|Scene 1: Learning About Where
You Live [Scene begins at 00:00:39 and runs until 00:04:33
For those with DVDs, it begins 39 seconds into ch. 1.]
Two men, Cliff and Mikey, from the Army base, are collecting
bullets from an old Army rifle range. They find a decayed body,
a Masonic ring, and what turns out to be a Rio County Sheriff's
badge. Cliff is an officer in the army, whom we will later see involved
in a romantic relationship with a black woman Sergeant.
Cliff: We got cenizo, that's purple sage, agave,
nopal, What's that stuff? Now that's, that's, that's whatchamacallit.
That's horse crippler.
Mikey: This place is a gold mine.
Cliff: Lead mine.
Cliff: I said it's a lead mine.
Cliff: I don't know why I'm talking to you. You've
got that thing on your head.
Mikey: You finding lots of cactus and shit?
Cliff: Not just cactus. There's acacias, the yuccas--
Mikey: Looks like a lot of cactus to me.
Cliff: A man knows a hundred and fifty varieties
of beer, can't tell a poinsettia from a prickly pear.
Mikey: Hey Cliff!
Cliff: You live in a place, you should learn something
about it. Explore.
Mikey: Cliff, you've got to look at this.
Cliff: Don't tell me. Spanish treasure, right?
Pieces of eight from the Coronado Expedition. (Walks down from
where he was working to see what Mikey has found.) Jesus!
(The camera moves to the ground, where there is a decayed skull.
Mikey reaches down and picks up what appears to be a rock, but which
turns out to be a ring with a Mason sign on it.)
Mikey: Was Coronado in the Masons?
Scene 2: Disagreements Over the Years [Scene
begins at 00:16:20 and runs to 00:18:05. For those with DVDs, it
occurs at the beginning of ch. 5.]
A racially mixed group of people are meeting in a classroom,
town-meeting style. They are arguing over the school's history curriculum.
The group is divided over how Texas history and their local history
should be told. Specifically, there is a disagreement over whether
the story should be told from the point of view of the winners--Texas
and the United States, or from the point of view of the majority--the
Mexicans. The teachers argue for n full presentation of the complexity
of the story. There is a white man moderating.
First woman (from the textbook committee):
Tearing everything down. Tearing down our heritage, tearing down
the memory of people who fought and died for this land.
First man: We fought and died for this land, too.
We fought the U.S. Army, the Texas Rangers--
Second man: Yeah, and you lost, buddy. Winners
get the bragging rights. That's just the way it goes.
Moderator: People! People! It'd be best if we
don't view this thing in terms of winners and losers.
First woman: Well, the way she teaches (pointing
to a Mexican teacher off screen), she's got everything switched
around. I was on the textbook committee, and her version is not–
Moderator: We think of the text book as a guide,
not as an absolute.
First woman: It is not what we set as the standard. Now you people
can believe whatever you want, but when it comes to teaching our
Second woman: They're our children, too. And
as the majority in this community, we have the right.
Second man: The men who founded this state have
the right-- the right to have their story told the way it happened,
not the way somebody wanted it to happen.
Reporter: Eh. The men who founded this state broke
from Mexico because they needed slavery to be legal to make a fortune
in the cotton business.
Pilar (a Mexican teacher): I think that's
a bit of an oversimplification.
Second man: (to the reporter) Are you
reporting on this meeting, or are you running it now?
Reporter: Just adding some historical perspective.
Second man: Now you call it history; I call it
propaganda. I'm sure they've got their own account of the Alamo
on the other side. But we're not on the other side (noise of
others trying to speak), and we shouldn't teach it that way.
Discussion becomes heated and several speak loudly and at the
Pilar: Excuse me. I've only been trying to get
across part of the complexity of our situation down here. Cultures
coming together in both negative and positive ways.
First woman: If you're talking about food and
music and all, I have no problem with that. But when you start changing
(girl walks into the open doorway and overhears) who did what to
Another teacher: We're not changing anything;
we're just trying to present a more complete picture. (The girl
goes over to Pilar and speaks to her privately.)
First woman: And that's what got to stop!
Second teacher: There's enough ignorance in the
world without us encouraging it in the classroom. (Pilar and
the girl get up to go.)
First woman: Now who are you calling ignorant?
Scene 3: What You Mayors Do [Scene begins at 00:27:03
and runs to 00:30:00. For those with DVDs, it is ch. 10.]
Hollis, the Rio County Mayor, is on his boat, which is still
docked. He is baiting his hook, when Sam walks up to the dock. Sam
is pursuing the mystery of who killed Charlie Wade, and Hollis,
one of Wade's deputies, was one of the last men to see Charlie Wade
alive. . According to Hollis' tale of Wade's disappearance, another
deputy Buddy Deeds stood up to Wade the night he disappeared. Buddy
Deeds, who was Sam's father, later became Sheriff. It has become
clear that Sam suspects his father of Wade's murder. Hollis is concerned
that Sam will make his suspicions public, because a public dedication
in honor of Buddy Deeds is scheduled the next day.
Sam: Well, I always wondered what you mayors do
when you're not cutting ribbons.
Hollis: Sam! Partner! You caught me playing hooky.
Sam: Yeah, floating around out here, playing hell
with them bass.
Hollis: Sounds great! Where do I sign up? You
been by your old place lately?
Hollis: New people painted it some god-awful color.
Sam: Look, we found a body out by Fort McKenzie
yesterday. It'd been there a long time.
Hollis: Was it Davy Crockett or Jim Bowie?
Sam: Eh. . . You recall if Charlie Wade was a
Hollis: Charlie? Yeah, I believe he used to go
for Lodge meetings over to Laredo. What's Charlie Wade go to do
with your body?
Sam: Well, all he was wearing was a big old Masonic
ring and a Rio County Sheriff's badge. You remember anything else
from that last night you saw him?
Hollis: Hell, I told the story enough times. We
were just in the car. He was stewing about his fight with Buddy
as we drove over to Roderick Bledsoe's.
Hollis: He owned the colored roadhouse before
Sam: He still living?
Hollis: No. I think his widow's still in their
place in Darktown, though. You think it was Charlie Wade, huh?
Sam: Well, forensics people are sure of it. You
got any idea who might have put him there? Besides my father, I
Hollis: There's no call for that, Sam. Wade made
himself a pile of enemies over the years.
Sam: Yeah, and Buddy was one of them.
Hollis: The dedication's tomorrow. It's a hell
of a time to bring up old business.
Sam: Well, people have worked this whole big thing
up around my father. If it's built on a crime, they deserve to know.
I understand why you might want to believe he couldn't do it.
Hollis: I understand why you might want to think
Sam: Thanks for your time, Hollis.
Hollis: Eh, look at all this, will ya? Tackle,
boat, all just to catch a little old fish minding his own business
down at the bottom of the lake. Hardly seems worth the effort, does
Scene 4: The Colonel and His Father [Scene
begins at 00:49:54 and runs to 00:54:38. For those with DVDs, it
is ch. 17.]
The scene opens at Otis's bar. The African-American Colonel,
a recent transfer to Rio County, and Otis's estranged son, visits
Otis regarding the incident in which one of his privates was involved.
We have previously learned that the Colonel felt abandoned by Otis
as a boy and intends to avoid contact with his father if possible.
He arrives in uniform, giving every indication that his visit is
on account of official business, and not personal. Music is playing.
Otis: Carolyn. Knock that off.
Colonel: (looking at a sign on a door)
Otis: Hobby of mine. A few artifacts, couple of
pieces one of your men out on the base made. Admission's free.
Colonel: This is where he was shot? (Walking
over in front of the bar, looking at the door.)
Otis: He fell right there by the door.
Colonel: You get much of that in here?
Otis: It's a bar. Folks come together, drink,
fall in love, fall out of love, hear their grudges out.
Colonel: Deal drugs in the bathroom.
Otis: If I thought it would do any good, I'd put
up a sign telling them not to, right next to the one about the employees
washing their hands. (Pointing to a woman, who was sitting at
a table and now walks over to the men.) This here is Carolyn.
(To Carolyn) Honey, this is my son, Delmore.
Colonel: (Holding out his hand to shake Carolyn's
hand) Nice to meet you, ma'am. (They shake hands.)
Carolyn: I'll be in the back waiting for that
Colonel: So. Tell me why I shouldn't make this
Otis: This is an official visit then.
Colonel: I assume most of your business is with
Otis: Your boys're all cooped up together out
there and they need a place to let the steam out. If they black,
there's not but one spot in this county where they feel welcome.
It's been that way since before you were born.
Colonel: We have an enlisted man's club at the
Otis: You the man out there now, ain't you? It's
Colonel: That's right.
Otis: You know, I've been hearing about this new
command out there for a couple of weeks now. The boys say they hear
that he's a hard case, a real spit-and-polish man. Full bird colonel
by the name of Payne. Bet you never figured you'd end up back here.
Colonel: When the Army offers you a command, you
go, wherever it is.
Colonel: I hear things, too. They call you the
mayor of Darktown.
Otis: Over the years, this is the one place that's
always been there. I loan a little money out, I've settled a few
arguments. I got a cot in the back. Folks get scared to go home,
they can spend the night. There's not enough of us to run anything
in this town. It's the Holiness Church or Big O's.
Colonel: And the people make a choice.
Otis: Most of them choose both. You see, it's
not like there's a borderline between the good people and the bad
people. You not on either one side or the other. (The Colonel
puts his hat on.)
Otis: I'm gonna meet that family of yours?
Colonel: Why would you want to do that?
Otis: Because I'm your father. (The Colonel,
who was on his way out, walks back toward Otis, who is still behind
Colonel: You'll get official notification when
I make my decision. (Otis looks very sad. Carolyn walks back
Carolyn: So that's him.
Otis: Yeah, that's him.
Scene 5: Our People [Scene begins at 01:31:44
and runs to 01:35:10. For those with DVDs, it is 28 seconds into
ch. 28 and runs until the end of the chapter.]
In this scene, the Colonel's son sneaks into Otis's during
the day. He is looking at the Black Seminole pictures. When Otis
comes into the room, the boy's back is turned. Otis puts down a
box of bottles and startles him.
Otis: That's John Horse. The Spanish down in Florida
call him Juan Caballo. John Horse.
Boy: Is he a black man or an Indian?
Otis: Both. He was part of the Seminole nation
that got pushed down into the Florida Everglades back in the pioneer
days. African people run off from the slave holders, hooked up with
them, married up, had children. When the Spanish give up Florida,
the U.S. Army come down to move all the Indian people to Oklahoma.
A couple of them held out. That man, John Horse, his friend Wildcat,
another fella named Osceola, put together a fighting band, held
out for another ten, fifteen years, and beat Zack Taylor and a thousand
troops at Lake Okeechobee.
Boy: So, they stayed in Florida?
Otis: One night they packed up, rode out to Mexico.
Men went to work for General Santa Anna down there. After the Civil
War they came north to Texas, put up at Fort Duncan, and the men
joined what was called the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts. Them the
best trackers on either side of the border. They chased after bandits,
rustlers, Texas red necks, Kiowas, Comanches–
Boy: They fought against the Indians?
Otis: Just like they did in Mexico.
Boy: But they were Indians themselves.
Otis: They were in the Army, like your father.
Boy: (Looking down) You know who I am?
Otis: I got a pretty good guess.
Boy: That guy who got shot--
Otis: You didn't go telling your father you were
Boy: Are you kidding? And face a court-martial?
Otis: Pretty tough old man, huh.
Boy: Every time he moves up a rank, it's like
he's gotta tighten the screws a little more. I mean, just ‘cause--
You know, he didn't have--
Otis: Didn't have a father.
Boy: He's still pissed off about it.
Otis: When you're his age, you'll still be pissed
off about him.
Boy: How come you got into all this?
Otis: These are our people. There are Paynes in
Florida, in Oklahoma, in Piedras Negras
Boy: So I'm part Indian?
Otis: By blood you are. But blood only means what
you let it.
Boy: My father says from the day you're born,
you start from scratch. No breaks. No excuses. You gotta pull yourself
up on your own.
Otis: He's living proof of that, son. Living proof.
Scene 6: The Colonel and the Private [Scene
begins at 01:41:03 and runs to 01:44:46. For those with DVDs, it
begins ch. 31.]
The Colonel is standing facing the window of his office and
looking through a file. Behind him, standing at attention is a private,
a young African American woman, who along with the other soldiers,
has been tested for drugs. Her test was positive.
Colonel: Private Johnson, (putting her file
down on the desk) are you unhappy in the Army?
Private: No, sir.
Colonel: Then how would you explain that out of
one hundred and twenty people, you were the only one who came up
positive for drugs?
Private: I'm sorry, sir.
Colonel: When you were given the opportunity to
enlist, a kind of contract was agreed upon. Now I think the Army
has honored its part of that agreement.
Private: Yes, sir.
Colonel: Do you believe in what we're doing here,
Private: I can do the job, sir.
Colonel: What exactly do you think your job is,
Private: Uh, follow orders, do whatever they say.
Colonel: Who's "they"?
Private: The officers.
Colonel: And that's the job? Nothing about serving
your country? These are not trick questions, Private Johnson. You'll
be offered an Article 15 and you will go through the process one
way or the other. I'm just trying to understand how someone like
Private: You really wanna know?
Private: It's their country. This is one of the
best deals they offer.
Colonel: How do you think I got to be a Colonel?
Private: Being good at your job, doing what they
Colonel: "Do what they tell you"?
Private: I mean, follow orders, sir.
Colonel: With your attitude, Private, I'm surprised
that you want to stay in the service.
Private: I do, sir.
Colonel: (Somewhat sarcastically) Because
it's a job?
Private: (Stuttering) Outside it's such
a mess. It's, um,--
Colonel: Chaos. Why do you think they let us in
on the deal?
Private: ‘Cause they got people to fight.
You know, Arabs, yellow people, whatever. Might as well use us.
Colonel: It works like this, Private. Every solider
in the war doesn't have to believe in what he's fighting for. Most
of them fight just to back up the other soldiers in their squad.
They try not to get them killed. They try not to get them extra
duty. You try not to embarrass yourself in front of them. (The
Colonel walks over to the Private and straightens her hat.) Why
don't you start with that?
Private: Yes, sir. (The Colonel salutes her,
and she returns the salute.)
Private: Thank you, sir.
Scene 7: Football World [Scene begins at 01:45:18
and runs to 01:50:18. For those with DVDs, it is ch. 32.]
Sam goes to his ex-wife's house to retrieve some papers and
memorabilia he needs in order to sort out both what happened to
Charlie Wade and his own history. His ex-wife, Bunny, is watching
a football game when Sam enters the house. She appears juvenile
and wears a baseball jersey and cap.
Bunny: Longhorns are going to kick some serious
butt this Saturday, you just watch. (Giggles) We got a
kid, a tailback from down your way, out of El Indio–
Sam: Well, that's in Maverick County.
Bunny: Oh, right. And you're in?
Sam: In Rio.
Bunny: Right. This kid, Hosea Brown, he does the
forty in 3.4. Soft hands, lateral movement, the whole package. Only
Sam: Still go to all the home games?
Bunny: Daddy's got his box in the stadium and
I'll fly to the Cowboy away games when they're in the conference.
And Friday nights there's high school, of course. Churchill's got
this boy, six foot six, three hundred and ten, moves like a cat.
High school we're talking. Guess how much he can bench-press?
Sam: Bunny, you, un, you on that same medication?
Bunny: Why, do I seem jumpy?
Sam: No, no. You look good. I was just wondering.
Bunny: Well, last year was awful with, you know,
with Mama passing on and this whole business with O.J., I mean,
it's not like it's Don Meredith or Roger Starbuck or one of our
boys, but it kind of threw me for a loop.
Sam: You look good.
Bunny: Then there was that squeaker the Aggies
dropped to Oklahoma, I mean, that son of a bitch stepped in some
lucky shit before he kicked that goal. If they hadn't pulled me
off that woman, I'd have jerked a knot in her.
Sam: Were you in a fight?
Bunny: Daddy calls it an altercation. How you
doing, Sam? You look skinny.
Sam: No, I'm the same weight I always was.
Bunny: Daddy hired a pinhead to take your job.
Says so himself. Says, "Even my son-in-law was better than
this pinhead I got now."
Sam: Bunny, uh, uh, that stuff I left in the garage
Bunny: Least he never called me that. With me
it was always "high-strung." "My Bunny would've done
something with her life if she wasn't so ‘high-strung.'"
Or "tightly-wound." That's another one.
Sam: You haven't had one of your fires, have you?
The stuff I left in the garage, some of it was my father's.
Bunny: Did you watch the draft this year? Of course
you didn't. Idiot question. They try to make it dramatic, like it's
a big surprise who picks who in the first round, only they been
going over it for months with their experts, and their computers,
doctor's reports, coaches' evaluations, highlight reels, psychological
profiles-- Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they collected stool
samples on these boys, had ‘em analyzed! All that to pick
a football player for your squad. Compared to that, what you know
about a person when you get married to ‘em doesn't amount
to diddly, does it?
Sam: No, I suppose not.
Bunny: You kind of bought yourself a pig in a
poke, didn't you, Sam? That whole time we were first seeing each
other, you didn't know that I was tightly wound.
Sam: It wasn't just you, Bunny.
Bunny: No, it wasn't, was it. You didn't exactly
throw yourself into it, heart and soul, now, did ya? Your shit's
still in the garage, if that's what you came for. (Sam gets
ready to leave; Bunny sits back down on the couch, and turns the
television back on to a football game. When she speaks again, it
is through sighs and tears.) Three hundred and fifty pounds.
That boy Churchill's got. He plays tackle both ways. Bench-presses
three hundred and fifty pounds. Imagine having all that weight on
you, pressing down. Be hard to breathe, hard to swallow.
Sam: I think they have another fella there to
keep it off your chest. A spotter.
Bunny: "I only got my little girl, now,"
he says. "She's my lifeline." Then he tells me I can't
sit in the box anymore if I don't control myself. Son of a bitch,
doesn't even watch the games, he just sits there drinking with his
business friends. Looks up at the TV now and then. I'd be better
off sitting in the cheap seats with some real football people.
Sam: You look good, Bunny. It's nice to see you.
Bunny: Thanks. I like it when you say that, Sam.
Camera cuts to garage, and we see Sam looking through boxes
of his father's papers. He pages through a book, finds an envelope
and opens it.
Sam: (reading the letter) Dearest, Buddy.
Scene 8: The Legend and the Truth [Scene begins
at 02:04:50 and runs to 2:07:29. For those with DVDs, it is the
end of ch. 37.]
As Sam discovers more of the past, he suspects that Hollis
and Otis know more than they have told him about Charlie Wade's
last night alive, and he believes that his father, Buddy Deeds,
killed Wade. When Sam does not find Hollis at his house, he drives
to Otis's bar, where Otis and Hollis are together, talking. They
finally describe Wade's death, which we see as a flashback. At the
beginning of the next scene, we see a shocked Hollis with his gun
extended. He has just shot Wade in order to save Otis's life.
Otis: (Voice over, as the scene returns to
the present) Sheriff Charlie was the whip hand for old Judge
Tibbs, who pretty much owned this county back then. If the truth
came out, he wasn't gonna go easy on Hollis. I don't know why I
trusted Buddy with it; don't know why he trusted me. The first time
I talked with him was right there and then, with a dead white man
leaking blood on the floor between us.
Hollis: The three of us cleaned up and took him
out by the post and put him under. I can't say I was much help.
Sam: And the ten thousand?
Hollis: Widow's benefits. He figured it'd make
the disappearance look better. And Mercedes was just scraping by
after Charlie killed her man. Buddy and her-- didn't get hooked
up until later.
Otis: Time went on, people liked the story we
told better than anything the truth might have been.
Hollis: It's your call, Sam.
Sam: I don't think the Rangers are likely to find
out any more than they already know. And as for me, it's just one
of your unsolved mysteries. He turns and walks toward the door.
Hollis: If word gets out who the body was, people
gonna think Buddy done it.
Sam: (turning back) Buddy's a goddamn
legend. He can handle it. (Sam turns around again, puts his
hat on, and walks out.) ‘Night, fellas.
Scene 9: Forget the Alamo [Scene begins at 02:07:29
and runs to 02:11:15. For those with DVDs, it is ch. 38.]
Sam is sitting on the hood of his car, which is parked in front
of the old drive-in movie screen, where he and Pilar used to watch
movies. A car drives up, and Pilar walks up and sits with him on
his hood. We have seen Sam and Pilar in flashbacks of their romance
as high school students, a romance that had been rejected by their
families. In an earlier scene, Sam admitted that he returned to
Perdido because Pilar was there. They have since rekindled their
love, but now must confront the truth of their relationship.
Pilar: Hey. When does the picture start?
Sam: Are you going to tell your mother we've been
seeing each other?
Pilar: She'll find out sooner or later. I don't
have to ask permission anymore, if that's what you mean.
Sam: You have any idea when your father died?
Pilar: Couple of months before I was born.
Sam: Try a year and a half. (Sam hands Pilar
a photograph of his father and her mother embracing near the water,
apparently a young couple.) Buddy bought the café for
her with money he took from the county.
Pilar: They can't pull this on me. It's not fair.
I don't believe this. (Sam takes her hand.)
Sam: He paid the hospital bill when you were
born. Your mother, she always calls you, "a beautiful daughter,"
in the letters she wrote to him.
Pilar: From the first time I saw you at school,
all those years we were married to other people, I always felt--
like we were connected.
Sam: I remember thinking, that you were the one
part of my life that Buddy didn't have a piece of.
Pilar: I can't have any more children. After Amado,
I had some complications. I can't get pregnant anymore, if that's
what the rule is about. So that's it? You're not gonna want to be
with me anymore?
Sam: If I met you for the first time today, I'd
still want to be with you. (Pilar kisses Sam's hand.)
Pilar: Start from scratch?
Pilar: All that other stuff and all that history,
the hell with it, right? (They look at each other and nod in
agreement. Then Pilar looks off.) Forget the Alamo.
The camera pans to a picture of them from behind, including
the blank drive-in screen, then to a broader picture of the scene,
where they are almost invisible, and then to black.