Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 15, Episode 17 - The Judas Gun - full transcript

A small family feud between two men goes too far when one of the men hires a gunslinger to take care of business.

Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Here's to Bolden and Haimes.

Mr. Bolden, Mr. Haimes...

Like a drink, Mr. Bolden?

Yes, sir, Mr. Haimes, you
and Mr. Bolden gonna make this

the biggest town this
side of the Mississippi.

Mr. Haimes!

- Haimes!
- Haimes!



I got word you wanted
to see me, Bolden.

- That's right.
- You're looking at me.

It's time we had a talk, Haimes.

We got nothin' to talk
about, you and me.

We got your boy to talk about.
Now, you keep him away from my girl.

You brought me all the way out
here to Old Town to tell me that?

I'm telling you, keep your
son away from my daughter.

If I had the chance, I'd
pay him to stay away.

Course, he ain't the one
that's been doing the chasing.

Maybe you'd better put a
halter on that girl of yours,

teach her what's
ladylike and what's not.

You all right, Pa?

If it were me, I'd have put that
lead through his stupid head.

You want it with guns?

All right, that's the
way you're gonna get it.

With guns.

Slipped up on that king.

I take care of my own mistakes.

Just trying to be
a help, Mr. Avery.

Try by pouring me a drink.

A letter for you, Mr. Avery.
Just come in on the Dodge stage.

Get him a glass.

Kind of real money
there, Mr. Avery.

That stage heading
back to Dodge tonight?

Soon as the horses are changed.

Thanks for the conversation.

That's a whole
hundred-dollar bill.

He don't work much anymore.

But when he does, he
still don't come cheap.

I think it's a reasonable
question. Who started it?

Why don't you ask Haimes?

It wasn't me went running
to the law, you know.

Yeah, that's the same
thing he told me to ask you,

and he didn't run
to the law either.

But somebody should have.

- Marshal.
- Hello, Janie.

How is he, Doctor?

Like he deserves to be
for trying to doctor himself.

This arm's gonna be stiff
for a few days, I'll tell you that.

I've been creased before.

You going someplace?

The pinto needs work.
I'll run him a while.

Just don't stay out too
long, now, you hear?

I hear you, Pa.

All right, Clete,
now what about it?

Haimes tells me that you were
trying to brain him with a board,

so I can't very well arrest his
son for trying to protect him.

Isn't it about time you
two buried the hatchet?

Now, that's between him and me.

- And me, if you break the law.
- It's got nothing to do with...

Hold still here a minute.

I'm gonna tell you the
same thing I told him, Clete.

I want you two to stay
away from each other

before one of you
gets really badly hurt

and you'll find out just how
much the law's got to do with it.


I waited all day
yesterday for you.

I waited last night too.

Why'd you shoot him, Coley?

He tried to ride down
my pa. He tried to kill him.

Tried to kill him?

It never would
have come to that.

The way I saw it, it could have.

I thought we promised not to
get involved with their problems.

They're like two bull
buffalos battering heads.

Been doing it for 30 years.
They'll do it for another 30.

If they live long enough.

What are we to do?

Well, I've been thinking
of something, Janie.

Us getting married, but leaving.

- Leaving?
- Yeah, leaving them alone.

I mean, say it right out.

If they can't set their hate
aside and shake hands,

then they've got no
right to bring us into it.

Coley, I could never
do that, just leave him.

It's what my ma did.

Your ma died natural.

She didn't just go away
and never come back.

I can't do to my pa
what my mother did.

It'll never end, Janie.

You don't know him like he is.

Not a kinder, better
man in the world.

When you get past the hurt.

Maybe if you were
more polite to him, Coley.

Well, how about him
trying a little politeness?

I didn't see much of it that
morning he went after my pa.

If he'd been carrying a
gun, I'd be burying Pa.

But he doesn't carry
a gun, and you do.

And maybe you shouldn't,
Coley, because I...

I think you like to use one.

There you are, sir. Fine
horse, very fine horse.

I wonder if you could direct
me to the Bolden spread.

Bolden spread?

Uh, just head west out of town,
about eight miles to the road fork.

Turn left, and Bolden's
place is just beyond the hill.

Thank you, sir. Have a
pleasant stay while you're in town.

Have you ever saw the
hair on an old dog's neck

get all stand-uppitty
and stickedy out,

kind of slow and scared, like,

and then he starts to grumble
and growl away down deep?

- Did you ever see that?
- Certainly. Of course I have.

All right, then you look
around, there ain't nothin' there.

You can't see nothin'.
You can't hear nothin'.

You can't smell nothin'.

But you know blamed well that
there's somethin' there, now, don't you?


Well, because of that
grumblin' old growl like that.

No, not necessarily. The
dog might have indigestion.

Oh, well, you see,
Matthew, you can't...

- Isn't that Boyd Avery, Matt?
- Yeah, that's him.

- Put that on my bill, Sam.
- Right, Marshal.

Well, that's a nice friendly
way of saying hello, Matt.

- Or goodbye.
- That fast?

I don't like gunfighters
in Dodge, Avery.

So I've heard.

- You got business here?
- Just passing through.

I'll make it plain.

You draw that gun here in Dodge,
you're gonna need more than one witness

that you were
protecting yourself.

This isn't Marshtown
or Colford Creek.

Seems you haven't heard there
were several witnesses at both places.

Just remember what I said.

He a gunfighter, Matt?

One of the best, or worst,
depending on how you look at it.

- Is he here on business?
- He's passing through, he says.

Hey! Watch where
you're going, mister.

Sorry. It was my fault.

Set a bottle up
for the gentleman.

That's not the Boyd
Avery I've heard about.

Same fella.

Hey, Coley! Hold up!

Forgot your sugar, Coley.

Tell Mr. Jonas to let my pa know as
soon as he hears a price on that wire.

Sure do that. So long.


That fella, is he Coley Haimes?

- Yes, sir, who it is.
- Thank you.

- Nothing on who he is, Pa?
- No.

But he should be
coming around shortly.

Maybe you can sit with
him here a while, son.

If he's not looking any better,
you might ride into town for Doc.

I've gotta tend to that fencing.

Won't find nothing missing.

Man drawing like that
must be feeling plenty better.


How'd I get here?

My pa and me carried you.

The name's Haimes. Coley Haimes.

Well, you'll have to fill me in.

- The last I remember...
- Shot a rattler.

Horse got spooked
and you got thrown.

Then you brought me here?


Pretty fast draw, Mr...?

Avery. Boyd Avery.

- I heard of you, Mr. Avery.
- That so?

You used to have a reputation.

You hiring out down here
somewhere? Gun-slingin' job?

Look, son, I might
be obliged to you,

but I'd say you ask
too many questions.

Just curious.

I mean, you heading out
this part of the country.

You can stay over a couple
of hours if you feel like it,

just to rest yourself up.

No time.

Maybe over a cup of coffee.

We could do some shooting
together, some targets.

Like I said, son, no time.

Unless, that is, you're
scared I might show you up.

Guess that wouldn't be
too good for your reputation.

You sound like you
consider yourself pretty good.

Best this end of the
state, I always figure.

I hope coffee making is
another one of your talents.

You met a talented
family, Mr. Avery.


Five out of five.

Wouldn't say your
time was the best.

- I'll set 'em up for you.
- One's enough.

I might have been
out a couple of fingers.

But you weren't.

And you got a cheap lesson on
turning your back to another gun.

Say your pa and
you live here alone?

That's right.

I'd like to thank him
for the hospitality.

- Well, he's out fixing our wire.
- Have fence troubles?

No, trouble with a neighbor. Maybe
you heard of him. Clete Bolden.

Yeah, he cuts our
wires, Pa burns his grass.

He salts our waterhole,
Pa blasts his well.

Doesn't sound like that'd
make either one of 'em very rich.

It don't.

What keeps it going?


This is Mr. Avery. Janie Bolden.

My pleasure, Miss Bolden.

Hold your hand
back another inch.

Make the grab and the
squeeze all in one move.

Coley, I've thought
it over all morning.

Maybe it is the only way
to end this, by us leaving.

Unless they shake hands, we'll let
them know we're just not staying around.

Coley, what's wrong?

Boyd Avery's a gunfighter.

I can't prove this, but I think he's
down here hired by your father.

That can't be true. Why would
my father hire a gunfighter?

He said if we wanted it
with guns, we'd have it.

If there's one thing my
father would never do...

Janie, he was carrying a
lot of money, new money.

He also had a newspaper
clipping with that money.

It was about the trouble between
the Boldens and the Haimes.

- Coley, I can't believe that...
- Janie.

I'm not gonna let my pa
be set up for a gunfighter.

If I find out your
father hired a gun,

I'm not gonna wait for them
to pick the time or the place.

Coley... there's a
mistake here, I know that.

If he's riding out toward your place
now, that's proof enough for me.

Mr. Bolden.


You know, I looked
for you earlier.

I was busy.

- Busy?
- Getting thrown by my horse.

Getting found by this
young fella and taken home.

Name of Coley Haimes.

- Haimes?
- Hard kid to figure.

His words don't quite figure
the same as he's thinking.

Do you mean to tell me
that he knows who you are?

That kid and his yen for guns,

why, he'd know the name of
every living and dead gunfighter.

Yes, but does he
know why you're here?

Curious about what
I'm doing up this way.

That's about all.

I didn't meet his father.

He as good as
his kid with a gun?

The father? No, no. No,
Haimes never wears a gun.

So it's the kid you
want out of the way.

In... In a manner
of speaking, yes.

You see, Mr. Avery... I
have a situation on my hands.

I met her.

- You what?
- Your daughter.

Half the situation.

I know they've been
seeing each other.

Mr. Bolden.

On the way over...

after seeing your daughter
and the Haimes boy together,

I began to add why
I was called by you.

Now, one job's the
same as another to me.

But you'd better think
twice about this one.

Avery, I don't need
any advice from you.

Comes with the
gun. No extra charge.

Do you really think your
daughter won't know who hired me

to have her man friend buried?


You don't hire a gun
for a gospel meeting.

I just want you to make
a fool out of him, that's all.

Rub his nose in the
dirt. Make him crawl.

You see, he fancies
himself as fast with a gun.

He is.

That's the whole point.

I want you to make
him back down.

You see, Mr. Avery, my
daughter is a very proud girl,

and I want her to see how
hollow this Coley boy really is.

If he draws, I'll
have to kill him.

Mr. Bolden... I'm
a professional.

When I work, my life is on the
line. I don't hire out to play games.

I don't want any killing.

Nobody's pushing.

You wanna pay me off, I'm gone.

Pay you off?

You've already got 500.

The full price you
promised me was 1500.

Another thousand
when I left town.

I'm ready to leave town.

It seems to me
the balance is due.

- Yes, but I...
- One thousand dollars.

All right.

But I... I don't have
that kind of money here.

I'll have to ride in to
the bank in the morning.

I'll be at the hotel.

You've been gone a long time.

I want to ask you something, Pa.

I want the truth, Pa.

What was that man
doing here just now?


He was, uh, just here on a matter
of business, that's... that's all.

- What kind of business?
- Ju... Just business.

Why'd you bring him here?

Now, look here, I... I
don't have to sit here...

You hired him
to kill Mr. Haimes.

Now, that's just
where you're wrong.

- If I'd wanted to kill that old goat...
- I know you, Pa.

I know how much
you hate Mr. Haimes.

If you didn't hire that
gun hand for him...


I told you, Janie, there's
nobody going to get killed.

I just wanted to shame him,
to... to scare him with a faster gun.

To make you see him different.

- You'd take a chance like that?
- No, I've stopped it now, Janie.

Avery's leaving. I'm
paying him off tomorrow.

Oh, I know. I know I didn't
think it through enough.

But I... I was mad and angry.

I never carried a gun and there
I was getting shot at by that...

Best not say it, Pa.

Coley and me... we'll
be getting married.

I think you always guessed
it'd come down to that.

Now, Pa, you'll be thinking
over something tonight.

If you can shake
hands with Mr. Haimes.

- Shake hands with that...
- Pa, stop it. Where does it end?

Look what you've done to each
other. You've destroyed each other.

You had everything,
you and Mr. Haimes.

A fine business. Owned
almost a whole town.

Had two spreads was gonna
be the biggest in Kansas.

Pa, don't you see?

You're gonna keep at it until
there's nothing left for either of you.

None of... None
of it is my fault!

- None of it!
- I don't care whose fault it is.

Pa, I just don't care.

You'll be thinking this over.

If you and Coley's father can't bury
peacefully all that's been between you,

Coley and me... will be leaving

to make our own lives.


Is the marshal in?

No. He's went out of
town for a hour or two.

Is there anything I
can help you with?

No. I just wanted him to
know I'd be in town for the night.

Leaving in the morning.

Well, I can tell
him that for you.

- Thank you.
- You betcha.


Bolden hired your gun
against the Haimes.

- Who told you that?
- Don't matter.

You've got one of us here now.

I've got no quarrel
with you, boy.

With my pa, it's the
same as it is with me.

Thinking you'd gun
down an old man like that.

- You're wrong.
- You're a liar, Avery.

- I think you've said enough.
- I said a liar.

Don't that give you a
reason to draw on me?

Or are you more than a
liar, a coward in the bargain?

You're lucky I owe you, boy.

I owe you too.

Like I found you, in the
dirt, just where you belong.

Cut this out now! Quit that!

Look out. Get out of the way.

Now, who stirred up
this ruckus anyhow?

It's just a little
misunderstanding, Deputy.

going to be all right.

Getting in kind of late tonight.

Been in town.

That fella feelin' all
right when he left here?

Didn't seem to
have any complaints.

He ever say where
he was heading?

Wasn't a man to do much talking.

You appear to be
the same tonight.

I'm getting scared, Pa.

Never thought I would, but I am.

- Scared of what?
- It's not like playing games.

Would you mind telling me
what you're trying to say?

All got very real
all of a sudden.

Making it so he'd
come out after me.

Who's coming out?

Pa, I never understood how you and
Mr. Bolden could keep this going on.

After all these years, couldn't
you say one word to each other?

Don't talk to me about Bolden!

Was him burnt our field in
'52, wiping out our last penny.

Don't tell me your ma didn't die

'cause... she expected
we'd be losing everything.

She was...

You did expect to see me again?

I'll give you a
chance to prove it all.


You name it, boy.

The place.

Anywhere but in Dodge.

Old Town.

It's up the road. Hour away.

What's going on here?

Any special time?

As soon as it's light, I guess.

I'll be looking for you.

I said what's going on here?

His name is Boyd Avery.

He's a gunfighter
hired by Mr. Bolden.

A gunfighter? Hired...?

That don't even make sense.

Nothing you or him does
makes any sense, Pa.

But now Mr. Bolden has gone one
step too far. He's brought in Avery.

Well, wait a minute, boy. I ain't
letting you face any gunfighter.

You ain't got no say now, Pa.

I say I have.

Pa, will you listen to me?

You face him, you'll just be dead,
and he'll still come looking for me.

This is my fight with Bolden. That
includes anybody he brings into it.

I'm sorry, Pa, but you just
ain't no match for Mr. Avery.

Bolden, open up!

Open up, do you hear me?

All right, all
right, I'm coming!

- Do you want me to break it in?
- All right, I'm coming, I said.

Bolden, what happens to my
son happens to you, and I swear...

What are you talking about? And
what are you doing on my land?

So help me, I'll hunt you down,

and I won't need no gunfighter
to do my killing for me.

Just a minute. Just
a minute. Hold it.

If you're talking about Avery,
there isn't going to be any killing.

Well, then, you better
get moving and call him off.

He is called off. Wasn't gonna
be any killing in the first place.

Well, he's out at Old Town
right now waiting for Coley.

First light they're going at it.

Well, that can't be. He's supposed to
be in the hotel waiting for his money.

I'm telling you, Bolden, you started
this and you better be stopping it.

Right on time.

No reason I shouldn't be.

Ever face a gun before?


Not an easy thing.

Go through it a dozen
times, it's never easy.

I'm not scared of you.

Sure you are, boy.

And I'm scared of you.

My gun might jam,
shell maybe misfire.

But fear's good.

Makes your hand faster.

Brings out the animal
instinct to get in there first.

I'm ready, Avery.

Understand your father
and Bolden built this old town.

- You gonna keep on talking?
- Be one of us dead in a minute or so.

- You in that much of a hurry?
- I know your game.

Trying to get me nervous.

You're that already, boy.

Your gut's tied in
a knot right now.

Check your gun, boy.

I told you I'm ready.

Well, I just thought I'd give you
a little advice, the first time out.

Sometimes a fella uses his
gun, he... forgets to reload.

I read about you, Avery.

Half trickery, half gun hand.

You draw on the other fella
when his mind's on other things.

That's called an edge, boy.

Part of the game.

Coley, stop! No!

- Don't! You can't!
- Janie!

- Miss Bolden, get back.
- No!

Janie, please.

Aren't there enough
graves up here already?

Your Uncle Ben, my Uncle Joe.

Abe Sparry, Paul
Hawkins. Six, eight others.

'Cause two old man
been living on hate.

Makes no sense, Coley,
to add your grave to theirs.

Please, Coley, for me, for us.

Coley, we can ride out of
here and never see them again.

They don't matter no more,

just us, the whole
rest of our lives.

I'm not drawing
against you, Avery.

You disappoint me, boy.

I had you figured different.

A man who backs his hand, calling
another man a liar and a coward.

I'm gonna have to
say I'm sorry for that.

Not enough, boy. The town
saw me in the dirt, you calling.

It's just not enough.

Don't you turn your
back on me, boy.

Fastest gun in this end
of the state, you said.

Please, Mr. Avery.

Chance to prove you're a man.

I'll only prove I was a fool.

Who's the coward, boy?

Coley, no!

It's now, boy.


Me and this town...

A little too old.

All right, Bolden.

I'll take your word for it that
you didn't hire this Avery fella

to come in here and
do any actual killing.

We'll have to wait and see if
Judge Brooker buys the story.

But as far as I'm concerned,

you're all kinds of a fool for
starting something like this.

Not so sure that I
started in the first place.


Anybody that'd send
money to hire a gunfighter

hasn't got brains
to fit into a thimble.

How about you calling my
daughter, calling her a tramp?

- Something I never said.
- Well, you certainly did.

All right, that's enough
out of both of you.

I think you've both said
way too much already.

Now, why don't
you break this off

and go on back to your
homes where you belong?

Here they come.
Now, don't give in.

You going someplace?

Garden City. Getting married.


Why don't... Why don't you just
get married here in... here in Dodge?

Making our home
there, Garden City.

Well, you were raised
right here in Dodge.

It seems to me like a
good place to get married in.


There'd be an awful lot of... lot
of people around here that'd...

that'd like to come to the
ceremony here in Dodge.

Kind of made up our minds.

Well... I guess, you
know, me and Mr...

well, himself here and
myself, we thought that...

be nice if we could
go to the wedding too.

I... I kind of guess.

Well, what are we standing
around here for, huh?

Well, I'd have never
have thought it, Matthew.

You know, you just kind
of think about somethin'

without never not
thinkin' about it.

You know what I mean?

Festus, I'll have to let you
explain that to me over a beer.

- How about it?
- Yeah.

Well, you see, what
I'm talkin' about...

Stay tuned for scenes
from next week's Gunsmoke.