Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 21 - Helping Hand - full transcript

Matt saves suspected 18 year old cattle thief Steve Elser, from a would be lynch group, and tries to help him find a job, but discovers he might be a hopeless case.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

So many of 'em here-

the spoilers and
the glory hunters

drew their last breath,

while the night was going
full blast in Dodge City.

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

Sometimes I got there
too late.

And other times...

a second too soon.

What'll it be,
young man?

How much is a drink
of whiskey?

If you have
a thin dime...

I reckon we can
do business.

Expectin' somebody?

Yes, ma'am.


It don't matter.

You don't act like
it doesn't matter.

Oh, some men
are comin' to-

To meet me. I decided to
wait here for 'em is all.

Please, ma'am,

you better kindly
leave me alone.

And thank you.

Friends of yours?


I guess not.

They think I tried
to steal some cows.

They're gonna
try and hang me.

They wouldn't

I guess
they're here.

Please, ma'am,
you better get away.

You'd better
come with me.


Come on, we don't
want no rumpus in here.

Come on.

Lock yourself in.

Come on.

Lock it!

Where's the kid belongs
to that sorrel outside?

In Miss Kitty's

Door's locked.

We're not gonna bust into
a lady's room, Miss Kitty.

He's gotta come out of
there sooner or later.

And we ain't in
no special hurry.


Hello, Kitty.

Matt, you better get down
to the Long Branch right away.

Bill Pence just
rode into town

with some of
his men.

They're gonna have
a lynching party.

Who is it?

Just a

Doesn't look
more'n 18.

Where is he now?

In my room.

just asking.

Gotta hand it to you,

You sure got something pretty
in the way of informers.

I was only saying

if I wasn't bred up to respect
the privacy of a-

A lady's room...

I would've gone up
and drug him out.

Real considerate
of you, Pence.

But I can wait.

Does your boss know
what you're doing?

I'm foreman of
the outfit, marshal.

Emmett Bowers don't question
how I handle things.

I do.

Stay out of this.

You can come out now,
it's the marshal.

How do I
know that?

You can begin by
taking my word for it.

Don't make me come through
this door for you.

It's all right,
it's Marshal Dillon.

You can come out.

Come on.


I told you.

You're just makin' trouble
for yourself, marshal.

You know me,

You know I don't stand
for lynching.

If I have to kill you
to stop it, I will.

Yeah, I think
you would.

He's one of them
slippery mavericks.

Coddle him, and
he'll bite your back.

I come on him tryin' to
cut out some of Bower's-

I'm takin' him
to jail.

You wanna make charges
against him legally,

you know where
to find him.

Evenin', marshal.

Mr. Bowers.

Wanna see me?

I do.

Look, marshal,

what you call a lynchin'
wasn't that at all.

What was it?

A hangin'.


You know what I mean.

Pence and my riders
spotted that young fella

tryin' to run off
with a bunch of my cattle.

That's cattle-thievin',

A hangin' offense.

I've already said my peace
on that subject

to your foreman

It still goes.

I'm not gonna argue this
with you, gentlemen.

What are you gonna do
about that thief?

I haven't decided
that yet, Mr. Bowers.

But I'll tell you
what he told me.

I'm not interested
in what he told you.

Well, you listen

He said he didn't steal
any of your cattle,

and what's more,
he wasn't going to.

Are you gonna believe me
or a thievin' kid?

I don't know
who to believe yet.

Let's get out
of here.

I'll be mighty interested
in how you decide this, marshal.

So will every other
cattleman hereabouts.

I'll see you later,

I'm not, uh,
going anywhere.

I'll see you

Come on
out of there.

Sit down.

Want some coffee?

You still say
your name is Steve Elser?

I got no reason to lie
about my name, marshal.

Where are you from?

Cimarron country.

You're a long way
from home.

I had to get out,
or I'd have killed my father.

Or he'd have
killed me.

Now what kind of talk
is that?

He got took with drink
till he wouldn't go to sleep

without a bottle
under his head.

I see.

My ma kept sayin'
he wasn't to blame,

and she was right,
he wasn't.

All right, all right.

He had himself
a quarter section of sandhills.

It was no good
for farming nohow.

But he never gave up
trying to farm it, never.

Not till...

Go on, Steve.

Not till one day a bunch
of Texas cow drivers

ripped over the place with
a million longhorns almost.

That was tough.

When my pa stood his ground,
one of them high-rolling,

mouth-almighty Texans lamed him
with a ball in his leg.

That's when my old man
started with the bottle.

Started beatin' up
on me.

Any more questions?

Sit down, Steve.

How about those cattle
of Emmett Bowers'?

You admit you set out
to steal 'em?

Ah, I'd have never
done it, marshal.

But I got to thinkin' about them
gunslingin' Texans, and...

what a joke it would have been
to sneak out some cows

right from under
some cattlemen's noses.


Well- Well, shucks,

I wouldn't have knowed
what to do next

if I had them stoled.

You just wanted to show those
Texans somethin', huh?

Them and
all their kind.

What are you
gonna do now?

I mean,
if I turn you loose.

I don't know.

Hove around somewhere,
I guess.

I'm gonna let you out of here
on only one condition.

I'm gonna give you a week
to find a job.

If you don't,

I'll have to ask you
to get out of this territory.

Evenin', Matt.


I've been meaning to
drop by all day

and talk to you about
that boy you turned loose.

They sure had me
steppin' today, and I'm tired.

Mind if we
sit down?

All right.

Yeah, Doc,

keepin' people alive
can be a full-time job.

And then some.

Yeah, well,
considering it that way,

I suppose you and me
are both practici''

a kind of
preventive medicine.

What did you have in mind
about young Elser?

You turned him

That's your particular brand
of preventive medicine.

I just wanna say that
I approve highly.

I hope it works.

And it's worth
the chance.

I guess we've all had
a little help

along the line.



Or else there'd
be nothin' but

thieves and spoilers
crawlin' these prairies.

And you know what
I'm thinkin'?

I'll bet you had

give you
the right push once.

At least try to.


Else you wouldn't
be so set on

that boy.

Mr. Dillon.

You better step into
the Long Branch fast.

the matter?


You're a fine one
to call me deep.

You was all ready
to do murder.

Shut up
and get out of here.

Go on,
why don't you?

Shoot me down.
It's all right, I got no gun.

You're just aski''
for it, boy.

I'm walkin' around free. That's
what's eatin' you, ain't it?

You can't
stand to think

the law can be
as big as you.

That marshal
put you in your place.

He knows you're nothin' but
a mouthy, yellow-striped-

Go on. Hit me again.
Go on!

All right,

You heard him.

I ain't gonna take talk
like that from no cow thief.

And I didn't come to Dodge
to get kicked around.

Not no more
by nobody.

Get up.

From here in,

what happens to that
half-weaned maverick

is purely
your responsibility.

All right,

Mr. Elser's

His apologies for
acting like a pit cock,

with nothing
to back him up.

You got an awful
short memory.

Supposed to be out
lookin' for a job.

Maybe I ought to be
lookin' for a gun

and learnin'
how to use it.

You start
packin' a gun,

I'll throw you
in the Arkansas with it.

You're the only friend
I got, marshal.

And I'm givin' you
a chance to make good,

but it's not gonna
last forever.

Now get out of here

and start doin' something
about it.


I'm afraid
for that die-hard,

and you.

I thought you were
taken with him.

Well, I-
I know, but-

Now, I-

Uh, what, Kitty?

Well, now I just know
what I saw in his face

when he was
riding Pence.

It's almost like
he wants

something horrible
to happen.

Don't trust him
too far, Matt.

You waitin' for
somebody, Doc?


Well, I had to
go over to Fort Warren,

to that
government business.

On the way back, I stopped
to see some ranchers

about getting a wrangling
job for Elser.

Any luck?

Bowers got to
all of 'em, huh?

Every one.

Things are gonna get worse
before they get better.

You know
Ben Hander?

You know, for one reason
or another,

I've thrown Hander in jail
at least a dozen times.

He's an embarrassing failure
in his own eyes.

Just misses by a cut or two
of being a bad man.

Can't get himself thrown
in jail for very long

and just can't quite
get himself killed either.

You tryin' to tell me
that out of all Dodge,

Elser had to pick
Hander for a sidekick?

I am.

Hold it.

I'm in a hurry,

Drop that kid,

He's poisoned

When it comes to people
and gettin' his way with 'em,

he can see
around corners.

First Kitty,
then you.

Even me.

Now that Hander.

The time and the place
made him what he is.

Somebody owes him

We were talkin' the other
night about crossroads.


Well now, it's none
of my business

how it was
in your case...

but don't let it
give you a blind spot.

You through?

'Cept to say,

preventive medicine's
all right sometimes.

But sometimes
you gotta use surgery.


You found a job yet?

No. I ain't.

You been lookin'?

It's no use, marshal.

First man I asked said
nobody'd hire me.

Lay off him, huh?

Kid ain't
done nothin'.

'Course I ain't.

But it don't seem to keep people
from tryin' to kick me around.

You think that's
what I'm doing?

Everybody is.

And don't you think
it makes me ashamed

nobody'll trust me?

You're gonna
get a job.

I'm gonna find you one
right here in Dodge tomorrow.

But I- I told you.

People will trust you
as soon as you prove they can.

No, they won't.

And I ain't gonna give 'em
a chance to turn me down.

You take a job
by tomorrow night

or get out.

you can't do that.

You give him
a whole week before.

I've changed my mind
since he met you.

What's that
got to do with it?

Up to now you've been
nothin' but a tinhorn.

With this kid around
to butter you up,

you might decide to take
yourself serious.

I can
handle my own.

You can't do anything
but spell trouble.

And I'm gonna keep
Elser clean.

I'll make out all right.
I always do.

Oh yeah. You were
doin' just fine

when you came in here
runnin' from Pence.

You're not doin'
much better now.

Still gotta make
a respectable

citizen out
of me, huh?

You don't see
so good, do you?

The only way you
get respect around here

is to shoot up
a saloon

or hurrah some poor
sodbuster off his land.

You've got till
tomorrow night.

About this boy,

If you vouch for him,
I give him a chance

on one of
my freighters.

Kind of early
in the day, marshal.

Ben Hander,

Just Hander
by himself?

Just him
was enough.

Must've been crazy to
think he could get away

with holding up the
express office like this.

He get any money?

Not a cent.

Bill Pence
and some fellas

come running across
the street.

Hander got scared
and lit out.

They went
after him.

Well, that might hurt some,
but you're not gonna die.

Hander's holed up
in the livery stable.

I suppose you come
to take over.

As usual,

No way out.

Unless they wanna
get shot up.


You figure
it out.

All right, Hander,
come on out of there.

You've already made your play
for Elser's benefit.

It's all over

Better stay where
you are, marshal.

Don't be a fool.

That clerk you shot
isn't hurt bad.

If you try to run now,
you'll die for it.

You sure
I didn't kill him?

I'm waitin'
for you, Hander.


Sure, marshal,
I'm comin'.

Better follow me,

So you decided
to start

yourself a gang,
eh, Hander?

With that?


Elser didn't have nothin'
to do with the robbery.

The clerk will
tell you that.

Look, he ain't even
totin' a gun.

Baby Face was waitin' here
with your horses.

All ready for you
to hightail out.

Nobody can
prove that.

Now look here,

you're not gonna listen
- Shut up.

You got a stage
going east out of Dodge

at 12:00.

Get out of
this territory.

get Hander's gun.

Yes, sir.

runnin' me out.

Nobody's kickin' me
around no more.

I been puttin' off this time,
but now I'm glad it's here.

And I'm gonna
begin with you, Pence.

Hold it.

Drop that gun,

I don't need
no help from you.

I don't need

Don't shoot!

He's mine.

You're no different
from all the others.

houndin' me.

Well, you tried
real good, Mr. Dillon.

I mean, tryin'
to help him.

It was too late
to help him, Chester.

It was too late
from the beginning.

I should have
known that.

Take care of him,
will you?

All right,

OpenSubtitles recommends using Nord VPN
from 3.49 USD/month ---->