Mattie Ross: Trust you to buy another tall horse.
Rooster Cogburn: Yeah. He's not as game as Beau, but Stonehill says he can jump a four rail fence.
Mattie Ross: You are too old and fat to be jumping horses.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, come see a fat old man some time!
[jumps the fence and rides away]
Rooster Cogburn: Why, by God, girl, that's a Colt's Dragoon! You're no bigger than a corn nubbin, what're you doing with all this pistol?
Mattie Ross: It belonged to my father, he carried it bravely in the war, and I intend to kill Tom Chaney with it if the law fails to do so.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, this'll sure get the job done if you can find a fence post to rest it on while you take aim.
[Rooster confronts the four outlaws across the field]
Ned Pepper: What's your intention? Do you think one on four is a dogfall?
Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which'll it be?
Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!
Rooster Cogburn: Give me your cup.
Mattie Ross: I don't drink coffee, thank you.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, now, what do you drink?
Mattie Ross: I'm partial to cold buttermilk.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, we ain't got none of that. We ain't got no lemonade neither!
Mattie Ross: I hope you don't think I'm going to keep you in whiskey?
Rooster Cogburn: I don't buy that, I confiscate it. And a touch of it wouldn't do you any harm against the night air!
Mattie Ross: I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains!
Rooster Cogburn: Well, it's the real article! Genuine, double-rectified bust head. Aged in the keg.
Rooster Cogburn: [watching Mattie ford the river hanging on the back of her horse] By God. She reminds me of me.
LaBoeuf: Well, then we might just not get along.
Mattie Ross: Who's the best marshal they have?
Sheriff: Bill Waters is the best tracker. The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn, a pitiless man, double tough, fear don't enter into his thinking. I'd have to say L.T. Quinn is the straightest, he brings his prisoners in alive.
Mattie Ross: Where would I find this Rooster?
Sheriff: He'll be at the federal court this afternoon, he's bringing in a load of prisoners from the territories.
Mattie Ross: I won't rest until Tom Chaney's barking in hell.
Rooster Cogburn: [cocks his gun] Mr. Rat... I have a writ here says you're to stop eating Chen Lee's cornmeal forthwith. Now it's a rat writ, writ for a rat, and this is lawful service of the same. See? Doesn't pay any attention to me.
[shoots the rat]
Chen Lee: [runs into the room] Outside is place for shooting!
Rooster Cogburn: I'm serving some papers.
Mattie Ross: There's an old song that says: One white foot buy 'em, two white feet try 'em, three white feet be on the sly, four white feet pass 'em by.
Mattie Ross: [Rooster and LaBoeuf gallop away from the ferry, leaving Mattie behind] Those horses can't get away from Little Blackie - they're loaded down with fat men and iron.
[LeBoeuf is spanking Mattie]
Mattie Ross: Are you gonna let him do this?
Rooster Cogburn: I don't believe I will. Drop that switch, LaBoeuf. Put it down, I said. You're enjoying it too much.
LaBoeuf: You'll find I go ahead with what I start.
Rooster Cogburn: [Rooster draws and cocks his pistol] You do and it'll be the biggest mistake YOU ever made, you Texas brush-popper!
Rooster Cogburn: When's the last time you saw Ned Pepper?
Emmett Quincy: I don't remember any Ned Pepper.
Rooster Cogburn: Short feisty fella, nervous and quick, got a messed-up lower lip.
Emmett Quincy: That don't bring nobody to mind. A funny lip?
Rooster Cogburn: Wasn't always like that, I shot him in it.
Emmett Quincy: In the lower lip? What was you aiming at?
Rooster Cogburn: His upper lip.
LaBoeuf: What are you doing?
Rooster Cogburn: Lookin' for sign.
LaBoeuf: You couldn't see it if you saw it.
Mattie Ross: I'm here to take you back to Fort Smith and hang you.
Tom Chaney: And I think I will not go, now how do you like that?
Tom Chaney: Everything happens to me. Now I'm shot by a child.
[the other outlaws have left, Mattie heats water on the fire]
Tom Chaney: What are you doin'?
Mattie Ross: I'm getting some water so I can wash my hands.
Tom Chaney: A liitle smut won't hurt you.
Mattie Ross: That's true - or else you and your chums would surely be dead.
Tom Chaney: Don't provoke me. There's rattlesnakes down there in that pit and I'm gonna throw you in it.
Rooster Cogburn: Damn that Texan - when you need him, he's dead.
LaBoeuf: I ain't dead yet, you bushwhacker. Hang on.
Rooster Cogburn: You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You gotta kill him or let him be.
Rooster Cogburn: They don't call him "Lucky" Ned Pepper for nothing.
Mattie Ross: That man gave his life for him and he didn't even look back.
Rooster Cogburn: Looking back is a bad habit.
Rooster Cogburn: Boots, I got Hayes and some youngster outside with Moon and Quincy. I want you to bury 'em for me. I'm in a hurry.
Capt. Boots Finch: They're dead?
Rooster Cogburn: Well, I wouldn't want you to bury 'em if they wasn't.
Mattie Ross: Now I know you can drink whiskey and I saw you kill a rat, but all the rest has been talk. I'm not paying for talk. I can get all the talk I need at the Monarch Boarding House.
Rooster Cogburn: I ought to paddle your rump!
Mattie Ross: I don't know how you propose to do that from that hog wallow you're sunk into. If I smelled as bad as you I wouldn't live near people.
Goudy: [cross-examining Rooster] How many men have you shot since you became a marshal, Mr. Cogburn?
Rooster Cogburn: I never shot nobody I didn't have to.
Goudy: That was not the question. How many?
Rooster Cogburn: Uh... shot or killed?
Goudy: Oh, let's restrict it to "killed" so we may have a manageable figure.
Mattie Ross: [watching Rooster load his revolver] Why do you keep that one chamber empty?
Rooster Cogburn: So I won't shoot my foot off.
[LaBoeuf sits down for supper at the Monarch Boarding House]
Monarch boarder: Watch out for the chicken and dumplings. They'll hurt your eyes.
LaBoeuf: How's that?
Monarch boarder: They'll hurt your eyes lookin' for the chicken.
[he and other boarders laugh]
LaBoeuf: You squirrel-headed bastard!
Goudy: I believe you testified that you backed away from old man Wharton?
Rooster Cogburn: Yes, sir.
Goudy: Which direction were you going?
Rooster Cogburn: Backward. I always go backward when I'm backin' away.
[Mattie prepares to go back to the Monarch Boarding House; Rooster is too drunk to escort her]
Mattie Ross: I'll walk over there by myself.
Rooster Cogburn: You scared of the dark?
Mattie Ross: I've never been scared of the dark.
Rooster Cogburn: Well if I had a big horse pistol like that I wouldn't be scared of no "boogerman".
Mattie Ross: I'm not scared of no "boogerman".
LaBoeuf: A little earlier I gave some thought to stealin' a kiss from you, although you are very young... and you're unattractive to boot. But now I'm of a mind to give you five or six good licks with my belt.
Mattie Ross: Well, one would be as unpleasant as the other.
[Mattie is arguing with Col. Stonehill]
Col. G. Stonehill: I'll take it up with my attorney.
Mattie Ross: And I will take it up with mine - Lawyer Daggett. And he will make money and I will make money and your lawyer will make money... and you, Mr. Licensed Auctioneer, you will foot the bill.
[Col. Stonehill is frustrated at Mattie's bargaining]
Col. G. Stonehill: I will pay a total of two hundred dollars to your father's estate when I have in my hand a letter absolving me of all liability from the beginning of the world to date!
Mattie Ross: Now I'm sure you'll find a buyer for those ponies very soon.
Col. G. Stonehill: I have a tentative offer of ten dollars a head from the soapworks at Little Rock.
Mattie Ross: It seems such a shame to render such spirited horseflesh into soap.
Col. G. Stonehill: I'm confident the deal will fall through.
Mattie Ross: Do you know a Marshal Rooster Cogburn?
Col. G. Stonehill: Most people around here have heard of Rooster Cogburn and some people live to regret it. I would not be surprised to learn that he's a relative of yours.
[Mattie returns later to buy a pony from Col. Stonehill]
Col. G. Stonehill: Do you entertain plans of ever leaving this city?
Mattie Ross: Yes, I'm off early tomorrow morning for the Indian nation. Marshal Rooster Cogburn and I are going after the murderer, Tom Chaney.
Col. G. Stonehill: Cogburn. How did you light on that greasy vagabond?
Mattie Ross: They say he has grit. I wanted a man with grit.
Col. G. Stonehill: Well, I suppose he has that. He's a notorious thumper. He's not a man I would care to share a bed with.
Mattie Ross: Nor would I.
[Mattie comes to get Rooster and finds him talking with LaBoeuf]
Mattie Ross: This man wants to take Chaney back to Texas. That's not what I want.
Rooster Cogburn: He wants him caught and punished - so do you.
Mattie Ross: I want Tom Chaney to hang for killing my father. It's little to me how many dogs and senators he killed in Texas.
Rooster Cogburn: You can tell him to his face, you can spit in his eye, you can make him eat sand out of the road, you can shoot him in the foot and I'll hold him for you - but first we gotta catch him.
[Mattie is frustrated with Rooster possibly throwing in with LaBoeuf]
Mattie Ross: Give me my $25 back. Hand it over!
Rooster Cogburn: I spent it.
Mattie Ross: You sorry piece of trash!
Rooster Cogburn: I'll get it for you. I'll send it to you.
Mattie Ross: Aw, that's a big story. If you think you can cheat me, you're mistaken. You've not heard the last of Mattie Ross. You may well hear from my lawyer, Daggett.
Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] Lawyer Daggett? Who's lawyer Daggett?
LaBoeuf: I wouldn't worry about him. I'd worry about our business at hand.
[Rooster and LaBoeuf are on the ferry; Mattie comes over to get on board]
LaBoeuf: You're not gettin' on this ferry.
Mattie Ross: This is open to the public. I paid my ten cents for horse and rider.
LaBoeuf: Red, take this girl into town to the sheriff. She's a runaway. There's also a $50 reward.
Mattie Ross: That's a big story!
LaBoeuf: Ask the marshal.
Rooster Cogburn: Oh, she's a runaway, all right. Bound to be paper on her.
Mattie Ross: They're in this story together. Now, I've got business across the river and if you interfere with me you may land up in court which you don't want to be. I've got a good lawyer in J. Noble Daggett.
[Rooster nods to Red; Red pulls her off the ferry]
Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] Lawyer Daggett again.
LaBoeuf: She draws him like a gun.
[Rooster watches Mattie struggle to bring water up to their camp]
Rooster Cogburn: You look like a hog on ice.
[at the camp, Mattie tastes the water]
Mattie Ross: That tastes like iron.
LaBoeuf: You're lucky to be where water's so handy. I've seen the time I've drank out of a filthy hoofprint - and was glad to get it.
Rooster Cogburn: If ever I meet one of you Texas waddies who ain't drunk water from a hoofprint, I think I'll... I'll shake their hand or buy 'em a Daniel Webster cigar.
[points to LaBoeuf's shaggy horse]
Rooster Cogburn: How long you boys down there been mounted on sheep?
[Rooster, LaBoeuf and Mattie are taking the bodies back to McAlester's]
Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] What outfit were you with during the war?
LaBoeuf: Shreveport, with Kirby Smith.
Rooster Cogburn: Oh, I mean what side were you on?
LaBoeuf: I served with General Kirby Smith.
[Rooster starts to laugh]
LaBoeuf: And I don't have to hang my head when I say it either. Go ahead and make another joke about it. You want to make me look foolish in the girl's eyes anyway.
Rooster Cogburn: You don't need me for that.
LaBoeuf: I don't like the way you make conversation.
Rooster Cogburn: And I don't like your conversation about Captain Quantrill?
LaBoeuf: *Captain*? Captain of what? Bunch of thieves?
Rooster Cogburn: Young fella, if you're looking for trouble, I'll accommodate you. Otherwise, leave it alone.
[at McAlester's, Boots and Rooster are discussing the dead men; LaBoeuf walks up]
Capt. Boots Finch: So this is the man shot Ned Pepper's horse from under him.
Rooster Cogburn: Yeah! This is the famous horse killer from El Paso. He believes in puttin' everybody afoot. Says there'll be less mischief that way.
LaBoeuf: Fewer horses - fewer horse thieves.
[Rooster is caught under his horse; as Ned starts to shoot him, La Boeuf fires from the ridge and hits Ned's horse; Ned falls dead]
Mattie Ross: Hooray for the man from Texas! Some bully shot!
[after LaBoeuf pulls Rooster and Mattie from the snake pit, he collapses off his horse; they go to him but it's too late]
Rooster Cogburn: Texican... saved my neck twice. Once after he was dead.
Mattie Ross: You never told me you had a wife.
Rooster Cogburn: Oh, well, I didn't have her long. My friends was a pack of river rats and she didn't crave their society so she up and left me and went back to her first husband who was clerkin' in a hardware store in Paducah. "Goodbye, Reuben," she says, "the love of decency does not abide in you!" That's a dee-vorced woman talkin' for you, about decency. Well, I told her. I said, "Goodbye, Nola, and I hope that nail-sellin' bastard makes you happy this time!"
Mattie Ross: Did you have any children?
Rooster Cogburn: There was a boy. Nola taken him with her. He never liked me anyway. A clumsier child you'll never see than Horace; I bet he broke 40 cup.
LaBoeuf: I wouldn't count too much on bein' able to shade somebody I didn't know, fella.
Rooster Cogburn: [laughs] I ain't never seen nobody from Texas I couldn't shade.
Rooster Cogburn: Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, sister, the time has come for me to ride hard and fast.
Goudy: Now is it not true that you sprang up on old man Wharton and his two sons with a deadly, six shot revolver in your hand?
Rooster Cogburn: I always try to be ready.
Goudy: Was this revolver loaded and cocked?
Rooster Cogburn: Well, a gun that's unloaded and cocked ain't good for nothin'.
Rooster Cogburn: LaBouef, you get cross ways of me and you'll think a thousand of BRICK have fell on you! You'll wish you was back at the Alamo with TRAVIS!
Ned Pepper: Now, what are you doin' here?
Mattie Ross: Tom Chaney shot my father to death in Fort Smith. I was told that Rooster Cogburn has grit. I hired him to go after the murderer. I found him myself and I shot him. If I killed him I would not be in this fix. My revolver misfired.
Ned Pepper: [laughs] They will do it. Most girls like little play pretties, but you like guns, don't you?
Mattie Ross: If I did I'd have one that worked.
Rooster Cogburn: Judge Parker. Old carpetbagger, *but he knows his rats*! We had a good court going on here 'til them pettifogging *lawyers* moved in!
Rooster Cogburn: Any man who packs a big bore Sharps carbine could come in mighty handy, if we're attacked by buffalo... or elephants.
Lawyer Daggett: Am I addressing Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn?
Rooster Cogburn: You're addressing him, Chen Lee and General Sterling Price.
Lawyer Daggett: Well... I'll not ask which is which. But I'll identify myself: I am lawyer J. Noble Daggett.
Rooster Cogburn: I'll be damned!
Lawyer Daggett: What?
Rooster Cogburn: Well, you're not... exactly what we expected. You're a little... You're shrunk!
Lawyer Daggett: I'll tell you frankly. I fully intended to have you jailed, and I'm just the man who could do it. But when Mattie told me the straight of the matter, I had second thoughts. I still think you showed poor judgment in this affair, but you're not the scoundrel I took you for. You have my thanks and, with certain reservations, my respect.
Moon: Quincy, he never played me false until he killed me.
Rooster Cogburn: You sure you don't want the snake, too?
Mattie Ross: I have no regard for you, but I'm sure you have enough for yourself to go around.
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hand you son of a bitch!
Rooster Cogburn: Damn you, Bo. First time you ever give me reason to... cuss you.
Mattie Ross: I will not bandy words with a drunkard.
LaBoeuf: That's real smart. You've done nothing when you've bested a fool.
Frank Ross: Little Frank... You take care of your mama.
Little Frank: I will.
[Chen Lee wins the game]
Rooster Cogburn: You can never tell what's in a Chinaman's mind, that's the way he bests you at cards.
[the front door bell rings]
Chen Lee: I go.
Mattie Ross: [referring to the dead LeBeuf] We cannot leave him like this.
Rooster Cogburn: I'm the one thats leaving him if I don't get you to a Dr. your going to be deader than he is!