Mother Lode

Synopsis: A couple of youngish adventurers go into the wilderness of British Columbia in search of a lost colleague. Their plane crashes and they find themselves at the mercy of a crazed old Scottish miner, who has lived in isolation for many decades searching the mountain caves for a chamber of long lost gold. He is prepared to do anything - including murder - to keep his gold for himself.
101 min

She doesn't use up much runway,

does she?

What do you wanna talk about?

Oh, I don't know.

Let's talk about George.

- George?

- George Patterson.

Come on, don't play games with me.

The rescue chopper came in this morning.

They didn't find anything.

No wreckage, nothing.

Where is he, Dupre?

How the hell should I know where he is?

You sent him there.

We sent him to Dawson.

He never made it near Dawson.

He charged gas to Mollyco

at Telegraph Creek.

That's up at the Cassiar, for chrissake.

That's the last we heard of him.

Maybe he crashed.

No. I told you,

they didn't find any wreckage.

Give me a floatplane.

I'll find him for you.

I think there's more

at stake here than you make out.

More than a man's life?

You know you can be replaced, Jean.

If you wanna be hard-nosed about this,

one phone call...

...I can replace you just like that.

Just like that, huh?

Count on it.

In that case,

you won't have trouble replacing me...

...before this bird runs into that hangar.

Oh, Jesus.

- You're fired, you son of a b*tch.

- Good.

Goddamn it!


Hi. Come on, Andrea.

- It's 5:
30 in the morning.

- I gotta talk to you now. It's about George.

Go ahead.

Andrea, will you please open the door?

You're gonna wake up the neighbors.

Would you mind telling me...?

Did George say anything

about where he was going exactly?

He didn't tell me a damn thing.

We had a fight.

What do you want?

Mollyco fired me. They think I know

where George is and I'm not telling.

Do you?

- He's up in the Cassiar.

- Oh, God.

He was supposed to be flying

geophysical survey for Mollyco.

Elliot sent him up to look

for porphyry showings, molybdenum.

Look, Jean,

if something's happened to him...

He didn't crash, Andrea.

How do you know?

Because I think he found

what he was looking for.

What, molybdenum?



- How are you getting up there?

- Floatplane.

- You don't own a floatplane.

- I do now. I sold my house.

You'd have to be crazy to get in any

airplane you could buy with that house.

Fortunately, you're not getting in it.

What the hell are you looking for?

Okay. He had a map,

an aeronautical chart of Northern BC.

Why didn't you just say so?

He used to take it out every night

and stare at it.

Son of a b*tch.

Well, it was there the last time I looked.

I mean, he must have taken it with him.


What do you mean?

George doesn't need that map.

He knows the country by heart.

He just took it so I couldn't follow him.

I don't think George

would do that to you.

He wouldn't just walk out.

I think he did it to both of us, kiddo.

I'm going with you.

What is that?

That is an ex-Mollyco

surface-suction dredge.

No, I mean that.

You sold your house for that?

- She's a hell of a good airplane, kiddo.

- That's no airplane.

- That's a flying coffin.

- Looks aren't everything.

Anyhow, it's how she flies that counts.

Give me that.

Well, never mind how she flies.

I think she's sinking.

Float has a little leak.

Uh, you just have to

pump her out each time.

That's okay, it's supposed to come off.

So how's school?

It's dull as tears.

I spend half of my time

reading undergrad essays...

...the other half on my thesis.

How's flying?

Dull as tears.

- Ever hear of the Cassiar Gold Rush?

- 1875.

They found something like $10 million

in gold up in the Stikine River.

But those claims ran out

about a hundred years ago.

They were placer claims.

Panning the creeks, sluice boxes,

that kind of thing.

Just the tip of the iceberg.

They never found the source, the lode.

Where were you going to look?

- George flew a survey last year.

He told me about a lake up there.

You can just about get into it

with a floatplane, if the wind's right.

He had it marked on his chart

right around here somewhere.

If he's in the Cassiar,

that's where he'll be.

There it is, the Stikine.

Amazing. I never thought you'd find it.

Tell me something.

Do you have a particular reason

for flying like this?

Keeps me awake.

- What did you do?

- I didn't do anything. Relax.

Come on, Jean. This isn't funny.

No kidding, turn it back on.

How many landings have you made

in a floatplane?

This will be my third.

- Your third?

- I couldn't afford any more instruction.

Well, that's just great.

I knew this would happen. You love this.

Must be the fuel pump.

I paid good money to get it fixed.

Take it easy.

Hang on.

Oh, sh*t.

You know...

...I'm getting a lot better at this.


Andrea, the shotgun!


Thanks for stopping.

What the hell are you shooting at?

- I didn't know whether you saw us or not.

- Well, of course, I saw you.

I may be old, but I ain't blind.

- What's the matter with your plane?

- How did you know?

Old Indians know things like that.

I think it's the fuel pump.

I need a ride to Wrangle.

I gotta fly in a mechanic to look at it.

Well, I'll take a look.

Haven't seen one of these babies

in years.

Hey, wait a minute. Wait. What...? Hey.

You have to be a certified aviation mechanic

to fix an airplane.

- You just can't walk in and just take a look.

- It's an engine, ain't it?

I fix my motor. I can fix your plane.

This will do it.

You, uh, from that fish camp


No, I'm from Paris, France.

Where you headed?


- What are you doing?

- Who's your friend?

- Andrea Spalding.

- Hey, you ought to teach her to shoot.

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Fraser C. Heston

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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