Until 2005, the only domestic version available for Major Dundee was a standard 123-minute theatrical cut. All prints were the same except for a couple of minor audio variations. *
Major Dundee was frequently given an incorrect length (134 minutes) in reference book and film rental catalogs - the length of the film before its final trimming for domestic release. As it turns out, the extra eleven minutes did remain in the film for some international markets, such as Finland and Australia.** It's doubtful that the full 134-minute cut was screened in the United States or Great Britain, as contemporary reviewers don't mention any of the cut material.
This detailed plot synopsis relates the entire uncut original plotline of Major Dundee as contained in Oscar Saul and Sam Peckinpah's final shooting script of December 4, 1963. Material seen only in the new extended 134-minute new release version is IN BLUE; additional material still existing only in script form is IN RED. One noted cut scene not found in the script is IN GREEN. Missing material is described in more detail than scenes in the existing version of the film.
The Rostes Ranch, New Mexico Territory, the morning of October 31, 1864. Cowboys and shepherds watch the 37 mounted men of B Troop climb the hill and approach the Rostes compound. Some of the locals know the soldiers and trade jokes with them as they ride in.
B Troop's leader is 1st Lt. Brannin, an "Eastern book soldier" having a bad day. His exhausted men have been unable to track the renegade Apache raider Sierra Charriba. Bugle Boy Tim Ryan is eager to see the Rostes' teenaged daughter Beth. Tim has been in uniform almost a year and has never heard a shot fired in anger. He's also never kissed a girl.
A big Hallowe'en party is soon underway. The children of John and Mary Rostes and their neighbors the Romeros play in the yard dressed as ghosts and fierce Indians. The soldiers and cowpokes are drinking and carousing. Inside, Lt. Brannin angrily asserts that he's certain that his Indian Scout Riago has purposely led the troop on a wild goose chase. Riago sits shackled by the campfire, under arrest. Brannin wants Riago tried and hanged when they return to their fort.
Ryan catches up with Beth in the cornfield. She's costumed in a sheet as a ghost. They watch as the cowboys rope the outhouse and drag it off its foundation, and then Beth wanders back toward the main house with Ryan following. He gets his big chance and asks her for a kiss. A montage follows of cowboys and soldiers getting rowdy, inter-cut with the children yelling and screaming as they play ghost and wild Indian. Then we see a kid with very convincing Indian war paint aiming an arrow. It's a real Apache. In a quick succession of shots, Sierra Charriba's warriors attack and kill the sentries before an alarm can be raised. By the time anyone realizes what is happening, a massacre is in full swing. Riago is seen leaping to his feet amid the confusion. Trooper Jurgenson protectively throws Tim onto a horse and shouts for him to flee to Fort Benlin. Beth reaches for Ryan but is cut down by arrows. Ryan escapes alone.
(Note: the very first shot of this missing sequence, with Lt. Brannin's troop approaching the Rostes Ranch, can be seen briefly in the "burning journal page" that opens completed versions of the movie. In existing versions the fact of the massacre at the Rostes ranch is related in a reading of Tim Ryan's journal entry, "the only record of this massacre and the campaign that followed.")
Dawn. The ranch still burns. Sierra Charriba, his subordinate Guero and the rest of his warriors exit with their spoils, including three young boy captives: Jonathan Rostes and Chato & Miguel Romero. Only Lt. Brannin is alive -- barely. He is wounded and has been suspended upside-down over a small fire. Charriba taunts Brannin: "Who you send against me now?"
That afternoon. Major Amos Charles Dundee arrives with the 90 men of C Troop to find the Rostes Ranch deserted and its burned buildings smouldering. He, bugler Ryan and the one-armed chief scout Sam Potts are the first to ride in. Ryan is sickened as he sees that Beth Rostes is among the scattered corpses.
One of the dead bodies leaps to life - it is an Apache assassin left behind to kill Dundee. But Potts shoots him first. Dundee regards a marker left behind by the Apaches - a lance with a broken saber and a bloody Union blouse tied to it.
They find Lt. Brannin's body, still hanging over the burned-out fire. Dundee dispatches Potts to confirm that Charriba is heading to Mexico with the kidnapped children, with instructions to return to Ft. Benlin in five days. The Major intends to pursue and capture the Indian.
Ryan begins to blow taps, crying. The troopers are already burying the dead. On the way back to Ft. Benlin, Sgt. Gomez tells Dundee he'll be going along on the mission against Charriba. As a boy Gomez was captured by the Apache and rode with them for two years. Just outside the fort, Dundee's troop comes upon five Confederate soldiers in a stream, shackled together. They are easily recaptured. Their leader, Captain Benjamin Tyreen, greets Dundee with contempt. Ben and his companions Jimmy Lee Benteen, Arthur and O.W. Hadley and Sgt. Watt Chillum are all led back to the fort.
Fort Benlin is a Union prison for Confederate soldiers. Children scatter as Dundee's troop rides in. Dundee's first officer Captain Waller informs the Major that the five rebels savagely clubbed a guard during their attempted escape. Waller blames Dundee for the escape because most of the garrison -- 131 soldiers -- was away conducting an unauthorized search for Charriba. Dundee orders the prisoners assembled.
Dundee addresses the ragged Confederate prisoners, offering volunteers an opportunity to join him to pursue Sierra Charriba. Tyreen leads the crowd in refusing. Dundee is told that one of the clubbed guards has died, and announces that there will be a murder trial.
Ben Tyreen, the Hadleys, Benteen and Chillum are all quickly condemned at the hearing. Dundee has Tyreen stay behind, and they argue. Dundee brands Tyreen a rebel. Ben accuses the Major of securing a promotion for himself years ago at West Point, by voting to blackball Tyreen from the academy in a hearing over a duel of honor.
Later. Dundee reviews civilian recruits for his quest against Charriba but finds none that are suitable. He does hire the horse thief Benjamin Priam to obtain mounts for his planned mission. Dundee sends for one of his Lieutenants, but finds that only Lt. Graham, his last choice, is available. He dispatches his clerk Cpl. Tinney to fetch him.
Captain Waller now spells out his objections to Dundee's plan, which Waller sees as an entirely illegal campaign beyond the scope of Dundee's authorized assignment to guard prisoners. The warden job is a punishment for embarrassing the Union at Gettysburg by "trying to fight his own war": Dundee was one of those over-eager young officers who led reckless cavalry charges in hopes of instant glory and promotion. In Waller's opinion Dundee is a fool to think that he can control a troop composed of even a few Confederate prisoners. Even worse, Mexico is occupied by thousands of insurgent French soldiers suppressing the Juarista rebellion, and Dundee's armed incursion across an international frontier could be interpreted as an act of war. Dundee's only reply is that "his executioners will have to stand in line." He's determined to rescue the stolen children and kill Charriba.
In front of Dundee, Captain Waller gives Sgt. Conlin a letter of protest, and tells him to deliver it to General Carlton as soon as possible. When Waller is gone, Dundee tells Sgt. Gomez to "help" Conlin deliver the letter.
The awkward Lt. Graham is late reporting to Dundee's office, and is stiff and uncomfortable when the Major interviews him. Graham reveals both a lack of experience and a high enthusiasm for the artillery corps, his specialty. Dundee gives Graham a list of guns and ordinance he wants "requisitioned," and dispatches the lieutenant with C troop to intercept an army ammunition wagon train on its way to Denver.
At a river crossing, Graham and C Troop present Dundee's unauthorized requisition list to Sgt Dallace of the wagon train. When Dallace refuses, Graham at first seems as confused as he did in Dundee's office. He then orders his men to aim their guns at Dallace and, with his own pistol pointing at the Sergeant's face, asks for the guns again ... and also a miniature mountain howitzer he knows to be on the supply train.
Graham returns with a large load of rifles and ammunition and his personal baby howitzer "to play with." Dundee is pleased. Gomez returns, with a riderless horse that obviously belongs to Sgt. Conlin.
Tyreen and his men watch their gallows being erected in the prison yard. They're running out of time and options.
Dundee interviews more civilian volunteers but accepts only four. He hires the drunken muleskinner Wiley with the promise of free booze and then orders him thrown into a cell to sober up. Amos is about to turn down the Reverend Dahlstrom's offer to join the mission, until he realizes that the fighting preacher is eager for retribution against the heathen murderers of John and Mary Rostes.
Dundee is overseeing the distribution of the new guns when Sgt Conlin returns, limping. Captain Waller orders Conlin to find a horse and start out again.
Dundee observes the mass of filthy prisoners in the yard. His black trooper Aesop asks on behalf of himself and his six "coloreds" if they can enlist for the mission. They're tired of menial labor. A few moments later, Lt. Graham infuriates Dundee by conveying the message that Ben Tyreen has "decided" to offer his Confederates for the expedition, provided certain conditions are met. Enraged, Dundee storms into Tyreen's cell and knocks him down. But Ben knows how desperate the Major is and makes a deal -- twenty good Confederate horsemen and his word that they will serve under Dundee, only until "the Apache is taken or destroyed." Sgt. Gomez takes the same oath on the spot, and Tyreen rejoices that his chains will soon be removed.
Dawn. The Major is reviewing his troops when Priam returns with dozens of stolen horses. Sam Potts also reappears with the suspected Indian scout Riago and his partner, Paco. The Major asks Sam up for a drink. In Dundee's office, Potts defends Riago, claiming that the Indian is an honest ally and not a spy for Charriba. Dundee has grave doubts about that but doesn't want to lose Sam's services.
In the prison yard, the Confederates refuse to wear the Union uniforms Corporal Tinney provides for them. The parade ground turns into pandemonium when the pack animals get out of control during a practice run. Captain Waller waits anxiously for Sgt. Conlin to return, while Aesop's blacks and the Confederates eye each other. In the prison chapel. Tim is one of several soldiers receiving the sacraments.
Ben Tyreen informs his men in no uncertain terms that strict discipline will be enforced on the mission, a warning that O.W. Hadley and Jimmy Lee Benteen do not take seriously. The troop is mounted and ready. Waller tells Dundee that he intends to have him up on charges before General Carlton within the week -- but adds that he wishes Dundee well just the same. Little kids watch the troop exit.
Dundee moves the troop out. As they exit the gates, Dundee calls for a tune. The troopers sing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," which the Confederates obstinately counter with "Dixie." The Texans follow up with "My Darling Clementine."
The first days on the trail are a ragged shakedown. The mules continually go berserk, scattering their packs. Potts and his Indian scouts are amazed at the sight. Tyreen shoots down a bird, and obtains some fancy plumes for his hat. Tim and other younger troopers brawl with a few of the Confederates, but it is just releasing tension and not a serious encounter.
The troop is in Texas, nearing the border with Mexico. Fearing rebel patrols from the nearby Confederate Fort Davis, Dundee orders no fires to be lit. Tyreen's men drop hints about deserting but Ben ignores them.
In the morning, Potts and the Indians return with the news that a Confederate troop is nearing their position. The Rio Grande, the border with Mexico, is not far away. The troop races for it at a gallop.
At the river, all cross except Ben Tyreen and his Confederate friends, who form a rear guard but are obviously hoping that the rebel company from Fort Davis will catch up and 'liberate' them. Dundee reminds Ben of his oath. Chagrined, the Captain feels compelled to obey. He orders his men across the river to join the rest of Dundee's command.
Tim Ryan lags behind calling retreat on his bugle. The first Confederates crest the ridge over the river and shoot Tim's horse out from under him. Tyreen turns back from the Mexican side of the river and rescues the bugle boy. Still exposed to enemy fire, Dundee's men are surprised when the rebel company suddenly remounts and disengages, disappearing from sight. Why?
On the Texas side of the river, a tiny Union group approaches: Captain Waller, Captain Dallace and Sgt. Conlin with twelve troopers. Waller thinks he's addressing the Major when he announces Dundee's arrest on orders from General Carlton. Then he realizes that the troops before him are Confederates from Fort Davis. Waller and his group run for their lives. The Confederates also retreat, fearing that they have been flanked. Dundee's band is able to continue into Mexico unmolested.
The first encampment across the river: The command is relaxing after dinner. All is peaceful until Jimmy Lee Benteen orders Aesop to take off his boots, as if the soldier were a southern house slave. Aesop doesn't know what to do and gets no help from Dundee, who just stares dumbly at the scene. Then the Reverend Dahlstrom intercedes, rudely pulling off Jimmy Lee's boots and roughing him up. The Yankees and the rebels trade insults and the situation threatens to escalate. All looks lost until Tyreen interrupts to defuse the situation. He publicly compliments Aesop on the river crossing, a condescending gesture that nevertheless calms the camp down.
Dundee and Tyreen have a bitter discussion. Dundee harps on Tyreen's status as a rebel, as if that automatically makes him a renegade without honor. He tries to shame Ben with the memory of a beloved General who died at Shiloh, and calls Tyreen a potato Irishman fighting for the wrong side. Tyreen easily trumps the Major by asking why he is so blind to his own dishonor -- why did the Yankees make him a jailer instead of a soldier?
Priam is digusted by the mess the fight has made of his campfire cooking. Dundee orders Lt. Graham to distribute whiskey as a reward for the safe river crossing. Sgt. Chillum drinks to the Confederacy. Dundee tries to be diplomatic by directing his toast only to the mission. In response, Wiley mutters, "Hell, I drink to whiskey."
A montage of the troop crossing different types of terrain, and then it is December 24, 1864, Christmas Eve. Encamped in an old ruin, the troop watches as Sam Potts and Riago fight in a betting contest. The fight becomes more exciting. Even Dundee places a bet. He tells Potts that he knows he will lose because "the artillery" (Graham) is betting on him, and the artillery always loses. Then a warning signal is heard, and the troop braces for action.
Instead, Gomez leads a solitary Old Apache into camp. The ancient fellow says that Charriba threw him out. He's come to lead Dundee's men to where the Apaches are hidden on the other side of the river. Dundee falls for the bait. He trust the Old Apache because he's brought back the three kidnapped boys, who are already dressed and behaving like Indians.
Gomez leaves to take the three boys back to Texas. Dundee moves the entire troop to the river.
Under the Old Apache's direction, the troop carefully crosses the river at night. Tyreen is with the Indian scouts. One of the scouts, Paco, is jumped and knifed by Charriba's Apaches, who take his hat and uniform jacket. Seeing a scout approaching, Tyreen becomes suspicious; he whistles a bar of Dixie as a password. Tyreen hears the answer signal - but from the wrong direction. When the Indian before him doesn't answer, Tyreen opens fire.
One moment the Old Apache is sitting on a horse next to Potts, and then he is gone. A coordinated Indian ambush is launched with most of the troops still in the river. The Apache are beaten away, but not before they inflict serious casualties on the troop.
Christmas morning. Reverend Dahlstrom tends to minor wounds on Tyreen's back and Tim Ryan's buttocks. Furious, Dundee dispatches Potts and Riago to find Charriba. Riago pleads his loyalty, but Amos still thinks the Indian is working for Charriba. Lt. Graham announces that fourteen soldiers are dead and thirteen wounded. They've lost most of their horses and supplies, including all of the whiskey. The Major realizes that he must replenish his supplies if the mission is to continue. Tyreen knows only one village they can reach, and it's reportedly garrisoned by French Lancers.
Hobbling from his wound, Tim Ryan dips a ladle into the river and finds he's drawn a cupful of blood. Sickened, he must find a clear patch of water to take a drink.
The troop buries its dead in a mass grave. Dundee interrupts Dahlstrom's hymn before the service is finished by suddenly shoveling earth over the bodies.
The miserable company prepares to move out but the Major cannot get the mule he now must ride to budge. He's finally thrown on his rear. The entire command breaks up in laughter, but silently.
Gomez rejoins the group. They find another Apache marker with a broken saber, like the one back at the Rostes Ranch. Potts interprets the Apache sign: Charriba is waiting for them.
Later, the troop rests in an arroyo. More of the wounded are dying. Potts and Tyreen return from a scout. They've found the village, and it is occupied by a few French Lancers. The main Legionnaire group is quartered six hours away. Dundee announces that they'll move into the village at dawn.
Starving dogs and men hanged in the name of Emperor Maximillian's harsh edicts greet Dundee's ragged troop when they storm the village. The French retreat to their blockhouse. Sgt. Gomez cuts down some more hanged villagers. Sam Potts tells the French officer in charge, Captain Jacques Tremaine, to surrender immediately, no terms given. From a building appears Teresa Santiago, the Austrian widow of the town's doctor, who was also hanged by the French. She suspects Dundee's motives for entering the village but is impressed when a single shot from Graham's little cannon brings the French out with their hands up. Dundee orders the French supplies seized, and a big celebration is begun. Tyreen tries to impress Teresa with his gallantry.
The fiesta begins. Teresa and her assistant Linda tend Tim Ryan's wound while Dundee and Tyree start in on the tequila. The Major explains that he's going to let the French prisoners escape to their headquarters. His plan is to steal the Lancers' supplies when they counterattack.
Tim's wound makes dancing painful, so he and Linda retire from the fiesta to her house after saluting Captain Tyreen. Ben and Amos wonder where Teresa is. When she appears Tyreen wastes no time in asking her to dance. The mariachis play a waltz. Dundee cuts in, and Tyreen accommodates him like a gentleman. Then Lt. Graham shows up already stiff from drink, and insists on cutting in as well. He and Teresa do a Mexican dance while Dundee stews.
By themselves, Dundee and Tyreen remember better West Point days with talk about breaking curfew and admiration for their commandant, Robert E. Lee.
In Linda's room, Tim kisses her, and then falls fast asleep.
Sam Potts smiles at a woman, who snubs him. Feeling lonely and mean, the drunken scout sees a girl he likes and picks a knife fight with her young man, Armando. The young Mexican is no match for Potts, so Gomez steps in to take his place. The two feint and nick one another with the crowd naturally favoring Gomez. Dundee doesn't realize that the fight has become an affectionate contest, and tries to stop it at gunpoint. Gomez tells him off. Potts brandishes his knife again. before Dundee can act, Tyreen now takes up the challenge. Then Potts smiles, throws his knife down and dances away with Gomez, laughing. In a few moments Gomez, Potts and Armando are drinking and laughing together. Amos is the outsider, who "doesn't get it".
Dundee walks Teresa home. Away from the crowd, Teresa tells Amos that she met her husband when he went to medical school in Vienna. After his death she took his place in the village as best she could. The two share a kiss, but Dundee is perturbed when Teresa talks about Tyreen's gallantry.
At dawn, Tyreen explains that Graham and Gomez have gone to look for Tim Ryan. They find him in Linda's room, unable to waken -- although Linda says he couldn't sleep in the night. The three soldiers stagger out to the waiting column; everyone is hung-over and groggy. Linda runs out and kisses Tim goodbye, and the entire command cheers. Teresa watches the column move out, and smiles at Tyreen as he passes.
Later that day, Dundee, Tyreen and other soldiers observe the marching French Lancers and Legionnaires from a hiding place in the rocks. Further along the trail, Graham leads a smaller group to decoy the French into striking position.
That night, when the Lancers are asleep in their camp, Dundee's men sneak in among them, steal their horses and supply pack animals, and feign an attack to cover their escape.
Three days later the command is recovering in a sylvan spot by a waterfall and a deep pool. Tim is shaving now. Potts and Tyreen return to report that Teresa's village was attacked by the French in reprisal. They didn't find Teresa.
Later. Graham reports that O. W. Hadley has deserted. Gomez leaves to retrieve him. Knowing that Dundee will probably kill O.W. if Gomez catches him, the camp once again splits into distrustful factions.
Again later, Gomez returns with O.W. Hadley and several survivors from the village, Linda and Teresa among them. O.W. tries unsuccessfully to rouse a defense among his friends -- he had gone back to the village to see a girl. Tyreen asks Dundee to relent but the Major is intent on standing the deserter before a firing squad. Tyreen must accept this but vows to kill Dundee after the Apache are taken or destroyed. He cheats Dundee's firing squad by shooting O.W. Hadley himself.
Sensing the low morale and his own rotten judgment, Dundee takes a walk beyond his pickets. Teresa follows him, alarmed by the feeling of hatred in the camp. They swim in a pond.
Later, Dundee tries to answer Teresa's curiosity about why men become soldiers. He asks Teresa if she ever thought of living in the United States. Then he's hit in the leg by an Apache arrow.
Tyreen's men have been watching from cover: they finish off the Apache archers. Ben takes the opportunity to criticize Amos' poor sense of command, calling him incompetent and Teresa a fallen woman.
The command prepares to sneak Dundee into Durango where a doctor can see properly to his leg wound. Amos officially turns over his command to Lt. Graham.
In Durango, French officer Jacques Tremaine ordes his spy Petain to watch Dundee. Dr. Aguilar works on Dundee's leg while Gomez and Potts watch. A beautiful part-Indian woman, Melinche, watches as well and plays the guitar. Dundee dismisses his escort; he'll recover for a day or so in a quiet room above the Boca Raton bar.
Later. Melinche climbs the stairs to Dundee's room while Petain observes her. Dundee is still feverish but demands liquor and refuses to eat. He's growing a beard. He practices walking on a crutch, and then pulls Melinche down with him onto the bed.
Later. Teresa shows up suddenly at Dundee's door. She has joined the Juaristas and is stopping to look in on his recovery at some risk to herself. Both she and Dundee are humiliated by the presence of Melinche. Heartbroken, Teresa excuses herself and leaves. Dundee staggers out but cannot keep up with Teresa. Melinche follows. She is arrested by Petain's men when she tries to leave the Boca Raton.
In a montage, Dundee wanders through Durango in a drunken fever, always watched by Petain.
Dundee enters La Diligencia, another bar. Gomez contacts him. The Major can't rejoin the command because the French are waiting to follow him. Gomez sneaks out carefully.
Delirious, Amos experiences a thought-montage of previous events: The massacre, the exit from the fort, Teresa, Melinche, the river battle, the dance. A woman he presumes to be Teresa is revealed to be Melinche. The waking nightmare ends with a vision of Lt. Brannin roasting over the fire.
Later. Tyreen shows up at the bar, finds Dundee unconscious on the floor and announces that he's come to rescue him. Gomez and Potts knock Petain unconscious and drag him out. Dundee resists Tyreen's prodding, and they fight. But they're interrupted by a skirmish outdoors: Graham and some men are causing a diversion with Graham's cannon. Dundee and Tyreen slip out the back way.
Gomez and Potts watch from a balcony. They've been drinking as well. They realize that they need to get going when Tyreen and Dundee ride by. But the officers have stolen their horses!
In their camp, Dundee retakes his command back from Graham. He acknowledges that the once callow Lt. is now a capable officer. The troop moves out.
In a mountain clearing, Dundee's band, now a well-functioning unit, pauses to regard another Apache marker. Fed up with playing games, Dundee and his leaders decide to lay a trap for the Indians by pretending to run away back to the Rio Grande. Next to the marker, Riago's mutilated body is tied to a Joshua tree. Dundee tells Potts to cut Riago down but Potts suggests that it is Dundee's job, to atone for his distrust of the Apache scout.
Guero, Charriba and his warriors examine Dundee's trail, hunkered down in much the same way as the soldiers were. What is their enemy up to? It's a tough problem to solve ...
Dundee approves of Potts' chosen spot for an ambush, a ravine only a mile or so from the Rio Grande. The men prepare their trap. Gomez and Potts, feeling pity for the pickets who could very easily be killed by the Apache, take their places. After dark, the soldiers slip out of their bedrolls and crawl into ambush positions.
The Apache sneak in just before dawn. Gomez makes contact with an Apache, knifes him to death, and pretends that he himself has been killed as well. The Apaches attack the empty bedrolls as Charriba repeats his killing oath: "Who will you send against me now?" Tim Ryan is hiding not six feet away, and answers by killing the Indian chieftain with one shot. The soldiers come out of hiding and the ambush becomes a one-sided slaughter.
At dawn, Dundee stands over Charriba's body. Tyreen appears, ready for the duel he promised now that the Apache are destroyed. Dundee is ready to accommodate Ben when Potts interrupts to have them look at something he's just seen: Two columns of French soldiers are closing on their position. The duel is put on hold while the command mounts hastily and rushes to the border.
At the river they discover that the French know some basic strategy as well. A company of Lancers is stationed on the Texas side of the river at the only place they can cross, blocking the Americans' escape until the larger French forces can catch up. Dundee refuses to acknowledge the trap and has Graham ready his cannon to start firing immediately at the lines of Lancers. After several shots, the desperate ploy pays off. The French cavalry officer loses his patience and orders his Lancers to charge. Dundee's men are able to cut down many mounted Frenchmen in the river but the remainder crosses to attack Dundee's men on the Mexican side.
The battle is wild and savage, lances against sabers, rifles and shotguns. Wiley, Dahlstrom and Arthur Hadley are among the many killed in the fighting as the river turns red with blood. But the French are defeated and the way to Texas is clear. Then Tyreen is shot in the back. Realizing that he's mortally wounded, Ben charges the fresh Lancers that have just now reached the battlefield. His suicidal death on the Mexican river bank serves as a distraction while the ten surviving members of the command run for home.
On the Texas side of the river, the French left behind, Dundee pauses his bloodied men before continuing. Potts points out yet another Apache marker under a tree, directly in their path. Dundee acknowledges that he sees it. For one last time, the troop moves into the Texas underbrush with Dundee leading the way.