Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 17, Episode 24 - The Wedding - full transcript

Walt Clayton (Morgan Woodward) is bound to protect his daughter from marrying a young local boy. But his protection may lead to Walt losing the most precious thing in his life.

Announcer: Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

You're both sure?

We're sure.



You're Henry Soames'
boy, aren't you?

Name's Cory, as I recall.

You look like your pa.

Reverend, we'd be
obliged if you'd just...

Sure thing.

You just set your gun aside.

Now you just say the answers.

Do you, Cory, take this
dear, precious girl, Donna,

to be your wedded wife?

To have and to hold in
sickness and in health...

Pa.

All right, we're
taking you to jail.



What for?

Horse stealing. That's
my horse you rode in here.

Pa, he works for you.

He's got the right
to ride that horse.

Boys.

Cory, no.

You know he never
stole that horse.

You're coming home.

Cory!

You're lucky to just get a
couple of years in jail, boy.

Most men, they'd have hung
you and be done with you.

Take him over to Hennings.
Tell him I said to lock him up.

Send a wire to Dodge
City for the marshal.

Pa.

Pa, don't do it.

We'll talk about that
back at the house.

You're gonna be sorry, Pa.

Till your dying day,
you're gonna be sorry.

♪♪

He's all yours.

Evening, Doc.

Hello, Festus.

I see you're holding
it down tonight, huh?

Yeah, Matthew ain't
gonna get back till late.

Looks like you've had a
long hard day your own self.

- Yeah. I have.
- Can I buy you a beer?

Well, now how...

How do you explain all
this sudden affluence?

- This what?
- Well, the prosperity. The money.

Oh, it ain't that, Doc.

It's just that I opened myself up what
they call an account at the Long Branch.

That a way, I don't have to
pay my bills but once a month,

don't you see?

Yeah, I see, but I'm
afraid Kitty's in for it.

How in thunder do you
know when a month is up?

All right, you
ornery old skudder.

Just for that, I'll draw
back on that beer offer.

- Forget it.
- Oh, no, you don't.

You haven't
answered my question.

Now, how do you know
when the month is up?

You can't even read a calendar.

Well, fiddle, that's
easiest thing there is.

When the month gets tore off.

Any fool knows that.

All right, now, just...
If you're not around,

how you gonna know when
the month gets tore off?

Well, I'll explain
that to you, too.

- You see, when a feller...
- Stop it.

- When a fe...
- Just never mind.

You're right.

I've had a long, tough day.

Festus, you seen Marshal Dillon?

Not yet, I ain't. He's supposed
to be back later on. Why?

Well, this telegram came.
Maybe we oughta open it.

Now, Burke, you know Matthew don't
want the whole town a-knowing his business.

You know that.

Yeah, but since he's gone,
it might be important, Festus.

Like I told you,
he'll be back directly.

Much obliged for
delivering it, though.

All right.

Thanks, Kitty.

You look tired, Matt.

Well, I can't say I'll be
sorry to see this day end.

You know what we
haven't done in a long time?

What's that?

Taken a whole day
off and done nothing.

Sure wish I could.

Why can't you?

Festus is here, Newly and Burke.

Spring Creek.

Cold chicken in the basket, bottle
of champagne chilled in the stream.

Like we used to.

By golly, Kitty, you
know something?

You just made yourself a date.

Miss Kitty. Matthew.

- Festus.
- When'd you get back?

Oh, just a few minutes
ago. How's things?

Oh, everything's
real quiet, Matthew.

I didn't figure you'd
be back till late.

Well, I finished up
a little early there.

I told old Doc and Burke that
you wasn't gonna be home till later.

Sit down.

How about a beer, Festus?

You betcha, Miss
Kitty. Much obliged.

- Want a refill, Matt?
- Yeah.

Matthew, this here come
for you a little bit ago.

Sorry, Kitty.

I figured as much.

Where to this time?

Salt Flat.

Gotta pick up a prisoner.

Festus, I shouldn't be
gone more than a day or two.

Well, Kitty, maybe
when I get back.

Sure, Matt.

What was that there
all about, Miss Kitty?

It's called daydreaming, Festus.

You don't know.
You're too young.

Pa, I'm 20 years old.

I do know.

I've had a year to find out.

This has been going on a year?

Almost the first
week he hired on.

Why, you cheap...

Sneaking around
like a couple of...

He's no good, Donna.

He's just like his old
man... Empty, gutless.

He's not like that,
Pa. And I know.

If he'd have had any spine, he'd
have come here and asked for you.

He'd have asked me
right out, like a man.

He wanted to.

And I wouldn't let him.

I knew what you'd say.

Pa, any man who showed
some feeling for me,

you always had some
reason against him.

He was either too
young, too old, too poor,

too something.

Nobody was ever right with you.

And for good reason.

They were a bunch of worthless
no-counts looking for a ranch to marry.

You see these hands?

They were all I
had to start with.

Sometimes they were raw
and bleeding, but I never quit.

I kept on clawing and
scratching till it came my way.

Till I had something saved
up decent to leave you.

Not some saddle tramp.

We don't want the ranch, Pa.

We just want to be together.

Not in my lifetime.

Please don't say that.

I said it.

I'm asking you. Get
him clear of the law.

If you want your
grandson to have a name,

you'd best change your mind.

Now, you tell me... I
was hearing wrong.

You heard me right.

I'm gonna have a baby.

It don't matter how
hard you slap me, Pa.

It don't change a thing.

You can marry young Stalberg.

He'll jump at the chance.

I won't.

Bert Walsh.

He won't ask any questions.

Nobody.

It's Cory or no one.

You do what you want.

Well, it's not too
pretty much of a dinner,

but my wife and me, we
eat a full meal at noon,

and this is all she had around.

Thanks. I ain't hungry.

Yeah, but you gotta eat, son.

Not off you.

There's no reason to hold
no hard feelings for me.

You know I never stole no horse.

Look, son, I'm the law.

A man like Walt Clayton
swears out a charge...

A man like you sells out his
badge, bellies down in that dirt

and does like he's told.

Ain't all just yes
and no like that.

Walt's got his right, too.

Wouldn't hurt none
to have some coffee.

Here, whilst it's hot.

Look, you gotta see
the other side, son.

That girl means night
and day to her pa.

I gotta think of that.

All right, I gotta
think I owe him, too.

Well, I do, and I ain't alone.

He's helped a lot of folks around
here, never asked nothing in return.

It seems to me he gets
a lot more than he gives.

The star on your chest
cost about a wholesale dime.

It don't have to be
like this for you, son.

Could be if you give your word,

I mean, told him you'd
stay clear of his girl,

I could maybe put
in a word for you.

Nah.

Well, you wanna rot in
jail for a couple of years,

it's your lookout.

I'll look in later in case
you need something.

What's going on here?

Don't know, except Dave
Henning got himself hit on the head.

Sheriff Henning?

Closest thing we got, anyway.

That'll do it, Dave.

Lucky it was your head.

Thanks, Lem.

Sheriff Henning?

Matt Dillon from Dodge City.

Well, I've got another call.
Now you rest a while now, Dave.

Don't go running any races.

- Good night.
- Good night.

Do you feel up to talking?

Folks always said I
had a head like a rock.

First time I'm glad of it.

You said something about a
prisoner. Did he do this to you?

Yeah. Jumped me
when I weren't looking.

Put me down but
good and took off.

How long ago'd this happen?

I've got no idea.

Must've been out
for quite a while.

First I knew, the Doc
was working on me.

Somebody must've found me and
brought him around after I got hit.

Take it easy.

- You all right?
- Yeah.

Just... Just take me
a minute, that's all.

Just gotta get my legs back.

Well, there's no hurry.

We can't go out after
him tonight anyway.

You understand it
could happen to anybody.

Anybody, Marshal.

Every lawman loses a
prisoner now and then.

Try and tell that
to Walt Clayton.

Clayton?

It was his horse the boy took.

He brung the charge.

He's gonna chew on me good.

Well, you're wearing the badge.

He pinned it on me.

I never wanted
it. It was his idea.

Said we oughta show some law.

When Walt says
something in this town...

I understand.

Don't get no wrong
ideas, Marshal.

He runs the town fair.

All I want you to
know is I done my best.

Well, why don't you start
back at the beginning?

Tell me what happened.

Oh, caught me setting
some dough to raise.

The Reverend's got
a taste for sweet rolls.

Yes, ma'am. Is he home?

No, that's what I'm
telling you, Marshal.

I wouldn't be baking if he was.

He left before I got back this morning
from setting with poor old Amy Green.

Well, do you know where he went?

Most likely road out
on his circuit, I guess.

Sweet Meadow, High
Mountain, Cedar Forks.

Without telling you?

Oh, he gets the
spirit and off he goes.

Is there something
I can do for you?

Well, I understand you
had some trouble here today.

Oh, the wedding you mean.

Only you couldn't rightly call it a
wedding, seeing the way it was.

Marshal, I never seen such
a fine couple, both of 'em,

so young and so
excited and so eager like.

Happiness just shining
right out of their eyes.

I've known 'em both
since they was weaned.

And I don't count it rightly fair
that folks hold Cory's pa agin' him.

Happens a fellow turns out shiftless
like that, don't mean his son's going to.

Me, I like to believe
the best of everybody.

Yes, ma'am. But
about the wedding.

Oh. I get to talking.

And the Rever... The wedding.

Well, sir, they come
in kinda real urgent like,

and they tell the Reverend
they wanna get married,

and I'm holding
it's purely beautiful.

The Reverend starts reading
the vows and them holding hands,

and looking deep each to the other
like you know it's gonna be forever.

And then all of a sudden right
between the "D'you takes"...

What happened?

Without even a knock,
the door busts open

and there they are, and you
know they mean business,

'cause they're
wearing their guns.

Well, who's they?

Two cowhands and Walt Clayton.

Clayton?

Well, sure Walt Clayton. Was
his girl was getting married.

And now in His name I
ask you the same, my child.

Do you Donna take Cory
to be your wedded husband?

To have and to hold in
sickness and in health,

for better, for worse, forsaking
all others to cling only to him,

to love and obey him as
long as you both shall live?

Yes.

Yes, I do.

By God's law and man's law, I
pronounce you man and wife.

And I ask His everlasting
blessing on you both.

Now you better kiss him
to let him know it's for real.

I love you, Pa, and
you won't be sorry.

You wait and see.

Well, now, do I
get to kiss the bride,

or do I heist my price
by a couple of dollars?

You get to kiss the bride.

Well, it's an easy
way to get a son, Walt.

You don't have to nurse
him through cholic and such.

Don't have to sit up all
night when he's got the croup.

No, sir, you get
him all growed up.

Good size, too.

And a working hand
you know ain't apt to quit.

Mr. Clayton ain't
said he wants me yet.

Oh, he's got any
sense, he'll jump at that.

I don't think this is
any time for business.

Now, see there.

Haven't been married more than
two minutes and bossing already.

Well, Walt, that's about it.

Nothing pleasures me
more than a wedding.

But it's a long
ride back to town.

Well, there's no
excuses needed, Lucius.

Well, I'm off.

No, sir, you stay
right there with them.

I can't find my way out of here,

how do you think I can
find my way into heaven?

Pa.

If... If you knew
how happy I am.

How hard I've prayed...

Us three. Together.

We're a family, Pa.

You look a little tired, honey.

I guess I am kinda.

You don't mind?

You go ahead.

I'll be along in a minute.

Okay.

Goodnight, Pa.

I'll take care of
her, Mr. Clayton.

You got my word.

Well, maybe I ain't
starting out with much,

but I'm purely strong and
healthy, and I ain't afraid of work.

I'm gonna build up
something big for her.

I just thought I'd
say it so you'd know.

That's it, I guess.

Goodnight, Mr. Clayton.

You're not going to her.

You've already had
your honeymoon.

I've what?

You've got some jail time owing.

I'm taking you back.

Back?

That's right.

I should've figured
you'd never change.

Not for Donna, not for anybody.

Man's gotta protect what's his.

Whether it's his land, his
reputation, or his daughter.

Donna and me are married
now. That makes a difference.

Not to me it don't.

It won't to her
when you're gone.

We're gonna be together.

No matter what or how long.

She don't belong to you
no more, Mr. Clayton.

She's mine.

You got no call to
hit me, Mr. Clayton.

Don't hit me.

I've got every call.

My daughter was clean before
you started sneaking her around.

I know what we
done wasn't right.

I tried to come here and tell
you how we felt about each other,

only she wouldn't let me.

She was scared.

And when your own
daughter's afraid of you,

then you ain't no father at all.

I'm gonna take you to jail,

but before I do, I'm
gonna teach you a lesson.

No more.

Mr. Clayton.

Man: Come from
the house, I tell you.

Get your gun, Fred.

Help him.

Pa.

Looks like Cory shot your pa.

Oh, dear God.

Dear God.

He's a mighty tough bird, Donna.

You saying he's
gonna be all right?

Well, he's been hurt
bad. Three ribs broken.

But they said Cory shot him.

Aim wasn't very good then.

No bullet holes in him.

No, Clayton's a man this
whole ornery country couldn't lick.

He'll make it.

Are you sure?

Might take some
little time, though.

He's gonna need a
lot of rest and quiet.

You can count he'll get it.

Pa.

Honey.

You gave me a pretty good scare.

What happened?

If you tell me what happened...

He stoved me up.

That boy of yours tried to...

close my eyes for good.

But there's no
sense to that, Pa.

Made sense to him.

Pa.

Pa, you got a lot of pain?

It hits kinda sudden sometimes.

Well, don't try to talk.

No, honey, you gotta
know what he did.

Not... Not now. Later.

You can't close your ears to it.

It's gotta be said.

Last night...

after you went to your room,

I mentioned to him that...

he still had some time to serve.

The only way to
get clear of the law

was to go back and
serve the time out.

He owed that to you,
to get a clean start.

But I... I thought you'd
be getting him off.

Honey, I don't make the law.

I could've gotten the horse
stealing charges dropped,

but you can't beat up a sheriff

and bust out of jail
and get away with it.

When I told him...

he's gonna have to go
back and face up to it...

he said there wasn't
anybody gonna take him back.

He was gonna run out
on you and the baby.

I can't believe that, Pa.

I couldn't either.

But when I told him he
wasn't gonna do any running...

he was ready to kill me.

But that don't sound like him.

Not at all, Pa.

He's hot headed. He always was.

And you know that's the truth.

Maybe some.

I know how you feel.

But that doesn't
change what happened.

He's no good.

I'm lucky I don't
have a bullet in me.

He wouldn't do that.

He loves me.

Not enough to face
up to what he did.

Forget him.

Shake him out of your life.

Not for me, for you.

If it happens I don't
pull out of this...

Don't talk like that, Pa.

Doctor says you're
gonna be all right.

Honey, it's... it's just that...

I'm so worried about you.

Please.

Donna, if I had your word.

Please. Not now.

Now, the doctor said...

He... he warned me that...
That you had to stay quiet.

- Honey.
- That's enough.

It can wait, until... Until
you get some strength.

Now you get your rest. There.

Cory!

Cory.

I been praying you'd
guess I'd come here.

Just hold me, Cory.

You'd better tell me right out.

Is he dead?

No.

Bad hurt?

The doctor says he's
got a good chance.

Oh, what happened, Cory?

Didn't he tell you?

He told me you were
trying to run away.

And that you didn't know
how want me or the baby.

Honey, you forgot all
the things I said to you?

And you to me?

And the promises we made?

About loving each other.

Trusting and believing.

And nothing else counted
on God's green earth.

He said you tried to kill him.

Well, he was lying.

Just so's to split us apart.

But Cory, he brought
the Reverend out.

He let us get married.

Yeah, sure, he wanted me to
marry you, not have you for a wife.

Look, he's got a grandson coming, and
even my name is better than no name.

I was coming to you,

and he said I wasn't
having no wedding night.

Said he was taking me back.

And then he hit me.

And you hit him back.

Honey, I tried.

I tried not to hit him.

'Cause I love you.

I tried, but he
kept coming at me.

Honey, you gotta believe me.

I guess I just needed
to hear you say it.

Let's get out of this place.

Let's just go away and
never even think of it no more.

We can head West.

Change our names.
Just get ourselves lost.

Cory... Cory, I can't leave him.

He's hurt pretty bad.

I'm all he's got.

That's why he's
done like he has.

Trying somehow to hold onto me.

I can't run out on him now.

Not now.

There's just no way
to beat him, is there?

It won't be for
long. I promise you.

Just till I know he's all right.

Might be only a day or two.

Oh, just give me a little time.

Please.

Oh, please try and understand.

We've al... We've always
said the truth to each other.

And I'm giving you my word.

Now, will you be safe here?

All the times we've been coming
here together, no one ever came along.

I'll stop by later.

And just as soon as I know
he's all right, we'll be gone,

I promise.

It's coming onto noon.
I'd best be getting back.

You be careful. Hear?

The boy's always been
a wild one, Marshal.

Like one of those colts
you just can't break.

You hired him on.

Just out of kindness was all.

I knew his pa.

This is how he pays me back.

Steals my horse...

and then he tries
to steal my daughter.

But you brought him back.

Yeah. I did.

But a man don't
always do what's right.

Fact is, I did it for her.

I didn't figure it'd make
that much difference.

I knew he had jail time owing.

All she wanted to do
was to marry him first.

I didn't mean to put
myself above the law.

I told him he was gonna
have to pay for what he did.

That's when he knocked you down?

Yeah.

Marshal, I got some...

Some cowhands that
are pretty fair with a gun.

If you want a posse,
why you just say the word.

I don't think so,
Clayton. Thanks.

I'm... I'm just aiming to help.

Appreciate it.

- Marshal.
- Any of you men see Miss Clayton?

Rode out a while ago.

- D'you see where she went?
- Well, I asked her, Marshal.

She seemed real upset.
Didn't even answer.

Thanks.

Walt: I'm not blaming you boys
for letting him get away last night.

What I'm saying is
you can still make it up

and make yourself a little
pocket cash at the same time.

You find him. Bring him in.

D'you want him alive?

If he comes peaceable.

Otherwise I don't care.

Marshal.

Marshal, wait.

I'm Donna Clayton. I... I
saw you leaving the house.

Could have saved
yourself a ride, miss.

I can guess what Pa told you.

I know what he said.

Oh?

And it's a lie, Marshal,
the whole thing.

The only thing he's ever wanted
for me was to have nobody but him.

And that's the truth.

It happened I ever
looked at somebody...

Happened somebody
looked at me...

That's why I never
told him about Cory.

And that's what drove him
near crazy when he found out.

Maybe you better
tell me the rest.

Where we going?

There's a old shack
over by the duck pond.

Figure he's there?

I'll give odds on it.

How come?

She rode out there one
day, and I followed her.

Listen.

What did I tell you?

That money's heavy
in my pocket right now.

Let's go.

There he is.

Don't kill him, Pete.

You heard what the old man said.

If he said to hang yourself,
I suppose you'd do that, too.

Cory.

Cory, it's me.

I brought you some help.

Marshal Dillon. He's
up here from Dodge.

Marshal, he's gone.

Looks like he had some company.

Better get mounted.

Giddup. Giddup.

Cory.

What happened, boy?

You just take it
easy. I'll get you in.

Cory Soames.

He's hurt pretty bad.

We figured something
must've happened.

Found his horse back
in the woods a way.

No need to trouble
you. We'll take him in.

He's bleeding too bad.

You put him on a horse,
you're sure to kill him.

I better drive him over.

- Be faster if you cut across.
- All right.

There's one thing.
He wasn't alone.

What is it, Marshal?

These wagon tracks.

It could be Mr. Eggers.

He comes this way to
get to the stage road.

Well, if he did, he must've changed his
mind because these tracks head off here.

Where would that take you?

Our place. The only
spread north of here.

Looks to me like he's
hurt awful bad, Clay.

Yeah, it's lucky you
came along when you did.

I'm going to town.

I could send the Doc up,
but the wagon's awful slow.

I appreciate that, but
we'll take care of him.

Thanks anyway.

Like I say, he could
easily bleed to death.

Didn't wanna shoot
him, Mr. Clayton.

He was running.

Where's my daughter?

I don't know.

I ain't seen her since morning.

Looks like somebody
put a slug in you.

Somebody.

Them two.

You got some proof of that?

I'm bleedin' bad.

Have I got any chance?

I don't know. I'm not a doctor.

You just gonna stand there
like a buzzard and watch me die?

Sure solve a lot of problems.

I ain't gonna let ya.

Eggert is right.

He needs a doctor bad.

Go get him.

- Back inside.
- We were just going for the doctor.

You're not going
anywhere. Get back here.

How bad is it?

Well, it's pretty bad.

Now, we've gotta stop that
bleeding till I get a doctor here.

Get some bandages, sheets,
or anything you can find.

I'm going to Salt Flat,
see if I can find a doctor.

Better be sure those two
are here when I get back.

Now you just hold on, Marshal.

Now you just wait a minute.

You better do some praying that that
boy's alive when I get back here, too.

Otherwise the three of you
are gonna be facing a judge.

Donna.

There's nothing you can say, Pa.

So don't say anything.

Well, it's all settled.

Your pa's agreed to
drop all the charges.

You two are free to go
wherever you want to.

What about breaking jail?

Well, I guess you can leave
that up to me and Sheriff Hinny.

Um, what'll happen to him?

Do you wanna prefer
charges against him?

Cory, what about you?

I guess he's been hit
hard enough, Marshal.

I think so.

Well, good luck.

Thanks, Marshal.

Donna, we'd better get started.

If we're gonna hit town
before dark, we better...

Donna?

Uh, I'll be right back.

Pa?

We're going.

We never meant
it to be like this.

We always figured
it would be different.

Could still be the
way you want it.

- Maybe.
- It's too late, Pa.

What I'm saying is,

if there's even one chance...

I don't think so, Pa.

Because people don't change.

Might as well ask a
tree to leaf out in winter.

It's all right with me if you
wanna throw in with him.

Not knowing whether he
can put a roof over your head

or food on the table.

What tears me apart, it...
It could've been so good.

I used to lie awake
nights and hope...

and try to think...
Think of a way...

I'm sorry, Pa.

Donna?

You will let me know...

when the baby comes?

Yeah, Pa.

I'll let you know.

You all right?

I'm fine.

Really fine.

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