Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 30 - The Preacher - full transcript

The stage coach arrives in Dodge carrying two distinct personalities. Sam Keeler, a loud braggart of a man who boasts he can beat any man with his fists and Seth Tandy a quiet, meek man who refuses to raise his hands in violence. Keeler tries to provoke Tandy into a fight and Dillon is forced to intervene to prevent Tandy's beating. Soon Keeler has a grudge against Tandy and Dillon which will lead to an inevitable confrontation between Keeler and Dillon.

( dramatic theme playing)


ANNOUNCER: Gunsmoke...

starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

( Western theme playing)

When a bragging man tells you

that he's half alligator
and half bearcat,

can eat a live sheep and
then howl down the moon,

you humor him.

But when a quiet
man comes to you,

and with the tragic
simplicity of a soft dam

says that he's no
longer of value,

that his life is
void and worthless,

then you wonder.

You wonder even at yourself.

And that's a different thing.

But still part of the job.

Matt Dillon, U.S. marshal.

( upbeat theme playing)

MAN: Hyah!

Wait a minute, you.

Yes, I mean you, toadstool.

You heard me.

I called you a toadstool.

And do you know
what a toadstool is?

It's a measly, soft, squatty,
stinking piece of nothing.

It ain't good for nothing,

it ain't worth nothing.

And it's poison.

When I come on one
of them, I smash it.

Now, don't excite
yourself, Mr. Keeler.

KEELER: Oh, shut up.

Hey, wait a minute, you.

Who's that?

That's roaring Sam Keeler.

Went 60 rounds
with the Benetia boy.

(chuckles) We'd
better get inside.

Wart-nosed prairie rat.

I'm gonna break you up.

Uh, there must be some mistake.

I... I've done
nothing to offend you.

Your ugly face
offends me, that's what.

Surely if I've done
anything... Nothing.

You've done nothing.

That's it.

You just sat there.

All them hours on that stage,

you just squatted
there in the corner.

Not moving.

Not saying a word.

Just squatting there like you
couldn't stand the company.

Like you did something
spoiled and sour.

And I had to sit
there watching you,

your face making
me sicker and sicker.

Making me think
how I'd like to hit you.

So now I will.

Eighty-to-one, gents.

I intended no offense.

Why do you want to hurt me?

I want to, that's why.
Wait a minute, gentlemen.

Let's have no fighting
in here if you please.

Don't start with him, mister.
This is a rough customer.

Now, put up your
hands and fight.


What do you mean "no"?

I'm gonna bust you.

It doesn't matter, I guess.

Go ahead.

Oh, you don't think I mean it.

I'll show you.

Well, don't just stand there.

Get up your hands.

What's the fun of beating a man

who won't fight back a little?

Hey, wait a minute,
you big buffalo.

Why don't you leave
that fellow alone?

He ain't about to fight you.

Oh, he'll fight.

He ain't half your size.

All right.

You're about half my size.

You keep off me, mister.

A six-gun don't
know how big you are.

Now, I ain't armed.

I don't never carry a gun.

No, I see you don't.

Now, get out of here.

You make me sick too.


(cocks gun)

No, please! Now,
wait a minute, mister.

If he hits you, he'll kill
you. It doesn't matter.


I was only trying to help.

You got sense.

Now, put up your hands
and tow the scratch.

You got to at least do that.


Wasn't that a beauty?

I'm gonna get the marshal.


( Western theme playing)

Come on. Fight back a little.

This ain't much fun.

You ain't even trying.

That's enough.

It's all over, mister.

It ain't all over by far.

This man's not
even fighting you.

I'm trying to make
him fight, huh?

Why should he fight you?

We came in on
that stage together

and he just sat there
the whole eight hours

and stared at the floor.

Never said a word.

He liked to drove me crazy.

Well, I think it did
drive you crazy.

Now, this man's not gonna
hurt you anymore mister,

but you better get out of here.

Hey, you wanna
fight him a little?

You break him up, mister.

I'll watch.

Nobody's gonna touch him.

You scared of this crow?

I said leave him alone.

You said?

You're talking to
Sam Keeler, mister.

I'm a bearcat.

People do what I say.

Not this time, Keeler.

Oh. Now, you get moving.

A marshal, huh?

Well, now... I said get moving.

You don't scare
me none, marshal.

How come you're
not wearing a gun?

A man's got to wear a gun?

Most men around here do.

My hands do my fighting.


And you're just about big
enough to whip anybody

around here, aren't you?

I sure am.

Ain't I, boys?

You're big, Sam.

Yeah, but you go unarmed

so nobody can defend
themselves with a gun.

They'd be up for
murder if they did.

You figured yourself a pretty
good advantage, haven't you?

A coward's advantage.

You calling me a coward?

I'm calling you a coward.

I always did wanna
bust me up a marshal.

Don't try it.

Now, you ain't
gonna use that gun.

You said so.

Well, there's more than
one way to use a gun, Keeler.

I'm warning you.


I'm gonna knock
your head into a peak

and then I'm gonna
knock off the peak.

I'm gonna get me
a marshal right now.

You killed him, marshal. You...

you... You killed a
man because of me.

No, no, I didn't kill him.

He's liable to be a little
touchy when he comes around

You'd better get
on away from here.

He might be all over you again.

Why, marshal?

Why are men always fighting

and hating each other?

Well, maybe it's because nobody
ever taught them any better.

Who are you, mister?

My name's Seth Tandy, marshal.

Mr. Tandy, if you
don't like fighting, I, uh...

I don't think Dodge
is any town for you.

If I were you, I'd get
right back on that stage.

It doesn't matter, marshal.
It's the same everywhere.

Well, not for you, it isn't.
Not as long as he's in Dodge.

It doesn't matter
about me, marshal.

It doesn't matter at all.

Well, my goodness, Mr. Dillon.

What kind of a man is that?

Let's hisself get kicked around,
don't care one way or another.

I don't know, Chester.

And this one here,

he ain't gonna like
what's happened to him.

He ain't gonna like that at all.

I sure hate having
to do that to a man.


Well, throw a bucket of water
on him, will you, Chester?

Yes, sir. Now, look, uh,

if he wants any more fight
when he comes around,

tell him I'll be
up at the office.

Yes, sir.

I thought when you
didn't hit him back

that you couldn't.

I guess I was wrong.

I never thought I'd see this.

Uh, Mr. Tandy, you...
You can do it if you want to.

(sighs): No, thanks.

Well, I... I gave you a chance.

Now, just hold
his head up, there.

(all cackle)

Look at him!

He's a real... Stop it!

Stop that! Don't
you laugh at me!

Shut up, I told you!

Nobody laughs at Sam Keeler!

Now I'm gonna
bust somebody good.

Now somebody's
gonna get killed for sure.

Hello, boys.

Hey, having any trouble
around here tonight?

No trouble, Mr. Dillon.

Hello, Matt.

Hello, Kitty.

Sit down.



That your glass?

No. One of the
girls brought it over,

but she's busy now.

That's her beer pitcher too.

Yeah. Give her that
when she comes back.

Trouble, huh?

Could be.

You wanna help
me finish this game?

All right.

It's your move.

Is it about Sam Keeler?

How did you know about him?

Oh, he was in here a while back.

What a beast.

Sure you want to do that?

No, maybe not.

I heard about the fight.

Yeah, I guess everybody has.

Chester said he was
really wild when he came to.

Not so much you buffaloing him

but the way everybody
laughed at him.

He's the kind that can't
be laughed at, Matt.

Yeah, and there's not
many men who can.

They were still laughing
at him when he was in here.

Of course, mostly behind
his back, but he knew.

What's the matter?

Oh, I don't know.

I don't much like having to
bend my pistol over a man's head.

Even a man like Keeler.

Well, you stopped him.

I doubt it.

I should have run
him out of town.

You mean he's still
going after that other fella?

What was his name?

Seth Tandy.


I hear he's a strange one.

Chester says he's got
eyes like a blind horse.

Chester talks too much.

Oh, now, Matt.

I guess I'm just in
a poor mood, Kitty.

Maybe it's time you got
out of this business, Matt.

What would I do?

I'm too lazy to
work for a living.


Riskin' your life every
day to keep the peace.

Fighting, getting yourself
shot at. That isn't work?

Ah, no, it's been a long time
somebody's put a bullet in me.

That's just because
you're learning to duck.


You know there's a bird
up in Canada called a loon?

They say those loons
are pretty good at ducking.

Well, maybe you ought to
go up there and study them.

See how they do it.


Not a bad idea.

Say, you look like you must
have been taking lessons from Doc.

I have.

Mr. Dillon.

What is it, Chester?
It's Tandy. Seth Tandy.

What about him?

Well, he just got beat up again.
Over behind Moss' livery stable.

Got hurt pretty bad, marshal.

CHESTER: They're
taking him up to Doc's.

I'll see you later, Kitty.

DILLON: What happened, Moss?

MOSS: Well, it
was too dark to see.

I heard the commotion
and came out.

I could see there was a
terrible fight, but that's all.

And when I
hollered, he ran away.

Did you see who he was?

It was too dark, marshal.

He was a big man, though.

Well, thanks, Moss. Chester,
you better scout around town.

See if you can
find Keeler. Yeah.

How's Tandy, Doc?

Well, it's not as bad
as it might have been

if he'd had got a little
bit more of the same.

No broken bones
that I can find of.

But I'll tell you, he's
been beat up considerably.

He's black and blue.

He's, uh, right here
in the back room

if you want to see him.

Now, did he say
who did this to him?

Nope. He hasn't said a dadblang
word to me about anything.

But he may talk to you.

How are you feeling, Mr. Tandy?

Now, I want to know
who did this to you.

I'm sure it was Sam Keeler,
but I've got to hear it from you.

No, marshal.

There's been too
much violence already.

Now, look here, Mr. Tandy,

Sam Keeler's blaming you for
all those people laughing at him.

He's out to kill you.

The next time,
he might just do it.

Doesn't matter.

What happens to
me isn't important.

Not anymore.

What's troubling you, Mr. Tandy?

Maybe I can help you.

Nobody can help me, marshal.

When a man loses
faith in his god,

he loses everything.

I've lost my faith.

I no longer believe.

Are you a preacher?

I... I was a preacher.

DILLON: What are
you doing in Dodge?

No reason.

Except maybe to get away
from people who knew me.

I... I didn't want
them to see me

and maybe start doubting too.

I have nothing left, marshal.

Doesn't matter what
happens to me now.

Doc, you heard what he said.

Yes, I heard what he said.

Well, what are we
gonna do about it?

Well, I don't know
what to do about it.

Now, Doc, look, you've
got to tell him something.


Well, I don't know
what to tell him.

I'm a doctor. I'm just an
ignorant frontier doctor.

I can pick bullets out of people

and sew them up and put
their bones back in shape.

But, well, nobody ever taught
me how to patch up a preacher

who's lost his religion.

Oh, fine, fine.

You know, you're a great help.

Well, why don't you
think of something then?

Don't trouble yourselves
about me, gentlemen.

I'll be moving on.

Well, not tonight
you won't, Mr. Tandy.

You can take the stage
out tomorrow if you want to,

but, uh, tonight either
you or Sam Keeler

is gonna have to sleep in jail.

In jail? I...

I'm not gonna give him another
chance to get at you tonight.

Now, it's up to you.

If you say that
Keeler did this to you,

I'll arrest him.

But, uh, otherwise I'm afraid

you'll have to be my guest.

I... I see.


Marshal, if...

If you try to arrest Keeler,

there'll be more violence.

Well, that doesn't matter.

TANDY: Well, it does to me.

I'll sleep in your jail.

(door closes)

Morning, Mr. Tandy.

Stage leaves in an hour.

A stage?

Yeah. Come on out and
make yourself comfortable.

I'll get you something to eat.

Oh, that won't be necessary.

Well, Mr. Dillon told me
to feed you before you left

and I'm gonna do it.

I'll be a minute.

(door closes)

Mr. Keeler wants to see you.

And I went out to get
him something to eat

like you told me, and...

And when I come
back, he was gone.

And this... This note
was pinned to the door.

"Marshal, if you want
to see Seth Tandy alive,

"come to Turkey Bend by noon.

No guns and nobody with you."

Hm! It ain't signed.

It doesn't have to be.

Well, no... What
are you gonna do?

Well, what it says, I guess.

Mr. Dillon, you can't go
out there alone without guns.

He'll kill you. That Sam Keeler
would kill anybody barehanded.

What'll happen
to Tandy if I don't?

Well, he don't care
what happens to him.

He said so hisself.

You'd be risking
your life for a man

that don't even
care about living.


go over to the stable and
saddle up a horse, will you?

And you're gonna do it anyway.

Yeah, and take
the rifle boot off too.

I won't be needing it this time.

( Western theme playing)

Hello, marshal.

You got a gun?


Then leave your horse
and come with me.

Here he is, Keeler.

Real prop.

And he's unarmed.

The marshal does things
right, don't you, marshal?


Well, you did this right.

Come alone, you ain't armed.

You done your part.

And I done mine.

There's your friend Tandy.

And he's still alive.

What do you want, Keeler?

I'll tell you, marshal.

You had the people back
in Dodge laughing at me.

I don't like that.

Well, what's that
got to do with Tandy?

It started over him. It's
gonna finish over him.

What do you mean?

I'm gonna beat him to death.

Unless I stop you.

You can't stop me.

The fact is, you're gonna
stand here and watch me do it.

And when nothing left of him,

I'm gonna work on you.

But you can't... Shut up.

I don't care what happens to me,

but the marshal came
here risking his life.


He did, for sure.

Wait a minute, Sam.

What do you want?

You told me you
was gonna have fun.

You didn't say nothing
about killing nobody.

I don't hold with
killing no people.

What's the matter with you?

I don't wanna
end up on a rope...

So you don't want
no part of it, huh?

Don't start nothing
with me, Sam.

I got a gun. You leave me alone.

Now you got nothing.

No, Sam. We're friends.

We're friends, Sam. No.

I'm gonna learn
you to go against me.

Please don't, Sam...


guess I'll have to
learn you next, marshal.



You saved my life, marshal.

I'm sorry I had
any part of this.

Well, you ought to be.

Now, look, when that big
friend of yours comes around,

you take him with
you and you move on.

And don't you
come back to Dodge.

Yes, marshal.

Marshal, you...

You came here knowing
you might get killed.

There's always a chance of that.

But you came.

Willing to sacrifice
your life for mine,

knowing mine was worthless.

Mr. Tandy, I don't think
any man's life is worthless.

I... I can see that now.

Gonna be riding on from here?

Marshal, do you
remember when I asked you

why men were always fighting
and... And hating each other?

And you answered,

"Maybe because no one
ever taught them any better."

Like, I got to thinking on that.

And you know...

it wasn't the Lord
that failed me.

It... It was me
that failed the Lord.

So I'm going back
to where I came from.

Maybe I can be some help.

My foot standeth
in an even place.

In the congregation,
will I praise the Lord.

( peaceful theme playing)