[John walks into his yard for the first time in a long while.]
Marston: Abigail! Jack! Anyone here? Anyone home?
[His wife comes out.]
Marston: Oh darling, I never thought I'd see this day again.
[She starts hitting him.]
Abigail : You no-good, hillbilly, piece of shit! I thought you was dead. I thought you was dead, John. Huh! Where you been? Where you been?
Marston: You know where I've been, darling. You know.
Abigail: You saw Dutch, didn't you?
Marston: Yeah I saw him.
Abigail: And Bill?
Marston: Yeah, I saw him, too.
Abigail: And you didn't go back to 'em?
Marston: I left that life, just as you left yours. How did they treat you?
Abigail: I can take care of myself, John. One guard got funny on me one time, but I wasn't so ladylike and he didn't try it again, nor no one else.
Marston: How's the boy?
Abigail: Like you, and like me. Well, he's like a kid growing up without a father.
Marston: That ain't fair.
Abigail: What is fair?
Marston: Well, some trees flourish, others die. Some cattle grow strong, others are taken by wolves. Some men are born rich enough and dumb enough to enjoy their lives. Ain't nothing fair. You know that.
Abigail: We tried to change. I mean, ain't that what you're supposed to do?
Marston: We did change and it's over now.
[They embrace. Jack comes over.]
Marston: Jack! Jack, come here, boy.
Jack: Hello, sir.
Marston: Come here.
[He hugs John, too.]
Marston: How you been?
Jack: Coyotes ate all the chickens and, poachers took the cattle. I tried, father, I tried.
Marston: I know you did, son. I know.
Uncle: And don't you go blaming me, boy. Don't you go blaming me.
Marston: I ain't blaming no one, old man. But since you're still alive, there's four mouths to feed, and no cattle.
Uncle: That's a nice way to greet somebody. Why don't I gets a warm and tender embrace?
Marston: Consider the fact that I ain't put a bullet in you your embrace, old man. You were supposed to look after the place.
Uncle: I did...I did my best. Thing is, there was too many of 'em... I thought you was dead... I wasn't drinking...
Marston: Hold your excuses until you've figured out which one to use. Jack, go get you bags packed, boy. We've got work to do. We leave in the morning. Go on.
Jack: Yes, sir.
Abigail: Where are you going?
Marston: Well, it's getting kind of dark now, but in the morning we've got to go get ourselves some more cattle. I've got friends in MacFarlane's Ranch, it's over in Hennigan's Stead, who can sell us some. Now, Abigail, I hope you've learned to cook.
Abigail: Yes, didn't I say, rather than some prison, they actually kept me incarcerated in a cooking school for young ladies.
[The next morning, father and son saddle up.]
Marston: Are you ready? Let's haul out. How you feelin', Jack?
Jack: I'm feeling fine, sir.
Marston: We got a decent ride ahead of us.
Jack: I've never been to Hennigan's Stead. How do you know these ranchers?
Marston: I met them while I was away. The MacFarlanes are good people. We need folks we can trust right now.
Jack: Met them how?
Marston: I was sick, and they looked after me.
Jack: Sick how?
Marston: You sure got a lot of questions.
Jack: I don't often get a chance to ask them. Was it a gentleman's complaint? What do they call it, the morning drip?
Marston: Good god, boy. No! Where do you learn these things?
Jack: Uncle told me about it.
Marston: Well he'd know, the dirty old fool. No, I just got weak for a while. Acted foolishly. Got into trouble. Guess I was a little out of practice.
Jack: Hey Pa.
Jack: Where were you all that time? Where did you go?
Marston: What'd your mother tell you?
Jack: She said it was some kind of important government business.
Marston: That's about right. Some people thought I owed them some favors.
Jack: Why did they take us away?
Marston: They thought it wasn't safe for you here by yourselves. Those men harm you?
Jack: Ah no, they were okay. Some of them even told me stories. I think I'd like to be a government man someday, or-or a politician.
Marston: I'd rather you chose an honest profession.
Jack: Like you, you mean?
Marston: I know I ain't been the best father, Jack. I made some bad choices. But all that...that life...it's over now.
Jack: Pa, was it something to do with Mr. Dutch and Bill? Why you went away?
Marston: Who told you that?
Jack: I kept hearing people say their names, that's all.
Marston: Yeah, I caught up with Bill and Dutch. We had some old business needed settling.
Jack: Where are they now?
Marston: They're gone, son. We won't be seein' them again.
Jack: They were angry at you, weren't they? That's why we had to leave.
Marston: They was just good men who turned bad. I'll explain it to you one day.
Jack: And what does that make you?
Marston: I guess I'm a-a bad man who tried to be a good father, I don't know. Every man has the right to change, a chance at forgiveness. Ain't that what the good book says?
Jack: You've never read me the good book, sir.
Marston: Well, I imagine that's what it says. So, you ready to learn about herdin' cattle?
Jack: I've never seen you herd anything, Pa. Apart from the odd pack of drunks.
Marston: The MacFarlanes were good to me, and I helped them out in return. I learned a few things along the way. Wait till you see their ranch; it's what ours'll be someday.
Jack: I read in the newspaper that ranching's dead. Soon it will all be factories and businesses around here.
Marston: You shouldn't believe everythin' you read.
Jack: I was thinking maybe I might be a businessman.
Marston: I thought you wanted to be a writer.
Jack: Well I could be both. A rich industrialist who writes novels about the Old West on the side.
Marston: You can be whatever you want, son, but for now let's concentrate on gettin' some food on the table. Unless you're plannin' on strikin' literary gold in the next day or two, that is. We shouldn't talk now, Jack. We don't want to waste all our breath before we even get there. There's the ranch. C'mon, let's see if we can find Mr. MacFarlane.
[They pull into the ranch.]
Drew: John Marston! Now, there's a face I thought I'd never see again. Now, have our public servants in Blackwater sent you back on another homicidal errand to protect and save us from Lord only knows what?
Marston: Thankfully not, sir. I was hoping you might still be able to sell me some cattle.
Drew: My boy, it would be a pleasure. Bonnie's out at the corral now. She'll be more than happy to help you.
Marston: Take care now, Mr. MacFarlane. Good luck.
[They visit the corral.]
Marston: Alright, Jack. You're going to have an important job. I want you to lead the herd, while I drive them from the back. Keep us all movin' in the right direction.
Jack: Sure, Pa. I can do that no problem.
Bonnie : Good Lord, do my eyes deceive me? A devil walks among us.
Marston: I said I'd be back when this was all over, Miss MacFarlane. After the barn fire, you remember?
Bonnie: Of course I remember, I just didn't believe a word of it. So, you've come for some cattle?
Marston: Yeah. I'm finally starting up my farm again. Or...trying to, at least.
Bonnie: You'll be fine. You've been taught well. Come on then.
Marston: Jack, keep 'em headed towards the river.
Bonnie: I'll ride with you until you get them off the ranch.
Drew: Good luck, John! Come back and see us sometime.
Bonnie: So, what happened? Last I heard you headed for some exotic escapade in Mexico.
Marston: It's a long story. Too long to tell without a drink in my hand.
Bonnie: So, is this your boy?
Marston: Yeah. Say hello to Miss MacFarlane, Jack.
Marston: The arrogance of youth. He gets a little fur on his lip and he thinks he knows best all of a sudden.
Bonnie: Ahuh. Must take after his father.
Bonnie: How's your wife?
Marston: She's well, I think. We haven't had much time to talk yet.
Bonnie: Well, I'm glad you're back together again.
Marston: It's gonna take some time. We've all been through a lot. How's the ranch?
Bonnie: We're surviving. But it hasn't gotten any easier.
Marston: If you're still struggling, there's not much hope for me.
Bonnie: Looks like you got 'em under control. I'd best get back to Pa.
Marston: Nice to see you again, Miss MacFarlane. And thanks for everything.
Bonnie: Call me Bonnie, you dolt!
[She turns back.]
Marston: Alright, Jack! Let's get them through the river. You're doing a good job, son. Just lead them straight up the hill towards home.
Jack: Will do, Pa.
Marston: Wait! Slow down! They look like rustlers! Stay back, son. I'll hold them off. (after slaying them) I think that's all of them. Jack, wait there! I'm comin'. You alright? You're not hurt are you?
Jack: No, I'm fine-I'm fine. I-I wasn't scared. Honest.
Marston: Sorry you had to see that, son. Those men won't be stealin' from anybody else. Jack, head left up the road towards home.
Jack: I know where I'm going, Pa!
[They get back to the ranch.]
Marston: Alright, now lead them into the pen. Nice work, son.
Jack: We made it!
Marston: You did real good out there. Go on. Hitch your horse and wait for me by the stable.
Marston: You did a good job, son. Nice shooting.
Jack: Thanks, Pa.
Marston: Make a rancher out of you yet.