["Revised Final Screenplay" by Frank Nugent]
Behind the main title and the credits:
1 EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - CLOSE SHOT - MOVING JUST ABOVE GROUND
LEVEL - A STUDY OF HOOFPRINTS - LATE AFTERNOON
The hoofprints are deeply etched in the ground, picking
their way through scrubby desert growth. An occasional
tumbleweed drifts with the light breeze across the pattern
of prints; and lightly-blown soil and sand begin the work
of erasing them. The CAMERA FOLLOWING the hoofprints
raises slowly to:
2 EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - LONG SHOT - LATE AFTERNOON
We see the rider now. BACK TO CAMERA, jogging slowly along
-- heading down a long valley toward a still-distant ranch
house with its outlying barn and corrals.
3 EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - MED. SHOT - MOVING - LATE AFTERNOON
The CAMERA FRAMES and MOVES with the lone horseman. He is
ETHAN EDWARDS, a man as hard as the country he is crossing.
Ethan is in his forties, with a three-day stubble of beard.
Dust is caked in the lines of his face and powders his
clothing. He wears a long Confederate overcoat, torn at
one pocket, patched and clumsily stitched at the elbows.
His trousers are a faded blue with an off-color stripe down
the legs where once there had been the yellow stripes of the
Yankee cavalry. His saddle is Mexican and across it he
carries a folded serape in place of the Texas poncho...
Rider and horse have come a long way. The CAMERA HOLDS and
PANS the rider past and we see another detail; strapped
onto his saddle roll is a sabre and scabbard with a gray
silk sash wrapped around it...Horse and rider pass, moving
closer to the ranch as a little girl and a small dog come
tearing around the corner of the house.
4 EXT. THE YARD OF THE EDWARDS RANCH - MED. SHOT - DEBBIE -
She is staring wide-eyed at the distant horseman o.s.
Her little dog has seen him too and is barking excitedly.
DEBBIE quickly reaches to grab the dog by the scruff of
the neck, crouching over him. Debbie is 11 years old with
a piquant, memorable face.
5 EXT. THE YARD - CLOSE SHOT - DEBBIE
Here we must establish and dramatize what it is about her
face that is memorable, so that if we were to see her again
five or six years later, we would know it is she -- perhaps
the eye color or the slant of eyebrow, or a trick of
scratching bridge of nose with crooked forefinger.
6 EXT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - MED. SHOT - AARON - LATE AFTERNOON
The ranch house is of adobe, solidly built, with a sod and
cross-timbered roof, deep windows. A small gallery or porch
extends across the front. AARON EDWARDS comes through the
door, attracted by the dog's barking -- and then he, too,
sees the approaching horseman and comes farther out --
curious but not at all apprehensive. Aaron is a lean,
weathered and tired man, with a down-swept mustache; a
gentler-looking man than Ethan and possibly a few years
As he squints off, studying the rider, his older daughter,
LUCY, comes out to stand behind him. Lucy is from 16 to
18 -- a pleasant, feminine girl. She is carrying a mixing
bowl with some sort of batter in it, which she now
completely forgets to whip in her interest in the approaching
In the next instant MARTHA EDWARDS follows the daughter onto
the porch. Martha is a still-lovely woman, although the
years have etched fine wrinkles about her eyes and mouth,
and work has worn and coarsened her hands. Those hands will
never be idle when Martha is on scene...And now, while she
shares the family's interest in the approaching horseman,
she automatically notes that Lucy has forgotten her task --
and she takes the mixing bowl from her and stirs the
7 EXT. YARD OF THE EDWARDS HOUSE - FULL SHOT - LATE AFTERNOON
Along the side of the house comes BEN EDWARDS, 14, with a
man-sized armload of chunkwood clutched to his chest. He,
too, has spotted the stranger and is all attention. So much
so that he trips, but recovers his footing. He pauses to
dump the wood into a woodbox by the door -- his eyes always
riveted on the oncoming rider -- and then he moves toward
the others, biting a splinter out of a finger. Beyond Ben,
MARTIN PAULEY emerges from the barn and crosses the open
ground heading toward CAMERA. Martin is somewhat under
20, a lithe, perfectly coordinated male animal, with
Indian-straight hair and a white man's eyes. He is carrying
bridle or other horse-gear. He looks to the family on
the porch -- to see if they recognize the stranger -- then
out again. He continues, followed by Ben, toward where
Debbie crouches over her dog.
8 EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - LONG SHOT - ETHAN - LATE AFTERNOON
As he rides downslope toward the house.
THE CREDITS END.
9 EXT. THE EDWARDS RANCH - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTHA, LUCY,
AND AARON - LATE AFTERNOON
Suddenly, Martha's eyes widen as she -- even before Aaron --
recognizes the distant rider. Her hand goes to her mouth
to check the name that trembles on her lips...An instant
later Aaron, too, identifies the oncoming horseman.
He looks at her, frowning, then slowly steps out onto the
hard ground. Martha hands the bowl back to Lucy and follows
10 EXT. THE YARD OF THE EDWARDS HOUSE - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP
as Ethan rides in and sits his horse, looking down at them.
There is a noticeable constraint on all of them. Finally:
His eyes shift to Martha and hold. Ethan is, and always has
been, in love with his brother's wife and she with him.
(a bit shakily)
Ethan slowly, stiffly swings out of the saddle. Aaron and
Martha exchange quick glances...troubled, puzzled. Aaron
pastes on an uncertain smile as Ethan comes around his horse
toward their side.
How should I know?
But Mose Harper said...
That old goat still creakin'
around?...Whyn't someone bury him?
He goes to his saddle pack, begins unlacing it. Ben and
Debbie have inched closer -- half-shy, half-curious.
Debbie's dog begins sniffing at his heels. Ethan looks
down at them - not unfriendly, just a man not used to
Ben, ain't you?
(frowning at Debbie)
Lucy, you ain't much bigger than
when I saw you last.
Ethan looks in the direction of the pointing finger.
11 EXT. YARD - ANOTHER ANGLE
as Lucy steps down from the porch and approaches.
Lucy's going on seventeen now...
An' she's got a beau! Kisses him,
That's enough...Go on inside and
help Lucy set the table...You, too,
12 EXT. YARD - FULL SHOT - ANOTHER ANGLE
as Martin -- with slightly averted face -- crosses to take
the bridle of Ethan's horse and lead him away.
(wheeling on him)
Martin checks his stride, stares in surprise.
Martin!...Here we've been stand-
ing...Ethan, you haven't forgotten
Oh...Mistook you for a half-breed.
Not quite...Quarter Cherokee. The
rest is Welsh...So they tell me.
You've done a lot of growin'...
It was Ethan found you squallin' in
a sage clump after your folks was
It just happened to be me...No need
to make any more of it...
I'll take care of your horse for you,
Again, he starts to lead away.
Martin stops again.
I'll take this...
He completes unlacing the pack and takes it -- treating it
as though it contained something of value. Martin watches
with a touch of resentment: Ethan doesn't trust him.
Ethan turns and sees the look. He doesn't care what Martin
thinks, nor does he explain. Martin leads the horse off.
Supper'll be ready by the time you
wash up...Let me take your coat
for you, Ethan.
He hesitates, then grudgingly surrenders it -- conscious
of its sorry condition.
He just nods, then turns to follow Aaron around the side of
the house toward the wash-up.
13 EXT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - CLOSE SHOT - MARTHA
She stands alone, looking after Ethan -- his coat in her
arms. She holds it against her breast for just a moment
and her eyes are tender.
14 INT. EDWARDS HOUSE - FULL SHOT - NIGHT
The family is finishing dinner -- and the scene is not
quite, but almost, a still-life. Loud in the room is the
pendulum tick of a Seth-Thomas clock on the mantel above
the fireplace -- in which logs are burning briskly. Ben
crouches near the fireplace, fascinatedly examining the
scabbard and sabre Ethan has brought home from the wars.
He tries to ease the blade just a bit out of its scabbard.
Aaron sits at one end of the hand-hewn table, Martha at
the other. At her right is Ethan, his fork scraping the
last crumb off his plate. Lucy sits at her father's right
and Martin at his left. Next to Martin is Debbie. In the
center of the table is the sorry remnant of what was once
a meal. Lucy and Martin have finished eating. Aaron is
sipping his coffee, and Martha -- her own plate largely
untasted -- is watching Ethan.
Ethan has shaved, changed his shirt. He straightens
contentedly and every eye is on him, expectantly.
The clock rattles alarmingly -- the usual preliminary to
its striking; and then it bangs out the strokes like a
fire-alarm gong. Eight fast clangs.
Ben! Deborah! Bed!
But I've got to help with the dishes.
Not tonight...Ben, put that sword
It's not a sword, ma...It's a
(moving to Ethan)
Did you kill many damYankees with
this sabre, Uncle Ethan?
How many damYankees, Uncle Ethan?
Ben!...Martin, he'll sleep in the
bunkhouse with you tonight.
Martin nods and crosses to kiss Martha good night.
Good night, Aunt Martha...Uncle
Good night, Uncle Ethan.
Ethan doesn't like being called Uncle -- as we must know
from the quick look he shoots at Martin. But he
Ben reluctantly puts the scabbard away, turns to Ethan.
Will you tell me tomorrow about
The war ended three years ago,
It did?...Then whyn't you come home
BEN!...Go 'long with Martin. MARCH!
As Ben reluctantly heads out with Martin, Deborah crosses
to Ethan's side and studies him gravely.
Lucy's wearing the gold locket you
gave her when she was a little girl...
She don't wear it much account of
it makes her neck green.
Well, it does...But I wouldn't care
if you gave me a gold locket if it
made my neck green or not.
Ethan looks at her gravely.
(then he remembers
He crosses to where his pack is -- a side table or something
-- and burrows into it. Debbie is at his side.
How about this?
It is a gold medal or medallion -- something appropriate
to Maximilian of Mexico -- suspended by a long multi-
colored satin ribbon.
Oh! LOOK! My gold locket!
She holds it high for mother -- and all -- to see. Martha
takes it and reacts at its weight.
It's solid gold...Ethan, I don't
think she's old enough...
Let her keep it...Just something I
picked up in Mexico.
Martha reluctantly surrenders it to Debbie's eager hand.
Aaron hasn't missed the word "Mexico" and looks sharply
Oh, thank you, Uncle Ethan...
The two girls leave the main room. Martha and Aaron both
look at Ethan -- half expecting some further explanation.
He turns from them and looks into the fire. Martha begins
to clear the table. Aaron gets up, takes a pipe and a
spill -- lights it at the fire.
Passed the Todd place comin' in...
What happened to 'em?
They gave up...went back to the
cotton rows...So'd the Jamisons...
Without Martha, I don't know...She
wouldn't let a man quit.
Ethan turns and looks at her -- still busy with her dishes.
(change of tone)
Ethan, I could see it in you before
(Ethan looks at him)
You wanted to clear out!
Martha freezes in what she's doing -- listening.
And you stayed out beyond all need
Ethan can't answer, but he takes it as a challenge and
almost welcomes it.
You askin' me to clear out now?
(straightening -- with
You're my brother...You're welcome
to stay as long as you got a mind
to...Ain't that so, Martha?
(almost a whisper)
Of course he is.
I expect to pay my own way...
Martha resumes her activity. Ethan crosses to his pack,
reaches into it for a leather pouch, brings it back and
tosses it onto the table. It lands with a resonant clink.
Both Martha and Aaron draw close to the table.
(NOTE TO WINTON HOCH: This scene should be dramatically
There's sixty double eagles in
He opens a waistline shirt button and hauls out a leather
money belt and drops that on the table.
An' twice that in here.
He reaches into the belt and takes out a few mint-fresh
gold pieces which he slides across the table.
...only these got the late
Emperor Maximilian's picture on
Martha picks up one of the gold pieces, staring at the
face on the coin: the same as that on the medal -- staring
sharply then at Ethan. Aaron is examining another coin
with a different interest.
Mint fresh...not a mark on 'em.
He glances questioningly at Ethan.
Aaron shrugs and crosses to a barrel chair. He raises the
seat and lifts out a pair of old boots, some rags of
clothing and then raises a false-bottom lid and drops
pouch and money belt into it. Carefully he replaces
everything. During this Ethan's attention has gone to
Martha's hand, to one cut finger, its wound barely
healed. He takes the hand -- gently.
She nods and withdraws the hand.
You were always hurting about your
She looks quickly at him and self-consciously tries to
hide her hands, conscious of their work-worn appearance.
Then for a moment their eyes meet and hold -- and a world
of sadness and hopelessness is in the look.
Aaron closes the seat of the barrel chair.
Time for bed...
He picks up one of the lamps and starts away toward their
bedroom door. Martha looks at Ethan again. His
expression is bitter.
Night, Ethan...Come 'long, Martha.
She turns obediently and follows Aaron. Ethan looks after
them and waits as Aaron opens the bedroom door. Martha
goes into it and Aaron follows and closes the door.
Ethan crosses to the lamp on the mantel, blows it out.
Only the firelight strikes his face as he stares broodingly
at the closed bedroom door.
16 EXT. YARD OF THE EDWARDS' HOUSE - FAINT DAWN LIGHT
Debbie's dog is barking excitedly as six horsemen slowly
ride toward the house and dismount. A lamp goes on inside.
The six horsemen are:
CAPTAIN, THE REVEREND SAM CLAYTON, a big man with frosty blue
eyes, graying hair, a bristly full mustache and the air of
grave and resolute authority. He is a minister of the
Gospel with a .44 on his hip.
LARS JORGENSEN, the Edwards' neighbor, is a harried little
man, Scandinavian. As we shall find out soon, he has a
brisk and buxom wife and a rather astonishing brood of
BRAD JORGENSEN is one of these: sandy-haired, brash,
amiable, impulsive. He is in his early twenties.
CHARLIE MacCORRY, slightly older than Brad, is Sergeant of
Company A of the Rangers. (He is also Company A.) Charlie
is a taciturn, gently-spoken, competent man, clearly
patterned by his association with Captain, the Rev. Sam.
MOSE HARPER is an old scout -- a walking bone-rack, yet
capable of tireless feats of endurance. Some think him
"tetched" yet he has managed to endure to his age during a
time and in a region where few men lived to see their
grandchildren. He wears a ragged dark overcoat in all
weather, a narrow-brimmed hat with a feather in its band.
ED NESBY is a rancher and homesteader in his mid-thirties;
resolute, honest, self-effacing; nothing picturesque or
dramatic about him; just a solid citizen and a realist.
16-A INT. EDWARDS' HOME - CLOSE SHOT - MARTHA
She is at the window of her bedroom, wrapper clutched with
one hand, lamp upraised in the other as she stares into the
dawn to see who these callers are. We hear the heavy foot-
falls of the approaching men, then a loud knock thrice
repeated -- an ominous sound.
17-A INT. THE EDWARDS' - ANGLE AT DOOR
Aaron! Open up!...Sam Clayton!
The door is opened by Aaron -- holding a lamp and a gun. He
is only partly dressed -- pants, boots, undershirt. The bar
of light slashes across the faces of Sam and some of the men
18 INT. THE EDWARDS' HOUSE - FULL SHOT
Sorry to get you out of bed so early...
(as Martha enters,
Mornin', Sister Edwards.
What is it, Reverend?
Lars Jorgensen claims someone bust
into his corral last night and run
off his best cows...
You mean those pure breds he just
Jorgensen enters -- an angry little man -- closely followed
by Mose Harper, who is grinning foolishly.
Next time I raise pigs, by golly!
You never hear of anyone running
off pigs, I bet you.
Injuns has 'em...Caddoes or Kiowas...
Kiowas or Caddoes.
Mose spots Martha and at once whips off his hat and makes
her an exaggerated cavalier's bow.
Respects to a charmin' lady, ma'am.
Ed Nesby enters.
Coffee's made if you...
Coffee'd be fine, sister...
She heads for the stove.
(an old man's
My bones is cold...
His eyes brighten as he looks toward the fire and spots a
rocking chair. He shuffles toward it, plants himself and
begins rocking and half-crooning to himself.
Or bumble bees, by golly... I show
them dirty rustlers!
Lookit me, old Mose Harper, rockin'
in a rockin' chair...I'm a-goin' to
set 'n rock, 'n rock, 'n rock, 'n
The front door opens to admit Martin, fully dressed and
armed, with Charlie MacCorry.
Over here, Martin...Aaron...
Martin ranges himself next to Aaron and both face Clayton.
Raise your right hands.
Martha sets out cups on the table, begins pouring the coffee.
During the swearing-in, Ethan will enter the room from the
inner door -- unnoticed by the other men, but not by Martha.
And as the scene plays, the audience must always be
conscious of the by-play of glances between Martha and
Ethan as they face the prospect of being left in this house
You are hereby volunteer privates in
Company A of the Texas Rangers and will
faithfully discharge the duties of same
without recompense or monetary
compensation -- meaning no pay!...Amen
and get your shirt on, will you, Aaron.
Ain't goin' volunteerin' after
rustlers without my morning coffee,
Reverend...Drink your own!
(sternly -- as he
reaches for his cup)
From now on, call me 'Captain'!
But Ethan advances and calmly appropriates the cup Clayton
is reaching for...
Captain the Reverend Samuel Johnson
Clayton marks his surprise.
Well...the prodigal brother...
When'd you get back?
Ethan sips his coffee and doesn't answer.
Haven't seen you since the surrender.
Come to think of it, I didn't see you
at the surrender.
I don't believe in surrenderin'...I
still got my sabre, Reverend...never
turned it into any ploughshare
Is no time for kaffee-klatch while a
man's beef is been run off.
(taps his nose)
Caddoes or Kiowas...Mose Harper,
drinkin' coffee in a rockin' chair.
Martha has left the room briefly to fetch Aaron's shirt
and vest and stands behind him. Aaron drains his cup.
Ethan, countin' on you to look after
things while I'm gone.
Ethan -- cup to his lips -- looks over its rim at Martha
as Aaron starts to put on his shirt. Their eyes meet
briefly, then she looks away. Ethan sloshes the dregs of
his cup into the fire -- some of it spattering Mose.
You ain't goin'...
He sure is goin'...He's sworn in.
Well, swear him out again!...I'll go
Martha stands submissively, with her head bent, eyes
averted as Ethan crosses the room to get his coat, guns,
etc. Aaron follows him.
Now, Ethan, I ain't sure...
Don't argue!...And stay close...
Maybe they're rustlers...and maybe
this dodderin' old idiot ain't so
Thankin' ye, Ethan...thankin' ye.
All right...I'll swear you in...
You can forget that...
(as Sam stares)
Wouldn't be legal anyway.
(a pause -- then
You wanted for a crime, Ethan?
Martha waits -- intent.
You askin' as a Reverend or a
I'm askin' as a Ranger of the
sovereign state of Texas.
Got a warrant?
You fit a lot of descriptions.
I figger a man's only good for one
oath at a time...I took mine to the
Confederate States of America...
(he pauses -- then)
So did you, Reverend...
He looks past him then -- at Martha and then at Aaron.
Stick close, Aaron...
He looks at Martha again...and then strides out.
19 EXT. THE EDWARDS' HOUSE -- DAWN LIGHT
As Ethan emerges he is brought to a momentary halt by sight
of a couple -- Brad and Lucy -- in each other's arms,
standing near the saddled horses of the posse. Clayton and
Jorgensen following him out, spot the couple, who now
belatedly are conscious of their audience.
Brad!...Is no time for lolly-
In confusion, Lucy runs back around the side of the house as
Brad -- unrepentant -- grins at his irascible old man and
heads for his waiting horse. Clayton chuckles and turns
toward Martha, who has followed them out.
Looks like I'll be reading the lines
over that pair before long, sister
Is no time for talking weddings...
Better say prayers for those dirty
thieves, by golly...running off a
Mose, last to emerge, bows elaborately to Martha.
Grateful to the hospitality of yore
rockin' chair, ma'am...
The men are mounting. Mose nimbly vaults onto the back of
his horse -- which he rides bareback, with only a blanket
22 EXT. THE EDWARDS' HOUSE -- DAWN LIGHT
as Ethan and Martin ride to join the group.
Let's get on with it...
She comes flying out of the house in her long flannel
nightie and runs to Martin.
Martin! Ride me as far as the well!
He swings her up in front of his saddle. They start away.
Ethan is last to ride out. He is watching Martha. He brings
a gloved hand up in a salute. She starts to raise her hand
but only brings it just above her waist, a fluttering
gesture with tremulous fingers. It is the last he will ever
see of her alive.
23 EXT. YARD OF THE EDWARDS' HOUSE - FULL SHOT
as the posse slowly rides out, with Ethan last. Martin reins
in to let Debbie slip to the ground. Ethan passes her.
Debbie stands watching the men ride away, waving at them.
She turns and comes running back -- CAMERA PANNING -- to the
little group on the porch; Ben in the door; Lucy crossing
the porch; Aaron and Martha at the steps.
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
24 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - POSSE - LATE AFTERNOON
Ethan and Mose are advancing at a steady walk, both men
leaning slightly out of their saddles to study the
terrain -- the trail they are following. Out to one
side -- fifty yards distant -- is the main body of the
posse: Sam, Jorgensen, Charlie, Ed, moving roughly
parallel to Ethan but at a faster clip. Martin comes
riding in toward Ethan from behind CAMERA.
Ethan reins in -- compressing his lips at the "Uncle."
Somethin' mighty fishy about this
trail, Uncle Ethan...
Stop callin' me 'uncle'...I ain't
Don't have to call me 'sir' neither...
Nor grampaw neither...Nor Methuselah
neither...I can whup you to a frazzle.
Mose lets out a snickering laugh.
What you want me to call you?
Name's Ethan...Now what's so mighty
fishy about this trail?
Well, fust off...
He breaks and all turn at a distant hail from Jorgensen.
26 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - LONG SHOT - RISE OF GROUND - BRAD
He is holding his rifle with both hands straight over his
head -- and he repeats the signal until he sees they have
Brad! He's found them...Come on!
27 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - THE POSSE WITH BRAD IN
as Jorgensen digs spurs and leads the way. The other
28 MED. SHOT - BRAD - RISING GROUND - LATE AFTERNOON
He waits grimly until he sees them coming, then wheels his
mount and takes off over the hill.
29 FULL SHOT - THE POSSE
as it comes up the rise and the men rein in on the crest.
Jorgensen stares and his face mirrors shock and dismay.
The other men look down into the long valley on the far
side with equally grim expressions.
Call that young fool back!
Jorgensen doesn't even seem to hear him. Angrily Ethan
whips out revolver and fires into the air. Then he
swings his arm in a come-back gesture. He rides out
ahead then a short distance and dismounts...and slowly
the others follow.
We see now, the bodies of a few bulls stiffening in the
sun. Ethan goes to the nearest one. A feathered lance
is driven into it. He pulls the lance out. Mose comes
over beside him.
Caddo or Kiowa, huh?...Ain't but one
tribe uses a lance like that!
He hands the lance to Mose.
(almost a whisper)
Brad rides in -- shrill with anger.
Killed every one -- an' not for
food either...Why'd they do a
thing like that?
Stealing the cattle was just to
pull us out...This here's a murder
It shapes up to scald out either your
place...or my brother's.
Jorgensen wilts and casts an anguished look back over
the miles they have ridden.
Mama!...Oh please...please no...
And with that one word, Jorgensen calls upon his son to
follow and they take off...fast. Ed Nesby and Charlie
MacCorry follow. Sam Clayton pauses.
Jorgensen's place is closest...If
they're not there, we'll come
Then he too rides. Martin swings his horse back to where
Ethan and Mose still are standing.
Well, come on!
(he starts toward
It's forty miles, sonny...Horses can
do with some grain and a little rest.
Comanch generally hits at moonrise.
Moonrise!...It'll be midnight
before...I ain't waitin'....!
He wheels his horse and goes tearing to catch up with the
others. Ethan shrugs and stoically takes grain bag to
feed his horse. Mose does the same.
Wisht it was Caddoes...or Kiowas...
(shakes his head)
Ethan just gives him an angry look and then ruthlessly
begins discarding every bit of unnecessary equipment
from his saddle.
30 EXT. THE EDWARDS RANCH - WIDE ANGLE - SUNDOWN
Nothing moves. Nothing could be more tranquil. The
shadows are long. A thin wisp of smoke rises from the
chimney. And then Debbie's little dog trots around
the side of the house out into the yard.
31 EXT. EDWARDS YARD - CLOSE SHOT - THE DOG - SUNDOWN
He comes to a standstill and his nose is working. He
begins to make excited little sounds deep in his belly.
Then he lies down, muzzle between his paws, watching,
32 INT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - FULL SHOT - ANGLING TOWARD
Debbie sits on the floor, playing with a little rag doll.
The slanting blaze of the setting sun makes a brilliant
area of light in which she is sitting. Beyond her, on
the porch steps, Ben is squatting, whittling a piece of
pine into a slingshot frame. We hear Martha and Lucy
busy with the dishes. Aaron comes from behind CAMERA
and stands in the doorway, absently rapping out his
pipe. Near the doorway, on a wooden peg, hangs his gun,
belt. He puts the pipe in his pocket and glances down
at Deborah, intent on her play. He looks swiftly at
where the women are busy - then stealthily eases the gun
from its holster and slides it under his shirt. He
hasn't made a sound and is sure he's got away with it.
He clears his throat noisily and reaches for a light
shotgun pegged above the door.
Think I'll see if I can pick off a
sage-hen or two, Martha...
33 INT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTHA AND LUCY
busy at the wooden sink. Martha doesn't turn.
You do that, Aaron...
Won't go far...
He steps out. Only then does Martha turn -- and her
eyes go at once to:
34 INT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - ANGLING TO DOOR
and FRAMING the empty holster, as Aaron pauses on the
My, the days are getting shorter!
35 INT. EDWARDS HOUSE - CLOSE SHOT - MARTHA AND LUCY
as Lucy heads for the lamp.
Lucy!...We don't need the lamp yet...
Lucy frowns at her mother.
Let's enjoy the dusk a while.
36 EXT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - AARON AND BEN -
Aaron is slowly scanning the terrain.
Mind you sweep up them shavin's.
(undertone -- man
An' if you see any sage-hens,
Aaron stares as the boy shifts a fold of blanket, or
whatever, by his side -- to disclose Ethan's cavalry
sabre. Aaron smiles and rubs the youngster's head, then
sets out across the yard.
37 EXT. THE EDWARDS YARD - FULL SHOT - MOVING
Debbie's dog rises at Aaron's approach and joins his
master as they set out across the plain.
38 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY NEAR EDWARDS HOME - MED. CLOSE SHOT -
He is walking through the scrub and brush grass, every
sense alive and straining. He pauses every three or
four strides -- casting each quadrant in turn. Once he
whips, gun ready, as a sage-hen or quail whirrs up not
far from him. He smiles grimly as he watches it fly
away. He keeps on.
39 EXT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - AT PORCH
Martha comes to stand in the doorway. Ben doesn't look
at her. His eyes -- like hers -- are fixed on the figure
of the man.
It's all right, ma...I been watchin'...
Only I wish...
I wish Uncle Ethan was here. Don't
She doesn't answer. Lucy comes to the door.
Mother, I can't see what I'm
NOT YET, LUCY!...
40 EXT. RISING GROUND - WIDE ANGLE - PAST AARON
He stands on the near slope of a rise and then gradually
moves toward its summit, so that only head will be
silhouetted. He drops to one knee, half-leaning against
the slope and slowly looks out...The CAMERA PANS very
slowly, following his careful sweep of the terrain.
The scene is entirely peaceful.
41 EXT. RISING GROUND - CLOSE SHOT - AARON
with narrowed eyes slowly scanning the ground. Suddenly
the head whips right. We hear a bird's sharp call.
42 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - SKYWARD SHOT - A SMALL BIRD
It is taking flight, sweeping away in erratic arcs.
43 EXT. RISING GROUND - CLOSE SHOT ON AARON
He squints closely at the ground from which the bird had
flown. Then slowly his eyes range toward the left.
44 EXT. RISING GROUND - WIDE ANGLE - PAST AARON
Across the meadow, a shadow seems to touch the grass and
at once a covey of quail takes off, whirring loud. Aaron
waits no longer, but slides down the slope and starts
running at a crouch for the house, stopping every so often
to look backward.
45 EXT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTHA AND BEN -
(NOTE TO W. HOCH: What J. F. has in mind for this and the
following scenes is the same kind of dramatic use of red
you achieved in "Yellow Ribbon" in the scene telling of
They are standing in the ruddy glare of the sunset and
Ben has Ethan's sabre in his hand. We hear Aaron coming
at a run, breathing hard. Ben takes a step as though
to go to him, but Martha's hand at once is on his
shoulder. Aaron gains the porch.
In the house, boy...and...
He puts finger to his lips, sign for Ben to say nothing.
Ben nods and goes inside. Aaron and Martha face each
other, the question large on her face. Slowly he nods
the confirmation of her fears, then gently propels her
ahead of him through the door.
46 INT. THE EDWARDS HOUSE - FULL SHOT - SUNSET
The room is deeply shadowed except where the dull crimson
of the sun through door and windows slashes the blackness.
Ben is waiting and Martha turns toward Aaron as he pulls
the door shut, bars it and sets the shotgun down. He
takes the revolver from his waist and Martha holds it
as he reaches for his gun belt.
Ben, close the shutters.
Buckling on his gun belt, he moves toward the middle of
the room, looking around him, taking inventory of his
resources. Lucy slowly approaches, biting a knuckle,
eyes wide with fright.
One shutter closes and the bar of light they were standing
in goes out. Martha, Aaron and Lucy are dark silhouettes
now against the red beam from another window.
Debbie emerges from a shadowed corner into a beam of
light. She is clutching her rag doll, nibbling a
cookie. She holds it for them to see.
I only took one, ma...Topsy was
Ben closes the shutter. And now the room is almost com-
pletely blacked out, except for the dying light filtering
through the rifle ports of the closed shutters.
47 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - WIDE ANGLE SHOT - THE POSSE - DUSK
This should be an expansive view to convey the fact that
the posse has split -- the main group heading for the
Jorgensen place, Martin forking off to race alone for the
Coming toward and passing CAMERA is Martin, riding all out.
Several hundred yards away and moving in a divergent
direction are the others -- Brad and Charlie, Sam,
Jorgensen and Ed Nesby. The men are not compactly bunched,
but strung out, each taking his own best course and his
own speed...As the riders pass and the dust of their
passing, we see two other riders -- Ethan and Mose --
minute specks in the distance, possibly a mile or two
48 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - MOVING SHOT - ETHAN AND MOSE - DUSK
(NOTE TO W. HOCH: What we are trying to get here is that
moment of swift transition from twilight to night; of
riders briefly touched with the last colors of day and then,
as they pass, becoming one with blue shadows of night.)
Ethan and Mose are holding their mounts to a jog, in
marked contrast to the all-out pace of the others. The
CAMERA PANS after them as the dark fingers of the night
stretch across the valley. The wind begins to rise and
somewhere off in the hills a coyote pack yaps.
49 INT. EDWARDS - ANGLING PAST AARON AT WINDOW INTO ROOM -
Aaron is little more than a shadowy silhouette as he peers
into the night through a partly-opened shutter. Suddenly
the room leaps alight as Lucy opens an inner door and
enters, holding a lighted lamp. Aaron closes the shutter,
spins on her angrily.
Martha crosses the room swiftly and blows out the lamp.
In the brief moment the room has been lighted, we see
that Lucy is carrying a dark shawl in one hand; that
Ben is crouched at another window -- rifle ready; and
that Deborah is on her feet -- standing like a child
who is being dressed.
I'm sorry...I couldn't find the
Hurry, Martha...Moon's fixin' to
He cautiously swings the shutters open. A pale light
filters into the room. We see Martha wrapping the
shawl around Deborah.
(softly to the child)
We're going to play the sleep-out
game...Remember?...Where you hide
out with grandma?
Where's she buried?
And you'll go along the ditch --
very quietly -- like a...
(her voice breaks)
Like a little mouse.
He reaches for the child, but he has to wait for Martha's
There!...And you won't come back
or make a sound...no matter what
you hear? Promise!..No matter what?
Can't I have Topsy to keep me
There's no time...
Here she is, baby...Baby...
Aaron takes the child, swings her out the window.
Down low -- go!
Martha would come to the window to look out, but Aaron bars
her with an arm and draws back to the side of the window to
watch her go...Outside the little dog barks a welcome and
presumably starts to follow the girl. Aaron reacts.
The dog whines but obeys. Aaron continues watching the
child's course -- unconsciously imitating her every run
and twist...Then he smiles and we may see the brightness
in the corners of his eyes.
She reached the ditch...
He closes the shutters and turns -- and his arms go
around Martha, weeping soundlessly.
She'll be all right, mother...
she'll be all right.
50 EXT. A HILLOCK WITH TWO HEADBOARDS - MED. CLOSE SHOT -
Nothing stirs and we hear nothing. Then, with faintest
little rustle, Debbie comes snaking along the ground
into the hollow between the two graves and lies there
face down, pressed against Topsy. She becomes one
with the earth and the stillness. And then the moonlight
strikes the tips of the scrub growth and as a cloud scuds
by, the moonlight reveals something glittering -- like
beads. And the CAMERA from that ground-level shot
RAISES quickly to:
51 CLOSE SHOT - FROM EXTREME LOW ANGLE - SCAR
The Comanche we are later to know as SCAR is painted
for war -- tall, savage, mockingly looking down at what
we know is the child's hiding place...And in that
instant, from a dozen quarters and a dozen throats,
sounds the wild yammer of the warwhoop!
54 EXT. RISING GROUND - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTIN - MOONLIGHT
He stands beside his spent and fallen horse. Its breathing
is a rasping whistle. Martin tries to haul its head up.
Useless. Breathing hard himself, his face ashen in the
moonlight, Martin looks desperately off in the direction
of the ranch. Then he jerks the rifle from its saddle
scabbard -- struggling with it because it is under the
horse. He freezes then -- listening...And we hear the
steady beat of two horsemen approaching. Martin knows
who they are and his face is alive with hope. He gets
the rifle free at last and goes running toward the oncoming
The CAMERA SWINGS with him and we see Ethan and Mose
approaching at the same steady gait.
Uncle Ethan...it's me...Martin!
Ethan doesn't slacken, nearly rides him down.
Out of my way!
Martin goes sprawling to his hands and knees. Mose con-
tinues without slowing.
55 EXT. RISING GROUND - ANOTHER ANGLE - PAST THE RIDERS -
He goes running, stumbling after the riders -- desperately
calling to them...
And then at the crest of the rising ground, he stops --
We see in the distance the glow of a fire leading from the
barns and the hayricks and the house of Aaron Edwards.
Martin runs down the slope.
56 EXT. YARD AND APPROACH TO EDWARDS HOUSE - WIDE ANGLE - NIGHT
(NOTE TO W. HOCH: Here again that use of red is suggested.)
The ANGLE is past the porch uprights toward Mose and Ethan as
they ride in. Little tongues of fire are licking the edges
of the uprights. A few arrows, imbedded in the wood, are
burning along their shafts. Beyond are the glowing ashes of
the hayricks and the charred, smouldering rails of the corral.
There are no bodies in evidence...The red glow of the burning
is on the faces of the men as they dismount.
Ethan strides to the porch, knocking away one of the blazing
arrows as he heads to the door. He stops there -- and what
he sees makes the big shoulders droop, the huge frame slump.
Slowly then -- and removing his hat -- he goes in. Mose
shuffles to the edge of the porch and squats there and rocks
back and forth, his face working and crying soundlessly with
senile grief. We hear a splintered door crash from its hinges
within the room and Ethan's muffled voice calling through the
He strides back through the main room and out onto the porch
just as Martin comes at a shambling run across the yard.
Ethan takes a few steps out toward him. Martin would pass
him, but Ethan grabs his arm.
You stay out!
Martin tries to fight his arm free.
Nothing for you to see.
Ethan turns him and drives a brutal right to his jaw. Martin
goes down -- out cold. And only now do we understand how
merciful the blow was as Ethan looks compassionately at the
Don't let him go in there, Mose...
And he takes off at a stumbling run for the hilltop.
57 EXT. THE HILLOCK WITH THE TWO HEADBOARDS - FULL SHOT - ETHAN
as he nears the graves.
Lucy -- Lucy!
He runs in, looking around him. He sees the little dog,
dead on the ground. And then he sees a shadowed something:
The shawl Debbie had worn. It is spread out, almost as though
concealing a body. Fearfully he stoops and pulls it away...
There is nothing there, but the shawl. He drops to his
knees, his head bowed, his face tortured. The moonlight
is clear on the face of the nearer headboard. It is of
weathered wood and the chiselled letters on it read:
MARY JANE EDWARDS
KILLED BY COMANCHES
MAY 12, 1852
a good WIFE & MOTHER
In her 41st year
SLOW DISSOLVE TO:
58 EXT. THE HILLOCK - FULL SHOT - SLOWLY PANNING - DAWN LIGHT
The funeral is begun. In the foreground are three newly-
made crosses at the head of as many open graves -- which we
need not see. With head bared, Sam Clayton is concluding
his prayer. Near him stand the Jorgensen family: Mrs.
Jorgensen, Lars and LAURIE -- blonde, just beginning to
reach her maturity -- and a stepping-stone of tow-headed
...and to Your keeping we commend
the souls of Aaron...Martha...and
Mrs. Jorgensen and Laurie -- impelled by the same feminine
sympathy and interest -- turn to look at Ethan and Martin.
The PANNING CAMERA picks them up...Ethan standing dry-eyed,
looking at the grave of Martha; Martin -- with bruised lip --
looking out across the plain.
Clayton now opens his small, well-worn Bible to a marked page.
Man that is born of woman is of
few days and full of trouble...
Ethan looks at him, angrily, impatiently.
He cometh forth like a...
Amen!...Put an 'amen' to it!
...like a flower and is cut down...
ETHAN ET AL.
Ethan turns on his heel and walks -- CAMERA PANNING -- to
where Ed Nesby has been holding the horses. Brad is already
mounting. Mose is there too and Charlie MacCorry. Silhou-
etted against the dawn light are the rifles in each man's
saddle scabbard. Clayton is right behind Ethan.
Charlie--you and Brad ride point!
...Don't get too far ahead...
The young riders spur out.
59 EXT. NEAR HILLOCK - MED. CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN AND MRS. JORGENSEN
Ethan is about to mount when Mrs. Jorgensen comes up and
catches his arm.
(he turns impatiently)
Those girls mean as much to me as
though they were my own...Maybe you
don't know my Brad's been sittin' up
with Lucy...and my Laurie's real
fond of Martin...
Ethan glances back at where Martin and Laurie are standing.
60 ANOTHER ANGLE - FAVORING LAURIE AND MARTIN
The girl is looking at Martin full of compassion, tries to
console him by taking his arm and squeezing it as he stares
blindly at the graves and Jorgensen stolidly beginning the
work of shovelling them full.
61 EXT. NEAR HILLOCK - ETHAN AND MRS. JORGENSEN AS BEFORE
Ethan looks back at her -- stone-faced.
I'd be obliged if you'd get to the
I am...I am...It's just that I know
Martha'd want you to think of her boys
as well as her girls...And if the girls
are...dead...Ethan, don't let the boys
waste their lives in vengeance!
Ethan shrugs his arm free and mounts.
Promise me, Ethan!
He ignores her and turns angrily to where Martin is.
Come on, if you're comin'...
He digs spurs and rides out with the others. Martin comes
over, with Laurie a step behind. His face is set, his
eyes almost unseeing.
(a heartbroken murmur)
We'll find them, Mrs. Jorgensen...
We'll find them...
He swings into his saddle. Laurie impulsively runs to his
side, steps onto the toe of his stirruped boot and pulls her-
self up to his level to kiss him hard and full upon the mouth.
He looks at her dully, as though hardly conscious of it. And
she is back beside her mother. Martin rides away after the
I almost hope they don't find them!
Laurie looks at her mother and understands.
61-A EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - THE SEARCHERS - EARLY MORNING LIGHT
The SEARCH THEME begins as we see the riders in turn.
A series of portraits of the men.
62 CLOSE SHOT - BRAD AND CHARLIE - riding point, they come
to a pause, surveying the terrain ahead. Charlie, with
an arm signal, indicates he will take the left. Brad
nods and he rides out to the right.
63 THE MAIN BODY OF THE MEN, Clayton passing first, expres-
sion resolute, competent...Then Ed Nesby and old Mose,
squinting at the ground as they ride, all but sniffing
like an old hound dog.
63A MARTIN - Next to last in file. Finally:
63B ETHAN - His face a study of relentless purpose.
68 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - BRAD AND CHARLIE - AFTERNOON
The two men are at a cairn of rocks -- their horses nearby.
In the near distance, Clayton is leading the men of the
search party at a fast clip toward the cairn. Charlie is
standing, Brad tearing the rock cairn apart. In Charlie's
hands is a Comanche head-dress of polished buffalo horn
and feathers. Brad doesn't even look up as the men ride in
and dismount, but continues his grim work of uncovering the
Another one, eh?
This 'un come a long way 'fore he
Well, that's seven we can score up
to your brother, Ethan.
I don't like it.
What don't you like?
Injun's on a raid generly hides their
dead so you won't know how many
they've lost...If they don't care
about us knowin', it only spells
one thing...they ain't afraid of us
followin' -- or of us catchin' up
with 'em either.
You can back out any time, Nesby.
Didn't say that...
What's he doin' that for...
He wants to be sure...
Brad shifts another rock and looks grimly upon the face (o.s.)
of the dead Comanche. Then he spits at it and stands.
Let's get along...
Why don't you finish the job?
With that he strides to the cairn, whipping a knife out. he
crouches over the body (o.s.) and with his own back con-
cealing what he is doing, he bends to his bloody task.
Sam Clayton crosses to stand behind him.
What good does that do?
By what you preach...none!
He stands now and he faces Sam.
But by what the Comanche believe --
now he can't enter the spirit land,
but has got to wander forever be-
tween the winds...because I took
his mangy scalp!
He flings the scalp down and grinds it into the dirt with his
heel...He wipes clean the blade of his knife as he crosses
back to his horse. The men mount (those who have dismounted)
and they ride off.
70 EXT. NIGHT CAMP - RAVINE - CLOSE SHOT - BRAD AND MARTIN
Brad is looking out into the night -- strain and tension in
every line. Beyond them we may see some of the other men --
sitting or sprawled on the ground near a sheltered fire.
If only she's alive...I'll make it
up to her... No matter what's hap-
pened...I'll make her forget...She's
just got to be alive...
Ethan crosses behind them carrying his blanket roll. He looks
at them sourly.
Get some rest!
They move off, heading for their blankets. The CAMERA HOLDS
on Ethan as he rolls up his blanket and turns on his side.
He fishes a miniature out of his pocket and gravely studies
it by the light of the flickering little fire.
70-A CLOSE SHOT - THE MINIATURE - NIGHT
It is a picture of Martha. The CAMERA PULLS BACK to show
Ethan studying it gravely, then putting it away and lying
back to stare broodingly into the night.
71 EXT. RIDGE TOP - CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN, BRAD, MOSE, SAM -
The four faces are just over the ridge, peering at some-
thing far distant, far below.
Could be a buffler...
It's horses, I tell ya...
It's them all right...
He starts to squirm down the ridge, the others
72 EXT. HIGH COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - THE SEARCHERS - SUNSET
Ethan's group crosses to where the other men are waiting
with the horses.
They're camped by the river --
'bout twenty miles from here.
Soon's it gets dark we'll circle
out so's to jump 'em before day-
You're right sure you want to jump
Martin and Brad stare at Sam -- not understanding the
question. But Mose knows what he means and studiously
looks into space.
(touch of defiance)
It's what we're here for, ain't it?
I thought we were trying to get the
girls back -- alive...We jump those
Comanches, they'll kill 'em...You
But...but what are we doin' then?...
What are we supposed to do?
What I had in mind was runnin'
off their hoss herd...A Comanche
on foot is more apt to be willin'
That makes sense to me.
What do you know about it?...What's
a quarter-breed Cherokee know about
the Comanche trick of sleeping with
his best pony tied right beside
him...You got as much chance of
stampedin' their herd as...
...as you have of findin' those
girls alive by ridin' into 'em...
I say we do it my way, Ethan...and
that's an order!
Yes, sir...But if you're wrong,
Captain Clayton, don't ever give
They look into each other's eyes a moment, then Sam turns
to mount...and the others follow. Slowly then they start
riding down the slope.
73 EXT. FLAT GROUND, LIKE MARSH COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - THE
SEARCHERS - DAWN MIST EFFECT
(NOTE: It is now planned to shoot this on sound stage.)
Fog and heavy morning mist rise from the swamp. Some cat-
tails in the near ground. The effect is eerie, very still
except for the trilling of frogs. Then, very quietly, the
men emerge from the mist swirling around them. They are
leading their horses. Sam looks baffled, angry. They
stand still, listening -- then slowly continue.
74 EXT. FLAT GROUND - ANOTHER ANGLE - FULL SHOT - DAWN MIST
The mist is thinning. In the f.g. is a small blackened
area -- the ashes of a campfire. The men come through the
mist -- wary, vigilant. It is Mose who first spots the
fire. He runs to it and drops beside and feels the ashes.
The others come up around him.
Ay-eh...They was here...
SURE!...They WERE here...Now they're
out there...an' waitin' to jump us!...
He looks at Clayton.
You got any more orders, Captain?
Just keep goin'...
They move on, slowly.
74-A EXT. FLAT GROUND - FULL SHOT - MOVING (SOUND STAGE)
The mist is thinning as the men warily move along.
Suddenly there is the faint hoot of an owl from behind and
to one side...the men turn slightly, hearing it...A moment
later another owl hoot, from the same side but up ahead.
From the interchange of looks, we must know that the riders
are aware of its significance. Mose cups hand to his mouth
and he hoots in exact imitation of the other calls. Clayton
glares at him.
(in soft apology)
Jus' bein' sociable, Cap'n...
Ethan grins wryly. And now the first, faint, ruddy touch
of the sun hits the slowly moving horsemen and begins to
burn through the mist.
74-B EXT. NEAR RIVER - PANNING SHOT - MORNING
The CAMERA SLOWLY PANS from a sun-touched butte or crag to
the file of men slowly walking their horses. An occasional
shred of mist drifts by. Everything about the little
cavalcade bespeaks tension, watchfulness. Suddenly -- and
every man sees it at the same time -- we see a file of
eight Comanches ride slowly out of a canyon at a dis-
tance, walking their horses at the same pace and on a
course roughly parallel with, but slightly converging on,
Brad, who has been looking up ahead, sounds a new
74-C EXT. CANYON COUNTRY - LONG SHOT - PAST THE SEARCHERS
Another Indian file of eight angles out of a different
canyon and begins to cut in toward the group -- riding
slowly, very quietly. Clayton slightly alters course,
veering slightly away from the converging files, but
still riding slowly. And then, from ahead but at a 100
yards, another Comanche group seems to rise out of the
ground and slowly begins closing the gap.
If you were tryin' to surround
'em, you sure succeeded.
How far's the river from here,
I been baptized, Reverend...yes
suh, been baptized, thank ye...
Well, you better brace yourself
for another one...YA-HEE!
And with that yell, he drives spurs and cuts sharply at
an angle to the converging Indian files -- and every man
is with him. In the next instant, the Comanches whoop and
74-D EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - THE CHASE
with the Ranger group short-cutting in such a way as to
outstrip the Comanche horsemen in a mad dash for the river.
74-E EXT. THE RIVER'S EDGE - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP
Clayton flings his hand up in a signal to halt as the
Rangers reach the bank. They rein in, wheel their horses
and are reaching for the rifles as the Comanche vanguard
races into view -- to find themselves opposed by seven
veterans, sitting their horses, rifles at their shoulders.
The charge breaks as the seven rifles bark, almost in
unison -- and the Indians wheel to shelter.
And once again he spins his mount and takes off, across
the river, followed by the others.
74-F EXT. THE RIVER - FULL SHOT
As the men pound across.
74-G EXT. FAR BANK OF RIVER - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP
They dismount and Charlie and Nesby take the horses and
run them to some place of protection as the men group
around Clayton and Ethan. During this:
(shouting his orders)
This is as good as any...Charlie,
you and Ed take the horses...
Mose runs over and crouches beside Ethan. Beyond Ethan
is Martin, then Brad...Nesby and Charlie will rejoin the
group after an appropriate interval...with all the men
shielded behind river boulders, etc.
75 EXT. RIVER'S EDGE - ANGLING PAST ETHAN AND MOSE WITH MARTIN
AND BRAD BEYOND
Ethan and Mose are hunkered down behind some rocks, very casual
and business-like as they check rifles, set out and care-
fully wipe cartridges.
Minds me o' the time Joe Powers
an' me fit us some Kiowas...
Martin is in the throes of buck-fever, wiping mouth with
back of his hand, peering anxiously across the river.
You think they mean to charge us,
...We found us an ole buffler wallow...
76 EXT. RIVER'S EDGE - LONG SHOT - PAST THE GROUP
On the opposite bank, we see the full force of Comanches
riding into sight -- racing their mounts to the edge, then
wheeling off -- jeering, taunting. Brad starts to bring up
Steady, Daniel Boone! You don't
want to miss...It makes them think
their medicine's stronger than
Ay-eh...That's jest what I tole Joe
Powers...That un's gettin' kinda
sassy, ain't he, Ethan?
One Comanche rides a few yards into the water, brandishing
his rifle, taunting the white men. A moment later he is
joined by a second brave.
He and Mose slowly bring their rifles to bear -- and then
the two shots crack out almost simultaneously. And within
split seconds both Comanches fall. The others race away.
Sam comes charging over to Ethan and Mose.
I didn't give any order to fire!
That's all right, Captain...I don't
need any formal invitation to kill
You got one now!
And he drops behind a rock as, with a wild whooping, the
Comanche forces swing from their places of hiding and hit
the river. The men open fire, all but Martin, who has
frozen, staring wild-eyed at the oncoming Comanches.
77 EXT. RIVER'S EDGE - PROFILE SHOT - THE DEFENDERS
Brad, Charlie, Clayton, Nesby are snapping shot after shot.
Only Martin seems out of it. Ethan shoots him a glance.
Slack your shoulders...Slack 'em...
Your hands'll take care of themselves...
Some of the tension leaves Martin. Somehow his gun is in
position and he is firing as fast and well as the others.
77-A EXT. THE RIVER - FULL SHOT - INDIAN CHARGE
The Comanches are coming in, crouched low over their ponies'
necks, whooping and firing. Men and horses go down, counted
off by the expert marksmanship of the Texans. But they
77-B EXT. RIVER'S EDGE - PROFILE SHOT - PAST MARTIN, ETHAN, MOSE
They drop their rifles now and pull out revolvers for close-
range work. One Comanche breaks through from the side, his
buffalo lance ready for the thrust. Ethan whirls and fires.
The Comanche horse charges through the defense line and
out and there is a muffled scream of pain from Ed Nesby.
77-C EXT. THE RIVER - WIDE ANGLE - THE INDIANS
The charge breaks and Comanches wheel left and right, racing
back across the river. With magnificent horsemanship, one
brave rides to an unhorsed warrior crouched in the shallows
and swings him up behind. Two others, riding together,
head for one of the two dead Comanches Ethan and Mose had
downed on their first shots. Swinging simultaneously from
their saddles, they grab the dead man and carry him off.
77-D EXT. THE RIVER'S EDGE - ANGLING PAST MOSE AND ETHAN
There goes yer scalp, Ethan!...
Ethan snuggles his rifle to his shoulder as two other racing
Comanches prepare to pick up the other dead Indian. Most
of the Comanches have regained the far bank now and are
racing away. The firing from the Texans has stopped.
I still got one out there.
82 EXT. RIVER'S EDGE - CLOSE SHOT - BEHIND ETHAN
The angle is along his rifle barrel as it beads on one of the
racing Comanches trying to pick up the dead Indian.
Clayton's big hand grasps the rifle barrel.
83 EXT. RIVER'S EDGE - CLOSE SHOT - THE TWO
Ethan looks up into Clayton's face.
Let them bury their dead...
Ethan pulls the gun free and looks out across the river.
84 EXT. THE RIVER - LONG SHOT - PAST THEM
The Comanches have done their work, are riding away -- and
over the saddle of one lies the limp form of the dead Indian.
Ethan looks back at Sam.
That tears it, Reverend...From now
on, you keep out...
(mad now -- facing
All of you!...I don't want you with
me...I don't need you...for what I
got to do!
No need to shout, mister.
The CAMERA SWINGS to pick up the figure of Nesby outstretched
on the ground, writhing in pain; with Charlie kneeling beside
him. The men cross to stand around the fallen man.
Reckon we got to go back -- Ed's
shoulder is smashed -- bad!
I can make it...just get me on a
No good, Ed...And Ethan's right...
This is a job for a company of
Rangers...or it's a job for one or
two men...Right now we're too many...
an' not enough...
Only one way you can stop me lookin'
for Lucy, mister...An' that's kill
That's how I feel, Uncle Ethan...
Ethan glares at them, but has to accept it.
All right...but I'm givin' the
orders...You take 'em or we split
up here and now...
Why, sure, Ethan...There's just the
one thing we're after...finding
Deborah and Lucy...
(grimly -- turning
If they're still alive...
He heads away, for his horse. Brad and Martin look at each
other as the full import of Ethan's footnote strikes home.
Then they head for their own horses.
86-A EXT. THE RIVER - FULL SHOT
Ethan, Martin, and Brad mount. Clayton crosses to them.
You boys got enough shells?
Vaya con dios.
The three re-enter the river and slowly start across, with
Clayton gravely looking after them. The three riders
continue across the river...and the Search Theme resumes.
87 EXT. WIDE ANGLE - DESERT COUNTRY - BLAZING NOON
A region of buttes and giant rock formations; treeless, arid
and seemingly reaching out to infinity. Far off we see a
cloud of dust -- miles and miles off. Only the dust,
nothing else. From behind CAMERA ride the three men -- Ethan,
Brad, and Martin -- dust-powdered, eyes bloodshot. The
three are watching that distant cloud of dust. They force
their weary horses onward.
88 EXT. DESERT COUNTRY - WIDE ANGLE - LATE AFTERNOON
The ANGLE is past some spectacular butte or citadel of rock
into another long reach of valley -- different from the
first view of it, yet alike in its suggestion of endlessness.
But now there is no cloud of dust far away -- nothing to
suggest the passage of anything but time itself.
Ethan, Martin, and Brad ride into the fringe of the butte's
shadow and scan the terrain ahead.
They got to stop sometime...if
they're human at all, they got
Naw...a human man rides a horse till
it dies...then he goes on afoot...A
Comanche comes along...gets that
horse up...and rides it twenty more
miles...Then he eats it.
Ethan turns to catch Martin thirstily drinking from his
Easy on that!
Sorry...We don't even know if Debbie
'n Lucy are with this bunch...Maybe
they split up...
They're with 'em -- if they're still
Brad wheels on him.
You've said that enough!...Maybe
Lucy's dead...maybe they're both
dead...but if I hear it from you
again, I'll fight ya, Mr. Edwards!
That'll be the day!...Let's ride.
89-A EXT. VALLEY AND CANYON WALL - WIDE ANGLE - THE RIDERS -
(NOTE: This is the gap in the rocks near the "Medicine
Country" at Monument.)
The three riders come to where the trail they have been
following forks...the main horseprint track leading ahead,
a lesser track heading for a narrow gap between two buttes.
Four of 'em cut out here...Why?
Ethan thinks he knows why. His face is bleak. But he tries
to be casual.
I'll take a look...You keep after
He turns his mount toward the gap.
You want us to fire a shot if...
No...nor build bonfires...nor beat
drums neither. I'll meet you on
the far side.
He's still grumbling as he rides off. An abashed Martin
rides ahead along the broad trail with Brad.
(NOTE: Ethan's serape, tied behind his saddle, should be
clearly seen as he rides away -- not pointed up, but visible.)
90 EXT. FAR SIDE OF BUTTE - TWILIGHT
Martin and Brad, riding in a direction opposite to that in
which they had taken off -- indicating their circle route --
haul up momentarily as they spot Ethan, standing beside his
horse, his back to them, some distance along. They turn
slightly off their course and ride out toward him.
91 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - NEAR BUTTE - TWILIGHT
Ethan turns, almost startled, as the two youths ride in.
His serape is no longer behind his saddle. Ethan looks at
them blankly for a minute -- as though not really seeing
They both stare at him.
(a vague gesture)
I...uh...here's where they met up
They both can see that.
Trail leads off there...
They look at him and each other -- for these are clearly
unnecessary remarks and doubly surprising coming from Ethan.
Why'd they break off?
Was there water in that canyon?
Huh...? No...no water.
You all right, Ethan?
(more like his
usual gruff self)
Sure I'm all right...
He goes to his horse, mounts. Martin is right beside him
and he notes the missing serape.
Say!...What happened to your
blanket? Lose it?
Must've...Anyway, I ain't goin' back
to look for it...
He leads out. Brad rides up beside Martin. Again the two
exchange puzzled looks. Martin shrugs and the three
continue along the broad trace of the Indian ponies into
the setting sun.
92 EXT. NIGHT CAMP - A POCKET IN THE HILLS - TWILIGHT
Ethan crouches over a small fire built into a slit trench so
that barely the glow of the flames can be seen. Beyond him
Martin is leading their unsaddled horses away. The men have
come to the end of another long day. Both men look up as
Brad comes over a hill slope and rides recklessly down the
incline to their camp. His horse is lathered.
I saw her!...I saw Lucy!
Martin runs to his side as Brad slides off his mount.
Ethan moves more slowly.
They're camped 'bout two miles over...
I was just swingin' back when I saw
their smoke...I bellied up a ridge
an' they was right below me...
Did you see Debbie?
No, but I saw Lucy all right...She
was wearin' that blue dress...an'
she was walkin' along...
What you saw wasn't Lucy.
It was, I tell you!
What you saw was a buck wearin'
(they stare at him)
I found Lucy back there in that
canyon...I wrapped her in my blanket
an' buried her with m'own hands...I
thought it best to keep it from you --
long as I could.
He can't look at Brad or at Martin. Brad can't speak -- and
Did they...? Was she...?
Ethan wheels on him in shouting fury.
What've I got to do -- draw you a
picture?...Spell it out?...Don't ever
ask me!...Long as you live don't ever
ask me more!
Brad wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. He turns --
walking stiff-legged as though on stilts back to his horse.
He bends his head against the saddle, as though to hide his
grief. Martin turns away from him and walks back to Ethan.
And in that moment, Brad mounts and takes off in the same
direction from which he had ridden in.
They run for their horses.
92-A EXT. ROUGH ROLLING COUNTRY - NIGHT - MOVING - CLOSE SHOT - BRAD
He comes pounding down a slope, and he takes off his hat and
skims it away. He rips off a neckerchief as though to
relieve the rush of raging blood.
92-B EXT. THE EDGE OF A RISE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - BRAD - NIGHT
He reaches the crest and reins in. A distant firelight is on
his face. He takes one moment to look down into the Comanche
camp o.s. Then he has his gun out. His eyes are wild, his
face wet with sweat. Then he throws back his head and he
yells -- and with the yell goes charging into the camp.
92-C EXT. A RIDGE - FULL SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN - NIGHT
They rein in -- staring -- as from afar they hear Brad's yell
echoing and bouncing off the canyon walls. There is nothing
they can do. They hear his shouts, then the quick bark of his
.44, and the angry shouts of the Comanche.
92-D EXT. COMANCHE CAMP - EXTREME CLOSEUP - BRAD - RIDING - NIGHT
His face is red with the reflected light of the fires he is
passing o.s. and his eyes are alight with a crazy, savage
joy. His gun cracks once, then again -- and the hammer
clicks on a spent shell.
92-E EXT. COMANCHE CAMP - CLOSE SHOT - SCAR - NIGHT
He stands apart, warbow drawn and arrow notched. He releases
it at his running target. We hear its impact and a high
gasp of pain...and then the jubilant, yammering yells of
92-F EXT. A RIDGE - FULL ON MARTIN AND ETHAN AS BEFORE - NIGHT
The distant yammering of the Comanches doesn't quite drown
out one stifled scream of pain; we can surmise a scalping
knife was busy in the last instance of Brad's life. Martin
slumps in his saddle. Ethan listens a moment, then turns
Let's just hope he took some with
He turns his horse back the way they had come. Martin
stares at him.
What you goin' to do?
Get some sleep...Tomorrow's another
Slowly, he rides away. Slowly, reluctantly but helpless to
do otherwise, Martin follows.
100 EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - LOW ANGLE SHOT - DAY
A study of horseprints etched in the soil -- the mark of
the passage of many horses; perhaps an eagle or turkey
feather fallen from a warbonnet. And then we hear and
see the approach of two plodding horses, and the dusty
boots of the horsemen -- Ethan and Martin -- following
the trail. The Search Theme resumes and continues over
the next three shots, helping us suggest the passage
of time, the change of scene.
101 EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - LONG SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN - DAY
The two figures are little more than specks in a vastness
of savage country.
102 EXT. MOUNTAIN COUNTRY - LOW ANGLE SHOT - DAY
Again we study the hooves of two horses, fighting their
way up a rocky slope and past a thorn bush on which --
fluttering in the mountain wind -- is a torn scrap of
scarlet cloth with a bit of beadwork or Indian decoration.
104 EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - LOW ANGLE SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN -
It is a portrait study of two faces -- etched by wind
and privation and cold into tragic, fanatic masks.
Martin has aged years in a matter of months. Falling
snow flakes touch their faces and begin to rime their
Say it. We're beat!
No...our turnin' back don't change
anything...not in the long run. If
she's alive, she's safe...for a
while...They'll keep her to raise
as one of their own, 'til she's of
an age to...
He turns his mount.
And you think we got a chance to
An Injun will chase a thing til he
thinks he's chased it enough...Then
he quits...Same when he runs...Seems
he never learns there's such a thing
as a critter that might just keep
comin' on...So we'll find them in
the end, I promise you that...We'll
find them just as sure as the turning
of the earth.
106 EXT. THE JORGENSEN HOUSE AND APPROACH - WIDE ANGLE -
The time is spring. It is a year and a half later.
The Jorgensen house is larger than the Edwards place --
of sod and logs, with a covered breezeway connecting
the two separate buildings of the house: one being
the keeping room, the other the sleeping quarters of
the numerous Jorgensen brood. A meadowlark breaks into
his sudden song. A dog or two come barking around the
side of the house as Ethan and Martin ride slowly
from behind CAMERA toward the house. In that instant
a lamp is lighted within the house and Lars Jorgensen
comes to the door.
107 EXT. THE JORGENSEN HOUSE - FULL SHOT - NEAR DOOR -
Jorgensen peers at the two men as they ride up - recog-
nizing them, of course, but ill-prepared for the change
in their appearance and full of unspoken questions.
Bearing a lamp, Mrs. Jorgensen hurries out to stand
beside her husband -- and her face works and tears
begin to well in her eyes. Two tow-headed boys --
13 or 14 -- come after her. Jorgensen makes a little
signal with one hand, not even looking at the boys,
and they hurry out to take the reins as Ethan and Martin
108 EXT. THE JORGENSEN HOUSE - MED. SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN
The passage of time has stamped Martin -- and will continue
during our story more and more to stamp him -- in the
image of Ethan. Now it may show only in the set of his
hat or trick of standing; later it will be in his walk,
in his speech (or paucity of speech). Neither man is sure
of his reception. They are thinking of Brad -- dead
because of their search; and Martin is thinking of
Laurie. And then Mrs. Jorgensen is running across to
Martin and has him in her arms as though he were her
son -- saying nothing, just holding him. He stands
frozen a moment and then he returns the embrace. Ethan
watches a moment, then crosses to Jorgensen.
You got my letter about your son,
Yah...Just about this time a year
It came the day before his...
The Lord giveth--the Lord taketh
Mrs. Jorgensen starts to lead the way inside. Martin
I ain't fit to go indoors, miz
Jorgensen...These clothes is...
Laurie rushes past her mother.
She kisses him hard and full on the mouth -- and has
no eyes for anyone else. Mrs. Jorgensen looks on with
amusement. Martin is just bowled over.
And him probably forgettin' all
about you!...Probably can't even
call your name to mind.
And Laurie smiles triumphantly at her mother.
But I fairly forgot just how pretty
Laurie grabs his hand then and pulls him indoors --
and there is no further resistance from Martin.
Mrs. Jorgensen and her husband converge then on Ethan --
and her face is gravely questioning.
The little one?...Debbie?
Ethan shakes his head. She squeezes his arm reassuringly
and they start indoors.
109 INT. THE SPARE BEDROOM OF THE JORGENSEN'S - MED. SHOT -
MARTIN - NIGHT
This is a room off the kitchen end of the keeping room --
and described in the book as the "grandmother room":
with narrow, slit-like windows, a set of single bunk
beds, possibly a fireplace.
Martin is in a deep wooden tub, taking a hot bath,
currying his back with a long-handled brush. Beyond
him is the door. It opens and Martin turns casually --
and at once stops being casual as Laurie enters and
purposefully crosses to a stool or bench on which his
discarded clothing is scattered.
Hey...What you doin'...?
She picks up the shirt, puts it over one arm; she reaches
for his long-handled and ragged underwear, runs a fist
through a hole in its seat, clucks and shreds it into
rags. During this:
Don't go takin' that stuff...
Ain't worth the mendin'...
She turns and looks at him, matter of fact.
What you gettin' red-in-the-face
for?...I have brothers, haven't I?
Well I ain't one of 'em!
I'm a woman, Martie...
(he tries to say
she goes right on)
We wash and mend your dirty clothes
all our lives...When you're little
we even wash you....How a man can
ever make out to get bashful in
front of a woman I'll never know...
You talk like a feller might just
as leave run around nekkid...
Wouldn't bother me...
(she heads for
I wouldn't try it in front of pa,
though, was I you...
And she is laughing as she closes the door behind her.
110 INT. THE KEEPING ROOM OF THE JORGENSEN HOUSE - FULL SHOT
It is a plastered room, everything bright and shiny;
a big wood-burning cookstove, above it a row of shiny
copper pots; the furniture handmade and probably not too
much unlike the good plain Swedish modern of today.
There should be Scandinavian accents in the decor. All
told, a cheerful, warm-smelling room.
Ethan is talking as Laurie enters the room still carrying
Martin's shirt, the rags of his underwear. She will
wait, listening for a break in what Ethan is saying,
to try to get her mother's attention. Jorgensen is
sitting in his usual chair -- with his boots off, puffing
his pipe more or less in tune with what Ethan is talking
about. Mrs. Jorgensen is in her rocker, darning or
knitting. Ethan is standing near the mantel.
...an' then it snowed and we lost
the trail...No need to tell ya all
the places we went...Fort Richardson,
Fort Wingate an' Cobb...the Anadarko
Agency...Trouble is we don't even
know which band that war party belonged
Mrs. Jorgensen looks up from her darning.
Well, you did all a body could,
I got your boy killed.
Don't go blamin' yourself...
It's this country killed my boy!...
Yes, by golly!
Mrs. Jorgensen stands.
Now Lars!...It so happens we be
Texicans...We took a reachin' hold,
way far out, past where any man has
right or reason to hold on...Or if
we didn't, our folks did...So we
can't leave off without makin' them
out to be fools, wastin' their lives
'n wasted in the way they died...A
Texican's nothin' but a human man
out on a limb...This year an'
next and maybe for a hundred more.
But I don't think it'll be forever.
Someday this country will be a fine
good place to be...Maybe it needs
our bones in the ground before that
time can come...
The speech impresses everyone but Laurie, who probably
hasn't heard a word of it.
Ma!...Martie's drawers is a sight!
Ain't fit for rags!..Would it be
all right if we gave him some of
There is just the briefest hesitation...
Why...'course it would! They're in
And she leads the way briskly, with Laurie following, to
a big chest at the far end of the room.
By golly, the letter...In the chest,
mama...It came for you, Ethan...
Ethan and Jorgensen cross together to where Mrs. Jorgensen
is raising the top of a huge dower chest. She extracts
a letter, wrapped in oilskin against moths.
Joab Wilkes of the Rangers brought
Ethan takes the letter and studies it very carefully
before venturing to open it. Jorgensen is quite
curious, but trying not to seem nosy. The women remain
at the chest -- pulling out various folded garments,
etc. Finally Ethan carefully opens it and takes
out a letter -- dirty as to paper, crudely printed in
pencil and with a horseshoe nail pinning a two-inch
square snip of calico to the bottom of the sheet. He
reads the letter with the habitual difficulty of a man
unused to words and then he turns the letter, removes
the nail and looks at the snip of cloth.
She comes to him, her arms piled with clothing; and
Laurie a step behind her, holding up a new pair of long-
handled underwear -- measuring it with her eyes for
Will you look at this?
He holds out the snip of calico.
Why it's just a snip of calico...
You ever see it before...like mebbe
on a dress Debbie wore?
Yes!..Yes, I remember!..Have they
found her, Ethan?
He takes the calico snip, places it within the letter
and carefully pockets it. He looks broodingly into the
Laurie's face is troubled as she turns from him and heads
for the grandmother room, carrying the armful of clothes.
111 INT. THE SPARE BEDROOM - FULL SHOT - NIGHT
Martin is sitting sulkily on a cot, wrapped in a blanket.
He glares up as Laurie enters. His feet are in his
Might at least have left me my
Shush!...Time for bed anyway...
Likely these'll need some takin'
in...Oh, Martie, you're that gaunted!
...Ma's havin' a turkey for dinner
Ethan opens the door, enters.
Yes, Pa!..Good night, Martie...
good night, Mr. Edwards...
She wants to kiss Martie but is shy in Ethan's presence
and hurries out.
Martin stoops to remove his boots. Ethan studies him
and looks thoughtfully after the girl and at Martin.
He takes the letter out of his pocket -- as though he
meant to read it -- and then he puts it back decisively.
He starts to undress. Martin lies back on his bunk.
Jorgensen's been runnin' his cattle
with my own...
YOUR cattle?...DEBBIE'S cattle!
Ethan returns the stare without any change of expression.
He's agreed to take you on and
share the increase from my herd
while I'm gone...I'll be pushin'
I ain't stayin'...I set out lookin'
for Debbie...I aim to keep on...
Because she's my...my...
She's your nothin'...She's no kin
to you at all!
I always felt like she was...Her
folks takin' me in, raisin' me
like one of their own...
That don't make 'em kin...
All right...I ain't got no kin...
I'm goin' to keep lookin' that's
How? You got any horses, or money
to buy 'em...You ain't even got
money to buy cartridges...Jorgensen's
offering you a good livin' here...
Martin throws himself back, turns his face to the wall.
Ethan looks soberly at him -- and is sorry for the
brutality of his words.
Martin...I want you to know some-
(turning -- mad as
Yeah...you want me to know I ain't got
no kin -- no money -- no horses --
nothing but a dead man's clothes
to wear!..You tole me that already...
Now shut your head!
112 EXT. THE JORGENSEN HOME - WIDE ANGLE - DAWN LIGHT
It is a still scene, with the first light of day in the
sky, a thin plume of smoke rising from the chimney.
113 INT. THE JORGENSEN KEEPING ROOM - MED. CLOSE SHOT - LAURIE -
She is in a robe made of an Indian blanket, belted snugly
around her waist. She wears moccasins for slippers. Her
flannel nightgown is high at the collar and almost trails
the floor. She is at the stove, frying bacon and eggs; a
coffee pot is on the boil. Beyond her the door to the
grandmother room opens and Martin comes in -- dressed in
Brad's clothes. His eyes whip around the room. Laurie
doesn't turn as he slowly approaches.
Ethan rode on...an hour ago.
The starch goes out of him. He walks heavily to the table
and sits, slumped. She looks at him compassionately.
I don't know what you can do about
finding Debbie that he can't...
He just shakes his head, not looking at her. She lifts the
food from the skillet onto a plate and sets it before him.
He'll find her now, Martie...Please
believe me...I know.
He shakes his head. She crosses to the stove for the
That's what scares me -- him findin'
Now it is her turn to stare.
Laurie, I've seen his eyes when he
so much as hears the word 'Comanche'
...I've seen him take his knife an'
...never mind...But he's a man can
go crazy wild...It might come on him
when it was the worst thing could be
...What I counted on, I hoped to be
there to stop him, if such thing
Laurie has poured his coffee. Now he sips it. She sits
at the table with him.
I hoped I could hold you here...But
I guess I knew...So I stole this
She takes Ethan's letter from her breast and hands it to
him. He takes it, puzzled, and slowly reads it aloud.
'I bought a small size dress off a
Injun...If this here is a piece of
yr chiles dress bring reward. I
know where they gone...Jerem
Martin is on his feet.
Futterman!...He's got a little
tradin' post on the South Fork o'
the Brazos...Laurie, I just got
to get me a good horse! Think
yer pa would...
Finish your breakfast...
I gotta catch up with him, Laurie!
(almost in tears --
Go on then! Pa's in the barn
saddlin' the Fort Worth stud...
an' you can take the light gelding
with the blaze...
But that's Sweet-face -- your own
Laurie goes to the front door and throws it wide.
Take it and welcome...but don't
count on finding me here when you
get back...I've been dallying around
this god-forsaken wind-scour almost
two long years waitin' for you...I
ain't cut out to be an old maid!
I can't help it, Laurie...I
just gotta catch up with Ethan...
He runs out and she slams the door, then rests her head
113-A INT. JORGENSEN KEEPING ROOM - FULL SHOT - EARLY MORNING
Mrs. Jorgensen quietly enters the room and sees Laurie with
head pressed against the door. She wants to offer some
word of sympathy, but doesn't know what to say. She
crosses to the stove to pour herself a cup of coffee. Then
we hear the drum of horses' hooves, the sound of Martin
riding away. Laurie flings open the door, almost as though
to call him back.
113-B EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY AND LAKE BEFORE JORGENSEN HOUSE -
ANGLING from behind Laurie in the doorway as Martin, riding
one horse, leading another, goes galloping away.
114 EXT. FUTTERMAN'S TRADING POST - WIDE ANGLE - DAY
A low, squat adobe structure, with a crudely lettered sign-
board proclaiming it:
'JEREM. FUTTERMAN, TRADER'
There are adjacent outbuildings and corral. Four horses
are tied outside, two being pack animals. A surly-looking
white man or breed sits in a stool tilted back near the
door, whittling with a long-bladed knife, eyeing the horses
covetously. He glances aside and glares as a squaw
shuffles along bearing a clumsy load of faggots on her
Fearfully she quickens her step. The man gets up, shoves
knife into belt and heads into the post.
115 INT. FUTTERMAN'S TRADING POST - FULL SHOT - DAY
It is a grimy establishment with some dusty trade goods on
shelves; a counter which serves as a bar; a few plank
tables and benches.
The breed seen outside enters and crosses to a side table
where another mean-looking hombre sits preparing to play
a game of solitaire with a deck of limp cards.
Ethan and Martin are at a table in the center of the room,
examining a dirty, rumpled child's dress -- Debbie's.
Martin nods soberly in answer to Ethan's inquiring look;
yes, it's hers. Both look up as FUTTERMAN crosses from
the bar, carrying a whisky jug and two dirty glasses --
his fingers thrust inside the glasses. Futterman is a
squaw man and a killer -- dead eyes in a white face.
He sets the jug down, picks up one of the glasses -- so
grey and thumb-printed it is almost opaque. Both Ethan
and Martin regard it with disgust. Futterman gives a
slight shrug, takes the dress and starts to wipe the
dirty glass with it. Martin snatches it out of his hand.
How'd you come by this?
You said there'd be a thousand
That's what I said.
You got it with you?
Ethan looks at him and beyond toward the two men.
116 INT. FUTTERMAN'S - CLOSE SHOT - THE TWO PLUG-UGLIES
The solitaire player has a card in mid-air -- frozen,
watching. The other man has the same buzzard-watchful
117 INT. FUTTERMAN'S - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP AS BEFORE
Reward'll be paid when I find
her -- an' if she's alive...
Futterman uncorks the jug, prepares to drink.
Man's got a right to expect some
kind o' payment...I laid out for
the dress an' sendin' you the
He tilts the jug to his mouth as Ethan reaches for his
heavy leather pouch. Futterman watches greedily as Ethan
lets a gold piece slide out. He tosses it onto the table.
Twenty Yankee dollars.
Futterman puts the jug down. His hand inches -- as though
pulled by a magnet -- toward the gold piece.
...an' a man's time is worth
Ethan's big hand clamps over Futterman's and he starts
squeezing as a man would squeeze a lemon. Futterman's lips
A young buck fetched it in late
(Ethan eases the grip)
Said it belonged to a captive chile
of Chief Scar...
Scar? Never heard of any Chief Scar.
Me neither...But this buck claimed he
was a big war chief with the Nawyecky
Scar's band was headin' north...to
winter in at Fort Wingate...eatin'
agency beef. That's what this buck
said...Maybe he lied.
And maybe you lie...
In that case you won't find her --
and I won't get my thousand dollars.
Ethan stands. Martin follows. Martin takes the dress and
folds it carefully.
Stay the night if you want...
(Ethan shakes his head)
Cards?...A jug?...If you'd like
some company, we got a few squaws
on the place...
Ethan and Martin head for the door.
The two plug-uglies stand -- mean ready to do their master's
Don't forget to come back with
my thousand dollars.
Ain't yours yet.
They leave. The CAMERA holds on Futterman as he slowly
rubs his bruised hand. His henchmen drift toward him.
Bad manners...He shoulda said 'good-bye.'
118 EXT. HILLY COUNTRY - MED. SHOT - ETHAN - NIGHT
They have set up camp near a cluster of cottonwoods to
which the horses have been tied. One of the horses is
restless, possibly nickering. Ethan strokes its neck,
looking out thoughtfully into the night -- listening.
Acts like somethin's out there.
Smells a change in the weather...
CAMERA PANS him to where Martin is spreading his blanket
some little distance from the small fire.
Wouldn't surprise me if we didn't
have a frost 'fore mornin'...Here...
(he picks up a
saddle and puts
it close to fire)
Whyn't you bed down closer to the
Martin is a bit surprised as Ethan takes the blanket and
spreads it near the saddle -- making the saddle serve as a
pillow. Then Ethan tosses a few more heavy pieces of dry
wood on the fire, making it blaze up.
Hey! What's the idea...?
Maybe I'm gettin' like Mose Harper
-- my bones is cold tonight...
He spreads his own blanket as Martin wraps into his bedroll,
and when Martin turns, he casually arranges the blanket to
suggest it is over the figure of a man. During this:
Funny...When we passed through
Fort Wingate last winter, we didn't
hear mention of any Nawyecky Comanche
Ethan steps back -- and studies the "dummy."
Not so funny...if you recollect what
Ethan studies Martin's back -- the light on him -- and looks
around figuring the range of fire.
Sorta like 'roundabout' -- like a
man says he's goin' one place when
he means to go just the reverse...
You all settled an' comfortable now?
Martin just grunts and snugs deeper into his blanket. Ethan
nods his satisfaction -- sure Martin isn't going to change
positions. Then he takes off his hat and boots and uses them
to complete the dummy. He picks up his rifle then and
quietly walks out of the camp.
119 EXT. HILLY COUNTRY - A RAVINE OR ARROYO - FULL SHOT - THREE
MEN - NIGHT
Three shadowy figures -- Futterman and his two henchmen --
are quietly dismounting, taking rifles from saddle scabbards.
At a hand signal from Futterman, they quietly fan out
120 EXT. NIGHT CAMP - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTIN
still snug in his blankets, sound asleep; the fire burning
a little lower but still shedding plenty of light on him.
121 EXT. HILLY COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - FROM BEHIND FUTTERMAN AND
At a crouch or crawling, the three worm their way among some
rocks until they reach a slight rise looking down into the
camp. Martin is asleep and next to him is Ethan's dummy,
hat over its face, and the fire still burning. The two
henchmen snake their rifles up to a firing position. A
shot cracks...and one man is knocked flat on his face.
The other whirls in the direction of the shot, his rifle
swinging in search of a target. A second shot splits the
night and the breed falls as though hit by a giant fist...
Martin is sitting up now, staring wildly around. Futterman
starts to run down-slope, away from the hidden marksman,
dodging between the rocks. A third shot catches him in
the back and he spins and falls and rolls down the slope
into the firepit camp area. Martin is on his feet now.
122 EXT. NIGHT CAMP - FULL SHOT - MARTIN
He is staring at Futterman, face down and almost at his
feet. He looks around in fear at someone approaching --
hand going to his gun. Then he relaxes as Ethan casually
enters the camp, bareheaded, carrying his rifle.
Thanks...you did just fine...
Ethan kneels beside Futterman, turns him over, reaches
into his pockets -- first one, then another.
He just couldn't wait...
(watching him go
Ethan grins satisfiedly as he straightens and spins the
gold piece in the air, catches it and pockets it.
Even got my twenty dollars back...
We did all right.
And now Martin is getting the whole picture...and he's mad.
WE?...You just used me for bait --
staked me out like a...buildin' up
the fire...fixin' it so's...I
coulda had my brains blowed out!
Ethan is just grinning at him -- completely unruffled,
denying none of it.
Suppose you'd missed!
Ethan sobers a little, seems honestly surprised.
Never occurred to me...
123 EXT. THE JORGENSEN HOME - WIDE ANGLE - DAY
It is a day in early winter. Charlie MacCorry, short-
coated, is galloping across the yard as Jorgensen crosses
it -- carrying a load of firewood.
Howdy, Mister Jorgensen...
MacCorry swings off his saddle near the porch, as the door
opens and Mrs. Jorgensen comes out -- shawled against the
Got a letter here...
Jorgensen lets the cordwood drop...
By golly! A letter?
For Miss Laurie...
Come in, Charlie, come in...
LAURIE!...My land!...Two letters
in the one year!...
124 INT. JORGENSEN KEEPING ROOM - FULL SHOT
as Charlie enters, following Mrs. Jorgensen. Jorgensen
excitedly enters and closes the door. Laurie comes in from
another room. Charlie smiles and bows clumsily.
A letter for you, Laurie...
Yes'm...Figgered it might be the
news you been waitin' for...so...
He hands the letter to Laurie who comes over eagerly, takes
it and studies the wrapper before opening it.
Real good o' you to ride all the
way over, Charlie...Might at least
say your thank you's, Laurie...
No need to...
But Laurie has no interest in anything but the letter which
she is reading skimmingly.
Laurie! Don't keep a body just
Laurie looks up then.
I was just readin' to see if...
Anyway, it's MY letter!
'Course it is. Now let's all get
comfortable an' set so's we can
listen while Laurie reads her
if to go)
Maybe I'd better be goin'...
You stay, Charlie...After all,
Charlie brought the letter, Laurie...
He got a right to listen too!
Mrs. Jorgensen has been pulling and pushing chairs around
and now they all take places. Jorgensen automatically
reaches for his glasses on the mantel and puts them on --
even though he isn't going to read the letter. Laurie
has been sneaking looks at some of the other pages.
Oh, all right! Well...Martin says...
From the beginning...
'Dear Miss Laury'...He spells it with
a Y instead of an I...E...Wouldn't you
think he'd know...
Who cares what he spells it? Read
Dear Miss Laury...I take pen in hand
to let you know Ethan and me still
are trying to catch up with them Com-
anches the late Mister Futterman told
She breaks off, looks up -- puzzled.
The late Mister Futterman?
That means Mister Futterman is dead,
Wonder what happened to the poor man.
Go on, Laurie.
(resuming the letter)
We cut north through Indian territory
(her voice fades)
125 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - LATE SUMMER OR FALL - ETHAN AND MARTIN
leading their pack animals. Martin's voice picks up the
Soon we was meeting up with Kiowas
an' Wichitas an' even some Comanches
camped by one of the agencies...
126 WIDE ANGLE - A COMANCHE ENCAMPMENT - ETHAN AND MARTIN - DAY
FALL WEATHER (SILENT)
The camp is on the outskirts of a trading post. Indians
watch unsmilingly from tepees, or in little clusters afoot;
a few mounted braves ride on parallel courses as Ethan and
Martin ride through camp toward the post.
But none of them was Nawyecky's nor
claimed to know a war chief named
Scar...He's the one the late Mister
Futterman said had Debbie...
127 INT. APPLEBY'S TRADING POST - MED. SHOT (SILENT) - DAY
This trading post is in marked contrast to Futterman's --
being well-stocked, clean and presided over by HIRAM
APPLEBY, a resolute, clean-looking man of middle years.
Ethan and Martin -- in winter garb -- are being shown a
variety of trade goods, including a shoebox full of ornate
ribbon rosettes, such as are awarded animals at stock
fairs. Appleby is solemnly affirming the trade value of
these, as well as sleeve garters, etc.
At one o' the agencies we outfitted
with all kind an' manner of trade
goods...figgerin' that'd make it
easier for us to come an' go...You'd
laugh if I told you what was our
128 EXT. INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - MED. CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN AND FAT
INDIAN - EARLY WINTER OR FALL DAY
Ethan is ceremoniously pinning something on the stern-faced
buck. It is one of the rosettes seen in the shoebox.
CAMERA MOVES to an extreme CLOSEUP of the rosette. On it,
in gold letters, is:
LARD TYPE HOG
129 EXT. INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - FULL SHOT - EARLY FALL OR WINTER
As the Indian proudly steps back, we see beyond him a half
dozen other braves -- all rosetted. Ethan looks them
over complacently while Martin -- to hide the smile that
threatens to split his face -- bends to pick up a huge
bundle of furs.
130 INT. JORGENSEN KEEPING ROOM - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP
reading the letter. She is at the bottom of a page.
'There is one other thing I got
to tell you before you hear it
from Ethan...How I got myself a
She stops and stares.
She looks at them - dazed.
(smacking his knee --
very happy indeed)
Good! A young man should get
married early in life. Right,
Mrs. Jorgensen, full of sympathy for Laurie, just glares
at her husband.
Every young man should at least
once...Go on, Laurie! Read!
A little Comanche squaw - SQUAW!
And with that she crumples the letter and throws it into
Jorgensen is out of his chair and scrambling in the fireplace
to recover the letter. He fetches it out, beating the
sparks out. The letter is basically undamaged.
Is no way to treat a letter, Laurie
...Mama maybe you better read it...
(to Charlie, proudly)
My wife was a school teacher, Charlie
...She reads good.
Laurie snatches the letter back.
I'll read it...
Charlie crosses the room, picks up a guitar.
So he married a Comanche squaw...Haw
Laurie glares at him. He begins chording the guitar.
131 EXT. INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTIN AND
"LOOK" - FALL OR EARLY WINTER - DAY
"LOOK" is somewhat under five feet tall, pigeon-toed,
platter-faced and wide-eyed. Over her arm is a very hand-
some blanket. She is coming forward shyly toward Martin,
propelled by a Comanche -- her father. Martin, with an
armful of trade goods -- a few yards of bright calico,
a couple of AGED SOW rosettes and some trinkets -- is
indicating the blanket. Look glances shyly at her father.
He shakes his head negatively. Look is disappointed.
The father points to Martin's pile of trade goods. Martin
bends and picks up the indicated object: it is a battered
high-crowned beaver hat. The Indian grunts his approval and
puts it on. Look looks relieved. Martin reaches for the
blanket. Look takes a quick step backward and holds up
one finger: wait! Then she runs back through the other
Comanches now crowding forward.
132 EXT. INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - ANOTHER ANGLE - FULL SHOT -
who rides in slowly, leading their pack horse and Martin's
Let's go...I think I stumbled onto
The name registers with some of the nearer braves. There is
a quick interchange of glances, frowning, hostile.
When are you goin' to learn to
keep your mouth shut! Come on.
Let's get out of here.
But I just bought a good blanket.
Martin mounts and the two ride out. The Comanches stare
after them suspiciously, resentfully.
133 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN - MOVING
SHOT - EARLY WINTER DAY
They are riding down a slight grade beyond which (we can
assume) is the Comanche camp.
What I heard back there was that
a band o' hostile Nawyeckas came
through this way less'n two weeks
Think it might be...?
He breaks and both turn as Look rides over the hill on a
little spotted Indian pony, with her squaw-bag slung up
behind her and her blanket over the saddle. She closes the
gap between them.
What's she followin' for?
Look smiles shyly at Martin.
Look, I changed my mind...You can
keep your blanket.
He gestures for her to go back.
Go on back...
She stares and then dutifully wheels her horse. Martin and
Ethan face front again. Look wheels her horse again and is
right with them. Martin stops - exasperated.
Look...you don't understand...
(he waves her away)
I don't want it.
Look just sits.
YOU don't understand, ya chunkhead!
You didn't buy any blanket! Ya
You got yourself a wife, sonny!
Oh no! Tell her she's got to go
And have her whole family after our
scalps for floutin' one o' their
women?...No sir! Come on,
Look smiles and sets her horse in motion as Ethan moves
ahead. Martin's face is a mask of comic despair as he
gives up. He is mouthing the words --
And Ethan suddenly breaks into song; to the tune of "Skip
To My Lou:"
I got another gal purtier'n you
I got another gal purtier'n you
I got another gal purtier'n you
Skip to my Lou, my darlin'.
134 EXT. NIGHT CAMP - OPEN COUNTRY - CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN - NIGHT
Ethan is wrapped in his blanket roll, head propped by an
elbow, grinning sardonically as he watches a strange ritual
in the camp. The score is softly reprising "Skip to my
135 EXT. NIGHT CAMP - FULL SHOT - PAST ETHAN - NIGHT
Look is standing with her blanket folded over one arm, her
head shyly downcast, not far from where Martin (back to
her) is spreading his own bed roll. He sits on it then
and begins pulling off his boots. He is very conscious
of Ethan's watchful scrutiny. Finally he is ready. He
lies back on his blanket. At once Look is at his side
to spread her own blanket. Martin sits bolt upright and
tugs his blanket free and wraps it protectively around
him. She stares at him, puzzled.
She nods her understanding, hurries off to fetch a canteen.
Martin glares at Ethan.
That's the way to train 'em. Looks
like Mrs. Pauley's goin' to make you
a fine beautiful wife...
Cut it out, will ya...
Look returns with the canteen, hands it to Martin and kneels
beside him. He looks at her sympathetically.
Look...I wish I could explain to you.
And now Look speaks for the first time. She indicates
Now she jabbers in Comanche and, at the appropriate time,
will point to the sky and imitate a bird flying.
Nay tzare T'sala-ta-komal-ta-name...
unt kang-yah Look.
(My father calls me Wild Goose Flying
in the Night Sky...but you call me
Martin looks blank, but Ethan chuckles.
Says her name's Wild Goose Flying in
the Night Sky...but she'll answer to
Look since it pleases ya...
She nods and smiles and quickly settles alongside him and
spreads her blanket over them both. Martin recoils, plants
his foot in the small of her back and sends her sprawling.
Ethan busts a gut laughing. Martin jumps to his feet,
I don't think it's so funny...If you
want to do some good, whyn't you ask
her where Scar is?
Ethan stares at the girl. Her face is suddenly impassive as
she looks from Martin to the ground.
She heard ya-all right...An' she
He gets to his feet and he crosses to stand before her. So
Unt osupanet cah-nay Scar?
(You know where Scar is?)
She stares sullenly, not answering.
You ask her!
(she faces him)
Do you know where he went? And if he
has a girl with him...a white girl --
nai-bist pabo taibo...
She stands...She indicates Martin. She indicates herself.
No...not my wife...My...
How do you say sister?
She looks gravely from Ethan to Martin. Then, with impassive
face, she bends swiftly, picks up her blanket and walks away
from them to choose her own sleeping place. The two men
don't know what to make of it.
136 EXT. CAMP - OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN -
It is the same scene the following morning. The men are
standing above where Look had bedded for the night,
looking at the ground. Clearly marked on the hard
ground is a crudely drawn arrow.
Beats me how she could get that
pony out o' camp without neither
of us hearin' a thing...
She ain't goin' back to her family,
that's certain...not if she took
off where the arrow points.
Think she means for us to follow?
How should I know...She's YOUR wife!
He walks toward their horses, starts to saddle up.
I think maybe we oughta...
(hiding a grin)
Yeah, I kinda figgered you'd say
that...Bein' a new husband and all...
And Ethan starts singing "Skip to My Lou" half under his
breath. Martin gives him a sour side-glance and continues
137 INT. JORGENSEN HOME - GROUP AS BEFORE - LAURIE READING -
Mrs. Jorgensen is bringing a lighted lamp over to the
table where Laurie is reading against the fading light
of day. Jorgensen's pipe has gone out and he lights it.
Maybe she left other signs for us
to follow but we'll never know --
'cause it snowed all day and all
the next week...We were heading north,
through the buffalo country when
something happened that I ain't got
straight in my own mind yet...
(her voice fades)
137-A EXT. SNOW COUNTRY - WIDE ANGLE SHOT - TWO RIDERS
The two men are picking their way through a snow-mantled
grove. Martin's voice resumes the narration.
Ethan's always been throwing it up
to me that I'm a quarter-breed...I
never figgered it made much
137-B EXT. BUFFALO HERD - WIDE ANGLE SHOT - DAY (COLO. FOOTAGE)
But this day we came on a small
herd. We needed some meat so we
137-C EXT. THE HERD - ANOTHER ANGLE (COLO. FOOTAGE)
...and came up on 'em afoot...
They hadn't been hunted, so it was
no trick workin' in close.
137-D EXT. THE HERD - MARTIN AND ETHAN - DAY (COLO. FOOTAGE)
The two men walk from behind CAMERA. Ethan aims, fires
and brings down a bull.
Ethan got a nice one on his first
shot, but then he began killing one
after another -- cows as well as
bulls -- fast as he could fire and
load...It was just a slaughter...
no sense to it...
137-E EXT. THE HERD BEGINNING TO RUN (COLO. FOOTAGE)
Shots cracking out -- the terrified bawling of the bulls --
the beginning of the stampede.
137-F EXT. MED. CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN (PROCESS)
Martin strides across to where Ethan is firing.
Ethan, quit it!
What's the sense in it!
Ethan turns and swings a backhand blow which catches
Martin by surprise and fells him.
(in a fury)
Hunger! -- Empty bellies! That's
the sense in it, you Cherokee!..
He swings up his gun and fires again -- and again...
as Martin stares at him from the ground.
137-G EXT. THE HERD - LONG SHOT - THE STAMPEDE (COLO. FOOTAGE)
Fear-maddened animals are swinging into full stampede
fleeing the deadly marksman. Rifle shots keep cracking
137-H EXT. MED. CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN AS BEFORE (PROCESS)
The thunder of the hooves is receding and Ethan grimly
lowers his rifle. Martin picks himself up -- still
staring at Ethan as though at a madman. Ethan turns
and looks at him.
Least, THEY won't feed any Comanches
this winter...Killin' buffalo's as
good as killin' Injuns in this country.
Peaceful tribes depend on the buffalo,
Ain't that too bad...If you feel
that sorry for your kinfolk, I'm
surprised you didn't take up with
that squaw wife of yours...
He whips out his shinning knife and strides toward the
dead buffalo o.s. Martin looks after him with troubled
expression. Suddenly he hears something, borne faint
by the wind.
Ethan turns. Now faintly, little more than a shred of
sound, is the distant blowing of a bugle.
Listen!..Hear it?...There! Ain't
that a bugle...and firing?
Ethan stares -- and then the bugle sound repeats and the
distant crack of shots, from long miles off.
Just hope we ain't too late...
And the two break and run for their horses.
141 EXT. A RIVER - WIDE ANGLE - CAVALRY CROSSING WITH
PRISONERS - DAY
It was all over long before we
got there and the soldiers was
high-tailin' it back to the agency
with their prisoners -- squaws
mostly -- by the time Ethan and
me reached the camp...
142 EXT. SNOW SLOPE - WIDE ANGLE - ETHAN AND MARTIN
Horses and riders plunge downslope through breast-high
It was the Nawyecky Comanches all
right -- the ones we'd been looking
for all this time...
143 EXT. BURNING INDIAN VILLAGE - WIDE ANGLE - ETHAN AND
MARTIN - DAY
as they ride in, passing dead horses, a few bodies of men.
Trouble of it was that the soldiers
had hit when most of the fightin'
men was away -- huntin' maybe...
So most of the dead was old men
and women an' kids...And it was
in one of the tepees Ethan found
her -- the little squaw who wanted
me to call her Look...
Ethan has dismounted in front of one of the tepees,
144 INT. TEPEE - FULL SHOT - DAY
as Ethan enters. A body -- Look's -- is sprawled on
the ground. He crosses, turns her over. Martin enters
Well, you're a widower now...
What'd the soldiers have to kill
He sees something clutched in her hand. He stoops
Ethan, who has turned indifferently to leave, pauses.
Martin shows him what Look had been clutching -- Debbie's
Look! It's hers, Debbie's...
Ethan snatches it, stares at it. Then he turns and runs
from the tepee. Martin stares at Look's body, then
covers it with a robe.
So we knew Debbie had been in the
village...What Look was doing there --
whether she'd come to warn them,
or maybe to find Debbie for me...
there's no way of knowing...
He turns and then slowly heads out.
145 EXT. THE TEPEE - ETHAN AND MARTIN
Ethan stands there, his expression bleak, looking at
the scene. Martin joins him.
We gotta catch up with them
yellow legs...Maybe they got her
Ethan isn't thinking of that at all.
And maybe they got Scar!
They start away -- fast.
146 EXT. SNOW COUNTRY - WIDE ANGLE - THE CAVALRY AND PRISONERS -
A long line stretching across the landscape -- women
falling and being prodded along by their captors. From
behind CAMERA ride Ethan and Martin and move to
intercept the column.
147 EXT. THE COLUMN - FULL SHOT - DAY
as Ethan and Martin come closer and look at the shawled
prisoners stumbling along.
148 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN - DAY
as a young OFFICER spurs out of the column and rides
We're looking for a girl -- a white
She'd be about thirteen now...
We got two around that age...
You'll have to wait until we reach
the agency...Fall in behind the
But couldn't you...?
Keep the column moving!..Close ranks
The officer spurs out to rejoin the column. Martin looks
at Ethan, his face alive with hope. But Ethan is just
looking stonily along the line of passing prisoners.
149 EXT. THE NOKONI AGENCY - WIDE ANGLE - DAY
The column of cavalry and prisoners enters the agency
(COLORADO FOOTAGE). We see the dead and wounded on
travois; the agency Indians watching stoically; the
prisoners -- some of them -- being herded into a
150 INT. OFFICE OF NOKONI AGENCY - FULL SHOT - DAY
The office has been set up as a temporary army head-
quarters. The GENERAL is being interviewed by two
Eastern newspaper CORRESPONDENTS. At a table beyond
is a telegrapher, sending out a report of the victory.
A pot-bellied stove supplies heat and the General is
warming his hands at it, intermittently. An adjutant
is rather wearily filling out a long official form.
The General, for all his mudded boots remains a beau
sabreur and is loosely modeled upon a certain other
well-known glory hunter of the Indian wars. He wears
a colonel's straps, but insists upon his brevet rank.
And it was clear to me the
hostiles outnumbered us four to
one...with all the advantage of
Four to one! What did you do,
Ethan and Martin enter, stand in the doorway.
Sir -- we charged!..Gentlemen -- and
I hope you will quote me -- I cannot
say too much for the courage of the
men who followed me into that
Cheyenne! What Cheyenne?
I beg your pardon?
That camp you hit was Nawyecka
Comanche...Chief Scar's bunch...
Scar? What a wonderful name!...
(to his aide)
Are you getting this, Keefer?
How do you spell that word -- Nawyecka?
Ethan ignores him, still facing the General.
My name's Edwards...I'm looking for
my niece...she was in that camp
when you attacked...
Well...I know there were some
Four of 'em dead...so we were told...
Unfortunately, the hostiles murdered
them as we developed the village...
Are you sure they didn't die of
carbine shots fired by a bunch
o' Yank bluebellies so scared they
couldn't tell the difference between
a Cheyenne and a Comanche?
Keefer!..Put this man under arrest!
That'll be the day...
'As we developed the village'...
Next time you develop a village,
hit it where the fightin' men are...
You won't get any headlines for
Shall I show him the captives, sir?
Just get him out of here!
(he crosses to
151 INT. THE CHAPEL - MED. CLOSE SHOT - ANGLING TO DOOR -
The door is opened by a guard and Ethan takes a step
into the room -- then stops in manifest shock. Martin
is at his heels, eager and expectant. Beyond them
stands Keefer, grave and compassionate. There is a
keening sound in the room -- almost an animal sound.
152 INT. THE CHAPEL - REVERSE SHOT - FULL
It is a simple log-sided room with plank benches without
backs. Up front is a small box-like pulpit, no altar.
Across the front of the room, set up either on benches
or on boards over saw-horses are four blanket-covered
figures -- at least two being the bodies of children.
Squatting on the floor near them is an elderly white
woman with hair hanging loosely down her back and clad
in Indian robes. Standing, facing the newcomers, is
a woman who may be no more than in her mid-thirties.
She is mad -- wild-eyed, frightened, with matted,
unbrushed golden hair, torn garments. It is she who has
been making the keening sound, the animal moans. Now
she crouches at the sight of them and looks desperately
for a means of escape. Two girls are asleep, heads
together and backs to the door. One has light hair,
like Debbie's; the other brown hair. The afternoon sun
coming through a high window touches the light hair.
He has seen the light hair and starts crossing the room.
Now the madwoman begins her screaming, running from side to
side like a trapped animal. Ethan follows Martin into
the room, Keefer behind him. Martin comes to a stop,
realizing the woman is afraid of him. The two sleeping
girls stir, but do not turn.
Don't be scared, ma'am...
The madwoman crouches behind one of the benches, looking
at them with frightened eyes.
Just don't pay any attention to her...
Martin swallows and nods and crosses to the light-haired
girl. He reaches a hand gingerly to touch her shoulder.
At the touch, the girl is on her feet, crouching -- one
hand, like a claw, drawn back to rake his face. She
is unmistakably a white girl, but she is painted like
a Comanche woman -- her ears red inside, streaks of
paint accenting the savagery of her face. Her eyes
are frightened, yet full of hate.
The other girl has risen almost in the same instant --
but more out of fear. She is younger, but painted like
the other. She moves to stand behind the savage one.
I ain't sure...Where's that doll?
Martin stares at him, then realizes what he has in mind.
He fishes the rag doll from under his coat and holds it
out to the girl. She looks at it...and we may almost
suspect it is rekindling a memory -- but then she spits
at it. The other girl laughs. Martin turns away and
Was your niece about their age?
Not far from it...
Hard to realize they're white,
They're not white any more -- they're
Comanche!...Let's see the bodies...
Martin nerves himself for the ordeal, turns to follow.
I don't need you...
Ethan and Keefer move away. As they do, the madwoman --
eyes fixed on the rag doll in Martin's hand -- begins
creeping up behind him. Martin is torturedly watching
Ethan and Keefer as first one blanket then another is
raised -- we will never see the dead. During this:
I'd like you to see them all...It
might help us identify them...
Shot in the head -- flash-burn
range...The boy got his skull
cracked...Here's the girl...
Martin stiffens, waiting.
Martin relaxes...and in that instant the madwoman has
the doll in her hands. She cradles it and she croons.
Martin reaches to take it away. But she calmly sits,
cradling the doll, and rocks to and fro, humming a
lullaby. He can't take it. Ethan returns.
Well, we only got the one lead --
Scar...And where we begin to look,
I don't know...
There's one thing. We recovered
a bushel of trinkets in that camp...
cheap stuff...trade goods...Couldn't
help noticing that most of it was
Mexican...Maybe if you could talk to
some of those Mexican traders along
the border...What do they call
That's the breed...Course it might
Time's running out...But I'm obliged
153 INT. JORGENSEN KEEPING ROOM - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP -
Laurie has reached the last page of the letter, reading
it by the lamp on the table. Jorgensen is knocking out
the dead ashes of his pipe. Charlie is in the shadows,
a guitar in his hands -- not playing it, but occasionally
softly picking a note or chord. Mrs. Jorgensen is dabbing
moist eyes with a corner of her apron.
...so we're setting out for
New Mexico Territory in the morning...
I am sorry I won't be back for
Christmas again this year...
She swallows hard, pauses a moment in her reading.
And you knittin' that muffler...
What's the difference!
Well, I just thought it would be
a sin and a shame not to let
SOMEONE get some good of it...
She looks almost too obviously at Charlie, which annoys
Laurie. Laurie resumes her letter reading:
There's a word crossed out...It
looks like 'I wish' or 'I will'...
(she gives up)
Anyway...'I set pen aside in the hope
you are enjoying good health and your
folks the same...I remain, respectfully...
yours truly, Martin Paulie.'
That's all there is. Not a cross on it. Laurie just
looks at it. Jorgensen stands, pocketing his pipe,
easing the crick in his back. He ceremoniously removes
the spectacles and replaces them on the mantel.
They never find that girl.
(half to herself)
And he even has to write his full
name...Martin Pauley...not even
I don't care if he never comes
She heads for the front door.
(rising -- saying it
Charlie hits the guitar a little stronger. Mrs. Jorgensen
looks at him -- and the matchmaker is at work.
Charlie, you'll stay for supper?...
Now I won't take no for an answer.
Thought of saying 'no' never crossed
my mind, Miz Jorgensen...No place
I'd rather be than right here,
Mrs. Jorgensen smiles and moves about her duties. Laurie
has opened the door and is staring out wistfully...and
Charlie begins playing and singing a verse from
"Skip to My Lou."
One old boot and a button shoe
One old boot and a button shoe...
154 EXT. DESERT COUNTRY - WIDE ANGLE - ETHAN AND MARTIN
RIDING - DAY
The search theme is heard again as the two riders, with
single pack horse, are heading south through New Mexico.
It is hot country.
155 EXT. DESERT COUNTRY - CLOSE MOVING SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN
Their faces are sun-tanned, burned dark and dry. Gone are
the heavy coats and clothing of their northern days. They
do not speak, just ride -- and there is the same bleak,
fanatic, hard look about them both. The music theme segues
into something livelier and Mexican as we -
156 EXT. A MEXICAN VILLAGE - FULL SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN - DAY
It is a small place -- a single dirt street, a few adobe
houses; a few racks of dried meat; a burro with a load of
faggots on its back being driven along by a small boy; the
music coming from a little cantina in the middle of the
street. Before the cantina is a bone rack of a horse,
without a saddle -- only a blanket pad. There is some-
thing familiar about the horse and Ethan is staring at
it as they ride in.
157 EXT. THE CANTINA - FULL SHOT - DAY
The two men dismount, beating dust out of their clothes.
Ethan takes another look at the sorry old nag tied outside.
Martin pauses beside Ethan.
Martin shakes his head. They start toward the cantina.
There couldn't be two like that
in all the world...
158 INT. THE CANTINA - FULL SHOT - DAY
as Ethan and Martin enter. It is a dirt-floored room with
a small bar near the door, chairs and benches along the
walls. A pair of guitar players are at the far end of the
room. A couple of Mexicans are playing a noisy game of
dominoes, slapping the dominoes down hard...EMILIO
FIGUEROA, back to the door, spurred boots across one of
the tables, is sipping a drink. Emilio is a cynical,
middle-aged, aristocratic-looking man in modified charro
costume. Watching the domino game is ESTRELLA, lithe,
sensuous, smoking a brown-paper cigarette; she is bare-
foot. Behind the bar is the proprietor, dozing on his
stool. Ethan takes a step into the room.
The proprietor awakens. The domino game is suspended in
mid-play. Estrella turns...and from beside Emilio, pre-
viously obscured by the man's back and the big charro
hat, pokes the head of old Mose. Emilio turns then to
look at the newcomers.
He is on his feet and advancing to meet them. As he recog-
nizes them a wide, foolish grin splits his face and his
mouth opens and closes in words that won't come out. He
grabs and shakes Ethan's arm, then Martin's.
Leggo my arm...You look mangier
Ain't been too good...No sir, not
too good...Gettin' old, Ethan...
You were born old...
(all smiles - as they
head for the bar)
Y' par' el Viejo -- el vino del
Martin puts his back to the bar, leans elbows on it and
158A INT. THE CANTINA - ANGLING PAST MARTIN TOWARD ESTRELLA
She is giving him an appraising once-over, then signals
the musicians to play. She rests her buttocks against a
table and waits, her eyes challenging Martin to make a
move. Emilio is watching Estrella and Martin with some-
thing akin to bored amusement.
158B INT. THE CANTINA - ANGLE AT BAR
Ethan has poured a drink for Mose, now one for himself --
leaving Martin's glass empty.
I been helpin' ye, Ethan...I been
lookin' all the time...
Martin turns back to the bar to take his glass. He finds
(to Ethan's back)
Thanks for nothin'...
He angrily throws a coin on the counter, appropriates
the bottle and his glass and heads for a table closer to
Estrella. Neither Ethan nor Mose seems aware of his going.
Well, the reward still stands...
Don't want no money, Ethan...jus'
a place -- a roof over m' head...a
little grub...a bunk to sleep in...
an' a rockin' chair by the fire...
my own rockin' chair by a fire...
You help me find her, you got your
Swear it, Ethan?...Given word?
Told ya, didn't I?
Ethan...I found a man's seen her...
knows where little Debbie is!
Ethan stares at him. Mose nods his reaffirmation of it.
Then Ethan's hand locks on the old man's shoulder.
Who? Where is he...this man?
Mose winces under the grip. He can't speak, but he looks
past Ethan and he points. Ethan turns. Emilio swings his
boots off the table and slowly crosses to them. He lets
cigarette smoke curl out of his mouth. Then he smiles.
I am this man, senor...Emilio
Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa...
at your service...
...for a price...
...Always for a price...
As the men study each other, Estrella begins her dance --
and the rhythmic click of the castanets will beat like a
metronome. Emilio looks at the bottle on the bar, dis-
dainfully pushes it away and imperiously signals the
proprietor to bring something better.
159 INT. THE CANTINA - ANGLING PAST MARTIN TO ESTRELLA
He is knocking off his tequila and looking at the girl
hungrily. She is doing her swaying dance, playing up to
him and with unmistakable effect. He sloshes another drink
into his glass and, never taking his eyes off her, downs it.
160 INT. THE CANTINA - FULL SHOT - ANOTHER ANGLE - THE DANCE
Beyond Estrella we see Ethan, Emilio, and Mose at the bar --
gestures, headshakes, the entire pantomime of an inaudible
conversation. Then Ethan takes out his pouch and begins
dropping gold pieces into Emilio's hand. Meanwhile, dance
and dancer are achieving their purpose with Martin. And
the tequila is working. He gets to his feet, a little
groggily. Estrella's smile deepens and there is a clear
invitation in her eyes...Ethan turns then, his deal with
Emilio concluded, and he sees what is going on. He starts
for Martin's table just as Martin moves out to take the
Come on, Don Juan...We're on our
Martin tries to push him away, his eyes still on
(taking his arm)
You breeds are all alike -- two
Martin breaks free and squares off.
Take yer hands off'n me...This
lady an' me got some things to
Estrella ranges herself alongside of Martin and slips an
arm possessively through his.
Suit yourself...While you're enjoyin'
your little conversation, I'll be
ridin' out with Senor Fernandez here...
The Comanch' medicine country ain't
far...there's one camp with a chief
Never heard of him...
Cicatriz is Mex for Scar...an' he
has a white girl in his tepee...Be
He turns and heads out. Emilio, who has come up behind him,
gives Estrella a slight smile and bow.
Buena suerte, Estrella...Hasta
He follows Ethan. Estrella swings her body close to
Martin and lets her arms slide around his neck.
Martin blinks to clear away the fog of tequila and desire.
(a bitter laugh)
Sure...sure...Only not this year...
He pulls her arms away and goes lurching after the others.
Mose catches his arm.
'Mind Ethan 'bout my rockin' chair!
Martin continues out and Mose stands there -- his head
rockin' as though he already were in his chair.
161 EXT. (APPROACH TO THE NEEDLES MONUMENT) - A BROAD CANYON -
FULL SHOT - DAY
A small pack train (nine or ten horses, six or seven men)
winds through a canyon behind which we can see huge needles
of rock: majestic, savage country. At the head of the
column ride Ethan, Emilio, and Martin. Behind them come
Emilio's cargadores -- lean, hard-bitten wiry little
Mexicans. One leads a handsome palomino. The SOUND of
the CASTANETS ECHOES in the musical theme.
162 EXT. CANYON - MED. SHOT - HEAD OF COLUMN - MOVING - DAY
Ethan is looking around with grim interest.
Medicine country, huh?
Medicine so strong they believe the
feather of an eagle found here can
guard a man against bullets...
If you got one handy, now's the
Ethan and Emilio both look in the direction of his glance.
163 EXT. CANYON - FULL SHOT - REVERSE ANGLE - FROM BEHIND
RIDERS - DAY
They are turning a bend and now, ahead, we see a cordon
of Comanches -- all armed, all quiet, all very menacing
as they watch the approaching column. Emilio calls a
greeting in Comanche. It gets no answer.
164 EXT. CANYON - MOVING SHOT - THE COMANCHE FACES - DAY
The CAMERA PICKS UP the faces in turn, as from the white
men's viewpoint, as they ride slowly by.
165 EXT. COMANCHE ENCAMPMENT - FULL SHOT - DAY
One tepee stands apart from the other's -- Scar's. Beyond
it are other tepees, the gathering of braves and some
squaws, the drying racks for meat, etc. Emilio leads the
way toward the central tepee. They dismount nearby and
Emilio inclines his head toward the one tepee. Ethan and
Martin brace themselves and wait. The flap of the tepee
What are we waiting for?
Emilio cautions him with a hand gesture.
166 EXT. THE TEPEE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - DAY
The flap is thrust aside and SCAR steps out -- the same
Comanche we had seen at the grave when Debbie was captured.
He stands tall, arrogant, eyeing the white men with hard,
implacable eyes. He has a robe gathered about him. Across
his face is a scar.
Senores! This is Cicatriz!
167 EXT. INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN -
The white men's eyes are as hard as the Comanche's: this
is the man they have long sought, the killer, the raper.
They cannot mask the hatred they feel.
Scar...It's plain to see where
you got your name.
Scar's hand moves to the scar on his face, and a finger
runs along it.
Your name - Big Shoulders...His
name - He Who Follows.
You speak pretty good American for
a Comanche...Someone teach you?
It is a leading question and Scar knows it. He looks long
at Ethan and the suggestion of a smile touches his lips.
But he makes no direct answer. He looks instead to Emilio.
Ah-we pabbo-tie-bo ee-kee-tay?
(Why did you bring the gringos here?)
(a shrug -- in
Pabbo-tie-bo kim te-moo-er.
(The gringos want to trade.)
That's right...We come to trade...
Only not out here...
(with sign language
I don't stand talkin' in the wind.
Emilio quickly turns and calls to one of his men. Emilio
Miguel...caballo -- aca!
One of the Mexicans comes on the trot, leading in the
palomino. Emilio makes a gesture -- giving it to Scar.
(Very fine horse.)
Scar looks at it greedily, then nods. He'll accept it.
He looks at Ethan. Again that faintly contemptuous smile.
He signals them to enter his tepee.
Stay out here.
He follows Ethan into the tepee...and a worried Emilio
168 INT. THE TEPEE - FULL SHOT
A small fire burns in the center of the lodge and a shaft
of sunlight strikes in from the smoke flap at the peak.
Two chunky squaws, who have been tending the fire or
grinding corn in a rock pestle, scuttle to a side of the
tepee. Two others, one half-grown and the other slightly
taller, sit with their backs to the fire, huddled over some
leather work or stitching. Both are shawled. As Scar
enters, he barks a word to the squaws near the fire.
Pie-kay! (Clear out!)
(then he turns
to the white men)
He sits on some robes, signs for them to sit opposite.
Slowly they look around them.
169 INT. THE TEPEE - REVERSE ANGLE - AS FROM THEIR VIEWPOINT -
THE TWO OLDER SQUAWS
They are sitting with heads averted, slightly profiled --
but clearly Indian women, broad-faced, dark of hair and
His sons are dead...So his wives
sit on the honor side of his lodge.
170 INT. THE TEPEE - ANGLING PAST ETHAN TOWARD THE TWO YOUNG
(glancing at them)
Are those his wives too?
One of the squaws turns -- and even in the shadows we see
it is another Indian face. The other does not turn.
Scar leans in, blocking the view.
Two sons -- killed by white men...
For each son, I take many scalps...
(Bring the lance!)
The slightly smaller of the young squaws stiffens but
doesn't move. Scar glares.
The girl gets to her feet. Ethan and Martin watch as,
still with averted face, she crosses to where a lance hangs
from the tepee wall. It has several scalps on it, including
one with light red hair. Slowly she carries it back. Scar
never takes his eyes from the faces of the white men,
savoring every moment of it. The girl extends the lance
between them, so that it is like a bare blade separating
two duelists. Neither Ethan nor Martin dares at first
look at more than the scalp pole...Then slowly their eyes
lift...and the CAMERA MOVES IN and RAISES TO:
171 INT. THE TEPEE - EXTREME CLOSE SHOT - DEBBIE
As the shawl slips back to reveal her light hair, the
slant green eyes looking at them from a tanned, but still
white and very beautiful face. (NOTE TO MUSIC: The
SEARCH THEME should cover all the foregoing action -- but
at the first clear view of DEBBIE, it ends dramatically.)
Debbie's eyes hold theirs -- and then Scar's voice is
Swiftly she straightens, takes away the scalp pole and
goes back to her former place.
172 INT. THE TEPEE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - THE GROUP AS BEFORE
Scar is watching the white men like a hawk. Martin's eyes
are wide and his breathing seems suspended. But Ethan is
playing it like a poker player.
(his voice controlled)
I've seen scalps before...
Scar's eyes are mocking. He lets his robe slip back
from his shoulders, revealing a bare bronzed chest on
which -- glinting in the reflected firelight -- is the
medallion that Ethan had given Debbie. It is suspended by
a chain or rawhide string. Scar touches it.
Ethan smiles -- and he's still playing poker. He stands...
and the others follow. Scar is puzzled.
I came to trade, not to admire
his collection...Tell him we're
going to pitch camp across the
crick...Maybe we can talk trade
Scar hasn't understood all of it. He scowls and looks
Ee-sap! Pabbo-tie-bo ee-sap!
(He lies! The gringo lies!)
Tomorrow -- manana -- 'puetze.'
Scar looks at Ethan and at Martin. He smiles slightly,
and he nods his agreement.
Martin and Ethan turn to go. Only then does Debbie look
swiftly at them and as swiftly away. Martin can't help
but pause, but Ethan prods him toward the tepee flap.
173 EXT. THE TEPEE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MOVING - THE THREE MEN
They emerge from the tepee and begin to walk away -- not
fast, not slow, and without a side glance. Scar emerges
and looks after them -- glowering. A few other Comanches
begin to gather near his tepee.
Walk with dignity!
(after a moment;
If you gringo heretics have any
prayers, say them...
She's alive...Can you believe
it, she's alive...alive...An'
we found her...
Please!...I, too, am alive...I
wish to stay that way.
They reach the waiting cargadores and the pack train,
surrounded by suspicious Comanches.
(to his men)
They mount and ride out.
174 EXT. SAND DUNES NEAR NEEDLES (MONUMENT) - FULL SHOT -
Emilio is standing near his horse, talking to Ethan and
You understand, senores...It
is not that I am cobarde...
Don't apologize...You did your
Emilio nods and mounts.
He knows you -- who you are --
and why you are here...This I
did not understand...or I would
not...even for gold, senores...
have led you here.
He fumbles for a pouch, holds it out to Ethan.
Take it. I do not want blood
money. Vaya con Dios!
He digs spurs and rides out. Ethan turns and looks soberly
at Martin. We hear the rest of the riders moving away.
Ethan and Martin cross the sand and go down slope toward
the creek where their horses are waiting.
174-A EXT. SAND CREEK (MONUMENT) - FULL SHOT - THE TWO - DAY
You figger Scar means to kill us?
He's got to...All these years, run-
nin', dodgin', knowin' we were after
him...Now we caught up...It's him or
Why didn't he make his move back
I don't know...Somethin' tied his
He breaks and both wheel as sand slides from the top of the
dunes. They look up.
174-B EXT. SAND DUNE - DAY
Debbie is silhouetted atop the dune, looking down at them.
She slides down the dune to stand across the creek from them.
174-C EXT. SAND CREEK - FULL SHOT - THE THREE - DAY
Her hand cautions them to silence and against coming any
Both men move closer. She takes a frightened step back, as
if to run.
Debbie...Don't you remember me?
She hesitates. She looks long at him.
We ain't goin'! We ain't goin'
without you, Debbie...Ethan, get
the horses...I'll try to keep
How? She's even forgot her own
Debbie, you're comin' with us!
No...not now...not ever.
These have been her first words in English...and they bring
new hope to Martin.
I don't care what they've done
to you...what happened...
They have done...nothing...They are
Your people? They murdered your
White men killed them - to steal
cows! I was...little...I ran
away...They find me...take care
No Debbie! That ain't what happened!
They been lyin' to you...
You lie! All white men lie...and
Debbie, think back! I'm Martin...
remember? Remember how I used to let
you ride my horse? Tell you stories?
Don't you remember me, Debbie?
I remember...from always...At first
I prayed to you...come and get me...
Take me home...You didn't come...
I've come now...
These are my people...
Unnt-meah! Go! Go! Please!
Stand aside, boy...
Martin turns as Ethan slowly reaches for his gun. It takes
Martin a moment to realize what he is about to do.
Ethan -- NO!
He moves quickly then to put himself between Ethan and the
girl and in that instant there is the crack of a rifle.
Ethan is hit in the leg. It goes out from under him. Martin
swings and his gun is out and firing.
174-D EXT. SAND CREEK - FULL SHOT - INCLUDING THE DUNES - DAY
A mounted Comanche is on the crest of the dune above them --
rifle raised. Martin's first shot brings him down the dune
in a spectacular horse-and-man fall. Debbie goes running
like a deer up the creek, away from Martin; in the same
instant we hear the angry yells of distant Comanches
charging from the far left. Martin turns to see Debbie
Ethan is on his feet now and limping frantically toward their
horses. He shoves Martin ahead of him.
Never mind her! MOVE!
They mount and take off, just as the vanguard of the
attacking Comanches swings around a point of rock and comes
charging toward the creek.
175 EXT. DESERT COUNTRY - WIDE ANGLE - LATE AFTERNOON
as Ethan and Martin race their horses from the creek area
and down a long incline, as -- from the heights above -- a
dozen or more Comanches, led by Scar, come tearing after
175-A EXT. DESERT COUNTRY - MED. CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN - MOVING - DAY
Ethan is swaying in his saddle, just barely hanging on, as
Martin races up behind him -- driving Ethan's horse along.
They swing past a huge outcrop of rock and go tearing along
a vaulting wall of stone. Their hoofbeats and those of the
pursuers bounce and echo off the canyon walls, and bullets
whine and ricochet.
175-B EXT. CANYON COUNTRY - FULL MOVING SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN -
They swing around giant boulders, up-ended like pancakes.
Ethan is lurching almost out of the saddle, barely conscious.
Martin spots the cave -- ahead -- and drives his mount and
Ethan's toward it.
175-C EXT. THE CAVE (MONUMENT) - FULL SHOT - THE TWO - DAY
Martin pulls his horse in and swings off just as Ethan
slides from his saddle. He runs toward one of the huge
boulders, crouches and starts firing.
175-D EXT. CANYON COUNTRY - WIDE ANGLE ON THE COMANCHES - DAY
The Comanches are spread out but coming on fast. One goes
down under Martin's fire....another is hit in the arm. He
pulls up and the other Comanches wheel away from the hidden
175-E EXT. THE CAVE - FULL SHOT - MARTIN AND ETHAN
Martin runs back from his firing post toward where Ethan has
Go on! Get out of here while you
(pointing to the
Ethan turns and sees what he means. He starts dragging him-
self to the cave as Martin grabs the rifles from their
saddle scabbards, yanks off the water canteens and then
drives their horses away. Then he too runs for the shelter
of the cave.
175-F EXT. THE CANYON - ANGLING FROM BEHIND MARTIN AND ETHAN
Both men are crouching, rifles ready. In the distance we
see their horses running off -- pursued by some yelling
Comanches. Four or six others come into sight, heading
for the cave -- moving cautiously, uncertainly -- not
seeing their quarry. Then the white men open fire and
the Comanches bend low over their horses' necks and clear
out of there. Ethan looks grimly at Martin.
They'll be back...
We won't be here...Come on!
He gets an arm under Ethan and hauls him to his feet.
175-G EXT. THE GAP IN THE CLIFF - PANNING SHOT - SUNSET
CAMERA PANS from the top of the rock chimney to where Martin
is snaking his way through, carrying newly-filled water
canteens. He stands there, listening and looking back the
way he has come; and then, satisfied there has been no
pursuit, he continues away.
182 INT. THE CAVE - MED. SHOT - ETHAN - HALF-LIGHT
Ethan is lying on the hard earth, perhaps cushioned with some
boughs. He is half delirious. A small fire is burning.
Martin enters carrying the canteens. He looks
unsympathetically toward Ethan, then continues to the fire,
takes a knife and starts to sterilize it. Ethan gasps,
mumbles and then a word comes clear.
Martin stares at him -- and now, perhaps for the first time,
he is fitting pieces into the jig-saw puzzle. He shifts
closer to Ethan and we see he is preparing to dig out the
bullet. Ethan opens his eyes and looks at him.
I gotta open that leg and let
the poison out...
He poises the knife.
He fumbles in his shirt pocket, brings out a greasy folded
piece of paper.
Just in case...Read it.
Martin sets the knife down, takes the paper, opens it and
'I, Ethan Edwards, being of sound
mind and without any blood kin, do
hereby bequeath all my property of
any kind to Martin Pauley...'
(he stares, then)
I don't want your property....
'Sides, what do you mean no 'blood
kin?' Debbie's your blood kin...
Not no more.
You can keep your will!
(he thrusts it back
into Ethan's shirt)
I ain't forgettin' you was all set
to shoot her yourself...What kind
o' man are you, anyway.
(sitting up --
She's been with the bucks! She's
nothin' now but a...
Martin shoves him back onto the ground.
Shut your dirty mouth!
He gets to his feet, trembling, and stands looking down at
Ethan, his fists clenched at his sides and murder in his
eyes. Then his eyes rove to the knife lying on the blanket.
He picks it up and he looks again at the wounded man.
I hope you die!
And he kneels again to open the wound.
183 EXT. DESERT COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - ETHAN AND MARTIN - DAY
Martin is hauling an improvised travois over the ground in
which, lashed by vines and some clothing, is the unconscious
figure of Ethan.
184 CLOSE SHOT - MOVING - MARTIN - DAY
Eyes shadowed, whiskered, drawn -- he is an implacable
figure as he drags the weary miles home. He hears a groan
from Ethan o.s. He barely lets his eyes drift to the
sound. He doesn't stop.
185 CLOSE SHOT - MOVING - ETHAN IN THE TRAVOIS - DAY
We see he is delirious, lips parched, strapped to the poles.
The travois jolts over the ground. As he passes out of
frame, the CAMERA HOLDS on the marks of the travois poles
scraping across the desert.
194 INT. JORGENSEN KEEPING ROOM - FULL SHOT - NIGHT
A party is in progress. Fiddler and banjo-player are
playing a lively square dance for one or two sets of
dancers -- ranchers, their wives and daughters. Laurie
is not in evidence. At the far end of the room is a
table with a punch bowl set up and a cluster of men and
Jorgensen is at the door boisterously welcoming some
new arrivals. Leading them into the room is Captain
the Reverend Sam Clayton, with a bulky oil-skin package
under his arm. With him is Charlie MacCorry, dressed in
his best black suit and scrubbed until he looks raw.
Behind them come three or four other competent-looking
men -- Rangers all of them.
They're here, mama...Come in, come
195 INT. JORGENSEN HOME - FULL SHOT - FAVORING GROUP AT DOOR
Clayton waits for Charlie to come abreast, then hits him
on the back and drives him inside.
Here he is, Lars...Combed, curried
'n washed behind the ears!
Mrs. Jorgensen hurries over, beaming, to admire Charlie.
Why, Charlie, you look real handsome!
Yes'm...scarcely reck'nize myself...
Mrs. Jorgensen smiles and playfully pushes him toward
You'll see her soon enough....
Clayton -- and the other Rangers -- have been hanging
gunbelts on pegs along the wall. Now he shakes out his
parcel -- disclosing a green-black frock coat.
(nodding to the music)
Say, that music sounds so good it
must be sinful...
Grab a partner, reverend!
Well, now, a man of my age just
can't haul off and dance in cold
blood...but if there's any of that
wild cherry brandy of yours, Lars...
(change of heart)
Yah, by golly...One jug left...
I get it!
Mrs. Jorgensen glares as he heads out.
Last winter that man swore up and
down there wasn't a drop left --
and me with pneumoney!...Reverend,
you'd better start clergyin' again!
196 EXT. JORGENSEN HOME - FULL SHOT - NIGHT
Horses, wagons fill the yard. We can hear the lively
music of the square dance. As Jorgensen opens the door
and sets out toward the barn, a battered dusty trap drives
in -- and on it are Martin and Ethan. Jorgensen at first
doesn't recognize them.
And then he sees who they are, and his jaw drops.
Ethan...Martie...No, don't get down!
...You can't come in!
They stare at him.
The Rangers are here!
He says it as though that explains everything.
What's that got to do with us?
(eyeing the house)
What's goin' on?
they wouldn't know)
Why, my Laurie's getting married...
Martin throws the reins aside and jumps out. Jorgensen
grabs his arm.
Wait! Don't you hear me! The
You been posted for murder...both
of you...That trader fella, the
late Mister Futterman...
Martin tries to break free.
I gotta see Laurie!
Go around the side...the grandmother's
room...I'll tell her...PLEASE!
He heads around the side. Ethan meanwhile has climbed
stiffly down, slightly favoring his leg.
Quick...hide in the barn, Ethan...
Hide? Why would I?
He brushes past the little man and heads for the door.
197 INT. THE JORGENSEN HOUSE - ANGLING FROM BEHIND ETHAN
as he enters, with Jorgensen at his heels. For a moment,
as he stands there, the party breezes on. Then first
one, then another sees him. They gape, and the music
falters and stops. Sam Clayton crosses to confront
him across the width of the room. Jorgensen tries to
be the easy, smiling host--and makes a very bad job
Look everybody...Look who's...
He can't even finish it but stands there making flapping
198 INT. JORGENSEN ROOM - FULL SHOT - ETHAN AND SAM
-- others gaping. During the opening lines, Jorgensen
will covertly back toward the door to the inner room --
Evenin'...evenin' Reverend...or do
I call you 'Captain'...?
Came here for a wedding, Ethan...
Until that's over, I reckon 'reverend'
And news of our little girl, Ethan?
His face contorts and his smile is twisted.
She's not a little girl any more.
You've seen her!...She's alive?
I've seen her...and she's alive.
Mrs. Jorgensen throws herself against his chest, sobbing.
Ethan looks past her at Clayton. And the faces of both
men are grim.
199 INT. THE GRANDMOTHER ROOM - FULL SHOT
The room is dark. Martin is pacing, eyes constantly turning
to the inside door. And then it opens and Laurie is
inside, holding a lamp. She is in her bridal gown and
very obviously trying to keep from betraying the stress
she is under.
He just stares at her -- very lovely, strangely remote.
He suddenly is conscious of his dirty hands, his dusty,
I...I wrote you a letter...Reckon
you didn't get it...
(setting the lamp
One letter in five years...I read
it till the paper dried up and
the writing faded out...
It wasn't much of a letter...
No, it wasn't...You mighta said you
loved me...You mighta asked me to
wait...At least that'd have been
But I allus loved you...You know
that, without my sayin' it...I
couldn't bring myself to ask you
to wait...the little I had...
not knowin' how much longer until
we found Debbie...
It isn't fair...
She sinks onto the bench.
It isn't fair, Martin Pauley, and
you know it!
She begins to cry, very softly. He is beside her and his
arm goes around her shoulder comfortingly.
Don't cry, Laurie...I understand how
it is...I'll just go 'way...
(spinning on him)
You do and I'll die, Martie...I
will! I'll just die!
And they are kissing through her tears when the outer door
is flung open by Charlie MacCorry. They part as he glares.
I'll thank you to leave the room,
Martin stares at him, then at her.
Charlie MacCorry!...You weren't
fixin' to marry HIM??
She sure is!...An' don't think your
comin' back is goin' to change it!
As to that, I don't know, Charlie...
We hadn't got around to talkin'
What right you got to be talkin'
marriage to any decent woman...
If you're talkin' about that crazy
AND other things...Mebbe you thought
you was gettin' away with being
comical about that Indian wife you
took...I bet she wasn't the first squaw
Martin swings wildly but Charlie is a wily fighter. He
side-steps and chops Martin in the jaw and drives him
against the wall. Laurie runs between them.
Stop it! Both of you...I won't have
any fighting in this house.
Martin gently brushes her aside.
It's all right...Charlie, let's
I ain't wearing no gun.
Martin nods and unbuckles his gunbelt. The men head
outside as Laurie runs to get help.
200 EXT. THE JORGENSEN HOME - BREEZEWAY
Charlie waits assuredly as Martin follows him outside.
Martin makes a wild run, swings. The blow is neatly
guarded by Charlie's left and countered with a crisp
right that puts Martin down. Martin gets to his feet,
more cautiously this time, and comes in at a crouch;
he's fighting like an Indian, not a white man. The
men from the wedding party come out now at a run.
Charlie turns slightly and in that instant Martin springs
and drives a straight right at his face -- almost as
though there were a knife in the hand. MacCorry stumbles
back into Clayton's arms.
Is this in the line of duty,
(regaining his balance)
In that case, give the boys room...
Martin waits at a crouch as Charlie comes in, feints his
right and crosses his left. It is a hard blow but
Martin recovers and waits...Charlie circles and starts
to repeat. He feints his right but this time Martin
springs in, ducks and -- as the left shoots out -- he
grabs the wrist and throws Charlie over his head. What
we are looking at, in effect, is a wrestler against a
Fight fair, son...Use your fists!
Comanches don't use their fists,
reverend...Let 'em alone...
Charlie is on his feet and warily starts circling -- now
trying to imitate Martin's crouch. Suddenly Martin
feints a right swing and connects with a solid left --
reversing the order of business. Charlie staggers and
Martin follows up with a wrestling hold, leaping behind
Charlie, locking both legs around him and driving his
arms upward behind his back so that his face is in the
dirt and so he could -- under other circumstances --
be neatly and expeditiously scalped. With the hands
locked, Martin then calmly draws a knife. He looks
innocently into the aghast faces of the crowd.
Could scalp him...but I'll just
With that he releases the paralyzed arms just long enough
to grab a lock of Charlie's hair and neatly snip it off.
He stands then and laughs as Charlie lamely gets to his
feet -- easing the tortured arms. Clayton goes to
Charlie's side. Laurie moves to Martin's side.
You all right, sergeant?
Well, go get cleaned up and we'll
proceed with the weddin'...
Charlie frowns and looks off at where Laurie and Martin
Ain't goin' to be any weddin' -- not
till we get a few things cleared
up 'round here...
He walks rather unsteadily away leaving a thunderstruck
assembly, murmurous with surprise.
201 INT. JORGENSEN KEEPING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT
The last of the wedding guests is leaving: Ed Nesby
carrying his bull fiddle and with his wife and daughter
and two smaller children preceding him out the door.
The Jorgensens stand by -- trying to put a good face
on the wedding debacle. Charlie MacCorry is sitting
dejectedly, studying a spot on the floor. Ethan is
at the mantel. Laurie is in her room -- presumably
changing out of her wedding gown. Martin is at a
sink, bathing a cut on his lip. Clayton, still in his
clerical coat, is near the door.
Well...it was a nice weddin' party...
considerin' no one got married...
Good night, Ed...
Mrs. Jorgensen puts her handkerchief to her eyes -- letting
down now that the guests have gone. Jorgensen crosses
to her, pats her sympathetically.
He leads her away. Clayton faces Ethan.
I got to ask you and Martin to ride
to the State Capitol with me, Ethan.
This an invite to a necktie party,
Captain...Nope, wouldn't say that...
Likely you had your reasons for
killin' Futterman...Probably needed
killin'...I'm speaking as a ranger
now, not as a reverend...Fact that
all three was shot in the back is the
only thing that's raised some
question -- that and a missin' gold
piece known to have been on him just
prior to his demise.
Ethan casually reaches into his pocket, takes out a gold
coin and spins it.
Martin crosses to confront Clayton.
I ain't goin' to Austin, Reverend.
Charlie gets to his feet and he has his gun in his
You're goin' if the captain says
Now, now...let's not grow dis-
Fast hoofbeats sound o.s. -- signalling the approach of
a four-man cavalry detail.
What's that? More company?
He and Jorgensen head for the door.
Kinda late getting here, aren't
A voice hails from outside.
Hello there! Captain Clayton?
202 INT.-EXT. JORGENSEN HOUSE - ANGLE AT DOOR - NIGHT
Clayton stands in the opened doorway, Jorgensen behind
him, looking out. Drawn up outside is the four-man
cavalry detail, led by a young and very crisp
LIEUTENANT. We may or may not see the sixth man,
slouched over his horse. The Lieutenant swings off
Is Captain Clayton here, Reverend?
The Lieutenant gapes at Clayton's ministerial coat.
You're Captain Clayton?...
Ethan chuckles, to Clayton's very obvious annoyance.
Colonel Greenhill's compliments, sir.
The Colonel wishes to know how soon
you could put a company of Rangers
in the field, fully armed and...
Hold on, son...Who's this Colonel
Greenhill you're talking about?
Why Colonel Greenhill is Colonel
Greenhill, sir...Commanding Officer,
Fifth U.S. Cavalry...I'm Lieutenant
Oh...Now what's this your pa wants
My pa wants to know...Colonel Greenhill
wants to know how soon you could
put a company of your Rangers in
the field, fully armed and equipped,
for joint punitive action against
Yes sir...We've received information
about a band of Comanches under a
chief named Scar...
That maybe he's not far from here --
holed up somewhere, waiting his
chance to get back over the border...
He raided north about a month ago...
ran into more army than he bargained
for...Now he's running for cover, for
keeps this time...
And what makes you think he's in
Yesterday, one of our patrols picked
up a man claims he was a prisoner
with Scar till only two days ago...
He talks crazy but I brought him
along...Says he lives here...keeps
mentioning a rocking chair.
(half to himself)
And then he is striding to the door, calling it:
And the old man totters in, half-supported by a trooper --
hollow-eyed, weak, almost delirious.
Come f'r my rockin' chai'...ole Mose.
Where's Scar, Mose...SCAR?
Ask him about Debbie!...Is she all
My rockin' chai'...
Leave the poor man be! Can't you
see he's out of his mind...
She tries to lead him away, but Ethan shoves her aside
and grips the old man by his arms.
Mose...try to remember!...You were
in Scar's camp...
Ay-eh...Made out I was crazy...
Ate dirt...chewed grass...I fooled
'em, Ethan!...an' I got away...
Scar! Where's he holed in?
He staggers and this time Mrs. Jorgensen won't be denied.
Now that's enough! Here...by the
fire...What you need's a good
bowl of soup...
She leads him away, at last to his rocker by the fire.
During this, Ethan and Clayton have been mulling Mose's
That's what he told us...but there's
no such place on the maps.
Wait a minute! Isn't that the Caddo
name for where all those canyons
branch on the Malapai?
(from his rocker)
Caddo or Kiowa...ay-eh...ay-eh...
Sam Clayton wheels on the Lieutenant.
You tell your pa a company of
Rangers -- all fourteen of 'em --
fully armed an' equipped will be in
the field by daylight...headin' for
the south end of the Malapai. If
he can catch up with us, well an'
But...but captain, we can't possibly
take the field tomorrow...for your
Sonny, yonder's a passel of murderers,
complete with Texican scalps an' white
girl captive...You want to protect us,
you just get out of our way...Now
The lieutenant skedaddles. Sam whirls on Martin and
Ethan, you an' Martin are hereby
appointed civilian scouts -- without
pay...Charlie, hightail it to head-
quarters an' spread the word...
He leaves. Martin's hands go to his side -- recalling
where he left his guns.
He heads for the inner door to the grandmother room.
203 INT. THE GRANDMOTHER ROOM - FULL SHOT
as Martin enters and crosses to where he had dropped his
gunbelt. Even before he reaches it, Laurie is in the
room -- closing the door after her.
Martie...don't go! Not this time.
It's too late...She's a woman grown
I got to fetch her home...
Fetch what home?...The leavin's of
Comanche bucks -- sold time an' again
to the highest bidder?...With savage
brats of her own, most like?...
Laurie! Shut your mouth!
Do you know what Ethan will do if he
has a chance?...He'll put a bullet
in her brain! And I tell you
Martha would want him to!
Only if I'm dead!
He strides out past her.
204 INT. THE KEEPING ROOM - FULL SHOT
as Martin re-enters. Ethan and Sam are waiting. Martin
looks hard at Ethan.
(eyes never leaving
As they stride out,
204-A INT. JORGENSEN HOUSE - GRANDMOTHER ROOM - CLOSE SHOT -
LAURIE - NIGHT
as she stands at the window, in her bridal gown, and
sadly watches Martin again going away. Softly the
score reprises -- sadly now -- "Skip to My Lou."
205 EXT. MESA COUNTRY - LONG SHOT - THE RANGERS - DAWN LIGHT
A file of eighteen men and horses -- Rangers -- is walking
under the shoulder of a mesa, keeping well below the
206 FULL SHOT - THE FILE OF RANGERS - DAWN LIGHT
They pass CAMERA one by one -- Sam Clayton in the lead,
Martin behind him leading two horses, then the others --
grim-looking, capable men of varying ages; some with long
drooping mustaches, some in need of shaves, some chawing
207 CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN - AT RIM OF A MESA - DAWN LIGHT
He is lying prone, his hat off, squinting down into a long
reach of desert canyon at the Comanche encampment -- with
tepees set up, a thin wisp of smoke rising from a fire,
the horse herd penned in a draw cut off by an improvised
corral of rawhide ropes.
208 EXT. THE COMANCHE ENCAMPMENT - WIDE ANGLE SHOT - DAWN
The camp is sleeping. A dog yaps shrilly. One of the
tepee flaps opens and Scar steps out. He picks up a stone
or a chunk of wood and throws it. The dog yelps and
runs off. Scar's air is troubled, suspicious. He heads
for the horse herd. The camp sleeps on.
209 CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN - AT RIM OF A MESA - DAWN LIGHT
His face betrays a bitter inner satisfaction. He looks back
along the trail as faintly we hear the approach of the
Ranger company. Then he squirms back, retrieving his hat.
210 FULL SHOT - HEAD OF RANGER COLUMN - DAWN LIGHT
Sam, seeing Ethan in the near distance, raises his hand
in a signal for halt and waits. Ethan scrambles down the
trail to join him. He takes the reins of his horse from
We can get within 500 yards...there's
a hogback to the south.
How many, would you say?
Enough to go around...I'd say about
a dozen apiece...Mount 'em up!
He moves as though to mount, but Martin steps forward.
Wait! We go chargin' in, they'll
kill her...and you know it.
It's what I'm countin' on.
Sam stares at him, but Martin isn't surprised.
I know you are...Only it ain't
goin' to be that way...she's alive...
Livin' with Comanches ain't bein'
She's alive...Better she's alive
and livin' with Comanches than her
brains bashed out...
Now son, it's a bitter thing to say,
but there's more than your sister
at stake here.
There sure is! I'm going to tell
you somethin'...I wasn't going to
speak of it...But I'll tell you now.
Did you notice them scalps strung
on Scar's lance?
Did you see the third scalp from
the point of the lance? Long...
I saw it...And don't try to tell
me it was Aunt Martha's or Lucy's...
You don't remember it, but I
remember. That was your mother's
Martin stares, quick disbelief in his eyes. But Ethan's
eyes hold his and there is no doubting the truth in them.
I didn't want to tell you...but
maybe it's your right to know.
Now mount up, son...
Sam puts his hand on Martin's elbow -- as though to turn
him to his duty. But Martin jerks the arm away.
It don't change it...All I'm
askin' is a chance to sneak in
there...an' try to get her out
before you come chargin' in.
What if you're caught?
It won't tell 'em anything, will
it! Just a man alone...
I say NO!
Go ahead, son...But at the first
alarm, we're comin' in -- and we
ain't goin' to have time to pick
and choose our targets when we
Ethan looks long and hard at Martin, then reaches into his
shirt for the folded, dirty, dog-eared paper that was his
will. Slowly he tears it into shreds.
It's your funeral...
Martin squats and starts pulling off his boots. He glances
up as Charlie MacCorry comes over, an Indian blanket in
his hands. He tosses it onto Martin's shoulder.
Here...you fight like a Comanch....
Maybe this'll help ya pass as one.
Then he grins and extends his hand. Martin takes it -- and
they shake as Charlie pulls him to his feet. Martin drops
his hat, and then -- at a crouching run -- he heads for
the distant Comanche camp.
211 FULL SHOT - FROM BEHIND CLAYTON AND ETHAN, TOWARD MARTIN
as he runs downslope under the shelter of the hogback toward
the unseen camp. Clayton waves an arm at his men and starts
leading out -- in a somewhat different direction.
212 FULL SHOT - THE RANGERS, FAVORING CLAYTON AND ETHAN
They are leading their horses down the slope, still under
the lee of the butte, when two riders are seen approaching
at a fast gallop -- Lt. Greenhill and his courier. (The
latter is a bugler).
(calling -- still
Sam whips off his hat and makes frantic signals to Greenhill
to shut up. Greenhill pulls to a canter, puzzled, and
Go on! Whyn't you have your
bugler sound the charge while
you're at it??
Never mind...Your pa know you're
Yes, sir...Troop's about ten miles
back...The Colonel sent me looking
Well you found me...Good work,
He starts away. Greenhill follows.
If there's anything I can do, sir...
(under his breath)
God forbid...No, son, you flog on
back and tell your pa where we're
at...and where he's at...
But he knows THAT, sir...Can't I
All right...But keep your eye on
me, boy...I'm the hard case you're
up against here -- not these childish
savages...If you don't hear me
first time I holler, you better
read my mind...I don't aim to raise
no two hollers on any subject at
He whips out his sabre -- to the imminent peril of Captain
Sam who quickly shifts out of the way.
Watch that knife, boy!
Then Sam continues away and the Rangers after him.
213 EXT. OUTSKIRTS OF COMANCHE CAMP - FULL SHOT - DAWN LIGHT
Martin runs from behind CAMERA and dodges behind a rock. The
camp is still asleep, very quiet. Martin runs out from
behind the rock and makes another short dash toward the
camp, dropping behind a pile of blankets or other
impedimenta. A dog runs out of one of the tepees, begins
214 EXT. THE HORSE HERD - MED. CLOSE SHOT - SCAR
He stands with another Comanche -- inspecting the horse
lines. In the near distance the dog's barking is heard --
shrill, insistent. Scar, almost like an animal, sniffs
the air suspiciously. The other Comanche laughs.
Scar isn't satisfied but returns to his work.
215 EXT. THE COMANCHE CAMP - ANGLE FAVORING SCAR'S TEPEE PAST
He is staring at it -- remembering it from certain distinct
decorations. The lower part of the tepee is rolled up,
for better air circulation. Martin wraps Charlie's blanket
around him and begins walking to the tepee.
216 EXT. THE LEE OF THE HOGBACK OR RISE - FULL SHOT - THE
The line is drawn up, dismounted, the men checking their
sidearms, tightening cinches, etc. Sam moves briskly along
the line of men, then mounts his horse.
The State of Texas is payin' you
boys $12 a month. Here's your
chance to earn it...Now I don't
want any foolin' around after
scalps. We ain't got the time...
Yankee cavalry's on its way
here to set those Comanches free...
We gotta beat 'em to it -- our
way...Now mount an' guide center
on young Greenhill here. Son,
you just follow me...And WATCH
The last comes as Greenhill tries to mount, simultaneously
flailing out his sabre perilously close to Clayton.
217 EXT. SCAR'S TEPEE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTIN
Martin has gained the tepee, takes one quick look around,
then strides in.
218 INT. SCAR'S TEPEE
as Martin enters. One robe, tossed back, shows where Scar
has slept. Against one wall lie the huddled figures of
two squaws. Two other figures -- one being Debbie's --
sleep in robes. Martin's eyes go to Scar's place and then
rove slowly and hold on:
219 INT. TEPEE - MED. CLOSE SHOT - DEBBIE
She moves slightly so that the light strikes her fair
hair. Martin kneels close to her and gently touches her
shoulder, to awaken her. Her eyes open, then widen in
fear. Martin quickly claps a hand over his mouth.
Silently she fights him, trying to pull the hand away.
(a hoarse whisper)
And then her fingernails rake his hand. He winces and lets
go. She screams and tries to leap up. He grabs her. The
other squaws wake -- begin squawking.
I'm takin' you whether you want
to or not...
Debbie sees something beyond him. Her eyes widen.
220 INT. TEPEE - SHOOTING FROM EXTREME LOW ANGLE, AS FROM HER
P.O.V. - SCAR
He looms in the flap of the tepee much as he had over the
grave when he first kidnapped her. He has a scalping
knife in his hand. Scar whips his arm back. Behind him
we see the other Comanche -- the one from the horse herd.
221 INT. TEPEE - FULL SHOT
Martin spins and his gun is out. He fans the trigger
hammer twice -- and both slugs hit Scar. As the other
Comanche leaps in, Martin's gun speaks again. And then
he is on his feet, catching Debbie by the arm -- un-
resisting now -- and pulling her after him through the
camp. Shouts and cries bespeak the awakening of the camp.
222 EXT. THE HOGBACK - FULL SHOT - THE RANGER GROUP
They are mounted and in line. The echo of a shot comes
bouncing back. Clayton is facing the men. He solemnly
doffs his hat and bows his head.
For these Thy gifts which we are
about to receive...
(donning his hat,
he turns to the
Sound that horn, son, and Leave
Us Go Amongst Them...YA-HEE!
And shouting the rebel yell, he leads the charge. The yell
is picked up by every man and the bugler sounds the charge
as though he had a regiment at his back. Lt. Greenhill --
a West Point beau sabreur in strange company -- has his
sabre at the "charge."
223 FULL MOVING SHOT - ON THE CHARGE
In the swamp of men and horses, we just have time to notice
that Sam is darting a somewhat worried look at Greenhill's
sabre ominously close to his back. The charge is sounding,
the hooves are drumming and the men are yelling the way they
did when they rode with Bedford Forrest -- reins in their
teeth, guns in their fists.
224 EXT. THE ENCAMPMENT - FULL SHOT - AS THE RANGERS HIT
Comanches are running from the tepees, trying to reach their
horse herd as the file of Rangers knifes in. The bark of
hand guns is a steady sound now -- and the Comanches have
never been up against such marksmen. One charging Ranger
rides down a tepee. Another, with two guns drawn, scores
a running double on two Indians racing toward him from
opposite sides of his fast-running horse. A dodging
Comanche screams as a barrel-chested roan hits him broad-
side and sends him sprawling into the embers of the campfire.
225 EXT. SCAR'S TEPEE - FULL SHOT - ETHAN
He yanks his horse back to its haunches, firing at a
Comanche crouched near the tepee. The charge races past
him. Ethan swings off and runs to the tepee flap, whips
it open and glares. A squaw comes running out at him,
knife upraised, but he knocks her sprawling with a full
arm sweep. He turns and his face is a mask of frustration
-- and then he freezes, seeing what he has been looking
226 EXT. THE INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - LONG SHOT - ETHAN'S P.O.V.
Martin is running with Debbie, trying to pull her along,
while she kicks and claws and tries to break free. (They
are about thirty yards from the camp proper.) Riderless
horses are milling, circling. O.s. we can hear the
firing, the yells.
227 EXT. SCAR'S TEPEE - FULL SHOT
Ethan remounts and heads around the side of Scar's tepee.
In the distance we see Martin and Debbie. The Rangers,
regrouping, are charging back through the camp, driving
the Comanche horse herd.
228 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTIN AND DEBBIE
Martin hears Ethan's horse riding down at them; he turns,
and Debbie pulls free and starts to run away.
No, Ethan! NO!
He goes running into the path of Ethan's horse.
229 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - MOVING SHOT - ETHAN
as Martin runs and grabs hold of his stirrup, trying to
fight the horse to a stop. Ethan swings on him -- once,
twice -- and Martin is knocked sprawling. Ethan rides
230 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - FULL SHOT - DEBBIE AND ETHAN
She is running and dodging, trying to escape the horseman.
Ethan has his gun drawn. She ducks to one side and the
horse goes past. Both figures are almost obscured in the
dust. Ethan spins his mount and charges after her. She
runs and then falls -- and he is off his horse and striding
231 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - ETHAN AND DEBBIE
Ethan is at the left of CAMERA and slightly closer to the
foreground, with Debbie at the right, supine on the ground
and the dust swirling around her. Ethan draws and raises
his gun. The hammer goes back.
I'm sorry, girl...Shut your eyes...
The dust clears. The CAMERA MOVES slightly forward along
the gun arm and HOLDS on Debbie's face -- the eyes gazing
fearlessly, innocently into Ethan's. We HOLD for a long
moment and then the gun lowers. Ethan slowly holsters it
and walks over to her.
232 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - CLOSE SHOT - ETHAN
He looks down at her.
You sure favor your mother...
233 EXT. OPEN COUNTRY - MED. CLOSE SHOT - THE TWO
He extends his hand to her. She takes it and he helps her
to her feet. And then she is against his chest and his
arm goes protectingly about her. They are standing that
way when Martin stumbles up -- and stares.
233-A EXT. COMANCHE CAMP - WIDE ANGLE - DAY
The line of Rangers is afoot now, each man near his horse,
each man with rifle out, pumping shot after shot at the
fleeting remnant of Comanches riding down the long valley
with their scattered horse herd milling and criss-crossing
in mid-ground...And then as the firing slackens, from afar
we can hear the blare of a cavalry bugle sounding the
charge: sign of the approach of Greenhill's troop.
234 EXT. THE INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - FULL SHOT - FAVORING CLAYTON
It is perhaps half an hour later. Clayton is very grim of
face and occasionally wincing. His trousers are down over
his ankles, his shirt-tails flapping over his long-handled
red underwear. Behind him Charlie MacCorry is kneeling,
applying some crude first aid to Sam's rump. Beyond them
some of the Rangers are readying for the move-out. Sam
looks up angrily as COLONEL GREENHILL, a guidon bearer,
and bugler ride in. Greenhill is a choleric man.
Clayton, if you were in my command
I'd have you courtmartialed for this!
(angrily, to MacCorry)
Hurry it up!
What's the matter, sir...You wounded?
What is it, Sergeant -- a bullet
or an arrow?
Charlie just gapes, but Clayton -- grim-lipped -- bends a
meaningful glare on someone off. Greenhill looks that way.
235 EXT. THE INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - CLOSE SHOT - LT. GREENHILL
He is standing with his sabre at salute -- looking as
miserable as any shavetail would look when in disgrace. It
could be that the end of the sabre has a pronounced bend.
236 EXT. THE INDIAN ENCAMPMENT - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP
Sam suddenly slaps MacCorry's hand away and grabs for his
pants and pulls them up -- and around a tepee come three
figures -- Ethan, Debbie, and Martin -- with Ethan holding
Debbie's hand. And Sam's face is split by a grin as he
tucks his shirt-tails in and goes to meet them.
237 EXT. THE JORGENSEN HOUSE - CLOSE SHOT - MOSE HARPER -
He is in a rocker on the porch. Suddenly he stares out and
stops rocking. Faint in the distance, but coming closer,
the clop-clop of two horses, moving at a walk. A moment
later Jorgensen emerges and comes to stand beside Mose,
shading his eyes and squinting against the sun, still
not recognizing the distant horsemen. He is joined by
Mrs. Jorgensen. And then Laurie comes out and she too
stares, frowning at first, then with dawning realization.
Lars and Mrs. Jorgensen also begin to guess...to suspect...
and then to know. And Laurie starts to run.
238 CLOSE SHOT - MOVING WITH LAURIE
The CAMERA MOVES ahead of her as she runs blindly over the
hard-packed ground, running as hard as she can toward the
still unseen but nearing horsemen.
239 FULL SHOT - THE GROUP
Ethan has Debbie on the pommel of his saddle, his arm
supporting her, and she is asleep. Martin is riding beside
them. Laurie comes running up to stare at Ethan and at
the girl. He smiles and puts a finger to his lips --
cautioning her against waking Debbie -- and then he rides
by. Laurie looks then at Martin. He doesn't know whether
to smile or not; he just waits. And then she is beside
him and she steps onto his stirruped foot and vaults up
beside him, and she kisses him just as she had on the day
he left the graves to take up the search. And still holding
her beside him, he rides slowly after Ethan and Debbie
toward the house.