Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 16, Episode 10 - The Scavengers - full transcript

Piney Biggs wanders tired and thirsty into what's left of a family's camp site that has been massacred with no survivors. As he is scavenging through the remains a band of Indians come by and Piney is forced to play dead. He later identifies them as the attackers and tells the people of Dodge that he had been traveling with the family and he is the only survivor. A posse is formed to hunt them down. The Indians are captured by a slimy band of bounty hunters who find Piney's story suspicious.

Announcer: Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Thank you. Have a good day.


Is that a new hat?

Yeah. You like it?

Oh, say, I think that...
that's pretty... That...

You don't think it's
too much, do ya?

Oh, no, I think it's just fine.

- Thank you.
- Beautiful.

Say, would you... would
you happen to know

where a fella can get a cold
beer in this town, Miss Kitty?

You're talking to the
right person. Come on.

Miss Kitty's got
herself a new hat.

I gotta say this, Miss Kitty.

That there new hat sure
makes you look plumb pretty.

Well, thank you, Festus.

Now, what kind of a
compliment is that, anyway?

- What?
- What you said.

You said the hat made
Miss Kitty look plumb pretty.

You mean she's not
plumb pretty without the hat?

- That's what you said.
- That ain't what I meant.

You ornery old scudder.

Why do you always have
to start to pick... Pick...

If it wasn't so blamed
hot, I'll tell you what I'd do.

Man: Get the doc!
Somebody get Doc Adams!

Mr. Burke!

Found this man, side of the
road. Got an arrow in his belly.

Where's the doc?

In a bad way, Doc.

Indians... slaughtered
all them folks.



All them folks are dead.

Injuns. You hear that? Injuns.

Never mind that. Just get
him up to my office, Burke.

All right... Give 'em room.

Festus: Easy now. Easy.
Don't bend him, now.

Man: Another massacre, he said.

We got to do
something about this.

Festus, you better go get Matt.

Yes'm. I think he's out at
the Sloan place. I'll fetch him.

Well, you're a pretty
lucky man, Piney.

That arrow didn't
hit any vital parts.

Lost a lot of blood, but
you're gonna heal pretty fast.

- Howdy, Doc.
- Sam.

Well, I figured you were
about my size, Piney.

Hope they fit.

Well, thank you.

I better be getting
back. We're pretty busy.

Fine, Sam.

Who is he?

Sam down at the
Long Branch. Bartender.

He has mighty big feet.

Sam? You bet.

Heart's about as
big as his feet too.

What do you think of that?

Well, I think
that's pretty nice.

I guess Sam took
up a collection for ya.

He's pretty good
at things like that.

Oh, Matt, this is Piney Biggs.

Piney, this is Marshal
Dillon and Festus Haggin.


Uh, what is this Festus tells me
about you being in a massacre?

- That's right.
- Where was it?

Um, up north.

In a canyon.

He was in pretty poor shape when they
brung him in that freight wagon, Matthew.

Wagon folks are all
dead. Women and children.

You were traveling with 'em?

A couple of days when my
mule got stolen, and, uh...

everything I own
was on that mule.

I see. And they picked you up?

Well, yeah, they took me
in like I was just one of them.

They gave me food and water.

Up till then, I was
just like a dying leaf.

And they attacked
without warning?

Uh, sunrise.

Folks still had
sleep in their eyes,

and, um, they
never had a chance.

How many of 'em was
there, would you say?

10, 12.

Had a fierce battle
going on, and, uh,

I didn't even have a gun,

and I took an arrow in my side,

and then I just laid
there like I was dead.

Did they strip the
bodies afterward?

Um... Did they take
anything of yours?

Something you might
be able to identify?

Uh, yeah, they, uh,

took a watch my pa gave me.

It, uh... played a tune.


You think you might
recognize any of 'em?

Well, I... I don't know. Um...


The leader was riding a
black and white patch pony.

And the one took my watch,

well, he had a scar

that went down through
the center of his face.

Reckon it could be
that bunch of renegades

that's been raiding up
north yonder, Matthew?

You mean this isn't the
first time this happened?

No. Bunch of 'em escaped a couple
months ago from a reservation up north.

You better get a
posse together, Festus.

Tell Newly to take your place.

You betcha, Matthew.

Is he gonna be here long, Doc?

Day or two.


Well, if we get a hold
of any of those Indians,

we might need you
to help identify 'em.

You... I mean, you think
you gonna find them?

Well, I don't know. This is the first
time they've gotten this far south.

You know, you're a
pretty lucky man, Piney.

Out of all those massacres, you're
the only one that's lived through it.

I'll see you later, Doc.



Gonna be gone a while.

You rest, make yourself at home.

See you when I get back.


Oh, Piney!

Piney, where you been?

Supposed to be
here three days ago.

Shh. Shh.

I been so scared.

- Shh. Shh. Shh.
- Oh, Piney.

It's all right. It's
all right. Hey.

- It's all right.
- What happened?

- It's all right.
- What happened? What happened?

What happened? Tell me, please.

Piney: Shh.

All of those poor folks dead.


I don't know what I would have
done if you'd been one of 'em.

Oh, I don't know what
I would have done.

Rachel. Rachel.

I'm here now.

And... my pocket's jingling.


Anybody in there?

Hey, listen to me. Is
much fussin' going on?

He's been doing
more than fussing.

He's been kicking and
screaming, trying to get out of there.

Wanting to get a look
at the world, I guess.


There ain't nothing
much to see, is there?

Dodge folks is nice, Piney.

Ain't like being home.

Be good to stay a spell.

No, we gotta be moving on.

- Piney.
- Hmm?

You know, I think it
would be nice to just...

just stay in one place
till the baby comes.

Well, we got a
far piece to go yet.

Piney, please.

'Least till you're well
and healed up good.

And you know
what I been thinking?

I been thinking it's time
Merrilee get some schoolin'.


You are going to get something

more than space
between those two ears.

You're not gonna be like
your daddy. Do you hear me?

- Daddy, you're here.
- Just barely. Just barely.

- Where you been?
- Fighting Indians.

Fighting wild Indians.

He'll tell you all
about it in the morning.

No, no. I wanna tell
her about it now. Now.

I was fighting 5,000
Indians, you see.


We stayin'?


maybe a day or so.

There were 5,000 Indians.

Mighty fine. Mighty
purty for a renegade.


You want me to
get the rest of 'em?

Nah, let's just take these four.

That handbill said
$2,000 for any or all of 'em.

Well, now, lookie
here, big brother.

Well, what do you
know about that?

Probably stole that off of
some poor old dirt farmer.

You ain't gonna be needing
that no more, war hoop.

Time you got left is
getting mighty short.

Let's get old scar-face here
and the others back to Dodge

and collect that reward.

$40 will help us get
a horse and a wagon,

and maybe we might
even have some left over

for some fudge and grub.

Man: They caught the renegades.

Man #2: They got
'em. They got 'em.

Bringing in the renegades.

Howdy, sonny.

Can you tell me where I
might find the marshal?

I'm the deputy. Can I help ya?

Look what we brung ya.

We collected four
of these savages.

Left one for buzzard bait.

Two or three more of
'em got plumb away.

They look like they
could use a drink of water.

Water? I wouldn't give
them the sweat off my nose.

Them's the one's been
robbing them wagon trains.

Cut 'em loose and let 'em drink.

Big brother?

You heard what the
deputy said, boys.

These poor
heathens need a drink.

Now, step off and cut 'em loose
so they can get to the water trough.

Deputy, I'd be much obliged.

$2,000 is all that
the Army's a-paying?

That's what I understand.

Well, just where do you go and
how do you go about collecting it?

Well, how do you know
these are the wanted men?

Piney said one of 'em
had a scar on his face.

Here's your scar, Deputy.

Looks like a toss-up between
them and the buzzards, don't it?

Got a whole packhorse loaded with goods
that they scavenged off them poor people.

Well, the proof that they're the
ones that done it is Piney's watch.

It plays a tune.

A watch?

Hey, I plumb forgot about it.

Lookie here.

Took it off that
ugly one yonder.

Well, I guess that settles it.

Well, Piney?

Is it yours, Piney?

Well, it plays a tune
just like you said.

Well, come on, boy.

Is that your watch, or ain't it?

It's mine.

Hey. Well, that
ties it all down.

Yes, sir, big brother.

Blind hog done found an acorn.

Newly: All right, everybody, go
on home. The excitement's over.

Go on home now. Go
on about your business.

Sam, Burke, give me
a hand with these men.

Get 'em over to
the jail. Come on.

Well, I say let's go get
greased, big brother.

We's rich men now. Come on.

Come down to the
Long Branch, have a...

You know, there's somethin'
plumb unnatural about all that.

What's that?

About that gold watch.


You know, somehow that
musical watch and that old boy

just don't go together.

But you said we're stayin'.

Go on outside, Merrilee,
and play a while.

What's going on, Piney?

You ain't never
owned no gold watch.

Just... Just be quiet,
Rachel. Please?


Look, we got to go...

But you said we
gonna stay a while.

I mean, we got money. What
we gonna stay around for?

What we running
from all of a sudden?

Just get your
things t... together.

Look, all right...


Just get your stuff
together, and, um...

be ready when I come back.

Piney, what's wrong?

Look, just be ready
when I come back.

Come on.

That there the last one?

All right, let's
get him in here.

All right.

Get him back in here.

All right...

- Festus.
- Matthew.

Looks like two sets of tracks.

Seen Injun ponies all mixed
up with regular shod horses.

Looks like they came
from different directions.

That's right, and these shod horses here,
looks like they were taken off the wagons.

Seems like they're headed north.

That's the way we're
fixin' to head, ain't it?

You better mount
up. We got a long ride.

All right, fellers.
Get on your horses.

We got a long ways to go.


Take the wagon back
on into Fort Dodge

and tell 'em we're out after
the renegades headed north.

Okay, Marshal.

- Thank you.
- Good luck.

All right.

Ho, ho. Wait up, boy.


Fixin' to leave town, boy?

Oh, no, not exactly.

Well, I was talking
to that wife of yours.

She said you was.

You know that deputy says
that you got to identify them Injuns

or we can't collect that
bounty money from the Army.

There's a soldier boy gonna be
comin' to the marshal's office tonight

so you can point a finger
at them Injuns again.

It's only fair that you
point out them Indians

so we can collect that bounty
money and, well, we'd give you $100.

That's right, boy.

$100 take you a long way.

But if you don't, boy,

I'm 'fraid you're about as close
as you ever gonna get to Californie.


Is anything wrong, Piney?


Is it them, or isn't it?

Yeah, they took the stuff.

Thank you, Mr. Biggs.

That's all.

Well, about two hours, figure
the patrol can be sent out.

We'll take 'em off your hands.

To be hanged upon apprehension?

4:00 tomorrow
morning at Fort Dodge.


Piney, what's going on?

Where you been?

Where's Merrilee?

She's in bed.
It's so late, Piney.

What... Piney, what is it?

Piney, what's happening?

What is it, Piney? What's wrong?

Tell me what's wrong, Piney.

What's happening,
Piney? Tell me.

I done something.

I stole off dead people.

I took a watch.

I saw it... and I took it.

You took it off a
dead man, Piney?

Well, if I...

if I hadn't, somebody
else would have.

And I was gonna sell it.

And we needed the money.

Oh, Piney.

Them Injuns.

Yeah, I... I figured those
are the ones that came back,

and I took an arrow,
and I... I put it in my side.

And then I laid
down like I was dead.

Then you didn't see
no Indians kill nobody.

What difference does it make
whether I saw them or I didn't?

Well, you got to tell them
all that you ain't sure, Piney.

Well, I just come
back from there.

You tell 'em everything?

I'm a black man. I can't tell those
people I was picking off dead bodies.


Did you lie to them
about them Indians?

Tell me, Piney. Did you?

Indians bein' Indians...
What difference does it make?

If they didn't kill those
people, they'd kill other people.

Being Injuns?

Meaning they's all the same.

That's what folks say.

They say the same
thing 'bout niggers.

Those three buffalo men...

they say they promised me $100.

And... we've got
to get to California.

I can't crawl around on
my belly like a lizard...


Merrilee and the baby's got to
have something more than I had.

I don't want them to live on
a garbage heap like I had to.

Can you hear me, Rachel?

Rachel, do you hear me?

I don't... I don't want them to live
on a garbage heap like I had to.

Better than living
off four men dyin'.

It was better those four men
dying than my family dying!

Rachel, it will never be the same
between the two of us again, will it?

I ain't ever gonna
leave you, Piney.

I know that.

But you...

You'll never see me as
a man again, will you?

I didn't say that.


why don't... Why don't
you look at me, Rachel?


Rachel, look at me!

Look at me, Rachel.

I'm... I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

- It's all right.
- No, I'm sorry.

Rachel, listen. Listen.

I'll... I'll go right now.
I'll go to the marshal.

- It's all right, Piney.
- No. I'll go.

- I'll go right now.
- It's gonna be my time comin'.

It's gonna be my time comin'.

Gonna be my time. The baby.

It's only my time.

- It's all right.
- Your time's coming.

All right. All right.

I'll... I'll get the
marshal, all right?

You... I'll get the
doctor. The doctor.

Yeah. All right.

- You just be quiet.
- All right. All right.

You watch your
mother, all right?

It's all right, baby. It's all
right. Mama's gonna be all right.

It's only your baby
brother coming, honey.

Doc, I'm... I'm sorry, but...
uh, it's so late, but my wife.

Yeah, what's the trouble?

Well, she's doing it.

All right, now
just... just hold on.

Hold on. Everything's
gonna be fine. Where is she?

She's gonna have the...
She's gonna have the baby.

Yeah, I know, but where is she?

Well, we're... We have... You
know where Fong's Laundry is?

Exactly. Now, just a minute.

Hold on. It'll be fine.

You go back and stay
with her. Tell her I'm coming.

There's some
shacks. They're set...

Tell her I'm coming right
away, Piney. I'll be right there.

All right.


Ha! We got you there,
you old buffalo hunter.

And glory be if it ain't that old
Injun fighter we owe some drinks to.

Well, I... My wife's
borning my baby.

The doctor's coming,
and I've got to...

- Hey, now...
- No, come on.

Hold up, boys. I'm closed.

Hold on, bartender. All we want is
a little old bottle of drinking whiskey

for our partner here.

Well, it ain't my saloon,
and I'm closin', is all.

Now, wait a minute. We just got a little
time to kill between now and daylight.

Just a couple hours. That's all.

Don't you hear good? I'm closed.

Now, get your gear and get out.

Wait a minute. Wait a minute.


A dozen men couldn't drink
up all the whiskey that that'll buy

if it took 'em all night.

Now, you just keep the
change and trot on home.

Get back here about
daylight, and lock 'er up.

We'll see you. Don't worry...

I'll keep an eye on the place.

Now we gotta settle
down to some real drinkin'.

You know, we got
some celebrating to do.

We got to toast that new
baby of yours. Sit down, boy.

Doggone it, where's the whiskey?

Get you a big swallow...

Go on, drink up, boy!

Have a drink! Yeah!


That's it! Drink it all up!

Go on! Yes.

Oh, hello there, honey.

You the doctor, sir? You him?

That's right.

Your daddy sent me out
here to see your mommy.

Now, can you show
me where she is?

She's right in there.


- Mrs. Biggs.
- Hi, Doc.

My mama, she ain't sick.

You ain't gonna have to
give her no bad medicine.

- Hush, Merrilee.
- Well, I should say not.

We're not gonna have to
give her any bad medicine.

I'll tell you, though.

Your mommy and I
are gonna see to it

that you get a little baby brother
or a little baby sister to play with.

Now, why don't you just tell
your mommy what it is you want?

- Which one.
- I don't care.

Now, I ain't done you no harm.

I come in here like you asked me
to and I had your drink, and, uh...

I've got to go.

No, you sit down.

All right, boy.

I'm plumb tired
of funnin' with you.

You and me got somethin'
to get straight now 'tween us.

I've been watching you, boy.

You know, there's something
'bout you that just don't add up,

you and that fancy
banker's watch of yours.

Now, look here, boy.

Me and these two old boys is gonna
collect us a pile of money come morning.

Money that we worked hard for.

Now, you've done
right by us so far.

But I want you to get one
thing through that head of yours.

I ain't gonna set here and let you
mess the whole doggone thing up

by pullin' something
foolish about them Injuns.

You hear?

No, I ain't worried
about the Indians.

I'm worried about my wife.

My wife is bornin' my baby.

I worry about
them Indians later.


Well, you ain't got the
slightest notion, have you?

You know, come
4:00 this morning,

them soldier boys is
gonna hang them Indians.

Well, you're doing
fine, Mrs. Biggs.

About eight minutes apart. It's
gonna be a while yet, though.

Where's Piney?

Where's my husband?

Well, I expect he was
delayed a little while in town.

He'll be along. You just...

You just stay in the buggy.

I'm gonna stay in this
buggy. Don't worry about that.


Just how drunk you
think we was, boy?

Let me tell you somethin'.

I done taught little brother
how to use that skinnin' knife.

I give him the word,

and he'd peel
that hide off of you

'fore the good
Lord got the word.

All right.

Let me up and I'll tell ya.

All right, boys. Let him up.

All right.

Get to talkin'.

Well, you gotta know something.

Now, you haven't done
anything you have to pay for.

And I've gotta go over there
and tell that deputy the truth.

What you figure that is, boy?

Them Indians ain't
done that killin'.

They ain't killed
those white folks.

You're a liar.

I'm not a liar.

All right, boy. Why don't
you just tell me about it?

When I come on the
wagon, the killin' was done.

The food, the
horses, the guns...

were all gone.

Them Indians come after me.

I didn't have no stolen goods.

- What are you saying?!
- Rath!

- Rath!
- Get your hands off of me...

They come there like me.


We come a-ridin' into Dodge.

We hear this wild tale about how you done
fit alongside of them poor white folks.

And all about how
you taken that arrow.

And all how you had that
fine gold banker's watch.

Which just didn't seem
right in the first place,

'cause it never figured that you and
that gold watch would ever go together.

The watch wasn't mine.

He done vultured.
Vultured them dead bodies.

Well, ain't that a
hole in the trough.

A black Indian.

A stinkin' black Indian!

- Rath!
- I'll kill him! I'll kill him!

I'll kill him...

I'm gonna kill him!

I'm gonna kill him...

Well, who'd have thunk it?

Boy done fought like
a wolverine, didn't he?

All right, now, Mrs.
Biggs, you're almost there.

You just stay
right in the buggy.

I wish Piney was here.

Where's Piney, Doctor?

Merrilee... Merrilee
come all by herself.

But I'm glad you're here, Doc.

I'm glad too, Mrs. Biggs.

'Cause I think this little
one's gonna need a little help.

Here, honey.

Can't have you crying like that.

Your mommy's gonna be just fine.

I promise you that.
Now, tell you what.

We're gonna go outside here
where you can wait for your daddy.

He'll be along in
just a little while.

You can just sit right
here and wait for him.

Come on now, boys.

Simmer down and have a drink.

It's all just about over now.

You just take it easy and
we'll win and the Army'll win

and you gonna win too, if you
just got sense enough to see it.

You play it my way, and...

you gonna wind up with
a $100 ticket to California

for that new baby of yours.

Ain't nobody gonna stop ya.

You play it your way,

you gonna be just another dead
black boy for the crows to pick.

Come on now. Drink up.

Well, I reckon
that takes care of it.

It's all over now
but the cryin'.

Guess we'll just
mosey on out to the fort,

get what we got a-comin' to us.

You can go on home,
boy, if you want to.

Just take it easy.

Or, if you feel real
brave and real foolish,

why, you can run with
your little old tail to the law.

But remember one thing.

When you do, they gonna heist
you up on a pole for your trouble.

It'd sure be too bad, too.

'Cause then I reckon you wouldn't
get to see that new baby of yours

supposed to be born tonight.

Now, you make one move,
mister, and I'll put a bullet in you.

- You all right?
- I'm all right.

They kept me here until
those Indians were hung.

They didn't hang anyone, Piney.

Your wife told Doc Adams you
were going on over to see the marshal

and why you were
going to see him.

I wired the fort in plenty of time.
Been lookin' for ya ever since.

- They're not dead?
- No.

Nobody's dead.

Deputy? We was just
in here getting drunk,

and that darkie started
arguing and pulled a gun on us.

It don't look that way to me.

All right, now you
get up. Pick him up...

Come on, little
brother. Get on up here.

Honey, you know where to find
me if your mommy needs me.

Papa, we been waiting for you.

Piney, everything's all
right. You got a fine new son.


- You're hurt.
- No, no, it's nothing. It's nothing.

I got tangled up in my thinking,

but I'm all right now.

Thank you, Doc.


Kinda never was worried about
the way you'd make your mind up.

I got to know the daddy
of my son real well.

Do you like your brother?

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