John: What's the book, boy?
Jack: Nothing, sir.
John: What's it about?
Jack: It's an adventure, sir. Set out in the West, and it tells this amazing story about how people killed the savage redskins and how this man, this brave man, hunts the man who killed his father.
John: I'm glad you're enjoying it. Talking of adventure, how'd you like to learn how to track elk? Really big ones in the valley this time of year. We could use the meat.
John: I know you'd rather read your adventures, but trust me, this can be very enjoyable in its own way. I suppose maybe its a little less dramatic. So, let's go, come on. You may see me get gored by some massive wild beast. Then you could write a story about that.
Jack: Very funny, Pa. I'd forgotten how funny you was.
John: Grab your things.
[They mount up.]
Marston: Alright, now stay close to the dog, son. When he finds somethin', you stay back and I'll show you how to make a kill.
Jack: Whatever you say, sir.
Marston: You sure you're ready for this?
Jack: I guess so.
Marston: Now the trick to hunting is calm and patience. You gotta think and move like an animal to catch an animal.
Jack: A rifle helps, doesn't it?
Marston: Elk don't stand still, son. You don't seem too excited about this.
Jack: What do you want me to say, Pa? Yippee?
Marston: Are you sure you're alright? I mean, I know all that business must have been hard on you.
Jack: It wasn't nothin'. I'm not a kid anymore.
Marston: Well, it won't happen again. It's over.
Jack: Until the next time, you mean?
Marston: There won't be a next time.
Jack: Don't make no more promises, Pa. I've heard them all before.
Marston: You know, one time I hunted a bear up in Tall Trees. You never seen a bigger animal in all your life...
Jack: I read this story about a girl who was raised by wolves. And she'd hunt goats with them and everything.
Marston: Sounds like a tall yarn to me.
Jack: Taller than a boy being taken from his home and locked up in a dungeon?
Marston: I'm just sayin', maybe you spend too much time with your head in those books.
Jack: I thought you and Ma wanted me to read?
Marston: We do. So long as you're not, well, hidin' from the real world.
Jack: It's a little late for that, Pa.
Marston: Look, I see one!
Jack: Yeah, I see it.
[Marston takes down the bull elk.]
Marston: Come on, I'll show you how to cut the meat.
Jack: I thought it was gonna get away. That was great, Pa!
Marston: You just gotta wait for the right shot, not rush it.
[John skins it.]
Marston: Hope you were watchin'. It'll be your turn next. Go on, Rufus, sniff us out a couple more.
Jack: Find another one, Rufus!
[They come up upon a few more.]
Marston: You ready to take a shot, Jack?
Jack: Of course, Pa!
Marston: Remember, it's all about timing. Wait for your moment, don't snatch at it.
Jack: I know, I know. I saw how you did it.
Marston: If you say so. Alright, when he finds them, you take the lead.
[Down a neary coulee...]
Jack: Look! They're over thee!
[Jack bags a few.]
Marston: You saw how I cut the meat, Jack. Now it's your turn.
[Jack does it, albeit slowly and with unsaid reservations.]
Marston: Nice work, son. You're a quick learner. Now, come on. Let's get this meat over to the trading post at Manzanita.
[They mount up.]
Jack: Did you see me?
Marston: You did good, son.
Jack: Can't we shot some more?
Marston: Only kill what you need. We'll go out again soon.
Jack: You know, I didn't think I was going to like it.
Marston: I told you you'd have fun, didn't I?
[They reach Manzanita.]
Marston: Alright, here we are. Jack, you wait here. I'll be just a moment.
[John sells the meat and mounts back up.]
Jack: How much did you make?
Marston: Never you mind. Enough to keep Rufus out of the stewin' pot for a couple of days.
Jack: And what about me? What do I get?
Marston: You get to eat, son.
Jack: But I did half the work! That ain't fair.
Marston: What can I say? I'm another corrupt landowner.
Jack: I'll be rich one day. Then you'll see.
Marston: I sure hope so. Then you can look after us when we get old.
Jack: What do you mean, "get" old. You are old.
Marston: We ain't old. Uncle's old.
Jack: Well, he should be in a museum.
Marston: Yeah, preserved in whiskey for the next thousand years. So, did you enjoy your first huntin' trip?
Jack: It was great, Pa.
Marston: Herdin' cows, huntin' elk. You're growing up. Proud of you.
Jack: I always told you I wanted to help.
Marston: You know, you and me, if we work hard, we can make something of this farm.
Jack: I'd like that.
Marston: And thank you for lookin' after your mother. She said you were very brave.
Jack: I tried to be strong, like you told me. But Ma, she can look after herself. She soon put those fellas in their place.
Marston: I can only imagine.
Jack: Oh, Pa, that was so much fun! I can't rightly believe it! Just like in the books.
John: We'll do it again soon. Now get to your chores.