Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 2, Episode 9 - The Mistake - full transcript

When a man suspected of murder can't establish his alibi, Matt arrests the man. After the prisoner draws a gun on Chester and escapes, evidence suggests he might not be guilty.


Starring James Arness
as Matt Dillon.

They tell me that back East,

there are a lot of book writers
and newspaper people

who picture a frontier lawman

as somebody
pretty near perfection.

He always guns his man down,
never makes a mistake.

He's at the top of the heap
on every play.

Well, that may be, back East,

but I've never met a man
like that out here.

And knowing this job
the way I do,

I don't think
I ever will meet one.

Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshal.

Mornin', Matt.

Well, hello, Kitty.

What are you
doing up so early?

Well, you're not
very observant.

Look at me.


You forgot to
comb your hair.

Oh. A riding skirt.

I've been clear out
to Sand Springs and back.

And before
breakfast too.


I like to
ride alone.

Jumped a big
herd of antelope.

Must have been
a hundred of 'em.

Really? Well, it's, uh,

too bad you weren't
packin' a gun, huh?

Shoot one of 'em?

Well, now,
wait a minute.

I've seen you eat
antelope often enough.

That's different.

Oh, well,
it's just as well.

You know, you probably couldn't
have packed one back anyway.

That smell makes a horse
kind of nervous, you know?

Not the one
I was ridin'.

I think he was asleep
most of the way.

Why don't you go with me
some mornin', huh?

Me? Go ridin' for pleasure? Why not?

Listen, gal. I took this job
to keep me out of the saddle.

There was a time there

I was beginning to think
I'd forgotten how to walk.

You just don't wanna
get up early, that's what.

Mr. Dillon!

Miss Kitty.


Mr. Dillon, it's Earl Haney,
that new fella

that banks faro over at
the Long Branch.

Something happen
to him?

it sure did.

Sam Noonan went
out back this morning

when he come to work,
and found Haney laying there.

Somebody's busted
his head open.

Was he dead?

Well, not yet, but
it don't look too good,

according to

Can I help,

No. Thanks,

Anybody tell Doc
about this?

Doc went out
to Markham's ranch.

He won't be back
till this afternoon.


Town could use
two doctors.

Glad you got here,

Has he been conscious
at all, Sam?

He comes to every
once and a while,

then passes out

You got any idea
what happened?

No. The last
I saw of him

was when we
closed up the place.

I left him countin' the money
at his faro table, alone.


Haney, it's
Marshal Dillon.

Can you hear me?


Hey, you're gonna
be all right, Haney.

Don't worry.

Who did this to you?

Slugged me.

With his six-gun.

Kept hittin' me.

Who was it?

Red shirt.

Red shirt.

Took all the money.

Well, what did he look like,
besides wearing the red shirt?

Black hair.


That could be
Jim Bostick.

He's always wearing
a red shirt.

That's just what
I was thinkin', Chester.

And he's no good too.
I know his kind.

He's been nothin' but trouble
ever since he came to Dodge.

And spendin'
a lot of time gamblin'

at the Alaphaganza too,
you noticed?

Yeah, and I understand

he's been losing a lot of
money over there too. Tsk.

Well, that's a terrible way
to get it back, ain't it?

Look, Chester, we gotta try
and keep Haney alive

till Doc gets back.

Well, the condition
he's in,

I don't think we ought to
try to move him. Do you?


Look, do what you can
for him, will you?

And let me know
if he comes to again.

I'm going after
Jim Bostick.

There you are,

King-high straight.


I wanna talk
to you.

Hello, marshal.
Take a hand.

I said I wanna talk to you.

Now, while I'm winning?


Deal me out this hand,

This sounds important.

It is.

Hope it doesn't
break my luck.

Been runnin' pretty good
for the last couple of hours.

All-night game?

It started
just before midnight.

And you've been sittin'
with those men ever since?

Just about.

You know Earl Haney,
don't you?

I ain't proud of it.


I got no use for him.

Nothin' in particular.
I just never did like him.

What are you asking me
about him for?

He was robbed and slugged
this morning.

He was?

You think I had
something to do with it.

I don't know.

Well, what did Haney
have to say?

He must have seen
who did it.

Said it was a dark man
with a moustache,

and wearing
a red shirt.

He's lyin'.

He's tryin' to put it on me
'cause we don't get along.

You think he'd do that?

Haney would do anything
to get me in trouble.

Well, the man
is dying, Bostick.

That'd be going pretty far to
get you in trouble, wouldn't it?

Maybe for you
and me, marshal.

But not for a man
like Haney.

You know,
there's something

I don't understand
about you, Bostick.

What's that?

You're making
a lot of ruckus

about Haney lying
to get you in trouble,

when you got four men sitting
over there to alibi for you.

Well, I wasn't in the game
all the time, marshal.

I left for about
an hour.

What time?

Oh, about, uh...

4:00, I guess.



I take it that's
the time Haney got it.

Just about.

Well, I hate to
disappoint you, marshal...

but I've still got an alibi.

Well, you better
have, mister.

Who was it?

Doc Adams.

Doc Adams?

That's right.

I had stomach cramps.
Real bad.

So I left the game and went
over to Doc's, and woke him up.

Fixed me up
some stuff,

and we sat around
and talked.

I'll say one thing
for you, Bostick.

You don't think straight,
but you sure think fast.

Haney come to again,
Mr. Dillon.

He says he's got
somethin' to tell you.

But you better

All right.

Get going.

What for?

You're goin' with us to see
what Haney has to say.

You're just
a couple

of minutes

Did he name
anybody, Sam?

No. He was trying
to say something,

but I couldn't
get it.

Well, that's
too bad.

Through with me
now, marshal?

Through with you?

You're under
arrest, mister.

Under arrest?

Take him to jail,

Yes, sir.

Now, look here,

all you have to do is
ask Doc, he'll tell you.

Doc was out of town,
and you knew it.

No, I didn't.

When will he
be back?

This afternoon.

I can't wait
that long.

I'm starting out
for Coldwater in an hour.

I gotta be there

You're not goin'
anywhere, mister,

till Doc gets back.

And probably
not then.

Lock him up,

Yes, sir.

This is wrong,

Let's go,

Shall I get the hearse
to haul him away?

Yeah, Sam, I'd be
much obliged.

Did he have
any kin at all?

Never talked
about any.

Too bad. He was
a good dealer.

What took you so long?

It's been
almost an hour.

My rheumatism's been
troubling me lately.

Boot Hill?

Yeah, I'm afraid so.

Nobody to pay for
anything better.

Wish we could have
a regular funeral

with one of these

It's been a long time
since we have.

Sam says you got
the fella that did it.

Yeah, looks that way.

Well, a lot of mean
cusses around.

Who's gonna pay
for the rig?

Looks like
this one's on you.


Mr. Dillon,
is that you?


I'm locked up
in the cell.


He had a derringer
hid out,

and he got
the drop on me

just as I was
unlockin' my cell.

I know. I should have kept
his gun on him the whole time

instead of havin' it
stuck in my belt.

But, well,
who would have thought

that he was carryin'
another gun hid out.

It's all right, Chester.

It's my fault. I should
have searched him.

Well, he's headed southeast
towards Coldwater.

Yeah, I know.
I heard him say that.

Look, uh, get
the rifles, will you?

Yeah, but he told me again
before he left.

He said he knowed you was
gonna be awful mad at him,

but he said he had to be
in Coldwater by tomorrow.

Besides, he said it
wouldn't make any difference,

you know, once that
you talked to Doc.

He knew Doc was
out of town, Chester.

He was just using that
as an alibi to stall for time.


Don't suppose
we ought to check

and see if Doc's
back yet, do you?

Chester, there'll be
plenty of time

to talk to Doc when
we get back with our man.

Now, let's go.


Howdy, marshal.

You happen to pass a man
on the trail this morning?

Dark-haired fellow
with a mustache.

He's wearin'
a red shirt.

Yeah, I did.

About an hour and a half

Hour and a half, huh?

He was headin' onto that
shortcut trail to Coldwater

as I was comin' off of it.

What's the matter?

Is he in trouble?

Thanks for your time.


How are the horses,
all right?

Oh. Mine got tangled up
in his tie rope.

Never seems to learn.

Sure would be nice to have
a fire, wouldn't it?


But we can't
risk one.

Bostick could be

anywhere within
a mile of us here.

Well, yeah. I didn't really
mean it about a fire.

I was just talkin'.


I just don't like the idea

of a man thinkin'
he can kill somebody

and ride off scot-free.


You know, Mr. Dillon,

we really don't have too much
proof that Bostick did it.

Well, he's the only
suspect we've got.

Besides, if he's
not guilty,

why'd he run away?

Well, he- He could have
had an awful good reason

for gettin' to Coldwater.

There's nothing
important enough

to make an innocent man
break jail, Chester.



Chew on a piece
of this jerky,

that'll keep you

Plate of hot pinto beans
keep you a lot warmer.

You know, all mixed up
with chili peppers,

like they do on the Bravo.


anybody who likes to
eat the way you do

should have been
a cook.

Well, I was
a cook once.

You were? Where?

In the Army, back in '65.

Spring at Richmond Fell.

I quit.

You quit?

I didn't quit the Army.
I quit cookin'.

Oh. Why?

Well, we run
out of supplies.

You can't very well
cook nothin'

if you don't have
nothin' to cook.

Go keep ours quiet.


You be quiet.

Give me a rope,
will you, Chester?

Yes, sir.

He was hobbled.


Well, I wonder how far
he's traveled.

About a mile.

How do you
figure that?

Well, it's been dark for
about an hour and a half.

I figure that whoever
was riding him

probably unsaddled
him then.

Let's go back
the way he came, huh?

Well, you think that
it's Bostick's horse, do you?

Well, I sure
hope so.

I'd hate to surprise
an innocent man

into a shooting
out here.

Oh, it's no use.
I've lost the trail.

Well, at least it's a little
warmer moving around.


Well, come on,
let's go back to camp

and get what sleep
we can, anyway.

We'll turn the horse
loose in the morning

and let Bostick
come to us.

Well, I hope
we can find camp.

Well, anyway, it beats
stumblin' around

in the dark
all night.

Yeah, I was hopin' we'd be
lucky though, Chester.

If we could've
found him asleep,

we could have taken him
without a fight.

You mind if I stretch out
for a minute?

That sun feels
awful good.

Sure, you go ahead.

Doggone him. He probably
slept all night.

All cozied up in
his blanket someplace.

Yeah, you go ahead
and get some sleep, huh?

Ugh, what?

Hold it!

Stay right

Now, what did
you come

chasing clear
out here for, marshal?

What'd you think?


But I ain't
done nothin'.

You haven't, huh?

All right, maybe I shouldn't
have run off

from your jail
the way I did...

but I don't like
being locked up.

You know it.

Besides, I wanted to
get shut at Dodge.

Plumb tired of the place.

Well, now, that's
too bad.

Now, look here, marshal.

I gotta get over to Coldwater.

I told you I was going.

You know, for a man under arrest
for murder, Bostick,

you sure got easy ways.

But I didn't kill nobody.

I keep tellin' you that.

Well, you don't make it
very easy to believe, mister...

breakin' jail and
runnin' off like that.

Now, don't come
no closer, marshal.

I ain't goin' back
to that jail.

Yes, you are.


Not when I'm
innocent, I ain't.

I'm telling you...

I'm not gonna get
locked up.

Now, I don't wanna fight you...

but if I have to I will.

I'll take that gun,

You're drivin' me
to it, marshal.

You're gonna make me
draw on you.

Now, don't be a fool.

One more step...

and I'll draw.

Well, that's your choice,

But you're
goin' back.

Think you can
ride a horse?

I can try.

You wrap
this up.

I don't think
it's broke.

There's some stuff in one of
the saddlebags, Chester.

Get it, will you?
Yes, sir.

All right, let's go.

Go get Doc, will you, Chester?


There's nothin'
the doc can do for me.

Shoulder will heal.

Just be stiff the rest
of my life is all.


Sure gettin' tired
of this town.

Right back

Long, miserable ride

for what we're all
gettin' out of it.

And what do you expect
to get out of it, Bostick?


I thought you were gonna
talk for a minute.

Uh, I got nothin'
to say.

Except I'd sure like to
get shut at Dodge.

Well, that's just
all there is to it.

It's all I know
about it.

Doc's, uh,
just outside.

He's talkin'
to somebody.

Did you tell him I wanted
to see him right away?

Yes, sir.

Well, what's so
important, then? got

A man got killed?

Well, uh...

I don't know.

Well, did you tell him
about Bostick?

Yes, sir. I told him
he got shot clean through,

it didn't look too bad.

I don't mean that.

I know.



Oh, Mr. Dillon,

I'd rather the doc
told you hisself.

Hello, Matt.
Hello, Doc.

Chester tell you?

Tell me what?

Well, Ken Scoles
got killed.

Well, who's
Ken Scoles, Doc?

Well, he's that new faro banker
that Sam Noonan hired

to take Earl Haney's

And he got killed
same way Haney did,

same time about.

Same fellow
must have done it.

He had a red shirt
and black curly hair.

Everything the same,

just one thing.

Ken Scoles, uh,
lived just long enough

to make sure the fella
never did it again.

He put two bullets
in him, killed him.

Who was he, Doc?

Well, I don't
know who he was...

but Sam Noonan
said that, uh,

he got a few words
out of him

while he was dying.

He said the fella
mumbled something

about not really meaning
to press his luck,

but with you
out of town,

he figured it'd be
kind of easy.

Well, I don't suppose
there's any...use

in asking you about
Bostick, is there?

No, Matt, he was
with me,

just like he said.

Go get him,
will you, Chester?

Yes, sir.

Matt, I don't know what
to say to you about-

Oh, it's all right, Doc.

What is there to say?

Well, hello, Doc.

How are you?

I'm fine.
How about you?

Well, I reckon
it'll be a little stiff.

There's nothing
we can do about that.


I guess I owe you
an apology.

I was mistaken.

I'm sorry for
what's happened.


Well, I guess I can
ride on now, huh?

Marshal, you ever
get to Coldwater...

I'll buy you
a drink.

Much obliged
for your hospitality.

Mr. Dillon,
are you- Uh-

I-I shou-
Matt, I-

My golly,
I know how you feel.

Both of us do.

But there's just no sense
in takin' it so hard.

Well, my goodness,
Mr. Dillon.

It's- It's somethin'
that might happen to anybody.

I mean, it's-

After all, it was just
a mistake. Why, sure.


Yeah, Chester,
just a mistake.

But it was my mistake,
and it was a bad one.

I can't wish myself
out of it with a few words.

Well, no.
No, of course not.

That's true, Matt., let me
tell you something.

Like Chester says here,
anybody can make a mistake.

Anybody can.

But it's a rare man

that don't try to

weasel out of it

when he does.


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