Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 19, Episode 22 - Cowtown Hustler - full transcript

A broke young man seeks his fortune with an old drifter, a formerly legendary champion billiards player.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

That was mighty good, Sally.

We enjoyed that.

Oh, thank you, Marshal.

Where you coming from this time?

We just delivered a couple
prisoners up in Warwick.

Ah, at least you get to
see some of the country.

Me, I'm stuck here.

Well when you coming into Dodge?

One of these days, maybe.

We'd better ride for Dodge.

I'd like to get
there before dark.

Bye Marshal, see you next time.

See you later, Mr. Bean.


- Hey Sally.
- Hey!

It'd been six months.

I'd just about given up on you.

Honey, I might not
always be on time,

but I always show up.


I can hardly wait.

St. Louis, that's what
you said, wasn't it?

That's what I said.

Now look, just tell me.

When are we leaving, huh?

Sally, I'm broke.

Broke, I don't understand.

I thought the
whole idea was that

you were saving
enough to get married.

Saved up near $500.

What happened to it?

I decided to pass
through Junction City,

and, well honey,
I did it for us.

Sally, we couldn't
have gotten far on $500.

You know I had that
run up to over 800 and...

Oh no, Dave.

Ah Sally, I'm sorry.

Don't you know by now

you shouldn't have
tied your rainbow to me?

I guess I'm just a hard learner.

You manage to save anything?


Not enough to
get us to St. Louis.

Sally, where are ya?

There's folks in here!

Just a minute,
I'll be right there.

Look, what are you
gonna do now, huh?

Stay here.

I got no place else to go.

Sally, don't worry.

I'll work out something.

Oh, I know you will.

Sally, hot up the beans.


- Well, howdy.
- Something to eat?

Beans, salt pork,
biscuits, coffee is 20 cents.

Room for the night,
that's 50 cents.

Is that in advance?

Yes, sir.

Two ball in the corner.

Twenty dollars?

I reckon I got change.

It's too early to
worry about change.

I'm planning a full evening,

so for starters you
can pour me a drink.

Yes, sir.

Where you headed from, mister?

Finch, Finch.

Joshua Finch.

- Finch?
- Yeah.

Missouri's my home.

Well that is as much a home
as a traveling man can enjoy.

You a drummer?

Oh no no, merchant.

Canalley Watch
Company out of Annaville.

Well, here's how.

Five ball in the corner.

Thank you, miss.

Something I haven't seen
in quite a while, a gentleman.

Man can afford to be a gentleman

if it don't cost him nothing.

Four ball in the corner.

Eight ball in the corner.

He ain't no watch peddler.

If he ain't a hustler,

then I ain't ever
seen a hustler before.

He'll make his move.

- How about another game?
- Nope.

Like to keep just
part of my pay.

- Turner?
- No thanks.

I'll play.

Well, grab yourself a stick.

- Here, try this one.
- Oh, thank you.

It's just to pass the time.

Playing for a little money
makes it more interesting.

Well I... How about a dollar?

Sounds harmless enough.

I'd watch yourself, mister.

Pete there's been
known to clean out

a man's pocket with a cue stick.

Losing a dollar ain't
gonna hurt too much.

You can break.

Oh, thank you.

Oh, got one.

Yep, got one.

Well, let's see.

Oh, that's not very good, is it?

I went at the wrong ball.

Yeah, you had the stripes.

Good shot.

Eight ball in the corner.

Well, looks like
you're a dollar richer.

Oh, your luck will change.

How about one more?

Double or nothing.

Oh, all right.

When does the
hustler make his move?

You don't catch nothin'
unless you bait the trap.

Eight ball in the corner.

Afraid I scratched on
that one, your game.

Yep, now it's
getting interesting.

Cowboy's hustling the hustler.

I tell you what, why don't
we play another one?

Maybe your luck will hold.

All right.

And why don't we raise
the bet, say ten dollars?

Ten dollars?

Is it too much?

Now look mister, I don't mind

playing a friendly
game for a dollar or two,

but ten dollars
makes it gambling,

and I don't gamble
for peanuts, sorry.

How much did you have in mind?

Well, I don't usually
gamble for less...

Oh, a cowhand wouldn't
make that kind of money.

A month's wages, mister!

I'm betting it all, $40!

You got $40?

You better think it over.

I reckon you could
beat me, but if you lose,

you'll lose everything.

Forty dollars to me is just...

Look, you've been
talking real big.

Now it sounds like
you're trying to weasel out.

I still say it's peanuts.

Now, if you had 100 or so...

Look you two, get
your money out.

Come on, come on,
we'll double our money.

Rack 'em up, Turner.

Your break, old man.

Eight ball in the corner.

You gotta be short a hat
size to take us like that.

No matter how you
cut it boys, you lost.

We were cheated!

Just got beat at your own game.

I wasn't the flat-heeled
jubilee you took me for.

I guess you learned a lesson.

That's called
building character.

That's our money!

Leave it alone.

He cheated us!

You were trying to cheat him.

He took you, all right,

but I didn't see no
one twisting your arm.

Now quit your
bellyaching, chalk it up.

Let's get outta here.

Oh miss, now I'd
like a real supper.

Steak, pan fried potatoes,

and a bottle of
wine if you got any.

Oh yes, buy this young man...

a drink.

That's the best cooking
I've had since St. Louis.

Here honey, buy
yourself a smile.

Thank you.

You shoot a fine game of pool.

Thank you.

Especially when
the money's right.

You saw the inside of my wallet

and you didn't say anything.


When a man's running
that kind of a bluff

you don't tip his whole card.

All you had was
that $20 sucker bill.

We're both sitting
on empty wallets.

Not anymore.

How long do you think that $120

is gonna last you, old man?

- You need a partner.
- Why?

Call it breaking
trail, sizing up a town,

seeing who's
sitting on fat wallets.

Snaking up a few games.

Shill, huh?


Sorry, I work alone.

Hustling cowboys out of wages

is a good way to
wake up stew meat.

It was nice meeting you, friend.

Thought you were
staying the night.

I was, but I don't
like being hustled.

There's nothing
here but our money!

Not a good idea.

That money's ours!

That's the way it goes.

Now clear out.

Come on, move!

You all right?

Oh, yes.

Loosened a couple
of bolts, that's all.

Go on inside, I'll
get your things.

I guess, I guess
I owe you thanks.

Enough to talk?


All right, come on
son, what's your game?

Name's Rope, Mr. Darby.

You always go through
a man's gear like that?

Just checking.

Thought I'd seen you before.

Sure enough, when I was
a kid up around Denver.

You beat Ace Hannon that night.

Say, you've got a good memory.

Yeah, yeah I was pretty
good in those days.

Why'd you change your name for?

These cowpokes, they don't know

Moses Darby from Saint Peter.

Well maybe not in
this part of the country.

But you never know when
an old timer will show up.

Yeah, Denver,
Chicago, St. Louis.

Pocket billiards was a
gentleman's game then.

Fancy rooms lined with velvet.

Thick carpets, man
dressing his best.

You're living in
the past, old man.

Maybe it's all I got left.

You can have it again.

That cue stick could
be made of gold for you,

but you ain't cashing in on it.

I'm talking about suckers.

I could finger the
good ones for ya.

You've been
nickling and diming it.

You know anything
about pocket billiards?

Oh, I can play a game,

but I ain't the one that
has to play good, am I?


'Til I tell ya different.

What are you up
to with that old man?

Honey you got enough money

put aside to get to Dodge City?


Well there's a stage
coming through tomorrow,

and I want you to be on it.

Sally, that's what
you want ain't it?

Getting away from this place?

Just look around you'll
have the answer to that.

We'll be together
honey, in a few days.

I got some plans
first with the old man.

Why do you want me in Dodge?

Find out who's grass-bellied
and rolling with money.

Who the big
gamblers in Dodge are.

Honey, I want you
to size that town

like you're buying a new dress.

Get a job in a saloon.

Long Branch would be best.

Everyone comes in
there one time or another.

You gonna use that old man
to cheat people, aren't ya?

Sally, that ain't cheatin'.

They play pool with him.

We just don't tell
'em how good he is.

Sally, please.

Just one more time, honey.

This is gonna buy us
everything we ever wanted.

Being together.

Don't let me down
this time, Dave, please?

Not again.

'Cause I just couldn't take it.

Hey, what do you
want out of all this,

I mean besides money?

Reckon I ain't
thought that far ahead.



I'm just tired of drifting,

tired of living in cheap hotels,

tired of going hungry.

Most of all, I'm just
tired of being alone.

Last I heard, you
was high on the hog.

What happened?

Oh, I got to drinking.

Got so I couldn't even read
the numbers on the pool balls.

Then this woman I liked,
she started taking care of me

and kinda straightened me out.

And then I found
out she belonged

to the fella who was backing me.

She was just protecting
his investment.

Might say she dropped
me back in the bottle.

I crawled out after a while,

but I'd lost my game.

Looks good enough to me.

Well, it's good enough for
one of those bumpkin farmers,

but say...

what about that girl Sally?

You two kids fixing
to settle somewhere?

Yeah, soon as we can
get ourselves a stake.

Uh-huh, nice girl.

Pretty too.


I'd just like to find
a nice, quiet town

and settle down somewhere.

Buy a pool hall,
that's all I know.

Pocket billiards.

Hey, maybe if you got no plans

you'd like to throw in with me.

- Maybe.
- Yeah.

How about dinner
over at the hotel tonight?

My room.

Well maybe next
week, Mr. Kearney.

I won't be here next week.

I know.

Who's that biggun
trying to make dust?

Name's Kearney.


Talks and acts like money.

Well, he's been in
town two or three days.

Plays a lot of poker, faro,
and most of the time he wins.

I think he's leaving
town in a couple of days.

Two beers, please.

Honey, how much
money do you have?

It's the best way
to meet that man,

get in that poker game.

But Dave, he plays
for high stakes!

I hope so, come on.

All right.

I'm keeping track.

Well, come on in.


Well I.

Something wrong?

You see, you're a
nice man, Mr. Pinch,

but I just don't want Dave to
get you into something bad.

Oh, Dave can't lead me

anyplace I haven't been before.

Chicago, St. Louis,
New Orleans on top.

Bitter Creek, Dry Gulch,
and Stinkwater on the bottom.

Ah come on, why
don't you sit down?

Now you just make
yourself comfortable.


It's just that you
see, well Dave,

he uses people.

Well, I don't think
he really means to,

but well he does.

Well, don't we all,
sometime or another?


No maybe about it.

Dave's using me
because of what I was,

and I'm using
Dave to help me up.

Now what are you using Dave for?

To take me somewhere, anywhere.

It's just that I've been waiting

for five years for
Dave to hit it big.

Five long years
for the "big killings"

that were always
around the corner.

Five years for, of
chasing rainbows.

Well if you wait long
enough, it's bound to come.

You really believe that?


Oh, I know.

You want a home and kids.

And I'm gonna
tell you something.

Just because I can't stand
looking at that long face,

and those droopy eyes.

Dave told me he
wanted to settle, honest.

And we even talked about
going into business together, sure.

Pool room, store,
something like that.

Maybe Dodge City can
do it for us, right here.

I hope so!

You're a nice man, Mr. Pinch.

Good luck.


I did lie about one thing.

My name.

It's Darby, Moses Darby.

Well, good luck, Moses Darby.


There's a man over in my office

says he got into a
pool game with you

and you took all his money.

Can't afford to lose,
shouldn't have played.

You know as well as I do

the man had no idea
what he was getting into.

Now he's a farmer, most
of that money was for seed.

If it doesn't get planted, he
stands to lose everything he's got.

How much did he say he lost?

Forty dollars.

There's no law in this town

says you can't play a man
a game of pool for money

as long as it's a fair game,

but I don't like the
idea of hustlers.

Next time you get a
man in a pool game,

you better make sure in advance
he knows how good you are.

I understand, Marshal.

You didn't have to
give back that money.

We need operating expenses.

It's one thing to take a
man who's asking for it.

It's another to leave him
with nothing to build on.

I reckon it don't matter anyway.

I just got us a fat pigeon.

He's gonna be along in a minute.

We'd better make it count.

Marshal's beginning
to get annoyed.

When you gentlemen are finished,

I'd be pleased to
play the winner.

I just came over to
teach the kid a lesson.

Another time.

Sir, it's poolroom etiquette

to accept another
man's challenge.

It's all right, old man.

Mr. Kearney, that's
kind of an unwritten law.

All right, Pops,
you play the winner.

Eight ball in the side pocket.

Come on over to the Long Branch.

I'll buy you a drink.

Mr. Kearney, our game?

Big stakes old man, or I
figure it's a waste of time.

You name it.

I heard you were pretty
good, but I'm better.

As long as you're here, I might
as well get your money too.

How's about $50?

Eight ball in the corner.

You've got $1,000 of
my money, old man.

I got a real gut feeling that
you two were in this together.

You set me up for this
old buzzard, didn't ya?

What's your cut, kid?

Hey you're loco.

Oh no, I've been
around long enough

to read a stacked deck.

What do you think, boys?

Been here a week.

Ain't seen these
two here 'til today.

I wouldn't be
surprised if they...

Wait a second, Mr. Kearney!

You've been winning so long
you clean forgot how to lose!

I don't like to be roped in!

Hold it!

What is it?

Nothing, Marshal.

Private business.

Fellas, clear this
place right now.

Everybody out.

Don't you two go sneaking off.

Not 'til I get even.

He knew I was good,
Marshal, he said so.

Knowing Kearney, he probably
got what's coming to him.

But he's not the kind of
man that gives up easy.

I'm gonna tell you
for your own good,

I want you out of Dodge.

Doc Adams has got enough to do

without running
around patching you up.

- We did it.
- We did it.

We did it!

- Moses, we did it!
- We did it.

We did it, $1,000!

We did it Moses, I never
would've believed it.

One thousand!

Where you going?

Quickest way out of town.

Oh we just got the
opportunity of a lifetime.

What are you talking about?

Kearney's out
to get us all right,

but he ain't fixing to
bust us up like we figured.

What's he gonna do?

He's bringing in a
shooter of his own,

some guy he seen in Kansas City.

Supposed to be
some kind of shooter.

Not interested.

Moses, we'd be
loco to leave now.

Look, this whole town
knows how good you are.

They'll turn out to see
this kid take you on.

We can make more money
than we ever dreamed of!

Lessen he's too good for ya.

Too good?

I've been around too
many pool halls too long

to be taken by some young sprig.

I'll take him with savvy alone.

What about the marshal?

Be a legitimate game.

Marshal's gotta
run us outta town,

he's gotta run
Kearney's guy out too.

Besides, it'll only
take a couple of days.

Moses, I just been
down on the street.

That word's spreading like fire.

Yeah, been a long time

since I played for
that kind of money.

When's this "some
kind of shooter" due in?


Tomorrow huh?

Willie, glad to see ya.

Come on over to the Long Branch,

I'll buy you a drink.

Come on, Willie.

I want to introduce you around.

Ms. Russell?

I want you to meet
Willie Tomsen,

the best pool player
west of the Missouri.

Well, nice to meet you Willie.

Pleasure to meet you, ma'am.

Give him a drink.

Give everybody here a drink.

Kinda soft spoken.

That's just a ribbon.

Guy's a shark.

He just hasn't
smelled blood yet.

Quiet everybody, quiet.


Look who we got here.

Joshua Pinch,

and that Judas
goat he runs with.

This here's Willie.

He's the best I've ever seen,

including you, old man.

I've heard a lot
about you, Mr. Pinch.

Only when I saw you play,
you was known as Moses Darby.

Heard you were
the best, way back.

'Til you started
swimming in booze.

Yes sir, I sure
heard about that.

You got throwed out of more
places than I've ever been in,

and look at you now.

Hard to believe
you were a legend.

That's right, folks, legend.

Every pool hall from
Chicago and reaching east.

I heard you ended up in
honkytonks, hustling drinks.

I wouldn't have
believed it until just now.

That's a long way
to fall, Mr. Darby.

See you're still swilling it up.

I bet drinking's the only way

you can hold a cue stick
steady in your hand, huh?

Mr. Kearney, I
don't like your friend.

Mr. Tomsen, I want you
out of here, right now.

Of course, ma'am.

Pleasure meeting you, Mr. Darby.

I wanna tear that
smirk right off his face.

After today there's gonna
be a lot of money bet.

I don't give a damn
about the money.

I just want to curl his
tail between his legs.

Got a room reserved for you

over at the Dodge House, Willie.

I'm bettin' on Willie.

Folks, gather round!

Your attention, if you please.

My name is Thaddeus P. McKay.

I happened to be in the
community of Deerfield

when word of this notable
pocket billiard match

came to me, and my associates.

Now, my services are
varied according to the need.

I'm a banker, a lender
of money, and friend.

Today, I'm booking bets!


Lotta money out on that street.

When do you want me
to set it up with Willie?

You call it.

How about Saturday night?

Town will be brimming
with fresh cash.

Is that all you ever
think of, money?


I'll go set it up with Kearney.

We'll get all these
bets recorded,

and odds seem to be
pretty heavy on experience!

It's Moses Darby three to two.

We bid $30 on Darby.

What is it?

Come on Sally, get it said.

It's the way you been
treating me and that old man.

We're both just
merchandise to you.

Me for one reason,
and him for another.

When this is over,
we'll be together.

That's the story of our lives.

Sal, the match
is Saturday night.

Afterwards, no more next
times, no more deals, I swear.

Well Moses said that you were

gonna go into business
together, the pool hall.

Honey, that's his
dream, not mine.

Can you see me in a little town

chalking up cue
sticks for trail bums?

We're going to St.
Louis, a gambling hall.

I know the fellow that owns it.

He said if ya ever
come up with the money,

you can buy it.

What about Moses?

He's counting
on the three of us.

Honey, what do we need
with an old rummy pool hustler?

Quit your job.

After I collect our
winnings, we're leaving.

Just the two of us.

If we're gonna make any money,

I guess I'd better start
spreading some bets around.

You ain't gonna be happy
'til you're rich, are ya?

You're nothing unless you are.

You wanted a stake, didn't ya?


Well, I guess by tomorrow

we'll have enough money
to buy us anything we want.

I hope so.

You know I was just
thinking about a town

I once passed
through in Colorado.

Nice little town, nice people.

Place where I
could ease my bones

and maybe just play
pool for pleasure.

Told Sally all about it.

How's Colorado appeal to you?

Guess it's time I quit drifting.

Well, there it is.

Take good care of it.

See you at eight.


Come back now, ya hear?

Yes sir, what can I do for ya?

What are the odds?

They've gone to five to
two in favor of Moses Darby.

Why, what's your bet?


Hey wait a minute.

I only make 1,000 here.

Well you'll have to
take my note for the rest.

Oh I will?

Well, where's your collateral?

Money's in the bank, it'll
be there Monday morning.

A man's usually able
to back up his note

with horses or cattle or land?

Eh, all you got
is a lot of words,

slicking up the skate arm.

And $1,000 in the bank.

Yeah, well let me tell
you something, sonny

I've been in this
business a long time,

and I've heard
every kind of story.

Now you may have that
extra $1,000 in the bank,

and then again you may not.

But if come Monday
morning, and you lose,

and you do not have
that money in the bank,

my associates here are
gonna make you wish you did.

No reason to get
edgy, Mr. McKay.

Sign right there.

Now, who are you
betting all this money on?


Willie Tomsen.

Almost 7:30.

Something for the nerves?

I don't need it.

Come on, it's gonna
be a long night.


You're really fixing on
whipping this kid, ain't ya?

I'm gonna crucify him.


I ain't made the bets yet.

You better hurry.

Odds are five to
two in your favor.

We stand to make
a killing if you'd...

You mean if I'd let him win?

Yeah, it's the best
two out of three.

Make it look good.

Let him win the first game...

You heard what he said to me.

You've thrown games before!

Yeah, but that was
hustling money for booze.

There's more than a bottle
of booze at stake her tonight.

It's been some time
since I thought of myself

as any kind of a man,

and even at five to two,
we'll make out all right.

Get over there and lay that bet.

And after the match,
you and me and Sally

will go out and celebrate.


It's okay, honey.

Honey, you gotta
talk to that old fool.

I just tried, he's
too darn stubborn.

Talk to him about what?

He's gotta let Willie win.

Ah Dave, what have you done now?

I bet all our money on Willie.

Honey, I tried to tell him,

but Sally, the
odds are five to two.

Honey, we can make a fortune!

If Moses loses, do you
realize what that'll do to him?

Look, I'm not gonna
have any hand in that.

Sally, I bet all the
money we had, and more.

How much more?


- Oh.
- If that old man wins,

I can't pay off.

McKay is gonna
come looking for me.

Well it looks like
you just finally

backed yourself
into your corner, huh?

And if I had any gumption,
I'd just leave you there.

Please honey, just talk to him.

All right.

I'm gonna tell him
what you've done,

but only 'cause half
that money is his.

Now what he does is up to him.

I'll bet five bucks on Willie.

I'll take it.

How about that heifer you got?

You wanna bet
that heifer you got?

That heifer, I'll bet you
that heifer, for what?

For that ten bucks,
against my ten bucks.

Mr. Darby, you
don't look too good.

Didn't you get a
good night's sleep?

Or maybe you were too nervous.

Don't try to spook me, kid.

You're just wasting your time.

I'll bet you two dollars.

I'll take Moses.

Moses will beat him.

I'll give you two to one.

Two to one, you're on.

Moses, I have to talk to you.

It's important.

I'm sorry, girl, I
can't back off now.

What's gonna happen to Dave?

They'll break his arm,
maybe even worse.

Well, he called it.

Best thing for him to do
is get out of town now.

But you know he's
never gonna do that,

not while there's a
chance for him to win.

There's no chance.

Now you better go to
him, make him leave now.

You better go along
with him to make sure.

Now there's a little town
about 20 miles south of here.

Any money to be won,
I'll be here to collect it.

He can trust me.

I know he can.

Okay, all right, I'll try.

Good luck, Sally.

Inside, mister.

Ready, Mr. Darby?

Anytime you are, Mr. Tomsen.


Your break.

Good break.

Two ball in the corner.

Seven ball in the corner.

Four ball in the side.

One ball in the side.

Three ball in the side.

Eight ball in the corner.

That's it.

Darby wins the first game.

Rack 'em up again for Moses.

Go again Moses, you got it.

Fifteen in the corner.

Didn't leave yourself
much of a shot, Mr. Darby.

That's a tough one.

How is Darby gonna
get that shot anyway?

Twelve in the corner.

Now you got your chance, Willie.

Show him how.

Six in the corner.

Seven in the corner.

One ball in the corner.

Four in the corner.

Eight in the side.

Rack 'em up for Willie.

Just never mind that time.

That's your game coming up.

They both got one
game now, don't they?

One in the corner.

Six in the corner.

He missed it!

Oh Willie.

Twelve ball in the corner.

Fourteen, corner.

Eight ball in the
left hand corner.

If the old man makes this shot,

he wins the match.

Ooh that's a tough one.

He scratched!

- Over and out, Willie.
- Thattaboy, Willie.

Keep going.

$2,000 at five to two is?

I know.

How much it is.

I'm buying drinks
at the Long Branch!

I was waiting for you
at the Long Branch.

Well, I just didn't feel
much like celebrating.

Hey we won, didn't we?

It was only a game, so you lost.

But it was worth it!

You got enough money
to buy your pool hall now.

Money wasn't what I
was playing for tonight.

You was beaten. I seen that
shot, you never could have made it.

He can!

He can make that shot
100 times out of 100.

Show him, Mr. Darby.

You're the loser, Dave.

Mr. Darby, those things I
said in the Long Branch.

I didn't mean 'em.

Just trying to gall ya.

Figured I needed every
advantage I could get.

Like they've always said,

you're the best.

Been a pleasure
knowing you, sir.

I'm on my way to
Colorado, Sally.

Care to join me?

Well, Dave,

I hope you finally
got what you want.

And I hope it's enough.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.