phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

"scratch for it" and " shooting Christmas Creek Ranch."

Posted by Kashima on May 04, 2005

Thank you for helping me out with the phrases, "old pie" and "Shake your tail".
I came across with 2 other interesting phrases in the same Western film("Man in the Saddle")made in the 1950's.

(1) The good-guys and the bad-guys are having a face-off at a saloon on the verge of a shoot-out, ready to pull out their gun anytime. Suddenly another good-guy comes in from the back door, pointing his gun toward the bad-guys, and says, "All right, men, scratch for it!".
What does this "scratch for it" mean? My dictionary says that "scratch" means "to collect (information)", and that "scratch it" means "leave at once", but I couln't find the exact phrase "scratch for it". Does it mean "Draw your gun first"? Or "Get out"?
Actually, after this line is said, nobody makes any move nor draws his gun nor leaves the room for a while. The shoot-out begins after 20~30seconds, when the bartender shoots the lamp(maybe to stop the fight), and saloon gets dark.

In another scene, our hero with a rifle is hiding behind a rock outside the bad-guys' house. Our hero's footman asks him why he is hesitating to shoot them. He says, "I was just thinking, when I pull this trigger, I'll be shooting Christmas Creek Ranch right out from under me. It'll start a run and jump fight."
What does this whole line mean?
Thank you in advance for your kind help.

a bunch of bad-guys in a small house.