Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 18, Episode 16 - Homecoming - full transcript

Doc tends to a dying woman with the help of Kitty and the woman's daughter. Doc has sent word to the woman's two sons to come and see her for the last time, and they arrive - but they are escorting a death-row escapee who is a total psycho and takes the entire group hostage. Newly tries to bluff his way in by applying a plaster cast to his right arm (he's left-handed) and concealing a revolver inside, but the convict shatters the cast and nearly kills the whole bunch. It's up to the whole group to depend on whether Matt will understand a cryptic summons sent to him while he was away.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Well, the old place
looks the same.

Been what, five years, Rick?


Long time saying hello.

Yeah, if your old man
appreciates a hello.

He let us know a few
things before we left.

Yeah, be good to
see Mama, anyway.

Seeing you's right
let's not waste no time.

Oh, it ain't that
far out of the way.

Anyway, it's important we come.

To you, to me any town
between me and Mexico is trouble.

We won't be staying
that long, Johnny.

Nobody knows we're around here.

That may give you
some peace of mind,

but then again you don't have a
hanging sentence looking at you.

Hey, an hour or two,
we'll be long gone.

Come on, brother.

Are you comfortable, Anna?

You know what I almost
feel like doing now?

Hitching up the buckboard,

getting along up to Owl's Lake,

do my dying there under
the shade of the trees.

Now, come on.

Let's hear no
more talk of dying.

It's the truth, though.

Don't matter.

Old enough to die,

young enough to
do it with dignity.

That's good compromise
for the Almighty.

Johnny, you put them in the barn

but keep them saddled.

We might be getting told to
get before we have a chance

to get our foot in the door.

Well, the prodigal sons.

Who else is around
here, Mrs. Bronson?

Just your mother.

- Where's our pa?
- He's...

I guess you never heard.

About a year ago.

Buried on the hill.


And ma?

She's ill.

How ill?

I'm staying with her tonight.

Doc Adams doesn't
think there's any hope.

She kin?

Uh, no.

Widow Bronson lives
over the way about a mile.

Be all right to see our ma?

You don't see them problem?

Just don't say
anything to upset her.

How we gone leave here
when somebody's able

and willing to ride into town?

I second on that,
Johnny, when I saw her.

Well, I mean, even if
you tie her up, lock her up,

whatever you do somebody's
gonna come here looking for her.

All right, Johnny.

Well, I don't see
more than a few hours

before a telegraph have
us cut off to the South.

All right, all right,
we'll talk about it later!

Now you keep an eye on
her while we're with our ma.

You bet I will.

Anybody else expected
up this way, Mrs. Bronson?

Doc Adams will be by.

He's staying tonight, too.

When's he coming?

I don't know, an
hour or so maybe.

If we're smart, we'll be
gone before he gets here.

We'll see, Johnny.

Known the family long?

Don't think that's
any of your business.

Humph, lady, I
sure wish it wasn't.

She looks so tired.

So old.

Hello, Mama.

Long time, Mama.

We just heard about Pa.

Sure wish we knew, sure wish it.

He talked about
you toward the end.

Didn't know whether you
were ever coming home again.

But if you were,

there was a word he
wanted passed onto you.

Reckon we know what
Pa thought about us, Ma.

He wanted you both
to know he loved you.

Never said much your pa.

But he loved you.

Was what he meant...

after you got past the
cuss words and razor straps.

Yeah, we loved him too, Mama.

I know you did.

That's what makes
it so much worse.

The waste.

A terrible waste.

We love you too, Ma.

We did some
things, crazy things.

Looking back on it, it
gets kind of mixed up.

We always thought
about you and pa.

Did you get that
money we sent you?

Put away in the bank
in both your names,

if, by chance, you
ever did come back...

and if, by chance, that
money was rightfully yours.


The money was for
you, Mama, and Pa.

And we thanked
you for the thought.

Passing by?

Oh, no not passing.

We're home, Mama.

I mean, home to stay.

- Home to stay.
- That's right.

Rick and me to work the farm,

to take care of you.

But the law?

Oh, well, that's all been
taken care of, Mama.

You see, they said
we did some things

that we didn't really do,
and the Kansas warrants,

well, we've already been
to the judge in Hayes.

And, well, they call
it amnesty, Mama.

- Amnesty.
- That's right.

I thank God.

I truly thank God.

You sleep now, Mama.

We'll talk about it
when you wake up.

I always thought I was
the liar in the family.


She looked so unhappy.

I just tried to think up

anything to give her
some peace of mind.

Well, that's fine brother.

What's it gonna feel
like when she wakes up

and finds us gone and
the law is still after us?

We can't let that happen.

Rick, we owe Mama that much.

You can see it in her eyes.

She's not lasting the night.

I told Johnny we'd be
out of here in an hour.

He ain't gonna like it.

It can't be helped, Rick.

We can't just run out
and leave her now.

Can we?


I'll tell Johnny to
head on out of here.

We'll meet him later.

Rick, somebody's coming.

That's only Doc Adams.

Put it away, John.

Put it away.

Hey, it's gonna be all right.

Morning, Doc.

I didn't know you two were back.

What's going on here?

What seemed like a good
idea just didn't turn out.

We were gonna ride
in, say hello, and go on.

But now, you and
the widow Bronson

knowing we're in these parts...

Well, you can see our situation.

Oh, morning, Doc.

Nell, how's Anna?

Not too good.

Has she had any nourishment?

Nothing, Doc, just
sipped some tea is all.

Let's fix her some broth.

I'll make some up.

- Good.
- Doc?

How long is it gonna be?

Well, now I don't make
those kind of predictions.

The way she looked
in there, she could be

closing her eyes
for the last time.

Very possible.

Well, there is something...

She's been told the law
ain't after us anymore.

We got amnesty.

I'd appreciate it if you'd
keep it that way, for her sake.

One more thing,

and let me make
this clear right now.

Doctor you and the widow
you do not leave the house

at any time until we do.

You gone ride with us.

That's gone be our
guarantee to the border.

Have to take one
of you with is, Doc.

Not one of them.

Both of them.

It's a four-day ride,

and it could be one
of these people just

might possibly not make it.

Two of them that's
gone be some insurance,

also keep the law away.

A little inconvenience.

Nobody get hurt.

I wouldn't count on that.

Now just a minute, Doc.

We got no choice in this matter.

Johnny here, he's our partner,

and we're gonna look
after him no matter what.

We don't really like to do
things this way, Mrs. Bronson.

Yeah, she can get
it in her head too.

All this hometown
politeness gonna disappear

if we get backed into a corner.

Come on, Ray, let's
unhitch that buggy.

Come on.

Sorry about the situation.

That don't excuse
you none, Rick.

Mrs. Bronson, you know Ray and I

have got the greatest
respect for you and Doc.

And not too much for yourselves

leading the life you do.

Maybe not.

A lot changes in Dodge
since we left, I imagine.

Town keeps growing.


Probably a lot of new faces,

a lot of old ones missing.

You asking me about
Prudence Bennet?

Well, she'll be long
married by now, I suppose.

No, that's something
she never got around to.

The kindest thing you
could've done was written to her

just to tell her you
were never coming back.

Mrs. Bronson, Ray and
me is always coming home.

We just waiting up there
for the governor to pardon

everybody involved in
that Ashland range war.

Which the governor did.

Yeah, but it was
too late by then.

He had a lot of
posters out on us.

And rustling became the answer?

It was the easy answer, I guess.

Pru still sewing for
the memory store?

She's opened up her own
seamstress business in Dodge.

My boys were never
mean bad, Doc.

Never that.

Looking for something, I guess,

something never there.

The shame of it is

it takes you to your dying
day to learn the truth of it.

We lived here a
long time, Ed and me,

before you, before the marshal,

even before Dodge City.

Wasn't the sound
of another voice

in a day's ride back then.

Buffalo used to graze
right where Dodge is today.

I kept thinking the land
would die along with me.

Now the boys are back.

Maybe it's meant
something after all.

I'm glad it has.

Sure it has now.


you're gonna follow
doctor's orders.

I want you to go right to sleep.

We friends, Doc?

Well, none better, Anna.

None better.

Be a help if I knew
it was the end.

Everybody smiles.

And lies.

Be a help.

I've accepted
tonight is my last.

Can you look at
me and say it isn't?

No one knows
that for sure, Anna.

Always thought it so cruel
to take away the last hours.

To have a person believe
there's more time than there is.

As a friend, Doc.

A friend would say it's
best to get things said.

No harm in getting it all said.


Never any harm in saying it all.

Now that's a chance,
leaving them two alone inside.

They ain't got
nothing on their minds

except taking care of our mama.

I can hear you come
right out and say it, Rick.

We not holding that woman
and the doctor as a bluff, uh-uh.

The law sticks
their nose out here,

they block us on the
trail, the law gets a body.

Don't like that
kind of talk, Johnny.

You'd like it if you
were facing a rope

instead of a little prison time.

I want a straight out answer.

What happens in a showdown?

It's not gonna come to that.

Well, if it does, Ray,

Johnny's gonna
be calling the tune.

You'd be the loser.

We're gonna look
one the bright side.

I'm gonna get cleaned up.

I'm going into town
after dark for a while.

You going into where?

- Town.
- Town?

There's law in there
did you forget that?

Johnny, I ain't
forgetting anything.

Then I think you may
be going a little too far.

I know what I'm doing.

You calling me down on this?

You damn right I am.

I come here, I took time!

You were supposed to see
your sick mother, you done that!

What are gonna ride into
town and show yourself?

We liable to get in a bind
and not be able to get out of it!

Well, you don't
like it, partner,

you just ride on out of here!

We can meet you the
other side of Laredo.

Uh uh, that's okay
for you to say that,

but how do I know if
things turn sour here, huh?

I mean could be you'd be caught.

They cut me off at the trail,

and I wouldn't even
know they was after me.

Look, Rick, I think you
better start thinking about

putting this thing together.

It's beginning to turn bad.

If I get in trouble, Rick,

I'm gone get out
of it anyway I can.

Anyway I can.

You remember that.


Been a long time, Pru.

So long.

You look real fine.

You better not stay.

Mrs. Aames said she'd be
by tonight with her party dress.

Old life's behind me, Pru.

I don't wanna think about it.

I don't wanna apologize for it.

I just wanna forget it.

But you can't forget it, Rick,

and neither can I.

Well, I can change, can't I?

If you help me, I can change.

Pru, I came back here for you,

because of my ma and you.

I've got to have you with me.

How, Rick?

I can't live the life you do.

I know you still feel
the same way about me.

I guess, I always will.

But I got common sense
along with the feelings.

Well, then use it
and listen to me.

Now Ray and me and
this partner of ours,

we got 500 head
down south of Laredo.

That land down there has
all been bought and paid for.

Pru, we could start a
whole new life together.

If you're not wanted for
killing, why hide in Mexico?

We're not hiding.

You don't have
to hide in Mexico.

You know what I mean.

I'm trying to start a new life.

You've got to
understand that. I'm trying.

And if things go wrong again

Well now stop that, Pru!

Will you come
when I send for you?

I'll come with you right
now to the marshal's office.

Rick, I'd wait for you!

Forever if you wanted me to.

But you know I'd rather
be dead than rot in prison.

One of these days
soon you'll be dead

if don't stop running now!

You know I love you, Pru.

Hold up right there, Wilson.

We got something
to talk about, Deputy?

We'll do our talking
at the jailhouse.

Come on.

Wilson was right, Festus.

This John Mophet
says if he sees a badge

come riding out there,
he's gonna start shooting.

It's trouble for Doc
and widow Bronson.

Well, they all right
now, are they?

Well, yeah, but
Doc says it's serious.

This Mophet says
if we don't free Rick

and have him out
there within an hour,

the law is gonna be wishing
they'd used their heads.

I'll take my gun.

You send for the marshal?

You betcha, that's
just what I done.

Better let him handle things.

I don't wanna see anything

happen out at that farm
any more than you do.

Let me tell you
one thing, Wilson.

You better not depend
on heading for that border

if anything happens to
them folks out yonder.

Deputy, you tell Marshal
Dillon me and my brother's

gonna take mighty
good care of those folks

as long as we don't
get spooked on the trail.

What are we gonna do, Festus?

Well, I've done sent Sam
out looking for Matthew.

But I don't even know if
he's still at Four Corners.

Usually he's went
out yonder to Forks

to look over them herds.

Well, do you want me
to ride out and get him?

You best do that, Burton.

When you find him,

tell him to meet me at Owl Ridge

out at the Wilson farm.

I told you it was
gonna turn out like this!

Save it, Johnny.

It happened and
may be for the best.

What do you mean,
"Maybe for the best?"

It's been spelled
out to the law now.

They'll be as anxious as
we are that nothing happens

between here and the border.

- Festus.
- Newly.

Just got the word.

What's going on here?

They got old Doc and the
widow Bronson down yonder.

How many of them are there?

Well, there's them
two Wilson boys

and a gun slinger,
Johnny Mophet.

What if the marshal
doesn't come back?

We supposed to sit here
and watch him ride off

- with Doc and Nell?
- No, sir.

Who's that coming in?

Martha Beal.

What can we do for you?


I heard Doc was out here.

Yeah, well, what
do you want, Ma'am?

I just wanna see Doc.

- Oh, Doc.
- Mrs. Beal.

Doc, I didn't wanna
bother you none

knowing you'd be
busy with Mrs. Wilson.

But my Ed be out of
town, and long about dark,

I got to be feeling poorly.

No, now we ain't
got anytime for this.

Hold on Mrs. Beal is a patient
of mine. She wants to see me.

Well, what's wrong
with her, Doc?

She shouldn't be
riding in a buckboard.

Let me tell you something else.

Any patient that comes out
here to see me is gonna see me.

Oh, Doc, I don't
wanna bother you none.

Oh, nonsense come on now.

There we are.

- Now what's going on here?
- A little problem, Martha.

Let's get you inside.

You running a hospital?

Let's get the buckboard
over to the barn.

Reckon we can slip
down there close enough

where we could jump them
without them expecting nothing?

That's pretty risky, Festus.

Mophet's a killer.

But they don't know me.

Maybe I could figure
out a way to see Doc.

Well, Martha Beal,
she drove in there

just pretty as you please.

She sure did.

I'll tell something, Newly,

it's gone be
risky, like you say,

because they're blame
sure fixin' to search you.

Yeah, they would.

But I got an idea
I think will work.

You keep an eye
on things, Festus.

I'm going back to town.

All right, Newly.

Is Mrs. Beal all right?

It's gonna be an early delivery.

Tonight, in fact.

Can I give you any help?

It might help all around
if you, your brother,

and that partner of yours
would ride out of here.

Well, I can't do that.

In the morning when
my ma wakes up,

I gotta be here.

If she wakes.

That's important to you?

Important to her.

Makes it so with me.

How much longer for you mama?

I don't know, Johnny.

- She's lingering.
- Rick?

This whole thing don't
have a good smell to it.

I mean, all this
folksy business,

you and Raymond
hometown boys all that.

I told you not to worry
about that, Johnny.

We're not gone let you down.

All right.

Let me just say this one thing.

We've been together a year now,

and there was never a
time that you and Raymond,

didn't have me backing you up.

Tight spots, now.

And never once saw me
looking for my own skin.

I know that, Johnny.

I'm getting to something, Rick,

and you may not like it.

We're taking the
widow woman with us.

We're taking the doctor with us,

and you know that the marshal
he's gone be right behind us.

I figured that.

All right, then you
figure soon as we turn

those people loose
and we cross the border,

Dillon's gone be
right behind us still.

We'll just deal with
that when we come to it.

Why come to it?

I don't want the
marshal tracking us,

not at the border,
not anyplace else.

I'll have to think on it.

No thinking, Rick.

Somewhere to the south

we call him in.

We talk to him. We kill him.

Marshal's either dead
or he's tracking us.

You see a choice?

Ray won't go for it.

Will you?

I don't know.

Suppose you go along with me
on this and Raymond doesn't?

Ray will do as I say.

Well, I'm surprised
at those Wilson boys.


Taking advantage of
their own mother's home.

The Wilson boys.

Well, let me tell you something.

Let's don't think
about the Wilson boys.

Let's not worry about
them for heaven's sake.

Tell you what it is you
and I think about, both of us.

Let's think about this beautiful

new daughter you're gonna have.

Hey, Doc, you promised
me that last time.

- I did?
- You know,

you're not winning any
prizes with your predictions.

Well, you’re not helping
me much I'll tell you that.

You know, you just seem
to insist on populating

the whole state of
Kansas with sons.

I can't help that.

I'm gonna go downstairs
just for a minute, not long.

I'll be right there.

You just rest.

- I won't go away.
- All right, Doc.

You're doing fine.

Be about an hour, I think.

Somebody's coming.

Who are you?

I might ask the same of you.

Just head on back
where you came from.

I'd like to, but...

Doc, this is Aaron.

Why, Aaron, what is it?

My arm, Doc.

I've been waiting
over at your office.

They told me I'd
find you out here.

It's hurting something fierce.

I don't want you hanging
around here, Mister.

Wait a minute.

This'll happen as
long as I'm here.

I don't care about that, Doc.

Well, what are you
gonna do, shoot me?

Come on, Aaron, get down.

Got me worrying about it

the way this arm's been hurting.

I figured maybe you
ought to take a look at this...

Just hold on a minute.

You were saying
if I felt any pain,

I ought to come right
over and see you, Doc.

Yep, come right on in, come on.

Doc, you've got 10 minutes.

Another one, huh?

Well, I don't see what one more

is gonna make any difference.

I know, you don't see
much of anything anymore.

If this keeps up, we're gonna
have half of Dodge out here.

Ray, you keep an eye on him.

I fixed this thing
so it'd break apart

if I hit it on anything hard.

- Gun in there?
- Yes, sir.

Sit down.

We're not supposed
to make a move

until the marshal gets back.

Doc, it's up to you to figure
out a way to keep me...

Well, Aaron let's get
this out of the sling here.

Let me have a look at this.

How about your
fingers, they numb?

They sure are.

Well, Aaron,

I don't like to but I may have
to take this out of the cast.

You should be hanging your
shingle up out of here, Doc.

I'll get my bag.

Newly O'Brien.

What happened to your arm?

I broke it last
week, Mrs. Bronson.

- Last week?
- Yes, ma'am.


Is something wrong?


Just thinking.

Feels kind of good
to be home, don't it?

I mean, it don't seem
no time since we left.

People look the same.

Old Doc.

You know, Rick,
the land looks good.

I mean we used to
talk about the work

and how to get away from it.

But, it wasn't that bad, really.

Just wish we'd
been here when Pa...

Maybe able to tell him we
wish it'd all been different.

Oh, Ray.

I reckon he knew that.

Wouldn't have done
him any good anyway.

Well, we wasn't the easiest
kids to handle, you know.

He sure tried though, didn't he?

I can still feel that razor
strap across my backside.

Oh, he was just trying
to raise us up proper,

only way he knew.

It's just that running...

just don't seem like
you got time to think.

You know, just keep moving.

Rick, you ever think
about hanging it up?

For dirt farming?

We could sell them cattle.

We could spend
some time in jail.

Wouldn't be so long.

We'd be clear, could start over.

You're kidding yourself, boy.

No I ain't!

I ain't!

Maybe got a chance at it.

Maybe right now.

You better spell out what
you're talking about, Raymond.

Well, it's just that
farmer in there

he ain't who he pretends to be.


How long is he gone be in there?

Johnny, we got a problem.

Now you tell him.

Tell me, Raymond!

Now it ain't
nothing I'm sure of.

It's just that farmer in
there seems like he got him

two different names,
and the widow's

real surprised about
his broken arm.

Why'd you wait for so long?

Don't do it, Johnny!


All right, now!

I played your game long enough,

and it done got me way behind.

Now we gone play my game,

and this is how it goes.

In the morning the
doctor and the widow

are gonna ride
with us to the South.

And anybody that
gets in our way,

I'm gone kill these
people one at a time

just like we planned it.

Just like we planned it!

How we doing, Mama?

Always been truth
between us, Raymond.

When it counted, always truth?

Well, sure, Mama.

It goes without saying.

Does it?

Don't lie to me, my boy.

Not now.


About what, Mama?

I heard it all.

You and your brother
and another man...

and that fight.

I'm sorry, Mama.

You're gonna hurt
people, our friends...

Mama, I promise you
nobody's getting hurt.

Why, Raymond, why?

Well, like Rick always says,

"Sometimes you
got to do things."

"Like Rick says..."

A boy who could never listen...

always saying.

He's got a hold over
you, my baby, a bad hold.

But then he always did.

Mama, you mustn't
blame Rick, really.

I left home with him
because I wanted to,

and I owe him.

There's nothing he wouldn't
share with me, Mama.

Why, I even owe
him my life, Mama.

No way to separate you, then.

I owe him.

I understand, Raymond.

He's been more than
my brother, Mama.

He did as much as Pa
could've done for me.

That's Martha Beal's baby, Mama.

A happy sound.

I remember your first cry.

Such a long time ago, Raymond.

You sleep, Mama.

You'll see me in the
morning, you and Rick?

You know we will.

At the time, we figured it was
a pretty good idea, Matthew.

Have you seen anything
of Newly since then?

No, but I seen old Doc.

He come to the door like
he was getting some air.

Well, they probably
know somebody's

out here watching them.

And when they go to saddle
up it'll probably be two of them.

Maybe Newly can
make a move then.

Let's get a little closer.

- Morning Martha.
- Morning.

How's the new girl?

Oh, fit as can be,
Nell, thank you.

Well, here's something
for the new mama.

Doc says she's the
spitting image of you.

So that should make
your day brighter

if that's possible.

My boys.

You want to see them?


My boys.

Your mother wants
to see you boys.

Morning, Mama.


Can we do anything for you, Ma?

Please, God.

Mama, no.

Please, God, give me strength.

Please God.




She wanted to kill you.

She wanted to kill you.

What happened?

She's dead.

Well, that's it then. Let's go.

Come on, doctor.

I ain't going,
Rick, not anymore.

Come on, Rick, leave the kid.


Leave the kid!

What are you gonna do
you gonna wait for the law

to come and cart you away?

Now go on upstairs and
get the woman and let's go!

Come on, Rick!

It's all over, Rick.

I'm all done running.

He's gonna go out there
and kill that old man,

and it's our fault.


Come on, Rick!

That there is Mophet
coming out now.

Keep down, he's
got a gun on Doc.


Let him go.

What are you talking
about he's our only chance!

That may be, but I
ain't letting you take him.

Well, you ain't got anything
to say about it anymore.

U.S. Marshal, Mophet!

Put your gun up!

Let him go, Johnny!

Let him go...


There you go.

Sorry, brother.

I did this one all wrong.

Nah, Rick.

This time I think we
did something right.

Just a moment.

Howdy, Pru.



I don't believe it.

You don't look a day older.

Well, I guess you don't get old

when you got something
to look forward to.

Why didn't you warn me?

Well, I wanted to surprise you.

Well, you certainly did that.

When did you get out?

Oh, three days ago.

- How's Rick?
- Fine.

Fine when I left him.

You mean you
haven't heard from him?

Well, I got a letter
from him last week.

Actually, it was half a page.

Well, you should
be grateful for that.

You see it takes him three days

looking up the
words in a dictionary,

so he can see spell them right.

Is he really all right?

Yes, Pru, he's really all right.

Oh, I miss him so much.

Listen, I am gonna
close the shop,

and I'm gonna fix
you the best dinner

that you've had in a long time.

Hold on now, hold on.

I brought you a
Christmas present.

What, no, don't tell me.

Don't tell me I wanna open
it on Christmas morning.

I'll open it tomorrow morning.

Well, you don't
have to open it, Pru.

It's right behind you.


Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.