Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 17, Episode 16 - No Tomorrow - full transcript

A young man is caught in the web of a trumped-up rustling charge, jailbreak and murder.

Announcer: Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Prisoner will stand.

Benjamin Justin,

you have been found
guilty by a jury of your peers.

Thank you, gentlemen,
for doing your civic duty.

I can't say that I agree
with your decision.

But I suppose after listening

to the testimony of
two eyewitnesses,

Mr. Brantley and his son Kyle,

you couldn't very
well have come in

with any other verdict.

Unfortunately, the fact that the
prisoner has always worked hard,

lived by the Good Book,

has a wife who happens
to be in the family way,

doesn't mean a thing according
to the laws of the state of Kansas.

Does the prisoner have
anything to say in his own behalf

before I pass sentence?

Your Honor,

there's been a lot of
talk about the trouble

between me and Mr. Brantley.

He wants my land for the
water, and I won't sell it.

But I didn't steal those horses.

God knows it.

And so does Mr. Brantley.

Benjamin Justin,

the statute on horse stealing
leaves me no other choice

than to order you taken to the
state penitentiary at Rock Haven.

There to be imprisoned for
the rest of your natural life.

Prisoner is remanded to
the custody of the marshal

for transfer to the
state penitentiary.

I bet my badge
he's innocent, Kitty.

But I just can't prove it.

This court is adjourned.


Ah, good morning, Marshal.

Sam. Looks like quite
a night you had here.

We had a good one.

Well, Kitty,

is that a joke, or are you planning
to run this place without customers?

First that Kyle
Brantley last weekend,

and then those crazy
bronc-busters last night.

Oh, I don't know, Matt.

I think I'm just gonna sell out
and take up full-time nursing.

- How about some coffee?
- Sounds good.

Uh, pretty good job
you did on that little

Texas fellow there last night.

- He needed it.
- Yeah.

I collected this
for the breakage.


I understand you were out
at my place again yesterday.

That's right.

I've told you before, I don't
want you talking to my men

when they're working the stock.

Now, if there's anything you
wanna know, you come to me, hear?

Took a little ride to Salina
on the weekend, Garth.


Yeah, that horse buyer
that identified Justin?

He just sold out and
moved to Colorado.

Well, those things do happen.

When I rode out to see Kyle
yesterday, I got another little surprise.

My son told everything
he knew in court.

There's nothing more to say.

Yeah, it's a good thing.
It'd be a little hard to say

from that far away, wouldn't it?

What do you mean by that?

You put him on a
stage two days ago

and got him out of town
to keep his mouth shut.

I sent him east to study law.

- Where, in a saloon?
- All right!

I admit he's had a few
little scrapes in the past, but,

well, that's all behind him now.

About 2,000 miles behind.

Look Marshal, I don't
know what you're thinking.

I'll tell you what I'm thinking.

Your boy sold your string of Thoroughbreds
to pay off his gambling debts.

And you're trying to
hang it on Ben Justin.

Why would I do
a thing like that?

Because you hate Ben. You've
wanted his land for ten years.

With him in prison, his
wife will have to sell it.

Mm, not necessarily to me.

It'll be interesting to see
who makes the highest bid.

Unless you have hard
proof of all this, Marshal,

I suggest you hold your tongue.

There's a man sitting in the
governor's chair in Topeka

that I count as a
very good friend.

And I don't think he'd take very
kindly to you slandering my son.


You know, there's a man sitting
in a prison cell in Rock Haven.

He doesn't belong there.

Now, what's your friend
gonna do about that?

Excuse me.

I wish I could.

- Where's Doc?
- He's in the Long Branch.

Doc! Doc!

Doc, you've got to get
out to the Justin farm quick.

- Why?
- It's Mrs. Justin,

- she's about to have her kid.
- What?

She's not even
due yet, is she, Doc?

No, she isn't. I
better get out there.

I'll get your buggy.

I'll meet you out there, Doc.

I can't, Doc.

I just can't.

Well, Elizabeth, you...

You just don't have
much choice, do ya?

It'll be a lot easier if, uh,

if you can just kind of relax.

I want Ben here.

I want him here.

I know you do.

You just relax.

You've got a lot more important things
to think about right now, for a while.

You've got a baby that's
trying to get into the world.

What kind of a world is it?

Well... I wonder
myself, sometimes.

But it's the best
one we got right now.

I'm sorry to go
on like this, Doc.

- Well...
- I'm scared.

I understand.

But let me tell you something.

In a little while, you
are going to be so busy

changing diapers and taking
care of a squalling young one,

that you just won't have
time for anything else.

And you're not gonna
be alone anymore, either.

I think that's Kitty.
I'll be right back.

- Miss Kitty.
- Hello, Doc.

- Here, let me have these.
- Oh, thank you.

- Did you bring a valise?
- Yeah, it's out in the buggy.

- I'll get it.
- Thank you.

How you feeling, Elizabeth?


- Oh.
- Thank you for coming, Kitty.

Oh, I'm gonna stay here
as long as you need me.

Oh, I hope it's a boy.

Ben sure wanted a boy.

Ben's gonna be happy
whether it's a boy or a girl.




Well... Ah!

I don't think the little dickens
is gonna wait any longer.

Kitty, put some water on the stove
and make sure it's boiling, will ya?

- Please.
- All right.


Next time you
won't give me any lip

when I tell you to
shine my boots, boy.

There he is! Ha ha!

Lord Satan himself.

Strike him dead!

I'll take care of you
later, you old coot.

Well, now that you've
learned your lesson, boy,

I might just show you how
Sunday-go-to-meeting nice I can be

when I want to.

The warden asked me to
give you it this afternoon.

Plumb forgot. It's
about your wife.

It's gonna cost
you. The ring will do.

It just says your little
woman had herself a youngin'.

Named for his daddy.

Jailbird Justin.

You seem to forget, boy:

you're gonna spend the
rest of your natural life in here.

You'll never see
your kid. Never.

Five years ago, he
was all set to go free.

Got himself riled up.

Took a lick at me
with a cell stool.

Parole board fixed him good.

Now the old coot's
gonna die in here.

Same as you will, boy.

Rot away and die.

As sure as I'm your
lord and master.

I'll get it.

- Well!
- Kitty.

How's the new arrival?

Well, it's about time you got
out here with the new baby.

The mother's been doing so well,
she doesn't even need me anymore.

I was just heading
on back to Dodge.


That's a fine-looking boy.

Thank you, Marshal.

Marshal, I want to thank you for
sending that telegram to Ben at the prison.

I just wrote him a long
letter all about his son.

Elizabeth, I, uh,

well, I didn't come out
just to see the baby, I...

I have some news.

Ben escaped from
prison yesterday.


He attacked a guard.

The man is seriously hurt.

Why, he couldn't have.

I'm sorry, Elizabeth.

I don't believe it. Ben
just couldn't do that.

Elizabeth, if a man gets
desperate enough, he'll try anything.

You know, Elizabeth, I...

I never believed that
he stole those horses.

But if he shows up around
here, I'll have to arrest him,

bring him in to face
the new charges.

But, Marshal, you said yourself

Ben never should have been
put in prison in the first place.

I know.

But he was legally convicted.
There was nothing I could do.

Kind of makes you wonder
what's fair, doesn't it?

Marshal: Kitty, I'll see
you as far as the crossing.

♪ Hush, little baby,
don't say a word ♪

♪ Mama's gonna buy
you a mockingbird ♪

♪ It don't whistle
and it don't sing ♪

♪ Mama's gonna buy
you a diamond ring ♪

♪ If that diamond
ring turns brass ♪

♪ Papa's gonna... ♪




Here, Ben.

You take him.

Go ahead, hold him.
You won't hurt him.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Oh, Ben.




Ben, Marshal Dillon was here.

I saw him leave.

- Elizabeth, I'm...
- Shh.

You're gonna... You're
here with me now.

That's all that matters.

But I can't stay long.

Maybe a day or two.

Oh, let's not talk
about that now.

Right now,

all that matters is
that you're home.

My man is home.

Now, you're supposed to be resting,
not squeezing a man half to death.

You're a new mother.

Oh, and you're a new father.

And that calls
for a celebration.

I'm gonna fix you a
dinner fit for a king.

You're gonna rest.

I'll rest when I'm dead.


Right now... I'm
just so alive I could...


Man: That should
interest you, Marshal.

Wanted for murder?

The guard died early
yesterday morning.

Are you sure Ben Justin is
the one who stabbed him?

Of course I'm sure.

The guard's body was
found in Justin's cell.

The door was open, the
prisoner had escaped.

Are there any witnesses?


Marshal, I could convict even
you on circumstantial evidence

as solid as that.

One other matter
before I leave, Marshal.

What's that?

We understand

that your doubts about
Justin stealing those horses

has caused... well, it's been a
source of some embarrassment

to Garth Brantley.

Is that so?

In view of what Justin's
got himself into now,

I think you'll agree your
sympathies were misplaced.

You know as well as anyone else
in this town that Ben is innocent.

There are at least twelve good
people in this town who think he's guilty.

Oh, by the way, Marshal,

the attorney general would
appreciate it if you did nothing further

to disturb Mr. Brantley.

I'm sure you understand.

And now if there are
no further questions...

You said that there, uh,
weren't any witnesses.

How can you be so sure
that Ben killed that guard?

Who else?

No other prisoner so much as
poked a toe outside his cell and...

I'm afraid no matter how
hard you try to explain it away,

the man whose good character
you and Marshal Dillon swear to

has turned out to be
a cold-blooded killer.

And the attorney
general wants him...

dead or alive.

Well, if you hadn't of
made that last move,

I wouldn't have
cleaned the whole board.

Ain't no such thing. It's just
'cause you're like old Doc.

You cheat all the
time. It's a... Glory be.

Well, I wonder what Mrs. Justin
is doing up and around so soon.


Miss Elizabeth.

Oh, hello, Festus. I
think my horse went lame.


Maybe he just got
a rock in his foot.

Here, hold it up here, boy.

No, but his
tendon's all swollt up.

I'll tell you something,
these here old wheels

look mighty wobblty on here.

Of course they are.

Them old wheel boxes
is wore plumb out.

Yeah, this thing's pulling
just like an old sled.

It's a wonder you
even got into town.

Oh, no. I... I need this wagon
to get my supplies home.

Oh, what am I gonna do?

It's gonna take a
while to get it fixed.

I'll tell you what I can do,

I can take you back out to the
house in that old livery buckboard.

Oh, I surely would
appreciate that.

Festus, I'll meet you
at the livery. Here.



What are you doing out
so soon? Where's the baby?

Uh... Oh, he's
with Mrs. Johnson.

Um, Kitty,

didn't I just see Mr. Cragin
with the marshal?


Has it anything to do with Ben?

Kitty, if there's something
wrong, please... please tell me.

Well, you're gonna
find out sooner or later.

The guard died.

Ben's been charged with murder.

Oh... Oh, no!

Oh, Kitty!

I don't believe it.


I don't want you
to tell me anything,

but if there's some way you
can get a message to Ben,

he'd better get out of the state
of Kansas as soon as he can.



Here, Miss Elizabeth,
I'll help you in...

Oh, no! It's all
right. I'll manage.

But I'd sure be glad to.

Oh, no. I can handle it.

I surely do appreciate
you bringing me home.

Yes, ma'am.

All right, giddup.

- Thank you.
- Yes, ma'am.

Ben... that guard died.

You got to get
out of Kansas now.

What do you mean, he
died? He couldn't have.

He did, Ben.

Now, they're looking for
you hard. You've got to go.

And the baby and I
are going with you.


Elizabeth, I got to go alone.

You're not strong enough yet.

If I make it, I'll send for you.


How did all this happen?

And why to us?

We never did anything
bad to anybody.

It's all gonna work out somehow.

Oh, how?

I don't know.

But it will.

I best be going now.


Elizabeth, you got friends here.

You got to stay. They'll
help you all they can.

Friends are friends.

You're my husband.

Maybe if it was just you and me.

But there's the baby now.

Now, he's more important
than the both of us.

The most important thing
is that we're all together.

I got a feeling that if
we don't go with you now

I'm never gonna see you again.


It's some kind of peddler.

J. Luther Gross at
your service, ma'am.

- Please, mister...
- Pins, needles, nails,

- buttons, bows and bustians.
- Mister, I said...

You name it, J. Luther has it.
Including that magic miracle elixir,

Oil of South American Anaconda.

- Well, I just don't need any.
- Cures not only aches and pains

of the bones and muscles,

but also gout, gallstones,

rheumatism, dyspepsia,
women's humors,

and hundreds of other miseries.

- Please, mister...
- Or simply steam it over boiling water

and you've got yourself
the most powerful vapor

since the breath of the
Almighty blew out of Jordan.


Cures croup, hack, twitch,
wheeze, whistling snores, and...

Please, I've got to go now.

Oh, forgive my
enthusiasm, ma'am.

Never let it be said
J. Luther was pushy.

The customer's
always right in my book.

- I just can't afford any of that...
- No matter, ma'am, no matter.

J. Luther never leaves the
hospitality of a lovely lady

without a small
token of appreciation

for a gracious welcome.

Now, this is just a
sample, only a few drops.

But there are folks, once they try
it, call it the milk of human kindness.

I am on my merry way.

And may the good Lord
bless and keep you, kind lady,

till we meet again.


All right, Louie,

if you got it into your head
that I was a-sleeping on the job...

I didn't say anything, Festus.

But I know what you're thinking.

You know,

the onliest thing I was doing
was resting my eyeballs.

I always do that when I get
to thinking hard on something.

Don't you see?


That there's a...

Have a sit, Louie.

Take yourself a wing there.



Coffee, please.

Oh. Of course.

Well, that there's that blamed
patent medicine drummer again.

Be right back, Louie.

He's back!

That Justin, that
killer, is back.

Right smack dab up in that cabin

with that woman.

And I seen him,
I seen them both!

And he don't even
know I've seen him.

- Ha!
- Oh, I don't think...

Marshal, he's back.
He's back. He's back.

Why don't you just simmer
down before you fall over now?

- What's going on?
- Oh, this here blabberty mouth idjit

claims he seen Ben
Justin out at his own place.

I get the money, don't I?

Are you sure it was Justin?

Spittin' image!

And I'm the first, ain't
I? You can't deny that.

I'm the very first to put in
an up-and-up, honest-to-God

legal claim to those
500 beautiful dollars.

That's right, you're the
first. I'm going out there.

You want me to go
with you, Matthew?

No, stay here and
take care of him.

Ha ha ha!

I'm gonna have it framed.

Five hundred...

Why don't you just go call up
some place with that snake of yours?

Barely started to
fix it yet, it looks like.

He won't do us any good.

What will we do?

We're just gonna have to
take another horse and wagon.


We'll leave ours for trade.

I don't like to do it,
but we got no choice.

Well, I just hope
that... You hope what?

Oh, nothing.

I'm just thinking about
Ben and Elizabeth.

It's your move, Burke.
Go on, get to moving.

Well, what about them?


It's your move.

Look, Festus, I know
what you're thinking.

But Ben Justin
escaped from prison,

he killed a guard,

and now he's got
to stand trial for it.

Burke, I just wish that
you'd quit your blabbering

and start to thinking
about the game.

That's what I wish.

The law's the law, Festus.

But he wasn't guilty of
stealing them horses,

don't you see?

Well, he... wasn't
proven innocent, either.

Well, I might have
expected something

from a numb-noggin
like you, Burke.

You ain't got to
get proved innocent,

you got to get proved guilty.

Don't you know that?


Marshal not here yet?

Come slipping up
on a body like that,

and you're just liable to get
yourself a face full of coffee grounds.


What you doing there?

Hyah! Hyah!

Well, I just hope he
didn't run into no trouble.

That's got to be a
desperate man, that Justin.

Why don't you just get on
out of here and hush up?

I got work to do,
and a-plenty of it.

He... He stole... He
stole one of my buggies.

He let out of town
heading south.

Who are you talking about, Eli?

This here's my job, Burke.

Now, what in the tarnation
are you blabbering about?

You know, that fellow.

The one on the poster... Justin!

- Justin? But I thought he...
- Burke, hush.

You got to get him, Deputy.

And you shut
your tater trap, too.

Now... Here, Eli,
you just sit down now,

and sit there because you're
just about to have yourself a fit.

I am losing my $500.

What about the horse and buggy?

My boss will skin me
alive when he finds out.

All right, wait a minute!

Wait a minute, now, all of you.

Just let me cull all these
here things out my own self.

I can't just haul off and go
a-doing something with...

Without thinking
about it for a little while,

don't you see?

Festus, you've
got to go after him.

Well, golly-bill, Burke,

you can't go out a-tracking
somebody when it's dark.

They went straight
south out of town.

There ain't no other
way they could go.

All right, all right.

I'll start to tracking them,
but I'm gonna tell you this,

it's gonna be mighty slow
tracking until it gets to be sunup.

- It's your duty.
- I said all right, didn't I?


Burke, I'll tell you
what I want you to do.

When Matthew gets back,

I want you to tell him that
I've went out after them.

You hear me?

All right, Festus.

You remember... I'm the
one give you the information.

And this fellow
has got no claim!

Got no claim whatsoever.
You remember that now.

I'm the one brought
you the information!

Don't you forget!

What is it, Corbin?

Corbin, you sent for me?

I... I got him.

I got him!

"Got him"? What
are you talking about?

Finally, I paid him back.

Jabbed that knife
clean to the bone.

Corbin... Are you
talking about Hargis?



This just came in
on the telegraph.

Can you imagine
that old man in his cell

confessing on his deathbed?

Ben Justin didn't kill
that guard after all.

- Where's Festus?
- Well, he went after Ben Justin.

While you were
out at their place,

they came into town and stole a
horse and buggy from the stable.

How long ago?

A few hours. They
were headed south.

And they don't know about this.

He won't nurse, Ben.

Probably off his feed from
all that bouncing around.

I guess you're right.

We don't want to
hold you up now.

You take as long as you need.

Oh... if only he'd nurse.

♪ Hush, little baby,
don't say a word ♪

♪ Papa's gonna buy
you a mockingbird ♪

♪ If it don't whistle
and it don't sing ♪

♪ Papa's gonna buy... ♪

Ben, he's gonna be okay.

Yeah, of course he is.

We can make it, Elizabeth.

I'm glad you came with me.

When I was in prison, I
faced what it would be like

to spend the rest of
my life without you.

It's a feeling I never
want to have again.

I wasn't there long.

But that was for certain long
enough to learn some things.

Amazing, the things
we take for granted.

Plain, ordinary things we
never even see half the time.

Wood walls instead of stone.

Glass instead of bars.


You know there wasn't
even one tree in that place?

Before I went to prison, I think
maybe I even took you for granted.

Oh... You never
looked past me, Ben.


I'm never gonna leave you.

And I'm never going
back to that prison.

We're gonna have a new life.

♪ If that diamond
ring turns brass ♪

♪ Papa's gonna buy
you a looking glass ♪

♪ If that looking
glass just gets broke ♪

♪ Papa's gonna
buy you a billy goat ♪

♪ If that billy, he runs away ♪

♪ Papa's gonna buy
you another someday ♪

It's Festus.


Ben, he's our friend!

You stay here.

No matter what happens,
I'll be back for you.


Throw your gun down, Ben.

Go on, drop your rifle, Ben.


I'm gonna have to
take you back, Ben.

You're gonna have to
kill me to do it, Festus.

And nobody is putting me
behind bars again, you hear?

You killed a guard, Ben.

A fellow name of Hargis.

I never killed nobody.

They're saying that you stuck a
knife in him when you escaped.

Stabbed him? I knocked
him cold and ran, that's all.

They found him with a
knife stuck in his back.

Died the next day.

I didn't do it, Festus, I swear.

Well, you're just gonna have
to go back and face it, Ben.

Of course, you know
Matthew and me,

we'll do all we
can to clear you,

if what you're saying's true.

It's a true as I never
stole those horses.

I'll shoot!

I mean it, Festus.

I mean it.

Now, you drop your gun.

This here ain't
the way, Elizabeth.

It's the only way I know.

If he goes back there,

there's nobody gonna
be able to help him,

not you, and not
even the marshal.

We're sure gonna
try to help him.

You tried before, and
all he got is life in prison.

Now this time they're
gonna hang him.

You been good to us.

I'd sure hate to do it.

But he's not gonna go back there,
not even if I have to shoot you.


I mean it, Ben!

Now, I want you to
ride out of here alone.


Not without you and the baby.

Without us you
might stand a chance.

I said, no.

Ben, I want you to be free.

Elizabeth, go to him.

Give me the gun.

This is probably the first time
she ever broke the law in her life.

I can't say I blame her
for trying to help you.

No, you can't and I can't.

But that prosecutor
sure will be able to.

I'm sure giving up
a lot to give you this.

But I don't want it at
the cost of my wife.

Ben, no!

Now you don't
even stand a chance.


It wouldn't be any
kind of life without you.

So it don't really matter.


We're ready to go back
with you now, Festus.

Well, they'll...

have them posters of you...

pasted all over Kansas
by the time a week's out.

I sure don't think you
got much of a chance, uh,

traveling with Elizabeth
there, and the...

baby and all.

I'll tell you...

I'm fixing to go up to that
there prison my own self

and talk to all
them fellows I can

about that there guard.

One of these days, whenever...

Matthew will give
me a day or two off.

So's that I can...



Howdy, Matthew.

What happened, Festus?

Well, funny thing, Matthew,

I never could find that fellow
that stole all them horses.

I kind of figured with the head-start
they had, maybe you wouldn't.

Oh, yeah, they did have a
whopping big head-start, all right.

I just don't believe we could
ever catch up with them, Matthew.

Festus, I think you're right.

Let's head for town.

I found this slipped under
the back door, Miss Kitty,

addressed to you.



Looks like Dodge City's
got a new school house.

- What?
- What is it?

It's a letter from
Ben and Elizabeth,

signing over all the property
rights to the people of Dodge City.


I'd sure like to see Garth Brantley's
face when he hears about this.

I think I'll go over yonder
and tell him my own self.

Well, I think this
calls for a toast.


To the one that got away.

I sure wish I
could drink to that.



Oh. Well, thanks, Miss Kitty.

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