Thursday, November 29, 2007


I'm not a big college football fan, but the out-of-nowhere surprise big game between Kansas and Missouri reminded me of the film The Outlaw Josey Wales. Only two times have states ever gone to war (here and here).

Below is an image of what I think is one of the great moments of the film. This is when Wales meets the Comanche Chief Ten Bears. The dialogue from this meeting is here and below:

Josey: You be Ten Bears?

Ten Bears: I am Ten Bears.

Josey: (spits tobacco) I'm Josey Wales.

Ten Bears: I have heard. You're the Gray Rider. You would not make peace with the Blue Coats. You may go in peace.

Josey: I reckon not. Got nowhere to go.

Ten Bears: Then you will die.

Josey: I came here to die with you. Or live with you. Dying ain't so hard for men like you and me, it's living that's hard; when all you ever cared about has been butchered or raped. Governments don't live together, people live together. With governments you don't always get a fair word or a fair fight. Well I've come here to give you either one, or get either one from you. I came here like this so you'll know my word of death is true. And that my word of life is then true. The bear lives here, the wolf, the antelope, the Comanche. And so will we. Now, we'll only hunt what we need to live on, same as the Comanche does. And every spring when the grass turns green and the Comanche moves north, he can rest here in peace, butcher some of our cattle and jerk beef for the journey. The sign of the Comanche, that will be on our lodge. That's my word of life.

Ten Bears: And your word of death?

Josey: It's here in my pistols, there in your rifles. I'm here for either one.

Ten Bears: These things you say we will have, we already have.

Josey: That's true. I ain't promising you nothing extra. I'm just giving you life and you're giving me life. And I'm saying that men can live together without butchering one another.

Ten Bears: It's sad that governments are chiefed by the double-tongues. There is iron in your word of death for all Comanche to see. And so there is iron in your words of life. No signed paper can hold the iron, it must come from men. The words of Ten Bears carries the same iron of life and death. It is good that warriors such as we meet in the struggle of life... or death. It shall be life. (he takes his knife and cuts his hand. Josey does the same and they grasp each others hand.) So shall it be.

Except for very basic rental contracts I've never had any of the 3 written contracts honored that I have been involved. I like the reality of this contract in the dialogue above. I'm not saying that oral contracts are superior to written contracts. But the depth of understanding that each of the above characters have for each other and themselves in their contract is the type of dealmaking I want to have with any serious contract I am involved.

Here's the clip on YouTube of that scene that's up at least for the moment:

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