Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 11, Episode 28 - By Line - full transcript

A wagon is shot at and run off the road to Dodge. Festus comes along and helps the occupants, the new owners of the newspaper. He is rewarded with a job as a reporter even though he never learned to read or write. The stories he chooses to write about stirs up more bad feelings than he expected.

Starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

What in the Sam Hill
are you trying to do,

you knuckleheaded stump skunk?!

I hope you turn that rig over
and roll halfway to Dodge City,

you good-for-nothing
flea merchant.


There's times when a Haggen
just don't realize his own powers.

I wouldn't make a
sudden move, stranger.

Well, not if I was
you, I wouldn't.

You're looking at about

the slowest-moving
critter that ever lived.

He ain't one of
them, Uncle Angus.

I told you to stay
put and to stay shut.

But this here's the fella

we pert near run over
back down the trail.

That's true.

I got a good look at him.

Well, it is true you're not
one of them I recollect,

but you could be
a hired gun for 'em.

I could be, but I ain't.

How could he be hired by
'em when he was in front of us

and they was
behind us all the way?

Now look, laddie, when
I want any lip from you,

I'll ask for it.


what you say does make sense.

Of course it does.

I ain't one of them fellers
that shot them holes

in the back of your wagon. I...

whoever they are.

See, I-I come from Dodge City.

Uh... I'm a...

wagon builder.

Er... I used to be.

I-I mostly do repairs
now for friends

and folks that needs my help.

You don't say.

Oh, yeah. Us Haggens knows
more about building wagons

than the feller
that invented them.

And I suppose you charge
like a wounded buffalo.

Oh, golly Bill, no.

Just whatever a
body's willing to pay.

See, I-I depend
on my feller man.

I ain't never been cheated yet,

especially by somebody that's in

a heap of trouble and
needs me to help 'em out.

Well, now, me name's
Angus McTabbott.

This is Jocko, a sort
of unofficial nephew

that, uh, sort of adopted
me some few months back.

I'm Festus Haggen.

Well, why don't we have a
look at that wagon wheel?


- Oh, hello, Doc.
- Matt.

Come on in.

Be with you in a minute there.

I just got a little
paperwork to finish here.

Well, if your paperwork's
going off to Washington,

you've missed the train.

The next one isn't till tomorrow
morning. You know that.

Yeah, I know.

What's all the rush?

Got to get done some time.

Well, do you suppose
you could take time out

for a cup of coffee?

Oh, that sounds good.

By golly, you seem to
be taking this awful calm.

What's that?

Well, Festus... New
job and everything,

new newspaper
gonna open up here.

Didn't you hear about that?

Oh, yeah, he was
in here first thing.

Wanted me to
check up on this fella.

I think McTabbott was his name.

Wanted him to find out
if he's wanted by the law.

Yeah, well, is he?

No, not as near
as I could figure.

Pretty good, isn't it?

He stops and helps
somebody out on the prairie

fix a wagon wheel or
something, winds up with a job.


And a newspaper
reporter at that.


Well, yeah. Thought you
said you knew about it.

No, I didn't know about that.

I thought he... I thought he
was gonna sweep out, or...

What's he gonna report?

He can't even read or write.

Well, I tell you one thing.

One word he can spell,

and I got a hunch he's
gonna be spelling it.

That's trouble.


Must not be a bullet
left in Hays City.

I got that there sign
nailed up, Mr. McAngus.

It's McTabbott.

Angus is me first name.

Well, fiddle, it don't
make no difference.

You knowed who I was
talking about, didn't you?

That's not the
point, Mr. Haggen.

Accuracy. It's the very
lifeblood of a newspaper.

Well, when we was a-loading
up them bottles this morning,

you told me that
printer's ink was.

A different metaphor
for a different occasion.

As a reporter, you
just remember this.

No matter what you
say about anybody,

always remember to
spell their name right.

Well, I-I've been meaning
to tell you about that,

'cause we just could
have us some trouble

about that from time to time.

Trouble? Why should
there be trouble?

You can always ask a
man his name, can't you?

Or ask someone who knows him?

Well, it ain't that,

'cause I know everybody's
name for miles around.

Like I was telling you,

I know everything there is
to know about Dodge City,

upside down and backwards
and crosswise and sidewise, but...

Then what trouble could we have?

Well, it-it ain't gonna
make no difference

that I don't know how to read,

'cause I'm gonna know
what's in the paper,

but this here
spelling thing... it...

Are you saying you can't write?

Growed man, and you
don't know how to write?

Well, I reckon you can.

Sure. It's easy.

Smart aleck.

Now, wait a minute.

I need a reporter that
knows this town inside out

to get the right kind of stories

that'll make folks sit
up and bark for more.

Hmm. And to sell
advertising, too.

Advertising? What's that?

Oh, I'll tell you
about that presently.

So, it doesn't matter
that you can't write.

Jock here will do it for you.

Well, I quit.

I ain't gonna have
that little ol' scamp

a-following me around.

You don't have to.

You can tell him your
story right here in the office,

and he can either write them
down, or set 'em up in print.

Yeah, but how would I know

that he's gonna write
down what I tell him to?

Because if he doesn't, he knows
exactly what'll happen to him.

I'd get whaled, I reckon.

Ah. Within an inch
of your life, laddie.

Within an inch of your life.

Well, just long as he
ain't underfoot all the time.

He ain't.


Well, then I reckon you'd
better start to telling me

what advertising
means, Mr. McAngus.

It's McTabbott.

Angus is his first name.

Now, there we are, Mrs. Preeker.

- Just put it right there.
- All right.

And we put this one.

Right, I think you
better hold it. That's it.

- Now, hold it tight.
- All right. I...

One more package now,
and slip it right under there.

Thanks. You're all set.

- All right.
- All right, all set.

- Thank you, Jonas.
- Ah.

Oh, look out!

- That's the window.
- Oh.

- Here's the door right over here.
- Oh. This.

I'm sorry I couldn't help
you out with the packages,

but my back's been
plaguing me all week.

- There we go. That's just...
- All right, Jonas.


Look out!

Golly Bill, it's hard to tell

whether that's a human
being or a pack mule, ain't it?

You know, that's a
very fine lady, Festus.

She's real quality, that woman.

Always pays cash.

Two dollars and 37
cents she just spent.

Some weeks'll go even higher.

Jonas, by a
remarkable act of fate,

you might call it,

that's what I've came
here to talk to you about.

You mean about Mrs. Preeker?

- No, about money.
- Oh.

Well, now, Festus, I'm
just sorry as all get-out,

but business hasn't
been too good,

- so I couldn't see my way clear to...
- Well, no.

Just hold your 'taters now.

It ain't what you think.

Now, I came here to help you.

No, well, I-I can't afford help.

I-I can barely make
ends meet, see?

Well, then, I'm just the
feller you'd ought to talk to.

Now, Festus, there is
not enough work here

to keep two of us busy.

Jonas, I ain't
asking for no job.

I done got me a job.

You have?

Well, of course I have.

I am the Dodge City
Clarion, The Voice of Truth.

You don't mean to tell me...?

Well, I do mean to.

You ever heared of advertising?

Yeah, I've heard
of it, I-I reckon,

more or less, you might say.

All right, here's
something you ain't heared.

There's more millionaires
that's got their selves rich

over advertising than
you could shake a stick at.

Well, Festus, I ain't got
nothing against being rich.

All right, you just
perk up your ears,

'cause I'm fixing to explain
to you how she works.


You see, when a feller's
got some goods in his store...

I ought to whop the
daylights out of you.

What for?

For being late again. I...


Oh, I thought that
you was the young'un.

Oh. No, I'm afraid not.
My name's Matt Dillon.

I'm the United States
Marshal here in Dodge.

You, uh, Angus
McTabbott by any chance?

I am.

And what can I do
for you, Marshal?

Well, I'd like to ask you
a couple of questions.

About what?

Well, about, uh,
what was the last town

you were in and
why did you leave?

Why, uh, I was in
Hays City, Marshal.

And you might say I left
there... Well, to better meself.

A man's got to get
ahead, Marshal.

Uh-huh. You know, I, uh,

I dug those three bullets out
of the tailgate of your wagon.

I was just wondering if that
might have had any bearing

on your, uh, decision
to leave Hays.

Marshal, you might've
noticed that I call my newspaper

The Voice of Truth.

And that's just what it is.

I print the truth,
the whole truth

and nothing but the truth.

But sometimes it seems

to rub folks the wrong way.

Well-meaning folks.

They just can't take it.


They run me out of town.

Well, I'm sorry to hear that.

Marshal, I'm an honest man.

To me, a fact is a fact,
and I call it just that.

And if some
people can't stand it,

well, there's nothing
I can do about it.

What's this you got here?
Is this the new edition?

Yes, the front page.
Now, how do you like it?

Well, I don't like that.

And I'll tell you somebody
that's gonna like it

a whole lot less
is-is Merl Benlan!

Merl Benlan, now let me...

He's that rancher I
was telling you about!

Got his start a-rustling
cattle over in East Texas.

Ah, yes, that one.

You can't print that.

Why not? Festus
here says it's true.

Well, of course it is, Matthew.

Everybody knows that.

Well, they think they know it,
but it happened a long time ago.

It's been forgotten.

Now, it's water
under the bridge.

But if it's the truth...

It doesn't matter whether
it's the truth or not.

People aren't gonna like it.

And you two are liable
to get yourselves shot.

Ol' Merl does come to a boil

pretty fast once in a while.

Marshal, 'tis the duty of
the press to print the truth.

And it's the duty of the law
to protect honest citizens

going about their
lawful business.


Well, now, let me ask you
something, Mr. McTabbott.

Did the law protect
you in Hays City?

There wasn't any law.

At least none worth mentioning.

Mm-hmm, and I'll bet you
didn't hesitate to print that

in your paper, probably
on the front page.

A fact, sir, is a fact.

Well, maybe ol' Merl
won't even read this paper.

You want to bet?

Well, Matthew, if you
think this little ol' item

is gonna stir up a
ruckus, wait till you see

some of the things I've dug up.

I've got me some pearl
button bangle Billies right here.


Well, sorry to
hear that, Festus.

You know, I'd kind
of gotten used to you.

I'm gonna miss you around here.

Oh, I ain't figuring
on leaving town or...

You still intend
to go on printing

these articles then, I
take it, Mr. McTabbott?

Marshal, if I have a fault,

it's being too honest.

- Truth is the truth and ju...
- All right. All right.

"Truth is truth."

Welcome to Dodge, Mr. McTabbott.

- Thank you, sir.
- Yeah.

Good luck to you.

All right, let's have a look
at the rest of those articles.

We've got a
newspaper to bring out.

Get your Dodge City
Clarion, The Voice of Truth!

Get your Clarion!

Get your Clarion! The
Dodge City Clarion!

The Voice of Truth!

Is Festus Haggen in here?!

Oh, there you are.

Howdy, Mr. Benlan.

You want to get shot here

or come out in
the street for it?

Well, what would I
be getting shot for?

For this!

You white-livered groundhog!

What give you the idea you
could call me a cattle rustler

and get away with it?!

Is that what it says in
the paper there, is it?

You know that's what it says!

Well, how could I know that

when I can't read.

You don't have to read!

It says here you're the
reporter for the local news!

You're the one that
put it in the paper!

Well, how could I do
that when I can't write?

You keep talking, you'll
claim you can't breathe.

And when I get through
with you, it'll be the truth!

Now, wait a minute, Mr. Benlan.

Now, you just ain't got no idea

the trouble that we've had

to getting that paper
started in this town.

You're running into
one of them right now!

Oh, oh, but, Mr. Benlan...

why, we've even got
a nine-year-old boy

that's wrote some of them items,

been a-setting
up the type for us.

Are you saying a
nine-year-old boy

wrote this story?!

That's what I'm saying.

How would a nine-year-old
boy know about me rustling

them cattle back in East
Texas before he was even born?!

I've been wondering
about that myself.

Fact is I'm fixing
to ask him that.

Now, look it here, Haggen.

I don't know nothing
about no nine-year-old boy.

But I know what I want
from you right here right now!

I want a public apology!

Now, start talking!

Now, Merl, hold it!

Now, put the gun down.

Go on.

Now, Merl, you know
better than to go around town

stirring up trouble.

It's him that's
stirring up the trouble!

Him and that-that-that-that
out-of-towner he's working for!

And it ain't just me!

They've made a lot of
folks around this town

madder than hornets!

Merl, I, uh, I
know all about it.

But you know your running
around waving a gun at people,

that's not gonna solve anything.

Now, why don't you go on over
and have a beer and cool off?

Some other time, Marshal.

"Nine-year-old boy."

Haggen, you've not
heard the last of this!

You wait!

Well, Festus?

Ah, big blowhard,

a-huffing and a-puffing.

He don't scare me none.

Mm-hmm. Well, now,
let me tell you something.

As near as I can figure from
reading this morning's paper,

there's gonna be about
six or eight other people

who feel just that way.

Matthew, there ain't nothing
in that paper that ain't the truth.

Well, that's fine, but you
know, there's other ways

of handling the truth
besides spreading it

all over the front
pages of the newspaper.

Well, good morning, gentlemen.

Miss Kitty.

Kitty, what are you
doing with all that sugar?

You gonna bake a cake
for the whole community?

Well, I'll use it up eventually.

But at the price I
just couldn't resist.

"Price"? What do you mean?

Well, didn't you read
the notice in the paper

about the general store?

Jonas has got a special
price on sugar today.



Well, it costs him
more than that.

What's the matter... Is
he crazy or something?

I don't know.

All I know is I saved
80 cents on the deal.

I'm gonna put this away.
I'll be back in a minute.

"Notice in the paper," huh?

Festus, you wouldn't by
any chance have any idea

why Jonas is selling, uh,
sugar at half-price, would you?

Well, of course I do. It's
on account of advertising.


Yeah. Mr. McAngus explained me.

And then I explained Jonas.

Yeah, would you mind
to, uh, explain me?

Oh, be glad to, Matthew.

You see, it's easy once
you get the hang of it.

Now, what a feller
does, he goes to work

and he puts an
advertisement in the paper

saying that he's fixing to
sell sugar for half-price today.

And that brings
folks from all over

that ain't never been
in his store before.

Well, that's true.

Clab Chummer has his
store at one end of town

and Jonas has his at the other.

They don't usually change
customers too much.

Yeah, bu-but you see, that's
where the advertising comes in.

'Cause all them folks
that's a-been a-trading

at old Clab's store,

they read this here
notice in the paper,

and they just come a-hightailing
it over to ol' Jonas' store

to buy that cheap sugar, see?

Well, I'll tell you, Festus,

that sounds fine
except for one thing.


You wind up with one more
man wanting to take a shot at you.

Don't you understand
for every customer

that Jonas gets, Clab
Chummers loses one.

And if you think that
Merl here's got a temper,

well, he's a baby
compared to Clab Chummers

when he gets mad.

Seems to me you
only got one problem.

Which one of them's
gonna put a hole in you first!

Hey, Jonas, what'd I tell you?

You tell me later.

I got folks going out
that door empty-handed.


Take this. Give me a hand.

Well, fiddle, I don't know
the prices nor nothing.

All right, ask somebody
or make a guess.

Well, I didn't...

Uh... in the paper bus...

Is there something I can
help you with, ma'am?

No, there is not!


It appears your old customers
don't matter no more!

Oh, I'm real sorry,
Mrs. Preeker.

What can I do for you?

Well, nothing that
you couldn't have done

30 minutes ago
if you'd a mind to.

Well, I'm real sorry,
but you see how it is.

Now, what do we have
on our shopping list today?

I ain't got no list!

A body can't shop decent-like

with the place
swarming with strangers!

I know one thing
you're gonna want!

I got a new shipment
of dried apricots!

The best crop in years.

I don't want no apricot!

All I want is sugar.


How much did you
want Mrs. Preeker?

20 pounds.

"20 pounds"?!

Yes, and I want someone

to help me tote it to the buggy!

Yes, ma'am. I...

I'll sack it for you.

Excuse me.

Oh, fiddle.

What is them consarned
things anyhow?

They are sponges.

Bath sponges.


Well, here, you just put them in
this poke and take them home.

But I don't want to
buy a shopping bag!

It's for free!

So's them things
whatever they are.

- And you just enjoy them.
- Well, I never...

- And come back again real soon.
- Well, I, well, I never...

- Would you? Because...
- Well, thank you, Festus.

Clab! Well, h-how are you, Clab?

Well, if I ever saw

a bunch of sneaking, lowdown,

cheating turncoats

I'm looking at them now!

- Clab?
- You know the ones I mean.

The ones that sold me
out for a mess of pottage,

and come down here to trade.

After all the years I've been
treating you fair and square!

Clab Chummer,
get out of my store!

I got as much right to
be here as the next man.

Who knows? I may want
to buy a pound of sugar!

I'm all out.

It wouldn't surprise me.

I'd sure like to know who
put you up to this, Jonas?

You're not smart enough
to think of it yourself!

And if I ever get my
hands on him, I'll...

That's enough!

Clab, you get moving!

Don't worry.

I'm leavin'.

It isn't pleasant to stand here

and see those that
you called friends

collecting their
30 pieces of silver.

Git, git!

All right!

If that's the way you want it,

I'm going to cut
the price of sugar

ten cents a pound, not eight,

and I'm taking
four cents a pound

off of the price of flour.

Get out!

And that goes for Jonas'
customers as well as my own.

We Should go over
to his store to shop.

Clab. Clab.

Say, have you ever
heared of advertising?

I mean, like in the
paper where you put

a special thing in the paper...

Jonas, what are you
fixing to put in the paper

for advertising next week?

Can't make no special on sugar

'cause everybody's
done stocked up on that.

Festus, stay out
of them peanuts.

How many customers would
you say come in this store today?

Oh... maybe 300.

Maybe even more than that.

It's hard to say.

Pert near every one of them
went out with something, too.

I just worked my fool legs off

trying to keep up
with this business.

Well, I know you did.

You must have made
a washtub full of money.

I lost $18.43,

and that doesn't count them
peanuts you set there and et.

You lost...?

Well, there was a heap
of folks come in here

and they bought a heap of stuff.

They just was a-carrying
it out of there in armloads.

Yes, they was.

And most of it was sugar.

I haven't got a pound
of sugar in the store,

and I don't get another
shipment for three weeks.

You and your advertisement.

That cheap sugar,
that-that'll bring 'em in,

and then they'll just buy
all kinds of other goods.

A fat lot you know
about customers.

And don't you ask me

what I'm going to put
in that paper next week.

I ain't gonna put nothing in it,

not next week,
not any week ever.

Jonas, I know
how you feel, but...

but the way things stand now

you're just gonna have to do
some advertising next week.


Because Clab's a-fixing to.

Well, when you see some
of the specials he's got,

it'll just curl your hair.

Fine. Let him go
broke if he wants to.

Yeah, but then you ain't
gonna have no customers at all.

I'll lock that door,
I'll go fishing.

Wait a minute, Jonas.

Now, let's not lose our heads.

We gotta figure
something out here.


Got me a idea.

I don't want to hear it.

Supposing you was to go to work

and mark everything in
the store down ten cents.

Are you trying to bankrupt me?

Wait a minute
now, I ain't done yet.

Before you do
that, you go to work

and you mark everything
in the store up 15 cents.

This is even more
harebrained then...

Get your Clarion,
Dodge City Clarion,

The Voice of Truth!

Get your Clarion,

The Voice of Truth!

The Voice of Truth!
Get your Clarion!

Dodge City Clarion,
The Voice of Truth!

Get your Clarion.

Dodge City Clarion...

Here, son, I'll take that.

I'm going back for some more.

I'll be right back.


Well, I wonder who Festus'
new enemies are today.

Yeah, I would like
to know that myself.

He might print one of those
personal stories about me.

Say... I'll bet they'd
be kind of spicy.

I'd like to read some of them.

Oh, you would, would you?

Well, what about you?

What about me?

Well, Festus could
probably tell him

a few things about you.

Well, Festus couldn't...

He couldn't...

Maybe I ought to get
one of those papers.


Good morning, sir.


Uh, these for sale?

Yes, sir, they
most certainly are.

That'll be three cents, please.

Well, that's a penny
higher than the other paper.

And worth it.

Thank you.

I take it you're a businessmen.

Well, you ought to know.

I got an advertisement
here in your paper,

Clab Chummer's General Store.

Of course. Mr. Chummer.

You dealt with our Mr. Haggen.

If you mean Festus,

that scalawag has given me
more trouble in the last week

than I've had in a
month of Sundays.

Him and you together.


Clab Chummer...




Open this door, McTabbott?!

Open up.

Open up!


Open this door!

There we are, now.
Much obliged, too.

And you come again, now.

All right, who's next?

Why, Mrs. Preeker.
How nice to see you.

Don't you soft-soap me.

I've learned the truth.

Oh, that's nice.

I-I'm glad to hear it.

Shut up, you
mealymouthed old weasel.

Please... shh.

Please, nothing.

I know all about you.

Uh, Mrs. Preeker, I
saved something for you.

Five pounds of fresh honey.

It's here in the back room.

Are you out of your mind?

You're not going to get
me in that back room.

You'd probably
knock me in the head

to keep me from telling
what I've just heard!

Essie Benlan told
me what you're up to.

Shh, not so loud. Now,
we can work this out...

Oh, you're not going
to shush me, Jonas.


Listen, everybody!

Did you hear what
this old goat just done?

He marked everything up
before he marked it down,

and these special prices today

are higher than the old ones.

Please, now... now,
don't listen to her.

Why, you know how Mrs.
Preeker is when she gets upset.


Do you recollect what these
were selling for last week?

Well, I do, because I
bought some of them.

They was five cents a pound

and now they're ten.

You was trying to pull a
cheat on us, and you know it.

Well, if the rest of you
want to stay around here

and shop and be cheated,
that's your business.

But I'm not going to.

When you get right down to it,

it wasn't as much Jonas' fault

as it is that
newspaper's in town.

- Just like Merl Benlan said.
- Heh, um...

Everything was just fine

until that newspaper started
throwing rocks in the pond.

Marshal, you ought to
arrest that fellow McTabbott.

Um, yes, ma'am, I'm-I'm
gonna think about that.


Well, Jonas?

Well, you heard it.

It's true.

I lost money on that
fool scheme last week.

I was just trying to get even.

Well, that doesn't
sound like you.

Oh, I don't know what I
was thinking about, Marshal,

but when Festus described it,
it appeared like it made sense.

Festus, huh?

So he's behind this, too?

Well, it's no more his
fault than it is mine.

Marshal, it's that gol-danged
newspaper that's to blame.

How do you figure that?

Oh, bringing them
newfangled ideas

like advertising and so and so.

Look, that may work Back East,

but that's not our way of life.

Jonas, where's all
your customers at?

You know I just may never
have no more customers,

thanks to your
half-baked schemes?

Something go wrong, did it?

It sure as shooting did.

Festus, what's it going to take

'fore you come to your senses?

Well, golly Bill, Matthew.

I was just trying
to help ol' Jonas.

I wasn't figuring to...

Jonas Finch!

Come on out of there,
you slither-bellied snake!

That's Clab Chummer.

Well, what's the matter, Jonas?

If you've got nerve
enough to lie about a man,

you ought to have nerve
enough to back it up.

Now, I have took
just all I can today.

I'm going out there and shoot.


I knew you were a liar,

but I didn't think you
were a coward, too!

All right, Clab,
this is Matt Dillon.

Hold your fire, I'm coming out.

Jonas, you just
put the gun down.

You're not going anywhere.

I, uh...

I, uh, I didn't know you
was in there, Marshal.

Well, now, stop acting like
an idiot and give me that gun.

But-but he's got
it coming to him!

I'm not going to ask you again.

Now let's go on inside.

I want to get to
the bottom of this.

So do I.

You know, you're just lucky
you're alive, Clab Chummer.

If the marshal
hadn't of stopped me,

I'd come out and
blowed your head off.

If you'd have stuck
your head out that door,

I'd've shot you
so full of holes,

you could read this
newspaper through you.

All right, now, just hold on
a minute, the both of you.

Now, Clab, what
got you so riled up?

I'll tell you what
it's all about.

I'll, uh, I'll read you
what it's all about.

Listen to this.

"The way we get it,

"if Clab Chummers wants to learn

"just what breed of
mangy polecat canine

"he is descended from,

"he ought to ask Jonas Finch.

"We've been informed
that Jonas made

some real strong
remarks on the subject."

That was last week

when you come in
here and got me all mad.

And that ain't
what I said anyway,

but I didn't know it was
going to be in the newspaper.

Festus is the only
one heard me say it.

Hey, wait a minute.

Where is Festus, anyway?

Oh, he's standing over
here behind the door, he's...

Well, he was right there.

He just snuck out.

And do you know why he did it?

He knew what was coming.

He's the one that put
this story in the paper.

Mr. Chummer,

I reckon you'd better
get back over to the store.

That crowd is giving
me a rough time.

- I can't handle them.
- What's the matter?

Well, it appears like
somebody found out

that you marked things up higher
before you marked 'em down.


You, too?

I guess we'd better
get over there.

Marshal, ain't nobody
honest no more?

Mr. McAngus?

It's me, Festus.

Mr... Mr. McAng...

Born troublemaker,
that's what he is.

Sure ain't no sign of life.




Near suppertime.

Maybe he went to
get himself some grub.

Ah, we can come back.

We got plenty of time.

Meanwhile, we'll
round up Slim and Tex

and the rest of the boys.

The more the merrier.

"The Voice of Truth..."

Mr. McAngus.

It's me, Festus.

Festus, stop that racket.

Go 'round the back, you fool.

Did you hear them
fellas talking out yonder?

I did.

Well, you and me ain't
a bit popular in this town.

So I've been hearing.

Well, what are you
figuring on doing about it?

Truth is never popular,

here or anywhere
else, Mr. Haggen.

Honesty has its price,

and people just don't
want to face up to it.

But I intend to do
something about it.

Well, what are you fixing to do?

We're getting out of town!

I didn't ask you.

Is that what
you're fixing to do?

- Yeah.
- Well, what about me?

I'll pay you three days'
extra in lieu of notice.

Well, what good's three
days' extra pay gonna do me

when there's a half a
dozen fellers around town

a-fixing to shoot me?

Maybe you should
leave town, too.

Well, I can't leave town!

I live here. Leastwise, I did.

Ah, these are times for
soul-searching, Mr. Haggen.

You know, this might be a
very excellent opportunity for me

to sneak my wagon
over from the livery barn.

You start breaking
down the press.

Now, wait a minute!

You're still in my employ,

Mr. Haggen.

So, hop to it. Hop to it!

When my uncle sets his mind,

there ain't nobody
that can argue with him.

I don't even try.

Well, I'll tell you this.

If he tries to pack
up and leave now,

he ain't even gonna
get to the edge of town.

My uncle just
won't stay no place

where folks got
larceny in their hearts.

Well, I don't know about
that, but let me tell you

something about some
of these folks in Dodge.

They're the greediest,
cheatingest, double-dealingest

bunch of yay-hoos that I
have ever saw and if I...

You're a real good
cusser, Mr. Haggen.

Never mind that! Now,
you put them things back up

in there and start to
setting up this type.

'Cause we're gonna
get us a paper out.

We're gonna put us out
a one-page special, uh...

Now, all you do
is just write down

whatever I'm a-telling
you to write, you hear me?

Gold! Gold! Gold!
Special edition!

Read all about
the big gold strike!

Gold! Gold! Gold!

Get your Clarion! Gold!

Let's hear it! Gold!

Gold! Gold! Gold!

Get your Clarion!

Read all about
the big gold strike!

Get your Clarion!
Dodge City Clarion!

The Voice of Truth!

Gold strike! Gold! Gold!

Gold! There's
been a gold strike!

Where about?

Pueblo Flats.

Always figured there
was gold in Pueblo Flats!

- And I was right!
- Oh, sure you are.

Could I see that paper?

This cost me a dollar!
Get your own, mister!

Well, I suppose you're
gonna join the gold rush, huh?

Why should I?

If they find any, they're
gonna bring it right back here.

Well, that's a fact.

Say, there's gold out
there. Let's go find it!

- Yeah! -Yeah, let's go!
- Let's go!


Where's this gold
they're talking about?!

Pueblo Flats!

That's a hundred miles away!

What's a hundred miles
when there's gold out there?

Well, I never saw
anything like it.

It takes just one
word to turn a bunch

of normal people
into maniacs... "gold."

You suppose there
really is a strike?

There's no doubt about it.

Says so in The Clarion,
The Voice of Truth.

That's exactly what I mean.

Where are you going?

Got not time to talk, Essie!

Merl, you come right back here!

I'll write you in a few days!

Hyah! Hyah!


Did you hear about
the big gold strike?

Well, in a manner
of speaking, I did.

Ain't you going on it?

Ah, fiddle, no.

The way I figure
it, you can't believe

everything you
read in the paper.

Well, ain't you the strange one?

I wouldn't miss it
for anything myself.


Get in here!

What in the name of
Tophet are you up to?

We sure got them stirred
up, didn't we, Mr. McAngus?

What do you mean "we"?

What I mean is the paper did.

Look, I left you here to
break down the press,

and instead you-you...

Well, leastwise it give us time
to get the wagon packed up.

Them folks ain't
worrying about us.

They all got gold
on their brains, see?

Well, why didn't you
tell me about this strike

instead of spreading
it all around town?

What strike?

Are you saying...?

Do you mean to tell...?

Did you?

Let me in!

- Give me 20 more papers!
- You all out of them?

Boy, you sure had the
right idea, Mr. Haggen.

- Yeah?
- They're buying them like hotcakes!

They are? Well,
get the money out!

I reckon this'll be
the last bunch though.

There ain't hardly
nobody left in town!

Here's the money
for the last bunch.

Get it out there!
Get all of it out!

Hurry up! Hurry up!

Get on out there and start
selling the rest of them!

- Now, go! Get...
- Gold!

Gold! Gold!

Big gold rush!

How much is he
charging for them?

A dollar a piece.

We done made $320!

And we ain't even
done yet! Shoot!

We're gonna make more
money than all them yay-hoos

out yonder looking for gold.

It ain't honest.

Well, I don't reckon it is
honest, but it's a heap better

than getting your tailgate
shot full of bullet holes.

Now, come on. I'll help
you pack your wagon.

Well, come on!

It ain't honest.

Mario, I believe this
here is the best stew

I've ever eat in here.

Tastes like you're
using real beef

instead of burro meat.

Fact is, it's so good,

I'm fixing to have
a second helping.



Well, I'll be a son of...

That's scudder's gone out

on that gold rush.

Some folks ain't
got sense enough

to pound sand for a rat hole.

Oh, howdy, Matthew.

Hello, Festus.

Say, if you ain't
had supper yet,

they's some purty
good stew here.

You got to spoon it up yourself.

There ain't nobody here but me.

Well, no, I guess I'll
just have a cup of coffee.

Kind of, uh, I'm
kind of surprised

to see you here, Festus.

Well, where else would I be?

Well, out there
with the rest of them

at, uh, Pueblo Flats.

Fiddle, I ain't lost
nothing out yonder.

Well, I think most
of them figure

to find something
out there, don't they?

Well, I heared what
it said in the paper.

But I just figured it
was kind of a wild harrin'

A wild herring?

Well, just because
it's in the paper,

ain't no sign it's true.

You mean to tell
me that you think

that Angus McTabbott is a liar?

Well, no.

No, he's honest all right,
but it just could've been

that something got
printed in the paper

that he didn't know
about, you know,

kind of by accident-like.


I'd sure like for you to tell me

how that could be an accident.

Matthew, you hadn't ought
to ask me things like that.

They's such a thing

as professional
loyalty, you know.

Yes, sir, Festus, you
know, I, I sure do admire

your sense of
professional loyalty.

But I tell you, I
don't think you have

to worry about that anymore.

I was just by the
Clarion office over there,

and it looked to me
like old Angus had just,

just packed up his
equipment and left town.

You don't say so!

Without even so much as
a howdy-do or a good-bye?



Sure hard to figure a
feller like that, ain't it?

Well, at least now
you don't have to worry

about the professional loyalty.

Well, Matthew,

it just could be that
Mr. McAngus is a-figuring

on opening up a paper
in another town, see?

And he's a-fixing to write me

to where to come
to work for him.

So, till I hear from him,
well, I'll just keep on

like I'm still working for him.

Festus, I'll tell you something.

You've got an awful
strong sense of honor there.

- Yep.
- Well, I try to have.

You know, I think there might be

something to this idea you had

about-about this
story being printed

without Angus knowing about it.

What makes you think that?

Well, a man like he is,
stranger to Dodge and all,

he'd have no way of knowing

all those stories
about Pueblo Flats

and all the gold that's
supposed to be down there.

Well, I ain't sure I know

just what you're
talking about, Matthew.

Well, now, the surest way
to get about half of Dodge

out on a wild-goose chase

would be to print an
article in the newspaper

about a gold strike
down in Pueblo Flats.

But, you see, uh,

it'd have to be a local man,

somebody that, uh,
knew all about that place.

A-Anybody in mind
in particular, Matthew?

Oh, uh, not exactly.

I'll tell you one thing, though.

I'm sure glad you
weren't mixed up in it.

Oh, that crowd's gonna be mean

when they get back here.

You know, they're gonna want
to tar and feather somebody.

And I don't say
that I blame them.

You reckon they will be?

You know, there's one good
thing came out of it though.

It gives Angus a chance to
kind of slip out of town quiet-like

without all this, uh,

ill favor coming to a head.

Well, that's the whole
idea, Matthew... uh...

I mean, when that
article got printed

kind of accident-like,
you might say.

I sure hope they never

find out who printed it.

Say, you know, ol'
Thad's been after me

for the last week or two
to go a-hunting with him.

And I kind of
promised him I'd go.

- That so?
- Fact is

he asked me about
it just the other day.

So, I think I'll go

look him up.


Wait a minute!

Aren't you even gonna
finish your supper?

Oh, no, I done
ate all I want. I...

I told ol' Thad I'd meet him.

And you know how it is.

A promise is a promise.

Yes, sir, Festus.

A promise is a promise.