Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 11, Episode 17 - Sweet Billy, Singer of Songs - full transcript

Festus's nephew arrives, seeking a bride who can read and write. He soon finds one, but runs into difficulties earning the money he needs for her dowry.

(dramatic theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

YOUNG MAN (calls): Hey,
Uncle Festus, come on back here!

Where you at?

- LAMBERT: Festus!
- I'll shoot your ear off!

- Wait a minute!
- Now, you hold on, now!


- Festus!
- Aw, come on, now, Uncle Festus!

- Oh, come on!
- Uncle Festus!

Festus, come on back here!


- Wait a minute!
- Festus, hold on!


- (panting)
- Festus!

- Festus!


(bullet ricochets)

Great jumpin' blue-nosed mules,
boy, what's wrong with your eye?

I said pink him, not squamp him!

Well, I just hit the
bucket, Lambert. Lookee.

That's just what you said
you was gonna do, Sweet Billy.

Hey, I think he's comin' around.

(Festus groaning)

(groans, panting)


Why... now, hold on, Festus!

What in tarnation's
got into you?!

You ain't a-gettin' my
ear, you little scudder.

Your brother Eliab and
me had us a 'greement:

one year's King's X

for him a-gittin' them
very boots right there,

and me a-gittin' to keep
my little hangy-down part.

And if you go to
breaking a King's X,

- why, you ain't no real Haggen.
- Well, simmer down, Festus.

We ain't come after your
little hangy-down thing.

- You ain't?
- No, of course we ain't!

Well, what's Sweet Billy
a-doing with my boots, then?

Brother Eliab give 'em
to me when I come of age.

He said that the women in Dodge

is plumb crazy
about these boots.

Well, what's the women
got to do with this?

- (snickering)
- Golly Bill, Festus,

you're thicker
than you ever was.

We've came to get us a woman.

For Sweet Billy here.

That's right, Uncle Festus,
and you is a-gonna help us.



let's get started, then.

Come on, Emery.

- ♪♪
- (speaking indistinctly)

(theme music playing)

- Hello, Matt.
- Hello, Doc, Kitty.

- Oh, when'd you get back?
- Oh, just a few minutes ago.

- Didn't have any trouble, huh?
- Oh, Doc,

whoever that horse
thief is, he's pretty smart.

- (low chatter nearby)
- (Dillon sniffing)

When did they get into town?


You know, they almost
scared Festus to death.

He thought they was back
in town after his ear again.

Not the whole ear, you know.

Just the little hangy-down part.

You mean they weren't?

Apparently not. They've been
thick as thieves all morning.

Sweet Billy, you're just
too much of a young'un

to know this, but
they's some things

that a feller has
to do for hisself.

Well, I know that, Uncle Festus,

and if I had my
druthers, I would.

But this here just
ain't no kiss-and-foller

kind of marryin'.

- Yeah, but...
- He's right, Festus.

And all the Haggens
is a-lookin' to you.

Yeah, you're the onliest
big city Haggen there is.

- Well, I know that...
- This she-male

has got to be real special.

She's got to pass the test.

And you know there ain't no
hill gal no place what can do that.

Well, we figured that you'd
know more fittin' females

than any of us
would, and probably...

most all of 'em
personal. (cackles)

You ol' scudder, you.

Well, I ain't denyin'
that I know a few, but...

Few, my foot!

Ha! I bet you know
every one of 'em in town.

We'd be right
proud, Uncle Festus.

In fact, we decided to name
the first young'un after you.


Sweet Billy...

I always did say that you
was my favorite nephew,

and I'll just be plumb proud

to find you the best
she-male they is in Dodge City.

- (indistinct chatter)
- (piano playing waltz)

(Kitty clears throat softly)

You been able to figure out
what's going on back there?

Well, I was just gonna
ask you the same thing.

Here, let me sweeten
that up a little bit.

(woman laughs)

Doesn't hurt you if you
don't swaller it, you know.

That's mighty
nice of you, Festus.

I wish there was more like you.

Ah, I reckon it does get

kind of rough on you
sometime, don't it?

(sighs) Oh, I ain't complainin'.

I mean, after all, I've
had my glory days.

But, you know, Festus,

somehow it just
ain't like it used to be.

The magic is gone. (wry laugh)

A girl gets tired.

Somehow it just don't seem

to have the... the
romance that it used to.

Well, now, I can see how
you'd get to feeling like that,

but... see, what a pretty
lady like you ought to have

is something
that's more solider,

well, something that you
could hang your hat on.

Festus... you're a real
deep man, real deep.

You know what I mean,
like, your own shack

and some hogs and some chickens

and maybe a stove of your own.

Festus, you read my mind.

And I got me a friend
that... Wait'll you see him!

Why, your eyeballs are gonna
pooch right out of your head.

I'll get him. Don't
move, now. I'll be...

Sweet Billy!

Billy. Billy. Move, move.


KITTY: Festus.

- (whispers): Ask him.
- No, you ask him.

(chuckles): He gets sore at me.

Festus, I-I know this
is none of my business,

but, uh, I wonder if
you'd mind telling me

why you introduced
your nephew to Lulu.

(quietly): Well, it's kind of
a family secret, Miss Kitty,

but, uh, you'll
know quick enough

if everything works out
like I figure it's a-fixin' to.

(piano music plays)

Well, I guess there ain't no
use in beatin' around the bush.

- I'm stout...
- Mm.

And I'm healthy and,
uh, I got good teeth.

(Lulu chuckles)

And I ain't afraid of work.

And I got a whole passel
of kin that's just a-willin'

to help out if things
ain't a-goin' too good.

And I'll give you good care

and my ma's wedding dress if'n

- (slams glass)
- that's all right with you.

What are you talking about?

Well, ma'am, I'm... I'm
asking you to marry up with me.

Marry you?

Well, you ain't a-gonna have me?

Well... it isn't that.

It's just that this
is all so sudden,

- and, uh...
- Oh, well,

us Haggens don't
believe in wastin' no time.

(quietly): Mm, yeah.

But they's just one question
that I got to put to you

'fore I can make
the asking official.

- A question?
- Yes, ma'am.

We'll know directly.

Do I what?!

(music stops)


Lambert! Emery!

- What do you suppose he said?
- Well, I don't know.

I can't think of any question
that anybody could ask Lulu

that would make
her act like that.

- Guess she just can't do it,
Uncle Festus, -Well, what...

- 'cause all I did was...
- Would you stop a-yammerin' at him!

- He done did his best!
- Well, this Lulu...

Just come on, Sweet
Billy, let's get out of here.

His name's Sweet Billy.

He's a Haggen.
He's a good worker.

Why, he can slop hogs,

he can scrape a hog cleaner
than anybody that I have ever saw.

And stout as a mule.

I just know he is.

Yeah, and he's a better
shot than his brother Eliab.

He can knock the eye out
of a gnat at a hundred yards.

- In the dark.
- Easy!

I'll just bet he can.

Well, teetotal, too.

The best men
always do, Sweet Billy.

(whispering): Pa? Pa?


Who's that boy sitting
over there with Festus?

He's a Haggen.

I know that, Pa; I can
tell that by looking at him.

I mean, what's his name?

Oh, I don't know. Seems
like I hear'd somebody

call him Purty
Billy or Sweet Billy

or something like that.

Sweet Billy?

Now, ain't that appropriate.

Sweet Billy, I'll just bet
you a prime coonskin

that Pearl here is a-fixin'
to go to that church social.

Well, I'd be plumb tickled
to fetch you, Miss Pearl.

I'll sure be waiting.


(sighs) Should've known
better than to hire a woman.

And they tell me that in those
fancy Eastern restaurants,

they have all women waiters.

Twenty-seven dollars!

I know, I know, a woman's
place is in the home.

Two dollars and 17 cents.

Well, that's more like it.

- It sure is, now.
- Here.

You mean she can't
add or read or nothin'?

She ain't got a bill right yet,
so you know she can't read.

- Just hold up, knothead!
- Now, wait a minute.

Now, hold on, Festus.

They just ain't a-comin'
up to the Haggen measure.

- Well, maybe they ain't, but...
- We done told you

- the rules, too.
- I know you did, but...

You said that you
knowed 'em personal.

Agreed. I said I
knowed 'em personal.

Well, some of 'em I
do and some of 'em,

well, I just know...

But what you fellers can't
get through your noggins

is that when you're out
a-sparkin' a gal like Pearl

or Lulu, why, you just ain't
tail-over-the-fence interested

in whether she can
read or write or not.

Well, you got to go to work
and do just a little bit better

than what you been doing.

You got somethin'
else in mind, Festus?

Well, of course! I got a
whole heap of 'em in mind,

but, shoot, I got to get some
time to narrow down the field,

cull one out.

Well, we'll stay over
until tomorrow night,

and if you don't
deliver by then,

we're a-gonna give you back
them boots and call off the King's X.

Come on, Sweet Billy.

(Festus speaks indistinctly)

Purty, is she, Festus?

Well, I don't reckon
nobody'd go so far

as to call the Widow Folsome
purty, but still she has got...

- Well, no, she ain't purty...
- How old is she?

Now hold on, Sweet Billy,
there wasn't nothing said

at the meeting about her
having to be no chicken.

No, no.

And a lot can be said about
a woman past 20, Sweet Billy.

They've done had all that
foolishness popped out of 'em.

And I'm a-faunchin'
to see this one.

agreed that I would invest $600

at two percent per quarter.

And here you have it per annum.

MAN: Wait a minute, Widow...

We agreed! Now, in
case you don't know

what the difference is between
$600 at two percent per quarter

and $600 at two
percent per annum,

I'll be happy to
explain it to you.

Uh, just don't let us bother
you none, Widow Folsome.


Uh, I also remember
that you agreed

to rent my pasture
at $17 a quarter.

I don't see that down here.



I'm Sweet Billy.

I know. I-I'm Orabelle.


Orabelle Beal.

That's my pappy in there.

He's gonna wallop me good

when he finds that I forgot
to write down the orders

that the widow's
hollering about right now.

You can write?


- And read?
- Mm-hmm.

I got me a hankering for a
poke of houndstooth sweets.

Well, I know where
you can get one.

Well, you'd have to
show me, Orabelle.

It would pleasure
me considerable...

Best houndstooth I ever ate.

Mm-hmm. Me, too.

You walking out with anybody?

Um... nope.

Are you spoke for at all?


Your pappy ain't
shook with nobody?


Me neither.

I've came to Dodge to find
me a woman to marry up with.

I know.

You're Festus'
nephew, ain't you?

Sure am.

And you don't liquor none.

Well, I-I could if'n
I had a mind to.

Mm, I reckon you could.


Will you marry up
with me, Orabelle?

I reckon I will, Sweet Billy.

Golly Bill.

Mm, she's a mite
frail for slopping hogs.

Don't appear she
could cut kindling faster

than a stove could burn it.

She is plumb pretty, all right.

But I don't hardly believe

she's, uh, stout
enough to be a Haggen.

Well, she's the onliest
gal I'm a-fixin' to have,

and I ain't a-lookin' no more.

You sure she can read?

Well, of course she can.

She already done told you that.

Well, that's the most
importantest thing, Billy,

'cause twice this summer...
What you looking for?

A Bible.

Us Haggens got into a
bad fix for signing papers

not saying actual what
we was told they said.

- You know that!
- I know that!

Here, Orabelle. Go
ahead on. You show 'em.

"The, uh... the Song of Solomon.

"The Song of Songs,
which is Solomon's.

"Let him kiss me with
the kisses of his mouth.

For thy love is
better than wine."

Is that all they are, is it?

Oh, no. Uh, "Thine oils
have a goodly fragrance.

"Thy name is as
oil poured forth.

"Therefore do the
virgins love thee.

"Draw me; we
will run after thee.

"The king hath brought
me into his chambers.

"We will be glad
and rejoice in thee.

"We will make mention of
thy love more than of wine;

rightly do they love thee."


That's real purty.

Can she do that every time?

Just as long as there's
reading right there on the page.

Glory on a mountain.

Wouldn't that be purty listening
in the early evening wind.

Mm! Tell 'em about it. (exhales)

And she can do sums
and long division, too,

just like Grandma Haggen.

- Oh.
- Well, that fetches it then.

She don't look none too hearty,
but she sure reads up a storm.

And if Sweet Billy's
got his heart set on it,

- I'm agreein'.
- Me, too!

- (cheering) -I told you
we'd find her, didn't I?

- Well, let's go get us a preacher then!
- No, hear!

Whoop, whoop, just hold on now.

You ain't home now, Sweet Billy.

First thing we got to do
is go and ask her papa.

Oh, my papa don't
pay me any mind

when he discovered
I wasn't a boy.

He says daughters is a waste.

Well, he's got a point there.

'Less'n, of course,
they can read and write.

That don't make no difference.

The thing we got to do
is, uh, get 'er did legal-like.

Well, then let's
go get 'er did now!

- Come on!
- (chattering)

Well, son, you sure
don't look like much.

Well, he can sing
right pretty though.

And I'm a fair wing shot.

Is he got any worth?

I mean, does he own anything,

some land or a horse or a house?

No, nothin'.

But I'm a Haggen.

Yeah, and there's a
whole passel of us, too.

Where you plannin'
on taking her?

S-South a couple
of three, four days.

You wouldn't be dropping
in every time you get hungry,

- would you?
- Oh, no, Papa.

We'll-we'll only come
when you ask us to.

Well... all right.

You can have her.
I'll give her to you.


and I mean it. Now,
that there's a square deal

- if I ever seen one.
- Deal?

- Oh, Papa. I'm so happy.
- (chuckles)

Well, Orabelle, honey,

he ain't the catch
of the Western world,

but anyhow you ain't gonna
be an old maid. (chuckles)

Papa, I-I got... I got a
real deep feeling for him.

If your mama'd only lived.

You know, a man don't
know much about girls

and most
'specially little girls.

Papa, I was born female,

and I'm all growed up now.

You did just fine, Papa.

I can't give you nothin', honey.

I mean, if they're expecting
you to have something.

Papa, you gave me
everything I need.

Uh, remember the time that
you were sent to that prison

and I was sent to the orphanage?

Yeah, I did give you that.

Papa, they told me
how to read and write.

That's the most valuable thing.

That's how I satisfied.

That's how I won the marriage.

I'm gonna give you
one more thing, honey,

a last little bit of advice.


give nothin' away.

I'll tell you, this here's
the onliest way to celebrate

in Dodge City, with the marshal.

That way a feller don't get
hisself poked in the pokey.


I want to offer my

Orabelle's a good girl.

And if you ain't over a day's
driving distance from Dodge,

I'll deliver the first
baby for you free.

I'll furnish the baby clothes.

Well, we got the world
by the tail in a downhill pull.

Pony Beal, why,
where you been at?

We been waitin' to
start the celebration.

I been a-waitin' up at you boys'
room to finish a conversation.

Oh, what'd we forget?

About the $500.

Five hundred dol...

- $500?
- Five... Wait a minute, wait a minute!

- You said that we could get married.
- Mm.

I did, and you can,

just as soon as you
get the $500 put up.

LAMBERT: What in tarnation for?

Well, let's say $250 for reading

and $250 for writing,

and you get a purty good cook

and a darn good
woman throwed in.

Why, you old skinflint,

I'd ought to hit you
right in the mouth.

(overlapping talking)

All right now. Hold on,
boys. Just take it easy.

Now, I'm just askin'
for a little ol' dowry.

Uh, Pony, don't you have
things a little mixed up?

It's the girl that's
supposed to give the dowry.

Well, it would be all right
with me if she was a boy,

which she ain't.

Anyhow, I ain't giving her away
to nobody unless I get a dowry.

Why, that's just plain slavery.

Agin all decency!

Now, Mr. Beal, I always thought
you was a pretty nice fella.

Pony Beal, you're a
larcenous old cutthroat.

Wait, if I remember
correctly... And I do...

You haven't even paid me
for delivering Orabelle yet.

Well, don't you worry, Doc.

You'll get your money
just as soon as I collect

my $500 for giving her away.

But $500 is...

$500 and to the penny

or there ain't gonna be
no Mrs. Orabelle Haggen.

Now, you boys talk it
over amongst yourselves,

and you let me
know your decision.

Matthew, ain't there nothing
you can do about this?

I don't know what,
Festus. It's his daughter.

- Well?
- (muttering)

She said she's done
minded her daddy all her life

and she ain't a-fixin' to run
off 'cause he told her not to.

(scoffs) Probably got her
chained to a pump handle.

There ain't nothing
for it but to carry her off.

That ain't no good, Lambert.

I already done told her
we was a-willin' to do that.

Well, what'd she say?

She just cried and bellowed

and faunched and carried on

and said she didn't want
to get married thataway.

Aw, fiddle.

I reckon the only thing
left, to give him the $500.

Yeah, but where in the fire
are we gonna get it at, Lambert?

Festus has got friends.

He could get it easy.

You talk like my foot's asleep.

Why, I ain't saw
$500 in one lump

ever since the day I was born.

Ain't but one thing to do:

go to work and find
us another Orabelle.

That's right and
one without no pa.

No, sirree!

I already done
found my Orabelle,

and I ain't a-gonna
settle for no other woman.

Couldn't we just
work for the money?

That's one way
of gettin' it, ain't it?

That's what it is...
The Haggen Hauling

and Freighting
Corporation, Incorporated.

Now, Festus, how
much are you figuring

to get from each one of us?

- Just $50 apiece.
- $50?!

I'll pay you back in the
spring at two percent interest

on my solemn sacred word.

Well, now, don't get
blasphemous about it.

Oh, hush up, Doc.

Festus, what if
there are any profits?

Oh, fiddle, they'll
be a heap of profits,

but-but the first $500
goes to Sweet Billy

to give to Pony Beal,
and then, after that,

well, we just natural split up
everything in equal shares, see?

What are you going to invest?

Well, my knowing how.

Knowing the trails, knowing
the mules and my friends.

Why, I got me a whole heap

of mining friends
that'd pay good money

to have their supplies
guaranteed through the winter.

THAD: You know, he's right.

I've heard those miners
down at the stables complaining

all the time how hard it is to
haul their equipment up there.

You hear that?

Festus, you've never
worked at anything

for six months
in your whole life,

and my advice, as your
personal physician is, don't do it.

'Cause the sudden shock to
your system might prove to be fatal.

All right, I know
you're pulling my leg.

I thought I had me some friends.

KITTY: Oh, wait
a minute, Festus.

And you keep quiet!

You do have some friends.

I'll invest $50.

- You will?
- Oh, for heaven's sake!

You bet I will.

There's 20... 40... 50.

Well, I guess you can
count me in, Festus.


Well, it might be good
for his moral fiber, Doc.

Much obliged, Matthew.


Don't work.

Oh, wait a minute.

For heaven's sakes.

I suppose... getting caught up
in an emotional flood tide here.

All right, I suppose
I can rationalize this

on the grounds that...

that I'll be donating to
a scientific experiment.

I didn't know you had $50.

Well, I ain't now. He's got it.

If you can wait till tomorrow,

I got two months' pay coming.

I told them knuckleheads
I had me some friends.

I'll tell you this.

Them is the scroungiest
batch of mule flesh

that I have ever saw.

Festus, that's the only
team of work mules

anywhere in 200 miles of here.

You're just lucky that
I only deal in the best.

You got my word for that.

Oh, foot!

How much?



For...? For ten-dollar mules?!

I'll give you $20.

Festus, I reckon you
didn't hear me too good.

$30 a head, and
that's the very tip top.

All right, you old
skinflint, $40 a head.

Never saw such
a man to deal with.

Ain't a one of them scudders
is worth a pinch of salt,

and you know it.

Well, thank you
kindly, Mr. Beal.

- Uh-huh.
- Come on, mules.


Papa, you-you promised
that you'd try to help.

Well, I'm-a going to, honey,

when the time comes,

but this here is business, and
business is always business.

You fellers tie that
down good and stout

'cause this here's the
important merchandise.

Well, Festus, this
is the big day, huh?

Yes, siree, Matthew.

The Haggen Hauling
and Freighting Corporation

is now in business.

All right, Festus,
we're ready to go.

Get on, then. Let's get started.

- Bye-bye, Orabelle.
- ORABELLE: Good-bye, Sweet Billy.

We'll be back as soon as we can.

So long, Matthew.

So long. Good luck.

Giddyup, mule!
Mule, mule. Get, get.


- Lambert!
- Hey!


I'll get it. I'll get it.

You sure you ain't
a-straining yourself, Festus?

Just go get the wheel
on, let's get started.

All right.


It's on.

Got 'er all done, huh?

You know something?

You boys is picking up this
freighting business pretty good.

All right.



All right, all right,
shake a leg, boys.

We got a heap more
deliveries to make today.



I'm mighty proud of you, honey.

You learn real good.

That's a real fine
business ledger.

Clear, every balance up to date.

Yup, mighty good.

You were spying, Papa.

I'm shocked!

Here, here.

Now mind your tongue.

That don't sound
like my little girl.

Why, I sure hope Daddy's
little girl ain't a-changing.

Well, I might
be your little girl,

but I'm gonna be
Sweet Billy's wife.

And I hope you're not planning
on putting any mischief to him.

Why, of course not.

I'm just happy to see

that you're going to
a... a industrious family.

(doors opening)

Come on.

(Pony laughs)

They look a mite
tired, don't they?

(Pony chuckles)

Billy, what happened?

Nothing. I'm just tired is all.

Where's Festus?

(groans) He's
down to the saloon.


He ain't nigh as
tuckered out as we are.

Festus, you know, you're
liable to prove Doc a liar yet.

You've done a fine job.

You know, I'm
kind of proud of you.

Much obliged, Miss Kitty.

Hello, Festus.

I've been looking
all over for you.

You got a minute?

Well, I tell you, I'd
better, uh, get going,

get my horse
thief on that train.

Oh, did you catch him, did you?

Well, the one I
caught's in jail.

Well, if you want to talk to
me, come on over and set down.

Festus, I've been a-thinking.

Seeing as how pretty soon you
and me is going to be kinfolks,

I've decided to do
you a great big favor.

Oh, you have?

Just what is that?

Well, sir, I've decided

to invest some money
in your company.

And, uh, seeing as how
you're going to be awful busy

making deliveries
and everything,

I've decided to
make myself available

to look after the
business end of things.

Now, a feller can't possibly
do no more than that, can he?

Oh, of course not.

Not if he stayed up all
night a-trying, he couldn't.

Say for, uh... $100.

Let's just say "no."

Orabelle does a plumb good
job of taking care of our business,

and our corporation
don't need no more money.

Don't need no money?!

Well, what kind of a
business are you a-running?

Boy, you worry me.

Why, every good, sound
business has a need for money.

What about contingencies?

- Huh?
- Contingencies.

You know what they is.

Of course I know what it is.

Well, are you covered?

I mean, adequately covered?

Our corporation is just
plumb covered... up.

Oh, you're a sharp one.

I might a-knowed it.

Well, but you can never tell.

You know, in this world of
high finance, you never can tell.

Anyhow, you talk it
over with the boys,

and meanwhile,
my offer still stands.

(crowd chatter)

Miss Kitty, what's
a contingency?

Well, Festus, a
contingency is a possible,

but not probable, emergency.

Usually when you
go into business,

you set some money
aside for a contingency.

Like something you're
figuring ain't gonna happen

that just could happen, huh?

That's right.

Like, uh, for instance,
what's the worst possible thing

that could happen to you?

Your wagon burn up,
you lose your mules.

Yeah, well, that'd
do to start off with.

(wind whistling)

Don't like it none.

Last time I seed that sky,

half of Texas blowed away.

She's a-fixing to bust
loose directly, I tell you that.

I don't like it, either,
not being near shelter.

That grove of trees yonder...

That'll make the best
camp we can find.

(wind whistling)

(wind howling)

- (grunts)
- Pull that flap.

Did you get them
mules tied up good?

Got 'em tied up tighter
than Eliab's boots.

(mule braying)

Golly Bill.


Tore things up like
a sow's bed, didn't it?

Festus! Emery! Billy!

- The mules...
- What?

The mules!

Well, I don't understand it!

I tethered them right here,
just right to this very rope.

Well, they ain't here now.

Uncle Festus, how
would you call this?

What kind of a knot did
you use to tie up our mules,

- Sweet Billy?
- Oh, confound it, Lambert, you know...

- (overlapping chatter)
- Hush, hush.

- Hush!
- Gonna blow away in...

Just got me a feeling

that somebody's
give us a contingency.

Well, what are we gonna do now?

Well, ain't nothing to
do but start walking.

- Walking?!
- Walking?!

It's more than 50 miles.

All the way?

Don't you want to see
Orabelle again, or do you?

- (overlapping shouting)
- Come on out here, Pony.

You find him, bring him to me!

- (Festus mutters)
- Festus!

What's-what's going on here?

Well, I'll tell you
what's going on.

- Somebody stoled our mules.
- Yeah!

Festus, are you all right?

I've been a danged sight
better, I'll tell you that.

- Where's Pony Beal?
- Pony Beal. It's Pony Beal this time.

Yeah, Pony Beal!

We're fixing to get on
him like ugly on a ape.

We're going to stomp a mud
hole in him and then stomp it dry.

Tear him up like a sow's bed.

- What are they talking about?
- What are you talking about?

Him a-yellin' about

I'm gonna fix his contingency
for him. Where's he at?

Oh, he left town
just after you did.

(all the Haggens
exclaim indistinctly)

Big-mouthed yay-hoo,
he stoled them mules,

- sure as your foot...
- DOC: Just a minute.

Don't say stole, don't
ever point the finger of guilt

- at anybody unless you got the proof.
- FESTUS: Oh, hush up.

- Where's Matthew at?
- Well, he went out to the Warren place,

but he'll be back in a couple
of hours, and if you want

my advice, don't you do a
single thing till he gets back.

- Hi, Thad.
- Now, you listen, Festus, now,

- Doc is right.
- What-What happened, Festus?

FESTUS: Well, I'll tell you what happened.
- Uh...

- They're... we...
- Thad, would you, uh, uh... do me a favor?

We'll tell you all about
this later. Would you go tell

- Orabelle that, uh, Billy's back in town?
- Sure thing.

FESTUS: I'm just gonna tell
you about this thing, Miss Kitty,

been pulling that ol' Shawnee
switch of stealing stock

and then a-swapping it
for stock that's been stolen

- someplace else, and it's...
- Festus, Festus, will you relax?

Will you just relax

and come on in here
and cool off with a beer?

- Did somebody say beer?
- Yeah! -But...

You heard what the
lady said, barkeep.

(speaks indistinctly)
some beers.

- (talking indistinctly)
- (coughing)

Sam, you take care of them.

- Yes, ma'am.
- (overlapping chatter)

Wait! All right! All right!

Just go over there to a table
somewhere and sit down.

Way over there! I'll
bring the beer to you.

Sam, that is one
thing that a feller feels

clean down to the
marrow of his bones!

And this here is just
one of them things.

Well, I've been feeling
that for the last 50 miles.

(all talking over each other)

Sweet Billy!

You are a sight!

Festus, what have
you done to him?

Orabelle, I love you plumb dear.

But I just got to ask
you one question.

Where's your pa at?

Why, he's right here, son.

Glad to see you
boys made it back.

Say, looks like you
might've had a bit of trouble.

Ooh, you'd best
run along, Orabelle.

This is a man's business.

I ain't going anywhere till
I find out what's going on.

Pony, I believe that
I've heared someplace

that you've been out of town.

Yeah, I've been out of
town for a couple days.

Just got back this morning.

You was out getting you
some stock, was you?

As a matter of fact, that's
exactly what I was a-doing.

Got you some mules, I bet.

Say about these many?

Now, how did you boys know that?

Oh, I don't know.

Now, what's going on?

You just hush.

Pony, maybe you ain't heared,

but, uh, somebody
stoled our mules.

Your mules?

Why, you don't say.

Well, now, ain't that
sheer providence?

You boys needing a team and...

and I just happen to have one.

You know something, I just
had me a feeling that you might.

Oh, now, now, they
ain't a scrubby bunch

- like that last batch you got off of me.
- Oh! Oh, no, no.

This here's a real team.

- Real good team.
- Yeah, mm-hmm.

Yeah, well, there's only
one thing wrong, Pony.

See, we ain't got us

no contingency money.

Well, now, I know that.

But I'll tell you
what I'm gonna do.

I'm willing to advance
your company

the money it'll take
to buy them mules.

Uh-huh, $40 a head.

Oh, no! Remember
our little talk?

- Price has gone up.
- Oh, of course.

These mules is gonna cost you...

$75 a head.

Y-You're a-fixing to give
us all that much money

just 'cause you're marrying
into the Haggen family?

(laughs) Well, not exactly.

Uh, say for, uh, 50% of the
Haggen Hauling Company?

That's nigh onto half, ain't it?


What have you did with Ruth?


Not yet, Emery.

Just let me peel him just one.

Not till I find out what
he's did with Ruth.

What are you talking about?

- Oh...!
- Get him! Get him!

Duck, Uncle Festus!
I'll bring him down!

Duck! Get out of the way, Emery!

Not till I find out about Ruth!


Gonna killed someone!


I told you not till I find out
what he done with Ruth.

We lost him.

He's went to ground!

Fiddle! I can foller
them tracks anyplace.

Come on.

I told you he went to ground!


You get that rope over yonder.

And I'll go in and drag him out.

Well, hold on now, Lambert.

There ain't no
call to get no rope.

We ain't gonna
have to tie him up.

Why, he'll walk back

just as gentle as
a milk pen calf.

Well, he ain't a-gonna walk
one step past the first tree.

And that's all the walking
Pony Beal is going to do.

Hang him?

- Yup. Hang him.
- Hang him.

Wha...? You ain't got
no reason to hang him!

You going agin us, Festus?

That's a Haggen law.

Them as tries to
put out our lights

gets their lights put out first.

Well, I-I know it is, but...

Sweet Billy, he's a-fixing
to be your daddy-in-law

if you let him live long enough.

Uncle Festus, I don't
think he likes me.


Sweet Billy, you keep
your eye on Festus.

He's a snikey little yay-hoo.

Emery, let's go glom

onto that mossy-horned
old moose.

Hey! Uncle Festus!

Uncle Festus, you
come back here!

Uncle Festus, I'll shoot!

I'll shoot! I'll shoot!



FESTUS: Matthew?!

Matthew, they're fixing
to hang old Pony Beal!

Hang him?!

Just the same as admitted it,

he-he knowed all
about our mules.

Even got a team to
take the place of them

- he stole.
- (Dillon shouts indistinctly)

I'm telling you now he's as
crooked as a dog's hind leg...

What are they doing here?

Well, they probably came back
for some food and protection.


They have more sense than some
people I could name around here.

Now, let's get going.

All right.

Get up, Ruth! Come
on, come on, Matthew.

Here we go.

Oh, come on, boys!

(grunts) Let me down, fellas!

You're a crazy bunch of galoots!

They got a law agin this!

He's a raunchy old
scrudder, ain't he?

He's been at this
now half an hour.

I'm a-getting plumb tired.

Cut me down, fellers!

What are you trying
to do... hurt me?

Aw, come on, boys.

You sure we ain't
left something out?

Well, this is the way it
looks in them picture books.

I haven't never saw
me a real hanging.

Me, neither.

And I can't even see this one!

You daggoned bunch of amateurs!

You don't even know
how to hang a man proper!

Oh, yeah?

- Well!
- Let me down, fellas!

You're a crazy bunch of galoots!

They got a law agin this!

Aw, come on, let
me down, fellas!

Whoa! Whoa!



Pony, you all right?

EMERY: Went and
opened your gravy-sopping

mouth and told him, didn't you?

You ain't no Haggen.

You done shamed
us. You shamed us all!

Wait a minute! Hush up!

Who's it look like
that is right there?

Your riding mule Ruth.

That's just who it is.

Them other four come
back all by theirselves.


We're purely sorry, Pony.

W-We done did
a-a terrible mistake.

I-I'm sure glad that you
didn't take them mules.

'Cause we wouldn't want
a mule thief in the family.

All right, I think
you three have done

about all the damage
you can do out here.

Now, I want to talk to
you in town. Let's go.


And I demand that they be held

for, uh, what do
you call it, uh?

Slaughter of a man... me.

- Ow, Doc!
- Oh, hold still.

It's my right as a citizen.

And, Marshall, you're
gonna be my chief witness.

Uh-huh. Well, that's
all well and good, Pony,

except for one thing.

It's gonna take me a
little while to figure out

where all this livestock's
been disappearing to.

I had a little talk with
that prisoner on the train.

I just had the feeling
that maybe you might want

to leave town before
Lambert and Emery here.

Come on, Orabelle.

We ain't gonna hang around
where we're not wanted.

No, Pa, I ain't going anywhere.
I'm already spoken for.

Now, look here, girl, I told you I
wasn't gonna give my consent!

I don't need your consent. I
just found out that I was 18.

You ain't but 17
or, uh, thereabouts.

It's not so. It says so in
Doc's office, don't it, Doc?

- It's what it says.
- DILLON: All right, now, you two

can settle that later.

Right now, as far as
you three are concerned,

I want you out of town
by noon tomorrow.

(all cheering)

Hey, I worked things
out plumb good, didn't I?

I got an Orabelle
for Sweet Billy!

And I got the Haggens
reading and writing!

And it don't cost us no $500!

Now, hold on a minute, here!

I could make that
midnight tonight, you know.