Gil Carter
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Quotes for
Gil Carter (Character)
from The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

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The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Major Tetley: This is only slightly any of your business, my friend. Remember that.
Gil Carter: Hangin' is any man's business that's around.

[Gil Carter reading Martin's letter]
Gil Carter: "My dear Wife, Mr. Davies will tell you what's happening here tonight. He's a good man and has done everything he can for me. I suppose there are some other good men here, too, only they don't seem to realize what they're doing. They're the ones I feel sorry for. 'Cause it'll be over for me in a little while, but they'll have to go on remembering for the rest of their lives. A man just naturally can't take the law into his own hands and hang people without hurtin' everybody in the world, 'cause then he's just not breaking one law but all laws. Law is a lot more than words you put in a book, or judges or lawyers or sheriffs you hire to carry it out. It's everything people ever have found out about justice and what's right and wrong. It's the very conscience of humanity. There can't be any such thing as civilization unless people have a conscience, because if people touch God anywhere, where is it except through their conscience? And what is anybody's conscience except a little piece of the conscience of all men that ever lived? I guess that's all I've got to say except kiss the babies for me and God bless you. Your husband, Donald."

Gil Carter: They're kiddin' you, Sparks.
Sparks: I know sir. But maybe Mr. Smith's accidentally right. Maybe I ought to go along.

Jeff Farnley: [Gil lights a cigarette during the posse's night in the woods] Put out that light you fool. You wanna give us away?
Gil Carter: Who to?
Jeff Farnley: [pulling gun] Chuck that butt or I'll plug you.
Gil Carter: Start somethin'. For every hole you make, I'll make two.
Sparks: [when eight other men promptly light up] Looks like you gonna have a lot of shootin' to do, Mr. Farnley.

Gil Carter: Say, what is there to do in this town anyway?
Darby: Well, unless you want to get in line and woo Drew's daughter...
Art Croft: We don't.
Darby: The only other unmarried woman I know is 82, blind and a Payute. That leaves you five choices: eat, sleep, drink, play poker or fight. Or you can shoot some pool. I got a new table in the back room.

[Carter and Croft are out with the posse]
Gil Carter: Doin' this in the middle of the night's crazy.
Art Croft: Thought you liked excitement?
Gil Carter: I got nothin' particular against hangin' a murderin' rustler; it's just I don't like doin' it in the dark. There's always some crazy fool who'll lose his head and start hangin' everybody in sight.
Art Croft: Us?
Gil Carter: Funnier things have happened.
Art Croft: Well we didn't have to come.
Gil Carter: Look kinda funny if we hadn't, wouldn't it?

[last lines]
Art Croft: Where are we goin'?
Gil Carter: He said he wanted his wife to get this letter, didn't he? Said there was nobody to look after the kids, didn't he?
[they both mount and ride out of town]

Gil Carter: [First lines: Gil Carter and Art Croft have just ridden into town] Deader than a Payute's grave!

Gil Carter: [Gil and Art discuss their uneasiness about certain members of the posse] Besides, I like to pick my own bosses.
Art Croft: Whether we picked 'em or not, we sure got 'em.
Gil Carter: That's what I don't like. That Smith, and Bartlett, shootin' off their mouths... Farnley... and that renegade Tetley, struttin' around in his uniform pretending he's so much. He never even *saw* the South until after the war, and then only long enough to marry that kid's mother and get run outta' the place by her folks.
Art Croft: I figured there was somethin' fishy about him, dressin' up like that.
Gil Carter: For sure. Whydya' suppose he'd be livin' in this neck 'o the woods if he didn't have something to hide?