Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 2, Episode 13 - Poor Pearl - full transcript

A saloon gal past her youth suddenly receives two marriage proposals, one from a sweet country bumpkin, one from a menacing dandy, but it's no embarrassment of riches: each suitor threatens violence if she selects his rival.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Well, I swear
to goodness, Chester,

if it wasn't for that hat
you're wearing,

a person could mistake you
for an old boar with a mane.

Well, I was always
of the opinion

that when a man itches
he scratches.

If it gets any worse,
we'll have to dip ya.

Well, you know, I've been
thinking about a bath,

I have.

You're too late.

You'll have to wait
a while longer. Lookie there.

Willie Calhoun's in town.


You know something?

Every Saturday
for the past month,

bath, shave, haircut,

the whole works.

Hey, that Willie is
a thorough cut.

He's just in love, Doc.

He's persistent.
That's it.

Well, persistence ain't
gonna do you no good

with that Pearl Bender.

Well, now, don't say that.
Persistence is a winning virtue.

Any- Any way you look at it.

Whether you're hunting deer,
dealing blackjack,

or courtin' a woman, or-

Particularly if you're
courtin' a woman.

Well, it ain't
gonna do no good, Doc,

'cause that gambler

That old Webb

used to work
at the Long Branch?

You know?
Yeah, right there, Doc.




Oh, for heaven's sake.

Oh, there. Oh, good.

You do need a bath.

Ooh, thank you.

Well, anyway,
that Webb rode into town

and according to Kitty,

he don't need persistence
or nothin' else

with that Pearl.

He's got her.
Well, I wonder about that.


I wonder if Willie knows
about Webb What's-His-Name.

Well, he will soon enough.

Webb Thorne.

That was his name.

? Oh, down in the holler ?

? There is an old tree ?

? Gone in the morning ?

? And catch a bumblebee ?

? Oh, dum dum dum... ?


I'm putting it ready
for you, Mr. Calhoun.

Thank you, sir.

Well, there you are.

? Down in the holler ?

? There is
A big old tree... ?

You mind if I pay you
next week?

Well, that's what you
usually do, ain't it?

Well, thank you.

Could I have me
some of that, uh...

Attar of roses?

Yes, sir.
You sure can. Yes, sir.

Heard about you before,
Marshal Dillon.

Even though I don't get
into Dodge City but seldom,

that is...until lately.

Well, I know the whole town's
laughing about me

spending the whole day driving
in here from Spring Point

to pay court to Pearl Bender,
but I don't care.

Let 'em laugh.

Pearl likes me all
feathered out like this

and that's what counts.

Well, I'm sure we all wish you
a lot of luck,

Mr., uh, Calhoun.

Yeah, we sure do.

Thank you.

For a long time...

the only luck I had was bad.

But now, with my crops
coming in good,


meeting Pearl...

I got nothing
but good luck now.

Hello, Frank.

Well, looks like
you got a full house.

Yeah, it sure does, Webb.

Hello, marshal.

Thought you were in Abilene.

I was. I just got in.

Frank, I'll go and get a bite
to eat at the Dodge House.

I'll be back later.

All right.

Is, uh...

that man Webb Thorne?

Yeah, it sure is.

Heard about him.

Say, uh...

you forgot your tie.


Thank you. I...forgot
my manners too.

It's been nice
meeting you, marshal.

Only somehow,
I don't feel so-

So lucky no more.

Mr. Teeters,
can I get in the tub yet?

Well, if you wanna take
a bath in a dirty tub,

it's all right with me.

Well, it's better
than itchin'.

Your new beau's
in town, Pearl.

I know.

I saw his wagon
from my window.

You like him,
don't you?

You know, first I thought

he was just kind of funny.


I was watching
for him today.

Hoping he'd come
and afraid he wouldn't.

Well, that sounds
like love to me.


I don't know what to do.

Webb's back.

Your best rye whiskey
for Mr. Calhoun, Sam.

Miss Kitty.

Afternoon, Pearl.

Afternoon, Willie.

Excuse me.


let's sit down.

Are you glad
to see me, Pearl?

I'm very glad
to see you, Willie.

Pearl, I'm a hard-workin' man

Well, what I mean is,

I'm a man
that knows hard work.

Though I'm not rich,
I'm well-off, and...

I'll have money

Soon as I sell my hogs,

I'll have enough money
to pay for a w-

I'm a lonely man,

and I want you
to marry me.

Thank you, Willie.

Oh, I know I-
I don't talk good

or wear nice clothes.

I got no learnin'.

But I do know one thing:

I know how
to provide for you

and care for you.

Willie, you're
the nicest man

I ever knew.

But I don't see
how I can marry you.

I was hoping you...

cared for me
a little.

I can't marry you, Willie.

It's that Webb Thorne,
ain't it?

He wouldn't
let me marry you.

He can't stop us.

He'll kill you, Willie.

Or me.

He ain't gonna
kill nobody.

Now, you get upstairs
and get your things packed.

I'll be back directly
and we'll be married.

Then we'll go home.

But, Willie...

Now, don't you worry
about nothing, Pearl.

It's gonna be fine.

Well, I feel like
a new man, Mr. Dillon.

You smell
like a flower bed.

Yeah, well,
I think I'll buy

the new man a drink.

Could I do the same for you?


Thought you might like
to know that Pearl and I

are gonna get married.

I- I made up my mind.

Well, congratulations.

That what the rifle's for?

What do you mean?

Well, you've made up
your mind but, uh,

thought maybe you needed
the rifle to help her

make up her mind.

Oh, no, nothing like that.

I- I wouldn't force
Pearl into anything.


What is the rifle for, then?

Well, a man's got a right
to carry a rifle.

Yeah, but the way you're
carrying it looks like a man

with a six-gun getting ready
to shoot somebody.

Ain't nobody gonna stop
Pearl and me, marshal.

Why would they?

They might try.

Now, who might try, Willie?

I fight my own fights.


not around here, you don't.

And not with a rifle.

I made up my mind
to kill him, marshal,

if he gets in my way.

Give me the rifle, Willie.

You got no right
interfering, marshal.


take him over to my office
and keep him there.

All right.

You can't lock me up, I'm-
I'm gonna be married.

I'm not locking
you up, Willie.

I just want you to go back
to my office

and stay there
till I get back.

All right, let's go,

Come on, and please don't
try and run.

I'll have to clobber you
right in the head.

Let's go.

Where's Willie
and Pearl, Sam?

He left, and she run
upstairs all upset.


Where's Pearl Bender?
I want to talk to her.

She's up
in her room, Matt.

I think she just had a fight
with Willie Calhoun.

Well, I just talked to Calhoun,

he said he and Pearl
are gonna get married

and he also said he's gonna kill
anybody who tries to stop him.

Webb Thorne.

Look, Matt, I don't know
very much about this,

but when Webb was dealing here
he always said

he'd kill anybody that tried
to run off with Pearl.

Oh, fine.

Well, looks like
the course of true love

is hitting a few snags, huh?

It's kind of hard
to understand

how Pearl could be
in love with Willie.

She's only seen him
a few times and-

Well, she and Webb
were awful thick

while he was dealing
faro here, but-

Well, he quit a while back
and left town,

so I guess he must've changed
his mind about her.

You tell Pearl I wanna see her
right away, will ya?

In my office.

She's not gonna
like it.

I'm afraid
she's gonna have to.


what are you doing here?

Kitty said that the marshal
wanted to see me.

He's got no call dragging you
in here or me either.

Well, now, I think
that we better wait

till Mr. Dillon
gets here

before everybody
gets all upset.

Here, Miss Pearl.

Sit in a chair
and make yourself comfortable.

He should be along directly.

Thank you, Chester.


Hello, Webb.

What's this
all about, marshal?

Sit down, Webb.

Here. Here's
a chair for you.

All right.

Now, I have heard
that you've said

you'll kill anybody who tries
to run off with Pearl,

is that right?

That's right, I will.

Well, this gentlemen here
says he's gonna kill you

if you try to stop him.

Stop him?

I don't even know him.
What's he been up to?

He came to town
to get married today.

He and Pearl.

Him and Pearl?

I don't believe it.

You must be crazy.

I ain't crazy,

I'm gonna marry Pearl

and there ain't nothing
you can do to stop me.

I'll stop you.

Now, wait a minute, Webb.

If these two wanna get married,
they're goin' to,

and there's not gonna be
any trouble about it.

Now or later.

Did Pearl tell you
she wants to marry him?

Not yet she hasn't, no.

But Pearl's gonna
make up her mind

and decide this whole thing
right now.

She's gonna
make up her mind

which one she wants.

And the other one
is not gonna

cause any trouble
about it.


All right, Pearl,

now, you go ahead
and make your choice.

And don't you worry, there's not
gonna be any trouble.

I'll promise you that.

Go ahead.

I never told Willie
I'd marry him.

I can't marry him.

Yes, you can,

I've made up
my mind.

He's made up his mind.

Yes, I have!

I'm gonna do everything I can
to get her away from you.

Tell him again, Pearl.

I can't marry you, Willie.

I told you that.

Go ahead, Pearl.

Speak out,
he can't do nothing.

I'm telling you the truth.

But, Pearl-

Now, Willie,

you heard her.

She's made up
her mind.

Now, you leave her alone.

I'd sooner see her dead
than with him.

Now, Webb didn't do
this to you,

Willie, I did.

So if you go gunning
for anybody, it's me.

I got nothin' against you,

All right.

Then I think you better

go on back
to Spring Point.

I'll send your rifle
out to you later.

And, uh...

I think you better
stay out of Dodge

till you get
over this.

Get over it?

How do I do that, marshal?

You'll find a way,

You'll have to.

Goodbye, Pearl.

Goodbye, Willie.

Well, hello, Webb.

Hello, Kitty.

Bill Pence around?

He should be here later.

You ready to go
back to work?

I sure am.

Now, that's how
it's gonna be, Webb.

I'm not gonna marry Willie,

but you're not gonna
touch me either.

Not now or never.

You really care
for that crazy farmer?

He cared about me.

And not like you did,

not like I was just

something handy
to have around.

You left here and you never
said goodbye or nothing.

What do you think I felt?

Well, I'll tell you
what I feel now:


I don't feel nothin'.

I left Dodge

because I tried
to get away from you, Pearl.

I couldn't.

I came back
to marry you,

if you'll have me.

We can get married today.

I've already talked
to Tom Barrows

about a little house
down on Cherokee Street.

I got a ring from Abilene.

Oh, Webb...

I've been so lonely
without you.

Hello, Willie.

Brought your rifle back.

Thank you.

It's a nice place
that you got here. Heh.

Thank you.


I'll say goodbye to you.


No, he didn't
say nothing, he-

Well, he did say thanks
and a couple of grunts

so I just wheeled around
and come on back.

Oh, that's a long trip,
Mr. Dillon.

Yeah, a month should
have cooled him off.

You know, it's
a funny thing, though,

Willie out there
all alone,

trying to fix up
his place

and Pearl now
Mrs. Webb Thorne.

I just didn't figure
it'd end up that way.


Neither did I,
but it did.

Pearl seems
real happy, though,

just being a housewife.

Still I just
can't help but wonder.

Wonder what?

Well, what's Willie
thinkin' about out there

all by hisself?


he's probably thinkin'
about Pearl.

Is, uh, Webb Thorne

No, it's too early.

I think he's at his house.

Do you know
where his house is?

Last place
on Cherokee Street.

Just turn left
at the corner.

You can't miss it.

Oh, much obliged.

Thank you for bringing it
tonight, Jimmie.

I'll be able to surprise
Mr. Thorne with it

When he comes home.

Oh, it's lovely.

Thank your mother
for me, Jimmie.

That'll show you!

Mrs. Thorne!



Pearl, who did this to you?


It was Willie.

I heard him yell.

Why would he wanna
shoot me, marshal?

I told him
I couldn't marry him.

I guess...

he couldn't stand
my being married to Webb.

I didn't know Willie would-

Would do this.


Well, I don't think he's coming
back at all, Mr. Dillon.

Well, an ordinary man
wouldn't, Chester,

but I'm gamblin'
on the fact

that he thinks
enough of this place

so he wouldn't leave,
even to escape being caught.

Yeah, he's just a little bit
crazy, ain't he?

Well, I wouldn't
say crazy.

He's just a simple man

who let his feelings
for a woman

get the best of him.

But it's not gonna
save him from hangin'.

Yeah, poor Pearl.

You stay here and go
in the house, will ya?

I'm, uh- I'm gonna
look around.

Don't move.

Get your hands up.

I told you not to move.

That the rifle
you used last night, Willie?

And I'm gonna
use it again.

Drop your gun belt.


You anxious to die?

I'll take
a woman-killer with me.


Any man that'd
ambush a woman-

What woman?

What are you
talkin' about?

"What woman?" Pearl.


I didn't shoot Pearl.

She recognized your voice.

That wasn't Pearl,

Of course it was.

You're lyin'.

You're lyin' to keep me
from shootin' you.

Well, it ain't
gonna work.

She's dead, Willie.

I don't believe you.

I shot Webb Thorne.

That was his house.


so that's who
you were gunnin' for, huh?

Willie, Webb Thorne
wasn't even there.

What would Pearl
be doin' at his house?

They were married.


Over a month.


I wanted Webb.

It's him I wanted.

Well, you didn't
get him, Willie.

Could I just sit here
a minute alone?

I won't run.

All right, Willie.

You won't run.