Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 18, Episode 9 - Milligan - full transcript

When a family man lawfully kills a murderous outlaw by shooting him the back, some people in town start to physically abuse him.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.


Just enough to see me
through to crop time, Mr. Dofeny.

When would that
be, Mr. Milligan?

Oh, no time at all, first rain.

I can smell rain.

I can always smell rain.

Mr. Bodkin, he always
saw me through.

Mr. Bodkin is on business
in Hayes, Mr. Milligan.

I'm here.

I'm not doubting your nose,

and I know what they
say about a banker's heart,

but the facts, Mr. Milligan,

are that it hasn't rained
here in seven months.

And even if your nose is right,

this late, your
harvest will be so small

it wouldn't fatten
a range rabbit.

You're saying no.

No, I'm saying that this time

I simply cannot loan the
bank's money on such a risk.

Perhaps later, when
things are better.

I mean it when I say I'm sorry.

Oh, banker man.

I'd like to do business.

A few thousand, I'd say.

Did you say a few thousand?

Well, I don't know what
it'll be exactly till we count it.

Well, First Merchant's
would love to serve you.

Good, good. I do
appreciate that.

Well, where's the money?

Why, it's you oughta know.

Now fill 'em up.

Keep quiet and nobody gets hurt.

Up against the wall.

You heard him, move.

Keep your hands up
and your mouth shut.

Weathers, fill the bags.

Fill the bags, man!


John, it's not like
the earth opened up.

We'll get by.

We always have.

Norcross, let's get outta here!

Get your chin off
your feet, plowboy,

and pray for rain!

Riders, riders!

Have a pleasurable day, ladies!

Well, I gotta get goin'.

The posse's formin'
up in ten minutes

at Jason's Crossin'.

I don't understand, you've
never ridden with a posse.

You can hardly climb on a horse.

Marshal Dillon's gone, they
need every man they can get.

You're a farmer.

They can't expect you to
go out and hunt outlaws.

It's the law, Janet.

Every able-bodied man
rides, whether he can or not.

Gimme them gloves, Wendy.

Might have to
climb a tree to hide.

And get me that tobacco plug.

Sure, Daddy.

If horses chew, I
can make a friend.

Do you have to go?


But the talk is that Mr. Norcross
does good things, too.

What the talk is.

And didn't he try
to give us money?

Honey, he robbed a bank,
and a lot of banks before that,

and he's killed men, too.

Don't worry about
your old Daddy.

There'll be plenty of
men to protect him.

Now, fetch me
some coffee, will you?

Sure, Daddy.

You could be
killed, couldn't you?

You could be
killed, and for what?

A nan could walk into
a wagon not seein',

or catch a Saturday night bullet

meant for the Moon,
and for what, Jan?

Don't worry on this hide.

When I'm outside
of the home fence,

I just naturally
take more caution

than a woods rat
with the owl out.

Kind of puts the
anchor on the whole of it.

'Course, I don't know
if it shoots or not,

but it's got notice to it.

Well, I'll be back shortly.

Gonna teach you how to
make coffee one of these days.

It's gotta to be so strong
a horseshoe won't sink.

Yes, sir.

Bye, Daddy.

Wonder why he
had to take that gun.

Well, Ma, he'd have
looked funny without one

in front of all them others.

"Those others," darlin'.


Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Logan, I best take
old Power here

up to that old Lion shack
at the forks of the Wolf.

You take Nichols and Griffith

and push straight
for the territory line.

That'll get us at the
free end of the rope.

This ain't right, Jack.

We ain't never split up before.

We ain't never
been shot up before.

Till old Power
here took to wearin'

three left feet for luck.

Get to ridin', now.

Come on, Pa.
Come on, Pa, let's go.

Norc', listen.

You ain't never gonna
shake that there posse

with me taggin' along.

Let me just climb up the
creek bank hereabouts

and let 'em fetch me.

Now, come on!

Come on.

Looks like the tracks
disappear here, Festus.

Well, I guess our
chores are done,

we can get back to town, huh?

You can just stay
put's what you can do.

Now, they ain't none
of us goin' back yet.

You know, Festus,
it ain't like Norcross

was some barnyard bobcat.

He's got a thought for others.

Everybody here
knows he ain't all bad.


And all them same everybodies

oughta know that a
crime's a crime, Potter.

Well, I ain't all that
fired up to catch him,

I tell you that.

I hear tell of a widow
woman he helped

over Cimarron way.

He was helpin' that widow
woman with stolen money, Reeves.

Ah, come on.

He only steals from rich
banks and insurance companies.

And a lot of that
he gives to people

that ain't got it so good.

Poor people got their
money in banks, too, Mattis.

You betcha they have.

Now, lookee here,

like it or not, you all
been deputized proper,

and they ain't
nobody a-goin' back.

Hey, look, here comes Millgan!

Milligan, you better get
yourself a cactus switch!

What this old horse
needs is a plow behind him!

Now, Milligan,
don't you fret none

about your old horse
a-laggin' behind,

because if they is
to double back on us,

you'd spot 'em, don't you see?

And if you do, just
squeeze off a couple shots

and we'll come arunnin'.

Now, Looter, you take your men,

head on upstream
there, and give us a squall

if you cut a sign.



You do the same downstream.

And the rest of us is
gonna go ahead straight on.

All right, lead off, Quantrill.


Festus, why don't
you quit raggin' me!

We gets us a mess of jugs,

and one of them bridal suites

with enough room to
run Texas steers to butter.

Second floor.

You remember Henshaw, don't you?

Head you could
hide in a shot glass.

The same! Well...

Lost, horse, we're lost.

By the Lord's
sight, we are lost.

Them comin' back.

Get movin', you tormentin'.

All horses should have
been left on the Ark.

We took them jugs down
just quicker than first love.

Noah Henshaw, he
hears him some celebratin'

on t'other side of the wall.

He guesses as to
how he'll just fly over,

see how the wagon points.

He starts to flappin' his arms

like a fledglin' about
to quit the nest.

Then he says,
"Lookee here, boys!

"I can fly!

"I'm gonna fly clean
around this building

"and back in again!"

Well, he takes him a run

and out the second-story
window he sails,

flappin' away like
a ruptured eagle!

Candy Griffith, he says,

"I look out the window,
and I see old Henshaw

"hung up on a prickle
bush down below!"

So he turns to Gip
Nichols and says,

"Gip, you was
closest to the window,

"you knowed he couldn't
fly around no buildin'!

"Why didn't you stop him?"

And old Gip says, "Why,
Candy, I'm so drunk,

"I bet five dollars
he could do it!"

I just haven't saw a breath
of a sign no place, fellers.

Now, either they went off
up that crick back yonder

by them forks, or
they doubled back

over that hard
pan by them buttes,

the way I got it figured.

Whoop, whoop, whoop, whoop!

Wait a minute, Quantrill?

Don't get off, we can't
get you heisted back on!

No joke, Festus.

It's Looter.

Looks like they've gone
done with some of 'em.

Looter, where'd you catch 'em?

Caught all three of 'em
in a draw, plum easy.

We got the money,
Festus, all of it.

Where's Norcross at?

That's for you to find out.

Yeah, come on.

Come on, this'll
do you good, Bob.

Take a little bite of that.

Here you go.

This'll smooth you up, Bob, boy.

Well, maybe
you'll feel like eatin'

a little more later, huh?

What is it, Bob?

Sounds like somebody's
found somethin'.

Get 'em on into town, Looter.
Come on, fellers, let's ride.

Come on, boys.

That there's Milligan's
old horse, ain't it?

Look here, Festus,
some more over here.

All right, you
fellers, split up.

Try to get around back.

Milligan, did you shoot
'em both, did you?

I ain't sure.

I guess so.

That's Norcross.

I seen just about
every poster on him.

He's, he's been shot
in the back, Festus.

They both been shot in the back.

So what does that mean?

It means, Miss Kitty,
they were backshot.

Well, your intention was to
get 'em dead or alive, wasn't it?

Well, get 'em, yes,
but not that way.

What way, then?

Look, the point is, Miss Kitty,

you don't shoot
a man in the back.

- Why?
- Why?

Yeah, why?

Well, you just
don't do it, that's all.

It's a coward's way.

Look, Burke, you put
yourself in Milligan's place.

What would you have done?

Waited for him to turn
around and shoot you?

Look, I, I don't expect you
to understand, Miss Kitty,

you're, well, you're a woman.

Oh, indeed.

So, Norcross gives
to his favorite charity

so he didn't deserve
to get shot, is that it?

Look, I'm not
saying that at all.

All I'm saying is you don't
shoot a man in the back,

outlaw or not!

That's stupid, Burke.

Backshoot, Robin
Hood, Jesse James.

That's all a lot of nonsense.

Look, I didn't mean
to make you mad, Doc.

Oh, I don't mean
you, Burke, I don't...

Yes, I do too mean you!

Let me tell you something,

whenever a man
violates a basic law,

whether that law
is legal or medical,

especially when
the basic of that law

is the intrusion upon
somebody else's private property,

then that man is an outlaw!

And I don't care how
you try to dramatize him!

He's still an outlaw!

Well, it seems to
me that he ought...

Look, my business is waiting.

Doc, I just don't think

I know you don't think, Burke!

That's your big trouble!

Must have snuck to point
blank, I'd have to guess.

That's a fact.

I didn't look, but old Norcross

probably took powder burns.

It was a cowardly thing to do.

Makes us all in Dodge look bad

to have a backshooter in it.

- That's right.
- We've gotta do somethin' about it!

I understand, John.

Do you, Jan?

I understand that
you shot a man.

I closed my eyes,
pulled the trigger.

It sure wasn't no
Wyatt Earp affair.

I got him in the back, Janet,

and folks is sayin'
that ain't right.

But I'm sayin' that you
didn't do anything wrong,

and that you got
nothin' to be ashamed of.

And I'm sayin' that
you're my husband,

and that I love you,

and that we're gonna
make it no matter what.

How? We got nothin'
but a bad name now.

Without that loan,
we're winter leaves here.

Just winter leaves.

Why don't you go talk
to Mr. Dofeny again?

I mean, you rode in the posse.

They got all that money back.

It was you that got Norcross.

Maybe he'd take
some notice of that.

Won't do no good, Janet.

Well, it won't if you don't try.

Anyway, I got this
feelin', and it's a good one.

Janet Milligan, I'll
be sacked and sold

if you ain't both
ends of the rainbow.

Who is it?

John Milligan, sir.

I stopped by your house, and
your wife said you'd be here.

Who did you say it was?

John Milligan, sir.

I know it's late, Mr. Dofeny.

Yes, it is late.

Can I talk to you, sir?

- Come in.
- Thank you, sir.

- Brandy?
- No.

No, thank you, sir.

Ordinarily, I am
home at this hour.

I had a run of extraordinarily
poor luck on loans.

In the East, a banker loans
on the background of a man.

His collateral is
his social posture.

Mr. Dofeny...

I hear it was you that
got Jack Norcross today.

As it happens, sir.

You shot him,

and his partner, of course.

I shot a man, sir.

Talk of the town.

Seems so, and I'd be
lightly confused about it.

Well, there's no
confusion about it.

You shot the criminal
that robbed this bank

and a lot of others.

Sure you won't have any?

No, thank you, sir.

The loan.

Yes, sir, I'm sorry to
be a forward man, but I...

The loan.

I believe you, Milligan.

I believe you could make
those crops dance to your tune,

but I can't give you the loan.

I turned you down this morning.

If I give it to you
now, people will think

that I'm rewarding a man
who shot someone in the back.

Jack Norcross is a
hero to some folks.

'Course, to some
folks, a firesnorting devil

riding a dragon down their
chimneys would be a hero.

Personally, I don't care if
you shot him in quicksand.

The point is, you shot him.

But the double point is,
you shot him in the back.

And for some silly reason,

people think that
makes a difference.

Sorry, Milligan.

If I do business
with you, I go under.

That happens to
be the way of it.

I'm sorry.

I am!


Come and see me
again in a few months.

People around here will forget.

They always do.

Get up on your feet, coward!

Who are you, what
do you want from me?

We're gonna show you
what we think of backshooters!

Those ribs are
gonna be kind of sore.

I think that's it.

You didn't recognize
a thing about 'em, huh?

Like I said, they all had
hoods over their faces.

Don't know who they
were for certain, Doc.

Not even a voice?

Doc, even if I knew, I ain't
a man to be accusin' folks.

Me and my family
gotta live in this town.

Well, you let 'em
get away with it,

and next time
it'll be a lot worse.

- Now, if Matt were here, he'd...
- I got nothing to tell him.

Thanks, Doc, what
do I owe you, anyway?

Me you don't owe anything.

But I'll tell you what
you owe yourself.

You oughta make a full report
to Matt when he gets back.

Something else,

I want you to know
that those men

don't represent the
feelings of the rest of us

here in Dodge at all.

I thank you, Doc.

Hello, Daddy.


What are you doin' out here?

Oh, Jim Grim and
me were just lookin',

and thinkin' while
we were lookin.

Thinkin' about what?

The stars.

I thought they
never quit blinkin'.

They never quit bein' there.

But I just saw one fall.

Jim Grim, you tell
Wendy them stars,

they fall all the time.

Might be, though, they're
just takin' it to mind to move on,

start shinin' brighter than
ever somewheres else.

What happened to your face?

Were you in a fight?

Not much of one.

Mother inside?

- Yes, but...
- I'm all right, girl.

What did Mr. Dofeny say?

Oh, John!

Could use some coffee.

Who did you fight with?

He said no.

Not his fault, I reckon.

Norcross bein' a
hero to some in town,

he figured givin' me a loan
would be bad for business.

I've been thinkin', comin' back,

we ain't beaten, Janet.

Even suppose the
fall crop's ruined,

we got us the land,
the land's good.

I'm a strongbodied
man, I can hire out,

maybe work for
somebody way out of town.

I'd save my money,
winter'd get through,

we'd plant us a good crop again.


John, don't you talk.

Whatever you decide's all
right with Wendy and me,

you know that.

It's you that I'm worried for.

Oh, this ain't nothin'.

Just some fellers takin'
hard to what I done.

There's not an
honest man among 'em

that would've done it
any different in your place.

And you see,
they hate you for it.

There are times, John,
when things are so hard

that it's not wrong to turn
your back and walk away.

Wendy and me...

we're with you
always and anywhere.

Much obliged, Sam.

Howdy, Doc.


Can I have one of those, Sam?

Sure, Doc.

Thank you.

Where were you last night?

Why, was you lookin' for me?

John Milligan come to see you?

No, why?

Well, he got beat
up on his way home.

Beat up?

Who did it?

Oh, some very heroic,
stout-hearted fellas

that had sacks over their heads

so they couldn't be recognized.

Well, is he all right?

Yeah, he's all right,

but only because he's got
the stamina of a Percheron,

and more real, downhome guts

than a lot of people
give him credit for.

Where's Matt, is he
gonna be back soon?

Well, he'd oughta
be gettin' back tonight.

Newly, he got a
telegraph from him

sayin' the trial
was over yesterday.

Where are you goin'?

I better get out
yonder, Miss Kitty,

and see how Milligan is.

I'll see you all later.

You know...

Kitty, there's somethin'
goin' on in Dodge.

And it better be straightened
out before it's too late.

Jack, Jack, never come back,

Milligan, Killigan,
shot him in the back!

Jack, Jack, never come back,

Milligan, Killigan,
shot him in the back!

Jack, Jack, never come back,

Milligan, Killigan,
shot him in the back!

Janet, you all right?

Jan, what is it?

Why are you crying?

It's Wendy.

They've started in on Wendy.


She came home today.

Oh, I'm glad you
weren't here to see it.

Did they hurt her?
Did anybody touch her?


Not like that.

It's worse than that!

They're punishing her, John.

What do you mean?

They taunted and teased her.

They made her ashamed
of being herself...

and of us.

For what I done.

For that.

Where is she?

She's asleep.

She cried herself to sleep.

We'll take her
out of the school.

What for?

Make her a freak?

Make her a stranger
among the other children?

You can't do that.

And even if you could
it wouldn't do any good.

It's not the
children's fault, really.

It's the whole town.

Well, then we leave her there

so they can pick at her
like a flock of chickens

on a sick biddy?

I'll go there, Jan, I'll
talk to the teacher.

I'll make it stop!

I will!

Jack, Jack, never...


Name's John Milligan, sir.


- You'd be?
- Wendy's father.

She's my girl.

Oh, yes, yes.

Well, was there something
I could do for you?

I ain't never been in
one of these, Mr...?


Gerald Pandy is my name.

Mr. Pandy, never
had a good chance

to get me any schoolin'.

'Course I never
took to her, see,

or I guess I'd have
done her some way.

My wife, now,
she went to school.

Well, that's good.

Now, was there anything
I could help you with?

Because, if not, it's about
time for class to begin.

Well, me not
havin' the learnin',

I been one to look
up to it, Mr. Pandy,

hopin' my little girl could
touch the finer things.

You know my Wendy.

She always done
good in her studies.

Had her good reports
since she started in.

You ever have cause to
be troubled over Wendy?

Oh, no.

No, nothin' at
all I can think of.

Reckoned not.

Meanin' she done
her part here, sir.

Now, my girl come
home last night

too sick to eat
and full of shame

for a thing she
ain't to blame for.

Mr. Pandy, I killed a man,

and I done it in what
some folks seem to think

is a shameful way, I know that!

Mr. Milligan, do we really
have to go into all this?

Yes, we do, 'cause it's all

part and piece of
Wendy's trouble.

Right's right, Mr. Pandy, and
when a man's done wrong,

it's fair to punish him.

The law does it when
what he done's agin' the law.

Folks'll do it
theirselves if it ain't,

and I can testify to that.

Excuse me, Mr. Milligan,

but what is the point
you're getting to?

The point is it ain't fair to
punish them that's innocent,

or to see 'em punished, neither!

Much less a little
girl-child without

one ounce of sin in her
whole soul and body.

I beg your pardon, sir,
if you're accusing me,

let me tell you, I
never raised a hand!

No, it ain't that.

I know you never hurt her.

But she's bein' hurt,
and you're the man here.

You're the one that's
set over all the young'uns

to see their learnin's
right and proper.

Well, you think I set them
on to pester Wendy, is that it?

You let 'em, sir.

And she ain't
pestered, Mr. Pandy.

My little girl is dyin' inside.

Now, I can bear whatever I
got to bear for what I done,

but I'm just a ordinary
man with ordinary feelin's.

I can't stand my
baby sufferin' for me.

Mr. Pandy, you gotta tell
me if I can keep her here...

or if we gotta go.

Mr. Milligan, I
run a school here,

and I've tried to keep a
decent degree of discipline

over the children.

But I am not, and I
cannot be a tyrant.

I try to maintain a modicum
of order in the classroom,

and I do.

But these children have parents,

and the parents are
the ultimate authority.

Now, the town knows of
your... well, recent unhappiness.

And I don't have to tell
you that there are many here

who condemn you for that.

No, not I, sir, no!

I judge not, lest I may
be judged, as my rule.

But those who do, influence
the thinking of their children.

Oh, my, yes!

Mr. Milligan, I ask
you, who am I to take

the formation of
these children's values

out of the hands of their
true and rightful parents?

Mr. Milligan, I'm doing my best.

Surely, you
understand my position?

I understand it, Mr. Pandy.

Do you?

Aw, it ain't no use, Wendy.

Jim Grim, you gotcha any ideas?


Don't blame you, Jim Grim,

you can't make
somethin' outta nothin',

or we'd all be princes and
princesses or thereabouts.

We can get it, Daddy, somehow.

Somehow, the most
left-handed word in the world.

Oh, Mrs. Milligan.


Is your husband home?
I'd like to talk to him.


He has some money
coming, Mrs. Milligan.


Yes, the reward money
for Jack Norcross.

Is it respectful, Marshal?

As far as I'm
concerned, it is, ma'am.

He's got it comin'.

I don't want to seem
like a grasping wife,

but, oh, it's gonna
make such a difference!

My manners.

Won't you please come in?

I'll go and get John right away.


Johnny, it's important.
It's very important!

Your ma don't
say it is if it ain't.

Mr. Milligan.

Marshal, what was it you wanted?

It's about that reward
money on Jack Norcross.

Comes to $500, and it's yours.

Johnny, I say everything's
gonna be all right.

Don't deserve nothin', Marshal.

Mr. Milligan, the
man was a killer.

The law says that whoever
brings him in, dead or alive,

is entitled to the reward.

I reckon it's so if
you say so, Marshal,

but the money don't matter

if the town won't
have us no more.

That's another thing.

Now, I heard about that
bunch of masked men

beatin' up on you.

I want you to help me
find out who they were.

Don't 'spect I could know
'em for certain, Marshal.

Well, if we work together,
maybe we can find out.

I, I can't do much
by myself, you know.

I reckon it's late for that now.

See, folks been blamin' my
family, makin' it hard for Wendy.

We was fixin' to head on.

Now look, there's somethin'
I want you to understand,

I may not be able
to change the minds

of the people of
Dodge about you,

but I can sure see to
it that they leave you

and your family alone
to live in peace here.


We can try, can't we?


Well, we can think
on it some, anyhow.

Good, I'll be back in
town this afternoon.

You can stop by
and sign the papers

and get that reward money.

Anything I can do, let me know.

And here's another thing,

a boy was tellin' my old woman

how old Milligan come
ridin' out to the schoolhouse

on the squawk!

Heard him givin' the
teacher all kinds of froth

'cause the kids
was a-ridin' his girl.

Now, you reckon
that ain't brass?

Old Backshoot givin' trouble
to anybody about anything?

On top of that, he comes
ridin' into town bold as brass

to collect the reward
money for what he's done.

Seem like he ain't
got the idea yet.

Yeah, it seems like.

He ain't got any sand
but what's in his head.

Say, what do you fellas
figure we oughta do,

rough him up again worse?

Well, I guess we just
gotta get his attention

a little bit better than
we did last time, huh?

- Yeah!
- Yeah!

Only it's better than a loan,

because there's
nobody to pay back.

You mean, it's
like a real present?

And we'll get
through this dry spell,

and it'll rain and the
crops'll be fine, I bet.

And the way you're
tellin' it, missy,

when it does rain it'll be

nothin' but solid
kernel ears of corn

and 60 bushel to the acre.

It ain't gonna be
easy if we stay.

You know that, both of you?

Money to get us through,
we needed that, all right.

But like the Marshal says,

there's no turnin' the town
around, not right away.

And there's your
schoolin', Wendy.

It'll be all right, Daddy.

I believe it will, little lady.

If you can stand it till then.

Now, don't you think
it's close to your bedtime,

so you can get up bright
and early for school?

I'll go get Jim Grim.

She'll be all right, John.

She's gonna be
a hard girl to beat.

Got a lot of her momma in her.

More than half her
daddy, as I see it.

He's dead!

Jim Grim's dead!

Somebody hanged him!

Oh, my God!

Oh, how could they?


Where are you going?

I'm gonna get 'em, Janet.

I ain't gonna lie down no more.

Johnny, don't go!

Johnny, they'll kill you!

Don't go!

Mr. Milligan.

Mr. Milligan, I've been thinkin'
over what we talked about...

I'm lookin' for Ben
Mattis... You seen him?

Oh, yes, yes, about an hour ago.

He went into the Bull's
Head with some friends of his.

Mr. Milligan, I'd
like to talk to you.

Talkin's over.

Well, if ain't old Backshooter?

What do you think
of that, Backshooter?

That's enough, get off of him!

Well, I don't think you'll have
any more trouble from them.

Has anything changed, Marshal?


Shouldn't be moonin'
around out here, us folks.

Your momma needs
help, honey girl.

Momma doesn't really want to go.

Does she, Daddy?

Well, I guess we're none
of us too happy about it.

But you wouldn't really wanna
stay here, now, would you?

Go back to school?

I guess not.

Not anymore.

We'll find a new
place somewhere,

you'll make new friends.

I know it doesn't seem
like it now, but you will.

Sure, Daddy.



Daddy, look!

What do you suppose they want?

We'll see, hon, we'll see.

Hello, Wendy, hello
Mr. and Mrs. Milligan.

We all come to see you
because we heard what happened,

and, and that you
were all leavin'.

Mr. Pandy told us that.

He said that it was our
fault that you were leavin',

and we all reckon that's so.

We're awful sorry, and
that's why we came,

to ask you to stay.

It's for you.

Open it, Wendy.

It's for you.

Will you stay, Wendy, please?


Well, Wendy, I guess
it wouldn't be right

to take that kitty travelin',

not when she just got here.

Run along, darlin'.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.