American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"True Grit" (2010)

 

Mattie Ross Negotiates A Settlement

Audio AR-XE mp3 delivered by Hailee Steinfeld and Dakin Matthews

 

Mattie Ross: How much are you paying for cotton?

Colonel Stonehill: Nine and a half for low middling and ten for ordinary.

Mattie Ross: Well, we got most of ours out early -- sold to the Woodson Brothers in Little Rock for eleven cents.

Colonel Stonehill: Then I suggest you take the balance of it to the Woodson Brothers.

Mattie Ross: We took the balance to Woodson. We got ten and a half.

Colonel Stonehill: Why'd you come here to tell me this?

Mattie Ross: Well, I thought we might shop around up here next year but I guess we're doing all right in Little Rock.

I'm Mattie Ross, daughter of Frank Ross.

Colonel Stonehill: Oh...Tragic thing. May I say your father impressed me with his manly qualities. He was a close trader but he acted the gentleman.
   

Mattie Ross: Well, I propose to sell those ponies back to you that my father bought.

   

Colonel Stonehill: Oh, that, I fear, is out of the question. I will see that they're shipped to you at my earliest convenience.

   

 

Mattie Ross: Well, we don't want the ponies now. We don't need 'em.

 

   

Colonel Stonehill: Well, that hardly concerns me. Your
father bought the ponies and paid for them and there's an end of it. I -- I have the bill of sale.

   

Mattie Ross: And I want three hundred dollars for Papa's saddle horse that was stolen from your stable.

   

Colonel Stonehill: You have to take that up with the man who stole the horse.

   

Mattie Ross: Tom Chaney stole the horse while it was in your care. You are responsible.

   

Colonel Stonehill: [Chuckling] Yeah, I admire your sand1, but I believe you'll find I'm not liable for such claims.

   

Mattie Ross: You were the custodian. If you were a bank and were robbed you could not simply tell the depositors to go hang.

   

Colonel Stonehill: I do not entertain hypotheticals --
the world as it is is vexing
enough. Secondly, your valuation of the horse is high by about two hundred dollar -- H-How old are you?

   

Mattie Ross: If anything, my price is low. Judy is a fine racing mare. I've seen her jump an eight-rail fence with a heavy rider.

I'm fourteen.

   

Colonel Stonehill: Oh, well, that's all very interesting. The ponies are yours -- take them. Your father's horse was stolen by a murderous criminal. I had provided reasonable protection
for the creature as per our
implicit agreement. My watchman had his teeth knocked out and can take only soup.

   

 

Mattie Ross: Well, I will take it to law.

   

Colonel Stonehill: You have no case!

   

Mattie Ross: Lawyer J. Noble Daggett of Dardanelle, Arkansas may think otherwise -- as might a jury, petitioned by a widow and three small children.

   

Colonel Stonehill: ...I will pay two hundred dollars to your father's estate when I have in my hand a letter from your lawyer absolving me of all liability from the beginning of the world to date. Now --

   

Mattie Ross: I will take two hundred dollars for Judy, plus one hundred for the ponies, and twenty-five dollars for the gray horse that Tom Chaney left. He was easily worth forty. All right, that is three hundred and twenty-five dollars total.

   

Colonel Stonehill: The ponies have no part in it! I will not buy them.

Mattie Ross: Then the price for Judy is three hundred and twenty-five dollars.

   

Colonel Stonehill: Ah, ha, I would not pay three hundred and twenty-five dollars for a winged Pegasus! As for the gray horse, it does not belong to you --

   

Mattie Ross: The gray horse was lent to Tom Chaney by my father. Chaney only had the use of 'em.

   

Colonel Stonehill: ...I will pay two hundred and twenty-five dollars and keep the gray horse. I don't want the ponies.

   

Mattie Ross: I cannot accept that.

There will be no settlement after I leave this office.

It will go to law.

   

Colonel Stonehill: All right, this is my last offer: two hundred and fifty dollars. For that, I get the release, previously discussed, and I keep your father's saddle. The gray horse is not yours to sell.

   

Mattie Ross: The saddle is not for sale. I will keep it. Lawyer Dagget will prove ownership of the gray horse. He will come after you with a writ of replevin.

   
 

Colonel Stonehill: A what?

 

   

 

Mattie Ross: Writ of replevin.

 

   

Colonel Stonehill: All right, now look -- listen very carefully, as I will not bargain further. I will take the ponies back and the gray horse, which is mine, and settle for three hundred dollars. Now, you must take that or leave it, and I do not much care which it is.

   

Mattie Ross: Well, Lawyer Daggett would not wish me to consider anything under three hundred and twenty-five dollars. But, I will settle for three hundred and twenty -- if I am given the twenty in advance.

Now, here's what I have to say about that saddle....

   

1 Gumption, nerve [Source: https://www.timeout.com/chicago/tv/true-grit-vocabulary]

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