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Classic Scene

13

RED RIVER
"Take 'em to Missouri, Matt!"

SETTING THE SCENE  An epic cattle drive is about to hit the Chisholm Trail in 1865. Tough Texan cattle rancher Tom Dunston (Wayne) can’t foresee the full extent of the dangers and drama ahead, but tries to warn the men he just can’t stand quitters…

DUNSON: Well, we start tomorrow. We're going to Missouri with 10,000 head. Most of you men have come back to Texas from the War. You came back to nothing. You found your homes gone, your cattle scattered and your land stolen by carpetbaggers. Now there's no money and no work because there's no market for beef in the South. But there is in Missouri. So we're going to Missouri. Cumberland didn't make it. No one else has. That's the reason I'm here. I want you all to know what we're up against. You probably already know. But I want to make sure ya do. We got a thousand miles to go. 10 miles a day'll be good. 15'll be luck. It'll be dry country, dry wells when we get to 'em. It'll be wind, and rain. There's gonna be Indian territory, how bad I don't know. And when we get to Missouri there'll be border gangs. There's going to be a fight all the way, but we'll get there. Now, nobody has to come along. I'll still have a job for you when we get back. But remember this: every man who signs on for this drive agrees to finish it. There'll be no quitting along the way, not by me and not by you...

(In the dawn Dunson surveys the vast herd and assembled hands.)

Ready, Matthew?

MATTHEW: All ready.

DUNSON: Take 'em to Missouri, Matt!

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