Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 14, Episode 24 - The Good Samaritans - full transcript

A group of former slaves on their way to Oregon are temporarily halted to repair a broken wheel. They find Matt on the prairie, wounded by two outlaws trying to prevent his reaching Dodge City, and hide him until he can recover.

Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Don't you see? I'm trying
to save the Marshal's life.

Once you give him
that there paper,

why there's more than a dozen
men between here and Dodge

ready to kill him for it.

The Sheriff said nobody
but Marshal Dillon.

Well, glory! Marshal Dillon.

How'd you get here so fast?

Just took a couple of
hours to find that horse.

Drop the knife.

The hobbles were cut. You're pretty
handy with that knife, aren't you?

Long way back to Dodge.
Be glad to keep you company.

You're not going
anywhere. Lock him up.

Sure could have
used me the money

old Aaron Croft's
offering for that paper.

Like I told old peach fuzz here,
some of them boys out yonder,

they want that reward
bad enough to kill you for it.

Me, I was satisfied
to snooker you.

- Marshal Dillon?
- That's right.

You are Marshal Dillon?

I can vouch for him, peach fuzz.

Didn't know but what you two
might have had something cooked up.

We never met 'fore last night.

Speaking of that, did I thank
you for them trail vittles, Marshal?

Well now, if you
ain't a caution.

Mr. Humphrey's
death bed statement.

And I hope it hangs Billy Croft.

It will.

If you can get it back to
Dodge in time for the trial.

- Good luck, Marshal.
- Uh, Marshal?

What about him?

Well, he pulled a
knife on you, didn't he?

Just keep him locked up there
until the circuit judge gets here

- and see that he stands trial.
- Yes, sir.

Yonder, he comes.

I told you he'd take the most
direct route back to Dodge.

It's like finding money
lying in the street.

We're a long way from Mr. Croft
and getting paid that reward.

I swear, Kittridge,
you'd cry hunger

with a ham hock in one hand
and a 'tato pie in the other.

All I'm saying is a lot of them boys
after the same thing what we are.

Once I get a hold of that paper,
ain't nobody gonna take it from me.

Don't waste no lead, now.

We's about to get us 1,500 dollars,
and you fret over an extra bullet?

When I'm spending my
share is when I'll stop fretting.

I swear, Kittridge. I truly do.

- I got him!
- He didn't fall!

- Hurry...
- He won't go far. I hit him.

Ain't no telling
what way he went.

All that blood he must have lost,
he can't get too far, whichever way.

Oh, sure was a foxy one, though,
shedding his horse that way.

Making us track half
the Indian territory.

We catch him, I'm gonna skin that
fox and nail his hide to the nearest tree.

Yeah, well, you're gonna
have to walk to do it.

That bush move again,
you shoot right in the middle.


Maybe there's something
to Juba's Bible talkin' after all.

- Don't spook him now.
- Shh.

Easy now, horse. Easy, baby.

You like that
horse, do you, boy?

Us ain't meant no harm, sir.

Just gonna steal my horse. Of
course you didn't mean no harm.

We thought it was runnin' loose.

And that puts your
brand on it, does it, boy?

Name's Cato.

Oh. It has a name.


Mr. Cato, I see as a slave,

that you was dumb enough to run
away and dumb enough to get caught.

I reckon you'd be dumb
enough to try to steal my horse.

- Wasn't stealing.
- Don't you mouth me, boy.

You seen a man hereabouts,
staggering around, bullet hit?

They's just us two.

He said a man.

You move that gun one
more inch, I'll kill you.

Just for practice.

Please, sir, us
ain't seen nobody.

You from hereabouts?

We's camped yonder
ways a couple mile.

Then "we'd" better get
back on to that camp

before I take a mind to
teach you both a lesson.

Now, get.

Cato, come on.


You know something?

If we don't find
Dillon by nightfall,

I'm gonna find that camp and I'm
gonna roust me a smart mouth crow.

What you doing?

Gonna see to setting
a drag stick in place.

Now, how far you think we
gonna get with a drag stick?

We ain't getting no
farther sitting here.

Just pray and believe. And do.

Well, we're still gonna
have to have another mule,

all kinds of supplies.

I'm near about out of corn meal.

And there ain't no more than
about two pounds of salt left.

We in the hands
of the good Lord.

And when it come time for
what we need, we'll have it.

Juba say he don't know
how long we be camped.

Wheel needs mending.

We gots to get
another mule somehow.

Steal it'd be my way.

Your way's what got
you out here alone.

It was Juba that
put me out here.

I knows you mean well, Benji.

It's just the way you
go about doing things.

Look, I was going about
trying to get you all to Oregon.

Now, ain't nobody else in that camp
knows up or down about doing it.

And my being out here just means
that my job's just a little bit harder now.

Juba thinking on leaving
one wagon behind?

Toting what he
can in Ike's wagon?

Mama Olabelle ain't about to
leave none of her things behind.

Not after coming this far.

Yeah, and if them cabins
ain't built by the time it snows,

she may as well
forget about her things.

Food holding out?

Getting lower.

Ike and Cato's been
out hunting though.

What field hands
know about hunting?

We're never going
to get to Oregon.

I should've stood up to Juba.

Ain't no way you could have.

You done wrong to have
that gun, to fight Cato.

And to take that milk cow.

Well, a man needs a gun in this
country and Juba gonna find that out.

I couldn't stand no more listening to
Cato talking about your being his woman.

As far as that cow...

Ike and his children had milk the
first time for more than a month.

See if I can't get
you some meat, too.

And have Juba
know you hereabouts?

Well, you can say, uh,

you come up on a
sleeping antelope

and you bashed his
head in 'fore he woke up.

- That be lying!
- But it be eating.

Juba say feeding the soul more
important than feeding the body.

Erlene, honey, if a man
don't keep his body going,

his soul ain't going
to get very far.

Benji! Maybe that's the
kind of talk you learned

from some of them army
soldiers you got to know,

but it ain't no talk I'll abide.

- I was just fooling.
- Well, just stop.

It plain you ain't God fearing,

but you ain't got to
go testing him like that.

Erlene honey, I figure that he
gotta have a sense of humor.

Why, look at me.
Huh? Well, I'm his doing.

Benji, don't.

You're a good woman, Erlene.

Yes you are. I swear true.

I'll tell you something else.

I vow it.

I vow that I...



- He's a law man.
- He's bleeding.

- Looks like he's been shot.
- Shot?

Uh-uh, hold on now.
You ain't going nowhere.

- I gots to get Juba.
- You gotta do what?

- I gots to get Juba.
- Erlene, hold on.

Juba got enough problems.
He don't need no more trouble.

- I gots to get him!
- Wait a minute, Erlene. Hold on now.

- No, Erlene!
- I gots to get him.

But you don't know what this man's
going to bring down on everybody!

Fool woman.

Erlene, fetch the mule.

- Juba?
- Man needs tending to, bad.

We'll take him to camp.

Juba, we gonna get
caught with that white man.

- Hush, Reba, hush.
- We'll gets the blame.

Olabelle, help me here.

Coming and going, that
bullet tore him pretty bad.

Willa, Heck, run see can you
hustle up Juba with that moss.

Yes, ma'am.

Benji with you when
you found this man?


Way you were looking
around out there...

- Mama Olabelle, I ain't seen...
- I ain't asking you to fib to me, gal.

But Juba sent him out. He
wouldn't go against what Juba say.

No runaway like Benji's gonna get
turned from the woman he figures is his.

Not by Juba nor
Cato nor nobody else.

He's out there.

Yes, Mama, he out there.

I ain't looking for no
answer for me, child.

In case Juba should ask, you
best have something to tell him.

Meanwhile you can wash
up this here man's things.

Big man, he gonna die, Juba?

Not if we can help it, boy.

He be a bad man, getting
shooted like he done, huh?

He ain't no bad man.
He gots him a badge.

That mean he a good man.

Juba say any man
was hurt or get hurted,

and hurtin's did by bad
men, ain't that so, Juba?

Well, Mama Olabelle say...

Whoa, hold up there.

Or Mama's gonna have
more people mending to do.

There's moss a plenty, Mama.

Willa, Heck, run get
some hot water from Reba.

- Any sign of Cato and Ike?
- No.

I hopes they bring something.

Them children needs
rib sticking food, soon.

Just pray and believe, Mama.

And do.

And... do.

Chucked a stone
at him and got lucky.

I'll just get this poultice made,
and then I'll start the vittles.

Thank you, sir.

- I surely love water bread.
- Me, too.

- Can I help, Erlene?
- Mm-hm.

Why don't you
fetch the honey jar?

- I'll get it.
- Erlene told me!

Don't start fighting, you two.

- Willa.
- Willa, why don't you get the plates.

Stew's near ready.

- All right.
- Sure wish we had us another rabbit.

This afternoon maybe I'll see can I
find me a sleeping antelope somewhere.

A what?


- Cato.
- Didn't get nothing.

- That gun been emptied?
- What?

The children. That
gun got a bullet in it?

Never mind, Cato.

Maybe tomorrow you'll do better.

Maybe so, Juba.

What's wrong, Cato?

Been listening to his mewling for
the last hour, that's what's wrong.

Why is he mewling?

'Cause he's got chicken blood.

It's... hot.

What happened?

- Nothing.
- What's wrong with you, Cato?

Erlene, set this
here in the wagon.

I got some stew.

- I killed us a rabbit.
- I ain't hungry.

Good. Then there'll
be more for the children.

What happened?

Don't make no never mind.

It do when you bring such
anger and hate into my home.

This place is my home now.

Talking to me like he done.


That white trash, looking for
somebody out yonder ways.

Looking for somebody?

Juba, I'm a man.

If you be, ain't
no call to say it.

They took this, but
that's all they took.

Mr. Thomas Kingsley took
your ear because you run off.

- 'Cause I run off.
- Mr. Thomas Kingsley.

- Not they.
- You saying it were right?

That what you heard?

Seems like I never
really heard you, Juba.

But here we both is, in
the middle of noplace,

trying to get someplace we
hopes'll be better than what we left.

You're in the middle
of nowhere, Cato,

and I'm thinking that's
where you're always gonna be,

no matter where you go,

unless you set to do
yourself some changing.

- Cato?
- In your bed?

That be the one them
two chalkies is looking for.


Well, I'll tell you, they be
looking with blood in their eye.

Ain't surprising,
they be what you say.

He's a United States Marshal.

- And you keeping him here?
- I ain't turning him out.

And you'd stand by him?

I stand by the law,
God and man's.

Ain't nobody can bring no anger
and hate in Juba Freeman's house.

No, sir! No anger and hate.

But it's fair doing if he bring in that
lamb to let us get ate up by the tiger.

That be all right!
Yeah! That's just fine!

Just fine!


Boy, why ain't you asleep?


Now, you close
your eyes and try.

It going to be like
Uncle Cato say?

We gonna get ate by tigers?

No, son.

There ain't no
tigers around here.

Now, you lay back down.

How you feel?


You be dead if
we didn't find you.

I know. I'm grateful to you.

Grateful so you'd say
nothing about seeing Benji.

Juba don't know he's out there.

How do you do, sir?

Yes, sir.

Been a lot of prayers for you.

You hungry?

No, thank you, ma'am, I...

I don't think I
could eat anything.

Where's my... my papers?

- Your what?
- Some papers I was carrying.

All you had is in
your boots there.

Ain't nobody here that would mess
with anything that belongs to you, sir.

That why them two shot you?

No, I... I just wanted to
be sure I still had them.

Thank you.

- Who are you folks?
- We're travelers.

We was on our way to Oregon.

Unless we get some
sore needed things,

well, this sorry land here might
could become to be our home.

Well, now, would
you look at that.

Why, there's a whole
passel of them, ain't there.


Why, evening, Sam.

We was camped out yonder there.

Saw your fire.

Thought we'd just drop by
and say our howdies, Sam.


Uh... How's that?

Name's Juba.

That's second time in
only a couple of hours.

First old leather
ear, here. Now you.

I don't take kindly to being
corrected by the likes of you two.

Well, they had near on to nine
years to forget their manners, Kitt.

It just might could be that they
gonna learn them back a lot quicker.

What can I do for you?

From all I can see,

you got a hard time doing
just for your ownselves.

We want no trouble.

You always get what
you want, do you, Sam?

You got no call to come
messing around here.


I had me a mean day of hunting
and a meaner day of not finding.

And I'd sorely like to work
some of that out of me.

I like you.

I'm gonna start with you.

Hey, Kittridge, come here.
Looky here what I found.

Best you don't come too close.

- What are you hiding?
- Hiding nothing.

Stand up, both of you.

- Cousin's powerful sick.
- Sick, you say?

White folks knows the
pox when you sees it?

- Pox?
- Hm.

Erlene, honey, turn back
the blankets on cousin.

Why didn't you tell us
you had the pox here?

Well, I'm not sure
we have it here.

Was he sick when he was messing
around with my horse this afternoon?

He just started
fevering a minute ago.

- It's no cause for you to fret...
- Get away from me.

- All I want to...
- Stay back, you slab headed fool.

- Come on, Kitt. Let's get out of here!
- Don't you touch me.

I ain't staying.

They be the ones what shot you?

I've seen that fella
Kittridge before.

Knowing him, it's likely.

- Olabelle.
- Now, Juba,

it weren't exactly no lie, just
a wrapping around of the truth.

Woman, you're something.

After 30 years, she's
still full of surprises.

Well, once more, I'm
grateful to you folks.

What for they after you?

Well, I got to be in Dodge in four days.
They don't want to see me get there.

With that paper?

- That's right.
- What would you have did

if Mama Olabelle
hadn't fooled them two?

I mean, with them black kids yonder
and these here black womenfolk?

Cato, hush up.

Just asking to see how valuable
the white man feel that paper be.

All right, folks, I'm
gonna tell you something.

Those two want that paper
bad enough they'd kill for it.

I appreciate everything
you've done for me.

As soon as I'm able to
move, I'll be out of your way.

Mister, I'm asking you
not to say any more.

You ain't got no reason to.

Cato, you'd better
get some sleep.


- Sure you ain't hungry?
- No thank you, ma'am. Not tonight.

Maybe I could try
something in the morning.

- Good night, then.
- Good night.

I ain't gonna try to
apologize for Cato.

I figure that's his
place to do that.

I admit, about them children...

I wonder what you
would have done.

Good night to you, sir.

You ask him real nice,
maybe Juba teach you.

Ain't no way in the world this here
man can learn the likes of reading.

He could've.

We both could have if they
took us to the big house.

Me? In the big house?

Man, you do talk
foolish. You know that?

You're a damn fool.

Cato, I'll tell you something.

I know who I am.

I ain't much, mind you.

Just enough for
Reba and the kids...

and me.

But knowing...


It's nice knowing.

Good night, Cato.

Damn fool.

- Good night, y'all.
- Good night, Ike.

Good night.

Erlene, can we talk?

- I'm tired, Cato.
- I never figured...

I'd be sorry for setting
out like we done.



It was leaving for there
changed things between us.

Never was nothing
between us, Cato.

I never promised you nothing.

We had us an understanding.

What we had was your running off
any man looked at me more than once.

You never minded
till that Benji.

That high and mighty runaway,
what made it come along.

- Where he at now?
- Reckon it's just that.

The way you's so quick to
being angry, so quick to scolding.

There was a time when
you being scolding mad was...

was being strong
to me, but no more.

Not since Benji.

It's other things that make
for being strong, Cato.

Night, Cato.

Benji, it's me!

God, woman, what are you doing?

Who'd you think I
was? Put that away.

Well, how was I to
know who you were?

What are you doing out here?

You could catch your
death dressed like that.

Reckon as how that's
something I wanted to hear.

That the night air is
made for your ailing?

No. That you care so much
to worry about how I be.

You know I care.

Yeah, I know.

Don't mean I don't
like to hear it, though.

This afternoon when we were
down by the swimming hole...

- Mm-hm.
- You was telling me something.

I was?

"I'm telling you true.

I'm grateful I found you."

You were gonna tell
me something else.

Something you vow.

I don't rightly remember that.

You do so.

What was it?

Well, that, um...

I promised Juba and Mama
Olabelle and the others

that I'd see to it that
they got to Oregon.

And you and me
will light out a shuck.

Where will we go, Benji?

Don't make no difference where we
go, so long as we get there together.


You! Keep away!

- Hey, you got the pox.
- You get back.

Figured to do
us a little talking.

- Ain't got no pox back at the camp.
- Say what?

Mama Olabelle joshed
you to believing it was there.

Yeah? Why'd she do that?

What you want?

- I want us to go to Oregon.
- That a fact?

I figure we all can do it, if I
was to sell you what you want.

Some paper that there lawman
what you shot was carrying,

some paper you's after.

When the Marshal find
that paper gone, well...

it'll make no never mind to me.

Won't be much
he can do about it.

You sure are a smart one.

How much you figure it'll take,
Cato, to get you to Oregon?

I mean, uh, how much
money you want for that paper?

Mule can't run but 20 dollars.

Need supplies,
cost of a new wheel.

I want fifty dollars.

Why, that's a sight
of money, fifty dollars.

Paper worth killing for.
That'd make it worth that much.

Got the paper with you?

- Right there.
- Let's see.

Not likely, not until
I see 50 dollars.

Must be that I got 20 put
away. You got something there?

- I believe I reckon I got some here.
- Ten. Let me see what you got.

Ten, twenty, thirty, forty.

Fifty-three dollars. Uh...

There's your 50 dollars.

Gotcha, boy!


Wait a minute! He
stole the wrong paper!

- What?
- Ain't so.

You ignorant black.
It's the wrong one.

But you're gonna
get the right one.

And you're gonna get it
now. And we're going with you.

And you make one wrong move,

one wrong step, and
I'm gonna carve on you

till there ain't
nothing left but bone.

And then I'm gonna
start on your friends.

You understand me, boy?

It was a fearful and
shameful thing he done.

And I'm pleading with you,
sir, take one of our mules

and get away from
this place, right now.

No, I'm not gonna
do that, Mr. Freeman.

- I wouldn't do it if I could.
- You got to.

No, I want you to go
along and do like I said now.

Shameful, shameful thing he did.

And when I get them far enough
away from here, I'm coming back.

No. No, you're not.

I want you to take
care of these folks here.

Keep right on going. Now, hurry.

Yes, sir. Come on, Olabelle.

If Benji knew, he'd...
he'd be here. He'd help.

I could go find him.

Why thank you, Erlene, but
you go on with the others now.

Now, you mind what I said.

You make one wrong move,

you act like you're
about to give us away,

and all your friends die.

Now, get down there.

Do you think he can do it?

He do or he don't,
it's all the same.

Only thing is, he takes
whatever chances there is.

Now, you stay here. I'm
gonna cover from the far side.

Oh, my God. Don't shoot.

They's out there. They'll
kill Juba and the others.

Juba and the others are gone.

I'll tell you what
I want you to do.

Go back there and tell them
that this paper's in my shirt pocket,

that you can't get it
out without waking me.

You'd better be convincing.

Because as long as those two
are out there, you're all in trouble.

Did you get it?

Can't get it. It's in his shirt.

I'd wake him if I tried.

Hush, child. Hush.


I don't want to get shooted
by the white folks, Papa.

Willa, girl, you
got to be quiet.

Please. They might can hear you.

- Papa, I's scared.
- Shhh.

Hold it right there.

I know that I should
have shot that tar face.

Drop the gun.


Well, now, ain't this a sight.

You be hiding the
Marshal behind you again?

He ain't here.
Please. He ain't here.

Well now, don't tell me he's
gone and shot poor old Croyden

and fixed it up so that all that
money Mr. Croft's offering is all mine.

All right, get on
your feet. Let's go.

Move along! Let's go. Get on.

- Where's your friend?
- Marshal! We're coming in.

You'd better hold your fire
till you see what I got with me!

- Kitt, he's got me!
- Shut up.

You got one, Marshal.
I got me seven.

Hold it, boy. Get over here.

Eight, counting this one.

Now, it ain't gonna
be a standoff long.

All I want is that paper,
Marshal. I ain't gonna ask again.

Either you step up
and give it to me,

or one of these folks is gonna
die for every minute you wait.

Had it planned good, Marshal.
Ain't your fault it didn't work.

Saved a lot of lives, Marshal.

You better go a long way
off to spend that money.

Dillon, you'd be a
dead man, most likely,

but for these folks tending you.

Of course I...

wouldn't mind if, uh,
you was to nurse me.

Kittridge, you got
what you came for.

How'd you like to ride
off a ways with me.

- No!
- You little...

Juba, let go. Juba!

Juba! Juba.

I don't know what come over me.

I know the feeling.

And Juba here have
time to think on it

while I'm taking that
Croyden fellow back to Wichita.

I know Juba gonna
let you come back now.

Well, if he won't,

I figure to bribe him with that
wagon wheel I'm gonna bring back.

- Wagon wheel?
- Yeah.

Marshal Dillon, he gave me a
letter to give to the Wichita sheriff.

Not only am I gonna
get a wagon wheel,

I'm gonna bring back a new mule.

And we'll be on our way again.

Oh, Benji.

You mean he's been
out there all this time?

You looks at him and
Erlene, you knows why.

And you knew it all along.

I strong felt it. Come to
know for sure yesterday.

But I had other things to think
on besides saying anything.

After all this time, those children
are finally falling asleep at dawn.

Sleeping safe.

I thank you for that.

- More, Mr. Marshal?
- Oh, no thank you, Reba.

I'm... I'm getting full.
Couldn't eat another mouthful.

Fact, I'm gonna have to
walk off all I've eaten now.

Excuse me, folks.

Marshal Dillon?


How long's you got to
get that paper to Dodge?

Oh, it's about two days now.

Wagons take more than a week.

Sure you ain't going to make
it riding there on no horse.

Well, I'll just have
to do the best I can.

I'd be that proud
to take it in for you.

In case they'd be some others of
a mind to try and take it from you.

I mean, who's
gonna look at an old...

leather-ear like me
and guess I'd be carrying

something as important as that?

Well, Cato, I'd be in your debt.

Thank you.

Pray and believe, Cato.

And do.

And do.

Stay tuned for scenes
from next week's Gunsmoke.