From the 1969 version:
Most people around here have heard of Rooster Cogburn, and some people live to regret it.
Lawyer: Now, according to your story, C.C. Wharton grabbed a shotgun and killed Marshal Potter. Then he turned the gun on you, you say, and you shot him. Then, you say, the father swung his axe, and you shot him, too. The defendant tried to run, you say, and you also shot him.
Just winged him, or he wouldn't be here to pay up!
— Rooster Cogburn's testimony
Col. G. Stonehill: Cogburn? And how did you light upon that greasy vagabond? That man is a notorius thumper! He is not a man I would care to share a bed with, nor would I!
From the 2010 version:
People do not give it credence that a young girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood. But it did happen. I was just 14 years of age when a coward by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down and robbed him of his life and his horse and two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band. Chaney was a hired man and Papa had taken him up to Fort Smith to help lead back a string of Mustang ponies he'd bought. In town, Chaney had fallen to drink and cards and lost all his money. He got it into his head he was being cheated and went back to the boarding house for his Henry rifle. When Papa tried to intervene, Chaney shot him. Chaney fled. He could have walked his horse, for not a soul in that city could be bothered to give chase. No doubt Chaney fancied himself scot-free. But he was wrong. You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free, except the grace of God.
[Cogburn and Mattie, aware that someone is following them and thinking it is LaBoeuf sit in wait. Eventually, a strange man dressed in a bearskin, with a wild beard, leading a packhorse with a corpse on it, slowly approaches them and comes to a stop. The three sit looking at each other for several seconds.]
Ned Pepper: What is your intention?