Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 11, Episode 10 - The Pretender - full transcript

An elder brother took the blame for the younger as both were sent away for cattle rustling. When they return home, the younger is not done with doing wrong, nor with asking his brother to cover his tracks.

(theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

(horse neighs)


(distant gunfire)


(gunfire continues)


Hold up.

Thanks for the help.

Sure don't give
up easy, do they?

Frank Dano.

How are you, Frank?


You heading for home?

Yeah, just stopping
by to see Mom.

Look, why don't you
give me a hand here,

I'll buy you a drink
when we get to Dodge?

Sure it won't bother you,

drinking with a rustler
fresh out of prison?

Not if it doesn't bother you.

(theme music playing)

The old mule still
earning his keep, huh?

Give you a hand with that?

(with Italian accent):
Where's Edmund?

He'll be in Saturday.

Why he no come with you?

I got off a couple of days
earlier for good behavior.

Too bad you don't
have the good behavior

when you teach your
brother to steal the cows.

All I can say, Papa...

I'm sorry for making
you unhappy.

A boy, you're sorry.

A man, you're sorry.

Frankie's always sorry.

I just got home, Papa.

Bravo. My thieving
son... He's come home.

Maybe I should
hang up a flag, huh?

I just come back to
say good-bye to Mama.

(shouting): Your mama is dying!

You ask yourself why she dies!

You finish early, eh, Papa?

(groans softly)



Frankie! Oh. Oh, Frankie!

- (crying)
- Now, don't you cry, Mama.

Oh, let me look at you.

Oh, Frankie, you grow old, eh?

Why, just a couple
gray hairs, Mama.

- Becomes me, I'm told.
- Yes.


Edmund will be along
in a couple of days.

Now, what's this, you
down on the floor scrubbing?

Oh, a little work don't
hurt nobody, huh?

But, Mama, you belong
sitting on the front porch.

On the porch belongs
old woman, not me.

Mama, I won't like it

thinking of you here not
taking care of yourself.

Hey, you leaving?

Before Papa throws me out.

No, this he would
never do, Frankie.

Mama, I-I don't even want
to talk about me staying.

I wait six years for my son.

Just so I say good-bye?

I-I can't go on
fighting with Papa.

No fight. Stay and work.

- Mama...
- Frankie,

a man work all
his life on the land.

Why? You don't know why?

Just to give land to his sons.

How long can I listen

to Papa telling me
what a rotten son I am?

It's so hard to prove
he's wrong, Frankie?

Mama, I'm leaving.


(groans softly)

Mama, what are you
trying to do, kill yourself?

Your papa and me is one.

My son may not love
one without the other one.


the land is taking
all of his strength.

You don't owe
him one little thing?


Mama, if I stay,

it'll only be until
the fall crops are in,

until Edmund and Papa
have things in hand.

Now, I can't stay after that.

Always, each day take
care of itself, Frankie.


Okay, Mama.

Okay. Okay.

MAN: One thing I can't
stand... The smell of a jailbird.

(man laughs)

Big brother. (laughs)

Hey, you look a mite different,
no bars in front of your face.

No better looking,
just different.

But it improved your
appearance, I'd say.

(man chuckles)

(inhales) Yeah.

Boy, look at that, Frankie.

Open sky, huh?

No one telling you
when you can look at it.

- (sighs)
- It's a good feeling, Edmund.

Yeah, well, now let's
get this thing unloaded

and get us a drink.

We'll get the
drink at the house.

Mama's got the candles out,

along with the finest wine

and the fattest goose
you've ever seen.

- Hey, well...
- (grunts)

Home we go, huh? (laughs)

(Edmund grunts softly)

That's the Howell girl.

Sure grew up fast, all right.



You can do better than
that, Brother Edmund.

I'm not too sure, Brother Frank.

Gal like Elsie waits
this long to get married,

may prove a bit interesting.

(Edmund chuckles)

- (laughter) -Get you a
job in a saloon, Mama.

Oh, you think Mama
don't have fancy feet, eh?

- Oh.
- Two candles.

- My sons are home, eh?
- Oh.

- Thank you.
- It's a nice cake, Mama.

Ah. (laughs)

A few tears are mixed
in with the cream.

Oh, now, you cut the bird,
maybe you no talk so much, eh?

A leg for me, Papa.

You hear? I bought
Mr. Miller's farm.

Oh, that's that place
out back, isn't it?

I make sure your
future is in the land.

Yeah, well, that sounds
like a good move, Papa.

Huh, Frank?

Yeah, it sounds great.

Gonna make my farm
the biggest one around.

Well, you're going to find
me out there pitching in, Papa.

Yes, sir. (laughs)

You keep that sun shining, boy,

and I'm gonna
outwork those mules.

You grown, Edmund.

He was only 17,

a growing boy.

A father's few pleasures is

to see his boy
grown into manhood.

We should forget
about that now, Papa.

Yes. Is forgot.

Sure, like forgetting
your right hand is cut off.

Our sons are home.

All right, I no speak
about it no more.

Attaboy, Papa.


All water under the
bridge, as they say, huh?

Well, I mean, we
all make mistakes.

DANO: Mistake.

To steal cows, maybe.

But to teach a younger brother.

All right, I no
speak of it no more.

Eh, eh, you look pale, Edmund.

Why you no take
a job with Frankie

in the stable where
the sun shine, eh?


I had an inside job, Mama.

Inside? Uh...

What is inside job?

Well, I-I tried an
escape the first year,

and it didn't work, so, uh,

had to spend all your
time in the, uh... hole.

In a hole?

That's solitary confinement,

all by yourself.


Oh, Mama, it's all over.

And you no try to escape?

I didn't think it was
a wise thing, Papa.

Six years ago,

you have Edmund, a
baby, stealing the cows.

It's too bad you no think
that was not wise then.

Now we eat, that's all.

Frank... he's allowed
to raise the horses,

and Edmund is kept
in a cage like an animal.

You was a grown man!

He was only a baby!

(door slams shut)

Papa, you got to
get off Frankie's back.

It will not be
spoken of no more.


Well, I'm go out and
get Frank back in here.

(crickets chirping)

The old man does
a lot of talking, huh?


Look, Frankie, you want
me to tell Papa the truth

about that rustling
business? I mean...

about you getting jammed
up trying to pull me out of it.

I'll go in there
now and I'll tell him.


He'd just have two of
us for whipping boys then.

Hey, look, Frankie, uh,

riding in I seen they're gonna
have a shindig in town tonight

and, uh... well, why
don't you and me take it in,

and... maybe we can feel

like we're part of the
human race again, huh?

That might be an idea.

Yeah. (short laugh)

Oh, come on.

Mama will feel
bad if you don't eat.


Turn on that old Italian charm,

and show them town boys
that they got some competition

with them Dodge girls,
now that we're back, huh?

(lively music playing)


If you want a piece of
cake, you can have it.

But keep your
fingers to yourself.

But I only wanted the icing.

That's a typical masculine
viewpoint if I ever heard one.

Much obliged, Miss Kitty.

You're welcome, Festus.

Well, you're gonna
make a pig out of yourself

right off the bat I see, huh?

This here extra piece is
for the extra gal I brung.

He's got two girls?

It's the Haggen charm, you know.

Well, what happened,
I got all tangled up

and invited two
gals and, you know,

Henrietta and Mayflower,
and I figured it was easier

to bring them both
than to tell one of them

why I was partial
to the other one.

Well, I can help you
with one of... those.

Get your grubby
fingers off. Look out, Doc.

- Remarkable specimen.
- (Kitty laughs)

Hey, Doc, I hear
you're gonna call tonight.

Oh, well, they've been
begging me and begging me to...

Well, if they hadn't been
begging him and begging him,

he'd be sulking
around here all night.

Since I'm the best square
dance caller within 150 miles,

I might've been a
little upset about it, yes.

Looks kind of good.

- (Thad laughs)
- For heaven's sake.

You can go ahead
on and stuff yourself

'cause there's plenty more.

(indistinct chatter)

Any trouble getting
yourself a girl, Frankie,

you just let me know. (laughs)

(indistinct chatter)



well, you don't
remember me, do you?

I do.

Um, Edmund Dano.


Yes, well, now, uh, you tell me
that someone brought you here

and ruin my whole evening.

No one brought me, Edmund.

I'm... I'm just...

kind of here by myself.

For once, I mean.


Oh, well, how
about a little punch

before the dancing starts, huh?

- (quiet laugh)
- Ladies. Excuse me.

If you're as lost
as you look, Frank,

I'll introduce
you to a nice girl.

Festus has two.

Uh, no, Miss Kitty.

I just come along to
keep Edmund company.

KITTY: Yeah, he looks like
he's doing all right for himself.

How's it been for
you this last week?

Well, nobody seems to mind me

walking on the same
side of the street.


All right now!

They said we was gonna
have a square dance here.

Let's get to it! Lot
more folks coming,

but let's warm it up for
them when we get here.

Sam? Let's start Cindy for them.

That'd kind of get
it going. Let's go!

All right, get your
partners now. Festus?

Watch out for those spurs.
You're liable to kill somebody.

We got to have four
couples to make a square.

George, get away from
that table for heaven's sake.

You can eat later...

Hey, there, Miss Kitty.

How about a little
twirling around out there?

Uh, sorry there, young
fella, but this one's mine.

- Oh, now just a minute...
- Thad, I want you

to meet Frank
Dano. Frank, this is

Clayton Thaddeus Greenwood.

We find it a little easier
just to call him Thad.

- Hi, Thad.
- Hello.

Uh, on second thought,
maybe you better stick around.

I'm not used to keeping time
to anything but a bullwhip.

Miss Kitty?

DOC: Need another couple here.

Need one more
couple... One, two, three.

There we go. All
right, we're all set.

Now, bow to your partner.

Bow to your corner.

♪ All join hands and
circle to the south ♪

(lively chattering)

♪ Halfway round
your back, turn right ♪

♪ Single file, Indian style
with a lady in the loop ♪

(excited chattering)

♪ Now, you're home
and you swing and whirl ♪

♪ Around and around
with a pretty little girl ♪

♪ Now, allemande left
with the old left hand ♪

♪ Wrap your honey
in a right-left fan ♪

♪ Big foot up, the
little foot down ♪

♪ Make that big
foot jar the ground ♪

♪ Reach your honey and
you throw her in a hole ♪

♪ Pat her on the head,
if she don't like that ♪

♪ You give her cornbread,
a nice swing and whirl ♪

♪ Round and round
with a pretty little girl ♪

♪ Now, ladies to the
center and back to the bar ♪

♪ Gents to the center
with a right hand turn ♪

♪ Now, back with your
left hand not too far... ♪

Slow down, boy.

Give us a good look.

(music stops, low murmuring)

Take your time, Albert.

(Frank sighs)


You mind telling me
what this is all about?

Say, "Throw down the cash box."


You blink, boy, and
I'll spread your stomach

all over this floor.

Wait, wait just
a minute, Sheriff.

Don't you think you ought to
tell him what's going on here?

JACKSON: Garden City
Stage was held up this morning.

Shotgun rider killed.

Albert here gives a description

fitting this Frank Dano.

Now, you say it.

"Throw down that cash box."

All right, Jackson.
Put the gun away.

Oh, Marshal, Albert here...

Yeah, I heard all about
it. Now, put the gun away.

You got a warrant for him?

You notice, Marshal, he won't
say, "Throw down the cash box."

I don't blame him.

He's a cattle thief.

And you can see
he's not cooperating.

He's not gonna answer any
questions till you come back

here with a
warrant, now get out.

Throw down the cash box.

Well... make him say it louder.

Throw down the cash box.

Well... highwayman
kind of shouted it...

Throw down the cash box!

(crowd murmuring)

Him all right.

What time did this
holdup take place?

This morning, sunup.

Frank, where were
you at that time?

Hitching up the team, bringing
a load of grain into town.

DILLON: That's right. I saw
him pulling in about 8:00.

Now, nobody's gonna ride
the 40 miles from Garden City

to Dodge between
sunup and 8:00 a.m.

You still prepared
to testify in court

that it was Frank that
held up your stage?


not if you saw him in a
different place, Marshal.

How much money
was in the cash box?

JACKSON: $20,000.

(crowd murmuring)

Well, right now,

the way I feel,

I'd just as well trade places
with that highwayman.

(crowd murmuring)

All those years a lawman,
you still haven't learned

that questioning a man in
public like that can mark him.

(chuckles) Tell me, Marshal.

How do you mark
a convicted rustler?

DILLON: Get out of here.

Just a mean thing.

That's what it was.

Just the beginning.


They'll be coming
after one or both of us

every time something happens
within a hundred miles of here.

That's just unfair.


We only have one
life to live, Elsie.

I sure go along with that.

I figured you would.

Ah, Brother Frank.

It's almost morning.

Yeah, well, she was
partial to moonlight.

It's adding up, Edmund.

Elsie's not only man-hungry,
she's downright stupid.

(Edmund grunts)

She's got her points, Frankie.

Like working in
the express office?

If that the way
you feel about it,

don't ask any more questions.

Did you think about
what it'll do to Mama?

Oh, now don't start telling
me about Mama and Papa!

Their lives are over with.
Mine's just beginning.

All right, then let's
talk about yours.

What can you
get out of that safe

that's worth more than
working this land with Papa?

Oh, Frankie.

(short laugh)

I'm rolling a pair of dice.

Win all or lose it!

I'm gonna hoot and holler
high, wide and handsome,

making up six years!

Working with Papa?

(short laugh)

Every time I see him,

I see walls going
up all around me.

The fact is

I hate him as
much as you, Frank.

I don't hate Papa!

You're the same as he is.

Two of a kind.

If I stick around
here long enough,

you're going to smell
like the same dirt

coming in from the fields.

Maybe you're right, Frank.

Maybe you're right.


You sure have softened.

Here's something
I'm gonna teach you

I learned behind
the wall, big brother.

Always leave a man remembering

he don't want to ever
mess with you again.

Frankie, no!


Touch Edmund again, I kill you!

Mama! Mama!



She'll sleep tonight,

and I'll be out first thing
in the morning to see her.

Well, I'm going to be
very honest with you.

Your mother will never
get up out of that bed.

FRANK: How long will it be, Doc?

Well, I can't tell you
that. Two weeks, maybe.

I'm surprised her
heart's held out this long.

Nothing could be done?

No, nothing.

If she wakes up,

just give her anything
she wants and...

and sit with her.


I don't want to talk about it.

Well, I do want
to talk about it,

and I want to talk about it now.

Well, now, you save your breath

and stay out of my
way, big brother.

That's just about as plain
as I'm ever going to put it.

FRANK: You listen to me, boy.

You heard the doctor.

Mama's got two weeks
to live, maybe less,

and if she finds out about
this, she won't live two days.

Can't you see I'm
trying to help you?

The last time you tried
to help me, big brother,

I spent six years in prison.

This time, I do it my way.

(door opens)

(door closes)

Papa, I got to talk to you.

You kill her.

No, Papa, please.

Mama is dying.

Well, I'm crying, too, Papa.

What is wrong in this house?

From the day Frankie's
born, who's the troublemaker?

I need your help, Papa.

You need my help?

It's about Edmund.

You don't talk to me about him,

not now or ever.

I don't want to hear
from you no more.

Do you understand?

Y-Yes, Papa.

Well... I'll move my things

over to the old Miller place,

and I'll stay there

till Mama doesn't
need me anymore.

Then I'll be leaving.


you shouldn't have come home.


Morning, Frank.

I've seen you looking better.

Somebody hold up a stagecoach?

No, I just dropped
by to say hello.

I don't think you "just
drop by" anyplace, Marshal.

All right, I, uh...

I thought maybe I could help.


Sure, Marshal.

How do you just walk away?

DILLON: How's that?

How do you say you don't care?

Well, I don't know
about that, Frank.

I came by to tell you it
looks like there's a new herd

headed up for Wild Horse Flats.

Now, Festus started up that way.

I thought you might
like to join him.

He said he'd wait
for you till noon,

in case you were interested.

- (horse whinnies)
- Hey, Frank.



FESTUS: Look at that scudder

with his head just
held up so proud,

just like a king.

No sight of a fence
does that, Festus.


Matthew was
saying you had a idea

about gettin' yourself
a horse ranch,

raising a special
kind of a horse.

Buy up the kind of land
we're looking at, flats.

Canyons around it.

Can't farm it,
can't graze on it.

Maybe get it for
a dollar an acre.

Yeah, or even less than that.

Well, you buy up as
much of it as you can

so that the hills
become your fences.

(horse whinnies)

So all a horse
sees is the big sky,

no man-made barriers.

Come a time, Festus,

when your brand
would stand for spirit.

Come a time it would
mean there's a...

there's a wildness
in your animal

that stamps him as
something special.

Oh, he'd carry you...

Always with his head held high,

never letting you forget that
the land belongs to him, too.

Sounds like a special
kind of a horse, all right.

I believe you're just
the kind of a feller

who can get it done, too, Frank.

Takes a man with
the same kind of spirit

those horses have, Festus.

A man who sees no
fences around him.

A man a lot more
free than I'll ever be.

I'll come in from the west,

and with a little luck

maybe we'll drive a half-dozen
of those horses up the canyon.

Give 'em a whirl.


DILLON: Apparently,
he was trying to steal

one of Will Baker's horses,

When they challenged
him, he started shooting,

and the foreman killed him.

They found this outside
the barn in the morning.

That's it, Mr. Daniels,
$20,000 right to the penny.

That ought to scrub out
all the doubts, Matthew.

It's money from the
Garden City Stage, all right.

Sure was a lucky thing.

DILLON: Yeah, I wish
they were all that easy.

DANIELS: I'll ship it up to
Garden City in the morning.

DILLON: All right.

Ain't it about time you thought
about going home, Elsie?

Well, isn't this the night

I get our bills out of
the way, Mr. Daniels?

DANIELS: Oh, that
can wait till the morning.

I don't mind doing it tonight.

I'll stay on, clean up
some of my own work.

Oh, well,

I didn't mean for you
to put yourself out.

Missus has some ladles
coming over tonight.

Good a time as any to
keep myself occupied.

(crickets chirping)

(clock ticking)

I think we're out of
vouchers reports, Mr. Daniels.

Well, uh, shouldn't be.

There might be some
in the supply room.

(clock ticking)

Shall I put the petty cash
box away, Mr. Daniels?

Elsie, why wasn't that
placed in the safe before?

Just forgot, I guess.

DANIELS: Bring it over.

Put that cash in the saddlebags.

You're not very
professional, Edmund.

A mask doesn't disguise a voice.

EDMUND: Do what you're told.

He marrying you, Elsie?

Meeting you later in Mexico?

Confounding everybody
who the masked man was

after he kills me?

Nobody's getting
hurt, Mr. Daniels.

Your biggest crime here, Elsie,

is stupidity.

Fill that saddlebag.

Don't fret, I'll pay
you directly, Sam.


Same story.

Somebody came through the back.

You hear me?


nobody's getting hurt.

That's what you said, Edmund.


(door rattling)

Nobody's gettin' hurt.

Matthew's at Two Corners.

Fetch him.

(galloping hoofbeats

It's your mother, Frank.

Doc sent me out to tell you

that he thought maybe you and
your brother ought to be there.

Is Edmund there?


Then he must be in town.

I'll ride in and see if I
can find him for you.

Thanks, Thad.

(hoofbeats receding)

It went wrong, Frank.

What are you talking
about, Edmund?

I figured on tying
old man Daniels up.

They wouldn't find
him till morning.

A whole night's
start, I figured on.

But there was a shooting.

Uh... why don't you
make a trail south for me

and I'll head into the canyons?

You're not going anywhere.

Frank, you're not
listening to me.

Daniels is dead.

You're my brother, Frank!

They'll be hanging me up.

Sorry, Edmund. I
can't help you this time.

What are you talking about?

Mama's dying and
she wants to see you.

You out of your head,

with me maybe a half
hour ahead of a posse?

We're going to Mama.

I can't do anything for Mama.

It's important
that she sees you.

Nothing you'll ever do
again will be that important.

I can't do anything for Mama!

You give me that rein.

A minute to Mama, Edmund.

This is one time we're
going to make sure

she knows she has two sons.

You give me the rein.


For once, Edmund,

you're going to give a
little to somebody else.

If only her life

could have been happier.

Well, maybe she was
happier than you think.

Wonderful thing about mothers...

they have an amazing capacity

for understanding
just about anything.

(door opens)

I'll be in the other room.


I had a dream...

nice dream.

No, Mama,

you don't have to talk.

MRS. DANO: What is left?

A word to my sons.

We'd... we'd rather
you felt good, Mama.

MRS. DANO: I dreamed

you and Edmund

were little boys again,

running, running...

running to Mama.

Nice dream.

Don't you tire yourself, Mama.



Yes, Mama?


I forgive you.

Thank you, Mama.

I've got to go.

DANO: Edmund...


Bye, Mama.




There was nowhere to go, son.

You're wrong, Marshal.

Had my brother's fancy horse

over that hill,

and you would never
have... caught me.

(horses whinny)

Well, I'll head on over

to the old Miller
place from here.

Pack my things and head out.

The funerals are over,

and there is nothing to
hold a father and a son.

There's no hard feelings.

I just have to get away.

Your father is a stupid man.

That's all in the past.

Now I speak of the future.

The bank tell me
that for my farm lands,

I could buy the
Wild Horse Flats.

I say, yes, um... I
will think about it.

Your farm land for the flats?

These flats, they are
100 times bigger, no?

Well, sure, they're
bigger, Papa,

but you can't get a dollar
of profit out of the flats

from one year to the next.

I will take time,

and I will bet you that
I will live to see the day

when there will be horses
named Dano horses.

Papa, it's insane.

How long ago did you say

that you will have
your name on horses?

That was just a boy talking.

A boy dreaming.

A boy, yes, but a
dream, I don't think.

I will buy those flats, Frankie.

Papa, you know how
many hungry days

you have in store for you?

An old man, Frankie,

stops being hungry for food.

It's what he leaves behind...

even a word from his son

that something changed
because his father lived.

I make many mistakes.

I cannot cry like Mama.

But I can ask...

was the mistake so big?


Papa, between the two of us,

we're probably gonna
have the biggest mistake

this county's ever seen.


(horses neighing)


Papa, they're laughing at us.

So, they laugh!


I will show them
a man called Dano

that they will be hearing about.