Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 14 - Professor Lute Bone - full transcript

Doc Adams complains vehemently to Matt when a medicine man's opium-laden "cure-all" nearly kills an infant girl. Matt initially finds himself unable to intervene legally, but he is finally able to do so when abuse of the elixir results in the death of an elderly man.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Wind and rain from the prairie
is wearing away the names

written on
these Boot Hill markers.

But then there are always
new graves with new names.

I know, I'm Matt Dillon,
U.S. marshal.

And sometimes I had a part
in putting them here.

Seldom does the kin of a man
lying on Boot Hill

come to tend his grave

or leave a bunch of flowers.

Many times, the man was
just passing through Dodge,

delayed a minute too long
and now he's here to stay.

She is beginning to breathe,
doctor, ain't she?

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Get me that hot water kettle,
Mrs. Ringle.

Hold it.

Never mind.

Never mind the water.

Never mind. There.

Uh, get me a blanket, son.
Get, quick.

Come on.

There we are.


There we are.


There she is, Mrs. Ringle.

She'll be all right now.

Just put her in that crib.
Keep her warm.

Oh, thank God for you,
Dr. Adams.

We never thought
there was a chance

when she started
turning blue like that.

It was such a far trip
into Dodge to get ya.



I tied a heifer
to your buggy.

I just don't
understand this.

That baby had
bronchial pneumonia,

but she was well on her way
to recovery.


I left careful instructions
for you, Mrs. Ringle.

Did you follow
my instructions?

Oh, we done everything you said,
just the way you told us.

We even done more.


Professor Bone said
it was a sure cure

for any kind of cold,

sore throat, lung trouble,
and what all.

So we just thought
we'd make double sure

and give her a-

Double sure?

Well, you just almost killed
your own baby with this stuff.

But Professor Bone-
"Professor Bone said."

That quack has had his last say
with any of my patients,

and if Marshal Dillon doesn't
run him out of the country,

by thunder,
I'll do it myself.

Now, you two do just exactly
like I said, you hear?

Good night.

Ah, Mr. Dillon,
I could just listen

to that Professor Bone's spiel
every day.

You do.

Oh, well, yeah.

Anyway, that, uh,
tonic of his

is better than any medicine
I ever tasted.

What's ailing you?


General debility.

That's what the professor said.
It's, uh... Uh...

Well, it just covers the whole
shebang is what it does. Heh.

Well, heh...

I'll see you later,
Mr. Dillon.

I don't wanna
miss nothing. Heh.

Where'd you get the calf, Doc?

That murdering old scarecrow
with his universal curative

is getting all the hard cash
in this town,

I get paid off in livestock
and vegetables...

and promises.

Sounds like you've had
a tough night.


I'll show you
how tough it was.

Couple of young pumpkin-rollers
out on the prairie.

You know 'em,
the Ringles.

They bought some of this swill
he's selling

and dosed their baby
with it.

Depressed its respiration,
darn near choked her to death.

Well, I'm sorry
to hear that.

Ladies and gentlemen.

Listen to that!

I have a surprise
for you.

A big surprise.

About to stand beside me
on this wagon

is a man you all know
and respect.

A man whose very presence
has contributed mightily

to the progress
of your fair town.

A man whose soul
is pure,

but whose body- Ah!

Whose body has been a host

of five diseases.

Five separate diseases.

Any one of which
might have been fatal.

But he's been saved.

Three bottles.

Three bottles

of Professor Bone's
universal curative

have done it.

And here he is,
ladies and gentlemen.

Here he is:

Chester Goode.

Step right up, sir,
step right up and speak.

Pour your heart out
for the sake of your fellow man.

Ladies and gentlemen,

fellow sufferers...

Boy, that simple-minded-

Get down off of there.


Hello, Mr. Dillon.

Come on.

Excuse me,
Professor Bone, uh...

Marshal, you're going a great
disservice to this community,

not letting this man
tell his inspiring story

for all to hear.

Go on with your lecture,

But you'll have
to find yourself

another worthy citizen
with a pure soul.

Come on, Chester.

Hey, professor.

Yes, my friend?

You claim that stuff
will cure anything.

Every disorder known
to medical faculty.

All right.

My daddy's turned 80,

and he's been flat on his back
for more than a year.

Regular doses
of my universal curative

will restore
his waning powers

and endow him with the vigor
and vitality

of a man half his age.

And now, ladies and gentlemen,
who'll be the first-?

Yeah, but my daddy's got a hate
against taking medicine.

He's a stubborn old coot, and-
I'll tell you what, my friend.

I'll be happy to come
and visit the old gentleman

and explain to him

the virtues of this
wonder nostrum in person.

But now, if you don't mind,
I'll pass out

a couple of these bottles

to the good folks
waiting around here.

There you are, ma'am.
Fifty cents.

Fifty cents
for the greatest...

Fifty cents
a bottle.

Matt, you heard
what he said

about visiting
Hank Stooler's father.

Now if that isn't practicing
medicine without a license,

I don't know what is.
Yeah, Doc.

The old man's flat
on his back

because I told him
to stay that way.

He's just plain worn out,
and he's got a bad heart.

And if he thinks I'm gonna-

Now, come on,
let's go in the office.

Fifty cents, 50 cents
for the wonder nostrum...

Just look at you.

All doped up
with that hogwash.

I feel good,
if that's what you mean.

There's nothing wrong
in that.

So you decided to get up
to tell the world about it, huh?

Yes, sir, I mean...

Sure. I-

I made a deal
with Professor Bone.

A deal?

A deal?!

I give 'em
an honest testimonial,

and he gives me $2 a day

and all the medicine
I can drink, free.

I ask you
for the last time, Matt,

are you gonna do something
about this blustering scoundrel?

Well, I can't keep a man
from operating

a legitimate business, Doc.

Well, what he's selling's
no better or worse

than other elixirs
on the market.

I hate saying this
to you, Matt,

but I don't think you're much
of a marshal!

Oh, no need to say that-

You shut your mouth!
What'd you say?

Just like you,
I've got a job to do.

Blow me,
I am gonna do mine right,

whether the letter of the law
says I can or not.

What are you talking about?
I'll tell ya.

I've got a hunch
what's in this witch's brew.

Well, it's mostly alcohol,

Yes, there may be something
a lot more deadly.

But I'm gonna make sure.

And if I'm right,

I swear to you

I'll blow that flannel-mouthed
swindler in half.

And you're not gonna
stop me.


I think Doc means it.


Evening, marshal.



Rest yourself a while.


I'm not gonna
waste words with you.


I'm here to ask you
to be on your way.


What do you got against me?

Nothing against you.

It's just your medicine.

You're talking for Dr. Adams,
aren't you?

I'm talking
for myself.

You wouldn't be so quick
to side with the good doctor

if you had witnessed the cures
it's been my privilege to see.

You'd believe
in my universal curative

with all your heart and soul.

Now, professor,
if you really believe

in this curative of yours
and its benefits,

why do you peddle it
from the back of a wagon

like a quack medicine man?

I don't understand
what you mean.

Well, this morning
you had Chester up there

to a lot of lies.

There wasn't a thing
wrong with him,

but you still had him believing
he needed your curative.

It's true I resorted
to somewhat shady means:

frontier salesmanship.

It's equally true I knew
that young man had no ailments.

But it was
a harmless deception.

It's not harmless if people
believe those lies.

Ah, people come to expect
that kind of thing.

Had I merely come to Dodge
and set up a store,

no one would have paid
any attention.

I deplore the methods
I have to use to show my wares,

but I feel that the means

is justified by the end.

And that's having people
buy your medicine.

That's right,

It's restored health
to thousands of ailing people.

Yes, sir, right from Sonora
clear to the Canadian line.

I just want you to know,

that, uh, if you stay
around Dodge,

I'm gonna have to find a way
to run you out.

That puts me square
against you, marshal.

I've already made arrangements
to rent a store on Front Street,

a place in a growing community
where I can bottle my medicine,

sell its benefits

to one and all.

I see.

I hope you're not gonna
try and stop me.

Well, in your own words,

this puts me square
against you.

Don't do it.

Hello, Kitty.

Matt, that old fool
Professor Bone's

running that store
down at the end of Front Street,

and he's put up a sign
with his name on it.

Well, there's not much
I can do about that.

It's not that
I'm worried about. It's Doc.


He saw the sign too.

Took one look at it
and headed for his office.

Said he was gonna
get a gun.

Get a gun?

Doc's mad enough at Bone
to shoot him, Matt.

You gotta do something
about it.

I will.

All right, Doc,
I'll take it.


You know what.
I want that gun.

No, you don't.

You're looking at a one-man
safety committee.

Now you get out
of my way.

Doc, listen to Matt.
Don't be a fool.

There's nothing for Matt
and I to talk about.

The marshal and I have nothing
in common, not anymore.

All right, Doc.


There's a lot
of choice things

I'd like to call you
right now,

if there wasn't
a female present.

All right, go ahead,

Get it all
out of your system.

You're a marshal.
You- You wear a badge.

You could do something
about this.

But instead you-

Do you know what you're doing?


You are protecting
an opium peddler.



One of the most dangerous,
vicious drugs there is.

You sure he's doing this?

Why, the stuff's loaded
with it.

I've tasted and sampled enough
of it, I oughta know.

And I checked
in the pharmacopoeia.

Matt, you can't let this go on.

All right, Doc.

You stay here, I'll take care
of this somehow.

No, you don't.

I'm goin' with you,

Whether you like it or not,
you've got a deputy.

You can't say that to me,
marshal. It's not true.

It's about time
you faced it, professor.

You're selling opium.

Selling opium? Huh!

It's true there's
an infinitesimal quantity

of it in there, but only
for therapeutical purposes.

Not enough
to harm an infant.

But it almost killed one
that I know of.

You don't know
what you're talking about.

The Ringle baby!

I spent one whole night putting
life back into that little body

that was all doped up
with your cure-all.

There must have been something
else wrong with the child.

I refuse
to believe-

Look, I don't care
what you believe, professor.

From now on, the label
on your medicine is gonna say

that it contains a dangerous,
habit-forming drug.

Ha, you can't do that
to me.

Just as long
as you're in Dodge,

that's the way
it's gonna be.

Last night, tried to run me
out of business.

Now you're getting
the idea.

I'm not gonna do it,

My medicine has helped
too many people.

You can't force me away
from Dodge

when people here
might need me.

No, sir,
I'm gonna stay.

You better
think it over.

I know I'm right
and you're wrong.

I'll take my case
to the law.

There's the man

I'm lookin' for.

Hold it, Hank.

What's the trouble?

This crazy, lying professor.
I'll kill him.

Calm down, quick.

You better get
out of my way, marshal,

unless you wanna get
full of holes.

Don't make me draw,

You wouldn't stop me
if you knew what he'd done.

Now what's all this about,

His medicine.

He talked my daddy
into buying a batch of it.

He started taking it, and...

he fell down dead.


my medicine...

My medicine
wasn't responsible.

You dirty,

All right, now, hold it, Hank.


take Professor Bone
over to jail.

I'm locking you up
for practicing medicine

without a license,

That'll be the charge till I
get back from Stooler's place.

Let's go, professor.

I guess I'll need you,

This is one inquest
I'll be glad

to do without charge.

Come on, Hank.

It's better to get rid
of this stuff, Mrs. Stooler.

Ain't no use talking to her,

Not a word come out of her
since Daddy keeled over dead

out there
on the field.

She'd been married to Daddy
almost 50 years.

Can't understand nothing

but that he ain't here
no more.

There's a law against fakers
like Professor Bone,

ain't there?

Well, I'm afraid not, Hank.

Well, then you're the law.

You can't stand by and let him
crowd folks into their grave

before their natural time.

I-if you're not gonna
do nothing about it, I-


Take your mother
into the other room, will you?

I wanna talk
to Doc alone.

Well, don't think
that I'm just talkin', I-

Do like I say,
will you?

Well, I looked at him.

If you want
my verdict,

nothing short of murder.

Like Hank said,

he started to guzzle
that stuff by the bottle,

got to feeling so good

he thought
he was 40 years younger.

Went out and tried
to plow a field.

His heart
just couldn't stand it.

that's clear enough.

Well, what are you gonna do
about Professor Bone?

I'm gonna
run him out...

get rid of him
for good.

You're- You're calling me
a murderer, marshal.

Be earnest with yourself
for once, professor.

You killed this man.

But I...

I only wanted to help.

Nobody gives a hoot
about your good intentions.

You're just lucky the law
doesn't make what you did

a hanging offense.

It's strange.

Only yesterday, all I wanted
was to win your respect

and find a place to myself
to spend the rest of my days.

Now there...

There's nothing.

Well, you're free to go,

As long as you put a lot of
distance between you and Dodge.


Go where?

Well, if you had any kind
of a conscience,

there'd be no place for you.

I'll be out to the grove
this evening, professor,

just to make sure
you're gone.

Sure, sure,
marshal. You...

You don't have no reason
to trust me.

You don't have to worry,
marshal, I'm leaving.

Did you have to do that?

Saw its day
as I've seen mine.

I've been deceiving myself.

You'll still find a place for
yourself somewhere, professor.

Where I can live
with my conscience?

Well, goodbye,

You gave me a square shake
all the way down the line.

You're feeling pity for me,
aren't you?


That's the way
of things.

Someday there won't be
a place out here

even for
a gunfighting marshal.

And you'll be
riding off...

just like me.

Well, when that time comes,

I'll be the happiest man
in Dodge.

But in the meantime,

somebody's gotta be here
because of people like you.