Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 11, Episode 24 - Honor Before Justice - full transcript

The Osage Council has found Two Bears guilty of murder. His daughter rides into Dodge seeking Matt's help but he's out of town chasing horse thieves so Thad tries to help. He finds out that he and Matt are really riding the same trail.

(dramatic theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

(crickets chirping)


You have heard the
words against Two-Bears.

And you have heard his answers.

It is you, the council,

who must decide
where the truth lies.

(twigs continue snapping)

I do not believe what has
been said against my friend.

You have witnessed the
decision of the council, Two-Bears.

In three days, you must die.

The council has spoken.

Well, at least one of his
old friends stood by him.

Grey Horse and Two-Bears
fought together in the war.

Grey Horse was
blind to the evidence.

There are too few
of the old chiefs left.

You're making a mistake.

I am leader of the council.

I did not decide against him.

You didn't speak
for him, either.

It is the law of the Osage.

You have lived among
us long enough to know.

I know this:

He did more for the Osage
in dealing with the army

than any of the other chiefs.

There are those who would
not have dealt as meekly

with the army, Agent Franklin.

WOMAN: Agent Franklin?

Sarah, you shouldn't be here.

You know that.

The council grounds
are forbidden to women.

I know my father is innocent.

Do you really think
you have to tell me that?


Cannot the white
man's law help him?

This is a tribal matter.

There's no place for
the white man's law.

It's over, Sarah.

I'm sorry.

(theme music playing)

DOC: Kitty!

Hold it.

(Doc clears his throat)


What are you up to?

Well, I'm gonna
do some shopping.

Well, I was on my way
down to have a beer with you.

Well, it's gonna
take me a little time.

- Oh, well, thunder.
- What's the matter?

Nobody's where
they ought to be today!

Matt's not in his office.
Festus I can't find...

Well, the two of them
rode out early this morning.

They're going fishing.

Oh, no, no, they're riding
out to the Herkimer place.

Oh, I forgot about it.

Something about
some stolen horses?

Yeah, there was some shooting.

I patched up a couple
of them last night.

How long you gonna be in there?

- Well, an hour or so.
- Oh.

Look, why don't you go
on down to the Long Branch

and talk to Sam? He's there.

I don't want to talk to Sam.

Why not?

Well, he's not as
pretty as you are.

(Kitty laughs)


Are you the marshal?

Well, is there anything
I can do to help?

You're too young.

Well, I'm not that young.

You are the marshal?

No, I, uh, was just helping
out until the marshal gets back.

When will he be back?

Well, I can't tell for sure.

Something wrong?

My father is going to die.


Unless I get help.

Well, it's not the
marshal you'll be needing.

What you need is a...

Oh, Doc, this young lady
here needs some help.

Well, you look pretty
healthy to me, young lady.

Oh, it's not her,
it's her father.

My father is not sick.

Well, you just told me
that he was gonna die.

Medicine will not help him.

Well, wait a minute, here.

Your father's gonna die
and medicine won't help him?

What's-what's the
matter with him?

They're going to kill him.

Who's gonna kill him?

The council.

They say that he killed
Samuel Brightwing.

It's not so.

You're Osage, aren't you?


Well, I know a lot
about your people,

and I'll tell you something.

That council is not
gonna kill anybody

without evidence.

They say they found his
knife in Samuel's back.

It's not so.

I think maybe we
ought to get Matt.

Oh, he couldn't do
anything about this.

It's out of his jurisdiction.

Well, the reservation's
in the district.

Well, inside or out, Thad,
it makes no difference.

They have their
laws. It's in the treaty.

In the mission
school, we are taught

that the white men's
ways are good.

My father did not kill.

Yet you are going
to let him die?

Can't we get Matt
to do something?

Well, he can't break a treaty.

And that's exactly what he'd
be doing if he went out there.

No, I know that this doesn't

seem right or fair to you, miss.

But there's just
nothing Matt Dillon

or anybody else
can do about this.

Then my father will die
for something he did not do.

It isn't right, is it?

No, but my gosh,

they have a right
to their laws, and...

well, they have a
right to their laws.

That's all there is to it.

Thad, you may
cause a lot of trouble.

Soon you will see my
father, and you will know

that he couldn't do
the thing they say.

Where are they holding him?


Well, while he's
waiting to be killed.

My father is not an animal.

He's not being held.

You mean he's just
walking around, free?


I don't get it.

There are things that
he must accomplish

before he faces the
council's decision.

Well, why doesn't
he just run away?

My father?

Well, you said he was innocent.

He is.

Well, if he is, and
they're gonna kill him...

My father is a
chief of the Osage.

It is Sarah, daughter
of Two-Bear.

And a white man.

There's no time
to deal with them.

The others are waiting.

We must go.

Been going on for
pert near a week now.

Three times they've come.

Why'd you wait so
long to tell me about it?

I figured I could
handle it by myself.

Yeah, and how many head have
you lost handling it by yourself?


14 head.

You never caught
sight of any of them?

Well, me and a
couple of the boys

near caught them yesterday.

Run them out towards
the barranca country.

Yeah, and you got
shot up pretty good

for all your trouble,
too, didn't you?

Well, they doubled back and
hit us from the top of the bluff.

Meantime, some of the
others were back here

helping themselves
to more of my horses.

I'd have lost them all if it hadn't
been for my foreman Andy.

Do you know where
he is right now?

Laying in Dodge
with a bullet in his leg,

right betwixt two of your
wranglers, that's where he is.

Yeah, and if Doc
hadn't come to me,

I still wouldn't know about it.

Oh, yes, you would.

My other two hands quit me.

And seeing as how you
couldn't run the spread

and catch horse thieves to boot,

why then, you'd
call in Matthew, huh?

It ain't fair stomping on a man

what's lying on
his back, Festus.

Aw, foot.

I got what's left of my
mares outside in the corral.

And you don't have
any idea who's behind it.


I don't run a big
outfit, marshal.

I haven't got much of a crew.

Or I didn't have much of a crew.

Well, whoever it is figures
that your place is easy pickings.

Well, maybe it ain't much,
but I ain't gonna be run off.

I'll tell you that much.

Well, Herk, I'm afraid we
can't stay around very long

and give you much help.

I didn't figure you could.

Well, now, look, as long as you
can't get any more crew anyway,

why don't you come
on into town for a while

till this thing blows over?

Marshal, I've been on
this land since before

John Brown was breathing fire.

By Judas, I'll stay...
On it or under it.

Uh-oh, Herk, looks
like you got visitors.

If they're looking for
work, they've sure got jobs.

Well, now, looka there.

Couldn't be better timing.

You know 'em?

Kind of looks like my sorrel

that one fella's riding.

If it is, that's my
best brood mare.

Golly Bill, Matthew,

this could be our lucky day.

Well, now, let's
just wait and see

what they got on their minds.

Won't be a long wait,

you can bet your
Sunday socks on that.

All the hired men have run away.

Only the old man remains.


But do not forget,
you are white men.

You will not take his scalp.

That will come later.

You will only take his horses

and whatever weapons you find.

Then burn the buildings.

Wah Hopeh will protect you.


(gunfire continues)

(gunfire continues)

You all right, Herk?

I'm all right.

FESTUS: Why, there's a Injun,

dressed up like a jayhawker.

Looks like an Osage.

Well, Matthew, I've saw this
feller in Dodge a time or two.

You said Osage.

It was Osages tried to trade me

for some guns a few weeks back.

Well, what in the tarnation
they want with guns?

They don't have
to do no hunting.

They got vittles a-plenty.

in the hands of Indians

only mean one thing.

Yeah, but we
ain't had no trouble

with these Osages in 20 years.

Trading for guns
and stealing horses,

that's a troublesome
pair if I ever heard of one.

Well, how do you
figure it, Matthew?

I don't know. I think I'll
ride over to the reservation,

see what they've got to say.

You think you can
get into town all right,

with your shoulder
hurt like that?

Don't you fret none about me.

Festus, why don't
you get a wagon

and help get him into town?

Well, Matthew, I was fixing

to go over to the
reservation with you.

You're liable to run into
a regular hornets' nest.

Well, he's going to have to
have help getting into town.

Besides, I'm going
to need you in there

to look out for
things while I'm gone.

Well, all right,

but you're liable to need
some help, you know.


This is where my father lives.

You will talk to him?

I'll try.

Please stop them
from killing him.

You are the only one
who has listened to me.

Even my father's
friend, Agent Franklin,

has turned his back on me.

I'll do whatever I can.

Wait here.

I will bring my
father to meet you.

This is my father,

This man has
come to help, Father.

He is a boy.

He's a friend from Dodge City.

Your daughter told me
of the council's verdict.

My daughter was wrong
to tell you of anything.

Even if the decision was unfair?

I've been sentenced
according to the laws of my tribe.

And what if the law is unfair?

By what right do you
judge what is or is not fair?

I'm not judging.

It must be shown
to all who will see.

The council's decision must
be obeyed by all the Osage.

Father, please.

Now this thing is done.

Cannot be stopped.

Your daughter
doesn't want you to die.

She doesn't believe
you killed that man.

My daughter knows
I did not kill this man.

And yet, you're going
to let them kill you?

There'll be no more
talk between us.

You will go now.

I'm sorry.

My father's friend, Grey
Horse, did not choose for death.

He believes my
father did not kill.

Could he be of some help?

Somebody must.

Very soon, somebody must.

- Howdy.
- This is Osage land.

I know it is.

What do you want?

Well, I come to see
one of your people.

Who would have
dealings with a white man?

His name is Grey Horse.

And I believe he's a
friend of Two-Bears.

We know who he is.

Turn back, and you
will not be harmed.

I figure on seeing Grey
Horse first, then I'll ride on.

You will not interfere
in Osage justice.

You haven't the right.

It's not interfering
I'm planning on.

I just come out here to see
if something can't be done.

Two-Bears will die.

Seems that way.

And you will go.

After I see Grey Horse.

You timed that just right.

Just stand easy, young fella.

- Take off the gun belt.
- What?

Don't "what" me.
Just do what I said.

You're in trouble, boy.

Would you mind explaining to me

how I can save
myself from two Indians

and I be to blame?

You're trespassing
on Indian land.

I'm not trespassing.

My name is Elias Franklin.

I'm the Indian agent,
and you are trespassing.

Well, Mr. Franklin,
I'm not trespassing.

I was brought here by an Indian.

You were what?!

Girl named Sarah came to me,

asked me if I couldn't
help her with her father.

Came to you?

Well, she wasn't looking for me.

She was looking
for Marshal Dillon.

You work in the
marshal's office.

Not exactly.

Did Dillon send you here?


I'm not a lawman.

It's just that the
marshal was out of town

and this girl needed help,

so I came out here
to see what I could do.

Your "seeing what you could do"

could cause a lot of
trouble, do you know that?

I just came out here to talk
to a man named Grey Horse.

And you attacked a
young buck on the way.

I didn't attack him!

I'm not gonna sit here
and argue with you.

Just come along with us now

before this thing
gets so far out of hand

that I can't control it.

Control what?

Never mind what!
Just come along!

Now you wait a minute!



My debt to you is finished.

It is so.

Two-Bears, what
of your daughter?

My daughter?

My trade is good here.

I can provide well for her.

My woman and I have talked.

She could come and live with us.

That is kind of you, old friend.

I've made plans for her.

Good-bye, Two-Bears.

(stone clinking)

I heard you were arrested.

I'm sorry I caused you trouble.

It wasn't your doing.

If you had not come
to help my father,

Agent Franklin would
not have arrested you.

I did what I thought was right.

But now you are in here,
and I cannot help you.

Look, I told you it
wasn't your fault,

and you're not to
worry, you hear?

FRANKLIN: so the
council had no choice

but to sentence John to death.

That young friend of yours

I got locked up over there
thought he could stop it.

(chuckles) I probably ought
to let him stew in jail a while,

but I'm afraid I'm
gonna need him.

Come on, I'll have him released.

I still don't understand

what all this has got to
do with the stolen horses.

I'm not sure it has anything
to do with it, but since you say

those young bucks were
trying to trade for guns...

Well, that's what this fella,
Herk Crawford, told me.

Well, the past six months
or so, there's been a split

between the older people
and some of the younger ones,

and the council
tried to stop it.

What kind of a split?

Well, you know the pride
of these people, marshal.

Somehow, they
got all stirred up...

The younger ones, that is...

And the way I hear
it, they are looking

for a return to the old ways.

Hm. Some of those old
ways can be a little bloody.

I know.

Now, what's John-Two-Bears
got to do with it?

Well, he was one
of the loudest voices

to speak against
them in the council.

He really wanted to
set 'em down hard.

Uh-huh. Well, all I really
came here for was to find out

about the stolen horses
and the gun running.

I'll have the agency
police help you if you want.

Well, if I were you, I'd
look into this situation

before the army
has to handle it.

Oh, there's been
peace for 20 years.

They wouldn't make
any kind of a move

that would necessitate
anything that drastic.

Well, six weeks ago, I
wouldn't have figured that they'd

be stealing any horses, either.

Come on.

I will be finished soon, Father.

That is for Spotted Deer.

He has often admired it.

Yes, Father.

We will ride to Grey
Horse to talk about you.

May I not stay here?

It would be wrong
for you to live alone.

I will be alone, no
matter where I live.

Do not say such things.

I think them.

Why may I not say them?

What I am doing is right.

So that the young men
will be given an example

of how an Osage
should obey the council?

The words of the council are
only spoken among the men.

But at night...

the men lie down
among their women.

From them I've heard
of the would-be warriors.

They must not fight.

They must learn that the
council's decision in all things

has to be obeyed.

I am selfish. I only
think of my father.

I have no choice.

I wish you had
never been a chief.

I wish you had just been
one of the many that followed

instead of one of
the few that led.

That's not true.

I'm proud of you, father.

But I love you.

And in love there
is no room for pride.

You have no choice,
and I have no answer.

It's near here where
they jumped me.

How much farther is it to
where Grey Horse lives?

Well, the way Sarah told
me, it's pretty close now.

(hoofbeats approach)


This is Osage reservation land.

I know.

Then you are not lost.

No, I'm here to see you,
if your name's Grey Horse.

You wear a badge
of the white man's law.

I'm a United States
marshal from Dodge City.

You are here to see me?

That's right.

I will listen.

I understand you're a friend of
a man named John-Two-Bears.

Now, if there's any connection
between his sentence for murder

and these stolen horses...

Horses? Stolen?

If you had any influence,
we could hold things up

until we've had a
chance to investigate.

What have the Osage
to do with stolen horses?

Well, one's been killed and
two have been wounded so far.

You are sure they were Osage?

The man I found had this on him.

That's Osage medicine, isn't it?

Wah Hopeh.

The war medicine of the Osage

when they were
a fighting people.

And I took this
one off of a brave

who tried to kill me back there.

Now, if these two
are some of the ones

that have been causing
trouble on the reservation...

I know of no one
causing trouble.

Agent Franklin told
us a different story.

It is a tribal thing, to be
handled by the council.

It may have to be handled by
the army if it gets out of hand.

Now, John-Two-Bears
talked in the council meeting

against these two men,
and a couple of days later

he was accused of murder.

Something you yourself
refused to believe.

The council has decided.

Two-Bears himself
has accepted this.

So must we all.
There's nothing I can do.

But if there's a
chance to save his life?

The white man has
laws by which he lives.

Some of them seem strange to us.

But they are the
white man's laws.

For him, they are good.

Would you heed an Osage
who asked you to change them?

(hoofbeats approaching)

The time grows
short, Grey Horse.


This man is a marshal of Dodge.

I have heard of Matt Dillon.

I've heard of Two-Bears.

Do you think to
bring your law here?

Only long enough to
catch some horse thieves.

It would seem they were Osage.

Maybe one of the men you
spoke against in your council.

Do you think these horses
are stolen? They are not.

They're all I have left.

I bring them to you, old friend.

Sorry to have bothered you.

I'll catch up with
you in a minute.

After tomorrow,

my daughter will come
to you to be your woman.


Please go now.

But your father just...

There's no point
talking about it.

Are you gonna live
with Grey Horse?

He's alone.

The day after tomorrow
I will be his wife.


He's my father's friend.

I will do as my father says.

Well, that's as wrong
as his being killed.

Grey Horse was a great warrior.

Like my father, he's a chief.

I will be honored
if he accepts me.

You know that's not so.

Wait a minute.

If you're so almighty
concerned with what's truth

and what's right, then look at
me and-and tell me that again.

It is the custom of my people.

Like it's a custom to die for
a murder you did not commit?

You can't understand.

Well, then, explain it to me.

Explain it to me the
way your father explained

why he's got to die.

You have been my friend.

I'm very grateful.


No, you don't explain
it by avoiding it.

Good-bye, Thad.

And thank you.

Thank you for being my friend.

(whistling in distance)

(different pattern of
whistling in response)

(whistling in distance)

- (hooting in distance)
- They're all over the place.

Yeah, they've been
following us half the day.

They're just keeping tabs on us.

I haven't seen any signs of 'em.

If we get closer
to those horses,

we'll see plenty of sign.

I'll make you a bet.

What's that?

I'll bet they're wearing those
Wah Hopeh whatchamacallits.

And another thing...

If we find the ones
who stole the horses,

we'll find the ones
who made it look like

Sarah's father killed that man.

Better get some sleep, Thad.

We'll start out
soon as it's light.

Well, I hope we
find them in time.

(whistling in distance)

(bird-like cooing in response)

(squawking in response)

(bird-like cooing in distance)

They have not found the horses.

And they must not.

It would be very
simple to kill them.

They sleep like old women.

To kill them would only
bring in other whites.

The time is not yet ready.

But if they come
upon the horses...

In that event, we
have no choice.

But only in that event.

Soon we will be strong enough.

Soon we will have enough
horses and guns to give our braves.

And the cry of Wah
Hopeh will fill the land.

I swear to you and the others,

one day soon the
white man will be driven

from the land of the Osage.

Any sign of horses?


Well, if they're around here,
we'll find 'em somewhere.

Did you see any of those
bucks that were following us?

No, just once or twice.

Who are they?

That's Franklin's Indian police.

Oh. Well, I hope they've
had better luck than we have.

Yeah. Let's try up
here toward the rocks.


I am ready.

When the shadow no
longer touches the stones,

it is the time.

(wind whistling)



(horse sputters)

(horse whinny in distance)


(distant horse neighs)


(horse whinnying in distance)





Look out behind you, Thad!

That was good
shooting, Thad. Thanks.

Those horses must be
around here someplace,

if they're showing
themselves like that.

There's a couple of dozen of
'em in this canyon right below us.

We were told to bring
help if you need it.

As a matter of fact,
I can use some.

There are a couple of
dozen horses over here

you can take back
to the agency for me.

Keep them covered, Thad.

Come on.



(hoofbeats approaching)

(chief shouts)

Who are you?

I'm a United States Marshal.

You have no right here.

Would you rather have the army?

What does this mean?

You want to tell
him, Grey Horse?

Tell him what?

This man's a horse thief.

What's he doing wearing that?

Wah Hopeh.

Indian war medicine taken
from Osage horse thieves?

We found 'em up a box
canyon near here, well hidden.

That is your horse, isn't it?

We found him among
the stolen horses.

Then it was taken from me.

Or maybe you just
added him to your remuda.

Why should I do
a thing like that?

Well, the men that are
following your Wah Hopeh

are gonna need all the horses
they can get, aren't they?

I know nothing of the
followers of Wah Hopeh.

What about that cache of
rifles we found up the canyon?

I know nothing of them!

That's not what he told us.

Grey Horse is a great leader

who will bring back the
Osage to their place of honor.

It was he who killed the
one who would not join us.

He took the knife
of John-Two-Bears

and killed Samuel Brightwing

because Two-Bears
spoke against the greatness

that was to be ours again!

It was Grey Horse who
gave us the medicine

of the great Wah Hopeh!

We are to be punished,

we will accept it
proudly and honorably,

like the great Osage
warriors that we are!

The Osage have
no need for warriors.

We are at peace.

The old days are past.

Only a fool would
relive them over again.

We will handle this
matter ourselves.

The council will meet
tomorrow to decide.

And the guilty ones
shall be punished.

All right, fair enough.

Well, Eli, that, uh, worked
out better than I'd hoped for.

I want to thank you, Marshal.

Could have gotten pretty messy
if we'd had to call the army in.

Well, we have Thad
here to thank for that.


Well, it sure wasn't
any of my doing.

Course, if things had've
worked out differently,

we might have had the whole
Osage nation down on our necks.

That's right.

Instead of having just a
few hotheaded young bucks,

we might have had
a thousand of 'em.

Now, wait a minute...

I guess we can consider
ourselves pretty lucky at that.

Better get mounted, Thad.

We got a lot of riding to do.

There are a lot of people
indebted to you, Thad.

Thank you, Mr. Franklin.

Would you mind if maybe
I come out here sometime?

Whatever for?

Well, it all depends on Sarah.

Anytime, Thad.

Anytime at all.

Thank you very much.

- Thad...
- Hello, Sarah.

I want to thank you for
my father and for me.

Thank you very much.

Well, that sounds kind of final.

I will not see you again.

Why? Are-are you
going someplace?


Well, now, I just
talked to Mr. Franklin,

and he said it was all right
if I come out here again.

Oh, please do.

I'd like that very much.

Bye, Sarah.


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