True Grit Quotes

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Rooster Cogburn: When was the last time you seen your old pard Ned Pepper?
Emmett Quincy: I do not know him. Who is he?
Rooster Cogburn: I’m surprised you don’t remember him. He’s a skinny fellow, nervous and quick. His lip’s all messed up.
Emmett Quincy: That don’t bring anybody to mind.
Rooster Cogburn: There is a new boy that might be runnin’ with Ned. He’s got a powder mark on his face, a black place. He calls himself Chaney, or Chelmsford sometimes. Carries a Henry rifle.
Emmett Quincy: That don’t bring anybody to mind. Black mark, I would remember that.
Rooster Cogburn: You don’t remember nothin’ I want to know, do you Quincy? What do you know, Moon?
Emmett Quincy: We don’t know those boys you’re lookin’ for.
Moon (The Kid): I don’t know those boys. I always try to help out the law.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, by the time we get back to Fort Smith that leg will be swelled up tight as Dick’s hatband. It will be mortified and they will cut it off. Then if you live I’ll get you two or three years in the Federal house up in Detroit there.


Moon (The Kid): You are trying to get at me.
Rooster Cogburn: They’ll teach you to read and write up there but the rest of it won’t be so good. Them boys, that can be hard on a gimp.
Moon (The Kid): You are trying to get at me.
Rooster Cogburn: Now, you give me some good information on Ned, I’ll take you down to Bagby’s store tomorrow and get that ball taken out of your leg. Then I’ll give you three days to clear the Territory.
Emmett Quincy: We don’t know those boys you are looking for.
[Cogburn laughs]
Rooster Cogburn: That ain’t his leg.
Moon (The Kid): I would…
Emmett Quincy: Don’t you be flappin’ your mouth, Moon. It is best to let me do the talkin’.
Moon (The Kid): I would say if I knew…
Emmett Quincy: We are…we are weary trappers.


[looking over at Mattie]
Emmett Quincy: Who worked you over with the ugly stick?
Mattie Ross: The man Chaney with the marked face killed my father. He’s a whiskey drinker like you and it led to killing in the end. If you answer the marshal’s questions he will help you. I have a good lawyer at home and he will help you too.
Moon (The Kid): I am puzzled by this. Why is she here?
Emmett Quincy: Don’t you go jawing with these people, Moon. Don’t you go jawing with that runt.
Mattie Ross: I don’t like you. I hope you go to jail. My lawyer will not help you.


Moon (The Kid): My leg is giving me fits.
Rooster Cogburn: No, a young fellow like you don’t wanna loose his leg. No.
Emmett Quincy: Easy now. He is trying to get at you!
Rooster Cogburn: With the truth.true-grit-7
Moon (The Kid): We seen Ned and Haze two days ago.
Emmett Quincy: Don’t you act the fool! If you blow I will kill you!
Moon (The Kid): I am played out. I need a doctor! We met Ned and Haze two days ago…
[Quincy grabs a knife from his boot slams it down on Moon’s hand, chopping off four fingers, then stabs him in the chest, Cogburn then shoots Quincy in the head]
Rooster Cogburn: Goddamn it!


[Moon has fallen to the floor, knife in chest]
Moon (The Kid): Oh lord, I am dying! Do something! Help me!
Rooster Cogburn: I can do nothing for you, son. Your pard has killed you and I done for him.
Moon (The Kid): Don’t leave me lying here! Don’t let the wolves rip me up!
Rooster Cogburn: I’ll see you are buried right. You tell me about Ned. Where’d you see him?
Moon (The Kid): Two days ago at Bagby’s store. They are coming here tonight to get remounts, and sofky. They just robbed the Katy Flyer at Wagoner’s Switch. I’m gone. Send the news to my brother, George Garrett. He’s a Methodist circuit rider in South Texas.
Rooster Cogburn: Should I tell him you was outlawed up?
Moon (The Kid): It don’t matter, he knows I am on the scout. I will meet him later walking the streets of Glory!
Rooster Cogburn: Now, don’t be looking for Quincy.


[whilst waiting for Ned Pepper and his gang]
Mattie Ross: What do we do when they get here?
Rooster Cogburn: They ride up, what we want is to get ’em all in the dugout. I’ll kill the last one that goes in, then we’ll have them in a barrel.
Mattie Ross: You will shoot him in the back?
Rooster Cogburn: It will give ’em to know our intentions is serious. Then I’ll call down, see if they’ll be taken alive. If they won’t I’ll shoot them as they come out. I’m hopeful that three of their party being dead will take the starch out of them.


[as they are waiting for Ned Peppers to show up]
Mattie Ross: You display great poise.
Rooster Cogburn: Uh, it’s just a turkey shoot. There was one time in New Mexico, was being pursued by seven men. I turned Bo around and taken them reins in my teeth and rode right at them boys firing them two navy sixes I carry on my saddle. Well, I guess they was all married men who loved their families as they scattered and run for home.
Mattie Ross: Well, that is hard to believe.
Rooster Cogburn: What is?
Mattie Ross: One man riding at seven.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, it’s true enough. You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don’t have time to think about how many is with him. He thinks about himself, how he might clear of the wrath that is about to set down on him.
Mattie Ross: Why were they pursuing you?
Rooster Cogburn: I robbed a high-interest bank. You can’t rob a thief, can you? I never robbed a citizen. Never took a man’s watch.
Mattie Ross: It is all stealing.
Rooster Cogburn: That’s the position they took in New Mexico.


[Cogburn and Mattie watch from their hiding place as a single rider approaches slowly]
Rooster Cogburn: One man. I did not figure them to send a scout.
[as the rider dismounts near the cabin, Cogburn recognizes that it’s LeBoeuf]
Rooster Cogburn: Damn. It is LeBoeuf.
Mattie Ross: Well, we have to warn him, Marshal!
[before Cogburn can do anything he sees Ned Peppers gang riding towards the cabin]
Rooster Cogburn: Too late.


[they watch as LeBoeuf encounters the approaching riders]
Mattie Ross: What do we do, Marshal?
Rooster Cogburn: We sit. What does he do?
[Cogburn looks at the other riders]
Rooster Cogburn: Him in the woolly chaps is Lucky Ned.
[as he sees LeBoeuf being roped and dragged around on a horse]
Rooster Cogburn: Well, that’s that.
[Rooster starts shooting at the riders]


[after killing the Ned Pepper’s gang]
Rooster Cogburn: Well that didn’t pan out.


[as he’s approaching a wounded LeBoeuf who’s lying on the ground moaning]
Rooster Cogburn: You managed to put a kink in my rope, pardner.
LeBoeuf: I am severely injured.
Rooster Cogburn: Yes, you got drug some.
LeBoeuf: I got also shot. By a rifle.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, that’s quite possible. The scheme did not develop as I had planned. You’ve been shot in the shoulder but the bullet passed through. What happened to your mouth?
LeBoeuf: I…I be…believe I bit myself.
Rooster Cogburn: You got couple of teeth loose and oh yeah, the tongue is bit almost through. Do you want to see if it will knit or should I just yank it free? I know a teamster who bit his tongue off being thrown from a horse. But after a time he learned to make himself more or less understood. I’ll just yank it free.


[LeBoeuf moans in agony and tries to speak as Cogburn tries to yank his tongue out]
Rooster Cogburn: What…what’s that now?
[LeBoeuf tries to speak]
Rooster Cogburn: What’s that now?
[he takes his hand out of LeBoeuf’s mouth]
LeBoeuf: It’ll…it will knit.
Rooster Cogburn: Ah, very well. It’s impossible to bind a tongue wound. Too bad. We just ran across a doctor…
Mattie Ross: Marshal?
Rooster Cogburn: …of sorts but I do not know where he was headed.
LeBoeuf: I saw him too. That’s how I came to be here.
Mattie Ross: Neither of these men are Chaney.
Rooster Cogburn: I know it. I know them both. That ugly one is Coke Hayes. Him uglier still is Clement Parmalee. Parmalee and his brothers have a silver claim in the Winding Stair Mountains and I’ll bet that’s where Lucky Ned’s gang is waitin’. Now, we’ll sleep here, follow in the mornin’.
Mattie Ross: Well, we promised to bury the poor soul inside.
Rooster Cogburn: Ground is too hard. If these men wanted a decent burial they should have got themselves kilt in summer.


[talking to her horse as she’s feeding him apples]
Mattie Ross: Sleep well, Little Blackie. I have a notion that tomorrow we will reach our object. We are hot on the trail. It seems that we will overtake Tom Chaney in the Winding Stair Mountains. I would not want to be in his shoes.


LeBoeuf: As I understand it, Chaney, or Chelmsford, as he called himself in Texas, shot the senator’s dog. When the senator remonstrated Chelmsford shot him as well. Now, you could argue that the shooting of the dog was merely an instant of malum prohibitum, but the shooting of a senator is indubitably an instant of malum in se.
Rooster Cogburn: Malla-men what?
Mattie Ross: Malum in se. The distinction is between an act that is wrong in itself, and an act that is wrong only according to our laws and mores. It is Latin.
Rooster Cogburn: I’m struck that LeBoeuf has been shot, trampled, and nearly severs his tongue, not only does it not cease to talk but spills the banks of English.
LeBoeuf: I was within three hundred yards of Chelmsford once. The closest I have been. With the Sharp’s carbine, that is within range. But I was mounted, and had the choice of
firing off-hand, or dismounting to shoot from rest, which would allow Chelmsford to augment the distance. I fired mounted…and fired wide.
Rooster Cogburn: You could not hit a man at three hundred yards if your gun was resting on Gibraltar.
LeBoeuf: The Sharp’s carbine is an instrument of uncanny power and precision.
Rooster Cogburn: I have no doubt that the gun is sound.


[whilst riding Cogburn is singing and drinking, LeBoeuf and Mattie are riding behind him]
LeBoeuf: I do not believe he slept.
Rooster Cogburn: Fort Smith is a healthy distance, LeBoeuf, but I would encourage the creature you ride to head center. Out here a one-armed man looks like easy prey.
LeBoeuf: And a one-eyed man, who can’t shoot? Why don’t you turn back, Cogburn?
Rooster Cogburn: Ah, I will do fine. I know where the Parmalee’s claim is. I am uninjured, well provisioned, and we agreed to separate.
LeBoeuf: In conscious you cannot site our agreement. You are the one who shot me.
Mattie Ross: Mr. LeBoeuf has a point, Marshal. It is an unfair leg-up in any competition to shoot your opposite number.
Rooster Cogburn: God damn it! I do not accept it as a given that I did shoot LeBoeuf. There were plenty of guns going off.
LeBoeuf: I heard the rifle and I felt the ball. You missed your shot, Cogburn, admit it.
Rooster Cogburn: Missed my shot!
LeBoeuf: You are more handicapped without the eye than I without the arm.
Rooster Cogburn: I can hit a gnat’s eye at ninety yards!
[he throws his empty whiskey bottle into the air and fires his gun but he misses]


[after failing to shoot the whiskey bottle, he shoots a third time and the bottle shatters]
Rooster Cogburn: That Chinaman is runnin’ them cheap shells on me again.
LeBoeuf: I thought you were going to say the sun was in your eyes. That is to say, your eye.


[after LeBoeuf shoots the cornbread that Cogburn had thrown to shoot at the same time]
LeBoeuf: There.
Rooster Cogburn: There?! My bullet!
LeBoeuf: Your bullet? If you hit what you aim at, explain my shoulder!
Mattie Ross: Gentlemen, shooting cornbread out here on the prairie is getting us no closer to the Ned Pepper gang.
Rooster Cogburn: One more, this will prove it. Please hold fire!
[he tosses a corn dodger and fires again and again missing the shot]


[at their camp Mattie tries to feed LeBoeuf]true-grit-6
LeBoeuf: Cogburn does not want me eating out of his store.
Mattie Ross: That is silly. You have not eaten the whole day, and it is my store not his.
Rooster Cogburn: Let him starve! He does not track! He does not shoot, except at foodstuffs!
LeBoeuf: That was your initiative.
Rooster Cogburn: He does not contribute! He is a man who walks in front of bullets!
Mattie Ross: Mr. LeBoeuf drew single-handed upon the Lucky Ned Pepper Gang while we fired safely from cover.
Rooster Cogburn: We?
Mattie Ross: It is unfair to indict a man when his jaw is swollen and tongue mangled and who is therefore unable to rise to his own defense!
LeBoeuf: I can speak for myself. I am hardly obliged to answer the ravings of a drunkard. It is beneath me.


[he rises to gather his things]
LeBoeuf: I shall make my own camp elsewhere. It is you who have nothing to offer, Cogburn. A sad picture indeed. This is no longer a manhunt, it is a debauch. The Texas
Ranger presses on alone.
Rooster Cogburn: Take the girl. I bow out!
LeBoeuf: A fine thing to decide once you have brought her into the middle of the Choctaw Nation.
Rooster Cogburn: I bow out! I wash my hands!
Mattie Ross: Gentlemen, we cannot fall out in this fashion. Not so close to our goal, with Tom Chaney nearly in hand!
Rooster Cogburn: In hand?! If he is not in a shallow grave, somewhere between here and Fort Smith, he is gone! Long gone! Thanks to Mr. LeBoeuf, we missed our shot! We have barked, and the birds have flown! Gone, gone, gone! Lucky Ned and his cohort, gone! Your fifty dollars, gone! Gone the whiskey…seized in evidence! The trail is cold, if ever there was one! I’m…I’m a foolish old man who has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop! Well, Mr. LeBoeuf, he can wander the Choctaw Nation for as long as he likes; perhaps the local Indians will take him in and honor his gibberings by making him Chief! You, sister, may go where you like! Our engagement is terminated! I bow out!


Mattie Ross: I am going with you.
LeBoeuf: Oh, that is not possible.
Mattie Ross: Have I held you back? Look, I have a Colt’s dragoon revolver which I know how to use, and I would be no more of a burden to you than I was to the marshal.
LeBoeuf: That is not my worry. You have earned your spurs, that is clear enough. You have been a regular old hand on the trail. But Cogburn is right, even if I would not give him the
satisfaction of conceding it. The trail is cold, and I am considerably diminished.
Mattie Ross: How can you give up now, after the many months you’ve dedicated to finding Chaney? You have shown great determination. I misjudged you. I picked the wrong man.
LeBoeuf: I would go on in your company if there were clear way to go. But we’d be striking out blindly. Chelmsford is gone, we chased him right off the map. There is nothin’ for it. I’m bound for Texas, it’s time for you to go home too. The marshal, when he sobers, is your way back.
Mattie Ross: I will not go back. Not without Chaney, dead or alive.
LeBoeuf: I misjudged you as well. I extend my hand.
[he extends his hand, Mattie doesn’t take it]
Mattie Ross: Mr. LeBoeuf! Please!
[he remains with hand extended, she finally gives him her hand and they shake]
LeBoeuf: Adios!
[he turns and rides away]


[whilst getting water from the stream Mattie notices Chaney on the other side of the river]
Tom Chaney: I know you. Your name is Mattie. Well, you’re little Mattie the bookkeeper. Isn’t that somethin’.
Mattie Ross: Yes, and I know you, Tom Chaney.true-grit-8
Tom Chaney: What are you doing out here?
Mattie Ross: I came to fetch some water.
[Mattie pulls the flour sack from her coat pocket]
Tom Chaney: Oh, no I mean what are you doing in these mountains here?
Mattie Ross: Well, I have not been formally deputized but I am acting as an agent for Marshal Reuben Cogburn and Judge Parker’s court.


[Mattie gets the Colt’s Dragoon out of the sack and points it at Chaney]
Mattie Ross: I have come to take you back to Fort Smith.
[Chaney just looks at the gun]
Tom Chaney: Well I will not go. How do you like that?
Mattie Ross: There is a posse of officers up there who will force you to go.
Tom Chaney: Well, that is interesting news. And how many is up there?
Mattie Ross: Right around fifty and they are all well armed and they mean business. What I want you to do now is come on across the creek and walk in front of me up that hill.
Tom Chaney: I think I will oblige the officers to come after me.
Mattie Ross: Well, If you refuse to go I will have to shoot you.
Tom Chaney: Oh? Well then you had better cock your piece.


[Mattie tries to pull the hammer back]
Tom Chaney: All the way back. Till it locks.
[she pulls the hammer back further until it locks]true-grit-9
Mattie Ross: I know how to do it. You will not go with me?
Tom Chaney: No. It’s just the other way around. You’re going with me. I will…
[Mattie fires, Chaney is shot in the chest and staggers a step back]
Tom Chaney: I did not think you would do it.
Mattie Ross: Well, what do you think now?
[Chaney is visibly in pain now]
Tom Chaney: Oh, one of my short ribs is broken.
Mattie Ross: You killed my father when he was trying to help you. I have one of the gold pieces you stole from him. Now give me the other.
Tom Chaney: It’s gone right through.


[Cogburn shouts from the bushes]
Rooster Cogburn: Mattie!
Mattie Ross: I am down here!
Tom Chaney: Now I am shot by a child.
[Mattie shouts to Cogburn]
Mattie Ross: Chaney is taken into custody!
[Chaney walks towards Mattie she shoots the gun but it doesn’t fire, Chaney grabs Mattie and slaps her]
Mattie Ross: Help me!
[Chaney is dragging Mattie alongside him]
Rooster Cogburn: Mattie!
[two men burst through the brush from Chaney’s side of the river and start shooting]
Mattie Ross: Marshal!


Lucky Ned Pepper: Who all is down there?
Mattie Ross: Marshal Cogburn and fifty more officers.
[Ned throws Mattie to the ground, he puts his boot on her neck and points his gun at her]
Lucky Ned Pepper: You tell me another lie and I’ll stove your head in!
Mattie Ross: Just the marshal.true-grit-10
Lucky Ned Pepper: Rooster!
[he shouts out]
Lucky Ned Pepper: Cogburn! Do you hear me?
[Cogburn doesn’t answer]
Lucky Ned Pepper: You answer me, Rooster! I will kill this girl! You know I will do it!


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Total Quotes: 99



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