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Killers of the Flower Moon (2023) | Transcript

“Killers of the Flower Moon” is a 2023 movie directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is set in 1920s Oklahoma and depicts the serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror.
Killers of the Flower Moon - On the set

Emerging from the visionary mind of Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon is a captivating cinematic masterpiece that delves into the dark underbelly of 1920s Oklahoma, where a sinister conspiracy unfolds amidst a backdrop of oil wealth and greed.

At the heart of the story lies the Osage Nation, a Native American tribe blessed with vast oil reserves. Their newfound riches, however, attract the attention of unscrupulous individuals willing to exploit them for their own gain. As the Osage are systematically murdered, a chilling pattern emerges, leaving a trail of fear and uncertainty.

Enter J. Edgar Hoover, the ambitious and ruthless director of the newly formed FBI, determined to bring the perpetrators to justice. He assigns the investigation to Tom White, a young FBI agent with a connection to the Osage Nation, who must navigate a treacherous world of corruption and deceit.

* * *

Tomorrow we will bury this one

This Pipe Person.

Our messenger to Wahkontah.

It is time to bury this Pipe with dignity…

…and put away its teachings.

The children outside listening…

…they will learn another language.

They will be taught by white people.

They will learn new ways…

…and will not know our ways.

Phillips Oil workmen, right here.

Kraceon Oil pipeline crew, over here.

Burbank Oil Field, over here.

Marland Oil!

Rock hounds for Phillips Oil, this truck.

Make it rich. You can make it rich.

Make it rich. You can make it rich. Make it rich. Right here.

Phillips Oil workmen!

Ernest!

Yeah.

Ernest Burkhart? Henry.

Yeah.

Henry Roan.

I’m taking you to your uncle Hale.

All right.

Come on. Let’s go. This is us, right here.

Come on, stop!

Whose land is this, Henry?

My land. My land.

Well, well, well. Our war hero has arrived. Welcome home, Ernest. Welcome home.

It’s so good to see you again.

I’m so glad you made it.

Brother.

Thanks for writin’, huh?

Good to have you back, Brother.

Ernest, now, here’s your aunt Myrtle and your cousin, little Willie.

Welcome.

It’s so good to see you.

Look how big she’s grown. Isn’t that something?

Now, this is a cattle ranch. There’s no oil here.

No oil? Yeah. No oil, no fear, so I’m settled with no fear.

Time will run out. This wealth will run dry, drier than the seven years of famine that plagued the pharaohs of old. They’re a sick people. They’re kindly people, bighearted people, but they’re sickly. What about you? You see bloodshed?

Some.

Well, I was a I was a cook in the infantry.

You see Kelsie Morrison? He was over there.

I did.

Yeah.

Otis Griggs and the others, if you remember.

Soldiers have to eat. You fed the soldiers that won the war.

Well, saw more die from the flu, but…

So what happened to your stomach?

My–My gut, it burst.

You almost lost your life.

They gave me a belt and told me not to do any heavy lifting.

Well, you made a good choice coming back here, ’cause here…

I know.

Money flows freely here, now.

Well, I do I do love that money, sir.

Don’t call me “sir.”

You call me “Uncle,” or call me “King,” like you used to. Remember?

Call you “King”?

Yeah.

King.

Now, you didn’t pick up any disease over there, did you?

No. No.

Sure?

I’m sure, sir. I’m sure. Not that I know of.

You keep that thing wrapped up over there?

I did. I did.

As best you could.

As best I could.

Yeah.

You like women?

You know I like women. That’s my weakness.

What kinds they got out there?

Just white. Just white, that I saw.

You like red?

Red?

You mean that kind of red?

I like red. I like white. I like blue. I like all of ’em.

Don’t matter to me. I’m greedy. I like the heavy ones. I like the heavy ones, pretty ones, soft, ones that smell good, you know.

Well, we gotta keep an eye on you. You’re all over the place. Speaking of that… Hey, Byron.

Yeah.

Oh, yeah, that’s good. That’s real good.

Don’t get played out in the open with alcohol, you hear? ‘Cause then you’ll cause trouble. Right, Byron?

That’s right, King.

No, sir. I won’t. I won’t.

Now, most fellas out here are crooked. Some do things right, most do bad, so don’t be simple.

No, sir. I won’t.

Don’t make small trouble about nothing. You gonna make trouble, make it big. Get a big payoff for that, you hear?

Yes, sir.

You see, I am officially reserve deputy sheriff in Fairfax. I don’t want to bring unwanted eyes.

I won’t find that trouble.

Yeah.

I won’t do stupid things.

And you got your head on straight after being over there?

Course I do. I’m not thick, sir. I’m strong.

Well, I got a place I’m gonna put you. That’ll be driving. ‘Cause you can’t do much else ’cause of your gut. You don’t read much, do you?

Read?

Do you read, yeah. Read much?

Well, I can read.

Well, you smarten yourself up. Get him that book on the Osage, Byron.

This one?

Yeah, that one.

You smarten yourself up.

I can read, sir.

The Osage. They have the worst land possible, but the good Lord, he outsmarted everybody. The land had oil on it. Black gold. But they’re wise people. They worked it so as they had the say who gets the oil, who gets the headrights. The Osage are sharp. They don’t talk much, so that might make you feel like you’ve got to run your mouth to fill the space, especially you been drinking. Better you be quiet if you don’t got nothing smart to say. Don’t get caught on that. It’s what they call, “blackbird talk.”

Blackbird talk.

Just ’cause they’re not talking, don’t mean they don’t know everything about everything. Yeah, Osage are the finest and most beautiful people on God’s earth.

John Whitehair, age 23. No investigation.

Bill Stepson, age 29. No investigation.

Anna Sanford, age 41. No investigation.

Rose Lewis… age 25. No investigation.

There we go.

And Sara Butler, age 21. Suicide.

State your name.

I’m Mollie Kyle. Incompetent.

What is your allotment number?

Two hundred eighty-five.

You’ve asked for additional moneys of $752 to pay a medical bill for an abscess.

Yes, sir.

Was the operation successful?

Yes, sir.

And the diabetes?

I have a prescription at Fairfax Drugs. I’ll send my help to fill twice monthly.

You gotta look out for that, you know. Now, Mollie, it’s your mother. You know she’s restricted too, so we have to account for every penny. It says here she spent $319 and 05 cents for meat at the grocery. Don’t you think that’s an awful lot of meat for what she needs?

Yes, Mr. Beaty.

Well, you’ll look after that, won’t you?

Yes.


All right, people. Let’s form a line here for allotment payments. Unrestricted only. Restricted, take your guardian. He has to be with you to sign your checks. You need to find your guardian. Nothing new this time, folks.

Thirty-dollar photo for posterity.

Don’t you wanna preserve your family history? Come on.

How about you, sir? You–

Now, don’t go after him.

He don’t know nothing. He’s an amateur. You need a proper photo for you and your family. For you, sir? $40. For you, sir? $40.

How much? $40?

$40.

All right. I got $35 cash for you right now. Take it or leave it.

Thirty-five’s a deal. Let’s have it, get it done. Y’all are gonna make a pretty picture. Y’all, come on this way, over here.

My wife’s been feeling poorly. The doctor says it’s her constitution.

The boy’s got asthma. His asthma’s holding him back. He just needs a chance. You’ve got your checks. You’re unrestricted. Please.

We’ll take one. In that color.

Thank you. Thank you! I’ll tell you what, you run out of gas, you get a flat tire, you come right on back and buy another.

Ma’am, you need a ride? That’s my bucket, right there.

Thank you.

Gotta be careful. A lot of characters around here today.

Hey, Ernest!

Hey, Kelsie Morrison!

We were at the front together in France.

Hey!

How you doing? Great to see you!

You too. You too.

My wife, Catherine Cole.

Oh, pleased to meet you. Pleased to meet you.

Full blood.

Sky People, right? Sky People?

Middle Water. Middle Water.

Lot of money on this.

You got money on this race?

No. No.

Let’s go, then.

Yep.

I’m sorry to hear she’s not doing good.

You know, Father, just as stubborn as ever.

Tell your mom I’m praying for her, okay? Take care. Yeah.

Thank you, Father.


You know who I mean when I say Mollie Kyle? You know the one, with the sisters.

I know which one. Mollie.

Yeah. Mollie. She lives with her mother, Lizzie.

I know, Uncle, which one. I know her. I’ve been driving her.

Driving her?

Yeah.

Matt Williams used to go with her for a time. They’re not together in a way now, so that means you could have a proposition with that if that struck you.

You want– You want me to see after her. She’s a regular customer of mine.

Yeah.

I think she’s sweet on me too.

That Mollie, she’s easy to like. Yeah.

Yeah.

Full blood estate, at that, too.

Full blood estate.

Full blood estate.

Now, that’s something a man can work with. You got a good face, you know that? Think you can be the marrying kind?

Marrying kind?

How do you mean?

Well, we mix these families together, and that estate money flows the right direction, it’ll come to us. That’s a full blood estate. And she gets that money of the mother Lizzie. Now, that’s good business there. And legal, not against the law. That’s smart investment.


They told me you was going with Matt Williams for a time.

You talk too much.

Nah. Nah, I don’t talk too much. Just thinking who I gotta beat in this horse race, that’s all.

I didn’t realize this was a race. I don’t care for watching horses.

Well, I’m a different kind of horse.

What?

What was that?

That’s how you are.

I don’t know what you said, but it must’ve been Indian for “handsome devil.”

All right.

“I am an Osage brave. A long time ago, we Osage took our name from Missouri and Osage Rivers. NiUKonSka, Children of the Middle Waters. ‘Move,’ said the Great White Father, from Missouri, from Arkansas, from Kansas. Finally, another strange land, Oklahoma, where famine walked by day and hungry wolves by night. Can you find the wolves in this picture?”

All right, let’s go. Come on.

“Osage weren’t ever part of the Five Civilized Tribes.”

You remember Blackie Thompson?

Howdy, boys!

“Of the Five Civilized Tribes, the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole.”

Don’t move!

That rock still shines in the dark, boys. Give me that.

Just take the car. Don’t take my ring. My father gave it to me.

Don’t want the car. Just want the jewels. Y’all didn’t do nothing to earn this anyway.

You like these?

Got us some rich Indians, boys!

Come on!

Come on! Come on!

I’m going all in, boys.

What are you thinking, Ernest?

No. That’s crazy, Ernest!

I love money. I love money! Turn that card over! Boom!

Come on!

Yeah! Do it! Hell yeah!

Take a chance!

Fairfax horseshit right there, boy.

Goddamn!

Queen gets the jewels.

God! Shit!

“Dawn was always a sacred time for prayers. They call the sun ‘Grandfather.’ The moon, ‘Mother.’ Fire, ‘Father.’ They call it the ‘Flower Moon’ when tiny flowers spread over the blackjack hills and the prairies. There are many. So many, it’s as if Wahkontah looked down upon the earth, smiled, and sprinkled it with sugar candy. Wahkontah means ‘God.’ You’re given your Osage name.”

Your name is Sun Hawk Woman.

“It’s how you will be called to the next world. Your Osage name can never be taken away from you.”

Here. Put this on. You want dinner?

Yeah.

Don’t you want a bite of this?

I got too much sugar.

Can never be too sweet, now, can you?

It makes me sickly.

You live in this house just with your mother?

I take care for her. And you live with your uncle?

Yes. Yes. You know him?

Since I can remember.

He’s a nice man.

Why did you come here?

For what?

To live here.

Yes. I live here.

Why?

For my uncle. I work with him.

And your brother is Bryan?

Byron, that’s right.

Byron.

You scared of him?

My brother? Who?

Your uncle.

Well, no. No, he’s the king of the Osage Hills. He’s the nicest man in the world. I know if you cross him what he could do. No, I’m my own man. I do my own work. I’m a businessman. Yeah, thanks. Here you go.

What’s your religion?

Catholic.

You don’t come to church.

Oh, yes, I’ve been away. How come you don’t have a husband? I’m a man, and I want to know why a woman like you doesn’t have a husband. You know, you got nice color skin. What color would you say that is?

My color.

Well, I think it’s real pretty. You got nice color skin. You got a nice house. I think you just pretend to be so severe. Bet you I bet you got a soft belly on the inside there.

You just called me a coyote, didn’t you?

Coyote.

Coyote wants money.

Well, that money’s real nice. It’s real nice, especially if you’re lazy like me. I mean, I wanna sleep all day, and I wanna make a party when it’s dark.

What’s so funny?

You like pehtseh nee?

Whiskey.

I don’t like whiskey, I love whiskey.

I have good whiskey, not bad whiskey.

I think we should try some and find out.

No, no. No. No, don’t close it.

What?

We need to be quiet for a while.

The storm, it’s… Well, it’s powerful. So we need to be quiet for a while.

It’s good for the crops, that’s for sure.

Just be still.


Bill Smith. Bill Smith.

Ernest. Ernest Burkhart.

Good to meet you, Ernest. I’m Minnie’s husband.

It might make you feel a little better if you eat something.

No, not again.

He’s not that smart…

…but he’s handsome.

He looks like a snake.

No, he looks like Coyote. Those Blue Eyes.

His brother is handsome, too. I like the brother more.

That red haired rat?

Better than your possum playing dead… and lazing around the house.

He’s a possum around you…

…he’s like a rabbit to me.

Be quiet…!

…Coyote’s watching.

He wants our money.

Of course he wants money… but he wants to be settled.

He’s not restless.

His Uncle has money… it’s not money he wants… he loves you.


Slow down. Your hand looks on my skin…

You’re gonna marry me, Mollie. I want you to be my wife. Will you do that?

Can you stand her kind?

I love this girl. Mollie. Uncle, I really do think she’s a lady.

Well, then you found a wife.


Mollie. Ernest.

I’ve known Mollie and her sisters since they were little girls running around, making a lot of trouble.

Mollie’s dear departed father, Nahkahesey, was a dear, dear friend of mine, a beloved friend of the heart.

He always used to tell the white men just to call him Jimmy, but I always called him by his proper name, Nahkahesey.

We had great respect for each other.

You and me.

Keep going right. I’m going right.

Minnie.

What do you need for, Minnie?

No, sir.

You well taken care of?

Yes.

You have proper medicines?

‘Cause I want you to know you have the best care if you need.

I don’t want you to be afraid.

So many troubles that we’ve brought upon you, all of you.

I’m so sorry.

I’m so sorry.

Minnie. My sister.

Wasting illness.

Anna.

Ernest.

Yeah?

Ernest, it might be best for you to sit outside.

What Well, why’s that?

It’s just the way this is going.

If you don’t mind.

“The way this is going”? You’re saying you want me outside?

Yes, sir, if you would.

All right.

Bill Smith.

Yeah.

It shows itself to you that Bill Smith didn’t take the proper care of Minnie the way he could have.

To have her sick and die, take her headrights and her land?

That oil, which should go to her sisters, your wife, well, he’s taking money that, by rights, should go to Mollie.

The mother, Lizzie.

She’s not in good shape.

She won’t last.

Most Osage don’t live past 50.

With these women dying, with how Osage suffer from illness,

you have to make it the headrights come to you.

You see?

Yeah.

Minnie’s gone now,

and after her, that leaves…

Reta…

Anna,

and then, of course, there’s Mollie.

Yeah.

How’s Mollie feeling?

She’s all right.

Takes care of the little one.

She’s got the diabetes too.

Yeah.

I worry for her sometimes. She’s sick most days, King.

Of course she is. How could she not be? This diabetes is a trial to bear.

Like it says in the book of Job,

the days of affliction have taken hold upon her.

Well, Mollie, she’s still strong, King. She’s strong.

Yeah, for now. We hope, forever, but…

What about Anna? You know Anna carries a gun in her purse?

Hey, what the hell?

I know you get around

Shit!

What the hell?

Fucking crazy squaw!

Now, I love Anna,

but she’s gonna pick a fight one day with the wrong person.

And then what?

Hey. Stop it.

Put it all on the table.

Stop it. Manners.

Nobody’s got any manners here.

Did you see the Owl?

No.

When you do…

…it’s a sign that we are dying.

Because… of you.

You all marry white men.

Our blood is getting white.

Where’s Anna?

I want Anna.

I’m here.

I don’t want you.

I want Anna.

Let’s get all of them.

This one’s whiter than that one.

You’d never know this one’s a halfbreed, would you?

They’re both a couple of little halfassed savages, as far as I’m concerned.

Bless their little hearts, now, they can’t help it.

One dark and one light. And it’s like an eclipse.

The Lord put his hand over the earth and made it shake for nothing.

Oh, goodness.

Take care, Anna.

Thank you, sir.

Are you laughing?

Not yet… but…

I brought blankets for Momma.

You’re drunk already?

I’m still drunk from last night, you woke me up.

Don’t let Momma see you this way.

Don’t fuss on me.

Hello, Anna. You steady?

I am pickled.

You got any whiskey?

Well, you drank it last night.

Only my man can drink my whiskey.

I’m not your man.

Well, maybe you don’t have a choice.

Are you making threats?

Hey, hey.

Keep yourself settled down in here, Anna.

You’ll do right.

You’re making threats, Anna. Don’t do that.

I’m telling you a secret. You think I open my legs for any man?

Well, I get that feeling.

Hey! Hey! Come on, now.

Get her in the other room now.

You are no different, Ernest. You hear me?

You are no different.

Get in the other room!

Older sister, calm down.

Yeah, I’m all right.

You are so pretty.

You know me?

Yes.

What do you know?

Fuck yourself, Byron Burkhart.

Anna! Anna!

Anna!

Hey! Come on, now!

I will cut you, talking to my man! I’ll kill that woman, then I’ll kill you!

Stand down.

I’m not your man. I’ll do as I please.

Get her out of here!

Get her out!

Give me that.

She’s got a gun.

Give me that. Come on!

Stay away from these white women! Stay away from those wahk’ oh nohnhohn!

Move!

Get out!

Savage!

Come on, Charlie. Right up here.

This one French soldier, he came up, he tried to grab that saucer pan.

I saw his leg blown clean off.

A lot of them came back like this. Shaking.

Hey.

Did you hear they found Charlie Whitehorn dead?

Aye. Aye. Who did that?

I don’t know.

Was it his wife?

Most likely.

Now, Anna…

It’s time for me to take her home now.

You’re…

…wild.

Anna. Anna, mahntheen ehtxahn. Byron’s waiting. Come on.

Come on, now.

You’re my best blessing.

I’m your favorite?

Yes…

…stay with me here.

Anna, come on, now.

Stop banging.

Time for me to go, Ernest?

Yeah.

You don’t want me here, do you?

You trying to get rid of me, aren’t you, snake?

You’re afraid I’ll say too much.

Yeah, I see you’re afraid.

You look better.

Why, thank you, Sister.

You’re my wealth, you know that?

Don’t go out tonight.

You worry too much, ohthehzhoo.

Come on. Let’s go.

Okay.

Goodness, let’s go find another drink.

No, I’m taking you home, Anna.

No, you’re taking me to Whizbang.

Byron’s taking her home now.

I’m too drunk.

You don’t say.

He’s taking her home.

Mollie, it’s your sister, Anna.

Come on, now. Come on, now, sweetheart.

Come on, now.

Come on.

Is this your sister, Anna Brown?

Pardon me. Is this your sister, Anna Brown?

Yes.

Two members of our tribe, Anna Brown and Charles Whitehorn,

were both murdered.

These ahnshdahheh are murdering us.

In the case of Anna Brown,

her family here on the west side have raised funds

of the amount of about $2,000 to $5,000

for the arrest and conviction of the murderer.

Mollie Burkhart has hired a private investigator.

When this money started coming,

we should’ve known it came with something else.

‘Cause it’s the white man’s money.

It’s not what we were taught, coming out of Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas.

What has come to our reservation that doesn’t belong here?

And it’s them. They’re like buzzards circling our people.

Yeah.

They wanna pick us body clean, leave nothing.

When we left Missouri, we didn’t even leave our dead babies.

We laid ’em down and we rode our warriors over ’em

to tell everyone that we’ll never leave this place again.

Or we’ll die here, to the last one.

Yeah.

Switch.

Hey, Mollie. Mollie, words can’t express my grief,

but she’s with the Lord now.

She’s with the Lord.

And they even come here now to marry our young women.

I employ some of them.

They say they are my friends, but I don’t think they really are.

Some of them don’t even pretend to work.

They walk around, they act like they own the place.

Okay, gentlemen. Hold still, please.

We got it!

I mean, these people are bums, neeshdahheh, common vags.

We can’t turn to the county to help us.

We can’t go to the state of Oklahoma to help us.

Why have we ever even thought they would?

We were here before them. This is our homeland we came to.

Yeah. Yeah.

Why we put our children here is because Mother Earth allowed us here.

Yeah.

No one takes us off this earth until God calls us all home.

Yeah.

And we’ve got to realize that,

but we’ve also got to realize this evil that’s come here.

You have something it wants.

Yeah.

It didn’t want you when we was coming through genocides, our coming home.

But now we put the original 25 families together in this room.

Yeah.

And we’re here to go with you.

The old saying says is that Osage is dying by the enemy.

Do not let them die alone. You go join them.

So we can go to heaven knowing we’re still warriors.

We have to change, but before we do, we need to be like a fire on this earth

and get rid of all that stops or gets in front of us.

My council, I ask you for your support.

All of you men. And our women, these mothers, these eenahn here.

All of our elders have come through this landscape,

and we only thing we know is that we have each other.

We have a Lord that’s been good to us.

And this other We never prayed for the great life.

We just prayed for life.

And that’s what I’m gonna be praying for now,

is that we get that life for these kids coming.

And, see, our days are over.

We’re just barely living out a sundown, but their days are starting.

And I want ’em to be Osages, just like the gift that Grandma gave me,

just like the gift that Grandma gave you.

Yeah.

Thank you, Chief.

I would like to add a thousand dollars to that reward money

for any information about these murders.

That means if anyone knows anything about it, you must come to me.

You all know where I am. I’m easy to find.

Thank you, Mr. Hale. Your friendship has always been greatly appreciated.

I’ll do anything, anything, to help the Osage in their plight,

in their vale of tears.

I move that we send Mr. Barney McBride to Washington, D.C.

I will second that.

Mr. McBride, Mrs. McBride.

Yes, Chief. I’m here.

Resolution 23. Mr. McBride will travel to Washington, D.C.

to meet with the Indian Affairs Commission,

where he will ask for private investigators and additional police

so that they can look into this matter of all this death.

Do you accept this?

Yes, I do.

Bill. Reta.

How are you, Ernest?

So you’re here now, huh?

Reta was a comfort to me when Minnie died.

Hey, listen. Leave the jewels be on this one, all right?

I do it so nobody notices.

No, no. Come on, Frank. Just leave it be, just this one time, for me.

It’s my wife’s sister, all right?

There.

$25 for a hearse rental?

$1,650 for a mahogany casket?

You charging me Osage prices. You think I’m thick, huh?

No, everybody pays the same.

Come on, now. McAllister’s entire funeral wasn’t more than 300.

This here’s 2,000, Frank.

McAllister’s daughter was just a youngster.

I’ll tell you what. I’ma talk to King Hale about this.

See what he has to say.

Well, if you want her in a wooden box, I’ll put her in one.

I don’t want no wooden box, all right? You are charging me Osage prices.

Your wife even said she wanted an open casket.

But there’s no face.

There’s no face, Frank. Why would she want it open, huh?

You trying to steal our money? Is that what you’re trying

It ain’t

It ain’t your money.

It’s easy for you to get me more money and pay my bill.

I work for my money.

Just like the good Lord says, you sow and reap, Ernest.

When was the last time you’ve seen one of them Osages working, huh?

Well, your sister, Anna, leaves an estate of approximately $100,000

to be willed to your mother, Lizzie Q., and you, Mollie, and you, Reta.

You know, I was thinking, that is a substantial amount of money.

I heard that Tall Chief hired the Emmett Miller minstrel show

to come in and play for his birthday party,

and I thought, “Why couldn’t we do something like that with this money?”

Maybe have a party for the town, and maybe invite another band out.

It does not do to talk to this man.

Evil surrounds my heart.

Many times, I cry, and this evil around my heart comes out of my eyes.

I close my heart and keep what is good there,

but hate comes.

And they say I ought to kill these white men who killed my family.

Mrs. Burkhart. Bill Burns. I solve crimes.

This is my card. My address is New York, London, Paris,

Montreal, Chicago, Los Angeles, Cairo, Berlin, Boston

and wherever else a lawabiding citizen…

Mr. Barney McBride?

Yes.

Telegram for you, sir. Just arrived.

…hasn’t been to Anna’s place to corroborate Byron’s story.

Now, I stopped by there, and I did find her alligator purse,

which could suggest that Byron is not lying. He brought her home.

Well, my brother’s not a liar.

Your youngest sister, Minnie, who died of the wasting illness two years ago,

she was married to a “Bill Smith.”

Yes.

And that is the same Bill Smith currently married to your sister, Reta.

Yes.

Same Bill Smith.

Two sisters.

Mr. Smith, he is a busy fellow, talking around town,

conducting his own investigation into Anna’s death.

Much obliged, Sheriff. Thank you, sir.

Thank y’all again. Appreciate it.

Were you aware of that?

You were?

Yes.

Now, you went straight to Mollie’s house?

We didn’t go straight there.

Where’d you go?

Graveyard out past Florer’s.

She wanted to look at her land, then she wanted to visit her father.

I cannot see my daddy with my hair flying everywhere.

Did you know I was gonna have a little baby?

Oh, my goodness, no.

Oh, it’s true.

I’m gonna name her Minnie too.

Give Minnie my love.

Did you know that Anna was pregnant?

Anna?

Yes.

Anna was pregnant.

She was pregnant.

Did he say Byron?

No.

Me?

No. No.

Well, you make sure we steer clear of that.

Mr. Smith says that he has a pretty good idea who killed your sister.

He says that he will tell all when he has the true facts.

So what What’s he found out?

I just don’t know that part yet.

What’s he found out?

Nothing.

I’ll go see Blackie.

On that, what we talked about…

About it, yeah.

To see what he may say on that.

That’s right.

Yeah. Yeah! Boy, we gonna be rich tonight, boy!

Ernest.

Where’s Blackie?

That’s it, huh?

Yeah.

Osage graves. That’s disgusting work, right there.

It’s dirty. It’s real dirty.

You want something to pay big, Blackie?

You can’t be working with them trouble boys.

You gotta use your head. You gotta think, Blackie.

Hale, he’s been talking about us partnering up.

You know Bill Smith? He’s been going around town talking a lot.

Now, if someone were to knock off Bill Smith and Reta too, right?

If she was gone, all that estate money would go to my motherinlaw, Lizzie Q.,

and she wills it to my children.

Now, that’s a good deal, that. It’s a real good deal.

For you, it is.

For all.

Smith and her, they’re gone a lot from home.

All you gotta do is go down there, and you plant the stand in the house.

And when they come in, you get ’em.

They got Reta’s got three or four diamonds. She got some ear screws.

Bill Smith, he always carries two or three hundred in his pocket.

You could have that.

You could have that, and I know Hale would pay you a thousand for the job.

That sound like a good one to you, Blackie?

You know my little Buick roadster?

You know, the red one you always got your eye on.

Yeah?

How about I throw in my Buick roadster? It’s insured more than it’s worth.

Now, I’d get the insurance money, and you’d get the Buick.

That’s just a little side deal between me and you.

Hale doesn’t need to know about that one.

But that’s real generous.

Goddamn, you’re a greedy Jew, Ernest.

Well, I just love money.

It’s true. It’s true. I damn near love it as much as I love my wife.

Ernest?

Yeah.

Come here.

What is it, huh?

Feeling better than this morning, huh?

A little.

Yeah. You just need sleep, I tell you.

Sleep. That’s the first thing now.

I don’t sleep anymore.

I know. I know. Just try. You try to get some rest, all right?

Come on, now.

I don’t even know if you love me anymore.

Mollie, of course I love you.

I need you here.

I’m right here, Mollie. I am right here.

I love you.

You gonna try to wake the kids up now.

You gonna wake the kids up.

Yeah. Yeah.

They’re calling it “insulin.” It’s from Toronto and costs dearly.

There ain’t more than five people that can afford it.

It ain’t officially for sale yet, but Bill Hale has seen to it for you.

Did you hear that, sweetheart?

This one.

This one.

It’s from a cow’s pancreas.

It’ll come down to us once a week.

Look at that.

Wow. A cow’s pancreas.

Diabetes can be an awful misery.

Have you eaten in the last hour?

No.

Lift your blouse, please.

There you go.

Have you had anything to drink?

Goat’s milk. Hotcakes.

Well, she’s had taffy and bacon too. Go on. Tell ’em.

You gotta tell ’em.

If you don’t stop eating sweets, this won’t matter.

You will lose your feet, or worse, if you eat like a white.

Hear that?

It’s all right.

Goddamn it.

Hey, Blackie, stop!

Blackie!

Oh, shit.

Stop!

Goddamn it, Blackie! Stop running!

Where are you gonna go to?

You gotta catch me first!

Look at that.

Hey there.

You brought the Buick out, huh?

Get in. Get in.

Byron.

Brother, come here.

Here?

Yeah, right there.

Kneel, please, Ernest.

Kneel.

Did you make a deal with Blackie Thompson

to steal your red roadster and cash the insurance?

I…

Yes, I did.

Well, Blackie’s been arrested for stealing your car.

What were you supposed to do?

I was supposed to feel him out on Bill and Reta.

So who takes care of Bill Smith and his blanket now?

I

I don’t know, sir.

Remove the book.

I…

I’m sorry.

All right, Brother. Stand up.

Stand up.

Elbows on the table.

I’m a 32nd degree Mason.

I am imbued

with confidence, trust and responsibility, among other things.

Yes, sir.

You know what that is?

No, sir.

Shit!

Damn.

Now get up! Sit over there.

Are you challenged to lead your house?

No.

She’s hired a private investigator

who noses and brings unwanted eyes.

She got the tribal council to pay for Barney McBride’s trip to Washington.

I know.

She’s a very hardheaded woman

and she’s gonna make it harder on you!

I’m sorry, King. You know she’s just stubborn.

Ernest, handsome son,

what do you think’s gonna happen to Mollie and all of them?

I love ’em, but in the turning of the earth,

they’re gonna go.

Their time is over.

That’s it. Gone.

Ernest, there will be no lightning strike and it stops happening.

It will happen.

These headrights must go to Mollie,

not to the mother, not to the sister, Reta, not Bill Smith.

Yes, sir.

You’ve got to take back control of your home.

Now, you hear me?

Yes, King.

World champeen roper Henry Grammer,

finest and biggest moonshine dealer in the county.

Look at all that blue.

Is that gold, Henry?

Better than gold. It’s recognition.

Now, Henry, what I need is someone who can do a job,

someone who can take a proposition to do an old man and his blanket.

And I just don’t want any man. I need someone who can do it right.

‘Cause I need them both to go at the same time.

So it can’t be poison whiskey or something like that.

It’s gotta be foolproof.

Hey, John?

Yeah.

Take this on up the house, stash it for me.

Don’t let Maggie see it.

Oh, now, she got eyes, Henry.

She caught me last time, and I don’t want that woman

Give it to me.

Why don’t y’all just go talk to Blackie Thompson?

Well…

Blackie?

Well, he’s in a penitentiary right now.

Tell him why.

Well, I messed up and…

Go on. You tell him.

‘Cause he had a harebrained idea to get him nabbed on insurance money on his car.

That’s bad luck.

I’ll say.

There’s Dick Gregg.

No. Dick’s wanted in Arkansas.

Hell, he’s wanted in Kansas.

Son of a bitch is so hid, he can’t even find himself.

You need a yegg man…

somebody, if youse want explosives,

who’d make damn sure you get in there and get them both, same time.

Soup under the house.

Nitro or dynamite.

Blow ’em up.

I think that’d be Acie Kirby.

Acie?

Oh, yeah.

Where’s he at?

I don’t really know.

He’s pretty squirrelly.

The son of a bitch right there might though.

Hey, John?

Yeah.

Where’s Acie Kirby hiding out these days?

I don’t rightly know. Hiding out in his old hole somewhere, I suspect.

Why don’t you take your skinny ass up to the barn,

see if you can find a shovel and go dig him up?

Now?

All right. I’ll ask around, see if I can find him.

Acie Kirby.

Acie. That’s your man.

Ready?

Come on.

Afternoon, ma’am.

Mrs. Burkhart.

Set up right here. All right.

What?

Fellas, I’m gonna have to ask you to just step outside for me a minute

while I speak to my wife.

Outside?

Of course, Ernest.

Just for a minute.

Well…

What now? What now?

We need the shots and the insulin.

What then, Mollie? What?

All right.

All right, all right.

So, fellas, just give me that. I’m gonna go ahead and do it.

You’re administering the shot?

Yeah. Yeah.

Ernest, Bill Hale has entrusted us with this care.

I know, I know. It’s just the way it’s going right now, all right?

We’re still gonna have to charge you for this visit.

We made the trip out here. Gas, time…

Fuck a duck. You’re gonna charge me for this robbery? Is that it?

It’s only right.

Give me that.

I’ll get it back to you. Go on now. Get outta here. Go on.

Goddamn it.

There you go.

Made me send the doctors away. The doctors.

What, am I a doctor? Are you a doctor?

Stupid, stubborn bitch ought to let them men do their work.

That’s what you should do

So I’m the doctor now?

I’m the doctor and the nurse

and the housekeeper, babysitter, God knows what else all, right?

It’s not helping.

It’s not any good.

King Hale has gifted this to you. He has gifted this. You

Five people in the whole world are getting this, and you’re one of them, Mollie.

You’re one of the lucky ones. Think of the children.

That’s gonna save your life right there.

But no, no, you think you know everything, right?

With your Indian ways.

You think you’re gonna get better with all them medicine men

and all them roots and all them herbs and all the… All that horseshit?

You ain’t, Mollie!

That’s real medicine!

You think someone’s gonna hurt you?

You think I’m gonna hurt you?

You don’t say nothing to that?

Give it a chance now, all right?

Maybe it’s gotta get worse before it gets better, Mollie.

I am to take care of you.

No one is gonna hurt you when I’m in front.

Open.

How are you feeling, Henry?

Good. Well, sometimes I feel sad.

That’s not a health issue for us.

He’s fit as a fiddle. Come on, Henry, he’s healthy as a horse.

That he is, Bill.

So what are you gonna do? You gonna kill this Indian?

How’d you know?

Better watch out.

Well, no, he just needs to be insured, that’s all.

It’s just a formality, but he needs it.

Well, what about my melancholy?

A little whiskey can help that.

You better watch out.

I don’t know, Bill. It may not look very good.

It’s hard to justify this one.

He owes me a lot of money.

Bill, my guardian won’t give me what’s mine.

What do you need?

I wanna buy some moonshine.

No, no, Henry. You don’t need that stuff. It’s hurting you.

Doctor said I should use it.

I don’t care what he says. He don’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

Come on, Henry.

Hi, Pearl.

My wife’s on Roy Bunch.

What?

My wife’s on Roy Bunch.

Who cares about Roy Bunch?

You got women all over you, my friend. You’re lucky with that.

And be at peace with what you have. And don’t do anything stupid.

I wanna hurt myself.

That’s not a man’s way out.

A man’s to get what’s his. They won’t give that to me.

A wife’s to give respect. I don’t wanna be here anymore.

I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed to be an Osage Indian.

Just give me some moonshine or get me a gun.

Now, Henry, you have a good time with Pearl.

Don’t you do anything stupid, you hear?

I need you, my friend. I need you.

Henry, no. What you doing here, Henry? Henry, no.

What do you think you’re doing?

Henry, stop it!

Think you can touch my wife?

Get him off me!

You stay off my wife!

You stay off my wife! You stay off my wife!

I’ve done nothing to you.

You’re the

I’m tired of asking friends for things when I can pay my own way.

Henry, you’ve got to bring your guardian.

Henry.

Who tells you how to spend your own money?

Just stop, Henry.

My ancestors had a free life before you got off your stinky boats.

You think you’re better than me, huh?

Think you’re better than me?

Come on.

I told you not to do anything stupid. You went and hit Roy Bunch. Come on.

I knocked him down, Reverend Hale. I knocked him down.

Why do you take care of him?

‘Cause he’s a melancholic.

You know he tried to do away with himself last year?

Oh, yeah?

I take care of that man because he’s my neighbor and he’s my best friend.

That’s $25,000 laying there.

I got an insurance policy on him. It’s against what he owes me.

So, if he succeeds in demising himself before the end of the year, I forfeit.

So, he needs to stay alive at least a few more months.

I might even get a chance at his headrights.

Something you should know…

Mollie’s first husband is that man right there on the floor.

What do you mean, “first husband”?

Osage, they don’t divorce.

And they were. They were married in a ceremony on the reservation.

What do you mean? You mean, she’s still married to him?

No, no. They were 15. It’s traditional. Doesn’t mean anything

If I was married, I’d be telling her that. She didn’t tell me that.

How’s she treatin’ you?

She treats me just fine. She’s a good one, you know.

Well, you let her have her secrets.

That way, you have yours.

Is there anyone?

Pitts Beaty’s trying to get his Klan to find the killers who killed Anna.

He said they’re helping to take the lazy men away from town.

Well, Pitts and his Klan are trying to have authority here, and they have none.

They need to let the police do their job.

I’m very disapproving of the Ku Klux Klan, Mollie.

They’re very hungry for a power.

And they ain’t gonna get it.

Is there anyone?

The tribe tried Barney McBride.

He didn’t come back.

We hired a private investigator, but…

You paid him?

Yes.

Well, he ran off, didn’t he?

Ernest, he ran off. Ernest, he ran off.

Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah.

Seems that way, King. Seems that way. Seems that way.

I think we should be a little more considerate

about how we spend Mollie’s money, Ernest.

I don’t mean that as a criticism, I’m just saying.

You bought a farm.

Yeah.

Okay. You didn’t consult me.

Maybe you should’ve consulted me because I’m there for you, Ernest.

I’m there for both of you.

You met Mollie because of me. You’re here because of me.

Let me help you. Let me give you my advice, my consultation.

Judson, he didn’t tell me about a hog sickness that was going on,

but now I learned my lesson, King. Won’t happen again.

Just a bad investment, that’s all. Bad investment.

Mollie?

There’s something different about you tonight. What is it?

Well, now’s a good a time as any, so…

Mollie, she’s pregnant.

What?

Yeah.

Oh, my goodness! Oh, my…

Yeah? That so?

Yeah.

Oh, my goodness.

Yeah, we got the news that Mollie’s having a baby, King.

Oh, my goodness. Oh, my goodness.

Blessings. Blessings upon this house.

Wonderful. Congratulations.

Thank you.

Bless you.

Congratulations.

Thanks.

Congratulations.

Congrats.

Thank you.

Congratulations.

We are just thrilled.

Thank you, Willie.

Henry! Henry. Come on in here. We just got some wonderful news.

Mollie is pregnant again.

I have a feeling it’s a girl. I am never wrong about these things.

Congratulations.

I can feel it in my bones.

We’re gonna have to start a baby quilt.

Yes.

We’ll pick out colors. We’ll go to…

Congratulations.

We’ll go to the dry goods store…

Sorry to bother you.

Uncle, I just need to have some words with you, please.

Of course, Henry. You just go sit over there. I’ll be right there.

I just gotta talk to them.

You go. Wait for me there.

Thank you.

You been loving with her in this sickness?

She’s my wife, King. That’s what happens. Yeah.

Maybe it’s just a “preversion” of yours.

Yeah. God bless you and the child.

First husband, huh?

You think that means he’s got a claim on the family?

Henry.

Uncle.

Ramsey, I know you’re in bad way in this life.

Lots of kids. Seven or eight, I heard.

Yeah, I got a passel of ’em, don’t I?

King Bill Hale wants to know if you’d like a job

getting someone done.

I can’t do that. I didn’t sign on for that kind of work.

Well, it’s an Indian.

Now, that’s different.

You know Henry Roan?

Nah, I don’t know him.

Well, what you think?

Lookee here. I’m gonna take you right now.

I’m gonna buy you a roadster so you can drive around and do this for him.

It’s gonna take a lot more than a roadster to get me out of the bind I’m in.

Well, we’ll work something out.

I hope you don’t rumble over this killing neither.

The Indian, he’s a melancholic.

He’s tried to do away with himself twice’t already.

That’s what Hale’s been saying.

He even wants you to make it like Roan did it to himself.

In the front of the head, you understand? Front of the head.

Knights come marching in. That’s it, Pitts.

Hey, Ernest.

So Ernest had me meet this Indian over at a restaurant in Fairfax.

John. John Ramsey.

John Ramsey.

Henry. It’s a pleasure.

How you doing?

He sat down beside me, and I smelled whiskey on his breath.

…you might be in the market for a little hooch?

I told him I could sell him some.

Yeah.

Yeah, I’m the man to see for that.

I told him to meet me out on the road running through Sol Smith’s pasture

about ten o’clock.

Partner. Look what I done found in the possum hole.

Come on. Don’t be stingy, now.

Yeah.

Boy, that’ll make your liver turn inside out.

A few times after I met this Indian, well, we kind of got to liking one another,

what with his troubles being respected and all.

And then sometimes we’d go to Mrs. Mackie’s place.

So he took it. Can you imagine that?

What kind of sheriff goes around selling cocaine? You tell me that.

Don’t you tell me that.

This went on for a while.

I was trying to rib up a little more courage,

and one day I decided to pull the job, everything being favorable.

So I told this Indian we get us a jug and some girls

and meet me out on the road running through Smith’s pasture.

Trust me, this is better than the last stuff we had.

Goddamn.

You got a minute?

Yeah, yeah. Watch Cowboy for me.

What? What is it?

Where’s Hale?

I don’t know. Whizbang, Pawhuska. What?

Tell him it’s done.

You did it? You did it where?

Out on the road running through Sol Smith’s pasture. And that’s it.

Take this. I don’t want it no more.

John.

I’m done with this outfit.

Henry Roan’s dead.

Did he kill himself?

Don’t know.

He was always sad.

Always.

You knew him well, right?

Since we were children.

Does your uncle know? They were friends.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He knows.

Was he murdered?

Don’t know.

He tried to kill himself last year.

Did you know that?

Was he murdered or did he kill himself? Do you know?

I don’t know.

You know, Roy Bunch, he was making a lot of noise about killing him.

You know, he’s on his wife,

so don’t need to look too far, right?

Maybe he just killed himself, you know, like you said.

It was supposed to be a suicide, you dumbbell.

You didn’t tell him to leave the gun?

I told him to leave the gun. I told him exac

You told him to leave the gun?

Just like you told me, King.

I don’t know why he didn’t. I don’t know why.

I told him just like you told me.

You told him to do it in the front of the head?

Then why’d he do it in the back?

It’s so simple. The front is the front, the back is the back!

He has to make it look like he done it himself!

It just looks like murder. It’s not supposed to be that way, you hear?

I told him the front of the head. Just like this. Just like you told me.

I promise you. I promise you. I swear on my children.

Don’t do that. Calm down. Settle down.

I swear on my children, King.

And don’t swear on your children. Makes you look foolish.

I ain’t. I ain’t foolish ’cause I’ve done it right.

What is this, King?

‘Fraid lights.

They’re putting up lights to keep the murder away.

Go, go, go.

There he is. Pull up the car.

Hey, Roy! Roy!

This is not the place you should be at right now.

And I have a line that says you should leave town,

’cause the sheriff’s office is looking to charge you in this killing.

They know you was on shooting terms with Henry.

If I run, I’m guilty. I ain’t got nothing to be guilty about.

If you run

You don’t run, you’re gonna go to prison for this, you done it or not.

Just my friendly word. I would run.

Thank you, Bill. I don’t think I will.

And you’re not my friend.

Take my chances right here in Fairfax.

You are of the Elder Sky People.

Little Anna…

…your name is Wah hre lum pa.

What is this wasting illness, Mollie?

Wasting? Wasting away?

Minnie died from it.

Momma died from it too.

Anna was shot.

This blanket is a target on our backs.

Why don’t we just leave? Go to Colorado Springs.

Look at me. I can’t make that trip.

How are you being taken care of, Mollie?

I have Ernest and my children.

Ernest takes care of me. The best he can.

Nettie?

Yes.

Can you get my sister some toast, please?

Of course. And a bit more coffee too?

Thank you.

Little sister.

Thank you.

So you and Mollie staying in town now too, huh?

Yeah, we’re here now, so…

You made a nice place for yourself, Bill. Real nice.

Thank you, Ernest. Shoun brothers gave us a sweet deal

and they left some nice things here for us too.

Is that right?

Well, not nearly as nice as what you’ve been buying but good enough for us.

Well, you know Mollie. She likes her nice things, so…

Not as much as you do.

Almost sounded to me like you was calling me a squaw man, Bill.

Now, Ernest, that’s something I’d never call another man.

Right, right.

No offense taken.

You need a drink?

Yeah. I’ll take a drink if you got one.

No.

Then why di’ya ask?

Well, you seem nervous, that’s all.

See, the thing is, Bill, I ain’t got no nerves. None at all.

It’s just that I don’t like talking to you.

That’s mostly it.

Well, have I done something to bother you, Ernest?

Something that’s bothering me? No, no. Just

Just the way you are that bothers me. That’s what it is.

Well, Lord made me, Ernest. Ain’t nothing I can do about that.

No. There ain’t.

Unless you aim to kill me.

Or is that your big brother’s job?

Mollie? It’s time to go, sweetheart.

Jim?

Myrtle?

If you have anything special in the house, get it out as soon as possible.

Okay.

David?

You all right?

Yeah.

I’m off to Fort Worth for the Stock Show,

but I want you to find Acie Kirby and tell him it’s time on the Smith job.

You hear me?

I just don’t know him. I don’t know Acie Kirby. Wh

Where does he find Acie?

Just find John Ramsey. He’ll know.

You got that? Find John Ramsey. Tell Ramsey to tell Acie it’s time.

We’re off to Fort Worth.

We’re off to Fort Worth.

Look at me like this makes sense.

I am. I understand. I’ll find Ramsey and I’ll tell him.

Okay.

John?

Yeah, that’s me.

I got a message for you from King Hale.

He wants you to find Acie Kirby

and tell him to take care of Bill and Reta, all right?

It’s time now, John.

I can’t do it right now. My wife’s sick.

Well, my wife’s sick too. My wife’s sick too.

Why don’t you do it?

Why are you always trying to get somebody like me to do your work for you?

Well, ’cause I don’t know I don’t know Acie Kirby.

I don’t know what he looks like even, right?

I would do it, but I can’t do it ’cause I don’t know what he looks like, John.

All right.

I’m sorry.

All right. I’ll do it, but I can’t do it right now.

You can’t get to it right now, so you know,

this needs to be done straightaway, not to wait on it, for Hale.

It has to be done straightaway. Right now.

You know, you’re being mighty pushy, Ernest.

I gotta get back to work.

Let me tell you something.

You got one more chance, John. This is it. One more chance.

I’ma talk to King Hale. I’ma tell him you’re gonna do it right now.

I don’t wanna lose this job.

John, you ain’t got no choice! It’s time.

Tryin’ to be nice to you now.

I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna fix it.

I’m tryin’ to be nice to you, John!

I’m doing it. I said I’m gonna do it.

Yeah, you best do it.

Right now, John. Right now.

Acie. Acie.

Yeah.

It’s John. Don’t shoot.

You got your soup with you?

Momma! Mommy!

Where were you, huh?

I was at Reta’s.

Well, you’re supposed to be home.

Come on.

Cowboy had an earache.

Oh, boy. Really?

And you know Bill ain’t too kind to Reta when I’m not there.

Listen, Mollie, I I

I don’t want you going out so much right now, with all that’s going on.

But I was just at my sister’s.

You and the kids stay in the house.

All right?

Oh, Lord!

What was that? What was that?

I don’t know! I don’t know.

Vera!

Oh, Lord.

Vera!

Lizzie!

What happened?

Cowboy to Mommy.

This is just like Tulsa. It’s just like Tulsa.

Careful, there’s glass everywhere!

Where the hell did that come from?

Whose house is it?

Whose house is it?

It’s Bill and Reta’s!

Bill and Reta’s house.

Nettie stays in the back room, that way!

Nettie’s back there!

Nettie Berkshire! She lives here!

Nettie!

Nettie!

Nettie!

That’s Bill Smith!

Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me, goddamn it!

Shoot me!

It’s Reta! Reta’s over here!

It’s Reta, come on! It’s Reta!

Can you hear me, Reta?

Reta. Reta. Reta.

Reta.

I think she’s dead.

Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

Mommy! Mommy!

Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!

Ernest?

Welcome to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

We invite you to head on over to ring 1 and meet rodeo champion Henry Grammer.

Get your autographs, be seen,

and talk with the man up over there in ring 1.

Too much dynamite.

You know, you’re pronouncing yourself too much, Bill.

Nettie, the maid.

They’re still finding pieces of her.

Mollie Burkhart, incompetent. Allotment number 285.

Three, two, one.

You want $300 to go to Washington, D.C.?

Yes.

Well, that’s a hard trip for an ailing woman, Mollie.

And I can’t let you have this money or make this trip.

That would do a disservice to you and your children.

I want to go now because I will not be alive much longer.

This may be the last thing I do.

It’s nice to see you. Thank you, Chief.

Thank you for your…

Chief Bonnicastle.

President Coolidge, ladies and gentlemen, please, look this way.

Three, two, one.

Mr. President, Mollie Burkhart. Please send help.

There’s murder in Osage, and the police do nothing.

I lost my mother and my sisters.

So many Osage are killed for the oil money. Please.

Yes.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

Keep giving your wife her insulin…

and add this.

That’s this whole vial.

Now, make sure you get the balance right, Ernest.

Now, you keep the shots regular.

It’s just to slow her down.

That’s all it’s gonna do. Slow her down. That’s all it’ll do.

Same time every day, 30 minutes before a meal.

The whole vial.

Ernest, you believe in the Bible?

Yeah.

Miracles of old?

Expecting a miracle to make all this go away?

You know they don’t happen anymore.

I know.

I know, King. She’s gone to Washington, so…

Just gotta slow her down, right?

Yep.

Just gonna slow her down some.

I’m afraid, Shomeenkah.

What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid to eat in my house.

Why are you afraid to eat in your own house?

I’m afraid.

Do you have any idea who might want to harm you?

I wanna bring the upstairs bed down, into the back room.

We will eat food only made by Vera, no one else.

Baby Anna is sick with whooping cough.

She needs care.

I want her to live with Brother and Sister Bigheart.

This will make her better. It’ll cure her cough.

Mommy!

Ernest, you pick up my insulin from the train, you alone.

Do not take it from the Shoun brothers.

Yes, Mollie.

My mother came to me. She asked me to dance with her.

I told her I can’t dance anymore.

She told me I was dying.

She didn’t want me to die alone.

Well, dreams, they can make you feel like dying…

for just a little while, and then you come back.

She said the man is here.

What man?

The man in the hat.

I wanna talk to the man in the hat.

Well there’s a lot of fellas with hats, right?

You just rest.

Mr. Burkhart?

Who is that?

My name’s Tom White. I’m with the Bureau of Investigation.

How do you do?

Bureau… What? What is that?

I was sent down from Washington, D.C., to see about these murders.

To see what about ’em?

See who’s doing it.

You a detective?

You a Pinkerton? What are you?

No, sir, I was a Texas Ranger.

I’m now with the federal government. It’s called the Bureau of Investigation.

I tell you what, if you got questions

if you got questions, y’all go talk to the sheriff.

He can probably tell you what you need to know.

Yes, sir, I have. I talked to him.

But I’m here to speak with Mollie Burkhart whose sisters and mother is dead.

Yeah, Mollie? Yeah, no, she’s my wife.

She’s sick, real sick right now. I’m her husband Ernest Burkhart, so…

You can call on her another time.

But right now, I don’t know what to tell you.

She’s not doing too well, so…

How’s tomorrow?

Tomorrow? Well, it’s That’s too soon.

It’s just, like I said, she’s not doing too well.

But you can come back Come back on Friday, how about that?

Well, is she home right now?

She got the diabetes, you understand? Yeah.

Does she?

Yeah. Yeah.

She’s resting right now, and I’m caring for her, so…

Well, you come back on Friday, all right?

Friday?

Yeah. Friday.

I’ll do that. Thank you, sir.

This is John Wren. Friend of Cousin Mary. He’s come looking for family.

Welcome to Osage country.

Thank you.

Welcome to Fairfax.

Welcome to Wahzhazhe land.

Yeah, thank you. I’ve been told I have Osage relations in Hominy.

Where are you from?

I gotta talk to you, King. Gotta talk to you. Sorry about that.

Not now. You’re gonna have to wait.

No, I can’t wait. I gotta talk to you

Can’t wait. They came to my house. They came to my house.

What is the matter with you?

Gotta talk to you.

What’s the matter?

Ernest.

I’m worried, King. They came to my house. They came in the house.

Private investigators.

Your house?

My house, yeah.

Who told you that?

I don’t know what they wanted.

They just They came to my house.

You What’d you do?

Look, I’m getting worried, all right? They knew something.

They’re gonna know we did something.

Settle down.

King, we gotta talk about this right now.

You’ve got to settle down. Settle down.

Do you understand me?

I do. I do.

Get hold of yourself.

I am.

Get hold of yourself and settle down.

I’m trying. I am trying, but you

Settle down.

When are we When are we gonna talk

Right now. Now. Now!

We’ll talk later. Not now. Not now.

All right, all right.

King, wha

Not now.

Are you here because McBride was killed? That white man?

Or is it because we had to go to Washington

and pay United States government $20,000 to get you here?

Well, I don’t believe it’s too late to find out who’s been doing this.

Who?

We have so many deaths, we’ve lost count.

We have hundreds down.

In the old days, we would fight these people.

Twenty years ago, when I fought overseas in the Boxer Rebellion,

I could see my enemy, and I knew who I had to kill.

If we could find these people, we would kill them.

No, no, no, no. It’s $25,000 come due on Henry Roan.

He’s been dead months. He’s been dead months.

Please, just give me my Henry Roan money.

You’re gonna have to argue that out with Denver. They’re contesting the claim.

Who are you?

I’m J.T. Jones, from the Denver office.

Well, J.T. Jones, I want to tell you something.

This is a Fairfax problem. It’s not a Denver problem.

The claim went to Denver. They are contesting it.

You keep saying Denver. It’s not Denver, it’s Fairfax.

Now, I want my Roan money, please. Write that note.

Mr. Hale, I’m sorry, but until I hear from Denver, I can’t

Do you know who I am?

Yes, sir.

You’re not gonna honor this? You’re not gonna give me that money?

No, sir.

Well, you’re gonna regret this.

You’re gonna regret this, Mr. Insurance Man.

Gentlemen, come in.

Hey, Mr. Hale?

Yeah.

CJ Robinson’s here to see you.

Mr. Hale.

CJ.

Wanna make a price on this?

Well, thought I’d take a look first.

All right. Make it quick. Not too long.

She has no face.

They took her head.

We didn’t smoke her to the sky. Wahkontah won’t know her.

We smoked the house.

We smoked the house, darling. You just don’t remember, that’s all.

You don’t remember.

We was there with Bill and Reta and Joseph and Bertha.

We was all there together. We was there together for hours.

It’s just… You don’t remember, that’s all.

Mollie?

You just rest now.

James and David Shoun, Bureau of Investigation.

We’d like to ask you a few questions about the death of Anna Brown.

Get dressed. We’ll be right back.

I think you need to see the justice of the peace.

He has the inquest records about Anna Brown’s death.

Those records have gone missing from his desk.

So, then you need the undertaker, Turton.

Turton.

Yeah, he has all the details you might need.

He kept the skull, didn’t he, David?

Yes, yes.

Seen him too, and that’s what brings us to you.

Possible you lost the bullet that killed her?

Well, no, because we never found it.

That’s why you were tearing up the brain, looking for the bullet?

Yes, that’s right.

The condition of the corpse was so bad because she had been dead for five or

Six. Six days.

Six days.

And then we exhumed her.

Why did you cut the body up into small pieces

and cleave the flesh from the limbs with a meat axe?

We were looking for the bullet.

Uhhuh.

We couldn’t find it. Yeah.

You know, this is a matter for the Indian tribal council.

You should see Chief…

Bonnicastle.

Bonnicastle.

What’s he gonna tell me?

This is Indian country. Go talk to the Indian.

Excuse us, gentlemen.

Well, well, well.

What took you so long to get here?

I was just assigned to come down here a week ago.

Assigned by who? The president?

No, sir. By J. Edgar Hoover.

Well, I don’t know him.

Well, I hear you’re the king of the Osage Hills,

and you might be the man to talk to.

I can give you my opinion.

Most likely this death business

is at the hands of a band of men from outside these parts, possibly Nigras.

You saw what happened in Tulsa?

Yes, sir.

Then again, there’s just bad luck.

Anna Brown, nasty mouth. A friend, but a nasty mouth.

Bound to happen.

Henry Roan, he was a melancholic. You must know that.

Then, of course, there was Charlie Whitehorn,

one of the nicest people you’d ever know.

What about the other dead Osage?

Twentyfive, it’s gotta be almost 30 now.

Yeah. Yeah.

It seems more like an epidemic than bad luck to me.

Yeah, it seems to me you need to speak with our justice of the peace.

I did. I visited with him and he was not very helpful.

He wasn’t?

Principal Chief?

I visited with him too.

They said to come see you.

Well, we want to put a finish to this death business,

but this isn’t the place to do it.

I’d be happy to talk to you and answer any questions, whenever you have them.

We can meet somewhere else. But here…? Not quite the place.

I guess I’ll find you at a later date.

Thank you for your time, and I’m sorry to disturb your shave.

That’s all right. That’s all right. I’ll wait to hear from you.

Hey, Blackie.

Don’t turn.

Government men have been coming around. Stirring.

I’ve done my time.

No use staying around someplace when there’s trouble.

I owe you for what you’ve done for my nephew.

You stood pat on that roadster debacle.

Just spend time down someplace else. Stay out of town.

That place might be Drumright.

Drumright?

Drumright.

Try and get there early. Nigra janitor opens at sunrise.

Appreciate the payday.

Goddamnit!

Hands in the air!

Freeze! Don’t you move!

Damn it.

Plié and straight. Plié and straight.

Thank you, Bill, for your support of this town

and all the things you’ve done for this community.

And now this beautiful dance school.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Bill Hale, our sponsor.

We brought you an offering to invite you into our home, to bless us with medicine.

You made this?

Did your girls get a pony?

Yes, they did. Thank you, Bill.

Course, course.

Bob, I’d like you to keep a watchful eye on your business tonight.

Yeah, I’ve heard that they’re setting up a robbery of your store at 11:00 p.m.

So, maybe it’s those gems you stashed.

Two whites and a Nigra.

Thank you, brother.

Course.

Acie, here’s the rest I owe you, with great appreciation.

You aware there’s federal agents around, right?

Uhhuh.

They’re looking into that blast.

Well, this ain’t federal land. This is Indian land,

so there’s no trouble that can come.

Good time to take a trip.

I have a nice opportunity for you if you’ll let me tell you of something.

Sure.

Okay.

C’mon!

Stop, you thieving bastards!

How do you do, sir?

Is this Henry Grammer’s setup?

Any idea where we could find him?

An angel done come down and wrapped her big old wings right in his chest.

Now he’s down with the snakes.

When this happen?

Yesterday.

Put that away, brother.

What?

Come on outside.

Goddamn it. I quit.

What is it?

Hey, Byron.

What is it?

Ernest,

if you’re charged, if anything happens, you’re gonna beat it. It’s okay.

What are you…

You’re gonna beat it.

What are you talking about?

What are they gonna charge me with? What could they charge me with?

Ernest, I have many friends. Many, many friends.

That means I have the best attorneys.

They protect me, and they’re gonna protect you.

So you don’t have to worry. Nobody’s coming after you, Son. Nobody.

Thank you, King.

What?

It’s just a…

What? What is it? What?

His stomach’s all torn up.

You all right?

Yeah, Myrtie’s a mess.

Willie is hysterical. And I didn’t I don’t know how to

I don’t know what to do about it, but…

But you need to sign this here now.

Something happens to you, the headrights got to stay in the family.

This is the only way to do it.

They got to stay in the family. You know that.

Well, what if something happens to me What…

If something happens to me, what? What would happen to me?

Nothing’s gonna happen to you. It’s just a formality.

Nothing’s gonna happen to you

because I’m gonna make sure nothing’s gonna happen to you.

You Did you sign this paper?

Oh, yeah, he signed it. Yeah, he signed.

My wife’s not sick.

His wife’s not sick, but he signed it.

We all have to sign this.

This way, for sure, the money stays in the family.

Hey, Son…

Hey, Byron, give us a minute.

Sure, King.

You all right?

Yeah, I’m…

I’m fine, I guess.

You’re not afraid? ‘Cause there’s no reason to be afraid.

No, I’m not…

You giving her the shots?

Shots? Yeah.

Yeah, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

Giving her all of it?

Yeah. Yeah.

You just gotta remember to give her all of it.

I am, King. I am.

I’m doing like we said. I’m keeping her quiet. She’s quiet.

Well, just make sure you do it.

Now, Ernest, I know you love Mollie, and I know I love her too.

But the truth is

she gonna pass on.

You know that.

There’s nothing we can do about that. It’s in God’s hands.

And he’s waiting on her now.

Now, you got to stay by her side and give her this medicine to ease her pain.

And you’re never gonna regret

spending this time with her before she returns to the eternal.

You’re never gonna regret that.

And you’re strong now.

Right? You’re strong.

Yeah.

Be there for her.

And you need to sign this.

You want me to sign that?

You have to sign it, Son.

All right, King.

Evening, boys.

John.

This is what I got so far.

I was over in Ralston yesterday.

I met this oldtimer by the name of Alvin Reynolds.

Told me a lot.

I knew every Indian they murdered.

That bunch would give poisoned liquor to dogs just to see what would happen.

They’d even kill coyotes.

I don’t care so much about coyotes,

but it ain’t right to kill ’em like that when they could have a natural death.

My soninlaw tells me I ought to keep quiet

or that bunch will come after me and kill me too.

But my time is up already, so I’m gonna tell you who did it.

I was sitting right here,

and I saw Byron Burkhart driving Anna Brown right down this road.

Kelsie Morrison and his wife was in the back seat.

They took Anna and got her good and drunk.

And they were all together. Kelsie, Byron and Anna.

I ain’t lying.

Kelsie Morrison?

Kelsie Morrison runs dope and whiskey from Fort Worth to New Orleans to Dallas.

You remember Bill Stepson, the rodeo roper?

Bill Stepson died of corn whiskey. There was no investigation.

Bill’s wife was Tillie Stepson.

Kelsie drops his first wife Catherine

and marries Tillie two weeks after Bill dies.

Two months after that, Tillie dies from poison.

Kelsie runs off with Tillie’s kids down to Mexico,

but he comes back ’cause some smart lawyer tells him

he’s gonna be in much bigger trouble if he doesn’t.

So my dead wife has two kids, and they have my name.

So, if I adopted them proper,

and if these two kids were to die, would I inherit their estates?

They’re Osage.

Well, one of them’s half Osage, but they have headrights.

Kelsie, you realize that this indicates to me

that you’re planning on adopting and killing these children?

No, not if it’s not legal and I don’t get the money.

Then I’m not gonna do it.

Kelsie Morrison?

Who?

Kelsie Morrison.

My name is Lloyd Miller.

Come on over here, Lloyd. We wanna talk to you about that.

I always admired Kelsie’s ambition.

Told him so, and he thanked me.

Kelsie, I have always admired your ambition.

Thank you.

What can you tell us about Byron and Ernest Burkhart and those murders?

Byron and Ernest Burkhart?

I think we can help each other out here.

I’m in real good with the people now. The Wahzhazhe, they tell me things.

I’m a trusted friend of Father Albert too. He confided in me.

Told me everything that was going on with Mollie Burkhart.

Said she fears for her life.

He say who she was most afraid of?

Come on now, Tom.

You got a better chance of convicting a guy for kicking a dog

than killing an Indian.

That’s Bill Hale’s ranch.

I sold him a $30,000 fire policy last month.

Well, Mr. Insurance Man, looks like you got some work in the morning.

You’re next.

Well…

here we go.

Here we go, huh? Well…

I got something to tell you.

You…

I got something to tell you. My wife’s real sick.

I gotta get home and see my wife. She’s real sick.

Son? Come with me now.

Gotta go talk to my wife. She’s not doing too well, so…

We’re gonna go home, and…

We’re gonna go home and take care of her, right?

All right, Son.

Boy.

You got this all wrong. You got this all wrong.

Whatever you think you know, you don’t know.

Son, you go with him, all right?

All right.

My wife, she’s real sick!

Been real sick.

Can I…

Can I sit down?

Standing’s good.

Wanna talk to you about the murders of Reta and Bill Smith, and Anna Brown.

I need to sit down.

Yes, you do. But you’re standing.

I’m standing now,

but I’m gonna have to get some sleep.

You can’t be holding me here like this much longer.

Were you alone when you put the explosives under the house

or was Blackie Thompson with you?

Who?

Blackie Thompson.

No. He was nowhere around me.

I don’t even know him so much, just from around town. That’s all.

And did you put the explosives under the house?

I don’t know nothing about no explosives.

You didn’t rob a bank in Oilton with him, did you?

No.

You did help Blackie Thompson

steal your own Buick in 1921

for the purposes of collecting insurance money on it, didn’t you?

You didn’t?

I let him use my bucket for a while, but that’s

I told him he could ride around. But…

What did he want it for?

I don’t know what he wanted it fer.

That ain’t my business. Probably to enjoy hisself.

If a man wanted to borrow my car, I might ask him what he wanted it for.

Sometimes people just wanna take a ride. I don’t ask no questions.

So you loaned it to him? You didn’t ask him what it was for?

Yeah.

Just a neighborly guy.

You got me. I loaned it to him.

I loaned it to him. I guess that’s against the law, right?

All right.

How are you doing, Ernest?

Blackie.

May I talk to this man?

May I talk to this man alone for a while?

They got you turned around?

Me turned around?

No, they ain’t got me turned around, Blackie.

Go on now. What’d you tell ’em? What’d you tell ’em?

I told them when I came out of prison, to make things right with you,

you gave me $1.50.

You just told us we all knew the chances we were taking.

Yeah, we did. We knew the chances we were taking.

But I didn’t give you $1.50, I gave you a twenty.

No, you didn’t. It was $1.50.

I didn’t give you $1.50. I gave you a t I meant to give you a tw

Nah, I did give you a twenty. No, I remember now. I gave you a twenty.

Bullshit.

Listen.

You gotta tell me what you told them, Blackie. All of it. What you tell them?

I told them all of it.

All of it?

I told all of it. I told them how you and your uncle are too much goddamn Jew.

Jew?

Yeah, I’m sitting here doing life for that Drumright cop.

Well, I’m telling you right now, Ernest. You can’t handle any prison, boy.

You’re better off telling them what you know,

for your sake, for your family’s sake, and for your pleasure.

You know something. Youse is as dumb as a washboard.

You know that?

Am I?

Yeah, you go on yapping first chance you get, huh, Blackie?

We were supposed to be partners. It ain’t my fault that you

Partners?

It ain’t my fault you got caught with the car, you dumbbell.

Call me a goddamn partner? You didn’t give me shit.

Let me tell you something. Hale’s got a whole plan.

And I’m gonna talk to him, make sure you ain’t a part of it

’cause you’re so thick in the head.

He always said you was thick in the head. You know that?

This is the plan. I’m sitting here because of his plan.

Mollie…

Are you real?

I could be real.

All right, all right. That’s enough.

Ernest, you’re a good man, aren’t you?

Yes, sir. I am. I suppose so.

You suppose so? Are you or aren’t you?

I am, sir. I am.

You love your wife and children?

Yes, sir. I do.

You served your country in infantry,

and I don’t think this is how your life was meant to turn out.

Now, it seems to me your family back home,

they’re more of a blessing to you than your uncle, King Bill Hale.

You and I both know he presents himself as a very righteous man.

And that’s just not who he is.

He’s done nothing for you, son…

except…

make you do bad things and take advantage of you because of your… disposition.

So what do you say we start over?

I…

I wanna get home to see my wife,

so you…

you tell me what I gotta do.

You know who killed Henry Roan?

Don’t you run now.

I’m here to take you in.

I understand you know something about the Henry Roan murder?

Why, I don’t know nothing about it.

Well, I have a man here who says he’s your friend,

who says you do know something about it.

Who is he?

So this is on my neck?

Yes, sir.

Get your pencils.

Where’s my husband?

Does she have a doctor?

No. She won’t see one.

Let’s take her.

Are you real?

Ready?

Ma’am.

Where’s my husband?

We’re gonna get you some help.

Mrs. Burkhart. Mrs. Burkhart.

I need heroin, two milligrams.

You want protection?

From who?

From my…

From my uncle.

Hey, Harve.

Bill.

I understand I’m wanted. Well, I’m here to turn myself in.

What you supposed to have done?

Killed somebody, if you can believe it.

Now, Bill, I wouldn’t go that far.

Arrest me, son.

We don’t need to do that.

It’s all right. Come on, son.

Mr. Hale, have you a statement to make?

Mr. Hale!

What do you know about the murders?

Just a statement? Just, “I’m innocent”?

Innocent as a newborn baby. Even more.

Mr. Hale! Mr. Hale!

When am I gonna get to talk to my wife?

You told me if I testified, I could see my wife.

Well, she is in the hospital in Pawhuska right now.

She’s in the hospital? Is she all right?

She doesn’t seem it.

You tell her I wanna get a letter to her.

Where they taking you, Mr. Burkhart?

I’m going the other way for a while now.

Where are they taking you, sir?

Where are you taking me?

We’re not charging you with anything because you’re going to testify.

I know you wanna get back to Mollie and the kids,

but right now it’s best we take you out of state for a while,

keep Hale and his wolves at bay.

Understand?

Just for the record, where are you currently residing?

Penitentiary.

Serving for how long?

Got a life sentence.

For the Drumright job, right?

Yes, sir.

And that was William Hale that arranged that, right?

That he did. Yeah, that he did. Funny, ain’t it?

Take a letter.

“Judge not” by William K. Hale.

Who asked you to kill Bill and Reta Smith?

William Hale and Ernest Burkhart.

Have you had any recent contact with Mr. Hale?

Yeah, I have. Matter of fact, I have.

He got a note to my jail cell.

Asked me to kill his nephew, Ernest.

Mr. Thompson.

The vilest criminal may rightfully demand a chance

to prove his innocence by a jury of his land. Judge not.

Yeah, he got a note to my jail cell saying he could help me exscape.

And when I got out, take his nephew Ernest to old Mexico and kill him.

I sent a note back saying that I wouldn’t testify if he got me out.

And how did that work out for you?

How did what work out for me?

Mr. Hale’s promise for a grand escape.

Shit, I’m sitting here talking to you, ain’t I?

Damn, it didn’t work out too well.

Judge not.

Put that in the Pawhuska Daily Journal, Fairfax Chief,

The Hominy Journal, and The Osage County News.

Yes, Mr. Hale.

Your mama’s walking.

Doesn’t she look wonderful?

Hold steady, son.

Narrow is the way.

I demand to confer privately with Mr. Burkhart!

This is unheard of.

Ernest Burkhart is my client!

The rules prohibit this.

I demand the opportunity to speak with Mr. Burkhart!

This man cannot represent both the defendant and the witness.

It is a conflict.

He has been missing for two months!

And I have not had a chance to communicate with him before he testifies!

This is tantamount to witness tampering!

Mr. Burkhart, is this man really your attorney?

I don’t know.

I don’t have a contract with him,

but I’m willing to talk to him. Yeah.

The rules prohibit this, Your Honor.

The prosecution will not allow

any conference between Mr. Hamilton and this witness

before the beginning of these proceedings!

The Wahzhazhe people deserve justice!

Give him to us! I’ll be his executioner!

Mr. Burkhart will be remanded over to the custody of the marshals.

Marshals, get him out of here.

Court is adjourned until ten o’clock tomorrow. Clear the courtroom.

I’m sorry…

for all troubles.

I’ll take you home now.

Brother.

Brother.

Freeling and Hamilton wanna see you at Hale’s tonight.

Talk things over.

Sheriff.

Ernest.

Aunt Myrtie.

Ernest, you know Mr. Solowey, Solowey Oil?

And, of course, Mr. Kraceon, Kraceon Oil.

Here. Come sit.

If you testify against your uncle,

you realize that this can be held against you for the rest of your life

and you can be convicted for the Smith murder,

spend the rest of your days in prison? Do you see that?

No, I suppose I didn’t think that through too much. But…

They’re giving you the rope to hang yourself. Do you see that?

He doesn’t see that. He doesn’t see that.

Ernest!

Yeah. Yeah.

If you do this, you will be murdering your uncle.

Ernest, you wanna do that,

have him die in prison, do you, Ernest?

No. Course I don’t want that, Myrtie. You know I don’t want that.

Yes. You have all the power to save his life.

He is saving you, dumb boy!

Do you wanna go home right now?

Yes. Yes, I do.

Wanna see your wife and kids?

Yes, sir, I do.

These government men,

they beat you and they tortured you.

Well, no. No, they didn’t. But they did keep me up for days.

No! They beat you! They beat you!

Yes, they beat me. They beat me, sir.

Thank you.

I had a dream.

Oh, yeah?

We went to Colorado Springs.

You told me all your secrets, and I held them in a box for you.

Then we went to the river and dumped them all away.

We were happy there.

Did I tell you how beautiful you look now? Look at you.

You’re glowing.

The insulin is working, ain’t it?

I told you. You gotta get worse before you get better.

What’s gonna come now?

All I know, Mollie, is it’s real complicated.

White men’s laws, they’re ju

Sometimes you gotta do one thing, even though you mean to do another thing.

And I know that’s hard for you to understand as Osage, but…

What I have to do is go now and tell the real truth,

the real truth about what these government men have done to make me lie to them.

You know they beat me, right, Mollie?

They beat me. They tortured me.

They kept me up for days so I would make up these lies

and say that my uncle did these awful things. It’s…

I’m in my right way now.

I’m in my right way,

and I’m not gonna say those lies. I’m gonna do the right thing,

and I’m gonna protect my uncle ’cause he needs protection.

What?

What is it?

When will you come back?

Couple days.

I’m gonna come back in a couple days.

Now, listen,

they’re gonna arrest me and all that just to make a show of it.

But I’m not in any kind of trouble at all.

None at all.

I haven’t done nothing wrong in this world.

They can arrest me all they want.

Just make sure you know the road.

You gonna testify for us?

No, sir, I will not.

You’ve decided not to testify for the government?

That’s right. What I told y’all was a pack of lies.

All right. You turn around.

You’re under arrest for the murder of Reta and Bill Smith.

So how did you come to kill Anna Brown?

I was hired by W.K. Hale.

And what did he say to you?

I was to get a thousand dollars, plus the money I owed him, which was $600.

So you say you killed Anna Brown?

Yes, sir.

You took her down into that canyon there

into what was commonly known as the Three Mile Canyon, didn’t you?

Yes, sir.

What’d you shoot her with?

Automatic.

And where’d you shoot her?

Shot her down through the top of her head. Guess it killed her.

Now, you say you were pretty drunk.

Yes, sir.

But you knew you were killing her though, didn’t you?

Yes, sir.

And how did you get her down into that place where you killed Anna Brown?

Byron and I carried her down there.

And did you make her drunk so you could kill her?

Yes, sir.

Was she laying down while you killed her?

No, sir.

Well, what position was she in?

Sitting up.

Byron raised her up, pulled her up, kind of held her up.

So you stood there and directed him

how to hold this drunken, helpless Indian woman

down there at the bottom of that canyon

while you got ready to shoot a bullet into her brain?

Yes, sir.

Then what happened after that?

Turned her loose so she fell back down.

Did she make an outcry?

No, sir.

And did you stand there and watch her die?

No, sir.

You were satisfied with your work?

Yes, sir.

And you just turned and left?

Yes, sir.

Have you seen that canyon where you killed Anna Brown?

I’ve seen it a hundred times, I suppose.

A hundred times since.

You wanted to go back there and see where you killed Anna Brown?

No, sir.

No?

No, sir.

Well, what did you wanna go back there for?

It’s okay.

You can tell the jury.

Well, it’s a good

It’s a good place to park and drink, put on parties.

It can’t be seen from the road, so…

Where’d you go after you killed Anna Brown?

Went to sleep at Bill Hale’s.

What’d you do then?

We stayed drunk.

Where did Byron go?

Back home to Mollie’s.

Thanks, Mollie.

You’re welcome.

Watch your step right there.

Watch my step. If you brought me out here to kill me,

I’ll kill you.

No, come on with that.

Sit down here. You’ll be more comfortable.

Okay, stop. Come on. Get up.

Hold her up there. Sit her up straight.

Sit her up straight now.

There you go.

Get up.

Set her up straight now.

Yeah. I got her.

You wanna kill me, I’ll kill you.

There you are.

Ernest.

Wake up, Son.

Yeah.

What? What?

What is it?

Well, there’s no easy way around it.

I’m to tell you

that your child has died.

What child? What child?

I don’t know the name.

Who? Is…

Cowboy? Which one?

Is there a child that had some lung trouble?

Yeah. Yeah.

Like the whooping cough?

No No, who told you this?

Who told you this?

It was one of our agents there in Fairfax informed me.

Mollie went to see to it…

and take it home.

There’s no

It’s Anna. It’s Anna, ain’t it?

There’s no easy way around it, Son.

No! Goddamn!

They took my baby.

God bless you, Son. I…

Sorry for your loss.

What happened?

The baby died.

Which one?

Little baby.

The little one?

Oh, my son. My son…

Oh, my God.

They took…

No.

Ernest.

Little Anna’s with the Lord now, Son.

Ernest.

Lord, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Lord, Lord, Lord.

Hello, King.

How’s everyone?

They’re not good.

I know, Son. I feel it too.

You know I’m gonna have to take care of the two kids and Mollie now.

So…

What are you saying?

You know what that means, right?

Well…

I’m gonna testify.

Well, that’s a strong choice to make against adversity.

Well…

You sure you wanna do that?

Yeah.

I have to, so…

They gave you a deal?

They gave me a deal. Yes, they did.

They won’t hold to it.

Yeah, well, it’s the federal government, and that’s what they told me.

It’s the federal government. That’s why I say that.

All this is not gonna mean anything except the family’s gonna be broke up.

Is that what you want?

It’s not gonna make a difference.

I tell you this from the deepest part of my heart.

The deepest thing that I ever know in my life, my experience,

is that this will not make a difference.

You know things are different now, right? You know that?

The Osage, they ain’t gonna stand by you. No one’s gonna stand by you no more.

Osage? They love me.

No, they’re not gonna listen.

No. They know. They know who gave them the streets,

who gave them the hospitals, who gave them the schools. They know.

I’ve brought them into the great 20th century.

They’re not gonna stand by you, Bill.

Oh, yeah. No?

No.

They’re not gonna stand by you, Bill. It’s over.

I mean, there might be a public outcry for a while.

But then you know what happens? People forget.

They don’t remember. They don’t care.

They just don’t care.

It’s just gonna be another everyday, common tragedy.

Yeah, it’s not common.

Don’t do something you’re gonna regret for the rest of your life.

You’re gonna regret…

I ain’t got nothing but regret, Bill.

You have a family.

Children. You lost one already. Don’t make it more of a tragedy

It’s already a goddamn tragedy.

I don’t want you near my family.

Not no more.

Well, I’m sorry to hear that.

Yeah.

It’s over now.

Please, don’t throw it all away.

No, I can’t. I can’t. No, I can’t.

I’m sorry to hear that. I love you, Son.

I can’t, Bill. Can’t.

Don’t throw it away, Son.

Mr. Burkhart, you’re here of your own accord?

Yes, sir.

No one has promised you anything?

No. No, sir.

Did you seek out John Ramsey at your uncle’s behest to kill Henry Roan?

Yes, sir.

Did you drive from Fairfax to Ripley

to tell John Ramsey to tell Asa Kirby to do a job?

Yes, sir.

And who asked you to do all this?

My uncle, William Hale.

Can you see him?

Yes, sir.

Would you point to him, please?

Yes, sir. He’s right there.

Let the record reflect the witness has identified the defendant, William Hale.

And what was the job that your uncle wanted Asa Kirby to do?

To blow up Reta and Bill Smith.

Why would he want them blown up?

So to get their money.

Are you a married man?

Yes, sir.

What’s your wife’s name?

Mollie Burkhart.

She’s Reta’s sister?

Yes, sir.

She’s also the sister of Anna Brown, who was murdered?

Yes.

And her mother is Lizzie Q., who is dead?

Yes.

And her sister Minnie is also dead?

Yes.

And all these dead women are Indian women, are they?

Yes, sir.

If Mollie, your wife, died,

who would get her oil money?

Me and our children.

Did your uncle present you with a plan

by which you would benefit from the deaths of all these Indian women?

Yes, sir.

And you helped your uncle on your own making?

Yes.

And was part of this plan that you would meet and marry Mollie Kyle

and kill her family and her for their Indian oil money?

No, sir.

I met and married my wife because I picked her up in my cab.

You didn’t marry her because your uncle directed you to?

No, sir.

I loved my wife from…

because that’s what happened to us when I picked her up in my cab.

How’s my Cowboy?

Well.

He miss his pops?

Yes.

Elizabeth too.

They know what’s happened?

Not so much.

Have you told all the truths?

Yes, I have.

My soul is clean now, Mollie.

It’s a relief to me to be out from under all this.

I wasn’t gonna let him get anywhere near you and the children.

What did you give me?

What?

What was in the shots?

My medicine you gave me.

What was in it, Shomeekahsee?

Insulin.

Right had won.

True Crime Stories has been brought to you

through the courtesy of J. Edgar Hoover and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

This brings to a close the authenticated story of the Osage Indian murders.

As we take our leave from Osage County, we conclude.

The doctors, the Shoun brothers, were never pursued by the legal system

for having certainly helped poison Mollie.

Ernest’s brother, Byron Burkhart, was tried as an accomplice to Anna’s murder.

Kelsie Morrison said at his trial…

Byron got her drunk, and I did the rest.

Byron was released after a hung jury.

William Hale, the ringleader of the deadly plots,

was found guilty and sent to Leavenworth for life.

He would write letters back home to his Osage friends.

“Dear friends, how are you all?

I never had better friends in my life than the Osages,

and I was a true friend to them.

I’d rather live at Gray Horse than any place on earth.

I will be back with you before many moons.

How is my friend Dahkahheeke?

Your true friend, W.K. Hale.”

Hale was released in 1947.

The parole board cited his record as a good prisoner for his early release, but not everybody was happy.

This man, he is being released because he paid off politicians and nobody cares about the Osage lives.

Hale was not supposed to set foot in Oklahoma again, but according to relatives, he often visited them.

What do you want for lunch, William?

If only that damn thickhead Ernest had kept his fool trap shut, we’d be in clover today.

William Hale died in an Arizona nursing home.

He lived to 87 years.

Ernest Burkhart was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Aren’t you the one who tried to kill his “Injun” wife for the oil money?

Years later, he was granted a pardon for his crimes and, once again, moved back to Osage County where he lived out his days with Byron in a trailer park north of the city.

Pass me a beer, Brother.

Got a light for my Lucky Strike?

After Mollie divorced Ernest, she lived with her new husband, John Cobb, on the reservation.

She died of diabetes on June 16th, 1937.

Her obituary in the local paper said simply…

“Mrs. Mollie Cobb, 50 years of age, passed away at eleven o’clock Wednesday night at her home. She was a full-blood Osage. She was buried in the old cemetery in Gray Horse beside her father, her mother, her sisters and her daughter.”

There was no mention of the murders.

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