Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 2, Episode 24 - Cain - full transcript

Told he has only two months to live, a man determines to avenge the suicide of a young woman by killing the womanizer he blames for her death.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Hello, Adams.

What are you
doing in town?

Why shouldn't I be in town?

Boys tell me they saw
some of your cows

near my south
watering hole yesterday.

I can't watch them
all the time, can I?

I don't like it. A man
starts moving in on my land.

I only got 20 a head.

You own half of Kansas,

They ain't hurtin' you.

It's my land.
Keep off it.

You've got no cause
to do that.

Nobody cheats me,
even for pennies.

Hold on here.

What's the matter
with you anyway?

He's not even wearing a gun.

If the law won't stop him
from moving onto my land,

we will.

But I ain't.

His few cows
aren't hurting you, Adams.

Well, now,
look here, marshal,

You staying in town long?

For the week maybe. Why?

Then you keep your hands
off people.


Shut up
and get out of here.

And take your friends with you.

You've had your warning.

Marshal, he knows

I can't keep watch
of my cows every minute.

No, I know.
Of course you can't.

But I'm afraid that
this kind of man

is gonna keep on
causing you trouble too.

I know.

Well, I'll do whatever
I can for you, Pritchard.

Thanks, marshal.

? Oh, the rabbit run
The rabbit flew ?

? The rabbit
Come sailin' through ?

Mr. Dillon.

What are you doing? You have
to raise that much dust?

Well, cleanliness
is next to godliness.

Well, yeah, I know,
but, uh, all you're doing

is getting it off the floor
and into the air here.

All right. Well, I'll-
I'll do it later then.


My ma's the one
that taught me that.

Taught you what?

That cleanliness
was next to godliness.

She's a fine woman too.

Well, yeah,
that's a good saying.

It's probably true
and all that,

and I got no objection
to your mother, but, uh,

she should've taught you
how to sweep.

Well, maybe she didn't
have time.

All the kids, you know,

what with all the ague
and the colic

and the busted bones
and all.


He's been sweeping.


Come on,
I'll buy you a drink.

What'd you say?

Said I'd buy you a drink.

He say he's gonna
buy you a drink?

Well, that's-
That's what I thought he said.

Well, are you coming or not?

I'll get my hat.
Not you.

You owe me for
three already. Come on.

I wasn't going anyway.

what are you two up to?

Sam, let's have
a bottle up here.

Sure, Doc.

Doc here needs
somebody to talk to.

You wanna help him out?
Well, I sure do.

I'm a good listener and
I've had lots of practice.

What are we gonna
celebrate, Doc?

Well, sir, we're gonna
drink to a fella

that you two
don't even know.

Name of Cain Vestal.

Cain Vestal,
here's to him.

He's gonna be dead
in a couple of months.

That's what I had to tell him.

Who is he?

Strangest little fella.

Came in on the Santa Fe
last night,

came up to my office.

Says he's going
to Arizona tomorrow

and that's where
he's gonna die, Arizona.

But what's he
gonna die of, Doc?


Got an awful bad heart.

Says I'm the last doctor
he's gonna ask about it.

Hm. Poor fella.

Wants to see the desert
before he dies.

I don't know.
He's an awful sad little fella.

That's a tough thing
to have to do, Doc.

Tell a man he's gonna die.

I know what that's like.

Well, but this Cain's different.
He's an awful nice fellow.

He's- Well, he's
a musician, for one thing.

He's, uh-
He's got a guitar,

he sings songs,
and plays, and-

A guitar?


Is that him over there?

Right there.

Sure is.

Say, would you mind
if I ask him over, huh?

Of course not.
No. Go ahead.

I'll tell you,
let's get a table,

and, uh, well, you go
sit down and I'll get him.

All right. Sam, may I
have another glass?


Oh, hello, Doc.

How are you?
Fine, thanks.

Say, couple of friends
of mind over here,

and I'd like to have you come
over and join us, meet them.

Well, why don't you sit down,
have a beer?

Well, no.
I'd like to have you

meet these two
friends of mine here.

Won't you come over
and join us?

I don't want
to impose on-

Oh, you won't be.
Now, you just come on over here.

Bring your guitar along,
come on over.

I want you to meet
these folks.

Thank you.

Mr. Vestal, I want you to meet
two very good friends of mine.

This is Miss Kitty Russell.
Cain Vestal.

Pleased to meet you.
Miss Kitty.

Marshal Matt Dillon.
How do you do?

How do you do?

You sit right there.
Thank you.

Can I get you a whiskey
instead of that, uh, beer?

No thanks, Doc.
That's fine.

Well, now.

Well, is it your first trip
west, Mr. Vestal?

Yes, marshal, it is.
Where are you from?

Well, I guess I spent
most of my life

on the Mississippi River,
Miss Kitty.

I understand
you're a musician.

Yes, ma'am. I was hired
to ride the riverboats

and play
for the passengers.

with a job like that

you sure get a constant
change of scenery.

Well, I'll tell you,

after 20 years of riding
up and down that river,

it gets pretty familiar.

Say, you know,

I used to know a fellow
there in St. Louis,

young fella
before the war there.

Uh, he was learning
to be a river pilot.

And you just might've
run into him someplace.

His name was Clemens.
Sam Clemens.

Did you,

No, Doc,
I don't believe I did.

Well, he was
a very amusing fella.

By golly, he'd tell
the doggonest stories.

Well, so you're leaving
for Arizona tomorrow, huh?

No reflections
on Dodge, marshal.

Say, I wonder
if you'd do us a favor.

Certainly, Miss Kitty.
Anything you want.

Would you mind
playing something for us?

Ha. Had an idea
that might be what it was.

Anything in particular
that you'd like to hear?

Oh, no, just play
something you like.

Another girl I knew
used to like this one.

Oh, that was wonderful.
Just wonderful.

Thank you, Miss Kitty.

More, more!

Later, maybe.

Cain, that was
mighty nice.

Thank you,

Well, I gotta be
getting back to the office.

It was very nice
to have met you.

Thank you, sir.

Good luck
out in Arizona.

Well, I gotta-
Goodbye, Kitty.

Bye. I gotta be running along too.

There you are, Kitty.
Oh, thanks, Doc.

Cain, you drop up to the office
before you go now.

Sure, Doc.

See you both later.


Maybe you could teach
me to play like that.

It'll be my pleasure,
Miss Kitty,

but I'm afraid
I just don't have much time.

Anything wrong?

What's the matter?

What's his name?

Well, it's Joel Adams.
Why? Do you know him?

No. I never even met him.

But I will.

I sure will.


Ha, ha. Sorry.

Morning, Mr. Dillon.

Morning? What do you mean?
It's noon.

You, uh, keeping
banker's hours now?

Well, you kept banker's hours
yesterday with Doc.

I figured I had a little time
coming to me today.

Well, depends
on how you spend it.

Well, I didn't do no
gambling or nothing like that.


I was helping a fella
learn to shoot a six-gun.

You mean to say there's somebody
in Dodge that doesn't know how?

Yeah, well this fella don't.
He's a musician.


Plays the guitar.
That's what he told me.

His name wasn't Cain Vestal,
was it?

Yeah, that's his name.
How'd you know?

He's supposed to leave
on the stage this morning.

What's he doing with a six-gun?

Well, I don't know.

Uh, I run into him
at breakfast

and he had asked me
if I'd show him, and...

There something wrong?

Where's he staying?

Well, he's staying
at the Dodge House,

but he ain't gonna do
nothing wrong, Mr. Dillon,

he ain't the type.

You put a six-gun
in a man's hand, Chester,

you never know
what's gonna happen.

Seemed like such
a nice fellow to me.

Yeah, he did to me too.

I think I'm gonna mosey up there
and have a talk with him.

Uh, if you don't mind
watching the office.

Come on in.
Door's not locked.

Well, hello, Cain.

Hello, marshal.

I thought you were
leaving Dodge this morning.

I changed my mind.
You know how it is.

Well, sure.
Glad to have you stay.

Thank you.

Tell me, uh,

this doesn't have anything to do
with your staying, does it?

Heh. Chester told you.

He's a good teacher.

he's a good teacher,

but that still doesn't
answer my question.

Do I have to answer it?

Well, Cain, I'd-
I'd like to help you.

I appreciate that, marshal,

only I'm afraid
there's nothing you can do.

Cain, you're new
out in this country.

Now, a man like you
can't expect to come out here

and put a gun on
and call himself a fighting man.

Not and live through it.

Oh, I- I lay no claim
to being a fighting man.

Well, uh... Well, then
what'd you buy the gun for?

There's no law, is there?

Well, no, there's no
law against it, but, uh,

you see, out here
when a man puts on a gun,

he's expected to use it
when the time comes.

I just think you'd be safer
without one, that's all.

Being safe doesn't mean
a whole lot to me, marshal.

I'm sure Doc told you.

Yes, he told me.
What's it about, Cain?

Talking about it is
not gonna help anything.

Well, I can't force you
to talk.

It's a long story, marshal.

Has to do with Joel Adams.

Joel Adams?

I'm gonna kill him.

You what?

I heard he was
out here somewhere.

That's one of the reasons
I came.

Now, what are you talking about?
What do you mean?

That's part of the long story
I mentioned.

Now, if Joel Adams
went after you,

why, he'd kill you

before you ever got that
gun out of your belt.


And if you shot him any other
way, you'd hang for it.

You're forgetting
something, marshal.

What's that?

I'm gonna die soon
no matter what I do.

You must hate him a lot.

I wouldn't kill a man
unless I hated him, would I?

I didn't figure you to be
the kind of man

that'd kill anybody.

Only Joel Adams.

You know, I'm gonna have
to warn him about you.

Oh, I understand.
That's all right.

He doesn't know me anyway.

He never even saw me
till yesterday.

But you're gonna kill him?

Oh, yes, sir.

You know, I've never
met a man like you before, Cain.

Maybe I ought to just, uh,

tie you up and throw you
on that stage, huh?

Well, I'd come right back.

Yeah, I expect you would.


I'm through trying
to convince you.

So long.

Bye, marshal.

Marshal, I never
heard of Cain Vestal,

and I never saw him
before yesterday.

You must know something
about him, Adams.

You trying
to make me out a liar?

I'm trying to save Cain's life.
And yours too, maybe.

He isn't gonna shoot me.

I'll kill him the first time
he looks sideways.

Yeah? Well, maybe
you won't see him.

Oh, shoot me in the back, huh?

Well, in that case...

In that case what?

Nothing, nothing.
Forget it.

And if Cain Vestal's
shot in the back,

you're the first man
I'm gonna bring in.

I don't even know him.
Why should I shoot him?

I'm just warning you.

Ah, just leave me be,

I can look after myself.


Well, you see
that you do.

And only yourself.


Only I don't much like the idea
of a stranger gunning for me.

Makes me kind of uneasy.

You must know the reason,

Let's not start that again,

There's no reason.

Sure, you've led
a blameless life, haven't you?

Never hurt anybody.

I told you twice.

Adams, there's men around this
town that'd shoot you on sight

if they thought
they could get away with it.

I don't think you ever
were any good,

so don't tell me
that Cain's got no reason.

I don't believe it.
You're pushing me, marshal.

I'm tired of your talk.

Now, maybe you don't know him.

But, mister, he sure knows
something about you.

And he'll wish he didn't,
is all I can say.

Keep out of his way.

Give it a little time, and maybe
there won't be any killing.


All the time in the world.

All right, Adams,

I've done all I can.

Just don't worry about me.

I'm not.

Bye, marshal.

That's him.

Just a minute, Cain.

You ain't in no hurry,
are you?

We wanna hear you play.

Later, maybe.

We wanna hear it now.


Help! Unh!



I swear, Mr. Dillon,

I was beginning to think
you'd never get back.

Well, I guess next time
I go out of town

I'll have to tell you
where I'm going, Chester.

Wish you would.

Well, now, where have
you been?

Well, I've been up river
at the immigrant camp.

I got him here just
as soon as he got back.

Well, you picked
a fine time to leave town.

Well, at least he isn't dead,
is he?

Well, no, but I- Here,
I want you to see something.

Look at this.
They took a shot at him.

They heard some fellas coming
and they ran off,

and the bullet went right
through there.

Now, Cain, guess
you're pretty lucky.

It was dark.

They pulled my coat
half off anyway.

Well, they must think
you're dead then.

They didn't have time
to beat him to death.

They took a shot at him.
I imagine they think he's dead.

So Adams made
the first move, huh?

Didn't even give you a chance
to use that gun, did he?

I didn't have a gun on me.

But it wasn't he.

You recognize him?

Well, I don't know
many folks around here.

You know Joel Adams.

It wasn't Joel Adams.

Think you could pick him out
if you saw him again?

No, I don't believe
I could.

Well, you must've gotten
some kind of a look at them

when they grabbed you.

It was too dark.

Too dark.
Down there in the street?

Well, it was by an alley,
and they-

They pulled me
into it so fast

I didn't know
what was happening.

Well, they must've had
awful long arms.

You know how it is, marshal.


I know how it is.

So you're gonna fight
this out all alone, huh?

Yes, ma-

Yes, marshal,
it's my own affair.

Not anymore it isn't, Cain.

You've been assaulted
and you've been shot at.

It's the law's business now.

I won't prefer any charges.

You don't have to.
I've seen you.

I know who did this
or hired it done

just as well as you do.

Please, marshal, I've got
to handle this my own way.

Cain, there's a law that says
you cannot murder a man.

And that same law
says that he can't murder you.

Are you so full of hatred

you can't get that
through your head?

I guess that's it, marshal.

All right.
You do what you have to do.

And so will I.

Goodbye, Doc.

I've been looking
for you, Adams.

It's late, marshal.
Can't you see me tomorrow?

It's not even midnight.

That's early for you.

Always trying to put me
on the prod, ain't you?

You're pretty rough.

It's your hired men
that are rough.


Didn't they
tell you?

Tell me what?

What they did
to Cain Vestal?

They didn't kill Cain Vestal,

And you can't prove it.

No, except for one thing.
He's not dead.


Did you think he would be?

Well, no, I...

Somebody said he got hurt.

Go on.

Mr. Dillon.

You set this up, marshal?

You know I didn't.

What's he want anyway?

Hello, Joel Adams.

No, you don't know me.

Who are you?

Cain Vestal.

What are you
haunting me for?

I never saw you before
in my life.

That's true.

You never did.

We had a friend in common once.

A friend? Who?

Julie Travers.

What about her?

You were a riverboat
gambler then.

You had a lot of money
and fine clothes,

a way with women.

young girls like Julie.

Never mind all that.

She went away with you,

to be married, you told her.


I can guess the rest.

You wanted to marry her,

but I got her instead,
is that it?

That's it.

That's exactly it.

I thought you really
had something on your mind.

Look, uh,

why don't you get out of here
and stop bothering people,

while you can still walk?

Take it easy, Adams.

Julie's dead.

She killed herself.


You didn't know that,
did you?

It's got nothing
to do with me.

It was just about a year

after you abandoned her
in New Orleans.

I'd say it had quite a lot
to do with you, Mr. Adams.

What are your plans, mister?

I'm gonna kill you.

There'll be no shooting here,

Only wanna say something,

One thing I always
promised myself, Adams.

Someday I'd find you and:

Nobody spits in my face
and gets away with it.

Adams, put the gun
on the table.

You saw what he did, marshal.

He wanted to kill me.

You heard him.

Adams, you're under arrest
for murder.



He was unarmed, remember?


You don't think
I'm gonna hang for this?

He wanted you dead,

That's the only way
he could do it.

You mean,

he planned...?

River gamblers used to say:

"Don't matter how you win,

as long as you win."

He should've been
a gambler.

Maybe he was.

Let's go.