The Cowboys (1972)
Jebediah Nightlinger: [praying to God before he's about to hanged by Asa Watts and his gang] I regret trifling with married women. I'm thoroughly ashamed at cheating at cards. I deplore my occasional departures from the truth. Forgive me for taking your name in vain, my Saturday drunkenness, my Sunday sloth. Above all, forgive me for the men I've killed in anger
[eyes shifting to Asa Watts]
Jebediah Nightlinger: ... and those I am about to.
Jebediah Nightlinger: [referring to the madam Kate Collingwood's offer of sexual favor] Well, I have the inclination, the maturity, and the wherewithal... but unfortunately, I don't have the time.
[before fighting Asa Watts]
Wil Andersen: I'm thirty years older than you are. I had my back broke once, and my hip twice. And on my worst day I could beat the hell out of you.
Asa Watts: [smiles, shakes his head] I don't think so.
Wil Andersen: You will.
[Knocks him down with a big left]
Cimarron: They didn't even dig him a decent grave.
Wil Andersen: Well, it's not how you're buried, it's how you're remembered.
Wil Andersen: I'm proud of ya... All of ya. Every man wants his children to be better'n he was. You are.
Wil Andersen: You all right, boy?
Fats - Cowboy: Yes, sir. My name's Clyde Potter. They call me Fats.
Wil Andersen: Tend toward the gut myself.
Wil Andersen: Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let's go! We're burnin' daylight!
Jebediah Nightlinger: This may seem a lonesome place to leave him, but he is not alone, because many of his kind rest here with him. The prairie was like a mother to Mr. Andersen. He belonged to her. She cared for him while he lived. And she is nursing him while he sleeps.
Stuttering Boy Wilson: Son-of-a-bitch.
Wil Andersen: What did you say?
Stuttering Boy Wilson: You god-damned son-of-a-bitch!
Wil Andersen: Say that again.
Stuttering Boy Wilson: You god-damned, mean, son-of-a-bitch!
Wil Andersen: Say it faster.
Stuttering Boy Wilson: You god-damned, mean, dirty, son-of-a-bitch!
Wil Andersen: I wouldn't make it a habit of calling me that, son.
Wil Andersen: You look like the vermin-ridden son of a bitch you are.
Hardy Fimps: I never noticed before, but most of the people I know are quiet compared to Mr. Andersen.
Charles 'Slim' Honeycutt: He's quiet... it just comes out loud.
Wil Andersen: Now... this is the "Double O", this is Belle Fourche. In between is four hundred miles of the meanest country in the West. And the only way we're gonna get through is if you take orders. Is that clear?
School boys: Yes, sir.
Wil Andersen: Bring a bed roll, couple of good ropes, horse if ya got one. You'll get the best food in the territory, no rest, damn little sleep. And fifty big silver dollars, IF we make it to Belle Fourche. Now, you'll show up at my place first Monday after schools out at 5:00 a.m. And come with grit teeth, 'cuz gentlemen, that's when school really begins.
Fats - Cowboy: Mr. Nightlinger, are you black all over?
Jebediah Nightlinger: 'Cept for the whites of my eyes.
Homer Weems - Cowboy: Is... your...?
Jebediah Nightlinger: It is... black, too.
Charles 'Slim' Honeycutt: See? He's the same as us, 'cept for that color.
Jebediah Nightlinger: The same as you?
[turns around slowly with a huge knife in hand and chuckles]
Jebediah Nightlinger: The same as you?
[guffaws loudly as the boys huddle together, startled]
Jebediah Nightlinger: Ohhh, children... My father was a brawny Moor, six feet six inches tall. He bound his head in a red velvet cloth
[hands knife to Slim and the boys relax, but listen]
Jebediah Nightlinger: he wore a curved sword, forged from the finest Toledo steel. He captured a lady, bright and dark. he took her in his arms and wrapped her in a warm quilt and carried her off. They came to a castle and he battered down the doors with the trunk of an oak tree and KILLED EVERYBODY IN IT, just so they could rest the night. Later, while she slept, he walked the parapets... and became a king.
Charlie Schwartz - Cowboy: [in awe] Is that true?
Jebediah Nightlinger: If it isn't, it oughta be...
Wil Andersen: Sometimes it's hard to understand the drift of things. This was a good boy. He'd have been a good man. He didn't get his chance. Death can come for ya any place, any time. It's never welcomed. But if you've done all you can do, and it's your best, in a way I guess you're ready for it.
Wil Andersen: I don't expect to get to Belle Fourche with one single head of beef, but I'm cornered, so I'm taking ya on. Now this is the way it's gonna be: I'm a man and yer boys. Not cowmen, not by a damn sight, nothing but cowboys just like the word says. And I'm gonna remind you of it every single minute of every day and night.
Jedediah Nightlinger: Doesn't anything larger want to work for you?
Wil Andersen: Now I don't hold jail against you, but I hate a liar.
Wil Andersen: A fool comes to town with a fistful of gold dust, and every jackass from 50 miles around lights out after him.
Wil Andersen: There ain't a kid in that school over fifteen. They're between hay and grass. I need men.
Anse Petersen: How old was you when you went on your first cattle drive?
Wil Andersen: What difference does that make?
Anse Petersen: How old was you, Wil?
Wil Andersen: Well, in my day...
Anse Petersen: How old?
Wil Andersen: Thirteen! But my old man's pants fit me!
Jebediah Nightlinger: If you're lying, remember one thing. I could swallow each of you whole without choking. All I need do is butter your heads and pin your ears back.
Homer Weems - Cowboy: My name's Homer Weems, Mr. Andersen. And I hope I ain't rode all the rough off of him.
Charles 'Slim' Honeycutt: [to Wil] My name's Honeycutt. I'm fifteen, and everybody calls me Slim.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: Where's your head man?
Cimarron: That's Mr. Andersen, he's over at Ft. Smith.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: Alright, then. What's your name?
Cimarron: They call me Cimarron.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: I'm Kate, to my friends. Ha-ha. And who's the one with the pretty pink blush?
Cimarron: This here's Homer.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: Hello, Homer.
Homer Weems - Cowboy: Ma'am.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: How many men you got in your outfit, Cimarron?
Cimarron: Well, if you're going by age, we got, eh, two that's 15.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: My, god.
[Kate's troop of ladies giggle]
Cimarron: If you're going by what we can do, there's 11 of us!
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: No offense. In this kind of country, a poor helpless woman likes to know if there are any men around. I mean, men who can take care of us, as we, go along our way.
Cimarron: Well, we're gettin' paid a man's wages.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: And you look man enough to earn them, too, Cimarron.
Jebediah Nightlinger: My name is Nightlinger, and I'm in charge of these boys.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: My name is Mrs. Collingwood, and I'm, uh... in charge of these girls.
Jebediah Nightlinger: I just heard from a highly exited youngster that there were some soiled doves winging through here.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: [laughing] Well... what do you want from me?
Jebediah Nightlinger: Madam, you know young boys... they dream of golden skin and unbound hair. Even if I could lock them up they would find a way of getting here.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: There is very little I could do about that.
Jebediah Nightlinger: I'm sure you would handle everything most tastefully. It's a question of, uh... waiting for a more appropriate time in their lives. Perhaps it would be wiser to wait until next year... or even the year after.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: With any luck, I'll be retired by then. Well... the first time should be in the back of a buggy with a... girl that they think they're in love with. Alright... we'll move on.
Jebediah Nightlinger: You are a charming and sensible lady.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: What about you?
Jebediah Nightlinger: Well, I have the inclination... the maturity... and the wherewithal... but unfortunately, I don't have the time.
Anse Petersen: Wil, if yer neck was any stiffer, you couldn't even bend down ta pull yer boots on!
Wil Andersen: You know, trail driving is not Sunday school picnic. You got to figure you're dealing with the dumbest oneriest critter on God's green earth. The cow is nothing but trouble tied up in a leather bag - and the horse ain't much better.
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: The first time should be in the back of a buggy with a girl that they think they're in love with.
[the boys are acting innocent, while scheming to steal a bottle of whiskey]
Jedediah Nightlinger: Boys are always guilty of something nasty. What could it be this time, I wonder?
Jebediah Nightlinger: You're staring at me, children. I feel your eyes on my back. Now why is that?
Jebediah Nightlinger: You know in the late war between the states I served under an officer just like you.
Wil Andersen: Is that right?
Jebediah Nightlinger: As a matter of fact I shot that military gentlemen in the buttocks. Just outside Vicksburg.
Wil Andersen: I'd of hung ya.
Jebediah Nightlinger: They gave me a medal.
Wil Andersen: In my regiment, Mr. Nightlinger, I was known as 'Old Ironpants'. You might keep that in mind!
Anse Petersen: Did you ever think of hiring boys?
Wil Andersen: What boys?
Anse Petersen: School boys.
Wil Andersen: Oh sure and women. How about my ma in Cedar City. She's only ninety two.
Anse Petersen: Well you ain't got a lot of choice.
Asa Watts: What are you gonna use for hands on this drive of yours, huh? Them little bitty boys down there? Come on, you know better than that, Mr. Andersen. You know what you're gonna need to trundle them boys across the prairie, don't you? A baby carriage.
Wil Andersen: Well whatever I need I'll get.
Asa Watts: Don't you point to your ears now, son, because you ain't running back to Mr. Wil Andersen with those eyes rolling in the back of your head telling him there's these real bad men have been following us day and night. You're not gonna say that because I'm gonna come to you some night when it's real dark. I'm gonna come to you on tip toe so you ain't ever gonna be able to hear me.
Wil Andersen: An' if you run into any trouble, call Anse Peterson.
Annie Andersen: Will, Anse Peterson is sixty years old.
Wil Andersen: [smiling] Annie, so am I.
Wil Andersen: My oldest son would have been forty this year. Middle aged. But they went bad on me... or I went bad on them.
Wil Andersen: [pointing at Fats] You - what started this?
Fats - Cowboy: He talked about Slim's mother. He said "Tu madre es puta." You understand Spanish Mr. Andersen?
Wil Andersen: Yeah.
Fats - Cowboy: So does Slim.
Wil Andersen: Your word? Well, here's my word. Get the hell off my spread, now!
Annie Andersen: I'll think about ya 'fore I go to bed at night.
Wil Andersen: You do and you won't sleep.
Phoebe: Did you want me for anything, Mrs. Collingwood?
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: That's Phoebe. You're, eh, putting too much merchandise on display, Phoebe. You better cover some of that up before you come down with pneumonia.
Phoebe: Isn't this a sweet lookin' boy.
[Walks towards Homer on his horse]
Phoebe: Wouldn't you like to come inside, honey? You'd be surprised how nice we got everything fixed up.
[Homer, scared, rides off on his horse]
Mrs. Kate Collingwood: Well, I think that Homer just saved himself a dollar.
Homer's Father: You have to go out and prove yourself in the world. I guess that's right.