Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 19, Episode 11 - The Hanging of Newly O'Brien - full transcript

Patrolling the back country of Kansas on assignment for Marshal Dillon, Newly O'Brien comes to a small community /of rednecks and finds that a person there needs an emergency operation. Newly, who has been trained by Doc Adams to eventually pursue a career in medicine, undertakes the surgery - but the patient dies and the townsfolk hold Newly responsible. When word of Newly's disappearance reaches the Dodge City, Doc and Festus rush off to find him. They get to the scene of hanging in time, but Doc is accidentally shot by one of Newly's guards and Newly must test his surgical skills once again.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Taking the stage oughta
save me about a day,

I should be back by Sunday.

I understand Saint
Louis is quite a town

for temptation these days.

Well, I suppose for those
riverboat whities looking

for the bright lights.

I'm talking about
cattle country marshals

who might take an interest

in the latest
fashion in petticoats.

Saint Louis sounds

more interesting all the time!

What's interesting, Matthew?

I didn't aim to be a butting in,

it's just that I ain't
feeling worth a hoot.

What's the matter with ya?

Well, it's them there blame argues
that's came on me again, Matthew.

What's an argue, Festus?

Ms. Kitty, argue is when a
certain part that a feller's got

gets to arguing with
another part that a feller's got,

and then, directly, a
feller gets to feeling like

every blame thing
he's got is argue-fying

with everything else he's got.

Don't you see?

Oh that Doc, that
blamed old scutter.

Say, "I told you so.

"What are you coming
to see me now for?"

I'll say, "Well I know
what you told me Doc."

What's the trouble, Festus?

Oh Newly, it's them
blamed argues,

they've came on me again!

Well have you been taking
that medicine Doc gave you?

Well, of course,
I... Well no, I ain't.

I'll tell you why.

That blamed stuff he mixed
up smells like something

that he brewed in
a civet cat's nest!

I don't wanna talk to you.

Well, who's asked
to talk to you?

I distinctly told you

that I didn't wanna
hear any complaints

until you'd
finished that bottle!

Well, it's done finished.

Finished, yes it's finished.

Poured out on the ground
and don't tell me you didn't do it,

cause somebody
saw you pour it out!

All right, nosey, I'll
tell you what I done.

I poured that blame stuff
out by a prairie dog hole.

Not in it, beside it.

Directly, here come
that old prairie dog

just a sputtering and a choking

and pretty nigh
keeled over dead!

And that there was
downwind, mind you.

That's not funny!

Mister Buey, what
are you doing in town?

When you didn't start
the spring rounds, Doc,

I figured I'd best drive in those
who most needed attention.

Didn't young Anderson
tell ya I'd be out by noon?

Well, I guess he forgot
to mention the noon.

Sounded like you didn't know.


We're gonna take care of ya.

Festus, help 'em upstairs,
would you do that?

You betcha, Doc.

We'll see you, Mr. Thompson.


All right old timer, here.

Let me help ya
now, take it easy.

Easy now!

All right folks, come on.

- Come on this way.
- Got a kind of a problem here.

Several folks in
that wagon there

that I've been
postponing surgery on

and I'm gonna have
to take care of 'em.

That means I'm
gonna have to ask you

to make my spring rounds for me.

Take you bout a week, I think.

Well Doc, you usually
have 20 to 30 people

waiting for you at those points.

Well, I know but they're
minor ailments, usually.

Besides, anything
you can't handle,

you can just bring
'em into town.

Well I'll do the
best I can, Doc,

but that's a pretty
big responsibility.

Responsibility's something you're
gonna face the rest of your life.

Might as well get your feet wet.

Now your first stop
will be Buey's farm.

People come in there from
the Garvey Foothills, you know.

There won't be too
many there, though.

Enough probably to
keep you busy for the day.

Now they all expect
to pay something

for your services, Newly,
and you can't refuse 'em.

Because, well
they'd be humiliated.

Now, I generally handle
it by charging ten cents.

Medication free.

Now just keep in mind
they'll all be a little nervous,

some of 'em frightened.

A doctor's bag is a
mysterious thing, you know?

And they'll be especially
frightened of you, Newly,

because they don't know you.


Come back here.

I'm sure this is only a sprain.

She's been
aggravating it by using it.

So, you leave this splint
on for, say, week or ten days

and she'll be just fine.

How much are you charging?

Well, I think a
dime would cover it.

Doc Adams only charges a nickel.

Was a dime, Ma.


Knowed it was a nickel.

A nickel would be just fine.

Thank you.

You giving out no licorice?

I'm sorry, it almost
slipped my mind.

Here you go, honey.


Next, please.


Generally nights.

My arm gets kinda
cold, my toes tingle.

What might help, ma'am
is to have us a hot bath

before going to bed.

It helps the circulation.

Well bath ain't
gonna help my guitar.

You bring root pills?

No mam, root pills are
only sold at medicine shows

and they won't help you a bit.

I've been taking
root pills for years!

Believe me ma'am,
a lot of ailments

are tied into
circulation of the blood.

Well, it ain't hard to tell
somebody to take a bath

and get rich on 'em.

This is gonna hurt a little bit.

Making doctors younger, eh?

What can I do for ya?

No, no thank you, sir.

Can I do something for ya?

Guess you're one of
them men don't drink.

Well I do at times.

Do you have any
particular ailments?

How do you feel?

It's one thing and another.

Well maybe you
can tell me about it.

Kinda in a hurry.

Yes, sir.


I ain't going no place.

Guess I ain't got
nothing can't wait.

Who's next, please?

Is there anybody here that has

any cuts they'd
like me to look after?

Is there any children among
you that have sore throats?

Wait a minute!

Come back here, I'm
only trying to help ya!

Can I help ya, son?

Do you need any medication?

Old man does.

- What old man?
- Yonder.

Back in the hills?

- You got Comack tonic?
- Comack?

That never really
was a tonic, son.

It was mostly opium
mixed with other drugs.

Town store said
they ain't got no more.

They used to carry it
for grandpa all the time.

Well they're not allowed
to sell it anymore.

You see, sometimes
painkillers kill more than just pain.

Old man always needed it.

I need a quarter's
worth of something.

What's the matter
with this old man?

Don't know.

Well, suppose I
take a look at him.

Just sell me something.

Son, a doctor just
doesn't sell some things.

A drug will ease pain,

but the cause of the
pain should be looked into.

How you doing, Newly?

I'm not so sure, Mr. Buey.

You sure finished early.

Old Doc Adams, he'd
be going right to dark.

Do you know anything
about that boy?

Probably from that canyon
town set above Torrey Pass.

Some people have been
up there almost six months.

Well he mentioned something
about someone being very sick.

Wouldn't know.

- There are people who are mighty close.
- Obliged.


Wait up!

Is anybody home?

Just take it easy.

Just relax.

Just take it easy.

Can you hear me?

Just take it easy.

That's it.


Relax your throat.


He'll die if he doesn't
get enough air!

Help me cut a
piece of this tubing!

Come on old feller,
help me. Help me!

What's going on here?

He's dead!

Cut his throat.

What'd you do that for?

To save his life!

He was in a coma.

You cut a man in the
throat to save his life?

It's called a tracheotomy.

He couldn't breathe.

I'll hear anything you
wanna say in the morning.


you be charged with murder.


I have to talk to somebody.

Who's in charge of the village?

Be Kermit.

Will you tell him
I wanna see him.

There's been a mistake!

Kermit be coming now.

What kinda people are you?

Chain a man like an animal.

We don't chain animals.

That puts you a
might lower, don't it?

I wanna talk to somebody

up here who's a
rational human being.

You don't take much to
folks without fancy clothes,

do you mister?

Clothes don't make
any difference to me

one way or the other.

And I'm as sorry as anybody
else about that old man dying,

but it wasn't my fault.

You used a knife on him.

To save his life!

To what?

To try to save his life!

Mister, you just save your wind

for convincing people
not to hang you!

Hang me?

What are you talking about?

People would be
wondering about my patience

with you after killing my pa!

But you'll get your trial.

Your father.

I didn't know that.

And I'm sorry.


Don't you talk to
me about sorrys.

These people'd be wondering
why I don't just kill ya!

And every time you
open your mouth,

I'm thinking the same thing!

Get on with your work!


Say your peace.

Ya call this a trial?

Is that your peace?

I'm a doctor.

And I come here because

that boy over there told
me an old man was sick.

And I came up
here to doctor him.

Ain't seen no doctor.

Well ma'am you see,
actually I'm not a doctor.

You not be a doctor?

I don't think you'll understand.

I study medicine under
Doctor Adams in Dodge City

and he's been busy.

Why we asking questions?


Saw him cutting
people in the farmlands!

Asking money.

Wanted ten cents
from a little gal.

Little gal's ma said it
wasn't worth but five cents.

I can't believe
what's going on here.

Other old farmland woman
was told to take a bath!

She didn't give him no money.

I'd like to know if he's got any

of that snake oil and such.

Old lady died after one

of them traveling doctors
sells her two whole bottles!

Hold on!

I'm no medicine
man selling snake oil.

And I'm no quack trying to
take advantage of you people!

I had no thought of making
money when I come up here.

If you figure to be
making nothing,

what'd you go to
any trouble for?

I just wanted to help him.

Your father was strangling
on his own breath.

He be breathing
and you cut his throat!


Don't you understand the word?

His throat muscles
were closing in

on the air he tried to breathe.

You cut him!

To save his life!

Cutting's what killed him!

My man's being
buried this morning.

He was sleeping!

My man was sleeping
like he always does!

Ma'am, he was in a coma!

Aw, we shoulda
strung him up last night!

Maybe this fella can
tell me why he's selling

this here little pill!

I don't sell anything.

Can't you people understand!


you break open this
sweet tasting covering

and what's inside?


No that...

Well we're waiting, mister!

I don't think I can
explain that kind of a pill.


But we got good ears.

And we got good tasters.

Are you gonna tell us
that this here pill is more

than dried bread?

I know it's gonna sound strange.

Don't sound strange at all!

We've been sold
bread pills before.

The man that sold you
that pill is a charlatan.

A bread pill is
called a placebo,

and in the hands of a
physician, they work.

A placebo is a, it's a...

That pill there is a bread pill.

Sometimes they're
simply made of sugar.

And it's true, doctors
prescribe them.

But placebo therapy works.

I mean it works
for certain people.

If ailments are imaginary,
and many of them are,

then imaginary drugs can cure,

especially in stress
or nervousness

or with people
who respond readily

to suggestion
they're being treated.

All that talk, just saying

that bread pills
don't do nothing!

I didn't say that!

Doc Adams don't even
charge for those kind of pills.

Mister, you through talking?

Would it do any
good to continue?

Cutting be killing people.

Yeah, we all be
understanding that real good.

If you didn't cut
my pa's throat,

wouldn't he be
here now, breathing?

Anybody can recover.

Yes, could've lived.

A thousand to one against it.

Surgery only shortened
the odds, but not enough!

You cut enough necks, a
man buys himself a house!

Gets himself a good buggy!

With some nice horses, and
pretty soon, before you know it...

Anybody thinks this
man don't need hanging,

you can say your peace!

You be hung by
your neck tomorrow.

Gives you a whole
day for praying.

That's not gonna hurt a bit.

Oh, I ain't a fretting
about your blame needle,

I'm fretting about that
cold draft on my back there!

Well now, that's a sight!

Burke, shut that door
and get outta here!

You fixing to do
brain surgery, Doc?

You heard me now Burke,
shut that door and get out!

Get out, Burke.

Are you staying, Miss Kitty?

Hold still, he's joshing you.

I'm gonna pinch
that pinhead of your'n

plum off one of
these days, Burke.

Doc, Mister Buey said
that Newly never came back

from that visit he took
up into that canyon town.

He never came back?

You reckon you fellers
could do your pallabering

after my britches gets up?

Just a minute, Festus.

What is it Burke?

Well Buey said that
Newly went out looking

for some sick old
man he'd heard about,

but that's been two days ago.

Well thanks, Burke.

I better get up there.

Well Nance, sure is some sight!

I'm fixing to knock knots

on his head faster
than he can rub 'em.

Festus, think I'd like to
have you go up there with me.

You know those hill
folks better than I do.


You sure you know
where you're going?

Well of course I do, Doc!

Only folks I've heard about
just over that there pass.

Well I'll tell you
something else,

I've heard that they
ain't too friendly a bunch.

You mean they're outlaws?

No, not that, Doc,
they just kinda like

to stay by their own selves.

Can't blame 'em for that!

Course you can't.

Get up a little.

Mister, you've gotta know
you're doing the wrong thing.

I know you went
a whole foot further

than them other fakers,

selling whatever
smells like medicine.

Cutting into people.

The Bible says it.

Leviticus, chapter 19, verse 28.

"Ye shall not make any
cuttings in your flesh."

Sure don't see anybody around.

They sure staying
hid, ain't they?

Let's get it done.

You're animals!

Don't you know you're
doing the wrong thing!


What's going on here?

- Turn him lose!
- Back in that buggy!

Get outta here!

Let go of me!

I'm a doctor!

Turn me lose,

- I'm a Deputy Marshal!
- Here, quit that!

What do you reckon's going
on down yonder, Newly?

I don't know, Festus.

I just wish they'd give
us some word on Doc.

I sure figured he's a goner.

Somebody's coming now.

How is he?

The old man be alive.

How bad is the wound?

He's in the Almighty's hands.

I didn't ask you that.

How bad is he wounded?

Be the women tending him.

What do you do if one
of your men is wounded?

You've gotta let me see him!

I told you the women
be tending him.

I'm begging you
to let me see him!

What for?

To see if I can help him!

Got some more of them
bread pills you be feeding him?

Newly, just hold on now.

Mister, my name's Festus Haggen.

Could I be asking you your'n?

Kermit'd be good enough.

Well Mister Kermit, now I know

that was a pure
ol' dee accident,

Doc a getting his self shot.

Cause they was a whole
heap a guns being shoved

and pulled around there.

And old Doc, he'd be
the first one to tell you

that nobody done
nothing on purpose.

We don't shoot old men.

That's what I'm trying
to say, don't you see?

Now Mister Kermit, we're
bad in need of a powerful favor,

and seeing's it ain't
gonna cost you nothing,

I'd be ever so
much obliged to ye

if you'd let Newly here
go down and see old Doc.

You see, for one thing,
they're real good friends.

Course, we ain't got no
way of rate paying you

or nothing like that, you see.

You can't reason with
a man like that, Festus!

Newly, you hadn't oughta be

a squawling at
these folks like that?

Now, I know they
roughed you up a good deal

and it ain't gonna
be easy for ya,

but you're gonna have to
learn how to talk to these folks.

See, they got their
way a doing things

and course you figure you
know the way things oughta be did

but maybe you're
both a little bit right.

They just people with women
and youngin's and such as that.

Festus, I know I don't
have the patience

to talk to these kind of people.

I've run outta patience!

He's got it in his
mind that cutting

into a body means you're
trying to kill somebody!

He says it goes
against the scriptures

and he's not changing his mind.

Wouldn't look
right to his people.

You can seem him.

You not be raised in no town.

No, I sure ain't.

In town, one of us would
be hung quick enough

if we cut a man to death.

Now you just hold on.

Newly done that cutting

cause he figured what
he is doing had to be did!

The law says you don't hang
a feller for trying to do right!

Well we say as there
weren't no trying for right.


- Newly.
- Doc.

How are ya, Doc?

I'm bleeding inside, Newly.

You gotta help me.

Sure Doc, just tell me how.

Take the bullet, then tie
off the ruptured vessel.

I ain't allowing
no more cutting.

Mister, I need help,

and I have a right to
say what'll be done.

It's pointless Doc, I wouldn't
know what I was doing.

I'll be awake.

I'll tell ya.

You mean take that bullet
out while you're conscious?


I saw an ice house.

Ice, oldest anesthetic known.

We got ice.

Pack me in ice, Newly.

Lower the body temperature.

Bring the area
close to freezing.

I can't Doc.

I'd be killing ya.

Then I'll die.

That's not a guess.

That's a fact.

All right.

Put her right there.



All right, get it outta there.

Newly, come here and see
what you think about this.

It looks pretty good, Fetus.

All right.

Get them slickers over
that ice there, will ya?

Let's get Doc up over on there.

All right now.

Easy with him.

Here we go,
everybody together now.

All together, here we go.

- Easy.
- All right,

- bring him over here.
- Easy.

Just put him down this way.

There, there.



Let's get that sheet
over there for his wound.

And pack in some of that ice.

All right.

- Doc?
- Huh?

How long do you think it
will take for the freezing?

Not long, I... I'll tell ya.

Festus, get me a piece of
cloth so I can clean this up.

All right.

Want him wet, don't ya?

- Yeah.
- Here ya are.

What's the matter?


just calm down.

You're too tense.

Just calm down, now.

I can't.

Don't ask me to do this, Doc.

I'm not a doctor!

And I never will be.

Yes, you're a doctor.

You made that choice yourself,

at your wife's graveside.


Now, go on.


Just probe.

Find it.

Then what do I do?

I'll tell ya.

Some men have a
special gift, Newly.

It's kind of an
instinct for healing.

I think you have it.

Give me the probe.

Clean that out around here.

All right.



Mighty cold.

There it is. Found it.

It's awfully deep.


I'm afraid it's
lodged in the pleura.

Well go on, get it out.

I can't. It's too risky, Festus.

He's bleeding bad.


Doc, you gotta
tell me what to do.

I don't believe he
can hear ya, Newly.

I don't believe he
can say anything.


You told me you're
gonna tell me what to do.

You get me in the
middle of this and...

and quit on me!

Now Newly, you just simmer down.

You've did this before

now you're blame
sure gonna do it again.

This is Doc! This
is not anybody.

Oh hush, would ya?

You ain't a talking like you
know old Doc very good.

If you did you'd know
blame well what he'd say.

He'd say "Well what in
the thunder you waiting for,

"go ahead on!"

Ain't that what he'd say?

Festus, I never sutured
a blood vessel in my life.

Go on and do it.

I'm gonna have to open
it up, hand me a scalpel.

Give me the bullet forceps.

These here pinchers?

- She got rings on it?
- M-hmm.


Ma'am, some more water please.

Thank you.

You feel it?

Not yet.

How's he doing?

Appears to be
breathing all right.

Now you stay in the
buggy, Doc. You hear me?

You stay in the buggy.

Found it.

Can you get ahold of it?

I got it.

Give me the sutures.

Good boy, Newly.

Soak some of that gauze.

Soak it in that jar
of salve over there,

I'm gonna pack the wound.

I know you be good friends.

He got hurt trying to help you.

Ask you to cut him because
he thought you could save him.

But you can't.

Can't nobody
cut without killing.

But he believed that you could.

You both got old
and crazy notions,

but you ain't evil.

Newly, you ain't
saying a whole lot.

I don't know what
to say, Festus.

Old man's still living.

You done wrong.

But I believe that you
thought you's doing right.

Now a man tries to do right,

and there ain't no mortal
soul be his proper judge.

Took a big man to say that.


Man hold a certain
beliefs all his life,

hard for him to
change overnight.

You ornery old scutter.

How long been awake anyhow?

How do you feel, Doc?

Like I had an operation, Newly.

Any chest pains?

No more than expected.

I even feel good enough to
argue with Festus about his argues.

You know something, Doc?

I ain't got me airy a
twinge or a ache noplace.

You will have.

My luck ain't that good.

Kinda figured to
leave it up a day or two.

People tend to forget
their foolishness too quick.

A little reminder
won't be hurting us.

Your warmer day, I expect.

Bout planting time.

Water won't be no problem.

Plenty of run-off, expect.

You know, I seen
some of your cattle down

in the lower pastures.

They look like prime beef to me.

Hope to be getting some
cash money for 'em this year.

I sure hope you do.

You know...

I've been talking all around

what I'm really
trying to say to you.

And what I'm trying to...

I figure you been saying it.

Now I say, just let me
off right here, Newly,

I wanna walk up the street.

Right here.

Doc, you're gonna be getting
all the exercise you need

just climbing those stairs.


All right, maybe you're right,

just take me up there.

You have no idea
how good this feels

to just kinda look up
and down the street.

- Yes I do.
- Really?

You bet.

Just a second I'll
give you a hand.

All right.

- Howdy, Doc!
- Wait a minute!

Just a minute here.


Come back here!

What's the matter?

Is that all you've got to
say to me, "Howdy, Doc"?

Well what else is there to say?

Well good heavens, I've
been gone all this time.

Is that all you've
gotta say to me?

Well fiddle, I ain't
missed you none.

Nobody in town
has, I don't recon.

Everybody's still sick,

just like they was when
you was here a doctorin 'em.

Well, I can't stand around
here and jaw with you all day,

I got more importanter
things to do than that.

Oh sure, I know
you have you bet...

- Doc...
- Someday I'm gonna get him...

- Doc, just calm down.
- Well I'm...

Calm down.

Doc, I could sure use a beer

and I think you could
use one too. Don't you?

Doctor O'Brien.

Since you've called me
in on this consultation,

it's my considered opinion
that you have just prescribed

for me the perfect prescription!

Doc, for you!

Doc, somebody said,

"Tough old turkey buzzard."

I say more lovable.

It was me called
you the buzzard, Doc.

We missed you, Doc.

I've been here saving
a toe twinge for ya, Doc.

Here's to Doc's health.

Fella gone a little
while and you...

This is a lot of nonsense.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.

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