Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 10 - The Queue - full transcript

Two men cut off a Chinese immigrant's pigtail, and he tells Matt that he can return home to China only with the pigtail or by taking the lives of the men who stole it.


Starting james arness
as matt dillon.

It's hard to figure
which is worse,

Hating a man because
he's different,

Or hating him because he's got
something you want.

Stupidity and greed.

I buried 'em both
out here too many times.

But they always show up again.

I know. My name's dillon,
u.S. Marshal.

And I also know
that down there in dodge,

Down among the randy,
hard-living citizens,

There'll still be some
that haven't learned,

That don't understand,

The lesson boot hill
could teach 'em.

Four hours late again.

Always four hours late.

Every day I gotta spent four
hours sweatin' in that oven.

Waiting to welcome another load
of gamblers, thieves, gunmen.

This town is an abomination
in the sight of the lord.

Should be wiped
from the face of the earth.

I reckon mr. Bailey figures
the longbranch will be cooler.

Oh, yeah.

For a man as bothered
about salvation as you are,

You spend considerable time
in those establishments of sin.

My god, I fight sin.

I fight sin.

Not indulge in it.

I gotta lift the spirits
of those who have fallen.

I've noticed that your spirits
are pretty high when you leave.



One passenger.

Huh, welcome to dodge.

It's a miserable sinful town...

...But I suppose it makes
no difference to a poor chinese.

Well, look what
got off the stage.

A chinaman.

Well, he's going
right off with it.

Oh, oh!

Chen good boy.
Come working with that.

We don't care why you came,
all we care is when you get.

It's gonna be now.

Hey, leave him be.

You can't do this.
The bible-

We don't want this chinaman

Or any of his friends
or family in dodge.

No family. One man.


Uh, one boy.


That's good.

What's good about it, howard?


Take it out, tim.

Hold it, tim.

What's good about
his not having a family?

It's good because
there's too many chinese

In this country already.

We don't want a lot
of his kind running around

In dodge, marshal.

What's your name, fella?

Chen lan wong.

Good boy.

A kitchen place dodge city.

All the time, workin' hard.

No make trouble.

Well, I'm a u.S. Marshal,

You're welcome in dodge.

You can stay here
as long as you like.

Come on down outta there.

Thank you.
Thank you.

Wait a minute, marshal.

What are you mixin' up
in this for?

Ain't no law that says

We gotta have a lot
of chinamen around here.

What's the matter
with you people, anyway?

I'll tell you
what's the matter, marshal:

Two years ago,
there used to be

Three of us bradens.

And one day we find our kid
brother lying in the brush,

A pick driven clean
through him.

You know who
put it there?

One of them.

We got back to camp,

There must have been
50 of 'em,

All of our claim, eating our
grub and digging our gold.

We buried jimmy and went out
and brought back the vigilantes,

But the chinamen were all gone.

And so was our gold.

They worked it clean.

We know about his kind.

Take a look
in that box, marshal.

I'll bet it's full of money
he stole somewhere.

Me no steal.

Chen, I told you you're welcome
in dodge, and you are.

If these two men bother you,
you just come to me.

Come on.

Wait a minute, marshal.

You mean you're sidin'
with this chinese, marshal?

I don't care what he is.
You boys leave him alone.

You let him stay,

And there'll be a thousand
of 'em here in six months.

Maybe you're right.

We're not gonna take
that chance, marshal.

Get a move on, rabb.


Thank you, mr. Dillon,
for protecting this boy.

You can count on me to,
uh, show those young men

The error of their ways,

And bring 'em back
to true christian tolerance.

Oh, I wish you a lot
of luck, mr. Bailey.

M-m-me very sorry.

No like to bring trouble.

I'll handle the trouble, chen.

Well, what kind of work
are you looking for?

Oh, me kitchen place.

Very good cook.

Chinese cook,
ham and egg, uh, you see.

Oh, mr. Dillon,
we ought to take him

Down to dodge house.

I got drunk again last night,
and mr. Green fired me.

Maybe he hasn't found
a new cook yet.

All right, chester,
take him down there.

Uh, thank you very much.

Come on, chen.

Malt is good tonic for the
blood, you should remember that.

Whiskey... Ah, it'll ruin your
liver and destroy your will.

It's the work of the devil.

Have another beer,
mr. Bailey.

I'll buy.

Yeah, I think I will.

Give me another beer, sam.

Uh, although it'd be
my pleasure to buy for you.

If you were drinking the wine
of repentance instead of that-

That rotgut.

Repentance? For what?

For your treatment
of that poor chinese.

Oh, he's chinese, all right,
but you can bet he's not poor.

I didn't mean poor
in material ways.

Well, whether you meant it
or not, he ain't.

Up in the gold camp,
all the rich ones had boxes

Just like that.

They keep the money in it.

We've seen 'em.

Do you seriously believe
this chinaman is wealthy?

I know it.

They never spend a dime.

Live all year off a little rice
and some bacon rind.

They save their money in a box
just like the one he's got.

There's only one thing more
important to a chinaman,

And that's his pigtail.

The ones that got 'em

Would cut their throat
before they'd cut it off.

It's their big medicine.

Now, I don't hold
with killing people,

But we don't get rid
of this one,

And they're gonna be thicker
than flies inside a month.

Well, killing chinamen
ain't really the same

As killing people.

No bloodshed.

I- I think I know a way

To make him to leave
without violence.

Well, if you can figure
it out, we'll do it.

Finish your beer.
We'll buy another.


Uh. Unh.

Come in.

Hello, doc.


You know, chen, you'd have
been better off

Doing the job yourself.

Doc here is as likely to pull
a good one as a bad one.

Forgiveness isn't one
of your virtues, is it, matt?

Well, you pulled a perfectly
good tooth that night.

You still charged me for it.

Well, I don't know why not.

I pulled the bad one too,
didn't I?


Once you sobered up.

Sobered up?

I had been 48 hours
without sleep.

I had delivered two babies,

Thirty miles apart,

In the dead of winter.

I should've left it in there.

It might've taught you a lesson.
Let your jaw ache.

Taught you a lesson.

What kind of lesson
is that, doc?


I always figured
I was kinda humble.

Huh. You're about as humble
as a turpentined cat.

There you are, chen.

Oh, yes, here.

You better come back

And let me take a look
at that in a day or two.

Thank you, doctor.

I will.

How much do I owe you?


Give me a dollar.

Very good.

Very good?

What happened
to all that, um...?

Very-good-chinese boy,

All-time-worky talk, chen?

That's the way you expect me
to talk, isn't it?

I guess it is.

Most men resent a chinaman

Who doesn't talk
the way they expect him to.

I wish to avoid trouble.

But trouble comes,

Wait a minute, chen.

Who cut it off?

The same two men.

They came to my room
last night.

They said
if I didn't leave town,

They would be back
and cut my throat.

Then they cut off my queue
and took it with them.

That makes my disgrace
even worse.


The queue-
or pigtail, as you call it.

-Was once a sign
of manchu subjugation,

But now it represents our pride
and respect in ourselves

And our country.

I can never return to china
without my queue.

Oh, chen's going back to china
to get his wife, matt.

I've been married
19 years, marshal,

Since I was 8
and she was 2.

I'm trying to save
enough money to get my wife

And bring her back with me.

I love this country,
and I want to make it my home.

But when I go back to china,
I will have my queue

Or the lives of the men
who took it.

Don't go trying
to kill anybody, chen.

I'm very sorry, marshal,
to cause you trouble.

No, trouble's his business.

Thank you, marshal.

Thank you, doctor.

You think they'll
give him back his pigtail?

I think they will.

Evening, kitty.

Evening, matt.

They got quite a crowd
here tonight.

Sam got the bright idea

Of offering every
other drink on the house

To any trail hand
that had to come in here.

Looks like he's
a pretty good businessman.

Well, if he keeps up,

I might as well move on out
to their camp and join up.

I think it'd be easier.

They'd be glad
to have you, kitty.

You think so?

I know so.

Hey, there, marshal.

Evening, miss kitty.


You may have a beer
with me, miss kitty?

No, thanks. I'm, uh-

I'm giving my stomach
a rest. Later, maybe.

Why don't you leave
this place, miss kitty?

You don't belong here
with the sinners.

I know. We've talked
all about that.

You seen howard
or rabb tonight?

Not yet.

They'll be in pretty soon,
I expect.

What are you looking
for those two for?

Well, I want 'em to return
a little private property

To a friend of mine.

Howard and rabb stealing?

All right, boys.
That's enough.

Keep clear, marshal.

This is texas business.

You're in dodge now,
and that makes it my business.

If you wanna fight,
get outta town.

Why don't you let 'em
go at it, marshal?

They weren't hitting nothing
except each other.

And little enough of that.

Look, I said if you
wanna fight, get outta town.

Now, that goes for all of you.

You're so used to killing,

You forget a man needs
a fight sometimes

Just for pure enjoyment.

We were just having fun.

You got no sporting blood.

All you got's a badge
and a fast gun.

I just might find time
to accommodate you, texas.

No, you ain't.

I'm gonna fight him
all the way back to camp.

Just as soon as
we've had another drink.

You're always spoiling
somebody's fun,

Ain't you, marshal?

If you wanna stop real trouble,

Get that chinaman outta town.

I thought I told you to stay
away from chen.

Stay away from him?

He's been following us
all evening.

Wherever we go,
he's right with us.

Just standing around, staring.

I'm warning you, marshal:

I'm gonna put a bullet in him
before he gets me.

You're not gonna put
a bullet in anybody.

You're gonna give him back
his pigtail,

And leave him alone.

His pigtail?

What are you talking about?

You went up to his room
last night

And cut off his pigtail.

No, we didn't.

He's lying, marshal.

All them
chinamen is liars.

Look, I want that pigtail.

Now where is it?

I don't know nothing
about no pigtail, mr. Dillon.

What's the matter,
you collecting pigtails?

You know, the marshal's
here to keep the law.

And the law says there ain't
gonna be no stealing.

Somebody stole a pigtail.

Marshal's gotta find it.

Maybe we all better
help him look.

I know where he can find
a dozen pigtails.

Down at fred henry's hog ranch.

Texas, maybe you'd better
just turn around

And finish that drink, huh?


That goes for you too.

Now, you want me to beat
the truth outta you?

Wait a minute.

It's your own rule, marshal:

No fighting in town.

What are you trying to do?

Make everybody else obey
the law, except you?

You're a little off the trail,
aren't you, mr. Dillon?

If these men
done a crime,

Then arrest 'em
and throw 'em in jail.

But you got no call
to beat a man without proof.

That's right.

You wanna fight,
get outta town.

That's your rule.

We don't wanna fight
with the marshal.

He's the best man
dodge ever had.

All we want is a drink.

Just one thing:

Chen's gonna get
that pigtail back,

If I have to take off
this badge

To find out who's got it.

Well, that's all right
with me, marshal.

But don't you forget,

There's plenty of men
in this town

That'd cut that chinaman's
throat for that treasure box.

Let me know when they leave.

Yes, sir.

What are we gonna do now?

I don't know what
we're gonna do now.

As to mr. Bailey, maybe
he's got another smart idea.

He'll leave.

He'll leave tonight.

At 7.

How are you gonna
manage it?

I'll talk to him first.

You meet me there
in ten minutes.

They leave yet?

No, kitty's watching 'em.

I thought
I better tell ya.

Tell me what?

Well, they gave the pigtail
to mr. Bailey.

Then he went out.

Maybe he went
to give it back to chen.

Well, I don't know,
mr. Dillon.

Rabb gave him a gun too.

All right.


Tell me where
the treasure box is.

I'll get the pigtail for you.

Tell me!

Under board.


Board. Where?

Where? Where?!

Under table.



Board. Quickly.

Get up.


W-why you kill chen?

You get the box.

In a minute,

Howard and rabb will be here,

With the marshal
right behind 'em.

He'll find 'em here,

With your body and this gun.

They'll hang.

I regret it, but you gotta die.

Not yet bailey.

You hurt bad?

I'll be all right.

Thanks you, mr. Dillon.
You saved my life.

He must have been crazy.

He wanted my treasure box.

Mr. Dillon.

Somebody's coming.

Chen...Don't do it.

They took my queue.

The chinaman killed him.

All he was trying
to do was help.

Is that why you gave him
your gun?

He asked me for it.

He said he might need it
to scare the chinaman a little.

I killed him, not chen.

And now, I will kill you both.

Unless you give me back
the queue.


You don't have to kill anybody.

Marshal, I will not lose
my honor as a chinese.

Your honor as a chinese?

Chen, you said you wanted
to bring your wife here.

To make your home
in this country.

Well, if you do that,

You've got to live
as an american,

Not as a chinese.

If you have to kill
two men over a pigtail,

You don't belong in dodge or
anyplace else in this country.

Wait a minute, boys.

You've got
something to do first.

What's in it?

Nine dollars and 27 cents.

This piece of paper.

In america you would call
that a marriage license.

You see, it is only
a treasure to me.

Yeah. I see.

Well, chen,
let's get you over to doc's

And get your face patched up.

You were right, marshal.

Would you please consider
keeping this as a souvenir?