Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 11 - General Parsley Smith - full transcript

An inveterate liar is loudly insistent that Dodge City's new banker is a swindler who will abscond with the townspeople's savings at his earliest opportunity.

Gunsmoke...

Starring james arness
as matt dillon.

Boot hill's just a rise
on the kansas flatlands.



A few tufts of buffalo grass,

Some weathered markers

And the silkweed
blowing in the wind.

Well, over there in dodge,

They don't think
about how ugly it is,

Or the useless killing
that puts men here.

I know, I'm matt dillon,

United states marshal.

No, they just fill up
on tanglefoot whiskey,

Ease their gun belts
and go on the prod.

Yet more often than not,

They end up here
on boot hill,



Having found only
a shallow grave.

Hold it.

Your name nash?

That's right.

What are you doin'
in dodge?

Oh, I got business.

As a gunfighter?

You seen any wanted posters
on me, marshal?

Not lately.

Then you got no call
to bother me.

Well, when I see a man
like you going into a bank,

I wanna know why.

Marshal dillon...

Mr. Nash works here.

He works for me.

You the new banker?

That's right.
I'm drew holt.

I'm glad to know you,
marshal.

I've been lookin' forward
to your return.

I hope you drop in
and have a chat, soon.

You, uh-

You know what kind of a man
you've hired here?

Why, marshal,

I can assure you his business
with me is legitimate.

I'm sure he won't cause you
any trouble.

Well, he better not.

I give you my word,
marshal.

All right.

I just hope you can keep it.

Oh, mr. Dillon.

Mornin', chester.

Well, you're back
kinda early, ain't ya?

Yeah.
Just rode in.

Well, how was
your trip?

Well, it was
nothin' unusual.

I noticed a sign
down the street,

New bank.

Yeah- oh, yeah.
It, uh-

It opened just
after you left.

I'll take it you don't have
any money in there.

Me?

Now, what would I
be doing with money?

Besides,
if I had any,

I'd put it
in mr. Botkin's bank.

Marshal dillon?
Yes?

Parsley smith, sir,
at your service.

Glad to know ya,
mr. Smith.

This is
chester goode.

Mr. Smith.
Not "mr. Smith", sir,

General smith,

3rd illinois cavalry.

Well, I thought the 3rd illinois
was demobilized,

A long time ago.

Well, it was, sir,
in the fall of '65.

We served with general grant
before richmond.

It was our last action.

Now, what can I do
for you, general?

Well, for me, nothin',

But for the good citizens
of your town, a great deal.

Oh?

Yes, I rode in
last week

With a remount party
to fort dodge.

General miles'
personal guest.

Oh, are ya stayin'
at the fort then?

No, I came into town
on business.

And it's a good thing
I did too.

That so? Yes, I just
been awaitin' your return.

Now that you're back,
you can take over.

Well, take over what?

Drew holt is a thief, marshal.

The new banker?

Now, I haven't told anybody yet,

But I knew holt
in the war, marshal.

Ya did?

He was a spy.

Holt?

On my word as an officer, sir,
and a gentleman.

Oh, I know he looks mild enough,
harmless in fact,

But he was a spy.

Well?

Spied for both sides.

We caught him, but he escaped.

Man's no good,
he's gotta be stopped.

Well, that may be true

That he spied for both sides,
general, but, uh-

Well, that doesn't necessarily
make him a thief.

But he's
no banker.

He's just waitin'

For enough deposits
to make it worthwhile.

He's had ten days already
while you were away.

He'll skip
any day now.

Well, he wouldn't
get far.

A man who spied
for both sides,

He'll live through it.

You're underestimatin'
the enemy, marshal.

Well, I warned ya.

Anything that'll happen
will be on your head.

Well, I'll look into it.
Thanks, general.

Good day, sir.

Ah. It's
a pleasure, marshal.

Have a seat.

Thank you.

Come to have
our chat already.

Dodge has grown in the couple
of weeks you've been away,

Hasn't it?

Two banks.

Well, you seem
to be doin' pretty well.

Doing fine, just fine.

Except for one thing.
Oh?

That old man,
that general smith?

I don't know, marshal,
he must be crazy.

I don't know
what he's got against me.

I never saw him before
in my life.

But already I've lost
three depositors

Because of his crazy lies.

So they are lies then?

But of course
they're lies.

Unless he stops
such talk,

I'm going to ask you
to lock him up.

There must be laws
to protect businessmen

From such scoundrels,

Or madmen,
as the case may be.

Where you from, holt?

Why, uh, back east.
Pennsylvania. Why?

Well, you look familiar, eh?

I thought maybe we'd met
somewhere a long time ago.

Couldn't have been in the army,
could it?

I'm afraid not, marshal.

I was never in the army.
I have a bad heart.

Well, doesn't matter.

There is one thing I'd like you
to explain to me though.

Oh?

Why'd you hire
a gunman like nash?

Ya know he's a gunman.

Well, that's why I hired him.

I have a lot
of folks money here.

I mean to protect it.

How do ya know
you can trust him?

He's a gunfighter.

For hire.

And I hired him.

As long as I pay him,
he'll be loyal.

I hope you're right.

Well...
Marshal...

If you're
at all worried

About anything that man
general smith says,

You can talk
to mr. Botkin.

He'll tell you
my credentials are in order.

I'm sure he'll-

And if you put it
in there, you're money's

As good as gone.

Believe it!

What is that?

Take your hands
off me, sir!

I have every right
to speak-!

Now, you heard me,

Get goin'!

Nash.

Do you want somebody
your own weight, nash?

If you was any kind
of a marshal,

You'd have this old buzzard
behind bars.

Ya see, marshal,
what kind of men they are?

I-I warned you.

Did you order this?

Yes, I did.

I mean to protect
my business.

He's no right to stand
in front of my place

And slander me.

Well, aren't you going
to do anything about him?

Well, just don't you
do anything.

All right, marshal.

I'm sorry if I
overstepped myself.

Come along, nash.

And I'll leave it
to you

From now on,
marshal.

Is that all
you're gonna do, marshal?

Aren't you gonna lock
those scoundrels up?

Look, general,
I've told you

That you talk too much.

Now, I'm warning you:

You let me handle this.

Sir, when I see
the appropriate action taken-

General...

Hmph.

Very well, sir.

If you don't want
my support...

He sure is a humdinger,
ain't he?

What a talker.

You should've heard him
jawin' at the passengers

Comin' in on the stage.

Stage?

He told me rode in
with a remount party,

Special guest
of general miles.

remount party, nothin'.

He came with me
all the way from hays city,

Tellin' whoppers
all the way.

But if he's gonna tangle
with a gunman like nash,

He might get shut up...
For good.

Yeah.

Mind the competition?

Of course I don't mind.

Dodge has needed another bank
for a long time.

What do you know about
this holt?

He came to see me
first day he was here.

Showed me his...Credentials,
charter.

Looked bona fide
to me.

A man could fake credentials,
couldn't he?

Oh, come now, marshal.

You've been listening to
that crazy old general smith.

You think he's lying?

He lies about everything.

Why, he told me he fought
under zach taylor

In the black hawk war.

And that the last time
he saw taylor

Was in harper's ferry.

What do you think of that?

Well, that would have been

About ten years
after taylor died.

He's telling folks
he's a guest of the commandant

Out at fort dodge.

Everybody knows he's got
a room at the dodge house.

Why would he lie about
a thing like that? Who cares?

I don't know.

Maybe we'll find out more
about it

When doc gets back
this afternoon.

Why?

Well, the general says

He was with
the 3rd illinois cavalry.

That's doc's old outfit.

Oh, that'll be interesting.

Show him up for the liar he is,
I'll bet.

Well, he's a liar maybe,

But I'm not as sold

On this holt as I might be.
Oh...

Holt's all right, marshal,
I'm sure of it.

Well, hope you're right.

And the new bank's
gonna mean a lot

To the whole country
around here.

You wait and see.

All right, mr. Botkin.
I'll wait.

Which room is general smith's?

It's, uh,
number six.

Right up there,
marshal.

Thank you.

Who is it?

Marshal dillon.

You'll have to pardon

My temporary quarters, marshal.

Sure, general.

I, uh, just thought

I'd take a look
at your uniform,

Your medals and all.

Oh, no. You see, I left
everything at fort dodge.

Travelin' light, you know.

Sure.

I see that the bank's
still open.

When are ya gonna close it?

I'm not goin' to.

Shirkin'
your duties, sir?

Holt's credentials are good,
according to mr. Botkin.

Nothin' easier than that

For a man
as clever as holt is.

General,

Ed nash is a gunman.

Take more than that
to scare a man

Who stood before the batteries
at vicksburg.

You ever face grapeshot,
marshal?

Now, look, general,

Your talk is hurting the town.

We need that bank here.

And I was decorated
by general grant himself

In person, sir.

Now, look, general,

Either you prove
that holt's a thief,

Or you quit
talkin' about him.

I mean it.

I'm under fire, eh?

Well, I never retreated
under fire in my life, marshal.

You'll get your proof
soon enough,

But it'll be
too late then.

I'm not gonna argue
with you, general.

I warned you,

And the next time
I'm gonna run you out of dodge.

If they had listened
to me at bull run,

There'd have been
no disaster.

General-

I'll do my duty
as I see fit, sir.

Always have
and always will.

And no man
is gonna stop me!

You got business in here too,
nash?

I live here, marshal.

I've decided
you better check out, nash.

Out of here
and out of dodge.

Why?

Just because I don't like
your kind around.

You can't do that.

I'll give you
till 5:00.

If I see ya around town
after that, I'll lock you up.

Now, look here-

Five o'clock.

I've been tryin'
to get somethin' out of you

About this parsley smith,

But you haven't
told me anything about him yet.

No, and I wanna see him first.
I wanna talk to him.

Besides, he...Said
he was gonna lay off.

You told him too,
and he probably will.

Maybe.

Say, matt, this, uh-
this drew holt.

Didn't he buy himself a house
out at the edge of town?

Yeah. Well, now, that doesn't sound much

Like a man who's
plannin' to run away, does it?

No.
Well-

Mr. Dillon?

General smith's
at it again.

Out in front
of the bank?

No, he moved down
to the corner.

He's scared of nash,
I guess.

So he would probably
lay off, huh?

Let's go see him.
All right.

You can say hello
to him,

Just before
I run him out of town.

I tell you again,
I tell you all,

This drew holt,
the man's an out-and-out crook.

He'll make off with
every penny you give him!

I assure you, gentlemen-

Doc.

Doc adams.

Hello, parsley.

What are you doin' in dodge?

I live here.

What are you doing here?

Well, I was on my way
to arizona,

And I stopped here because-

Well, I guess you heard
of drew holt and his bank.

Thought I told you
to lay off, general.

I'm only doin' my duty
since you won't do yours.

I already saved two men
from losing their money

This afternoon.

Well, that's all
you're gonna save.

You're through, general.

Ya can't run me out.

I tell ya, holt's gonna
rob everybody.

He'll ruin these people!
You've got to believe me.

Did you ever hear
of a drew holt

In the army, doc?

No.

No, I never heard
of him.

Till dark, general.

If I see ya
around town after that,

I'll have
to lock you up.

Ya mean that, don't you?

I mean it.

All right.

Bye, doc.

Thank you.

Bye, parsley.

What was
the "thanks" for, doc?

Keepin' my mouth shut,
I guess.

Parsley smith
wasn't a general.

He was the regimental butcher.

The regimental butcher?

He started out
as a staff sergeant,

But they found out
he'd lied so much

About his past experience.

He said he'd been in mexico
with general scott.

Turned out he'd never been

In anybody's army before.

Well, he's through now.

Well, he isn't
a bad man, matt.

No, maybe not.

Well, thanks, marshal.

And thanks for running
that old fool off.

I ran off him
and nash too, mr. Holt.

Ya did?

From now on,
if your bank needs protection,

I'll handle it.

Well, of course,
if you say so, marshal.

Hello, chester.

Have you seen him,
mr. Dillon?

Not yet.

Have you?
No.

Neither one of 'em.

I reckon they must
have left town.

I don't know.
Maybe.

Well...

It's gettin'
kinda late.

Yeah, why don't you
go on to bed, chester?

What about you?

Well, I'll just stick
around here a while-

That's drew holt's house.

The general's gone
plum crazy.

General.

General smith,
it's marshal dillon.

Hold your fire.

Stay where you are, marshal.
He'll see you!

Keep everybody here,
chester.

Drew holt is still alive,
marshal.

But I got his gunman.

That's nash lyin' dead
on the front porch.

Yeah, I see him.

He was gonna
run off tonight.

You must have
scared him.

But I was standin' guard.
I stopped him.

Give me your rifle,
general.

What for?

I said give it to me.

You're gonna take over?

Yeah.

Yeah, I'm takin' over.

All right. Here.

Your hands are shakin'.
Have you been hit?

No, holt couldn't
hit anything.

I-I heard him
yell once though.

I might have
a bullet in him.

Well, you better hope
that you haven't.

You're in trouble enough
already.

Stay here.

Ya still don't believe me,
do ya?

It doesn't matter now
what I believe.

Holt?

It's dillon.
Come on out of there.

Chester, bring the general.

Holt.

Holt, can you hear me?

You did it, marshal.

He winged me,
but you did it.

That old fool.

I should've killed him
a long time ago.

Is he dead?

Yeah.

Well, you were right, general.

You did have
a bullet in him.

The bag's
on the table.

That's the money
they was runnin' off with.

I don't suppose there's
any use in my askin' you

How you really knew
about holt, is there?

I'm awful tired.
I-

I gotta sit down.

It's, uh...

Been a long night.

I made that up,
marshal, about...

Him bein' a spy.

I thought you'd
more likely believe that

Than what really happened.

All my life the things
I made up seemed better

Than the way things
actually happened.

It was over
in abilene, marshal.

A few weeks back.

You- you know
the grant hotel there?

I know it.

Well, I-I had a room

Next to this drew holt fella,

And I used to sit
in the dark,

The windows open,

They was plottin'

Right outside on the balcony.

They didn't even know
I was around.

Say, that was lucky.

I fooled 'em good,
I sure did.

You know, marshal-

Well, I'll be sworn
to goodness,

Looks like he fainted.

Mr. Dillon,
he's been shot.

He's dead,
chester.

He even lied
about bein' hit.

He didn't lie
about drew holt though.

No.

No, he knew about holt.

But we'll never
know how.

Well, he just told us,

How he overheard 'em
and all,

At the grant hotel in abilene
just a few weeks back.

There's somethin' wrong
with that too, chester.

What?

Because the grant hotel
in abilene

Burned down two years ago.

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