Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 16 - Reward for Matt - full transcript

A woman puts a price on Matt's head after he shoots down her husband.

ANNOUNCER:

Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Standing here on
Boot Hill,



you can look out
across the prairie

or back
at Dodge City,

sprawling in the dust
and the heat.

It's a young town,
a wild town.

A town made up of gamblers,
cowhands, hunters

and killers,

all looking
for something.

And they all have
one thing in common:

Bullets kill one
as easily as another.

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

Sometimes, those bullets
are meant for me.

Hold it.



You're welcome
to make your say, marshal,

but hold steady
right where you're at.

I'm takin' you
into Dodge, Stoner.

Wastin' your time.

Mine too.

I gotta get these bunch-quitting
strays back to my ranch.

Stoner,

you've killed
your last homesteader.

Better heed me, mister:

Don't come
no closer.

This time
there was a witness.

'Nother nester,
I reckon you mean.

A settler,

with a proved-up claim
and legal rights.

Stinkin' thievin' trash,
all of 'em.

Took me a month
to find a witness.

You never gave Jake Reeves
a chance.

Had none comin'.

He was runnin'
off my cold strays

'fore I could even put
my brandin' iron on 'em.

You got some twisted-up notion
that every farmer

with a new stray must've
rustled it outta your herd.

"Farmer," you say?

Pack rats, all of 'em.

Uglyin' up the prairie
with their mudhole nests.

I'm not gonna argue.

Stringin' up barbed wire

agin men and beasts

who were brought up free
with this country,

the way God almighty made it
and intended it to be.

Well, they ain't fencin' out
Jeremy Stoner.

The law gives 'em the right.

I got my own kinda law:

No, Stoner.

Leave me lay.

I don't need nobody
to help me die.

Maybe you...
done me a favor.

Stinkin', thievin' trash,
all of 'em.

Already lived past my time.

I don't wanna see
what comes...next.

Mr. Stoner?

Yeah.

What'd he do,
Mr. Dillon?

Make ya call
his play?

Yep.

Why'd you tote him
all the way into Dodge?

I'd think
Mrs. Stoner'd

want him
right there.

Well, I found him
out on the prairie,

gatherin' in
some of his stock.

Tsk.

I'll get a wagon and take him
home in the morning.

Well, I don't
envy you.

No, sir.

Old lady Stoner's
as plenty hard as him,

and she loved him.

Why don't you let
Chester take him back?

She can't blame him
for anything.

No, I'll do it, Doc.

I killed him.

Anything special
that you want me to do

while you're gone,
Mr. Dillon?

Yeah, Chester.

When you go over
to Jonas' for more coffee,

tell 'em we want
a change of brand.

Well, I dunno.

Maybe nothin' will
taste good today.

Mrs. Stoner.
Mrs. Stoner.

Where's Jeremy?

Horseback news tell it,
you brought him here after-

After it happened.

Here, ma'am.
Sit down.

I've been sittin'
since dawn on a wagon.

I had to do it, Mrs. Stoner.

You murdered him.

He wouldn't stand
for me to take him in.

What chance did he
have against you?

Did you know that he admitted
to killing Jake Reeves?

Who cares about people
like Reeves?

Well, I don't know his wife
or any of his kin,

but maybe
they care some.

What do they matter?

Well, you've got the same
sickness your husband had:

this feeling about nesters.

Jeremy should have had a trial.

He'd have got off.

That makes you a murderer.
Now, look here, ma'am-

And you're gonna die for it.

A thousand dollars

is all the money
I got in the world.

But I'm gonna use
every cent of it

to hire you killed.

Now, you know
you don't mean that.

And it ain't gonna be
just one man I'm gonna hire.

I'm gonna hire
a whole army of men.

You ain't gonna
have no more chance

than you gave Jeremy.

Well, where's
his body?

"Reward for Matt Dillon.

"Thousand dollars reward
to the first man who can prove

"U.S. marshal
Matt Dillon is dead.

"Manner of death unimportant.

"No questions'll be asked.

"Money is in safe
at Dodge House,

"Will be paid in cash.

Sarah Stoner."

Now, don't this beat all.

Now just last night,
me'n the other boys

in the Double Bar outfit were
throwed outta town by Mr. Dillon

for bein' a little noisy
in the street.

And we were shootin'
it up some, yeah.

But he called it
disturbin' the peace,

even though we didn't
hit nobody.

Him!

Makin' every day in Dodge
like Sunday in Philadelphia.

We was wonderin' what
we could do about him,

and here's our answer...hm?

A thousand-dollars reward
for him's a real good answer.

Hey, you!

Where do you think
you're going?

Just over to the Sunflower
Restaurant for some breakfast.

Is that where
the marshal is?

No, he-

He's takin' the day off.

Shootin' turkeys.

I shoulda knowed better
than to ask you.

You wanna tell me
the rest?

Well, I don't know
just how.

You gotta make allowances
for people like the Stoners.

Why?

Tsk. Well, 'cause they
stood alone

against the prairie
for so long.

When people start crowding
in on 'em, it's...

well, just the end
of the world for 'em.

What do you want,
Barrett?

She's got an old rawhider
runnin' around nailin' 'em up

all over town.

So that's what she meant, huh?

Well,
what do ya want?

I don't mind you knowin',
this interests me.

I'll remember that.

I wonder how long
a man can hold together

knowin' every gunfighter,

every dead-broke puncher,

just plain scum,
is fussin' with the idea

of collectin'
the money on his head.

You gettin' in line?

Maybe,

when it begins to look you
ain't holdin' together so good.

Thanks for the warning.

I do you
one better, marshal.

When I'm ready, you won't
get it in the back.

Maybe you'd better be
movin' along.

Just make sure you don't get
bushwhacked before my turn.

I got use
for that money.

What's wrong with now?

Oh...

not now...

marshal.

Matt, you gotta make
that woman take it back.

Make her print somethin'
saying the reward is all off.

Yeah. Do you think
she'd do it?

I'll go around and tear down

the rest of them posters,
Mr. Dillon.

Tsk. Nah, don't
do that, Chester.

Too many of the wrong kind of
people have seen that already.

A whole army of 'em.

You goin' on your rounds
tonight, like always?

Like always.

It's just that old
rusty Remington

that you keep
in your desk.

Put it back, Chester.

Sorry, Chester.

Man has to kill
his own snakes.

I been drinkin' with
some other drummers

and we made a bet
about the reward.

If I hadn't been drinkin',
marshal, I never would have...

Well, what's the matter?

Haven't you got room
in your jail for him?

Well, what do you want me
to charge him with?

Loitering?

Well, he made a brag in public
he was gonna kill ya,

and somebody just tried it.

Yeah, but that'd be
pretty hard to prove, Doc,

unless he was carrying
a rifle.

That sounded like
a Winchester to me.

Besides, I don't think they're
tryin' to kill me, anyway.

Wha-?
That's just Barrett

and some of those Double Bar
boys tryin' to see how long

it's gonna take me to come
loose at the seams.

And that...
Barrett's waiting.

I see.

Well, Matt,

I don't know if there's
anything I can do.

Let me-
Ah.

Doc, that's not
why I came up here.

I just thought a good look at
that vinegar face of yours

might raise my spirits.

I'll see you later.

Whiskey, marshal?

No thanks, Sam.

Maybe later.

Your health,
marshal...

while it lasts.

I locked the door
out back.

At least nobody's gonna
come up on you that way.

Thanks, Chester.

Tsk. You're real
settling to my nerves.

Wouldn't it be better, as long
as you're not doin' nothin',

to do it inside?

Now, Chester, I can't dig
a hole and hide in it.

No, I-
I reckon not.

Gun!

He's just
a clodhopper.

A young one,
at that.

Well, he's still
breathin', Chester.

Take care of his horse.
I'll get him up to Doc's.

Who are ya, son?

What's your name?

Name don't matter.

You tried to kill me.

Why?

For the reward.

Thousand dollars.

We needed that money,

needed it bad.

Who needed it?

I...

I seen ya standin' there.

Went and got my horse.

Almost killed ya.

Sorry.

Real sorry I did that, marshal.

You don't know what
happens to a man,

needin' money so bad-

Tsk.

Probably never shot anything
but rabbits before

in his whole life.

What in the world are you
waitin' for, Matt?

Why don't you throw
that murderin',

black-hearted old crone
in jail, where she belongs?

That wouldn't make her
call off the reward, Doc.

Come in.

Thought you were someone
come for the reward money.

Mrs. Stoner,

please put an end
to this thing you've done.

What's the matter?
The marshal gettin' scared?

Well, a man can't enjoy

knowing somebody may
shoot him down any minute.

So he is getting scared.

Good.

But even worse for a man like
Matt Dillon is the idea

that he might have to shoot
somebody down any minute.

It shouldn't bother
a killer like him.

He's not a killer.
Your husband made him do it.

It was needless. It was as
needless as what happened today.

Get out of here.

Do you know who you hired
this afternoon?

Don't matter.

Except I wish he'd been
a better shot.

A skinny young sodbuster
from out on the prairie.

A young man that was meant
to go on livin',

but needed
that terrible money.

For his family, maybe.
Nobody knows.

Nobody even
knows his name.

You're a dance-hall
woman, ain't ya?

You wouldn't know nothin'

about marriage being
sacred or holy.

Why you nasty
old hypocrite-

What God hath joined together,
let no man put asunder.

No man.

Look at you.

Just look at you
standin' there

with that boy's blood
on your hands,

and you dare
to look down at me.

You-

Can I sell you a drink
tonight, marshal?

Yeah, Sam. Give me
a rye whiskey.

Yeah.

You need that drink,
don't you, marshal?

You ain't afraid to let
people see your hand shake,

tryin' to get it
to your mouth?

You don't mind if I
have one too, do you?

You know, I wouldn't
blame ya none

if you was getting
a little skittery.

I know I'd be pure
outta my head by now.

The waitin'.

Sittin' with your
back to the wall.

Jumpin' across alleys.

Wishin' you had eyes
in the back of your head.

And what happened
today, marshal.

What happened today, that
would have unstrung me good.

What are ya
waitin' for?

Oh, I'm through waitin'.

I think you're about
ready for me.

Right now.

Why didn't ya
blast him, marshal?

You had the right.

It wouldn't have been me
doin' it, Sam.

It would've been
Mrs. Stoner.

One killing's enough
for her in one day.

Now you get your man,
and get him outta here.

Don't let me find anybody from
the Double Bar in town tomorrow.

Barrett's shot didn't
go wild enough.

Looks like Mrs. Stoner's got
herself another killing anyway.

I'll get Doc.

Mr. Dillon,
look who's comin'.

Marshall, I-

I come
to make you a deal.

Why?

It's none of your business.

Maybe you heard
about that innocent man

that got shot
in the Long Branch last night.

What do I care about a drunken,
no-good cowboy?

And you don't even care

about the youngster I had to
shoot yesterday?

Mrs. Stoner, you're just
downright heartless, that's all.

Now that's enough,
Chester.

You find out who he was,

that young nester,
I mean?

Nope.

Don't matter.

Don't even know
why I'm askin'.

What's this deal you wanted
to tell me about?

I'll withdraw
that reward

if you get outta Dodge.

Leave the country
and don't never come back.

It's beginning to bother
you, isn't it?

All this blood

that's being spilled,
and more to come?

Never mind that.
Are you gonna do it?

Mrs. Stoner, I hate killing.

I hate killing
as much as you hated

to lose your husband.

But I'm not leaving.

You'll just kill
more men if you stay,

till one of 'em
gets you.

You're the only one
that can stop that.

Well, I ain't
gonna stop it,

and don't blame me.

I give you your chance to get
out, and you wouldn't take it.

You lookin'
for me, ma'am?

I don't wanna bother you
if you're busy, marshal.

I just drove
into town, and...

I'm looking
for my boy.

Oh?

You'd know him
if you saw him.

He's- He's a tall,
blue-eyed boy,

kinda thin.

He's gonna get
hisself into trouble,

unless I don't
stop him.

Big trouble.

Now, what's he plannin'
to do, ma'am?

Shamed to tell you this, but...

He took his rifle when he left
home yesterday morning.

He's heard the talk
about that thousand dollars.

The reward
for your killing.

Believe me, marshal,
he doesn't know what he's doin'.

I-I gotta stop him.
Find him.

He's only doin' it because...

we're about to starve
out there.

Him, and me

and my
little girl.

Look, ma'am,

I'm afraid to tell
you this, but-

Wait.

I want you to understand good
why he reckoned he had to do it.

My husband was killed
a month ago.

Shot.

And since then, we've been
near starvin' to death.

My boy tried, but...

we ain't
makin' it.

Answer me somethin':

What's your name?
Mrs. Reeves.

My man was Jake Reeves.

Did you know him?

No.

No, I- I didn't.

But I think
my husband knew him.

Didn't he, marshal?

He did?

That's what he told
me, Mrs. Reeves.

Sorry.

Perhaps if you
told me your name?

I'm not...very proud of my name
right now, Mrs. Reeves.

Marshal,

the lowest thing you've been

thinking about me-

I'm even lower.

But would you do
something for me?

I think so.

Like as you know,

there's an envelope with
something in it

at Dodge House.

It'll be there,
w-with your name on it.

You know what
to do with it.

I know.

I'm going home now.

Goodbye, Mrs. Reeves.

Been a pleasure, ma'am.

I don't understand much
what she was sayin'.

Would you like to come into my
office, ma'am?

I'll try and explain it to you.

I'll try and explain
a lot of things.

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