Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 19, Episode 17 - The Town Tamers - full transcript

Marshal Dillon, with another colleague, face the task of bringing law and order to the wild western town of Hilt. When Dillon arrives he discovers the marshal is an old friend, Luke Rumbaugh. Together the two set out to clean up the town. Once the two marshals manage to bring a measure of peace to Hilt, Dillon leaves while Rumbaugh stays on. One day Rumbaugh discovers that an old friend and love interest, named Martha, has arrived in town with her son while on their way to San Francisco. Confronted with his love for her again, he must decide whether to marry Martha before she leaves. Meanwhile, men Rumbaugh threw out of town plot to return and take their revenge on the marshal.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

I'm gonna win big tonight.

Where'd you get
that pot, Charley?

Share with him!


Someday they'll be gone
and this place will last

long after 'em, and us with it.

There's a railroad needs visit!

Now fun times and
work time as set to begun!

Come on, come on outta here.

Oh, oh, oh, look what
I always stepped on.

Aw, 'tis that
sorry I am, friend.

Keep your hands off
me, you pig-boat mick.

Now hold it, bucko, hold it!

See, you got to be grinnin'
when you call an Irishman that!

I do?

Of course you do, that's
why there's no offense.

No go on, let me hear
you call me that once more.

Go on, please, eh?

Or haul your mangy
tail outta here, right now!

Come on.

Why, excuse me, friends.

Try to make off with my knife.

Oh, someone, get
a doctor, please!

Oh get a doctor, please!

Get a doctor!

Festus, you could
help me by staying here

and looking out after things.

Newly can do that, Matthew.

Now, you're gonna
need somebody that...

- Here you go.
- Much obliged, Miss Kitty.

Here you are, Festus.

Like I was sayin', Matthew,
now, Newly can look after Dodge

and besides, you know
what things have came to

out yonder in that
town in the hills.

Why, it's worser than Dodge
ever was at its worstest!

You know what he's
working up to, Matt?

Wants to go along with you.

Well, of course I do.

How in the tarnation we
know who they're fixing

to send out yonder to help him.

Could be some
greeny-horned old galoot

that don't know
his elbow from his...

What else.

Matt, didn't you say that
whoever would be helpin'

would be stayin' on for a while
after you quiet things down?

That's what the
telegram said, Kitty.

Well, then why don't
you take Festus with you?

I think that's a great idea.

Matt, why don't you do
that, then we can get a little

peace and quiet around here.

All right, ya
blamed old scutter!

If I was to ever leave
Dodge, you'd be miserabler

than a flea bit old hound dog
with a rheumaticky hind leg.

'Sides that, you wouldn't
find nobody who'd put up

with our blame pickety
pickin' hoorahin'.

Oh yes, I'm gonna
miss this, I really am.

You be careful, you
hear me Matthew?

Oh I will, Festus.

See ya, Matt.

Well, after all this time,
you'd think the goodbyes

would get easier,
but they don't.

See you in a couple of weeks.

Now don't go blinkin', ya fish.

Oh no, no, you
just hold still now

and don't you go flinchin', eh?

It's a gonna be Junction
City all over again, Matt.

You can remember
that far back, can't you?

The only difference is
we're not gonna have

old Marshal Kimbrough
to back us up this time.

Hello, Luke.


How are ya?

I don't mind sayin' I'm
relieved to see it's you.

That goes double.

It's gonna take a bit
of savvy to read the

scripture to this place.

That's why I got here a
day early, to look thing over

and see where to start.

Came two days early
myself for the same reason.

- Come on, I'll show you around.
- All right.

They drift in here
all the time from

the Oklahoma territory.

Of course, they don't have
to worry about the law here

any more than
they do down there.

Busting windows and thievin's
gotta be quite a pastime.

Of course, problem
is nobody gives a hoot.

They're practically trading sugar
to gold dust, pound for pound.

You know Matt, I thought
I'd seen everything,

but there's something in
this town you just got to see.

What's that?

The local banking system.

Come on.

You're just about to
see a deposit made.

It's almost 100% robbery proof.

What if somebody steps in
inside that circle by accident?

They buried the most
recent one this morning.

Figured this would make
a pretty good hoosegow.

Worked in Jackson City.

Sure did.

You know, a handcuff to one
of these posts for a few days

will at least get
their attention.

Blacksmith close by like he is
will be handy for forging chains.

Well, Marshal...

let's get to work.

That's the last race in town.

Do tell.

Just once.

Stand aside.

I don't want to spoil your day.

Well, you won't.

Turn loose those reigns or
you're gonna get runover, mister.

I'm a U.S. Marshal.

It's like Jimmy says,
turn loose them reigns

- or get run over.
- You're under arrest.

Next one'll be riding
your bread basket!

If you want to push it...

now's the time.

Would you mind
repeating that once more?

I said I never knew a
Dutchman that couldn't

outclass a tea sippin', shag
nastin' in a drinkin' contest.

You spoiling up for a fight?

You got a fight!

Well, actually, I'm
more of a drinker.

Now look, look, look,
pay no mind to Mike here,

he gets a wee bit
testy sometimes.

But there's one
thing that we don't do

and that's sip tea!

All the Dutchies I know
can empty their glass

in four seconds,
if they're a mind.

I can do it quicker.

- You can, huh?
- Yeah.

Well now, Dutchie,
you've met your master!

I hear the words.

Hey, gaffer, two
mugs of suds here!

The best, the same as
me and the boys have, right.

I seen.

Let me show who
the tea sipper is.

No, no, no I'll do this.

Oh, and on top of that,
drinks all around for the house.

- Yeah, one little side bet.
- Yeah?

If I win...

you personally see to it

that your track crews hang
their fun on the lower limb

from here on out.

What if you lose?

You can name it.

Hey, where are those beers?

And one of you fellas, go
look for a one-way ticket

on the next outgoing stage
for me marshal friend here.

Well, now, now, now don't
go hurting yourself, huh?

Oh, that was a darlin'
blow, boy, a darlin' blow!

You just remember,

on a lower limb
from here on out.

I gave you my
word, now I'll keep it.

That's good.

Just so you know, I
haven't downed a beer

like that in 15 years.

Was wonderin' about that.

- If you hadn't made it?
- I don't know.

Reckon he might have
gone for two outta three?


Well, I heard we had
us some law in town.

That's right.

Marshal, my men had
every reason to suppose

that that man was making
a play for the money.

You won't need this
banking set up anymore.

Come back and tell me
that in a couple of days.

If you're still around.

I'm tellin' you now
and I'm tellin' you once.

Hold off!

All right, hold it.

Marshal, the first thing people
learn when they come in here

is what happens to
anybody that sets foot

inside that circle.

I've got a right to
protect what's mine.

From now on, you leave
protecting what's yours

up to the law.

Anybody else gets
killed inside this circle,

I'll see you hanged for murder.

No, no!

No, no!

All right!

This place has changed some.

You boys are not wanted
around here anymore.

We planned on going anyhow.

You do just that.

Next time.

I'll be lookin' forward
to that, now get!

Dang town's depressin' anyway.

Sure be good to forget everybody
else's problem for a while

and tie one on, wouldn't it?

That's the only trouble
with wearing this badge.

Six-bit piece of tin
can sure cost a man

a heck of a lot in life.

You know old man
Kimbrough had the right idea,

he once said, "In this job,
you never take on nothing

"person if you
can't easy give up."

What ever happened to him?

He's dead, Luke.

Did he ever get out
from behind his badge?


Well then, there's
hope for us, Matt.

Time for changes.

You know what I'd do?

Tie on in?

Luke, you think you're going
to get along all right here?

Standin' on my
head, Matt, thank you.


You think time's are
changing too fast for us?

That's something I try not to
think too much about, Luke.

Take care.

This is Hilt!

Everybody out!

This is the Hilt
Hotel, lady, right here.

What in the world
are you doing here?

Caleb and I are on our
way to San Francisco.


Luke, we talked it all out.

I told you it was over.

Well, you're sure taking the
long way around to get there.

Well, Caleb begged to
see you, it was only right.

I sure appreciate that.

I said this time and I meant it.

I know.

- Luke!
- Hey!


- Hey, boy!
- Oh, Luke!

Scared you would
have already gone.


Say, that new suit's something!

Finally got long pants, huh?

It ain't the pants, it's
the man wearin' 'em.

Seems like I've heard
that somewhere before.

You used to tell
me that all the time.

We're going to San
Francisco, Luke.

So your mother said.

But we can't get any seats
on the stage for two days.

The man at the
freight office said so.

Now look, it's just about
time for supper. You hungry?

Yes sir!

We ain't had nothing
but beans and meat

since we left Fort Smith.

Don't say ain't.
It isn't polite.

If we go now we can
get in ahead of the crowd.

No, you two go on.

I'm tired from the trip.

I think I'll just go to bed.

But we were just going
to get something to eat.

Let's go.

You gonna let her go, Luke?

Well now, there's
just some things in life

a man's go no right
to change, Caleb.

Come on.


Come over here and sit with us.

Martha. Mornin'.

You sit there, I'm
through anyway.

Caleb, you haven't
eaten a thing.

I'm not hungry, Ma.

Besides, I wanna go look around.

Hey, watch it, boy!

- Place has got growin' pains.
- Thanks, Luke!


- More coffee?
- Please.


Thank you.

Well, were things as
bad as you expected?

Oh, nothing ever really is.

They sent me a man I
started with, a good man.

You heard me talk
about him, Matt Dillon.

Oh, you'd never know to
look at the place though,

it's so quiet.

It's still quivering, though.

Still got a few
kicks left in her.

With Caleb, you talked
about the town's growin' pains

and now you talk
as thought it's dying.

The old way is dying.

The new is getting born.

Luke Rumbaugh,
undertaker and midwife.

Forty dollars a month lawman.

One of the best.

Just followin' the rule book

and the man who
wrote it, that's all.

I know all about that rule book.


I love you.

But I love my son
more... differently...

I can understand that.

That difference is the reason

we're going to San Francisco.

These past eight years,

they were my years, our years.

Now Caleb needs a father.

He's grown to be a quite a
boy from the sprout I first met.

No little thanks to you.

That'll be a good
place to raise a boy.

The place doesn't matter, Luke.

Then why go?

Because it's a long
way from Fort Smith...

and I'm going to
give Caleb a father.

Well, like I said, Frisco's a
pretty good place to shop for one.

You get yourself
a nice, secure man

with a nice, easy way of life.

I hope so.

A man that'll give you
100% flat out commitment,

with the odds on chance
that he'll be able to keep it.

Who has that?

Oh, for sure nobody
wearing one of these.

I never asked you
take that badge off.

I know that.

When I get outta bed in
the morning, I don't know

whether I'm gonna see
it again that night or not.

Who does?

When I put on my badge,
the only thing on my mind is

doin' the job and stayin' alive.

I know.

I don't expect any
more than that.

But you and the boy, that's...

that's something I
can't easy give up.

But you are giving us up.

You're letting us
go to San Francisco.

It's not the same thing.

I don't understand.

Not many would.

So here we are, right
back where we started from.

That was a mistake,
starting in the first place.

Luke, do you really regret that?

You mean now, right this moment?

I sure do.

There's nothing on God's earth

that I'd trade these
last eight years for.


Now you take good
care of your ma, hear?

Some city man'll do that.

Aw, there's lots of
good fellers in the city.

The only life for a real man
is with his boots in the soil

or his rump in a saddle.

Where did you hear that?

You told it to me.


You forget?

You forget all those
other things you said too?

Well son, there's lots of
things a man does in his life

that he wished he
could do different.


Because it's right.

Man always does what's right,

if he wants to stand square
with himself and his maker.

I won't stay there.

Come on, give it a try.

Luke, I want to
stay here, with you.

Yeah, I wish you could too, son.

But it just can't be.

Now you go on with your ma and

grow up and be something
solid like your pa, hear?

You're the only pa
I ever known, Luke.

We're movin' out!

Tell me something, Luke.

How come in just about
every town I've ever operated in

I could always get around
the law one way or the other,

but never around you?


Never mind.

You've been staring at
that fly speck on the wall

for the last 15 minutes.

I just wanted to see
if you were listening.

Well, I guess I... just
feel like being quiet.

If you felt like being quiet,

you could go to your hotel room.

And if you felt like
drinking, you could go to one

of the saloons that you
haven't closed down yet.

Now, you came in
here for a reason, Luke.

Since you're not one to
take free samples of anything,

it must be to talk.

Come on, let me buy
you a drink this time.


What's her name?

What's whose name?

The woman you
saw off on the stage.

You remember,
the one with the kid.

Do you know everything

that's going on in this town?

Oh, if she's as important to
you as you're acting like she is,

you'd better go and
do something about it.

Am I really that obvious?

Probably not to another man.

Well anyhow, it's too late now.

The only thing it's too
late for is to be born.

Oh, go on.

Go on and get outta
here and find her.

I mean, you're depressing

with what little
business I got left.

Thanks, Kate.

How come I always
get kissed goodbye?

Come on folks,
we're ready to go!

Stage is leavin'!

Thank you, Caleb.

Mom, mom it's Luke!

Tell the driver to get
your bags down, boy!

Yes, sir!

I figure I'd write a new
chapter in that rule book.


Traveling parson came
by and nobody in Hllt

had ever seen one there
before so I latched on to him.

Made him promise
to wait till we got back.

Oh Luke, oh.

Caleb, you get the bags down.

While I'm taking this rig back,
you go pound on room #5.

Tell that parson
fellow we're back.

Yes, sir.

Tell him, your mother and
best friend are getting married.

Yes, sir!

There are times that a
man can do no wrong.

He's back, let's go.

With the cards
running like this?

What'd we come up here for?

Part of what we come
up here for I'm doing.

Now if you're in a hurry,
you go take him yourself,

you might be lucky this time.

If he comes around
tonight, that's one thing.

If not, tomorrow's soon enough.

Hurry up, deal!


Aren't you ready yet?

Luke Rumbaugh, I had
planned this day or night

over and over in
my mind for years

and I'm not gonna be hurried.

Well, if I've got to put
up with this all my life,

we can just call
the whole thing off.

Not on your life.

Oh, now wait a
minute, wait a minute.

Don't fix yourself up too fancy,

I kinda like you
just like you are.

Oh Luke.

They do that all the time.

Oh, you're just
in time, preacher.


Son, why don't you step
over here by the bed,

right over there.

Sir, turn around
this way a little bit,

right about in here.

- Right here?
- Fine.

Are you ready?

Parson, I've been
ready a long time.

That just about tells
it all for both of us.

"Dearly beloved,

we're gathered together
here in the sight of God

and the face of this
company to join together

this man and this
woman in holy matrimony,

which is an honorable estate.

Instituted of God and the
time of man's innocency,

signifying unto us
the mystical union

that is betwixt
Christ and his church.

Into this holy estate,
these two persons present

come now to be joined.

If any man can show just cause

why they may not
lawfully be joined together,

let him speak now or
forever after hold his peace."


With this ring, I thee wed.

"With this ring I thee wed."

"Those whom God
hath joined together,

let no man put asunder."

I pronounce that you
are husband and wife.

Luke, oh Luke!

Hello there, son!


How much do I owe you preacher?

The usual donation is $3.00.

Well, since it's the
middle of the night.

I'm afraid I don't have
change for this amount.

Just keep the change.

We just both thank you.

You're most welcome
and I hope the three of you

will be very happy.

Good morning, Mrs. Rumbaugh.

That's an awful nice way
to start off that new chapter.

Isn't it, though?

It will work, Luke.

You bet it will.


Yes, sir?

Didn't I see you with
the marshal last night?

Yes, sir.

That's what I thought.

I got something really
important to tell him.

You think you can get a
message to him for me?

Yes, sir.

You have put a spell on me.

I feel like I'm 19
all over again.

That was no spell,
Mrs. Rumbaugh.

Hey, what you got there kid?

Hey, Luke, breakfast, how sweet.

Luke, a man stopped
me down at the cafe.


What man?

He said he came back
with friends to keep

the town from dying.

Where are they now?

At the cafe.


How many were there?

- Two.
- Are you sure?

Yes sir. At least
two was all I saw.

Good morning, Marshal.

- You're under arrest.
- Both of us?

Put your hands on the table.

I said put your
hands on the table!

Him too?

On your feet.


Get down!

Marshal, you better get
that shoulder looked after.

There's four more.

Just keep moving.

Marshal, looks like
you done run outta time

to get that shoulder looked at.

Not twice in the same day.

Hello Matt, come in.


That's my wife, Martha,
she sent you the wire.

- Dillon.
- Marshal Dillon.

That's Caleb.

Hello, son.

- You all right?
- I will be.

Sorry to put this on you, Matt.

Who did it?

Man named Badger.

You won't have any
trouble findin' him.

How'd it happen?

I got caught up by the
dumbest stunt of all.

Well, I guess that
happened to all of us.

That's the last time for me.

I'm quitting.

Truth is, I...

I knew I was ready to quit
when I made up my mind

to ask Martha to marry me.

Lost the edge, Matt.

But how do you explain

something like
that to a boy, huh?

That's him, over there.

Your name Badger, is it?

That's right whiskers.

There's a big feller out
yonder with the marshals

badge pinned on his shirt,
told me to tell you something.

He did?

Either you come out
yonder or he's fixing

to come in here and get you.

You tell him I got the message.

If I was you, I wouldn't
settle down on my nest.

Look to me like
he meant business.

Place your bets,
ladies and gentlemen.

Bad idea.

Don't make a move.

- Badger?
- Right here.

You're under arrest.

Fools they're hiring,
get bigger and bigger.

Better hold it right
there, get your hands up!

Now move over.

I'm gonna say this one more
time and you better hear me,

the lid's on this town.

Anybody tries to take it
off's gonna wind up like them.

The law's come to Hilt
and it's gonna stay here.

You better think about
that, think about it hard.

Luke, ma'am.

Luke, I just talked
to Newly and Festus,

they said they'll stay on till
the new deputy gets here.

Thank you, Matt.

I wish you both luck.

I think your boy'll come around.

I'd like to believe that, but

these last days
tell me different.

So long, Luke.

Take care, Matt.

Goodbye, Marshal.

Mrs. Rumbaugh.

Topeka will be sending
another deputy in a week or so.

Well, Matthew, don't tell
old Doc it'll be that quick,

so as he could enjoy
hisself for a few days.

Festus, Doc won't be fit to
live with until you get back.

Well fiddle, I know that Newly,

and old Doc, he knows
it too, but if he knowed

that I knowed that he knowed,

why he'd turn seven
ways of purple and deny it.

We'll see you directly, Matthew.

All right.

I was afraid I was gonna
miss saying goodbye to ya.

Goodbye, Marshal Dillon.

Caleb, I know what
you're thinking about Luke,

but you're wrong,
you're dead wrong.

He's a coward.

Luke's a coward.

No, he isn't, son.

Luke's one of the best
lawmen that ever was.


Luke wasn't afraid
of doing his job.

He wasn't even afraid
of dying if he had to,

because he didn't have
anything he felt was that

worthwhile that he
was gonna leave behind.

But now it's different.

He's got your ma
and he's got you.

The reason he did what he
did was so you'd have a pa.

You think about that.

You'll see I'm right.


Oh, Luke!

I love you, Luke, and I'm sorry.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.