Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 15, Episode 24 - The Thieves - full transcript

Long Branch bartender Sam Noonan reveals a good bit about his young life while talking to a young man on probation for theft. The thieves, all teenagers, have been given a 'work release': two of them work on a farm and the third for the Long Branch Saloon as Sam's helper. They chafe under the heavy-handed supervision of a small-time lawman who watches over them and takes every opportunity to make their lives miserable. Sam, himself an ex-con from way back, helps out the kid as a sort of payback to a mentor who helped him when he got into trouble. One of the other two, a mentally challenged young man who just goes along with his partners, may also rehabilitate himself if treated properly. The third one, though, finds more and more ways to get into trouble for himself and his partners.

ANNOUNCER: Gunsmoke,
starring James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Whoa.

We sure could use
some of that, Tilden.



Told you boys you'd get a drink
when we got to Dodge, not before.

Well, you better get
this wagon moving

'cause the sun's
starting to get to Shuffles.

You giving me orders, boy?

Look, I'm just telling you that
unless you give him some water,

he's gonna be in bad shape
before we get to Dodge.

Well, he should
have thought of that

before he got caught
with his fingers in the till.

Same goes for you.

Save your breath, Eric.

He's like every lawman I ever seen.
A big mouth and a gut full of fear.

Well, just for that, now, boy, I'm
gonna be taking the long way around.



You ever do anything
like that again, boy,

I'm gonna take that gun and
shove it halfway down your throat.

Yah! Giddap!

I'm sorry, Eric. I'm real sorry. I... I
don't need a drink of water, honest.

If we hadn't been up in Hays,
we wouldn't be here now.

First chance we get, we grab ourselves
some horses and guns and head south.

First chance, OK?

One thing I do know. Nobody's
gonna treat me like that again. Nobody.

Well?

I see we're gonna have to put up
with you as the deputy again for a while.

- Where's Matt?
- He's in the office.

What I'm fixin'
to do, smart alec,

I'm fixin' to be deliverin' and
a-servin' some papers and stuff.

Well, what kind of papers?

Well, how do I know what
kind of papers they are?

Well, you mean to tell me that you're
gonna ride out to somebody's place,

like maybe Jim Anderson's, and
you're gonna hand him a paper

and you don't even know
what you're handing him?

Well...

Suppose you pick up the
wrong paper by accident?

Suppose you went out and
handed Jim Anderson the paper

that said John Doe was supposed to
be up in Hays City at a court hearing,

and he went all the
way up there for nothing?

How would you feel about that?

Well, if John Doe's
supposed to go to Hays City,

what'd Anderson wanna go for?

Well, because Anderson would
think he was John Doe, that's why.

You mean one fella
thinks he's another fella?

Oh, no, of course not.

But, you see, Anderson
knows he's Anderson,

but he wouldn't know
that he was the John Doe

referred to in the
legal document, and if...

I don't know why I
ought to explain it to you.

Well, if a fella don't
even know his own name,

he... he ought to go a-galavantin'
off on some wild-goose chase.

You old... [CLICKS LIPS]

Matthew, that fella from the
county jail's here with them boys.

Yah.

Howdy, Marshal.

Brought you your present
from Judge Brooker.

How come they're chained?

Probation or no probation, I don't
take any chances with the likes of these.

I seen what this kind of animal
can do if you give 'em half a chance.

Hold it, hold it.

We ain't had any water
since we left that jail, Marshal.

Is that true, Tilden?

Well, now, I'm just giving 'em a chance
to boil some of the meanness out of 'em.

Get the chains off 'em.

All right, Marshal.

You do just what the judge says.

Now, you just let 'em run
loose, tuck 'em in at night.

I'll bet you a month's
pay that within a week

you're gonna have a
throat cut in this town.

Festus, get 'em over to
have something to drink.

You betcha, Matthew.
Come on, follow me, boys.

Tilden, you pull a
stunt like that again,

I'm gonna lock you up
and throw away the key.

Now, where's the papers?

Soda pop?

The sarsaparilla's good and
cold. You'll have to make it do.

They're gonna wean us backwards.

Soon as we get used to
this, they'll switch us to milk.

What do you think?
Should we try running for it?

Don't be a fool. We wouldn't get
100 yards in a town full of people.

We just have to wait for the
right time and sweat it out.

That's all we've been
doing for three months.

Eric's right, Billy. We got
to wait for the right time.

Shut up.

All right, let's see. Which one
of you boys is William Clarke?

That's me.

- And Claude Jones?
- Here.

- Eric Tabray?
- Yes, sir.

Now, you boys know the terms
of this probation, don't you?

The Hales' farm's a couple
of miles outside of town.

You'll get your keep
and your regular wages.

Now, you treat him right,
you'll be treated right.

But if you step out of line,

you'll have to go back and
serve out the rest of your term.

Is that clear?

Sure. The farmer
gets cheap help.

You don't want the
job, say so right now.

Never worked on a farm before.
Couldn't be no worse than jail.

Matthew, the Hales is comin' in.

All right, boys, let's go.

Mrs. Hale. Mr. Hale.
Right nice day, ain't it?

- Good afternoon to thee, Festus.
- Howdy, folks.

- And good day to thee, Marshal.
- What is he, a preacher or something?

Marshal. Mr. Haggen.
Thee are well, I trust?

Very well, thank you, ma'am.

- They sure talk funny.
- Mind your manners.

Well, I've checked over all the
papers. Everything seems to be in order.

I guess these are
your three boys here.

- There's some mistake, Marshal.
- Mistake?

There are three boys here.
There's only supposed to be two.

See, this letter
from Judge Brooker

states the entire agreement
and the names of the two boys.

William Clarke and Claude Jones.

No mention of Eric Tabray?

Thee knows I would do
anything I could to help.

But thee also knows that my farm
could not support another hand.

Well, Eric, looks like there's
been some kind of mistake.

- Does that mean I go back?
- I guess so.

Claude, William, we shall get
acquainted on our way home.

Go on, get in the wagon.

Eric?

It's all right, Shuffles.
I'll see you soon.

The Lord be with thee, Marshal.

Festus, why don't you
take Eric back to the office?

He can stay there till we get
things straightened around.

I'm gonna wire the
county clerk in the morning.

Yes, sir.

Come on, son.

Ah.

Thank you, Sam.

Um, Marshal, what's gonna happen to
that boy, the one Mr. Hale didn't take?

Well, I guess he'll probably
have to go back to jail.

- Well, suppose he had a job.
- Yeah, but he doesn't have.

With Louie working
at the stable,

we've been talking about
hiring a new swamper.

Mmm.

If I hire that boy, will
the court approve?

I don't think the judge'd object, Kitty,
but I'm not so sure it's a good idea.

Why?

Well, I'll agree that those boys
should have a second chance an' all,

but the only thing
we know about 'em

is that they tried to
rob a store in Hays City.

Was it their first offense?

Well, it was for this
boy we're talking about.

I'll keep a close eye
on him, Miss Kitty.

If Gideon Hale can
handle two of 'em,

I don't see any reason
why we can't handle one.

All right. I'll go over and have a
talk with him, see if he's interested.

I'll go with you, Marshal, if
it's all right with you, Miss Kitty.

Sure. Fine, Sam. Go ahead.

- Well, see you later.
- Right.

Well, that's about it, son. If you
want the job, I'll see what I can do.

It's better than going
back to jail, I guess.

Well, you could be
saying thank you to Sam.

Manners don't cost you nothin'.

- Thank you.
- Come on, Eric. We'll go see Louie.

Appears to me like that young un's got a
awful big chip on his shoulder, Matthew.

Yeah, well, sometimes if
they're put there early enough,

they're hard to shake loose.

- Louie?
- LOUIE: Sam?

- Oh, hi, Louie.
- Hello, Sam.

I've brought you a new
roommate. This is Eric Tabray.

- This here's Louie Pheeters.
- Pleased to meet you, Eric.

Eric's taking over your
old job at the Long Branch.

Oh?

Louie, I wonder if you'd
show him where he can bunk.

- Sure, Sam.
- I'll see you about six.

Why'd you quit working
at the Long Branch, Louie?

Well, when I decided
to give up drinkin',

I thought it might be easier workin'
some place where it wasn't so handy.

How long's it been?

Four days, three
hours and... 27 minutes.

- Some kind of a record, huh?
- The only one I ever set.

- Well, where do you want me?
- Right over here.

That one's mine.
This here's yours.

The walls aren't too thick,

so you just bang on the
boards if my snorin' bothers you.

Gets a little lonesome
around here at times.

It's gonna be nice
havin' company.

[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS]

[INDISTINCT CHATTER]

There you go, Sam.

- Busy night, huh, Eric?
- Yeah.

Would you bring in another
case of whiskey, please?

- Sure.
- Pass it all down, will you?

Whoops.

You're doing just fine, Eric.

It doesn't exactly take
a lot of brains, does it?

It's better than what you
were doing up in Hays.

That's a good point.

Coming right up.
Be right up there.

Just put 'em under the bar
here till we need 'em, Eric.

All right.

I sure hope Mr. Hale
gave 'em a good report.

I kind of like it here.

Keep talking, kid. Maybe
they'll give you a medal.

Howdy, fellas. How's
everything goin'?

Fine, Mr. Festus.

I just thought you
fellas'd wanna know

Eric's got hisself a job
a-workin' at the Long Branch.

- He didn't go back to jail?
- No, course not.

You fellas ain't neither, from what
I hear, the way you been a-workin'.

Mr. Hale says
you're doin' real good.

That ought to make
you real happy, Tilden.

The only thing that's
gonna make me happy

is to see the three of you
back in jail where you belong.

You just step out of line once

and I'll see to it personally
that's where you'll be.

Just like my pa. Real lovable.

You a friend of his?

No. I just run onto him
on the road out here.

Well, see you later.

So Eric got hisself
a job at the saloon.

Bet there's only one
thing on his mind.

The money coming
across that bar every night.

Whoa.

- Doc.
- Hello, Festus.

- You checked on Louie yet?
- Louie doesn't need checking on.

Well, I told you, Doc, he told me he's
been ailin' ever since he quit drinkin'.

You keep sayin',
well, he's all right.

Well, how do you know he's all right
when you ain't even examined him?

I've seen him from a distance.

You tellin' me that if my innards
was a-achin' me somethin' awful

and I had chilblains
down to my boots

that you could eyeball
me from clean down yonder

and tell me what
is wrong with me?

Are your innards aching
you something awful now?

- Well, no, but...
- You got chilblains in your boots?

Well, of course I ain't.

Well, you see? Wasn't
any use examining you.

- Howdy, Sam.
- Hi, Festus.

- I heard your spurs jingling.
- Well, much obliged to you.

How's the job goin', Eric?

- All right.
- SAM: Better than all right, Festus.

Is that right? Well, that
there's real good, Eric.

You know, them friends of yours are
doin' plumb fine out at the Hale farm.

I just went out yonder
and saw both of 'em.

You think I could get
some time off to visit 'em?

Why, sure, Eric.

Tell Louie I said you
could ride my horse.

And, here, take this as
an advance on your salary.

Five dollars?

Well, you may wanna buy a new
shirt, pair of breeches, whatever.

You can pay it
back a little at a time.

Money and a horse. I could
just keep going, couldn't I?

Except I think you're
smarter than that.

Once you start
running, you can't stop.

Now, if you wanna buy something,

you better get over there
before them stores are closed.

He just don't trust what a fella
says worth a hoot, does he?

Well, I think he'll
come around all right.

Hi, Louie.

Sam said I could
borrow his horse.

All right, Eric.
That's his saddle.

Bought myself some new clothes.

Eric.

I'm sick, Eric.

I've had these spells before.

If I could just have a
swallow of whiskey...

Please, Eric. You could do it.

Sam wouldn't notice if you took
a bottle, and paid for it, I mean.

You got it real bad, huh?

I can't, Louie. I'm sorry.

The way I see it, those people
out there are friends of yours.

If they don't want you to have a
drink, I sure can't give you one.

Thee are both good workers.

Look at them blisters.

Thy hands will heal
and then they'll callous,

and God will recognize thee as
a man who earns his own bread.

Do not all the Lord's works
start with a pain and tenderness?

A child, a new colt.

And think then of the plants.

A new white shoot pushing
through rocks, seeking the light,

until one day, standing
proud and sure,

a great tree, tested
by God's wind.

The Lord be with thee.

If I have to listen to any more of
that gospel of his, I'm gonna be sick.

Oh, don't be mad, Billy.
He don't mean nothin' by it.

Besides, it's kind of pretty
the way he says things.

Maybe I should have gone to church
with 'em. Bet he would have liked that.

Looks like you
boys been laboring.

Hey, Eric! You sure look fine.

- Shuffles.
- How'd you get all this?

Oh, got a little
advance on my wages.

Horse here belongs
to Sam, the bartender.

You sure do look good, Eric. I
never seen you look so good.

Well, you don't took so bad yourself,
Shuffles, all brown and healthy-lookin'.

When you two get finished
admiring each other,

maybe you can tell me when
we're gonna get out of here.

Don't worry about it.
There ain't no hurry.

There ain't no hurry?

Look, you're in town, where
there's people and booze and girls.

I'm stuck out here on
this lousy piece of dirt

working up blisters 18 hours a
day with only limp-brain for company.

Don't call him that.

Eric, you owe me.

I was for breaking from
that jail three months ago.

But you said wait. You said
we'd angle for probation first.

Three months you had me smilin'
and bowin' and lickin' everybody's boots.

You said we'd do
it the smart way.

Look, if we just
run out of here,

they'll have us back in
48 hours, and you know it.

We have to get guns, we have to get
a horse. Most of all we need money.

That's right, Eric.
We need money.

And there ain't no money
here, 'cause I looked.

I've been through every room in
that house with a fine-tooth comb.

But there's plenty of money in
that saloon where you're working.

- I know. I seen it.
- That's better.

I kind of figured that was why
you wrangled yourself a job there.

I didn't wrangle that
job. They gave it to me.

Why?

I don't know. Just to
give me a chance, I guess.

- You going soft on me?
- I'm not going soft.

You better start thinking, and
fast, 'cause one thing I ain't doing,

and that's putting in much
more time in this place.

All right, all right.
We'll talk about it.

Hey, Eric, do you wanna
see where I been workin'?

Mr. Hale gave me a whole
piece of land just to myself.

- Sure, Shuffles, come on.
- OK, tread over.

You may not realize, it, Eric, but
you're learning a trade working here.

I don't intend to be no barkeep.

It goes further than that.

Start tending bar
and with a bit of luck

you could wind up
owning a place like this.

I sure don't understand you, what
makes you care what happens to me.

Out nearly a week.

I'd have guessed that you had a
rope picked out for yourself by this time.

- Just like your daddy.
- We're closed, Tilden.

Well, I need a drink.

You know, something
to kill the stink of convicts.

You know, I kind
of missed you, boy.

How long do you figure
it'll be before you're back?

What's the matter with you, Tilden,
huh? What have you got against me?

- I never did anything to you.
- Well, not to me.

But I was a guard up there before
they made me a county officer,

and I watched you three

the night before they found the
old warden with his head bashed in.

Tilden, none of us
know who did that.

Do you think Judge Brooker'd let us
out if he thought we'd killed somebody?

I just wish he'd given me
five minutes alone with you.

I guarantee I could
have told him who did it.

No, you couldn't, because
there's nothing to tell.

Look, Tilden, you've been after me ever
since you found out I was Tabray's son.

All right, my father killed somebody.
Now, will you leave it at that, please?

You know, you're gonna
end up swinging your legs

just like your father
one of these days,

neither of you worth
the price of the rope.

Don't talk about him.
He's dead and gone.

- Frying now, right where he belongs.
- I said I didn't want him talked about!

I hear he didn't die
easy. Real gooburt.

You know, boy, if I had to deal
with garbage like your father...

[HORSE NEIGHS]

That's enough.
Get off of him, Eric.

Who started this?

Boy, you just spit the wrong
way, you look over your shoulder,

'cause I'm gonna be there.

- Who started this, Eric?
- Why do you bother asking?

I'm seeing the judge, boy. You're
going back right where you belong.

Was it you that
started this, Tilden?

Look, I don't have to answer
to you, Marshal. He hit me first!

Well, Eric, that
never settles anything.

You taking me off probation?

I don't know. That'll
be up to the judge.

Did you jump Tilden?

Yeah, I jumped him.

Well, I'm sure he probably
gave you good reason to,

but let me give you
a piece of advice.

Next time something like that
happens, come to me with it.

Eric? Look, Eric.

Will you leave me alone?

I'm up to here with
your good deeds.

- I'm just trying to help you.
- Why?

Nobody offers help
without wanting something.

- That's not true.
- What do you get out of this, huh?

I guess someday, Eric, you're
gonna have to make a choice.

To believe in people or end
up the way your father did.

Mr. Hale! Mrs. Hale! Come look!

- What is it, my son?
- Well, here, the corn. It's comin' up!

Well, so it is. Thee
have tended it well.

SHUFFLES: It's
just like you said.

See how that little sprout there
pushed that big clod out of the way?

May I see thy hands?

What? Oh.

- Do they hurt thee?
- Well, no. No, they don't hurt at all.

MR. HALE: They have
grown strong and calloused.

The Lord has looked upon thee

and seen how thy love
to work in his good earth.

Just like you said it would be.

I mean, the corn comin' up
and my hands gettin' hard.

Thee are a good lad, Claude.

Thee will be a fine
farmer someday.

I hope so, Mrs.
Hale, I really do.

Is that thy friend coming there?

He's lucky. He gets to ride
that horse any time he wants.

Well, it may be that
he earned the right.

What about us?

I think we earned the right to
maybe ride into town now and then.

Yes, thee has.

Thee may feel free to use my
horses whenever thee wish it.

Thank you.

Hey, my corn come up, Eric.

- Can you get away tonight?
- Sure. But why?

- We're robbing the Long Branch.
- Now you're talkin'.

Sam closes up. He puts
the day's business in the safe.

We're moving in before
he gets to that safe.

We'll be there.
Just name the time.

One o'clock. But
not him. Just you.

Eric, that ain't fair. You
said we'd stay together.

I don't care what I said.

Shuffles, you like this
farm. You like these people.

- You belong here and you're gonna stay.
- Eric...

After we get the money, you
bring it back here and hide it.

When it's all forgotten,
we'll move south.

Sounds all right.
What about you?

That marshal's gonna put
the blame on you right off.

No, I'm sleeping in the livery
with an old drunk in the next room.

I'll fix it so he has to say I
was in my bunk all night.

Wish you'd let me come, Eric.

Shuffles, you belong
here. I told you that.

And I don't want you to
get in any more trouble.

Now, one o'clock, behind the
Long Branch, and don't be late.

[UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYS]

Eric?

I'm sorry, Sam. I... just
felt a little funny there.

I guess I got too
much sun today.

Well, you better take
the rest of the night off.

- Oh, no, no, it's too busy.
- I'll manage.

- All right. I'm sorry, Sam.
- Don't worry about it.

Just take that apron off and
get out of here. Go on, now.

LOUIE: That's a good boy.

You drink lots of that,

and when you get bigger, you
can keep the mice out this place.

All right?

Louie.

Hello, Eric. Eric,
look what I found.

Yeah, I see.

How come you're home so early?

Oh, I wasn't feeling
too well. Sam let me off.

Better get to bed, then.

Yeah, I will.

Sure is a cute
little thing, isn't he?

I'm gonna keep him, Eric.

Figure him and me
are a little bit alike.

Both a little bit lost.

- Still having trouble, huh?
- Guess I will for a long time.

But you know something, Eric?

Today's the first day I really got
a feelin' I might be able to lick it.

I'm glad to hear that, Louie.

[SIGHS]

The way you were hurting
was beginning to get to me.

I'm sorry, Eric. Didn't
mean to get you involved.

No, no, it's not
that. It's just that...

Well, I... You got a bottle.

- Louie...
- I kind of proved I can do without it.

I mean, well, I been
off it over a week now.

Maybe...

Maybe if I just took a sip,
that'd prove I really don't need it.

Just one sip.

Just one sip and I'll
leave it alone for good.

- Forget it, Louie. It was a lousy idea.
- Eric.

Eric, it isn't fair, Eric. You
got it right there in your pocket.

Just one sip, please.

Please, Eric.

[LOUIE SINGS]

[LOUIE MUMBLES]

[CLATTERING]

[THUDS]

[SILENCE]

[SNORES]

BILLY: Psst!

- What's he doing here?
- Raised such a stink, I had to bring him.

Eric, you promised
we'd stick together.

All right, all right. There's
no time for that now.

Sam just closed up.

He should be bringing that money
back to the office any minute now.

I told you I didn't
want him hurt.

Ain't hit that
hard. Get him tied.

Any more around loose?

There might be some
in the other room.

I hope he ain't hurt bad, Eric.

No, he's gonna be all right.

Let's get.

[DOOR OPENS]

[SPURS JANGLE]

[SNORES]

Louie?

Louie?

Oh, Louie.

You was doing so good too.

Louie?

- Louie?
- Huh? Huh?

Where'd you get
the bottle at, Louie?

Bottle?

Never mind.

Now, you gotta
gather yourself up,

'cause I gotta ask you
somethin' important.

[GRUNTS]

Louie, there's been a
robbery at the Long Branch.

LOUIE: Robbery?

FESTUS: Louie, did you
see Eric come in tonight?

Eric?

Yeah. Went to bed before I did.

Wasn't feelin' well.

- Louie...
- Hmm?

Did Eric bring you
this here bottle?

LOUIE: No, he's a good boy.

Wouldn't do anything bad.

Wasn't feelin' well.

Went to bed.

Went to bed...

[SNORES]

Here, Sam, drink some of this.

- Thanks, Miss Kitty.
- How is it, Doc?

He got a pretty good
thump here on the head,

but old Sam's pretty tough.

I don't think it's gonna
slow him down much.

We lost almost $400, Miss Kitty.

Well, we're not gonna
worry about that.

You're all right, and
that's what counts.

Appears like Louie kind of
backslid on us, Miss Kitty.

- Oh, no.
- Yeah.

I could just barely get
him to talk to me at all.

I kind of figured maybe Eric might
have took him a bottle, you know,

but Louie said that Eric come back
a-feelin' bad and went to bed early.

That's true, Festus.

He nearly fainted in the bar
early tonight and I sent him home.

Well, he was a-sleepin' when I looked
in on him, so I didn't bother him none.

Are you sure you can't
recollect nothin' else at all, Sam?

I... I'm sorry, Festus.

Sam, I want you to take two
of those every three hours.

They'll relieve your headache,
help you get a little sleep too.

I'm gonna ride out to
Frank Wright's place now.

I'll drop by in the
morning and see you.

- Thanks for coming over, Doc.
- Don't mention it.

Thank you, Doc.

Sam, if you was to
recollect anything else,

I'd sure appreciate
if you'd let me know.

Sure, Festus.

I think I'll get a
telegraph off to Matthew.

He just might wanna
get back here by mornin'

and check into this
thing his own self.

- Thanks, Festus.
- You betcha, Miss Kitty.

Morning, bartender.

Heard you had a bit
of trouble last night.

- A little.
- How much you lose?

Mister, I can't see where
that's any of your business.

Well, maybe you're right, but that kid
who was working here is my business.

I'll bet you ten to one it
was him who took the money.

Him and those other two
smart-mouths out at the Hale farm.

If you'll take a little advice
from me, you'll stay out of it,

because you start
pushing those kids around

and Marshal Dillon's
gonna have your hide.

As long as those kids are on
probation, they're my responsibility.

They took the money.

And they'll show their
hand sooner or later.

- Morning, Sam.
- Eric.

- How you feelin' this morning?
- Oh, a lot better, thank you.

Whatever it was, a night's
sleep seemed to take care of it.

Except you didn't sleep
much, did you, Eric?

- What do you mean?
- You know what I mean.

You were back here last
night, you and your two friends.

Sam, I don't know what
you're talking about.

I want that money back, Eric.

- What money?
- No one else knows you took it.

I figured if I talked to you first,
it'd be called a mistake all around

and no one the worse off
except for my headache.

Now, wait a minute. You're
just guessing that I took that.

You got no proof we
had anything to do with it.

It's no good, Eric. I saw you.

I came to as the three of you
were going through that window.

- What are you gonna do?
- I already told you.

You return the money, nothing.

We'll just find it
in the storeroom

where it was dropped by the
thieves when they were scared off.

I don't understand. Why would
you wanna cover up for me?

Well, maybe I just see a little
of you in myself a long time ago.

Kid standing in the street looking
a little lost the way you looked.

I did some things I wasn't too
proud of when I was your age, Eric.

In fact, I was faced
with some jail time.

And a small-town marshal
took a long hard took at me,

unlocked my handcuffs,
sent me on my way.

And, you know, for a long time I
tried to figure out why he did that

instead of putting me in jail.

Why?

Well, when you
get a little older,

you'll come to find out
that people look at people,

and sometimes a man holds
out a helping hand and it works.

In your case, I figured
it was worth a try.

Is that all you're
gonna say to me?

Except I'm leaving
the choice up to you.

Eric, you won't believe
it. We got close to $400.

- Keep your voice down, will you?
- It's all right. They're at church.

There ain't nobody here
but us. Come and see.

- Where'd you get that gun?
- Took it from under the bar.

Figured it might
come in handy. Look.

The barkeep knows it was us.

You mean the law's coming?

No. No, Sam just
wants the money back.

- He ain't tellin' on us?
- Well, he hasn't so far.

He said he wouldn't.

- You believe that?
- I don't know what to believe.

- That barkeep got proof?
- He says he saw us leaving.

He couldn't. He was out cold.

He's just tricking
you into giving it up,

and locking the cell door behind you,
minute you show up with the money.

I don't think so. I don't
think Sam's that kind of man.

You don't see what they're
doing? They can't prove nothin'.

So they want us to convict ourselves.
We gotta get out of here right now.

Could be a mistake
running, Billy, a big mistake.

Could be five years
in jail if we don't.

Eric, we can't take a
chance on that barkeep.

All right, saddle up.

- Mr. Gideon.
- Marshal. Festus.

- Boys around?
- No, they're not, Marshal.

But there's no
reason for concern.

I gave them permission to ride
into town any time they wished.

Well, how long have
they been gone?

They were gone when
we came back from church.

Thank you.

Evening.

We're just out
for a ride, Tilden.

Sure. Told we could use
these horses any time.

Yeah, well, now, you boys
must have made a mistake.

You see, the county
line's behind you.

So?

So that means the moment you
crossed over it, you lost your probation.

And that Long Branch money
you got in your saddlebag,

that says that you got another
five-year jail term added on now, huh?

Huh! I knew all I had to do
was just give you a little rope.

Now, get off those horses.

[GUNSHOT]

SHUFFLES: Is he dead, Eric?

If he ain't, he's gonna be.

- Are you crazy?
- Look, we shot a lawman.

They find us now, it ain't
five years, it's the rope!

He's alive. Now,
put that gun away.

- It's him or us.
- ERIC: We're not killing anybody.

BILLY: We got no choice.

We only got one choice and
that's to get this man to a doctor.

We got horses and
a clear trail south.

No.

Let go of me!

I told you, there ain't
gonna be no killing.

All right, that's enough.
Hold it right there.

Now, get up.

Drop the gun.

You stuck a rope around
our necks if he dies.

We gotta get him to
Doc quick, Matthew.

All right, now, you boys are going
back to Dodge City with no nonsense.

Give him a hand, Eric.

Get mounted.

Another bullet in me
was an answer for him.

- What was it for you?
- I'm not sure.

Maybe you just
needed a helping hand.

There they are, Eric.

Marshal said I could come over.

I guess with a year in prison facing
me, it's a little late to say thank you.

But I do say it,
Sam, Miss Russell.

It's never too late
to say thank you.

She's right, Eric. And
a year's not forever.

No, sir. I figure I get off pretty easy
considering what a fool I've been.

Well, goodbye, Sam, ma'am.

Eric.

Louie.

Sarsaparilla. I
got a new record.

Nine days, and in here.

[CHUCKLES]

Goodbye, Louie.

- Marshal.
- Good luck, Eric.

Thank you.

- Ready to go, Eric?
- All set.

What happened to the
other two boys, Matt?

Well, the one they call Shuffles is
gonna be allowed to go back to the farm.

The judge seemed to
feel that he did what he did

out of a kind of a sense
of loyalty for the other two.

And Billy?

Well, he's back in jail, Sam.

You know, I don't think there's much
that anybody's ever gonna be able to do

for Billy Clarke or his kind.

It's a darn shame.

You know, there's still something
puzzling me about all this.

Sam, how come you stuck
your neck out so far for that boy?

Well, I guess because somebody once
stuck their neck out for me, Miss Kitty.

I'm just trying to pass it on.

ANNOUNCER: Stay tuned for
scenes from next week's Gunsmoke.