Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

Mississippi: [examining J.P.'s leg after he's been shot] I gotta cut this pant leg.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Well, go ahead and cut it! Have you got a kni...
[Mississippi pulls out his knife from its hiding place on his back]
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: A knife? Uh, I suppose I've asked this before, but just who?
[looks at Cole instead]
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Who is he?
Cole: Tell him your name, Mississippi.
Mississippi: [sighs and looks up] Alan Bourdillion Trehearne.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Well, no wonder he carries a knife.
Cole: Now just a minute, son.
Mississippi: I... AM NOT... YOUR SON. My name is Alan Bourdillion Traherne.
Cole: ...Lord Almighty...
Mississippi: Yeah.
Mississippi: [while mixing some hangover cure] Let's see. We got ipecac and mustard and cayenne. That leaves us asafetida.
Cole: Are you sure that Johnny Diamond wasn't an embalmer?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: What the hell are you doin' here?
Cole: I'm lookin' at a tin star with a... drunk pinned on it.
Bull Harris: [about Cole and Mississippi going on patrol] If you're gonna do that, here's a couple of badges.
[gives them to Cole and Mississippi]
Bull Harris: Now, raise your right hand.
[they do as told]
Bull Harris: I forgot the words, but you better say 'I do'!
Cole, Mississippi: I do!
Bull Harris: Now you're deputies!
Mississippi: You suppose these will do any good if somebody takes a shot at us?
Bull Harris: Give them a good mark to shoot at.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: [Cole has just been treated for a gunshot wound] Doctor, can he be moved?
Dr. Miller: Sure, in a couple of hours, but don't go bouncin' him around.
Maudie: He can stay here. I'll... I'll make him comfortable.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Oh, I've got a fine bed over at my place. It's, uh, narrow and it's hard and it's uncomfortable, but, uh, he won't get bounced around.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Why aren't you laughing now? It's the same drunken sheriff, the same hat, the same outfit, why don't you laugh? Let me hear you laugh!
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Joe never was much good on that piano, was he?
Bull Harris: No, and you shooting them strings out didn't help none either.
Cole: Aren't you gonna say anything?
Maudie: Would it do me any good to say it?
Cole: Say what?
Maudie: That this is crazy? No, I'm not gonna say anything. I'm just gonna go out and buy you a pine box.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: You know something Cole, I think we'd better get ourselves a new girl.
Cole: Yeah.
Maudie: You'd better not.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Why not?
Maudie: I'm girl enough for both of you.
Cole: What was the idea of diving under those horses?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Diving under those horses?
Mississippi: Yeah. A man can't shoot good when his horse is jumping, and a horse will not step on a man.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: He won't?
Mississippi: He will?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Alan Bourdillion Ter-who?
Cole: Terhane.
Mississippi: Trahearne!
Cole: [with Hara] Trahearne.
Mississippi: Yeah.
Maudie: You must like that man. Want me to tell you about him?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: You don't have to tell me about Cole.
Maudie: I know I don't. That's why I want to. I met Cole right after my husband was killed. I did tell you that.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Yeah, you told me.
Maudie: Well, there I was stranded. A gambler's widow, not a chip to my name. Cole was awful good to me. Gave me a stake. Helped me get on my feet. Never would take a... I don't know J.P, with Cole and me I guess it's a... I'll always think of him as a... , as a...
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: He's a top hand.
Maudie: I guess so.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Yeah, well, Cole always was pretty lucky.
Maudie: Have you known him a long time?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Yeah I've known him a long time, since before the war. We've, uh, we've travelled some together.
Maudie: Sure, I know what that means. It means either you saved his life or he saved yours, or both. And neither one of you will talk about it. Men.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Would you like it set to music, Maudie, with a full orchestra?
Bull Harris: [while mixing the hangover cure] Here's your gunpowder.
Cole: *Gunpowder?*
Bull Harris: Yup. Mississippi remembered it on the way to the store.
Mississippi: Put it in, Bull.
Bull Harris: All of it?
Mississippi: Uh-huh, all of it.
Cole: I hope you don't... blow him up!
Cole: Step down off that horse.
Mississippi: You always giving people orders?
Bart Jason: [Thornton is trying to distract McLeod outside of Jason's saloon] Didn't expect to see you here, Mr. Thornton.
Cole: Hello, McLeod.
Bart Jason: I said...
Nelse McLeod: My show, Jason. Hi, Thornton.
Cole: There's a little question... unanswered between us.
Nelse McLeod: Which one of us is best?
Cole: That's right.
Nelse McLeod: I don't think we're gonna find out the answer to that question.
Cole: No?
Nelse McLeod: No. Your gun hand's no good.
Cole: You just give me time to get down off of this wagon and we'll find out.
Nelse McLeod: Why should I give you any time?
Cole: Call it professional courtesy.
Bart Jason: Don't listen to him. Why should you give him time?
Nelse McLeod: Curiosity, Jason.
Cole: [Bull blows his bugle, and when McLeod around, Thornton dives of the wagon and mortally wounds McLeod with a hidden gun] McLeod?
Nelse McLeod: You didn't give me any chance at all, did you?
Cole: No, I didn't. You're too good to give a chance to.
Nelse McLeod: Yeah. I let a one-armed man take me.
Cole: Where is Mississippi?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Who is Mississippi?
Cole: Well that's the kid... fella that was around with us all night.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Where is he?
Cole: That's what I was asking Bull.
Bull Harris: Across the street at the stable. Saw someone pointing a gun after us.
Cole: He ought to know better than that.
Bull Harris: You want me to go after him?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Bull, you certainly ought to know better.
Bull Harris: The first time in two months I've felt like doing nothing for you, now you don't want me to do it.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Was there something wrong with that or is it just my hangover?
Bull Harris: You made better sense when you was drinking.
Bull Harris: [Cole gets ready to punch J.P] Cole! He won't feel it.
Cole: Well I owe him one.
Cole: Did you get him?
Mississippi: Who?
Cole: The fella that ran outta the church!
Mississippi: Well, yes and no.
Cole: Yes and no? Did you or didn't you?
Mississippi: I hit the sign, and the sign hit him.
Cole: Well, that's great.
Mississippi: He was limping when he left!
Cole: He was limping when he got here!
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Bull, you go on shooting, we'll try to move up a little closer.
Bull Harris: Just give me another gun and I'll play Marching Through Georgia.
Cole: What kept you?
Mississippi: I was talking to a girl. She said she saw...
Cole: A girl?
Mississippi: Don't you think I can know a girl?
Bull Harris: He ain't put that stopper back in that bottle in a coon's age.
Cole: Sheriff, you... you alright?
[Sees J.P's face]
Cole: No you ain't.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Cole they laughed at me. Right in front of McLeod, they just laughed at me.
Cole: They've been laughing at you... for a couple of months. You just haven't being sober enough to hear it.
Mississippi: [Joey slaps Mississippi and he slaps her] Now don't do that again 'cos I can hit a little harder than you.
Cole: Either one of ya know a fast way to sober a man up?
Bull Harris: A bunch of howlin' indians out for hair'll do it quicker'n anything I know.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Why are you here?
Cole: Waiting for a fella. Name's Nelse McLeod.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Oh, Nelse McLeod with the...
Cole: That one. Want some coffee?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: No I don't.
Cole: I met him down near the border. Said he wanted me to work with him on a job. Range war. But he said it'd be easy. All we had to worry about was a drunken sheriff. Are you sure you don't want some coffee?
Cole: Next time you shoot somebody, don't go near 'em till you're... sure they're dead!
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Who are you?
Mississippi: We met last night.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Last night? When was that?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Bull, I need you.
Bull Harris: You what?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: I need you, Bull.
Bull Harris: Now if you start being nice to me, I'll quit you for sure. Shock'd be too much. I'd sooner have you hungover and nasty.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Speaking of that, how about a little drink, Bull?
Bull Harris: Darn it. Took you a long time to think of that one.
Mississippi: Want me to go with you?
Bull Harris: Yeah, if I get shot you can bring back the food.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: I guess you're supposed to take care of me.
Cole: Well, not that I couldn't do it Harrah but I don't think I'd like that.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: I'm glad to hear you say that. Not that I couldn't handle you but I don't think I'd like that either.
Matt MacDonald: Well, look who's here.
Kevin MacDonald: You're a little late ain't ya.
Saul MacDonald: Yeah, whatcha you do, stop off for a drink?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: All right, I'm late. I maybe too late but that's no reason for the rest of you to get gunned down.
Kevin MacDonald: Why do you say that?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Because you're outclassed.
Kevin MacDonald: Are you backin' him up, Thornton?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: No he isn't.
Cole: Let's just say I'm on your side, and this is no job for amateurs.
Cole: J.P, why don't you settle down?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: I just can't help it Cole. I've got the shakes so bad...
Cole: You've had 'em before.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Yeah, well not with a hole in my leg, and a bunch of unfriendly people hanging around outside just waiting for somebody to...
Cole: What do you wanna do? Quit?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: He went out that door!
Cole: Well you oughta know! You missed him!
Bull Harris: I reckon he's got a more interesting misery than you got Sheriff.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Look Doc, I don't wanna take up your time but, er, mine's still bleeding.
Doctor Donovan: You know these wounds were made by buckshot don't you?
Cole: I thought they were.
Doctor Donovan: Who was using a shotgun?
Cole: A certain young man...
Mississippi: I was using a shotgun, Doc.
Doctor Donovan: You. I thought you was on there side.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: He was.
Mississippi: I told you I was no good with a gun.
Bull Harris: Trouble is, Doc, Cole was in front of the gun. The safe place is behind Mississippi when he shoots that thing.
[talking about Jason, who's in jail]
Joey: Would it be all right if I could see him, talk to him?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Why sure, Joey. Just, uh, let me have that gun.
Joey: Never mind.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: It'll be a nice quiet town after you leave, Cole.
Cole: How do you know I'm leaving?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: We just don't need your kind around here.
Cole: You left a boy out there to do a man's job!
Cole: When do you expect the United States Marshal?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Oh man, I don't remember the last time he was here.
Bull Harris: He was here. You gave him a big welcome. Flung a bottle at him.
Cole: An empty bottle?
Bull Harris: Yeah, he wasn't that far gone.
Cole: Pretty wise for a kid Maudie.
Maudie: I think you must be the only person who thinks of me as a kid, Cole.
Bull Harris: ...might have anyhow if I wasn't tryin' to figure out what that fella's got on his head.
Mississippi: It called a hat.
Bull Harris: Well, I'll have to take your word for it.
Mississippi: Always liked that poem too. Makes me wanna...
Cole: Ride, boldly ride? Well it don't work out that way.
Mississippi: I'm learnin' that.
Cole: You were pretty good in there. Like old times.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Man, don't tell me how good I was. I just got away with it because I had an hangover. I was too mad to be scared and too sick to worry about it. You know that.
Cole: I've been there.
Cole: Next time you shoot somebody, don't go near 'em till you're sure they're dead!
Bull Harris: Watch it, the way your hand's shaking don't let it get near the trigger.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Now don't you get on me, Bull.
Bull Harris: I ain't started yet.
Mississippi: Well, we are we headed?
Cole: To see a girl.
Mississippi: To see a *girl*?
Cole: Yes, a girl! Don't you think I could know a girl?
Kevin MacDonald: What do you expect us to do?
Cole: Why don't you ask the sheriff?
Kevin MacDonald: The sheriff? Ya think I'm gonna wait on him?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Just give me an hour Macdonald. You can wait that long to die.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Didn't the last time you shot a man teach you anything at all, Joey?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: You thought it was pretty funny, too, didn't you. Well, why aren't you laughing now? Let me hear you laugh!
[hits Jason with his rifle]
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: I don't know who you think you are,Jason, but I...
Cole: J.P.!
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: No. You're right, Cole. You're a lucky man, Jason, 'cause I wanted to kill you bad!
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: [bathing in the jail cell as several people enter] Good morning, good morning, good morning... I'd have more privacy in the El Paso railroad station.
Cole: [after the gunfight in the church] Where'd you come from?
Bull Harris: I heard a noise!
Mississippi: Always make you mad, don't I?
Cole: Mostly.
Kevin MacDonald: You always seem to be around, Thornton, when one of my boys get hurt.
[Cole Thornton is turning down Bart Jason]
Bart Jason: Since when did hired guns get choosy? You're paid to take...
Cole: I'm paid to risk my neck. I'll decide where and when I'll do it. This isn't it.
Bart Jason: Ya know, Thornton, I got an idea you just don't want to go up against Sheriff J.P. Harrah.
Cole: You know, you're just about right?
Bart Jason: You think he's that good?
Cole: I tell ya he's that good.
Mississippi: [about Joey] She was really gonna shoot that fella.
Cole: She shot me.
Mississippi: She shot... uh... 'n that somethin'...
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: [massaging his chin] Did we have a... fight... or somethin'?
Cole: [massaging his right hand and nodding] Or somethin'.
Bart Jason: You just going to sit there, Mcleod?
Nelse McLeod: [Facing down Mississippi's sawed-off shotgun] ... Well there really isn't very much I can do right now, is there, Jason?
Cole: Last time you took the front door and I took the back, this time we'll do'er the other way around.
Mississippi: Well, I found out one thing.
Cole: What's that?
Mississippi: You know a girl.
Nelse McLeod: [refering to Harrah] You think he's that good?
Cole: Good ? Why he's...
Nelse McLeod: The fourth man you were talking about.
Mississippi: Are you bein' fair?
Cole: How?
Mississippi: Lettin' him go in there?
Cole: Well I'd hate to be the one to try and stop him. They laughed at him, Mississippi. That'll make the difference.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Well, wait a minute, wait, wait for me!
Cole: Why?
Nelse McLeod: Can you use a gun?
Mississippi: Well, if I could I'd be using one. Good evening.
Cole: Just minute, Mississippi.
Mississippi: Would you mind telling me why you have such a great passion for my company?
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Damn you, Bull!
Milt: You've got a lot of faith in me, don't ya, Nelse?
Nelse McLeod: Faith can move mountains, Milt. But it can't beat a faster draw. There's only three men I know with his kind of speed. One's dead. The other's me. And the third is Cole Thornton.
Cole: There's a fourth.
Nelse McLeod: Which one are you?
Cole: I'm Thornton.
[Milt withdraws]
Nelse McLeod: Aren't you glad you didn't try, Milt? Pick up your guns, both of you, real easy.
Cole: Like he said, real easy.
Nelse McLeod: There's only three men I know of with his kind of speed. One of 'em's dead; one of em's me; and the other is Cole Thornton.
Cole: There's a fourth.
Nelse McLeod: Which one are you?
Cole: I'm Thornton.
Cole: The girl was right; they're still up there.
Bull Harris: Sure are... hit me right in the bugle!
Cole: Don't you know better than to follow a man that way?
Mississippi: Sorry... I didn't know there was another way.
Mississippi: I'm tryin' to thank you.
Cole: I'm hungry!
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Up until now I thought you had good taste.
Cole: Yeah, and up until now I thought you had good taste.
Sheriff J. P. Harrah: Did we have a fight or something?
Cole: Or something.
Kevin MacDonald: [after Cole has brought his son's body back home] I guess you're telling the truth; you wouldnta' come down here if you wasn't. I'm obliged to you for that.
Cole: It don't help much.

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