[ John finds his son practicing with the rifle.]
Marston: You're tensing up.
Jack: I'm not!
Marston: You are. Your back's tense and it's making the rifle jump. You're holding it wrong. Here, let me show you.
Jack: I don't need you to show me, Pa.
Marston: I guess not.
Jack: You'll show me and you'll just...run off again or something. It's better I teach myself.
Marston: I ain't going nowhere.
Jack: Whatever you say, Pa.
Marston: Don't be like that.
[They listen in the distance.]
Marston: Wolves have been after the herd. Got to get out there and scare them all. You wanna come with me? It's safer with two.
Marston: Come on, the dog will soon sniff 'em out.
[They mount up.]
Jack: I can shoot. You know that. Why you gotta treat me like a kid?
Marston: It's what fathers do. I'm just tryin' to look out for you.
Jack: You can't just decide to be a father when it suits you. What about the rest of the time?
Marston: Come on, Jack. That ain't exactly fair.
Jack: One minute you're tellin' me to be a man, and the next you're tellin' me I'm just a boy.
Marston: It's gonna take awhile for things to get back to normal.
Jack: Normal? Was it ever normal?
Marston: I don't know, but it'll get better, son. I promise.
Jack: I'm sorry, Pa.
Marston: You don't need to be.
Jack: I don't mean to be moody. I'm glad you're home, I really am. It's just, every time you go off, well I worry you're not coming back.
Marston: I swear, if it was down to me, I'd never have gone anywhere.
Jack: They can't make you, can they?
Marston: It's complicated, but seems they can.
Jack: What was your father like?
Marston: I didn't really know him. He died when I was just a boy.
Jack: Died of what?
Marston: Why do you want to know?
Jack: Oh it just sounds like a good story, that's all.
Marston: Come on, he's picked up a scent!
[They follow Rufus .]
Jack: Pa, is Uncle really your uncle?
Marston: No, at least I sincerely hope not! He's probably lots of people's father, though.
Jack: Well why do you call him Uncle, then?
Marston: Folks always did. Probably 'cause he's always been older than everybody else.
Jack: He was old when I was a kid.
Marston: He was old when I was a kid, son. God must have had some purpose for keepin' him on this earth, but I sure as hell don't know what that is. Look, son! He's sniffed 'em out!
[John guns down the wolf pack.]
Marston: Come on, Rufus. Where are the others at, boy? Jack, they're up ahead!
[They take 'em out.]
Marston: That looks like all of them. Good work, Jack. Alright, we should head back now. We got out further than I thought.
[They head back.]
Jack: How many did we kill? That'll peace our cattle for a while!
Marston: That was some good shooting, son.
Jack: So can I go out hunting by myself now?
Marston: Hold on there, cowboy. You ain't ready for that yet. One step at a time.
Jack: Oh please, Pa.
Marston: We'll go out again soon. Catch something nice for your Ma to cook.
Jack: I reckon I could kill a bear no prob'!
John: I ain't gonna tell you again Jack! You ain't leavin' the farm without checking with me first you hearin'?
Jack: Yes sir I get it. Pa, can I ask you something?
John: Of course.
Jack: Were you a murderer?
Jack: That place where they caught us, Ma (...) and he said you were a murderer.
John: Maybe, but I live my life believing there is a difference between killing and murdering.
Jack: Not for the one who's dead.
John: Sure. We all do what we have to to survive, sometimes it ain't pretty. But in the end, we pay the price for what we did.
Jack: Like those rustlers who attacked our cattle?
John: Exactly. Look, when I was a kid things were different, rules were different. But that's over now.
Jack: You know, we could be outlaws, you and me!
Marston: All we did was kill a few wolves.
Jack: Well I read a book about a father and son who robbed banks. One-arm Willie, that was his name.
Marston: I'm happy with my two arms, if you don't mind.
Jack: Just imagine it though! John and Jack Marston, most wanted men in the West!
Marston: And what about your Ma?
Jack: Well, I mean we'd still come home.
Marston: You live in a dream world. It ain't like they tell it in books. And it ain't no way to live a life. It was ugly, and brutal.
Jack: Alright. Geez, I was only joking around.
Marston: You'll have a farm of your own. You can read and ride. Don't waste your life, son. Don't live like I had to.
[They arrive back home.]
Marston: You're turning into a decent hunter, son. But try to stay out of trouble.