Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 2, Episode 6 - Indian White - full transcript

When a twelve-year-old Cheyenne prisoner is brought to Dodge by the Cavalry, a woman claims it's her son, who the tribe kidnapped many years earlier.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

Most people think of Boot Hill

as a place
where only men are buried.

But there's a grave or two
of children here also.

For a child can die
as hard and fast as a man can.

And for the same
mindless reasons.

Out there in the high plains
there may be more graves.

Unmarked perhaps,

and yet it's something
you don't easily forget.

A man with my job
has enough to forget.

Matt Dillon, U.S. marshal.

Of course you're my son.

My own boy.

Your name is Dennis.

Naturally, you couldn't be
expected to remember that.

Dennis Cullen.

Name Vihocan.

That's Cheyenne for "white boy,"
Mrs. Cullen.

When we brought the Indians in,
it was the name

that made me take
a good close look at him.

I know you've
always felt

you'd see your son
again someday, ma'am.

Yes, marshal.

Are you sure
you're not making yourself

believe this is your boy?

Name Vihocan!

A mother can tell her own
flesh and blood.

She said the boy
was only two years old

when he was taken
by the Cheyenne.

Yes, when our wagon train was
attacked at the Medicine River.

Oh, Colonel Honeyman,

if my husband hadn't
died in the fighting,

you'd see that this boy
is the very image of him.

You don't have to try
to convince me, Mrs. Cullen.

You wouldn't be taking
on a problem like this

unless you were very sure.

A problem?

Despite his white blood,

you're going to have
an Indian boy on your hands.

But time will change
all that, won't it?

We're of the same flesh.
You'll begin to see that soon.

In no time at all.

There's some papers in my office
for you to sign, Mrs. Cullen.

I'll get them ready.

Take the boy
to the supply room, corporal.

See if you can round up some
shoes and clothes for him.

Oh, Dennis!


Go with the corporal.
Nobody's gonna hurt you.

Have I done such an awful thing?

I lied to the colonel.

What do you mean?

He's not my son.


And I think you know it.

Well, he needs a good mother.

Thanks you, marshal.

You do understand, don't you?

Mrs. Cullen, I think you're
gonna have your hands full.

But I'll give him
all the love and care

I hope my own son
is getting.

If he's still
alive somewhere.

All right.

Let's go in so you can
sign for your, uh, son.

You make me feel
a little guilty, Kitty.


You've bought more hats
in the past few weeks

than you'll ever
have a chance to wear.

Well, hats are the one
virtuous weakness I have.

do you use
blackmail or sheer force

to make them
patronize my shop?


I know how I feel when I see
another woman with a new hat on.

Well, anyway,
I'm very grateful.

I don't have any children,
Mrs. Cullen.

I've never been married.
I understand.

And helping you out a little-
Well, it makes me feel good.

And so does this hat.
I'll take it.

Dennis. Where are you going?

Me go out.

What you mean to say, dear, is,

"I am going out."

I am

going out.

Yes. But not like that.

You can't run around
in just a pair of pants.

Go to your room.

Put on the shoes
that the soldiers gave you.

And a shirt.

That nice blue one
I made for you.

Don't look at me
like that.

You've got to stop acting
like a little savage.

Me go out!

Oh, Kitty, Kitty.

I try to be patient, but...

He won't let me
give him a haircut.

He won't wear a pair of shoes.

It isn't easy, I know.

The strain.
And people are so cruel.

What names they call him.


Well, because to them
he's still a Cheyenne.

And right now everybody's
thinking about the ones

that broke out of
Fort Dodge the other day.

The same Indians
who raised him.

But it's not his fault.

It's fear, Mrs. Cullen.

The Cheyennes
have been raiding ranches

and stealing horses
and guns and,

well, nobody knows
what to expect next.

Oh, Kitty, I...

It'll all be
over with someday.

Now, come on. What do you say we
make ourselves a cup of coffee?

Now, you get out
and stay out,

and don't ever come back
to my store again, you hear?

Well- Heh.

-looks like your prot?g?
is in another peck of trouble.

I got a good notion
to take a whip to you.

Why, you little-
You little-

What's the trouble, Ross?

You better do something
about that Indian kid, marshal.

He's not an Indian kid.
He's a white boy.

Well, a lot of folks
ain't too sure about that.

They don't think
he's Mrs. Cullen's boy at all.

He sure don't look like her.
Why'd you throw him out?

He was trying to buy ammunition
for a Sharp's rifle, that's why.


Huh. Oh, he was probably
just planning on a turkey shoot.

Now, don't be funny, Doc.

He said it was for Mrs. Cullen.
Now, you know that's a lie.

He's aiming at joining up with
them Cheyennes of his.

Joining the- The-
The killing and raiding

out there on the prairie.

Look, taking care of the Indians
is Colonel Honeyman's job.

He's got two troops
out after 'em now.

He ain't never
gonna catch 'em.

But that boy, you better
lock him up for his own good.

You can't stop
people worrying.

I don't wanna hear
any more about it, Ross.

That boy's got a tough enough
time ahead of him as it is.

Come on, Doc.
Mr. Dillon.

What is it?

It's that Cullen boy.

He got in a fight
with a grown man,

right in front
of Doc's house.

Well, I just don't know what
this town'll do for excitement

if that boy
ever gets civilized.

All right,
you Indian whelp.

Come at me!

Sure, kid,
you can take him.

Here. That's right.

You got a knife now. Come on.

Come on.

Yeah, go on.

You Indians ain't red.

You're yellow.


Ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

All right, put the knife down.
That's an order.

Not hardly, marshal.

Let the kid fight.

Let's have some fun,

Let the kid fight.
Come on. Let's have fun.

What's the matter with you,

Fighting a boy.

I'm sick of seeing him
skulking around here

like a little savage.

Ain't we having enough
trouble with the Indians

without having one of them
running around loose in Dodge?

I'm gonna open him up.


You had no call to do that,

Shut up.

Look at his arm, Doc.

Come here.

Don't worry about it.

I know people that get along
better with one arm than two.

Don't forget the knife.

White man give me knife.

Then I fight.

All right.
Now you've had your fun.

Anybody wanna claim this?

Come on, son.

Now, look, son, uh,
before we go inside, you-?

You wanna tell me about it?

Name Vihocan.

All right.
Don't let's go into that again.

What I wanna know is, uh,

why did you think
you had to fight that man?

Man talk bad.

Hit me in face.

You not come, I kill him.

Make big coup.

But you're not an Indian, son.

You're not a brave.

When are you gonna get
that through your head?

Vihocan have many
Indian brothers.

But you're home now.
With your mother.

And you gotta stop
thinking like an Indian,

or you're gonna get
in worse trouble.

Vihocan fight.

Mrs. Cullen talk hard.

But she no understand.

She'll understand. Come on.

All right, son.


Your cheek.
You're hurt.

What happened,

Well, I'll tell you
about it later, Kitty.

Right now,
I wanna talk to Mrs. Cullen.

I'll go finish my coffee.

Marshal, what happened?
Who hit my boy?

I'd like to talk to you alone,

you go to your room.

You own a Sharp's rifle?

Yes. It's the very one
Mr. Cullen died fighting with

at Medicine River.
Well, why do you ask?

Well, it seems as though Dennis

was trying to buy
ammunition for it.

But Dennis
doesn't have any money.

Does he know
where he could get any?

He stole it.

Mrs. Cullen,
Mr. Ross has an idea

that Dennis is trying
to help the Cheyenne.

I can't believe that after all
I tried to do for him,

he hasn't changed a bit.

I'd hate to think that too.

But until the rest of those
Cheyenne are rounded up,

people in Dodge are
gonna be pretty edgy.

That's why he got hurt.

What do you mean?

Well, he got into a fight
with a grown man.

A knife fight.

Wasn't his fault, but that's the
kind of thing that can happen

more and more until this,
uh, thing blows over.

Well, what am I gonna do?

Well, you'll just
have to keep him home.

If you let him run loose
on the streets,

I'll have to lock him up
for his own protection.

Well, I'll- I'll talk to him.

I know I can
make him understand.

Sorry to intrude, Mrs. Cullen.
Hello, marshal.

Hello, colonel.

I'd like to talk to the boy,

Why? What is it?

Something the trouble?

You know who
Little Wolf is?

Well, sure,
he's chief of the Cheyenne

down at the Darlington agency.

He was at Darlington.

I just got word
he jumped the reservation

and is headed this way
with 300 of his people.

Hmm. You think they're planning
to join the Indians

at Brokeloose and Fort Dodge?

No question about it.

Well, what does Dennis
got to do with this?

Why have you come to see him?

I think he can tell me

where their point of rendezvous
is going to be.

Well, how would Dennis know?

Indians scatter

when they're being pursued,
Mrs. Cullen.

They regroup at some
secret point later.

And every man, woman
and child of them

knows well in advance
just where that point is.

Better call him, Mrs. Cullen.


Oh, Dennis.

It's all right, son.

Colonel Honeyman
wants to talk to you.

Hello, boy.

Colonel soldier
want talk with Vihocan?

Tell me,
do you know Little Wolf?

Little Wolf chief.
Good chief.

Maybe so.
But he's done a bad thing now.


He left the reservation.
He's going to join Long Knife.

Long Knife my chief.

Oh, Dennis, don't say that.
He isn't.

Let him talk, Mrs. Cullen.

Long Knife escape.


He and the others you were with
burned their barracks

at Fort Dodge
and killed three soldiers.

Vihocan know.

I'm sure you do.
You also know where Long Knife

is meeting Little Wolf
and his people.

If you tell me,
you'll be saving lives, boy.

Not only of soldiers,
but Indian lives too.

Not know meeting place.

Well, you can't beat it out
of him, colonel.


Sorry to have bothered you.

Good night.

I don't care what anybody says,
you can't blame Little Wolf

for trying to lead
his people back home.

You can't blame
him for that.

that kind of talk gets you

nothing but trouble around here,

Well, I don't care.

The Cheyenne Indian
is a northern mountain tribe.

Now, you can't take
people like that,

and transplant 'em hundreds
of miles south

in a stinkin' reservation,

unless you want
'em to starve to death.

Yeah, I sure wish we could
get that through

to the War Department, Doc.

Well, I don't know
what everyone's worrying about.

When Little Wolf catches up
with Long Knife,

they're not going
to go on any warpath.

They're- All they'll wanna do
is just get out of Kansas,

and get back up north.
Get home.



What's the trouble?
It's Dennis. He's gone.

After supper. We ate early.

I had a long talk
with him.

I tried to tell him how much
I need him, how much I love him.

I tried to explain
how things were in Dodge now,

but things would be better when
this Indian scare was over.

What'd he say?

Well, he didn't say much,
but I think he understood.

I felt closer to him
than I ever have before.

Then I did some sewing.
He went to his room.

And later when I came in to say
good night to him,

the window was open
and he was gone.

Well, maybe he's just
wandering around town, ma'am.

No. He's gone for good.

What makes you so sure?

He took the Sharp's rifle,
and that isn't all.

He stole a calico pony
from Lynch's stable.

I see.

there's not much we can do now.

It's too dark
to find him at night.

But you will bring him back?

We'll go after him
first thing in the morning.

The marks of
that calico's broken shoe

are farther apart here.

Must've kicked her
into a gallop, huh?

the kid turned off pretty sharp.

Almost like he knew
right where he was going.


Come on.

That bridge there, there's a
ravine right on the other side.

You know, Mr. Dillon,

she's in a terrible fix.

Who, Mrs. Cullen?

I mean, it can't be much comfort
to her if we bring him back

and he keeps wanting
to run away.

And if he's with them Indians
and we don't find him, well,

I can't imagine
how she's gonna feel.

Yeah, and that's not
the worst of it, Chester.

What do you mean?
He's not her son.

He ain't?

Nah. She knew it when she first
saw him at Fort Dodge.

Did you know it too?

that's what she told me.

I'm a partner to the crime,
if you can call it that.

Now that ravine is what Colonel
Honeyman would call

an ideal rendezvous point.

Yeah, or an elegant place
to get bushwhacked.


Well, let's see who's right,

Lookie there, will you?

Come on.

Marshal make long ride.
Catch Vihocan.

You travel pretty fast,

White lady send marshal?

Mrs. Cullen's mighty
worried about you.

Colonel soldier, he worried too?

Colonel Honeyman didn't send us.

Not follow?

No. He didn't follow.

Oh, my goodness,
Mr. Dillon.

Look at that, would you?

Don't move.

Well, don't worry.
I ain't gonna move.

Sure are a fierce-looking bunch,
ain't they?

They're warriors,
every one of 'em.

So you knew all along
this was the meeting place, huh?

Vihocan know.

My name Little Wolf.

You tell Vihocan
pony soldiers no follow.

The pony soldiers are hunting
you like a coyote, Little Wolf.

But they're not with us.

Vihocan say Little Wolf
can believe marshal.

We came to take the boy home.

Little Wolf say all men free.

Vihocan must make
his own choice.

But he's too young.

He doesn't know
what's best for him.

Boy never be man, if other
people make choice for him.

Yeah, but this boy is not
an Indian. He's a white boy.

And you know
what'll happen to him

if he stays with you
and Long Knife.

He live like Indian.

White people treat Vihocan bad.

Kick. Beat. Call names.

Miss Cullen no understand.

No one understand.

It takes time, son.

Boy decide.

If want to come with Cheyenne,
you don't stop.

I'd have a pretty hard time
doing that.

You fight. We kill you.


Now before you make up
your mind, son, remember this:

these Indians are poorly armed.

A lot of 'em are probably sick.

When winter comes,
many of 'em will die.

The soldiers will get
the rest of 'em.

Soldier not like Indian.

Soldier get tired, go back.

Indian go north.
Powder River home.

Hunt. Fish again.

White people not my people.

Vihocan stay with Indian.

Vihocan decide.

Leave now.

Maybe someday come back
great chief.

Not with the Army after you.

Do you understand
what they're saying?

Yeah, Chester,
as a matter of fact I do.

Just enough.

Just enough?
What do you mean?

They're saying
"Medicine River white boy."

Medicine River
white boy?

Well, that's where
Mrs. Cullen lost her son.


Well, then this boy is...?

He's her son.

She never even recognized him.

Well, I'll be.

Are you gonna tell her?


No, I'm not gonna tell her,

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