Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 1, Episode 9 - The Hunter - full transcript

Matt has to try to arrest his old friend, Jase Murdock, who lives in the hills, after he starts murdering homesteaders to try and stop the spread of civilization.


Starring james arness
as matt dillon.

Law comes hard
to a young country,

And especially out here
on the frontier.

I know just how hard.

I'm matt dillon, u.S. Marshal.

Out of dodge city.

It's a roaring town,

Filled to overflowing
with cowmen, gamblers,

Buffalo hunters...And killers.

And this is boot hill.

There aren't many tears lost
for these men lying here.

Not back there in dodge.

Most men can look
at the result of their job

And say,
"I did that pretty well,

The best I knew how."

And they can be proud
of their handy work.

But not me.

Because part of this
is my handy work.

I put
some of these men here,

And I take
no pride in killing.

It just that sometimes
it's a part of my job.

A job that has
to be done.

A steely
for wetting the knifes.

See that the powder's
full measure.

Make certain.

No, jeez,
I wouldn't skimp you.

When I make a deal,
everything's quality.

You know that.

That be all?

My skinner here
will wait.

Put it all
in the wagon.

Oh, jase.

You figuring to hunt
the high planes?

What's it to you?

I- nothing, nothing, uh...

As long as I get my hides,
I don't ask no questions,

But, uh, well, just thought
I ought to warn you.

If you are thinking
on going south

Into indian territory,
I wouldn't.

I do a lot of things
you wouldn't.

Well, uh,
but this is orders

From the commanding general.

There's been trouble
down there,

And they don't want

Yeah, the cavalry patrols
along the line.

Even the u.S. Marshals got
orders to stop anyone.

The marshal?

That would be dillon?

That's right.
Matt dillon.

I know where I aim
to go.

I don't fear no cavalry
nor no lawmen.

Least of all dillon.

Hey! Push me, will ya?

I didn't mean-

I'll cut your throat.

I'm sorry-
I'll slit your ears.

Stay where you are!


Put it up,

Just coming down
the stairs, marshal.

I didn't mean
to jostle him.

You again,

Just like
the last time.

You want more
of the same?

It's a little
different now.

So I see.

You got a badge
to hide behind.

Put up the knife.

The man's crazy,

I didn't do
a thing to him.

I-I-I didn't mean
to jostle him.

It's all right,
it's all over.

Everybody go on
about your business.

What kind of a bone picker
is that for the high planes?

Times have changed.

Nothing but settlers
and dudes, bone pickers,

Trap men, cow wranglers
and bluecoats.

And lawmen.

You better
understand, murdock.

When dodge was full
of you buffalo hunters,

You could throw
your weight around.

But not anymore.

I ain't changed.

I take nothing
from such as him.

Nor you.

You better keep
out of trouble then.

I'll do as I want.

You always did.

But you break the law,
and you'll be in a cell.

Is that your way
of getting back at me?

Instead of calling me,
like a man?

I'm paid to keep the peace,
not break it.


Sit down.

What are you doing
in dodge, murdock?

Haven't been any buffalo
around here for three years.

Maybe I come
to see you.

You probably
figured me dead.


I heard...About you...
Your badge.

Maybe it's just as well
for both of us

That I'm wearing it.

Just remember
what I said.


Hello, kitty.

he's crazy.

He's got a look
in his eyes.

When the buffalo herds
were running,

Dodge was 2000 like him.

Not much else.

You can figure
what is was like.


I need some air.

Who is he, matt?

between you two?

That's the one
the indians call long arm.

Jase murdock.


I've heard of him.

He's almost a legend,

Been on the frontier
30 or more years.

Beaver trapper,
buffalo hunter,

Indian scout.

He lived with the indians
a while.

Even married
an indian squaw.

Something personal,
isn't it?

A grudge?

"like the last time,"
you said.

"some more of the same,"
he said.

What is it?

That's the kind
of thing a man

Doesn't like
to talk about, kitty.

Or remember.

When he takes
a beating...

You, matt?

Like I said,

It was a different town
in those days.

I was just in from missouri,
pretty green.

Murdock and some of his crowd
were in town on a spree.

And when their fun
threatened to include

Scalping a hide-fitter
friend of mine,

They didn't like
I stepped in.

I guess I, uh,
was pretty green.

They beat you?

They left me for dead
down by the river.

You watch out for him,

I know,
I only wanna find out

What he's doing in town.

He must be
outfitting a hunt.

Not many ranchers will take
a chance on that these days.

Except for one maybe.

Ah, see you later,


What do you want,

Just wanna ask you
a couple of questions, mr. Ross.

Working kind of late,
aren't you?

Got some figuring to do
on my accounts.

On a big account
like a buffalo outfit?

What's that to you?

You know the answer
to that one too.

I wanna know
where murdock's going.

You know he isn't the kind
to confide in any one.

But you got
a pretty good idea.

I got no idea.

He brings in hides,
we do business like always,

And that's all I know.

And I'm braking no law.

but you don't want

Indian trouble
around here either.

Oh, I don't know anything
about indian trouble.

As far as I know,
there isn't any,

And there won't
be any.

one more question.

Where's murdock's outfit?

How do I know?

His indian skinner took
everything away in the wagon.

Then he's camped outside
of town somewhere.

All right.

You tangle with murdock,

And you wish
you hadn't.

All I-
I was just warning you.

You're a long way
from home, aren't you?


Those cut arms.

That's mourning for some
close relative, isn't it?

Who are those for?




My name is matt dillon,
I'm a us marshal.

How do they call you?

What does
murdock call you?

When he is not angry,

And when he is?

Dog eater.

Yeah, he knows all
the indian insults.

What do your own people
call you?

It means "golden calf."

Sounds like you were named

By a buffalo hunter

You speak
good english too.

I learned young.

You're a breed,
aren't you?

I am indian.

What's a young brave
like you doing down here

So far from his tribe?

Skinning buffalo
for a man like murdock.

In the lodges at night,
my people speak

Of the pale warrior
with the long arm.

When he was with us,
his medicine was good.

He do not have
good medicine now.

So you came looking
for him.

But he wouldn't
go back with you,

So you stayed hoping
some of that good medicine,

Would rub off
on you, huh?

Well, are you gonna
go on with him

In the treaty territory?


You gonna help him
against your own kind?

Help him to break
that treaty?

The solemn promise
of the president

To all the chiefs
of all the nations

At medicine lodge?

Once the plains were dark
with the running herds.

They gave the indian
all they needed.

Food, shelter,
bed, lodge skins.

The buffalo are gone.

Wiped out
by the white hunter.

For their skins alone.

Good meat left
to rot in the prairies.

Small herds left in the south
were given to them

By the president
to the indian.

You're gonna rob
your brothers?

Come on in,

Sit down,
you're welcome.

You got no right to come
snooping, dillon.

Asking questions,
turning my skinner against me.

And you've got no right
to have him here.

I could send him
back to his tribe,

Back to the agency.

It might be
the best thing for him too.

And it might be best
for you.

What do you mean?

The way you've been
treating him,

He might not be
so friendly to you

Once you two are alone
down there in indian territory.

I don't fear
no injuns.

Least of all him.

I long lived with them
plenty of years.

So I heard.

They thought you were
good medicine then.

Sure, brought on
the long arm.

First gun
they'd ever seen.

Gave them more meat
they'd ever seen too.

Sure, I was
good medicine.

You've changed some.

That may be.

I can take them
or live them alone.

Besides, their day is done.

A man don't need to walk
easy with them no more.

Don't be too sure
of that.

You don't take chances
with your buffalos, do you?

Must be a hundred,
110 grains of powder there.

Still using
a big 50, huh?

Thought maybe
you'd get yourself

One of those
new remingtons.

This has done me...

I can load and fire
as fast as the man

With one of them repeaters.

And I can drop a bull
at near a mile.

Or a man.

Blow a hole that's stretched
you can put your foot through.

I killed an indian once,
1200 yards.

Took his head
clean off.

You like to kill,
don't you, murdock?

I don't mind it.

No, it's more
than that.

Thirty years of it have done
something crazy to you.

Even the indians don't kill
more that they can use.

But you-

You round up a helpless herd
of animals and start in.

More hides
than you can skin.

More meat than a whole
frontier could use.

But you go right on blasting

Till your gun
burns your hands.

Men like you have brought
a stench to the planes, murdock.

And it's not just
from the rotting meat.

Maybe you were a pioneer once,

30 years ago,
opening up the west.

A loner doing
what you had to do,

Making your own laws.

But your day's finished too,

You'll have to abide
by the law now.

Well, you're traveling
light and fast.

That means
you're headed south.

I'm warning you, murdock,
don't try it.

I go where I aim to go.

Ain't no cavalry
gonna stop me.

And I just hope you try.

All right,
if it's the way you want it.

You cross that line,
I'll come after you.

Mr. Dillon?

Good morning, chester.

What time is it?

Well, it's
just after dawn.

Murdock's gone,
mr. Dillon.

Yeah, I figured
he would be.

And you say
you'd be after him?

I can't touch him
until he crosses the line.

Maybe the bluecoats
will get him.


Murdock's got it
for the cavalry too long.

They'll never touch him.

Well, that's too bad,
you have to go chasing him.

You could just tell
the mayor.

No, chester.

This is one job
I wanna take on.

Killed an indian
at 1200 yards.

I wonder how fast
you can reload.

All right, hunter.


His medicine
was not good.

Not anymore.

You found that out
a long time ago,

But you wanted to wait
till you got him out

Into indian territory
away from the white man.

Isn't that it?

Well, I can't say
that I blame you.

But I'm
a white man too.

And a lawman.

All right, thanks.

But I have
to take you in.

But I don't guess
anybody'll will blame you

For saving my life.

He was a relative
of yours?

I am golden calf.

The son of long arm.

All right, son.

Let's go.