Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 19, Episode 4 - The Boy and the Sinner - full transcript

When a useless old drunk is hired by some men to sit on some property for them to claim, the old man meets up with a young boy. The young boy gives the old man a reason to change his ways.


And starring James
Arness as Matt Dillon.

Be glad to help you home
with all that, Mrs. Travis.

It's all right, Noah.

I have to stop at
the post office first.

I don't mind waiting.

Not now, Noah!

Thank you.

Let's go, Colby.

Did you need any help
with all that, Mr. Eaton?

We'll manage.

Why didn't ya let him help, Pa?

We didn't need any.

Don't ya like him?

Not much.

Not much to like
about Noah Beal.

Well sure is trying to
make friends with people.

It isn't friends he's
trying to make, it's money.

So he can buy himself a bottle.

Noah don't care
much about people.

Just whiskey.

Oh and people give him money

for helping
carrying their things.

Mostly old ladies.

I'm going in to
talk to the marshal.

I want you to stay out
here with the wagon.

And if Jess Bradman
gets his hands

on that piece of land
controlling the water,

my place'll go to dust
in less than a year.

Eaton, there's no way for
Bradman to file on that land.

These homestead
laws aren't there to make

one man rich, ya know.

Oh it'll do it for
Bradman, just the same.

He's salting those
claims with his own men

or anyone he can find.

He'll pay 'em dirt
and the land is his.

Miller, Beaver, Pearson,
they're all Bradman men.

They're sitting on claim land
right now holding it for him.

What you say may be true.

But the point is there's
nothing I can do about it

unless I got proof.

And there's nothing
you can do either.

Marshal, I killed a
cougar last week.

Not for pleasure, but because
he was eating off my stock.

Something that was mine.

Now Marshal, I'll do
it again if I have to,

lion or a man.

Let me tell you something.

You kill a cougar
your trouble's over.

You kill a man your
trouble's just beginning.

Oh here, here.

All right, I'll take
it from you now.

I sure wanna thank you for
helping me out like this, Colby.

Is there something wrong?

No ma'am.



I didn't have this
much in mind, ma'am.

I didn't know you had
any amount in mind.

Next time set your
price at the beginning.

That way a lady'll
know where she stands.

Yes ma'am, I know I should've.

Now you're stuck
with what I gave you.

I guess I am.

Thank you Miss Kitty,
thanks a whole lot.

How much'd ya get?

A quarter.

That's not so much.

I done better lots of times.

Good for you.

Give it to me.

I said give it to me,
boy, do ya hear?


I don't have to, it's mine.

I earned it.

- You stole it.
- I did not.

Miss Kitty gave it to
me and you know it.

You stole it sure as you
took it out of my pocket.

I'm the one

- who works the General Store.
- I did not.

Everyone in town
knows this is my corner.

My spot and you post on it.

That quarter's mine I want it.


You're stealing,
you know that boy,

you can see that, can't ya?

Now I've got as much
right to help people as you.

Your name ain't on that store.

- Where is it?
- I don't mean

to stand here and argue.

- I like to help people.
- Now gimme that quarter.

No just let me, let me alone.

Let loose that money, boy.

I'll call my Pa.

- Let loose of it.
- Pa, Pa!


Fill it up again, will ya Bull?

When I see some
money in front of me.

Ah now, Bull you gotta
let me have that bottle.

I were only 20 cents short.

The way you pour
drinks in that shot glass

there's no way a man
can get his money's worth.

Just one more.

I only want it to start working.

All I need is to feel a
little sleepy, that's all.

Fill it up, Bull.

What'll ya give me for it?

What do ya want?

Just to do what you want.

Put ya to sleep.

You willing?

One punch in that ugly
face of yours for the drink.

Last chance.

We got a deal or not?

Go ahead, take it.

You can do it.

He won't hurt ya.

Come on, let him hit ya.

What a laugh.

- He won't even stagger ya.
- Almost enough money there

for ya to buy a full bottle.

What do ya say?

With the left hand.

One left hand punch
for the drink, right?

And all the money on the floor.

Wait, wait!


Let me have the drink first.

You'll probably
need it more after.

I may be dead after.

Up to your old tricks, Boomer?

We was just funning, Otis.

No harm done.

Don't forget, old
man, you owe me one.

Boomer, come here.

Boomer, if I have to come to you

you're going to
be in real trouble.

Come on.

Come on.

Come on.

Now, that old man
don't owe you a thing.


- Right.
- Ah!

That's better.

Now move.

Gimme a bottle.

You're still 20 cents short.

Aw, not again.

Give him the bottle.

You don't have to do
anything for it, Noah.

Drink up.

Would you gentlemen
care to have a drink with me?

Be glad to.

And when this bottle runs
dry, we'll get another one.

Where are we?

Never mind that.

You passed out on us.

We got a lotta drinking to do.

Aye, I'll be right with ya.

Right there.

Just one little...

Ya stay awake for a
couple more minutes

then you can
sleep all night long.

I want ya to sign
this piece of paper.

Come on.

It's the claim, the land claim.

You're filing on it, remember?

Don't want any land.

It's for Jess Bradman, you
know Mr. Bradman, don't ya?

And I don't like him.

Well, how can ya say that

when he's willing to
do so much for you?

All you gotta do is
sign this piece of paper

and when the time comes
he'll give you $100 to buy it.

Now, that's a lotta money.

Don't want any land.

I ain't no farmer.

Well, listen here you
old fool, now listen.

Yeah, all ya gotta
do is live here

for just a little while.

Not for long.

Mr. Bradman is a real friend.

Look, look what he sent ya.

It's all yours, Noah.

Didn't I tell ya that
Bradman was your friend?

That's all yours.

Every bit of it.

And when that's gone
we'll get ya some more,

all you can drink.

Now, just sign it.

Hey, old friend, old friend.

Just sign it

and you can drink yourself
to sleep every night.


Now you can drink
yourself into hell.

Come here, you.

Come here.


What do you want?

Don't want nothing.

Whatcha doing?


You have to know
where to look for 'em.

You want any help?

Not from you.

If my calculations are correct,

they should be
right under this rock.

I've looked under plenty rocks.

Ah, but there are rocks
and there are rocks.

There ya are.

All you want.

You know I ain't got
that quarter with me.

Didn't ask ya for it, did I?

They're real ugly.

Depends on how ya look at 'em.

They look like little
old shrunken up snakes

without their skin.

They're pretty special creatures

if ya stop and think about it.

You know how much one
of them worms weighs?

Less than 1/2 of
1/2 of 1/2 an ounce.

They do ten times the work
100 men can do in a year at work

in ten hours a day.

Oh yeah, like what kinda work?

Can't tell ya.

Because they don't do
nothing more than what I said,

that's why.

No because I can
see in your eyes

you think they're
ugly and worthless

and your mind ain't open to
hearing nothing good about 'em.

Okay, go ahead, tell me.

Well, you know how when
the heavy rain comes in

and the wind and
the snow and all that.

Turns over the land ya see,

bringing the bottom
land up to the top.

And the other way around.

But it takes a long
time for that to happen,

maybe 100 years 'fore
ya get a good, rich topsoil.

Well now picture in your
mind all them worms,

millions of 'em crawling
around under the earth.

Crawling and
moving all the time.

Each and every one of
'em eatin' his own weight

in leaves and grass
and dirt every 24 hours.



Did ya ever ask yourself
what happens to all the soil

they're eatin' and
pushin' outta the way?

No, what happens?

Ah well now, they're
shifting and shifting,

all the time they're moving.

Rotating it, bringing
the bottom up to the top

and doing it a whole lot faster

than all the rain and the wind.

What them millions of
worms do in ten years

it takes a whole lot
longer for God to do

by sending all the
wind and rain he can.

Yeah, but God made the worms.

Sure he did, sure he did.

He's no fool.

He knows how important
them worms are.

He sees 'em as
working creatures,

not good old slimy
snakes without their skin.

Just think what it'll
be like without 'em.

There'll be no crops
for your father's farm.

No grazing land for the
sheep and cattle to eat on.

Not much of anything.

No sir, life'd be
awful displeasing

without them little creatures.

I guess if you look hard enough

ya can see there's a place
for everything in this world.

Maybe even drunken old men

who try and steal
money from boys.

You weren't all wrong.

Like ya said, I did
take your place.

Ah you were better than
me and I was jealous.

That was more than
most of the tips I ever got.


Sure it was.

Ya live around here?

Yeah, on the farm
just over there.

Ah, then we're new
neighbors I guess.

My place is right
over that away.

Well you must be some farmer.

My Pa, he doesn't know

near as much about
the land as you do.

And he's pretty good himself.

You still working the land yet?


Why not?

It takes help and
I ain't got any.

There's a lotta
tools and supplies

I haven't got
'round to buying yet,

mostly on account of I
haven't got the money.

Well, I could help, and I can
get some of the tools for you too.

My pa wouldn't mind

- lending 'em to ya.
- That's awful nice of ya,

but I ain't no farmer.

You mean you
never tried farming?

No and I'm in no
mind to start now.

Why not?

It ain't hard.

I watch my pa
lots of times and...

Your pa must need
ya over at his place,

must be a lotta good
help he gets from you.

He don't let me do too much.

He says it's quicker
doing it himself

than explaining things to me.

Yeah but I know a lot
more than he thinks.

Hey, if you let me work
your place with you,

I could be a real help.

I'd work real hard.

Then we could show him.

I could bring him
down to your place

and he could see for
himself what I could do.

Oh you don't gotta pay
me, I'll work for nothing.


Had it with me all along.

It's yours.

You see, I wanna
make it right with you.

You keep it boy.

Then I can work with ya?

Ya gotta get it into your
head, I ain't no farmer.

How do ya know if
ya ain't never tried?

Don't say ain’t.

You did.

Don't sass me boy.

When you get to my age
there's a lotta things you can do

you can't when
you're a lot younger.

Yeah, except for work.

Now why don't you
go on home, boy.

Go on home.

Hey, Colby!

What are ya doing with the till?

What's this all about?

It was gonna be a surprise.

It is.

What's going on?

Well you remember

I told you about our
new neighbor last night?

And all this is for him?

Son, Noah Beal is
a drunk, like I told ya.

That's all he is.
He's no farmer.

Yeah but he could be.

Colby, Noah Beal
just ain't no farmer.

He didn't file on
that land to work it.

He's more'n likely holding
it for Jess Bradman.

He's not holding it for anybody.

He's a farmer, I know it.

Except he's ashamed to
admit he hasn't got the money

to buy tools and things.

Please Pa, believe me.

He'll be a great farmer.

Well, if what you say is true,

we've got nothing to lose.

Be neighborly to help him out.

But if he's there for Bradman,

you'll find that out too.

Thanks, Pa.

Mr. Beal!

Mr. Beal!

Ah, what are you doing here?

Look what I brought.

I thought I told ya
I wasn't no farmer.

Well that's what
you keep saying.

But I don't believe you.

You know too much about
worms and land and growing things.

Well, it's real neighborly
of you to bring all that stuff

but you just can't
up and start farming.

Ya have to plan and think.

Yeah but we could do it.

I know we could.

Well, I guess it wouldn't
do any harm to talk.

Wouldn't do any
harm to talk about it.

Maybe we could decide the
best way to begin. I mean...

Oh I know one way
better than any other.

What's that?

You just start by starting.

Ya know something, son,

they say Rome
wasn't built in a day.

But then you weren't
the foreman on that job.

We're gonna do it, Mr. Beal.

You just wait and see.

Colby, wait a
minute, wait a minute.

This one's been here
100 years, looks like.

Yeah but it's right in
the middle of the field.


A man needs a bit
of shade to relax in,

where he can sit and
watch the seeds sprout.

We'll leave it
another 100 years.

It'll be our tree.

Sure it will.

And we'll carve our initials in

when we get the
first crop, right?



Just think, we'll
start planting soon.

Gee I hope the rain's
good to us this year.

Last year my pa
almost got ruined

because of a flash flood.

What did he do?

He prayed a lot.

Maybe we should do the
same before it happens.

God's a long way up there.

He's got so many people
trying to talk in his ear.

He may not hear your
voice in all that confusion.

Maybe we should try.

I never been on a
personal basis with him.

Maybe we should.

Bye, Noah!

See ya at sun-up.




What are you doing?

No boy, no.

Come here.

Come here.


You're lucky, Eaton.

The last time somebody
took a swing at Beaver

he got his arm
broke in four places.

Now you listen good.

A lotta things
happen to farmers.

Sometimes their crops
get ruined by stampedes,

their barns burned,
sometimes their little boy

who's supposed to come
home before dark don't show up.

You get outta here.

You get off my land!

Not for long, Eaton.

This place is gonna
belong to Mr. Bradman soon.

One way or the other.

We're either gonna
buy you out now

or we're gonna sit and wait

'til that old drunken fool
Beal gets his land legal

and then Mr. Bradman
dries you up.

Now you think
about that real hard.

Beal, Beal.

Noah Beal.

He's Bradman just
like them two are.

Lock, stock and barrel.

That old drunk's as
much a part of this

as Bradman and
all the rest of 'em.

Do you understand?

Do you understand
what he is now?

Colby, what you doing
here this time of night?

Are you working
for Jess Bradman?

Are you?

Everything we've been
working for, is it for him?

Is it?

Colby is not that
easy to answer.

It is, either yes or no.

Well it started out that way.

There's no use denying it.

But, things have changed, Colby.

You gotta believe that.

I don't want to give the
land over to Bradman.

Yeah, but ya have to because
you promised him, didn't you?

Didn't you?


Everything's been for nothing.

All the planning
and dreaming we did.

- All for nothing.
- Colby.

It's been a lie, all of it.

You're nothing more than
what my pa said you were.

Nothing but an old drunk.

You're a liar.

Colby, please.

- Colby.
- Here.

It's yours.

Belongs to ya.

I don't want any part of it.

I hate you!

I hate you.



Colby Eaton!

Hey, Beal.

I wanna talk to the boy.

Beal, you're trespassing.

Now your and my
quarrel is one thing.

But you keep Colby out of it.

Colby show yourself, boy.

I got something to tell ya.

I'm my own man, Colby.

Not Bradman's

- or anybody else.
- Whatever you got to say

he doesn't wanna hear.

Now get!

Didn't lie to ya, boy.

I'm going through with
everything I promised.

Get out!

I want ya to be with me.

- Half as equal.
- You get outta here.

Go on, get outta here old drunk.

I'm giving ya half
the place, Colby.

Now you stay outta here.


Do ya hear me?

Give it another chance, please.

Without you it
don't mean nothing.

Colby, please!


Afternoon, Marshal.

I saw Eaton this morning.

He told me about your
boys paying him a visit.

I went out to see him.

Talk about some business
Mr. Bradman had in mind.

He come at me with a rifle.

Some people shouldn't be
allowed to own a gun, Marshal.

Too short tempered.

Of course if Eaton's been
telling you another story,

well I think Miller's word is
just as good as his, isn't it?

Not in my book it isn't.

But, unfortunately, in
court it'll be a different thing.

Now I'll tell ya one thing

I've been hearing some
talk about you that I don't like.

What kind of talk?

About salting those
homestead claims, for one thing.

Look, Marshal, a
few of my friends

might be homesteading
until they own the land.

And when they do and
they wanna sell to me,

that's their right.

There's no law says a
man can't do what he wants

with something that's his.

Yeah, but there's a law
against collusion and conspiracy.

Now if I can find one man

that'll say he acted
in your interest

in taking up those claims,
I'll be coming for you.


No, stop, please.


It's our tree.

There ya are.


Get up on that seat
and get on outta here.

What's wrong, Pa?

Do what I tell ya. Get up there.

Now you got the last out of
us Eatons you're gonna get.

Got cooly labor outta my boy,

you're using my equipment
to plow this ground

for Jess Bradman.

For me and Colby,
not for Bradman.

Oh you're Bradman's
man, all right.

From the whiskey in the
belly to the lies in your mouth.

That's not true.

I just came up from the creek.

They're damming it up.

They said the new owner
of the land told 'em to do it.

That's you. Now
Bradman's doing that.

And you're letting him
'cause you work for him.

I didn't tell no one they
could damn up any creek.

I don't know what
you're talking about.

Look at him, Colby.

Look at him
squirming like a snake

trying to make ya think
it's night when it's day.

I don't wanna see
ya no more, Beal.

Now you keep away
from my boy or I'll kill ya.

Come on, let's
get on outta here.

Come on.


Listen, I don't know
anything about it.

I'll tear down that
dam, I swear it.

Colby, please.

I swear it.

Stop that.

Get outta there.

You've got no right
to put up that dam.

I didn't say ya could.

You old fool.

- Get rid of it.
- Come on.

Hey why don't you breathe on it.

That'll tear it down.

Come on ya fool.

I tell ya it's a good
thing ya come by.

We could never a
got it built without ya.

You aren't even drunk.

Hey, get the bottle.

I didn't say.

You're supposed
to be a drinking...

Oh you're supposed
to be a drinking man.

I like ya better
when you're drunk.

- Otis.
- All right.

Put it there.

Just a second.

You do the pouring
and I'll do the holding.

Ah, drink it good.

Good for ya.

Now you hold that bottle,
now you drink that bottle.

Drink it.

There ya go.

Now you finish that bottle.

Don't want no young
kid in my life, no sir.

Trouble is all it
brings is more trouble.

Don't pay.

Mind your own business.

Go your own way.

That's what's getting me...

You heard what your pa said

about not wanting ya
on this place any more.

Well get off it.

Hear me boy, get off my land.

It ain't yours.

Not yet.

Not until tomorrow
when it becomes legal.

My pa told me so.

Anyways, I heard what ya
said at the house the other day.

About how half
this land is mine.

We're partners.


That's what ya said.

All I'm doing is
planting my half.

You're working for nothing.

All this belongs to
Bradman, all of it.

And me, ya pa
was right about me.

I'm not a farmer.

Yes you are.

Nuh uh, I'm a drunk.

Plain and simple, that's all.

I make a living
running messages,

carrying packages for old ladies

and stealing what I
can wherever I can.

And that's all.

That's all!

That's all, Colby, let's go.


I still don't believe it.

Noah Beal, selling
whiskey instead of buying it.

But if somebody gives it to ya

ya got a right to
sell it, right, boy?


Right boy, come on.

You get enough?

More than enough.

We can use the rest of the money

to buy some extra seed.

All right Colby.

Come on!

The shovel!

Come on, Colby!

Get down!



Colby I don't want ya
coming over here tomorrow.

Why not?

We're partners.

I wanna face Bradman with ya.

You're the junior partner
and you'll do like I say.

It was me made the deal with him

and it's me has
to do the tellin'.

Well supposing it gets,

well supposing he doesn't
like it and gets angry.

Well he sure won't like it.

And he sure will get angry.

But I'll just have to get
a little angrier, won't I?

You take care of yourself, Noah.

Got to.

Can't let anything
happen to me now

and let my partner
do all the work.

No, no, no.

Remember Colby,
don't come to the place.

I'll let you know what happens.

It's one thing to
stop being a drunk.

And another to get a man's
heart started in the morning.

Especially this kinda morning.

Didn't ever think that would
happen, now did ya Noah Beal?

Noah, you in there Noah?

Come on in.

Well, ready to talk
business, Noah?

I'm sorry, Mr. Bradman,
but I can't sign that.

I saw the plowing
when I rode in.

You did a lotta work
around the place.

Suppose I should
take that into mind.

I'll add another 50
to sweeten the pot.

I'm keeping the
land, Mr. Bradman.

You'll sign Noah or...
Or what, Mr. Bradman?

You'll kill me?

Well now you see, I
wrote out a will last night.

It's not much but it's enough

to see the land it turned
over to a friend of mine,

Colby Eaton his name is.

That'll tickle you
some now, wouldn't it?

You'll sign old man.

You'll beg me to let ya sign.

See to it.

You're gonna sign that, Noah.

Make it easy on yourself.

I need this land, damn you.

What is it you want?

More money?

I'll give ya 200.


♪ Noah Beal wants the farm ♪

♪ E-I-E-I ♪

I'll give ya another spread.

No, ya won't.

It's this land I want.

You see I got a partner

and he likes it here.

Pick him up, pick him up.

- Hold it right there.
- Miller.

Miller, unbuckle your gun
belt and put it on the table.

Or use it.

You too.

I wouldn't do it, Marshal.

They tried to make me sign
over the land but I wouldn't.

It belongs to me and Colby.

Bradman, I told you all
I needed was one man.

And I think I've found him.

I'd like to thank ya, Marshal,

for coming along like ya did.


The only thanks I
need is your signature

on this complaint right
here against Bradman.

I feel kinda funny testifying
against him in court.

I mean I'll do it, Marshal.

But sitting on that land for him

was the best thing
ever happened to me.

I don't know, I get
an idea the best things

are yet to happen.

Thank you, Marshal.

Come on, Colby.

Noah, Noah I need some help
carrying these packages home.


Noah Beal!

Are you gonna stand
there with that boy

laughing like a fool?

Or are you gonna help
me with these packages

and earn some money?

You know Colby, a quarter
would buy us a good file

to sharpen the plow.

What if she only
gives us a dime?

We'll have to get
one that ain't so good.

Good day to ya, Mrs. Travis.

A pleasant day it is.

Let me and my partner
help ya with the packages.

Stay tuned for exciting scenes

from our next Gunsmoke.