No Country for Old Men (2007) | Transcript

Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.

In rural Texas, welder and hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discovers the remains of several drug runners who have all killed each other in an exchange gone violently wrong. Rather than report the discovery to the police, Moss decides to simply take the two million dollars present for himself. This puts the psychopathic killer, Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), on his trail as he dispassionately murders nearly every rival, bystander and even employer in his pursuit of his quarry and the money. As Moss desperately attempts to keep one step ahead, the blood from this hunt begins to flow behind him with relentlessly growing intensity as Chigurh closes in. Meanwhile, the laconic Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) blithely oversees the investigation even as he struggles to face the sheer enormity of the crimes he is attempting to thwart.

* * *

[Man] I was sheriff of this county when I was 25 years old. Hard to believe. My grandfather was a lawman. Father too. Me and him was sheriffs at the same time, him up in Plano and me out here. I think he’s pretty proud of that. I know I was. Some of the old-time sheriffs never even wore a gun. Folks find that hard to believe. Jim Scarborough never carried one. That’s the younger Jim. Gaston Boykins wouldn’t wear one up in Comanche County. I always liked to hear about the old-timers. Never missed a chance to do so. You can’t help but compare yourself against the old-timers. Can’t help but wonder how they’d have operated these times. There’s this boy I sent to the electric chair at Huntsville here a while back. My arrest and my testimony. He killed a 14-year-old girl. Paper said it was a crime of passion, but he told me there wasn’t any passion to it. Told me he’d planned to kill somebody for as long as he could remember. Said if they turned him out, he’d do it again. Said he knew he was going to hell. “Be there in about 15 minutes.” I don’t know what to make of that. I sure do don’t. The crime you see now, it’s hard to even take its measure. It’s not that I’m afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. But I don’t want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don’t understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard. He’d have to say, “OK, I’ll be part of this world. “

Yes, sir, I just walked in the door.

Sheriff he had some sort of thing on him, like a oxygen tank for emphysema or something, and a hose that run down his sleeve.

[Man] Oxygen tank? What the hell’s he got that for?

You got me. Well, you can look at it when you get in.

I’ll be down there in a bit.

Yes, sir, I got it under control.



[Continues grunting]



[Siren sounds]

[Siren blares]

Howdy. What’s this about?

Step out of the car please, sir.

What is that?

I need you to step out of the car, sir.

What is that for?

Would you…?

Would you hold still please, sir?

You hold still.



[Fly buzzes]




I ain’t got no water.

[Whispers] Agua.



I told you I ain’t got no agua.

Do you speak English?

Where’s the last guy?

Último hombre, last man standing. There must have been one. Where’d he go?

I reckon I go out the way I come in.

[Man speaks Spanish]

Hay lobos.

There ain’t no lobos.

[Man] You stopped to watch your backtrack.

Now shoot my dumb ass.

But if you stop,

you stopped in shade.

[Fly buzzes]




[Thunder rumbles]

My place is wrong?

Yours is the first place Danzer and Dora will look if they…

If they know.

What’s in the satchel?

It’s full of money.

That would be the day.

Where’d you get the pistol?

At the getting place.

Did you buy that gun?

No. I found it.


What? Quit your hollering.

What’d you get for that thing?

You don’t need to know everything, Carla Jean.

I need to know that.

Keep running that mouth of yours,

I’m gonna take you in the back and screw you.

Big talk.

Keep it up.

Fine. I don’t want to know.

I don’t even want to know where you been all day.

That’ll work.

All right.

[Water running]

[Carla Jean] Llewelyn?


What’re you doing, baby?

I’m going out.

Going where?

A little something I forgot to do, but I’ll be back.

And what’re you gonna do?

I’m fixing to do something dumber than hell, but I’m going anyways.

If I don’t come back, you tell Mother I love her.

Your mother’s dead, Llewelyn.

Well, then I’ll tell her myself.

[Door closes]

[Engine starts]

[Cocks gun]


[Thunder rumbles]

[Engine revs]

[Man shouting indistinct]



[Breathing heavily]

[Llewelyn panting]



[Panicked breathing]

[Gun cocks]


[Doors open, close]

[Men speaking Spanish]

[Dog barking ferociously]


[Snarling, barking]





[Footsteps approach]

How much?

Sixty-nine cents.

And the gas?

Y’all getting any rain up your way?

What way would that be?

Well, I seen you was from Dallas.

What business is it of yours where I’m from…


Well, I didn’t mean nothing by it.

You didn’t mean nothing?

I was just passing the time.

If you don’t want to accept that, I don’t know what else I can do for you.

Will there be something else?

I don’t know. Will there?

Is something wrong?

With what?

With anything.

Is that what you’re asking me? Is there something wrong with anything?

Will there be anything else?

You already asked me that.

Well, I need to see about closing now.

See about closing?

Yes, sir.

What time do you close?

Now. We close now.

Now is not a time.

What time do you close?

Generally around dark. At dark.

You don’t know what you’re talking about, do you?


I said you don’t know what you’re talking about.

What time do you go to bed?


You’re a bit deaf, aren’t you? I said, what time do you go to bed?


Somewhere around 9:30. I’d say around 9:30.

I could come back then.

Why would you be coming back? We’ll be closed.

Yeah, you said that.

Well, I got to close now.

You live in that house out back?

Yes, I do.

You lived here all your life?

Well, this is my wife’s father’s place, originally.

[Chokes] You married into it?

We lived in Temple, Texas for many years.

Raised a family there. In Temple.

We come out here about four years ago.

You married into it?

If that’s the way you want to put it.

Well, I don’t have some way to put it.

That’s the way it is.

Anton Chigurh: What’s the most you ever lost on a coin toss?


Anton Chigurh: The most you ever lost on a coin toss?

Oh, I don’t know. I couldn’t say.

[Chigurh flips a quarter from the change on the counter and covers it with his hand]

Anton Chigurh: Call it.

Call it?

Anton Chigurh: Yes.

For what?

Anton Chigurh: Just call it.

Well, we need to know what we’re calling it for here.

Anton Chigurh: You need to call it. I can’t call it for you. Or it wouldn’t be fair.

I didn’t put nothing up.

Anton Chigurh: Yes, you did. You’ve been putting it up your whole life. You just didn’t know it. You know what date is on this coin?


Anton Chigurh: 1958. It’s been traveling 22 years to get here. And now it’s here. And it’s either heads or tails. You have to say. Call it.

Well, look, I need to know what I stand to win.

Anton Chigurh: Everything.

How’s that?

Anton Chigurh: You stand to win everything. Call it.

All right. Heads, then.

[Chigurh removes his hand, revealing the coin is indeed heads]

Anton Chigurh: Well done.

[the gas station proprietor nervously takes the quarter with the small pile of change he’s apparently won while Chigurh starts out]

Anton Chigurh: Don’t put it in your pocket.


Anton Chigurh: Don’t put it in your pocket. It’s your lucky quarter.

Where do you want me to put it?

Anton Chigurh: Anywhere not in your pocket. Or it’ll get mixed in with the others and become just a coin. Which it is.

[Chigurh leaves and the gas station proprietor stares at him as he walks out]



What the hell?

[Llewelyn] Odessa.

Why would we go to Odessa?

No, not we. You. You stay with your mother.

Well, how come?

Look, right now it’s midnight Sunday. Courthouse opens nine hours from now.

Someone’s gonna call in the number on the inspection plate of my truck.

And around 9:30, they’ll show up here.

How long do we…?

What point would you quit bothering to look for your two million dollars?

What am I supposed to tell Mama?

Stand in the door and holler, “Mama, I’m home!”?


Come on, pack your things.

Anything you leave, you ain’t gonna see again.

Well, don’t fall down apologizing.

Oh, baby, things happen.

Come on, I can’t take them back.

Mind riding bitch?

This his truck?


Got a screwgie?

Who cut his tires?

[Man] Mexicans, I guess. Wasn’t us.

That is a dead dog.

Yes, it is.

Where’s the receiver?

I’ve got it.

These are some ripe petunias.

Hold this, please.

Want it?

[Man 2] Getting anything on this?

[Man 3] Not a bleep.

All right.

Give me that.

I thought it was a car afire.

It is a car afire.

Wendell said there’s something in the back country too.

Step in there.

When’s the county gonna start paying rent on my horse?

I love you more and more every day.

That’s very nice.


Be careful.

Always am.

Don’t get hurt.

Never do.

Don’t hurt no one.


If you say so.

Wouldn’t think a car’d burn like that.

Yes, sir.

We should’ve brought wienies.

That look like about a ’77 Ford to you, Wendell?

It could be.

I’d say it is. Not a doubt in my mind.

The old boy shot by the highway?

Yes, sir. His vehicle.

Man killed Lamar’s deputy, took his car, killed that man on the highway, swapped for his car, now here it is and he’s swapped again for God knows what.

That’s very linear, sheriff.

Age’ll flatten a man, Wendell.

Yes, sir.

Then there’s this other.


You ride Winston.

You sure?

Oh, I’m more than sure. If anything happens to Loretta’s horse out here, I can tell you, I don’t want to be the party that was aboard.

It’s the same tire tread coming back as going. Made about the same time too.

You can see the sipes real clear.

Somebody’s pried the inspection plate off the door on this one.

I know this truck.

Belongs to a feller named Moss.

Llewelyn Moss?

That’s the boy.

You figure him for a dope runner?

I don’t know.

I kindly doubt it.

O.K. Corral is just yonder.

[Flies buzzing]

Oh, hell’s bells, they even shot the dog.

This is just a deal gone wrong, isn’t it?

Yup. Appears to have been a glitch or two.

What calibers you got there, sheriff?


Couple of.45 ACPs.

Somebody unloaded on that thing with a shotgun.

How come the coyotes ain’t been at them?

I don’t know.

Supposedly, a coyote won’t eat a Mexican.

These boys appear to be managerial.

I think we’re looking at more than one fracas. Execution here.

Wild West over there.

It’s that Mexican brown dope.

Oh, these boys is all swole up.

So this was earlier. Getting set to trade.

Then, whoa, differences, and…

Might not even a been no money.

That’s possible.

But you don’t believe it?

[Scoffs] No.

Probably I don’t.

Well, it’s a mess, ain’t it, sheriff?

If it ain’t, it’ll do till the mess gets here.

[Air hissing]

[Door opens]

[Woman] Yes, sir?

I’m looking for Llewelyn Moss.

Did you go up to his trailer?

Yes, I did.

Well, I’d say he’s at work.

Do you want to leave a message?

Where does he work?

I can’t say.

Where does he work?

Sir, I ain’t at liberty to give out no information about our residents.

Where does he work?

Did you not hear me?

We can’t give out no information.

[Toilet flushes]

[Door opens]

[Bus door hissing]

Why all the way to Del Rio?

I’m gonna borrow a car from Roberto.

You can’t afford one?

I don’t want to register it.

Look, I’ll call you in a couple days.


Yes, I do.

I got a bad feeling, Llewelyn.

I got a good one. Oughta even out.

Listen, you gotta quit your worrying so much.

Mama’s gonna raise hell.


She’s just gonna cuss you up and down.

Well, you should be used to that.

I’m used to lots of things.

I work at Wal-Mart.

Not anymore, Carla Jean.

You are retired.


Yes, ma’am?

You are coming back, ain’t you?

I shall return.


Sheriff’s department!

Look at that lock.

We going in?

Gun out and up.

What about yours?

I’m hiding behind you.

Sheriff’s department!

I believe they done lit a shuck.

I believe you’re right.

That from the lock?

Probably must be.

So when was he here, sheriff?

I don’t know. Oh…

Now that’s aggravating.


Still sweating.

Oh, sheriff! We just missed him!

We gotta circulate this on radio.

All right.

What do we circulate?

Looking for a man who has recently drunk milk?

Oh, sheriff, that’s aggravating.

I’m ahead of you there.

Think this boy Moss has got any notion of the sorts of sons-of-bitches that are hunting him?

I don’t know. He ought to.

He’s seen the same things I’ve seen and it certainly made an impression on me.

Take me to a motel.

Got one in mind?

Someplace cheap.

[Woman] You tell me the option.

[Llewelyn] Do what now?

You pick the option goes with the applicable rate.

[Clears throat]

I’m just one person, so it don’t matter the size of the bed.

[Paper rustling]


[Man on machine] This is Roberto’s Automotive. I’m not in right now.

Please leave a message.

[Latches case]

[Clears throat]

[Phone ringing]

[woman on phone] Hello?

Is Llewelyn there?

[Woman] Llewelyn? No, he ain’t.

You expect him?

[Woman] Now why would I expect him? Who is this?

May I help you?

Yeah, you got a pair of Larry Mahans?

Shoulder, size 11?

I’ll check.

You all sell socks?

Just white.

Well, white’s all I wear. Bathroom?

Don’t stop. Just ride me up past those rooms.

[Man] What room?

[Llewelyn] Just drive me around.

I wanna see if someone’s here.

Keep going. Don’t stop.

[Man] I don’t wanna get into some kind of a jackpot here.

[Llewelyn] It’s all right.

[Man] Why don’t I just set you down right here and we won’t argue about it?

Take me to another motel.

Let’s just call it square.

You’re in the jackpot, and I’m trying to get you out of it.

Take me to another motel.

[Bird squawks]

Lab reports from Austin on that boy by the highway.

What was the bullet?

Wasn’t no bullet.

Wasn’t no bullet?

Yes, sir. Wasn’t none.

Well, Wendell, with all due respect, that don’t make a lot of sense.

No, sir.

You said entry wound in the forehead, no exit wound.

Yes, sir.

You telling me he shot this boy and then went digging around with a knife?

Sir, I don’t wanna picture that.

I don’t either.

Can I freshen that there for you, sheriff?

Yeah, Maureen, you better had.

Ranger and the DEA are headed back out to the scene.

Gonna join ’em?

Any new bodies accumulate out there?

No, sir.

Well, then I guess I can skip it.

[Plate clatters]


Twelve-gauge. You need shells?

Yeah, double-ought.

Yeah, that’ll give you a wallop.

Y’all got camping supplies?

Tent poles. You already have the tent?

Well, something like that.

Give me the model number on the tent, I can order poles.

Never mind. I want a tent.

What kind?

The kind with most poles.

Could I get another room?

You wanna change rooms?

No, ma’am, I wanna keep my room and get another one.

Another additional?

Yes, ma’am.

And do you have a map of the rooms?

Well, yeah, we had a sorta one.

Oh, thank you.

How about 38?

Well, you can have the one right next to yours if you want, 137. It ain’t took.

No, 38 will be fine.

Well, that’s got two double beds.

[Airplane flying overhead]



[Beeping continues]

[Beeping faster]

[Beeping slows]

[Beeping faster]

[Beeping more quickly]

[Air hissing]

[Continues beeping]


[Air hissing]



[Speaks Spanish]

How’d you find that?

[Speaks Spanish]

[Body thuds]

You shouldn’t be doing that.

Even a young man like you.

Doing what?



[Elevator dinging]

You know Anton Chigurh by sight, is that correct?

Yes, sir, I know him every which way.

When did you last see him?


…November 28th, last year.

Seem pretty sure of the date. Did I ask you to sit?

No, sir, but you struck me as a man who wouldn’t wanna waste a chair.

I remember dates, names, numbers. I saw him November the 28th.

Got a loose cannon here.

We’re out a bunch of money, and the other party is out his product.

Yes, sir.

This account will give up

$1,200 in any 24-hour period. That’s up from a thousand.

If your expenses run higher, I hope you’ll trust us for it.


Just how well do you know Chigurh?

What do you wanna know?

I just wanna know your opinion of him, in general.

Just how dangerous is he?

Compared to what, the bubonic plague?

He’s bad enough you called me.

Yeah, he’s a psychopathic killer, but so what?

There’s plenty of them around.

Killed three men in a Del Rio motel yesterday, and two others in that colossal goat-fuck out in the desert.

We can stop that.

Seem pretty sure of yourself.

You’ve led something of a charmed life, haven’t you, Mr. Wells?

In all honesty, I can’t say that charm has had a whole lot to do with it.

I was wondering…


Could you validate my parking ticket?

An attempt at humor, I suppose?

I’m sorry.

You know, I counted the floors to this building from the street.


There’s one missing.

We’ll look into it.

One room. One night.

That’ll be $26.


You on all night?

Yes, sir, I’ll be right here till 10:00 in the morning.

This here’s for you. Now, I ain’t asking you to do anything illegal.

There’s someone who been looking for me. Not police.

You just call me if anyone else checks in tonight.

And by anyone, I mean any swinging dick.

There just ain’t no way.


[Glass shatters]


[Llewelyn panting]

[Shot fired]



[Car approaching]

Don’t worry, I ain’t gonna hurt you.

I need you to drive me on outta here.

[Man gurgling]

[Tires screeching]


[Breathing heavily]

[People laughing]

Why not?

I don’t know, man.

[Indistinct chattering]


Were you in a car accident?

I’ll give you 500 bucks for that coat.

Lemme see the money.

Were you in a car accident?


OK, give me the money.

It’s right here. Give me the clothes.

Let him hold the money.

Give it here.

Gimme that beer too.

How much?

Brian, give him the beer.



[Coyotes howling]

Ah! [coughs]

[Footsteps approaching]

[Mariachi music]

[Singing in Spanish]

[Music, singing stops]



… por favor.

[People shout]

[People speaking Spanish]

Wait up!

[TV]… and I had a 44 inch waist. My diet specialist got a hold of me, and that first week, I lost seven pounds!

Looking back on the diet, it was relatively easy to lose the weight, though it did have moments. Sometimes, it looked as if I gained weight instead of lost it. The most difficult part is still ahead.

Keeping weight off now that we’ve lost it.

It’s natural for you to gain a few pounds.

But as soon as you do, make sure you go on…

[exhales deeply]

Here are a few points to remember. First of all, weigh in every day.

Any word on those vehicles yet?

[Woman] Sheriff, I found out everything there was to find.

Those vehicles are titled and registered to deceased people.

The owner of that Bronco’s been dead 20 years.

Want me to find out about the Mexican ones?

No. Lord, no.

There’s this month’s checks.

That DEA agent called again. You don’t wanna talk to him?

Gonna try to keep from it much as I can.

Going back. Wanted to know if you wanted to go with him.

That’s cordial of him.

Can I get you to call Loretta, tell her I’m going to Odessa to see Carla Jean Moss?

Yes, sheriff.

I’ll call her when I get there.

I’d call now, but if she want me to come home, I might.

Do you want me to wait till you quit the building?

Uh-huh. Don’t wanna lie without what it’s absolutely necessary.

What is it Torbert says about truth and justice?

Oh, we dedicate ourselves daily anew. Something like that.

I’m gonna commence dedicating myself twice daily.

Might come to three before it’s over.

[Tires screech]

What the hell?

[Siren sounds]


You looked at your load lately?

That is a damn outrage.

One of those tie-downs worked loose.

How many bodies did you leave with?

I ain’t lost none of ’em, sheriff.

Couldn’t y’all have taken a van out there?

We didn’t have no van with four-wheel drive.

You gonna write me up for improperly secured load?

You get your ass outta here.


[Wells] Buenos días.

I’m guessing this isn’t the future you had pictured for yourself when you first clapped eyes on that money.

Don’t worry. I’m not the man who’s after you.

I know that.

I’ve seen him.

You’ve seen him? And you’re not dead?


What’s this guy supposed to be, the ultimate badass?

Don’t think that’s how I’d describe him.

How would you describe him?

I guess I’d say he doesn’t have a sense of humor.

His name’s Chigurh.


Chigurh. Anton Chigurh.

You know how he found you?

Yeah, I know how he found me.

It’s called a transponder.

I know what it’s called.

He won’t find me again.

Not that way.

Not any way.

Took me about three hours.

Yeah, well, I been immobile.

No. You don’t understand.

What do you do?

I’m retired.

What did you do?


Acetylene? Mig? Tig?

Any of it.

If it can be welded, I can weld it.

Cast iron?


I don’t mean braze.

I didn’t say braze.

Pot metal?

What did I say?

Were you in ‘Nam?

Yeah, I was ‘Nam.

So was I.

So, what does that make me, your buddy?

Look, you gotta give me this money. I got no other reason to protect you.

[Groans] It’s too late. I spent it.

A million and a half on whores and whiskey, and the rest of it, I just sorta blew it in.

How do you know he’s not on his way to Odessa?

Why would he go to Odessa?

Kill your wife.

Maybe he’s the one that needs to be worried… about me.

He isn’t.

Yeah. You’re not cut out for this.

You’re just a guy who happened to find those vehicles.

I’m across the river at the Hotel Eagle.

Carson Wells.

Call me when you’ve had enough.

I can even let you keep a little of the money.

If I was into cutting deals, why wouldn’t I deal with Sugar?

No, no, you don’t understand. You can’t make a deal with him.

Even if you gave him the money, he’d still kill you for inconveniencing him.

He’s a peculiar man.

Might even say he has principles, principles that transcend money or drugs or anything like that. Not like you.

Yeah. He’s not even like me.

No, he don’t talk as much as you. I give him points for that.

Carla Jean, thank you for coming.

Don’t know why I did.

I told you, I don’t know where he is.

You haven’t heard from him?

No, I ain’t.


Not word one.

Would you tell me if you had?

Well, I don’t know.

He don’t need any trouble from you.

It ain’t me he’s in trouble with.

Who’s he in trouble with then?

Some pretty bad people.

These people will kill him, Carla Jean. They won’t quit.

He won’t neither. He never has.

He can take all comers.


You know Charlie Walser’s got that place out east of Sanderson?

You know how he used to slaughter beeves, hit ’em right there with a maul, truss ’em and slit their throats?

Charlie’s got one all trussed up, all set to drain him and the beef comes to, thrashing around.

Six hundred pounds of very pissed off livestock.

You’ll excuse the… Well…

Charlie grabs a gun, shoot the thing in the head, but with the swinging and thrashing, it’s a glance shot.

Ricochets, hits Charlie in the shoulder.

You go see Charlie, he still can’t pick up his right hand for his hat.

The point being, that even in the contest between man and steer, the issue is not certain.

When Llewelyn calls, just tell him I can make him safe.

[Exhales] ‘Course, they slaughter steers a lot different these days.

Use a air gun. Shoots out a little rod about that far under the brain.

Sucks right back in. Animal never knows what hit him.

Why are you telling me that, sheriff?

I don’t know.

My mind wanders.

Hello, Carson.

Let’s go to your room.

You don’t have to do this.

I’m a day trader. I could just go home.

You could.

Make it worth your while, take you to an ATM. There’s 14 grand in it.

And everybody just walks away.


I know where the satchel is.

If you knew, you would have it with you.

I can find it from the river bank. I know where it is.

I know something better.

What’s that?

Where it’s going to be.

Where’s that?

It will be brought to me and placed at my feet.

You don’t know to a certainty.

In 20 minutes it could be here.

I do know to a certainty.

And you know what’s gonna happen now, Carson?

You should admit your situation. There would be more dignity in it.

You go to hell.


All right. Let me ask you something.

If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?

Do you have any idea how crazy you are?

You mean the nature of this conversation?

I mean the nature of you.

You… You can have the money, Anton.

[Phone rings]

[Wells grunts]

[Phone continues to ring]

[Llewelyn] Hello?


Is, uh, Carson Wells there?

Not in the sense that you mean.

You need to come see me.

Who is this?

You know who it is.

You need to talk to me.

I don’t need to talk to you.

I think you do.

Do you know where I’m going?

Why would I care where you’re going?

I know where you are.

Yeah, where am I?

You’re in the hospital across the river, but that’s not where I’m going.

Do you know where I’m going?

Yeah, I know where you’re going.

All right.

You know she won’t be there.

It doesn’t make any difference where she is.

So, what’re you going up there for?


You know how this is gonna turn out, don’t you?


I think you do. So this is what I’ll offer.

You bring me the money, and I’ll let her go.

Otherwise, she’s accountable, the same as you.

That’s the best deal you’re gonna get.

I won’t tell you you can save yourself, because you can’t.

Yeah, I’m gonna bring you something, all right.

Decided to make you a project of mine.

You ain’t gonna have to come look for me at all.

The motel in Del Rio?

Yes, sir.

None of the three had ID on ’em, but they’re telling me that all three is Mexican… was Mexicans.

There’s a question, whether they stopped being and when.

Yes, sir.

Wendell, did you inquire about the lock cylinder?

Yes, sir. It was punched out.


Wanna drive out there?

No, that’s all I had to look for, it sound like these boys died of natural causes.

How’s that, sheriff?

Natural to the line of work they in.

Yes, sir.

My God, Wendell, it’s all-out war.

I can’t think of any other word for it. Who are these people?

Here, last week they found this couple out in California.

They rent out rooms to old people, kill ’em, bury ’em in the yard, cash their Social Security checks.

Oh, they’d torture ’em first. I don’t know why.

Maybe their television set was broke.

And this went on until, here, I quote, “Neighbors were alerted when a man ran from the premises wearing only a dog collar.”

You can’t make up such a thing as that. I dare you to try.

But that’s what it took, you notice, to get somebody’s attention.

Digging graves in the backyard didn’t bring any.

[Suppresses laughter]

Well, that’s all right. I laugh myself sometimes.

Ain’t a whole lot else you can do.

Tell me something.

Who gets through this gate into the United States?

I don’t know. American citizens?

Some American citizens. Who do you think decides?

You do, I reckon.

That is correct.

How do I decide?

I don’t know.

I ask questions. If I get sensible answers, then they get to go to America.

If I don’t, they don’t.

Anything you don’t understand?


I ask again, how you come to be here with no clothes?

Well, I got an overcoat on.

Are you jacking with me?

No, sir.

Don’t jack with me.

Yes, sir.

You in the service?

No, I’m a veteran.


Yes, sir, two tours.

What outfit?

Twelfth Infantry Battalion,

August 7th, 1966, July 2nd, 1968.


Yes, sir!

Get someone to help this man. He needs to get into town.

How those Larry’s holding up?

Good, good.

I need everything else.


Have a lot of people come in here without any clothes on?

No, sir. It’s unusual.

[woman] She don’t want to talk to you.

Yes, she does. Put her on.

Do you know what time it is?

I don’t care,

and don’t you hang up this phone.

Discombobulated by a no-account son-in-law.


Hey, you.

What should I do?

You know what’s going on?

I don’t know. I had the sheriff here from Terrell County. He…

What’d you tell him?

What did I know to tell him?

You’re hurt, ain’t you?


What makes you say that?

I can hear it in your voice.

[woman] It’s falseness in his voice!

Look, I want you to meet me at the Desert Sands Motel in El Paso.

I’m gonna give you the money, put you on a plane.

Llewelyn, I ain’t gonna leave you in the lurch.

This works better. With you gone and I don’t have the money, he can’t touch me, but I can sure touch him.

And after I find him, I’ll come and join you.

Find who? What am I supposed to do with mother?

She’ll be all right.

All right?

[Woman] Be all right? I got the cancer!

Ain’t nobody gonna bother her.

[Man gurgles]

[Gurgling continues]


Who are you?





He gave the Mexicans a receiver.

He feels…

He felt that the more people looking…

That’s foolish. You pick the one right tool.

I see.

Are you going to shoot me?

That depends.

Do you see me?

[Woman] I always seen this is what it’d come to.

Three years ago, I pre-visioned it.

It ain’t three years we been married.

Three years ago I said them very words, “no” and “good.”

Here we are, 90 degree heat, I got the cancer and look at this, not even a home to go to.

We’re going to El Paso, Texas.

You know how may people I know in El Paso, Texas?

No, ma’am.

That’s how many.

[Man speaks Spanish]

[Speaks Spanish]

I didn’t see my prednisone.

I put it in, Mama.

Well, I didn’t see it.

Well, I put it in that one.

You just set there. I’ll get tickets and a can’t for the bags.

You need help with the bags, madam?

Well, thank God, there is one gentleman left in west Texas.

Yes, thank you. I am old and I am not well!

Which bus are you taking?

Going to El Paso, don’t ask me why.

It’s not often you see a Mexican in a suit.

You go to El Paso? I know it. Where are you staying?


[sheriff] Carla Jean, how are you?

Sheriff, was that a true story about Charlie Walser?

Who’s Charlie Walser? Uh! Oh…

[chuckles] Um…

True story. I couldn’t swear to every detail, but it’s certainly true it is a story.

Yeah, right.

Sheriff, can you give me your word on something?

Yes, ma’am.

If I tell you where Llewelyn’s headed, you promise it’ll be just you who goes and talks with him? You and nobody else.

Yes, ma’am, I do.

Llewelyn would never ask for help.

He never thinks he needs any.

Carla Jean, I will not harm your man.

And he needs help, whether he knows it or not.

What’s the problem there, neighbor?

Yep, that’ll suck some power, over time.

You from around here?

Yeah, Alpine, born and bred.

Here you go.

What airport would you use?

Well, airport or airstrip?


Well, where you going?

I don’t know.

Just lighting out for the territories, huh? [laughs] Brother, I been there.

Well, there’s airstrips.

The airport is El Paso.

If you want someplace specific, you might could be better off just driving to Dallas, not have to connect.

You gonna clamp them, buddy?

Can you get those chicken crates out of the bed?

What are you talking about?

Hey, Mr. Sporting Goods.

Hey, yourself.

You a sport?

Yeah, that’s me.

I got beers in my room.

Oh, uh, I’m… I’m waiting on my wife.


That’s who you keep looking out the window for?

Well, half.

What else then?

Just looking for what’s coming.

[Woman] Yeah.

But no one ever sees that.

Beer! That’s what’s coming.

I’ll bring the ice chest out. You can stay married.

No, ma’am, I know what beer leads to.


Beer leads to more beer.

[Rapid gunfire]

[Men shouting in Spanish]

[Tires squealing]

[Woman sobbing]

[Woman screams]

[Women crying]

You all right?

Call the police.

[Speaks Spanish]

Your local law enforcement.

I’m not on their radio.

[Man] I met his daughter at the…

[man] Buy you a cup of coffee ‘fore you drive home?

No money in his room there?

Couple hundred, on his person.

Those hombres would have taken the stash.

I suppose so.

Though they was leaving in a hurry.

It’s all the goddamn money, Ed Tom. Money and the drugs.

It’s just goddamn beyond everything.

What’s it mean? What’s it leading to?

You know, if you’d have told me 20 years ago I’d see children walking the streets of our Texas towns with green hair, bones in their noses, I just flat-out wouldn’t have believed you.

Signs and wonders.

But I think once you quit hearing “sir” and “ma’am,” the rest is soon to follow.

Oh, it’s the tide.


It’s the dismal tide. It is not the one thing.

Not the one thing.

Yeah, well, none of that explains your man, though.

Well, he’s just a goddamn homicidal lunatic, Ed Tom.

I’m not sure he’s a lunatic.

Well, what would you call him?

Well, sometimes I think he’s pretty much a ghost.

He’s real, all right.

Oh, yeah?

Yeah. All of that over at the Eagle Hotel? Just beyond everything.

Yeah. Got some hard bark on him.

Why… Well, that don’t hardly say it.

He shoots a desk clerk one day, walks right back in the next and shoots a retired Army colonel.

It’s hard to believe.

Just strolls right back into a crime scene.

Now, who’d do such a thing? How do you defend against it?

Well, good trip, Ed Tom.

Sorry we couldn’t help your boy.

[Engine shuts off]



[Airplane flies overheard]

[Cats meow]

[Man] In back!

How’d you know I was here?

Who else’d be driving up in your truck?

You heard it?

How’s that?

Did you hear my…? You’re having fun with me.

What give you that idea? I seen one of the cats heard it.

How’d you know it was my truck?

I deduced it when you walked in.

How many of them things you got now?

Cats? Oh, I don’t know, several.

Well, it depends on what you mean by “got.”

Some of ’em are half wild, some of ’em are just outlaws.

How you been, Ellis?

You’re looking at it.

I got to say, you’re looking older.

I am older.

Got a letter from your wife.

She writes me pretty regular, keeps me up on the family news.

Didn’t know there was any.

Told me you’re quitting.

[Inhales, exhales deeply]

You want a cup?

Appreciate it.

How fresh is that coffee?

I generally make a fresh pot every week, even if there’s some left over.

That man that shot you died in prison?

Angola. Yeah.

What’d you done he’d a been released?

Oh, I don’t know. Nothing.

Wouldn’t be no point in it.

Kindly surprised to hear you say that.

Well, all the time you spend trying to get back what’s been took from you, more is going out the door.

After a while, you have to try to get a tourniquet on it.

Your granddad never asked me to sign on as a deputy.

Loretta tells me you’re quitting. How come you doing that?

I don’t know.

I feel overmatched.

I always figured when I got older, God would… sort of come into my life somehow.

And He didn’t.

And I don’t blame Him.

If I was Him, I’d have the same opinion of me that He does.

You don’t know what He thinks.

I sent Uncle Mac’s thumbbuster and badge over to the Rangers, put it in their museum.

Your daddy ever tell you how Uncle Mac come to his reward?

Gunned down on his own porch over in Hudspeth County.

Seven or eight of ’em come up there, all wanting this, wanting that.

Uncle Mac went back in the house to get the shotgun.

Well, they was ahead of him.

Shot him in his doorway.

Aunt Ella come out, tried to stop the bleeding.

Uncle Mac all the while trying to get that shotgun.

They just sat there on their horses, watching him die.

After a while, one of ’em said something in Indian and they turned.

Left out.

Uncle Mac knew the score, even if Aunt Ella didn’t.

Shot through the left lung.

And that was that… as they say.

Where’d he die?

Nineteen zero and, uh… nine?

No, I mean, was it right away or in the night or…

When was it?

I believe it was that night.

She buried him the next morning. Digging in that hard old caliche.

What you got ain’t nothing new.

This country is hard on people.

You can’t stop what’s coming.

It ain’t all waiting on you.

That’s vanity.

I knew this wasn’t done with.

I ain’t got the money.

What little I had is long gone and there’s bills aplenty to pay yet.

I buried my mother today. Ain’t paid for that neither.

I wouldn’t worry about it.

I need to sit down.

You got no cause to hurt me.

No. But I gave my word.

You gave your word?

To your husband.

That don’t make sense.

You gave your word to my husband to kill me?

Your husband had the opportunity to save you.

Instead, he used you to try to save himself.

Not like that.

Not like you say.

You don’t have to do this.

People always say the same thing.

What do they say?

They say, “You don’t have to do this.”

You don’t.


This is the best I can do.

Call it.

I knowed you was crazy when I saw you sitting there.

I knowed exactly what was in store for me.

Call it.


I ain’t gonna call it.

Call it.

The coin don’t have no say.

It’s just you.

Well, I got here the same way the coin did.


[Boys chattering]

[Glass clattering]


[Breathing heavily]


Mister, you got a bone sticking out of your arm.

I’m all right. Let me just sit here a minute.

There’s an ambulance coming. The man went to call.

All right.

Are you all right? You got a bone sticking out your arm.

What’ll you take for the shirt?

[Sirens approaching]


Well, hell, mister, I’ll give you my shirt.

Look at that fucking bone.

Tie this for me.

Just tie it, just tie it.

[Sirens approaching]


Hell, mister. Look, I don’t mind helping someone out.

That’s a lot of money.

Take it.

Take it and… you didn’t see me.

I was already gone.

[Sirens approaching]

Yes, sir.

Part of that’s mine, right?

You still got your damn shirt.

Ain’t even what it was for.

Maybe. But I’m still out a shirt.

Maybe I’ll go riding.


What do you think?

Well, I can’t plan your day.

I mean, would you care to join me?

Lord, no, I’m not retired.

Maybe I’ll help out here then.

Uh… better not.

Loretta Bell: How’d you sleep?

Ed Tom Bell: I don’t know. Had dreams.

Loretta Bell: Well, you got time for ’em now. Anythin’ interesting?

Ed Tom Bell: They always is to the party concerned.

Loretta Bell: Ed Tom, I’ll be polite.

Ed Tom Bell: All right, then. Two of ’em, both had my father in ’em. It’s peculiar. I’m older now than he ever was by 20 years. So, in a sense, he’s the younger man. Anyway, the first one I don’t remember too well, but it was about meeting him in town, somewheres, and he give me some money. I think I lost it. Second one, it was like we was both back in older times. And I was a-horseback, going through the mountains of a night. Going through this pass in the mountains. It was cold, and there was snow on the ground. And he rode past me and kept on going, never said nothing going by, just rode on past. He had his blanket wrapped around him and his head down. When he rode past, I seen he was carrying fire in a horn, the way people used to do, and I… I could see the horn from the light inside of it, ’bout the color of the moon. And, in the dream, I knew that he was… going on ahead. He was fixing to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and cold. And I knew that whenever I got there, he’d be there. And then I woke up…


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