Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 11, Episode 21 - My Father's Guitar - full transcript

A stranger riding through stops for water at a ranch. When he feels forced to kill the rancher for taking a joke too far, he tries to bury him but stops when some riders come up. After he reaches Dodge, everyone finds out how precious his guitar is to him but maybe too late.

(dramatic theme music playing)

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(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

(birds singing,
chickens clucking)

(hoofbeats approaching)

Afternoon, mister.

This the way to Dodge?


Mind if I water my horse?


Hey, boy, what you got here?

Well, now, that's a
mighty nice piece of wood.

You play music?

Yeah, some, uh...

Put it back, will you, please?

Oh, I won't hurt it.

You afraid I'd have hurt it?

(strums discordant notes)

YOUNG MAN: Mister...

That's old. It might break easy.

Here, why don't... why
don't you give it to me,

and I'll play something for you?

Oh, heck, no.

Tell you what.

I'll play for you.

How about that, huh?

- Huh?
- (strumming discordant notes)


- Give it to me, give it...
- Whoa, now.

You're not very sociable, boy.

Come to my place, ask for water.

You're not very sociable.

What if I said I
want my water back?

Now, you listen.

I'm gonna play you
something real pretty, huh?

(plays discordant notes)

Now, is that pretty?

Huh? Is that pretty? Huh?

Now, you mind your manners.

What are you doing this for?


I'm just funning.

- (tapping guitar)
- Stop it.

(tapping continues)

Stop it!

Stop it!

- Stop it!
- (tapping continues)

(man grunts)

You take one more
step, I'll bash you.

(yells in pain)

I didn't mean no trouble.

I was just funning.

(theme music playing)

(man panting loudly)

(horse neighing)

(hoofbeats approaching)

(lively, indistinct

(people shouting happily)

ALL: Hey!

Happy birthday, Doc.

FESTUS: All right, be still.

Quit your jawing.

Hush. Hush up,
everybody. Hush up.

I got a little spiel
I want to make.

Now, Doc,

before you start to huffing
and a-puffing on that candle

and making wishes
and stuff like that,

I got something
I want to tell you.

Now, they's been a story
going around this town

that old Doc here
is 64 years old.

Well, now, I don't think
that's fair to old Doc,

and I just want to
tell you all the truth

right here and now.

Actual, he's 84.


Come on, Doc, tell us
how old you really are.

Yeah, come on, Doc, tell us.

- Yeah, Doc.
- (overlapping chatter)

All right, all
right, I'll tell you.

I'm old enough to
have good sense,

and that's more than I can
say for some folks around here.


Everybody together now.

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ Which nobody can deny ♪

♪ Which nobody can deny ♪

♪ Which nobody can deny ♪

♪ For he's a jolly good fellow ♪

♪ Which nobody can deny. ♪

(cheering and applause)

- Evening.
- Evening.

My name is Kitty Russell.

I own this place.

Do you play that guitar?


Well, we're having a little
birthday party here tonight

for the town doctor.

Would you mind
playing us a tune?

If I have something
to eat, I'll play.

Well, certainly.

Doc, looks like we're gonna
have a little entertainment.

What would you like to hear?

Well... Well, my gosh.

Well, whatever you want to
play, young man, that's fine.

Just go right ahead.

Uh, Sam, would you bring
up another barrel of beer,

in case we run short?

Right away, Miss Kitty.

What's your name, young fella?


Jason what?

Just Jason.

(strums guitar)

(plays slow, gentle melody)

(plays dramatic flamenco music)

(plays slow, melancholy passage)

(plays dramatic passage)

(song ends; applause
and cheering)

(lively, overlapping chatter)

Jason, help yourself to
the food and pull up a chair.

- Thank you.
- FESTUS: Don't eat too much, though.

We want you to play some more.


(whistles) Marshal Dillon!

Marshal Dillon!

Ho. Ho.

- Marshal Dillon?
- What's the matter, Sonny?

Come here, I'm gonna show...

I want to show you
something here.

- What do you say, Festus?
- Howdy, Sonny.

Lookie here.

I found him stretched out
with a knife wound in his chest.

That's what done it.

That there's old Jed Woodard.

Got that piece of
land out south of town.

You know him, Matthew.


Where'd you find him, Sonny?

Well, I was a-ridin'
by his place, Marshal.

He owed me $24.

Six months he owed
that there money.

Funny... There was
a grave dug nearby.

Now, it might have
been just a hole,

but I knowed old
Jed never dug that

because I ain't never
seen him hit a lick of work

as long as I knowed him.

Well, now, did you see
anybody else around there at all?

No, sir, not a soul,

but I sure would have liked
to see'd somebody then.

You know, talking would
have made me feel a lot better.

Riding with a dead man
can get awful spooky.

Well, thanks a lot, Sonny.

I'll take over from here.

Oh, Marshall, Jed
didn't have any kinfolks

you knowed of, did he?


Well, I was just
a-wondering, you know,

being's he owed me
all that there money,

I was wondering if I
could claim this mule of his.

Well, I'll check into it
and let you know, Sonny.

A couple of you fellas, give
me a hand here, will you?

Festus, old Happy sure could
use a pulling mate, you know.

He-he ain't like he used to be.

Just don't you fret now.

Matthew will work something out.

Well, I know, but, uh,
business has been real bad.

I mean, real bad.

Oh, times is hard all over.

You know, Festus, I always
said you had a heap of sense.

How about me and
you having a little snap?

You mean, you're
fixing to buy a drink?

Well, I'm gonna
pay for the first one,

and then after that there,

you're gonna pay
for the next two.

Oh, you got it all
figured out, ain't you?

Well, now, wait a
minute, now, Festus.

After that there, I'm gonna pay

for the next three,
and then you gonna...

Whoop. Whoop.
That old dog won't trot.

I have saw you
drink, Sonny Starr,

and after the first two drinks,

you don't even know
what territory you're in.

- No...!
- (Sonny cackles)

If I'm gonna drink,

I want to drink with
somebody can hold up his end.

I ain't gonna go in there...

- (Sonny cackles)
- I'll tell you.

I know you, you know. You...

Well, you ain't got enough money

to buy a rassling
jacket for a garter snake.

(Sonny cackles)

And you want me to come
in here and spend my money.


Been waiting for you.

Well, here I am.

(cackles) Just can't lose.

Just can't...

You're a dead man, Jack.

One of us is,
and that's for sure.

Church is out.

Festus? Festus?

Festus, come here!

Come and see me!

What are you squawkin' about?



Matthew, you
better get out here!

There's fixing to be a ruckus

right here in the
middle of the street!


- (laughing)
- (whoops, laughing)

You pull iron like
old Boze Mason!

Hey! You weren't exactly
Sam Bass, you know.

All right, that's
enough of that.

Break it up, folks. Move along.

Now, let's get
the gun belts off.

- Ah... well...
- Come on. Take 'em off.

Sorry, we were just trying to
give the folks something to...

talk about when they
gather themselves

around the fireplace, Marshal.


You can pick these up when
you get ready to leave town.

In the meantime, take my
advice and behave yourselves,

or you'll wind up in jail.

You're just dang lucky you
was a-dealin' with Matthew

in place of me, 'cause I'd-a got
on you both like ugly on a ape.

I'd a-drug you right down to
that jailhouse by your spurs.


(playing guitar)

That's just like fingering
the mane of my pony.

(both laughing)


(song ends)

That-that was beautiful, Jason.

Thank you, Mattie.

(quiet laugh)

Well, good night, Jason.

Good night.

Miss Kitty.


See you tomorrow?

Mm-hmm. Tomorrow.

DAN: Hey, barkeep!

Would you bring
us a little bottle?

Sorry, we're closing.

I could just stay here
all night and listen.

THAD: I agree with you.

It's very good, Jason.

Miss Kitty, you want me to,
uh, stay and help you close up?

No, no need for that.

Thanks just the same.

I'll see you tomorrow.


Good night, Miss
Kitty. Good night, Jason.

Good night.

- Good night, Thad.
- Good-bye, Sam. Bye.

- Here you go, Sam.
- Thank you.

All right, that's all for
the Long Branch tonight.

Oh, now, come on!

I want another drink!

You heard the
lady. We're closing.

Nobody's arguing with you.

Just sell me a bottle,

and old Dan and me'll have...

the rest of our
evening to ourselves.


Only I want some music!

No problem.

No problem at all.

Alls we got to do is take
the boy on over to the hotel,

and we got music all night long.

Not tonight.

- Wasn't asking you, honey.
- (Dan chuckles)

I was talking to you, boy.

I don't think so.

You don't think so?

Why don't you come
back tomorrow night?

There'll be more music
and more drinks then.

That's not very friendly, now.

Alls we're asking is a little...

Where are we gonna
get some music, Jack?

Look, why don't you take your
friend here and bed him down

somewhere before
he falls flat on his face.

Let me have the ledgers, Sam.

- I'm gonna start on the books.
- Sure.

Would you mind
locking up for me?

- I'll take care of everything.
- Thank you.

- Good night, Miss Kitty.
- Good night, Jason. -Hey!

Hold up, boy. Come on.
Let's have a real stomper, eh?

(chuckles) No, thanks.

No music, no fun, no nothing.

Well, Jack, I think I
just found my music.

- Hey. Give me that bottle.
- Hey.

I want to tune it up!

- (mimics guitar strumming)
- You're getting paid.

(crickets chirping)

(Dan humming drunkenly)

Ooh. Ooh.

Say, guitar picker. (chuckles)

Hey, now you mind, boy,
or get yourself stomped.

(chuckles) Hey, boy,

strum-de-dum me a
little song, will you, huh?

(mimics guitar strumming)

Ah, that's a sight friendlier.

Nows, alls we're asking
is a little strum-de...


- De-dum... (laughs)
- (mimics guitar strumming)

Come back tomorrow.
I'll play all you want then.

- I'm-I'm getting tired. I want...
- Well, I ain't tired.

I'll play myself.

Don't touch it.

- (grunts)
- Hey!

What'd you go and
do that for, now?

He didn't mean no harm. Hey!

Hey, boy!

Thank you, Jack.

Hey, what's the matter
with you anyway?

Huh? You afraid to
hurt that guit-box, boy?

(chuckles) You afraid old Dan
here don't know how to treat it?

Well, it's a fact... he don't.

But I do.

How 'bout it?

I'm gonna get it anyway.

Huh? Huh?

Huh? (shouts)



Hold it right there.

KITTY: What is it?

- It's Jason.
- I'll get Doc.

You'd better bring
the marshal, too.

All right.

All right there now.

Here, I want...

I want you to lie
back down there.


- There, just easy.
- (moans)

All right, now,

just breathe out all the air
you can there for a minute, son.

A little more. Exhale.

More yet.


Well, now I know
that's gonna hurt,

but the tighter I get this,

the better you're gonna feel.

Where's my guitar?

Mm, I don't know a
thing about your guitar.

I want...

No, now, here, here,
here. Wait a minute.

You do as I tell you to... I'll
tell you when you can get up.

You just lie there.

- KITTY: Doc?
- Oh, Kitty.

Come on in.

Did they bust my guitar?


Not a scratch on it.

- I'll just put it down here.
- (moans)

Now, young man, I want
to have a look at that hand.


It's got to be cleaned up some.

(quietly): How is he?

Well, he's got some broken
ribs and they're pretty painful

and he's beat up pretty
good, as you can see there.

But he's young and he's strong.

He'll bounce back in a few days.

Here, hold this
for me, will you?

I didn't know guitar playing
could be so dangerous.

This might sting
just a little bit.


What did Matt do
about those two drovers?


That's all my money, Marshal.

Don't worry about it. Let's go.

In there.

No, no.

You wait over there.

All right.


Hello, Thad. Don't
you ever get any sleep?

I was until I heard
about this ruckus.

Festus told me these
guys were looking for fun.

That's kind of a rough way to
do the looking, wouldn't you say?

(chuckles) Well,
soon as they sober up,

they're gonna be leaving Dodge.

Well, that's a good thing.

Where'd you get this?

DILLON: Oh, belongs
to one of them.

THAD: You ever seen it before?

DILLON: No, why?

Belongs to Jed Woodard.

Jed Woodard?

Are you sure?

Well, sure, I'm sure.

Couple weeks back,
he was in a poker game.

In the hand before
the game ended,

a fella had a pair of jacks.

Now, Jed had him
beat... Everybody knew it.

But Jed didn't have any
money to put up for it.

So this fella said that he
could use this $20 gold piece.

But Jed carried it around
his neck all the time,

sort of like a good luck charm,
and he wouldn't part with it.

Make us some coffee, will you?

I'm gonna sober these two up.

All right, you two, get up.

Get on your feet.


Take it easy.

- Here.
- Thank you.

(sighs, coughs)

It's hot.

I serve cold beer
and hot coffee.

Well, looks like
you're gonna live.

Yeah, I think I might.

I'm feeling... I'm
feeling much better.

When did you start
playing that guitar?

Most of my life, I guess.

I can't remember
when I-I started.

Don't do...

(strums guitar)

My father played.

Oh, you should have heard him.

This was his.

You know, I can't remember
ever meeting anybody

from around these parts
that plays a Spanish guitar.

The Flamenco.


Actually, my father was, uh,

with Maximillian's
army in Mexico.

And, uh, the first time
he heard flamenco was...

was on the first time
he saw my mother.

She was dancing,

and, uh...

he loved the sound of it.

And he loved her.

It must have been
a beautiful love.


He loved her so much
that when she died,

he died himself... inside.

All those years,

he, uh... he waited for
her to be with him again.

He's with her now.

This is all that's left of him.


I think maybe you
ought to get some rest.

You know, Doc laid the law down.

I guess I'll get that rest now.

Didn't kill anybody, Marshal.

I told you half the
night, he give it to me.

I know what you told me.

Now I want to hear the truth.

Hey, heat this up
some, will you?

(Jack sighs)

Oh, it ain't like we
told you, Marshal.

He didn't give it to Dan.


Well, we took it from him,

but we didn't kill him.

You just stuck a knife in him

and took the gold
piece off of him.

Oh, no, it weren't
like that, Marshal.

I told you they
wouldn't believe.

Believe what?

When we come by the
place, we saw him laying there.

He was already dead.

He was already dead
when we got there, Marshal.

Oh, look, Marshal,
we had a lot of fun,

we acted a little stupid
since we come to town,

but you got to believe me,
now, we didn't kill nobody!

DILLON: Well, why
didn't you tell me the truth

in the first place, then?

Oh, well, it don't roll
off the tongue too easy

saying you stole
from a dead man.

Marshal, you got to believe us.

We-we never killed nobody.


Marshal, he was dead
when we got there!

We didn't kill him!
He was already dead!


Ha! Just can't
lose, just can't lose.

- Another?
- Sure. Tails.


I just can't lose.

(Sonny cackles)

I mean it.

Well, hi, boy. How
are you feeling?

A little stiff, Sam.

Could I... could I
have a cup of coffee?

Sure thing, Jason.

Oh, what do you say, Jason?

- My name's Sonny Starr.
- Howdy.

That sure is a pretty
guitar you got there.

Well, thank you.

Oh, Sam... he was a-tellin'
me how you can play that guitar.

Oh, think it'll be a
while before I play again.

I sure do like that music.

You know, you look like
a travelling man to me.

If you ever got
the urge to travel,

I sure wish you'd
join up with me.

You know, I figure a little of
that "flapmapmenco" music

you play on that guitar

might drum up a
little business for me.

- You can't never tell.
- (strumming guitar)

Oh, I guess it'll be a
while before I play again.

Well, anytime, sonny.

I'm sorry, son. I
just plumb forgot.

I just heard what happened.


Sam, give me another drink.

I just can't lose.

(glass clinking)

Just did.

(Sam chuckles)

You know...

Jason, them two
cowboys was a little tough

on a rancher nearby.

You know what they done?

They killed a man.

Marshal Dillon got 'em locked
up over in the jail over here.

You know how they killed him?

With a knife right in the chest.

I was the man who found him.

With a knife?

With a knife.

They started digging
a grave, I'd say.

I just can't figure out

why they didn't finish
up and bury him.

But that way, I probably
never would have found him.

But you know something?

Might have saved
them from hanging.

Wait a minute. Jason?

Wait a minute. Jason!

Oh, Jason?

I don't mean to push none,

but I sure do think it would
be a good business proposition

if you'd join up with me.

I'll give you a good
percentage, and all you got to do

is bang out a tune
or two on that guitar.

When are you leaving Dodge?

Any time, son, any time you say.

- Tonight?
- If you mind.

Yeah, I guess I can't
stay in Dodge much longer.

- 10:00?
- 10:00, right here.

You gonna see that
little gal before you go?


You gonna see that
little gal before you go?

Yeah, I figure I might.

(Sonny cackles)

Ain't bad.

(Sonny cackles)

(door creaking)





(blow thuds)

(keys jingling)

(crickets chirping)

(bullets clatter to ground)

(footsteps running)

Come on, Jason.

Ain't you got no bag?

No. Let's go.

I hear you talking.

(whistles) Get out of here!

(whispers): Hey, Danny?

Hey, Danny, wake up!

Look, I got the keys.

How'd you get those?

That guitar player
threw 'em in the window.

(keys jangling)

Don't make too much noise.

(keys jingling)

(click, keys jingle)

Jack, look.

Oh, boy.

- Is he dead?
- No, and it's a good thing.

- They'd blame us for that, too.
- Well, what's the difference?

You only hang once.

Let's get out of here.

Hey, Danny, why'd
that kid help us?

Well, I'm not gonna sit here
and try and figure that out.

All I want to do is get
out of this lousy town.

Yeah, but maybe it's a trap.

Well, I'll take a bullet
over a rope any day.

Hey, Danny, what
about our money?

Money?! Forget about the money!

Hey, wait a minute.
Don't go out there.

They're gonna see us.

We'll go out this way.

(lively piano music
playing in distance)

Hey, we can't walk out of town.

We ain't gonna walk.

So, where'd they put our horses?

(horse sputtering)


We are gonna do the first thing

the law has got a
right to put us in jail for.

Easy, Jack.

We don't want to...

We don't want to
attract any attention.

(Dan clears his throat)


- Thad, you all right?
- Yeah, I...

All right, easy now.

I think so.

All right, sit down over there.

What's happened here?

I don't know.

I was bringing some wood
in, and... the roof fell in.

Well, they must have had
some help getting out of here.

(keys jingling;
Thad groans softly)

(man laughing)

Hey, my horse.

Hey, that's my horse! Hey!

Hey, that's my horse!

Hey, somebody
just stole my horse!

Gonna be kind of hard
to track them at night.

(keys jingling)

MAN (outside):
Somebody stole my horse.

Marshal, are you in there?

I want to talk to you.

Look, I seen 'em... I seen
'em riding out of town.

Now, I may be a
little liquored up,

but nobody gets my horse!

SONNY: Get up in there.

Get up in there. (whistles)

Get up. Get up in there.


You can stay the night
if you're a mind, Jason.

No, let's water the mule,
like we planned, and move on.

Get up in there, Happy.

I got a feeling that this
little musical come-on

may do the trick.

It's a lot better than
working at the Long Branch

for a living, ain't it?

(grunts) Yeah, I guess it is.

- Hey, Dan!
- What?

Whoa. Hold it up, Dan.

That horse is so wind-broke,
he's near ready to drop.

We'd have been better
off if we stayed on the road.

Yeah, and that's the best way
of getting found I can think of.

All right, come on.

- Where are you going?
- I'm going back.

- To Dodge?
- Yeah.

You're gonna hang.

No, I won't hang.
I didn't kill nobody.

Uh-huh, and all of a sudden,

somebody back there's
gonna believe you?


No, sir, I'm going on.

- Hey, Dan.
- What?

It's the kid.

What kid?

The kid who
busted us out of jail.

Oh, yeah, that is
him, isn't it, huh?

I want to figure out
why he's so generous

after we kicked in a rib or two.

Come on.

Hey, wait for me!

Yeah, you and me's gonna

do real well as partners, Jason.

Be good being on the
move all the time, anyway.

Look at me.

It's the good life.

(hoofbeats approaching)


You got the wrong ones, mister.

I ain't got the price.

- Just be quiet, peddler.
- You old... -I know you two.

Come on, peddler, climb
aboard; get out of here.

What are you gonna
do with that boy?

Why, you...

- Just get your...
- Give a hand, sir.

Now, I... Nothing I can
do, son, I wish I could help.

Get out of here, peddler.

Getting out. (whistles)
Get up in here.

- Come on. This boy...
- Come on, inside.

You didn't wait
for us to thank you.





We're not gonna hurt you, kid.

And me and my
partner, we owe you a lot.

What for?

Well, for busting
us out of jail.

Yeah, that was very nice of you.

How come, kid?

How come what?

How come what, he says.

- (laughs)
- How come you're so helpful?

Well, what's the difference?

What's the difference?

Now, look, we ain't got time.

You know, right about now,
half of Dodge is out looking for us.

You hurting, boy?

Got a little busted
rib here, huh?

Tell me something.

Why did you bust us out of jail?

Come on, now,
that's a fair question.

You're out, aren't you?

Now, is it important?

We were put in there for
something we didn't do.

We had no part in that killing.

If we keep running now,
it's gonna be hard to stop.

So if I'm gonna run
for a killing I didn't do,

- well, might as well...
- Hey.

Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh.

Think you could outrun a bullet?

One more time.

How come?

What do you got there?

Easy, boy. Hold on.

Hold on, boy, you
cut me with that knife,

and you're gonna
make me shoot you.

I should've let you hang.

For what? For a killing
maybe you done?

No, you ain't gonna
do nothin' with that.

You're too smart for that.

That how you done it?

That rancher was
stabbed there, wasn't he?

Look here, you... you
can see that's the truth of it.

Isn't that right? Isn't it?

With that knife, you did it.

Didn't you? Come on, talk, boy,

- spit it out!
- Hey!


- Come on, get back here.
- Come back here, boy.

Come on, now,
hold it up or I'll shoot.

(guns clicking)

DANNY: Jason. Come back here.

Come on, boy, we
ain't gonna hurt you.

Danny, we better split it up.

You go on over there,
work your way in.

You find him, whoop-de-do
him over toward me,

I'll start him in from
this other direction here.


He can't get too far.
These woods ain't that deep.

- Right.
- And Danny... don't kill him.

Without him, we can still hang.

All right, now.

DAN: Jason!

Jason, come on back here, boy!

We ain't gonna hurt you.

Come here, we only
want to talk a little bit.


Come back here, Jason!

Come here, boy! We
ain't gonna hurt you!

Come on back here! Jason!

Danny boy!

Where are you?



JACK (in distance): Jason!

Come on back here, boy!


Hold it right there, boy.

Hey, Danny! I got him!


Now look, boy, I'm
tired of chasing you.

You gonna keep running,
I'm gonna shoot you in the leg.

There, now look at what you
went and gone done to yourself.

I told you, didn't
I? I told you.

Aw, you're bleeding pretty bad.

I'd tie something
around that leg.




Hold it.

The kid did it, Marshal.

He killed that rancher and
now he's knifed my partner.

Jack... How bad is it, Jack?

Well, I ain't dead yet.

Get this thing out of me.

That rancher tried to
break my father's guitar.

Tell Miss Kitty...


That's a sad
waste that boy died.

Strange, the things a man
can find to kill over, isn't it?

Well, I guess sometimes

it's kind of hard to
try to figure people.

Kitty, I came to that
conclusion a long time ago.

Well, he was sick.


When you think about
it, it's kind of frightening.

What do you mean?

Kind of sickness he had...

you know... medical
science teaches you

how to take
bullets out of people

and fix broken legs
and cure a baby's colic

and the measles and a
hundred other things, but...

How do you get
inside of a man's head?

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