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Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Indians and fighting with General Custer.
Jack Crabb: Grandfather, I have a white wife. Old Lodge Skins: You do? That's interesting. Does she cook and does she work hard. Jack Crabb: Yes, Grandfather. Old Lodge Skins: That surprises me. Does she show pleasant enthusiasm when you mount her? Jack Crabb: Well sure, Grandfather. Old Lodge Skins: That surprises me even more. I tried one of them once, but she didn't show any enthusiasm at all.
Old Lodge Skins: Today is a good day to die.
Jack Crabb: Do you hate them? Do you hate the White man now? Old Lodge Skins: Do you see this fine thing? Do you admire the humanity of it? Because the human beings, my son, they believe everything is alive. Not only man and animals. But also water, earth, stone. And also the things from them... like that hair. The man from whom this hair came, he's bald on the other side, because I now own his scalp! That is the way things are. But the white man, they believe EVERYTHING is dead. Stone, earth, animals. And people! Even their own people! If things keep trying to live, white man will rub them out. That is the difference.
[last lines] Jack Crabb: Well, that's the story of this old Indian fighter. That's the story of the Human Beings, who was promised land where they could live in peace. Land that would be theirs as long as grass grow, wind blow, and the sky is blue. Historian: Mr. Crabb, I didn't know... Jack Crabb: Get out. Get out.
Old Lodge Skins: Let's go back to the teepee and eat, my son. My new snake wife cooks dog very well. Jack Crabb: All right, Grandfather. Old Lodge Skins: She also has a very soft skin. The only trouble with snake women is they copulate with horses, which makes them strange to me. She say's she doesn't. That's why I call her "Doesn't Like Horses". But, of course, she's lying.
Old Lodge Skins: Come out and fight! It is a good day to die! Thank You for making me a Human Being! Thank You for helpin' me to become a warrior! Thank You for my victories, and for my defeats! Thank You for my vision, and the blindness in which I saw further! You make all things and direct them in their ways, O Grandfather. And now You have decided the Human Beings will soon walk a road that leads nowhere. I am gonna die now, unless death wants to fight. And I ask You for the last time to grant me my old power to make things happen. [Lies down to die. After a moment, props himself up on his elbows to add: ] Old Lodge Skins: Take care of my son here. See that he doesn't go crazy.
Younger Bear: I have a wife. And four horses. Jack Crabb: I have a horse... and four wives.
Old Lodge Skins: There is an endless supply of white men. There has always been a limited number of human beings.
Jack Crabb: She was calling him a devil and moaning for help, but I didn't get no idea she wanted to be rescued.
Jack Crabb: [voiceover] That was the end of my religion period.
Old Lodge Skins: This boy is no longer a boy. He's a brave. He is little in body, but his heart is big. His name shall be "Little Big Man."
Jack Crabb: You're not going to hang me. General Custer: Your miserable life is not worth the reversal of a Custer decision.
Jack Crabb: Grandfather, I am glad to see you. Old Lodge Skins: Glad to see you too, my son. My heart soars like a hawk. Do you want to eat? I won't eat with you, because I'm gonna' die soon. Jack Crabb: Die, grandfather? Old Lodge Skins: Yes, my son. I want to die in my own land, where Human Beings are buried in the sky. Jack Crabb: Well, why do you want to die, grandfather? Old Lodge Skins: Because there is no other way to deal with the White Man, my son. Whatever else you can say about them, it must be admitted: you cannot get rid of them. Jack Crabb: No, I suppose not, grandfather. Old Lodge Skins: There is an endless supply of White Man. But there always has been a limited number of Human Beings. We won today... we won't win tomorrow.
Sunshine: [Seeing Jack crawling out from under her sister's buffalo robe] The others too? Jack Crabb: Uh, huh. Sunshine: I knew you were a good man.
[Grandfather, who has laid himself down to die, wakes up] Old Lodge Skins: Am I still in this world? Jack Crabb: Yes, Grandfather. Old Lodge Skins: [groans] I was afraid of that. Well, sometimes the magic works. Sometimes, it doesn't.
[first lines] Jack Crabb: I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers. My name is Jack Crabb. And I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, uh, uh, popularly known as Custer's Last Stand.
Louise Pendrake: Well, Jack. Now you know. This is a house of ill fame. And I'm a fallen flower. This life is not only wicked and sinful. It isn't even any fun.
Jack Crabb: [after the sergeant shoots Shadow] There was no describing how I felt: an enemy had saved my life from the violent murder of one of my best friends... The world was too ridiculous to even bother to live in.
Jack Crabb: General, you go down there. General Custer: You're advising me to go into the Coulee? Jack Crabb: Yes sir. General Custer: There are no Indians there, I suppose. Jack Crabb: I didn't say that. There are thousands of Indians down there. And when they get done with you, there won't be nothing left but a greasy spot. This ain't the Washite River, General, and them ain't helpless women and children waiting for you. They're Cheyenne brave, and Sioux. You go down there, General, if you've got the nerve. General Custer: Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule-skinner. You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, but the subtle truth is you really *don't* want me to go down there!
Jack Crabb: I know of a white man who is as brave as any Human Being. His name is General Custer. Old Lodge Skins: I would like to meet this man and smoke with him. What does his name mean? Jack Crabb: It means 'Long Hair'. Old Lodge Skins: Good name. How did he win it? Jack Crabb: He won it in the war of the whites to free the black men. Old Lodge Skins: Yes, the "black" white man; I have heard of them. It is said that a "black" white man once became a Human Being. They are a very strange creatures. Not as ugly as the white man true; but they are just as crazy!
Jack Crabb: I was determined to stay out of them buffalo robes. Three young and healthy women with no man for who knows how long. The very idea kinda shrunk me like a spider on a hot stove.
Mr. Merriweather: You're improving Jack, you just can't seem to get rid of that streak of honesty in you. The one that ruined you was that damned Indian, Old Tepee. Jack Crabb: You mean Old Lodge Skins. Mr. Merriweather: He gave you a vision of moral order in the universe and there isn't any.Those stars twinkle in a void there boy and the two legged creature dreams and schemes beneath them, all in vain, all in vain Jack. Jack Crabb: You hear anything? Mr. Merriweather: Listen to me, a two legged creature will believe anything and the more preposterous the better: whales speak French at the bottom of the sea. The horses of Arabia have silver wings. Pygmies mate with elephants in darkest Africa. I have sold all those propositions. Jack Crabb: Or maybe we're all fools and none of it matters. Mr. Merriweather: Ahhhh...
Old Lodge Skins: Don't worry my son, you will be back with us, I dreamed it last night. I saw you with your wives Jack Crabb: Wives, Grandfather? Old Lodge Skins: Yes, there were three... or four, it was hard to tell. It was very dark in your teepee and they were under buffalo rugs as you crawled among them. Anyway, it was a great copulation.
Little Horse: [an obvious "two-spirit" Indian approaches Jack] Little Big Man! You have returned. Don't you remember me? That hurts me deep in my heart. Jack Crabb: [voiceover] It was Little Horse; the boy who wouldn't go on the raid against the Pawnee. He had become a "heemanee" for which there ain't no English word. And he was a good one, too. The Human Beings thought a lot of him.
General Custer: Nothing in this world is more surprising than the attack without mercy!
Wild Bill Hickock: Any damn fool can drink himself to death.
Old Lodge Skins: I saw you in a dream my son. You were drinking from a spring that came from the nose of an animal I didn't recognize. It had two great horns, one on each side of its nose, and the water that came from its nose was full of air!
Jack Crabb: Mr. Merriweather, you don't know when you're licked! Mr. Merriweather: Licked? I'm not licked. I'm tarred and feathered, that's all.
Jack Crabb: Sure, I'm white. Didn't you hear me say, "God bless George Washington. God bless my mother."? I mean, now what kind of Indian would say a fool thing like that?
Jack Crabb: Your name ain't Lulu... You'rer Louise Pendrake.
Old Lodge Skins: It makes my heart sad, a world without human beings has no center to it.
General Custer: You came up here to kill me, didn't you? And you lost your nerve. Well, I was correct. In a sense, you are a renegade, but you are no Cheyenne Brave. Do I hang you? I think not. Get out of here.
Old Lodge Skins: Come out and fight! It is a good day to die! Thank you for making me a Human Being! Thank you for helping me to become a warrior. Thank you for my victories, and for my defeats. Thank you for my vision, and the blindness in which I saw further. You make all things and direct them in their ways, oh Grandfather. And now, you have to silence the Human beings! We'll soon walk a road... that leads nowhere. I am going to die now, unless death wants to fight. And I ask you for the last time: to grant me my old power to make things happen. Old Lodge Skins: [Proceeds to lie down on the ground. After a few seconds, props himself up and adds one more thought] Take care of my son here. See that he doesn't go crazy.
Younger Bear: You and I are even at last. I paid you the life I owe you. And the next time we meet, I can kill you without becoming an evil person.
Old Lodge Skins: Am I still in this world? Jack Crabb: Yes Grandfather. Old Lodge Skins: Heeya... I was afraid of that. Well sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn't. Let's go back to the tepee and eat my son. My newest snake wife cooks dog very well. Jack Crabb: Alright Grandfather. Old Lodge Skins: She also has very soft skin. The trouble with snake women is they copulate with horses which makes them strange to me. She says she doesn't, that's why I call her "Doesn't like Horses." But of course she's lying. Jack Crabb: Of course Grandfather.
[Hickock has pulled a gun on a man for yelling] Jack Crabb: Listen; what are you so nervous about? Wild Bill Hickock: [pouring a drink] Gettin' shot.
Jack Crabb: I love Jesus and Moses and all of them... Louise Pendrake: [authoritatively] There's quite a difference. Moses was a Hebrew, but Jesus was a gentile, like you and me.
Old Lodge Skins: Invisible! I've never been invisible before!
Little Horse: You look tired Little Big Man. Would you like to come in my teepee and rest on soft furs? Come and live with me and I'll be your wife!
General Custer: Take my advice. Go West! Olga Crabb: [in a Swedish accent] Vest? [She wails and bursts into tears] Jack Crabb: My wife, she's awful scared of Injuns. General Custer: My dear woman, you have nothing to fear from the Indians, I give you my personal Custer guarantee. [Abrupt cut to a wagon train being attacked by Native Americans and Olga screaming]
General Custer: A scout has a certain look... Kit Carson, for example. You look like... a muleskinner! Jack Crabb: Uh, General I don't know anything about mules... General Custer: Lieutenant, it's amazing how I can guess the profession of a man just by looking at him! Notice the bandy legs, the powerful arms. This man has spent years with mules. Isn't that right? Jack Crabb: Uh, yes sir! General Custer: Hire the muleskinner!
Jack Crabb: You mean you're blind? Old Lodge Skins: Oh no. My eyes still see. Buy my heart no longer receives it.
Old Lodge Skins: You make all things and direct them in their ways, oh Grandfather, and now, you have decided the Human Beings will soon walk a road that leads nowhere.
Jack Crabb: [voiceover] He believed that he needed one more victory over the Indians to be nominated for President of the United States. That is a true historical fact.
Jack Crabb: After my religion period, I took up with a swindler: Allardyce Merriweather. After Mrs. Pendrake his honesty was downright refreshing.
Jack Crabb: Uh, Mr. Hickock, how many men have you... gunned down? Wild Bill Hickock: I don't rightly remember. You? Jack Crabb: Oh, about two dozen. Wild Bill Hickock: Is that a fact? Jack Crabb: [voiceover] No, it wasn't a fact. In my gunfighter period, I was a terrible liar. Wild Bill Hickock: I wouldn't have put your total that high. No offense, Hoss, but you ain't got the look of murder about you. Not like that fella over there [nods toward a drunk sleeping at a nearby table] Wild Bill Hickock: . Jack Crabb: [laughing] Him! Why, he's just a common drunk.
[Hickock just shot the "drunk" who tried to kill him] Bartender: Did you know the man, Bill? Wild Bill Hickock: Never laid eyes on the gentleman before. Jack Crabb: Mr, Hickcock; that man's really dead! Wild Bill Hickock: Yep; got him through the heart and lungs both.
Jack Crabb: I don't understand it, grandfather, why would they kill women and children? Old Lodge Skins: Because they are strange. They do not seem to know where the center of the Earth is.
Jack Crabb: Might I ask who I are addressin'? Wild Bill Hickock: Name's Hickok. Wild Bill Hickok. Jack Crabb: Oh, uh, pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Hickok.
Jack Crabb: Lord help us, these young girls is deadly!
Jack Crabb: [after Mrs. Pendrake] That was the end of my religion period. I ain't sung a hymn in a 104 years.
Jack Crabb: At first sight of an Indian camp, what you think is, "I see their dump. Where's their camp?"
General Custer: A Custer decision impetuous? GRANT called me impetuous, too, the drunkard, sitting there in the White House, calling ME impetuous!
Jack Crabb: [to Merriweather about existentialism] Maybe we're all fools and none of it matters.
Jack Crabb: [voiceover] I was an honored guest, so they gave me a special treat: boiled dog. Now I will admit, dog is greasy, but you'd be surprised how downright delicate the flavor is - especially when you're starving.
Younger Bear: Every time I believe you are dead and the buzzards have eaten your body, you come back! Jack Crabb: Yes, and I always will until you pay me the life you owe me.
Digging Bear: Stay. Corn Woman is to tired. Jack Crabb: She don't sound tired to me.
Rev. Silas Pendrake: Can you drive a buggy, boy? Jack Crabb: Oh, yes sir. Right good. Rev. Silas Pendrake: You're a liar, boy. You were reared by the Indians - how could you learn to drive a buggy? We shall have to beat the lying out of you.
Caroline Crabb: Sold your gunfighter outfit? Turning in your gun? Jack Crabb: Well, sorry, Caroline. Caroline Crabb: There's ain't nothin' in this world more useless than a gunfighter who can't shoot *people*!
[Sunshine has brought her widow sisters] Sunshine: It is very sad. They have no husbands and they cry. Jack Crabb: Well, that's too bad; I'm sorry. Sunshine: Digging Bear had a baby and lost it. And so did Corn Woman. But Little Elk had no baby at all. Jack Crabb: All right, what do you want me to do about it? Sunshine: I knew you'd understand.
Jack Crabb: [Narration; upon finding his white wife among the Cheyenne] It was Olga! She had never learned much English, but she sure as hell had learned Cheyenne!
Jack Crabb: Custer was right. I was a total failure as an Indian.
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