Let Him Go (2020) – Transcript

A retired sheriff and his wife, grieving over the death of their son, set out to find their only grandson.
Let Him Go (2020)

In 1963 Montana, retired sheriff George Blackledge and his wife Margaret, live with their son, James, his wife, Lorna, and their newborn grandson, Jimmy. James had been training a wild horse for sometime, but had told his mother the horse wasn’t quite there. After a family breakfast, he went back to working with the horse, and took him out for a ride. While James is out, Lorna readies a sink bath for Jimmy. But, after Margaret tested the water, she harshly scolded her, saying the water was too hot! Annoyed, and made to feel like a bad mother, Lorna walked away, letting Margarent take over. While washing Jimmy, the wild horse comes running back through the farm, without James. Margaret screams, alerting George who, immediately jumps on a horse in search of him. He finally finds James, dead alongside a creek. It is assumed that he died from being thrown from a horse, breaking his neck.

Three years later, Lorna marries Donnie Weboy, though it is made obvious during the nuptials that the wedding is one of necessity. While out one day, Margaret happens to observe Donnie physically abusing both his wife and now 3-year-old Jimmy. Margaret decides to check in with Lorna and Jimmy at their new home. Shortly afterwards, Donnie leaves town with Lorna and Jimmy, causing Margaret to worry over Jimmy’s safety. She eventually convinces George that the situation is dire enough to intervene, and the two set off to find the family.

Various sources clue them into the whereabouts of the Weboy family, until finally Margaret and George locate Donnie’s uncle, Bill Weboy. Their initial meeting is cold, but Margaret refuses to be intimidated and accepts Bill’s invitation to the Weboy’s homestead for dinner. At dinner, they meet Donnie’s family, including Blanche, Donnie’s intimidating and disturbing mother. Her charms do not last long as the dinner conversation progresses and an attempt from Margaret to carry Jimmy out of the house turns sour. Not feeling welcome anymore, they leave the Weboy house.

George and Margaret meet Lorna at work the next day, and convince her to leave with them. She then plans to leave her home at midnight, and tells them to wait for her at their hotel. At midnight, instead of Lorna, the Weboys having supposedly caught Lorna sneaking out, visit George and Margaret at the hotel. Margaret tries to convince Blanche by telling her about the physical abuse he did to Lorna and her child, but Blanche instead tells Donnie to hit Margaret. George intervenes and later pulls out his pistol but is overpowered by the Weboys and his fingers are hacked off by them with a hatchet.

The local police sheriff takes side with the Weboys and tells George to leave. They do so but due to George’s health, have to make a stop at Peter’s house, who is a Native American young man they had met while on the way to the Weboys’ estate. Later that night, George takes the car and leaves for the Weboys house alone. After acquiring a shotgun from their house and starting a fire as a distraction, he attempts to help Lorna escape. He keeps Donnie, who was sleeping beside her, on gunpoint and asks her to leave. Donnie alerts the others, and Lorna is stopped by Bill. Blanche comes hurriedly with a pistol, but accidentally kills Bill, and then also shoots George. The Weboy brothers appear, but George takes control of Blanche’s gun and kills them.

Margaret and Peter, who had followed George on horseback, receive Lorna outside the Weboy house. They then go to help George out of the house, but are stopped by Blanche. Blanche shoots and kills George. With Peter’s help, Margaret kills Blanche with the shotgun. She then takes Lorna and leaves in the car, with the Weboy house burning in the wake. The movie ends with Margaret and Lorna leaving the town of Gladstone in the car.


Hey. Oh…

Yeah.

Come on.

Yah.

Yah.

Hey. How you doing?

Hey.

How’s that new black doing?

Hey, Jimmy.

Leg seems better.

Hmm.

Still a little skittish.

Well, keep an eye on him.

He’ll be okay.

Thinking I’d take him out, check the fence line after breakfast.

It’s almost ready.

Mmm.

What do we got for music?

There it is. Hey?

♪ Oh, boy ♪

♪ Meant for me ♪

Yeah. You want to come dance with me?

♪ Stars appear ♪

Yeah, yeah.

♪ And a shadow’s a-falling You can hear my heart… ♪

Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, you like that so much, don’t you?

♪ I’m gonna see my baby tonight ♪

♪ All of my love, all of my kissing… ♪

There’s Grandma and Grandpa.

♪ What you been a-missing Oh, boy ♪

Got your nose.

♪ The world can see that ♪

♪ You were meant for me ♪

Oh.

Lorna.

Honey, it’s too hot.

Uh…

I know. I hadn’t checked it yet.

Here. Let…

Oh, that’s all right.

That’s all right.

That’s all right.

You rest.

Ah.

I see you.

I see you.

I see you.

Hi, handsome.

Oh.

James.

George!

George!

Where’s George going?

Where’s James?

James!

James!

Oh, no.

Oh, my God.

I, Lorna Blackledge…

take you, Donnie…

take you, Donald Weboy,

to be my lawfully wedded husband.

To have and to hold,

from this day forward, for better, for worse.

To have and to hold, from this day forward,

for better, for worse.

For richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health.

For richer, for poorer,

in sickness and in health.

Until death do us part.

Until death do us part.

By the power vested in me by the state of Montana,

I now pronounce you man and wife.

You may kiss the bride.

Thank you, sir.

Think I will.

Congratulations, Donald.

Thank you, sir.

You want some cake?

Mama B.

So, uh, kitchen.

We’ve, uh… We got more stuff coming.

I put some chairs on layaway.

Here you go.

Do you like it?

Do you like your bed?

Yeah.

Do you like your bed?

Yeah.

I’ll sew you some curtains.

Okay.

You’ll come visit real soon.

He isn’t far.

Just in town.

He isn’t here.

Oh!

You dropped it all, buddy.

Come on, let’s go.

Hey. Come on, let’s go.

Let’s go!

It’s not for you.

Lorna?

Lorna?

Hello?

Who you looking for?

You’re the girl’s mother?

No. I’m…

Lorna was married to my son.

The little boy is my grandson.

Well, you missed ’em.

Gone now.

Gone?

Gone to his family.

Took off last night.

Wait, wait, wait. Wait.

His family? Donnie’s?

They mention when they’d be back?

Not no time soon be my guess.

Took all they had.

Headed any place in particular?

Sit down, George.

That my last meal?

I’m going to get Jimmy.

Bring him home to live with us.

Well, you sure packed for a trip into town.

Sit down, George.

You didn’t see fit to share this with me?

Sharing it now.

Anyone else see it happen?

You mean other than me?

I’m asking if you’re sure what you saw.

I saw exactly what I’ve always felt about Donnie Weboy.

What you felt too,

whether anyone’ll ever get you to admit it or not.

And I saw that girl can’t protect her child.

And on that account, you expect she’s, what,

just gonna hand him over to you?

That what you see happening?

And when Lorna says no?

Margaret, Jimmy’s her boy.

He’s your grandson, George Blackledge.

And your plan for finding ’em?

Donnie’s from somewhere in North Dakota. I’ll find ’em.

You ought to know me well enough by now.

Oh, yeah.

I do.

I won’t be coming back here without him.

Nope.

And you’re going with me or without me?

That’s your choice.

You’re not coming?

I’m turning off the water. Don’t want to come home to busted pipes.

– You don’t know when you’ll be back. – I don’t need reminding.

I know what I’ve lost.

Sometimes that’s all life is, Margaret.

The list of what we’ve lost.

Oh, so I do get a piece.

Sheriff Hayden’s been out of office, oh…

seven years now.

Good man. Beat me to it.

He helped me track down a couple of men I was looking for back in…

’52.

Pettus brothers.

I remember that. That was you?

Well, you sure got ’em.

Yeah, I had some help.

Well, how can I help?

We’re trying to locate a Donnie Weboy.

– He’s got family over in North Dakota. – I know the name.

Not Donnie, but Weboy, sure.

Well, he married our son’s widow.

Got our grandson with them.

Boy’s only three.

We just want to know where they are, make sure…

make sure they’re safe.

Let me call around some.

How’s that pot roast?

Yours is better.

Hmm.

You’re just used to mine.

♪ So stop the world and let me off… ♪

You got a half pint behind there? Whiskey.

Happy?

Happy not to hear a lecture.

Gonna hide the evidence.

Margaret!

What the hell, Margaret?

That was before…

What the hell?

That was before I knew you were coming.

You thought you’d need it?

I didn’t want to find out I did and not have it.

Christ, Margaret. Was this gonna be part of your argument?

George, I would never…

It’s got bullets in it.

There’s a branch of the Weboy clan over in Forsyth. Townsfolk.

Trailhead Saddlery there is a Weboy operation.

Or it was started by the family.

Ain’t North Dakota, but I’d start there.

That’s what we’ll do then. Appreciate your help.

We’re also hoping you might recommend a hotel in town for the night.

Anyplace clean.

Well, if clean’s the priority, my Sally keeps the jail here.

Cells are empty.

And we got fresh sheets.

Not sure what feelings you got on it.

We’d be right at home.

Thank you, Sheriff Nevelson.

My pleasure.

You think they’re trying to run?

No, not that I know.

But they did take off in a hurry.

Forgot to say goodbye.

I’m just looking to give her that.

Let her say goodbye.

Go home.

Go home.

Go home.

♪ As I face an empty dawn ♪

♪ With no end to it all can I see ♪

♪ For I’ve surely reached the end ♪

♪ Lost your love to a friend ♪

…when that judgment comes down, you’ll cry,

“I was saved.”

But you’ll be drowning in a lake of fire,

because that’s the decision you made…

Turn it back on if you want.

Sounds like your daddy.

Thumping his Bible.

Wasn’t just Bibles he thumped.

Good morning.

Beautiful saddles.

Wouldn’t you say, George?

Fella in Miles City makes ’em, the fancy ones.

Oh.

Well, very impressive.

But we’re not shopping for saddles today.

Or bridles and bits.

Now, uh… would you be a Weboy?

No, ma’am. I’m a cousin to. I’m a Tucker.

Oh. Well, then we’re related too.

Donnie Weboy’s married to our daughter-in-law.

Former daughter-in-law. Which makes him stepdaddy to our grandson.

My husband and I found ourselves in this part of the state, so I said,

“Let’s look in on Lorna and Donnie while we’re here.”

So here we are.

I don’t know no Donnie or a Laura.

Hmm. Well, I understood it was why they relocated here.

Donnie was going to hire on at his uncle’s saddlery.

Who?

George, didn’t Lorna say?

You sure you don’t want Gladstone?

Gladstone?

North Dakota.

Just the other side of the line.

It’s not like they got work there either, no good work anyway,

but they got a Weboy or two.

Well, maybe we should give there a try.

Though I don’t know why Lorna and Donnie were

talking up Forsyth like they did.

What was your names again?

Any idea who we might ask to find Donnie, if we went to Gladstone?

You let it be known you’re looking for a Weboy, they’ll find you.

You’re with me on this, right?

Who’s been doing the driving?

You could say you want him back.

I haven’t heard that yet.

We’re not young, Margaret.

Well, we’re not old.

We’re not young.

You saying you don’t miss him?

I’m saying that he’s not even in school yet.

Hasn’t had measles or rode a bike.

He’s young.

And we’re not.

Well… you can drive me into town then drop me off, turn around and take yourself back home.

I’ll do what I need to do.

I’ll take a bus back to Dalton with Jimmy.

Yeah. Once Lorna’s handed him to you?

A smile on her face, happy as a clam?

And if they’re not down there, what?

You just gonna chase them around the country on a bus? Hmm?

What if they go where Greyhound doesn’t?

Then I’ll walk.

You would, too, wouldn’t you?

And when you finally learn that what you want to make happen isn’t gonna happen, what then, Margaret Meloy?

Well, then I suppose I’ll learn what I’ve never been able to.

Isn’t that what you’ve always told me?

Over and over.

That I don’t know when it’s time to call it quits.

And I’ll be the one gets the job of picking up those pieces, huh?

Hey.

No, no, no. You just hold it.

Hold it right there.

I didn’t take nothing, all right? I just…

You were just what?

Well, I was fishing.

Fishing?

Fishing around this car?

Well, no. No, sir.

No, I’m just coming from fishing.

I just seen your car, and I was just wondering who’s setting up camp out here, that’s all.

Who are you?

Peter Dragswolf, sir.

I live over there.

Have my own place.

I’ve got my own money too. I don’t need none of your goods.

I’m Margaret Blackledge, Mr. Dragswolf.

That’s my husband George.

I apologize if we’re trespassing.

And what’s this fella’s name?

I can’t say. He don’t belong to me.

Just showed up outside my shack one morning.

I thought he was wild at first, but he come from somewhere.

I don’t know.

But he found me.

Same as us.

Maybe the horse belongs to her.

Near about every horse does.

I used to ride.

She’s being modest with you.

I used to break horses.

With our son. James.

Then he died.

And I guess I lost my appetite for it.

Haven’t kept animals in quite a while.

It’s nice to spend some time with a sweet one like yours.

What about you? How long you been out here?

Three years.

All on your own? No family?

Where were you before?

Indian school, sir.

You don’t have to call me “sir.”

“George” will do the job.

You finished that school? How old are you?

I don’t bother anybody.

You know, if somebody comes for the horse, they can have him back.

The skins I sell, those animals I catch.

The fish are free, and I don’t steal.

I mind my own business.

Peter, come. Have some cake.

Why don’t you sit back at the fire with us?

You’re familiar with the area, though? Gladstone?

I can tell you where the folks are buried that ain’t buried in the cemeteries.

Weboys?

You had any dealings with them?

We’re looking for our grandson.

Our boy’s boy.

He’s with a man named Donnie Weboy.

You ever heard of him?

No.

No, but if you’re looking in Gladstone, look for Bill Weboy.

You think he’d help us?

Help, maybe.

But go careful.

There it is. Yellow house.

Mr. Weboy?

Who’s asking?

Margaret Blackledge.

And my husband George.

If you’re a Weboy, we’re family, after a fashion.

How you figure that?

Bill Weboy. A cousin, are you?

Oh. Could be, but probably not exactly.

Our former daughter-in-law married a Donnie Weboy.

He’s stepdad to our grandson now.

That’s pretty tangled up, isn’t it?

Family usually is.

We heard they might have come to settle here in Gladstone.

We thought we’d pay a visit, see our grandson Jimmy,

since we’re in the neighborhood.

Since you’re in the neighborhood.

And since you didn’t find them up in Forsyth.

– You heard we were coming, did you? – I did. I did.

A little birdie flew over here ahead of you.

– Cheep, ch-cheep, cheep… – Are they here or not?

Is he always like that, in a big old hurry?

My husband likes to get down to business.

Hell of a lot of men are like that. Can’t wait to get where they’re going.

Women, in my experience, would as soon take their time.

Enjoy the ride, so to speak.

– Mr. Weboy, I’m gonna tell you one time… – I’m just funnin’ you, George.

They’re here. Donnie’s my nephew.

They’re safe and sound over at his mom’s place.

Why don’t we head on inside and give the old homestead a call.

Hell, you might be able to drive over this morning,

see that little precious grandson of yours.

Hey, Mabel.

Can you put me through to the ranch?

Blanche, it’s Bill.

What? What is it?

Uh-huh. Got ’em right here.

– What? – You don’t want this man’s help.

– See you soon. – We can’t do this on our own.

You two have plans for supper?

We surely don’t.

How’d you like to be guests of the Weboy clan out at the ranch?

– We don’t want to be any trouble. – No trouble at all.

My sister-in-law wants to meet you.

She wants to swap some old grandpa and grandma stories.

And between you and me, she’s a hell of a cook.

Well, you’d have to give us directions.

Nope. Not a chance.

I could be the best damn direction giver in the world, and you’d never find her.

You’d be out there wandering around Four Bridges Road

and never see a one. No.

You make your way back here at 4:00, and you can follow me.

Thank you. We’ll come back then.

About time.

One of you should ride with me and the other follow.

I could tell you where we’re going and why,

and that way, maybe you can find your way back on your own.

Well…

Where do you think you’re going?

You think he wants you in the passenger seat?

No.

I know he doesn’t.

I don’t care what he wants. I’m going. You drive.

– It’s fine, George. – Margaret.

Margaret. Margaret, get back in…

Follow close.

Pretty bird, that old jalopy won’t have trouble keeping up, will it?

You’re looking in the mirror often enough. You can see where he is.

I guess he just don’t want you to get too far out of his sight.

Which I understand.

You mind?

It’s your car. You don’t need my permission.

You strike me as the kind of woman men are always asking permission of.

An expert, are you?

I’ve been around more than a few women

who want men to ask before drawing a breath.

We turn here.

Why don’t you signal so George knows what’s coming?

Aye, aye, captain.

How much further is it?

Uh, “farther.” “How much farther is it?”

Or do you mean how much more of me do you have to put up with?

We just want to see Jimmy.

Yeah.

He’s a good-looking boy there.

And his mother’s a fine-looking woman.

You know, Donnie never asked me for a word of advice in his life.

You don’t say.

And if he had,

I would’ve told him to do exactly what he’s done.

“Marry yourself a widow, Donnie.

You’ll be getting a grateful woman.”

Never would’ve found this place on your own, am I right?

Was I right?

Through here.

Blanche!

We’re here.

Blanche?

I hope you like pork chops.

– You’re the grandma. – I am.

Margaret Blackledge.

Blanche Weboy.

Thanks for having us.

And you’re the lawman.

Retired, ma’am. George Blackledge.

Well, why don’t we all retire to a seat at the table, huh?

Shall we?

Now, who can I interest in a glass? Hmm?

Oh, no, thank you.

– Hmm? – No.

Ah. Well…

I don’t mind drinking alone.

My people originally came from Illinois.

Filed a homestead claim north of Gladstone before there was a Gladstone.

I’m one of eight.

Lost an older sister to pneumonia.

My brother Carl drowned in a neighbor’s cistern.

Another fell off a truck, lived in a wheelchair for the rest of his days.

My aunt Ruth got caught in a whiteout,

froze and died right where she stood,

not 30 feet from that back door.

Hard life.

Not for everyone.

My other brothers and sister lit out, soon as they could.

Never looked back.

I stayed.

When I first met Henry Weboy,

he couldn’t stop talking about heading for Florida.

I figure I had more than a little to do with his decision to stay.

Now he’s buried in the same cemetery as my folks and his.

Yeah.

And my boys are fourth-generation Weboys,

born and living on North Dakota soil.

But you didn’t come here to hear me yak.

You came to eat! Ha!

Why don’t you call the boys in for supper, huh?

I’ll be back in a jiffy.

I suppose you could tell a story

not a hell of a lot different, am I right?

About family,

hardships, sacrifice, blood.

Ah, meet the boys.

Tall one’s Elton.

The other’s Marvin.

Say hello to our guests.

That your wagon out there?

We tried to get inside, take a look.

Tighten a couple bolts, we could probably get you a few more horses.

Where’s Jimmy? Where’s the boy?

Why, he’s not here.

– He’s with his father. – His father…

We came to see our grandson.

You mean you didn’t come here to eat my pork chops?

If you brought us all the way out here for the sake of a joke…

Lorna said you were rough bark.

And I can see already you’re no day at the races.

No, ma’am.

Come on, everybody. Sit down.

It’s not gonna get any better cold.

Your grandson’s with my Donnie.

He took Jimmy along to pick up the boy’s mother from work.

Lorna?

She’s working at Monkey Ward.

We could’ve seen Jimmy and Lorna in Gladstone?

Oh, now I am feeling insulted by you.

You really don’t give a damn about sharing a meal.

– I just meant… – Or maybe you’re a Jew.

Maybe you can’t eat pork chops.

Breathe easy.

Anyone who knows me knows I can’t be insulted.

Eat my chops or don’t.

Well, we’d certainly hoped to meet Donnie’s family someday.

Oh, had you?

Well, I’m glad to learn that.

Yeah, I thought we should meet too.

Have ourselves a chat.

Would’ve been nice if it had been at the wedding, but…

maybe it was too much to ask for his mother to be invited

or his brothers.

– Or poor Uncle Bill. – Yeah.

– You weren’t invited? – You recollect seeing us there?

And that’s our fault?

You didn’t stop to think to yourselves, “He must’ve come from somewhere.

Must have family.”

Frankly, we thought only that Donnie was a grown man.

Your son’s dead.

It’s understandable you forget.

We’re never really done raising them.

Teaching them the right way.

It’s why I had to bring my boy home.

To keep an eye on him.

Your boy’s perfect now.

It’s not really fair to compare him and Donnie.

I wouldn’t ever compare Donnie to our son.

Yeah.

Yeah, he said that you two don’t approve.

I’m surprised to hear he gives a damn what we think.

He couldn’t be bothered to tell us they were leaving.

My boy doesn’t have to answer to you.

No, he…

he does not.

And we don’t have to answer to you.

Whoa.

Whew!

We better get some food in our bellies

before this get-together turns into a real blood feud.

– And we got numbers on you. – Yeah.

Oh, why, here come the newlyweds now.

Lorna.

H-Hi, George.

Hi, Jimmy.

– May I? – Oh.

Oh…

He’s turning into quite a load.

I told you, you carry him too much.

How’s he supposed to learn?

Learn what? How to walk? He knows how to walk.

Well, hell, I’d probably unlearn how to myself

if someone carried me everywhere I wanted to go.

It’s flat-out spoiling him.

– He weighs nothing. – Has he eaten?

Got him a burger at Ressler’s while we were waiting.

Did he eat it?

Half.

Do you want a pork chop, huh?

– Some potatoes? – No.

Huh?

– Should I cut up a little meat for you? – No.

What was that? What are you supposed to say?

No, thank you.

Take him up to bed then.

What? He just got here.

We believe in early to bed in this house.

And we believe in walking upstairs on our own two feet.

Easy now, Grandma.

You know who makes the rules around here.

There was mustard.

There was mustard?

On your hamburger?

You don’t like mustard, do you?

Off you go!

Up the stairs!

Come on, Jimmy.

Jimmy.

That’s enough.

Well, now you know where to find us, you’ll have to visit more often.

We thank you, but we’ll…

be on our way.

Hey, Blackledges!

Hold up there!

You need me to show you the way?

You know, if you left a trail of bread crumbs,

the coyotes would’ve got ’em by now, or they’re washed away.

You know, she won’t say so,

but I can tell, you running off like this, you hurt Blanche’s feelings.

Her feelings?

We’ve come all this way to see Jimmy,

and she gives us two minutes’ time to visit with him…

Go back inside, Mr. Weboy.

Why was your car locked?

What are you doing out here?

Damned if I know.

Today’s Friday, right?

It is.

Do you think Lorna will be working tomorrow?

It’s not quite as slimming as this would be.

You know, beautiful white shirt like this.

– I’ll take it. – Oh.

So just these two things for you then?

Yes, thank you.

– Sorry. – That’s all right.

7.50, ma’am.

I didn’t think you’d just go home.

I’m like a bad penny.

Who watches Jimmy while you’re here?

Who do you think?

Donnie. His mom.

Or maybe you think I just tie him to a tree until I get home.

– You’re a good mother, Lorna. I know that. – Right.

I was merely wondering how things are going for you with this new job.

Well, I just started, so…

We don’t want to get you in trouble, sweetheart.

Can we buy you lunch?

– My break isn’t until noon. – Noon?

– Straight up? – We’ll meet you outside.

No, I’ll meet you at Ressler’s.

It’s across the street.

I was going to write. Once we got settled.

It was kind of a last-minute decision, coming here.

– That Donnie’s decision? – You met Blanche.

Well, we found you. That’s what’s important.

Jimmy looks bigger.

– He’s growing so fast. – There you are.

He’s counting to ten now.

He used to just say the words, you know, but now he understands they go in order.

And I’m working with him on his alphabet.

He can spell his name.

Smart right from the start.

He misses you, both of you.

We miss him too.

Both of you.

That’s what we wanted to talk to you about, Lorna.

And I won’t… beat around the bush.

I remember when James first introduced us.

This wonderful girl he told us so much about,

so beautiful and funny and…

No family of her own, but…

Thought you weren’t gonna beat around the bush.

I have to be back at the store by 1:00. Just get to it.

All right. Well, here it is.

Let Jimmy come back with us.

Not just to visit. I mean for good.

You…

You want me to give Jimmy to you?

– Want me to give up my son? – You know he’d have

a good home, one he knows, one he remembers…

Stop.

You know the schools he’d go to, the teachers he’d have…

No, God, stop! I can’t hear this!

I saw Donnie hit Jimmy.

On the street.

I saw him hit you.

And it didn’t look like a first time.

A little or a lot, no amount’s good.

– That’s why we’re here… – You came to take him.

Lorna.

We came to help.

Whatever the situation is.

Jimmy can’t stay there.

Can’t stay here.

– He needs his mother. – Then come with us.

You and Jimmy. We’ll take care of you.

Live with us, like before.

Tuna.

– You come and stay with us. – Pardon me.

There you go.

He’d kill me.

Him and his mother.

She couldn’t care less if I fell off the face of the earth, really,

but she’d never let me go.

Or Jimmy.

Donnie got away from her once.

She’s never going to let that happen again.

I don’t want Jimmy to grow up like them.

Don’t want him to be like them.

Then you know what’s right.

Honey.

You want us to drive you out there?

We can do that.

Right now.

Right, George?

The three of us, we can get Jimmy,

– pack you up, take you back… – No. No.

I’ll meet you.

Everybody’s usually asleep by midnight.

I’ll have to wait to be sure.

We should come get you, sweetheart.

No. This is the way.

The safest way, trust me.

That’s… That’s what everyone wants most, isn’t it?

For you and Jimmy to be safe. Hmm?

And happy.

We’re out at the Moon Wink.

– ‘Kay. – Cabin seven at the Moon Wink Motor…

I heard you. I know where it is.

I should be there by 2:00.

But we have to leave right when I get there.

No waiting.

Okay.

Lorna, wait.

Wait. Lorna.

I…

I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye, but…

I don’t think we’ve ever seen eye to eye.

Well… we will.

You’re just saying that to make sure that I go with you.

Jimmy needs his mother.

You could’ve used one too.

I could’ve been that to you.

I should’ve been.

But I wasn’t.

It’s okay.

I’m sorry, Lorna.

I should’ve been… much more to you.

Don’t start what you can’t finish.

Can you… answer something for me?

Okay.

That horse of yours, Strawberry.

Strawberry?

I loved that horse.

What brought that up?

Seeing you ride again.

Hmm.

Something I always wondered about, when we had to put her down.

You whispered to her. Do you remember?

Yeah.

Like you were telling secrets.

What was it you told her?

I reminded her of things.

How she liked to gallop through the first snow every year.

About the time we raced Ernie Dahlberg

and his big chocolate mare and left them choking in our dust.

I reminded her of this one time.

I was in high school… it was some October,

and we were heading home.

And the full moon was just coming up over Dollar Butte.

And she stopped.

Stopped and stared.

Like she cared about the moonrise as much as me.

And when we put James on her back for the very first time…

she stood so still.

Like she knew she had to take care of him.

I wanted to send her on her way with happy memories.

I’m sorry.

Sorry? Why?

I made you sad. That’s…

That’s not what I wanted.

You didn’t make me sad, George.

What I wanted is to tell you…

tell you what sticks with me.

Strawberry and you.

This woman I married but can’t figure.

Who doesn’t believe there’s any world but this one,

but still believes a horse has got a soul somehow.

That’s the gal for me.

She did seem quick to come around.

Please.

Don’t say anything.

Get out.

No, you get the hell out now.

George!

He let us in.

See, you think you can gang up on Lorna.

But when it’s done to you, it’s a different story.

What are you talking about?

Oh, is that what you’re gonna do?

Pretend like you two didn’t jump Lorna at work?

Shame on you.

Shame on both of you,

badgering and bullying her to give up her boy.

You’re lucky Lorna doesn’t have a little mama grizzly in her.

Come between that kind of mama and her baby,

you’re fixin’ to get your hand bit, or worse than.

Somebody tried to come between me and one of my boys…

– tried to talk me out of my child… – That’s not what happened.

It’s no wonder Lorna don’t want to go with you.

Big bull-hen.

Thinking you know what’s best for everybody.

Pecking you to death, no doubt.

I never said she shouldn’t marry Donnie.

I never said you did.

He hit the boy.

I saw you, across the street from the grocery.

Is that what all this fuss is about?

Grandma, are you gonna tell me you didn’t paddle your own, huh?

Not ever?

He hit Lorna too.

Come here.

You hit your wife?

I saw him.

– How’d he do it? – With his hand.

With…

Alberta Einstein. Yeah, I know with his hand.

I’m asking how.

Like…

Hmm?

Was it like that?

Donnie, how’d you do it? How was it?

It was harder.

Harder?

Like…

Goddamn it.

Like that?

Like that but harder.

Donnie…

think you’re gonna have to show us how you done it.

Son of…

No!

George!

Oh, no, he’s all right, Margaret. He’s fine.

Yeah?

Maybe you want to try talking this over again now, huh?

Like reasonable folks.

Or maybe you’d prefer getting some sleep,

so you can get an early start back home tomorrow.

Or maybe… maybe you’d like to send him home

while you stay on here for a spell.

I could take you back when you’re ready.

Of course, by then, you might decide you want to stay.

It’s okay.

It’s okay. Easy, girl. Easy, girl.

You stop right there.

You…

you stay away from us.

– Get him! Get the gun! – Get him! Get him!

Get him up!

No.

Please.

Donnie.

What do you want me to do?

You make sure he can’t pull a gun on us again.

No!

– Right here. – No!

No.

– No. – No!

No!

Go on, Donnie.

Come on.

– Stop. – I’m teaching you to teach him, see?

Donnie.

– Donnie, don’t! Donnie. Donnie. – Donnie.

You don’t have to do this.

Please, Donnie! Please, Donnie. Please, Donnie.

– Donnie, don’t do it. Don’t do it. – Do it, boy.

– Do it, boy. – Donnie! Don’t do it!

– Donnie. – Don’t do it!

Oh, my God!

George. Oh, my God.

George. George.

Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

Well, he won’t be shooting for a while.

Maybe you understand my family now.

Safe driving, you two.

George.

George, George, George.

Oh, my God.

What have I done to you? Oh, my God.

He’s gonna need morphine.

It’s okay.

– This was an ax, you said? – Was a… Was a hatchet.

Police are on their way.

Look, I can put you under or I can numb it up and you stay…

Awake, right.

– Awake. – I’ll stay awake.

Yeah, you’re okay.

Awake.

Ma’am, you’re welcome to wait outside.

What?

Well…

Now, I already been over to the Weboys’, had a chance to hear their side.

Their side?

Side of what?

Their account is that it’s Mr. Blackledge here who pulled a gun.

In self-defense.

That your service revolver Blanche showed me?

I’m sure it is.

– You wore the badge once. – He wore it over 30 years.

Well…

then you know how the law works.

I have…

I have a fair idea I know how it works here.

Blanche explained that things got a tad rough

persuading you to set your weapon down.

They chopped his hand off.

Yeah, well, the way they tell it, you two,

you came here looking to take a child away from his mother.

First with talk… well, threats…

and then a gun.

Lorna, the boy’s mother, did you see her?

Oh, sure, she was there.

Did you speak with her? She’s terrified of them.

She was married to your son, right?

Yes.

Hmm.

And he died, right? He’s dead.

How exactly did that happen?

Why don’t you tell us?

Well, um… an accident, she said.

You know, was thrown from his horse, broke his neck, snapped in two.

An accident.

And it’s an accident.

You know, and Blanche…

she expressed real concern about how accidents follow your family.

She fears for that little one she’s looking after now.

How the longer you two stick around, the chances of something happening to him,

well, those chances, they just keep creeping up.

I don’t even want to contemplate what a tragedy that would be.

There’s nothing smaller in this world than a kid’s casket.

Get out.

Well, the consensus over there is that you two won’t be

causing any more trouble around here.

And because you’re family, by a way, the Weboys won’t be pressing any charges.

So you’re free to go.

But, you know, if I were giving out advice…

You can save that.

Well, see, I’m thinking of your grandson here.

He’s a Weboy now.

It’s best you put Gladstone behind you.

Just as quick as you can.

Hey, pull over.

– What’s wrong? – Goddamn it.

Pull over.

George.

Are you all right? Talk to me.

I’m fine.

I needed to pull over is all.

Where in the hell are we?

So what will you do?

I don’t know.

Well, I heard what them Weboys done to you.

Except I didn’t know it was you.

What did you hear?

Well, that they chopped somebody’s arm off.

Who told you that?

My uncle. In Gladstone.

So you have family in town then.

An uncle and an aunt. They sell skins for me.

And other stuff.

Why do you live all the way out here then?

All alone.

It’s not where you’re from.

‘Cause I ran away from that school in Bismarck.

The government agents came into the house when I was eight.

They took me and put me in their truck.

You know, I thought I did something wrong and that my mother didn’t want me anymore.

But then I could see she was crying.

All the mothers were.

You were eight?

They cut my hair off.

And washed me in kerosene.

And beat me.

To kill the Indian inside.

I guess they did.

So when I came home,

I couldn’t understand my grandmother’s words anymore.

“I’m Peter now.”

Tried to tell her.

She couldn’t understand me, either.

If I don’t belong anyplace…

here is fine.

You picked a good spot.

But it’s not good to be alone.

I’m not alone.

I’m talking to you.

I have an idea.

Yeah.

That’s not a first.

Let me finish before you make fun of me.

And if you don’t know what to say, don’t say anything.

– Let’s hear it. – What if we stayed?

Here.

I’m sure Peter would be glad of the company.

We could build onto this place.

We could put another room on the kitchen. Or we could build a place of our own.

You hold the boards while I hammer in the nails. That it?

You said you’d let me finish.

You’re finished now. You just don’t know it.

You really want us to live out here in the middle of nowhere with a…

Indian boy and a lost horse?

Just so you can, what, drive into town every now and again,

try and catch a peek at Jimmy?

You’ll follow him to school and hope time untwists a sour mind

and Blanche Weboy lets you hold him again for longer than 30 seconds’ time?

When they come again…

hack off another couple pieces…

or they start taking pieces of you, if there’s anything left

once you’re done tearing yourself apart?

What then?

And when they hurt Jimmy? And they will, just for spite.

How you gonna feel then?

First time I held him,

he arranged himself just right in my arms

and snug to me.

And light as can be, like feathers…

Jesus Christ, Margaret!

When are you gonna stop torturing yourself?

I tried.

I’m sorry.

I tried, George.

I know.

But I couldn’t save him.

God help me.

Shh.

Hey. Shh.

We lost them both.

George! George!

Even as fast as you are, I don’t think you’re gonna catch him.

If he’s going where I think, he’ll have to take the road.

– You’re gonna show me a quicker way. – I’m gonna…

– I’m not going. – You are.

Settle.

Be still.

Wake her up. Wake her.

– Lorna. – What?

You want to go back to Dalton? You and Jimmy?

You have to decide. Go or stay.

– Lorna, ple… – Not you.

You don’t get to say a goddamn word.

This is up to her.

You know what life will be.

Here or there, you know.

This isn’t something you need to think on.

I’ll go.

You know the car. It’s at the bottom of the drive.

The keys are in it.

Drive straight to the sheriff’s office in Bentrock. Ask for Nevelson.

– Bentrock. – Sheriff Nevelson.

– He’ll sort this out. – Jimmy’s things.

– I need to get… – No. Out now.

But what about you?

Just go.

– No… – Just go.

Quiet as you can. Take the front door.

Then you run like hell.

Grandpa.

Something’s burning. Hey, something’s burning! Come on!

– You leave that stove on? – Mm-mmm.

What the hell is going on?

Bill, the… the house is on fire.

Uh… w-we smelled smoke.

– Hold on. Hold on. – No!

Help!

– No. No. – Hold on. Hold on.

– No! Get your hands off of him! – Don’t! Don’t!

Jimmy.

Bill, what’s going…

Bill.

– Bill, out of the way. I got him. – God’s sake, Blanche, don’t shoot!

Lorna!

Give the boy to me, old man!

No one gets hurt.

No.

Boys!

House is on fire!

Get Lorna! She’s got the boy!

Mama?

Marvin!

Oh, my God.

Lorna!

Lorna. Jimmy.

Are you all right?

Baby. Where’s George?

He told me to run, to take the car.

– Stay with her. – No.

No, stay, stay.

Stay with them, Peter!

George.

Jimmy. Where’s Jimmy?

He’s safe, George. With Lorna.

And Peter. They’re waiting for us.

Blanche?

– Where is she? – I don’t know.

I don’t know. We have to go.

Just go. Go. Get out.

Not without you.

Come on.

Come on. You can lean on me.

Margaret?

George!

Peter.

– Margaret. – George!

Why?

Why?

You, you go to hell!

Look at me. Look at me.

Please look at me. I’m right here.

George.

– George. George! – Margaret. We have to go.

Come on.

– We have to go now! – No!

George, remember…

I love you.

Thank you.

You should go.

Goodbye.

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