Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 12, Episode 8 - The Whispering Tree - full transcript

(dramatic theme music playing)

(both guns fire)

ANNOUNCER: starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.


(horse snorts)

Good luck, and I hope we
don't see you back this way.

All right, folks, let's load up.

You ain't changed much, Virgil.

You're getting $10,000.

Just 'cause I didn't get
caught along with you,

don't mean we
shouldn't share equal.

I paid eight years

for every dollar I got hidden.

You better say quick
$10,000 satisfies you.

I'm due twice that much.

I didn't say I wouldn't take it.

Then meet me in the
rocks east of my farm,

couple hours after sundown.

Stay out of the sight
of my wife and boys.

You saying Ada
and them young'uns

still figure you were innocent?

I'll kill you in a minute, Earl.

Make Dodge City by
noon, if you're ready, mister.

Were you a gunfighter, mister?

Chad Richard!

I'm sorry.

He-he didn't mean it.

He's just a boy.

Take it away.


(theme music playing)


♪ Do-do-do, do-do-do ♪

THAD: He's making
sure that this is

a first-rate building for you.

I'm glad to hear that.

And I'll tell you
another thing, too.

I've never seen
him more particular

about every little thing
he's doing on this job.

Well, I suppose, now,
you're gonna want more

than the 20 cents an hour
we've agreed on already.

Well, you talk like
my foot's asleep.

A Haggen's word is just
as good as your'n any day,

and this here is gonna be
a job that you'll be proud of

and that's my undying guarantee.

- Well, that's good.
- It ain't gonna be like

that other sloppy
job that was did.

Just a minute.

Let me tell you something

about "that other
sloppy job that was did..."

I done! Er...


Morning, Mrs. Stanley.


Pa's coming home today, Festus!

You know, I had just plumb
forgot this was the day.

It's comin' in early, Ma!


You-you, you boys
mind your manners, now.

Shake your Pa's hand proper.

Yes, Ma.




Good morning, sir.


Where's the money, Virgil?

Let's make this a real
homecoming celebration.

You speak up on where
you buried that $40,000

and I'll buy the
cake and candles.

I remember you.

You're the one that
lied in that courtroom.

About all I have to do

is railroad innocent
people into prison.

The only good night's
sleep you'll ever get

is the time you
give up that money.

Leave my Pa alone!


- Whoa.
- MRS. STANLEY: Virgil!

Give me an excuse.

DILLON: Redmond.

Put the gun up.

That private police badge
doesn't give you the right

to go around pulling
a gun on people.

It gives me the rights
with the likes of this one.

Put it away.


Marshal, this is my husband.

- Marshal.
- How do?

Your family has been looking
forward to getting you back.

Why don't you take him home?

Thank you, Marshal.



Well, he finally got here.

I figured.

You ought to give it up.

You got no proof.

Him and his partner were
nothing but hill squatters...

jamming guns in my belly...

burlap sacks over their heads...

like I couldn't smell the stink

of that shacktown they lived in.

Jack Redmond,
famous range detective,

taken by some amateur bandits.

I'll have him dreaming of me

so long as he has a
single dollar of that money.

You know, I, um...

I always felt a sense of pity

for Ada and her husband.

I think you deserve
it more, Jack.

Well, I don't give a hoot.

It's my dinnertime, and I
can spend it any way I want to,

and if Doc don't like it,

he can go chew birch
bark, for all I care.

Well, I was just
wondering, Festus,

being as I know
how anxious he is

to have that stairway
finished and all.

I'm gonna get it finished.

Now, don't you
start to harpin' at me.

Say, did you see Ada's husband

when he come in a while ago?

Yeah, I saw him.

Was he a looksome
kind of a person, is he?

Yeah, he's looksome
enough, I guess.

I reckon there'll
be quite a spell

of gettin' used to
one another again.

Oh, you think so, do you?

Oh, course I do.

People changes after
eight years, you know.

Now, you take them boys:

they practical growed up.

Ada's got more
wrinkles than she had.

And I'll tell you this, Matthew,

a lot more than people
changes after eight years.

There was never
any water here before.

Well, some men from
town built the dam for us.

But it's all so changed.

A lot of work
went into it, Virgil.

I cut down a quarter
section of trees, Pa.

You did not, neither.


Well, Curt helped some.

I done as much as you.

You cut down trees?

CURT: We couldn't clear
all the stumps, though.

Planted around a lot of them.

And then, a couple years
back, we added the barn.

OLDER SON: Some people
from Dodge City helped with that.

You were right to
pick this land, Virgil.

It's made a good farm.

Ada... wasn't there a...

a shelf of stone... near
a gully, nearby here?


not that I remember, Virgil.

CURT: Could have
been washed away

in the flood three years back.

OLDER SON: Yeah, it
cut right through here.

Almost washed us away.

The place... you like it, Pa?



It's fine.

It's real fine.


It's home, Virgil.

You did proud, Ada.

It's what we always
hoped to have.

Thank you for saying that.

It's here because of you.

No matter how bad
things got in shacktown,

we always said
we'd have our farm.

You remember?

We got our farm...

and our boys...

and each other.

All those years of
fixing up this place...

and being alone...

It was for us.

I did it for the day you'd
come home to stay.

You were alone, too, Virgil.

(wind whispering distantly)

You're a good woman, Ada.

That's only the wind.

That place cut out
all sounds of living.

No, it's a funny thing, I...

The-the first night I-I
rode through here...

The-the night that I decided

that this would be a good
section of land to file on...

I heard that sound.

There was a tree

and that funny
sound coming from it.

What kind of sound?

Well, it was dark...

I couldn't see
much but this tree...

But the wind blowing
through it and...

well, I guess you'd say it
was a whispering sound.

Was it a sad sound?

Yeah, I guess you could...
you could call it that.

There's no sadness here.

Not anymore,

now that my man's home to stay.


To stay.

I'll make it up to you.

All we've lost.

You'll see.

What we've lost is gone.

Our whole life's
ahead of us now.

I'm getting tired, Virgil.

I'll be in directly.

It's good to have you home.

(wind whispers distantly)

(wind gusting)

(wind whistling)


I was waiting for you out
by the rocks, like you said,

but you never did come.

I haven't got it.


you ain't got it?

I don't remember
where I buried it.

Are you telling me that

you can bury $40,000
and forget where?

The land's changed.

There are gullies
from the floods.

Trees torn down.

The field's plowed under.

And that.

Well, what kind
of a place was it

where you buried that saddlebag?

Don't you fret
where I buried it.

My only fret's getting
a cut of my money.

I need time.

Well, you got a month's time.

I come back, you have it for me.

You have it, Virgil.

Tell me how come these
here'ns is cheaper'n them is?

Hmm. Roy, how come the, uh,

one of these is
three cents a pound

and the other one's
four cents a pound?

Oh, some of the others got
mixed up with the uncoated, Thad.

But if you want
to take the trouble

of picking over
that cheaper keg,

you can save yourself
a penny a pound.

Good way to save money as any.

Here, give me the poke.

Biggest jar of
peaches Roy's got.

You mean the kind
with the ragged edges

- and the thick syrup?
- Yes, freestone.

I can taste them already.

Roy, this is my husband.

Well, how do you do, sir?

Glad to know you.

What can I do for you?

We want two of the biggest jars

of freestone peaches you got.

Among a few other things.

I'd also like to settle
my wife's account.

Well, no hurry about
that, Mr. Stanley.

Well, no sense keeping
you waiting when I got it.

ROY (laughing): All right.

You'll be surprised
to hear, Virgil,

that, uh, we have the serial
numbers of most of that money.

I wouldn't think
you'd have to let him

put his hands on your
money, Mr. Stanley.

I don't mind.

I'm happy to hear that.

We'll get along
better than I expected.

Need a good sharpening stone.

Got a good assortment,
right over here.

(Festus humming)

Hey, how's the
stair-building business?

Slow, but moving along.

Hey, you two got
the marshal's ear.

Is it true, what's going around?

Is what true?

- About that buried money.
- What money?

On Virgil Stanley's farm.

- They say...
- Now where did you hear that?

Well, around.

Well, I'm surprised at you.

A growed man, a-carryin'
on backyard gossip.

I was only asking.

You'd ought to be
ashamed of yourself.

Now get on out of here. Git!



- Blabbing, blabbing...
- You know, I wonder

if there is something
to that rumor.


Well, it never was found.

Why... you little
scamp, I'd ought to...

Well, never mind.

We got a staircase to finish.

Now come on.

DOC: Finish?

Did I hear somebody
say "finish"?

We're coming right along, Doc.

Not to say nothin' about all the
money we've been a-savin' you.

Well, that's fine.
How'd that happen?

Well, we saved
you a penny a pound

on three pound
of nails that we got

from sortin' out of a
barrel that'd been mixed up.

Three pounds? But
that's three cents.

How long'd it take you?

15 minutes.

15 minutes?!

Well, good heavens, I'm
paying you 20 cents an hour.

That's five cents.

Somewhere in
there, I lost two cents!

You think I ought to
be happy about that?

Well, it's the good
intentions that counts!

Ornery old scudder.

There ain't no way in
the world to please him.


(chopping in distance)

Stop that!


Who told you to chop down trees?

Well, Ma always thought

this would be a good
section for growing hay.

We figured to get
started clearing it.

We're not cutting
down any more trees.

But why, Pa?

Because I've got
enough stumps to clear

for a week to come.

But we've already
cleared most of the stumps.

You cleared the stumps?

Most of them.

We'll help you
with the others, Pa.


No, no, ain't no need.

Come here.

It seems to me

today's more a day for fishing

instead of working, huh?

No, Pa, I think we
should help you.

But we could all
three go fishing.

Well, yeah, how about that?

No, no, not me, not today.

But you all go
along. I want you to.

Next time...

next time, I'll go along
with you, I promise.

Go ahead.

Okay, Pa.


Guess it proves that nothing
stays unchanged over the years.

Not me, not you...

not even the land.

You're on my property, Redmond.

You tell me how you
remember the spot

and I'll try to narrow
it down for you.

What makes you think

I haven't got that
money already?

You've been out here watching

maybe two hours a day.

Maybe I found that money
when you weren't here.

Got it hid again.

Looking at bars for eight years

gives a man patience.

Maybe I'm waiting
another eight years

before I spend that money.

You got that kind
of time, Redmond?

(Virgil chuckles)

You figured the minute
I stopped working,

it'd mean I'd found that money?


And just about there
you could walk in?

Well, just you and me here,
Redmond, so I'll tell you.

I already found that money.


Maybe I got it hid
in the barrancas.

Or maybe I sleep real
close to it every night.

Where is it?

I'm gonna build you a
bench alongside my fence,

a place where you can sit
and watch me fix up my farm.

Hi, boys.

Hi, Marshal.

Well, looks like you
got a little problem, here.

Don't ever say Curt doesn't
get excited catching fish.

I ain't never yet ate
one that got away.

Looks like this one
almost got away.

BRYANT: This one flew away.

Thanks, Marshal.

Hey, Marshal, we
caught a good mess.

- How about coming over for supper?
- Yeah, Marshal.

Well, I'd like to, boys, but
I gotta get back to town.

I was just gonna stop
and say hello to your folks.

You letting your pa do all the
chores alone, now he's back?

Well, it seems like

Pa doesn't want us
working with him, Marshal.

Likes to do everything himself.

We'll wait another
eight years, Redmond,

you and me.

Where is it?!

It would be just like you
serving prison time, Redmond.

REDMOND: Where is it?!

Now, Redmond, get on
your horse and get out of here.

He knows where the money is.


Marshal, he told me!

If I ever catch you on this
land again, I'll lock you up.


Leave me be.

I'm grateful, but leave me be.

You want some help
getting back to the house?

No, no need.

Now, Redmond said you told
him you had that money here.

That's all the excuse he needs.

He hounded me into prison,

he hounded me all
the while I was there,

and now he's doing
the same thing here.

I'll take care
of that part of it.

But I'll tell you
something, Virgil:

if that money is here,
and you try to pass it,

I'll send you back
to prison myself.

I'm sorry.

It's no matter.

It ain't right.

It's done.

Well, I don't...

It's done to a point he
could have killed you.

It'd take more than this.

With time, he'll let go.

And you're gonna take
the likes of this until then?


That man beat you like...

Pa, there's only
one thing you can do.

Guns and fists ain't the
only way you can beat a man.

Are you scared of him, Pa?


You think that?

No, sir.

Is there anything
else you'd like to ask?

No, sir.

Your mother needs
firewood for the stove,

and the milch cow needs feeding.

Get to it.


they didn't mean nothin'.

Don't matter if they did.

Well, they're young...

and they're proud.

I did something to their pride?

They love you, Virgil.

And I love you.

It hurts us to see you hurt.


Ada, leave me be.



Use it.

What are you doing here?

Use it.

Or you do what I tell you.

Tell me what?

Leave my husband alone.

Would have been glad to have
left him alone eight years ago.

You leave him
alone or I'll kill you.


I mean it.

I believe you do.

There's been a sadness
in our lives for a long time...

until my husband come home.

Until my sons' father come home.

But now that sadness is
back, and you've brought it.

You tell your
husband I intend...

I'll tell him nothin'!

He doesn't know I'm here
and he's not gonna know.

The day he hands
over that $40,000

will be the last
time he'll see me.

He hasn't got that money!

He chose it

and eight years behind bars...

instead of being with you.

I didn't come here
to argue with you

or to plead with you

or to beg you.

A lot of woman to be
left alone for eight years.

Woman enough to kill you,
if you don't leave us alone.

Too much woman
for the likes of him.

(startled gasp)

(stifled gasp)

(Redmond exhales)

I'm sorry.

I only want to hear you say

you'll leave us alone.


I said what I came to
say, Mr. Redmond...

and you remember it.

He's a thief!

(crickets chirping)

What are you doing up?

It's Pa.

He's out there.

Something's wrong, Ma.

What do you mean?

I don't know.

He said he heard
a whispering tree.

Then he just ran out there,

like he was mad at something.

You boys go on to bed.

Go on.

(wind whistling)


I heard it.


- I heard it.
- Virgil!

But only when the
wind's from the south.

That tree's here.

It's still here.

Virgil, what are
you talking about?

Shacktown squatters
is all we was, Ada,

but not no more.

(wind gusting)

Oh, no.

Oh, no...

All those years in
prison are paid for.

You've lied to me.

I hid it under the
whispering tree.

You have lied to me!

It's ours, Ada.

We paid for that money

with eight years of our lives.

It's ours.

ROY: Your husband
just settled up

a week or so ago, Mrs. Stanley.

Well, how much is
on the books now?


I'll take care of it.

We'll be leaving.


For good, Mrs. Stanley?

How much you want
for these here shells?

50 cents.

That Virgil Stanley's wife?

That's right.

You know him?

Just in passing.

Golly, you must have collected
some overdue bills or something,

offering to buy me a
free breakfast like that.

Well, you got that wrong.
That never happens to me.

The Long Branch, they
collect overdue bills.

And the Dodge House.

But the day I open my mail
and find that I'm any richer for it,

I'll throw the wildest party
you ever saw in this town.

You know, Doc, that's
what I like about you:

you never exaggerate.

Well, it just so happens
I'm about the only...

Who's that?

Well, that's Frank Garr.

He's a border troublemaker.

You suppose they're
just riding through?

Well, they are, but
they may not know it yet.

Doc, looks like
you saved yourself

the price of a breakfast.

Morning, Virgil.

Get out of here.

Where's he going?

Your wife's a
good-looking woman.

She ain't here.

We know.


We know.

It's kind of disappointin'.

You was going to go
without giving me my share.

What are you talking
about, "going"?

Where's the money, Virgil?

I haven't it got it;
haven't found it.

But you wouldn't go
without it, that's for sure.

That's for sure.

I ain't going anywhere.

Garr ain't one to
fool with, Virgil.

No sign of them kids.

GARR: Where are they?

What do you want with them?

My wife's in town,
getting supplies.

My kids are, I don't know,
off playing somewhere.

And I told you, I haven't
found that money!

Well, now, hearing your
wife say you is leaving

and seeing all them
holes you dug out there,

well, we just ain't about
to believe you didn't find it.

Might take a little
time to soften you up.


Mister, after what
I've been through,

you could kill me and not
get two words out of me

I don't want to say.

I already figured that.

We don't aim to lay
a hand on you, mister.

Tough hide don't make it no fun.

When's your wife getting back?

I told you I was coming
back for my share.

Once the skin starts lifting
off that little woman of yours,

you'll, uh, you'll
be giving it up.

I haven't found it.


Earl, I swear I
haven't found it.

We'll be believin'
you about the time

she don't have the
breath left to scream.

If you think you're going
to try something like that...

you better kill me first.



Don't kill him!

(chickens squawking)

(two gunshots)

DILLON: Where's the other one?

In the barn!

He's dead!

You hurt bad?

Would have been a lot worse.

I'm owing to you, Marshal.

Now, Virgil, this thing's
gone about far enough.

I'm gonna bring Redmond out here

and you're gonna tell
him where that money is.

If you don't, I'll bring 50 men

and we'll tear this
farm up, inch by inch.

Now, you make up your mind.

He's got no right
to search my land.

It's your land, that's right.

I don't want no part of it.

Don't make no sense, leaving.

Redmond was right.

You did trade eight years
of being with me for that...

that money.

I did it for us.

So we could get
out of shacktown.

So we could have
a place of our own!

We've got it.

I worked for it.

We've got it without that money.

BRYANT: Give it back!

was me found it! Me!

- BRYANT: But I got it first.
- CURTIS: Did not!

You two quit it!

Where'd you get...

Where'd you get this?

I found it first, Pa.


I saw it first! Me!

I said where?

Well, we dug it
from under the tree,

- where the swing is.
- Heard you say where

you buried the
money in saddlebags.

Is that one of the bags, Pa?


You two were fighting.

I thought Pa would pay
the one who found it first.

But Curtis didn't want to share.

And you had no thought

about that money
not being ours...

money that we've
got no right to.

If nobody sees it dug up,

we don't have to
give it back, do we?

(chicken clucking)

All set, Ma.


(wagon wheels rattling)


I'm taking the boys.

I want you to do
something for me.

Give it a name.

Whatever it is,
whatever you call it.

What are you gonna have, you
haven't had these past weeks?

It's ours, Ada.

I just want to know

what I've been working
for all these years.

I got eight years of
my life buried here.

You took that time from me

and from them

and there's nothing you
can ever do to give it back.

And there's nothing here
that's ever gonna make up for it!

Ada, please.


where you going?

I don't know.






Ada, wait!

This is where he left off.

It sure enough is leather.

"Was" is more like it.

Eight years.

Was it worth it, Redmond?

Yes, it was, Marshal.


Ada, I...




ANNOUNCER: Stay tuned for
scenes from next week's Gunsmoke.