Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 13, Episode 23 - The First People - full transcript

When a new Indian tribal leader wants changes, the white Reservation Police Chief balks. When Marshal Dillon arrives some free-rein Indian police officers drum up charges on Matt and the new leader.

Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

You're not going
to die here, old man.

You're not going
to do that to me.

You're coming back with
me. You're going home.

I have no home.

Long since the white
man took it from me.

What more do you want?

I've come here personally to ask
you to come back to the reservation.

Why are you doing this to me?

You hear me, old man?

Well, you are coming back.

And you're coming back now.

And you're going to
live where I tell you

and you're going
to live as I tell you.

And you're going to see to it
that your people do the same.

And you'll not be a
martyr to your people.

All right, come on, on
your feet. On your feet!


- Mako.
- Sir.

Well, that's all.
Move on. Move on.

What's the matter
here, old timer?

Mr. Baines, did you
weigh these bags of sugar?

I was busy at the time
of delivery, Mr. Evans,

but I was assured the
weights were accurate.

- You were assured, huh?
- Yes, sir.

Mr. Baines, when we distribute
rations less than called for,

my honesty and integrity
comes into question.

- And I will not have that.
- I'm sorry, Mr. Evans.

I'll personally double-check
the weights from now on.

- Give this man twice the sugar due him.
- Yes, sir.

- The gun.
- Stand aside, Mako.

Mr. Evans rule. No
guns at Elm Fork.

I said stand aside.

I just saw White
Buffalo's people.

It's all right, Mako.
In my office, Marshal.

If I need to remind you, Marshal,
you have no jurisdiction here.

White Buffalo happens
to be a friend of mine.

Oh, I'm aware of that.

Now his people are telling me
that he's been camped out there

by Squaw River for
the last two weeks.

Trying to make a
martyr of himself.

They say he's ill, Mr. Evans.
He may even be dying.

They say you went to
see him a few nights ago.

That's right. And this
is what I got for it. Look.

I could have him removed as chief
of this tribe for carving me up like that.

Seems to me you've been
doing a little carving of your own

around here, haven't you?

Splitting up this
reservation like a pie.

Limiting the movement
of these tribes.

I fail to see the hardship of
people living within boundaries

that would take a
man a week to ride.

How come you've taken
their guns away from them?

They can't even hunt. They're
totally dependent on you.

Absolutely. Making this
reservation the most disciplined

and safest in the Indian Bureau.

Well, most disciplined I can
believe. Safest, I'm not so sure.

That's not your
business, Marshal.

But if it's true, I'm going
to do everything I can

to see that this is brought to
the attention of higher authorities.

You do whatever
you wish, Marshal.

But if this is to be
a dual of influence,

I might remind you that I have
connections that go straight

to the United States
Attorney General.

I'm aware of that, Mr. Evans.
Let me tell you something.

You keep on the
way you have been

and you're going to have an
Indian uprising on your hands.

When you see White Buffalo,

you may tell him from
me that nothing short

of a formal apology
will be accepted.

I wanted to talk to him.

Words no longer important
to White Buffalo, Marshal.

Only his thoughts
hold meaning now.

He prepares to meet Wakan Tanka.

I'm sorry.


He welcomes death.

The only sure way he
can escape white men.

He was my friend, Johnny.

None of your kind
ever his friend.

Johnny, long before
you were ever born,

he taught me the first
words of the Kirikirish.

For honor and truth.

That's right.

He was my friend,
Johnny, and I was his.

Now, before long you're going to have
to take his place at that tribe council.

When I bury Grandfather,

I will take his place
as chief of Wichita.

What I was gonna tell
him I'm gonna tell you.

- It's about Agent Evans?
- That's right.

The thoughts of White
Buffalo are my thoughts.

That hasn't helped
anything so far.

The rules of
Mr. Evans are unfair.

They go against treaty White
Buffalo make with your people.

Yes. And his death isn't
going to change any of that.

What will, Marshal? Tell me.

Johnny, you're going to have to
learn how to deal with him, for a start.

How do you deal with man
who takes scum of reservation

and makes scum police?

Puts Mako, and men like Mako,

over some of the
greatest chiefs of Wichita.

It's going to be up to you to
change that system, Johnny.

Now, every young
buck on that reservation

is looking to you
for leadership.

You're the most
important man at Elm Fork.

Next to Mr. Evans.

Mr. Evans is more
important than you, Johnny,

because he understands you
better than you understand him.

Do not be sure I not
understand Agent Evans.

Many times I have heard
of fight at Bitter Wells.

All right, then why don't
you use that knowledge?

Go back there right
now and talk to him.

It's got to start
somewhere, Johnny.

- Mr. Evans in?
- Why, yes, he is, Marshal.

How's your grandfather, John?

Your bed softer
than White Buffalo's.

Thanks, Mr. Baines.

Now, that's making a good start
at getting along with the agency.

I come here to talk.

If Eagle Wing has come
for his ration, he is too late.

The cattle were fed yesterday.

This Mako, sergeant
of reservation police.

- I know.
- You must wait until your turn again.

Next week. Mr. Evans' rule.

- Is he in his office?
- You may see him.

Eagle Wing may not.

Even when he is chief of Elm Fork,
Wichita, he must still seek appointment.


Talk, Marshal? How?

You go down Elm
Fork. Sit with old fool.

Stop it! That's enough!

Stop it, I said! Mako!

That's enough!

Mr. Baines, did you
see what caused this?


I'm afraid I didn't
see how it started, sir.

Because I refuse obey orders
that one who wear badge.

All right, throw them
both in the stockade.

I want to see you inside.

Are you sure you didn't see
what happened out there?

- Yes, sir.
- What's the matter?

Well, Mr. Evans, a
United States marshal...

Who has absolutely
no authority here.

Begging your pardon, sir,

but aren't you just asking for
trouble locking him up like that?

I've taken that
into consideration.

I don't understand, sir. He's bound
to complain to government authority.

After he spends the
night in the stockade,

his complaint won't
carry much weight.

Ow! Ah!

Talk, Marshal.

Tell me again of talk.

How do you feel?

I think something's busted.

You could be bleeding inside.

I tried to tell Mako.

He would not let
me talk to Evans.

Can you get your
hand through there yet?





- What happened?
- Prisoners broke from stockade.

Attack pony man.
Take his weapon.

Marshal Dillon try ride away.

Eagle Wing shot Mr. Baines.

Then run away.


Sam Baines is dead.

All right, now take this. It'll
help with the pain a little bit.

Doc, I'll have to ride back to
town in the buggy with these.

No, you'll stay right
where you are for a while.

I can't do that.

Well, I can't have you
riding around, either.

You're bashed up in there,

and I don't want to take a
chance on a punctured lung.

Doc, I'll be fine.

All right, now do
exactly as I say.

I'll be back to
see you tomorrow.

Doc, tell Festus to look
out after things there.

I'll tell him.

- How is he?
- Well, he's hurt pretty bad.

I can't move him just yet.

I want you to take care of him,
Doctor. Take very good care of him.

Because I want him
on his feet for his trial.

- What trial?
- As an accessory

to cold-blooded murder.

Well, you can't be serious.
Matt's a United States marshal.

Well, Doctor, your United States
marshal was under arrest in my stockade,

along with that Indian. And
they attempted an escape.

And in that attempt, they shot
and killed my assistant, Sam Baines.

And I'm going to see
they both hang for it.

Maybe Evans isn't
going to press charges.

Well, Matt's been
out there for a week,

and you said yourself that he
hasn't said anything more about it.

Well, I mean, being marshal for
13 years must mean something.

Yeah, it means a lot. But I
wouldn't delude myself if I were you.

That Evans is not
going to change his mind.

Well, I don't like to be the
one to say it, but if he doesn't,

it looks like the marshal's going
to face these charges alone.

- Sam?
- Well, Miss Kitty,

Festus has been looking for
Eagle Wing ever since it happened.

That's true. I feel like
a nearsighted ninny.

Why, I ain't broke
one sign at all.

Well, isn't there
something we can do?

Well, if there is, I sure
wish I knew what it was.

Maybe Matt can tell us
something more. I don't know.

- I'm going out to get him today.
- You are?

You mean his broke
ribs is all healed up?

Well, enough so I can
get him out of Elm Fork.

- I'm going to ride out yonder with you.
- No.

- Yes, Doc.
- No, you're not.

In case Evans wants
to give you any trouble.

You're going to stay right
here where you belong.

You're the acting
marshal, you know.

My respects to your
commanding officer, Captain.

Colonel Johnston will
be disappointed, sir,

you decided against
staying at Fort Dodge.

Tell him I'd rather stay here in
town closer to where the trouble is.

- Yes, sir.
- Will you also send word out

to Mr. Evans at Elm
Fork? Tell him I'm in town.

- That would be my pleasure, sir.
- Good. Thank you.

Ride on.

What's the matter?


Do you recollect me telling
you that Evans told me

he had a friend in the Attorney
General's office in Washington?

- Yeah.
- You think it's true, Doc?

I'm afraid so.

Man just rode into town
with a military escort.

Looked for all the world to me
like he was from Washington.

I just heard him tell the captain
to give Evans his regards.

Shoot, that don't make
a lick of difference.

Matthew can take
care of himself.

Yeah, sure he can, against rustlers
and gunfighters and barroom brawlers.

But against the United States
government in a murder trial?

- Here comes the marshal!
- Hey, here comes the marshal!

Whoa there. Whoa there.

All right.

Matthew, you old scutter you!

If you ain't a sight
for sore eyeballs, I'll...

For heavens sake, turn him
loose! You're shaking him to pieces!

Why don't you go
roll yourself a pill?

Why don't... Go on!

Matthew, I hate to be
the one to tell you this,

but Howie over at
the Dodge House says

that feller from
Washington just came in.

Oh. It looks like
you were right, Doc.

I figured that's who
it was. Come on.

I sure feel badly we couldn't
find Johnny Eagle Wing for you.

But we went over this entire prairie.
Why, we've looked under every rock...

I told him all of that.
He knows all about it.

Come on, Matt, you're going
to bed for a couple of days.

Matthew, don't you worry none
about that feller from Washington.

- We're going to...
- We're going to get away from here

and leave Matt alone.

Don't you ever know
when to shut your mouth?

Like an old, leaky boiler.

- Johnny.
- Marshal.

I guess they didn't look in
the right places, did they?

They looked in the
places they knew.

- I was with White Buffalo.
- I thought you might have been.

Johnny, they're saying that you
killed Baines out at the reservation.

- Did you?
- No.

Well, then who
could have killed him?

- Mako.
- Mako? Are you sure?


It's going to be hard to prove.

Hard to prove.

Why did you come back?

- Marshal Dillon?
- That's right.

My name is Prange. I'm with the
United States Attorney General's office.

Mr. Prange.

We have some
matters to discuss that...

- Who are you?
- I John Eagle Wing.

My information was
that you'd run away.

Where did you hear that?

Mr. Evans'
communiqué to my office.

Truth. I run.

Now you're back?

- Let's get on with it, Mr. Prange.
- You have my letter?

I haven't had a chance to read
it yet. I just got back to the office.

It's notice of your suspension
as United States marshal

until such time as the murder
charge against you can be cleared up.

This man here will
be placed under arrest

and held in the
stockade at Elm Fork.

Mr. Prange, you put this man in
jail, you can do the same with me.

For very obvious reasons, I'm prepared
to allow you your freedom, Mr. Dillon.

Doesn't matter. I
meant what I said.

It won't be necessary. Your 13
years of service speak for themselves.

Now, this man's another matter.

It so happens this man is
the next chief of the Wichitas.

He's a man of honor.

There'll be a hearing tomorrow
in Mr. Evans' office at the agency.

We'll be there.


You go back to the reservation.
I'll ride back with Mr. Prange later.

Yes, Mr. Evans.

I see the friend of Marshal
Dillon now wears his badge.

This here ain't his badge I'm
wearing. I'm wearing my own.

Maybe they make you
marshal in his place.

You looky here, Mr. Sassy-mouth.

There ain't nobody going
to take Matthew's place.

And when him and Johnny
Eagle Wing gets done

telling what's happened
out yonder on the reservation,

you're going to be sniggering
out of the other side of your head.

How they going to find John
Eagle Wing to tell his lies?

He's in land of
Nez Percé by now.

Oh, he is, Mr. Smart Aleck?

If he is, then his twin brother's
I seen right over yonder

at the stable not
a half hour ago.

Come back here, see how
far you get a-telling your lie

with him eye-balling
you square on,

and Matthew and that high tony
muckety-muck from Washington.

We'll see about that.


I just seen that
knuckleheaded Mako.

You ain't leaving
town, are you, Johnny?

I go.

But you done give
Matthew your word.

Strong Bow come. Tell
me Grandfather dying.

He ask for me.

Tell Dillon I will be back.

Well, you don't tell Matthew
you're fixing to leave...

That ain't no way to do it,

to give a feller your word
and then just back out on it!

I've dealt with these
Indians long enough to know

that you should have
locked Eagle Wing up.

Under the circumstances,
I thought it best not to.

At Dillon's insistence?

I have to admit he pointed
out a few truths to me.

- And you took his word for it?
- It was my decision.

I want to make
one point very clear.

I'll back you 110 percent in this,
but I have to have all the facts.

You heard what
happened the other night.

Mm-hm. I heard.

Baines was shot
down in cold blood.

Tell me, how did matters
get so far out of hand

as to allow a thing
like that to happen?

Mr. Prange...

you know my record at Elm Fork.

There isn't a smoother
running agency in the Bureau.

You seem to have overlooked the
fact that you've tied into a situation here

that involves a very highly
respected federal marshal.

One who has constantly
plagued me with his interference.

He's always had good
relations with these Indians.

Which has done nothing but
undermine my influence over them.

Tom, there's a
primary rule in politics.

No personal vendetta
unless your case is ironclad.

Don't you worry.

I've got my own
career. I won't worry.

I'll walk out on you like
you didn't exist if I have to.

That's fair enough.

- You sure your evidence will hold up?
- I am.

- Your witness will stick to his story?
- He will.

Well, all-in-all I'd say Mr. Dillon's
in a very awkward position.

He said to tell you
he'd be back, Matthew.

Maybe he'll make
it in time for the trial.

I'm not worried about his coming
back, as long as he's able to get back.

What do you mean by that?

By now every Indian on that reservation
knows that White Buffalo is dying,

and that Eagle Wing is going to
be out there with him when he does.

- Mako and them police.
- That's right.

As long as he's out there
alone with the old man,

his life isn't worth
a plugged nickel.

Well, what if Mr. Prange finds out
that Eagle Wing and you is both gone?

We'll just hope that he doesn't.
Keep an eye on things, will you?

Yes, sir. You betcha.

There are so many
things to speak about.

So many things.

Tell me, Grandfather.

Had your father not
died at Pine Meadows...

he would wear this.

His death served Wichita.

So must your life.

Friend Dillon, stay
close to my grandson.

- Counsel him.
- I will.

Eagle Wing and his sons must
learn to live with the white man.

Give up old ways?

The time of our people is over.

I welcome the long sleep.

In one night, the
Wichitas lose two chiefs.

And the man who was
marshal of Dodge...

is killed trying to escape.

I order you, leave this place.

You order no one, old man.


Let's go.



What's going on here?

Agent Evans no try stop Mako.

Wait a minute.

Wait a minute. You're
not going anywhere.

What's happened to you?


- Let him go.
- He killed White Buffalo.

- He killed Mr. Baines.
- Let him go!

Mako killed Baines?

And he would kill Dillon and me.

Marshal Dillon?

Well, his trying to kill you
ought to be proof of that.

Listen. I've lived with
these savages all my life.

Ever since they destroyed
the garrison at Bitter Wells.

Was 15 years past.

To me, it was yesterday!

And it was a massacre.

A savage, stupid
brutal massacre,

of 23 defenseless people.

My father among them.

Does that excuse
death of White Buffalo?

Of Mr. Baines?
Of four policemen?

I didn't kill them.

Others hold rifles!

You still make them die.

- What are you talking about?
- It was you

made Mako sergeant
reservation police.

This reservation
needed some authority.

Someone to keep
your people in the line.

You have succeeded, Agent Evans.

But guilt still yours.

Not Marshal. Not Wichita.

Not me.

Blood still on your hands.

The truth of the deaths.

He's right, isn't he?

I'll send in my resignation
to the Bureau tomorrow.


I think you're making
a mistake there.

A man who can admit that he's wrong
is in a good position to make things right.

What can I do?

Why don't you ask him?

What is it you want?

We stand...

on ground of Kirikirish,
the First People.

I, Eagle Wing, am Kirikirish.

Before me was nothing,

after me come all other men.

Since there was
time, this is so.

One day, my people,
Kirikirish, will cease to be.

One day they will be
nothing but a memory.

And yet, another day...

even that memory will die.

All I ask...

is dignity for my dying.

All I ask...

is dignity...

for passing of Kirikirish.

Well, looks like this matter's
been straightened out satisfactorily.

I'd say it has.

Except for that added appropriation
for those Sharps rifles you ordered.

Well, I think it'll save
the Indian Bureau money

in the long run, Mr. Prange.

Be less cattle to buy when the Indians
start hunting buffalo like they used to.

Just have to convince the men that
hold the purse strings of that, won't I?

Yeah. Somehow I get the idea
you're just the man to do that.

I'll try.

The captain's waiting for me to
take me to the train. I have to go.

- Well, have a good trip.
- Tom.

I'm glad I didn't have to take
that walk. You're a good man.

Thank you, Mr. Prange. Goodbye.

Marshal, maybe when
those Sharps rifles get here,

you'll join us on
the first buffalo hunt.

Mr. Evans, count me in.

Stay tuned for scenes
from next week's Gunsmoke.

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