The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures

Fool’s Gold

Netflix original film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs dropped November 16, 2018.

#TheBalladofBusterScruggs is written produced and directed by the Coen brothers.

rottentomatoes: 92%

metacritic: 79

imdb: 7.4

***SPOILERS AHEAD***




The Ballad of Buster Scruggs–

Buster Scruggs, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Tim Blake NelsonBuster Scruggs

Deadeye quickshot outlaw Buster Scruggs tries to dispense some Wild Wild West justice outside of American frontier southern Texas, United States.


Buster Scruggs, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Tim Blake Nelson” ♪ All day I face the barren waste ♪ Without the taste of water ♪ Cool water ♪ Ol’ Dan and I with throats burned dry ♪ And souls that cry ♪ For water ♪ Cool, clear water ♪ Dan, can you see that big green tree ♪ Where the water’s running free ♪  And it’s waiting there for you and me ♪ The nights are cool and I’m a fool ♪ Each star’s a pool of water ♪  Cool water ♪ But with the dawn, I’ll wake and yawn ♪ And carry on to water ♪ Cool, clear water ♪ Keep a-movin’, Dan ♪  Don’t you listen to him, Dan He’s a devil not a man ♪ And he spreads the burning sands With water ♪ Dan, can you see that big green tree ♪ Where the water’s runnin’ free ♪ And it’s waiting there for you and me ♪” — Buster Scruggs

“Whoa!  A song never fails to ease my mind out here in the West, where the distances are great and the scenery monotonous.  Additionally, my pleasing baritone seems to inspirit ol’ Dan here and keep him in good heart during the day’s measure of hoof clops.  Ain’t that right, Dan?  Maybe some of y’all have heard of me.  Buster Scruggs, known to some as the San Saba Songbird.  I got other handles, nicknames, appellations, and cognomens, but this one here I don’t even consider to be even halfway earned.  ‘Misanthrope?’  I don’t hate my fellow man, even when he’s tiresome and surly and tries to cheat at poker.  I figure that’s just a human material, and him that finds in it cause for anger and dismay is just a fool for expecting better.  Ain’t that right, Dan?  Well, folks, unless I grievously misremember, there’s a little cantina on the other side of yon rimrocks.  And if I’m in luck there’ll be customers there amenable to drawing up in a circle around a deck of cards.” — Buster Scruggs

“I’d like me a splash of whiskey to wash the trail dust off my gullet and keep my singing voice in fettle.  Well, what are they drinking?  Oh!  Well, don’t let them white duds and pleasant demeanor fool ya.  I too have been known to violate the statutes of man, and not a few of the laws of the Almighty.  Sir, it seems that you are no better a judge of human beings than you are a specimen of one.  Just on a brief inventory, I’d say that you could use yourself a shave and a brighter disposition.  And lastly, if you don’t mind me aspersin’ your friends, a better class of drinking buddy.  Appears to do.  Yes.  Huh.  It appears that the vitals of this lucky son-of-a-gun remain unpunctured.  Sloppy shootin’ on my part.  Here now, I’ll get that for you, partner.  A coup de grâce I’ll leave to the wolves and gila monsters.  Adios, amigo.” — Buster Scruggs

“Frenchman’s Gulch.  This town is new to me.  Here’s the six-shooter.  You’ll be wanting the senorita pistols as well?  Feel a bit naked, but… I guess with everyone similarly disadvantaged, there’s scant chance of misadventure.  Well, this is well-timed.  You gentlemen mind if I take his spot?  I would prefer not to.  I ain’t anted.  And if’n I don’t?  Can’t no-one compel another man to engage in recreation.  Certainly not a son of a gun as ill-humored as yourself.  And as for names, my horse is Dan.  I’m Buster.  Buster Scruggs.  I do hail from Reata Pass which is in the county of San Saba, being the which-a-why the San Saba Songbird is my sobriquet of preference.  But right now, I’d appreciate it if you deposit your weapon in the receptacle by the swinging doors, which concealing of it on your person in the first place was a violation of the rules of this establishment and an offense against local norms.  I’m not a devious man by nature, but when you’re unarmed, your tactics might gotta be downright Archimedean. ♪ Surly Joe, the gambler ♪ He will gamble nevermore ♪ His days of stud and hold ’em They are done ♪ It was long about last April ♪ He stepped into this saloon ♪ But he never really took to anyone ♪  Surly Joe ♪ Oh, wherever he’s damned And now, I don’t know ♪ He was slick, but I was slicker ♪ He drew quick, but I was quicker ♪ And the table stopped his ticker Surly Joe ♪ Surly Joe ♪ Surly Joe ♪ Won’t be missed by anyone Will Surly Joe ♪ Humankind he frowned upon But not now, his face is gone ♪  Guess your frowning days are done Oh, Surly Joe ♪  Surly Joe ♪  Surly Joe ♪ A cedilla on the C of Curly Joe ♪ He was mean in days of yore Now they’re mopping up the floor… ♪ Oh, Surly Joe ♪ Surly Joe ♪ Where the rest of his face has got to We don’t know ♪ He was never any fun ♪ Now his grumpy race has run ♪ Kisser blown to kingdom come Oh, Surly Joe… ♪” — Buster Scruggs

“I can cut you a little slack, grieving as you are, but the fact is, Buster Scruggs don’t shoot nobody in the back, and that sorry sack of bones was more in the nature of a suicide.  I assume you meant West Texas Tit, on account of that particular bird’s mellifluous warble.” — Buster Scruggs

“Things have a way of escalating out here in the West with one thing leading to another, but… I should be able to make pretty short work of this ramified old son-of-a-gun.  Now, just hang on there, partner.  I had to strap on my tool belt.  Are you ready?  Are you set?  Do you need a count?  Hard to trigger with them other fingers, but… …you can’t be too careful.  Whoa.  Looks like when they made this fella, they forgot to put in the quit.  Five fingers at a bullet a piece.  I ain’t got bu the one bullet left.  Sure hope I don’t miss.  Let me see here.  His heart would be on the left, but in the mirror it’d be on the right.  Of course, we is both facing the same way and the gun is upside down, so… yeah, best not to play it too fancy.  Cause for reflection.  Puts me in mind of a song.” — Buster Scruggs

“The same.  You make a sweet noise there, partner.  Another young fella with something to prove.  I gotta set myself up in the undertaking business.  Stop doing all the skill work so another man can profit.  But then, do I want to wear a black suit?  No, sir.  Well, that ain’t good.  I shoulda seen this coming.  Can’t be top dog forever. ♪ Yippee-ki-yi-yay When the roundup ends ♪ Yippee-ki-yi-yay And the campfire dims ♪ Yippee ki-yi-yay He shalt be saved ♪ When a cowboy trades his spurs For wings ♪ And they take my six ounce Pull the boots from my feet ♪ Yippee-ki-yi-yay When the roundup ends ♪ Yippee-ki-yi-yay And the campfire dims ♪ Yippee ki-yi-yay He shalt be saved ♪ When a cowboy trades his spurs For wings ♪” — Buster Scruggs


The Kid, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Willie Watson

The Kid

“Buster Scruggs.  That’s high praise coming from the San Saba Song Bird.  Herald of Demise.  I’ve been hunting you up on account of they say you’re the one to beat, singing and slinging guns.  You need a count? ♪ Let me tell you, buddy ♪ There’s a faster gun ♪ Coming over yonder ♪ When tomorrow comes ♪ Let me tell you, buddy ♪ And it won’t be long ♪ Till you find yourself singing Your last cowboy song ♪ When they wrap my body In the thin linen sheet ♪ Unsaddle my pony ♪ She’ll be itching to roam ♪ I’ll be halfway to heaven ♪ Under horsepower of my own ♪ Yippee-ki-yi-yay When the roundup ends ♪ Yippee-ki-yi-yay And the campfire dims ♪ Yippee ki-yi-yay He shalt be saved ♪ When a cowboy trades his spurs For wings ♪ Yippee ki-yi-yay ♪ I’m glory bound ♪ No more jingle jangle ♪ I lay my guns down ♪” — The Kid

“There’s just gotta be a place up ahead where men ain’t low down, and poker’s played fair.  If there weren’t, what are all the songs about?  I’ll see y’all there.  And we can sing together and shake our heads over all the meanness in the used to be.” — The Kid


Curly Joe, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Clancy BrownCurly Joe

“You seen ’em, you play ’em.  You seen em, you play ’em.  You play them cards, fancy Dan.  Buster Scruggs?  The runt from Reata Pass?  And dis-pistoled.  And if’n I don’t?” — Curly Joe


Curly Joe's Brother, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Danny McCarthy

Curly Joe’s Brother

“Joey?  Joe?  Surly Joe!  We’ve lost him!  You killed my brother, you cowardly son of a bitch!  Gunned him down when he wasn’t hardly looking.  You’re Buster Scruggs?  The West Texas Twit?  Call yourself any damn name you please.  I want to see you outside.  Wearing iron!  Scruggs!  Scruggs!  I’ma calling you out!  Ready!  Set!  No, sir!” — Curly Joe’s Brother


Mean-eyed Card Player, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Tim DeZarnMean-eyed Card Player

“If’n you play his hand.” — Mean-eyed Card Player


Frenchman, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, David KrumholtzFrenchman

“It is too late.  You have regarded the cards.  The other hombre anted.” — Frenchman


Cantina Bartender, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Alejandro PatiñoBartender

“Whiskey’s illegal.  This is a dry country.  Whiskey.  They’s outlaws.” — Bartender


Cantina Bad Man, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Tom ProctorCantina Bad Man

“You ain’t no outlaw.  And we don’t drink with tinhorns.  Your shootin’ iron work?” — Cantina Bad Man


Gun Check Man, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Thomas Wingate

Gun Check Man

“Hold on, son.  House policy.  Everything.  House policy.” — Gun Check Man


Rando Card Player

“I’m out.”


Meal Ticket–

Impresario, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Liam Neeson Impresario, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Liam NeesonImpresario

“God bless you, sir.  Found him in the streets of London, England.  Armless, legless, rest assure.  Motherless and penniless.  God bless you.  Thank you.  Coin for the young artists.” — Impresario

“♪  Well, they put The rope around her neck ♪ Weela Weela Walya ♪ They put the rope around her neck ♪ Down by the river Saile ♪ And they pulled the rope And she got dead ♪ Weela, Weela, Walya ♪ They pulle dthe rope And she got dead ♪ Down by the river Saile ♪ It was old but it was beautiful ♪ And the colors, they were fine ♪ It was worn at ‘Derry, Aughrim ♪  Enniskillen and the Boyne ♪ My father wore it as a youth ♪ In the grand old days of yore ♪ And on the 12th ♪ I love to wear the sash my father wore ♪ Yes, the sash my father wore ♪  We’re going into town! ♪ All across the– ♪ Oh!  All right.  There.  I don’t think so.  Once.” — Impresario

“Whoa.” — Impresario


Artist, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Harry MellingArtist

“I met a traveler… in an antique land… who said, ‘Two vast and trunkless legs stand in the desert.  Near them on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command… tell that its sculptor well those passion reads, which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things… the hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.  And on the pedestal, these words appear: ‘my name… is Ozymandias, king of kings!  Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’  Nothing beside remains.  Round the decay of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare… the lone and level sand stretch far away.’  And the Lord said unto Cain, ‘where is Abel, thy brother?’  When to the session of sweet silent thought, I summon up remembrance of things past… I all alone beweep my outcast state and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries… …and that government of the people, by the people… for the people… shall not perish from the earth.  Our revels now are ended.  These, our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air.  And like the baseless fabric of this vision… …the great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve.  And like this insubstantial planet faded, leave, not a rack behind.” — Artist

“And it came to pass when they were in a field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him!  And the Lord said unto Cain, ‘Where is Abel, thy brother?’  And he said, ‘I know not.  Am I my brother’s keeper?’  And the Lord said, ‘what has thou done?’  When to the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of things past.  I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought, and with old woes, new wail, my dear time’s waste.  Then can I drown an eye unus’d to flow, for precious friends hid, in death stateless night, and weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe, and moan the expense of many a vanished sight.  that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people… shall not perish from the Earth.  Our revels now are ended.  And these our actors…” — Artist

“I met a traveler in antique land… it blesseth him that gives and him that takes… I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought.  I met a traveler in an antique land… my punishment is greater than I can bear.  Stamped on these lifeless things.  Four score and seven years ago, our fathers… I met a traveler in an antique land.  And moan the expense… a fugitive… a shattered visage lies… and a vagabond, thou shalt be!  For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings.  That then I scorn to change my state… with kings.” — Artist

“When in disgrace… with fortune and men’s eyes, I all alone beweep my outcast state… and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries and look upon myself… and curse my fate.  wishing me like to one more rich in hope, featured like him, like him, with friends possessed, desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope with what I most enjoy contented least.  Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, haply I think on thee, and then my state, like to the lark at break of day arising from sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate… and that government of the people, by the people… for the people… shall not perish from the Earth.  Our revels now are ended.  And these, our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, into thin air.  And like the baseless fabric of this vision, the cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, the–” — Artist


Chicken Impressario, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Paul RaeChicken Impressario

“One at a time, ladies and gentlemen.  Yeah.  Twenty-one divided by three.  There it is!  There’s the answer.  There’s the solution.  Is he right?  Is he clever?  He’s self-taught, ladies and gentlemen.  He has no formal education.  One at a time, ladies and gentlemen.  Test that chicken’s brain.  Gallus Mathematicus, in the feather, in the flesh.  Seven plus three!  I have 11 twice.  The chicken is calculating, ladies and gentlemen.  Watch this fowl thing.  That’s a 22!  That’s a genius chicken!  Eighteen take away seven.  Eleven!  Oh!  Eleven, ladies and gentlemen!  The Calculating Capon!  The Pecking Pythagorean!” — Chicken Impressario


All Gold Canyon–

Prospector, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Tom WaitsProspector

” ♪ Dear silver that shines in your hair ♪ And the brow that’s all furrowed ♪ And wrinkled with care ♪ I kiss the dear fingers ♪ So toil-worn for me ♪ Oh, God bless you ♪ And keep you, Mother Machree ♪ Come on, Lucky. ♪ And the brow that’s all furrowed And wrinkled with care ♪ I will kiss the dear fingers ♪ So toil-worn for me ♪ Oh, God bless you ♪ And keep you… ♪  Mm-hmm.  Maybe… two.  Oh.  Not a speck.  Ahh.  Let’s go the other way.  Four.  Seven.  Twelve.  Five.  Going down.  Three.  Two.  Back to nothing.  Ha!  Okay.  There’s a pocket up there.  How far, we don’t know.  You’re up there.  Okay, Mr. Pocket.  All right.  I’ma coming!  I’ma coming.  You just sit there, ’cause I’ma coming.  Where are you, Mr. Pocket?  You to the left, to the right, or straight up the middle?  Well, we’ll just have to see, won’t we?  We’ll just have to see.  Goodnight, Mr. Pocket.  Sit tight, Mr. Pocket!  Oh.  Damn it.  Well, maybe just one.  How high can a bird count anyway?  Hmm.  Almost enough to keep.  You’re there.  How deep?  End of the line… and I’m gonna getcha.  I’m gonna getcha.  Maybe not today, but I’m gonna getcha.  Can’t run away from me now, Mr. Pocket.  I catch up with you tomorrow.  I’m old… but you’re older.  I’m old… but you’re older.  Yes, sir.  Hmm.  Keepers.  Getting to keepers.  All righty.  Where’s your daddy?  Lumps and chunks.  Lumps and chunks.  Mother Machree.  Hello, Mr. Pocket.  Hello, Mr. Pocket! You measly skunk!  You measly skunk!  Camping on my trail!  Letting me do all the work!  And shooting me in the back!  And shooting me in the back!  You measly skunk.  You shot me in the back!  It went clean through.  He didn’t hit nothing important.  He didn’t hit nothing important.  Nothing important.  Just guts is all you had!  Don’t worry, Mr. Pocket.  I’ll be back.  I ain’t walking out on you.  There’s you share, you measly skunk.  Come on, Lucky. ♪ Oh, I love the dear silver ♪ That shines in your hair ♪ And the brow that’s all furrowed ♪ And wrinkled with care ♪ I will kiss the dear fingers ♪ So toil-worn for me ♪ Oh ♪ God bless you and keep you ♪ Mother Machree ♪ Every sorrow or cure ♪ In the dear days gone by ♪ Was made bright by the light… ♪” — Prospector


Young Man, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Sam Dillon

Young Man


The Gal Who Got Rattled–

Alice Longabaugh, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Zoe KazanAlice Longabaugh

“Yes, indeed.  My brother and I are setting off in the morning for Oregon.  No, I– not exactly.  That is, my brother does.  I… I’m to be married, or at least I may be to Gilbert’s associate.  He… well, he…” — Alice Longabaugh

“Gilbert?  Two people have asked me about President Pierce.  Well… complained.  The barking.  I believe they assumed he was my dog.  Almost all animals are larger than President Pierce.  People are… wondering if he will bark all the way to the Willamette Valley.  Well… not that.” — Alice Longabaugh

“Yesterday morning… he was fine.  Going back… where?  I don’t have people.  Yes.  Matt.  He has been.  Gilbert did very little.” — Alice Longabaugh

“Please, don’t stand.  Could I ask your advice, Mr. Knapp?  No, thank you.  My hired boy, Matt, he told me that my brother promised him half his wages when we get to Fort Laramie.  Yes.  And the other half when we get to the Willamette Valley.  Is it?  I don’t know.  Gilbert was not a good businessman.  He had an enterprise in Iowa City that ended poorly, and earlier, another that… he was a failure.  Well, there is another problem.  I cannot find any money in the wagon.  I believe Gilbert kept it in his waistcoat.  And then?” — Alice Longabaugh

“Certainly, Mr. Knapp.  Could I offer you supper?  He is not my dog.  He was… Mr. Longabaugh’s.  I know it’s terrible, the noise.  I don’t know what to do.  All right.  Well, could we not just scare him off?  Yes.  I understand.  Thank you, Mr. Knapp.  You are… very kind to extend yourself.  Oh, my God.  Well, it was very kind of you.” — Alice Longabaugh

“I’m– I’m sorry to trouble you again.  I do apologize, Mr. Knapp.  Interrupting your supper.  Well, things are developing for the worse.  My boy, Matt, he asked me to affirm his arrangement with my brother.  He asked me to declare he will receive his two payments in Fort Laramie, and in Oregon.  He says if I will not affirm it, he will depart.  He will join the first party of go-backers we meet.  Yes.  Yes, but– I don’t like it.  But I don’t know that it is wrong of him to ask.  He is doing a job for pay.  But then what shall I do, Mr. Knapp?  Shall I confess I have no money?  What is right?  I would not ask you to do so.  Well, certainly.  But how so?  I’m sure it is not crackpot.” — Alice Longabaugh

“Good evening, Mr. Knapp.  So your crackpot notion?  Certainly.  I don’t quite know.  Gilbert knows– knew someone there.  A Mr. Vereen who owns an orchard, or maybe more than one orchard, and a cartage company.  He was vague about his connection with Mr. Vereen, and– and about his own prospective position.  I don’t wish to slight my brother’s memory, but he could… exaggerate the nature of an opportunity.  And… and Mr. Vereen’s interest in myself… I fear that may also have been speculative.  I– no.  Oh.  Oh.  No, no, no.  Yes.  Yes, it cannot be easy.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes, I understand.  Yes.  I am not.  Do you engage in divine worship?  I’m Episcopalian.  What is your Christian name, Mr. Knapp?  I am Alice Longabaugh.  Now I suppose it is my turn to think.” — Alice Longabaugh

“But I’m inclined to accept your proposal.  And I don’t take yourself to be hard-nosed.  My dear brother was very hard-nosed.  But never very successful.  It was frustrating for him.  Yes.  Yes, his way was difficult.  I must say, it was difficult to be with him.  I was very nervous being with him.  Not afraid of him.  He would not hurt a fly.  I was just… not at ease.  I was eaten up by nerves at the thought of talking to Mr. Vereen, for instance.  And yet, you… are so very easy to talk to.  Yes, William.” — Alice Longabaugh

“Hmm.  Your first responsibility is to your household.  I’m sorry.  I should not dismiss it with an easy apothegm.  Gilbert had a saying for any situation.  A ready bit of wisdom.  He was very certain. How did– oh!  Yes.  He was an admirer of President Pierce, yes.  He had fixed political beliefs.  All of his beliefs were quite fixed.  He would upbraid me for being wishy-washy.  I never had his certainties.  I suppose it is a defect.  Yes.  ‘Straight is the gate…'” — Alice Longabaugh

“What are they, Mr. Arthur?  Aren’t they darling?  I believe– President Pierce is trying to understand what those creatures are, whether they’re squirrels and he should try to chase them, or if they’re other dogs.  Mr. Arthur?  Mr. Arthur!  But aren’t… we aren’t going back?  There’s only one savage.  No.  No, no, no, no, no!  No, Mr. Arthur.  Mr. Arthur?” — Alice Longabaugh


Billy Knapp, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Bill HeckBilly Knapp

“We lost him.  I’m… so very sorry.  I will get a spade.  It is very quick, cholera.  Um… will you be going back, miss?  Or pressing on?  Going back or staying with the train?  Uh… well…  I’ll get a spade.  Uh… you want a marker of any kind or…?  We’ll leave off then.  Better anyway not to advertise to the Indians.  Well, they don’t bother us none.  Too much trouble attacking a wagon train.  But they will scavenge.  Uh, you got a hired boy, don’t you, Miss Longabaugh?  He’ll handle your team.  You call on myself or Mr. Arthur if you–” — Billy Knapp

“Miss?  Certainly miss?  Would you like some supper of coffee with us?  How much he say that was?  Two hundred dollars is half?  It is an extravagant wage.  You think the boy’s telling a story?  Now that your brother is no longer… then he’s still got it.  Where to?  How do we find him?  Oh, I don’t think so.  I suggest you not argue with the boy until we get to Fort Laramie.  Well… maybe I will talk to the boy.  See if I can shake him loose from his story.  Four hundred dollars.  I don’t know.  I still have to think on this one.” — Billy Knapp

“Miss?  Could I have a word?  Well, thank you.  I’ve had mine.  this is awkward, miss, but… people have complained to Mr. Arthur and myself about your little, uh… President Pierce?  I have no doubt but that’s your dog.  Miss?  Well then, I thought he was your dog.  Maybe this is quite a simple matter.  Uh… can I put him down for you, miss?  Well, no.  We are his food and he will follow us, long as he can.  And a wolf might play with him… uh… before he eats him.  Faster is better.  I will attend to it right away.  Oh.  I regret to have to tell you… I talked to your boy, Matt.  I could not get him to budge.  Here we go, little dog.  I set President Pierce down, and… uh… he moved just as I fired.  He skittered off, miss.  I… I don’t believe I hit him at all.  I should have deputized Mr. Arthur.  That man is a crack shot.  I didn’t expect– I do not think you will see President Pierce again.” — Billy Knapp

“You’re no trouble, Miss Longabaugh.  Please, set your mind at ease, miss.  It is my duty to guide the train and meet square any unexpected problem.  Yeah?  And leave you.  Leave you out here with the wagon high and dry.  Well, well, well.  Please, sit down, miss.  We– we better talk about this.  You are very broad-minded to see the other side of it.  What is right?  Miss Longabaugh… I cannot offer to drive your team or tend your wagon in place of the boy.  Mr. Arthur– oh, indeed.  These are my thoughts, not yours.  Mr. Arthur and I have to ride one in front of the train, one behind.  We take turns, pilot and drag, but… will you trust me for a day?  Tell the boy you affirm the agreement.  I want to think on this for a day.  I have a notion that you may think is crackpot, but… I do not believe it is.  We’ll see.  Give me a day.  I must talk to Mr. Arthur.  Then we will talk tomorrow and… if you think it is a bad idea, well then, we will have only taken one extra day of the boy’s labor.” — Billy Knapp

“Afternoon, partner.  Which is worse, partner?  Dust or mud?  Say… I was thinking of proposing to miss Longabaugh.  Yes, and… if she accepts, well then… I will settle in Oregon.  This would be my last wagon train.  I will farm.  Well… we’ll see how she takes it.  Well, I guess I’ll head back up.  Unless you desire a swap.  Yep.  Hep!” — Billy Knapp

“Miss.  May we talk for a moment?  Yes.  Before I expose it, may I ask something?  What… possibilities do you look forward to in Oregon?  I see.  So, this is no definite prospect of marriage.  No contract.  Well… my idea then is this… and I submit it in respect, miss Longabaugh.  I propose to assume your brother’s debt to the hired boy and to… to ask you to marry me.  I submit it in respect.  I have ambushed you.  I’m very sorry.  I should clarify what brings me to say these things, or I will seem like the veriest bounder.  I found myself thinking about certain matters.  Um… I have been busting trail for 15 years.  Last 12 with Mr. Arthur.  Mr. Arthur’s a top man.  Top man, but he is– he is getting older.  Slower to straighten in the morning.  Sleeping on the ground, miss… to have no family and to sleep on the ground… looking at him, well… I myself have come to the age where either I will settle and have children who can take care of me when I’m old or I will not.  That time will have passed.  So I found myself thinking, well… if I met a maiden or a widow of honor, uh… perhaps I would… …present myself– uh… you’re acquainted with the 1872 Grant?  A settler in Oregon can claim 320 acres.  A… a married couple can claim 640.  There is a, um… in Fort Laramie, there is a Mr. Bourgeois who can sanctify marriage.  Yes.  I am a Methodist.  Yourself, miss?  Uh, William.  I am Billy Knapp.  Of course.  We will, um… we will let the boy keep working then?  On his assumption of payment?” — Billy Knapp

“Thank you.  Best not to get too far from the train, miss.  It’s like the ocean out here.  Easy to get lost, miss.  I thought I should add… Alice, lest I seem hard-nosed… if you see fit to decline my proposal, why… there’s more than one way to skin a cat.  We might find a boy from another wagon to drive your team, use your oxen as payment.  We will get you to Oregon, safe and sound.  I don’t wish to present myself as the only alternative to ruin this.  All right.  All right.  I’m very sorry you have lost him.  But he is with his creator.  His way is easy now.  Perhaps we’ll find comfort together.  I had hoped for that as well.” — Billy Knapp

“Well, it… it appears miss Longabaugh is… inclined to accept my proposal.  Of course, you will do fine solo.  No doubt about it.  Man of your skills will always be in high demand.” — Billy Knapp

“That man is a wonder.  Well, he can read the prairie like a book.  To see him cut for sign, well, you’d think the good Lord dealt us each our five senses and bottom dealth Mr. Arthur one extra.  Still… he is old.  I don’t know how it’ll go for him.  I can’t help feeling in the wrong.  Yes, but– yes.  He was a doughface?  I don’t think it’s a defect at all.  Oh, no.  Uncertainty… that is appropriate for matters of this world.  Only regarding the next are we vouchsafed certainty.  I believe certainty regarding that which we can see and touch, it it seldom justified, if ever.  Down the ages, from our remote past, what certainties survive?  And yet we hurry to fashion new ones.  Wanting their comfort.  Certainty… …is the easy path.  Just as you said.  ‘And narrow the way.’  Indeed.  Indeed.” — Billy Knapp


Gilbert Longabaugh, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Jefferson MaysGilbert Longabaugh

“Well, go ahead and tell him, Alice.  Don’t be tongue-tied.  She has exciting news.  He’s well fixed out there.  He will propose once they meet each other.  I’m sure Alice will pass muster.  The match is a good one.  I’m joining him in a business opportunity, and he’s declared himself ready to marry when he finds a suitable match.  Alice can be very sociable and attractive when she has a mind to be.  She doesn’t always have a mind to be.  You and Mr. Longabaugh both.” — Gilbert Longabuagh

“Yes, sister?  Asked?  About what?  Indeed.  Why to you?  Well, I don’t know what to say.  President Pierce is a nervous creature and excited by animals larger than himself.  Well, what of it?  What if he does?  There are property rights.  The dog is my property.  My property barks.  There you have it.  What did you tell them?  Yes, I can only imagine what you said.  Alice, sometimes you have to tell people what’s what.” — Gilbert Longabuagh


Boarder #1, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Eric PetersenBoarder #1

“I heard it through the walls.  He made noises, strange noises, which he characterized as a cough.  Frightening.  I’ve never heard such a cough.  And this cough did to not respond to any kind of syrup or elixir, and it was an extremely rattly cough.  No, I was not sad to see Mr. Kincaid leave.  I’ve never heard of a nervous cough.  I understand that you are about to leave us.  The nervous system does not have tendrils.  Leaving us tomorrow, jumping off the map so to speak?  Oregon?  Oh, you have people out there or are you– you are not certain whether you are going to be married?  Has the gentleman not proposed?” — Boarder #1


Boarding House Landlady, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Prudence Wright HolmesBoarding House Landlady (Mrs. Flannery)

“It was not a contagious cough.  Nobody here became ill.  It was a nervous cough.  I would not rent to a contagious cougher.  The nervous system spreads its tendrils throughout the body.  I saw a picture of it in a book.  I don’t pretend to be a physician or a botanist,  but I know the nervous system extends through the body and I presume that is how it learns of the various physical conditions that it imitates.  My point is only that Mr. Kincaid was not a contagious cougher.  I don’t rent to such.  Yes, there’s more.  We don’t stint at this table.  Grandma Turner looks to be finished.  Are you finished, Grandma Turner?  Grandma Turner’s finished.  Just scoop from her plate, Mrs. Halliday.  Grandma Turner’s quite done.  Well, I think she’s just the picture of charm.  And we are going to miss you so very much, Miss Longabaugh.  You and Mr. Longabaugh both, and of course, Mr. Longabaugh’s dog, little President Pierce.  Bless him.  Where– where is he now?” — Mrs. Flannery


Boarder #2, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Doris HargraveBoarder #2 (Mrs. Halliday)

“Is there any more chicken and dumplings?  The bowl came to me last.” — Mrs. Halliday


Boarder #3, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Jackamoe BuzzellBoarder #3

“Mrs. Flannery is quite right.  I’ve seen that picture.” — Boarder #3


Mr. Arthur, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Netflix, Annapurna Pictures, The Coen Brothers, Grainger HinesMr. Arthur

“Ma’am.  Miss?  Condolences.  Condolences.  You going back?  You– you going back now or… or… she a go-backer?  Yah!  High price.  That’s a high price.  That’s a high price.  A half-day’s ride.” — Mr. Arthur

“Mm-hmm.  Both, I guess.  That right?  Nope.  Afternoon.” — Mr. Arthur

“Noon here!” — Mr. Arthur

“Mm-hmm.  Where the hell is that hobble?  Oh, never mind.  Here it is.” — Mr. Arthur

“Horses.  You keep on.  Gonna talk to Mr. Knapp.  Hey!  Whoa!  Whoa!  Where’s the woman?  Miss Longabaugh.  Where is she?  Over there?  Why’s that?  Hah!  Hah!  Yah, yah, yah!  Yah!  Yah!  Prairie dogs, ma’am.  Ma’am, we best, uh– get down.  Get down now, miss.  Get down!  Sit down below that rise there.  Just do as I say.  Not directly.  We’re in for a fight.  He won’t answer my peace sign.  And we can’t make a run for it though this dog-town.  Yeah, you keep looking.  It’s a war party and we probably look like easy pickin’s.  What they’ll do, they’ll rush us.  ‘Course dog holes is as bad for them as for us, and they don’t know how to fight.  If they was to come front and back, I couldn’t handle them, but they rush in a bunch, like damn fools.  I beg your pardon, miss.  Now you keep low here.  Take this.  Take it.  Take it now.  Got two bullets in it.  It ain’t for shooting Indians.  If I see we’re licked, I’m gonna shoot you and then I’m gonna shoot myself, so that’s okay.  But if you see that I’m done for, well, you’re gonna have to do for yourself.  Now you put it right there so’s you can’t miss.  This is business, Miss Longabaugh.  If they catch you, it won’t be so good.  After they take every stitch of your clothes and have their way with you, they’ll stretch you out with a rawhide, and then they’ll drive a stake through the middle of your body into the ground and then they’ll do some other things, and we can’t have that.  Now, we ain’t licked yet.  But if we are… you know what to do.  That’s supposed to scare us.  Won’t bother us none, will it, miss?  That Indian in the middle there… he’s the mucky muck, and if I shoot him, well, that’s bad medicine, and I think they’ll all lose their spit and light out.  Anyway, we’re gonna have us a good fight.  Dog hole!  Ha!  They got the lay of the land now.  Yah!  This time they’ll come with a purpose.  You all right, miss?  They ain’t gonna do this all day.  This’ll tell the tale.  Come on.  Hold on, miss.  Oh, my.  Poor little gal.  She hadn’t ought to have done it.  Oh, my.” — Mr. Arthur



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