'll make a deal with you, Martin.



Tell us which of you shot Kinkaid

and the other two can wait.



None of us killed anybody.



Then that's all, I guess.



- Bring them along.

You're not going to do it really!



You've got to wait, I tell you!

You've gotta give us some time!



You've got to give us some time!



- We haven't done anything.

Throw the other rope up there.



Remember, the Mexican's mine.



My kids! One of them is a baby!

They haven't got a thing to go on!



I've got to write a letter.

If you're human, you'll give me time.



- That ain't asking much.

- They're trying to put it off.



- Want Tyler and the sheriff to get here?

- They won't come in time.



I believe you're right, Mr. Davies,

though I doubt if you want to be.



What time is it?



Five minutes after  .



All right.



We don't want to give anyone

cause for complaint.



With your permission,

we'll wait till daylight.



Bring them back.



That'll give you time, Reverend,

to finish your business at leisure.



Sure. And them time to think it over.



- I can't write like this.

- Very well, untie them.



He says he wants to eat.

He's much hungry from so much talk.



Thank you.



Why, look! Fresh beef!



Oh, Ma, fix up a spread for everybody.



Can't call it stealing. By the time

it's ate, there won't be any owners.



What are you thinking about?



Sheriff. He's an awful long time

getting anywhere.



Suppose he don't get here at all?



That's what I'm thinking.



I'm not disputing that fact.

It may be a fine letter.



But if it's an honest letter,

it's none of my business to read it.



If it isn't, I don't want to.



- Is that my letter you're showing?

- Yes.



- What right have you to show it?

Don't raise your voice!



I told him I'd keep it for him.



- All I asked was to make sure it's delivered.

- I'm sorry. I was trying-



It's enough to be hanged without having

your private thoughts handed around.



- I said I'm sorry. I was merely-

- I don't care what you were doing!



I didn't write that letter to be passed

around. It's not their business!



I made no promise, son.



I thought there was one white man here.

I was wrong. Give me my letter.



I'll see that she gets it.

- I wouldn't have her touch it now.



In that case, give him back the letter.



Your wife ought to hear from you, son.



None of us could be as kind

and understanding as this letter.



She'll want to keep it

for your children.



I'm sorry.



The Mex!



Spread out!

He may have a gun!



Keep an eye on these two!



Where's he hit?

In the leg.



Here's his gun.



Well, I guess we know now, don't we?




- Say, that's Larry Kinkaid's gun.

Where'd you get this?



- Take this bullet out, I'll tell you.

- So he speaks American.



And    other languages, my dear.

But I don't tell anything I don't want to.



My leg, please. I wish to stand upright

when you come to your pleasure.



- Lend me a knife.

- Don't give him no knife.



He can throw a knife better

than most men shoot.



Better than any of you, no doubt.



But if you're afraid, I promise

to give the knife back, handle first.



I'll do it.



He is very polite, but has

no stomach for blood, eh?



That was very fine shooting, my friend.



You should try again with that one.



- Where'd you get that gun?

- Found it.



- Where?

- Lying in the road.



- You're a liar.

- Thought we'd find somebody...



- send it back by.

- You're a liar.



- And you're a blind fool.

- I asked you where you got it.



- But that's the truth. He did find it.

- Undoubtedly.



Won't you even read it?



Because you've made up your minds,

or because everybody else has...



...and you're afraid to stand up

for what is right?



You heard what Martin said.



What does it matter who sees

this letter if it saves him from hanging?



It's a beautiful letter.



Read it, and you'll know he's not

the kind of man who could steal or kill.






...but that can't stand up against cattle,

no bill of sale, and a dead man's gun.



I suggest we act as a unit so there

can be question of mistaken reprisals.



Mr. Davies, are you willing to abide

by a majority decision?



- How about the rest of you?

Sure. Majority rules.



Everybody who's with Mr. Davies in turning

it over to the courts, step over there.



Excuse me.






Not a majority, I believe, Mr. Davies.



Any other message

you'd like to leave, Martin?



- I don't wanna die.

- I'd like to make a confession.



And about time.



- To a priest.

There's no priest here.



This man can hear me

and take it to a priest.



All right. Get along with it.



Bring them along.



That must have been

an awfully busy life.



Farnley, you, Gabe Hart and Gerald

will whip the horses out.



No, not me.



Any volunteers?



I'll do it if no one else will.



- I won't do it.

- You'll do it.



- I can't.

- We'll see to it that you can.



The kid's seen enough already.

Let him alone.



This is not your affair, Carter.

Thank you just the same.



I'll have no female boys

bearing my name.



You'll do your part

and say nothing more.



What did he say?

- I ain't no priest.



For God's sake, at least

say whether we'd better wait.



I ain't no priest. I don't know.



No, thanks.



I'll give you two minutes to pray.



Time's up.



Will you find someone to look out for

my family? Better take some older woman.



- Don't worry.

- Miriam's parents live in Ohio.



Maybe Kinkaid's wife'll buy the cattle

back for enough to cover their travel.



Tie them up.



It's no good telling you

again that we're innocent?



- No good.

It's not for myself I'm asking.



Other men with families have

had to die. It's justice.



What do you care about justice?



You don't even care whether

you've got the right men.



All you know is

somebody's got to be punished.



There's nobody to look out for them.

Can't you understand that?



This is a fine company

for a man to die with.



- Shut up, you! Shut up!

- You shut up!



Careful! Careful!



Tear him loose, don't let him do that.



- Stop it, you fools!

- No, you stop it!



Keep him there!



All right. Put them up.






I don't want to die.

I don't want to die.



Anytime you're ready, Mr. Mapes.



Finish him.



Hey, there!

What's all that shooting about?



We got them, sheriff!



- Everything's been attended to.

- What do you mean?



- Kinkaid's murderers. We got all of them.

- Hung them too, sheriff.



Larry Kinkaid's not dead.



Not dead?



But we just-



I just left Kinkaid with a doctor.

Caught the fellows who shot him too.



But, sheriff, they had Larry's cattle.

They even had his gun.



Give me that badge.



I know you well enough to know

you didn't have anything to do with this.



I'm depending on you

to tell me who did.



All but seven.



God better have mercy on you.

You won't get any from me.



All right, let's go.



If you've got no objections,

I'd like to read Martin's letter.



It'd be a good idea

if a lot of people read it.



If you ask me, that Tetley's

the one we ought to lynch.



You're a great one for hanging,

ain't you, Smith?



You loved it,

that's why you kept them waiting.



I saw your face. It was the face

of a depraved, murderous beast.



Only two things ever meant

anything to you: power and cruelty.



You can't feel pity.

You can't even feel guilt.



You knew they were innocent, but

you were crazy to see them hanged...



...and to make me watch it.



I could've stopped you with a gun, just

as any other animal can be stopped...



...but I couldn't do it

because I'm a coward.



Aren't you glad you made me go?

Weren't you proud of me?



How does it feel to have

begot a weakling, major?



Does it make you afraid there may

be some weakness in you too...



...that other men might discover

and whisper about?



Open the door! I want to see your face.

I want to know how you feel now!



They're getting up a pot

for Martin's wife.



Even Mapes chipped in.



- I didn't know he was showing his face.

- He ain't. He sent it by Sparks.



That reminds me,

I put in    bucks apiece for us.



- How much they got?

- About    .



Not bad for a husband who bought

cattle in the spring without a bill of sale.



Maybe you ought to read

this letter too.



You know I can't read.



I'll read it to you.



"My dear wife:



Mr. Davies will tell you

what's happening here.



He's a good man and

has done everything he can for me.



There are some other good men too,

only they don't realize what they're doing.



They're the ones I feel sorry for,

because it'll be over for me...



...but they'll have to go on remembering

for the rest of their lives.



A man just can't take the law into his

own hands and hang people...



...without hurting

everybody in the world...



...because then he's not just

breaking one law, but all laws.



Law is a lot more than words

you put in a book...



...or judges or lawyers or sheriffs

you hire to carry it out.



It's everything people ever have

found out about justice...



...and what's right and wrong.



It's the very conscience of humanity.



There can't be any

such thing as civilization...



...unless people have a conscience...



...because if people

touch God anywhere...



...where is it except

through their conscience?



And what is anybody's conscience...



...except a little piece of the conscience

of all men that ever lived?



I guess that's all

I've got to say, except...



...kiss the babies for me,

and God bless you.



Your husband, Donald. "



Where are we going?



He said he wanted his wife

to get this letter, didn't he?



Said there was nobody

to look after the kids, didn't he?




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