LaBoeuf: As I understand it, Chaney... or Chelmsford, as he called himshelf in Texas... shot the senator's dog. When the senator remonstrated, Chelmsford shot him as well. You could argue that the shooting of the dog was merely an instance of malum prohibitum, but the shooting of a senator is indubitably an instance 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 am struck that LaBoeuf is shot, trampled, and nearly severs his tongue, and not only does not cease to talk, but spills the banks of English!
Mattie Ross: You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free except the grace of God.
40-Year-Old Mattie: I had the body removed to our plot and I have visited it over the years. No doubt people talk about that. They say, "Well, she hardly knew the man. Isn't she a cranky old maid?" It is true, I have not married. I never had time to fool with it. I heard nothing more of the Texas officer LaBoeuf. If he is yet alive, I would be pleased to hear from him. I judge he would be in his 70s now, and nearer 80 than 70. I expect some of the starch has gone out of that cowlick. Time just gets away from us.
Lucky Ned Pepper: What is your intention Rooster? You think one on four is a dogfall?
Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which will you have?
Lucky Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!
40-Year-Old Mattie: People do not give it credence that a young girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood. But it did happen. I was just 14 years of age when a coward by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down and robbed him of his life and his horse and two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band. Chaney was a hired man and Papa had taken him up to Fort Smith to help lead back a string of Mustang ponies he'd bought. In town, Chaney had fallen to drink and cards and lost all his money. He got it into his head he was being cheated and went back to the boarding house for his Henry rifle. When Papa tried to intervene, Chaney shot him. Chaney fled. He could have walked his horse, for not a soul in that city could be bothered to give chase. No doubt Chaney fancied himself scot-free. But he was wrong. You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free, except the grace of God.
Rooster Cogburn: [to Matty about burying the outlaws] The ground's too hard. If they wanted a decent funeral, they should have got themselves killed in summer.
LaBoeuf: You give out very little sugar with your pronouncements. While I sat there watchin' I gave some thought to stealin' a kiss... though you are very young, and sick... and unattractive to boot. But now I have a mind to give you five or six good licks with my belt.
Mattie Ross: One would be just as unpleasant as the other
Col. Stonehill: I do not entertain hypotheticals. The world itself is vexing enough.
LaBoeuf: You are getting ready to show your ignorance now, Cogburn. I don't mind a little personal chaffing but I won't hear anything against the Ranger troop from a man like you.L
Rooster Cogburn: How long have you boys been mounted on sheep down there?
LaBoeuf: My Appaloosa will be galloping when that big American stud of yours is winded and collapsed. Now make another joke about it. You are only trying to put on a show for this girl Mattie with what you must think is a keen tongue.
Rooster Cogburn: This is like women talking.
LaBoeuf: Yes, that is the way! Make me out foolish in this girl's eyes.
Rooster Cogburn: I think she has got you pretty well figured.
First Lawyer: Mr. Cogburn, did you find a bottle with a hundred and twenty-five dollars in it?
Cross-examining Lawyer: Objection your Honor, Leading
Judge Parker: Sustained. Rephrase the question.
First Lawyer: What happened then?
Rooster Cogburn: [slightly annoyed] I found a bottle with a hundred and twenty-five dollars in it.
Rooster Cogburn: If he is not in a shallow grave somewhere between here and Fort Smith he is gone. Long gone! Thanks to Mr. LaBeouf, we have missed our shot. He 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 there ever was one. I'm a foolish old man who's been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trouser and a nincompoop. Mr. LaBeouf, he can wonder the Choctaw Nation for as long as he likes. Perhaps the local In'jins will take him in and honor his jibberings by making him chief. You, sister, may go where you like. Our engagement is terminated. I bow out.
Mattie Ross: If I had killed Chaney, I would not be in this fix; but my gun misfired.
Lucky Ned Pepper: [Chuckling] They will do it. It will embarrass you every time. Most girls like to play pretties, but you like guns do you?
Mattie Ross: I do not care a thing about guns, if I did, I would have one that worked.
[first title card]
Title card: The wicked flee when none pursueth. Proverbs 28:1
Rooster Cogburn: You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him
40-Year-Old Mattie: Keep your seat, trash.
Rooster Cogburn: At The Green Frog, had a billiard table. Served ladies and men both, mostly men. Tried running it myself for a while, but couldn't keep good help. And I never did learn how to buy meat. Is it him?
Mattie Ross: [Examining hanging body] I believe not.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, cut him down.
Mattie Ross: Why?
Rooster Cogburn: I might know him.
[Mattie climbs higher to reach the rope]
Rooster Cogburn: That's when I went out to the staked plains of Texas. Shoot buffalo with Vernon Shaftoe and a Flathead Indian named Olly. Well, the Mormons, well they run Shaftoe out of Great Salt Lake City, don't ask me what for. Call it a misunderstanding and leave it go at that. Well, big shaggies, about all gone now. Damned shame. Give three dollars right now for a pickled buffalo tongue.
Mattie Ross: Why did they hang him so high?
Rooster Cogburn: I do not know. Possibly in the belief it'd make him more dead.
Mattie Ross: [LaBoeuf is whipping her] Are you going to let him do this, Marshal?
Rooster Cogburn: [watches for a moment] No, I don't believe I will. Put your switch away, LaBoeuf.
LaBoeuf: I aim to finish what I started!
Rooster Cogburn: It'll be the biggest mistake you ever made, you Texas brush-popper.
[aims gun at LaBoeuf]
Rooster Cogburn: The jakes is occupied.
Mattie Ross: I know it is occupied Mr. Cogburn. As I said, I have business with you.
Rooster Cogburn: I have prior business.
Mattie Ross: You have been at it for quite some time, Mr. Cogburn.
Rooster Cogburn: There is no clock on my business! To hell with you! To hell with you! How did you stalk me here?
Mattie Ross: The sheriff told me to look in the saloon. In the saloon they referred me here. We must talk.
Rooster Cogburn: Women ain't allowed in the saloon!
Mattie Ross: I was not there as a customer. I am fourteen years old.
Rooster Cogburn: The jakes is occupied. And will be for some time.
Rooster Cogburn: I do not know this man.
LaBoeuf: I am not accustomed to so large a fire. In Texas, we'll make do with a fire of little more than twigs... buffalo chips. Heat the night's ration of beans. And it is Ranger policy never to make your camp in the same place as your cook fire. Very imprudent to make your presence known in unsettled country.
Emmett Quincy: Don't you go flappin' your gums, Moon! If you blow, I will kill you!
Moon: I'm played out, Quincy! We seen Ned and Hayes two days ago...
[Quincy draws a boot knife and cuts Moon's fingers off, then stabs him in the heart. Rooster immediately shoots Quincy in the face]
Rooster Cogburn: Goddamn it.
Rooster Cogburn: I'd give $3 now for a pickled buffalo tongue.
Tom Chaney: [after being shot by Mattie] I didn't think you'd do it! One of my short ribs is broke!
Mattie Ross: [Discussing the price of cotton] We got most of our cotton in early. We got 12 and a half cents a pound in Little Rock.
Col. Stonehill: Then I suggest you take the rest of your crop to Little Rock to sell.
Mattie Ross: This being closer, I though I might check on the price in Ft. Smith while I was here.
Col. Stonehill: Did you come all this way to inform me of the price of cotton in Little Rock?
Rooster Cogburn: I'm a foolish old man who's been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpie in trousers and a nincompoop.
Undertaker: If you would like to sleep in a coffin, it would be all right.
Rooster Cogburn: [after singing for a long time] That was "Johnny in the Low Ground." There are very few fiddle tunes I have not heard. Once heard they are locked in my mind forever. It is a sadness to me that I have sausage fingers that cannot crowd onto a fretboard... Little fat girls at a cotillion. "Soldier's Joy"!
LaBoeuf: [to Mattie] I don't believe he slept.
Rooster Cogburn: You are not LaBoeuf.
Mattie Ross: Who's the best marshal?
Sheriff: Hmm, I'd have to think on that. Bill Waters is the best tracker. He's part Comanche; it is a pure joy to watch him cut for sign. The meanest is Rooster Cogburn; a pitiless man, double tough.Fear don't enter into his thinking. I'd have to say the fairest is L.T. Quinn; he always brings in his prisoners alive. Now, he might let one slip by evry now and then, but...
Mattie Ross: Where would I find this Rooster?
Mattie Ross: And "futile", Marshal Cogburn, "pursuit would be futile"? It's not spelled "f-u-d-e-l."
Rooster Cogburn: [LaBoeuf has been talking about malum prohibitum and malum in se] It astonishes me that Mr. LaBoeuf has been shot, trampled, and nearly bitten his tongue off, and yet not only does he continue to talk but he spills the banks of English.
Rooster Cogburn: [referring to the defense attorney] Pencil-necked son of a bitch!
Bear Man: You might want to head over to the Original Greaser Bob's. He notched a dugout into a hollow along the Coralon River. If you ride the river you won't fail to see it. Greaser Bob, the Original Greaser Bob, is hunting north of the picket wire and would not begrudge its use.
Emmett Quincy: [to Mattie] Who worked you over with the ugly stick?
Rooster Cogburn: That didn't pan out.