Wilderness Road, The (2021)

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Wilderness Road, The (2021)

Post by bunniefuu »

(crickets chirping)

(indistinct chatter)

- Father forbade me from seeing him.

He wasn't willing to

admit that his daughter

was ready for courting.

So, we'd sneak out at night,

with my long winter cape and

I'd put him under the cape.

(group applauds and laughs)

And in the morning we

would leave the same way.

(group laughs)

A little music.

(violin plays and feet stamp)


- I have something I'm a show you.

- This is quite the welcome, thank you.

I know you weren't happy

about it but we were in love.

(folk music continues)

- A fathers is never ready

to see his daughter leave.

But you shouldn't have

took her to Diamond Island,

it's no place for my daughter.

- I have plenty of friends

there, we were safe.

- Friends you say?

It's a den of thieves.

- Can I dare say, a few of

those men you might have seen

when they were soldiers

fighting for this great land,

much like you, Sam.

- We learned to do many things.

- I assure you she was safe.

Did you not have something to show me?

- Yes.

(folk music continues)

(footsteps crunching)

(crickets chirping)

I've been looking for a plot of land

to build a cabin for you two.

There's a bit of land back here.

Let's go back to the party.

(ominous music)

(men grunting)

- Father, what are you doing?

(daughter gasps)



(ominous music continues)


- [Sam] It had to be done.

- Yes father, I will dispose of him.

(footsteps crunching)

- I won't be made a fool.

(folk music continues quietly)

(melancholy music)

(door clicks)

I have no idea when we shall return.

- Do not, you do not belong here.

I scarcely recognize the man I wed.

- That man stands before you

and that man shall always be that man.


or elsewhere.

- Father!

(melancholy music continues)

The law will be at our

heels if we do not leave.

- There was a time when the

law knew the difference,

between an outlaw,

and me.

(footsteps banging)

(horses clopping)

- [Little Harpe] Thus began

Samuel Mason's life of crime,

along with my big brother and I,

he was to become the most

notorious of those land pirates

who stalk the Natchez Trace.

Yet this was not the first blood

that flowed along that

passageway and the ones like it,

twas there since men cut

paths, through the wilderness.

(soft folk music)

(crickets chirping)

(footsteps crunching)

- I implore you Mr Langford,

please, reconsider.

All but a God-fearing man

would be tempted robbery

upon finding such a well-to-do

gentlemen like yourself,

traveling the wilderness

trace alone at night.

- I really must make haste sir,

if I'm to meet my associate

at our predetermined time.

- To live to meet your associate,

you should remain and

wait for other travelers.

Do not travel alone.

- I really must go.

- Then at least wait

until the light of day

and remain until morning.

- I have a bad feeling

of your leaving now sir,

it is foolhardy.

Please listen to my father

and delay until morning.

(clock jangles)


- As you wish.

But I will leave at first

light and postpone no longer.

- Put Mr. Langford's horse away safe.

- Gladly father.

(woman singing indistinctly=)

- May we water our animal mister?

- Oh, I, I'm not the proprietor

of this establishment but,

I do believe the water's

welcome to all who come and go.

You have a delightful voice ma'am.

- Well, that's nice of you to say, mister.

- Thomas Langford ma'am.

(footsteps banging)

They've stopped for water,

with your permission of course.

- Yes, by all means.

Those boiled eggs are just about ready,

if you're ready for them.

I made up some extras for

you to take on the road

with you too.

- Yes, thank you.

I'll be along momentarily.

- Can we get some eggs too?

I'm famished.

- And pay with what?

No, you're gonna wait.

- I'll k*ll us something along the trail.

We'll eat then.

- How'm I s'posed to grow this thing in me

if I'm only eating for one?

I need to eat for two.

- We only got the one meal yesterday.

I'm starving, and if I'm

starving then this baby

is starving too.

- I said we'll eat later!

And we will!

- Please, excuse my boldness sir but,

I couldn't help in

overhearing your predicament.

May I invite you all to join

me for breakfast, as my guest?

That is, if you are agreeable?

(ominous music)

We've all fallen on hard

times at one point or another

in our lives.

Well there's, there's no

shame in taking a helping hand

from those more, more

fortunate when ones offered.

It would be my pleasure sir, please.

- Do you imply, mister,

that I can't take care of my own family.

- No, no, not at all.

I'm merely a lonely traveler,

craving some company

and some conversation,

nothing more.

And if I can help some fine folk like you,

that have fallen upon hard

times in the process well,

that will make me the happier still.

I intended no offense sir.

Please, allow me this,

this small indulgence.

Join me.

- I do not need, nor accept charity.

- What my brother is trying to say,

Mr. Langford,

is we will breakfast with you,

but we wanna earn that meal.

We'll do something for you in return.

I see that you're traveling alone.

Perhaps we could accompany you,

provide escort for you?

Where did you say you were going?

- Toward Crab Orchard.

- As are we.

So here's what's gonna

happen, Mr. Langford.

We will partake, of your

very generous hospitality.

And then by way of recompense,

we'll travel with you to Crab Orchard.

My brother and I ensuring

safe passage for us all.

You see,

as loyalist soldiers,

we've done our fair share

of fighting and k*lling,

when it was required.

It would be an ill-fated

decision for any highwaymen

to accost us, on the wilderness road.

- Did you say you were loyalist?

To the crown?

- To the crown, you heard that well.

- Gentlemen, we have an agreement.

Let us fill our bellies.

(footsteps banging)

(footsteps crunching)

(footsteps banging)

Would you be so kind as to

serve up those surplus eggs

you prepared for me,

for my new friends and

traveling companions?

I will no longer be

traveling unaccompanied

you will be pleased to know.

- And if it's conversation

you're after Mr. Langford,

then sit right 'cause Sally

can talk the hind legs

off a donkey.


- May I?

- Sit wherever you like.

- I didn't wanna sit between

you and your wife, sir.

That would be impolite.

Although I am having a bit of trouble

discerning who here belongs to who is all.

(fork bangs)

- I don't belong,

to no man

and for a certainty to know,

one thing,


you see when I'm with a man,

it's because I choose to be.

And if he ain't keeping me satisfied,

(blows kiss)

well then, I simply find myself,

a man that will.

- And this big hunk o' man?

He belongs to me, mostly.

- And this big fella, is mine.

(all laughing)

(eggs clattering)

- So tell me Mr.

Langford, are you married?

- [Big Harpe] I must

forewarn you Mr Langford,

we will be making frequent

stops along the way.

(birds cheeping)

(crickets chirping)

(soft music)

- [Captain Ballenger] I

may not know yet the name

of his poor m*rder*d soul,

but I presume to know the

names of those that k*lled him.

The brothers Macajah and Wiley Harpe.

They are Tories, loyalists, murderers,

devoid of conscience and of mercy,

and without motive.

These men are named as

suspects in the murders

of several persons of late.

The most recent being that

of one of their accusers,

a man named Johnson from Jefferson County.

He with others captured the

Harpes in the act of stealing

horses, gutted, and his

cavity filled with stones

to weigh him down.

If it were not for his

remains being disturbed

by the fast flowing water,

his body would never

have risen to the surface

and been discovered.

I speculate that many more

have met this same fate

at the hands of the Harpe brothers.

But of them, we may never know.

- The k*lling of Johnson

has awakened a blood lust

in these men.

And the citizens of Tennessee and Kentucky

live in fear of them.

Settlers in all sections

of the Middle West

are rightly afraid.

- Captain Ballenger, these

outrageous acts must cease

and these men brought to justice

as a matter of great urgency.

- I agree wholeheartedly Mr. Blaine

- Then take as many men as are willing,

and go hunt them down.

(chair banging)

And Ballenger, act swiftly,

before the trail grows cold.

- Yes, sir.

I'll gather men and provisions

and depart post haste.


(soft music)

I wish we had more men.

Underestimate the

malevolence of these people

to your own peril sir,

they will give no quarter.

Sneak round and come in from behind.

When I see you're in position,

I will ride in from the front.

(g*n cocks)

(foliage rustling)

(Sally humming)

- k*lled with his own blade.

It would have been less

painful, if he'd kept it sharp.

(dramatic music)

(horse trotting)

- You're under arrest.

(dramatic music continues)

Hold your guard, sir!

(dramatic music continues)

- Hey that's mine!

- Is that so? Mr. Langford?

- [Sally] Well I found

it, therefore it's mine.

- Who the hell are you?

- Captain Ballenger, you're under arrest.

- I'm Micajah Harpe,

some call me Big.

- And I'm Little.

- I know who you are.

(dramatic music continues)

(footsteps crunching)

Strip these men and

search their belongings.

(Little Harpe grunts)

Put this one in iron's.

Rope will suffice for the others.

(dramatic music continues)

(irons jangling)


- Step forward and have your

piece of me if you dare!

Fight me!

I'll brawl with any one

of ya, just step on up!

What about you?!

Maybe you big boy, come on!

Defeat me and I'll submit

myself to the courts

and the noose without further protest!

That's what you want int it!

If I lose, you can pass

your own judgment on me!

But if I win, I win our freedom!

Are there any two men and all of Kentucky

who'd face me together?


No cowards!

Get back behind the skirts

of your women and stay there,

before I don't give you

a choice in the matter!

Cowards, the lot of ya!

(hammer banging)

(Big Harpe grunts)

(crickets chirping)

(soft music)

- You there,


fetch some water so she

can clean that wound.

That was no request.

You choose to dislike us.

But you hardly knows us.

That is not a very shrewd decision.

We will not be incarcerated forever.

You do understand that, don't you?

My brother and I, we may

not be spared the noose,

but these women will.

In a matter of time, they

will regain their liberty

and seek vengeance upon our persecutors

and their families, who

will be b*rned alive,

in the beds where they sleep.



do you wish that upon you and yours

over a simple bowl of water?

John Bigler isn't it?

Everyone knows the jailer of Danville.

Don't be so scared John,

we can still be friends.

Shall we begin again?

Now fetch some water,

my new friend.

(water gurgles)

(crickets chirping)

(Biegler grunting)

- [Biegler] Don't hurt me!

- Why would I hurt you, John?

We're friends aren't we?

I appreciate my friends.

And I think you and I are

going to be very good friends,

don't you?

- [Biegler] Yes sir.

Real good friends.

(soft music continues)

- How were they able to escape

right under your nose, Biegler?

Were you sleeping?

- No, sir.

I don't know how they, how they got out.

Maybe they had somebody

helping them from the outside.

- [Blaine] And why do you remain here?

- As we have insisted all along sir,

we are not with these men by choice,

but under duress.

- Those women are liars Mr. Blaine.

Allow them to stay here and

deliver their evil spawn,

I guarantee the moment they're released,

they'll go back to their old ways.

- You still hold that they're accomplices

in those murders Captain?

- I do sir, and I'll prove it.

Permit me to follow 'em on their release.

I wager they'll lead

me right back to their

murderous husbands.

Why, they only remain now

because of the inconvenience

of being with child.

- Ladies,

you had the opportunity to escape today

and chose to remain.

When you are released, you

will be free of these men

and free to start over as you please,

I urge you to make the

most of that opportunity.

(footsteps crunching)

- Whatever your sins were,

they've been accounted for.

The Lord has forgiven you,

now go and sin no more.

- These few clothes and

supplies should be sufficient

to help you get back on your feet.

To start afresh and follow

the path of the righteousness.

- Thank you both, you are too kind.

I was hoping to bid farewell

to Mr. Biegler, our jailer,

he was most kind to us

during our incarceration but,

I haven't seen him for some weeks now.

- Mr. Biegler, I'm told, bought

some land, took up farming.

- Well, then let the Lord bless him.

- Yes, yes.

(soft music)

- [Little Harpe] The women

disappeared down river.

Captain Ballenger pursued

them for days to no avail.

And he was finally

forced to concede defeat.

Knowing they had surely been

reunited with Big and I.

- Dammit!

- [Little Harpe] But he would

not be the last to follow

our bloody trail.

There would be many more.

(soft music continues)

- They're close.

I can smell 'em.

(screaming and wailing)

(branches snapping)

Where y'all going?

(wailing continues)


Well I'll be damned.

(dramatic music)

(grass rustling)

(dramatic music continues)

(violin playing)

(indistinct chatter)

- That's far enough, mister.

- Sir, I mean you no harm.

- That so?

- My name is Henry Skaggs,

I'm a long hunter out of

Kentucky and I need your help.

I'm hunting the Harpe brothers.

- All on your own.

- So you have heard of 'em.

- Come, have something to drink.

- Mister I don't think you heard me.

- Oh, I heard you and

that's why I'm offering

you something to drink and that's all.

- Look around you.

I see women and children.

If we choose do nothing,

they could be next.

- I see the same as you Mr.

Skaggs, women, children,

and just a few able men,

now does that look like a posse to you?

- The Harpes are animals, with

the right number of people

we can put them down, for good.

- Mr. Skaggs we're not soldiers

here, just simple folk.

- Look, I understand

your want and your need

to keep your people and families safe.

But are any of you truly safe

with the Harpes on the loose?

- My sister and her husband

were supposed to be here

three weeks ago.

I fear the worst.

- You owe it to your people

and you to your family to help.

Don't let their fate be

determined by our inaction.

- Mr. Skaggs, we can't

help and that's final.

Now my offer of food

and drink still stands.

- So you would fill your belly,

while they cut open others.

- That's enough, be on your way.

- I shall.

For your sake I hope he's

made the right choice.

(violin starts playing)

- I know a man you might ask for help.

His name's Trabue.

He was once a-

- A Colonel.

He live in these parts?

- In a cabin.

Just a mile or so east off the road.

- Thanks.

Perhaps your sister will

find her way to you.

- Thank you.

And God speed.

(footsteps crunching)

- Hold it right there!

Unless you want some lead in your gut.

- Good afternoon, Colonel.

- Well I'll be damned.

Henry Skaggs, set that long r*fle down

and come up here and

pour yourself a drink.

- Think I'll do just that.


- Well, well,

what brings you out this way?

(soft music)

- Well Colonel,

just not many men in these parts with your

talent for fighting.

- No.

- At least hear me out.

- [Trabue] No, Mr. Skaggs,

I am done.

I got my boy here and

I'll be damned if I'm gonna go out there

and die on the trail

chasing God knows what.

- I understand Colonel, really I do,

but I can't just stand by

while innocents are robbed,

torn asunder.

These are ordinary folk Colonel.

They're not soldiers.

- Are the stories true?

- [Henry] About the Harpes?

- Yes.

- Yes.

Every damn bit of it.

Every man, woman, and child,

they are the meaning of horror Colonel.

Bodies found cut open, filled with rocks

and thrown in the river.

Whole families found m*rder*d

with their heads bashed in.

- Damn,

I can't do it Henry, I really can't.

I got my boy John here and

he's just not ready to be on his own yet.

- Well,

I had hope.

I just can't seem to keep

a group of men together

long enough to catch these bastards.

We get close and they turn tail and run.

- You will find 'em Henry.

Evil always finds its end

at the hands of good men.

(dog wailing)

- Colonel?

- [Colonel] Shh.

(ominous music)

That's Jasper.

- Who's Jasper?

- Jasper's my boys dog, they

travel everywhere together.

(Jasper wailing)

- Something aint right.

- Oh hell!


Skaggs, take him up to the house.



Answer me boy!

- Goodbye little fella.

- John!


(ominous music continues)

(branches snapping)



John, John, John.


(dramatic music)

(Trabue breathes heavily)

I'm in.

- Colonel?

- I said I'm in.

You help me bury my son,

and we'll k*ll these sons of b*tches.

(dramatic music continues)

(g*nsh*t bangs)

- [Little Harpe] Now

with Trabue at his side,

Skaggs was able to convince a lot more

to do the right thing.

(g*nshots popping)

A group of regulators was formed.

(g*nsh*t pops)

They set out and scoured the land.

(g*nsh*t pops)

Rounding up and putting

so many outlaws to justice

in the name of old judge lynch.

The regulators searched

high and low, far and wide,

(g*nsh*t pops)

hung and sh*t many.

(g*nsh*t pops)

Some d*ed that maybe shouldn't have,

but the territory was made

safer for the families,

for the travelers.

The Colonel and Skaggs searched everywhere

they could for us.

But as fate would have it,

the death of young John would

not be avenged by his father.

Yes, we would meet our end eventually,

but not at the hands of Trabue

and his courageous companion.

I suppose it is inevitable that

all roads lead to one place.

And so it happens the wilderness road

brought us all together.

All of us bad men, at Cave In Rock.

- This thing any good?

- It ain't never failed me before,

least not 'til this morning.

- Hey!

That g*n didn't fall asleep on the watch.

(soft music)

(grass rustling)

Moses, what you bring them here for?

- Just here waiting on their husbands.

- Husbands?

(footsteps crunching)


Thomas, take the prisoners to the cave.

- Come on.

- Keep 'em tied up tight.

Figure out what to do with 'em later.

Hey Billy,

you finish up over there.

Yeah it must be them.

All women with babies,

traveling with no men.

- Maybe they were just passing through.

We could ask 'em.

- No, y'all stay away from 'em.

This place,

used to be for men like us.

Honorable outlaws.

Now there are too far and few between,

like those filthy ass Harpes.

They show up, regulators

ain't too far behind.

- Where are we going?

- I don't know, wherever they ain't.

- [Woman] I knew you'd come.

- [Big Harpe] Of course we came.

If I said, we'd come, we come.

(ominous music)

- I'll be leaving at dawn.

And you, you feel safe to

stay, feel free to stay.

But Thomas,

you fetch the prisoners at sun up,

they ain't going with us.

We gotta figure a place to drop 'em.

(ominous music continues)

(footsteps banging)

- I can't find 'em?

- Dammit Thomas!

I told you to tie 'em tight!


(bodies thud)

(manic laughing)

- [Mason] sh*t, what

the hell happened here?

- Holy sh*t! I bet y'all aint never seen

nothing like that before.

(manic laughing)

- Yeah! No one has.

(manic laughing)

- What the hell?

(laughing continues)

Did you see 'em go splat?!


Come on boys, you know a joke

when you see one don't ya?

- You need to pack up

your women and leave here!

- Well brother, I guess

we've overstayed our welcome.

Though we've only been here a day.

- No room at the inn says the innkeeper.

- No room?

Every highwayman and bandit

within a hundred miles

has been run out of

here by them regulators

looking to string you two up.

- Pack your women up and go.

And clean that g*dd*mn

mess of a man and woman up

you made down there!


(ominous music)

- See ya later.

(soft music)

- This was just starting

to feel like home.

- Well, it won't be once

those trigger happy farmers

come looking for the Harpes.

South to the trace we go.

(soft music continues)

(soft folk music)

(baby wailing)

(water sploshing)

(soft folk music continues)

(baby wailing)

(footsteps crunching)

- What's all this?

- It's too somber to be a hanging.

(footsteps crunching)

Where you going?

There's too much of a crowd!

The women are waiting for us!

(footsteps crunching)

- Brothers and sisters,

I welcome you today into

the presence of the Lord.

He is here,

- [Crowd] Amen.

here with us all right now.

And his message is,

he loves you, loves you all.

And he wants you to sin, no more.

Refrain from drink and loose women.

Refrain from casting a

covetous eye on your neighbor.

Refrain from cussing

and taking his name,

in vain.

- [Crowd] Amen, Amen.

- If he loved us so much,

he'd send more loose women

not ask us to refrain.

- Shush.

- He loves you, loves you like a mother.

Aint nothing you done, aint

nothing you could ever do,

could make him give up,

on loving you.

- Well, in that case I

guess he's gonna forgive

all the evil things we done.

(branches snap)

- And he wants you to know this love.

Isn't that right Lord?

(trumpet blowing)

I hear it!

The trumpet of Gabriel calling!

Do your hear it brothers and sisters?!

(trumpet blowing)

Do you hear it calling?!

(trumpet blowing)

(rock bangs)

(man grunts)

- Ha, ha, ha, charlatan!

False prophet!

- Now, brothers and sisters, please.

(grass rustling)

- He fooled us all!

- Lets get him!

(grass rustling)

- Look what I done, brother.

(crickets chirping)

So I throws the rock and it hits the tree

right beside his head and

he comes tumbling down

to the ground and the

horn right after him.

(all laughing)

Oh, if you could see

the faces of the crowd,

when the trumpet hit the ground.

(all laughing)

- Keep them damn things quiet!

Can't a man get no peace in his own camp?

(babies crying)

- Brother, imagine those sheep

thinking the Lord himself

had come down to some muddy Kentucky field

just because a backwoods

preacher had called for it.

(all laughing)

(baby crying)

- I said quiet dammit!

One of them regulator's gonna

hear them things screaming!

And we all gonna hang for it.

(babies crying)

(crickets chirping)

(baby crying)

- Come on, if that were to happen,

you could just repent and

call on the Angel Gabriel

and he would come down and

lift you up into the heavens.

- Argh!

(dramatic music)

(baby crying)

(baby thuds)

(dramatic music intensifies)

(breathes heavily)

- I k*lled your child.

What are you gonna do about it?

- What's mine is yours brother.

What's mine,

is yours.

- Yeah, it's good to see

preachers around these parts.

A few weeks ago, the horse preacher, Eli,

he was found to be a charlatan.

He was using a boy in a tree

to be the Angel Gabriel.

- Sacrilege!

- Yeah.

And it's a shame our

country's become so godless

and needs our preachers

to be so heavily armed.

- These weapons were gifted to us.

- His blessing.

- You can't be too careful in these parts.

I hear, the Harpes are coming this way.

- As have I,

no doubt to ambush their

sworn enemy Colonel Trabue.

I hear he's gathering

regulators on account

of what they've done to his boy.

And they aim to have them

Harpe brothers hanged.

- Terrible that we've heard tell.

Perhaps we should pay

Colonel Trabue a visit?

- Yes.

- Pray for him.

- That would be good.

I apologize for the meager meal gentlemen,

there's not much venison

as I haven't been hunting

in the past few weeks.

I seem to have run out of powder

and it's in short supply out here.

- Out of powder?

- No gentlemen, I possibly couldn't.

- Nonsense.

We're taking the last of a man's meat.

At least we can do is give him the powder

to catch something else.

- Bless you, brothers.

It seems you have more

experience at this that I.

Would you like to say grace?

- Let us pray.

Oh Lord, we are much obliged

for this food we have here.

May it give us the sustenance

to carry on your work.

(stiffled laugh)

May the gunpowder, we lent this man

give him a successful hunt

and may Colonel Trabue,

find the Harpes

and bring those evil bastards to justice.


- Amen.

- Amen.


- [Little Harpe] While we

masqueraded as men of the cloth,

some believed we were the

incarnation of the devil himself.

No justice of man could bring our end

and soon it was on only

prayer that men depended.

(rain clattering)

(thunder rumbling)

(baby gurgling)

(thunder rumbling)

(rain clattering)

- I've got food for ya.

- The brothers will be coming by tonight.

They'll need food and a place to sleep.

- Must they?

- It's part of the arrangement.

- What do I do if the baby

cries and keeps 'em awake?

- Keep the baby quiet.

(thunder rumbling)

And keep your mouth shut, no names.

- Are you headed out?

Is your home open for a night's rest

and a meal and shelter from the storm?

- If you're paying?

- Of course.

(coins clatter)

- Fix him some supper.

Gonna be moving on at

first light. Mr. Love.

- Thank you for your hospitality.

- This is a fine meal.

You had a good raising,

I can tell by the taste of your food.

- I've never heard such a thing.

- It's been long told that

you can read a woman's raising

by the richness of her flavors.

- My daddy was a carpenter and a dreamer.

We were gonna live on the

banks of the Mississippi river.

- Savages?

- Mm, mm.

Our flatboat ran aground.

I had been terrified, ever

since we got on that river,

whole time I just kept thinking about

my Blue Ridge Mountains.

Wonder why they weren't enough for him.

We were following Colonel Donaldson.

He got in the current and he

couldn't get back to help us.

I saw what they did to my mom and daddy.

I've never seen so much blood.

Me and a couple of others got away.

I don't recall much else after that.

Except when Moses found me.

I remember when he got me.

- And the others?

- I don't know.


My favorite time of year

on the mountain is winter.

Snow is so beautiful.

It's pure white and the

way the sun'll hit it.

Take your breath away.

- This is a beautiful country.

Perhaps one day it's people

will match its splendor.

(baby gurgles)

(door knocking)

(door clicking)

(ominous music)

- Preacher.

- Bless you ma'am.

- William Love.

- I'm Jamieson Crenshaw.

This is my,

brother in Christ, Malachi Johnson.

- Are we late for dinner?

(ominous music continues)

(crockery rattles)

- Let us pray.

Our father who art in heaven,

we give thanks for this meal prepared

by the hands of your child.

And we also give thanks

for this fellowship

of like-minded followers.

We pray your hand of

protection over our lives.

As we defend ourselves

against the devil incarnate

that roams this country.


- Amen.

- You're getting quite

good at that brother.

- [Big Harpe] What news of the Harpes?

- They hadn't been seen but in a few days,

but Squire McBee had

visitors a few nights past,

his dogs kept them at bay.

Could have been savages but

McBee swears he could feel

the Harpes in his bones.

Claims that he could smell evil.

- Squire McBee was lucky.

His good dogs were a distraction.

- Don't confuse luck,

with the deliverance

of our father's grace.

It is his hand alone that saves us.

- Indeed.

- What brings you to the trace?

- The Lord leads us where he needs us.

- You'll only find

carnage behind the Harpes.

It don't matter.

Go west or, or go back east.

They'll k*ll you for your g*ns alone.

- I hear they'll k*ll you for less.

- Thank you for the meal,

I'd like to wash up.

Get some rest.

- Mr. Love is up in the loft,

there's room in the barn.

- No, no, no, I won't hear of it.

It's not safe.

I'll be parting ways at dawn and any ways,

there's enough room up

there for all three of us.

- Mr. Love, you have

such a generous spirit.

You shall be blessed.

(loud snoring)

(loud snoring continues)

(loud snoring continues)

(loud snoring continues)

(lips smacking)

(ominous music)

(axe thuds)

(baby giggling)

(baby crying)

- Coffee?

- I didn't hear Mr. Love leave?

- Oh, he departed.

(baby wailing)

A long time ago.

(baby crying continues)

- Shush, shush.

- Just let her cry ma'am.

It's only natural she

makes a sound like that.

- It is a cold morning.

Shall I keep the fire going?

- Yeah.

(baby crying)

- You look just like my little one.

(baby crying)

- Shush, shush, shush.

(wood bangs)

(ominous music)

(baby crying)

(fire crackling intensely)

(somber music)

- We seen the smoke and come a-running!

- I won't stop until they're dead.

- I've seen enough death and enough blood.

Let the law take them.

- Like hell I will!

- It can't be!

- I'm going to get my horse.

Y'all be ready.

- They'll k*ll us all.

- You're either with me,

or you're dead McBee.

- Dammit to hell!

- We've used all the firepower I can get.

But I get to k*ll, both of them.

(lively folk music)

(horses trotting)

(lively folk music continues)

(baby crying)

- Lets get moving.

- Let us stay here,

you can come back for us later.

- Doesn't seem like you care

too much for us these days.

- We can't go on.

(baby crying)

- You going barefoot?

I'm not gonna hurt you.


(dramatic music)

(baby crying)

(dramatic music intensifies)

- Where'd they go?

(babies crying)

- You're never gonna catch them!

- Easy Stegall!

- The bodies of my wife and child

were too hot for me to touch!

- Watch out for that tomahawk

or it's gonna end up stuck in your back!



- Are you gonna (indistinct) stitches?

(babies wailing)

(dramatic music)

- Dammit!

- Here, take mine!

k*ll the bastard!

(dramatic music continues)


(g*nsh*t bangs)


(grunting continues)


- Hey, I know this man.

He gave me his powder.

You sh*t him with it.

- He's still breathing.

- Well not for long.

- Hello Moses.

- If he dies, let him die,

if not deliver him to Danville.

- Wake up!

I want you conscious when I cut your head.

- Water.

- Moses! Ain't what you seen enough?

- I k*lled my brother

(indistinct) in a fit of rage,

it's my only regret.

He didn't deserve to die like that.


You're a g*dd*mn rough butcher!

(indistinct) be damned!

(dramatic music)

(Big Harpe gurgling)

(dramatic music)

- [Little Harpe] There they

left his head as a marker

for all to see,

as a warning to all of our kind.

Susan, Betsy and Sally went

on to live normal lives,

almost as if their past

was only a nightmare.

And of the one who got away.

I vanished from sight.

But would soon return along another road.

The Natchez Trace.

(dramatic music)

- You know who that is?

That's the remains of a villainous outlaw.

Some called him Big Harpe.

They placed his skull there two years ago,

as a warning to other

outlaws, like myself.

Do you know who I am?

- Yes, sir.

You're Captain Samuel Mason.

- [Mason] Captain?

- Fought for our independence.

- Not many remember so.

You are one John Swaney.

In charge of carrying the mail

from Natchez to Nashville,

dangerous journey for a man to be making

every two weeks.

- Yes sir.

- Big Harpe,

he was no outlaw though, no not him.

He was a savage and a brute,

no regard the life of man, woman or child.

He'd slay anyone that got in his path.

Hell! He was more savage than the savages!

- As many times as I've

been through these woods,

I've never noticed.

I slept under that very

tree not very long ago,

to find rest under the

remains of such a man.

- No harm'll come to you.

I'm here to find out

about what you've heard

on your travels.

- They say sir, that

you're a gentlemen robber.


- Well that I am, a

gentlemen and a robber.

Mr. Swaney, I think you

can do better than that.

- I'm not sure what news I may have

that would be any value to ya.

- All word is a value to someone.

Where would that leave you?

I'm betting you're privy

to a lot more information

than you know.

If word tells it, I've

been associated with

the likes of him.

- Sir there's been some talk.

- Well go on.

- There's a tale that there

was a traveler passing through

Natchez, an older woman

there stitched $600

into clothes he was wearing.

He was found robbed, k*lled

just a few days later.

- What does that have to do with me?

- Well in (indistinct),

they say you're men

are the ones that did it.

Some say they saw your men

in the area when it happened.

Some say your g*ng has

taken up the traditions

of the Harpes, k*lling,

not slaughtering like them.

- A damn lie!

g*dd*mn lie!

I don't k*ll for the sake of k*lling,

not like those despicable sons of Tories!

I don't k*ll no one, but I

can't account for the actions

of each and every one of my men.

Rarely and under the duress

of the circumstances,

my men may not have been given the choice,

but to be compared to the

brutality of a filthy Harpe.

- Nobody who's met you

thinks so, nobody sir.

If I may speak true, it's just rumors

to try to turn the people against you.

- Swaney,

I asked and you told me, that's fair.

I will call on you from time to time,

for now carry on your route,

but tell no one that we spoke.

And sleep sound, knowing

that you have no fear

from me or my men.

That sir, I will guarantee.

- Captain!

The rivers are swollen up north.

There'll be heading this way.

It'll just be a matter

of time, maybe a week.

If I were you I'd stick

to the higher ground.

(soft music)

(cicadas clicking)

(grass rustling)

- We thought they was coming back,

when we heard you getting

close, bit jumpy I guess

after last night.

- What happened?

- We was ambushed.

There were six of 'em,

but you could tell that

the old man was in charge.

- Mason?

- Yeah sir, that's the name he used.

- Was anybody wounded?

- No sir, not a soul.

- The old man, he only let

'em take half our food.

- They took a couple of pack horses

and most of our weapons

and God only knows what else.

- They took my only pants.

(all laughing)

What? You lot think you have

britches big enough to fit?


What are we gonna to do?

We need our supplies.

- I can spread the word

at the next settlement,

but it'll be a day before

somebody can get here, if then.

Robbers will be gone two counties by then.

I think the only thing for y'all to do is

form up and go after 'em.

They're not gonna use

anything that they don't need.

(grass rustling)

- All right.

- Yes.


I've found my pants!

- All right!

- Gentlemen, you best

collect your assets, move on.

(grass rustling)

Never look back, see me again.


(folk music)

- Captain Mason, Thomas,

it's splendid to see you both again.

I trusted you were thirsty.

- The last few months been good?

- They most certainly have,

there are now more people

moving to and through

Natchez than ever before.

- With good fortune,

comes concern for caution.

Thomas said we shouldn't show our faces

when we ride into town today.

And after seeing some of

the looks as we rode in,

I believe him to be right.

- Sir, I do have some urgent news for you.

There's a Colonel Baker

in town who was stirring

the governor against you,

he is rushing him to make a

proclamation for your arrest.

I'm distressed to say I only

heard this moments before

your arrival.

There's no word as to when he may do this.

But a reward of $900 for

your capture was mentioned.

- He's just mad because

he let an old m*llitary man

get the best of him.


The best thing he can do, is

accept defeat and move on.

Alas, traitor he will always be.

And he didn't even attempt to

raise his p*stol against me.

Just stood there, shaking,

embarrassing himself in front of his men.

- I know the type.

I must say I'm concerned

that posting up a reward

may bring trouble against

you sooner rather than later.

- Anthony, I think we need to

cut this conversation short,

continue at a later time.

- Mr. Glass, it is always a pleasure.

- Madame Aberjais, that

pleasure is mine alone.

Please may I introduce you

to Captain Samuel Mason

and his son, Thomas Mason.

- It's a pleasure to meet such, gentlemen.

And so well known for it, if

the talk around here is true.

Why don't you come see

me down near the hill

and unburden yourself of

those gentlemanly ways.

- Well I may have a wife.

She is distant in many ways.

- Oh Mr Mason, there's no need for such

unnecessary revelations.

- Madam,

as much as I would love to enjoy

your exquisite company,

our time here will not permit.

And as it saddens me,

I do expect to see you very soon.

- Make sure he knows

the way you would you?

I'd hate for him to get lost,

when time permits, Captain.

(indistinct chatter)

(footsteps clatter)

- We should go.

- Let us take our leave through the back.

- Our horses are out

front, take leave partner.

Shall we?

(ominous music)

(stalls clatter)

(whips cracking)

(whip cracking continues)

- Innocent!

(whips cracking)


- Ladies and gentlemen, I was on the jury.

If I had my say, they woulda hung,

those rampants, K*llers,

deserve to hang.

No pity for them!

(whips cracking)

- Liar!

You're lying!

(somber music)

You've just punished an innocent man!

And the next time I'm punished,

mark my words,

I'll be guilty as sin!

Haw! Haw!

(horses trotting)

I've been waiting two full days for you.

Comforted by the thought,

of blowing off your head.

And what did my son and

I ever do to harm you?

What gave you the right to proclaim that

we should hang for a

crime we did not commit?

- Nothing gave me the right,

if I was wrong it was only

because the Colonel and

May were dead set you were

the ones that done it.

I was just following orders,

please, please I beg you,

I have a wife and young 'uns.

- Get down on your knees,

say your last prayers.

Take your hat off!

Do you talk to God with it on?

Pray I said!

- Oh heavenly Father,

protect my helpless wife

and young 'uns, spare their

lives and spare my life.

- Sir.

The satisfaction of splitting your skull,

it's not worth the sin I'd

have to carry for eternity.

Let me say,

you might just be the

last fortunate man I meet.

(ominous music)

(footsteps crunching)

- Mason.


(fire crackling)

(ominous music continues)

- Spotters confirmed that

there was six of 'em.

So we mounted up and I lead out 14 men

feeling very confident that

we was gonna k*ll 'em quickly

and get back to our mundane soldiering.

Well, when we got close,

I could see that we were flanked

by hundreds on both sides.

The first group, let me pass

and before I could turn my horse around,

I could see my men dying

right before my very eyes.

Tomahawks come raining down,

from more men than I could count.

I fell from my horse and I was crawling

through all the fury,

while being trampled by all the horses.

And unbeknownst to me,

Captain Ogle had rushed from

the fort with 12 men of his own

ignorant to the numbers

he was fixing to face.

But he caused a distraction,

which allowed me to

crawl under a felled tree

and I laid there hiding

until all the Indians fell.

Me and my 14 men,

had rode in to over 400 Indians

that was hiding in the corn,

in the grass,

just like ghosts.

Out of the 28 that faced the hundreds,

only five of us lived.

(footsteps crunching)

- Father, these two were

making so much noise,

they didn't even hear

me when I rode upon 'em

and I wasn't even trying to be that quiet.

This dark one here, had this one tied up,

stringing him behind his horse.

He said he wants to join us

and brought this bounty hunter as a token.

He's got a reward paper

with your name on it.

- I ain't hunting nobody.

I promise you.

I swear to God.

Two days ago, I woke up with this man

standing over top of me with a Kn*fe.

And that son of a bitch,

wouldn't give me no water,

he made me piss myself.

Now what kind of a man makes

another man piss his self?

- Where'd you get the paper?

- I was given it to pass it along, sir,

I ain't no bounty hunter.

I ain't outfitted for it.

I was given that paper in

Natchez just to pass along.

- Billy, go get that paper.

- Man that gave me it said

he was gonna make sure

that paper was on every

fence post between Nachez

and Nashville.

Sir, I'm just walking to

Nashville to care for my mama.

God's word on that.

- Nights like tonight,

make me feel grateful

that I can reminisce here,

with my Patriots.

We are free men.

Living on free land, given

to us by the good Lord above

and our very own blood.

We choose our own path.

The path that is different

from the other crooks.

The real crooks wanna

bend men at their will

by making up laws and

writing proclamations.

The noble governor calls

us pirates and robbers!


Well, hell, he's got us there!


They say that Samuel Mason

is the leader of the Bandede.

Along with a man named,


Why, oh why, do they

associate our good name

with such dishonorable heathens?

- How much are we worth Captain?

- $2,000.

For $2,000,

I think I'll find Little Harpe myself

and deliver his head to the governor.

Let this man, be gone,

so he can go take care of his mama.

He ain't gonna do us no harm.

- Thank you.

- And you,

you say you wanna join up?

- [Little Harpe] Yes, sir.

- What's your name?

- Setton sir,



(ominous music)

(dramatic music)

- [Little Harpe] And so I

found myself in the company

of Samuel Mason's g*ng and on the run

from our own countrymen.

We made our way into Spanish territory.

(dramatic music)

(crickets chirping)

(crickets chirping loudly)

(twig cracks)

(footsteps crunching)

- I thought I heard somebody.

(door bangs)

- Who might be Samuel Mason?

- I am.

Who the hell are you?

- Captain Vasquez of the Spanish militia.

Mr. Mason, I place you under arrest.

- I have broke no law.

You have the wrong man!

- Your days of piracy have ended.

- You must prove these false lies.

I demand to face my accusers!

- You only have to face me.

- [Captain Vasquez] The magistrate.

- Some of you have no avenue

for escaping the execution.

A few may have a path

if you so choose to go.

There are accusations of

activity from scoundrels

on the trails and the waterway.

There may be leniency

for one, perhaps two.

If you're willing to testify.

(ominous music)

- I have been taken hostage by these men.

He has taken me hostage.

I've been afraid to speak,

but I've seen things, terrible things

of which I was not a participant.

(punch thuds)

I am John Setton, just a farmer

fallen prey to these men.

As I told you before,

they've taken me c*ptive.

Samuel Mason,

he is an evil man.

I've heard them talk, all of them.

They're all murderers and thieves.

My only hope for survival was to pretend

as if I was one of them

until I could escape.

Your arrival,

gives me only joy.

- What have you heard them speak of?

- You must protect me.

- He does not speak

for me, for or against,

his hands are as red as

anybody in this room!

- I have heard them speak of the river.

Having spies to board the

boats and lure them ashore

where they wait.

And the women, they have

women to wait by the roadside

and summon the passersby

so that they may be robbed

and k*lled.

- All lies!

- Silence that man!

(slap thuds)

Why should I accept what

you say is the truth?

Perhaps you're Samuel Mason

out to save your own soul.

- Samuel Mason has already

confessed to his identity.

Do you have the name of

John Setton on your papers?

An innocent man would come forward.

I have nothing to hide.

- I don't know what was

being said over there,

but rest assured he was only

trying to save his own skin.

- Mr. Setton says you are

the outlaw Samuel Mason.

- Yes sir, I am, but I am no outlaw.

My boy and I are farmers.

And that is none other than the man

named Wiley Harpe over there,

better known as Little Harpe,

the last alive of the two brothers.

- I have heard of this man's

reputation, as well as yours.

- I would say yes, but he's

the one that's been doing

all the robbing and k*lling,

using good folks' names like mine

to deceive the authorities.

- What do you know of

these crimes alleged?

- I do not know anything

other than what I've heard.

I have not participated in any crimes.

- What of have taking Mr. Setton hostage?

- I took him in from

April, only to be told

by a traveler his true name.

- A traveler?

- Yes, a traveler that was so

scared to be seen with him,

that he left in haste.

- It would appear no one here

knows how to speak the truth.

- You have no proof of any crime

that has been committed here.

You must release us

or there will be need for

answers for what has happened

here today.

- Oh, you will be released,

to the authorities on the

American side of the river.

They can have their way with you.

(footsteps crunching)

- This is an illegal extradition.

- The Americans will soon be here

and they will take you to Natchez.

- I was once a soldier, like you.

- You know what's gonna

happen, when we get to Natchez.

Let's set aside our differences,

with our combined efforts,

we can still escape.

- Even if it means my sudden death,

I will never join forces

with the likes of you.

Bringing you into our company

is the second biggest mistake I've made.

- And the first?

- Leading us down this road.

(ominous music)

(footsteps crunching)

- Captain Vasquez,

I'm Captain Ballenger, I

have papers for these men.

The rest of my men are watering the horses

around that bend in the river.

(ominous music continues)

- Yes, I've followed you

all the way, Mr Harpe.

(ominous music)

(water glugging)

(footsteps crunching)

- Hold up!

I'm thirsty.

- Keep 'um moving.

(g*nsh*t bangs)


(g*nsh*t bangs)

(Mason yelps)

(g*nsh*t bangs)

(Ballenger grunts)

(dramatic music)

(Ballenger grunts)

(dramatic music continues)

(water splashes)

(dramatic music continues)

- Harpe!

- What are you doing here?

- I got word they come fetch ya.

Figured I could be of some use.

I see you made your way

into the Mason g*ng,

just like we planned.

- There was no plan for

the Spanish bastards.

If it wasn't for them,

I'd have Mason by now.

- We could make our way

back up river, to Kentuck.

- I will collect the bounty.

He can't be far.

(ominous music)

- [Little Harpe] Mason!

I'm coming for you!

(ominous music continues)

(Mason breathes heavily)

- No.


before they reach us.

- Not without you.

This began together and

that's how it shall end.

- Go,

and live, as if it never began.

(footsteps crunching)

Go Thomas!

(footsteps crunching)

(ominous music continues)

(footsteps crunching)

I'm pleased you, came to my rescue.

- I had to make sure you were indeed dead.

- You didn't wanna, be

looking at your shadows

for the rest of your life.

(g*nshots booming)

- Harpe, we gotta get out of here.

(g*nsh*t booming)

- I think they just k*lled your boy.

- They'll find you too.

(footsteps crunching)

- Not, before I k*ll you.

- Our time has come.

(g*nsh*t bangs)


(crickets chirping)

(water splashing)

- About another day to Nachez.

Hid me some fresh clothes, under the hill

before we turn 'em in.

- That stuff help keep the rot away?

- Them bounty hunters use

it, collect their reward,

been known to keep

slaughtered meat putrefied

for a week or more.

Otherwise you could pass off

anyone's head as an outlaws


- Tis true, hell couple of days of rot

you could even say it was your own head.

- I reckon,

would be nice if they thought I was dead.

- Mm, mm, yep it's just too

bad we don't have another,

we could collect on both.

- Too bad.

(ominous music)

I'm John Setton,

to whom do I inquire about a bounty?

- Bounty?

- What outlaw did you k*ll?

- Samuel Mason!

- But we received word he

escaped the Spanish envoy.

- And I found him,

well what was left of him after the fight.

He was a formidable foe certainly,

but I did him in.


I was able to snuff out the life

of one of his confederates.

Wiley Harpe!

I do not know much about this bandit,

but I do know that he goes

by the name of Little Harpe

and he's as much a scoundrel

as his older brother.

- That man is Little Harpe!

I knew him years ago

when I was in Danville.

- She's right, that is a Little Harpe.

- My name is John Setton.

- He has a mark under his left breast,

a scar given to him by Captain Ballenger!

- [Little Harpe] Of course

I was tried and found guilty

of multiple crimes.

They sentenced me to hang

by the neck until dead.

(gasping and grunting)

Some of the towns folk cut me

down and decapitated my body.

My head was placed on a pike,

a warning to others less

they follow the ways

of these outlaw men.

(ominous music)

The rest of my body was buried

and then exhumed for some

did not want it near town.

(ominous music continues)

I was finally laid along

one of the many roads

where my kind and I made our way.

And that is where I still am today.

(lively folk music)
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