Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 23 - Indian Scout - full transcript

Amos Cartwright is an Indian scout for the army and is suspected of deliberately allowing his troop to be ambushed by the Comanches, and now the brother of one of the dead soldiers, is planning to kill him.

( dramatic theme playing)



Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

( slow drum theme playing)

It's quite a parade, ain't it?

Terrible, Will. Terrible.

(hooves clopping)

Yes, sir.

It's quite a parade.

I count 23 dead

the burial detail's bringin' in.

Well... there ain't
no way to tell,

I guess, uh,
which... That's right.

How you gonna recognize a man?

Even your own brother,

when they got him
tied in a canvas sack.

Anyway, you probably
couldn't recognize him

after what them
Comanches did to him.

They probably...
That's enough, Clay.

Mr. Bailey...

I'm sure sorry
about your brother.

Yeah, we're all sorry, ain't we?

A whole cavalry patrol.

Twenty-three men.


We're sorry, and
that's the end of it.

Now, Will, you can't get...
Hell, maybe they'll put up

a marker out there

at Cold Creek,
where it all happened.

I know how you feel, Mr. Bailey.

Do you?

There ought to be plenty more

who feel the same way.

Ain't gonna be hard
to get up a posse

to go out after
some Indian scalps.

No, sir, it ain't.

And that's a fact.

I can tell you the one
that's gonna die first.

This one!

Ridin' along as
brazen as anything,

right behind the men he killed.

Amos Cartwright?

Oh, now, Mr. Bailey,
that... That's right.

Amos Cartwright.

man in that patrol.

The only one to come back alive.

The scout that led
'em into ambush.

Mr. Bailey, that's
just a wild idea.

There ain't a shred of proof.

I don't need no proof. I know.

That scum killed my brother.

And I'm gonna kill him.

It's gonna be up to us, boys.

You know that, don't you?

That's right, Will.
We don't blame you.

Everybody here
with Will on this?

(men murmuring)

KITTY: Hello, Matt.

Hello, Kitty.

I was wonderin' where you were.

You're late for lunch.

Yeah, I wasn't too
hungry, I guess.

Cook made up some
of that stew you like.

Oh, yeah?

Well, in that case, I guess
I could manage a little.

Sam'll get it. Go on
over and sit down.

Yeah, in just a minute. I, uh...

I wanna talk to somebody first.


Never mind about Will Bailey.

He's got a right to be
upset about his brother.

Tell Sam to bring
me a bread heel

with that stew, will you?


Hello, marshal.

I heard about your
brother. I'm sorry.

Yeah, thanks.

I also heard you talkin' some
about getting up a posse.

That's right.

You better let the
cavalry handle that.


Take them weeks to get ready.

By that time them
Comanches wouldn't be

anywhere near Cold Creek.

They're nowhere near there now.

But you're not particular

about which Indians
you find, are you?

That's right.

Way I look at it, an
Indian's an Indian.

Any one of 'em alive's too many.

That'd do a lot of
good, wouldn't it, Bailey?

Starting an Indian
war all over again...

so a lot more men could die.

I ain't gonna argue
with you, marshal.

'Cause it's none of
your business anyhow.

Maybe not.

But something else
you've been saying

is my business.

I understand you've
been threatening

to kill Amos Cartwright.

That's right.

Well, don't try it.

Not in Dodge anyway.

You aiming to protect that
filthy murderer, marshal?

You got any proof against him,

you swear out a
warrant, and I'll arrest him.

Otherwise... Proof?

Look, I've known Amos Cartwright

a good many years.

He's always been a reliable man.

He was the only one to come back

from Cold Creek
alive too, wasn't he?

He was scouting.

He was out ahead.

That's right.

He was supposed to spot
them Comanches too, wasn't he?

But he didn't.

You know why?

Because he's a Comanche himself.

He lived with
'em... married one...

rode on war parties with 'em.

And led that patrol
into ambush for 'em.

Killing Amos Cartwright's not
gonna help your brother, Bailey.

But it is gonna get you
in trouble with the law.

I reckon I'll just have to

take my chances
on that, marshal.


All right.

Maybe you'll cool off
in a couple of days,

see some reason.


Thanks, Sam.

Sit down, Kitty.

Thanks, Matt.


That Will Bailey
is sure riled up.

Guess I can't
blame him too much.

Well... not too much, I guess.

Do you think what he
says about Amos is true?

I don't think you ought to
condemn a man without proof.

( suspenseful theme playing)


(chair scrapes)

(gun cocks)

Okay, hold it.

Don't touch that gun.

All right, just stay like that.

(uncocks gun)

Amos, maybe you'd better
find someplace else to eat today.

I come to see the man that's
doing all the talkin' about me.

All right, you've
seen him. Now go on.

Mister, I don't allow nobody

to say things about me.

I said 'em, and
I'll say 'em again.

You're no better than
a Comanche yourself.

You're a lying, sneaking,
murdering redskin...

That's enough, Bailey.

Sit down.

Come on, Amos.

I'll see you, mister.


Will, no!

Where are you
taking me, marshal?

Oh, just outside here, Amos.

Look, Amos...

this thing'll blow over
in a couple of days,

but, uh, until then I think

you'd better stay
out at the fort.

I don't fear him.

Well, it's not just him, Amos.

He's got half the
town believing it.

Don't worry none
about me, marshal.

I know how to handle this.

Well, I hope so, Amos.

I sure hope so.

( ominous theme playing)

Mr. Dillon?!

Hello, Chester.

My, I'm sure glad you're back.

Why, what's the matter?

Just what you was afraid of:

Bailey and Amos.

Bailey's dead. Bailey?

That's right.

Doc's got him up at the office.

All right.


Amos heard that
Bailey was hunting him,

so he laid for him and
jumped him with a knife.

Where was this?

Over by the livery stable.

He got clean away too,

before anybody
knew what happened.

Hello, Doc. Where you been?

I've been at the fort
trying to get a statement

from the colonel.

A statement to clear Amos.

Well, did you get it?

No. Colonel wouldn't
commit himself.

Pending further investigation.

Yeah, looks like you're
wasting your time, anyways,

trying to clear Amos.

Yeah. Where's Bailey?


In here.

(gasps softly) Oh, my.



Well, that Amos has
gone all Comanche now,

and that's a fact.

Yeah, well, he
didn't have to do that.

Nobody saw Amos leave town?

Nope. Got away
clean as a whistle.

Probably headed south
into Comanche territory

maybe... two hours ago.


You can't go down
there after him.

Not with all that
Indian trouble.

I don't tell you how to
set bones, do I, Doc?

Well, use your head.

Maybe if I'd used my head,

Bailey would
still have his hair.

( dramatic theme playing)

( dramatic theme playing)

Well, I don't see
a thing, Mr. Dillon.

You think we're gaining on him?

Should be.

Well, we can't find
him too soon for me.

We sure picked a day for it.

Look here.

Tracks of an unshod Indian pony.

They'd been following
him for several miles.

You think they're
riding together?

No. All the Indians
staying behind, trailing.


I don't know.

I don't know.

But Amos is wandering...

like he can't make up
his mind which way to go.

Maybe he's trying to
throw us off his trail.

No. He wouldn't be
expecting anybody

to follow him way out here.


Beats me.

Mr. Dillon. Here's something.

Looks like that Indian pony
just stopped here and stood.


He was probably
looking out there...

watching Amos,
whichever way he went.

And then he...

turned off and went that way.

Yeah. Running.

See the way those prints
dig in and stretch out?

What do you think that means?

I think we better
find Amos, quick.

( mellow theme playing)

(inaudible dialogue)

(branches rustling)

Hold it, Amos.

Put it down.

Just stand right there.

You didn't give me
no fair draw, marshal.

No more than you gave Bailey.

I'm gonna get you
back to Dodge alive.

Sit down.

All right, Chester.

You figuring to ride tonight?


After the horses are rested.

You think you can get me
back to Dodge, marshal?

I think so.

This is Comanche
country, remember.

I wouldn't count too
much on that, Amos.

I shouldn't think
those Comanches

would be too fond
of you right now.

Why not?

Like Bailey said...
I'm almost one myself.

Yeah, but there were Comanches

killed at Cold Creek too.


They must know you were
scouting for the bluecoats.

They don't hold no
grudge against scouts.

As long as you scout
against their enemies:

the Apache, the Cheyenne.

But you led the cavalry
against your own tribe.

That wasn't too smart.

I ain't worried.

You're the one ought to be.


You hate me, don't you, marshal?

No, I don't hate you, Amos.

I'm just trying to
understand you, that's all.

Must be a hard choice...

turn against your own kind.

I'd like to know what
makes a man do that.

If you knew the
way it was... (sighs)

It was never so good
for me before or since.

I can remember the day.
It was like this. It was dusk.

I left the horses,
three of my best,

in front of her father's lodge.

I never waited so
anxious in my life.

Then he came out and tied 'em,

and drove 'em into his herd.

Yeah, that, uh...

That means that you were
accepted, married, doesn't it?


We lived fine.

I had a lodge of 14 skins.

I brought meat and
plenty to the family.

I counted coal.

I was respected... loved.

Oh, why'd you leave then?

She died.

In childbirth.


at Cold Creek...

did you lead that
cavalry into ambush?

I rid with the
cavalry a lot of years.

Them boys were my friends.

Sergeant McElroy and the rest.

So you didn't lead 'em.

But you knew that ambush
was there, didn't you?

And you didn't warn 'em.

I couldn't!

Don't you see?

It would have been
the other way around.

It would have been the
Comanches that was massacred.

They were my friends,
relatives, people I've lived with.

Whatever I did, it
would have been wrong.

So you ran away
and did nothing, huh?


Well, a man has to
make a choice, Amos.

By failing to act, you
made yours all the same.

Coming back to Dodge
was a mistake though.

If you'd stayed out, you
might have been taken for dead

and forgotten.

But you've gone
too far this time...

killing Bailey the way you did.

There's nothing left for you
but Dodge and the noose.

You ain't got me back
to Dodge yet, marshal.

Maybe you ain't going to.

(hoofbeats approaching)

( suspenseful theme playing)

All right, get down over there.

Let's get outside, Chester.

Kind of looks like a war party.

Big one.

Maybe they'll pass on by us.


Guess again, Chester.

Yeah. It's us, I guess.

They're Comanches,
aren't they, Amos?


They're Comanches, all right.

Friends of mine.

So I won't be going
back to Dodge with you.

I guess you lose, marshal.


Maybe we all lose, Amos.

Why don't they do something?

Just sitting there.

It's a trick, Chester.

They're trying to spook us.

They'd like us to come
out there in the open.

Well, I can't see what
difference it'd make.

If they was to rush us here,

we wouldn't stand a chance.


Well, we could kill our horses.

Pull them up in a
circle and shoot 'em,

slit their throats.

What for? Stop a charge.

The Indian ponies
smell blood, they balk.

Mr. Dillon, out here
without horses?

Here, Amos. You
better take this.

You recognize any of 'em?

That one.

That's my wife's
brother, Buffalo Tongue.

Looks like he's fixing
to do something.

I'd better get to those horses.


You might need them.


Maybe they don't
even know you're here.

If you keep out of sight...

wait for dark, only
an hour or so...

What are you
trying to say, Amos?

I'm thinking about that
noose back in Dodge, marshal.

What about the Comanches?

That's my wife's
brother out there.

I've ridden with
him on many a party.

He's coming down alone.

Where you going?

It's me they're
looking for, marshal.

They don't even
know you're here.

Oh, no, no, Amos.

Three men can't stand
against that many Comanches.

It's like you said, marshal.

A man makes his choice.

All right, Amos.

You've made yours.

Mr. Dillon, he's our prisoner.


No, he's nobody's
prisoner now, Chester.

( ominous theme playing)

( ominous theme swells)

( somber theme playing)

(clears throat)

Give me a knife, Chester.


Don't, marshal.

Not yet.

It's gotta come out, Amos.


In a minute, won't matter.


he didn't even
bother to count coal.

(inhales deeply)

( slow drum theme playing)

That arrow went clean through.

They didn't even
seem to notice us.

Yeah, that wasn't
a battle, Chester.

It was an execution.

Mr. Dillon, why didn't they
bother to take his scalp?

Worst possible insult.

When an Indian won't
even touch the body.

You think that Amos
might have known

what would happen?

I think so.

Well, then I guess
he saved our lives.


Well, I...

I guess that was
better than the noose.

Maybe so, Chester.

Maybe so.

( upbeat Western theme playing)