Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 19, Episode 14 - The Child Between - full transcript

A wanted man goes into Dodge to get help for his sick baby and his Indian wife. With Doc unavailable, Newly offers to help but will be torn between healing and his duty as a lawman.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.



Got trouble?

What's the matter, Makesha?

- Harrod, the boy.
- What?

He is sick.

He is so hot.

Fever, it feels like.

Harrod, help him.

No way in the world
I'd let something bad

come on that boy.

Chances are he'll
be fine by the night.

Be fighting me for
my share of stew.

But if he's not?

Harrod, if he's worse,
what will we do?

I heard about this doctor
in Dodge, name is Adams.


Since when you been
tellin' me what I can do?

We've been here
a couple of years,

ain't never caught me yet.

This is not Dodge.

No one comes here,
no one sees you.

They've been seeing
me at the tradin' post.

Ain't nobody ever said one word.

A few more years,

and they will forget
they are looking for you.

They will not put up
your picture anymore.

We can live without fear,
without the gun by our side.

Chances are he's
gonna be fine by the night.

But if he's... If, if, if.

If the Great Spirit
had said if all the time,

would never have been no world.

Now, you stay with the boy.

He looks for you.

Any better?

Yes, yes, I think he's better.

Hotter than before,
it seems to me.

I want no white man's medicine.

The boy is sick, Makesha.

I do not trust them.

He needs a doctor.

He needs somebody who
knows what he's doing.

This Doc Adams,
he's old and he's smart.

Maybe the best in
this whole territory.

We wouldn't want nobody less.

Harrod, do not go to Dodge.

It will mean
your life if you go.

And if I don't, maybe his.

I'll be back as fast as I can.

Hi, Newly.

Doc still out at Jake's?

Well, you know Doc.

He'll be there if there's one
chance to pull him through.

Yeah, and maybe if there isn't.

How about you, you been busy?

Oh, the usual run.

Colds and rheumatiz,
aches and pains.

I did set a man's
arm this morning.

He tried to break a horse

and broke his arm instead.

Want some coffee?

Oh, no, no thanks.

I'll head out and see
if Doc needs anything.

If he does, I'll be
hollering for you.

I'll be here.

I'm lookin' for Doc Adams.

Doc Adams isn't here.

I'm taking care of
his office for him.

He be gone long?

Kinda hard to tell.

Could be gone all night.

You his partner or something?

Name's O'Brien, Newly O'Brien.

Help out in his
office sometimes.

What's the trouble?

I got me a sick boy.

What's wrong with him?

So hot you can hardly
put your hand to him.

Why didn't you bring
him in the office?

My wife don't like
to come into Dodge.

I need to take Doc
Adams out to my place.

Doc Adams won't
be goin' anywhere

for a while, he's
with a dying man.

Well, I got me a living kid

who needs him more.

You know about kids?

I know some.

Then you come.

All right.

Whereabouts do you live?

I'll leave Doc a note.


What do you mean, no?

I mean what I said.

Now, let's go.

Not without knowing
where I'm goin'.

I said, let's go, now.

You won't be needing that rifle.

Come on, Doc.

Makesha, put that down.

Makesha, I said
put that gun down.

- Who is this man?
- A doctor.

This is not the
one you promised.

He is not old and
wise, he is too young.

Doc Adams is out of town, ma'am.

My name's Newly O'Brien.

He works with Doc Adams.

He makes good medicine, too.

We got no choice.

Leave him be, you'll
only hurt the boy.

I love my son, too.

If I didn't think he could help,

I wouldn't have brought him.

Ma'am, I'm gonna do
the best I can, believe me.

There's no rash showing.
That's the first thing you look for.

No broken bones,
as far as I can tell.

Has he been throwing up?


Well, wouldn't
be the colic, then.

You know, it's cold in here.

It's best to keep
this little feller warm.

He's too hot already.

Sure he's hot, that's fever.

Put a chill on top of that,

and you're really asking
for trouble, ma'am.

I say you do not
stop hot with hot.

Why don't you listen to him?

He knows what he's doing.

Knows more than us.

Teething seems to be over.

Good color, gums are firm.

Would you bring that
lamp over here, please?

Just hold it up
here so I can see.

You come on something?

Some spots in his mouth.

Spots, what does that mean?

Could mean the
first sign of measles.


Is this bad?

Yes, ma'am, if that's
what it turns out to be.

Just take it
easy, little feller.

How's the fever?

It's up some.

You still guessing it's measles?

No guessing anymore.

He's starting to cough,
that makes it pretty sure.

You'll see the
rash on pretty soon.

Can't be.

How in God's name could
he catch the measles?

Ain't never been off this place.

Nearest neighbor
is ten miles or more.

I wouldn't say friendly.

Standoffish, more like.

Wait a minute.

- Was a wagon.
- A wagon?

Last week, family headin' west.

Had trouble with their wagon.

We give 'em supper,
and they stayed the night.

Was there any children with 'em?

Yeah, a little girl about six.

Took a real shine to the
baby, kept playin' with him.

Was she sick?

I wouldn't say sick, exactly,

except her ma mentioned
she'd been feelin' lowly.

That's coughing's getting worse.

If we don't stop it, it
could turn into pneumonia,

and that's bad.

But you will stop it, yes?

I don't know if I can.

How come?

The only way I know to
hold the coughing down

is with laudanum.

- So use it.
- I don't have any.

So what will we do?

Take him into town.

No, I will not take
him to Dodge.

Ma'am, you asked me,
I'm just trying to help you.

I have seen the
white man's help.

He helps the
Comanche only to die.

Look, ma'am, I
know how you feel,

and I don't hardly blame you.

But you gotta think of
that little boy right now,

what's the best thing for him.

I have said it. I will
not take him to Dodge.

Then I guess it's up to you.

No, you will not go, Harrod.

Makesha, this
sickness could be bad.

Then let this one drive it out.

You have said he
makes good medicine,

let him make it here.

Must be something you can do.

I can dig out a bullet
or set a broken bone,

but I can't make
laudanum out of thin air.

Doc Adams keeps it on hand.

All you have to do is bring
the baby into the office.

You will not touch him.

You will not make
us go to Dodge.

Look, we all want the
same thing for the little boy,

to make him well.

All you have to do
is bring him into town.

No, no, I will not.

I will kill you first.


Then let your
husband bring him in.

I have told you this,
too, I've told you no.

You better talk
some sense into her.

Maybe the coughing will stop.

Not likely, not
without laudanum.

At least let me go into
town and bring some back.

No, Harrod.

You're gonna stay here,

do the best you can.

You can go on and kill me,

but it's not gonna
help your baby any.

Maybe I can't shoot you.

But if that baby dies
while you're gone,

you're gonna remember
that for a long time.

Having you here
is better than not.

I got chores to do.


Well, any better?

I do not think so.

Harrod, let us take
him to my people.

To the medicine man.

Dahoma's good at what he does.

But this is something he
ain't never seen before.

Believe me, ain't no
way he can help that boy.

He has saved your life.

When I found you near the
camp, you could not walk.

There was no
strength in your blood,

and when you spoke, the
evil ones had your tongue.

That was mountain
fever, that's all.

You were like dead.

You had passed halfway
into the other world,

and only Dahoma
said you would live.

He burned his leaves and
he rubbed you with his grease.

Seven days I sat by you,

not knowing light from dark,

until you moved, until
you opened your eyes,

and I knew the Great Spirit
had sent you back to me.

Wasn't Dahoma's
medicine that made me well.

It's 'cause I had
somebody to love.

Then do this for me.

Let me take the boy back.

I can't.

Dahoma makes good
medicine for Indians,

but measles is a
white man sickness.

Then we must put the boy's life

in that one's hands?

Let's give him time.

These are unclean.

I will go to the water.

Cough's tearing him apart.

Any way to change your mind?

Her mind.

She ain't goin'
nowheres near Dodge.

She hates us that much?

Got good reason.

Seen her ma and her
pa and most of the camp

cut down by soldiers.

Drunk and nothin' better to do,

just whiskey and meanness
mixed half and half.

Doesn't she understand
we all aren't like that?

You yourself, she married you.

Always one to break the rule.

I don't know why myself.

Well, somebody's
gotta bring him in.

She doesn't have to go
along, you could do it yourself.

I can't.

Why not?

I just can't, that's all.

If this baby dies,

you have nobody else
to blame but yourself.

You, sitting high
and mighty-like.

You got no cause
to say that to me.

Well, if you won't
bring him in, it's true.

I just can't.

You haven't told me why not.

'Cause I'm wanted.


They got a poster on me.


Well, looky what we got here.

That ain't no job for you,
honey, washin' clothes.

I can show you a lot better.

What's your name, squaw?

You from around here?

Round and round she goes,

round and round and round.

Yahoo, ha!





All right, that's enough!

Get on your horses,
and get out of here!

What are you doin' way out here?


We was only funnin'.

That's the God's
honest truth, Deputy.


No badge, no nothing.

Lettin' on like
you was a doctor.

I never said I was a doctor.

Just as good.

Said you'd been
workin' with one.

That's the truth, I have.

Whenever he needs me.

Yeah, he just calls
you in off the street

and says, "You
wanna be the doc..."

I've been studying medicine
with him for months now,

all in my spare time.

And playin' lawman the rest.

You never told me
you was a deputy.

There wasn't no reason to.

No more than you tellin'
me you were wanted.

I come here lookin'
to find a sick child,

not a man with a poster on him.

I'm not even wearing a gun.

You got one now.

Might as well say it.

You thinkin' to take me in?

Right now, I'm not
worried about you.

I'm worried about
that baby in there.

When you get him well.

Just like I figured, his
spots are starting to show.

First thing you know,
he'll be covered with 'em.

Don't suppose you
ever had the measles?

This is bad for him.

It could be bad for you.

Clean blanket, please.

But then you were exposed
at the same time as him,

chances are, if you're not
showing any signs by now,

you won't.

Cover him up.

What will you do to him?

Keep the fire going so
it'll keep the chill down.

Not to the child, to Harrod.

- I don't know.
- He's a good man.

There is nothing but
kindness in his heart.

It is wrong to
put him in prison.

But you will not listen.

It is wrong what you say.

You are a man of the gun.

He lets me do nothing.

He does not even let
me hold my own son.

He's got his own
way, he's a doctor.

He's a man of the law.

You have told him
they are looking for you.

I must have been
yelling real good.

I hear you when
you are quiet, too.

I know when you are happy,

and when there is
sadness in your heart.

I never was no good
at hidin' my feelings.

I know how much
you worry for us now.

Harrod, he will
take you to prison.

It is in his blood,

it is in him like the
fever is in the boy.

This is his work,
this is his life,

to find a man like you
and take him to prison.

Not if I read him right.

Why would he give
me back that gun

if he's thinking to take me in?

He does not need the gun.

He sure ain't takin'
me in without it.

He knows you are here.

He will come back, and
bring others with him.

We cannot let him go back.

You tell me how
we're gonna stop him.

No, we need him for the boy.

When the boy is well.

We need you.

If he takes you, there
will be no life for us.

It is that one, or us.

You must kill him, Harrod.

I'll need some fresh water.

I will go.

It is better for me if
my hands are busy.

I can't do miracles.

How did you get
tangled up with the law?

I'm a long story.

I don't know as though
we're goin' anywhere.

About three years ago,

we'd just been married a while,

livin' with her
people for the time.

You needed some
money, and you took it.

I never took nothin',

not in my whole life.

There's a ranch up there,

about 20 miles north.

I got me a job with them.

She used to ride up
to see me every week.

Just, I wasn't lookin'
for her that day.

What happened?

I was late comin' in.

Some hands
came in off the trail.

They didn't know she was mine.

Never seen her before.

You seen those
hidecutters today.

There's always
some around like that.

They come on an
Indian girl alone,

it's like a pack of wolves
with a newborn calf.

Figure they can
do that they want,

put their lousy hands on her,

and ain't nobody
gonna call 'em for it.

And you did.

They whipped me,

but I learned
this big fella good.

I never hit nobody with
an ax handle before.

Did you kill him?

I didn't think so at the time.

We didn't wait
around to find out.

We just high-tailed
it out of there.

How did you find
out you were wanted?

I was workin' up near
Blakeman for a while.

One day, I saw 'em
put a wanted poster up.

Murder, they called it.

Didn't seem to care that
there was five against my one,

not sayin' what they was
trying to do to Makesha.

That's when we came down here

and bought this place to farm.

Can anybody prove
what you just told me?

Only her.

What about those cowhands?

You think they're
gonna talk up for me?

I want you to tell
me straight out.

Do you think he maybe could die?

He could.

You wanna change your
mind about goin' into Dodge?

I ain't done outside yet.

Ma'am, water please.

I got my mind made up.

First light tomorrow,
we take him into Dodge.


I can't do nothin' else.

He only wants to
take you to Dodge

so he can have the money
they promised for you.

No, ma'am, wait a minute.

I don't know if you'll
understand this,

and I'm not so
sure if I do myself,

but I don't think I can tell
anybody about your husband.

You see, there's
an oath doctors take.

They find out something
while they're treating a patient,

they're sworn not to
tell anybody about it.

But you are not a real doctor.

You've said so,
you've taken no oath.

No, I haven't.

But I figure if I'm
acting as a doctor,

I'm carrying a
doctor's responsibility.


You go back to Dodge with me,

you're helping to
save a child's life.

As far as I'm concerned,
I'm not deputized,

and you're not wanted.

You're that little baby's
father, and that's all.

We better get some sleep.

Be startin' real early.


Her horse is gone.

Where do you think
she'd go with the boy?

She was asking me to
take him back to her people,

to a medicine man.

Camp's at the Little North Fork.

Well, it won't be there for long

if she takes that baby in there.

Measles are worse than
smallpox to the Indians.

They have no
immunity against it.

We got to catch 'em
before she gets there.

Do you think we've got a chance?

Baby's gonna slow her down some.

Depends on how
much start she's got.

There she is.


I need Dahoma.


Dahoma, when I
was young, I was sick.

And you made me strong.

I have come to you again.

You are sick?

My son.

The dark spirits
have come into him.

I ask you to take him
and make him well.

No, don't touch him!

Stay away from him.
Don't go near him.

Do like I say!

You touch that baby,
and you could die.

Do you know this white man?

I know him well.

He is a man of the gun.

She twists the truth.

She does not say the rest.

Harrod, you turned
against your wife?

Only in this.

She speaks a lie.

You are not a man of the gun?

The law, I'm a Deputy Marshal.

I have told you, Dahoma.

I do not twist the truth.

You left something out.

He's also a man of medicine.

He learned from an old
and wise man in his town.

He comes only to help.

Makesha, did you
ask for his help?

I did not.

I asked for his help.

He is white, he
does what he wants.

What I want is to keep
you from killing your people.

Take my word for it.

This baby has a bad sickness,

what we call the measles.

If you touch him, you
and the others could die.

He could turn this whole
camp into a death trap.

He lies.

You have the white
man's medicine?

I've got some.

Enough to see the
sickness in this child?

That's right.

But not enough to drive it out?

Almost enough.

I will drive the evil out.

Don't, you don't know
what you're doing.

Might do to hear him out.

He ain't askin' so much.

A wise man listens to his son,

and we have made you one of us.

What do you ask?

Just don't nobody touch him.

Let us leave with the baby

before you all become sick.

Take the child to my tent.

If I was you, I
wouldn't do that.

Goriko, he's my friend.

He coughs again, the
dark ones are still with him.

It is the smoke.

The smoke does
not make me cough.

You are older and stronger.

It touches the lungs
and will make them well.

It does not make him well.

How long, Dahoma?

The hours pass by.

The Great Spirit
does not reckon time.

The Great Spirit has no need.

He lives forever.


The child is so young.

There is no sin in him yet.

Why does he hurt, why
is he punished, for what?

These things, my
daughter, we cannot know.

If he has evil in him,

let the pain come to me,

and if he has no evil in him,

then the Great
Spirit has no justice,

and it is all a lie.

Makesha, you will be punished.

I am punished already.

My son is sick.

I gotta talk to you.

He don't look no better to me.

Dahoma says it takes time.

Dahoma ain't the one who's sick.

He's a good man, he
makes good medicine.

I remember when I was small...

When you was small, you
didn't have the measles.

Makesha, the boy could die.

He will not die.

I come to ask
you this last time.

Give the boy back.

Let Newly take him into Dodge.


Dahoma ain't never
seen the measles before.

His medicine can't help the boy.

You show yourself to me.

You have a white heart.

You think Comanche
medicine is bad.

I think you'd better
listen to me for a minute.

Something happens to
that boy, it happens to us.

To me, and to you, too.

Turns out you maybe
could have saved him.

Turns out you held
his life in your hand,

and it was closed so tight
you never give him a chance.

I could never forget that.

He'd always be lyin'
there between us.

That would near kill me, too.

Now, you think on that.

You do nothing for him.

I am praying, Makesha.

I'm burning these sweet leaves.

It is like throwing
straw from a cliff.

Your praying and
burning do not help.

His life is running
out of him, old man.

He will die.

He will not die.

You give me only words.

Make him cool again, give
me a sign that he will live.

Make him cool!

I will make him cool.

Makesha's wrong.

This whole camp could come
down with a bad sickness.

Makesha's not wrong.

She does not lie.

I'm not saying she's lying.

She just doesn't understand.

She understands
that Dahoma can cure.

All right, if you
won't listen to me,

what about Harrod?

You told me he was
like your own blood.

Do you think he'd
try to trick you?

Do you think he brought
me here except to help?

What's going on out there?

They take the
child to the river.

What for?

For the holy bath.

To take away the sickness.

Hold on!

She spoke the truth,

you are a man of the gun.

I'll take the boy now.

I will not let you.

You have no right.

I got the right
to stop a killing.

You put that baby in the water,

and you'll kill him for sure.

You might as well
stick a knife in him.

You'll bring on a chill,
and the first thing you know,

he'll have pneumonia and die.

The Great Spirit has
blessed the lake for us.

It will heal the child.

You're talkin' religion,
I'm talkin' medicine.

White man's medicine
is for the white man.

Comanche medicine
is for the Comanche.

The baby takes
his life from both.

His blood is mine, too.

It is the mother's right

until the child is grown.

You got your law, we got ours.

Now, give me the baby.

You are one against many.

You have no chance.


Would he give up his life if
he didn't care for the baby?

Would he be so sure?


I beg you, bring him back to me.

Well, I tell you, I think
he's gonna be fine.

The cough's let up,
and the fever's down.

He'll be all right, I think.

Just keep him on the
syrup as well, you see.

Oh yes, I will.

Keep him warm, too.

Don't you worry, Doc.

Is there some reason
Makesha didn't catch it, Doc?

Newly, when He
gives you a little help,

you just don't ask questions.

Be right with you, Doc.

It is hard to say thank you.

Then don't.

- You ever need me for something...
- I'll holler.

I'll try to get out tomorrow
and check the baby.

Doc, suppose someone
was sick and called on you

and found out they were wanted?

Would you turn
'em in, do you think?

Well, I've had that happen

a time or two in my life, Newly.

I think it depends on the
circumstances, you know.

What you feel your
obligations are under your oath.

Now, if the man's a
menace to society,

I don't know about that.

I just don't know.

You know, that fella back there,

he just don't seem
like a criminal to me.

I wasn't necessarily
talkin' about Harrod, Doc.

Well, neither was I.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.