I do not own Dan Evans, Ben Wade, or any of the other characters of the movie 3:10 to Yuma. This is just my own little add-on to the ending of the movie. Yes, unfortunately, I do have a soft spot for happy endings.
3:10 to Yuma: The Unseen Ending
Smoke billowed past the car window as the engine sounded its whistle one last time. Ben Wade made himself as comfortable as the prison bench would allow as the train began to pick up speed. Try as he might, he couldn't block Evans from his mind, the expression on his face as Charlie's bullets hit him. He'd liked Dan, something that he couldn't say about most of the men he'd come into contact with. But Wade didn't have time for regrets; he had to think about his immediate future. So, forcing a slight grin on his face, he pushed the rancher out of his mind and turned his attention to more pressing matters. He was, after all, on the 3:10 to Yuma, and though he'd broken out of the prison there twice, he'd prefer not to have to do it a third time. He'd rather to do things the easy way. Pursing his lips, he whistled, knowing that his horse would come running and would be ready when it came time for him to make his escape.
"There gonna' hang me in the morning," he crooned while leaning back against the bars. He would wait for the right moment, when they were far enough away from Contention not to be seen. Half an hour passed while Wade seemingly rested against the cell wall. Truth be told, he'd been watching the two men that guarded them and waiting for one of them to do something stupid.
Five minutes later, the moment presented itself. The guard named Fisher had dozed off in the corner while the one called Jim kept watch. Running out of tobacco for the cigarette that he was rolling, Jim decided to get some more from the chest at the opposite end of the car. His preoccupation with needing a smoke led him to pass too close to the cage. In a movement so fast no one else in the car saw it coming, Wade was on his feet. He threw both hands through a gap in the bars and wrapped the chain of his cuffs around Jim's throat with such force that the man's windpipe was crushed as he fell back against the cage. Ben twisted the chain as Jim made a futile attempt to writhe out of the outlaws grasp. Moments later, it was all over, and Wade loosened his grip enough to let Jim slide softly down to a slumped sitting position beside the cage. He then reached around and loosened the keys that hung from the dead man's belt.
With a silent stealth that this cellmates would have sworn came from time spent with the redskins, he unlocked the cage and slipped out. Wade moved across the car to the sleeping Fisher. He could have easily killed the man, but Ben had killed enough men for the day. So, he settled with hitting the man over the head and tying him up to ensure that Fisher didn't foil his escape plans. Then, moving to the boxcar door, he slid it open. The car was suddenly filled with the roar of wind, and Wade glanced out to spot his horse running along beside the tracks. At the sight of its master, the beast quickened its pace to come up alongside the boxcar. Ben glanced back into the car to see his former cellmates staring at him in shock.
"I believe this is my stop," he called over the roar of the train. Then, with a tip of his hat and a smile, Wade leaped out of the boxcar to land astride his horse. The men watched as he turned the steed away from the train and, like the hero of a dime novel, road off into the sunset.
-----------------------------------------6 Months Later
Green grass covered the pastureland where fat cattle lazily grazed. Rain had finally reached Bisbee, and it had transformed Evans' land. That was the first thing Wade noticed as he looked out over the healthy terrain. The second thing he noticed was a form moving through the rocks, a form too big to be Dan's boy. Someone was snooping about, and this was exactly why Ben had ridden out to the ranch. He'd lain low for a few months, taking the time to empty out his stash before he headed for the border. But before he left for good, he wanted to see Velvet one last time, and he wanted to make sure Butterfield had kept his promises. Now, as he edged his horse back into the brush, he was glad he'd ridden out to the ranch.
Ben set his black stallion on a path that would lead him back around the property and bring him up behind the prowler. When he'd drawn close enough that his horse might be heard, he dismounted and made the last few yards on foot. Wade came to a small cropping of boulders and waited, listening for the steps of his prey. Seconds later, he heard footsteps and glanced around the rock that hid him from view. A man stood looking out over Dan's land, his back to Ben as he surveyed the cattle. Wade pulled out his pistol and moved out from the rocks.
"You've strayed too far off the trail, friend," he commented, the last word coming out more as a threat, causing the man to go rigid. Ben kept his weapon trained on the man, waiting for any sudden moves and ready should the man make any.
"What trail would that be, Wade?" Ben was taken aback as the man turned to face him, and he realized it was Evans. "The trail to Yuma?" Wade found himself caught off guard but quickly regained his composure.
"Well Dan, I guess Charlie was right. You are a tough one," he managed to say with his usual calm as he holstered his gun. "You know, I told Byron I'd escape hell, but it looks like you beat me to it." With a lazy smile, he added, "Sure you're not stubborn Dan?"
Evans relaxed ever so slightly, but he didn't share Wade's amiable mood. He still did not trust the outlaw, but he felt he owed the man an explanation. Wade had gunned down his entire gang at Contention and he'd turned himself in to the deputies on the train all so that William could tell Alice that his Pa had been the only man willing to walk Ben Wade to the station. "Nah Wade, I ain't stubborn. God just finally decided to do me a favor," he replied…
…The train whistle sounded one last time as the 3:10 to Yuma rolled out of Contention. William knelt beside his father, unable to hold back his sorrow. He'd never been so proud of his Pa as he was now. Every insult he'd ever thrown at his father seemed to echo through his mind as he wished fervently that he could tell him just how he felt now. Then suddenly, Mr. Butterfield was beside him, reaching his fingers down to his Pa's neck.
"What are you doing?" William wanted to know.
"Feeling for a pulse," Butterfield stated in that cool voice that had always grated on his nerves. William stared at the man as if he'd lost leave of his senses.
"Charlie Prince just filled Pa with bullets!" William angrily spat, which surprised him since he felt drained of all emotion. "Of course there's no pulse!" Butterfield ignored him and bent his head down to where his ear was even with his father's nose.
"Calm down William," Butterfield instructed. Then a second later he added, "He's alive. But barely." He felt as if he'd been hit in the stomach.
"What? How?" William stammered as he looked between Butterfield and his Pa.
"I gave him a metal vest," Butterfield explained as quickly as he could. "To help shield him from the gunfire. It's made to protect the vital organs, but he did take a few bullets to his shoulder and arms. He's losing blood. Now I need you to get the doctor." Butterfield gave him directions and William took off racing into Contention, running just as fast as his Pa and Wade had run out minutes before…
… "William fetched the Doc, and they patched me up," Dan explained to Wade. The outlaw was watching him with an amused expression. A moment later he swore before saying, "I like you, Evans. Honest, diligent, and stubborn." Dan started to protest, but smiled instead as he remembered the last time they'd had this conversation. Wade continued, "But you were right. Shooting a rabbit and shooting a man are two different things." He gave a whistle and turned as his horse came trotting over so that he could effortlessly hoist himself into the saddle. "I've shot enough men. It's time I start aiming for jackrabbits instead." The men exchanged measuring looks one last time before Wade turned his steed around. Dan watched as the outlaw rode around the cropping of rocks, the man's voice floating back on the wind as he sung, "They're gonna' hand me in the morning…"
The saloon was dark as Emma made her way up the stairs and into her room. Bisbee had been rather quiet tonight, and she was able to make it upstairs around one in the morning instead of the regular three. She opened the door to her room, thankful for the lamp she'd left burning on low. It sat on the small dressing table located along the wall with the door. The bed sat against the opposite wall while a small trunk sat beneath the windows. The room's furniture was completed by a chair and end table that stood against the fourth wall, but Emma could only see the dressing table as she pushed the door closed. The room was shrouded in shadows, and she hurried to raise the wick on the lamp. As the light flooded the room, her gaze moved to the mirror over her dressing table. She sat down on the small stool and immediately removed her shoes. After a full day of tending the bar, she couldn't wait to get them off.
With this task finished, she reached up to remove the pins from her hair. As it cascaded down her shoulders, she went still, her eyes focusing on a reflection in the mirror that she'd not noticed until now. Stretched out on her bed was a man, his hat hanging on her bedpost and his boots kicked off on the floor. Resting on his back, with his hands behind his head, she found a pair of eyes watching her with their usual intense gaze.
"Well, well," Emma murmured, once her initial shock had passed. "If it isn't Ben Wade come for a chat." He smiled at her cynical tone.
"I never could resist a conversation with you, Velvet," he replied. She turned on the stool to face him.
"That never was my real name, Ben," she informed him. "It's Emma; it always has been."
"That's alright," he said. "I like Emma." As always, she felt herself mesmerized by his voice. As if pulled by an invisible magnetism, she was standing and walking over to the side of the bed. He smiled as she drew near, and reaching out, took her hand. With a gentleness most wouldn't believe he possessed, he pulled her down until she rested against his chest.
"You're wanting a touch of velvet are you, Ben?" she asked in a near whisper.
"Not just wanting, Emma," he answered. He rolled over so that she now found herself beneath him. Ben's hand smoothed the hair away from her face as he added, "I need you." His lips met hers, and she melted into his arms.
The sun was creeping over the horizon when Emma awoke to the sound of Ben's humming. She lay against his side, his arm about her back and his other hand trailing down the length of her arm. She snuggled in closer, finding warmth in his embrace. For a moment, they both lay content in one another's presence. After a while, Wade grew silent, and Emma looked up and met his gaze.
"I'm leaving for good, Emma," he told her. "I had to see you one last time." His fingers moved to caress her cheek as she took in the news. Try as she might, Emma knew she was doing a terrible job of hiding the loss she felt. She'd known Wade a long time, and she come to care for him more than she wanted to admit. In spite of her careless dismissal of his proposal the last time he'd seen her, she'd felt her heart skip a beat at the offer. His gang had held her back. She didn't trust them, especially not Charlie. But they were all dead. Tales of Wade's rampage in Contention had made it back to Bisbee with the return of Dan Evans and his boy. Now that he was on his own, Emma wondered if he would still be willing to take her with him. Lost in her contemplations, she barely noticed Ben's soft smile as he leaned his head back against the pillow and stared up at the ceiling.
"There gonna' hang me in the morning." The words of the song seemed to fill the room, even though he kept his voice low. Emma decided to take a chance. She reached up a hand and placed a silencing finger over his lips, the action immediately drawing Ben's gaze to her.
"Not if we go to Mexico," she softly stated. "You're not wanted there." She waited breathlessly for what he'd say, not knowing if she could handle rejection when she'd had difficulty mustering the nerve to make the suggestion.
"No," he said, and Emma felt her spirits plummet. Then he added, "No, I'm not." She searched his eyes. Was he accepting her offer? He smiled at her uncertainty, and then pulling her close, his lips met hers once more, and Emma knew. This was her last morning in Bisbee. She was going to Mexico.