Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 17 - Robin Hood - full transcript

Holdup man John Henry Jordan repeatedly escapes conviction by robbing only the wealthy and sparing poorer persons who are potential witnesses against him. His luck runs out when Matt's efforts force him to victimize ordinary citizens.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

There are all kinds of people
back there in Dodge.

And most of 'em
are good people.

The others,
if they're bad enough,

generally end up here
on Boot Hill.

Some of 'em I put here.

My name's Dillon,
I'm a U.S. Marshal.

I work for the people
of Dodge City.

They pay me
to look after 'em,

to keep 'em
out of trouble.

But sometimes they forget
why they hired me.




Another outburst like that
and I'll clear this courtroom.

Everybody in this courtroom
must be insane, judge.

I've told you,
there's the man

who held up
the stage.

I don't have
to describe him again

for the jury.

The other passengers
in this room

can identify him
just by looking at him.

The fact that he had
a handkerchief across his face

doesn't matter.

Look at his eyes,
his gray hair,

the line of his jaw.

And you heard
his voice.

All right, Mr. Botkin,
you can step down now.

But, Judge Summers-

Now you're just repeating
your testimony,

there are other witnesses
to be heard.

Next witness.

Mr. Harry Bowen,
take the stand.

Raise your right hand.

Solemnly swear
to tell the truth,

the whole truth and nothing
but the truth,

so help you?
I do.

Mr. Bowen,

I understand that you
and your wife were passengers

on the stagecoach
on the day it was held up,

July 7th, last.

Is that correct?

That's correct,
Your Honor.

Now, you heard the testimony
of Mr. Botkin,

your local banker.

Would you say that
his description of the robbery

is, uh, substantially,
the way it happened?

Well, yes, Your Honor.

The masked man stopped
the coach, all right.

You heard Mr. Botkin identify
the prisoner

as the man
who performed the holdup,

what have you to say
about that?

I'd say he was mistaken,
Your Honor.

That fellow,
that fella there

was not the man.

Can you describe
the man?

Sure I can.
He was short and fat.

Had black hair
and wore a checkered shirt.

And of course,
he had a mask on too.

All right, Mr. Bowen,
that'll be all.

Now, marshal, are there
any other passengers

to be heard now?

All except Mrs. Bowen,
Your Honor.

Now, Mrs. Bowen,
take the stand, please.

Place your hand
on the Bible.

Raise your right hand.

You solemnly swear
to tell the truth,

the whole truth and nothing
but the truth, so help you?

I do.

Be seated, please,
Mrs. Bowen.

Mrs. Bowen,
would you recognize

the stagecoach robber,
if you saw him again?

I most certainly would,
Your Honor.

Do you see anyone
in this courtroom

whom you think
it could be?

I do not.

Can you describe
the man?

I can...

He was very tall,
with red hair and freckles.

Did you notice what kind
of a horse he was riding?

Your Honor.

A black one
with one white leg.

Mr. Botkin says it was
a bay gelding with a black mane.

Mr. Botkin
was mistaken.

All right, Mrs. Bowen,
that's all.

Now, marshal,
have you anything further to add

before I instruct
the jury?

Well, there's just one thing,
Your Honor.

I suppose the witnesses here,
except for Mr. Botkin,

think that they're doing
the right thing by lying, but-

Now, Marshal Dillon,

I must caution you
about making such accusations.

Your Honor,

everybody in this courtroom
knows as well as I do

that John Henry Jordan here
held up that stage.

He took $500
from the strongbox

and 300 in cash
from Mr. Botkin.

But he spared everybody else,
so now they're sparing him.

But I'm warning you,

this man is worse
than a thief.

He'll rob anybody
if he has to,

not just the rich.

And he would kill
if he has to.

He's been on trial for robbery
and murder in three states.

But he's never been convicted

because nobody'll testify
against him.

Now, once more...

if you turn him loose,
you'll regret it.

He'll rob again,

and he'll kill again.

Well, that's all,
Your Honor.

Gentlemen of the jury,

if the testimony of the several
witnesses you've just heard

convinces you that, uh-

Your Honor, we've already
reached a verdict.

Will the accused please rise?

What is your verdict?

Not guilty.

You're crazy,
you're all crazy!

He's the man,
I know he is.

He took every cent
I had with me.

Just because
he didn't rob anyone else-

That'll do, Mr. Botkin.

The verdict has been reached,

and there's nothing more
to be said.

Marshal, I order you
to release the prisoner.

This case is closed.

Seven, 750, 800.

Exactly right.
Thank you, marshal.

There's the receipt,
sign it.

Uh, did you bring
my horse around?

Yeah, it's out front,
Mr. Jordan.

Thank you.


you're gonna
leave Dodge?

What'll you do
if I don't,

shoot me?

I, uh,
won't be wearing this.

And I understand
the public frowns

on lawmen shooting
unarmed citizens.

You haven't got anything on me
and you know it.

I'm gonna stay here just
as long as I want to, marshal.

Matt, you, uh...

You wanna
know something?

You could be wrong
about this.

Well, it's possible.

Not this time, Doc.
Here's his record.

Ah, he held up
that stage.

Well, Mr. Dillon,
it don't make sense to me.

I mean, if I was gonna
hold up the stage,

I'd take everything on it
from everybody.

And if you did,
you'd be in jail, Chester.

And so would
John Henry Jordan.

But he's smart,
he only robs the rich.

Well, I got to admit,
that's smart.

If true.

Well, you've heard
the witnesses, Doc.

He left them alone
so they're all grateful.

They'd befriend him to,
if he asked them to.

You know, Mr. Dillon,
he reminds me of that, uh...

Oh, you know,
what's his name?

That green Indian they used
to have over in Europe once.


You know,

Robin something.
Robin Head?


Robin Hood,

Yeah, that's it.

And he wasn't
an Indian.

As far as I know,
he wasn't green either.

Maybe he was jealous
of Little John or something.

Little John?
Who's he?

Oh, never- Wha-?
Uh, never mind, Chester.

Matt, now you're sure
that this Jordan is

a menace
to this community.

I mean,
you don't think

maybe this is just
a personal hate of yours?

Well, it's...

personal enough, Doc.

I hate snakes too.

Oh, Matt,
he's not that bad.

He's a thief and a killer,

He'd rob from anybody,
rich or poor.


In any case,
there's not very much

you can do about it,
is there?

Ah, but there is.

I'm gonna start by putting two
shotgun guards on every stage.

Hired men
who'll shoot.

What else?

Then I don't know...


But at least he's not gonna get
any more money from the stages.

Mornin', Sam.

Ah, good morning,

I've never had to clean
the place so often,

in one week before.

Another one
of Jordan's parties?

Yes, sir.
He sure is a spender.

Why, in the past three
or four nights,

he must've had
the half of Dodge in here.

And the lot of them,
folks that don't ordinarily

have the price
of a drink.

I see
what you mean.

Good morning,

Yeah, it is,
ain't it, Mr. Dillon?

Jordan's parties been
keeping you busy this week?

Well, yes, sir, uh...

I mean,
with everything being free,

I couldn't afford
not to be here.

I see.

But it's all over now.
Jordan's broke.

Sam there had
to loan him the money

for the last six rounds
of drinks.

That's right,
Mr. Dillon.

He did, huh?

Well, I'm glad
to hear that.

What are you glad
to hear?

That Jordan's broke.


Because it isn't his habit
to stay broke for long, Chester.

How'd it happen?


Pete didn't have
any enemies,

who'd do a thing
like this to him?

John Henry Jordan?

Marshal, you know he don't
bother poor folks like Pete.

Look, twice in the last week,

the extra shotgun guards
drove off

somebody trying
to hold up the stage.

Yesterday, Mr. Botkin
drove out to the Walker place

with the payroll.

Somebody took
a couple of shots at him.

He wouldn't come any closer

when he found that Botkin
had hired a couple of riders.

You don't know it was Jordan
done all that, marshal.

Jordan spent all the money
he had on those parties in town.

his reputation.

He had to get
more money somewhere.

When he couldn't get it
from Botkin or the stage, he...

killed old Pete Fisher here.

Will you ride
into town

and tell Chester
to come out with a wagon?

I'll wait for him.

Sure, marshal.

You think it was
Robin Hood, huh?

Don't call him that, Doc.

Pete was a poor man,
wasn't he?

He's been robbed and killed,

hasn't he?
Well, it wasn't your fault.


I'll tell that to old Pete
next time I see him.


Thank you.

Good night,
Miss Kitty.

Good night,
Mr. Jordan.

You gonna follow him, Matt?

No, there's no point
in it now.

He won't be going back
to his usual trade for a while,

he's rich.

He can afford
to loaf.

Well, you can't blame him.

I'd loaf too
if I just won $1,800.

He's pretty lucky,
he started with less than 200.

Yeah, which he stole from under
old Pete Fisher's mattress.

That's just your opinion, Matt.

He got you on his side too?

Don't be silly.

What I mean is that, well,
what you believe about him

is just hearsay.

You don't have
any proof at all.


Not yet.

Say, you know, uh, Vince Butler,
don't you?


All right.

You tell Jordan that Vince is
the only man in Dodge

with the bankroll and
the gambling fever to try him.

Vince? Vince Butler?

Tell Jordan
that Vince will be here

tomorrow night at 8:00.

I'll see ya later.


Good to see ya,

Hello, Vince.

Eh, you're freshening it up
a bit?

Yeah, like to keep it nice.

Doesn't cost much
when you do it yourself.

Well, you're...

You're sure workin' hard
at it.

My hours are better
than they were.

I'll never go back
to card-sharkin' again.

The biggest favor
you ever did me

was to threaten me with jail
if I didn't change my ways.

I never thought it'd turn you
into a painter.

I never knew
what it meant to be...

Well, sort of,
all right with yourself.


how much money
you got?

Oh, about $100,
countin' my watch. Why?

Is that enough for you
to take 2,000 off a man?

Two thousand?

Dealing crooked, Vince.

Marshal, you're talking
to the wrong man.

Vince, I-

I came here
to ask you a favor.

I owe you a favor.

It's John Henry Jordan.

Go on.

Kitty's setting him up
for you tonight

at the Long Branch, 8:00.

I want you to take him,

Clean him.

When you're through,
let me know.


Do you mean
what you're sayin'?

Will your 100 be enough?


All right.

See ya tonight.

Hello, Vince.

How'd it go?

All right.

Had closer to 2,200.

This is all of it.

Thanks, Vince.

Did you keep
your 100 out?

Yeah, I did.

All right, I'll turn the rest
of this over to Judge Summers.

I'll try to see
that you get a share, though,

you sure earned it.

No, thanks.

I don't want any of it.

Not a dime.

Please, don't ask me
to do any more favors.

I don't think I'll have to,

Jordan's broke now,
thanks to you.

His vacation's over.


I just hope
you haven't made a mistake.

Mr. Dillon!

Vince Butler says
he's gotta see ya right away.

I'm afraid he'll have
to wait a bit.

I don't know if he can.

He's hurt, hurt bad.

Doc says
it's serious.

All right, then.

I wanna thank you for being
so kind to a hungry stranger.

Well, it's not like you're
a complete stranger.

very understanding people.

My life would be pretty lonely,

if it weren't for folks
like you.

Well, we know
you don't mean us any harm.

That's right.

It's good to have friends
when you're tired and hungry.

You know,
Mr. Jordan,

you're gonna have to settle down
some of these days.

It's too much of a strain
livin' the way you do.

Maybe you're right, ma'am.
This is a good life.

Nice, prosperous little ranch.

No worries, good food.

It's been worth
all the work.

You do better
than most homesteaders.

Most of them have nothing
but a patch of corn

and a side hut.

Mr. Jordan,
have a bit more coffee.

Well, all right.

I still say
it's a better life than...

Well, for instance,
being a banker.

Now- Now, take that fellow
in Dodge.

What's his name?


Got more money
than he knows what to do with.

Well, he don't have any of ours,
and he never will.

You folks don't believe
in banks?

No, sir.

I wouldn't put a penny
in one.

That's very intelligent
of you.

Folks should keep
their money

where they can lay their hands
on it whenever they want.

Well, that depends
on how much you've got.

Ah, we've been saving
ever since we moved here.

Well, how much more riding
we gonna do tonight, Mr. Dillon?

As much as we have to,

Well, there's six more
homesteaders in this section,

it'll take us the rest of
the night too see all of them.

Six we've covered,
six we haven't.

Nobody's invited us in
for supper yet.

I don't think
Jordan's here, Mr. Dillon,

unless he walked.

Well, he coulda hidden
his horse.

Wait here.

Course, it's not much
to some folks.

We don't need much.
We don't-

Wait a minute.

Somebody's coming.

It's Marshal Dillon.

I don't feel like putting up
with the marshal's talk again.

Maybe you could tell him
you're alone.

Be a pleasure.

Right in there,
Mr. Jordan.

Thank you.

Who is it?

Marshal Dillon.

Good evening,

Hello, Harry.

Good evening,
Mrs. Bowen.

I'm, uh, sorry to disturb
you folks, but...

I'm looking
for John Henry Jordan.


Oh, you mean that fella you had
in court the other day.

Now what makes you think
he'd be here?


I don't suppose
there's any use

in my trying to explain this
to you folks again.

But that man is bad,
clear down the line.

What's he done now,

Or what is it
that you think he's done?

Well, he robbed
and beat up Vince Butler.

And he might do the same
to you.

Vince Butler?

Heard he won a lot of money,

This, uh...

What's his name? Jordan.

He wouldn't be bothering folks
like us, marshal.

We're not gamblers
or bankers.

Well, I hope
you're right, Harry.

But, anyway, if you folks
see or hear anything of him

I'd appreciate it
if you'd let me know.

Sure, marshal.

Good night.

Good night,

Well, like I said before,

you folks are good to me.

I certainly thank you.

That's all right,
Mr. Jordan.

There's just one thing
I'd like to know.

Where do you keep
your savings?





Oh, you're-
You're not gonna rob us.

Get up and take me
to the money.

Why, you're a fake.

You're a liar
and a fake.

The money.

I'll get it.




You don't have
to kill us.

We won't tell anybody.

There's only one way
to make sure of that.

And I'm a man
who always makes sure.

That's how
I stay out of jail.

I'm sorry about this-

Hold it, Jordan.

What are you figuring
on doing, marshal?

Shoot me?

Unless you drop
that gun.

You pull your trigger,
I'll pull mine,


You'll be dead
before you can do that.


Maybe not.

You wanna take a chance,
go ahead.

What I'd suggest,
though, is you toss

your gun
on the table here.

That's right.

Find the lamp,

Yes, sir.

You folks all right?

Marshal, I-

Oh, thank the Lord
you come back.

What made you do it?

It looked like an awful lot
of food for two people.

Was worth lookin' into,

Maybe you better put that money
in Mr. Botkin's bank, huh?

Come on.

You folks be at the trial
to testify against him?

We sure will, marshal.

I hope you can forgive us
for being such fools.

I just hope this time
you'll recognize him.