Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 18, Episode 4 - The Judgement - full transcript

Musgrov spent five years in prison after Ira Spratt turned him in as an army deserter. Now out of prison, Musgrov captures the craven wife beater Spratt and takes him to Dodge City to kill him. In the gunplay, Festus and Newly are wounded, and Spratt escapes. He hides in Gideon's barn and again escapes when Musgrov arrives. Musgrov then takes Gideon hostage, threatening to kill him if the townsfolk of Dodge City do not bring him Spratt.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.






You got to fix that
pen this mornin'.

Quit grinding at me, can't ya?


- Ha.
- Morning.

Why don't you put your
boots and pants on, boy?

Wh, what for?

Well now, wouldn't
it look funny for me

to kill a man in his underwear?

What did you say?

I said I don't fancy
making myself look foolish.

About killing?

A man in his underwear.

Don't look decent.

- Mister, who are you?
- He knows.

What all you gonna do to him?

I'm gonna hold
judgment over him.

In broad, public daylight.


It's a sacred, American
principle, ma'am.

Not only that justice be done,

but that it be seen to be done.

What about after you
done held judgment?

Well, old Judas, he
had the good grace

to go hang himself, but
I reckon your old man,

he's just gonna need
a little encouragement.


You must be thinkin'
you married a man.

Ain't you even gonna
try and pick it up?

So's you can shoot
me in self-defense?

Spratt, you are a mistake.

One of nature's mistakes.

Probably have to cremate ya.

Good earth'd more than
likely vomit you right back out!

Please, mister.

I don't know what
he done to you,

but I could raise cash
money on this farm.

We'll give you anything.

All right, you can start

by giving me five
years of living.

And while you're at
it a new patch of skin!

Spratt, you and
me is going to town.

Well, it's a boy!

You know, for a while
there, I didn't think

you's ever gonna quit
having shemale girls.

- Sure!
- Oh, beautiful.

Come on Gideon and sit down.

- What'll you have to drink?
- None for me.

Sam, give them
all what they want.

Where's Matt?

Oh, he's gone to
Lawrence for two days.

You know if that
baby'd took any more

time agettin' born,
I might had to ask

old Sam for some of his coffee.

Well now, if he's gonna
celebrate this early,

watch out for him along by
sundown, I wanna tell you.

Miss Kitty, that
there is American.

You can just 'bout
near smell the feet

of the boys that
planted that corn.

How 'bout it, boy,

aren't you even gonna
try and give me a show?


There's your chance
to go out in style.

You are bound and determined

to embarrass me ain't ya?

Well, I'd just hoped
you'd have the gumption

for your kid's sake to
die with iron in your hand,

not groveling like
some fishbait worm

with his tail cut off.

All right, Crawley, call
me anything you want.

What I want is
for all these people

to know what you really are.

Go on.

Get away from that!

You, old man!

I'm a doctor!

Get him upstairs.

- Newly.
- I warned you, old man!

I'm gonna be all right, Doc.

Bring him up.

All right, now where'd he go?

Someone seen him, where is he?

Where is he?

Is he gonna be all right, Doc?

Yes, he will, but
he's not gonna be

up and around for a
few days, I'll tell ya that.

Could I sit with him
till he comes around?

Oh, that'd be
good, thanks, Kitty.

Thank you.

Is he gonna be all right, Doc?

Yeah, I think so, Newly.


Let's have a look at this here.

It went clean through.

What are we gonna do?

What do you suggest, Burke?

Well, I don't know.

Festus shot, Newly.

You want to put on a badge?

You saying it's up to me alone?

I didn't say anything, Burke.

You're doin' the talking.

Well, we gotta do somethin'.

That fellow went in
the telegraph office,

dumped all the batteries
so we couldn't get help.

At least he ain't
after none of us.

It's Ira Spratt
he's gunnin' for.

Since when isn't Ira one of us?

Burke, get outta here!

All of ya, get out!

By golly, Newly, you've
lost a lot of blood here.

I'm gonna be all right, Doc,

just patch me up.

I'll show you how
to stop that fella.

You can't even
hold a gun steady.

- Well, somebody's got to!
- Not you.

You're not in any
shape for that.

Maybe I can catch
up with Marshal Dillon

and get him back here.

Well, I'll tell you something.

You're in no condition
to make a ride like that.

What makes you think you can?

Just patch me up,
Doc, we'll find out.

Ab, would you like some coffee?

Oh, no, no.

I've had coffee all night.

How's my son, huh?

I think he likes it here.

What are you girls
doing here, huh?

School's waiting.
Come on, scoot, scoot.



- Come on, feller.
- Father, yeah.

Here we go. Hey there.

This, uh, fella, what
did he want, Gideon?

A man named Spratt.

Who's he?

A hog farmer, drinks like goat,

beats his wife,
don't pay his bills.

What'd he do this time?

I have no idea,
but this fella seems

to carry and awful
powerful grudge,

big enough to want to make
him eat dirt before he killed him.

Did he?

Well, funny thing
is, in all the shootin',

Spratt got away.

I must say, I'm
kinda glad about that.

I guess I'll go down
and see what's doin'.

Abner, be careful!

Don't poke your nose
where it doesn't belong.

Who, me?

You get some rest.

That's a nice-looking' son
you've got there, Gideon.

Thanks, Ab.

Oh, that one doesn't ever
seem to mind his own business.

Well, at times like this,

we could use a few more
like him, I'll tell you that.


This, um, stranger, is he gone?

Well, he was wounded.

I think he'd be fool to hang
around till Matt come back.

Come on here, drink your coffee

before it freezes over.

I want Spratt, bad!

So if this man is
a friend of yours.

I seen him headed
out the south road.

He was headin'
for Gideon's place.

I'm gonna go down and
see what that's all about.

Anybody here?

Whoever's in there, come on out.

It's, it's just me,
Mr. Gideon, Ira Spratt.

What are you doin' here?

Well, you seen him.

He's fixin' to shoot
me down in cold blood

and bare handed, too.

Why, he hit Newly and
Festus like they was tin cans.

Ain't nobody but you
can save me, Mr. Gideon.

What can I do?

Hide me till he's gone or
Marshal comes back, one.

Oh, you ain't gonna
send me out there

to get gunned down like
a mad dog now, are ya?

All right, go on, climb
up there in the hay loft.

Oh, I swear, I'll never
forget you for this.

I'll let you know when
it's safe to come down.

What was it?

Somebody in the barn.

- Who?
- Some fella.

Oh, you didn't
eat your eggs, hon.

Who, Gideon?

Well, it's nobody you know.

You don't mean Spratt?

What if it is?

What does he want here?

Well, he was half
dead with terror.

He didn't know
where else to turn.

So he elected you?

Kind of a tribute to
something or other.

But you can't let him stay.

What else can I do?

This man'll kill him on sight.

But that means he'll kill anyone

who gets in his way.

Fiona, all I've done

Well, have you thought about us?

Have you?

I've got children in this house!

Not to mention a
husband who's blinded

by his own charity!

It's little enough to do
for a fellow human being.

To gamble the
lives of our children?

Oh, for pity's
sake, this stranger

doesn't even know about us.

But I want him out of here!

Do you understand me?


You ought to have someone

look at that wound of yours.

It'll keep.

- Let's have him.
- Who?


Understand he was headin'
in this direction, and I want him.

Look, if he's done
you some kind of injury,

we have a traveling judge.

I'd be very much obliged
if you'd hand him over.



He's in the barn!

Why don't you show me?

Now you go on up,
and you fetch him down.

He's not there.

That's where I told him to hide,

but he must've seen you comin'.

That's too bad, for you.

What do you mean?

I'm tired of chasin' him.

I want Spratt delivered
to me by your friends.

What makes you
think they'll do that?

They'll do it all right,

for you, for your life.

Let's go.

Everybody, outside!

You stay!

Doc, Spratt got away.

Oh, well, that's good.

That fella Musgrove, he
took Gideon for a hostage.

Well, Newly's
goin' after Matt now.

He'll never make it
back before the deadline.

The deadline? What do you mean?

Well, it's eight
o'clock tonight.

Eight o'clock tonight?

If he doesn't get
Spratt, he'll kill Gideon.

Well, he certainly can't make it

unless he catch up to him.

I don't have to tell you,

that man ain't given
to empty threats.

Well, what do you want me to do?

Well, we thought maybe you could
go over there to the Long Branch,

where he's holed himself
up and kinda humbug him,

you know, into thinkin'
he's got a pretty bad injury

and better let you
put a patch on it.

Then you could
slip him somethin',

a potion or somethin'
to put him to sleep.

Don't take but a split
second to pull the trigger.

Well, there ain't
nothin' else we can do!

Except give him Ira Spratt.

You don't know where he is.

No, but we could hunt
him down with dogs

if we all put our minds to it.

Are you talkin'
about a lynch mob?

Wouldn't be no
resemblance to a lynch mob.

No comparison at all.

Gideon's my sister's husband.

A fat lotta fools we'd look like

lettin' a capital fella like him

get gunned down in place
of that no-account scum.

You know what you're sayin'?

I'm sayin' Ira
Spratt's life ain't worth

one of Gideon's little fingers.

By whose scale?

Any decent citizen's.

Well, I'd do anything I
could to save Gideon,

but at the expense
of another man's life?

I'd have to be awful sure
that Musgrove isn't bluffin'.

I believe he means it,

and so does my sister.

We're goin' after Spratt.


What are you gonna do?

I don't know.

Sit down over there.

Yeah, she's bleedin' some.

Don't get your hopes up.

If I felt like I
was passin' out,

I'd take you with me.


Sorta makes us
partners in my survival.

Look, there ain't no
chance in the world

to take him unawares.

Even if we did take
a shot from out here,

we're liable to shoot
Gideon as well as him.

Whatever he is,
he ain't no fool.

I don't even see how Matt
could take him this way.

Let's get goin' with the
dogs and find Spratt.

Look, I don't know.
It don't seem right.

To who?

Well, Matt ain't
gonna like it much.

Matt Dillon ain't here.

Well, he will be tomorrow.

Tomorrow wouldn't nothin'
help Gideon but resurrection.

What are you gonna say to Matt?

Well, what's he gonna ask me?

How come I didn't hook my
thumbs in my back pocket

and let my sister's
husband get gunned down?

Are you comin' or ain't ya?


You, go on over to
Doc's and fetch me

some bandages and some
alcohol to clean this wound.

You want Doc to
take a look at that leg?

Ain't nothin' he can see
that I can't feel for myself.

Now move!

You want somethin' for the pain?

Somethin' to put me to sleep?

You wouldn't
live to gloat on it.

Is there anything I can
get for you, Gideon?

Yes, you might ask
someone to stop by the house

and see that my
wife's staying in bed,

and tell her...

Tell her what?

Tell I don't want
to be ransomed.

Not for a man's life.

You do that.

But first you check
with the carpenter

and make sure he's got a
box big enough to fit him.


What is it?

We're lookin' for your husband.


You know why.

Mr. Gideon's being
held hostage for him.

My sister's husband.

Musgrove's gonna kill him
if we don't fetch Ira Spratt.

You tellin' me you're
going to hunt him down

and hand him over to be killed?

What happens to him
is out of our hands.

Our only concern is
to save Gideon's life.

Mr. Spratt ain't here.

If you could just
let us look around.

This one his?

Well, we'll just borrow it.

Sure enough, honey,
these good folks

is friends of your daddy's.

How's Festus doing?

He's holding his own, Gideon.

What's in this bottle?

Alcohol, like you wanted.

Nothin' else?

You know, I don't believe you.

Then don't use it.

What'd he do to you?

Like the good book says,
old sins leave long shadows.

Good book don't
say no such thing.

I want to know
what he done to you.

What did Judas do to our Lord?

Your man and me,
we bled together.

We were comrades in arms.

Do you know what that means?


I don't see nothin'
sacred about that.

It ain't like a man and a woman.

No, it surely ain't.

Nothin' like four
bare feet in a bed.

That don't tell me nothin'.

I wouldn't expect a
woman to understand.

You're bound and
determined to kill my man.

I understand that much.

That's all you need to know.

I've got to know why!

Unless you're some
kind of an animal

with a lust for killin'.

Ain't no man got more

tender feelings than I got!

For yourself maybe.

Myself is all I got.

Want to know why?

I'd been passed
over for promotion.

Spratt, he had some
gripe of his own.

One night, we got
us good and drunk,

and we set out
to go over the hill.

Mr. Spratt never
deserted the U.S. Army.

No, he surely did not.

He crawfished out of it!

And that's your grievance?

Truth be known, I was glad

to be shut of his company.

He done went and turned
me in, for the bounty.

Twenty-five pieces of silver.

For that, I got me this brand

and five years on a rock pile!

Mr. Spratt never
give that to you.

Some judge give it to you.

Yes, ma'am.

They buried him a week ago,

the prosecutor four days ago.

That just leaves one man
to settle accounts with.

Your friends and neighbors,

they're gonna bring
him right here to me.

You know why?

Because they agree with me.

Your man ain't fit to live!

No they won't.

Because it's wrong,
and they know it.

Folks won't stand for that.

They out huntin' him now?


They admire ya too
much to let ya die.

What if they don't find
him by the time you say?

It's too bad for him.

Then you go away from here?


But you ain't sure?

Ain't nothin' sure as
long as Spratt's alive.

I may go hunt for him myself,

or maybe I might take
myself another hostage.

Best go on home.

There ain't nothin'
on earth or in heaven

gonna save your man.

Thank you, Martha.

You're Mrs. Spratt.

Please, sit down.

Is there...

There anything I can do for you?

I know folks
believe I ought to be

thankful that I'm shut of him.

Maybe they're right.

All I know is, I feel
like to shrivel up

and die inside of me
if they kill my man.


Your brother, your friends.

If they catch my
man and bring him in,

won't be that just like
they helped to kill him?

Sure, he don't support me,

drinks up what
money does come in

and beats me when he's drunk.

Still, I'd do anything
to keep him.

Can you understand that?

I know he ain't worth
much as men go.

I got eyes in my
head, I got ears.

But once upon a time,

when no other man
would look at me twice,

he's all the love I ever
had or ever wanted.

And you think I'm in
any position to help?

Ma'am, I don't know.

Mrs. Spratt...

I don't know what
your husband did,

and I don't wanna know,

but if he doesn't
come and face up to it,

my husband's going to die.

Ma'am, I don't ask
you to do nothin',

just understand.

What's there to understand?

Even Ira Spratt, even
he's a man with feelings

and rights to have his
day in court like other men,

not somethin' to be shot
down like a mad dog.

I surely do thank
you for listenin' to me.

What about Festus?

Well, Doc patched him up,
but he's in pretty bad shape.

This stranger, he come to town

lookin' for Ira Spratt.

Said he wants to kill him.

Newly, you stay here.
I'll send a doctor up.

Don't head back to
Dodge till you're rested.

Over there.



Come on out, or we'll
set the dogs on ya.


You know me, Halligan.

I ain't never had
nothin' against ya.

We want ya to live.

Stands to reason,
though not if Gideon's

gotta croak for it.


Ira, come out,
and I swear to you,

we'll wait until
the last minute.

Then if Marshal
Dillon gets back in time,

we'll let ya go.

You comin' out, or are
we comin' in to get ya?

Your clock is five minutes slow.

What's five minutes?

Could be a world
of difference to him.

They're gonna
bring you Ira Spratt.

I don't know exactly when.

Deadline is eight o'clock
without no plus or minus.

What if they're an
extra two minutes?

That's fine, but he's
gonna be two minutes dead.

For a man that's been dreaming

on revenge of five whole years,

what kind of satisfaction can it

give you to kill me instead?


Then why do you do it?

Because I said I would.

Because I said it,
and a man has got

to be as good as his
word or pretty soon

don't nobody pay him no mind.

But I have a newborn
son, three daughters.

I have a wife that's
just out of child bed.

No use you tellin'
me all that truck.

No way you're gonna make me feel

what it's like to
be in your shoes.

You ain't never
been in my shoes.

Never knowed
what it felt like to me

to be marched in front
of that whole regiment

and branded like a steer!

Well, that wound
healed up years ago.

It never healed!

I loved my regiment.

The army was all
the mother and father

and wife and child I ever had!

Fed me, taught me,
punished me and sheltered me!

Why did you desert then?

One disappointment?

What kind of a man are you?

They did a grievous wrong
to pass me by for promotion.

It was Spratt and me
decided to abscond.

That was just impulse.

I was brass eyed drunk!

I'd a come back, but
I didn't get a chance.

He stayed back there.

Turned me in for a runaway.

Suddenly, I was lower than dirt,

fit for nothin' but a stockade,

a rock pile and a
brand on my chest!

Would you let a man live that
tore up your reason for livin'?

What do you want?

Ab, you can't do it.

Who says?

Look, it's wrong, and
you know it's wrong.

You get outta my way.

Now look, I'm tellin'
you to let him go!

On your say so?

A man too yella to even
put on a deputy's badge?

Well, I've never seen a more
distinguished looking lynch mob.

I guess you must be
proud of yourselves.

Don't you start preachin' at us!

We ain't got time to listen!

Well, don't you know that
if you go through with this

Matt Dillon'll find you
no matter where you are!

Now what are we gonna tell him?

Well, what are you gonna
tell him if Gideon's killed?

Well, I'd be grieved about that,

but Gideon doesn't
want that man killed.

He said so.

We ain't doin' it for him, then.

We're doin' it for my sister.

Now, what do you
think she'd say?

Why don't you ask her?

She's in Matt Dillon's
office right now.

Go in and ask her if she wants

this man's blood on her hands.

Well, go on.

Are you afraid to ask her?

All right, all right.

We've got a couple
of minutes to spare

if that'll satisfy you
and the marshal.

Come on, Spratt.

What's the good of sending
them to ask Gideon's wife, Doc?

You know what she's gonna say.

It might gain us some time,

even a few minutes.

For Matt?

It might.

I told you, we are
goin' by my watch.

They're bound to
be here anytime.

Anytime ain't good enough.

I told you that too.

If you kill Gideon,
you'll never get Spratt.

Not even if I take
me another hostage?

You, for instance?

You're just feisty enough
to make good company.

Got ten minutes to spare here.

You'll have Gideon home
in time for supper tonight.

We sure had us
a job findin' him.

We wasn't gonna let your husband

bite the dirt for this here
puny, no-account weasel.

It was, it was real good of you.


I don't think you
understand, Fiona.

It's all over now.

We got Gideon back for you.

What do you expect me to say?

Well, just uh, you want us
to hand him over or don't ya?

I can't be your conscience.

We're doin' this for you.

You have no right
to lay it on me!

Do you want your husband
back alive or don't ya?

Of course I do!

But not this way!

How could I ever face him after,

after tellin' you to go ahead?

You ain't exactly Pontius Pilate

standin' there, you know.

You can't just wash your hands

and there'll be no blood on 'em!

You're in this with us!

It's wrong.

Let him go.


I want my husband...

but not enough to kill
another man for him.

This ain't no man!

Leastwise not like Gideon.

This one here ain't
even fit for soap grease.

Who appointed you or
me his judge and jury?

We're savin' your
husband's life.

But not that way!

'Cause he wouldn't
want it that way.

I might, 'cause I'm
weak and I'm selfish,

and I'm most willing to do
anything to keep what I have,

but not him, not my husband.

If I don't know anything
else, I know that.

Why, even his wife
would be tickled.

Mrs. Spratt was at my house.

I talked to her.

She loves her man just
the same as I do mine.

I wish it weren't so, but it is.


That's too deep for me.

Leave it to a female
to start spoutin'

foolishness at a time like this.

Let's go. We ain't got
too much time to talk.


I'm callin' you out!

All you, move over
there in the corner.

You said you'd give me a show.

All right, I'm takin' ya
up on that right now.

Show me that there piece.

You couldn't stand
up to me in a gunfight

if I was crippled in both eyes.

You just toss it over
here, nice and easy.

You really gonna
give me a chance

to kill you in a fair fight?

Now, let's see if you got
the gumption to pick it up.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.

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