Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 15, Episode 19 - The Badge/II - full transcript

Matt is seriously wounded in a gun fight. Kitty is so despondent, she puts up the Longbranch for sale, bids Matt goodbye and leaves Dodge City. In a new town, in another saloon she finds out why Matt is the kind of man he is.

Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Marshal, they're
robbing the freight office.

Come on, come on.

Hold it.

Here. Stand aside, will you?

Help me, Festus.

Bring him upstairs, Festus.

All right, real easy,
now. Real easy.

There we go.

Hold him.

Festus, don't... Hold on to
him. Don't let him move, now.

There it is.

- I don't know.
- What's the matter, Doc?

It's awful deep,
but... I don't know...

All right, hold tight.

We're lucky.

Miss Kitty?

Is he all right?

- Will he be all right, Miss Kitty?
- Miss Kitty?

Stay with him. I'll
be back in a minute.


Is he all right, Doc?

He'll be all right. He'll be all
right. You can all go home now.

Kitty, I know this has been
harder on you than anybody.

He's gonna be all right.

I promise you.

What about next time, Doc?

What can you
promise me about that?

Doc, you gotta do somethin'.
You gotta talk to her, tell her.

Tell her... Tell her what?

Tell her she's got no
right to leave Dodge City?

She's not a ten-year-old.

She's a woman, Festus,
with a mind of her own,

and she's got a right to
do whatever she pleases.

But you know she's wrong,
Doc, just as well as I do.

Of course she's wrong.

She's got a right
to be wrong too.

If she wanted our
advice, she'd ask for it.

- Oh, you finished?
- Yeah, Doc. Thanks.

How you feeling?

Well, pretty good, considering the kind
of medical attention I've been getting.

Doc, what's that pounding
going on across the street there?

- Hmm?
- It's been going on all morning.

There's nothing
I can do about it.

Well, I didn't ask you
what you could do about it.

- I just wanted to know what it was.
- Some building across the street.

What building?

Now, how in thunder would I
know what building? I'm busy.

I haven't got time to check up on
all the carpenters around this town.

Pulse is normal.

Yeah, but you're not.

Doc, let's face it, it's
been five days now.

Kitty hasn't even
been in to see me.

And that pounding's coming from
across the street, from the Long Branch.

Now, what's going on?

They're boarding it up.

Kitty's leaving town.

Where's she headed? Do you know?

No. But there's a very strong
rumor that she's got a one-way ticket.

Nobody's seen her, Matt, not
since the night you were shot.

She stood there and watched me
take the bullet out of you and then...

she just turned and walked
out, never said a word.

I see.

I wonder.

I wonder if you do see.

Yeah, I see all right.

But I got a feeling you're
gonna explain it to me anyway.

Yeah, you bet I am.

Do you have any idea how many
times she's stood and watched me

dig somebody's
bullet out of you?

It's the kind of thing that's
pretty hard to forget, Doc.


11 times in 15 years she's watched
me cut you open and sew you up.

Never said a word.

But each time
she's died a little bit.

But, of course, you wouldn't
think about that, would you?

I'm sorry, Matt. I... guess the
older I get, the stupider I get.

Somehow I thought that maybe...

Maybe what, Doc?

Well, I...

Matt, you've been the marshal
in this town for 15 years.

Best marshal this
country ever saw.

Now, you could take that badge
off right now, walk right out of here,

leave the whole thing, and nobody'd
think any the less of you for it.

There's a limit. There's a limit to
what any man can be expected to do.

I see.

So that's the reason you stay up here
24 hours a day doctoring people, is it?

Telling them you're 51 years old
when you and I both know that...

My age has got
nothing to do with it.

Nobody's shooting at me.

Keep sticking your nose in other
people's business, they're liable to.

You're not gonna
try to stop her?

I got no right to, Doc.

You know what I think?

I think you're a dang fool.

Well, then, that puts you
in a pretty tough position,

'cause as far as I know,
there's no cure for foolishness.

Just keep track of any
offers that come in, Sam,

and I'll let you know
where to contact me.

Oh, my.

Miss Kitty.


I guess it... wouldn't do any
good for me to ask you to...

No, Doc. No, it wouldn't.

Thank you anyhow.

I'll just be a minute, Don.


you don't reckon
maybe she's gonna...?

I don't think so.

Come in.

I was wondering if you were
gonna come and say goodbye.

I was wondering too.

It isn't easy.

No, Kitty, it isn't.

Matt, I...

I don't want you to think...

Well, it isn't that it's...

Kitty, we've never needed
explanations, have we?


Goodbye, Matt.

Goodbye, Kitty.


- Kitty.
- Oh, Claire.

How are you?

Oh! Oh, Claire.

- You just don't even look a day older.
- Oh! That lie's earned you a drink.

Come on.


Papa wants to see you.

Uh, what's it about?


Uh, the room across from mine.

Well, now, Kitty, don't keep me
in suspense. What's this all about?

I mean, your letter said you had to
get away, but what does that mean?

Well, that about sums it up.

I've... I've got the
Long Branch up for sale.

As a matter of fact, I
boarded it up before I left.

The Long Branch for sale?

That's right.

Oh... Kitty.

I mean, it... it's
none of my business,

but... the Dodge marshal,
I mean, I thought that...

Claire, if it's all right with you,
I'd... I'd just rather not discuss it.

We read something down
here about a shooting in Dodge.

- He's all right, isn't he?
- Oh, yes, he's fine.

Uh, Claire, if you don't mind,
I... I've had a real long, long day.

I'd kind of like to turn in.

Sure. Your room's all prepared.

Thank you.

I'm not buying it, Dawson.
It's no better than thievery.

It's the same as you pointing a
gun at me. There's no profit left.

Don't talk to me about profit.

Last year was the
best year you ever had.

We had a good year
last year. So did Papa.

What happens in a bad year?

What happens when some puncher
comes in here with a lucky streak?

Papa running over
here to pay my losses?

That's the way it's gonna be.
I don't run things. Papa does.

Take your complaints to him.

Well, why doesn't he walk right
in here and take over my place?

- I mean, Dawson, it's just not fair!
- Well, tell him it's not fair.

I do as I'm told. You
do as you're told.

Papa smiles, you smile.

Well, I'm not smiling.

I mean, six months out of the
year these tables are in action.

Now, how do you get 200 dollars a
month out of a table gathering dust?

It gathers more than dust
when those drovers are in here.

So don't poor-mouth me.

Dawson, look, you gotta go
to Papa. You gotta tell him...

No, you tell him if
you're not satisfied.

I get paid for wearing this
and just keeping the law.

You get paid for turning on
people you used to call your friends.

You get paid for not having the
spine to stand up to Papa when he...

when he brought that
slime into this town.

You get paid for being
a gutless nose wiper.

That's what you get paid for.

Whatever happened
to that pride you had,

inheriting your father's badge?


Good night... Sheriff.

Well... Mm-mm.

I've been around long enough

to understand some of
the things that were said.

Is, um, that the
law in this town?

That's the law, such as it is.

Who's this Papa?

Papa Steiffer? Oh, well, he's
our guardian, our father confessor.

Our protector
from all that is evil.

I mean, I think you heard Dawson
say that when he smiles, we all smile?

Well... that's a fair
way of putting it.

John, you disappoint me.

We ask 30 cents. We don't
demand. We're reasonable men.

You only ask.

Papa Steiffer's always
willing to negotiate.

I'm just not sure
that they'll stand for it.

A man who reaches halfway, John,
gets no more than he reaches for.

You've got to learn to be firm.

And you've always got Locke
and Keller here to back you up.

Well, I'm only saying that I'd play it
safe over these Texas trail bosses.

You push 'em another ten
cents a head for grazing rights,

they're liable to
get their back up.

You had more than a few last year
questioning where Steiffer land ended

and the government land began.

Simply state that where
there's water, that's Papa's land.

They wanna dispute that,
they can always go to the courts.

Meanwhile, of course,
their cattle get thirsty.

- Yes...
- That's enough, John.

Doesn't anybody, um, fight him?

Oh, Kitty. That is a very
unfunny joke around here.

It there's one thing that Papa
can't stand, it's an unfriendly person.

That keeps him awake night

trying to figure out how
to correct that condition.

Well, I'm... I'm sure there
must have been some people

who've stood up to him.

Well, over the years
there's been a few.

And then all of a sudden
you begin to wonder

whatever happened
to Mr. So-and-So.

Where did he move to?

Or why did the feed store catch
fire twice in the same month?

I mean, the message
really gets through.

Yes, indeed.

It does have a way
of getting through.

I don't know, Claire.
It's... It's not my problem.

But, um... I'd sure
stand up to him.

You'd stand up?

Well, I certainly wouldn't
run or back off from him.

What about the situation in Dodge
City? Did you meet that head-on?

Well, um... that's different.

Is it? Kitty, this is
woman to woman.

There is no place I can
go if I lose my place here.

I mean, you talk brave, but all you
have to do is buy a ticket back to Dodge.

I run and I burn bridges.

You have a straight road back
to Dodge, all the bridges intact.

And whether you know it
or not, you are gonna return.

Except I'm not.

Claire, how would you
like to have a partner?


How much would you take
for a half interest in this place?

- With all the trouble facing me?
- How much?

- You do mean that?
- Except for one stipulation.

I'm not gonna smile at Papa.

I'm gonna give him
a big, round, fat no.

Shall we drink to it... partner?

Well, I... Don't you
wanna think it over?

Here's to burning bridges.

- Thanks, Sam.
- Say, have I got some news here.

- Sam, could I have some of that coffee.
- Sure.

Thank you. This Oklahoma
Courier just came in this morning.

Listen to this.

"An unconfirmed report from
Ballard has it that Miss Kitty Russell,

owner of the Dodge
City Long Branch Saloon,

has bought into
the Ballard Nugget."

Ballard? She's a-headin' south.

"Most readers will remember the
birth of the Long Branch in Dodge City

signaled that town into becoming one
of the focal points for herd shipments."

"Now, is it possible that Ballard might
now emerge as a booming cow town?"

"Isn't it possible
that Miss Russell

is more the shrewd businesswoman
than a mere saloon owner?"

"And another question is: where
does Papa fit into all of this?"

- Papa?
- Who's he?

Well, that's Papa Steiffer, and
he's got something to do over in Ba...

He used to be in the cattle grazing
business, I vaguely remember.

But the important thing is,
we know now where Kitty is,

and I think we ought to go
about finding out how she's doing.

Well, Doc, I ain't got nothin'
to do that can't be put off.

I'll just take me a ride down
yonder and see how Miss Kitty is.

That's a good idea, Festus.

But when you get there,
you'll have to be very careful...

- Morning, boys.
- Matthew.

- Coffee, Marshal?
- Oh, no, thanks, Sam.

Festus, you'll have to look out after
things around here for a while. I...

I got some
business to attend to.

Sure thing, Matthew, exceptin'
I was fixin' to ride down to...

Well, if you' got something to do,
maybe Newly can take over for you.

- No problem.
- All right.

Well, I'll... I'll
see you later.

- So long.
- You bet.

Doc, the onliest
thing I was fixin' to do

is tell him I was gonna ride down
to Ballard and see how Miss Kitty is.

Now, where in thunder
do you think he's going?

He gets around to reading the
out-of-town papers too, you know.


Miss Russell.

Miss Russell, I'm so glad
you were able to come.

- Special occasion?
- Well, I consider it more than special.

That man you have
running your jail

said you had some
business to discuss with me.


First of all, I'd like you to
know how delighted I am

that you're joining
our little community.

Truly delighted.

Might interest you to know that
I have many plans for Ballard.

But before we get into that...

to your newly
formed partnership.

- Shall we get right down to business?
- Of course.

As I was saying, Miss Russell,
you've settled into a little town

where lots of good things are gonna
happen and all because of Papa.

So many of my friends call me
that, I sometimes slip into it myself.

You won't think any less of
me if I call you Mr. Steiffer?

I will only hope that time may
encourage us to be less formal.

- No.
- I beg your pardon?

I said no.

The total license fees for
the Long Branch in Dodge

were exactly 180 dollars a year.

You will receive that exact amount
in the customary installments.

You're a beautiful
person, Miss Russell.

180 dollars a year.

Unless somebody can prove to
me that it takes more to run this town.

I pride myself on keeping
accurate accounts of my expenses.

All my receipts are in order.

Dodge City has a
chamber of commerce,

which is something I
intend to form down here.

I take it you wouldn't
have any objection

to this chamber going over
your accurate accounts?

Miss Russell, I was born
in a small mining town.

My father was an immigrant.

I went to work when
I was nine years old.

Now, I know that's of no
interest to anybody but myself,

but I want you to know
that when I was 14,

I stopped using my hands
and I started to use my head.

I've been doing it
for 40 years now.

And, of course, in 40 years,
with a background like that,

you learn a lot about
the art or survival.

I'd like to give you
a piece of advice.

There are times when in
order to take two steps forward,

you just gotta
take one step back.

That's very
interesting, Mr. Steiffer.

You play chess, Miss Russell?

- No. Why?
- Thought you might.

Good day, Mr. Steiffer.

You win.

What you don't say carries a great
deal more weight than what you do say.

What's that supposed to mean?

That Dodge marshal casts a long
shadow, doesn't he, Miss Russell?

Thank you.

- Business is picking up.
- Yeah.

Some of the boys
wanted a game tonight.

- Anybody come calling on you yet?
- No. I don't understand it.

Kitty, do you really think that
he's gonna leave the Nugget alone?

I think our next move

is to call together all the
business owners in town.

If we stand together,

Papa will have to shoot up the
whole town in order to get any place.

What are you doing here, Matt?

I got some business
down south of here.

Just passing through?

Something like that.

Um, Claire, this is...
this is Marshal Dillon.

- Miss Claire Hollis.
- My pleasure, Miss Hollis.

Well, Marshal, can
I buy you a drink?

Thank you.

- Thank you.
- Claire.

Ah. Excuse me.

Kitty, how are things
going for you down here?

I'll be doing
all right, I think.

How's everybody back in Dodge?

Oh, they were fine when I left.

You know, Kitty, you've picked
yourself a pretty rough town here.

It isn't anything that
Claire and I can't handle.

Nobody draws two
cards to a high flush.

Mister, we run honest
games at the Nugget.

You take your business
elsewhere if you don't think so.

What's the trouble, dealer?

- Ah, the man don't like his luck.
- Don't you throw luck at me.

I'm saying not all your cards
are coming from the deck.


Jackson. Jackson, I
want an explanation.

The explanation was
right up his sleeve.

Now, you got ten minutes
to get out of this county.

Well, you know the
town rule, Miss Hollis.

- Closed for a week.
- What?

- It's a frame.
- I don't hire crooked dealers.

Well, he's playing for
the house. About says it.

All right, now,
everybody, just clear out.

Just hold up a minute,
Sheriff. You too, mister.

Just who might you be?

United States marshal. How is
it you're not arresting this man?

Professional card shark
like that belongs in jail,

and this man here's
entitled to prefer charges.

Uh, no, Sheriff, I ain't
pressing no charges.

All right, then I'll press
charges as a witness.

Well, do you, um... do you
wanna go through all that trouble?

Another thing, how is
it that wearing a badge

gives you the right to close
this place up without a hearing?

All right, you can... you can keep it
open until the hearing, Miss Hollis.

Thanks, Marshal.

If you ever decide to run for
town sheriff, you've got my vote.

What's going on here? You
girls in some kind of trouble?

- Are they trying to close you down?
- Trouble?

- My life's been full of it lately.
- We can handle it.

Are you sure, Kitty?

I'm sure.

Well, thanks for the
drink, Miss Hollis.

That's the... the first real
man we've had in this town

and you're telling
him he's not needed?

I'm telling you, we don't
need his help, Claire.

How did I know a US
marshal was in that saloon?

I pay you to know who
comes into this town.

A strange face there
talking to that Russell woman

and you have to open
your stupid mouth.

It was too late to
do anything, to say...

Too late to say it was
all the dealer's fault?

That you wouldn't think of
shutting down the Nugget

because of its fine reputation?

The next time it's too late for
you to take care of a situation,

you'll extend your regrets to
the good people of this town

and turn in that badge.

She sent for him, huh?

And the whole time we were talking
here in this room, she knew he was coming.

Smart woman.

He's got no power in this
town, not with our own law.

He doesn't have to
claim any authority.

All he has to do is
stay here long enough

for Kitty Russell to
organize the town.

Really smart.


What does she
think we'll do next?

What'd be our most sensible
move under the circumstances?

Wait for time to pass.

Not make any moves
with that marshal in town.

The expected.

So we do the unexpected.

Miss? Miss, what's the matter?

Here, here.


You better come with me.

Miss Russell. What
a pleasant surprise.

- I'll just bet it is.
- I'll be with you in a moment.

I'm just looking over a
very interesting problem.

Checkmate in one move.

Slime doesn't even describe
you and those... those...

Sit down.

I'm asking you straight
out. What do you want?

You're not asking in
quite the proper tone.

Just spell it out.

- Papa.
- What?

A softer tone of
voice, and Papa.

I'm asking you what you want!



Marshal Dillon,
my name is Steiffer.

I have nothing to
offer you but apologies.

Now... no hysterics, young lady.

Just take a good look at this gentleman
and be very careful what you say.

Took me an hour to
calm her down, Marshal...

Shut up.


No. He...

I remember. He only
wanted to help me.

It was somebody else.

What can I say, Marshal? Except to
extend the apologies of the entire town.

Maybe you'd like
to question the girl.

No, I have an idea she's
been through enough.

All right, that'll be
enough, thank you.

I hope you won't think
too badly of us, Marshal.

Aren't you curious as
to why I'm here, Steiffer?

Well, I assumed you
and Miss Russell...

Well, that's part of it.

But I also came down here to
talk to some of those trail bosses

that are coming in,

about things like water rights,
grazing fees and so forth.

Good night, Mr. Steiffer.

Grazing fees? He's
gonna talk to them about...

I know, John.

I know.



Door's open.

Kitty, why did you do it?
Why'd you sell out to Steiffer?

I had him right
where I wanted him.

Who said it was a sell-out?

Kitty, I had a chance to get
a federal judge down here

to override their so-called law.

Steiffer didn't want me on trial. It
would have been a disaster for him.

He was bluffing you.

Be that as it may, it's over.

Don't you have some
business someplace else?

Yeah, except I'm not leaving.


I want you to leave this town.

I didn't come all
the way down here

to see you lying in the street
again with a bullet in you.

- I didn't...
- You've run a saloon for a long time.

Did you ever water a drink,
run a crooked table, roll a drunk?

- Of course not.
- Why not?

Well, because I'm proud of
what I stand for, and I'm proud of...

Claire was sure
right about one thing.


My old man.

He was all badge.

Died with his boots on,
but he was all badge.

You're living and breathing. Shows
you're a lot smarter than he was.

He sure had guts.

Along with a stupid head.



I'm a reasonable man, Marshal.

And surely nobody can
look at you and say otherwise.

Two reasonable
men talk, don't they?

- What about?
- Oh, water rights, grazing fees.

Misunderstandings, really.

Talk is always good.

I've always operated all
my life on pure reason.

Ambush doesn't
bother you, Locke?

No. But you're beginning to.

What point are you
making, Steiffer?

I believe every man
ought to be happy,

able to look at his fellow
with a smile on his face.

And that's why I have tried to
make everybody around me happy.

You're a fraud, Steiffer.

I don't know how you
can say that, Marshal.

Matt, behind you! The balcony!

Both stupid, my old man and me.


Do me a favor. I've
got an empty cell.

Let me take care of him.

You're gonna be
sorry for this, John.

Oh, no, I won't.

Oh, it just don't make a
lick of sense, Matthew,

somebody a-comin' up to a deputy
United States marshal like I am

a-squawkin' about 17
chickens a-gettin' stoled.

17, Matthew.

Now, how does somebody
know that it wasn't 15, or 12, or 14,

instead of 17
chickens that got stole?

Except maybe the mama
hen. Now, she might know.

Festus, why don't you
forget about the chickens,

maybe go out and
check the street?

Already done did that, Matthew.

Well, then, why don't
you go on to bed, Festus?

Don't worry about any more
of those chickens tonight, huh?

All right, Matthew.

- See you in the morning.
- Sure, Festus.

Festus, I thought
I told you to...

Hello, cowboy.

Well, I was beginning to wonder
when you were coming back.

What made you think
I'd be coming back?

Well, I don't know. A lot of
people around town miss you.

I mean, Doc, Festus, Newly...

It's nice to be missed.

Kitty, I... I'm afraid I don't
even have a drink to offer you.

Oh, that's too bad.

And I... I noticed the
saloon was all closed up.

But, well, even if it wasn't,
it'd still be after hours.

They tell me the lady
that owns that saloon's

got a lot of influence
with the marshal.


You mean you
don't think he'd mind

if she did open up to
buy an old friend a drink?

I don't think he'd mind at all.


Smell that air, Matt.

Something different?


Dodge City.

Stay tuned for scenes
from next week's Gunsmoke.