Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 14, Episode 19 - The Mark of Cain - full transcript

A buffalo hunter stumbles on the fact that a local man was head of an abusive Confederate prison camp during the war. With tension high, Matt and Festus will try to prevent citizens from taking the law into their own hands.

Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

So we can see it was the Greeks

who invested the modern world with
perhaps its most full-bloomed desire

to see man elevated
to his highest station.


And this, mind you, in
spite of their propensity

to debase some men
under the oath of slavery.

And then...

John Jay Corley!

You is without
threat or question...

the greatest fly-killing
buffalo hunter...

come off the Staked Plains.

Mm, onlyest one any
better was my daddy.

You should hear
my daddy, Sadler.

Now, there was a shovel
slinging, fly-killing fool.

And all we need do is follow
them. And they will lead us away

from the animal savagery that...

This one used a
small loading frame.

Oh, don't you know it.

Don't you know it.

Looky right there. See
that little beggar there.


We're going to pave our way past
the devil's bridgework with hides.

- Ain't no way to say no.
- No!


That there's a no.

You saying no?

Get out of here.

Why now, just pull up a
little dust and sit a spell?

You... you heard me.

Oh, I... I know a no.

That's a no. I know a no.

Hey. Hey now, boy.

Now you be careful
there, 'cause she's loaded.

I mean it!

Boy... boy...

That old gal you got hold
of, she belonged to my daddy,

and he always kept her loaded deep
for buffalo and I ain't changed things.

I said get out of
here and I mean it.

Top of that, she's got a recoil
half the distance of the bullet.

Top of that!

Since my daddy passed,
she belongs to me.

♪ Oh, Daddy, dear ♪
Did you hear the news

♪ That's goin' round?

♪ Shamrock is forbid by law

♪ To grow on Irish ground

Why, are you a clever...

clever little boy hiding on
that doorway, aren't you now.

Why, we going to get...

Oh, well, howdy, Sheriff.


Won't you just come on in here and
pull up a little something and plop?

Oh, that's Maclnnerny, he's
gonna live to be 600, he will.

We got all that money and
we been a funning, you know,

- and there's a powerful lotta doings...
- Corley...

did you throw a young boy
out this window a while ago?

- Huh?
- I said did you throw a young boy...

Well, I had to spin him a might,
you know, just to get old Clara back.

- Clara?
- Sharp. Yes, sir.

You know, this young'un just come
whiny, jinny and trompin' in here

with no howdys or nothing and
he just leveled old Clara at me

something like this here, and...

You know, I do believe old Clara
could put a hole even in you, Sheriff.


Now, he didn't
have no politeness.

Just stomping and chomping
with "Get out here! Get out of here!"

All right. All right. I've heard
enough. Now I want you to hear me.

I want you boys to sober up
and quiet down around here

and quit making so much
noise around the hotel.

And the next time something like
this happens, bold as winter or not,

I'm gonna throw all of
you in jail, you understand?

- Understand, Sheriff.
- Marshal.

All I wanted to do was...

stop them from breaking
up your lecture, Dad.

I didn't figure it'd come
out exactly like this.

It's a good thing you
landed on your head.

Oh, stop it, both of you.
He might have been killed.

Doctor, you are sure that
it's nothing more serious.

He's gonna be all
right, Mrs. Driscoll.

He's gonna have a sore
ankle for a few days, that's sure.

I'd like to keep him here
though for... oh, an hour or so.

Just can't be too sure
about these head injuries.

Thank you.

You get a good rest, son.

Be with you in a minute.

Buffalo hunters, well...
they are dirt humans.

Can you imagine throwing a
young boy out of a window like a...

like a peeling or
something... out the window?

Now, don't take on, Louise. You
heard the doctor, he's all right.

All of that talk about the elegance
and the civilization of Athens.

How many thousands
of years ago was that?

And where are we now? Here?

Timothy, what are
you gonna do about it?

Marshal, I would
like to know what...

Ma'am. Mr. Driscoll.

I was just overseeing
those buffalo hunters.

- They're savages.
- That's right, ma'am.

They lead a hard life and
they're loud and bothersome.

But, you know, your boy
did point a gun at them.

- A gun?
- That's right.

And the muzzle of a Sharps
rifle looks like a canyon, you know.

A gun? Oh, Timothy.

We'd better go now,
Louise. I'll be back later, Doc.

Thank you, Matt.

Can't help but
agree with her, Matt.

"They lead a hard life."

Well, life's a hard life.

And when a brilliant,
educated man like that

with wonderful ideas to
offer can get sidetracked

by a bunch of scrofulous,
maggot-ridden buffalo hunters...


- There we are.
- A powerful day's rest.

Yes, sir. A powerful day's rest.

Pull him up here, Sadler.

Now then, friend, what we're
gonna need is some of that fizzy...

that French sody water.

Uh... French sody water?

Yes, sir. Now, uh... uh...
the kind with all the bubbles.

Uh, champagne?

With all the
bubbles. You got it.

Now, we want you to bring
on some of them oysters,

like what's out there on
that sign board out there.

We're gonna eat those little
dudes until we find one of them

what comes within 'em,
them whichamees, you know?

- Whichamees?
- Yeah, them whichamees.

The kind you get when
your luck is running good.

- Pearls.
- Pearls, that's it. You got it.

Now you just go on out there
and take them out of the ice

and herd them on in
until you hear whoa.

- "Whoa."
- Yes, sir, "whoa."

He heard us talking.
He heard us talking.

He's gonna learn a bear
lesson on hibernating.


I swear if banks
had locks on them...

I found one.

I found... I... I found
one. Hey, Sadler!

Sadler, I found
one! Maclnnerny, I...

Maclnnerny, I got one!

I found... Oh, a
whichamee... whichamee.

What'd the man
say? I got... Sadler!

- Sadler, what...
- Pearl.

A pearl! Ha-ha!

You the man who threw a
young boy out a window?


You the man who threw a
young boy out a window?

Oh... Oh, I nearly forgot. I...

- Yeah.
- Can I see you outside?

Well, you sure enough
can see me right here.

Please, outside.


Say... say, have you
got any whiskey? Huh?

If you'll give me a little squeeze
of it I'll show you my pearl.

What'd you do that for?

Why you... Ow!



Now, Corley, I didn't want
to have to do this to you,

but you didn't leave
me any choice.

Lying around drunk in the street,
looks like you've been in a fight.

Your two friends here don't
look much better off than you are.

- Guilty.
- Guilty.

Well, just dry out
here and sleep it off.

Oh, we can't let that man snore.

It sounds worse than
somebody pounding on a tin plate.

Yeah, way worse than that.

- You got a drink of whiskey?
- Whiskey?

Now, there ain't no whiskey
in a jail house, Sadler.

Well, get some horse liniment

or an apple, anything
to put in that mouth.

Well, stuff his
shirt-tail in it.

You ever think
of being a doctor?


Seems there was more to it.


Yeah. Yeah.

That old boy,
shaved off his beard.

I seen Karl Martin
Krag in this town.

- Oh, come on, Krag's dead, Corley.
- I seen the brand on his chest.

- Everybody said he was dead, Corley.
- I do recall it now. I do recall it.

I was just sitting
there mining for pearls,

and this old boy come trompin'
in there asking me outside.

Something to do with slinging
a young'un out the window.

Timothy Driscoll?

I don't know nothing
about summer names.

We were tussling...

and then his shirt tore off...

and I seen that brand on his
chest just as plain as judgment.

You mean Timothy Driscoll came to
this town and picked a fight with you?

I mean to say Karl Martin Krag,

the Devil of Donneville,
is in your town.

You have heard of the Donneville
Prison now, ain't you, Sheriff?

Well, us Northern
boys, we do remember.

Oh, indeed we do, indeed we do.

Sadler, we starved, huh?

Starved clear to
the bone, Marshal.

What you could eat, you
had to fight the worms to get at

and the whippings
and the saltwater after.

And them guards.

Oh, them old boys, eh?

Sooner light out with a passel
of animals, call 'em humans.

And him, he was
the man in charge.

I'll never forget him.


Did you see the brand?

On my daddy's head.

That prison, Marshal, it
was took by Sherman's boys.

And us, we was in there.

We busted free.

And we found him.

We found him like a
hound dog finds a bear.

Oh, but he was a proud
one, yeah, he was proud.

Us boys, we... we
had our memories.

- We branded him.
- With a cross above the heart.

Near hung him, if
Sherman hadn't come along.

And he's here in your town.

On my daddy's head, he's here.

I've known Louise Driscoll
for almost five years now, Matt.

Well, what if it is... or was
Krag... or whatever his name is?

It was an awful long time ago.

Well, it wasn't so long ago that a lot
of people still don't remember it, Doc.

But you know, we could
have the wrong man here.

Could be a lot of things.

Well, the talk's
a-starting out yonder.

What we ought to have did is to have
kept them three locked up, Matthew.

That Corley and Sadler
and that sleeping beauty, too.

Well, I know, but they
sobered up, Festus.

I can't keep 'em locked up
forever without a good cause.

Well, I'll tell you something, they're
festering up this town, Matthew.

I'll guarantee you that.

Festus, it's like Matt says, we're
not even sure it's the same man.

There's only one way
to settle this for sure.

I'll ride out and
see Driscoll myself.

Hey, Pa. Marshal Dillon's here.

- Marshal.
- Hello, Tom.

Well, by golly, like I always heard,
you can't keep a good man down.

Well, it ain't all
dedication, Marshal.

Chores got to be done before
Ma's gonna make some food,

and this body is just naturally
and powerfully attracted to food.

Well, Marshal, what
a pleasant surprise.

- Mr. Driscoll.
- What can I do for you?

Well, I, uh... I'd like to talk
to you for a minute if I could.

Oh, certainly. Certainly.

Tom, would you mind if I
talked to your father alone?

Sure, Marshal.

Tom, tell your Ma to bring out
some of that good lemonade, hm?


What is it?

Mr. Driscoll, you had a fight last
night with a man named Corley?

Well, uh... Oh, I admit it.

It's, uh...

It's hard... for a
father to see his son...

Oh, I'll pay whatever
damages there are.

Mr. Driscoll, I got to
ask you a question.

Are you Karl Martin Krag?

Karl Martin Krag?


A buffalo hunter.

All of us was there! Yes, sir!

And I tell you here and now,

a blind man could find that
place, the stink it took on.

- Right, Sadler?
- That's right.

He killed over 500 Yankee boys.

A man could die
and go to Hades...

a man could die and go to Hades

and think he walked in on a
Sunday afternoon ice cream social,

and the man in charge
is right here in your town.

He's in jail.

The Marshal's just waiting
word from the federal authorities.

To do what?

Stand trial for what he done in
Donneville, that's what I'd say.

Stand trial, huh?

Well them old boys ain't
gonna fool around with no trial.

No, sir!

The only trial for a man
like that is a new rope.

Now, sir...

a sickness has a first point.

And the first point is
named Karl Martin Krag,

the Devil of Donneville,

and he is sipping soup
right here in your jail house!

Here! Here!

Here, I want you to bust
up this here gathering.

Now go on, get on back to
business. Go on, all of you. Out!

Roy, you and Sam, you know no
good ever comes out of this kind of talk.

Now go on about your business.

Corley, you and Sadler, you
know what the Marshal said

about you festering
up this here town.

Ain't nothing going to happen
to Krag unless we do it ourselves.

And you hush that kind
of talk and hush right now.

Now, I want the two of...

the three of you to go
on and scoot out of here.

Go on. Scoot!

You'd better do something.

I swear, Matthew, I don't
know how you can keep so calm

with all this here going on.

There's not much you
can do about it, Festus.

Still and all, I
just don't like it.

Well, with all that talk
going on out yonder,

it's bound to stir up trouble.

And them two... three
mutton heads in town...

what's that there'n a-doing
sleeping all the time, anyhow?

I'll tell you, they're rougher
than a wagon load of old cobs.

And you just can't tell what's
liable to pop into their heads.

Like my Grandma
Tupper used to say...

she used to talk kind
of high and squeaky,

like two tree limbs
rubbing together...

and I recollect her saying on
her very death bed, she said,

"Things don't never
die, they just get worse."

Isn't that supposed
to be for Driscoll?


Well, that just goes to show
you right there, Matthew.

If things can get me all
muddly-headed and fussed up,

what do you think it's gonna do

to all them ordinary folks
out yonder in the street?

What about them?

- Hello, Louise.
- Well, hello, Kitty.

May I come in?

Why, yes. Yes, of course.

I brought you some port.

I've always said that there's
two times in a woman's life

when she needs good port wine,

and both of those times are when
her world seems to be falling apart.

Oh, Kitty, you're
very thoughtful.

Not at all.

You know, it just doesn't fit.

I was sitting here thinking.

Since... since
Tom was a child, I...

I've never seen Timothy
raise his hand to him.

And it wasn't just the
caution of a stepfather.

It was purely, simply his way.

How do you explain
that to a... to a boy?

How do you explain
that to yourself?

I find myself
married to a man...

When I think of his hands
on me, the very hands...

Louise, they were loving
hands, weren't they?

Oh yes, Kitty.

Then what more could you expect?

Kitty, what is there to life
when the very man that...

Louise, I can tell you
a little bit about life.

But I can't tell you
anything about war.

I don't think any woman can
explain to another woman about war.

It's an insanity that women
just don't understand.

It's... Well, it's like
falling down a hill.

You can't stop.

And you can't change direction.

And you're bound to get hurt.

You know, a man's strength
doesn't make him a man.

It's his heart.

And that man that loves you...

has all the heart that
you could care to hold.

And that's all I'd care to know.

Seven hundred men
died in that prison

and Driscoll, or Krag,
was the commandant.

He was responsible. Clear
as the hands on your wrists.

Oh, for heaven's sakes, Burke.

- How can you defend him?
- It's your move.

I'm not defending him,
I'm defending his right

to live his life in a way to make
amends for his past, that's all.

- Make amends?
- Yes!

- Jump that.
- Jump? What?

- Go on and jump me.
- I'd like to hear how a man...

Oh, go ahead.

Makes amends for what
Krag did at Donneville.

Ain't too often I can
catch you like that.

The day you catch me will be the
day the sun comes up backwards.

- Well, all I'm saying...
- Oh, shut up.

He was a murderer. A
killer of plain soldier boys.

Shut up!

- Well, all I'm trying...
- I'm not talking to you.

He was an enemy
to this country, Doc.

Clear as the hands
on your wrists!

"Clear as the hands on your wrists."
Is that all you can think of to say?

Let me tell you something.

The law is the law, and in
times of war, there is no law.

And that's why it's war. And I'll
tell you something else, Burke.

It's my own personal
and private opinion

that if they put your
brains in a mustard seed,

they'd rattle like a
peanut in a box car.

- Now, shut up.
- Now, wait a minute, Doc!

I was in the tenth
Pennsylvania Volunteers...

Oh, good. Oh, that's marvelous!
That clears everything up.

Now you're qualified. You can
go ahead and write your book.


At least I was there.
Where were you?


Doesn't make any
difference where I was.

Doesn't make any difference
where anybody was.

The point I am trying to make
with you, with some difficulty,

is first, and of
lesser importance,

is that in times of civil war,

the code of humanity
disappears completely.

And secondly, and
of greater importance,

a man's past is his past.

It's what he contributes to
the present that's important.

Now, as far as Krag or Driscoll,

or whatever you want
to call him is concerned,

it's my opinion that you could not
carry his brains in your two hands.

And it's brains, my friends,

that is gonna save this,

the best of all possible
worlds, up to now.

And not the tenth
Pennsylvania Volunteers.

Top of that, old Sheriff Dillon

just up and took
my Clara from me.

Took up all our guns.

Can't blame him.

Some kind of talk about
whiskey and powder not mixing up.

Can't blame him.

I wish he'd throw us
back in that jail house.

Mmm, how I do wish it.

Just get a hold of
that old devil, Krag.

Just get my hands on him
and tear him limb from limb.


Old Dillon done
figured that out, too.

Thinking man.

Thinking man.

Whose side you on?

Oh, Corley, we
ain't aching, is we?


We got whiskey, we got money.

Now, I ask you, Corley,

is the living life made up of
anything more than death?

I can't rile so
heavy, thinking on it.

This whole town just tippy-toeing
around us like we was a bog.

Like we's some kind of filth.

Hey, you old town!

Your filth is in the jail house!

Why don't you do
something about him?

Come to think on it...

that whole war was
on account of me.

Wasn't it?


And me not... bothered strong.

Well, there's more than
one way to the mountain.

Well, howdy, Tom.

What can I do for you?

I'd like to see...

Your pa?

- Him.
- Him?

Well, sure can't be
no harm did with that.

Sure, you can see him.

Just come right in here.

Got yourself a visitor
here, Mr. Driscoll.


I'm not your son.

I understand.

I... I don't understand.

I don't understand
anything at all.

I had a father.

And I love him.

And I was proud of him.

So was everybody else.

And he did all the
things that they're saying?

Well, uh...

I don't exactly know
what they're saying, Tom.


That you're a...

That you murdered
men, just for the pleasing.

Just for the pleasing!

I had a father...

and I love him...

and now I don't
understand anything at all.

Your ma, how's she feeling, Tom?

She wanted me to come here.

She says all things
have reasons.

She's right.

All things, all events...

all horrors have reasons, Tom.

But that doesn't make those reasons
justifiable under the face of God.

Are you a murderer?

I was, uh...
commandant of a camp...

that had more prisoners
than it could manage.

Brave men died for lack of food.

Brave men died from
the filth in which they lived,

and I've been dying ever since.

No, were you a murderer?

Yes. But not the way they think.

I've never taken a
life with hand or gun.

But I've done worse.

I sat on these hands
when I should have acted.

Oh, I appeased my
conscience by writing letters.


To my superiors, begging
for medical supplies,

food, some lumber to build
shelters against the cold.

When these letter were
ignored, month after month,

I told myself I'd done
everything a soldier could do.

That was a lie.

I complained in whispers when I
should have thundered from the housetops

of every village and hamlet within
a hundred miles of Donneville.

I should have roused the
country against that abomination.

Made the world see what we
were doing in the name of our cause.

But... to rouse the
populace against the military

in time of war is treason.

I would have been
court-martialed as a traitor.

And for a military man, that's
below all conceived purgatories.

Except the one I had
built for myself ever since.

There hasn't been a night in
the ten years since that horror

that I haven't awakened
in a cold sweat

with the stench of
death in my nostrils...

and ghosts of dying men...

gibbering in the darkness.

Those people out there...

I may be far worse
than they believe...

but I would gladly give
myself to them right now...

and have it over
and finished with...

if it were not for
you and your mother.

You are more important
to me than my shame.

More precious than my life.

I deceived you about
my past because...

I couldn't bear to lose you.

Yes, sir.

Yes, sir.

- Thank you, Mr. Haggen.
- You're welcome. Tom...

You ought to bundle
up good going home.

It's getting kind
of chilly out there.

Yes, sir.

All right, now, you fellas
get on about your business.

Go on, get!

You heard what
I said. Go on, get!

Mr. Haggen.

What can I do for you?

If I write out a... a will...

would you ask Marshal Dillon to
come here and witness it, please?

Well... I reckon I could.

Thank you kindly.

That boy of yours, Tom...

appears like a right good
boy, clean down to his core.

All right, Newly.

You got a pretty good clout
there, but you're gonna be all right.

Thank you, Doc.

If I didn't know better, I'd say
you got a harder head than Festus.

No offense, of course.

- How much do I owe you, Doc?
- It's on the house.

How is he, Doc?

- Fine.
- I'm all right, Marshal.

Oh, good. Did you
have some guns stolen?

Not "guns," Marshal,
one Dragoon Colt.

I was fixing the hammer on it,

had it right there in front
of me and now it's gone.

Well, you got any
idea who took it?

Well, I didn't see 'em, if that's what
you mean, but I do know one thing.

- What's that?
- I know buffalo when I smell it.


Maclnnerny, wake up.

One of these days, I'm gonna get
so far away from this plain country

they couldn't find me
on three good mules.

It's the coldest place I...

Come in!

Come on in, it ain't locked.

Well of all the knot-heads. All
you gotta do is just turn the...

What in tarnation...

Time back, my daddy
and me had a farm.

Had to shoot me a leg-caught coyote
what killed a mess of our chickens.

It's just a matter of time.

If you set a trap for a coyote,
he's bound to be caught.

I'm here to finish what we
started that day we branded you.

There's a difference
between killing a coyote...

and a human being.

Ain't nobody going to
fault me for killing you.

I hope not.

I wouldn't want to be responsible
for still another human being's death.

Well, you can rest
easy on that account.

There ain't no jury going to convict
a man what killed Karl Martin Krag.

No, sir!



I knew it. I knew it!
I had it figured so!

Corley, don't do it!

This town won't do
nothing about him, I will.

- Corley, don't do it.
- What?

Why, you was there, same as
me, Sadler. You was in Donneville.

Yeah, I know I was there.
The war is over, Corley.

Now, let's go on
to other things.

What are you talking
about, other things?

Corley, there ain't nothing
else for you and me but...

but a bucket of money
and a bottle of whiskey

and buffalo out there
on the Staked Plains.

- Yeah, when I'm rid of him.
- No, Corley, please, listen to me.

- I said when I'm done with him!
- Corley, no, please listen to me!

Now, look, please,
please leave it alone!

Don't get it started
again, please!

Now, it's been over
ten years, Corley.

- Oh, Corley, I'm hit!
- Sadler.


Why you damned fool,
what'd you do that for?

I'm bleeding, Corley.

Don't you die on me.

You black-headed
fool, don't you die on me.

Why'd you have to come
trompin' into this town?

Surely, it's your fault.


It's all your fault.

You're a Yankee killer!


No! He...



I'm going to see my daddy.

"This general amnesty bill, signed
by President Ulysses S. Grant,

renders all subjects in question
beyond any office of jurisprudence,

and pardons them for all
committed during the tragic time

between 1861 and 1865.

But more important
to this office,

let it be cherished
that we endeavor

to erase the bitterness
memory offers to a country torn,

and forever seal ourselves
as a nation undivided

with the strength
of each other."

Signed, Alfonso Taft, United
States Attorney General.

Thank you, Marshal.

Well, you're a free
man, Mr. Driscoll.

We both know the
truth of that, don't we?

Good luck.

We can't stay here,
Louise. You know that.

I know that.

Everywhere we go,
this is the way it'll be.

Everywhere we go.

♪ Did you hear the
news that's goin' round?

♪ The shamrock is forbid by law

♪ To grow on Irish ground

Stay tuned for scenes
from next week's Gunsmoke.