Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 10, Episode 35 - The New Society - full transcript

Matt is ordered to Ridge Town to reopen the case of an army major who was murdered 12 years before, when a dying outlaw he shot swears he did not commit the crime, and it appears the whole town is hiding something.

(theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

♪♪

Hey.

Slide off that
horse, young fella.

Don't even look at
that rifle of yours.

Now, wait a minute, mister.

I'm just an ordinary cowboy.

I-I don't mean no
harm to nobody.

Of course you don't.



Now do like I say.

Now step over to that fire.

My name's Billy Waters.

I work for a man
named Jim Donner.

He owns all this land
around here, for miles.

It's all his.

Is that a fact?

BILLY: You don't believe me?

This land don't belong
to Jim Donner at all.

It belongs to anybody
that can walk on it,

whether it be with
two feet or four.

Except for cows.

You a buffalo hunter?

I was, when there was buffalo.



Been out three weeks.

12 hides.

Hardly paid my grub.

Boy, things ain't what
they used to be, huh?

Son, there were some seasons

when I killed maybe...
100 buffalo a day.

Employed five skinners,
had six Studebaker wagons.

Made thousands and
thousands of dollars.

Wow, what'd you do
with all that money?

Well, liquor and wild
women, what else?

Why, Jeff Sutro
never gave a penny

to the church, that's for sure.

(laughs)

Boy, you're quite a man.

You're all right, son.

You're green and young

and ignorant and half-helpless,

but I like you.

You know, I... I
envy you, Mr. Sutro.

Well, living out here
in the open like this,

skinning buffalo,
wild and free...

Why, you're free.

Me? Cowboying for $20 a month?

I'm free, all right.

I sang loud and strong
when I was your age.

You don't learn
now, you never will.

Well, maybe, but...

But you're chicken-livered.

Why, a water dollar's
got more backbone.

Now just a minute, Mr. Sutro...

Oh, I got your blood up.

What are you gonna do, pinch me?

Where'd you get the, uh, calf?

I shot it.

Must be one of Jim Donner's.

I said I shot it.

Well, I know you shot
it, but it belongs to him.

Like this land belongs
to him, I suppose.

Huh.

They sure bring you young'uns
up with funny notions these days.

Well, it ain't my calf.

I mean, I ain't gonna
tell him about it.

Well, I'm glad you said that.

Otherwise, I'd have to rip
the hide off Jim Donner, too.

Boy, you sure don't live
by the law much, do you?

Weaklings live by the law.

Strong men make their own laws.

I think it, uh, used
to be that way,

but it ain't anymore, Mr. Sutro.

(chuckles dryly)

My, my, you got
a lot to learn, son.

Well, I gotta get going.

- So long.
- So long.

(horse snorts)

Find those strays yet, Billy?

I found two of them
down by, uh, Devil's Draw.

The other one
there's just no sign of.

All right, we'll check the water
hole out at Cottonwood Grove.

Say, who is that,
camped over there?

Well, that's just some
old buffalo hunter.

There ain't been a good-sized
herd around here in over a year.

Well, he's been
there three weeks.

He's only had 12 hides.

Well, we'll ride
over and say hello.

Oh, he ain't none too
friendly, Mr. Donner.

On my land and
he ain't friendly?

Well, he's, uh...

he's sore about there
being so few buffalo.

Well, his manners ain't mine.

We'll still say hello.

Uh, hadn't we better be
heading for the water hole?

It's getting late.

Why, it ain't hardly
past noon, Billy.

You got some reason
for not wanting me

to say hello to that hunter?

He sure acts like it, don't he?

Well, it's just a waste of time.

We'll just ride over there.

BILLY: Wait a
minute, Mr. Donner.

He's skinning
one of your calves.

Now, why didn't you
tell me that, Billy?

Well, because
he's a feisty old man

and I was afraid there
might be some trouble.

Well, there's already
trouble if he's stolen a calf.

(sighs)

He's got a rifle, Mr. Donner,

and I don't think he's
gonna be afraid to use it.

Now, you ain't gonna
kill him, are you?

I never killed a
man in my life, Billy.

No, I'll just drop a bullet close
enough to discourage him.

I aim to turn him
over to Marshal Dillon.

Come on, let's go.

Drop the gun and stand
away from the wagon!

(gunshot)

(gunshot)

Hello, Festus. Is
the marshal in there?

No, he ain't.

- Howdy, Billy. Steve.
- Festus.

Where is he?

Well, I don't know.

He's around town
someplace, I reckon.

Why?

Well, do you know a
fellow named Sutro?

Sutro... you mean old
Jeff, the buffalo skinner?

- Yeah.
- Of course I do!

Why, I've knowed
that old scamp...

He shot and killed one
of my riders this morning.

What?

Joe Serls. He's a good man.

Well, where's Sutro at?

Well, he's probably
up at Charlie Rath's,

selling his buffalo hides.

We followed him into town,
trailing him by about a mile.

He's a terror with
that big rifle of his.

Oh, golly Bill, you don't
have to tell me that,

about his rifle or
his shooting habits.

Why, I've saw the time
when he'd take that...

It would be a lot more help

if you knew where
to find the marshal.

Well, I'll help you look
for him if you want me to.

Come on.

They're all bull hides,
and they've been cured.

Yeah.

Well, for flint bull hides,

I'm paying two dollars
and a quarter these days.

12 hides is $27.

Three weeks' work.

That's the top price, Sutro.

I ain't complaining
about the money.

I'm just complaining
about the lack of buffalo.

Well, the prairie's
full of their bones.

I'll pay you two dollars a
ton for all you can haul in.

Well, what do you
want bones for?

Ship 'em back east.

Fertilizer, mostly.

Well, I ain't driving
about no prairie,

picking up buffalo bones

like some old woman
weeding a garden.

Times is changing, Sutro.

You gotta learn
to change with 'em.

I don't change with nothing.

I do the changing.

Well, I ain't gonna
argue with you.

I'll get the money,
meet you out back,

if you don't mind
driving them around.

Okay.

Hello, Marshal.

- Festus.
- Howdy, Jeff.

In my time, men
fought their own fights.

They didn't go running
to hide behind the law.

You murdered a man
out there today, Sutro,

and I believe in the law.

I want to hear your
side of the story.

Well, they attacked
me and I fought back.

Donner here says
he fired a warning shot

into your wagon, that's all.

(chuckles) He made a
big mistake, didn't he?

Everybody knows
you're a crack shot, Sutro.

Why'd you have
to kill Joe Serls?

Oh, was that his name?

Well, he drawed a six-gun on me.

Well, now, that's
more like it, see?

You didn't tell me that, Donner.

Well, I was kind
of busy, Marshal.

I didn't see him.

Did you see it, Hays?

No. It all happened
too fast, Marshal.

What about you, Billy?

Oh, now, I didn't
see nothing, Marshal.

I was looking at Donner
the whole time, honest.

You don't have
to apologize, son.

Well, now, what difference
does it make, Marshal?

Serls didn't shoot at him.

Is that right? He
didn't shoot at you?

I didn't give him the
chance. Why should I?

That'll be up to
the judge to decide.

He'll be here in two days.

He'll give you a fair trial.

You gonna arrest me, Marshal?

That's right.

For butchering a
miserable little calf?

I'm afraid there's more
to it than that, Sutro.

You should've kept your
mouth shut about that calf,

like you said you would.

Why, look at all the
dust you raised, son.

I'm sorry, but there was
nothing I could do, Mr. Sutro.

Mr. Sutro?

Come on.

Let's get out of here.

I'll go along with you, Marshal.

I could use a couple
days' sleep, anyway.

I'll take care of your
wagon for you, Jeff.

Thank you, Festus.

Psst. Mr. Sutro.

Psst.

(chuckles) Well, now.

I ain't never seen a man
try to break into jail before.

Shh.

The marshal'll hear you.

Well, the marshal
can't do anything to me

he ain't already done.

Except hang you.

Ain't had my trial yet.

Look, the circuit court
judge is arriving today,

and your trial is tomorrow.

Yeah, the marshal told me.

Come up here.

Here.

Take this.

Now, what is this for?

It's to help you
break out of here.

Well, why are you
doing that for me?

(sighs)

Well, it's like you said.

I... should've kept
my mouth shut.

If it wasn't for me,
you wouldn't be in here.

Oh, but you don't
care about me anyway.

I'm... I'm just an
untamed old man

you run into in the prairie.

A man like you shouldn't
ought to be in here.

It's like... like blinding
a hawk or something.

Is that so?

The only thing
you're guilty of is...

is stealing a calf, anyway.

Well, Marshal
Dillon's mighty glum

about my chance
of escaping the rope.

(sighs)

If I'd've just said I saw
Joe Serls pull that gun,

you wouldn't be in here now.

Guess it's too late to
change my story now, though.

Yeah, the marshal and
Donner both heard you.

Here. I ain't gonna use this.

But you gotta.

It's your only chance.

Oh, let me have my day in court.

But if they find me guilty,

you bring it back.

Why don't you
just break out now?

If I run, they'll be
after me forevermore.

But if the court turns me loose,

I'll be as free as always.

Never thought of that.

Yeah. We'll see what
happens tomorrow.

Yeah.

Well, if it doesn't work
out, I-I'll come back.

Yeah.

You know, Billy, you, uh,

you ain't as soft
and half-helpless

as I first thought.

Thanks, Mr. Sutro.

I'll be in court tomorrow.

So will I.

- So long.
- So long.

Whew, what a day.

Sure is hot.

Not as hot as it
is for Jeff Sutro.

Well, that jury's been
out more than an hour.

I can't figure what's
taking them so long.

It's an open-and-shut case.

Well, I always
figured that depended

on what the judge
had for breakfast.

(laughter)

If that's true, Judge
Brooking sure ain't had

a decent breakfast all his life.

(clears throat)

He sure did give
that jury a talking to.

Boy, it's hot.

I'm sweating like a pig.

Bet you fellas are thinking

how a nice, cold beer'd
taste right now, aren't you?

You wouldn't have
an ulterior motive

in that, would you, Louie?

- What's that?
- Never mind what it is, Louie.

It's a good idea.

Here, you scoot on over there
and get us a bucket of beer.

Yes, sir, Mr. Hoyt.

I'll be back before
you can say "guilty"!

(laughter)

Afternoon, Sam.

Hello, Louie.

Did they reach a verdict?

Not yet.

But it's getting
awful hot over there.

So I come over to
buy the boys a beer.

Bucket of suds, Sam.

Oh, uh, Louie?

Someone paid for this,

and then went off
without drinking it.

I'd kind of hate
to throw it out.

Oh, no, I wouldn't
want you to do that.

Here's to you, Sam.

There you are, Louie.

Thank you.

(crowd clamoring)

He got off, Sam!

They found him innocent.

They said it was self-defense.

It sure surprised me.

Me, too.

Sure can't argue with a jury.

How about a beer?

(crowd clamoring)

It was getting warm.

Festus?

Now, that judge is crazy.

He ought to be jailed hisself.

I thought the law was
supposed to punish murderers,

not set them free.

Aw, fiddle.

Old Jeff Sutro never
murdered anybody in his life.

And the judge
seen that right off.

Then how does he
figure that Joe Serls

got hisself killed, huh?

He didn't give me
no answer to that.

But he pert near give
you 30 days for contempt,

whatever that is.

Self-defense.

Sutro murders a man, and
then he gets off scot-free.

Whoa.

Just back off now.

They just turned
him loose in there.

Right yonder in the courthouse.

And if I was you, I'd quit
calling him a murderer,

'cause if he don't get riled
up, I'm just liable to myself.

Mr. Sutro, congratulations!

My luck held, Billy.

Oh, what's this?

What's the matter
with you, Billy?

You gone as crazy
as the rest of them?

Now, Mr. Donner, the
judge says he's innocent.

I'm getting out of here.

Thanks, son.

Jeff?

You know something,
if I was you,

I'd just stay plumb
away from that Donner

and his ranch, too.

Well, you ain't me, Festus.

And as far as I'm concerned,

that land still
belongs to everybody.

Yeah, but let me tell
you something, Jeff.

Now, he-he'll shoot your
head right off, and I mean it.

Well, he'd better
shoot straighter

than he did the last time.

Otherwise they'll have to
bury him next to that other fella.

♪♪

Well, how did it go?

Well, Sutro was found
innocent of that murder charge.

Self-defense, the jury said.

That's right.

They turned him loose.

And Billy here
couldn't be happier.

You know, Billy, I've been
thinking all the way back.

Could almost hear you.

- What was I thinking about?
- About firing me, right?

As soon as we got back here?

Well, then you ain't
altogether stupid.

Go gather your stuff,
and come on up the house.

I'll pay you off.

Donner, I know you don't
care one way or another,

but, well, Sutro's
the kind of man

that all of his life,
he's-he's just been

free as an eagle and-and
wild as a, as a wolf.

And independent as both, too.

He just never cared what
nobody thought about nothing.

It'd take a young fool like
you to admire him for that.

And he ain't the kind of
man that would kill anybody

if there was any way out.

Now, I know you're never
gonna agree with me,

but doggone it, he-he
was acting in self-defense

when he shot Joe
Serls, and I believe him.

Now I'll go get my stuff.

That young fool.

He's gonna grow up in a
big hurry one of these days.

Yeah, if he don't get himself
in trouble or killed first.

Yeah.

Howdy, Mr. Sutro.

Well, doggone if it
ain't young Billy Waters!

What are you doing here?

Well, you think it'd been a
month since we saw each other.

The trial was only yesterday.

Donner fired you, didn't he?

Yeah. How'd you know?

Well, you shook my
hand after the trial.

That's reason enough.

You was really glad to
see me get off, wasn't you?

Well, off my conscience anyway.

(laughs)

You buffalo hunting again?

After that last trip?

Not hardly.

No money in it, huh?

The buffalo have gone, son.

There'll be no more
left at all before long.

And it's men like Jim
Donner you can blame for it.

How's that?

Cattle.

Taking up all the land.

Ruining everything.

There's no room
for buffalo anymore.

I always thought there'd
be no more room for cattle

unless they kill
off the buffalo.

You've been hanging around
with Donner and his kind too long.

They all talk like that.

Always making excuses
for their own rotten greed.

What do they know about things?

Bunch of citified
weaklings, that's all they are.

Well, maybe some of them are.

They're all alike.

Hey, can I give you a hand?

I'm going into a new business.

- You are?
- Yeah!

Hauling freight.

From Dodge to wherever.

Hey.

I could use someone dumber
than me and I can still whup.

It, uh, sounds
like you're talking

about me again, Mr. Sutro.

Then start getting
your hands dirty.

Here, you do the greasing.

I'll take care of
the back wheel.

Well, hello, Billy.

Howdy, Marshal.

Why, a bit new rifle there?

Oh, no, no. This ain't
mine. I wish it was.

It, uh, belongs to Mr. Sutro.

Well, it's not much
of a buffalo gun, is it?

Well, he traded his in for this.

- He did?
- Mm-hmm.

Yeah, we're, uh, we're
sort of partners now.

Kind of.

Partners in what?

Right there.

It's our first job.

Yeah, we're, uh, hauling
saddles and harness

from here to Garden City.

I, uh, I left my, uh, horse

down at the stable down there.

You know, Mr. Sutro
won't be parted

from that Appaloosa of his, now.

And you say you're partners?

Well, he lets me say that.

I mean, I...

It's got nothing to
do with, uh, money.

I just work for wages.

I see.

So, you, uh, you got
fired by Mr. Donner,

and you took up
with Sutro, is that it?

Billy, let me tell you
something about Jeff Sutro.

He belongs way back.

He belongs to a different
time, a different era.

It was a lot less civilized than
the one we're living in now.

Well, I know that.

Well, I wonder if you do.

Now, Billy, maybe
the way he does things

and the way he acts and
so forth looks good to you.

But believe me,
they're not your ways.

But what are you
trying to say, Marshal?

That I shouldn't be with him?

No, I'm not saying that.

I'm just saying
keep your eyes open,

do your own thinking
and be your own man.

Well, the way I see it, Marshal.

I, uh, I think I got a lot
to learn from Mr. Sutro.

Yeah.

I think you have, too, Billy.

I just hope you learn it.

You'd better get over
there. He'll be looking for you.

Have some coffee.

Oh, I'm gonna.

Boy, there ain't nothing
like a fire, is there?

As long as it's out in the open

and not in some
stinking settlement house.

Ah, you're right there.

Man's nothing but
an animal anyway.

Wasn't meant to
live all cooped up

by four walls and a roof.

Yeah, being civilized
ain't everything, is it?

Only cowards are civilized.

Cowards and idiots.

I tell you, son.

It took real men
to live out here

in the early days.

And I do mean real men.

I met and knowed them all.

White and red alike.

Injuns? You call them men?

The ones that was.

And what about the others?

All the same.

There are good men and bad men.

Red or white.

The good men you
take to your heart.

The bad men you watch.

Put a knife in them
the first chance you get.

(horse neighs)

What was that?

Nothing.

Just that fool horse
moving around out there.

Want me to go take a look?

No, he's staked good.

I guess you've been just about
everywhere, huh, Mr. Sutro?

(chuckles)

Everywhere God's got land, son.

I seen the best
of it and the worst.

I sure envy you.

Yeah, you ought to.

- You'll get there.
- (horses galloping)

♪♪

What was it?

I must be getting old.

- Old and deaf.
- What do you mean?

That horse was moving all right.

- But somebody was moving him.
- What?

Cut the picket rope, led
him off quiet to his own mount

and then rolled off easy.

- Did you get a look at him?
- No, he's gone.

But we're gonna follow him.

- What, at night on these mules?
- That's right.

It's gonna be slow work,
but we'll catch up with him

sometime tomorrow morning.

Now, you fetch them mules,

and I'll fix up
things around here.

MAN: Hello.

Howdy.

Dan O'Hare's the name.

Sid Perce.

You're, uh, traveling a
little light, ain't you, Perce?

Well, I ride for Donner.

The ranch ain't too far.

I see. You got caught out late

and don't feel like riding
back in the dark, is that it?

Not exactly.

I'm looking for strays.

Say, you know, this
is a pretty good horse

to be using as a pack animal.

Well, he may look good,

but, uh, I wouldn't
ride him on a bet.

Why not?

There's nothing wrong
with him that I can see.

Well, there's nothing
wrong with him.

It's just his
disposition, that's all.

Oh. Mean, is he?

Meanest animal I ever saw.

You know he bucked
me clean off twice?

You ain't much of
a horseman, then.

I'm enough of a horseman

to know a bad
animal when I see one.

That so?

Think I could've sold
him for $50 last week.

Sure wished I had've.

Fifty dollars?

That ain't much
for a horse like this.

Well, you may be right,

but you know, I'd,
uh... I'd take half that

if I ever got another chance.

You on the level?

Look, mister, I told you.

This horse is no good.

I got about, uh... $25

left from my last pay.

You, uh... you mean
you want to buy him?

Let's see, that's...
$23 and... 40 cents.

I'd throw in that
nag over there,

except he don't belong to me.

Mister, I sure hate to
take advantage of you.

Why don't you let me
be the judge of that?

All right.

But just don't
come looking for me

when, uh, when
you try to ride him.

Don't worry about it.

Well, so long
and, uh, good luck.

So long, O'Hare.

♪♪

(clicks tongue)

Yeah, he must've seen
us coming and run off, huh?

If he did run, he's
run off on my horse,

'cause there's his.

Hey, look.

By golly, that
must be the fella.

He's got your horse.

Don't say nothing about it.

I want to hear
what he's got to say.

You fellas looking
for something?

Just some water for our mules.

Well, there's a water
hole right through there.

That's a nice-looking
horse you got there.

Yeah. Just trying him out.

He goes like the wind.

Ain't got him long, I guess.

Not long.

What's it to you?

You pretending you
don't know us, mister?

You trying to say you don't
recognize these mules?

You got something to
say, mister, spit it out.

Got a lot of gall, ain't he?

He sure does.

Look, I'm getting a little
fed up with both of you.

Either state your
business or get out.

Where'd you get that Appaloose?

Why?

That's my horse.

You're a liar.

We've been trailing
you all night long,

and your tracks lead
straight from our camp to here.

Well, if that's true,

you've been trailing the
man who sold him to me.

Sold him?

That's right, sold him.

Came riding in just after
dawn, said the horse was mean.

Wanted to get rid of him.

I don't believe you.

You stole that horse.

If you wasn't such an old man,

I'd put a bullet between
your teeth for saying that.

Now get out of here
before I change my mind

and decide to
pistol-whip the two of you.

Don't try it.

Now get moving.

What you stopping here for?

I'm staying here; I
want to rest for a while.

What?

You take the mules
back and get the wagon.

I'll wait for you here.

Hey, you ain't gonna try

and get that horse
back, now, are you?

No horse thief ever got
the best of Jeff Sutro.

You know, Mr. Sutro, uh...

he just may have
been telling the truth

about buying that horse.

Are you gonna do what
I told you or ain't you?

Yes, sir.

I'll be back as quick as I can.

No rush.

You make one
little move, mister,

and I'll kill you where you are.

Now rise real slow.

It's the old man, ain't it?

Young enough to handle you, son.

I told you before,

I didn't steal your horse.

I didn't believe you before

and I don't believe you now.

♪♪

BILLY: Whoa.

You made good time, Billy.

Well, I done my darnedest.

You get some rest?

You bet I did.

The other feller gone, huh?

Yeah, he's gone.

You, uh... mind if I
stretch my legs a bit?

No, take all the time you want.

There's coffee on the fire.

Coffee?

That fella left a few things.

Hey, you got him back, huh?

SUTRO: Yeah, I got him back.

I don't understand.

See, when I left here,
that-that fella that had him

wasn't buying our story.

Well, there's one thing
you gotta learn, boy.

Never trust a horse thief.

He had it coming.

See that sign? It
says "horse thief."

But we don't know
he was a thief.

We... we just thought...

Son, in my book, when you
find a man with a stolen horse,

you don't ask
questions; you hang him.

(exhales)

What happened
to his other horse?

I run him off.

Why?

Probably stolen, too.

I sure don't want to be
caught with no stolen horse.

You sent me off, you said
you were gonna get some rest.

I did rest.

How long do you think
it takes to hang a man?

Well, it takes the
law quite a while.

They gotta try a man first.

He had his trial.

You was right there.

Yeah.

You sent me off 'cause you knew

I'd try to talk you
out of killing him.

Nobody talks Jeff
Sutro out of anything.

I sent you off because I
wanted to spare you the hanging.

You're too soft and
green for this kind of work.

Look, how do you know
he wasn't telling the truth?

He had no bill of sale.

That's good enough for me.

Now let's get moving.

You mean you're gonna
just leave him there?

You're not even gonna bury him?

You saw that rag I tied on him.

I wrote those
letters in berry juice.

I went to some trouble doing it.

What for?

Well, you don't hang a
man to teach him a lesson.

The dead don't need it.

It's the others who find him.

Mr. Sutro, you
sure got your ways.

Now get my horse.

Let's get traveling.

Cut him down, Hays.

Wasn't any sign of anybody?

No, sir.

When Perce didn't show up,

me and Adam Fell rode
out here looking for him.

Was that coffeepot
on the fire like that?

Yes, sir, but there
wasn't nobody around.

Mr. Donner...

How long had he
been riding for you?

Well, just a few days.

He rode in looking for
a job, and I hired him.

We bunked with him, Marshal.

Seemed like a
square shooter to us.

You know, it just
don't make any sense.

All my horses are accounted for.

I've had no reports
of any stolen stock.

Who found him?

I did, earlier this morning.

He was in the cottonwood grove

on the west
boundary of the ranch

and that there sign
was tied to his back.

Well, wasn't there
no tracks around or...?

No, we had some
heavy thunderstorms

out there last night.

I don't suppose there's a
thing you can do, Marshal,

but I figured you ought
to know about it anyway.

I'll ride out there and
have a look around.

All right, Marshal.

Well, let's pick up them
supplies and get moving.

Festus, would you, uh, get
him over at the undertaker's?

Sure thing, Matthew.

Oh, mister...

You a friend of the marshal's?

Yeah, I reckon I am.

Is there something
I can do for you?

Not exactly, but...
that fella there.

What about him?

Well, I know him.

He ain't no horse
thief like that sign says.

Leastways, I don't think he is.

What makes you think that?

Couple of days ago, I rode
into that cottonwood grove

where that cowboy said
he found this fella hanging.

This fella was camped there

and he had a
good-looking Appaloosa.

He was bragging to me

about how he bought this horse
from some greenhorn for $23.

Appaloosy, huh?

That's right.

Real good-looking animal.

Seems this greenhorn
figured the horse was mean

because he got hisself
bucked off once or twice.

Well, how come you
didn't tell Matthew that?

Well, to tell you
the truth, mister,

I ain't got the best
reputation in the world.

I don't want to get
mixed up with the law.

I sure hate to see a
fella get hisself hanged

for something he didn't do.

Now, you don't figure

that this feller could've
just been hoorahing you

about buying that
Appaloosy, do you?

I don't think so.

He was having
himself too good a time

thinking about how he
put it over on the greenhorn

what sold him the horse.

Much obliged, mister.

Uh, you'll be around

in case Matthew wants
to talk to you, won't you?

You can count on me.

Get my horse, will you?

Your horse?

You just put him
in 15 minutes ago.

I just got him unsaddled.

I'll pay you for a full
day. Now get him.

Oh, I wish people would
make up their minds.

Bring 'em in, take 'em out.

Everybody's in a rush, nobody
got any time for anything...

SUTRO: You take
care of the animals, Billy.

I'm going over to
the harness shop

and see Carl Hoyt.

Okay, Mr. Sutro.

And I'll meet you
over at Delmonico's.

We'll have us a nice steak.

Then we'll go over
to the Long Branch

and have a nice, cool beer.

Yeah, that sounds good.

What are you staring at, mister?

I was just admiring your horse.

That's all?

Last fella that
admired that horse

got hisself into
a peck of trouble.

Here you are, mister.

- Thanks.
- Yeah.

What can I do for you, Billy?

I want you to take care
of these animals, Hank.

Are you sure you won't want
them back in 15 minutes?

Huh?

Oh, never mind.

Golly Bill, I sure hope
I'm wrong, Matthew.

Why, I've knowed Jeff Sutro
ever since I can recollect,

and I've always liked him.

So have I, Festus.

But, you know, I, I think I
suspected he was responsible

for that hanging before
he even came in here.

Well, how'd you know that?

Well, it goes way back
to the old days, Festus.

Men like Sutro used
to make their own laws.

I sure wished I could've
saw some way around it.

But as far as I know, he's
the only one around here

with an Appaloosy
within a hundred miles.

You fixing to throw
him in jail, are you?

No, I can't. I got no proof.

Well, that feller
said that he...

Well, all he said was he saw
Sid Perce on an Appaloosa.

Now, we don't have any proof
that it was Sutro's Appaloosa.

Or even that Sutro was anywhere
near that cottonwood grove.

Even if Sutro comes riding
into town right now on the horse,

we got no proof it was stolen.

The only man that can
prove that is Sid Perce.

And he's dead.

What are you gonna do, then?

I'll do what I can.

I tell you, go
check around town,

see if Sutro's back
in yet, will you?

Sure thing, Matthew.

(door opens)

(door closes)

Hello, Sutro. Billy.

- Hey, Marshal.
- Hi, Marshal.

How about a drink?

No, no, thanks. I got
too much on my mind.

What, something wrong?

I was thinking of
asking Billy that.

What do you think, Billy?

What do you mean, Marshal?

You know, Billy,
uh, in the old days,

it used to be common practice

to hang a horse thief
when he was caught.

Nowadays most men are
against it, including the law.

Where do you stand on that?

Then, what are you
driving at, Marshal?

I was asking Billy.
What's your answer, Billy?

Well, I don't think anybody's
for, uh, lynching, Marshal.

Including you?

Including me, yeah.

There's your answer.

I'm glad to hear that.

Now, would you mind telling
me what you're talking about?

Man named Sid Perce
was lynched yesterday.

SUTRO: Aw, that's too bad.

DILLON: Yeah, he was
lynched as a horse thief.

SUTRO: Well, he probably
was, Marshal, he probably was.

That's one possibility.

The other possibility is
that the real horse thief

was being followed,
he ran into Sid Perce

out on the prairie, sold
him the stolen Appaloosa

for $23 and rode off.

You said Perce
bought an Appaloosa?

That's right, Billy.

And I think Sid
Perce was innocent.

He was murdered in cold blood.

Somebody tied a sign on
him saying "Horse Thief."

Something to think about.

(huffs) Perce was innocent.

'Cause the marshal says so?

Don't be a fool. He was
only trying to trap you.

Yeah, but why me?

Now, what did he
ask me everything for?

'Cause he knows he
could never crack me.

You're kind of soft and green.

He just seemed
to know everything.

Well, he knows a lot.

I don't know how he learned it.

But if he had any real proof,

he'd have made an arrest, Billy.

Oh, I just don't understand.

Well, understand one thing.

If you talk, he'll have
all the proof he needs.

And I'll swing high, Billy.

Oh, I ain't gonna talk.

I mean, I'm agin what
you done, Mr. Sutro,

but I ain't gonna say
nothing to nobody.

Of course not.

Why, if I thought you'd talk,

I'd take you right
out in the back

and shoot you right in the head.

(laughs)

Come on, drink up.
We got it coming.

Hey, barkeep?

There you are, ma'am... $2.50.

Thank you.

Morning, Roy.

Oh, uh, hello, Sutro.

Them goods you wanted
freighted to Sublette?

We'll load them this afternoon
and get started in the morning.

I changed my mind
about that, Sutro.

What are you talking about?

Well, I'm just not going to
have anything to haul after all.

Well, you needed them
hauled yesterday afternoon.

Now, look, Roy, don't fool me.

I got a bad hangover.

Well, I'm sorry about that,

but I still haven't
got anything to haul.

Now, look!

I turned down a job
hauling grain for Bob Ryan

after I seen you yesterday.

Well, maybe you'd
better go see Ryan.

He might have a job for you.

All right, all right, I don't
got time to argue with you.

Ryan?

- I got good news for you.
- Is that so?

I can haul that grain and
coal order for you after all.

You can, huh?

Yeah, I didn't take that
other job I told you I had.

I'd rather work for you.

Well, I guess I ought to
appreciate that, huh, Sutro?

What are you trying to say?

I'm saying I don't need you.

Well, you needed me yesterday.

That was yesterday.

Today I don't
have a job for you.

You mind telling me why?

I figure I can do better
selling the grain here.

You're lying.

Something's going
on around here.

What makes you say that, Sutro?

You and Roy... You
both sound alike.

I lived wild too long.

I'm half animal, Ryan.

I can smell something.

I ain't sure what it is.

But I aim to find out.

Hoyt.

Oh, hello, Sutro.

Yesterday you told me you'd
be sending some saddles

and harnesses up to
Elkader before long.

Yup, I told you that.

I was wondering
when it might be.

Well, it's hard to say.

Maybe three, four months.

Three months, huh?

I ain't just sure.

Well, yesterday
I kind of gathered

it'd be a couple of weeks.

Well, I changed my mind, Sutro.

Just like everybody else.

I wonder why.

Things happen that way.

No, they don't!

They don't always
happen that way.

Not three times
in a row they don't.

Leave go of me!

Tell me, Hoyt.

Tell me or I'll kill
you right here.

Tell me, Hoyt!

Jim Donner!

He's been all over town.

He's told everybody about you.

What you done.

Donner.

I might've knowed it.

Putting me out of business.

That's his idear, ain't it?

Yeah, and we're all behind him.

Get the marshal.
Get the marshal.

- Festus...
- What's the matter with you, Mr. Hoyt?

Sutro, he's going after Donner.

Don, get him up to Doc's.

(indistinct chatter)

Well, it don't look like
there's anybody home.

You're sure hoping
there ain't, right, Billy?

Yeah, I guess I am.

Well, you don't owe
Jim Donner nothing.

First he fires you,

and then he ruins your next job.

Well, don't forget, he
ain't done nothing illegal.

Well, that depends on
whose law you follow.

Mr. Sutro?

You promised there wouldn't
be any violence this time.

Oh, I told you I'm
gonna talk to Jim Donner.

And that's exactly
what I'm gonna do.

Sutro?

What are you doing out here?

I want to have a
talk with you, Donner.

Like I was telling Billy.

So, you're still hanging
around with this man, huh?

Never mind that. This
is between you and me.

You found out you're
out of business, is that it?

That's it.

Well, a cowhand of mine
overheard the marshal talking

with you at the Long Branch
about how you lynched Sid Perce.

Well, the marshal's a
liar. He's got no proof.

Oh, he wouldn't tell me
how he found out, but it's true.

Only he has no proof.

It's kind of strange, ain't it?

DONNER: We're talking
about legal proof, Sutro.

That's something you wouldn't
understand anything about.

This Sid Perce, what, is
he some kind of kid of yours?

No, I hardly knew him.

But you lynched an
innocent man, Sutro.

And I'm punishing you
in the only way that I can.

Well, you fixed
me good, all right.

And I'm gonna punish you my way.

I'm gonna kill you!

(grunts)

You ain't gonna kill nobody!

Get out of my way, Billy!

(grunting)

Sutro!

Let him go.

You ain't got the guts.

(gunshot)

Now, the next one's for you.

(gunshot)

All right, Donner, easy.

You all right?

I think so, Marshal.

He's dead, Matthew.

What happened, Billy?

I shot him, Marshal.

I had to.

He-he was trying to kill Donner.

Billy, I'm sorry, I-I
know how you must feel.

But I can tell you something.

It wasn't you that killed him.

Not really.

What do you mean?

Jeff Sutro started dying
a long time ago, Billy.

Back when they put up

the first fences
across this prairie.

Help me bury him, Marshal?

Sure I will, Billy.

I'll help you bury him.

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