Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 36 - Cara - full transcript

An old flame of Matt's comes to town, but her presence in Dodge may be motivated by more than sentiment.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

A man comes west
dreaming of a new beginning,

a chance to start over,

and gets lost
and goes down in violence.

Then we burn his name
on a marker and soon forget.

But when it's a woman,

a woman whose life
was once part of yours,

then you can't forget.

That's a thing
that concerns Matt Dillon

and not a U.S. marshal.

Of course there was
that fellow

who blew his brains out
last year in Room 5.

After he lost half his herd
coming up the trail.

But this is the first time
a woman's ever tried

a thing like this here.

She's new here.

Only checked in last night.

Oh, will you stop
that yammering?


You're a poor excuse
for a hotel manager,

surprised at anything any human
being might do, male or female.

Is she going
to be all right?

She'll live.

I'm gonna have to report
this to the marshal.


What's that, miss?
What'd you say?

Matt Dillon.

What about him?

I have to talk to him,
real bad.

Tell him Cara wants
to see him.

I'll tell him.

Something in that telegram
bothering you, Mr. Dillon?

No, Chester,
I was just curious as to why

Sheriff Benson's coming
all the way down from Wichita

to pay me a visit.

Did he said
when he was coming?

Yeah, he's coming today,
on the 9:00 stage.

Good morning, Matt.

Well, hello, Doc.

Well, you're up
awful early, Doc.

Somebody got an ailing cow?

Matt, there's a woman
over at the Dodge House

who wants to see you.

A woman?
Well, she, uh,

said she wanted
to talk to you.

Real bad, she said.

What about?

Well, I don't know about that,

but she said her name was Cara.

She tried to kill herself.

Something about it
you ought to know though,

I don't think
she tried very hard.

She put a gash
in her forearm and-

When she was supposed
to be slicing her wrist.

Left the door to her room
unlocked and screamed for help.

I don't think
you do things like that

when you're really bent
on bleeding to death.

Yeah, well,
maybe I better go see her.

Come in.

Good to see you again.

Hello, Cara.

Been a long time...

since Arizona.

Twelve years almost.

I won't ask you
if you think I changed,

I guess you can see
for yourself.

Why'd you do that,

Oh, I botched it.

Just like I botched
the whole rest of my life...


You know, I've often
wondered about you, Cara.

Somehow I never could
picture you any place but Yuma.

My flea-bit town.

It's all right for a while.

I left it
the year after you did.

I just couldn't stand it
any longer.

Where'd you go from there?

San Francisco.

But that didn't help.

Since then I guess
I made the whole circuit.

Virginia City,
Cheyenne, Denver,


And finally, Dodge.


That was sort of an impulse.

I heard on the train
from Saint Louis

that you were marshal here.

Oh, all of a sudden,
I had to see you again.

I got all dressed up
this morning.

I just couldn't face you.

I kept remembering
how you used to think of me.

And I want you to go
on thinking of me that way.

So I-

What can I do for you, Cara?

I want to stay here for a while.

A place where I know
there's at least one person

who thinks good of me.

Unless you got any objections.

Well, you'll be needing
a job, then.

I did notice
the shortage of saloons.

Is that what you want?


There's no such thing
as a gray cat.

You either belong on one side
of the line or the other.

Well, I'll see what I can do
for you, Cara.


You ashamed of me?

Why should I be?

I've lived through
12 more years too, Cara.

You don't know very much
about women, do you?

Well, I haven't made 'em
my life's work,

if that's what you mean.

Well, maybe I never made
a point of this,

but I got some pride.

Ah, Kitty, look, I mean-

What makes you think
you can wake me up

in the middle of the night

to listen to some long,
sad story

about one
of your old flames.

"Middle of the night."

It's almost 9:00
in the morning.

That's the middle
of the night.

Look, all I meant was
if I could just get her a job

here at the Long Branch-
And what makes you think

I'd welcome her
moving in with me?

Well, that's only till she gets
to know her way around.

I bet she can teach me
a few tricks.

Yeah, maybe so.

Somehow or other
I keep seeing her different.

I keep remembering a clean,
sweet-faced young kid,

who thought she could make
a respectable rancher out of me.

Maybe she would have too,
if I'd stuck around.

Well, why didn't you?

Well, I thought I had
to prove myself, I guess.


By the time I did,
it was too late for both of us.

Oh, well...

I didn't know
it was like that.

I'll do it.

Good girl, Kitty.

You know how much obliged
I am to you.

Yeah, sure.

Well, I gotta go meet
that 9:00 stage.

See you later.


Yeah, they're holding a murder
for me in Denver, marshal.

I just thought
I'd take the chance,

stop up, look in on you.

It's always good
to see you, sheriff.

You remember Chester Goode,
don't you?

Just in time
for a little breakfast.

Oh, just what I need.

Sit down.
How about some coffee?

Oh, fine.

By the way, you ever hear
of a fellow named Tolliver?

A Jack Tolliver?

No, guess I haven't.

Well, he's a bank robber.

He opened up the state bank
in Wichita about a year ago,

and he's been working
through the Dakotas ever since.

Well, that puts him

a comfortable peace away
from here, don't it?

Well, he's back in Kansas now.

He hit the bank over in Salina
for about $5,000,

just a few weeks ago.

Are you saying
he's gonna try Dodge next?

Well, he's headed south.

Dodge would be
a natural for 'em.

For them?

Yeah, he works
with a couple of partners.

I don't know their names.

How's the egg?
All right?

Oh, ha, ha,
just what I wanted.

This, uh, Tolliver,
what's he look like?

Now that's where you got me.

Far as I know, nobody's had
a real good look at him.

Oh, is he that smart
or is he just lucky?


He always sends one
of his bunch on ahead

to look things over
for a week or so,

and after they get things
carefully planned,

they- Well, they pull it off
like clockwork.

What about this man
who scouts ahead for him?

Is he, uh-?
Do you know anything about him?

It isn't a man, marshal.

It's a woman.

A woman.

Yeah, but I have

a pretty fair description

brown eyes,
yellow hair.

Heh, she's right pretty.

She's smart too.

A darn good actress.

Too darn good.

Well, thanks
for the information, sheriff.

You could be sparing me
a lot of embarrassment.

Well, it's more
than embarrassment

I aim to spare you,

This Jack Tolliver has
already killed three men.

And he ain't got
one little thing to lose

by running the score up.

Well, I think
I'll look over the town

before the stage pulls out.

Well, thanks very much
for your trouble, sheriff.

Well, it was no trouble.

See you on the way
back through, marshal.

Thanks for the breakfast,

Marshal, it's none
of my business,

Mr. Dillon, but-

He sure sounded
like he was talking

about Miss Cara, didn't he?

Back later, Chester.

How come you never
got married, Cara?

You must had
a lot of chances.

May sound strange,
but I guess I'm pretty choosy.

Nobody in a town
even like Saint Louis?

They tell me that town's

pretty near busting
at the seams.

Oh, I hear
it's booming all right.

You hear?

I thought you said
you just came from there.

Oh, I guess
I didn't make myself clear.

I said I was just passing
through Saint Louis.

I hardly saw more
than the depot.

I see.

Why the questions?

Why have you changed so
since a few hours ago?

You sorry you got me the job
at the Long Branch?

Is that it?

No, Cara.

I wanted to help you,
as much as I could.

Well, then try and understand.

I don't like talking
about the past.

There's no sense
in living it twice, is there?

Well, at least you'll be
in good hands with Kitty

while I'm away.

While you're away?

Yeah, I have to go
up to, uh, Ellsworth

on government business.

Shouldn't be gone more
than a couple of days.

What's the matter, Cara?

Couldn't you postpone it
for a few days?

Say for a week?



Oh, I don't know.

I guess it's I feel
such a stranger here.

Just knowing you're around
will make all the difference.


Well, I guess
we can manage it.

Well, let's get you moved
down to the Long Branch.

Well, Cara,
you still want the job?

I'm not a country girl.
I know what to expect.

I'm sure you do.

Come on, I'll show you
your room.

Thanks, Matt.

Did you find out anything,
Mr. Dillon?


She wants a week
to line things up for Tolliver.

Oh? How'd you figure that?

Told her I was going
out of town on business.

She asked me to put it off.

Be real convenient
if I was gone

when, uh,
Tolliver moved in.

It's kind of bad for you,
ain't it?

Knowing what
she used to be like

and what she's doing now.

I got a way to ease that,

Oh? How?

I just keep thinking of all
the men Tolliver shot down.

Mr. Botkin and champagne.

I gotta hand it to her, Matt.

Well, can't blame her
for passing up

$30-a-month cowhands
for the town banker.

I still say you don't know
very much about women.

I'm learning.

I wonder.

You keep looking at her,
trying to find something

that just isn't there anymore.

You've hardly let her

out of your sight
since she turned up.

Every man she talks to,
you watch him like a hawk.

She can't deal you anything
but misery, Matt.

Doc told me
about that fake suicide.

It's just a way of getting
back in your life.

I know.

Well, why don't you do something
about it?

I am, Kitty.

I am.

Well, I've been expecting
something to happen

for almost a week now.

It will, Chester.

Just what depends on how smart
Cara thinks she is.

Well, she's smart enough
to know you got your suspicions.

The way you've been
keeping tabs on her.

I wouldn't be surprised.

You've seen the way the boys
have been stomping

all over each other
after her?

Anyone one of 'em could've
been that Jack Tolliver.

She could've told him
anything she got

out of Mr. Botkin
in two minutes.

You got $20, Matt?

Well, I might have. Why?

Aw, let me have it.

Now, wait a minute.

Most people put a little honey
in their voice

when they're asking
for a loan.

It's not for me.

It's for Cara.

Well, you told me
to look after her.

Well, uh, did she say
what she wanted it for?

I didn't ask.

When I said I didn't have it,
she practically said out right

I could get it from you.

I see.

Well, she couldn't be broke.

Not the way she's been working.

Well, I'll say one thing,

I've known some pretty tricky
women in my time,

but your friend Cara
has 'em all beat.

Well, what do you think
that's all about?

Now, Chester,

it looks like Cara has decided
to make her move.

Well, yeah, but what does
she want the money for?

Now you go follow Cara

and don't let her out
of your sight till you find out.

I'm going over to the bank,
see Mr. Botkin.

A ticket
to Saint Louis, please.

How much is it?

Thank you.

Hello, Cara.

Why, Matt,
what are you doing here?


gonna leave
without even saying goodbye?

What makes you think
I'm leaving?

You bought a ticket
to Saint Louis?

All right,
let's stop sparring.

You've been on to me
all along.

I didn't even fool you
that morning

back at the Dodge House.

I gotta hold you, Cara.

You're wanted
in too many places.

I know it.

But you can't hold
Jack Tolliver.


So he's the one
who's leaving, huh?

I talked him out of risking
a holdup with you as marshal.

You must think a lot of him.

I love him.

I wasn't good enough for you

when I had everything
decent to offer.


He's my kind.

What kind is that, Cara?

To run off and leave you to face
this whole thing alone?

There's no reason for him
to get caught and strung up.

You can't do much to me.
I'm a woman.

There's not a thing you can do.

A lot of men got on that train,

but there's no way
of you finding out

which one is Jack Tolliver.

Get on board, Chester.

I'm gonna have that whole train
put under guard

when it gets in to Topeka.

Every man on board's gonna
have to clear himself.

You sure caught her

when you mentioned that
about Topeka.

Nah, Chester.

She wanted me on this train.

She did?

That $20,

she'd knew I'd found out
about the ticket.

There's no reason for her

to show up at the station

just to tell me
Tolliver was aboard.

Well, come to think of it,
I guess you're right.

He's back there
in Dodge right now.

Figured he can hold up that bank
any time he wants to,

now we're out of town.

Well, what in the world
are we doing here, then?

Well, there's a little ranch
about ten miles down the line.

I'll have the conductor
let us off,

and we'll borrow
a couple of horses.


nobody can say that they're
in any hurry to get that money.

Well, it's only a couple
hundred dollars anyway.

Couple hundred dollars?

Yeah, I had Mr. Botkin take
the bank's real money home,

put it in the safe.

Well, I don't feel much
like a hero

protecting sowbelly and
bean's money like that, heh.

You're thinking about her,
ain't you?

Oh, in a general
sort of way, I guess.

How's that?

Oh, just how some people
can pick one wrong move,

and they're done for.

Trouble just keeps
hanging onto 'em,

like a bird on a horse's mane.

Yeah, I know
just what you mean.

Hey, listen.

Gonna be the biggest haul
you planned out

for us yet, Cara.

A last one.

Mexico's still a go, hm?


Any way you want it.

Come on.

Hold it!

Get away from him, Cara.

No, Jack!

He won't kill ya.

If you don't stand still,
I will.

Get around behind him, Chester.

Tell him to stay where he is

or I'll shoot her in the back.

You wouldn't shoot me.
You couldn't.

Shut up!
Throw those guns down.

Both of ya!


Is he dead?



my winding up
with a man like that.

Just couldn't help myself.


I still love him.

Looks almost like a little kid
back in Yuma.

Take care of things,
will you, Chester?

I guess that's the end of
the Tolliver gang, Mr. Dillon.

It's the end
of a lot of things, Chester.

A lot of things.