Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 2, Episode 23 - Sweet and Sour - full transcript

Violence and tragedy result when Matt and Chester persuade a reluctant Kitty to hire flirtatious Rena Decker as a Long Branch hostess.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

There's a saying that
this is a hard land

on women and horses
and by heaven it's sure true.

I've seen many
a pretty girl come out here

from back east to dance
in the dance halls

and in no time she's all
dried out like a buffalo bone.

It must take a man with
carpetbagger blood in him

to talk any woman
into coming west.

But they still come.

And they still
cause me trouble when they do.

Matt Dillon.

US Marshal.

See. I told you.

Leaves at noon.

"Stage to Dodge City

leaves at 12, noon."


A couple of tickets
to Dodge, please.

Oh, eh.

We've run out of tickets.

I'll tell the driver
to let you on.

All right.

I'll tell you
something, though.

When you get to Dodge,

you'd wish you had run

out of seats too.

That so?

Dodge is the wickedest,

cruelest town in Kansas.

Why, no decent man can

stand it more than a day.

Yeah, it's too bad
they don't have

a good marshal over there.

It is.


sure is.

Well, he's just like
all the rest of them.

I'll sure be glad
to get back to Dodge.

Oh, Wichita is a nice
enough town, Chester.

Well, if you like it so well

you can come alone
the next time.

I ain't got
no business here anyway.

Yeah, well, it'll all
be over pretty soon.

That stage will
be here directly.

I've been worrying
all morning

that we was going
to miss it.

Let's go outside
and wait, huh?

Sure don't like
to sit down, do you?

When we get on that
stage we're going

to be sitting
down a long time.

I'll be with you
in just a minute, miss.

Bright, pretty girl, huh?

Ooh, she is.

I should say so.

You suppose she's going
to go to Dodge too?

Why don't you ask her?

Oh, Mr. Dillon,
I wouldn't do that.

My goodness,
I don't even know her.

Sorry, miss.

Now, what can I do for you?

I'd like a ticket to Dodge,

Well, we're all out of tickets
but I'll tell the driver

you're paid to Dodge, miss.

Thank you.

Well, uh,
I tell you now, miss.

As long as we're going
to be traveling together

we should, well,
at least get acquainted.

My name's Laster.

Ab Laster.

How do you do?


I'm meeting
my partner in Dodge.

Name of Garrett.

Maybe you know him?

I've never been to Dodge.


Heh, well,
that makes two of us.

Of course, at least,

we ain't going
to be lonely, are we?

Well, now that depends.

Depends on what?

If you're a gentleman.


Sure I am.

You know what?

I have a bottle here and I-

When we get aboard that stage

we'll get ourselves
a little drink, huh?

Please, Mr. Laster.

We could go around the corner

and have one right now.

Come on.

Oh, come on.


Why, what's
the matter with you?

Start out all being friendly
and then you freeze up.

Now, come on, I'll take you
outside and buy you that drink.

Let me go.

Come on.
Let me go.


What do you want?

Suppose you leave
the lady alone, huh?

You're looking for trouble,
ain't you?


Tried to force me to go

outside somewhere with him

and have a drink.

She wouldn't mind
until you busted in.

Ab Laster,

How do you know my name?

I heard you tell the lady.

Real snoopy, huh?


Do you know what
you're getting into, mister?

No, why don't you tell me.

I'll show you.
You're packing a-


I pack a gun but I don't
always use it.

Here, he'll be better
off without that.

He's gonna be awful mad,
ain't he, Mr. Dillon?

Well, I pulled his teeth.

It won't do him much good.

Maybe he's got a knife
or something.

Don't worry about that,

Is he going to fight
some more?

I don't think so.

You tricked me,

Get your ticket, mister.

Get out of here while
you can still walk.

All right.

When we get to Dodge
you're going to wish

you'd never seen me.

I'm wishing that already.

Well, miss, would you like
to sit down over here with us?

Thank you.

All right.

I-I'm sorry I caused you
all the trouble.

Oh, that wasn't any trouble.

I didn't...

mean to get you
into a fight or anything.

Well, it wasn't
your fault, ma'am.

I feel it is.

How do you figure?

Just being a woman,
I guess, you know.



If you don't mind
my asking, uh.

You going to Dodge City
to visit relatives?

No, I'm hoping that
I'll find a job there.


Well, you know,
jobs for a woman

around Dodge City
are pretty hard to find.

than hen's teeth.

I tell you, though, I-

I've got a friend
might be able to help you.



I'll introduce you to her

as soon as we get back.

That's very kind of you.

Now, there's going
to be trouble

when we get to Dodge.

I know.

There will.
There's bound to be.


There you go.

Well, all right,
Mr. Dillon.

I'll go on over and see
if there's any mail.

Yeah, good idea, Chester.

I hope that everything

works out for you,
Miss. Decker.

Oh, thank you,

Well, Miss. Decker,

what do you think
of Dodge City?

It frightens me, marshal.

Frightens you?
Why is that.

I'm a woman, still in all.

I've head about the terrible

things that go on here.

Well, don't let that worry you.

We won't let anything
happen to you.

You promise, now?

That's a promise.

I feel safer.

You're around.


Don't go, marshal.

They'll make trouble.

Excuse me a minute, ma'am.

Something I can do
for you, Laster?

Now there's two of us,

My partner,
Joe Garrett.

Laster says you
made things tough

for him down up Wichita,

That so?

He says you hit him
with your fist.

Well, now,
I've been known to do that.

But we don't like it.


How do you know,
you haven't tried it yet.

He says you stole
his gun too.

Well, I see, you found
another one quick enough.

He happened to have
an extra one.

Good thing,
ain't it?

It don't matter to me.

What'd you steal
his gun for, marshal?

For the same reason
I might have to steal

yours sometime, mister.

You can pick your gun
up at my office later.

I just don't like what
you did, Dillon.

Well, now, I'll tell you.

I just didn't do it for you.

All right, we're taking
some horses up north.

But we're coming back.

We're coming back, marshal.

I'll be here.

What did they want,

Oh, nothing.
Nothing important.

I bet there's going to be more
trouble over me, isn't there?

Now, don't you
worry about that.

We'll get your bags
over to the Dodge House

and then I want to take
you up to Long branch

and meet that good friend

that I told you about.

Bless your heart.

I told her about you, Kitty,

and what the work's
like around here.

Well, just so long
as she knows what to expect.

She's already been
in the middle

of one fight in Wichita,

she's no greenhorn anymore.

I'm sure of that.

I am going to like Dodge.

I just know I am.

What do you say, Kitty.
You going to give her a job?

Well, you know, Matt.

I'm just half-owner
of this place.

I'll have to ask
Bill Pence about it.

All right.

Well, got to get
back to work.

You've been very kind,

Kitty will take good
care of you, Rena.

Say hello to Chester.

Thank you, marshal.

Well, Rena.

Yes, Kitty.

Why don't you tell me
some more about yourself.

Oh, you just wait
till you see her, doc.

She is a pretty little thing.



What did you say
her name was, Chester?

Rena Decker, doc.

Where's she from?

Well, I told you that
I don't know where she's from.

We've seen her for
the first time in Wichita.

She rode in
on the stage with us.

Is she-
It's her eyes, doc.

I tell you is what it is.

They are the prettiest.

You know,
they remind you of-

Kind of like a newborn calf's.

Just as clear-

Just like yours
are kind of now, huh?

Chester, I've said it before
and I'll say it again,

you are a tinhorn.

I ain't no such thing,

I ain't either.

Hello, doc.

Matt, good to see you.

How have things been
around Dodge?

Fine, fine.
Have a nice trip?


Oh, did you get
them cleaned?

Hey, you know, Chester
has been telling me about

that new girl that came
in on the stage with you.

What did you say her name was?
Rena Decker.

Yeah, Rena Decker.

He says that she's a pretty

cute little apple, huh?

Oh, that's what he said,

What I want to know is,

Is she?

What do you think?
Well, I'll tell you, doc.

You can find out for yourself.

Oh, did Kitty hire her?

Well, I left them over there

talking about a half hour ago.

Well, by golly.

In that case I'm going

to drop by there tonight

and have a look if I have time.

Oh, y-you'll find time,

Yes, I will if some idiot
doesn't fall of his horse

and get himself
shot or something.

Well- Well, doc.

If he does,
you just leave him die.

It'll be worth it.

Well, now, isn't that
a fine thing for you to-

It's a good thing
this town doesn't have

to depend
on a Sybarite like you.

A what?

A Sybarite.

A S- I don't know
what that means, doc,

but I don't think
that's very nice.

Well, then don't even let me
hear you saying it to anybody.

Oh, come on in, Kitty.

Sit down here and join the fun.

I'm afraid I'm going
to spoil the fun, doc.

What's the trouble,

Well, I thought I'd better
come and tell you

about it before you
hear it from her.


Rena Decker isn't going

to be working
at the Long Branch.

I didn't hire her.

You di-
Oh, forever more.

It's not that she isn't pretty

and all of that but I've seen

her kind too often and they

spell nothing but trouble.

Well, I don't understand.

She seemed like
a nice enough girl to me.

Men are all alike.

A pretty face will
throw you every time.

Well, Kitty, I'm just
trying get her a job.

Trying to help her the way
I'd help anybody.

What are you getting at?

Who started that fight
in Wichita, Matt?

Well, a fellow
by the name of Ab Laster.

He was bothering her.

And she didn't lead him on

and she didn't ask for it,

Kitty, look.

She's a girl who's all alone.

She doesn't know anybody
in Dodge and she needs a job.

Sure and when I had to leave
her alone for a few minutes

two men came up and she almost
got another fight started.

why would she do that?

There are some
women who just like

to have men
fighting over them.

You haven't seen
her yet, huh, doc?


No, but I'm getting
pretty interested.

And you'll be just
as stupid as they are.

Oh, Kitty, look-
All right. All right.

If you don't believe me
I'll prove it to you.

I'll hire her tomorrow.

Now, are you satisfied?

Just don't blame me
when somebody

gets hurt
because of her.

It's bound to happen.

You sent for me, Kitty?

Yes, I did.

Sit down.

I was afraid after
our talk yesterday that-

I changed my mind.

You can have the job
if you want it.


It isn't any fun
working here, Rena.

But it can be worse.

Like when men get to fighting.

Especially over a woman.

Oh, they do terrible
things, don't they?

You know what
I'm talking about, Rena.

You save it for the men,

I'm a woman.

You can start
to work now if you want.

I'm going out to lunch.

I do thank you, Kitty.

It's all right.

I drink only brandy,

Ride far, cowboy?

Just far enough,
it looks like.

Oh, that's real nice.

How about me buying
you a drink, miss?

Well, now, that's real nice.

I'd have shot you
in there only

I didn't want to hurt
no bystanders.

That's real thoughtful of you.

I'm going to hurt you,

I'm going to hurt you good.

You're scared,

Else you wouldn't
be talking so much.

Whatever for did I throw
in with a man like you?

You got carpetbagger
blood in you?


You talk so much.

I don't have
to take that, Joe.

Well, then,
get to shooting.

I got a gal waiting for me.

That's far enough,

We ain't using rifles.

We shouldn't ought
to be doing this, Joe.

Too late, Hank.

Way too late.

Here comes the marshal.

He'll take care of this.

All right,
coming through here, please.

He's dead.

Well, this one ain't
no better off, Mr. Dillon.

Better go get the doc,
I guess, Chester.

Yeah, guess so.

Anybody know these two?

They didn't belong
around here, marshal.

I guess they sure didn't.

All right, a couple of you men

stick around
and give us a hand.

The rest of you break it up,

You see this happen, Kitty?

From a distance.

I was just going
into Delmonico's.

You know either of them?

Never saw them before.

Just a couple
of drifters, I guess.

Apparently we'll just have
to bury them plain, then.

Aren't you even going
to find out how it started?

They're dead now,
it doesn't matter much.

I think it might.

What do you mean?

They were just going into

the Long Branch
as I was leaving.


So Rena was in there.

Now, look, Matt.

I know you don't believe me

but it's not going to do any

harm to ask her about it.

Not that she's going
to tell the truth.

All right, let's find her.

She watched it.

She's standing
right down there.

It was terrible.

I've never seen
anything like it.

I'm still shaking.

You know how this
got started, Rena?

No, should I?

They were
in the Long Branch, Rena.

I know.

I was just talking
to them there at the bar

and suddenly they
got mad at each other

and they came

That's all I know.

I don't suppose
you'd want to tell us

what you were talking about.

We were...just talking.

Well, if you were just talking
then why did they get so mad?

You know how men are.

Yeah, I know.

I know how some men are.

I'll see you later.


Was it just all
for being a woman.

You understand, don't you?

You better go back inside,

Mr. Dillon.

Hello, Chester.

Well, I just got back
from Boot Hill.

It's all over.

Is that all the coffee?

Yeah, here. Take mine.

You don't want it?


You sure?

Yeah, I'm sure.

Yeah, all right.

You know,
I'd sure hate to be buried

like them two fellows.

Nobody not even
knowing who you are.

Not even a marker
for your grave.

It's a poor,
sad way to end.

Sure is.

What do you say we sit
outside for a while, huh?

Nobody even seemed to know
where they was from.

Mr. Dillon?

Well, gentlemen.

We ain't looking
for you, marshal.

Not right now we ain't.

Now we've got
a thirst to settle

before we
do any work.

Hold on a minute.

It's 3:00.

By 6:00 I don't want to see
either of you around Dodge.

Now, look here.
You can't talk to us-

Get moving.

Well, it looks like they're
headed for the Long Branch.


It gives me an idea.

What's that?

Well, I'll give them
a few minutes and then-

Maybe I can get a couple
of things settled.

Hello, Kitty.

Sit down, Matt.

Hello, Chester.


Well, I didn't see you
at the burying.

Oh, I'm sure sorry
I missed that.

That must have
been real fancy.

Yeah, just about.

What's on your mind?

Rena for one thing.

She's right over there.


Sure didn't take her
long to set that up.

Oh, but of course.

She and Laster
are old friends.

I forgot about that.

Sure looks that way,
doesn't it.

Matt, why don't you
go on over there

and have a drink
on the house.

What do you mean?

for a few minutes.

You might learn something.

All right,
I think I will.

Rena, honey, it's sure good
to see you again.

Are you going to take me

to dinner or not, Mr. Laster?

Oh, sure, honey.
You bet I am.

What about me,
ain't I invited?

Well, that depends
on Mr. Laster.


Well, some other time,

This is going to be
my night tonight.

you make it sound like

Mr. Garrett's not wanted.

Well, he ain't.

You don't have to treat him

like he's a dog.

Oh, I ain't treating him

as if he was no dog,

am I, Garrett?


You are.

No man is going
to take that, is he?

Mr. Garrett?

Well, no.

No, real man.


No, by golly.

Now, you take it back,


You heard me.

Go on, Garrett.

Leave us alone, will you?

You're awful.

Same as spitting on him.


And...I ain't taking no more.

Okay, if that's the way
you want it.

Hold it.

Drop it, Laster.

Don't raise that gun
or I'll-

Don't be a fool, marshal.

Stand where you are, marshal.

She's already tricked you
into two fights, Laster.

You going to let
her do it again?

She likes to get men
fighting over her,

can't you see that?

Leave her out of this.

Listen to me.

I was so scared he'd kill you,
I was almost ill.

Four men dead because

I wouldn't believe
Kitty about you.


Get over to the Dodge House
and wait for me.

What do you mean?

I said get over
to the Dodge House.

You know,
I still can't believe it.

Four men dead because of her.

I should have listened to you,

Wasn't all your fault,

I'll tell you one thing.

She taught me a lesson
I'll never forget.

Come on.

You never did get
that drink on the house.