"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY"

Screenplay by

N.B. Stone Jr.

with

Robert Creighton Williams and Sam Peckinpah

1962

SHOOTING DRAFT



OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. HIGH SIERRA TRAIL - CLOSE ON BIRD - DAY

as it flutters helplessly about on the trail. A string, tying
the bird's leg to a root, NOT VISIBLE FROM THIS ANGLE. Beyond
the bird A MINER rides into view. The miner's only weapon is
a rifle, in the saddle boot. A sizeable pouch of gold dust
hangs from the saddle horn. Seeing the bird, he halts and
reacts sympathetically. Dismounts, walks cautiously toward
the bird, trying not to frighten it. Two SHOTS ARE HEARD.
Both bullets hit the miner, who falls face down on the trail,
and lies still.

ANOTHER ANGLE

as a man (HENRY HAMMOND) comes out of the underbrush, takes
the gold pouch, unties the bird, COOS to it, then WHISTLING
TUNELESSLY, happily disappears into the rocks.

A SERIES OF ANGLES FOR TITLES

Leaving the body, the CAMERA PANS to the mountain slopes,
beginning a SERIES OF PAN SHOTS, EACH SHOT SHOWING A DIFFERENT
TYPE OF TERRAIN, to ESTABLISH that we have covered a four
day mountain trip to the foothills far below.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. HORNITOS STREET - DAY

As STEVE JUDD rides into the town of Hornitos. Judd is a
tall, imposing figure of a man. In his mid-fifties, he holds
his age remarkably well. Still, little things are seen that
reveal his years. Thinning hair, gray at the temples, and a
slight limp, memento of a gun fight years before.

Judd dresses with dignity, yet in his clothes is reflected
evidence, however slight, of the adversity that has dogged
him since the era of the 'town tamers' died a natural death.
The cuffs of his shirt are frayed, there is a patch on the
sleeve of his coat, and the boots are run over at the heels.

EXT. HORNITOS - ON JUDD - RIDING INTO TOWN

A scattering of TOWNSMEN, MINERS and FARMERS line the board
walks, all looking down the street in the direction Judd
rides. They are waving and smiling. Judd reacts, looks around.
Finally he is convinced that he is the focus of attention.

MED. SHOT - POLICEMAN

As he chases some CHILDREN out of the street, then turns,
looks off and yells:

POLICEMAN
Get out of the way! Clear the street!

MED. SHOT - JUDD

He does not hear. Continues to react to his apparent welcome.

FULL SHOT - REVERSE

As the Policeman runs up to Judd and shoos him to a side
street.

POLICEMAN
Clear the street! Can't you hear --
Old Man? There's a race going on...

JUDD
(interrupting)
All right.

They move aside, then turn as the crowd ROARS.

HIS POV - CAMEL-HORSE RACE

Racing at full speed down the street are a CAMEL and three
HORSES. With their RIDERS urging the animals on to even
greater speed. The spectators CHEER ON their favorites. The
horses, foam-flecked and slightly in the lead, are being
overtaken by the camel.

BACK TO JUDD

as the camel and horses pass by.

A SERIES OF ANGLES COVERING THE RACE

EXT. CARNIVAL AREA AND FINISH LINE - DAY

In a vacant lot off the main street. Consisting of four
booths, three of them advertising, by posters, 'THE WILD MAN
FROM BORNEO', 'HERCULES, STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD', and
'LITTLE SHEBA, BELLY DANCER'. Some TOWNSMEN, MINERS, FARMERS
wander in and out of the booths. Most are grouped around the
finish line. We HEAR HURDY-GURDY MUSIC FROM LITTLE SHEBA'S
BOOTH.

The fourth booth is an open air affair, consisting of a
counter, a rack of six-guns, and a home-made apparatus,
similar to a modern skeet arm, which hurls objects into the
air. Its posters, on a rack at the rear, depict a gentleman
with long hair flowing from under his hat. He wears a Van-
Dyke beard. In appearance and dress this could easily be
'Buffalo Bill' Cody at the height of his Wild West Show fame.
But the legends on the posters read:

THE OREGON KID in PERSON!
Match Your Gun Skill With The Frontier Lawman WHO TAMED Dodge
City & Wichita and who SINGLE-HANDEDLY Sent the Infamous
OMAHA GANG to their GRAVES!

OVER the street is a banner marking the start and finish
line of the camel horses contests. The legend reads:

THE PHANTOM of THE DESERT!

Takes on All Comers Match Your Prize Racing Stock Against
the Pride of Araby No Wagers Less Than One Dollar!

Judd RIDES INTO THE SHOT and pulls up near the finish line
as the racers turn the final corner and move TOWARD HIM.

NEW ANGLE - RACE

The camel overtakes the sweat-lathered horses and wins going
away. HECK LONGTREE, the camel rider, dismounts, as do the
riders of the horses. Heck is a handsome young man of twenty-
three, rugged, brash, cocky. Two of the losers pay up and
move away. The third, HANK, stands looking at the camel.

MED. SHOT - JUDD

He dismounts and starts toward Carnival area, only to be
stopped by the Policeman.

POLICEMAN
Watch out, Old Man!

He pulls Judd back, as a vintage automobile races past.

CLOSER ANGLE - HECK AND HANK

HECK
You got a good horse, cowboy. But
not good enough.
(holds out a hand)
I'll have that dollar.

HANK
(softly)
I'm beginning to figure these races
smell pretty bad. That thing never
loses and it's been runnin' since
breakfast.

HECK
(his hand still out)
You had your chance.

HANK
Not an even-money chance. I suspect
as how that animal could run all day
without raisin' a thirst.

HECK
All day -- and all night.

HANK
That's how it is?

HECK
(losing patience)
That's how it is -- now pay up!

Hank brings a silver dollar from his pocket, flips it, catches
it.

HANK
Let's say I'm a poor loser -- you
want the dollar -- you come after
it.

ANOTHER ANGLE

He puts it back in his vest pocket, prepares for a fight.
Heck turns away as if to pick up the reins. Hank gives a
snort of contempt. Heck whirls, swings a fist, knocking him
flat. Hank lies on the ground, dazed. Heck takes the dollar
out of his vest pocket, leads the camel away. Judd is about
to leave when the Oregon Kid begins his spiel. Judd listens
for a moment then grins and dismounts.

MED. SHOT - BOOTH

THE OREGON KID keeps up an almost constant spiel to WES, a
cowboy, as he gets a tin can from a pile on the ground, places
it on the pan of the hurling arm.

OREGON KID
All you got to do is hit the can and
you win the money. You miss -- I've
got to hit it -- or I lose! Squeeze
the trigger, don't jerk it. Keep
your elbow close to your body.

WES
(putting down his
money)
Forget the sermon and turn her loose.

The Kid pulls a cord, which releases the hurling arm, tossing
the can high in the air. Wes aims with a six-gun, FIRES,
misses. While the can is still in the air, the Oregon Kid
draws his gun, FIRES.

CLOSE ON CAN

as it is hit.

TWO SHOT

The Kid shakes his head, and holsters his gun and scoops a
quarter off counter into a cash drawer.

OREGON KID
(loudly)
Tell you what I'm going to do. I'll
hit it twice, to your once, that is,
if you hit it -- but I don't believe
you can or you will -- my grandaddy
would say shootin' against you is
like sneakin' licorice whips from a
baby girl. Why don't you just forget
it -- throw away that pistol and
pick up a plow -- save my conscience
and your money?

Wes, mad enough to use skunk scent for soap, slaps two dollars
on the boards. The Kid pulls down the hurling arm, locks it
in place, puts another can on the pan.

NEW ANGLE

OREGON KID
(kindly, overly
concerned)
Don't hurry your shots, son.

Pulls cord. Wes FIRES, again misses. Oregon Kid shakes his
head hopelessly.

OREGON KID
My boy, I keep telling you...

He draws, FIRES TWICE, each shot hitting the can.

OREGON KID
But you don't seem to listen. Care
to try again...

WES
(stalking off)
I'll be back.

Oregon Kid grins, scoops two dollars into cash drawer, as
Heck joins him.

CLOSE SHOT - JUDD

watching.

MED. SHOT - BOOTH

HECK
I'm fed up with it, Gil -- racing
that double humped water tank is bad
enough --
(looks off -- reaches
for money)
-- but knockin' somebody down for a
slim dollar only to give most of it
away is poor rations for Mrs.
Longtree's first born.

He falls silent as JAKE, a real carny, complete with derby
and cigar, steps up and holds out his hat. Heck drops in
four silver dollars. Jake gives him one back and turns to
The Oregon Kid.

OREGON KID
I'll settle up tonight.

JAKE
Now.

The Kid hesitates, then puts part of his cash box money in.

JAKE
Sweeten it, gunfighter, or you're
through.

OREGON KID
(after a long moment)
Don't say anything more, you mean
mouthed, two bit, chicken hearted
son -- of greed and envy. Just get
out.

And Jake does.

NEW ANGLE

HECK
(after a moment)
You sure told that Jake what he could
do.

OREGON KID
(dryly)
And how can man die better, Than
facing fearful odds, For the ashes
of his fathers, Or the temples of
his gods --
(then)
It was a poor excuse for a job anyway,
Heck -- time I was movin' on. You
want big money you go where the big
money is.

HECK
I'm going with you.

They are silent for a moment.

OREGON KID
All right -- get the horses.

Heck moves away. The Oregon Kid watches him go, then turns
to the passing crowd.

Judd WALKS INTO SCENE. Stops at the counter, keeping his
head bowed so his features aren't visible to The Kid. Speaks
with a mountain twang.

JUDD
If it's all right with you, mister,
I would surely like to make a ten
cent bet?

OREGON KID
A whole dime? You are a plunger,
sir.

He tries to see under Judd's hat. Judd keeps his head lowered.

JUDD
Well, you see, I'm not just altogether
sure I could hit a movin' target
without using buckshot. I used to be
fair to middlin' with a shotgun. If
the bird was movin' slow and not too
far away.
(beat)
But, them tin cans move too fast --
I just don't see how you manage.

NEW ANGLE

The Oregon Kid, puzzled, still tries to see under the hat.
Moves his head from side to side, then down as low to the
counter as possible. With Judd evading him. Finally grabs
Judd by the coat lapels with one hand, pushes his hat up
with the other. Sees Judd grinning at him.

OREGON KID
Well, I'll be damed!

They shake hands.

JUDD
How are you, Gil?

OREGON KID
No great complaints. How long's it
been? Lordy, I'd hate to say.

JUDD
Quite some time.

OREGON KID
Where you been all these years?

JUDD
(after a moment)
Here and there.
(looks around)
Nice little enterprise you've got.

OREGON KID
Well, Steve, it's easier than punching
cows. And it pays off with free drinks
every time I walk into a saloon --
Would it surprise you to know The
Oregon Kid is the envy of every small-
minded ribbon clerk and shirttail
towhead from here to Pocatello?

NEW ANGLE

JUDD
(indicates the Oregon
Kid's poster)
Why not, with all these single-handed
exploits -- tell me, Gil, who was
'the Omaha Gang' -- I don't recollect
ever hearing about them fellows.
(Gil doesn't answer)
Hondo and Monterey and Flagstaff --
we worked them places -- but Dodge
City and Wichita -- you spend some
time with the Earp brothers, Gil?

OREGON KID
Got to allow for a little
exaggeration. That's part of playing
this game.

JUDD
Not much of a game.

OREGON KID
Well, no danger of getting rich, but
I do all right when you consider I
never lose.

Judd breaks open the cylinder of the gun fired by Gil.
Extracts cartridge. Removes wax. Pours out several buckshot.
They BOUNCE one by one on the counter.

JUDD
A blind man couldn't miss, shooting
buckshot.

OREGON KID
(embarrassed -- angry)
Must be something important to bring
you here -- looks to me like you
been riding a long time -- and not
getting very far.

JUDD
Job.

OREGON KID
A 'job'? You mean to tell me you're
still at it?
(Judd nods)
Federal Marshal?

JUDD
Working for the Bank.

OREGON KID
A bank guard?

JUDD
(stiffly)
I'm transporting gold. From a mining
camp up on top down here to the
bank... Gold bullion -- in the
neighborhood of two hundred and fifty
thousand dollars, was the way the
letter put it.

OREGON KID
(with admirable
restraint)
A quarter of a million.

JUDD
I'll need some help. Can you recommend
anyone?

OREGON KID
(after a moment)
I'll give it some thought.

JUDD
Do that, will you? And let me know.

OREGON KID
I will, Steve, I surely will.

Judd walks off. The Oregon Kid is already giving it a lot of
thought. Heck reappears with horses.

HECK
What do you figure we're going to
do.

OREGON KID
(absently)
Hmmm?

HECK
Food, clothing and shelter -- What
have you got in mind?

OREGON KID
(softly)
Champagne, kid -- and only the best --
about $250,000 dollars worth.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BANK - MED. SHOT - DAY

Behind the teller's window, ABNER, a sharp-tongued diminutive
clerk in his sixties, counts money (silver). Judd advances,
stops at the counter. The clerk glances up, then continues
his work. Judd RAPS GENTLY on the counter. In the far corner,
is LUTHER SAMSON, a dignified, frock-coated man in his
eighties.

ABNER
(not too politely)
Yes.

JUDD
I'd like to see Mr. Samson, please.

ABNER
He's busy. What about?

JUDD
The name is Judd. Stephen Judd.

Abner looks at him thoughtfully.

ABNER
Oh. Just one moment.

He crosses to Samson.

CLOSER ANGLE

ABNER
Excuse me, sir. Mr. Judd is here.

Samson looks up and nods. Abner crosses back to Judd and
opens the railing gate.

ABNER
Mr. Samson will see you --

Judd enters and crosses toward the two men.

JUDD
(nods)
Good afternoon.

SAMSON
I'm Luther Samson, Mr. Judd.
(shakes hands)
And this is Abner, my son -- our
vice president.

Judd, Abner shake hands. AD LIB "How do you do's." While
shaking hands, Abner notices Judd's frayed shirt cuff. This
noticed in turn by Judd, who 'shoots' the cuff, concealing
it under the coat sleeve. Samson indicates a chair, and all
sit down.

The bankers regard Judd in silent appraisal. The man they
see is not all they expected. Samson doesn't wish to offend.
Still, he must say it:

SAMSON
Somehow, I pictured you as being a
younger man.

JUDD
I used to be.
(after a moment)
We all used to be.

SAMSON
Yes, of course.

Judd looks from one to the other, waiting. Senses what they
are thinking -- is he the man he once was?

ABNER
(sharply)
Mr. Judd, we're more than familiar
with your reputation. But it was
made many years ago and we're dealing
in the present, not the past...

JUDD
(interrupting)
Thank you. What's the problem,
gentlemen?

SAMSON
The Coarse Gold Strike is on the
crest of the Sierras. Only one trail
in and out. Six miners have been
killed trying to bring their gold
down here. Killed and robbed, of
course. Weeks ago we petitioned for
a Federal Marshal. And received
nothing.

ABNER
The only law up there is too drunk
to hit the ground with his hat.

SAMSON
The man we send up there must be
completely reliable and not just
from the standpoint of honesty.

ABNER
We're speaking of gold, Mr. Judd. --
Twenty thousand dollars worth.

JUDD
Twenty thousand? From your letter I
expected...

ABNER
(interrupting)
Our original estimate was... overly
enthusiastic. The strike is not a
mother lode -- but it is productive.
Slow but steady.

SAMSON
The day of the Forty-niner is past,
Mr. Judd. The day of the steady
businessman has arrived.

JUDD
My usual fee is twenty dollars a
day. I'll have to charge you forty.

ABNER
(appalled)
Forty dollars a day?

SAMSON
Just what does that...?

JUDD
Two other men. Four days is a long
time to go without sleep.

SAMSON
The question is --

JUDD
The question is, can I do it? Can't
answer that by talking. Only by doing
it. If you want to talk about it, go
ahead. I'll read the contract.

Abner looks at Samson, who nods. Brings a contract from a
drawer, hands it to Judd.

JUDD
In private, if you please.

Bankers are mildly surprised at the request. Abner indicates
a door at the side of the room.

SAMSON
You can go in there.

Judd rises, walks out, limping slightly as before.

INT. WATER CLOSET - DAY

Judd enters, closes the door. Produces a wooden spectacle
case from an inner pocket. Glances back at the door, then
dons the spectacles. Quickly reads the contract. Returns the
spectacles to their case, the case to his pocket. Opens the
door.

INT. BANK - DAY

Judd returns to the desk. The bankers have obviously been
whispering.

JUDD
Contract's all right. How about me?
Any doubts?
(silence)
If not, I'll borrow your pen, sir.

Samson pushes quill pen and ink toward Judd. He places the
contract on the desk. Standing erect so he can view his
signature, stiff-armed, he signs the contract. As they react
with dismay to this evidence of failing eyesight we --

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. EATING HOUSE - NIGHT

Judd, at a table, is eating supper. An attractive WAITRESS
serves half a dozen other DINERS.

EXT. WINDOW - OF THE EATING HOUSE - NIGHT

Outside the window, LOOKING THROUGH AT JUDD, are Heck and
The Oregon Kid, minus his disguise of wig and Van-Dyke. This
is GIL WESTRUM, a 'kid' no longer, but a big, jovial, graying
man in his fifties. Gil possesses a happy-go-lucky quality,
a friendly warmth instantly sensed by others and reflected
by the twinkle in his eyes and the half smile almost
constantly on his lips.

HECK
That old man? He don't look like
much to me.

GIL
(after a moment)
Son, I wore a star with "that old
man" for six years -- I was his deputy
most of the time -- once he was mine.
(he grins at the
memory; then roughly)
Don't ever play him short!

HECK
I just don't figure him to be any
trouble.

GIL
I hope you're right, boy -- I surely
hope you're right.
(then)
I'll beard the lion -- you demonstrate
how impressed you are -- and do it
with your mouth shut!

He crosses toward the door, Heck following.

INT. EATING HOUSE - FULL SHOT (NIGHT)

As they enter, DOLLY, the waitress, has a smile for Heck.

DOLLY
Hello Heck -- Mr. Westrum.

GIL
Evening, honey.

As Dolly walks by, Heck removes his hat and slaps her on the
fanny.

DOLLY
Stop it!

HECK
What did I do?

DOLLY
Never mind what you did. Don't do it
in here!

HECK
All righty. How about down at the
livery stable in an hour? Can you
get away?

DOLLY
I think so.

GIL
Too bad, because Heck won't be there.

Gil takes him firmly by the arm, steers him away toward Judd's
table.

HECK
Why not?

Gil thinks it over for a minute.

GIL
Because if I can't, you won't.

They move past and the CAMERA HOLDS ON A GROUP IN THE b.g.
Seated at a table in the corner are Hank and Wes. With them
is a friend. Hank whispers to his friend, indicating Heck
with a nod of his head.

JUDD'S TABLE

From a coin purse, Judd has counted out the amount of his
check. Brings out a notebook and a pencil. Leans back to
bring the notebook into focus. Enters the amount. Gill and
Heck arrive at the table.

GIL
Still keeping records, eh?

JUDD
You know me. Creature of habit.

GIL
Here's someone else wants to know
you. My partner, Heck Longtree. You'd
blush to hear the way he admires
you.

JUDD
(rises, shakes hands)
How do you do?

HECK
(dully)
Howdy.

JUDD
(indicates)
Have a chair.
(all sit down. To Gil)
Kind of showing your age, aren't
you?

GIL
Huh?

JUDD
Interfering with a young man's love
life.

FEATURING GIL

GIL
He's got more important things on
his mind.
(to Heck)
Haven't you?
(before he can answer)
Yes, sir, and so have I.
(pauses to light a
cheroot)
Been considering your problem. Think
I can solve half of it. Maybe the
whole thing. I know a fellow who's
got an overwhelming hankering for a
little old time activity.

JUDD
It seems to me a man would have to
be pretty hard up to risk his life
for ten dollars a day.

HECK
Ten dollars a day --?

GIL
(as Judd nods)
Not hard up. Just fed up.
(scornfully)
Out-shooting the rubes for nickels
and dimes... takes all the free drinks
I can get to put me to sleep at night.
My partner here feels the same way.

JUDD
(looks at Heck, but
speaks to Gil)
Don't know as I'd want to hire a
boy.

HECK
Boy? What do you --

GIL
Steve, this boy's a good deal less
than green.

FEATURING JUDD

JUDD
Couldn't have too much behind him.

GIL
That's where you're wrong. He's been
dogging after me for better than
three years.

Judd again studies Heck who is doing a slow burn at Judd's
questioning, and manner of it. Judd drops his hand below the
table, comes up with Heck's silver mounted pistol, holds the
gun to the light.

JUDD
(to Gil)
Pretty. Too bad he don't keep it
clean.

Without looking at Heck, Judd puts the gun on the table.
Heck, getting madder by the minute, holsters it.

JUDD
(a sigh)
Boys nowadays. No pride. No self-
respect. Plenty of gall, but no sand.
Take that race today --

HECK
What about those races?

JUDD
At that distance, no horse in the
world can beat a camel.

HECK
(explodes, rises)
You calling me a cheat?

Wes and Hank and their friend ENTER SCENE, behind Heck.

WIDER ANGLE

HANK
If he don't, I surely will.

Heck turns. Hank lashes out, knocks Heck down. Heck struggles
to his feet. Heck charges with the ferocity of a young bull.
He floors Hank. Gil nods approvingly. But now Heck is
assaulted from two sides as Hank's friends join the attack.
Heck is strong, agile and totally unafraid. But sadly
outnumbered. He knocks a man down, but another one sends him
sprawling onto Judd's table which shatters. Heck is groggy.
Gil, without leaving his chair, hoists him back to his feet.

GIL
Go get 'em, tiger, you're doin' fine.

Judd and Gil remain seated. Facing each other across empty
space. Heck returns to the melee. Knocks the fight out of
the friend, is holding his own when Hank deals him a wicked
blow from behind. Down he goes. Hank, Wes and friend leave
much the worse for wear.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Dolly arrives with a pitcher of water which Gil tosses in
his face.

GIL
(to Judd)
What do you think?

DOLLY
I think he's wonderful.

JUDD
He'll do. He'll do just fine.

Judd looks around at the shattered table, broken chairs.

JUDD
(to Dolly)
Sorry about the damage.

GIL
Send the bill to the bank, honey --
Stephen Judd's account.

Out they go, dragging Heck by his heels.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. FOOTHILL COUNTRY - DAWN

The upper foothill country at sunrise. (STOCK)

EXT. FOOTHILL TRAIL - DAY

Steve Judd's Party rides upgrade. Judd in the lead. One pack
horse, laden with supplies, bedrolls, a tent, etc., is led
by Heck. Canteens of water hang from saddle horns. They carry
standard armament, six-guns, and rifles in saddle boots.
Gil, hot and saddle sore, pulls up and dismounts, easing his
sore muscles and taking a drink from the canteen.

JUDD
(calling back, enjoying
himself)
What's the trouble, Partner? Have
you got the rheumatism?

GIL
(yelling back)
I'm used to working with my brain,
not my butt.

Judd laughs and rides to the top of a nearby rise.

HECK
(joining Gil)
You think you can talk him into it?

GIL
(nodding)
One way or another.

They ride to join Judd on top of the hill.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. FOOTHILL TRAIL - LONG SHOT - JUDD'S P.O.V. - THE
KNUDSEN FARM - DAY

INT. BARN - DAY

JOSHUA KNUDSEN stands on a wagon pitching hay into the loft.
Joshua is a heavily muscled farmer, stern and austere. We
catch glimpses of his daughter, ELSA, as she scatters hay
about the loft with a pitchfork. Elsa is lovely as the wild
flowers that would dot the surrounding hills if this were
spring. And as untamed. She wears jeans, soiled shirt, heavy
working shoes, and her hair hangs to her shoulders in twin
braids. Glancing out the door opening, she sees the Judd
party approaching. Wide-eyed, she watches.

EXT. FARM HOUSE - ELSA'S P.O.V. THROUGH LOFT DOOR

On Judd's party, riding TOWARD CAMERA.

INT. BARN

Elsa jumps from loft to wagon, to floor and runs out barn
door. Joshua, puzzled, calls:

JOSHUA
Elsa!

EXT. FARM HOUSE

Elsa, ignoring her father's call, runs from the barn to the
house, enters.

INT. BARN - JOSHUA

comes off wagon and crosses to barn door, looks after her.
Notices the Judd party riding toward him in b.g.

INT. FARM HOUSE

Elsa tears out of her shirt and into a dress.

EXT. FARM - BARN AREA - JUDD PARTY

Nearing barn.

EXT. FARM HOUSE

Elsa bolts out the door. She's donned a 'revealing' dress
over her other clothes, stops to adjust it as she looks off
at the barn. Realizes she still has 'brogans' on, kicks them
off.

ELSA'S POV

The Judd Party are dismounting, talking to Joshua.

BACK TO ELSA

Dress adjusted to her satisfaction, she hurries from the
house toward the barn.

BARN - WHERE JOSHUA TALKS TO JUDD AND HIS MEN

now dismounted. Joshua is anything but cordial. What
hospitality he offers comes from a sense of duty.

JOSHUA
-- don't have room in the house, but
I've no objection if you want to
spend the night in the barn.

JUDD
Much obliged.
(notices chicken coop)
If you could spare us a few fresh
eggs, be glad to pay for them.

JOSHUA
One you can have as the Lord's bounty
is not for sale. Any more are a dollar
each.

HECK
(astonished)
A dollar each?
(as they look at him)
How in the world do those short-legged
chickens lay eggs so high?

JOSHUA
Levity in the young --

But Heck is not listening, LOOKS OFF, struck dumb. The others
turn. ELSA HURRIES toward the men. Then recovers herself,
approaches with a fair semblance of ladylike poise. The dress
is quite fetching. Heck eyes Elsa appreciatively. Joshua
disapprovingly.

JOSHUA
(stiffly)
My daughter, Elsa.

JUDD
How do you do?

GIL
Pleased to meet you.

HECK
Likewise.

Elsa nods, smiling at each. Gives Heck a longer look than
the others. Noticed by Joshua.

JOSHUA
Go start supper. And change that
dress.

ELSA
Change it? What for?

JOSHUA
For the good reason I told you to.
(before she can speak)
Did you hear what I said?

She turns and sulks off toward the house.

HECK
I think it's a real pretty dress.

ELSA
(stops, glances back,
smiles)
Thank you.
(goes on)

NEW ANGLE

Heck finds himself the target of Joshua's level gaze.

HECK
(innocently)
Shouldn't I have said that?

GIL
(to Joshua)
You'll have to forgive the young
man. I've tried to teach him that
silence is golden, but he's a slow
learner.

JOSHUA
'Train up a child in the way he should
go and when he is old he will not
depart from it.'
(then)
Put your horses in the corral yonder.
Supper'll be ready in an hour -- no
charge -- 'The Lord's bounty --

GIL
-- is not for sale.'

JUDD
Thank you, sir.

Joshua goes into the barn.

JUDD, GIL, HECK

Heck looks off at Elsa, who is entering the house.

HECK
Think of all that going to waste up
here.

GIL
Like the fellow said, gold is where
you find it.

JUDD
(to Heck)
And if it isn't yours don't covet
it.

He turns and leads the horses toward the corral. Gil turns
to Heck who still looks after the girl.

GIL
Don't worry, boy, the Lord's bounty
may not be for sale -- but the Devil's
is -- if you can pay the price.

Heck looks at him blankly as we --

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. FARM HOUSE - NIGHT - CLOSE ON JOSHUA

with bowed head, saying Grace.

The room is large, including kitchen and Elsa's bed. On the
wall of the room is a large tintype of Elsa's mother, in her
wedding dress. Very similar in looks to Elsa. Picture is
wreathed with black crepe faded and dusty. On the opposite
wall, a framed religious tract reads: "When Pride Cometh,
then Cometh Shame, But with the Lowly is Wisdom.' Joshua's
Bible rests on a stand in the corner.

JOSHUA
Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for
the food on this table. Teach Thy
children to be grateful for Thy
goodness, to walk in Thy path, that
they may not suffer Thy wrath and
Thy vengeance.

WIDEN. Joshua is at the head of the table, Judd at the end.
On Joshua's left sit Gil and Elsa. She has changed into her
'plain' dress. Heck sits across from Elsa. All have their
heads bowed as Joshua continues Grace. However, Heck's eyes
are raised, peering at Elsa. She glances up, quickly lowers
her eyes. Heck smiles to himself.

JOSHUA
Bless us, Oh Lord, and these our
guests, and forgive them the mercenary
desires that brought them here. Amen.

Which brings a reaction from Gil and Heck, who exchange
glances. Joshua serves himself first, passes the platters of
food on to Gil.

GIL
I thank you, Mr. Knudsen, for entering
a plea in our behalf. But what's
this about mercenary desires?

JOSHUA
On your way to Coarse Gold, be'n't
you?

GIL
Yes.

ANOTHER ANGLE

JOSHUA
Those that travel there do so for
one reason only. To traffic in gold.
Which to possess is to live in fear;
to desire, to live in sorrow.

JUDD
We're not trafficking, sir. Merely
transporting.

JOSHUA
(not hearing)
It says in the Book, 'Gold is a
stumbling block unto them that
sacrifice to it, and every fool shall
be taken therewith.'

JUDD
(dryly)
'A good man is rather to be chosen
than great riches and loving favor
rather than silver and gold' --
Proverbs, Chapter 22.

JOSHUA
(flaring back)
'Into the land of trouble and anguish
come the old lions
(looking at Heck)
and they will carry their riches
upon the shoulders of young asses to
a people that shall not profit them'.
Isaiah, Chapter 30, verse 6.

They are silent. Judd can't think of a topper.

JOSHUA
That mining camp is a sinkhole of
depravity, a place of shame and sin.

HECK
(happily)
Well, like the fellow said, sin is
where you find it.

This gets him a cold stare from Joshua, a KICK UNDER THE
TABLE from Gil.

NEW ANGLE

ELSA
According to my father, everyplace
outside this farm is a place of sin.

JOSHUA
(sternly)
That will do.

ELSA
You don't have to preach at everybody.

JOSHUA
That will do!

There's an awkward silence. Elsa burns with resentment. Gil
breaks the tension.

GIL
You cook a lovely ham hock, Miss
Knudsen. Just lovely.
(as Judd looks up)
Appetite -- Chapter One.

DISSOLVE:

INT. FARMHOUSE - KITCHEN AREA - NIGHT

Where Elsa washes the dishes. Turning to rinse a platter,
she sees Heck, at the open window, grinning.

HECK
Give me a towel and I'll dry.

ELSA
(anxious glance at
the door)
You hadn't better. Thanks all the
same.

HECK
Must be pretty lonely, living up
here.

ELSA
(mournfully)
Sometimes I get to thinking there's
no one left in the world but my father
and me.

HECK
It's a crime, you being stuck here
on this old stump ranch. Girl like
you, you ought to be living in the
city. San Francisco, say.

ELSA
You've been there?

HECK
Plenty of times.

ELSA
I've never been anywhere. He won't
even take me to Hornitos when he
goes after supplies. Says the men
would stare at me.

HECK
Supposing, on the way back, I was to
pick you up? Take you to San
Francisco... Denver... Chicago even.

JOSHUA'S VOICE
(from the dining room)
Elsa! Who you talking to in there?

ELSA
(calls)
To myself.
(whispers to Heck)
You'd better go.

HECK
(whispers)
Meet you outside later.

ELSA
I can't.

HECK
I'll wait by the corral.

He leaves.

DISSOLVE:

EXT. FARM - CORRAL AREA - NIGHT

Heck leans against a rail, watching the house o.s.

INT. BARN - NIGHT

Judd and Gil have removed coats and shirts, are down to long
woolen underwear. Gil takes off his boots, climbs into a
bedroll, using his saddle as a pillow. Carries an unsmoked
half of a cheroot which he lights at a kerosene lantern on
the floor. Judd stands at the barn door, looking off at Heck

JUDD
That boy you trained personally shows
a substantial lack of judgment.

GIL
Kind of showing your age, aren't
you?
(at Judd's expression)
Interfering with a young man's love
life?

Judd sits on his bedroll, takes off his boots, massages a
foot.

JUDD
I'm not paying him ten dollars a day
to go mooning after a girl whose
father is getting ready to hind end
him with a load of buckshot.

GIL
(smokes, looks at
ceiling)
Know who she reminds me of? Sara
Truesdale.

Judd turns his head slowly, peers at Gil

JUDD
There's no resemblance at all.

GIL
Oh, maybe not in the features. But
the way she smiles... And there's
the same look in her eyes when you're
talking. The kind of look that makes
you feel you've said something real
important.

Judd examines the hole in his boot.

JUDD
Wonder if I can get these fixed in
Coarse Gold.

GIL
Probably not. You and Sara always
looked so right together. Course,
can't say I blamed her for not
marrying you -- Forgetting the lousy
money we made, what woman wants to
sit around waitin' for her husband
to be brought home with his head
shot off?

Judd climbs into his blankets, turns his back.

JUDD
(brusquely)
That was all a long time ago.

Gil knows he has the knife in. Now he twists it.

GIL
Guess losing Sara's what you might
call a hazard of our profession.
That rancher she married -- Stacey?
Hear he's doing fine up in Idaho.
Got a big ranch there. Raises blooded
horses. And children, too, I hear.

JUDD
Grandchildren now -- three of them.

GIL
That so, Steve?

JUDD
Yep, that's right.
(then)
If my sleeping bothers you, don't
bother to let me know.

GIL
Sorry.

Not 'sorry' at all, but quite pleased with himself. Crushes
out cheroot. Blows lantern out.

EXT. FARM - CORRAL AREA - NIGHT - MED. SHOT - HECK

waiting at the corral. Elsa hurries INTO SCENE.

HECK
You surely took your time.

ELSA
Shh. I shouldn't be here at all.

HECK
Why, the night air bother you? If it
does, we can climb up to the hayloft.

ELSA
I love the night air. The thing is,
I'm what you might call engaged.

HECK
Sure you are.

ELSA
It's the truth. His name is Billy
Hammond. He asked me to marry him.
Several times. And I said I probably
would. You'll see him in Coarse Gold.
He's a miner there. And doing very
well.

HECK
Well, if he's in Coarse Gold and
you're here, I don't see any harm in
us --

Breaks off as Joshua walks out of the shadows. Joshua stares
hard at Heck, then jerks him away from Elsa.

JOSHUA
You! Get in the barn and stay there.
(to Elsa)
And you -- go to the house!

Elsa, with a cry of anger, runs to the house. Joshua stares
at Heck, then follows. Heck, muttering, stalks to the barn.

ENTRANCE TO BARN - DARK

Heck enters, stumbles against a pail, kicks it.

JUDD
'The mouth of a strange woman is a
deep pit; and him that is abhorred
by the Lord shall fall therein -- '

Gil begins to laugh quietly. Judd grins, and rolls over.

INT. FARMHOUSE - NIGHT

Elsa runs in, SLAMS the door, goes to a window, stares angrily
out into the night. The door opens and Joshua enters,
approaches.

JOSHUA
(surveys her coldly)
Will you never learn any decency?

ELSA
We were only going to talk. Talk.

JOSHUA
The likes of him don't stop at
talking.

ELSA
(bitterly)
The likes of him. Every man I meet
becomes 'the likes of him'.

JOSHUA
He's no good. I can see it in his
face.

ELSA
That's all you see in anyone. Billy
Hammond came here twice. You said he
was evil -- sinful.

JOSHUA
I'm your father. I've got to keep
the dirt away. Protect you from the
wrong kind of men.

ELSA
That means everyone, doesn't it?
Every single man in the world is the
wrong kind of man.
(beat)
Except you.

He gives her a stinging SLAP across the mouth. No sign of
pain. Only fury.

ELSA
I promised next time you hit me,
you'd be sorry for it.

JOSHUA
For my mouth shall speak truth and
wickedness is an abomination to my
lips. All the words of my mouth are
in righteousness.

He falls silent, but she stares at him defiantly.

JOSHUA
Go to bed.

She stands unmoving. After a moment he picks up the lamp and
goes to his bedroom muttering:

JOSHUA
'Receive my instruction and not
silver, and knowledge rather than
choice gold. For wisdom is better
than rubies.'

CLOSE ON ELSA

Looking after him, her face expressionless.

DISSOLVE:

EXT. GRAVE - DAWN - JOSHUA

On the hillside above Joshua's farm house. At the uphill end
of the grave are a few wild flowers, in a tin can. On a wood
grave marker is carved:

HESTER

Wife of Joshua Knudsen 1845-85 'Wherefore, O harlot, hear
the word of the Lord: -- I will judge thee as women that
break wedlock and shed blood are judged: I will give thee
blood in fury and in jealousy.'

Behind the grave marker, with his forehead almost touching
the top, kneels Joshua in silent prayer. WIDEN. In B.G.,
Judd's party rides up the hill.

DISSOLVE:

EXT. HIGH SIERRA STREAM - DAY

Judd stands in midstream, his pants-legs rolled up as he
lets the cool water soothe his feet. From Judd's blissful
expression we PAN TO HECK, who is seated on the other side
of the stream, watching Judd disgustedly.

JUDD
In about thirty years you'll like
the feel of it, too.

Heck ignores him, takes out a sandwich, throws the wrapping
away.

JUDD
Pick it up. These mountains don't
need your trash.

Heck scowls, picks up the paper, crosses to a pack horse.
Judd walks to the bank, sits on a rock, carefully dries his
feet with a bandana. His boots lie flat on a rock, the soles
exposed. One boot has a hole in it. Gil ENTERS SCENE, picks
up the boot, peers through the hole at Judd, as through a
telescope.

GIL
Dandy pair of boots you got here.

CLOSER ANGLE

JUDD
Juan Fernandez made these for me in
San Antone -- made them special --
had a hell of a time convincing him
to put that hole in -- fine craftsman,
Juan -- But he never understood the
principle of ventilation.

GIL
I remember Juan -- always felt the
boot should cover the foot.

JUDD
Short-sighted.

They grin at each other.

GIL
Remember old Doc Franklin, the fancy
boots he wore? With the flaps over
the toes? Had them made, in Boston.
(reminiscently)
Old Doc. Know what happened to him?

JUDD
Heard he died.

GIL
That's right. It would've touched
your heart to see the funeral. Old
Doc. Gave thirty years of his life
to make the West safe for decent
people. You'd've wept to see the way
they turned out to pay tribute to
him. All three of them. The mortician,
the grave digger and me.

HECK

Listening intently.

BACK TO GIL AND JUDD

JUDD
(laconically)
When I'm buried, I won't much care
who comes to the funeral.

GIL
I was commenting on the fairest flower
that grows within the human heart...
gratitude.

JUDD
(donning boots)
Only gratitude I expect is my
paycheck. Twenty dollars worth.

GIL
That satisfies you?

JUDD
I guess it's all I can hope for.

GIL
Is it?

JUDD
According to the terms of my contract,
it is.
(rises)
Let's get moving.

He mounts, rides up the trail. Heck joins Gil.

HECK
(sotto, to Gil)
You're just wasting your breath. He
don't even know what you're talking
about.

GIL
(easily)
He will. In time.

HECK
When we're ready, let's just bend a
gun barrel over his head and take
off with the gold.

GIL
In the first place, boy, you couldn't
get close enough to Steve Judd to
saddle his horse.

HECK
That old man --?
(then as Gil looks at
him disgustedly)
Well, you could --

Gil thinks about this for a moment.

GIL
Yes, I could -- but I won't.
(Heck turns away)
Unless I have to.

They mount and, leading the pack horses, follow Judd.

SLOW DISSOLVE:

EXT. HIGH SIERRA (ROCKY AREA) - GROUP SHOT - DAY

A steep gravel and rock section of trail. Judd, Gil, and
Heck are afoot, leading the horses. Slipping occasionally on
the treacherous footing. Gil stumbles, falls to a knee. Rises,
shakes his head ruefully.

CLOSER ANGLE

GIL
I hope Heaven forgives us for earning
this easy money.

JUDD
I seem to remember a man saying he
hankered for some old-time activity.

GIL
I'd like to see some old time
mountains. As I recall, they were a
lot easier to get around in.

JUDD
You do a lot of complaining in your
old age.

GIL
I got something to complain about.
You're earning twice as much for the
same risk.
(then)
Plus possessing all the other rewards
you've gathered during your years of
loyal service. A bluegrass
thoroughbred, silver mounted saddle,
magnificent wardrobe. What more could
a man expect -- hope for?

JUDD
You forgot to mention my two dollar
watch.

They reach the top of the incline. Judd mounts, rides on.

HECK
(undertone)
Waste of breath.

They mount, lead the pack horses, catch up with Judd, who
rides his horse at a walk.

MOVING SHOT - JUDD, GIL, HECK

JUDD
(to Gil)
What more could a man expect?
(dryly)
I got to thinkin' about that one
time -- well, sir, I keep records.
When I became a lawman, the world
lost a first-class bookkeeper.
(as Gil looks at him)
So, to pass the time one day, I sort
of calculated, what it's worth to
get shot at. Figured it about a
hundred dollars a shot.

GIL
(raises his head,
peers at Judd. Quietly)
You would have earned quite a sum by
now.

JUDD
Getting hit, I figure that's worth
anywhere from a thousand on up.

GIL
(urging him on)
That's three thousand I know you got
coming.

He glances at Heck, who has his hat pulled down over his
eyes, shows no reaction to Judd's words.

JUDD
Four brings it up to date. Then tally
up all the fights, bush-whackings,
cold camps and the like... that time
in Lincoln County -- five weeks in
the hospital, six months out of work.
Add it all up, I'd say I was owed
about all the gold we could carry
out of these mountains... That's
something to hope for.

Reaction from Heck as he stares at Gil, who responds with a
smile. This unseen by Judd, who rides on.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. HIGH SIERRA HORSESHOE LAKE - DAY

The Judd Party rides across the dry lake bed, only to halt
when there is a CALL FROM BEHIND.

THEIR P.O.V.

as Elsa rides toward them.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

TWO SHOT

HECK
My luck has surely turned --

ELSA
(as she joins them)
Do you mind if I keep you company on
the trip?

HECK
I don't mind.

JUDD
I do.

GIL
I'll second that. You've run away,
haven't you?
(she doesn't answer)
Well, my advice to you, honey, is
turn that horse around and ride back
home where you belong.

ELSA
(touching a bruise on
her face)
I'm not going back to my father --
I'm going to Coarse Gold to marry
Billy Hammond.

HECK
(reversing himself)
What do you want to do a foolish
thing like that for?

ELSA
That is my affair.

JUDD
She's right, Heck. Our business is
transporting gold. Not girls.

ELSA
(sarcastic)
Thank you for paying back our
hospitality.
(to Gil)
Those lovely ham hocks, and
everything.

GIL
I'm a strong believer in young love
and gratitude, but --

ELSA
(interrupts)
Not strong enough to let me ride
with you --? I'll ride by myself.

JUDD
(glance at sun, to
Gil)
We can get in another three or four
miles before it gets dark.

GIL
Right. Got to cover ground.
(to Elsa)
Do you have a gun?

ELSA
No, I don't have a gun...

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

NEW ANGLE

GIL
Too bad.
(to Judd, quietly)
This is mountain lion country, if
I've ever seen any.
(as Judd nods wisely;
to Elsa)
Well, build a good fire. Chances are
it'll scare them off.

HECK
You both go on ahead... I couldn't
sleep tonight with the thought of
Elsa out here all by herself... I'll
stay with her and meet you in Coarse
Gold... Go ahead.

Judd and Gil exchange glances.

GIL
Those mountain lions, some don't
scare so easy.

JUDD
(after a moment, to
Elsa)
Come along.

They ride out, Elsa all smiles, Heck not at all pleased.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. HIGH SIERRA - GROUP SHOT - LATE AFTERNOON

As they ride by.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MOUNTAINS (LAKE AREA) - TWO SHOT - NIGHT

as Judd crosses with the coffee pot and pours Gil another
cup. In the B.G. Elsa kneels, washing tin plates and cups,
with Heck's help.

JUDD
Do you remember Old Man Teaford?

Gil grins at the memory, then begins to laugh.

JUDD
(Indian dialect)
All night, Logan.

GIL
(Indian dialect)
Oh, yeah... Way up, Logan.

They grin at the memory, then fall silent.

GIL
(finally)
That was a long time ago.

TWO SHOT - HECK AND ELSA

HECK
You know, the way you do your hair,
it looks real nice.

ELSA
Think so? -- Pa had me cut it short.

HECK
Sort of fits in with the shape of
your head when you see it from the
side.
(turns her head so
it's in profile)
Like that... Most girls don't have
the first idea how to wear their
hair.

ELSA
I guess you're an authority on what
most girls do.

HECK
I've studied the subject. Not just
what they do, but why. Take this
getting married. You think that's a
good idea?

ELSA
If I didn't, I wouldn't be here.

HECK
My guess is, you're doing it to get
away from your Pa. Maybe to get even.

ELSA
I guess your guess is as good as
anybody's.

HECK
If it's wrong, how come you run away?

ELSA
Because my father doesn't want me to
get married. Oh, he says he does. If
I can find a decent young man.
(bitterly)
But nobody's decent, according to
him.
(beat)
You included. Said you were no good.
Said the likes of you don't stop at
talking.

HECK
(moves closer)
Well, he might have a point there.
(as Elsa turns her
face toward him.
Sharply)
Don't move!

Alarmed, she doesn't. Heck pretends to see something in the
vicinity of her ear. Moves a hand slowly that way. Which
brings his face close to hers. She follows his hand with her
eyes, is suddenly kissed. For a few seconds Elsa doesn't
resist. Then she fights, bites his lip. Heck yells in pain.
Elsa rises, runs off. Heck touches his lip with his fingers,
sees blood. Angry, he grabs her. She struggles, not too hard,
to get free as Heck tries to kiss her. JUDD'S ARM ENTERS
FRAME, grabs Heck, jerks him away from Elsa.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

DIFFERENT ANGLE - TO INCLUDE JUDD AND GIL (WITH COFFEE CUP)

Heck tries to break away from Judd's grasp, suddenly lashes
out with the fist of his free hand, knocking Judd to the
ground.

GIL
Oh my -- oh my.

From his reaction, it's evident he thinks Heck has made a
big mistake. He leans against a tree, LIGHTS a cheroot,
watches Judd's preparations for battle.

JUDD AND HECK

The older man rises, removes his coat, carefully folds and
places it on a log. Advances on Heck, who lunges toward him,
swinging punches, which Judd avoids, or takes on shoulders
and elbows.

GIL

smoking, enjoying his coffee, watching Heck's comeuppance.

BACK TO THE FIGHT

Heck throws another series of punches, all skillfully parried
by Judd. Who waits for the opening, finds it, throws his
first and last punch, knocking Heck down. He's too groggy to
rise.

ELSA

watching, sorry for Heck.

FULL SHOT - GROUP

Judd picks up his coat, puts it on, then speaks to Gil.

JUDD
When I questioned you about the boy,
I should've gone a bit deeper into
the subject of character. Hope that's
a mistake I won't live to regret.

GIL
A bird in the hand --

Then falls silent as Judd turns to him.

JUDD
(with strange intensity)
What are you trying to say, Gil?

GIL
(after a long moment)
Good fight. I enjoyed it.

Judd grunts, leads Elsa toward the fire. Heck is helped to
his feet by Gil, who brushes off his clothing.

GIL
"That old man?"

HECK
(barely able to talk)
That old man is about half rough.

GIL
You learned a lesson.

HECK
I surely did.

GIL
Got room for another?

HECK
Let her fly.

Gil belts Heck, knocking him flat. Then picks him up and
helps him to his feet.

GIL
(pleasantly, but firm)
We're not here for romance -- do you
understand me, Son?

HECK
(after a moment)
I understand.

DISSOLVE:

EXT. MOUNTAIN (LAKE AREA) - TWO SHOT - ELSA AND HECK - NIGHT

Elsa bends over Heck who is bedded down.

ELSA
(softly)
I hope Mr. Judd didn't hurt you too
bad.

He turns away. She tries again.

ELSA
I guess it's kinda my fault...

HECK
(sourly)
What do you mean, kinda?

ELSA
I acted silly. I'm sorry. I do like
you...

HECK
Save the sugar talk for your Billy-
boy. I don't need it.

ELSA
(angered)
I guess not. What you need is the
kind of a girl who'd go off with you
to San Francisco or Denver...

HECK
That's right. And there's plenty of
them.

ELSA
I changed my mind. You got just what
you deserve.

Elsa stamps off to her bedroll. Heck rolls over, sees Gil
grinning at him.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

HECK
You got something to say?

GIL
No, I think she about covered
everything.

DISSOLVE:

EXT. HIGH SIERRA - DAY

Judd's Party is profiled against the sky, moving up an
incline.

SLOW DISSOLVE:

EXT. COARSE GOLD - DAY

A gold-mining camp in the raw Granite High Sierras. Hub of
the business and social life of some one hundred miners who
operate penny ante claims in the area. A narrow street wanders
between a row of tents. The camp boasts one new frame
building, bearing the legend KATE'S PLACE. Seated on a camp
stool beneath the sign, taking an occasional drink from a
bottle is KATE. She is a big woman, full of bourbon
enthusiasm. With her are two of her Girls.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

KATE'S P.O.V.

Judd's Party rides into camp.

MOVING SHOT THEIR P.O.V.

Judd's Party notes the following activity: an Indian SQUAW,
trimming the beard of a MINER outside a tent; a MINER, passed
out and sleeping it off; the slops from a bucket, thrown
from inside a tent, narrowly missing the Party, draws a dry
comment from Gil.

MOVING SHOT ON GROUP

GIL
Lovely place. A beauty spot of nature --
a garden of Eden for the sore in
heart and short of cash.

JUDD
We didn't come here to admire the
scenery.

Shrill LAUGHTER and GUFFAWS come from Kate's Place.

GIL
The High Sierra Crochet and Garden
Society seem to be having their weekly
meeting.

JUDD
(ignores this)
Pass the word around we're in camp
and ready for business.
(to Heck)
Find out where the Hammond claim is
and take --
(indicating Elsa)
-- her there.

HECK
Why me?

GIL
Because Steve and I are going to be
busy weighing gold dust.

JUDD
(to Elsa)
It's not too late to change your
mind...

ELSA
(angry glance at Heck)
I came to be married and that's what
I'm going to be -- married!

JUDD
Good luck, then.

GIL
All the happiness in the world.

Judd takes the lead rope on Heck's pack horse and stays with
Gil while the young people ride on. More SHRIEKS AND LAUGHTER
from Kate's Place -- draws Gil's attention.

GIL
(as they ride O.S.)
This seems to be the place to find
it.

HECK AND ELSA

HECK
You might be in for a surprise...
How do you know Billy-boy still wants
to marry you --?

ELSA
What do you care?

HECK
(snapping back)
I don't!

DISSOLVE:

EXT. HAMMOND CLAIM - DAY

Three tents are pitched in the rocks. Water from a distant
and unseen stream flows down a wood flume to spill into a
sluice box, where gravel, transported to the box by wheel-
barrow, is 'panned' in the swiftly flowing water. Beside the
sluice box is a wash stand, soap, razor, towels, and mirror.

Occupied with various chores are the HAMMOND BROTHERS.
Clannish Southerners, they share a sardonic attitude toward
life in general, and a latent appetite for violence.

ELDER HAMMOND, thirty-five, the bearded 'head' of the family,
also the largest. Powerful physique, impassive countenance,
his decisions are accepted by his brothers without question.

SYLVUS, next in age, sports a big moustache, lean, wiry,
smiles often, but only with his lips, not the eyes.

HENRY, mid-twenties, the 'dirty' one of the group, badly in
need of a haircut, wears filthy clothes, chews tobacco, parts
his thin beard with thumb and forefinger of a hand when
spitting, called 'Henery' by the others. At present he is
not in evidence.

BILLY, twenty-five, dark and handsome in a wild, flamboyant
way. A smiling, devil-may-care personality. More colorfully
dressed than his brothers, in a manner calculated to draw
attention to him. While not the oldest, the unofficial leader
of the group.

JIMMY, nineteen, gangling and fuzzy-cheeked. What he lacks
in brains, he makes up for in petty meanness.

Billy is behind a tent, chopping wood. Sylvus stirs a pot on
an outside cook stove. Elder works beside the sluice box.
Jimmy wheels a barrow load of gravel to the box, dumps it on
the ground.

ANOTHER ANGLE

Excepting Billy, the brothers are alerted by the CALLS OF A
MAGPIE. Sylvus disappears in a tent to reappear with a rifle.
Presently Heck and Elsa ride out of the granite into the
clearing. Are regarded with suspicion by the Hammonds.

HECK
This the Hammond claim?

ELDER
Who wants to know?

HECK
Me. I'm looking for Billy Hammond.

Billy appears, carrying a load of wood.

ELSA
Billy!

Dismounts, runs toward him. Billy drops the wood, runs to
embrace her. They kiss.

JIMMY
(to Elder)
Must be the girl he's been going
down the mountain to see.

ELDER
I'll say one thing, she's sure worth
the trip.

JIMMY
Wish I'd got there first.
(spits)
Looks like a warm one.

BILLY
Where's your Pa?

ELSA
Back home, where do you think?

BILLY
You run away, just to see me?

ELSA
(little worried)
See you? Don't you remember what you
said?

BILLY
I said a lot of things.

ELSA
I mean about us.
(indicates laundry
bag)
I brought my mother's wedding dress.
(quickly)
If you still want to.

ANOTHER ANGLE

BILLY
(yelling to brothers)
Hear that? Prettiest girl in
California, and she says, if I want
to.

SYLVUS
(to Elsa)
If he don't, you got four others to
choose from.

ELDER
Girl like you deserves the pick of
the litter. So there's no rush about
making up your mind.

BILLY
(kisses Elsa)
Don't listen to them. We're getting
married tonight.

ELSA
(radiant, looks at
Heck smugly)
I guess that'll be all, Mr. Longtree.

BILLY
Just who is Mr. Longtree?

ELSA
I rode up with him from the farm.

BILLY
That's a couple of days on the trail,
ain't it?

HECK
That's right -- and a coupla nights.

The brothers eye Heck coldly.

ELSA
There were two other men with us
from the bank, in Hornitos. Besides,
(faint note of irony)
Mr. Longtree was a perfect gentleman.

SYLVUS
How come? Something wrong with him?

BILLY
I don't think I ever met a perfect
gentleman before. I am truly honored
Mr. Longtree. Truly.

Faint, contemptuous grins from the brothers who nudge each
other. The grins broaden. Heck, doing a slow burn, turns his
horse, rides off. Stops when he HEARS DERISIVE LAUGHTER from
behind. Glares back, then rides on.

CLOSE SHOT - FEATURING BILLY AND ELSA

Billy picks her up and swings her -- she squeals excitedly
and provocatively. Billy stops -- looking off.

BILLY
Sylvus, Jimmy -- come over here. I
want you to meet my woman. Elder --
come here.

ANOTHER ANGLE

The three brothers move up to Billy and Elsa -- stop, grinning
a little.

BILLY
That's Jimmy. He's our youngest.
Next is Sylvus, he's our cook -- as
you can see. And that there's Elder --
he's head of the family.
(after a moment)
Well, boys -- say hello to the gal.

JIMMY
(after a moment)
How do...

Sylvus grins. Elder nods and moves away.

BILLY
Now I want you to meet my favorite
brother. Henry -- you come on down
and meet my gal.

HIS POV - CLOSE SHOT - THE MAGPIE

CAMERA PULLS BACK to INCLUDE HENRY talking to the bird on
his shoulder as he walks into camp.

HENRY
(to Elsa)
What he meant to say was the richest.

BILLY
Henry's our banker.

The brothers ROAR with LAUGHTER -- then:

BILLY
Come on, Honey. I'll show you my
tent.

He and Elsa cross toward the tent. The brothers look after
Elsa appreciatively.

EXT. COARSE GOLD - FULL SHOT - TENT - DAY

Half a dozen MINERS are in a line entering the tent. And
more approach from both directions on the street. Each miner
carries his poke of gold dust, a buckskin or leather pouch.
Beside the tent entrance a proclamation has been pinned. It
says:

NOTICE

The Hornitos National Bank has authorized MR. STEVE JUDD to
accept deposits of gold dust and issue receipts for same.
The Bank agrees to be liable for such deposits, and to honor
all receipts in full. LUTHER SAMSON, Pres.

INT. TENT - FULL SHOT - DAY

where Judd, seated at a rickety table, writes out receipts
for dust weighed by Gil. And tagged with the owner's name.
Kate takes a receipt from Judd.

GIL
(dryly, to Kate)
Looks like you've got a pretty good
claim.

KATE
(flouncing out)
It's a gold mine, honey. Come on
over and take a look.

She leaves. Heck, still angry, enters.

GIL
(putting weights on
the balancing pan)
Find Billy Hammond?

HECK
Yeah.

JUDD
What's he like?

HECK
What difference does it make? She
wanted him, now she's got him.

GIL
Count your blessings, brother.
(has balanced gold.
To Judd)
6 pounds, 8 ounces, 3 pennyweight,
14 grains, total.

JUDD
(jots this down)
6 pounds, 8 ounces, 3 pennyweight,
14 grains.

DISSOLVE:

EXT. HAMMOND CLAIM - DAY - CLOSE ON JIMMY HAMMOND

bound and tied protests as Henry and Elder lather his face
with a shaving brush.

JIMMY
Damn the both of you, I don't want
to be shaved.

HENRY
Well, you're gonna be, whether you
like it or not.

ELDER
You been running around with peach
fuzz long enough. We want that girl
to know she's marrying into a family
of men.

Henry exchanges brush for razor. Grabs Jimmy's nose, starts
to shave a sideburn.

ELDER
If you don't stop wiggling you'll
likely lose an ear.

EXT. TENT - FULL SHOT - SIGN

It reads: HONEYMOON HOUSE.

INT. TENT - FULL SHOT - DAY

Billy gathers up Sylvus' belongings, wraps them in blankets
taken from one of two cots. Elsa glances around, appalled at
the filth and litter -- an empty tin can, broken bottles,
socks and underwear hanging from a string clothes line, etc.
She starts to pick up litter as Sylvus enters, takes his
belongings from Billy. Sylvus starts out, then stops. Tosses
his gear back onto the cot.

SYLVUS
Nossir. Don't see no reason to move
out, just 'cause you're honeymoonin'
in here.

This dismays Elsa.

BILLY
(to Sylvus)
I don't have time to explain it.

SYLVUS
Well, I ain't goin'.

Billy smiles and knocks Sylvus out of the tent.

BILLY
You just did.

Then he picks up Sylvus' belongings and throws them after
his brother.

EXT. TENT

as Sylvus rises in time to catch the clothes in his face.
Discouraged, he wanders over to where his brothers are shaving
Jimmy, picking up a jug on the way.

SYLVUS
(taking a drink)
You know, I think Billy's getting
small minded about that woman.

INT. TENT - TWO SHOT - DAY

Billy embraces Elsa. They kiss. After a moment, Elsa breaks
out of the embrace.

ELSA
(flushed)
I've got to clean up in here.

BILLY
(kissing her)
Plenty of time for that later.

ELSA
(after a moment)
No, I want to do it now. The place
is filthy and --
(still struggling)
Let go, Billy.
(a little angrily)
Let me go!

Billy releases her. Smiles gently, reassuring Elsa.

BILLY
All right. See you later.
(starts for entrance,
pauses)
If you need any help fastening up
your wedding dress, just holler.

ELSA
I can manage.

Billy leaves. Elsa glances around, discouraged at the sight.

EXT. HAMMOND CAMP - FULL SHOT - SLUICE BOX - DAY

HENRY
Well, now he's had his first shave,
let's make a complete man out of
him.
(proffers jug)
Time for your first drink.

JIMMY
(irritably)
I don't want a drink.

Henry, Elder, Sylvus exchange glances.

ELDER
It ain't so much what you want.
(again seizes Jimmy's
arms)
It's what your brothers tell you to
do.

Jimmy struggles as Sylvus forces his mouth open and Henry
pours whisky down his throat. Then all step back, LAUGHING,
as the boy chokes and gags to his first taste of hard liquor.

JIMMY
(trying to spit out
whisky)
Damn you! Damn you!

DIFFERENT ANGLE

Billy joins the group.

BILLY
You plan to bathe, Henry?

HENRY
No, sir.

ELDER
You won't clean up for Billy's
wedding?

HENRY
No sirree. Didn't wash when Cousin
was wed back home...
(grins)
Didn't seem to bother his bride none.

BILLY
(removing shirt)
There'll be none of that.

HENRY
(innocently)
None of what?

NEW ANGLE

Billy ignores the question and getting a bar of soap, starts
to wash in sluice box. Henry, Sylvus, Elder exchange smiling
glances.

HENRY
You're right. Billy's becomin' small
minded about that female.

SYLVUS
Small minded and feisty.

ELDER
A few drinks under his belt, he'll
change his mind. Liquor has a
softening effect on Billy.

Billy glances back at his brothers, resumes washing.

BILLY
(pointedly -- looking
at Henry)
Hate to get married with one of my
brothers smellin' bad enough to gag
a dog off a Gut Wagon.

ELDER
(nods)
That's so.
(to Henry)
Want that sweet little girl to think
we're less than quality?

HENRY
After tonight she won't be able to
think enough about...

They laugh for a moment -- then jump him. Elder grabs the
jug as Sylvus pushes Henry into the sluice box. To the
HILARITY of all but Henry, who emerges, sputtering, from the
water. Glares at Elder and Billy, then grins slyly. And
hurries off.

DISSOLVE:

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. COARSE GOLD - MOVING SHOT - THE WEDDING PARTY

As they ride into town. The brothers are dressed in their
Sunday best. Elsa wears riding-boots, and the wedding dress,
old and faded. The horses are held to a walk, as Elsa must
ride side-saddle on a conventional saddle. The brothers are
all singing:

THE BROTHERS
(singing)
On that bright and shining morning
When the dead Christ shall rise
When the morn shall break eternal
bright and fair
And the saved of earth shall gather
Over on the other shore
When the roll is called up yonder
We'll be there.
When the roll is called up yonder
When the roll is called up yonder
When the roll is called up yonder
We'll be there.
Oh, the Hammond Boys are comin'
With a maiden young and fair
And our Billy's got that love-light
in his eyes
Old Tolliver's awaitin' with a prayer
book in his hand
To tie the knot that binds them till
they die.
(Repeat chorus)

MED. SHOT - JUDD'S TENT

ILLUMINATED BY A LANTERN. A line of MINERS are at the
entrance. Heck glances out, sees the wedding procession,
steps outside, stands beneath the lantern, watching.

HECK'S POV SHOT - WEDDING PARTY

halting at Kate's Place, also ILLUMINATED BY A LANTERN. Elsa,
lowered to the ground by Billy, sees Heck down the street.
Looks at him for a few seconds.

CLOSE SHOT - HECK

looking at Elsa.

INT. KATE'S PLACE - FULL SHOT - NIGHT

Garishly furnished, with shabby rococo chairs and divans, a
plank bar, and a Mexican guitar player -- El Quite. TINKLING
JAPANESE LANTERNS hang from the ceiling. Seated at a table
and now well into his cups is JUDGE TOLLIVER, a traveling,
self-appointed dispenser of justice. The Judge wears "formal",
if seedy, garb. From a corridor at the rear emerges KATE and
the four GIRLS, BELLE, ROSE, CANDY and SAM. The Girls lined
up facing the door have pale faces, dead eyes. All have been
drinking and are more than a little sentimental. They are
dressed in the manner of dance-hall girls fancied up for a
wedding of that period. The room is full of miners, and a
few squaws all dressed in their finest.

KATE
(to Tolliver)
Stand up, Judge -- here comes the
bride.

NEW ANGLE - THE WEDDING PARTY - ENTERING KATE'S PLACE

Billy leads Elsa to the Judge's table.

BILLY
(proudly)
Here she is, my bride-to-be. Elsa,
this is Judge Tolliver. And Kate,
your bridesmaid.

KATE
Welcome to Kate's Place.

JUDGE
Pleased to make your acquaintance,
my dear.

BILLY
I want you to meet Belle, Rose, Candy
and Sam.

BELLE
We're your flower girls, Honey.

KATE
(to the girls --
meaning it)
You look beautiful -- just beautiful.
Aren't they beautiful, Elsa?

Elsa finally nods.

KATE
(calling off)
Let her go, Charlie.

She waves to the piano player and he begins. Kate and her
girls sing:

KATE AND GIRLS
For she's a jolly good fellow
She's a jolly good fellow
For she's a jolly good fellow
Which nobody can deny.

GROUP SHOT

As the miners and brothers begin to sing the second verse:

MINERS AND BROTHERS
(singing)
Which nobody can deny
Which nobody can deny
For she's a jolly good fellow
She's a jolly good fellow
Which nobody can deny.

Elsa is silent, numb.

KATE
(as the song breaks
up in CHEERING)
All right, girls, take care of your
customers.
(to the crowd)
Drinks are on the house.
(to Elsa)
Now, child, sit down, be easy -- and
we'll all of us have a little drinkie
before the formalities.

Elsa sits.

KATE
Drink up, Honey -- go ahead. Don't
be afraid.

Elsa looks at her without speaking, then turns to Billy, who
takes a long drink from a quart bottle and grins at her.

INT. JUDD'S TENT - FULL SHOT - NIGHT

The last depositor leaves. Gil lights a cheroot, watches
Heck drop a tagged poke into a pouch.

GIL
All in all, I'd say it's been a
reasonably productive day.
(to Judd)
Although it's a little closer to
eleven than 250 thousand.

JUDD
Fortunes of war.

GIL
(lost in thought,
after a moment)
Hardly worth it.

JUDD
It all depends on where you stand.

GIL
I guess that's right. To a poor man
11 thousand is just as far away as
250 thousand.

Heck goes toward the entrance.

JUDD
Where you going?

HECK
Out for some fresh air. Any objection?
(leaves)

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. COARSE GOLD - FULL SHOT - TENT

Heck stops outside, looking down the street at Kate's Place.

INT. KATE'S PLACE - NIGHT

Judge Tolliver, somewhat taken with drink, reads the wedding
service. Faces a wide-eyed apprehensive Elsa, a bleary-eyed
Billy. Kate stands behind Elsa. Behind the couple are Billy's
four brothers. Almost everyone is crying.

JUDGE TOLLIVER
We are gathered here in the high
mountains, and in the presence of
this august company, to join together
this man and this woman in
matrimony... Now matrimony is an
honorable estate, instituted, blessed,
and commended and commented on by
almost everybody.
(then to Billy and
Elsa -- gently, simply)
I am not a man of the Cloth, and
this is not a religious ceremony. It
is a Civil marriage. But none-theless,
it should not be entered into
unadvisedly, but reverently and
soberly... You know, a good marriage
has a kind of simple glory about it.
A good marriage is a rare animal,
hard to find -- almost impossible to
keep...
(stumbling, remembering)
I don't know -- you see... Well,
people change. It's important for
you to know at the beginning that
people change. You see, the real
glory of marriage don't come at the
beginning. It comes later and it's
hard work.

GROUP SHOT - FEATURING SYLVUS

as a miner turns to him.

MINER
I wish they'd liven things up a bit.
I'm getting awfully dry.

Sylvus turns and with one short punch, knocks the man
unconscious.

MED. SHOT - JUDGE

He reacts, then hurries on with the ceremony.

JUDGE TOLLIVER
Do you take this woman to be your
lawful wedded wife? And promise that
you will perform unto her all the
duties that a husband owes his wife --
until God, by death, shall separate
you?

BILLY
I do.

JUDGE TOLLIVER
(to Elsa)
And do you --
(he hesitates)
What did you say your name was?

ELSA
Elsa Knudsen.

JUDGE
And do you, Elsa, take this man to
be your lawful, wedded husband until
death shall separate you?

ELSA
I do.

JUDGE
(to Billy)
Do you have a ring?

Billy gets a ring from Kate, places it on Elsa's finger.

JUDGE TOLLIVER
Then by the 'thority vested in me I
pr'nounce you man and wife.

KATE
All right, girls -- change your
clothes.

Billy kisses Elsa. Henry SHOUTS THE REBEL YELL. The MUSIC
starts a fandango and two of the brothers begin to dance
with two of the girls. The others pull Billy away from Elsa,
take turns kissing her. Then one dances with her, trying to
kiss her at the same time. The rest of the crowd breaks up --
some dancing with squaws -- others with each other. All
drinking and all having a hell of a good time.

EXT. COARSE GOLD - MED. SHOT - HECK - NIGHT

Heck has moved to a place near Kate's door. Scowling, watches
the activity through the open door.

INT. KATE'S PLACE - FEATURING ELSA - NIGHT

Dancing with Sylvus who nuzzles her neck, tries to kiss her.
Billy pulls Sylvus away, takes no more than two steps with
Elsa when he in turn is pulled away by Elder and pushed into
the arms of one of the girls. The other girl leads Henry
into the corridor. Kate drinks with the Judge, both enjoying
the action.

EXT. COARSE GOLD - HECK - NIGHT

Judd approaches, stops, sensing his feelings.

JUDD
No use standing here tormenting
yourself, Son. Come on, I'll buy you
a drink.

Heck reluctantly goes back with him.

INT. KATE'S PLACE - FULL SHOT - NIGHT

where the party gets wilder. Elsa, beginning to panic, tries
to fight free of Elder, whose dancing is confined to a few
shuffling steps as he tries to kiss her. Sylvus pulls Elder
away, starts for Elsa, is knocked down by Elder, which gives
Billy the opportunity to join her.

BILLY
Let's get out of here.

She is only too happy to. Billy guides Elsa toward the
corridor, flattening Sylvus, who makes a grab at her. Sylvus
gets up and has a drink. Around him, other fights break out.
Billy stops, watching the fights, drinking. Notices Jimmy
and one of the girls enjoying themselves.

BILLY
(to Elsa)
Tonight's sure making a man out of
Jimmy.

The fight continues and he moves toward it. Elsa grabs him.

ELSA
Don't leave me.

He looks at her a moment, then grins and pulls her into the
corridor.

INT. CORRIDOR - KATE'S PLACE - ELSA AND BILLY - NIGHT

as they hurry the length of the corridor and enter a room
near its end. The corridor is doorless, a cul-de-sac.

INT. BEDROOM - KATE'S PLACE - NIGHT

Elsa and Billy enter. She is surprised at finding herself in
a bedroom, starts to protest. Stopped by Billy's embrace and
kiss. Struggles when his pawing hands try to remove her
clothing. Fights, crying softly. Billy tears a sleeve of her
gown, finally pushes her onto the bed. Staggers to the door,
SLAMS it closed. Steps atop a rickety chair to draw down the
window shade, but the chair collapses and Billy falls to the
floor, momentarily unconscious.

The DOOR BURSTS OPEN and Henry stands in the opening --
swaying, grinning at the terrified girl.

INT. JUDD'S TENT - FULL SHOT - NIGHT

Judd pours three drinks from a pocket flask. The SOUND OF
REVELRY from Kate's Place is HEARD.

JUDD
I wish I'd known more about those
brothers.

HECK
(softly)
Too late now -- she's married.

GIL
(happily)
Glad they didn't invite me to the
ceremony. I always cry at weddings.

HECK
(flatly)
You know, Mr. Westrum, the more I am
around you the more I can do without
your sense of humor.

Gil reacts to Heck's reversed attitude. Above the SOUND OF
REVELRY WE HEAR ELSA'S SCREAM. Heck, weaponless, is out of
the tent in a flash. Judd goes after him -- turns to Gil.

JUDD
You stay here!

GIL
Wild horses couldn't drag me away.

Judd is gone. Gil, beaming, picks up a drink, toasts the
gold pouches, tosses it down. Picks up another drink.

INT. BEDROOM - KATE'S PLACE - NIGHT

Elsa struggles with Henry, who tears her gown. Finally she
breaks free, darts out the door, down the corridor, followed
by Henry.

INT. KATE'S PLACE - GROUP SHOT - NIGHT - BACK TO WEDDING
CELEBRATION

Elsa BOLTS out of the corridor, tries to get to the front
door, is stopped by Elder. She fights, scratching him.

NEW ANGLE

Heck RUNS IN from the street, slugs Elder, knocks him down.
Henry, who emerges from the corridor, hits Heck from behind,
knocking him sprawling.

Elder rises, again grabs Elsa. When Jimmy tries to kick Heck
in the face, he rolls over, grabs Jimmy's legs, up-ends him.

NEW ANGLE

Henry dives at Heck, who rolls over again, comes quickly to
his feet. Elder, behind him at the bar, holds a struggling
Elsa with one arm, picks up a bottle with his free hand,
raises it, intending to break it over Heck's head. A SHOT
comes from the doorway, SHATTERING THE BOTTLE. Judd appears,
gun in hand. The SOUND OF THE SHOT halts all activity.

JUDD
(to Elder)
Let her go.

Elder does, and Elsa sobbing hurries to Judd's side. As they
start to leave, BILLY appears at the corridor entrance.

CLOSE GROUP SHOT

BILLY
Where you taking my wife?

JUDD
She'll stay the night with us, and
go back to her father tomorrow.

BILLY
Like hell she will.

Lurches toward them, stumbles, falls to the floor, starts to
get up, Heck drops him again -- Elder slams Heck against the
wall, turns to Judd.

ELDER
You can't take a wife away from her
husband.

JUDGE
(blotto, to Kate)
Clear case of breaking and entering.

ELDER
Elsa's legally married to Billy.
Right, Judge?

JUDGE
(half rises from chair)
I now pr'nounce you man 'n wife --
and, don't you forget it.

JUDD
Come along, Elsa.

ELDER
You won't leave this camp with her.
I can promise you that.

They leave -- Heck follows -- Elder watches silently. After
a moment, El Quite begins to play the Wedding March.

INT. JUDD'S TENT - FULL SHOT - NIGHT

Judd and Elsa enter.

JUDD
(as Gil rises)
The marriage didn't work out. We'll
take her with us -- back to her
father.

GIL
We've got our hands full already.
(indicating the gold)

JUDD
(as Heck enters)
I don't like it any better than you
do, but we can't leave her here.

Gil thinks this over, then exits. Elsa sits down, looks at
the two men, then starts to bawl.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MERCANTILE TENT (COARSE GOLD) - MOVING SHOT - DAWN

Above the entrance a sign reads:

COARSE GOLD GENERAL MERCANTILE

Heck and Elsa exit the tent. Elsa wears brand new jeans and
a man's shirt, both several sizes too large. She carries her
wedding dress. They walk toward Judd's tent, with Elsa holding
her jeans up. Heck is solemn, taciturn. Elsa gives him a
side-long glance.

ELSA
Thanks very much. I'll pay you back.

HECK
Forget it.

ELSA
I didn't thank you for last night,
either.

HECK
Forget that, too.
(notices Elsa's
difficulty with jeans)
Too big, huh?

She nods. They stop. Heck brings out a bandana, slips it
through the two front belt loops, draws it tight, ties it.
Now the jeans fit at the waist. Elsa, glancing off at Judd's
tent, reacts in alarm. Heck notices, also looks that way.

THEIR P.O.V.

Five MINERS are seated on stools, facing Judd's tent. Judd,
Gil, and Billy Hammond talk to them. Watching, at a distance,
are the rest of the Hammonds and a group of armed miners,
and various spectators. Henry, in conversation with Elder,
leaves his brothers, goes off toward the rear of the tent.

JUDD
-- We will abide by the court's
decision if you will --

RETURN TO HECK AND ELSA

ELSA
(frightened)
What are they doing there?

HECK
Don't know.
(takes her arm)
Don't be scared. Everything will be
all right.

They walk toward the tent. Gil and Judd see Heck and Elsa,
go toward them.

REAR OF TENT

The horses of the Judd Party are staked out, and the riding
horses have been saddled. The men's rifles are in the boots.
Henry, with a glance at those in front of the tent, walks
casually toward the horses.

BACK TO HECK AND ELSA

Apprehensive. They are joined by Judd and Gil, OUT OF EARSHOT
of the others.

HECK
What's wrong?

JUDD
Billy Hammond wants Elsa. He's called
a Miners' Court to decide the issue.

HECK
Miners' Court?

JUDD
That's the law, places like this --

HECK
Who says?

GIL
They do. And there's a lot more of
them than there are of us.
(to Elsa)
Billy's very sorry about last night.
Swears nothing like it will ever
happen again. I believe him.

HECK
(glaring at him)
I wouldn't believe Billy-boy --

ELSA
(badly frightened;
interrupting)
I don't want to go back to him.

JUDD
They'll take your wishes into
consideration. Problem is, you were
legally married by the local Judge,
of your own free will.

ELSA
(close to tears)
Please, you can't let them take me
back. You can't!

GIL
We'll do the best we can. But whatever
they decide, that will have to be
it.

HECK
No, that don't have to be it. She's
not going back to him. She's going
with us.

GIL
(his anger showing)
She stays here!... We're packin'
gold with us, not petticoats.

HECK
To hell with the gold! If she stays,
I stay.

JUDD
Let's hope the Court decides that
she can go. Otherwise we're going to
be a little short-handed.

He takes Elsa's arm, guides her toward the Court, with Heck
on the opposite side. Gil stays behind thinking. Finally,
with a sour, disgusted look, goes off in another direction.

EXT. KATE'S PLACE

Gil approaches, enters. Exits to rear room.

INT. BEDROOM - CLOSE SHOT - GLASS - DAY

As Gil pours a glass of whiskey. Judge Tolliver, badly hung
over, tries to lift the glass to his mouth, but his hand
shakes badly. GIL'S ARM ENTERS FRAME, his hand grabs the
Judge's wrist, escorts the glass to the Judge's lips. Tolliver
drinks, looks up.

JUDGE
Much obliged.

GIL
Not at all. Have another?

JUDGE
Don't mind if I do.

Gil pours the drink, which the Judge, unassisted, tosses
down. He feels better.

JUDGE
Thank you, sir. What can I do for
you?

GIL
Clear up a little technicality, if
you will. They're holding a Miners'
Court. About that marriage last night --
they'll want to know if it was legal.

JUDGE
Of course it was legal!

GIL
Well, I believe that. But the Court
may want proof. In the form of a
license. To perform marriages. You
got one?

JUDGE
(fumbles in a purse,
produces a license)
See for yourself.

NEW ANGLE

Gil reads, finally:

GIL
Signed by the Governor of California.
Yes sir, there's no question at all
about the legality of this document.
Now Judge, when you testify at that
Miners' Court I'm going to ask you
one question: 'Do you possess a
license to marry people in
California?' And you're going to
answer, 'No'. Am I clear?

JUDGE
But that's a lie.

GIL
No, it isn't. You don't possess it.
I do.

With which Gil folds, pockets the license.

JUDGE
Now, hold on, Mister --

Breaks off as Gil draws his gun, jabs barrel into the Judge's
fat belly.

GIL
(savagely)
Listen to me, you fat-gutted soak --
you're going to do as you're told --
understand?
(the Judge nods)
Do you recall the question I'm going
to ask you?
(Judge nods again)
And what do you answer?

JUDGE
No.

GIL
(pleasantly)
Very good. Let's go.

The Judge hastily pours another drink, tosses it down. Rises,
is escorted to the door by Gil.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. STREET - DAY

The Judd Party and Elsa ride out of town, carrying the gold
on pack horses. The Hammond brothers and members of the Court
watch them go.

INT. KATE'S PLACE - FULL SHOT - DAY

Business slow and only Kate and two girls are working in a
corner. The Judge has the shakes again. Tries to pour a drink,
finally gives up, drinks from the jug. HEARS SOMEONE ENTER.

HIS POV

Billy and Elder enter, cross toward Judge, EXIT SHOT. Henry,
Jimmy and Sylvus enter and watch. We HEAR THE JUG, CRASHING
to the ground. Followed by the SOUND OF BLOWS, and the Judge's
CRY as the brothers beat him.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. HIGH SIERRA - MOVING SHOT - DAY

The Judd Party ride downgrade, Heck and Elsa in front. Heck
turns in the saddle, speaks to Gil.

HECK
How did you come to figure that Judge
was a phony?

GIL
Might call it a sixth sense. Picked
up from years of keeping the peace.
A good law enforcement officer can
smell a wrong-doer four miles off
against a high wind.

Judd smiles faintly, allows Elsa and Heck to ride on as he
slows his horse beside Gil's.

JUDD
Speaking of sixth sense, what did
you do with the license?

Gil grins and brings the license from his pocket, tears it
up, tosses the pieces aside.

GIL
What license?

JUDD
According to the law, she's still
married to Billy Hammond.

GIL
You and the law. She can get it
nullified. Will that satisfy your
ironbound code of ethics?

JUDD
My code satisfies pretty easy,
partner.
(looks steadily at
Gil)
Surprise you to know I was once a
law-breaker?

GIL
Well, bless my stars.

JUDD
(after a moment)
I was about the age of that boy --
skinny as a snake and just about as
mean -- ran with the Hole-in-the-
wall bunch, gunhappy, looking for
trouble -- or a pretty ankle. -- Had
the world by the tail so to speak.

NEW ANGLE

Gil listens in silence.

JUDD
Then one night Paul Staniford picked
me up. -- He was Sheriff of Madera
County then -- there had been a fight
and I was drunk -- sicker than a
damn dog. Well sir, he dried me out
in jail, then we went out back and
he proceeded to kick the bitter hell
right out of me.

GIL
That took some doin'...

JUDD
Not much. You see -- he was right
and I was wrong. That makes a
difference.

GIL
Who says so?

JUDD
Why nobody... That's something you
just know --
(then)
By the time I was able to walk again
I found I'd learned a lesson -- the
value of self-respect.

GIL
(dully)
What's that worth on the open market?

JUDD
Nothing to some people -- but a great
deal to me. But I lost it -- These
last years the only work I could get
was in places like Kate's back
there... bartender, stick man,
bouncer, what have you... Not much
to brag on.

They ride in silence, then:

JUDD
Now I've got back a little respect
for myself. I hope to keep it...
with the help of you... and that boy
up ahead.

They ride on, neither one looking at the other, each absorbed
in his own thoughts. Finally:

JUDD
Pretty country, Gil --

GIL
(after a moment)
Yeah.
(then)
Partner, you know what's on a poor
man's back when he dies?
(as Judd looks at him)
The clothes of pride -- And they're
not a bit warmer to him dead than
they were when he was alive.
(after a moment)
What do you want, Steve?

JUDD
(finally)
To enter my House justified.

Gil looks at him. Then wheels his horse, rides back toward
Heck.

CLOSER ANGLE - HECK AND ELSA

They have stopped. Heck crosses to adjust Elsa's saddle cinch.

ELSA
Thank you.
(watches him for a
moment)
Will you stay in town when you get
back?

HECK
(glances off at Gil)
I'm not just certain. Why?

Elsa shrugs. For a moment they are silent, then Heck steps
back as she rides on ahead. As Heck mounts, Gil joins him.
In the B.G. Judd and Elsa ride ahead.

MOVING SHOT - GIL AND HECK - DAY

GIL
You were right, Kid. I been wasting
my breath.
(beat)
Tonight we move.

HECK
Tonight? Why so soon?

GIL
That's the way I see it.

HECK
(uneasily)
I don't know --

GIL
(sharply)
You don't know what?

HECK
I started out thinking he was an old
mossback. Changed my mind. Kind of
hate to turn against him.

GIL
(beat)
Are you with me or not?

HECK
I don't know. What'll happen to Elsa?

GIL
He'll deliver Elsa to her father.
(then, softly)
The thing for you to remember is
that we made a deal.

HECK
Yes, sir.

Heck, tormented, looks off at Elsa, as Gil grins.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. CAMP - NIGHT

The men and girl eat supper. Elsa removes a frying-pan of
beans from the fire.

ELSA
Care for more, Mr. Judd?

JUDD
Not for me, thanks.

ELSA
Heck?

He's in a dark mood, has been picking at his food. Curtly:

HECK
No.

Elsa looks at him, a little puzzled.

ELSA
I was wondering if I did come to
town -- do you think I could find
work?

HECK
(looks; then)
No. I don't think so.

Rises, stalks off to his bedroll some distance away. Elsa,
hurt, watches him. Gil holds out his plate.

NEW ANGLE

GIL
I'm a collector of well-cooked beans,
honey.
(then)
The boy seems to be off his feed
tonight.

JUDD
(rising)
I'll stand first guard duty. You
take over at midnight. Heck can
relieve you at three in the morning.

Leaves, in the opposite direction from that taken by Heck.
Gil lights a cheroot, watches Judd. Then calls to Heck.

ANOTHER ANGLE

GIL
You take guard at three o'clock.
I'll wake you.

HECK
(calls back)
You won't have to.

He sits on his bedroll removing boots, watching Elsa as she
begins to clean up.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MOUNTAINS (LAKE AREA) - FULL SHOT - CAMP SITE - NIGHT

where Judd, Heck and Elsa sleep in bedrolls. A coffee pot is
braced on rocks above the coals of the fire. Sure enough,
Heck is awake, staring up at the stars. Turns to look at
Elsa, sleeping peacefully. GIL ENTERS SCENE, motions to Heck.
Heck dons boots, rises. A last look at Elsa, and he walks
silently away to --

GLADE AMONG THE TREES

Gil has lashed pieces of canvas around the hooves of their
two riding horses, and one of the pack horses. To act as
mufflers. The gold pouches are lashed to the pack horse.

HECK ENTERS SCENE. At Gil's beckoned instructions, Heck leads
the riding horses. Gil leads the pack horse.

They move slowly, silently.

ANOTHER ANGLE

as Gil and Heck lead the horses through the forest. Gil spots
something O.S., stops. As does Heck.

THEIR POV

Judd stands in the trees, his six-gun in hand. He walks out
of the shadows, confronts Gil and Heck. In a blind rage, he
controls his voice with difficulty.

JUDD
It all pointed this way. All that
talk about old Doc Franklin...
grateful citizens... what we've got
coming but never got paid...

GIL
It's the truth, isn't it? Steve?

JUDD
I knew in my bones what you were
aiming for, but I wouldn't believe
it. I kept telling myself you were a
good man -- you were my friend --

GIL
This is bank money, not yours.

ANOTHER ANGLE

JUDD
And what they don't know won't hurt
them?
(savagely)
Not them. Only me!
(to Heck)
Take off your gun belt. Toss it over
here.

Heck unbuckles his belt, tosses it at Judd's feet.

GIL
What are you going to do?

Judd swings, backhanding Gil across the face once, twice.
Gil stumbles back, then straightens, white with anger. Judd
slaps his gun into its holster.

JUDD
You always fancied yourself faster
than me. Go ahead, draw --
(after a moment)
Draw, you damned tinhorn --

NEW ANGLE

For a moment a shootout is inevitable, both men mad enough
to kill; then Gil makes his decision. Slowly unbuckles his
gun belt, tosses it to Judd.

JUDD
That was your second mistake tonight
and the last chance you'll ever get
from me -- I'm going to put you behind
bars, Gil -- and you'll die there.

GIL
You'll play hell getting it done.

Judd picks up Heck's pistol and motions toward camp.

JUDD
(to Gil and Heck)
Move!

They do, passing Elsa, who stares at Heck, shocked and
dismayed.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CAMP - MORNING

Judd sits on horseback, watching Gil mount. Gil has difficulty
as his wrists are bound tightly with rawhide. As CAMERA PANS
to Heck and Elsa, the boy mounts his horse.

HECK
Guess now you're sorry you ran out
on Billy-boy, huh? Guess he looks
pretty good alongside of me.
(no comment from her)
Why don't you go back to him?

Still no comment. And then --

ELSA
How could you do it?

HECK
Like your father says, I'm just plain
no good. Bad through and through...

JUDD
Move along, boy.

They ride out.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. HIGH SIERRAS - DAWN

Judd's Party rides downhill, with Gil and Heck in the lead,
Elsa just behind. Gil's hands are tied. Judd, in the rear,
leads the pack horses. Gil's and Heck's guns are lashed to
one of the packs. Judd is exhausted.

DISSOLVE TO:

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. HIGH SIERRA CLIFF AREA - DAY

The Judd Party rides TOWARD CAMERA, then halts abruptly.

THEIR P.O.V.

Some distance away, two mounted Hammond brothers, BILLY AND
HENRY, LOOK TOWARD CAMERA.

RETURN TO SCENE

GIL
My, oh, my, would you look at that.

THEIR P.O.V.

PANNING FROM Billy and Henry TO SYLVUS down the slope, on
horseback -- TO ELDER on a nearby rocky point.

JUDD PARTY

GIL
You know, I'm glad it's you who has
to protect us, not me... No sir, I
wouldn't be in your shoes for
anything.
(the pitch-man again)
But tell you what I'm gonna do. I'll
have a talk with my partner. Maybe
we can be persuaded to help. My arm's
pretty rusty, so I wouldn't be much
good throwing rocks, but --

Starts toward pack horse carrying the weapons. Judd draws
his gun.

JUDD
Keep away from them horses.

Gil does.

HAMMOND BROTHERS

Billy and Henry RIDE TOWARD THE PARTY. The other brothers
ride off at a slight angle. Behind an out-cropping of rock
which hides their actions from Judd's Party, they dismount,
fan out and ahead, as they make their way among boulders in
a flanking movement.

BILLY AND HENRY

riding toward Judd's Party.

BACK TO JUDD'S PARTY

as Billy and Henry halt their horses nearby.

BILLY
Howdy.
(to Gil)
You made pure fools out of us --
stealing Tolliver's license. But the
Judge says there's a copy of it, on
file in Sacramento.

NEW ANGLE

Reaction from Elsa and Heck on learning she is actually
married.

BILLY
Means you're still my wife -- Come
along, Honey. Let's go home.

Elsa looks at Judd.

JUDD
She stays with us.

HENRY
If she does, there'll be a lot of
fuss and bother.

BILLY
You're breakin' the law, Mr. Judd --
you know that, don't you?

JUDD
(after a long moment)
I know she stays with us.

Henry notices Gil's tied hands.

HENRY
Looks to me like you people had a
little trouble. Looks to me like
somebody got their fingers caught in
the cookie jar.

BILLY
You're shorthanded, Old Timer -- but
she's all we want.
(looks pointedly at
gold)
All we want, provided you hand her
over now.

JUDD
You heard me.

Billy and Henry exchange glances.

BILLY
We'll get her, sooner or later.

HECK
Like hell you will!

BILLY
(laughing)
You better cut a switch, Mr. Longtree --
Don't think you can handle me
barehanded --

They turn and ride off. HENRY'S REBEL YELL IS HEARD. Judd
realizes he's in for real trouble.

JUDD
Heck, will you give me your word to
return your gun when we're out of
this?

NEW ANGLE

GIL
What you mean, is when and if.

JUDD
(to Heck)
How about it? Do I have your word?

HECK
Yes sir -- I reckon you do.

GIL
(to Judd, holding out
his wrists)
I'll go along.

JUDD
(bitterly)
You bet you'll go along. -- Heck,
we're movin' into the rocks. Now!

GIL
Steve --

JUDD
(savagely)
Shut up and get on your horse.

He tosses Heck his gun belt and the group mounts and spurs
for the rocks at the base of a small cliff.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

BILLY AND HENRY

riding at a run to flank the Judd Party.

BILLY
Where's Jimmy?

They glance around. Henry spots him -- points.

THEIR P.O.V.

Jimmy is crawling up the slope of a high boulder. He's near
the top, six-gun out.

SYLVUS

watching.

ELDER

watching.

ELDER
Crazy kid.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

BACK TO JIMMY

Reaches the top of the boulder.

RETURN TO JUDD'S PARTY

as they ride for cover. In B.G. JIMMY APPEARS at top of
boulder, takes quick aim at Judd's back. Jimmy FIRES --
misses. Heck whirls and FIRES, a split second after Jimmy
fires. Heck's bullet hits Jimmy.

Judd, drawing his gun and whirling around, sees Jimmy's gun
arm flop limply over the boulder, with the gun pointing down.
The dead boy's stiffening trigger finger causes his gun to
FIRE once more.

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

BACK TO ELDER

reacting in murderous rage as he sees Jimmy die. He opens
FIRE. In the B.G. Sylvus spurs up the mountain to get behind
the Judd Party. Reaching top of cliff, he dismounts.

BILLY AND HENRY

reacting to Jimmy's death, dismounting, taking cover, opening
FIRE.

BACK TO JUDD'S PARTY

reaching the base of the cliff, taking cover. Judd quickly
tosses Heck a rifle. SHOTS ARE HEARD FROM O.S. AND BULLETS
NICK the surrounding boulders. The men (and Elsa) scatter
out behind the barricade of boulders, prepare to return the
fire. Judd takes aim first, pulls the trigger. A CLICK IS
HEARD.

HECK

gets the same result with his rifle.

FULL SHOT OF GROUP

The men examine the breeches of their rifles -- react.

GIL
What was that I said about a
predicament?

ELSA
What's wrong?

GIL
Take your pick of five possible
answers, all named Hammond.
(to Judd; enjoying it)
You're showing your age, partner...
Back in the old days you'd have
checked the rifles before leaving
camp.

Judd looks at the rifle for a long moment, his face flushed
with anger; then throws it aside and looks off toward the
Hammonds.

JUDD'S P.O.V.

PAN SHOT TO ESTABLISH THE PARTY IS SURROUNDED on all sides
except from the cliff at their back. A SHOT IS FIRED from
the rocks two hundred yards away. The RICOCHET OF THE BULLET
IS HEARD CLOSE BY. CAMERA PANS to one of the brothers hurrying
among the rocks; and yet to another brother, behind a high
rock, taking aim at the Party.

RETURN TO JUDD'S PARTY

A SHOT IS HEARD, and the bullet HITS NEARBY. Heck elevates
his six-gun to a forty-five degree angle from the horizontal,
FIRES at the brother on the rock.

JUDD
Don't waste ammunition.

DISSOLVE:

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. ROCKY AREA - BILLY AND HENRY - DAY

HENRY
(calling)
How much gold do you think he's got?

BILLY
Enough.
(then, as Henry opens
FIRE)
Careful you don't hit Elsa.

THE JUDD PARTY

Crouched among the rocks and underbrush. Judd is thirsty and
exhausted, but determined not to show it. Elsa jumps as a
BULLET RICOCHETS off the wall behind. Gil attempts to wipe
the sweat from his face.

GIL
Kid, run down to the corner and get
me a bottle of beer. And on the way
back, stop at the hardware store and
pick up a rifle.
(indicating Judd)
For Father Time there.

ELSA
How can you keep joking?

GIL
I'd gladly cry my heart out, honey,
if that would get us a rifle. Because
without one, you're looking at three
men who aren't going to be around
much longer...
(then his anger
breaking through)
Steve, cut me loose and give me a
gun!

Judd ignores him.

NEW ANGLE

Heck sees Elsa's reaction and whirls on Gil.

HECK
Why don't you shut up!

ELSA
(to Judd)
Is that true?

A SHOT ZINGS IN.

JUDD
(nodding)
It's just a question of time. We
can't do a thing with six-guns. We've
got to get a rifle.

Scans cliff at rear.

GIL
Why doesn't the mountain go to
Mohammed?

Judd thinks about the situation for a moment longer, then
gives his gun to Elsa.

JUDD
(to Heck)
Start shooting when I go. Maybe the
noise will bother them.

GIL
If you want to die all that bad,
give me a gun and I'll take care of
it.

HECK
With that leg of yours, you'll never
even get started.

JUDD
I told you what to do. Now do it.

Starts to run, is tripped by Heck, who sprints for the cliff.
Judd starts after him, sees it's no use, turns, hurries
forward among the rocks.

BILLY HAMMOND

rolling a cigarette, does a quick double-take on Heck, scaling
the cliff. Rises, cocks his rifle, FIRES.

HECK

scrambling in a zig-zag pattern up the cliff. The bullet
just fired CHIPS ROCK close beside him.

ELSA

watching Heck, terrified.

GIL

trying to break free.

JUDD

hurrying among the boulders toward the Hammonds.

BACK TO BILLY

preparing to fire again at Heck, sees Judd, clearly exposed,
FIRES at him instead.

JUDD

throwing himself behind a boulder as Billy's BULLET CHIPS
ROCK near his head.

HENRY

ignoring Heck and Judd fires at Gil, laughing.

SYLVUS

crawling forward toward cliff edge, sees a FLASH OF HECK
further down the cliff, climbing up. Moves in that direction.
CAMERA HOLDS ON THE ROCKS BENEATH, as Judd moves into view.

ELDER

FIRING at Judd, then swinging his rifle around to FIRE at
Heck.

BACK TO HECK

reaching the top of the cliff, being MISSED AGAIN BY INCHES
as he scrambles and rolls over the top and into the shelter
of rocks. Rests a few seconds, then, crouching low, hurries
off among the boulders.

JUDD

working his way back to base of the cliff.

HECK

gun in hand, walks among the timber and rocks.

SYLVUS

moves around a rock behind Heck.

HECK

who does a dive to one side as he SEES SHADOW, landing on
the ground FACING SYLVUS, who FIRES. His bullet misses. Heck's
return SHOT doesn't. Sylvus hits the ground, dead. Heck rises,
looks at him a little shaken, then gets Sylvus' rifle, hurries
back. CAMERA PANS TO SYLVUS' HORSE, tied to a bush, in B.G.

ELDER

standing, staring off at the high ground.

ELDER
Sylvus?... Sylvus!

There is no answer and he rides away.

JUDD PARTY

watching.

BILLY

watching, listening -- HEARS NOISE, swings rifle. Elder
HURRIES INTO SCENE.

ELDER
(raging)
Looks like he got Sylvus.

BILLY
Then we're getting out.

ELDER
(yelling)
Getting out! You've got two brothers
dead and you talk about running?

A BULLET RICOCHETS off a tree trunk less than a foot away,
scattering bark on the two Hammond brothers.

BILLY
Come on!

He moves away and Elder follows.

HECK - BEHIND COVER ON THE TOP OF THE CLIFF

levers another shell in the rifle chamber, watches, looking
for a target. HEARING A DISTANT WHISTLE, he changes his
position.

HECK'S P.O.V.

Elder and Billy on their horses, riding out.

HECK

He watches a moment, uncocks the rifle, starts down the cliff.

JUDD, GIL AND ELSA

watching, then HEARING ANOTHER HORSE, they turn.

HENRY

riding away.

BACK TO:

JUDD PARTY

GIL
(to Judd)
Think they mean it?

JUDD
Don't know.

Suddenly Elsa is on her feet, running, then she stops abruptly
as Heck slips down the cliff, grins and walks past her, overly
casual. Tosses rifle to Judd. Judd grins at him.

JUDD
Let's move.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MOUNTAINS - GROUP SHOT - DAY - (EVENING EFFECT)

Gil sits, back against a tree, eating. His hands are still
bound. Heck, Elsa and Judd are near the fire. Gil is bitter
and very much alone.

A COYOTE BARKS and Heck stands.

HECK
Wonder where those other three went?

ELSA
All I hope is they're not still
following us.

GIL
Calm your fears, honey. My bet is
they gave up and went back to Coarse
Gold.

Judd rises.

NEW ANGLE

JUDD
(to Heck)
Assuming that's so, I'll have your
gun back.

Gil tenses. Heck pours coffee into his cup, puts down the
pot, his back to Judd.

JUDD
(after a long moment)
Did you hear me, boy?

Heck wheels and his gun leaps into his hand at full cock,
leveled at Judd. Gil struggles to his feet, grins. Judd's
hand has reached his gun butt, no more. Judd stands for a
long moment. No one moves. Then Heck grins, takes the gun
off cock, spins it, flips it to Judd. Elsa sighs in relief.
Gil stares at Heck, his face expressionless, then sinks down
to the ground. Judd sits and begins to drink his coffee.

HECK
I'm sorry -- I was showing off.

Judd doesn't answer.

GIL
What happens when we get back to
town?

JUDD
That's up to the Sheriff.

HECK
(to Gil)
He's turning us in. You know that --
so do I.

NEW ANGLE

GIL
(after a moment)
Ever hear of Folsom Prison, Heck?

HECK
No.

GIL
Well, it's new -- and solid rock --
and during the years we spend there,
we're going to discuss the events of
these past few minutes at great length --
And by the time you get out, you
won't like them any better than I do
now -- which isn't one hell of a
lot.
(to Judd)
Where do I sleep?

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

ANOTHER ANGLE

JUDD
(to Elsa)
Can I count on you to help stand
guard duty tonight?

ELSA
(surprised)
...Yes.

JUDD
(to Gil and Heck --
indicating)
Over there. And I don't want to see
you till breakfast.

GIL
(rising)
I like my eggs over easy. And bacon
just on the crisp side.

He crosses to Judd and holds out his wrists.

GIL
Cut me loose, Steve.

JUDD
...Why?

GIL
(for the last time)
Because I don't sleep so good anymore
with my hands tied.

Judd looks at him for a moment, then cuts the rope. Gil turns
away without a word. Heck picks up blankets and they start
off. Heck stops, looks back at Elsa.

HECK
Night.

ELSA
(gently)
Night.

Gil and Heck climb a rise, creating a CLATTER OF FALLING
PEBBLES -- establishing it would be difficult to return
without being heard.

ELSA AND JUDD

ELSA
(watching them)
My father says there's only right
and wrong, good and evil. Nothing in
between. It isn't that simple, is
it?

JUDD
Should be, but isn't.

ELSA
What's going to happen to him?

JUDD
The boy? -- I'll testify for him.
Odds are, they won't be too hard on
him.

ELSA
Will you testify for Mr. Westrum?

JUDD
(comes hard)
No, I won't.

ELSA
Why?

JUDD
Because he was my friend.

GIL AND HECK

sitting on their blankets, removing boots.

HECK
How come he doesn't tie us down?

GIL
(bitterly)
What for? No place we can go... And
he's got the horses -- and he's got
the guns. And it wouldn't take long
for Steve Judd to find us...
(breaks off. Long
beat)
Wait a minute, Kid... Just had a
thought...

HECK
(sharply)
Keep it to yourself. I'm fed up with
you and your ideas.

GIL
(pleasantly)
That's all right. I'm just glad I
don't have to live with yours.

He smiles to himself as we --

DISSOLVE:

EXT. HIGH SIERRAS - JUDD AND ELSA - DAY

Judd shaves as Elsa puts coffee in a pot. In the B.G. Heck
crosses toward the fire. Elsa and Judd look up AT THE SOUND.
Heck carries a note.

ELSA
Morning.

JUDD
(glances at him)
Where's Gil?

HECK
When I woke up he was gone. This was
on his blanket.

DIFFERENT ANGLE

JUDD
Read it...

HECK
(reads)
'Steve -- not that I don't enjoy
your company, it's the smell of sour
purity I can't stand. Hard to say
which of us is the bigger fool. Me,
for thinking you had some ordinary
human weaknesses. Or you for proving
me wrong.
(beat)
Some of that purity smell seems to
have rubbed off on Heck. Maybe it's
for the best. If the kid had stuck
with me he might have become a rich
man. And you know what's wrong with
having money. You never know who
your friends are. So long.'

He hands the note to Judd, who crumples it, throws it in the
fire.

ELSA
Why didn't you go with him?

HECK
(off hand)
Because I didn't see much future in
our partnership.

Elsa smiles.

DISSOLVE:

OUT
Sequence omitted from original script.

EXT. HIGH SIERRA - ROCKY AREA - DAY

Where Heck and Sylvus had their shoot-out. Gil walks INTO
SCENE, comes to Sylvus' body, removes the dead man's gun
belt. All business, buckles it around his waist, checks the
gun, replaces two cartridges in cylinder. Holsters gun, spots
Sylvus' horse. Walks there, unties the reins, mounts, rides
swiftly back the way he came.

EXT. ROCKY AREA

as Judd, Heck and Elsa dismount and start down hill.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MEADOW CAMP

as Gil waters horse.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. STUMP CAMP

as Gil gallops past the lake.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ROCKY AREA

as Gil dismounts and hurries down.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. HIGH SIERRA - ROLLING FOOTHILLS - DAY

Gil reaches the top of a rise. Stops, looks off.

JUDD'S PARTY - IN THE DISTANCE

riding, at a slower pace, downgrade on the trail.

GIL

He moves forward at a walk, a satisfied look on his face.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. KNUDSEN FARN - LATE AFTERNOON

VIEWED THROUGH TREES, and down the hill. The JUDD PARTY rides
INTO SHOT. At a signal from Judd, they halt.

JUDD
Wait here while I look around.

Hands the pack horses' lead rope to Elsa, rides off, keeping
to the shelter of the forest. Heck looks at his gun on the
pack horse, dismounts, crosses to the animal.

HECK
(tightens the load on
the pack horse;
indicates his gun)
The old gent's taking quite a chance.

ELSA
I don't think so. Neither does he.

There is a pause.

HECK
I never figured it'd work out this
way...
(then, after a moment)
If you still want to find a job in
town, I think Mr. Judd would help.

ELSA
I was hoping he might.

HECK
Chances are, I'll be locked up for
awhile... I've got no call to bring
it up... But... I think -- when I
get out...

ELSA
I'll be there.

JUDD

Concealed by trees, he is looking down at the farm.

JUDD'S P.O.V. - MOVING SHOT ON THE FARMHOUSE

Nothing stirring at the house, except smoke coming from the
chimney. CAMERA PANS to the grave, behind the house. Joshua
Knudsen kneels behind the grave marker, his head bent in
prayer.

BACK TO JUDD

sees Joshua. Satisfied all is well, returns to the others.

BACK TO HECK AND ELSA

in rapt contemplation of one another. JUDD RIDES INTO SCENE.

JUDD
(to Elsa)
Everything's all right. I saw your
father.
(at her worried
expression)
I'll talk to him.

Takes the lead rope, rides out of the trees, followed by
Heck and Elsa.

LONG SHOT - JUDD PARTY - RIDING DOWN HILLSIDE, VIEWED THROUGH
TREES

CAMERA PANS, HOLDS ON GIL. Seated on Sylvus' horse, watching
Judd's Party.

GIL'S P.O.V.

CAMERA CENTERS ON PACK HORSES carrying gold.

BACK TO GIL

impassively watching. Draws six-gun, checks it, replaces it.

JUDD'S PARTY - RIDE TO THE CORRAL

put the horses inside, walk toward house. At no time has the
grave been visible to Elsa. Now, it comes into her sight.
Joshua still leans against the head-stone.

JOSHUA

his head at eye-brow level, rests on the wooden cross. Blood
drops from his forehead across the face of the marker onto
the dying wild-flowers scattered over the grave. In the B.G.
the Judd Party walks toward the house.

MOVING SHOT - JUDD, HECK, ELSA

Elsa, looking anxiously up the hill at her father, is puzzled.

ELSA
That's strange.

JUDD
What?

ELSA
He goes to her grave every day. But
always in the morning. Never in the
afternoon.

Judd doesn't interrupt the pace of their walk, nor does he
turn his head. As they approach a small ditch which offers
partial protection from the house and barn, he motions to
Heck.

JUDD
In the ditch!

He grabs Elsa, flings her into the ditch, dives after her,
as does Heck. A BULLET ZINGS PAST where Judd had been a split
second before. Judd, prone, draws his gun, rolls away from
Heck and Elsa as ANOTHER BULLET digs into the ground beside
him. SHOOTING FROM THE HOUSE AND BARN BECOMES GENERAL.

GIL - ON HILLTOP

watching. His expression tells us nothing.

INT. BARN LOFT

Henry lies on the hay, shooting out the opening.

INT. KNUDSEN HOUSE

Billy Hammond FIRES through a broken window. A return SHOT
shatters glass near his face. He jumps back, crouches,
returns, rests his gun on the sill, and FIRES RAPIDLY SEVERAL
TIMES until he runs out of ammunition. Moves away from the
window, starts to reload. In the B.G. Elder, using a rifle
spaces his shots more deliberately.

BACK TO JUDD PARTY

huddled in the ditch, kept low by Billy's gunfire of a moment
before. Heck, who is unarmed, looks with longing at the guns
on the pack horses in the corral.

HIS P.O.V.

The rifle and six-guns on the horse.

BACK TO JUDD PARTY

JUDD
(bitterly)
I walked right into it.

HECK
I'm going to try for the corral.
Cover me.

JUDD
(whirling)
You can't...

But Heck is out of the ditch and running. Judd snaps off a
SHOT at the house.

HECK

manages to take three steps before he is hit. He goes down.

JUDD

goes after him, grabs him. And is scurrying back to the ditch
when Heck is hit again, this time in the leg. As they reach
the ditch, Judd is hit -- much more seriously, in his side.

GIL

puts spurs to his horse and at a flat out run, rides toward
the house, gun in hand.

JUDD PARTY - IN DITCH

Elsa bends over Heck. He is hurt (leg and shoulder) bad enough
to keep him out of the fight, but not bad enough to cause
any future worry. Judd lies a short distance away, his face
white with pain.

HECK
Fool stunt. I should have known
better.

JUDD
Amen.

He straightens and FIRES at the house.

INT. HOUSE - BILLY AND ELDER - SHOOTING PAST THEM THROUGH
THE WINDOW

holding what can be seen of the Judd Party in the ditch in
the B. G.

BILLY
Both down...

ELDER
Well, the old man won't get up. I
nailed him good -- belt high.

Billy laughs, then falls silent, as GIL APPEARS IN THE FAR
B.G., riding toward them. He YELLS a shrill, piercing Comanche
war-cry.

JUDD PARTY - IN DITCH

HEARING the yell, looking behind them.

GIL - MOVING SHOT

as he rides, grim as death, OPENING FIRE at the house.

HENRY - IN BARN LOFT

beginning to fire.

BILLY AND ELDER - IN PARLOR

firing.

JUDD PARTY - IN DITCH

Judd grins. Begins to FIRE at the house and barn.

GIL - NEARING DITCH

When the horse is hit and goes down. Gil is thrown heavily,
lies motionless.

JUDD PARTY - IN DITCH

reacting.

BILLY AND ELDER - IN PARLOR

ELDER
(grinning)
I got him.

JUDD GROUP - IN DITCH (INCLUDING GIL IN B.G.)

As Gil suddenly makes a crouching run to the ditch. Just as
quick, Judd FIRES two shots at the house.

BILLY AND ELDER - IN PARLOR

Caught flat-footed, they duck as Judd's SHOTS whistle between
them.

JUDD GROUP - IN DITCH

as Gil lands among them.

JUDD
(after a moment)
See you picked up a few articles on
your way.

GIL
(looking at Heck's
wounds)
This boy left Hammonds scattered all
over the mountains.

Satisfied the boy is not hurt too badly, he turns to Judd,
only to duck as a BULLET whistles by.

GIL
How did you manage to end up in this
enviable position?

JUDD
(reloading)
Main strength and awkwardness.

He grimaces in pain.

GIL
...Bad?

JUDD
Nearly --

GIL
What do you think?

JUDD
Let's meet 'em half way -- head on...
Same as always.

GIL
(grinning at him)
My sentiments exactly.
(then YELLING to the
house)
You Hammonds --!

BILLY AND ELDER - IN PARLOR

ELDER
(YELLING back)
What do you want, Old Man?

HENRY - IN BARN LOFT

HENRY
(SHOUTING -- laughing)
He wants a shovel and six feet of
soft ground.

JUDD
(O.S.)
I want to know if you red-necked
peckerwoods are too chicken-gutted
to finish this thing in the open.

Henry reacts and begins to FIRE.

EXT. DITCH - JUDD PARTY

They duck the shots, then Gil YELLS.

GIL
Just two old men against all three
of you boys...

JUDD
(winking at Gil --
SHOUTING)
And if them odds ain't enough for
you damned dry-gulchin', Southern
trash -- we'll send out the girl.

INT. HOUSE - ELDER AND BILLY

ELDER
We're comin'. You hear me, Henry?

HENRY (O.S.)
I hear. And I'm comin' with!

Billy starts for the back door.

ELDER
Hold up! We'll get 'em when they
stand.

BILLY
Ain't you got no sense of family
honor!

ELDER
I just figured...

But Billy exits. Elder follows, muttering.

EXT. DITCH - JUDD PARTY

watching.

ELSA
They're coming.

THEIR P.O.V.

The Hammond brothers, Billy and Elder come out of the house
and stop. They are joined almost immediately by Henry.

EXT. DITCH - JUDD PARTY

They are silent for a moment, looking at each other. Then
Gil and Judd rise and start for the Hammonds -- their guns
are in their hands hanging easy.

SERIES OF ANGLES - COVERING THE GUN FIGHT

The two groups are too far apart for effective six-gun work.
Judd and Gil walk forward, the brothers waiting for them.
Elder carries his rifle across his body. Slowly he begins to
raise it.

BILLY
I'll tell you when.

Billy's gun is in its holster. Henry fiddles with his,
checking the loads, as Gil and Judd walk forward, doing what
they've done a hundred times before, but will never do again.

BILLY
(drawing)
Start the ball, Old Man.

He begins to FIRE, his shots kicking up dust around Gil and
Judd, who maintain their pace for a few more steps. Then,
the distance to their liking, make a quarter turn and raise
their guns. All the Hammond brothers are now FIRING and Judd
is hit a second after he shoots Henry. He goes down to one
knee and continues to fire, wounding Billy, but takes another
slug from Elder as he does. Elder levels another shell into
the chamber, swings the rifle to Gil, who SHOOTS him between
the eyes. Gil is then nicked high in the shoulder by Billy,
who has reached his feet and started FIRING again. Gil SHOOTS
almost simultaneously with Judd -- both slugs catching Billy
high in the chest, slamming him against the ground.

For a moment no one moves, then Henry lifts his gun for the
last time -- and Gil kills him. The fight is over.

GIL AND JUDD

Gil kneels beside his friend, who still supports himself on
one knee.

GIL
Bad?

JUDD
(with difficulty)
How'd we figure... A thousand dollars
a shot?

GIL
Yeah.

JUDD
Those boys just made me a lot of
money.
(he sinks down a
little, holding his
mid-section)
But they put them all in one place.

In the B.G. Heck leaning on Elsa approaches Judd.

JUDD
I don't want them to see this. I
want to go it alone.

Gil gestures and they stop.

GIL
(to Judd)
Don't worry about -- about anything.
I'll take care of it just like you
would have.

JUDD
(grins a little)
Hell, I know that. I always did...
You just forgot it for awhile, that's
all.

He nods and looks away.

JUDD
(after a moment)
So long -- partner.

Gil stands looking at him, then turns.

GIL
See you later...

He moves away, Judd looks out over the foothills.

JUDD'S P.O.V.

It is sunset. A rooster quail WHISTLES, gets an answer. Scolds
his covey into the brush.

JUDD

looking -- wondering.

ELSA AND HECK

as Gil joins them.

ELSA
Is he going to be all right?

GIL
(having trouble with
it)
Yeah -- he's goin' to be fine...
(then to Heck)
Come on. Let's get you in the house.

They move away, CAMERA PANNING to HOLD on Steve Judd for a
long moment, then PULL BACK as he sinks to the ground. CAMERA
CONTINUES TO MOVE, PANNING to the sunset.

FADE OUT:

THE END

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