Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 2, Episode 15 - Pucket's New Year - full transcript

A man, abandoned and permanently crippled by the cold on the prairie, is rescued by Matt and Chester and struggles to find a purpose.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

A lot of men come out
to this country

looking for a fresh start,
a chance to begin again.

And some of the make it.

Others soon end up under
a cheap marker

out here on Boot Hill.

But still, every year,
the dreamers come,

with their fancy plans

and the big promises
they've made to themselves.

And I watch 'em all.

And I try to guess which ones
might see it through,

and which ones never will.

Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshal.

A man can get mighty hungry
when he don't eat.

Well, another 30 miles
and we'll be in Dodge, Chester.

Yeah, 'less that winds comes up
again and freezes us to death.

Well, it didn't freeze us
last time.

That's just 'cause we was lucky
to find that sod hut.

I tell ya, I don't think I could
stand anther few days of that,

that ages me
something terrible.

Ages ya?

Freezing's supposed to
keep you the way you are.

Yeah, oh yeah. Well, I'm too
wore out to joke about it.

Well, I don't see nobody.

I don't know.

Them horses around, there's
gotta be somebody, somewhere.

Well, it's been 20 below
for three nights, Chester,

they could be
frozen to death somewhere.

Come on, let's take a look.


Well, there hasn't been
a fire here today,

or yesterday either.

Get your hands up,
both of you.

Better do as he says.

Now turn around slow.

Come over here.

This your camp, mister?

'Course it's my camp.

Now you unbuckle
that gun belt-


I got my hands up,
that's enough.

You'll do as I say,
I ain't puttin' no trust in you.

Now look, old timer, you got
no reason to be afraid of me.

I'm a U.S. Marshal.

You're- You're what?

Well, I'll show you
if you give me a chance,

don't shoot me here,
look there.

I wasn't gonna shoot.

But I ain't gonna be
left here again, neither.


Jed Larner.

He left me when the wind brought
the big freeze.

He thought it was gonna be
worse than it was,

and he rode off for Dodge.

Well, who's he?
Your partner?

No, he's just my skinner.

I'm down here looking for
buffalo, marshal.

Well, I kind of figured that.

Yeah, I haven't been
this far south in years.

Likely you never
heard of Ira Pucket?

Well, no, I'm afraid not,

but mighty glad to meet you.

This is Chester Goode, here.

Mr. Pucket.

Ah, that dirty Jed Larner.

Well, now, wait a minute.

You can't exactly blame him
for wanting to go back into town

and get out of the big freeze,
you know.

I didn't want to stay here,

Well, why'd you stay, then?

Well, I tore my foot a week ago
and it's all swole' up,

and I- I can't ride a horse.

You mean to say this Jed Larner
took your saddle horse

and left you here with the team?

He said driving the wagon
would likely be too slow...

and I sure couldn't have
made it alone.

You mean, he left you here,
knowing that you might freeze?

I'll kill him
when I find him.

Chester, get the team.
I'll help you hitch 'em up.

Yes, sir.

I'll kill him.

Well, now look, we got
a good doctor in Dodge.

Yeah, I hope it ain't too late.

Ah, we'll get you there
as fast as we can, Mr. Pucket.

Well, I'll kill him sure,

Now, look, you just
forget about him.


Well, yeah. I don't want to
bring you into Dodge

just so you can hang,
you know.

You can't scare an old man
like me, so don't you try it.

I know what I gotta do.

Say, you're gonna wreck that.

Wreck what?

Oh, the piece of wood,

I'm afraid you're gonna
bruise it

trying to force it in
the stove that way.

Well, I'm just trying to get
enough wood in there

to make it comfortable in here.

That few days out in the cold

was kinda tough on you,
wasn't it?

Well, I tell you, Mr. Dillon,

I never was so glad
to get back to Dodge

in my whole life
as I was last night.

Chester, you're getting soft,
and I think I'm gonna have to

take you out in the weather
more often.

Ah, hello, Doc.

Oh, hey, I've just
never seen it

so cold in Dodge in my life!

You think it's cold here,

you shoulda been out
on the prairie with us.

It's cold enough here.

You want some coffee?
It'll be hot in a minute.

No thanks. Not that,
It'll kill ya.

Colder than a witch's heart.

Help yourself.


Say, Doc, how's the old
buffalo hunter doing?

Well, he'll-

He'll be all right
in time, I guess.

You mean his foot
wasn't too bad after all, huh?

Well, he didn't have
much foot left

when I got through with him
last night.

Oh, that's a shame.

Do you still got him up
to your office, Doc?

Yeah, I'll have to
keep him here for a day or two.

Well, what then?

We'll have to get him
a bed somewhere,

where he can rest
for a couple of weeks.

Well, I guess I'll have to find
him a place to stay then, huh?

He'll be able to walk,
all right, with a cane.

He will be able to, I guess,

but his buffalo hunting days
are over, I'll tell you that.

Does he know that?

Yes, sir, I told him.

One of the toughest things
I ever did in my life,

tell an old fella like that
he can't hunt buffalo anymore.

He's proud.

Well, he's maybe
a little too proud.

What do you mean, Doc?

Well, see, you know,
uhh, funny thing.

Thing he hates most about being
left out on the prairie alone

wasn't the fact that
he might've died out there,

that doesn't seem
to bother him,

but it was the fact that
he was helpless.

Man like Ira Pucket just
can't stand to be helpless,

it shames him, somehow.

Now with this crippled foot
and everything...

well, he's bitter.

He's a bitter man.

Yeah, well he'll
get over it, Doc,

I mean, I man gets used
to anything, in time.

Yeah, some men can, Chester.

But you mean you don't think
Ira Pucket is one of them, huh?

Well, I don't know.

You just better come talk to him
yourself, Matt, I guess.

Yeah, well I guess
maybe I better.

Anyway, he's gonna be more your
problem than mine, from now on.

Close that door tight
when you go out.

Yeah. Say, sure you keep that
fire going good now, won't you?

Sure will.

Think I was gonna let it
go out or something?

How's that foot?
Does it hurt you?

Hurt? No, it feels fine.

Well, I'm glad to hear you
say that, Mr. Pucket.

Doc tell you
what he done to me?

Yeah, he did.

He ruined my foot.

I saved your life.

I ain't sure I'm so grateful.

I'm not sure you are, either.

Well now, Mr. Pucket, I think
you're gonna be all right.

You know, with a cane,

you should be able to
get around fine.

Yeah, like an old woman.

What am I gonna do for a living?

I ain't one of you city folks,

I live off the land
all the time.

I'm a man, not a dude.

Well, I know, but you'll
get used to town life.

You might even find
a few men that you'd like.

Yeah, men, what kind of men?

Walking 'round all slickered up.

Partin' their hair in the
middle, bowin' to the ladies.

Ain't of of them fit to do
half the things I done.

Why, I was living with
the Comanches

when most of them was sniveling
their momma's aprons.

Well, I know, but I still think
you'll get used to it

and find something to do.

I know I'll help you all I can.

You will?

Well, sure I will.

Then find Jed Larner
and bring him to me

so I can kill him
with my bare hands.

All right, you tell me
what he looks like.

He's tall. Ordinary-lookin'.

Has a scar across one eye
and down his cheek.

Wears a little round fur cap.

Makes him look mighty silly.

All right, I'll see if
I can find him for you.

You will?

Yeah. So I can run him out of
town before you even see him.

Oh, I can't trust nobody,
not even you.

Well, certainly not.

Not when you're talking
about murder.

You know, I told you
once before

I didn't bring you into Dodge
just so you can hang.

I'll seeya later, Doc.

Seeya, Matt.



Shot of whiskey
would go mighty good.

It would, huh?


See if I can fix you up.

Well, just think,
Mr. Dylan...

What's that?

A whole new year done started.

Just think what might be
in store for a body.

Yeah, they say it gives
man a chance

to start all over
again, Chester.

Yeah, well
I guess it does that.

Lookit there.

You know, he's been
getting around pretty good

the last couple of weeks.

Yeah, about as good as
he's gonna get around too,

according to Doc.

Yeah, that poor old fella.

Hello, Pucket.

I wanna see you, young fella.

Well, come on up-

No, I don't need no help.

Sittin' down
don't help nothing.

Ain't rest that's gonna
toughen this foot up.

Well, I just thought
you might like

to sit down and talk awhile.

No, I'll talk standing.

Where's Jed Larner?

Now, Pucket, when are you
gonna forget about Jed Larner?

I ain't gonna forget.

Well, you might as well,
'cause we ain't seen

hide nor hair of him
ever since

we brought you to Dodge
six weeks ago.

If you was any kind of a man,
you'd go find him for me.

Well, what do you want
me to do?

Go out and cut his throat
for you too?

Now, now, now.
Hey, hey.

Now, hold on.
Hey, there, now.

I'll show you.

Now, look, I can hold you
here all day,

if that's what you want.

Twenty years ago I'd have
given you a real tussle.

Yeah, I'd expect you would.

I got will, I'll do it yet.

Look, I'm just trying to
help you, Pucket.

Yeah, yeah.
I don't need no help.

I sure never meant
to stir him up like that.

Yeah, it's like Doc says,

the poor old fella's
got a lot of pride. Yeah.

I'm afraid it's gonna get him
in trouble one of these days.

Hello, Kitty.

Evening, Matt.

Sit down.

Don't you want a drink?

Yeah, I guess so.

Sam, get me a rye whiskey,
will you?

Comin' up.

Well, I figure I might as well
wait here as any place.

What are you waiting for?

Just trouble, as usual.

Well, you know, Matt,

the new year doesn't have to be
all trouble.

How'd you like it to be, Kitty?

Well, I kinda thought
that I'd be

living in San Francisco
this year.

Yeah? You never told me that.

What would you have done
about it?

I'd try to talk you out of it.

You would?

You really wanna go there, huh?

Oh, I'd love it.

Well, just save your money,
you'll make it someday.

Sure, if I walk.

Well, it wouldn't be the first
time someone got there that way.

Who do you think I am?

Now, there's a woman.


Something wrong?

Yeah, excuse me a minute.

Better get your money now, Sam,
this gentleman is leaving.

What's the matter?

Drink your drink, mister.

Who are you?

He's the marshal of this town.

Jed Larner, huh?

How come you know my name?

How long you been in Dodge?

Not long. I just rode in.

No, mister,
you're just riding out.

Now look here, Marshal,
I ain't done nothing.

It's not you I'm worried about.

I just don't want old Ira Pucket
to hang for killing you.

Now, why should he be after me?

Him and me is good friends.

Mister, I can't throw you
in jail,

but I'll tell you what I can do. What?

I can let everybody in this town
know that you're the man

that left old Pucket out in
the big freeze to die.

They'd tear you apart, Larner.

They'll burn you alive.

Now, if I were you,
I'd get out of here.


I'm the marshal's guest.

It's all right, Sam.

That's your horse?


Get on it.
And don't come back.

Now you listen to me-



Jed Larner!

Jed Larner!

Pucket. Come on, get up.

Why'd you do it?
You helped him get away.

Well, you know why I did it.

I'd rather hang
than live like this.

Least you could do is let me
fight my own battle.

You took my manhood
away from me.

Now, take it easy.

You tricked me
like a helpless old man.

I could've torn his throat out,
I coulda got my hands on him.

Pucket, you're talking
like an animal.

Like an animal?

You're certainly not talking
like a civilized man.

Not civilized, hey?

Now look, Pucket, I know what
kind of a life you've lead,

but things are different now.

You're living in a town.

Now, why don't you try
to get used to it, huh?

Go out and get yourself a job,
and forget about this Larner.

All right. All right, I will.

I will.

Now wait a minute, here.

Where are you going?

I'm gonna start living
like you town folk.

I'm gonna get me a job, you bet
I will, and I'll show ya.

And don't you try
to stop me, neither.

Well, look at old Pucket there,
would ya?

What's he doing?
Leaving town?

Well, I don't know.

What does he think he's doing?
He can't go hunting in a bank.

But maybe he can, Chester.
Come on.

Do you reckon that's what
he meant when he said

he's gonna get a job
and start living like town folk?

Well, it looks like it.

I'll tell you what you do,

You get up on the wagon

and drive it around the corner
somewhere, out of sight.

Well, are you gonna
go in after him?

Well, I don't know yet.

Well, he's- He's got
a shotgun, Mr. Dillon.

I know it, I know it.
Come on, hurry up.

Let's go.

Over to your left more.

I can shoot straight enough
with one hand, marshal.

I'm not stopping you.

And don't you try.

And don't you come
following me, neither.

Where's my wagon?

Where's my wagon?
Where is it?

Well, guess you're in kind of
a bad way, aren't you?

Somebody stole it.

I can't get away
without my wagon.

That's right.
Maybe you ought to give up.

You done it. You done this.

You're gonna shoot me?

Why shouldn't I?

'Cause, you're in bad enough
trouble already.

Shooting me is not gonna
make it any better.

You're trapped, Pucket.

And there's not a thing
you can do about it.

Now, why don't you give up?

There's your money.

Now you bring my wagon back.

I'm not going to jail, marshal.

I'll tell you one thing:

shooting me is not gonna
help you any.

Oh, you- You think you've
got me outsmarted, don't you?

Give up, Pucket,
you're licked.

Besides, I don't think you
really want to shot me anyway.

I'm just a helpless old man.
I can't even rob a bank proper.

Well, that's more like it.

I don't think you ever wanted
to rob that bank anyway.


I think you just wanted to prove
something about that manhood

you think somebody
took away from you.

But you sure picked
a bad way to do it.

Thank you, marshal. I don't
know how I'd ever replace this.

Yeah, I guess you would have
a little trouble, wouldn't you?

I don't like having
my bank robbed.

Just wait'll you
come to trial.

Yeah, that's right, Pucket.

Lucky he didn't
kill you, Marshal.

Murdering old thief.

I'll be in to see you
in a minute, Botkin.

Well, Pucket, you kind of
got yourself caught, didn't you?

Chester, take Mr. Pucket
to jail.

No. No, marshal, not jail.

I couldn't stand it.
I'll go crazy in jail.

Well, you just got through
robbing a bank,

what do you expect me to do?
Turn you loose?

But not jail.
I'd rather you shot me.

Lock him up, Chester.

Yes, sir.

If he gives you any trouble,
just bang him on the head.

All right, now,
let's go Pucket,

and you try and use that cane
on me again,

and I'll make firewood
out of it.

Let's go.

Hey, Pucket, don't you go
busting your brains over there.

You know that thinkin' too hard,
that can get a man all mixed up.

Up there.


it sure looks to me like
Marshal Dillon forgot about you.

I reckon he forgot about me too.

You know I ain't ate
since breakfast.



Are you sure
that I can't get you

a little coffee
to warm you up?

Well, you suit yourself.

Oh, hello, Mr. Botkin, you come
over to view the prisoner?

Not exactly.

Thought you were gonna
lock him up?

Well, I was.

I had him in there,
but I just couldn't stand

the look on his face when I went
to lock the cell door.

Well, Pucket,
seems to me like

everybody's treating you
pretty well.

Not Jed Larner.

Well, maybe not Jed Larner,
but how about the rest of us?

Chester and I brought you in
off the prairie,

Doc saved you
from dying of gangrene,

and I kept you from
hanging for murder.

And if I hadn't outsmarted you
out there in front of the bank

a little while ago,
you'd probably be lying dead

in the street right now.

Seems to me everybody's gone to
a pack of trouble

for an old man with a lot of
foolish pride.

Now, what do you think?

I been thinking, marshal,
sittin' here thinkin'.

And you know what?

You're right.

Well, now that's more like it.

Pucket, you tried
to rob my bank.

And I was all set to see you

spend the rest of your life
in jail,

til the marshal here explained
a few things to me.

While I don't agree
with him entirely,

I said I'd go along with him.

Tell him, marshal.

Well, Pucket,
Mr. Botkin here is gonna

drop all his charges
against you.

He is?

On one condition.

Yeah, what's that?

That you start off the new year
by getting yourself a job

and by not being so doggone
ornery all the time.

But what can I do?

Now, don't you worry about that,
we got that all figured out.

Chester, get him his shotgun.

Yes, sir.

Well, here you are, Pucket.

All right, old timer.

On your feet,
you're starting work today.

Here's your hat.

And, oh, Pucket...

maybe you can use this.

Thanks, Chester.

Ready to pull out, Jim?

Soon as I check the baggage.

Well, have a good trip.

Sure will, marshal.

First time I ever rode
shotgun in my life.

I hope we get held up.

Well, for the outlaw's sake,
I hope you don't, Pucket.

Don't go shooting just anybody,
now, there, Pucket.

I know what I'm doing.

And Marshal...

It ain't at all a bad way
to start the new year.

No, it's not bad at all.

Fella's gotta make a change
once in a while.



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