Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 16, Episode 13 - The Noonday Devil - full transcript

Anthony Zerbe plays the roles of twins, Heraclio and Hernando Cantrell. The former is an outlaw who was expelled from the Franciscan order; the latter is a devout Franciscan priest. The brothers' reunion leads to a dramatic clash between their vocational choices, and Matt Dillon is caught in the middle.

(theme music playing)

Announcer: Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

(harmonica playing)

(speaking Spanish)


(playing harmonica)


(speaking Spanish)

(speaking Spanish)

Hey, Diego, I think maybe
you got it by the wrong end.

Si. This is the same
about your music box.

You have terrified the mule.

This went clear
through the war with me.

See there?

- Si.
- Kennesaw Mountain.

Stopped a mini-ball.

Wounded in action.

- Comprende?
- Si.

Wounded. Then it died.

One should give
it Christian burial.


Well, there's your
trouble right there.

That rising arrow brand.

This? This is my trouble?

Yeah, no wonder that dang
critter can't go down mountain.

Look at the way
that arrow's pointing.

That's an uphill mule.

¡Ay! Vamanos.

(speaking Spanish)

(playing harmonica)

(speaking Spanish)


Good morning.

I'm Padre Francis.

My name's Cunningham.

Bones Cunningham.

I am Diego, Padre.

This is Quito.

I ask if we may walk
along with you to the village.

We hear there are bandits in
these hills. We haven't much, but...

Ah, Padre, no danger.

The village is but
three miles away,

and this valley is
always peaceful.

You come from the Caesar Mines?

Is that gold you're guarding?

That ain't really any of
your business, Padre.

All due respect.

No, of course not.

Well, God give us
all a good journey.

May we join you?

I don't see why not.


Padre? Padre?

I think you and I have
met before somewhere.

No, I am new to these parts.

Sante Fe, maybe.

No, never been there.

Your outfit's got headquarters
in Sante Fe, haven't you?

Some of us, not all.

I'm just a poor mendicant friar,

going from place to place,
begging for my food and lodging.

I'd swear I know you.

We all look alike.
It's my habit.

No, it's your face.

It's an illusion, my son.

Life is full of illusions.

No. No, this is no illusion.

I've seen you before.


Quito, forget the
boots, you old fool.

That gold is hanging
on the sides of the mule.


Bones: Padre from Chimayó.


(theme music playing)

And about that
time it came to me w

here I'd seen
that priest before.

El Santuario de Chimayó.

About three, four years ago.

I can't imagine a priest
robbin' a gold shipment.

You sure it wasn't a disguise?


He's that same padre I
seen before at the mission.

Same face.


Well, out-of-the-way mission
like that with no priest and all.

Could fool the Indians anyway.

I'll tell you something,

if he ain't a priest gone bad,

he's somebody that's
been around priests.

Just something about him, Matt.

The way he carries himself.

I'd bet my boots on that.

If I had my boots.

(inhales sharply)

I didn't help you
very much, Matt.

Just that... that risin'
arrow brand on that mule.

Well, I'll ride down that
way and check it out.

40 miles north of Sante Fe.

Good luck, Matt.

What are his chances, Doc?

It'll be a matter of hours.

Friend of yours, Marshal?


He was a friend. I
worked with him years ago.

Well, we'll do everything we
can to make it easy for him.

Thanks, Doc.

(labored breathing)

(speaking Spanish)

Where... where is my coffin?

You aren't dead yet.

I want it before I die.

Here in this room.

I must see it. Lie in it.

All right, all right.

You... you gave me
your solemn promise.

It's the least you can do
for my share of the gold.

I'll get it.

My coffin... it will be of oak.


Where do I get oak? Grow it?

As your great uncle,

I Francisquito Vega, disown you.

In the name of the
Father and the Son

and the Holy Ghost.


I must be buried in
consecrated ground...

at de Chimayó.

This is my final request.

I don't want to go to Chimayó.

But you will.

Or I'll come back.

Come back? You
haven't even left yet.

And I won't until you
bring me my coffin.

If that's a promise,
I'll build it myself.

(chuckles softly)

It can be of pine.

But thick and tightly joined.

So the centipedes can't get in.



You need help to
bring out burying box?


But give me a moment
alone with him first.

Hey, hombre,

this much gold,
you'll rest in peace,

even with centipedes.



Pretty good burying box, hey?

You give me $40 for
box and use of wagon.

Those are worth more than $40.

What do I do with boots?

Go on the warpath.

I take boots and $30.

You'll take boots
and shut up. Hyah!

I take $10.

Send me a bill!


It is simple to
understand, Padre.

The well is dry. I
can no longer share.

The well is half-dry.

It was our agreement that for
my labors in building the well,

we should share.

You call a bucket of mud at
the bottom of the well half-dry?

All right, Carlos. It is
simple to understand.


What does he want?

He did not say, Padre.

Return the labor and
keep the rights to the well.

It was a month's labor.
I have fields to plow.

Padre, it's mid-summer.

The heat!

Then why not share
the bucket of mud?

It's been a long time, Heraclio.

A year and a half, brother.

- What have you been doing?
- Time.

You mean jail?

I don't mean purgatory.

Which reminds me, Uncle Quito...

Uncle Quito's with you?

Well, he's with me but
he's no longer with us.

If you take my meaning.


He made me promise to bring him
down here to your churchyard for burial.

It wasn't old age.

No. Bunch of renegade
Apaches near Taos.

We were prospectin'.

Was there a priest?

Just me. I gave him my blessing.

You must have been
great comfort to him.

Domine, exaudi orationem meam.

(praying in Latin)

You must remember
how to say amen.


And you still pray like a
Pharisee mumbling in his beard.

And I sure hope your
wine's better than your Latin.

(door closes)


Mind if I water my horse?

Sure, no charge.

Chimayó is just
south of here, isn't it?

Follow the wagon road.

I'm looking for a couple of
men that passed through here.

One of them was wounded and
they... They had a mule with 'em.

You catch him, you
come back this way.

Maybe. Why?

Give back boots.

Take $40 for burying
box and wagon.

Burying? You mean,
one of them died?

He buried in Chimayó.

Boots fit woman, not me.

Need $40 for box and wagon.

You pay now, I take $10.

Thanks for the information.

Won't you stay for the funeral?

I leave in an hour.

I can't say mass in
the afternoon, Heraclio.

You can have
burial without mass.

You deny Quito a requiem mass?

I carted him 20 miles
to consecrated ground.

That's enough.

Besides, you're not worried
about me denying him.

You're worried about me denying
you the chance to play God.

On the high altar, full
choir, dark angels swooping.

You resent me that much you
couldn't bear to hear me say mass?

I never have. I never will.

Can't you separate
me from my priesthood?

Like you separated me from mine?

That is a lie.

There's nothing new about that.

What's new is that Quito is dead

and you took the trouble
to respect his last wishes.

That's very unlike
you, Heraclio.

Eh, you don't know very
much about me, brother.

I knew Quito.

He was a decent man
until you corrupted him.

At least I didn't
corrupt the innocent,

like you do every
day of your false life.

False life?

False priest.

If you didn't bring Quito here out
of Christian decency, why then?

You underestimate me, brother.

I have a great
respect for the dead.

I might even work
up some for you

if you ever have the
Christian decency to die.


Dust thou art...

and unto dust thou shall return.

But the Lord will raise
you up on the last day.

Or even before that.

Where are you off
to now, Heraclio?

Oh, I won't be far, brother.

You and I are never far apart.

Certainly not in
thought, if distance.

Yes, I do think of you.

Oh, incidentally, I
think Uncle Quito

deserves something
better as a final resting place

than a common grave.

Would you object if I
built a crypt for him?

A crypt? Why?

He was like a father to me.

It will be a worthy crypt,
brother, if you don't object.

Something I'd like to
build with my own hands.

I do object.

There's no need to
disturb the body now.

In fact, you said Uncle
Quito's last wish...

Ah, he had lots of last wishes.

But the very last, and, uh...

I recall it distinctly now,

is that when I had time

I should build a stone crypt
for him away from the mission.

Why? I don't understand.

Lots of things you don't
understand, holy brother.

I'll be back to move the body.


Can I help you?

Padre, my name's Matt Dillon.

I'm a United States
Marshal from Kansas.

Hernando Cantrell. Priest
of El Santuario de Chimayó.

Welcome in the name of
our Lord and St. Francis.

Thank you.

Is there a reason for your
visit to Chimayó, Marshal?

Yes, and I'm afraid it's
not a very pleasant one.

Uh, have you been here long?
I mean, a number of years?

For over five years, yes.

Are there any
other priests here?

No. Just the lay
brothers who assist me.

This mule belong to you?

No, it does not.

Does it belong to
anyone in the village?

As a matter of fact, it belongs
to my brother, Heraclio.

My twin brother.

Your brother, where is he?

He left about an hour ago.

Do you think I'm lying, Marshal?

Well, no, Padre.

It's just that I want to be
sure you're telling the truth.

You are built to be a Franciscan,
but you have the tongue of a Jesuit.

Well, I'm sorry to be blunt.

But see, a gold train was robbed,
west of Black Mesa, by two men.

A United States Marshal
and a guard were killed.

And you think these two
men came to Chimayó?

One of them was
wearing padre robes.

I have reason to believe that this is
the mule that was carrying the gold.

Mules are bought
and sold, Marshal.

My brother brought
our uncle in for burial.

He was fatally
wounded by Indians.

- Do you have any proof of that?
- Proof?


There has been Indian trouble,
though, from time to time,

as you well must know.

Padre, I'd like to
talk to your brother.

Marshal, my brother
is an intemperate man.

But I cannot believe
he is capable of murder.

Well, won't you have a
glass of wine with me?

We can discuss this further.

Heraclio was persuaded to
leave the order and the seminary

at the end of his
second year of study.

- He was never ordained?
- No.

He was completely free of any
connection with the Franciscan Order...

With the priesthood.

Well, Marshal Cunningham,
just before he died,

told me that he thought
the man that shot him

had been the padre
of this mission.

Your friend
Cunningham... I'm sorry.

I'll offer my mass tomorrow
for the repose of his soul.

But I cannot point the
finger of guilt at any man

because of a mule and
a pair of stolen boots.

It could well have been two
other men involved in that robbery.

I hope you're right, Padre.

But I'd still like to
talk to your brother.

Can you tell me
where to find him?

He did not tell me
where he was going.

- Well, I better ride out.
- In the dark, Marshal?

Why don't you take
advantage of our hospitality here

and rest yourself for the night?

It may be that Heraclio will
return to the mission by morning.

All right, thank you.

(bell rings)

Brother Antonio will
see to your horse.

Will you come with me, Marshal?

I'll be back before dawn.

(music playing)

(shouting, cheering)


(Heraclio shouting)

Faster, faster, faster!

Fat. Too many tortillas.

Oh! You are fat in the mouth!

(speaking Spanish)

Faster, faster, faster!

(speaking Spanish)


Baby, ángel.

Baby, baby, baby!

Stupid! This dress
cost 27 green dollars.


Now it's mine.

And I want it.

Give it to me.

I want my merchandise.


(music, cheering stops)

I'll wait outside.


Who told you to stop?!

You think he's the Holy Ghost?

Huh? Dance!

It's only my
brother, the priest.

Come on, hombre.
(speaks Spanish)

Well, if it ain't Brother
Priest and Brother Jackass.

Yes, and this is Brother Burro.

What do you want?

The truth.

How was Uncle Quito shot?

I told you.

You lied, Heraclio.

And you weren't prospecting
for gold, were you?

If you're asking
me, stop telling me.

And you never heard of a man
named Bones Cunningham?

Never heard of him.

Somebody's been
telling you tales, brother.

You killed him, Heraclio.

You, my own brother,
committed murder.

A cold-blooded murder.

Who have you been
talking to? Who told you?

- You won't deny it?
- Let go of me.

I came here to hear
your confession.

If you die with this
mortal sin on your soul,

you will be damned
for all eternity.

I murdered no one.
Who told you that I did?

Will you make your confession?

I wouldn't kneel
down to you if hell itself

were about to
open under my feet.

It will not go beyond me.

What you say in
confession is sealed forever.

I came here to help
you save your soul.

After you confess to me,
you may do what you will.

I won't say anything to
anybody, not even the marshal.

The marshal? What marshal?

I didn't tell him
where you were.

I waited until he was asleep.

There's a marshal
at the mission?

- He knew about the robbery?
- Yes.

And then you came
here, straight to me?

(horse neighs)


Get that horse!


I'm sorry, Marshal.

I... it was a
mental reservation.

I... I thought I
could talk to him,

convince him that his soul
was of some importance.

I failed.

That's your problem.

Now I'm gonna track him down.

Whatever happens
after that is up to him.

Thank you.


(hoof beats approaching)

Give it up, Cantrell.
You haven't got a chance.

Give it up.


Hernando, in the
name of God, sanctuary.

Heraclio, what happened?

The Marshal. He ran
me to ground. Please.

I can't give you sanctuary.

You can. I demand it.

- You are a murderer.
- I never admitted it.

You haven't denied it.

For the love of God,
have you no mercy?

Sanctuary is for the oppressed,
for the unjustly accused.

But you're my brother, you
sanctimonious hypocrite.

I may be brother to you,

but first I am
priest to all men.

Giving you sanctuary
would outrage all sanctuary.

Would make a mockery
of all priesthood.

I am innocent!

Then why are you running?


You faker.

What'd you come to Cajon for?

You promised to save my
soul, to hear my confession.

You refused to confess.

It was my obligation as a
priest to hear your confession,

to give you absolution
if I possibly could.

You refused.

Padre Hernando...

that's exactly why
I ask for sanctuary.

To make my confession to you.


if you are lying...

No, no, no, no, no. I swear.

Very well, then.

I'll hear your confession,
here and now.

But, Padre, I...

I need time to prepare myself,
to examine my conscience.

You killed.

You robbed. I
don't need details.

I must inspect my
motives, my state of mind.


You can't deny me the
sacrament of absolution.

You must, under pain of
mortal sin hear my confession.

If you refuse,

then you will have made
a mockery of all priesthood

and you will have my
lost soul on your own,

damned for all eternity.

How dare you
attempt to coerce me.

How dare you
attempt to bluff me.

You best get outside
and meet that marshal.

Before he comes busting in here

and violates my sanctuary.

You have granted sanctuary?

You can call it that.

On what grounds?

The salvation of a soul.

I see.

Just give me till
morning, Marshal.

All right.

And your gun?

I've already locked up his.

Just one thing, Padre.

I want you to understand...

I'm not leaving
here without him.

You've made a
miraculous recovery.

An hour ago you
could scarcely move.

You know something, brother,

you have a powerful
effect on me.

I mean, the more I examine my conscience,
the more conscience-struck I become.

What would you say to...

to my joining the Order again?

How's that strike you?

It's incredible.

Ha! It's the easiest
thing in the world!

Just hand me down
one of your old habits,

give me the oath,
Third Order scapular,

and we're in business.

What's incredible...

is my stubborn belief that you
can really be so spiritually destitute,

so ethically ambivalent
as you appear to be.

Is this the best you got?

A little seedy.

(sniffs) Brimstone.

Old Franciscans never die.

They just lose their faculties.


Take that off.


Don't you want me to
join the Third Order?

Might mean my salvation.

You don't have to wear the habit
in the Third Order of St. Francis.

I know.

I love the habit.

Is that why you wore
it to your last robbery?

You believe everything
the marshal tells you?

Heraclio, why did you come back?

What do you want?

What does everybody want?

First I want all I can get.

Then I want all I can't have.

Then I want you to admit that
I was right about everything.

And most of all,

I wanna nail that marshal's
hide to the chapel door.

See you at supper, brother.

"And God said to Satan, hast
thou considered my servant Job?

For there is none
like him in the earth,

a perfect and upright man.

And fearing God and
withdrawing from evil."

Oh! Here it comes, Marshal.

God's going to bet the Devil
that the Devil can't corrupt Job.



"To which Satan
answered and said,

'Does not Job fear
the Lord in vain?'"

(laughs) He sure doesn't.

- (bell rings)
- Thank you, Caleb.

You know what happens
next, Marshal? Hmm?

I understand that Job
was known for his patience.

I'm beginning to
admire yours, Marshal.

I'm glad you two are
getting along so well.

All I need now is a dunghill to climb
on and wait while you decide my fate.

So now you're Job, a
perfect and upright man.

God permits the Devil
to smite Job with boils

after he promised
himself and told the Devil

that Job's person
was not to be touched.

Can you believe it?

God gambling with Job's
goodness like it was pieces of silver?

But Job did not deny the Lord.

Oh, he denied him all right.

He just didn't defy him.

He climbed up on his dunghill
and howled for 40 odd chapters,

until the Lord told
him to shut up.

And he did, Marshal.

He did.

I think there's a pretty good
lesson in there for you, Cantrell.



That's enough.

Either I hear you confession tonight
or I'm turning you over to the marshal.

Holy brother,

if you will permit me to prepare
my conscience in chapel.


You must have wondered what
there is between my brother and me.

Well, it's really none
of my business, Padre.

It's a personal thing.

Something he's
never stated openly.

Neither have I.

You know, there's one thing that
is my business... the gold shipment.

It was bulky and
it weighed a lot.

Now when he
brought the wagon in,

did he transfer any
saddlebags to the horse?

No, the horse had just a saddle.

Certainly no place to hide gold.

And the wagon, the only
thing on that was the coffin?

Yes, I was there.

Marshal, he would
never desecrate...

But of course he would.

Nothing is sacred
to him, nothing.

I should be getting started,
Padre. It'll be light soon.

He's in the chapel. I
would like to talk with him.

A final talk.

I think you're
wasting your time.

If I am, you make
take him immediately.

My dear Christian subjects.


The text for tonight is from the
gospel according to St. Heraclio.

The Lord moves
in mysterious ways,

His blunders to reform.


Are you ready for
your confession?

Well, well, well,

if it ain't Holy
Mother Hernando.

I thought you two would never
get the gold up out of there.

I watched from the bell
tower till it wore me out.

I wonder if you
care about the gold.

I wonder if you've ever cared.

What do you want, Heraclio?

What are you seeking? Death?

I'm seeking to show
you who you really are.

You've heard of noonday devils?

Eh, they're the
worst kind, brother.

Actually believes
he's an angel of light.

Lucifer before the fall.

Wanders around the world
ruining all kinds of good souls

under the delusion
that he's doing good.

He points their souls
to heaven, feet first...


and you never understand
why it always ends up

that they get
trundled into hell.

And what's this got to
do with your confession?


you wouldn't want me to confess
to a noonday devil, would you?

- I am a noonday devil?
- In priests robes.

Wearing the collar
I should be wearing.

Preaching the sermons
I should be preaching.

Hearing the confessions
I should be hearing.

Heraclio, for
God's sake, stop it.

Stop all this hatred.

Would God permit a devil
to be ordained a priest?

Christ permitted Judas
to become an apostle.

I believe you're
the bad one, not me.

You really believe that?

I believe we should all
be like the apostle says...

Afraid of alarms in the night

and the arrow
that flies in the day,

and of evil that walks to
and fro in the darkness,

and of death and
the noonday devil.

Don't you use your
priesthood against me.

Don't you dare raise your hand

and invoke heaven
to serve your hell.


you leave me no choice.

You are the devil.

Not I.

(praying in Latin)

I said don't! No!

(continues in Latin)

Oh, Heraclio.

You must confess. You must.

(speaking in Latin)


I was giving you absolution...

I don't want absolution.

- Before I die.
- You won't die.


I will die.

And you will not.

And you will see that I am dead

and that you are alive.

And you will know finally...

that you are not me.


That's all there ever
was between us...

Your wish to be me.

There was never
anything between us.

All there ever
was... between us.

Your wish to be me.

(praying in Latin)


(doorknob rattles)

Padre, the door is latched.

Brother Antonio,

my brother Heraclio is dead.

I will say a requiem mass.


(speaking Latin)

(speaking Latin)

Brother Antonio, what happened?

We don't know.

The padre's only told us that
he found his brother Heraclio

at the foot of the altar, dead.

(bells tolling)


We have a long ride ahead.


We have a lot to talk about.

I don't understand.

I'll explain it on the way.

Has it to do with
Heraclio, what he did?


Will we be gone long?


Because I have much to do here.

I must be back to Chimayó
for the blessing of the harvest.

Well, I... I know it
sounds crazy, Doc,

but it was like two faces...
Two sides of the same man.

The good and the
evil that's in all of us.

It just may not be as
strange as you think.

You know, there's strong
evidence in support of the fact

that in some rare instances,

identical twins are so close

that they have been known
to feel each other's pain.

Now you don't believe that he
remembers any of the killings?

Sure the way it seemed.

It was like from the
minute his brother died

he became exactly
what he appeared...

A dedicated priest.

Well, then what you're
saying is that Heraclio Cantrell

has ceased to exist.

Yeah, I guess that
is what I'm saying.

Well, then...

what can you say at the trial?

I don't know, Doc.

Do you?

(theme music playing)

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

(theme music playing)

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