A Dog's Best Friend (1959) - full transcript

An orphan boy,Pip Wheeler, living with his foster parents, Wes and Millie Thurman and their two children, on a ranch near Calabasas, CAlifornia, finds a wounded, starving dog in the hills near the ranch. The dog finds a gun which had been used in the murder of a recluse, and the killer goes after the boy and the dog in a deserted part of the forest.

foodval.com - stop by if you're interested in the nutritional composition of food
You went and did it.

In spite of everything I said,

you deliberately took it.

I don't see what's so wrong.

All I wanted was to...

You know blame well what was wrong.

You disobeyed me again.

I don't know what I'm going
to do with you, boy.

If a son can't be trusted
by his father...

You're not my father!
You're not!

Pip, I'm trying to be.

You never will be!
Dave's my dad!

He's the only one I'll ever have!


Dave is dead.

Dad let me shoot!

He taught me!

We used to shoot together
all the time!

We hunted!

Together, yes, but not alone.

Not until your old enough, Pip.

Come on, we're going home.

You can ride behind me.

I'll walk.

Hi, Joe.

How do you ever know
which one's your father?

Well, I guess we both got troubles.

I'll swear, Millie,

I don't know what
I'm gonna do with that boy.

He has been a problem,
no doubt about it.

Has been?

The sheriff was here today.

The new County Youth Home
will be ready very soon.


He brought the home director
with him, a Mrs. Colton.

She seemed very nice.

I'll bet.

Uh, she said she was
very anxious to meet Pip

since he'll be one of her boys.

So you see in a little while,
we... won't have to worry.

What made Dan so sure
we weren't keeping Pip?

Well, he wasn't.

He just assumed since
he hadn't heard from us.

Are we... keeping him?

I don't know, Millie.

You know, Millie, I never did believe

in that "like father,
like son" business.

Still, you forbid Pip to touch a gun.

Well, I was just being sensible.

If somebody's susceptible to colds,

you keep 'em out of drafts.

And Pip's susceptible to guns...

like his father?

I don't know anymore, Millie,

But it just seems to me
if anybody knew

that Dave Wheeler's son had a...

Well, you know how people are.

They went out of their way to warn us

when they heard that
we offered to take Pip in.

I wonder now if it
was such a good idea.

Millie, I grew up with Dave,

and he wasn't a bad guy.

Except he was crazy about guns.

And he was never
in any trouble, either,

until his wife passed away,
and he took to liquor.

And killed a man.

And killed a man.

Hi, Mom!
Hi, dear.

Mmm! Something sure
smells good.

Supper ready?

Wanna call your brother?


I've only got one brother, Jimmy!

You know better than that.

You mean that old Pip?



Now, Amy...

Okay, I'll call him.

And tell him to wash good first.

Well, Wes, what are we
going to tell the sheriff?

If there was just some sign

that we were getting
through to the boy.

If we give up on Pip,

who else is gonna bother with him?

Certainly not the county institution.

Yes, but if we keep him around,

with his attitude,

he's liable to spoil our own children.

Thought of that?

We don't have to
decide now, not tonight.

Mind your manners.
I hear the kids.

We'll be up in the high pasture
most of the morning.

I'm gonna move the flock
down to the meadow.

The high grass is almost all used up.

Will you be back for lunch?

Expect to, unless gravel tonsils
here goofs off with me.

Oh, cut it out, Dad.

But I don't expect that to happen.

Jimmy's never missed a meal
in his whole life.

Don't let him get you down.

Chores all done, Pip?

Don't you think I can do anything?

I was just asking, Pip.
I thought...

I've never missed yet, have I?

Anything you said to do.

You don't have to check up.

I'm not checking, Pip. I know!

You don't trust me.

Nobody does.
Stop it, Pip!

Uh, maybe you'd like to come
along with Jimmy and me.

To where?

To the high pasture.

We're gonna move the flock
down to the meadow.

Do I have to?

No, you don't have to.

I thought maybe you'd like to.

Don't I do enough work around here

for a place to sleep
and the little bit I eat?

You got a good deal.

Is that why you think we
brought you here to live,

for the work you do?

Anyone else you'd have to pay.

You got me from the county.

They even pay you.

You're all wrong, Pip.
We want to help you.

Because you like me so much?

You think anybody likes me
around here?

Maybe if you gave us a chance.

Let's go, son.

Pip, we...

You shouldn't do that.

Butt out of it, will you?

What do you want to
cut that all up for?

Because I wanna.

Pop won't like it.

He doesn't like to be
called Pop, either.

I forgot.

You won't tell him?

I don't tell anybody anything.

Hey, where you going?

What do you care?

Maybe I can go with you.

Get lost, will you?
Will you get lost?

You're just like your father!

An old murderer!

An old murderer!

They had to electrocute him!

My father was no murderer.

That's a pretty bad cut you got there.

Somebody hurt you awful.

Don't trust anybody, do you?

I don't trust 'em, either.

You need a treat, don't you?

Don't go away. I'll bring you
some water, you hear?

Don't go away now.
I'll be right back.

Here you are, boy.


That's the way.
Drink it all up.

Bet you feel better already, huh?

You'll let me be
your friend, won't you?

I haven't anybody else.

I'll bet you don't, either, do you?

You wouldn't be way out
here alone if you did.

How about it, boy?

I'm your friend.

Wouldn't you like that?

Sure you would.

A gun.

Loaded, too.

Two empty shells.

Somebody fired it twice.

Where did you get a gun?

How'd you...

If you could only talk.

Maybe it's a good thing you can't.

Then you'd tell Wes about it.

And he'd take this gun away from us.

He wouldn't even let me touch it.

But we won't tell him
anything, will we?

About the gun or you...

or us being friends,
or anything, ever!

Hiya, fella.

What's got into you?

I'll never tame you.

Here, boy!

Hi, boy.

Good boy.

Good boy.

We just can't keep calling you that.

You gotta have a name.

Let's see now, um...

How about...

Silver King?

That's a good name.

There's a dog called that in a movie

my dad took me to see once.

I'll call you King for short,
okay, King?

Now, when I throw it, you go get it.


You're supposed to wait
until I throw it.

Now this time...

No, no.

You've got it all wrong.

What a dumb dog.

Hey, take it easy.
Where's your manners?

Boy, you sure can eat.

You look a whole lot better
then when I found you, too.

I just hope they don't catch on,

so I can keep bringing you
stuff to eat.

I sure wonder where you got this.

If Wes knew about it, whew,

he sure would be mad.

Hi, Mommy! Hi, darling.

Back already?

You know how much this stuff cost?

I know.

If food prices get any higher,

there's just one solution.

What's that? We give up eating.

Thank you, honey.

How's everything?

With Pip?
Oh, perfect.

I don't understand it.

Neither do I.

All of a sudden,
he's like a different boy.

May I go outside, Mom?

All right, dear, just a little while.

But don't get dirty, I'm
gonna fix lunch in a minute.


All of a sudden, for no reason at all,

a stubborn, rebellious little hellion

turns into a model kid.

Hard-working, anxious to please,

never a word out of line.

Doesn't make sense.

Let's just hope it keeps up.

It isn't normal, Millie.

If Pip has decided that he likes us,

he'd show us a sign.

He'd warm up or smile or something.

You've noticed that, too, huh?

He never smiles.

He acts like he's scared to death,

afraid to make a move or
say a word out of like.

Do you suppose it could be that
business with the sheriff?

You mean the County Youth
Home opening?


Yeah, I've thought of that, too.

Pip has known all along

that his stay here might be temporary.

Seemed to me like he always

went out of his way
to make us dislike him,

like he was anxious to be sent back.

It's hard to figure how
a little boy's mind works.

Strange features.

No stranger than little girls.

That depends on the point of view.

That's funny.


Well, I could swear I had half a roast

from last night's dinner?

It's gone.

Now don't play the innocent with me.

You're the only one around here
with a big enough appetite.

Millie, if you're accusing me...

Of raiding the refrigerator
every night for a week.

Millie, I swear, scout's honor...

And don't try to blame it on the kids.

I have enough trouble
trying to get them

to eat anything that's good for them.

King, in all my life,

I've never heard of a dog
carrying a gun.

But I guess you're
not like other dogs.

Nobody I know around here
owns a pistol.

They have rifles, sure.

But a .38 pistol?

They're no good for hunting.

I sure wish you could
tell me where you got it.

Tomorrow's the day, isn't it?

The day?

You know very well what I mean.


Well what?

What are you going to tell him?

I don't know.

Well, you'll have to admit

that lately Pip's been a model boy.

He's polite. He never
shirks his chores.

He's remote as a cold fish.

I wish I could put
my finger on it, Millie.

It's not normal, not natural.

It's almost as if...

As if what?

If he were trying to hide something.

A boy that age?

Anyway, we're not
gonna decide on anything

until we've had a chance
to understand him.

I'm afraid we're going to have
to commit ourselves, Wes,

to keep from turning him
over to the county.

Maybe the sheriff will give us

a couple more weeks to decide.

Hurry up, will you?

I'm missing "Black Rider" on TV.

I thought it was
"Dead Shot Darren."

He's on next.


Oh, how are you, Dan?

The family?
They're fine, thank you.

What's up?

Wes, you know Otto Tillman?

He was found in his cabin this
afternoon, shot to death.

The old hermit?

The guy who discovered uranium
on his place?

No kidding.
Any idea who did it?


Look, Wes, how would you like to serve

as foreman at the inquest?

Sure, I'd be happy to.

10:00 in the morning, then.

I'll see you then, Dan.

It was the sheriff.

Somebody murdered old Otto Tillman.

Shot him up at his place.

Oh, Wes, how awful!

He wants me to be foreman at
the inquest in the morning.

That poor old man.

I'll clean it up.

Mom, it was me who did it!


Why do you want to clean it up?

I don't need you!

Since the coroner's away
at a medical convention,

I've been deputized
to take over proceedings.

Now, I guess you all know
how an inquest works.

It's legal, but it's pretty informal.

Now we have to determine
how the deceased died,

the cause of death

and if we think it's necessary
to recommend

that the grand jury
take further action.

Well, Matt, I guess you're first.

Stand up and be sworn.
Raise your right hand.

Swear to tell the truth,
the whole truth,

nothing but the truth,
so help you God?

I do.
Sit down, Matt.

Now, there's no need for a lot
of questions and answers, Matt.

You just tell us in your own words
how you come to find the body.

Well, there's really not much to it.

I got this registered special
in the office for Otto.

You mean the deceased, Otto Tillman.

That's right.

Oh, I don't get up there, oh,
maybe once or twice a month.

Well, Otto didn't get
much mail, you know.

Kept pretty much to himself.

Did you see who the letter
was from or what was in it?

His regular dividend check

from that uranium claim, you know.

I never did much like
going near Otto's place.

Now technically I'm supposed
to get a receipt,

but I was planning to just
stick it in the box and run.


You remember that big ex-war
dog of his, that Gerry?

Well, he was mean enough

when the Marines got through with him.

But old Otto went 'em one better.

He spent months training
him for just one thing,

to be a killer, to protect him.

Why, that Gerry would soon as
tear your arm off as look at you.

But, uh, Matt, you didn't just

stick the letter in
the box and run. Why?

Because. Right off, I knew
there was something funny.

That dog wasn't around anyplace.

And what did you do then?

Well, I got curious.

Went up to the house,

keeping a sharp eye
out for that hound.

I knocked.
There was no answer.

So I went around to the side

where a big window
was clear broke out.

I peaked in, and I saw him, old Otto,

lying there on the floor with
a big hole in his chest,


And then what?

Well, I made tracks out of there

and called you, Sheriff.


Wes, you got anything
you want to ask him?


Well, Matt, I guess that's it.

Thanks a lot.

Who's there?

Open up.
It's Bill.

What do you got?

Sulfa and some other stuff.

Had to put the heat
on a druggist I know

to get it without
a doctor's prescription.

You put the heat on a doc?

Look, Janney, we've been over that.

Once a doctor got a look at
that arm and the rest of you

would be just like
telling him what happened.

The next minute the sheriff
would know, we'd both be dead.

Doggone it, Bill,
I'm getting sick and hot.

I got a fever.

This arm feels like
it's full of needles.

Maybe there was poison or
something on that dog's teeth.

Will you listen?
Here, take these pills.

There's enough sulfa there
to cure a horse.

I got to get back to the office.

What for?

Because they found
the body, that's why.

The sheriff is holding
an inquest right now.

You lay low for a while longer.

I'll be back tonight.

Of course, I'm not a medical examiner,

but I'd say that Otto
had been dead at least a week.

Bullet's a .38 special.

I'm gonna send it to the state
police lab for examination.

Now, I'm also ordering

a complete pathological
examination of the body.

Now, this is Otto's shotgun.

It was found on the floor
beside the body,

but it had not been shot.


we found something else.

Blood stains.

Naturally, Dan.
When someone's been shot...

But the blood stains were not Otto's.

Now, we also found bits of cloth,

a couple of brown threads
in the blood spots.

Now it's my guess that
this dog of Otto's

took a big chunk out of
whoever murdered Otto.

Well, I guess that's it.

Naturally, as sheriff,

I intend to conduct a full
investigation of the murder.

You sure it was murder, Dan?


Well, there was no
murder weapon present.

We searched every inch
of the house and grounds.

And a dead man can't get
rid of a .38 revolver.

Oh, Bill, just the nick of time.

Sit down.

Deputy Beamer's been out this
morning searching for the dog.

We were afraid that
he might attack somebody

or go after some of the sheep.

He's a bad one all right.

I don't suppose you had any luck.

Nope, not yet.

He's probably a week away
from here by now.

He could be out of the state by now.

Well, if he is still around here,

there's only one thing to be done.

Shoot him on sight.

Dan, do you know
the motive for the murder?

Oh, yes, Wes.

I checked with the bank.

Otto's been receiving these
uranium royalty checks

for the past year
and a half, regularly.

He cashes the checks right away,

but he never spends any money.

There must be a pile of dough
hidden around that house.

No wonder he needed a watchdog.

A man must be out of his mind

to try to rob old Otto
with that dog around.

He must have picked
a time when he thought

Otto and the dog were away.

And been surprised. Yes, he sure was.

Now you know as much
about the case as I do.


"We, the members of the members
of the coroner's jury,

"find that Otto W. Tillman,
about 56,

"came to his death as a result

"of a gunshot wound in the chest

"sometime between the dates
of the 14th and 28th

"inflicted by person
or persons unknown.

"We recommend that the sheriff

"make full vigorous investigation

"and make every effort to apprehend

"the murderer or murderers.

"Approved by Wesley Thurman, foreman,

and the undersigned
members of the jury."

Thank you very much, gents.

Now I go to work.

Oh, uh, Dan, I've been meaning

to talk to you for quite a while,

and this is as good a time as any.

It's about the boy.

Let's put the coffee pot on.

Good idea.

You know, Wes,

Pip went through 20 hells
after his mother died

and Dave Wheeler went bad.

Pip spent the night at
his father's execution

alone in an empty house
all by himself.

A kid that could do that
and come up smiling,

he'd have to be a psycho.

I know that, Dan.

That's why I took the boy
in the first place.

I felt he deserved a chance.

But now you're giving up on him, huh?

No, Dan,

not completely, not finally.

But after all, Dan,

I do have an obligation
to my family, too,

and I don't want to spoil their lives.

All right.
We're ready to take him back.

The youth home's completed now.

No, not for a while.

Millie and I thought
maybe you'd give us

a little bit more time to decide.

How much time, Wes?
A week? A month? Two months?

I don't know, Dan.

Well, I don't like it.

I don't like keeping a kid
dangling day after day,

waiting for the ax to fall.

It isn't fair.

I know that, Dan.
It's just that...

All right.

I guess I can stall Mrs. Colton
for a week or two.

That's about the best I can do.

Thanks, Dan.
That'll be great.

Come on!
Come on!

Here he comes again.

We gotta hide.
Come on.

Shh. Shh.


What do you think
he looks for up there?

Every day.

No, no.

How many times do I have to tell you?

When you sneak up on Indians,

you got to be real quiet.

Well, I guess it is pretty hard,

especially when you don't know
what an Indian looks like.

Come on. I'll race you
to the meadow.


It's a cougar, and he's
after the sheep!

I didn't bring my gun!

Give it to him, King!
Old sheep killer!

Come on, King!
Beat him up!

Good boy, King.

You showed that old cougar.

I'll bet he won't be
around here for a while, huh?


Why don't you ever let me go with?

Where are you anyway, you awful boy?




There's dad.

How'd it go, Wes?

It was murder, no doubt about it.

Who did it, Dad?

Person or persons unknown.

That was the verdict of the jury.

That's all we can say.

The sheriff thinks Otto's dog

really chewed up
the person who did it.

I've heard about that animal.

Come on. I'll tell you
all about it at dinner.

Oh, Wes, um,

did you talk to the sheriff about Pip?

Yes, he's given us two more weeks.

Daddy! Oh, Daddy!

Daddy! Oh, Daddy!

Amy, what's the matter? What is it, Amy?

One of our little lambs, he killed it!


I don't know, a wolf or something!

Where, honey?

In the meadow where
you moved the sheep.

Jimmy, get my rifle and a box of shells.

What are you gonna do? Trail it, what else?

I'm not gonna let a sheep butcher
live out there an extra minute.

Are you sure it was a wolf?

Probably a coyote, and he won't
stop at killing one lamb, either.

Here you are, Dad. Can I go along?
I guess.

Oh, Wes, it's going to be dark soon.

Can't you wait until morning?

Oh, and, Jimmy, get the line
out the station wagon, will you?

Sure. Now don't you worry, Amy.

I'm gonna make sure he doesn't
kill anymore little lambs.

Come on, Jimmy.

There. You want to
help me with dinner?

They're gonna be hungry
when they get back.

Come on.

What? Bill?


What's wrong with you?

That medicine.
I think I took too much.

Maybe it kicked back
on me, I don't know.

I just know I feel like...

This will make you feel better.

No, no, I don't want that.

Look, Bill, we got to get
out of here tonight.

Old Otto's money will
take us a long way.

Besides, if I don't... We're not going anywhere.

That dog ran off with
my .38 police special

issued to me by the county,
serial number on file.

Worse than leaving my fingerprints.

Worse than a witness.

Who knows where that dog could
be now? Maybe dead even.

Who knows what he could have
done with that gun?

Yeah, maybe, but before I leave here,

I'm gonna find that gun
and the dog or both

and make sure nobody else does.

Don't you see, kid?

No matter how far we ran
or where we hid,

we could never be safe, never!

The gun could turn up at anytime.

It may never turn up.

Why take the chance?

In a few days, we'll be sure,

and we'll have the rest of our lives

to enjoy Otto's money.

If I don't get a doctor, Bill,

those few days my be
the rest of my life.

Now you think about that, too, Bill.

Jimmy, if there's anything
that makes me mad...

What killed him, Dad?

Probably a coyote.

And he must have been hungry.

Maybe the prairie dogs and rabbits

are scarce this season or...

Wait a minute.
He couldn't have been hungry.

This carcass hasn't even been touched.

A coyote will usually
feed where he kills

or drag the carcass away somewhere.

Why would he leave
a prime spring lamb behind?

Are we gonna follow him, Dad?

Not much sense in the dark.

But bright and early in the morning.

Come on. Let's head
for home and some supper.

Come on, son.

Good morning, Pip.
Go sit down.

I'll have your breakfast
ready in a minute.

I know something you don't know.


You were late for dinner.

So you didn't hear about the murder.

What murder?

The wicked old hermit
who lived in a haunted house.

Bang! They murdered
him dead.


Otto Tillman, the old prospector.

Someone shot him.

Pop was foreman on a jury, too.

He was?

The inquest jury.

Oh, that reminds me.

Wes told me to warn you
about Otto Tillman's dog.

His... dog?

He's a killer, Wes says.

He's been running around
loose since the murder.

So if you see him, stay out of
his way and tell us.

The sheriff wants him shot on sight.

Where's Jimmy and...


They got an early start.


Trailing that sheep killer.

They're gonna shoot him.

Mom! Pip spilled his milk!


Oh, no, you don't, young man!



Pip, come back here right now!

I'll never understand that boy.

He's bad.

Come on, honey.

King! King!
Where are you?

We haven't lost
him yet. Look.

Coyote tracks, sure enough.

Must have been a mighty stupid one.

I've never known a smart coyote

to leave a clear trail like that.

Come on, son.


Oh, King! King!

Thank goodness you're safe.

You know if Wes had seen you,
he would have shot you,

'cause the sheriff told him
you were a killer.

Come on.

He's a big one, though.

Look at his paw tracks.

This may sound silly, Jimmy,

but the animal we're
trailing might be a dog.

A dog?

Yeah, that big dog of Otto Tillman's.

Otto doesn't live too far from here,

and the dog might be heading for home.

Will we go after him?

Might just as well.

Stay close behind me.

We want to see him before he sees us.

Let's go.

That's why I better
tie you up for a while.

You might run out and get shot.

And I'll go see where Wes is,

and when he goes home,

I'll come back and let
you loose, okay?

King! What's the matter
with you?

You know I wouldn't tie you up
if I didn't have to.

There he is.


Get away from him!
He's a killer!

He is not!

And King didn't kill your old lamb!

It was a cougar!
King tried to stop him!

I don't care about the lamb, it's you!

He'll hurt you bad, Pip!

He will not!

Stand out of the way!

I'm gonna put a bullet in him!

No! I won't let you!

You'll have to kill me first!

King's my friend!
The only one I have!

Listen, Pip, nobody can
handle that dog.

I can handle him!

Supposing he kills somebody
or hurts them bad?

He's got to be destroyed, Pip.

That's the sheriff's orders.

You won't shoot him!

You won't!
I won't let you!

Go get him, Jimmy,

and watch out for the dog.

Get out of there, Jimmy!

I'm telling you,

I'm not gonna let you shoot him.

Do you realize what you're doing, Pip?

Where'd you get that gun? I found it.

And I can use it, too.

Now you and Jimmy better go back home.

You're making a mistake, Pip.

A terrible, terrible mistake.

One you'll regret
the rest of your life.

After this, no one will
take a chance on you, Pip.

You're not gonna
shoot him, no matter what.

What do you think's
gonna happen to you?

I guess me and King will go away.

We'll stick together.

Nobody else wants us.

This is your last chance, Pip.

Give me that gun.

All right, that's it.

Come on, Jimmy.
We're going home.

You're gonna let him... We're going home!

King, I had to do it.

You're my friend.

Wes! Wes!

Where are you going?
In town.

Millie, I want you to call the sheriff

and Mrs. Colton
of the youth home

and tell them I want
to see them right away.

What for?

We're turning Pip back to the county.

Oh? Why?

Jimmy will tell you all about it.

No, no, I want to hear it from you.

Millie, that boy found a gun somewhere

and threatened to shoot me.

He what? Why?

To keep me from killing the dog.

What dog?

That killer dog of Otto's.

We trailed him from the dead lamb.

Pip found him first.

And why that animal didn't
chew him to pieces,

I'll never know.

So that'sit.
That's what?

Look, Wes, when did
that dog disappear?

Last week?

And when did we notice
the big change in Pip?

Last week.
Of course!

He must have found the dog

and made friends with him somehow.

He was afraid to tell us,

afraid we wouldn't let him keep him.

Maybe so.

That's why he's been so good.

Not for his own sake, nor for ours,

but for the dog's.

And that also accounts for all

the food that's been
missing, doesn't it?

That explains some of the things.

Oh, Wes, don't you see?

To Pip it wasn't just

a stray vicious dog
you wanted to shoot.

It was his dog.

Millie, granted, all those
facts are true,

it still doesn't alter the fact

that he threatened to shoot me.

I don't have to take
that from that boy,

and I don't intend to, not anymore.


Hello, Wes.

Took your wife's call.

Oh, this is Mr. Thurman,
Mrs. Colton.

How do you do,
Mr. Thurman?

How do you do,
Mrs. Colton?

You've been taking care
of Pip Wheeler.

That's right.

Where's the sheriff?
I wanted him here, too.

I called him.
He's having lunch at home.

He should be along any minute.

Is there trouble,
Mr. Thurman?

Something to do with Pip?

You could say that,
Mrs. Colton.

He threatened to shoot me.


Why would he do that, Wes?

He found that killer dog of Otto's.

That hound didn't chew him up?

He apparently made friends with it.

He's all yours,
Mrs. Colton,

yours and the sheriff.

That is if you can catch up with him.

Where'd he get the gun, Wes?

Was it yours?

I don't own a pistol, just a rifle.

If you don't mind my saying,

I'm sure that an incorrigible

such as Pip Wheeler obviously is

would be far better off

under the strict discipline
of our new institution.

Than he'd be even in
the best of private homes.


Where did it happen, Wes?

Up near my far meadow.

I was trailing a sheep killer,

and I ran across Pip and
the dog in a deep hollow.

Is that where they are now?

He's probably running away.

I don't think he'd dare
come near the house.

You and Mrs. Colton are
going to wait here

for the sheriff, aren't you?

Would you mind holding
the fort for me a few minutes

until Dan gets back?

Where are you going? A call came through.

They want somebody to
look at a cut fence.

Just routine.
I'll tell him.

Who is it?

I feel like I'm dying, Bill.
I'm in bad shape.

You've got to hold out
a little while longer.

How long's a little while?

You don't even got the gun yet.

I know where it is.

You know that kid Wes Thurman took in?

He found the dog.

The kid's got the gun?

Now, if he didn't go home,

he'd likely head up here
past the valley,

through here,

and the hill road runs
right along here.

What are you doing?

Trying to save time figuring out

where the kid would run
after Wes pulled a gun?

The kid did that?

Yeah, when Wes tried to shoot the dog.

We've got to get to him
before the sheriff does.

Wait a minute.

Suppose the kid tells the
sheriff who came after the gun.

He's no going to tell
anybody anything.

That gun killed Otto, but you and I

are the only ones who are
going to know about that.

Get everything together.
I'll be back tonight.

As soon as I've got the gun,

I'll be back, and we take off.

Wait a minute.

We gotta rest a minute.

What's the hurry anyway?

We've got no place to go.

Oh, here he comes.

Well! Wes, Mrs. Colton.

What can I do for you?

Mr. Thurman wanted
to talk to you.

Dan, you can take that boy

and put him back in
the home once and for all,

if you can catch up with him.


I'm sorry it worked out that way, Wes.

What finally made up your mind?

Sheriff's office.


This is Hank Evans.

Yeah, Highway Rest Motel.

I guess you better
come right on over here.

I just found one of our guests
here in pretty bad shape.

I see.
His arm, huh?

All right, Mr. Evans,
I'll be right out.

Something wrong?

Yes, one of the guests over
at the Highway Rest Motel.

He passed out with
some sort of injury.

Mrs. Colton, would you mind
phoning Dr. Lannon

and ask him to meet me over there?

All right. Thank you.

Wes, ride along with me.
We can talk.


He'll be coming out of it in a minute.

He was pretty far gone.
Another half hour...

What's the matter with him, Doc?

Didn't you notice that arm?

One of the worst I've ever seen.


Gonna lose that arm sure.

Why he neglected until now...

What caused it?

Some animal.

Not claws, sharp bites and slashes.

Could have been a wolf or...

A dog?
Could be.

Yes. The more I look at it,
seems real likely.

Do you think maybe it was Otto's dog?

What better reason would
a guy have for holing up

in a place like this
and not calling a doctor?

Wonder who he is.

Try and find out.

Well, what do you know.

Still in the original wrappers.

From our own bank here.

Shouldn't have too much trouble

proving where this came from.

Can I talk to him for a minute, Doc?

Just for a minute.

I've got to take care of that
arm as soon as possible.

Are you gonna cut it off?

Either that or you die.

You waited too long, son.

No! You can't do that!
I won't let you!

Tell us the story, son.
Tell us what happened.

Out-out in the woods...

a bear or a lion or something,
I'm not sure.

Are you sure it wasn't a dog?


What makes you say it was a dog?

Otto Tillman's dog.

The night you went
out there to rob him,

and he surprised you.

The night you murdered Otto.


We've got all the evidence we need.

It's a murder charge, Doc.


All right.

I went out there to rob him, yeah,

'cause I knew about all the money

he had hidden in his shack.


Um, a guy in town here.

Keep talking.

We picked a time when...

Otto was away hunting.

And my partner stood lookout

while I found out where
the money was hid.

And then they surprised us,

the old man and the dog.

Before I knew what was happening,

the dog jumped on me
and grabbed my arm,

and my partner clubbed him
over the head.

And then the old man

aimed his shotgun at us and...

my partner shot him.

You forgot to tell us one thing:

your partner's name.


Or did you do this all my yourself?

You just made him up, is that it?

No! No!

I couldn't kill anybody.
I never even carried a gun.

It was...

Bill Beamer.


You mean my deputy Beamer?

He killed Otto? Yes, I swear it.

It explains one thing, Dan,

why Bill got so excited when
I mentioned finding the dog.

Sure it would.
Don't you see that, Sheriff?

All right.

If Bill did it, what
difference would it make

whether the dog was returned or not?

Because the dog was trained
to disarm anybody

that tried to attack him.

He run off with Bill's gun.

Then it wasn't the dog.

It was the gun Pip found.

He's probably out there
after that boy right now.

Bill's no dummy.

He knows that gun
and that boy's testimony

could send him up for sure.

Doc, I'm leaving you in charge
of him and the money.

I'm deputizing you.

Don't worry. He's not going
to do any running.

Hello, kid.

Better hold onto that rope.

I wouldn't want to have to shoot him.

What do you want?

The gun.


The gun you pulled on Wes.

He told me about it.

You can go to jail for that, kid.

He made that up.

I don't have any gun.

Where would I get one?

Don't play games with me,
kid. I want that gun...

that you took from that dog,
and I want it now!

How did you know
I got it from... him?

I didn't tell Wes.

I didn't tell anybody.

How did you know?

Unless it was your gun.

And you used it to kill
Mr. Tillman.

That's it, isn't it?

You're too smart for
your own good, kid.

You leave me no other choice.

Come on, King!


Wes, wait!

Get him, Pop!

You hurt bad, Dan?

It hurts more thinking about him.

He was a friend of mine.

I'll take that gun, Pip.

I thought Bill had shot you, Pip.

I thought he was gonna shoot you.

I guess we were both lucky.

Hey, Pip.

Here's your dog.

He'll be okay just as soon
as we get him to the vet.

Here that?
King's gonna be okay.

Come on, boy.
Come on.

Let's go home, son.

Your mother will be worried about you.

Yes, Dad.

I guess she will.