Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 16, Episode 3 - Stark - full transcript

Adam Bramley, an immature selfish young man, has escaped from prison. Louis Stark is a bounty hunter who catches him, then blackmails him for money with Bramley's father, John, a rancher with a serious heart condition. Adam's strong-willed sister Glory, has the ranch hands beat up Stark, while John pays him off to leave. Adam finally has an epiphany just as his father is dying of a heart attack.

Announcer: Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.


Welcome home, Bramley.

Welcome home.

Drop your gun!

Right in the water!

Now get off your horse!

That's right.

Now put your hands on your hat!

What do you want, mister?

Name's Stark.

Lewis Stark.

We got some business, sonny.

Your name don't
mean nothing to me.

I don't know who you are.

Well, I'll give
you a little hint.

Snap 'em on.

You hurt?

Huh? Any teeth loose?

Fair enough.

You tried me.

I encourage a man to try me.


If he's smart, he
learns his lesson.

If not, I plink his spine,
just about beltline.

So he won't ever
feel his legs again.

You take my meaning, sonny?

Yeah, I take it.

Now, later, you can tell me
where you stole that crow bait.

State of Texas usually pays
the owner a little something.

And what do they pay
you, poster watcher?

Well, if you was a
dangerous murderer,

or a famous highwayman,

you might fetch up to...

oh, $1,000 or more.

There'd be a dozen
trackers snapping at your tail.

But a little suck-egg weasel
like you draws bottom price.


Dead... 50.

I rarely tote 'em back dead.
There ain't no profit in it.

Head cleared some?

- Hmm?
- Yeah.

Now let's get you
in the harness.

Sonny, I got one rule.

Break it and your
walking days are over.

Stay a little ahead
of me and to my right.

- You hear me?
- Yeah, I hear you.

Yes, sir.

I hear ya.

How'd you get onto me? There
couldn't be a bulletin out so soon.

No, no, no.

State of Texas don't bother
papering the country for no suck-eggs.

Waste of money.

No, a jailer friend
of mine wires me

whenever one of you sneaks
free of the warden's hound dogs.

And that's how you
make a livin', huh?

- Mm-hmm.
- Real good.

Collecting trash, you might say.

But don't think it's always
been this way, sonny.

I've had my share
of the big prizes.

- Is that a fact?
- Mm-hmm.

Yes, siree.

How would you like to make
one more decent payday?

Out over that
ridge, that's Dodge.

I got connections there.

You let me go and
I'll get you $500.

Keep snappin'.

All right, I'll make it 1,000.

Five times what you
get for taking me back.

Mister, my pa owns a ranch
on the other side of that town.

He'll pay ya. He can afford it.

What, don't you like money, or is it
seeing a man in chains that wallops you?!

You got a smart mouth.

What have you
got to worry about?

If I'm lyin', you can always
hang these irons on me.

I ain't worried.

If you're lyin', I
won't need no irons.

I'll tote you back in a basket.

Yes, siree, sonny.

Just a little ol'... basket.

Well, hello there.

Well, well, well.

If it isn't Adam Bramley.

We'd thought
you'd left for good.

Well, Miss Russell and I had
some wild ol' hoop-de-doos,

ain't that a fact, Miss Russell?

What he's trying to say is
that I've thrown him out of here

more times than I
care to remember.

She ain't no fun.
Just ain't no fun.

Whiskey if you please, ma'am.

Beer for the boy.

Well, one thing's improved.

At least you finally found a
friend who knows your size.

Miss Russell, Mr. Stark.

He's kinda a
stranger to our town.

Welcome to Dodge, Mr. Stark.

I thank you kindly, ma'am.

I understand your father hasn't
heard from you since you left.

Well, yeah, I've
been out of touch.

His horse fell out
from under him, Adam.

Bad spill?

He's in no condition
to run that ranch alone.

- Marshal.
- Adam.

Come on.

- Hey, where do you think you're going?
- You heard what she said.

Now, look, I ain't gonna
dodge chuckholes all night.

We'll ride out there
in the morning.

Now, you do what you wanna do.
My pa is hurt, and I'm going to him.

- Kitty.
- Evenin', Matt.

- See young Bramley was in, huh?
- Yep.

Did you tell him about his pa?

Yeah, I sure did.
That's why he left.

Who was that fella
that was with him?

He said his name was Stark.

I've seen him someplace before.


- Adam!
- Hi, Bo.


I thought I'd never
see you again.

How's Pa?

Who are you?

How's Pa, Bo?

He ain't well, Adam.

He ain't at all well.

Hey, Bo, what the dev...

You shouldn't have come back.

You go on to bed, Bo.

I'll take it to him.

You shouldn't have come back.

Some teepee.

Yeah, that old daddy of
yours must be an outsized man.

You wouldn't leave here too healthy if he
found out how we're hooked up together.

Now, why do you think I rode
you through your town, boy?

So as we'd be seen together.


Anything happen to me,
my jailer friend would wire

every law office in the
West that I was missing.

Along with a description of you.

I don't intend on
making any stir.

My pa would take me
back to finish my time.

Your daddy would
send you back to jail?

He'd consider it his moral
duty to take me back himself.

That's the kind of outsize
man he is, Mr. Stark.

You'll find your sister
visiting the Stevens girl.

Well, howdy.

That's all you've got to
say to me after three years?

Why'd you come home, Adam?

I heard you were hurt.

Where did you hear that?

A drifter I met said he
worked here for a while.

In California it was. I...

I don't remember his name.

- California, huh?
- Mm-hmm. That's where I've been, Pa.

I had a notion to try my
hand in the gold fields.

Eh, it didn't turn out too well.

I was back in the mountains, out
of touch. That's why I didn't write.

How are you, Pa?

You've got eyes.


Yeah, and I see
nothin's changed.

What did you expect,
a fatted-calf welcome?

No, no, no.

'Cause we never forget in
this house, do we? Never.

It's a sign of
weakness to forget,

and we'll tolerate the
plague ahead of weakness.

Well, if you're through,
I've got work to do.

I'm not through.

There's a man outside.
I owe him $1,000.

- What for?
- He staked me in California.

We were partners.

Well, next time he'll
show better judgment.

I owe him. Now, it's not
his fault we didn't hit it.

Ain't mine.

- You're refusing me?
- Look...

when you left home,
you cut the strings.

- Both ways.
- I can work the money out.

There ain't no better
drover. Now, you know that.

I'll do anything you say.

- Anything I say?
- Yes, and I mean it, Pa.

Good. Then you tell your friend you'll
send him the money as you earn it.

Now run along.

I promised it
now. He can't wait.

You can start work tomorrow.

Didn't you hear me?
The man can't wait.

All right, all right,
all right, all right.

Now, I'm not gonna run
out on you. I promise.

I give you my solemn word on it.

- You tell Charlie to put you on tonight.
- Then you'll advance me the money?


It's always the same, ain't it?

You wrapped up in that
blowed-up opinion of yourself.

Playing God, the
Almighty Giver of the Word!

Don't you bander the
Lord's name in this house.

The Lightning Rod of the Law!

Not unless you're on your
knees, do you hear me?!

Yes, I hear you!

All my life, I've
heard nothing else.

You drowned out
the world for me, Pa.

When I was a little kid,

I got you and the
Lord and the Devil

so mixed up I couldn't
tell one from the other.

And you wanna know
something pitiful?

If I was to get on
my knees right now...

I still wouldn't know
one from the other.

You get outta here!

I am your son, and
I'm asking you for help.

You were never my son.

You had everything.

Every opportunity to be sitting
right there behind this desk.

I was waiting for you,

for once in your life, to
stand on your own two feet.

- I was waitin...
- Waiting for me to sprout a halo, too!

Get out!


Bo! Get a doctor!

Get Doc Adams right away, Bo!

Looks like you're
about to inherit a ranch.


Where you been?


Yep, that old daddy of yours
sure done himself proud here.

There's a whole lot
of spread out yonder.

How much you reckon
your daddy's worth, sonny?

I wouldn't know.

Well, you must've run it
through your head sometime.

Only natural, you
being his son and heir.


Yeah, I envy you, boy.

All my daddy left his whelps
was a field full of weeviled cotton.

Half of that belonged to the bloodsucker
who owned the land we scratched on.


There was nine of us...

Rickets, runny nose,
ignorant as blow flies.

Do you know what I
done with my share?

Bought a pair of yellow shoes.

Not boots, boy.

Genuine calf-skin shoes.

You know your
daddy's awful smart

buying up them scrawny
yearling's this time of year.

Yeah, with the rich grass we got, bringing
on feeders pays off the overhead itself.



Real nice spread.

35 years in the making.

Wrung it out of prairie grass and
more dry wells than he brought in.

Say, prime beef draws
$14 a head, railroad prices.

How many you
reckon your daddy run?

Don't you worry. You're
gonna get your money.

I'll figure something.

I'll be on my way. I'll be
back tomorrow, Adam.

Doc, you haven't said how he is.

Your father's
had a heart attack.

- Is it bad?
- Bad?

Yes, but what's worse,
it was unnecessary.

You have any idea
how long I've been trying

to get your father to slow down?

But he had to take a spill
before he would even listen to me,

and then he even bucked me.

We were making
a little progress.

Little by little, he was
beginning to get the hang

of what was probably
the toughest thing

that anybody ever asked
him to do... Ease up.

And then you came back.

Bo told me about that fight.

That just might turn
out to be the biggest load

you've ever had
on your conscience.

If you've got one.

Seems like you're poison
to everybody around here.

'Cept me.


Dollar, help me down.

Watch it.

You told Pa you're
at the Stevens.

Well, it's kind of
a private signal.

Whenever I'm gone overnight,
I'm always at the Stevens.

We've finally come to an
understanding, Pa and me.

Welcome home, baby brother.

- How is he?
- He doesn't look so well.


let's get it over with.

Then you can tell me everything
about where you've been.



I see you've finally got back
from visiting the Stevens.

Get him out of here.

Carrion eater.

Just waiting for me to drop.

Don't start rubbing
your hands, boy.

I intend to get out of
this bed, and when I do,

- you'd better be clear of my sight.
- Pa!

- Now, Pa, stop it.
- It's all right. It's all right.

It's all right, Glory.

I was just leaving.
Just leaving.

When did you take
this medicine last?

- And as for you, my fine, fancy lady...
- Don't start.

I'm the closest thing to your dead
wife you'll see this side of the grave.

Without me to keep your memories
alive, you'd just plain wither and die.

- Now...
- So don't speak.

Don't you think I know
why you tolerate me?

You won't send me away,
and I'm not ready to go.

Now when?

- Uh, it's overdue, I guess.
- Mm-hmm.

It's hog swill.

You're wrong about
Adam, you know.

You always were.

Now, don't you start
telling me about Adam.

You know something, Pa?

I can't ever remember you
stompin' a downed animal.

It's only your son you
have no compassion for.

Reasons enough.

Well... I don't wanna upset you.

We'll talk about it later.

I'll be in in a while
to read to you.


you're right, you know.

You do make me miss your mother.

I'm glad, Pa.

Adam, I want to talk to you.


All right.

I do have my
horse... to look after.

Excuse me, ma'am.

- Who is that man?
- A friend.

- Get rid of him.
- Huh?

I don't like his looks.

- Get rid of him.
- You don't know anything about him.

Well, you know how Pa can
size up a steer at a glance.

Well, I seemed to have
developed that same talent for men.

Yeah, I've heard that before.


I've never seen you run
with this kind of man before.

I owe him $1,000.

Do you wanna tell me why?

- Is that why you and Pa had a fight?
- He wouldn't loan me the money.

And that surprised you?

I was glad to be home.

I was determined to hit it off
with him this time, and I tried, sis.

I swallowed my
pride, and I tried.

He wouldn't give an
inch. Nothin'! Nothin'!

You owe that man $1,000?

You got it.

And he won't wait. He's
a hard man to handle.

Is that all he wants from you?

What I owe him!

I'll handle it.

Mr. Stark? I'm Glory
Bramley, Adam's sister.


We don't usually neglect our
guests. I'm afraid I must apologize.

Not necessary.

How's the patient?

Adam tells me he
owes you some money.

I hope he got a
good night's sleep.

My daddy used to say that
was the Lord's own prescription.

Yeah, he really believed that.

But then, one night, he
just overdosed himself.

Never did get up again.

My older sister said
he just quit living.

Like an old plow horse
that just plods off and drops.

The amount was $1,000?

Well, I see I've
been boring you.

I'm sorry.

Seems like the older I get,

the more them home
days just come back to me.

- Mr. Stark...
- That amount was mentioned.

If you will take
this into Dodge,

the manager at the bank
will draw it from my account.

Now, Miss Glory, no need
for you to trouble yourself.

It's no trouble.

I'm in no hurry.

Well, you see, I am.

Because I want
you off this ranch.

You did agree to $1,000?

That amount was mentioned.

By your brother.

Oh, I see.

But you want more.

Like I said, I'm in no rush.

You're making a very
big mistake, Mr. Stark.

The only mistake would be yours.

If I was to tell the marshal why
your little brother belongs to me,

horns and hide.

Suppose you tell me.

I got no business
with you, pretty lady.

Well, isn't there anything I
could do to change your mind?

Well, I...

I'm sorely tempted,
Miss Glory, but...

That wasn't friendly.

Mr. Stark...

I'm afraid you and I
could never be friends.

♪ Oh, my darlin' ♪

♪ Oh, my darlin' ♪

♪ My darlin' ♪

♪ Glory mine ♪

♪ You are lost and... ♪


You boys are making a mistake.

Where'd you get those
scratches on your neck?

One more time.

How'd you get them
scratches on your neck?


well, you know, that
was the doggonest thing

that ever happened.

I just...

Uh-uh-uh-uh. Unarmed man.

I got him.

All right!

All right, that's enough.

Wait outside.

Go on, Charlie.

Let's go.

Are you ready to take
this now, Mr. Stark?

Yes, ma'am.

I've earned it.



My... my head ain't
connected to my...

my legs yet.

There was a time...

You must've been
quite a man, Mr. Stark.

Quite a man.

I thank you for that, ma'am.

Get him on his horse and
ride him off the property.

You just sent me back to prison.

- So that's what it's all about.
- Yeah, that's what he's got on me.

I busted out of a Texas prison.

They gave me two years of hard labor,
and they're gonna give me two more

when Stark takes me back.

Stark's not taking you anywhere.

I'll charge him with
assault, and he knows it.

He's not that easy
of a man to shake.

Why don't you tell Pa?

Then I'd be in chains with Pa
pouring hellfire over my hide

all the way back to Texas.

You're just like Pa.

Stubborn blind.

All he ever wanted from you
was one truth, just one simple truth.

So he could be
sure he had a son,

and maybe you'd know
you finally belong someplace.

Come in.

- Marshal.
- Hello, Stark.

I understand you've been
having a little trouble there, huh?

- Who said so?
- What's all that?


I just, um, had a little
horse fall coming into town.

What brings you
around these parts?

That seems to be my
own business, wouldn't it?

You know, when a
man comes into Dodge

hunting people for bounty,
I make it my business.

Why, I'm long out of
that line of work, Marshal.

I left the Rocky Mountain
Detective Agency long ago.

And what field of
work are you in?

Why, prospecting.

I thought I'd buy up some
supplies and head out for Colorado.

You know, Stark, I don't
care much for the reputation

you made for yourself
up in the Dakotas.

Just keep in mind we got
a little more law in Dodge.

Keep it in mind.

Evenin', Marshal.

I thought you were supposed to
be out rebranding the yearlings

- that are coming in.
- Stark is still in town.

- So?
- So I gotta get to him

and find out what's on his mind.

Adam, why don't you let
him make the next move?

'Cause I know what
that move could be.

You listen to me, Adam.

The stupidest thing you can
do is to try to kill that man.

- Do you hear me? Adam! Adam!
- Get out of my way.


Well, sonny, I figured
you'd show up about now.

Sorry about you
getting roughed up.

Mm-hmm. I bet you are.

You got your $1,000
anyway, right?

I hear your daddy's out of bed.

Must relieve your mind to know
you didn't shove him into his grave.

When you leaving?

Oh, yeah, yeah, I see.

You got your $1,000
and a soft bed.

What more could
a man want, right?

Don't look like you be
inheritin' soon, does it?

You got the money you wanted.


From your pretty-lady sister.

Sonny, I worked for that.

Ooh-oh! How I worked.

But from you, zero.


- And you owe me.
- All I've got is wages.

Maybe I can raise
three or 400, but that's it.

That's trash!

I'm through hauling trash
out. I'm finished with that.

That's all I got! Did
you hear me? Why?!

I'll tell you why, sonny.

Look at my face, boy.

Look at my eyes.

The left one's stone blind.

The right one's half-fogged.

Gun blew up in my face.

Put me out of the big
prize money forever.

I found me a diamond
in the garbage.

You tell me that ain't so and I'm
gonna cut your throat right now, hmm?!

All right, you can come back
whenever you need money, all right?

Oh, no, no, no.

I'd be tied to you, boy.

You'd be a boil on my
backside forever more.

Stark, now, I can't do
any more. I can't nothing!

Yes, there is.

And I'm gonna explain
it to you right now.



you got yearlin' cattle
delivered out on that spread.

- Hmm?
- Yeah.

I figure some of them
must be cash deals.


So... I figure your
daddy must have

some cash money in his safe.

About 5,000, huh?


Yeah, and I suppose the next thing
you wanna tell me is to rob my pa, right?

I'm telling you I'm gonna be riding
along the southwest corner of your fences

in two hours exactly.

I'm gonna have
hand irons with me.

They're gonna be for sale.


- I ain't doing it!
- You don't show up...

you better be ready to take a little
trip back to that Texas jailhouse.


Two hours.

Time's a-wastin'.

♪ Clementine ♪


No, not again, boys.

Boss wants to see you.


Mr. Bramley. Come on.

Whoa! Whoa.

He's a-waitin' for you up there.

What's he want?

If it's your hide, we'll be
glad to dig the six foot of dirt.

Your drover said
you wanted to see me.

Get off that horse.

Couldn't quite make up my
mind whether to kill you or not.

Kid finally come
running to you, did he?


No, he didn't.

Maybe that's
something. I don't know.

With that gun on me, you
must know what's been going on.

I make a point of knowing
what's going on, Mr. Stark.

When Adam stopped
writing to his sister for money,

I had detectives trace him,

and they caught up with him just
about the time he busted out of that jail.

You knew all along.

I knew.

You gonna use that
thing or ain't you?

That stupid young fool.

It was all waiting for
him. All that down there.

A man's love for his son
is a hard thing to shake.

There comes a point when you just
quit waiting for him to measure up.

You concede
defeat, you might say.

I said I was
undecided about you.

But I know this...

I'm not gonna kill you.

I built all that
without killing a man.

That's an admirable
trait, Mr. Bramley.

You want your son back in jail?

I quit making decisions for him.

Perhaps this last one.

There's a little better
than $7,000 here.

That's all the cash
I have on hand.

It's yours.

Take it.


I ain't never done
anything like this before.

I always earned my way.

Not too pretty
sometimes, but I earned it.

Still, a man's chances
have a way of getting limited.

I wish I'd had a hand in
your chances, Mr. Stark.

But I guess now I'm
not quite man enough

to teach you the lesson
I'd like to teach you.

Don't fret too
much, Mr. Bramley.

Your daughter give me a
lesson in Bramley manners.

All right, now
get off this land.

Yeah, you got it
all right, old man.

The eagle perched high.

Backbone straight as a tree.

You know, another
time, another place...

you and I might've found
good things to talk about.

I doubt it.

Miss Glory.

- Stark, where is he?
- Up on the hill with Pa.

Come on!

Pa's got a gun, and
he won't let us up there.

Miss Glory. Sonny.

What are you doing here?

Come to close out our deal.

You're not getting any money.

Taken care of.

Your daddy had all
the cash with him.

Understandable you
couldn't find any in the house.

- What are you talking about?
- You're off the hook, sonny.

Your daddy felt you
was worth a-saving.

For now on, you
can breathe easy.

- Pa paid you off?
- Say this for him,

he's a man who
believes in top wages.


Get him, Adam!

All right, hold it.
That's enough now.

Put 'em on, Stark.

Money belongs to
my father, Marshal.

You're going down
with me, sonny.

All the way.

Oh, I figure that.

You're just a belly full of
twists and turns, ain't you?

You told the marshal everything?

Yeah, he'll be taking me back.

But Stark will be going, too.

Where's your father, Adam?

He's up on the hill.

Appreciate it if I
could go see him first.

All right.

Seems like in this place...

a man just keeps
getting bad news.

Charlie, better pick up this
money and hold it for Mr. Bramley.

Charlie: All right.

You men, let's
pick up this money.

They got Stark, Pa, the marshal.

I mean, it got to a point where
I'd have to be robbin' from you.

And that's one
thing I couldn't do.

Well, I got to thinking about
a couple of other things, too.

Me, a kid...

way you taught me to ride,
way you taught me working cows.

Maybe you were
right more than wrong.

I was wrong most of the time.

You looked every
man square in the eye.

That's something you
don't teach anybody.

He's got to have it in him.

Boil it down, Pa.

Been nothing
smart I've ever did.

And maybe this sounds
like it isn't coming from me...

but I always had
a fondness for you.

When you get right down
to it, I guess you call it love.

I love you, Pa.




Oh, my God.

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