Devil's Doorway (1950)
Robert Taylor: Lance Poole
Lance Poole : I envy you, ma'am., you being a lawyer.
Orrie Masters : Well, I...
Lance Poole : You got a faith, something to go by... like a religion. With you it's the law.
Orrie Masters : My father wanted me to study law. It means a great deal to me.
Lance Poole : Yes, it must. I've always wanted something like that. Something to tell me what's right or wrong.
Orrie Masters : I'm glad you feel the way you do.
Lance Poole : Because then you don't have to bother about your conscience. It's written out for you to follow... no matter what it does to people. It's the law. And changing the law is something you don't have to worry about.
Lance Poole : The whites outnumber us, Father. The war is over. All the wars... even yours. The country is growing up. They gave me these stripes wiithout testing my blood. I led a squad of white men. I slept in the same blankets with them, ate out of the same pan. I held their heads when they died. Whey should it be any different now?
Mr. Poole : You are home. You are an Indian.
Lance Poole : It's hard to explain how an Indian feels about the earth. It's the pumping of our blood... the love we got to have. My father said the earth is our mother. I was raised in the valley and now I'm part of it. Like the mountains and the hills, the deer, the pine trees and the wind. Deep in my heart I know I belong. If we lose it now, we might as well all be dead.
Lance Poole : Every Shoshone boy has to go through that. It's a test. Before a boy turns into a man, the tribe wants to know if he measures up.
Mrs. Masters : Well, what does he have to do?
Lance Poole : He's given a knife, nothing else. No food, no water. He has to go up into the mountains above the snow line... and bring back the talons of an eagle. He has three days to do it in. He has to be back on the third day before the sun goes down.
Orrie Masters : Isn't it rather cruel?
Lance Poole : It depends on your point of view. You see, Shoshoni are a small tribe. Every man counts. Suppose one day that boy had to fight for his people. Wouldn't it be a good idea if they knew they could depend upon him?
Lance Poole : I send you my father to the Land of the Great Mystery. May you ride with him on the North Wind.
Lance Poole : I got a saddlebag full of dreams I made around the campfires in the war when the nights were quiet. We'll let the valley soak in the sunlight... nurse it and pet it... until Sweet Meadows is a ranch where we can live and all the kids after us.